Chapter 39 – Home Again
12 April 1997 - Hogwarts
He opened his eyes and looked at the ceiling. A brief glimpse told him exactly where he was: The Hogwarts Hospital Wing. And it was as he remembered it from his time in school, not from when he taught here.
He suppressed a groan as it hit him that the potion had not worked. He had not stayed in the past. The pounding on his head from the Bludgers impact was nothing to the emotional pain he was feeling.
"Hello, James," a familiar voice greeted him. "Or, I guess I should say Harry now."
Harry answered without opening his eyes. "What happened, Albus? I thought the potion would work. And why isn't Madam Pomfrey shoving potions in my throat?"
"As to your first question, I have sent for young Tom to discuss that with you. As to the second, I am afraid I have ejected the hospital staff under protest until you recovered. Do you plan on opening your eyes?"
Harry opened his eyes and rolled over to look at the seated Dumbledore. Harry grinned slightly, "You've gotten old since I last saw you."
Albus chuckled, "I dare say I have. It has been over fifty-two years since I have last seen you."
The doors to the Hospital Wing opened to admit two figures. The sight caused Harry to groan, Fudge and 'Weatherby'. Harry just plopped back onto his pillow.
"Is this the young man who disrupted the Quidditch match today?" Fudge asked. "That was a very important event you interrupted today! I will have you placed in Azkaban for this!"
"Oh, go to Hell, Fudge and take Weatherby with you," Harry groaned.
Percy Weasley looked outraged. "How dare you speak to the Under-minister for Games and Sports in such a fashion?! I'll have you know…"
Harry's head shot up. "Under-minister? You're not the Minister?"
The question stopped Weasley's rant and causing both Ministry lackeys' eyes to bug out.
"No, I am not the Minister!" Fudge sputtered.
"That would be me."
Harry turned to see a tall, dark haired wizard with blue eyes enter the room. He looked about seventy and silver was just touching the temples of his brown hair. Harry pulled a long face.
"Tommy?" The wizard grinned and nodded.
"You're the Minister of Magic?" Again the nod.
Harry dropped his head back and let out a plaintive whine. "After all that Tommy, you still went Dark!" Fudge and Weatherby made noises of protest as Tom and Albus started to laugh.
Harry sat up to mock glare at the much older man who was his son. "You sent those two in here to wind me up, didn't you?"
Tom grinned, "Guilty as charged. Actually, I've been planning this for at least five years. I didn't expect you to arrive in the middle of a Quidditch match though. The look on your face was worth it!"
"Should have grounded you more," Harry grumped.
Tom stepped up to the bed and wrapped Harry in a big huge. "Merlin, it is great to see you again, Dad. We missed you!"
Harry felt tears start to form in his eyes. "What happened, Tom? Where is your mother?"
Tom pulled back and addressed Fudge and Percy. Their faces looked shocked over the small exchange they had just witnessed. "This gentleman is an Unspeakable. Anything you heard or saw here is covered under the Magical Secrets Act. Thank you, gentlemen." The pair knew a dismissal when they heard one. They left quickly without another word spoken.
Tom sat down in the seat next to Albus. "Dad, I have to tell you what happened. I…I am not sure how to say this. I thought of this moment for years but this is harder than I expected."
"Where is your mother?" Harry asked in a soft voice.
"Mum died in 1963. She contracted a magic-resistant virus that destroyed her kidneys. We tried everything, magical and Muggle, but the cure didn't exist then. We think the Muggles are close with some of their gene therapy theories but they are still ten years off. I'm so sorry, dad."
Harry broke down and started crying. He had just seen his wife three hours ago and now he had been told she'd been dead for over thirty years. Tom just sat and held his hand.
"What about the others? Katie, Michael, Ron and Tia, what happened to them?"
"Thomas and Elizabeth took care of all of us. Ron and Tia had already graduated from the Phoenix Magical University and were working by then. Katie and Michael were well into their careers. I was already married by that time."
Harry grasped onto that like a drowning man to a rope. "The kids… how are they? And who did you marry?"
Tom smiled gently, "I married Andrea. She waited until after we recovered from your disappearance and then forced me to attend Phoenix with her. Eventually she got tired of waiting and started to curse me until I would ask her out on a date. She claimed she was an embarrassment because it was the first time in veela history one of them had to force a man to pursue her." Harry laughed as he heard this. He had no trouble imagining the scene.
"As for the others, they are all either here or on their way. You'll see them soon. I wanted to give you time to adjust before you had to face a crowd." Tom reached into a pocket and pulled out an envelope and handed it to his father. "Mum left this for you."
Harry took the envelope in shaking hands and looked at it. It was addressed to Harry James Potter Evans. He carefully broke the seal and pulled out the letter.
I am so sorry that we did not have the rest of our lives to spend together. Even knowing you would eventually have to return to your own time, the emptiness of your leaving was impossible to fill.
The potion I gave you was really a disguised Calming Potion. My research indicated the real potion had too high a chance of causing your death. I couldn't bare the thought of you dying just for the chance to stay with us as a Muggle.
I decided I would rather live for fifty years without you than to have you sacrifice every thing for us. My love, you have always sacrificed for others. This time, we had to sacrifice for you. I am sure the man I married would have done the same thing if our roles were reversed.
