This is my special Christmas story for you. It is a time-travel story of another kind than the normal ones I think. I always wondered why Harry didn't do more to take away the power-base of the Death Eaters and Voldemort and only worked on getting stronger in those. So I decided to write this story to be published this Christmas. Happy reading.
Disclaimer for the whole story: I own nothing of Harry Potter, but the story idea is mine.
All was not well
Harry Potter sat alone under his invisibility cloak on the roof of Ravenclaw Tower. He had taken one of the school brooms to get away. His victory had a bad aftertaste. So many had died. And for what? Voldemort was dead, true, but he didn't die by Harry's hand. He died through a fluke, a backfiring curse because Harry had coincidentally disarmed Draco Malfoy at Malfoy Manor and taken his wand in a struggle, giving him ownership over the dangerous wand. He had lived and Voldemort had died because the Elder Wand, the wand he now held in his hands, didn't work against his master. Talk about irony. It wasn't even two days after the last battle and there were already whispers.
Whispers about the Ministry returning to their old ways. That wasn't what he had fought for. He wanted more rights for non-purebloods, more chances. Better treatment of magical creatures. But the old pureblood houses had the money. It was something the light had massively ignored all the time. It had always been said that when Voldemort was gone things would be much better again. But that was only an illusion. How long had it taken for Voldemort to take over the Ministry? He had lain low for a year to collect his strength and prepare his army. Then one year of guerrilla tactics until he got rid of Dumbledore. The one person who could match him in a duel. After that, only two months. Two fucking months. After thirteen years of peace and the chance to clean house after Voldemort's first fall the Ministry had done nothing. They had failed the people and soon the people without money, without pure blood would be in a bad position again.
And he wasn't really in any different position. While he had got a letter from Gringotts that thanks to the Ministry paying for the damages that his, Ron's and Hermione's flight with the dragon had caused, including the dragon itself, his gold hadn't been confiscated, but they didn't want him as a customer anymore. He had to go there and empty his vault to collect all of his holdings within two weeks. Bastards. Ungrateful bastards. It was thanks to him and his friends that they got back control over their bank and didn't have to follow the orders of the Death Eaters anymore.
He sighed. His friends were another sore topic. It seemed that again he had been forgotten. Ron was, if he wasn't snogging Hermione, bragging about his part in the fall of Voldemort. Hermione was busy organising her return to Hogwarts to take her NEWTs. As if that couldn't wait. And Ginny was pestering him all the time. He didn't know why, but his feelings for her had drastically cooled down over the last few days. It had been similar while Ron was gone from the search. That was one thing he needed to think about. Now that he finally had the time to think. If he was honest, nothing would change in the wizarding world after Voldemort's fall.
History was repeating itself. There was the fallen head of the pureblood movement, but his followers kept their money. Like it had been with Grindelwald. Many members of the Knights of Walpurgis, Grindelwald's version of the Death Eaters, had been able to worm their way out of punishment by paying bribes to the political leaders. A hero was praised for defeating the leader and either he could play along and change small things for the better or he could try and be denied living in peace. Both options weren't really enticing. The problems this time lay too far in the past. The thirteen years of corruption couldn't simply been forgotten.
Bagnold had given too many Death Eater a 'You get out of prison card' if they only gave her enough gold or names of others that could be put in prison to look good in the eyes of the public. The Lestranges had been the exception of that rule. Bagnold could as well have been a Death Eater herself. Her failure to clean house had laid the foundation of the victory of the pureblood fanatics. Voldemort was only the head of the snake. And another head would sprout now that this one had been cut off.
Fudge had allowed the infection to turn into a full blown disease with no chance of treatment. Kingsley was a better choice for Minister and his first measures had been good, but Harry had no delusions that he could win any election. He had no financial backing as the money was with the old houses that had supported Voldemort. They wouldn't even need to lie low this time. They were in control of the Ministry. Their people were in the important positions. Kingsley would have the position for as long as the rich purebloods would need to get their acts under Voldemort's reign covered up.
After all, only a few Death Eaters were known by name and if anybody knew those that were less known, there were ways to shut them up. That had happened often enough in the past. Money could go a long way. And the most infamous Death Eaters had fallen in the Battle of Hogwarts. If they weren't arrested by now they would get away. And many masked Death Eaters had run after Voldemort's fall, using the happiness of the winners to get away undetected. Who could say who they really were? No, this wasn't a victory, it was hollow. It would crumble before the year was over.
