He's Not Dead Yet
Hello Dear Readers,
Some of you may know that I have already posted this story; still more of you may remember that I was forced to delete it because of some asshole who threatened to report me for the use of song lyrics. Well, I decided to use the time until now to do some revising of the story and I think I've made it better. I'm going to cut back on the blatant Monty Python scenes which had been a big problem in the original. Anyway, please enjoy the newly revised and reposted version of "He's Not Dead Yet."
I own not that great work known as Harry Potter, nor do I own anything in relation to Monty Python's Flying Circus.
And Now For Something Completely Different
Harry could feel his wand against his chest, but he made no attempt to draw it. He knew that the snake was too well protected, knew that if he managed to point the wand at Nagini, fifty curses would hit him first. And still, Voldemort and Harry looked at each other, and now Voldemort tilted his head a little to the side, considering the boy standing before him, and a singularly mirthless smile curled the lipless mouth.
"Harry Potter," he said very softly. His voice might have been part of the spitting fire. "The Boy Who Lived."
None of the Death Eaters moved. They were waiting: Everything was waiting. Hagrid was struggling, and Bellatrix was panting, and Harry thought inexplicably of Ginny, and her blazing look, and the feel of her lips on his. Voldemort had raised his wand. His head was still tilted to one side, like a curious child, wondering what would happen if he proceeded. Harry looked back into the red eyes, and wanted it to happen now, quickly, while he could still stand, before he lost control, before he betrayed fear.
He saw the mouth move and a flash of green light, and everything was gone.
"Alright, take a seat, Mr. Potter."
Harry opened his eyes. He was now in what looked like a waiting room. The walls were simple but had a few paintings hung upon them; there were some sofas where a few people were sitting patiently, waiting. The voice that had greeted him belonged to a rather tired-looking young man that Harry could've sworn he had seen before. The man was of average height, with short, well-groomed, brown hair and dark, hazel-brown eyes. Harry quickly obeyed what the man had said and sat down.
"If you'll just wait here, Mr. Potter, we'll be with you in a moment," the man continued before ushering another person through the door. "This one's a quick case."
Harry then began to take note of the other people in the room; he recognized them all as people who had been at the battle, including…
"Hmm?" The red-headed boy looked up from a magazine he was reading and, on seeing Harry, smiled. "Heya, Harry. They got you, too?"
"Ah, well, that's war, innit? How'd you go?"
"Gave myself up to Voldemort."
"Why the bloody hell would you do that?" Fred looked shocked and appalled.
"Well, I found out that I had a Horcrux in my head and that the only way to defeat Voldemort is for all his Horcruxes to be destroyed. Besides, if I hadn't, he was going to kill everyone."
"That's exactly what we wish to speak to you about, Mr. Potter," said the man from before. "That 'Horcrux' business should have been dealt with sooner, but that bastard Dumbledore-"
"Dumbledore was a great man!" Harry protested angrily.
"Oh, oh, of course he was!" a new voice interjected sarcastically. Harry looked over and saw a blonde-haired man in a grey suit. "Oh, yes, just absolutely brilliant! Oh, sorry, no more sherbet lemons for me, I'm off to send a young boy on a suicide mission! Oh, oh, oh! Look at me, I'm Albus bloody Dumbledore! I can get away with child abuse and neglect because I'm working for the Greater Good. Oh, oh, oh!"
"Lambert, you're not helping," the other man said.
"Well, pardon me, Wilkins, but some of us have issues regarding old men playing with the minds of underage boys."
"Like you never did that," Wilkins retorted.
"We all did it, ya bastard! Why else would we be working here?"
"Do you need a drink, Lambert?"
"Gin would be much appreciated."
Lambert then went back to reading a newspaper entitled Underworld Weekly, the headline of which was Hogwarts Disaster, Will our boys be able to fix this mess? Harry was beginning to feel incredibly guilty. The whole Battle of Hogwarts was his fault after all.
