Courage and Cunning
*I take no credit for this whatsoever. The whole story belongs to preciousann.
Salazar Slytherin has had enough of Dumbledore and Voldemort’s stupidity, so on October 31, 1981 he decides to put a stop to the wizarding war. Things do not go according to plan. He loses his memories, but 10 years later he regains them when he gets a familiar letter. BASH! Some Weasleys & manipulative Dumbledore! Salazar is NOT a Superhero! A twist to the Harry is Salazar genre
October 30th 1981
Godric’s Hollow, oh how you have changed. Salazar thought as he stared around in wonder. It’s been 500 years since I last saw you. Well, nevermind that. On with business.
Salazar sighed and pulled his hooded black cloak tighter around himself as he made his way towards the little cottage on the outskirts of the village. He, unfortunately, could see it now thanks to a certain little rat.
“Must I think of everything?” He grumbled to himself. “I know Dumbledore is a Gryffindor, but Merlin, the man is just too reckless and a touch mad. This war needs to be stopped, and it needs to be stopped now.”
With a little concentration, the cottage came into view and he smiled as he heard the little family shuffling around inside. They were still hidden to the outside world of course, not that it mattered now though.
“This is not going to go very well.” He muttered with a sigh as he knocked loudly on the door.
He heard more shuffling and the door opened just a crack.
“Who are you?” A man with messy black hair and glasses asked.
“A friend.” Salazar answered. “Your family has been betrayed by Peter Pettigrew. I need to speak with both you and your wife.”
“We do not know you, so why…”
“Please Mr. Potter. Not on the front step. We need to discuss this inside.” Salazar said, hitting the man with a very light compulsion charm.
“Very well.” James said, opening the door to let him through.
Salazar stepped inside the small cottage, looked around, and smiled at the coziness of it. He hadn’t been this warm in over two months. Not since…
“Who are you?” Lily demanded as she stood in the foyer, gripping her wand tightly in her hand.
Salazar snapped out of his thoughts, lowered his hood, and both Potters gasped in fright. Salazar knew that they recognized him. After all there are many, many pictures of all the Founders all over the wizarding world. Not to mention all the chocolate frog collectables, but he figured he would introduce himself properly anyway.
“My name is Salazar Slytherin, and your family is in grave danger. A few hours ago your friend Peter Pettigrew betrayed your location to Voldemort. It is imperative that you leave the country immediately. He is planning on attacking tomorrow.”
“And we should trust you because…?” James asked, letting his voice trail off and looking at Salazar cautiously.
“Because I was there when he did it.” Salazar said with as much patience as he could muster. “I know it sounds unbelievable, but trust me, it’s not.”
“If you were there, then how do we know you’re not here to kill us? And how do we know your information is correct?” Lily started to ask.
“Do I look familiar?” Salazar asked, before hanging into his animagus form.
James and Lily gasped at the 15 foot python that was suddenly laying at their feet.
“Voldemort’s snake!” Lily cried, as she backed up a few steps.
Salazar reverted back to human form and sighed. “I am not here to harm you or Harry. You must believe me. That wretched Heir of mine needs to die a slow painful death for what he has done, and I aim to see that it gets carried out.”
“So why haven’t you done anything yet?” James asked pointedly, as he kept his wand trained on Salazar.
“For the last 20 years I have been abroad. I have traveled to many different countries, and the news coming out of Britain has been very slow to reach them. I was in South America, Brazil to be exact, up until six months ago. When I learned of the horror that he has caused I came back to help defeat him, though I must admit that at the time I had no idea that he was my Heir. It has taken me nearly as long to play ‘catch up’. Voldemort ‘acquired’ me two months ago after he killed his other pet snake for disobeying him. He is so stuck on this blasted prophecy that he has become obsessed with killing an infant child. The whole thing is a load of bullocks in my opinion, and I can’t believe that Dumbledore has gotten ensnared in it too, but never the less, Voldemort needs to be stopped.”
“You don’t believe in it?” James asked, lowering his wand just a bit.
Salazar scoffed and shook his head. “No I do not. I have lived for over 1,000 years and never once has a prophecy come true. Divination is a load of crap and I can’t even began to tell you how disappointed I am over the fact that Hogwarts teaches it.”
