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In This World and the Next Chapter 11

Dark Dungeons: play a ninja
This fic seems to be an exercise in making the least interesting plot choices possible. It'd have been far more interesting if one of the Weasleys who Lord Potter had made peace with had vowed revenge, as they'd have been entirely justified in doing, presenting a nice moral dilemma for our so-called hero. But no, it's Percy, who the self-centred bellend already wants to kill for no good reason. Why? Because ITWATN.

Dumbledore was also conspicuous by his absence as Severus Snape was led into the Wizengamot chamber, things were not looking good for the potions master.

Why does the author remember to capitalise "Wizengamot", but not "Potions Master" or "Muggle"? And what's him being the Potions Master got to do with this scene? I'm getting Deserving flashbacks here.

He, along with the rest of those present, received the explanation for the old wizard's absence when Minister Fudge stood to make a statement.
"Albus Dumbledore will play no part in today's proceedings, his word alone was enough to see the accused escape Azkaban without the necessity of a trial. Clearly a conflict of interests exists here."

Snape avoided Azkaban on Dumbledore's word alone? Not, you know, the actual evidence of the work he did for the Order during the first war?

Snape couldn't hide his shudder at these words, he was counting on the headmaster to ride to his rescue once more.
Fudge continued with his prepared statement, "I also contacted Lord Potter regarding the level of his involvement in today's proceedings, I have here a letter that I intend to read aloud to this chamber."

I like how nobody seems to question how Lord Potter knows all the stuff about Snape.

Dear Minister, I have placed my faith and trust in you, so far I have been delighted with the results. My intention is to do the same with that most august body of witches and wizards, the Wizengamot. I trust they will carry out their duties like the honest and fair-minded people that they are, requiring no input from me in determining what must be done in this case.

Lord Potter can be a convincingly good manipulator sometimes, just not when he's effing and blinding at everyone and having them inexplicably fall into line behind him. What he's not is a convincingly good eleven-year-old. If the story had anything about it at all then he'd at least risk being found out: the infinitely better Nightmares of Futures Past, probably the definitive time travel Potterfic even in its unfinished state, has this as a constant concern for its Harry.

Snape could see most of the Wizengamot members sit just that little bit straighter and thought he was royally screwed, that little bastard Potter had managed to claim the moral high ground yet still ensure he was shafted.

Of course, "moral high ground" is all relative: it's not something anyone in this fic is particularly well acquainted with.

The minister's next statement left Snape thinking there could be no other result than a cell in Azkaban.

I'd rather have Snape's thoughts on the Minister's next statement after the statement. I know Snape is a Legilimens and the one character for whom the author's habit of pre-empting dialogue isn't necessarily inappropriate, but it's still distracting.

"Many of you will be aware Lord Potter has organised a Hogwarts outing to a muggle attraction as part of the Lady Hermione's birthday celebrations. What you will not be aware of is that he has contacted me with a request for a reciprocal outing to the ministry of magic so the muggle born may receive a better understanding of how our world works. This is a request I can assure you I took great pleasure in granting."
The nods greeting this news indicated that they all thought this was a good idea, Amelia Bones thought it was such a good idea that it should have already been in place for generations.

If it's such a good idea, why did it take a self-important tosser who struts around calling himself Lord Potter to bring it in? Again I find myself contrasting this with NoFP, whose Harry was thirty and had the life experience to match. The only life experience ITWATN!Harry has to set him apart from book!Harry is a year spent swanning around Australia with his girlfriend and her parents while the rest of wizarding Britain struggled to rebuild their society and culture after a devastating civil war. Even this author's other works do a better job of justifying Harry's power and insight: Knowledge is Power, for instance, has James and Lily meeting Lord Potter in the afterlife à la Curse of the Damned before giving him the eponymous knowledge and sending him into the past.

Fudge then held them with a steely gaze no one knew he possessed, "When all those children arrive here I for one want to be able to look them in the eye and honestly say I'm doing my best."
Instead of anger, Snape had to admit to a grudging admiration. The lad had managed to get the ministry and Wizengamot on his side with a move worthy of any Slytherin.

The author seems to be trying to redeem Snape, because in this universe the first step to redemption is learning to worship Lord Potter. Just as it was with Ginny earlier, and Tracey if we assume that the author is going for Slytherins being evil by default. Though, to be fair, this was pretty good manipulation.

The Wizengamot then heard the entire story, how Snape strayed to the dark side and became the death eater's potion brewer.

Which Death Eater?

That an overheard interview led to the dark lord discovering there would be a prophesised child. His remorse with the discovery that child belonged to his childhood friend Lily Potter leading to his confession to Albus Dumbledore in the hope of preventing the attack. Snape's claims that the dark lord started to distance himself leaving Severus with no warning of the planned attack that Halloween had to be believed due to the truth serum.

Because everyone knows Veritaserum is infallible.

Amelia though had two more questions remaining. "Can you tell this chamber how you earned your dark mark?"
This question was met with total silence until the accused started speaking in that emotionless voice so indicative of testimony under truth serum. What was highly unusual were the tears that ran down his cheeks.

"Dammit, who left the lid off the dragon piss again?"

"A muggle family had been captured, I was allocated a boy who appeared to be about fourteen. My orders were to publicly torture the poor creature before killing him, his murder was used to bond the dark mark that placed me under the dark lord's control."
The silence was eerie as the majority of members tried not to picture the inhuman scene just described, Amelia's last question fully opened the magical world's eyes to the blight of the death eaters.

Because apparently nobody realised that the Death Eaters were evil before that. I think fandom has a tendency to go over the top with the grimdark when it comes to depicting Death Eater meetings, but it's clear that they don't just gather for tea and biscuits.

"Is it possible to be under the imperious curse and forced to take the dark mark?"
The chamber held it's collective breath as Snape answered, "It's not possible, you have to want to take the mark or it won't bind to your soul. The dark lord uses these marks to summon his followers and can administer excruciating pain through them as well. Changing your mind at a later date usually met with a public and painfully prolonged death, there was no retirement plan from being a death eater."

