Title: Lily's Next Great Adventure (Alternate Title: Reincarnation)
Summary: When Lily Potter dies, she meets Death in the afterlife. She has a choice: move on with James, or help Harry with his destiny. She takes the second choice. But something goes wrong. Now a girl named Holly Evans will help Harry on his path to his destiny. However, unexpected complications and a Manipulative Old Man try to interfere with her plans.
Warnings: Incest (sort of), Harem, Manipulative!Evil!Dumbledore, Ancient and Noble Houses, Lords and Ladies, Founder's Heirs, Wizengamot, Goblins and Gringotts, Severe Character Bashing – Dumbledore and some Weasleys.
Ships: Harry/Harem (Eventually: Holly, Hermione, Ginny and more), Sirius/Amelia, Neville/Hannah/Possibly more
Disclaimer: J.K Rowling owns the characters and the world of Harry Potter. I do not. I just like to play in her sandbox. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's Notes: Although the main OC will be Holly Evans, this is in no way trying to steal any such characterization from the story "Holly Evans and the Spiral Path" by wordhammer.
Lily Meets Death
Lily Potter gasped out a deep breath and coughed, trying to bring air back into her lungs. Breathing felt odd to her. She opened her eyes and was met by a blinding bright light. She instantly closed her eyes and shielded them with a hand. She then blinked her eyes, adjusting her sight to the light. She groaned and sat up, then looked around at her surroundings. She was sitting on the cement ground of what appeared to be Platform Nine-And-Three Quarters. Only it was empty and cleaner than what she was used to.
When she took in her own appearance, she found that she was stark naked! Embarrassed by her nudity, she wished for clothes. Suddenly, she was dressed in what appeared to be the sleeping gown she usually slept in. Having jumped over that hurdle, she began to wonder what was going on. She then remembered what had happened.
She and her husband James were about to sit down to dinner at their cottage in Godric's Hollow, after tucking her son Harry into his crib to sleep. She had come down the stairs to the first floor of the cottage, when James had screamed that he was there, and to take Harry and run. She remembered running back to the nursery, then hearing noises and chaos on the bottom floor. The noise of battle. A battle between her husband, James, and Voldemort, the most powerful and feared Dark Wizard of the age. She then remembered Voldemort entering the nursery, and she stood guarding Harry, begging Voldemort to take her instead of her son. He had ordered her to stand aside, and she refused. And the last thing she remembered was a flash of green light.
Which means I'm dead, Lily thought to herself, Which means I failed. I failed James. I failed my son.
'Wrong," a voice said behind Lily, "On both accounts. If... you make the right choice."
Lily gasped and hurried to her feet. By instinct she reached for her wand, but found it wasn't there. She looked for the owner of the voice, and found a figure sitting on a bench a few feet away from her. He was dressed in a black cloak and hood, and Lily could not make out any of his features.
"Who are you?" Lily demanded in her strongest voice; she was afraid of the figure, but she would not show such fear.
"I am Death," the figure said.
"Death?" Lily echoed, disbelieving.
"You have doubts, I can sense that," Death said, "But I assure you, I am Death."
"The same Death who met the three Peverell brothers by a river?" Lily asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I see your husband has made you familiar of old family stories, has he?" Death asked.
Lily blushed. It had been a couple weeks after her wedding to James that he told her exactly what his invisibility cloak was. She was familiar with the Tale of the Three Brothers by Beedle The Bard, but she hadn't known about the Peverells until James had told her about them. It took her quite a bit of persuasion from James in order for her to believe such a story was actually real, but in the end she believed it.
"Yes," Death said, obviously deciding the pink tinge in Lily's cheeks was her answer, "I am the very same. Your husband's ancestor and his brothers were quite the foes, especially James' own ancestor. Used a piece of my own cloak to evade me -"
"But in the end, you met as equals," Lily said, recalling the tale.
"So the story says," Death said, "I admit, I gained a bit of respect for the man. If I hadn't, I certainly would not have let his son or your husband's bloodline keep my cloak. But no one will ever equal me, and there is certainly nobody who can become my Master, even if they unite my gifts."
"So," Lily said, "I assume I am here to go onto the next great adventure. I am here at the train station. So... what? Do I take a train into a dark tunnel and come out on the other side to whatever greets me?"
"That... is one possibility," Death said.
"I have more than one option?" Lily asked, "I'm dead, aren't I? I assume moving on is what happens after death."
"That is what happens to the majority, true," Death said, "However, do you believe everyone who passes on gets to meet me? Definitely not! Do you know how many people die each day? I am much too busy to meet thousands of lost souls every single day of my existence!"
"So... what, am I special or something?" Lily asked, with a snort.
"Or something," Death said. "Let's just say, you're not exactly 'special', but your son is."
"Harry?" Lily asked; this brought her back to the reality of what had happened, "I couldn't protect my son. I just let that... that monster kill me and..."
"And in doing so, you protected your son," Death said, "Fear not, Lily Potter, Harry survived that night."
Lily's eyes brightened as she looked at Death. "How?"
"Your sacrifice," Death said, "You standing there, defying that monster, demanding he take you instead of your son – that love you shown for your son protected him. Voldemort could not touch him. He tried to kill your son with the Killing Curse, but it rebounded on Voldemort."
"Voldemort is dead?" Lily asked.
"No," Death snarled, "He has evaded me."
"How?" Lily asked.
"Have you ever heard of the term Horcruxes?" Death asked.
Lily gasped; she had researched many things in her life. Light subjects, Grey subjects, and yes, she dabbled in the research of some Dark subjects. The subject of Horcruxes was the Darkest.
"So you have," Death said, "Yes, Voldemort has made Horcruxes. He has seven, including himself, and will in the future make one more. His latest, however, was unintentional."
