Author: DobbyElfLord PM
Sequel to Altered Destinies: Harry returns to his original time to find the wizarding world changed due to his actions in the past. Not only does his family and friends await, but so does a new prophecy. Reading AD first is required to understand!Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Mystery - Harry P. & Tom R. Jr. - Chapters: 19 - Words: 147,171 - Reviews: 1,818 - Favs: 2,218 - Follows: 2,453 - Updated: 11-08-10 - Published: 03-23-08 - id: 4150901
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: JKR still owns Harry Potter. I am doing this just for my own enjoyment. (and hopefully yours!)
AN: This is the sequel to Altered Destinies. You'll really need to read that first for any of this to make sense. Updates will be a bit slower until I complete Beyond the Veil.
The Potters we have met living post-Altered Destinies
(Ages at the end of AD (April 1997))
Albus (Al)- 17, 7th year Gryffindor, Seeker; son of Ron and Bellatrix; twin brother of Thomas
Harry – 18, "The Count" former Unspeakable physically about 18 but about 30 mentally and emotionally
Hypatia (Tia)Prewett – 57, lead researcher and librarian for the Phoenix Magical University James Evans Library; married Fabian Prewett; 1 daughter- Melissa
James Potter- 38, married to Lily Evans, children: Harry 18, James 15, Sally 11
James Potter Jr. (Jimmy) -15, 5th year Gryffindor, dating Ginny Weasley, reserve Seeker
Katie Prewett- 60, Head of Pediatric Healing at St. Mungos; married to Gideon Prewett, two grown children (not named)
Lily – 38, married to James Potter, spell researcher
Michael – 60, Director of Phoenix Foundation, Wizengamot member, Hogwart's Governor; widower (wife: Karolina), two grown sons (not named)
Ron – 57, Head Auror; married to Bellatrix Black; two sons Albus(Al) 17, Thomas 17
Sally – 11, 1st year Ravenclaw; daughter of James and Lily
Thomas- 17, 7th year Slytherin; Quidditch Captain and Seeker; son of Ron and Bellatrix; twin brother of Albus
Tom – 70, born Tom Riddle; Minister of Magic; married to Andrea Sardonnes; son Jonas 39, granddaughter Michele 10
Chapter 1: Returning Home
The Man with the Killing Eyes,
The Vanquisher and the Redeemer will return.
His arrival will mark the start of Dark's Rise.'
14 April 1997
A large wolf slipped out the guest room at Hogwarts and padded its way silently down the hall. It was early in the morning and the sun was just peeking over the crests of the Scottish Highlands to light the magical castle. Aside from the house-elves, no one else was awake this early in the morning after a long weekend of Quidditch matches and visiting parents. The Potter clan had sat up late in the night reestablishing connections or establishing new ones, in the case of the younger generation.
For the younger members of Clan Potter, the family stories of the adventures of Harry Potter were the stuff of legends. Here was the son, brother or grandfather they never knew, sprung to life from their bedtime tales. If not for seeing some of the stories first hand via Pensieve, they may not have ever believed Harry was a real person.
The older generation consisted of Harry's children, seeing the father they had been missing since 1945. Katie and Michael had been eight years old when their father disappeared. Tia and Ron were only five. Although Tom kept their father's memory alive for them, their only direct memories of the man had been those of children.
The talking and laughter went late as the family tried to cram fifty-two years of events and stories into a single night. Harry drew extensively on his Occlumency training and experience as an Unspeakable to maintain his composure throughout the night.
Harry Potter was back in his correct time, but it no longer felt like the correct place. He kept looking around for Sarah. Harry credited Sarah for helping him heal after being raised by the Dursleys and fighting the war against Voldemort. James Evans may have saved Tom Riddle, but Sarah Underhill saved Harry Potter. Now Sarah was gone in an eye blink that encompassed over fifty years.
Harry never even got the chance to say goodbye.
The wolf quickly made its way out of the castle. Once onto the school grounds, the wolf broke into the ground-eating lope that he could maintain for hours. In a very short time the wolf was entering Hogsmeade. Most of the buildings were the same as in 1945, but subtle differences talked about the passage of time.
