Joined: 10 December 2005
Chapter 20 It's Harry!
Lily knew one thing, a person who was willing to give his life for another could not be a bad person regardless of what history says. So when James suggested that they sneak into Dumbledore's office and eavesdrop on the meeting between the young founders and the minister, she had agreed. She had a feeling that it was necessary for her to go to this meeting and thus, she had shocked the marauders when she readily agreed to go.
During the meeting she was happy to note that the young Salazar Slytherin had done all that he could to put the minister at ease and agreed to help in the war. After the meeting she was about to undo the invisibility charms on herself when she heard Dumbledore reminding the founders for a promised explanation. Her curiosity got better of her and she remained where she was and listened in to the conversation, eager to learn more about the founders.
As Lord Gryffindor started to speak, she could clearly see the hesitation in his voice and this is what intrigued her the most. And she was now really looking forward to learning a lot more about the mysterious Slytherin founder.
However the tale that followed was mind boggling. She could see how it might have affected people to think that Salazar Slytherin was a dark wizard; she felt extremely sad and ashamed that no one, not even his friends tried to find out the truth. She was ashamed that she was one the person who thought badly of him after joining the school and never bothered to look at the history books to know the person for what he really was. She was also shocked to know that young Salazar was so close to Merlin before the death of the older wizard and that it was Salazar who she had to thank for the creation of spells and potions as they were known today.
But as the story went on she realised that whilst Salazar might be the king now there is no way that all those events had happened in their short life and thus she wondered how these people knew the entire truth. And when they told about Salazar's death and the infamous split this doubt turned into an alarm. Salazar Slytherin was clearly very much alive! How could these people know about that! But Sirius beat her to asking that question and revealing themselves. So she quickly undid the charms on herself and looked at the stunned faces of the founders and Dumbledore.
Things went very fast after this and before she knew it, she was standing on the grounds of Hogwarts in Professor Dumbledore's memory, witnessing the arrival of the four individuals and following them to the Headmaster's office.
She had a very bad feeling during this entire time and try as she might she could not get rid of the uneasy feeling in her stomach telling her that something big and significant was going to be revealed that would change her life forever.
And she was right, just as she heard the young Salazar tell the headmaster his real name she heard someone cry out in denial. It took her a few moments to realise that the sound had come from her mouth, before she felt her feet give out and a pair of arms holding her in place and someone sitting down on the ground with her.
After that she listened to the conversation between the four individuals and the headmaster with horror. She could not get her head around the fact that the person she knew as young Salazar Slytherin, the person she wanted to avoid or was scared off was ... was her ... her son? Her baby that was killed by that demon who has no right to walk on the surface of the earth?
However all these thoughts went out of the window when she heard how that devil was after her child in this alternate universe as well (she had never heard of such a thing but never for a moment did she doubt that the four travellers were telling the truth).
She wiped her tears and slowly stood up as she heard how her baby was left alone in his world and then had defeated Voldemort.
She knew one thing, if her baby can defeat that devil once he can do it again (provided he was willing and she will not force him or allow anyone to force him if he is not willing to do that) and if he is going to do that then she will be there to fight with him and support him in any way possible.
She never could give her love to her own son fully, having lost him well before he could grow up. But she could, and would give all that love to this alternate version of her son who has faced a lot in his short life, in both lifetimes as Salazar and Harry.
Remus was sitting in his quarters mulling over the recent events from the arrival of the four young founders. He remembered that he felt as if he was missing some very vital part of the whole story. He could see that Salazar was not evil and wondered what made historians hate him so much. After the young Slytherin had helped save Sirius from the deadly curse, Remus had started to respect him as a person.
