Disclaimer: The plot is mine. I own nothing else.
A/N: I'm baaaa-ack!Miss me?
Another shortish chapter. I've decided to stop apologising about them. They're gonna happen every now and then no matter what I do; that's just the way it works. Anyways, I figure a little update's better than no updates at all. Right?
Next chapter should be the birthday one so if you have anyPREZZIE SUGGESTIONS for Nev and Harry, now's the time to MAKE THEM KNOWN
READ ME:Pairing opinions wanted!
Okay I've had lots of people asking about pairings. I've had requests of everything fromEvan/Alice to Evan/Tonks to Evan/Remus to name a few! Originally I had planned to avoid any pairings with either Evan or Harry altogether. But, with all the people asking I've decided that maybe I'll consider it after all. Of course I can't promise I won't end up sticking with my original plan but I'd still like to hear what everyone is interested in seeing all the same. So, when you review, feel free to let me know about any pairings you want to see. The only one I've definitely decided on so far is Remus/Alice.
A/N: This chapter follows directly on from the last. It is later the same day that he and Gwen had their planning session.
Chapter 27 – Grave Robbing
– Fri, 10/6/1988 –
Later that night the Longbottoms flooed in for dinner at Potter Manor. The five friends were currently all sat around the dining room table, eating and chatting. For the most part their traditional Sunday dinner gathering had changed little from that first time at Longbottom Manor, but for the fact that Remus now joined them. Also, they now alternated weekly as to whose home would host the event.
Today did differ somewhat from the norm however; for once they were meeting to dine on a Friday rather than the usual Sunday. The reason for the switch was that Neville's grandmother had requested her grandson and daughter-in-law's presence at her home on the Sunday. And, as Neville had quite seriously informed them, disobeying his Gran was even more dangerous than disobeying his Mum. Fortunately, no one was bothered by the change in schedule.
"So," Neville said loudly, drawing him from his thoughts.
He looked up to see the boy giving his younger self a pointed sidelong glance. Harry however was oblivious to his friend's confusion, much to the amusement of most of the others at the table. The young Potter heir merely blinked in puzzlement, smiled innocently, and went back to his book. Or rather, books. As in plural. Very much in the plural.
From the moment the little boy had stumbled into the room earlier – his arms stacked with texts up to his nose – the two Longbottoms had been sending him baffled and amused glances. Evan and Lupin – quite enjoying their guest's bewilderment – had said nothing to explain the situation, choosing instead to wait until the two finally decided to ask what was going on. It seemed Neville had caved first.
"Soooo…" the boy tried again.
He was obviously hoping his green-eyed friend would take the opening to explain what was going on. Unfortunately for him Harry clearly still had no idea of the confusion he was causing and only gave him an uncomprehending stare, causing Neville to sigh in a loud and overdone manner.
"What's all this for then?" he finally asked plainly, waving his hand and the piles of books.
At the sheer exasperation that was present in the boy's voice, neither Remus of Evan could hold their composure any further; they burst into laughter. Even Alice was amused, despite being just as confused as her son.
"I must say though," the woman said as they settled down, "I'm wondering much the same thing. Why is it that you seem to have brought half the library to the dinner table?"
"Oh!" Harry said, obviously now understanding their confusion, "Quidditch."
"Ever since he learnt to fly on the weekend, he seems to have made it his life's mission to read every Quidditch book in the Potter library," Remus said, finally willing to explain.
"As soon as you're gone home for the day, he disappears into the library and only comes out for meals and sleep," Evan added to the Longbottom boy.
"Well, at least you have good taste in your reading choices," Neville said pompously, patting his friend on the shoulder, "Clearly I'm rubbing off on you."
The young Potter heir discreetly rolled his eyes at his friend's behaviour. To his embarrassment though the other three caught the gesture and laughed aloud, prompting a nonplussed expression from Neville and reddened cheeks from Harry himself.
"Well," Alice finally spoke up after all had calmed down, "I've been meaning to bring this up but I keep forgetting."
"Forgetting what?" Evan asked.
"I know we mentioned it perhaps a month ago but we got rather distracted with retelling the prophecy and all," she explained but he remained clueless.
"Magic lessons," Remus spoke, obviously catching her train of thought.
"Exactly," she nodded whilst the two boys perked up and listened eagerly.
"We're going 'ta learn magic soon?" Harry asked eagerly.
"Well we can't keep putting it off," Alice said then glanced at Evan, "We are still decided on that, aren't we dear?"
"Yeah," he nodded, "I think it's important."
"Bout time," Neville sniffed and Evan's lips quirked as he saw Harry's hand twitch towards the back of the boy's head before changing his mind.
"Well," Remus said, "I suppose I could set up some plans this weekend and start them on Monday."
"I thought you were just going to start with that sparks thing?" Evan asked curiously, "For wand control wasn't it?"
He nodded, "Yes but I also thought I might start them on some theory of the three core wand-based courses."
"Charms, Transfiguration and Defence," Alice said and nodded in approval before Neville let out a groan.
"Theory? But that's like- like, work," he moaned, "Not the fun stuff."
