Partially Kissed Hero

Summer before third year Harry has a life changing experience, and a close encounter with a dementor ends with him absorbing the horcrux within him. Features Harry with a backbone.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4240771/1/Partially-Kissed-Hero

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71. Chapter Seventy-One

I I I

Sybil Trelawney stepped into the past, glad for how natural the whole thing seemed. She even arrived with an approximate sense of when she was. Let's see, Harry was thirteen years old when she'd left him. His parents had him when they were twenty...

So, thirty years into the past meant Harry's parents were now three years old.

Simple, right?

The dryad drew her wand, noting idly the disgusting dead/oily feel to it and silently wishing they had a wand-crafter in the family already. She'd approach Ollivander, except with his 'wand chooses the wizard' mania, even if she could convince him to make a wand out of her materials, he'd put it on his shelves with the rest and wait for it to choose some snot-nosed eleven-year-old rather than just give it back to her.

And frankly, she wasn't anxious to see the next Dark Lord to arise using her wood as his wand. How mortified Fawkes had to have been to have his feather casting all of those killing curses!

No, Trelawney wanted none of that. Ollivander wouldn't be getting close to any of her wood, if she could possibly help it. Even if that meant waving around this stick of dead tissue.

At least it still worked, no matter how disgusting it felt.

Sybil raised the wand and said, "Point Me, Lily Evans!"

I I I

When she'd walked into the neighborhood to find the Evans family she had not expected to find a miniature Severus Snape at the park there as well.

She'd been on staff with him. She knew the disgusting little turd of a man better than most, having had to listen to him ridicule the students (not just Harry) and bully around those weaker than him (which, with the Headmaster at his back, was just about everybody) his entire term on staff.

Anytime he got called on any of his outrageous acts of cruelty he'd cry, "Oh, poor me! I have been wronged!" conveniently ignoring the fact that he was constantly doing worse to others than he'd ever claimed to have suffered - and he did it to those who'd never done him wrong as much as those who did.

No, his whining and put upon air that others had wronged him was as pathetic as a man who'd embezzled millions crying that a vendor had short-changed him a dime.

It was rather like Draco Malfoy insulting a hippogriff, getting a scratch, then carrying on as though he'd innocently suffered a near-mortal wound without any provocation, and insisting the beast get killed as a menace in retaliation.

She didn't know why that example sprang to mind, since as far as she knew the little Malfoy cretin had never attended a Care of Magical Creature class. But the comparison sprang strongly to mind anyway.

Sybil almost raised her wand to kill the creepy little snot before he could grow up into the murdering terror he'd later become, when something inside warned her not to. Just like looking at a gulf you could tell it was too far to jump across. She was a fairy creature, and those had an odd relationship with time, and while changing her own past was not unreasonable, this would be too great a point of diversion for her powers to cover.

Perhaps if she was more powerful, but right now that was not the case. So, disappointed, she lowered her wand, gazing at the Snape family as the tall, hook nosed muggle bullied his witch of a wife.

She knew the type. It was actually fairly common. A pureblood princess thinks to get out of the dark rut her family is in, and so marries a muggle. But she doesn't know his world and he doesn't know hers, and every so often it was the case that neither one takes the transition well.

She'd heard stories about this type of relationship. If fact, she'd heard THIS story! Not long after the witch had divorced her abusive husband, changed her name and moved to France to start over, Snape had been raving about the castle for weeks, months even.

Naturally, like any dangerous animal, there was something of a 'Snape-alert' going on among the faculty that he bullied, and any dangerous mood was a cause for concern, so the reasons for it had to be analyzed and talked about. So Trelawney was very well informed of the specifics of this situation.

This was almost a worst-case scenario. Usually being magical was enough of an advantage for a witch to control the muggle in her relationship when necessary and keep things from getting too far out of hand. But this muggle was obviously clever enough to have figured out what the Statute for Secrecy meant for his marriage - so long as they were in public, or had uninformed muggles about, she couldn't do anything, and he was in charge.

So he'd taken to carrying the family out of the house a disproportionate amount of time, always in muggle neighborhoods, keeping them in public where she couldn't use magic to defend herself or improve his mood, or even just see that he obeyed basic rules of propriety!

He also brought friends over, often inviting them to stay the night, so they had no privacy even in that cramped little house of theirs. All so that he could stay the one in charge, and he was mean-tempered and foul enough that when he was in charge those around him suffered. He didn't even have the excuse of being a drunk. No, he was just a petty, small-minded bully.