Fate has decided we are not to meet again in this life. No cure exists for my illness and I expect to be gone soon. I have had a good life with you and the children. All five of them have brought me such joy and pride. And even after nine years alone, you remain the center of my life.
Please do not grieve for me too long, my love. Enjoy our family and your descendents. You return to your time as a young man with vast experience. Enjoy our accomplishments and live. The other has been well and truly vanquished. Now you must live your life.
I will love you forever,
PS: Find a good woman to love and take care of you or I will come back and haunt you until you do!
The letter's end had Harry chuckling through his tears. It sounded so much like Sarah to make that kind of threat. He actually believed she might find a way to follow through on it. Harry wiped his eyes again and tried to pull himself together. He noticed Albus had slipped out whilst he was reading the letter.
"Can I get out of this bed?"
Tom grinned, "The Healers said you had an unnaturally hard head and the minor concussion should be all cleared up by now."
Harry got out of bed with a snort. "That sounds like Madam Pomfrey. Wait, you said Healers, plural?" Harry realized he was still wearing the clothes he had worn playing Quidditch in 1945.
Tom turned to the door and called, "You can come in now!" When he turned back he muttered, "There may be a few people waiting to see you."
The first man through the door looked like a slightly younger version of Thomas. He was followed by two dark blond haired women and another slightly stocky man with the trademark Potter hair.
The younger looking of the two women pushed past and wrapped Harry in a hug. "Dad! I am so glad you are back!"
"Tia?" Harry asked uncertainly.
Harry spent the next hour with his five children sitting around him. It felt odd to be talking to witches and wizards in their sixties and seventies and realizing they were the same little children he'd kissed good night just last night.
Ron was the shortest and stockiest of the children. He was the Head Auror working for Madam Bones. He produced the first bomb shell of Harry's return.
"You married who?!"
"Bellatrix Black. She is one of our best Aurors. We twin boys. Both of them are currently at Hogwarts. Why?"
The question was waved away. "Err, it doesn't matter. It was a different place." Harry slumped back into his chair in shock. He noticed Katie subtly using her wand in the corner of his eye.
"You became a Healer?"
Katie grinned sheepishly at getting caught. "I was the Healer here after mum. I turned it over to Poppy when I became Head of Pediatric Healing at St. Mungos. I married Gideon Prewett. We have two grown children named Antony and Cleo."
Tia laughed, "And I married Fabian Prewett. He only chased me because it seemed the thing to do at his brother's wedding. He was a bit surprised when I didn't throw him back."
"Is Anne Prewett your mother in law?"
Tia and Katie looked surprised. "Yes, she was," answered Katie.
"She was the first person I met when I traveled back in time. She sold me the house in Hogsmeade," Harry said in a soft voice. He was stunned at all that was happening. His brain felt like it would explode.
"She never told us that," Tia said looking surprised, unaware of her father's shock.
Tom smirked at his little sister. "Dad never took down the Fidelius before he left, so she wouldn't have remembered it ever existed. That was why we had to move out."
"Oh, hush you."
"You had to move out? Where did you go?" Harry asked anxiously.
Tia took Harry's hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Grandmum insisted we move into the Potter Mansion with them. The story went out that you died of injuries from rescuing Tom. We officially became known as the Potter-Evans family. The Evans part is usually dropped now."
Harry squeezed Tia's hand back. "You are married now?"
Tia smiled back gently, "Yes, Fabian and I have been married for thirty years now. We have a daughter named Melissa. She is a curse-breaker in Egypt with her cousin Bill. I am the lead researcher and librarian for the Phoenix Magical University James Evans Library."
"She is always requesting more budget," Michael observed.
Tia made a face at him but her eyes were laughing. "It is not my fault the administration is so stingy!" Tom, Katie and Ron laughed at Michael's mock glower.
Harry soon learned Michael ran the Phoenix Foundation and served on the Wizengamot and the Hogwart's Board of Directors. He was also a widower with two grown boys. He had married Ela's younger sister who had died when a potions experiment exploded.
The next couple hours passed very enjoyably for Harry. They moved out of the Hospital Wing and into a nearby guest quarters that were normally reserved for parents visiting sick or injured students. The Potter-Evans family talked long into the night about everything that had passed since James's 'disappearance.'
Harry learned he had reappeared in what would have been his Sixth year in the afternoon of Parents' Weekend. The Weekend was an opportunity for students' parents (particularly Muggle-born) to visit the school and learn about the world their children had entered. Harry had appeared in the Hufflepuff- Ravenclaw match and caught the Snitch.
"It took you fifty years, but you managed to win our bet!" Tom quipped.
"Is another me a student now?" Harry asked.
Tom snorted. "This is an argument that has a whole research section of the Department of Mysteries fighting on a regular basis. It is so bad I now take their wands before each meeting."
"First of all, it appears Rowena Ravenclaw's "River" theory has some validity to it. Everyone you mentioned to me by name was born and married who they were supposed to. Yes, that includes James and Lily." Tom smirked. "Actually, I am his godfather." The others laughed as Harry looked at his eldest in shock.
