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 three 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: Oh, if Harry Potter were mine. What a lovely dream. Not a reality though, hence the disclaimer.
This chapter is brought to you by: My desperation for this semester to be over
Thanks to cyborg-goddess for beta reading this story!
Author’s Note: Sorry for the late update, this semester is a roller coaster and I got hit with commitments a là freight train. It’s a bit short, but this chapter was particularly hard to write as it introduces a new/old character that was difficult for me to nail down the scene for. Thanks for everyone who is sticking around and likes my favorite trio as much as I do. Now on with the show!
Chapter Three: Arrangements
“You did all this in two weeks?” Hermione asked with disbelief.
“Nice to know you have so much faith in us,” Harry pushed himself off the wall he had been leaning against. “So, what do you think?”
Hermione did a slow circle around the room. It had looked small from the outside, but space expansion charms had fixed that. The room was littered with comfy chairs and small tables, and the expansion had created a circular room, which was lined with shelving, one half being books and the other various food items. The back of the room had two registers, one above a glass case that boasted various pastries, and the other a case filled with a mixture of calculators and notebooks. Behind the registers was a giant board that listed menu items in swirling gold lettering.
“It’s beautiful. When do we open? Do we have employees yet?” Hermione hummed as she walked over to the shelves and randomly pulled out a book. She raised her eyebrows upon realizing that another copy of the same book had replaced it.
“We put in an ad with the Prophet, and Luna and I will be interviewing the six candidates who applied” Harry yawned “tomorrow.” Massaging his temples, he flopped down into one of the nearby armchairs. “If all goes well, we should open by Saturday.”
“That’s only three days, what if the candidates are all rubbish?” Hermione noted distractedly.
“We don’t go back to school until September, and I’m sure we’ll find someone by then,” Luna said dreamily as she walked in from the back room.
“Luna!” Hermione tossed the book on a chair and was hugging her wife so quickly that Harry suspected she may have apparated. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t be here when you came earlier. I was meeting with Elizabeth about the book publishing rights, or rather Elena was, on behalf of a certain boy wizard, who she wants to meet by the way” Luna looked pointedly at Harry, who grimaced.
“Do I have to?”
Luna gave him a look that was somehow both unfocused and penetrating before he sighed. “Fine, fine, we can set up an appointment with her.”
“Good, go get dressed because your meeting is in twenty minutes. I told Elizabeth that she could have a quick lunch break before we brought you over. That and my aging potion was going to wear off.” Luna gave a wide smile as Harry begrudgingly took his trunk out of him pocket and resized it before climbing down. Pulling Hermione with her behind the counter she excitedly showed her the back room, which included a kitchen, that had a back door leading to a small garden.
“I don’t remember having a garden being in the plans?” Hermione wandered over to a small apple tree and examined the fruit. “This tree is blooming out of season.”
“It’s magic my love,” Luna teased, and Hermione flushed, her light brown cheeks gaining a slightly pink tint.
“Even after all these years, my muggleborn still shows.”
“Hey, that’s not a bad thing. Do you want to see the apartments and meeting rooms upstairs?”
AToT AToT AToT
“Mr. Potter, it’s absolutely delightful to meet you.” Elizabeth shook Harry’s hand before gesturing to a seat. He took her hand shyly before sending a nervous look to Elena, who nodded at him reassuringly.
“It’s nice to meet you as well Ms. Mirkwood. And just Harry is fine.” He took to the chair, shifting awkwardly before finally settling in.
“Please, feel free to call me Elizabeth,” she smiled at him, noticing that he was much smaller than she would have expected. “Elena has told me a bit about your situation, but would you like to share it from your perspective?”
Harry took a deep breath before starting in on the story of his life. The more he talked the wider Elizabeth’s eyes got, until he finally admitted that he had run away from his aunt and uncle.
