Not everything made it into the story, which probably isn't surprising considering how long this thing was. A lot of what I had to take out had to be removed, but some of it was kind of funny or interesting so I thought you might enjoy reading or hearing about some of the bigger chunks.

Most of the changes that happened through the story weren't what was removed but rather what was added. A couple were months were added to the beginning of the plot at one point, and it was only a chapter or two, but it significantly changed what happened later because Trelawney made her prophecy about the Grim, red dragon, and leopard in that time.


This one was originally a part of The Rebuilt Machinery Of Our Hearts, but it didn't work because it was kind of a tone shift from the rest of the story so I took it out; still, it was funny so I thought you might enjoy reading it. (If you haven't read Rebuilt Machinery, that was kind of one huge outtake because I used it to get out some other ideas that just wouldn't have fit in this story.)

In the most blase tone possible, someone said, "So that's the arsehole... Got it."

"Who are you?" Foyet demanded. Haley's breath gave a startled hitch.

"Sorry," the twin - and yes, it was a Weasley twin, what on earth were they doing there? - said. "Harry had to grab some stuff from the old house he had to abandon because someone thought it'd be fun to try killing people."

"Harry's here?" Haley asked, worried.

"And a couple others."

"Question," Ginny said. "Do you really think you're going to be able to kill all of us? I mean, it's seven to one. Really."

"Do you want to risk losing your brothers, little girl? This isn't about you. Get out of the house, and live another day."

"You can take any of them," Ginny said, bored. "Especially one of the twins. I mean, we've got a spare and everything."

"Ronald Weasley!" Hermione suddenly shouted. "A mass murderer is threatening your friend's family and you're raiding their cupboards?!"

"Boys," Ginny sighed at the same time Ron complained through a full mouth, " 'M hungry!" He swallowed. "And muggles have good food!"

"Harry," Haley said, as if this were any other day, "when did you get back? I thought you had another week."

"Yeah, but we were worried that someone might follow us home if they knew when we were leaving school, and they didn't want to risk not sending me at all because Dad was threatening to start setting stuff on fire if they did that so..."

"Aaron?" Haley prompted, and dare Hotch say it, she sounded a touch amused.

"Just Dumbledore's wand," he admitted. And that time, he didn't imagine the snicker.

"So we came back with Harry in case there was an ambush," Hermione finished.

"Were you expecting one?" Foyet asked mockingly.

"Well," Ginny said, snorting, "it wouldn't be unexpected, not after the year – no, decade - Harry's had. Sorry, but you're not even the first mass murderer Harry's met this month."

Hotch was almost there. They just had to hold out for a little while longer. "I thought you avoided the ambush."

"Oh, we did," Harry said. "But then they had to call me in for the trials and whatnot, since everyone had been trying to take me to another mass murderer. So Foyet, you're the..." There was some muttered counting. "ninth mass murderer this month, third this week."

"...You must be joking."

"The sad thing is, he's not," Ginny said cheerfully. "Hey, are you going to shoot us anytime soon? Because Dad's always wanted to know how those things work."

"It's too fast for you to really see what's going on," Harry told her, punctuated by a gunshot. "Oops, you missed."

"I am standing at point-blank range, you obnoxious brat!"

"I wouldn't go saying that too loudly," Fred – Hotch was sure it was Fred – said. "That's kind of embarrassing. Maybe you should try again."

Another gunshot.

'"Wow, missed again," George said brightly. "Your day is almost as bad as Harry's life!"

"He needs at least twelve more deadly animals trying to kill him to even compare," Hermione dryly pointed out. "At least."

"Third time's the charm," Harry said, and he was taunting Foyet, a joking tone in his voice but steel as an undercurrent because while the Weasleys didn't know the details of what had happened the last time Harry had met Foyet, this was no laughing matter to the Hotchners. But he wasn't going to give Foyet the satisfaction of even taking him seriously, and that was a luxury but none but a wizard or witch in a room with an oblivious muggle could afford. "Once more, Foyet. Come on, your best shot, if you please."

Foyet emptied his gun.

"Damn," Harry said after a moment. "You should practice more often. Bullets get expensive when you add them all up."

"This isn't possible," Foyet snapped.

"You know what," Harry said, sarcastic, "you're right. It's not. I'm sure you're just dreaming, and, oh, what was the phrase you used? I'm just haunting your imagination when you close your eyes. Now get the hell out of my house. The front door's just to your left."

"Do you really think I'm running?" Foyet sneered.

"Incendio!" Hermione hissed. Foyet shouted in surprise. "He said get out."

