I was actually given some positive reinforcement from a reviewer

It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I find this emotion new and fascinating. I think on the whole I like it a lot

I have 40'000 words, of what was originally meant to be a 25k oneshot, already written, and I've not even got up to the Voldemort fight yet, which is the whole reason I started writing it

You also have a right to know that large parts of this are NOT my original ideas. Instead of putting hundreds upon hundreds of disclaimers at the beginning, I decided to use little quotes running through. Google the quotes as-is and you will find the stories who deserve credit

Well, because I foolishly hope for more positive reinforcement, I scrubbed the next ten thousand words and posted them now instead of writing more

I hope to avoid being mailed Anthrax by enraged FanFiction authors


The Dark Lord's Equal
by Lens of Sanity


"The war was over. Too bad there was no one left to celebrate." – S'TarKan

December 3rd 2029: Ruins of Manhattan Island, Former United States of America
Mission Clock 71:08, 14:14 Sidereal Time

There is an almighty crash sending splintered concrete and shrapnel of varying sizes hurtling toward me as I take cover behind a burned out, spell reinforced husk of Land Rover Discovery. A dozen or so Night Stalkers have me pinned down, and my Hazard Assessment is warning of a high likelihood reserve force coming up from the rear.

Master Auror Ben Jenkins and his team are beneath a high density Apparition Net and are in desperate need of my assistance, but I can't link up with him while these idiots are still making trouble on the west side of the Island.

"Red Team! Jenkins you scar faced bastard, keep your shit together, I'll be with you in five." I send off as my sentiment is punctuated by another clattering explosion. His acknowledgment light winks on as I draw the Yew wand with my left hand, time for these jokers to taste double phoenix.

Dual Wand Duelling is an obscure branch of magic developed as an advanced form of offhand casting. As nobody is able to cast two different spells at once without risking a severe psychological break, the trick is to cast the separate spells a fraction of a second apart. Running two staggered spell-chains at the same time gives the Dual Wand Duellist a tremendous increase in massed firing, at the expense of a rather incredible drain to his or her magical core.

I find I cannot do this and focus on what spells I am using, so I simply use excising chains without doing anything creative on the fly, relying heavily on an overwhelming rate of fire to make up for an unfortunate level of predictability. When training I once clocked out at a frightening 94 spells per minute.

Holly and Yew a blur in my hands, every jinx hex and curse I can imagine careen toward my entrenched opponents. Gobbets of flesh, splashes of blood, the loud snaps of bones breaking, and to my ears sweetest of all, the screams of wounded.

Six minutes of continuous mass casting later and the field is mine. I ping the cores of those reinforcements I was warned of earlier, and upload their position to my display, as Fawkes sweeps down and flames me through the Apparition Net to the Nav Marker, Jenkins, and Red Team.


I freelance my way through the last of my adversaries, conjured bullets whizzing past harmlessly on either side, I'm forced to sidestep Unforgivable Green and palm away a coalescing mass of silvery energy. It's all but over. Sticking with both wands I send another massive barrage of shocks, light flashes, and thunderous booms, eventually taking down the final man.

I sweep eyes over what's left of his team. Eight are still active, maybe. Four badly wounded, and only Jenkins himself seems up for another fight.

"We lost the Greens, no-one knows what happened" he reports without preamble.

Of course I am already aware of this, but something in his tone say's there is more to it. "What do you mean no-one knows?" He can't be saying...

"I saw his body, what was remaining of his body at any rate. Wasn't much left above the waist." My mind rebels at what I think he's telling me "Thirty of those bastards were in puddles, Merlin only knows how many it took to take him down."

This can't be.

These wars are giving us enough trouble with the two of us. How am I supposed to win this thing alone. Yes, that's the ticket. Better to focus on the selfish, better to focus on what I've lost. Better that than on what I'm going to have to tell his girls.

Neville you bastard, what the hell.

"..." I say.

"Harry it-, it gets worse."


With a pale sun high in the sky, the bitter chill of early winter is cut, making the day unusually warm. Halcyon days I believe they are called. Far too nice, far too pleasant. Her hair is fanned out glinting gold in the warm light of day. An image of perfection, pure and simple.

"You are going to be fine my love."

The rusted steel reinforcement bar sticking through her stomach proves this to be a lie, and yet she answers in typical Fleur "Oui, an' I am tired so I will sleep. 'Zen I shall awake in Shell Collage, an' I shall be in 'ze arms of Mon'Amour and Mi'Own."

"That you will Mademoiselle Delacour" I brush her hair out of her face and whisper in her ear "I love, and always will love you, my goddess."


I kiss her, she tastes of fresh rainfall, she tastes of Fleur, my heart, and my life.

The kiss is perfect.


Albus Percival Wulfic Brian Dumbledore was little over a month away from his 115th birthday. In that time he would like to think he had achieved a measure of wisdom, which he could draw on to help guide the actions of himself and others.

He was also a rather astute observer of human behaviour, and as such noticed more than most the change in young Harry. Oh but everyone saw the boy commanding terribly powerful magics, and they all saw him stare down and depose a sitting political figure, but Albus noticed more than the others who found themselves present for these most unusual events.

The boy stood tall and commanding, and with an air about him which only the awfully perceptive could point out rested on the shoulders of one not hoping, but expecting to be obeyed.

He was looking on at the lad bottling his potion visibly ignoring the room's inhabitants, humming quietly to himself and thinking how this year's school club, amusingly named Dumbledore's Army, has been more a boon than he ever could have dreamed.

Powerful magics aside, this new attitude will only put him in good stead for his upcoming trials.

His hand imperceptibly twitches toward the Elder Wand as Harry and the Longbottom boy prepare to vanish using the Time-Turner he acquired. Preventing himself from acting in front of so many possible allies, Albus allows the two some freedom, calculating that they are quite likely to return presently.

Why else would one call a meeting with so many distinguished guests, unless to meet with them. Indeed he finds himself quite looking forward what young Harry has to say to all of these good people.

As the two fade out the door to his beloved office slams open, revealing a robed figure wreathed in power, with dreadfully familiar items clasped to his belts. A Cup, and a Locket, and, could that be, it is, the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw.

For a moment he is at a loss, how could he possibly...

"Hey kids, miss me?"


"What does it look like from your end of time" – S'TarKan

June 18th 1996: Hogwarts Headmasters Office
22:32 Sidereal Time

I have to banish a bad memory, a very bad memory, but I manage with practiced ease as I down an Invigoration Draught. It will not do to fall asleep just yet, six more hours 'till sunrise grainy eyes or no.