Unfortunately, the muggle friends he made were very much like him in that. He chose the types to invite home who would not remark on him beating his wife for her imagined transgressions against him.

Odd, how very like his own father Severus was.

And then he'd gone and blamed his behavior on others - just like his father! If he could even imagine up the slightest excuse, you were to blame, not he!

Still, the case of his mother was a sad one. Once a proud, accomplished student, captain of the Hogwarts Gobstones team, now reduced to this. It was just exactly this sort of treatment that added the most fuel to the fires of muggle-hating purebloods, and it did not encourage more pureblood maids to attempt defecting from the dark ranks of their ancestors, either.

Just then a thought crossed Sybil's mind, and she smiled. It was what the woman was going to do anyway, what was the harm in seeing it done a little early? Snape's mother had to be given some credit for not going dark like her family and becoming a Death Eater like her son, given how much reason she had to hate muggles!

No, she'd truly tried to overcome her past, and not be embittered by her initial failures. That had to be worth a reward.

Proudly, Sybil cast a Notice-Me-Not charm keyed to muggles on herself, walked over to where the tall, hook-nosed bully was crowding his skinny wife, speaking heatedly in angry tones, promptly grabbed his arm...

... and tore it out of its socket.

Ok, Trelawney admitted to herself she'd gotten a little angry herself there, and only recently had become roughly as strong as a troll. Something to watch out for in the future, she decided, right before backhanding the man across the face with his own arm, sending him skidding off through some bushes. She then dropped the appendage in a nearby waste receptacle.

Turning back to his wife, Sybil told her, "Divorce that waste of flesh, go to France, and start your life over. He's not worth putting up with more of this. And his son will be his mirror image - they could shave by each other!"

Such was the awful treatment she'd received that the woman did not even argue, nor did Sybil have to use magic. The former Eileen Prince just put down her diaper bag and walked away, stopping by her house only briefly to magically pack her belongings and go, never once looking back.

Sybil smirked. Now at least without his mother around he'd have no access to magic, which meant Severus would not start Hogwarts knowing more curses on his first day than half the seventh years did on graduation!

Three year old Severus then kicked her in the shin.

Looking down on the little weed, knowing the awful creature he'd turn into, and all the harm he'd cause not only to those around him but to their whole world, Sybil bravely resisted the temptation to put him under Imperio to go and roast his balls in his mother's waffle iron. At least that way there wouldn't be any more of him around.

There is a reason why fairies have a reputation for cruelty when provoked. And frankly he'd done worse to muggles during his days as a Death Eater. Heck, from what she'd recently learned, he'd done worse to muggleborn witches and wizards while serving as a teacher at Hogwarts!

No, he was lucky he got off with a Eternally Runny Nose curse.

She was a dryad. She would be a dryad whether her tree was on an island, underground, or even up in space somewhere. Perhaps it was because they spent so much time transforming things, but fae did not believe the essential nature of something could be easily changed. She had seen bad men born to good families, and good men born to bad ones, each one asserting their own character over and in spite of the influence of their environment. She had witnessed abused students bravely overcome their backgrounds to become good people. And she'd seen those like Severus who wallowed in it, holding up their abuse as an excuse, a license to get away with anything they wanted to, almost a badge of glory, taking a peculiar and revolting form of pleasure out of inflicting their own misery on everyone else around them.

As opposed to Harry on the other end of the spectrum, a lad who took real abuse and was still as nice as anything.

But Severus was still a kid, and though she felt certain that his course was set, that he would inevitably become the same horrid man she'd left behind in the future, as yet he was still innocent.

And the fairy prized innocence. It was so fleeting!

Having enough of this distraction, the dryad started across the park to where the Evans family was at play, removing the notice-me-not charm as she went.

Shortly afterward she was introducing herself to Joan and Edmund Evans, Lily's parents, who'd been watching their five and three year old daughters play together in the park, screened by bushes from what had happened back on the other side, so totally ignorant of the man bleeding in the bushes.

Sybil had never intended to kill the man, she'd meant to spin him around to face her but misjudged her new strength, but neither was she going to exert herself to save his life. If someone found him and he lived, fine. If not, well that was fine by her too.

The man had, in his own way, been a substantial contributor to the death and misery in the wizarding world over the course of a nasty war. And she wasn't about to spare a Nazi who'd trained others to run the gas furnaces at prison camps just because he hadn't fired a shot on the front lines!

No, because of him, or rather his behaviors and attitudes reflected through his son, people she'd known and loved had died.

