The Heir of the Founders, the Heir of Merlin, needs to set the future straight -- by going back to 1971. In this chapter, Harry stakes his claims.
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Sunday, September 5, 1971
Harry almost bounded out of bed, although he did it quietly as Sirius and James were still asleep. He dressed quickly and was on his way to the Room of Requirement before 6:30. That was where he was jogging and doing a light work out for 45 minutes every morning.
Harry mulled over the first two days of class. Well, first day, really, as they had just one class Friday. In two weeks, they would start their flying lessons at 10:30.
The Gryffindors would have Herbology from 8:00 to 8:50 on Mondays and Wednesday followed by Charms from 10:00 to 10:50, both classes with the Hufflepuffs. All the First years had History at 1:00, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. They would have Potions with Slytherin Tuesdays from 8:00 until 9:45 and Transfiguration with the Ravenclaws Thursday from 1:00 until 2:45. They had Defense, again with Slytherin, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 until 10:50. Astronomy was Thursday nights, from 10:00 pm until 12:30.
This, Harry knew, would be their basic schedule for the first five years. They would be adding their two or three electives around those times. Most would be scheduled for the late afternoons and Fridays.
Defense had been all about wand care and wand safety, which had made Harry think about Moody. He had never found out who, if anyone, had lost a buttock by having their wand in a back pocket.
Harry had won two points in Transfiguration for his 'match into a needle' on his first try after taking forty minutes of notes. He remembered that only Hermione had been able to even start the transformation the first time around. Here, James had accomplished the full transformation fifteen minutes after Harry (earning one point), and Sirius, Lily, and Remus had matched Hermione by the end of class, while Ellen, Snape, and Pettigrew weren't far behind. McGonagall had been impressed, and told them that they were the best all-around class of First years she had come across, and then warned them that she would therefore expect more than from any other class.
Harry had been given a note at breakfast, and therefore before supper escorted Remus to the Infirmary, where Madam Pomfrey had dosed Remus with the Wolfsbane Potion for the first of three nights. Remus had been very frightened and embarrassed that Harry knew his secret. Harry had just shrugged and told him not to worry about it.
Friday, having had the day off, the First years were mostly kept in the library in the morning. Harry had talked to Lily, and convinced her to order some Muggle astronomy magazines. Astronomy, Harry knew, was one area that even most Pure-bloods had to admit the Muggles were in the lead. The Muggle moon landing had caused an uproar across the Magical world, and many convinced themselves that the whole thing was a Muggle hoax. Harry promised to pay Lily the wizarding equivalent for the magazines, which they would share with the other First year Gryffindors. Saturday had been mostly been spent outside. Harry escorted Remus to the Infirmary each night, and Remus had spent Saturday night in the Shrieking Shack.
After his workout, Harry went to the Infirmary, where he was pleased to see that while Remus looked very tired, he hadn't injured himself. The Wolfsbane had worked. The pair walked to breakfast, and Remus seemed more comfortable.
Thursday, September 9, 1971
Most of wizarding Britain awoke with a chill that Thursday, and none were more chilled than Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Nearly every household with an adult witch or wizard had received a packet of letters, sealed with a large green wax seal with a mistletoe impression in the center, surrounded by the raven, lion, badger, and snake -- the 'official' seal of the 'Order of Founders'. Even Voldemort had received one.
None could figure out how the letters were delivered, except that they had been delivered between 5:00 and 6:30 that morning, and that any household where a witch or wizard had been awake at that time did not receive a letter. In truth, Harry had arranged everything through Dobby, and most of the other elves of the realm had agreed to help, arranging matters so that if any were asked by their master or mistress what they knew about the letters appearing in their own households, they could honestly say they didn't know.
Slaves have ways around their owners, especially when it was for the good of both the slave and their owners, at least in the minds of the elves. Dobby easily convinced a few elves with like leanings, who then persuaded the majority of elves (who felt much as Winky had), and they all combined to 'help' the Masters and get around those elves like Kreacher. In any event, elves were so much in the background (as was their magic, unless they wanted it to be detectable by the Ministry) no one even thought to ask.
