The queen reads a report, Harry has a chat with Minerva, Dobby pulls a prank, new laws are passed, Dumbledore forgets, Voldy wakes up, Snape takes a chance and Rita is rescued.
Special notice: I want to apologize to all my readers. My sister FireLemming got sick about ten days ago and I’ve been kept busy tending her, so I’ve had little time to write. She died on the first of September. I did CPR for five minutes or so, until the fire department arrived. They took over for another twenty, but there was no chance. Real life is gonna get hectic for a while. I will update as often as I can but for the foreseeable future, it will be catch, as catch can.
16th November, Buckingham Palace.
Queen Elizabeth sat at her ornate roll-top desk and carefully read the synopsis of the reports submitted a week before by her Special Forces team. The results were very much as she’d expected. There was a great deal of praise about the Jedi student’s physical, fitness, emotional and mental toughness, as well as surprised admiration at the things the teens could do with their minds alone. According to all of her men, these ‘force exercises’ were simply astounding! Even Bowman, long known as the ‘prove it’ man, had nothing but praise for Lord Potter and his Jedi.
The PM’s report ended: “To sum up, if these people are allied with our government they would be a great asset to Britain. If opposed, they could be unbelievably dangerous. If they claim neutrality, then they could quite well be both. Lord Potter, from all I have heard about him, is courageous to a fault, highly intelligent and exceptionally loyal to those who have earned his loyalty. He holds Your Majesty in the greatest esteem. He is also cunning as Rommel, and absolutely ruthless to his enemies. He is facing implacable foes on two fronts, and is, in my opinion, well up to the challenge. To be quite honest, I wish I had a dozen of him in command of your forces…”
At eight thirty seven that evening, Minerva was attending to the parchmentwork, which seemed to accompany any position of responsibility. Like Albus, she disliked dealing with the minutiae of her position, but unlike him, she had the integrity to forge through the stacks of parchment herself, instead of sluffing it off on assistant.
Dobby popped in with the slightest of noises. She’d objected some time before when he’d appear without sound, that he’d frightened years off her life…years, which she assured him she couldn’t afford to lose.
“Good evening, Dobby. How may I help you?”
“Hello Professor Kittycat. Harry Potter has asked that Dobby extend an invitation to Potter Castle for the evening. Dobby has already given Headmaster Dumblefutz a sleeping potion in his tea. The house elves here, is being putting him to bed now.”
Minerva stared, aghast at the thought. Not only at the disrespectful title, but that Dobby had potioned the headmaster. If she hadn’t known what Albus was doing, she’d have charged up there straight away with Poppy in tow! As it was, she just gaped.
Regaining her composure, she said: “Dobby, please, if you need to do something like that again, please let me know beforehand. I will most likely agree, but still, it is imperative I know of such things.”
“Dobby will do, Professor Kittycat.”
“And that’s another thing. Is it so hard to pronounce my name?”
“Dobby is trying hard, Professor Mernervey Macgonagy, but Dobby has a speaking impedlimint and…”
Minerva shuddered at the mangling of her noble name, and sighed: “Very well, Dobby, you may call me Professor Kittycat.”
“Dobby thanks you.”
Minerva found she rather enjoyed being transported by elf-express, as Harry was wont to call it. It was not as harsh as apparation, nor dizzying as portkey, and seemed to take less time as well.
“Aah, Professor!” Harry greeted her warmly. Hermione was standing next to him, with an equally welcoming smile on her lips. “Welcome to Potter Castle!”
They settled into comfortable chairs in Harry’s office and waited until Winky served them tea and nibbles.
When she’d finished, Harry forged into the subject.
“I understand you’re having some financial difficulties?”
“Not just yet, Mister Potter, but before the end of the year, we will be, and you should know why, as it was your pulling so many students out of Hogwarts, that brought about those difficulties in the first place.”
“There are changes coming. With change comes sacrifice. That’s a fundamental law of nature. Fortunately these changes are for the betterment of the wizarding society as a whole.”
“Mister Potter…Harry.” Minerva spoke tentatively. “Both Albus and V-Voldemort feel the changes they are forcing are for the betterment of the wizarding world. How is your view any different?"
Harry thought about this for a moment.
“I suppose an argument could be made for my changes being less benign than I think. On the other hand, the changes we are creating…with the full cooperation of the minister, and the queen, I might add, will provide an environment free from terror, for the foreseeable future. Not just until the next dark lord rears his ugly head.
Voldemort’s changes are nothing more than terrorism, to force his goal. That goal is the elimination of all mugglebornes, and half-bloods, permanently, and the subjugation of every muggle on earth. To do that, he’d need to kill off a frightening number of human beings. I believe the number I quoted when we last spoke, was three and a half billion…that’s half the world’s population.”
Harry paused a moment to emphasize the scale of the impending disaster, before beginning once again.
“As bad as that is, Dumbledore’s changes are far more dangerous.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, he claims to be the epitome of the light. He waves his banner of omniscience, and expects the rest of us to flock to him like sheep, but as I’ve indicated before, he’s not so bright and shiny as he’d like us to think. Dumbledore is after exactly the same thing as Voldemort. He just goes about it in a different manner. He wants to rule the purebloods, and they’re supposed to control everyone else. Why do you think he’s insisted that the pureblood Death Eaters, even those caught in the act, go free? Why do you think he vouched for the man who helped to murder my parents? Why do you think he’s forced through so many laws that restrict the rights of pretty much everybody else?”
“I don’t understand.” Minerva was familiar with Dumbledore’s machinations, but this was a new area of intrigue.
Harry thought a moment, before he began.
“Did you know Dumbledore was great pals with Grindelwald? They wrote this ‘greater good’ thing together, a manifesto, if you will. That’s in the goblin archives as well. In this manifesto, they conclude that the human race desperately needs the guidance of what they call, Homo-Superior, Magicus, simply to survive. Grindelwald was willing to use brute force to attain his goals, but Dumbledore disagreed. Albie prefers to work from the background. They had a falling out. A few dozen years later, Grindelwald found a kindred spirit in the new spokesman for the Nationalsozialisten party in Germany. He took the opportunity to grab power when Hitler did, but Dumbledore didn’t like the way he went about it. It was too open, so he arranged for Riddle.
Tom was to be his weapon to destroy Grindelwald. Bad luck that Hitler killed himself and Germany capitulated a few months before he could involve Riddle. Personally, I think Tom found out what Albie had planned, said: “No thanks.” and took off. In the end, Dumbledore had to kill Grindelwald himself.
