A Trio of Tricksters: Eclipse the Past, Usurp the Future Chapter Two: Conversations

Story Summary: The war ended, and then it didn’t. Voldemort is gone but somehow Harry, Hermione and Luna ended up as Undesirables 1, 2 & 3. Controlling the future is going to take some controlling of the past, and they say those who control the present control the past, so why not make the past the present? A time-travel fix-it where a trio of tricksters set up shop and revolutionize the wizarding world, for all that it takes a great deal of time to do so.

This is chapter two of a fanfiction that is part of a series. To start from the beginning of this fic click here. To start from the beginning of the series click here. And to learn more about the series as a whole click here.

Disclaimer: If Harry Potter were mine, I would be British, and you can tell I’m not British because of how American so much of this text sounds, I mean honestly I tried, but, really, my beta cyborg_goddess can only do so much. Kudos to her for her efforts though!

Author’s Note: I’m moving tomorrow, so y’all get this chapter a day early 🙂

Chapter Two: Conversations

Harry blinked as his eyes were exposed to a vicious amount of sunlight.

“Wake up sleepyhead, we have stuff to get done!” The sunlight was temporarily blocked by a twelve-year-old Luna Lovegood in an eye-wateringly yellow dress, long blonde hair being held back by a flower crown made out of daises. The blocked sunlight created an almost glow around her. She wore no shoes.

“Luna, what, how did you even get in here?” he groaned, stretching as he stood up. Well, it was his own fault for falling asleep on the floor. A fact that Luna soon made clear.

“Harry Potter, you had a perfectly good bed, I expected you to use it. After I went through all the trouble to make sure it wasn’t infected by snarling whippersnappers,” she shook her head sadly and Harry snickered. She sniffed at him and he winked at her.

“What’s on the agenda today my little moon?”

“Well, I would say we should go shopping…” she said thoughtfully. Harry groaned again – though out of emotional distress rather than physical – and she continued. “But think what we should do is go to the river near the rookery and catch some plimpys so that I can make soup.” Harry blinked.

“Shouldn’t we be working on our plan? As much as I hate shopping we do have to research the materials available in this time, and work on finding places to rent, and…” Harry went on what was quite frankly a Hermione-esque rant, to which Luna appeared anything but interested, and when he finally ran out of steam, Luna patted him gently on the head before starting to pull clothes out of Harry’s trunk.

“Now that’s all very well and good, but you, Harry Potter, need to relax.” She flung a shirt at him. “You’ve got a series of wrackspurts trying to infest you and I just won’t have that.” He got smacked in the face by underwear “Now, go take a shower and get dressed.” He was wacked in the face with a towel. “We’re going to floo over to my house and get some breakfast, and then take a walk down to the river and catch some plimpys.” She took a pile of robes into her right hand before taking his arm in a gentle yet forceful grip with her left and pushing him into the bathroom.

Knowing it was best to just do what she said, Harry sighed and started to get ready for the day.

After eating 3 every-flavor pancakes each (and wasn’t that a wild ride) Harry and Luna wandered down to the river with what Luna assured him were fishing rods, much to Harry’s disbelief. Settling down onto the bank, Harry sat awkwardly, holding his ‘fishing rod’ while Luna hummed a tune.

After ten minutes of this, Harry finally spoke. “Aren’t you going to ask me about it?”

Luna paused in her humming. “Do you want me to?” As she resumed, Harry ran a clenched hand through his hair.

“I don’t know how you can stand it! They’re all dead! Except now-“

“They’re still dead.” Luna’s words had a terrible weight to them, something uncharacteristic for her normal dreamy self.

“What?” Harry was startled.

“You know what I mean. You don’t want to say it, but you do. Our Ron threw himself on front of a killing curse for Hermione, thought Hannah Abbott was the center of the universe, and hated rats. And here, Ron still sleeps in the same bed as Scabbers and barely acknowledges that Hermione is a girl, let alone pays attention to the Hufflepuffs. The Draco Malfoy of this world runs to his father for everything, and it is highly unlikely that he would risk his life for anyone, let alone take dark curses to the back in order to create a better future for us blood traitors. I could go on but -” Luna’s voice was trembling, and Harry gently set aside her things before pulling her into a hug.