After Harry recovered, Tom continued. "Lily did get pregnant at just the right time. However, three months into the pregnancy the fetus disappeared. Not miscarried, disappeared. One group of researchers claims it was because your soul already existed. So, no, there is not another Harry Potter wandering around."
"Has the Department decided if I altered the timeline or moved to a parallel universe?"
Michael laughed. "No, they are still arguing. They want to send a magical probe outside the space-time continuum to see if a split occurs at the point of your arrival in the 1930's. They are working with some Muggle scientists on it. One tried to explain to me they can tell where we are on the continuum or which direction but not at the same time. Something about matter and subatomic theory. I was lost in about twenty seconds."
Harry leaned forward in his chair. "Can I go back?"
The children looked uncomfortable at the question. "But Dad, you just got here!" Katie blurted out.
Harry looked at her with tears in his eyes. "I know sweetie, but I want to be with your mother and see you all grow up. Not pop in at the end."
"We can't send you back, dad," Tom said quietly. Seeing the look in his father's eyes Tom repeated, "Can't, not won't. We don't have the time travel knowledge your Aberforth used to send you back. My theory is the knowledge used before was originally recovered from Grindelwald's library. When his tower was destroyed, so was the knowledge."
Michael looked sympathetically at his father. "I understand how you feel, dad. I felt that same way when I lost Karolina. But even if you could go back, you have no way of saving mum from the virus. The Healers said she had it for years. She probably had it before you even met."
"I could be with her," Harry yelled back, frustration and grief mingled in his voice.
"I know, dad. She talked a lot about you before she died," Katie said softly. "You would face the same issue of losing your magic or dying if you could go back. She told me you needed to live your life here and find your own destiny."
Harry broke down in his eldest daughter's arms; a daughter who was older than his biological mother in this time. His sons filed out quietly whilst his daughters remained behind. Katie later slipped him some Dreamless Sleep Potion and Tia moved him to his bed.
Harry woke the next morning. He found a pair of Muggle jeans, a shirt and trainers sitting in a chair near his bed. Harry lay in the bed for a bit of time and tried to reconcile all that had happened; the sudden loss of his wife and his arrival here.
As he rose to dress, Harry decided to use his Occlumency skills to set aside his grief in front of the others. Today he would meet James and Lily Potter for the first time. He would also meet his own grandchildren. In addition, he would be seeing Sirius, Remus, and his other friends again. They would not remember him but it would still be good to see them again.
Harry stepped out of his room to find Tia and Tom sitting by the fire talking in hushed tones.
"Good morning," Harry greeted them.
"Hi Dad, did you sleep well?" Tom asked.
Harry grinned at his youngest daughter. "I did after Tia and Katie slipped me a mickey."
"Albus has set aside the staff conference room for a Potter family breakfast," Tom told Harry. "It will just be us, our spouses and our children if we can round them up."
"I think I was less nervous invading Durmstrang than going to this breakfast," Harry admitted. "You've all grown up. Merlin, even my grandchildren will all look older than me!" Harry shook his head. "Will Thomas and Elizabeth be here?"
Tom and Tia looked surprised. "Grandfather died in 1980 and Grandmum in '83," Tia answered softly. "Grandfather had a stroke that caused major brain damage and removed his ability to use magic. He passed after three months. Grandmum held on a bit after then but she lost her spark after he was gone."
A new wave of grief swept over Harry. Only serious reinforcement of his mental disciplines kept his emotions under control.
"They enjoyed the forty years they had after you knew them. Having James made them twenty years younger." Tom grinned, "I had to work extra hard to keep James from becoming a spoilt brat." Harry snorted at his comment. "Grandmum was disappointed when the almost-you disappeared but she did get to see the birth of your brother, Jimmy."
Harry looked up in shock. "I have a brother?"
Tia giggled, "And a sister. Sally is a First year Ravenclaw and Jimmy is a Fifth year Gryffindor."
Harry rubbed his head. "Okay, do you have any other surprises before my head implodes?"
Tom's eyes twinkled mischievously. "Not for right now. We'll save the rest for later."
"Oh, thank you!" Harry groaned sarcastically. "Now I'll have something to look forward to!" Tom and Tia laughed, and led Harry out of his guest quarters.
Harry was trailing along behind his children as they walked through the Hogwarts halls. The school seemed unchanged from his last visit. "Is my office still here?"
"I used it for a bit when I taught Defense Against the Dark Arts and Potions in the 70's but Albus kept it sealed up otherwise because of the Chamber." Tom laughed. "Actually, I think he hopes to lure you back into teaching."
Harry nodded absently as his mind wondered on all he had been told. He casually stepped aside when a group of students heading to the Great Hall for breakfast passed them. He failed to notice when a particular student fell into step beside him.
"Hi Harry. I'm glad you're back."
The light, slightly distracted sounding voice broke Harry out of his thoughts. "Luna? Er, how are you doing?"
Luna smiled, "This time through has been much nicer than before. I don't think I am going to die soon at least. I do miss the DA. It is a little odd to see you walking the halls with the Dark Lord." Tom chuckled ahead of them.
Harry gave her an odd look. "You remember the DA?" he asked hesitantly.
