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All is Well 2/?

Posted on 2008.06.08 at 17:15
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: fame - david bowie
Tags: ,
Title: All is Well
Author: Me, with Dorra who came up the idea and shares responsibility for plot development, and ideas (and illustrations in the future!)
Disclaimer: Of course I don't own the characters. Some lines of dialogue throughout the story may be taken directly from the book, and these do not belong to me either, they just reflect the idea of an Alternate Universe.
Rating: PG (future chapters maybe rated Mature)
Pairing(s): None definitively yet. Slash in future chapters, and implied slash throughout.
Spoilers: All books, eventually.

Summary: Total AU starting before The Philosopher's Stone. What if James hadn't been home when Voldemort arrived that night to kill the Potters? How would Harry's life, his relationships, his family have been different? Including blood pacts with Slytherins, scandalous tabloids, domestic!Sirius and rather a lot of Quidditch.

King’s Cross Station, Platform 9¾
September, 1991

“If you forget to write I’ll have your guts for garters,” he said fondly, ruffling Harry’s hair.

“And then I’ll have to kill your godfather in vengeance. It’ll be horribly messy. Much easier for everyone if you just keep in touch,” Remus said, smiling thinly. His arms were folded, shoulders hunched in as he pressed himself against the red brick wall behind them. Harry’s Uncle Remus was not one for crowds. “Where’s your dad?”

“Putting my luggage on the train. He didn’t want me to wander around the platform in case I get mobbed or something.”

“Right, well, that’s sensible,” Sirius said. He wondered if James had an ulterior motive – to poke around the luggage of Death Eater children, looking for Dark artifacts Harry could be threatened with. James’ paranoia fed into his skill as an Auror but it made him, in turns, neglectful or overprotective of his son. The approach had left Harry overeager to impress, with something of a disregard for the rules. Such traits were terrifyingly familiar to Sirius and Remus, veteran Marauders.

“Oh look, the Weasleys,” Remus said faintly as a veritable hoard of young redheaded wizards moved towards them, squabbling amongst themselves and grinning at each other behind their mother’s back. Sirius reached between them to place his hand on Remus’ shoulder, anchoring him before he floated off into his own world, retreating from the noise and bustle of people.

“Harry!” Fred and George cried out in unison, waving. Ron shoved his hands in his pockets sulkily – he and Harry had never quite seen eye to eye since Harry and the twins had accidentally set fire to his Chocolate Frog card collection. As Arthur interrogated Sirius about “rechargeable butteries” and Molly made noises about dinners at hers when the boys were off to school “to fatten you up, Remus!” the boys discussed the finer points of broomstick smuggling.

“See, you need to make sure it doesn’t go through Filch’s office, ‘cause that git will smash it to bits before you can say Circe,” Fred said seriously.

“You need to get it addressed to a teacher …”

“And then intercept it.”

“Who should I address it to?”

“Anyone but Snape or McGonagall, really. Probably Trelawney.”

“The worst she could do is to predict your slow and painful death,” George said.

“Much better than a detention,” Fred agreed.

“Boys, I think you need to board,” James said, his hair wilder than usual, his robes in disarray. “Disagreement with the luggage handler,” he said, upon noticing Sirius’ rakish grin.

“Sure,” he replied, winking.

“Come along boys. Percy, now that you’re a prefect ....” Molly was saying as they moved towards the edge of the platform, leaving the makeshift family of men behind to say their own goodbyes.

“Right,” James said, seeming to collect his thoughts, “right, I’ve got to go, I’m already late, but …” he crouched so that he was looking up at Harry, a pair of luminous green eyes staring at him from within his own face. He’d always found his son’s gaze unnerving. “Your mum …” his voice dragged over the words and he had to take a moment to clear it. “Your mum would have wanted to be here, and she would have said all the right things. But as it is, you’ve got me. I just … I’m … proud of you.” He stood suddenly, clearing his throat. “Take care of yourself,” he added, squeezing Harry’s shoulder a little too tightly before moving away, disappearing in amongst the crowd.

“Enjoy yourself!” Remus called when Harry was on the train, grinning at them through the compartment’s window.

“Give ‘em hell!” Sirius added, waving.

But the last thing Harry heard before the train started moving was a desperate: “Harry, look this way!” from The Daily Prophet’s photographer, Digby Sloane. And then there was the city of London unfolding before them, the hallowed halls of Hogwarts waiting in the distance.


The Train to Hogwarts, Fourth Compartment
September, 1991

“Harry, come to the middle of the train. Lee Jordan’s got a giant tarantula down there,” George said, already moving towards the sliding doors. Harry leapt to his feet to follow, yanking Neville along with them when he found him shuffling about in the next compartment.

“Where are we going? I need to find Trevor!”

“We’re going to see a tarantula. And who’s Trevor?”

“My toad.” Harry halted in his tracks to stare.

“You didn’t, Nev.”

Neville looked back defiantly. “I couldn’t just leave him. Great Uncle Algie would think I was ungrateful! I know you wanted us to get owls but …”

“But that was the plan!”

“What was?” Hannah asked, emerging from the other compartment, a flock of giggling girls behind her.

