Disclaimer:I do not own Harry Potter. It belongs to J. K. Rowling and the various publishers. This story is written with no commercial aims. I do not make any money from it.
This story was proofread by Zanthraxone. Thanks !
Prologue: A wish upon a star
"The Lord of serpents arrival is at hand... reborn from cursed blood and phoenix tears... The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord... born as the seventh month dies... born to those who thrice defy him... And none shall live while the others survive for either must die at the hands of the others... The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lords approaches... And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lords knows not... The Serpent Lord is coming... by the power of a wish..."
Prophecy made to Albus Dumbledore by Sybill Trelawney
31 October 2008, Godric's Hollow Graveyard
Amongst row upon row of tombstones, some of which were only days old, two figures stood. They were facing a semicircle of marble statues in the forms of weeping angels. The two men who were there to pay their respects were wearing forest green battle robes. They were protected by the evening cold by cloaks in darker color with strands of silver woven in. In the middle of the semicircle, between two kneeling angels which were untouched by the years, stood a large memorial with three names engraved in it.
In Memorial of
James Potter Lilly Potter
To the left of the family grave was laying a newer resting place. Over it two ravens with spread wings were given the duty of eternal vigilance. One of the metal birds tilted its head and looked at the man who had just fallen to his knees in front of the grave. It blinked at the dark-skinned male and let a long, sad caw, which echoed over the quiet cemetery. A pair of black, slanted eyes were gazing at the blue-tinted tombstone, which was shaped in the form of an open book. A quiet sob escaped the lips of the kneeling man.
"Mione..." He whispered. His eyes were boring at the writing etched in the stone.
Beloved Wife, A faithful friend
The Brightest witch to grace the earth in generations
The other figure waved his hand and three white roses appeared from thin air in front of him and slowly levitated to the ground – one each under the names of his parents and little sister. He turned his face, which was like a steel, unreadable mask, to the right and soon his body moved in that direction. He knelt in front of the fifth grave resting in the small clearing. It was marked by a simple block of black marble, which had two sparkling, green serpents coiled around it. Their triangular heads were pointing at the messy haired man. The rubies which were their eyes shone with reflected moonlight.
In Memorial of
The Lady Slytherin, Heroine of the Diagonal Massacre
Rest in peace my beloved witchling
Two eyes, blazed in the night like sapphire flames. The cold, emotionless mask that was Harry Potter's face cracked. A single tear rolled down his left cheek. Even now, a decade later, he still could feel the soft touch of her fingers on his skin. Her dazzling smile and the look of pure bliss in her eyes at their wedding. He could almost smell the faint scent of strawberry and peach that was so his Daphne... She was the first to show him kindness after he was sorted in the home of the serpents. The one who saved him from the darkness which threatened to consume him. Daphne Greengrass, the girl from Slytherin, his light in the dark. His one and only love...
"Was it worth it?" A voice like gravel came from the left.
Harry looked at his last surviving friend. Blaise Zabini, his brother in anything but blood. They both had lost everything thanks to Tom Riddle – a self styled dark lord. The madman who had plunged the UK in a decade of war the likes of which the world had not seen since the WWII. By the end of it, only four days ago, more than twelve millions died. And it was Harry's fault. After the first battle for Hogwarts he had believed that it was over. Mere weeks later Riddle was re-embodied again and then revealed his armies of inferi. The first attack, the declaration of the real war was carried on Diagonal Alley. There, on Jun sixth 1998, a thousand of the undead were unleashed. It was there, in the Leaky Cauldron, when Daphne took a last stand trying to protect a group of future first years. She and hundreds others were trapped under anti-apparation and portkey wards, with the floo connections cut and all exits out of the death trap blocked by magic. By the time Harry, the remains of the order, the few aurors and unspeakables who had evaded the initial onslaught, and some volunteers managed to put down the horde of undead, it was far too late. He had found only shattered, gnarled bones from his beloved wife. That day a part of him, the best of what made Harry Potter, died.
"Worth it?" Harry rasped. "It could never be worth it."
Blaise locked eyes with his old friend and grimly nodded. There was nothing left for either of them. Only vengeance, which was already fulfilled. The undead armies were exterminated. Riddle had died by Harry's hands only days ago and this time the bastard was gone for good with his soul utterly destroyed. The few remaining death eaters were in Alliance hands awaiting trials , which were mere formality. The scum would be tried, found guilty and summary shot. They had won. And lost everything making life worth living in the process.
"Only ashes remain." Blaise whispered.
"Yeah. God damn it! They were innocent! Rose, Daphne, Mione..." Harry's voice, which had been unwavering, stronger than steel on hundreds battlefields, finally broke.
