Disclaimer: I am not J.K. Rowling. I do not own Harry Potter. I am not HP Lovecraft or any of the other Cthulhu Mythos writers. I do not own Cthulhu or the Outer Gods.
Note: The following crossover piece is rated 'M' and is identified as 'Horror' and as 'Tragedy'. A version was originally posted on another website, under my account name there, but I am now cross-posting it here. This is a one-shot.
Further Note: This piece concerns a version of Delphini who is assumed to have gotten hold of a time-turner or similar device which affords her great time-travel opportunities. She attempts to us this to ensure her father's victory. Unluckily for her, she is operating in a universe where horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos exist...
…Brass horns discordantly blare, and the dancers move backwards in an in-and-out spiral…
…Delphini impales Albus Dumbledore with the Sword of Gryffindor in 1978, and the world she hopes to create burns instead in the future.
So she has to prevent herself from killing Albus Dumbledore to put that right and put things back almost the way that they were.
She doesn't notice the eyes watching her from the dark corners.
She doesn't see the Crawling Chaos, nor hear yet the snuffling of the hounds…
…In 1984 Delphini hires an arsonist to burn down number four Privet Drive in the middle of the night, and to kill anyone trying to escape the blaze. An unlikely midnight rambler called Winston, and a police officer called O' Brien improbably conspire to thwart this scheme. Delphini escapes.
Time to try again…
…In 1986 Delphini introduces a troll into Privet Drive, to destroy Harry Potter and his family, but it wanders away from number four and gets lost in a maze of back-streets before a half-goblin hit wizard called Jareth responding to the breech of the Statute of Secrecy brings it down.
In 1987 Delphini sets loose a band of inferi in Little Whinging but a wizard who usually lives on a tree-lined street in America has been (somehow) having nightmares predicting this and shows up to clear up the animated corpses (which seemed unable to approach number four Privet Drive, anyway).
Delphini notices a film poster at a muggle cinema, and wonders if someone has been somehow pulling her strings?
She resolves to endeavour to be more original, and to double-check her own actions.
And it looks like attacks on Harry Potter at Privet Drive are going to be a washout.
Time to try something else…
…In 1989 Delphini unleashes the Monster of Slytherin on Hogwarts, whilst posing as the Defence Teacher. That doesn't work out too well either, so she goes back and stops herself from applying for the job.
Instead she goes to Albania to locate her father to try to restore him to power, early, but she's somehow followed and… Well, Delphini abandons that plan.
Another 'go around'?
There are things now, though, on her trail.
And up ahead of her, in the past, Nyarlathotep is setting a trap…
…Trying to think completely outside the box, Delphini travels back to the eleventh century, to try and do something clever involving Hogwarts relatively shortly after its founding, but a fourteen year old Hermione Granger in an improbable time-turner accident gets in the way of this one, and so Delphini heads off to Baghdad to research ancient middle-eastern arcane secrets instead and to privately stew. In a market she comes across a copy of a book called Al Azif, which to a casual glance seems full of mad ramblings, but on closer inspection has some intriguing hints of… 'something else'.
Delphini obtains said book, from its mysterious vendor draped in tattered yellow robes, and (via fourteenth century Europe, where she makes a copy of the Philosopher's Stone, for her own convenience) she heads back to the twentieth century, to pick over her prize.
Her sleep is starting to be disturbed, though, by dreams of a pack of remotely baying hounds… or at least things which serve a function equivalent to that of hounds…
…In 1937, Delphini discovers that the Elder Wand reacts… poorly… to attempts to change its own timeline from a point of origin so many decades in advance of its 'current' moment.
Delphini spends several years licking her wounds, and drinking Elixir of Life, recovering.
Her efforts to interfere in her father's later school-days are circumspect – she's desperate not to inadvertently erase herself from existence, by accident – and they turn out to be slightly too circumspect to make any significant difference.
But in Al Azif, Delphini discovers what she is certain is somehow the key to all her problems. Yog-Sothoth is the key (and also, apparently 'the gate' as well, whatever that is supposed to mean).
To control and intentionally change time as desired (and specifically to her advantage), forever, and to square right over the contradictions, Delphini must involve and invoke Yog-Sothoth.
But there must be a sacrifice.
The drums are beating; the horns are blaring; the hounds are in full cry ever closer upon the luckless Delphini's trail.
But Lord Voldemort's daughter is blissfully unaware of the doom closing in on her from all sides, from above and below, and from behind and up ahead.
She thinks she thinks in four dimensions, but she is groping in a fog of her own limitations and arrogance, and Nyarlathotep is full of malice…
…In the 1950's, in Arkham, Delphini meets with a mysterious silken-masked 'priest', and does not know that she stands face to face with something which masks an enemy unknown to herself and to much of humanity.
She does not see the web that she has stumbled into, nor realise that she now invites that which intends her destruction to help her destroy herself.
The threads of her life are unravelling faster now, for all that she has a Philosopher's Stone and drinks elixir.
She retires to plot.
She will bring Shub-Niggurath into this; it amuses her, that she will destroy an enemy so.
