Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Author's Note: This chapter is much shorter than I intended it to be, but I had to leave it as it is. I could have added more content, but I didn't want to reveal too much or force something in.
The Consequences of Revisiting
"Just Leave It All to Me"
"Everard! Wake up! Contact the ministry!" The voice of Phineas Nigellus Black shouted with fear evident in his speech.
The old man woke up startled, his eyes scanning the room to identify the origin of the yell. He looked about dazed, confused as to what needed to be done. However, before he could even comply with the demands of his colleague, he felt himself drop in a loud smash. The frame of his portrait broke into pieces, making him unable to access his other portrait in the Ministry of Magic. The former Headmasters and Headmistresses of Hogwarts were now in an uproar at the attack of their friend.
Dumbledore's roar resonated throughout the office; the panicked portraits soon calmed as they watched the current Headmaster of Hogwarts rise from where had earlier lay. His eyes furrowed into a glare as he turned to face Harry who smiled notoriously as he watched Dumbledore's command unfold. Harry knew that the portraits were no doubt confused. Fortunately, it wasn't long before Phineas, that uptight fool, vocalized his thoughts,
"Ha! Albus is too determined in his cause to fall prey from suck a weak curse!" The other portraits soon murmured their agreements, sharing their sentiment with Phineas. However, their chatter only made Harry's smile grow into a wry grin.
"Albus, would you please take a seat at your desk? We have much to talk about." Harry ordered pompously, the Elder Wand still trained on Dumbledore's body. The old Headmaster didn't acknowledge the order verbally; he took action as he calmly strode back to the chair of his desk eliciting the sharp gasps from the portraits.
Cries of 'How could this be?', 'Impossible!', 'Albus, no!' made the disbelief of the Headmasters portraits apparent. Their conversation soon died as they glared at the boy that had caused all this. Harry Potter was now the most loathed individual that was ever to grace the presence of the Headmasters office, and he knew that. But did he care? Not in the slightest. Portraits were simply portraits. They were tools for the Headmaster to use, and they were soon his to control.
"Portraits of Headmasters and Headmistresses, you are honor bound to faithfully serve the current Headmaster with whatever whim he has." Harry twirled the Elder Wand about in his fingertips, looking uncaring as he observed each and every single one of the portraits' faces, "So, Albus. Please tell these loyal portraits that they are to serve me, Harry Potter, just as faithfully as they would with any other Headmaster with any request I may have. And tell them that they can never repeat, reference, or even hint whatever transpired within this office from the time I entered to the time I leave. They are not to repeat, reference, or hint it to either of us what happened ever even in the event of our deaths."
The controlled Dumbledore did as requested and the portraits begrudgingly complied with the demands. They were unable to refuse and they now found themselves at the mercy of Harry Potter who, strangely enough, was now a far cry from the timid, emotional boy that had been in the office a few months before. Harry smirked, pleased that everything was going smoothly. Harry strode toward the portrait of Everard and lifted him with a flick of his wand back on his proper placement. The old man did his best to glare at the boy. He was ignored and Harry seamlessly repaired the picture frame.
Harry knew that the power of the Elder Wand was astounding; he could feel the power coursing through his veins once again like he had before years ago. Though it was regrettable that he had to resort to such subterfuge in order to gain such an effectual instrument, he knew it had to be done. He also had to demonstrate his might over the portraits to ensure that they both fear and respect his power. Yes, he could have simply gathered Dumbledore alone and cast the Unforgivable without any witnesses, but the portraits would raise questions as to why they had to work for him and would grow insolent as time progressed; they could have even McGonagall or someone else.
Not now, not anymore. He could see the fear of being destroyed in their eyes. They had lived far too long in the comfort and presence of being a portrait of a renowned Headmaster or Headmistress that they did not expect that they would once again be forced into a life and death decision. It was comply with Harry's orders or be dealt with by Harry. They were unable to escape now, as they were honor bound to never speak of the event that occurred and to serve him to the best of their abilities. Though they may not like it, Harry disregarded their feelings, he had a goal in mind and this was a necessary evil. At least they wouldn't tell a soul.
