Harry looked over the reports of his businesses. The number of rented post boxes had gone up to one hundred and thirteen households and seventeen had already bought a box. The option to get things delivered without the risk of them being intercepted from the owl was another boon that Harry hadn't calculated for in the beginning, but it was working well. And his contracts for the boxes stated that any kind of dark objects would be taken out and handed over to the Ministry of Magic with information about the user.
Harry didn't want that his delivery system was abused by the Death Eaters. Mr Vancor had reported that the orders for potions had gone up again and the new specialised assortment was tested by some, but didn't bring in much business yet. That wasn't too strange, as people first wanted to test the quality of the potions they sold before they would trust them with procuring difficult potions of good quality. But he had calculated that it would take one or two years to really get that part started properly. He had the patience to wait for it bringing in profit.
The cooperation between the supply department under Mr Stebbins and the potions department under Mr Vancor was working, as it should, to his satisfaction. With lists of needed ingredients and an estimate when new ones would be needed, Mr Stebbins could calculate more stable than before. Next to that many private clients were happy to get the ingredients they needed for private brewing quicker than before, if they had got the delivery boxes. Harry had heard from some of his students that their parents had got a box to test it. Hogwarts would have bought one if he didn't donate five of them to the school. One for each common room and one for the headmaster. He also had a private one in his rooms for his personal deliveries.
He regularly helped with brewing high level potions that were to be delivered to clients. His two brewers were normally too busy with the regular orders to have much time for specialised orders. He didn't mind, he liked doing it and knowing that through this he not only got richer, he also cut off a lot of potential income for the Death Eaters now and in the future. It was funny to think that a Death Eater's plans, namely Draco Malfoy, had led to the development of the boxes. They were based on the vanishing cabinet that had allowed the Death Eaters to get into Hogwarts. But where those things only had two parts, his delivery boxes were different. It all depended on the runes and the set-up.
He had a master box that received things from a number of other boxes. So far he could connect thirty boxes to a master box. He was working on increasing the number, but for now that was more than enough. His facility had enough space to hold all the master boxes that he needed. And if this would become as successful as he hoped in a few years, there were options for him to buy more storage buildings in that village. The major was happy enough to have income from a business there again. And as it was cheaper to buy raw materials from the muggles, other small muggle businesses profited from delivering things like wood, cloth and other things for Harry's cover of a furniture production company. It wasn't a lot yet, but hey, everything needed to start small.
Harry was tense. It was really the date. Halloween. This day in this year had started the misery that his life had become. Voldemort had attacked his home after Pettigrew had betrayed them. Pettigrew wasn't the secret keeper though. Dumbledore was. For both the Potters and the Longbottoms. The discovery of Pettigrew's betrayal had made them all go under the charm. He only hoped that it would be enough. He suspected that, if the two boys that the prophecy could refer to were out of his reach for too long, Voldemort could come up with schemes to draw them out in the open. At least their parents, which would in return mean that somebody would have to take care of the boys if that plan succeeded.
The whole day he waited for any alarm to be sounded. Around seven in the evening the expected attack happened. Voldemort seemed to really like the symbolism that Halloween held. Three attack points were confirmed. Diagon Alley, St. Mungo's and the Ministry itself. The aurors would be needed to prevent the takeover of the Ministry and perhaps some could be spared for St. Mungo's. That meant Diagon Alley would be destroyed. Even the Order of the Phoenix couldn't defend two locations in sufficient numbers. Even if Harry had prevented the death of the Prewett twins. While Fabian and Gideon had suffered severe injuries and had spent a month at St. Mungo's, they had survived and were back on their feet. Many others he hadn't been able to save. He had tried, but he didn't know how they had all died.
He had never truly asked about those circumstances, as it was a hard topic for those that had survived the first war. Only Mrs Weasley had once told him the date when her brothers had died after he had been gifted with Fabian's watch for his seventeenth birthday.
Dumbledore organised that those teachers that weren't part of the Order stayed to protect Hogwarts in case Tom planned a fourth attack and then the rest left to help out at St. Mungo's. It was the more important target in all ways. Even if the take-over of Diagon Alley would be a massive blow for the Light.
