- Harry Potter/Hermione Granger
- Albus Dumbledore Harry Potter Hermione Granger Luna Lovegood Severus Snape
- Drama Romance
- The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Half-Blood Prince
Published: 10/23/2006Updated: 11/13/2006Words: 43,930Chapters: 14Hits: 93,013
- Story Summary:
- When would be the best point in time for an over-powered Harry to return to his past? Right before the First Task!
Chapter 08 - TrR - Snape Explains the Past
- Chapter Summary:
- When would be the best point in time for an over-powered Harry to return to his past? Right before the First Task! In this chapter, Snape tries to explain the motivations of Grindelwald and Voldemort to Draco and Harry.
Rita Skeeter's arrest was buried in the back pages of The Daily Prophet, along with the information that she was also banned from reporting until July 1. Harry was glad to know that she was out of the way at least.
Harry had rather hoped that Sirius could be sneaked into the castle for at least a visit. Other than seeing Hermione and Luna, Harry most wanted to see Sirius again. Still, Harry was quite happy to spend most of the time he wasn't spending training with Hermione.
On New Year's Day, as Harry and Hermione snuggled in the large bed in the Room of Requirements, Hermione asked, "Is there any other news you can share, like about Hagrid being half-giant?"
Harry told Hermione the stories of Barty Crouch, father and son (although not how they were currently faring), Karkaroff, and Ludo Bagman. "I never could like Mister Crouch, but I do feel sorry for him," Hermione said. "How much are you keeping from me?"
"Quite a lot," Harry admitted. "It's not because I don't trust you, but because the future is a burden. Sharing it with you wouldn't lighten the load for me at all, and I know exactly what I need to do. I promise you, if there was any way that telling you could help, I would in an instant."
"I don't like not knowing, but I have to trust you," Hermione said.
"I understand," Harry agreed. "Tell me, how does knowing that Snape could die at the end of June if he doesn't allow me to work on his Dark Mark make you feel? Or that the other Death Eaters probably won't even have his chance?"
"Like I should be doing something about it, even though I know anything I do would make things worse," Hermione admitted.
"I'm juggling about two dozen different eggs, just like that one," Harry said. "Well, one less since Skeeter is out of the way. And I have different concerns about Snape now."
"Does all this stop when Voldemort's gone?"
"I would think so," Harry said. "I don't think I'll have any more relevant secrets that I would need to keep from you. I should be able to answer any question you have, if I know the answer."
"Like how you visited Durmstrang and Beauxbatons?"
Harry shrugged. "I taught Defense here and at those two schools for one year each, plus at two schools in North America."
Hermione snuggled down into Harry's arms, and listened to his strong, slow heart beat.
Harry was quite surprised when Snape gave him a short detention during the first Potions Class after the break, since Snape didn't fall down screaming in pain. He found out why when he came back to the Potions Lab at 3:30.
"Potter, be honest with me," Snape said. "You know the Dark Mark can't be removed without killing me, and that if the Dark Lord is truly killed, all of Marked die as well, don't you."
"I do, Professor," Harry said. "I didn't know any of the Death Eaters knew."
"I doubt if many do, besides myself and Rookwood."
"The Unspeakable now in Azkaban? Yes, I can see where you two might figure it out. I can modify your Mark so that when I kill the Dark Lord, you won't die with him."
"Modify," Snape growled. "You mean transfer my enslavement from him to you."
"I am going to win," Harry said.
"And you expect me to believe that?"
"You do believe it, you just hate it," Harry answered. "Other than the fact I'm my father's son, why do you hate it? You're no more a Pure-Blood than Tom Riddle was or I am, o Half-Blood Prince."
"You know about that?" Snape demanded.
"Isn't that what you called yourself when you were a student?" Harry asked, surprised.
"No, that's what my uncle, my mother's brother, called me," Snape retorted. "I used it while at school because if I adopted it, it could not be easily used against me. Even then, I only used it in Slytherin."
"That makes sense," Harry said. "You do know that Voldemort can't win?"
Snape glared at Harry but said nothing.
"I don't mean against me, I mean in general," Harry went on. "He tried for eleven years to overthrow wizarding Britain, and he failed. Do you think the rest of the wizarding world would stand by and ignore his revealing to the Muggles that we exist by trying to take them over as well? Do you think that the techno- mages of North America wouldn't use a magically modified cruise missile to fly up Tom Riddle's arse and explode? I don't care what he's done to himself, at best he'll need to be reembodied again every few years after being put back together again, if I don't destroy him whenever he does come back."
