Put my Galleons on That One
"Are you sure?"
Shuffling nervously from foot to foot, Ignotus Nicholas Flamel -once known as Harry James Potter- ran a distressed hand through his wavy brown hair and tried to batter back the tears that were threatening to form at the corner of his eyes.
As he'd half expected and fully hoped, Perenelle let out a low coo, scooping him up into her arms and rocking him back and forth. Ignotus wasn't afraid to wrap his arms around her in return and cling with all the strength he had.
He'd known, known for the past three years that this would be happening. That it was approaching the time in which Nicholas and Perenelle would be passing on into Death's domain, but knowing something did not make accepting that fact any easier.
He'd never had parents in his first life, not in a way that he could remember them anyway. The unconditional love that Nicholas and Perenelle had shown floored him whenever he took a moment to think on it, to allow the thought to seep into his mind. In some ways, they were more his parents than Lily and James Potter had once been. The two Potters had given their lives for him, while Nicholas and Perenelle had given him a life, a good one. Still though, he considered all four to be his parents, and all four of them would soon be dead to him.
"Do not worry Iggy sweetheart, we knew this day was coming. Be strong, be great. Of my entire life, I've never been more proud than when I saw you take your first steps, when you first spell worked. Of all that Nicholas and I have achieved in our lives, you are the greatest thing we have ever done. And I will forever treasure the time I got with you."
It was cruel, Ignotus reasoned, that the Flamels who'd so desperately wanted a child, would never get to see him reach his adulthood. And yet, the two took the fact they'd had a child at all to be their greatest blessing. He dreaded reading their farewell letters, their goodbyes that he knew both had already wrote for when they passed on.
Strong hands took a hold of his shoulders when Perenelle stepped back, Nicholas' lips pressed into a firm line.
"Do not take the heir ring off Ignotus. Make sure you put the Lord's ring on the second it appears before you. Be safe and be happy, I can ask nothing more of you."
Accepting the hug from Nicholas, Ignotus took one step back, taking what might possibly be his last look at the people he'd been lucky enough to call parents in this life. Memorizing the slight crinkles that formed around Nicholas' eyes as he smiled, how Perenelle's lips lifted up at the corners, the way the light reflected off of Nicholas' head of house ring and Perenelle's earrings sparkled.
"We you love Ignotus, never doubt that."
Nodding, Ignotus bent down to place a kiss upon his mother's cheek, accepting another hug from Nicholas as he did so. He didn't want to get on the train, to leave them. For this would surely be the last time they would spoke face to face, the last time he would hear them talk of the love they'd so freely given him. His foot landed on the step of the train.
"I love you both too." He didn't pay much attention to the boy trying to shove his way past him, instead taking his leisurely time as he walked down the train corridor, trying to pick out which compartment he wanted to seat himself in.
It'd been years, a life time really, since he'd last had to consider this, but eventually, Ignotus picked one of the compartments and stored his previously shrunken luggage overhead. The worn seats were as comfortable as he remembered, and Ignotus didn't even jump when the train's whistled shrieks in warning.
Five minutes, only five minutes and he'd be off to Hogwarts. It was surreal to think. There would be no scorch marks here, no crumbling walls. The scars from the battle of Hogwarts would never happen here, of that he was sure.
It was only a minute later that the door opened and Ignotus was greeted with the first change to this universe. Or rather, the first change he was witnessing in person.
He knew for a fact that the so called 'Boy-Who-Lived' had not survived the killing curse. He knew because he had sent Death to take care of Voldemort before he could lay his hands upon the Harry Potter of this world, Ignotus has a little note from the being that'd said the mission had been accomplished, though it would be the only favour he'd be getting. Just to keep the timeline somewhat similar to what he'd once known, because apparently he'd have enough of problems without having to deal with a Dark Lord before he was ready.
Case in point, the boy stood before him was quite clearly a Black.
He'd done a lot of reading on the past war in his down time, on the trails that'd happened afterwards. Dumbledore had vouched for Regulus Black, stating he'd been undercover to steal something of great importance that saw to helping towards the Dark Lord's downfall. So yes, Regulus Black was not at all popular with the rest of the Dark Purebloods.
It wasn't hard to work out from the boy in front of him, who Ignotus would guess to be in Ginny's year, that he was reason behind Regulus going to Dumbledore. In Ignotus' world, the Black heir had had nothing to lose by retrieving the Horcrux. Here, he'd married earlier, gone after the Horcrux later and clearly traded it with Dumbledore for the man to keep him out of prison. Or rather, that was what Ignotus had gathered from his readings and research.
"Sorry, we'll go find another compartment." The boy made to turn on heels, but Ignotus shook his head and gestured for the boy and his companion, whoever that may be, to join him.
"I don't mind. I hope you'll forgive me if I only introduce myself with my first name for now. I'm Ignotus, I've transferred from homeschooling to complete my NEWTS."
The boy who looked like a more delicate, finer version of Sirius gave a slow nod, shuffling in and flicking his wand, the trunk that followed him rising up onto the overhead railings. Another boy followed after him younger and clearly related.