None of the villagers noticed the passing of the wolf in the early morning gloom. The various shopkeeps and bar staff in the village were probably more tired than the students after the Parents Weekend. The air held the stillness often found in the early mornings; a sense of waiting.
The wolf approached a modest home that no one in the village knew was there. It sat in a prime location on the edge of the village. The garden was neatly maintained with a Quidditch pitch in the back garden, but none of the regular village residents every recognized its existence. The house had sat under the Fidelius Charm since early in the war against Grindelwald.
The wolf assumed human form just inside the garden gate that marked the edge of the charm's perimeter. It looked different from the last time he had stood here. Landscaping and other changes marked the passage of the years.
James Evans, the once and future Harry Potter, stood staring at the first house he truly called home for several minutes. He felt…. numb.
Harry walked slowly to the front door that opened at his touch. The house inside was much different than he remembered it. While the outside was only slightly different, the inside had changed significantly. Harry stepped into his living room. The magically expanded room was more than twice as large as the last time Harry stood here. Harry guessed the need to allow for four teenagers in the house caused that change. The furniture James Evens knew from the 1940's was long gone. The room was still decorated in a way that spoke of his wife's sensibility
A magical self-playing piano dominated one corner of the room. A number of picture frames covered its top. Harry walked slowly across the room, drawn to the wizarding photos.
The first one he picked up seemed to have been taken at Ron's graduation from Auror School. Tom, Albus and Moody stood with Ron and waved as Ron stood proudly holding his new Auror's badge. The next photo was Katie's wedding photo with all of the Potters and the Prewetts. Harry recognized a very young Molly Prewett standing next to Katie while Tia kept whispering something in Fabian Prewett's ear that was causing him to blush.
A sad smile appeared on Harry's face as he looked at the various photos. After all of the stories from the previous day, it almost felt like he had been there. Almost.
As he turned from the piano, his eyes settled on two other pictures. These two sat alone atop the fireplace mantle. Harry recognized one immediately as his wedding picture, but it was the other one that caught his eye. A happy young Tommy Riddle sat between James Evens and Sarah Underhill watching a duel. Rather, Tommy was watching the duel, James and Sarah were too busy sneaking glances at each other and smiling. Harry recognized the photo from his first date with Sarah to the Hogwarts open house.
One final photo caught Harry's eye. It was a photo of an older Sarah smiling gently at the camera. The picture was taken just outside their house as if she was waiting for something… or someone.
Clutching the photos Harry sank to the ground as the grief finally broke through his mental barriers. All men have a breaking point; even the man once known as the Boy-Who-Lived and the most feared Unspeakable in the War against Grindelwald. Harry collapsed at the final realization of what he'd lost and could never get back.
Harry was never sure how long he sat on the floor of his living room. One may think that after fighting against two Dark Lords, Harry would be used to dealing with loss. In the war against Voldemort, Harry lost Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Dumbledore, Sirius, the rest of the Weasleys and most of his classmates at Hogwarts, all to one side or the other. The Order lost over ninety percent of its membership. Aside from Harry, only two low ranking members survived. The fight against Grindelwald had not been without its costs as well.
When Harry stepped back in time, he had no assurance that Aberforth's idea would work. Nor did he really care. Death would have been welcomed. Harry felt that to commit suicide would dishonor the sacrifices so many had made to allow him to live. However, risking his life on a forlorn hope to save them was just fine. After all, they deserved to live more than he did. Didn't they?
Two things saved Harry. The first was stumbling across a little boy being beaten in a London alley. Harry's "saving people thing" kicked in and before he knew it, he was the guardian of a very young and defenseless Tommy Riddle. Then he met Sarah Underhill when he arrived with the unconscious Tommy at St. Mungo's.
Sarah stepped in and saved Harry and helped him move past all the death of the war with Voldemort. In her quiet and determined way, Sarah simply loved him and accepted him. Sarah had as much steel in her spine as anyone Harry had met, but it was wrapped in a soft cushion of love and caring. Sarah would never deliberately hurt someone, but she would never bend from what she thought was right.