Harry stood. "I don't want anything from you, Professor Snape, except to be treated as a student should be treated, as Professors McGonagall, Sprout, and Flitwick treat the average Slytherin student. Once I leave Hogwarts, I never have to see you again. You have until the weekend before the Third Task to decide."
"Why?" Snape asked just before Harry left. "Why even give me the chance?"
"Maybe as a favor to the Headmaster," Harry said. "Maybe as a way of apologizing for my father. Maybe because the Sorting Hat thought I should be in you House. Does it matter?" He left.
"Perhaps it doesn't matter," Snape muttered. Snape realized both that Potter knew more than he had realized, but that the Boy did not know enough.
It wasn't clear what he should do about it, but he had to decide fast.
It was a happy group of friends who made their way to Hogsmeade the last Saturday of January. The weather was cold, and the snow had a hard crust on it. Draco Malfoy observed the group as they left Hogwarts: Potter and the Mudblood; the Weasel and Edgecombe; Diggory and the Chink; the Squib and the Weaselette; another Mudblood and the Loony. "What a bunch," he sneered. "Hogwarts' best? My arse." Pansy patted his shoulder in sympathy.
"Well, you are an arse and an ass," came a sneering voice.
"Getting a bit above yourself, are we, Davis?" Pansy sneered back.
"It's easy to get above you when you're always on your back or your knees," Tracey retorted.
"Shut it, trash," Draco snarled.
"You don't have a magical ancestor beyond the first Malfoy," Tracey retorted with a sniff. "At least some of my ancestors date back to pre-Roman Britain."
"And many of mine date back to ancient Babylon and Ur," Tracey's friend Daphne retorted. "It is time that those of us with real ancestry and talent take back our House."
"That lets both of you out on both counts," Tracey added.
Draco tried to whip out his wand, but fumbled it. Tracey grabbed it before he could gain control.
"It would do the gene pool a great deal of good if you lot would drown in it," Tracey said.
"What the hell does that mean?" Pansy demanded, never having heard the term before.
"Give me that back, or I swear I'll kill. . . ." Draco started, but his mouth disappeared before he could finish.
Snape snatched Draco's wand from Tracey. "Off to the village with the pair of you," he commanded. Since he had added no threats or punishments, they were glad to make their escape.
"You, too, Parkinson," he growled. Pansy scampered away fearfully.
Snape restored Draco's mouth and then his wand. "You are a grave disappointment," Snape said. "Your father suggested I stand back and let you assume leadership of the House, as he did when he was a Fourth year. You have failed. I suggest you keep your mouth shut and your head low for the rest of the year."
"Is that what you're doing?" Draco demanded.
"You are the Heir of an Ancient and Noble family," Snape reminded Draco. "What is your duty?"
"Cleansing our culture of everything Muggle," Draco declared, "and then destroy the Muggles."
"Then you are an idiot," Snape stated. Draco couldn't believe his ears.
Snape handed Draco a small pamphlet. "What's this?"
"If there were no Muggle-borns or mixing with Muggles, our society would totally die off in less than ten generations," Snape said. "With no economic connections to the Muggles, you'd have to learn how to magically control a plow and how to slaughter your own meat, or starve. Learn to grow your own fiber, weave your own cloth, or go naked. There are dozens of families with blood as pure as yours, families which have to live exactly as I described, families you despise. We are part of the human world, Draco. The superior part of course, but still part of it. We are the evolutionary future."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Draco demanded.
"It means, some day the Muggles will expand beyond their technology's capacity to produce both food and the energy needed to fuel their industry, and that, combined with their poisoning of the planet, will likely cause another Dark Age. A Dark Age where we shall come to power. We will need the wizarding-raised for our knowledge of magic. We will need the Muggle-raised for their abilities to manipulate what is left of Muggle technology. We will prevail. It is a variation of Salazar Slytherin's truest vision. It was all very well-explained by wizard named Malthus Bern, in a series of pamphlets written in the early nineteenth century. His ideas are summarized in that booklet. Lord Grindelwald tried to hurry along the Muggle collapse, and ended up creating two Muggle world wars and helping the Russian Revolution. But the Muggles weren't ready to collapse yet."