"Of course I do. This time has been much calmer. I still used what you taught us. Our defense professor has been impressed but everyone else acts like they don't know who you are." Harry could only stare at the little blonde in disbelief.
"Luna, you are going to make us late for breakfast!" a voice called down the hall. Even after all this time away, Harry still recognized that voice. He turned to see a bushy brown-haired witch descending on them flanked by a certain red-haired witch and a Patil twin in Ravenclaw robes.
"I was just talking to Harry," Luna replied in a distracted voice.
Hermione ignored Harry's presence as she huffed, "Luna, I've told you before, there are no Snorkacks and Harry James Potter is not a real person! Now, let's get to breakfast before Ron eats it all. Again."
Harry ignored the looks he was getting from Ginny and Padma as he said, "But Snorkacks live on the eastern edge of Sweden. Everyone knows that."
Hermione whirled on Harry with an angry look in her eye. "Don't encourage her! Are you a new student here?"
The group had stopped walking at this point. Tia and Tom were standing discretely just within earshot. "Actually, I am an old student. I finished Hogwarts next year."
All of the girls except Luna looked confused by Harry's seemingly contradictory statement. "How can you have graduated in the future?" Hermione asked in a demanding tone. "And who are you?"
"You're the boy who appeared in the middle of the match yesterday and caught the Snitch. Are you related to the Potters? You look like the twins," Ginny commented.
"Oh, I am sorry. Hi, I'm Harry Potter." Hermione automatically accepted his hand as he introduced himself. Then she realized what he said.
"You are not Harry Potter! Stop playing games on poor Luna. Too many people make fun of her now as it is!"
Harry frowned at Luna. "Is that still happening?"
Luna shrugged. "You weren't here to stop it this time. It is not so bad. Hermione and the other Potters at school try to shield me but it is not like having the Boy-Who-Lived's protection."
Harry couldn't help but give the small witch a quick hug. "I am so glad you remember me, Luna. I'll make sure they stop again." Luna gave him a big smile.
"Are you really Harry Potter?" Padma asked.
"Yes, he is," Tom said as he stepped up to the group.
"Minister Potter!" Ginny jumped. "We didn't see you there!"
"Hi, Lord Voldemort," Luna greeted him. "I still say you look much better with hair and a nose. I don't care what Daddy says."
"Luna!" Hermione paled with embarrassment at the comment.
Tom gave her a small bow. "Thank you, Ms Lovegood. I appreciate your approval. I must say I like it better too." His eyes glanced mischievously at Hermione for a moment before looking at his father. "Mr. Potter, we are going to miss the start of breakfast if we don't hurry up." Hermione's jaw dropped.
"Really Ms. Granger, a good researcher has to learn to accept when their theories have failed and develop new ones." Tia had joined the group unnoticed until she spoke. Harry caught the mischievous gleam in his daughter's eyes as she winked at her niece. Ginny grinned back at her aunt.
Harry's eyes widen momentarily as he realized his daughter was his former girlfriend's aunt. The thought stunned him for a moment as he felt a headache setting in.
"Madam Prewitt! What are you doing here?" Hermione asked in an excited voice. Harry chuckled silently. Hermione was looking at Tia with the same hero worship he used to see on the Creevy brothers.
Tia smiled. "We received your application for the summer internship, Ms. Granger. Very impressive."
"Thank you, ma'am." Hermione squeaked.
Tia smiled and turned to her father. "Come along, Harry. Everyone else will be waiting for us. Good morning, ladies."
Harry gave Luna a quick hug and politely said goodbye to the others. He held his laughter until they were down the hall.
"Merlin, Tia!" he laughed. "Poor Hermione looked like she wanted to turn into a ghost!"
"You knew Ms. Granger from before? She is an excellent researcher but she needs to learn to have a bit more fun."
Harry laughed in agreement. "True, but how is it that Luna remembers the original past?"
Now it was Tom's turn to laugh. "It bothered me when the Quibbler started printing stories of my being a Dark Lord. It reminded me of my time as Grindelwald's 'guest'. All the talk of Death Eaters and 'where is Harry Potter', but no one took it seriously. I use it to remind myself what I could have become." Tom grinned wickedly, "Besides, it confuses the hell out of my opposition in the Wizengamot."
Tom led the way into the staff conference room. Harry paused in the doorway to look around the filled room. Ron, Michael and Katie were immediately recognizable. The dark haired man and the redheaded witch next to him he had never met but instantly recognized. Several unknown people also stood waiting in the room.
Tia stepped next to him and muttered, "They can be a bit overwhelming and I'm used to them."
A still beautiful Andrea stepped up and put her arm around Tom waist. "It is good to see you again, professor."
Harry laughed. "It has been a long time since I was your professor, Andrea." Harry's lips twitched mischievously. "How did your cousin take your marriage?"
A musical laugh came from the French witch. "He survived." A wicked gleam came to her eye. "Alajos is the French Ministry's Head of International Cooperation now. It makes treaty negotiations interesting." Harry laughed with her at the image.
"Our son and his family could not get home in time to be here," Tom added. "Jonas took his wife and daughter to India to work for Gringotts. He has Chaz's old position. Chaz works at the Gringotts home office in Switzerland now."
