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Mood Music edits
Sons of Prophecy edits
alterations made to bring existing stories into line with the new canon backstory revealed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Apologies to readers who are waiting eagerly for a new chapter, because this isn't it. What this is, is a summary of the changes which have been made to Mood Music and Sons of Prophecy in order to bring them in line with the new backstory revealed in Deathly Hallows - although obviously they are AU from the canon timeline, branching off a few weeks before Dumbledore's death, when Percy Weasley spotted the fact that several Ministry officials were under Imperius.
The re-edits were uploaded on 17th August 2007, so anybody who began reading these stories after that date has already read the edited versions, and should skip to the next chapter. The changes are, for the most part, minor, which is why I have presented them in this summary form, so readers don't have to re-read both stories in their entirety just to find out what's different (unless they really want to, of course). However, the conversation in the Headmaster's office in Chapter #15 of Sons of Prophecy has been substantially re-written, to the point that it's probably better just to re-read that whole scene, including Lynsey and Severus's comments on it afterwards.
I have not bothered to note down tiny changes such as capitalizing "Horcrux", and making a few minor tweaks to phrasing. But note that although I haven't listed every individual instance here, both stories have been edited throughout to have Severus, Remus and Minerva all usually referring to "Dumbledore" rather than "Albus", since we have now seen that Severus calls him "Dumbledore" even in private.
Having completed the revisions to these solo stories by whitehound, I will now beetle off and try to do the same for the story Lost and Found, which I co-author with Dyce under the pen-name Borolin. That will probably take a week or two, and when that's done we can get back to actually writing and updating these stories.
I know "hamadryad" sounds like a mythical beastie - and indeed it is the name of a Greek wood-spirit - but it is also a proper alternate name for the king cobra. Hamadryads have been recorded up to 24ft long - so Nagini isn't actually all that enormous. A 12ft cobra would have a head about as big as the palm of your hand. I don't believe any 12ft snake would be strong enough to break someone's ribs just with its bite (although a python could do so with its coils), nor could you feed a person to a snake that size - although it might manage an arm. So I assume that when Nagini attacks Arthur Weasley, and when Voldemort feeds people to her, he uses an Engorgement Charm on her.
Even so, I would assume that when Voldemort feeds people to her, he uses an Engorgement Charm on her to make her even bigger. Indeed we see this in Bathilda's cottage, where Nagini forms multiple coils from floor to ceiling, and hence must be about 60ft long at that point.
"Yes.... He wants to devour death itself, so He can live forever."
The professor's mouth tightened at her words as if he had bitten into something unpleasant. "Yes.... He wants to devour death itself, so He can live forever."
"All the happy memories I have are connected to - to the friend whose Patronus I copied but I can't infuse it with any sense of joy or of safety because she died. There's as much pain in it as happiness, so I can use it as a messenger but in the face of a Dementor it just - I just see her death. Repeatedly. Nor will it protect me, since she... I rejected her protection, in life, and she - withdrew it. And nothing on earth makes me feel 'hope and happiness and a desire to live.' That's what the textbooks say you need to cast a strong Patronus: 'Hope and happiness and a desire to bloody-well live.'"
"Um - not that I know of."
"Um - yes, but not until the next day. It was buried with him."
Sirius was arrested and sent to Azkaban at some point after the deaths of the Potters on 31st October 1981. He escaped from prison in August 1993, at which point he was said to have been in prison for twelve years. Clearly, it must have been a bit less than that - but for him to have been in jail even close to twelve years, he must have been arrested in autumn 1981, soon after the Potters' deaths - probably some time in early or mid November.
JKR has stated that Sirius was twenty-two when he was sent to Azkaban - that is, he was twenty-two in November 1981. There are then two possibilities. If his twenty-second birthday occurred between mid November 1980 and August 31st 1981, then he was born between mid November 1958 and August 31st 1959, Snape (who we know was born on 9th January) was born in 1959 and they went up to Hogwarts in 1970. If it occurred between September 1st 1981 and his arrest in November 1981, then he and Snape started at Hogwarts in 1971 and Snape was born in 1960.
Fanon tends to have them starting in 1971, but it's more likely Sirius's birthday fell in the nine-and-a-half months before September 1st rather than in the two-and-a-half months between 1st September and early to mid November (when he was arrested), and therefore that they started in 1970. In which case, Snape was born in 1959. JK has stated that Snape was thirty-five or thirty-six in Goblet of Fire, and a birth-date in 1959 would make him thirty-five at the beginning of the book and thirty-six at the end of it.
Lucius was forty-one in September 1995, so he presumably started at Hogwarts in 1965 and left in 1972 (unless his birthday falls in early September, in which case he could be a year younger - but this is statistically unlikely). The longest Lucius and Snape could possibly have overlapped for at school would have been three years, if Snape was born in 1959 and Lucius was born in early September 1954, and the least would be a year, if Snape was born in 1960 and Lucius was born earlier than September 1954.