"But it's still magic," Harry countered, his mood eager and excited in direct contrast to his friend, "Come one Nev, it'll be fun."
"'Fun' he says. Learning book stuff is 'fun'," the Longbottom heir shook his head woefully, "Gonna be a Ravenclaw that one."
The adults all smiled, amused. In the comfortable silence that followed Evan recalled the task he had set himself. He needed for someone to look after Harry whilst he went to Little Hangleton. Unfortunately Remus – who he had planned on asking – now had plans which would doubtless keep him busy and holed up in the library for most of the weekend.
For a moment he wondered what to do before mentally smacking his forehead as the obvious solution came to him.
"Alice," he said, interrupting during a pause in the quiet conversation she had been having with Remus.
"I had something I need to do tomorrow and I was wondering if you could maybe take Harry for a few hours?" he asked, noticing his ward's head perk up at hearing his name mentioned, "If it's not too much trouble that is. I mean if it is-"
"Evan," she interrupted his babbling with a kind smile, "That's not a problem at all. So long as I'm not busy all you ever need do is ask. Harry's a lovely boy; he's always welcome."
At her comment the younger Potter grinned widely, so pleased with the compliment that he forgot to ask what exactly it was that Evan needed to do.
– Sat, 11/6/1988 –
The next morning shortly after breakfast Evan ushered Harry back up to his room telling him to get dressed and ready for going to the Longbottoms' place.
"Make sure you have everything you need to take with you."
"If I forget anything I have my ring to bring me back."
"Definitely not. You're not allowed to simply portkey off whenever you like; you'd worry Aunt Alice sick," he said then paused and blinked as he realised how parental he sounded.
"Okay," Harry agreed with a sigh and Evan nodded, heading back out the room.
"Oh, and you are to bring along absolutely no pranking items!" he added at the doorway with a firm look before disappearing from sight.
Almost an hour later Evan dropped Harry off at Longbottom Manor via his ring's return portkey mechanism (currently set to the home's parlour room). After a quick chat with Aunt Alice and ensuring Harry was settled he portkeyed back to his ring's primary portkey destination (the Entrance Hall of Potter Manor) and went in search of Remus. Finding the man in the library, already almost buried under piles of books and parchment, he let him know he was heading off. Receiving a distracted goodbye he then headed back to the Entrance Hall and took an unpleasant floo trip to the Leaky Cauldron.
Hauling himself back to his feet and dusting the soot from his robes he cast a glance around, satisfied that he was receiving little attention apart from the occasional amused look at his rather inelegant entrance. That was to be expected of course, his having cast his 'Barney' disguise upon himself before leaving the Manor. If he had come glamour-less he would no doubt have caused quite the scene but at it was he received not a fraction of the notice that he no doubt would have gained had anyone realised the mysterious 'Head of Potter' was in their midst.
Satisfied that his clothes were once again clean he removed his wizard's cloak and stowed it in one of his trousers' magically enhanced pockets before slipping quietly and unnoticed from the pub.
Emerging in muggle London he immediately paused at the difference, grimacing at the noise of the traffic and polluted smell of the air. Shaking his head he discreetly extended his wand to summon the Knight Bus, confident that its layers of charms would prevent its notice from the muggles, even here in plain sight. Although – he thought wryly as the triple-decker, purple monstrosity suddenly appeared on the street with a loud 'BANG' and came to a halt before him with the screeching of brakes – how anyone could possibly miss such a sight was rather difficult to comprehend.
The doors wheezed open and he was greeted a pimply young conductor who reminded him of Stan Shunpike but wasn't.
"Welcome to the Knight Bus; emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard…"
Letting the man finish the familiar speech he then gave his destination, handed over a small handful of silver and went to find a seat. A white-knuckled ride later the bus came to a sudden stop.
"Little Hangleton!" the pimply teen called out.
Peeling his fingers from the rests of his armchair he stood shakily, nodding briefly to the driver and conductor before disembarking. As the doors wheezed closed behind him there was a 'BANG' and the bus disappeared from sight.
With a sigh he turned around, taking in his location. He found himself standing beside a badly maintained road with a sign off to the side stating the name of the town ahead. Looking in that direction he could see a small village in the near distance. It seemed a bland and dreary place, especially with the grey clouds overhead. Personally Evan thought that it was fitting, given that it was from here that Voldemort's father originated. Speaking of; he spread his gaze wider and quickly found what he was looking for.
Off to the right a fair distance from the town proper there was a dilapidated looking manor set upon a hill as though overlooking the village. Recalling from his fifth year – and the nightmares that followed it – that the manor was visible from the graveyard, he decided to head in that direction.
Not wanting to attract any notice – and knowing a stranger in such a small, isolated village would do just that – he decided he could use magic could aid him. Withdrawing his wand he cast a notice-me-not charm on himself – a spell he had learned out of curiosity shortly after he and Jarnack had discovered it was used to hide his parents' will – and headed down into the village. As expected the muggles barely acknowledged his presence and he passed easily through the cobblestone streets, heading towards the direction of Riddle House.
