WARNING – DISCONTINUED STORY!
This is an abandoned Plot Bunny. It is up for adoption.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or the characters. They belong to JKRowling. This is a not-for-profit endeavor and is just for fun.
AN: To establish a few things, this story will take cannon up to a point through 'some' of Deathly Hallows. Some details revealed in DH will still be cannon, but didn't happen the same way. The war took an extra two years to complete and did not come to an end in the same way. Not everyone that died in DH died in this diverged history, nor in the same ways. Changes will be revealed slowly through the story.
Before you go any further, you should know that I abandoned this plot bunny after the first few chapters. It has been Adopted by Adrence and her adaptation is here:
fanfiction. Net/ s/ 6700252/ 1/ Harry_Potter_and_Morrighans_Gift
I would actually suggest going to her's and reading it from the start because she changed a few things here and there in the first few chapters, and if you continue on with hers, right from the end of mine, you might have missed some things.
Harry Potter fulfills his destiny and kills Voldemort. And then he gets shot in the back and dies. Destiny decides he got a raw deal and offers him a second chance. Do the job again, but in another world that has no Harry Potter.
Ships: None! He'll be eleven, damn it. No shipping eleven-year-olds.
Rating: Teen – just some swearing, nothing big.
Alternate Universe, Slytherin!Harry, Slight Ron and Dumbles Bashing
Warning: No Beta or Brit-Picker. I have not even cleaned it all up myself. This story has been abandoned and sitting on my HDD for a while now, so it's kind of weird for me to go back to it now. Reviews pointing out specific typos or mistakes will be ignored. Whoever adopts it, if anyone ever does, can edit it themselves.
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Ow. Ow ow ow ow ow... shit shit shit SHIT!
Blinding, white hot pain encompassed all of his senses. It felt like searing hot barbed wire was slowly being ripped through each and every one of his veins. For a singular moment, or possibly an eternity, he screamed himself horse – or he would have if he had a voice to scream with. But he had nothing. He was nothing. There was only pain.
And then it was gone.
There was nothing but a soothing floating feeling, and then that extremely heavy feeling you get when you're utterly exhausted and laying in an extremely comfortable bed, but know you need to get up.
Harry blinked open his eyes, but instantly shut them again. It was too bright. Everything was white. Foggy mist and an indistinct white ground plane. He opened his eyes again and sat up. His body still felt heavy like a lead weight, and all of his muscles felt wrong.
What the hell had happened?
He screwed up his face, trying to make sense of what was going on. The last thing he remembered... it was the battle. The final battle. He was dueling with Voldemort. He had destroyed the last horcrux the week prior and there were no longer any safety nets left. The man was mortal. Harry had even endured that damned awful ritual that stripped the piece of Voldemort's soul from his own body, so he was scott free.
What happened next? Oh yeah. He won.
He'd actually managed to get him with the killing curse. It wasn't the first time that he'd cast that spell, a fact that he was never particularly proud of, but this was war and war meant death. He'd thrown that particular curse at Voldemort countless times, but this was the first time it had actually hit it's mark. Voldemort's eyes lost their life and his body crumpled to the ground.
It was almost disgustingly unfulfilling. The killing curse was so anti-climactic in reality. Just... dead.
But why the hell was he here?
Oh... oh yeah.
He'd been so distracted and consumed by his battle with Voldemort, that he'd been become almost completely blind to his surroundings and the rest of the battle going on around him. He'd heard someone call his name and turned his head, just enough to see the glow of green light coming at him from behind and hear that bitch Bellatrix as she roared in horror and grief at the death of her master.
Fuck. Had Bellatrix killed him?
Well isn't that just fucking grand.
"It is quite sad, isn't it?" a voice echoed out of the nothingness and Harry spun around, searching for it's source.
There was nothing there, but he kept looking.
"Who's there?" he called out.
He turned around again and suddenly there was a black crow sitting on the 'floor' cocking his head to the side and watching him, closely. Harry gave a bit of a start and took a few steps back from it.
"Uh... hello?" he asked hesitantly.
"Hello, Harry Potter," the voice, which was definitely female, spoke again. He couldn't necessarily say that it was coming from the bird, but at the same time, he was pretty sure it was.
"Er... hello. Who are you?"
"You may call me Morríghan."
"Oh–kay," Harry said slowly. "That doesn't exactly tell me who you are though."
"I am sometimes called the Phantom Queen, the Death Queen, and sometimes called a goddess of war, death, and prophecy."
Harry blinked. Oh great.
"Alright... so where is er... this? I'm dead, right?"
"You are for now."
"As I stated, your end was rather sad. You fulfilled your destiny only to be shot in the back. You were on the cusp of finally being free from the fate that bound you, and yet you were brought to your unfortunate end. It's disgusting how royally screwed you were."
Harry stared at the crow for a moment before barking out a harsh laugh.
"Well, I can't argue with you there," he said rolling his eyes.
