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Rewind For Victory

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Hadrian Potter stood about ten feet outside the Fidelius Ward surrounding the Potter Cottage in Godric’s Hollow. It was a peaceful sight of a small house with candlelight visible through the windows, and what would no doubt be a beautiful and well-kept garden in the summer. At the moment it was covered in Autumn colors, but it still gave a welcoming appearance which made the young man smile slightly.

He had no memory of this place from when he was a toddler except for the lone memory of his parents’ murder and his own attempted murder. His first real memory of the place was when he visited it with Hermione during the Horcrux-Hunt of 1997, on Christmas Eve. He didn't get a chance to really look at his first home, or even try and look for some of his parents' possessions. Even if he had, it wouldn't have mattered. Witches and Wizards had long since stolen anything of even remote value, as he found out later when he finally had the chance to explore his childhood home.

Clothes, furniture, his mother's make-up, his father's shaving kit, various knick-knacks, and just about anything which could be stolen and sold, or kept as a keepsake, had been taken. The only saving grace had been finding out they hadn't really kept anything in the Potter Cottage of any real value. They had moved to the little house very abruptly after multiple attacks on their residential alley off of Diagon Alley. When they'd been attacked by Voldemort they'd barely lived there for a week, and hadn't had a chance to unpack or get much from the main Potter Estate.

Hadrian shook his head, there was no point in remembering these things. If things went well, they wouldn't happen in the first place and baby!Hadrian would grow up with his loving parents instead of being a slave for Dumbledore, the Dursley's, and the British Magical World. He gave another shake to get rid of the mental cobwebs. He hadn't gotten this far to chicken out now.

Taking a deep, comforting breath he stepped over the ward line of the Fidelius Charm and walked over to the step-stones in from of the door. Relief flooded through him as the ward didn't reject him. There had been a small chance it wouldn't allow him through, even if he were able to see the house and its occupants. Before he climbed the two steps, he silently waved his wand in an intricate pattern, then he made a few more wand movements along with about half a dozen words in Latin. The reaction was unfortunately as expected and he performed a number of other spells before he went up the two steps and gave the door three resolute raps with his knuckles.

A couple of minutes later he saw the doorknob move and he steeled himself; this was it. There was no turning back now, he had to go through with the plan.

A man in his very early twenties opened the door just enough so he could see who was on the other side. The man had black, messy hair almost exactly like Hadrian's own, but the face was a little different. Hadrian's cheekbones were higher, giving him a more aristocratic appearance akin to the Black family, but otherwise, it was like looking into his own face. The time traveler took in the man's appearance, just like he mentally made note of the defensively raised wand pointing straight at his midsection.

Before the owner of the house could do more than widen his eyes in shock at his almost doppelganger, Hadrian slowly raised his own wand and swore, "I, Hadrian James Potter, which is my true name, hereby swear I am the only son and child of James Charlus Potter and Lily Jade Potter nee Evans. Furthermore, I swear I am here in the past to change the future for the better and save the lives of my parents and hopefully help make the magical world a better and safer place. May magic judge my words and deem them truthful. So mote it be."

Immediately after he produced the required sparks to prove he still had his magic before he looked expectantly at his father hoping, and inwardly praying, he would be let in to explain himself. Hermione had patiently explained it was extremely important that he proved who he was as quickly and decisively as possible so as to not waste time. Adding the reason for the visit was to both spark their curiosity and to prove he meant them no harm.

James Potter's eyes had gotten even wider behind his black-rimmed glasses, but he mutely allowed him inside. Hadrian noted with satisfaction that even with the oath his father kept his wand pointed directly at him. It was a good move and he had a family to protect. They were in the middle of a war, Voldemort himself wanted the couple dead, and they were under a supposedly safe Fidelius Charm. No one but a select few people should even know where to find them, let alone be able to enter the property.

Upon entering the living room he saw his mother alive for the first time in living memory. The old Dementor-induced recollection of their deaths didn't count, and people were right; she was even more beautiful in real life than in pictures. He was happy to see that her eyes were also the same shade of emerald green as his own, people had been right about that as well.

As his mother opened her mouth to speak he quickly performed the same spells as he had outside, while first putting his forefinger to his lips in the universal sign of silence. Like the outside of the cottage, the inside revealed the same results, and he performed the temporary counterspells. Then nodded, silently telling them they could speak again.

"James?" It was a simple question, but Hadrian had to smile at finally hearing her voice without fear in it.

"Lily-flower, this man just gave a magical oath he's our son from the future and that he's here to save our lives." He both looked and sounded as surprised and skeptical as his wife looked, and honestly, the time traveler couldn't blame either of them in the slightest.

