Albus Gets a Letter, Neville and his friends have a talk
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: Neville/? eventually, Harry/Hermione. Yes, this is a change from the original plan, but, honestly, I'm up in the air about the idea of putting Ginny and Neville together. Simply put, right now I can't think of a way to transfer Ginny's infatuation with Harry over to Neville without going completely over the top.
Halloween Night; immediately following the last chapter
Albus Dumbledore felt every one of his 150 plus years as he slowly made his way back to his office. After visiting Harry and the others in the hospital wing, he had climbed up to the Owlry and sent a message to Amelia Bones, alerting her to the incident earlier that evening. He knew that tomorrow was going to be a long day, because Amelia would certainly be coming to the castle, and probably bringing several Aurors with her. “And on top of that headache, I need to find two instructors before Monday Morning. Perhaps Nicholas will be willing to teach Potions for the rest of the term? And maybe Alastor is tired of retirement? On second thought, Alastor may be too intense for the younger years.... ah well, that's tomorrow's problem, I still need to deal with tonight.”
After the war with Grindelwald and the first war with Tom; he was, unfortunately, no stranger to violent death, and he thought he was well past being shocked by it. The events of the evening had proved him wrong.
He had thought there was something wrong about his DADA Professor, but his passive scans encountered formidable mental shields, and couldn't he couldn't break through them without alerting Quirrell, and he didn't want to do that until he knew for sure. 'Maybe if I'd told someone besides Fawkes of my suspicions this could have been avoided.' Shaking his head, Albus chuckled ruefully, “Careful there, old man; 'what ifs?' and 'if only s' lead to madness, and they already think you're barmy.”
Still lost in his thoughts, Dumbledore opened the door to his office and made his way to his desk, reaching for the ever present bowl of lemon drops on the corner of his desk. 'I really shouldn't eat so many of these things, but, ever since Igave up my pipe, I've needed something, and I don't think the rest of the staff would appreciate me chewing bubble gum.'
Sitting down, he popped one of the candies in his mouth and almost choked in surprise when he saw the envelope on his desk. It's not that he wasn't used to having mail appear on his desk, but the fact that the corners of the envelope were dark brown, as if they had been very close to a flame was asurprise, as was the fact that the envelope was addressed to him, in his own handwriting!
Taking his wand, he checked the envelope for any spells or traps, and then carefully broke the seal. Breathing a sigh of relief when nothing happened, he slid the contents out on to his desk. Unfolding the sheet of parchment he frowned in confusion when he noticed that the letter was dated December 31st, 1996; over five years in the future. The frown deepened as he started to read:
I know that you are wondering if this is some kind of a joke, let me assure you it isn't! If Fawkes has arrived when we expected him to; this letter reached you on Halloween of Neville's first year at Hogwarts. I'm writing you now because I expect to be embarking on 'the Next Great Adventure' as Iso blithely called it, before too many more months go by. It's funny, in a sad way, that even though I've lived a full life, I find myself fearing what happens next.
There are very dark times coming, and if my memory of Halloween Night, 1991 is correct, Tom let a troll into the castle and very nearly killed a young muggleborn witch by the name of Hermione Granger. Tom is possessing our Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, Quirinus Quirrell. Yes, it took him much longer than he anticipated, but Tom Riddle finally became the Dark Arts Professor! As I suspected at the time, Tom did not die that night when he attacked the Longbottom Family; the Killing Curse merely disembodied Tom and forced him into a wraith like form. He possessed Quirinus while he was in Albania gaining experience for his new position. Although, thinking back, I wonder if he took the position already planning to go find Tom. Well, I suppose I'll find out soon enough.
The reason Tom did not truly die that night is that he had created several horcruxes, seven in fact. However, if you have received this letter when I hope, he has not yet created the seventh one. I have been able to identify all seven, as well as the locations of most of them. They are difficult to get to, and, as I've discovered, to my remorse, very difficult to destroy. In fact, the only way I've found to destroy them, without risking possession, is by using Basilisk Venom. Fortunately, or rather, unfortunately, Neville's curse scar acts as a horcrux, holding a piece of Tom's soul, and so, he has the ability to speak parseltongue. There is a Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets......
