AN: A new book, and already I'm diving into things that are very different to canon. I hope my representation of the Potters is alright, and shows them, not as evil, monstrous individuals, but as people who did something that they're not entirely proud of, and there's some fear mixed in with apprehension, confusion, worry, regret, and some anger. It's going to be a complicated situation with the Potters, not the straight up 'bashing' that most alive Potter stories tend towards. They'll be bad feelings, name calling, and finger pointing on both sides, and there will be consequences for actions, some quite big ones as well. Also, may I please have some suggestions for how Harry might go about revealing the Potters, perhaps some reasons, pros, and cons as well? It can be anything from simply teleporting them into the Atrium of the London Ministry, to setting Skeeter on them, to forcing them into the light by going to the papers, or anything. Whatever you can think of would no doubt be helpful as inspiration, thank you.
Beta'd by: NIX'S WARDEN
Chapter 01 – Trouble Abroad
A red-haired woman jerked in surprise as a crow cawed loudly from the nearby tree. She shivered slightly in a cold breeze that blew past her, pulling at the edges of her skirt, before frowning down at the cup of tea in her hands, specifically the crack in it.
"Perhaps I gripped it too hard." She muttered, before tapping it with her wand and fixing it.
Deciding to return indoors, and not liking the way that crow was looking at her, she returned indoors. She quickly drank the remainder of her tea, before placing the cup in the sink, and leaving the dishes to wash themselves.
She then headed into the living room, where she found her husband with her eldest child, her son Brian. She smiled as she saw him eating up the lessons James, her husband, was giving him.
"How are things going, dear?" She asked.
"Brilliant, Lily-flower." James grinned back. "But of course he'd be wonderful, he is my son after all."
Lily shook her head. "Our son, James, I'd like to think that some of my own brilliance was passed on to my children."
James was about to reply when an explosion of some kind rocked the house. Contrary to what you might expect, none of those present even flinched at it, explosions being all too common where their daughter, Rose. James did frown when Lily glanced over her shoulder though.
"Something the matter?" He asked.
"Nothing really." Lily sighed. "I just have this... bad feeling, like something's going to happen soon."
"You got this same sort of feeling when all that money disappeared too, didn't you?" James scowled.
"Yes, but it's just a coincidence, I'm sure. You know very well what I think of Divination." Lily replied.
"Still, I can't believe that... that thing stole from us like that." James spat.
"What thing, dad?" Brian asked, wondering what his parents were upset about.
"Nothing for you to worry about, sweetie." His mother smiled at him. "Why don't you have a slice of the chocolate cake I baked earlier, and ask your sister if she wants some too."
"Okay." Brian grinned, before running out of the room.
Lily sighed and collapsed into a chair, a forlorn expression coming over her face. "I still can't believe we did something as disgusting as that." She said. "My own child, turned into a magical bomb. I know he didn't even get to live a day, that he was dead before I'd even birthed him, but he was still my own child."
James wrapped one arm around Lily's shoulders, pulling her close. "Shh, don't think about it." He murmured. "Voldemort was coming after us anyway, and we did what we could to survive. If we'd left nothing behind, we could so easily have been found out. As it was, we managed to get rid of the bastard, at least for a while."
Tears streamed out from between Lily's eyelids. "B-but James! Think about it, Voldemort is walking around wearing the corpse of our own child! He wasn't meant to live, he was meant to die, putting an end to him and all of the bad things that were happening."
"We would have finished the job ourselves, but we couldn't find where Voldemort hid himself, remember?" James comforted the woman. "Don't worry about it, someone will take care of him for us, and wouldn't it be ironic if one of the Death Eaters killed their own master, thinking they were actually killing his enemy?"
"I- I know, but when I keep thinking back to that day, when we found out about... it, I just can't help but think that we failed somehow." Lily quietly sobbed into her husband's shoulder.
James was silent as he fell into memories of back then too. He remembered how, up there in Canada, they'd read the news spreading all over the world. Voldemort was dead, and that was reason to celebrate. Granted, he had never moved out of Britain, not even into Europe as a whole, but still the international magical communities had kept an eye on him, just in case.
Of course, along with that news came a second surprise for the Potter family, though they were going by Lily's family name of Evans while in Canada. Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, someone that shouldn't exist. Both Lily and James remembered how torn up they'd both been about using their deceased child's corpse as a weapon, but it had been necessary.
Even if one ignored the prophecy, which James wasn't entirely willing to do, Voldemort still had to be taken down by someone. What better way to do that risk free than to use someone already dead? Hey, the kid fulfilled the requirements of the prophecy, and if interpreted right, it would make sense.