"Nevile, Marcus, Trace and Luna..." Blaise continued Potter's thought. "And so many others...Even that wanker Snape."
"At least the bat died well."
The two men stood there, gazing at the final resting place of their loved ones for what felt like eternity.
"I wish it was me who had died all those years ago. I wish we would have been able to protect our friends..." Harry trailed off, mouthing silently the name of his late wife.
"Yeah, mate. I wish that we had the power to protect them. That we were there when they needed us..." The dark skinned man whispered. Both of them had lost their wives in battles which they were unable to reach in time.
Over them, the night sky was painted yellow by the blazing trail of a falling star. Far, far away, someone heard the plea of two shattered harts. A woman, whose body was made from starlight looked at the two broken men and smiled fondly.
"They'll do. Oh, yes. They will do."
Her smile widened and she whispered with a kind, motherly voice:
"The Lord of serpent comes forth. And the world shall never be the same again."
A ring of strange light, which behaved flowing water surrounded Potter and Zabini. It engulfed them in spheres made from dancing lights and shadows, and with a crack of displacing air the two men disappeared from the face of the Earth, never to be seen again. Behind them were left only two circles of burning earth.
Chapter 1: A new world
Time unknown /31 October 2008 ?/ , Godric's Hollow Graveyard
For a split second twin suns lit up the cemetery where two of the wizarding world greatest heroes were laid to rest. One moment it was a quiet night, in the next spheres of burning light appeared in front of a certain grave. Another moment and the night darkness were back in reign and two bodies were deposed on the cold ground. They were lying still for few seconds, stunned by the unexpected transportation and the strange method of travel. Then they stirred. The dark skinned one came to his senses first and cursed.
"By Merlin's hairy balls!" Blaise spat and jumped to his feet, weapons at the ready. He had a thin long sword in his right hand and a wand in the left. Zabini crouched protectively over his friend while scanning the area for treats. He cast few detection charms but the only sentient creatures beside Harry were the occupants of the houses in the village, who were all asleep. There was no sight of anything dangerous yet he did not lower his guard.
Potter came back to his senses with a low groan. It took a few hart-beats for his brain to register that he was lying on the ground, then his survival instincts kicked in and he was on his feet in a blink of an eye. His right hand had in a death grip the sword of Slytherin. The lithe, long blade was made of a silver in color metal which was softly glowing in the night. The hilt of the weapon was made in the form of a viper, engraved with so stunning detail that it looked like a living snake. The blade of the sword emerged from the serpent's open mall.
"It appears clear, commander." Blaise said in an even tone. His voice was calm and showed no trace of the surprise that one might expect that he felt. Zabini's face had become blank and expressionless.
Harry looked around with cold eyes. Everything was normal until he turned towards the graves of his relatives. His eyes widened with shock.
"What the hell!?" The curse was growled quietly in between Harry's clenched teeth. There were no statues around his parent's grave. In fact the place was quite different with only one tombstone being the same. What's worse there was no sight from his and Blaise's wife resting place. Harry's eyes flickered over the names engraved on the tombstone in front of him and he froze.
In Memorial of
James Potter Lilly Potter
Blaise had turned to see what had gotten Potter's attention and the dark skinned man remained still as a statue as his brain tried to comprehend what was seeing. The first reaction of the veterans was barely restrained fury at what looked like a sick joke. Harry waved a hand over the offending stone.
"Finite!" he spat the world of the charm. Unrestrained magic coursed through his veins and he used it to overpower the spell. He threw enough power to dispel transfiguration made by Voldermort himself but it was to no avail. Almost visible wave passed between Harry and his target but the tombstone did not change.
Few charms later Harry and Blaise determined that that what they were seeing was no illusion or transfiguration. The only magic on the graves was a very powerful, yet standard ward to keep grave robbers away. That confused the two men.
With an abrupt motion, Harry drew a compact satellite phone from the depths of his robe and hit speed dial. An emotionless woman's voice told him that there was no connection with the Alliance sat network. For few seconds he fuddled with the phone's settings and was informed that there was no access to the two communications satellites with which Harry could connect and that there were no relay towers for the mobile network. The second was no surprise because thanks to the war the infrastructure needed for mobile phones to operate in the UK was wrecked. What sent chills down the spines of the both men was the total lack of communication through magical means with the chain of command of the armies which were stationed on the islands.
"Manchester." Harry said.
The veterans looked at each other grimly. Near the ruins of that city was the main base of operations of the Allied forces in England. However that train of thoughts was derailed as they looked at each other.
"Uh, Blaise..." Harry muttered. His friend looked about eighteen years old.