Sirius had barged in his quarters whilst all this was happening and informed him of the brilliant plan that he and James had come up with. "To hide in Dumbledore's office and keep an eye on (in other words eavesdrop on) the meeting between the minister and the founders to give the founders backup." It sounded like a ridiculous plan to Remus and usually he would have tried to dissuade the duo from any such plans but he couldn't help but agree. Being a werewolf, he knew what it felt like to be discriminated for something you have not done or is out of your control; and knowing that this young Slytherin has not done anything that he was so notoriously famous for, Remus was determined to see to it that he was not discriminated in any sort of way by the Minister of Magic.
He realised that he might not have the kind of power that the other founders or Dumbledore had to influence the minister but it didn't satisfy the wolf who wanted to personally be there.
He was however pleasantly surprised to note that the minister was not in fact discriminating Salazar at all but was only a little wary but had warmed up to him pretty quickly.
After the departure Remus was gathering his thoughts and was about to reveal himself when the headmaster asked the founders for the explanation. Feeling it was something important he exchanged looks with others and stayed in their place.
What followed was a very interesting piece of history and it made much more sense. However one question plagued his mind - how did these very much alive young founders know about Salazar's death? Who exactly are they. But before he could ask that, Sirius beat him to it.
Remus never expected a thorough explanation from the headmaster so he was surprised at the offer to view his Pensieve.
What he found there was that his cub was somehow back. The cub he was unable to protect. He didn't care if it was the notorious Salazar Slytherin reincarnated. And it helped that Salazar was misrepresented by the historians. He would not let this golden opportunity to know his cub slide. And if the other marauders came in his way then they would find out how protective a werewolf can be, and why society feared them. He would not let even his friends hurt his cub either.
He was Sirius Black, eldest Black male of his generation. And even if he was blasted off his family tree, and even if he denied any association with the Black name, he could not deny that he had the Black genes. The most notable and popular trait of Blacks was that they were proud of their heritage, their blood status and their wealth. But these facts were skewed by some of the recent Blacks that supported and loved the Dark Arts. Originally the Blacks were a grey family, who never took favours from anyone. They were known to always repay favours owed by them. For example, if you killed a Black then the Blacks will kill you but if you saved a Black's life, they will stand by you till the favour is returned. Thus he, Sirius Black, was now indebted to young Salazar Slytherin.
He always hated anything remotely related to the name of Slytherin as he was always reminded of his family and the Dark Arts. The name Slytherin made him remember all that he hated and still hates - the dark arts, Bellatrix, his mother, torture, his mother, Bellatrix, to name a few...
Thus it was reasonable to be angry and shocked when the younger version of the founder of all things evil walked in front of him. But he, Sirius Black, cannot do anything about it as it was not the young man's fault. And if he had learnt anything from his life, it was not to punish a person for something he might do in future.
However, all these thoughts were flown out of his mind when the Death Eaters had attacked and he was at the receiving end of the Sicco curse. He had expected intense pain after being hit by it, but before he could think about it he was knocked unconscious. When he opened his eyes, he fully expected to be in tremendous pain (like the other victims of the curse) but he was surprised find himself in perfect health.
But the happiness was shortly replaced by horror as he saw the young Slytherin chasing what looked like an energy ball. Having grown up in the Black house with his mother, he had a feeling that the ball of light was not a good sign. He was not sure what the young founder threw at the ball but when he saw the ball coming towards the young Salazar he wanted to scream at him to move away, but before he could do so the light had enveloped Salazar and a blood curling scream left the founder's lips.
It was all Sirius could do to not faint, when James and other filled him in about how the young Slytherin founder not only defended him and his friends against the Death Eaters but also taking the curse on himself (against the wishes of other founders) to save Sirius.
Now as he sat in his chambers, mulling over all the past events, and remembering what he knew about the young Slytherin, he could not bring himself to hate the person. All evidence suggested that he was not evil, but then how can the history go so wrong!
So after hours and hours of pondering, he came to a conclusion that this young Slytherin is not evil but he turned to the dark side sometime later in his life. After all, no one knew the age of the founders at the time of the infamous split!