There was a hesitant pause, and then Foyet was moving away from the phone. He had no other choice, not when Hotch was going to be pulling up soon, and not when he didn't know what was going on with the kids.

"He's going towards the back," Ron said, irritated. He must have finished his meal.

"Let him go," Harry said quietly enough that Foyet wouldn't hear him. "I'd hoped he would go that direction."

Smart Harry. He knew Foyet would go in the opposite direction he told him to go.

"Why?" Ginny asked curiously.

There was a sudden scream of pain from the backyard.


"I was wondering where Buckbeak went off to," Fred exclaimed. "Good on you, Harry."

"Bet Foyet didn't bow," Ron said. "Should've paid attention in class when they went over big beasts in the backyard of the people you're trying to kill."

"Should someone go get him?" George asked curiously. "It could be difficult to explain this to...anyone, really."

"Do we have to?" Fred whined.

"Oh, honestly," Hermione huffed, and footsteps stomped away from them. Then, in the background, "Petrificus totalus! There, there, Buckbeak, he's not moving. Please don't kill him. There, good boy."

Hotch arrived a minute later. He knew the rest of his team had been listening to his conversation, and he knew there was a lot of explaining that he was going to have to do, but he was just content to arrive and know that his son could take care of himself and everyone was safe.

Foyet was paralyzed for life from the waist down. Hotch visited him in the hospital and calmly told him he should have bowed to the hippogriff. A little bit of respect when a long way, he continued. Foyet, handcuffed to the bed, glared heatedly at him.

"Your son's a freak." Pause. "And so are his friends."

"Count yourself lucky he didn't really consider you a threat this time around," Hotch said casually. "Count yourself very, very lucky."

He sat down with his team the next day. He flat out admitted, "I don't have an explanation for you. Sorry."

"I've been thinking it over in my head and it's just... I don't have any kind of explanation," Prentiss said. "For how they stopped the bullets, or why his friends acted the way he did, or...even what kind of animal Buckbeak is."

"If anyone knew you found out about any of this, you could all get in serious trouble," Hotch said. "It's better you don't know, for now, so that if the time comes that you need to be told it'll be a lot easier."

"My head hurts," JJ muttered.

"Well, I don't know about the rest of you," Garcia said perkily, "but I'm going to go hack the video stream of Strauss interrogating Harry and his friends."

Yes, that was happening now. She was asking them all questions about what had happened, since she thought that the phone call was faked and they were merely covering for Hotch paralyzing an Unsub. Hotch would have been a lot more concerned about Strauss interrogating the group if he didn't know that the American wizarding government might step in if anything went wrong.

Clearly, none of the students had talked to each other about what they were going to say. Ron was first, and he at least tried. "I don't know what happened at all," he said, somewhat honestly, because, "I was in the kitchen the whole time."

"Did you hear gunshots?" Strauss asked him.

"Yeah, and the twins harrassing Foyet. Sorry, they do that to everyone. I think one of our professors is going to strangle him."

"You're British, aren't you?"


"And so are the rest of your friends."


"The school you met Harry at is in England."


"Scotland. Do you know why Agent Hotchner sent his child there instead of an American school?"

"Probably because the people at our school kept kidnapping Harry, so he wanted to at least know where Harry was at when he left. Harry wasn't supposed to return to his house each year, but the people at our school only just found out that he's been doing that anyway." Ron tilted his head, genuinely confused. "What does that have to do with any of this?"

Hermione was next. She, like Ron, tried even harder, and her response seemed more valid since she didn't refer to "his car, but not a flying car like the Ford Anglia I accidentally dropped into a tree – bloody hell that tree could probably classify as a mass murderer – just a regular car."

"Why were you at the house?"

"Well, we all wanted to come see Harry home safely," she said. "He's had some problems this year."

"Yes. You said he'd met nine mass murderers this month."

"Pardon me. A lot of problems this year."

"Can you explain those circumstances?"

Hermione paused. "That concerns ongoing cases in the British courts right now. I'm not at liberty to discuss them, not until the results are released to the public."

Harry also tried.

"How did you meet your adoptive father?"

"I was hiding outside his house."


"My family was abusive and I didn't want them to hit me anymore."

That made the entire review board pause and obviously fight the urge to exchange apprehensive glances.

"...Ah. So, you're in England most of the year?"

Harry nodded sadly. "It's what my parents wanted."

"Your parents. The ones you were living with before the Hotchners?"

"No, they were murdered when I was a baby, so I went to live with my aunt and her husband, but my aunt and mother hadn't gotten along didn't go well."