Zabini raised an eyebrow and asked:
"Am I looking as a seventh year too?"
Harry conjured a tall mirror and they looked in their reflections. Much younger copies of themselves looked back.
"Bloody hell! What is happening?!" Blaise cursed.
"We need to check on the base. This can wait." Harry said and motioned at their reflection. Zabini nodded in agreement.
The pair of slytherins became invisible and disappeared from the graveyard.
Soon they apparated to the outskirts of the city. The sight that greeted them made their jaws drop. Manchester was in a way Harry has never seen it. It was a living, breathing city. They could hear car horns, and the distant siren of an ambulance. Their eyes saw but refused to believe the lights show that was the night city. It was something that was not seen in England in the last five years thanks to constant attacks on power-plants and the electricity distribution network. The two men could see a not so distant suburb, where groups of children, dressed in various costumes were running around, escorted by the occasional adult.
"You know, if the twins were still alive, I'd say that this is their greatest prank..." Blaise muttered.
"Either that or we've gone insane." That was Harry's dry answer.
"Nah, we did that years ago..."
"However Fred and George were not cruel enough to play such games with us."
Harry shook his head. The two friends looked at each other, communicating without words. They both had the same suspicion. It should be impossible, yet...
"Check it." Blaise whispered.
Harry grimaced. He was afraid to cast the spell, of what it would show. He took a deep breath and steeled himself.
"Tempus." The boy-who-lived murmured.
In front of him softly glowing numbers and letters appeared. It took them a moment to rearrange themselves in the correct date and time.
11:23 PM 31 October 1995
For a full minute the friends gazed at the date. '95. Their fourth year. The tournament. Daphne, Hermione, all their friends... Alive or at least they should be... If you could watch the Potter and Zabini at that time, you would see a glimmer of hope in their eyes and a matching longing expressions on their faces. You could see them closing their eyes and taking deep, calming breaths. Then their faces became steel masks.
"Up to date information..." Harry said.
"...Gringotts." Blaise finished the thought.
The duo of temporally displaced veterans dis-apparated again.
31 October 1995, Diagonal Alley
If there were any magical people outside of the Leaky Cauldron at that time of the night on such a holiday, they would have seen a pair of men in slytherin colors apparating on the steps of Gringotts. The green eyed one turned around and looked straight at the tavern. For a brief moment pain flickered in his eyes. Blaise gripped Harry's shoulder and squeezed it.
"We won't let them down this time, brother of mine. But first we need to know what we are dealing with."
"Thanks. You were always the lever headed one, Blaise."
"That won't last long. I hate those little buggers." Zabini grumbled.
"Time to face the music." Harry agreed.
As the pair turned towards the main entrance of the bank, the way they carried themselves changed. Their faces became void of any expression. They were walking with a sure step, with every move they made screaming "powerful wizards". The slytherins reached the massive, ornate doors of the main entrance and pushed them aside with a carefully measured pulse of magic. They entered the vast visitors chamber, without slowing their stride despite the two squads of heavily armored troops which were jogging towards them. Harry and Blaise ignored the armed to the teeth goblins (in many cases literally), and headed to the lone manager who had the misfortune to draw the night shift. The pair passed between the goblins that were glaring daggers at them, without faltering and seemingly paid them no attention. The reasons were twofold. First showing any weakness to a goblin was one of the dumbest things you could do. And second, the fourteen warriors were no match for the duo of veterans. For years Potter and Zabini had to face much steeper odds on daily basis.
They reached the only working stall and Harry had to suppress a chuckle. There was a short (for a goblin) fella with a lot of missing teeth on the right side of his mouth. Small, shifty bastard who positively reeked of nasty disposition. 'Yup. The same old geezer.' Said bastard was glaring at a runic array connected to his desk.
"Sharpfang! We have a lot of business to discus this fine evening." Harry greeted with a jovial tone.
The goblin looked up and sneered.
"What do you want, wizard?"
"Inheritance test. The paperwork concerning said inheritance done immediately. Information. In that order. The rest will wait until the testing is done. "
"Uh-huh. That's all? Why don't you..."
Harry gave the goblin a blood curling glare and let loose a wave of magic.
"Don't waste my time. We both know as who and what your security systems identified us. Bring what you need for the test. "
They locked eyes for few seconds. Sharpfang nodded sullenly and stood up.
"As you wish. Mister Potter. Follow me." Each word was dripping with disdain.
The goblin moved without sparing them another glance and led the wizards to a conference room deep within the bank. When they reached the large room, most of which was taken by a long ebony table, there were two goblin warriors waiting for them. One was holding a richly ornamented, ceremonial dagger and the other had a black wooden box in his arms. Sharpfang waved at the pair of warriors.
