Harry Potter and the Altered Histories
Synopsis: They say that history is written by the victor. Harry finds that this is not the case, history is actually written by the manipulative old coot behind the victor, and this Harry is not going to let himself be stepped all over, unless of course Luna tells him to.
Acknowledgements: This story takes a good deal of inspiration from Rorschach's Blot's story Make A Wish. I encourage everyone to read that story if they want a laugh. For those who have read Make A Wish, I assure you that this story, while it borrows some ideas, it does not copy any scene or even the storyline of Make A Wish.
Plot Elements: HarryXLuna. Powerful, Not Evil, Dark Lord, Metamorph, Magical Animagus, Highly Coincidental Harry. Intelligent, Seer, Aura Reader, Morally Incomprehensible, Luna. Butt of the occasional joke Sirius. Contains myths and legends of many cities and countries.
Disclaimers: All rights to Harry Potter and anything from the Harry Potter universe belong solely to J. and whatever publisher she uses in your country. Everything else is my hard work. All non-magical places are real to the best of Google's knowledge.
FRIDAY AUGUST 13, 1993
Harry wandered from store to store in Diagon Alley. He couldn't believe the summer he was having. He had been beaten up by his pig of a cousin. He had barely received any food. He had been worked to the bone while his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia berated him for his so-called laziness. Aunt marge had come to visit, bringing her beast of a dog that had bitten him three time. She had spent her visit insulting him and his parents until he had finally lost control and blew her up, not like a bomb, but like a balloon. She had expanded and floated up to the ceiling. That alone had made it his best summer ever. He had then grabbed his belongings and left before his Uncle had regained enough sense to try and beat the freakishness out of him again.
Now, after the minister of magic himself had personally expressed his thankfulness about Harry's safety and set him up in a room at the leaky cauldron, Harry had nothing to do but explore while he waited for the start of his next term. Diagon Alley was the main shopping district for the wizards and witches of England. There were of course other magical districts, like the town of Hogsmeade that was situated next to his residence for the entirety of the school year, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Diagon Alley, however, was the most extensive shopping location, the wizarding equivalent of a muggle mega-mall. You could buy most anything there, for example, pets and pet supplies could be had at the Magical Menagerie. It was where Harry's snowy owl Hedwig had come from, though he usually purchased her supplies from the more specialized Eeylop's Owl Emporium which also inhabited the alley. It was also the only location of England's wizarding bank, Gringotts. The goblin-run bank was often compared to Hogwarts as being one of the British Isles' most secure locations. Harry had to give the edge to Gringotts; he had yet to have anything try to kill him there.
In addition to the shops in the alley itself, there were smaller, less popular offshoots such as Knockturn Alley, a location favored by dark wizards, dark creatures, and others who wanted their dealings kept away from prying eyes. Another was Vertic Alley which catered more to the muggle-born crowd and the occasional arithmancer due to the fact that you could find high-tech items such as graph-parchment and slide-rules there. Sensu Alley, like Knockturn Alley, was a location that most wizarding parents avoided and insisted their children do the same due to the women of ill repute that filled it.
Today, Harry was standing before Sensic Alley. It was only a short connection between Diagon Alley and Wrig Alley, a seemingly unused street that could not seem to maintain a straight course. There was only one store in Sensic Alley, Meryl's Misunderstood Magical Minutia. It was the kind of store most would not look twice at. As Harry had several more days until he needed to set off for school, he was more than happy to enter through the drab facade. The inside was no more impressive. It was rather dusty, and the shelves were stocked with an eclectic mix of knickknacks, books, and odd jewelery. Harry examined a small stack of books, though perhaps leaflets would have been a better term for them. The largest could not have been more than twenty pages. He was, however, pleasantly interested in the topics covered. The first was 'The truth behind wandless magic and other things the Ministry does not want you to know', the second was 'Wands, staves, stones, and the uses of other magical foci', the third was probably the largest 'Permanency: Creating lasting enchantments, enhancements, tools, and treasures'. In all there were about twenty that seemed to cover every aspect of magic to some degree or another and were written by a woman named Meryl-Lynn M. Brokus. A tap of wood on wood startled Harry from his examinations.
"You have a good eye for quality. Most people would overlook those because they were written by a muggle-born, or written by a woman, or because they are small."
Harry turned towards the female voice that had interrupted his browsing. There stood a middle-aged woman in comfortable, nondescript muggle clothing. Her graying hair sprawled loosely around her shoulders. The wooden knock he had heard had come from the large carved wooden stick that she leaned her weight on, compensating for an old leg injury.
"Um, I guess..." Harry said.
"Now, come on and pay for your purchase, I don't have all day, and neither do you."
"My purchase?" Harry asked.
The woman gestured to a sign that read, 'By touching any item on the shelves, you agree to purchase it. Prices non-negotiable.'
"I suppose I'll take these, then," Harry said. Chances were that if he did not follow the rules, he would probably end up with some sort of curse. He did not want to risk that. "How much are they?"
"That all depends on you." She leaned her walking stick against the counter and began shuffling through some parchment. "This is a special creation of mine." She placed a few inches of parchment on the counter. The parchment had the title 'Payment for the collective works of Meryl-Lynn M. Brokus'. Before Harry could protest, the woman had grabbed his arm and stuck his finger with a needle, letting a few drops of blood drip onto the parchment and began to form letters.
"Usage: Unlimited." Harry read as a price began to appear. "More than eighty-five hundred galleons!" He exclaimed as the writing stopped appearing.