So, rather unwillingly, Lily and James had dived into Necromancy. Not out of any desire to really raise the dead or anything like that, but it was the only branch of magic that would allow them to simulate life, bringing their trap into being.
The flesh golems of Lily and himself had been pretty unpleasant to make. Afterwards, they had the memories of the two of them copied into the golems' heads, minus the bit about them being created of course, just in case Voldemort tried using Legilimency on them. They had enchanted the golems, directing them to act as necessary, but not yet activating them, and then moved onto the most difficult and unpleasant part of the trap.
Turning their stillborn child's corpse into a magical explosive was very hard on Lily and James, especially the ritual they used to bring false life to it, different from the flesh golems, and all the more repulsive for it. Lily had nearly broken down numerous times, and James often found himself working on it alone while his wife saw to the needs of their living son, Brian.
I'm sure you can picture their surprise when they heard about their dead son's moniker. After all, he wasn't alive, and he really shouldn't have been in one piece after that explosion. Of course, hearing that Voldemort had 'died' there, they came to the conclusion that Voldemort's body had been destroyed, and now the monster was somehow possessing the corpse of their child.
That'd torn Lily up really badly, and James had tried to comfort her as best he could. Nine months after that, Rose had been born on the first of August Nineteen Eighty-two. Lily cheered up immensely at the birth of her daughter, with her becoming something of a focus for the woman.
They had raised their two children together in Canada, always keeping an ear out for more information from Britain. They expected it would take Voldemort a while to get himself a proper body back, and then his reign of terror would return. It didn't though, ten years passed before they heard anything new about Voldemort.
The newspaper they received had a picture of 'Harry' in it, and the unnatural streak of silver in his straight black hair was taken as further proof that something was up. Obviously, Voldemort's own soul was eroding the container, and that silver streak of hair was just one of the signs that everyone else was ignoring.
The next important bit of news came two-fold. First, they saw what 'Harry' looked like without his hair covering half his face, and the horrific scarring was just further proof that Voldemort's soul was damaging its container, the red eye being the cherry on top of the cake. Second, the human-form familiars that he'd apparently created from a unicorn and a raven. It seemed Voldemort's depravity knew no depths, having turned a pure and innocent creature into a minion of his own perverse desires.
On top of that, when next James had gone to withdraw money from the family vault, he found that the numbers didn't add up, and that a rather substantial chunk of gold had gone missing. When he asked about this, he was informed that it was simply a refill of his son's trust vault.
James had been confused by this, as he knew that Brian had made no such withdrawals, until he found the name attached to the trust fault to be 'Harry'. Well, he'd put a stop to that immediately, cancelling any more transactions between the two accounts and shutting down the trust vault for 'Harry', though he couldn't for the life of him work out just how that vault had been set up in the first place.
Things had quietened down after that, until August Nineteen Ninety-two that was. The photo in the Daily Prophet, of Harry Potter throwing Gilderoy Lockhart through a window, had the focus of both Potters currently hidden as the Evans family, especially with the black aura around the arm that had done the throwing, that was so not natural.
Now they were simply waiting for Voldemort to show the world who he truly was, and then watch as the bastard wearing their son's skin was punished for everything he had done. They had considered going public with what they knew, but the parental parts of their minds refused to come out into the open, if only to keep Brian and Rose hidden from Voldemort and his Death Eaters.
James sighed. "I wonder what Sirius is doing now?" He wondered aloud. "I wonder if someone's managed to actually put a collar on that mutt and taught him to sit."
Please note, with everything that happened immediately following Voldemort's 'demise', newspapers, their contents, and their distribution was messed up for a while, so James and Lily don't actually know that their friend is in Azkaban, supposedly for betraying them and causing their deaths.
Lily dried her eyes a little. "Do you ever regret cutting off all contact with everyone over there? I sometimes find myself wondering how Stacy and Leigh-Anne are doing. I heard that Alice is in the permanent section of Saint Mungo's though, poor girl."
"If we did start making connections back there, it would only make it easier for Voldemort to find us again, and as long as we still have Brian and Rose to look after, that is something I refuse to do. Besides, we've got a life here now, a comfortable, peaceful-" James pulled Lily into his lap, earning a squeak from the woman. "-wonderful life."
They leaned in to kiss each other.
Then another explosion rocked the house.
Lily sighed. "Our daughter really needs to get a different hobby."
Harry yawned to himself, before opening his eyes.
He was currently staying in Uminari, and was actually considering purchasing a house there. It wouldn't be too difficult, as long as he had the money then the magical side didn't really care about how old he was or anything like that. Of course, upkeep would be all on him, but with the use of some runes, it wasn't all that difficult to get the amenities.
