HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF BY ASHA DREAMWEAVER
Summary:Someone casts a nasty spell that catapults Harry to Hogwarts of the past, where his parents are in their sixth year to be exact. Trapped in the past, he must hide the truth of his past, their future and the demanding duties of the slayer.
Disclaimer:I own nothing.
Author's notes: I'm so sorry about the delay! Don't kill me!
A Reader -Again I apologise and here's the update.
Ancalyme- 'Fraid I don't know about the name abbreviation thing. But I totally agree with you on the chemistry thing. I hated it too! But I dropped it and now thankfully don't have to do it anymore!
Ankalagon- Thanks for your comments. I've never read Draco664 or Dzeytoun's stories but I just might give them a go at your recommendation.
Atalante- *ducks head* Yeah… really sorry about that wait. Honestly I never mean to let it go so long between updates! Honest! Who is the next serial killer? Well maybe they're not serial killers but as demonstrated by this chapter, they are most definitely dangerous!
Athenakitty- Whoa… that's a *lot* of questions. Okay, here come the answers, in order; Yes, he gets a second wand, doesn't want to give the game away after all. Downfalls… yes, he'll most certainly try. Yes Harry met the vampires, yes Harry is now Seth. Giles and Travers? Don't know yet. But I know there will be more Giles! And Harry's motto is prepare for the worst (Because that's what usually happens to him) and hope (however foolishly) for the best!
Bha79@yahoo.com- Sorry for not giving you the name 'Orome1' but there was another reviewer signed in with the same name so I decided to use your e-mail address to distinguish between you. If that other Orome1 was you, then I apologise and there's another reply further down. Thanks for all your sweet comments! Glad that I could provide you with entertainment. What happens now is somewhat explained in this chapter. Thanks for the remark on this being an original take on the plot line of Harry meeting his parents!
Carneol- Thanks for the review! Here's the first meeting you wanted, though it may not be as you have envisioned it…
Dark-gin- Yeah, I can see what you mean… But Harry has a few adventures to get through before he heads back to present day Hogwarts…. For example, the one occurring in this chapter.
Delphine Pryde- Here's what happens next…
Dreams of Magic- I do plan on finishing this fic! I've got most of it planned out and everything! And as for the whole chapter on the timeline, do you know how hard it is to sort everything out (and to make it actually make some sense) when you drop your character in the past? Without that timeline, I wouldn't have any hair left thanks to me pulling it out! Some of your questions about Seth's schooling answered in this chapter!
Erikalya Arvanesse- Hey! That timeline will be important later when things start to overlap and get all confusing! Harry meets Dumbledore this chapter and as for Harry meeting another slayer, good call, he will stumble across one eventually. Here's the update but should I be worried about that 'or else' remark?
Espigle tueur- Thanks for reviewing! Glad you like the story!
Gryphnwng - You're so right. Dumbledore is so much fun to play with! I updated. Now as promised *you* update.
Holy-Demon- Thanks for reviewing! I'm happy you liked the chapter and you're one vote of confidence in my choosing of 'Seth' as a name! Thanks!
Immortal tigerwolf- Here's the update as requested! Along with some Harry/Sev interaction!
JD678- Thanks! Here's the update!
Jess16- Thank you for all your reviews! I'm glad you like this fic!
Kashke- Thanks for the encouragement! Here's the update!
Kitty254781- *looks puzzled* I thought I explained my timeline. And just for your information there is no conclusive evidence to sway things one way or the other. But if Harry went to school in 1991, how on earth did Dudley have a Sony Playstation that wouldn't come out in Japan until 1996 and 1997/1998 in England? And as the books are not published yearly, the only one who has the answer to this lifelong conundrum is JK Rowling herself. Just go with the flow and to solve problems like this is why I posted by timeline in the first place!
Kylie- You're sick! I hope you're better by now! I'm pleased you thought the way Harry did things was logical! And yeah, Bill and Charlie just begged me to be included. Even if only for a short while.
Lady Melime- Ooooh, you had some _very_ good observations… I'm glad you thought the chapter was humorous. As for Dumbledore and McGonagall… answered in this chapter. As for houses… sorry, not telling. But as to the Marauders…. Oh boy, that should be interesting. Read on and see what they get up to in this chapter!
Lady Reaper of the Shadows- Two reviews! Thanks! Here's the next post!
Lady Shang- Thanks for reviewing! Glad you like all your 'elements'.
Linky2- Three reviews! Thanks so much! Here's the next instalment as requested…
Liselle4- *Blushes* Thanks! A ten or nine and a half, huh? Thanks again! You can get off your knees now though. Hope you enjoy this post.
Orome1 -Thanks for the review! The De Lancre family cannot skin Harry alive as 'Seth' is the only member still alive. And the reason Harry is going to Hogwarts is so that he can figure out how to get home, get some payback and get some allies.
Perfection Unattainable- Thanks! I'm glad you continued reading! Here's the update.
Philomena- I seriously hope I am not on your stalking list just yet. Thanks for all the nice things you said about my fic, especially the no mistake part, (I have been known to drive my beta up the wall due to perfectionist tendencies). As its my fault that you got hooked here's your next dose…
Queen of Vegetasei- Hey! 'you updated. The apocalypse has arrived.' Not fair! *bangs head against table* You know there was a reason behind posting that timeline, along with all the relevant explanations to go with it, don't you? See above to Kitty254781's review for all explanations regarding timelines. Your visual on Dumbledore and Voldie is nightmare inducing, you do realise that? *shudders* And by the way, he didn't acquire everything in one day, re-read, I specifically state it takes him several days. If still unsure, check updated timeline under August 1984. All looks are dealt with in this chapter! Yes, I'm sorry for not updating sooner. *hangs head and looks very apologetic* The interview with Dumbledore is in this chapter. And yes there's more Sev.
Rei- Glad to know I made your day! Here's the next instalment!
Rogue1615- Thanks! Glad you like my portrayal of the wizarding world! Power bases… I know what you mean. Just think of the possibilities!
RuinedEmperor- Thanks! The wow factor is always cool. As to what 'Seth' is gonna do, wait and see. And as to the prophecy, it's another thing I can't give away just yet.
Seer_Cassandra- Hi beta girl! Thanks for reviewing! Glad you liked the goblins and Lorne!
Serilia the Warped- Thanks for the review! And thanks to Queen of Vegetasei for directing you to my fic. And in answer to your questions, in order: (1) Yes, they will meet each other. After reading this chapter you'll see how it's pretty much unavoidable. (2) The slash will be up to you dear readers. When it gets time to start a relationship or not, it will be put to a reader's vote. Details will be given then. (3) How astute of you. But by Trelawney, no. Though it does involve her in some ways…. (4) Albus Dumbledore dying is not set in concrete yet. As it probably will not happen, if it does happen, until Harry gets back to his own time, I have plenty of time to make up my mind, considering a substantial amount of this fic is set in the Marauder era. That it's a possibility is the best answer I can give you. (5) As of now. Thanks for your comments on my fic and my take on Harry. Hope this chapter satisfies.
Shakiya- Two reviews! Thanks! Glad you like the fic!
Talon- HP/SS pairing yes. But we're still only getting there. They haven't even met yet.
Tempest8- Sirius won't even get the *chance* to grovel for quite a while… at least not *adult* Sirius…
TJ- Gee thanks! For both reviews. I'm glad you appreciate the need to build a plot first and you were *supposed* to be on the edge of your seat. Well at least you liked the last chapter, hope this one meets the same response.
Wolf Lupin- Ah, at last… someone who understands that cliffhangers are not *always* evil….
And thanks to everyone else who reviewed!!
CHAPTER EIGHT: THE SCRAMBLE TO SAVE THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS
Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped. --Elbert Hubbard
Harry eyed his wild, spiky crop of hair mournfully. Going to the Ministry of Magic looking like he did wasn't a problem, going to Hogwarts with this appearance was a major one. The Ministry would have flayed him alive if he'd worn disguising charms or showed any evidence of attempting to change his appearance so he'd left things as they were. But Hogwarts was a different story entirely. How many times had he been told he looked like his father? How many times had people commented on 'Lily's eyes'? Something had to be done. And he wasn't sure he really wanted to do it.
