A/N: Hey, all! Wow, has it been a while or what? Yeah, I'm really bad at keeping my commitments like that. I have no idea how many promises I've broken, so sorry. I don't know about my other stories. I'm thinking I won't ever finish them. It's just been too long since I've worked on any of them. If anyone wants to finish any of those stories, please contact me, and I will be happy to let you adopt and finish it. I'll even beta for you if you need it. So I just thought of an intriguing "What If?" scenario for this story, so I hope you find it to interesting. I honestly have no idea where this is going to go, but I like the baseline for the story. I feel that it leaves a lot of possibilities for the future.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything besides the plot of this particular story. I don't like creating OC's, so there probably won't be any characters of my creation in this. Therefore, the original plot of Harry Potter and all characters that appear in this story, unless they are a definitive OC, belong to JK Rowling.
"James, you know you and Lily are perfectly welcome to stay here with Harry until the war is over. It is safer than anywhere you can go. Please stay. I don't want anything to happen to you, Lily, or Harry because you were to stubborn to stay with your parents."
"Mom! I don't want to stay. I am 20 years old; more than enough old enough to hold my own against those Death Eaters. I am an Auror, remember? Besides, we'll go under the Fidelius Charm, and use Peter as the Secret Keeper. I'll be fine, Lily will be fine, and Harry will be fine. Love you," said James Potter, as he left the grounds of Potter Manor, heading to the edge of the wards before apparating to his new home with his wife and newborn child.
"Don't worry, Dorea. I'm sure they'll be fine. It's not like they aren't taking precautions against Voldemort," said Charlus Potter, walking out of the manor and standing next to his wife on the front porch, watching their son's retreating form. "Now let's go inside. He's made his decision, and I'm sure he'll be okay."
Ten months later, Charlus and Dorea suffered heartbreak beyond belief, when they learned of James' and Lily's passing on the morning of November 1, 1981. When they went to the Ministry of Magic later that day, they were upset to learn that Harry had been taken from the scene by Albus Dumbledore, who had only told the ministry that their young savior was safe. Thus began months of legal battles that eventually resulted Dumbledore being forced to take Harry from the relative on his mother's side, and delivering him to his paternal grandparents at Potter Manor. Additionally, Dumbledore was stripped of his title of Chief Warlock on the Wizengamot for misuse of powers, and put on 15-year probation as Headmaster of Hogwarts.
With the aid of Dorea Potter and her nephew Sirius Black, the Department of Magical Law Enforcement was able to apprehend Peter Pettigrew, who was convicted on two counts of assisted 1st degree murder, and one count of assisted attempted murder, and sentenced to life and 25 years in Azkaban. Sirius warned the DMLE that Pettigrew was an unregistered animagus in the form of a rat, and that the appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that he could not escape from Azkaban. Sirius also admitted to being an unregistered animagus, but was waived of the 75 galleon fine due to his testimony, on the condition that he register his form no later than December 31 of 1981.
On November 5, 1981, the wards at Longbottom Manor were breached. Frank and Alice Longbottom were both tortured into a vegetative state before Frank's mother, Augusta Longbottom, could finally detain all of the attackers, who were later identified to be Bellatrix, Rudolphus, and Rabastian LeStrange. A fourth, unidentified attacker managed to escape capture, and investigators could not pick up on the magical signature left behind.
After the fall of Voldemort, the ensuing trials of captured Death Eaters unearthed many more Death Eaters, many of whom had prominent jobs within the ministry. The most surprising to many people, however, was the revelation that Bartemius Crouch, Jr., the son of the head of the DMLE, was a Death Eater. His father, who happened to be presiding over the trial at which this information was revealed, declared his son to be "no son of mine!" Barty Crouch, Jr.'s trial revealed him to be the mystery attacker involved in the Longbottom attack, and he was sentenced to life in Azkaban for association with a known terrorist and 2 counts of 1st degree murder. The fallout of this trial eventually led to Barty Crouch, Sr. being removed from his position as head of the DMLE in May, 1984 to be replaced with the up-and-coming Head Auror, Amelia Bones.
All civilians found to bear the Dark Mark of Lord Voldemort were tried, and then, facing significant public pressure, retried under Veritaserum to learn of their crimes while serving Voldemort. Sentences ranged from 2 months imprisonment and 1 year probation to life or longer sentences in Azkaban, and a few of the highest ranking Death Eaters, including the LeStranges, were immediately sent through the Veil of Death hidden in the Department of Mysteries. One notable during sentencing was Severus Snape. Albus Dumbledore came to his defence, declaring him to be a spy in the final months of the war, however, due to his declining influence regarding the Harry Potter custodial case, he was largely ignored. Severus Snape was sentenced to a 20 year term in prison for his crimes.
A/N: And that is the prologue. I know, it's not very long. Actually, I believe it is the single shortest chapter I have ever published on this site, but it sets up the plot, which is what I needed it to do. In case you are wondering about some of the changes in sentencing and what not, keep in mind that Charlus is Lord Potter, and as Sirius is free, he is Lord Black. The two of them hold tremendous political influence, while in canon, there was not nearly as much opposition to the likes of Lucius Malfoy. Ol' Lucy got 35 years, by the way, in case you were wondering. Yes, Voldemort will be around during Harry's Hogwarts years, but not nearly as much, or in the same ways as he was in canon. Just a reminder that there was only one horcrux in this universe. No, I will not tell you which one, just know that it isn't Harry, and Nagini was likely made after Voldemort's resurrection, so it isn't her, either.
The next chapter will be up within the next couple of days. Depending on if I can go to school tomorrow, it might even be up within the next 24 hours. Wouldn't that be something?