He could save his own life, if it was worth saving!

No, right now she had some very important convincing to do with the parents of the future Lily Potter, and time waits for no one!

Well, unless you are a fairy. Then Time will not only wait, but do backflips and handstands to entertain you while you are busy!

I I I

"So, are you new to the area?" Joan Evans asked the nice young woman they had met in the park.

"Yes, new to everything, actually," Sybil admitted, looking around herself.

"Oh?" Joan stood straighter. "Are you new to the country? But you speak English so well. Surely you're not American? I can't detect an accent."

"No, not new to the country," Sybil explained. "I've just lived in a castle in Scotland for the last fourteen years, and a small community before that."

"Was it haunted?" Edmund asked, joking (or so he thought).

"Yes, but we had some exterminators by. They cleaned out the spooks and specters nicely," Sybil agreed, unknowing that Lily's father thought she was just playing along with his joke.

"So what brings you to our area?" Joan inquired.

"A couple things," the oracle admitted. "I just helped a distant cousin escape from her abusive marriage." A VERY distant cousin, but all purebloods were related. A twinkle then entered Sybil's eyes, and she said, "And I am hoping to hire a couple representatives to take my proposal before some interested parties..."

I I I

Joan Evans smiled at the NASA representative as she was led into his office. She continued smiling as she was led into a plush seat. "Hello. As I told your secretary, I represent an eccentric botanist. It is this person's desire to see each of these delivered to the surface of the appropriate planet."

She opened a briefcase containing a rather large amount of foam cushioning nine golden acorns, each about the size of a pint jar, each also marked with the Greek symbols for the planets, from Mercury to Pluto, with the spot for Earth instead filled by one marked with a symbol of the moon.

Joan fought a smirk that she, ordinary everyday Joan Evans, mother of two and until a few days ago a common British housewife, should be working with people on this level. But money talks! "And she is willing to pay ten billion dollars American for each one successfully delivered, half in advance. Twice that if they are in space and under way in the next three years."

Of course, after Sybil had proven to them that magic was real and explained to them that their daughter was a witch (she HAD training for introducing a muggleborn's family to their world, even though she'd never used it before) everything had taken on interesting overtones.

It explained why she'd needed people familiar with dealing with the mundane world for serving as her contact to these agencies, after all.

Joan set forth a sheet detailing their characteristics, exact size, mass and weight of the acorns for the NASA representative. The most interesting details were not in there, however. Joan had had to have it explained to her that these acorns were gold leaf over wood, oak, to be precise, and would register on tests as lightweight and hollow, but were actually magical trunks. A demonstration of those to the muggle family had been mind-boggling! However, not even Joan knew these were made of Trelawney's oak (and thus, like her, immune to heat and flame) and covered in enough charms to equal the protections of a horcrux.

So they would likely survive such dangers as atmospheric entry, they were even unlikely to be harmed by such things as crash landings or catastrophic fuel failures leading to explosions of the launch vehicle.

Each was also enchanted with most of the same spells as on a bludger, only instead of seeking out Quidditch players they would seek the planet whose rune was carved on them. In short, they would provide their own propulsion and guidance in cases where it became necessary. Along with the plotting calculations programmed in. Someone just had to get them up into space and they'd eventually reach their targets.

Each was also filled with tiny viable cuttings from each of one hundred dryad trees, currently held in suspended animation by the Queen's own casting of that anti-wilting charm Harry'd discovered, and a small golem would pop out of the trunk and begin planting them on arrival.

Someone had also thoughtfully provided the golden coating warded to contain most of the magic inside until it was opened. Between that and the passive, quiescent and slumbering nature of most of the magic, and it was hoped they wouldn't interfere with the muggle delivery vehicles too badly. Not even the bludger enchantments would activate unless the vehicle went off-course.

So long as things went alright and the vehicle was on course, the magic should slumber peacefully inside and not bother anything, well, any more than background traces usually did. But a wand tucked in someone's back pocket did not stop traffic, nor fritz out electric watches. It was only if things went wrong that magic would step in and correct the problem.

Her husband, Edmund Evans, was even now approaching the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Whoever promised the earliest launch date would get the program.

The Evans did not know this, but Alice of Wonderland had provided the acorns from a future even beyond that which Trelawney had come back from, and they were fully loaded not only with dryad shoots and hedge cuttings, but a small shrine to the Fairy Queen ready to be deployed on contact with their new planets.

