A/N: Some of this chapter will give you background on Harry's children.
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Terry Skeeter slowly walked into the small cottage, his mind running with a thousand questions all at once. He followed the ancient legend, keeping a good two or three steps behind him as they slowly walked through the magically enlarged foyer. The entry hall was rather small, even for a magically enlarged room, with an umbrella stand in the corner by the door and a small broom closet off to the side. A few pictures hung on the wall, mostly of what Terry recognized as the almost equally famous children of Harry Potter.
One urban legend that surrounded Harry was that, when he was a child, he had been predicted to have a long life, be Minister for Magic and have twelve children. While the first part had certainly come true, the other two had not. He had never even once considered running for Minister, and he only had seven children, not twelve. The oldest was nearly a century old in his own right. James Albus Potter had in fact run for Minister for Magic, and had served in that capacity for nearly twenty years now. It could have been Harry for all that was certain as he was nearly an exact duplicate of him from the messy black hair to the sparkling green eyes.
His eldest daughter, about sixteen months younger than James, was Lillian Rose Potter, called Lily for short. She was much her mother's daughter as she was Harry's, possessing Hermione's looks and brains with Harry's iron will and courage. She had gone a different route, becoming a healer of rather great notoriety.
Daniel Sirius Potter had followed initially in his father's footsteps, becoming an Auror and eventually moving to Norway to become an instructor at the Drumstrang Institute, primarily because he didn't really want to work for his father. Once Harry had gone into semi-retirement however, Daniel had gone to Hogwarts to take up the position of Defense Professor.
Casey and Samantha Potter were identical twins, and shared their father's love for Quidditch, each becoming beaters for the Holyhead Harpies and leading said team to five straight National Championships.
Andrew Potter was something of the black sheep of the family. He looked nothing like Harry or Hermione, instead more resembling Hermione's father with piercing black eyes and a messy head of dirty blonde hair. He had been the only Potter not sorted into Gryffindor, instead finding his way into Slytherin, and becoming something of a troublemaker while he was there. He worked for the Department of Mysteries, researching of all things, death.
Finally there was Emily, the gentlest soul of the many Potter children and the youngest. She had followed in her mother's footsteps as well, becoming an advocate for the underprivileged witches, wizards & magical creatures of the world. Indeed all of Harry's children had gone on to have fulfilling and legendary careers in their own right. Some of Harry's grandchildren and even great-grandchildren had gone on to have productive careers. Terry remembered that recently, Harry had become a great-great-great grandfather for the first time, as the young Nicolette Weasley had been born.
"If there's one thing I'm proud of more than anything in my life," came a raspy voice from ahead of him, "It's my family. I've always had one to a certain degree, but this family that I helped create is such a part of me that…oh you probably don't want that in your book do you?" Terry turned and glanced at Harry, who looked back at him with twinkling eyes. "After all, people just want to read about my adventures don't they?"
"I don't know about that," Terry said hesitantly as he moved through the various number of pictures mounted on the wall. "I mean, sure that's what most people want to read about. But there are a good number of people who want to read about your life. There are so many questions people have…so many questions I have…" he trailed off, surprised to see Harry chuckling. "Did I say something?"
"No…it's just that you remind me a lot of your grandmother." Harry turned back and walked towards a small opening at the end of the hall. He walked through to find a large great room with a happily smoldering fire in the ornate brick fireplace off in the corner. The walls were painted a calming tan, a bit darker than the rest of the house's paint décor (that Terry had seen, anyway). More pictures lined the walls, both muggle and magical, creating a variety of moving and still pictures throughout the room. One picture in particular caught Terry's eye. It was situated on a large cabinet at the far edge of the room, on which sat several family photos. Dead in the center of the cabinet was a large picture in a white frame. It was taken in autumn, and featured a far younger Harry and what Terry assumed to be a far younger Hermione Potter dancing slowly in the moonlight, each clad in their wedding robes. "I always did like that picture," came Harry's voice, cracking a bit at the memory. It was understandable, thought Terry, considering that his wife was now dead.