"I have come to make you an offer," Morríghan said and Harry sobered up, eyeing the crow suspiciously.
"What kind of offer?"
"The world you just left shall go on without you. The Dark Wizard Voldemort has perished there and his followers will fall apart without him. Those who survived you shall go on and build a strong world in your honor. That shall miss you. They shall mourn you. But they shall live on. You fulfilled your destiny. You saved the world."
"...okay. That doesn't –"
"But now you are dead, and at such a young age. Nineteen years is far too short a life. What I have to offer you is a second chance. A second life, as it were."
"Okay... what does that mean, exactly?" Harry asked, still skeptical and suspicious as ever.
"You will be but a child again. You will do it all over. However it will not be your world. It will be another world. An alternate reality, as you well."
"Wait, wait wait," Harry said suddenly, holding his hands up suddenly. "I just did this. I just finished my thing. I killed the dark lord and I'm done. What you're suggestion sounds like doing it all over again."
"You are correct."
Harry gaped at the crow as if it were completely out of it's mind. Because, it was.
"The world that you would go to is a world that has no Harry Potter," Morrighan continued. "It's Boy-Who-Lived died at the age of five."
"Huh? Wait, how?"
"He was pushed down a flight of stairs and broke his neck."
Harry blinked and then smacked his forehead with his hand. "Dudley," he growled.
"So... this world has no Harry Potter? And you... want me to take his place?"
"Again, correct. There is no one in this world to destroy this world's Voldemort. If you are willing to go to this world, and repeat your destiny once again, you will have the opportunity to have a second life. Ideally, this one will last much, much longer. You will also retain all of your knowledge, experience, and magical strength."
Harry looked thoughtful for a long quiet minute. "I suppose it would be a lot easier the second time around. I actually know what the hell I'm doing now. I can stop things from happening... I could save people who died... Stop Quirrell in my first year..."
"Ah –" the voice broke in, pulling Harry from his thoughts and causing him to refocus on the crow.
"There are more things different in this world than just you having died at age five."
"What sort of things, exactly?"
"Some big things... some small things."
"Can you give me a specific example?" Harry asked pointedly.
The voice was silent for a moment and it almost looked as if the crow was contemplating. If a crow could look contemplative at all.
"The Defense position isn't jinxed in this world," the voice said finally.
"Wait... it's not? What does that mean?"
Again, nothing but silence was returned. Harry thought over this bit of information and what exactly it could mean. "Okay... well, the reason that the defense position was jinxed was because Tom Riddle applied for the job and Dumbledore turned him down – right?"
"So if the job isn't jinxed, does that mean that Voldemort never applied for the job?"
Ah, a response. "So... if he never applied for the job... wait, that means that the diadem isn't in the Room of Requirement, doesn't it?"
"Shit." Harry grumbled and rolled his eyes. "Wait, does that also mean that Quirrell won't be the defense teacher my first year?"
"I guess I see how some little things can have more... significant repercussions."
"So if Quirrell isn't the Defense teacher, does that mean he won't be the one possessed? Will there be anyone possessed? Is the Philosopher's Stone even at Hogwarts my first year?"
"You're not going to tell me, are you?"
Harry rolled his eyes.
"So I'm taking the place of the five-year old that got pushed down the stairs?" Harry asked, dubiously. He really didn't like that idea. The idea of being five years old, and going back to the Dursleys was... horrifying.
"No," the voice said.
"No?" Harry echoed in surprise.
"You will be going back at the age of ten. The summer before your first year."
"Okay..." Harry said hesitantly as he tried to wrap his mind around what exactly this meant. "Will I be just appearing out of nowhere at the Dursley's? I really don't imagine that going over too well."
"I suspect it would not go over too well either."
"Okay, so what will I be doing?" Harry asked, getting a bit annoyed and impatient.
"I can not concoct a past for you. That will be up to you."
"Wait, wait... I don't have to go there as Harry Potter, do I?" Harry asked, suddenly getting a wave of inspiration.
"Harry Potter is dead in this world."
"I don't have to be the Boy-Who-Lived," Harry whispered under his breath.
"No, you do not. You can, if you want. But if you do not desire it, you do not have to be it."
Harry was quiet and thoughtful for a long minute as he planned over different ideas in his mind.
"The acceptance letters are sent out magically," he began hesitantly. "They're addressed automatically. The names of magical children are added to the book by some big crazy advanced charm. How am I supposed to work this? Won't it just suddenly show up as Harry Potter?"
"You're name will be what you choose it to be. I will be able to arrange that much, at least."
"But what about money? I mean... I guess I can go in under the scholarship program for my tuition, but that's not going to leave me any spending cash."
"The goblins do not answer to anyway."
"Huh? What's that supposed to mean?"
"By blood you will still be Harry Potter. Blood is all you need to gain access to the frozen Potter vaults."
"Wait, so you're suggestion that I still go to the goblins as Harry Potter and get the trust money, but... this is going to be seriously convoluted. I'm not going to have any place where I'll live during the summer's. Do I play the orphan card, or muggleborn, or..."