Harry was a force of nature. He had already downed fifteen Death Eaters during the last thirty minutes and his area of the fight was nearly secured. It really seemed that Voldemort planned to make this a day of horrors. Contrary to others in the Order that tried to keep to stunning their opponents, Harry used another method. They had come to kill innocents and helpless, sick people. They would pay the price this time. He had long since realised that ideals were nice in times of peace and when you had a limited number of opponents, but in a full-out battle, you better made sure your opponents stayed down or you wouldn't see another day. He tried to avoid killing, but successfully debilitating was okay in his books.
He could see Sirius and Remus fighting back to back a short distance away from him. They were doing well with their teamwork. Their opponents fell quickly and efficiently. While they might not use the kind of spells Harry used, his were massively painful, they also didn't use stunners. Harry remembered how Remus had once told him that the time for disarming was over. His reaction had been so naïve. Remus had been right, in a battle disarming charms didn't help you. Even stunners didn't do you much good. It only came to bite you in the back. The next two Death Eaters fell to bone-breaking curses and their wands met the same fate as all others. Cutting curses. It was very efficient as most Death Eaters were useless without their wands and getting new ones was nearly impossible for them with the Ministry posting aurors around the known wand makers to look out for those having the Dark Mark.
Finally the last Death Eaters that were still standing realised that this was a failure and took emergency portkeys to escape. The Order members took care of any injuries that had been suffered and took the ones that had fallen to another area than the fallen Death Eaters. The good thing was that this time the numbers of fallen Death Eaters far outnumbered the losses on the Order's side. The sad thing was that the Order was much smaller and couldn't take losses well. He looked over the corpses on their side. Dorcas Meadows, Edgar Bones and Dedalus Diggle as far as he could see. He sighed. It really wasn't right that because of one madman and his followers so many good people had to die.
He took the prepared potions from his belt and started handing them out to other Order members. He himself downed a pepper-up potion and made sure all those that weren't badly injured got one as well. He doubted that this was the end of today's fighting. And, from the twenty Order members that had come here, it seemed only thirteen were in any condition to fight. Four of them needed medical treatment first though. So nine people in fighting condition if something happened in the next hour. Not a good situation.
The nine Order members that were still in fighting condition were suddenly called by Dumbledore to assist in defending Hogsmeade that had become the fourth target about an hour after the first three attacks had started. A clever plan. Voldemort had made sure that his opposition had already somewhat exhausted themselves and then launched the next number of attacks. And from Hogsmeade it was only a short distance to Hogwarts itself. Voldemort might fear Dumbledore, but if he managed to have the old man use up his magical reserves ahead of their possible duel, he had a much better chance of winning. He was decades younger than Dumbledore after all.
Harry decided to not let him win that game. He took charge of a group of Order members that he knew had had enough of letting the Death Eaters always kill their friends and get away with it. The group of seven included Harry, Sirius, Remus, Marlene McKinnon, Fabian and Gideon Prewett, who despite healer's orders had still come to Hogsmeade, and Ashley Phillips. They cut a line of destruction through the Death Eater ranks. The most efficient way of taking them out was breaking their wand in two after bringing them down. That and summoning any second wands to make absolutely sure that they wouldn't come back into the fight.
Some might die from lack of quick medical treatment, but they were the aggressors. Not the Order. The fight took another hour, but they won and the group of seven just had to deal with some less severe injuries. Harry handed out essence of dittany and helped treat the injured. The surviving Death Eaters were tied up and kept under anti-apparition spells until the aurors could collect them and send them to prison until their trials. The Ministry would need a lot of veritaserum, but Crouch shouldn't have any problems using it after such a massive assault. Harry feared that victim numbers would be very high, considering that they probably had lost many people in Diagon Alley, which had been the least protected place.
Harry pondered how he had been able to fight off all the Death Eaters. Normally that should have fallen under not being able to change major things in the past. But perhaps it was countered by only being part of a group that had fought anyway. He had certainly not been the only one that had brought down high numbers of Death Eaters, even if he was one of the most successful. For this Halloween his count was four dead Death Eaters and twenty arrested ones in need of medical treatment. While Crouch was a little bit miffed that they couldn't prove the kind of spells used from the broken wands, Harry had successfully pointed out that with veritaserum they could get that information anyway and the broken wands ensured less casualties on their side than leaving a potentially lethal weapon available to the Death Eaters.