Harry observed the motionless form of his Dumbledore sitting idly on his desk. The spell has yet to end and he was still in the state where he would follow his orders completely. To be completely honest, he had expected for the old man to have struck up a powerful resistance to the Unforgivable. He was more than willing to make a trip into Dumbledore's mind to mentally drain of his energy to rebel. However, it surprised him that Dumbledore was moving about to his whim without any reservations. Was Dumbledore playing a game? Was he simply biding his time to break free from the Imperius? He knew Dumbledore was sly, but was he cunning enough to have done that?
Perhaps he was being paranoid, but as Moody once harked, 'constant vigilance' would ensure his plans would come into fruition. Harry stared at Dumbledore, wondering briefly what to ask him to confirm that he was under his spell. Something clicked in his mind, and he knew perfectly what to ask. He cautiously asked, "What did you see in the Mirror of Erised in my First Year?"
If Dumbledore was indeed attempting to trick him, then he would assume that Harry would recall the memory of when Dumbledore spun the tale of him holding socks in the mirror. As that was the only time (in this continuity) that they spoke of what they deeply desired, Dumbledore would assume that what he claimed initially would be the truth to Harry as no other knew of the mirror (other than Ron and Hermione).
Dumbledore stared dumbly into space as he then spoke, his voice empty and sullen as a wave of regret and depression reigned over him, "I saw my mother and father alive and well, holding each other with the warmth and love that can only displayed by a man and woman who loved each other dearly. I saw my brother, Aberforth, smiling at me and beckoning me to him, reminding me of the days long old where he had once revered me as a dear sibling. And then, I see Arianna. Her smiling face, filled with wonder and excitement as she eyed me with no loneliness emanating from her; but most importantly, she was alive – truly, dearly alive – My family, my wonderful family –"
"Stop." Harry interrupted, and Dumbledore went quiet, awaiting new commands.
The portraits interestingly went quiet as well, presumably still shocked at the current Headmaster's condition as well as the startling revelation of what Dumbledore truly desired. Harry, however, smiled triumphantly. Dumbledore was truly under his command, and his plan had worked terrifically. No matter how much peril Dumbledore was in, there was no way he would have allowed that bit of information to escape his lips. It wasn't until Dumbledore was truly dead did he spoke of his true want. Harry had managed to place Albus Dumbledore under the Imperius.
Was he dark for doing this? He could feel inside himself that the boy and the man were struggling for control. After all, the boy was still under the assumption that Dumbledore was out for his best interests. That was a load of crock. Dumbledore, in all of his deception, had easily manipulated his younger self and played him like a fiddle. However, Dumbledore was still a man with power. Supreme Mugwump, Chief Warlock, and Headmaster were all fancy titles that needed to be used for good, and sadly, Dumbledore wasn't doing so. What had he done in the last few years under those? He allowed the bigots control the government and he allowed the spawns of cretins to run rampant throughout the school.
Harry concluded that Dumbledore was simply too focused on Voldemort. Too focused on chasing a ghost that disallowed him to fully embrace the aspects of his status. That was something Harry decided to change. He was going to ensure that Dumbledore work on creating a better world using his influence. Harry would be the one to chase down Voldemort, he would be the one to destroy the Horcruxes, and he would be the one that would ultimately cause the downfall of the Death Eaters under his command. In his hands, Harry held the power of the Elder Wand; the appropriate tool to be used in order to cleanse the blot of Wizarding Society.
"Accio Dumbledore's Wand!" Harry called out and he waited patiently. Suddenly, from the drawers of the nightstand by Dumbledore's bed came an unfamiliar wand that he had never seen before. It was Dumbledore's original wand! Harry examined the 10' piece and noticed that the wood was the exact same as his Holly wand. Incredibly ironic how that turned out to be. As Harry held it, he pointed the Elder Wand to the stick and quietly transfigured Dumbledore's wand into a lookalike of the Elder Wand. "Interesting, transfiguring a wand should have been almost impossible…" He commented under his breath.
He looked at Dumbledore, looking calm as he did. Harry wondered why Dumbledore was so easy to subdue. As he asked himself that question, he realized the many times that Dumbledore complained that he was tired and that he was growing old. Perhaps, in a way, Dumbledore was subconsciously projecting that he wished for all his responsibilities regarding Tom Riddle to be placed on someone else? It certainly made sense that when he had met Dumbledore at King's Cross that he looked much happier and energized than before. Then again, Harry could have been wrong. True, it was all just a theory, but it made a sense.
