Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Two Paths, One Destiny

Chapter 06: Times of Transition

by madnesspersonified 0 Reviews

AU. Harry has a twin sister and Voldemort tries to kill her after Lily's death, causing her to become the Girl-Who-Lived. How will the Wizarding World react to having a witch as their savior?

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Characters: Andromeda Tonks,Draco,Dumbledore,Ginny,Harry,Lucius - Warnings: [!!] [V] [?] - Published: 2008/09/10 - Updated: 2008/09/10 - 7167 words

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Chapter Six: Times of Transition:

It was with a heavy heart that Elizabeth returned to Hogwarts. She had been reading her mother’s diary continuously ever since Harry had given it to her. It was quite amusing, especially considering that her mother went into long winded rants to herself about the arrogance James Potter. Obviously she got over it, James eventually had to mature, otherwise they would have never married and had a child. And Elizabeth had only completed her mother’s writings for the first year of Hogwarts. It was obvious that a bad first impression was made right out the gate when they had first met, with both him and Sirius Black.

June 29//th/ 1972:/

Petunia is rather distant. Surely she can’t be upset that I invited to Hogwarts and she wasn’t. We used to be so close, but now she treats me like something foul, like something she scrapped off the body of her shoe. It’s almost like I don’t exist to her. Mum and Dad are pleased at the high marks I’ve gotten. Petunia’s always been average in school, this can’t be good for her self esteem. Maybe I should talk to her, she’d think I was nosing in her business but it might be a good idea to sort this mess out before she gets too upset.

Elizabeth closed the diary, with the train having almost arriving at Hogwarts. She would continue to read it later and in private. Quite frankly, it was obvious now more than ever that Petunia harbored an amount of jealously for her sister’s abilities to perform magic and thus her hatred seeped into Elizabeth’s treatment. Vernon obviously was just a nasty sort that was willing to take out his frustrations on anything that he did not approve of and as for Dudley, well Dudley was just a product of the very worst of both of his parents. With magic, it only appeared to worsen Dudley’s outlook on like and make him only even more arrogant.

Exiting from the train, with Harry and Draco following close behind, Elizabeth had hoped that the second half of the year at Hogwarts would be as interesting as the first half was.

-

Lucius Malfoy looked over his shoulder, wand in hand, as he made his way down a hallway. The fact that there was no light to guide his way really unnerved the head of the Malfoy family. The sound of dripping water did nothing to sooth his nerves. The fact that he only had a vague clue where he was also did nothing to help his mood. Reaching the end of the hallway, the door swung open, to reveal a pair of imposing vampires. They saw Lucius, baring their fangs at him

“I am here to see her,” said Lucius swiftly, not allowing his intimidation show through on his face.

“The Mistress has been expecting you for some time,” stated one of the vampires in an emotionless tone of voice, the stare blank.

“Through here,” ordered the second vampire and Lucius stepped through towards a large room. It was impressive enough, if a bit barren and lifeless. On a large chair in front of a table, sat Eskara, with an impressive and regal, if frigid appearance. She waved her hand to clear away her work before Lucius could get a good enough look at what she does.

“In due time, you will find out with the rest of the world, Malfoy,” said Eskara coldly. “You have news for me and I wish to hear it immediately, I can ill afford to remain idle for long and you being here is a security risk that could cause an annoyance to my plans.”

“The vampire hunters, I heard, surely they could not trace you here, Dumbledore’s kept a tighter leash on Savannah,” replied Lucius.

“Do not assume you know what is going on due to rumors that are flowing through the Ministry, Savannah may be contained for a moment, but a free spirit such as him is not something that will bend to the will of others, even if that person is Albus Dumbledore” said Eskara. “Three times my followers have been sighted, but they are unimportant to the grand scheme of things but enough small talk. The robes, tell me your progress on them.”

“Ah the robes,” said Lucius calmly, choosing his next few words very carefully. “I’m afraid everything is going to be a bit behind schedule, you see, an unforeseen flaw has been found that needs immediate correcting.”

“What sort of flaw, Lucius?” asked Eskara dangerously. “I was told that the robes would be prepared by the beginning of the year, you said you had the best wizards in the world looking over them, what flaw could have been found with the help you could have hired with your gold.”