"You're grandparents?" Harry asked in shock.
"Little Michele is ten now."
Before Harry could make a coherent reply, he was suddenly enveloped by a hug. He was startled until he recognized the wizard standing behind the witch hugging him. He realized for the first time since he was eighteen months old, Lily Potter was touching him. Harry hugged her back.
"Tom told us everything," she muttered in his ear. "We have no right to, but we are so proud of you!"
Shocked again, Harry released her and stepped back a bit. She sensed his surprise and loosened her grip but she didn't let him go.
"What do you mean everything?"
"We all know, Harry. The entire Potter family, except the kids still in school don't know all of the details." she answered quietly. "He told us after the baby you disappeared. I was devastated. He told us how he went Dark, us dying to save you, you growing up with my hateful sister, you defeating Voldemort, and going back in time to stop it all. He showed us the memories from your Pensieve." A shadow crossed her eyes. "I was so angry I went to Little Whining and hexed Petunia and her whole family."
Harry found himself again staring in shock for the third time in as many minutes. 'The thing about successive shocks is if they don't kill you they kind of stop making an impact,' Harry thought absently.
While he was shocked the entire room moved to encircle him. Everyone started talking to him and laughing and trying to hug him. The house elves appeared with food. The Potter clan soon settled around the large, round table to eat. (Harry was once again surprised when he realized the former Bellatrix Black was sitting directly across from him. He had to fight the impulse to go for his wand.)
The next four hours were spent meeting or getting reacquainted with his family. The Prewitt twins reminded him of toned down Weasley twins.
Harry asked them. "Did Fred and George ever open their shop?"
The twins looked around their wives at each other and then turned to Harry. "You're the mysterious silent partner?" they asked in unison. "Don't tell Molly! They left school early and she expected them to go to Phoenix, not open a joke shop."
Harry looked confused, "How did they get their money then? When I set it up with the trust with the goblins I made getting at least four NEWTS each a requirement!"
Tom smirked in answer. "They were giving Albus a hard time so I had the goblins tell them about the money at the start of their Fifth year. I didn't expect them to sneak into the NEWT exams after their Sixth year!" Harry laughed as the Prewitt twins turned in shock on the Minister of Magic. "What? I am a Slytherin you know."
A familiar bark of laughter came from behind Harry at that. Harry turned and saw the two non-family members he most wanted to see. "Sirius! You dog!" Harry wrapped the surprised wizard in a bear hug. He released him only to repeat it with the wizard standing next to him. "Moony!"
Both wizards were shocked by the sudden hugs. Sirius looked over at James and asked, "Who is this, Prongs?"
Harry looked surprised at the question. He looked at Tom. "Didn't you ever tell them?"
"Damn, he is easy!" Sirius commented to James.
Harry turned back and grinned at the dog animagus. "Yep, you're Sirius." No warning was given as a series of wandless Stinging Hexes were suddenly flying at Sirius followed by a transfiguration spell that turned him into Padfoot and locked him in the form. James and Remus led the crowd in cheering as Padfoot looked at him in shock.
Lily eventually talked Harry into releasing the lock on Padfoot. Sirius and Remus joined the family gathering as both were godparents to James and Lily's children. The conversation eventually turned into a comparison of pranks between the Marauders, La Revolution and the Weasley Twins.
Harry met his brother Jimmy and sister Sally. He also met Ron's twin children. They were both Seventh years and named Albus (Call me Al) and Thomas. Al was a member of Gryffindor whilst Thomas was in Slytherin.
When Harry first arrived in the magical world, people kept telling him how much he looked like his father. Now with a thirty-seven year old James Potter sitting nearby, Harry had to agree their resemblance was strong. But Al and Thomas were Harry's own physical age. They looked like triplets, right down to the green eyes and black hair. The only two differences were their height (6cm taller, blame the Dursleys) and lack of a lightning bolt shaped scar. Jimmy lacked only the green eyes.
Jimmy in particular was excited to meet his 'older' brother. "Luna talks about you all the time. Her stories are kind of funny. You sound like you were a real terror your Fifth year if what she says is all true." Harry had to allow that his Fifth year was … turbulent.
Sally was kind of shy. She looked like Lily with red hair and the family green eyes. In a quiet voice she commented, "Everyone thinks we are just humoring her when we listen to her. I wanted to yell at them, 'Yes, there really is a Harry Potter', but they wouldn't let us."
Harry grinned gently at his younger sister, "Well, we'll have to just fix that." Her smile was like the sun coming out.
"Are you coming to the Quidditch match today, Harry?" Al asked (Harry refused to allow them to call him grandfather or anything like that.)
"I thought I interrupted the match yesterday?"
"This is Parents' Weekend," Thomas explained. "This marks the end of the season. So yesterday the bottom two teams played for third place. Today the top two teams play."
"That sounds like fun. Are any of you playing?" Harry learned the Gryffindor line up was the same as it was his Sixth year except instead of Harry Potter at Seeker, it was Albus Potter. (Jimmy was the reserve Seeker.) They would be facing a Slytherin line up with Thomas as captain and Seeker.
"So this is for family bragging rights?"
