The 2nd of May, 1998 was a terrible and dark day for many wizards and witches of Great Britain and even several beyond. Joy and Peace spread across the nation though when one Harry James Potter defeated the Dark Lord Voldemort.
And now a week after that he stood in his kitchen at Grimmauld Place glaring at one of his best friends with the best glare he could give. Not that it was doing anything as Ron used one of the chairs to hold his weight so that he wouldn't fall to the ground laughing full out.
"This isn't funny Ron!" Harry yelled as he continued to glare venomously at his red headed friend. "We need to get Hermione to find out what is going on and why this is happening now!" He exclaimed as he clenched his fists, trying to keep himself from slugging his best friend in the face.
Ron though could only laugh as he looked back up at his friend, the chair he had been leaning on tipped backwards and with that imbalance the red head hit the floor still laughing. Harry watched with a glower on his face as he waited for the other to stop with his laughing fit and come back to the real world. "I'm…sorry…mate but…this…is just too…funny!" Ron finally got out as he began to get the laughter under his control and get back up onto his feet.
"I'm going to punch you." Harry growled out as he raised a fist to do just that, which seemed to be all that was needed to sober Ron right up.
"Sorry, sorry, sorry!" Ron said really fast as he held his hands up in the air but it was obvious that he didn't really mean it when he had a shit eating grin on his face. "Hermione is out preparing for that press conference that's coming up tomorrow so that you'll be able to get up and make your statement and then leave. Though I don't even know if she'll want you to go out on that stage looking like this." Ron said as he walked over to Harry and patted him on the shoulder. "I'm sure we'll figure this out before too long so don't worry about it mate."
Harry stared up at his friend with half lidded eyes and a frown. "I don't believe you a single bit Ron." He got out before he turned and left the red head behind him to head to his room.
Ron couldn't help but look his friend over as he left with a chuckle. "Still really small he is." Ron muttered as Harry disappeared behind the kitchen door.
"I heard that Ron!"
It had taken the entire week to set up this press conference and Hermione Jane Granger was feeling rather frazzled and under pressure at the moment. Especially as she stared down at the glowering face of her best friend Harry James Potter. "Oh I don't know what's going on." Hermione said as she stared at Harry with wide eyes and confused.
Harry's face fell into despair as he stared at the bushy haired witch. "But you know everything Hermione." Harry whined with his voice cracking on Hermione's name. He scowled at that before returning pleading eyes onto his friend. "Isn't there anything you know about this? Anything at all?" He questioned pleadingly.
Hermione gulped before shaking her head negatively. "I'm sorry Harry, but I don't know what this is. I've never heard of a condition like this before." She informed as gently as she could. "Look, the News Conference will begin in an hour at the Great Hall, we don't have to have you talk right then and we can have you sit through the entire thing." She started as she began to come up with ideas to keep Harry's condition hidden. "Me and Ron can speak the entire time and keep them from asking you questions."
Harry frowned and watched as the witch began to pace in front of him. "Can't I just not come?" He questioned sullenly, crossing his arms over his chest angrily.
Hermione shook her head. "You need to make an appearance and that's what this conference was mainly for. To show that you're alright and unharmed and still moving, hopefully forward." She explained as she came to a stop in front of Harry once more. "If we don't show the people that you're trying to move forward as well then they will forever stay in the past where they were dominated by a powerful Dark Wizard that tried to destroy muggleborns."
Harry stared at Hermione sullenly as he nodded his head at her logic. "I don't have to stand up?" He asked as he looked up at her.
Hermione smiled sadly and nodded her head. "You won't have to stand up and you won't have to speak. We'll have you sit in the Headmistress's chair so that it'll hide your size better. Ron and I will be on your right and we'll have Hagrid sit on your left while McGonagall stands in front and next to both me and Ron when we speak." She decided easily. "Those should help hide this a whole lot better than anything else we can do. We'll also get you out of there as soon as the conference ends without anyone noticing. Did you bring your invisibility cloak with you?"
Harry just nodded his head as he turned to look at the doors that led to the Great Hall, pulling out an edge of one of his pockets stealthily before returning it, having used it to hide from view of anyone on the grounds. Ron had gone to talk with McGonagall (more distract her so that Harry could speak with Hermione without the headmistress seeing Harry) about the coming conference. McGonagall was going to speak as well about what had happened at Hogwarts during the war and at the Battle of Hogwarts. She would be saying all of the names of the students that were lost that day.
