batsutousai: (HP-motherseyes-Harry)
[personal profile] batsutousai
Title: Déguiser
Author: [livejournal.com profile] batsutousai
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] magickmaker17
Rating: PG-13 for now
Pairings: Intended - HP/LV
Warnings: AU, an attempt to not copy the book
Summary: When Albus Dumbledore leaves Harry Potter on the doorstep of the Dursleys, the last thing he expected was for an unknown relative to disappear with the boy for ten years. Enter Thomas Potter, a man who intends to change the past, the present, and the future.

Disclaim Her: As per anything I write that's legal and all, everything I know I get from my mother the paralegal and we're American. So it's all American legal jargon. I do try to stay somewhat true to the few cases in the books, but, you know.

A/N: As one might expect, this chapter gets ridiculous near the end. Well, middle, I suppose.



-~/\~-
Chapter Four - The Trial
-~\/~-


'Thomas Leland-Potter, you are requested at the trial of Sirius Orion Black as the complainant in his case. The trial shall be held on the twenty-fifth of October in Courtroom Ten at the Ministry of Magic at eleven o'clock.
'Amelia Bones
'Department of Magical Law Enforcement Office
'Ministry of Magic'


-~/^\~-


Thomas appeared in the Atrium at ten thirty in his best robes, a set of reddish-brown robes with a sprinkling of shining stones around the cuffs that brought out his eyes. He'd found it during his trip to Africa and had ended up special ordering it after he returned home. As far as Thomas was concerned, it was one of the best wastes of money he'd ever made.

"Ah, Thomas," a cheerful voice called across the Atrium. Thomas easily spotted Albus Dumbledore in his out-of-place purple robes with his outrageously tall, matching purple hat. With a sigh he walked over.

"Headmaster, a pleasure."

"Ah, always so formal, Thomas," Dumbledore commented pleasantly as he received his wand back from the wizard who'd been checking it.

Thomas allowed himself to be scanned and handed his wand over before offering, "I find it best to not get too cosy with my nephew's teachers."

"Twelve and a quarter inches, powdered snake fang core, in use for thirty-three years. Correct?" the Ministry employee asked in a bored voice.

Thomas nodded in the affirmative. "That is correct, yes."

The man handed him his wand back and Thomas joined Dumbledore in walking towards the lifts. After a moment of silence, Dumbledore commented, "Not forty-one?"

Thomas snorted and rolled his eyes. "I lost my original one in a duel in Africa when my opponent decided to cheat and snap it after one of his friends jumped me from behind. Not very honourable, but I got a free custom wand out of the deal when his father found out what happened." Thomas pulled the ebony wand out of it's sheath on his arm and smiled at it fondly.

Dumbledore hummed. "Custom wands are chancy things."

"This one has served me for over thirty years without a fault, Headmaster," Thomas replied with a bite in his voice. "Forgive me if I ignore your warning." He put it back into the sheath and his pocket made a faint rattling sound. "Ah, I have a request of you, Headmaster."

"Request away."

Thomas pulled a piece of parchment out of his pocket and held it up. "Harry asked me to owl him as soon as I knew the outcome of this trial. I was wondering, since you'll get back to Hogwarts before an owl would arrive, if you could hand him this letter for me after I add the outcome to the bottom?"

"I don't see why not. Also, I believe you requested to visit Hogwarts on Hallowe'en should Mr Black be declared free?" Dumbledore added thoughtfully.

"Yes. I thought it best to give Sirius a few days to relax in a quiet house before shoving him into Hogwarts. It'll save my owls from having to fly up to Hogwarts with a ton of candy, as well," Thomas offered with a smile. Harry enjoyed Hallowe'en too much. He loved the candy and Thomas had promised last year that he'd send a load up on Hallowe'en while he was at Hogwarts.

"I don't see why that would be a problem. We'd love to have you." Dumbledore paused thoughtfully in the doorway of Courtroom Ten. "It will be your first time at Hogwarts, correct?"

"Yes, it will."

"I'd suggest you Apparate in to Hogsmeade and walk up, then. The castle is truly a sight to behold," Dumbledore said, then walked into the courtroom.

:I don't like him,: Kaz hissed darkly from under Thomas' robes.

:Nor do I. Now, silence.: Thomas stepped into the courtroom, showing none of the nervousness he felt. If Sirius didn't get his freedom, Thomas fully intended to pull out his wand and curse someone. Or, well, he wished he could, but he didn't think Harry would like that too much.

Thomas took the seat in one of the rows of benches that Dumbledore waved him towards. He glanced at his watch and found that his talk with the Headmaster and slow walk down to the courtroom had taken more time than he'd anticipated. It was ten fifty-three. He glanced around the room and put names to the faces he knew; Amelia Bones, Cornelius Fudge, Dolores Umbridge, Alastor Moody, and Dumbledore. He gave a curious look to the other members of the room and startled when the main entranced opened again to admit a tired-looking man. "Remus..." he whispered to himself.

