What About Us? – 1/2 – Penumbria

Title: What About Us?
Author: penumbria
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Apocalypse, Drama, Paranormal/Supernatural, Thriller, Time Travel
Relationship(s): Gen
Content Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Hate Crimes/Hate Speech, Major Character Death, Violence – Graphic, Death-Implied, Death-Minor Character, Discussion-Child Abuse, Discussion-Murder, Discussion-Rape, Discussion-Torture, Discussion-Violence-Sexual, Murder, Violence-Canon-Level. NOTE: Many warnings refer to canon and canon-type circumstances and situations.
Author Notes: Thank you to my artist, FaeAnthea, for the amazingly beautiful art! Thank you to my beta, DazeVentura, especially for the help with Brit-speak and commas. Thank you to Keira, Jilly, and the gang for all of their hard work on the QB. I borrowed Zirnitra, and his relationship to Hekate, from Keira Marcos with her permission. He was fun to play around with. Thank you, Keira! The story and its title are based on the Pink song of the same name.
Beta: DazeVentura
Word Count: 49,100
Summary: Summary Magic was dying and the entire planet was going with it. Harry Potter, the Master of Death, could only come up with one idea to save everyone — go back in time and stop the slow decline. And with a little luck, and some help from a god, he might even be allowed to save his parents for baby him while he was at it.
Artist: FaeAnthea



Chapter One

We are billions of beautiful hearts, And you sold us down the river too far.

 

March 21, 2376

Harry Potter stood next to a black marble obelisk on the grounds of what was once Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was a memorial to those lost in the wars with Voldemort, covered in names, from both sides of the conflict, though the Dark side names were in a section by themselves and not carved as deeply or clearly.

The obelisk stood opposite the ostentatious white tomb that held the remains of Albus Dumbledore. Many times over his many years, Harry found himself in this spot, both with others for memorial remembrances and on his own. For the past century, it had always been on his own.

Hogwarts had closed its doors for the last time just over that mark in time. There simply had not been enough young magicals to justify the expense.

Harry turned his back on the obelisk and glared at the tomb. While Albus Dumbledore had not been the progenitor of the world’s problems, his views and especially his actions had assured the end.

The world was ending, not with a bang, but with a long, slow, drawn-out whimper. It turned out that life, all life, whether magical or mundane, required magic to exist. Who knew?

And in turn, for magic to exist, it needed to be appreciated and not exactly worshipped, but given back to. And under Dumbledore’s rigid hold, the Light Side and most of the Wizarding world worldwide – Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards for decades – had embraced the idea of magic as a tool, not a gift, something to be used, not loved.

Dumbledore had essentially removed the magic from Magic. And it had doomed the world. Even the muggles had been unable to bear children, even through science and test tubes, for over eighty years now. And magicals, whether human or other species, had last had a new baby twelve years before Hogwarts closed. Even animals could no longer bear young though that had only stopped within the last decade.

And Albus Dumbledore had died exactly 379 years ago. And Harry Potter had only aged a single year since then. Physically, at least. A side effect of fulfilling the prophecy the way that he had, by mastering the Hallows and becoming Master of Death.

Either must die at the hand of the other. As a teen, Harry had never thought the line was entirely literal. Harry could only die at the hand of Tom Riddle. And Harry had killed him, or sort of made him kill himself, 378 years ago.

Within the next decade, Harry would be the only living, sentient being on the entire planet. Even the longer-lived magical species and creatures had mostly died off at this point as magic faded.

There had been no happy ever afters for the Wizarding world as Dumbledore had promised would occur once Harry was able to defeat Tom and fulfil the prophecy. Harry hoped the old man was miserable in the afterlife, whatever that was like.

Harry sighed, it wasn’t like he would ever know. If he didn’t take the only action he had found that could change things, he would live on, eternally, going more insane with every day, alone on a dead planet.

There were actually two paths he could take, and several branches once a path was chosen. He could travel back in time to the past of this world or he could break through the walls in reality and travel to another Earth.

Harry knew what his choice would be. Hermione had nailed it when he was a teenager. He had a saving people thing and he couldn’t abandon the world of his own birth, and the people in it he had loved and lost, to oblivion without trying to fix it first.

So, he had researched and delved into massive libraries around the world. He had questioned portraits before they had for the most part fallen into a permanent state of sleep. He had worked with several magical theorists and the remnants of various branches of magical experimenters, like the British Unspeakables.

And so, he had a plan. To go back in time and do his best to stop the slow slide of magic into her death. Magic wasn’t completely gone from the Earth. Plants – some types – still thrived well enough. But mammalian lifeforms, avian lifeforms, even insectoid lifeforms were ending. Any type of life that had a degree of sentience, let alone sapience, was no longer able to reproduce.

But the vast majority of Magic left in the world was within Harry. And as more and more magical and mundane species became extinct, the pool of Magic within him grew larger.

Frankly, it had been suggested – and attempted, only to fail – that if he were to be sacrificed in the proper ritual, the Magic would be released to repopulate the world. And if his circumstances had been other than what they were, that horrific ritual blending of Mayan, Celtic Druid, and Roman procedures, it likely would have worked.

But as it was, since it wasn’t Tom Riddle on the other end, the ritual had failed, even with Harry’s willing consent to it. Having his heart cut from his living chest had been beyond agonizing but he had survived and it had regrown. Or maybe it had simply reformed, he wasn’t sure. And it wasn’t something he wanted to experience again to see if he could figure it out.

But it had made clear to everyone that his seeming immortality and eternal youth wasn’t seeming at all but reality. Harry was unable to die. And he would never age. He didn’t even have a scar from having his chest ripped open.

Weirdly, his hair still grew, including his facial hair. He’d never needed to do much shaving when he was actually near 18, but now he could grow a decent beard if he wanted. And he usually did want. It helped to hide his baby face.

Everyone knew who he was and knew his issues but still, it was the principle of the matter. And he hated wearing glamours constantly. He had done that for the first few decades after he realized he wasn’t ageing. Until the last of his friends had passed away and he was still a young-looking teenager. Then he had given up on it.

Often over the years, Harry had thought about an old muggle song that Dennis Creevey had introduced him to some years after the war. It always resonated with him and whenever he came here, to this memorial and the ostentatious tomb, he found himself humming it. It was almost like the singer had seen into his head when she wrote it.

We are billions of beautiful hearts and you sold us down the river too far. We were willing, we came when you called, but man, you fooled us, enough is enough. What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers? What about all the broken happy-ever-afters? What about all the plans that ended in disaster? What about love? What about trust? What about us?

Harry glared at Dumbledore’s tomb ever harder. Because the old wizard had believed Fate needed his help, he had tricked Harry into claiming the Resurrection Stone. Granted, the old meddler couldn’t have known that Harry would eventually be able to claim the Elder Wand due to a series of ridiculous events, but if he hadn’t already had owned the Stone, it wouldn’t have mattered overall. He wouldn’t have become Master of Death.

Sometimes, Harry wondered if the fact that he had two of the Hallows was what led to Fate pushing the third to him, as well. It didn’t really much matter in the scheme of things, it happened how it happened, and he was who he now was, but he couldn’t help but wonder how it might have shaken out previously to Dumbledore’s choices.

But he was the Master of Death. And he always would be.

Well, he mused, after the time travel there was technically a way he could get out of it. Well, it was one way with two possibilities. But he would never, ever, ever allow Tom Marvolo Riddle to become the Master of Death. And he wasn’t about to trick his own younger self into taking the job, as he himself had been tricked. So, he would always be the Master of Death.

Harry had spent a good bit of time trying to decide when to travel to. There was something to be said for the bad guy paradox, a corollary to the grandfather paradox, going back in time and killing Tom as a baby or young child, stopping Dumbledore from gaining prominence, as the paradox portion said if he did that, he wouldn’t have a need to travel in time and etcetera into infinity.

Harry was beyond all of that due to his status. But the ripples, the ripples of going that far back, or even further and stopping the distance magicals began putting between them and Magic, Harry wasn’t sure he could stay on top of those ripples. But if this trip didn’t work out the way he wanted, he could always go back to before Grindelwald’s war and try again. And then further back as he chose. As needed.

But for this trip, Harry couldn’t help but try to save his parents. He was fairly sure it wasn’t going to work. Every angle he looked at the deaths of James and Lily Potter, they appeared to be a fixed point, like in that show Dudley liked with the man with the police box who moved through time. He was a bit more optimistic about James but it really depended on what exactly about that night made Voldemort’s curse backfire on him.

Was it just Fate at play? Did Lily perform a ritual beforehand? Did James? Did the two of them perform one together? Was it all just a confluence of events and inadvertent magical contracts due to Snape asking for Lily’s life, Voldemort agreeing, and then the agreement transferring to Harry when Voldemort told her “Very well”? Was it something even more obscure?

Harry wouldn’t know until it happened again. But he was still going to do his best to save them. If he failed, if their deaths were inevitable, he would at least have his backup plans in place.

His younger self would never face life in a cupboard. He would never even meet Petunia and Vernon Dursley. And he would only meet Dudley, if things played out the same and Dudley had magical children after he married.

Harry walked over to Dumbledore’s tomb and scowled. “I truly hope that your next great adventure was a horrific one, Albus. I cherish the idea that you’ve been tormented for the past few centuries. You promised us so much, and so many fell because of your lies and shortsightedness. So many who could have been happy, who gave everything for you and your Greater Good.”

Harry frowned, his scowl deepening, “You were right that you couldn’t be trusted with power. And yet, you never turned it down when it was offered. Unless it was the post of Minister. But if you had taken that, you couldn’t have kept your other three posts, not long term.”

Harry’s lips twisted in a wry smile. “Enjoy them while you can. If I have anything to say about it, you’ll be out of all three before my younger self is old enough to start Hogwarts.”

Harry turned on his heel and vanished.

 

We are problems that want to be solved

 

Harry reappeared on the outskirts of Stonehenge. It wasn’t like he had to worry about the Statute of Secrecy and anyway, the surviving muggles had much better things to do than gawp at an old bunch of stones. Harry knew there were ritual circles more recent and more intact but he didn’t have access to any of them. And Stonehenge was one of the oldest he knew of.

Harry wasn’t sure the ritual would work. But if it didn’t, he was no worse off and potentially better – if it killed him, which he doubted could actually happen, he’d finally move on. If it failed, well, he could always just travel and enjoy the last of society until it was gone and then explore the ruins of everything. Until even they were gone and he was even more insane.

The ritual he had found had several components he didn’t understand but, not only was it very old, it had been translated from an even older tome and it was noted in the book that the translated tome was a translation of an even older scroll.

And Harry had tweaked a few things further, considering it was designed to be done in a conclave or coven, and Harry was just one person. One person with the magic levels of dozens – hundreds – but, still, one man. And some of the ingredients either didn’t translate well or had changed names since the book was translated. And Harry didn’t recognize the old names and had no one to ask who was likely to know. Researching the past and the Old Ways had not been a priority for anyone in the world, magical or muggle, for many decades.

So, the ritual was an iffy proposition but it isn’t like he hadn’t done more insane things. Aztec based ritual self-sacrifice, anyone? Oh yeah, that had been him.

Harry made his way around the old stone circle and repaired them until they were all upright and shining like they were newly hewed. He walked to the centre of the circle and stood facing the east and the rising sun.

As the sun rose over the horizon, Harry lit a bundle of herbs wrapped in silver wire on fire and threw it over his left shoulder towards the west. Harry then sliced his palm on an athame and flung blood droplets to the north and south before dabbing blood on his forehead, in the centre. Harry took a vial from his pocket and removed the cork. He dribbled two drops of the potion on his bracelet, a drop on each eyelid, a drop in each ear, seven drops on the blood smeared on his forehead, and then downed the rest, shuddering at its taste.

Harry released his hold on his magic, allowing it to fully rise and fill the air around him. Lights and shadows flowed like waves of water through the ritual circle and as the sun fully cleared the horizon, there was a sonic boom and Harry vanished from space and time.

 

But then I’ll be ready, are you ready? It’s the start of us, waking up, come on

 

Harry wasn’t sure what he had expected when he completed the ritual. Maybe just opening his eyes and being in the past. Maybe some sort of sensation of falling or movement as he moved through space and time. Maybe even seeing the world blur into lines as the past spun around him.

But what he had not expected was ending up in that white limbo place that looked like King’s Cross Station. He had been here several times since that trip into the forest where he had let Voldemort hit him with the Killing Curse. Surprisingly not during the ritual with his heart getting ripped out, but several other times.

He had never again stumbled across Dumbledore here. If he had, he would have done his best to break the old man’s crooked nose. Even if they weren’t really corporeal. In all of the times he had ended up in this white space, after the first, Harry was always alone.

But he could tell that this time was different. He couldn’t see anyone but he could feel that there was another presence somewhere in the white fog. And the pillars and arches and benches and platforms of King’s Cross were much less distinct than before as well, the fog was much more encompassing. The space still vaguely resembled the train station but it was like the lines weren’t straight anymore and many of the little details, like the benches and the tracks, were missing.

