The Prince brothers explain their plan.
"You've told her where she stands, haven't you? She's facing charges that could send her to prison for life but if she talks she can get a full pardon and witness protection. But she has to tell us everything."
"Over and over again, but it's no good. She remembers getting on a bus in Tangiers and getting on a bus in Mexico City. Everything in between, months and months, is a total blank."
"We need to fill the gap, otherwise she's no good as a witness. The defence attorneys will tear her to shreds."
"Have you talked to her lawyer?"
"Yes, but he's as frustrated as we are."
"Have you any idea how she got from Tangiers to Mexico City?"
"No. the most likely possibility is that she traveled via Cuba."
"Well keep looking and keep me posted."
Pamela sighed. She liked Nicky. She had been a good agent who had been placed in an untenable situation. She wanted to help her but if she had been dealing with the Cubans, there was nothing she could do.
Harry got word of Nicky's capture from Septimus Brankovitch. The Department of Magic had placed Nicky under a silencing charm which prevented her from revealing anything about the magical world. There were also an Anti-Apparation jinx and other protective spells around her prison cell.
So Nicky was safe, for the time being, but Harry had lost his best chance of finding Jason. He had passed on the information about the Codex of Herpo the Foul to the American authorities. They had not even bothered to reply.
The Prince brothers were also frustrated. They went to Dr. Hirsch for advice.
"We can't get at the Squib. The Department of Magic is protecting her," Gaius began.
"Then you need to find someone else," Hirsch replied.
"As far as we know, Bones only had one other lover, and she's dead."
"The victim doesn't have to be a lover. The key to the spell is betrayal of mutual trust and assistance. Surely there must be someone else he trusted and who helped him. Ask him."
The Prince brothers returned to Zurich a week later.
"We can't get anything out of Bones,” Tiberius said. “ We ask him for the names of people he trusts but he just stares at us. I thought you said that he couldn't disobey us."
"The bond is not yet complete,” Hirsch said. “He cannot refuse to answer a direct question of fact, but trust is not a matter of fact. It's an emotional state and his emotions are still his own. Have you tried asking him for the names of people who have helped him?"
"We did. He went on for an hour naming everyone from his kindergarten teacher to a concierge in Hamburg. We finally told him to stop."
"You have to focus your questions more narrowly. You said that his magical training was going well?"
"Very well. He can beat either of us in a duel. We'll need a new instructor for him once the bond is sealed."
"So where did he learn to duel? Did Potter teach him?"
"I don't think so. Potter might have shown him a few defensive spells but he wouldn't teach him anything dangerous."
"Find out who did teach him and you have your victim. Meanwhile, I have a contingency plan for Ms. Parsons. You have some friends in Cuba, do you not?"
The Prince brothers brought Jason to Britain. The trip there presented no problems. They told the Ministry of Magic immigration office that Mr. Bones was returning to clean up some family business before taking up permanent residence in the United States. They made it clear that he did not wish to be harassed, particularly by Harry Potter.
Jason sat passively in a non-descript commercial hotel somewhere in northern England. He had passed the last few weeks in a dream state. He had awoke one day in his cell in the Magical Bureau of Investigation to find a single dog-tag around his neck. He tried to take it off but it was locked on with some spell. Then Prince brothers came in and Tiberius gave him and order. Jason obeyed.
His body was not his own. He wanted nothing more than to walk out get out of the chair and find Harry Potter but Tiberius had told him to stay seated, so sit he did. His mind was still his own. He could complain and ask questions.
“What are you doing with me? Why are we here?” he asked.
“Shut up,” Tiberius said, holding the other one of Jason’s dog tags.
“No, we can explain to him now,” Gaius said. “Dr. Hirsch told us that it would help to seal the bond if he understands fully what is happening.”
"For three hundred years the wizard race has stagnated while the Muggles have moved foward,” Gaius began. “The problem is the training of our youth. How do you motivate a young wizard to develop his full potential? Once he learns that he has magic, he thinks that is all he needs. Why build your muscles when you can move a mountain with a flick of your wand? Why learn to run when you can travel five hundred miles in a few seconds? "
Jason nodded his head. He had had personal experience of this problem with Harry and the members of Dumbledore’s Army. They had been good kids, but the best of them wouldn’t have lasted a week in army basic training.
"The solution, we decided,” Tiberius continued, “was to raise a wizard child in total ignorance of magic. We would guide him, encourage him to seek military training. Only when he had trained his mind and body to its highest level would we reveal to him his magical powers. He would become the perfect killing machine, one that no Muggle or wizard could resist."
"Our cousin Severus brought us to you and gave us our chance. We arranged to have you adopted by Muggles. We choose your adoptive parents carefully. We did not want you to have the feelings of anger or fear that can cause children to exhibit spontaneous magic. When you were eighteen, we disposed of your foster parents. As we expected, you joined the army. You advanced rapidly and became everything we could have hoped for. Then we encountered a problem. How could we control such a wizard? ”
“It seemed hopeless but the answer fell into our hands. We met a Muggle scientist, a Dr. Hirsch, who had somehow acquired one of the greatest magical books of all time, the Codex of Herpo. It was written in a code that few wizards have been able to break, a sad comment on our decline, but this Muggle had decoded it for his own amusement. He taught us the secret spells to create a divided horocrux. That is what enables us to control your body. When we have finished sealing the bond, we will control you body, mind and spirit.”
Jason looked puzzled. “Doesn’t it strike you as an odd coincidence that this Codex would have found its way into the hands of Dr. Hirsch, of all people?”
“Coincidence had nothing to do with it,” Gaius snapped. “The Codex is a magical object of incalculable power. The enchantments on the book caused it to seek out those who could use its power most effectively.”
