Title: Mr. Robaato
Author: Shara Lunison
Warnings: AU, non-Hogwarts Harry and Neville.
Summary: Dumbledore warns both the Potters and the Longbottoms about the Dark Lord's impending attack on one of their families. They decide to take matters into their own hands and create a secret that only they and a man named Robaato-san know of. Both families are attacked, but the boys left behind are only robots. The real Harry and Neville are in Japan under the care of Robaato-san and grow up far away from Britain and Hogwarts. Inspired by Mr. Roboto by Styx
Disclaim Her: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: A new idea! Please read and review! Let me know what you think!!!
Chapter One—Bad News
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, surveyed the people assembled in the Potter's sitting room. Lily and James Potter were trying to hush their son, Harry, who was only six months old this week. Across the room Alice and Frank Longbottom were laying down their son Neville in the crib the two children were sharing for the evening. Both boys had been born on the same night in St. Mungo's; Harry just before midnight on July the 31st, and Neville minutes after on August 1st. It had created a strong bond between the two families, one that Dumbledore hoped would see them through the newest crisis he was bringing to their attention tonight.
Lily settled Harry in the crib with Neville, placing his pacifier in his mouth. Most witches didn't use the muggle device, but even Alice could freely admit that it prevented a lot of crying from the youngest Potter.
As they settled before him, Dumbledore clasped his hands together before him and shuffled to stand in front of the fireplace. The warm flames eased the aching bones he suffered from in the cold January weather and with a twinkling smile, he began.
"I am afraid that I have some disturbing news."
No one spoke, or asked what he meant. All of these young parents were member of the Order of the Phoenix, and so were (unfortunately) accustomed to portents of doom, death, and destruction raining from the lips of Albus Dumbledore.
"Last summer I attempted to get a head start on interviewing candidates to fill the position of Divination Professor at Hogwarts after dear Lucinda passed away. I happened across a woman named Sibyll Trelawney, who happens to be the great, great granddaughter of Cassandra Trelawney, a renowned Seer. At first I thought she was a complete fraud, but then, quite suddenly, she gave what I believe to be a real prophecy. A prophecy which I have since determined concerns you and your families."
James shook his head. "What do you mean? How does it concern us?"
"What does it say?" Alice asked, glancing anxiously at the crib where both boys were now sleeping.
"I do not believe it would be prudent to share the details of the prophecy with anyone. The important part is, it has come to my attention that there was a spy listening to the interview who heard a portion of the prophecy and has reported his findings back to Voldemort."
Everyone else in the room flinched.
"You have to tell us what it said, Albus. Especially if it involves our families. You mean Harry and Neville, don't you? Are they in danger from You-Know-Who?" Lily demanded.
Albus shook his head sadly. "I cannot tell you, Lily. If the rest of the prophecy got to Voldemort, there's no telling what could happen. But yes, I think one of your families is in danger. Harry and Neville had not been born at the time the prophecy was made, but now there is no doubt that it concerns them. The only problem is that I don't know which one. The prophecy is somewhat vague on that point."
Lily was on her feet in seconds. "You listen to me, Albus Dumbledore. You will tell us this prophecy now. How are we supposed to protect our children if we don't even know why they're in danger? We've all been in danger from You-Know-Who constantly; I don't see how a prophecy would change that."
He raised his hands to placate her. "Up until now, he was not targeting you directly. But now, he has a reason. Now he will be seeking you out and he will be coming for Harry, or for Neville. He will be coming to kill them. We have to protect them."
She shook her head and went to remove Harry from the crib, disappearing upstairs with him. Alice seemed to hesitate and then followed suit, bringing Neville upstairs to join Lily in the nursery.
"What do you think?" Alice asked her, settling the boys next to each other.
"I think it's high time someone beat Albus Dumbledore at his own game. He's always so concerned with the greater good that he forgets the individual person in the process. He may very well want to protect our sons, Alice, but by not telling us the prophecy he is also endangering them."
