Harry Potter, Lone Traveler, faced what he had never faced upon arrival in any universe before. Standing arrayed before him were twenty or so stone-faced witches and wizards. Leading them was a figure he recognized: Neville Longbottom.
"Potter!" Neville snarled out. "What are you doing here? You are not welcome! If you don't leave at once, I will let them cast – even if you are Lord Potter."
Harry raised his hands. "Woah, woah, woah! I think there's been a misunderstanding!"
Even as Harry spoke, a young, nervous-looking witch had walked up to Neville and whispered something.
Neville looked at Harry once more, a little less hatefully and a little more curious. "Why are you dressed like a Muggle?"
Harry, confused, replied, "Because this is how I normally dress? At least for a few years now."
Neville thought for a moment. Without emotion, he asked, "Okay then. Who exactly are you?"
Harry sighed. "I am known by a number of names. Harry Potter – yes. But not, I think, the one you are aware of. I am also known as Marak Ilumian, Fury of the Light, Master of Death, and – in most worlds I travel to – the Lone Traveler."
Through this speech, Neville had looked less and less homicidal. Until, at the last, he lowered his wand. "I know the story. The Harry Potter I knew would not have done what you have – the one I know now, he's taken control as a Dark Lord. He would uses wizards like Riddle as pawns."
The Traveler sighed and said, "May I?" motioning to an empty spot on the floor. Neville nodded cautiously. With wandless magic, Harry conjured two comfortable chairs across from each other and sat down in one of them. "Okay. Since I'm not from around here, someone tell me exactly what the hell is going on. Please?"
Neville finally came and sat down. "It started in Hogwarts. Potter had a number of problems every year, mostly created by the Headmaster. Finally, after his name popped out the Goblet of Fire, he had enough. I don't know who put him on the path, but he claimed his inheritance at Gringotts. While he was there, he found he had a few more titles."
"Don't tell me. Gryffindor, Peverell, Slytherin by Conquest, and Heir to Black."
Neville nodded. "Plus one from his Mum's family: Rothchild. Suddenly, he had political power. The people around him were supportive – we were tired of getting run over just as much as he was. And when Voldemort was resurrected, he used is political power to suppress the Dark families. And all that was fine.
"But in the middle of fifth year, things started to change. He started to use the methods that the Dark families had used historically to take over the Wizengamot and get them behind him. At first, we went along with it because it was a way to make Voldemort hurt – take away any influence. But then he started swearing others to the Potter family. I started to get nervous as did a few others. And then he did something I couldn't back him on: He started claiming witches as concubines to replenish his houses."
Neville looked off as he thought about the past. "We tried to talk to him … tried to convince him that it wasn't a good idea. He said he was only using the Pureblood's rules against them. We didn't fight him too much on it because the witches were for the most part happy, if a little confused. But then he did something unforgivable to my mind: He forced an 11-year old witch, Natalie McDonald, into being a concubine."
Neville looked at Harry with anger. "She was eleven years old. He was sixteen. And the ritual cannot be completed without consummation." Neville's tone dripped hatred. "If she was 21 and he was 26 or even she was 16 and he was 21, I wouldn't have said anything. But 11? No. That's not right."
Neville looked suddenly sad. "I went to him and argued that he was taking it too far. Yeah – he got rid of Voldemort finally, but instead of making things better, he's taken magical society back to the dark ages. Finally, I had enough. I took everyone who agreed with me and left."
Neville smirked painfully. "I'm from an Ancient and Noble house as well. He couldn't force me the way he forced so many. And I took as many witches away from his influence as I could. He can't stop me unless he wants to invalidate the privileges he claims but he considers me a thorn in his side. I've been getting Muggleborn witches from a position he can claim them before they even get to Hogwarts. I've had to dodge his loyal syncopates to do it. Some of mine have been killed by 'Unknown Dark elements'. But I can hold back no more: Enough is enough."
Harry contemplated what he had learned. And it was bad. Very bad. Finally he stood up and pulled his wand. A few watching put their hand on their own wand but Harry only raised it up.
"I hereby give my magical oath that I shall not betray Neville Longbottom or those that he protects in this world, regardless of any conflict he might have with another Harry Potter. My wand and my skill stand ready to assist him in protecting those that need protection. So I say it, So Mote it Be."
All who watched could see the sincerity of their visitor and they finally relaxed. Harry looked around. "Where are we?"
After ensuring that he could return and promising to not betray them, Harry used his unique skills to travel away.
The Traveler arrived in the place he intended. The guards immediately lowered their weapons toward him. "I am Marak Ilumian. I need to speak to the Director."
The goblins considered their visitor and then motioned him to follow them. Soon, Harry was in front of Ragnok.
"You are Marak Ilumian. You look like another customer."
Harry sighed. "I am aware. This customer makes you much profit."
Ragnok considered his visitor. He knew the old stories. "Yes. But it is like meat that you did not know was tainted until it fills your belly. You are no longer hungry – but you are not comfortably content either."
Harry nodded. "He violates the first rule."
Harry nodded. "And if I takes steps to take him out and to ensure stewardship for those accounts falls to someone such as, for example, Neville Longbottom. Would you stop me?"
Ragnok gave a feral smile. "The internal matters of wizards are not our concern."
"I'm glad we understand each other."
"May your enemies bleed gold to fill your coffers."
"May your gold increase from the vaults of your foes."
Harry returned to the Longbottom sanctuary and sat down with Neville to make plans. Neville knew exactly who to use to take the first, largest, and most necessary step. He sent off his Patronus.
Very soon, two cracks could be heard and there were two red-haired wizards newly arrived.
"Neville! Your Patronus …"
"nearly made us …"
"blow up one of our tests …"
"but explosions are fun anyway."