"Ah, Mr. Potter, I do believe it's your turn," Wilkins said after handing Lambert a glass of gin. Wilkins directed him through a door and into a finely furnished office. Harry kept wracking his brain trying to remember where he knew Wilkins and Lambert from; their voices were incredibly familiar.
As Harry walked into the office, he saw a man sitting at a polished, oak desk. The man was wearing a dark-blue, pinstripe business suit and had short, sleek, dark-brown hair and piercing, dark eyes.
"Ah, Mr. Potter!" the man exclaimed. He shook Harry's hand from across the desk and motioned to a chair. "Take a seat."
"Thank you, Mr…?"
"I forget my name at the moment, but that's of little relevance. Now, Mr. Potter, I've been going over your file and I have gotten a pretty clear picture of what exactly has been happening; and I think I can say, without fear of contradiction, that you've really had your destiny screwed up pretty badly, haven't you?"
"I mean just look at this file. First year, a Philosopher's Stone, a possessed DADA professor, a troll. Second year, a basilisk, a Horcrux diary, a whole school thinking you're a dark wizard. It just gets worse. Third year, dementors; fourth year, the Triwizard Tournament and the return of Voldemort; fifth year, the Toad and the Department of Mysteries. No, no, I'm sorry, this is just unacceptable. We haven't had a problem in the Ministry of Death so troublesome since we had to fire one of the pantomime-horses."
Harry gave the man a confused look.
"And to say the least about what I read about your future from this point. As it is, you do have the option of going back out there and taking down Mr. Riddle and all that. However, it seems your life is not going to be as it should have been. According to our experts, you were supposed to accept a rather interesting inheritance from the goblins at Gringotts, have their curse-breakers remove the Horcrux from your scar, and begin a search for the other Horcruxes with the help of the Goblin Nation.
"Ah, I can see by your expression that you are surprised that the goblins would be helpful to you. Well, the thing is, goblins know quite a great deal about Horcruxes and would be only too happy at the chance to destroy them. In fact, if you had simply told Mr. Griphook that you were out to destroy a Horcrux then he would never have betrayed you at all. Not that all the blame of what has happened should be entirely on your head; it seems you had any number of bad influences.
"Anyway, back to the previous subject. If you return and face the world you just left behind, I'm afraid things won't entirely be as they should. According to the Destiny Department, you would go on to defeat Riddle, but the after-effects of the war would be devastating to the magical community. Just like in the first war, Death Eaters would bribe their way out of Azkaban and a whole new generation of bigots would be produced. The population would be decimated; to say the least of the emotional effect the loss of so many wonderful young people would have on countless families. For you and your friends, the after-effects will be a bit different. You would go on to marry Miss Ginevra Weasley, despite the fact that she is the last person in the world you should even consider being in a relationship with."
"What's wrong with Ginny?!" Harry protested vehemently.
"Oh dear, it seems the love potion she gave you hasn't worn off yet."
"What love potion?!"
"Oh my, it's worse than I thought." He then pressed a button on an intercom. "Hello, I think we're going to need an expert on undoing love potions."
"Righto," was the rather eager response on the other end of the line.
"Now, Mr. Potter, I'm going to recommend you to our leading specialist on potion-induced feelings, a colleague of mine, a surgeon, who has an office very much like this one."
In a similar office, a man with blonde hair, a moustache, and spectacles was sitting at a desk when his telephone rang.
"Hello? No, no, wrong number, I'm afraid; I'm a colleague of his, a surgeon, who specializes in potion-induced feelings."
He hung up the phone and there was a knock at the door.
"Come in. Ah, Mr. Potter-"
"Hang on," Harry said, "I've seen you before."
"Yes, you were in the waiting room when I first got down here. Your name's Lambert."
The man looked at him quizzically for a moment before shaking his head.
"I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about, Mr. Potter. Never mind. Do take a seat. My colleague, who has a similar office, has explained your case to me." The man leaned in and looked closely at Harry. "Mr. Potter, as you are aware, I am leading expert on the subject of potion-induced feelings. I'm afraid we're going to have to operate. There's nothing to worry about as you are already dead. Now, if you'll just step through here," he gestured towards another door, "and I'll slit you up a treat."