“I understand. We’ll make it through this, Luna, all of us. And it won’t be the same, but that’s okay. It’ll be okay,” Harry murmured into her hair, as she leaned in to him.

“Are you trying to convince me or convince yourself?” Luna asked lightly.

“I don’t think those two things are mutually exclusive.”

After catching what Luna deemed to be an acceptable amount of plimpys, she and Harry retired to the kitchen of the rookery, where Luna got started and Harry, who was wary of cooking them ‘wrong’ as he had no idea what constituted as ‘right’, decided to work on the list that Hermione had created while nibbling at a dirigible plum tart.

Luna insisted that in order for the creation of plans to be as dynamic as possible they needed to first make sure that they were as open minded as possible while creating them. Since her judgment and her baking were more or less sound, he decided to go for it.

“So, seats on the Wizengamot are hereditary, but some are elected? This makes such a large amount of no sense that I can’t help but want to change it. Just because someone’s ancestor was picked by the citizens years ago doesn’t mean they aren’t terrible. Heck, their ancestor was probably terrible too, but what money can buy…” Harry mused. Luna hummed and Harry scratched the back of his head. “Well, none of us have seats, because the line of succession broke. Those got snatched up real quick. Plus all that legislation so that now the minister is the one who elects the seats, not the citizens, who can’t really pick him either… politics aren’t even my thing, so why are we doing this again?” groaning in faux-defeat Harry slumped in his chair.

“We are doing this to stop the fascist pigs who control our country want to kill us all and put us in camps or just kill us outright. We might not be well-versed in politics but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn. And we’ll have to if we stand any chance of reforming society, never mind Voldemort. We’ve got to see things through, and hopefully get him over and done with by 1997. Given everything that went down in 2007, what 2017 had in store for us doesn’t bear thinking about. Hence the time travel.”

How Luna managed a tone that was both clipped and sing-songy Harry would never know. Nevertheless he took off his glasses and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Luna, you know I didn’t mean that literally.”

“Then why did you say it?” She didn’t even try to sound innocent, and Harry probably would have found this insulting if he didn’t know Luna quite well/had already eaten two tarts. “Besides, let’s not talk politics at the moment, you have a letter to write.” She looked at him, one hand on hip, the other waving a ladle. “We can talk politics once we have Hermione back here. In the meantime, we have to build up a rapport in Diagon Alley. I presume you saw the storefront?”

“Of course I did.” Harry snorted. “The lack of WWW was hard to miss.”

“Well, they always were a bit loud.” Luna pursed her lips before adding wistfully “Draco did say the alley was dismal without it.”

“Draco said a lot of things about the alley. Is it bad that I’m glad I never saw it?” Harry twisted his thumbs in an absentminded and nervous gesture.

“Depends. Are you glad you had a ʛ10,000 price on your head?”

“Are you kidding?” Harry scoffed. “I was so jealous. If I could’ve turned myself in I also could’ve tripled my vault.”

“True. I would have done it ages ago if I wasn’t wanted for ʛ5,000 myself.” Luna replied airily before they both descended into giggles.

As their laughter subsided the two friends resumed focus. “Have we decided on a first endeavor then? I know we were considering the library but –” Harry started, but Luna cut him off.

“Books cost money. And it’s not as though the old families will be offering up their personal tomes, ourselves included.”

“True. And yet it’s an untapped market. The Hogwarts library is the only thing that compares,” Harry sighed. “And once your seven years are up, good luck getting into the library again.”

“Knowledge is power, Harry. You’ve been in the wizarding world long enough now to know that,” Luna hummed as she added something to the soup that made Harry’s nose wrinkle.

“I think that’s something that holds in the muggle world too, love.” Harry ruffled his hair again, and yet again it seemed to defy logic in its ability to get even more messy than it had been before.

