Time Passes; Snape Complains, Dumbledore Muses, and Neville has a conversation with Harry and Hermione.
Summary: After the final battle, the Boy Who Lived is transported back into his 11 year old body, just prior to receiving his Hogwarts Letter. Sound like every re-do fic you've ever read? It is, except for one minor detail; the Boy Who Lived is named Neville Longbottom!
Disclaimer: Is this really necessary? I don't own any of the Harry Potter Characters or settings.
Pairings: None to start, come on; they're 11 years old! Will eventually be Neville/Ginny, and Harry/Hermione.
Authors Note: This is another plot bunny that has been biting on my toes, and hopefully I can get it out of the way and get moving on my other stories.
Credit Where Credit is Due Department: A section of this chapter is going to look familiar, or, rather, the idea of requesting a review of punishment will look familiar, because I saw something similar done in another story, unfortunately I don't recall where. I've done something different with it, so just accept that I was inspired by the other writer.
It was pointed out by one of my reviewers, that the author in question is Seelvor, and I thank he or she very graciously for the idea. "Harry Potter and the Quantum Leap", HTTP"://www.fanfiction.net/s/3951749/1/":http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3951749/1/
Yet Another Author's Note: I'm aware that quite a few of you are expecting this to be another Manipulative Dumbledore story, but, honestly, the story isn't going that way. There are too many of those types of stories out there, and, frankly, I don't think I have anything different enough to say about the character to make it worthwhile forcing him to act that way in this story. My take on Albus, at least in this story, is a very old, very powerful old man, who sometimes loses sight of the fact that the decisions he makes affect individuals. He is aware of this fault, and trying to correct it. By the way; I have come to heartily despise the expression “For the Greater Good” and, if any of you happen to find it in this story, you are invited to throw rocks at me, verbal or otherwise! GRIN
Feedback: Of course, it helps me write faster.
Time Passes – The Second Week of October
Neville got a great deal of enjoyment out of his listening charm over the next several days; Snape was constantly complaining to the Headmaster; not only about not being able to take points from students; but also because of the massive point deficit that Slytherin House had accumulated. It seems that one of the Slytherins had found out about the portrait review system, and Neville wasn't certain how, but he suspected the Weasley Twins, because the Slytherins didn't find out until it was too late, about the penalty for frivolous review requests. By the time they learned their lesson, around the middle of October, Slytherin House was down to almost single digits in points, and Snape was having a screaming hissy fit about it.
It didn't help that the Headmaster told him there was nothing that could be done; that Neville was correct, and the process had been in place since the founding of the school, including the penalties. The magic of Hogwarts itself enforced the point removal. Snape grumbled about it, but said something that made Neville frown.
“There is something strange going on with the Longbottom boy, Headmaster! I don't care how well prepared a student is when they arrive, they will still have things they don't know! Longbottom concerns me; and the influence he has on Potter should concern you as well. I don't know why you seem so interested in Potter, other than his celebrity; but, if you are not careful, any influence you may hope to have over him will be gone. Iwouldn't be surprised one morning to see a notice of formal alliance between their houses the way things are going.”
“And why would you consider that a bad thing, Severus? The Longbottom Family is firmly and historically on the side of the Light, as are the Potters, so I don't see this as a problem.”
Neville could hear the disbelief in Snape's voice; “You don't see a problem? Headmaster; I know you have plans for your weapon, but Longbottom is exerting too much influence on the child, and if you aren't careful, prophecy or no, the boy won't do what is required of him.”
“Severus! First of all, Harry is not a weapon, he is a child, who deserves as much happiness and friendship as he can get out of his life. And secondly, I have warned you about mentioning that you are even aware of the prophecy. Your former master is still alive, as I'm sure you are aware, because his mark hasn't completely faded, and I'm certain he would be very happy to discuss any additional information about the prophecy you may have. I'm sure he hasn't forgotten it was you who told him about the Potters and the Longbottom's, which cost him so much. Now, getting back to your original concern, about Harry not fulfilling his destiny; he won't have a choice, even if he wanted to avoid the conflict, Tom will keep coming after him until one or the other is dead. And, while we are speaking about Harry, I want you to drop your childish grudge against him. He had absolutely nothing to do with what happened between you and his father, and, if I wanted to be petty about it, I could remind you that he probably has very little memory of his father at all. But I'm not that petty, so I wont. Now, if there is nothing else, Severus, I have a lot of work to do.”