Finally reaching the edges of the town he found himself on an ill-kempt road leading towards the Manor. His attention however was drawn instead to the smaller, more worn path branching somewhat to the left and the wooden sign nailed to a tree pointing in that direction.
"'Little Hangleton Cemetery'," he read the sign aloud, "Looks like that's my heading."
Turning, he set off onto the smaller path. After a short walk he knew he was nearing his destination as headstones began appearing scattered throughout the trees. Shortly after that he emerged into the main section of the cemetery and stopped. Looking around he couldn't help the memories that suddenly swirled through his mind's eye as he mentally relived his past experiences in the alternate version of this graveyard.
Several minutes later Evan came back to awareness to find himself slumped against a nearby tree, shivering and with his arms wrapped tightly about himself. Forcing himself to take deep, even breaths he felt that he was finally calming down and was able to then take in the scene around him in a more clinical manner.
The most obvious detail was that it was currently daytime, as opposed to the darkness in which he had arrived during the last task of the Triwizard Tournament. Which also meant there was no cup, no Cedric, no Wormtail and no Voldemort present. Those thoughts calmed him immensely and he was able to pull himself back to his feet and look around. Even in the daytime it was a gloomy looking place but he found now that his unreasonable panic had abated that it really didn't instil the same terror it had that night. Of course that could have a lot to do with the fact that he was not here due to being kidnapped to take place in a dark ritual.
He snorted in amusement at his sardonic thoughts and began wandering between the headstones, absentmindedly reading names and inscriptions as he passed. Spotting a familiar angel statue he came to a halt and pivoted in a circle, managing to make it two thirds of the way around before stopping short.
"And there it is," he murmured to himself as he forced his feet to move towards the large, marble headstone, "'Tom Riddle'."
Voldemort's father's grave.
He stood staring blankly at the engraved name before blinking and forcing himself into action.
"Right," he nodded, shaking off his stupor "This is what I came for. But first, I don't want to risk getting interrupted or maybe even arrested if some muggle wanders this way and sees what I'm doing."
Giving it some thought he decided to once again make use of the notice-me-not spell. Several charms layered about the headstone later and he was satisfied that he would be able to paint himself blue and run around naked in circles singing the national anthem without even raising a passer-by's eyebrow.
Setting to work he began digging, mentally sending thanks to Lady Gwen for advising he spend his afternoon yesterday learning a simple excavation charm for this very purpose. In a surprisingly short amount of time there was a sizeable pile of dirt off to the side and the coffin of Tom Riddle Sr was now clearly visible.
"Wingardium Leviosa," he incanted, levitating the coffin up out of the earth.
Tucking his wand away again, he approached the coffin and attempted to lift the lid only to find it sealed shut. Frowning he wondered what to do before deciding that he had no particular desire to view the body itself and may as well destroy the entire thing, coffin and all. Nodding at his decision, he took several steps back and pointed his wand at the casket.
"Incendio," he stated firmly.
Fire leapt from his wand and the foot of the coffin was set alight. Unfortunately it seemed the spell was designed to simply light the target then stop. Frowning he pointed his wand once again and focussed on maintaining the spell rather than letting it taper off. To his delight it did as he hoped and he was able to let his wand direct the flame to spread all the way up the coffin until the whole thing was set ablaze.
Stepping back to distance himself from the heat of the flames he maintained the spell, hoping to speed the process along. Sure enough no more than ten minutes later all that remained of the coffin and body of Tom Riddle Sr was ash and a burned patch of grass. Deciding to be extra careful, he then cast an Evanesco at the ashes, vanishing the remains.
"-over here somewhere!"
Jumping and spinning around he looked up to see a pair of muggle men approaching. Holding his breath and hoping his notice-me-not charms were as effective as he believed he watched them come closer, listening in to their conversation in order to discern why they were here.
"Are you sure?" a wiry looking man asked his fellow, "I can't see anything here."
"Of course I'm sure. This here's were the smoke came from isn't it?"
Evan winced. Well, he couldn't be expected to get everything right, could he? Still, if the charms worked right then…
"Well I'm not seeing anything. Maybe it was some kids playing a trick."
The two continued approaching, before suddenly veering off and Evan sighed in relief. They hadn't been able to overpower the charms to notice either him or the open grave.
"Might be right. What say we head on back?"
"Sounds like a fine idea to me."
He remained still as he watched the two figures retreat, a satisfied smile on his lips. Once they were out of sight he turned back to the pile of dirt and cast a spell, sending it back into the empty grave. Frowning, he stared at the sunken area that was made now that the coffin was gone. Wondering what to do he eventually decided to simply leave the notice-me-not charms up. Hopefully by the time the magic failed and they faded away nature should have taken care of the problem and levelled the ground out for him. Happy with his decision and how smoothly the entire venture had gone – the blunder with the smoke aside – he portkeyed back home.
ABANDONED & ADOPTED
This was my very first story, and looking back I'm both proud and a bit embarrassed by it. Though I decided to leave it up, I'm afraid I long ago lost interest in continuing it. However, I consider my abandoned stories open to other authors interested in continuing them (so long as they ask first). This is what has happened with 'Second Life'. You can find the details of the adoption and a link to the new story on my profile page.