This is chapter sixteen of A Trio of Tricksters: Eclipse the Past, Usurp the Future. To learn more about the series click here.
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.
Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter I wouldn’t have to fix it, now would I?
Author’s Note: I said that this fic was my priority for NaNoWriMo and then I got distracted writing Never Underestimate a House-Elf… oops? Thanks as always to Transreal_Clouden!
Chapter Sixteen: Connections
Albus Dumbledore was frustrated. He had been buried in research about Ivory Innovations, and while whoever had set it up had done a good job of cleaning up their tracks it hadn’t been good enough for him to be unable to tell that there had been cleaning. By his reckoning, there had been no Sebastian or Elena before June of this year, but nevertheless the two had popped up in Diagon Alley with plenty of galleons, setting up The Tenth Muse with an efficiency that meant careful, drawn-out planning and plenty of resources. It was also plain to see that the witch and wizard who had put everything together were using fake names — every piece of paper was signed with a magical signature, meaning that the name itself was void and meaningless. They could have written anything they liked on that paper, from the title of their favorite book to their favorite flavor of cheese, and it wouldn’t matter.
What worried him most was the amount of people who were getting involved in the web that Ivory Innovations was spinning. The organization now had a clothing line that for better or for worse was headed by Molly Weasley. Dumbledore had paid a call to her earlier that week, and the resulting information had his head spinning — Harry Potter had introduced her to the organization, and further digging revealed that the barrister who was on retainer for Ivory Innovations was the same woman who had represented Sirius Black and that her firm was responsible for suing all of the publishers who had released any unauthorised “Harry Potter” content.
The fact that the roads led to Harry only added to his worry. The Harry Potter that had returned to Hogwarts this autumn was markedly different from the one who had left the previous spring. This Harry was confident. Smooth. Adult. A leader, someone with intelligence and authority and who had gathered around himself at least two remarkably talented followers. Not that Miss Granger was a follower exactly, nor Miss Lovegood. Both seemed equally matched with him, the three of them, a quiet power within them that came roaring to the surface after the dementor incident. By Merlin, that had been a nightmare, a literal nightmare. It was only thanks to the quick thinking of some of the students who had sensed the issue that Hogsmede was even evacuated in time — but that was another peculiar thing, because the two students who had rounded up the villagers didn’t exist. He had asked Aberforth and Rosemerta to share with him their memories of the event in order that he could glean a better picture of what had happened. They both consented, the former with a larger reluctance, ans Dumbledore was frustrated to note that neither girl — they both looked around sixteen or seventeen — was an actual student. He went back and forth between the memories of the attacks and of the Hogwarts welcome feast, which had every Hogwarts student, pausing the memories and scrutinizing their faces until he felt genuinely uncomfortable with himself for looking at such young girls so closely, and he honestly could say that neither of them was a student at the school. But that didn’t mean they didn’t resemble students at the school….
It was on his third round through Rosemerta’s memory that he saw it, a small thing, easy to miss, but there. Peaking out from under the loose tie of one of the students, both dressed in Hufflepuff robes, was a butterbeer cork necklace that he had distinctly seen Miss Lovegood wearing that same day. Looking at them closely again, he could see how both students resembled Miss Lovegood and Miss Granger with minor transfiguration on top of an aging potion or charm. And Miss Granger did have a time turner. Dumbledore smiled. He knew he shouldn’t approve of contraband time turner use, but in this case, she had undoubtedly saved lives and souls…. Dumbledore frowned. But where was Harry? If Miss Granger and Miss Lovegood were saving the people of Hogsmeade, what was the boy-who-lived up to? Furrowing his brow Dumbledore thought back to that night. This was also the night that Peter Pettigrew had been turned in…. Was Harry catching Peter at the same time? But why…. Unless it was all a distraction?
For one wild moment Dumbledore considered whether it might have been the trio who destroyed the dementors, before he dismissed the thought. There was no way children that young could do such a thing. Then again, he had dismissed Tom Riddle, a mistake he had sworn never to make again. Forcing himself to reconsider the possibilities, Dumbledore left the memory pool and returned to his office, sitting at his desk and writing out the facts as he knew them.
- “Elena and Sebastian” founded Ivory Innovations for ?
- Mirkwood, Talbot & Jones are on retainer for II
- Molly Weasley was recruited by Harry Potter to work for Aphrodrite’s Apparel, a subsidiary of II
- M, T & J sued false Harry Potter publishers
- M, T & J represented Sirius Black in court
- S & E handed over Peter Pettigrew
- HP, Hermione Granger, and Luna Lovegood have patroni powerful enough to repel mass amounts of dementors
- HG & LL went back in time to protect those in Hogsmeade
- HP gave PP to S & E?
Dumbledore looked thoughtfully at the parchment before something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. He picked it up from his desk. It was the diary that had belonged to Tom Riddle, back when he was only Tom Riddle. Dumbledore had forgotten that he had been examining it earlier. A living memory. Encased for fifty years. His research told him that this had been a horcrux. And more than that, a horcrux used as a weapon, one that could even possess people….
Dumbledore dropped the diary to the desk as a horrible thought struck him like a lightning bolt to sand.