Harry pointed the Death Stick at Dumbledore, grinned, and said, "Now Albus. I have a plan to get rid of Voldemort for good. So, please be a good little puppet for I have some longstanding orders for you. Maybe if you hear it, then you may understand why your total obedience is required. Now regarding your status as Chief Warlock in the Wizengamot…"
And thus the manipulator became the manipulated.
Hermione chewed on her food at a much slower pace than a certain red-haired boy next to her. Typically, she would scold her other male best friend and make sure he started eating with proper etiquette, then after he thought that she wasn't paying attention, he would resume back to his habits and Hermione would simply roll her eyes and ignored it until the next meal. However, tonight her mind kept on drifting to her best friend, now boyfriend, and how worried she felt at the moment considering that he had been (not surprisingly) sent to the Headmaster's office.
While it may be true that Harry, as much as he would not like to admit it, was a favorite among some of the teachers and even the Headmaster, there were some serious consequences for his actions this afternoon. How could he have been completely mad to accept a duel of challenge from an older and much more experienced boy such as Viktor Krum? While it may be true that Harry was considered legally of age until the tournament ended, that did not mean that he wasn't still a fourteen year old teen! Unfortunately, that meant that he would still need to be disciplined in some form or another.
She swallowed her meal and pushed her plate forward, indicating she was done. Hermione watched the door for a few moments, hoping that Harry would walk through those doors at any moment. After waiting a few seconds, Hermione turned back to her food and sighed. What if Harry was expelled? Hermione thought worriedly, the mere thought of not seeing Harry again made her feel sick to her stomachs. Of course, that was silly. Harry was legally obligated to continue the tournament, and he had to be a student to do so. Oh, what was she thinking? Of course Harry wouldn't be expelled.
And thinking of Harry, she couldn't help but notice how he changed significantly from how he was before. Maybe something triggered inside him after that horrible face-off with the dragon in the First Task. It was entirely plausible; people sometimes change after a traumatic event. Before, he always seemed a little withdrawn in crowds other than the usual party for a Gryffindor Quidditch victory. He was in a moody state ever since the tournament began, and Harry went through several bouts of depression and anger every now and then throughout the school year especially with the whole Ron fiasco. Though he was their friend now, Hermione still considered him to be on thin ice, and Ron knew that with the way he's been acting.
Briefly, she had wondered if Ron had actually fancied her. She caught him staring at her from time to time when she had been alone or with Harry. The thought made her slightly queasy. Granted, Ron was growing up to be a somewhat handsome bloke, but there was no possible way she would ever consider him to be a boyfriend. He was rude, lacked basic table manners, had a tendency to put his foot in his mouth, displayed the emotional intelligence of a troll, thought nothing of his schoolwork, and generally lazy. Though he had his good sides, the cons heavily outweighed the pros. Hermione would probably end up killing him within a few days.
Hermione paused. She had gotten off track again. Even in her own mind she seemed to go off into tangents. Not that she minded, pursuing different trains of thoughts allowed her to think creatively and flexibly in stressed situations. That was how she was able to help out Harry through their years in Hogwarts and –Oh great, she did it again!
She frowned and nibbled the bottom of her lip gently.
Harry was much more confident than he was before. In fact, it seemed like he was now acting like the complete opposite of himself from before the First Task. He was a lot more sociable and extraordinarily more helpful. It didn't seem like he had trouble talking to girls as he was able to talk with the Fleur Delacour without bumbling like an oaf or go mute (unlike Ron). Though, happy as she was for him, Hermione was slightly worried. Although she knew for sure that she absolutely fancied Harry more than his looks and fame, she didn't know exactly what he saw in her. He claimed it was because that she was always there for him, but wouldn't that mean that he may grow out of fancying her and go for someone much better-looking or more interesting?