“The protective qualities work only for a short amount of time, but then fail at odd intervals, amplifying the spells rather than blocking them, an unfortunate accident occurred that brought this to my attention and the individual who allowed this to slip through has been terminated,” said Lucius. “Thankfully I managed to call in a few favors to make sure this incident was left a mystery, but several months of work had been lost thanks to this one incompetent bungler. I rarely allow for such mistakes, it is a disgrace that such mistakes were allowed through. Rest assure that by May or June at the very latest, they will be complete.”

“It is just as well, as that date will fall perfectly within my timetable but fail me again Lucius and the price for failure will be much more than I intend to pay you for your work.” warned Eskara. “And your progress on the girl.”

“My son Draco has befriended her and I managed to gain some information from him, without revealing your intentions,” said Lucius calmly. “The Black child could be problematic, he is rather protective of her, as you know the girl was sent to her Muggle relations, a move that inspired great controversy and he tried to get her removed there by appealing from Dumbledore. The fact is Black is rather protective of the girl’s well being.”

“If he stops me from getting what is mine, I will eliminate him as well,” stated Eskara.

“Mind I ask once again why you are so obsessed with Elizabeth Potter?” asked Lucius, hoping to get into the mind of the vampire queen.

“My reasons are my own and your place is not to know them, but to make sure the robes are prepared,” said Eskara. “Your gold will be delivered once I have the robes and not a second before. My followers will escort you out.”

Lucius was roughly pushed towards the exit by two vampires who were looking at his neck longingly but Eskara shook her head. Few people could just dismiss Lucius, but Eskara had the power to do so. The Ministry had disregarded her as a myth, invented by the vampires to strike terror in the hearts of the Wizarding public but her power was very real. Lucius wondered if he made a huge error entering a partnership with this deadly vampire, as he returned to Malfoy Manor.

Eskara remained, her project becoming visible. She was nearly at the end of the amount of magic should could perform. Strictly speaking, vampires did not have the ability to perform magic, when they had acquired the gift of immorality; they had sacrificed the ability to perform magic to gain it. For that simple reason, Muggles could not be turned into vampires and they were rather killed. The blood of Muggles also did not properly nourish vampires. It took five Muggles to gain the same amount of nourishment of one average powered witch or wizard.

Thanks to her keen mind, Eskara had created a crude, but effective method to utilize the blood of magical individuals beyond nourishment. The artifacts had allowed her to slightly alter the properties of the blood of magical people to allow her the ability to perform magic once she fed off of them. She had a very impressive stock of blood replenishing potions as well that would keep her prey from dying from severe blood loss and nutrient potions to keep them alive. It was difficult to capture anyone who could be fed off of without drawing attention, but fifteen unmarried Muggleborns had been captured for use of her experimenting with this process. After all, they would not be missed by the Ministry. Nine had died in an attempt to perfect the process, and six remained at her disposal.

There was one small drawback. Each magically engineered blood sample had only allowed Eskara to perform magic for a period of two hours. After that, she became weaker than ever and suffered from severely withdrawal as if she had not fed in days. She needed to constantly feed to maintain her ability to perform magic.

Pulling herself up, Eskara pressed her hand to the wall, revealing a hidden room. Into the next room, where her subjects were shackled to the wall, glassy eyed, with fang marks on their neck. Quickly, Eskara knelt down, straddling a girl of about twenty years old, before she sunk the fangs into the girl’s neck. The blood had tasted wonderful and she felt power returning to her fingertips. Withdrawing slowly, licking the girl’s neck of excessive blood, Eskara quickly removed a blood replenishing potion and tipped it into the girl’s mouth down her throat, preparing her to be fed on again. Turning, Eskara walked off, completely recharged. This temporary measure would have to be improved on soon and she would have power, if Lucius did his job correctly.

-

January had flew by rather quickly for the first years at Hogwarts. Elizabeth could not help but laugh at overhearing Hermione Granger stressing about exams, when they were a little over five months away. The girl would work herself into a coma if she was not careful

“I’m glad that girl wasn’t sorted into Ravenclaw,” muttered Elizabeth, as she followed Padma and Lisa from the library on Saturday morning, to look up a couple of books to double check their homework. They tried to move through as quickly as they can, not to spend time with Hermione, who seemed to live in the library.

“No, I don’t think she would have anyway, she might be dedicated to studying, but has she ever had any thought that wasn’t printed in a book?” asked Padma with a frown.

“No,” said Elizabeth quickly, the answer was rather obvious.

