A meeting with Albus, where many things are discussed, and plans are made.
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.
AUTHORS NOTE: I'm borrowing the idea of “House Room” from DrT and his excellent story; “The Younger Potter Twin” http://www.ficwad.com/story/34656
Pairings: Neville/? eventually, Harry/Hermione.
The Headmaster's Office, several hours later
A visibly exhausted Albus Dumbledore leaned back in his chair, away from the pensieve sitting on his desk. Reaching out, he grabbed the cup sitting by his desk and took a deep drink.. “Is that all the key events you can recall Neville?” At the equally tired young mans nod, Albus sighed.
“Very good. I think we can all agree that permitting Voldemort to rise again would not be a good thing for anyone, true?”
The three students nodded, Hermione looking a bit shocked at all the carnage she had seen. “Miss Granger? Hermione? Would you like to take a few minutes break?”
Hermione shook her head, “No, no, it's okay. I mean, hearing about the carnage and everything is one thing, but, to actually see it, to see myself dying, to see Harry laying there dead. I'm sorry, it's just... I'll be okay, I'll be okay...” she finished, more to convince herself it seems, than the others.
Harry leaned over and put his arm around Hermione, pulling her into a hug. He was also looking rather pale, but extremely determined.
Neville turned to look at his friends and spoke, “I'm really sorry, I wish you didn't have to see that, It's bad enough that I have the memories, and, that reminds me Headmaster, I'm going to need to see Madame Pomfrey for a Dreamless Sleep potion when we are done here, but,” he continued, speaking to Harry and Hermione, “it's important that you understand exactly what is at stake here if we fail.”
Taking a deep breath, Neville turned back to Dumbledore; “Okay, so we need to make plans so that we can prevent what I experienced from happening again. I'm thinking that we should start with some of the Death Eaters that escaped Azkaban last time. That way we can remove enough of Fudge's support, and possibly, just possibly, keep some of the younger students; like Malfoy, Nott and the others from following in their father's footsteps. I really don't want to have to kill them again, Professor, but I'll probably have to if we can't change the path they are on.”
Dumbledore nodded, popping a candy into his mouth. “I think that I need to speak with Amelia Bones about some of this information. I'm not planning on revealing your secret, Mister Longbottom, but certain portions of the letter I received should give her enough to start an investigation. I don't know how much contact you had with her in the past, but I can assure you that she is absolutely incorruptible! There are prisoners who are in Azkaban to this day for attempting to bribe her when she was a young Auror.”
Harry nodded, “You know, Professor, one question you might ask, in fact, if you want, you can use my name, is why the man who supposedly betrayed my parents never got a trial? Tell her that I'm curious how somebody who was my fathers closest friend could betray he and my mother like that? I'm very curious who's decision it was to not give him a trial.”
Albus looked over his glasses at the young man in front of him, and a smile appeared on his face. “Indeed, I believe that may give me the perfect path to set Amelia on her trail. That way I won't need to reveal the letter at all. Much better for all concerned, I would think, especially since, if memory serves, Barty Crouch was the Director of Magical Law Enforcement at the time, and, any chink in his armor would give us excuse to expose the fact that he is holding his son prisoner and using an Unforgivable on him. But, may I ask why you say 'supposedly' betrayed your parents?”
“Well, Neville mentioned that Peter Pettigrew was the Death Eater who helped bring Voldemort back in his world, while Sirius Black was my fathers closest friend and Auror partner. Granted there are differences between his memories and what happened here, but, I think that it's too much of a change, I wanted to find out what really happened.”
“Hmmm; If I remember correctly, our dear Minister Fudge is going to be at a conference in Ontario for the next week, and out of contact for most of that time. Yes, I believe we should be able to get quite a bit accomplished on the Death Eater situation. Now, I would like to offer all of you additional training, in both offensive and defensive magics; so that, if worse comes to worse, you can still defend yourselves, and your friends. We still have several months before the summer break, and I feel confident that you can learn quite a bit in that time.”
“Speaking of Summer break, Headmaster, I think we need to discuss my guardians...” Harry interrupted.
“What about them, Mister Potter?” Dumbledore asked, honestly curious.
“It might be easier if I show you Sir, it's not something I really want to talk about, but, I won't be tolerating it any longer. Now, if you don't mind my using your Pensieve, you can understand what I am talking about. At Dumbledore's nod, Harry concentrated, and extracted several different memories and placed them in the bowl.