The war against Grindelwald had not seen as much death as Voldemort, nor had it cost the lives of anyone truly close to Harry, except for Claude. Claude's death had hurt but it was bearable after all the pain Harry had already faced. Sarah and the children worked to balance him and provide a healing influence on the Unspeakable.
Losing Sarah was different from all of the other losses the young man on the floor had dealt with before in either time.
Sarah was his wife and the mother of his children. The young medi-witch had taken a chance on the unknown wizard. As a teenager, Harry felt he truly loved Ginny, but their relationship was formed under the pressure of war and Prophecy. They never had the chance to experience an adult relationship under 'normal' circumstances. James found that relationship with Sarah. By the time the war started, they had a stable relationship with children, a dog and a house with a white-picket fence. Everything any orphan or war survivor would wish for. As both of these, Harry found that time with his family was even more precious than most could possibly imagine.
The soft voice broke Harry out of his dazed state sitting on the floor. He looked tiredly up at the source of the voice to see his oldest daughter kneeling next to him.
"Dad, Mum wouldn't have wanted you to be like this," Katie said in a soft voice.
"I wanted to stay. I would have been willing to give up my magic," Harry mumbled.
"We know that, Dad. After Tia and Ron finished Hogwarts, Mum told us the whole story and how she tricked you with the potion." Katie sank down onto the carpet next to her father. "She wanted to make sure we understood what happened and to help you when you came home."
"A part of me is so angry at her," Harry whispered. "She knew I wanted to stay."
Katie wrapped her arms around her father, a man who looked younger than her children did. The fact that Katie was much older than her father was an odd paradox.
"She knew you would be angry. She talked about it and hoped you would be able to forgive her. She hoped you would understand."
Harry smiled sadly at his daughter. "I do understand." An odd expression crossed his face. "A friend of mine once said I had a 'saving people thing'. I'd have done the same thing as your mother if our positions were reversed."
Harry reached up to brush a lock of hair out of Katie's face. "Your mum would do anything to protect her family but she also enjoyed a good prank. She would have loved the scene when I appeared above the pitch Saturday."
Katie smiled as she imagined it. Then she looked her father right in the eye and said, "I am sure she was watching and I'm sure she did."
Harry and Katie spent the rest of the morning sitting in the kitchen and talking. It was an enjoyable time and allowed Harry to talk through some issues. He suspected it would take him some time to deal with losing Sarah but Katie was a great help. Harry recognized Sarah's influence on their daughter. It was strangely comforting to see his wife living in his daughter's actions.
Tia bounced into the house around lunchtime. "Here you two are! We were wondering where you were."
"Tia, you are 57 years-old. Do you think you can act your age for once?!" Katie mock-glared at her sister.
An unrepentant grin answered her. "Sorry, too excited that Dad's back But if you want to keep acting like Minerva feel free."
Harry had to laugh at her antics. He could still see the energetic three-year-old he used to chase around. "Why do I think you get along wonderfully with Fred and George?"
Her eyes lit. "Two of my favorite nephews. Between them and Ron's boys, our family gatherings are always so entertaining."
"Al and Thomas are the pranksters of their year?"
"Fortunately, mostly against each other," Katie confirmed with a sigh. "They claim that pranking a non-prankster is 'unprofessional'. They only team up to prank Fred and George or the Marauders."
Harry smiled into his teacup. "Hmm…wonder if they would like a spot of help."
Katie frowned. "Don't encourage them! Tom does that enough. Between the four of them, the last time they almost blew up the Burrow." Harry would have believed her more if she wasn't fighting to keep a smile off her face.
"Molly screamed so loud they could hear her in the village even with the Muggle-Repealing Wards," Tia smirked. Katie lost her fight at that and started giggling more like a six-year-old then a sixty-year-old. Harry and Tia joined in.
The father and his two daughters spent the rest of the day going through the house and talking. They told Harry stories about the various items in the house, but mostly just spent time together. Harry knew he would have to go through the house and clean it out but that was something that could keep for another time.
19 December 1997
The stone cap slid away with a grinding noise. Centuries of sand and debris had built up around the edges. The moved stone revealed a black hole that even the mid day Egyptian sun failed to illuminate. The cap stone itself sat six feet below the surrounding sands of the Sahara Desert.