"What?!" Harry exclaimed.
"Mr. Potter, there is nothing wrong with you that an expensive operation can't prolong."
One expensive operation later
"Well, Mr. Potter, how are you feeling?" asked the man from earlier.
"Better, oddly enough," Harry replied. "Your colleague with a similar office really did know what he was doing."
"And your feelings towards Miss Weasley?"
"I…I don't really feel anything for her at all; except maybe confusion."
"Ah, that is to be expected when emerging from the throes of a love potion. Wouldn't be the first time we've encountered a situation like yours, Mr. Potter. You should've seen what happened with Alexander the Great when we had him down here the first time."
"But, what I can't understand is why. Why would Ginny do that to me?"
"Well, Mr. Potter, from her potions grades I doubt she was able to do it herself. Either she bought it or that harpy of a mother of hers brewed it."
"Oh honestly, Mr. Potter, do you really think that Molly Weasley would let a boy like you slip from her daughter's grasp? Mr. Potter, from the very beginning of your experiences with the Weasleys, did you not become the least bit suspicious?"
"Eloquent as always, I see. Not to sound pushy, Mr. Potter, but as the head of about six Most Ancient and Most Noble Houses, I do hope you'll eliminate those sort of responses from your vocabulary."
"Head of what?"
"Yet another thing that Dumbledore fellow has kept from you. Mr. Potter, what are these?" He pushed a set of documents in front of Harry.
"Marriage and birth certificates?"
"Exactly; and whose names are on them?"
"Geraldine Gryffindor married to Patrocles Potter in 1776 (Gryffindor line now transferred to Potter). Gordian Potter born in 1777. Hypatia Ravenclaw (Squib) married to Jonas Evans (Squib) in 1547. Janus Peverell (son of Ignotus Peverell III) married to Ilsa Hufflepuff in 1823 (Hufflepuff line transferred to Peverell). Ignatia Peverell in born 1825. Ignatia Peverell married to Christopher Potter in 1849. Alonsyius Slytherin married to Hortense Plantagenat in 1432. Syrena Slytherin born 1445. Syrena Slytherin married to Irenaeus Florus in 1462 (Slytherin transferred to Florus). Horatio Florus born 1467. Rosemary Florus (Squib) married to Robert Evans in 1948. Lily Anne Evans born 30th January 1960 (Ravenclaw and Slytherin lines reinstated)."
"As you can see, Mr. Potter, you have been rather kept in the dark, as it were, in regards to your heritage."
"Why…Why didn't anyone tell me about this?" Harry asked, rather gobsmacked.
"Well, the first reason was because Albus Dumbledore sought to control your available seats on the Wizengamot by appointing himself as your Magical Guardian. The second reason is that not many people knew all the details; indeed, the Founders have been represented on the Wizengamot by the Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts for quite some time. As you probably know, Squibs are often hushed up by magical families in an attempt to save face. Your Squib relatives ended up being the last of their familial lines; therefore, you are the last heir to all these families."
"But, wait, if my mum was younger than Aunt Petunia, then wouldn't Dudley-"
"I can see right where you're going with this, Mr. Potter, and I can assure you that the titles which accompany your magical heritage can only be claimed by the magical heir. Seeing as your cousin is a Muggle and you are a wizard, you are the heir."
"There's another thing I don't understand. If my grandmother was a Squib, and Squibs can see dementors, why couldn't Dudley see the dementors that attacked us during the summer before my fifth year?"
"Ah, yes, it seems that your cousin is entirely Muggle with little to no chance of ever having magical descendants. I believe it is due to his father's genetics. Your aunt probably would be able to see them, though."
"Also, I thought Voldemort was the Heir of Slytherin. You seem to be indicating that it's me."
"Yes, Mr. Potter, you are the rightful Heir of Slytherin. The Gaunt family was actually from a lesser branch that stemmed from Salazar Slytherin's youngest daughter."