Hotch knew what Harry was doing. And it was working. The review board was already sympathizing with him, and they weren't supposed to be doing that.

"Okay. How are you treated at the Hotchner home?"

Harry tilted his head in bewilderment. "What does that have to do with Foyet?"

Ginny did not try.

"What kind of animal is Buckbeak?"

"A bear. I think Harry bought him at a circus. Or wrestled him into submission on a camping trip. I could never remember."

"...And where did Harry hide this...bear...when first responders showed up."

"On the roof! Merlin, where else do you put your bears?"

The twins did not try either. Or rather, they tried to make the experience as miserable for everyone.


"I'm George."

"You just told us you were Fred."

"Gred, right."

Strauss restrained herself, because murdering a Brit on camera in front of witnesses was never a good career choice except for paid hitmen.

"Why didn't any of Foyet's shots hit any of you?"

"Well, you see, in cases such as this, people get scared, and so they move faster than they usually would, so we just dodged all the bullets."

"...That doesn't happen."

"Really? Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm quite positive."


The other twin did not try either.


"I'm Forge."

One of the other members of the review board rubbed his head like it was aching.

Strauss just sighed. "How did you meet Harry Hotchner?"

"He became friends with my brother Ronnikins, so I decided I just had to meet the new celebrity."


"Well, of course! He took down the darkest wizard of the century when he was a baby! It's why he's got a scar on his head! Everyone in the wizarding world knows who he is!"

The one completely honest answer of the last few hours, and not a single person took him seriously.


I didn't write a scene for this because I sort of wrote it in the scene above and in one of the earliest chapters, but my original idea for the Care of Magical Creatures textbook was that Hermione got frustrated at Foyet and, in the middle of arguing with him about breaking into the house when they needed to do homework, got out her textbook to show how much homework they had to do and threw the book at Foyet. When Hotch got home, he would find everyone on the kitchen counters eating from the cupboards and parts of the refrigerator they could reach while Foyet hid on the stairs, which the textbook was starting to learn how to climb in its attempt to get to him.


Another version for how Foyet met his humiliating end had to do with his profile. The BAU said he probably had a thing for teenage girls but that was never really elaborated on. I thought that if he met Ginny, even if he were already detained, and knew the BAU was protective of her that he would say something inappropriate. Before she could react, Molly Weasley hexed off a part of Foyet's anatomy, and McGonagall turned him into a condom. Without any explanation, McGonagall then handed said condom over to someone from the BAU, leaving them to puzzle out exactly what that was all about.


The beginning was written so many times. So. Many. Times. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it was completely rewritten a minimum of seven times, and I think it might have been closer to ten. In the very beginning, the Dursleys told Harry someone had fount out he was their son and was trying to track him down, and the Woodsmarked Killer found him that way. This was from one of the earlier versions, but I don't think it's the original because I think that got deleted. I had to get rid of a lot of them to make sure I wasn't mixing them up. The beginning got changed a lot for many reasons, but mostly because certain things just didn't work or I needed better set ups for something that would happen later.

I feel like it's worth mentioning that this story was originally supposed to be less than twenty chapters long. It got out of control and now it's obviously quite a bit longer than twenty chapters. That was another reason for the version changes, since it didn't make sense for a more complicated beginning initially, but as the story grew the beginning also needed to have more detail to foreshadow later events.

I'm not sure which version this was, but I think it might actually be the third because it's still got two of the scenes in it that I cut early on – Hotch backing the Dursleys into a corner about signing away rights to him, and Harry knowing that the Hotchners were his family even before Hotch tried to find him. It's not the first or second because those had the conversation taking place at the Dursley home and Harry meeting the BAU in England.

Two hours later, and Harry found himself quietly sipping tea in a corner and eyeing the scene across the hall from him over the rim of his cup. At his side, Elle was slumped in a chair, attention flickering between the room and her phone, which she was energetically texting on. They were sitting in an area designated for waiting, though the four had claimed it to watch the goings-on across the hall, where the Dursley couple had been put. The couple had yet to realize they were being watch, too focused on their current dilemma. Reid was standing by their doorway, hand half-raised as if he were contemplating putting an end to the controlled chaos in front of him but not having the heart to do so.

At this point Vernon Dursley was turning impressive colors. Currently, a bright shade of purple. "I am not signing the bloody paper!"

Morgan, who was standing in front of him with a paper and pen, was the epitome of calm. The contrast made Harry snort every time he glanced between the two of them. To top it off, the agent was clearly fully aware of the effect he had on Dursley. "The paper is not bleeding because it has not been injured like your nephew and my boss," Morgan deadpanned. "Similarly, you are in no danger, no matter how much you claim to find threat from your ninety-pound* nephew. As a result, there is no reason you cannot sign this paper."

