Much to his displeasure, Harry is thrown back through time into his six year old body. As a result, Harry decides to contort the timeline, purely for his own amusement.
In the guest room that night, Hermione laid her head on the pillow, unable to sleep and tears silently streamed down her face, the more she thought about what Harry had to do. It wasn’t fair that Harry was the only one that was able to stop the most dangerous wizards in the world by himself. From what Hermione could gather from Harry, he had taken steps to forestall Voldemort’s return to power but she wondered if it would be enough.
The time travel accident put Harry back for a reason, giving him a second chance. Normally Hermione felt she would have been absolutely mortified if someone had knowledge of what was to come, but she saw what Harry had to do. Harry did point out a couple times that if didn’t matter how many times he had to live this life, beating Voldemort would not be a simple task. He would do what he could to change the world for a better but still Voldemort stood, looming in the horizon. Harry had eliminated the method Voldemort used to return to life the last time, but someone who had traveled the world like Voldemort no doubt learned a few more tricks, some that Harry could not have imagined in her wildest dreams.
Harry had given her a picture of what happened, showed her some things that were in a way disturbing and hinted that some of his past, or alternate future technically, was too disturbing to show. Hermione resolved to live up the standard of her future counterpart, sticking by Harry no matter what. It wouldn’t be the easiest thing to do but it sure was the right thing to do.
Harry sat in his room, absent mindedly going through last year’s financial records, but not really paying all that much attention to them at all. Hermione had taken what she had seen much better than he could have ever expected. While Hermione knew everything that was necessary to understand what had to be done. Harry would be damned if the story ended the same way, but he was prepared for the very real possibility that his actions could end up making everything worse, despite his best intentions. He tried to keep these thoughts to the back of his mind and resolved to do what he believed needed to be done.
Alas, some things were out of Harry’s hands, but he resolved to change what he could, doing what was necessary to sculpt a better future for himself and his friends. He had to defeat Voldemort this time, there wasn’t any trying, he had to defeat Voldemort no matter what it took or he would be what a majority of the Wizarding World branded him as the first time around. A scared little boy longing for Mummy and Daddy who was nothing without Albus Dumbledore pulling the strings behind him, a brand that Harry despised with every fiber of being but the accusations were there.
Harry didn’t believe in fate, but he did believe in justice. Dumbledore learned it, Crouch learned it, as did Snape and Malfoy, even Fudge.
Some aspects of his past Harry didn’t dwell on. His friends would be okay, he never meant to seek them out until Hogwarts, the fact that he and Hermione met early wasn’t in Harry’s plans, it just was an unintentional side effect of the time line distortion. Other things would work themselves out, hopefully for the better, the changes Harry made would have effects that would invalidate tragedies. Despite what he had done, certain things Harry couldn’t change no matter how much he wanted to without concrete information like dates that may have changed because of the changes made all ready. One event in particular entered Harry’s mind but he didn’t know if the circumstances would have played out the same. It seemed possible but highly unlikely as so much of the Wizarding World had changed as a domino effect of Harry’s alterations.
Thoughts of her also were driven to Harry’s mind, that he forced back as far from his conscious thought as possible. It was something that Harry would not dwell on, he wouldn’t dare hope, because of his unique circumstances, Harry didn’t quite feel comfortable having a relationship beyond friendship with anyone. Besides, even if he somehow found a good reason to put his moral obligations aside, Harry reasoned it would be foolish to dwell on what happened and what might have happened with them, because he would not drive himself mad with hope that they would connect the same way again, despite how much deep down he still cared.
Putting these borderline angsty thoughts out of his head, Harry put away his financial records before he got into his makeshift bed on the side of his office and drifted off into a very uneasy nights of sleep, having a few disturbing nightmares that he hadn’t had since the height of Lord Voldemort’s reign of terror.
A year had passed since that night, and it was August, nearly a month before Hogwarts was to begin and Narcissa had just returned from taking her son shopping for his school supplies and had returned to the modest home that she had purchased in Hogsmeade.
“Cissy, it’s been too long,” said a calm voice and Narcissa sighed, she hated when her sister had dropped by unexpectedly.
“Hello, Bella, what are you doing here?” asked Narcissa cautiously, as Bellatrix’s presence was always a negative influence on her son, she had attempted to continue the warping of Draco’s mind that Lucius had started, to some degree of success. Narcissa didn’t care for muggleborns, half bloods, and blood traitors for any means, but she wasn’t going to force her views on her son, preferring that he make up his own mind through his experiences rather than what he heard.
“I’m here to visit my favorite sister but considered the fact that Andromeda ran off with a Mudblood, that really isn’t saying much,” cackled Bellatrix as her eyes rested on Draco. “Draco, come here and give your Aunt Bellatrix a hug!”
Draco did so but his nose wrinkled slightly, but if Bellatrix noticed, he didn’t say anything.
“Sorry I didn’t have time to wash my robes, some Muggle attempted to get fresh with me, he learned the hard way, so some of his blood may be splattered on my robes,” remarked Bellatrix wickedly before her voice turned to a calm, nearly affectionate tone. “Now Draco, you’re to attend Hogwarts this year and it would be good if you understand your role, you have your legacy as a pureblood to uphold, you must be sorted into Slytherin and do not interact with Mudbloods, half bloods, or blood traitors, as they will contaminate you and make you magically weaker. Is that understood?”
“Yes, Aunt Bellatrix,” replied Draco.
“Good very good, now run along, your mother and I have something important to discuss that really isn’t suitable for children to hear,” said Bellatrix.
“Yes, go run along Draco, read your new books,” added Narcissa and Draco ran off.
“So, you’re new teaching job is working out well,” said Bellatrix. “You are making sure that the Mudbloods, half bloods, and blood traitors are learning their proper place…”
“Bella, you know very well I can’t show favoritism, Flamel’s watching me closely, I need to toe the line,” replied Narcissa.
“Toe the line, Cissy, what is that old dusty has-been of a wizard going to do to you?” demanded Bellatrix her eyes glinting madly as she rocked back and forth.