"We'll also make sure that the new Minister gets nowhere near you during as well, as well as keep Malfoy away too." She glowered at the name, remembering her time at the mansion that the wealthy man owned…where she was tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange. "I still can't believe he didn't end up in Azkaban after everything that he has done."
Harry shrugged his shoulders at that. "I owed a debt to Mrs. Malfoy, you know that. That's what she asked of me in return for not informing Voldemort that I was alive." He explained once more with a blank face. "Be happy that he can't use anything more advanced than a cleaning charm and levitation charm." He stated tiredly.
Hermione just nodded her head in agreement before sighing and motioning to the Great Hall Doors. "Shall we get situated before anyone else comes and sees you?" She questioned but turned and walked over to them anyways.
Harry could only scowl at her calm demeanor before following her in. "This is going to be a nightmare isn't it?" He questioned.
"Without a doubt." She replied as she opened the doors to the great hall.
Harry sighed as he followed her in before coming to a dead halt when several eyes turned to him, Hermione having come to a halt just little bit in front of him as well. "I think they got here early Hermione." Harry whispered as he stared wide eyed at the crowd in front of him.
"Yes." Hermione agreed with her own wide eyes. "I didn't plan this at all."
"Since when does any of our plans work?" Harry questioned as he glared at a giggling Rita Skeeter.
The Boy-Who-Lived Finds the Fountain of Youth
By Rita Skeeter
Yesterday at what remains of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was a Press Conference put together by one Hermione Jane Granger, the Brains of the Golden Trio. It was held within the Great Hall where the defeat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named occurred and where Harry Potter became The-Man-Who-Conquered.
An hour before the Press Conference began Mr. Potter arrived in the Great Hall with Ms. Granger. To the great surprise of us all, including myself, Mr. Potter was not quite what he once was only two weeks ago. He had shrunken at least two feet and several inches and seemed to be much thinner. In fact he looked quite what he did when I first met him at the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament held three years ago.
Many question whether the boy had found the Fountain of Youth and had imbibed too much and so reverted to a much younger age or if he had drank the highly illegal and dangerous Youth Potion. No one is quite sure but many agree that Harry Potter is no longer the Man he had been only a couple of weeks back. He is instead just a boy once more that holds much power in his hands.
Due to this turn of events though he did not speak during the conference and instead allowed the other two thirds of the Golden Trio speak, along with Headmistress Minerva McGonagall and Rubeus Hagrid, both of who were present at the Battle of Hogwarts. All of whom spoke of their experience with struggles that none of us will truly understand.
Very few listened though as all of the attention was on a young looking Harry Potter. Many question what the young wizard has done to cause such a change in him, but I tell you this now , I will not give up until I find out what has happened and inform you my fellow readers.
Harry scowled down at the Daily Prophet in annoyance before looking at the table in Grimmauld Place with a forlorn expression.
He was alone in the house at the moment, except for Kreacher who was finally cleaning the place properly now that Harry had his real loyalty, and the raven haired man found himself left to his thoughts of the last couple of weeks that had occurred after the battle that ended with him being the winner.
People had many things to settle and take care of while after the battle and because of that Harry had been left alone for most of the time. During the last two weeks he had been alone for almost that entire time except for two times.
One day he had gone to Andromeda Tonks to see his godson and hold the little baby for the first time in his arms. He had made a deal with the older woman as well as he held onto the little boy that he would get Teddy for two weekends each month after Andromeda had taught him everything he needed to know to take care of the boy.
And the second time was to go to the day of the merlin's forsaken press conference. That had been embarrassing beyond anything he could remember. He also refused to leave the house after that as he felt ashamed and confused and upset over everything that has happened.
After the press conference he had gone to Madame Pomfrey at the urging of Hermione and Ron, all three hoping that there was an easy cure to whatever had caused Harry to de-age like he had. Unfortunately though the Healer had no idea what afflicted the now boy and could only suggest that he start taking Nutrient Potions with his meals to help with the malnourishment that was obvious with him…in fact the other two-thirds of the Golden Trio had been forced to do the same once Madame Pomfrey had gotten a good look at them.
Being on the run like they had been for most of the year had taken a toll on all three of them. Harry was use to going hungry for long periods of time so he didn't really mind the lack of food. Hermione and Ron though had suffered frequent stomach pains from lack of food, along with depression, exhaustion, agitation, and dizziness. Harry did what he could but there really wasn't much he could do but brew nutrient potions that weren't that strong to begin with because of the lack of proper ingredients and skill.