"Drop the 'goat' down," the team leader directed.
A man stepped up to the opening and held a small orb over the opening. It appeared to be a small, brightly colored Muggle beach ball. It hovered for a moment then slowly started to sink into the hole. It faded from sight soon after entering the opening. Five seconds later a bright light exploded out of the hole.
The man at the opening shielded his eyes for a moment. Then he turned and looked up at the attractive young woman sitting atop the sands. "Did you get anything?"
The young woman was wearing a tan outfit with a wide-brimmed hat that looked like what muggle explorers wore a century ago. A few strands of strawberry blonde hair escaped from under the hat. She was looking intently down at an opened book sitting in her lap. She ignored the question for a minute before nodding. "We got it.
"These charms of Uncle James and Remus are brilliant. We have a complete map of the chamber below including the three mechanical traps and four curses."
The tall, red haired team leader leaned over her shoulder to look at the book. "It's bloody brilliant, Melissa. It would have taken us a week to do that using transfigured decoys to find them."
The shorter, dark haired man climbed out of the hole to join them. "The book is an advanced version of their Marauders' Map. The really brilliant thing is that probe. Sirius told me that when they made the map the probe needed twenty minutes with one of them powering it to add the room. This does it instantly and without any external power. So you can be safe while the 'goat' takes the heat.
"So, do you think Gringotts would be interested in purchasing a couple units, Bill?"
Melissa snorted. "More likely they will try to buy you out, Grandpa. This will drastically cut down the time we need to penetrate the tomb."
"Cut down on the risk to us curse breakers too," Bill added. "I agree with Melissa. The goblins are going to love this. They'll buy it."
Harry smiled. "I'm sure James and Remus will be thrilled to hear that." He made a face at Melissa, "And don't call me 'Grandpa'. It sounds ridiculous coming from a young lady that looks older than me." His protest was met with laughter.
Harry had spent eight weeks in Hogsmeade following his return. He enjoyed spending time with all of his family. His children had grown into good people that he could be proud to call his own. Harry found himself buried in family. Between the Potters and the Weasleys, Harry always found himself getting to know new family members.
That is not to say he did not have a few rough spots.
Lily and James Potter were lovely people, but they weren't really his parents. James was never raised as an only child, not with the 'Evans' brood always around, and his arrogant side never manifested. Without Voldemort stirring the pot, Lily never had to deal with the open Pureblood prejudices seen in the last timeline. Harry felt a bit disloyal to his parents' memory thinking of this James and Lily as his parents.
Lily seemed to understand Harry's issues immediately without him having to voice it. With only a smile she told him she accepted his concerns. She treated Harry as a fully adult member of the family, even if he was genetically her son. James was oblivious to the whole situation. Having grown up with stories of James Evans/Harry Potter, James was in awe of his son / honorary granduncle.
The biggest challenge was dealing with the loss of Sarah, Thomas, and Elizabeth. For everyone else, their loss was an old pain. For Harry, it was sudden, unexpected and all at once. He had been prepared to face his own death, not theirs. The days were fine with his family around him. The nights were too quiet and allowed him to realize once again what he had missed.
Tia was the one who finally forced the issue. His youngest daughter told him in no-uncertain terms to take a vacation. She confronted him one night over dinner at the Potter Manor with his children and their spouses.
"Dad, you are stuck here seeing your house seeing all of Mum's things or wandering around here looking like you just saw a ghost for the first time! I think you need to take a vacation. When was the last time you had one?"
"Well, I …"
"It's been at least fifty years!" she interrupted. "Go relax and put things in perspective. Go see that island Sirius bought in the Caribbean, go visit Chaz, do something, but don't just sit here and try to hold yourself together!"
The occupants sat gobsmacked at Tia's rant. The room was silent for twenty seconds. Then Ron leaned over and murmured to Fabian, "This is why I let her do all the talking when we were kids." He smirked back at his sister's glare.
Fabian smiled innocently, "She did the same thing to me when I was informed we would be getting married." The glare he received promised divine retribution.
