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A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II



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Old November 8th, 2010, 7:35 pm
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A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Summary: This is a sequel to the History of Magic story that covered the time between the Battle of Hogwarts and the epilogue. Thanks to the readers that generated over 113,000 views across well over 350 chapters. If you missed the first story, it can be found here.

In this sequel, we explore life after the first story, and after the epilogue. My inspiration has two sides: I love the action of the stories, so there's lots of action, but I also like the relationships, especially between Harry and Ginny. So, buckle up, this promises to be a rocky and fun ride.

So, with no further ado...


Chapter 1: 30 Years Later…(or so...maybe it's 28 years later...)

A good economy; a bad economy, the wharf areas along the Thames never really changed. True, massive skyscrapers and tourist enticing features dotted the venerable river edge closer to downtown. Massive privatization of the area brought commerce to London proper. But further down river, in the heavily industrialized areas near the Queen Elizabeth II bridge, miles of fuel tanks, warehouses and piers towered over the narrow concrete walkway that passed for a boardwalk.

A lone figure made his way down the center of the path, passing from one shadow to the next between the lamp posts that dotted the railing overlooking the river. The rain had continued into the night and well past midnight. The water was freezing, bordering on turning to snow. Instead, it was more like ice, punishing anyone who happened to be out and about in the starless night. The walker didn’t seem to take notice of the weather. His pace was brisk, but wary. Every so often, he’d cast a glance over his shoulder, as if expecting to be followed, and surprised when he saw no one behind him.

The man was of average height. His hands were crammed into the pockets of the large wool reefer that covered chest. The large collar was turned up and the double row of plastic buttons was fastened up to his neck. He shivered despite the heavy wool sweater and dark jeans he wore. The heavy soles of his battered work boots easily plowed through the puddles that dotted the surface of the walkway. He walked deliberately, but cautiously, as he surveyed the facades of the large warehouses as he walked by.

Beside the large, rusting hulk of an abandoned freighter, he stopped and stared at a wind swept wooden sign in front of an older building. He looked back and forth along the boardwalk and then stared up at the sign.

“Universal Imports, Inc.” The man snorted, amazed that even in times like this, someone in the muggle government still showed a sense of humor. He studied the building for a moment. It was mostly wooden slats with columns of red brick at several intervals. The building seemed left over from World War II and looked it. The paint on the wood was flaking off and the brick was dull, and chipped. There were several small windows higher up on the building, most of which were either cracked or broken altogether. The man sighed and turned his attention to the large wooden door in the center of the building.

The latch was secured by an ancient cast iron padlock that seemed rusted in place. Slowly, the man drew his hand from his pocket and waved it over the lock while murmuring. The late of the lock popped open and the entire assembly fell to the ground with a loud snap. He froze for a moment, looking side to side, trying to determine whether he’d been heard. All he could hear was the sound of the rain pounding the surface of the concrete and echoing in the battered hulk of the ship behind him.

Slowly, he released his held breath and gripped the handle of the door. He pulled, yet it did not move. He stopped for a moment and studied the edges of the door and its surrounding jamb. His eyes narrowed and then he nodded. In his line of work, nothing is usually what it seems. The bare outlines of a metal bar showed through the edge where the door met the jamb. The place was secured, despite its appearance.

He flicked his wrist and with an audible snap, a tapered piece of wood appeared in his hand, freed from its leather holster affixed to his forearm. He pointed the wand at the door and spoke a couple of words with more rhythmic authority. This time there was a loud click as the restraining bolts snapped out of their holes and the door swung open silently. With one more look about him, the man entered the building.

It was, at first, exactly what he’d expected, a large warehouse. The ceiling stretched up over four stories high. There were wooden crates piled almost to the ceiling and the stacks extended the full length of the building, almost five football fields in length. He turned and pulled the door shut behind him. The back of the door was steel plate and a fairly sophisticated alarm system blinked indignantly at him. However, he was a wizard, and the spells he cast made any alarm, any muggle detection device incapable of seeing him. He turned back and faced the rows and rows of stored crates.

Unconsciously, he unbuttoned the front of his jacket and ran his fingers through this wildly scattered, but wet hair. The rain did nothing to settle wild strands, nor did it hide the strands of gray and white that had started filtering in a few years back. He reached up and removed small, wire rimmed glasses perched on his nose and checked the lenses, more out of habit than need, as he’d had the glasses magically charmed to keep the rain from soaking them. He replaced the glasses on his face and took in the scene.

His face was narrow. His chin and cheeks were a bit gaunt, accentuated by the stubble of day old growth showing through. He had lines and crow’s feet along the edges of his eyes, but they served to outline his most glaring feature. Those were his eyes. They were a bright emerald, clear to the point of almost being luminescent, yet sharp, like ice. They danced when he smiled and smoldered when he was angry. Right now, they were more neutral as he stared at the sea of boxes. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled sheet of paper and stared at the letters and numbers etched on it. He looked up and found the paper guide signs and started walking down a row of crates.

About halfway down the aisle, he stopped and consulted the guide sign and the paper. He faced a stack and started climbing up the face of one large pile. At the very top, he stopped and stared at one large crate that was adorned with the same number and letter combination written on the paper. He drew his wand and waved it over the top of the crate. It shook for a moment and then as one, all the nails holding down the lid snapped up and out, falling between the crevices formed by the neighboring crates. He reached down and pulled the top from the crate and looked inside.

There were all sorts of padding and straw in the crate and he pulled aside until he saw the box inside the crate. It was a wooden box, trimmed in silver. He pulled the box out and set atop a nearby crate. Its latch had a small keyhole. He reached inside his pocket and pulled out a tiny silver key that was topped with a tiny skull. He inserted the key and turned it. The top of the box popped open and he stared inside.

The box was lined with felt and satin, formed to protect the contents. Except, the box was empty. The man stared, his eyes narrowing in surprise. There was hole where the object that was supposed to be in the box was. In the center of the hole was a small, neatly folded piece of parchment. He reached in and picked up the parchment, his hands shaking as he unfolded it.

The handwriting was vaguely familiar, but he ignored the nagging sensation that he’d seen it before as he read the message. It was simple, to the point, and completely terrifying.

It said, “You’re too late…”

Harry Potter frowned in anger and fear. He gripped the parchment in his hand and cursed to himself. Then, everything exploded in light, fire and smoke and he fell from his perch. As he fell, the words seemed to echo in his head…

“You’re too late…”

***

The car came to a halt outside a pair of large wrought iron gates at the end of the drive. East Sussex was buried in the torrential rains much like the rest of England and the driver swore loudly as he pulled on his rain slicker and stepped out. He was a tall man, and the rain coat came down to just above his knees. As he buttoned the coat, he swore once more and leaped for the car. He’d forgotten to secure the parking break and was beginning to roll backwards down the lonely hill he’d just driven up. He banged his knee as reached for the lever and the car stopped amid another flurry of invectives.