As I said last chapter, it doesn't make sense for Voldemort to be making the Dark Mark spell this much like a Horcrux. All it would take would be for some ambitious Death Eater to make the connection, realise the source of Voldemort's power and use this to overthrow him and become a new Dark Lord. Regulus managed to figure it out even without Voldemort running around making pseudo-Horcruxes willy-nilly, after all.

This new information hit like a tsunami, and contained the power to be just as destructive. It destroyed into microscopic pieces the 'I was under the imperious' myth once and for all. People who had used this as a defence for their crimes would soon be finding their non-death eater friends giving them a wide berth. While they may have had their suspicions before, here was public confirmation they had been played for fools. Whether they believed in the pureblood agenda or not, the upper echelons of British wizarding society could not stand back and allow this mockery to continue. Most would not have spoken openly against the dark lord while he lived, that was a one-way ticket to an early grave, but with him vanquished they could fight their own type of battle against his former supporters who were sullying their better breeding.
Patronage and invitations would immediately dry up, gold tainted with the blood of innocents would never again become acceptable currency to the British wizarding elite. This single change may have done more to drag their community toward respectability than any other.

The attitudes of the entire wizarding world do a total about-face based on one person's testimony. I have no more than a dabbler's grasp of sociology and psychology, but I don't even need that to know when they're both being shat on from a great height.

Dumbledore was still missing from the staff table at breakfast the following morning as the owls delivered papers using banner headlines to proclaim Snape's fate.
The fact that the former potions professor had shown genuine remorse had went a long way to deciding his future. There were large wounds in the wizarding psyche that Snape's revelations had pulled the scab off, exposing the rotting flesh underneath that needed to be cauterised.

Snape's earth-shattering revelations were that the Death Eaters were evil (no shit) and not under the Imperius curse (which everyone who hadn't been taking backhanders from Lucius Malfoy already suspected anyway). All that's going to happen is that corrupt Ministry officials will point to the known flaws of Veritaserum and continue to argue that Lucius was under Imperius as they take his money.

Neither was it felt the best use of a resource was to lock a potions master in a cell at Azkaban for a decade, rather make use of his talents to help those in need. Snape was sentenced to ten years working in the potions research labs in St Mungo's, spending his nights in a holding cell at the ministry. They had also placed an annual review on his case to determine the impact he was having while researching cures for wizarding ailments.
There was a possibility of early release but, should he breach the terms of this sentence, he had a twenty year stretch in Azkaban hanging over his head. The Potters were quite pleased with this solution, they didn't necessarily want Snape to die again, just be out of their hair.

And thus was Snape redeemed in the eyes of Lord Potter.

Hermione was just voicing her surprise that the ministry had discovered the 'carrot and stick' approach when her hand was a blur as she drew her wand, she'd caught sight of Dumbledore approaching Harry from behind. There was nothing she could do if the more powerful Dumbledore chose to act, it didn't mean she couldn't let him see she was ready for it though.

The days of ITWATN!Hermione being useless are certainly coming to a middle. If she knows she's going to be even less effective against Dumbledore than she was against a "shit wizard", why's she even bothering with the charade?

He stood directly behind where Harry was sitting and theatrically cleared his throat, "Mr Potter, I detect your hand in Severus's sentence and I would like to publicly say thank you."
Hermione had her wand held at her side though her words were as cutting as any curse, "We had nothing to do with it, instead my husband showed faith that those in power knew how to do their jobs and left them to get on with it. You should try that approach sometimes headmaster."

Yes, how dare Dumbledore not give a pair of (as far as he's concerned) first-years free rein to fight Voldemort as they see fit? What a bastard, right?

Albus ignored the young girl with the rose pinned to her robe, he'd heard the story of how a white owl had delivered them to her yesterday at breakfast.

We, however, haven't. Hermione's POV can't even be allowed to get a birthday present in this bloody fic.

Instead he spoke directly to Harry, "You have displayed great maturity in dealing with these difficult situations and I must commend you for it."
The maturity comment had both Potters waiting on the hammer falling as they wondered if the old wizard had discovered their secret.

Of course he hasn't. That would be interesting.

Albus regarded this as a sign of encouragement so continued to woo his prey, "I also feel that I must apologise for my behaviour the other night, I hope you will accept it."
Harry nodded, more in relief than anything else.

I rest my case.

Again Albus thought he was on a roll, "We apparently got of on the wrong foot and never seemed to recover, I'm hoping this will allow us to move beyond that and build at least a working relationship. Your treatment of Severus has shown your true, forgiving nature." Dumbledore realised he was laying it on a bit thick, he was counting on the boy being flattered enough not to outright refuse him in front of the entire great hall. This would give Albus the toehold he needed to start bending the boy to his will.
Harry couldn't believe the arrogance of the old bastard and thought he'd better answer quickly before Hermione blew a gasket. "Mr Snape committed crimes for which he showed genuine remorse and will now receive punishment for. I think his sentence is not only fair but fitting."
This brought a smile to the face of Albus Dumbledore, blindly assuming he'd just been forgiven all transgressions against the boy. The part of the prophecy Snape had heard was accepted by everyone as having been fulfilled that Halloween night, only Albus knew different. With Severus also avoiding Azkaban, yesterday had went about as well as it possibly could for the headmaster. Now the way was clear for Albus to begin to become the boy's mentor and confidant. Harry's next words evaporated Dumbledore's hopes, exposing them for the mirage that they were.
"You on the other hand have committed crime after crime, without displaying one shred of remorse. The laws of the land are not your own personal playthings headmaster, something you can do as you please with, rather a set of rules laid down to govern us all. Surely as Chief Warlock and Supreme Mugwump you are aware of this?"
This was a rhetorical question that Albus had no intention of answering, he was too busy wondering just how much the Potters knew. Harry didn't keep him wondering for long.