Now, Tom dropped off the face of the Earth for twenty years and when he was next seen, he was Voldemort. That’s where I came in. Riddle was an obstacle to Dumbledore’s plans, and so, he had to be eliminated. Knowing he was in a no-win situation as long as Voldemort was alive, and knowing he wasn’t powerful enough to kill him off, Dumbledore decided to make me Tom Riddle, Mark II. What he didn’t know, was that when Voldemort attacked me, he actually guaranteed that I would be the one who could destroy him. Magic is funny like that. The prophecy reads: “The one with the power to vanquish…" and …and he will mark him as his equal…” You see, what Tommy didn’t know, was that when he marked me as his equal, he actually arranged for me, magically speaking, to have the power I needed to destroy him! Since he fulfilled the prophecy but didn’t ‘truly’ die, the magic of Godric’s Hollow, which is located over a minor ley line, I believe, conspired, if you will, to make me as powerful as he was.
It actually makes sense, in a weird sort of way.
Dumbledore discovered this that night. He knew his false prophecy was fulfilled, but he decided to keep me as a weapon in case any new dark lords decided to rise. That way he could eliminate his competition and still keep his hands clean. He bound my magic. That’s why he didn’t dump he with the Dursleys until the next evening. When he did, though, he didn’t know that my magic would fight through his bindings, just to keep me alive. As a result, of the constant magical…exercise, I suppose, I’m now more powerful, than either one of them.
Anyway, Dumbledore thinks in the long term, you see. Over the years, he’d gather as much political power to himself as possible, and when the time was right, he’d use his pawns to perform a coup d’état. Bloodshed would be kept to a minimum, but individual freedoms would be a thing of the past. Over the next centuries, and he lied about the stone, by the way…it wasn’t destroyed. He has it. Oh, that reminds me. Dobby?”
The little Jedi appeared soundlessly. “You called for Dobby?”
“Yes, Dobby. It’s time to collect the stone. Dumbledore has had it for far too long anyway.”
“Dobby will do.” With that, the elf vanished, and Harry returned to his thoughts.
“Anyway, over the centuries to come, he’ll begin to eliminate any rights people have so that in two hundred years or so, the entire population of this planet will be effectively slaves to the purebloods."
“How is this possible?”
“Simple. He knows what he’s doing. He writes the laws of the wizarding world. I told you that before. For instance, in the fifty years you’ve known him, how many werewolf laws have been enacted?”
“I…I’m not certain.”
“Three hundred and fourty two. Most of which contradict each other. If a ‘were’ follows one law, he’s certain to be breaking another. In either case, did you know there are currently only two penalties for ‘weres’ who commit crimes?"
“No. I did not.” Minerva was appalled. Seeing how the ministry had been handling the werewolves, somehow, she didn’t think the penalties would be fines.
Harry nodded, and answered her unspoken thought. “No they won’t be. The most recent penalties enacted, were life in Azkaban…or death…period! Albus Toodamnmanynames Dumbledore set that all up. Well, he, the toad-woman and our favorite Death Eater and all around sleazeball, Lucius Malfoy, that is. I checked the records at Gringotts. The Human/Goblin treaty of 1387 allows and requires any laws introduced, to be copied in their entirety including the names of the originators. What really hacks me off is that Dumbledore used my votes to push through laws that have literally created a criminal class. As a werewolf, Remus is prohibited from holding any job in the wizarding world. It’s also very interesting to note that that law was passed after Remus was forced out of Hogwarts by the Death Eater.
Quite coincidentally, Lucius Malfoy has written even more of these laws than Dumbledore. In his case, though, he’s an equal opportunity bigot. Although his, and by extension, Voldemort’s, favorite bugaboo is mugglebornes, he targets pretty much everybody. Well, everybody but the Voldemort aligned purebloods, that is.
Minerva didn’t think she could handle any more such shocks.
Harry took pity on her.
“Anyway, back on topic. Since your budget is constrained, mostly the bribes expected for the board of Governors, and I’ve taken steps to eliminate that ‘tradition’, by the end of the year, you’ll find yourself short some thirty five thousand Galleons.
“Unfortunately yes.” Minerva sighed.
“Alright. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’ll donate one hundred thousand Galleons, with a couple conditions.”
“And what would those conditions entail?”
First, Dumbledore is never to know where you got the money. I’d prefer he didn’t know about it at all. I’ll tell him just before I bring him down. Second, you will replace all the school brooms, beginning next year, both for the Quidditch teams, and also for the first years. Comets, Cleansweeps and Firebolts for the teams. The brooms will be school property, not personal. Each team member will use the exact same model as the corresponding members of the opposite team. You know your brooms better than I do, and I’m certain Madam Hooch will be more than happy to help you out. The point being, nobody uses a personal broom for inter-house Quidditch matches. That way, everyone is on an equal footing. Oh, by the way, I’d like you to try to recover my Firebolt if you can. Umbitch stole it and chained it to a dungeon wall, but Dumbley should have it by now…if he hasn’t destroyed it.”
Dobby appeared holding Harry’s Firebolt and interrupted. “Harry, Dobby has brought your Firebolt as well. Headmaster Dumblefutz has it in his chambers. Dobby left a same tasting copy, like the stone.” He handed the broom to Harry and left a small blood red stone on the desk. Minerva stared at the stone in shock. Albus had sworn he’d destroyed it! Now Nicholas and Perenelle were dead…and for what?
Harry examined the broomstick lovingly. It had been so long! It was scratched from the iron chains Delores Umbridge had wrapped around it, but seemed to be in otherwise good condition.
“Y’know…” Hermione elbowed Minerva lightly. “He used to look at me like that.”
Both women stifled giggles.
“I still look at you like that, Hermione.” Harry smirked. Hermione blushed at being caught out.
Harry held the broomstick out to Dobby.
“Thank you, Dobby. Please take this to Mister Ollivander tomorrow morning and ask him to check it for tracking charms, hexes, jinxes, and the like.” Dobby nodded and vanished with the broomstick.
Harry smiled wistfully for long moments; daydreaming about flying free, with no encumbrances, before Hermione cleared her throat, reminding him of their guest and the topic under discussion. Minerva smiled fondly.
“Oh, Where was I? Lessee, erm…Oh yeah, the firsties. The first years, should learn on broomsticks that won’t try to kill them. Something like a Bluebottle, or it’s equivalent. They’re slow but stable…perfect for a kid who’s never been on a broom before. In addition, from here on in, those brooms will be kept indoors…and under some sort of security, to prevent tampering. No more having Hagrid defrost them on the pitch. Those brooms were dangerously unstable as it was. Abusing them like that only made it worse. Perhaps Madam Hooch can use them as a final exam if she wants. After all, if a student can fly one of them, then the student can fly anything.” Harry smirked.