“Nothing, Abbott,” Harry said, annoyed. She wasn’t deterred in the slightest.

“These are my friends Susan, Parvati, Padma and Lavender,” she announced, pointing to each of them. “They wanted to meet …”

“I saw you and Sirius Black in Witch Weekly yesterday!” Susan squeaked, blushing as she peered at his fringe, trying to catch a glimpse of his scar.

“Yeah, I get photographed a lot,” Harry said, scrubbing a hand through his hair. “Sorry, but Nev and I were … looking for his toad.”

“We could help! What does it look like?” Padma asked. Neville opened his mouth to answer but all eyes were on Harry.

“Um. Like a toad?” The girls shrieked with giggles and scattered in search of Trevor. Harry frowned after them. He hated girls - they were so weird. “Come on, then,” he said, tugging Neville after him. By the time they got to Lee Jordan’s carriage the tarantula had already been shrunk down to its original tiny size – Lee had just engorged it to show off.

“You should’ve seen it, Harry! Ron nearly wet himself,” George said, clapping his brother on the back. Ron glared, still pale under his freckles.

“I don’t like spiders either,” Neville told him, shuddering. By this time those gathered to see the spider noticed Harry was there and the whispers had started. “Is that …?” “Merlin, I thought the twins were lying when they said they were friends with …” “Harry Potter.”

Harry was used to it but time spent being photographed and fawned over by total strangers had worn his patience thin. Being a celebrity because your mum died and you didn’t was hardly something to show off about – Harry was determined to do something, to be something, worthy of all the attention.

“You’re in my way,” a drawling voice said from behind him. Harry was then unceremoniously shoved, and he stumbled forward before finding his feet and whipping back to face the pale, sneering boy.

“I’ll move when I bloody well feel like it, snake boy,” he said, stepping forward. Malfoy was flanked by two brutish looking boys, glaring at those behind him. It was then that Harry realised he himself was flanked by Neville and, of all people, Ron. "What're you going to do about it? Hiss at me?" The crowd laughed appreciatively and Malfoy's lips thinned.

"I could crush you, Potter. And these are your friends, are they? Your right hand Squib and … red hair, filthy clothes. Well, you must be a Weasley," he sneered at Ron, glancing at his enormous cronies with a smug satisfaction that had Harry speaking before he'd even thought of what he was going to say.

"If you're so great then prove it. I challenge you to a wizard's duel. Wands."

"I'll be his second!" Ron announced, his face a deeper shade of red than his hair. Malfoy blinked, taken aback, but within a moment his face was pinched and cruel.

"Fine. Goyle will be mine. Prepare to …"

"What will you two do, exactly? Do you know many spells? I've tried a few simple ones just for practice and I've learnt the texbooks off by heart but I knew that wouldn't be enough. Can I watch your duel?" a bushy haired girl asked, speaking so quickly Harry wasn't sure she had even breathed. Malfoy opened his mouth, no doubt to say something horrible, but at that precise moment a kindly looking woman with a trolley of sweets and food trundled into the carriage and the crowd dissolved in their search for coins.

"Saturday at midnight, Malfoy. If you're not too scared," Harry growled before striding out the carriage with Ron and Neville hurrying behind him.

"Harry?" Neville asked once they were safely inside a compartment two carriages down. "Do you know many spells?"


The Great Hall
Later that Day

Harry swaggered up to the hat with every inch of confidence he had seen in Malfoy, determined not to betray his nervousness. As the hat was dropped over his eyes he gripped the edges of the stool and thought Gryffindor, Gryffindor, let me be in…

"You've a lot to prove, haven't you?" the hat whispered, sighing. "A shame, Slytherin could help you on your way to greatness. No? Better be GRYFFINDOR!"

Harry was grinning as he strode towards the Gryffindor, but the smile was brittle as the hat's words spun through his head. Slytherin was the house of dark wizards, so what exactly had the hat meant by Slytherin helping him?

"This is it! We're in!" Neville said excitedly, not noticing his friend's preoccupied expression. "I told Abbott to tell Parkinson to tell Malfoy that you'll owl him where to meet you on the day of the duel." Harry nodded, shaking off his nerves, distracted by the piping hot platters of scrumptious roasts floating past his nose. By the time treacle was served, he'd half forgotten all about what the hat had said.

He was listening half heartedly to the bushy haired girl (Hermy? Hermes?) who was going on about all the spells she thought he'd need for the duel after dinner, when he started watching the teachers at the High Table. Professor McGonagall laughed at something the new professor said – Professor Paracelsus, the last minute replacement of Quirrell whom his dad had arrested during a raid a few weeks ago. Paracelsus turned to talk to the man beside him, who had long black hair, a hooked nose and sallow skin. He looked suspiciously familiar.

"Careful Professor Snape doesn't catch you staring, Harry," Percy warned. "He knows an awful lot about Dark Arts, and he has a foul temper."