"Please allow me to explain, both why I'm here and why I performed the spells I did." He turned to his father, "I'm sure you recognized them and I assure you I had a good reason for doing it in here."

Both original occupants of the house burst out with quite a few questions at that time, and for a couple of minutes, he allowed it while surreptitiously looking around the cozy room. It was obvious, that while they'd made themselves at home, they hadn't been living there for long, even if it showed clear signs of long-time use. Certain things were clearly older than others and didn't seem to fit with the young couple, and the toys and the child-sized broom were a clear sign a small child was also living there even if he couldn't see his younger self anywhere.

His raised his voice slightly, "Please, calm down!". A few seconds later and they were back to giving him their full attention, even if they clearly expected answers. Then, as if she'd just remembered, Lily Potter directed them all to the comfy-looking couches and called for a house elf named Billy to serve them tea.

Hadrian blinked, he hadn't been aware they'd had an elf. A cat, yes, probably at least one owl as well, but not an elf. Then again, it wasn't really surprising. The Potter Family was a Most Ancient and Most Noble House and like nearly all Houses with one or both of those titles they were incredibly wealthy. He had been aware that the main Potter Estate had about a dozen elves who took care of it and various other Potter properties, but apparently either the newlyweds had been given a house elf or they'd acquired one themselves. Or perhaps it was one of the elves from the main Potter Estate. All four of his grandparents were deceased at this point, so all things Potter belonged to James.

That brought up the question of what had happened to the elf when his parents had been killed. Had Riddle or Pettigrew killed it? Did Dumbledore do something to it? House elves were incredibly loyal to the person or family they were bonded to, and it would take a lot of powerful magic to change their minds. So Billy, even if he had belonged to his grandparents should've done his best to keep Hadrian safe and happy. On second thought, so should all the other elves.

He'd been staring at the thin air a little too long, lost in his own thoughts as suddenly his reveries were interrupted by an abrupt, "Hadrian!". He blinked and gave his mother a sheepish look.

"Sorry, I wasn't aware we had an elf, but nevermind." He obediently took the teacup she indicated and took a sip after checking it discreetly using wandless magic. One could never be too careful. "Long story short, in my past, you were both killed by Tom Riddle aka He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named on Halloween, five days from now."

The two of them looked horrified, but he soldiered on before they had a chance to interrupt him with the obvious questions. "Peter Pettigrew is a marked Death Eather and he told his master the secret as soon as he had the chance." He stopped to give them a chance to process the horrible news. In a way, he pitied them, this kind of betrayal was horrible. Pettigrew was a long-time friend of James' and he was supposed to be the safe choice, the one no one would suspect. Instead, Voldemort had reversed the security measure and used him as a spy who then served him their lives on a silver platter.

He gave them a few minutes to digest it, then continued with the next piece of horribles news. "Albus Dumbledore is a highly skilled Legilimence and uses the ability on everyone around him to gain information they won't give him voluntarily. He's fully aware it's illegal to do this, but like so many other crimes he commits he justifies it as it's for 'the greater good'. And yes, Dumbledore has committed a very, very long list of crimes."

Hadrian took another sip, "In other words, anything you've been thinking about at the forefront of your mind while meeting his eyes has been fair game to him. When he's wanted to know something specific, or just if you know something he doesn't, all he has to do is ask a question or make a statement about the topic, make sure he has direct eye contact, and then use Passive Legilimency. Then he can use the information to further his own plans."

Another few minutes passed while his parents tried to process both their impending death and the severe invasion of privacy by someone they had believed to be a great man. Lily was noticeably getting upset and he hoped she would be able to control her temper or this could end badly for all of them. He decided to continue.

"I don't know how long he'd known about Pettigrew being Marked before the Fidelius was cast, but at this point in time, Pettigrew has been a Death Eater for about a year. Dumbledore knew Pettigrew was a traitor and used the Imperius Curse on Sirius Black to make him convince you to change Secret Keepers at the last minute and simply use Sirius as bait. He knew the Magical World would be biased against a Black regardless of his close friendship with a Potter and a FirstGen witch. Dumbledore's plan worked."

Hadrian took another sip of the delicious tea before he resumed his story. "As I said, on Halloween Riddle and Pettigrew will show up at Potter Cottage and first he'll kill James and then he'll kill Lily for refusing to move away so he can kill me."

This time he was unable to go on before his mother interrupted him with a couple of questions.