“If Dumbledore asks, tell him it was a private donation from a wealthy alumnus with specific conditions. That’s actually the truth, after all. If he asks anything more, tell him you were pledged to keep the name of the benefactor secret. That’s also true.”
“What about Slytherin, Harry?” Hermione asked.
“Slytherin too. Currently, the Slytherin team has the flashiest and most worthless brooms any one could use for Quidditch. At this level, the only one who needs the flat-out speed of the Nimbus 2001, is the seeker, and even then, the 2001 is flawed. It tops out at ten miles slower than the 2000, shudders at speed and flares when pushed too hard. Draco found that out the hard way. Why it hasn’t been recalled is beyond me.” He mused.
“Lucius Malfoy bought stock in the Nimbus Company after Draco reported that you’d been give one in your first year.” Minerva explained. “That’s why he could ‘donate’ seven broomsticks to the Slytherin team. I suppose he expects to make a great deal of money, and a general recall of their most popular model would prevent that.”
“God!” Harry sighed in frustration. “Even his own son is a sacrifice on the altar of the almighty Pound…erm, Galleon!” Harry closed his eyes in disgust for a second. When he opened them he returned to the business at hand.
“Anyway, that’s all the conditions I have. Use the money as you need, and try not to let Dumbledore find out. By the time you start using it, the year will be mostly over anyway, and he’ll be out of his position, shortly afterwards.”
18th November, Hogwarts School. 02:30.
A silent elf wearing brown robes and a lightsaber, appeared in the headmaster’s office. He carefully lifted the Headmaster’s lucky lemon drop bag from the bedside table and left the room. In the office, Dobby spilled the lemon drops onto a heavy cloth pad, where he sprayed them with a dilute forgetfulness potion.
Fawkes and the Sorting Hat watched, snickering, as the Jedi-elf tampered with the headmasters candy. Dobby flicked his fingers and a soft wind began to blow across the sweets.
When the lemon drops were dry, Dobby returned them to the purple and gold bag and the bag to the headmaster’s bedside table.
Just for fun, he lowered the Headmaster’s chair and desk an inch or so. They would still be usable, but it would be less than comfortable.
He grinned his thanks to both hat and bird before vanishing again.
19th November, Wizengamot chambers, regular monthly meeting:
Augusta Longbottom tapped her wand against the crystal chimes, signifying the beginning of another Wizengamot meeting. Since Amelia’s appointment as Minister many changes had been enacted in these chambers. Half the council had been compromised, and many of them had been arrested. More of Voldemort’s supporters remained, but laws forced into place had limited their interference. It was now an imprisonable offense, to support or succor any dark lord…or anyone else, intent on the overthrow of the legitimate government of Great Britain.
When routine affairs had been dealt with, a process made that much easier and more efficient by the lack of certain former members of the council, Augusta called for any new business.
As Minister of Magic, Amelia could not legitimately propose any new legislation. Instead, she’d discussed her concerns with Andromeda, Carolyn and Augusta beforehand. Now Andromeda would introduce the change in the monitoring charm, Carolyn would second, and Augusta would see it was passed.
Andromeda touched her wand to the glow-stone in front of her. Augusta called on her immediately.
“The chair recognizes Andromeda Tonks, voting the Black proxy. Madam Tonks”
“Madam Longbottom, in light of the inefficiency of the monitoring charm on the dark mark, I propose we alter the targeting of the monitor to the Cruciatus curse.”
“Why change something that has worked for so long?” A rotund man with a huge walrus moustache asked. Horace Slughorn. He’d been named to the council pro-tem to vote one of the seats formerly held by Lucius Malfoy. Slughorn was a conniving coward, lacking even the flimsiest of backbone, but he was a cunning and intelligent politician. He made a habit of knowing and collecting both intelligence and people for his own designs. Much of his behind-the-scenes influence had been eroded by Voldemort’s rise, fall and reincarnation, but Slughorn still practiced his art.
“The point is, Horace, the system as it is, does not work. As was pointed out to me not so long ago, the Dark Mark is the last thing the Death Eaters cast…just before they crawl back into the woodwork. Changing the monitoring charm to the Cruciatus or Avada Kedavra curse, actually gives our Aurors a fighting chance to capture these monsters before the can pull off their masks and pretend to be honest citizens.”
“How dare you!” came a voice from the back. Farnham Zeller, a ‘new’ pureblood of barely seven generations, demonstrated blood-purity supremacist, close associate of Lucius Malfoy, and long thought to be a Voldemort sympathizer, stood and began to rant.
“These accusations are slanderous! Many fine, upstanding, pureblood members of our society have been persecuted because of the misguided actions of the Minister of Magic. Others are in hiding because they fear being sent to Azkaban, for the ‘terrible crime’ of being under Imperius!”
“Mister Zeller…” Augusta spoke now. Her voice was calm and quiet, but there was fire and steel beneath her genteel manner. “It has been conclusively proved, that one cannot cast offensive spells such as Cruciatus and Avada Kedavra while under Imperius. Both those curses take a great concentration and focus of will to cast and that is what the Imperius denies its victim. Quite simply, those who have claimed to be under Imperius were, and are, liars. Now, sit down!”
Zeller wilted under the heat of Augusta’s glare. As expected, Carolyn seconded the motion and with a vote of thirty-four to nine, with seven abstaining, the motion carried.
Kingsley Shacklebolt noted the names of those who voted specifically against. Those few would bear watching. He surreptitiously cast monitoring charms on each of them. He knew he stood to get into a great deal of trouble for monitoring such high ranking people without any real cause, but an Auror lives on his insight, and just then, his insight was screaming: ‘trouble!’
His caution proved to be prophetic. Less than fifteen minutes after the meeting ended, Zeller was captured in contact with a known, though minor Death Eater named Arkash. Fortunately, he was captured before the news of the altered monitoring charm could be passed. Arkash saw the approaching Aurors burst through Zeller’s office door, and vanished, leaving Zeller to hang on his own. Kingsley’s foremost thought was: ~Why did the damn fool call from a ministry floo?~
Zeller’s capture led to interrogation under Veritaserum and upon completion, he was shipped off to France.
Albus Dumbledore was not a happy wizard. One of his spies in the Wizengamot, had just informed him that the council had changed the monitoring charm from the Dark Mark to the Cruciatus curse. This would not do…not at all! He’d have to get word to Tom as quickly as he could! Unfortunately, he had more pressing issues to contend with. Severus had been removed the week before, from his positions at Hogwarts by the Board of Governors, as ‘entirely unsuitable to teach even wild animals’. As Harry had indicated in July, his teaching methods were named, as the primary reason wizarding Britain was so woefully unprepared for Voldemort’s return.