Although she felt something strongly for Harry, what was the extent of his feelings towards her? Were they casually dating or was this something more serious? She definitely didn't mind having a relationship with Harry, it's not like they need to go on dates a few times to see if they were compatible. They had been friends for three years, and already they knew almost everything about each other. But that meant they were compatible as friends. Were they compatible as a couple? Hermione groaned as she hung her head low. She was definitely over-thinking things.
However, one thing that boggled her though was how Harry was able to win his duel with Viktor. Hermione had walked in on the last half of the duel and had seen Harry flawlessly pull off spells that wouldn't be taught until next year or more! It was simply incredible how he was able to perfect the wand movements and silently cast each and every single spell he used. She was definitely impressed, but she wondered where in world Harry learned those skills. Sure, Harry may just as well have been a natural duelist who did all those things instinctively, but that was just too much of a coincidence. Just a few weeks ago, Harry was having trouble with charms, and now he was able to flawlessly deflect spells and transfigure a perfect replica of his wand out a splinter of wood?
It simply did not add up. Was he getting secret training on the side? If so, by who? Dumbledore? Moody? She wouldn't doubt if it had been Moody had been teaching him on the side; the crazy, old bat was once a famous Auror after all. But, that didn't exactly add up. Unless Harry was sneaking out after curfew, Hermione could not possibly pinpoint an appropriate time for extra lessons. She had been, after all, by his side almost constantly since the tournament began. Was he using a time-turner like she had used last year? Maybe that's the case and Harry simply had to not tell anybody about it. She didn't tell Harry about her time-turner until they absolutely had to use it to save Sirius. She could understand.
Then again, the rules of the tournament did state that Harry wasn't supposed to get help from his professors (despite her suspicion that the other schools had no such qualms with doing so), and so far, Dumbledore and Moody had been a little adamant about not being able to help him as far as she could tell. Though she didn't rule out time-travel as a possibility, she didn't exactly have concrete evidence that supported it other than just conjecture on her part.
Suddenly, Hermione felt the warm touch of a kiss gently pecking her cheek. Her eyes flew open and she turned to her right to find Harry already sitting on the table grinning rather devilishly at her. In the smooth tone that he recently adopted, Harry said, "What's on your mind love?"
"Harry!" Hermione shrieked in a hushed whisper. Harry chuckled lightly as he started filling his plate with food. It didn't take long before Hermione began her interrogation as she began shooting question after question in rapid succession, "What did Dumbledore talk to you about? Are you in trouble? Are you going to be expelled? Did Dumbledore punish you? Harry! Why aren't you answering?"
"Blimey Hermione! Let Harry get a chance to speak yeah?" Ron chimed in between bites.
Hermione glared at the red-haired boy, but fortunately for him, he went back to his eating and had avoided catching her fearsome look. However, before Hermione could properly chastise him for his inability to once again eat properly, a hand was on her shoulders and she turned back to Harry who beckoned her with a simple rise of an eyebrow to listen to him. She huffed, and then turned her body towards Harry, giving him a stern gaze to answer quickly.
"Well, Dumbledore properly reprimanded me that I should not go around accepting challenges of duels." Harry began.
Hermione nodded in assent, adding in, "You deserved it." As she grumbled, she couldn't help but notice the broad grin on Harry's countenance that was both annoying and contagious. She wanted to know exactly why Harry was smirking like that, and if he thought he could get away from her ire with a simple expression, then Harry had another thing coming!
"What?" Hermione snapped.
His damn smirk became even larger, but fortunately, all her waiting of two seconds paid off when he revealed the news, "Also, he plans to make sure that I become properly emancipated by the time summer arrives and so that I could take up my role as Head of House Potter." His shoulders broadened, and his back straightened, obviously proud of taking up the mantle that his father had before him. But Hermione disagreed.
"Of all the irresponsible things!" Hermione said angrily, "What is Dumbledore thinking? Harry, you're only fourteen! I've read that there are a lot of responsibilities associated with being the Head of House of a family as longstanding as the Potters!"
It only infuriated her further that Harry simply shrugged, "Honestly, Hermione. I think I can handle this. I've been practically taking care of myself since I was a kid. And it gives me a chance to escape my horrid relatives."