My Aura is flaring unknowingly in light of my disquieting thoughts, as I stride back into the Headmasters Office, right as my earlier self departs.

With a single glance of assessment I take stock of my audience; Aurors Moody, Shacklebolt, and Tonks all standing patiently as if at an everyday briefing. Several random Order members shifting their collective weight, Twinkles, and Min. Damn she looks good, nice curves, I don't ever remember her being this young though. Hmm, I think I have a backup for the ritual if it becomes necessary.

That thought in mind I give a jaunty "Hey kids, miss me?"

"What the hell do you mean by making me Minister of Magic!" Amelia Bones bellows at me in a tone I'm far more familiar hearing from Sue.

"What do you mean, what do I mean? Should I not be congratulating you on your recent promotion?" From the look on her face I'm guessing No.

"I don't want to be Minister of Magic, I'm an Auror not a bloody politician." She screeches, in a dignified way of course.

"Well someone competent has got to do it. And you're sure as hell not going to get me to be Minister!" I roar in response, biting back a shudder at the very idea.

We yell at one another for a while longer, and I come to the conclusion that she enjoys being Director of Magical Law Enforcement just as much as I do, and doesn't want to be Minister for the exact same reasons I don't. "You know who was made Minister last time? Scrimjob; and he's just the disaster waiting to happen that you'd think he is. You are literally the only person who can do this effectively, so you don't have any choice."

"Last time?" It's Kingsley, he must be following what's going on better than most, or maybe he just wants us to stop shouting.

"Last time yeah, the first time I defeated Voldemort." So maybe I am dragging this out more than I need to, but I'm having fun so screw it.

"Harry here is a time traveller." Neville helpfully breaks in, running my good time.

"Fine, I'll give you the timeline if keep quiet, especially you Bonesy." When I'm confident they are not going to interrupt I continue. "On June 24th 1995 straight after the Tri-Wizard Tournament, Voldemort is resurrected by Peter Pettegrew. Not much happens until June 18th 1996 and the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Sirius Black's death signifies the beginning of the second war. Scrimgeour walks into the Ministers office because the only competent candidate is killed by Voldemort.

On August 1st 1997 a few months after Albus Dumbedore's funeral, the Ministry falls to the Death Eaters. I pretty much vanish off the face of the earth and return on May 2nd 1998, setting off the Battle of Hogwarts. I defeat Voldemort by setting up a backfiring wand..." Albus catches my eyes twitch to his side "...and even though loads of people had died there is a huge celebration party, one which I miss as I had fallen asleep wishing I had a sandwich. Neville on the other hand has a threesome with Daphne Greengrass and her girlfriend." That last, with a nod to my friend was not strictly necessary to the briefing, but I believe it has its place.

"I become a fully qualified Auror in less than ten months, and end up Head of the D.M.L.E. by the time I hit 22. Depending how you count it we had somewhere between fifteen years, and a quarter of a century where things were pretty damn incredible, the world was at peace, everyone got married and shot out a bunch of kids. Everything seemed like the perfect, storybook happy ending following a terrible war.

Then things started going downhill; Dark uprising after dark uprising, Goblin Rebellions, assorted other magical creature Insurgencies, Dark Lords and Dark Ladies all trying to our evil one another. We did what we could, and it didn't seem all that bad at least in the early days. I mean, Neville and I were kicking around, it basically just took one of us showing up to end a battle.

Then about eight years ago things took several turns of the worse. We lost some good people around the same time this prophesised saviour showed up. He was meant to deal with one of our more irritating Dark Lords. The kid was a FirstGen named Logain, born in the suburbs of Chicago years before in what was the United States. I liked him, he had good foot speed, he would take a hit and keep on at you, a lot of natural talent there like I say.

He got himself killed of course, and I had to deal with the guy myself." Imagine that. "A friend of mine, Astoria Malfoy, came up with this idea two or three years ago. She claimed she could effectively send me back in time, and I could change things so that all of those wars would never happen.

I was a bit shirty on actually doing that because when I got all the details out of her, she couldn't be sure which way her formula would resolve itself. Essentially one of two things would happen; I would find myself in my younger body and create a parallel timeline of alternate causality. Erm, simply put I would be creating an alternate universe while the other universe would still be running just as it was, only without me in it.

Or; the other eventuality would happen, and my memories returning to my younger body would destroy the first universe, and I would personally be responsible for the deaths of what?, almost two billion people, as well as the unmaking of millions upon millions more individuals who were now, never born."

The implications of this settle on the room for a while in silence, of all of them it's Sirius who finally comments "Seems like a bit of a risk don't you think?"

"That's exactly what I said! And that's also why it took her so long to convince me. Although in point of fact, it was actually my eldest grandson, Sirius, who eventually convinced me."

His eyes light up on hearing his namesake. I lighten the conversation a little while the others work through what has just been dropped on them. "Yeah, Sirius Lupin. He has the blood of all three Marauders. Prongs through me, Padfoot through your cousin Tonks, and Moony through my godson Teddy... I made him get a runic tattoo representing the concept 'Marauders Heir' when he turned fourteen." I grin a bit at the memory, though his grandmother would hurt me if she knew about it.


It does not take the room too long to get back on topic, so after a little natter I continue the briefing. "While I take things Diviners and Oracles say with a large pinch of salt, I do have a healthy respect for some of what their branch of magic can do. For one it was my being one of those prophesised world saviour types, fully vetted by a True Seer and everything, which allowed Astoria's method of time travel to work.

She originally wanted me to go back to the day I killed Voldemort when my prophecy was fulfilled, or if not that then 1981, the moment I got my scar and became 'Marked as an Equal'.

Still, I managed to wring out of her that there were some 'minor Node Points,' and that she might be able to get me a bit earlier in the timeline, so I could save quite a few more lives in this war as well.

Today was/is the day in which the full wording of my prophecy was denied to both Voldemort and myself. Denied until the point was moot I should say."

Albus Dumbledore takes it upon himself to slow down the meeting "As fascinating as this is, perhaps we could hear more as to why you have settled on this most dangerous course of action to solve the problems you were experiencing in your own time."

I thought I was busy covering this "Like I was saying, it's Oracles. What they say can be ignored for the most part because their words only make any sense at all in hindsight. What is troubling however is when they all start... agreeing, with one another. And worse when they start filling in gaps in each other's predictions.

And blaming me for all the doom, as if it's somehow my fault they keep Seeing doom."

And Doom. Merlin I hate hearing that particular noun. Doom, doomy doom of dooms. For the love of-, I must have been forced to hear the word Doom at a minimum of fifteen times a day for years and years and doom, I mean years.