He *liked* his wild mop of hair, it added to the whole mostly-black wardrobed dangerous character which helped him with his pre-destined job. He was the first to admit that at first sight, he wasn't the most intimidating of characters and he certainly wasn't tall enough to intimidate anybody. All he could do was blame the Dursleys for that one.
But still, he couldn't run the risk of being compared with James Potter. And so it came to this.
Raising his wand, he lengthened his jet black hair by about three inches and used a spell to put it into loose curls, or more precisely loose ringlets. They were short enough, manageable, looked cool in a faintly Antonio Banderas 'Mask of Zorro' way and tamed his hair. His skin tone, he didn't need to change; he was naturally pale and his new nocturnal habits had only emphasised that attribute. He couldn't do much about his bone structure, though from pictures Harry knew that he'd inherited a mix of both parents when it came to facial structure. Before it was just hid under his untameable hair and large, round, thick-framed glasses.
His smaller, more lithe frame should help his deception as well. By looking up his photo album, he knew that sixteen year old James Potter should tower over him by about half a head and would grow and bring that up to about half a foot due to his 6' 2" frame by the time baby Harry would be born.
Harry refused point black to mess with his eyes, he'd already done that when he'd fixed his vision and he really liked their emerald green colour. So no matter the risk, they stayed.
The next problem was a more serious one; his rather unusual scar. There was only so much spells could do and from experience, he knew Muggle camouflaging make up wouldn't help much either. The spells all too often didn't work, didn't last long or were shattered into oblivion when he had a vision or when his scar acted up. Muggle make up had much the same problems; it could be wiped off easily, left traces on his clothing and wasn't up to lasting for more than a couple of hours. So what could he do?
His longer fringe would help but it wouldn't stay in the one place forever and it wouldn't stop sharper eyes from noticing. And then after a while, all it would take is one stray disobliging breeze and there went any hope of hiding it. And he *had* to hide it. That scar went side by side with 'The-Boy-Who-Lived' and that was one title he'd happily get rid of. All it had ever caused him was hassle.
There was only one solution and by Merlin did he hate it! It had to be a potion, one specifically to hide scars given by Dark Magic. In theory, it didn't sound so bad. At least until one looked further. It was a blood-based potion and Merlin knew he hated bloodletting, more specifically his own. Voldemort had made him feel like a personal pincushion on occasion. Still, the benefits were undeniable. It would hide the scar until he chose to take the counter-potion but it was highly illegal Dark Magic. Privately Harry thought it had been outlawed only because it forced the aurors to have to work harder finding 'dark' wizards and witches. It could mean time in Azkaban if he was caught.
But then again, was he a slayer or not? And a second-generation Marauder, however disowned he may be? And he was stuck, he had no choice. He had to meet with Dumbledore soon and there was no way he was going to reveal anything about himself to that scheming trickster! As it was, it would take all the willpower he had not to blast him to the seventh hell and let the headmaster get personally acquainted with a few of the more… nasty demons that lived there.
Sighing, he gathered the necessary ingredients. He'd have to risk it. He had no other choice.
"Do you see now? Do you understand?" asked a low sibilant voice, slicing through the darkness of the room.
The other finally relented, "Okay fine. You win. Now what do you want?"
"Oh it's nothing much," the sibilant voice answered, "Just a small little favour…"
"The dumber people think you are, the more surprised they'll be when you kill them."
Harry thoughtfully looked in the mirror, wondering how he was going to play this. He needed Dumbledore to not be suspicious of him, at least not yet. Sooner or later, no doubt, his likeness to Tom Riddle in terms of power and colouring would occur to him and he'd be watched like a hawk but for now, he needed to fool the old man into thinking he was weak and harmless.
And as much as he loathed to admit it, to do that he needed to act like a Hufflepuff.
Or more precisely a naïve Hufflepuff with only average brain capacity.
This was either going to be immensely trying and annoying or immensely fun.
And if he had his way it was going to be fun.
Harry smirked, he might not be able to seriously harm Dumbledore in the past but he was most definitely going to give him hell, without getting caught of course.
Harry had more than one reason for saying he'd lived in the Americas. The magic quill at Hogwarts had been a major flaw in his plans until he'd thought of a way around it. The quill had been charmed since the Founder's time to detect the birth of a magical child, be it pureblood, halfblood or muggleborn and it wrote their name down in a large, enchanted to be everlasting book. Every year the deputy headmaster or headmistress would check the book and would send out owls to all those of age to attend that year. Thankfully though, that book only covered the United Kingdom, Ireland and the rest of the British Isles. Beauxbatons enrolled the wizards and witches from mainland Europe and Durmstrang enrolled those from Eastern Europe.
It was an arrangement that worked well and was long-standing. If a child born outside the area where the school's magic quill would record them wanted to go to that school then their parents would have to personally enrol them there. And that was what Harry or more precisely 'Seth' was betting on. With his 'parents' dead and having lived in the Americas then 'Seth' wouldn't be on the Hogwarts records and so his request to the headmaster would not only be perfectly reasonable, it would be perfectly normal. His only worry would be if Dumbledore asked why he hadn't chosen Beauxbatons and if he did… well, he had an answer ready.
Squaring his shoulders and putting on an appropriately cheerful smile befitting what he wanted to portray, he apparated to the Shrieking Shack. Since a sixteen year old wasn't supposed to be able (or legally allowed) to apparate, it was best he do it where no one would see him. Having purchased the best racing broom available at this time - sadly, it was nowhere near the capabilities of a Firebolt or even a comet two-sixty - called the Nimbus 150, he had decided to fly to Hogwarts from Hogsmeade.
After spending the several minutes of the flight thinking of ways to improve the broom, he was seriously considering a career in broom development. This Nimbus was so *slow*! It's turning speed was laughable and with him being so used to the Firebolt's superior speed and braking, if he tried a Wronksi Feint he'd probably plough into the ground. Realistically he knew that the Nimbus was a international Quidditch standard broom at the present time but the flying fanatic inside of him was busy bemoaning about his chances to get on a Quidditch team.
All too soon he was at Hogwarts front doors and since it would appear rude to bring the broom in with him, he left it outside the entrance hall, where Filch couldn't get at it. He had half expected Professor McGonagall to meet him there but instead it was a teacher he didn't recognise. She was probably in her late 40's, fairly tall, with brown hair shot through with silver, cold eyes and face set in a stern expression. Her pointed hat and robes were in impeccable condition and she didn't look like someone you'd want to cross. "Mr De Lancre I presume?" she said somewhat haughtily and crossly, as if she really didn't want to be on escort duty.
He nodded in reply and flashed her a - in his opinion- nauseatingly bright smile. She seemed to share his opinion as he heard her mutter something non-complimentary under her breath. Deciding to cement her rather unflattering observations, he began to speak. "How nice to meet you!" he said cheerfully, "You must be a professor here. I cannot tell you how much I'm looking forward to all the classes! I hear Hogwarts is a simply splendid place to learn! I always wanted to go here you know but my guardian wasn't too keen. She was a bit old-fashioned, bless her heart. The poor mite's met her maker now. May her soul rest in peace. But she was such a--"
"For goodness sake stop your babbling!" the woman interrupted sharply, "I have no wish to hear your life story. My name is Professor Wells and I ---"
"Oh!" Harry exclaimed fake delightedly, "What do you teach professor?! My goodness, this is such an honour! I never imagined I would get to--"
"De Lancre!" she reprimanded, "The headmaster is waiting! Contrary to popular opinion, I do not have all day!"