Harry looked around for a while, for what could have been minutes or could have been hours or maybe was only a millisecond. He stepped towards the pillar, the one that in the real world had led to and from Platform 9 & ¾. As he reached out and touched it, it vanished, along with the rest of the forms in the fog.

“Very plain now but better than the mundane train station.”

Harry spun around and faced the man who appeared behind him in the fog. Unlike when he had met Dumbledore, this man wasn’t washed out and almost fog-like. He was more present than anyone or anything Harry had ever seen before, even in the real world.

Harry swallowed, though he didn’t actually have any saliva as he wasn’t actually in a physical body, and inclined his head. “The train station was boring, perhaps, but it was familiar.”

The man narrowed his eyes. “Boring, indeed. And the familiarity of it was a large part of the problem.”

The problem?”

“The one you are attempting to fix – the loss of all magic on Earth. It isn’t exactly what you and your colleagues speculated. You touched the edges of it but you didn’t come close to the center. But by the time you were able to speculate over the increasing problem, so much had been lost and forgotten that you had no way of understanding the true issue.”

Harry straightened his back and met the other man’s gaze. “So, you are saying my solution won’t work. It is hopeless?”

The tall man shook his head. “No. But you need more information to properly move forward once you go backward. Otherwise, you will fail. Again and again.”

“And how do you know?”

The man’s lips twisted in a look between a sneer and a grimace. “That you don’t know who I am proves my point, young primal. I am Zirnitra, sometimes known as the God of Sorcery, sometimes called the Black Dragon, sometimes known as the Judge of the Dead. And I am here to help you change what needs to be changed in order to see Magic live and thrive on Earth.”

Harry’s eyes widened. “I’m sorry, I never heard of you.”

The god inclined his head. “As I said, you did not have the information you needed. And my existence, and that of my spouse, is the centre of the problem you wish to address. Magic is the domain of my wife, Hecate. This planet bears life because she took an interest in it. The magical world existed because she shared a part of herself with them. And in doing so, tethered herself to the world. Due to the lack of proper rituals and the cleansing of the magic which filled the world and cycled back to her, the tether was eroded. It has nothing to do with the mortal ideas of Dark and Light but rather the changes that occur simply by being used by mortal creatures.”

Harry frowned. “But we didn’t kill her?”

Zirnitra shook his head. “No. She is eternal, but her connection to the Earth is not. I had not met her when she first bonded to your world. And when I did, she refused to leave you. It would have damaged her to do so and would have left the world and its people adrift to mutate as the magic did. But I foresaw that one day the selfishness inherent to the mortals may cause a forced severance and damage her. And I put into place a safeguard that might never have been needed. But I was correct and it was necessary for the safeguard to activate.”

Harry sighed. “The Hallows.”

“More specifically, the Master of Death.”

“Me.”

“You weren’t put on Earth to become the Master of Death. There were others who could have walked the path, gathered the Hallows, and not wanted to use them. That was the key, of course. Not the possession of three random items, but rather mastering them and not wanting them, not wanting the power to subjugate or rule, or for any selfish reasons. And you were the one who became the true Master of Death. And during your first trip here to this plane, you shed your mortality and your humanity and became what is essentially a primal force. You are not a god. You may someday rise to such but until that day, if it ever arrives, you are simply a force of power in the world.”

“A force of death.”

Zirnitra shook his head. “Not necessarily. It manifested as life and death for you because you believed the powers to be so, due to the fairy tale that grew around the idea of the Hallows. It is simply Power. It can be Death or Life or Magic or Nature or Creation or many other things. You simply Are. And the universe uses your very existence as a battery, to put it in terms you can presently understand. You are by no means unique, Harry James Potter. You are simply rare on this world. Now, you wish to avert the catastrophe you lived through? Listen closely.”

 

Chapter Two

‘Cause now it’s time to let them know we are ready

 

January 1, 1981

Harry landed in the middle of a clearing in a remote forest in northern Scotland. His shoulders slumped and he bent over, his hands on his knees as he breathed hard through his mouth.

“That was not pleasant. Better than getting my heart ripped out of my chest while it was beating, but not pleasant at all.”

After ten minutes, during which he ended up sprawled against a tree and tried not to vomit – again – Harry cast several spells. Homenum revelio confirmed that he was alone for the space of half a mile. Tempus et locus showed him that he had hit his target date and general location. And Os Mentham made his mouth minty fresh and helped greatly with the sick-up aftertaste.

Once he was settled, Harry pulled out a multi-compartment trunk from his dimensional store bracelet. He had gone ‘shopping’ before this trip. He no longer let his inner Gryffindor control his actions and make him rush headlong into situations without planning. Well, not often.

Over the centuries, Harry allowed himself to let go of the prejudices that had been implanted both subtly and not so subtly from the moment of his reintroduction to the magical world at age eleven. He found within himself the traits that the Sorting Hat had told him lay within him – not just courage but a not bad mind and talent and a thirst to prove himself. To prove he could manage his magical circumstances and save the world.

And Harry had used those traits before performing the ritual that brought him into the past. He had not actually been able to do much shopping as it would have been when he was a child. The world population was so diminished that the commercial system died out long before, it was much simpler, bartering or just sharing freely what you had with the few who were around.

But Harry had raided Gringotts bank branches, old pureblood manors, neglected shops, and various magical schools and enclaves, getting lots of practice at his ward breaking in the process.

He had also foraged for edible plants and seeds. There were not really many animals to put into stasis, and those that were left, he didn’t try to find but he had found canned food in the muggle areas to appropriate. It was technically stealing but the shops and warehouses and even homes were long abandoned and paper money wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on and even gold and gems were worthless.

The small number of people still alive in the future-that-was didn’t need what he had taken. Even with the severely diminished resources, people lived well enough. Most everyone was a vegetarian by necessity and it was very medieval feeling in some things – like people living near or on farms or communes and not in big cities.

Cars and such had still worked but any that required gasoline or being plugged into an electric grid wouldn’t work. There simply hadn’t been enough people to run the oil drilling and refining and power plants. Granted, by the time it had become clear that humanity was dying out, when the birth rate hit single digits, most of the world had been using cleaner energy at least to an extent. Which was why he had visited muggle settlements in the past few years where they were watching movies and had refrigerators and freezers and air conditioning but used water pumps and wells. It was so very odd.

It had been so very odd.

But it wasn’t ever going to be that odd again.

Harry shook off his melancholy and focused on what he needed to do. Step one – to set up a temporary home base.

He opened the trunk’s fifth compartment and pulled out the collapsed wizarding tent he had stored there. A few waves of his hand and the tent was set and warded against pests and weather. And several more spells kept the entire clearing free of sapient beings, whether muggle, wizarding, or otherwise magical.

Harry carried his trunk into the tent and looked around. It wasn’t the tent he, Hermione, and Ron had used so long ago. So long ago to him but in the future that wouldn’t be if he had anything to say about it. And he damn well did have plenty to bloody say about it. There would be no camping trip from hell for his younger self.

This tent was somewhat basic – for a wizarding tent – but it didn’t look or smell like an old lady’s flat as that one had done.

The tent was four medium-sized rooms, a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room area, and a kitchen/dining area that had a large walk-in pantry that was nearly a fifth room in and of itself. It was carpeted with thick carpet and had false windows showing whatever he wanted, which unless otherwise set, simply synced up with the daylight/night of the area the tent was set up in. The furniture was basic, with comfort charms and such. There wasn’t much to it but it would serve until he could get to the next part of his plan.

Step two – establish his new identity with the Ministry and Gringotts. A normal wizard would be unable to fool the tests used by the bank but Harry was no normal wizard. His status as Master of Death would allow him to be whoever he wanted once he performed certain charms on himself.

In order for his main plan to be effective, although it was technically, in his mind his Plan C, behind saving his parents from Voldemort – Plan A – and saving Sirius from his own anger, Peter’s treachery, and the Ministry’s corruption – Plan B – he would need a familial blood connection to his younger self.

He had done genealogical research and traced numerous bloodlines and found a branch of the Peverell family that had moved to Italy before the family had married into the Potters. It had actually died out in the late 1790s but Harry had fudged around and created a tree from the final son to his own birth. Or when he would have to claim he was born, at least. He had added several connections to people who had died during Grindelwald’s war and during the first rise of Voldemort so he would have the right connections among British purebloods.

Harry laid out a piece of parchment and a specialized silver quill. He dipped it in the ink he had prepared in the future, made from several substances including quite a bit of his own blood. He inscribed runes in a heptagonal shape and within the shape, he inscribed his new name and familial line: Harius Odon Amara Peverell son of Amara Naomi Peverell descended of Azrail Jeevak Peverell & Lanalia Prewett Shafiq and Henrick Mercury Potter descended of Charlus Henry Potter & Dorea Polaris Black; Lord of House Arius, Lord of House Peverell.

He lifted the quill and pricked his finger allowing exactly seven drops of blood to fall on the words. He ran his wand – the Elder Wand – over the parchment and intoned, “Antiquum novus enim sanguis sanguinem: et nomen familiae verus nomine novo factus sum ego Harius Odon Dulcis Peverell ego novi personae esse officium et magica, et defuncti, Domine Ario, Domine Peverell.”

There was a bright flash of dark purple light that rose from the parchment and sank into Harry’s skin. The words on the parchment vanished and it curled up smaller and smaller until it disappeared with a light poofing sound.

He closed his eyes and focused on his core, meditating as he had learned to do after many hardships. It had taken him over a decade from the end of the war but he had finally mastered Occlumency with the help of a friend in the Department of Mysteries.

By the time he opened his eyes, he had integrated the new information with his core. He wouldn’t forget his actual birth name and history but it was buried behind multiple walls within him.

He was now Harius Peverell, the illegitimate son of the last daughter of the Peverell line and the only son of the secondary branch of the Potter line, all of whom had died by the early 1970s. He was a pureblood who was accepted as heir by his grandfather even though his father had died before his parents could marry.

And his other title was translated as the Lord of the Land of Death to anyone who knew what they were talking about.

Which meant that no one in Britain in the wizarding world would have a clue. They would all focus on his title of Lord Peverell and assume that the other was some foreign title handed down from a political marriage overseas.

Harius rose to his feet and put away all of his tools. He stretched and decided to shower, eat dinner, and head to bed. The next day would be busy as he went to the Ministry and Gringotts to get his existence verified. Then he would start work on his plans to stop Voldemort.

* * * *

First thing in the morning, Hari secured the tent and apparated to the main entrance to the Ministry. The phone booth was there and he pressed the buttons that spelled out MAGIC.

When asked by the phone for his purpose, Hari replied, “Registration of title and residence in Britain.” The badge that popped out read, “Registration and Moving In”.

The phone booth lowered into the atrium and there was only a small line at the wand weighing desk. Within five minutes, Hari was on his way to the Wizengamot administration offices.

The next hour was spent completing the forms and red tape that made any bureaucracy the world overrun, whether magical or otherwise. It was incredibly boring, as he expected.

But it had to occur, and it had to be his first step to placate the purebloods who were in charge and soothe them. And not just the Dark. In fact, the order of his introduction of himself was mostly for the Light and Neutral purebloods.

The Dark were currently mostly caught up in Voldemort’s train and invested in his plans, and would not care much about a random new lord. Not unless Hari caught Tom’s attention, which he didn’t plan on doing. Not until and unless he wanted to.

Finally, Hari completed the parchment work and was able to move on. The next meeting of the Wizengamot was in a little over a week and that would be more interesting. Hopefully.

It would at least provide introductions to more than petty bureaucrats in dead-end jobs. And he could begin his campaign of knocking out Dumbledore’s support. It would be a slow process. But he was determined to make it work.

When leaving the Ministry, Hari used the floo to head to Diagon Alley. It wasn’t nearly as much of a disaster as during his Hogwarts years. He understood the system more and he had quite a lot more practice.

Hari exited the floo in the bar area of the Leaky Cauldron and most never even looked at him as he made his way from the fireplace to the back door.

Entering Diagon Alley proper was interesting. The Alley wasn’t as carefree as his first visit with Hagrid but it was nowhere near as oppressive as during the Horcrux Hunt. People were wary and watchful, children were being kept close at hand, but there were no boarded up shops or posters of wanted criminals everywhere.

Chapter Three

We are rockets, pointed up at the stars

 

Hari walked up the alley towards Gringotts and bowed slightly to the door guards as he entered. He approached a teller when his turn came and asked for the account manager for the Peverell family. The teller called a runner over and he was escorted to the office of Nogrod, the account manager for several prominent families.

Hari entered the office and inclined his head to the goblin seated at the desk. “Greetings, Manager Nogrod. May your meetings be prosperous.”

“Lord Peverell-Arius, may your enemies be numerous beneath your feet.”