“And to think people thought she should be sorted into Ravenclaw, that’s an insult to our house,” added Lisa. “This is the house for creative, smart minds, not people who mindlessly follow everything they read.”

“It’s almost noon,” stated Elizabeth quickly. “I better get going for Neville’s tutoring session, I’ll catch both of you later.”

Padma and Lisa told her bye as Elizabeth made her way down the hallway, passing through a pair of secret passageways that she had discovered through her nighttime wanderings, before making her way down towards the dungeons. Just as she walked towards the dungeons, she saw Neville standing there, looking very uncomfortable and the sight of who had joined him had explained perfectly why.

“What is he doing here?” demanded Elizabeth as she had her eyes fixed on Ron Weasley, who stood there, with a triumphant look on his face. Unfortunately, there appeared to be no way for her to get a restraining order in the Wizarding World, but hexing Ron had seemed to be a viable alternative.

“It’s not my fault,” said Neville defensively. “I told him that I had to go to my tutoring session with you, you wouldn’t like him being here, but he kept following me.”

“Actually, I need help, my Potions grade is slipping, Mum’s already sent me a howler about it, she threatened to ground me for the entire summer,” said Ron. “Neville isn’t even melting his cauldron anymore, so maybe you could help me.”

“Professor Snape has requested that I help Neville and only Neville, not you,” said Elizabeth. “If I helped everyone who struggled in Potions, I would have no free time and that’s just in the Gryffindor House.”

“Come on Elizabeth, I need help, you’re smart and brilliant, surely someone like you could help me” begged Ron and Elizabeth just rolled her eyes, she had never met anyone has pathetic as Ron Weasley. Other than Dudley that is, but Dudley was a whole other category of pathetic.

“Do I need to get Professor Snape?” asked Elizabeth. “He had arranged for me to tutor Neville and I doubt he would be pleased if you had stalled me from doing my job.”

“Neville can you talk some sense into her?” asked Ron, who looked alarmed at the prospect of Professor Snape finding out about this.

“No, I think you better leave, before you get hexed again,” said Neville, as he knew the temper his tutor had. She had blown up at him when he was late for one of his sessions, because he was not assertive enough to tell Crabbe and Goyle to get out of his way. “Ron, leave.”

Ron stood there, but Elizabeth took a couple of steps towards the directly of Snape’s office. That gave Ron the properly incentive to bolt as fast as he could from Neville and Elizabeth.

“I’m so bloody glad I wasn’t sorted into Gryffindor,” said Elizabeth staring at Neville.

“Wait a minute, Gryffindor is not that bad,” said Neville.

“No, but between Granger and Weasley, it doesn’t look all that attractive,” said Elizabeth.

“Just imagine sharing a room with Ron Weasley,” said Neville with a shake of his head and Elizabeth’s lips twitched into a smile before she motioned for Neville to follow her into the classroom where Neville got started, now finally into the potions they had worked on in class in November. With any luck, hopefully they would be caught up at the end of the year and Neville would be able to stand on his own two feet without her constant tutoring.

Sitting down in an available chair where Neville was in reach, Elizabeth pulled out her mother’s diary, to get some quality time reading it. Most of the entries after the summer holidays after her first year had been notes about different modifications of Potions and charms to improve them. It interested Elizabeth, even thought she would not know enough to properly understand them right yet.

December 26//th/ 1972:/

I can’t believe the gall of Petunia. She seems to think it’s my fault that she failed her last test in school. That and the fact she seems to be harboring a grudge about the tea cup incident. I apologized many times, it was a bloody accident. Then she threw away my Christmas present, without opening it. Mum and Dad aren’t too pleased with her attitude right now, but she’ll blame me for this I’m sure. I hope we’ll smooth this over, I want my sister back, but the more time goes by, the further we seem to drift apart. I’m trying to find out why I was a witch and she wasn’t. Asking around, in most cases, siblings are supposed to be magical, even if they are from Muggle families.

Flipping through, Elizabeth saw more complex notes and it was a while before she saw another diary entry that she could read.

February 27//th/ 1973:/

Severus is trying to figure out where Remus Lupin has been going once a month. Quite frankly, I don’t think he’s telling the truth either, about his mother being sick, either. Unlike Black or Potter, he doesn’t seem to be a very good liar. Still, it’s really none of his business, but Severus is adamant that he figure out what Lupin’s up to. I’ve written down all the dates that he’s left during this year so far, maybe that will shed some light on what’s been going on.