They had all suffered even more than lack of food as well but in the end there was nothing they could do about it but move forward and heal from it. They would all bear the scars from the wars and they would have to live with them, both visible and hidden scars. Harry sighed before standing from the table and looking at Kreacher, a thought passing through his mind.
"Kreacher, do you know anything about why I've de-aged like I have?" He questioned the House Elf tiredly, not expecting an answer from the old creature. He didn't think there was ever a case like his and if there was then it might be so far in the past that no one knew about it and could do nothing about it. Harry really didn't have much hope to cure his affliction.
Except the house elf surprised him by nodding at his master eagerly. "Oh yes, Kreacher knows what is afflicting Master Harry." He informed as he turned away from the now forest green wall that was cleaned of grime to stare at Harry with wide tired eyes that were filled with happiness. "Though Kreacher knows only its name and where Master can find more information." He informed sadly with his ears drooping slightly.
Harry didn't care that Kreacher didn't know all of it, he was just glad he knew anything at all. "That's great Kreacher. Tell me then please, tell me what the name is and where I can find more information on it." Harry asked as he looked at the House elf pleadingly.
Kreacher nodded his head happily as he began to speak. "Kreacher knows that the affliction Master suffers from is called the Terrors of Past. Only few wizards have suffered from such an affliction, though I am unsure of how to cure it. Tis a magical condition where wizards' magic turn their bodies to a younger form due to traumas in life. It is normally the wizard's worst trauma that choses their form." The old house elf explained as he walked over to Harry and looked up at him with pleading eyes. "The only people Kreacher knows that holds more of what Master seeks is the Malfoy family." He informed solemnly.
Harry stared at the elf for a long time, hoping that he would change his mind and realize that he had spoken the wrong name. But no, Kreacher continued to stare at him solemnly with his ears dropping at what he had told his master. Harry cursed a moment later as he slammed a hand against the table next to him. He didn't like the information he was given and he didn't like the fact that the Malfoys had what he needed.
He had planned on avoiding that family the rest of his life if he could manage it. He had repaid his debt to Narcissa and he never intended to call upon the debt that Draco owed him, even if it meant his death. This though…this affliction changed things for him. He didn't want to stay looking like he did in his fourth year and he wasn't even sure if he would grow from here on out. For all he knew he would stay looking like this until the day he died.
He needed information.
The only people that had it was one he didn't want to see.
Did he have a choice on what he was going to do next?
No he did not.
Draco Malfoy sat in his family library reading an old potions book in his boredom, wondering what he was going to do with his life from then on.
He had once dreamt of becoming a powerful and well known wizard, just like his father had been, working for the Dark Lord as his right hand man and ruling over the mudbloods like Granger.
His eyes had been forcefully opened though once he had truly joined the Death Eaters, forcefully before he truly was supposed to. He had been the punishment to his parents for his father's failures to the Dark Lord and the Malfoy Heir was forced to join the Death Eaters before his majority. The worst part of the initiation though had been his meeting with Fenrir Greyback.
Draco reached a hand up but then resisted and returned his hand to his lap while the other held onto his book tightly. He was so glad that Greyback had died during the war and from what he heard it had been due to the old DADA teacher, Remus Lupin, who had taken care of the monster. Draco regretted every name he had called the man and he would for the rest of his life just because he had taken down the beast that had ruin both of their lives.
Draco sighed in the end and shook his head, intending to refocus on his book before a crack sounded just in front of him, startling him so badly that his book went flying and his mother's wand was in his hand in an instant.
It was only a house elf that stood in front of him though, wearing a clean and obviously new pillowcase with the Most Noble House of Black crest on it. The Elf couldn't be called new though as it was very ancient looking and with how tired its eyes looked, Draco doubted the thing had too much longer to live. "What do you want Elf?" Draco asked as he glared at the old ragged thing.
The elf sneered at him before holding out an envelope with Draco's name on the front in a chicken scratch that was hardly legible. "Kreacher's master has requested that Kreacher deliver this letter to the dear son of Mistress Black's Niece's son." He informed with a gravelly voice.
The blonde blinked at that before looking at the letter and hesitantly taking it from the elf. As soon as the parchment was firmly in Draco's hand the elf disappeared, obviously it wasn't meant to wait for a reply.
Draco turned the letter over in his hand as he looked it over, taking in any detail that could mean a curse was on the parchment. He ran his wand over the envelope next and checked for more curses, poisons, charms, whatever he could think of.
There was nothing.
Only once he was sure that there was nothing that could harm him within the letter did he open it and begin to read it.