"Why does he want to kill you? A fifteen-month-old baby isn't a danger to him." Her voice was a little too calm for his comfort levels, meaning she was probably close to exploding on him and he swallowed discreetly. If her temper was anything like his own then he'd be hiding behind his father pretty soon. "And why do you keep calling him 'Riddle'?"

In lieu of a verbal answer to the latter question, he carefully took out his wand again and wrote TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE in the air. After giving them a few seconds to read it he waved his wand to rearrange the letters so it spelled I AM LORD VOLDEMORT instead.

"He's not a pureblood like he claims, or rather like he implies, that's why he uses a partial anagram instead of his real name. Too many purebloods, especially the rich Slytherins he wants on his side, are obsessed with ancestry and would immediately know he isn't one of them."

"But he's the heir of Slytherin, only those who are descended from Salazar Slytherin can speak Parseltongue. Everyone knows that." This time it was his father who interjected.

"Yes and no. Tell me dad, what does all the purebloods have in common, and I mean all of the British ones?"

"What?" Not the most intelligent answer, but Hadrian decided to give him a break; he'd gotten too many shocks in the last ten minutes, and this line of questioning wasn't helping.

"You're all related in one way or another, Sirius told me that after I finally met him. If you took an inheritance test at Gringotts, there's an incredibly high chance you'd be able to trace the Potter family all the way back to the Founders. All of them, including Salazar Slytherin."

He ignored the glare from his father. The truth hurt sometimes. "Take the Peverell's for instance, we're descended from them through the youngest brother, Ignotus, while Riddle is descended from Cadmus, the middle brother. Which means we're all distant cousins."

The glare had intensified and his mother didn't look to keen on where this was going either, so he got back on topic. "My point is that yes, at the moment Tom Riddle really is the heir of Slytherin, but he's not a pureblood. His mother, Merope Gaunt, was from the last generation of pureblooded descendants of Slytherin since Antioch didn't have children. Merope used a love potion to ensnare a handsome mundane man into marriage and got pregnant by him. She named the child Tom Marvolo Riddle, after his father and her own father, then she died.

Tom Riddle, Sr. left his wife before his son was born, claiming he'd been 'hoodwinked'. Tom Jr. was raised in a poor non-magical orphanage in London, which probably is at least part of the reason why he became evil. Add in being a supposed FirstGen in a house consisting of mostly prejudiced purebloods and as far as he was concerned everyone was against him. It's no wonder he keeps bragging about being Slytherin's heir, it must've made him feel bloody fantastic to have finally found something that made him 'better' than everyone else."

Hadrian took a deep breath after his speech and then drank some more tea while waiting for his parents' reaction.

James was clearly trying to work his way through everything, probably by trying to remember the family trees and family history he'd been forced to learn as a child, but Lily was clearly following the breadcrumbs he had left and had come to a conclusion as she first studied her husband and then her time traveling son. As she met his eyes, hers narrowed.

"You're saying when You-Know-Who is killed, James becomes the new heir of Slytherin." Beside her, James yelped in surprise.

"No, no, no. NO! I'm *not* next in line to become the next dark lord!" Both of the other two occupants in the room glared at him, and after getting two sets of upset green eyes directed at him he inched back a little.

The married couple got into a short argument before Hadrian managed to stop them by whistling loudly.

"Calm down, dad. It doesn't make you evil. Besides, you can only claim the title if you're a Parselmouth and I'm pretty certain you're not."

James Potter collapsed into the cushions in relief and smiled in triumph first at his wife and then at his adult son.

"No, I can't talk to snakes. Thank Merlin. So it will have to go back to being idle."

A little offended at the predictable comment he decided to defend himself and other beast speakers. "I'm a Parselmouth."

Both of his parents suddenly sat up straight and nearly yelled in unison, "WHAT?".

A little more calmly, James added, "You can't be, even if we're descended from Slytherin that ability doesn't run in the Potter family. No one I know of in the family tree has it, and someone would've said something if it existed somewhere down the line. Secrets don't really stay secret for long, and it would've come out and been used against me or some other Potter if anyone knew."

"True enough, but." And Hadrian mentally went through some of the things Hermione had made sure he'd memorize. "Inbreeding runs rampant in the pureblood families and additional magical talents become dormant because of it. Take the Black family, for instance, they used to be known for having at least one Metamorphmagi per generation. But when Nymphadora Tonks was born a few years ago she was the first one in centuries to have the gift. Her father is a FirstGen. I can talk to snakes and my mother is a FirstGen."

He looked his father straight in the eye, "Do you think it's a coincidence that both gifts reappeared when new blood was added?"