"...otherwise he and I could come to some sort of arrangement, and both be immortal" – Lionheart

June 18th 1996: Hogwarts Headmasters Office
23:19 Sidereal Time

"If we have finished chattering about the nightmares of futures past, how about we get on with killing Voldemort again please? Most importantly how is Hermione, will she be on her feet before sunrise?"

"Yes, your muggleborn girl is to be spun back six hours and delivered to Hogwarts Hospital wing right as rain. Is she really that important to your plans?" This is fortunate news, though I do scowl at the way she is addressed by Amelia.

When I don't respond our reluctant minister instead growls "Do you know a Healer Stanhope by the way? He seems to be under the impression that he treated you and Mr. Longbottom earlier this evening."

"Yes, I do and yes he did. And yes the FirstGen girl is, of vast importance I might add." It takes me another moment to drag my own thoughts back to what I'm supposed to be doing, never mind that I've just chastised the room for their chattering.

"Voldemort isn't really that big of a deal, I have a plan to get rid of him. A plan so brilliant nothing can possibly go wrong, I guarantee." There is a predictable room-wide eye-roll at my statement "Okay, the exact wording of my aforementioned prophecy is as follows:

'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can die while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ...'"

I allow a brief pause before soldiering onward.

"Allow me dissect it for you; born at the end of July 1980 means either Neville or me, and marked as an equal narrows it further to me alone, as I'm the one with the scar.

Now the interesting bit is the 'neither can die while the other survives' part.

While we're on the subject, inane comments about socks aside, this is the only time I can be absolutely certain Albus Dumbledore actually lied to me. Straight our lied, rather than rely on proxies, half truths, or misinformation as he is so well-known for doing. Preferring these methods in place of directly lying where he risks getting caught.

What the prophecy is getting at, in a mealy-mouthed prophecy like way, is the fact that my famous scar is in fact a Horcrux. A sliver of Voldemort's Soul which while still attached to my body means that he cannot fully die... And incidentally neither can I."

There is an appreciable amount of sentiment along the lines of 'oh gods what are we going to do,' 'an immortal Dark Lord; impossible' and 'we're all going to die'. Sheesh, what's with these people, do they not remember I've already done this once before.

Let alone my having recently told them about an awesome plan.

"What exactly is a Horcrux?" That's from Perce. Or should I call him Percy... Nar, I didn't treat Neville like he was younger, I'm not doing anything different with my other friends.

"Why I would love to tell all about Horcruxes Perce, allow me to regale you an ancient tale from our history...

Four thousand years after the Atlantis Cataclysm there was a massive war. A Dark Lord, the creator of history's first recorded Horcrux, and master of an All Seeing Eye, used his army of twisted humanoids to terrorise the fire blasted remnants of civilisation, and after his first defeat lived near a millennia as a Shade.

This was in a time where Dwarves still resided in their Maintain Halls, High-Elves walked the earth, and Mages and Normals still thought of themselves as the same race. It took a child named Sam and his unnamed sidekick to drag the artefact across the whole wide world and toss it into a volcano, while the alliance of old Atlantis, a pact between three great nations, battled the Dark Lord into stalemate. He was destroyed in accordance with the prophecy but the world as it had been, was never again the same."

This is a listed history by the way.

I seriously doubt any in this room bar Dumbledore have been deep enough in the Magnus Fontis to read about it. Yet, for all it happened six and a half millennia ago, this is an integral part of our history, I sometimes wonder what would have happened had that war ended differently.

High Elves, lost knowledge, the Fae, Dwarves who have their own culture and aren't relegated to dressing up as cupids for some deranged lunatic of a Defence Professor.

Perhaps something analogous would have happened had I not gone along with this fool time travelling expedition, and the human race would have one day faded into legend.


I once again shake myself out of these musings and go back to briefing the bickering children.

"Anyhow Voldemort, back in the days when he was still Tom Riddle, the good little Slytherin boy plotting world domination, came across the Horcrux ritual. If you look at his idea academically, and the fact that he actually managed to pull it off, it is nothing short of genius. Maybe he should have been awarded his Mastery in Evil for it.

He did one hell of a lot of spell-crafting and Arithmancy, eventually working out a way of splitting his Soul not in half creating one Horcrux, like the nameless old Dark Lord in the story, but in lesser fractions. So instead of a fifty percent split, he went for fourteen percent slices, thereby aiming for six Horcruxes, and an Arithmantically significant seven part Soul."

I look around the room, and despite the avalanche of information I am giving them, people are for the most part following my words.

"He screwed it up and went insane. Before he attacked me as a baby he had five shiny Soul Anchors hidden safely throughout Britain, and a little under twenty nine percent of Soul was still walking around killing people. He accidently transferred some percentage to my scar without knowing it, and when he got a homunculus body in 1994, created what he thought was his sixth. Meaning he currently has something between zero, seven, and fourteen percent of his Soul inhabiting that snaky looking thing he calls a body."

A brief break and Tonks eventually cuts in with "So we have to find and destroy these Horcruxes before we can kill He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?" Perce is nodding as though he was about to voice similar sentiment.

"No as it happens, Neville and I destroyed most of them this afternoon." The rest of my audience is suitably impressed by this claim. "Out of the eight chunks of Voldemort only three remain; my Scar is first which I will handle tomorrow, his pet snake Nagini is second, and Neville's team are going to tag it while I'm busy. When those two are dealt with it's just down to Voldemort himself, piece of cake."

Perhaps it would have been polite to inform my friend he would be leading a team, prior to my announcing the fact to an entire room filled with highly respected and influential people.


"...he had clearly been in and out of hell several times already and was familiar with the terrain" – Thanfiction

June 19th 1996: Hogwarts Headmasters Office
00:05 Sidereal Time

Flying high on Invigoration Draught or no, I am getting tired of talking and I want to get the hell out of this room. I've allowed the good people of the Order, and the new Minister's entourage a fair while to discuss amongst themselves.

While I have been answering a few of their vaguer questions here and there, it's been mostly prattle if you ask me. Now it's about time we get back to task, I need a team in the field in four hours, and they need to understand their part in the plan.

Albus's eyes are flitting between feigned unconcern and mild irritation. This may have something to do with his repeatedly using thrusts of Legilimency in an attempt to understand my unknowable Occlumency barriers. Good luck to him, the Unspeakables have invested tremendous amounts of energy trying to figure out whatever it is I'm doing differently, all to no avail.

"The team is going to portkey to an as yet unknown location. They are to track down Voldemort's familiar, the snake known as Nagini. Their objective is to administer this Substance..." I hold up a vial of clear liquid procured in London "...without being spotted by any Death Eaters if at all reasonably practicable."