Hermione didn't say a word then; she didn't know what exactly the extent of Harry's circumstances with his relatives, the Dursleys, was, but she knew that it wasn't exactly great. She had been wondering about it off and on over the years as she always noticed that Harry was a bit underfed when term just began, never went back during Christmas time, and almost always wore casual clothing that was too big for him to use. Hermione always urged Harry to talk to her about it, but he never did except for the occasional quips and references he made when he wasn't paying attention. It disturbed her, but she knew better than to push him.
"I still don't like it." Hermione sighed, "But you have to get more responsible. No more skiving off your work until the last minute. Or else I'll go to Dumbledore and ask him to reconsider his decision."
"Okay, okay." Harry agreed, "This is a good thing Hermione, it means I can visit you and Ron whenever I want to instead of getting stuck with the Durleys the entire summer."
Ron, who had been eating, had finally tuned into the conversation and blurted out, "Harry! That's great! That means you can get into your family vault!" He swallowed his food, "Mum said that the Potters are one of the oldest and richest Wizarding families! They're like the Blacks, except, y'know, they're not dark."
Hermione frowned, she hadn't heard of that before. However, considering that Ron was much more knowledgeable when it came to magical history (why couldn't he be this informative when it actually came to History of Magic?), he had her, as much as she detested the thought, beat. She glanced over at Harry to see what his reaction was to hearing about this new information, but was surprised to find that he simply nodded and said he knew.
"Dumbledore told me all about it." Harry said excitedly, "He told me that if I'm going to become a legal adult and the head of my family, I had to know a few things. The Potters have some businesses owned, both magical and non-magical, and they also have a seat in the Wizengamot."
Hermione beamed, and her eyes shined with both wonder and excitement. She was practically shaking when she enthusiastically said, "You know what this means Harry? It means you get the chance to influence our body of government! You're able to help pass new laws! You can practically change the direction where the country is going!"
"Maybe. Right now, the Wizengamot is filled with bigots who support the Pureblood movement. I know people like Lucius Malfoy bribes many of the politicians there to keep this society stagnant. It can't be helped that people who genuinely care about the fate of society are constantly outvoted by people who are afraid of change."
"But…that's unethical! I mean, I heard that there are dirty politicians, but Dumbledore is the Chief Warlock! He would make things fair right?" Hermione asked. She could not wrap it around her head that such a large body of authority was all corrupted. That was simply too impossible!
Harry, however, raised his shoulders up and then had it sag down, "Not likely. It's politics after all. If Dumbledore does something that completely goes against what the babbling old coots there wants, he'll be voted out the Wizengamot faster than Ron can eat a single helping of food."
"Hey!" Ron cried out.
"But, that's terrible! No wonder the world here is so backwards sometimes!" Hermione scowled. As much as she wanted to defend against the parliament the Wizarding world had, she really had no other knowledge that said otherwise from what Harry had said. It was pretty disappointing to realize that, she had wanted to work for the Ministry after Hogwarts.
Harry smiled, "Doesn't mean I can't change it. Once I'm emancipated and have all my rights as the Head of Potter, I promise I'm going to try and make things a lot better." Hermione gazed at Harry and saw the fire burning in his eyes. She knew that Harry was a person of his word, and she trusted him. There was definitely something different about Harry. It was odd to see him like this, and she wasn't exactly sure whether or not this change was good or bad. But so far, it seems Harry was changing for the better. She liked it. A lot.
"Great! As soon as dinner's done, I'm going to rush to the library and find as many books as I can about this. We have to get started on this Harry so that you're prepared when you go to your first Wizengamot meeting." As she talked, Hermione noticed from the corner of her vision Harry and Ron rolling their eyes.
The nerve of them!
"I don't understand James." Harry suddenly confessed. He sat idly on the couch of the Gryffindor Common Room that was the mindscape of his older self. He watched the fireplace as it roared with life as he was left to mull over. Harry felt little of the comfort and security that the setting was supposed to provide, instead, he felt nothing but the disgust and contempt for himself and James. He tore his eyes away from the fire and looked at his own hands. With it, Harry realized, he had casted an Unforgivable.