And they had brought down more Death Eaters with that method than the aurors, who had permission to use the unforgivable curses in battles against Death Eaters. The one question everybody wondered about was why Voldemort hadn't appeared at any of the places that had been attacked. What had he been after?
The answer to that question was found out early the next morning when Dumbledore checked on the two couples under fidelius. There had been a massive battle. James and Frank had died fighting, protecting Lily, Alice and the babies. It was an unanswered question how Voldemort had managed to get into the safe house that the two couples used, but they suspected that he had managed to get the information from Dumbledore through a trick. From the look of things Lily had again sacrificed herself to protect her son and godson while Alice had laid bleeding in the hallway in front of the nursery. Quick help had managed to stabilise her and she would be okay in one or two weeks.
Thankfully Harry's work in destroying the horcruxes had worked out perfectly, because they found Voldemort's corpse lying in the nursery from the rebounded killing curse. It was still a tragedy that they had lost the Potters and Frank Longbottom. But the nearly vanished Dark Marks on the arms of the Death Eaters that were caught told them that Voldemort was truly dead. Dumbledore had brought Alice, Harry and Neville to Hogwarts to have them treated in the hospital wing. Though when he suggested leaving Harry with his maternal aunt to give him protection from those that might come after him, Sirius, Remus, Marlene and Harry protested.
Sirius, because he was Harry's godfather and named by his parents to take care of Harry should anything happen to them. Remus, because he knew that James and Lily had chosen Sirius as Harry's guardian. Marlene, because Lily had told her how her sister hated magic, because she was jealous of Lily's talent to use it, which she couldn't, and would definitely not be able to love her nephew and give him a good childhood. And Harry said that it was cruel to take a child away from anybody he knew and leave him without contact to those people among those that didn't like his kind. Under the onslaught of protest Dumbledore caved in, even if he tried claiming that the protection was more important. It might have to do with Marlene threatening to show him exactly what she thought of sending a helpless baby to magic hating muggles.
Remus, Sirius and Harry wisely retreated into the furthest corner of the room, wands ready to use shield charms if Marlene completely snapped. She had a bad temper when she was angered. Even if Sirius looked like a lovesick puppy seeing her lay into Dumbledore. Well, he was her boyfriend after all.
Investigations into the coordinated attacks revealed that Voldemort had managed to keep one spy perfectly hidden at the ministry. A low level clerk in the archives. Nobody had thought to check those employees with veritaserum, as long as they didn't have the dark mark. And frankly, they didn't have the time to check every single person. They had secured the most important departments first, but nobody had thought the archives that important. It was a mistake. The information that could be found there, while normally not fully up to date, could help organise hits on critical locations. Especially if one of the things that the spy had managed to find were blue prints from the time the Ministry and St. Mungo's were founded and which held all emergency evacuation routes. Diagon Alley had been planned as a target because Voldemort had been aware that his followers would be able to get a high number of kills there if he had others attack the higher ranked targets. Hogsmeade was to make sure nobody checked the Potters and Longbottoms.
Just a diversion.
From the things found on Voldemort's corpse they found out that he had a bottle of polyjuice potion on him. Testing the potion showed that the form he took was that of James Potter. He must have searched one of the places where the Potters had hidden before to get some hair for the potion. And Dumbledore confirmed to have given James one slip of parchment with the address, as James had asked him to let them be able to show it to another they wanted to be able to visit them. It was very simple and very brilliant. It showed that the charm had its fault if the secret keeper was tricked. And Voldemort had faced James often enough to believably pull the ruse off.
With a little reminder to the Minister and Crouch by Dumbledore, there weren't any Death Eaters pleading imperius curse successfully this time around. The DMLE accepted their story on the surface, but forced three drops of veritaserum down everybody's throat that was suspected in the attacks. Some were even cleared of the charges against them. But most joined their fellow Death Eaters at Azkaban. The aurors also had an easier time rounding up other Death Eaters with the names given up by those captured. It would still take years to completely deal with the aftermath.