“If this plan of the Dark Lord’s were to work, it wouldn’t do good for me to tip anything, a plan you’ve never told me what it was,” said Narcissa.
“The Dark Lord has been very vague, but it’s not our place to question him, it’s our place to follow him and don’t you forget it Cissy!” yelled Bellatrix who was absolutely hysterical before she calmed down in the blink of an eye and grew suddenly insightful. “Yet, yes, you do raise a good point, the plan does involve Harry Potter, but nothing else, and you do need to remain under Flamel’s radar.”
Bellatrix sat, her eyes blank and looked thoughtful, nearly sane.
“It just isn’t right the Dark Lord should have ruled over the Wizarding World by now, some little brat that wasn’t even out of diapers shouldn’t have stopped him!” sobbed Bellatrix tears flowing from her face before she broke into manic giggles. “Still Harry Potter will suffer, yes he will, the Dark Lord will crush him like the worm he is.”
Bellatrix became calm for a few seconds, before she broke into laughter and then began to sob again, rocking back and forth.
“Bella, are you going to be alright?” asked Narcissa.
“Yes, I’ll be fine, Cissy,” answered Bellatrix calmly before another shift in her eyes and she suddenly became hysterical. “It’s not like you care, it’s not like you give a damn anyway! You were always the perfect daughter, the perfect pureblood princess, you were the socially acceptable one, the one that our parents talked about proudly and there was crazy Bellatrix, her unnaturally obsession with the dark arts. I’m happy that Andromeda ran off with that Mudblood, because at least I wasn’t the biggest outcast in the family.”
Bellatrix sprung up, causing a couple of the windows to break as she looked absolutely insane.
“I hate our mother, Cissy, she never wanted me to be happy!” yelled Bellatrix taking Narcissa back with an unexpected outburst. “That’s why she fixed me up with a marriage contract with an impotent little prick who couldn’t last ten seconds in the bedroom. He doesn’t have the spine for the dark arts either; I was the one who tortured the Longbottoms while Rodolphus cowered in the corner, sucking his thumb like a soiled infant! I deserve a wizard of a higher caliber, someone who doesn’t break down and scream in terror when I put the Cruciatus Curse on him. I hate my mother; I hope she dies that old hag!”
“Bella, our mother is dead,” replied Narcissa coolly.
“I know Cissy, why did you have to bring that up, do you know how close we were?” demanded Bellatrix before she alternated between manic giggling and crying. “My poor mother, she had so many years left in her life, cut down by an Auror who had mistaken her for a follower of the Dark Lord. Come on Narcissa, let’s go down the Ministry and kill all the Aurors one by one, that’d make me feel better.”
Narcissa looked at her sister, who had a hopeful, nearly childish look on her face.
“Bella, as much as I’d love to help you, I do have lesson plans to draw up for this year at Hogwarts,” stated Narcissa.
“Oh yes, of course, Cissy, it’s passed me now, talk to you later,” said Bellatrix as she excused herself.
Narcissa sighed, her sister needed help big time. While Bellatrix had been a little odd since they were children, her insanity had only escalated since she had joined the Dark Lord and especially after her Azkaban stint. The problem was, Bellatrix would never admit she needed help and Narcissa didn’t know exactly where to go to offer her sister help, it would take a large amount of money to get the amount of psychiatric counseling Bellatrix needed.
Quirinus Quirrell sat in his kitchen, enjoying a meal and pleased that next year at Hogwarts, he would be the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Not only that, but Quirrell had met a wonderful individual who had opened up his eyes towards a whole new world of possibilities. That man was naturally Lord Voldemort and he offered Quirrell a whole new kind of power, if only the young teacher would do one thing, deliver Harry Potter to an undisclosed location by the end of the school year right under the nose of Nicholas Flamel.
Quirrell really didn’t have any idea of how he would accomplish this but the power that the Dark Lord promised him would serve as a great inspiration and Quirrell was determined not to let his perspective master down.
Little did Quirrell know that sitting with his back turned on a window, without his wand to defend himself would prove to be the beginning of the end.
A loud bang echoed shattering the window and a barrage of bullets went through the windows, Quirrell slumped against the table before he slid to the kitchen floor.
“Inside, he could have faked being hit, we can’t leave anything to chance,” ordered a calm voice and the front door swung open to reveal Harry, under the guise of Barone, and his band of merry mobsters.
Indeed, no chances could have been taken, as wizards had developed spells to block gunfire over the years, due mostly towards paranoia that the Muggles might use guns to overrun them on the off chance they found the Wizarding World. It was a small chance, but the majority didn’t want to leave any disadvantage, no matter how small to Muggles in any way whatsoever.
“Boss, I think he may be dead,” said one of the mobsters but Barone calmly pulled out the gun and drilled Quirrell in the back of the head three times, before he bent down to check something.
“Damn, he’s not back there,” muttered Barone in a low voice, before he prodded Quirrell with the pimp cane and the wizard shown no signs of movement. “Now, he’s dead, Marella.”
Barone bent down, pulling out his wand, carefully removing and vanishing the bullets before he healed the wounds, he wanted to make this look like an accident after all.
“What exactly were you looking for back there?” wondered Vinny, as he stuck out of Barone’s sleeve to turn his head for side to side.
“Voldemort,” replied Barone with a low hiss. “I really didn’t know whether or not Quirrell would have joined him this time, but once I heard he was in Albania, I had to react right away because there was a chance he could have been seduced by Voldemort again.”
“And if he wasn’t?” questioned Vinny. “You did destroy the Philosopher’s Stone, so he would have no reason.”
“Voldemort might have moved his plans to use me up to restore him to power up by a few years, and besides, I don’t want to take chances, not now, not ever,” replied Barone to the snake. “He did go into the area where Voldemort was known to be hiding, so I just put the pieces together.”
The mobsters looked at Barone for further instruction.