“Apples and oranges.” Luna hummed as she adjusted the spell to chop various ingredients.

“What we need to do,” Harry leaned back in his chair, “is create an advantage. Now the library is at the kiddie table for now, but we still know what the world will be capable of. Now that’s all very well and good, knowing politics and war planning, but if we want to tap the market, we’ll have to introduce something innovative. It’s old hat, but I think we may just have to go muggle.”

“Say what you want about them, but they’re both fruits.” Luna shrugged, tossing the slices into the soup.

“Hermione Jean Granger, what do you think you are doing?” Kate Granger stood in her daughter’s doorway, hands on hips and eyebrow raised. But Hermione Granger wasn’t a person anymore.

Or at least that’s how the person the world called Hermione Granger felt. Which is why hearing her mother call her full name was such a shock.

She looked up at her mother from the floor, where she had been lying on her stomach and writing down everything she could remember about her seventh year at Hogwarts. In an effort to make sure that none of them forgot anything the trio had decided to record a notebook each for every year in their past /future, with a promise to swap notes. Hermione wanted to get it finished before she left the country because, while she did trust her own magical prowess, travelling internationally with a shell network was risky and she wasn’t going to trust an owl with books like these. If they fell into the wrong hands….

“Did you hear anything I just said?” Kate tapped her foot impatiently.

“Uh, no?” Hermione replied irritably before realizing where she was and who she was talking to.

“Dear Lord, you are a teenager. Clean up for dinner and then I want you straight back up here and packing. We’re leaving for France tomorrow and I let you spend time with your friends yesterday, but I expected you to get more done today instead which you haven’t.” Kate pulled Hermione up off the floor and tried to grab the notebook as well, but it zapped her. “Ouch! What was that?”

“Sorry! So sorry, it’s a diary jinx,” Hermione apologized profusely, picking up the notebook and clutching it in her arms. “There’s this girl in my year, Lavender, think I told you, she’s awful and a complete gossip and I didn’t want her snooping in my things – ” Hermione continued as Kate looked on, amused before finally holding a hand over her daughter’s mouth.

“It’s fine darling, I was only startled. I might be a muggle, but I understand nosy roommates.” Kate laughed. “Now get ready for dinner.” She made a shooing motion and Hermione tossed the notebook on her bed before rushing off to the bathroom.

Harry was lounging on an armchair in the living room, playing with a spare snitch he had found in the junk shop. It was defective of course – the thing moved much more slowly than a regular snitch – but nevertheless he enjoyed letting it go and catching it again. Being 12 again was much more stressful than he had thought it would be. Not that he had expected time travel to be a walk in the park, but still.

Talking about their plans as budding entrepreneurs had caused Harry’s mind to wander to the Weasleys, and what to do about a certain rat. He had believed himself to have overcome the complicated emotions surrounding Peter Pettigrew, but being back in the past brought it all back in harsh belief.

His late teens and early twenties had seen him working with Healer Matthews, a kind witch from the States who served as his rock in the sea of emotions that was Harry Potter and all of the young war heroes. He knew that Ron, Hermione, Luna and many others also sought the help of mind healers and muggle psychologists, and some, like Harry, worked with someone who practiced both. The sheer number of traumatized children – because that’s what they were, children – resulting from the war meant that some people inevitably worked with more than one of them.

Harry knew that Healer Matthews, or Paige, as she preferred he call her, had also worked with Hermione and Luna. There had been a few times that the three of them had joint sessions. They tried to get Ron to come with them, but the proud boy refused to accept any charity, and was convinced that he needed no help to process the outcome of the war and the death of his brother.

The second youngest of the Weasleys instead sought his solace from a bottle, and the three of them, along with the rest of the Weasleys watched with growing desperation at not knowing how to help their friend.

I don – hic – need to see no shrink,” Ron slurred, before letting out a large belch.

