THE CHOSEN ONE
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and the other characters, they are the property of J. K. Rowling; I am merely playing with them in this piece of fiction. No money is being made by this.
A/N: Here's my new Harry Potter story with Neville as the Boy-who-Lived. Pairing again will be Harry/Tonks with a Harry Potter quite a bit more intelligent than he was in canon. Minor bashing can happen, no slash.
Prologue: Part 1
Families Ruined: Lines Drawn, Sides Chosen
15 May, 1981
The Hog's Head pub
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was getting increasingly disappointed as he was interviewing Sybill Trelawney, the descendant of famous seer Cassandra Trelawney, for the post of divination professor in Hogwarts. He was entirely against letting the subject continue but had agreed to meet the young woman only due to respect for her ancestor.
"Sybill dear, why don't you exhibit your skill in palmistry now?" Albus said after nearly half an hour of enduring baseless predictions using tea leaves, crystal balls and what not; not to mention the perpetual smell of sherry around the woman. He was getting quite exasperated by the interview, not to mention that the war against his former pupil now known as Dark Lord Voldemort was taking its toll on both his mind and body.
"As you wish, Albus." Sybill said nervously, she too knew that the interview was going on horribly and it was her last chance to get this job which she needed desperately.
Taking the old headmaster's right palm in her hand she started to adopt a hoarse voice; knowing that the old professor was a key figure in the ongoing war against pureblood supremacists, she decided to say something about the war.
"Hmm, I can 'See', Albus, the war is going to go in your favour in near future; the Dark Lord shall be defeated by the hands, by the hands of…"he said but at the end part her eyes rolled in the back of her head and her posture became stiff, her voice became genuinely hoarse and she started to give the sentences which would change the lives of several families in less than six months' time.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord has come ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month died ..." there was a sound outside the door at this point but Albus was too enraptured in the prophecy to notice.
Outside the door Severus Snape cursed his luck and disapparated out before he could be caught hearing the footsteps coming from the stairs. Aberforth Dumbledore came to the hallway outside the room where his elder brother was interviewing a woman for a post in Hogwarts but found no one there, shaking his head, he cast a privacy ward outside and went back to his post in the bar.
"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 live in peace while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord has born as the seventh month died ..."
Dumbledore leaned back in shock; he could not even comprehend what he had just listened. Sybill too was coming to her senses; he hid his shock and patted her on the back.
"Are you alright, my dear?" he asked as Sybill shook her head to clear it.
"Oh, I am completely fine Albus; it seems to happen to me a few times." She said still shaking her head.
"Perfectly understandable, my dear; oh and I believe congratulations are in order, you are selected for the post." He said patting her on the back once again as his mind whirled around pondering on the events that had transpired just a few minutes back.
Trelawney jumped up and hugged him in happiness before regaining her composure and jumping apart.
"Yes, congratulations, Sybill; but I must go now, I have much work to do." Albus said with a chuckle as his eyes twinkled momentarily and walked out of the room.
As he reached the bar downstairs, his brother Aberforth called him over and murmured in his ear, "Someone was eavesdropping on your conversation upstairs, they were gone before I could apprehend them though."
Albus' eyes lost their twinkle as he regarded his younger brother carefully before nodding and walking out deep in thought.
15 May, 1981
Albus Dumbledore exited his pensieve after depositing and reviewing the latest memories. He put his wand to his temple and pulled out another long string of memories and deposited them in the pensieve before entering the device himself.
About an hour later he exited the pensieve once again but this time there was a weariness and sorrow in his posture that was not present before. Fawkes, his loyal companion, trilled a tune to cheer him up but it did not help much.
"Old friend, I just hope that we can save these families from being torn apart." He said to the phoenix before standing and retiring to his sleeping quarters.
On the desk, the pensieve showed two couples; a messy black-haired, bespectacled man with a red haired woman with striking green eyes and a tall brown haired man with a short blonde woman; each carrying a baby boy strikingly similar to their respective fathers.
16 May, 1981
Potter Manor, Wales
Albus Dumbledore popped into existence just outside of the ancestral home of the Potters and regarded its beauty for a few minutes examining the exquisite landscape and the powerful wards around the house before tapping the gate with his wand to signal his arrival to the owners.
The door was opened by James Potter who was pointing his wand at Albus and asked in a gruff voice eerily similar to that of his friend Alastor Moody "What was the first thing Minerva said when Harry was born?"
"He better not be a prankster like his father or I will retire before he attends Hogwarts." Albus replied with a chuckle.
James opened the door fully and ushered the old headmaster in to the house. "Welcome Albus. So, what brings you here today?"
