Disclaimer: I do not claim to be sane.
Claimer: I'm sane! (there, now I've claimed it).
Disclaimer 2: But I never claimed to be honest... ;)
Author's note: Troth is cast as Ben Barnes. Because doesn't everyone who sees Prince Caspian's sweet baby face think, 'wow, he'd make a great evil psycho voodoo Deatheater!' Right?
Author's note 2 (from the future!): Back when I started writing this in the distant year 2011, I had no idea so many people would fancast Ben Barnes as young Sirius Black. I have three solutions for this predicament.
A: I will re-cast Troth.
B: I will re-cast Sirius.
C: I will cast BOTH Troth and Sirius as Ben Barnes, and never give an explanation!
=Chapter 2: Paparazzi=
The man who was so famous that nobody knew his name prowled Knockturn Alley like he owned the place, or would soon. Along with the rest of the Wizarding World.
Ah! There he is! It's him! Troth thought elatedly, spotting a night-haired, glasses-wearing boy covered in soot. He's alone and unprotected! Oh goody!
Tiptoeing up behind the Boy Who Lived (but wouldn't pretty soon), Troth tossed a gold chain around Potter's neck, and said, "Hullo, I'm giving out free samples of gold necklaces, why don't you try one on for size?"
"Ahh!" Potter yelped, jumping an inch in shock, and dropping the two halves of his glasses to the alley cobbles as he grabbed the chain around his neck reflexively, like he thought he was being strangled.
"Yes, I know, it's a shockingly unbelievable deal!" Troth rattled hastily, while tightening his grip on the necklace, and dropping down to his knees so that he could slip the other gold chain that was attached to the first one around his own neck. It was kind of undignified for a future world ruler, but one day, the rest of the world would be bowing down to him. And it wouldn't be because they were trying to throw a chain around his neck to Time-Turner him away. "Hold still would you!" he ordered Harry, while trying to spin the little hourglass thing on the Time-Turner.
Suddenly Troth was being grabbed by the collar of his gash-sleeved vermilion robe, and hoisted up off his feet- which also made the gold necklace around Harry's neck scrape up Harry's chin as it was tugged up and off.
"Ow, ow, ow!" yelped the Boy Who Lived, who was now left with a very bad case of chain-burn on his neck.
"This 'ere bloke botherin' ya, Harry?" the lumbering, bearded newcomer asked gruffly.
"Hagrid?" Harry said, squinting through his glasses-less eyes. "Hey, have you seen my glasses?"
"Can't say I have..." Hagrid muttered, dropping Troth distractedly, and beginning to search the cobblestones with Harry.
Seeing said glasses-halves on the dusty ground, so close to his own eyes that they could've been on his own nose, Troth grabbed them quickly, and hid them behind his back as he stood up, sticking them in one of his robe's hidden pockets.
"You know," he said brightly stepping up behind Harry again, "I could trade you a pair of... gently used glasses, in exchange for... say... you agreeing to model my gold chain necklace for me!"
And with no more warning than that, Troth picked Harry up, stood him atop an old barrel (so that he wouldn't have to kneel this time), and tossed the necklace over Harry's neck again, this time from the front. "Just stand right there until my cameraman gets here, and don't mind me twirling this thing, I'm just trying to adjust it to the exact right angle for the best possible shot! Oh and-" grabbing the top of Harry's nose, Troth twisted his head to the left, and added, "-that's your good side."
"'agrid!" Potter complained in a voice made squeaky by the fact that his nose was being pinched.
Hagrid looked up from where he'd been searching on hands and knees for Harry's glasses, a few yards away. "Hey you!" the groundskeeper called over irritably, "what'd I tell ya 'bout leaving that boy be?" Hagrid rushed over and snatched Troth by the collar yet again, yet again tugging him off his feet, and yet again tugging Harry's necklace off his neck- and toppling him off the barrel to boot.
"Ow, owww...." Harry moaned.
"I do hope you realize you're interrupting a promising modeling career," Troth informed Hagrid dryly.
"Look, he's not interested-" Hagrid huffed, but his sentence trailed off, and his eyes narrowed below his shrubby eyebrows. "Don' I know you?"
"No," Troth retorted flatly, glaring icily at the overgrown kid from care of magical creatures class. Why did Tom frame him anyway? Troth wondered. Honestly, who would believe Hagrid was the heir of Slytherin? Troth wished Hagrid had stayed framed and locked in Azkaban, and it would've also been nice if he had been stunted in growth at age 14 and not grown above 7 foot 8, so that my feet were not quite so very far off the ground, Troth mentally added.
"Are you sure?" Hagrid asked suspiciously, sticking his huge nose in Troth's face.
"Sure?" Troth repeated blankly, blinking himself out of past memories.
"Sure that I don' know ya?" Hagrid specified.
"Oh. Yes. Quite sure. Never met you. Complete strangers, we are."
"Well, d'ya know who he is?" Hagrid challenged, pointing one thick finger at Harry, with his free hand.
Potter was still tripping and hitting into a warehouse wall, a barrel, and an unlit lamppost, due to the fact that he couldn't see worth beans without his glasses.