“How have you lived this long?” Lily asked.
“Immortality is a funny thing.” Salazar said with a slight smile. “It’s good at first, but after a while it becomes stale. I performed a spell, a spell mixed with runes, charms, and the dark arts. I achieved what no other wizard in history has been able to do, and believe me when I tell you, I wish I hadn’t.”
“What do you suggest we do?” James asked.
Salazar took a deep breath and sighed. “I suggest you leave the country. From what I know from being at Voldemort’s side for the last two months, killing him isn’t so simple. He has let slip to me about his horcruxes. Plural. He has made more than one.”
James’s widened in surprise. “You are kidding. Does Dumbledore…?”
“No.” Salazar said shaking his head. “And I don’t trust Dumbledore either, but Voldemort needs to be stopped now. Killing him right now won’t make it permanent, but it will save more lives. It will also give me more time to study his life, and figure out what, and where, they are so I can destroy them.”
“You don’t trust Dumbledore?” James asked.
“No I don’t.” Salazar said gravely. “I know things about Dumbledore that would make your hair curl. The whole thing with Grindelwald was a bit fishy, and he has known about Voldemort all this time and has done nothing to stop him. Why didn’t he stop him years ago before he became this powerful? He spouts about ‘the greater good’, and that was Grindelwald’s philosophy too. I know Dumbledore is a great wizard, and I know he is a champion for the light, but this war is so much more than that. You cannot win a war using stunners and tickling jinxes. You need real spells and you need to fight as dirty as they do, or you will die. Voldemort and the Death Eaters are out to kill you, and he makes you all play with leg lockers and body binds in the hope that you can capture and ‘reform’ them. That simply won’t work. Trust me, I’ve seen many more wars than I care to mention.”
“That never made sense to me either.” Lily admitted quietly. “I don’t want to kill anyone, but this is war, and whether we like it or not, we are part of it. Killing someone who is trying to kill you is not murder, it is self-defense.”
“You are a muggle born, and you have the ability to see the difference.” Salazar said with smile. “You have the advantage of being from both worlds. Most wizards are at a disadvantage because it has been drilled into their minds from birth, light is good, dark is bad. Muggle borns can see grey better than most.”
“My grandfather was a solider in the muggle World War II.” She said, looking up at Salazar. “He had to kill or be killed. I tried to explain that to Albus, but he wouldn’t hear it. He said to kill another person is bad, no matter the circumstances.”
“Well he is wrong.” Salazar said firmly. “That’s why I don’t trust him. He thinks what he knows is the best, but he is simply wrong. You have a good head on your shoulders Mrs. Potter.”
“Do you want to leave Lily?” James asked, looking over at his wife.
She looked up with tears in her eyes. “Yes, and no.” She said softly. “Albus is just as hell bent on this prophecy as Voldemort is. I don’t want to run, but Harry is just a baby. Albus says Harry is the only one who can stop him, but James, it will be years before Harry can do that. He expects us to stay hidden in this house until then. It’s simply not logical. I don’t want to leave our friends, but we have to think about our son.”
James took his wife’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “I understand Lily.” He said softly. Then he turned back to Salazar. “I am assuming you have a plan.”
“I do.” Salazar said with a nod.
Lily nodded. “Come and sit Salazar.” She said, motioning for him to follow her into the kitchen. “I’ll make us some tea.”
“That would be lovely Mrs. Potter. Thank you.” Salazar said, as he sat down.
“I have one more thing.” James said, as he also took a seat at the kitchen table. “Why haven’t you just killed him? You have been with him for two months, so why not just do it?”
“Because not all the Death Eaters are in one place.” Salazar said simply. “They are all spread out, and not even I know where they all are, or who they all are. I know the inner circle of course, but not all the rest. Tomorrow when he comes here, they will all be gathered at a special meeting place. I will be able to get rid of him here, and hopefully get to the rest of them before they flee. Getting you all out of the country is just a precaution. If I’m not able to kill them all, no doubt they will come after you, and Harry will be in even more danger.”
“Crazy followers out for revenge.” James said.