“Make sure there are nothing lying around that can tie this to us, while I finish tying this up,” said Barone and off went his man as he waved his wand repairing the glass, before he pulled a large vial with a triple dose of the luck potion, Felix Felicis before he pried Quirrell’s motionless mouth open and dumped the potion into his mouth, jabbing his wand towards the throat to make his inactive throat muscles swallow the entire potion.
“All cleared up, Boss Potter” informed the mobster called Shoulders.
“Good, very good and don’t use my real name in public,” hissed Barone.
“Right, sorry Mr. Barone,” apologized Shoulders as Barone cleared up the area, removing all traces of finger prints and used a very powerful charm to mask any traces of magic, before he turned to his men.
“Let’s go, business calls,” concluded Barone calmly.
Yaxley walked forward to face the Dark Lord. The Dark Lord sat on a hard looking wooden chair, with a hood pulled up over his face, revealing nothing but slit like red eyes. Yaxley kneeled before the Dark Lord. Seconds passed, before the Dark Lord nodded stiffly to acknowledge Yaxley’s presence.
“My Lord, I went to investigate why Quirrell didn’t arrive at the appointed time and he was found in the kitchen area,” explained Yaxley. “He had died just hours before, it appears that he overdosed on Felix Felicis, the luck potion.”
“Disappointing,” said Voldemort calmly after a few seconds. “But not damning to our plans.”
“My Lord, perhaps if you could enlighten me a bit more on your plans then I could be of service,” suggested Yaxley hopefully but the Dark Lord just looked at Yaxley, his eyes not moving at the slightest for about thirty seconds which caused Yaxley to shiver.
“Yaxley, you have your mission, others have theirs, I prefer not to place all my eggs into one basket,” commented Voldemort icily. “Perhaps you can enlighten me on what you found recently on Barone.”
“My Lord, almost five years of searching and I have no records, other than he purchased some magical businesses, the obvious one being the Daily Prophet,” replied Yaxley. “I had followed some potential leads, but other than his activities over the past five years, I can’t find any record that Allan Michael Barone even exists prior to the Dumbledore trial. Not even the slightest hint my lord, if he’s using any other names, he leaves no hint for them.”
“Interesting,” said Voldemort softly. “Yaxley, Barone is only a small concern, he can be properly dealt with once Harry Potter is used. He will be much more receptive to joining us if his charge has been compromised. The entire empire would collapse if young Harry met a premature demise but I will give them both a chance to serve me.”
“What if Potter or Barone refuses?” inquired Yaxley and Voldemort’s eyes still didn’t move, despite this borderline stupid question from Yaxley.
“Others have refused the Dark Lord, many cave to my will in due time or perish,” answered Voldemort crisply. “Remember Yaxley, failure is not an option and certain parts of my Inner Circle may be purged to eliminate weaknesses. Your inability to acquire more concrete information on Barone is rather disappointing. I expect further results by our next meeting, is that clear?”
Yaxley felt the Dark Lord’s eyes stare into his own and he barely suppressed a shudder, as he wished the Dark Lord would blink more often.
“Yes, my Lord, I will not fail you,” said Yaxley and Voldemort offered no sign of acknowledgement other than calmly raised his arm, pointing towards the door and Yaxley took it as his cue to leave.
During his trip to Albania, Voldemort thought he had a workable plan when he had tracked down the man who was researching to become the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, impressing him with what Quirrell perceived to be power but was merely parlor tricks. Quirrell had joined for a taste of the power but obviously he wasn’t what Voldemort needed if he foolishly took a large dose of a potion.
Still, the trip to Albania wasn’t a total loss, as the rare magical items acquired would strengthen the durability and speed of the new body but the blood of Harry Potter would be the final element. Whatever caused Potter to destroy his former body, Voldemort wanted following through his veins, as that would be the one final element to obtain true invincibility.
Gilderoy Lockhart smiled widely as he looked at the completed manuscript of his autobiography, Magical Me. The ghost writer he had paid off did a wonderful job in weaving his life, both the fact and the fiction he took credit for with his years of hard work. Since he erased his ghost writer’s memories, it would be like Lockhart had written the book and he would take credit for doing one hundred percent of the work.
He poured a glass of fire whiskey and walked into the sitting room but he stopped when he saw that an imposing looking figure.
“Nice place you have here Lockhart, can’t say much about your taste in decoration,” commented Barone as he looked around to see at least a hundred, maybe more, framed photos of Lockhart all around him along with several pink, flowery vases.
“Who are you?” demanded Lockhart as he stood in what he thought was a threatening, heroic pose but in reality was rather pathetic.
“Please I’ve seen three year olds that were more imposing than you are, Lockhart,” answered Barone coolly. “The name’s Barone, perhaps you’ve heard of me, I’ve caused a few Ministry officials to take an extended vacation in Azkaban, threw the entire Floo system in disarray, and caused Dolores Umbridge to get demoted to janitorial duty at the Ministry.”
“Ah, Mr. Barone, no need to go on further, I know exactly while you’re here,” retorted Lockhart pompously. “Naturally, I’d be honored to give to you my complete collection of books, autographed, along with an advanced copy of my highly anticipated autobiography Magical Me, once it gets back from the publishers.”
“Save it Lockhart, I already have all your books, my snake needs to go to the bathroom somewhere,” replied Barone.
“Someone mention me,” muttered Vinny sleepily, but it sounded like a mean hiss to Lockhart, who leapt back in terror.
“I’ll cut to the chase, I know that you took credit for the work of others, unless you want that fact to slip into the Daily Prophet, along with your grave inaccuracies that Nicholas Flamel kindly sent to me a few years ago, I suggest you do exact what I say and if I even catch you attempting to wipe my memory, I’ll give your skull a sun roof,” said Barone as Lockhart held his wand, but quickly put it down, as Barone narrowed his eyes at him.
“What do you want from me?” demanded Lockhart.
“Relax, goldilocks, you’ll find that I’m a fair man, I will let you print your lies if I receive a fair cut of all profits you’ve ever made from your books,” answered Barone. “No less than ninety five percent, yes that should do it.”
Lockhart dropped his jaw.
“But…but…but…” stammered Lockhart.
