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A Softer World by tonksloveswerewolves
Chapter 1 : Prologue
 
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On October 29th, 1981, Peter Pettigrew was ousted as a turncoat and spy for the Dark Lord Voldemort. Frantic with fear for the life of their only son, James and Lily Potter sent their child into the Muggle world in the arms of the werewolf Remus Lupin, his second godfather. The boy Harry's first godfather, Sirius, was originally meant to take him until Voldemort began recruiting werewolves against their will, and it would only be safer for Remus to go.

On November the 15th, 1981, Lord Voldemort gained control of not only the Ministry of Magic, but Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. All Muggle-borns and Squibs were eliminated from the roster and banished from the school.

On November 16th, 1981, hundreds of half- and even pure-blooded magical families with young children fled to the Muggle world. Many of them never told their children of the world in which they truly belonged.

On September 4th, 1990, Hermione Granger was shoved clear across the playground by Dudley Dursley and called a nasty freak. He'd sat on a thumb-tack earlier, after teasing the Longbottom boy, and was convinced Hermione had done it, even though she'd only wished she could do it in her head.

In 1994, after repeated "incidents," with other students and teachers, shouting matches with her parents, and innumerable fights with others in the Longbottom boy's defense, Hermione was found stealing pills from her mother's cabinet and institutionalized in a facility near London for treatment. She was sent home two months later, after it was discovered that the nursing staff was alternatively neglecting and abusing the patients.

Hermione and Neville transferred to a school in East London in 1995, hoping desperately to find somewhere they fit in after years of struggling with one another to lean on. They formed a tenuous friendship with Luna Lovegood and Colin Creevey. Then Colin started using some heavy drugs and they fell out. Luna killed herself a week after the fight. It was apparently only one in a sharp incline of teen suicide over the past few years.

On July 31st, 1997, Harry Potter’s godfather sat him down and told him a different sort of fairy tale than he had been used to as a child, now that he was, apparently, a man. He went through his days with a lighter heart, no longer feeling like such a freak among his peers.

Neville Longbottom, after a long battle with depression and bullying, committed suicide on August 14th.

Three days after Neville's death, Hermione left home and dropped out of school, taking a job in a shop and making a habit of riding the underground trains until they reached the ends of their tracks. She was never much of a girl for bothering with makeup, but every morning she woke up in her dark flat with darkness around her eyes, and didn’t wash it away. People glared at her with mistrust as she curled up on the trains across the vast city, whispered to one another about juvenile delinquents, and she let it all go straight to heart, becoming the loner delinquent everyone wanted her to be.

On September 1st, 1997, two desks in the back of a London classroom sat empty, and nobody noticed.


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