Dumbledore was his mentor, the grandfather figure he so longed for. And yet he was so easily able to overcome him, to place him under his own command without any hesitance in his way. Harry knew that it was James's influence and memories combining into his own experiences that allowed him to do this, but yet he had willingly allowed him to do it. Even when he struggled, Harry allowed James to stop him with a simple grasp of his shoulder and the words to 'not interfere'. What he couldn't understand was why he had to use magic most dark? Why couldn't he simply convince Dumbledore to allow him to run free in order to put a stop to him?
James, however, had no such conflict. He stood a few ways off away from his young charge, staring at himself in the body mirror he had conjured with his mind. James rather enjoyed the suit he was sporting; it gave himself a more professional look and would subtly allow the people whose mind he would enter that he held authority. It was an odd psychological phenomenon, but he would take any advantage he needed. James heard Harry's question, and he stopped his mild grooming for a moment to stare at the boy of his youth.
"It was necessary Harry." James replied calmly, his voice purposely soft to soothe Harry.
Harry stood up and glared fiercely at James. He was typically such a non-confrontational boy, but perhaps he gained courage since he was facing himself? Who knows? James irritably sighed and began rubbing his temples to prepare himself for the storm of emotions that was sure to come. He hated the moodiness of his adolescence. No wonder he was so easily to manipulate the first time through.
"But why use an Unforgivable? Dark magic no less!" Harry cried out, he set a war path towards James, stomping as he did so, "We could have easily convinced him to let us be in charge! Maybe even ignore him and continued our own path? Maybe even trust him to do the right thing if we told him about your knowledge of future events!"
"Trust Albus?" James asked seriously as he stared at Harry. Suddenly, he laughed, holding his sides as he did so, "Oh Harry. Maybe you should give up the notion that he is an authority figure that is looking out for your best interests."
"But –" Harry stammered.
However, James was at the limit of his patience. He glared harshly at Harry and instinctively slammed his arm against the bookshelf next to him in righteous anger. Some of the books fell, holding memories or skills that he possessed. With a snarl, James said, "Don't Harry. What's done is done. I will not have that old man ruin your life again. He is a manipulator. He is the one who placed you with the Dursleys. He is the one that left us to be tormented by our so-called relatives. Not only that, he raised us to be slaughtered like a sacrificial lamb my final encounter. Though he screams that it was all for the greater good, what of our happiness? Does that mean nothing to him?"
Harry stopped in his tracks. He stared down at the floor, brimming with both rage and anguish over his plight. No doubt that he was unable to recognize his own torn feelings over the subject. James watched him with pity. In one single swoop, he eliminated the boy's naivety regarding a certain old man. James snapped his fingers, and the cluttered books were placed back in their original location. He walked over to Harry and guided the both of them to the comfortable seat on the couch.
"What I want is for us to have a life we deserve. We have Hermione. We have our friends. And hopefully, we won't have a war over the horizon. If my plan goes through, Harry, you can finally live that normal life you always longed for."
"But, what is the plan? Why do I feel like we're cheating our way through? Isn't this…isn't this sneaking…"
"Wrong? Bad? Evil?" James drawled bored. "Our intent is to make sure the world is safe at any means. If that meant I had to imperius Dumbledore to do his job and to leave us alone, so be it. I don't think it's evil at all. Sneaky, yes. But we have to be if we want to succeed. In the First Wizarding War, Aurors were authorized to use the Unforgivables. Does that make them evil or bad?"
"No." Harry admitted as he crossed his arms. He hadn't thought of that before.
"Exactly. Our plan is simple. Manipulate the government to stop passing bigoted laws. Take over the underground ensure Voldemort doesn't get support. Destroy the Horcruxes to prevent his return. Then, we get our happy ending."
Harry smiled as he envisioned the future. He wouldn't be tormented with being placed in constant danger year after year; he could live out his life as a normal student and wizard! Sure, Malfoy would probably still try to bully him, and he would have to do all that schoolwork, but in the end, it was overall normal. Then, once Hogwarts was finished, he could get a job (not sure what yet) and then start a family (hopefully with Hermione)! This was something he had always wanted. Something he craved and thought was impossible at first.
James's lips curled into a smirk, "Just leave it all to me."
Author's Note: I thought about adding one more scene, but I felt it would be better spent if it were included in the next chapter instead. Hopefully, you guys didn't mind the short chapter as opposed to my usual length.