"Thank you. This is my younger brother Volans Orion Black and I'm Acubens Regulus Black."
Acubens held out his hand to shake, looking somewhat uncomfortable at the action. It wasn't hard to pick up on the fact the boy had few friends, he could tell already. He seemed nervous but determined to at least speak to someone else.
The younger boy, Volans, had settled into a seat now, his trunk placed before him and clearly waiting for his older brother to levitate it up.
Instead, Ignotus gave a low wave of his own wand, the holly and phoenix feather that sung between his fingers -not the elder and Thestral hair that was stashed in his trunk- and the trunk floated up to join it's fellow baggage.
"That was silent spell-casting," Acubens murmured, his eyes narrowed as he looked between the trunk and Ignotus' wand.
Slowly, Ignotus gave a dip of his head in acknowledgement to that fact and kicked off his boots, not at all bothered about maintaining decorum right now. Taking a moment to eye Volans plain black robes and Acubens' that were tinted blue and bronze for the house of ravens, Ignotus sheathed his wand and smiled at the duo.
"I've read a good deal about the four houses, but perhaps you'd care to give me an insider's opinion?" It was the best conversation opener he could think of at the moment, and Ignotus settled back into the comfortable cushions to listen to Acubens' rather in depth explanation. Ravenclaw indeed.
Somehow, Ignotus managed to keep the Black brothers talking all the way to Hogwarts. It was strange, being on the Hogwarts Express and not getting a visit from Draco Malfoy. While that might have to do with the fact he'd spell the door to be inaccessible to anyone looking for the occupants with bad intentions, it didn't change the uncanny feeling Ignotus was left with.
He'd been able to gather a lot of intelligence from the brothers, though they did reasonably well at keeping their expressions neutral and words carefully chosen.
First and most importantly of all, Acubens was something of a bully victim. All the children from the Dark Pureblood families had heard nothing but how Regulus Black was a traitor, and that had, unfortunately, carried over onto his sons.
Volans hadn't suffered through anything yet, this being his first year, but Ignotus would be damned if he let anything happen to the two boys now. With their wavy black hair, bright grey eyes and pale skin, the two brothers carried themselves with the same casual elegance he'd seen in a younger Sirius a lifetime ago, back in a memory.
But, there was a wariness to them that hadn't been present in the teenaged Sirius. They were cautious of other people, no doubt from the way the dark purebloods treated them and the suspicious caution the light showed them simply for their last name. Their father had told them to stay away from Slytherin, or that's what Ignotus had been able to gather so far.
No doubt because he rightly believed them to be dangerous to his boys.
Oh sure, it wouldn't' be all of them, but the few that were could do more than enough damage. If there was one thing that Ignotus despised, it was a bully.
No, the Black boys wouldn't need to be looking over their shoulders while he was here, he'd make sure of that.
Waving off Volans as he made his way towards the gathering of the first years, Ignotus followed after the oldest Black, fingers running across the envelope in his pocket. Considering the circus Dumbledore had made regarding their stone, the Flamels had decided to give the old headmaster no warning of Ignotus' arrival what so ever.
Instead, the Flamel heir was pretty damn sure he was carrying what basically amounted to a 'you owe us big time', just in much fancier wording. And if Dumbledore turned him away -unlikely- Beauxbatons would accept him with open arms. No doubt the Fudge would blow his top should Dumbledore turn away someone as important as the Flamel heir, of that he was sure.
Regardless, Ignotus would be putting the man on the spot by walking up to him right in the middle of the great hall. It'd get people talking at the very least.
Stopping by the carriages, Ignotus allowed a pained grimaced to cross his face upon seeing the Thestrals staring back at him, their white eyes eerily focused. Lifting a hand, he slowly ran it down the creatures flank, summoning a raw piece of steak he'd kept in an expandable pouch for just this reason. The leathery black head butted against his fingertips once before it took the meat and Ignotus took a step back, ignoring all the astounded stares of the students around him as meat appeared to vanish before their eyes.
"You can see them too, can't you?" Acubens sounded pained, eyes averted to the side and a grimace upon his lips.
"Yes. It's not pleasant, but they're enjoyable company once you get used to them."
Acubens nodded, climbing into the carriage as Ignotus followed after him. Once again he was hit by a wave of déjàvu, the only thing that was missing were Hermione and Ron and everything would be as it had once been. Before he got caught up with an entity that could no longer harm him. Back when things were normal.
"Do you mind?"
Turning his head to a side, Ignotus was almost struck by the sight of a much younger Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood stood behind her with that same dreamy expression on her face.
"There's no more carriages left," Ginny offered in a way of explanation, shrugging her shoulders in a manner of 'what can you do about it?'.
Quirking a brow at his present companion, Ignotus wasn't surprised to find Acubens had receded behind his walls again, eyes suspicious on the two girls that, Ignotus guessed, were in his year.
"I suppose so Weasley."