"I refuse! The boy is an abomination and a freak, and I am not turning him over to more freaks!"

Morgan let out the slightest sigh. "We're part of the US government. Whether your nephew got involved in anything or not, do you really think we could be connected to something in Britain?"

Vernon made a short gesture at Reid. "He's certainly weird."

Morgan stepped forward, and while Harry was unable to see his expression, Vernon could and he recoiled immediately. "Dr. Reid has a 187 IQ, eidetic memory, and a reading speed of twenty thousand words a minute. He's got three phDs and can kick your ass on a bad day in any logic game. Watch what you say."

Hotch walked into view, seemingly unaware of the small audience on the other side of the hall and gestured for Morgan to join him. The latter slapped the pen and paper down on the conference room table and strode out the door irritably. Harry glanced through the opening at Hotch, and was startled to immediately meet his gaze. Instead of the cool distanced look he had been expecting, the agent seemed almost…nervous. Before Harry could think anything more of it, Morgan and Hotch had moved down the hallway to talk more privately. Harry turned back to the Dursleys. Vernon looked smug, as if he had somehow planned the intervention; Dudley was still getting checked out by the paramedics, who were mostly just trying to console him and get someone to get him off their hands; and Petunia, who was sitting in a chair behind her husband and glaring at Harry as if he was the one who had kidnapped them. At some point she must have noticed their presence.

Elle fired off one more text then slipped her phone into her pocket and stood, subtly taking Morgan's place between Harry and the Dursleys without a word. He glanced up at her in surprise and she turned her head to shoot him a wicked, conspiratorial smirk and he blinked in confusion. Both of the Dursleys' phones rang, and Vernon made a weird hopping movement to free his phone from his pocket. He frowned at the number, and made a motion to shove his phone back into his pocket. "Perhaps you should answer that," Elle said, face neutral. Vernon eyed her for a moment before carefully answering the call and putting the phone to his ear. Behind him, Petunia did the same.

Before they could even say anything, the voice on the other end cut them off. He made a few abortive attempts to demand an answer or snap a reply, but was instantly dismissed each time. Within a minute, the blood had drained from his face. Harry looked between Elle and Reid in confusion. The former was suppressing a smile and the latter turned away from the Dursleys to hide a grin.

Vernon made a leap forward towards the table, picking up the pen and signing faster than Harry would have thought possible. A long string of swear words escaped his mouth as the call disconnected and Harry sunk lower in his chair in case he decided to throw the phone. Finally, Vernon pointed a shaking finger across the hall at Elle. "You set that up!"

"I'm sure I have no clue what you're talking about," she replied, as Reid stepped forward to pick up the paper. "But thanks for this anyway."

A surge of movement entered the room across the hall. Reid took the paper and retreated to the other room, leaving the Dursleys to Hotch, whose face was not so much neutral as dead, and Morgan, who was looking between the Dursleys like they were the condemned and his boss as if he were already planning on how to hide the bodies. The door slammed shut behind them, and Reid moved closer to Elle to watch.

A small snort escaped Elle and she gracefully collapsed in her chair again. She threw one arm over the back of Harry's chair and rested the other hand on its arm so she could easily lean over him to talk to Reid while including Harry. "Ten bucks says he makes 'em cry," she said.

Reid eyed Hotch for a moment through the other room's blinds, where he was standing in front of Vernon silently. The Dursley didn't move, unsure as to how to react. "I'll take that bet. Dursley doesn't seem like the crying type. He'll just make him confess."

Harry frowned. "Confess to what?"

The three agents stared at him for a moment before Elle said, "Child abuse."

Harry blinked. "They never hit Dudley."

Before either of them could respond, Hotch had spoken. His voice started out quietly enough that they had trouble picking out the words, but as he continued, his tone raised until they could clearly hear him. "There are more pictures of your son than you and your wife in the hallway. The pictures near the doorway are the youngest and the ones at the end are the oldest. You overlook any of his failings and brag about him to the neighbors, who you rarely invite over but make sure to gossip with all the same. You've ensured that all of them believe you to be above them in every way and that your home life is nothing short of exceptional because it reaches the pinnacle of normality. You overeat because you enjoy taking whatever you can and you think your size intimidates people. Your wife diets by way of compensation. In the workplace, you've found that the people who display any sort of particular talent are the ones who get promoted first. You think they're competition, and as a result, you try to degrade anyone who you find abnormal whenever you can. This includes your nephew, who has shown certain talent."