Both boys nodded agreement. "We've been Seekers since our Second year. We've played ten matches and split them. This is the final match," Al said with a grin.
"Plus the scouts are all here today," Thomas added.
"That sounds like fun." He turned to Thomas. "What is Slytherin House like now?" Harry asked.
Thomas shrugged. "Not like the stories Uncle Tom told us you dealt with. I guess you could say the moderates run the House. We still have the old school Purebloods like the Malfoys and the Dolohovs but they are almost like a sub-House. We even have a dozen Muggle-borns in the House now."
"I'm glad to hear that," Harry smiled.
The younger Potters dragged Harry down to the Quidditch pitch when the boys needed to report for their pre-match warm-ups. Harry would have preferred to stay and catch up with his children and their spouses, but Sally asked him and she wrapped him around her finger.
The adults laughed when Katie announced at the sight, "You were always easy, Dad. The girls could get anything out of you!"
So, Harry walked the familiar path to the Quidditch pitch to watch his grandsons play. The experience was a bit surreal. As James, Harry had grown used to being at Hogwarts and be comfortable with the ghosts of his memories. But now those ghosts were alive. It was weird to see people he was students with who had no memory of him, greeting his grandchildren and classmates as mates. Cho still sized him up like a chunk of meat as they passed her.
"Be careful," Thomas warned. "She has been on a hunt since Cedric dumped her over the Winter Holidays. Said she was too emotionally needy. Don't know why it took him two years to figure that one out."
They were just outside the pitch when Jimmy suddenly ran off with a shout he would be right back. He returned a minute later holding Ginny's hand.
"Harry, I want you to meet my girlfriend, Ginny Weasley. Ginny, this is my brother Harry."
Behind his Occlumency shields, Harry wasn't sure if he wanted to laugh or cry. As he told Tom once, his adolescent feelings for her were long gone. But to find out his brother was dating her in this time was too funny.
Harry smiled politely, "I met Ms. Weasley this morning on my way to breakfast. It is nice to see you again."
Ginny smiled and then looked at her boyfriend. "You prat! You knew Luna was right and never told me!"
Jimmy grinned back. "I did tell you. You all just thought I was winding you up!" The twins and Harry laughed as she tried to come out with a reply for that.
"Be careful, Jimmy," Harry warned. "I think she is getting ready for her notorious Bat-Boogey Hex." Ginny gave Harry a speculative glare. Harry merely shrugged and added, "What can I say, it is notorious. Plus my brother told me all about it. And the birthmark just over your bum."
Ginny turned volcanic Weasley red. "Your brother? He told you what!" She whirled on Jimmy who immediately went on the defensive.
"I didn't tell him anything! I didn't even know about the birthmark." Jimmy turned and started to run as Ginny went for her wand. The small red-haired witch took off in pursuit as her boyfriend made a quick strategic retreat.
Albus and Thomas held in their mirth until Harry commented, "Actually it was Fred and George who told me about the birthmark." The Potter twins started to laugh with tears in their eyes at their grandfather's prank.
Sally was laughing alongside them. She calmed down enough to gasp out, "That one belongs in the Marauders Book of Pranks. Poor Jimmy will be weeks calming her down." As sympathetic as her words sounded, her tone was pleased. The look in her eye told Harry his sister had the legendary 'red head's temper'.
Their mirth annoyed a couple of students passing by. "Oh, go away Potters. You are making this place lower class than it already is."
All three Potter males responded without even looking, "Stuff it, Malfoy."
Harry turned and saw the blond ponce himself with Crabbe and Goyle flanking him on either side. "Go away Draco. Today is too special to waste with messing with you."
The Malfoy sneer appeared. "And who do you think you are? A poor relation to those do-gooder Potters no doubt."
"No doubt," Harry answered in apparent agreement. The blond Slytherin's comments might have bothered him as a student, but physical appearances aside, mentally he was close to thirty years old. And after two Dark Lords, the ferret had nothing on him. "Let's go, guys."
"What is this disturbance?" a cool, sneering voice asked.
'Was everybody at Hogwarts today?' Harry wondered. He turned around to see two of his (least) favorite people: Severus Snape and Lucius Malfoy. Draco gave them a triumphant sneer from behind them.
"Lucius, Severus, it is nice to see you again."
Lucius looked down his nose at Harry. "And who are you to address me like that?"
Harry ignored that question. "Do you have an elf named Dobby in your employ?" Harry caught a confirming flash of recognition in the other wizard's eyes. "Dobby!" Harry called out.
An instant later a small pop was heard and a cringing Dobby appeared. "Strange wizard calls for Dobby?"
"How dare you call for my elf, Potter!" Lucius seethed.
Harry ignored them. He knelt down to eye level with the elf. "Do you like working for them, Dobby?" he asked in a gentle tone. Dobby looked fearfully up at Lucius before shaking his head. "Do you want to be free?" A glance was all it took.
Harry stood back up. "Lucius Malfoy, I am calling in a life-debt owed by your father Abraxus Malfoy. You will release Dobby the House-Elf and give him his freedom."
The elder Malfoy looked shocked. "I don't owe you a life-debt! You are delusional, boy!"