The main culprit, as unbelievable as many would see it, was Albus Dumbledore. He had let too many Death Eaters get away with a slap on the hand, preaching forgiveness and second chances. You didn't give murderers and rapists, torturers and sadists second chances. Those crimes were unforgivable and deserved to be punished accordingly. You didn't let them run free. Not if you had veritaserum at your disposal.
Next were of course the Ministry and Voldemort himself. The corruption and incompetency on sides of the Ministry and the long-term planning and enticing of the rich purebloods in society by Voldemort did their part too. Harry hadn't realized it before, but all the businesses in Diagon Alley were owned by purebloods. All potion ingredient farms belonged to purebloods. Same for clothes manufacturers, wand component suppliers and so on. The whole European magical businesses were to ninety-five per cent in pureblood hands. The British were the worst concerning blood status mania, but the other countries were only slightly better in letting others get financial power. Oh, you could get better positions like in the Ministries as a muggleborn or halfblood. Certain magical creatures were also much better tolerated, but getting a chance to open a business required money. And that was in the hands of old pureblood houses that guarded their power jealously.
No, the only way to change anything would be going back in time. He had taken his time to think after he had woken up from his sleep after the battle. And he knew that he needed more information about his new powers, if they existed, from being the Master of Death. So he had gone to Dumbledore's office and summoned all books concerning the topic. It was assumed that if you really managed to collect all three Deathly Hallows, you were able to go back in time. The Master of Death stood outside of the normal mortal restrictions. Harry was pondering if the gain would be worth the risks. He could at most return to the day he was born. His limitation was his own lifespan. So he couldn't stop Voldemort's rise to power. That would have been by far his most favourite way. The thing he did not know how to face was the chance to prevent his parents' death. It would make things incalculable, but then again so would his whole time-travelling if he did it.
What if Voldemort would get away in 1981 because he changed the past too much? He had been winning back then. But then again, he had defeated, even if by a fluke, him with much more power behind him. At least back in 1980 Voldemort didn't have the Ministry under his control. The aurors were trained much better and more numerous. He also knew what the horcruxes were and where they were hidden. That was one advantage he could fully utilize. On top of that he had the money to counter the Death Eaters' plans to fully take over the economy. Many businesses had been bought by them after the first war when the former owners had been forced to sell because they didn't have any money to rebuild them.
It was a good idea when he thought about it. He had knowledge of the future, could find out exactly which enterprises were the most profitable and buy them before the Death Eaters could. He would only need a trunk like Moody's keyed to only him. He would probably get it for free for killing Voldemort. Perks of being a hero. Perhaps two were even better. One for his money, one for books and other things he would need. There were some inventions that would make a lot of money that had been made after Voldemort's fall. The wolfsbane potion not being the least of them. There had to be books that described the most successful businesses and the most incredible discoveries of the wizarding world since 1980. And for the muggle world too. Having a Business Empire on which he could fall back if the wizarding world didn't work out completely would be smart. It would also make a lot of things easier.
Most wizards didn't have a clue about muggles; look at Mr Weasley, the supposed expert on them at the Ministry. He didn't even know the most basic things about money, and the numbers were printed on the bills and the coins. And if he went back to the day of his birth he would have a little over a year to get everything started. He could look for the books on the wizarding economy of Britain in particular and Europe on top of it at Flourish & Blott's and every well-stocked muggle book store would have the others. He knew that there were books that summarized economic history. He would also need to get all the material for seventh year down. Even if he was in the past, he would need his NEWTs to ever get anywhere. Nobody took a wizard without NEWTs serious.
He would have to see about a fake identity that couldn't be seen through easily. Somebody who had existed, but died without anybody knowing until much later or never. There were such cases; he had heard Hermione talk about them when they were alone on the search. She had needed something to do and talk about that distracted her from Ron's betrayal. And true identifications like passports in the muggle world didn't exist in the wizarding world. Everybody would be able to see that he was a Potter. But his grandfather Charlus had had a younger brother who had gone missing when Charlus had still been in his thirties. Family tapestries didn't show the date of death, only the date of birth so nobody had been able to say if Charlus brother had died or not.
And the Potter tapestry had been destroyed in a Death Eater attack on the manor in which Charlus and Dorea Potter had died. So nobody would be able to call a lie if Harry pretended to be the son of the missing younger brother who had died when he had been a toddler. Charlus brother had been eleven years younger than him, so the deception would be able to work. After all, every blood test would confirm Harry as a Potter. And as long as nobody forced him to do a complete heritage test, he would be safe. And honestly, who wanted to know more than that he was family when everybody kept secrets?