Tired brown eyes turned sharp and met Thomas' surprised gaze. Remus Lupin moved carefully up the steps to where Thomas was standing cautiously. When Remus stopped in front of Thomas, the two stared at one another for a long moment.

Thomas broke the silence by holding out his hand. "Thomas Potter."

Remus' eyes narrowed, but he took the offered hand. "Remus Lupin. You're the one who insisted on bring Sirius to trial, aren't you?"

"I did," Thomas replied firmly. "I don't believe in sending people to prison without giving them a fair trial. That's the sign of a corrupt government." Behind him, most of the Wizengamot stiffened and let out sounds of irritation. Thomas smirked and Remus' face relaxed into an almost-smile.

"You remind me of James."

"He was my brother," Thomas explained, motioning for them to take a seat.

"I thought James was an only child," Remus mumbled, wincing as he sat.

"Ah..." Thomas grimaced. "It's very complicated. Perhaps you might come by for tea and we can trade tales?"

"I'm not sure..."

"I have Pepper-Up," Thomas offered teasingly.

Remus' almost-smile blossomed. "You've got me."

Before Thomas could say anything else, the far doors slammed open and two dementors glided in. Thomas gave in to his knee-jerk reaction and his Occlumency shields slammed into place on high. He took a moment to look around and found that only Dumbledore looked like the dementors had no affect on him, though his lips were pursed. Next to Thomas, Remus pulled something out of his pocket and took a bite.

Sirius Black was dragged into the chair in the middle of the room and shoved into it. As soon as the chains had engaged, the dementors left and the courtroom relaxed.

"Chocolate?" Remus offered in a whisper, holding out the bar to Thomas.

Thomas smiled and snapped off a chunk to suck on. Remus put the bar away and the two returned their attention to the trial.

"Sirius Orion Black, you are here on behalf of a complaint filed by one Thomas Justis Leland-Potter. Against this court's better judgement, your case has been brought forth to be re-considered." Dumbledore took a deep breath and stared down his nose at the haggard man bound to the chair in the middle of the floor by chains. "Sirius Orion Black, did you ever, willingly or unwillingly, help the Dark Lord Voldemort–" half the courtroom jumped, "–in his acts of terrorism?"

Sirius looked up at Dumbledore and licked his lips. "Never."

Dumbledore let out a noise that sounded almost like a breath of relief. "If you would, Mr Black, please tell us how, then, the betrayal of the Potters occurred? This court was under the impression that you were their Secret Keeper."

Sirius let out a hollow laugh. "No, Professor. James thought it would be the best thing ever if Peter were to be the Secret Keeper. That way, Voldemort–" half the courtroom jumped again, "–would chase after me and Peter could get away."

"Can you explain what happened the following day when you and Peter Pettigrew met in the middle of a Muggle street?" Amelia Bones inquired, standing so Sirius could see her better.

"I went looking for him. I found him. He shouted at me and we both went for our wands. He was faster to get off his spell and it blew everything up. He cut off his finger, I'm guessing, and turned into a rat to get away. So I laughed, because he'd gotten me."

"A rat?" Dumbledore asked.

Sirius shrugged, then winced when one of the chains contracted around his arm in warning. "James, Peter and me became Animagi in Hogwarts. James was a stag, I'm a dog, Peter's a rat."

"I will vouch for that," Remus said, standing. Sirius' head shot around and his eyes widened at the sight of Remus.

"I see," Dumbledore said, sighing. "You may sit, Mr Lupin." He glanced over the Wizengamot behind him. "Does anyone have any other questions for Mr Black, or are we ready to vote?"

The group of witches and wizards whispered quietly amongst themselves. Thomas didn't even try to listen.

"I believe we're ready to vote, Albus," and older witch with thinning grey hair decided after the whispering silenced.

Thomas closed his eyes for a moment and crossed his fingers, then looked back up as Dumbledore asked, "Those in favour of clearing the accused of all charges?"

Thomas did a quick count and felt his heart jump into his throat, but before he could count again to be sure, the hands went down and Dumbledore said, "Those in favour of conviction?" Thomas counted these hands as well and felt like jumping for joy. Next to him, Remus let out a breath of relief.

Even before Dumbledore could say, "Cleared of all charges," Thomas was already scribbling, 'YES!' on the letter to Harry.

As the chains fell away, Remus hurried down the rows of benches and over to where Sirius was standing on unsteady feet, chocolate out and a smile on his face that made him appear years younger. Thomas walked up to Dumbledore and handed over the letter for Harry with a smile. "Thank you, Headmaster."

"My pleasure, Thomas. Oh, and do tell Mr Lupin that if he cares to visit Hogwarts with Mr Black and yourself this Thursday, he's welcome to."

"I will." Thomas inclined his head, then moved calmly down the benches to where Sirius and Remus were standing, watching him.

