Story Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. I do not own it. I write this purely for pleasure, and receive no profit from it.
Summary: Massively AU. Assume nothing. Harry Potter is born into a very different wizarding world than the one in the books. A world where the Great Ones of history walk among mere men. A world where power is all that matters, and young Harry Potter is a commodity desired by many.
Author's Notes: Welcome to my new story! This has been bubbling in my mind for about 3 years now. And now, finally, it is being written and published to the world at large. I can't make any promises on update rates - life is busy. Nonetheless, I shall attempt to be as dedicated as possible. Rest assured that I have a plan for the story, so there's no chance of me writing myself into a corner I can't get out of. This also means that I won't really be taking suggestions. Feel free to speculate though. Finally, I would advise you to take seriously the disclaimer in the story summary. Assume nothing. Of course, I play off of the ideas about HP you already have, and utilise - as all fanfiction does - the fact that I don't need to explain in great detail some things to you. However, this story is unashamedly Alternate Universe. There's not much about the setting, characters, or plot that I haven't changed. If you have a problem with this, then I suggest you - well, I suggest you read it anyway, and make your mind up afterwards.
I recommend reading this in 3/4 format.
Harry Potter and the Lords of Magic
The burning cottage lit the night with a soft orange glow, the roaring and crackling of the flames piercing the peaceful calm of Godric's Hollow. Sirens could be heard in the distance - someone in the village had alerted the emergency services. The police, however, would arrive too late.
Had the night been quiet the whole village might have heard the wizards arrive. Two loud cracks, like the snap of a whip, would have echoed throughout the countryside as they materialised out of thin air, their closely-cut robes rustling with the swirl of magic. As it was, the noise of the fire covered their arrival on the front lawn.
Both men were youthful and handsome in an old-world kind of way, and there was a distinct familial resemblance between them. Black hair, strong jaws and high cheekbones were the order of the day.
"Good gods," muttered one as he took in the sight of the house, his face grim. "John, there's no way..."
They both knew what was left unsaid. Anyone left in the house was surely dead. But they had their orders. John took the lead, striding towards the front door of the house - or what was left of it.
"We must hurry!" he cried, drawing his wand as he broke into a run. He waved the wand in a rushed motion at himself, before pointing it at the door. A nimbus of red light shot forward at a startling speed and smashed into the door, knocking it down like it had been given a hard kick.
Fire exploded out of the doorway as it sought new oxygen to consume, but the wizard paid it no mind and ran right into it, apparently unharmed. He did not wait to see if his companion followed.
The interior of the house was as bad as the exterior suggested. What had once been a homely sitting room was now nothing but flames and smoke. John quickly tapped his mouth with his wand and a bubble appeared there, supplying him with clean air.
Between the fire and the smoke it was impossible to see. Getting desperate, John moved to go towards the kitchen, but was interrupted by a voice from behind him.
"Homenum Revelio!" shouted his companion, and then after a brief pause, "Upstairs! There's someone upstairs!"
Both ran to the stairs and climbed, hoping beyond hope for a miracle. Impossibly, the cry of a baby met them as they reached the landing.
"Harry!" cried John.
"In the bedroom!" replied his friend.
They burst into the bedroom, the door long since disintegrated, and barely took in the form of a burning body on the floor before spotting the baby Harry, innocent green eyes wide, sitting on the floor with a ring of fire around him, some magic protecting him. John picked him up without thinking.
A loud crash came from downstairs and the floor shook.
"That was the stairs!"
"Thomas, take Harry and apparate out!" shouted John, "I'm finding James!"
John thrust baby Harry into Thomas' hands without waiting for a reply and ran back out of the room. Thomas let him go, but knew there was no hope. If James had survived, he would have been able to rescue Harry himself.
Shaking his head, he clutched Harry to his chest and spun on the spot, disappearing as if he had imploded into nothing. He appeared once more back on the front lawn, none the worse for wear. Harry was still crying. Thomas tried to rock him, but it was no use - not a surprise, given what he had been through.
