The Road Less Taken

Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, do you think I'd have to write Fanfiction?

A/N: This story is heavy AU. If you don't recognize it odds are it's mine. I don't mind sharing, as long as you ask.

Chapter 1: Notice

The International Federation of Wizarding Worlds had become fed up with Wizarding Britain's ignorance. The IFWW had felt that they had no right telling a country how to rule its people, but with all the problems Wizarding Britain already had, there were rumors that the IFWW couldn't really do any damage. However, no matter how bad the situation got in Britain, as long as it stayed in Britain it wasn't an affair of the council. Many even believed that Britain had brought this onto itself. These rabble rousers didn't even think Britain had the right to ask the council for help, if Wizarding Britain ever got around to it.

Luckily for British wizarding citizens it never came to that. The International Federation of Wizarding Worlds was forced to step in. Voldemort had attacked a French village. In the time span of four minutes, the time it took the first Death Eater to assault a French villager, The Dark Lord Voldemort had become an international problem. In a quarter of an hour the magical division of the French Foreign Legion was at the scene of the crime arresting Death Eaters. By half past the hour the council had been called. By a quarter 'til an invasion plan had been mapped, and by the chime of the next hour mixed forces from the major countries of the council had been gathered; their job was going to be occupying Britain, all of it, even Hogwarts.

It was at breakfast when the news came that Britain had been invaded with magical troops for 'its own safety'. It hadn't come with the post, nor did Headmistress Umbridge make a pious announcement. Nope, it walked right in. A specialty group of troops had been assigned with the taking of Hogwarts. They had walked right up to the school, thru its doors, and up to the great hall. The men stood in four rows of six and followed in directly after their commanding officer. The troops wore uniforms of moss green robes embroidered with bright red thread in what Harry thought were protection symbols. All of the soldiers carried staves of wood. Harry could tell there were details on them, just not what. The commanding officer wore a set of black robes trimmed in gold with red and green embroidery. Altogether it was a rather surprising sight for just after seven in the morning. After getting over the shock of the troops just waltzing in for breakfast Harry admitted, if only to himself, that the uniforms did look rather sharp.

Shooting up from her seat at the middle of the head table with the rest of the teaching staff, Headmistress Umbridge glowered at the man; before calmly asking his business. "Who are you and what do you want?"

"You are Madam Umbridge?" The commander asked while stepping forward and reaching inside his robes for a scroll. The man came to a stop just beside Harry's place at the end of Gryffindor table where he sat alone. Sometime in the past week he had angered his friends and for now the only ones who were talking to him were Neville and Luna. He liked to think Hermione would have, but she was Ron's official girlfriend and she didn't want to cause a rift so early in the relationship. That morning he had come down to sit with Neville for breakfast, but found Neville walking to the infirmary ill, so Harry had been sitting alone at the table just before this started; and now he was in the perfect position to observe the commanding officer.

The man stood just a little tall at about six feet. His shoulders were broad; Harry could see the man's muscles as his uniform hugged his body. All Harry could see was pure muscle, and he walked quietly, even in the silent hall Harry could barely hear his footsteps. The officer's face was like chiseled stone, powerful angles and planes. His skin was a light toffee-caramel color, his hair was pin-straight and a black so deep Harry would've sworn it absorbed the light. The man eyes as well were that same shade of midnight-black, but the shine in them was calculating, cunning. Harry had a feeling this man never made any move with out first weighting all the choices.

"Why yes I am. May I ask your name?" The Headmistress seemed to mellow at the sound of the officer's voice, and Harry could commiserate. The sound was like chocolate; addictive, smooth, hard, and deep, really deep.

"Jewelerz, Colonel Jewelerz and this school has been commandeered." There was outrage at that. Students and teachers alike yelled and shouted to be heard over each other, Harry himself didn't. He truly didn't know what to think about this development. His attention was caught again by the Colonel as he raised a palm and a hush fell over the room. Harry had no clue as to how the man did it, but he knew he wanted to learn it.

"As Wizarding Britain is a member of the International Federation of Wizarding Worlds the IFWW has every right to come in and occupy Britain for its own good. They hesitated to interfere with what had previously been an internal affair of Wizarding Britain's. However, as of last night the Dark Lord Voldemort," Harry could see that Officer Jewelerz fought his disgust as the room, teachers and students the same, shuddered in fear.

"Has become an international problem. According to section 15 subsection 9 of the charter of the IFWW, it has every right to invade and occupy a member country when it is unsuited to defending itself. The IFWW troops have already taken your Ministry of Magic. By the thinking of the council, if the Ministry is corrupt, and the ministry influences Hogwarts," Again Harry saw a fleeting look of something pass on the colonel's face, "then Hogwarts as well is corrupt."

"So what will happen to the children? If the school is being closed where will they go to learn?" Professor McGonagall asked, her voice seemed almost frantic to Harry, but he had to have been mistaken, McGonagall never panicked.

"The Chairman of the Board of International Wizarding Education has devised and formatted a test that the children will take. The results of this test will show which of the many schools volunteering to take in new students will be best matched for the child taking the test. This test is completely impartial and unbiased, so no need to fear that your child will be suffering choices made from prejudice."

With that simple statement everything became clear to Harry. It was like he had previously been looking at the situation from far away, but now it clicked. This IFWW was closing Hogwarts. They were canceling the end of the year exams. Their grades would be an average of how they did in the class that year. All of the parents and guardians were being notified that night about what was happening; the IFWW was sending all of the students home tomorrow. Latter that summer they would receive the test and then after completing it the students would be contacted by his or her new school.

After spending all year the outcast of the school for believing and pressing that Voldemort was back, it was a novel idea that someone thought he was right. Harry was ecstatic that someone believed him. He couldn't believe that it was only his country that didn't think he was telling the truth. He was overwhelmingly sad that the cost of his being believed was the invasion of his country, the dismantlement of his home, Hogwarts, and the abuse of his friendship. For Harry had no illusions he would be going to the same school as Hermione and Ron.

A/N P.S.: It came to my attention that some corrections needed to be made desperately. Thank you Armathas for bringing these problems to the fore; chapter 2 will likewise be redone.