We know from what he tells Umbridge that Snape started teaching at Hogwarts in 1981 (just before Harry's parents were killed). The horrible incident after the OWLs, which occurred when he was sixteen, must have been in 1975 or 1976 - most likely 1975. It is ambiguous in the book whether the audience for that nasty bit of humiliation consisted only of students who had just come out from exams or whether the junior years were also around - but since exams in British schools tend to finish at lunchtime it is quite likely that pupils of all ages witnessed the incident.
If Snape was born in 1959, which seems the most likely, then he started teaching when he was twenty-two. He overlapped Lucius at Hogwarts by two years (three years, if Lucius was born in early September), and when he started teaching, the fellow students who had (potentially) witnessed him being stripped by James when they themselves were First Years had just graduated and left. If he was born in 1960 then he started teaching when he was only twenty-one, he only overlapped Lucius by a year (two years, if Lucius was born in early September) at school, and when he started teaching, his Seventh Year students had been First Years in the year of his OWLs, and many of them would have seen what James did to him.
We know from what he tells Umbridge that Snape started teaching at Hogwarts in 1981 (just before Harry's parents were killed), at which point he would have been twenty-one. That means that he was only four years older than the first lot of seventh years he taught, and when he started teaching the fifth, sixth and seventh years had all actually been students with him, and would have been respectively first, second and third years when he was in seventh year.
It is ambiguous in the book whether the audience for his humiliation by the Marauders consisted only of students who had just come out from exams or whether the junior years were also around - but since exams in British schools tend to finish at lunchtime it is quite likely that pupils of all ages witnessed the incident. The students who were first years when he was a fifth year - and who may well have watched his humiliation - were seventh years when he started teaching.
Lucius incidentally was forty-one when he spoke to the Prophet in mid September 1995, so he was born somewhere between mid September 1953 and mid September 1954. The most he could have overlapped Snape by at school is two years, and that only if he was born in early September 1954. Since their connection was well-known enough for Sirius to call Snape Lucius's lapdog, I'm assuming they did overlap by two years.
JK Rowling said in interviews that she saw Dumbledore as about a hundred and fifty, but that doesn't fit what we're told in Deathly Hallows. In summer 1997 the Weasleys' Aunt Muriel, who is supposed to be a hundred and seven, says that she remembers the death of Albus's sister Ariana, which we know occurred when Albus was eighteen. She was old enough to be aware that she hadn't been aware Albus even had a sister, so she must have been at least five. So Albus would have been born no earlier than circa 1877, and been no more than about a hundred and twenty when he died.
"Do you? Do you understand how - fucking terrified I was of what my own House would do to me, if I let myself be rescued by a Muggle-born Gryffindor? At least you bloody lot didn't know where I slept."
"Well - perhaps I didn't see, then, but I can certainly see that Lily... that having her dump you because of it was bad, and really that was mostly our fault. And I know intellectually that humans have status-issues about being seen naked - but dignity of that sort really isn't a canine thing, and I could never really feel why simply being stripped would make it so much more - emotionally destructive. Especially since I think most people were more impressed than not."
Dumbledore said in HBP that he was sure Tom intended to make a Horcrux out of Harry's death, and it seems unlikely that he was wrong about that, because we know Tom was intending to make another Horcrux - he later made Nagini into one - and the death of the prophesied vanquisher would be too significant a death to waste. It can't be enough just to kill somebody and, bingo, the nearest suitable object becomes a Horcrux, or it would happen all the time. It can't depend on something Tom was going to do after Harry's intended death, because if so he never got to do it, and Harry wouldn't have become a Horcrux. And he can't simply have set the process in motion before he came to the house and given it no further input, because in that case the Horcrux would have been created when he killed James or Lily. He must have done something after killing Lily and before attempting to kill Harry, to ensure that Harry's death would feed into the Horcrux - even though we don't see him do it.
"But you put it off until the last minute, as per bloody usual," Severus said wearily, "and then Draco's sudden access of efficiency upended your plans."
"But you just assumed the world and everyone in it would conform to your personal agenda, as per bloody usual," Severus said wearily, "and then Draco's sudden access of efficiency upended your plans."
"Do I?" the other snarled, snapping abruptly from shame to bitterness. "Nobody on the staff except Horace gave me the time of day when I was a student - you were all too wrapped up in dancing around bloody Black all the time."
"Do I?" the other snarled, snapping abruptly from shame to bitterness. "I thought that I was - oh, what was it now? That I disgusted you."
For a moment the old man's painted features looked surprised - frightened, even. "No I - I never said that. Or if I did, I never meant it."
"Liar! I was so - fucking - frightened but I came to you and you told me I was disgusting anyway, because I had only asked Him to spare Lily and not all of them - as if I would have had any fucking chance of getting him to spare all of them. Lils was all I could save - I thought I could save - but you told me how much you despised me for it, and then asked me to pay you for saving them. As if I wouldn't have done anything - anything - to put right what I'd done, just for the asking."