"I believe that you know the drill. Cut your finger and drop some blood on the parchment."
Harry went to the man with the dagger, who was the poster image for a goblin warrior – all cold professionalism and no sight of his feelings showing on his face. With a well practiced motion, Potter drew the dagger and absent-mindedly twirled it in his hand, checking its balance. It was rather good for a ceremonial weapon. After that he retrieved the list of parchment which was on the top of the open box and placed it on the table. He traced the index finger of his left hand on the razor sharp blade and let seven drops of blood to fall on the parchment. The cut immediately healed.
The moment when the last drop hit the surface of parchment, the blood exploded into a fiery flame. With a quiet sizzling words were burned into the surface of the parchment. Harry allowed himself a small smile as he read the fiery letters.
Harry James Potter
Heir presumptive to the Black family
Sharpfang looked at the parchment, glared at Harry for one last time and they made a formal bow.
"Lord Slytherin, may your enemies drown in their own blood. How Gringotts may assist you?"
Harry smirked and made a bit smaller bow in return.
"May your enemies be worthy and your coffers be full forevermore, master Sharpfang."
Two vicious bastards looked at each other and grinned in understanding.
"Now to business. You will have the Slytherin and Potter family rings shortly. The keys to your vaults are being reset and will be ready in few minutes. We'll deal with the necessary paperwork the moment the rings recognize you, my Lord. What information do you wish?"
Harry, released a breath he did not know he was holding. Being recognized as Lord Slytherin opened many doors, even with the goblins. However, where the warding word was concerned it would cause almost as much problems as it would solve but that was issue for another time.
"Rose Potter. Daphne Greengrass. Hermione Granger. Voldie, a.k.a. Darth Wanker. What Gringotts knows about these persons? You will be compensated for the information."
Sharpfang tilted his head backwards and thought for few seconds.
"The girl-who-lived. She somehow survived the killing curse and took out the Dark Lord. Then we believe that she was placed with muggle relatives of hers and disappeared for eleven years. She is fourth year gryffindor."
Harry winced. 'Great, she's in the house of the suicidal lemmings.'
"As far as we know, she had mostly unremarkable first year, if you don't count her making a seeker and winning the quidditch cup for her house. Second year, she was declared the heir of slytherin in the press..."
The goblin sneered at that. It was understandable. Slytherin and Gryffindor were families in which only males could inherit, just as Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were open for only females as inheritors.
"A lot of idiots jumping to conclusions without checking their facts." Zabini muttered.
Shaprfang shrugged his shoulders as if to say 'Wizards, what else could you expect?!' and continued his tirade.
"A bunch of students in Hogwards were attacked and petrified by unknown assailant. Miss Granger was one of the victims but as far as we know she made full recovery. Rumor has it that your sister dealt with whatever was the cause of the attacks."
"It was a sixty foot basilic. She killed it with the sword of Gryffindor."
Sharpfang blinked few times at Harry and cleared his throat.
"Gringotts will need an independent confirmation of this information."
"Naturally. Please continue."
"The third year there were some problems with dementors sent to "guard" the school from one Sirius Black, an escaped prisoner. He is the one who..."
"Allegedly betrayed my parents to Voldie. I have unconfirmed information that he never got trial or questioning under veritaserum. I know as well that my parents had not decided up to the last moment whether my godfather or Pettigrew will be the secrets keeper. So I would like you to find out whether there was a trial, if there was I want the interrogation transcripts. If not, then I want all legal avenues for granting Sirius a trial to be used."
The goblin manager scribed something in a parchment and nodded.
"I believe that this evening was the drawing of the champions for the bloody tournament. Do you know what happened?" Harry asked.
"It was all over the wireless. Apparently your sister proved that she is a gryffindor and entered her name in the goblet. And then she proceeded to deny it." Sharpfang grinned nastily.
"I see. If she did not enter her name is there a way to get her out of this mess?"
The little bastard shook his head and his smile widened.
"No. It is binding contract. At the time of the drawing, Dumbledore was acting as her guardian, which was his prerogative as the headmaster of the school and confirmed her as a participant."
'Note to self – deal with the old bastards soonish.' Harry growled after hearing that information.
Before he could ask something else, there was a knock on the door and two more goblins entered, each bringing a small wooden box. One had a crest in the form of a stag and the other – a coiled serpent. Harry motioned for his father's ring first. The goblin holding the box opened it and brought it to the heir. He looked at the ring. It was a simple silver band with the stylized letter "P" in the front. The ring was such a small thing yet it had profound significance as far as Harry was concerned. He took the family ring and slipped the silver band on the ring finger of his left hand. A silver dome of magic surrounded Harry. It flowed through him and dissipated without causing any harm.