One sheet of high quality paper (Muggle-produced, and so impossible to trace by the Ministry) had the names of most of those with the Dark Mark and noted that the head of the Death Eaters was 'Tom Marvolo Riddle, a.k.a. Lord Voldemort', followed by the anagram 'tom marvolo riddle=i am lord voldemort'. After that came a list of nine names listed as 'candidates or strong supporters of the Death Eaters', and included the names of Bellatrix Black and Fenrir Greyback. Harry had extracted that information as well as the names of those Marked from the mind of the Death Eater he had executed on August 30 -- Bellatrix had taken the Mark just a few days before. Voldemort had not yet started organizing his people into cells, so they were mostly known to each other.
There followed a two page summary of the life and career of Tom Riddle, including accusing him of being the one to have opened the Chamber of Secrets and causing the death of Myrtle Smith in 1943. It pointed out that Riddle did not really care for Pure Blood customs. He was in this to try and transform himself into a being which would live for centuries, and he wanted political power while he did so. The Pure-blood agenda was merely his tool to do so.
The next page was a sheet of suggestions on how to teach the Muggleborn-and-raised more about the Magical community, and how to teach the magical community more about the Muggle world.
The final sheet was much simpler. It read:
Magic can do many amazing things. Some things, however, it cannot do. It cannot bring true love or true happiness, and can certainly not bring about absolute power or true immortality. Equally, it cannot create good government. It cannot guarantee freedoms.
People, however, can bring most of these things about. You must also defend yourself and not rely on the Ministry to do so. You have been trained to defend yourself, and you have a wand with which to do so. There are at least three different, inexpensive books on sale in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley which will tell you how to ward your home. There are many Muggle devices which can help you do the same.
Every one of you has the right to attend and even speak at the quarterly public meetings of the Wizengamot. How many have exercised that right in the last twenty meetings? Fifteen individuals, all Pure-bloods, speaking for a total of twenty-four times. Nine speeches demanded lower taxes even though the taxes in Magical Britain and Ireland are the sixth lowest in the magical world (while our services are the lowest in the world, the pay to the lower Ministry grades are the third lowest in the world, and the pay for the highest grades are the third highest). Six speeches demanded that rights be taken away from 'creatures' (goblins, centaurs, werewolves, vampires, those with some giant, veela, or other blood, etc., and one was on taking rights away from giants, even though there are no giants in our lands), while the remaining nine demanded more rights for 'Pure-bloods' and more restrictions on everyone else.
Every member of the Order of Founders is a 'Pure-blood' and we all honor our ancestry (and most of our ancestors). We, however, believe in a meritocracy. In the interests of space, we merely point out that every single current member of the Ministry who is a sub-Department Head or higher is a Pure-blood. Also, note that 48 of the 50 members of the Wizengamot are Pure-bloods and the other two would still be considered 'Full-bloods' (ancestors fully magical and mostly human for between three and five generations respectively). Every teacher at Hogwarts (but one) is a Pure or Full-blood, as are all the examiners for the O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s (which is no doubt why the questions on Muggle Studies exams are so stupid), and so are every shop owner (as opposed to shop worker) in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, the editors and proprietors of The Daily Prophet, the WWN, Witches Weekly and Teen Witch Weekly, the owners of all the Quidditch teams, the officials of the Quidditch League, and the owners of the Knight's Bus.
According to the last census released (1955), there were then 36,678 magical persons in Britain and Ireland. 1,338 were classified as Pure-Bloods, 3,726 were classified as Full-Bloods - - less than 1/7 of the population controls all the top positions in our world. Where is the discrimination against them? Why the fear of the Muggleborn? There are fewer than 10 of them born in any given year. There were 726 alive in 1955, along with 5,793 Mixed-bloods (one non-human ancestor within five generations, two in six generations, etc.), and of course the largest groups, making up the 'Half-bloods' -- those having at least one magical parent and still with at least one Muggle grandparent. There were 603 with four Muggle grandparents, 3,087 with three Muggle grandparents, 8,862 with two, and 12,543 with one Muggle grandparent.
Hardly a tidal wave of the overly-Muggle.
These statistics have been available since 1956 but have always been ignored. Look at your prejudices. Look at our society. Right now you have the society and government you deserve -- a weak and semi-corrupt government which caters to the elite and an evil opposition led by a self-declared 'lord' who wants to control society to make up for his own lack of morals, class, sense, and ancestry.
Many might remember that there was a census recently. What does that data show? The actual numbers are classified, but they would show that there are a few hundred more Pure-bloods, and a few hundred more Full-bloods.