He knew he was always welcome with the Takamachis, the Harlaowns, and Hayate, but he kind of wanted his own place, and Japan was as good as anywhere else on the planet. It wasn't like he didn't have the money for it either. What with him trading gold and silver back and forth between Gringotts and several administrated worlds, his reserves of money were finite, but large.
He went to get up and out of bed, but found himself stuck.
Harry just sighed as he found himself sandwiched between Isis and Reinforce. The unicorn was a big believer in 'skinship', and took every opportunity to be as close to him as possible, and it would be hard to miss how possessive of him Reinforce had gotten at times, and increasingly so over the last half a year or so.
Harry also found a weight on his legs that, when he looked, turned out to be Bast. Said cat familiar also tried to be as close to him as possible, claiming that she could only protect him if she was nearby. Heck, the only time Bast really left his presence was to train, he'd actually had to stop her following him into the bathroom a couple of times.
"Are you awake, master?" Bast asked, noticing Harry shifting around.
Harry gave the cat-girl a look and raised an eyebrow as he wriggled out from between Isis and Reinforce. "Did you sleep, Bast?"
"Yes, I did." She replied, though judging by how tired she looked, Harry was willing to bet she hadn't slept very much, preferring to stay awake and keep an eye on him while he slept.
"Bast, what have I told you about getting sufficient amounts of rest?" Harry sighed. "Never mind that now, transform and take a nap in my arms." Seeing her about to protest, Harry gave her the best glare he could. "Now, Bast. Your health is important too."
Bast just looked at the floor, her ears drooping in a way that Harry would call cute. Not that he'd say that out loud, or Bast would probably try and turn that 'cuteness' into a weapon to defend him somehow. Of course, having seen how Bast always managed to get things to work in the end, he wouldn't be surprised if she managed it. It was a quirk of the catgirl's that, no matter what she attempted, she would somehow succeed, even if it was not in the manner she had intended.
Bast transformed into a black cat, which Harry proceeded to scoop up into his arms, stroking her gently and eliciting a contented purr from the feline. Harry couldn't help but smile down at her, amused at how easy it was to turn her into a purring lump of pleasure.
"Mmm, Harry?" Rein murmured, waking up now that the teddy bear she'd been snuggling was no longer there.
"Yes, Rein, it's morning, time to get up." Harry nudged her with a foot.
"Harry, I can see the clock from here, it's six am." Rein grumbled.
Harry smiled at that, happy that Reinforce was comfortable enough to protest things and not act like a tool or the like. Having read up on Unison Devices in the Infinite Library, and how a fair number of them ended up bloodthirsty, or believing themselves to only have a use in war, he enjoyed seeing Rein act like a relatively normal person.
"If you want to go back to sleep for a while, you can. I'm sure Isis will be fine being a replacement hug pillow for me." He chuckled. "I'm just off to get some morning practise, and from the sound of it, Loki's already up too."
Indeed, the sound of Loki's soft footsteps could be heard, and a moment later, said familiar poked his head into the room.
"Ready for a sparring session?" Loki asked, getting a grin from Harry in reply.
Reinforce considered coming along to watch or join in, but found herself pulled back into bed by a still sleeping Isis, who wrapped her arms and legs tightly around the Unison Device.
She rolled her eyes. "I'll see you at the Harlaowns' place later, when you give them the last of those aptitude tests."
Loki stood with his device, Fenrir, in his hands, across from Harry, eyeing him warily.
When they found out that Harry was primarily a support style mage, with a penchant for summoning, most believed that getting up close and personal with him, and engaging in close combat would guarantee them a victory, but unfortunately for them, they would find Harry to be a rather different sort of summoner.
For starters, he actually took the time to practise fighting with a weapon in hand. While he was no expert, and experienced enemies would still overcome him in a straight forward weapons duel, he could still hold his own. He also had a few underhanded tricks that he was not afraid to use, and use them he would.
On top of that, Loki was unsure just how far Harry had come with his animagus transformation. He knew that Harry could replace his skin with dragon hide, his hands with claws, and even switch his eyes out, but he did not know whether Harry could manage a full transformation yet.
If that wasn't enough, there was the second aspect of Harry's device to consider, the booster. With that, he could boost either his strength, speed, mana capacity, or a number of other things, though thankfully only one at a time.
All in all, while Harry was not a close quarters specialist, he could more than hold his own.
Of course, Loki wasn't someone to ignore either. He probably had ten times as many dirty tricks as Harry did, and while Harry had been training his battlefield awareness and rapid decision making, he had gone all out in improving his reactions and striking speed.