Hari grinned with a closed mouth. “I plan to make sure of it. I do not wish to waste your time, as time is money. I am moving to Britain full time, for the next several years at least and wish to set up my accounts and visit the London Peverell vaults.”

“Of course. You wish to deal exclusively with the London branch?”

“The British branch will be my main branch. I will not be moving the funds from the Continent to London at this time. However, I would like to get some of the money here invested and bringing in returns.”

“Standard contract?”

“Plus a five percent bonus for returns on the full investment amount over fifteen percent per quarter. And the bonus will be fifteen percent for returns over forty percent.”

Nogrod smiled widely. “You are shrewd, Lord Peverell.”

“Thank you.”

“And the Arius accounts?”

“For now, they will remain as is. I need to study them and the situation here in Britain before I commit.”

“Very well. I will have a runner take you to your vaults and by the time you are done, the contract will be ready to be signed.”

“Thank you for your prompt attention, Nogrod. May your enemies feel the pinching of bankruptcy as their money fills your pockets.”

Hari left the room and travelled via cart to the Peverell vault. It was larger than most and lower in the cave system than most, as well, including the Lestrange and Potter vaults, which he had visited in the future. He handed his key to the cart driver who let him in.

Hari explored the vault, the Peverell family seemed to be pack rats but on a more modest scale than say Hogwarts – see the Room of Requirement in its iteration of the Room Where Things Are Hidden. But there were many treasures more interesting than gold within the vault. Though there was plenty of that, too.

There were rows upon rows of trunks and a pedestal with an inventory book on it. There were shelves along the walls filled with books and more trunks, though these were shrunken. Harry spent some time perusing the inventory and calling forth some things he could use, including about a dozen books and a ring.

After forty minutes, Hari left and the cart driver he summoned took him to the Arius vault. It was on a higher level, and a fairly familiar one, at that. This vault had no key and he laid his hand on it for entry.

The vault was very large and had many sections. Some things were almost set out as if they were on display in a museum, such as some jewellery in a rear alcove or seven sets of armour, posed in heroic poses, along the back wall of the vault.

Hari, after sorting through the things, put a number of books, two athames, a length of Acromantula silk, several mokeskin pouches, a ring, and the vault ledger, along with some gold, into a bottomless bag.

When he returned to Nogrod’s office, he signed the paperwork and left. He went to the alleyway behind the Leaky Cauldron and activated the portkey on the ring from the vault.

The portkey deposited him at the front gates of Castle Peverell. He laid his hand on the latch and after a brief moment, it opened and he got his first sight of his new home. The castle was somewhat large, nothing like Hogwarts, but for a family residence, it was quite sizable.

It was made of light grey stone. There were four main floors and at least two towers he could see from the gates that reached up at least two further floors. As he carefully strolled around the side of the building, keeping his eyes out for dangerous plants, as the grounds were quite overrun, he could see that the castle actually had three towers, each seven stories. And the building stretched back over at least a half-acre.

As he made his way inside, Hari cringed. It wasn’t as bad as Grimmauld Place was before his fifth year, the pest control wards seemed to have held up quite well, so no doxies or boggarts or spiders or rats or even garden gnomes. But the dust was very thick and much of the furniture was not in good shape. The preservation runes had obviously failed on much of it.

After a good inspection, including the lower levels, a basement with an incredibly large wine cellar – the preservation spells held on that – and a potions lab and a proper dungeon with actual cells on the level below the basement, Hari determined that the castle was mostly structurally sound but needed lots of cleaning and updating, both in decor and fixtures – like the kitchen and the loos.

Hari decided to set his tent up in the main hall for now and live in it until he could get the castle into proper condition for living in. And potentially having visitors, noble visitors, too.

The next day, Hari made his way back to the Ministry to get the floo hooked up and then went to Diagon Alley and its associated alley branches. He had shopping to do. He needed a wardrobe fit for a lord that was in style in 1981 and new furniture for the castle. He also wanted to pick up some books, especially recent history and current manners and laws. The books in his vault and the castle library were well and good but none of them were published after 1739. And most of them were before that and it was well before auto-updating was a feature for multiple edition books.

And groceries were also a must. He needed foodstuffs to last him a week or so. And he eventually wanted to make the castle at least mostly self-sufficient. He would start by planting a vegetable and herb garden. And maybe getting some chickens. And a rooster. And maybe a nanny goat or two, for milk and other dairy.

And that meant, he needed a house elf. Considering the size of the castle and its grounds and his own status as a lord, he needed several house elves.

Hari debated going to the House-Elf Relocation Department in the Ministry but he hated the place. He didn’t agree with teenage Hermione that all house elves should be freed – she did learn better as she got older – as it would eventually kill them or drive them mad and then to suicide. But the way the Ministry ran that department was abysmal.

But Hari knew a secret. He knew where there was a sort of settlement filled with sort of free elves. The elves weren’t truly free as, for example, Winky had been. But they were lightly bonded to someone – a wizard, witch, or a related still bound to a family elf – without it being reciprocal. The weak tether would keep them alive and mostly sane, or at least not suicidal, but they were crippled in what they could do, magically.

Elves who were improperly bound had much, much, much weaker magic than those who had a bond. And truly free elves were barely more than squib level – for an elf.

Hari went to the settlement, sat on a tree stump, and sent out a seeking tendril of magic while thinking about what he needed. There were no elves visible or even any indication to a normal wizard or witch that this was an abnormal forest clearing. But Hari knew.

After twenty minutes, three elves popped in front of him. One was a female and the other two were male. The female spoke. “You need elveses? You need threes of us?”

Hari nodded. “I do. I will likely need more in the future but for the next year or two, I need three to bond with me and help me.”

The female elf nodded. “You bonds proper with uses?”

“I will bind properly to you in the Old Ways and give you all that you need to thrive. I ask in return that you serve me and keep you secrets from all, living, dead, or otherwise, in all ways.”

The elves nod in unison. “Accepteded.”

Hari smiled as he felt the bond form between them. He reached out and laid his hand on the female’s head. “I take you into my home as a part of my magical house. Magic bless and protect you in the embrace of my family.”

The little elf glowed brightly and when the light died down, she had grown nearly a foot and a half and looked healthier and well-fed. Hari repeated the welcoming with the two male elves and they, too, improved drastically.

“What are your names?”

The female elf stood tall, her shoulders back. “I is – I am Mulberry. I will tend your gardens and orchards and outdoor animals.”

The taller of the males stepped forward. “I – I am Porter. I will be your personal elf and take care of the bedrooms and upper levels of the castle and your personal rooms and clothes and serve you.”

The last male elf smiled. “I am Pepperoni. I will take charge of the kitchens and pantries and library and care for the lower floors of the castle.”

“Welcome, Mulberry, Porter, and Pepperoni.” Hari internally chuckled at their names. “We have much work ahead to get the castle inhabitable. You will stay with me in my wizarding tent until it is so.”

“Yes, master.”

Hari shook his head. “Lord Peverell, Lord Arius, or Lord Hari. Or simply my lord or sir. I know you are incapable, due to our bond, of being more informal than that. But never Master.”

* * * *

Hari entered the main Wizengamot chamber. It looked much like it had in the future. He had seen it many times but he allowed himself to appear impressed but only mildly. He didn’t want to appear like he had a bad public face which showed every emotion. Or appear to be a country bumpkin. But the chamber wasn’t that impressive.

Frankly, he found it ridiculous how many chambers there were for the Wizengamot. The main chamber was where regular meetings occurred, for voting on laws and hearing new bills and the minutiae of governing.

Then there were the courtrooms. The Ministry building held ten courtrooms within it and four of them were large enough to hold three-quarters of the Wizengamot. Two more, including Courtroom Ten where his underage magic sham trial had been held when he was fifteen, were large enough to hold the entirety of the Wizengamot plus several dozen spectators and members of the press. The other four courtrooms were more average in scope, holding less than eighty people each.

Hari had never understood why trials in front of the Wizengamot as a whole were not simply held either in the main chambers or in one large courtroom. The other nine rooms could be made smaller and used for the more “mundane” crimes that didn’t require the entire high court that was the Wizengamot.

But that was not how things worked and thus six courtrooms out of ten were rarely used. This led to a backup in the system for petty crimes like theft, burglary, malicious magic that didn’t rise to the level of severe damage of person or property, and other misdemeanours.

But this main chamber was large and with tiered seating around a set of tables in the centre where those presenting to the Wizengamot sat.

Hari made his way to the traditional seat for House Peverell and sat down. To his left was Lord Reginald Greengrass, the patriarch of the Greengrass clan. He leaned toward pureblood bigotry but was disgusted by Voldemort’s tactics.

To Hari’s right was Lord Andrew Abbott, grandfather to future Hufflepuff Hannah. From future conversations with Hannah, Hari knew the old man disliked the influence of Muggleborns on their society and feared the breaches to the Statute of Secrecy they could represent. But he wasn’t such a bigot as to deny his son the right to marry a muggleborn, Hannah’s mother.

Directly in front of Hari’s seat was the elderly Lady Polizia Eastchurch. She was well known as a hard woman who had kept a stranglehold on her family since the death of her husband at the hands of Gellert Grindelwald when she was only 19. She wasn’t a pureblood bigot but neither was she a Dumbledore ass kisser.

Before the session began, the three made their introductions to Hari and he, in turn, introduced himself. None of them were surprised at his existence as they all kept abreast of the notices sent out by the Wizengamot Administration Office between meetings and had seen his name there.

Six hours of interminable boredom later, Hari made his way out of the chamber. Not much had been accomplished, though the fear prevalent among most of the chamber – those who weren’t in Tom’s pocket one way or another – was palpable at times. It actually led to the one major thing the session had accomplished – the increase in budget for the auror department and agreement to pay for upgrades to the wards on Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

Chapter Four

Are you ready? I’ll be ready

 

February 3, 1981

Now that Castle Peverell was in order and the first Wizengamot meeting was out of the way, Hari knew it was time to begin the major part of his plans – the destruction of Tom Riddle’s horcruxes. No matter what happened to Lily and James Potter, whether he was able to save them or not, Voldemort needed to be unknowingly mortal by Halloween.

The prophecy had already been spoken and Hari could easily be “the power he knew not”. He was a power – literally – and he was known to none of the players as such, not Riddle, not Dumbledore, not the elder Potters, so certainly not to baby Harry. And he would make sure to not meet the baby before Halloween so that stayed in place. If the worse came to worst and Voldemort killed Lily and James as he had before, Riddle would then try to kill the baby and the rebounding spell would not force him from his body while his soul remained tethered but would kill him outright, completing the prophecy.

Therefore, all of the horcruxes had to be properly destroyed and the soul pieces sent on, before that confrontation. Hari had made a list of the current horcruxes and their locations, as far as he knew them. At least there would be two less than when he had to deal with them before. Nagini was not one until 1994 and baby Harry didn’t become one until that Halloween of 1981.

The easiest for Hari to get to was by far the Gaunt ring in the shack. He was still a parselmouth and he was more powerful than Dumbledore by far. And the old man had dismantled and overcome all of Riddle’s traps on his own. Dumbledore was only caught by Voldemort’s withering curse because of his compulsion to own the Hallows and his recognition of the stone in the ring.

Hari apparated to the far side of the hedges near the Gaunt shack outside of Little Hangleton, out of sight of the road. The shack was in horrible shape, truly a ruin. Not that it had been too much better in the memories Dumbledore had shown him of Bob Ogden and Morfin Gaunt.

Hari cast out his magic in a diagnostic of the wards and shook his head in disgust. There were barely there muggle repelling wards and a notification ward. But the latter was set to report to the owner of the shack and there wasn’t one any longer.

Tom may have assumed he was the owner since Morfin, the last of the Gaunts, died in Azkaban. But he had either not paid attention or not checked the ward because it was showing that function as essentially inactive, with no magical signature attached to it. That was likely why Dumbledore of the future got away with stealing and destroying this horcrux without Voldemort realizing someone had been there for several years. Tom was always so arrogant.

Hari proceeded forward and cast again once at the door to the shack. The snake skeleton on the door was charmed to attack if the door was opened by anyone not bearing a magical core. Hari wondered how many muggle teens had overcome the weak repelling wards and been frightened by the snake. It was so desiccated that its venom was long gone but its teeth were fully intact and fangs would hurt whether venomous or not.

Hari opened the door and entered, casting again to diagnose the situation. The only things he found were decaying household charms and a blank spot under the floor in front of the fireplace. He thought Tom Riddle was supposed to be smart. But it was the arrogance more in play here than the brains.

Hari lifted the floorboards with a silent spell and revealed a wooden box. He eased it out, never touching it with his body, and laid it on the floor. He opened it, disabling a basic locking charm first. To be fair, the charm was too robust for the first year Alohomora unlocking spell to work – unlike a third floor door in 1991 – but the fourth year unlocking spell – Aperire Cincinno – worked just fine.

Inside the box lay the Gaunt ring, the Resurrection Stone glowing brightly. Hari knew that it was responding to his presence and for anyone else, it would be dull and black.