"Okay, but back to the subject of the Weasleys…"
"Well, Mr. Potter, answer me this one question: why are you friends with Ronald Weasley?"
"Well, he was the first real friend I ever had. He's stuck by me through everything."
"Has he?" There was an obvious note of skepticism in the man's voice. "Let's review, shall we?" He then pulled up a video projector and the lights in the office dimmed. Suddenly, Harry's experiences with Ron were being replayed before his very eyes.
"Let us start with your first encounter with the Weasleys. Molly Weasley has seven children, two of whom had already graduated by the time you arrived for your first year; why, I ask you, did she inquire what platform they were looking for? To say the least of the fact that she was herself a Hogwarts alumna. Furthermore, why was she shouting about Muggles in a place as public as Kings Cross?"
Harry was rendered speechless. Whatever way he looked at it, it didn't make sense.
"Right then, Mr. Potter. Ronald Weasley 'happens' to enter your compartment on the pretext that everywhere else was full. Seeing as how the train has always been the size it is now, the only way for all compartments to be occupied is if there were no more than three people to each one. The reason is that owing to the first war with Voldemort there were much less children going to Hogwarts than there had been before the 1970s; indeed, you were a part of the smallest class in the history of Hogwarts School; if you had paid more attention to Miss Granger, you would have known that. Seeing as Mr. Weasley was incorrect about all the compartments being full, and because his brothers had mentioned they had helped 'Harry Potter' into that compartment, it can only be deduced that young Mr. Weasley purposefully sought you out.
"Moving right along, pay close attention to how Mr. Weasley responded to each person who visited the compartment after him. Did you notice a trend? Each person who stopped by was immediately bad-mouthed by Mr. Weasley once they left; and sometimes even while they were still there. With Mr. Longbottom, Ronald made fun of how the boy owned a toad. With Miss Granger, Ronald mocked her for her reading habits. While I admit that Miss Granger did have a rather bad habit of reciting everything she learned from books practically verbatim and in such a way that it showed her belief in absolutely everything those books said, I must that Miss Granger seems to be a much truer friend than Mr. Weasley.
"Now, from here we move along through your Hogwarts experience. Who was it who 'volunteered' you in that duel with Mr. Malfoy? None other than your 'friend' Ronald Weasley. Mr. Potter, if Ronald had not intervened, what would your response to Malfoy have been?"
"I would have told Malfoy to piss off," Harry replied simply. He remembered how he was just so sick of dealing with Malfoy at that point and was just trying to ignore him. The only reason he had gotten involved in that duel was because he didn't want to disappoint Ron.
"I think we understand each other, Mr. Potter. Now, Mr. Weasley's treatment of Miss Granger on Halloween. Here we see their altercation in Charms class. Miss Granger was just trying to help him and yet he acts viciously towards her and then insults her behind her back. I'll admit that Miss Granger has some issues when it comes to social interaction, but were you aware, Mr. Potter, that your friend Miss Granger was bullied in primary school?"
"No, I…she never told us."
"It's because you never asked her about her life before Hogwarts. Did it never occur to you that Miss Granger was a victim at her old school much like you yourself? Her classmates were envious of her because she was intelligent and had the admiration of the teachers due to her good behavior. In an effort to 'cut her down to size' the students at her primary school took it upon themselves to avoid or harass her at every opportunity. This treatment was what further drove her into her obsession with books and her ardent trust of authority figures. But, let us not dwell on Miss Granger's childhood; we must return to the subject of your experiences with Ronald Weasley.
"During the incident with the troll, it was you, Mr. Potter, who realized that Miss Granger did not know about the creature and dragged along a rather unwilling Mr. Weasley in search of her. After you stopped the troll, did Mr. Weasley apologize for his behavior towards Miss Granger? I don't recall anything about him rescinding his harsh words from earlier that day.
"Going back a ways; after you had discovered the three-headed dog, Fluffy, in the third floor (and we'll discuss that later), who was it who encouraged you to pursue the mystery of what the beast was hiding? Again, it was Ronald Weasley. A true friend would have tried to dissuade you from going back there as it was dangerous.