“… and so when Hermione called me, suggesting that I come meet her and Luna at the Leaky I thought, well a day out might not be so bad, but Aunt Petunia seemed really angry that I had been on the phone and so when I got back up to my room to pack my rucksack all I could think of was how much I hated them and how much they hated me, so I ended up just packing up my whole trunk, and then I realized I how no way to carry it but – ” Harry hesitated before continuing “I ended up using accidental magic and next think I knew my trunk was shrunk down to be tiny. So I put it in my pocket and ran downstairs. I realized that I didn’t have any money to take the tube, and I had shrunk my trunk with all my sickles and knuts and so I couldn’t take the Knight Bus so I –” Here he hesitated again before Elena put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
“It’s okay, Harry, you can trust her.”
Harry took a deep breath before starting again. “I took some money out of Aunt Petunia’s purse. I know it was wrong, but I just couldn’t stay there anymore.” Harry burst into tears and Elena kneeled down before pulling him into a hug and rubbing soothing circles into his back.
“You’re okay Harry, you’re safe, shh, it’s okay, it’s okay, you’re not in trouble. You don’t have to go back, I promise.”
Elizabeth was shocked. She was a patent lawyer, dealt with copyrights and business, not the custody of children. Of course, she did know the basics, but it wasn’t her specialty.
“Harry, where have you been staying since this happened?” She asked gently.
“With my friend Luna. We started talking a bit last year. Everyone hated me because they thought I was the heir of Slytherin, and people bully Luna a lot because they think she’s weird, but I really like her, and she’s my best friend aside from Hermione. Ron doesn’t really like her though, and so when we hang out he’s usually not there. We didn’t tell anyone that we were friends other than Hermione, because we both had bad reputations in school, and didn’t want it to be worse for each other. But I’ve been staying with her and Uncle Xeno for the summer and they’re great! I have food, and my own bedroom, and I can take long showers if I want, or even a bath. And Uncle Xeno never yells at me, and I get to eat with him and Luna at meals, which I don’t even have to cook myself! It’s even better than Hogwarts.” Harry’s words came out rapidly and he was nodding so much that Elizabeth thought his head might fall off.
“I’m glad that you are in a better place now Harry,” Elizabeth smiled at him gently.
“I believe we have got slightly off topic,” Elena interrupted, not unkindly. “We, that is to say Sebastian, Xeno and I, have things in motion to permanently change Harry’s living arrangements, which if we do need your help we will certainly let you in on. However, what we are here for today is to discuss the matter of copyright? Specifically, the fictionalization of Harry’s life, which you can, having heard Harry’s side of things, confirm is blatantly false, and he has received no royalties or given permission of any kind for.”
Elizabeth shook herself, and decided to compartmentalize, pushing back her emotions about Harry’s home life to focus on what they could do for him now. “I suppose that you want me to reach out to the publishers with our concerns?” She started shuffling around papers and began to make notes.
“I think a retraction and a healthy portion of royalties are in order.”
“We’ll see what we can do.”
AToT AToT AToT
Mary Elizabeth Cattermole was running late. Reg was supposed to take the kids to day care, but then he got called into work early and she had to take them, even though she had the interview. An interview. Mary hadn’t held a job since before the twins were born, and although she loved her children, she was eager to do something that involved interactions with people who weren’t small children or their parents. Alfie was about to start year 1 and she didn’t know what she was going to do with herself. Hence, looking for a new job, her first since working summers at her parent’s grocery.
And now she was late.
Mary did a final check that her new robes she had gotten for the interview were in place and that she had remembered to turn off all appliances before there was a loud crack and she was transported from her kitchen to the apparition point in Diagon Alley. Doing her best to walk quickly but not run, she soon found herself slightly out of breath and in front of the newly constructed Tenth Muse shopfront, the name appearing above the shop window in a glittering gold. Taking a deep breath to compose herself, she opened the door that she had been told would be unlocked and let herself into the shop. It was quite cozy, and she could easily imagine spending her days working behind one of the counters or even just sitting down and reading a book.
The person currently behind the counter was a tall man with dark hair. He was bent over a pile of papers and appeared quite distracted.
“One moment please,” he told her, preempting the apology she was about to make. She stood there awkwardly for another minute or so before he finally looked up.
“Thank you for being patient …” he trailed off as he looked up and caught her eye. For a split second he looked like he had seen a ghost, but the expression went away so quickly she decided she had imagined it. His face had turned into a broad smile. “You must be Mrs. Cattermole.”