"That is for you to decide."
Harry grumbled under his breath while rolling his eyes in annoyance.
He heaved a long slow sigh, taking a mental 'step back' for the first time since all this started and wondering if he was completely insane for even contemplating this.
"What happens if I turn this down?"
"You move on. The next great adventure awaits you still. However, this world will suffer greatly without your aid."
"Oh great. Just pull the guilt card on me. Thanks," Harry grumbled sarcastically. He huffed and crossed his arms over his chest. "Am I still going to look like me? Because everyone always remarked on how much I looked like my dad. And the scar is a dead give away... oh crap... what about the horcrux in my head? Is that going to come back?"
"The piece of Tom Riddle's soul that was split off and implanted into this world's Harry Potter passed on when this Harry Potter died at the age of five. You rid yourself of Tom Riddle's soul already, so it is no longer attached to you."
"Oh... well that's a relief at least. So what about the other questions? The whole appearance thing?"
"You will have to rely on magic to alter your appearance if that is what you wish to do. I can only return you to your ten-year-old body. I cannot change it for you."
Harry silently grumbled under his breath before moving on. "Fine... I guess I can work with that. I got pretty good at glamors and human transfiguration the last few years, I'll deal."
"So you accept my offer?"
Harry paused, wondering if he was going to seriously regret this. He had just done this after all. And with things being the same but different, he knew it wasn't going to be a cake-walk by any means.
"Ugh... yes. Fine. I accept. I'm sure I'm going to regret it, but yes. I accept."
"Good. I am quite glad. When next you wake, you will have twenty-four hours to decide upon your new name. Then it will be marked down in the school's roster and when the acceptance letters are sent you shall receive yours by that name. You will have no Ministry Trace upon your body to detect or punish under-aged magic, however you will not have your wand either. Best of luck to you, Harry Potter. The fate of this world may very well depend upon you."
Harry opened his mouth to say something sarcastic in response, but before he got the chance, he had the sudden sensation of falling, and the white misty abyss that had surrounded him suddenly grew dark and cloudy. A swirling pitch black vortex formed around him and he fell and fell and fell...
When Harry woke up, he found himself in a grassy field, in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. From the position of the sun, he could tell it was very early morning. Some distance to his left were a number of cows. He was also naked.
Oh well this is just great, Harry grumbled to himself as he looked around, feeling horribly exposed and desperately wishing for some sort of covering.
He noticed that he still had his glasses and wondered how it worked that he was able to appear with his glasses in tact, but not any clothing. He didn't doubt for a moment that fate was just doing the naked thing to fuck with him.
A few minutes of awkward walking and he found himself at a farm house with a full clothesline. He didn't exactly feel great about stealing, but desperate times called for desperate measures. After checking to make sure that no one was around, he darted out of the tall grass and over to the clothing that was calmly swaying in the gentle breeze.
It was at this point that he truly became aware of his size.
Ten bloody years old! Merlin, I hate being small again.
He ended up with a pair of jeans that we several sizes too big, and a plain black shirt that he was pretty sure was intended for a woman. It was one of those 'babydoll' shirts that would cling tightly to a woman's chest. What this meant for him was that it was only slightly loose on his malnourished ten-year-old body.
He found a length of rope nearby and tied it around his waist. He hated it. It reminded him so much of his days with the Dursley's that he wanted to wretch. Clothing was definitely going to have to be one of the first things he dealt with.
He was still barefoot, but at least he wasn't naked anymore. With one final look around, Harry decided that apparition was his best bet. He focused on the apparition zone in the back of Knockturn Alley that was out of the way and usually deserted, turned on the spot and vanished with a quiet crack.
He was thankful that it was so early. Knockturn Alley was always empty in the early mornings. It's normal clientèle was much more of a night-time crowd. He kept his head ducked low and hurried through the winding roads until he came to the exit into Diagon Alley, and was greeted with the sight of the large white marble goblin's bank.
Taking advantage of the deserted shopping district, Harry hurried up the stairs and into the bank. There was one wizard inside, but he seemed preoccupied with whatever he was doing. Harry hurried over to one of the open tellers and stood on his tip-toes to try and see over the counter.
The goblin there looked down at him with an air of annoyance.
"Can I help you?" the goblin said.
"Uh... yes. Can you do a blood test to confirm I'm who I say I am so I can gain access to a vault even if I don't have the key?"
"We have special blood quills that can be used to prove your identity, yes," the goblin said.
"Okay, what if the vault in question has been frozen because you all think I'm dead?"
The goblin rose a single eyebrow, giving Harry a rather dubious look. "If our records have indicated your death, then you are dead."
Harry gave the goblin a deadpanned stare before huffing and rolling his eyes. "I seem to be pretty alive. Can we just do this?"
The goblin sneered and gave him a long, annoyed glare before stepping down from behind his elevated stand and heading towards a door. "Follow me."