March 1//st//, 1973:

It should have been so obvious. I know the reason now. Going to keep this from Severus, he’s been hanging around with Mulciber and Avery for too long, if they get a hold of this, they will use it to blackmail Lupin.

Elizabeth gritted her teeth in frustration. It gave her no further information. The name Severus also popped up occasionally, Elizabeth wondered if it referred to Professor Snape. It seemed a bit far fetched that a Slytherin would befriend a muggleborn witch, but then again, it seemed far fetched to her that two people would be unfortunate enough to be named Severus. She wondered who Remus Lupin was and why he was leaving mysteriously during the time her mother went to Hogwarts. She made a mental note to find out when she had the time.

“Stir that counterclockwise, Neville,” advised Elizabeth, as she looked in on him, and Neville nodded a brief thanks before he went back to his potion.

-

Harry and Draco were in the hallways, both walking back from the Owlery, sending their weekly letters to Ginny and Luna, when a rotund figure stepped in front of them, his abnormally short wand in front of him.

“Yes, Dursley, what do you want?” asked Draco calmly, as he looked at Dudley, who had his fists clenched, staring at Harry.

“The freak thinks she’s an actual person now, she was supposed to come home and make our dinner for Christmas, but Mum had to make it when you invited her to your house,” said Dudley, pulling a face at that memory. “Listen here Black, I’m going to warn you one more time, stop being my cousin’s friend.”

“Ickle Duddydums, I told you, I’m going to be Lizzie’s friend no matter what petty threats you throw at me,” said Harry but Draco turned towards him, a horrified look on his face.

“Ickle Duddydums?” asked Draco, looking completely revolted.

“One of the pet names that this fat load’s mother calls him, Lizzie told me,” said Harry.

“Well, there goes my lunch,” groaned Draco but Dudley was not used to being ignored, as he stood up boldly, getting into Harry’s face. Harry took two steps back, not in fear, but because Dudley was in severe need of a breath mint.

“Listen here, both of you, without your wands, you couldn’t touch me and neither could any of those other Slytherins who keep attacking me,” said Dudley, clenching his fat fists. “Without your wands, you’re nothing.”

“And with your wand, you’re still nothing, Dudders,” said Harry in a bored voice.

“You put those Slytherins up for attacking me, you and my idiot cousin!” shouted Dudley, doing a good impression of his father as his face became a rather pronounced shade of purple.

“Right, Dursley, some first years put a bunch of sixth and seventh years up to attacking you,” said Draco in a bored voice. “Seriously, Dursley, no one likes you, perhaps if you were a little less obnoxious, you might need hexed daily. In fact, in the Slytherin house, you’re the freak, Mudblood.”

“That’s it, I’m making you pay,” said Dudley as he held out his wand and fired a spell. What it was supposed to be, neither Draco nor Harry had any idea, as it threw Dudley backwards. The entire hallway shook as he connected with the wall. He would have been injured, had he not had all that padding back there.

“Well you sure showed us,” stated Harry sarcastically, as he watched Dudley struggle to get to his feet, before turning to Draco. “Lizzie’s tutoring with Longbottom should be about done, we should go there now.”

“Good idea, Harry, providing I don’t have to socialize with Longbottom,” said Draco with some disdain, as Dudley was still struggling to pull himself to his feet, but whatever that backfired spell was had really through his equilibrium off balance. Without even a backward glance, the two first years walked off, leaving Dudley to his own devices as continued his struggle to get to his feet.

-

A trio of vampires dropped down in Diagon Alley. The Alley was mostly deserted due to it being late at night. Their queen had ordered them to pick up an important item from a contact at the Leaky Cauldron. They had been equipped with vials of blood and for some odd reason wands, on the off chance that any vampire hunters would find out where they were. Quickly, they stepped towards the back exit from the pub, but a regal looking wizard exited the shop had caught the attention of one of the vampires. He had not fed in nearly a day.

“Wait,” whispered one of the vampires as the vampire reached forward, hands extended but quickly an explosion of garlic had knocked the vampire back, as Savannah stepped forward.