He was happy with this conclusion, and wanted to share this relief with his best mate James, who Sirius knew, hated anything to do with the name Slytherin and thus must be pondering the same thing. But as he came to the staff room to look for James (Lily told him that James was in the staff room) he heard Minerva and Severus discussing the impending meeting between the founders and the Minister of Magic. This made him forget everything and he summoned the Marauders map with a plan forming in his head. Sirius knew that this young Salazar was not a bad person, and he, owed him a life debt. But he also knew that the Minister of Magic will not feel the same way and will probably try to arrest the young Salazar just as a precaution. But he cannot let that happen. And he knew just the person who would help him with this plan.
He might not like Salazar Slytherin and all that he stands for but he would give the young man a chance, and so far it was looking good. And if the person is not bad then he might as well help to finish off his heir, thus avenging his beloved godson. Something, Sirius had failed to do so far.
Thus he found James, in one of the abandoned classrooms alone (and probably thinking the along the same lines as himself.
But before he could say anything, he heard what was almost like music to his ears. James told him that he can't hate Slytherin and he does not know what to think anymore as he hates everything related to Slytherin but can't hate the person himself.
So Sirius shared his theory with James only to hear that he was genius. So when Sirius suggested a plan to hide and give Salazar a backup if things went wrong, James agreed to it but only if Lily and Remus were included.
So he went to get Remus, and after almost literally dragging the werewolf from his room, he met James and Lily near Headmaster's office a few minutes before the meeting was scheduled to start. However after they were in he realized that this was stupid as surely the other founders were Salazar's friends at this point of time and would not allow for Salazar to be arrested for no reason at all. But before he could convey that to the others he saw the Headmaster coming in the office along with the founders. Thus, seeing no way out he decided to keep quiet and enjoy the meeting.
He was happy to find that the minister was not against Slytherin and appreciated his efforts to help them. After the meeting he and the rest were about to leave when the headmaster reminded the founders about the promised explanation. His invisible ears perking at this phrase, Sirius elected to stay behind. He did not need to be able to see his companions to know that they too would be staying. The Marauders were notorious for their propensity to stick their noses in places where they did not belong and their insatiable curiosity, and this was no different. Lily, herself, was also as intensely curious as the three of them.
What followed was one of the most concerning, alarming and confusing tale Sirius had ever heard. How could these people know about events that had not happened to them yet? Even more intriguing was the fact that a very much alive Salazar Slytherin knew how he had died. Unable to take it anymore, Sirius removed the spell hiding his presence and asked the questions burning in his mind.
He was fully expecting the headmaster to evade his queries. After all, the old man was known to keep matters close to his chest. He was even expecting to be Obliviated (he had, in fact, gripped his wand tighter at the thought, ready to fend off a sudden attack). What he was not expecting, was Professor Dumbledore to take out his Pensieve and actually invite him to view a memory.
He had his own suspicions about these people after listening to their earlier conversation. But nothing prepared him for what he heard. These people they thought were the founders were not really them but their reincarnations! And what was more was that Salazar Slytherin was reincarnated as his godson, albeit from another universe.
No, that can't be!
But, as he heard more about their world, he couldn't bring himself to hate the person who could be his godson (and he was in this other world). He definitely cannot trust the person completely but if there was a single tiny chance to know the person his godson would have become then Sirius was not going to let it go.
He couldn't remember how many nights he has woken up from his sleep after dreaming of taking care of little Harry only to wake up and find that it was only a dream and that his Harry was long gone, never to come back. He had never married because he knew that he wouldn't be able to take it if his child was killed and he couldn't do anything to save him. Regular reminders and taunts from his dear cousin Bella meant that he was sure that if he ever married then the insane witch would definitely go after his family.
But with Harry being here maybe Merlin was giving him another chance at life. And he would not leave it. But it would take a while for him to completely trust this Harry.
After the loss of his first and only son James Potter had lost all interest in the war and life in general. He no longer indulged in practical jokes, he hardly laughed and he never spoke unless directly asked a question. The only people who saw him crying over his firstborn's death were Remus and Sirius at first and Lily more recently.