Harry was led into a room with a table and two chairs. He sat down while the goblin disappeared to go retrieve the needed items. He returned with a wood-backed and framed piece of blank parchment, and a small, long, wooden box. He set the framed parchment and the box on the table in front of Harry.
"Inside the box is a blood quill. It will use your own blood to write with. It will be mildly painful, but the wound will heal immediately following use."
"Yeah, I'm familiar with blood quills," Harry said with a grimace. The goblin arched a single eyebrow but did not comment further.
"The paper is specially charmed. You will write your name on it, and if it identifies that it is true, it will absorb the letters and list any vaults you have with us. If you are not who you claim to be, the name will be burned off. Is that clear?"
"Crystal clear. Let's get to this."
Harry opened the box with the quill, took it in his hand and quickly wrote his name upon the charmed parchment.
The goblin watched with a critical eye, but Harry could see his eyes widen as Harry wrote out 'Harry James Potter'. He also noticed the goblin's disbelieving eyes suddenly dart up to examine Harry's forehead. Harry scowled lightly and focused on the parchment.
The letters slowly absorbed into the parchment. The words 'Vault 687; Harry Potter Trust Account', and 'Vault 809; Potter Family Estate' appeared a moment later.
The goblin's eyes darted disbelievingly from the parchment up to Harry and back again several times before he seemed to collect himself.
"I trust that we can keep this confidential, correct?" Harry asked pointedly.
The Goblin seemed to recover himself and took on an air of professionalism. "We have the utmost regard for our client's privacy."
"Good. Can I get copies made of my vault keys?"
"You will not gain access to the family estate vault until you come of age."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Fine, fine. There's more than enough in the trust account anyway. I'm also going to need to create a new account under a different name, transfer money from the trust account into it and arrange for money to be sent from that account to Hogwarts for my tuition."
The goblin took on an amused, curious air. "What name would you like this other account to be under?"
Harry ran his hand through his hair and sighed. This was the moment of truth, he supposed. He'd used a load of different aliases over the last few years while in hiding and training. He supposed all that was necessary was to just pick one. A flash of inspiration hit him and he knew which one he'd use.
"Orion Aubrey," he said after a moments pause.
The goblin gave him a toothy smirk. "Very well, Mr. Aubrey. I will make the arrangements."
Harry slipped into Gringott's public restroom and wet his hair, trying to force his fringe to completely cover his scar. He needed to get a wand. That was priority number one. Then he could throw up some glamors and concentrate on all of his other needs. The question was... where? Olivander had that weird way of knowing who someone was. Plus, any wands from Olivander, sold to an underaged wizard, would come with a tracking charm. He could remove it, but it would take him a couple days, and it would be lot easier if he had another wand to use to remove it with.
Knockturn Alley it was. It was unlikely that he'd find as good a match as his holly and phoenix feather wand, but he could find a suitable temp and work from there.
Harry left Gringott's and headed back down Knockturn Alley, heading straight for the only wandmaker shop he knew of down there.
He stepped inside and a bell over the door jingled. The shop was poorly lit and dusty. The walls were filled, floor-to-ceiling with small wand-sized boxes.
"Hello young man," an elderly female voice sounded from a small doorway towards the back.
"Hello," Harry replied with a small grin.
"How can I help you today?"
"I need a wand."
"Then I suppose this is probably the correct place for you."
"I need a wand without a tracking charm, to be more specific."
"Definitely in the correct place," she said with a wry grin.
Harry smirked. "Good. I'll tell you right now that I'm probably going to be a hard person to match."
"Have you had a wand matched to you before?"
"Maybe I have. Maybe I haven't."
"In the interest of saving time, what were the components of this wand that may or may not have existed?"
"There may have been more than one. The wood of the first may have been holly, while the second might have been elder. The core of the first might have been a phoenix feather, while the second was a thestral tail hair."
"Those are quite different wands," the woman mused quietly as she nodded her head and hobbled over to the wall of boxes. She paused and looked back at him with narrowed eyes. "Elder and thestral hair you say? Hmm... curious..." She turned back and began picking out a box here and there, gathering up a small collection in her arms before taking them over to the counter and setting them down.
Harry began going through the boxes one at a time. He didn't even bother to flick most of them. Holding them in his fingers for a moment was enough for him to tell if they connected to his magic or not, and none of them were. She kept making additional trips to put some wands away while bringing out others. Finally, after nearly forty minutes of trying different wands, he found one that felt right.
He held it in his fingers and sighed as it felt warm to his touch, and hummed in his hand. "This one," he said with a confident smile as he stared down at the black polished wood. "What is it?"
"Yew, and a serpent scale core. Twelve and a half inches."
Harry's eyebrows disappeared into his fringe at this revelation. It took him a moment to recuperate from the mild shock of it. "What kind of serpent?" Harry asked in a hoarse voice.
"A runespore, I believe."