Just look at yourself Ronald!” Hermione shrieked in frustration. “You are a complete mess, do you think that’s what Fred would have wanted?”

Shut up ‘Mione! Wha would you know? I’m – hic – fine! Don – don talk about – hic – my broth, brother li’e that!” Ron finally stumbled into the chair successfully and plopped down into it.

Hermione took in a deep breath, “Please Ron, I’m begging you, don’t do this. Don’t you know what this is doing to all of us? We can’t bear to see you like this!” When she turned around to address him again, her face fell to see him asleep. She burst into tears and Harry, who had been observing quietly, drew her into his arms and gave a small nod to Luna, who had just entered the room to investigate. With a sigh Luna swished her wand and levitated a drooling Ron out of the room, and presumably to one of Grimmauld’s many guest rooms.

“You’re collecting flippering margies.”

Harry started out of his memories and realized that his slow snitch had made its way across the room and into the hands of a twelve-year-old Luna Lovegood.

“I was thinking.”

“Oh?” Luna let the snitch go, and it floated back towards Harry.

“Weasleys. Ron mostly. How he was before Hannah knocked some sense into him. Merlin, he’s only thirteen now. Swears like a sailor, but at least he doesn’t drink like one.” Harry pinched the bridge of his nose again as he snatched the snitch out of the air with his other hand. “But also about Pettigrew. I thought I had worked it all out –”

“If this were easy we wouldn’t have done it,” Luna told him softly, crossing the room and taking Harry’s snitch-free hand.

“It’s not even that I’m that angry. It’s that I’m not, I feel – I don’t know what I feel. But it’s not enough. The force isn’t there. He did so much wrong but –”

“You’re too well adjusted and your preteen body doesn’t like that. It’s only natural to feel anger, Harry, but you’ve already mourned, already fought,” she gently took his other hand and clasped them both in hers, thee snitch in the center. “It’s okay to be confused.”

“How are you always so calm?” Harry breathed out in not-so-faux frustration.

“I’m married to Hermione and you’re my brother.” Luna hummed, before dropping his hands. “At least one of us has to keep things from blowing up.”

France, Hermione decided, was not all it was cracked up to be. Maybe it was because she had been there before, and she knew everything about where they were going to go. Maybe it was because she was cynical in her old age and bitter about the lack of assistance and the way the government had ignored all pleas for help when things started to get murky in the political arena. Maybe it was because it reminded her of Fleur, who had frustrated her to pieces right up until she had asked Hermione to be a godmother and made Hermione realize that the other woman thought her a genuine friend.

Shaking her head to clear it of memories from a future that would never be, Hermione finished wrapping her hair for the night and sought out her parents, who were sitting on the couch in the center of the living room of the flat they had rented for the next month. Well, her mother was sitting. He father was laying down, taking up as much of the couch as possible, his head in Kate’s lap, while she tangled her fingers through his hair with her left hand, and flipped through channels with the remote in her right.

Throwing herself into an armchair she addressed them. “So, what are we watching?” Her mother turned the sound off as she turned towards Hermione.

“Well, we were looking through the channels, but our French isn’t very good –” Keith started, sitting up.

“Which is why we’re here. And it’s your French that isn’t very good. Mine is perfectly reasonable.” Kate sniffed, but she was smiling. “And Hermione, no slacking, I want you to practice too.”

“Je peux parler français, c’est Papa qui ne parle pas français, ne me regarde pas.”[1] Hermione muttered.

“Traitor! Kate, that’s not fair, she got good at French when I wasn’t paying attention!” Keith feigned outrage. “Do they have a language learning program at Hogwarts that you didn’t tell us about?”

“Nah, but Luna speaks it from her mother, and we’ve been practicing together. That’s part of why I didn’t tell you about her. I wanted to keep it a surprise for when we got here. Didn’t you notice at the airport?” Hermione did her best to sound both innocent and indifferent, as though it was a passing thought.

Her mother insisted on testing her, and her father decided to investigate the kitchen to see what groceries they needed to buy. There was no use in wasting money by going out to eat every night.