The continuous torment and regular taunts from the Death Eaters about his son had made him paranoid. He didn't trust anyone to protect his wife in his absence nor did he trust the protection around his house. This was the primary reason he agreed to teach at Hogwarts. In Hogwarts, he could be taking care of other children and he would not feel the emptiness that Harry had left behind while still not having another child.
He was no longer an active strong fighter in this war but did his best to protect the children of the school.
The arrival of the founders, especially Salazar Slytherin had made him wary.
Nonetheless James had witnessed how Salazar had saved them all during an attack and how he had saved Sirius
He could not help but be painfully aware of how different this young man was to the person painted by his mind thanks to the various stories he had read and heard.
His father and mother had told him that the dark arts were bad. The horror stories his best friend, Sirius Black had told him served to cement his hatred towards the dark arts and anything associated with them. . And the first person that comes to mind when talking about dark arts or dark wizards is Salazar Slytherin.
However now all that he ever knew was questioned and he didn't know what he believed any more.
So he found an abandoned classroom to think things through. After musing over it for some time he came to the conclusion that this young Slytherin must have turned dark later in his life and thus should not be prejudiced against at this point of time. Maybe history will change from what he knew it to be, and the man would go back to his time and be known in modern times as a great light wizard. But he was confused about the Slytherin founder being the king and was thinking about hitting the library to find the reference when Sirius barged in.
Seizing the opportunity to get some help in his research (the library was a large place, and he never was a bibliophile) he immediately started sharing his theory.
James was quite surprised when Sirius admitted in having similar thoughts.
But before he could start talking about research, Sirius mentioned a meeting that was to happen between the founders and the minister of magic shortly and his plan to eavesdrop and possibly step in if necessary.
James had readily agreed to this, as he wanted to be able to observe Salazar more.
However as it turned out even Dumbledore was confused about Salazar being king. The explanation that the founders gave was very much believable but raised the question of who they were if they knew about the big fight between Gryffindor and Slytherin and also knew of the death of a man who was quite clearly alive.
However as fate would have it Sirius beat him to asking the question.
What happened after that in the office was pretty much a blur to James and before he knew it he was in the Pensieve
Both the Potters were surprised when they found out that the individuals that had appeared in Hogwarts were actually reincarnations of the founders. And when the identity of the man reincarnated as Slytherin was known, they were stunned.
Feeling as if the world had been yanked off his feet, James absently crouched down, automatically comforting his sobbing wife as he tried to process what he had just seen. He could not believe that his Harry was here. At the same time, he also could not accept him as Salazar ... He didn't know what to do but as the four travellers told their story from their world he decided that he would give this person a chance and benefit of doubt but would not completely trust him.
He also knew that Lily and Remus would not agree with his rationale, but they would have to understand that he was not completely shutting Harry out! He just needed time to satisfy himself that what he learnt his entire childhood about this man was wrong... he was so confused on whether to trust him or not but he would not let this come in between knowing his son.
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It is said that anticipation of something makes things worse. This was certainly true in the headmaster's office as the four founders and the headmaster himself waited for the people to come out of the Pensieve
To any outsider it would seem that the young Slytherin founder was as cold hearted as history portrayed him. But that was far from the truth for those who knew him.
It was a defence mechanism that he had developed. His blank face usually meant that there was a torrent of emotions that he wanted to hide.
Right now, the young man in question was nervous as he anticipated the reaction his parents and their friends would have to the reality of his identity.
Knowing this, his reincarnated friends surrounded him, silently offering their support. The four reincarnated founders tensed as one when the people in the Pensieve exited.
Albus was not worried as he had an idea that the marauders and Lily would accept the young founder as their long lost son, albeit from another dimension and timeline. He watched as the three founders moved closer to their friend and colleague, glaring at the people coming out of pensive as if daring them to hurt their friend.