When he heard that piece of news, Dumbledore swore in anger. As it was, political conditions were perfect for a sacrificial lamb, followed up by himself, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, most publicly ‘eliminating’ his first tool.
Sybil had also been removed.
While he’d fought the rulings, the board had 'insisted', and so, he’d had to allow the removals. In the aftermath, he’d sequestered Sybil in the northwest tower. There, he’d stunned her and given her a sip of the draught of living death. Instructing the house-elves to care for the comatose woman, he approached his spy, to offer him a position in the castle ‘researching’ potions…specifically the potions that both Dumbledore and Voldemort needed.
“Severus while the board can call for the removal of a teacher, only the headmaster may decide if a person may remain within the walls of this school. I have used that to our advantage before, and I shall do so again. You must, of course, vacate your normal quarters, and remove your things into another suite, on the north side of the castle. That section of the castle has not been used since before you were a student here. I shall have the elves prepare the rooms for you. There is also another potions laboratory there. It was established when Hogwarts hosted many more students than it does today.”
“And my duties?”
“I cannot allow you to remain in contact with the students…not even your serpents. If it were discovered, I would also be looking for a position, and as I am more important to the war effort than anyone else, that cannot be allowed. You may research potions to your hearts delight, and from time to time, you will brew any specific potions I need here, and, of course, any potions that Tom may request.”
“And the cost? Some of the ingredients for those potions are rather expensive.”
“Not to worry, my boy.” He assured Snape with his best ‘trust me’ twinkle. “Moneys will be found to pay for such ingredients as they might become necessary. Since Tom provides you the ingredients for his special needs, here, you are limited to whatever potions I require. While I am, as the younger people say, ‘on the outs’, I still have some political pull. I shall be able to divert some moneys for that purpose.”
Snape accepted Dumbledore’s offer in his usual foul temper.
Once more, Albus cursed the absence of his missing weapon. He knew there was a literal mountain of gold rotting in the Chamber of Secrets. If only there was another parseltongue to open the passageway in Myrtle’s bathroom. Unfortunately Harry and Tom were the only confirmed speakers, and the other potential, the Weasley child was missing as well, and Fawkes refused to take him down there!
In the meantime, the goblins appeared to be giving him a bit of grace. He’d have to find a way to exploit it, in order to regain control over the Potter and Black vaults. After all, Harry wouldn’t be needing them soon anyway!
Dragging his thoughts back to the present, he thought: ~Yes, Tom must be informed of the change to the monitoring charm. After all, it wouldn’t do for the ministry to gain control too soon now would it? I should have words with Severus this evening.~
He popped a lemon drop into his mouth and enjoyed the tart shock to his tongue, before pausing and frowning in concentration. “Hmmm. What was I thinking?” He asked himself. He couldn’t recall, and so decided it was of no import, before heading off to oversee dinner.
November 23rd, Riddle Manor. Little Hangleton. 17:34:
Voldemort woke after his three week long, potion-induced coma, with a pounding head, an empty belly, and in a foul mood.
Seeing the sleeping Severus Snape in a chair nearby, he hissed: “Severus! Your master has need of you!” The dark mark burned and Snape’s eyes opened wide.
Seeing his master had returned to awareness, he left the chair and knelt before Lord Voldemort.
“What happened? I sense many days have passed. Enlighten me!” He commanded.
“Master, you called me here to tend to your injuries. I still do not know what the pieces of metal in your chest were. Their primary ingredient is lead, with a trace of antimony. There was a thin shield of copper around them.”
Something about Snape’s description was familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it. He decided to ignore it:
“That is of little import. What happened?”
“I removed the pieces of metal, and healed your wounds. You drank an entire bottle of pain relieving potion and shortly afterward, fell into a coma. You had become addicted to the potion. I tried to warn you before, but you rebuffed my efforts. So, I took the only opportunity offered, to free you of it’s influence. When you became insensate from your self-induced overdose, I placed you under a sleeping charm and gave you a purgative to ensure the toxins in your bloodstream were removed.”
“How dare you! You would lay hands on your master?” Voldemort was furious!
“You would perhaps, prefer to remain a drooling idiot, completely under the thrall of a potions induced euphoria?” Snape raised a sardonic eyebrow. He knew he was taking an awful chance. The master could as well decide to kill him on the spot. Despite his position in the inner circle, despite his skill with potions, despite his services as a spy, Snape was not irreplaceable.
Voldemort flared with anger. “You dare!?!” He sputtered, grabbing for his wand. It wasn’t where it usually was. Instead, he could see it on the ornate bureau at the other side of the room.
“Yes, Master, I do. If you were to allow yourself become more befuddled than you were, our cause would - be - lost. If you wish to punish me for doing my utmost to prevent that, then by all means, do.”
Severus stood, turned and walked to the press, picked up the yew wand and presented it to his master, hilt-first, before kneeling again. “However, if you wish to see our plans come to fruition, then perhaps you should thank me for saving your sanity, and then we can continue on, to bring our plans forward.”
Voldemort was both irritated and fascinated at Snape’s audacity, but it was true. He owed a debt to Severus. His spy had done just what he’d said…saved him from a potions induced thrall.
Snape handed a differently shaped bottle to his master.
“This is a slight variation on the pain killing potion. It is not as effective, but it is also less addictive. The bottle is charmed to release only the proper dosage and only at the proper times. No less than five hours between uses.”
“A restriction?” Voldemort hissed. “You would place restrictions on me?”
“Master, you are still addicted. Should you allow yourself to submit to this addiction…even once, you would, within a month, be as you were three weeks ago. Irrational and utterly incapable of making sound decisions. As it is, your temper and lack of foresight, has thus far, cost us eighty-one men, killed or captured. While most are replaceable, Bellatrix, Alecto Carrow, Thaddeus Nott and even Ortmund Selwyn were not.”
Voldemort could be called a number of things, but stupid would not be one of them. Still, he was in a quandary. On the one side, Snape had acted without orders, and had dared to lay hands on him. On the other, he had acted without orders and saved his life. His wand twitched in his hand, as if begging to release the agony of the Cruciatus, or the permanence of death.
He pondered the two options, for a long while, before he finally sighed. “Thank you, Severus.”
“My master.” As was his facade as spy for the light, Snape’s outward calm was a mask. A mask carefully worn to hide any scent of emotion behind it, for behind that mask, he’d been shivering in terror. Now, he was positively melting in relief.
“What do you suggest?”
“We must recruit new members. From May to now, we’ve lost over a hundred Death Eaters. As it is, less than a hundred remain. We need more. Cannon fodder, if nothing else. During the years you were…indisposed, I have been carefully selecting potential followers of an appropriate breeding and mind-set. I have a list of over a hundred in my quarters.”