Harry shrugged. "Check your magic. You won't be able to cast anything stronger than a Tickling Charm until you comply with my request."
Malfoy turned white as he realized what Harry said was true. "How could my father owe a life-debt to you? He died ten years ago!"
Harry gave him an innocent smile. "That doesn't matter. You acknowledge the debt?"
Malfoy was muttering, "Father only owed a debt to…" Malfoy stopped and turned even paler then before. He stripped off a glove and thrust it into the shocked Dobby's hands. "Here elf. Now get out of my sight!"
Dobby was staring at the glove. Harry didn't think Dobby even heard his former master give him a command. "Just stay with me Dobby. We'll get you set up with a job later." Now Dobby was looking at Harry with hero worship in his eyes.
Malfoy stepped up and glared down at Harry from his superior height. In low, threatening tones, he said, "You lost me my elf, boy. You've not heard the last of this matter!"
Harry grinned back at him. "Okay, Lucy. See you around."
"Is there a problem here?"
Harry glanced over to see Albus standing there with Professor McGonagall. "No, Professor Dumbledore. We were just discussing house-elf rights. Heated political discussion you know."
"Ah, yes, but perhaps we might save it for after the match?" the Headmaster suggested.
Lucius gave Harry one last sneer before striding away with his son in tow.
Dumbledore walked over to stand next to Harry.
"An interesting weekend here, Albus," Harry commented.
"Indeed, Harry. Did you have to start a feud with the Malfoy's already?"
Harry shrugged. "I have a feeling the Potters and the Malfoys have been feuding since they arrived here from France. Besides, I owed it to get Dobby out of his house." The house elf in question was now wrapped around Harry's leg crying tears of joy.
"We don't appreciate the poor behavior or manners here, sir," McGonagall said in a disapproving tone. "I understand you are here visiting with the Potters but poor behavior will not be tolerated, young man. Please refer to the Headmaster as Professor Dumbledore."
Harry grinned at his former professor and former student. "Relax, Ms. McGonagall. By the way, I do remember who really placed that water balloon prank on the entrance to Ravenclaw Tower in your Third year. Did you ever get over your tendency of dropping the tip of your wand after casting a spell in a dual?" The Transfiguration Professor looked speechless. The Potter twins and Sally looked just as shocked at the idea of McGonagall as a prankster.
Harry winked at the madly twinkling Dumbldore and said to the younger Potters, "Come on guys, it looks like you need to get to your teams."
As Harry led his young relatives away, he heard Minerva sputtering behind him, "But Albus, how did he know that!"
Harry was pranked in return a short time later by Tom. Actually it wasn't a prank. He merely set up the situation and allowed things to play out.
Slytherin won the match but Albus managed to catch the Snitch. It reminded Harry of his first Quidditch World Cup. He had enjoyed the match surrounded by his all of his family that was at the school and not playing in the match. Afterwards, they all moved to a picnic lunch that the school arranged outside the stadium.
The sun was setting over the Forbidden Forest and many of the parents were starting to leave for home. Magical parents were drifting towards Hogsmeade to either Apparate or Floo home. Parents of Muggle-born students were using the Knight Bus to leave the school.
Harry was sitting on a blanket talking with his mother, Tia and Katie. Jimmy, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Luna were sitting at a blanket several feet away from them. They were joined by Padma and several students Harry did not recognize from his time here. Albus had mentioned earlier that the average House class size was 12 now against the 8 when Harry was here. The school now had 337 students against the 223 they had in the previous time. Albus assumed the difference was all of the deaths caused during Voldemort's rise since most of the 'new' students were either children of Muggle-borns or Muggle-borns themselves.
Whilst listening to his daughters and mother talking about some little issues, Harry noticed Hermione's parents approaching. He guessed they were preparing to leave like the others. They were about three meters away when his eyes drifted to the older woman walking with them. She looked much younger then Harry would have expected her to be having a granddaughter Hermione's age. Her hair was still close to Hermione's color and curly, but not nearly as bushy. Then the woman glanced at Harry.
Harry found himself standing with both his holly wands dropping out of the sheaths into his hands. An observer would have said he held them casually, but anyone who had dueled him would know he was poised for an instant attack.
"What are you doing here, Christina?" he asked in a quiet, but deadly voice.
The old woman turned to face Harry with an odd expression on her face. "I'm sorry my name is Mary Granger, not Christina."
Harry didn't believe it for a second. "How did you get out of that tower before your master destroyed it?"
"What are you doing?!" Hermione screamed as she jumped in between them. "Put your wands away! Grandma is a Muggle, not a witch! I am Muggle-born, remember!"
Harry ignored her. "Mary? For Maria, your sister?"
The woman looked shaken. "You knew Maria?" She looked at Harry and mouthed, "Count?" Harry's head made a slight twitch of a nod. She put her hand on Hermione's (her granddaughter's?) shoulder and said, "It is alright dear. This young man and I just need to talk about some old business."
Hermione gave her an incredulous look. "Grandma, how do you know him? You didn't know any wizards before you came here today."
"We'll talk later, dear. But I am afraid the young man here needs to talk with me first." She gave Hermione a brief hug.
"Mum?" Mr. Granger asked uncertainly.