“Yes, and you are Mr. Alfaro?” at his nod she continued. “It is so nice to meet you. I greatly appreciate this opportunity.”
“Of course, of course, would you care for some tea? If nothing else it will allow you to see our brewing equipment.” He gestured for her to join him behind the counter.
She followed him hesitantly. She hadn’t ever really had an interview before, and so could not tell whether this was irregular. She was surprised to notice that the set up was much like what she had at her parent’s shop, and wished she could’ve had in her own home.
“Ah yes, you’re muggleborn, correct?”
Mary stiffened slightly and stopped her examination of the brewing instruments. They looked quite muggle in design, so he obviously had some muggle ties, but as a perpetual newcomer she had never stopped being wary of that question.
“I thought you were. It’s easy to spot another muggle-raised in these parts. My sister and I were born here in London. Our mother is a muggle from Kent, and our father is a muggleborn from Spain. He fled from Franco’s regime and settled in London, living as a muggle, which is where she met our mother. We were five when Franco died, and six when we moved back to our father’s homeland. Father was not exactly fond of Hogwarts, and wanted us to attend the Beauxbatons as he did, so he and mother moved back to Logroño, the two of us in tow. Neither of us spoke much Spanish or French at the time, but now our English has become slightly accented. But you are not here to ask about my family history no?”
Mary blinked as she was taken away from the young man’s narrative and found herself sitting in one of the armchairs with a hot cup of Earl Grey. “Oh, but it is all very interesting! Your muggle roots have influenced the shop, I take it?” She took a sip of her tea and was pleasantly surprised at the hint of lavender.
This launched them into a discussion that took up most of the hour they had set aside for the interview, and before Mary knew it she was done with her tea and had gained a new friend in Sebastian, as he insisted he be called. With the promise of an owl regarding her status as an accepted employee within the day (“I highly doubt we will find someone more qualified”) she left the shop elated at her success, and decided to pick up her children early to treat them all to ice cream and a trip to the cinema. Today was a good day.
AToT AToT AToT
Harry sagged into the armchair after his pending-further-interviews-but-probable-future-employee left.
Mary Elizabeth Cattermole.
There was a time when that name had been burned into his mind, and the time travel was no doubt to blame for his having forgotten about her. When they escaped the ministry after retrieving the locket he had hoped beyond hope that she had escaped. She was a symbol in his psyche of what they had been fighting for. After the war ended, or after they thought the war had ended, she had come to thank him personally, saying that he had helped buy her and her family time to escape to France for the duration of the war. Her children had gotten enrolled at Beauxbatons, but she and Reg had decided to pick up their lives again in Britain.
It was only years later, as he was looking through the newspaper that Draco had dropped off with him that he saw, tucked into a small corner on page 5 of the Prophet that she had been sentenced to Azkaban for treason. After months of wheedling Draco and Draco’s subsequent snooping he got his hands on a transcript of the trial. It was the Muggleborn Registration Commission all over again, and it was with anger that Harry saw Umbridge’s name as prosecutor. When Harry thought about it, he realized that Mary Elizabeth Cattermole was one of his biggest reasons why he had wanted to come back to the past.
He would not fail her again.
AToT AToT AToT
Harry wasn’t at the shop opening. Instead he was pacing back and forth in his office above said shop and running his fingers through his hair, which had been straightened so that he could be ‘Sebastian’ and yet was so thoroughly ruffled he looked like a Potter again. As he made his way across the carpet in a path whose establishment bordered on impressive in terms of the time scale Harry ran into a distraction in the form of Crookshanks.
Literally ran into. Crookshanks had managed to trip him so thoroughly that Harry had not only fallen over, but also been spun in a circle until he finally ended up sideways in an armchair meant for guests, the water from a smashed vase soaking into the carpet as the limp flowers it had contained lay among the broken crystals.
Harry let out a short and frustrated scream before he heard the sound of a clearing throat from the open doorway.
“You alright there boss?” David Fisher, a muggleborn Hufflepuff straight out of Hogwarts, and their man behind the counter, was wiping his hands on a towel.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Harry sighed and spelled the flowers back into their vase, casting a quick aguamenti to replace the lost water.