He stood at the gates for a moment, staring at the large, regal building in the courtyard beyond. The gates and walls were overgrown with ivy and unchecked shrubberies. He pushed at the gate and after a moment, was able to push it open enough to squeeze his body through the opening. He walked through and paused to study the building once more. It must have been magnificent once, despite its purpose. Built in 1903, it had a grand, Victorian front, with two long wings and large center entry, complete with garish towers and gables. The red brick was covered in ivy and the rain and wind made a ghoulish echo through the courtyard. There was a brass sign over the door.

“Hellingly Asylum” He shook his head. The place had been abandoned over twenty years before, as England moved away from locking up the mentally ill in vast asylums. Still, it seemed like the ghosts of the wronged and the criminally insane reverberated through the walls of the place. After a moment, he stepped forward and pushed through the open door.

The man shook the raindrops from his coat and pulled the hood from his head. His skin was pale, making the freckles on his face stand out a bit more prominently. He had a bright mop of red hair, worn short. Ron Weasley muttered another curse and wondered for the thousandth time why Harry had sent him on this fools’ errand.

For a moment, he forgot he was in the entry of a once notorious insane asylum. It looked more like the front lobby of an old, turn of the century hotel. The floor was marble with faded patches of discoloration from where the rain and elements had damaged the surface over the past decade or so. There was a large granite counter opposite of the doors and the ceilings were raised, dotted every so often with ornate chandeliers, all showing signs of neglect and ruin.

The place was quiet, save for the persistent plop of water drops falling from areas where the roof leaked.

“Now where do I go?” Ron mumbled to himself. Harry got to go after the book. Ron, however, was just told to check out this place. He sighed and looked about. He walked to an oversized fire place, decked with an ornate marble mantle complete with a blackened and cracked mirror over it. If there was one word Ron would use to describe Hellingly Asylum, it had to be “creepy”. It was the prototypical house of horrors and every turn of his face sent a shiver down Ron’s spine. Were the rumors not so horrid, Ron would have left already, but if even a sliver of what they’d uncovered were true, the world was in for a dark time, and they could not let it happen.

Ron stopped moving and cocked his head to the side. Above the sounds of the dripping water, he heard a soft, lyrical noise. It was faint, fading in and out, but distinct. He faced a large hallway lined with giant, arched, ivy covered windows. The sound was coming from that direction. Instinct overcame his fear and he reached inside his coat and drew his wand.

“Lumos.”

Holding his wand in front of him, he walked down the large corridor. The sound grew louder. It was musical, but not on tempo. Ron recognized the tune, but it was playing so slowly that he could not quite place the title. The music was being played with bells, like that of a child’s music box, the ones with a tiny hand crank. It sounded like whoever was turning the crank was turning it slowly. He followed the melody until he came to a pair of rotting wooden doors. The doors were open slightly and led to a large, open room.

The floor was made from warped and ruined oak. The room looked very much like a music conservatory or a ballroom. There were no furnishing of any kind and one whole wall was made only of paned window glass, which was also covered in moss and ivy. In the center of the dance floor there was a wooden box, atop of which was a tiny figurine mounted on a round pedestal. Ron approached the object slowly and glanced around himself, the only light was that given off by his wand. The walls disappeared into the shadows. He reached down and picked up the figurine. It was that of a dancer, a ballerina. There was a small crank on the side of the base and Ron shook his head in frustration.

“Every horror film ever made tells me to not turn that handle.” He mumbled to himself and then he took hold of the crank.

He started turning and the small ballerina started spinning atop her dais as the soft chimes of music played. Ron turned faster and tune was recognizable.

“Pop Goes the Weasel?” It didn’t fit the figure. Usually that tune was associated with a Jack in the Box. This wasn’t a Jack in the Box. Ron groaned. “Or is it?” There was only one way to find out.

Ron braced himself and finished the final notes of the tune. With a small click, whose suddenness made him jump, a tiny flap opened on the side of the base, revealing a small piece of parchment carefully folded inside. Ron pulled out the parchment and tucked the figurine under his arm. He unfolded the paper and spread it out.

“He’s back…”

“Who’s back?” Ron wondered, just as the wall of windows exploded in a miasma of light, glass and smoke, sending Ron flying against the far wall. In the back of his mind, he had a pretty good idea of who the note was referring to, and then, all was black.


A/N: Please see my introduction on the feedback page...

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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)

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Old November 11th, 2010, 3:21 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 2: Anxiety and Old Fears

Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Harry felt the crates drop from underneath his feet and his body propelled out and away from solid purchase, twisting horizontally in the air. Tendrils of flame, smoke and debris rocketed past him, with pieces of broken crates smacking hard against his torso, forcing the breath from his lungs. Years of experience kicked in as the adrenaline seemed to slow time itself. He twisted his body and willed himself to relax, riding the buffeting shockwave of the explosion down to the ground. He landed atop a pile of rubble and debris with a thud. He rolled and pulled his legs beneath him and rose to a crouch, arm extended, wand aimed outward.

The roof of the warehouse had collapsed, the rain he’d walked through outside cascading through the opening to the sky. He felt an unnatural chill roll through the room accompanied by a familiar sensation he hadn’t had in years. He looked up to see dark thunder clouds that seemed to actually fall beneath the roof line and into the warehouse itself. For the moment, all was quiet, save for a soft, almost lyrical whisper that sounded like a hiss. He froze, the sounds growing louder, more distinct and then he whirled suddenly.

“Expecto Patronum!” His wand glowed with a harsh, bluish white light, and then it emitted a pall of white fog which hardened into the shape of a large, white stallion. The aura emanating from his patronus charm was like a shield, and it immediately began to shudder as figures from the night bounced fruitlessly off its power.

“Dementors.” Harry started picking out the dark, robed ghouls in the night sky, over a score of them circling above. Their hisses were audible against the snap and hiss of their compatriots throwing themselves against his patronus. He was on the defensive, the soul sucking demons were much more powerful than he remembered. Harry felt his will weakening, a seeping sense of despair moved through his body and he was unsure of how much longer he could maintain the stalemate. He couldn’t break away and they couldn’t get to him.

Events served to break the stalemate. The front wall of the warehouse collapsed in fire and fury and Harry hazarded a glance towards the wharf area. Five dark robed figures stood abreast where the wall had once existed. They had skeletal death masks covering their faces. The tallest raised his hand and aimed his wand to the sky. With a sneer, he shouted a spell and the midnight sky was suddenly bright from the figure in the sky.