"Continuing from that point, I would like to move ahead to when you three went through the trapdoor. The chess game. This is something that I'm sure you consider one of Mr. Weasley's 'shining moments' in your adventures."
"Well, Ron did sacrifice himself-"
"Did he? Let me ask you this, Mr. Potter, what did the chess pieces do to when they took each other out?"
"Well, they knocked the vanquished piece on the head and dragged them off to the side."
"And? How exactly is that a sacrifice, Mr. Potter? Mr. Weasley is, I will grudgingly admit, a rather impressive chess player. In all the years he's been playing Wizard's Chess, don't you think he would have realized that the pieces are never killed or even badly injured? And another thing, if Mr. Weasley were as good as all that, don't you think he would have known to make one of his friends the King? In chess, Mr. Potter, the King is the piece the chess-player defends to the very end. What's more, did either you or Miss Granger check on him after he was knocked out?"
"Well, no, he told us to go on without him."
"Just my point, Mr. Potter. If you paid better attention to what happens to chess pieces when they are knocked out you would see that they are only down for about a minute. Mr. Weasley was not awakened from his stupor until Miss Granger came back from the potions challenge and said they needed to leave and get Dumbledore."
"Where are you going with this?"
"Think, Mr. Potter; you are descendant of Rowena Ravenclaw, for goodness sake; why can't you use your brain in this?"
"Are you trying to say that…Ron was faking to stay out of coming to help me?"
"I must admit that I am not privy to everything about Mr. Weasley's life and thoughts; but, considering what happened, it is rather fishy, isn't it?"
"This is starting to sound like a conspiracy theory."
"I'd say it's more than a theory, Mr. Potter. Didn't Mr. Weasley himself actually state that Dumbledore had set you up to do the challenges? Didn't that seem a little suspicious?"
"Well…Dumbledore just wanted to test me; he needed me to see what I was capable of."
"You were eleven, Mr. Potter. What man in his right mind sends an eleven-year-old in to face challenges that were supposed to keep a powerful alchemical artifact away from an evil megalomaniac?"
Again, Harry could not think up a response.
"We will address the Dumbledore problem in due course; but, for now, let us move on to your second year. Whose brilliant idea was it to steal the family car and fly to Hogwarts rather than simply send off the owl or even summon the Knight Bus? Ronald Weasley would likely have at least known about that method of transport. While I admit that this was not a pre-planned incident, it does prove that Mr. Weasley is probably not the type of person you should rely upon for good advice in a crisis situation.
"Another thing about second year that I do not understand is why you didn't try to look up information about Tom Riddle when you found the diary. If it was such an important discovery, why didn't you at least ask Miss Granger to check the Hogwarts archives? If you had, you would have stumbled upon some very interesting files. You would have found some rather suspicious accounts of what happened fifty years earlier. Every time a student was petrified, the first person to report it was none other than Tom Riddle. This, I am certain, would have at least had Miss Granger suspicious and you all would have been more on-your-toes about mysterious diaries that write back. The whole Aragog incident could have been avoided if you had simply given Hagrid enough drinks; all you had to do was mention to the Weasley twins that you wanted to get something out of Hagrid and a bottle of Firewhiskey would have easily made its way into your hands.
"Let's leave second year for now and bring up third. Every little thing Miss Granger did seemed to set Ronald Weasley off; her cat, the Firebolt, even studying was a sore topic between them. The Firebolt is the main thing I want to point out. Mr. Potter, while the truth was that you were never in any danger from Sirius Black, why didn't you listen to Miss Granger? There was a possibility that an escaped maniac was after you and all you could think about was having the broomstick. And then, when Miss Granger goes and does the sensible thing, you and Mr. Weasley shun her for several days. Is a friendship really worth nothing more than a broomstick?"
Harry thought about it and realized that he really was being unfair to Hermione; she had been looking out for his safety, after all.