Snape muttered something else that Neville didn't catch, and the door closed behind him.
'Okay, Snape is no longer an annoyance,' Neville muttered, 'he's just been upgraded to a Dead Man Walking. Now, how to arrange it? It has to look like an accident, hmmm, Quirrel still has to bring the troll into the castle. That's a thought...'
Any further musing on his part was interrupted by the sound of the Headmaster speaking again.
“I have to tell you, Fawkes, Severus' behavior is really starting to concern me. I know he swore he had renounced Tom and his beliefs, but the way he is harping on Harry and Neville, it bothers me. I'll admit, I was worried about leaving Harry the way I did; but he seems to be fitting in quite well, I just hope he doesn't hate me when I tell him about his destiny. I hadn't wanted to burden him with it so early, but, with the support of his friends, he may be strong enough to handle what he has to do, and the extra time for training will only help him. Of course, he will probably want his friends to join him, and, I think it would be helpful for him to have help.” Neville heard the old man chuckle briefly, before he continued. “It's funny, but, originally, I wasn't planning on telling Harry until he was older, but, judging by the way Neville handled himself in my office, and the way Harry has carried himself, the boys are a lot more mature than I would have expected. I'll have to make some plans for training them, and I'll sit down with Harry before the end of the school year.”
Neville sat thinking about what he had heard, and trying to decide what to do about it when the door to the common room opened and his friends came in.
“Hey Nev, what are you up to? I thought you were going to meet us in the library to work on Snape's essay.” Harry said, dropping down onto the couch next to him, with Hermione sitting right next to Harry. 'I wonder if Harry realizes that Hermione has claimed him yet? Probably not, if he is as dense as I was the first time. Oh well, he'll figure it out sooner or later, I'm sure.'
“Hey guys, sorry about that, Iwas just thinking and lost track of time.”
“Thinking about what?” Harry teased, “It seems like every time you start thinking, something entertaining happens.” Hermione giggled in agreement, and Neville had to grin as well.
“Unfortunately, it's not likely to be that entertaining, but, I have something I need to talk to the two of you about, but not here.” Getting up, he said, “Go put your books away and come on back down, we need to take a walk.”
Looking at him curiously, his two friends quickly went up to the dorms and came back down. While he was waiting for the two of them, he made a decision, and decided to act on it. Leading the two of them up to the seventh floor, he found the tapestry he was looking for, and, after concentrating on what he needed, a door appeared in the wall. Leading them inside, Neville shut the door behind him and cast a series of privacy charms around the room. Turning to his friends, he said, “Okay guys; there are some things I need to tell you, but, first, how are you coming with your mental shields?”
Harry turned to Hermione, and, at her nod, said “Why don't you see for yourself?”
“Legimens!” Neville intoned, only to be easily repulsed by first Harry and then Hermione's mental shielding.
“Very good! You two have really been practicing. It took me months to get my shields that strong.” Neville praised them, as he led them over to a couch and had them sit down. “Now, before we get started, I'm going to answer the number one question on your mind, Hermione. This room is called the Come and Go Room by the house-elves and I found out about it from aformer student. It provides whatever you need, as long as you concentrate hard enough when you are summoning the doorway. The only thing is, you can't take anything the room creates outside of the room itself.”
“Now, the reason I asked you to follow me here, and, also, checked your shielding; is because I found out some information from my listening charm. It's pretty scary stuff, and I need you both to swear you will never reveal what I'm about to tell you, unless I personally tell you it's okay. I'm not kidding about this, it could literally mean somebody's death!”
Harry and Hermione looked at each other, and Harry said, “Go ahead, Hermione, I know you want to ask him.” Hermione smiled gratefully at Harry, before turning to look at Neville. “I'll give you my oath Neville, but, there is one thing I want to ask you first. Is what you are going to tell us going to explain how you know so much about what is going on in the school? I mean, you obviously know your way around the school, even with the way the hallways and staircases change every so often, you have never gotten us lost. And that isn't even mentioning that you are far too mature for an eleven year old boy, and know spells that most students can't cast until they are sixth or seventh years, for example, those privacy charms you cast, they are NEWT level spells, and you cast them like they were a Lumos!”
Neville sat there, literally shocked speechless, “Damn! Now I really need your oaths, and I promise you that what I am going to tell you will answer your questions. Now, can I have your oaths?”