“Your reputation is on the line Gilderoy,” added Barone as he pulled out a piece of parchment, ink, and a quill. “Just sign your name here, but remember this offer self destructs in thirty seconds and I send out the Daily Prophets detailing your misdeeds.”
Lockhart quickly reached forward and signed the contract without reading it, his reputation obviously worth too much to him.
“Good, nice magically binding contract signed, perhaps I should have also mentioned that you can never can apply for the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position at Hogwarts or use your memory charm on anyone else ever again, but alas it’s too late, the legally binding contract is filed at Gringotts,” said Barone.
“Wait, I’ll lose my magic if I break it,” wondered Lockhart.
“Please, Lockhart, you’re magic isn’t enough collateral,” scoffed Barone. “If you break your word, your teeth with rot and not only that, but your hair will fall out. Also, I’ll expose you to the world as the fraud you are.”
Lockhart looked horrified that the fact that his teeth that had won in the Witch Weekly award for Most Charming Smile on five separate occasions were being threatened. He came to one conclusion; this Barone guy was a sick, twisted, individual to threaten such a precious treasure like his smile. The entire magical economy would collapse if Lockhart lost his charming smile!
“It’s been a pleasure doing business with you,” concluded Barone and in a blink of an eye, Barone had disapparated, leaving Lockhart to lament his woes of being coerced into signing a contract without reading it. He couldn’t very well challenge it at Gringotts. The goblins hated Lockhart for some reason, although he couldn’t imagine how anyone could hate him.
Harry and Hermione carried their trunks on September First, all excited as it was the day they had been waiting for years had arrived, the first day of Hogwarts. Well, Hermione was a bit more excited than Harry, but still, Harry couldn’t help but feel a bit of morbid curiosity at how this time around would different from the last time. It was a whole new world, with Snape in Azkaban and Dumbledore hopefully in a cardboard box.
Not too many people were on the train yet, as it was nearly a half of an hour before departure but Harry and Hermione wished to be early, as if even a few people in the Wizarding World could do basic math, they would know that Harry would be old enough to start Hogwarts right about now and would have told all there friends. It was a measure to avoid being mobbed by certain people.
They sat in a compartment in the back of the train and Hermione sat down, reading a book on wandless magic.
“Since you have Occlumency down, wandless magic shouldn’t be much of a problem, it requires similar will power and concentration, but I’m warning you, it’s not easy,” remarked Harry. “But a good skill to have if you can manage it, because there is a chance you could lose your wand in a combat situation.”
“Yes, most witches and wizards seem to be attached to their wand, like an extra arm,” said Hermione as she read the book. “At least that’s what it says in this book, but if they lose their wand, they are like a fish out of water.”
“Yes, only a few people can seamlessly do magic without your wand, it’s a bit of a dodgy skill to learn as far as the Ministry is concerned, as they control fugitives by taking their wands away and snapping them,” remarked Harry. “Voldemort obviously can do magic without a wand, Dumbledore too, I would be an idiot to think that Flamel wouldn’t have picked up the skill in the last seven hundred or so years. A couple of Aurors may have thumbed their nose at the Ministry and tried to learn the skill, Moody seems to come to mind as a candidate, as he’s so paranoid, I can’t believe that he would be secure in relying just on his wand and maybe a few Death Eaters, but less than a dozen when you come down to those who can do it well enough to make a difference.”
“Yes, it says in here that it’s drilled in the heads of students from day one that wands are necessary, to stunt their potential to use wandless magic,” remarked Hermione.
“Somehow that didn’t apply to me but considering I survived the killing curse, produced a patronus that drove off a hundred Dementors, and threw off the Imperius Curse when I was fourteen, I guess the fact I was to ignore all the teachers constant talk about how wands were necessary,” said Harry. “Of course, I really didn’t pay too much attention in school the first time around, which came back to haunt me, but this one time it worked to my favor.”
Hermione nodded, as she went back to her reading and Harry pulled out an advanced text on the History of the Unforgivable Curses, disguised as a notebook, and began to read it.
Nearly twenty minutes later, with both Harry and Hermione deeply in their books, hearing the sound of approaching steps from outside and Harry pulled himself to his feet and peered out the glass.
“What is it Harry?” asked Hermione.
“Ron Weasley is coming this way,” whispered Harry. “No doubt his mother suggested that we would be friends, most likely on the request of Dumbledore long ago.”
“So, what should we do Harry?” asked Hermione who wasn’t too fond of young Mr. Weasley for his betrayal of Harry.
“Act natural, as far as he knows, we have no reason to hate him in this timeline,” muttered Harry. “Give him one chance, even if it would be just to hang himself.”
Hermione nodded stiffly, biting the inside of her lip, which Harry knew meant she was trying very hard not to lose her temper at the mere idea of trying to me sociable with Ron Weasley.
The door opened and a very nervous looking Ron walked inside.
“Uh…hello, can I sit here?” asked Ron.
“Free country,” replied Hermione casually, but her eyes never left the book she was reading and Ron sat down on an empty seat.
“So, anyway, I’m Ron Weasley and I’ve been looking for Harry Potter, because Mum thinks he should have positive influences and should not be allowed to fall to the dark, because Dumbledore said he would if someone from a nice family didn’t befriend him,” remarked Ron.
“Wait, you’re looking for Harry Potter?” inquired Harry. “He wouldn’t happen to be a kid about our age with a lightning bolt scar on his head, vanquished You-Know-Who when he was a young lad.”
“Yes, that’d be him, you must be muggleborn , if you just heard about Harry Potter,” said Ron. “Anyway, I need to find him so we can be best friends forever.”
“I think I might have seen him, fairly good kid, excellent head on his shoulders, looks like he’s going to be sorted into Ravenclaw or maybe Slytherin by the looks of things,” remarked Harry as Hermione tried hard not to break out into laughter as she caught sight of Ron’s face.
“No, he can’t be, I mean, he’s Harry Potter, he would have to be sorted into Gryffindor!” exclaimed Ron in a confident voce.