Lily's quick mind came to the same conclusion Death was supplying.
"No!" Lily growled, "It can't be true!"
"It is," Death said, "Your son has a shard of Voldemort's soul resting inside him."
"Can it be taken out?" Lily asked.
"It can," Death said, "However, most wand-wielders who know of such subjects, one wizard in particular who knows about Horcruxes, would believe that your son must die for the Horcrux to be destroyed."
"No!" Lily growled again.
"Calm yourself, Lily Potter," Death said, "I say that wand-wielders believe this to be true. However, other magic users have their own ways of ridding objects, or living beings of Horcruxes. But their own existence is looked down upon by wand-wielders that not even the smartest of wizards would ask them."
"Goblins?" Lily asked.
"Indeed," Death said. "If someone were to take Harry to a Goblin Healer, the Horcrux would be transferred to an object, and then destroyed. However, as I said -"
"Not many wizards would think of such an option," Lily said, with a frown, "Is there any way to do so? Someone needs to know so Harry can get rid of it!"
"Yes," Death said.
Lily's eyes brightened. She did not expect that answer. "How?"
"To even begin answering that question, we must backtrack in our conversation," Death said. "Why am I, Death, meeting you here instead of compelling you to walk onto a train? Because, Lily Potter, I am going to give you a choice of two options."
Lily was about to ask what the two options were when she heard the squealing sound of metal. She looked over her shoulder and saw a long black train approaching. Soon, accompanied by a squeal of breaks, the train stopped along the platform.
"Choice one," Death said, "You could walk onto that train and be reunited with your husband."
Lily's eyes widened as she saw, through one of the train's windows, her husband James Potter. He was staring ahead, not looking anywhere except forward. If he looked out the window, he would have seen her. She motioned to call for him, to walk toward the train, when Death raised a cloaked arm.
"Don't be so hasty Lily Potter," Death said, "I assure you, the second choice is just as tasty as the first."
"What option could be better than reuniting with my husband?" Lily asked.
"Why, reuniting with your son, of course," Death said.
Lily, who had been staring at her husband, now jerked her head back to Death.
"What?" she asked. "You just said my son isn't dead. Is this some sick plot to kill my son?"
Death chuckled. "No, my dear, quite the opposite. You see, instead of stepping onto the train, meeting your husband, and moving on, you could choose to walk back through the portal."
"And where would I go?" Lily asked.
"Why, back to the land of the living, of course," Death said.
Lily gaped in disbelief. "I would live again? You, Death, would permit me to live instead of claiming another soul, another passenger for your train? Why?"
"Voldemort, or as he is really known, Tom Marvolo Riddle, has been alluding me for many years," Death said, "He should have died the night he killed you, if it wasn't for those blasted Horcruxes. Oh, yes, Voldemort will die... eventually. But he would make life a living hell for your son, Harry's future friends, and many others. I can see how your mind is working. If I didn't give you a choice, sure, there would be more souls for my train. However, Riddle is my greatest enemy. The Horcruxes are an abomination! I want them destroyed soon! Sooner rather than later! I want Riddle destroyed! Unfortunately..."
"Unfortunately what?" Lily asked.
"Unfortunately," Death said, "It is your son who is prophecized to defeat Riddle. And right now, there are certain individuals who are trying to not make that happen. Oh, they want Riddle dead. But they also want your son dead, in order to give themselves and others a more... fruitful life."
"Are you telling me they want to use my son for their own gains?" Lily asked.
"Yes," Death said, "Exactly so."
"Who?" Lily growled. "Who is doing this?"
Death's hood jerked toward Lily and he stared at her. "Are you sure you want to hear this? If I tell you this, and other things, you may not believe me. It may seem impossible to you, but it is the truth. I am not trying to manipulate you. I have my own gains, but I assure you, my most important gain is to see Riddle and those who serve him dead."
"Who is it?" Lily hissed.
"Albus Dumbledore," Death said.
Lily flinched. Albus Dumbledore was the headmaster of Hogwarts, the school she had learned about magic, the place that had changed her life. Dumbledore was like a mentor to her.
"See?" Death said, "You are already doubting me."
"What has he done?" Lily asked, "What will he do?"
"Dumbledore told you and James about the prophecy regarding your son, did he not?" Death asked.
"He told me and James what the prophecy said," Lily said; then she realized something. "If he wanted to manipulate my son, why would he tell me and James the prophecy? Unless..."
"Unless he knew you and your husband would not be around to tell your son," Death said. "You would not be around to prepare your son for his destiny how you see fit. You doubt me again. Alright. Your Secret Keeper..."
"Peter Pettigrew," Lily said.
"Ah, but he was not your first choice, was he?" Death said.
"James and I wanted Sirius Black as our Secret Keeper," Lily said, "But Sirius said it would be too obvious. He said if he was tortured, he would accidentally give away the Secret too easily. I had my doubts about that, however. Sirius is a strong individual. Definitely more strong-willed than Peter Pettigrew."
"I completely agree," Death said. "Out of everyone you could have picked to be Secret Keeper, how did Pettigrew get chosen?"
"There weren't very many people we trusted," Lily said.
"Remus Lupin?" Death asked.
"Yes, but he's a werewolf," Lily said.
"And as such, he has quite a strong will and a strong mind," Death said, "His mind is naturally protected against Legilimens, even as strong as Voldemort. The first thing out of your lips when I mentioned Lupin was 'he is a werewolf'. Funny, Lily... you and James never cared that Remus is a werewolf. Who planted that seed of doubt back in your mind, I wonder?"
Lily thought back. It had been several months beforehand, when there was rumors of betrayal in the Order of the Phoenix, in which she and James were a part of. There were discussions of whom the betrayer could be. Including one particular discussion with...
