Title: What About Us?
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Apocalypse, Drama, Paranormal/Supernatural, Thriller, Time Travel
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.
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.
We are billions of beautiful hearts, And you sold us down the river too far
July 19, 1981
Hari made his way, fully invisible, through the Forbidden Forest. It was summer break and there were few people remaining in the castle over the summer holidays. The students were all home, of course, and most of the professors took advantage of the break to have a vacation of one kind or another.
Hagrid was still on the grounds in his hut and Argus Filch and his cat, Mrs Norris, also seemingly had nowhere else to go and were in his quarters near his office. Albus Dumbledore wasn’t present on the map at all today and only Sibyll Trelawney of the professors remained, high in the Divination Tower.
About a mile and a half from the castle itself, Hari came upon a rock formation like an ancient cairn, deep within the forest. He walked around it and found a small carving of a snake near the base. He hissed, “Open”, in parseltongue and the largest rock turned transparent. Hari walked through and hissed “Close” when he was inside.
A dozen feet in there was a grate across a tunnel entrance. Hari used magic to open it and proceeded to enter the tunnel system. It sloped gradually downward and twisted back and forth, the walls of the tunnel becoming slicker with water as he walked deeper.
A thirty-minute trek through the cave system and Hari came upon another grate across a tunnel. He opened it and continued on. After seventy feet, another grate, and then sixty feet later, another. Thereafter, for the next ten minutes, he encountered a closed grate every fifty to seventy feet.
Finally, Hari opened a grate and the walls on the other side had carvings on them. He had reached the Chamber of Secrets deep under the school. He knew about the forest entrance because of his explorations when he was in his second century. He had explored the entire system of caverns and the Chamber itself. He knew all of the passwords and parseltongue commands.
Hari approached the statue at the head of the room. Rather than chanting the grandiose password and risking waking the basilisk, Hari went around the side and found the door behind the statue. He entered and made his way through several rooms to the hibernating form of the great snake.
Hari cast a diagnostic on the creature. It returned the results he had expected but hoped against. The snake was insane, it’s brain was smaller than it should be for its size by a significant margin. A basilisk as old as this one, who had been well cared for, would be incredibly intelligent. Fully sapient, in fact, and able to understand languages spoken around it that weren’t parseltongue.
But this poor creature, something had gone wrong. Possibly the too long magical hibernation, possibly the malnutrition of having only rats and other small things to eat and not able to hunt properly. Possibly it was a genetic defect or a curse cast by Tom or one of the other parselmouths who found this place over the centuries to make him easier to control. Maybe it was a combination of things or something else entirely.
It didn’t matter. The snake was insane, suffering from severe dementia when awake and its quality of life was abysmal, awake or asleep.
Hari cancelled the magical hibernation spell and as the creature slowly woke, he cast a spell on the rooster he took from his bag. It crowed and the giant snake hissed and slumped back to the floor, dead. A far gentler death, more merciful death than was afforded to the poor thing before.
Hari turned away and left the snake to its eternal rest. He made his way out of the Chamber to the slide that led to Myrtle’s bathroom. The map showed Myrtle in her stall, where she was likely moaning or moping. Possibly both.
Hari turned away and went back to the Chamber’s main door. He then turned left before entering and followed a pathway around and upwards. It led to a set of winding stairs – 2,861 stairs to be exact. He had counted them once.
Hari took a broom from his dimensional store and restored it to full size. He had no interest in climbing nearly three thousand stairs when he could fly up. Yes, he could have flown on his own but it took a lot of concentration in a small space like this. The broom was simply easier.
A ten-minute broom ride got him to a landing and he made his way along a hallway within the castle walls and checked the map. Dumbledore was still absent but Minerva McGonagall was now in her office. Hari wasn’t worried as her office was on the other side of the castle from his current location and his destination was six floors above her.
Hari made his way, still totally invisible, out of the arch at the end of the corridor. He exited into the main castle near the bottom of the Divination Tower. Trelawney was still in her quarters, several stories up, so Hari made his way through the hallways to the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy, trying to teach trolls ballet.
He walked back and forth three times in front of the blank wall and focused on desiring the place where it was hidden. A door appeared and Harry entered the Room of Lost Things. He meandered his way carefully through the towers of junk until he reached the horcrux Tom had hidden away when applying for the Defense Against the Dark Arts position.
The process for containing a horcrux safely was becoming routine and he swiftly had the Ravenclaw Diadem levitated, wrapped in silk, inside both pouches and stored in his dimensional store. Hari looked around the room and decided since he had time, and the map showed the castle was still Dumbledore free, he would do a little ‘shopping’. Who knew what treasures this room held. It had all been consumed by fiendfyre by the time he had thought to explore it more thoroughly in his past.
He would see what he could find for an hour or so and then return to the Chamber, harvest a few parts – like the venom – from the dead basilisk, and return home to perform the ritual destruction of the fourth horcrux.
* * * *
Hari stood in the ritual circle and summoned the elements and Zir. The magic rose and as the last syllable left his mouth, the god was within the circle.
“Greetings, Hari. Your plans are proceeding apace.”
“Yes. Only one remains. I don’t believe the mithril set will work to get me into the wards of Malfoy Manor.”
Zir smiled. “No. They worked within the vaults because you were already within most of the wards of the goblins.”
Hari sighed. “I thought it was something like that. I have time to work something out. It is only mid-July.”
“Trust in yourself and your powers, Hari. Let them speak to you. You are doing well at embracing them but you still tether much of your magic to mortal tools and rituals. You are beyond them. You don’t need them any longer.”
Hari’s nose twitched and his lips twisted. “I know. Intellectually. But it is both habit and comfort to use a wand or a spell or a ritual. And if my events occur as I believe they will,” Hari looks Zir in the eyes and sees in them sympathy and agreement, “then I will need to use wizarding magic, or appear to do so, for some time yet to come.”
“I understand. And I am being too assertive, pushing too hard, too swiftly. You have acknowledged your new status for less than a mortal year. It has been a very long time since I was no more than a primal force. And I want you to be able to expand and embrace your future. But you literally have all of time to do so. I will cease pushing you to release the trappings of your mortal life and the attachments you have within you to it. It will come in time. But I will not cease watching and appreciating your progress.”
Hari smiled. “Thank you. I know I’m not a wizard anymore, not human, even. But – I can’t let it go, I don’t want to. I have always had a saving people thing. I don’t know if I was born that way or if I was moulded into it by my life circumstances. But it is there and it has never gone away. I think my willing participation in the heavily Aztec ritual in the future was proof of that. And I want magic to survive, certainly, but I want the wizarding world to thrive, as a whole and individuals, as well.”
Zir nodded. “Worthy goals. I have approved of your plans to save the connection of my lady to this world. To save her from the pain she currently exists in as the tether slowly erodes. But elaborate on your thoughts on how to keep the wizarding world thriving. The soul piece will wait. It is trapped in space and time until we continue.”
Hari glanced at the diadem and nodded. “I had a bit of a rant a while back at a party and it started me really thinking about things beyond Tom’s final death. Yes, I’ve been working at neutralizing Dumbledore’s influence and poison on the world, but beyond him. In my future, magic was never exposed, though it was a close call several times during the second war when I was a teen. But afterwards, magic was failing so much, even though it was subtle for the first century or so. It just never came to the point of exposure worldwide in a bad way.”
“True. The muggles had their own problems to deal with due to the tether’s failure.”
“Yeah, declining birth rates, infertility among humans and animals, odd weather phenomena and natural disasters. But if I succeed and fully strengthen the tether Lady Hekate has to us, cleanse the magic of the world regularly, then things will be different.”
Hari pursed his lips. “The muggles’ technology will still advance at a rapid pace and the magical world will not be prepared. We can’t stand against them. And they would turn on us, the majority of them. It would be an us versus them mindset. And they would demonize us. It wouldn’t be hard, several of their major religious books already condemn magic and magic users.”
Zir nodded. “Not to mention their monotheistic ideals.”
“Yeah. That. They would attack us and we couldn’t hold them off for long. Not as long as we are so intertwined with the muggle world. Much of the wizarding world is incredibly dependent on the muggle world for much of its food, many of its basic textiles, the production of several types of products like standardized cauldrons.”
Hari waved his hands around in his agitation, “And that doesn’t take into account living and working and shopping side by side with them. The Ministry Building and Saint Mungo’s Hospital are both wizarding expansions within muggle buildings. And the entirety of the Diagon Alley area is wizarding space expanded from the back alley of the Leaky Cauldron. The only all-magical village left in Britain is Hogsmeade and that is only due to the muggle repelling wards on Hogwarts extending over it. There are areas on the Continent and parts of Asia and Africa where the separation is more absolute. But much of America is similar to Britain.”
Hari blew out a deep breath. “I don’t mean to go on and on. But the magical world, all over the world, needs to be separate from the muggle. Completely. And unless we put a colony on the far side of the moon, or on Mars, or develop a deep space program that lets us find a planet of our own in another solar system? We are vulnerable.”
Hari pointed his finger at the ground. “But not if we utilize phase shifting. We recreate the wards of Avalon and all of the magical world is in bubbles out of time with the muggles. Or we move to isolated areas, ward them and suck them into some kind of wizarding space bubble. But not like it is now. More like not just hidden but like Valinor, something completely other. And we need to be self-sufficient for all of our needs. This is what I need to get them all to see. And I worry it won’t work and I will save the tether only to see the world fall to muggle-wizard war.”
Zir smiled sadly. “It is a possibility. But you are very charismatic and they already listen to you more closely than you realize. Think back over your time here, see how they respond to you, how their views have changed and started to shift. Have faith in yourself. Not just in your powers and plans but in who you are. You did not just become a primal force by chance, Hari.”
Hari exhaled shakily. “I will try.”
Zir smiled proudly. “And you will succeed. Don’t rush yourself, Hari. You have time to change things. Take it.”
Hari nodded. “Okay, then, let’s get this done.”
With a brief thought, the cursed flames covered the diadem, the soul piece screamed and rose and was captured. Zir nodded once more and vanished.
Hari dismissed the circle and sank to his knees, resting his head against the pillar which held the altar. He had ranted at the Black Dragon. He really needed to get laid or something before the elder god got tired of him and smote him for being a brat.
What about love? What about trust? What about us?
July 29, 1981
Hari stood in the shadows of a muggle street on which a magical family lived. The husband was a half-blood, the wife was a muggleborn, and they had three magical children, one who had already graduated but lived at home, one who was entering their fourth year, and one who was not yet of age for Hogwarts. The eldest daughter was a member of the Order of the Phoenix and it was this combined with her parents’ blood statuses that led to the slaughter of the entire family and her fiancé in the past that Hari knew.
Tonight he would do his best to change that fact. He was waiting for the attack to begin and he was hidden completely under his cloak. His intervention in the attack on the Prewett brothers was easily passed off as a coincidence. But there was no convincing magical pub near this house. There was no magical anything near this house for miles and miles, other than the family he was here to save.
Hari didn’t know any of the MacKinnon family, they weren’t in the social circles he had been interacting with since his arrival. None of the adults worked in or for the Ministry and Hari wasn’t a member of the Order of the Phoenix, nor was he of an age to have attended school with them.
There was no way of explaining his presence here on this street if he was seen. So, Hari would intervene without being seen. It would be more frightening for the Death Eaters to have an invisible attacker. And it would be mysterious and magical for the MacKinnons and Dennis Peel, to have an invisible saviour.
Hari knew the MacKinnon family was attacked on this date but didn’t know about the time. They were just one more family that was a statistic of the first war, except for the fact of Marlene’s membership in the Order, and her friendship with Lily Potter née Evans, stemming from their time at Hogwarts.
Hari had been waiting since just before sunset, as he knew from surveillance spells he had cast over the last month that the elder MacKinnons didn’t arrive home until shortly after that. And Death Eaters preferred to attack homes at night. They would raid public places like the Alley or Hogsmeade during the day. But for private homes, they almost always attacked after dark and often in the wee hours near or shortly after midnight, when the inhabitants would likely be asleep or at least tired and off guard.
And this night turned out to be no different. It was an hour before midnight when the Death Eaters appeared on the street. According to Hari’s surveillance spells – the wards on the house were incredibly basic and not very responsive – the children were in bed but the elder MacKinnons, Marlene, and her fiancé were in the parlour, watching the telly.
There were four Death Eaters in this raiding party and two of them cast four spells each at the wards when they arrived. The seventh spell that hit the wards succeeded in collapsing them. The other two cast fire spells at the roof of the house as soon as the wards were down.
Marlene and Dennis came to the door as Fred and Susanne ran upstairs to the children’s rooms. Dennis came out the front door casting a shield spell while Marlene aimed at the roof with a fire suppression spell.
The Death Eaters broke Dennis’ shield with one cast and targeted Marlene whose back was turned. Hari stepped forward and the only thing seen by the attackers or Dennis was a spell impacting the back of the Death Eater aiming for Marlene. It knocked him unconscious immediately.
The Death Eater next to him cast a quick ‘Renervate’ on his fallen comrade but it had no effect. While the man stood confused and tried again, Hari cast again at the last Death Eater in the line. He wasn’t using simple stunners but medical anaesthesia spells used for surgery. Very few Death Eaters would even think to check for that, let alone know the counter to it without research.
As the third Death Eater engaged Dennis who had used the distraction to cast another shield, the confused one who couldn’t wake up his buddies gave up on trying and cast a bombarda on the upper story of the house.
Marlene whirled around just in time to see an orange light hit the attacker in the back, causing him to fall to the ground. Fred MacKinnon hurried outside and took over the fire suppression from Marlene. Susanne hurried and was casting levitation charms and reparos at the wall that was crumbling from the explosive curse.
Marlene, freed from working to save the house and her siblings, engaged the last standing Death Eater with her fiancé. He was actually a marginally smart one and had put his side to the house and his back facing away from where the spells that had felled his friends had come from.
This last one was a fairly proficient dueler as well and was easily holding his own against the two 21-year-olds. Unfortunately for him, Hari changed his position and avoiding the spells of Marlene and Dennis, stood behind the man. He fired the curse from five feet directly behind him and he slumped to the ground.
Dennis cast a shield in front of Marlene and himself. Hari smiled but didn’t lower his invisibility cloak. He had no desire to be tied to this event publicly, not even by those he had saved.
Hari cast a silvery curse at the sidewalk in front of the house. It chalked a glowing silver lightning bolt onto the concrete along with a neatly printed, “You’re welcome.” He then cast a sound spell that made a cracking sound like an apparition and stepped back from the house to the spot across the street again, watching both them and the feeds from his surveillance charms.
Fred had gotten the fire extinguished, as they hadn’t used cursed fire but simply overpowered fire-making charms like incendio. He and Marlene turned to help Susanne to stabilize the second floor. Dennis lowered the shield and walked into the backyard where Patrice and Roger were hiding.
Once the house was stabilized, Fred went inside and used the floo to call the aurors. Marlene followed and called Dumbledore, Edgar Bones, and Sirius Black. Three minutes later, Edgar and Sirius arrived and hurried to the MacKinnon family, asking about what happened.
After hearing a brief account, Sirius turned to the downed Death Eaters and summoned their wands and portkeys. Two minutes later, Fabian and Gideon Prewett arrived and a few seconds later Benjy Fenwick and Remus Lupin.
Fabian saw the unconscious Death Eaters and the pile of wands and portkeys and turned to them and used a summoning for additional foci. The last Death Eater to fall had three rings and a false tooth fly out and join the pile.