“We’ve got a few different people wandering in, asking questions. One woman in particular was asking to speak to a manager. Do you have the time?” The man sounded too apprehensive for Harry’s liking. He didn’t want employees to be afraid of him or temper outbursts. Pushing stray thoughts about rats out of his mind Harry forced on a smile that, based on David’s face, he had made an approximately genuine one.
“Of course, lead the way my good man.”
AToT AToT AToT
Harry yawned as he settled into Luna’s bed. She was already asleep, long blonde hair fanned out on the pillow. Harry sighed, and with a slight wave of his hand the hair was braided. If he allowed her to sleep like that her hair would resemble the bird’s nest he called hair, and that would be a disaster, for him at least. Luna would be fine with it, but Harry was the one who would have to brush it out for her.
As he stretched, Harry thought over the past week. He was pleased with how things were developing. Tomorrow would make it a full week of having the shop open, and it was getting off to a good start, even with people in the alley being wary of Sirius Black’s daring escape from Azkaban. Then again, the public always liked a distraction.
Harry held off another yawn and looked again at the Daily Prophet article relating to the escape, and was hit with the pain that this was not his Sirius.
Harry reminded himself of the conversation he had with Luna, Harry refocused. His Sirius Black, the one who bought him a firebolt while on the run and eating rats, who sent him letters using toucans, who told him that the world was not made up of good people and death eaters, who sang God rest ye merry hippogriffs and decorated decapitated elf heads with Santa hats, that Sirius had died over a decade ago. Maybe this Sirius Black would do none of those things. Maybe he would do all of them. But either way, the man currently breathing fresh air for the first time in twelve years was not the Sirius that died before his godson’s sixteenth birthday. That Sirius had been mourned, and this new Sirius, no matter what he may become, was not the same man. While Harry missed his Sirius, it wasn’t fair of him to not give this Sirius a chance.
After a thorough discussion, the three friends had agreed to let Sirius come to them. They would wait until the school year, when it was confirmed that he had reached Hogwarts before they confronted him. Ideally, they would intercept his attack on the Fat Lady, but they knew that in all likely hood things wouldn’t happen that way twice, with all that they had already changed. Fate didn’t like them quite that much.
Harry was startled from his musing by a tapping at the window. For a moment he was confused about the late hour, before he realized that it was midnight exactly. His birthday. Getting up to open the window he tripped over what was now a hissing Crookshanks, and apologized to the grumpy creature, who jumped onto the bed and started kneading the blanket that covered Luna’s sleeping form.
Finally managing to open the surprisingly complicated window, Harry let in two owls, one of which was the aging Errol, who was nearly unconsciously. Harry immediately relieved of his package and placed the old owl in Hedwig’s perch area, Errol opened one bleary eye, gave a feeble hoot of thanks, and began to gulp some water. Harry recognized the second owl as a tawny one from Hogwarts, as along with his parcel he carried a letter with the Hogwarts seal. He took the package from this owl as well, placing it on the bed next to Errol’s, and gestured over to where the older owl was now sleeping, Hedwig looking at Errol with something that Harry assumed would look like concern on a human face. The tawny owl glided over to the perch, taking a small amount of water, and accepting an owl treat from Harry before it flew off through the still-open window. After giving Hedwig two owl treats to make up for his attention to a bird that was not her, Harry settled down on the edge of the bed.
Grabbing Errol’s package first, Harry ripped off the brown paper and discovered a present wrapped in gold, and what he remembered to be his first ever birthday card. As he opened the envelope, two pieces of paper fell out – a letter and a newspaper cutting. Though he had already read the article in his own copy of the Prophet early that week, Harry gave it a cursory glance anyway.
MINISTRY OF MAGIC EMPLOYEE SCOOPS GRAND PRIZE
Arthur Weasley, Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office at the Ministry of Magic, has won the annual Daily Prophet Grand Prize Galleon Draw. A delighted Mr. Weasley told the Daily Prophet, “We will be spending the gold on a summer holiday in Egypt, where our eldest son, Bill, works as a curse breaker for Gringotts Wizarding Bank.” The Weasley family will be spending a month in Egypt, returning for the start of the new school year at Hogwarts, which five of the Weasley children currently attend.