Harry tried not to laugh at Vernon's gaping mouth and focused on Hotch's back instead. Beside him, Elle had yet to move her arms and provided an unyielding physical barrier between him and the Dursleys. The other agent on his side was close enough to close the circle around him, but instead of feeling hemmed in, Harry got the impression of being gently cocooned.

"You are going to sign away your rights to your nephew," Hotch said, not knowing that Vernon had done so shortly before he had entered the room, "and you are never going to see him again. You will never mention this. You will never talk about this. And you most certainly will never try to find him again. Do I make myself absolutely clear?"

Vernon made a few abortive attempts to speak.

"Say it."

"Yes!" he choked out.

When someone hurried through the hallway and flung the door open again, Harry wasn't even surprised. The grinning blonde ignored everyone else and said, "Hotch! It doesn't matter!"

He frowned. "What?"

"We can just take him! They're not biologically related to him and guardianship was never legally passed to them!"

"Okay," Harry said, speaking up for the first time, and pulling attention from both rooms. "Before anyone else comes in, I would just like to explain that I am no longer staying with the Dursleys in three different ways. It's covered."

Elle smirked beside him. "They got a call from someone shortly after Morgan left," she told Hotch, who had raised an eyebrow at her and Reid questioningly.

"That's why she's in the bullpen," the newcomer muttered. She gestured down the hall, and Elle shepherded out Reid and Harry in front of her in the given direction. Morgan and the blonde followed close behind, and Harry was pretty sure he heard Hotch add a few final insults or threats before leaving as well.

"How did you know I wasn't related?" Harry asked. He was positive he hadn't let that slip at any point, if only because he hadn't had a real conversation with someone in days. "Wait, why did you know we were taken at all?"

In a domino effect, everyone's heads slowly turned until they were looking at Hotch, who stopped and gestured for Harry to wait with him. To the rest of the team he said, "We'll catch up with you." They nodded and continued on while Hotch pulled him into an empty conference room. "Harry, I-" He stopped, frowning, and Harry stared numbly at him. "What happened to your neck?"

Harry reached up and touched the welts. "Oh." He almost bit his tongue before mentioning it, but realized the man must know about magic even if he were a muggle after everything that had happened. "Stinging Hex."

"Can I…?" Harry nodded and tilted his head to allow Hotch access. His fingers lightly brushed around the area, and Hotch's brow darkened as he examined the injury. "It's starting to swell. Have you put ice on this?" Harry shook his head. "The paramedics didn't do anything for this?"


Hotch's eyes lifted from his neck to his face. "Did you go see them before you came here?"

"No… Was I supposed to?" Hotch seemed to deflate slightly at the response. "I mean, er, I thought they were for the rest of my family."

"They're not your family," Hotch muttered under his breath, and Harry was unsure if he was meant to hear it.

Either way, he cheerfully responded, "Well, thanks to you, not anymore."

Hotch gave him a small smile and dropped his hand back to his side. "Right." He took a deep breath, and the hint of good humor fell from his face. "Harry, a few weeks ago, you sent a message out to the government about your parents."

He nodded. "Yeah." He rubbed his hands nervously against his jeans before saying, "Er, I know that you're, um…"

"Right. Ah, why don't we sit down?" Hotch asked, gesturing towards the chairs at the conference table.

As they each took a spot, Harry felt the full ramifications settle in for the first time. "Wait," he said, jumping back up to his feet. Hotch scooted back slightly to avoid accidentally getting hit while Harry began pacing. "Wait, wait. You're American, how did I end up in-? Why did we get brought here?"


"How did you know we were here? How did he even know who I was or- How did he know where I was when…?" He stopped pacing and looked at Hotch, and the main question that had been on his mind for the last few weeks exited his mouth before he could stop it. "Did you know?" he whispered.

"We thought you died when you were less than a year old," Hotch responded quietly. "But I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for not looking harder. I'm sorry."

Harry blew out his breath and felt his shoulders slump. He took the seat again. "What happened?"

"I have no idea," Hotch admitted, turning away. "All I know is that you got sick enough that we had to take you to the hospital when you were very young. The doctors told us you died. We were shown a body and all the paperwork was there, but- Something must have been wrong, something we overlooked…" He faced Harry again. "How did you find out?"

"I was going through the records of the people who I thought were my parents. They died a long time ago, and I never really knew them so I thought looking through the files might help. Two friends were going through it with me and one of them saw that my 'mother' had been infertile after she was hit by two curses. I couldn't have been hers, and we figured I would have known if my parents had been magical so my real parents must have been mu- nonmagical."