Twenty-five minutes after the call, a squad of aurors showed up, led by Moody. He questioned the MacKinnons and Dennis Peel, and cast diagnostic spells on the Death Eaters and the mark on the sidewalk.
Moody barked out a laugh at the results of the diagnostic on the unconscious men. “I won’t say here but whoever your helper was, they were clever. Very clever. And the sidewalk is just an art charm with a light spell inside it. Not advanced at all. A second year could manage it, even a smart first year or younger if they had a wand and knew the spell.”
Moody looked at the men and at the house. “You got lucky. I dunno if someone followed them somehow, maybe a Death Eater who wanted out or who knows and likes one of you, or if they knew it was happening, a seer or something. But if you had been alone, we’d be looking at your bodies and a Dark Mark in the sky is my guess.”
Sixty-five minutes after the floo call from Marlene, Albus Dumbledore showed up in a flash of phoenix fire. Marlene turned away, frowning, and Dennis held her in his arms.
Hari smiled and silently apparated away, his work done for the night.
August 2, 1981
Hari stood in the ballroom of MacMillan Manor, in attendance at their annual birthday ball celebrating the patriarch of the family. The family wasn’t dark but they were very invested in their pureblood supremacy. They weren’t the kind to use slurs like mudblood or denigrate half-bloods. It was just glaringly obvious where future Hufflepuff Ernie got his pomposity, even as a second year.
But they were also fairly well-liked and Lord MacMillan was very active in the Wizengamot. The parties hosted by the MacMillans were well attended and included every level of pureblood and high society half-blood there was, they didn’t discriminate on basis of wealth or political view – except to muggleborns or half-bloods who had no connections.
Even Arthur and Molly Weasley’s branch of the Weasley family had been known to attend in the past of the now and in the future that he had known. They weren’t present at the current ball because Molly was heavily pregnant with Ginevra, her seventh child who would be born in just over two weeks if nothing changed.
Hari circled the ballroom, a flute of champagne in hand to fend off those who would want him to dance. There were a few women that he could not politically turn down if he was in a position where it would be expected for him to ask, but for the most part, he avoided the torture of wizarding dances at the balls he had to attend. It was why he preferred the smaller gatherings that didn’t include dancing.
Hari wandered up to Fabian and Gideon who were somewhat hiding behind a plant in a corner of the ballroom. “Hiding from the husband hunters and matchmaking mamas?”
Fabian spun around and huffed out a breath. “You’re like a cat, so quiet you are. Make a sound, would you, Hari?”
Hari chuckled. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
Gideon smiled wryly. “We are quite the eligible bachelors, unfortunately. And these things are prime hunting ground for we poor prey.”
“Well, we can slip out to the library, have a heavier drink. I know we won’t be the only ones there.”
Fabian nodded. “Mom has seen us, we checked in with Lady MacMillan, we can legitimately leave the ballroom.”
Gideon continued the thought, “As long as we don’t leave the ball.”
Fabian nodded. “Exactly.”
Hari followed the two men onto the terrace which wrapped around three sides of the manor. Around the back, there was a set of glass doors that opened into the library. And Hari was right, the room was quite filled, even considering it’s large size. The vast majority of the occupants were men of varying ages but Hari spotted Amelia Bones and Caroline Hewitt in one corner with Edgar Bones, Marco Wood, and Kingsley Shacklebolt.
Fabian and Gideon also noticed the group as they led Hari over to them. They exchanged greetings and Hari smiled. “I feel like the old man, quite out of place in this group of young whippersnappers.”
Edgar Bones laughed. “You aren’t that old, Hari.”
“No, but I believe only one of you is even in their third decade with me, and that is only barely. Am I not correct, Mister Wood?”
“Oi, no Mister Wood, I feel like I’m about to get detention. It’s Marco.”
“Alright, Marco. Hari. And you’re rather proving my point, there.”
“Yeah, I’m just turned 30 back in June. And the rest of these guys are in their 20s. I mean, Gideon and Fabian are barely so, their birthday is in, uh, a month? Three weeks? Something near it, anyway. But currently, I’m the only one.”
Fabian snorted. “We turn 30 on September 14.”
Hari grinned. “Well, I’m an old man of 36, so I definitely feel my age for this group.”
“Well, old man,” said Gideon, “we’ll just have to lighten you up. Fabian, get the old fellow a real young man’s drink!”
“Just the idea, Gid!”
The two brothers bantered back and forth about what exactly constituted a young man’s drink, finally settling on milk in a bottle, putting the group in stitches of laughter.
The hilarity drew the attention of some of the others in the room and while some simply shook their heads and looked away, Lord Black strolled over. “I could use a good laugh but I’m betting I’m too late to get the joke. Or too old?”
This set the others off for another round of giggles.
Amelia Bones got control of herself first. “At least Hari doesn’t have to feel the need to parent the group anymore, Lord Black. Not with your presence.”
Lord Black smiled. “Well, I suppose the joke was on him then. Fair play. How are you young’uns enjoying the ball hiding here in the library?”
Hari grinned. “It got better a bit ago, Lord Black. And you’ve no leg to stand on, seeing as you’re here in the library with us.”
“True. But I’m an old, old man. And I’ve done the rounds many a time. I’ve earned my right to a hideout in the library at a ball. Especially when so many other stuffy politicians do the same.”
Hari raised an eyebrow.
Lord Black huffed. “I may be a politician, young man, but I am not stuffy.”
Everyone burst into laughter once more.
The group spent another twenty minutes chatting and joking before people went their separate ways, Fabian, Gideon, and Kingsley going to get refreshments, Amelia, Caroline, and Edgar returning to the ballroom, and Marco excusing himself to another room.
Lord Black and Hari continued to chat about various topics, although with the two of them being alone, the talk inevitably turned to politics. And when the seriousness of the conversation became clear to several other men in the room, they wandered over and joined in.
Bartemius Crouch, Senior, was decidedly vocal and aggressive in his attempts to put his points forward. Crouch didn’t have a seat on the Wizengamot, himself. He was from a branch family, not the main line. But he was often before the Wizengamot in his job as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. And Hari knew from his own past, that the man wanted the Minister’s job, though he never got it.
Hari listened and occasionally made a point against the older man but he was polite and quiet about it. And then, a wonderful opening occurred.
Crouch was arguing with Lord Black about the recent bill authorizing the aurors to use the Unforgivables against Death Eaters. Lord Black was pointing out that there had been reports of the aurors using the Killing Curse and the Cruciatus Curse on non-combatants during raids on manors and homes of those suspected of being Death Eaters.
Crouch stood tall and proclaimed, “There are always mistakes that can happen, collateral damage. But the aurors being permitted the use of these curses is for the greater good.”
Hari allowed himself to flinch harshly and visibly. Lord Ogden turned to him in concern. “You alright there, my boy?”
Hari nodded briefly. “My apologies, Mister Crouch. I just have such an aversion to that phrase. Frankly, anyone in my generation or above who was raised on the Continent or in the Americas would have a negative reaction to your phrasing.”
Crouch grunted. “Are you saying Continental and American wizards are selfish and put their own desires above the greater good of the wizarding world?”
Hari shook his head calmly. “No, Mister Crouch. I speak not of the sentiment itself, not overly so, but rather of the phrasing used. I have actually heard it used a good bit since coming to Britain by a certain faction in the Wizengamot. I don’t know where they picked it up or if you got it from the same place, but the fact that British wizard and witches don’t seem to realize or remember that ‘For the Greater Good’ was the rallying cry of Gellert Grindelwald and his Reapers is concerning. When we do not remember history, we are doomed to repeat it. And Grindelwald used his motto to claim his way was the best and those who opposed him were fools and selfish.”
Crouch blinked, silenced.
Lord Ogden gaped and snapped his mouth shut. “I had forgotten. Albus says it so much, I don’t even -“
Hari raised his eyebrows. “Albus? You mean Albus Dumbledore?”
Ogden nodded emphatically. “Yes.”
Hari hummed. “For the man who defeated Grindelwald who was the scourge of the world when he did, for that man to use Grindelwald’s motto so regularly that it is unthinkingly picked up by a political faction who opposed Grindelwald and fought him? That is disturbing and has worrying implications. Dumbledore must know it was Grindelwald’s motto and rallying cry to his supporters. Why would he embrace it?”
Hari frowned in thought. “It makes me question why he actually fought the man. He was simply a schoolteacher at the time, not involved in the war from what I know. A powerful wizard but not a soldier or an auror or a hit wizard. I never thought about it before.”
Crouch swallowed harshly and mumbled his excuses, backing away from the group swiftly. Ogden stumbled back and sank into a nearby chair. Several others broke off and began whispering to each other.
Lord Black turned to Hari. “I don’t believe any of us have questioned any of it, Lord Peverell. Those of us who were alive and involved in the war or touched by it, which was most of the world, were just elated that it was over at last.”
What about all the broken happy ever afters? What about us?
August 19, 1981
Hari was in the study of Lord Bones sipping a glass of cognac while they went over the minutiae of a bill that they and a few others were working on to present to the Wizengamot and some thoughts for the future. It wasn’t a common thing for him to do but it wasn’t highly unusual, either.
It was only the date of this particular meeting that was significant. It gave him an excuse for his presence for when the Bones family would be attacked by Death Eaters.
Hari tried as best he could to save people from the attacks but his foreknowledge was limited. He knew of the deaths of several Order of the Phoenix members and a few others that had been prominent in books about the war. But this was the year where Voldemort was truly stepping up his terror campaign.
Individuals, families, and businesses were being targeted multiple times a week. And Hari was only one man with limited intelligence of them beforehand, regardless of his status as a primal force. It did make him better understand the euphoria the world fell into after Voldemort was seemingly killed that Halloween by a toddler. And their reaction to Harry Potter’s return to the wizarding world.
Hari sat back in his chair and swirled his glass. “The muggleborn are an increasing problem. Not their existence, which I still hold has much to do with the practice of banishing squibs to the muggle world where they or their descendants meet other squibs or descendants of squibs and the intersection causes magic to renew in their children. Granted, banishing squibs is better than killing them. But the muggleborn problem is in their accidental magic.”
Lord Bones nodded. “Yes, the number of times the Oblivator Squad is needed has been increasing.”
Hari shrugged. “That, yes. But I mean more the smaller incidents that don’t register as magical enough to require the attention of the obliviators. Little things like summoning a toy or changing the colour of something or causing small fires or sparks. Or even bigger, more powerful accidental magic but that doesn’t catch the attention of the Ministry, like accidental apparition or levitation.”
Lord Bones frowned. “But those are rare among muggleborn, are they not?”
Hari shook his head. “No more rare than such things among purebloods and half-bloods. They simply don’t gain the attention of anyone who can or will document it. But it does catch the attention of muggles, parents, teachers, religious officials, muggle children, even the occasional muggle police officer. All of these are breaches of the Statute of Secrecy and very few care. And it often leads to problems for the child from lack of friends to abuse by their parents to forced exorcisms.”
“This isn’t the Burning Times, Harius.”
“No. But that doesn’t mean the muggles don’t recall them. Most don’t believe in magic but having it happen in front of them, undeniable? They believe in something. Many turn to the idea of demons and religion in their fear and uncertainty. And the muggle church is never afraid to deal with the problem, traumatizing the child in the process. It could easily lead to a rise in the number of obscurials. And again, the main point to emphasize with the Wizengamot is the Statute.”
Hari swallowed a mouthful of cognac. “The muggleborn child and their parents have no idea what is happening. And if they don’t turn to religion, it could be worse. They could turn to muggle science and scientists. And once scientists believe in something, they are like a dog with a bone and won’t let it go until they understand it completely. And that is dangerous in the extreme for us.”
Lord Bones sighed. “I don’t know if this bill will be enough.”
Hari shook his head. “It is just a start. Increasing the sensitivity and scope of the magic sensors in the muggle world will help identify times when the obliviators are needed more precisely. And it will identify muggleborn younger. And then we move to contact them younger. And in order to placate the anti-muggleborn party, we attach an amendment to perform a tongue-tying spell on the direct muggle and muggleborn family, preventing them from telling anyone in any manner about magic. Rather than the foolish vow we currently have the parents take to swear on their magic to not tell. The whole point is that muggles don’t have magic!”
Hari knew this wasn’t actually, exactly true but for the purpose of the stupid vow, it was in the practice.
“And then, we put forward the bill for early education of all magical children so that they are ready for Hogwarts when the time comes. And we attach to it the motion to include muggleborn in it and to have the classes be not just reading, writing and basic mathematics, but also magical history and culture.”
“The Dark faction won’t like it.”
“But they will, or at least they will have to pretend in public that they do. The whole point, according to the not idiots in the faction, meaning not the morons who think muggle babies in the womb somehow steal magic from magical babies, is that muggleborn come into our world at eleven and begin to try to change it to be more like the muggle world. And in order to placate muggle parents and the muggleborn who have grown up with muggle religion and culture, our religion and culture are pushed out and even declared illegal in some respects. But this bill, which is some time down the line yet, would remove that issue by ensuring that the muggleborn were introduced and raised in our culture from a very young age. And the earlier bill would ensure the parents couldn’t tell anyone in the muggle world if they didn’t like it.”
“Hmm. That is true. Those are the very arguments I have heard Lord Malfoy and even Lord Black make.”
Hari nodded. “And muggleborns aren’t going to stop being born. That ship had long since sailed. There are too many squib lines lost in the muggle world. It wouldn’t surprise me if over seventy percent of the muggles have at least a small bit of squib blood in them.”
Hari knew this was an actual statistic. It had proven out in the future. “Perhaps not enough to see through muggle-repelling wards, but enough to birth wizards or witches if they connect with the right partner. And that doesn’t count those rare few who are truly muggle born and not unknowingly squib born. That is, those who Lady Magic blesses with her gift though they have no magic in their bloodline, no matter how far back. No. We need to deal with the muggleborn problem in bills and soon. I do fear that as their technology advances further, we will eventually be unable to hide from them unless we are prepared.”
Lord Bones poured out fresh glasses of cognac for them both. “It will require much debate and many talks with new allies.”
Hari shrugged as he sipped. “As do all politics. I have many plans and ideas, Nathaniel. We moved away from many good practices and we need to reverse course. And to start with protecting the Statute of Secrecy and protecting children? Is much easier to swallow for all than starting larger.”
“Protecting the muggleborn from the priests and the muggle science people, you mean?”
“Them, yes. But also protecting them from their own family. You don’t understand. In the wizarding world, children tend to be so rare and precious that abuse of a child is beyond anathema except to the insane or the fanatics or the insane fanatics. In the muggle world, that is not the case. They don’t condone abuse, by any means. But it is not a rare occurrence among them. And a muggleborn at the mercy of adults who don’t understand what is happening and who fear it? How many muggleborn who were identified under the age of eleven do not attend Hogwarts? Do not get a letter? And what percentage of those is because they have died, killed by a parent or caregiver who hurts them due to their magic? I would not be shocked if the number were high.”
Lord Bones shook his head. “Horrible.”
Hari sighed. “But, if we can remove those endangered children and bring them into the wizarding world, into families. Through blood adoption or magical fostering? Our world would grow and those children would bring fresh magic to us and to the families they are adopted by and marry into.”
Lord Bones but his lip. “Such things are not -“
Whatever the lord was going to say was interrupted abruptly when the wards around Bones Manor blared a harsh warning.