Biting his cheek to hide his smirk he followed her obediently. She led him to the statue guarding the headmaster's office and barked out the password, "Mint mothballs!" and gestured for Harry to ascend the stairs, "Go on up De Lancre, the headmaster will deal with you there." And with that she swept off. Shaking his head, he stepped onto the moving staircase and soon found himself in front of the headmaster's door. This was it. No turning back now. He hoped he hadn't just made a big mistake.
Plastering another silly smile onto his face, he knocked on the door and heard the headmaster tell him to come in. Stepping into the room he found Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall looking at him. They really hadn't changed much though the McGonagall of his time had more grey hairs. "Ah welcome Mr De Lancre, do sit down." Dumbledore said.
Harry complied, resisting the urge to curse Dumbledore into the next ice age and managed to convincingly say, "Please call me Seth headmaster."
"As you wish Seth." the headmaster said amiably, "This is the deputy headmistress and head of Gryffindor House, professor McGonagall." Harry nodded a greeting to her and turned back to Dumbledore when he began speaking. "Lemon drop Seth?" he asked, holding one of the proffered sweets.
Harry eyed it with well-concealed distaste, he'd been down this road before. And had learned too late the reason that Snape, Sirius and professor Lupin had avoided them as much as possible. Dumbledore, the wily old coot, oh so covertly laced the lemon drops with veritaserum to help him 'coax' information out of others. But if he didn't take the sweet, he'd be eyed suspiciously. Oh the things he was forced to put up with…
"Thank you headmaster," he said, taking the sweet and with a move that would have made any trickster proud, he replaced the tainted lemon drop in his hand with a harmless one, all before it went into his mouth. The headmaster smiled that benign, grandfatherly smile that made Harry want to punch him before looking at some transcripts on his desk. "Well Seth, I've looked over your records and only have a few questions to ask. First of all, I have to say that I can see from your explanation of events why you would want to come to Hogwarts but as you're planning to enter at NEWT-level, I need to know your OWL results so you can be placed appropriately."
That had been another spanner in the works when Harry had been planning everything. He wanted to get into several classes that had strict criteria when it came to OWL results. Most requiring an 'Outstanding' or at the very least an 'Exceeds Expectations' grade. Which kind of scuppered his 'play an idiot' plan. Still, what could he do? He'd just had to get creative with his excuses.
Handing the small slip of parchment with the OWLs results on it over to Dumbledore, he shrugged sheepishly. "I've been told they're quite good but they're probably not an accurate reflection of what I can do. My guardian was teaching me since I was little but I've always been a little klutz with a wand. I used to drive her crazy."
"Well I'm sure that won't be a problem." Dumbledore said, "And these really are quite good. But back to practical matters. You will have to be Sorted of course. Professor McGonagall will call you up after the first years."
Allowing a hint of nervousness to become visible on his face, Harry asked, "What do you mean by Sorted?"
"The Sorting tells us which house you will be put into. There are four: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin."
"And how is that determined sir?"
Dumbledore's lips twitched, "As the older years say, you have to fight a troll. But don't worry I'm sure you'll do fine." It seemed even the teachers didn't like to reveal much about the Sorting Hat before you were in one house or another. "Naturally you will come here on the Hogwarts Express with the other students. But our soon to be sixth years have already picked their subjects, owling us with their results and requested classes. But as you are here, Professor McGonagall will help you pick your classes. I'm sure you have given it some consideration already?"
"Of course sir." Harry replied, "Though I'm still rather unsure of a choice of career."
"Ah yes, well I'm sure your time here will help you with that. Now go with Professor McGonagall and we look forward to seeing you again on September 1st."
Dumbledore looked at the just closed door. Another gullible child to add to the hordes he already had. If he was clumsy as he claimed then it was a pity. He had so many of them too. Still, the child was unlikely to cause trouble, he was most likely a Hufflepuff like his mother or a Ravenclaw like his father. Oh well… Looking down at the sheaf of parchments on his desk, his face hardened. Voldemort was gaining power too quickly. If only he could find one powerful enough to challenge the self-proclaimed Dark Lord without seeking that power for themselves. If only…
Professor McGonagall explained things very thoroughly. His potential classes went like this: Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Potions, Charms, and Herbology were the core classes at NEWT level. After them, you could pick six classes to supplement them, which were: - Battle and Defensive magic, Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Warding classes, Medi-healing, Care of Magical Creatures, History of Magic, Wandless Self-Defence, Magical Theory, Animagus classes (7th years only), and Duelling class. Things were different in this time, so the NEWT and OWLs were different, with the Ministry forcing the students to do as many courses as possible in an attempt to keep them alive and provide a fresh supply of half-trained aurors. Far too many Hogwarts graduates died once they left the castle. The war was taking a heavy toll on everybody.
"With the amount of times I end up in the Hospital Wing or otherwise get injured, I think that Medi-healer training would be of benefit." he said, casually flicking through the course prospectus, only half aware he was speaking aloud.
"And why do you end up in the hospital wing often?" McGonagall asked, as curious as the tales told about her animagus form.
Harry was startled and scrambled for a plausible answer. "Well, as I said, I'm very clumsy. I must have tripped or fallen more times than I could possibly count." Luckily for him, she seemed to believe his answer and he breathed easy again. That had been careless and until he was Sorted and settled in, caution was the thing needed.
"Well Mr De Lancre have you decided on your courses?"
Harry nodded, a stray curl falling into his eye. He pushed it away irritably and handed her the parchment containing his choices. She scanned them for a moment before looking at him again, "Thinking of auror training De Lancre?" she asked.
"It's a possibility," he admitted, "But it can't hurt to be prepared with the way things are now," he said, referring to the ongoing and ever-escalating war. Harry's choices, in his opinion anyway, were fairly sound, choosing courses that had never been even heard of at the Hogwarts of his time. Obviously the Ministry hadn't yet seen fit to reinstate them. You had the mandatory classes: Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Potions, Charms, and Herbology, all of which he had gotten grades good enough to enter, and then there were the six optional classes that he had chosen; Battle and Defensive magic, Warding classes, Medi-healing, Wandless Self-Defence, Magical Theory, and Duelling class.
McGonagall recorded his choices and told him he would receive his timetable the morning after his Sorting. She then handed him a list of books and equipment he would need:
The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 6 by Miranda Goshawk
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
Duelling: The Auror's Guide by Alastor Moody
Battle Magic: The Auror's Guide by Alastor Moody
Defensive Magic: A Beginner's Guide by Nikolai Folohov
Guide to Advanced NEWT level Transfiguration
Theories of Transubstantial Transfiguration
Magical Drafts and Potions; NEWT level by Arsenius Jigger
Most Potente Potions
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Charms: NEWT Level by Sybil Boltstone.
Sites of Historical Sorcery
Advanced Level Magical Theory by Medea Sardar
Healing: An Apprentice's Guide by Rebecca Pysche.
Two sets of battle robes.
Three sets of Muggle clothing. (Must be easy to move around in and appropriate for fighting.)
One pewter cauldron. Standard size.
One set of crystal phials.
One set of brass scales.
Full NEWT level standard set of potions ingredients. Available from the apothecary in Diagon Alley on request.
Mortar and pestle.
One warding stone. (Of personal choice.)
"You may of course bring a pet and a broom." McGonagall said. "Do you play Quidditch?"
"Well then, you might want to try out for one of the House teams so it would be advisable to bring your own broom with you. And that would be all we have to discuss. You know where to meet the train?"
"Yes, at platform 9 ¾."
"Well then you'd best be off," McGonagall said, standing up. "Do you know the way out."
"Yes, thank you Professor."
"Good day Mr De Lancre." she said as she left. Harry took his time wandering back to the front doors, where he could collect his broom and go back to his temporary home, satisfied that for now, he'd fooled them all.
In his vast country estate, heavily warded, impregnable and unplottable, the wizard called Lord Voldemort sat in contemplation, drumming his long fingers on an old tome in his lap. He had recently come across some rather interesting information. One that could change the outcome of the war he was waging against the fools who would oppose him.
