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Old August 3rd, 2011, 2:48 pm
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The Godfather
 
Join Date: 02nd August 2007
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Age: 50
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 10 – A Question of Temptation

The Discooperire rolled gently with the seas, its mooring lines straining and pulling against the ancient stone pier at the base of Azkaban prison. The crew was working feverishly to repair the damage from the recent battle. Ron and Suttles were levitating the recovered bodies of their foes and placing them in the main hold. These would be transported back to the Ministry for autopsies. Ron finished the work and then stood on the quarterdeck, taking in all that had happened so far. His russet eyes took in the frenetic scene and he reflected on the past few weeks.

The revelation of the false Malfoy had been disturbing. Several questions belied the fears that simmered beneath the surface of the tension hanging over the air. If Malfoy or Gibbon or any other deatheater could be reproduced, what was to keep the Dark Lord from being recreated? Lucius Malfoy and the other incarcerated deatheaters in the prison, the real ones, had been interrogated and none could recall whether they’d seen Voldemort actually be blooded like they’d been. In fact, one disturbing notion was raised by Narcissa Malfoy. When Voldemort had returned during the Triwizard Tournament, part of the ritual had involved the use of Harry’s blood, in the thoughts that the Dark Lord could inoculate himself from the power that had helped Harry to defeat him as an infant. The question was whether Harry’s blood would be needed to create an aswang-Voldemort. The thought sent chills down Ron’s spine.

The loud snap of the main hold hatch shutting brought Ron back to the present. His gaze was drawn to the bow of the ship. The “New Marauders”, the four young Aurors, had performed well. Mortimer and Eric hadn’t fully briefed Ron yet, but it was apparent by their survival that Richard, Graciela and Teddy had done their jobs. James had held his own, but Ron could tell something was wrong with the boy. James had been quiet, not his usual flippant self. Of course James had taken a dressing down from Harry, but Harry was that way with every apprentice Auror. New aurors usually came to the Office full of unremitting hero-worship for Harry. Typically, that manifested itself in a lack of focus, which was deadly in this line of business. Harry, consequently, sought to disabuse the new aurors of the notion that proximity to the hero of the Battle of Hogwarts made them invulnerable. Harry was a disciplinarian. He brought a notion of reality to the training, never satisfied, never relenting.

James’ choice to join the Office of Aurors made the situation doubly dicey. Ron knew that James was confident, maybe overly so. James’ problem was atypical. He didn’t suffer from hero worship, he suffered from a severe case of overconfidence with a side dish of “dad-itis”. Harry was his father so there was no mystique to confound James, but at the same time, Harry Potter’s eldest son was a risk taker and trouble maker. He’d managed over and again to get into and out of trouble on the power of his wit and humor. James was more like Fred and George, than he was any of the other Weasleys. He had a tendency to be brassy and overconfident. Perhaps the two personalities, Harry’s reserve and James’ brashness, were incompatible. It certainly would make for interesting conversation at Christmas Dinner. Ron laughed out loud. He saw James hanging over the rail, standing alongside Teddy, Richard and Graciela. Ron decided to go give the young aurors a pep talk. They’d done well, after all. They’d survived.

***

Gudrun Burwitz rose from her seat. Unconsciously, Molinero rose as well. He watched her stare shift to the door behind them and he turned noticed one of the black-robed wizards standing in the archway. His entrance had been silent and the man was waiting to be acknowledged.

“What is it?” The old woman’s voice betrayed no impatience at the interruption. In fact, it seemed like she was expecting the man’s intrusion.

“Mistress.” The man’s voice was raspy, grating, as if forced through a grinder. His face remained cloaked in the shadow of his hood. “The assault on Azkaban has failed. The prison’s defenders were reinforced at a most inopportune time.”

Molinero could not contain his surprise. “How is this possible? The attack force had a dragon. The aurors would have needed hundreds of wizards to defeat the force I sent.”

Burwitz remained silent and the messenger waited patiently, standing absolutely still. Finally the old crone spoke.

“Who has returned?”

“Several of my brethren apparated back to the congregation hall.” The wizard paused and seemed to turn his gaze towards Molinero, as if acknowledging his presence for the first time. “None of the Red Cloaks returned.”

“Very well, return to the congregation hall and begin your repose period.”

The wizard tilted his head downward and shuffled from the room. Molinero slammed his fist on the surface of the oak desk, visibly shaken.

“This is unacceptable! I told you that attacking the prison was foolhardy. Now the aurors will know about the aswangs.” It was the first break of his control.

Burwitz seemed bemused. “The attack had a one in five chance of success. It would have increased our chances of success to have freed the imprisoned deatheaters. Their blood would have helped increase our numbers, but they were not necessary to advance the plan.”

“Any intelligence that Harry Potter gains from this puts us in jeopardy.” Molinero replied.

“It does no such thing. All this really means is that we must advance the Day of Awakening.” She turned and pulled her robe from the coat rack nearby. Slowly she donned it and began walking to the door. “We must prepare. Bring the Book of Souls with you.”

Molinero gripped his satchel tightly to his shoulder and followed the old woman towards the door. She stopped abruptly and laid a bony hand on his forearm. He felt an icy chill radiate through his body.

“Soon we will finish the task we sent Voldemort to do and this time, there will be no amount of protection, no amount of luck that will save Harry Potter or the world from their fate.”

***

He felt a warm layer of air beneath the broad expanse of his leathery wings. He adjusted his shoulders and let the air pressure push him higher into the sky, breaking through the clouds into open sky, the sun a reddish pink orb of heat on his face. He could see for miles, his dragon sight picking out details on the ground from great distances away. He could see ships at sea, birds in flight, and every tuft of clouds to the finest detail. The warmth of the sun cascaded down his body, heating his outer layer of scales which transferred that heat down into the inner layers of his body.

