Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Boy Who Didn't Live

July 21st, 2007

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The Announcement

Alternate Historian's Note: Never let it be said I don't plug famous authors. Today, which you know about unless you have no contact with the rest of the world whatsoever, marks the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final installment in J.K. Rowling's epic series. I thought today I would indulge in a bit of fan fiction – although, of course, it goes without mentioning that ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO JO ROWLING and I mean nothing but respect by what I present here and this HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with the ACTUAL END OF DEATHLY HALLOWS!!! It's just fan fic. I've always imagined the end of the series something like this:

Petunia answered the knock on the door with a little trepidation. The house wasn't nearly as spotless as she usually kept it, owing to her Duddley's recent bouts of, well, strangeness. It's all Harry's fault, she thought, thankful that at least she never had to see her wretched nephew anymore.
She swung the door open and gasped in horror. The figure standing at the door had an almost snake-like appearance, with a nose that was almost not even there, and eyes that glowed green and fiery as they took her in. The hand covering her mouth trembled as she whispered, “No...”
“What, Petunia,” Lord Voldemort said as he stepped across the threshold, followed by Severus Snape, “no kiss for daddy?”

Harry appeared in front of the door at the Dursley's house, sick that he had to come here one more time. But, Snape's note had been quite clear - What you seek shall be at the home that has offered you shelter when Hogwarts has not. You must trust me in this, Potter. From all he had learned of Snape's love for his mother, he had finally come to the conclusion that he had to trust that the potion master had the same motive for revenge that he did; that was why Dumbledore had trusted him, had even let Snape kill him rather than give up his position within Voldemort's ranks. There was still plenty for Snape to pay for – Ron, Tonks, Ginny - but he no longer felt the rage he had a year ago about Dumbledore.
He opened the front door and walked in slowly, wand drawn. The door had been ajar, which made Harry's stomach turn. He advanced slowly into the house, and an odd tableau met his eyes. Seated at the dining room table, dressed in their best clothing, were Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and Duddley. All three were sitting stock still, with looks of terror frozen on their faces. The cause of that terror sat at the head of the table, his black robes draped across the arms of the chair, his reptilian features broken into a wide smile. “Ah, Harry, my boy, come at last for Sunday dinner.” Snape stood beside Voldemort, his wand pointed at the Dursleys. “No heroics, lad. Let's just chat.” He extended a long, thin hand to the chair at the foot of the table, and Harry sat down. “It's so pleasant to an old man to be able to sit down with his family and have a nice dinner and conversation.” Harry's lip curled at the thought of having Voldemort in his ancestry. The dark lord speared a piece of roast beef with one of Petunia's best silver forks and ate it with relish. “Ah, Petunia, you always were such a good cook when you were properly motivated.”
Harry impatiently said, “What do you want?”
“Why, you, of course, Harry.” Voldemort smiled and wiped his mouth delicately with the best of the Dursleys' napkins. “By now, you've discerned that you're the last of my horcruxes. I'd like to remove that last part of myself from you.”
“Nothing would please me more,” Harry spat at him.
Voldemort continued to speak pleasantly, picking up his wand and gesturing at Harry with it. “Now, it can be done one of two ways. One leaves you alive, the other dead. Which method I employ depends entirely on you.” The two stared at each other for a few seconds before the dark lord continued, “I won't lie and say that you have been pleasant to know, Harry. Your vendetta has been rather singular in its success at stripping me of my power and my followers. All I have left of my old strength is Severus, here,... and you.” He stood, and his wand came dangerously close to sparking at Harry as he spoke again. “You've thwarted me without even knowing what you were doing. I have come to respect that, Harry. I have come to respect you. I want you at my side, grandfather and grandson.”