Harry looked at his younger self who slept deeply in his crib. He was sorry that despite his best efforts Harry was an orphan again. At least this time he would grow up with Sirius. That was a major improvement and Voldemort was gone for good. He had managed to give Harry that. And with Marlene seemingly set on tying the knot with Sirius soon, now that the war was nearly over, as they only needed to get the last free Death Eaters, the future wasn't as unsure. And their position was already much better than it had originally been. And now Harry was in a good position to ensure that the mistakes of the past weren't repeated. He could directly influence how the new generation grew up while they were at Hogwarts. He could show by example that messing up had consequences, but that if you seriously wanted to change, you would be given that chance.
He had three of his 'delinquents' that had asked if he could help them become better in Potions and Defence. Everybody knew after all, that he was as good at Defence Against the Dark Arts as at Potions. His test for the Defence Mastery was scheduled in a month, as it had pushed back because of the cleaning up after the death of Voldemort. He didn't mind. He wasn't in any hurry after all. He had one mastery and he would still be the youngest double master once he passed his test in Defence. The death of Voldemort had at least achieved that a lot of students that had been seriously considering taking the dark mark when they left school, or even before that, were now keeping their heads down.
Simply believing in the pureblood supremacy idea wasn't reason enough to get in trouble with the law after all. And right now news about the death of Voldemort had been in the papers since it had happened. Some Death Eater arrests were also published and it was clear that the Ministry fully intended to end this war properly.
"I'm going to make sure that your parents didn't die in vain, Harry," Harry whispered to the sleeping baby, "When you come to Hogwarts, this place will be very different to how it is now. You can now grow up happily and live a life without fear of Death Eaters and Voldemort."
Then he left the room to continue his quest to change the wizarding world from the beginning. The children would learn to live next to each other peacefully, even if they were in rival houses. And over time those children would rise into positions of power from where they could change things outside of Hogwarts. It wouldn't happen overnight, but with time things would improve. Lots of little changes on the way that Harry could initiate would ensure it. And there were many small projects that he had in mind to make Hogwarts the best school for magic in the world again. The next one was an easy thing to do, as he was sure that Dumbledore would love the idea. Harry planned to set up a kiosk that would open two hours each afternoon after classes let out. There students and teachers could buy things like chocolate frogs, butterbeer and sweets without having to go down to Hogsmeade.
After all, the students could only go on certain weekends and the first and second-years couldn't go at all. So having a place where the children could get some sweets for their free time was a good idea in his mind. And very easy to get done.
Harry Potter stood in front of the staff table of Hogwarts, listening to the Sorting Hat singing about the attributes that each of the houses valued. He looked over the teachers that sat behind the table once the hat was done and the other students clapped. He knew a few of them. His godfather and aunt were good friends with some of them and he knew others through his friends' families. There was Ron's uncle, Gideon Prewett, who taught Defence Against the Dark Arts. Even if Uncle Sirius swore that there was another teacher that was much better in the subject than him, but he preferred teaching another class. Next to him sat Grandma Minerva, who taught Transfiguration and had until three years ago been the head of Gryffindor.
She had decided that having three positions at the school was too time-consuming and had therefore handed over the position as head of Gryffindor house to Harold Peverell, another of Uncle Sirius' friends. He taught Potions and Harry had been warned by Bill and Charlie, Ron's older brothers, to not mess around in his class. He was a nice man, but he was incredibly strict in his classroom, thanks to the subject being dangerous. Harry didn't plan to earn himself a detention with him. Even the Weasley twins, Fred and George, knew better than to cross Professor Peverell.
He watched how his best friend Neville was sorted into Gryffindor, to many cheers from there. Harry and Neville had been friends since they had been babies and Aunt Alice had often left Neville with Uncle Sirius and Aunt Marlene when she had to work at the Ministry. Not that they minded. It was a lot of fun to play with many other children. Harry had three pseudo siblings, who were the children of Uncle Sirius and Aunt Marlene. The oldest one was Phoenix, who was two years younger than Harry. Then the next one was Athena and the youngest was Juno. But Aunt Marlene was pregnant again and around Christmas a boy would be born. He was already looking forward to it.