What he read startled him.
I'm sure that as your reading this you are surprised to get anything from me at all, especially after what has happened between your family and my own. As loath as I am to do this, I must call upon the life debt that you owe me after I saved you in the room of requirement.
I don't know if you've read in the Daily Prophet about what has happened to me but if you haven't then I shall inform you to the best of my capabilities.
I have reverted back to the age I was when I was entered into the Triwizard Tournament. According to Kreacher I have been afflicted by what he calls the 'Terrors of Past'. No one but my elf has been able to tell me what it was and he has informed me that the only family that has further information on this is the Malfoy family.
I'm sure by now that you have caught what I want from you by using the debt you owe me. I want the book that holds the information on the 'Terrors of Past' and any others that holds further information as well. The debt you owe me will be absolved once that book and all information is sent to me.
Draco stared at the letter with wide eyes for long moments, rereading it several times before he jumped up from his seat and ran out of the library and straight to his father's office. He didn't even bother knocking on his father's door and instead slammed the doors wide open and right into the room.
His mother was in the room as well, sitting on the arm of Lucius's office chair, arm draped around the man's shoulders comfortingly. "Draco!" Narcissa scolded as she stood up to frown at her son and lecture him. "What have I told you about barging into rooms unannounced?" She questioned.
Draco ignored it and instead strode in and slammed the letter in front of his scowling father. "Forgive me just this once Mother and father, this is something you need to see." He said and pushed the letter further at Lucius.
Lucius sighed and took the letter into his hand, reading it over with Narcissa reading it over his shoulder as well. Both reread the letter half a dozen times before they looked up at their son with wide disbelieving eyes. "Are you sure this is from Potter?" Lucius questioned as he stared at his son with calculating eyes.
Draco nodded his head. "A Black House Elf delivered the letter. We know that Potter inherited the Black titled from his dogfather so it isn't impossible for him to use the elf instead of an owl." Draco informed as he looked at his mother for confirmation.
Narcissa nodded her head in agreement. "Was the elf old Draco?" She questioned calmly, though her own eyes were fraught with nervousness.
The young Heir nodded his head. "Yes and it said that its name is Kreacher." He informed as well.
"It is truly Potter then." Narcissa informed, hands folding in front of her as she addressed both her son and husband. "Kreacher is the house elf that was trained personally by Aunt Walburga. He can be quite nasty but is loyal to the House of Black."
Lucius nodded his head as he held his chin between a thumb and pointer finger, reading the letter again in thought. "We could use this to our advantage." He finally stated as he looked up at the two he loved most. "Helping the Conquer of the Dark Lord could put us back into good establishment in the wizarding world. We could regain a foot in the ministry and a good name in the world as well." He explained as he continued to plan a way to use this newest information to his advantage.
Narcissa thought scowled at her husband and wacked him upside the head, causing Draco to choke in shock and Lucius to stare at her in surprise. "You will do no such thing!" She declared with hands on her hips and eyes narrowed. "Did you not read the part where Draco owes him a Wizarding Debt? Do you not know that he is the reason that you are not spending time in Azkaban right this instant?" She questioned heatedly. "You owe him more than you would like to think and you will repay him as he has repaid me."
Lucius shrunk underneath his wife's glare before he nodded his head in understanding. "Yes dear, I see your point." He admitted while he continued to sink into his seat to try and avoid the look his wife was giving him at the moment. He sometimes forgot that his wife was a Black with how calm and docile she acted most time. But he knew that under that calm exterior lay the insanity that the Blacks were well known for and he wasn't about to poke it to life.
Narcissa nodded her head in triumph before turning back to her gawking son. "Close your mouth Draco dear, you'll catch flies like that." She said and once the boy had closed his mouth she continued. "I want you to write back to him and invite him to the Manor. Tell him that the books in our library are incapable of leaving and he'll have to come and look at them here if he intends to use them. Also tell him that he is more than welcomed to stay here at the manor for as long as he needs while he does his research." She said.
Draco gulped and nodded his head as he turned and left, leaving his parents in the office to continue to speak. He meanwhile had a letter to write.
I would happily send the books to you with the information that you seek but I am unable to do that. A charm was settled over the Malfoy Library centuries ago that prevent the removal of any book from the library. If you wish to use any of the books you must come to the manor and use them here.
My mother has assured me that you will be perfectly safe and that you are more than welcomed to come and stay at the manor for as long as you need.
Send a reply with the owl that I have sent along and let me know what your choice will be. If you are willing to come I will have an elf prepare a room for you.