The author has unwittingly (or subconsciously) hit the problem with this conflict on the head: it doesn't keep us wondering for long, because we immediately shift into the other character's head after every line of dialogue. We're not given a chance to ask ourselves questions like "how's he going to take that?" or "what's his next move going to be?" I can't remember where I read this, but I recently saw a comment to the effect that if you present an intrigue from the POV of one of the participants while making sure that everyone is acting logically from their own perspective, your readers are going to carry on in the hope that the full picture will emerge in a later scene, and in the meantime come up with their own ideas as to what's going on and why.

"You sentenced me to a decade in hell, an existence so bad that without my Hermione I would probably have walked in front of a bus to put an end it. I now have a loving family and friends, something that you, and you alone denied me of. A simple 'I'm Sorry' isn't going to cut it."

So would you rather have been hunted down and murdered by surviving Death Eaters, or grown up into an insufferable spoilt brat like Draco if you'd somehow beaten the odds? (Not that the Lord Potter we're seeing here isn't himself an insufferable spoilt brat, but he's better than Draco because the author says so.) Because those were the alternatives. It was even acknowledged in the very first chapter of Philosopher's Stone that placing Harry with the Dursleys was less than ideal, but all that could be done in the circumstances. Far too many attempted fix-fics do the narrative equivalent of assuming a spherical frictionless Harry; in fact, it's probably the main pitfall of the genre.

Albus was now regretting his public play as the gasps of horror around him indicated who was being believed here, what more was he expected to do? Why couldn't the lad just do what Albus wanted him to do, after all it was for the best? Dumbledore was finding it extremely difficult to play chess when the pieces suddenly had minds of their own and wouldn't follow his commands.
He hadn't realised that Harry wasn't quite finished yet.

We should be so lucky.

"You also played a major part in my godfather being illegally imprisoned for a decade, by actions and inaction you have cost us a combined total of twenty years.

If this was at all true, then Sirius wouldn't have allied himself with Dumbledore in canon.

Neither Sirius nor I are vindictive though,

Not in the slightest bit vindictive, which is why you're even now plotting to murder two people for something they would have done in a completely different timeline.

we both feel that a twenty year sentence for you would be too harsh. Our lawyers tell us they are confident that by the time they're finished preparing charges, you'll see the inside of a cell for the next ten years. Both Sirius and myself could live with that."
Dumbledore stood rooted to the spot as the Potters and their friends headed off to class, the glances as they walked past left no doubts where their loyalties lay. Unfortunately for Dumbledore, it wasn't just the Gryffindors giving him dirty looks.
Albus had never known children like these two and was at a loss on how to proceed, the mere fact that he, Albus Dumbledore was talking to them should have seen the pair swooning to do his bidding. The lawyers were no idle threat, if they could prove any of their accusations then Albus would be in a world of trouble. As the proof wasn't too hard to find, Albus had to get the Potters to change their minds. That was proving to be easier said than done.

If evidence to prove his wrongdoing is that easy to find, how has it not already come to light?

Quirrell had sat avidly watching the latest episode in the saga that surrounded the Potters, his master studying every nuance. There was now a realistic chance that they might permanently remove the old fool from the castle without him having to intercede. The biggest problem with that scenario was that Dumbledore was sure to take the stone with him.
His plans were set for Halloween, regaining a body exactly a decade after losing his own should empower his new one. Aided by one of the most powerful nights on the magical calendar and Tom decided his original plan would stand. Halloween would be when the dark lord came out from behind this turban and Voldemort proudly stood once more.

Because we all know how much better Philosopher's Stone would have been had this happened:

Harry was just helping himself to a jacket potato when Professor Quirrell came sprinting into the hall, his turban askew and terror on his face. Everyone stared as he reached Professor Dumbledore's chair, slumped against the table and gasped, "Troll -- in the dungeons -- thought you ought to know."
He then sank to the floor in a dead faint.
Perfect, thought Professor Quirrell, who was only pretending to be unconscious. Now they'll be too busy chasing the troll to notice me stealing the Philosopher's Stone so I can bring Voldemort, who's hidden under my turban, back to life.

The Potters were about to leave for home after another busy week at Hogwarts but they had a slight problem to deal with first, namely one Percy Weasley. The problem was not ensuring the redhead got what he deserved, rather they couldn't be connected to it and that it didn't screw-up their other plans.

If they're concerned that killing Percy (again, for no good reason) is going to screw up their plan to defeat the most evil wizard who ever lived, they should be abandoning the plan until Voldemort is dead. Damage limitation isn't good enough in this case: any risk of jeopardising their real mission is too great. Of course it is going to go off without a hitch, because ITWATN.

With the map and cloak in Hermione's bag, they put their scheme into operation, the rest would depend on Percy.
The silently following former prefect was well aware the Potters were due to leave for home, so when they started heading in the other direction Percy knew they were up to something.

Lord Potter relied on Percy not telling anyone of his suspicions before he started following him, or he'd have been implicated in Percy's disappearance. He got very lucky there.

As they headed toward for the forbidden third floor, a scenario began to take shape in Percy's mind. Catch them doing something they shouldn't be and their little jaunt into London this weekend would be cancelled, due to their resulting detention. Penelope wouldn't then be spending the day with Wood and Percy might even get his precious prefect's badge back. When he heard the girl speak, his mind was instantly set. Thoughts of Penelope on his arm and a shiny badge adorning his lapel saw Percy throwing any doubts into a cold, dark, lonely corner.
"Are you sure about this Harry? We could be killed, or even worse expelled!"
Harry was desperately trying not to laugh as his wife was making faces at him while she spoke those words from another life, "Hermione love, when have I ever led you wrong?"

In which the author references canon to maintain the increasingly shaky pretense that any of this bullshit has anything to do with the actual books.

The young girl's 'harrumph' could clearly be held around the corner by the stalking redhead. Wand in hand Percy sprang into action, only to find himself faced with an empty dead-end. The only escape was the slightly open door, thinking that the time for caution was long gone Percy burst into the room with a curse already on his lips.
It was to Percy's great misfortune that was where the curse stayed, due to being hit with a wandless silencing charm as he passed an invisible Harry Potter in the corridor.