Everyone knows that Hermione Lovegood neé Granger is an organizational powerhouse. What they don’t know is that so is her wife. To the outside viewer, Hermione might seem like the sensible one, the grounding one. But the thing about their relationship, and about healthy relationships in general, was that there was a give and take between the two of them. Yes, Luna could sometimes be a little spacey, and Hermione had to sometimes bring her focus into the reality they currently faced.

Yet it was Hermione who hyper focused and panicked and needed Luna to remind her of the here and now. Luna was a cheerful, thoughtful, and happy person in general, no matter what life threw at her, whereas Hermione could sometimes draw into herself. It was Luna who kept things in check, and who had a mind for multitasking that blew Hermione’s out of the water.

While her wife worked out having parents who didn’t hate her again, but unfortunately thought of her as a child, and while Harry went over his finances and the current state of muggle technology, Luna looked at notebooks. Carefully, she went year by year, deciphering Harry’s messy scrawl and Hermione’s elegant cursive, as well as her own writing that looked a lot like what the muggles would come to call comic sans in a few years’ time. Cross-referencing would be much easier with a computer, but then again, as much as she had absorbed muggle culture from her wife, she had never had her or Harry’s touch with computers until after they had been converted to work on magic.

She had of course heard Hermione and Harry’s perspectives on their Hogwarts years, but it felt different in the diary format that Hermione had insisted on. It was amazing to her that knowing them as well as she did, there was still more to learn. She had no reason to know, for instance, that Ron had suffered nightmares about spiders for weeks after they all confronted the boggart.

As she was deep in Hermione-mode as they called it, Harry actually was able to sneak up on her, or rather, lay down on her bed flipping through a Spanish phrase book for about 20 minutes before she finally noticed him.

“Was there something you wanted, Harry Potter?” Luna asked when she finally took notice of him trying to replicate the sound of an ñ, something that he still had trouble with for all his being able to speak parseltongue. He closed the book before tossing it on the floor carelessly.

“Not really. But it’s half past three and I thought you wanted to head over to the law office tomorrow. You should really get some –” he yawned “sleep.”

“I somehow don’t think I’m the only –” she also yawned “one. Yawns are contagious Harry, you should know better than to let one in the room.” She placed a quill in the notebook she had been writing in to mark the spot and got up, stretching as she did so. “Budge over. You’re taking up too much of the bed.”

Harry moved obligingly and Luna climbed up. “I demand cuddles,” She told him in a manner that allowed for no argument.

“You don’t have to demand them you know,” he told her with a raised eyebrow.

“Yeah, but you’re a preteen again.” She made a face “and so am I. We have to get you all caught up on your cuddle training again.”

Harry rolled his eyes and gestured for her to come over to him. “At least this way you steal less of the covers.”

“You know that’s actually the nargles Harry.” Luna sniffed. “They seem to have it out for you.”

“I’m sure,” Harry rolled his eyes before flicking his wrist to turn out the light. “Goodnight Luna.”

“Goodnight Harry.”

Elizabeth Mirkwood was not sure what she was expecting when her secretary told her that there was a young couple waiting for her without an appointment, but since she had no scheduled clients for the afternoon, she decided she might as well see them.

They were a pretty pair, though they appeared more like siblings than a couple. The woman was about average height, skinny, with dark hair and piercing blue eyes. The man with her was only an inch or so taller, and slightly heavy set. His hair was dark as well, and his eyes were the same dark blue.

“Ms. Mirkwood I presume?” the woman asked with a light Spanish accent. “My name is Elena Alfaro, and this is my brother, Sebastian. We represent a young company, Ivory Innovations.”

So, they were siblings. Evidently, she needed to have a word with her secretary about assumptions.

“Delightful to meet you. Would you care to sit?” She gestured to comfortable chairs in front of her desk before she situated herself behind it. Once they were settled she rested her hands in an open gesture before starting. “Now what can I help you with?”