It would also show that our magical population has contracted by over a thousand people, do to emigration. Where have they gone? North America, Australia, and New Zealand have built magical societies which keep the best of the old and have merged it with Muggle ideas. Africa and Asia (outside of most of China and North Korea) celebrate their old traditions more than we do, and co-exist with their Muggle neighbors better than we do. South America and the Middle East occupy places between those extremes. What are we doing wrong? What do you intend to do about it, besides whine that you were given this warning?
THE ORDER OF FOUNDERS
As Harry predicted, most of the editorials and letters and speeches reported complained about the 'invasion of privacy' the letter represented and never addressed the issues.
Harry was therefore also not surprised when he received a note requesting him to come to the Headmaster's office that coming Saturday at his convenience. He went after his morning workout.
"Good morning, Harry," Dumbledore said. "Shall we have breakfast while we talk?"
"If we're going to be a while, otherwise hot chocolate would be fine."
Dumbledore produced a lovely Victorian hot chocolate set and poured cups for each. He then gestured at the food. "Feel free to help yourself."
Dumbledore looked at Harry, then said, "I don't suppose you'd care to enlighten me how you had those letters duplicated and delivered?"
"Sorry," Harry answered.
"May I ask why?"
"Why tell them the truth when few want to hear it, you mean?" Harry asked. Dumbledore winced but nodded.
"Barring a slip, I should be able to destroy Riddle once we get that diary. However, for most of the last millennium there have been at least two would-be Dark Sorcerers showing up somewhere in Europe every century -- there hasn't been one in the Americas or Africa for over a hundred years, only the one in Asia since the last were slaughtered by Grindelwald's people in 1909, and there's never been one in Australia or the Pacific. I don't really want to face down two or three more here in Europe, should I live as long as you. What did you do to try and make our little community safer, or even saner after Grindelwald died? Oh, that's right, you came back here to teach. Shall I remind you how many of those lovely little Slytherins and Ravenclaws have already murdered people?"
Dumbledore was getting angry, but Harry ignored it. "I know perfectly well that the Muggle world is huge, complicated, and dangerous. No part of the magical world is all that much better, but Europe is the worst, and Britain is one of the most in-bred parts of Europe. A small clique drawn from one seventh of the population controls nearly everything, while a smaller clique from the same group wants power. Both cater to the prejudices of that one seventh, and abuse and insult and now kill people from the rest." Harry grinned nastily. "I think that may set the tone of the next letter I send out. I'll send it out to the majority, asking why they're allowing themselves to be controlled by thugs and in-bred cretins."
"Do you want to start a civil war, Harry?" Dumbledore demanded.
"There is a civil war going on now, Headmaster," Harry retorted. "One side disgusts me -- and the other I loathe. Yet I am expected to fight for the disgusting parasites and save them. That's who ended up reaping the rewards my first time through this." Percy Weasley came to Harry's mind, who had just become a Junior Department Head a week before his suicide, and was thought to be a likely Minister of Magic in fifty more years or so. "If it happens this time, I'm off to America or Australia or New Zealand."
"Harry. . . ."
"Was there anything else, Headmaster?"
Dumbledore slumped down. He was unused to dealing with anyone so much more powerful than he was, let alone one with Harry's point of view. "No. . . . I had hoped to ask about your impressions from the first weeks. . . ."
"Since the Potions Professor did not verbally abuse me with your tacit agreement, they have gone very nicely. Before I leave, I was wondering if any Death Eaters had turned themselves in?"
"Alas, they have not."
"I am as sorry to hear that as you, but not at all surprised. Good morning, Headmaster." Harry drank his lovely chocolate and left.
Several of the Death Eaters would have loved to have given up their masks, but they were too tightly bound to their Master. One who had tried to walk out of an emergency meeting anyway had been subjected to the Cruciatus until she died.
In the original time stream, no Death Eater had been tortured to death until well after the creation of the Fifth Horcrux. The Death Eaters now realized that the letter had been right. Voldemort was in this only for his own power. They were not his followers, they were his minions if not his slaves.
Most of Voldemort's unmarked supporters fell away, however. The Pure-bloods did rally to their own, insuring that those named as Death Eaters were not drawn in for questioning, but that was the extent they were willing to help.