“And if he changed his name to Bob Jones, could that mean he could be a Slytherin?” demanded Harry. “What makes Gryffindor so great anyway? A house for the brave and the naïve as far as I’m concerned.”
“Dumbledore was sorted in that house,” responded Ron proudly.
“That just lessens the value of Gryffindor if Dumbledore was in it,” said Harry and Ron looked mortified but Harry wasn’t finished. “Yes, Dumbledore, he is the worst fraud in the entire history of magic, don’t think he wouldn’t sacrifice your family if it served his greater good. I’m not a naïve pureblood Ronald Weasley, I know what Dumbledore is, he sent Harry Potter to be beaten down by his Muggle relatives so he could be his to mold.”
“How do you know?” challenged Ron.
“Because, I’m Harry Potter,” whispered Harry.
“Wait, you’re Harry Potter!” shrieked Ron in absolute glee, which made Harry wonder who the bigger fangirl was, Ron or Ginny. Right now it looked pretty close. “So do you have the…”
“Patience to deal with blind Dumbledore followers, no I don’t,” said Harry blandly. “Anyway, Slytherin is looking really good right now, because you’d be a Gryffindor…”
“Harry, all of the dark wizards come out of Slytherin!” argued Ron. “You just have to be in Gryffindor, the entire world is counting on you to be good, I mean name one good person who came out of Slytherin!”
“Mad-Eye Moody,” said Harry calmly.
“Well he’s a nutter isn’t he?” asked Ron who had suddenly felt he didn’t care all that much for the legendary Auror now that he heard he had been sorted into Slytherin. “Personally, I’d head straight back to the train if I was put in Slytherin, that Barone guy has been misleading you to these opinions but I want to be your friend. Can’t you see that?”
“Ronald, I’m going to say this nicely, you can shut up right now, enjoy the rest of the ride here, or there will be trouble,” replied Harry.
“No, you can’t hurt anyone, you’re Harry Potter, you vanquished You-Know-Who, you’re supposed to be good,” said Ron in a confident voice.
“Good and evil are such subjective terms, but I suppose they’re about up to the speed for someone simplistic enough to believe the words of a manipulator who disregards the last wishes of a child’s parents and condones child abuse,” answered Harry and Ron’s mouth opened and shut a few times, as he seemed to be too shocked to speak. “In fact, I will have you removed right now. Oh Dobby!”
With a pop, a house elf dressed in a pinstripe suit appeared.
“Harry Potter sir was calling for Dobby?” asked the house elf.
“Yes, Dobby, could you please do something about this unwanted addition to this compartment?” asked Harry politely.
“Sir, wants Dobby to screw him?” inquired Dobby and Hermione lost all composure, breaking out into loud giggles and even Harry struggled to remain a straight face, as Ron looked absolutely horrified that a house elf would want to do unnatural things to him.
“Uh, Dobby, that’s put the screws to him,” said Harry as he looked to Ron. “But yes.”
“Right, Dobby does apologize, he still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of the lingo, Harry Potter, sir,” replied Dobby as he snapped his fingers which swung the door open before he lifted Ron up and forcefully removed Ron from the compartment.
“So, Harry, when were you going to tell me that you had a house elf?” asked Hermione.
“Actually when you started ranting about how house elves got an unfair deal again, it might have caused it to slip my mind when I did it a few months ago, but that can’t be it, can it?” asked Harry innocently. “Still, Dobby will tell you that I had to twist his arm for him to be paid ten galleons a month and have four weeks of all expenses paid vacation for the year, along with wearing clothes.”
“Tis true, Harry Potter sir was too kind to Dobby, Dobby protested, but Harry Potter told Dobby that he would increase Dobby’s pay if Dobby didn’t take his first offer right away,” replied the house elf as he walked back into the room, having disposed of Ron. “Sir is very firm but Dobby supposes he is more than fair. Now, Dobby best be going now sir, just call if you needs anything.”
“Yes, that’s alright but Harry, I’ve been reading about house elves and it’s basically slave labor,” said Hermione. “It’s just like the thing with wands, house elves are conditioned to believe that they need to serve humans.”
“Hermione, I tell you this right now, to reeducate the house elves, we’re going to have to education the magical world and I don’t think that could be done without copious use of shock collars,” remarked Harry and Hermione opened her mouth. “Hermione, as tempting as it sounds, I am not going to buy shock collars and fix them to every single witch and wizard in Britain.”
Hermione saw the logic in Harry’s agreements and felt it would do no one any good to press on further. Some time later, the doors opened up and two red haired teenagers made their way inside. Harry smirked in spite himself.
“Is it true?” asked one of the twins.
“That our brother attempted to make friends with Harry Potter,” continued the second twin.
“Or knowing ickle Ronniekins, tried to suck up to young Mr. Potter, who was smart enough to see through it,” added the first twin again.
“Then was attacked by a house elf,” concluded the second twin again as they looked at Harry and Hermione.
“Yes, that’s true but wait a minute?” asked Harry. “No, it can’t be, they’re here Hermione!”
Hermione’s eyes widened in mock horror.
“Oh my, it’s really them, the Weasley Twins!” cried Hermione in a faux hysterical tone.
“We know all about you and your deviant ways,” added Harry.
“Is it true you can turn first years into carmel by merely looking at them?” asked Hermione.
“True, of course it’s true, they’re the second greatest group pranksters to ever come out of Hogwarts,” said Harry. “Soon to be relegated to third place, of course.”
“Yes naturally, mere amateurs, if Hogwarts could fall apart with them…” stated Hermione before she trailed off, with a smirk.
“Imagine the terror we can inspire in the hearts of the teachers,” replied Harry. “Still, Weasley twins we salute you, as an inspiration to debauchery everywhere.”
“Fred, have they been teaching a class in completing each others sentences?” asked George in an undertone. “I thought we were the only one’s who could do that.”
“I don’t know, this could be a secret project by the teachers of Hogwarts to knock us down a few pegs,” replied Fred.
“Still what do you mean by second greatest group of pranksters ever?” challenged George. “It almost sounds like you know about our heroes…our inspiration…but…how?”