Hari jumped to his feet and ran into the hall, following Lord Bones. Hari could see the wards flaring through the windows as they suffered under an onslaught of spells.
Lord Bones ran to the front door and flung it open just as sickly yellow lightning crawled across the dome of the wards. At the sight, the older man spun around and yelled, “They’ve got a dwarven ward breaker! Get the children into the bolt holes!”
Amelia Bones and her brother, Edgar ran to their father’s side while Hari saw Edgar’s wife, Clarissa, and Lady Bones, rush by each with a child in their arms. Clarissa held the youngest child, the future Hufflepuff Susan, while Lady Bones carried the toddler, Maria. The seven-year-old Lucas and the five-year-old Robert hurried behind them.
Things had already changed from the attack as it had happened before. Amelia had been at work during the attack and Susan had been the lone survivor in the house, found unconscious and covered in blood, though relatively unhurt, protected under her mother’s dead body.
The women and children had barely cleared the foyer of the manor when the ward breaker accomplished its task and the ward dome disintegrated. Seven Death Eaters attempted to apparate from their location at the ward’s previous edge into the house itself. But another change – Lord Bones had added an inner layer of wards to the manor house itself.
They were weaker by far than the main wards had been but the house was covered in an anti-apparition field with only blood-based exceptions. Not even Hari would be able to use wizarding apparition to enter or leave Bones Manor via apparition, though he could likely if he figured out how to use his primal powers to travel. A thought for later.
The Death Eaters bounced off the walls of the manor and appeared on the grounds, spread out and disoriented, for the most part. Edgar tried to rush out to attack them but Amelia, the auror, grabbed his arm.
“We have the advantage for now. They can’t get behind us unless they can find a way inside that doesn’t include apparating. If you run out there, they’ll overwhelm you and we’ll be down a fighter. Be smart about this, Edgar.”
Lord Bones nodded. “They set up their own anti-travel field before they attacked the wards. It is preventing outbound apparition and portkeys. And I suspect the floo will also be down. This is a coordinated attack. That ward breaker wasn’t cheap nor would it have been easy to find.”
Hari sighed. “If we go out there, they can apparate short range around the grounds. They can’t get in the house and we can’t leave, but they can move around under the field between the manor walls and the edge of the fallen ward boundary.”
Edgar grunted. “I get it! I wasn’t thinking. My wife and children are in there!”
Lord Bones patted his son’s arm. “I know, Edgar. And we will fight. But from here. Keep the house walls to your backs. We need to keep them out of the house. That is the mission, that is the only priority.”
Amelia, Edgar, and Hari nodded.
“You have my wand, Lord Bones,” Hari pledged.
The Death Eaters had recovered their equilibrium and began to spread out in an arc around the defenders. A singsong voice cried out, “Come out and play, scaredy little badgers! We only want to play with your organs and blood!”
Hari grimaced. He knew that insane cackle. He had thought her years in Azkaban had caused much of her insanity but evidently Bellatrix Lestrange had always been cracked. And where Bellatrix went, her husband and brother-in-law were almost certainly to follow. Hari wondered who the other four were and if Barty Crouch, Jr, was among them or if that match up had only occurred after Voldemort’s Halloween vanquishment. It didn’t much matter but he was curious.
The insane taunts didn’t budge the defenders and the Death Eaters broke formation and four of them short distance apparated to try to get behind them. Edgar and Amelia held their ground and Lord Bones stepped back and pulled the door closed behind him.
Hari stood to the side and waited, his wand pointed and following the black smoky trail they were creating to inspire terror. As soon as the smoke stopped and before the Death Eater had fully settled into place, Hari’s wand was spitting out an overpowered stunner. He couldn’t use the surgery spell or he would risk being connected to his anonymous guardian angel activities.
The stunner hit and threw the Death Eater fifteen feet back to land against the fountain in the front courtyard. There was a moment of silence and stillness and then the chaos broke open, everyone was casting spells and the air was filled with their coloured lights and the sounds of butchered Latin.
Hari was on the offensive and casting both overpowered basic spells and obscure spells that few knew any more, things he could blame on his overprotective grandfather’s tutelage. The Death Eaters were casting their usual repertoire of torture spells but Lord Bones was holding a one-way shield in place over the defenders and few spells were getting through it.
Their ability to keep them off threw Bellatrix into a rage and she changed her tactics to a spell that couldn’t be stopped by a shield, as Hari, knowing her temperament and temper, had expected she would. “Avada Kedavra!”
Hari summoned a metal disc from the wall next to the door, it looked like a shield and had the Bones crest on the outward side. The inward side was polished gold; curved and reflective. The curse impacted the disc shield and reflected off at an angle, striking and killing one of the other Death Eaters.
A voice roared in anger and a wave of magic came flying at them from one of the three Death Eaters who had stayed back when the four had apparated closer. It impacted the wall of the manor when it deflected off of Lord Bones’ shield charm and the second floor balcony broke away from the wall and fell straight down, striking the defenders, Bellatrix, and the other Death Eater who had apparated close.
Hari saw the stones falling and cast upwards with just plain magical force, rather than a spell of any kind. Lord Bones, Amelia, Edgar, and Hari were hit with falling bits of debris but the majority of the balcony directly above them disintegrated into fine powder. The rest of the balcony pieces landed on the attackers and they were out of the battle.
The three Death Eaters on the other side of the fountain moved closer, now outnumbered but seemingly determined to stick to their objective. As soon as they were within reasonable spell distance, all of them began casting again.
Hari and Amelia took advantage of the debris provided by the fallen balcony and began banishing large chunks of it at the Death Eaters, forcing them to dodge or duck. Edgar rapid fired chained stunners and incarcerous spells, over and over. Lord Bones reinforced and held the one-way shield charm.
Hari inwardly grinned as he recalled a moment from his sixth year. “Avis! Oppugno!”
A flock of sharp-billed hummingbirds burst from his wand and began dive-bombing the Death Eaters. Hari thought Hermione would be proud.
The distraction of the birds allowed Amelia to strike one of the Death Eaters with a large chunk of stone, knocking them unconscious. Edgar took advantage of the dual distractions of birds and downed comrade to change his casting order, aim, and rhythm. The Death Eater he was aiming for obviously thought a stunner was incoming and dodged, right into the incarcerous charm instead.
The final Death Eater glanced around and Hari had a feeling about what he was going to do. He shook his head and called, “Accio portkeys!”
Two round bracelets came flying out from under the Death Eater’s robes and he made a grab as they flew away. Amelia took the opportunity to hit him with a stunner. All of the Death Eaters were out of commission.
Amelia walked to the bound ones and surprisingly, hit them each with the surgery anaesthesia spell. When she noticed Hari looking at her with raised eyebrows, she explained what it was and that her mentor, Alastor Moody had told his most trusted about the idea.
Edgar walked around the side of the house to the terrace doors and went inside. A minute later his voice sounded, “You were right, Dad. Floo is down. I’m sending a patronus.”
Ten minutes later, the aforementioned Moody arrived along with a double squad of aurors. Upon digging out the Death Eaters from under the collapsed balcony, it was found that they were dead. Bellatrix Lestrange and Owain Travers were killed after Rodolphus Lestrange had lost control when Bellatrix’s deflected Killing Curse had hit and killed his brother, Rabastan.
Hari’s internal question about Barty Crouch, Jr, was answered when the young man was unmasked, slumped against the fountain, badly injured. The other two were the fathers of two Slytherins Hari had attended Hogwarts with – Percival Crabbe, father of Vincent, and Gerard Goyle, father of Gregory.
It had been a good night, all told. The entire Bones family had survived and the only deaths were the bad guys and that was at their own wands due to ‘friendly fire’.
It’s the start of us, waking up, come on, Are you ready? I’ll be ready
August 21, 1981
Hari sat in his seat in the Wizengamot courtroom – Number Ten, so familiar from his teen years. They were going to be holding the trials for the surviving Death Eaters who attacked Bones Manor.
Unlike many of the trials he sat through, the advocates for this particular group had gotten separate trials for each of them. Or possibly Barty Crouch, Sr, had pulled some strings at the behest of his wife. Though he didn’t do that the first time – unless you counted allowing her to commit suicide and breaking his son out of Azkaban in the process. And then keeping him prisoner in their house under the Imperius Curse for over a decade.
The first was Percival Crabbe. Hari wondered if he was as foolish as his son Vincent had turned out to be in the future. Casting fiendfyre without being able to control it or understand it? So stupid. His death was basically a foregone conclusion.
Crabbe was brought in and placed in chains in the defendant’s chair. The court clerk began his speech. “Percival Crabbe, you are charged with the attempted murder of Lord Nathaniel Bones, Edgar Bones, Amelia Bones, and Lord Harius Peverell. You are also charged with intentional use of prohibited Dark dwarven tools and casting of illegal Dark spells. How do you plead?”
Hari supposed that they only listed the four who defended the manor and not every member of the Bones family because they weren’t able to get into the manor and thus it couldn’t be proved that they intended to slaughter them all. Everyone surely suspected it, but suspicion wasn’t proof.
Crabbe squirmed on the chair as much as was possible given that the chains were fairly tight. “Not guilty,” he grunted. “I was under the Imperius.”
Hari mentally snorted. Definitely clear where his son got his brains – or lack thereof.
The clerk nodded. “As you have pleaded not guilty by means of mental coercion and foreign control, I call the Auror on duty to perform the test for mental charms on the aura of the defendant.”
“What?” Crabbe shouted.
The clerk looked at the man in utter disdain. “For the last several months, the Wizengamot has utilized the spell ritual to determine the proof of claims like this. It has been in use around the world for decades and is certified as non-invasive and proper by the International Confederation of Wizards.”
Crabbe obviously had not kept up on the happenings in law circles. Hari would be surprised if he even understood all the words in the clerk’s explanation.
The auror on duty walked up to Crabbe and cast the basic version of the spell. It spread out over the man and showed that he was entirely free of any controlling magic and had been for quite some time, the only things showing up, colors that meant mood-stabilizing potions like calming draughts, and they were all around his knees and ankles, obviously from his Hogwarts years and childhood.
The auror turned to the clerk and the court scribe. “Let the record show that the spell shows no indications of the Imperius Curse or any other spells or potions in the category of mental or emotional manipulation within the past five years.”
The clerk nodded. “The record shall so show.”
Crabbe sank back against the chair, his face pale and his eyes blinking rapidly.
The clerk continued, “As the defendant’s only defence was disproved, and the aurors’ and witnesses’ reports for the night have been distributed, how does the Wizengamot find? If you find the defendant guilty, light your seals.”
Hari glanced around as he lit his seal. The only darkened seals were those where the seat was empty of an occupant. Even the other Death Eaters and unmarked supporters of Voldemort couldn’t take the chance of finding Crabbe innocent. Not when he had attacked a pureblood family in such a way.
“The Wizengamot finds you guilty of all charges. Does the defendant wish to make a remark before sentencing?”
Crabbe gaped and blinked, obviously completely thrown off by the decision.
“As the defendant has declined a statement, is there a motion for sentencing?”
Lord Abbott lit his seal. “I move he be sentenced to five years in Azkaban for each attempted murder count, a year for each illegal spell, and the mandatory ten years for the use of a Dark dwarven object. A total of forty-five years, as the auror’s reading of his wand history reveals the last fifteen spells were illegal ones.”
Lord Malfoy lit his seal. “I believe fifteen years for the illegal spells is much too harsh. Perhaps a month for each spell?”
Lord Ogden lit his seal and stood. “Only a month in Azkaban for an illegal Dark spell? That would be the precedent set by Lord Malfoy’s suggestion. Even a year for a spell is kind. The defendant is the one who cast so many as to make it obscene. I second Lord Abbott’s motion, forty-five years in Azkaban!”
“Lord Abbott’s motion has received a second, is there a second for Lord Malfoy’s motion?”
Lord Nott lit his seal. “I second Lord Malfoy’s amendment to Lord Abbott’s motion.”
“Are there any further motions? Then, the first vote is on Lord Abbott’s motion of forty-five years in Azkaban. If you vote aye, light your seal.”
Hari lit his seal and waited for the count.
“The motion passes with eighty-nine percent. Now to Lord Malfoy’s amendment which would make a total of thirty-one years and three months in Azkaban. All those in favour of the amendment, please light your seals.”
Hari remained still, his seal dark, and waited for the count by the clerk.
“The amendment fails with only fourteen percent. Percival Crabbe, you have been found guilty of the attempted murder of Lord Nathaniel Bones, Edgar Bones, Amelia Bones, and Lord Harius Peverell, you have also been found guilty of the intentional use of prohibited Dark dwarven tools and the casting of fifteen illegal Dark spells. You are therefore hereby sentenced to forty-five years in Azkaban. May Lady Magic have mercy on you.”
Crabbe was grabbed by the arms and dragged from the courtroom as he muttered, “No, no, no, I’m a pureblood, I’m a pureblood!”
The clerk turned to the Wizengamot. “We will take a brief twenty minute recess to allow the members of the Wizengamot to review the auror reports and witness statements of the next defendant.”
Hari looked over the parchments and it was essentially almost identical to what Crabbe’s had shown. The only difference being the spells from Gerard Goyle’s wand. He was either a slower caster than Crabbe or just smarter about the magic he used. There were only four illegal spells listed alongside three which were borderline.
When the twenty minute break ended, the members of the Wizengamot settled into their seats once more – many had taken advantage of the break to leave the courtroom.
Gerard Goyle was brought into the room and placed in the chair which chained him down after a couple of seconds. The court clerk cleared his throat and began, “Gerard Goyle, you are charged with the attempted murder of Lord Nathaniel Bones, Edgar Bones, Amelia Bones, and Lord Harius Peverell. You are also charged with intentional use of prohibited Dark dwarven tools and casting of illegal Dark spells. How do you plead?”
Goyle looked at the clerk with parted mouth and eyes that slowly blinked. “I’m not guilty.” The clerk opened his mouth to continue when the defendant kept talking, in a slow, gravelly almost monotone voice. “I graduated Hogwarts and my father took me to the Dark Lord. He told me, ‘This is your lord. He is the future and will cleanse the world of the filth that tarnishes it.’ I went to my knees and I was marked by my lord and my father was proud. He said I would be an asset to my lord. And he will look after me as long as I do as he says. And I have. And the mudbloods and blood traitors fear him and fear us and we are cleansing the world. And my father told me I was doing well.”
The clerk coughed. “You pleaded not guilty and yet your statement seems to contradict your plea.”
Goyle blinked. “No. I didn’t betray my lord. I’m not guilty of doing wrong because he told me to do it and it was right.”
The clerk visibly swallowed. “Auror, please cast the spell to check for mental manipulations.”
The auror came forward and cast the spell. Goyle lit up with a rainbow of colours, though none the shade signalling an Imperius. The clerk and auror both frowned. The clerk spoke, “Cast the more detailed version, please, auror. We need to know what this means.”
The auror nodded and complied. The parchment appeared and when it was done filling in, the scribe copied it to every member of the Wizengamot. Hari looked over the list of spells and potions, there wasn’t anything to control his mind but there were love potions and loyalty charms and potions which increased Goyle’s mental speed- those were all from his Hogwarts years and seemed to be taken constantly during this time – potions to make Goyle calm, lust potions, spells to make him content or joyful, potions and spells to make him angry.
Hari didn’t think the man had ever had a proper ability to form his own personality, his entire life was due to potions and/or spells. But there wasn’t a single one to actually tamper with his decisions or force him to be a Death Eater.