"You're Thomas Potter?" Sirius asked suspiciously.

Thomas smiled. "I am indeed. Shall we retire to my home and trade tales over tea?"

"And Pepper-Up?" Remus inquired with a smile.

"Yes, lots and lots of Pepper-Up," Thomas promised.

Sirius snorted. "Sounds good to me."

-~/^\~-


"You'll have to excuse me if I'm a little lost, mate," Sirius said after Thomas had finished explaining his lineage to the two younger wizards and both Sirius and Remus had downed two Pepper-Up potions a piece and two pots of tea between them. Thomas was still working on his first cup of tea and had taken off his robe as soon as he'd entered the kitchen, glad he'd thought to wear a plain white shirt and black slacks under it.

"I understand," Thomas replied with a smile. "If I hadn't lived it, I might be a little lost myself."

"I am glad Harry didn't end up with Petunia, though. Lily hated her."

"I've met Petunia, and I must say, I shudder to think of how Harry would have turned out, had he grown up there," Thomas agreed.

Suddenly Kaz poked his head out from under Thomas' shirt and Sirius and Remus both shoved back from the table. :That was entertaining,: Kaz commented with an amused hiss.

Thomas rolled his eyes at his snake. "Sirius, Remus, this is Kaz. He's my familiar, of sorts. He won't hurt you if you don't hurt him."

"He's a bloody cobra, mate," Sirius whispered, staring at the snake like it might take his head off.

"Rather," Thomas agreed, then looked back to Kaz. :What do you want? Other than to terrify my guests?:

"You're a Parselmouth..." Remus whispered, awed and a little scared. Sirius just went white.

:I'm hungry. And you need to eat, or I'll tell Harry!:

:Breakfast was his only threat, Kaz,: Thomas pointed out, amused by the tiny serpent.

:I'll tell him that you only had an apple for breakfast and no lunch! What makes you think he'll like that?: Kaz threatened, prodding Thomas' shoulder with the end of his tail.

:Oh, you're nasty today.:

:I'm always nasty, thanks,: Kaz replied, raising his nose up in the air.

:That's not as effective when you're a snake, Kaz,: Thomas commented dryly, then returned his attention to his guests. "Forgive me. Yes, I am a Parselmouth, I have been one for as long as I can remember. Harry also happens to be one, actually. I believe it's from Voldemort's attempt on his life when he was a baby."

Remus recovered before Sirius and returned to the table. "What did he say?" he asked curiously.

"Ah... I have a habit of not eating when I'm nervous, and Harry threatened to perform some unspeakable horror on me if he found out I hadn't eaten breakfast this morning, and Kaz threatened to tell Harry that I skipped lunch instead if I didn't get something to eat now," Thomas explained as Sirius pulled his chair back to the table. As an afterthought, Thomas added, "Oh, and he's hungry. So I need to let him out into the garden. Excuse me." He rose easily and pulled Kaz from his neck, then knelt next to the tiny snake hole in the door and watched the snake slither out.

"You're an interesting person, Thomas Potter," Sirius commented quietly as Thomas turned back to the table.

Thomas rose an eyebrow at the man in amusement. "You haven't the faintest. What would you two like for lunch?"

"Not too much," Remus asked with a smile.

"Soup and bread?" Sirius added, looking hopeful. "Hot soup and fresh bread?"

"Now that's something even I should be able to keep down," Thomas said with a laugh. "Hot soup and fresh bread it is. Is tomato okay? I still have a lot from the last time Harry caught a cold."

"Tomato sounds wonderful," Sirius said, smiling wistfully.

Remus frowned. "I thought you were supposed to have plain broth when you have a cold?"

Thomas coughed nervously and leaned down to get the soup from the bottom of the pantry. "Well, yes, but the one time I gave him plain broth he married the toilet, so we tried tomato soup and that stayed down."

Sirius and Remus laughed.

Thomas pulled out the bread with the two cans of soup and closed the pantry. "Butter on the toast?"

"Oh, yes please," Sirius said, eyes wide and hopeful.

Thomas smiled at the man and set his armful on the counter before setting about pulling out three bowls, three plates, three spoons, a knife for the butter and a pot to make the soup in. By the time Kaz returned from hunting, the three men were seated at the table with a pile of toast in the middle next to the pot of soup and some soup and bread in front of each of them. Sirius was putting way more butter on his bread than was probably safe for him, but Thomas didn't say anything against it while Remus just shook his head.

:What are you eating?: Kaz asked as he slid over to the table.

:Bread and soup. None of us were particularly hungry.: Thomas replied as he picked Kaz up and set him on his shoulder. :How was your lunch?:

:Tasty. I found a bunch of baby mice. One of them got away, but the three I got were quite yummy.:

:I'm glad. Do I need to put you on the windowsill for a nap, or are you going to try sleeping on me again?: Thomas asked, smiling at the memory of Kaz falling off him the last time the little snake had decided to sleep on Thomas' shoulder.