Lily's eyes widened in horror. "Pettigrew."
"Pettigrew, yes," Death said, "Peter Pettigrew, supposedly a good friend of Remus Lupin rumor-mongering about how the man was probably a traitor because he was a werewolf. I bet he even said something about how Voldemort was recruiting werewolves. Thus, he planted those seeds in your mind. As such, the evening Sirius said he couldn't be your Secret Keeper, who should he suggest as the Secret Keeper, but Peter Pettigrew. Sirius didn't know of his mistake of course. He was being manipulated by Pettigrew, though Pettigrew was being guided from someone else."
The pieces were beginning to click in Lily's mind. "Pettigrew was told to plant seeds of doubt in the Order. In doing so, he made us look elsewhere, when all that time we were talking to the betrayer. Pettigrew himself."
"Very good," Death said. "I am sure you remember that Pettigrew was the only one of your close friends who was not there the evening Harry was born? In truth, that very same evening, he was being Marked by Voldemort."
"A Death Eater," Lily said, "All that time..."
"Yes," Death said, "But here is where it gets worse. Did you know that in the Order, there is a Master Legilimens? I am sure if you thought about it, you could know exactly who it is."
"Dumbledore," Lily said.
"Yes," Death said, "A very strong one. He could read the minds of nearly everyone in the Order. I say... nearly everyone. He could not read Alastor Moody's whose paranoia is his own tool of Occlumency. Also he could not read..."
"Remus' mind," Lily said.
"Exactly," Death said, "I see you coming to the conclusion..."
"Dumbledore knew who the traitor was in the Order," Lily said, "Pettigrew wouldn't know Occlumency. So... he needed Pettigrew to get close to us. Dumbledore couldn't read Remus' mind, so he wanted us to turn on our friend."
"He didn't want there to be a chance that Remus would be your Keeper," Death said.
"Why?" Lily asked, "Why did Dumbledore do this?"
"A few months before Harry was born," Death said, "The prophecy you know was told by Sybil Trelawney to Albus Dumbledore. However, it was also told to one other individual. They only heard the first couple of lines – that the prophecized vanquisher of the Dark Lord would be born at the end of July. The owner of the bar found the man eavesdropping. Tell me, Lily, who owns the Hog's Head?"
"Aberforth Dumbledore," Lily said, "Albus' brother."
"So, of course, Ab would tell Albus who was eavesdropping," Death said.
"Who was it?" Lily asked.
"Are you sure you wish to know?" Death asked, "It was another person who you were close to at one point."
Lily nodded, though from his clue she knew who it might be.
"Severus Snape," Death said.
Lily felt a pang in her heart. Severus was her friend at one point in time. In fact, he was her first friend in the wizarding world. He had, in fact, introduced her to the wizarding world, and told her what she really was. Then at the end of their fifth year at Hogwarts, that friendship was destroyed with a single word.
"As you know, Snape was a Death Eater," Death said, then grumbled something that sounded like 'that blasted name' before continuing, "So who do you think he took those first two lines of the Prophecy to?"
"Voldemort," Lily said, her voice quivering with emotion.
"Now don't be too hard on Severus," Death said, "When he told Voldemort of the prophecy, he had no idea who it was referring to. However, a few months later, Harry was born, one day after Neville Longbottom. Voldemort had two targets, and he chose your son. Can you imagine Snape's reaction when he heard that Voldemort was targeting your son? He was not worried about your son, or your husband. He was worried about you."
Lily frowned. She knew Severus had feelings for her, feelings beyond friendship. She could see the jealous look in his eyes when she started to secretly fancy James Potter even two before she and James would become a couple. Oh, she would deny such a fancy, she didn't want to be involved with him until his head swelled back down to a manageable size. But she could see that Severus was jealous.
"In his terror and fear for your life," Death said, "Snape met up with Dumbledore, and told him how Voldemort knew the Prophecy. Dumbledore knew this of course. He knew Snape had overheard the prophecy. So... what does Dumbledore do? He offers sanctuary for Snape, but only if Snape becomes his spy."
Lily grimaced.. The pieces were all beginning to fit into place. "With Dumbledore's use of Legilimency, and Snape giving him information about Voldemort and his Death Eaters..."
"How could he not know Pettigrew was the traitor," Death said, "Indeed. And yet... Dumbledore was the one who conducted the Secret Keeper ceremony. Sirius was there that night, wasn't he? When Pettigrew became the Secret Keeper?"
"Yes," Lily said, "He was part of the Secret, but not the Keeper."
"Therefore, he knew who the Secret Keeper was," Death said, "Of course, this played right into Dumbledore's hand. The very same night Pettigrew became the Secret Keeper, he went to Voldemort to tell him his mission was complete. Voldemort now knew the Secret. Now, before we get into the deeper plot, there is one more piece Dumbledore played in order to seal his plan. James knew his life was in danger, did he not? He hoped that you and Harry would survive Voldemort's wrath. He thought that if he died, you would be there to raise Harry."
"Yes," Lily said, "He told me that. And the next day, he made his Last Will and Testament."
"And you also made yours," Death said; Lily nodded, "And who was there as witness, may I ask?"
Lily frowned. "Albus Dumbledore."
"And when did you write the Wills?" Death asked, "Before or after the Secret Keeper business?"
"Before," Lily said.
"So," Death said, "Dumbledore knew that Sirius, as godfather, would get to raise Harry in the event of yours and James deaths. He also knew that there was more than one possible guardian: Sirius, the Longbottoms, Xenophilius and Pandora Lovegood, Amelia Bones, Minerva McGonagall. But there was one name who was never supposed to be guardian."
"My sister," Lily growled. "She hates magic. She hated me. If she was allowed to raise Harry, she would try to stamp the magic out of him."