"Grave business, James; I trust Lily is in the house?" Albus said in a very serious voice.
Hearing the tone of his voice James looked at him curiously and nodded before going back inside to fetch his wife while Dumbledore settled himself in an armchair in the living room. Lily and James entered a few minutes later and looked at him curiously.
Without preamble, Albus started to speak after they had settled down in their chair; "Yesterday, I interviewed Sybill Trelawney in the Hog's Head for the post of Divination teacher," he began and both James and Lily rolled their eyes.
"There was a prophecy made there, about a boy born at the end of July to the parents who have thrice defied Voldemort, the boy will have the power to defeat the Dark Lord." He spoke and both paled as the implications sunk in, they had defied Voldemort personally three times before Harry James Potter was born and there had been no encounter with the Dark Lord after that.
"Both young Harry and Neville Longbottom fulfill the criteria of the prophecy." Albus spoke confirming their fears.
"But Albus, how can a baby defeat that, that monster?" Lily and James asked simultaneously.
"The prophecy was not very clear at this point but that's not what I am here to discuss. There was a spy of Voldemort in the pub and he overheard the first few lines of the prophecy, he disapparated before he could be apprehended; I have every reason to believe that he has told Voldemort by now and he would be turning his full attention towards finding and killing the prophecy child." He spoke and both Lily and James paled even further.
"What do you suggest then Albus?" James asked keeping his composure even as Lily broke into tears at the mere thought of Voldemort coming after her son.
"A Fidelius charm, it can be used to keep your location a secret from all world so Voldemort would not be able to find you." Albus spoke after a moment of thought.
"How does that work?" James asked.
"It is the most powerful charm, it is used to hide the secret in a person's soul; they would have to willingly give up the secret otherwise no one will know it." Lily explained.
"That would work, I can be the secret keeper; Lily, you can cast the charm?" James said and Lily nodded.
"Alas, the secret keeper cannot live inside the dwelling, the charm loses power if done so; I can be the secret keeper if you wish." Albus spoke.
"No Albus, you are burdened enough as it is; we shall discuss it with Sirius, he would be the best bet for secret keeper." James said and Albus nodded and left the manor to disapparate to the Longbottom Estate.
16 May, 1981
"Absolutely not, I will not hide from that coward." Augusta Longbottom roared shooting down the proposal of Albus Dumbledore to go into hiding using Fidelius.
"But my dear lady, are you sure that the wards here would be enough to stop Voldemort?" Albus asked in annoyance.
"Longbottom wards have never failed before and they will not fail now." Augusta spoke with conviction and Dumbledore sighed before leaving.
He waved his wan d around the estate muttering a few unintelligible chants under his breath to set up a few more powerful wards before Disapparating back to Hogwarts.
15 May 1981
Severus Snape Apparated to the headquarters of the Dark Lord after nearly being caught eavesdropping on Albus Dumbledore. 'A prophecy; Dark lord will give great reward for providing this news.' He thought happily as he made his way to the throne room where the Dark Lord and his inner circle were usually found.
He knocked on the heavy doors and they opened without a sound revealing the inner circle in a meeting with the snake-like Dark Lord.
"Ah Snape, can't you see I am in a meeting?" Voldemort hissed and Snape felt a Legilimency probe smashing past his shields.
Bowing deeply he said in a voice forcefully kept even as his head pounded with the force of a herd of hippogriffs "My lord, I bring urgent news."
Voldemort raised an eyebrow in curiosity and Snape continued "I overheard that muggle loving old fool Dumbledore; he was given a prophecy by Sybill Trelawney."
Now Voldemort's interest was piqued; leaning forward in his throne he sneered "Continue."
"The prophecy went like this 'the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord has come ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month died ...'" Snape finished.
"Hmm, you have done well Snape, come sit; we must discuss this new development." Voldemort said and Snape was very pleased with himself; 'perhaps I too would be given a place in the inner circle.'
"My lord, that blood traitor Potter and Longbottom had children at the end of July last year; also Greengrass had a daughter in July last year." Bellatrix Lestrange spoke looking at Voldemort with absolute obsession in her crazy violet eyes.
Voldemort pondered for a few minutes before dismissing his death eaters for the night.
'Greengrass was a loyal death eater, he would not dare defying him; the only ones to even think of defying him were either with that old meddling teacher or that Bones bitch. Bones did not have a husband though she was said to be in a relationship with that Blood traitor Sirius Black; Black along with Potter and Longbottom had defied him three times personally. The Potter child is a half-blood as James Potter married that Mudblood Lily Evans and loath as he was to admit it he too was a half-blood making the boy almost equal to him in terms of lineage.' Voldemort thought as he gave orders for a raid against the McKinnons to his death Eaters and waited.