:I'll take the windowsill, thank you.:

Thomas laughed and got up to put Kaz on the kitchen windowsill. When he sat back down again, Remus asked, "Well?"

Thomas blushed. "I apologise. I'm so used to only speaking to the snakes when Harry's around that I've almost forgotten that others can't understand us." He scratched the back of his head. "He was just telling me about his lunch. And I asked where he wanted to take his afternoon nap."

"Don't mind Moony, he's just curious about everything," Sirius offered around a mouthful of bread and butter.

Thomas blinked. "Moony?"

"My nickname at school," Remus explained. "Sirius is Padfoot, James was Prongs and Peter was – is – Wormtail."

"Ah, your Animagus forms?" Thomas inquired. Sirius and Remus nodded. "What is yours, Remus?"

Remus choked on some soup while Sirius started laughing. After a quick sip of the water Thomas had gotten for each of them after the soup was done, he said, "I'm not."

Thomas blinked for a long moment, then his eyes widened in understanding. "That's a rather apt name, if you're a werewolf as I think you might be. Correct?"

Remus nodded, surprised.

"Wow, you took that calmly," Sirius commented, butter forgotten in favour of staring at Thomas.

Thomas shrugged. "A friend of mine, who died in the war with Voldemort, was a werewolf. His mate was a vampire and also a friend of mine, who killed herself after he died. I find the Ministry's stance on non-humans to be ridiculous."

"A sign of a corrupt government, by any chance?" Remus asked, smiling sadly.

"No. A sign of a pile of idiots who need to get their heads out of their arses and learn to adapt to the world around them," Thomas replied bitterly. "Honestly, if Voldemort weren't so hell-bent on destroying everything that stood against him and gathering followers through lies, I'd have loved to join him. But mindless death and destruction isn't my thing."

"Never mind that your being illegitimate makes you one of the ones that the purebloods want to be rid of," Sirius added with a sigh.

"Rather. And you're disowned, so you're worthless," Thomas replied with a knowing smile.

Sirius snorted. "And Moony's a half-blood. Harry too."

"We're rather pitiful, hm?" Remus added.

"We certainly are," Thomas agreed with a sigh. Then he returned to his soup and the other two followed his lead.

-~/^\~-


'Thomas Potter,
'If you would hold your arrival until classes are over with at three, I'd be most obliged. I will have Harry meet you in the entrance hall.
'Albus Dumbledore'


-~/^\~-


Remus held the large bag of candy away from a grasping Sirius while Thomas rolled his eyes at the man. "Sirius, if you don't start behaving your age, I'll hex you," Remus threatened for what must have been the fifth time in the past three minutes since they'd met up at Hogsmeade. Thomas had given Remus the money to buy the candy, since Sirius was staying at his house, and the werewolf had gone out and gotten it good-naturedly. Of course, as soon as Sirius had see the giant bag, he'd been all over his school friend and Thomas had just left them to it.

:Thomas, tell that horrible mutt that if he doesn't stop that nonsense this moment, I'll bite him,: Kaz finally hissed in annoyance. Sirius had the bad fortune of regularly waking Kaz up in the middle of the serpent's naps and Kaz had decided that Sirius was one of the most annoying things on the face of the earth.

"Sirius, Kaz says that if you don't stop making a fool of yourself, he's going to..." Thomas stopped to stare up at Hogwarts, which had just come into sight in all her glory. "Merlin..." he breathed.

"A beautiful sight, don't you think?" Remus asked as he came to stand next to Thomas.

Thomas nodded, then shook himself and impaled Sirius with a stern look. "You. Behave."

Sirius pouted, lower lip trembling.

"You're not very convincing," Remus informed the Animagus as Thomas shook his head and returned to walking towards the castle.

"But it's always worked before!"

"When you were five."

"At Hogwarts! I won all the girl's hearts!"

"Sirius, in case you hadn't noticed, Thomas is a guy."

"I won some of the guy's hearts too."

"You're trying too hard."

"Uncle Thomas!" a voice shouted moments before a black blur shot out of the main doors of Hogwarts. Harry crashed into Thomas and hugged him tightly. "I'm so glad you're here!"

"Oh?" Thomas asked, smiling down at the upturned face.

"Yes! Ron Weasley was being a git to Hermione and he called her an insufferable know-it-all and a nightmare and all sorts of horrible things. And she ran and hid in the girl's lavatory and won't come out no matter what Nev or I say!"

Thomas glanced up at the boy who had shyly followed Harry over to the three adults. "You must be Mr Longbottom."

"Call me Neville, please," the boy requested in a mumble.

"Uncle Thomas!" Harry cried, tugging on the front of Thomas' robes.

Thomas looked down at his nephew with a stern look. "Manners, Harry."

Harry blew him a raspberry.