It was a dark mark, the sign usually left by the Deatheater minions of Voldemort. The new arrivals looked just like the Deatheaters Harry had vanquished so many years before, and yet, they stood before him, as real as he could remember. The lead Deatheater snapped off a blasting curse in Harry’s direction. Harry raised his free hand and put up a shield in barely enough time. He felt the heat and the pressure force from the blast and his feet stumbled as he tried to keep his patronus up against the Dementors while facing the new threat. He knew he couldn’t do both.

Quickly, he reached to a pouch on his belt and drew a small capsule. He threw it to the ground and was quickly enveloped in an inky black cloud, impenetrable to sight and then he ran under the cover the Peruvian Darkness Powder, momentarily displacing himself from the target zone, but knowing full well that he was not out of the woods yet.

“Mr. Potter, ever the coward. Why don’t you just come forward and meet your destiny?” Another familiar voice, and yet Harry’s brain screamed at the impossibility of its existence, in this place, in these circumstances. He’d personally seen to the destruction of the Dark Lord and his followers. How was any of this possible? The voice continued gloat.

“You didn’t really think you could defeat the Dark Lord, did you? You didn’t think that death was the end? Except for you, that is?” The man laughed with gusto at his comment. “Time to die, Mr. Potter, and time for all to be set as it should be. This was always the will of the Dark Lord. You were nothing more than an irritant. The “chosen one”, indeed.”

Harry turned a corner around another row of stacked crates, his eyes searching for a way out. He stopped and concentrated, trying to apparate, but nothing happened. This trap was well set, complete with a counter apparition charm in place. He peered around a corner and studied the room. The main exit was blocked by the Deatheaters while above, another twenty Dementors joined their evil brethren and circled the sky above. He sighed and gripped his wand. There was no other way out, except through the Deatheater blockade, and they knew it. His energy was sapped. He’d been up almost forty eight hours, which in retrospect, had to have been part of the overall plan. He’d been led here to die.

He let his mind wander to Ginny. Despite the circumstances, he smiled, reflecting on his love for her and their love for their kids. He ignored the worry of what was to come, of what the world would be like without him to protect her and the kids. For almost thirty years, their love had flourished and blossomed. They’d created the family he’d only dreamed of and shared a life that he could only call perfect. He wished he could be with her at the end and then the moment passed and once more, the man he was, the wizard, the warrior, the Auror, came forward.

He smiled his warrior smile and stood. They might not be the same Deatheaters he remembered, but he was far from the same fumbling adolescent that they remembered. If they wanted a fight, he’d give them one. He stepped out into the open and faced the man in the middle of the Deatheaters.

“You know what, Lucius? You’re going to wish you’d stayed in Azkaban.” Harry raised his wand, “Let’s dance.”

***

The blast destroyed a large portion of the rotted dance floor, creating a large hole which Ron fell through, where he landed in a sub-basement below the main floor. His combat instincts took over and rolled on the wet concrete floor and came to a halt standing, his wand up. The basement housed the heating and cooling systems of the old asylum. The walls were cinder block and there were large rusted boilers, long dark from the lack of use against all the walls. Above, more explosions rang out, but despite the fire and heat, Ron felt a familiar chill.

“Dementors? What the hell?” There were too many unknowns. The clue had been a trap and now he had to break loose from it. His fall into the basement had bought him time and he began to run down a long, dark tunnel, away from the ballroom above. The old Ron not have used his head, relying on instinct and bravado and not on a sound, tactical mind. His main goal was to get away from the asylum, to regroup with the rest of the Aurors and to figure out what was going on. The passage seemed to mirror the main halls and contours of the building above. He mentally checked his distance until gauged that he was somewhere below where the main lobby was. He aimed his wand at a far wall.

“Redacto!” The wall exploded, revealing dark, wet earth behind it. He cast a tunneling charm and paced himself to try to make sure he surfaced outside the wall of the property. His breath was short and he felt beads of perspiration coursing down his brow as he concentrated on the task. After a few moments, he started angling upward and then stopped the charm as he felt cold air coming from above. Slowly, he moved away the earth and dirt and stuck his head up.

He’d been almost perfect. He’d come up beneath the hedge which lined the outer wall, which offered him ideal cover. He was about a hundred feet from his car, but that was the only good news. There were four robed figures standing next to his car. Ron swore under his breath. He’d tried apparating, with no luck. The skies were filled with Dementors. They’d see him if he tried to make a break on foot. The people around his car were definitely Deatheaters. He’d seen more than his share at the Battle of Hogwarts, that even after all this time, he knew them when he saw them.

Fight or flight, Ron thought to himself. He knew the answer before the question was asked. He felt a momentary pang of regret. Hermione loved that car. Then he offered one more curse. He’d just made the final payment on it. He sighed and then aimed his wand.

“Confrigo!” A garish red light leapt from the end of his wand and struck his car and it exploded, sending the Deatheaters flying through air from the blast. Ron held his arm out and started running towards them, a renewed sense of anger. Suddenly, he just realized, he really had liked that car too.

***

To Harry, the key was to strike fast and hit the Deatheaters hard before the Dementors pounced. There could be no hesitation and no going back. He struck the one on the left with a blasting charm. He showed no mercy. This was a battle to the death (namely his) and he had no time for stunners or binders. The sudden fury of his assault caught the man unawares and the blasting charm struck the hapless minion directly in the chest, shredding his flesh and bone with fire and power and he fell lifelessly to the ground. Harry didn’t waste time or thought on the fallen Deatheater and sent another blast to the next one in line. The charm struck the ground near his target and sent the man flying backward into the rusted hulk of the abandoned freighter. So sudden was the attack that he could not control his landing and he landed on the rusted out lip of a railing. The jagged edge of metal pierced his back and came out his chest. The man shouted in agony and then fell limp, his body suspended in the air, a grotesque talisman to a ruthless fight.

Two were down, but time and numbers worked against Harry. The other three erected barriers to his assault and now they mingled in a charm versus curse fight. Harry held his own, but that wasn’t the problem. Time was working against him. He’d failed. Already, he could sense the Dementors descending on him, yet he could not face them while taking on the wizards in front of him. Now he faced a choice, death by Dementor’s kiss or death at the hands of Lucius Malfoy. He really did not like Malfoy.

The choice suddenly was out of his hands. Two bright lights of powerful patronus charms lit up the sky, sending the Dementors running. Harry smiled and pressed his attack on the Deatheaters. The remaining three saw their trap falling apart. The leader nodded his head and they all apparated. In an instant, the fighting was over. As the Dementors fled, the rain stopped. Soon, all that was left was the ruined hulk of a building and more questions than answers. Harry let his arm fall to his side and then he nodded as two men in jeans walked up from the opposite side of the warehouse.

“Mortimer, you always seem to have a dramatic flair for timing.” Harry smiled at his one time apprentice and current Auror team leader. “I swear, sometimes you wait until the absolute final second before you make your move.”