He’d never felt such perfection. He was powerful, strong, and complete. The magic of the moment was unblemished by care and concern. Yet, he felt a nagging pull along his spine, into his head, like a song with a tune he couldn’t quite remember. It was annoying, irritating. It felt like an itch just underneath his scales. A small voice echoed in his head, repeating over and over, a whisper growing louder. He heard it. It seemed familiar. He felt his concentration giving way. He didn’t want to heed it, yet he had to. It was calling him. Soon it was too loud to ignore, he began to fall. The sea below filled his vision. He couldn’t maintain his altitude. He was plummeting, falling…

“Teddy!”

Teddy Lupin jumped with a start and looked around disconcertedly. For a moment, he forgot where he was and slowly realized he was standing at the rail of the Discooperire, with his friends. He turned and looked at Richard who had an annoyed look on his face.

“Hello, earth to Teddy?” Richard took a quick look at Teddy’s face, trying to see if his friend was suffering from some sort of post battle malady, one that could be potentially contagious. “You all right? You were out of it for a while.”

Teddy waved his hand. “I’m fine. I’m just tired. We’ve been at it for a while.” Teddy lied. He had bruising headache and he was more than annoyed at being here, which surprised him. These were his friends. Yet, this wasn’t the same feeling as being a dragon.

“Oi, everyone all right?” Ron’s voice sounded behind them. The tall redhead joined them at the rail. “No one hurt, were they?”

The foursome shook their heads. Ron looked to James, who still carried a sullen, hurt look on his face.

“Don’t sweat it, James. Your dad is like that with everyone. You’re taking things too personally.”

“It is personal.” James’ face construed itself into a pout. “He never wanted me to be auror.”

Ron became serious and leaned forward, putting his finger in James’ face. “Let me tell you something. Your dad doesn’t do nepotism. If he didn’t want you to be an auror, YOU WOULDN’T BE AN AUROR. He’s hard on everyone. He has to be. This isn’t a pick up Quidditch match, James. This is life and death. If your dad yelled at you; you did something wrong.” The tone of Ron’s voice grew lower. “You need to stop thinking that you’re special. If you’re smart, and you want to keep on with this job, you’d better take a step back and think about why your dad yelled at you and learn from it. If not, I’ll kick you out on your backside before your dad does.”
Ron stood straight and turned to the others. “That goes for the whole lot of you. You’d better be learning from your mistakes, or finding other lines of work.”

“Mistakes? What do you mean? We saved the day.” Graciela’s smile was a stark mimic of her aunt. “At least Teddy did, that is.”

A curious expression changed Ron’s face and he turned to Teddy. “Saved the day? Really? How?”

Teddy shrugged his shoulders, his eyes still showing a distant, disengaged look. His normally effervescent hair was a muted navy blue.

“He’s just being modest.” Richard said. “You should have seen him. He swooped in, jumped on the dragon’s back, absorbed its essence and became a dragon. It was spectacular.”

Ron reached out and grabbed Teddy’s arm. “You did what?”

Teddy was caught off guard by Ron’s actions, especially the strength of Ron’s grip. “It was nothing. I just transfigured into a dragon and burned down the bad guys.”

Ron grabbed Teddy by both shoulders and shook him violently. “How long? How long were you a dragon? Have you done it since?”

Teddy struggled against Ron’s grip. “Not long, an hour, maybe? No, no, I haven’t transfigured since.”

James momentarily forgot his own troubles. “What is it, Uncle Ron?”

Ron ignored them. He released Teddy and drew his wand. Without warning or flourish he pointed his wand at Teddy and stunned him with a sleeping spell. Then he charmed Teddy’s unconscious form with chain bindings. Ron was talking to himself.

“There may be time….I’ve got to get a hold of Charlie…damn fool…”

James grabbed Ron by the sleeve of his robe and pulled him close. “Uncle Ron! What is it? What’s wrong?”

Ron seemed to snap to the present. His eyes swayed between the three confused wizards. Ron sighed and spoke with even more seriousness.

“Dragons are different magical creatures, the spawn of mother dragon that isn’t of this world. They practice a different magic, an ancient magic. We’ve only scratched the surface in understanding them.” Ron exhaled heavily and ran his fingers through his hair. “Animagi and Metamorphmagi are prohibited from taking on dragon forms.”

“Why?” Graciela asked worriedly, looking at Teddy’s bound form.

Ron shook his head. “Because the wizards that take on dragon form tend to prefer the dragon form. The dragon persona becomes the dominant one. After a while, the wizards actually forgo all other forms and end up being dragons for the rest of their lives. Depending on how long he was in the form, we may not be able to help Teddy.”

The friends gasped and James felt the anxiety building in his chest. Ron spoke soberly.

“If don’t get him help, Teddy will become a dragon and never come back.”



A/N: Okay, next chapter I may be able to reveal more about the bad guys, it just depends on what other exposition I can get to. So far, we have Albus as a loner, Teddy as a potential permanent lizard, Harry chasing Nazis and a fat grandmother as an evil overlord. Sounds like a good start.

Please, leave FEEDBACK, or I may have to take my Pottermore frustrations out on you.


__________________

Thanks to cybobbie for the awesome sig pic!
Thanks to the best fanclub in the world!

My Fanfics:
A History of Magic: Part II - Beyond the Epilogue
Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders ; A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era (on hiatus); You Are Cordially Invited... (First Attempt)

Last edited by USNAGator91; August 3rd, 2011 at 2:52 pm.
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