“Agreed. Other ideas?”
“Make your plans carefully. Plan for contingencies and opposition from the ministry or Dumbledore’s order. Train your Death Eaters well for a mission, but allow them some leeway if things go awry.”
“And have them believe they can do as they will?”
“No, master. It will tell them you depend upon their loyalty, dedication and intelligence, and trust them to follow your plans to the logical conclusion. It will also tell them that you value their lives enough to order their escape should the situation become untenable.”
As before, Voldemort thought long and hard about his limited options. While Dumbledore was still doing nothing, the ministry had been far from idle. Every living Death Eater who’d failed him, was in the hands of the ministry and not even his few remaining spies there, could tell him where. And then, there remained the mystery of Potter…and that magic sword he’d used to take Flymmins’ hand.
Finally, he sighed: “I shall think on this. Leave me.”
“I live to serve.” Snape bowed and backed away.
Voldemort watched his servant go. For the first time in many years, he was utterly convinced of Snape’s loyalty. He’d come at command, removed the pieces of metal, healed his wounds and treated him for the addiction before he did something foolish. He realized that Snape could have killed him while he was insensate. Instead, the man had stayed by his side, to protect him, while he was incapable of doing so on his own.
As for the mission, it was an utter disaster! He had wished to bolster morale amongst his troops with an easy kill, and instead had suffered a devastating blow!
Bellatrix would have raged at her failure and tried to return to the scene, despite the probability of Aurors being there, both Lestrange brothers would have done the same, Rookwood would have blamed the operatives ‘as his work is always perfect’, and Malfoy would have found some way to shift the blame for the failure. His son was, by all reports, no better. Yes, he owed Severus a great deal.
Disliking owing anything to anyone, he quit that line of thought and turned to a new and less difficult topic.
He needed new people for his inner circle. As it was, where once he had had twelve, there were only half that left. He would need six more lieutenants, all unswervingly loyal and dedicated to the ideals of pureblood superiority and eliminating the threat posed by muggles, mudbloods and blood traitors, alike.
The most likely second tier candidates were: Amycus Carrow, Mulciber, Dolohov, Dulce, Travers, Yaxley, Rowle, Narcissa, Parkinson, Nott, Crabbe, Goyle, Gibbon, Jugson, Greyback, and Pettigrew. He nearly laughed at the idea of the spineless animagus as part of the inner circle. The inner circle was for those dedicated to his cause, powerful leaders all! Pettigrew was anything but. Even if he were, Peter hadn’t responded to his summons in months, and Voldemort strongly suspected he’d been killed.
Amycus was a solid, dependable man but his recent encounter with the goblins had shamed him before his lord. No, he’d not be in the inner circle after allowing those…animals…to best him. Alecto, was dead, of course, by his own curse. Damn that goblin! In the new order, she would be held up as a shining example of pureblood superiority, fealty and dedication!
Mulciber was loyal and dependable, but had no imagination. Dolohov was especially creative with his curses, but he ‘enjoyed’ his job, just a little too much. Voldemort knew his servant was growing into a berserker, like Bellatrix had been…but with no controls whatsoever. No, he’d have to see about eliminating Antonin soon enough.
Voldemort allowed himself to feel a brief pang of regret at the death of his most feared attack-dog, and fury at the cause of her death.
Nott was dead, or at least his robes and mask had been returned in that first box, along with those of the other eight lower ranked servants.
Augustus, was a duplicitous, scheming bastard and while he was an excellent spymaster, and dedicated to the pureblood ideal, Voldemort had always suspected he was less interested in the cause, than in preserving his own skin.
Portnoy Parkinson was, like Lucius, the perfect politician, but without nearly as many social connections. He might be a good choice.
Narcissa was far too dangerous, and he’d incurred her wrath by crippling her husband. He’d have to see she was neutralized, or if necessary, eliminated.
Travers and Yaxley were good men, but hardly the quality needed to inspire loyalty and respect in the lower ranked Death Eaters. Rowle was a possibility, but like Dolohov, Thorfin liked his job too much. Perfect for shock troops but not for those who commanded them.
Jugson was blind in one eye, because of the Longbottom spawn, and while that was not a disqualifier, he was obsessed with avenging himself on the boy. He couldn’t be trusted to set aside his hatred in order to accomplish other goals.
Fenrir Greyback was a savage, bloodthirsty animal, who loved his job far too much and was far more insane than Bellatrix had been. His primary value was as a nearly unthinking attack dog, not as a leader of men. Voldemort wasn’t afraid to use the insane in his plans, but he also recognized the dangers of doing so. A mad dog can turn on its handler as easily as on the chosen victim.
He couldn’t ‘feel’ Selwyn through the fool’s mark, which meant his servant, was either captured, and his magic somehow masked, or dead. Hopefully dead. His mistake in selecting the target, was a failure worthy of a lingering death!
Dulce was also dead or captured. Crabbe and Goyle didn’t even bear thinking about, and Dawlish and Gibbon were too inexperienced
This would take some thought.
Rita was at her desk, idly pondering how graciously she would accept her Golden Quill award for her upcoming, exclusive, interview with Harry Potter. Her daydreams were interrupted by a robed house-elf popping into her office.
Seeing it carried the same kind of weapon Potter had, she decided that courtesy was the order of the day.
“Miss, Skeeter, Harry Potter has asked Dobby to give you this and await your reply.” The house-elf squeaked. Rita noticed that this elf was not subservient, as were most.
She took the proffered envelope. Inside, the message was brief.
Rita. Allow Dobby to transport you to my location.
We have something to discuss.
When she finished reading, she set the parchment onto the desktop, where, after a few seconds, it burst into flame. Rita let out a choked off screech, as the fire enveloped the page.
“Are you ready?” The elf asked.
Shocked, she nodded.
“Then take Dobby’s hand.” He ordered. That actually got her attention.
“You are a house-elf. You don’t give orders to humans!”
“Rita Skeeter, Dobby is under instructions to bring you to Harry Potter. It is your choice whether you come awake or asleep.” Dobby returned defiantly.
Seeing she wasn’t moving, Dobby stepped around the desk and took her arm, before popping her from her office, to Harry’s. He intentionally missed the comfortable chair there and left the odious reporter to fall on her arse.
Harry chuckled as Dobby and Rita appeared…and again when Rita fell.
“Thank you, Dobby. Tonks and Remus are in the small classroom in the east wing. I’m sure they’d appreciate some assistance in teaching Makashi to the students there.”
Dobby bowed to Harry and popped away without noise.
“Harry sat again and waited for Rita to picked herself up.
“What was that?”
“A friend.” Harry answered her succinctly. “He doesn’t like you.”
Before Rita could object, Harry began to speak.