"No, clue," Troth replied cluelessly.
"He's THE Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, who killed He-who-must-not-be-named! An' he's my pal, so go hawk yer petty pedlar wares an cheap costume jewelry ta some other poor sucker, if ya know what's good fer ya!"
Troth knew what was good for him. It involved Time-Turnering Potter back into the past, and getting rid of him, and filling power vacuums. Troth also knew spinach was good for him, but he wasn't about to eat any. However, all Troth said was, "Oh, so sorry, I didn't realize."
"Start realizin'," Hagrid warned, setting Troth down roughly, and leading Potter away by the hand.
So Troth turned around, shrugged to himself, and left the two on their own to search for the absentee glasses. There would be other opportunities. Now lets see... Troth thought, if I were a red-haired girl, a Malfoy, or a smart-alec girl, where would I be? He decided to go with the most predictable choice, which was the smart-alec girl. The bookstore, of course.
Smiling to himself at this brilliant bit of deductive reasoning, Troth strolled off to go ask directions.
Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley were arguing over ridiculous things, like books, and money, and Muggles. They were squabbling like schoolboys, and making quite a spectacle of themselves. As much of a spectacle as the new pair of specs perched on Potter's nose as he wandered into the bookstore.
Ah, brilliant! Troth thought, as he spotted the smart-alec girl in the crowd too. Now all his cards were in one place. Now just to collect them...
"Harry! What happened to your glasses?" the smart-alec girl exclaimed. She was so much smaller at age twelve...
"I had to buy new ones," Harry mumbled.
"But why the green lenses?"
"The shopkeeper insisted they matched my eyes, and Hagrid thought he meant they were the right prescription for my level of shortsightedness."
"Oh, no sort of glasses could fix your level of shortsightedness, Potter," sneered Lucius's annoying little look-alike brat.
Lucius probably couldn't even bribe any girls into marrying him, Troth speculated nastily. So he probably just cloned himself. I bet he named the twit 'Junior'. But, turning his thoughts away from obscure conspiracy theories about the man who took his place as Tom's favorite, and deciding not to let his moment slip away, Troth leaped straight into 'Phase 1#; Distract The Adults.'
"Oh look, oh look! Lockheart's being strangled to death by a snake in an invisible stocking!" he yelped. "Somebody, help him!"
"Oh dear," Arthur Weasley said. He instantly turned around to wrestle his way through the crowd of Lockheart's dreamy-eyed, gasping, useless fan-girls, to help poor Lockheart.
Lucius Malfoy, however, was more stubborn, and his shoes hadn't moved an inch, and coincidentally, neither had his feet, nor any other part of his body, except his arms, which folded in front of his chest. "And why," he drawled in his high-handed, slithery voice, "should we care?"
"Because I'm a news reporter," Troth invented on the spot, "and it would be wonderful publicity for you! But I suppose Weasley shall have to be the headlining hero on the front page of tomorrow's Saturday paper..."
"But tomorrow's Tuesday," the smart-alec girl mentioned.
"Who asked you, smarty-skirts?" Troth snapped between grit teeth, which were forced into a fake smile.
Lucius was looking at Troth inquisitively now, with snake slit eyes. "Do I... know you?" Lucius wondered dourly.
"No!" Troth yapped. "Nobody knows me here! I made sure of that!"
Everybody (except Arthur Weasley) now turned their shocked stares away from the flamboyantly self-centered, rather blue-faced Gilderoy Lockheart, and towards Troth.
"Er... that is... I'm an undercover reporter," Troth explained awkwardly.
"Then, whyever did you just tell us you're an undercover reporter?" the smart-alec girl chimed in.
"Oh look," Troth exclaimed nervously, "Arthur Weasley was just bitten by the invisible and probably incredibly deadly snake! The venom will probably melt his brain and make it fall out his nose, and turn his skin black as ash, and make his fingernails fall off, and gauge out his eyes any moment now, unless someone gets him the proper medical help!"
"I don' think there's a snake livin' which can do all them things ya jus' said," Hagrid argued. "In fact, most snakes are 'armless as kittens."
"Kittens can be pretty harmful," Troth said, inconspicuously snatching the collar of the red-haired girl, as all her fellow Weasleys rushed off to help Arthur.
"Come along, son," Lucius snapped in a clipped tone, "we'll order our books by mail."
"Coming," Junior replied.
Lucius cast one last, smug glance towards the half-strangled celebrity, the supposedly snake-bitten would-be hero, and all Arthur's red-haired clan, then sauntered out the bookshop door, dragging one of Troth's cards behind him.
Well, I can still get the other three... Troth was just trying to figure out how to ditch the giant (who had just noticed that Troth had his hand over the wide-eyed red-head girl's mouth), when the entire bookshop was flooded with a medical team, and a few Aurors to boot.
Deciding that the whole scene was marvelously distracting, but figuring that a room packed wall-to-wall with people was a bit too conspicuous for a triple kidnapping, Troth released the schoolgirl's mouth and collar. He decided he'd best try his hand another time, another place.
Like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.