"What kind of potion is it?"

"It isn't a potion. Any magical tampering would be discovered by Nagini herself, or if not her Voldemort surely would. Neither can we use any mundane forms of tracking, being as the high magical field around Voldemort's evil base will destroy the electronics. The answer we came up with is to somehow get this Substance, which has like thirteen syllables, into the snake's bloodstream. I can track her altered scent, so that we can kill it at a later date."

The mission is simple enough, I'll let them decide amongst themselves how to administer the solution. They could hit her with a dart, inject it into a conjured animal and feed the animal to her, or any of a thousand different methods.

Delegation means allowing those you delegate to, to come up with their own plans.

I also get a few strange looks from my describing a Dark Lord's headquarters as an 'evil base'. Like this is a children's story or something. Whatever, dark wizards really play up that stuff, why can't I be cavalier in my dealings with them?

"Why don't we just kill it now?"

I roll my eyes, why don't people think before asking stupid questions "If Voldemort knew we were targeting Horcruxes, bad things would happen. He would figure out what we're doing and change his whole attitude, becoming far more difficult to defeat. I don't want him to grasp that he is dead until after we've killed him.

I need volunteers to join the team. Anyone who has a problem with following Neville's orders should say so now. You all need to coordinate and come up with a strategy. I'll get some Dreamless Sleep Potion, you are all to have three hour rest before the portkey activates."


Ninety minutes later sees Neville, Kingsley, Mad-Eye, Tonks, Emmy Vance, and Luna deep in the arms of Morpheus. I didn't realise Luna was even here, she must have snuck in 'quite by accident' in that way she does, or perhaps she tagged along with the Ministry people and just sat quietly in a corner.

I'd like to talk to her at some point soon, Luna is... important. She, along with Hagrid, is one of only two people I've met in my life whom I would consider wise, and well, I've missed her.

"There are far more experienced people who could be leading that team. You know that, and yet you put the scion of Longbottom in charge anyway. Why?"

Amelia really does remind me strongly of her niece, observant and to the point. That's what I liked about her back when Sue was one of my top Aurors.

"I'm reasonably sure I know where the target is, and I know this is a low risk mission. I know Neville can do stuff like this with his hands tied behind his back, but he doesn't. I guess I just want him to prove it to himself. With me ending this war early he won't get the opportunity to lead people like he did last time."

We're moving down to another part of the castle, she is alert, if more than a little bleary eyed. I told her this would be boring but she asked to accompany me regardless.

"You took him with you this afternoon, and you're putting him in charge of an Operation. Who is he?"

"Neville Longbottom, Lord Longbottom I should say, is the guy who won the war against this Dark Lord. It wasn't me, all I did was kill Voldemort." She clearly wants me to explain. "Sue told you about this year's Defence Club I'm guessing"

"Dumbledore's Army?" Yes I did grimace "She may have mentioned it over the Solstice. I thought it was about learning to pass exams and sticking it to that... person Umbridge."

"Pretty much sums it up yeah. Well during seventh year Voldemort had control of the Ministry, and the Carrows were in charge of the school. Cruciating students left and right, generally being Death Eater scum, blah blah, all the good stuff. I wasn't here because Hermione and I were out scouring the countryside for Horcruxes.

Neville took over the Army, and turned the students into actual soldiers. Organised resistance, and basically kept the whole school from capitulating to the Death Eaters. By the end of the year he had fifty or so of the Army, each skilled enough to take on most Aurors out the academy.

Susan was 'Longbottom Trained' as well, and even though she was only one of my Aurors for six years, I found it nigh impossible to replace her after she left.

Neville did more than just lead students though. He seemed to know instinctively that there would be a battle at the school, so he had all his best people to come up with a strategy to use against Voldemort's forces when they arrived.

So when the remnants of the Order of the Phoenix showed up and the fabled Battle of Hogwarts rolled around in May, he sets about coordinating with teachers and what adults were actually involved, outlining a fully fleshed out plan while they had all been scrambling about like headless chickens. His forces were linked up with a group of professional Quidditch players who were used to recruit militia from around the country.

Pretty glad he did actually, because without those last minute reinforcements we would have been overrun by Death Eaters anyway, despite Voldemort having been destroyed.

What makes it still more impressive though, not only had he not yet turned eighteen, but he was doing all this with a massive limiter on both his mind and magic."

Using the book taken from the Black Library, I pour the Ash in the pattern described, being very careful not to waste any, and being even more careful to keep the lines and arcs exactly right.

Founder's objects in place, I double check everything to make sure I haven't made any mistakes, then cast a powerful repelling ward around the whole area preventing it from being disturbed.

"He sounds like quite the hero."

"Who else could handle being married to Ambassador Susan Bones?"

It's a shame she wasn't taking a drink, her reaction would have been better with a spit-take.


"Half the time I expect Hugo to grab an Invisibility Cloak and ask me if I want to go on an adventure to find the Philosopher's Stone" – cloneserpents

June 19th 1996: Hogwarts Hallowed Halls
02:22 Sidereal Time

For the first time in several hours I don't have anything to do. All my plans are going smoothly and I have a chance to take a breather before leaping back into action. It would be nice to have an hours kip but I don't think that's a good idea, I've been going out of my way to avoid the Headmaster and I don't particularly want to get pinned down.

I'm on my way back from a visit to the Owlery and Hedwig.

It was a strange feeling coming out of this war, so many people I was close to had died. My parents, my friends Cedric, Fred, Tonks, Remus, I was close to all of them and they all died in this fight. And what about Dennis Creevey, who never forgave me for 'getting Colin killed,' no, there was a lot to handle in the aftermath of Voldemort.

What's strange though is that losing Hedwig was the one thing I never really got over. I never got another owl, or even consented to a family owl. It just never felt right, like a betrayal of her memory or something. Even watching Sirius fall through the Veil was something I eventually dealt with, and he was the last connection I had to a normal life.

"Screw it" I come to a decision.

I was going to wait a little later to do this but why the hell not. I'm alone, and I won't have to get into another rambling conversation with someone, this time regarding my Soul Bond relationship with Voldemort.

It's ever so romantic, in the highest traditions of hack romance novels everywhere.

I lock myself in an abandoned classroom and overcharge all thirty three security wards. Conjuring a full length dress mirror and a towel, I place a reflective shield on the mirror, and some cushioning charms on the floor. I bite down on the knotted towel and raise my wand toward reflection Harry.

This is going to hurt like crap.

"Legilimens" It comes out muffled and nigh incomprehensible.

Well remembered pain from back in the good old days assaults my mind and senses. I'd be screaming if not for the gag, as my world famous scar bursts open, splattering life's blood all over the mirror.