The letter went on for several paragraphs, and by the time Albus reached the final paragraph, his mind was working furiously, making plans to go after the Horcruxes and avoiding the death his older self was facing. He never even considered doubting the letter was authentic, although his other selfs constant reference to Neville Longbottom as the one to defeat Tom did confuse him at first, until he remembered the Department of Mysteries report on the idea of Parallel Universes. The Unspeakables had not been able to prove their existence, but, neither had they been able to conclusively disprove their existence either.
The part of the letter that shocked him, while at the same time, answered a great many questions; was the revelation that his older self had arranged with Fawkes to transport Neville Longbottom back in some form. That did explain the confrontation between Neville and Severus earlier in the year, as well as his extremely powerful Occulmency shields.
Thinking back to that conversation in his office, he was bothered by the sensation that he had missed something. Getting his Pensieve, he pulled the memory out and placed it in the bowl. Entering the memory, he focused his attention on the body language Neville had displayed, and cursed himself for not seeing just how much like an adult he carried himself. He started to withdraw from the memory when Neville was leaving the room, but when the boy, no, man, put his hand on the door frame, it was obviously a very deliberate move, and Albus's eyes widened in surprise when he saw the brief glow of magic being performed.
Leaving the memory, Albus went over to the door frame, and a smile creased his face as he recognized the magic. Chuckling quietly, he shut out the lights in his office and left for his quarters. Once he was out of the range of the listening charm, he laughed, “Oh, nicely done, Mister Longbottom, very nicely done. Tomorrow's conversation is going to be very, very interesting.” Then the humor left his face, and he mused; “Now, how do I let Neville know what I know, without alerting Harry and Hermione? This is his secret to tell, and, if we are going to work together as we have to; we have to be able to trust each other.” Mulling the question over, it was quite a while before Albus was able to fall asleep.
The Next Morning, The Great Hall
Albus looked over the Hall, and was pleased to see that there was no sign of the battle that had raged the night before. The scorch marks from the spell damage had been cleaned off the walls, and the hole in the door had been repaired as well. He looked up at the House Banners; and another wave of sadness washed over him as he saw the strip of black cloth crossing the Slytherin Banner. “Farewell Severus, I hope you find the peace you desire in the next life.” He said quietly, as he watched the students coming into the Hall.
He knew from speaking to Poppy that she would be releasing her charges in time for breakfast, and was watching for the three of them to make their way to their seats. As soon as Neville had sat down; he saw one of the Castle elves put a note in front of him. Albus watched Neville quickly read the note, and then turned to look up at the Head Table. He looked directed at Albus and gave a quick nod, before turning back to his friends.
The Gryffindor Table
Neville blinked in surprise at the envelope sitting in his place at the table. 'That wasn't here a second ago!' Recognizing the Headmasters' handwriting; he opened it and blinked at the brief message;
I received a very interesting letter via Fawkes last night. Would you be willing to meet privately with me before your friends join us? We apparently have a great deal to discuss if we are to prevent Tom from making another appearance.
Looking up, Neville nodded briefly at the Headmaster, before turning back to Harry and Hermione. “I need to talk to the two of you after breakfast, Ijust found out something interesting.” he said, briefly,“There's too many ears around right now, but it has to do with the story I told you the other night.”
He smirked at the look of comprehension in Hermione's eyes; followed an instant later by the same look in Harry's eyes.
The two of them nodded, and started eating, only to pause when the Headmaster stood up and cleared his throat.