Mortimer Gafney smiled and held a finger to his lips. “Shush, Harry.” He nodded to the young man walking next to him. He had a youthful face adorned with countless freckles that matched the bright red tint of his hair. His brown eyes danced in merriment and his mouth was twisted in a wry grin. Mortimer laughed. “You wouldn’t want to give away all my secrets to my young student here.”

Harry laughed and then his eyes softened at the younger man. “Thanks, but one thing…”

The young man held up his hand, “I know, I know, Dad, don’t tell Mom how close you came to being a green eyed streak on the wall, right?”

Harry shook his head, “James, get this through your head. Never try to hide things from your mom, or you’ll wish all you had to face were Deatheaters and Dementors. What I was trying to say was that your patronus was still a bit shaky and weak.”

“You’re grading my performance?” James Potter, rookie Auror stared at his father incredulously.

“Of course.” Harry responded with a laugh, then his eyes fell on the body of the Deatheater impaled against the ship and he grew more somber. “You’re going to have to get it right. I have a bad feeling that this is only the beginning."


A/N: Okay, we're still going to see familiar characters, but I'm going to keep them to the core from HOM Pt I...that means I have a bunch that I can kill off, right????

Woo hoo.

Feedback is most appreciated, especially if there are people you want to save...or not.


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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)
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Old November 15th, 2010, 3:57 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 3: Mystery and Dread

Ron reached the smoldering ruins of his car in time to see two of his assailants apparate away into the night. One shattered and burnt body lay on the ground and he caught the faintest wisp of the fourth stumbling inside a nearby barn. Ron knelt near where the man had been. He spotted a pool of blood on the ground, slowly dissipating in the torrent of rain still falling. He looked skyward and saw the Dementors beating a hasty retreat to the north and then rose. Cautiously, he reached the barn door and pointed his wand inside. After a moment, he braced himself and walked into the dark room.

The barn was about three stories high. Rotted holes in the roof allowed the rain to seep in, giving the area a wet, moldy smell. One side was lined with stables while the other seemed to be where most of the day to day work had been done. A large, open loft protruded from the rafters, and dried and shredded strands of rope hung from rusty pulleys, which creaked in the night wind. In the far corner there was a forge and anvil, probably where the horses were shod. The wind howled mercilessly in the chimney, like a ghoul laughing at this predicament. Ron swallowed and walked farther into the room, his wand at the ready.

He reached the forge area and the uneasiness grew more palpable. Where was he? His prey couldn’t have gone far. There were no exits and Ron saw him run inside. Had he apparated? If that were the case, he’d have done it with his companions. No, something told Ron that the man was injured and couldn’t apparate. That’s why he ran inside here. Ron was exposed. He had to find this person quickly. The longer it took, the more of a chance he’d either get a lucky shot into Ron’s back or he’d apparate away. There was the snap and tinkle of breaking glass. Ron whirled and aimed his wand towards the source of the sounds. Just as he started walking forward he stopped and looked down.

On the toe of his boots, he saw tiny drops of blood. Then there was another one, then another one, and yet another one. Ron dove to his right, just as a blasting charm struck the spot he’d been standing in. He rolled onto his shoulder and raised his arm to the rafters just above him. He didn’t aim and simply sent out a stunner charm. There was a loud gasp and then a thud as his assailant fell to the floor near Ron in a heap. Ron rose and that’s when he heard the clapping. He turned to stare at a nearby window, and then made a bad face at the men he saw staring inside the barn.

“Bravo, Uncle Ron, that was one awesome somersault!”

Ron grimaced. “Were you two standing there the whole time?”

The pair looked at each other and grinned. The taller one smiled devilishly. “The whole time…”

“Why didn’t you zap him?” Ron asked, his irritation growing.

“And miss seeing the moves of the great Ron Weasley? Perish the thought, Uncle Ron.”

“I’m not your uncle. Get in here and help me bind this one.” Ron ordered. The two faces left the window and in a few moments entered the barn. They were two men in their twenties, both tall. One was thinner, wearing a crisp, new suit and tie with an impeccable London Fog overcoat tied neatly with a belt. He seemed to choose his steps carefully, trying to avoid the mustier and wet areas on the floor. The other had broad shoulders and muscular physique, but not overly so. He wore dark jeans and steel toed boots and a windbreaker over a tee shirt adorned with the logo of some professional quidditch team. He had dancing eyes and a bright, broad grin that almost hid his most distinguishing feature, his hair. It was long, and rich and a muted shade of purple and pink, and seemed to shift colors with the man’s smile. Bright silver aurors’ shield were affixed to both men’s chests.

“You’re all muddy, Uncle Ron.” Teddy Lupin snorted and pointed to the places on Ron’s chest and legs where his roll on the damp floor had left its mark.

Ron glared at the pair. “I’m not your uncle. Do you think you two can handle binding this one up?”

Richard Leveille, Teddy’s longtime friend from Hogwarts, sniffed the air and held is nose up. “Must I, Ron? This place is a treasure trove of germs and bacteria. I can feel my lymph nodes tightening up as we speak.”

“All right, Richard. You ready the one outside for transport.” Ron pointed at Teddy. “The wet dog and I will get this one.”

Richard turned and exited the barn while Ron and Teddy turned to their quarry. Ron froze the Deatheater and then reached down and pulled off his skeleton mask. Staring at the man’s face, Ron almost fell backward.

“What is it?” Teddy asked, his mood turning his hair darker.

“This is impossible.” Ron stared at the man’s sneering, bearded face. “It’s Gibbon. He’s supposed to be dead.”

“What do you mean?” Teddy asked.

“I mean he was killed at the Battle of Hogwarts. A killing curse aimed at your dad,” Ron hesitated, suddenly realizing he was bringing something up that was potentially painful to Teddy, “struck Gibbon instead. He died at Hogwarts almost thirty years ago. He shouldn’t be here.”

Richard’s voice echoed in the night. “Ron, Teddy, I think you better come and see this.”

Ron and Teddy shared a look and then ran out into the courtyard. The dead Deatheater’s remains had already been transported back to the Ministry. Richard was staring up into the night sky. Ron followed his gaze. High up in the cloudy night, just above the asylum, there was an eerie, greenish white figure of a skull. It was a dark mark, sign of the vanquished dark lord. It’s gaze seemed to bore through them. Ron sighed.

“I guess he could be back.”

“What was that, Uncle Ron?” Teddy asked.

Ron cleared his throat and spoke louder. “I’m not your uncle. Let’s get our mystery guest back to the Ministry. I suppose there’ll be a lot of questions for him there.” The trio started making for the barn, when Ron stopped short.

“One more thing,” He held up his finger to them. “That car was blown up by the Deatheaters, got it? I did not blast my wife’s car.”

Teddy and Richard glanced at each other then Teddy snickered. “Whatever you say,” he smiled, “UNCLE Ron.”