Snape? Harry thought, nearly choking on his bite of rhubarb crumble, his eyebrows disappearing under his fringe. He'd read that name before, in his mum's letters – the ones he'd found under the creaky floorboard in the pantry during a rainy afternoon of house-exploring. He hadn't told his dad about the letters for fear of upsetting him, but now he wished he had so he might know more about Snape and how he knew his mother. As though he could hear Harry's thoughts, Snape looked past his goblet and straight into Harry's eyes with a look of pure loathing, unsettling him even further. Surely, he thought, if Snape had been friends with his mother he couldn't possibly hate Harry.

He had stopped listening to Hermione entirely by the time the puddings disappeared. Dumbledore stood, drawing a hush across the room as he spoke about rules (unimportant); Quidditch (which made Harry's heart pang with want – it simply wasn't fair that first years weren't allowed their own brooms); and a forbidden corridor Harry would investigate as soon as he possibly could (a "very painful death" was a risk he was wiling to take). The school song was then sung with great aplomb before they were finally lead off to bed – Harry, Neville and Ron already scheming as to how they were going to sneak out of bed to meet Malfoy and his goons next Saturday.


The Lake
The Following Saturday

"Get off me, Potter! I can't breathe," Malfoy wheezed, glaring up at the wand pointed between his eyebrows, both of them shivering as the water from the Great Lake lapped at them.

"Give up then, you stupid sod!" Ron shouted from behind them.

"Never," Malfoy hissed, bringing his knee up sharply in an utterly illegal move that sent Harry rolling onto the sand with tears in his eyes. The crowd cheered or booed, huddled in two distinct groups on the grassy knoll at the edge of the shore. As word had spread amongst the first years about the duel between Slytherin favourite, Draco Malfoy, and world famous survivor, Harry Potter, a much larger group than they'd anticipated had shown up at the lake at midnight – there was no turning back.

The older students had mocked the whole event (what on damage could two little firsties really inflict?) and though Lee Jordan and the Weasley twins had been taking bets all week (odds were for Harry, of course), the older students had been right; it had only been a few minutes before Harry and Draco had run out of spells and resorted to tackling one another. Still, it was better than playing exploding snap or gobstones by the fire in their common rooms. And as Harry and Malfoy attacked each other with renewed enthusiasm, they failed to notice the horrified silence that had descended over their spectators.

"Potter, Malfoy!" a deep, ominous voice called furiously. "STOP THAT AT ONCE!" Harry immediately dropped Malfoy, who took a small clump of Harry's hair with him as he fell onto the sand. They both turned slowly to see the most terrifying sight of their lives: Professor Snape, towering over them like a malevolent spectre. "Dungeons," he said through gritted teeth. "Now." He turned to the crowd, who had been trying to disperse into the night as quietly as they possibly could. "All of you! March to the dungeons right now!" There was a collective wince which rippled through the crowd. Though, of course, the Slytherins looked a great deal less nervous than the Gryffindors.

The walk to the dungeons was miserable, and exceedingly long. Harry kept imagining his father's expression when he arrived on the doorstep of Godric's hollow, expelled and disgraced. Expulsion was inevitable - it wasn't as though he could reason with Snape. Yesterday's lesson had proved that his mother must have done something awful to the man because he hated.

It had started to rain and when they stepped into the cool, draughty potions room Harry felt as though his very bones had turned to ice. Snape turned to address them, his eyes like black tunnels and his mouth twisted in a mockery of a smile.

"I hope you all enjoyed yourselves," he began, his quiet voice echoing through the room as the students held their breath. "And I have come to expect such behavior from the coarse simpletons who stumble towards the Gryffindor common rooms every evening. But to see my own house acting like ..." he paused and let the words hang in the air, taking another slow, deep breath. "I do believe this is a situation wherein one party was coerced into such a public display of idiocy," he said. Nasty slips of smiles were seen on the Slytherin children's faces and all of them were utterly thrown by the next sentence. "However," he continued, "fifty points will be deducted from both houses. Now get out of my sight. NOT YOU, POTTER! Nor you, Mr. Malfoy."


Feedback really appreciated!


star_sailor13 at 2008-06-08 15:53 (UTC) (Link)
There will be more soon right? You've put a very interesting twist on events and I can't wait for more!
hazel_wand at 2008-06-08 16:05 (UTC) (Link)
Ooh this is great. I really love your characterisations (although I just want James Potter to HUG his son). It's interesting that Harry and Ron aren't particular friends, and it makes a lot of sense. After all, without the vulnerability that growing up with the Dursleys gave him, to begin with Ron would just see Harry as someone to overshadow him.
fauxpersonae007 at 2008-06-08 16:06 (UTC) (Link)
I like this plot concept. I'm interested to see where it goes.
bryoneybrynn at 2008-06-08 17:43 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I couldn't resist and had to read it right away. All I can say is HEE! to the duel devolving into a fist-fight. So cute and so Harry! I liked the bit with the media and the photographer being the last thing Harry heard as the train pulled away - I'm always a sucker for Harry dealing with his fame stories.

I'm really looking forward to this story. Huzzah for a new WIP! Post soon?
thrnbrooke at 2008-06-27 22:51 (UTC) (Link)
Sooo need more! Sooo Severus won't even give him a chance in this timeline either! *sigh*
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