Loki, though, was not meant to fight head on, but as a trap specialist, a deceiver. His illusions weren't as good as Harry's, but they were more than passable. He'd also taken a leaf out of Harry's book, regarding the bag of pebbles his master used to carry on him, and had prepared a number of pre-set traps that he could set up in a handful of seconds.
If Loki and Harry worked together, their skills meshed rather well, and with the overlap, they made quite a devastating combination. It was against each other, however, that their skills really shone. With an opponent that fought and thought like them, they needed to bring out their best to win, and they would have it no other way.
"Support skill: Fog of War!" He cried out, activating one of the cards in his right bracer, before disappearing in a Sonic Move.
Loki didn't move from his position, simply waiting, watching, while dense fog covered the area. Harry's card, 'Fog of War', did more than the name might imply. True, it did summon up an immense, thick fog, reducing visibility to a bare few metres, but it went a bit further than that too.
It disrupted communications, distorted sound, emitted random scents, and even released a weak chemical to further disorient and confuse enemies. Thankfully, Loki was already familiar with the fog, and so had built up a resistance to the chemicals, preventing his senses from becoming even more screwed up, and him from developing a light headache. Still, the fog was a lot of trouble.
The raven familiar's sharp eyes spotted movement out of the corner of his eye. A small insect, normally nothing noteworthy, but Loki's eyes saw it for what it really was, part of Harry's Beelzebub swarm, and so he cursed. Harry's golems would not be affected by the fog's disorientating properties, the card having actually been created to compliment Beelzebub in particular.
Of course, Loki wasn't without his own tricks.
"Double Team." He said, and suddenly where there had been one Loki, now there was a dozen that scattered in different directions. Double Team was a technique which created several 'copies' of the caster, some of them being completely illusionary, others being basic golems.
All of the Lokis spread out, randomly pulling things out of a pouch on his waist and dropping them on the floor. A closer inspection would reveal these to be pebbles, each of them covered in dozens upon dozens of runes. Each one of these pebbles, the real ones at least, were complex traps.
One of the Lokis flickered and faded, while another exploded into fragments of earth as two bolts of lightning erupted out of the fog and hit them. It seemed Harry was using a low ranked elemental spell in addition to the fog card in his right bracer. Now Loki only needed to know what the third card he had prepared was, and which shield spell he had loaded and he might be able to plan out a way to take Harry down.
He had to duck low to avoid one of the Beelzebub wasps. The real Loki had disillusioned himself while the golems and illusions laid out traps, though how well those would work with the swarm observing everything was debatable. Still, he was patient, he could wait.
While he waited, he decided to take a closer look at the nearest wasp. He wanted to know what spell Harry had summoned them with. Usually, he used some form of stunning spell, but not always. Other common ones for him to use were the body bind curse, blinding hex, trip jinx, and confundus, in non-lethal spars at least. In an actual battle, Harry was more likely to use piercing, cutting, severing, and several elemental spells too.
The swarm did not have their stingers active, so they weren't glowing with any particular colour which would give away what spell they had spawned with, though Loki was thinking the body bind was the most likely of his non-lethal arsenal, there was no way Harry would use anything potentially fatal on him.
Well, nothing that would cause permanent injury at least. Harry wasn't bothered by a few broken bones, a bit of blood loss, bruised organs, or similar minor injuries that could be healed up within minutes, and he expected his sparring partners to hold themselves to the same standards.
There was a reason why Harry and his familiars had improved so rapidly, and it was because they trained hard.
'Ah, what the hell?!' Loki mentally cried, watching black orbs of some sort falling from the sky and randomly exploding around him. He didn't recognise this as one of the cards Harry had creat-
'I forgot that Harry also has a device to cast with, didn't I?' Loki commented dryly to himself, before performing evasive manoeuvres, manoeuvres made all the more difficult when suddenly all of the Beelzebub suddenly locked onto where he was, despite his disillusionment charm holding strong.
'How are they seeing me?' He wondered, destroying a few that flew at him with glowing blue stingers. 'I know the disillusionment charm I cast covers me in the spectrum outside visible light, and I made sure thermal vision would be useless against me, so how is he doing this?'
Loki's eyes widened as another explosion went off, and the wasps focused back on him more accurately. 'Of course! Harry isn't using this minor bombardment spell to chase me out of hiding, he's using it to cause shock waves! The vibrations travel differently through different materials, and even if I am invisible, I'm still solid. Clever, master, very clever.'
Loki's instinct had him throwing himself to the ground to avoid a pencil thick, purplish-black beam, a standard shot from Harry's device when in sniper mode. Seeing as the raven familiar still couldn't see through the fog, he could only assume that Harry was using Beelzebub as some sort of targeting system.