Knowledge had come to him unexpectedly, confirming suspicions he had hidden deep inside him, behind his assurance that his position was all but unassailable. His power strengthened with every passing moment, his reach extended with every day and soon his enemies would topple before him and he would have the world at his feet. It was certain. But cracks were developing in his plans and measures must be taken to compensate for them. He wasn't going to lose.
Lord Voldemort didn't like to admit defeat in anything. He loathed even the possibility of it. And so, the news he had received was most… distressing.
He would rather not have heard the existence of an heir of his forbearer's bane, and most certainly could have done without such a spanner in the works.
If there was anything that could pose a threat, it would be that. Dumbledore was an ageing old fool, waning in power but to give him a tool of such magnitude would be unforgivable.
And dangerous. He didn't doubt that if he knew, the old fool would know soon. And that meant any precautions taken had to be taken fast.
He was stronger than Salazar Slytherin, he knew it, and he would not make the same mistakes as the disgraced founder of Hogwarts had done.
His opponent, perhaps the only one worthy enough to call themselves Voldemort's challenger. (If they grew a hundred times more powerful and studied for the next century, he scoffed amusedly.) And it was fitting that it should come to this.
Still, they were foolish, impressionable, malleable. They could be turned to his favour and to have them as his servants would be one of life's greatest ironies. One would be dealt with, too stubborn and principled too live, too entrenched in Dumbledore's service, but the other could go on to become one of his greatest generals.
And if the one he had chosen to live failed to comply with his rather reasonable demands… well, he would just have to finish what had begun a thousand years ago.
And kill them all.
The night before Harry was to go to Kings Cross, after packing his trunk, he flopped back onto the soft surface of his bed, heavy thoughts and weighty decisions occupying his mind. His kneazle, whom he'd decided to call Veda after some character in a book he'd read, was sprawled across his comfortable stuffed armchair about four feet away, sleeping soundly.
He really was getting sick of all the problems his little surprise time-travel kept hitting him with. Tomorrow, he would return to Hogwarts, get Sorted *again*, resist the urge to kill Dumbledore, come face to face with his parents and the rest of the Marauders and try to learn all of the political alliances running through the student body. It should only take him the rest of the entire *year*!
He knew that he couldn't afford to become a player in the war that was splitting the wizarding world apart. He would get back to his time eventually and he couldn't afford to leave anybody in the lurch nor could he afford to let himself be killed while Voldemort was having a free reign in his time. Silent behind the scenes work was the only option available to him.
But he was going to attract attention thanks to his 'new student' status and so curiosity would abound. Harry really couldn't afford to have his story ripped to shreds, or worse, have Voldemort get wind of anything that would lead him to develop an interest in 'Seth'. Harry had many secrets and he guarded them well. He knew exactly how to behave as people expected him to and he had no qualms about doing it when it suited him, it saved him a lot of hassle in the long run. Everything was so much easier when people underestimated you. But that was at home, now he was up to his neck in treacherous waters and if he wasn't careful, there was a high chance he was going to drown.
And that's why he'd have to be extra careful and keep a close watch on Dumbledore. He might not be able to kill the two thorns in his side that had influenced or manipulated nearly everything in his life one way or the other. And he'd be damned if he let them do that here. But at the same time he was intensely curious about how they'd achieved so much in this timeline. If he played his cards right, he could very subtly and covertly, screw with their heads by trying to influence some of their key players. And if he had them down right, that meant his parents, Sirius, Malfoy, Snape and quite a few others who would go on to be in either Dumbledore's or Voldemort's inner circles or the Ministry's upper echelons.
Harry knew that it was so much easier to manipulate people when they trusted you, thought that you were harmless and wouldn't hurt anyone. Hell, he'd seen how it worked for Dumbledore and he wanted that ability too. Here in the past, he didn't have to contend with his famous scar, his reputation or the expectation that he would either defeat or help the Dark Lord. He had no past here, instead he was a clean sheet and he could make people believe what they wanted too. If everything went according to plan, they wouldn't know how dangerous he was until it was too late.
Satisfied with his plans, he tucked himself under the covers and went to sleep.
After an - in his opinion - all too short sleep, Harry dragged himself out of bed, and still rather drowsy he apparated into London and hailed a taxi to take him to Kings Cross Station. The driver gave him a weird look when he saw Veda, who was probably the strangest cat he'd ever seen before. Harry really couldn't dredge up enough energy to care what the muggle thought.
Passing a coffee shop on the way, Harry ordered the driver to stop, "Caffeine," Harry grumbled, "I am in desperate need of it. Back in a second."
Returning to the taxi with a large Styrofoam cup of rich smelling coffee, he sipped it gratefully as the car wove its way through the busy streets of London, enjoying the way his body seemed to wake up.
Kings Cross was packed when he got there, and he could see plenty of people with trunks trying to make their way through the crowds of muggles. Pushing his own magically lightened trunk on a trolley, he casually stepped through the barrier to platform 9 and ¾. When he was on the other side, he had to stop himself from doing a doubletake. There were so many students! And combined with the frazzled parents, the hyper students, mischievous siblings and all the luggage and pets, it was like a crowded travelling circus. Obviously, Harry construed, the enrolment in this time was way up, most likely due to the fact that the war had yet to take the lives of much of this generation. For now.
Having sensitive hearing was more of a handicap in this environment what with all the noise and bustle, and more than once he had to slam his mouth shut before he gave someone a tongue lashing for bumping into him with trunks, owls or various body parts. And Veda was hissing his displeasure at those who had interrupted his preening session. He made his way towards the train, hoping to find an empty carriage. After all, if he found one he could pretty much glare everyone else who came in into making an abrupt about turn.
A stray leg nearly tripped him up and he quickly dodged it only to have an unexpected collision. Harry groaned as he smacked into an unforgiving wall of Slytherin - Snape by the looks of it. And by Merlin did the greasy git look different!
Snape was as tall as he was in Harry's time, with an aloof expression and a shiny prefect's badge pinned near the Slytherin crest on his uniform. His hair was surprisingly not greasy at all, and fell to his shoulders like a silky jet black curtain. Sharp black eyes glared at him from a pale, but not sallow face and white teeth instead of yellow were bared in displeasure. Snape stared at him coolly for a moment before snapping, "Watch where you're going!" and hurrying off. Well, at least some things remained the same, Harry mused. At least Snape's personality didn't seem altogether different; brisk, cold, rude and arrogant. But if Snape had looked quite decent, okay slightly more than decent, as a teenager why had he let himself become the Greasy Git of the Hogwarts' staff? It boggled the mind.
Boarding the train, he worked his way through the carriages, finding them all full. He only lingered at two for longer than necessary, blending into the shadows for a few moments to observe without being seen himself. He found his father, laughing and chatting with the rest of the Marauders in one carriage near the back. Remus looked much younger and less tired, and his hair had yet to develop the heavy streaks of grey he had acquired in Harry's time. Sirius was there also, young and robust, the strain of Azkaban not yet having taken its toll on him. And then there was Pettigrew, Harry had to suppress a growl at the sight of him; small, mousy and trying desperately to look like he fitted in with the other more popular boys.
He didn't stay long enough to hear much of their conversation, wary about being caught spying but he quickly summed up one thing. It seemed his father; along with Sirius was the current Gryffindor Golden Boy. Well, that was a title he was welcome to in Harry's opinion. It was easy to connect the confident, arrogant boy in front of him with the James Potter from Snape's pensieve. Harry could only hope that his father - and Sirius - would mellow a bit before Harry left. He really didn't like to see his father acting like a jerk. Snape may not be a very nice person to get along with but he had proven himself where it counted by acting as a spy, even if it was for Dumbledore and he'd helped Harry even though they hated each other.
The other carriage that made him pause contained only one other person but again Harry found himself in a position where he couldn't stay, however much he may have wanted to. A petite girl with blazing red hair and eyes to match his own sat with her head buried in an advanced charms book; Lily Evans, hid future mother.