Snape's eyes bore into Draco's. "The Dark Lord has taken another tack. He knows we cannot overthrow the Muggle Government of Britain, let alone the world. The Muggles would destroy us if we push them too hard. No, he wants to destroy the magical Government, and being nearly immortal, he would be in a position to help the final overthrow of the Muggles, no matter if that is in a hundred years or a thousand."
"But . . . but he loathes the Muggles! and the Mudbloods!"
"He loathes the Muggles, and the Muggle-lovers," Snape corrected. "He loathes the aristocrats who rule magical Europe, too."
"But. . . ."
"But you think of yourself as one of them? Your grandfather and great uncle didn't think so. They were excluded from the Wizengamot because of their financial dealings with Muggles. Your father understood this as well. He sits on the Wizengamot because of wealth made in the Muggle world and the backing of the Dark Lord, and he hates everyone who is not of use on both sides."
"I don't understand," Draco admitted, confused.
"Read that pamphlet," Snape commanded. "Then bring your questions to me."
Draco picked up the pamphlet and looked at Snape. "Does Potter know any of this?"
"No, he does not," Snape said. 'But he seems to be getting close on his own,' he thought. 'It's time to tell him.'
Harry looked at Snape and simply said, "What?"
"Can you possibly deny the possibilities? Think Potter. One, the Muggles do somehow keep their technology ahead of their destructiveness. In that case, we will likely be forced up against a wall and destroyed. Two, their technology destroys them, and possibly us as well -- in some sort of nuclear war perhaps? Three, they collapse and we take over."
"I think you're over-simplifying," Harry said. "I must say, a plan for a limited take-over at least seems more plausible than Riddle taking over everything. Still, why all the killings of innocents?"
"Innocents? To the Dark Lord, there are those who are with him and those who aren't," Snape said. "And tell me, was the Headmaster wrong in telling me that you told Lupin that he wanted to spare your mother? She was just the sort of person he valued, Potter, just as he valued me. Why do you think there were no deaths from the basilisk? He was trying to assert authority."
"How about Myrtle?"
"Myrtle? Oh, that annoying ghost? What about her?"
"Wasn't she a Muggle-born?"
"The daughter of a Muggle-born and a Muggle, but she was Sorted into Slytherin," Snape said. "She still hasn't realized that her rather annoying crush on her Prefect and her defense of all things Muggle are what led to her death."
Harry knew that this didn't square with what Harry had heard from the basilisk in the pipes, but it did seem as if Snape actually believed this nonsense. "I think you may believe all this, but if so, Voldemort was just feeding you what you wanted to hear," Harry said. "If we are destined to take over, pushing things along won't help."
"What?" Snape said sardonically, "no grand Dumbledorean defenses of the Muggles?"
"No," Harry said. "They're more imaginative than we are, but they're just people, like us. If their cultural customs condemns them, then it will. If our cultural customs condemns us, it will. Voldemort just wants power."
"And you don't?"
"No," Harry spat.
"Can you prove it?" Snape asked.
"No." Harry grimaced. "I do know that keeping power is as difficult as getting it. Even if I wanted power, I wouldn't want to have to keep looking over my shoulder."
"What do you want?"
"I want at least a slightly fairer wizarding world. To put it in your terms, I would want to bring the various parts together, so that we'd be stronger against direct Muggle interference."
"Like werewolves?" Snape asked with his trademark sneer.
"Yes. Not the freedoms werewolves like Greyback want, but something more like the vampires were granted last century."
"You know about Greyback?" Snape demanded.
"I do," Harry answered. "If you want to bag a werewolf, go hunt him."
"You know, your mother was in some ways a wiser, far less pedantic version of your Granger," Snape mused. "She also wanted to improve creature rights, until your father convinced her that all would be well when he and Black managed to take their rightful places on the Wizengamot."
"I hope you're wrong about that," Harry said.
"Because either he was fooling her, or he was fooling himself," Harry answered. "If they ever selected either my father or Sirius, it would only be after decades of intrigue, if ever."
"You're correct," Snape said, surprised. "I really do believe your father believed that he would be selected by the time he was thirty, as Dumbledore's representative in the rising generation."
"I can't see Dumbledore exerting that much direct influence," Harry said.
"I can't either, but he and Black were both raised to believe they would automatically go onto the Wizengamot."
