Harrison Evans

The Thief who lived

Hello. An alternate take on my battle butler story. Harry = Gambit + Wrath's eye (give or take) I own nothing. Starts after the Basilisk and Fawk's tears were either too weak being newly ashed or too late.

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Harry James Potter helplessly watched his life flash before his eyes. they say one has a deeper understanding in one's last moments and Harry's was a doozy.

Question: did his parents wish for him to live with his hateful relatives in the case of their untimely demise?

"If they were as loving as i've heard, no. So that means either an outside force was involved or my parent's were idiots. Good hearted, maybe, but idiots."

Question: Why would a witch with five children, all wizards, three of which had done this before, loudly announce in a crowded train station about the platform and use witch/wizard exclusive jargon such as Muggle?

"Because... they were waiting for someone. presumably me."

I do love the clever ones.

Harry looked up to see himself within an old crypt complete with a coffin in the center. on top of the coffin sat a silver haired man wearing black armor petting the raven on his shoulder. "Who are you?"

Where are my manners? Tien! jeune Poursuivre! Je suis Mort. The one your mother beat.

Harry thought a moment. The man didn't look or sound like Tom, nor did he think Tom would gloat to a spectre. If not Tom... "You're Death." Harry said with nary a tremble.

Bingo.

The man studied Harry a moment before nodding to himself.

Let me be clear with you. You aren't supposed to be dead at this point in time. Technically you were supposed to die shortly after your parents but since your Mother and Fate decided to sucker punch me you were spared, and I use the term lightly. Salopard morse être de service à et cheval femme. Back in the days of Arthur i had piece on the board. i'd rather like to have a piece on the board again.

Harry thought to himself a moment. "By piece i assume you mean the Black Knight Mordred?"

Death nodded before Harry continued.

"Suppose I agree to this, would I be going back as is?"

A few enhancements, a healthier body, knowledge, and most importantly freedom. AN' really, init that what most men want? 'Course, if you'd rather leave de pretty girl in the infirmary, I can not stop you. Non I cannot.

Death, Harry decided, had a funny accent. "Very well. I'd rather not give the Dursley's the satisfaction."

Death started murmuring lowly to the raven which to Harry's shock grew and grew. Shortly, the raven was as tall as Harry.

Je fais défenses mais ça vouloir vexer semblable à enfer.

The raven, defying the basic laws of physics, took flight and flew into Harry's head, through the left eye..

Before losing consciousness from the intense pain of having a sharp beaked bird practically drilling inside his brain, Harry saw a, for lack of a better term, Shadow stand beside Death with a wide grin and slit eye..

XX

"Merlin father of Magic that hurt." Harry said sitting up slowly, the pain ebbing away. Looking around he saw that he was, once more, in the infirmary at Hogwarts. Looking up, he saw a faint neon light spelling out his name. "Lovely." He looked at the bedside table to see his glasses, a set of school robes hopefully his size, and a deck of playing cards. Not knowing how long he'd been out nor when Madame Pomfrey would check on him, he lifted one shoulder and reached for the cards to start a game of Solitaire, humming a tune to himself.

After two wins and a loss, Harry picked the cards up and started shuffling them calming himself, because something, or someone was telling him to be calm. In through the infirmary walked Albus Dumbledore, an official looking woman with a monocle, Cornelius Fudge, holding his bowler hat, Lucius Malfoy walking with that slight limp of his, and about ten to twenty nervous wizards and witches each with a badge. the magic police if he had to guess.

"my my. Good" Harry looked out the window. "Afternoon Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen. Pardon me Madame but i don't believe we've been introduced. Heir apparent Harry James Potter at your service. May i know the name of such a beautiful lady?"

The monocled woman showed a tiny smirk. "Your Father's son alright. Amelia Bones, Head of the DMLE."

"A Pleasure my lady. any relation to a Miss Susan Bones? She's in my year, but sadly due to the rigours of school life and trying not to die i've not had a chance to speak at length with her." he flashed her a toothy smirk before turning to Lucius Malfoy.

Albus spoke in. "Harry we need you to." Harry raised one finger not even turning from the appraising scan he was performing to Lucius.

"The Niceties must be observed Headmaster. the only thing that needs to be rushed is the de-petrification of the afflicted which sadly to my knowledge no one here has the skills required to help. until then, civility needs to be observed. Lord Malfoy, I wish to bring up an arrangement that you'll find too good to be true after the meeting at large. Will you have time?"

Lucius studied Harry for a moment before nodding and seemingly melding with the background, just out of sight.

Harry turned to Fudge and subtly infused a tiny bit of his magic into the cards as he shuffled them. He predicted that Dumbledore had noticed. He caught Amelia's eye and saw she was scanning the deck with her monocle but otherwise didn't seem to notice what he had tried, not exactly anyway.

"And of course the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge himself. Love your hat. So, what brings you here?"

Albus spoke up again. "We need to know what happened in the tunnels, My boy."

Harry arched an eyebrow and risked a couple of blinks. "It takes twenty trained officers of the law, their leader, the Lord of a rather sizable house, and the Minister of Magic to get a statement of a student? I'll give them this much, the laws seem thorough."

"The Aurors are here in case something is still loose targeting the students." Albus responded.

"Ah. Well, the short of it is, the diary of one Thomas Marvolo Riddle ended up in the hands of a lonely impressionable young girl. Said Diary was part of some ritual or another that had a piece of Riddle fused into it making it intelligent. Over the course of the year the piece seemed to gain sentience or a memory of what it had been and what the whole had become after. It seems that fifty years ago, Riddle had found access to a special room within this school which contained a special Monster that due to a fluke of his ancestry, Riddle was able to control said beast. Framing a gentle half giant, without a trial mind, for the murder of a student Riddle got away scott free to later become a terror we all know, but that's neither here nor there.