He levitated the ring from the box, wrapped it in acromantula silk, and placed it into a mokeskin pouch which he then wrapped in more acromantula silk and placed that within another mokeskin pouch which he then slid into his dimensional store bracelet.

Hari replaced the floorboards and left the shack, casting a robust set of muggle repelling and wizard repelling wards over the shack along with an unplottable charm, meaning he alone would be able to find it and approach in the future. Not even his younger self would be able to approach it, as Hari’s circumstances as the Master of Death made their magical signatures very different, as did his new identity.

Hari walked into the restored and renewed ritual circle on the grounds of Castle Peverell. He took the pouch from his dimensional store, removed the silk-wrapped pouch from within it, and removed the ring from the pouch once the silk was unwrapped. He laid the ring on the altar stone that stood in the centre of the circle and backed away.

Hari left the circle, removed his clothing and all magical implements like his bracelet, and reentered the outer part of the circle. He sank into one of the cisterns within the outer ring and activated the cleansing charm. When the cleansing magic cycle completed, he entered the inner circle once more and stood by the altar.

“Vento aquilone oriens incendium terram australem plagam aquae, hanc circulus; Ego, Mors Magistri, vocationem ad Nigrum Draco, Dominus iudex est, et gloriósus in sæcula. Peto rituali antiquiore in conspectu tuo est circulus: Zirnitra!.”

With an upswelling of Magic, the circle was filled with the presence of the Judge of the Dead. Zirnitra stood opposite Hari, the altar with the ring between them.

Hari nodded deeply and reached for his magic. With a silent gesture, dark flames leapt into being and ate into the band of the ring, melting it and then utterly destroying the resulting molten metal. The Stone remained behind as a black cloud rose from the altar. Before the shard of Tom’s soul could dissipate and either be absorbed by the ambient magic of the world or find its way to limbo, corrupting either one as had happened before and damaged the tether of Hekate, Zir reached out and took hold of the smoke, solidifying it in his hand into a smoky black orb.

Hari called the flames back and they died without a fight, leaving behind an unmarked altar stone and the Resurrection Stone.

“Take up the Stone, young primal. It is properly yours, after all.”

Hari laid his hand on the Stone and it vanished, sinking into his hand. He could feel the rush of power as he absorbed it and it combined magically with its counterpart. It was like touching a socket and getting a long shock followed by the sensation of being wrapped in a warm blanket.

“I will take this piece of Riddle directly to the afterlife. It will not corrupt limbo or Earth due to improper handling this time.”

“Thank you, Lord Zirnitra.”

Zirnitra inclined his head shallowly and vanished and the magic of the circle decreased.

“May the circle be open but unbroken, by the will of Magic.”

Hari stepped back and signed out a deep breath. He may now be a primal force in the universe but interacting with a god on this plane of existence was a rush like no other.

* * * *

A little over a week after he destroyed the first horcrux, Hari went to his first society function. Lord and Lady Greengrass had invited him to dinner. He had been assured it would be a small gathering to welcome him to Britain.

He dressed in an understated set of grey robes with ice blue accents and dark blue cufflinks and tie pin. He was dressed carefully but immaculately to give a very specific impression. He was really walking a thin line between being powerful and being quiet. He could not afford to have Voldemort or his toadies take overly much notice of him. But for future purposes, he couldn’t afford to be a recluse and unsocial.

Hari used the floo address and password provided by his host and arrived precisely two minutes before the invitation time. He knew that the password would begin working ten or so minutes before the time and be cut off within ten minutes after.

Arriving too early however was exceptionally rude, as was arriving too long after the time. And arriving on the dot implied a very stuffy individual who didn’t quite trust his host.

Two minutes early showed that he believed his host was not setting a trap and that he did not feel himself better than his host. It implied equality, where lateness implied the host was inferior and would wait, and exact punctuality implied a host who was untrustworthy at best and an assassin at worst. And arriving much too early implied that you were very inferior to the host and anyone else who might be present and you didn’t want to get in their way.

Hari exited the floo and his host and hostess were waiting to greet him.

“Lord Peverell, welcome to my home.” Lord Greengrass inclined his head.

“Lord Greengrass, thank you for the invitation. I look forward to a lovely meal.” Hari nodded his head in a deeper bow to show his position as a guest in the house and his lack of bad intentions.

“May I introduce my lady wife, Melisandra Greengrass née Smith. My dear, Lord Harius Peverell.”

Hari took a step forward and bowed to his hostess, one hand to his side, the other over his heart. He did not try to take her hand, as he hadn’t attempted to shake her husband’s hand.

It was not something that was done in magical society unless you were more of a ‘blood traitor’ who embraced muggle ways or if you were a muggleborn who didn’t know better. It was too easy to curse, hex, jinx, or potion someone when touching hands. Hari has often wondered how often Dumbledore had used his followers’ willingness to shake hands to spell them with mind and emotion-altering spells. And he often regretted rejecting what he later learned was Draco’s incredible show of trust on the train.

In pureblood society, especially those who still followed some of the Old Ways, only close family or intimate friends greeted one another with touch.

“A pleasure to meet you in this beautiful home, my lady.”

“Reginald and I are very glad you could come, Lord Peverell.”

Hari was escorted into the drawing room by his host while his lady waited for more guests. When they arrived, two couples were waiting and chatting. Lord Greengrass walked over to them and introduced Hari before he returned to the floo room.

“Lord Ignatius and Lady Lucretia Prewett, Lord Nathaniel and Lady Louisa Bones, may I present Lord Harius Peverell.”

The five exchanged greetings as Hari worked out in his head who these people were and how they were related to those he had known in his childhood.

Hari knew that Molly Weasley had been born a Prewett and had two brothers who were killed by Death Eaters in 1981. And he knew that an Ignatius Prewett had married Lucretia Black, from the Black Family Tree in Grimmauld Place. If he had his branches correct, Lord and Lady Prewett were Sirius’ uncle and aunt. And they were possibly Molly’s parents. Or her aunt and uncle.

Considering the ages of Lord and Lady Bones, he thought they might be Susan Bones’ grandparents or great aunt and great uncle. Hari knew her parents had died and she had been raised by her aunt, Amelia Bones. He also knew that the majority of the Bones family had been killed by Voldemort sometime before the war ended, leaving Susan and Amelia as the last of the family until Amelia was killed in the second war. And since these two were still here, then that meant that sometime within the next eight months, they would be targeted for death, along with their children, grandchildren, and other family members.

Hari put it aside for later as he made small talk with the four purebloods. Less than five minutes later, the Greengrasses entered, accompanied by Lady Eastchurch. Everyone greeted her, slightly more informally, as everyone, including Hari, had met her before. After a few more minutes of inconsequential talk, the bell sounded summoning them to the dinner table.

Hari was seated to the left of Lady Greengrass who was at the foot of the table and to his left was Lady Eastchurch. Directly across from Hari was Lady Prewett. She sat next to her husband and to Lord Prewett’s right was Lady Bones. Lord Greengrass was of course at the head of the table and to his right was Lord Bones.

After everyone was seated and settled, a soft pop heralded the arrival of the first course, a simple clear broth with incredibly thin slices of vegetables. The table was silent as everyone enjoyed the lovely soup, though Hari knew all of those present were exchanging glances as they watched him.

Once the soup was complete, Lord Greengrass spoke to Hari. “We didn’t get to speak much at the Wizengamot session. But I was curious, it was thought that the Peverell family had died out. Obviously, it hadn’t but I must confess, I do enjoy tracing family lines.”

Hari smiled at his host and told his doctored family history. “Several centuries ago, the only son in the family – he had three sisters – went to Italy to apprentice to a well-known enchanter. While there he met a lovely witch from a high Italian wizarding family and chose to indulge her wish to remain near her family after they married. And since then, the Peverell family have dwelt in Italy, France, Spain, Greece, basically in Southern Continental Europe and occasionally Northern Africa. His sisters all married into various British wizarding families and of course, took their names. So, I suppose the British Peverell branch did die out, or at least, married out or emigrated out.”

Lord Black nodded. “But you are back in Britain.”

Hari nodded, telling the tale of his own ‘past’. “Yes. I was raised primarily in my grandfather’s house. My mother died when I was quite young and my father – he died before I was born, killed by Grindelwald’s forces before he and my mother could marry. But my grandfather made sure I was fully adopted into the family magic and made me his heir when I was eleven. He passed on to the embrace of Hekate a year ago.”

While he was speaking, the salad course had appeared before each guest. It was again, quite simple but delicious.

“My condolences on your losses, Lord Peverell.” Lady Prewett gave him a solemn nod.

“Thank you.”

“But why return to Britain? Why now, considering the – troubles we’ve been having?” Asked Lady Bones.

Hari smiled lightly as he laid his fork down. “I know about the civil war the country is in the midst of. But that was really one of the main reasons I came back now. War is bloody and deadly. And with my grandfather’s death, I am the last of my direct line. But I have family here in Britain. My late father was a British wizard on the Continent fighting Grindelwald and his Reapers. And he has family still living here in Britain.”

The salad plate was magically removed and the entree, three lightly seared slices of salmon on a bed of wild rice, appeared in its place.

“I worried that if I waited too long, that might no longer be true.”

The other lords and ladies exchanged solemn glances. “Have you made contact, lad?” Lord Bones asked.

Hari shook his head. “Not with the direct most line, no. It is down to a single couple and their infant son, all the rest have been killed in the last few years. And the young family are in hiding, it seems, from what I have been able to discover of them. The man left his position as an auror and his wife left her apprenticeship when she became with child.”

“May I ask their names?” Lady Bones smiled shyly.

“My father was Henrick Mercury Potter, son of Charlus Henry Potter. And the last direct descendant is James Potter and his son, Harry.”

Lord Bones nodded. “My daughter, Amelia, worked with young James in the auror department. According to her, and my son, Edgar, the Potters seem to be a very ardent target of, well,” he waved his hand, “you know who.”

Hari nodded. “And a stranger trying to make contact, claiming to be family, likely one he had never even known existed due to the circumstances? I understand not being able to find them. Perhaps when it is all over things will change and we can meet.”

The others exchanged sombre looks over their dessert course, a flan with clotted cream. “I hope so,” Lady Greengrass said.

The rest of the dinner passed with little to be of note. After dessert, the men gathered to drink brandy or cognac while discussing politics, in a very 19th century way. The women gathered over light wine or tea and gossip. At least they were simply at the opposite end of the room, rather than the men in the library, while the women gathered in a drawing room.

After Hari made his goodbyes and returned to Castle Peverell, he went onto his balcony and reclined on the lounge, gazing into the dark nighttime sky. He felt that the dinner had gone well and his story of his past and his reasons for coming to a Britain beset by pureblood terrorists attempting to overthrow the government and kill all opposition were well reasoned and would make the rounds of society. He believed he came off as well-mannered and hopeful. He knew they all felt he was on the young side at 36 – or so his persona of Harius was – to have such an impressive title but his backstory made it all clear and understandable to them.

Hari brought forward in his mind the thoughts he had when identifying the other guests. He knew there were an astounding number of deaths among the Light and Neutrals in the later years of the war. It was the main reason a baby’s defeat of Voldemort had been so hyped. The sheer relief the end of the war had brought.

But he hadn’t considered that he could try to screw up Voldemort’s life a bit and save some of those who had died in the past he knew.

Hari would have to dig out his pensieve and spend some time analyzing conversations with various people like Dumbledore, Moody, Sirius, Remus, Molly, Hermione, Ron, and some of the things he had read about this year of the war. But even if he could only change a few things, it might be enough. Provide some of those happy endings that Dumbledore had dangled but never followed through on.

Some of those people could live and not have their lives wasted like rockets shot into an empty sky. And putting a twist in Tom’s tail at the same time was simply icing on the cake. Hari always did love spoiling the plans of evil wizards wherever he could.

Chapter Five

It’s the start of us, waking up, come on

 

The next day, Hari spent time putting memories into his pensieve and making notes. He discovered how correctly he had remembered, there were a huge number of deaths and disappearances during 1981. Just a single conversation with Moody from Harry’s fifth year had netted nearly half a dozen when he had been gifted a picture of the original Order of the Phoenix.

Hari had issues with the Order, mostly with how they looked to Dumbledore like a god and believed in him no matter how wrong he was. But that didn’t mean he would allow so many deaths to occur when he could at least try to prevent them.

Hari was fairly sure most, if not all, of what he discovered buried in his memories was not fixed. He was definitely going to try to save some entire families whom Voldemort and his forces wiped out or nearly wiped out.

And while most of these were only good during the actual times of the attacks, some of his reading of the trial transcripts from after the first war could be helpful here and now.

Hari sat down at his desk with a stack of parchment, his notes from viewing his memories, and a dictation quill.