“Dumbledore let me go to Diagon Alley to get some supplies, I must say, this is a pleasant bonus,” said Savannah in a gruff voice as he removed a wooden spike, but the other two vampires had raised the vials of blood and drank them. They felt great power, something that they had not felt in many years after receiving the gift of immorality and they held the wands out and a spell blasted Savannah right in the ribs, knocking him backwards. Bouncing back on his feet, Savannah removed a pair of disc shaped object. Tapping his wand to them, they released an intense blast of light. Light that his opponents repelled quickly.

“Power, is what we have now, human,” hissed one of the vampires, blasting Savannah off of his feet. The wizened vampire hunter and Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher performed a variety of attacks but mental alarm bells went off in his head, as he struggled to figure out how these blood sucking demons could perform magic.

“Stand still you blood suckers,” said Savannah but one of the vampires blasted him right through the window of the sharp. Glass shattered as Savannah took a nasty hit. One of the vampires stepped forward, enticed by the smell of blood, but the leader of the group grabbed him by the wrist to stop him from feeding.

“No,” grunted the vampire. “We get the Mistress’s package. We leave him for now, no more, no less.”

The vampires walked off, as Savannah laid, racked with pain, with several cracked ribs, a bruised sternum, and sliced up arms. Dumbledore would never let him out of Hogwarts and in fact, he had failed to beat those creatures. Gingerly, he found his wand, healing the damage the best he could, at least enough to get him back to Hogwarts in fair health. It was quite horrifying that those beasts had the ability to perform magic.

At the Ministry of Magic, Cornelius Fudge was about ready to retire to his office for the evening, with a nice large bottle of firewhiskey. Another disturbance at Diagon Alley, a fight between a group of figures, one of them resembling the rogue vampire hunter Jack Savannah. It was unfortunate, Savannah was among the greatest hit wizards that ever lived, but when his wife and two children were killed by vampires, he became slightly unhinged. Fudge had read the file many times, Savannah had made many claims of the mysterious Eskara, someone who surely did not exist. Vampires had been fragmented and until recently, there had not been many attacks in Britain.

Moving forward, Fudge needed to contact Dumbledore, to inform him what his Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher had been up to and demand some answers.

“Dumbledore!” shouted Fudge firmly as he tossed the Floo powder into the fire, kneeling down and sticking his head into the fire.

Dumbledore sat in the office, he had just returned from another Wizengamot session an hour ago and now Fudge wanted him again. Slowly, Dumbledore turned to the Minister, who looked very annoyed. Sighing Dumbledore stooped down to face the Minister of Magic’s head.

“Yes, Cornelius, what can I help you with?” asked Dumbledore.

“Savannah got into another scuffle with vampires in the alley, very lucky no one was injured, he’s getting out of control Dumbledore, I thought you were to keep him in the school and away from these vampires,” said Fudge with a frown and Dumbledore sighed.

“I assured you that I would but I did not see the harm of allowing him into Diagon Alley to collect a few supplies,” said Dumbledore.

“Albus, there was most certainly harm done, he did it again, got into a scuffle in Diagon Alley, my Aurors are cleaning up this mess, that rogue has gone too far, as Minister of Magic, I strongly recommend you keeping a tighter leash on him,” stated Fudge. “Who knows what he gets into at that school, the students could be in danger.”

“He just teaches, Cornelius, he has done nothing that I have not approved of,” said Dumbledore patiently. “Rest assure that he should be returning right now, if he has not gone off somewhere.”

On cue, Savannah staggered to the door. His arms were crudely wrapped up from where they were sliced and he sat down right in a chair.

“Professor Savannah, what happened?” asked Dumbledore calmly.

“Vampires, stinking blood suckers, they were in Diagon Alley, three of them, managed to give me the slip,” said Savannah gruffly, as his ribs still ached and it would be a miracle if there was not some internal bleading.

“The Ministry of Magic is handling this, Savannah, you should have contacted the Aurors if you saw anything,” stated Fudge, eyes narrowed towards Savannah from the fire. “As a former hit wizard, you should have known the danger. By leaving it to yourself, you put countless lives in danger.”

“By the time those bunglers had gotten there, they would have fed on everyone in the Alley,” argued Savannah in a passionate voice. “And there is something else the both of you should know.”

“Continue,” encouraged Dumbledore as Fudge just looked on with a stoic expression from the fire.

“They pulled wands on me and performed magic,” stated Savannah crisply and Fudge looked irritated.

“Rubbish, vampires can’t perform magic, considering how obsessed you are with these creatures, you should know that,” said Fudge, not even considering this new discovery as plausible. “Savannah, did it ever occur to you that your vampires might not have been really vampires?”