"Oh..." Harry said, still feeling rather... stunned. "That's... interesting."
He had no idea what to make of that, but decided not to worry on it too much for now. It did bring another thought to the forefront of his mind though. He wondered suddenly if he was still a parselmouth. He hadn't even tried to make use of the skill since he'd undergone the ritual that destroyed the horcrux that was once in his scar so he honestly didn't know if the skill had stayed with him or if it was gone.
"Uh... right. Well, okay. How much?"
Harry ducked into another public restroom and spent a few minutes in front of a mirror making adjustments to his appearance. He'd go with glamors for now, but he'd probably go about working up some actual human transfigurations after he had some more time to dedicate to the task. A physical transfiguration would stand up better to counter spells and he wouldn't have to worry about it wearing off every day.
He didn't go with anything too drastic. He left his hair black because he felt weird with any other color, but he changed his eyes to blue to match Sirius's. He lengthened his hair to just below shoulder length, gave it a gentle wave and tied it back in a loose low ponytail Next he smoothed out the skin of his forehead, wiping out the scar that had haunted him his whole life. This was a transfiguration that he had only been able to do since he'd rid himself of the horcrux. His curse scar had always been incredibly stubborn to cover up before that, but once the curse was gone, it was just another scar.
He did a few small tweaks to the shape of his jaw; made his cheek bones a little higher and gave his eyes a slight almond shape. The changes were small, but when added together, they made him look decidedly different. At the very least, he definitely didn't look like James Potter. Which was what was really important.
A few more flicks of his new wand and his stolen wardrobe was transfigured into a set of black wizard's robes with a cerulean blue embroidered trim. Next he conjured himself some socks and trainers. They wouldn't last very long, but they'd last long enough for him to buy some real shoes. He considered making himself a traveling cloak with a hood so he could make his way through Knockturn Alley with greater ease, but it was summer, and he wasn't in the mood to broil himself alive.
Finally satisfied with his disguise he left the bathroom and headed back to Diagon Alley. He didn't intend to do all his school shopping, since he honestly didn't remember what all had been on his list for first year – it had been quite a while – but he decided he would get a few things, like real shoes and clothes. He went to the luggage shop, but instead of buying a trunk he got himself a mid-sized duffelbag that he could sling over his shoulder. Next he went to Madam Malkins and purchased a few changes of clothes and some dragon-hide loafers. Not his style, but she didn't have a lot of diversity for shoes. He'd head into muggle London later to get some jeans and t-shirts and some comfortable trainers, but until then, he needed something to hold him over.
Once satisfied with that, he headed to the Leaky Cauldron and got a room under the name, Orion Aubrey. He got lunch from Tom the barman before heading up to his room. He lay on his bed just thinking over all the insanity that had happened in the last day. He felt like he'd almost been running on autopilot all day, just moving through the motions without taking the time to really realize what he was doing. This was the first moment he had had all day to really sit back and fully comprehend what had happened.
He was ten years old again – soon to be eleven – and he was in an alternate universe. He was about to start over as a first year student at Hogwarts, but not as the celebrity Harry Potter. Instead he would be a nobody. Just some kid. That prospect was actually kind of exciting. It would be nice not to have people staring and whispering about him around every corner. And if anyone did start to talk about him, it would be because of something he had actually accomplished and not because of something that happened when he was fifteen months old and honestly had nothing to do with. Being famous for not dying was really a pretty shitty reason to be famous. Plus, as far as he was concerned, the reason Voldemort's body had been blown apart had a lot more to do with his mother's actions than his. He had always been rather bitter about the fact that it was always 'Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived' and never 'Lily Potter, the witch who's sacrifice and magic destroyed the Dark Lord's body'.
But that would mean people would have to acknowledge that a muggleborn witch could accomplish something like that.
Harry had a lot of planning to make. He already had some ideas floating around in his head of what all he wanted to accomplish before actually getting to Hogwarts. First and foremost, he wanted to set some things in motion to get Sirius out of Azkaban. The name he'd chosen actually had a lot to do with that plan, and he hoped to hell it was going to work out as he planned. He was working on the assumption that certain details were the same here as they were in his own world.
Even though he could take care of himself, and he only needed living arrangements for two months out of the year, having absolutely no adult guardians was bound to get noticed by someone at some point. If things went according to plan, Harry decided that if he would reveal the truth of his situation to Sirius, and get him to take on the role. He would need to tell the man the truth in order to get him to play along, anyway.
It was going to be weird getting used to always going by a different name all the time. No one could know him as Harry Potter here. He hoped to hell his plan was going to work because if it turned out that certain details weren't the same in this world as his own, he'd be shit out of luck. He didn't get a second chance with his name. This was it.
Harry sighed and thought back to the time when he first came up with this alternate identity. He'd only used it a few times, and he knew he'd have to flesh out a lot more details to make it workable in this situation, but he was pretty sure he could do it.