Voldemort was trying to keep his movement together.
Sunday, September 19, 1971
No one was certain where the idea had started, but it was certainly from within the older students of Ravenclaw over a Saturday night discussion. The next morning, fifteen of the older Ravenclaws were sporting small buttons which flashed /MERITOCRACY/, alternating with /An Idea Whose Time Has Come/.
When he saw them, Harry walked over and asked, "Is this an idea anyone can join in on?"
"The buttons are free," Luna's mother said to him. "We're creating a 'Meritocracy League' as well. Five Sickles for the year."
"And what does the League do, Miss?" Harry asked.
"Sorry. Diana Selene. And you, young Gryffindor?" she asked with a teasing smile.
"Well, Potter, we're seeking ways to put in place the meritocracy the Order of Founders talked about in their letter to the Wizarding World."
"I'll take the button now, and if I can attend your first meeting I'll decide if I want to join. I certainly like the idea," Harry replied.
"Join now, and you can be the first non-Ravenclaw to join," Shacklebolt said from across the table.
Harry smiled. "And how many Ravenclaws have paid?"
"Just me," Diana said, now with a smile just like her daughter's.
"Hey!" several Ravenclaws protested.
"You've all promised, but you haven't actually paid," Diana pointed out.
"For the honor of being the second charter member, I gladly pay seven Sickles," Harry said. "How's this for an idea? Draw up a basic charter saying we support meritocracy in the wizarding world, open and free competition for Ministry job placements, and equal rights for all magical peoples and we can sign it. After the first meeting, membership is five Sickles, and the membership can decide where to take the group. Charter members pay six."
"You should have been in Ravenclaw, Potter," Diana said.
"The Hat said I would have fit into any of the Houses," Harry said. "Since I tend to charge into things, though, it put me in Gryffindor."
"Here," another Ravenclaw girl said, handing over a parchment which had Harry's basic ideas well-phrased and written in a very nice calligraphy, under the title /A Charter for the MERITOCRACY LEAGUE/. Diana signed it first, but then frowned. "Should I put my House?" she asked.
"Do Houses matter in this?" another Ravenclaw asked before Harry could.
"I suppose not," Diana agreed.
Harry signed second, followed by the calligrapher. They had attracted a small crowd from Hufflepuff and Gryffindor, but no Slytherins.
"Hey, Remus, do you want to join?" Harry asked.
Remus flushed. "I don't have six Sickles with me," he said. While not poor as Remus had been in the future, this Remus did not have much extra money.
"I'll front the money for any other First year," Harry said, "from any House. Pay me back anytime before the end of the year."
"Calendar or academic," Snape drawled from the bottom of the table.
Harry smiled. "Calendar. If you don't pay by the end of the school year, you owe me an extra Knut per day after next September First."
As students were signing, Sirius and James took Harry aside. "Why are you doing this?" James hissed.
"This might turn into nothing or it might be a big idea," Harry told them simply. "If it is big, I want in on the ground floor. We three have the money, ancestry, and I would like to think the talent and the brains. Money and ancestry will always count for something. If they start counting less, we also have the talent and brains to make it on merit. Why not support it?"
"I can see why the Hat thought you might fit into Slytherin as well as Ravenclaw and Gryffindor," Sirius smirked.
By the time of the first meeting the next Saturday morning, all 105 Hufflepuffs had joined, as had 51 of the 90 Ravenclaws (including Snape, who saw it as a way of getting ahead in his House, and Pettigrew, who wasn't going to be left behind), and 39 of the 81 Gryffindors.
Not one Slytherin had joined however, much to Professor Slughorn's amazement and disappointment.
"I don't understand why," Slughorn lamented in the staff room while the first League meeting was going on. "I can see why some of the more aristocratic members might not be interested, but there seems to be active hostility in my House, and I must say, I do NOT like that."
"I wonder if the hostility might not be even stronger on the parts of a few students than you allow, Horace," Flitwick suggested. "I saw a number of your students generally interested over the past week, but some whispers seemed to drive them off."
"You mean from Miss Black and her crowd?" Flitwick nodded, and Horace sighed. "I was loath to believe that letter, which named her in the same group that included that evil Greyback. However, I have come to believe there was some substance to it after all."
"If she acts on her beliefs, she will get her self into a great deal of trouble," McGonagall grumbled.