“What makes you think that you can bump us down to third?” quested Fred.
“The fact that while you were talking we transfigured your robes to look like school girl uniforms might have something to do with it,” replied Hermione and Fred and George looked down, but their robes remained unchanged.
“What are you talking about, our robes are fine?” inquired George.
“Here lies the genius of the prank, boys,” replied Harry. “Hermione made you think we did something to your robes, so it worked. Good work, Hermione.”
“Thanks Harry,” said Hermione.
Fred and George exchanged looks, before they broke out into laughter.
“You know they got us good, Fred,” said George.
“That they did George,” added Fred.
“And answer your question about how I know about the Marauders, well to put it frankly, Prongs is my dad, otherwise known as James Potter,” replied Harry calmly and the twins stood in shock before they got down on their knees and bowed towards the ground.
“We worship you,” said George. “And not because you beat You-Know-Who either.”
“But because you are the heir of one of the greatest pranksters that ever walked the halls of Hogwarts,” added Fred.
“Then, I believe you have a certain map,” answered Harry and the twins nodded. “Tell you what, I’ll pay a handsome sum of money for the map.”
“Exactly how much money are you talking about Harry?” asked George.
“Five hundred galleons,” replied Harry and Hermione’s eyes averted to Harry, wondering if her best friend had lost what was left of his sanity.
“Don’t you mean five galleons Harry?” questioned Fred.
“No five hundred galleons,” said Harry.
“Harry, that map’s great and all but that map’s not worth five hundred galleons,” protested George.
“Good point, better make it seven hundred and fifty galleons,” amended Harry and the twins stood their slack jawed. “If that’s not enough for you, I can easily raise it to a thousand galleons…”
“No seven hundred and fifty would be fine, but Harry we would have given it to you for free it is yours after all,” protested George.
“I don’t do free, do whatever you want with the money when you have it, if you want to denote it to somewhere, other than back into my own bank account,” said Harry. “I don’t know, buy a gift from your parents, save to open up your own business, perhaps a joke shop, I don’t really care once the money leaves my vault. So take the money or I’ll sick my house elf on you.”
“By the way Ron was talking that house elf was scary,” muttered George
“Yes, it was, perhaps it isn’t a good idea to argue,” replied Fred.
“So Harry, we reluctantly accept your offer,” said George in a resigned voice.
“We’re slip you the map first thing in the morning,” added Fred.
“Excellent and I’ll get in touch with Gringotts to set up a vault for you two,” concluded Harry as Fred and George quickly departed, before Harry could suggest an even higher price for the map.
“Harry, are you completely insane?” hissed Hermione.
“Yes, absolutely, why?” asked Harry.
“They would have given you the map for free, why would you pay seven hundred and fifty galleons for it?” wondered Hermione.
“It’s an indirect way to get them on the path to getting on their mother’s nerves once again,” remarked Harry. “Not that they need much encouragement…”
“No they don’t,” agreed Hermione and the door opened for the third time, allowing Blaise to walk inside.
“There you two are, I thought I might find you back here, I would have joined you sooner,” remarked Blaise.
“Good afternoon Blaise,” said Hermione calmly, as she submerged herself back into her book.
“Hello Blaise, what kept you?” asked Harry.
“Well, for one thing I nearly missed the train, because Dad checked his car three times for car bombs, he doesn’t take the Floo anymore when your guardian managed to reek havoc with it,” explained Blaise as she sat down right across from Harry. “Not to mention I was held up by Pansy Parkinson and her gaggle of idiots, they make pond scum look good but they kept trying to beg me to sit with them.”
“Maybe they thought they’d look better by comparison if you sat with them,” offered Harry.
“Could be but you’ve never met Pansy Parkinson, she always talks nice to you to your face but then spreads rumors about you behind your back,” said Blaise. “Could care less, I would never be friends with someone like head but any idea where you’re going to be sorted, Harry, Hermione?”
“Ravenclaw,” replied Hermione without missing a beat as she turned the page. “I wouldn’t be caught dead in Gryffindor after what I’ve found out about them recently, Slytherin wouldn’t accept my type, but I suppose Hufflepuff wouldn’t be too bad.”
“Are you kidding, Hufflepuff is the joke of all of Hogwarts?” drawled a very familiar voice that caused Harry to clench his fists, as Draco Malfoy stood at the doorway.
“Malfoy,” replied Blaise, as if the name soiled her tongue just by speaking it.
“Zabini,” answered Malfoy who seemed cocky and self assured as ever, it seemed the damage was already done before Lucius was sent off to Azkaban. “So, did your mother kill any husbands lately?”
“I wouldn’t be one to talk Malfoy, your father is probably dropping the soap at Azkaban as we speak,” replied Blaise coolly and Harry and Hermione both snickered, but Malfoy seemed confused, only barely realizing that Blaise had somehow disrespected his father and he turned to Hermione.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know who you are?” said Malfoy rudely.
“Not that it’s any of your business but my name’s Hermione Granger,” said Hermione.
“Granger’s not a wizard family name so you must be a Mudblood,” replied Draco snidely and Harry’s eye twitched, the urge to throw Draco into a cage with a hungry Fenrir Greyback on a full moon was very appealing, he was asking for it all the last timeline and during their second face to face encounter in this one, he was asking for it again. “Potter, I know we didn’t get off on the right foot the last time we met, but hanging out with a Mudblood and a daughter of a murderer is not good for someone like you. I…”
“Can help me see who is right or wrong, right, Draco,” cut in Harry and Malfoy nodded. “No, Malfoy, I don’t think so, I know who my friends are and just a friendly warning, if you continue this attitude problem of yours, you’ll end up like your father.”
“Fine Potter, you’ve made an enemy,” retorted Malfoy frostily.
“Yeah, like Harry’s really scared of a little twerp like you,” said Blaise sarcastically.
“No one asked you, Zabini!” snapped Malfoy as he walked off in a huff on his own accord which disappointed Harry, as he wanted to call back Dobby, so he can humble the younger Malfoy heir.”