“Listen here you pencil pusher, I know a vampire when I see one and those things were vampires,” growled Savannah. “The curse of immorality strips them of the ability to perform magic yes, but Eskara has been working to bypass it for years. She’s had her eyes on certain artifacts.”

“What artifacts?” asked Dumbledore, his curiosity piqued.

“Artifacts that could alter the properties of magical blood, giving vampires the ability to perform magic once they feed off of their prey,” said Savannah promptly and Fudge looked very skeptical at this prospect. “I’m telling you Minister, your Aurors need to step up and the Ministry needs to worry less about chasing werewolves and more about the real threats.”

“This Eskara that you talk about is just nothing but an attempt to spread panic,” said Fudge. “A vampire queen, a bit far fetched, a carefully orchestrated myth.”

“The Ministry said the same thing about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named being a myth at first,” growled Savannah. “And Eskara may be at least as dangerous, if not more so.”

“Enough,” said Fudge firmly. “With all due respect, Albus, I can no longer look the other way and I trust you will not let him out of your sight again. Any further incidents and I will be forced to call in my Aurors to escort him to Azkaban.”

“Of course, Cornelius,” said Dumbledore calmly, looking at Savannah, there was only a few more months left in the year, he was sure he could keep the wizened vampire hunter in line until the year ended and he was forced to find another teacher. “I trust I will be speaking to you soon enough.”

“Yes, good night, Albus,” said Fudge in a tired voice, as Dumbledore turned to Savannah.

“Headmaster, I know what I saw,” protested Savannah and Dumbledore gave a searching look into Savannah’s eye.

“Jack, I believe you,” said Dumbledore in a tired voice. “Eskara is one hundred percent genuine but it’s for the best the world at large that she remains a myth.”

“Oh and what will happen when she enslaves all of humanity?” demanded Savannah.

“A bridge that I pray we never cross,” said Dumbledore calmly, as he looked at Savannah’s arms. “I would highly recommend you go the hospital wing, those gashes look like they could get infected if you’re not careful.”

“Spare me the grandfatherly sentiment, Dumbledore,” replied Savannah gruffly. “All of her attacks are in Britain, she’s never targeted this place much before. She has to be after something here.”

“You know her story better than anyone else, you should have insight into her mind, but Elizabeth Potter is in constant peril from this vampire queen,” said Dumbledore with a twinkle in his eyes. “I hired you to protect her, you must not fail, she is way too important to be compromised and most important of all, Miss Potter must never know her connection to Eskara. It’s for her own safety, she would be susceptible.”

“I know, Dumbledore,” stated Savannah firmly. “If Eskara steps one foot into Hogwarts, I’ll blast the blood sucking bint to dust. I have a score in this too, Azkaban be damned.”

“I do hope you have a better plan than last time you battled Eskara,” said Dumbledore evenly as Savannah covered his eye patch in a significant matter.

“I’m off to the hospital wing, call me if you need me,” grumbled Savannah as he walked off, even more scars of the never ending war he had pledged to fight all those years ago.

Fudge was in his office right now, sighing. Dumbledore had the strange ability to give the Minister all of the information, but in a way that the Minister would have even more questions than before he asked Dumbledore.

“Long night, Minister,” said Lucius Malfoy.

“Good evening, Lucius, what brings you to the Ministry at this late hour?” asked Fudge.

“Business as usual, my robes appear to be right on schedule, a bit more testing, and your Aurors will benefit from them,” stated Lucius smoothly, not even giving one hint that another party would benefit from them even more.

“Good, good, with recent events, my Aurors do need a bit more clearance, those vampire hunters blast first and ask questions later,” said Fudge with an uneasy chuckle. “It’s a shame, most of them have the training to be an asset, but refuse to lend their talents to the Ministry. Illegal technically, but vampires are a rather grey area for protection under our laws.”

“Quite, Minister,” said Lucius. “Savannah might be a loose cannon but if vampires ever should threaten the students of Hogwarts, he would be able to hold them off until more capable hands were called. Also, it would give put you in good graces with the voters.”

“Naturally Lucius, naturally,” replied Fudge with a good natured smile on his face. “Still, he keeps babbling on about this Eskara.”

“As you know Minister merely a myth,” said Lucius calmly. “There may be a group of vampires exploiting her legend however, and it is not something to be taken lightly.”