So, being that no one else was around to do so, Gilderoy Lockhart defeated the basilisk, but due to, incredibly bad luck, has sacrificed his own memory to save a child from a fifty year old one."

Amelia blinked studying his features for a tell that he was lying. "That sounds a bit, far fetched, Lord Potter. How do you know all this?"

"I was there, Lady Bones. Professor Lockhart, understanding that he might fail took me and a friend as backup. Sadly, to the best of his knowledge none of the other professors where available or knew how to combat a basilisk, and there was a time limit before the memory had killed again. I do admit that it does sound hard to believe. Should make a good story if Professor Lockhart regains his memory. If it will help ease your mind, I'm more than willing to take an oath."

Fudge waved his hand. "I'm sure that's not necessary Amelia." Fudge waved the officers away, 19 of which left after a nod from Amelia.

Before Fudge could turn to leave himself Harry pounced. "Minister, there is one more thing I would like to discuss. The expulsion of Rubeus Hagrid. I know it was before your time, but I believe we all would like to see justice done. Think of it. you could be viewed as the Minister-who-Cared. the minister who shows his subjects mercy and grace and his enemies fire and brimstone."

Fudge fidgeted. "I don't know…"

"How about a deal? We borrow a coin from someone you trust and wager on the outcome swearing a wizard's oath to abide by the rules of the wager. If i win, for instance, you rescind the expulsion order of Rubeus Hagrid, personally pay for his wand, and buy me a bowler hat for Christmas."

Fudge tilted his head. "and if I win?"

Harry grinned so evilly a shark would be jealous. "According to hints in my correspondence with my Magical Guardian, I am soon to be the head of one Ancient and Noble house. if I lose, I will give you my vote on the wizagmont, no matter if I detest the law for as long as you are minister. Think how happy you and your friends would be with an easier access point. All in all i'd say a win win for you Minister."

Fudge didn't bat an eye. "Lucius a coin please." He held his palm out which Lord Malfoy plopped a silver coin into. After Swearing Fudge flipped the coin calling out heads. Harry stopped shuffling and looked at the coin.

"Well well, Minister. I'll expect my hat by January shall i? Lady Bones I trust you'll help our dear minister keep his magic non?"

Fudge gapped at the coin in his hand. Lord Malfoy tapped him on the shoulder as he held out his hand. after blinking several times Fudge returned the coin, tipped his hat to Dumbledore and Amelia and left the wing with his personal guard. Amelia chuckled and left shortly afterward, Leaving Lord Malfoy, Dumbledore and, of course, Harry still shuffling his cards.

Lord Malfoy examined the coin with great scrutiny. After humming to himself he pocketed the coin and studied Harry. "You mentioned an arrangement… Lord Potter?"

Harry looked up from his cards for a moment. "Hmm? Ah right, that. Well, to be frank, Lord Malfoy, I know you were the one ultimately responsible for this years… unpleasantness. I have no physical proof, nor will i seek any. Doing so benefits nobody after all. Not a single Magical child has died so overall no one loses. I can't say I understand your hatred towards the Mundanes, nor do I ever think I will. Nor do I understand your master's hatred of them. By all rights you'd think he'd hate the Magicals but i'm digressing.

What I propose is a wager, much like the one the minister just lost, decided by a coin. If you win, i'll give House Malfoy the vast majority of House Potter's funds and the vote. I'm certain I don't need to describe the benefits of this to you. If I win however, I want ownership of the house elf Dobby."

Dumbledore was about to interject before Lord Malfoy asked. "One might wonder, why you are wanting to risk so much for nothing?"

"Would you accept a wager that didn't ultimately benefit House Malfoy either way? When, and lets be honest it is a when, your Master regains his full strength, would he punish you more severely for losing a servant, or for failing to possibly gain him something?"

Lord Malfoy closed his eyes in thought. "It seems I have underestimated you, Lord Potter. I'll endeavor not to make that mistake again. Very well." He withdrew the coin from his pocket and showed both sides, dramatically. As the coin flipped through the air Harry wondered if all Slytherins were required to be flashy.

After arrangements were finished and Lord Malfoy left, Dumbledore shook his head. "That was very reckless Harry."

Harry shrugged and placed cards face down in a circle before placing one in the center. "Not the worst thing i've done. I think that's currently going after the Basilisk with nothing but a wand, Ron and Lockhart."

"And what will you do now?"

Harry flipped the center card showing the picture of a man with a walking bag. "Lie, cheat steal. that kind of thing i suppose." he flipped the noon card and hummed to himself. "Do you berate all students who do something this reckless or am I actually the first in your tenure?"

"Harry I…"

Harry flipped the 9 card before tilting his head at the circle. "Pity. You have enough duties to handle without my personal well being cluttering them up, Headmaster." he flipped the 6 card and gave a chuckle.

He flipped the 3 card and read the circle. "Oh Ron you idiot." He shuffled the circle back into the whole.

Albus sighed before standing. "Harry, please consult with myself or another Professor before any more wagers." As he left with a smile at the events.

Harry sighed as the Headmaster left. "Bout time. Dobby?"

The house elf popped at the foot of the infirmary bed. Not much had changed since the last time Harry had seen the elf. A cleaner pillow case with crest in the center of it.

"Master called?"

Harry grinned. All in all a good afternoon.

A/N: did you like the brief suspense there at the end? gave Harry a method of scrying current or past events. i know next to nothing of the Tarot so, just imagine the cards are a catalyst and he gets a paper report by reading them. Next time: the trio is tarnished, new friends, just desserts! i'll probably refer to him as Lord Malfoy because i can never remember how to spell his name right. LM seems tacky to me. please review. Bubbles is out. Peace!