Katie reached over and took Harry's hand. "Tia might be lacking in tact, Dad, but I also think she might be right."
That had been the start of Harry's vacation. He spent one more week in Britain before going to Sirius's island getaway. After that, it was the United States with New York City, San Francisco, Hawaii. Then he visited New Zealand and Australia before heading to Cairo, Egypt.
He found a package waiting for him in Cairo. Inside was a note.
In partnership with the Marauders, we present the commercial version of the Marauders'' Map! We promised a demonstration to the goblins for use by their cursebreakers. A Mr. William Weasley and Ms. Melissa Prewett will meet you at your room tomorrow morning at 9:00. Please read the enclosed manual first.
PS: We're sorry Harry, but Aunt Tia threatened us. She scares us more then Mum! She follows up her threats with pranks!
Harry chuckled at George's postscript. The Weasley Twins were as irrepressible this time as they were in the original timeline. Actually, they might be worse because they grew up knowing their role models, the Marauders.
The next morning, Harry met Bill Weasley for the first time in this timeline. Without the war in England, this Bill never returned to England to work at Gringotts. He loved his work as a cursebreaker too much.
For the first time, Harry also met his granddaughter, Melissa. Tia's daughter, Melissa, was a tall woman who took a great deal after her great-grandmother Lily. She had the same red hair and green eyes as Lily but her face showed a definite Prewitt influence. There was a definite family resemblance between her and her cousin Bill. They acted more like siblings than cousins act and shared a love for puzzling out the traps and curses found in the ancient tombs.
Now he was watching Bill get lowered into the tomb, whose opening they had just mapped using the new version of magical mapping the twins had provided.
"I found the first ward markers!" Bill called up. "Hold me here. They were right where the Map said they were."
Melissa halted the magical rope tied to Bill. "That's a lot less stressful then when I have to lower him in blind," she murmured.
"So, now he just turns them off?" Harry asked.
Melissa smiled. "No, now the fun part starts. He has to determine the right sequence to manipulate the wards to shut down safely. It's a lot like disarming a muggle bomb."
Harry looked at her in surprise. "I've had some training in getting through wards. It was never anything like that."
"Those were modern wards," she shrugged. "The ancient Egyptians and Babylonians placed some serious curses designed for two things, killing and longevity. According to their beliefs, these tombs and its contents would house and provide for their souls in the Afterlife. A huge amount of effort went into making their magical tombs inviolate for eternity. The fact that the caster's religious beliefs were tied into the structure of the wards adds a whole other dimension to them."
"So, why are we here than?" Harry asked while looking down the hole to watch Bill work.
"Well, Bill and I are here because the pay is great and it's a lot of fun," came her answer. "The International Confederation of Wizards hired Gringotts to do this because of the Muggles. When muggles first came across an ancient tomb, they tripped a curse. It caused all of the expedition's deaths. The Muggle press called it The Mummy's Curse; even made a bunch of films about it. So, the ICW hired us to locate the tombs, disable the curses, and remove any magic related items. Then we close it back up and leave it for the Muggle archeologists to find."
"How does the ICW pay for this?"
"The goblins get to keep the non-magical valuables. Every so often we leave one 'untouched' for the Muggles to find. Usually those are the smaller tombs without much of value."
Harry looked up at Melissa and grinned. "Sounds like a nice little scam."
"We like it," she grinned back.
28 February 1998
"An owl just arrived for you, Harry," Bill called.
Muttering in frustration, Harry called back, "Give me five minutes!"
After a bit more than two months, Harry really found himself enjoying his time in Egypt with Melissa and Bill. Breaking curses was actually a whole lot of fun. It reminded Harry fondly of his First year adventure to save the Philosopher's Stone. It was a battle of wits with enough danger to keep it interesting but without someone actively seeking his death.
"If I had known it was like this, I would never have told Minerva I wanted to be an Auror," Harry muttered as he worked on the last rune.
With a final manipulation, Harry channeled a small stream of magic into the rune. He was rewarded when he felt the ward flicker and die. He smiled proudly at his accomplishment. He collected his tools and made his way out of the tomb and to their base camp.
"Did you get it?" Bill's voice asked as Harry emerged from the tomb.