“No, most certainly not,” agreed Fudge. “I must address the public tomorrow, to lay their concerns to rest about this vampire queen nonsense.”

“I’ll be there, Minister, contact me if you need any help,” said Lucius calmly.

“Of course Lucius, farewell for the evening,” said Fudge as Lucius rose to his feet and left.

Lucius had walked down the hallways, Scrimgeour had been a bit reluctant to continue the testing at first, after the accident. It was a miracle that he resolved this matter quickly or otherwise Eskara would have his blood. The robes were nearly perfected, the features to filter out sunlight no longer clashed with the other defensive features of the robes. It would be a tight squeeze, but they would be completed and Lucius would gain an addition to his already vast fortune that will secure the Malfoy family’s status in the Wizarding World for generations to come.

-

Easter had already come and passed and the homework load only increased. Now was the time to worry to begin worrying about exams.

“Eight weeks, no problem, that’s about a subject a week right,” replied Lisa as they were at the library, purposely moving on the opposite side of the library from Hermione Granger.

“Something like that, right Liz?” asked Padma.

“Yes, pretty sure, let’s go with that, yeah,” replied Elizabeth in an absent minded voice, as an entire years worth of lessons swirled into her mind. “Let’s start with History of Magic, I guess, that’s where I remember the least.”

“Well what do you remember?” asked Lisa. “All I remember is a bunch of goblin rebellions and drifting off to sleep.”

‘Yeah, that pretty much is what Binns teaches, goblin rebellions and falling off to sleep,” replied Harry, as he followed Draco over. “Just read the book, you’ll be fine.”

“I’m not fine, if I don’t pass this year, I can’t come back, you know that, Harry,” said Elizabeth in a fretful voice.

“You’ll do fine Lizzie,” encouraged Harry. “I can’t really tell you that you’re the smartest person in the year, because it varies but you’re among the top five.”

“Just worried about returning there, I knew this year was too good to be true,” muttered Elizabeth but Harry had put a note into her hand. Elizabeth unfolded it.

Talk to me later in private. There are things you need to know before the Summer holidays.”

“Liz, let’s face it, there is no way possible you can fail, even if you don’t study another second,” said Lisa. “Besides, if anyone’s going to get kicked out for failing their exams, it’s your cousin.”

“Yes, Dudley’s never done well on tests,” said Elizabeth, her spirits brightened at the prospect of Dudley being kicked out of Hogwarts. He never really deserved to perform magic anyway and even if by some miracle he passed, Elizabeth wondered if Dudley would even want to return. It was a bit of a surprise that he came back after the Christmas holidays, given the fact that no one wanted him there. In truth, her momentarily fear had nothing to do with a lack of confidence, but rather a fear of having to return to the Dursleys forever and never see her friends again. It was silly, but the fact the end of the year was approaching depressed the Girl-Who-Lived only slightly.

“Crabbe and Goyle will only pass and go onto the second year because Father’s insisted I guide them through,” said Draco lightly. “Otherwise they would fail and since Dursley has no one that would help him, he doesn’t have a hope of staying.”

“So, see, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Lisa as the group of the five first years went back to preparing for their exams, at a leisurely pace. They had plenty of time to make sure they remembered everything that they had learned over the first year.

As Harry had suggested, Elizabeth had met him in the corridors in private. Harry stood there, a serious expression on her face, as he surveyed the expression on Elizabeth’s face.

“You don’t want to go back there,” said Harry and Elizabeth just stood there. “If I’m right, your life at the Dursleys wasn’t exactly all that pleasant.”

“Well, that’s putting it mildly,” replied Elizabeth as she sighed. “You’ve seen Dudley, he’s the worst of both Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, especially Uncle Vernon and their worst could pretty bad.”

“I figured as much,” said Harry. “If it was possible, you would come straight home with me for the summer, but according to the Ministry, your official guardians are the Dursleys and you have to go back.”

“My parents put me there,” replied Elizabeth a tone of bitterness in her voice and Harry just stared at her for a few seconds, this was a piece of interesting news.

“No, they didn’t, in fact, no one knows where they wanted you to go, other than Sirius was your godfather, but he was killed,” said Harry and Elizabeth stood, all these years, she had thought her mother and father were the one’s that forced her to live with her hated relatives, but it was not there call.

“The Dursleys, I hate them all, they made me think my parents were the one’s that sent me there!” cried Elizabeth. “They know, don’t they?”