"Fourth year is where I am really confused. You say that Mr. Weasley is a true friend; that he's stood by you. Well, where was that support when your name came out of the Goblet of Fire? Instead of trusting you as a friend should, he went along with the idea that you were a lying cheat. And then, he only decides to believe you when you nearly get killed by the Horntail in the first task. And did he even apologize?"
"Well, I told him he didn't need to."
"Mr. Potter, don't you think you were entitled to an apology? Did more than three years of friendship mean so little to Mr. Weasley that he would behave as he did? And then there was his horrible behavior towards Miss Granger during the Yule Ball."
"Well, he was jealous because Hermione went to the ball with Krum. But Ron and Hermione have sorted out their problems now; I mean, they kissed-"
"Mr. Potter, I have been married more times than is probably good for me. If there's one thing I have learned from all those marriages it is that if you truly care about someone you should put that person's happiness before your own desires. If Mr. Weasley really did love Miss Granger as you profess, a) he would not have viciously criticized her decision to go to the ball with Mr. Krum, b) he would not have used Miss Brown to try and make Miss Granger jealous in your sixth year, and c) he would not have continually berated, demeaned, and insulted a girl who was supposedly one of his two best friends. The popular term for people like Mr. Weasley is a 'right bastard,' I believe. In fact, if I were to venture a guess, he, like his sister, used an illegal love potion to gain the affection of the person he desired."
Harry was feeling awful. One of his best friends seemed to be nothing more than a fame-leaching bully with no sense of consideration for anyone but himself while his other friend was continually being put-down just for being sensible or looking out for him.
"Well," Harry said in a last-ditch attempt to redeem his friend, "What about when Ron saved me from the Horcrux when I tried to retrieve the sword?"
"Oh, yes, he jumped into a pool of cold water and cut a necklace off of you. Not exactly a hard feat. If you had done the logical thing and left the necklace in the tent or even put it into that special mokeskin pouch that Hagrid gave you, there wouldn't have even been a problem. Then there's the whole issue of instantly allowing Mr. Weasley back into your confidence. Miss Granger at least had the good sense to stay angry with him over an extended period of time. You honestly believed him when he said he wanted to come right back after he abandoned you two alone in the woods? He spends a nice, safe Christmas with his brother Bill, acting like a complete freeloader the whole time, while you and Miss Granger are lost and starving.
"Let's move away from the past, now, and see what the future holds, Mr. Potter. What I am about to show you is what will happen if you choose to go back to right after you were 'killed.'"
The film reel started up at the point right after Harry had defeated Voldemort. While Harry did seem to have a moderately happy life, there were problems. Many Death Eaters did get off thanks to bribes and pushed more pure-blood policies through. There were marriage laws, new levels of bigotry, and the chances of yet another war were escalating. Harry managed to make the position of Head Auror; but, due to his 'adventure' into Gringotts, he never learns of his true heritage because the goblins were angry with him; this loses him the chance to make a difference in the Wizengamot. Ron only makes it into the Auror Corps because he's Harry's friend; eventually, he fails so tremendously at being an Auror that Harry has no choice but to fire him. Ron gets angry and the two friends have a row. When Hermione continues to communicate with Harry, Ron becomes jealous and accuses her of cheating on him; the problem only gets worse when Ron develops an alcohol addiction; soon enough, Ron becomes violent and Hermione suffers from domestic abuse. Harry's relationship with Ginny disintegrates when he has to work more often; Ginny begins to think that he is seeing another woman behind her back and gives him a love potion dosage that nearly kills him. When Harry finds out what happened, he is furious and the marriage ends in divorce; however, Ginny refuses to accept that her husband has left her and begins stalking him. Harry's life comes to a sudden end at the age of 59 when a Neo-Death Eater assassinates him in the Ministry of Magic. This act leads to a whole new war with an even higher death-toll than the last one.
"As you can see, Mr. Potter, returning to the moment you left is not the best idea."
"What can I do?" Harry asked desperately. The thought of going through everything he had just witnessed was too awful to comprehend.