How does he know that it was a wandless spell, or even Harry casting it, if Harry is invisible?

Percy's entire universe had shrunk to three sets of staring eyes and the fang-filled slobbering jaws underneath them. He slowly and very carefully retraced his steps, away from the now growling heads toward the door. Finding it not only closed but locked ended all rational thought, banging the door with fists and feet while silently screaming his lungs out for someone to save him.

Not that there was ever any danger of rational thought from anyone in this fic. For example, Lord Potter has just abandoned someone to be eaten alive by a monster for absolutely no valid reason.

His vain attempts at escape and calling for help came to a painful and abrupt end. One set of jaws clamped on his shoulder while another grabbed Percy by the leg, he was up in the air still trying to scream when the tug of war was violently ended. The third set of jaws crushed his stretched torso as all three heads now fought against each other over this tasty morsel. Percy was ripped to pieces, though mercifully was dead before this happened.
The Potters entered with Hermione's little jewellery box playing 'Greensleeves' for some unknown reason.

Unknown to whom? You've just killed the POV character and not established another one.

Harry was gazing in astonishment at all the mess when his wife promptly added to it.
The sight of all the blood combined with the horrendous smell saw Hermione barf everything she'd eaten since the day she was born all over the room. Harry was by her side in an instant, supporting her as the dizziness threatened to overtake Hermione. Harry led her back outside the room before she even realised, only when her lungs drew in air that wasn't tainted by the smell of blood and ripped intestines did Hermione's eyes come back into focus. She decided there and then that she'd rather face her death by dementor, anything was better than that!

If only.

"Oh I'm sorry Harry, I just couldn't ..."
Harry gently placed his finger on his wife's lips to prevent her saying anymore, "Hermione, put the cloak back on and check the map. I have to go back in there and need you to stand guard."
Normally this would have drawn a different response from Hermione, this time she could only look toward her husband with gratitude. She didn't think she could go back in that room today.

I'm torn between thinking that at least someone here has a brain and being annoyed that the author once again makes Hermione the weaker of the two.

Harry worked quickly, using his wandless magic he soon had the entire room clean. Any leftover Percy was transfigured into fertiliser and made its way down the hatch to a welcoming devil's snare. In less than ten minutes there was no sign Percy had ever entered the room, this was necessary to preserve their other plans.

Until the Transfiguration wears off, leaving half-eaten bits of whatever parts of Percy the Devil's Snare can't digest ready for Sprout to find when she goes down there to check on it. And that's leaving aside the possibility of the Devil's Snare itself being damaged by the fertiliser suddenly changing back into human remains.

If it were discovered that a student had met their death in here, Dumbledore would be arrested, the stone would be removed and Riddle fade back into obscurity. This was not what they wanted so Percy had to disappear.

Or they could have just not risked it at all.

With the castle-wide excitement over the trip tomorrow he probably wouldn't even be noticed as missing tonight, when he couldn't be found and with no traces of foul play Percy would hopefully be classed as a runaway.
Harry left the room to find an anxious Hermione waiting on him, they stayed under the cloak until escaping from the castle therefore not having to explain to anyone why Hermione was chalk white. They were through the gates and on the path to Hogsmead before Hermione gave a voice to what was on her mind.
"I'm sorry Harry, I thought I was stronger than that. I'm even beginning to doubt if we're doing the right thing."
Harry was not about to let Hermione think she had failed him, it just wasn't possible for his wife to do that.
"Hermione there is no shame in being upset at a sight like that, you're still the strongest person I've ever known.

"Apart from the shit wizard who overpowered you twice!"

Remember this wasn't just the man who passed sentence on us, he was also waiting in ambush the other night.

How very convenient. Also, Percy wasn't the man who passed sentence on them, only one member of a jury who voted unanimously to convict. Had he voted the other way, they'd still have been executed.

If there has to be blood splattered all over the walls then I would just as soon make sure it's not ours or anyone we care about."
Harry now had his arm around his wife, "You know I would do anything for you but please don't ask me to spare Ronald Bloody Weasley. I don't know how I would react to that or even if I could let him live."

He's been demoted from Ronald Fucking Weasley, apparently.

Hermione leaned into him as the couple made their way toward the village, "I think it was just the shock Harry, we've both seen more than our share of death but that was something else. We engineered the whole event and Percy never stood a chance."
Harry squeezed her shoulder that his arm was already around, "That's the way it's supposed to be Hermione, only a fool gives the bad guys a chance. We take them out coldly and cleanly, well alright, I suppose that wasn't very clean!"
"Harry how can you try and joke about this? I'm worried we may be going dark and you're trying to insert humour into a situation that doesn't have any."

I wonder if Hermione is supposed to represent the voice of the sceptical reader at this point. Because "trying to insert humour into a situation that doesn't have any", with emphasis on the "trying", is a habit of this author.

Harry stopped and turned his wife around to face him, "Do you think Voldemort or his death eaters lose their breakfast every time they kill someone? I will never go dark as long as I have you, your love wouldn't allow it. By the same token I will not be able to rest until those who did you harm have been made to pay. That Ronald still draws breath is only sufferable because I know it wont be for much longer."

Even though he's eleven years old and done nothing wrong in this timeline.

It was a thoughtful Hermione who answered as they continued their journey, "I'm glad we decided not to deal with Ginny, I don't think I could have done that. It's going to be hard enough spending the weekend with her while knowing we arranged Percy's demise."
Harry had to agree with her on that point, "I know the timing couldn't have been worse but it was Percy who forced the issue, Ron was supposed to have been first until he tried to ambush us the other night. We've discussed this on many occasions love, though I will admit seeing the result is an entirely different matter."

So why didn't they just report Percy for trying to hex them? He was already known to have a grudge against them, after all, because that's how he lost his prefectship: it's not like they wouldn't have been believed.