I don't let up. I'm doing this for excellent gods damned reasons, but oh hell, it hurts.

The faint grey beam of mind magic floods in and out of my vision, though its connected to my scar and I don't really need to see it. Bypassing an Occluded mind through a Soul connection in order to find the location of a pet snake, this has got to be worthy of being written up as an article in Advanced Thaumology or something.

Flitting through Nagini's mind I come to her locality, and better yet, her intention to remain where she is unless summoned by her master. More than enough information to create Neville's Portkey.

The agony continues unabated as I bypass Tom's Occlumency using Nagini's familiar bond.

I'm searching for a branch of magic I've coveted for years, and concluded Voldemort had invented it himself. He must have because no matter the incredible lengths I went to in order to discover the secret myself, no knowledge, or even rumour of knowledge was ever found.

Eventually I black out from the pain.


I stroll into the Hospital Wing at three thirty in the morning quite cheerfully, I've been told to give Hermione a few more minutes rest before waking her. For some reason they've brought Ron to Hogwarts too, and he's awake looking at me.


I don't hate the guy, not in the least. It's just well. I'm closer to his wife than he is, and Hermione has a special kind of vindictiveness when commenting on his personality, words, actions, and life in general.

One memorable phrase which leaps to mind... 'Ron's loyalty is matched only by his intelligence' ...struck me as needlessly harsh, as it is unquestionably true.

"Did they tell you about the time travel?"

"Yeah, for some reason they used a Time-Turner to bring me and Hermione back six hours." So they didn't tell him, and he's pretending to know what he's talking about.

"I meant how I've travelled decades back into the past, fought Voldemort, unseated the minister, organised the resistance, and basically am no longer the Harry you knew when you went to the Ministry."

"Oh. No they didn't tell me about that."

You know what, he did actually come to the Ministry with me. And he was sort of a friend back when we were at Hogwarts. Maybe I owe him one.

"You wanted to be an Auror when you were younger if I remember correctly. Fake Moody gave you the idea."

He makes vaguely agreeing noises. I guess from his point of view being younger was only last year, and the way I phrased it might have been confusing to him.

"Neville, Hermione, and I won't be spending all that much time at Hogwarts from now on. With Ginny moving to America, you'll be pretty much on your own for your two N.E.W.T. years. No brothers, and nobody overshadowing you. I'll make sure Sluggy is teaching Potions, and you might even have a shot at Quidditch Captain in seventh year.

If you take all the required courses, and get good enough grades to make it into the Auror Academy. And you do it all under your own steam, I suppose I'll do my best to make sure you get in the best training team. Basically you'll be on the fast track to Senior Auror." This is probably a very bad idea. If he does the work though, maybe his life will be different. "It will take a lot of hard work mind."

It strikes me that I did something similar with Ginny, although I admit to having far more selfish motivations on that score.

"If you're from the future, do you know if the Cannons ever win the League Cup?" So much for giving him a chance to change his life.

"RON!" I shout, probably far too loud, seeing as we're in a hospital. "Your laziness and stupid obsessions with Quidditch and Chess are going to fuck up your life. You're not going to be in school forever... Here, you want to know some things about your future, it's not all sunshine and roses for you."

I see resentment and a tinge of fear in his look, as he dumbly nods.

"Shit dead end job because you dropped out of Hogwarts and refused to sit your N.E.W.T.S. after the defeat of Voldemort. It wouldn't have been that bad but your Order of Merlin Second Class could have been turned into some worthwhile career if you'd worked at it like Hermione told you.

You get married to a woman whose way out of your league, and I end up fathering both of your kids. You spend your days drinking spiked firewhiskey and constantly getting Obliviated.

One of the birthday presents I got Hermione was an old-world curse, of the kind which is on Hogwarts Defence Position, and it made your food taste like ash when eating in the company of other people. She was so disgusted with your table manners that I got a whole lot of... let's call it thanks for that one."

Rant over I feel kind of bad. A fiercely uncomfortable silence descends on us.

"I'm not sure if the Cannons ever win Ron. I stopped following the Leagues after the 2010 World Cup. That was when the reformists banned the Snitch."

"They banned the Snitch." He cries out sounding horrified.

"Yeah, they were whinging on about how it ruins the game." Attempting to win back the title of 'Golden Osmagogues' from Krum in our annual charity snitch-hunt is always fun, but Quidditch has never really been the same for me. It probably has something to do with my being rubbish at passing.

"You might want to get some sleep Ron. Think about trying for the Academy, you really don't want to hit forty and still be a virgin."

I did mention his wife hates him didn't I?


"...once he had seen perfection, why would he need to return" – BajaB

June 19th 1996: Hogwarts Hospital Wing
03:43 Sidereal Time

Sunrise is at 4.26am this morning, that's in forty three minutes. I need to get a read on this chestnut-haired goddess fast, but looking down at her sleeping form I almost don't have the heart to wake her. Not even seventeen, you can see in the lines of her face the woman she is, and the woman she will become. Beauty like a renaissance oil painting, and certain knowledge her image will only improve with age.

'Harry, you're hesitating. Hesitation is about as attractive a trait as ill manners or lack of confidence.'

'Of course I'm hesitating Harry. She's sixteen and I'm all but in my sixties. You saw the way my eyes were raking across Min McGonagall, she is closer to my age range than any bloody teenager.'

'You yourself are only sixteen Harry.'

'No Harry, I'm not. Not in the ways that matter at any rate.'

'...'Arry, do be quiet. 'Zis is Mi'Own, 'Zere ees no way you are letting 'Er go.' An ephemeral French voice asserts its opinion.

'She's right Harry'

'I know Harry. I get that, it's just y'know what if...'

'You are Le Survivant 'Arry. You are to begin acting like eet'




'You're hesitating again.'

I take a deep calming breath and sit, tenderly taking hold of her hand. This is Hermione, it's going to be a breeze, and it'll be fun.

She always makes it fun.


Over the years following the Voldemort defeat we used to have this long running game, where we would attempt to come up with viable methods of removing the Soul Fragment from my body without resorting to taking another Killing Curse from the Dark Lord.

In the middle of a battle.

When he might decide to kill me using a different curse.

Is in fact more likely to use a different curse, given that Avada Kedavra-ing me has proven unsuccessful in the past.

This was all long before I had the notion of doing any form of extreme time travel, we were just doing it for fun, speculating in a kind of long running joke.

Anyhow, we came up with twenty fully viable methods of removing the Scar Horcrux. The nineteenth being 'capture the Yew wand and have someone directly hit my scar with the intention of killing Voldemort.' The idea being that the wand which created it being the best to use; I was hit with the Elder Wand last time by the way.