She wore a prefect's badge and seemed utterly absorbed in the text so Harry took the opportunity to study her unawares, looking for similarities between them. All he had ever heard about since he started Hogwarts was how like James he was, how he looked so much like his father. The only thing he had ever heard about his mother in relation to his looks or personality was that he had 'Lily's eyes' as so very often quoted. He had to admit they were right. She was obviously enjoying her read, her eyes lit up in pleasure. Unnatural green eyes blazing.... he shuddered, Avada Kedavra green eyes... Now he knew why some people refused to look him in the eye at times.
He figured that he also had Lily to thank for much of his build. Harry took in Lily's fairly petite frame and bone structure. Strike out the malnutrition theory, he now had the 'I-got-it-from-my-mother' theory to replace it. Hearing footsteps behind him, he tore himself away from his study of Lily and hurriedly moved on before he was caught even before the games began.
Severus hurried away from the scene of his collision, already late and chastising himself for not watching where he was going. Although as he walked, his mind informed him that he didn't know the boy who he'd slammed into but yet the boy had been pushing a Hogwarts' trunk. It must be a new student, something of a rarity. He idly wondered what house he'd get into, and judging him by his slack-jawed expression after their crash, he guessed Hufflepuff. What joy.
But there had been something strange about the boy. He was only of average height, with dark hair and green eyes…. Green eyes… now he knew why the boy had been bothering him, he had the same eyes as Lily…
But that didn't matter. The boy hadn't spoken so he couldn't judge his accent and though the muggle clothing he wore was well-fitting and looked to be of good quality, Severus judged the boy as either an idiot or a muggleborn for flaunting muggle ideals in the time of the rise of the Dark Lord, who hated muggles and muggleborns so much, he had more than half a mind to exterminate them. Such a person was not worth Severus's time, not when he was trying to save his own hide from his father's pureblood fanaticism and the Dark Lord's grasp.
But still, there was something strange about the boy. Something that his instincts were telling him about him but that he didn't have the knowledge or insight to pinpoint. Without knowing what it was, all he could tell was that there was a great sense of wariness by instincts that had never before failed him. There was a feeling there, something kindred but he just couldn't place it. He felt that the boy might prove dangerous but couldn't see how he would be a threat to him, Severus was more than capable of taking care of himself. And for that he had his mother to thank.
Entering his habitual carriage he found himself being observed by a slightly annoyed gaze, stormy green depths reprimanding him fondly. "Late again Sev?" Lily teased, "I will never understand how you manage to be consistently late every year running."
"Yes, well it could not be helped," Severus explained briskly, "My father decided to have a another little 'chat' with me. It was not pleasant, nor was it quick."
Lily's lighthearted expression sobered, "The test?" she asked quietly.
Severus couldn't lie to her, his closest friend, "I'm afraid so. I have to do it this year. My father was pushing for it to be this summer but I said it wouldn't be wise to go to Hogwarts wearing the Mark. I don't want to do it. Since his rise, my father is eager to secure his position by handing his Heir over to the Dark Lord."
There was silence for a moment, Lily understood what the test was. Indeed, she knew far too much than what was healthy. Voldemort required obedience from his followers and wished to assure himself of their continued fidelity and devotion. And so each child of the Inner Circle had to go through a test of loyalty. Namely helping in a Death Eater raid or something else as Voldemort himself decided. Privately, Severus was afraid that his father would take this as an opportunity to rid himself of one of the main points of argument between himself and his son; namely Severus's close friendship with Lily Evans, a muggleborn.
No matter how talented she was, nor how smart. To his father and most of the other purebloods, she was and would ever be inferior. And Severus knew he wouldn't be able to kill her. Slytherin ambition he had, but he did not have the bloodthirsty streak that his father possessed.
But Lily, sweet Lily, was on her way to being Head Girl. And that wouldn't go down well with those that hated her for the circumstances of her birth. If he wasn't giving the task to kill her, then someone else would. He had to be prepared for that eventuality. Even if it meant secreting her away. His mind shied away from the thought of exactly how hard it would be to convince Lily to run. But there would no other way if it came down to that, the Dark Lord's influence was too strong. The Ministry wouldn't protect her and Dumbledore didn't have the strength nor would he bother with the life of one mere student, who in his eyes held no importance. To him, Lily's death would be inconsequential.
Not so for Severus. And so he had to do his best to protect her from the shadows. It would do her no good to tell her that there was a target being drawn on her back.
Her voice interrupted his thoughts, "Any word on the Potions Mastery exams?"
Severus shook his head, "I think I can take the test some time this year but I haven't received any confirmation as of yet. But as I told you I'm to be Professor Ruppe's assistant this year as well and hopefully he can speed things up."
"I hear it's supposed to be brutal," Lily said, putting her book aside for the moment, "But what exactly is on it?"
Severus smiled, that was Lily; ever curious. Launching into an explanation, he quickly warmed to his topic and only paused when a spectacularly bad piece of luck, at least in their opinion, occurred.
Two groans sounded through the compartment as Penelope Parkinson's grating voice was heard heading towards them. Lily promptly decided to bury herself in her charms text and plastered an expression of indifference on her face. Severus, not having anything to play distracted with, glared at her. "Traitor!" he hissed.
She flashed him an innocent smile, "It's not my fault she's decided on you to be her future husband!" she teased, "You're the one she's crushing on. You get rid of her."
Severus just glared. What could he say to that?
James's father had personally dropped him off at Kings Cross, taking the opportunity to spend time with his only son, something that happened quite rarely nowadays. Henry Potter was head of the Unspeakables and with the war escalating, he seldom had any time to spare. And more often than not when he did, he was fretting about some mission or other or some troubling intelligence or something else of the like. So that was why James had been overjoyed to see his father take some time off for him.
That was the main reason why James was in a rather exuberant mood on the day he returned to school. He'd met up with Siri, Remy and Pete and caught up on their latest news. Something about Siri worried him though. Siri was upset and trying to hide it. Siri was more of a brother to James than a friend and he could read him better than any of the other Marauders. Something big was bothering him and James would bet his fortune that it had something to do with that old hag Siri was forced to call mother.
James knew all about the Black family and its views. 'Toujours Pur' was the family motto and the fact that Sirius wasn't a perfect little junior Death Eater like his younger by a year brother, Regulus was a point of contention for his rather pureblood obsessed family. James also knew that about six or seven years ago, Sirius's only decent cousin Andromeda had been disowned for marrying a muggleborn by the name of Tonks. Sirius had hardly seen her since and he knew that he wasn't too far from being disowned himself.
The only reason they somewhat tolerated Siri's placement in Gryffindor and his tendency towards the light side was that they felt they could reform him and Sirius was the heir to the Black estates and that was something they wouldn't change until it was absolutely necessary. Regulus Black was not known for having a cool head on his shoulders or for being any way sensible and the Black matriarch would not be keen to let him obtain the family holdings.
James couldn't ask him about it now; Siri had never told Remy or Peter much about his family so he would have to wait until they got to Hogwarts and he could drag him off somewhere quite and get him to spill the beans. Until then though, Padfoot could use some cheering up and he knew one sure-fire way to do it. A spot of Snivellus-baiting always went down well…
Penelope didn't stay long after the Marauders showed up, not wanting to get involved in the little war they had started between Severus and themselves, and inadvertently Lily. When the Marauders took up arms, nobody with half a brain wanted to be caught in the crossfire.
James's hackles had raised when he saw his current crush laughing and joking with *Snivellus* of all people, when he James Potter, Quidditch player extraordinaire got nothing more than scorn! That wasn't supposed to happen. Ever.
Besides James's father had warned him that dear old Snivellus was heading for Death Eaterhood. Just like most of the other Slytherins. And so, in James's opinion, if Slimy Severus hadn't been cruising for a bruising before, he most certainly was now. And under no circumstances could he be allowed anywhere near James's girl! The red-haired vixen of Ravenclaw was going to be his girlfriend. Snape was not going to ruin things for him!