“Last night, a vote was taken by the Wizengamot to shift the focus of the monitoring system at the ministry from the Morsmordre spell to the Cruciatus curse. It’s expected that this will make it easier for the Aurors to catch the Deeters in the act. Some other laws were repealed. Here’s a list, and here’s what you will report. I’ve contacted Euwings and Lovegood, and both are waiting for your story. The usual rates apply.” He handed her two sheets of parchment.
Rita was stunned. The first series of laws repealed were all the restrictions on Werewolves, specifically being denied employment. Other laws were to make the current price-gouging of mugglebornes and their families illegal.
Complete equity for the mugglebornes was a long way off, but this was definitely a good start.
Other laws were repealed, including the ‘Pureblood Exemptions’ law, which had been on the books for more than a century.
“You will report this in the best light possible. You will say nothing about the change in the monitoring charm, but you will mention that a new law has been set in place that will be more effective in capturing Death Eaters. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” Rita didn’t like it, but she knew she was one article away from a long term in Azkaban…no, Azkaban had been abandoned! Suddenly she was rather smug. With no Azkaban, Potter couldn’t do anything to her!
Her happy thought lasted all of one second. Until Harry answered her unspoken thought
“Quite the contrary. I can do a great deal to you. The new prison is on the continent.” He spoke conversationally. “Just now we’re on a wartime footing, which means anything you do, contrary to the war effort, is considered treason against the crown. I’ve seen the prison, and while it’s a lot nicer than Azkaban, it’s still a prison. Since we know you’re an animagus, we’ve already arranged for the warders there to establish the appropriate security. Understand this, Rita, Dobby isn’t the only person who doesn’t like you. If you want to be rich and famous, play along. If not, let me know now, and I’ll have you sent to the continent today. I’d rather not have something…unauthorized…be printed. Should that happen, I’d have to hunt you down.” Harry suddenly became deadly serious.
Fixing her with eyes as serious as death, he added: “Trust me, Rita. You don’t want me to hunt you down.”
Rita looked into those merciless eyes and shuddered.
Dobby appeared without having been called and wordlessly gripped Rita’s arm, once more transporting her through the ether. Again, he missed her chair, and dumped her on the floor. Snickering, he departed as she was still recovering from the blow.
At breakfast the next morning, Harry smiled as he read the paper.
NEW LAWS IN EFFECT, OLDER ONES BEING ELIMINATED.
Good readers, writes Rita Skeeter, special correspondent to The Daily Prophet. In the recent monthly meeting of the Wizengamot it was decided to enact some new laws, repeal others, and eliminate many of the oldest and most venerable of pureblood laws in existence. Clearly this is at the behest of the new minister, Amelia Bones.
The first, most far-reaching and potentially frightening of the new laws passed, is the repeal of the ‘Werewolf Restrictions’. These laws were found to be so odious, that they have actually made being a werewolf a capital crime. Under these laws, werewolves cannot get jobs, they cannot have families, they cannot attend school, and they cannot live amongst other wizards.
Is it any wonder they often form into packs?
Interestingly several of the most severe of these laws were co-authored by Albus Dumbledore and Lucius Malfoy, one of He Who Must Not Be Named’s inner circle Death Eaters. This, shortly after Remus Lupin, DADA teacher at Hogwarts, was exposed as a werewolf, by Severus Snape, in a fit of childish pique more befitting a ten year old, than a professor, when the now-exonerated Sirius Black escaped the castle three years ago. Remember, Snape is the ‘supposedly reformed’ Death Eater, whom Albus Dumbledore, then member of the Wizengamot, personally vouchsafed as his spy against He Who Must Not Be Named.
Dumbledore had hired Lupin as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor for that year, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, based upon his knowledge and competence, and not on his political connections. Almost four fifths of the students then in school lauded Lupin as being: “The best DADA teacher we’ve ever had!”
This intrepid reporter asks the difficult question: What did we expect? We as a culture created the situation with the werewolves, when it would have been simplicity itself, to hire a potions master to brew the Wolfsbane potion on a monthly basis, and provide a safe place for them to transform in peace and security…as they do in the colonies. There, they have enclaves set up all over America just for those stricken with lycanthropy. Wolfsbane potion is not expensive; it is simply difficult to brew…quite beyond the capability of most potions brewers. Yes, it is an American idea, but perhaps we should adopt it here. One must consider this: These werewolves are a part of our population, a small part yes, but a part nevertheless, who are as dedicated to our world as anyone else. They are teachers, farmers, shopkeepers, those with skills in many of the myriad magical arts. Instead of doing what is right for them, we have hounded and hunted the unfortunate victims of vicious attacks against their persons…as if it were their fault another werewolf bit them. Again, in the case of Lupin, now 37, he was bitten as a child of the age of four or five by the infamous criminal and suspected Death Eater, Fenrir Greyback. Greyback is thought to have bitten more than seventy percent of the werewolves currently alive in Britain today.
What could a child that age have possibly done, to earn such hideous, life-long torment?
It has come to this reporter’s knowledge that Lupin’s parents were targeted by none other than He Who Must Not Be Named, for refusing to join him. Lupin’s parents were killed seven years later, in a midnight attack by Death Eaters.
Since Lupin’s ouster, he has vanished entirely. Having met Remus Lupin once before, this intrepid and attractive seeker of truth, can say, he is a quiet, almost painfully shy, and gentle man of good character. The laws then in existence would have assumed he was bloodthirsty animal forming a gang of hooligans or worse, but this reporter can say, he is anything but a hoodlum.
Once more, is it any wonder these unfortunates form into packs and prey on others? The laws as of 1994, Co-authored by Albus Dumbledore, Delores Umbridge and Lucius Malfoy, have prescribed only two punishment for any crime committed by werewolves, a lifetime incarceration in Azkaban, or death…even for stealing a loaf of bread, or an apple from an orchard!
What kind of people have we become, that we can imprison or even execute people who are just trying to survive?”
Wherever you are Remus Lupin, this reporter for one, wishes you the best of luck.
Harry smiled again in satisfaction as he sipped his tea. Rita had done well. Very well indeed! She’d placed exactly the right slant on the article, forcing the reader into a sympathetic mindset.
Remus looked up from his own copy and said: “You had something to do with this, didn’t you?”
“Of course, my boy!” Harry aped Dumbledore so perfectly that several of the nearer students looked up sharply. “I am involved in all sorts of skullduggery!”
Tonks spat her tea and fell off her chair braying her unique laughter.
Hermione sat down next to him and kissed his cheek. “Well, I think it was a wonderful article! I’m rather surprised she had it in her.”
Harry kissed her softly said: “You’d be amazed what the threat of imprisonment will do to motivate people.” and went back to reading.