“You never really told me what house you wanted to be in Harry?” prompted Blaise as if Malfoy hadn’t even been there, because it was best if Blaise pretended people like Draco Malfoy didn’t exist. It was much easier to remain sane that way.
“Oh, it doesn’t matter, anything but Gryffindor,” replied Harry. “I’d like house mates that can think for themselves, but where do you think you’ll end up Blaise?”
“Oh, both sides of my family have been in Slytherin for a long time, but Ravenclaw isn’t out of the realm of possibility I suppose,” replied Blaise. “Couldn’t see myself as a Hufflepuff really and I’m not reckless enough to be in Gryffindor.”
The rest of the train ride went by without any incident and they were taken up to the school by the customary boat journey. Harry thought about the upkeep of his organization but Dobby promised to bring Harry daily updates and keep him up to date on anything that he needed to know. Plus, once he got the map, Harry would have been able to sneak out a couple times a week to check up on important matters and maybe crack some skulls of those who might try to stiff him.
Harry, Blaise, Hermione, and the rest of the first years listened to Professor McGonagall give her speech about the Hogwarts houses. Nothing changed much with McGonagall, no matter how much Harry contorted the time line, she still could silence a crowd of children with a mere stern glare. Still, she was perhaps one of the fairest teachers that had taught at Hogwarts never playing favorites.
Harry missed the sorting hat’s song as he was distracted by Malfoy’s snide remarks over to the left, about how Mudbloods and blood traitors should be tossed out of Hogwarts, obviously looking towards Harry, Hermione, and Blaise as he was making these comments.
“Hermione, you’re going to go before Malfoy,” muttered Harry and Hermione nodded as she watched the sorting. “I need you to do me a favor, Malfoy needs to be taught a lesson of humility.”
“What?” questioned Hermione and Harry whispered in Hermione’s ear. “Are you sure I can get the hat to go for it?”
“Play on the hat’s desire to inspire house unity,” replied Harry.
“You two are up to no good, aren’t you?” whispered Blaise.
“Us?” asked Harry innocently and Hermione looked up with a falsely sweet smile. “Blaise, I’m hurt, I would never do anything cruel and underhanded.”
“Right,” said Blaise dryly. “I’m sure it will be good whatever you’re do.”
Hermione heard her name called and she made her way up to the stool, before she sat down and placed the hat on her head.
“An interesting mind,” said the hat. “Very perceptive, a nearly Slytherin thirst for knowledge, and not a bad deal of cunning but also loyalty to your best friend, a Hufflepuff quality. Yet, you are very brave as well but…but Gryffindor would not do, you wouldn’t be at home there or all. A very tough decision and to answer your thoughts, yes, it may be a good idea if that particular child might be taught a lesson in humility. Still, Miss Granger you will do the best in….RAVENCLAW!”
Hermione made her way over to the Ravenclaw table, with more students being sorted until it was Draco Malfoy’s turn. Malfoy strutted up to the Sorting Hat before he placed it on his head.
“Just put me in Slytherin, my entire family has been in there,” demanded Malfoy to the hat pompously.
“Yes, a tiny bit of cunning is there, not much, but a decent amount,” agreed that hat. “But I do see something else, a loyalty to uphold the Malfoy family name, despite the crimes of your family. I haven’t seen such a loyalty far, so I believe there would be only one place to put you, Draco Malfoy…”
“Slytherin you stupid piece of fabric, Slytherin, don’t you dare put me in….” demanded Malfoy.
“HUFFLEPUFF!” shouted the hat and Draco got up, looking absolutely horrified.
“No, I demand a resort!” shouted Malfoy angrily stamping his feet like a three year old. “This is utter rubbish, a member of the Malfoy family being thrown into the misfit house of Hogwarts, I should be a Slytherin…”
“Draco, go to your house table and stop making a fool out of yourself!” hissed Narcissa from the staff table and Draco made his way to the table, but he shot the hat a dirty glare as Blaise was laughing so hard that tears were rolling down her cheeks and Harry snickered as well.
Some time later, Harry’s name was called.
“See you in Gryffindor, mate!” called Ron with a confident smile and Harry wondered if Dobby had hit Ron too hard in the head earlier to make him forget what Harry had said on the train or he was just obsessed with becoming Harry Potter’s best friend.
An idea came to Harry’s head as he sat down on the stool, he would teach Ronald Weasley the same lessons of humility. With a smirk, Harry placed the hat over his head.
“Hmm, I’m getting an interesting sense of deja-vu here,” thought the hat. “Ah, this does make sense, time travel, of course. Last time I put you in Gryffindor, which appeared to be a good fit for five years but your mind seemed to be geared to something a bit more cerebral so my alternate self was right, you would have done well in Slytherin.”
“Well then by all means, put me there but while you’re at it…” started Harry.
“No, as much as Slytherin would be an ideal fit, I’m concerned what you might do to them if left unattended, I see vague ideas of vengeance floating in your mind for half of the house,” said the hat. “Still….I do see merit with your idea, I do wish I had the pleasure of talking to yourself and Miss Granger sooner, perhaps the state of house unity would not be as depressing as it is now. In the end, I can dig deep enough in a student’s mind to find a logical reason to place them in any house, no matter how subconscious. Still, there is no doubt in my mind that you belong in….RAVENCLAW!”
Harry moved his way over to the Ravenclaw table, sitting right beside Hermione.
“I figure you’d be in Ravenclaw Harry,” said Hermione. “Anyone who knows you beyond reading beyond your exploits in books would have known as well.”
“Sirius and Remus both figured that I’d be a Ravenclaw as well, so you might be onto something” answered Harry.
“Speaking if Sirius and Remus, what are they doing at the staff table?” wondered Hermione and Harry’s eyes snapped up, sure enough there was Sirius and Remus sitting at the end of the staff table.
“I have a theory but Ron’s being sorted,” said Harry quickly and Hermione raised her eyebrow at Harry’s sudden interest. “This is going to be good.”
Hermione remained quiet, as Ron placed the sorting at on his head, with Blaise being the only other person left to be sorted.