***

Things had changed at the Ministry. As Harry, James and Mortimer appeared in the entry floos at the main entrance, Harry tried to put his finger what exactly was different and when this had all happened. The Atrium was physically the same. The dark wood floors and the peacock blue ceiling greeted visitors, just as they had the first time Harry had visited as a boy. Yet something was different. Harry nodded to Eric Munch as they passed the guard desk. Fear. There was a feeling of fear, bred by doubt, uncertainty, all revolving around the discoveries of the past few weeks. The Deatheaters would certainly add to that uncertainty.

Harry glanced up at the large banner hanging from the rafters. The Minister of Magic’s youthful, yet glowering face stared back at him. Patrick James Scuttleburn had been elected a few years back, replacing John Dawlish in a strongly contested election. The economy, mirroring that of the muggle world had taken a turn for the worst. Dissatisfaction and a general weariness had led to Scuttleburn’s ascension to the post.

Scuttleburn had been an academic, an Irish wizard who’d taught Magical Ethics at the Irish Academy of Sorcery and Magic. (Yes, the domestic staff were leprechauns, not house elves and yes, you found the school at the end of the rainbow.) Harry chuckled to himself. Scuttleburn came off as an idealist, someone who could bring everyone together to a common purpose. He was a rousing orator, gifted with an impeccable way of telling a story and making everyone feel like they were going to be part of something greater than themselves. His candidacy had even managed to divide the Potter/Weasley clan, with many of the women siding with Scuttleburn. From Harry’s perspective, Scuttleburn seemed overly idealistic and lacked any appreciable grounding in real world.

Teaching ethical magic was not the same as dealing with dark wizards and their lack of ethical boundaries. Scuttleburn did little to endear himself at the Ministry. With the exception of the Office of Aurors, he completely cleaned house, bringing in even more inexperienced acolytes into positions where running a functioning bureaucracy had no correlation with the soaring rhetoric that he’d been elected with. His “disciples of change” ran the Ministry like a laboratory. It had only been Harry’s public status as a living icon which prevented the changes in the Ministry to touch the Office of Aurors. That didn’t stop the new Minister of Magical Law Enforcement from trying to use the Aurors as instruments of fairness.

At first, they’d been sent out to enforce the mandatory price controls with the merchants. The net effect of “fair pricing” had been a worsening of the economic climate as more and more shop keepers went out of business. Diagon Alley lost half of its merchants. The Minister refused to acknowledge that his policies were to blame. Instead, he blamed it on the public’s inability to understand the ideal world he was trying to create. Harry felt that it was a contrast in philosophies. To Harry, there was no such thing as “fairness”. He’d learned at a very young age that life wasn’t fair, and neither was society. Still, things were what they were, and while Harry might not have agreed with Scuttleburn’s policies, they were relatively harmless unless there was a crisis. That was when the disappearances began.

They hadn’t noticed at first. It was a person here and a person there, but soon enough, Harry and his teams began to see a pattern. Almost twenty people had simply vanished. It was Mortimer, digging into the archives who noticed what each had in common with the other. At some point during the Voldemort wars, the people who’d disappeared had either directly opposed the Deatheaters or were related to someone who had. Cameron Bones had been the key. The disappearance of a key member of the Wizengamut had launched the Aurors into looking into the relationship of the Deatheaters of old and the happenings today. Scuttleburn wasn’t ready for the news. He ignored the implications, almost ordering Harry to stop looking into the disappearances, lest he cause a panic.

The foul weather and the rumors of Dementors took the matter out of the Minister’s hands. So the Aurors kept digging. That’s what launched Harry and Ron’s adventures and now, the mystery was deeper, more sinister. The notion that the followers of Lord Voldemort were back in operation was bad enough, but Harry felt there was more. There had to be more.

The Atrium was less crowded than normal. Harry and his companions wound their way past the Fountain of Magical Brethren and to the bank of lifts against the far wall. Soon they were exiting at the Office of Aurors. They walked down the corridor, past the offices and into the main team area of cubicles. Ron was waiting for them with Teddy and Richard.

“I hear you ran into some old friends.” Harry asked, glad to see that his best friend and his godson were none the worst for the wear.

“It’s damn peculiar, Harry.” Ron responded, also visibly relieved to see Harry and James still in one piece. “Gibson was killed, yet he’s sitting in our holding room, right as rain.”

“I know what you mean. Dolohov was supposed to be dead too.” The impaled Deatheater at Harry’s ambush was Antonin Dolohov. A sense of dread pervaded the room. Finally Richard spoke up.

“I don’t know why we just don’t ask what we all are thinking.” He said sharply. “If these are alive, is the Dark Lord back?”

“I wasn’t thinking that.” James responded. “I was wondering when lunch was.”

A sharp look from his father shortened his tendency to wise off. Richard was right. The notes all said that “HE” was back. Given the evidence, that could only mean one thing. Voldemort. Was he back? If he was, how? Had they missed a horcrux? Was it something else? As he pondered, a small owl flapped its way into the room and landed on a cubicle wall next to Ron. He reached up and pulled the scrolled parchment from its leg and read the note, his face drawing tighter as read.

“What is it, Ron?” Harry asked.

Ron handed the parchment over to Harry. “It’s another disappearance, Vicky Frobisher.” Harry frowned. Vicky was a charms expert in the Office of Magical Law Enforcement. He remembered her trying out for keeper, but losing the job because the Charms Club was more important than Quidditch to her. She was the first Ministry employee to disappear.

“That means the Minister has to listen to you, Harry.” Mortimer said. “That’s one of his employees. It’s hitting close to home.”

Harry shook his head. “I’ll try, but something tells me he doesn’t want to hear our wild theories about the Dark Lord. We need more.”

“Where do we find more?” Teddy asked.

Harry shrugged. “Ron will start interrogating Gibson.” Ron nodded as Harry continued. “While I talk to the Minister, I want all teams brought in so that we can apply more manpower to the task.”

“What task?” James asked. “Where do we start?”

Harry looked at Mortimer who nodded in understanding. “We start by ignoring things we know. We start at the premise that Lord Voldemort is alive.”


A/N: Okay, so things may not be as they seem. You know I can't just have the old LV is back type of story...There's always something else going on...or is there?

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Old November 24th, 2010, 1:15 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 4 – Brick Walls

“Harry Potter to see you, Minister.” His secretary’s voice was tinny through the rubber tube affixed to the box on his desk. Scuttleburn rose from his high backed chair and pulled down on the hem of his suit coat, smoothing out imaginary wrinkles. He was tall, nearly six foot five with a narrow face and a long, angular nose. His eyes were narrowly set and were dark brown, bordering on black. He tended to accentuate his height by raising his chin up, looking down on people as if they were his students. He took a deep breath and grasped the end of the tube his hand.