Hotch nodded slowly. "To answer your questions… We think the Woodsmarked Killer works for the government, which is how he got a hold of the papers you sent in. He's been known to kill people in front of their families, which is why…"

"Why he brought me here," Harry finished.

"He probably grabbed the Dursleys to kill them in front of you," Hotch said, answering before Harry could ask. "A team had been closing in on him and realized when he had taken more people. They figured out who you were and then looked for me. They ran some sort of blood test to trace the lineage. I'm not entirely clear on the details. At any rate, they had me sign something…I'm still not sure what exactly it meant…but it activated some sort of connection between us to let me find you. That's how we found your location."

"I think I felt that," Harry said slowly. "Knocked me out for a few minutes."

Hotch nodded. "When it locked into place, yeah. Was there anything else you wanted to know?"

"Not right now."

"Okay. Look, you've got a few options. Right now, you're technically British, so you don't have citizenship here."

"Technically, I'm homeless," Harry pointed out, and Hotch winced slightly at the lack of foresight. "I'll bet I can stay with some friends if I have to."

"Or," Hotch said carefully, picking his words. He stopped and started again. "I don't know how good of a father I would be. I'm not home for weeks on end when I'm on assignment, and when I am home, I still have to work, or I get distracted, or I react in ways that normal people wouldn't react." He sighed. "I don't mean to scare you, but I'm worried about what would happen to you if you came to stay with me. It might not be safe, and it might not be the best place for you. But Harry, don't ever think that means I'm rejecting you. This needs to be your choice, and I just want you to have all the information. You've been left on your own for thirteen years and I don't think I have the right to just come in and start making decisions about your life. So the decision is up to you and I'll support whatever you choose, whether it's to come back with me or stay here."

Harry hesitated in replying, but it was more of a contemplative silence than an awkward pause. "I think…if we're being honest…then you should know the same thing applies to me," he said slowly. Hotch blinked in surprise. "Not the work thing," he added, "but…um…people keep trying to kill me." With a dry note, he said, "It became a pattern at some point. There's at least one murderer after me this year."

"This year-" Hotch pushed the matter aside for the moment. "Don't worry about me. Today was practically normal, excluding…this whole situation."

"Well," Harry said, "then if you're offering, I'm accepting."


This was also from one of the original beginnings. Harry had told them his name was Neville Longbottom to hide his identity so Black and the Woodsmarked Killer wouldn't be able to find him easily. As a result, when Hotch and Harry first met Hotch was still looking for his son and Harry didn't know Hotch was his father because the BAU didn't want to tell a random kid what was going on. The unnecessary drama was funny, but it just became so weird to call Harry Neville everytime the story was from Hotch's perspective that I changed it to something closer to the current version.

On a random note, I think only the second to last version actually had Harry meeting his family before third year. Everything written previously had them meeting during that winter break, but I changed it because I wanted them to have more time together before Hotch died. When I first wrote Hotch dying, I wasn't totally sure if he was going to come back or not (I went in later and added the plot with the leopard-spirit so his return would make more sense), so even though it was only a couple of months I felt like they deserved longer as a family. This version would still have been in winter.

Hotch felt like everything just shut down for a moment. "What?" he asked, dumbfounded.

"I'm really sorry about lying to you," Harry said, diverting his eyes again. He was unconsciously leaning away from him despite Hotch's arm around his shoulders. Afraid to see Hotch's reaction and afraid to be near it, classic abuse signs.

Hotch rubbed his shoulder, and the dam burst in his head. Oddly enough, the first thing that struck him was that he wouldn't have to fill out all that adoption paperwork, which would be a relief. The second thing was something Harry had said – "I think I'd rather live with them then get sent to him." Had the Dursleys' information been accurate? Did they know who he was, and if so, was Harry accurately stating his opinion? There was no way Hotch wasn't going to take his son's thoughts into account, not after everything that had happened.

"I understand," he finally said, realizing his silence had been too long. "It's okay." He patted Harry's shoulder one last time and released him. "I need to go tell the rest of the team to call off the search though, all right?" Harry nodded, and Hotch did his best to make it seem like he wasn't having an internal turmoil as he left the room and went straight to Gideon's office.

The man was in the middle of filling out paperwork when he entered, and only briefly glanced up. For some reason, Hotch got the impression that Gideon knew exactly what he was about to say, but he said it anyway. "Neville's Harry Potter."

"Yes, I was just talking to Morgan about his alias choice. We think Neville actually is a student at Hogwarts," Gideon said absently, finishing the line he was working on. He looked up again to say with a smile, "Congratulations."