Bertram Aubrey was a Slytherin boy in James Potter and Sirius Black's year at Hogwarts. The boy was teased and bullied mercilessly by the two of them. They picked on him almost as much as they picked on Severus Snape. Remus had told Harry the story one night when they were both holed up in Shell Cottage with a number of other Order members about a year and a half before the final battle.
Remus hadn't wanted to dredge up old memories of Harry's dad and godfather being arses, but Harry had insisted. He wanted to know the men who were supposed to have been such important figures in his life, but who had been prematurely taken from him. He had wanted to know everything. Who they really were. Good and bad.
Bertram Aubrey came up because, like Snape, there was an ulterior motive for the young man being tormented by the two marauders.
Snape had been singled out by James Potter because Snape was such close friends with Lily Evans – a girl that James fancied. Aubrey was singled out by Sirius because of his twin sister, a girl named Erin who was a Gryffindor. Bertram, being a Slytherin, considered his sister a disgrace to the family after she was sorted into the house of Lions. Erin was apparently one of the more timid Gryffindors, and she took her brother's abuse. Sirius no doubt saw her as a kindred spirit since they both came from Dark families, while having been sorted into the predominantly Light house. So he had stood up for her, by tormenting her brother.
It helped Harry to understand that there were some vaguely reasonable motives behind his father and godfather's torment of certain students at the school. That still didn't make it alright. He was still rather unhappy with the idea of his father and godfather being such bullies, but it was in the past and he'd come to terms with it.
The interesting thing about all of this, however, was the fact that even after graduation, Sirius had kept in touch with Erin Aubrey. Sirius was a ladies man and was never one for settling down, but Remus told Harry that during Sirius's last year, while confined to Grimmauld Place, that he had confided in Remus, telling him that he and Erin had had an off-and-on thing for years. Sirius had even made plans to look her up again if he ever managed to prove his innocence. That plan was thrashed when he learned that she had gone missing only a few months after he got sent to Azkaban.
It was this story that had first inspired the fake identity that Harry had created and now chosen to use for his second life.
Of course, it would really only work if the same set of events had happened in this world. If Erin Aubrey hadn't disappeared in this world, he was going to have to scramble for a different idea. But if this one worked out...
The idea was fairly simple. He would pretend to be the illegitimate bastard child of Sirius Black. The story would be that Erin Aubrey had had gotten pregnant with Sirius's child, but had decided not to tell him. She'd realized that Sirius was not one for settling down, plus he was an Auror and Order member so he was deeply involved with the war, and Aubrey hadn't wanted her child to have anything to do with the war. So she'd kept the child secret from everyone, including Sirius. She had, however, honored Sirius by sticking by the Black family constellation-based naming system – thus the first name Orion.
Harry would go with the story that he and his mum had gone abroad and lived a quiet life for a while, but that his mum had died a year ago and he had just recently come back to Britain in hopes of proving his father innocent, because Erin had always been convinced that Sirius could never have really betrayed his best mate, James Potter.
In Harry's world, the real Erin Aubrey had disappeared – not necessarily died – although most assumed the latter. There had been no one who knew what had happened to her, so it gave Harry a family tree to claim attachment to without having to worry about those pesky papers to prove it. Erin Aubrey had been outcasted from her primarily dark family for her affiliation with the Light side and her refusal to follow her family into the war. It would make sense for her to run off and vanish with her child if she was hoping to keep it away from all that. This story would also explain away why Harry would bother trying to get Sirius freed without anyone calling his motives into question.
With these foundational details laid out in his mind, Harry let himself drift off to sleep.
"Please state your name and the nature of your visit to the Ministry of Magic."
"Orion Aubrey. Meeting with Arthur Weasley," Harry said into the phone.
"Thank you. Welcome to the Ministry of Magic." With that, he hung up the hand set just and a little badge came out of the coin return slot that displayed his name and the reason for his visit.
Harry quickly made his way past the wand weighing station. No one expected someone as small and young as he was to have a wand yet anyway, so no one stopped him. He wasn't sure if the person manning the desk would notice his wand didn't have the standard tracking charms on it, so he thought it best to just avoid the check all together.
He walked with a purpose and without hesitation. The easiest way to blend into the background and not get stopped was to look like you knew exactly what you were doing. Harry understood that if you stood around looking lost and confused you would draw attention to yourself and risk getting stopped by security.
Arthur Weasley was not aware that he was coming that day. Arthur Weasley had no idea who he was, in fact. But that was part of his plan. Harry had been in this new universe for a week and had spent a great deal of that time in either the Leaky Cauldron, the Ministry's Public Magical Library, or down Knockturn Alley.
He had spent most of the first two days in the recent history section of the library, trying to reacquaint himself with any of the more glaringly obvious deviations between this world and his own. In the building beside the library was the Magical Genealogy and Family Tree Preservation Center, which housed copies of most of the oldest pure-blood family tapestries. They were self-updating, which he was thankful for. In addition to the family trees they also had books detailing the finer achievements of most of the pure-blood families. There was a surprisingly large amount of details available there. Harry supposed it made sense for people who put so much weight and importance into their blood lineage and family history to keep pretty solid records, but the fact that it was all open to the public rather surprised him.