“Not to mention, he will still be around. Just not in his body.” Lily added.
“That too.” Salazar said with a nod.
James looked to the window where the shades and curtains were closed tightly. “They are out there right now, aren’t they?”
Salazar nodded. “Yes. Which is why I cannot leave the house tonight. No doubt they will try to kill me. I know they are not supposed to attack you, but the anti-apparition wards extend all the way into the main village, and Dumbledore, the fool that he is, placed anti-disapparition jinxes on the house. They would get to me before I could apparate out. Not that they could kill me, but still, they would no doubt try. I had to be careful just coming here.”
“Why should we trust you?” James asked, narrowing his eyes at Salazar. “You’re Salazar Slytherin for crying out loud. Hater of muggles, muggle borns…”
“Please stop.” Salazar said, throwing up his hand. “I know I have past demons, and I know I am the root cause of all this stupidity, but time has a way of changing a man. The world has changed, and I am not the blasted idiot I once was. For many centuries I stood by and let what has happened, happen. I am not proud of it, but this war…” He sighed and shook his head. “This war is stupid and pointless. Voldemort is killing off families who oppose him. Good families…ancient families, and he doesn’t understand that he is no better than the muggles who killed witches and wizards all those many years ago. The pure bloods of today cannot see past the end of their up-turned pompous noses, and it’s a wonder they don’t drown when it rains. I am not proud of what I have caused, but I want to help stop it. For centuries I have hidden away from wizard society, but no longer. I want to try and change their way of thinking, but first we need to get rid of Voldemort.”
“So what is the plan?” Lily asked, serving the tea.
Salazar sighed again. “I have a portkey to Brazil. It will take you right to my villa in Rio de Janeiro. It’s an illegal portkey I admit, but it’s untraceable by the Ministry, which Voldemort has infiltrated. There is a wizarding populace there of about 2,000, and they have an alley similar to Diagon Alley called Rio Way. They mainly speak Portuguese, but they are fluent in English too. Not many from the British Wizarding world have gone there, if any. Most have fled to America or France. The plan is for you to leave tonight, and not come back until it’s safe.” He said, as he took a small tin can out of his pocket. “I have two very old house elves who have been badly mistreated by their masters, and they have agreed to help me in this matter. When Voldemort comes tomorrow night, they will drink Polyjuice Potion and disguise themselves as you, and I will disguise myself as Harry. I cannot be killed, so don’t worry about me. The killing curse bounces off me and rebounds onto the caster. James, Lily, and Harry Potter will die tomorrow, but Voldemort will also be destroyed. Once he loses his body and flees, I will revert back to my normal appearance and hunt down the horcruxes he has made, and I will destroy them. Once he regains his body, and he will, I will kill him. After that, you can return here if you wish. I know you have friends, and I know it will be hard for you to allow them to think you are dead, but it’s for your own safety and theirs. Voldemort is consumed by this prophecy, and believes in it fully. As long as he is alive, he will hunt you if he thinks you are too. It is vital that this remains between us. No one else can know.”
“Are you sure this will work?” James asked.
Salazar nodded. “I am positive, but I don’t know how long it will take me to figure out how many horcruxes he has, what they are, and where they are. You have to understand that this may take many, many years. You must not return, under any circumstances, until I say otherwise.”
“I don’t know how I feel about sacrificing two house elves to this cause.” Lily said, shaking her head.
“Would you feel better if you met them?” Salazar asked.
Lily seemed to think about it for a moment, but then she slowly nodded. “Yes, I think I would.”
“I do too.” James said quietly. “At least to thank them for what they are going to do.”
Salazar smiled at the young couple. “Very well then. Fripsy! Mitzy!” He called out softly.
Two very old and ancient looking elves appeared. Lily and James’s eyes widened in surprise at their appearance. It was plain to both Potters that these elves had been abused. There were scars all over their bodies, their skin hung on them like bags, and their eyes were dull with age.
“Mr. Salazar called for us?” One of the elves asked in a very horse whisper.
“Yes Fripsy.” He said gently. “Mr. and Mrs. Potter wished to meet you.”