“You should ask Duddley; he'd jump at the chance to join you.”
Voldemort chuckled, a raspy, thin laugh. “I have always been disappointed in Petunia and her offspring, but I must confess that I am glad I had her today, for she has provided me with bait for you.” He looked affectionately over at his muggle daughter. “And, let's face it, her temperament was much more of a match for mine than was Lily's.” At the mention of Harry's mother, Snape stiffened slightly. “So, my offer,” Voldemort said, getting down to business. “Join me in killing these muggles, and we will be bound together in a more permanent fashion than even the horcrux charm can manage.”
Harry looked at Voldemort with disgust. “Why would I want to kill these people with you?”
Now, Voldemort laughed heartily, clapping his hands together. “Come, Harry, I've spent too much time in your mind for you to lie to me about how you feel about the Dursleys. You hate me, yes, of course, but what have I ever really done to you? Orchestrated things, had my followers attack or kill people close to you; all sort of shadowy and nebulous, nothing real to hang your hate on.”
“You killed my parents.”
Voldemort waved his hand dismissively. “Oh, yes, yes, but you were only one. You didn't even acknowledge your mother as she fell dead in front of you.” Snape's knuckles on his wand turned white as the dark lord said this. “That's an abstract sort of hate. Yes, I placed a hole in your life, but it was a hole that they could have filled, with understanding, affection... love.” He looked at the Dursleys, whose eyes were filling with a new terror. “Instead, there was only neglect, disdain and loathing. I may have placed you in their hands, but they were the ones who tortured you for ten years. Tell me truly, Harry; is there anyone you truly hate as much as you hate them?”
Harry avoided looking at the family as answered, clearly, “No.”
Voldemort's wide smile threatened to envelop his entire face. “Join me in this, and then we shall rebuild my empire together.”
Harry's eyes flicked casually to Snape, who nodded almost imperceptibly. Is it a trap? Harry's distrust of Snape, born through many years of mistreatment at his hands, could barely be contained. But, he tamped it down, and stood. “Which one shall I kill?”
“Duddley, I think.” The fat young man gulped audibly. “I shall deal with dear Petunia, and Severus shall have Vernon. That's all appropriate, wouldn't you say?”
They locked eyes. In that moment, both were able to read the other's thoughts; the bond that locked them together broke down the barriers between them. The dark lord lifted his wand, and Harry aimed his, and a bolt of fire joined them together.
“I should have known you were too weak,” Voldemort shouted. “Your mother was the same way.”
Snape put his wand to Voldemort's throat and growled, “You will never speak of Lily again.” A green explosion threw Voldemort to the ground as Snape intoned, “Avada Kadavera!”
The Dursleys all jumped back from the table and crouched together in the corner of the room as Harry and Snape went over to examine Voldemort's body. Life was rapidly ebbing from the sorcerer, but he choked out, “I still live... I still live in you, Harry... I still live...”
Neither can live while the other survives,” Snape intoned, pointing his wand at Harry.
Now, Harry finally understood the plan of vengeance that Snape had undertaken. He had deceived both sides because he knew that Harry had to be destroyed along with the dark lord, because his vengeance for Harry's mother could never be complete while a portion of the dark lord was still able to be reborn. “It can't be removed from me,” he asked, “can it?”
“No,” Snape whispered, his wand trembling slightly. Harry's eyes, so much like his mother's, bore into Snape's. “Not without killing you.”
Harry nodded and dropped his wand. “Then, do it.” Harry felt a great peace come over him, a sense of love and warmth that he hadn't felt since - Ginny? Mom?
The green blast dropped him to the ground and he felt all the ill that had been done to him in life fade away. All the anger, the hatred, the bitterness, melted as Voldemort's spirit was replaced by a feminine touch, a pair of voices calling to him, smoothing away the violence, settling his features, and fading away the last remnants of his scar.