“As I'm certain most of you are aware; last night a terrible tragedy struck us here at Hogwarts; and we lost two of our Professors. Both Professor Snape, and Professor Quirrell died last night. I know that the rumors are flying around the school; so I will tell you this; Professor Snape died when he threw himself in front of aKilling Curse that was aimed at three of your classmates. Unfortunately; the person who cast the Unforgivable Curse was Professor Quirrell; who was attempting to steal a priceless item that had been brought to the school for safe keeping. He was not successful in his quest. I am arranging for Instructors in Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts, but, until they arrive, those classes are canceled. Now, I believe I've kept you from your breakfasts long enough, so, Tuck In!”
The rest of the meal was eaten in silence as everybody thought about what Dumbledore had said, and a few curious looks were shot over towards Harry, Hermione and Neville, but, for a change, even the irrepressible Weasley Twins kept quiet.
An Unused Classroom; after Breakfast
As soon as Neville led his two friends into the room and cast the privacy charms; he pulled the note from his pocket and handed it to them.
After they read it; Neville said; “I'm making an assumption here, but it seems that the Dumbledore from my time sent a message back to himself, as well as sending one to me. I'm guessing that he wants to speak to me first, because he doesn't know that I've already told you everything. I will say, if this Dumbledore is as much like the one I knew, it makes going after the Horcruxes a lot easier. Let's face it; there are places that he can get to, a whole lot easier than three first years could. Of course, his knowledge is going to make certain parts of our job a lot harder. It's going to be very difficult to arrange the sort of accidents for Malfoy, LeStrange and the others that we planned on, without having him get suspicious.”
Harry had been quietly thinking; and said; “Not necessarily; if we can prove that Crouch is holding his son prisoner; Dumbledore can press to have Crouch Jr questioned under Veritaserum; and make him name those he knew to be loyal Death Eaters. This would make it easy for Madame Bones, if she is as honest in our world as she was in your time; to question those he names under Veritaserum as well. This could make things a lot easier for us, if the DE's are in prison, they aren't going to be around to help Voldemort return to a body. Speaking of which; who was it that did the ceremony to reembody Voldemort in your world? I don't think you mentioned any names, and I think we need to keep a close watch on who ever it was, so we can prevent it this time.”
“Oh, Didn't Itell you? It was Peter Pettigrew who was helping Voldemort; but Idon't think we need to
worry about him this time, he was killed the day after your parents.....” Neville paused; “Although, thinking back, they only found afinger. Hmm, something else to talk to Dumbledore about.”
“Who killed Pettigrew, Neville? Because we may want to keep an eye whoever it is.” Hermione said, “And, it may just be me being paranoid, but, I'm reminded of something I heard my dad say to my mother when it looked like one of her favorite characters on Coronation Street had been killed. He told her not to believe anybody is dead if you don't see the body. And, I know it was a fictional story; but, if the Pettigrew in your world was a Death Eater, why wouldn't he be one here? I'm sure there are ways an adult Wizard or Witch can fake their death.”
“Good point, Hermione; according to what I've been able to find out, Sirius Black was the one who killed Pettigrew, and, really, that doesn't make sense, I knew Sirius, and he was your parents closest friend, well, he and Remus Lupin; and they were very much opposed to Voldemort and the Des. I think we should ask Professor Dumbledore about it when we meet with him. Speaking of meeting with him; I need to get to his office. Why don't you come along, you can wait out side while Itell him that you already know the truth, so we can all meet together.”
The Headmaster's Office
Albus was sitting at his desk, re-reading the letter from his other self, when the ward alerted him to three people at his door. He called out “Come in!” And the door opened, and Neville Longbottom walked in, leaving his friends standing outside. Neville shut the door and said; “My friends already know everything, Headmaster; so, if you wanted to speak to me privately to protect my secrets, you don't have to worry. If you have other items to discuss, that's fine, I'll just let them know that we'll send for them when we are finished.”
“If you have no secrets from your friends Mister Longbottom; then I have no problem with them being here for the meeting either. Please, show them in.”
End Chapter 8
It won't be as long a wait for the next chapter; I should have it posted within the next couple of days. It's just that I'm tired, and promised myself Iwould post a chapter tonight!