A Change in History
A HP Fanfiction
Disclaimer: I do not own HP.
Chapter One: A Long Shot
It was a warm sunny day in the Potter household as of July 31, 1986. Squealing came from behind a door and grew into a screech of laughter as the said door flew open violently and a small child came sprinting out, chased closely by a man and woman who were laughing gaily. It was a picture perfect day in the lives of James, Lily, and Chris Potter as the small family raced down the stairs and into the filtered sunshine. However, for one young occupant of the house, the day foretold of nothing but the accustomed loneliness that came with being the eldest child and thus ignored.
Harry Potter looked down out of the small window that he had carved out of the wall in his room and watched sadly as the rest of the Potters danced about the green grass and chased each other. He sat back dejectedly and stared at the wall, as was his wont. Young Harry didn't understand why his parents didn't want him; he'd done everything he could think of to please them. He knew he was inherently magical; the accidentally lit curtains of the dining room that his mother threw a fit over attested to that. All he knew was that they had stopped loving him when his brother was born.
Harry didn't blame Chris; after all, it wasn't his fault that he was the foretold Child of Prophecy who, upon reaching maturity, was destined to bring down the feared Dark Lord Voldemort once and for all. He was still only a baby and thus had no control over what happened. No, Harry blamed the adults. They could have just as easily pinned it on some other child and left him and his baby brother alone.
For you see, it went like this: the Child of Prophecy was foretold to be born 'as the seventh month dies' which would be July, today, in fact. Harry himself had been born this day six years ago; Chris shared his birthday, but only by five years. Harry had always wondered why it was Chris and not him who was the Prophecy Child; his godfather, Albus Dumbledore, had answered that question when Harry had asked him the last time he had come over.
"Uncle Albus?" said a small voice near the open doorway of the sitting room where Albus Dumbledore sat. Albus turned to him with twinkling eyes.
"Ah, Harry! Just who I wanted to see. How are you, my boy?" Harry approached him meekly, something that did not escape the attention of the observant headmaster. Harry edged onto the sofa next to him and looked up at him in cautious curiosity.
"I've been wondering for a while now…Me and Chris have the same birthday. Why is it him and not me?" Albus didn't ask what he meant, for he already knew, and regarded the young boy sharply over the rims of his half moon spectacles as he contemplated what to tell him. Finally, he settled on an answer.
"There is a reason for everything my dear boy; Chris was chosen because he was meant to be chosen. As his brother, you're meant to be there to protect him." With this Albus smiled down at him kindly. "I trust him to your capable hands, Harry. I know you will do good by him and won't let me down." Harry knew this was a dismissal and so slid off the sofa and left the room, thinking on what his godfather had told him.
Everything happens for a reason, huh? He thought morbidly. Then what's the reason for my own family hating me? For indeed, in young Harry's eyes, there was no other way to describe his parent's negligence of him. With his weak grasp of the ways of the world, Harry was certain that, if someone didn't love you, then they hated you. And his parents certainly didn't love him, at least not anymore. If they still loved him, they would read him stories and tuck him in at night like they do with Chris. Mom would make his favorites for every meal of the day and Dad would play Quidditch with him like they did with Chris. Bitter resentment filled Harry as he flopped back onto his bed with his hand behind his head, glaring at the ceiling angrily. If they loved me, I'd be down there with them, celebrating our birthday instead of just Chris's, he thought sourly. He rolled over onto his side away from the light still streaming into his room and fell into an uneasy slumber. His last thought before darkness claimed his was, I wish I had a family that cared.
Harry jerked awake hours later. You could no longer hear the squealing outside his window. He looked towards it. It was completely dark outside, except for a bright moon which bathed the ground. Harry scowled and slid out of bed, padding to his door and throwing it open. His stomach growled and he made a beeline for the kitchen, but stopped short as he heard giggling inside and singing. He peered around the edge of the door and looked inside. His gut felt like it had just been punched.
His 'family' was gathered around the kitchen table, silly hats perched on their heads as Lily lowered a towering chocolate (Harry and Chris's favorite flavour) cake onto the table as their singing grew louder.
"Happy Birthday, dear Chris,
Happy Birthday to you…"
Harry blinked back tears as he saw the blissful smiles on their faces. They obviously didn't want him. They didn't even know he was here, or that it was his birthday as well. Harry turned tail and fled. His brain flew into overdrive as he searched his mind frantically for any idea of where to escape the horrible image floating before his vision, but no matter where he went in the house it followed obediently. Finally, Harry could take no more. He flung open the front doors and raced into the night, towards the only place he knew would give him any solace; the forest on the very edge of the property that many people had forgotten about, that no sane person would dare go into for fear of the dangerous creatures that lurked within.
Little did Harry know that he would be getting more than solace tonight.
He ran blindly through the low-hanging branches of the trees on the outskirts of the forest and kept going, not caring if he got lost or worse. It was very difficult to maneuver in this wood; the trees kept together in clumps and little moonlight came through. Normally at this time of night when Harry wished to get away from the house he would hear werewolves and other things, which would always drive him back to the security, if not comfort, of the Potter Manor. But not this night. This night the werewolves and vampires were strangely silent, and there was little reason why. For something far worse than them wandered the forest this night. But Harry, encouraged by the lack of noises instead of cautioned by it, drove on relentlessly until he finally collapsed, miles from his home, in a heap on the ground.
