The Heir of the Founders, the Heir of Merlin, needs to set the future straight -- by going back to 1971. In this chapter, the end of term.
Bonnie Jean McGregor was in a defensive mood, but she wasn't fully certain why. In part, it was from having to explain to her new friend Rose what 'houseroom' meant -- the Potters would be fully expecting to take care of all costs associated with the visits, including, from the set-up, all school supplies. The fact that Rose had blithely invited one of the Potter twins to stay with the Evans' also meant that they had to extend the same curtesy. When Rose had nervously asked if they needed to extend 'houseroom' as well, Bonnie Jean had taken a little pleasure in explaining the minimum required if they did: arranging and paying for all transportation, costs of hosting, buying anything needed to make the boy's stay more comfortable, and any aid needed, including the assumption of any medical or legal expenses -- and to shelter him if called upon for the rest of his life.
"Now you know why I merely asked if Lily wanted to visit," Bonnie Jean had concluded.
Although Bonnie Jean was classified as a Muggle, in truth three of her four grandparents had been Squibs. She had gone to them when she had met her husband, and they -- and two of their parents, still living in the magical world -- had given her a thorough grounding in magical customs.
The Potters were about as high in the rankings as the magical families got in Britain and Ireland, except for a few dozen families who usually ignored the regular magical world as much as the regular magical world ignored the Muggle. Her one fully-Muggle grandfather had been a union steward in a Birmingham factory from before the start of the Great War, and then a strong local Labour politician in the lean 1930s and during World War II. A bit of his attitudes towards social class, she realized, was also coloring her reactions to the aristocratic Potters.
The general attitude most in the wizarding world had towards Muggles didn't help much either. She wondered exactly why the Potters were bothering with the plebeian and mostly Muggle-raised Ellen and the totally Muggle-born Lily. Finding that out was one of the main reasons she had agreed to meet Mary Potter.
"May I assume that Rose Evans has spoken to you since Monday afternoon?" Mary asked when ensconced with a cup of tea in the immaculate parlor (the cleaning service to do the carpeting had been hastily been called to clean the day before).
"She has," Bonnie Jean answered. "Would I be correct in assuming that you have come to make the same offer to Ellen?"
"Indeed," Mary answered, wondering why she felt a thin veneer of hostility, but willing to work with it. "This was all our son Harry's idea. James would probably been happy to have had his friend Sirius visit, and perhaps the other boy in their room, Remus. Harry, however, says he's quite close to Remus, Lily, and Ellen."
Bonnie Jean nodded her understanding. "My husband and I were wondering a few things, however. First, why houseroom instead of just having them visit?"
"Ah. Well, I am certain your husband, and probably you, have been well-aware of the recent internal hostilities within wizarding Britain."
"Those Death Eaters, you mean? Yes, we were starting to worry that they might even attack us, or at least other families like us." The McGregors had in fact been massacred in the summer of 1974 in the original time line -- Elaine McGregor, Ellen's Squib identical twin and mother of Natalie MacDonald, had survived because she was on a girl guides camp-out.
"Well, Sirius' family are sympathizers, especially his mother and her branch of the Black family."
"That girl who was killed after the magical accident at Hogwarts? She was his sister?"
"First cousin," Mary answered. "Sirius' father does vaguely see that the tide is turning away from his preferred positions. He is willing to offer his son as what he would see a hostage to bad fortune. If the Pure-Blood agenda fails and more moderate policies prevail, one of his sons will still come out clean."
"No offense, but too many of the policies I've seen your husband advocating in The Prophet still seem very conservative, just not bigoted or reactionary."
Mary smiled. "People with what you might call openly liberal ideas don't get selected for the Wizengamot."
"Good point. Don't get me wrong, we're happy to see even these minor changes. But what does this have to do with offering Ellen houseroom?"
"Well, I think it does explain why we offered it to Sirius Black. We really did need to make it official. The Lupins have had some run-ins with some of Voldemort's allies, and my husband has learned their shop is suffering from competition from larger stores some ten miles away, as their Muggle customers dash about in their automobiles more than they used to. Our manor is well-protected, and we are taking measures to strengthen the wards and other protections. It was no great leap to make the offer for Lily and Ellen." Mary tilted her head slightly and looked pensive. "Why does it bother you so much?"
"If I understand the tradition, it was most often offered to social equals and dependents. We certainly aren't your social equals."