The Wizengamot lords and ladies began to murmur to one another as they took in the state of the man before them. Lady Eastchurch lit her seal and the clerk acknowledged her.
“I am not well-versed in medi wizardry or mental health. I can see that the defendant isn’t under the Imperius or it’s exact or near equivalent. But how do all of these mental and emotional adjustments affect his mind and decision making skills and understanding of right and wrong and the law? He has made it clear that he committed the crimes he is before us for, but can he even comprehend who we are and why he is here? I move that the defendant be removed to the medical wing of the Ministry holding cells and evaluated thoroughly by medical professionals, both for what the long term effects of these potions and spells have wrought and by a mind healer for the same.”
Lord Shacklebolt lit his seal and stood. “I second the motion, vehemently. There is no doubt that he is guilty of the crimes for which he stands accused. But is he legally guilty? Morally? Would he be best served in a locked wing of a hospital rather than Azkaban? We need those answers.”
The clerk nodded slowly. “A motion has been made and seconded. Those in favour of the motion, please light your seals.”
Hari but his lip before nodding and lighting his seal.
“The motion carries with ninety-two percent. Aurors, take the defendant to a secure medical room in the holding cells area and summon the needed professionals.”
The chains released Goyle and the aurors took his arms and walked him out of the courtroom. The clerk cleared his throat. “After these revelations, I believe we need time to process before we proceed with the next defendants. We will break for an early luncheon. Please return in two hours to continue.”
The Wizengamot members rose to their feet and began gathering in small and larger groups, talking and debating Goyle’s situation. Hari noticed several of those that he knew to be marked or unmarked Death Eaters in a group with a muffling charm surrounding them.
Hari spoke briefly to a few of his allies as he made his way out of the courtroom. The events of the trial showed that he didn’t know everything. Hari had no inkling that Goyle had been so controlled. He pondered on what the outcome would be as he apparated to a restaurant on the Alley and ate a filling but light luncheon.
At the appointed time, the members of the Wizengamot were back in their places and the clerk called the session to order.
The aurors brought in Rodolphus Lestrange, the only remaining living member of the Lestrange family’s main branch. His brother, Rabastan, had been hit by the ricocheted Killing Curse fired by Rodolphus’ wife during the attack, and his wife, Bellatrix née Black, had been killed when Rodolphus had accidentally brought the balcony down on her head after Rabastan’s death.
Hari took in the man’s stance, his demeanour, it was very closed off. Lestrange’s shoulders were back and his chin was up, his face blank, but his eyes were barely blinking and his steps were shuffled. Hari wondered if someone had dosed him with a calming potion. Or overdosed him with them.
The aurors pushed Lestrange into the defendant’s chair and the chains wrapped around him tightly with no hesitation. The aurors stepped back into their guard positions and the court clerk began his work.
“Rodolphus Lestrange, you are charged with the attempted murder of Lord Nathaniel Bones, Edgar Bones, Amelia Bones, and Lord Harius Peverell. You are also charged with intentional use of prohibited Dark dwarven tools and casting of illegal Dark spells. How do you plead?”
Lestrange gave a blink and sat mute.
“Mister Lestrange, how do you plead to these charges?”
The defendant once again ignored the question and he turned his head to the right.
“Rodolphus Lestrange, do you plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against you?”
Lestrange didn’t answer and turned his head to the left.
“This court requires you to enter a plea, Mister Lestrange. Do you plead guilty?”
Lestrange’s eyes met Hari’s and his calm demeanour flickered. The dead look in his eyes vanished and they seemed to be lit by the fire of rage from within him.
“Mister Lestrange, do you plead -“
Lestrange kept his eyes locked on Hari as he rasped out, “It doesn’t matter how I respond to your question. The outcome is already determined. You fools, old men and women so far gone that you barely remember what we should be, our heritage, our rights as wizards and witches. Young men and women, blindly following the path to damnation. You will do as you will.”
Lestrange licked his lips. “But know that your time is coming. The Ministry and the Wizengamot will fall and you will regret your foolish stances. And he will raise up the faithful and the true purebloods and wizards will take their rightful places over the filth you all embrace.”
Lestrange’s chin rose further as his eyes narrowed. “And my brother and wife shall be avenged. And it will be a glorious, bloody revolution.”
Lestrange held Hari’s gaze as he ceased speaking, his eyes hooded and the fire within them banking to mere coals of what it had been moments before.
The court clerk took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “Let the record show that the defendant refused to enter a plea but gave a statement of guilt, freely.”
“So noted,” murmured the court scribe.
“Members of the Wizengamot, you have read the auror’s reports and the witness statements. You have heard the defendant speak. How do you find? Guilty, please light your seal.”
Hari, his eyes locked with Lestrange, lit his seal within seconds and was still one of the last to do so. The majority of the votes were cast before the clerk finished his instructions.
The clerk nodded. “Guilty by unanimous consent. Sentencing, do I have a motion?”
Lord Franklin, usually a fairly moderate member with little interest in the intricacies of the law and who rarely spoke on the record, lit his seal. “The defendant not only doesn’t feel remorse for his crimes, but he threatens every member of this body, as well. He doesn’t acknowledge the evil of his actions and he seems to believe that his brother and wife were murdered when they blatantly attacked an innocent family. And were killed by each other at that. There is no chance or rehabilitation with this man. And I see no way to believe with any amount of truth that this attack was his first on members of our world. Let us send a message, strong and loud. Sentence him to five hundred years in Azkaban for insurrection and terrorism.”
The seal of Lord Abbott lit. “I second the motion.”
Hari could see in his peripheral vision that several members who were on Tom’s side shifted in their seats and twitched their wand hands but no seals lit.
The clerk nodded. “All those in favor of the sentence proposed by Lord Franklin, light your seals.”
Hari slid his wand to his hand and tapped his seal with it, his eyes still staring into Lestrange’s.
The clerk nodded. “The motion for sentencing passes with eighty-one percent. Rodolphus Lestrange, this court has found you guilty of all charges – the attempted murders of Lord Nathaniel Bones, Edgar Bones, Amelia Bones, and Lord Harius Peverell, the intentional use of prohibited Dark dwarven tools and casting of multiple illegal Dark spells, as well as self-confessed insurrection. You are hereby sentenced to five hundred years in the maximum-security wing of Azkaban.”
The chains released and the aurors stepped up to the man. “I will be freed in time and you shall all regret your actions.”
The aurors led Lestrange from the courtroom and the clerk called a fifteen minute recess to review the evidence and prepare for the next defendant.
Hari took his seat and waited. He had already looked over the parchment work on the upcoming case. It was the same auror reports and witness interviews as the other three.
The wand report was different in that only four spells, all illegal, were found to be cast the day of the attack. Of course, he did get knocked unconscious almost as soon as the wards were down. However, the aurors did the usual check of the last twenty-five spells cast by the wand and found sixteen further illegal spells used the day before the attack. The wand check spell could detect more than twenty-five but it was rarely needed to be used for it.
The clerk motioned to the auror at the door and he opened it and the aurors brought the defendant in. They pushed him hard into the chair and the chains immediately wound themselves around him, tighter than Hari had ever seen. And he would swear there were extra layers of chains that he had never noticed.
The clerk twitched his head, blinked, frowned and shuffled his parchments. “Bartemius Crouch, Jr, you are charged with the attempted murder of Lord Nathaniel Bones, Edgar Bones, Amelia Bones, and Lord Harius Peverell. You are also charged with intentional use of prohibited Dark dwarven tools and casting of illegal Dark spells. How do you plead?”
Crouch burst into laughter, loud and frantic. “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! I did it and gladly! I would have done more as I was ordered! I was promised fun with the auror bitch! One of father’s most special recruits, she wouldn’t have been so wonderful with me on her! She would have screamed, oh yes, she would have screamed like a baby, just like that pathetic Meadowes slut. She was a fun time, thought she had her half-blooded hooks into a pureblood, Black. No, no, no, can’t sully a good line. Bella was promised her sister and her mudblood for it, she has plans, oh yes. Bella’s plans are always so much fun, so bloody, so long.”
The clerk jerked back as Barty strained against the chains. “Father would be so proud of me, yes, he hates the mudbloods, you know, but he won’t say it, it’s all about his career! He doesn’t care about anything but being in charge, no, not him. But he would be proud, I’ve helped cull the mudbloods before they could sully any pureblood lines. I nearly got Evans back in school but I was interrupted by Pettigrew and Black. But then I took out Black’s girl, yes, she was a right little piggy, and Pettigrew, well, his mother is pathetic but she’s a good pureblood. But her brother, oh, we had such a fun time with Mister Lansing Pettigrew and his little Barnabas. Bella had a grand time with that blood traitor. Rabastan was too kind, too squeamish, just a killing curse to the kid. But Bella, oh how many parts did she leave him in? I can’t count that high! And it taught Peter his lesson, he learned it and knows how to crawl as he should before his betters.”
Barty giggled, his eyes rolling. “And my first time, you never forget that, huh, I got to watch and cast a few curses. But not enough but I hadn’t proved myself yet. But I got to go since I saw the ward scheme in my father’s files and told my lord. The Potters, they didn’t reign in their son, they were punished for his pursuit of the mudblood Evans. And he still sullied his line with her and produced a squalling stain on such a distinguished line.”
Barty swayed back and forth and the chains tightened further. Hari was surprised he could still breathe, let alone talk. “So fun, raids are so fun. But revels are better. The filthy muggles and mudbloods we get to play with all night, you know. Father always complained how I broke my toys but my lord likes me that way. I’ve gotten really good at it, Bettina Montgomery was last weekend. She was a filthy muggle and she was a delight. And last month I got to play with little Elsa, Elsie, Elsa, Elsie, Elsa. Her family was squibs, you know? And last Yule I got the best present, Catherine Smith wasn’t so stuck up and too good for me by the time I broke her. She wasn’t good for anything but snake food, really. And for Samhain, Fudge is always tasty.”
Barty licked the corner of his lip. “My lord always gives the best gifts. The old Flumes were naughty and we took them right from home while dinner was in the oven. They were fun for longer than you’d think a couple of their age would make it. But they learned their lesson about watching their mouths. So did old Libatius MacFarland. Said some mean things about my lord. Couldn’t have that. We must be polite and remember our manners, mustn’t we, Father? We are purebloods and better than the filth so dirty with muggleness.”
The clerk motioned to the aurors on duty and one of them silenced Barty. Hari could see that his mouth was still moving and knew he was still rambling madly. He also knew that the charms on the chair and in the courtroom would ensure that a record was made of his babbling.
The clerk wiped his forehead and looked around the courtroom. Several members were in tears and in the gallery you could just see places where people had been ill.
“Uh, members of the Wizengamot, the defendant has pleaded guilty to what he was charged with and freely confessed to much more besides. I am sure the aurors will question him thoroughly on the matters of,” he glanced down at the notes that had appeared in front of him, “Dorcas Meadowes, Lansing and Barnabas Pettigrew, Fleamont and Euphemia Potter, Bettina Montgomery, Elsa Marius, Catherine Smith, Camille Fudge, Ransom and Cassaudra Flume, and Libatius MacFarland. My sympathies for those who knew them. We will recess while -“
“No!” Lord Smith stood with a roar. “No! We will sentence this filth now! Question him with veritaserum and have him leak all of his evil deeds, question his father! The head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and his son is this monster?!? Put him away too so he cannot taint anymore evidence for his son. And once he has done revealing all he knows, let the dementors Kiss him then toss the remains through the Veil. And his father, too, if he knew and helped him in any way. He already mentioned looking at his files. What more? The Kiss and the Veil. Azkaban is too good for him!”
There were rumbles of agreement and several yells of “Second!” around the room.
The clerk licked his lips and nodded. “We have a motion and a second. All those in favour of Lord Smith’s motion to sentence the defendant to the Dementor’s Kiss and his body to be placed in the Veil of Death, after full questioning by the aurors, light your seals.”
Hari lit his seal and wondered about the ripples Crouch’s rambling confessions would have on the next months’ events.
“Ninety-six percent, motion passed.”
The clerk nodded and read the verdict and sentence to the still madly, silently talking young man. The aurors stunned him and levitated him from the courtroom once the chains released his unconscious body. The clerk released the Wizengamot for the day.
Sticks and stones, they may break these bones, But then I’ll be ready, are you ready?
September 2, 1981
Hari sat at breakfast sipping his morning tea waiting for the Daily Prophet. Even in this time period, they were far more sensationalist than true journalism but they did get more right than not. Rita Skeeter, with her poisonous, lying green quill, wouldn’t be hired for another five years.
The story most in the news for the last week had been the investigation into the “mysterious” deaths of Bartemius Crouch, Senior and Bartemius Crouch, Junior while in the Ministry holding cells the night of Junior’s insane ramble-filled trial, before either of them could be questioned under veritaserum, something that as purebloods, the aurors needed a special warrant for.
They had both been found dead of what the paper first reported to be the Killing Curse. The next day, the Prophet had retracted that and printed an auror’s statement that they were both killed by cutting curses to the neck.
Most people he had spoken to were mixed as to who they believed to have done the deed. Half of them felt it was Voldemort, or at least on his orders, to get rid of a liability who had gone insane, and to possibly muddy the waters by the death of Senior.
The other half felt that someone related to or close with one of Junior’s victims had bribed someone and done it. Names being bandied about were James Potter, Sirius Black, Cornelius Fudge – especially since he already worked in the area and had deeply loved his little sister, and Grant Flume.
Hari leaned more towards the idea of Tom sending someone, either one of his aurors or other Ministry workers, or possibly a little rat animagus. Peter would have been too scared to take revenge for the deaths of his uncle and cousin of his own initiative, but would have gloried in doing it if given permission.
Hari finished his eggs as the paper arrived by his plate. “Thank you, Porter.”
He shook open the paper and stared at the absolutely huge ripple that had occurred the day before.
WEASLEY FATHER MURDERS WIFE, MOTHER OF SEVEN DEAD
Yesterday, the Arthur Weasley took his eldest son, William (11), to King’s Cross Station for the boy’s first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, leaving his wife, Margaret “Molly” Weasley née Prewett home with their six younger children, Charles (10), Percival (5), Frederick (3), George (3), Ronald (1), and newborn Ginevra, born on August 19.
When this family man, a sub-head in the Department for Misuse of Muggle Artifacts in the Ministry, arrived home, he sent his children to their rooms and went to his wife and placed a necklace around her neck. The necklace, a cursed object found by aurors just days ago in a muggle home where it killed three muggles, proceeded to strangle the house witch to death.
Arthur Weasley then left his wife’s body lying in front of the stove while he had a drink and read the paper before going to work for the afternoon. Aurors responded to the Weasley home, known as the Burrow, after a floo call from a frantic Charles Weasley (10) at just after noon.
Arthur Weasley was arrested within the hour. The Weasley children are staying with relatives.
Hari shook his head, disbelieving that Arthur Weasley would have killed his wife. Especially using a cursed necklace. If he had snapped for some reason, he would have cursed her from behind in a temper.
Molly’s temper was legendary but was basically all bluster and a loud voice. Arthur had the temper to match his hair but it was a slow, deep thing. When he lost it, it was instantaneous from one moment to the next and people ducked for whatever cover they could find. Arthur wouldn’t plan to use a necklace to do it and he wouldn’t just have it laying around after, not with so many toddlers in the house.
Hari finished his toast and tea and prepared for a long day at the Ministry.