"Not bad. That was a level two curse. It took me almost three years in the field before I could do that."
Harry shrugged. It was nothing special. His experiences against Voldemort and in the Unspeakables had given him a leg up on the specialized Cursebreaker training his two hosts had been providing him.
Melissa met him at the door to their wizarding tent. She held an envelope in her hand. "It's from Uncle Tom. It has his Ministry seal on it."
Harry took the letter with a smile and broke the seal. Reading it, Harry walked into the tent. "The ICW is holding a meeting in Bern in two weeks. Tom wants me to attend as his 'assistant'."
"But he usually uses Percy as his gopher," Bill commented in a confused voice. "Why would he ask you to go? And why not just as his guest?"
Melissa snorted, "My Slytherin uncle is up to something. He is setting Harry up for something." She started laughing. "Remember the time Jimmy and Ginny got caught snogging in their Second year? Uncle Tom had poor Jimmy thinking he'd violated an old Pureblood tradition and he would have to get married before the school year ended!"
Bill joined her laughter. "Poor Jimmy was ready to die while Ginny sent Mum a letter asking if her new husband-to-be could move into her room that summer! Mum went spare! Ginny was so disappointed when she found out it was only a prank."
13 March 1998
The trip to Bern took two Portkeys with a short stopover in Rome. Harry appeared at the Swiss Ministry's international arrival point. Harry still found it a novel experience to be legally entering a country after all his time sneaking around Europe in the fight against Grindelwald.
'At least I didn't have to jump out of a plane this time,' he thought as he handed his wizarding passport to the clerk.
The clerk examined the passport with a brief glance. "Good morning, Mr. Potter. The British Minister's party is expecting you. They have taken rooms at the Hotel Bellevue Palace." He handed Harry a box with Tom's Ministry seal on it. "They left this Portkey to take you directly to their suite. Enjoy your visit to our country."
Harry thanked the clerk and moved off with the box. After a wandless check for traps, Harry opened the box. Inside was a dirty Quidditch sock. 'Cheeky brat!'
A second later, the sock Portkey deposited Harry on the balcony of a lavish suite. He was looking out over a river with a beautiful view. He took a moment to enjoy the view, but turned when he heard someone approaching. He felt a Privacy Ward come up.
"Beautiful view," Tom commented as he stepped onto the balcony joining his father.
"You have a gift for understatement."
The two men stood quietly for a moment, and then Tom asked, "How was your vacation?"
Harry smiled as he kept looking at the view. "If you are asking how I am doing, I'd say pretty well. The girls were right. Getting out of Hogsmeade was a good idea. It still hurts but now I can think of them and smile. The travel helped. I went completely Muggle from the time I arrived in New York until I got the twins note in Cairo."
"I got your postcard from Australia."
Harry laughed. "Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef was brilliant, but I think I would've preferred to use gillyweed than wearing those tanks."
"I also received a report from my American counterpart about a wizard making high speed passes on a broom through the Grand Canyon."
Harry looked at Tom with an expression of complete innocence. "Amazing how these rumors start. Who would have done something like that where Muggles could see?"
That earned a snort of disbelief from the British Minister of Magic. "They have the Yank conspiracy buffs claiming it was a Top Secret US Government test of a 'personal utility kestrel explorer'."
"PUKE?" Harry laughed. "Did you have Hermione come up with that name?"
"Actually it was Andrea, Tom answered dryly. "Ms. Granger has her SPEW campaign in this timeline also. We receive letters and petitions from her periodically. Andrea knew she was one of your best friends before and did it in her honor."
Harry was still chuckling when he asked, "So, what are you up to, Tom? Melissa warned me about you."
It was Tom's turn to look innocent. "Moi? Nothing of the sort. Andrea came with me to the conference. Chaz is coming to visit tonight with his family. Also my son, Jonas will be here with his daughter." Harry had to admit that sounded good.
"Jonas and Michele are actually in our suite across the hall visiting with Andrea right now," Tom added.
Harry looked at Tom curiously. "You've never mentioned Jonas as having a wife."