Depending on certain things, a modified Horcrux ritual, one using an enemy rather than an innocent to slice away the parasite, is around tenth best. If you're interested, I'd probably use Wormtail, the Life Debt would help... and killing Wormtail would be as much fun as killing Snape, which I unfortunately can't do as I promised not to.

The twentieth, and least best solution, would be to do it exactly the same way as I did last time, allowing Tom to hit me again. There is no concrete evidence that I would survive being killed again, but as I did survive last time it seems likely I would once more.

However doing it this way is tremendously dangerous.

If you assumed the incredibly unlikely possibility I was going to live, and then did the appropriate Arithmancy, you'd come to the conclusion that there is only an evens chance that the Horcrux would be hit. There is exactly the same coin-flip probability that I'd die, and you'd have a second Voldemort running around.

With my body.

My magical core.

And likely the world at large thinking this Dark Lord is a Saviour.

You can see why I'd prefer to do it using a less trixy method. That method was actually suggested by Fleur many, many years ago. It was her first thought when asked how she would do it, '...'Arry 'ze solution ees simple non, Sex Magic.' It's not just because of her Veela heritage either, the woman is a sex obsessed maniac, I wouldn't be surprised if that was her first answer to any problem posed to her.

She found a book from the Châteaux Delacour Library which outlined a number of purging rituals that could be used in this situation.

Ritual magic is not in fact Dark, as most people assume. I mean yeah, if I had to torture a bunch of puppies, or eat a family member or something, then I would agree that it was evil. But ritual magic is about sacrifice, and all the Dark Rituals out there involve sacrificing pretty horrible things to gain pretty horrible benefits.

Take Tom Riddle for instance; I can't believe he had the balls to do some of the things necessary to ensure his immortality.

Oh, that's right, he doesn't... not anymore.

The Ritual I have set up is based on the number four, the number most significant with regards to healing. The intricate Cruciform I am using was shown to me all those years ago by Fleur, in the book from her family Library, and is of an identical form to that used in less reputable rituals.

This is how I could use the outline taken from a manuscript in the Black Library.

The Cleansing Ritual I intend to use stipulates the use of something more magically potent than chalk or sand in drawing the Cruciform, and it is suggested that I use pulverised semi-precious stone, or some other magically enhanced material as a boost.

I'm using Phoenix Ash.

Nowhere in the world would you find a ritual which demands the use of Phoenix Ash.

Many other rare ingredients such as Basilisk Venom can be found even in Knockturn Alley if you're willing to pay ruinous sums for them. No matter how rare these types of ingredients are, they can be purchased. Conversely, Phoenix Ash can't be found anywhere, at any price. For this reason it is never stipulated in any texts because you can only get it one way, if you have your own Phoenix.

Someone recently swiped a jar from Dumbledore's Office. I have no knowledge as to who it was.

The reason I'm using it, is because it has magical potency several orders of magnitude greater than any other material save Magicite, and the Ash is even better in this context because of its close ties with rebirth.

Now I also have four linked founder's objects, each with powerful enchantments, and each designed to be used in their own assorted ceremonies.

A Sword linked with Summer and Strength
A Diadem linked with Winter and Wit
A Locket linked with Spring and Fortune
A Cup linked with Autumn and Fettle

You can guess why I was so happy the Dementor method of Horcrux destruction actually worked. Having a quartet of linked magical items to use will give a bit extra juice to the ritual, and is likely going to have some remarkable side effects.

Nevertheless, Ceremonial Magic is about sacrifice as I said, you have to give up one thing to gain another. And this is the Rite of Karmic Fire; which necessitates the willing sacrifice of a person's virginity. Perfect for this situation as it is a Soul Scrub, and all dark twisted parts of a person's Soul will be consumed by the light of rebirth.

Given the ragged, evil nature of Horcrux magic, the Soul Fragment has basically no change of surviving.

So with the aid of a young-beautiful-English-virgin-girl, I plan to sacrifice my sixteen year old body's virginity, during the previously detailed Ritual of Cleansing. It also helps that I have an emotional connection to said young-beautiful-English-virgin-girl. Emotional connection usually makes these things work even better than they would otherwise.

Sounds simple enough, but there is a reason I'm so gods damned confident this plan is going to work... each of the disparate elements; Phoenix Ash, Founder's Objects, Double Sacrifice, hell I'm even scheduling it during a Midsummer Sunrise. All these things don't just add together, they compound one another.

Thereby multiplying the effectiveness.

The Scar Horcrux is toast, but here's hoping medical won't make me go on a two year charms and potion regimen to heal all the damage done growing up the way I did.


"Hermione ... Why do you think I gave you that book?" – cloneserpents

June 19th 1996: Hogwarts Library
05:55 Sidereal Time

"We didn't really have to do it in a library did we?" It's not really a question. She may have bought all that claptrap about Lay Lines intersecting the third floor, she could have but I doubt it. Any uncertainty was erased a soon as she noticed the section of the school's library the Ritual just had to be performed in.

Notable in that it is the same section in which both school copies of 'Hogwarts a History' are stored.

"I couldn't think of an organic way to claim you were required to play harem girl." She blushes at the idea.

I really like this young version of Hermione, it's so easy to squeeze a blush out of her. Then again it was always going to be fun fulfilling a woman's deviant sexual fantasy, while being able to claim it is totally required for some good old fashioned world saving. Sort of takes the responsibility off her.

The room is a mess from the overpressure wave released on the stroke of sunrise. The stacks are all leaning away from the centre, as if from an explosion, there is also a thick layer of some kind of clear sticky substance covering everything in sight. I imagine that's probably a result of all the damage which was Cleansed.

And I also think it's going to be a good idea to be, not here, when the Librarian Irma Pince shows up.

Oh, and I feel great. Better than great actually, fantastic. It's like I've been on a tropical beach for three weeks of solid rest. And had a full year of really good sex all crammed into a single moment.

"Are most people's... is the first time always that good?" She asks as I'm in the process of nibbling her shoulder.

In the hospital I had told her about my coming back in time, inferred a few things and basically gave her a run down on this war.

Maybe I also described a dream she had on Halloween in our first year, strongly implying I knew exactly what kind of dream a twelve year old might be having. A dream that involved a damsel in distress, and a heroic troll rescue... amongst other things.

I also told her about the Scar Horcrux.

She wanted to help.