Harry scanned the moving photograph, and a grin spread across his face as he saw all nine of the Weasleys waving furiously at him, standing in front of a large pyramid. He scowled at Wormtail resting on Ron’s shoulder, and smiled at the way he had his arm around Ginny. Aside from Hermione and Luna, those two and Neville were Harry’s best friends. His smile fell as he remembered why he was using past tense. Still, her knew that he had to give these two the same chance he was giving Sirius, a chance to be perhaps not his Ron and Ginny, but at least a version of them. Groaning, he realized that this Ginny would be one who still held a strong crush.
He looked away from the newspaper cutting to the letter that Ron had sent.
Look, I’m really sorry about that telephone call. I hope the Muggles didn’t give you a hard time. I asked Dad, and he reckons I shouldn’t have shouted.
It’s brilliant here in Egypt. Bill’s taken us round all the tombs and you wouldn’t believe the curses those old Egyptian wizards put on them. Mum wouldn’t let Ginny come in the last one. There were all these mutant skeletons in there, of Muggles who’d broken in and grown extra heads and stuff.
I couldn’t believe it when Dad won the Daily Prophet Draw. Seven hundred galleons! Most of it’s gone on this holiday, but they’re going to buy me a new wand for next year.
We’ll be back about a week before term starts and we’ll be going up to London to get my wand and our new books. Any chance of meeting you there?
Don’t let the Muggles get you down!
Try and come to London,
PS: Percy’s Head Boy. He got the letter last week.
Harry unwrapped the present, finding his old pocket sneakoscope, wishing he had paid more attention to it his original third year. Harry had learned patience, and grown into his own man, but there was something about Pettigrew that still made him on edge. He frowned at himself, surprised at how angry he was, before deciding it was just his teenage hormones and letting himself refocus on his friend. He put the present and letter on Luna’s bedside table, and brought his attention to the mail brought by the tawny owl.
Warily he stared at the second package, knowing what it was he ripped the paper off in one go, and quickly stroked the spine before the book could do more than nip his fingers. He opened to a random page, which turned out to be about hippogriffs. He scowled, thinking of Buckbeak and how much he wished he could have the old Draco back, or rather the future Draco, since he now had the old Draco, and now he was giving himself a headache, which really was no way to start his first day of being 13 for a second time. He conjured a rope and gently wrapped the book in the soft material. He didn’t want to hurt it, but he also didn’t want it to come alive again and eat all of his other books. For one thing, Hermione would kill him, if the book didn’t do so first.
Smiling again upon seeing Hagrid’s messy scrawl Harry set that letter aside to read McGonagall’s. He didn’t particularly care about whether or not he went to Hogsmeade on an official basis – while it would be nice to see the village again, he knew it like the back of his hand now, and an empty castle was much more useful for his purposes. He set all the letters he had collected in his lap aside, with Ron’s and placed the book on top of his trunk. He would add it to the library later.
Harry yawned again as he crawled under the covers, and bit back a laugh as Luna promptly rolled over in her sleep to begin using him as a pillow. Removing the glass from his face, Harry drifted off to sleep, glad, once again, that it was his birthday
AToT AToT AToT
It wasn’t that Hermione disliked France. But between stress over not being able to help Harry and Luna as much as she wanted to, anxiety over not finishing their goals before September first, and the fact that she has seen this all before down to the last dotted i and crossed t of their itinerary, France was not exactly agreeing with her. So when she was finally back on her side of the channel and her parents were safely in their own bed for the first time in weeks, she jumped into her trunk and flooed over to Luna’s.
The blonde was lying on her bright yellow bedspread, flipping through a catalogue. To anyone else, she was looking at it with wide-eyed mild interest, but Hermione could tell that she was waiting for something, and when Luna’s face broke out into a smile upon their eyes meeting Hermione realized that it was herself that Luna had been waiting on.
“You’re back!” Luna rolled off the bed and flung her arms around Hermione before pulling her down into the newest addition to the room, a large corner hammock.
“I should have known to give you one of these in the first place,” Hermione mused. “They really are so comfy.” Luna beamed before kissing Hermione on the cheek.
“I missed you,” Luna settled her head on Hermione’s chest.