Thomas laughed. "Harry, child, I promise to see to Hermione directly, but you've forgotten that I'm not the only one who came to see you." And he stepped aside to reveal a tense Sirius Black and a candy laden Remus Lupin who was nervously attempting a smile.

Harry's eyes went wide and he blinked at the two for a long moment. Then, slowly, he smiled and jumped forward to tackle Sirius. "You're free! You're free!"

Sirius relaxed and picked the boy up so he could swing him around, then hug him tightly. "Hey there, pup."

Thomas plucked the bag of candy from Remus' arms and whispered, "Spend some time with him. I'm going to go see what I can do with Hermione."

Remus nodded. "Good luck."

Thomas winked, then turned to Neville and ruffed his hair. "Shall we go hunt down Hermione and then pig out with Harry's candy?" he asked quietly.

Neville nodded, his face blooming into a smile. "Follow me!" he said, then hurried off towards the school's doors.

-~/^\~-


"Hermione, what's this I hear about you letting some eleven-year-old get you depressed?" Thomas asked at the door of the stall that the girl was sniffling in. He had some candy in his robe pocket while Neville sat outside with the rest of the bag, guarding it proudly.

Hermione fell silent for a moment, then flung the door open and grabbed at Thomas' robe front. "He's a horrible, horrible boy!" she cried.

Thomas picked the girl up and sat on the floor with her in his lap. When she glanced up at him tearfully, he pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped at her eyes gently, then handed it to her so she could blow her nose. Once she'd calmed down a bit, he pulled out a lollipop and offered it to her. She took it with a trembling smile and stuck it in her mouth after unwrapping it. "Better?" he asked.

Hermione nodded. "Much. Thank you."

"Good. And, really, you shouldn't listen to the hateful words of jealous children, Hermione. It just gives them bigger egos. If you really must get upset, keep in mind that you're worth a thousand Ron Weasleys."

"I know. But it still hurts."

"As a wise snake once told me, 'Words last longer than broken skin.' Sometimes, though, people are going to call you horrible names and be petty fools. You just have to learn to brush them off, or at least wait to cry about it until after that sod won't know about it anymore. And, really, I have found that the best way to get things off my chest is to write them down, or tell someone about it. It always helps if you know there's someone on your side."

Hermione nodded and said around her lollipop, "Like Harry and Nev?"

Thomas nodded. "Like Harry and Neville and your parents and me."

Hermione smiled and hugged Thomas. "Thanks, Thomas."

"Any time. Now, shall we go out there and make sure Neville hasn't let anyone steal the rest of the candy?"

Hermione laughed and got up so Thomas could rise. He did with a groan and Hermione gave him a concerned look. "Are you okay, Thomas?"

"Ah, I suppose so. I'm not as young as I used to be, you know."

Hermione smiled and took his hand to lead him from the toilet. Neville was still standing outside over the candy bag, looking fierce. "Hey, Nev," the girl said softly.

"All right, Hermione?" Neville asked quietly, looking worried.

Hermione's smile got a little wider. "Yeah. Thomas talked some sense into me."

Thomas chuckled at that. "Should we go track down Harry and his godfool?"

" 'Godfool'?" Hermione asked, eyes wide.

Thomas shrugged. "He is. He acts like he's your age."

Neville nodded. "He does."

Hermione wrinkled her nose at the two wizards. "I'll believe it when I see it," she stated, crossing her arms over her chest.

Almost as if the statement called them, Sirius suddenly ran down the hall, with his arms spread wide and making sounds like he was an airplane. Harry was following behind him at a much slower run that could quickly turn into a walk if a professor came into view. Remus was walking behind them, rolling his eyes and smiling.

"Told you," Neville told the gobsmacked Hermione.

"I happened to walk past Professor McGonagall," Remus said as he came to a stop in front of the group of onlookers. "She was smiling that smile that she always used to get just before she gave James and Sirius detention."

Thomas groaned while Hermione and Neville broke out in laughter.

"SIRIUS ORION BLACK!" McGonagall shouted, voice magically amplified.

Sirius stopped so fast, he overbalanced and crashed to the floor. Harry snickered and hid behind Thomas as McGonagall stalked over to where Sirius was pulling himself to his feet with a winning smile. "Why, hello, Professor McGonagall. You look lovely today, I must say."

"Your flattery will get you nowhere, Mr Black. It's detention for you!"

Sirius blinked a few times in confusion. "But..."

McGonagall smiled suddenly. "It's good to see you well, Sirius," she said softly, ignoring her three lions who were pretending to faint next to a laughing Remus and a bemused Thomas. "Just, do me a favour and don't lead Mr Potter in your footsteps."

"But he's a Potter!" Sirius stressed, wide-eyed.

"And his uncle is a fine example of an upstanding individual who doesn't have a tendency to wreak mayhem on an innocent school and innocent students. Really, Sirius."

"Uhm, Professor," Harry called, raising his hand.

"Yes, Mr Potter?" McGonagall turned to the group of laughing students.