“These are different memories, starting when I was 3 years old, Professor, continuing up to Hagrid picking me up to give me my letter. I'll let you review them, and I hope you don't mind if I stay out here, I've already lived those times, I don't need to repeat them.”
Dumbledore noticed that Harry was actually shaking as he sat back down, and this time it was Hermione who pulled him into the hug. 'Sweet Merlin! Just what had that young man experienced?' he wondered, before immersing himself in the memories.
It was about twenty minutes later that Dumbledore pulled himself out of the Pensieve, and, without looking at the three students, went to a cabinet in back of the room and pulled out a bottle. Taking a long drink, the others flinched as he literally belched flame for an instant.
Sitting down, the others were surprised to see the Headmaster looking like he had aged 50 years or more. Dumbledore just sat there for a few moments, his eyes closed. He finally opened them and looked directly at Harry and spoke; “You will never spend another minute with those creatures Harry! I can never make up for my mistake in placing you there, but, I can't understand why I was never informed about what was going on there! I had someone watching you, I couldn't go myself, you understand, if anybody was watching, they would find you, and you weren't able to defend yourself. I received reports that you seemed to be doing well.” He paused, “It seems that I was more trusting than I should have been, once again!” He shook his head, “I can't correct what has happened, but, I can do better going forward.”
Neville spoke up; “Professor, I'm fairly certain that I can get my Grandmother to offer Harry House Room for the Winter Break, as well as during the Summer. Our house is almost as well warded as the school, and it would be a lot more convenient place for us to train. In fact, Hermione, if you like, we can see about getting your parents house set up on a Restricted Floo Access, where you would be able to come and go between your house and Longbottom House! That way the three of us can continue our training, and you can still spend lots of time with your parents. They can even come over sometimes if they want, so they can see what you've learned.”
Hermione smiled at the idea of being able to spend the holiday with her friends; but paused, “But, how can we train over the Summer? Won't we get in trouble with the Ministry, I read in Hogwarts: A History” how the Ministry monitors underage magic and we can get in trouble!”
Neville looked at Dumbledore and said; “Do you want to tell her, or shall I?”
“Go ahead, Mister Longbottom,” Dumbledore sighed.
“Okay, Hermione, this isn't well known, but, the Ministry tracks magic done by location. If they see magic being performed, and there is an adult witch or wizard in the area, it's ignored, because they assume that the adult is performing the magic. If you remember, back when we first met, I mentioned that a lot of people don't want to accept that there are more Muggleborn every year? This is one of the things I was talking about. But, there are ways around the law; all we need to do is register the fact that we are receiving instruction from a tutor over the summer, and they will basically ignore any magic coming from my house, unless we cast one of the Unforgivable's, which I really don't think is a problem.”
Hermione just sat there, very quiet, as Neville completed his explanation. Finally, she nodded, abruptly. “I see! And I'm certain that the purebloods who come up with the laws make sure that they have tutors already lined up, don't they? It's funny, it's one thing to accept that racism is institutionalized in the Wizarding World, but it's something like this that really brings it home! I can see what I'll be doing after we graduate!” Turning to Harry and Neville, she said, “I want you two to promise me, that, once Voldemort is in the ground for good, that you will help me change things! I don't want to live in a world like this, let alone try to raise a family here!”
Harry and Neville quickly promised their support, and Dumbledore said; “Once we get rid of Voldemort and his supporters, it should be a lot easier to make the changes that need to be made. It's a lot of the old line pureblood families that have the control of the Wizengamot and prevent the more progressive families from changing the laws. But, that is something we can work toward in the future. Right now, we need to get the Death Eaters that are still in power, and while I work on that end, the three of you concentrate on your studies. In fact, Mister Potter, I am hoping to bring in another friend of your parents as the Defense Instructor, at least for the remainder of the year. I'll let you know what if I am successful.”
Looking at his watch, Dumbledore said, “We have been here for several hours, and it's almost time for dinner. I have Amelia Bones coming here this evening to discuss last nights events, and I will be raising the questions you asked as well, Harry. Now, I believe it's time for you to join the rest of your House at Dinner.”
The three of them nodded, and, as if to emphasize the fact that it was dinner time, a distinct rumbling sound was heard from Hermione's direction. She blushed as her friends laughed, finally starting to laugh as well.
End Chapter Nine
Next Chapter will be posted by the Weekend