His letter was dictated, the quill being set to generic to hide his handwriting:

To: The Auror Department

Regarding: Hyperion Mulciber, Jr

I am a private citizen and am in fear for my life and mind and that of my family. I wish to report that I witnessed Hyperion Mulciber, Jr cast the Imperius Curse on Dirk Darrinfell who I know works in the Department of Magical Transportation and Leena Fogg from the Underage Magic Office. I refuse to identify myself for fear of being a target and trapped in my home to die if my floo is taken offline and they use anti-portkey and anti-apparition fields. I am sending this letter to multiple people in the hopes that at least one or two copies will be taken seriously and not disappear due to cursed or undercover members of the Auror Department hiding them to protect the guilty.

Hari made fifteen copies of the letter by copying the ink to the stack of parchments. He checked over each for any degradation and finding none, he folded them, sealed them with a generic seal of concentric circles, and addressed them to various aurors, including Alastor Moody, Amelia Bones, Rufus Scrimgeour, as well as the Head Auror, and the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

Hari knew that at least Moody would take it seriously and he was much more respected rather than considered something of a joke at this point in time. He was much less insane and more focused.

Hari had always believed that sometime between Halloween of 1981 and the late 1980s, Moody had been cursed with something to drive him gradually mad, possibly by one of the Death Eaters he caught who was later released due to their money.

Hari hoped that this would start the ball rolling. Hyperion Mulciber, Jr was one of those noted as highly proficient with the Imperius. He had helped Voldemort subvert and curse a large percentage of the Ministry officials during the first war. Without him, the Ministry should be more secure, even if they only by way of keeping an eye on him so he was forced to curtail his insurrectionist activities.

Five days later, Hari received a summons to the Wizengamot to be present for a capital trial. He hoped that it meant his anonymous tip had born fruit.

Upon arriving at the Wizengamot courtroom – Number Seven, in this case, which looked nearly identical to his memories of Number Ten – Hari was early. He loitered in the well of the courtroom, waiting to see who, if anyone approached.

His bait was taken within a few minutes and he was simultaneously approached from both sides. On his right, Lord Regis Shacklebolt, and from his left, Lord Arcturus Black. Hari knew that Lord Shacklebolt was Neutral leaning Light and Lord Black was personally Neutral with most of his family – such as Orion, Regulus, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Cygnus, Walburga – leaning heavily Dark, being marked or unmarked supporters of Voldemort.

The two men nodded cordially enough at one another as they introduced themselves to Hari and greeted him. Lord Shacklebolt was able to share that he knew who the trial was for – Hyperion Mulciber, both Junior and Senior.

Hari raised his eyebrows in genuine surprise. “I suppose the family that breaks the law together, stays together. Or something along those lines.”

Lord Black huffed a laugh. “Indeed, young man, indeed. Unfortunately, this trial is likely to be a high waste of our time. Even if they were caught in the act of something unless they confess,”

“Which they won’t,” interrupted Lord Shacklebolt.

Lord Black inclined his head. “Which they won’t, then they will just plead that they were cursed to do whatever they were caught doing.”

Hari frowned and put a look of puzzlement on his face. “Even if they check them for the truth of it?”

Lord Shacklebolt huffed. “Purebloods are exempt from being forced to take veritaserum without their agreement. And the lack of agreement is not considered a mark of incrimination.”

Hari blinked. “No. I meant the aura scan. Do the British not use it? It is in common use in trials in Europe. It isn’t seen as something against the rights of anyone as it will only show curses or potions or spells used on the person which subvert the will, mind, and/or emotions. It will even show the exact age of the spelling or potioning and how long it had been held or used on the person. It isn’t even taxing to cast.”

Hari had the mens’ keen interest and showed them the wand movement and incantation of the spell. He wasn’t even lying to them. The spell was in regular use in Continental Europe, most of Africa and Asia, Australia, and in the United States and Canada during the early latter half of the 20th century. It fell out of favor and thus use within a year of Dumbledore being appointed as Supreme Mugwump of the ICW in the early 1980s.

The two lords excused themselves and Hari saw Lord Black make his way over to a runner with a note.

When the lords were called to take their seats, Hari glanced around the upper visitor’s gallery and his eye caught a set of very colourful robes. He allowed his gaze to pass over him and double-take back before huffing a laugh at the outrageous thing Dumbledore was wearing. The old man didn’t have a lordship and consequently had no seat on the Wizengamot. He wouldn’t be named Chief Warlock in the old timeline until 1982.

If things went as Hari hoped with Shacklebolt and Black, the old meddler would be impotently furious. By not bringing up the verification spell in advance, Dumbledore would have no way to block its use. He had no voice of his own on the Wizengamot at this point. He had minions who would do his bidding but only if he could predict the moves the lords would be making. And he wouldn’t have brought this spell up to his followers as something to oppose without notice of its existence being known in Britain. Too many would question why he wouldn’t want it used. And he couldn’t admit the likely truth – that it would reveal people he had spelled or potioned.

As the accused were brought in, placed in the chain chairs, and the trial began, Hari angled himself to keep an eye on Dumbledore’s reactions.

The court officer spoke, “Hyperion Mulciber, Senior, you are accused of attacking aurors in the course of their lawful duties with illegal dark magic spells. Hyperion Mulciber, Junior, you are accused of attacking aurors in the course of their lawful duties with illegal dark magic spells, use of illegal dark spells on muggles, multiple counts, and use of the Imperius Curse, multiple counts. How do you plead?”

The older man shifted in the chair as he replied, “Not guilty. I was cursed.”

The younger man raised his chin and narrowed his eyes. “I was under the Imperius. Not guilty.”

The court officer nodded and made a note. “Do you wish to use veritaserum to prove your words?”

Both men shook their heads.

“Court scribe, please note that both defendants declined the use of veritaserum, as is their right.”

For twenty minutes, the prosecutor proceeded to ask both men several questions, and they both admitted to the actions that were witnessed by aurors and the spells found on their wands. But both men repeatedly insisted that they had not wanted to do these horrible things but had been spelled and forced into it.

Finally, the court clerk asked, “Lords and Ladies of the Wizengamot, please light your wands if you find the defendant, Hyperion Mulciber, Senior, guilt-“

The seal on Lord Shacklebolt’s seat lit before the clerk finished. “Point of order, I ask that the defendants prove their claim of being cursed and spelled to do the actions they admit to carrying out.”

The clerk shook his head. “The defendants have refused the offer of testimony under veritaserum, as is their right as purebloods. We cannot force them nor can the refusal be held against them or used to assume guilt.”

Lord Shacklebolt stood. “I refer to the spell used with regularity in the rest of the world to read behavioral, emotional, and mental manipulations by spell or potion in a person’s aura.”

The clerk shook his head, “I’ve never heard of it and we will not use an unproven spell in a capital case, Lord Shacklebolt.”

Lord Black lit his seal and stood. “The spell is not unproven. It has been used in Asia and the Americas for over ninety years and on the Continent since 1947. We can bring in the ICW’s liaison to validate this, he is waiting in the hall on the Wizengamot’s call. And to perform the spell if needed.”

The clerk blinked. “I – This is an intrusion of privacy of these men. They have refused veritaserum and this spell is the same.”

Lord Shacklebolt slammed his hand on his desk. “Wrong! It is a non-invasive spell that shows only spells and potions that have impacted a person and their duration. It will not even show if the person has used such magic against others, just what was used on them. This is a tried and tested method used on all blood statuses in the majority of countries around the world. And it will prove their defence if true, or disprove it entirely if they are lying.”

Lord Black nodded. “I move that we have this spell performed on these defendants and all future defendants who are before this full body, whether they claim to be spelled or not. I would rather know the truth even if the defendants may not.”

Lord Shacklebolt smiled. “Seconded.”

The clerk scowled. “Very well. All those in favour of using this new-fangled foreign spell, light your wands now.”

As the vast majority of the lords and ladies lit their wands, Hari watched Dumbledore attempt to control his scowl from the high balcony. He was entirely unsuccessful, at least to someone who knew him as well as Hari. The old man was fuming and Hari could actually see his fingers flexing, obviously itching for his wand to stop this movement.

“Motion passed,” grumbled the clerk. “Call in the liaison.”

A few short minutes later, the liaison cast the spell on the two men, and the entire courtroom could see the output. The liaison explained what they were seeing.

“With this spell, the base color of a person’s aura is white. Different types of spells and potions show up as different colours. And the duration is shown by the thickness and length of the colour.”

The elder Mulciber showed a few short, thin, light yellow strands, around his neck and upper chest, which the liaison explained indicated mood stabilizers such as calming potions which had been taken over the past few months.

The younger Mulciber showed a large, long section of dark pink near his waist. The liaison explained that this was evidence of a love potion administered five years or so before, which had lasted for about six months.

The younger Mulciber also had small yellow strands near his neck and a large, dark blue circle on his chest. The liaison explained the mood stabilizers and that the blue indicated a strong compulsion charm about four years before that lasted a week.

“Reading the auras, neither defendant has been under the Imperius Curse at all anytime within the last twenty years. If you look at the senior defendant’s feet, you can see a very light grey shadow with a yellow tinge which is flowing and not settling in one place. That is evidence of an Imperius Curse used on him sometime many decades ago, possibly when he was a teenager or very young adult. I can’t be more specific with the basic charm. If I cast it with the intent to get a written readout, it will be much more specific and detailed.”

Lord Black spoke, “I believe we would like to see that readout, sir.”

The liaison nodded and swished his wand, cancelling the original spell. He then cast the spell again with an extra flourish at two points and two extra syllables. The auras reappeared, the same as before and he pointed his wand at the table in front of the court scribe and two parchments appeared, writing scrawling across them through magic, not by quill.

The court scribe duplicated the parchments and pressed his wand to the spot on his desk which would transfer them to the appropriate spots on the lords’ and ladies’ desks.

A few minutes passed as everyone looked over the readout and the clerk cleared his throat. “All those who find the defendant, Hyperion Mulciber, Senior, not guilty by reason of being cursed, light your wands.”

Not a single wand lit, not even those of other Death Eaters. Hari knew they couldn’t afford to go against the evidence and bring suspicion on themselves. The same result came with the call for Mulciber the younger’s guilt.

In the end, the younger Mulciber was sentenced to life in Azkaban’s highest security wing and the auror department was authorized forced use of veritaserum on him once he was convicted, which overcame the pureblood exception. The elder Mulciber was sentenced to five years in Azkaban, medium-security wing. He wouldn’t have to answer questions under veritaserum as his crime charged was not as serious.

 

March 20, 1981

Hari waited outside of Number 12 Grimmauld Place in the park. He was disillusioned, silenced, with his scent and magical signature hidden, and under his invisibility cloak as well. It was Ostara and he knew that the Black family had a private, family-only celebration at Castle Black. Walburga was certain to be there.

This meant that the Black townhouse would be empty except for Kreacher. Sirius had run away when he was 16 and Orion and Regulus had died in 1979. Which also meant that the locket was in the house, not the cave at this point. And that Tom had no idea.

Hari knew that the house would allow him entry. The wards were set to their normal level, which granted, was fairly harsh. However, Harius Odon Amara Peverell was a grandson of a daughter of House Black, to wit Dorea Polaris Black. He would be granted entry. He just had to wait until he was sure Walburga was gone.

From what he knew, the celebration began at 2 P.M. it was currently twenty minutes after the hour and he would go in at half-past. Walburga was a true bitch in her portrait and he could see that woman deliberately being very late to prove her superiority. But at the same time, she wouldn’t dare to overly anger her patriarch by not attending at all.

Hari approached the steps to the house and laid his hand on the door knocker. “A grandson of House Black requests entry.”

The magic of the house swept over him and he could feel it tasting his magic. After two minutes, the door opened and Hari walked inside. The house was in much better shape than he had seen it until after Voldemort was gone for good. The entryway was still dark and close but the sconces and wallpaper were well-maintained and clean. The carpet was soft underfoot and the lack of a screeching portrait on the wall was also a bonus.

Hari knew that the locket would be in the drawing room in a cabinet. Kreacher had not taken to keeping it close to him in his den until after Molly Weasley had them throwing out many of the Black family heirlooms, including the locket no one could open.

She really was a bitch, it hadn’t been her house and they had not been her family’s heirlooms. Hari had always been surprised in his later years that she hadn’t kept some of them to try to sell them after the war. He understood not selling them during that summer or fall, it would have brought bad attention to where the Order was hiding. But later, she could have sold them after it was all over.

But Molly was always narrowly shortsighted. She focused so much on what her plans were and how to accomplish them that other opportunities or paths were invisible to her.

Hari entered the drawing room and approached the curio cabinet. The heirlooms within it were gleaming with care and the glass of the cabinet doors wasn’t even streaked, let alone cracked.

He eased open the door to the cabinet and draped a piece of Acromantula silk over the locket. Hari levitated it and repeated the process of binding it in the silk and placing it in multiple bags also bound in silk and then his dimensional store as he had done with the ring.

Hari then sighed inaudibly and shook his head at his own sentimentality. He removed an exact replica of the locket from his bracelet. It was layered in magic and looked and felt like the Slytherin locket horcrux. However, it was vulnerable to house elf magic in the extreme.