“I missed you too.” Hermione murmured. “Mirror calls really aren’t the same, and with only one visit in four weeks we missed a lot of cuddle time.”
“Cuddles are the best.”
The two lay in comfortable silence for a time, and Hermione was almost asleep when Luna squirmed out of the hammock.
“Where are you” she yawned “going?”
“I have to pee, and last time I checked you weren’t a fan of wizard-style excrement disposal.”
Hermione snorted, slowly becoming more awake. “I think everyone was a lot happier when muggles invented plumbing and wizards stopped shitting themselves and vanishing the mess.”
Luna laughed before shutting herself in the loo, and Hermione stretched before wandering over to look at the catalogue that Luna had been perusing earlier. Her eyebrow raised at the contents.
“Something you want to tell me love?” she asked when Luna came back a couple minutes later.
“Ah, yes the catalogue.” Luna nodded. “We received a surprising amount of inquiries going into week two about whether or not we had certain adult products by a few frustrated muggleborns, and Harry and I decided to branch out.” Luna took the catalogue back and started organizing it with other papers on her desk. “Naturally we have to establish the norms based on what the muggles have already done before we can adapt it. Of course much of it you and I experimented with anyway in the future-that-was, but there is much more that can be done with other bodily configurations.”
“Did they ask you or Harry?” Hermione leaned back on the slightly outrageous nest of throw pillows met the corner of the wall.
“Actually, the first one asked Gabriel, a recent ‘claw graduate, who took very detailed notes, including the woman’s new phone number, per her request. He was red as a tomato by the end of it all, but still managed to bring it all to me with a straight face, excluding the phone number of course.” Luna hummed as she finished with her papers before joining Hermione on the bed. “Are you staying here tonight?”
“Sure. I told my parents about my trunk, and warned them that I would probably visit you tonight, so it should be fine. If they enter my room the alarm will wake me up with enough time to floo back and see what they want.” Hermione pulled Luna closer to herself, lest they lose each other amongst the pillows.
“Don’t they have an objection to their daughter sleeping with her girlfriend?” Luna yawned.
“You know, I thought they might, but my mum said it was a sign of trust that I told them at all, and we’re so young – at least as far as they know – that she doesn’t see us doing anything. My dad just said that as long as we don’t get each other pregnant he doesn’t really care.” Hermione yawned. “Damn those things are contagious. Sleep?”
Luna nuzzled into Hermione’s chest again as she whispered nox.
A/N 2: Thanks again to everyone who is sticking with this story! I am going to try to update this about once a month, and over winter break I’ll go on a writing spree so that I can try and still release them regularly once second semester takes me over.
A/N 3: I feel the need to clarify the whole excrement joke thing, since it’s been pointed out to me a couple times now. This isn’t something I made up, it’s a nod to Potter more canon. Check out the Pottermore page on the Chamber of secrets, paragraph 6 if you don’t believe me. Like, JKR is literally shitting on the series people, but I might as well take advantage and make my own jokes.
A/N 4: Special disclaimer for this chapter: The letter and newspaper cutting are taken near verbatim from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban chapter one Owl Post, which I think you’ll be able to tell heavily influenced the added scene.
Fic recommendation: The Great Pixie Dust-Up by Mundungus42. It’s on FFN and AO3, same username and title on both. Summary and beginning notes from AO3:
Summary: Severus Snape, whose magical equivalent of general relativity has revolutionized spell casting, is content to ignore the larger ramifications of his work until circumstances conspire to bring it to his attention.
Notes: Written for chantefable for the 2010 Snuna Exchange on LiveJournal and inspired by two of the recipient’s prompts: 1) Steampunk: technological revolution has hit the wizarding world, but all the technology is very magical. 2) Pixies! Pixie smuggling, research, collecting… International Pixie scandal. Pixie conspiracy. Pixies as a decoration/diversion/weapon… and consequences thereof.
This fic is complete gold and I highly recommend. I know that the pairing isn’t for everyone, and usually I wouldn’t read Snuna, but this one almost (almost! I don’t think I could tolerate it in any other context…) convinced me. That said, it’s actually really light on the romance and high on the humor. cyborg-goddess liked it, so there’s a second opinion for you.