His decision was made. He would go back and change the future for the better. This world was too messed up, especially here in Britain. His feelings for Ginny were probably the results of long-term exposure to love potions from the Weasleys. Otherwise the sudden drop of them when Ron had left and now that Kreacher made very sure to check all his food and drinks for poison and said potions from crazy fans. It hurt, but he would get over it. He had the chance to change things. He would be able to even get a better childhood for his younger self. First he needed to put a fake Elder Wand into Dumbledore's grave. Then he should take all the books he needed from Dumbledore's private collection. After all, he wouldn't miss them being dead.
He would go into the forest, it should be easy to find the Resurrection Stone if he started from Hagrid's hut, and complete the Deathly Hallows properly. In a few months he should be able to get all preparations done. It was May now. Kingsley had informed him that NEWTs and OWLs for all students that were interested in taking them would be held late in August. That way he could see what topics were covered. Perhaps they even had the old tests from 1980. It was worth a try. He took the broom and flew under his invisibility cloak to the Forbidden Forest.
Getting into the Ministry archive for examinations that were older than ten years had been incredibly easy. A few simple copy spells and he had the complete exam questions. Now he would only have to make sure that he got the practical side down. But with knowing the topics that was a manageable task. Interestingly he found Arithmancy to be quite easy. A lot like muggle maths and that was the one subject he had kept up with during the holidays as Dudley was too stupid to do his own summer homework and Harry had been forced to do it. After all, precious Dudders couldn't be forced to waste some of his all too short holidays after a stressful school year. Well, at least Harry hadn't been totally out of the loop from the muggle world that way. Maths had also been his best subject at primary school.
So Harry decided that despite never taking the class to sit that NEWT as well. Having more NEWTs couldn't hurt after all. He would also add Muggle Studies. The exam was a joke for anybody having lived in the muggle world for the time until Hogwarts. Hermione could have aced it without ever opening a book. Not that she would have done so. That wasn't in her personality. The Creatures that were tested in Care of Magical Creatures were also manageable thanks to Hagrid bringing in more dangerous ones than appropriate. So now Harry's revision timetable consisted of Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Arithmancy, Potions, Transfiguration, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures and Muggle Studies. That would give him eight NEWTs, a really high number that would open many doors.
He had overheard a conversation between Ron and Ginny. He had been right. First Ginny had given him a love potion that acted slowly over months and was therefore harder to detect than outright giving him something like amortentia or the potions Fred and George sold at their shop. Ron had then continued to give him the potion while they were hunting horcruxes. All to get them the Potter and Black fortune. Ginny had got impatient before sixth year when Harry didn't act jealous when she mentioned having chosen Dean as her boyfriend. And Dumbledore had been in on the plan. Him as Ginny's husband had been the payment Molly had demanded for the Weasley's supporting Dumbledore. He really should have listened to Aberforth.
Well, he would prevent his younger self being caught in Dumbledore's net. The one he would miss most was Hermione. Even if she had got more distant since the last battle. Perhaps it was her new relationship with Ron.
Two weeks into August Harry got his answer to many of his questions. The pureblood faction had been even faster than he had thought they would be. A new marriage law forced halfbloods and muggleborns to marry purebloods to repopulate the fallen numbers of witches and wizards. Hermione had been quickly engaged to Ron to avoid having to marry someone like Malfoy. He had to make his time-travel happen earlier now. He had everything ready. Two trunks with seven compartments full of money and family heirlooms shrunk to the size of matchboxes. One trunk with books of the same size. One special trunk that was a complete apartment. He had asked for it when he was asked for a reward for killing Voldemort. He had got the other three for the price of two from the happy trunk maker. A good deal, really.
All three Hallows were in his possession. He knew how to easily make a fortune in 1980 in both worlds. The only thing left for him to do was getting away before the pureblood girls could end their bidding over him. He was the most eligible bachelor of Great Britain, but as he was a halfblood he couldn't refuse a spouse that was chosen for him under the new marriage law. So on the night of the 15th August 1998 Harry Potter vanished. When in the morning of the 20th the owl with the letter from the Ministry arrived to inform him that he would have to marry Daphne Greengrass within three months he wasn't there anymore. Only a letter to Hermione was left behind and she would only find it at the end of September when she came looking for him to see how he had taken the choice of his future wife.
He wrote to her that he had used his powers to travel to a place where he could prevent this whole madness. She understood, but it hurt her that she would never see her best friend again in her life. Harry Potter had gone back in time. And if he had managed his goal he had gone back eighteen years to the 1st August 1980.
That was the start and you will get more updates soon.