Hari knew that Kreacher tried once a month, every month, on the new moon, to destroy the locket as per his Master Regulus’ final orders. This time, in two weeks, when Kreacher tried to destroy the locket in the cabinet, it would work and the elf’s mind and magic would be eased by the completion of the order.

Hari closed the cabinet door and carefully made his way back to the entrance. As he exited to the street and the door slid quietly shut behind him he was thankful that his precautions had worked as intended and the house elf never sensed an intruder.

Hari made his way to the Castle Peverell ritual circle just as he had with the horcrux ring. He laid the locket on the altar, left the inner circle, cleansed himself in the cistern, and returned to the altar.

Hari focused his will and called upon the elements to guard the circle and entreated Zirnitra to appear. In a rush of rising magic, the god appeared opposite him as he had the last time.

“Greetings, young primal. You are moving along in your plans quite well.”

Hari inclined his head deeply. “Thank you for your assistance, Lord Zirnitra.”

“Call me Zir, young one. You are no acolyte or priest of mine, you are a force of the universe, much as I was and can be again. There is no need for formality between us. Not to that extent.”

“You honour me, Zir. Please feel free to call me Hari, if you wish.”

Zir cocked an eyebrow. “Hari, not Harry?”

Hari exhaled. “Hari. I am not truly Harry Potter, certainly not in the here and now. And I cannot allow myself to slip, even within my own mind. In my future, it may change and I may return to the name of my birth and childhood, but not while my younger self is running around. Or crawling around, as the case may be. But for now, I am Harius Odon Amara Peverell, Lord of Arius, Lord of Peverell.”

Zir smiled. “I do like how you are fully embracing that Master of Death trope within your identity. You may indeed return to your name in time. You have many, many, many years to decide. My own name has changed many times over the ages. But I do like Zir.”

Hari smiled shyly. “Very well, Zir. Shall we proceed?”

“Proceed, Hari.”

Hari calmed his mind and flicked out his hand, calling forth the dark flames. They leapt forward at his command, snakes and ravens of flame engulfing the locket. The metal melted and the splinter of soul rose from the rapidly vanishing remains with a scream.

Zir reached out his hand and caught hold of the soul. It condensed into a black, smoky jewel-like orb and Hari called the flames back. Without a protest, they died away.

“I will take care of this piece, as I did the other. You are doing well. It is fascinating to watch. I look forward to your next call, Hari.”

“Many thanks, Zir.”

The magic of the circle settled into a state of near dormancy as the god vanished. Hari closed the ritual and redressed before returning to the castle.

Chapter Six

So what about us? What about all the broken happy ever afters?

 

April 5, 1981

Hari sat in a pub, drinking an ale, his fifth of the evening. He had a vial of sobering potion in his pocket, ready to go, so he was being in character for the part he was playing that night. If anyone went asking later, they would learn that Harius Peverell had come into the wizarding pub around 7 in the evening and begun drinking. He ordered a plate of chips but the rest of the night was ales. He was quiet and seemed melancholy, but was polite if standoffish to those who approached him.

At just after 10, Hari left the pub and turned left. When out of sight of anyone inside, he downed the sobering potion and shivered as the magic neutralized the effects of the alcohol.

Hari ambled down the lane and around the corner. He passed by a darkened house, obviously, one whose inhabitants either had an early bedtime or who were out for the evening. He approached the next corner and was turning when top soft pops sounded behind him, near the darkened house.

Within two seconds, a voice was crying out a curse. It was the blood boiling curse. The voice was joined by several others moments later, and Hari heard incantations for stunning, slicing, entrails expelling, bone-breaking, organ busting, and shielding curses and charms. And then two voices were calling out shielding charms and offensive spells from closer to the house.

Hari dropped the potion vial, turned on his heel and slid into place behind the attackers, out of sight in the shadow of the hedges, especially with the hoods of their black cloaks and their masks blocking most of their peripheral vision. He silently cast bombarda at the street behind the aggressors.

The cobblestones exploded with the force of his cast and the shrapnel was propelled into the backs of the Death Eaters. The one in the centre of the group who was standing slightly behind the rest caught the worst of the brunt of the shockwave. A sharpened piece of rock impaled his head and exploded out the front, obliterating his face like a high calibre muggle bullet.

The two men near the house took advantage of the chaos and began casting stupefying and stunning curses at the cloaked figures as they tried to regain their balance.

As the Death Eaters slumped into unconsciousness as each was hit by one of the spells, Hari followed it up with an incarcerous spell and once they were all down, he cast an area-wide summoning spell on them all for portkeys, wands, and other foci.

The two men who had been attacked approached him cautiously, their wands up. One of them spoke, “Thank you for the assist, Mister -?”

Hari put his hands out to the side, his wand in hand but pointed downward and away from the men. “Peverell. Lord Harius Peverell. I was passing by, on my way to my portkey point when I heard the attack. I saw the cloaks and masks and well, I wasn’t about to let those bastards kill right in front of me. I lost my father to Grindelwald’s Reapers. These are no better than them.”

The man on the left nodded. “Well, our thanks once again. We’re pretty handy in a fight but this many of them and just the two of us? Not sure it would have ended in our favour.”

The man on the right nodded his head. “But we survived thanks to you, Lord Peverell. I’m Gideon Prewett and this is my brother, Fabian. We owe you our lives.”

Hari shook his head. “I did what any right-thinking person would do. I had the advantage of them, they didn’t see me.”

Fabian nodded. “Well, I’m going to go floo the aurors. You should wait here, they’ll want to talk to you.”

Hari nodded. “Of course. Maybe we should stun them all again, just in case. I’d rather not be surprised if any of them wake up and are able to use wandless magic to free themselves and their friends.”

Gideon and Fabian looked at one another and nodded. Fabian turned and went into the house while Gideon and Hari stunned each of the robed figures. Hari even stunned the one whose face was blown off, just in case.

Ten minutes later, a squad of aurors showed up and took in the scene. The lead auror came over to talk to the Prewetts and Hari.

“Lead Auror Alastor Moody. I know Gideon and Fabian, they work with us. But you, I don’t know.”

Hari had his wand sheathed and held his hands at his sides, palms facing his body as he bowed shallowly. “Lord Harius Peverell.”

“Alright, care to tell me what happened here, boys?”

Hari began. “I was walking from the pub around the corner to my portkey drop site. I had passed the Prewetts’ house, though I didn’t know whose it was at the time, and noticed how dark it was, no light on inside at all. I remember I wondered if the owners were really old and went to bed really early. I was just at the corner about to turn down the lane to the alley when I heard two apparition pops.” Hari gestured to the end of the street.

“Seconds later, I heard the curses flying. I turned around and saw the black cloaks and caught sight of a few white masks under the hoods. I know what those mean. They couldn’t see me and I stood there, just in case.”

Hari gestured to the hedges and the shadows they cast at the edge of the property.

“I cast a bombarda at the street, not at them. I didn’t want to kill them, figured it would knock them off their feet, give me and the two men they were attacking a chance to hit them while they were down and disoriented. And it worked.”

Hari grimaced. “Mostly. The one got unlucky, shrapnel went through his head. But he got what he deserved. If you don’t want to risk dying, don’t try to kill other wizards, right?”

Moody huffed a laugh. “I suppose so. Alright, you two, what happened from your perspective? You know the drill.”

Gideon nodded. “Fabian and I were just off a m – an errand for an older friend.” His eyes met Moody’s and they exchanged a significant look.

Moody nodded.

“We apparated in and we had barely landed when I heard the curses. Luckily we had cover right at the door as we were, the planters, and they were outside the wards on the street, and we have well-honed skills. Their first volley missed but the planters took a couple of bad hits and so did the front door.”

Fabian took up the tale. “I cast a shield charm around the steps and Gideon chained a few hexes together. Their shields held and we were casting again when the bombarda hit them. Four of them fell to their knees, two of them fell on their faces, though one of them was the one who was impaled by a paving stone, and the other three stumbled to the sides. I targeted the two on the right who were still on their feet with stunners and Gideon got the one on the left. Then we hit the ones on their knees and on the ground. Lord Peverell hit them all with incarcerous and then summoned portkeys and foci.”

Moody turned to Hari with a slightly raised brow. “Good instincts? Or experience?”

Hari shrugged. “Bit of both, I guess. My grandfather raised me to take initiative. And I hate people like them. The Reapers killed my father and a lot of them just walked away free after the war was over. And they were all good at escaping custody, as well. Grindelwald was famous for how often he got away after being captured until they finally beat him. And I didn’t fancy getting cursed in the back if I assumed they were secure.”

Moody nodded. “Why were you in the neighborhood, lad?”

Hari sighed. “I was at the pub. I didn’t want to be at a big place like the Leaky Cauldron or the Three Broomsticks. But I wanted a wizarding pub and I’d heard good things about this one. I felt the need to get drunk. It’s the anniversary of my father’s death and it always gets me a bit down. I never actually knew him. He died before I was even born.”

Hari shrugged. “So, I arranged a portkey so I wouldn’t apparate drunk and spent the night getting plastered.”

Moody looked at him with a suspicious tilt to his head and face. “Pretty good aim for someone drunk.”

Hari shook his head. “I always keep a sobering potion on hand in my bracelet if I know I’ll be drinking. Or even if it’s likely I will, or possible. My grandfather taught me it’s best to be prepared for anything. When I saw the cloaks, I downed the potion before I hid in the hedge.”

Hari pointed back to the corner. “I just dropped the vial. Should be still there.”

Moody called one of his aurors and told them to look for an empty potion vial near the corner to the alley. Two minutes later, the auror returned, levitating the vial. Moody cast a diagnostic on the dregs remaining in the bottom and nodded.

“Sobering draught.”

Hari shrugged. “I told you.”

Moody turned back to the Prewetts. “You sure about your timelines?”

Gideon and Fabian nodded.

Hari shrugged. “Pretty sure. The house was pitch dark when I passed by. And I heard the pops when I was basically at the corner. And the curses started before I turned down the alley. Don’t know who told them when you’d be arriving home, probably should figure that out.”

Gideon frowned. “What do you mean?”

Hari blinked. “Well, they weren’t just wanting to cause mayhem. They would have hit the pub for just random destruction of wizarding space and people. And they weren’t just wanting to curse people, I passed by unmolested. And didn’t even notice a shadow or distortion of air from a disillusionment. And they didn’t apparate in before you did or after you like they were following you. I would have heard them. They were waiting. But that many? They wouldn’t have been able to stay hidden for the long term.”

Moody snorted. “You would make a hell of an auror, Lord Peverell.”

“Thanks. But I don’t like the – let’s just say I am not overly fond of some of the policies and policymakers for the aurors.”

Moody nodded. “It’s just a formality but I need to check your wand.”

Hari nodded and handed over the wand. A quick cast of Priori Incantato revealed to them all the stunners, summoners, incarcerous spells, bombarda, and then a hair charm.

Hari grinned sheepishly. “Even if I wasn’t planning on being sociable, it’s not a reason to look like a ragamuffin.”

Moody returned the wand and thanked them. “Stop by the Auror Department tomorrow to sign your statements. They were recorded as we spoke.”

Hari nodded, having expected it.

“You’re free to go.”

Fabian put a hand out to stop him. “Thank you again, Lord Peverell.”

Hari waved him off. “Glad to have helped. And please, feel free to use Hari, or Harius if you must. Fighting insurrectionists together, can’t keep to formality.”

Fabian and Gideon grinned at him. “Agreed.”

As Hari walked slowly to the alley to activate the portkey that was his alibi, he was glad Molly and her family wouldn’t have to mourn the Prewett brothers. And quite happy that Antonin Dolohov had paid for his crimes, past and future, with his life. It hadn’t been Hari’s intention, but truly, ‘don’t start none, won’t be none’ was true enough.

Just before he turned the corner, the wind brought a snippet of conversation to Hari’s ears which made him grin. “- was sure only Albus knew.”

Chapter Seven

We are problems that want to be solved, We are children that need to be loved

 

April 12, 1981

Hari apparated to the spot he had been given coordinates for just outside the gates of Bones Manor. Lord and Lady Bones were holding a soirée and Hari had been invited. He actually received many invitations to various social events among the pureblood elite. After all, he was titled, presumably at least reasonably well off as he didn’t seem to have a paying job, and he was single.

Hari rarely accepted the invitations. If he did, he would be at a ball or a dinner or a gala or a fete or a soirée or a luncheon or a party of some sort, nearly every day, sometimes more than once a day.

However, to further his plans and his persona, he had to accept some of them. He tended to pick one a week. His choice for this week was the Bones Manor soirée. From what he heard, while it was a formal event the Bones’ put on once a season, it wasn’t at all stuffy or pretentious.

Hari would have attended even if it had been, but he was glad it wouldn’t be as bad as it could have been. Hari had already heard what he considered horror tales of the annual Black summer ball and the Longbottom spring gala.