Intellectually Hermione was aware Harry made sense, these people had hurt them before and seemed only too willing to do so again at the first opportunity. It was the sights, sounds and especially the aromas that made it oh so real, no longer a mental exercise in meticulous planning.

Nothing in this fic was an exercise in meticulous planning.

Ron was scheduled to meet a similar fate, with Ginny becoming their friend the dynamics of their revenge was changed. His death would have to look like an unfortunate accident, preferably an accident they appeared to had nothing to do with.

Yeah, good luck not being implicated when you've already let the entire world know how much you hate his family. Meticulous planning!

Even the magical world weren't stupid enough to believe two Weasley children running away. Hermione wondered if Ginny would be so quick to offer hero worship if she knew the truth.

Probably, given that people in this fic have a habit of abandoning strong and long-held loyalties for Lord Potter at the drop of a hat.

Harry was desperate to cheer her up so changed his intentions there and then, hopefully giving Hermione some time to herself and a soak in the tub at home would see her feeling better before tonight. All he needed now was for mum to be quick on the uptake, Harry wasn't expecting any trouble with that since neither of the Granger women could ever be accused of being slow.

Except when it comes to fighting shit wizards. Anyway, they go to Diagon Alley, meet Ginny and take her clothes shopping.

Little Ginny Weasley had never had anything that wasn't at least second hand, pre-owned as the shops were now calling it but it didn't lessen the stigma of being poor. Ron hated it when he received something that had been passed down from his brothers but Ginny would have preferred that, at least he knew where it came from. It wasn't that Ginny was a materialistic little girl, more the result of a particular nightmare that had haunted her since she was about seven.
Ginny was walking down a busy Diagon Alley when a young girl's voice rings out loud and clear, 'Oh look mummy, that little redheaded girl is wearing my old dress'. This led to a flood of little girls taking back all the clothes Ginny was wearing, leaving her standing in the middle of the Alley in only her knickers.
It was totally illogical, absolutely mortifying and woke her up sweating and in tears every time.


In most other fics, this image would probably have worked very well indeed. Unfortunately, this is the fic where we're supposed to be cheering for the overprivileged bastard who took what little money her family had left.

Here was this practical stranger, buying her new clothes and taking them into their home for a weekend.

After robbing her of her own home and knocking it down.

Harry had placed a specific order with a jeweller the day he bought Crookshanks, it was now time to revisit the shop. He was going to wait until Monday morning but Hermione needed cheering up now.
Hermione soon found herself being presented with a black velvet box, on opening the lid she discovered a bespoke piece of jewellery that sent her pulse racing. It was a gold heart shaped locket that had two sets of the intertwined initials HJP carved into it. The initials surrounded a diamond that sparkled in the centre of the piece, it was exquisite and Hermione fell in love with her gift immediately.
"I know there is probably loads of jewellery in our vault that now belongs to you, I wanted this piece to be something special. I wanted to give you something no one else has, my heart is your heart in this world and the next."
This earned Harry a kiss before Hermione gushed, Oh Harry, it's so beautiful and I love it. Could you put it on for me please?"


Because when I think of Hermione Granger, I think of gushing. The necklace turns out to be a Portkey, so they end up at Hermione's house and tell Mr Granger that they just committed murder. He takes this surprisingly well.

Why they were home before mum and by extension what happened to Percy were the stories that had to be told to Dan and Sirius first, then it was time for Harry to come clean.

I like how they talk about Percy as though he was an afterthought. "Oh, by the way, we got someone eaten by a three-headed dog today!"

"In the muggle world Mum and Dad are going to become my legal guardians, in the magical world as usual it's very different. Both come under the protection of house Potter, namely Hermione and me."

The Noble and Most Ancient House of Potter, of course.

Hermione was becoming impatient, not a good sign. "I know this Harry, it still doesn't explain the portkey into our room. To accomplish that degree of accuracy the Goblins would need to have an intimate knowledge, not only of the location but the building as well."
As usual his wife was correct, she was just missing the obvious. "The Goblins do know the exact location of this house, right down to every piece of furniture in it. At my request they warded the entire house."

Why did he do it without consulting her? Because ITWATN.

"Harry, while we're on the subject of guardians, our lawyers inform us that the unopposed custody hearing will be Tuesday morning. They don't foresee any problems but would like you both to be there in a 'just in case' basis. It should be a mere formality but why take a chance when we don't have to."
The smile that crept over Hermione's face was terrifying, "Good, then I can start on those bastards. It's time for some payback on the Dursleys for all the abuse they heaped on my husband."


Dursley revenge fics are never as satisfying as the concept appears at first glance. Why? Because Harry's power so far outstrips their own: there's no longer a meaningful conflict. This is probably why JKR never had him hex them either. The fact that his success in life so comprehensively discredited their belief that they could keep the magic from him is resolution enough, as far as I'm concerned.

One glance told Harry it was a lost cause though he felt obliged to make the attempt. "Sweetheart, is that really necessary? I'm quite happy knowing I never need to see them again."

It comes to something when Lord Potter is the voice of reason.

If Hermione had used this expression earlier they wouldn't have needed a music box, Fluffy would have taken one glance and then been found cowering in a corner. "Did you honestly think I was going to let people who were deliberately cruel to my husband just walk away without being made to pay? You obviously don't know me as well as you think you do. I have a few things in mind and have yet to decide which, or even how many of them I will use on the Dursleys."
The tone of Hermione's voice caused an involuntary shudder to run down the three male's spines, "Now I'm going to have a relaxing herbal bath, I would prefer to smell of rosemary than Percy's remains."


All hail our noble heroes!

They all watched as Hermione climbed the stairs before Sirius felt obliged to say something, "After hearing how you pair dealt with Percy Weasley I had already made my mind up never to mess with you two but Merlin Harry, your wife is one scary girl! I think I might actually feel sorry for the Dursleys."
Dan wore an expression that matched his daughter's from a moment ago, "Don't waste your sympathy Sirius, I saw the cupboard they forced Harry to live in. Hermione has my complete approval and support for anything she does to those animals. The only reason we didn't involve the police was to get Harry out of there as quickly and cleanly as possible. After Tuesday when Harry legally joins our family the gloves can come off as far as the Dursleys are concerned."
Sirius was looking at his godson strangely, wondering how Harry turned out the way he did after being 'raised' like that.