The Dark Lord Voldemort was not having a good day at all. First those bungling idiots that dared to call themselves his Death Eaters employed at the Ministry had failed to keep the story of the attack on a small town outside of Liverpool quiet, and was certain to be all over the Daily Prophet by morning. The other was that another of the bungling idiots in his employ had failed, yet again, to retrieve the full recording of the prophecy for him. The torture sessions that had followed had done little to relieve his temper and much to irritate his headache. He rubbed his temple wearily. At this rate it would be years before he got the merest advantage over the muggle-loving fool Dumbledore in this war. He fingered his ebony wand sharply. He needed a temper target badly, and as his luck would have it, he remembered that a certain Potions Master was to visit him tonight to make a personal report.
Voldemort had known it was a smart move to enlist Serverus Snape as a direct spy to the old fool's meddling. He got much valuable information for it, no matter how tiring it could inevitably be wringing it verbally from the spy's mouth. It always made him suspicious how hesitant Severus was to give him information on Dumbledore, but he eventually put it down to habit. He had hardly been out of school, what, eight, nine years? He would just have to hone him (via Cruciatus, naturally) to give him all the details. Voldemort smiled wickedly as the said potions master walked into the room and bowed. Yes. Today's report should prove…interesting.
An hour later and the report was over. The Dark Lord leaned back in his elaborate throne and rubbed his temples yet again. This honing business would take more work than he had previously believed. He had just briefly considered giving it up for the night when his trusted familiar, Nagini, slithered into the room. Voldemort hid a smile. He had little doubt as to what Nagini could possibly want.
"Massssssster," she greeted him in a hiss as she snaked her way to his side. Voldemort looked down upon her as he responded, stroking her lightly on the head for a few moments.
"Nagini…how niccce of you to join me." Nagini gazed up at him steadily with jewel yellow eyes.
"Masssster, I wisssshhh to take a trip through your foresssst, but I refusssse to take one of thossse sssimple foolssss with me. Would you care to join me, Masssster?" Voldemort considered her and her request for a moment. What else did he have to do? Besides, he was long overdue for some intelligent company.
"Of courssssse, my dear. Lead the way." He smiled a twisted smile. Maybe this trip would be worth it.
The walk in the forest was, for the most part, silent. Snow had begun to fall even more heavily than it had earlier that evening, despite the sunshine the morning and afternoon had seen. His cloak whipped about his heels and he followed Nagini absently through the trees, glancing about him in disinterest and it was bloody cold out here. He was just about to turn back to head in when he heard Nagini call frantically from somewhere up ahead of him, "MASSSSTER!" Voldemort was at her side immediately and looking down upon a strange site indeed.
Before him, almost completely buried in snow, was a small boy with a head full of messy raven hair. He appeared no older than five or six and was obviously a wizard and a rich one at that, if the silk robes were anything to go by. He looked back at her in disinterest to see her gazing at him in question.
"What ssshould we do, Masssster?" She questioned. Voldemort looked down at the child again. He noticed impassively that he was turning blue. He shrugged. He didn't really care if the boy lived or died; it was his stupidity that got him here in the first place. He had just turned to go back when he heard a faint, weak hiss behind him that certainly wasn't Nagini.
"W-wait…" Voldemort stopped dead in his tracks and whirled around to stare down at the boy again, who was now moving about slightly. Voldemort narrowed his eyes.
"What did you ssssay?" He hissed, just to prove that the boy hadn't spoken in the tongue of his most honoured anscestor. He was content after a few minutes of pained silence and was about to turn to leave again when the brat responded.
"I ssssaid…(Cough) wait…" He looked to the small boy, certain that he had heard correctly this time, but saw that he had fallen unconscious again. Nagini looked at him excitedly.
"Masssster, it isss another sssspeaker! Another sssspeaker, Massssster! What do we do?" Voldemort kneeled down and studied the boy's still form closely, his mind racing a mile per minute.
This boy is obviously of the Slytherin bloodline, he thought. His speaking has proven that much.
Yes, but what are you going to do about it? An annoying voice sneered back as he closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. Great. Now he was hearing voices in his head and arguing with himself. He was sure that that was a sign that this boy was trouble.
You can't just leave him here, the first voice demanded. He is a speaker! He is a relative!
And that's exactly why we should get rid of him, the second voice bit back. Voldemort made an effort to ignore both, as he knew that Nagini was awaiting his answer.
He knew that, as a speaker the boy must have Slytherin blood in him. The problem he saw was that he didn't know from which family he had come from, and what they might have taught him.
That's not a problem! He's young, he can still be molded to our path if it's done correctly! The first voice cut in. Voldemort considered this. It was true enough; the boy was young enough to where he would remember his old family…and if the fact that he was out here was any indication, they weren't a very good family, which would work in his favor. And the boy had to be powerful; the wards around this forest kept everyone else away, but this young child had managed to break through with no injuries to his person, from what he could tell. His mind made up, he stood and brushed the snow from his robes and cloak before turning back to the keep.
"Take the boy up to one of the guesssst chamberssss in the keep, Nagini," he threw over his shoulder as he walked away. "Sssstay with him until he wakessssss then bring him to me. We have ssssomething to…dissscusssss." And with that he turned and left, his cloak billowing wildly in the snow and wind. Nagini turned to the small child in front of her and used her tail to wipe the snow off of him before gently curling her strong body around him and beginning the long trip of dragging him back home. The child was now, by some unspoken agreement, temporarily in her care and safe. But Nagini couldn't help but think of her master and wonder. For how long?
A/N: What do you think? This idea had just popped into my head and I was scared to lose it so I had to type it down. The entire scene from where we first go to Voldemort to the end just all seem to have come in one thought. I only really had to think up the beginning part.
As you can see, this chapter has been edited—no content was taken out, just fixing a few grammar problems.