Hotch stared at him. "You knew."

"Everyone but you did, yes."

"Everyone but- Since when?!"

Gideon stopped and frowned thoughtfully at the ceiling. "I think Garcia was the last one this morning, since she didn't have as much contact with the two of you like the rest of us did."

Hotch did not splutter but he was very close. "Was someone going to tell me?" he demanded.

"No, we were just going to let you figure it out," Gideon replied calmly. "Seemed like you two were getting along and we thought you might as well meet and realize you liked each other before we told you that you were going to be stuck together. I take it you're here to tell me that we need to shut the investigation down?" Hotch nodded stiffly. "We did that a while ago, which is why the rest of the team took your paperwork. Agent Travis, as it turns out, is accustomed to seeing the effects of the triggered blood wards and recognized them when you started showing symptoms around Harry."

"What symptoms?"

"You kept him in your line of sight at all times, regularly checked on his well-being, and got aggressive if he was even remotely threatened. There were more, but I don't think you want the complete list right now."

Hotch closed his eyes for a moment. "How did the rest of you know?"

Gideon gave him an amused look. "Other than that you two have a lot of the same features? Harry was supposed to be staying with the Dursleys, and it didn't make sense that it was actually Neville staying with them. There were a lot of other things that didn't quite fit together, but those were the two things that tipped me off. So, how'd he take it?"

Hotch paused. "He doesn't know."

"Then what are you talking to me for?"

Hotch dropped into one of the chairs scattered around the room. A distant part of his brain briefly wondered why he didn't have more comfortable chairs like this in his office, but he quickly hushed it. "I don't think he's going to want to stay with me."

Gideon sighed. "And why not?"

"For one, he flat out told me!"

Gideon rested his chin on the palm of his hand. "Really."

Hotch backtracked. "Well, he said he wouldn't want to stay with his father since his parents abandoned him!"

"And did you?"

"I- What?"

"Abandon him?"


"Just making sure."

Hotch got the impression he was being laughed at, and scowled. Gideon stared at him innocently.


When I first wrote the confrontation between the combined Riddles, Ethan Hotchner was the third intruder instead of Blaise. It made more sense since they were hoping that, as one of the reasons for the difference in the worlds, he might be able to lead to Riddle's downfall, but then the plot with the different worlds changed and he got removed. It was critical to set up Zabini as the Dark Lord for later, but I felt like it did take away from a significant paradigm shift that Ethan had gone through, because he actively turned from leaving the fight just to go after Hotch to make sure he was going to be okay when Hotch had gone back into the collapsed dining room that Harry and Riddle had fallen into. He was also going to get injured and get sent back for treatment, which he was okay with until he learned his son was still staying in the Manor.


I had so many different versions for what was going to happen to Foyet. They included but were not limited to:

-McGonagall turning Foyet into a copy of Thomas Paine's Common Sense and then transfiguring him back to normal when they were in the BAU, to the surprise of everyone else

-Moody getting irritated at Foyet for being so childish about his grudge and turning Foyet into some ridiculous animal, like a sloth

-Harry hexing Foyet and then trying to awkwardly explain to police and investigating non-BAU FBI agents how exactly he'd taken down a serial killer

-The Ford Anglia not leaving the Weasleys in second year, and becoming infuriated at Foyet when he tried to kill some of the Weasleys' friends' family; as a result, instead of hearing a dramatic farewell over the phone, Hotch would have been driving to his house listening to the Weasley twins trying to coax the car out of running down Foyet like it was trying to

-Foyet trying to attack the house at the same time Perotta was trying to get everyone out, which provided enough distraction for both that Harry managed to capture them and take them to the Order, where the Death Eaters couldn't have gotten to them; still bound, the two were going to keep trying to kill each other, so some Order members were going to walk in on Harry treating the two like five-year-olds because they were acting so "immature" and needed to stop trying to kill each other

A lot of the ideas just didn't work, but I was so entertained by the notion of Foyet sauntering in planning to easily kill Hotch's family only to find a completely underwhelmed Harry that I kept coming up with more versions. Foyet's arrogance just ground on my nerves.


Blaise himself was going to become the Dark Lord, not a doppelganger. Gideon was going to die again and Blaise was going to try to bring him back since they'd managed it before and Hotch just wasn't dying permanently, but in his attempts he was going to start to go insane from some of the magic he was working with. In one of his fleeting moments of lucidity, he told Ginny what was happening and she told Harry, and Harry tried to help Blaise's struggle to control the growing Dark magic. A spell was going to backfire and kill Blaise.

So, basically, this story ended a lot happier than I planned on it ending.