Harry scowled at the letter, trying to figure out what he should do. He had tried contacting Hermione and Ron to ask them of their opinions but the two of them had disappeared to the Shell House that Bill owned for a break from the press and media. All of the Weasley family had in fact gone to see Bill and Fleur at their house, leaving only a note at the new Burrow for those who did not know before hand of their plan. Harry had chosen to stay behind and try and find information on his affliction.
He was on his own here for a while and he was unsure of what to make of the letter that was sent to him by the Malfoys. He needed those books to try and fix whatever was wrong with him but to do that he needed to go to the Malfoy Mansion where his best friend was tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange and where another friend had been held captive for months before finally being rescue.
He wasn't even sure if he'd be able to go and be in the same building as the Malfoys without spitting out curses at the lot of them for everything they had done to not only him but his friends. Could he really get pass the past enough to go to the Malfoy Manor and find what he needed to return to normal? Could he really do it without his friends at his back?
Harry sighed as he leaned back in his own office chair that had once belonged to Sirius's father and looked around the cleaned and newly organized room. Kreacher had done a wonderful job at getting the house cleaned up and Harry rewarded him with allowing the elf to take anything he thought important to his cupboard. He knew the elf had cared for the Matriarch of the Black family and so he allowed Kreacher to keep things he wanted to keep as a remembrance and comfort of his old masters, especially if it concerned Regulus and Walburga.
The spectacled boy shook his head as he returned his attention back to the letter in front of him before sighing and pulling out a fresh piece of parchment and wetting his quill. "I really hope that this is going to be worth it." He muttered as he began to write on the piece of paper in front of him.
If what you say is true about your library then I have no real choice in the matter. If I do not come and get the information that I desire than I could be trapped in the current body I have forever.
I have no choice but to come to your manor and find the information that I wish for myself. I will put trust with your family's pride to not hurt the one that saved you. Not just in the fact that I defeated Voldemort and freed your family from servitude to a monster but for the fact that I kept you and your father out of Azkaban with only restrictions on your magic use for the next few years.
Do not disappoint me Malfoy for I now have connections that could quickly and easily put you into Azkaban if anything happens to me or you try and use this to your advantage to return to good standing.
Not even your mother will be able to save you a second time if you and your father cross me.
I will be arriving tomorrow.
Draco couldn't help but gulp at the threat at the end of the letter and knowing it to be true. Potter had suffered a great deal within the manor and the fact that the mudblood had been tortured by his aunt left no little impression on him. He didn't intend on causing Potter to become upset with him and he didn't intend to be sent to Azkaban for crossing him.
His father would have to be warned though. Draco knew better than to think that Lucius wasn't trying to find a way to use this information to his advantage. To return his family to grand standing and to have the wizarding world back within the Patriarch's greedy hands. Lucius had learned very little humility under the Dark Lord's reign but Draco also knew that his mother would be able to handle the man better now that she wasn't stuck in the image of the perfect pureblood wife.
Narcissa had shown this when she had begun using the house elves to remodel the manor, getting rid of all dark artifacts and destroying them, repainting walls and redoing marbling, replacing the dark elegant furniture with more modern pieces that were bright and matched the brighter colors of the rooms she had done.
Lucius had been furious to have family heirlooms destroyed and furniture that had been in the manor for centuries gotten rid of. Narcissa though had quickly whipped the man into shape and had told him that if they wanted to show a new side and show they had changed their ways then they must change the way they lived and what was in their house was the first step in that.
Draco was actually pleased with the changes, especially when he could change the color of his room from the dark green to a calm and peaceful peach that easily soothed him into sleep. He also replaced his bed with a four poster bed that matched the ones he had at Hogwarts. It was nice to sleep in a room that didn't feel like doom and gloom were right around the corner.
The remodeling would also hopefully help with Potter coming and staying here he realized. The mansion looked nothing like it did when Potter and his friends had been trapped here and maybe that would help relax the other while he resided here.
Draco sighed as he looked back at the letter and stood from his seat in the library where he had been reading once more when the letter arrived with the owl he had sent off a day ago. "I guess I should inform mother and father of this then." He muttered to himself as he walked out to find his parents.
The next while would be interesting that would be for sure.
A.N. Haha! First chapter up and done! To tell the truth I got this idea from another Harry Potter story I read a while back. Failure to Thrive it was called and it was by cre8tvdeb. It was an interesting story and I came up with an idea similar but different. Review and tell me what you thought so far anyways!
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