"Did you tell Dumbledore about your sister?" Death asked.
Lily nodded. She had to explain why Petunia should never have custody. Then she realized...
No, he wouldn't!
"Indeed," Death said, and Lily noticed for the first time that there was emotion in Death's voice. "You see where this is going, don't you? So... here's the pieces to the puzzle. Dumbledore knows Pettigrew is the Secret Keeper, he knows the contents of yours and James' wills. He knew that Sirius knew who was the Keeper. He knows Peter is the traitor, and that Voldemort knew part of the prophecy. All of this lead to that Halloween night. Now, there is one particular bit of spice that was unexpected, but nonetheless, important. What did Voldemort ask of you when he confronted you?"
"He told me to stand aside," Lily said, "As if he wanted to spare me. But why?"
"Severus Snape," Death said, "He begged Voldemort to spare your life. Snape hoped that with James and your son dead, you would be seeking a shoulder to cry on. He visited your house in Godric's Hollow that evening. He hoped to find you alive, looking for a friend -"
"Bastard!" Lily growled.
"Oh, come now, Lily," Death said, "Yes, he was quite the bastard before that evening. But the moment he walked into that nursery, and found your body, he knew Voldemort had betrayed him. He would seek to end Voldemort's existence, and in that very fact, he remained a spy with Dumbledore. Of course Dumbledore would use that. It would just give him more pieces in his game. Now...here is the scenario we're up against Lily. Imagine Sirius Black went to your house the night you and James were murdered. There he found Harry alive, however, he was not the first to get there. Hagrid, on Dumbledore's orders was there to retrieve Harry."
"But Sirius is Harry's godfather," Lily said, "Sirius would raise him."
"And Dumbledore knew that, remember?" Death said, "However, Hagrid trusts Dumbledore. He looks up to the Headmaster. How could he not? He was given a job and a home at Hogwarts after he was expelled many years ago. Dumbledore gave Hagrid a reason to trust him. Dumbledore gave him a job that night. He was supposed to take Harry away from the house, and into the arms of Dumbledore. He wouldn't listen to Sirius, even when Sirius said he was Harry's godfather and rightful guardian. Hagrid tells Sirius he must speak to Dumbledore. Hagrid leaves, and Sirius is standing there, stewing in his pain. His best friends are dead, his godson has been taken away. His life is falling to pieces. Who does he blame? He realizes Peter Pettigrew is responsible for this, he was your Secret Keeper."
"Oh, poor Sirius," Lily said, with a frown. "Poor, stupid Sirius!"
"Yes, poor stupid Sirius," Death said, "The stupid young man went looking for Pettigrew, in order to blame him, punish him for what he did. But Sirius is emotional. And his emotions betray him. He is not thinking straight. He finds Pettigrew, but Pettigrew is expecting Sirius to come. So he does the only thing he can in order to escape. He screams out to a crowd of people, blaming Sirius for betraying you and James. Then he blows up a sewer pipe, blowing up the street. Pettigrew cuts off his finger, and transformed into his rat form, and escaped. Now, look at this picture. Sirius is standing there, shocked beyond belief. Twelve Muggles are dead from Pettigrew's explosion, and on the ground, is Pettigrew's finger. Aurors come to the scene and find all of this happening. What do they do?"
"They arrest him," Lily said, "In order to find out what happened. But he would have told them, wouldn't he? Sirius knows to demand Veritaserum at a trial-"
"Ah, yes," Death said, "But who is the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot?"
"Dumbledore," Lily hissed.
"Picture it, Lily," Death said, "The Ministry finds out Voldemort is gone. 'He's finally gone, hurray, the war is over. We can move on!' All the Ministry wanted to do was move on. So they did. They had someone to arrest in order to show they were doing something. Minister Bagnold, Barty Crouch – the head of the DMLE, and Albus Dumbledore, the Chief Warlock – they just want their scapegoat in order to give the public a sign that the war was over. So, they arrest Sirius and throw him in Azkaban without a trial."
"No!" Lily cried, "Why?!"
"Because Dumbledore wanted it that way," Death said, "A free Sirius would get word out that Pettigrew was the Keeper. If that was discovered, Sirius would be free to raise Harry. But with him imprisoned, everyone would think he was the betrayer, and..."
"Nobody would believe a word he says," Lily said, with a frown.
"Precisely," Death said, "Now, as Chief Warlock, Dumbledore had the power to do many things. He persuaded the Minister of Magic to block the viewing of yours and James' Will, until Harry is eleven years old, thus allowing him of able body and mind to take what is rightfully his. Bagnold allowed it, and signed a form making it official. Then Dumbledore Obliviates her after he has the signature. He takes the Will to the right department, and puts it away, without anyone knowing."
"The goblins have a copy of the Will," Lily said.
"Aye, they do," Death said, "But they do not care much for the affairs of wizards. They are informed through magic, that the Will is closed unless Harry allows it to open, then stores it away at that time. And this is where Dumbledore continues to play his game. Remember, Lily, Dumbledore is the only witness to your Wills. He knows what you wanted. And in so doing, he could make a fantasy out of your Wills. Whatever he said, it must be true, right? He is the so-called Leader of the Light, everyone looks up to him! And so... when the Magical Child Services department gets word from Dumbledore of Harry's new residence and guardian, they believe him, and fill out the forms. Dumbledore through those fantasy Wills he made up orders two things. He becomes Harry's magical guardian, while the official guardian is... Petunia and Vernon Dursley."
"No!" Lily cried, as she fell to her knees. "Why?"