An hour later, Hari entered the nearly empty lift in the Ministry atrium, headed towards the Wizengamot offices where he would be meeting with several lords he was allied with to go over legislation they were proposing. They would be spending several hours at it, assuming they didn’t get interrupted for emergency meetings or trials.
The lift doors closed and the Unspeakable behind him against the wall of the lift spoke. “Imperio! Later today or in the coming days when you have the opportunity and they are alone, place Lord Arcturus Black under the Imperius Curse and tell him to go to the address on this parchment. Then go to Gringotts and withdraw as much of your gold as you can carry in ten featherlight, space expanded bags, and bring it to the address yourself.”
Hari stood still and rolled his eyes. He didn’t even feel the most minor compulsion to do as the wizard said. He didn’t know if it was due to his changed nature or if Rookwood – Hari presumed it was Rookwood as he was Tom’s Unspeakable Death Eater – if Rookwood was just that bad at the curse. Maybe it was both.
When the talking stopped and a piece of parchment was slipped into his hand, Hari allowed his wand to drop from its holster and spun around. “How about ‘not on your life’, moron!”
Hari sent a stunner point-blank into the man’s chest and he slammed back the few inches into the back wall of the lift and fell to the floor, unconscious. Hari bound him and as the lift arrived at its floor, he sent a patronus messenger to Auror Moody, since Moody knew him and he knew Moody as a senior Auror.
“Auror Moody, this is Lord Harius Peverell. A man dressed as an Unspeakable just attempted, poorly, to Imperius me in the Ministry lift. He is currently unconscious and tied up. The lift has been stopped on floor seven.”
Hari flicked his wand and the giant, glowing scarab beetle winged on its way to the auror. Hari sometimes sort of missed Prongs, his patronus animal when he was a teenager that symbolized his father James Potter, but it had changed after his final defeat of Voldemort.
The scarab beetle symbolized death and rebirth in Egyptian lore and he always assumed his walk to his death and return to life was the reason for the change. And Khepri was just as large as Prongs had been. It did have to roll the sun, after all, in the myths.
Three minutes after he sent the patronus, Auror Moody and two others got off one of the other lifts. Hari stepped back and let them run their scans. Moody turned to him and blinked.
“I don’t know if he’s actually an Unspeakable or only got his hands on their robes somehow but the charms on the hood were fully functional when I got in the lift in the atrium,” Hari explained. “I don’t think he’s working under orders from the Ministry. He wanted me to put Lord Black under the Imperius curse and tell him to go to this address.”
Hari handed Moody the slip of parchment. “He also wanted me to take thousands of galleons out of my Gringotts account and take it in expanded bags to the same address.”
Moody glanced down at the parchment. “And you fought off his curse?”
Hari nodded. “I’ve been trained but frankly, it was a very bad attempt at it. Either he’s not very experienced at casting the curse or he’s under it or other compulsions himself and was fighting them. When he finished his instructions, I turned around and stunned him.”
Moody looked at Hari and then over his shoulder at the unconscious bound man who was being levitated from the lift by the other aurors. He nodded and looked back to Hari. “May I see your wand, Lord Peverell?”
Hari nodded and handed it over. Moody checked the spell history and they saw the incarcerous, the stunner, and going back ten spells, they saw a summoning spell, four personal grooming spells, two levitation spells and a lubrication spell. Moody handed the wand back to Hari and asked him to come down to the auror department to make a statement.
Hari nodded but said, “I need to stop in my office area first, I’ve several other lords waiting on me. I won’t tell them the specifics of what happened but I can’t just not show up.”
Moody nodded. “Within the next hour if you can, Lord Peverell.”
“Certainly, I shouldn’t be more than a handful or two of minutes. My colleagues will understand.”
September 7, 1981
Hari sat in his seat in the Wizengamot courtroom. He seemed to spend more of his time when doing Wizengamot duties in courtrooms and the judicial chambers than in the legislative chambers. But Hari thought this trial had a difference that might just come to light.
Hari knew Arthur Weasley quite well in the future. This smelled of a set up. Why Voldemort would want Molly Weasley dead, of all people, Hari couldn’t fathom. Or possibly it was just he wanted Arthur Weasley out of the way? Again, it was incomprehensible to Hari.
Even in the future, Arthur was essentially a non-entity in the Ministry, head of a department of two. Looked down on and sneered at, though he knew who the movers and shakers were. And possibly knew where some of the metaphorical bodies were buried – and possibly not so metaphorical.
Arthur had barely participated in the graft so rife in the Ministry. Just things like letting people slide on minor matters to collect good will and favours from them and their family members – see the way he got prime seats to the Quidditch World Cup – rather than accepting money as outright bribes which could have helped his family more directly.
And that was in the future when he had a bit more power. Here and now, he was a flunky, a gofer more than anything. The paper called him a sub-head of the department but that was just an empty title for Arthur. Because just like in the future, his department only had two people in it, that currently being the head of the department – Marius Chelting – and Arthur himself. This crime and its reasons mystified Hari. He was looking forward to hopefully getting to the truth.
And nothing remotely like this – Molly’s murder, Arthur’s arrest – had happened in Hari’s past, not even during the second war. The closest was when the Weasley’s stopped going to work and put their properties under Fidelius.
Arthur Weasley was brought into the courtroom and placed in the defendant’s chair. The chains rose and laid across his lap, gently, like a blanket.
The clerk began his spiel, “Arthur Weasley, you are charged with the murder of Margaret ‘Molly’ Weasley née Prewett. How do you plead?”
Arthur stared up at the clerk, his forehead furrowed. “I don’t know. I did it. I remember doing it. I killed my Mollywobbles but I didn’t want to. My body did it. I was at King’s Cross. And Bill was on the train and I was waiting for it to clear the station and I was going to go to the muggle side to watch their trains and the muggles some, they’re so fascinating. But then I had to take the necklace to Molly and put it on her when she wasn’t looking. And then be normal and go back to my work and routine. I’m guilty but I don’t understand.”
The clerk nodded. “Are you saying you plead guilty, Mister Weasley?”
Arthur shook his head. “I had to give her the necklace. It was like I was in a daze and felt so calm and I had her the necklace and didn’t understand what had happened until after the aurors came and took me away.”
The clerk looked annoyed. “Mister Weasley, please, do you plead guilty or not guilty?”
Arthur just shrugged.
Hari lit his seal and the clerk acknowledged him. “I do not believe the defendant understands how he should plead based on his memories and thoughts. His statement seems odd, I suggest just to check that the mental manipulation check be run so we can move on. He has admitted his crime but it sounds like he is saying he felt compelled to commit it.”
The clerk nodded. “Very well, auror, please cast the spell check.”
The auror approached Arthur and cast the now well-known spell. The entire Wizengamot understood the basics of what the curse should look like by now. And what several other potions and spells that were common looked like. They were all shocked and appalled by what they saw on Arthur.
Not a single defendant who had insisted they were under the Imperius Curse when they committed their crime was found to be truthful since they began using the mind manipulation aura check spell. Until this moment.
The sickly yellow-grey that was the sign of the Imperius Curse encircled Arthur’s head, just below the crown like a princess’ circlet. And his entire body glowed deep red, except for a foot or so below his knees. There were large swirls of orange and purple and blue all over his chest, from his waist to his eyes and a deep purple outlining the entirety of the rest of the colors.
The auror cast the more specific version of the spell without being ordered and the results were duplicated for the entire Wizengamot. Hari read his copy. The first thing was that he had definitely been under the Imperius Curse when he killed Molly – still incomprehensible to Hari why Tom would want a house witch dead and a Ministry flunky with no power or access arrested.
Arthur had also been continuously dosed with a love potion which was just a single step below Amortentia since he was fifteen. There were dozens of instances of lust potions – the illegal kind that weren’t just like muggle Viagra but rather which were essentially roofies – that also started at age fifteen. There were calming potions and submissiveness potions that he was dosed with weekly, starting at seventeen. And the kicker of it all, the deep purple loyalty potion that he had been under since he was at least eight-years-old.
The court clerk looked up at Arthur Weasley who was staring blankly at the chains in his lap. “Mister Weasley, you were placed under the Imperius Curse during the time you were at King’s Cross Train Station. It was lifted shortly after your arrest. Do you recall who placed it on you?”
Arthur shook his head.
“Mister Weasley, you are not guilty of the murder of your wife, due to the Imperius. But someone else is guilty – whoever placed you under it. Do you recall what you were told to do, exactly?”
“Mister Weasley, you are a pureblood and are thereby exempt from taking veritaserum. However, you can opt to take it if you choose to. You will not be incriminating yourself if you do. You are no longer accused of the crime. But it may well allow things in your subconscious mind to surface and tell us who is responsible for the death of your wife.”
Arthur nodded, “I’ll take it.”
The auror came over with the vial and placed two drops on Arthur’s tongue. It didn’t need the full three as he was not going to fight it and it wouldn’t have to force him to be compelled to the truth.
“What is your name?”
“Where do you live?”
“The Burrow, Ottery St Catchpole, Devon.”
“What Hogwarts house were you in?”
The auror turned to the clerk. “He is ready.”
The clerk began his questioning. “Mister Weasley, where were you on September 1st around 11 in the morning?”
Arthur spoke in a light monotone. “I was at King’s Cross Station, Platform 9 ¾.”
“After the train began to pull away from the platform, what happened?”
“I watched the train. It pulled out and was about to leave the station. A man’s voice behind me whispered, ‘Imperio’.”
“What else did this man say?”
“The voice said, ‘Take the necklace from this package and put it around your boss’ neck when they aren’t looking. Then return to work and your regular duties.’”
“Did you see the man whose voice you heard at any time during your whole time on the platform?”
“Just his arm when he held out the package to me.”
“What did the arm look like?”
“It was clad in a grey robe sleeve and the skin was tanned and it had a wand holster, black dragonhide with silver and green accents and a crest with a rearing Pegasus.”
As the clerk told the auror to take Arthur to Saint Mungo’s to be treated, Hari understood what had occurred. Voldemort didn’t care about Molly Weasley. He didn’t even really care about Arthur. He was just a means to an end. The target had been either Arthur’s direct boss, the head of the Department of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts – unlikely – or his more superior boss, the new Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement now that Bartemius Crouch, Sr was dead.
But the man casting the spell wasn’t good at it and wasn’t direct enough. Instead of using names or titles, he had been coy and said ‘your boss’. And Arthur was so tightly controlled by Molly through the potions that his subconscious considered her his ultimate boss.
The clerk turned to the Wizengamot. “My lords and ladies, I must admit to not being well-versed in the crests of every family in the Wizarding world. Did anyone recognize the family which the crest belongs to?”
Lord Black lit his seal. “It sounds like the Rookwood crest.”
Hari lit his seal. “If it is indeed the Rookwood crest then I believe the guilty party will be found in the holding cells in auror custody. He was arrested for attempted use of the Imperius Curse on a lord of the Wizengamot several days ago – Augustus Rookwood.”
The clerk motioned to the auror and he went to the door to the courtroom and sent a runner off. Several minutes later Alastor Moody entered the courtroom. He approached the court clerk.
“Auror Moody, do you have a member of the Rookwood family in custody?”
Moody scowled. “Yes.”
“When he was arrested was he wearing a wand holster?”
Moody blinked, his face shocked. “Yes. It was black dragonhide.”
“Was there anything else noteworthy about the holster?”
Moody nodded. “It had silver and green accents along the seams and his house crest on the side.”
“And what animal is on the crest, Auror Moody and in what position is it?”
Moody tilted his head. “A Pegasus rearing.”
The clerk sighed. “When you next question Mister Rookwood, please charge him with the use of the Imperius Curse to commit murder secondhand.”
Moody’s eyes widened. “Who?”
“Arthur Weasley was found to be under the curse when he killed his wife. Under veritaserum he was able to recall his exact instructions and a description of the cursers’ arm, including a rather distinctive wand holster. The intended victim was not Mrs Weasley but someone in the DMLE. But the instructions were weak and misunderstood. Molly Weasley died because she potioned her husband too much.”
This hadn’t happened the first time around for several changes that occurred. The death of Crouch, Senior, and thus his removal from his job as head of the DMLE, the arrest and conviction of one of Voldemort’s best Imperius specialists who also had a reason to regularly be in the Ministry – Mulciber, Junior, – a fact discovered after the war – and the fact that Rookwood was better at more subtle types of sabotage and recruitment and was horrible at anything undercover. Voldemort always did have a hard time finding good help.
We are problems that want to be solved, We are children that need to be loved, We were willing, we came when you called, But man, you fooled us, enough is enough, oh
September 28, 1981
Hari sat in his study, preparing a special package for delivery. He had been doing what he could to prevent the deaths he knew of from this time but there were some he just didn’t have enough information on because no one else did in the future.
One of those was the disappearance of Caradoc Dearborn. Sometime between September 25, when he was last seen at an Order of the Phoenix meeting and, October 5, when he missed a scheduled appointment with his healer, he had disappeared. There was no sign of a struggle at his flat and no body ever turned up. It wasn’t unheard of. Crouch, Jr had even mentioned one potential reason at his trial – being fed to Voldemort’s snake. Or the body could be transfigured and hidden that way – as again, seen by Crouch’s actions in the future when he killed his father and transfigured him into a bone which Fang buried.
Hari had attempted to send a warning to the man the night of the Order meeting but it was so generic as to be unhelpful. He wasn’t even sure what day he ran into trouble. It could have been minutes after he left the Order meeting or days later. Hari didn’t have the time to essentially stalk a lone wizard for over a week in order to keep him from dying.
And it had happened again, evidently. Hari had been checking in on his flat every night and when he could during the day. It was empty and he rarely left it during the week unless he was on a mission of some sort or going to a meeting for the Order.
Hari had decided to take advantage of his disappearance and use his name and handwriting to try to save someone else, or help them to save themselves – James and Lily.
When he had last visited the Arius vaults, Hari had found several incredible wand holsters. They were charmed in so many ways, they would likely cost as much as a medium-sized house if sold in a store. Not only did they have the basic self-cleaning charms and sizing charms and other such easy ones, they also had auto-return once the wand was not in contact with the user or the holster for more than 2.5 seconds. And they were locked in place and unable to be removed even by the user without a specific password – which Hari would not be providing to James or Lily until after Voldemort’s death, assuming they survived it, which was still a question. And they were disillusioned once in place and so the wand would be as well. There was more but those were the most important, Hari felt.
Hari had wanted to send two of the holsters to James and Lily to prepare for Voldemort’s attack but they wouldn’t trust them from Harius Peverell, whom they had never met, related to James or not. Nor could he pretend they were from Dumbledore or Sirius or anyone else who they could potentially try to thank for them.
So, when Dearborn went missing again, it was perfect. He borrowed enough of his correspondence from his flat to fake his handwriting and style with a spell.
Hey Jim-Jam and Lils,
So, I’ve been having a bad feeling lately and I know you don’t like any ‘wooly’ magic like divination, Lily-bean, but a storm is coming. And it is centred on you and your kiddo.
Anyway, on my last mission I stumbled across some stuff in a pureblood’s personal home vault and I think you could use these more than that wanker.
The auto-return is swift and really auto. It doesn’t summon it back to you, it sort of teleports it, man, just like that movie you showed us, flower girl.
So, for me, to make me feel better, and for that little cat scaring maniac of yours, wear them and be prepared. I love you guys and I don’t want your guy to grow up without either one of you.
Hari attached the letter to the package and sent it off with Caradoc’s owl which he found in his flat. He returned the borrowed letters to where he found them in the flat and went to bed.