“Yes,” said Harry taking a step back, just in case there was any accidental magic. “Mum is Sirius’s cousin and she’s been working to get you away from there for years, but the Ministry blocked every attempt to have you checked on at the Dursleys. According to Dumbledore, there is a reason why you’re being sent there, but he refuses to tell Mum what it is.”

“Dumbledore, what right does he have? He’s just the Headmaster of Hogwarts!” demanded Elizabeth.

“He has other positions of power, most notably the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot,” said Harry. “I don’t know why he would send you there, what the point of it would be.”

“Once exams are over, I’ll ask, he has to tell me, this is my life he’s messing with,” said Elizabeth firmly. “I’ll tell him everything if I have to, but there is no way I’m going back to the Dursleys if I can help it!”

“That makes two of us, Lizzie, good luck trying to make him see that the Dursleys aren’t the best place for you, Mum’s been trying for ten years, but Dumbledore refuses to budge and the Ministry aren’t about to stand on his toes with this,” said Harry as he placed his hand on his forehead. “Let’s worry about exams right now, then we’ll figure out a way to make Dumbledore see the truth.”

“I know Harry, I understand,” said Elizabeth but at that moment, Hermione Granger was walking down the hallway, in a huff.

“I can’t believe the gall of you, Elizabeth Potter!” shouted Hermione. “I saw you and your friends in the library, laughing at your cousin, because he’s struggling in school. Of course he’s not pleasant, but you should help him. He is your cousin.”

“Only by blood,” replied Elizabeth crisply. “I don’t see what business it is of yours, Granger. Don’t you have a book to go serenade or something?”

“Listen, don’t you care one bit that your cousin’s future might be ruined if he fails all his exams?” asked Hermione.

“No,” said Elizabeth without even thinking about it.

“You can’t very well ruin what’s not there,” added Harry as Hermione folded her arms, looking irritated.

“Okay, Granger, you go and live with Dudley for ten years and see how much you want to help him,” said Elizabeth. “No one likes him anyway, quite frankly I am doing him a favor by not helping him. If I really wanted to wish him harm, I’d help him pass his exams. Then he’d be dead by his second year.”

Hermione just turned her back and stormed off, muttering under her breath.

“I don’t think she has quite forgiven you for being able to learn about magic without meticulously studying a textbook,” replied Harry. “Sadly, she’ll probably pass all of her exams and she’ll be here next year.”

“Unfortunately,” said Elizabeth but her mind was still on Dumbledore. She had seen the Headmaster many times, but had never interacted with him at all. He had always come across as a nice, kindly, grandfatherly figure, but appearances could be quite deceiving. People that she thought could help her with the Dursleys had turned out to just get her in even more trouble. Still, Dumbledore could not ignore the facts given from her own experiences, could he? After all, it was his responsibility as Headmaster of Hogwarts to offer support to the students.

-

Lucius took a few steps down the hallway once again, looking from side to side. Once again, he had no idea where he was going or how he could get down. Quickly, he turned to a side chamber, where Eskara sat with a cold indifferent expression.

“The time is up Lucius, the robes now,” ordered Eskara.

“Just perfected yesterday, but have a look at them for yourself,” said Lucius, as he enlarged a box, before putting them into the hands of Eskara. Eskara opened the top of the box, peering into it intently. To the untrained eye and even most trained eyes, they were nothing but common robes. They were charmed to protect against most magical attacks, along with climate control and offered protection against the very bane of her existence, sunlight. “The best robe is at the top, I trust you will make use of it for yourself.”

“Astute for a human,” said Eskara in a chilling tone of voice as she looked at the top robe, it was perfect. She could felt the power. It would make her untouchable.

“Now, just the matter of my fee,” said Lucius. “I lived up to my end of the agreement, now yours if you please. The gold, all one million galleons that you promised.”

“Our deal has not been completed, your gold hinges on our success in securing Elizabeth Potter, in addition the robes” said Eskara. “Remember, you are to arrange the Minister’s meeting with Dumbledore at the time that I appointed, to draw him away from Hogwarts. My followers will do the rest and fail, and you will lose a lot more than gold.”

“I know what you require and you will not be disappointed,” said Lucius.

“I had best not be,” said Eskara swiftly. “Farewell, Malfoy. The next time we meet, either I will pay or you will.”
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