Tom grimaced as if he'd sucked on one of Albus's candies. "We don't like to talk about her much. She was an American he met whilst on assignment over there. They dated for a bit, and then she disappeared. Ten months later she shows up with Michele, hands her off, and left. No explanations, nothing. Tests showed Jonas is her father. Andrea tried to get him to leave Michele at home with us but Jonas insists she stay with him." Tom chuckled. "She starts Hogwarts in September and he is already going through withdrawal.
"Andrea hopes that means he will finally get out and restart his social life. He won't talk too much about what happened and why. I refused to use my government contacts to find out."
Harry nodded in understanding. "I can see that. Anything else I should know?"
"Officially, you are here as an aide. I have Percy Weasley here for that really, but I really want you here to observe."
"After we got that piece of prophecy, I started looking for the danger it warned of. Now that you are back it is probable the warning of 'Dark's Rise' will come true as well." Tom paused for a moment. "I've had some indications of some activities, but nothing I can point my wand at. You can be in a position to catch people off-guard where they are careful around me as the Minister."
Before Harry could respond, Tom looked at his watch and said, " We are running a bit late. We can talk more tonight. Now, let's go over to my suite so you can see the family. Then, we'll go down to the main dining room for supper."
Tom dropped the ward and led the way through Harry's suite.
"You really have this Minister thing down, Tom. Ordering me around and everything," Harry teased.
"Albus always says it reminds him of you when I am 'acting the Minister'," Tom retorted. Harry laughed in response.
Tom led the way across the hall and into another suite. Andrea was sitting in the parlor with a very pretty, dark haired girl sitting on the couch next to her. Harry noticed the veela traits inherited for Andrea had breed true in her granddaughter. Andrea looked up and smiled when she saw Tom and Harry, but another usurped her greeting.
"Grandpa!" the young girl called out when she saw Tom. She ran up and wrapped her arms around Tom.
"How's my favorite granddaughter this afternoon?"
Michele gave Tom a big smile. "I'm your only granddaughter!"
"See! That makes you my favorite!" Tom asserted.
A fake pout crossed her face. "By that logic, I am also your least favorite granddaughter!"
Andrea had risen from the couch during the conversation. She walked over to Harry to embrace him. "Ignore them. They have been playing the same game for five years now. I at least have some hope that she will grow out of it!"
"Tom had some bad influences on him as a child," Harry quipped.
The little brunette scowled up at Harry. "Don't talk about my grandpa like that!" Unlike most Veela Harry had met, Michele was not a blonde. She had thick black hair with almond shaped eyes and a dark tan color on her skin. Even her scowl was adorable.
Tom and Andrea laughed as Harry couched down to face her at eye level. "I was only teasing. Your grandpa and I have known each other for a long time."
"Sweetheart," Andrea said, "This is Harry Potter. He is one of your relatives."
Michele looked at Harry suspiciously. "Are you sure?" Harry bit his lip to keep from laughing at her expression. "He looks a bit shifty to me."
Harry fell back laughing when he noticed the mischievous twinkle in her eyes. "She is definitely your granddaughter, Tom. Sneaky, manipulative…"
"Hey!" protested a wizard entering the room. "Is someone talking about my innocent daughter?"
"Daddy!" Michele whirled to run to her father. An instant later, she had him wrapped in a hug.
"Hello, Peanut. Pestering your grandparents still?"
The girl gave her father an innocent, yet evil smile. "Yes, I have Grandpa right where I want him!" The adults laughed as Michele smiled cutely up at her father.
Looking down at her, Jonas muttered, "God help the wizards of Hogwarts!"
Harry stood up off the floor as Tom walked over. "Jonas, I would like you to meet your cousin, Harry Potter."
Jonas smiled as he put his hand out. "I have waited a very long time to meet you." He glanced at his father and added, "My favorite bedtime stories were always the Harry Potter adventures against the evil Voldemort."
Harry smirked at his son before looking back at Jonas. "It is very nice to meet you too. And I might have some good embarrassing stories to tell about Voldemort and his alter ego too."
Michele looked up at her father in confusion. "Dad, this can't be that Harry Potter! He is too young. He must be simply named after the original Harry Potter." Harry noted that her 'spoilt little girl' voice had dropped away in her confusion.