"How long has it been," Terry asked, taking close care to examine the picture.
"Two years this month." Harry replied, rubbing his eyes behind his oval-rimmed glasses. He snickered morbidly, "That's why I always hate the month of June. So many people were taken from me in this month."
"How did she die, if you don't mind me asking?"
"No, not at all." Harry walked over and leaned against the cabinet, his eyes shimmering with though and memory. "It was simply time catching up with her. We learned when she was pregnant with Lily that this would one day happen. The curse that a Death Eater hit her with when she was younger had left a lasting impact on her body and magical core. Her magic was strong enough to fight off the corrupting influence of the curse, but one day would not be, and there was nothing she could do to stop it. Merlin knows we tried. We saw every healer and specialist in Britain and throughout the world that we could think of. But in the end, after six years of searching, we decided just to make the best of what years we would have together. I was blessed to have a century of her love and her life. About four years ago she began to fade. We tried strengthening potions, but it was only delaying the inevitable. Six months before the end she was confined to this house, which is why I left Hogwarts so that I could be with her. Two months before the end she was limited to her movements, and she spent the last two weeks in bed." He stopped, catching his breath and trying to control his emotions.
"I'm sorry…I didn't mean to…"
Harry waved him off. "It's alright. It's just still fresh in my mind is all. He cleared his throat and motioned for Terry to sit down. "But enough about that, you probably need to get started. Please, have a seat. Can I get you something to drink?"
"Butterbeer if you have it," Terry replied, sitting down across from Harry, who slowly lowered himself into a large purple chair.
"Colby," Harry said aloud, causing the elf to quickly pop into existence next to him. "Two butterbeers please, and keep them full if you don't mind."
"Healers be saying Master should be drinking tea…and tea alone." Colby said to Harry, his hands on his hips and his left foot tapping up and down. Harry groaned and rolled his eyes.
"Honestly Colby, you're as bad as your mother sometimes. Fine…one butterbeer and some tea with lemon." Colby nodded, smiling satisfactorily before snapping his fingers and disappearing. He reappeared a few moments later, both drinks in his hands.
"Master should call again if he needs anything. Colby will be right along." At that, the elf promptly vanished into thin air once more. Harry chuckled to himself.
"He's got the spirit of his father and the heart of his mother." He looked at Terry who seemed befuddled. "I'm sorry let me explain. Colby is the son of two house elves whom I had the honor of befriending in my youth named Dobby and Winky. Poor Winky passed on about fifteen years ago, and Dobby shortly thereafter. With the children long since grown, I guess they thought it was their time. For the last two years it's been Colby and me, save for when my children and grandchildren come over for a visit, when they can manage."
"I thought you didn't own any house elves," Terry said, pulling out his quill and parchment roll. "I know your wife abhorred their enslavement and always tried to push for equal rights."
"Yes she did. And I don't own Colby. He works for me, for wages, just as his parents did. Hermione and I employed several house elves over the years, most of them freed elves from pureblood families that died out. The only elf I ever owned was a bloke by the name of Kreacher, and thankfully I didn't own him for long." His face darkened slightly, but didn't linger for long, instead becoming more somber. "I guess the other answer to your question is because I am the only one left who can tell such a story. All of the people who witnessed it first hand are dead now. Ironic…that I would be the last one left. The Boy-Who-Lived indeed. Not that it will matter much before long."
Terry cringed his brow in thought for a moment before his eyes went wide with realization. "You mean you're?"
"Yes, my end is coming. I guess I've known that too for a long time. This is why I must tell my story now, before it goes to the next great adventure with me." He paused, taking a sip of his tea. "So, where do we begin?"