"Ah," Mary said. "I must say, we didn't think of that. Tell me, if despite all our precautions Potter Manor was burnt to the ground, would you give us shelter for the night? Would you allow Harry to stay here for a few days? Would your husband see to it that we were given the potions we might need?" Mary raised her tea cup. "Would you offer me comfort and tea?"
"Yes, of course I would," Bonnie Jean answered.
"Then you would already offer anything we could ask of you if you accept."
"In that case, I accept," Bonnie Jean said, pouring her guest another cup of tea.
"Was there anything else?" Mary asked.
"No," Bonnie Jean answered. "If we were of the same social class, though, I'd have wondered if all this were a prelude to a marriage negotiation."
"It is not, but don't discount that for the future." Mary only grinned on the inside as Bonnie Jean dropped the teapot. She had her suspicions about Harry's feelings towards young Ellen.
Sunday, May 14, 1972
Harry and James invited Sirius, Remus, Lily, and Ellen into a classroom, where they managed to have a sweet tea set up, mostly due to the fact that Harry had made close friends of all the house elves earlier the previous autumn. (Harry's knowledge of how to get into the kitchens had also been used often). All four noticed that Harry looked pleased, and James rather torn.
Harry shyly started in, "James had an idea, which we thought about and asked our parents about." The four students looked interested. "Basically, we'd like each of you to spend part of the summer with us. Our parents talked with your parents, and they came up with a rough schedule, if any of you would like to come and visit. Sirius would be there most of the summer, while Lily would just come for a few days in July. Remus and Ellen, you'd be with us between those two, well, extremes. The six of us would also all get together for a few days in early July and visit Diagon Alley, and again on the Twenty-eighth of August. You'd stay with us until the First, and our parents would see us all to the train. If you're at any interested, that is."
"And," James prompted, teasingly.
"Wait until they decide, James," Harry said.
"Well I certainly say yes," Sirius said.
"So do I," Ellen agreed.
"And I," put in Remus.
"Are you sure you want me?" Lily asked James.
"Oh, yes," James said hurriedly.
Harry smirked to himself, having long ago realized that James purposefully annoyed Lily just to get her attention, much like Ron had picked fights with Hermione.
"All right, I will," Lily said.
"I was told to tell you two that you could still visit back-and- forth as you were planning," Harry said to the girls.
"And what was the other news?" Remus asked.
Harry flushed a little. "Well, I was invited to stay with the McGregors' and the Evans'."
"This will be fun," Ellen said firmly.
Harry stayed in the small room after the other students left, feeling rather content. After a while, he heard a whisper in his mind, 'You are truly happy for the first time since we have known you.'
Harry smiled. Now that he knew what the Four Founders sounded like, he thought that the Sorting Hat sounded like Slytherin's voice but with Gryffindor's speech patterns. Likewise, Hogwarts sounded like Ravenclaw with Hufflepuff's speech and maternal concerns.
'I am,' Harry thought back. 'I still need to find that stupid pocket diary of Riddle's, and then kill him, but the rest of my life seems good for once.'
'Pocket diary?' Hogwarts asked. 'You never said 'pocket diary' before. What is it? We envisioned what you were searching for as one of the diaries the students' keep, at least a moderate- sized codex.'
Harry recalled the memory of the pocket appointment diary Riddle had placed his first Horcrux into.
'That we know,' Hogwarts declared. 'Riddle hid it in a secret place in the Slytherin common room fireplace. Lucius Malfoy checked on it last September, but left it there.'
'Riddle must have told Malfoy how to retrieve it, but he was waiting until the Yule Break or the end of the year,' Harry thought. 'Great. The final current Horcrux down, just the body left to go afterwards.'
Harry retrieved the diary at 4:48 the next morning, as the Slytherin common room was clear. He took it down to the Chamber of Secrets to destroy.
It was difficult to resist the urge to write in the Horcrux. Had Harry not realized that this came in part from a compulsion charm from within the diary, he might have even given in, despite knowing that it would be a potentially dangerous act. Therefore, he did not give in to his ego, which really wanted to taunt Riddle and boast of Harry's accomplishments. 'I may not be an evil overlord, but I must remember the list. Taunting the enemy is counter-productive. Just kill him and move on.'
Harry had preserved one basilisk fang for just this purpose. He stabbed the fang through the thin pocket diary, and as before the ink poured out. For a brief moment, the image of a very startled looking 16 year old Tom Riddle appeared, before disappearing in a flash of green light and a puff of smoke.