Harry and Hermione quickly swear their oaths, and sit back on the couch watching him.
Neville sat for minute, trying to decide how to begin. “Okay, I'm going to tell you a story, about a young man who survived a horrid attack on his parents and himself when he was a little over a year old. The boy's name was Neville Longbottom; and; because he survived that attack, he became known as the Boy Who Lived.” Holding up his hand at Harry's exclamation; “I promise, this will all make sense when I'm finished. Anyway, Neville grew up with his Grandmother, and was avery lonely boy, who didn't have any friends at all, until he met two other first years on the Hogwarts Express, one was a young bushy haired girl who was the first witch in her family; and a green eyed boy with messy black hair who was the child of a pureblood wizard and a muggleborn witch. The three of them, and, a little later, a red headed boy named Ron, became very close friends, and had all sorts of adventures together......”
Neville continued telling his story for what seemed like hours, leaving nothing out, because he knew that he had to be completely honest with them if he wanted them to keep trusting him.
Harry was the first to speak when Neville finished; “Bloody Hell Mate! We figured there was something you weren't telling us, but we never thought it was something like this! So that's why you sought us out, we used to be your friends, and you wanted to be our friends again? Well, that and the whole Boy Who Lived bollocks, but that's not important right now. But what is important, and I'm only speaking for myself, Hermione will have a lot more to say than I do, I'm sure, but, to me; it's important that you know I'm still your friend! That's not going to change, I'm already happier than I ever was before, I've got good friends, and I'm having fun at school for the first time I can remember. I never really mentioned it before, but, you two, and Ron, are the first friends I've ever had in my life, anybody who tried to be my friend in school before, my cousin and his gang would run them off! I'm not going to give up a friend over some secrets. That's all I've got to say, it's your turn Hermione.”
Harry sat back down and looked at his friend (girlfriend?) in anticipation. Hermione opened her mouth, started to say something, then closed her mouth again in obvious frustration. “Darn it Harry! How am I supposed to follow that?” Finally turning back to Neville, she said, “Contrary to what Harry, and probably you, expect, I'm not going to say much, other than I agree with a lot of what Harry said, I'm not willing to give up my first real friends so easily, but, I want you to swear you'll try not to keep any more secrets from us, and we can move on and start making plans.”
Numb with relief, Neville swore his oath to the two of them; and the tension in the room evaporated.
Sitting back down, and leaning against Harry, Hermione said, “Neville, you said this room can create anything we want? Can it make us some drinks, I'm thirsty”
No sooner had she finished speaking, when a pitcher of water, and a jug of pumpkin juice, as well as glasses appeared on a table in front of them.
“Well, I guess that answers that question. Now, what are we going to do about Ron? Are you going to tell him?”
“I like Ron, really I do, but Idon't think I could trust him with a secret like this, he doesn't have the drive to learn like we do, and wasn't interested in learning Occulmency; I know, because I asked him a couple of days after giving you two the books, and he turned me down. And if he can't protect the secret, I'm not willing to share it with him. So, we don't tell Ron anything. He's still our friend, but I'm afraid he can't be included in a lot of things that are going on.”
Looking around, he saw agreement on Harry and Hermione's faces, and said; “Okay, Hermione; you said something about making plans, I know I've got some ideas, but what did you have in mind?”
“Before I get into my ideas, I'd like you to clarify something for me. If I understood you correctly, to Voldemort and his Death Eaters, Muggleborn witches and wizards are the equivalent of Jews to the Nazis? Or the black civil rights workers in the United States to the Ku Klux Klan?” At Neville's nod, she continued, “I've read quite a few books that dealt with the question, what would you do, if you were sent back in time and given a chance to shoot Hitler, or Himmler or Goering, before they came to power, what would you do? It seems to me that we are in a similar situation, I know, from your story, that you have killed in the past, but what I have to ask myself, and I'm sure Harry does as well, if we are able to kill, knowing that the people we kill have already committed monstrous crimes, and will do so again. Also, if we are able to kill, how are we going to do so without being caught. I really don't think the authorities would approve of our policy of pre-emptive strikes, do you?”
The three of them sat quietly, thinking, for quite a while.
End Chapter Six
Sorry about not getting to Halloween, but too many things started demanding inclusion in the chapter.
It's going to be a few days before Iget to Chapter 7, unless I get off work early tomorrow night and get get some writing done.
Thanks to everybody for your feedback, and I'm glad you are enjoying the story.