"Congratulations, Lord Potter." The goblin which brought the ring, then turned around and left.
Harry repeated the same procedure with the ring of slytherin, which was made of two finely crafted snakes chasing each other's tails. It was forged from dark green, almost black metal and was much heavier than expected. Yet as soon as Harry put it on it became light a as feather.
After the expected light show, which was much stronger this time, the new lord looked at the manager and spoke.
"Few more important items. I was led to believe that by claiming the rings I am now head of the Potter family, which mean that I am now the legal and magical guardian of my sister Rose Potter. Is that correct? "
"That is right, my lord." Sharpfang answered immediately.
"Good. Voldemort. I was informed that he tried to produce soul anchors. What is a more immediate concern for you, an informant of mine mentioned something about a cup containing one of those things being left in the care of the Lestranges. It was suggested to me that if that is the case, the cup was at least for a time in their vault in this bank. "
The manager glared at Harry and growled quietly.
"I see. We will check. If that is the case it will be dealt with."
Harry smiled at the reaction. He knew that the goblins really hated soul splitting magic so he was reasonably sure that now they will deal with any such things in their vaults.
"Blaise, get yourself tested and check what else this old pirate knows about the girls. I need to retrieve something from the vaults and to get some pocket change."
Hour later, Harry had gotten a case containing some pretty important scrolls and let the goblins make few copies, just in case. After that he returned the originals to the vault and went back to the conference room. He found Blaise quite distressed. Seeing his friend with the Zabini family ring on his finger was not a good sign...
"What happened with Elise?" Harry asked with concern evident in the tone of his voice.
"About ten years ago, mom's latest husband killed the "me" from this timeline and then cursed mother. She's been in Saint Mungo since then."
"What happened with the bastard?"
"Escaped. Still on the run."
"Will get him." Harry promised through clenched teeth. "I expect that you'll be checking on Lis the first thing in the morning?"
"First check our properties for the one with the best wards. Then if practical move her there and put the building under the fidelius charm. Just to be on the safe side. We'll be kicking a lot of hornets nests in the days to come."
"That's my plan too. The hospital is too exposed. And I expect that you'll be dealing with Dumbledore and the ministry gits who are working on the tournament. "
"And I'll make sure that the girls are safe. " Harry turned to Sharpfang and said: "I'll need dossiers on all death eaters still alive, no matter if they are in Azkaban or if they managed to bribe their way out of prison. "
"Yeah, we can't assume that the same people work for the snake face here." Zabini muttered.
"Now we'll need to take few hours of sleep. Tomorrow will be a long day."
1 November 1995 , Hogwarts
Rose Potter stirred in her bed. The red head opened one bleary eye and confirmed that; yes what had awoken her was the light creeping through the tall window in her dormitory. She groaned and fished her wand from under her pillow. She waved it in the required motions and muttered "Tempus". 'Just great.' she thought. It was almost eight in the morning and she was about to be late for breakfast. Not that after the previous night she was eager to go to the great hall. At least Granger, that Traitor, had already left. Rose really did not want to deal with her ex friend right now. Friends! Right... Her so called friends had abandoned her last night. She sniffed. Why nobody believed her?! As if Rose had any reason to risk her life for fourth year in a row in the supposed safest place in magical Britain. For some stupid tournament no less!
She grumbled and slipped out of her blankets. A warming charm later, she got her glasses, a handful of clean clothes and she headed for the showers. Luckily she met no one on the way, as by now everyone had headed to get breakfast. She took a quick bath and made few unsuccessful attempts to straighten up her unruly hair.
"Stupid hair!" Rose muttered and headed for the great hall. She wondered if it would be better to miss breakfast entirely and avoid the condemnations and accusations that were sure to follow. She was deep in thought and trudged through the corridors of the castle without paying much attention on where she was going. Rose eventually reached the tall double doors leading to the great hall, however she was so busy contemplating the terrible reception that awaited her, that she ran straight into the side of a tall, green rock. She bounced of it and was surprised by how soft it was. Before Rose could fall on her rump, her shoulders were caught by two strong, but gentle hands. She was carefully steadied and found herself face to face with a young man's face. First thing that registered was messy black hair, followed by pair of green eyes that were mirror image of her own. She looked at the man's face and the breath in her chest froze.
"Dad?!" she faintly whispered.
"Rose?" A mellow baritone answered her. The man smiled gently at her and she saw tears in his eyes.
"Close, but I am not James, my dear."
AN: Please review!