"Dumbledore needs a weapon to defeat Voldemort, Lily," Death said, "But he doesn't need a hero, he needs a sacrifice. Imagine this, the final battle between Light and Dark. Dumbledore believes Harry must die because of the Horcrux in his head. So, Dumbledore guides Harry to battle Voldemort. Never knowing about the Horcrux in his own head, Harry battles Voldemort. Why? Because he believes he is the only one who can defeat Voldemort. He is doing so for his friends who he couldn't bear to see die because of him. But he doesn't know Voldemort can't die until his Horcruxes are destroyed. So... Voldemort ends up killing Harry, and with the last Horcrux destroyed, Dumbledore goes on to kill Voldemort. Dumbledore weeps crocodile tears over Harry's body, a cameraman takes the picture of their fallen hero being mourned by their Leader of the Light, and everyone believes the Manipulative Old Man is their hero. But in the end he is doing it for the Greater Good. Pureblood Supremacy. He wants the wizarding world to go on as it always has. Muggles and Muggleborn being the lowest form, along with Werewolves, Centaurs, Veela and the like, while the Purebloods continue to go on as they always have, but without the threat of Voldemort. Dumbledore, being the new hero, can pass any law he allows, giving him the freedom to do what he wants. Nobody would realize their Leader of the Light is a Dark Lord."
"But," Lily said, hoarsely, "This hasn't happened yet. It might not happen."
"No," Death said, "It might not happen. Not if someone helps Harry. You, Lily. However, there is a price. It isn't a big price. Some of it you will not like. But with your guidance, you can help Harry."
"I'll do it, whatever the price," Lily said, her voice still hoarse, but getting stronger, "I choose Harry."
"You are sure?" Death said.
"Yes," Lily said.
"Very well," Death said; he waved his cloaked arm toward the train, and it began to move.
"Wait!" Lily said, "Can't I even say goodbye to James?"
"He knows," Death said, "He knows your choice, and he is proud of you for it. He knew all along you would chose it. He only asks you to follow your heart wherever it will go."
"I can't love anyone else," Lily said, "My heart is only big enough for James and Harry."
"He knows," Death said, "And still gives you the same message."
I love you, James. I always will, Lily thought silently. She then stood and stared at Death. "Tell me what happens now. What is this price?"
"Part of Dumbledore's plan must happen for things to work," Death said, "I know it is hard to hear, but it has to happen. He is right about one thing, after all. If Harry lived in the wizarding world all his life, if he was raised in the wizarding world, where he was a hero, and looked upon like a hero, his attitude, his personality, it would only betray him in the end and possibly lead him into Darkness. Petunia and Vernon's abuse toward Harry -"
"Abuse!" Lily growled.
"Yes," Death said, "They do mistreat him. He does not have a happy childhood. But due to such a childhood, he becomes stronger, Lily. He will choose to stand up for his friends, he will choose to fight the bullies. He will gain a sense of adventure, wishing to give himself a better life. Unfortunately, it does affect him. He isn't exactly the most physical of specimens, and while he is as smart as you are Lily, he chooses not to show it. As a student, if Harry got better grades than Dudley, he would be punished for it."
"But that is what Dumbledore wants!" Lily growled, "That is the recipe for his sacrifice, isn't it?!"
"There are a few more ingredients Dumbledore has to put into the pot," Death said, "But this is where you come in, Lily. You will be there to help Harry remove such ingredients, therefore changing the recipe."
"Of course," Lily said, "as a mother should."
"Ah, but that is where it gets complicated, Lily," Death said, "Yes, you could tell him you are his mother. But he might find that hard to believe."
"Why?" Lily asked.
"Simple," Death said, "On the day I allow you to return to the land of the living, you will be the same age as Harry."
"He will be in his early twenties?" Lily asked, "How am I supposed to help him when he has gone through a childhood and his teens, through his education, raised to believe all this?"
"You misunderstand me, Lily," Death said, "When you return, you will be the same as Harry: eleven years old."
Lily blinked. She didn't hear that correctly... did she? "What?"
"Lily, the world believes you are dead," Death said, "People saw your body, Dumbledore saw your body. Snape saw your body. If you returned like you are, there would be questions. If you are the same age as Harry, you will get to be his friend, helping him in school, and helping him on his path to his destiny the right way. You will be able to guide him. You will have all your knowledge. I assume James taught you about the Ancient and Noble Houses and such. Lords and Ladies?"
"Sort of," Lily said, shrugging, "Not a lot. Why?"
"Harry will be Lord Potter," Death said, "He will be the head of the Ancient and Noble House of Potter, in essence a powerful individual in the wizarding world. There are other titles I won't reveal yet, but you will know about it soon – if you take him to Gringotts when you meet him, make sure he claims his inheritance. It will effectively emancipate him – the Dursleys nor Dumbledore will be his guardians, and he will get ownership of Potter Manor in Northampton. The house is pretty much fine. The wards are good, one of the house-elves there still lives. Once Harry steps foot on the land as the Head of the Potters, the house will be rightfully his."
"But... what about me?" Lily asked.
"I will give you a new identity," Death said, "You will be Holly Evans. Everyone, except those few who you tell your identity, will believe you are Lily Potter's niece – her father will be Lily and Petunia's long-lost brother. Fictional brother, but only those in the know will know such a brother doesn't exist. Harold Evans is a Muggle, but his daughter, Holly is a Muggleborn. An orphan, of course – her parents don't exist, so of course the world must believe they are dead. So you would be Harry's cousin instead of his mother. Dumbledore would not make the connection – if he did, Holly would not have been welcome into Hogwarts. In fact, he would probably get rid of her."
Lily snorted. She knew Dumbledore would find her relationship to Harry – well, her fictional one – soon enough, but not before she could destroy some of his pieces on his side of the chessboard.