The next day was going to be hectic. Hari had been getting worried that he wouldn’t find a way into Malfoy Manor for the diary before Halloween, when he heard a whisper between two aurors that morning.
Evidently, some of Crouch Junior’s silenced rambling that had been transcribed was about Lucius Malfoy and his work for the Dark Lord. But Lucius’ position was such that he couldn’t be raided or even questioned solely on the words of an insane, and now dead, prisoner. It had taken quite some time but work had been undertaken by undercover aurors and they had been able to get a warrant to raid Malfoy Manor based on what they discovered.
The wards would be weak and easy to penetrate once the raid began and Hari planned to take advantage of this golden opportunity. He would raid the manor invisibly while the aurors did so openly.
The next morning, Hari put on the invisibility cloak and willed himself fully undetectable before he apparated to the Wiltshire countryside near the edges of Malfoy Manor’s wards. Less than half an hour after his arrival, the auror raiding team arrived and breached the wards.
Hari followed them in, between the first set of four aurors and the second set of six. The magic in the warrant allowed them access to the manor without needing to be permitted by the owners. It was based on the property being a part of Wizarding Britain and the owner being a citizen of Wizarding Britain and subject to the laws of Wizarding Britain.
The only ward that could beat it was the Fidelius and only if it was worded to hide the existence of the property entirely – the Burrow is located on the Lane in Ottery St Catchpole. If the secret was in the property’s use – Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix – or its occupants – Seashell Cottage is the home of Bill and Fleur Weasley – then it could be breached.
Hari knew where the diary was almost certainly to be thanks to Draco’s boasting during the polyjuice adventure to the Slytherin common room in second year – the secret space under the drawing room floor.
As the aurors headed to the library and basements and attics, Hari went to the drawing room. It was empty as Lucius, Narcissa, baby Draco, and the elves were all being held in the dining room while the search was conducted.
Hari cast several diagnostic charms which wouldn’t be invented for another century on the room’s magic and found the hidden trap door and the trigger point on the west wall, near the ceiling. He prodded the trigger with his magic and it released the lock on the floor.
Hari cast a notice-me-not on the door to the drawing room to keep out the aurors for now and levitated down into the hidden space. He looked around and was amazed at the magpie tendencies of Lucius Malfoy. Or perhaps the whole Malfoy line.
The room looked like a Gringotts vault without the coins. There were shelves upon shelves upon shelves of books and trinkets and knick-knacks of all kinds, almost certainly all cursed and/or illegal in a variety of ways.
Hari cast a diagnostic and found the sickly signs of a horcrux near the back of the area under separate wards. He carefully but swiftly dismantled them and wrapped the black diary bearing the name T.M. Riddle in Acromantula silk and double pouching it before stowing it in his dimensional store.
Hari levitated out and carefully closed the trap door almost all the way and cast a notice-me-not on it. He removed the spell from the drawing room door and put a compulsion in its place. He added light compulsions to touch onto seven different spots in the room, on some of the walls, some windows’ sills, and various pieces of furniture. And then he waited.
Five minutes or so later, Hari didn’t cast a tempus charm to check, the majority of the raiding team was drawn into the drawing room by the compulsion on the door. Once seven were inside, Hari silently and wandlessly canceled it.
The seven aurors wandered the room, each drawn to touch a random spot as their magic was caught by Hari’s spells. After the last spot was touched, Hari removed the notice-me-not on the trap door and levitated it open a bit with a spell to make a clicking sound as if a lock had been released.
The aurors immediately noticed and went to explore the hidden area, as Hari had intended. The contents of that little room should get Lucius into a great deal of trouble and take him out of the running for causing problems until at least Halloween.
Hari made his way out of the manor and through the wards before returning to Castle Peverell and the ritual circle there.
Hari placed the diary on the altar and went to the cleansing cistern. When he was prepared, he went to the centre of the ritual circle and began the summoning of the elements and Zir.
Hari suspected he could likely summon Zir, or at least call for him to come, without all of the trappings of a wizarding ritual, but considering the horcruxes and the damage they had done in the future, it was better safe than sorry. The ritual had worked perfectly well until now, why try to fix what wasn’t broken.
When the summoning was complete, Zir appeared in the circle, as always increasing the feeling of magic and saturating the area with his presence.
“Greetings, Hari. Well done.”
Hari inclined his head in thanks. “Thank you. So, my presence here in this time didn’t cause a change and make him create a new horcrux?”
Zir shook his head, “No. Tom Riddle dislikes Harius Peverell but doesn’t feel personally threatened by him at all. He would gladly control you through his followers, if he could, as I believe you discovered, but you have not been enough of a nuisance to him and his plans – as far as he is aware – to merit his personal attention. Of course, if he knew that his horcruxes were destroyed and he was mortal, and that it was your fault? It would be different. But he has no idea. His soul is so mutilated that he can’t feel the loss of the shards he abandoned.”
“And Nagini isn’t a horcrux?”
“No,” Zir confirmed. “Until his decade as a wraith, Tom was not insane enough so as to purposefully embed a piece of his soul into a mortal container. Horcruxes alone are insane and black magic, but to deliberately place one within a fragile, mortal shell, rather defeats the purpose.”
Hari nodded. “Things are on course for his attack? Halloween?”
“I believe so. I have seen how you have saved many lives which were lost before by stopping the raids and attacks. But I must warn you, do not think to intercept Riddle himself when he moves to attack the child, Harry Potter. You are no longer the One of the prophecy.”
“But I was in the past.”
Zir inclined his head. “Yes. But as you emphasized to me previously, you are not Harry Potter any longer. You are Harius Odon Amara Peverell and not just in name. And Harius Peverell was not born as the seventh month died. Nor did those who bore Harius Peverell defy the Dark Lord thrice.”
Hari pursed his lips. “What would happen if it tried?”
“You would fail and possibly make things much worse. It could lead to the exposure of magic, the fall of the Ministry, the breaking of the prophecy through young Harry’s death leading to Tom Riddle’s victory. I do not know but Fate would not be kind. You cannot die but the ripples would be immense and uncontrollable for you.”
Hari swallowed. “And the Potters? Lily and James?”
Zir shrugged. “You may have altered their path. I have always felt that it was a point which Fate would fix as needed – the deaths of James and Lily Potter. But I do not know how your actions have affected her plans. They may yet survive. Or one may live and the other die. Or they may both die as before, if differently.”
Zir looked at Hari with compassion. “You are not in control of Fate. You have done what you can. You are not the One of the prophecy but I do believe you have placed yourself to be the power-he-knows-not. Especially as you are literally a power. And Tom Riddle does not know you, as a power or even as the human you pose as. He knows of the human shell. But he does not know you, himself.”
Zir laid his hands on the altar, not touching the horcrux diary. “You have plans going forward but understand, Fate is a power beyond you, especially so new as you are. You can twist things but you cannot stop them if she truly wants them to happen. And your interest and interference in the life of your younger self may draw her attention closer than before. Be prepared, young primal. For her closer attention on him will be closer attention on you, as well. And that is not something to scoff at.”
Hari sighed. “I understand.”
Hari shifted his attention back to the ritual and cast the fire at the diary. Zir caught the soul piece as it was expelled and transformed it into the soul trap.
“Good luck, Hari. Know you can contact me again, I am here for you if needed.”
“Thank you for all of your help, Zir.”
“It was my pleasure.”
Zir vanished, the magic settled, and Hari closed the ritual, saddened that even with all of his new power and his knowledge and the changes he had made, Halloween might still go the same way, or near to it.
October 18, 1981
Hari was invisible, silenced, and standing in a deep shadow in a back alley of Hogsmeade. When he was a teen, he always thought of the village as quaint and fun, with a little bit of a bad boy vibe with Aberforth’s bar, The Hog’s Head.
But in reality, there was a lot to the village that few Hogwarts students saw unless their families lived there. It wasn’t nearly as small as he had thought. All of the shops and restaurants that would be of any interest to a school student were in one large section of the village between the train platform and the path leading to the Shrieking Shack.
But there were hundreds of homes and some shops that catered to adults only, like furniture shops and greengrocers and maternity stores and adult-only shops. And these areas had places where it was more middle class and places that were seedy and decidedly lower class and which somewhat gave off an atmosphere that you would get on Knockturn Alley.
Hari was waiting to see if the changes that had occurred so far since his travel had already saved the final Order member whose death date and location he knew from the future – Benjy Fenwick. Pieces of his body had been found strewn in the alley Hari currently waited in.
This self-imposed mission was the last that Hari had future knowledge of, other than the Halloween attack in Godric’s Hollow. He had managed to directly save dozens of people that he knew of since he arrived in January. And who knew how many he had saved due to indirect actions on his part, like the Death Eaters who died or were in jail due to decisions that were made based on remarks he dropped.
It was just after midnight when there was a pop of apparition and a man who looked like the photo of Benjy Fenwick that Hari had once seen arrived at the end of the alley.
The man promptly disillusioned himself and walked down the centre of the somewhat well-lit alley, the distortions obvious. He sidled up to a building and leaned against it under a window.
Seconds later the door to the building opened and a man came out, wand drawn and already casting right at the spot Fenwick’s badly disillusioned form was standing. Hari jerked up straight and snapped out a reflector shield over the man.
The shield blocked the spell just in time, it impacted less than half a second after the shield appeared. The spell reflected directly back at the man who cast it and he ducked out of the way but it caught his arm, blowing off a chunk of his shoulder.
“You spy! You think you are so clever but you are stupid. I know you are there, you weak squib!”
Hari could tell that Fenwick’s attention was on the bleeding and screaming man by the door, but Hari was a student of Mad-Eye Moody, once upon a time. His eyes and senses scanned the alley constantly and so he saw the window above Fenwick slide silently open and a wand poke out, aimed straight down.
Hari flicked a quick, silent Expelliarmus at the wand and it jerked from its owner’s hand and sailed over Fenwick’s head to land in the middle of the alley. Hari could see the outline of Fenwick’s body jerk and spin around so that he was looking up at the hand being withdrawn back into the room.
There was a whimper and Fenwick’s form ran back up the alley to the street and a pop, as he disappeared.
Evidently, the man had been on a spying mission for Dumbledore when he died and because he was a poor excuse for a spy: bad at concealment magic, had no sense of his surroundings, was unable to apparate silently and was too stupid to apparate from out of hearing distance of his target and walk in, among other traits he was killed by his target. Another unneeded death to add to Dumbledore’s ledger.
Hari watched as the injured man gestured for the one inside to come help him. The woman inside the house came out and picked up her wand. Hari recognized her. It was Narcissa Malfoy.
Narcissa cast a homenum revelio and it washed over him without revealing his presence. She nodded and wrapped her arm around the injured man. He leaned on her and nuzzled into her hair as she helped him inside. And, as the light caught him just right as the door swung closed just as the man dropped his glamour, Hari recognized him, too. Remus Lupin.
What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers? What about us? What about all the broken happy ever afters? Oh, what about us? What about all the plans that ended in disaster? Oh, what about love? What about trust? What about us?
October 31, 1981
It was Halloween night and Hari hidden from sight, stood across the street from the Potter house in Godric’s Hollow. He could see the house and he could see the Potters moving around inside it because of an extra little trick he had pulled with the package he had sent them the month before.
On the packaging, not the holsters, but the wrapping, there had been a set of surveillance charms set to release when the seal on the letter was opened. He hadn’t been sure it would work, it wasn’t exactly the usual surveillance spells. It was more that he had used his primal magic to twist them into what he wanted them to be and do. He thought it might only have worked because he was still related by blood to James and baby Harry.
The charms were undetectable by wizarding magic and they had set up like muggle security cameras that would in the future be placed on the ceilings under domes to provide a 360-degree view as the camera panned. He had one in the living room, kitchen, dining room, over the front door, on top of the garden gate, at the top of the stairs which gave a view of the stairs themselves and the hallway, baby Harry’s nursery, James and Lily’s bedroom, in the basement, and over the back door.
Hari wanted to be sure to catch anything that went on during the attack. The charms were video and audio and transmitted to a set of glasses, so only he could see them and control what was on the screen.
Hari was able to see both the house itself and the family within it for two different reasons. He could see the house because the secret was structured to hide the family, not the property. He could see the family inside because the surveillance charms were in place several weeks ago and the Fidelius Charm was only cast by Dumbledore one week ago. And through the charms, he had heard Peter Pettigrew tell James, Lily, and little Harry, “James Potter, Lily Potter, and Harry James Potter live at 18 Wicker Road in Godric’s Hollow.” And he had read the paper which Pettigrew had given to Sirius in the garden so that he could see the three Potters and not just an empty house. Therefore, Hari had been told the secret. Twice.
And now, he could do nothing but wait and watch the events unfold. And hope that his theory was correct and this would work and baby Harry would kill Voldemort once and for all this night. Preferably without becoming an orphan, though Hari had plans in case little Harry did.
Hari watched as a hooded Voldemort approached and looked through the window at the little family. And then he blew the door in, just as he did when Hari was the baby in that house.
James yelled, “Lily, it’s him! Take Harry and run! Go!”
Hari heard the voice echoing in his head, the phrase he first heard and recalled during his third year thanks to the dementors. And later seen through Voldemort’s own eyes during the vision after escaping Nagini during the horcrux hunt.
But, this time, things had changed. As Hari had hoped, James had put on the holster. Thus, when he had finished playing with baby Harry, using his wand to make coloured bubbles and coloured smoke, the wand had returned to the holster instead of being discarded on the sofa, too far to be of any good when Voldemort broke in.
James released his wand into his hand and began duelling Voldemort, animating the furniture, setting off preset traps, it appeared, as well as chain casting defensive and offensive spells.
Voldemort shielded and re-transfigured the traps into something new so it was harmless or attacking James with it. It was impressive, as his duelling always was. Hari was reminded of the duel Voldemort had with Dumbledore in the Ministry Atrium after Sirius’ death. The two wizards fought, neither quite gaining an upper hand.
Hari kept one eye on James’s fight while the other watched upstairs, as Lily set up charms on the floor and the walls and the ceiling as she dashed down the hallway towards the nursery.
Lily entered the nursery and hurried over to the crib. She rummaged around beneath it, and couldn’t find what she was looking for – the emergency portkey that had been stuck to the bottom of Harry’s crib. “Damn you, Peter.”
Hari could have told her that Pettigrew didn’t think that much ahead. The portkey had been removed by Albus Dumbledore two days before when he had visited. Hari had seen him on the surveillance charms as he had excused himself to use the bathroom and made a detour into the nursery.
Lily stood up and picked up Harry and made her way to the doorway of the nursery. She could hear the sounds of the vicious fight happening downstairs, Hari knew because he could hear the echo from watching both feeds, upstairs and downstairs.
“Stupefy, Confringo, Protego Maxima, Expulso, Stupefy, Protego Maxima, Accio, Conjunctivus, Confringo, Accio, Expulso, Transfiguro, Incarcerous!”
“Crucio, Intus Sunt, Expulso, Confringo, Ulcere Sanguis, Transfiguro, Rupti Sunt Corde, Crucio, Confringo, Crucio, Avada Kedavra, Confringo!”
Lily kissed Harry’s forehead and made her way to the master bedroom. She opened the closet and moved things around before spinning to face the room, tears on her cheeks. “Damn you to hell, Peter Pettigrew!”