This is almost completely unrelated, but Daniel Radcliffe does look like he could be related to Thomas Gibson. Not so much when he was younger maybe, and perhaps not his son (but a nephew or cousin or something), but still. Damn.


There was nothing wrong with this part; I just had nowhere to put it. I could have dragged the story out longer, but if I kept doing that I would still be writing it so I decided not to create new scenes just for this. The idea behind this was that Harry was teaching at some sort of defense conference, probably for aurors or something, and was explaining what they had discovered about patronuses. His last statement, of course, referred to how his own patronus had vanished when Hotch died.

"Miranda Goshawk says that a patronus is the summation of the good things about you, presented in a spirit animal. She says that this creature is formed out of your happiest thoughts, and that the good things within you drive everything evil from you. In every book written on the subject, her work on patronuses is cited and she is undisputed among researchers as the lead expert. Miranda Goshawk is wrong. If a patronus was made of the best parts of me, I wouldn't use it on Voldemort. If a patronus was full of smiling faces in my mind, I couldn't cast one in battle. If a patronus was a spirit animal, mine wouldn't be so kind. And if a patronus is made of everything good in me, of everything positive that I am...mine wouldn't have murdered over twenty people the first time it was cast in its substantial form.

"A patronus is the summation of everything good that you value. It is made of your hopes, your dreams, your prayers, your love. But more than that, it is everything you treasure in the people you care for and respect, it is made of everything you want to be and wish you will be one day; it is the creation not of what you are but of what you want to become. It is a creature made with one sole purpose, and that is to protect the beautiful parts of your life that make you you, the parts that, if they were gone, would destroy you.

"The form your patronus takes is not determined by your personality or your behavior. It is the epitome of everything it is meant to preserve, for the purpose of maintaining its own existence. The only reason your patronus can harm what you love is if you didn't love it enough, if you didn't hold it close enough that it was a part of your very essence. This is why dark wizards can never summon them - not because there is nothing good about them, because you can find something good in everyone, but because the only thing they love that much is themselves and power, and there is no closer creature to that then the creature they have turned themselves into.

"Your patronus will become an animal that is best suited to protecting your values, which is why you have the ability to cast a substantial form once you can produce the corporeal state. Its size and its ferocity is not a sign of your own strength; they only show what you need. A mouse can do as much to change a battle as a tiger can, but you just have to use it in a way that is particular to what you want to accomplish. Your patronus can never turn against what you care for most, but it will discard the lesser of two wishes when forced to make a choice, so never put it in that situation. Furthermore, your patronus can never die as long as what you value still exists.

"But if your strongest values die, if what made your existence what is was is suddenly gone, then your patronus changes, and it becomes something different. It takes a new form to protect your essence, though you can still summon the old form if need be. You may find it extremely hard to do so, though. And it's crucial to know that while a patronus can't die, it can do something worse - it can fail to appear entirely. You must avoid that at all costs. Because if that happens, you know you've truly lost."


I don't really have a clever back story for this one. This is just a thing that got cut, I don't even remember when.

"Okay," Ron said, "Luna's got a boggart, Harry's got an elephant, Blaise's got a dinosaur, Hotch is a poltergeist-zombie, Hermione's brilliant, and what Ginny and I lack in all of that we make up for in an inability to run away from danger like a sane person would."


I can't take credit for this one. My beta, Rowen Morningstar, suggested the snakes in the Hotchner house demanding to get interviewed. Of course, this would mean that one of the two parselmouths would have to interpret, likely as all the interviewers stood on tables or chairs to get as far away from the snakes as possible while they asked their questions.


Hermione, to an alternate world BAU: "I trust Harry with his decisions. I don't always have to know the reasoning behind them, because he has the best intentions and he'll only do something dangerous or bad if he can't find another option. Whatever he says, we go with."

The briefing continues. A couple minutes later-

Hermione: "JJ, you'll need to communicate with the liaison with the British Ministry, but I don't know who that is."

JJ: "I was given the name Dolores Umbridge."

Hermione pauses, then stands up and waves her arm towards Hotch's office, where Harry is. He spots her and walks out the door to listen. "Umbridge is the liaison!"

Harry: "Set her on fire."

Prentiss, slowly: ""

Hermione: "And then work with her replacement?"

Harry: "Anyone would be better."

Hotch, from behind Harry, annoyed: "And what happens to the team member who got arrested for it?"

Harry: "Well, geez, I didn't say get arrested for it. I just said to set her on fire! I'm sure you guys can manage it."


There's one more from the last alternative universe, but I'm going to post that on it's own because it's longer.