"You're a smart Muggleborn, of course, very studious, curious about the wizarding world," Death continued, "So it wouldn't be too big of a surprise that you know stuff about the wizarding world's customs, and such. Holly Evans will have no want for money, believe me. But I will leave that surprise waiting at Gringotts. If not a motherly figure, you would still be a good friend who would help him and guide him on his path. And believe me, he will need your friendship. If he remains a friendless boy until September 1st, 1991, he will meet and befriend three people who are spies of Dumbledore only wanting to use Harry."
"Who?" Lily asked.
"Molly Weasley, her youngest son, Ron, and her daughter, Ginny," Death said. "Dumbledore and Molly put together a betrothal contract, between Harry and Ginny, a few days after that Halloween."
"A betrothal contract?!" Lily growled, "How dare they?!"
"Lily, the contract isn't official," Death said, "Dumbledore isn't Harry's rightful magical guardian. Sirius Black is. Emancipate Harry, and he can cancel the contract."
"Oh, right," Lily said, "Easy enough."
"Yes," Death said, "Ginny has been raised, believing she is destined to be Mrs. Harry Potter. Oh, she is still an innocent little girl. She can be persuaded to see the light, if guided away from that hag of a mother. It will be hard. She will see Harry as the Boy-Who-Lived, and not as a boy who grew up in an abusive home with no knowledge of magic. Ginny isn't much of a threat if you can get her out from under her mother's thumb. Don't blame the daughter for the sins of the mother. She may be useful to you."
Lily sighed and nodded. She could see Death's point.
"However, then there is her brother Ron," Death continued, "He is the youngest boy of six boys. His five brothers are all either smarter, better-looking, funnier, or more adventurous than him. He is easily jealous because of it. He believes someone owes him something for the life he has been dealt. So instead of doing something about it, he expects others to do it for him. Imagine, Lily, what would happen if Albus Dumbledore asked a boy like that to befriend Harry, if only to spy on Harry for him? Especially if such a boy gets paid for it."
"He would try to latch himself onto Harry," Lily said, "He would try to use Harry's fame and popularity of being the one who, as everyone believes, rid the world of Voldemort, and steal a place in the spotlight."
"Indeed," Death said, "Even if Harry doesn't want that spotlight, Ron would probably try to encourage him to use it. Ron is not a smart boy. He loves chess and Quidditch. He gorges himself on food. He does not like homework. As I said, he also becomes jealous easily. If someone else were to become Harry's friend, become someone more important in his life than him, Ron would hate that. Can you see why Dumbledore would want someone like him to befriend Harry?"
"He would force Harry to his level," Lily said. "You said Ron hates homework. Harry, growing up believing he shouldn't be smarter than his dumb cousin, would believe he shouldn't let himself be smarter than Ron..."
"Yes!" Death said, "And a friendless boy like Harry – he would do anything to keep his friend happy."
"Right," Lily said, "So make sure Harry avoids Ron."
"Oh, you probably won't be able to avoid the boy," Death said, "He will try to insert him in your group. All you will need to do is outsmart him. Quite easy."
"My group?" Lily asked, "Who besides Harry?"
"There are other students who will be good friends to you and Harry," Death said, "I will name a few, though there are more. Don't just resort to finding friends in one house at Hogwarts. In all four houses, you will find friends. Some of whom will be good political allies, even if their family is neutral. In doing so, you might just reunite the houses like they were meant to be."
"Even Slytherin?" Lily asked.
"The Slytherins will be a challenge," Death said, "But there are diamonds there, you just have to find them. Now, as for my suggested names. There is one in particular. Hermione Granger. Look for her at the train station on September 1st. She is a Muggleborn like you. Very smart. The kind of girl you might like to see as a daughter-in-law one day."
"There are others as well," Death said, "I believe you knew Amelia Bones and Pandora Lovegood in school?"
"Yes," Lily said, "Pandora was a good friend of mine. Amelia and I were friends, though she was closer to Sirius. They dated at one point. It had been quite serious, pardon the pun."
"Amelia's niece, Susan, could be a good friend," Death said, "And you can use the Bones alliance in the political aspect. Unfortunately Pandora died when her daughter was nine years old. Ever since then, Luna has shut herself down. I am afraid she could easily become the target of bullies because she believes in imaginary creatures."
Lily sniffled, blinking tears from her eyes. She vowed to befriend Luna in memory of her mother.
"And then there is Frank and Alice Longbottom's son Neville," Death said.
"He was born the day before Harry," Lily said, "I am Neville's godmother, just as Alice is Harry's."
"Frank and Alice unfortunately suffered a horrible fate at the hands of Death Eaters," Death said, "They were tortured with the Cruciatus Curse, tortured into insanity."
"Oh, gods," Lily muttered.
"Neville was raised by his grandmother," Death said, "Are you familiar with Augusta Longbottom nee Croaker?"
"Unfortunately yes," Lily said, "She is a demanding, strong-willed woman. Unfortunately she is also quite the pureblood. She doesn't believe in the Supremacy aspect of it, but she believes in the power of it."
"And if she thought Neville was a squib?" Death asked, "He isn't but because of things that happened when he was a baby, he didn't show much magic as a child."
"She would look down on him instead of encourage him," Lily said, "He is supposed to be the next Head of House, and if, as she thought, he was a squib, he couldn't become the Head."
"Neville isn't a squib," Death said, "However, I wouldn't be too hard on Augusta, she could be a powerful political ally. Besides, she too is being manipulated by Dumbledore, as is Neville. Because he was seen as the other boy in the prophecy, Dumbledore manipulated young Neville too. He bound Neville's magical core down to fifteen percent. Unfortunately... he also did the same to Harry."
Lily growled. Of course, Dumbledore wouldn't want the boys of the prophecy to be too strong. He couldn't allow such power.