She does not realise the direction of her cruelty has already been plotted for her by another…
…In 1967 Delphini intrudes herself into the life of young Lily Evans and is doomed. Lily is doomed too, but in a different fashion, which will not exactly cut short her life. Not exactly.
Delphini could of course just try to kill Lily there and then, but by this point Delphini is so accustomed to seeing efforts to violently change a timeline by simply killing people go awry that she's convinced that any such effort will be futile. Or rebound in unexpected fashions. Or… or… or… at any rate fail to produce the desired result.
So Delphini is calling down heavy fire from powers she thinks that she understands and can bend to her purpose.
She is only partially correct in this thought, Delphini will ultimately discover.
At any rate, Delphini ensures that when Lily Evans arrives at Hogwarts, that Lily will be sorted into Ravenclaw house, where Delphini will wield knowledge as a weapon to make an end to her as a threat upon her father's horizon.
Well. As a threat in a fashion which Delphini sees and understands…
…In 1971 Lily Evans is sorted into Ravenclaw.
As she pursues a path through Hogwarts, Lily is chasing the trails of clues that Delphini, playing corrupter, drips to her (without the warnings) from Al Azif.
This is going to end unfortunately for Delphini, who pulls Lily's strings but does not realise that she herself is playing a role in which she has been cast by the Crawling Chaos.
It will go unfortunately, after a fashion – although not exactly 'end' – for Lily, too.
In 1978, deep in the Forbidden Forest, at midnight on the Summer Solstice, Lily Evans invokes Yog-Sothoth, to call down the might and power and knowledge of Shub-Niggurath upon herself, and Delphini, standing at her right hand, gloats.
The dancers move backwards in a weaving pattern around the edge of the clearing.
The bronze horns blare.
The drums pound.
And the hounds are in full cry, almost upon their prey, now, having hunted her back and forth across the centuries.
The Hounds of Tindalos.
Delphini smirks, in her moment of triumph, as the stars align and Lily Evans falls to her knees and gasps as the power from beyond slams down and into her, forever changing her. She becomes; she becomes a vessal and vassal for the power of Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods. She becomes a human shaped avatar for the Mother Goddess with a Thousand Young.
There will be no Harry Potter, nor anything remotely resembling Harry Potter. The Outer Gods have claimed Lily Evans for their own.
And as Delphini gloats, unaware that this end was what Nyarlathotep desired, and that she has served his purpose, the Hounds of Tindalos burst forth from the strange and shadowy angles of the midnight forest all about Delphini and Delphini has time to scream.
The Hounds do not concern themselves with the dancers or musicians at this event, nor with the transforming and transfiguring once-woman in the centre of the circle, but only with the traveller through time, whose passage has stirred such currents as to infallibly draw their attention. The traveller who Nyarlathotep has no purpose for, now, and certainly no interest in protecting. The traveller whose eyes, bleeding at the horrors with which she is now confronted, has little time to recall unfamiliar passages of Al Azif which she little thought to study finding little of interest in them, and certainly no time to attempt to shape an invocation or plea to a hunter who might save her.
And the Hounds close, athirst, and Delphini dies.
Her last sight is of the once-Lily-Evans gasping in thrill of power, and starting to find purpose which will reveal with the years her own true glory and bring about a new age in which mortals must bow before the Outer Gods or run or die.
And in time, the new order of things will establish itself, and Lord Voldemort, a wizard in hiding from the new order, which overwhelms even him, will consort with a follower, and a child called Delphini will come to be who will set out, with some mistaken ideas, to try to save her father. The closing of the circle will not be flawless, but the discrepancies for travel and purpose will be smoothed over in a fashion sufficient to bring this about again and again and again; and every time Delphini will be hunted down and die, a sacrifice to Lily Evans' rising splendour…
A quick note/acknowledgement: some of Delphini's attempts to assassinate Harry Potter whilst he's living at number four Privet Drive in the early paragraphs of this piece end up vaguely themed/connected to muggle films released in that period of time, such as 1984, Troll, Labyrinth and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
Paizo Publishing and their Pathfinder products – in which (writing these notes in Octobor 2017) I used to take an interest – introduced me to the shared world of the Cthulhu Mythos, with Hounds of Tindalos and Denizens of Leng featuring in Paizo's Rise of the Runelords adventure path. From there I started to look further afield, and found many other things...
I have assumed from the point of view of the universe in which this piece takes place that actually diverting the course of events by means of 'go back and change things' time-travel requires some serious firepower – specifically help from entities from outside-the-known-universe. Delphini messing around even with a souped-up time-travel device on her own simply can't beat the 'inertia' of events which are from her point of view effectively 'history' and which she knows to have 'previously' happened. Through contrived coincidences, people turning up unexpectedly, or other things 'going wrong' anything which Delphini tries to do 'on her own' to change things which are already in the past of the 'future' she came from are doomed to fail... Well: doomed to fail unless she invites some heavy-duty assistance from 'outside', which is what she ends up doing, but without really understanding who and what she's dealing with and that such things may have their own agendas which are non-beneficial to her.
This piece is a one-shot.