"It's okay, dear. Talk with your brilliant daughter for a bit. I'll be back shortly." She turned to Harry. "Shall we go somewhere more private?"
Harry's wands had moved back into their sheaths but a simple flex would move them right back. "After you. I believe you know the way to my office." Harry ignored the questions coming from the other Potters as they walked away.
A small smile Harry remembered very well crossed the old woman's lips. Christina started walking across the lawns. Neither spoke as they walked to the school. Harry hissed the password to open the door to his office.
Harry gestured her to a seat. "Why are you here?"
"Hermione invited me. I stayed away from the magical world for the last fifty years. My Robert was a Muggle. Dan, Hermione's father is a squib. How did you stay so young? You haven't aged a day since the battle."
Harry ignored the question. "Tom knows your secret, doesn't he?"
"He does. I immigrated here in 1950. Robert was a British Army captain. Dan was born shortly after we arrived. I was relieved when he was not gifted. I stayed away when Hermione got her letter from Hogwarts. She is a brilliant witch even if I did have to play the ignorant Muggle."
'Can I have any more shocks today?' Harry wondered.
"She does remind me of your sisters; Serena's books with Maria's causes and a bit of your fighting spirit."
A proud look crossed the old woman's face before an odd look crossed her eyes. "You knew my sisters?"
"Tom never told you?"
Christina, or Mary Granger, looked at the floor. "We never talked. He sent me a letter when Hermione got hers. He was Minister by then and wanted to let me know he wouldn't be sending the Aurors after me. I sent him a letter back thanking him and apologizing for what I helped do to him, but we never talked."
"I see. Well, Serena helped us get into Durmstrang to save Tom. And Maria was one of our agents in Germany. I knew her very well."
"She died in Berlin," Christina said softly. "An Allied bomb landed on the beer house she ran."
"Actually, she and her son Alan got out of Germany with us when we rescued Tom. Last I heard in '45 she was living in a Veela colony in Bulgaria." Christina looked at him in shock.
They talked for the next hour until Harry was satisfied the former Dark Witch was no longer a threat to him or his family. She claimed to no longer own a wand. Harry wasn't sure of that, but he bet Tom had her watched when he first learned of her presence in England. For now, Harry was willing to let her go without hexing her. He decided that if Tom forgave her, he had to let it go.
They did not speak as they walked back to the picnic. Harry was sure the Grangers would be very concerned about 'Mary'. The thing that boggled his mind was Hermione was the same here as she was in his old timeline. Didn't that mean the former Dark Witch was also the grandmother of the girl he grew up with in Gryffindor House?
Time travel made his head hurt.
The grin on Tom's face as they returned didn't help. Harry realized Tom had known the encounter was likely. "Brat set us up." he muttered. The look on Christina's face told him she reached the same conclusion.
"Tom, I need to burn off some energy. How about we put on an exhibition duel?" Harry offered.
Before Tom could respond, Christina added, "I think that would be a wonderful idea. I'd love to see a wizard's dual. Maybe I can offer the young man here some pointers since you are so much more experienced than he is."
Tom's smug expression dropped as the Count and Christina smiled at him like hungry wolves. For a moment he was no longer the Minister of Magic and considered with Albus Dumbledore to be one of the two most powerful wizards on the planet. For that moment he was a Sixth year student again looking at the two most gifted fighters of a brutal war who had also been his teachers.
19 April 1997 - Hogsmeade
"How has your week been, Dad? I haven't seen you much."
Harry looked up at his eldest son. He sighed. "I guess I have just been caught up in getting over your mother's death. Last weekend I sealed it behind my shields to get over it but I knew I had to deal with it. Dobby has been helping me clean up the house and sort through our things."
Tom settled onto the now old-fashioned couch across from his father's chair. "We had a lot of good memories in this house. I'm glad you decided to move back in here. I think mum would have wanted you here."
"It's hard though," Harry sighed. "I keep expecting her to walk around the corner. Even if you've gotten as old as shite, I haven't changed."
Tom laughed as he protested, "Hey, I am not the one in the room with great-grandchildren."
Harry snickered. "So, what brings you around today? You have the same look you used to get when you had something to tell me."
"What would I have to tell you?" Tom asked.
Harry blew a breath out. "And it is something you think I don't want to hear. You did the same thing when you were eight and you and Snuffles tracked mud into the house. Now spill it."
Now it was Tom's turn to sigh. "I didn't want to tell you this, but I remember your stories about growing up so I don't want to make the same mistake."
"Twelve months ago to the day you arrived, Sibyll Trelawney walked into my office in a trance. She told me 'The Man with the Killing Eyes, The Vanquisher and the Redeemer will return. His arrival will mark the start of Dark's Rise.' Then she lapsed into gibberish."
Harry looked at Tom in shock.
"Dad, I'm afraid it's not over."
A/N: I am dedicating this chapter to everyone who reviewed throughout the writing of Altered Destinies. I started off planning on writing a much smaller piece focusing on the relationship between Harry/James and Tom. The original story is still very much in there, but your reviews and comments made it every so much more.
I will be working on finished my other stories before working on the sequel, so watch my profile page for updates. (Yes, there will be a sequel.)