Sirius, who had always hated his family and their friends, had hated Snape since their first day at Hogwarts, when the Slytherin had demonstrated some of the same dark curses that Sirius's family had tried to drill into him. To Snape, Sirius was a traitor and disappointment to his family and to Sirius, Snape was just another wannabe Death Eater to exterminate.
Needless to say that Sirius Black was not going to protest if James decided to have some fun tormenting the Slytherin. Peter would never say anything against the other three Marauders, who were much stronger and more talented than him and Remus wouldn't object either, the Werewolf in him secretly enjoying the thrill of cornering prey.
Ergo, no matter what he did, Severus was not going to avoid trouble easily this time.
Sirius and James lounged on either side of the door jamb, Remus and Peter behind them.
"What in Merlin's name are you doing here?!" Severus snapped in a characteristically annoyed tone.
"Making your life difficult. As per usual." Sirius answered, moving away from the door and entering the carriage.
"After all we should be entitled to keep an eye on all Death Eater wannabes, eh Snivellus?" James sneered.
Snape bristled at the hated nickname, "Is this Potter the Prefect speaking or Potter the Perpetual Thorn in My Side?" Severus replied drolly.
James made to deliver some sort of scathing retort but Lily's clearly displeased voice cut through what was promising to be a fine old sneering match. "Can't any of you behave like 6th years instead of 6 year olds?" she admonished, "I do not wish to have to sit through another testosterone fuelled hexing match!"
Sirius smirked, "I don't think Snape would have the guts to take us all on Evans. He can't run home to daddy at Hogwarts."
Snape stood, rising to his full height, "At least I am not close to being disowned for behaving more like your whore of a cousin than a Black!" he hissed nastily, his hatred of Sirius fuelling his cruel comments. Still sitting, Lily glared at him.
The insult was delivered with such nonchalance that it took a few moments for Sirius to process it. When he did, his face turned red and his vicious temper reared its head. "How dare you?!" he hissed and James winced and took a step back, sensing a renowned Black temper tantrum on the way. Sirius *really* liked Andromeda, mostly for standing up to her family and following her convictions and Sirius didn't tolerate any slight on her. "You, the little lapdog for the Dark Lord! Hell, your father killed your monster of a mother."
Snape's eyes hardened into chips of black ice, "Oh, have I hit a nerve Snivellus? Tell me, how many have you killed, you spawn of an earthworm? You dare to mock me when you're kissing He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's robe? At least I have dignity. And some little thing called morals!"
"At least I'm not running," Severus replied, "And considering what your dear mother has planned for you I wouldn't be mocking anyone. Unless you are a bigger idiot than I thought you were, you must have heard of your impending presentation?" He smiled darkly, "You know which one I'm talking about don't you Black? The one your darling little brother wants so very much? You really shouldn't be alienating your fellows in that case should you Black?" Behind him Lily gasped in shocked realisation and he noted that Lupin and Potter weren't too far behind her. He took in Sirius's pale face and shocked expression, "Oh what you didn't know? What a pity."
Severus imperiously arched an eyebrow as the boy spluttered in shock, "You - you, you...."
"Yes? Are you planning on finishing that sentence sometime today? Or perhaps you've lost what little remained of your brain cells during the last hour?"
The other Marauders started to give out to him while Lily tried to disarm the increasingly troubled situation but Sirius didn't bother with talk. He whipped out his wand and started trying to hex Severus. Sev threw up a shield for the first few but Sirius just increased the power of his little arsenal of spells. All those lessons in the old Black Magicks had paid off. Potter tried to stop him at first but a stray curse from Severus's retaliation barrage hit him and soon all four Marauders were in on the fight.
Out numbered two to one, Severus grabbed Lily, ignoring Potter's enraged bellow and hauled her with him through the door as one of his obscuring spells temporarily distracted the four Gryffindors. Running into the next carriage, they slammed the door shut behind them, frantically thinking of how to get out of the mess they were in.
Harry lifted his head from where it had been pillowed on his arms, "Huh?" he asked drowsily as he heard the sounds of heated conversation nearby. He snapped into slayer mode as the door was thrown open and two people ran in, the door slamming forcefully behind them. They didn't notice him at first, too occupied with watching the door and casting binding spells as somebody started hammering on it.
Keeping his eyes closed to give the intruders the illusion of harmlessness, he reached out with his senses and analysed what they told him. The duo had definitely ticked off someone, he assessed by the efforts to get into the room. That level of violence was weird on the Hogwarts Express. But judging from the way the door was buckling, he guessed it wouldn't be long before it caved in completely and whoever was so very eager to get in after the unlikely duo would be making an appearance. Now he may not have been in this time very long, but he was by no means prepared to let some group of pipsqueaks blow his cover.
And so, just as the door broke into splinters and the four door-hammerers burst in, he cast a very strong veiling charm, filling the entire carriage with a dense, spreading fog that blocked everything from view.
The fog only served to completely disorientate everyone and at the start, they made a concerted effort to stick close to their allies but before long they were all separated by some curse or another and then what had been a two sided duel became an all out, every man and woman for themselves, type brawl.
Curses, hexes and expletives from the victims flew through the air with abandon and even Harry was hard pressed to avoid them all, and that was with his slayer senses telling him where people were positioned.
Veda hissed furiously from his position in Harry's arms, as Harry cast hex after hex. Who the hell were these people? he wondered. They couldn't be students, there was more upper-level, auror-orientated, Death Eater favourites and dark curses being dished out than any student could possibly know.
Which meant that they were fair game for Harry to retaliate in turn. Redoubling his efforts, he refrained from casting any lethal or hurtful hexes in case any students were drawn to investigate the mêlée and started practicing his aim at the less powerful, more annoying jinxes and hexes that when combined would leave him able to identify the cursed at a distance.
After all, tentacles were kind of hard to disguise.
There are 3 kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those of us who wonder WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?
In the neighbouring carriages, the ruckus soon attracted the attention of numerous students. Alarmed by what they saw, the Head Boy and Girl were called to investigate.
As to what they saw… well, quite frankly, they were horrified.
The carriage was rocking on the tracks, walls sometimes bulging under the influence of various curses, smoke was pouring out of the shattered glass of the windows and the brightly coloured lights of a high scale duel lit up the entire train. Shouts and yelling could be heard all the way on the other end of the train, some eerily distorted under the effects of a hex and it frightened the first years beyond belief.
Someone howled with pain and a flash of black robes were vaguely seen through the broken window of the door before the fog swallowed the person again.
Head Girl Venetia Williams nearly had a heart attack and the pallor of her face would have matched Nearly Headless Nick's. "Merlin's beard!" she screamed, "THERE'S DEATH EATERS ON THE TRAIN!" Completely losing her head, she took off running.
Left behind by his colleague, the Head Boy, Amulius Brockwood nearly fainted. "D-Death E-Eaters?" he stuttered. "H-here?! We're doomed!"
Venetia's scream had spread throughout the entire train, causing the students to descend into panic and mass hysteria. A few of the braver students tried to get in the door but that was a mistake.
A big mistake.
The unnatural fog gushed out like a river torrent, flooding through every open crevice of the train, swamping it in a magical chokehold and effectively blinding the hysterical students. Through the open door, curses went astray and hit those for whom they had never been intended.
And the students, their minds filled with images of attacking hordes of Death Eaters, ready and willing to kill them, inadvertently activated their 'flight or fight' reflex. Some cowered, trying to hide, some didn't understand what was going on and so were doomed to remain in the crossfire and some, determined not to die, fought back…
Venetia ran through the train in a state of terror, bursting into the driver's carriage at the head of the train. "Stop the train!" she gasped, "And call the teachers! We're under attack! There's Death Eaters on the train!" she explained in a rush before fainting.
Minerva McGonagall never ran. She was always the picture of staid composure. Always. Everyone who knew her was convinced of that and were certain that nothing could cause her to lose it.