Hari approached the gates, his invitation in hand. The magic in the invitation was read and compared to his presence and the number in his party versus the number written on the invite, in his case one.

Hari was permitted a plus one, as per the words of the invitation. However, when RSVPing, in the magical world, you signed the invite and made any changes beforehand. Hari had simply crossed out the plus one, wrote ‘yes, attending’ at the end, and signed his title.

Thus the gates scanned his invitation, registered his lone attendance, and scanned the area in the vicinity of the gates for other people, essentially a limited homenum revelio. When they cleared the area, the gates swung open. Once he was through and clear of them, the gates clanged shut lightly behind him.

Hari placed the invitation in the inner pocket of his robe and made his way to the manor’s door. There was no receiving line and no majordomo announcing the guests. It was informally formal, mostly for dress and atmosphere.

Hari wandered the first floor, idly gazing into the various rooms set up for various entertainments. He found his host and hostess in the main drawing room where a string quartet played soft music in one corner and it was carried by spellwork to most of the rooms in use, as well as the gardens.

Hari approached Lady Bones who was standing with Lady Prewett and Madame Cedrella Weasley née Black. He had met the women at various functions he had attended over the last few months.

“Lady Bones, thank you for the invitation to your lovely home.”

Lady Bones smiled broadly at him. “Ah, Lord Peverell, welcome. I am so glad you could attend my little gathering. I have heard tell of your heroics a few nights past. You took no injury, I trust.”

Hari smiled wryly. “No injury whatsoever. I don’t feel it was all that heroic. I did attack the dastards from behind.”

“I was no Gryffindor, Lord Peverell. You saved the day with no injury to innocents. I will call it heroic.”

Lady Prewett chimed in. “I quite agree, seeing as it was my sons whose lives you saved, Lord Peverell. I am sorry for the reason for your presence and yet I am glad for the fact that you were there to assist.”

“I’m glad I was able to help, as well, my lady. I felt very justified, considering the reason I was in the area. To stop others from feeling such anguish as I have my whole life, it was my pleasure.”

Madame Weasley smiled. “Indeed. You saved my daughter-in-law from much grief at what could have been the loss of her brothers.”

Hari waved away the thanks. “I am glad I was there and that things turned out well.”

“Harius! Let us rescue you from the fulsome thanks of our mother and her friends!”

Hari turned and saw Gideon Prewett behind him. Fabian was to his side. “Gideon, Fabian. How are you?”

“Great, thanks to you,” replied Fabian.

“Yes, now let us save our saviour and get him some of Lady Bones’ delicious refreshments.”

Hari turned to face the three women. “It seems I am being abducted for my own good.”

Lady Prewett smiled. “Run along, Lord Peverell or my sons will not let any of us have any peace.”

Gideon and Fabian grinned and nudged Hari along to the salon. There was a table along the wall set up with hor d’oeuvres, appetizers, and glasses of various kinds of drinks.

“Try the fruit canapés and the chicken wraps. Gid, get him a glass of wine. The white would go best.”

“I can pick my own food, you know, Fabian.”

Fabian grinned, “I know. But it’s fun to boss you and Gid around.”

Hari shook his head and filled a small plate with a half dozen little bites of food. He wasn’t truly hungry as he had eaten dinner an hour ago, but it was good manners to try the food. He took the glass of wine Gideon handed him and the three made their way to the terrace.

As Hari slowly ate the hor d’oeuvres, he engaged in light chat with the brothers. “I take it you suffered no ill after-effects from the attack?”

Fabian shook his head, “No, we only had some cuts and bruises, healed up by the next morning.”

“And has your behaviour altered?”

Gideon nodded. “Of course. Our wards are set harsher, as much as they are allowed in a mixed area, and we no longer apparate home to the same area. We set up a sheltered spot that isn’t in view of anywhere off of the property.”

Hari took a sip of his wine. “It is a shame you can’t set truly good wards. Something with a lethal response to ill intent, perhaps.”

Fabian shook his head. “It’s a trade-off for living in a partly muggle area.”

Gideon nodded. “There’s really only one all-wizarding village left in Britain. Hogsmeade. All of the others have at least a percentage of muggles living in them along with wizards and witches. Or they are more clan hamlet and all within the wards of a great estate.”

Fabian continued his brother’s thought. “But they aren’t for just anyone. They are basically just family of the lord of the estate or of his vassals or retainers. I mean, Diagon Alley is all wizard but it isn’t set up for more than flats above stores or long-term room rentals in the inns or bed and breakfasts.”

Hari sighed as he drained the last of his wine. “It is a pity, how that happened. Europe is a bit better. There are entire hidden cities in Europe just for magicals, even an entire hidden province in France. And a fairly large island off the coast of Greece, entirely hidden from all muggle view.”

“There is much more mixing amongst the magicals and muggles here in Britain, you’ll find, Lord Peverell.” Kingsley Shacklebolt and his uncle, Lord Regis Shacklebolt strolled up to them.

“Yes, so I have seen. It is very constraining. I have nothing against muggles but it does make security difficult, and I imagine it makes young families have much drama over the Statute.”

Lord Shacklebolt nodded. “Yes. The number of obliviators’ jobs get increased every year.”

“And this war? This madman and his toadies who risk exposing the entire magical world with every attack? I have seen the Mark they send into the sky? The Dark Mark, they call it, yes? Leaving it there in muggle areas or mixed areas, the muggles have nothing like this. It is dangerous. If we are exposed, it would be worse than the witch burnings of the past. They are not so insular and, forgive me my phrasing, ignorant, on the Continent. They know the increasing dangers muggles pose.”

Lord Abbott approached from the garden. “I’ve heard things about what the muggles are up to. They have cameras on their stores. They take pictures without anyone there to snap the photo.”

Hari nodded. “Some do. It is to help them prevent theft and vandalism. The cameras run continuously and record the picture elsewhere in the store, not in the camera itself. Luckily, these systems aren’t very clear and are fairly expensive right now. But the muggles improve their technology, their tools, constantly. Within a few decades, those cameras could be on every building and street corner in every city and town in the muggle world. And they could make them smaller, easier to carry. Everyone could have one in their pocket to take a moving muggle picture, a film, a movie, and send it to others.”

Hari sipped his drink. “And of course, they are taking pictures from space, as well. Muggles landed on the moon for the first time in 1969 and have been back a half dozen or so times. And they have these satellite things that take pictures while floating around the planet. And the photos get better and better all the time.”

Lord Abbott gaped at him. “Are they really that advanced?”

Hari nodded. “They are advanced, in tools for entertainment and tools for warfare, as well. The absolute devastation in Japan in the 1940s really shook the world.”

Fabian frowned. “I – devastation in Japan?”

Hari gazed around at the increasing number of men surrounding him on the terrace. He had not wanted to bring this much attention to himself but the opening had been too good to pass up. And he couldn’t bring himself to back down on the dangers now. His future may not have been filled with World War III but that didn’t mean it couldn’t happen if he changed things and strengthened the tether.

“During the Grindelwald war, the muggles were also in the midst of a major world war. They fought battles in Africa, and Europe, and Asia, and in the Pacific Ocean, on  islands and using ships.”

Hari swallowed. “It was a very brutal war and millions were killed on both sides. And after the European part of the war ended, around the time Grindelwald fell, the United States decided to use a new weapon they had developed to stop Japan, who was the enemy, and make them beg to surrender. They had two of these bombs, called atomic bombs. They were filled with a special kind of scientific explosive thing, I don’t really understand how it works. But it had something to do with splitting the atom, which is the smallest part of life. And it harnessed the power of the sun. They dropped these two bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cities in Japan, one on each city. With one device they destroyed most of the city and killed thousands and thousands of people, muggles and magicals both.”

Hari looked around and met the appalled eyes of every wizard there. “No wards held that were near the epicentre of the blasts. And those further out that remained simply stopped the initial disaster. See, these bombs gave off a kind of invisible fog. The muggles call it radiation. And it is deadly. Slow, but deadly. In the days and weeks and months and years following the attacks, people died of many kinds of sicknesses, some with severe burns that simply appeared on their skin or inside their bodies. Others with their bodies twisted inside and instead of healing them, killing them. Cancer. And babies were born with deformities and just so many terrible things. Even the animals were affected, mundane animals and magical ones.”

Hari sighed deeply. “And over the decades since then, the muggles have increased the deadliness of those weapons and increased their accuracy in dropping them. And it isn’t just the United States that has them. Many countries around the world have figured out how to make these weapons, including the United Kingdom, which is what the muggles call Britain. It isn’t something we can blind our eyes to. If the Statute was breached in a major way and muggles found out about us en masse? We aren’t ready for that. But this man, this madman, he risks it every time he attacks in a muggle area or a mixed area, every time he or his people use that mark in the sky where muggle can see. It isn’t something that can be allowed. And if he won’t stop, if he can’t see the danger it poses? Someone has to do something, figure out some way to protect us.”

Lord Bones sighed. “But what?”

 

May 17, 1981

Hari climbed into the Gringotts cart and braced himself for the ride to his Arius vault. Unlike his first trip to this vault when he first arrived in the past, this one had a definitive purpose. The vault was only a few hundred yards from the vault of Bellatrix Lestrange.

Hari tried to relax and enjoy the roller coaster sensations as the cart sped lower and lower but he couldn’t help but worry. He needed the Hufflepuff Cup and he absolutely could not get caught breaking into Lestrange’s vault.

The goblins would not allow him to take anything from the vault or even enter it. Harius Peverell had a loose connection to the Black family but not only was Bellatrix technically no longer a Black, but a Lestrange, but she was alive and free with full access to her vaults.

And telling the goblins what was in there wouldn’t work, either. They knew what horcruxes were, many ancient wizards dabbled and the goblin curse-breaking teams came across one every few years. They knew how to properly dispose of a horcrux so that the soul piece didn’t join the flow of magic or get stuck in limbo. But they only did so with the horcruxes that were their possessions, through finding them in tombs and such.

So, Hari had no choice but to break into the vault. He arrived at his destination and exited the cart. He nodded shallowly at the driver and placed his hand on the vault door. After a few seconds, it flashed with light and the Arius vault opened to him.

Hari stepped inside and the cart driver pressed a lever next to the vault, setting up wards around the entrance.

For visits to vaults that were to be over ten minutes, the cart drivers left the vault owners alone and returned to their duties. The wards would keep the vault owner from being able to freely wander the caverns and other vault areas, and send an alert if they were breached or even as soon as an attempt to breach the wards was made. When they wished to return to the surface, there was a button on the vault door to summon a cart driver.

Hari was actually thankful for this bank feature. It meant that he would be alone on this level of the bank and would not have to worry about a cart driver potentially seeing something incriminating.

Hari walked to the furthest point in the vault and in the alcove, he had noticed on his first visit, was a set of what appeared to be jewellery, two wrist cuffs, two thick anklets, a thick choker-like necklace, and a belt. They appeared to be silver at first glance. In reality, they were made of a metal that didn’t exist naturally on Earth, at least not on this Earth – mithril.

This jewellery set was actually a magical device. It would give him the ability he needed to successfully pull off the heist this time around. Without the need to ride a dragon out of the bank.

Hari slipped his invisibility cloak on and wrapped it around him. “I need to be totally concealed in every way,” he murmured. He had learned that when he was clear about this, the cloak would hide him not just from sight but every other sense, including magical senses like Moody’s future eye or Dumbledore’s spelled glasses.

Hari slipped the cuffs and anklets on before winding the belt around his waist and securing it. He picked up the final piece, the choker, and walked to the wall near the left side of the vault. He fastened the neckpiece around his throat and laid one hand over the buckle area of the belt and the other on the cameo area of the necklace.

The mithril lit up with a soft glow for twenty seconds. When the glow subsided, Hari reached out and touched the wall of the vault and as promised, his hand sank through the wall. He was slightly out of phase with this reality, sort of out of time by a microsecond.

Hari slid through the wall of his vault and walked carefully but quickly through the next vault, filled with gold and treasures, and then the next and the next and so on for about twenty vaults. When he entered Bellatrix’s vault, he vaguely recognized many of the items within it from his future heist during the horcrux hunt.

Hari made his way to the rear of the vault, which was actually fairly small. Hari suspected it was a trust vault at one time, converted to possibly Bellatrix’s dowry vault.

The cup was sitting on the shelf, exactly where it had been – would have been – when he saw it years before – years from now. Whatever. He knew what he meant.

Currently, being out of phase/time, Hari was immune to the anti-theft curses on the items in the vault which had caused so much trouble in his teen years. But in order to take the cup, he would need to phase back in. However, once he was in the correct phase, that would no longer be the case, he would no longer be immune. And the slightest misstep would cause a cascade which would bury him in burning treasure.

But unlike the much more seat of your pants adventure from his youth – see stealing a blind dragon and crashing through Gringotts’ lobby – Hari had planned very carefully what he would do and when.