Harry slumped on the floor. The most dangerous part of his task still lay ahead, but now it could be accomplished.
Monday, June 19, 1972
Severus Snape and Peter Pettigrew sat comfortably one a soft piece of turf, enjoying the sunny day and watching a group of Hufflepuff and Gryffindor Second years playing tag with the whomping willow.
"Snape, Pettigrew," said a voice in greeting.
"Hullo, Potter," Peter said with a warm smile. Despite being a sycophant by nature, young Peter did have a charming way about him, Harry had to acknowledge. It was easy to see why the other three Marauders had been taken with their fourth room mate in the other time line. As for Peter, since this Potter never harassed, teased, or pranked him, and even sometimes offered sweets, he was always welcome.
Harry nodded at Peter and turned to Snape. "Congratulations," he said sincerely. "Well scored."
"You aren't upset I scored the highest final grade in Potions?" Snape asked, slightly surprised. Professor Slughorn had told Snape that he had earned the highest score any First year had ever earned from him -- 111. Lily and Harry had tied the old record of 108.
"Why would I be?" Harry asked, puzzled.
"Well, Potions was the only subject you weren't first in," Snape pointed out.
Harry shrugged. "Friendly competition is good." He turned to Peter. "You nearly had me in History."
"Almost," Peter agreed. He had only been a point behind Harry, and he and Remus had tied for second in that class. Despite all of Harry's advantages, he had not allowed himself to run-away in the scores in any of the classes -- except Defense.
"I may be a good brewer, but I'll never be the type who can sit down and think out new potions," Harry told Snape. "You, and maybe Lily, are. I was wondering if you might tackle an idea for me starting this summer?"
"What's the problem?" Snape asked, curious.
Harry handed him a roll of parchment. "Each of these three potions are used in warding areas. However, they each react against each other, canceling the effects. I was wondering if you could figure out a way to modify them so that at least two of them could be used together. The resulting overlaying wards could be much more effective. I think something in this class of reagents might do the trick, but I could be wrong." Harry would not remember which of the reagents had been used, as the problem had been partially solved in the other time stream.
"These all use very different ingredients," Snape said. "I really think this is still too advanced for me . . . right now."
"I know," Harry agreed. "Still, I wondered if you would take this on for me as a long-term project. None of these require any direct magic to brew. I thought you might like to brew them a few times this summer, to get a real feel for the process, unless you have other things planned that is."
"I don't," Snape said eagerly, but then his face dropped. This was a chance to do some real brewing, and learn a lot, but the ingredients would not be cheap.
"I can arrange for enough ingredients to brew each one five times," Harry said. "You'll know enough about brewing them then, and you can work on the problem every summer until you figure things out. I can also arrange for you to sell the potions, if they're good enough. You'll have to pick the ingredients up, though. Deal?" He offered his hand.
"What's the final deal?" Snape asked.
"If you succeed before anyone else does, you get the credit and you get to name the resulting process. I handle the licensing, you get ninety percent of any royalties."
Snape shook Harry's hand.
"Would it be easier for you to pick things up at Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley?" Harry asked.
"Hogsmeade, actually," Snape answered happily.
Saturday, June 24, 1972
Albus Dumbledore stretched his long, still powerful body, and sighed contentedly. The students had left the day before, and he had nothing on his schedule until Monday. The previous 13 months had been very stressful.
The arrival of Harry Potter had been, to say the least, stunning. It gave him great hope for the defeat of Voldemort, but it had taken months before he trusted that the powerful warlock in the child's body was not in any way Dark.
Harry had his gray spots of course, although fewer, Dumbledore now believed, than he had himself. The problem was, Harry's gray areas did not match well with Dumbledore's.
Harry was not really manipulative, nor very devious. Incredibly stealthy, but not devious. (Here Dumbledore was slightly underestimating Harry.) On the other hand, Harry was more ruthless. He was also more idealistic, and he was also determined that the magical world at least think about his ideals.
Dumbledore hoped that at least that last aspect of Harry's campaigns would be put on hold for a while.
That hope lasted until Dumbledore saw the envelope at the foot of his bed.
With great foreboding, Dumbledore performed his morning ablations, got dressed, and then sat down and read:
There has been much speculation that this Order would very much like to overthrow the Ministry and the Wizengamot. Neither is true, despite our strong disagreements with them on policy. However, we do make one recommendation to change the Wizengamot.