Ginny gave the boy a low nod before stepping up and seating herself on the same bench as the Black heir, leaving Luna to sit beside him. Tilting his head to a side, Ignotus took a better look at the spacey blonde, watching as the silver eyes landed on him and sharpened into something more than they had been but a second ago.
"I'm glad you chose to come here," Luna mused in that airy manner he could associate with no other, and Ignotus couldn't help the smile that spread across his face. Whether she was speaking of here as in Hogwarts, or here as in this world, he'd never know.
"As am I." And then it was introductions all around, regardless of the fact Ignotus held his last name back.
As all the other students began to fill up the rows of the table, Ignotus walked with a calm poise towards Dumbledore, one hand in his pocket and resting upon the letter, the other hanging lazily by his side. He could feel the eyes on him, the questioning stares that pondered after his presence amongst them, but he pushed the feeling of unease back.
Dumbledore had rose slightly, the bright blue eyes he remembered from a previous life twinkling brightly but shining with confusion. He couldn't blame him. This new body still held true to the fact he looked just like his father but with his mother's eyes. He wouldn't be surprised if Dumbledore recognised him instantly, regardless of the letter in his pocket.
Stopping before the man, Ignotus gave a small dip of his head in acknowledgement before pulling the parchment free of his trousers.
"Professor Dumbledore, my parents instructed me to give this to you."
Dumbledore took the letter and Ignotus gave him a moment, inspecting the curious faces of the professors around him. There was one seat empty, where Ignotus was pretty sure Barty Crouch Jr would be sitting, under Polyjuice of course.
"Very well Mr Flamel," Dumbledore began, drawing Ignotus' attention back to him. Dumbledore had spoke in a low voice, but it didn't stop Professor Sprout who was sat beside him, hearing and sucking in a surprised breath.
"If you'll step off to the side of the platform I shall call you up after the first years are sorted."
Nodding, Ignotus stuck both his hands into his pockets and stepped off to a side, leaning back against the wall and doing his damn best to ignore the curious looks that were sent in his direction, aside from to smile slightly at a curious Acubens.
The first years were soon bustled in and sorted into their houses, with Volans Black joining his older brother in Ravenclaw. He was the only one that Ignotus bothered to clap for, though he did note Luna euphorically clapping along with a calm look on her face.
As always it, seemed that Luna was going to be the one to look through all the prejudice that surrounded the Ravenclaws. No doubt as a bully victim herself she'd be happy enough to join Acubens and Volans under the title of being his friend.
It was after the finally first year was sorted into their house that Dumbledore stood up, gathering everyone's attention effortlessly.
"In addition to our first years, we will be having another student join our ranks due to some unfortunate circumstances in order to complete his NEWTS."
The letter that he'd given the headmaster not half an hour ago was passed onto McGonagall; it took one look at the name upon the paper for her eyes to widen in surprise. Her eyes met his for a second and Ignotus pushed up off of the wall, making his way over as the deputy headmistress cleared her throat.
There was silence at most tables, all but the upperclassmen of Ravenclaw and Slytherin, with barely a few Hufflepuff and Gryffindors thrown in between. Though Ignotus was pretty sure he heard a gasp from a select few fourth year Gryffindors.
How the Harry Potter of this world had grown up, Ignotus wasn't sure. But he was pleased that he'd managed to spare the boy from having to grow up an orphan. Even if it was Death that'd done all the work.
Sitting down on the stool, Ignotus let his eyes fly over the four tables, too quickly to take in an individual person, but enough that he got a sense for the general atmosphere. The older students seemed to be explaining to the younger ones just who the Flamel family were, and that was the last he saw as the hat got dropped on his head.
There was silence for a moment, and Ignotus shuffled about on the wooden stool nervously. Did the hat know that he was a dimension traveller? Surely it wouldn't out him in front of the entire student body? Maybe it wou-
A foul swear passed through Ignotus' lips before he could stop it, pulling the hat off his head with one hand and grabbing hold of the heavy cylinder that'd been dropped on his head.
The Sword of Gryffindor gleamed back at him in an almost mocking manner and Ignotus could already feel the point where the blade had met his skull throbbing in pain.
"You'll be needing that. I think you can tell what house I'm sending you to Mr Flamel, but just be clear, it's GRYFFINDOR!"
Scowling at the hat that was now sat neatly in Professor McGonagall's arms, Ignotus twisted the sword back and forth before letting it dissolve back into the air. It'd come when he called it, that he was sure of.
The house of Lions was cheering as Ignotus made his way over, though he did take a moment to wink at Acubens and Volans. Both of whom seemed somewhat stunned.
Well, they were pureblood from a pureblood family, and the Flamels were kind of legendary amongst them, even if they were startlingly similar to the crazy uncle that never left the house.
Sitting himself down beside Angelina Johnson, Ignotus offered a smile to his new year mates.
If nothing else, this was going to be an interesting life.
Well, there's Ignotus. Yes there some veyr obvious differences in this AU, I'll expand more as I go on,
A tired uni student,