Headscratchers: Harry Potter And The Nightmares Of Futures Past
If Occlumency is so easy to learn, why didn't Dumbledore use it during the war? Or even as an extracurricular activity? Seriously, almost all the characters learn to use it to near expert level by reading books and practicing a few hours every day. Why would Americans came to help during the Second Magician War and not the other European Communities? How could it last so much time in obscurity of Muggle radars with the insane levels of Murder and collateral damage for years? Why would Snape, a capable spy, act in such an obvious evil way to the point it gets him sacked?
The characters practice a few hours a day for the better portion of two years to become experts in the field, which is not a luxury you have when youíre waging a war full time. It was mentioned in his author notes that the American peace keeping force was the group Harry ran into and there were other countries involved that Harry never met. Itís likely it was either passed off as terrorists or the people that saw what happened realized no one would believe them. Snape was antagonized by Harry who escalated their rivalry to remind him too much of his father. Itís entirely possible that Snape wouldnít have been sacked if Draco hadnít gone to such an extreme in getting the invisibility cloak.
About the Occlumency and the war. If I understand well the canon (which is book canon until the divergence and book 6): The First War lasted well over a Decade and it was more of an attrition war (Terrorist attacks, splinter cell combats and the like) than full out war. That would have allowed the Order and Aurors to practice more easily and with better equipment. Second, these were all grown wizards, several of them Aurors (i.e battle mage) which mean they will be more in tune with their magic and would be easily to master it having previous training and could practice day in and day out; Third, lack of time would hardly be an issue for the fight of survival (Harry and Co do it and the Second war was by far worse). It just seem... well no offense to fans but itís so silly that Harry was the only Wizard in history who learned that Occlumency was so easy to learn and somehow still believed to be an special ability, more so when Voldemort was feared as the greatest Legilimens ever lived. And about Snape... Yes, he was nasty and mean but the Fic put him in such One-dimensional line of being evil (a recurrent feature in S'tarkan) that it became a strawmen, and a badly bad at that. You cant simply take him seriously. If going by the tip of the fingers he was supposed to be an accomplished spy for over a Decade and he act with the self control of a 2 year old with severe sociopathic disorder just because James son call him Names. It was when he called Hermione a Mudblood and threatened to brake her wand that it passed from tolerable to cartoon idiocy.
It's been a while since I've read it so forgive any mistakes I make. Wasn't the divergence the fact that Voldemort found out about the Horcruxes being destroyed faster and arrived at Hogwarts in full force to destroy it much sooner than Harry could get there? We're never told exactly what happened but the fact that Hogwarts is destroyed in what would be Harry's seventh year means that the Ministry probably didn't last much longer and the Aurors, not willing to join Voldemort, probably fell quickly afterward by infighting or Death Eaters. The canon books make it appear that since Voldemort first fell Aurors have been sub-par and haven't been trained as well, so it'd make sense that the standards wouldn't be as high as far as Occlumency if that even was a factor. For all we know they were trained in Occlumency to a standard(or master) level but still fell in battle to overwhelming odds. The reason Harry teaches it to his friends is because he wants to keep it secret and wants them to be able to keep their mind their own. Having knowledge of it doesn't mean you're invincible it just helps you in some cases. Snape on the other hand I agree. He was billed as a villain to an extreme degree and unless it turns out that he was overacting as a villain on purpose to stay a spy for Dumbledore it largely seems out of character now that we've got the whole series to look at his character. This isn't to say though that the author hasn't realized this as he has tried to defend it in his author notes.
Who said that Dumbledore DIDN'T use Occlumency during the first war? If Voldemort had been able to just pick thoughts out of the Order member's minds, what use would there be for spies like Pettigrew? (Aside from the Secret Keeper thing, which seems to be a special case anyway in canon - at least during the first war.)
One problem with Snape's characterization is that the story was started before Death Hallows was released; meaning that at the time Snape seemed to be an evil villain masquerading as a nasty teacher who, if pushed, would act a lot worse than in cannon. Obviously this is proven incorrect by Deathly Hallows, but we can't really fault the author for that. Taking Deathly Hallows into account, many of Snape's actions can be justified as either 1. Rage and bitterness misdirected against Harry, and fueled by Harry's hatred of Snape along with his much more confident and confrontational attitude or 2. Snape, realizing that things weren't working out at Hogwarts and desperately wanting to get away from the son of James and Lilly, setting up a plan with Dumbledore to seem to be a stereotypical villain and enemy of Harry Potter so that he could implant himself directly into the heart of the enemy. Obviously neither of those fits perfectly even when they're put together, and the second one is completely speculative, but they're simple in universe explanations regarding the issue of Snape's characterization.
As far as Snape acting the way he does, even in canon, he is extremely immature (I mean, holding a schoolboy grudge into your thirties, and then taking that grudge out on an eleven-year-old who has never done anything to you?). Harry, meanwhile, being a Peggy Sue, is considerably more mature than in canon (and probably more mature than Snape). The ease at which a mature person, especially The Chessmaster, can goad an immature person into making a fool of himself (to put it mildly) is actually Truth in Television.
Still not good enough - someone with Snape's level of capability should know better than to goaded so easily. He's much too cartoonishly evil for it to be believable.
There is another way to see this: I imagine that the divergence from canon happened much earlier. After Lily's death, Snape consented to watch over Harry in her name, but rather than remaining loyal to Lily's memory as in canon, he grew increasingly angry and embittered until he was basically hateful enough that he was ready to turn back to Voldemort's side. This explains why he is so much darker, and angrier towards Harry, and uses the word 'mudblood' so freely.
The masquerade... Dozens of buildings razed, hundreds (may even thousands) dead, inexplicable terrorist attacks that no group take credit for years, long line of unresolved murders and quite likely far, far worse, oh and the Ministry is completely destroyed meaning that no one was there to put a wool over the incidents. I mean Muggle stupidity can only go so far; hell not even Jim Butcher would managed to get away with this and he go beyond the Impossible to justify the Masquerade.
The problem here is what are the Muggles supposed to think is happening? Yes, there's a lot of mysterious killing going on, but unless they know about magic they'll continue to look for a reasonable explanation. Terrorists or psychopaths killing for fun with advanced technology would probably seem much more reasonable than a magical civil war going on under their noses.
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the Irish got a bit of a bad press.
Given that the cause is unknown, and the police and military powerless to stop it, it is very much possible that riots and civil disorder were rampant amongst the Muggles. I suspect that before the masquerade would be broken in a case like this, a Muggle civil war would break out on its own.
In Year One, Harry walks in on Quirrell fighting with Fluffy, instead of just using music to get past him, as in canon. Why is this? Quirrell traded the dragon egg for the information about Fluffy; since Hagrid still got the dragon egg in this timeline, Quirrell should have had the information he needed to get past the 3-headed dog. Why the improbable change?
I believe you need to reread chapter 7. In it Quirrell is reaching for the trapdoor as the harp's song ends and Harry sends a stinging hex at Fluffy. Thus waking Fluffy up and causing the confrontation.
Ah, thanks. Read too fast, must have missed that sentence! It all makes sense now.