"Fortunately the goblins can unbind their magical cores safely," Death said, " hose two boys will be powerful wizards Lily. They will need guidance. In doing so, they will be strong allies, magically and politically. Also, Augusta will be giving Neville his father's wand. It will not work right for Neville. Without his own wand, he will be seen as weak. Again, this is nothing to do with Dumbledore, Augusta only believes Neville will amount to nothing so she doesn't encourage him."
"I will make sure he is trained right," Lily vowed.
"Good," Death said, "Unfortunately, it gets worse with Dumbledore and the Weasleys, Lily. Dumbledore has been stealing money from the Potter Vault."
"Bastard!" Lily growled.
"Oh, don't worry," Death said, "Harry can get it all back. Make sure Harry asks for an audit. Dumbledore's been taking money for himself and the Order of the Phoenix. Also he gave money to the Weasleys. It is that money which paid for the Weasley children to get into Hogwarts. Also, Dumbledore paid the Dursleys money every year on Harry's birthday. They had all kinds of money but never spent it on Harry."
"Wait a moment," Lily said, "You said two maybe three of the Weasleys will use Harry. But what about Arthur, and the other boys?"
"All innocent," Death said. "Well, mostly innocent. They never asked where the money came from. Dumbledore just told them they got an inheritance from a fictional dead Aunt of Molly's. Of course, the Weasleys were infamous for being poor, so Molly couldn't flash the money around. A good percentage of it sits in Molly's private vault. Molly was feeding Arthur love and loyalty potions. Flush him of the potions, and watch the fun happen."
"I will make sure she pays right along with Dumbledore," Lily growled.
"However," Death said, "I do see what you are thinking. If you do this, you will in effect punish the innocent Weasleys. Do you want to do that?"
"This is another case of 'sins of the mother', isn't it?" Lily asked, "I will come up with something. What else do I need to know?"
"Oh, I can't tell you everything just yet," Death said, "Where would the fun be in that? Part of the price is that I get to watch you on your path with Harry. I will give you a few more clues and hints right now, but others will fall into place. On Harry's birthday each year, I will give you, and in essence him, a gift. I will give you clues as to what is going to happen in the upcoming year. They will be a little cryptic. But you are smart."
"Can't make this too easy, can you?" Lily muttered.
"Of course not!" Death said, "Earlier I may have said I lead a busy existence, but sometimes it is boring! I need entertainment. Okay, so here is more you need to know. Sirius Black is still in Azkaban. Free him sooner than later, and you and Harry will have some trusting adults in your life. Both you and Harry will be emancipated after a visit to Gringotts, but people like Dumbledore will still try to stop such things, especially without an adult present."
"But I can't just tell the Ministry that Sirius wasn't the Secret Keeper," Lily said, "I have no real proof. Not unless I tell everyone I am Lily Potter."
"True," Death said. "My only hint is this: where there's a will, there's a way."
Lily nodded. Something to do with the Wills. What have I forgotten about them? There's something else here...
"What about Wormtail?" Lily asked.
"I will only tell you that he is closer than you think," Death said.
Lily frowned. Great, more hints with little answers. Something tells me this will be the norm.
"When you free Sirius," Death continued, "I will lead you to a Horcrux, but you must free Sirius or it is useless. However, I will tell you about the other Horcruxes now. Well, those you can nab whenever you want. One, however, won't show up until your second year at Hogwarts."
"And the others?" Lily asked.
"One is in Gringotts," Death said, "Hufflepuff's Cup, look for the badger on it. Once the Goblins remove the Horcrux in Harry, tell the goblins you believe that another one is in Gringotts, in one of the vaults owned by one of Riddle's followers, and they will destroy it. They will probably make you and Harry 'Friends of the Goblin Nation' for doing so. Embrace that title. The ring Horcrux will be the most dangerous to retrieve, but Goblins and their Curse Breakers will be able to get it. It is in the Gaunt house in Little Hangleton. The other easy one is in the Room of Requirement in Hogwarts. Voldemort will make one more, but not until later. I will clue you in when that happens."
Death instructed Lily how to get into the Room of Requirement and where the Horcrux was.
"Since you will be arriving on Harry's eleventh birthday, I will give you more clues after you meet Harry and take care of the Gringotts stuff. Just wait for my letter. When you return to the land of the living, you will wake up in a vacant room in the Leaky Cauldron. Your Hogwarts letter and school list will be waiting for you. Go downstairs and wait for Harry. He will be coming into the bar with Hagrid. Now half-giants are spell-resistant. But hit him with a wandless Confundus. It will work. Hagrid will believe he is also to meet you for shopping. That will give you the opportunity to befriend Harry. Once you get to Gringotts, Confound Hagrid again, and make him fear riding on the Gringotts carts. Hagrid will give Harry his vault key, and there you go. Ask for the Goblin, Ragnok, who will be your Vault Keeper – coincidentally, he is also Harry's Vault Keeper. And then let things play out."
Lily nodded, understanding what she must do.
"Once emancipated," Death said, "break away from Hagrid, go shopping – believe me, Harry will need it – and go to Potter Manor. Someone will be waiting for you."
"Missy?" Lily asked, referring to the Potter Family house-elf.
"Her daughter, Melina," Death said, "Missy died when Harry was seven."
Lily frowned, saddened by the loss, but also knew who Melina was. The young elf was just a baby when Harry was born.
"Lily," Death said, "There are two... beings... who will recognize you when you tell them who you are. I will allow this. They are Charlus and Dorea's portraits at Potter Manor."
"James' parents," Lily said.
"They will help you guide Harry," Death said, "While you know much of the wizarding world's customs, you don't know it all. Harry's grandfather will help him become Lord Potter. You will no longer be Lady Potter, of course, but you will have a title."
"What title?" Lily asked.
"It is a surprise," Death said, "You'll know by the time you leave Gringott's."