“Hmm, another Weasley, trademark bravery, not as much as your brothers, but it is still there,” thought the hat. “But what’s this, I see it deep inside your mind, Ronald Weasley. I see a great ambition, a great desire to move high above your brothers. Therefore, I only have one choice and that’s to put you in….SLYTHERIN!”
Ron’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped as he realized what had just happened. This wasn’t right, he was supposed to be a Gryffindor like the rest of his family and he took the hat off of his head, before he dropped it and made his way over to the Slytherin table, his legs feeling like concrete as he sat down.
“Way to go Weasley!” shouted one of the older Slytherins as he thumped Ron on the back.
“Yes, good job rising above the standards of your filthy family and making something out of yourself!” added another Slytherin as Ron looked horrified at all of these dark wizards and witches in the making treating him like they were one of his own.
“I’m not one of…” started Ron but he was drowned out by the congratulatory remarks of the Slytherin house.
Blaise made her way up to the stool and sat down, placing the hat on her head.
“Very interesting, not as ambitious as your mother was, which is naturally a good thing considering how she turned out,” remarked the hat. “Not a bad intellect, a very difficult place to put you.”
“Yeah just place me somewhere, some of these idiots are looking hungry,” thought Blaise as she observed several people move restlessly.
“Now, young lady, these things can’t be rushed,” admonished the hat. “Still even with your intellect, your ambition to prove that you are different from either one of your parents would cause you to fit in well in….SLYTHERIN!”
Blaise could live with that, Slytherins got along well enough with Ravenclaws, it was Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors that they couldn’t stand at all. As soon as she took her seat, a large feast had appeared.
Once dinner and dessert had been consumed, Nicholas Flamel rose to his feet.
“Another year at Hogwarts, I hope your summers were productive, I can tell you that mine seemed to have gone by way too fast, but then again, when you’re my age, a decade seems like a split second,” announced Flamel, earning a few chuckles. “First and foremost, the Forbidden Forest should be avoided at all costs, I learned that the hard way and it wouldn’t serve any of you well to learn the same practical lesson that I did. Secondly, to avoid Mr. Filch from having yet another psychotic breakdown, no magic should be used in the corridors and there is a list of banned items on his door that you can see at your leisure. Thanks to the tireless effort of two students that should remain nameless, the list has tripled in length over the past year.”
Fred and George bowed their heads slightly.
“Finally, new staff this year,” said Flamel. “After completing his Hogwarts education, after some new evidence came to light that he was not the person responsible for the horrible events that lead to his expulsion during his third year, Rubeus Hagrid will be taking over the position of the Care of Magical Creatures class from whatever’s left of Professor Kettleburn.”
Harry nodded, under the guise of Barone, he had brought the diary to Flamel a couple of years ago and they had worked together to find a way to use it to clear Hagrid’s name, before they managed to destroy it with a very nasty corrosive potion of Flamel’s invention that was just about as potent as Basilisk venom.
“The next new staff position is that of the Defense Against the Dark Arts position, will be held by Remus Lupin,” continued Flamel. “He will not be the only man who will be holding this position, as there will be times where Professor Lupin will be unavailable, so Professor Sirius Black has agreed to teach whatever classes Professor Lupin will be unavailable in addition to his duties in assisting with the security of the castle.”
Several people whispered about Sirius, obviously it was much more interesting to pretend that he was still an infamous mass murderer than remember that he had been cleared of all charges.
“Classes begin tomorrow but bed tonight,” replied Professor Flamel as the prefects lead the new students towards their respective common rooms.
Narcissa made her way to the staff room sometime later, and she was taken aback to see Sirius was sitting there.
“Sirius,” said Narcissa calmly.
“Narcissa,” replied Sirius in equally forced calmness as he looked upon his cousin. “Long time, no see.”
“I don’t think we’ve had a proper conversation since before I married Lucius,” remarked Narcissa. “A mistake on my part, but I was blinded by my love towards Lucius and what I thought was ideal pureblood ideals.”
“Yes, a mistake, but at least you realized it was one once old Lucy landed himself in Azkaban and you got the marriage annulled,” replied Sirius. “I hear you’re new teaching career is taken off, a surprising choice.”
“Yes, it’s a shock having to work for money for a change,” admitted Narcissa, as her mind shifted towards Bella and her lingering mental issues, wondering if should asked Sirius for help. After all, he was the head of the house of Black, but Narcissa also knew that Sirius and Bellatrix absolutely despised each other. They made James Potter and Severus Snape look like good friends. Bellatrix would never accept Sirius’s help and Sirius would have Bellatrix thrown into Azkaban. “So, what have you done with your life since getting cleared?”
“Oh, nothing much, a bit of freelance consulting work for a friend,” answered Sirius. “Also, I’ve spent a bit of time trying to get Andromeda reinstated into the family but mother made the disownment airtight.”
“Well, she did marry that muggleborn,” offered Narcissa and Sirius just narrowed her eyes at her. “My aunt didn’t want to chance the fact that Andromeda would be put back by a new head to disown the line but I suppose there might be a loop hole if you look hard enough.”
Sirius blinked, wondering if his cousin was offering him some vague help but then again Harry had his lawyers go over the order of disownment from every angle and they hadn’t found anything yet. His mother covered all angles, she was as cunning as she was nasty.
The staffroom door cracked open and Flamel walked in.
“Professors Black and Black, I thought you might be here, I just got some rather depressing news from the Ministry,” stated Flamel. “The other teachers will be on the way, a full emergency meeting has been called, especially since at least three, come to think of it, four, may be in grave danger, not that innocents would be in any better shape. In any event, all the teachers must be made aware that the protections of Hogwarts need to be reinforced, as I wish not to put full faith into the school holding its own protections without added assistance.”
“What’s happened?” asked Narcissa diplomatically.
“Three prisoners have been broken out of Azkaban,” explained Flamel gravely.
“Which three?” questioned Sirius.
“Severus Snape, Lucius Malfoy, and Adrianna Zabini,” informed Flamel.