"Mr. Potter," he picked up the projector and tossed it aside with a crash as the lights went back on, "I'm not going to mince words with you. Our department here in the Ministry of Death has the very important task of seeing to it that our clients do not die before the time that our boss, the chap upstairs, has decided. Now, as the case may be, various poor decisions as well as the manipulations of that old codger Dumbledore have led to some very real problems. If you agree to follow all terms and conditions our office provides, we will send you back in time to just after you blew up your aunt, Miss Marjorie Dursley. What do you say?"
"Well, there's not much to say, sir. If I don't go back then it means untold misery and death; and if I do go back I have the ability to fix countless mistakes and save the people I care about."
"Spoken like a gentleman, Mr. Potter. Now, if you will just follow me, we'll see what we can do to help prepare you for your return."
They were briefly interrupted by the sound of shouts outside.
"Get back in the closet, you pantomimetic royal person!"
"What's going on?"
"Just the pantomime-Princess Margaret, sir. She's gotten right testy."
"Well, do handle it, Lambert; I'm busy at the moment."
He then steered a very confused Harry off down another corridor.
Harry was once again directed to an office. This time he was meeting with a legal official. He was a short man with slightly frizzy, dark-blonde hair that he had unsuccessfully tried to sleek back; the man was dressed in a blue suit with a light blue shirt and tie. This office was decorated with framed collections of different types of money.
"Ah, Mr. Potter, do sit down," the man said in a slow, almost lazy voice. "I have been reviewing your case and determined what you should do in regards to your inheritance as well as finding a way to protect your image in the media. As the head of not one but six Most Ancient and Most Noble Houses, at least, you will be required to have one wife for each position."
"What?" said Harry. There was no way he could have heard that right.
"Come now, Mr. Potter; polygamy might be illegal in the Muggle community, but it is a very different story in the magical one. As the case is, you already had an illegal marriage contract drawn up between you and Miss Ginevra Weasley; I recommend you destroy that document as soon as you return to the past. In this folder, I have compiled information regarding many suitable candidates for each title. I suggest that you marry a girl from each Hogwarts House; for example, the Lady Ravenclaw should be a girl from Ravenclaw house. Do you understand me so far?"
"Right. You need a wife for each Founder title, as well as a Lady Potter and a Lady Peverell. Seeing as you are the only heir to the House of Black, if your godfather should die without a child of his own, the title of Head of House Black immediately passes to you. This would mean you would need yet another wife."
"I'm really uncomfortable with all this."
"Really, Mr. Potter, it's not as if we're asking you to be the next King Solomon and have 700 wives. Merging all the titles into one is too risky; one woman producing the heirs to each of those Houses would lead to corruption, especially if she only produces one or two children. But if the titles are dispersed into different bloodlines, it would be much safer. Besides, Mr. Potter, you did agree to follow all instructions we give you."
"Fine," Harry agreed grudgingly.
"Now, as for the use of your name and image; I suggest you seek help from this law firm." He handed Harry a form. "Bayly, Black, and Prewett are the best in the business; they have dealings in both the magical and Muggle communities. The firm was founded by James Bayly the second, Marius Black, and Ambrose Prewett; the three men all had one major thing in common. Can you guess what that was?"
Harry thought for a moment.
"They were all Squibs, weren't they?"
"Exactly, Mr. Potter. They realized that all magical employment was closed to them, so they found the one thing that could make them money in both worlds. Magical or Muggle, everyone needs a lawyer at some point; especially if that person is famous. Quite frankly I'm surprised you didn't take action last time, Mr. Potter; what with all the people using your name to sell things."
"Honestly, Mr. Potter, why didn't you try harder to learn about the magical world you claimed to love so much? It is well-known that several authors wrote children's fantasy stories about you while you were still living with your aunt's family; incidentally, it was these same children's books that Miss Weasley grew up reading. If I had to venture a guess, they only exacerbated her obsession with you."
"Right," Harry sighed.
"However, if you go to Bayly, Black, and Prewett, you can get all the legal representation you need. With them on your side, much of the damage to your life can be fixed in less than two weeks. Moreover, it is imperative that you hire someone from that firm to serve as executor of your parents' will."