Today, Minerva ran through the halls of Hogwarts, heart pounding, hair in a mess after escaping her tight bun, hat after falling off and her usually pristine green robes in a flutter around her.
Barely slowing down as she reached the gargoyle that guarded the headmaster's office, uncaring that she was late for the assembled staff meeting, she gasped out the password, "Sherbet suckers," and ran up the moving stairs at full tilt.
Slamming into the room, she found everyone staring at her in shock. The headmaster included and everyone knew how hard it was to surprise the great Albus Dumbledore. "Albus!" she panted, "It's a disaster! We must help them!"
Of course that choked explanation didn't really clarify things for anyone. Professor Wells humphed her disapproval of Minerva's delivery and Professor Sardar studied her as if she were some sort of fascinating specimen.
"What has you in such a state Minerva," Albus asked, gently prodding her.
She looked at him in shock, "Haven't you heard? Death Eaters have taken the Hogwarts Express!"
Barty Crouch Sr stared at his head auror in disbelief. "They what?" he shouted.
"They have targeted the Hogwarts train sir," auror Kendelworth repeated.
Thousands of possible scenarios ran through Crouch's head. The press would have a field day if they found out about this latest attack and the Minister would have his guts for garters. But worst of all, it would completely blow his chances of becoming Minister of Magic! Well, he'd show them. Oh he'd show them all right…
If they wanted to see how far they could push the Head of Magical Law Enforcement, they'd see how far he'd go. They'd rue the day they tried to scupper his election chances.
"Prepare a full assault team," he ordered, "We must retake that train at any cost."
Harry thanked Merlin for his enhanced vision, he could somewhat see through the fog and it had enabled him to dodge and nullify numerous spells. Spotting a flash of red out of the corner of his eyes, he whirled to face it and for a moment he saw a slim figure in the fog before they were gone and they were just another nameless person cursing the living daylights out of everybody.
Moving closer to them as his curiosity was peaked, he saw two figures quite near each other. And they both seemed strangely familiar…
Straining his vision and his senses and taking a good look at the two, he recognised them as Lily and… Snape? That was a weird pairing. Now that he knew what to look for and he ignored the spells flying overhead his slayer senses clearly told him there was a werewolf on the other side of the room.
And as far as he knew there was only one werewolf to ever attend Hogwarts; Remus Lupin. Which meant the other Marauders had to be part of this group.
Which put him in a spot of bother.
If this was going to be a fight involving his father, mother, godfather, Potions professor and DADA professor, exactly how could he get caught up in it without causing even more problems?
Simple. He couldn't.
Which meant he had to abandon ship so to speak.
Holding Veda near to his chest, he started to creep towards the broken window but he came to a sudden stop as he picked up on something that could never end good…
The train had come to a screeching halt by the time the teachers arrived. The aurors were apparating in as well, all converging on the train that was being torn apart from the inside.
Albus Dumbledore surveyed the scene in annoyance. It just had to happen now didn't it? Dear old Tom just had to inconvenience him at the worst possible moments. He had been just about to thrash ol' Pentheus in a chess game.
And finally collect the ten galleons that the wizard had refused to pay him the last time he lost.
Brandishing his wand, he waded into the battleground, determined to exercise his anger on some nice little Death Munchers.
Harry had spent enough time in auror custody to recognise the sounds of an impending raid. Damn, but did this mean trouble! Well, he wasn't getting caught again. No way! No how! Not a chance! He'd had enough of auror 'hospitality' to last him a lifetime. Or ten.
He thought briefly of warning his parents but decided he couldn't risk it. If Lily and James had gone on to be Head Boy and Girl then obviously they wouldn't be expelled and he knew the others had all graduated as well so he didn't really feel guilty.
They obviously didn't know he was here and so there would be nobody to implicate him and get him into trouble in this place where he simply couldn't afford to attract mischief and mayhem like the little trouble magnet he usually was.
Tightening his hold on Veda and putting his shrunken things in his pocket, he leaped for the window…
And slammed into a barrier of some sort, sending him sliding quite painfully to the floor.
He hated aurors.
Quickly locating the carriage where the highest level of magic was being emitted, the aurors and Hogwarts teachers flanked it and moved into position for an attack. Auror Kendelworth counted down and gave the signal and on three, they all burst into the carriage, wands aloft, curses on their lips and no mercy at all in their thoughts.
When more people flooded into the carriage with them, beginning to open fire on them, the Marauders, Lily and Severus couldn't even begin to see what they had just let themselves in for. And so in utter ignorance of the situation, they started cursing back and so duel number one thousand and one of that day begun.
Five underage wizards and one underage witch against an auror assault team and the Hogwarts staff…
The second the first auror fuelled curse flew, Harry backed away from the window and setting Veda on the ground, morphed into his cat animagus form.
Veda looked at him strangely before batting him with his long tail. Harry growled low in his throat and gave him the kitty version of a death glare. Of course Veda was bigger than him so it didn't really work very well as far as intimidation went. His short paws stealthily made their way across the carriage, Veda following him and dodging the heavy feet that stomped through, beside and around the train, he stepped out into fresh air.
Formulating a plan to allay any suspicion, he re-entered the portion of the train where the other students were and changing back into his human form, he clutched Veda to him and tried to paste an appropriately frightened expression on his face while he tried not to laugh as he heard the rumours that had taken hold of the train and started off this whole mess.
Death Eaters on the train! He scoffed, really they couldn't have been that bad…
It didn't take long before the aurors managed to overwhelm their quarry and cries of surrender came from the Death Eater scum. Kendelworth's chest puffed up with pride, oh he was sure to get a raise for this one.
The culprits, a smaller number than expected, but then some could have apparated away, were dumped in front of him, trussed up and held at wand point. And taking a good look at them, he felt his breath leave his body with an audible whoosh.
If the lad with the messy black hair and admirable glare wasn't Henry Potter's son then he was the Queen of England. Looking at the others with a growing sense of dread, he recognised the Black family signet ring on another boy and a Snape crest was on a chain on another boy. The only girl in the group, wearing a rather melted and half-destroyed prefect's badge was lecturing his aurors on following proper protocol and threatening to sue them.
By Merlin, they weren't Death Eaters! They were students!
He was dead.
He could faintly hear the Snape boy harassing one of his men, "I assure you that I am very much alive, and that your stupidity is none of my concern…"
Never mind dead, his ghost was going to be dead.
Kendelworth, once he'd gotten over his shock had wanted to haul them in to auror headquarters anyway. Professor McGonagall somehow managed to bully him into letting them go free and as he heard her verbally rip them to shreds as she prepared to take them back to Hogwarts and to the headmaster, who had already returned to deal with the massive amount of paperwork this incident would require. He smirked in triumph. Maybe McGonagall could flay them worse than he ever could…
The other professors had gathered and calmed the rest of the students, reassuring them and filling them in on the true cause of the situation. After repairing all the damage that had occurred, the Hogwarts Express got underway again and a portkey was prepared for the six miscreants that had caused an unbelievable political incident.
Six reluctant hands and one stern one touched the cauldron cake wrapper and they disappeared in an instant.
Back on the re-started train, Harry speculated on his first impressions of his parents. It had been one hell of a first day, that much was certain. Who'd have thought they could duel so well? Though Snape was a new puzzle now. During his time as kitty-Harry he'd tried scanning Snape's aura once more and the strange crimson hue he possessed in Harry's time, he did not have in this one.
And since he'd never found out what the crimson colour had meant anyway, it was doubly frustrating to have yet another piece to add to a never-ending puzzle.
And his mother… wow! No one had ever told him much about her and now he'd seen her for himself. And he could definitely say that all the tales about redhead's tempers were true. But her friendship with Snape was a new one, why had no one ever told him? And if the man had been friends with his mother, then why the hell had he hated Harry so very much? It couldn't be all to do with James.
He wondered what the fight had been about and no doubt, he would find out eventually. But for now he had something else to worry about; the Sorting.