“You may send him in.” He spoke in a deep baritone with the barest whisper of an Irish lilt in his voice.

The door opened and Harry entered his office with a grim look on his face. The Minister waved Harry to one of the chairs in front of his desk. As Harry sat, the Minister perched atop the edge of the desk, his hands clasped in front of him.

“So, Harry, what brings you to me?” The Minister made his best effort to look concerned.

“Minister, we’ve had run ins with people who proclaim themselves to be Deatheaters.” Harry sat with his legs crossed, making his own best effort to appear calm. “We’ve managed to capture a couple of them and I have to tell you that we may have a larger threat than we thought.”

Scuttleburn rose and started pacing, his hands clasped firmly behind his back. “I don’t have to tell you, Harry, the number of times over the years we’ve been faced with wizards and crackpots who fancy themselves the next dark lord or the next wave of Deatheaters.”

“I agree, sir, you don’t need to tell me, but this is different. One of the men downstairs is Aloysius Gibbon.” The Minister paused and looked at Harry with a question in his gaze. Harry nodded. “He was one of Voldemort’s Deatheaters that was killed at the Battle of Hogwarts.”

“Nonsense. It’s polyjuice or some other transformation charm.” Scuttleburn’s face wrinkled up like he’d just tasted a lemon. “Someone is leading us on, trying to derail our reform efforts.”

Harry did his best to hide a sigh. “Minister, we have a problem here. I’m not saying that Voldemort is back, but we can’t deny something sinister is going on. Gibbon is real. The Office of Aurors has enough counter spells and charms to defuse effects of any polyjuice potion or any transformation charm. Whoever the man downstairs is, he truly believes he’s Aloysius Gibbon.”

“Wrong!” The Minister stopped pacing and extended a long, bony finger towards Harry. “This is some political move to throw off what we’re trying to accomplish. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these ‘missing’ wizards and witches are part of the same plot.”

Harry stared at the Minister in disbelief. “Vicky Frobisher is part of the opposition, is she?” Harry knew his tone was more insubordinate than he wanted, but the battle on the dock had been for keeps, not some sort of show.

“Vicky? What of her?” The Minister asked warily.

Harry rose from his seat and pushed his face closer to the Minister’s. “She’s gone missing. Her flat is ransacked. Maybe she’s part of your conspiracy?”

Scuttleburn stepped backward and felt his way to his chair. Vicky Frobisher had been a “true believer” in his campaign, one of his closest confidants and one of the main drivers in his election staff. Harry took a deep breath and started walking for the door. He stopped and turned before he left.

“We’ve got a serious situation here, Minister. This isn’t some science experiment. This is real life. People are dying and people are missing and we need to stop it. The best case scenario is that someone is playing a sick joke for some personal gain. The worst case?” Scuttleburn looked up at Harry, a grimace on his face. Harry nodded. “The worst case is that somehow there was a horcrux we missed and Voldemort is back. How prepared are you to handle the worst case, Minister?”

“That’s a lot to digest, Mr. Potter. How do I know that this isn’t some scam you’re putting together to keep your status as a living legend alive? After all, it’s no secret that you’ve been opposed to my administration from the start. This could all be about politics, couldn’t it?”

It was Harry’s turn to frown. His emerald eyes burned hot and captured the Minister in an airtight gaze. “Minister, unlike you, I have no craving for power and frankly, I was hoping for a relatively boring life.” Absently, Harry’s hand reached up and touched the scar atop his forehead. “I pray that I’m wrong. I really hope that this is one sick hoax, but I’ve seen too much in my lifetime to disregard the worst case. Where magic is involved, the worst case is often the most viable case. I’ll keep you informed of what we find.”

Harry turned and left the room. Behind him, the Minister stood and mumbled. “You do that, Potter.”

***

Ron and Mortimer entered the interrogation room and sat across the table from Gibbon. The seemingly resurrected Deatheater glowered with hatred at the pair, but his eyes seemed to bore right into Ron.

“You’re one of them Weasley brats, aren’t you, another one of them mudblood lovers.” Gibbon practically spat out the words. A trace of anger grasped Ron but he calmed himself as Mortimer gave a surreptitious tug on his robe.

“You’re quite a mystery, Aloysius.” Mortimer said conversationally. “You seem pretty spry for a dead man.”

Gibbon snarled. “What are you talking about? You’ve made quite the mistake in holding me. The Dark Lord will be about shortly, and you’ll be sorry.”

“Mr. Gibbon,” sighed Mortimer, “you are aware that the Dark Lord is dead, right? He died over thirty years ago.”

“Blasphemer! Mudblood lovers!” Gibbon strained at the restraints, as if willing himself to reach them.

Ron laughed. “You’re way out of touch, boyo. In fact, you died at the Battle of Hogwarts, too.” Ron stood and placed his hands on the table. “So the real question is what the blazes are you doing here, Gibbon?”

“Liars! This is some kind of trick. You’re trying to make me betray the Dark Lord.” He sat back and stared at them. “I’ll show you.” To their surprise, he smiled.

Ron studied him and then shouted. “Stop him!” Ron’s warning was a half second too late. Gibbon bit down on the fake tooth in the back of his mouth. The vial insides broke, releasing a powerful toxin. He was dead before Ron could get to him.

The door opened and Harry and Williamson burst in. Harry stared at the open eyed dead man and then shook his head. “We prepared for magic, when it’s the simple things that usually win out.”

Ron frowned. “Sorry, Harry. I had no idea. He was our only lead.”

Harry put a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “No, Ron, we’ve got another to follow, but leave it for tomorrow. I’ve got to send an owl. I want you to get your team together and be ready for a trip.”

“Why not leave now?” Ron asked.

“We’re tired, Ron, both of us. We’ll go tomorrow.” Harry sighed. “Right now, I just want to go home.”

***

Harry dropped his satchel beside the front door and shrugged his arms out of his robe. He tossed it at a nearby coat stand, which extended a wooden arm and caught it, bringing it back to its repose. He shuffled more than walked down the hall and entered the kitchen, which was abuzz with a stew boiling on the stove and a diminutive and aging house elf perched on a stool cutting away at some vegetables. Kreacher had a frilly apron tied around his waist and he was mumbling to himself, as was his wont.

“Hello, Kreacher.” Harry said and sat wearily at the kitchen table.

“Master Harry looks terrible, if Kreacher may be so bold.” Harry smiled as a cup and saucer of hot tea appeared in front of him.

“I do look horrible, Kreacher. Where’s Ginny?” Harry sipped on his tea.

“Mistress Ginerva has not returned from work yet, Master.” Kreacher paused and stared up at the ceiling, as if staring out into space. “Ah, but she is arriving, even as Kreacher speaks.”