James frowned behind his spectacles. "Such talents have been known to come back if someone marries purebloods from other countries, and yes also if they marry muggleborns, or even certain half-bloods if they're not closely related. But few people travel out of the country to find spouses nowadays. They're too afraid someone will claim to be a pureblood when they're not, and the mere thought of 'sullying' their family with something like that is unthinkable."

He decided to see if they'd be willing to trust him a little further, and so he took a big chance.

"Dumbledore believed or at least said he believed, that I wasn't born with the ability but rather that Riddle somehow transferred it to me when he failed to kill me with the Killing Curse. Would you be willing to bring baby Hadrian in here so I can try talking to him in Parseltongue?"

He got a slightly odd look from both of them for the comment, and after some silent communication between his parents, his mother replied. "You-Know-Who used the Killing Curse on you and you *survived*? Did anything turn out right after we died?"

Hadrian sighed, those questions were unavoidable, but he didn't have to like it. "Not really, but I'll explain it later. Could you please get baby Hadrian? I'd really like to know if my gift is natural or not. Please?" He added some mild puppy eyes at the end. He really did want to know. From what little he'd been able to find, you were either born a Parseltongue or you were not. There was no way to learn the language or to somehow have the ability transferred. As a result, Dumbledore was either lying like he'd done with so many other things, or he genuinely didn't know and just said what he thought would make Hadrian cooperate better.

His mother threw up a Muffliato Charm, much to Hadrian's amusement. Making him wonder if Snape had taught her the charm while they were still friends, or if she'd learned it from someone else. It didn't matter, so while his parents had a private discussion behind the buzzing sound he went back to studying the living room. There were a number of pictures on all four of the walls, including a few he was certain were of his grandparents on his mother's side. He recognized the couple in them from some of the picture frames he'd had to dust at the Dursley's during his entire childhood.

There was also a second, older couple in some of the frames. As the man in the magical photographs had the familiar Potter hair it was pretty obvious who he was. The woman beside him also had jet black hair, but unlike the man beside her, who had hazel eyes, hers were the familiar grey of the Black family. Hadrian smiled sadly, it was the first time he had seen pictures of his paternal grandparents. While he didn't know much about them, there was no doubt in his mind that the couple in those pictures were Charlus Potter and his wife Dorea Potter nee Black.

Subconsciously he had moved closer to get a better look at both sets of grandparents. While both had a formal picture each, most were clearly snapshots showing the elder generation in more relaxed settings and smiling at the camera. One picture, further away from the others, was an informal family portrait of Charlus, Dorea, Carlyle, and Marigold, with James and Lily in the front holding what appeared to be a five-to-eight-month-old Hadrian. He hadn't had the foggiest idea that this photograph existed. If he had, he'd have moved Heaven and Earth to find it.

He barely noticed his mother leave the room, presumably to get her child, but he did detect his father coming to stand next to him. For a little while, they both studied the occupants of the photographs.

"You seem much too surprised and happy to see these pictures, son."

Hadrian turned to make eye-contact with his father as he suddenly heard the sound of footsteps on the stairs, and the happy baby talk of a small child and his mother cooing back. The sight of them walking through the door made him smile. In his peripheral view, he saw his father reflexively smile as well. It also gave him a reprieve from answering James' question.

It was clear what their decision had been and Hadrian was happy, he finally had the chance to find out for certain if his ability was natural or if it had been transferred to him via the cursed scar. Baby Hadrian appeared to be happy and well cared for. His clothes were fitting and looked comfortable. The child had a small plush toy in one hand and a handful of long auburn hair in the other.

Lily Potter brought her son to the sofa rather than over to her husband and time-traveling son, and the two took the hint and walked back over. James sat down beside his young son and took the toy when the child offered it to him while speaking softly to him. Lily fussed with the child, trying to hide her nervousness of what was about to happen.

Hadrian chose to kneel in front of his younger self rather than sit beside them. This way it would hopefully make his parents feel more relaxed. He gave the boy his full attention and smiled, getting a wide smile back.

"§Hello, Hadrian. My name is alssso Hadrian. Can you underssstand me?§" He hissed in Parseltongue, hoping the child would reply in kind. In his peripheral view, he saw his parents tense at the clear sign of something most magicals considered an obvious sign of a dark wizard or witch.

"§'ello!§" The boy gurgled back in Parseltongue, and the older Hadrian let out the breath he'd been holding and his body relaxed in relief. His parents were not as happy though, but it didn't matter. He was too relieved to know the ability was hereditary rather than something he'd gotten from Tom Riddle.