Terry thought long and hard before he finally asked the most pressing question on his mind. Surprisingly, it had everything, and at the same time very little, to do with the book that needed to be written. "I guess my first question would be," Terry clearly stated, "Would be to ask why now? Why after all these years have you finally decided to tell your true story…especially with so many…"
"Of the false stories out there?" Harry finished, causing Terry to nod his head. "That is exactly the reason. For years I have allowed these half-truths and crackpot theories to be played out. Every last Joe and Jane Merlin have their own idea as to what the truth is, and many of them shout it at the top of their lungs until the sound of it all is a cacophony of voices."
"But some of them are partially true," Terry noted, "Some of them even have your children in them."
"Yes, that's true."
Harry agreed, sipping his tea, "But those aren't the ones I'm
concerned with. It's mainly the ones that have to deal with the
time leading up to and right after my defeat of Voldemort over a
hundred years ago. My Hogwarts years." Terry nodded, and Harry
leaned forward, picking up an orange covered book from the coffee
"Have you seen this one?"
Terry took the book from him and glanced at the cover, seeing a young Harry in battle with a cloaked wizard. Not finding a title or an author, he leafed through the book, seeing a few pages here and there, but laughing when he saw the very ending of it.
"But…this has you…"
"I know," Harry said flatly, not at all amused. "And Merlin knows I cared for Ginny deeply, but the very idea of me marrying someone other than Hermione is downright insulting to me and my wife's memory. It's filth like that which has brought me to you, to set the record straight for history once and for all…lest something like…that…become the accurate truth in 500 years."
Terry nodded, making sure to take down much of this for his introductory chapter, which was already beginning to formulate in his mind. He paused, double-checking that his dictation pensieve was working properly so that he could consult the interview more in-depth later if necessary, before he asked another personal question. "Why me, then? Out of all the established journalists…or for that matter your grandchildren who write for the Quibbler…why did you decide to ask me to write it?"
Harry let out a hearty laugh and smiled warmly at the young man. "Again, that was because of your grandmother. Some years ago I promised Rita that if I ever wrote my memoirs, I'd let her write them. I guess I was just putting it off, when she suddenly died." Terry nodded morbidly, and Harry paused for a moment before he continued. "After that I promised myself that if I ever did decide to write them, I'd let one of her descendants do it for me. No disrespect, but your father was never much of a writer, so when I heard that you were a member of the Daily Prophet staff, I decided to offer it to you." Terry smiled and drank the rest of his butterbeer, amazed when he found it quickly replenished the moment he set the glass down. "I knew Colby wouldn't let me down," Harry said with a smile.
Terry nodded and resituated himself on the small couch across from Harry. Crossing his legs and preparing to write, he started at the logical point. "Well I guess the best place to start is your time with the Dursley's. I understand not much is known about those early years, and given the abuse you suffered at their…." Terry stopped when he saw Harry break out into another deep, hearty laugh. "What did I say?" he asked.
"I'm sorry but…" Harry answered back, wiping his eyes as he controlled his merriment, "That is one of the things that I was talking about earlier that the books never get right." He lost all the happiness in his face as he thought about it for a moment, "It's actually one of the things I regret most about letting these things go on for as long as they have. I let my own worry and fear get in the way of clearing their names." Terry cocked an eyebrow, but Harry stopped him from asking the obvious question, "I wasn't treated badly by the Dursleys, far from it as a matter of fact."
"But…even the accurate books say that…"
"Books can be deceiving Terry," Harry said with a mindful tone. "But I won't patronize you, just tell you the way things were…let's see…how do I begin…"
A/N: It's far shorter than I would have liked, but I intend on revealing much more information about the future and everything later.
The story will not change tense, but will be alternating between the two time frames repeatedly. I'll try and include different scene divides (different from my usual ones) to indicate that we are switching back to the future (or present, in this story's universe) or back to the past.
The concept of the Dursley's treating Harry well was the basis for another fanfiction I started writing but never posted called "The Life of Harry Dursley." Several elements (though not the idea of Harry considering Vernon and Petunia his real parents) from that story will make their way into this one.