AToT AToT AToT
Molly Weasley was happy. Happy in a way that she hadn’t been for a long time. Raising seven children was hard, even with magic at her disposal. Especially when they had magic at theirs. Parts of her were relieved every fall, when the school year came around. Fewer children underfoot meant fewer headaches for her. And yet, as her children grew older, Molly found herself missing them. She had gotten used to the chaos of it all, and while the first few days of calm were always nice, she found herself… lonely. The year Ginny left for Hogwarts began the first year that Molly had extended periods of time to herself in decades. With Arthur at work, Bill and Charlie out of the country, and the other kids at school, she thought she would go mad. The entirety of the burrow underwent a re-organization and re-structurization project. There was only so much work to be done, though, and after a year she had tested Arthur’s patience to its limits (“Please stop moving my socks, Molly!”) and she needed a new task. She considered returning to work, but she hadn’t had a job since she was a shop assistant at Madame Malkin’s just out of school, and that had been over twenty years ago.
In another world, Molly might have discreetly applied to a few positions, only to be rejected because they were looking for people with more experience, because she had too much of an employment gap and her NEWTs weren’t good enough anyway, because they could better afford to pay someone younger who would accept less pay. This would fuel her worries about her children’s education, she would feel an urge to put even more pressure on them to think about their grades and their futures, so that they wouldn’t be like her, in their forties and needing to take remedial classes that they were too embarrassed to tell their kids about, only to stop them altogether because suddenly there was a war on.
And yet, in this timeline none of that happened.
Instead, Molly was happy, because she got a job offered to her , before she even reached out to half of the places she had planned, and so none of the rejections she had received mattered all that much. She was now a well-paid manager at a successful company, and two of her children had been offered junior part-time positions, something that would undoubtedly help their future careers. She’d gotten a rather nasty shock along the way when she found out that a murderer had been disguising himself as a pet in her home for thirteen years, and she and Arthur had temporarily stopped all tasks to prioritize setting up anti-animagus wards on their property, but on the whole? Life was good for Molly Weasley.
AToT AToT AToT
“How badly were you itching to get out of there?” Remus asked as he and Sirius walked out of the shopglass that disguised St. Mungo’s and onto the streets of London.
“Moony, you don’t even know,” Sirius cricked his neck. And it was true. Remus did not know that Sirius had already left St. Mungo’s, more than once, actually, but then again, the list of people who knew that was very short, and did not include the healers under whose care Sirius had supposedly been resting for the past several weeks. It was already the beginning of December, the Yule season was upon them, and he was astonished at how quickly time was flying by, for all that it had seemed slow while he was stuck in the hospital. Not that he had been entirely idle.
“Well, if your letters were any indication, I know quite a bit. Badly enough that you’re taking up politics, even. And you still haven’t properly explained that,” Remus looked at him shrewdly. “What happened to ‘I’m not going near the Wizengamot with a ten foot wand’ eh?”
“Well for one thing, they put me in prison,” Sirius said mildly, before he brightened, spotting a bookshop. “Perfect! I can get Hermione’s Christmas present from there.”
“You have a specific present in mind for her already?” Remus was surprised. He knew that Harry and Hermione were close, of course, and he knew that Harry and Sirius had been getting to know each other through letters and a few short visits here and there, but he had no idea that this constituted a close enough extended relationship between Sirius and Hermione. Then again, he himself had grown closer with Harry and his friends over the past few months than he could have ever expected since the start of the school year.
Being a professor was not exactly what Remus had expected, but it was definitely one of his most favored among the occupations he had held throughout his life. He had spent quite some time now as a tutor, but working as a fully fledged professor, responsible for hundreds of students, was another matter entirely and something that he had honestly been slightly overwhelmed by. As a tutor he was able to get to know each student on an individual level, and really see what made each student tick in terms of how they learned best and what errors they tended to make and the ways to help them succeed. In a larger setting it was so much harder to get to know each student for themself and making that adjustment was hard.
Once Harry had started coming to him to learn more about his parents and their time at Hogwarts Remus started to get some of that feeling of rapport back. After they had been meeting for a while, Harry’s friends started to trickle in to their discussions, first because Remus made an offhand comment about Neville’s parents, which meant that Harry brought Neville to their next meeting, and then at one point Harry and Hermione both wanted to talk to Remus about a spell after class that developed into a more relaxed discussion, and then the next thing Remus knew he was routinely having some mix of the same six students in his office for tea at least once a week.
“Of course not, but I know she likes books, and if I can’t find one in there that I end up thinking she’ll like then I’ll just get a card for store credit,” Sirius shrugged.
Remus sighed. If Sirius wanted to go shopping there was really no arguing with him. He was a free man now, after all, and Remus had agreed when taking the day off to spend time with him that they would spend the time together however Sirius wanted to spend it; which apparently was in a muggle bookshop. Remus’ only true objection was on behalf of his wallet. He himself was a booklover and in the past it had been the other marauders who had to drag him out of a bookstore, so this was quite the change of pace.
Fic recommendation: I hope you will forgive me for recommending my own story Never Underestimate a House-Elf. Summary: What if Harry thought of more than just steak and kidney pie, and called Kreacher to them as soon as he realized Hermione had apparated the trio away from Grimmauld Place? A very different camping trip ensues.