“Another law introduced, makes the commonly practiced price-gouging of muggleborne students and their parents, illegal. From here on in, the prices paid by the mugglebornes are to be the same rate as for purebloods. Failure to comply will result in loss of license, fines and possible prison terms. Says Amelia Bones, Minister of Magic: “We have already canvassed all the shops and know what each item costs. Any unjustified increase in prices will be considered ample cause for further investigation. As more than a third of our populations made up of mugglebornes, to cheat them so horribly is reprehensible! I have always thought so, and now, I can begin to correct this elitist view.”
Says Augusta Longbottom, chief of the Wizengamot: “This unfair pricing scheme must come to an end. Britain is the only country in the world that has not welcomed mugglebornes as other than a temporary source of income. Mugglebornes bring new and more powerful blood into our world. As it was, we’ve been chasing them away. Only one in three mugglebornes who finish at any of the six schools of magic here in Great Britain, remains here for more than two years. Jobs are restricted to the very lowest or most menial of positions, and quite frankly, were I muggleborne, and knowing what I do, I would leave as well. This is completely unacceptable! This waste of precious resources cannot be continued. For the magical health of our nation, we need these witches and wizards to remain and build their lives here. Without them, we will have bred ourselves into a complete loss of magic in less than three more generations. Even now, the effects among the most inbred of pureblood lines are showing, in the growing number of squibs born every year. ”
A specific law authored by Abraxus Malfoy and was only passed some twenty-five years ago during the height of You Know Who’s first rise to power, was also repealed.
To wit: § A pureblood who marries beneath his station will automatically take control of the estate(s) of the lesser blood he marries. In the event the pureblood is a woman, her father will take control in her behalf. §
This disgraceful law has long been one of the primary reasons half-bloods and mugglebornes were reluctant to marry purebloods. Says Andromeda Tonks, member of the Wizengamot: “This antiquated policy is anathema to women everywhere, pureblooded or not. The wizarding world must understand and accept the changes inherent in an evolving society. To do otherwise, leads to stagnation and decay.”
And now, the long-held, Pureblood Exemptions are no more. To this date, Purebloods were exempt from any laws they disagreed with. Free to disregard them, free to violate them with impunity. Such a simple law. One that nullifies all the other laws ever made. Isn’t it interesting how a small minority of the British Magical population is exempt from any accountability? Though a pureblood, this reporter has never taken advantage of the exemptions, but knew they were there, and cannot help but to wonder how far these reforms will go. That particular escape from personal responsibility is now a thing of the past.
This reporter feels that Madam Bones policies are both draconic, and entirely necessary to ensure a peaceful tomorrow!
Finally, a new law has been introduced to provide for more effective capture of Death Eaters. Due to the sensitive nature of this law, no further details are available.
Says Atrrox Recubo, lord of the minor house of Recubo: “This is an outrage! Purebloods will be arrested, when it is clear they will have been under Imperius!”
When asked why would it be plain that said purebloods would be under Imperius, Lord Recubo told this stylish and clever reporter: “Obviously, as purebloods, they would never participate in any such acts, however deserving the lesser bloods are! No! This is all the doing of the mudbloods and the blood traitors, and I will do everything in my power to see these laws stricken and the rightful power of the purebloods restored!”
Hermione spoke. “Well there’s an example of the dangers of inbreeding. It kills brain cells!”
Harry laughed out loud, but his lover wasn’t done.
“She’s gonna need protection.”
“Hmmm. You’re right. Remus!”
At Remus’ look Harry went on. “Would you join us in my office? Mackenzie? Would you take the classes for the first hour or so?”
At the nods of the two men, Harry excused himself and retired to his office.
Throwing a pinch of floo powder into the fireplace, he followed up with his head, yelling: “Rita Skeeter’s office!”
“Potter!” Skeeter shouted back. “Help! There are Death Eaters here!”
Hermione entered then, and as she heard Rita’s call for help, drew her lightsaber. Remus and Tonks followed suit, Dobby appeared, grabbed their hands and popped them all to Rita’s office.
The battle was short and deadly. Lightsabers flashed against deadly curses and the five Death Eaters led by Thorfin Rowle, lasted less than ten seconds. Cowering behind her desk, Rita was astounded and horrified at the deadly blades, as they defected curses and sliced through flesh with equal ease.
In the aftermath, they discovered two reporters and three support people had been murdered in the hallways by Rowle and his ‘friends’.
“Stay here!” Harry ordered. He and Remus cloaked themselves in the force and stepped through the office, checking for victims along the way, to the street beyond. There, he found three Aurors calmly directing traffic as if nothing noteworthy was taking place inside the building. Harry stunned all three and cast a message dart toward the Ministry of Magic. “Remus, you stay hidden and cover me!”
Eleven seconds later, Kingsley Shacklebolt appeared with a squad of men. Seeing the downed Aurors, they immediately drew their wands.
Harry called all the wands to him and snarled: “If this had been an ambush, you lot would all be dead! What the hell are you doing, apparating into a trouble call with your wands sheathed?” He handed the collected wands to Kingsley.
Shack flushed as well as his complexion allowed. He knew there would be hell to pay later for that lapse of awareness.
Harry explained. “Inside there are five dead Deeters, and before you lay into me about killing them they were doing their best to kill Rita, and when we arrived, us as well. It turns out that they’ve already killed at least five others inside. Since I set the alarm myself, and there was no Auror response, I came out here to find these three playing policeman. Who leaked the secret?”
“I don’t know. Kingsley pointed his wand at the downed Aurors and snarled: Accio Secret script!”
A dozen slips of parchment flew to him from one of the Aurors.
Harry stepped to the prone man and with a swift move, unsheathed his combat knife and sliced through Dawlish’s sleeve. There, the dark mark rested, black as sin, and evil as its inventor.
Just because, Harry sliced through the left sleeves of the other two. Just as with Dawlish, the dark mark rested, black and gleaming, on their left forearms.
“Shit!” Kingsley swore. He cast a signal dart as Harry had done and soon Amelia Bones, Constance Hammer and Michael wood stood there in the street looking down with disgust on the prone Aurors.
All three were manacled and portkeyed to a secure holding cell until Amelia could question them. From there, they would be off to France.
A shriek from inside the building, let them knew the trouble wasn’t over. Harry popped silently way and Bones and the Aurors dashed inside.
Inside Rita’s office, he found a terrified reporter and a furious editor. Behind the reporter was a masked terrorist.
“Drop the sword or the bitch ‘ere dies!”
Harry shrugged and dropped his lightsaber. As soon as he saw the Death Eater relax a touch, he twitched his finger and called the idiot’s wand to him. With a force shove, he bounced the Death Eater against the wall, causing him to release Rita. He recalled his weapon and belted it. Rita had to sit down.