Chantilly Lace and a pretty face
And a ponytail hangin' down,
A wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk,
They're gonna make the world go 'round.
Big BopperAin't nothing in the world like a big eyed girl
To make me act so funny,
Make me spend my money.
Make me feel real loose
Like a long necked goose,
Like a - Wa baby that's what I like!

~ Lyrics to “Chantilly Lace” - Click to Play Sample
J.P. Richardson, Jr.
Chantilly Lace is often used as slang for high-grade, hydroponic marijuana in some northern California circles. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was not in that circle, and saw no irony in opening Chantilly International Airport Virginia shortly after the song was originally released in 1958. Due to the suggestive lyrics, Ike had considered and then dismissed the alternative name of Dulles International Airport after John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State. The lyrics are available at Risa Sony Lyrics Archive
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 2007, A. BREEG wrote ~ my cousin was born on 3rd September 1939, this much is known. The day Britain declared war on Nazi Germany. Demons had arrived on the wings of death, and one of them possessed the soul of Benjamin Breeg.
Reincarnation of B BREEGOn his eighth birthday, a mysterious fire destroyed his family home, killing both of his parents. Just one look at the painting reveals both the agony of his loss, and also, the identity of the arsonist.

Breeg travelled the world, pursuing his interests in grotesque artwork and the paranormal. It was in Haiti, and then Romania, where Breeg finally found what he sought.
~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the genius of Iron Maiden's "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg".

In 2027, the long-term trend in attention span deficit disorders reached a climax where acceptance was both inevitable and absolutely necessary. Drop-in activities became the norm. Survey statistics demonstrated that a typical North American male would leave home on Saturday morning and participate briefly in up to 35 leisure activities. For consumption, he would sample up to seventeen ethnicities worth of shopping mall foods before returning home to one of a dozen partner families. Often to complete a three piece jigsaw puzzle with his progeny.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

Harry Truman"We have laid down the general terms on which they can surrender. Our warning went unheeded. Our terms were rejected. (1) The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in the first attack to avoid insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.(2) But that attack is only a warning of things to come. (3)"
~ Harry S Truman, 34th Vice President and 33rd President of the United States
Harry Truman - President
(1) It is suggested by many historians that if the United States had given Japan conditional surrender terms including a guarantee of the Emperor's safety, then the Japanese would have surrendered sometime in the spring or early summer of 1945, possibly even sooner. Facts such as this points to the idea that Truman's Administration had ulterior motives for dropping the bombs. (2) Hiroshima was a civilian target chosen because it had not previously bombed. If it was a military target, it would of course have been bombed before. (3) Hinting of the third strike on Tokyo that occurred on the morning of August 14th. Part of a radio broadcast by Truman on 9 August 1945, referring to the atomic bombing of Japan available at Learning Curve
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 2009, TV networks ran episode twelve of So What If?. Colonel T.E. Lawrence survives a 1935 motorcycle accident. Desperately needing an inspirational leader for the North Africa campaign, in 1940 Churchill re-appointed Lawrence of Arabia as Commander of the British Eighth Army where he defeated Rommel's Afrika Corps and Italian allies. Less publicly, he also executed a cadre of Egyptian officers who had been attempting to rid North Africa of Britain's presence. Gamal Abdul Nassar, Anwar el-Sadat and Hosni Said Mubarak were just three of the many “traitors” who were found mysteriously floating face down in the River Nile. After the war, Lawrence was instrumental in the creation of the state of Israel, and the key decision to hand the Canal Zone and the British bases over to David Ben-Gurion.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

John T. Scopes
John T. Scopes
In 1925, the Scopes “Monkey” Trial in Dayton, Tennessee concluded in favour of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. High school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of teaching the Biblical interpretation of the Book of Genesis in class and fined $100.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin of the Apollo 11 mission attempted a landing at the southern Sea of Tranquillity about 20 km (12 mi) south west of the crater Sabine D . As the landing began, Armstrong reported they were "running long"; Eagle .. Apollo 11 Mission
Apollo 11 Missi..
.. was 4 seconds further along its descent trajectory than planned, and would land miles west of the intended site. The LM navigation and guidance computer reported several unusual "program alarms" as it guided the LM's descent, taking the crew's attention from the scene outside of the descent such that they were surprised to be sucked into a powerful vortex. Multidimensional energies folded space and time, sending the craft to the armed camp of Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel hours before the Battle of Tours. Armstrong was less worried that the in-craft time device is reporting 9th October 732; of greater concern was the sight of Frankish and Burgundian troops about to decamp with their heads down in abject defeat. The following day these soldiers must defeat an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-general of al-Andalus to put a final stop to the Arab invasion of Europe, without which, there would be no Western Europe and no America!

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

Bryan Gould
Bryan Gould
In 1994, Bryan Gould was declared the winner of the leadership election of the British Labour Party, paving the way to him becoming Prime Minister in 1997. The significance of this victory was not apparent until 2003 when Gould refused to back the US invasion of Iraq, saying that "Labour was driven by values and principles". ..
.. He was strongly backed by Robin Cook, Claire Short inter alia. The arch back bench modernisers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson et al. could only seethe in silence as the British working class stood up to a man to back this bold and principled position.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 2004, the United Kingdom government published Delivering Security in a Changing World, a paper detailing wide-ranging reform of the country's armed forces. Recognising that the hyper power Great Britain was the de facto global policemen, proposals for a rapid reaction force were accepted that could send troops .. British Army
British Army
.. to British possessions at a moments notice. Downing Street was unaware how soon such a force restructure be required. By the end of the decade, the British Army was fighting an island hopping war of fast movement in the Far East with the resurgent island nation of Nippon.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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