We believe that ten seats should be added to the Wizengamot. We believe that these seats should be secured by election from all wizards and witches over seventeen who are citizens of the area controlled by the Wizengamot and Ministry (ie, the United Kingdom and Eire, to use the current Muggle names, plus the three magical islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean and under Ministry control, obscured to the Muggles).
These would not be life-term seats, as forty-five of the current seats are. Instead, let there be two members elected every year with five year terms. In addition, no one should be elected to consecutive terms. Also, no member of the Ministry should be allowed to run for such a seat, and if named to one of the five Ministry seats they, like the regular members, would have to give up their seat. We would further suggest that the minimum age to hold such an office would be forty.
Should such a member die while in office or leave for some other reason, whomever comes in third in the next race could fulfill the rest of their term. If an elected member were to be removed from office by a vote of the Wizengamot (as they can do with any member), there should be an election to fulfill the rest of the term with 40 days. These elected members would have an equal vote in all matters with the other members, except that they would not participate in the selection of the representatives of the 15 Most Noble Family seats, nor the 15 Noble Family seats, nor should anyone elected to such a seat ever be named to one of the Most Noble or Noble seats.
The Ministry shall, of course, not act on this suggestion. If anyone is interested in this Proposal being adopted, perhaps you should ask to speak at the next Wizengamot meeting. Anyone filling out the proper form has to be accommodated. We all have the right to speak, if we are over 17. Be warned, if you fill out the form and do not show up to speak, you will be fined three Sickles. On the other hand, if you are not allowed to speak, you are to be paid five Galleons.
Dumbledore winced when he saw that the next page was a copy of the magical form. He wondered how many people would send it in, just for the chance to get five Galleons? He hesitatingly turned to the third page.
It occurs to us to add this, as the Ministry might overwise have refused all but a select handful the right to speak. These would then speak against the Proposal, and the Ministry would say that they were representative of all those who were to speak. Beware such tricks!
Below this was proof that while Harry rarely acted deviously, he did understand the deviousness of others, was an addendum:
Perhaps you could arrange a payment of one Galleon to all those petitioners who give up the right to speak, in exchange for signing one of two parchments. One in general favor of the proposal, one against.
Dumbledore had to admit that was a fair out, although he noted that many in the Ministry and Wizengamot would oppose the idea for that very reason.
He also wondered when the questions would start being asked about those three islands. All three were exclusively owned by syndicates made up of some of the most hard-core magical families in England. Then Albus remembered that this Harry had been the heir to the Black as well as to the Potter fortunes, and therefore knew of them -- and that most of the people living on the island were Muggle slaves.
The fact that the Order of Founders knew of these islands would ring alarm bells, and would especially make those in the establishment worry what other secrets the 'Order' might know. Class Standings
Astronomy . . . Charms . . . . .Defense . . . . Flying
01 Harry. . . . 01 Harry . . . .01 Harry. . . . 01 Harry
01 Lily . . . . 02 Lily. . . . .02 James. . . . 02 James
02 Sirius . . . 04 James . . . .02 Remus. . . . 04 Sirius
03 Remus. . . . 05 Sirius. . . .03 Sirius . . . 08 Severus
04 James. . . . 06 Remus . . . .03 Severus. . . 11 Remus
06 Ellen. . . . 07 Severus . . .06 Lily . . . . 14 Lily
07 Severus. . . 08 Ellen . . . .08 Ellen. . . . 16 Ellen
12 Peter. . . . 11 Peter . . . .12 Peter. . . . 24 Peter
Herbology . . . History . . . . Potions . . . . Transfiguration
01 Harry. . . . 01 Harry. . . . 01 Severus. . . 01 Harry
02 Ellen. . . . 02 Peter. . . . 02 Lily . . . . 02 James
03 Severus. . . 02 Remus. . . . 02 Harry. . . . 03 Sirius
05 Lily . . . . 04 Sirius . . . 04 James. . . . 04 Lily
07 Remus. . . . 05 James. . . . 05 Sirius . . . 06 Ellen
09 James. . . . 07 Lily . . . . 07 Ellen. . . . 07 Remus
10 Peter. . . . 08 Severus. . . 10 Peter. . . . 08 Severus
12 Sirius . . . 10 Ellen. . . . 12 Remus. . . . 13 Peter
Final Ranking, First Year
Sorry that the columns don't translate to this website. As for Riddle's diary -- think about it. Could the journal shown in the movie have been flushed down a toilet?