“You were saying?”
The masked man stood still as a rock. Understandable, really, given that there were three lightsabers at his throat. Harry held the Deeter against the wall with the force and the energy blades vanished. Kingsley stepped forward to tear the fool’s mask off. A face Harry did not recognize glared hate and murder at him. Kingsley however, did recognize the man. “Karl Knox!” He spat in disgust. He explained that Knox had been rejected from the Auror training some years before, as being unsuited to a life of public service. He was far too arrogant and self-serving to be an Auror. Kingsley fired a stunner into him and Harry released his force hold. Knox slumped to the floor. Amelia had him bound and taken out into the street. From there, he’d be sent to the same holding cells as his compatriots.
“Well, Lord Potter, it seems you enjoy making work for me.” She snarked. “I’m going to have several hours of interrogations to conduct and even more parchmentwork. Don’t you know I hate parchmentwork?”
Every cop hates paperwork. It’s part of the job.” Harry shrugged. Amelia grinned at his impertinent reply and apparated away.
Euwings chose this moment to vent his spleen: “How could this happen!?! You told me our employees would be safe!”
Harry was about to answer when Kingsley did.
“Don’t blame Harry for this! We just discovered that one of our Aurors, John Dawlish, had taken the mark. He had these in his possession when we caught him outside. I couldn’t believe he’d do something so utterly stupid, but we assume he gave over your location to Voldemort and he sent his thugs after Rita.” Kinsley showed Euwings the slips of parchment. Euwings paled. He’d given the secret to Dawlish himself!
A brief scan with the force and Harry caught the thought. “Why did you give the secret to Dawlish?”
Euwings was about to protest his innocence, but the look in Harry’s eyes, told him he’d been caught. “John and my son were friends. I’ve known him since he was a babe. We were talking and he brought up the topic of the prophet being in danger, due to the risky articles we were printing about Dumbledore. I told him we were safe under Fidelus.”
“Understandable, really.” Harry sympathized. “However, this location is no longer safe. I’ll recast the Fidelus, but I want someone else to be the secret keeper. Dobby!”
Dobby appeared in his robe and tunic. “Harry Potter called for Dobby?"
“I’m recasting the Fidelus and I need someone to hold a secret.”
“Would you ask her to join us here?”
Within a second Winky arrived. She glared at Rita but smiled at her friends.
“Winky, would you be so kind as to hold a secret for me?”
“Oh, Winky would be most happy to do so, Master Harry!” She piped. Harry groaned Hermione grinned and Remus and Tonks laughed out loud. That brought them a glare from Harry.
Kingsley looked at them all like they’d lost their minds. Hermione took him aside while Harry was preparing to recast the charm and explained that Harry hated being called master, as he saw each person as his equal. Kingsley grinned broadly. He knew there was a reason he liked the boy!
Harry wrote out a brief message noting that the address was across the street from another store, just in case Voldemort’s troops tried to use the old location as a guide, and handed the note to Winky. He then located the ward-anchors he’d placed around the building the first time, and recast the Fidelus. As a bonus, he also erected that lethal ward he’d learned from Graswold’s crew, targeted specifically to the dark mark. Now, any Death Eater who dared to enter the building would suffer an acute and permanent case of ‘dead’. Winky passed the note to those who needed to know.
When he was done, he turned to Rita.
“I’ll contact my solicitor, and ask her to arrange for a bodyguard for you. Until I can get one, please accept the services of Remus Lupin as a temporary. It shouldn’t be more than a week.” Rita stared in shock. She thought she’d recognized Lupin, but here, he was in the flesh. The gentle hero she’d portrayed so well. The man was reasonably attractive, and held himself with wary confidence, but he wasn’t her type. She preferred the louder, flashier types with lots of Galleons to spend on a young woman.
Mistaking her hesitation for fear, Harry added: “I trust him not only with my life, but with Hermione’s as well.”
“Oh! Erm…yes. He’ll be most eminently acceptable!” She stammered. Suddenly Tonks was growling possessively. “Just so long as you understand, he’s taken!” She’d also mistaken Rita’s words, in her case, for sexual interest.
Rita paled again this time at the murder in the eyes of the pink haired metamorph. Harry snickered, only to receive an elbow in the belly for his presumption. Turning to glare at Hermione he whispered: “What the hell was that for?”
“When we get back, we’re gonna have a long talk about abusing your boyfriend!” Then he had a wicked thought. “I might even have to…spank you.” The last two words were a bare whisper.
By the flush that suddenly covered Hermione’s face, Harry could see that she mightn’t object to being spanked.
A/N: I know a lot of people are going to go apeshit over my purging Voldy of the potions. His addiction is not gone, he’s simply been purged of the toxins in his system. As such he will have more control over his decisions. He’ll still pick targets and order strikes, but someone reminded me that his actions would become more and more irrational as time went on. A berserker, I did not want! They’re too hard to control. If I left him as he was, he’d be ordering mass-attacks on Buckingham Palace by December! (Look at the difference between Rommel, and Stalin!)
He’ll still crave the drugs, and will still allow his temper to override his judgment, but for the time being, I needed him basically intact.
Although Snape in canon is a half-blood, (which wasn’t introduced until Book Sux, Episode I) he was sheltered from a great deal of the muggle world. He might know what a bullet was, but his knowledge would be restricted to the television. Here, I’ve decided to make him a pureblood, with none of the hardships he’d endured in canon. He’s a bigot and his only desire for Lily, was as a sex slave.
Riddle would also be as clueless, as Britain has a long tradition of not tolerating personal firearms (other than fowling pieces).
Don’t worry about Sluggy. He’s just a walk-on.
I have four levels of Death Eater:
Inner circle: Those with the skills and qualities that make them valuable to Voldemort. Must be purebloods, absolutely loyal to Voldemort and completely dedicated to his vision Pureblood supremacy. They must also exhibit ruthlessness, and tactical intelligence.
Second tier: Dedicated soldiers and field commanders and sub-commanders. Must be purebloods, prove their loyalty and dedication, etc. Basically those promoted to inner circle as needed.
Death Eater: Rank and file. Criminals, thugs or purebloods with an axe to grind.
Canon fodder: Half-bloods, or those otherwise forced to cooperate including the Imperiused. I believe those under Imperius, can use spells that don’t take any intensive will to use. Things like cutting and blasting curses and the like. As Bellatrix said in OotP, to use the Cruciatus, (and by extension, the Avada Kedavra) “You have to mean it!” Crouch Jr. said something similar in GoF.
Atrrox Recubo (Atrox Recubo) means horrible lie.