Together they asked, "How may we help you today?"
Neville chuckled. "Gred and Forge. I have a friend whom you need to meet."
Harry Traveler walked out from behind a blind spot and the twins reached for their wands, only pausing when they got a real look.
"He looks …"
"just like …"
"that idiot …"
"who used to be …"
"a friend of ours."
Together: "Who are you?"
Harry introduced himself and explained what he wanted to do.
The twins were dubious, but agreed to make the attempt.
Ron Weasley sat at his mother's table. Regardless of the differences between her children, Molly insisted that they eat together. At least those who could be forced.
At this point it was Percy, the twins, and Ronald.
Ginny Weasley had run off with Longbottom and refused to allow any but her two oldest to see her. (They didn't know the twins regularly visited.) The two oldest refused to come back to Britain with the current laws in place. The twins were reluctant, but they did as their mother asked. Since their father's death during their seventh year watching the Department of Mysteries, their mother didn't have much left.
After a comment from Ron, however, the twins had to retreat until they got their calm back. Ron excused himself as well to eavesdrop – standing orders from Harry.
Percy, who worked in the Ministry, also had standing orders. After Ron was found and made fun of and came back, Percy activated the charm that he had placed.
"I can't wait, Forge."
"I agree, Gred."
"According to Neville …
"during the Wizengamot session.
"He claims the seats …
"and Harrikens supermajority
"The only way Neville can lose
"is if every one
"of the fools show up.
"But no meeting
"has all of them."
"And then this farce …
"will be done."
Together: "I can't wait."
Harry Potter, Lord of Many Houses, walked into the Wizengamot chamber as if he owned it. He looked around and checked: Yes, all of his supporters were there.
He smiled a harsh smile: It has been so clever getting the former Death Eaters to support him. All he had to do was shed the "light" persona that the Manipulative Headmaster had tried to force on him.
Finally, the session was started and Harry saw that the proxy for the Longbottom seat was frustrated in how many supporters Harry had present. It was so sad for him.
He tried to put forward a bill which made human slavery, in all forms, illegal. That it would prevent Harry from binding new followers to him meant that he would do everything to ensure it was defeated. His followers ensured that it could not even reach the floor.
A recess was called and the "light" and "neutral" families withdrew to consult with each other. Harry motioned for his followers to come to him.
Suddenly, everything changed. The alcove which contained light and neutral votes was suddenly covered by a thick stone wall. And in front of Harry was someone who looked back at him with his face.
"You know? I tried to convince myself that Neville was overreacting. But just the normal passive legilemency that I exude shows me that he was far from being wrong." The man sighed. "My name is Harry Potter. Lone Traveler. Master of Death. And I am here to correct a mistake."
Suddenly, the Dark members were under attack. No portkeys worked and the entrances were all blocked. The man who attacked them was a whirling Dervish around the room and Dark wizard after Dark wizard dropped by his wand.
Even Harry Potter, defeater of Voldemort, was hard pressed against this new opponent's skill. Soon, he found himself restrained by the man.
The new man took control of the ward around the chamber – Harry could feel it as it they had been tied to him. Harry had insisted as repayment for defeating Voldemort. But this other Harry Potter apparently had almost the same magical signature.
Suddenly, several incoming portkeys arrived: Neville Longbottom, in his Wizengamot robes, along with his followers. Harry recognized several others: Ginny Weasley, Fred and George Weasley, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Susan Bones – all of those who had turned their backs on him.
The new Harry Potter walked up to him. "Do you have anything to say?"
"You're a usurper! I'm still Lord of Many Houses! And you don't have the stones to kill me. What will happen when the Wizarding world learns their savior was murdered?"
The new Harry shook his head. He pulled out a document and read it. It was written as though he himself had given up all authority and placed his estate into the trust of Neville Longbottom – including teaching his own children!
"You'll never get away with it!"
The new Harry shook his head. "Haven't you figured out? I'm legally Harry Potter. And, as soon as I sign this – you are going to be dead."
Finally, feeling defeat, he asked plaintively, "Why?"
The new Harry hunkered down. "Because you forgot the first rule of Civilization. The future of any civilization is found in it's children. The first and most basic rule is: The future must be protected. You, I am sorry to say, have become a monster – a beast. And a ravening beast often has to be put down for the good of society."
The man stood, signed the parchment, and then turned to Neville. "You or I? Who does it?"
Neville walked forward. "It's our problem – I will provide the solution. If the world falls on anyone from this – let it fall on me. My shoulders have become strong."
The new Harry backed away and raised his hand. The Sword of Gryffindor appeared and he put it on the table next to Neville.
Neville looked at it for a moment and then picked it up. He walked over and looked down at him. Harry could see the utter sadness in his former friend's face. "I used to look up to you." He then swung and Harry knew no more.
Those who had arrived and those who had been protected behind the stone wall cheered as the most recent oppressor fell. Neville Longbottom turned and snarled, "NO!"
All were taken aback.
"This is not a time for celebration! A former hero lost his way and had to be destroyed. But where is the joy in that? It is a TRAGEDY! There will be no celebrations. We will move out and secure the Ministry. We shall ensure that no more children are forced into serving sexual deviants. If necessary, I will proclaim myself a Dark Lord and rule with an iron fist! But we WILL not, WILL NOT, accept that this was anything other than it was: A terrible, terrible blow to our world and the soul of Magical Britain."
The people watching Neville all bowed their heads in acknowledgement.
Harry Traveler felt the call. "Neville Longbottom. This world is in your hands. As you said, you shoulders have grown strong. Do not be afraid to ask for others to help carry the load. And ensure people learn the first rule." Harry turned and walked off, his form compressing down into a ball of light and disappearing.
A sad but resolute music wafted about the chambers and then died out.