Finally it was his time to get sorted and he walked forward. He didn't like the whispers and stares, but he was used to it by now. He thought it was stupid that people gave him the praise for Voldemort's death instead of his Mum, Dad and Uncle Frank, who had died fighting him. Aunt Alice said that his Mum had used some unknown magic to protect him and Neville when Voldemort had attacked them Halloween 1981. Dad and Uncle Frank had died fighting against Voldemort and had managed to injure him a bit. Aunt Alice had survived that night injured and still had a few scars from the deep cuts that Voldemort's curses had caused. They were the heroes, not him. But wizards and witches all over the country didn't want to listen to that. So he had to deal with it.
The hat was put onto his head and it briefly talked to him. Then he followed Neville to Gryffindor, to his immense joy. He had wanted to be in the same house as his parents, Uncle Sirius, Aunt Marlene, Aunt Alice and Uncle Remus. Not to mention that all the Weasleys were there and he really liked them, even if Percy was a bit stuck up.
Harry watched his younger self get sorted into Gryffindor much faster than he had been. Well, this Harry Potter wasn't a neglected child that wanted to prove himself and who had a piece of Voldemort's soul stuck in his head. No, this Harry had grown up with Sirius and Marlene Black and had had younger siblings to play with and for whom he was the big brother. Sirius and Marlene treated Harry like one of their own and it showed. Harry looked a lot healthier than he had ever been while he was that young.
He reminisced about the things that had been done over the last ten years. He had prevented that Fudge became Minister, as there hadn't been any Death Eaters to sponsor his campaign. He was still in the department for magical catastrophes. Umbridge hadn't risen through the ranks, riding on Fudge's coattails. She was fired for her bigoted opinions in fact. Crouch had tried to become Minister, but again the discovery of his son as a Death Eater had caused him to not get the position. Fabian Prewett had been elected instead, to the surprise of many, as he wasn't even forty yet. Still, he had managed to rise through the ranks of the Ministry in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement as a lawyer and when the retirement of Bagnold had been announced last year, he had thrown his hat into the ring.
Many people remembered how he had fought against Voldemort and his Death Eaters as part of the Order of the Phoenix and many owed him their lives. That kind of PR was very advantageous and it was enough, with some support from his friends, who were also in influential positions, to win the office. He had started some reforms to make the Ministry more efficient and to root out more bad eggs than had already happened after the war.
Harry looked over the class that started this year. While there were only four children more than in his year, thanks to their families not dying in the war, the coming years would be much larger than in the original time-line. Many families hadn't died and there had been a right baby boom after the death of Voldemort. In fact, St. Mungo's had had to do extra shifts in July and August 1982. Many had celebrated the end of the war by making new little witches and wizards.
He looked at his wife who was sitting next to him. He hadn't given much thought to dating when he had arrived. He had had too many things to do to prevent that the wizarding world fell into the hands of Voldemort, and that too many innocent people died while Death Eaters walked away freely after bribing the Ministry. Now though, he couldn't imagine his life without her and their children. Yes, he was a father too now. His oldest child was a daughter called Isabelle and the second one a boy called Stephen. Isabelle was six years old now and Stephen three.
His wife Iris was a witch from Germany, whom he had met during a teachers' conference from different European schools in 1983. Iris Fuchs had taught at the German Schloss Rosenstein when they met. Her subject was Ancient Runes and Harry had been fascinated with the subject since he had won his own war in the future. Not to mention that one of his major businesses was based on runic arrays, namely the delivery boxes, which had become a great hit all over Europe once the war was over.
So they had talked and exchanged stories. It took nearly a year till they started dating, but then they quickly realised that they just clicked. They had married in fall of 1984 and Isabelle had been born nine months later. Right now Iris taught the Ancient Runes class here at Hogwarts. The class being an elective and Professor McGonagall being nice enough to arrange the time tables to enable Iris to look after their children in the afternoon, when they were back from nursery school or, in Isabelle's case, the new magical primary school in Hogsmeade, made this arrangement possible.