One afternoon spent at the Genealogy society was enough to confirm that the histories of Erin Aubrey seemed the same between his world and this one. Erin Aubrey had been sorted into Gryffindor here, just like in his world, and she had turned up missing the same year that Voldemort vanished and Sirius was sent off to Azkaban. There was no body, but she was assumed dead.
She had also been officially disowned so her line was no longer magically updated on the family tapestry. This was an added boon for Harry since no one could claim his absence from the tree proved that he wasn't really her son.
The following day had been spent down Knockturn Alley where he'd spent a pretty penny to procure forged papers that could be used to validate some of his claims about his identity.
Now he was working on the first step of his plans that would hopefully get his godfather – or who he was now going to be claiming to be his father – freed from Azkaban.
Harry made his way to the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office and slipped inside, quickly making his way directly to where he remembered Arthur Weasley's office being. He was relieved to see the familiar – although younger than he remembered – redheaded man sitting behind his desk, surrounded by stacks of paperwork. Harry knocked on the glass door and Mr. Weasley's head popped up to see who was there.
The surprise and confusion on the man's face was obvious, but he nodded and waved Harry inside.
"Hello sir, are you Arthur Weasley?" Harry asked as he came inside and shut the door behind him.
"I am, what can I do for you?"
"My name is Orion Aubrey and I was hoping I could speak with you about a rather important issue I've been working on for a while now. It may take some time though, so if you're busy I could schedule another time where we could do this."
"An important issue you say? I think I can fit you in. Have a seat."
Harry smiled politely and nodded his head in thanks. "Thank you, sir. I really appreciate it." Harry quickly sat down and Mr. Weasley shuffled some of the stacks of papers to the side so that the two of them could see each other better.
"Now," Mr. Weasley started with a kind smile, "what is this about, then?"
"Well, I know this is going to sound like an incredibly odd question, but please humor me, alright? Okay, have you ever seen a large fat gray rat that's missing one toe on it's front right paw?"
Arthur leaned back in his chair looked a bit bewildered by the completely unexpected question but then realization dawned. "Oh... actually yes. My son Percy has a pet that matches that description. He's named Scabbers."
"A pet! Really?" Harry asked, sounding horrified.
"Where did he get this rat, if I might ask?"
Mr. Weasley looked very bewildered now but he didn't hesitate. "He found it in the garden several years ago."
"How many years would you say?"
"Um... well... I suppose... Merlin, I think it's been about seven years now."
"That's an awful long time for a rat to live, don't you think, Mr. Weasley?"
"I... well, yes, I suppose it is. What is this about, exactly?"
"I have reason to believe that the rat, living with your son, might not actually be a rat."
Now Mr. Weasley's expression was beginning to shift to a mixture between concern and suspicion. "Why would you think that?"
"I think he's actually a wizard. An animagus who's animal form was that of a rat. I've been searching for him for several years and I recently commissioned someone to perform a complex tracking spell to try and locate him. The scrying stone put his location in your home."
Mr. Weasley's face went pale. "A wizard?" he gasped in a hushed voice. "In hiding? Pretending to be my son's pet?"
"It's worse, sir. He was a Death Eater. He killed a dozen muggles and framed my father for the crime, in fact. I'm trying to prove my father's innocence, but I can't do that until I find the man who really committed the crimes he was imprisoned for."
To say that Arthur Weasley looked horrified would be an understatement.
Harry went on to explain the fact that Peter Pettigrew was an animagus and that it had been 'Orion's mum's' opinion that Peter had been the Potter's secret keeper, not Sirius. Mr. Weasley was legitimately stunned when Harry said that he was Sirius Black's illegitimate son, but he didn't linger on the subject too long. He was far more preoccupied by the thought that a murdering death eater had been sleeping in his son's bed for years.
Arthur and Harry went to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and after an incredibly lucky run in with Madam Bones in the corridor, the group was in the director's office and Harry was once again recounting his story about his efforts to prove his 'father's' innocence.
Amelia Bones seemed to be simply humoring Harry and Arthur, up until the moment she pulled the file on Sirius Black and saw that he had in fact, never gotten a trial. This revelation stunned her. In fact, from what she could tell, he had never even been questioned! He'd been hauled off and sent straight to Azkaban!
She told Harry that this fact alone was enough to warrant an appeal hearing, but she had to admit that she was more than a little curious to see if this young boy's claims about Peter Pettigrew could be true.
The unfortunate, but expected thing was that Harry wasn't allowed to go with Madam Bones and the two Aurors she was taking with her to the Weasley's house to investigate the rat. In informed the adults that he was staying at the Leaky Cauldron since he'd only been in the country for about a week and Madam Bones promised to contact him if they discovered that his assumptions were correct and that the rat was in fact Peter Pettigrew. He thanked them profusely and played up the 'I just want to prove my daddy innocent' card before leaving the Ministry to get some dinner.