16 May, 1981
Voldemort summoned Snape and the inner circle to his throne room to discuss the new events.
"Since the Potter boy was born on 31 July, I have a reason to believe that he would be the greater threat of the two." Voldemort spoke and Snape paled beyond his normal complexion.
"I will kill both for sure but the Potter boy comes first. Dismissed; Snape stay back." He commanded and the inner circle filtered out Bellatrix lingering to give Snape a sneer before following others.
"You have done good work, Snape; time for your reward, ask and you shall receive." Voldemort said after doors were closed behind the other death eaters.
"I merely did my duty for the cause, my lord." Snape said bowing low and kissing the hem of Voldemort's robes.
"Ah, but the dark lord rewards every good job, ask Snape." Voldemort said in a commanding voice.
"When you attack the Potters, my lord; please spare the Mudblood, I don't care what happens to Potter or his brat but please spare the woman, I ask no more than this." Snape spoke as Voldemort raised an eyebrow in curiosity.
"Lord Voldemort is feeling good today, very well Snape, if that is what you want; I will not harm the Mudblood if she does not come in my way. Leave and send the rest in." Voldemort acquiesced after thinking for a minute.
Snape bowed once more and left quickly, very thankful for not being cruciated this time and his prize, 'Maybe Lily will see the error of her ways.' He thought triumphantly as he located the rest of the inner circle and sent them to Voldemort but in a closed off corner of his conscience, he feared, 'what have I done?'
Inner Circle Meeting
Same day, same location
"Rookwood, Mulciber; you will scout out the wards around the Potter Ancestral home, we shall attack swiftly. You have ten hours." Voldemort ordered in the meeting of the inner circle.
"Of course, my lord." The two death eaters bowed and disapparated after kissing the hem of the Dark Lord's robes.
"Rudolph, Abraxas; the two of you will lead the assault, take Snape with yourself; prepare your teams; do not disappoint me." Voldemort thundered and the two senior death eaters bowed deeply waiting for further instructions.
Voldemort glared at his death eaters for a few moments before calling out "Dismissed." He waited for the death eaters to file out before banging the doors closed with a gesture of his hand, his gaze landed upon a long dagger with an ornate 'S' engraved upon it with something written in a squiggly script below the stylized 'S'. 'Soon enough, my goal shall be achieved.' He thought as he waited for the return of his death eaters.
Few hours later
Mulciber and Rookwood returned to the Dark Lord's Headquarters nearly twelve hours later Apparating in with a 'crack'. Both were sporting slightly smoking clothes and de-shelved appearance with a number of cuts and bruises visible on their faces.
Paying the newly recruited guards snickering at their appearance no mind both of them rushed to the throne room fearful of the punishment that their master would mete out to them for their late arrival and bad news.
Not even bothering to knock on the heavy doors, they rushed in straight in the path of a volley of Cruciatus curses courtesy of the Lestranges and Malfoys with the Dark Lord watching in amusement with some approval in his eyes as he regarded the only female Lestrange.
After nearly a minute of vicious torture by the six inner circle members, Voldemort held up his hand and stopped the torture. "What news do you bring that took you two hours more than your allotted time?" he asked without giving them any time to recover.
"The wards around the manor are too strong to be breached quietly and quickly." Mulciber began, "There are both defensive repelling wards and shield wards along with offensive wards which may now be put in the 'dark' category." Rookwood finished.
Voldemort raised a non-existent eyebrow at the news of a 'light' family using 'dark' wards. After pondering the new information for a minute he returned his gaze to the two and spoke in a menacing voice, "That still does not explain your lateness."
Both death eaters nearly shivered but answered nonetheless "We were ambushed by the aurors, master; they found us just as we were leaving, we just got away."
Voldemort just raised his wand and leveling at the two spoke "Crucio." It was evidence to his power that the screams tore from their mouths were almost louder than those when the inner circle tortured them. After nearly a minute of torture he gave his wand a slight flick and uttered "No matter what, Lord Voldemort expects his servants to follow his orders to the full."
The inner circle bowed deeply and filed away understanding the concealed order to leave their master alone.
Voldemort sat deep in the night making and remaking plans. 'Oh Potter, I will get you despite all the pathetic protections you may have employed.'
A/N: So, how was it? *pulls out a wand, flicks it slightly*
you will read this and click on the review button, give me your opinions!
just kidding! please review though.
PS: The other stories, namely 'Second Chance' and 'Remus' Mistake' have currently hit a writer's block, please bear with me, I am trying my best to put new chapters out.