"That is rather low considering you are the heir of the Ancient and Noble House of Potter. You probably have restricted access to your finances until you reach your majority," the shop keeper explained, "You probably have not purchased your school supplies yet, so I'll give you a small discount," She waved her hand over the parchment and the number dropped by one-hundred galleons. "That should do it."
"That still seems to be much too expensive for a few pamphlets."
The shopkeeper barked out a laugh. "As dense as most magicals, you are. These are not just pamphlets, they are magical. The pages you see are merely the introduction. The back page is a responsive archive that will bring up stored information when requested. And, look at the name. You really can't trust history books. Sound it out. Meryl-Lynn M. Brokus..."
"Meryl-Lynn M. Brokus? Mariln M. Brokus... Merilyn Embroccus..." Harry's eyes widened in awe as he said under his breath, "Merlin Ambrosius!" He paused as this sunk in. "By Merlin's beard, you're saying these were written by Merlin himself!"
"Herself, actually. The identity of Merlin was merely an advanced glamor to hide her true identity." The shopkeeper poured some black wax from a burning candle onto the parchment. "Press your vault key into the wax to turn this into an official bank draft." Harry did as he was told, stunned by the revelation. "Now off with you. It's time for me to close shop for the day." With a wave of her hand, Harry found himself propelled out the door which barred itself before all the candle extinguished. When harry blinked, the store seemed to vanish, replaced by a dilapidated and long abandoned building. If he were not still holding the books, he would assume that he had imagined the whole encounter.
" Meryl's Misunderstood Magical Minutia... By Merlin's sagging left testi... Err... Whatever! I just met Merlin!"
Harry wandered back to his room in the Leaky Cauldron and lay down on his bed, trying to process what had just happened. Either, he had just become amazingly lucky, or he had been severely swindled. He supposed that there was only one way to find out.
He opened the first book and began to read.
The truth behind wandless magic
And other things the Ministry does not want you to know
There is one lie that everyone will tell you that no one should believe. They say 'You need a wand to cast spells." But, is this true? Magical toddlers cast magic all the time. This is termed as accidental magic, but that is misleading term. Rather, it should be called exigency and intent magic. In truth, there are four things needed to perform feats of magic.
The first and most important is power. You need magical energy to perform spells. Magical energy is no different from any other energy. It cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be controlled, and transformed. As with all energies in the human body, it is replenished through the food that we eat.
The second thing needed to perform magic is exigency, the need for something or a sense of urgency. With these two, the body of a witch or wizard can cause a release of energy from their magical core, and with practice can control the flow. However, with just the two, the energy will be released chaotically. If anything can be termed as accidental magic, it would be exigent magic because anything that does happen is not done purposefully, but will in some way relate to the need. For example, if an object is thrown at a person and they really need to not be hit, the thrown object may explode, it may just stop, it may change course, it may strike a shield, it may be displaced to a new location, it may become intangible, it may cease to exist entirely, the person may be displaced, the person may become intangible, the person may trans-locate with the thrower, or any other number of things. Exigent magic only ever occurs in the most desperate of circumstances.
The third requirement of magic is intent. Intent is knowing the outcome of magic. For example, if a child wanted a specific toy in their hand, one of many things could still happen: the item may simply be summoned to the child's hand, a replica of the item may be conjured, the child may levitate to the object, or any other method that would result in the fulfillment of the intent.
The fourth and final requirement to knowingly perform magic is visualization. If you can imagine a method to fulfill your intent and understand the mechanics of that method, you can cause that method to be the one used by your magic. However, if you do not really understand what you want your magic to do, then your magic may do something you did not intend, or nothing at all.
Now, you are probably wondering why wand movements and magic words are required at all. That is because most wizards would fail to understand the mechanics of the simplest things, let alone to do much more complicated things. Wands and their movements are created to replace the visualization of magic. The understanding is generalized into a pattern that can be described arithmancically and then translated into wand movements. The spell words are replacements for or a focus for intent which is much easier to generate than understanding, which is one of the reasons non-verbal casting is still common while wandless casting is almost non-existent.
Now, why is something that is merely difficult considered impossible by almost everyone? It is propaganda created by the ministries of magic because wandless magic cannot be tracked. The manipulation of magic does not leave a signature indicating the caster, and because a witch or wizard's magic is continuously acting upon themselves, a monitoring spell cannot be placed directly on them. This leaves only two options, monitoring areas for occurrences of external magic which is terrible imprecise and prone to false positives, or monitoring the instrument used to perform magic – the wand. Because of this, every wand is required to be created with built-in tracking spells and be registered at the ministry.
Harry lay in his bed in shock. This was definitely not something he had thought of. It had never even occurred to him to try wandless magic. Of course, having been beaten for even suspicions of accidental magic, it had not been on the top of his to-do list. He turned to the next and last page. At the top was a notice saying, 'Speak and your answer will come forth:'.
"How do I learn to cast wandlessly?" Harry asked.
Writing flowed onto the page. It appeared on both the left and right with instructions to tap on the right to go forward and left to go back. It described five exercises. The first was to begin casting a spell with his wand but not finish it and feel how the magic flowed from his core to his wand. The second was to meditate on his emotions and attempt o agitate the flow of energy in his body. The third was to picture the end result of something simple until it was as real to him as the reality around him. The fourth exercise was to consider how the end result could be accomplished and try to think of every factor that could affect the method. The final exercise was to combine all the previous exercises into something simple. Once he had mastered one spell, he could then work his way up to more complex spells.
Harry held his wand in his had and concentrated as if he was going to perform the lumos charm, trying to feel the flow of magic.