"I admit I may have gone a little overboard. I have missed you y'know." We're going to have to get up soon unfortunately. No rest for the wicked, a group of people of which I am definitely a proud member. Corrupting innocent English girls, bad boy, go to your room and think about what you've done. "You want to come to meet the Wizengamot with me Hermione? They don't let FirstGen in unless accompanied by an Ancient and Noble Lord."

We untangle ourselves and I catch her peeking, covering her embarrassment she states "I think you're taller." So I give my body the once over.

I believe she is right, all my scars are still there; Toad, Rat, Dragon, Basilisk, Tree, Uncle, Killing Curse, but they all look long since faded. The lasting effects of long term malnutrition, Cruciatus exposure, and Basilisk Venom are all probably healed too. Along with Hermione's recent Flame-Cutter wound, not that I spent a long time checking, much.

I drop a quick measuring charm; 5'10".

"You're right, I'm three inches taller than in the old timeline... Nice. Shame my eyes are still messed up but I guess you can't fix genetics." I apply magical lenses to my eyes, a spell I dislike due to its having to be reapplied every couple of hours. Really only useful at three in the morning when you need to pad to the toilet. "Are you coming to the Ministry then or what?"

"Try and stop me, you can't just have your wicked way with me and then run off mister." She controls her blush better this time, alas I believe it signals the beginning of the end for her innocence "And why do you keep saying FirstGen instead of Muggleborn? You were doing that during our conversation in the Hospital Wing too."

I slip into what I've always thought of as my 'Hermione Lecturing Voice,' the one I use when I'm imparting a large quantity of information onto someone else. It occurs to me that I've been using this tone a lot since coming to the past, weird.

"Using the word 'Muggle' is so bigoted Hermione. It comes from the deterring charm 'Repello Muggletum' used to fend off those with weak will or those without the spark. In context this means calling someone a muggle is like calling them inherently weak.

And it is not political correctness either, the etymology of the word is, and always has been, meant as derogatory. It was only when everyone else started using their favourite swear word that the inbred bastards had to come up with 'Mudblood'. A word which you can agree is stupid, and far less offensive."

The look on her face is the one familiar to all those who know her, she is absorbing the new knowledge like a sponge. Her look changes abruptly to another, one which I'm must more used to seeing on an older Hermione, when she is in a rather specific frame of mind.

"We don't have time for that Hermione," Insatiable wench.

I think she heard that last part, oops, she looks strangely pleased even if I didn't mean to say it out loud.

Casting a few simple cleaning charms she asks "So why the change?" She means why did people stop using it, not why people would be offensive for no reason.

"After this war there were still people who wanted to know how magic actually worked, and they predictable discovered that there is no difference. You're either born a Normal, and can't see ghosts, or use potions or what have you. You're born with Latent magic, and can use potions, floo, portkeys and such, everything save a wand. Or you're born with full magic, and you can use all the cool magic things, carve runes, and hold a wand.

So Muggleborn became FirstGen, because people like you are First Generation magic. And in most cultures are considered lucky. Following?" She's nodding along so I'm guessing yes. "It's also partly because it came out how rare FirstGen actually are. Ask the current Ministry and they'll tell you that about one in four children coming into Hogwarts is a 'muggleborn'. Whereas it's actually more like one in fifty. People like Penelope Wood who were actually sired by an Imperius switch, or Dennis Creevey whose mother is a Latent cast out from an old family" and add to that the fact is that Dennis LeStrange just doesn't quite sound right to my ears.

At a leisurely walk we collect the protected dress robes Dobby had lain out for us, and wander from the devastated library.


"Oh god, we just destroyed a library. I'm going to go to library hell for that!" I knew I should have just Apparated us through Hogwarts wards before she noticed this. I didn't because frying her brain by doing 'impossible' things too early and too often is probably a bad idea.

Now I'm starting to doubt the decision.

"It's okay. Nobody knows we were there, and nobody can prove it was us. Though I suppose Amelia will probably be able to figure it out, but if she's as much like Susan as I think she is, she'll probably just think it's funny."

This was clearly not the right thing to say to sooth the troubled witch. I contemplate telling her about my libraries in the hopes that the plural will distract her long enough to calm down, but the likely side-effect will take too much time, and I have places to be.

"That. Is. Not. The. Point. Harry Potte-" I cut in.

"Tell me that you know about the Wizengamot. We're going to the Wizengamot. I need to know that you know what we're getting into." Please work, please work, please work.

Her desire to continue her trade wars with her desire to answer my question. I think I must have been giving her a pleading, hopeful look or something, because she capitulates choosing the latter.

"The Wizengamot is the judicial and legislative branch of the Ministry, and Wizarding Britain's high court of law and Parliament. It is a continuation of the old Wizards' Council which existed until 1692 and the establishment of the Statute of Secr-"

"Very good Hermione, how about we stick to the modern organisation?" She really could give a flawless quote of whatever book she'd read that in. The blame lies with her semi-eidetic memory, and I'd recommend against playing poker with Rose for the same reason... bloody card counters.

"It is lead by whoever holds the title Chief Warlock and is made up of fifty-one seats, broken up into three sections of seventeen seats, with the old families holding the most prestige. Recipients of the Order of Merlin can gain a vote in the second block as a reward for services to Wizarding Britain. The last block of seventeen is a little vaguer, and seems to me that gaining a vote is more about politicking and family alliances."

I'm impressed, not that she'd read all the books of course, but that she has somehow managed to put together a close semblance of how it actually runs.

"Do you know how legislation and such gets proposed, tabled, rejected, and passed?"

"Certainly. It takes a third in agreement for the Wizengamot to even discuss a topic, otherwise it gets thrown out. It's twenty-six for the lesser consensus, and thirty-four for the greater consensus, which is half and two thirds respectively."

"Well done Miss Granger, ten points to Griffindor. For twenty points can you tell me if a person can hold more than one vote?" Her smile as getting the right answer fades to a frown of concentration. This is not a question many people think to ask.

We head out the castle toward the front gates, with Hermione deep in thought as she eventually answers. "I'm not sure, I don't think it comes up very often. I don't believe there is any actual law against it though."

"Correct, on both counts. It almost never happens because one person is rarely the head of two families. And people who do stupid things and get themselves an Order of Merlin First Class are rarely stuffy old Heads of Houses. I mean a real First Class, not the honorary ones which people like Fudge get. And, a person effectively can't get a vote with using Order of Merlin Second Class if they already have one from their Family Ring.

For example Dumbledore, whose family is a low branch of the Parkinson line linked about 200 years ago, and so could have gotten a vote in the third block by politicking, if he didn't already have a First Class.

I think the last time multiple votes came up was in the forties when an entire light side family was wiped out by Grindelwald's forces and two houses had to be merged. This briefly handed Abraxas Nott two seats, until his untimely death, when his son and daughter split back into two families."