"More entertainment, huh?" Lily grumbled.
"Yes," Death said. "Also while you are at Potter Manor, that may be the best time to reveal the truth to Harry. By then, he will probably be more than curious about some of the stuff you will be helping him with during the day, and how you knew everything. He is very smart, remember that. He just doesn't show it."
Lily nodded. However, that was the part she was dreading. She knew Harry probably wished for his parents during his hell on earth with her sister. How would he react when he found out she was his mother – especially since she will look like she's his age!
"My, my, we have been speaking for quite a while," Death said, "Technically it has been a little less than ten years since you arrived. I think now is a good time for you to return. Remember Lily, most will know you as Holly Evans."
"I guess I better get used to that name then," Lily, or rather Holly Evans now, said.
A whooshing sound was heard and Lily turned, and saw a portal now where the wall to return to the Muggle world usually stood.
"Have fun, Holly," Death said, "I will be seeing you again soon."
Lily shuddered, and turned and walked toward the portal. She took a deep breath, and stepped through it, beginning her new life as Holly Evans.
Death sat there on the bench, as he watched the new Holly Evans step through the portal. He knew he was taking a big risk by doing this. But if it destroyed Tom Riddle and his Horcruxes years earlier, then he was okay with that. Even if it meant many people would live who would have died, while others would die who would have lived without his interference. He was okay with that as well.
But Harry Potter was worth it. Harry was the one who was prophecized to take down Tom Riddle, an annoying stain who should have met Death long ago. Death would allow these rewards and encouragement that came from his mother and new friend.
"Why didn't you tell her what I said?" a voice said near Death.
Death turned and saw James Potter sitting on the bench beside him.
"Hmm?" Death asked.
"Why didn't you tell Lily that there may come a time when Harry yearns for more than friendship with her?" James asked.
"Why would I do that?" Death asked. "One it is entertaining to see what might happen. Two, if it does happen, Tom Riddle, who doesn't know love, will find himself in a world of pain because of it. Three, your son would know love, which would help him survive. Why would you want to stop something like that?"
"He will already know love!" James said, "You know this! He will know plenty of love! I mean – the once horny teenager in me supports your Harem plan, my son would deserve it. But... well... what you are encouraging is... well... wrong!"
"Come now, James," Death said, "I happen to know your great-great-great aunt and uncle through your mother's side were siblings! They died an hour apart. Your uncle sat in here waiting for your Aunt, and believe me, I just want to forgot what happened during their reunion."
Death shuddered. When elderly couples died, they came into the afterlife in their young adult bodies. There were some of these couples, when reunited, who would have a reunion shag right there on the platform. Some people, like Dorea Black's ancestors that came to Death's mind, were quite kinky, especially for siblings. So much so, that it even horrified Death!
"They were Blacks!" James said, "As much as I love Sirius, most of his family and ancestors were insane."
"It is tradition, my good man," Death said, "Besides, the heart wants what the heart wants. Now, behave and you can have your own little viewing room to watch the show. For a bonus, when people come through here, people you hate – such as Pettigrew – you can torture them all you want before they pass on."
James harrumphed, but Death could see the Marauder in James liking the "bonus".
"Fine," James said, "But I still don't have to like it!"
Death shrugged. James didn't have to like it. But Death would... oh yes, he knew he was going to have so much fun!
Wow, this is a long first chapter! I don't think most of my chapters will be this long, maybe a little over half as long. So don't get used to it! However, the first three chapters at least are 6000 words or longer.
From now on, Lily will be known as Holly Evans. Yes, she will refer to herself as Lily when she reveals to people who she really is then tell them her new name is Holly, but when it comes to her PoV, it will be "Holly" instead of Lily. I'm doing this so it doesn't confuse me.
Death isn't the same as Fate from my Bonds of Time Series. He will not interfere in too much more. He will give clues to Lily/Holly over time just to help her and Harry along the way. He just wants some entertainment. Lily/Holly is his key to such a good show. Will we see Death again... possibly. Maybe even James as well, when certain characters are killed off. Think of it like the Three Wise Men scenes from Bonds of Time Series... it will be just as funny!
As you can see, this isn't the type of story I normally write. Many of my usual readers may not like this story, especially if you are fans of Ron and Dumbledore. I am going for a bit of cliched theme. Bad Weasleys (Ron and Molly, though Ginny will be redeemed, and possibly part of the Harem) and bad Dumbledore. As for Severus, well, I don't know where I am going with him yet. We'll see.
This is NOT a Ron/Hermione story. Hermione will probably (95% sure) end up in Harry's Harem. You will NOT like Ron in this story. Most of Ron's personality in this story – as hinted in this chapter – will be similar to canon, but in the most extreme of ways. Sure, in canon, he did not spy on Harry, nor did he get paid to do so. But he was very jealous of Harry and his fame (and the thought of him being with girl that Ron fancied), he was bad at homework, and gorged himself on food. He also had a bad temper, and he did make fun of people who were trying to also be Harry's friend. That will all happen in this story. In my stories, I usually try not to bash Ron, but I want to branch out in my writing, so I want to see what I can do with this.
There will be incest between Holly and Harry (probably to the point where they will have children together), and Harry will have a Harem. Lords, Ladies, Ancient Houses, Alliances, Heirs of Founders, epic Wizengamot sessions, all will play a part in this. I wanted to try my hand at these cliches, to see how I could do. If you don't like any of this, don't read it!
Otherwise, I hope you enjoy! As of uploading this chapter, I have three chapters complete so far. I will be uploading one chapter per week until I run out or finish.
Next chapter: Introduction of Holly Evans. Holly meets Harry and Hagrid, does a bit of secret magic, and takes Harry to Gringotts. It will end in a minor cliffhanger (one of the first surprises Death mentioned).