" And this could not have been addressed at any point during the last sixteen years, Severus? I really don't think that this is the time or place - "
"What other fucking time or place is there? You tell me that!" He was breathing in rough gasps like an overridden horse, and Lynsey watched him anxiously and wondered about pneumonia and scarred lung tissue and relapses.
"I - " The image of Dumbledore stared down at him for a moment, frowning, and then abruptly turned his back. Lynsey saw Severus flinch at the apparent dismissal, his stark features bleak with pain, but the old man hunched his shoulders and said, without looking at them, "I think now that I was - overly harsh, especially in the light of your later services to the Order."
"My services as you call them didn't stop you from tormenting me with my own guilt after Lily died!"
"I... yes. In retrospect, I find myself somewhat in agreement. In my own defence, I reacted badly because I could see myself, my own mistakes, repeated in you, and so I perhaps blamed you unduly for faults which were more my own than yours."
"How could you - " Severus sounded honestly bewildered. "What did you ever have in common with the likes of me?"
The painted man turned his head so that he was looking back over his shoulder, visible in profile but meeting no-one's eye. "Only that I too had once let bad company, foolish political theories and the love of my own cleverness lead me into a situation which - which resulted in the death of my own sister. When I saw that you had done the same I assumed that you were - as selfish and stupidly self-absorbed as I had been; but having got to know you better I no longer believe that that was the case."
"I wish you had told me. Why now? If you had told me then it might have made me less - less destroyed by my own guilt. Why now?"
"Because now may be all the time we have left." The portrait sighed, a tiny exhalation, and turned back to face them. "Because I have reason to think that the redoubtable Ms Skeeter is hot on my trail, and I value your good opinion too highly to want you to learn first from her pen what you should have learned from me."
"Because you value it, or because you need it?" Severus muttered, almost under his breath, and Lynsey was pleased that he had realized the difference and accepted that being liked, rather than simply useful, was a thing which could potentially apply to himself. "Nobody on the staff except Horace gave me the time of day when I was a student - you were all too wrapped up in dancing around bloody Black all the time."
"Yes he is, or yes he thinks he is?"
"Yes the idea had occurred to me. I hope that it is not so."
"So do I, believe me. He's asked me to kill him, if it comes to that, and I don't know if I can."
"For what it's worth, I do not believe that it will come to that. But I can hear him, and Minerva, waiting downstairs, so perhaps...."
"I always wondered how you knew - that people were downstairs, I mean."
"You know that I have long suspected that this is in fact the case."
"He asked me to kill him, Dumbledore! He asked me to kill him, if it comes to that, and I don't know if I can, but better that than leave him for Riddle to kill. If - if it has to be."
"You still hope to find a solution which will enable him to survive, as you tried to do for me?"
"You know damned-well that I do," Severus answered roughly. "If - if there's truly no other way to bring Riddle down then I suppose.... But I'm damned if I'm going to stand by and just let the bloody brat die, after all the years I've spent trying to keep him alive, without even trying to find another solution."
"I venture to doubt that you will succeed where I have failed," the older man replied somewhat frostily.
"Do you now?" the professor snarled. "And you are such an expert on the Dark Arts, of course, that no-one else could possibly know better?"
Dumbledore's portrait sighed. "If you can find a solution I have missed, so much the better - but I have reasons to believe that the boy must be killed by Voldemort himself, if he is to die. Because of the - nature of the link between them, it may be that Harry can only die if he is killed by Voldemort - and if Harry cannot die, neither can the thing which I believe has lodged inside him. The fact that the Horcrux survived Harry's encounter with basilisk venom does suggest that it cannot die unless he does."
"If it must be, it must - but I refuse to just accept it until I have explored all the other options myself." He rubbed wearily at his eyes, blinking. "That was why you always favoured the brat, wasn't it? Because you knew that you were raising him for slaughter, and you felt guilty about it."
"Severus...." The old man looked uneasy, even shifty, Lynsey thought.
"Do not... seek to dissuade him. From being willing to die. There is a chance that - well, that if he is perfectly willing to die, the willingness itself may suffice. I do not wish to say more."
The professor gave him a long, thoughtful look, and then nodded abruptly. "Very well."
Albus Dumbledore inclined his painted head. "I hope that you are right, and that the situation can be resolved in a way which enables Harry and yourself Severus to survive. But I can hear him, and Minerva, waiting downstairs, so perhaps...."
"I always wondered how you knew," the younger man said restlessly. "That people were downstairs, I mean."
"Merlin, I hope not. Politics aside, I want to see Lily's killer destroyed, but to do so at the cost of her son's life is just - ghastly. I can understand the possible necessity, though I don't have to bloody like it: but I wish you could have heard how - cold Dumbledore was about it, the first time he told me. I used to think that he - that he loved the damned brat and that I was nothing to him in comparison: but now I wonder whether I should envy Potter his so-called love or pity him for it."
"He does seem fond of you, though, in his own peculiar way."