"So what do you suggest?"
Lily smiled craftily. She hadn't been best friends with Severus Snape for six years for nothing. "James and Frank will likely agree with anything he says. Tomorrow, bring Neville with you while they're at work. We're going to pay a visit to the Department of Mysteries."
Alice blanched. "To the room of prophecies? But we don't even know where to look, Lily."
"If that prophecy involves either of our sons, it will be recorded there. And they will be able to touch it and remove it from the shelf so we can see it. We'll put it back before we leave, but I have to know what it says. I want to protect my son at all costs. And Neville too."
"All right. I'll come first thing tomorrow morning after Frank leaves for the Auror office."
Downstairs, Albus discussed the problem of protection with James and Frank.
"I will cast a Fidelius Charm on your homes. No one will be able to find you. But you must choose a secret keeper to keep the information hidden. Discuss it with your wives. I will return in a week's time to perform the necessary preparations. Good luck, gentlemen."
The two men exchanged looks and went upstairs as Albus left. It was up to them to convince their wives.
The next morning, Alice appeared in the Potter's fireplace holding Neville in a clever fabric pouch that Lily had given her for Christmas from a muggle magazine.
"Ready to go?" Lily asked, situating Harry in a similar pouch.
"Yup. They should be in the office by now. How are we going to get in?"
Lily grinned. "We're going to ask."
They entered the Ministry through the lift entrance in the muggle telephone booth. Inside they had their wands weighed by the guard attending the gates and took the first available elevator down to the lowest area of the structure. The guard on attendance here smiled his welcome at Lily and Alice, recognizing them as Aurors even though they were currently on maternity leave.
"Jones," Lily greeted him with relief. It would be much easier since she knew this guard. "We need to view a prophecy in the DoM. Can you fetch us an escort?"
His eyebrows shot upwards at the word 'prophecy' but he obliged nevertheless. He knocked on the ordinary black wooden door beside him and a few minutes later a petite woman with a shock of orange-blonde hair poked her head out.
"Hello? What's this, then?" she asked Jones.
"Mrs. Potter and Mrs. Longbottom would like to view a prophecy and requested an escort. Can you…?"
She smiled. "Of course. Wait just a moment." The door snapped shut momentarily and they heard a strange grinding of gears and then the woman reappeared. "Come on in."
Lily and Alice entered and looked around with interest. Neither of them had been in the DoM before, so everything was new. The room they were in was circular and contained at least ten different doors identical to the one they had just come through.
"If you find the need to address me, call me Unspeakable Smith or just Smith," tThe woman told them. "Now, follow me. I'll take you to the hall of prophecies."
She opened the door directly across from them and they entered a dark corridor with walls made of steel. There were sounds coming from either side. Clearly, the walls were panels that could be raised and lowered to protect the secrets within. At the end of that room they came into a long, wide, and tall room filled with shelf after shelf of crystal orbs.
"This is the hall. Which prophecy did you need?"
Alice gaped around herself with an open mouth. "Er… it would be a recent one. Told by Sibyll Trelawney to Albus Dumbledore and possibly regarding Harry Potter or Neville Longbottom."
Smith's eyebrows were raised. "Indeed. Follow me."
They walked for several minutes until they reached what seemed to be the proper aisle. "It'll be three shelves down on the left," Smith told them, seeming content to wait where she was.
"Thank you," Lily said sincerely.
Smith nodded with a smile.
They quickly found the correct shelf and studied the label.
S.P.T. to A.P.W.B.D.
and child born in late July/early August
"This is it," Lily murmured. Harry was gurgling in his carrier and reaching out with a baby grin towards the flickering orb. "It can still be either of them. There must be some way to tell which one."
"Let him take it," Alice murmured. "The shelves are spelled so that only those who heard, gave, or are mentioned in the prophecy can touch it. Right now any child born at the end of July could move it."
