"We're hungry," a high pitch voice complains and tiny hands tug on Harry's clothes.

He blinks blearily up at two adorable faces. Harry calmly reaches up and grabs their heads; shoving them away from him and sitting up on the couch downstairs.

The two kids flop backwards onto Harry's legs from the gentle but insistent shoving to their faces and then scramble off the couch. Gellert smiles sweetly but Tom just gives a cute little pout.

Did Harry fall asleep even though a Dark Lord has a knife and is in the house with him? Tom doesn't look very murderous though, more grumpy than anything. He probably calmed down since Harry didn't storm the room and drag him away.

At least he isn't stabbing anyone.

Harry blinks. "Um, yeah, okay. Did you want anything to eat in particular?"

Gellert says something in German.

"Um…" Harry trails off. "Toast it is."

He makes them eggs and toast with strawberry jam. Not normal strawberries, because Harry buys all the groceries from the magical side since this time period isn't exactly the best for the muggles. It tastes strangely like pear and Harry's not sure if he likes it.

Gellert seems to love it though.

The newspaper is delivered via owl. Harry flips through lazily for a bit, skim reading. Something about Dark Lord Dumbledore, and increase of attacks in Europe but not connected to the muggle war, and the British Ministry is reacting by doing essentially nothing but in more flowery words.

Harry folds the newspaper up, lays it on the table and then sets it on fire.

No thank you, not dealing with that. Harry has a more immediate problem. More like problems, plural, sitting across the table in front of him. Besides, Dumbledore can't be a Dark Lord, that's ridiculous because what could possibly make a man like him change so much?

Not that Harry knows anything about this world -should really get on that- but some things must be very distorted to create this timeline.

Harry is going to concentrate on one problem at a time. After he returns the children he can then focus on the supposed Dumbledore issue.

Yes, Harry is being selfish because he doesn't want to deal with children. Is that a bad thing? He just doesn't think he can handle that much responsibility by himself.

And it will be all by himself because he doesn't like the thought of slavery with house elves (he doesn't give a fuck if they 'want to', that's called indoctrination thanks very much) and he highly doubts he'll find anyone else who is willing to put up with him and two young Dark Lord kids.

He knows it's selfish but he's just so worried that he'll do something and irreversibly damage Tom or Gellert in some way. He has no idea how new parents can handle this because they don't get a chance to skip that part of their child's life - where the kids are so vulnerable and so many things can go wrong.

Harry isn't sure about Gellert but Tom is healthy when he arrives at Hogwarts…not exactly well adjusted but better than Harry thinks he could do for the child. Maybe it would be best to give them to an orphanage? Not Tom's orphanage? They'd have each other, Harry would visit…

But then Harry remembers the knife and the barricade and thinks that maybe the orphanage already has done damage, just not the kind most people can see.

Keeping them it is then.

Gellert says something in German and Harry vanishes the ashes that were once a newspaper before putting down his wand to wipe the boy's face free from jam. Gellert is so cute, it's hard to believe he's a mass murderer.

Might possibly be a mass murderer in the future, actually, an important distinction that Harry needs to keep in mind.

"Come on," Harry says. "I guess we should get around to that language barrier issue."

Gellert says something else and pulls out the Elder wand. Oh, oops, Harry completely forgot about that. It's fine, not like a little child knows any dangerous spells.

Gellert sets the entire table on fire with sheer will power and Harry quickly puts it out before he confiscates the wand, but loses his Holly one to Tom in the confusion, leaving Gellert wielding a knife.

"Let's..." Harry begins cautiously. "Let's switch back."

Because this just seems more dangerous to him.

It doesn't even occur to Harry that he could take the weapons from the two small children. It's difficult to not see them as Dark Lords and Harry doesn't want to trigger any murder sprees just yet.


"How did you do that?" Tom blurts out as the wall to Diagon Alley peels back.

Tom is staring around with wide eyes, and it would be cute if the little boy didn't look so greedy, as if he's already thinking about taking over the world.

"Magic," Harry answers with some jazz hands, leading the little troupe of three further down the lane.

Tom gives him a cute frown. "How did the magic do that?"

Harry pauses for a bit. "Well, a ward has been laid out on the wall-"

"How do you make wards?"

"I don't know," Harry just admits. "I barely finished high school. I'll take you to a library later. Let's just find an apothecary selling translation potions first."

Tom looks like he's very disappointed in Harry and it's strangely effective in making Harry feel like McGonagall is staring him down after a failed essay. He doesn't specialise in that kind of magic, okay? It's not that Harry is dumb or anything.

At least Gellert is behaving himself.

Gellert?

Harry whips around, searching for the little blond. "Gellert? Where did you go?!" Harry winces. "Oh, Merlin, lost one already."

What a wonderful start.