There was a snap and clap of thunder on the open terrace outside the kitchen. Soon enough, the outside door opened and Harry’s wife of over twenty years stepped in their home. Harry leaned back and sipped his tea. The years had been extraordinarily good to Ginny. She walked in and dropped her backpack near the door. She still played pick up games of Quidditch with some of the teams she interviewed, and she still had an graceful, athletic quality about her. She wore what she called her “skinny” jeans, which fit her legs snugly and a looser, flowing white blouse which offset the fiery crimson of her long Weasley hair. Her face was just beginning to show the emergence of smile lines, yet she looked for the most part, as if she hadn’t aged at all. When she looked at him, she smiled and his heart stopped in his chest. Her soft brown eyes twinkled as they captured his and for a brief moment, he forgot the troubles of the day as the love of his life walked over and kissed him full on the lips.

“You’re back.” She said quietly, as they finally broke their embrace. She leaned her mouth close to his ear, close enough for him to catch the barest hint of lilacs in her hair. “I missed you.” She whispered.

“I missed you, too.” He replied. There was a tone, a quality in his voice that caused Ginny to pause. She stood straight.

“What is it? What’s happened? Is James all right?” Her questions were rapid fire, as if he were some hostile witness she was interviewing.

“James is fine. Everyone is fine. It’s just that I feel like something bad is coming our way, something familiar.” He proceeded to fill her in on the events of the past evening. She’d known, of course, about the disappearances, the spike in blood violence, but the appearance of Deatheaters caused Ginny feel both anxious and angry. She was always one with a quick temper.

“What are you going to do? I mean, it’s absurd, Voldemort is dead and all of his horcruxes are destroyed. This has got to be some sort of hoax.” She added.

Harry shrugged. “Part of me hope it is. I just don’t know. Tomorrow, I’m going to find some answers. I’m going to Azkaban.”

“The Malfoys?” Ginny asked, and Harry nodded.

Harry stood and pulled her in his arms. “I’ve got to figure this out as soon as possible.”

She saw an expression on his face, one she hadn’t seen in a very long time. It was one of pain, mixed with duty, mixed with resignation and determination. It worried her. She reached a hand up and touched his cheek.

“What is it, Harry?” She asked.

Harry took her hand in his and pulled it up to his forehead, lifting his bangs and revealing his scar. It was darker, more noticeable. “It’s just that the pain has started again. I’ve only felt this pain in my head when Riddle was alive. My scar hurts, Ginny. It hurts just like it did before. It’s just like it was before.”

The couple held each other, against the fear. Meanwhile, a chastened Kreacher worked on their dinner with an added gusto.

***

It seemed as if the weather had taken a turn for the worse over the past couple of weeks. The woman left her office and turned to lock the door, all the while holding her umbrella high against the persistent rain. She fumbled with the keys and then muttered a curse. She took a quick look around and then spoke a quick spell, locking the door without needing the key. She turned from the door and walked onto the sidewalk. Her pace was brisk.

She’d opted to work late, mostly trying to avoid walking in the rain, but finally, she decided to brave the elements and head home. She continued and then stopped. Something wasn’t right. This part of London wasn’t run down. In fact, it was very upper middle class, yet a chill ran down her spine and she turned and picked up her pace. She felt, rather than heard someone behind her and the faster she walked, the greater the sense she felt she was being followed.

Being a former athlete, her strides were long and confident. Slowly, she reached her hand inside her purse and drew her wand. She made a sudden stop and whirled around, wand up.

“Homenum Rovelio!” Her voice echoed against the empty street and she was rewarded by a flash of sparks as the glamour charms burst on four hooded figures almost ten feet behind her. She felt her breath catch in her lungs. These weren’t just wizards. They were dressed like Deatheaters. She’d seen and fought too many of their kind, in the past. She snapped her wrist, sending a blinding white light towards the approaching wizards. Then she turned and ran.

She rounded a corner and headed down a side street. She had long dropped her umbrella. She needed to apparate. She concentrated, but nothing happened. She made another turn and headed down that street. Her thoughts were on her office. It was a good practice by wizards and witches who lived among muggles to have an emergency port key. Hers was back in her office. If she could double back, she could make it to the Ministry, where her port key sent people.

She felt heat and flash of light as an errant charm flew past her. She half turned and sent a returning spell and was rewarded by a shout of pain. She’d struck one of her pursuers. She slid around another corner and turned back up the street to her office. She shouted another spell and created a giant wall behind her. Then she ran up the stairs to her office and waved the doors open. Her port key was an ancient copy of the “Physicians’ Desk Reference” on her book shelf. She reached up for and then felt a powerful force pick her and throw her across the room. Groggy, she lifted her head and saw a woman black robes seated comfortably in an easy chair in her waiting room. Smoke still trailed from her wand. The woman, who seemed familiar to her, smiled, and aimed her wand at her.

“I’ll give you this, Alicia Spinnet, you are a clever half blood, but not quite clever enough.” The woman rose and froze Alicia in place. Her smile turned into a sneer. Her voice dropped. “You dare use these muggle tricks to addle to brains of true wizards? That alone should merit you a death warrant.” The woman bent down and picked up Alicia’s dropped wand.

“You are a half blood freak! You try to corrupt pure blooded wizards with your ‘medicine’.” The woman stared at Alicia with contempt and anger. “We shall have to make a special example of you, Alicia.”

The woman cackled and raised her wand.

“You will be a special example indeed.” She hissed and shouted. “Crucio!”

Outside, the other Deatheaters stood guard in the rain while Alicia Spinnet’s screams echoed in the night.


A/N: Part of me wonders how many of you blood thirsty readers will actually be sad about this turn of events. Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Sorry for only one installment this week, but it is a holiday in the states and I had to take my kids to see Deathly Hallows more than once...woo hoo!

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  #5  
Old July 18th, 2011, 1:55 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Hello everyone!!! Let me start by saying real life can be a real pain in the butt. I haven't posted since November of last year and believe me when I say, I'd rather have been writing than going through the last seven months. I'm sorry if I've left you hanging.

But now, I'm back in the saddle. I've got a direction I want to take this. I took my kids to see the last movie of the series and I've been greatly inspired. I want to bring this back to where we were when I started the original History of Magic. So, I hope you like what you're going to read.

So where are we? It's 30 years beyond the Battle of Hogwarts and our heroes are going through all sorts of change. Harry and the gang face a new Ministry, new family drama and above, a new menace, one very much like the times of the Dark Lord. Is Lord Voldemort back? Harry is going to find out. He's on his way to Azkeban to find out what is the truth...

With no further ado...