A minute later John crashed back out of the house, just as the roof collapsed. He was carrying a body. James Potter's body was unrecognisable, his skin charred black and waxy. Not even magic could save him now.
John started towards Thomas, tears running down his face, but after two steps he froze. A chill went down Thomas' spine. John was looking at something behind him.
He spun around, and his heart sank.
There, standing in front of him, was a little girl. In one hand she was clutching a worn teddy bear, in the other she held a wand. Her hair was in pig tails and she had impossibly large eyes, staring at Thomas.
She was impossibly cute, and the worst possible thing that could have happened.
Thomas took a step back. This was not good.
"My Lady Lucena," he said with a slight bow of his head. Formality was good. It was safe. "What an unexpected pleasure."
The girl blinked, and a feral smile grew on her face. Such an expression looked simply wrong on the girl.
The was a tearing sound, like a curtain ripping, and Thomas felt something warm splatter him from behind. Instinctively he turned around again, and immediately wished he hadn't.
John was gone, replaced by a blast radius of blood and gore. He had, quite literally, exploded. Fear and despair ran through Thomas. His mind shut down, refusing to process the death of his son. He could only manage one thought:
He spun on the spot, trying to apparate away, but nothing happened. Lucena must have stopped him.
"The boy, Potter," she said, her voice both childish and regal.
Thomas took another step back.
The girl raised her wand.
And with the slightest whisper of wind, a man appeared between them. He was tall and thin, very old, wore brightly coloured robes, and had a long silvery beard.
This time it was Lucena that froze.
"Dumbledore," she said, her voice flat, her wand still half-raised. She paused for a moment, completely still, then lowered her arm.
Albus Dumbledore assessed the scene in an instant. His eyes grew sad as he saw the house, and a trace of anger appeared when he saw the bloodstain that had been John Potter.
"Persephone," he replied evenly, "your presence is, as always, most unwelcome."
Thomas prepared to run. If they were to fight, Thomas did not want to be near ground zero.
Lucena twitched her wand, and in an instant Dumbledore's own was pointing at her, quicker than the eye could follow.
She spat on the ground, and disappeared with a pop.
Dumbledore visibly relaxed, and his wand disappeared once more. The danger gone, everything hit Thomas at once - the death of both his son and grandson in one night. He fell to his knees. His hands were shaking. Harry was still crying.
Dumbledore put a hand on Thomas' shoulder and squeezed lightly.
"They will all be greatly missed," he said, "but we cannot mourn them now. We must think to the future."
Thomas nodded mutely, and passed Harry to Dumbledore. The baby stopped crying.
"Ah, he remembers me!" said Dumbledore, apparently pleased.
Thomas found his voice, and his legs.
"Is it true, Albus?"
Dumbledore clearly knew what he was talking about.
"I confess I do not know it all," Dumbledore replied as he let Harry grip his finger, "that is a secret that only Harry here knows. But if I am not mistaken..."
Dumbledore went to touch the lighting-bolt shaped cut on Harry's forehead, but withdrew his finger as if burnt.
"It is as I thought. The impossible has happened: somehow Harry reflected Lord Voldemort's killing curse."
Thomas was speechless, for a moment.
"All the more reason for him to be raised by his real family then! The Potters have supported you for three generations, Albus! Do you really trust us so little with our own?"
Dumbledore met Thomas' eyes until he looked down.
"I have made my decision, Thomas," he said, his voice stern, "and you of all people must see why it is necessary. Just this night Lucena tried to take him. And there will be more. There will always be more, for the rest of his life."
Thomas put his hand on Harry's forehead. He was saying goodbye.
"Very well, my Lord. We'll take him to Privet Drive, as you say."
"Don't worry, Thomas. All will turn to right in the end. And don't forget, you shall see him again. Ten years is for us like a blink of an eye."
"I suppose you're right," he said, and there was nothing more to say. They apparated away, leaving behind a scene that would mystify the police for years.