Again, she was wrong. Hari had seen Dumbledore remove the brooms from the closet. He had shrunk them and dropped them into the very back of a drawer in the kitchen before he left.
“Avada Kedavra, Crucio, Ulcere Sanguis, Avada Kedavra, Rupti Sunt Corde, Crucio, CURSE, Confringo, Transfiguro, Avada Kedavra, Crucio, Expulso!”
“Accio, Protego, Transfiguro, Avis, Oppungo, Stupefy, Incarcerous, Transfiguro, Stupefy, Avis, Confringo, Avis, Oppungo, Accio, Expulso!”
Lily made her way back to the nursery and cast a messenger patronus as she hurried down the hall. “Message to Sirius Black, Alastor Moody, Albus Dumbledore. Peter betrayed us. He told Voldemort the secret and took our emergency portkeys and brooms. James is trying to hold him off. Anti-apparition wards are up and the floo is down.”
Lily placed Harry in his crib and covered him with a blanket. She cast spells on the blanket, spells to disillusion him, to silence him, to keep him still and calm. She then pricked her finger and drew a rune – sowilo – on his forehead in her blood.
“I love you, Harry, baby. Your daddy and I love you so much.” She stood, crying silent tears as she rubbed his back.
Downstairs, James was doing well fighting off Voldemort but Fate was unwilling to be denied. Once again, Voldemort cast a Cruciatus and James dodged. But this time, his foot landed on a piece of debris and his ankle rolled and gave out. His body fell into the path of the curse.
James screamed as Voldemort held the curse for twenty seconds. “You are a worthy opponent, Potter. It is no surprise your son would have been a worthy foe. But I’m not fool enough to let an enemy grow to be a problem.”
James fumbled to raise his wand and Voldemort shook his head. “Stupefy!” Voldemort looked down at the pureblood and smiled before hissing in parseltongue, “Somnium Exterreri Solebat Captionem!”
James fell unconscious but not dead this time. Tom always did prefer opponents who were a challenge.
Voldemort climbed the steps and triggered the charm traps Lily had set – nets and spikes and arrows and pits. She must have been fond of adventure movies. After several minutes, and bleeding in several places, Voldemort reached the nursery door. As he blasted it off its hinges, Hari saw Sirius Black appear in the front garden. He ran towards the house when Peter Pettigrew grew from his rat form into a human.
“The Dark Lord will win, Sirius! I won’t let you stop him! He’s more powerful than you can imagine, and he is winning! He killed so many, none can stand against him, not even Dumbledore. The Order is a joke, Sirius.”
Sirius’ eyes widened. “You were the spy.” He barked a harsh, bitter laugh. “We should have known, your inner self is a rat, after all. You were always so pathetic Peter. We helped you, befriended you, kept you safe. And you betrayed us. You sold us out to Voldemort!”
“I chose the winning side, Sirius. A choice you turned your back on before you even got sorted. Who’s the fool now? My lord will kill Harry. I am sorry about that, he is adorable. But he can’t beat my lord. He is a baby. And then we will win.”
“Filthy rat! Always and only a Wormtail!”
The two men began to duel, Sirius obviously the superior, but Pettigrew using the environment and shifting into and out of his animagus form to escape curses and hide for moments.
Upstairs, Lily was begging for Harry’s life even as Voldemort ordered her aside three times. She refused to stand aside for him to try to find her son. She begged him to kill her, not him and her wand remained holstered on her wrist.
“Severus will just have to find a better obsession. Very well, if you insist. Avada Kedavra!”
The green light left his wand and struck her dead. Her body fell to the floor and Voldemort approached the crib. The crib appeared empty but he was no fool. Insane, but still smart. He reached out a hand and ran it along the mattress until he hit an obstruction. Lily had hidden Harry from sight and sound, but not from touch.
Voldemort removed the blanket and gazed down at the little boy who was his prophesied downfall. “I do not have much faith in prophecies, child, but Dumbledore believes too much to take the chance. I do offer you a quick death, however. Lord Voldemort is merciful.”
Voldemort took a step back and pointed his wand at the fifteen-month-old who had sat up in the crib. “Goodbye, Harry Potter. Avada Kedavra!”
The green light sped across the room and struck the little boy. He glowed bright green and gold and the lights coalesced in the bloody rune on his forehead. The combined light flew back at Voldemort, its power more than quadrupled, due to Lily’s spell and the inadvertent magical contract the wizard had first made with Severus Snape, and then unknowingly changed the terms of with his negotiations with the witch he had just killed, promising to kill her in the place of her son.
Voldemort’s body was blasted into several pieces and the magical backlash shook the room, blew the roof partly off and collapsed the floors and stairs weakened by the magical combats.
On the ground level, the living room floor collapsed into the basement and James’ unconscious body was buried under the debris while outside, chunks of the exploding roof rained down, one impaling Pettigrew through the chest, not fatally but an obviously soon-to-be mortal wound nonetheless. Sirius shielded himself from the debris and hurried inside, yelling, “James!”
Hari saw him fall, moving too fast to see the hole where the floor used to be. Approximately two minutes before Sirius ran into the house and fell out of sight into the basement filled with debris, Moody and ten aurors popped into view at the end of the street. They ran to the house just in time to see Sirius fall.
Three aurors cautiously approached the house while Moody and two others found Pettigrew in the garden, dying.
Moody knelt down and prodded the man. “What happened, Pettigrew!”
Pettigrew coughed and blood bubbled in his mouth. “I th-thought he – was going t-t-to win – he was – s-s-so p-power – f-ful. I w-w-was a – f-fool, M-m-Moody. He’s – he’s g-gone. D-d-dead.”
Pettigrew looked Moody in the eyes and shook, his voice quavering but obviously, the man was trying to not stutter as he slowly spoke his next and last words. “James Potter, Lily Potter, and Harry James Potter live at 18 Wicker Road in Godric’s Hollow.”
Pettigrew moved his hand towards his robe pocket and laid his fingers on a piece of parchment. Before he could do more, the injury proved fatal.
Moody picked up the parchment scrap and saw the phrase written there, the same one Pettigrew had said while dying. He turned to the auror squad with him. “Alright, James Potter, Lily Potter, and Harry James Potter live at 18 Wicker Road in Godric’s Hollow.”
Moody was able to speak the secret as the secret keeper had died but not before sharing the secret with him, making him one of the new secret keepers. “We need to find them, whether they’re alive or dead. And You-Know-Who was here as well. Pettigrew seemed to think he was dead. We need to find out the truth of that.”
The auror squad made their way into the destroyed house just as Rubeus Hagrid stumbled onto the street just outside the gate, a portkey rope in his hand. Moody walked over to him.
“What are ya doing here, Hagrid?”
“Dumbledore sent me to get little Harry. He got rid of You-Know-Who. But he’s an orphan now.”
“And how did Albus know this?”
“Hmm. That’s true enough. The house is heavily damaged and we haven’t even been able to find anyone yet, let alone the kid, if he is alive. Could use Albus and that bird of his for this job. But that would be too simple, wouldn’t it? You better stay here, Hagrid. The floor in there definitely won’t support your weight.”
“Where were you supposed to take the kid?”
Hagrid blinked. “To his last blood family.”
Hari was fairly sure from his reaction that Moody thought Hagrid meant his last wizarding blood family, that is Harius Peverell.
“Moody! We found Black. He’s pretty banged up, needs St Mungo’s.”
“Levitate him up here on a stretcher! I’ll stabilize him and send him on!” Moody yelled back.
Within a few seconds, Sirius Black, unconscious and still, appeared floating through the doorway of the ruined house. Moody approached him and ran a basic diagnostic health scan. “Alright, Tamsin! Use your emergency portkey to get you and Black to St Mungo’s. Once he’s stable, get back here.”
Moody took a chain from Sirius’ neck and turned to Hagrid. “If the kid is alive and an orphan, you use this to get him safe. I’m sure Black would agree with me.” Moody unshrunk the motorcycle and put it in the street.
Moody made his way to the house and cast a featherlight charm on himself. It didn’t work great on humans but Hari knew it would help considering the state of the house. He walked around to the back door and entered the kitchen, the floor of which was mostly intact. He wandered as close to the former stairs as he felt was safe, considering the way he kept testing the floor ahead with each inch he moved. When he was close, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a shrunken broom. He enlarged it and mounted it, rising to the next floor.
Hari watched as Moody slowly and carefully flew towards the shattered nursery door. The old auror never landed as he floated into the room. Hari saw his gaze land on Lily’s body and Moody cast a spell to check her vital signs. His shoulders slumped a bit when he saw their absence.
Moody floated his broom close to the crib, which was laying on its side, the opening facing the far wall which was mostly no longer there. Once he was past the bottom, he could see Harry, unconscious, bleeding from the head, but alive. Moody swooped low and lifted the little boy into his arms.
He floated down the opening where the staircase once was and out the kitchen door. When he landed in the backyard he yelled to his squad, “I found Lily and Harry. She’s dead, killing curse by the looks of it, in the nursery. Harry’s alive. He needs medical attention but he seems alright overall.”
The aurors yelled cheers a bit, anyone alive after something like this was a thing to celebrate. Hari could understand the sentiment. He’d seen many disasters, natural and otherwise in his many years. The cheering celebrated life where it was found and let off steam at the places where it wasn’t.
Moody took the young child to Hagrid and handed him over. “You get him healed up and take him to Harius, alright? We’ve not found James yet, alive or dead. But family is family and Harry’s got a good one. Dumbledore told you where to go?”
Hagrid nodded. “Gave me good directions, Dumbledore did. Thought I’d have to take the Knight Bus.”
Moody shook his head. “The motorbike is safer. Don’t know who could find you on the Knight Bus. Could be Death Eaters.”
Hagrid nodded. “Okay.”
“Be careful, Hagrid. And keep him warm and dry.”
Hagrid nodded his shaggy head again and started the motorcycle. A minute later, he and baby Harry were out of sight in the sky.
We are children that need to be loved, We were willing, we came when you called, But man, you fooled us, enough is enough,
November 1, 1981
Hari sat on the altar in the centre of the ritual circle at Castle Peverell. If he was mistaken and Dumbledore actually did mean himself, this is where Hagrid would bring Harry, to Lord Peverell’s home. If he did show up, one of the elves would come for Hari.
But Hari was nearly certain that the old man meant Petunia. Things had unfolded differently and the aurors were still searching for James in the rubble when Hari had left the scene. James might be dead or he might not be. But Lily was definitely dead. Her death triggered her son’s victory, just as it had done for Hari.
Hari frowned. He had long suspected, even before the ritual he had made to bring him to the past, that Lily’s death was a fixed point in time, something Fate would not allow to change. And the events of last night seemed to prove him correct.
Hari closed his eyes and centred himself. He was within the ritual circle but was not planning on performing a ritual, he just wanted the protection for the surrounding world if what he was doing worked.
“Zir, can we talk, please?” Hari spoke aloud.
The familiar feeling of wild, heavy magic overtook him and he opened his eyes. Zir was standing in front of him, hip leaned against the altar by Hari’s knee.
“Of course we can, Hari. I told you that you did not require a horcrux for it to be so.”
Hari nodded. “I was being polite. I just wanted to double check with you. I didn’t miss anything? Nothing odd happened last night?”
Zir smiled and shook his head. “No. Tom Marvolo Riddle’s entire soul is in the afterlife properly. And because of what he did and how we dealt with it, not even the most powerful of necromancers could bring any part of him back. Not even a god could do so. He is too damaged and any attempt that came close would shatter him into nothingness forever.”
Hari sighed. “So, it is over.”
“Riddle’s part is over, yes. He is dead.”
“But not Dumbledore.”
Zir inclined his head. “Not Dumbledore. If you wished to hurry him along to me on his next great adventure, I’ve spoken to Fate and she agreed to the idea. She loves my wife very much and was displeased with the future and the pain it caused to Hekate. She knows that Dumbledore is not the root cause but he is a super spreader of the disease.”
Hari pursed his lips in thought. “I’m not sure I could get away with openly killing him. Granted he isn’t as powerful politically quite yet as he was when I met him but he is well known and loved by certain people.”
“I didn’t say you had to directly do the deed. He could be a belated casualty as your friend, Neville’s parents were during the first timeline.”
Hari tilted his head. “I would have to find a different perpetrator. The Lestranges and Crouch are dead or in prison. And I couldn’t use the Imperius, or any curse or potion unless I want them to get off on the charges.”
“You can just use your primal magic. It is wild and chaotic, like mine. It won’t show up on any scan as anything to the wizards.”
“Dumbledore is a problem and you know he will become more so shortly. If things are to truly change enough to stop the fraying of Hekate’s tether to this world, he needs to be neutralized, one way or another. He has already lived longer than he was meant to thanks to Nicholas Flamel. Dumbledore uses his phoenix to ‘borrow’ the stone quite regularly. He should have died due to long term curse exposure – holding and using the Elder Wand when it was not meant for him – before he ever became even Headmaster of Hogwarts, let alone the other titles he will soon add to it.”
Hari’s eyes widened. “He was fated to die in the 1960s?”
Zir inclined his head. “According to Fate, yes. He has been cheating her and myself for decades already. And has been poisoning the wizarding world with his rhetoric the whole time.”
“And he will not change his course?”
Zir snorted, “You know he will not. Even with all of the proof that will be found to prove that Tom Riddle is truly dead, Dumbledore will not believe. He already has his plan in place to create a modest, downtrodden weapon.”
“So, Hagrid will take Harry to Petunia?”
“Yes. Right now, the giant believes he is flying slowly towards Surrey. In reality, he is asleep while Dumbledore performs charms and spells on Harry. Tomorrow night, Dumbledore will do as he did when you were that baby and give the giant the child to take to Surrey.”
Hari frowned. “What did he do to me? By the time I was in any position to be checked or even to know of such things, I had already become Master of Death.”
Zir nodded. “Yes, when you died in the forest, that broke every chain and spell. All that remained were habits of thought and behaviour at that point. He used a ritual that blocked part of your core in such a way that he could release it and cause a core overload which would have killed anyone within thirty meters of you.”
Hari scowled. “A backup plan? Or was that his primary plan? To have me die as I took out a mortal Tom?”
Zir raised an eyebrow. “It was his primary plan but he would not have enacted it until the horcruxes were gone – except the one in you, of course. But he released the block gradually over your sixth year during every visit you had with him. He knew he was dying and that the horcruxes would be in play still after he was gone. So, he changed his plan to the one you lived through.”
Hari sighed. “What else did he do to baby me?”
“He just cast some spells to encourage you to be submissive to authority and accepting of your lot in life. And to stem your curiosity about things that he deemed unimportant – like your true place and power in the wizarding world, your placement with your aunt and how to circumvent it, wizarding religion and culture, anything you wouldn’t learn in class. He actually had to tweak it so you could research things for the Triwizard Tournament without not caring about them. How long did it take you to go into the bath with the egg after you had the password?”
Hari wrinkled his nose. “Yeah, I was so very not curious about things except when I suddenly was – the stone, the diary, the chamber. I ignored what Quirrel got up to except when he was being threatened, I didn’t look into house elves even after Dobby broke my arm, I didn’t really care about Buckbeak and his trial until it was the day he was to be executed, Scabbers never made me wonder, I never even knew Hogwarts wasn’t the only wizarding school in the world until my fourth year.”
“Yes, he was very controlling, of you and of the wizarding world in general. You already suspected it.”