“There is a second benefit to the creation of a divided horocrux,” Tiberius continued. “So long as the horocrux exists, you cannot die. Your body may be totally destroyed, but we can build a new one for you with all your old strength and skill. Do you have any more questions.”
“ Why haven’t you made these horocrux things for yourselves?” Jason asked.
“Living for ever is overrated, as you will discover,” Gaius said. “That was Tom Riddle’s mistake. He overreached himself and paid the price. We will be content to enjoy a normal wizard life with the power and wealth that you will bring us. You will live on to serve our children and our children’s children.”
“Enough talk,” Tiberius cut in. “We have to seal the bond.”
Tiberius drew his wand and pointed it to his half of the horocrux.
“Here are your orders.”
A few days later, Jason stood in the front hall of the Creevy house. It was a standard working class house plan, a kitchen and living room on ground floor and three bedrooms and bath upstairs. He guessed that the master bedroom was at the front of the house and the boy's room overlooked the garden. Every surface in the living room was covered with photographs of two boys. Jason looked at one of the largest photographs, which stood beside a vase of fresh flowers. It was a boy who looked a bit like Dennis. It must be Colin, the brother who had died in the Battle of Hogwarts. The parents will have to find a matching frame after tonight, he thought.
Jason tried to resist the spell that was making him commit this atrocity. It was no good. He could not disobey. He knew that if the Prince brothers gave him an order that was not clear, he could equivocate or delay. There was no chance of that tonight. His orders were detailed and explicit. He suspected that Hirsch had written them. It was his style. The fact that he was even thinking of disobedience made the single dog tag burn against his skin. He placed it on the front of his shirt.
Jason crept up the stairs and down the hall. He placed a locking spell on the master bedroom. The house was quiet. With luck, the boy would be asleep and he would never know what hit him. A light went on in the far bedroom. Dennis was awake. Very well, Jason would make it quick. He opened the door and aimed his wand.
"Expelliarmus," Dennis shouted.
Jason’s wand flew out of his hand. He leapt forward and grabbed it back. Dennis jumped out the window, using his wand to break his fall. Jason jumped after him. Jason fired a killing curse and missed. The force of the spell blasted down a tree. He tried again.
"Stupefy," Dennis said.
Jason dodged the stunning spell. He fired back one of his own but Dennis blocked it with a shield charm. They dueled their way across the garden. Dennis was good, but he was still a boy and no match for Jason. Dennis reached the back wall. He was trapped.
Dennis took cover in an old shed. Jason tried to blast it away with a Reducto curse but Dennis blocked it with a shield charm. The shed would not protect Dennis long. In close quarters, Jason could kill with his hands or feet before Dennis had a chance to point his wand.
Jason stood flat against the side of the shed and then turned quickly and burst through the door. Dennis was not, as he had expected, trying to hide flat against the wall. Instead, he was in the doorway holding a sword. The point was against Jason's jugular. Jason's wand was pointing down. Dennis could strike before he could raise it. The sword was just long enough to keep the boy out of range of his feet and fists.
Jason studied the sword. The silver blade was gleaming faint light of a street lamp and the handle was encrusted with rubies. It was definitely not the sort of thing you expected to find in a milkman's garden shed. Dennis had grown a few inches and he must have kept up with his push ups. He held the heavy blade steadily to Jason’s throat.
Jason knew that the key to survival was to stay calm and make no sudden moves. Killing with a blade was not easy. It took determination to force steel into flesh and Dennis, Jason could see, did not want to kill him. He just had to wait until the boy's arm tired or his nerve failed.
Jason felt the point of the sworn tickling his neck. What was Dennis doing? He seemed to be trying to slip the blade under the chain that held the dog-tag. The blade was away from Jason's throat and pressing against the chain. Dennis had moved forward an inch or two. Jason prepared to strike.
Suddenly, Dennis flicked the sword and it sliced through the chain around Jason's neck. The dog- tag fell to the ground. Jason shook himself, as though he was waking from sleep.
"Nice sword, where'd you get it?"
"It's the Sword of Gryffindor."
"The founder of Gryffindor House. It just sort of appears when a Gryffindor has real need of it. You see Gryffidnor ...."
"Never mind, you can tell me later. How did you know to cut the chain?"
"It was just a lucky guess. The Sword of Gryffindor only shows up when there's some really serious Dark Magic involved. I saw that thing around your neck and I guessed that someone was using it to control you. What is that thing anyway?"
"Have you heard of a horocrux?"
Dennis gasped in horror.
"Then we have to destroy it right away. The take the sword and stab it."
Jason placed the single dog-tag on a flat stone. Dennis handed him the sword and Jason raised it.
"Jason, don't do it," Harry Potter shouted from the house. Harry fired an Impedimenta jinx and Jason dropped the sword.
There were two cracks as the Prince brothers Apparated behind Jason and Dennis. Tiberius stunned Jason and Disapparated with him. Gaius grabbed for the horocrux but Harry snatched it away with a summoning charm. Gaius raised his wand but when Dennis threatened him with the sword, he also Disapparated.
“Why did you stop him?” Dennis asked.
“That was a divided horocrux. Unless you rejoin the two parts before you destroy it, something incredibly awful could happen.”
“Okay, anyway thanks for showing up. How did you know Jason was here?”
"Hagrid told me that Jason showed up in Hogsmeade looking for you. He bought Hagrid a few drinks and Hagrid gave him your home address. When Hagird sobered up a bit, he realized that something was wrong and called me."
Harry placed the half-horocrux in a special case.
“Let’s go and make sure your parents are safe.”