How he turned into a cold-blooded murderer who happens to be a pompous, self-righteous wanker, you mean?

Harry decided to follow his wife up the stairs, "I just hope Hermione remembers we planned to use the Dursleys against Dumbledore, I would rather see him get what's coming to him than the Dursleys."

The last signal heard before the heat death of the universe will probably be the Harry Potter fandom still arguing the morality of Dumbledore's decision to place Harry with the Dursleys. Whatever your position on that debate, it's still hard to argue that he was actually worse.

Oliver Wood was also very happy, he was spending tomorrow outside the castle in the company of a lovely young woman. McGonagall's assurance that the boy who organised the event was not only superb seeker material, but was prepared to play for Gryffindor, set Oliver's heart racing almost as much as thoughts of Penny.

It shouldn't be "almost as much". This is Oliver Wood. However alluring Penelope is, she's not going to get him more excited than the thought of finding a new Seeker.

Oliver had never expected the prefect's badge, being more than happy to be Quidditch captain. His first night of rounds with Miss Clearwater had gone some way to have him revaluating that opinion. Percy's jealousy couldn't have been more pronounced if he'd taken a full page ad in the Prophet to announce it, Oliver was of the opinion that was Percy's tough shit. Sometimes during a Quidditch match the game could throw your team an advantage, his job as captain was to ensure his team grasped any advantage they could.

On the other hand, he probably would think in Quidditch metaphors. I still can't help but think of Quidditch Anyone, though.

The unattached Miss Clearwater had practically landed in Oliver's lap, he now intended to use every advantage he could to woo this lovely witch. If Percy was trying to screw-up their day out tomorrow then he was going to be disappointed, Oliver had no intention of playing his games and just went to bed early.

It's funny, because he doesn't know that Percy has been savaged to death by a monster!

The young wizard was hoping he dreamed about Penny again, Oliver Wood was discovering there were other things to do at Hogwarts that didn't require the use of a broom. He was looking forward to exploring the various cupboards where they were stored though!

The broom cupboards of fanfic!Hogwarts probably hold more shagging students than brooms at this point.

Comments

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undying_embers
May. 23rd, 2014 12:20 am (UTC)
Instead he spoke directly to Harry, "You have displayed great maturity in dealing with these difficult situations and I must commend you for it."
The maturity comment had both Potters waiting on the hammer falling as they wondered if the old wizard had discovered their secret.

Of course he hasn't. That would be interesting.


And the fact that Lord and Lady Potter haven't displayed much in the way of maturity at any point in the fic.


"You on the other hand have committed crime after crime, without displaying one shred of remorse.

Says the monster who coldly murdered a 15-year-old and is planning to do the same to an 11-year-old.


Hermione wondered if Ginny would be so quick to offer hero worship if she knew the truth.

It's kind of sick how they still expect the Filthy Peasants to fall on their knees after what they did to Percy.

szaleniec1000
May. 23rd, 2014 12:52 am (UTC)
And the fact that Lord and Lady Potter haven't displayed much in the way of maturity at any point in the fic.

That too. "You don't bow before Lord Potter? Well, fuck you fucking fuckers with a fucking fuckety-fuck-fuck!" Though the swearing at least seems to have calmed down, which with my track record for prediction probably means we're due a cluster F-bomb or several.

Says the monster who coldly murdered a 15-year-old and is planning to do the same to an 11-year-old.

For all the myriad faults of Hogwarts Exposed, at least the child-killers were the baddies.

It's kind of sick how they still expect the Filthy Peasants to fall on their knees after what they did to Percy.

Robst expects nobody to find out about Percy, because he has the same understanding of Transfiguration as LoPEF.
(no subject) - Jeremiah Smith - May. 27th, 2014 04:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - szaleniec1000 - May. 27th, 2014 08:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
zelda_queen
May. 26th, 2014 05:16 am (UTC)
I do so love how the Stuthor wrote Ginny as being very sympathetically upset about owning second-hand things and having nightmares about people showing up and reclaiming everything she owned, especially after her HOUSE was taken from her family, and then we cut to Harry giving Hermione a gaudy jewel-encrusted necklace (with mention of how she has countless pieces of jewelry in her vault, no less, those two really are the one percent!) and we're supposed to think it's so sentimental and heartwarming.
szaleniec1000
May. 26th, 2014 08:30 pm (UTC)
Yes. You can't have Lord Potter practically twirling his moustache over confiscating and demolishing a poor family's house, and then try to make us like him as he oh-so-magnanimously "forgives" their ten-year-old daughter and then proceeds to flaunt his wealth in exactly the way canon!Harry doesn't. I honestly don't know what he was thinking.
(no subject) - Jeremiah Smith - May. 27th, 2014 04:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
duster
May. 26th, 2014 05:34 am (UTC)
............ well then. I can't say I was expecting a gruesome "death by cerberus mauling" scene. Point for the author I... guess?

I love how even in a magical universe, writers don't get that HP magic has rules. It's not the all-purpose cleaner it's made out to be in fics. I remember another fic had a "disposing the body with transfiguration" scene and somehow this is dumber because nobody seems shocked about the fact Lord Dillweed and Damsel McDistress committed murder. Like even Hermione who got splattered in Percy seems pretty cool!
szaleniec1000
May. 26th, 2014 12:54 pm (UTC)
The Last War did the "disposing the body with Transfiguration" thing too, but was even more WTF because she turned evil!Ron into a log and burned him in the fireplace. What's going to happen to all the smoke and ash when the spell wears off?

As to the rules of magic, my personal rule is that a good plot device needs to create as many problems as it solves. (As Eliezer Yudkowsky put it, if you make Frodo a Jedi you also need to give Sauron the Death Star.) The illogical concealment charm in Hogwarts Exposed does this better than anything Robst has written, and that's just sad.
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:10 pm (UTC)
Why? Because ITWATN.