Harry too tried having most of his classes in the mornings. He only had afternoon classes twice a week and thanks to classes always letting out at four at the latest, he had more than enough time to spend with his children.
The magical primary school had been an idea of Marlene and Alice, who had fought for it at the Ministry. Their friends had supported them and so, for the first time in magical history in Britain, children from the age of six attended primary school. It was located in Hogsmeade and children learned about the same as muggle children did, with some magical parts thrown in of course. It was a great success so far and more and more parents decided to let their children attend. It wasn't mandatory like it was in the muggle world, but most families realised that having two incomes helped them a lot and many mothers didn't see any problem in letting their children go to school in the mornings and then get them back in the afternoons. After all, they were just a floo call away if anything happened.
Some families tried continuing their ideology of purebloods being superior to non-purebloods, but the Ministry was coming down hard on them. There were fines for using racist vocabulary like 'mudblood' or 'blood-traitor' and the aurors and members of the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol were strict in executing the punishments set for them.
At Hogwarts Harry had managed to create a kind of code of conduct for the students that most teachers fully supported. The only one that thought that they should be more lenient was Dumbledore, but he was overruled by the four heads of houses, which currently were Harry himself for Gryffindor, Pomona for Hufflepuff, Filius for Ravenclaw and Septima for Slytherin. The code of conduct mostly entailed that you had to be respectful to all of the other students, even if you didn't like them. You didn't have to be friendly to those you didn't like, but insulting them or hexing them was strictly forbidden. Arguments that couldn't be solved alone, could be moderated by a prefect or teacher, but even if you didn't come to an agreement, you simply left the other one alone outside of places where you couldn't avoid it, like in classrooms or clubs that both attended.
It worked well enough and with Harry being merciless in his detentions, most knew better than to go against those easy rules. Even Fred and George had learned to not disrupt school life with their pranks. Not only had they gone through the drill course twice before understanding that Professor Peverell didn't joke about being a sadist concerning detention, they also got a personal conversation with him. To the surprise of the Weasley parents, it had changed their plans for the future from having a joke shop to having a shop where they would sell their products that covered all kinds of life, including tasteful pranks. Harry had been frank and told them that they were wasting their potential in just being pranksters and had shown up some examples of what they would be able to achieve, if they put their minds to it. That he had easily outdone them with a prank and told them why they weren't at his level had certainly helped.
From there on they took their studies more serious. They still liked to play pranks, but they kept it to nothing that disrupted classes or the study rooms. And well, if they weren't caught, they had to be good. But more often than not they surprised their teachers with ideas for products and asked if they could create them the way they thought.
Another thing that Harry had made sure of was that he created books with all the knowledge from the books that he had taken from the pureblood manors in his original timeline. Those books were freely available to all witches and wizards and the Hogwarts library had also got some copies for the students to study at their leisure. He didn't tell anybody where he got all the books on spells, runes, Arithmancy and the like, he just said that he had found them and that it would be a waste if they weren't freely available. It didn't hurt that the selling of the books got him more money into his Swiss vault.
The other businesses under his name were also doing splendidly. Peverell Enterprises was the leading company in the wizarding world and could offer products in its portfolio for lower prices than their competition. The potions department had developed several new potions so far and he had managed to get Damocles Belby to work for him. He and Francis Vancor were a great duo and held many new developments to their name. Not that Harry had been idle either. Like he had planned wolfsbane potion was now registered as his invention and he had found a permanent cure for dragon pox. Belby and Vancor were working on a cure for lycanthropy, but their work was still at the beginning. Still, all good things and great inventions needed time and started with a single idea.
Harry knew that he would need the rest of his life to make sure that somebody like Voldemort wouldn't turn up again. But he had managed to get things started and it were the little things, put together, that could make all the difference in the world.
And that was the last chapter. I hope you're not too cross with me for not letting Lily, James and Frank survive, but some things time travel, where you can't change major events, simply can't change. Thanks for all the suppot for this story and I hope you'll also follow my other ones.