Between magically provided water and light, inherent bubble-head charms of the house-sized variety to survive a lack of atmosphere, featherlight charms to survive too-heavy gravity, and deep sea exploration charms for surviving crushing pressure, they could survive anywhere in the solar system - or at the very least it was their intention to find out if they could or not. Also, this meant their dryads, who shared those charms, could survive hard vacuum.

So not only was a fairy shrine nearly impregnable to start with, simply crossing the distance to assault one ought to be outside of Dumbledore's power forever!

I I I

"10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... we have liftoff!"

Sybil watched from a safe distance as the massive Saturn V rocket roared, filling the world below it with a pillar of flames.

It was really rather pretty.

They'd come out with the design more than a year ahead of schedule and were beating her three year time limit by a matter of days, but they were coming in under that limit.

Under the Sputnik crisis, they'd do anything to get into space, and didn't much care what she wanted sent, only where. Heck, for twenty billion dollars they would have sent a pair of the US President's underpants to the moon! With the President still in them!

Especially since the space race was going that way anyway.

She had reached a compromise with NASA, and they would be launching her other missions within the next couple of months, as launch windows opened. The Venus probe had actually been sent last year. The mission to Mars the year before that. Other launch vehicles were already completed, along with a couple of spares. As far as they were concerned her project was paying them to do the missions they'd wanted to do anyway, reaching for goals more ambitious than they otherwise would have dared reach for at this stage (landings instead of flybys).

Further missions, carrying many times the instrumentation, were already planned, as these few had barely accomplished much beyond bragging rights of 'we got here'. But they HAD gotten there. Muggles continually surprised her with their ingenuity, and if they wanted to follow-up with more cameras and measuring devices she could not even pronounce the names of, they were welcome to. They were certainly excited enough about it.

The Moon mission had actually been delayed, as while it was the closest and therefore the easiest to reach, they'd wanted to accomplish more than essentially hitting another planet with a bullet (one that soft-landed and sent back pictures, but still a bullet).

This time they'd hoped to be up there to place the acorn by hand. Sadly, it was not going to happen. They'd had to scrap those plans as too ambitious. A manned moon landing was still years away.

Still, it was truly amazing what vast amounts of money could get people to do. They'd had resources none of them had ever dreamed of available for this, and the mission was taking place sooner than many had dared hope for. This probe was going to be its own radio controlled vehicle, the first of its kind to land on any extraterrestrial body.

It wasn't quite as good as a manned mission, but those were coming soon. Already various parties were bidding on the return of her acorns, as if that would be the next, best goal of the space race.

It wasn't going to happen.

Sybil had already transported herself to her cloned oak trees on Mars and Venus, and they stood within vast gardens of similar trees, representing the other dryads and cuttings taken by the small golem duplicating them all. The house sized variants of the bubble head charms and other measures to protect against extreme environments (and it was clear to her, whatever point in the future Alice had brought those seedlings back from, they'd all been through the fire protection ritual by then) had so far proven sufficient on those comparatively gentle planets.

Time and experimentation would only prove if that was so on harsher worlds. She didn't worry about Mercury. The only problem there was the heat (which they were immune to) and the velocity of the impact vehicle (which ought to be well within what the magically strengthened acorn could tolerate). Lack of pressure was not turning out to be a problem for their charms, so the Moon was no concern either. It would succeed. However, Trelawney had to admit she had no comprehension of the pressures involved in those gas giants. The spells had shown no difficulty when she had explored the bottoms of the very deepest ocean trenches here on Earth, but time would tell.

However to date those acorns that had landed had served their function well, and seeing as how they now occupied places of honor in the center of new fairy shrines, no muggle was getting close to recover them, now or ever. The transplanted hedge alone was enough to see to that! They'd be lucky to even catch a glimpse of the greenhouses being constructed there.

Didn't mean they probably wouldn't have fun trying, however. They were already two-thirds of the way done with a space station in orbit around the Earth they were going to occupy as a staging point in many future missions.

It was 1966, five more years until Voldemort first began his rise to power, but Trelawney had to admit her work on this project was done. She'd hadn't even had to do all that much, honestly, just pay the muggles, give them a goal, and set them on their way. Oh, and let them take a few pictures of her standing next to launch vehicles, holding acorns, or shaking astronauts and scientists by the hand. Trivial really, but a welcome distraction all the same.

Oh, and they'd wanted her to give some silly speeches when handing over the massive piles of gold they'd earned. Luckily, the Evans family had been wise enough to hire some speech writers for her, and together with a little bit of coaching, that had been enough to pull her through those occasions.