It seems a lot of the WTFery of this fanfic series can be explained by that little phrase.

Is it ever fully explained just why Percy needs to die so badly? I mean, yeah, he was loyal to the Ministry during the War, but he did, y'know, REALIZE THE ERROR OF HIS WAYS IN THE END!

Not to mention he had one of the funniest moments in the entire final book...
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
He's evil because he sat on the jury that sentenced old-timeline!Harry and Hermione to death. No matter that he wouldn't have saved them even if he had voted to acquit, because, you know, majority vote.
(no subject) - Jeremiah Smith - May. 27th, 2014 04:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - szaleniec1000 - May. 27th, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:16 pm (UTC)
I like how nobody seems to question how Lord Potter knows all the stuff about Snape.

It's common knowledge that all 11 year-old wizards who randomly attack people in the Great Hall during breakfast, after having been assigned the "Gryffindor Marriage Quarters" after being announced as MARRIED at said age, are comprehensively intelligent and savvy toward well-kept secrets...

Does that make any sense to you, mate?
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC)
What you will not be aware of is that he has contacted me with a request for a reciprocal outing to the ministry of magic so the muggle born may receive a better understanding of how our world works. This is a request I can assure you I took great pleasure in granting.

Man, Fudge is rather accepting and open-minded about these things...even though Fudge was an ineffectual blood-purist who spent his time waging a smear campaign against Harry and Dumbledore rather than fight Voldemort!

So is Fudge just a good guy in this fanfic, szaleniec? Or does he get his comeuppance later?
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
I think he's just a placeholder with no personality; he's only Fudge because Robst couldn't be arsed to come up with an OC.
(no subject) - Jeremiah Smith - May. 27th, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:24 pm (UTC)
The only life experience ITWATN!Harry has to set him apart from book!Harry is a year spent swanning around Australia with his girlfriend and her parents while the rest of wizarding Britain struggled to rebuild their society and culture after a devastating civil war.

And lets not forget how Britain, against all logic, wound up being even WORSE OFF than if Voldemort had been allowed to win...because, apparently, when the Dark Lord's been ousted from power, the wizarding public would be completely fine with the installation of one of his chief lieutenants as Minister!
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 08:09 pm (UTC)
Meticulous planning!
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:28 pm (UTC)
Though, to be fair, this was pretty good manipulation.

How, though? So far, SCBE is only succeeding in his manipulations because everyone in this new timeline has either picked up the Idiot Ball or the Villain Ball.

Don't tell me you're starting to LIKE this fanfic, mate! :P
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 03:29 pm (UTC)
I'll rephrase: it's "good" in the sense that it's the course of action most likely to work in SCBE's favour given the bullshit assumptions of this fic.
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
All that's going to happen is that corrupt Ministry officials will point to the known flaws of Veritaserum and continue to argue that Lucius was under Imperius as they take his money.

Oh szaleniec, you poor, naive optimist. The only way this would happen is if Rowling herself was consulted during the writing of this fanfic. And seeing as Robst has basically been spending this entire fic taking massive, steaming dumps upon her writing and propping them up as superior...it continues to amuse me that Robst calls himself a Harry Potter fan, and yet wrote this fanfic with the apparent intention of showing JK Rowling how "real" writing is done.
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
Especially when he throws in stuff from the three books he claims let the series down.
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:41 pm (UTC)
The days of ITWATN!Hermione being useless are certainly coming to a middle.

Firefly reference!

At this point, I'm wondering just WHY SCBE and Doormat are still at Hogwarts. I know they technically haven't graduated nor reached their age of majority, but those "technicalities" haven't stopped the Ministry or Hogwarts staff(not named Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, that is) from falling over themselves in adoration and service toward those two cunts.
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 03:15 pm (UTC)
In one of Robst's other fics, Knowledge is Power, they do indeed leave Hogwarts and set up a new wizarding school (called the "Potter Institute for Sorcery and Spells", lel) in Italy.
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:43 pm (UTC)
We, however, haven't. Hermione's POV can't even be allowed to get a birthday present in this bloody fic.

Not to mention...what the hell is the point of the rose, anyway?
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:45 pm (UTC)
Of course he hasn't. That would be interesting.

Well, why would Robst put interesting conflicts or dilemmas on the table in this fanfic when there's Weasley-bashing, Rowling-bashing, and Dumbledore-bashing to be done!?
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
Far too many attempted fix-fics do the narrative equivalent of assuming a spherical frictionless Harry; in fact, it's probably the main pitfall of the genre.

Spherical frictionless Harry?
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 03:17 pm (UTC)
A "spherical frictionless cow" is physics slang for a theoretical model that's oversimplified to the point of being useless. Like a fanfic that ignores so many of the factors that affect the events of the story that what's left is completely incoherent and probably written by Robst.
(no subject) - Jeremiah Smith - May. 27th, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
In which the author references canon to maintain the increasingly shaky pretense that any of this bullshit has anything to do with the actual books.

Not to mention the fact that Harry and Hermione basically said "Expel us, we don't give a fuck!" way back at the beginning of the fic...
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 03:23 pm (UTC)
Almost in so many words, because Robst.
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
Unknown to whom? You've just killed the POV character and not established another one.

Somewhere, GRRM stirs in his sleep while attempting to write Winds of Winter...
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 03:08 pm (UTC)
For example, Lord Potter has just abandoned someone to be eaten alive by a monster for absolutely no valid reason.

Our hero, ladies and gentlemen!

Wish I could find a gif of Linkara saying that...

Edited at 2014-05-27 03:09 pm (UTC)
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
How very convenient. Also, Percy wasn't the man who passed sentence on them, only one member of a jury who voted unanimously to convict. Had he voted the other way, they'd still have been executed.