Both elves turned to look at the Potters. “It is an honor to meet you both.” Fripsy said. “It is also an honor to carry out this plan for Mr. Salazar.”
The Potters were too shocked to say anything, but Mitzy went on to speak. “We are old and have grown weary of working for our family. They mistreat us, and we have decided to sever our bond with our Masters. This action has sealed our fate. We will die either way, but we chose to die under our own terms, and in our own way.”
“They were owned by the Malfoys.” Salazar said sadly, shaking his head in disgust.
James’s eyes grew dark with fury, but Lily got down on her knees and took their hands gently. “We have never believed that creatures, especially elves, should be treated cruelly as you have clearly been. Is this what you truly want to do?”
“It is Mrs. Potter.” Fripsy said with a bow. “It will be an honor for us.”
“Then I will honor your request.” She said, wiping a tear away.
“Never should an elf be treated the way you have.” James said. “This is appalling.”
“Our Masters are evil. They care not for anyone but themselves and those like-minded as them.” Mitzy said, shaking her head. “We chose to defy them and help get rid of the Dark Lord.”
James nodded. “Very well. I think Lily and I are in agreement. Salazar, we will take you up on your offer. Am I to assume that we should leave immediately?”
Salazar nodded. “Yes. The quicker the better. Voldemort plans on being here tomorrow, and he will come alone. He believes that you are unaware of what has happened, and thinks he can kill you quickly without a fight. We want him to keep believing that.”
The Potters nodded. “I will go and get Harry ready for traveling.” Lily said, standing up to leave.
“Take only what you will need for the immediate future, the rest can be replaced. It won’t be good for the house to be emptied because it will look suspicious. Take only the most valuable and treasured items such as a few pictures and things. As for your finances, the goblins will know that you are not dead because your wills will not be activated, but they can be trusted. They are not as stupid as most wizards make them out to be. Contact the goblins in Rio as soon as you can. There is a Gringotts branch there, and have all your money transferred from here to there. I have left a packet with directions to Rio Way, along with fake identities, on a small table in my villa’s foyer. Make it your home, because we do not know how long this will take. There are elves there that have been instructed to care for you, and help you settle in. I will contact you when I can.”
James and Lily nodded, and began to pack a few things. It didn’t take very long, and soon they were back in the kitchen with Lily holding Harry in her arms.
“Take care of your family, and be safe.” Salazar said.
“Thank you.” James said, shaking Salazar’s hand. “You have given our family something to look forward too.”
“Yes, thank you very much.” Lily said, giving him a light hug, while trying not to rouse a sleeping Harry.
“You are young, and you don’t deserve all that has happened to you, but you are welcome.” He said with a smile. “I will see you when I can. To activate the portkey, just say Salazar’s villa.”
James and Lily nodded, and Harry stirred lightly in Lily’s arms as she maneuvered him so that he could place a small hand on the tin can. With one last goodbye and round of thanks, James called out the phrase, and James, Lily, and Harry Potter left a war torn land, and arrived in the safety of Rio.
October 31, 1981
Salazar, Mitzy, and Fripsy spent all day taking swigs of Polyjuice from small hidden goblets, but at 11pm, the front door suddenly blew off its hinges.
“Lily, Lily! He’s here! It’s him! Take Harry and go! Run Lily! Run!”
Voldemort smiled cruelly and lazily lifted his wand to cast a killing curse at an unarmed ‘James Potter’. Upstairs, ‘Lily Potter’ pleaded for her son’s life like any good mother would do, but refused to back down and get out of the way when Voldemort told her too.
From his position in the crib, ‘Harry Potter’ stared at this odd display of mercy from the ruthless killer, and wondered what it could possibly mean. When ‘Lily’ still refused, Voldemort killed her and then turned his wand towards the ‘baby’ in the crib.
‘Harry Potter’ wasn’t worried about dying, and didn’t even flinch when the green light sailed towards him, but something unexpected happened. Something that the ‘baby’ sitting in the crib could not have foreseen.
The green light hit his forehead, and ‘Harry’ screamed in pain as an explosion blasted apart the roof of the house. The last thing ‘Harry’ remembered was a black mist screaming with rage and flying away. Then darkness consumed him.