The adults looked at each other in concern until Harry smiled at Michele. "Actually you are right, Michele. They were from the 'original' Harry Potter. I just like to keep all the stories so no one messes them up."
Michele smiled back. "I like that. Aunt Tia tells the stories really well. I keep asking her to write them down. Dad says they are stories only for the family but I think they would be really popular! Even more than Gilderoy Lockhart's books!"
Occlumency allowed Harry to simply smile at Michele's assertion rather than laugh as he wanted to. "You think so?"
The eleven-year-old witch nodded. "It is just as believable as the two Lockhart books Grandmum let me read. Although I never understood why the Headmaster in Harry's stories let all that stuff happen to Harry."
Harry smiled at her comment. "I'm sure Harry wished he could have asked him."
"Michele darling," Andrea called, "why don't you come over here with me so we can leave the men to their boring talk. Tell me about buying your things for school."
"She's a piece of work," Harry said with a smile once Michele left earshot.
Jonas grinned. "She takes in stuff like a sponge and is very mature for her age, but loves to play the innocent little girl. I think she does it so people underestimate her."
"Sounds like a new addition to Slytherin House to me," the Heir of Slytherin commented.
"Unless she decided to talk the Hat into putting her into one of the other Houses," Jonas replied with a grin. "That way people keep underestimating her. A Slytherin in Hufflepuff clothing maybe…"
The three men all laughed at the image. They moved out onto the balcony and continued talking. Over the next hour, Harry enjoyed getting to know Jonas. They shared some stories and talked Quidditch until Andrea came to remind them about dinner.
It was only with a small pang that Harry thought about how much Sarah would have enjoyed Jonas and Michele.
Tom led the procession down from the suite to the hotel's main dining room. Harry and Jonas followed behind him while exchanging stories about Tom and Michele's childhoods. The young girl in question was happily chatting with her grandmother about her upcoming trip to Hogwarts.
Just outside the dining room, they ran into a flustered looking Percy Weasley. He looked relieved when he spotted Tom leading the procession.
"Oh Minister, Thank Merlin you are finally here!"
Tom smiled at his aide and made a soothing gesture. "Relax Percy. What is the problem?"
"Sir, the French and Bulgarian delegations are bickering over the most ridiculous things! Headmaster Dumbledore is not here yet to control these things! What are we going to do!" Harry and Jonas shared an amused glance while Percy stood wringing his hands.
Tom grimaced. "I'll go talk to them. Is Sardonnes in there too?"
Percy nodded, "Yes, Minister. He is arguing with the new Bulgarian Minister of Magic. Oh, please hurry Minister! It is such a mess."
Tom put a calming hand on Percy's shoulder and turned to his snickering father and son. "Take Andrea and Michele to our table while I deal with this." Noting their amused expressions, Tom sneered, "Try not to have too much fun with this." Tom entered the dining room followed by their mocking laughter.
After a moment, they stepped into the dining room and made their way over to the maitre de. Jonas spoke briefly to the man who gestured and started leading them to a table.
They were halfway there when Harry whispered into Andrea's ear. "Why is your cousin arguing with the French Minister?"
Andrea followed his gaze for a moment and shook her head. "But, he is not arguing with the French Minister. That is the new Bulgarian Minister, Mr. Krum."
Harry looked at her in horror before turning back to the arguing pair Tom was attempting to settle. The Bulgarian's name was only a mild shock. The bigger shock was he seemed to be looking at a slightly older version of his friend, Claude Delacour.
"Oh look." Andrea gestured, "Here comes the French Minister, Monsieur Laurent Delacour now."
Harry's glance shot over to a shorter, plump man with a little pointed beard entered the room. He seemed to be amused by the scene in front of him judging by the smile and his body language as he approached the group.
Harry watched the French Minister walk up and shake Tom and the Bulgarian Minister's hands. The three Ministers started talking quietly and the situation seemed to settle.
Tearing his gaze away, Harry asked, "Andrea, do you happen to know the Bulgarian Minister's first name?"
"Yes, I believe it is Alan."
Harry turned back to stare at the Ministers again.