Not to mention that, again, they were murdering Percy for a crime he hadn't technically committed...
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 03:25 pm (UTC)
No technically about it: he hadn't. The Percy here is book 1 Percy, who has yet to even side with the Ministry over his family. (Which you'd have thought would be a point in his favour as far as Robst is concerned...)
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
"That's the way it's supposed to be Hermione, only a fool gives the bad guys a chance. We take them out coldly and cleanly, well alright, I suppose that wasn't very clean!"

Again: Our hero, ladies and gentleman!
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 03:25 pm (UTC)
That Ronald still draws breath is only sufferable because I know it wont be for much longer."

Two people plotting to murder an eleven year-old!

OUR HEROES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 03:41 pm (UTC)
And as with Percy, he hadn't even done any of the dick things he does in canon yet. Let alone what Robst made him do in chapter 1 just in case we didn't realise that we're supposed to hate him.
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 03:50 pm (UTC)
"I'm glad we decided not to deal with Ginny, I don't think I could have done that. It's going to be hard enough spending the weekend with her while knowing we arranged Percy's demise."

Oh, so they DO have a conscience. And, of course, that conscience kicks in because Ginny's basically worshiping the ground they're fucking treading on!

I hate this fic.
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC)
After robbing her of her own home and knocking it down.

Our...heroes. Ladies. And GENTLEMEN!

You'd think...that after growing up with the Dursleys and their elitist attitudes(they being, after all, a fairly affluent and well-off family who LOVED to brag about their new shit to the neighbors) that Harry would have a distaste for that sort of bollocks.

Edited at 2014-05-27 04:30 pm (UTC)
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
Dursley revenge fics are never as satisfying as the concept appears at first glance. Why? Because Harry's power so far outstrips their own: there's no longer a meaningful conflict. This is probably why JKR never had him hex them either. The fact that his success in life so comprehensively discredited their belief that they could keep the magic from him is resolution enough, as far as I'm concerned.

So they're going to use their Super Speshul Sue Powers on a family of Muggles?

...why are we supposed to root for these horrible people, again?

Never mind the fact that I doubt the Dursleys would put up much of a fight for Harry in the first place...
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 04:07 pm (UTC)
"Did you honestly think I was going to let people who were deliberately cruel to my husband just walk away without being made to pay? You obviously don't know me as well as you think you do. I have a few things in mind and have yet to decide which, or even how many of them I will use on the Dursleys."

So Hermione, a Muggleborn witch, is going to use magical powers on nonmagical people...

Again, how does this make our protagonists any different from Voldemort?

You know the theories about how Hitler was possibly a Jew by blood and how that might have spurred his hatred for the entire Jewish race along?

I'm starting to get reminded of those.
Jeremiah Smith
May. 27th, 2014 04:12 pm (UTC)
The last signal heard before the heat death of the universe will probably be the Harry Potter fandom still arguing the morality of Dumbledore's decision to place Harry with the Dursleys.

There's no real debate, IMO. Even Dumbledore himself said that he didn't really WANT to put Harry with the Dursleys, but the only way he'd be truly free of reprisals from the remnants of the Death Eaters would be if he was placed with his living relatives. And seeing as the rest of Harry's family was kinda, y'know, dead, the Dursleys were the ONLY option.

I like how it's all explained in the fifth book, yet somehow this is a topic of heavy debate in the fandom...*facepalm*
szaleniec1000
May. 27th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
I have to confess, there's a few fandom arguments that make me want to grab everyone involved and lock them in a room until they've read the books properly.
(no subject) - Jeremiah Smith - May. 27th, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
katistrophe
Jun. 1st, 2014 07:16 am (UTC)
"Is it possible to be under the imperious curse and forced to take the dark mark?"
Completely different from the Imperius, of course.
Albus regarded this as a sign of encouragement so continued to woo his prey
I'm sure it's just me not being a native speaker, but "woo"? I've only heard that in a romantic context.

As for Quirrell's "MUAHAHA I AM VOLDEMORT" thoughts revealed: well, it's a foregone conclusion that he is, in my opinion it'd feel a little silly to artificially hide the fact again, but it could be used much better: get into Quirrell's head, show why he did what he did, and so on...

Aargh, poor Percy.

That's the way it's supposed to be Hermione, only a fool gives the bad guys a chance. We take them out coldly and cleanly, well alright, I suppose that wasn't very clean!
Our hero, ladies and gentlemen. The kid hadn't even done anything yet, and they preemptively murder him, gruesomely, just because he could. And planning to do the same to Ron, also for something he didn't do. Where does that come from, anyway? Hyperdeterministic view that says doing horrible things is programmed into them, they have a "Screw Harry Potter" gene?
szaleniec1000
Jun. 1st, 2014 08:48 am (UTC)
As for Quirrell's "MUAHAHA I AM VOLDEMORT" thoughts revealed: well, it's a foregone conclusion that he is, in my opinion it'd feel a little silly to artificially hide the fact again, but it could be used much better: get into Quirrell's head, show why he did what he did, and so on...

You have a point. It still came a bit out of left field because it's the first indication we get that the actual Philosopher's Stone plot is trying to take place. I don't think it helped that Lord Potter arrived in the past after the trip to Diagon Alley, because in the original book Hagrid's mystery package helped to set up the plot for later.

Our hero, ladies and gentlemen. The kid hadn't even done anything yet, and they preemptively murder him, gruesomely, just because he could. And planning to do the same to Ron, also for something he didn't do. Where does that come from, anyway? Hyperdeterministic view that says doing horrible things is programmed into them, they have a "Screw Harry Potter" gene?

Hyperdeterminism is a feature of the Robstverse, by the looks of things. Exhibit A: Teddy Lupin. It's the exact opposite of how I like to run alternate timelines. I admit it probably comes from all too many hundreds of hours spent on Paradox games, but I like everything after the point of divergence to be open to influence from whatever the change was. By the time Ron is eighteen in the new timeline, he should be completely unrecognisable from the Ron who inexplicably did what he did in the old one regardless of what Lord Potter does. Because as it involved Hermione, though Robst seems to have forgotten that, it's close to the point of divergence so more likely to be affected by it.
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