“Yes. So, find a patsy and have them neutralize Dumbledore. I have to ruin him first, at least get the deeper rumours out there. Otherwise, he’s a martyr and his views will spread without his actual presence due to his faithful minions. I need to break their faith in him. Then have something happen to him. Not a duel, something embarrassing. I’ll figure it out.”
“You’ve already begun eroding his support.”
Hari nodded. “I know. Just little things here and there. But some really snowballed. And once he is gone, or even before, I do more to bring people back to following the Old Ways, the rituals and holidays, the belief in Magic as more than a tool – a gift. Get muggleborns early, primary schools. The others, too.”
Zir tilted his head. “Interesting idea. I look forward to its implementation.”
Hari smiled. “It might take a while but without Dumbledore’s active influence to work against, it will be easier than it might have been.”
Zir nodded. “So, get rid of him.”
“Neutralize doesn’t have to mean immediately kill. I can get him incapacitated much easier and make it appear to be his own doing, a mistake on his part. And use that to bring about the rest while he can’t counter it. And then have him never recover and die out of sight.”
Zir laughed. “Very Slytherin as your British world would put it.”
Hari shrugged. “Maybe. I got over the house prejudice thing a long time ago.”
Zir looked around the circle. “You know, you do not need to be here for me to appear, don’t you?”
Hari nodded. “It wasn’t to force you here or whatever. I wanted to shelter my lands and more from the effects of your presence on this plane. How long has it been since you truly manifested here, outside of a ritual circle cast by wizards or witches or other magicals?”
Zir looked thoughtful. “Centuries. Many, many, many centuries.”
“Your magic is chaotic and incredibly powerful, Zir. For obvious reasons. And the magic here on Earth is much more rigid than you likely recall. Probably a symptom of the lessening of Hekate’s tether. Or perhaps, the cause of it. Or both. You’ve not been in the true plane here, walking the world. I can feel how different it is from what I felt even in limbo. And your full presence, before I begin to truly reverse the issue, could cause an increase in the very thing we want to stop.”
“I understand. I will look into the issue and speak with Hekate about her thoughts and knowledge.”
Hari smiled. “Good. Thank you for your time, Zir.”
“Good luck, Hari. I eagerly await Albus Dumbledore’s presence in the afterlife. He won’t enjoy it much. But I will.”
Zir smirked and vanished and the chaotic feeling dissipated.
November 2, 1981
Hari sat on the side wall of the front garden of Number 4 Privet Drive in Little Whinging, Surrey. He was under his full spate of invisibility and had been since his arrival a few hours before. And at that, he hadn’t been the first.
Hari had apparated into the tunnel by the play park and walked to Privet Drive. When he arrived just at the time he knew from experience would have Vernon and Petunia go up to bed, Professor McGonagall was seated on the front wall of the garden in her animagus form.
Hari had known that he had been dropped off at the Dursleys sometime after they went to bed on November 1 and before Petunia was downstairs on November 2. Petunia often complained about how she nearly tripped over him on the front step. But he wasn’t sure exactly when it had happened and he didn’t want to miss it.
It was near midnight when there was a crack of apparition at the end of the street – so subtle. It was Dumbledore and he used his deluminator and put out the street lights. He came over to Number 4 and looked at the cat, which Hari knew Dumbledore recognized as his colleague.
“Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall.”
Hari watched as the Professor returned to her human form and glared at Dumbledore. They had a back and forth conversation about how he had known who she was. It was ridiculous, she knew that he knew her animagus form and its characteristics. His nonsense obviously infected her over their years at Hogwarts together.
The conversation did reveal that she had been sitting on the wall all day, though. That was new information for Hari.
Dumbledore sounded incredulous. “All day? When you could’ve been celebrating? I must’ve passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here.”
McGonagall sniffed in her anger. “Oh yes, everyone is celebrating, all right. You think they’d be a bit more careful, but no – even the Muggles have noticed something’s going on. It was on their news. I heard it. Flocks of owls… Shooting stars.. Well they’re not completely stupid. They were bound to notice something. Shooting stars down in Kent – I’ll bet that was Daedalus Diggle. He never had much sense.”
Hari rolled his eyes, that was true enough. Diggle was so stupid. But he didn’t have the best role model. He was one of Dumbledore’s devotees. And Dumbledore himself had just apparated into the middle of a brightly lit muggle street. Granted, it was quite late but he didn’t turn out the lights until after he broke the Statute of Secrecy. And this was a very nosy neighbourhood.
“You can’t blame them. We’ve had precious little to celebrate for 11 years.” Dumbledore was doing his wise old grandfather bit. You’d think she would be immune to it but evidently not.
“I know that. But that’s no reason to lose our heads. People are being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not even dressed in Muggle clothes, swapping rumours.”
Or the middle of a suburban muggle street lit brightly with street lamps, Hari mused.
“A fine thing it would be if, on the very day You-Know-Who seems to have disappeared, at last, the Muggles found out about it all. I suppose he really has gone, Dumbledore?”
She was looking pleadingly at the old man. Hari knew that bit was true. Voldemort was gone, Tom Riddle was well and truly destroyed forever and ever. But he wondered how Dumbledore was going to approach it. Zir said the old man would refuse to accept it.
“It certainly seems so. We have much to be thankful for. Would you care for a sherbet lemon?” And he was switching from wise old sage to dotty old man.
The two professors had a back and forth about Dumbledore’s fondness for tart muggle sweets, with McGonagall trying to steer the conversation away from banalities.
“As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone -“
Dumbledore interrupted her. “My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his name? All this ‘You-Know-Who’ nonsense – for 11 years I’ve been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort. It all gets so confusing if we keep saying ‘You-Know-Who’. I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort’s name.”
Hari rolled his eyes.
No reason? Only because he knew Tom wasn’t willing to challenge him. Not only did Dumbledore know perfectly well that Voldemort was his pseudonym, but he also knew the man’s actual proper name. And he knew that some version of the Taboo – less severe and all-encompassing than during the second war when he had the power of the Ministry itself to use but still strong in certain parts – was in play to target those who dared use his anagram.
Always encouraging people to take their lives into their hands for no reason. And spreading fear of the anagram himself by refusing to share the man’s true identity even with his “order”.
“I know you haven’t. But you’re different. Everyone knows you’re the only one You-Know- oh, all right, Voldemort – was frightened of.”
So was the propaganda, certainly. And yes, Tom did try to avoid going against Dumbledore directly whenever he could but he did spend an entire year in the school under the old man’s nose. No, the only thing he was truly frightened of was death. Rightly so.
“You flatter me. Voldemort has powers I will never have.”
Hari grimaced. So self-righteous. And such a lying liar who lies.
“Only because you’re too – well – noble to use them.”
Gah! Noble? Dumbledore? How snowed was she exactly?
“It’s lucky it’s dark. I haven’t blushed so much since Madame Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs.”
Hari sneered. Dotty and flirty old man now?
McGonagall was almost vibrating in place, she was obviously so fed up with the twists and turns he was forcing the conversation through.
“The owls are nothing to the rumours that are flying around. Do you know what everyone’s saying? About why he’s disappeared? About what finally stopped him? What they’re saying is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric’s Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumour is that Lily Potter – is – is – that she’s dead. And James is – in a coma.”
Dumbledore nodded. “James is alive but badly injured. The house collapsed under him and on top of him, as well. And whatever curse Voldemort struck him with last, they can’t seem to find the counter. And his godfather, Sirius, he too is injured. He was at the house and caught in the collapse. He broke his neck and his internal injuries were severe. And yes, my dear, Lily was killed.”
Hari sighed unheard. So, that’s two obstacles out of the way for now. He can’t arrange for Sirius to go to Azkaban. Too many heard the truth from Pettigrew. But he can arrange for him to be kept in a long convalescence and for James to be in a perpetual coma. Hari had always been a little suspicious about the Longbottoms and how conveniently timed their incapacitation was.
“Lily and James and Sirius … I can’t believe it… I didn’t want to believe it… Oh, Albus.”
Hari was surprised at her emotional response. She was so stoic in the future, even after the Battle of Hogwarts.
“I know… I know.” Hari gaped. Dumbledore was practically petting her.
McGonagall got herself under control after a minute. She turned back to Dumbledore, her lips tight. “That’s not all. They’re saying he tried to kill the Potter’s son, Harry. But – he couldn’t. He couldn’t kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they’re saying that when he couldn’t kill Harry Potter, Voldemort’s power somehow broke – and that’s why he’s gone.”
Dumbledore nodded. The look on his face, hidden from McGonagall when she turned away at the confirmation, was a mix of gleeful and worried.
“It’s – it’s true? After all he’s done… All the people he’s killed… He couldn’t kill a little boy? It’s just astounding… Of all the things to stop him… But how in the name of Heaven did Harry survive?”
Dumbledore’s face turned back into the wise old sage. “We can only guess. We may never know.”
Hari snorted, unheard by anyone. Dumbledore already had suspicions and he knew of the prophecy. Of course, his suspicions were mostly wrong now. Harry survived because of Lily’s ritual of protection and death. Plus the unknown magical vow made to Snape and transferred to Lily.
Dumbledore looked at his pocket watch as McGonagall dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief. “Hagrid’s late. I suppose it was he who told you I’d be here, by the way?”
As if he hadn’t nudged the half-giant to do it. Likely before he had cursed him into a spelled sleep.
“Yes,” McGonagall admitted. “And I don’t suppose you’re going to tell me why you’re here, of all places?”
Dumbledore smiled, hidden from her but not from Hari as he raised his head to look to the sky. “I’ve come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They are the only family he has left now that is capable of caring for him.”
McGonagall protested a bit, explaining how she had been spying on the Dursleys all day and how Dudley at a year and a half was already a spoiled little brat.
Dumbledore was firm to her. “It’s the best place for him. His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he’s older. I’ve written them a letter.”
A letter. Hari’s lips twisted in a scowl. His last. Remember his last. This one, the one that made them take Harry in.
“A letter? Really, Dumbledore, do you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He’ll be famous – a legend – I wouldn’t be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in future – there will be books written about Harry – every child in our world will know his name!”
Well, she was mostly correct. Everyone knew his name, he was famous, and books were written about him. But they never made a Harry Potter day, even after the second war.
Dumbledore looked down his nose over his spectacles at her, laying a hand on her shoulder. “Exactly. It would be enough to turn any boy’s head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won’t even remember! Can’t you see how much better off they’ll be, growing up away from all that until he’s ready to take it?”
McGonagall blinked, opened her mouth and closed it again, as she was obviously spelled by the old man’s wandless magic. “Yes – yes, you’re right, of course. But how is the boy getting here, Dumbledore?”
She ran her eyes over Dumbledore’s garish robes, likely wondering if he had the boy in his pocket. It wouldn’t have been too out of character, Hari mused.
“Hagrid’s bringing him.”
McGonagall faltered and stepped back. “You think it – wise – to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?”
Hari nodded unseen, he loved Hagrid, the gullible, naive fool that he was, but he wasn’t allowed to use magic.
“I trust Hagrid with my life.”
Lovely, thought Hari. But you’re not the one who is defenceless with only Hagrid to protect you. It isn’t your life you’re trusting to him. It isn’t anyone’s life that you have a right to endanger that you’re trusting him with.
McGonagall blinked. “I’m not saying his heart isn’t in the right place but you can’t pretend he’s not careless. He does tend to – what was that?”
And within seconds, Hagrid arrived on the street on Sirius’ flying motorcycle. Again, who cares about the Statute of Secrecy? Not Dumbledore.
Hagrid explained that the aurors gave him little Harry and Sirius’ motorcycle while they were trying to find James. The three gathered around the little, sleeping boy and discussed his scar and how Dumbledore wouldn’t remove it from Harry even if he could. They said their good-byes to the baby, Hagrid sobbing all the while, and left. Dumbledore placed the child on the front step with the letter prominently on top of him and backed away. Once in the middle of the street, he used the deluminator to put the lights back then he apparated away once it was again brightly lit.
Hari rose from his seat on the wall and sneered. Leaving a toddler on a doorstep, at midnight, in early November. He looked to the south. And with rain on the way if he was any judge of the weather patterns for the area. And he was such a judge considering how often he had outdoor chores to do as a child.
Well, Petunia won’t trip over the baby in the morning. She won’t have any clue how close she came to having her perfectly normal life upended. Hari scooped his younger self into his arms and backed away, the invisibility surrounding the sleeping child as well.
Hari raised his hands and gazed at the wards as they became visible to his sight. He smiled. He would keep the wards intact but twist them to his own purposes. Hari linked the blood of Lily and baby Harry which Dumbledore had used to set the wars and connected it to the magic within Petunia and Dudley. And linked that to the magic within Vernon.
That was something confirmed in the future when the infertility began to be noticed. Wizards and witches were humans or part humans with both a magical core and magical channels throughout their bodies. Squibs were those with magical cores – thus able to see through muggle-repelling charms and such – but without channels through their bodies. Muggles were those without a magical core but their bodies had magical channels.
Mundane animals had the channels but no core, magical animals and creatures had a core but no channels, and magical beings such as veela, goblins, house elves, hags, centaur, merpeople, and such had both a core and channels.
Hari twisted the linked wards which were to keep wizards away and made them make anyone with a magical core unable to even know the house or the lot where it should be or the Dursleys themselves were there unless they shared blood with the residents of the house – so, essentially, Harry, or any magical children Dudley might have or that Petunia might have without Harry’s presence there to interfere in her life. Not even Hari would be able to. He would be able to see the house and the Dursleys as it was his magic but even he wouldn’t be able to approach once he left the property.
Any who met with them would forget them unless necessary to the well being of the Dursleys – for example if one of Vernon’s clients or Dudley’s teachers was a squib. But otherwise, it would be out of sight, out of mind.
Mrs Figg might move to the neighbourhood but she wouldn’t be able to do anything. She’d forget why she was here as soon as she moved in. And frankly, Hari wasn’t planning on there being a reason for the old squib to be around.
Hari wasn’t going to keep his custody of Harry a secret. He was going to go to the Ministry and put in his papers, and considering both the state James and Sirius were in and Hari’s relatively close blood relation to James and Harry, he would be granted temporary custody until they improved – or didn’t as the case might be thanks to Dumbledore.
And the old man wasn’t currently in a political position to block it but Hari was in a prime political position to make sure it was pushed through. And he was going to encourage the aurors to spread around the state of Voldemort’s remains and the tests that showed he was dead. And knowing Dumbledore, he would insist they were wrong and people would start to question his sanity.
And that would lead to an opening for Dumbledore to seemingly perform a ritual to prove himself right and which would backfire and put him in a coma – or so it would appear to everyone. An irreversible coma during which people – reporters and writers – would be encouraged and pushed to look into the old man’s background. And once his name and reputation was well and truly blackened, he would slip away to his meeting with Zir in the afterlife.
As that old muggle song Dennis told him about which wouldn’t be released for another three decades or so said, we are billions of beautiful hearts and Hari has stopped Dumbledore’s plans that ended in disaster. Dumbledore fooled us, but enough was enough.
And meanwhile, Hari would raise Harry – a child that needs to be loved – and – once Dumbledore was out of the way – heal Sirius and James. And he would continue his political manoeuvring to bring back the Old Ways and religion to strengthen the tether to Hekate. And protect the magical world from the muggles.
And that reminded him, he wanted to ask Zir what would happen to the wizarding world and to the Earth if the wizards decided against being out of phase and instead decided to leave the planet, whether for the moon or Mars or another solar system. They were stubborn like that.
What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
Oh, what about love? What about trust?
What about us?