"Just how many uses do those damn wasps have?!" Loki yelled into the fog, knowing his own advantages had been negated.
A chuckle was his reply. "Enough." Harry called back, though from where couldn't be determined, especially with the fog's distortion effect messing with sound. "How many traps did you and your 'Double Team' copies manage to lay down, my wasps have managed to find forty-three of them."
Loki shrugged, before calling back. "I personally laid down fourteen, no idea about how many my solid copies put down though."
"Isn't it risky to have your doubles place traps and you not know where they are? That's something you should really get sorted out." Harry replied.
Loki chuckled. "They're rune traps, Harry, they'll only go off if the conditions are met. This set is one of my sparring ones, the regular set won't react to the magical signature of any of us, unless I set them off manually myself, that is."
"Good, but you really shouldn't get distracted." Harry's voice came from right behind him, his device, now in the form of a scythe, rested with its blade at his throat.
"Nor should you." 'Loki' shot back, before crumbling into dirt as another two Lokis appeared at either side of him with their blades crossed on either side of his neck. "Some of those rune 'traps' are markers that allow me to teleport between them, so it's not too difficult to switch myself with a clone if I'm stealthy enough. Your loss, Harry."
"Not yet it's not." Harry grinned. "You forget, Loki, runes is one of my best subjects, and while breaking the traps would take time, nothing is stopping me from reading them and working them out." 'He' said, before fading from view, turning out to be nothing more than a clone.
Loki went to 'hop' to another marker, getting away from whatever trap Harry was about to spring, and found himself immediately surrounded by more than fourteen hundred of Harry's Beelzebub wasps. He glanced down at his feet to see all of the 'marker' rune pebbles gathered together.
"Oh, bollocks." He managed to mutter, before the mass of metal insects descended on him, their stingers glowing with the body bind curse as they stung him, resulting in Harry's win.
The fog of war faded, and Harry recalled his summoned swarm in order for it to recharge and regenerate after the battle. He approached Loki, before applying the counter-curse, and then helping his familiar get shakily to his feet. Knight Armour may take the edge off of a magical attack, but the wasps stingers generated a small AMF that weakened that defence, and Loki had just taken at least several hundred copies of the curse at once.
"Nice match." Loki shook Harry's hand. "Nothing up close and personal, and not one that really played to my skills, but it was good regardless. Mind telling me what that spell was you used to rain down those explosive orbs?"
Harry shrugged. "As should be obvious, I had Beelzebub loaded as a Golem Summon, Fog of War as a Support Skill, and Lightning as a Basic Attack skill. I also had my 'Coffin Shield' loaded in the shield slot." At this, Harry conjured up said shield, showing the shape for which it was named. "I also had Assassin's Cloak loaded as another Support Skill."
Loki nodded at that, knowing that 'Assassin's Cloak' was a mixture of stealth techniques, from sound dampening and silencing, to disillusionment and invisibility spells, to scent erasing spells, and even several spells that negated, or at least minimised, air movement and the like.
"And the spell?" Loki asked.
Harry shrugged. "Diabolic Rain." He told him. "Rein created it. It's rather simple, but it's also a rather great mana drain. It conjures up dozens of small Diabolic Emissions and rains them down on a target area. Not the most useful spell, especially with the mana cost, because the damage is spread out so thinly, but it worked for me here, didn't it?"
Loki snorted. "One, your reserves of mana are beyond ridiculous, so using up some of it on such a spell isn't a huge waste, especially with how efficiently you use it your style, and two, you weren't exactly using the spell for the damage, were you?"
Harry grinned sheepishly. "No, the Beelzebub wasps were picking up the differences in how the vibrations travelled, allowing me to pinpoint where you were, despite visibly hiding yourself from me. I guess I did kind of go overboard with my golems, huh?"
Loki simply smiled and shook his head, bopping Harry on the head as he did so. "It was a compliment, Harry. The more uses there are, and the more flexible they can be, the better they are, and the safer you will be. I'd rather you'd overdo something like this than produce sub-par golems, which will be liable to get you hurt or killed."
"True, but considering my golems will also be watching your back, along with Isis, Bast, and Rein, then I have all the motivation I need to make them to the best of my ability." Harry replied with a soft smile. "I don't know what I'd do without any of you, and yes, I mean you too, you annoyingly mischievous raven."
Loki grinned back, unrepentant. "You know you love me for it."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Like a brother, but that still doesn't stop me from wanting to throttle you on occasion."
Loki didn't verbally reply to that as he and Harry restored their sparring area back to good condition, though the light dancing in his eyes told a story of its very own.