Didn't excuse any of those dratted newspapers from calling her any of those dratted names like 'mother of space exploration' or 'star queen' or any such nonsense, however!

Ok, it had changed her perspective on Astronomy a little, and she read the stars differently now, having been to two of them (and oddly enough, this had markedly increased the accuracy of some of her non-oracular readings). Being outside of the protected zones around the trees felt weird, but she could live through it. She was only an aspect of her tree, after all, and her tree was now well warded and protected against that sort of threat.

Therefore, so was she. Didn't stop it from feeling odd, however, to stand out on the soil of a dead planet and stare up into naked space, a festive garden of light and air and joy only a few steps behind her back.

But the silly excuses these muggles came up with to honor people! They didn't even KNOW about any of the IMPORTANT parts, the reasons behind those missions!

Which reason was, naturally enough, the preservation of the fairy race by giving them sanctuaries well outside the reach of any wizard. But then, put that way, she couldn't exactly tell them that, could she?

It was a secret, after all. It's a big part of what made them so safe. I mean, who would even think to look for them there? And better yet, when the present muggle society fell, as Queen Alice said it would, even the muggles would lose the ability to go there. So if they stayed a secret long enough, Dumbledore could not even do what they'd done and hire muggles to get something of his to these secret gardens.

That put them well and truly beyond his reach.

Still, it was time to turn her full attention to her other concerns. She had put less than her full efforts into recreating that ancient witch's work on those experimental magical herbs that gave Rapunzel her power. Experiments had been proceeding, but she'd not devoted to them the attention they deserved. Now it was time to shift focus, as she had to succeed before Voldemort's rise, as after he began his reign of terror she would no longer have the time!

She had a great deal to learn, not just about these experiments, but studies she'd neglected during her schooling and also notes sent back by Harry. The space projects would either succeed or fail on their own now, and there was very little she could do either way on the subject. Now was the time for her to devote herself fully to preparing for the upcoming war, and that included working her pert bottom off rediscovering the secrets of Rampion Elixir.

Thankfully, the Potters, Harry's other grandparents, had been just as helpful as the Evans family was being, in preparing the other side of her mission back and getting things ready for Voldemort's rise.

I I I

Author's Notes:

Once more, this chapter got away from me a little there. I was going to lay some hints about things, but the whole tale of this particular sidestory arc just got laid out in detail and there was nothing I could do to stop it!

Yes, what Alice was referring to the muggles finding out about was the many planetary landings that hadn't happened yet, so Trelawney had to go back and do them.

Or else things would fall out of order, and you couldn't have that!

Originally they would have made the discoveries of those groves of trees quite by accident, and by telescope. However she has invigorated the space program enough that may well be done now by follow-up missions and landers looking for the very specific sites of the previous missions.

Gotta love those muggles.

As for Snape, let me tell you one of the prime reasons why I despise that character. Because I have every excuse he does to be a horrible person. I had a father who was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive, and not just a little in either case. I had a bad home life, and I was bullied at school, more bullied than any other kid I knew then or now.

But you know what? I overcame it. I grew past it. I didn't let it control my life. Sure it was bad, extreme in cases. I still bear scars from some of it. But I chose to be a better person than that.

Snape on the other hand made no effort to overcome his. Believe me - I know every sign of what getting over such a background requires, and he's never so much as started to make that effort. Instead, he revels in it. He uses it as his excuse to hurt others, "I have been wronged, therefore I am right in wronging others."

Believe me, I've seen that type too. He, and others like him, just spread the suffering. They use their background as an excuse. He hides behind it, even glories in it, because for him it's an excuse that can never run out - he can always still say "Oh, I was WRONGED! I have a RIGHT to wrong others!"

And because of people like him the abuse goes on to another generation. And because Dumbledore made him a teacher, it goes on not just to any kids he might have, but to who knows how many others.

People like Snape are contagious. They deliberately pass it on to the next generation whenever and wherever they can. And Dumbledore ought to be hung for allowing him the opportunity for spreading it as far as he did.

Take it from one who knows. Because if that sort of thing is allowed to go on unchecked, then no child would be allowed to grow up without being abused.

But stupid, stupid fans love Snape over Harry, who coincidentally was also abused and had a bad home life, and was bullied at school (by people under Snape's protection) and despite it all chose to be a decent guy.

And fan girls giggle together over how they'd like to bear Snape's love child (and use characters from the books as their proxies to do so) ignoring the fact that he'd beat them - just like his father beat his mother.

After all, he was wronged. He has a right to take that out on others.

 
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