'Our equal crimes shall equal fortune give.'
- John Dryden
The small group arrived in the headmaster's office to find Dumbledore looking very grave and disappointed. McGonagall stepped to the side and sat down in a nearby chair, leaving the six students lined up in front of his desk like prisoners in front of a firing squad.
Albus Dumbledore took one look at the two groups facing off and glaring at each other and resisted the urge to bang his head against the table. It was history repeating itself; he still remembered the infamous feud between their fathers when they had attended the school. The next generation was here and hated each other already, except this time a muggleborn and a werewolf ad been added to their number. The fact that Professors Sardar and McGonagall, house heads of Slytherin and Gryffindor respectively were glaring at each other across the room was not helping matters. And then there was Flitwick, determined to stick up for the lone Ravenclaw in the group of delinquents.
Dumbledore sat behind his desk, not saying a word, just staring at the six children standing in front of him. Remus, Peter and Lily at least looked somewhat ashamed, eyes downcast but James, Sirius and Severus almost seemed amused, as if they weren't in serious trouble.
The headmaster frowned at her before speaking, "I am very disappointed in you, I expected better from students of your calibre. Having a Wizard's Duel is a serious matter. What if one of you had seriously harmed the other? I had thought that you had gotten over your rivalry and put aside past differences in light of the dark times we are in and Voldemort's rise."
Most of their eyes became hard as ice and their expressions frosted over at the mere mention of the infamous Dark Lord. "Not only did you endanger each other, you caused a mass panic on the train, at the ministry and amongst the Hogwarts staff, all of whom believed that it was Death Eaters. Have you any idea of the trouble you have caused?! All over some paltry childish quarrel! This is unacceptable behaviour for Hogwarts students! Completely unacceptable! As school has technically
not started yet, I can not take points from your houses. You will each serve detention for two months, with who is yet to be determined. I will leave you off with a warning this time but if another incident like this occurs I will not be so lenient, extenuating circumstances or no. Do not make me expel you," Dumbledore said coldly.
He got nods of acceptance from all six and he surveyed them with a stony expression, "Get down to the Great Hall and behave yourselves. The rest of the student body will arrive shortly and if I am any judge of people, you will not get a kind reception. Go!"
They left the office, along with Minerva, Filius and Medea and in the solitude of his office, Dumbledore let his grandfatherly mask drop and he hurled his glass paperweight against the wall, enjoying the satisfying smash of glass as it broke. How dare they?!
Did they know what trouble they had caused him? Pentheus wouldn't want to know why he couldn't control his students, the aurors would want to know why they were alerted, he'd have mass howlers from furious parents and most likely he'd have Henry Potter, Augustus Snape and half the Black family in his office by morning, all ready to rip him to shreds for sullying their precious sons. He'd be so buried in paperwork, he wouldn't be able to surface for days. And for what? The whims of six teenagers?
Still it could be salvaged. It was an opportunity. The war needed new blood, it always needed new blood. Too few had the power to pose any threat at all and those that did were dying. He'd been looking for a pawn to play in the world-sized game of chess he and Tom Riddle had engaged in. and now he just might have found one.
He knew they were powerful, they had just proved it. Maybe he had found the tools to defeat Voldemort after all…
The Hogwarts Express arrived in Hogsmeade half an hour after the portkey had activated. Hundreds of frazzled, angry and humiliated students streamed off the train, all cursing six names under their breath. They were not happy campers and Dumbledore had only told them what had really happened so that they would take it upon themselves to punish those involved. Something he'd so often done to Harry. He really wasn't fond of lynch mobs.
He took a moment to admire the thestrals that pranced quietly in front of the carriages they were strapped to, knowing that few, if any, students could see what he was seeing. He hopped into the nearest carriage, ending up with a couple of giggling third year girls and had to endure high-pitched squeals, giggles, incessantly annoying stares and an endless amount of questions.
It was a long ride to the castle.
The Great Hall was as grand as ever, Harry thought, as he watched the students stream in and take up residence at their house tables, throwing nasty glares at the six sixth years who had been there waiting for them for the last hour.
He leaned against the far wall, in a shadowed corner until McGonagall brought in the first years. He had to refrain from gaping. There was a good sixty or seventy first years starting, nearly triple the number of Harry's year when he had started. And this was what was left from those who had decided to send their children to foreign schools, who were far away from Voldemort's influence.
Just how many families had Voldemort and the Ministry obliterated?
Veda shifted in his arms, large eyes staring unblinkingly at a woman at the far right of the head table. Veda was hissing furiously at her - the kneazle's ultimate sign of untrustworthiness. Harry made a mental note to keep an eye on her. But before he could delve too much into conspiracy theories, he heard himself being announced.
"Now this year we have a student from the Americas starting his sixth year at Hogwarts." Dumbledore said.
McGonagall called his name and told him to put on the hat. And so he did for the fourth time… the fourth time! Why that little monster of a hat! It had known before the fact and he had wondered why it had said that in the headmaster's office. And to think he'd thought it was gone senile! He growled as he pondered why the hat hadn't bothered to tell him.
//Now, now… there's no need to slander me Mr Potter // the hat said inside his head. //No need at all. Oooh, you are most interesting, very very interesting… //
"Just get on with it already!" Harry muttered.
// Don't be hasty. Just because you have a blatant disregard for rules doesn't mean I don't have to follow them. But first, just let me get things straight. You are from the future, a Gryffindor who is not a Gryffindor and a Slytherin who was never a Slytherin. Must say that's a bit of a puzzle. Never happened before that one. But the question now Mr Potter is to decide where to put you and hopefully you'll decide not to argue with my choice this time. //
That would be assuming I had a choice, Harry griped mentally.
// Great things you have done and not done and much do you have left to do… //
Are you taking lessons from Trelawney on how not to make sense? Harry asked.
// There's no need to be insulting. // the hat huffed, // Talent you have, but will you live to use it? There's an intelligent mind hiding in there. And you do like to plot? Still have you ever considered the title 'tragic hero'? You know, like those ones in all the romance novels? The Gryffindors and the Hufflepuffs would love it! But no matter, you can be what you like. I'll let you in on a little secret…. Someone called in a long overdue favour and you shall be judged by your parents. And so in that case, the choice must be… //
OC character list.
Pentheus Binsted- British Minister of Magic.
Amulius Brockwood- Head Boy. Ravenclaw.
Kendelworth- Head auror.
Penelope Parkinson- Pansy Parkinkson's aunt in 2003. Slytherin 6th year.
Professor Ruppe- Potions Master at Hogwarts.
Professor Medea Sardar- teacher at Hogwarts. Head of Slytherin house.
Veda- Harry's kneazle.
Professor Wells- teacher at Hogwarts.
Venetia Williams- Head Girl. Hufflepuff.
A/N:If you feel the desire to leave any reviews, the House Elves will be collecting them. Please click on the blue button below to submit your review to Dobby and his crew…
Also I have a new Harry Potter fic in the works, one that I fully plan on following through with, and have started writing with plans to post in the new year. One problem; I can't go forward much until I decide on pairings so if I leave you with a quick summary of the fic, could you let me know what pairings you'd be interested in if you wanted to read it? Thanks in advance.
Summary of the fic entitled 'Fallen':Harry's 6th yr gets off to a rocky start. DE attacks, a scheming Dark Lord, corrupt Ministry & his very own murder trial. Not to mention classes, OWL results, Dursleys, looming prophecies, teenage angst, overprotective godfathers, house arrests & Order secrets. Is Sirius really dead? Is the prophecy complete? How far will Minister Fudge go to protect his reputation and just how much can public opinion be swayed? Can one boy stand against a mass of aurors and Death Eaters? What secret does Trelawney harbour? What are the repercussions of the incident in the Department of Mysteries? What has Tom Riddle got to do with anything? And just how far will Voldemort go to get rid of the 'Potter problem'?
Please let me know what you think.