"I didn't even know they had a will."
"Mr. Potter, your father was the heir to one of the most prestigious magical families in Great Britain; what's more, he and his wife were living in a time where it was common for even pure-bloods to turn up dead every other day. Don't you think your parents would have the good sense to leave a will should anything happen to them?"
"It does sound like the sensible decision," Harry conceded.
"Also, Mr. Potter, when you return, I feel it is in your best interest to have a routine checkup at St. Mungo's. You, like many of the Muggle-raised, are rather ignorant of standard medical procedures in the magical community. You have yet to be vaccinated against Dragon Pox, Spattergroit, and various other magical ailments; you barely even have the standard Muggle equivalent of medical treatment. The various injuries you sustained over the years you resided with your relatives have gone untreated; this includes bones that have healed incorrectly and the scarring from all the times you were beaten by your relatives. And of course there is the matter of the binding on your magic."
"You'll find out later. Another benefit to gaining assistance from Bayly, Black, and Prewett is that you may petition for restraining orders. People such as Draco Malfoy and Professor Snape would be banned from even communicating with you."
"That does sound good," Harry admitted. "But, wait, what about Potions class?"
"It is a very little-known fact, Mr. Potter, but the Hogwarts Charter states that students may hire private instruction should they feel the school's professors are not teaching them optimally. Here is a copy of the text." He handed Harry the said parchment.
The thought of never having to deal with Snape again filled Harry with unparalleled glee. True, Snape was working for the good guys in the end, but that did not excuse a variety of things. Snape had been perfectly fine with the idea of James and Harry being killed as long as Lily survived so he could catch her on the rebound; Snape deliberately tormented anyone who was not a member of his House; he was also responsible for the decreased number of potions-masters in Britain because so few people made it through his class, and even less wanted to deal with the man through their NEWTs. Snape was just the type of person who shouldn't be allowed to teach children.
"Okay," Harry stated, "So, I contact Bayly, Black, and Prewett at the earliest possibility."
"That's right; we will have to go over a few more things with you before you can return to the past.
"Firstly, I would like you to read over those files on potential wives; trust me, they are all respectable young ladies whom you should at least try and get to know as friends. Second, the fellow upstairs has ordered us to grant you a boon."
"You are to receive a special skill of your choice. You can ask to be a Metamorphmagus, you can ask for the ability to speak different languages; why, you can even ask for power over the elements. Just about anything is yours for the asking; with the exception of mind-control and the ability to raise the dead."
Harry really had to think about this. He could ask for any superpower he wanted; this was unbelievable! But how to choose? It was then that he remembered something Tonks said to him: Bet you wouldn't mind hiding that scar sometimes, eh?
"I choose the Metamorphmagus ability."
"I had a feeling that was what you would choose, Mr. Potter." Harry noticed that the man was grinning. "Power over elements doesn't seem to be your thing and learning different languages shouldn't be too hard for someone of your mental capabilities. You're a lot more intelligent than you give yourself credit for, Mr. Potter. You need to stop sabotaging yourself; it seems you still forget that the Dursleys can't punish you for doing well in class anymore. And you don't have to dumb yourself down in order to make Mr. Weasley feel better about himself; a real friend would be happy for you to succeed."
Harry spent another hour with this advisor before he was led to yet another meeting.
Harry spent a great deal of time being shuttled from meeting to meeting where he was instructed in what exactly people were up to regarding him in his previous timeline and how to deal with it. He was informed of who to trust and who to tell to sod off. Harry's eyes were finally opened to how badly he'd been manipulated, especially by Dumbledore. The old man was one of the top people on Harry's hit-list.
Soon enough the final preparations were arranged and Harry Potter was sent through something called the Veil of Life (Harry figured it was the opposite of the Veil of Death in the Department of Mysteries). Once the young hero had passed through to the other side, one of the men who had helped him turned to his colleague.
"You don't think he suspects something, do you?"