Trudging down the dirt path my companion concludes "You have more than one vote don't you?"

"Yep, I have three. And so does Neville. One from an Order of Merlin, Two more for having two Family Rings." I say this with a happy smile.

"I see that gleam in your eye Harry, this can't be good."

"I don't know what you mean." She's right of course "Well okay fine, you know how there needs to be seventeen affirmative votes to stop people forcing the discussion of superfluous things?"

"Ye-s." She says warily

"Well, one April Fools' Day Neville and I took our six votes, and after letting a few of our other friends in on the joke... we sort of attempted to pass a piece of legislation, using the guise that we wanted to tax it, which would require all British citizens to register how many times per week they intended to have sex."

Hey, it was funny at the time. The people who took us seriously may not have thought so, but it really, really was.

We cross the ward line and I offer a two-person portkey to Hermione, as she contemplates the shear depth of my idiocy.


"I will be beautiful, and terrible, with knowledge beyond imagining. And all will love me, and despair" – Technomad

June 19th 1996: Ministry of Magic, Level 8, Atrium
06:38 Sidereal Time

Sauntering through a slowly filling Ministry with a stunning woman on my arm, I briefly wonder how well Neville is doing on his first Operation. The last I saw him, his team vanished to the forest behind Greater Hangleton using the Nagini portkey.

He'll be fine. All those stories I told him about his future self, and the newfound power reserves he can draw on has to have got his confidence back to appropriate levels. It's not that I need him to help kill Voldemort, it's more the aftermath I'll have to deal with.

There is no way in hell I'm doing all of that on my own, I can tell you that much for free.

I confess that I'm far more concerned about fucking up the Neville situation than I am letting on. Neville is basically me. And there is only so much one me can deal with on his own. One me would probably end up doing something stupid like travelling through time in order to solve his problems.

"Crap. Erm, Hermione will you do me a favour please?"

"Is it a favour along the lines of 'may I claim your virginity' or does it require slightly less sacrifice on my part?" Oh no, her overly sweet sounding voice is laced with sarcasm, I'm going to be paying for that one for ages aren't I.

"Not like you were complaining at the time" I grumble "No, just. We need to get a private room, and you have to do something for me."

Now that came out differently from how I meant it. As is made known by her sceptical eyebrow raise.

"No, I. It's not... arg! Get in here." I drag my infuriating companion into an empty office and conjure a pair of industrial grade bolt cutters.

"Sirius is alive again, so I am no longer head of the Black family, and I don't have my Order of Merlin yet, so I'm left with only one vote on the Wizengamot. And that comes from the Potter Ring so it doesn't count.

That's okay because I recently came across the Gaunt Family Ring, and I'm confident that it'll accept me as the new head of family. On the other hand if it doesn't then, there will be an amount of screaming, and possibly some death. And I need you to slice off my finger with the bolt cutters if that happens..." She blanches at my request so I follow up with "Or you could stand there and let me die horribly. Ever so horribly. It'll be really, really horrible." I try for a wide eyed look of virtuousness which probably fails utterly.

"What makes you think another family ring will even accept you. The defensive magic on them is supposed to be incredibly strong."

"Oh that. Tom Riddle was the last head of Gaunt and he died in 1981. The Gaunts are extinct and Tom and I are related through the Peverells back in the thirteenth century, which makes me as close to him as anyone else. I also did a bit of trickery on the thing yesterday, so you probably won't have to maim the love of your life using bolt cutters. Probably."

She likes the 'love of your life' line, even if she won't admit it. Girls are suckers when it comes to crap like that.


"My crest has changed" I whine in annoyance, looking disdainfully at my shoulder and the declaration patch. I'm dressed as a member of the Pureblood Aristocracy, lengthened hair tied back and in robes of the classic cut. "The Griffon is the same, all rampant and cool looking. But the Black Shield it's supposed to be standing on is gone."

"Stop being a baby. You said yourself that you aren't head of the Blacks anymore, why are you surprised?"

"But I liked my crest, it was cool, now it's got a bloody snake on it. Look! It's trying to strangle my awesome Griffon."

"It is not trying to strangle anything. It's draped majestically over you're precious Griffon's shoulders. Besides, you knew the Gaunts we're descended from the Slytherin line, what did you expect?" She's completely missing the point. It's not what I expected or didn't expect, I now have a crummy looking crest, can she not just let me mourn the loss. "Stop pouting Harry, you have a second vote for today's little meeting, that's what's important."

"I am not pouting."

"Are so"

"Are not. And it doesn't matter anyway, I can't use the second vote until I kill Voldemort. The Ring was a Horcrux, and the plan says I can't alert him to the missing Horcruxes until after he's dead."

"Stop. Stop. Stop... Are you saying you could have waited? And had someone else on bolt cutter duty?"

"Ye-, No. Of course not. Don't be preposterous." She's about to start yelling at me, I can tell "Oh, look at the time, I have to go talk to the Wizengamot now. Such a shame to cut short out discussion of family crests."

I try to flee the room but she hits the door with a scary-powerful locking spell. Isn't she supposed to be an innocent sixteen year old? Where the hell did she learn that?

I cast my mind about, and come to an obvious solution.

"How about I make it up to you Hermione, would that be okay?"

She glares over with an imperious look better suited to a Queen than a schoolgirl "After we're done with our work this morning we can maybe track down your parents. And we, I don't know, memory charm them into thinking they are a happily married Australian couple named Wendell and Monica Wilkins."

I breathe a sigh of relief as her eyes widen in recognition of her secret fantasy. It's an oddly adorable sight.

"How did you. I'd never, it was just a thought. I'd never really do something like that Harry, I'm not evil... I'm not honest."

I've met her parents, they're jerks, not total bastards in the same way as my relatives, but it's still blatantly obvious why they never visited her when she was petrified by the Basilisk, or why she spent virtually no time in their company since she turned fourteen years old.

"You did. And you would. Although you told us that it was to keep them safe from Death Eaters. It was only at your wedding, when I asked why they weren't there, that you told me you'd never reversed the memory charm. And I finally coaxed you into telling me the full story."

Mouth hanging open, she's dumbstruck. And I'm glad to have sidestepped her previous ire. "I really did it?" she part asks, part states in a wondering tone.

"Yep. And we'll do it again if you want to."

"I really never meant to you know, it was just idle thoughts..."

"Hermione, I've met your parents, and I like the Wilkins' family much better. For one, the Wilkins' are far more accomplished surfers." She giggles, once more proving to me how good a Dark Lady she would have made.