With tears in her eyes, Lily slowly moved towards her son. Dimly, she noticed that the other founders had moved away, giving them space. Slowly, she lifted a trembling hand to touch his face, scared that he would disappear if she moved too fast or touched him.
"Harry?" she whispered, looking at his face through her tears, drinking in his features, while searching for something
And just as slowly, Slytherin's features softened and a small smile graced his lips as he held Lily's hand to his cheek
As if she was waiting for this confirmation the red-haired woman flung her arms around Salazar, openly crying and holding him for all she was worth.
Albus smiled happily as James and his friends inched forward. James stepped forward to embrace Lily and Harry whilst Sirius and Remus stood back, looking at the happy reconstituted family with moist eyes.
Meanwhile, Minerva and Severus had slowly moved to a corner, looking at the four travellers with wide eyes.
Salazar had his eyes closed, revelling in the feeling of a mother's embrace. It took him a few moments to realise that the two of them were being embraced as well. With another happy jolt, he realised that it was his father. Opening his eyes, he came out of the embrace, gazing at his mother who looked back at him hopefully.
Before anyone could say anything, they were distracted by a black eagle that took that moment to make its presence known at the headmaster's window.
Professor Snape was standing closest to the window, so he opened it to allow the bird in. The large avian winged its way straight to lord Slytherin with the letter.
Clearly not expecting a reply, the raptor turned around and flew out of the window as soon as Slytherin had relieved it of its burden.
Under everyone's gaze, Salazar opened the letter and read it quietly.
My Lord Slytherin,
First and foremost I would like to extend my warmest welcome to the future, and tell you how very pleased I was to hear this news. Before proceeding further I would like to introduce myself properly, as I have no doubt that you would have been told many lies about me. My name is Voldemort, and I am your only living descendent.
I would like to assure you that I am not the person those so called Light Wizards describe me as. I am merely trying to fulfil your wish and establish a proper order of society, something that you have always dreamed of.
I would not be surprised if you are currently facing discrimination and negative attitudes towards you just after hearing your name. This alone is a proof that these people fear and reject what and who they don't understand.
I would love to hear your views on this and would also like your advice on the future that I envision for our world.
It would truly be an honour to be able to make your acquaintance, so that together we can create a world that is made up true witches and wizards. Not those cretins that steal magic and masquerade as Muggleborn.
I eagerly await your response to my letter. Furthermore I would also like to assure you that should you have need of any sort of assistance at any time, please remember that your great, great grandson is always at your service.
Albus watched as the young slytherin opened the letter from the black bird. His face was devoid of any expression as his eyes flew through the contents of the letter. As he reached the end of the missive, the founder suddenly started chuckling humourlessly.
This chuckle prompted his Gryffindor friend to march over and snatch the letter from his unresisting hands.
"What a lying, sly, bloody snake." Was Godric's response to the letter as he skimmed through the letter.
"Hey no insulting snakes by comparaing that creature to them"
"Alright alright what a lying, sly, hypocritical, filthy creature, is that ok?"
"Add monster, murderer, and evil incarnate and you have him defined to the tee mate"
"Aah, yes. Thanks Sal"
"Either one of the two of you better start explaining yourself before I loose my patience with your nonsense. Or I swear you would be regretting it for days" Helga snapped pulling her wand out causing the two males to look at get and gulp before starting to speak at the same time
"One at a time! Ric, you explain as I am in no mood of Sal's sarcasm and you better stick to facts and not rant as I am not in mood for that either" the witch threatened.
"Yes, Hel, of course," Godric responded quickly, warily looking at her wand. "Sal, here, received a letter from so his so called great great grandson who calls himself Lord Voldemort. Basically asking Sal to join him so they can rule the world together. He was also insinuating that all of us are bad people out to make Sal's life miserable and probably might attack him anytime."
The audience were shocked. Not only had Voldemort sent a letter, but the ease with which Salzar, a.k.a. Harry Potter was taking it shocked them. They simply could not understand how he can be so calm in such situation.
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