Lily removed Harry from the carrier and lifted him up. "Go on, Prongslet, take it." He reached out both hands and rolled the orb gently off the shelf to let it fall. Alice caught it, letting her breath out in a whoosh as it came dangerously close to smashing.
The two mothers held it between them and silently listened as the specter of a woman surfaced from within the orb, her thick spectacles magnifying her eyes horribly.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…"
"So that's it," Alice whispered. "One of our sons, because of when they're born, and because we have defied You-Know-Who, will have to fight him or die trying." She sighed and turned away, leaving the orb in Lily's hands.
"No wonder Albus wouldn't tell us." Lily seethed, staring at the orb. "He's already grooming them to be his Chosen One. A baby, not even a year old, to defeat the worst Dark Lord our world has ever seen."
"Never mind hiding our families," Alice muttered. "We need them to completely disappear. There's no way You-Know-Who will give up on finding them, no matter how little of the prophecy he's heard. But especially if he's heard only the first part…" she trailed off, realizing the implications.
"If he's only heard the first part, then he would strike without knowing what the rest of the prophecy says. He would mark one of them 'as his equal'," Lily finished. She hastily placed the orb back on the shelf and hugged Harry close to herself.
"I have an idea," Alice whispered.
"I'm all ears," Lily answered, "But not here. Let's get home and let the boys play for the rest of the morning. We can discuss it there."
Smith was waiting for them at the end of the aisle when they reemerged. She stopped with one upraised hand and looked directly at Alice. "I know what you're planning, and it has merit. Take this." She handed the other woman a plain muggle business card with one name on it: Mr. Robaato. "He can help you."
"You know?" Lily asked, perplexed. "You won't tell anyone, will you?"
Smith shook her head and began leading them back to the exit. "I am incapable of telling anyone anything. Besides, I'm due for a wipe this afternoon. I won't even remember you being here after three o'clock." She smiled back at them mysteriously. "But you must promise not to share that with anyone."
Both women nodded, despite their confusion.
They left Unspeakable Smith at the entrance door and said goodbye to Jones before going home. Behind them, the blonde woman silently obliviated their presence from Jones' mind. The trip had taken only one short hour, so there was little chance of them accidentally running into their husbands, and they didn't see anyone else they knew the whole time they were there.
Back in the Potter living room, the mothers discussed their options, studying the strange business card while they watched the boys playing on the floor.
"I was originally just thinking of sending them into hiding and transfiguring something in their place to look like them, but maybe we should see what this Mr. Robaato can do first," Alice confessed.
Lily nodded. "The transfiguration would have been good, but the transformations won't last long enough. Merlin only knows how long we'll be hiding before he comes for us. What does the card say?"
Alice shook her head. "Nothing, just "Mr. Robaato, 1-5 Fujisaki, Osaka, Japan and some other numbers. Hang on, it looks like there's something written down here. It's practically invisible!"
Lily leaned over to look more closely, then gently tilted up the card so that the hidden words shone in the light. "Portkey password." She took her hands off of the card immediately. "It's a portkey. Put it down first." Alice followed suit. "The password is Jinzou Ningen."
A light shot out of the card and engulfed the two mothers and their children immediately. They felt that strange and horrible feeling of a hook behind their navels dragging them along hundreds of miles each second. And then suddenly they landed with a jolt, both Alice and Lily falling onto their rumps since they had been sitting and Harry and Neville giggling at their mothers' antics while they continued to play with their toys, which had come with them.
"Where are we?" Alice gasped.
"I don't know. Japan, if the card is true. But it shouldn't have worked without us touching it."
"It is a special portkey of my own design."
The women turned and stood up, grasping their wands as they saw the source of the voice. He was of medium height for a man, with clearly Asian skin and features. But his eyes were a warm dark brown and he was smiling at them, completely non-threatening.
"My name is Robert," he said, his accent making the name come out as 'Robaato'. "I am here to help you."
A/N: Jinzou Ningen means "robot". Muwahahahahaha!!! Read and review, ne? ^_~