Harry smirked. "I don't think Uncle Thomas is as upstanding as you think. I mean, he's the one who brought us this bag of candy." So saying, Harry and his friends stepped to one side, unveiling the giant bag of sugar.

Thomas shrugged when McGonagall turned to stare at him. "What? I promised Harry last year that I'd send him his usual haul of Hallowe'en candy this year. Have you ever not kept a promise to your eleven-year-old nephew? It's a nightmare."

"How do you know?" Harry demanded. "I thought I was your only eleven-year-old nephew!"

Thomas just looked at him like he was crazy.

McGonagall sighed helplessly. "Never mind. Miss Granger, how are you feeling? Miss Brown came to tell me that you'd disappeared into the loo, crying."

Hermione smiled and took the lollipop out of her mouth. "Fine, thank you, Professor. Thomas came and found me."

"Good. Might I inquire as to what happened?" McGonagall asked.

"Ron Weasley was being a stupid git," Harry reported.

"Language," Thomas warned.

"It's true!"

"Watch your mouth."

Harry blew him another raspberry.

McGonagall shook her head at them while Hermione, Neville, Remus and Sirius all laughed. "Well, I will leave you to your fun and go find Mr Weasley," she told them, then turned a left.

"Bye, Professor!" Sirius called, jumping up and down and waving.

A dark green head poked out of Harry's robe. :Is the cat-woman gone?:

:Yes,: Harry said, smiling at the snake fondly.

:How do you survive under your wizard's robes all the time?!: Kaz complained, sliding out from beneath Thomas' robe. :Really, Thomas. We must find a better place for me.:

"Is that an albino cobra?" Hermione breathed, leaning forward curiously.

"Yes, he is. This is Kaz," Thomas introduced.

"He's beautiful..."

:Oh, I like her.:

Thomas and Harry chuckled. "Would you like to hold him?" Thomas asked the girl.

"Oh, he won't bite?"

"Nah, he likes you," Harry assured her.

Hermione smiled. "Well, okay, I suppose."

Thomas carefully transferred Kaz over to Hermione's hands and took Sylvin from Harry. The three students crowded around the albino while Sirius and Remus came over to meet Sylvin. "This is Sylvin. I got him for Harry for his fifth birthday, after we found out he was a Parselmouth too," Thomas introduced. :Sylvin, this is Sirius and Remus.:

:They smell like canines.:

:Sirius is a dog Animagus. Remus is a werewolf.:

:No cats?:

:No cats.:

:Oh. I like them, then.:

Thomas chuckled. "He likes you both, because you don't smell like cats," he explained to the two curious onlookers. Sirius and Remus both laughed at that.

:Have you been taking care of yourself, like you're supposed to be?: Sylvin demanded of Thomas, turning on him with jaws open.

Thomas saw Sirius and Remus inching away out of the corner of his eyes. :Yes, for the most part.:

:Even before Kaz came along?:

:For the most part.:

:I should bite you, you know.:

:You'll scare the other humans. Harry's the only one who knows you can't hurt me, unless he's told Hermione or Neville.:

Sylvin shook his head. :No. But that's never stopped me before.:

:Ah, true. So bite me then.:

Sylvin gave him an irritated look and turned his back on Thomas. :You never take your punishments seriously enough.:

:They're not really punishments, you know.:

:Sylvin,: Harry called, exasperated, :either bite him or don't bite him already. You're getting on my nerves.:

Quick as lightning, Sylvin spun around and sunk his fangs into the vein in Thomas' arm. "Ouch! That hurt, you little sod!" Thomas complained, tugging at Sylvin's head so he could see the wound, but the snake wouldn't let go. :Sylvin, I'm here to visit Harry, not run into walls. Let go. Now.:

Sylvin let go and glared at the wizard as Thomas checked the wound. It was bleeding a little, but not enough to worry about it.

"–no, really, it's okay. Uncle Thomas is immune. Swear," Thomas suddenly heard Harry saying. He shook his head and offered the group of worried onlookers a reassuring smile.

"I'm immune to most snake venoms," he said, stepping forward easily. "An accident in my youth I'm not particularly fond of re-telling brought it about. Sylvin likes to bite me when he thinks I need to grow up."

:Take care of yourself,: Sylvin corrected angrily.

:Same thing,: Thomas said, rolling his eyes.

:I still don't think it's a good reason to bite him,: Kaz announced. :What if your venom ends up upsetting his stomach and he can't eat then?:

:It won't happen, Kaz,: Thomas pointed out in amusement.

:I'm trying to help you here! Now shut up!:

Harry and Thomas both burst out laughing while Kaz and Sylvin glared at each other.

:Okay, cool it, both of you,: Thomas said after he'd calmed himself. Harry attempted to explain the joke to the non-Parselmouths, but only Sirius seemed to think it was particularly funny.

Remus shook his head at all of them. "We should probably take this monstrosity of sugar up to your dorm, then go down to the feast."