“Ivory Innovations is a company that seeks to create new products to ease the lives of the wizarding world. You, Ms. Mirkwood are a muggleborn, correct?” Sebastian asked smoothly.

Elizabeth stiffened, reminding herself to stay pleasant. “Yes I am. Is that a problem?”

“Not at all, in fact that is why we are here, rather than somewhere else. I presume that you have been keeping up to date with muggle innovations and are aware of the rise in the use of muggle technology?” at her nod Sebastian continued. “Well, we have also been keeping an eye on our non-magical cousins and have found a wealth of ideas for things that can be applied to the wizarding world. To that end, our clients, the ones behind Ivory Innovations, have investigated the capabilities of muggle technology and found much room for improvement. I assume that you have used an electronic calculator? Well, using some complex arithmetic calculations and a miniature rune network, we have created a processing system that mimics many functions of a muggle calculator and has a computer algebra system which allows it to manipulate mathematical expressions in a way similar to the traditional manual computations. It has a user interface allowing to enter and display mathematical formulas, a programming language and an interpreter, since the result of a computation has commonly an unpredictable form and an unpredictable size; therefore user intervention is frequently needed, a simplifier, which is a rewrite system for simplifying mathematics formulas, a memory manager, including a garbage collector, needed by the huge size of the intermediate data, which may appear during a computation, an arbitrary-precision arithmetic, needed by the huge size of the integers that may occur, and a large library of mathematical algorithms. It will be incredibly useful for arithmancers and our goal is to promote it to the arithmetical society.

Elizabeth thought she followed all of that, despite not being as familiar with arithmancy as she might like. “That sounds like it would be an incredible product, and I assume that you are coming to me to establish a patent for it?”

“Among other things,” Elena inclined her head.

“And what would those be?” Elizabeth asked. “I am licensed in wizarding world patents, and if you have more products I would be more than happy to help you with them.”

“You are also licensed in the muggle world, are you not? So you have familiarity with the system in both worlds?”

“I do,” Elizabeth agreed, wondering where this was going. These two had popped up out of nowhere, obviously foreigners, and yet they had showed her something that would revolutionize an entire field of magic before switching to ask about her muggle credentials of all things.

“Well, we would like to manage a series of investments in the muggle world, and would feel more comfortable having a magical lawyer do so rather than the goblins, because that way we can keep all of our investments and projects ‘in house’ as it were.” Sebastian explained.

“You are looking to become long-term clients?” Elizabeth clarified.

“Yes,” Elena replied with a smile. “We have seen some of the work that your practice has done, and you personally have an impeccable record, and have risen quite high for someone your age. Added that you are a verified practitioner in both worlds, as well as versed in multiple subjects we cannot think of anyone we’d rather work with.”

Elizabeth was astonished. She knew she was qualified, but as a muggleborn, even one married to a pureblood, she hadn’t many opportunities in the world, and had gripped them hard where she could. In the muggle world, she had faced similar problems as a woman – her mother had often told her that if she ever wanted to make it far she had to work twice as hard to get half the recognition. She had issues with that, but nevertheless it appeared to be true.

“Well then, I don’t have any more clients this afternoon, though I would let to get some private filing done, so if you don’t have anything I’m willing to iron out the details hours?” Elizabeth offered, and Elena beamed in response.

“We’d like nothing more.”

[1] I can speak French, it’s dad who can’t speak French, don’t look at me. (Thanks to cyborg_goddess for help with the translation!)

Thanks to everyone who has supported my story! I hope that you have enjoyed the update. Just as a reminder to all of you lovely readers – we authors ADORE reviews, and want to know what you think. Feedback is the #1 thing that improves my writing, and I want to hear from you! I want to know what you think of my trio, their faults, their accomplishments, their praises and criticisms. I’m not going to withhold chapters for want of reviews but I promise that quality improves when I know what you want!

Fic Recommendation: The 9th Floor by angelholme on AO3. It’s a series that is basically West Wing-type political drama in the Wizarding world. I highly recommend!