When he was standing below the shelves with the cup at the top, Hari performed a trick he had more or less stolen from Tom. He flew, levitated himself sort of, but it was technically self-propelled flight. Hari had loved the idea even though it was tainted by Voldemort’s use of it.

It took him over a decade to figure it out but by the time he was thirty-five, Hari could fly without a broom or carpet. He never shared the skill with anyone and only used it when he was in private and usually invisible.

Hari hovered in front of the cup, his torso level with the shelf it sat on. He laid his hands over each cuff and squeezed lightly. The mithril glowed and when it faded, Hari could tell the difference. The air felt more present on his skin.

Hari could not afford to touch the cup or allow it to touch anything that would activate the anti-theft curses. He reached out a hand and using wandless magic, he levitated the cup in the air. Once it was bobbing gently, he condensed the air around to a density to keep it floating on its own and formed a globe of clear crystal around the ball of air.

Once the crystal ball with the cup inside was formed and floating, Hari covered it in a layer of acromantula silk, and it then went inside his pouch and that went into the second pouch and the whole thing into his dimensional store.

Hari laid his hands once again on the belt buckle and cameo and phased out of sync. When he was sure it was safe, Hari lowered himself to the vault floor. He brushed his foot against a galleon on the ground and nothing happened. Hari nodded and headed back through the twenty-some vaults to the Arius vault.

Hari removed the mithril set and replaced them on the pedestal in the alcove. The entire theft had only taken twenty-two minutes from when he had entered his vault until he had returned the mithril.

Hari spent another half an hour collecting scrolls and trinkets from the vault before he summoned a cart driver to return him to Diagon Alley.

Chapter Eight

What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers?

 

Hari stood skyclad at the altar in the ritual circle on the grounds of Castle Peverell once more. He was cleansed and the cup, free from its crystal prison and the anti-theft curses, was before him.

With a deep inhale, Hari summoned the elements and Zir to the circle. Within moments, the god of sorcery was present and the feel of the magic in the circle was oppressively heavy.

“Thank you for coming, Zir.”

Zir smiled and inclined his head. “This I am pleased to come for. You protect my wife and this world she loves. And you are growing quickly confident and embracing your existence, Hari. It pleases me to see it up close.”

Hari sighed. “I feel like I am running in place and getting nowhere. I’m in a race against the clock and even though I can see the changes I am making, in people’s thoughts and fates, I still feel like it is one step forward and a force pushes me back to the start.”

Zir pursed his lips. “That is Dumbledore. His influence is pervasive even at this point in time. Not as much as it would be shortly after your original vanquish of Riddle, but still strong. And it is in you, as well. He moulded your childhood to such an extent that you even followed his will to your own suicide a year after his death. And no matter how many centuries you lived after that, there is still a part of you that wants to have that feeling back of Dumbledore – the beloved grandfatherly mentor who wanted the best for you. It is that which you are fighting.”

Hari blinked and tilted his head in thought. “The deepest hate is reserved for those we once most deeply loved. And I did. I loved that old man as a teen. Dumbledore’s man through and through. But his influence needs to be destroyed, negated, for Magic to remain?”

Zir nodded. “You know this. But let go of your anger, your grief at the harm he caused you and yours. Work against the man and his ideas and policies, but you cannot allow him to have such purchase in your mind and heart. Hatred is an intense emotion and it is causing you more damage than it does him.”

“I don’t know if I can forgive him.”

“You need not forgive him, Hari. And certainly, you cannot forget. But let it not poison your soul any longer. Let go of the resentment and hatred and cling to your purpose. You are not here because you wish Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore to die. You are here to stop his twisted notions from poisoning the world. Focus your thoughts and efforts and feelings there. Not on him but on your mission. And when you do, you will free yourself of his influence and see the true path forward.”

Hari nodded. “It isn’t about him. He’s a carrier, a spreader of the thought disease which brings ruin. But he isn’t a god. He isn’t a primal force. He is just a deeply flawed, deeply stupid, highly influential man whose time has passed.”

Zir smiled gently. “Exactly.”

“Thank you, my lord.”

Hari flicked out his hand and the cursed fire engulfed the cup and within seconds, the soul shard was rising with a wail to be captured by the hand of Zirnitra, the Judge of the Dead.

Zir smiled once more. “I looked forward to your growth, Hari. You are doing well. Let go of the voices of your maternal kin, as well, and you will find your path eases.”

Hari smiled as he felt the magic of Zir swirl around and through him as the god left the circle and he dismissed it. Going forward, he would work on his own issues as well as his plans.

 

June 3, 1981

Hari walked into the Wizengamot courtroom – Number Nine – and slowly made his way around from the door to the steps to his seat. He began by heading in the opposite direction from the door to the closest route to the stairs. Most of the lords and ladies did this, it gave them a chance to meet up with others who didn’t have seats near them and talk.

Hari was halfway around the floor when he was intercepted by Lord Tiberius Ogden. Hari had met Lord Ogden at several of the social events he attended over the last few months. The man’s politics were more Light than not, but he was not interested in directly opposing Voldemort.

“Another day, another trial, hey Peverell?” Ogden’s forced joviality was an annoying affectation, in Hari’s opinion.

“Indeed, Lord Ogden. But better a trial than freedom to commit mayhem and murder.”

“Yes, yes. But these young men are so impetuous. As young men are, hey! We should forgive and let them live their lives. Not hold a youthful indiscretion against them, what.”

Hari smiled grimly, almost hearing an echo of Dumbledore in the words. “Forgiveness is important, of course, Lord Ogden. But I wouldn’t call joining a terrorist group and committing murder and property damage simple youthful high jinx.”

“No, no, of course, of course. But when so many have been deceived -“

“But the message it would send, Lord Ogden, if we let murderers walk away with nothing but a slap on the wrist, a mere scolding? What if the next time it was your family they decided to be ‘deceived’ into attacking?”

Ogden’s eyes darted around and behind Hari.

“And I’ve done a bit of research on the two defendants today. They have been arrested before for serious crimes – not murder, granted, but attempted murder, the both of them. And they were let go with a small fine and a lecture after a week in the Ministry’s holding cells. They learned the lesson that they could do what they wished and would not have to take responsibility for their actions. And they escalated from assault and attempted murder to murder. Letting them go without true punishment is a crime in itself and no kind of justice for the family and loved ones of the dead.”

“Hmph.”

“And before we can give someone forgiveness, they need to repent and be sorry for their crimes. These men obviously have no such thoughts. They believe that since they are purebloods, they can kill with impunity. If the Wizengamot had sent these men to Azkaban when they were last before the body a year ago, the family they killed may well be alive today.”

“I suppose.” Lord Ogden’s brow furrowed and his head tilted. “When young Antonius was a lad, I made sure to give him chores and such when he misbehaved. And even Hogwarts gives detentions!”

Lord Ogden’s brow cleared. “Right-o. Great talk there, Peverell, great talk!”

The old man wandered off and Hari stifled a grin. Hogwarts gives detentions, therefore Albus would want punishment for serious crimes. He was sure that was how Ogden’s thoughts had ended up. Naive of him, considering his age. But helpful.

This trial today was for Jonathan Avery, Junior and Corban Yaxley. They were two of the Death Eaters that Hari had helped capture at the attack on the Prewett brothers months ago. Most of the rest had already been tried and sentenced but upon questioning and investigation, these two were implicated in a long list of serious crimes and it took months for the investigations to be completed.

Hari was expecting to be called to answer questions about the attack he witnessed. But he doubted it would take long and he would likely just answer from his desk in the tiers.

The attack on the Prewetts was a minor matter in their list of crimes. The only death was one of their fellow Death Eaters, and while it had been a genuine accident, Hari wasn’t sorry for Dolohov’s death.

Ten minutes later, all of the Wizengamot were in their seats and the prisoners were brought in. The men were chained down in the chairs and the court clerk began, “Jonathan Avery, Junior you are charged with the murders of Findlay Hooper, Greta Hooper, Bindormas Hooper, Celia Hooper, Nickodmeus Valmin, and Samuel Snodgrass IV, the attempted murders of Fabian Prewett, Gideon Prewett, Kimberly Johnson-Fairly, and Thomas Liptore, how do you plead?”

“Guilty.”

The clerk cleared his throat. “Corban Yaxley, you are charged with the murders of Findlay Hooper, Greta Hooper, Dunston Tennyson-Hooper, Polix Hooper, Nickodmeus Valmin, and Samuel Snodgrass III, the attempted murders of Fabian Prewett, Gideon Prewett, Maria Johnson-Fairly, and Meghan Liptore, how do you plead?”

“Guilty.”

“Very well. As you have pleaded guilty you may make a statement to the Wizengamot before your sentence is decided.”

Avery began, “I was in Slytherin house in school and I was bullied a lot by the Gryffindors. And my friends told me that it was wrong and I shouldn’t let them walk all over me. And they introduced me to this man and he said he could help me be strong. And he told me I should hurt those people.”

Yaxley blinked and began with a small smile on his lips. “I was never a good looking bloke. Girls were never really interested, ya know? And then I was at this duelling tournament when I was 16 and this beautiful witch came up to me and well, one thing led to another and she told me about this great group of people who were fighting for the right to practice all kinds of magic. And I was so in love with her. And the leader of this group, he was so smart. And he said these folks were enemies of magic. And she told me that I could save magic if I stopped them.”

The clerk blinked several times. “Members of the Wizengamot, these men have pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder. And you have heard their stories from their own mouths. The sentence is up to the members of the Wizengamot, entirely. The maximum sentence for the crimes the accused have pled guilty to is the Dementor’s Kiss. The floor is open for comment.”

Hari held back an hysterical giggle. This case was ridiculous. They truly thought they were going to get released after time served in the holding cells after admitting to multiple murders? And their statements? I was a kid and didn’t understand? The bad man made me do it? The bad woman seduced me and my cock led my head?

They really were just depending on their blood status and relative youth. And that youth was really relative at this point. Avery was 24 and Yaxley was 33. The math on Yaxley’s story didn’t even add up. If he was seduced into the Death Eaters when he was 16? That was at least five or six years before Tom started his reign of terror.

But they couldn’t get away with the previous whine of “I was Imperiused.” The spell negated that.

And when someone had tried to plead Imperius while actually being under the curse, the spell showed that they were cursed while in custody. An investigation into the Auror Department had led to the arrest and jailing of two aurors to like in Azkaban for using an Unforgivable on a human and the firing of three more for accepting bribes.

The first seal to light was surprisingly Lord Ogden. Hari was surprised and hopeful that his words had born fruit quicker than he had anticipated.

“These two boys were led astray, this is obvious from their statements.”

Hari bit his lip and saw several people nearby roll their eyes.

Ogden continued, “But they still did commit these horrible crimes. And as any parent or educator knows, when a child breaks a rule and gets caught, they need to take the point loss and detention. And these men have done more than drop a few dung bombs in class. I move for them to serve detention, that is, I move for a period in Azkaban of 8 years. One year for every person killed and 6 months for every person they attempted to kill but did not succeed.”

Lord Shacklebolt lit his seal. “I second the motion for Azkaban. However, I move that so many murders is a sign that they were not ignorant children who were naughty or foolish. I move that they are placed in Azkaban for 10 years for each murder and two years for each attempted murder they have admitted guilt for. A total of 68 years by my reckoning.”

Lady Eastchurch lit her seal. “I second Lord Shacklebolt’s recommendation for sentence length.”

The clerk nodded. “I have a motion for 8 years from Lord Ogden, does this have a second?”

No seal lit.

“The motion from Lord Shacklebolt and seconded by Lady Eastchurch is on the floor. All those in favour of a sentence of 68 years per defendant, light your seal.”

A vast majority of the seals, over 80% from what Hari could tell by a quick glance around, lit up. The two Death Eaters were gaping in astonishment. No one had even made a motion to let them go with time served. Everyone wanted them in Azkaban. A new day was dawning and the pureblood terrorists weren’t getting a free pass anymore just because they were pureblood. The Wizengamot had found its backbone, even if some of it was weaker than the rest.

 


Related Posts

penumbria

I write and make art for multiple fandoms.

4 Comments:

  1. I’m enjoying the slow but steady pace of Hari’s mission.

  2. I really liked this first part.
    The relationship between Hari and Zir is really interesting. Hari’s changes may be smallish yet but Dumbles is going to feel the ripples and it’s going to be great !

  3. The first part, when Harry is one of the last people on Earth is fascinating! What an utterly strange, haunting existence. I really enjoyed how different your scenario is from so many other fics I’ve read.

    And the return to 1980 is so interesting! I like that he’s so slow, cautious, and not immediately meeting up with the Marauders. I’m enjoying his new persona as Hari Peverell. The rituals, the Horocrux hunt, the interactions with the Sacred 28, et al…so great!

  4. A fascinating take on time travel. Harry/Hari can influence events like this even when his younger self was barely talking.
    I love the way he has learnt caution and planning, rather than rushing ahead with no clear idea of the path.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.