"Okay!" Harry and Hermione cheerfully agreed. Harry traded Kaz for Sylvin and the green snake went back into the boy's robes in a huff. Kaz just hung himself around Thomas' neck and declared himself to be a fashionable piece of jewellery before grabbing his tail in his mouth and becoming still.

The group made a quick run up to the Gryffindor common room and Harry and Neville took the bag of candy up to their room while Hermione went up to her room to put her school bag away. Once the three students got back down to the common room, the group of six left for the Great Hall.

Harry, Hermione and Neville happily dragged their three adult visitors over to the Gryffindor table and shoved some of their tablemates over so there was room. After introductions had gone around the table, everyone started in on the feast with gusto.

Suddenly, a man in a turban came running into the hall and up to the head table where he leaned on the table as if it were the only thing holding him up. "Troll – in the dungeons – thought you ought to know," he said, then fainted.

In the following confusion, Thomas got up and slipped out the doors of the hall. He hurried through the hallways, heading unerringly back towards the girl's bathroom where Hermione had hidden herself earlier.

:What are you doing?: Kaz hissed, fear lacing his words. :Troll means run away!:

:Do you taste it? Is it this way?: Thomas asked in response.

:Yes! Now turn around and go the other way! Or do you have a death wish, Thomas?:

Thomas froze as the floor started to shake. Slowly, he pulled his wand out, watching the corner up ahead. The troll appeared rather suddenly and Kaz let out a hiss of terror and dove under Thomas' robes. Thomas just eyed the thing coldly. What's the best way to deal with a troll, I wonder? I could just kill it, I suppose, but what if a child is somewhere down here, or comes down here by chance and sees it?

As if to answer his question, a blond head poked out of the boy's toilet across the hall from the girl's toilet Hermione had been in before. "What the–" Draco Malfoy's eyes went wide and he froze, staring at the troll. The troll stared at him.

"PULSUS ABSENTIS!" Thomas shouted, using more than enough power to throw the troll a good thirty feet and knock him out cold for a while before anything beyond staring happened.

Draco turned to Thomas, eyes wide. "Wha–"

"One of your professors came running into the feast, yelling about a troll in the dungeons, Mr Malfoy. Had you been there, you no doubt would already be in your common room, enjoying a moved feast," Thomas commented calmly.

"Goodness!" McGonagall exclaimed from behind Thomas and the man turned to face her with a smile, which didn't falter we he saw the glowering professor behind her or the man wearing the turban, who grabbed the wall beside him when he caught sight of the troll.

"Ah, Professor McGonagall."

"Thomas! So this is where you've been! And my cubs were so worried you'd wandered off and gotten killed."

Thomas rolled his eyes. "I'm perfectly capable of blasting a troll a couple of feet. I'm not that old. Really."

McGonagall shook her head and looked like she might say something else when the dark professor said, "Mr Malfoy, why aren't you in your common room?"

Draco turned to Thomas pleadingly and Thomas smiled. "He was in the toilet and heard the noise in the hallway. Naturally, he came out to see what was going on. I'm not sure he ever made it to the feast."

The dark man turned on Thomas with fury in his eyes. "I believe I asked my student the question, not you, Mr Potter."

Draco gasped behind him, but Thomas' smile only widened. "Yes, but you see, Professor Snape, you do such a beautiful job terrifying your students that they look to others to face you." His eyes narrowed and his smile disappeared rather suddenly. "I, for one, don't appreciate it. Grudges are for children, Severus Snape, and you should have grown out of that decades ago."

Snape crossed his arms over his chest angrily and looked like he wanted to say something, but Thomas turned to Draco and asked, "All right, then?"

Draco nodded. "Yes, sir, Mr Potter."

Thomas chuckled. "It's Thomas, child. 'Mr Potter' makes me feel old."

Draco nodded, a sliver of a smile touching his lips.

"Come. Let's get you back to your common room so you can get something to eat, hm? I'm sure your esteemed professors have bigger things to worry about than making sure you get back okay."

"Not to mention stinkier," Draco agreed, then led the way past the three professors and down through the hallways to the dungeons. He paused at the bottom of the stairs and waited for Thomas to make the last few steps down before saying, "Thank you. You saved my life."

"Hardly," Thomas replied kindly. "I just saved you from rather a lot of pain. I'd do it for anyone."

Draco shook his head. "Even the son of a Death Eater?" he asked, frowning slightly.

Thomas knelt in front of the boy, just as he sometimes did when Harry needed soft words and a friend who was on his level. "Draco, the father doesn't make the son. Learn that lesson and you'll be decades ahead of even some of the wisest men. You are your own person, and you have the power to make your own choices in life. Nothing is set in stone." Thomas shrugged. "And, honestly, between you and me, the 'Light' isn't always the best choice, just as the 'Dark' isn't. That, child, is for you to decide."

Draco nodded and smiled. "Thank you, Mr– er, Thomas."