It wasn't until half-way through the next week that he finally got an owl from Madam Bones. She and two Aurors had gone to the Weasley's house, caught the ran and confirmed that it was an animagus. They had then taken it back to the DMLE, forced the rat back into human form and performed the interrogation under veritaserum.
Their interrogation had not only confirmed that the rat was Peter Pettigrew, but also that he had been the one responsible for the deaths of the muggles, the betrayal of the Potters, and the framing of Sirius Black. Madam Bones had personally gone to Azkaban and retrieved Black and he was currently resting in the secure ward of St. Mungo's awaiting his appellate hearing.
To say that Harry was stunned with how fast and bloody easy it had been, would be a severe understatement.
He knew that it would have been incredibly fulfilling to have gotten to apprehend Wormtail himself, or perhaps even throw a few crucios at the dirty rat bastard, he also acknowledged that this was probably for the best. Of course now what was important was making sure the man didn't escape and run off to Voldemort. Not that Harry had any way of doing that.
One thing in Madam Bones letter that did catch his attention was that she said that Sirius had been informed about him and his role in freeing the man. Specifically, he had been informed that it was his son that had done all this.
All Harry could do was hope that Sirius hadn't said anything like 'but that's impossible, I didn't even sleep with her that year' when the topic of Erin Aubrey's son having appeared out of nowhere, claiming to be Sirius's illegitimate son.
Finally, the letter had informed him that he could go pay Sirius a visit after the hearing, which would be held the following day.
Harry was honestly rather overwhelmed that everything had come together so fast. He honestly had not expected to see hide nor hair of Sirius at all that summer. He had hoped to have his godfather free in time for the following summer holidays, or if he was really lucky, maybe even the Yule holidays, but to have the man freed after only two and a half weeks in this new dimension? Yeah. He hadn't see that coming.
He woke the next morning and went through his new morning bathroom routine. He was considering heading out into muggle London and finding a park or something where he could get in a good run. He had worked his arse off to get his body into good dueling condition in his own world, and being stuck in his scrawney-ass 10-year old body was down-right depressing. He was forcing down three solid meals a day to try and build back up some body mass, but he was in desperate need of some muscle to go with it.
He stared at himself in the mirror after exiting the shower. He still wasn't used to this new face. It wasn't all that different from his real face, but that didn't change the fact that he was looking into the face of a ten year old when he was used to looking into the face of a nineteen year old. The age gap was more than enough to put him through a serious head trip.
He finally huffed out a frustrated noise and left the bathroom. He was pulling on a t-shirt and some loose-fit jeans that he'd bought a few days prior when he heard a tapping at his window. He walked over and opened it up, to allow the owl inside. It landed on the simple wooden desk against the wall and held out it's leg, offering him the letter that was attached there. Harry was bewildered for a moment before he focused on it enough to fully realize what it was.
He quickly worked the letter free and held it in his hands. It was addressed to Mr. Orion Aubrey, Room 4, The Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley, London. On the back, the envelope was sealed shut with red wax and a large H stamped into it with the Hogwarts emblem.
His Hogwarts letter.
Orion Aubrey. It had worked. The school really did have him down by another name. He quickly broke the seal and pulled out the sheets of paper within.
of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Aubrey,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
It was the exact same. Well, except for the Mr. Aubrey part. He moved onto the second page, which was the supply list. He'd been putting off his serious shopping excursion until this had arrived just so he could make sure he got all the books he needed. By his first glance, it looked the exact same, but he did a quick double-take on the defense text book.
He was pretty sure that the book that had been assigned his first year had been 'The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection' by Quentin Trimble, but that wasn't the book listed here. Instead it listed 'Theoretical Introduction of Dark Magic and the Practical Application of it's Defense' by Hicate Terminus.
Definitely worthy of a double-take. Harry had read that book. It was a good book. But he was stunned that it was being used as a textbook at the school. The book, while claiming to only cover a 'theoretical introduction' to the dark arts, still basically provided instruction on dark arts. It was based on the idea that you can't defend yourself against dark magic if you don't know how to cast dark magic or how it works. Which... well, which Harry totally agreed with, but it wasn't exactly a Ministry-approved mindset.
It was at this moment that Harry first fully comprehended the fact that he was likely to have a competent defense instructor. A smile spread across Harry's lips at the thought. The Defense position wasn't jinxed here. Whoever taught the subject had probably been teaching it for years. It was someone who knew what the hell they were doing!
His peers wouldn't be completely inept at Defense! That had been one of the most frustrating things to deal with the last few years of the war. Everyone that had been instructed at Hogwarts for the last twenty years had had the most pathetic and worthless defense education imaginable. But that wouldn't be the case here!
With a gleeful laugh, Harry finished getting dressed and took his list, his wand, and his moneybag out into the Alley to get some shopping done.