"If I can destroy Voldemort publicly and get away with it, I'll be happy if, over the decades, I can get ten seats added to the Wizengamot that are actually elected, plus secure the creatures rights."
"Plausible, if not likely," Snape said. "And you did say decades. You at least know it won't be easy." Snape shook his head. "I don't like those ideas, but they are at least reasonable reforms. Your father was a genius in some ways, but an arrogant, idle spoiled prat in others. You like to think he would have changed. Maybe. I doubt it."
"Then why are you trying so hard to change Malfoy?" Harry asked. "He's much more arrogant and spoiled than my father ever was, and has less to be arrogant about."
"Your paternal grandfather was, by all accounts, a decent man, and a conscientious member of the Wizengamot. He may have spoiled your father for all I know, but I am sure he didn't sadistically twist your father's mind. Lucius twisted Draco, I don't know why, as he was the most pragmatic of the Dark Lord's followers. He seems to have come to believe everything people said about our values. I am trying to fix the damage."
"The Dark Lord sought control over all aspects of our lives," Snape said. "He assigned me to be Draco's godfather."
"Fair enough," Harry said.
"Here," Snape said. "I would appreciate these back." He handed Harry a set of the pamphlets. "If you loan them to Miss Granger before returning them to me, remind her not to pencil in comments."
The next Saturday, Harry asked Hermione, "What did you think of those pamphlets?"
"I don't know," Hermione admitted. "They read well, and they're well-argued. They certainly put Grindelwald and even Voldemort into context. I'd hate to think they were overly-accurate, but I suppose they might be."
"I know what you mean," Harry said. "They do explain why Voldemort could possibly think he could get away with it. It still shows his egotism, though, just like it does Grindelwald's."
"In what way?"
"Let's say Bern is right, and Muggle society will some day crash and burn, leaving the magically-raised to rule and the Muggle-raised as the bridge between magic and whatever is left of technology. That we are the future of humanity, and it's not all the wizarding version of the racist Muggle eugenics of the nineteenth and early twentieth century."
"Go on," Hermione urged.
"Well, if they make Muggle culture crash too early, it might recover and fight the magical," Harry said. "Still, their egos demanded that they take a hand in creating fate. If they really believed in the message of the pamphlets, they would have worked to reform wizarding society and work with the Muggle-raised. Grindelwald did that to some extent, but it back-fired on him when the Muggle-born involved in the Russian Revolution turned on the magical communities and led the Bolsheviks right to their hidden communities, where they mowed them down with machine guns. They both just used these theories to promote themselves."
"And the theories themselves?"
Harry shrugged. "You and I could use them to sell our ideas, which is no doubt what Snape hopes we'll do. Since it's Snape's idea, I know we don't do that without a lot more background checking."
"I suggest Remus and maybe Sirius," Harry said.
"May I write them for us?" Hermione asked.
"I'm surprised you never heard of these booklets," Hermione mused.
Harry shrugged. "Not many people were trying to defend Grindelwald or Voldemort at the time." And they went on to talk about Valentine's Day, which was on a Tuesday that year.
"What are you giggling about, Loony?" one of Luna's less sympathetic roommates demanded. It was Valentine's Day, and she had woken up in a bad mood, as Loony had, of all things, admirers and she didn't.
"Shut it, Smythe," Shirley growled. All the Ravenclaws knew lots of magic, but Shirley was willing to take a slap or curse in order to administer a beating to any opponent. The others had learned not to cross her over the previous two and a half years. Now that she was friends with Lovegood, it had become impossible to prank the girl. "You get a haul already?" Shirley asked Luna.
"Huh-uh, come look," Luna said.
Shirley saw that Luna had gotten cards from Justin and Harry, and a large pile of chocolates and other candies. Luna said, "Please everyone, help yourselves to any of the sweets."
All her dorm mates, save Marlo Smythe, did just that, thanking Luna as they took them.
"No jewelry today?" Lavender teased.
"No, thank goodness," Hermione said.
"Really?" Parvati asked.
"Really," Hermione stated. "I'm not dating Harry for presents. I would be dating him even if he was poor." She smiled, deciding to twist the knife in her dorm mates where it would hurt them. "If you want to look at things that way, if we stay together, I'll have every material thing I could possibly want Why push?"
Parvati and Lavender wandered off, a bit confused but thoughtful.