"You're more than welcome, Draco." Thomas stood and smiled down at the blond. "Now, do you need me to go with you the rest of the way, or will you be fine from here?"

"No offence, but you're the parent of a Gryffindor. I think I'll be fine now."

"Of course. Good luck, then."

"Thanks!" Draco said, then hurried into the shadows of the dungeons.

Thomas hummed to himself and started the long trek up to Gryffindor Tower.

:I wonder about you sometimes,: Kaz commented.

:You're one of many, Kaz.:

Kaz let out a snake-sigh. :Do you think that boy will be friendlier with Harry now?:

:Who knows.:

:And here I was, thinking you were a Seer.:

Thomas chuckled. :It comes and goes, Kaz. It comes and goes.:

-

-


A/N: Well? Love it? Hate it?

Pulsus Absentis means 'blow away'. It's my incantation for the Blasting Curse, since Jo never gave us one. Pity.

These chapters keep getting longer and longer. Merlin.

Until next chapter, my pretties!
~Bats

Chapters:
Pro - To Face the Unknown / 1 - Two Potters
2 - Diagon Alley ||| 3 - Summer's End and Letters ||| 4 - The Trial
5 - Letters and Christmas ||| 6 - Dragons and Stones ||| 7 - The First Summer
8 - The Second Year ||| 9 - The Third Year ||| 10 - Fight For What You Believe In
11 - Thomas Potter ||| 12 - Plots and Plans ||| 13 - The Children's Hand
14 - ???
Incomplete

.

Date: 17/7/07 06:05 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-tenshi.livejournal.com
I still think Thomas is someone we know from somewhere in another timeline... *cough*HP in disguise*cough*

unless you're not planning on putting any time travel and there really is a Thomas Potter around there...

btw shouldn't this be Ch 4 instead of 03? *points at the 3 right there at the top*

Date: 17/7/07 06:09 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mystical-maiden.livejournal.com
Yay Sirius is free! ... and still immature... good old Sirius.

So Thomas took on the troll instead of Harry... that's an interesting twist... i like it. :)

When i read the bit where Tom blew the troll away i was oddly reminded of this icon i once found that said "when in doubt, blow shit up" so i spent the next while snickering and completely ruined the dramatic mood... typical.

Brilliant chapter all the same.

~Myst

Date: 17/7/07 06:31 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sdrana.livejournal.com
Curiouser and curiouser, Miss Bats. I, too, am on the "time-traveling Harry" train, and as you don't seem inclined to prove those of us thinking that wrong ...

Also, if you haven't seen these before, http://lancelotfan.livejournal.com/4565.html. And worship my new icon. Just because.

Date: 17/7/07 08:33 (UTC)
order_of_chaos: Eridan Ampora from Homestuck as a dreamsheep dreaming of dreamwidth.  Blue stripy body, purple head, yellow horns. (Lazy-review icon)
From: [personal profile] order_of_chaos
*lurks with glee*

Date: 17/7/07 08:34 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eaivalefay.livejournal.com
If your beta's got chapter six, does that mean you've got chapter five? *eyes you interestedly*

Wonderful chapter! Thomas was so cute with Draco. (*snicker* If only Ron had been there to rage over it. Hee!) I do hope this means Draco and Harry will get along better--or make more of an effort to. And is this how Thomas ends up meeting Lucius, because he saved Draco's life?

Did Snape want to curse Thomas' head off when Thomas stood up to him? *innocent grin*

And I have my Ideas about Thomas, which I'm sure I mentioned having earlier. Now I have even more Ideas about him, including his werewolf friend and said werewolf's mate... *has Ideas* I have Questions, but I am not sure I should ask..?

Lovely chapter. :D

Date: 17/7/07 11:40 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daylemclaren.livejournal.com
Loved this chapter, yeah Sirius is free!:D

Date: 17/7/07 14:05 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-ocean.livejournal.com
I'm going to hop on the bandwagon with the rest of the people who think of Thomas as timetravel!Harry.
I'm happy that Sirius is free. And more immature than ever. ^_^

Loved it!

Date: 17/7/07 16:07 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsuki-no-suzu.livejournal.com
Yay! I just now get everyone's comments about time-travel Harry... I can see how it would work.

Looking forward to reading more when you update!!

Date: 18/7/07 08:12 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sakitokun.livejournal.com
Love it so far.

Isn't there the Reductor (sp?) curse? For blasting?

I miss ya luv. I haven't seen you for ages!

Date: 5/8/07 05:06 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sakitokun.livejournal.com
Ah, well I'm too lazy to go through all the books myself at the moment lol.

Date: 22/7/07 15:16 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siennalyamalor.livejournal.com
what?! wait. where's chapter five! i want chapter five! sorry if i'm impatient. i thought i read that thomas would meet lucius in chapter five, so... yeah. interesting conversations there. yay, sirius is free! things will be so different now.

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