Chapter 5 – Cavere Spectare (Beware of What You See)

The tolling of the ship’s bell rousted Harry from a fitful sleep. He rose from the narrow bunk in his stateroom, and shuffled with an unsteady gait to the nearby sink and mirror. His body swayed with the motion of the ship, as he tried to get his legs to remember what it was like to be at sea. Harry chuckled as he could only imagine what the voyage was doing to Ron’s equilibrium. He quickly splashed cold water on his face and dressed. He snapped his wand into place and packed his battered satchel with the belongings he’d brought out for the night. He reached into his bag, where his hand stopped atop a soft, velvet bag lodged in one of the side pockets. He pulled the bag out and laid it on top of the nearby table in his cabin.

He sat in an ancient wooden chair and gently untied the silver cord that that secured the top of the bag. He reached his fingers into the bag and drew out a small, triangular piece of mirror that was inside. He stared intently into the glass, and for a moment, all he could see was the brilliant emerald sheen of his own eyes. The image shimmered softly, and then coalesced into a warmer, more familiar set of eyes. They were light brown, intense and smiling at the same time. He felt a familiar thrill course through his chest and suddenly remembered that he’d forgotten to breathe.

“Hey you.”

He snapped back into reality and laughed. “Hey you.”

He watched as Ginny stepped back so that he could get a clearer view of her face. She seemed to know what kind of effect she had on him and her face colored slightly in delight. She smiled.

“I thought you’d forgotten that you promised to keep in touch.” She grinned openly, now and he couldn’t help but follow suit.

“Perish the thought, Gin.” He reached out a hand, absently, feeling as if he could touch her, despite the distance. “Everything all right there?”

She nodded. “Everything is fine. Lily owled and told me she was upset that my father was riding back home with her over the Christmas holiday.” The Potter’s youngest child, Lily, was in her seventh year at Hogwarts. She was as wild as her mother had been, and as accomplished an athlete as well. Ginny’s father, Arthur Weasley, had recently retired as the Minister of Magic, and had taken a post at the wizarding school, as the muggle studies professor. Lily, of course, only saw Arthur’s offer of riding back as an intrusion, although knowing his daughter’s propensity for trouble, Harry was secretly relieved that his father-in-law would be sharing a cabin with her on the way home. He turned back to his wife.

“Lily will be fine, Ginny.” Harry smiled. “It might do her some good to not have to serve detention in her last year at the school.”

Ginny nodded and paused for a moment. “We got a letter from Albus.” He noticed the added emphasis she’d placed on the word “letter”. The middle Potter child had stunned everyone with his decision to live among muggles upon graduation. He’d accepted entry to Columbia University in New York City. Harry was certain that Albus hadn’t turned his back on magic, yet his son was having difficulty finding his way. Harry remembered the conversation he’d had with Albus, one night.

“Dad, there has to be more to the world than magic.” Albus shook his head. “What I mean is, there has to be more than what the magical world has to offer.” Harry nodded. His son had always been the quiet one, the shy one. Albus continued. “I mean, besides the Ministry like you and Aunt Hermione, or teaching, like grandfather, the only thing left is being a shopkeeper, and I just don’t want to do that.”

Harry nodded. James, the oldest, was a hard charging achiever, a grand mix of the wildness of the Weasleys and the derring do of his Potter grandfather. There was no doubt that James would pursue a career along the lines of his father, while Lily, a firebrand and top notch Quidditch keeper, would more than likely follow her mother’s footsteps to a professional club. Albus, however, couldn’t seem to find his niche. He was a solid student, brilliant even, but no subject seemed to hold him, except for muggle studies. Albus was particularly fascinated by muggle literature. That was what he was studying in college. Harry turned back to Ginny and smiled.

“He’s not coming home for the holidays, is he?” Harry asked. Ginny’s lips pursed together tightly, the eyebrows furrowed together in anxiety. She hadn’t taken Albus’ decision as well as Harry.

“You’re right. He’s decided to go on a cross country trip with his muggle friends.” The disappointment in her voice was palpable. Her expression grew sterner. “Just you make sure you and James get home safe for the holidays, Harry.”

“Ginny, come on, you worry too much.” The look on her face told him that she, more than anyone, knew that she was right to worry. “Okay, I promise, we’ll be fine.”

They looked at each other without speaking, volumes being shared in a glance. He nodded his head slightly.

“I love you, Ginny. I don’t say it enough, but I do.”


Her gaze was piercing. Ginny Potter knew Harry better than any other person. There was something bothering her husband and she wasn’t someone to let things lie.

“Okay, Harry, spill it. What’s troubling you? Out with it, you.” Harry pictured her standing there with her hands on her hips, her eyes burning with determination.

“I don’t know, Ginny. Something doesn’t feel right with all this. I’ve had this continuing sense of dread since I heard Lucius Malfoy’s voice at the wharf.” He sighed. “It’s all way too familiar.”

“I’m scared too, Harry.” She replied. “But I know.” She paused and stared at him intently. “I KNOW that you can handle what comes.”

He felt a surge of warmth course through his heart. She continued.

“After all, you were seventeen and clueless when you defeated Voldemort before.” Her expression slowly turned into a wry grin. “Now that you’re over forty and wily, you should have no problem defeating him again. I’d take age and treachery over youth and exuberance any day.”

This time Harry laughed out loud. “Thanks, Ginny. You’re right. Look, I’ve got to go. We’ll talk tonight?”

“We’d better, Harry. Give James my love. Oh yes, and Harry?” His eyes locked with hers. She continued. “I love you, too.”

She blew him a kiss, and he tucked the mirror away. He rose from the table and pulled on his heavy jacket. He opened the door and filed into the passageway. At the end of the hall, a flight of stairs carried him up to the main deck of the ship and into the biting wind of the North Sea.

***

The sun beat down on the on the hillside in the remote Peruvian village. The tall man shielded his eyes and exhaled heavily as the perspiration soaked his shirt. He was young, with fair skin and bright blue eyes and golden hair, cropped short, into a flat top. He struggled to keep up with the rest of his group, the straps of his back pack digging mercilessly at his shoulders. He stopped for a moment and wiped his brow.

“Are you all right, Senor Molinero?” The tour guide had the same doubting smile on his face that he’d had when he’d given his passport in the name of Juan Molinero, resident of Argentina. The doubts were somewhat alleviated given that Molinero spoke flawless Spanish with a decided local Argentinean lilt. Molinero waved the guide on.

“I’m fine. How soon until we’re there?”

The guide turned and pointed up the rocky path. “It’s just around the bend. We should make lunch at the Machu Picchu marketplace.”

Molinero took a deep breath and stood straight and nodded. The guide turned and led the rest of the group up the trail. Around the next bend, the ruins of Machu Picchu rested atop a craggy hilltop, its shops adorned in rich, bright colors as the vendors plied their wares. Molinero trailed the remainder of the group of tourists and as quietly as he could, he kept walking through the market and up the next tier of the mountain into the Incan ruins.

Off to the side, there was a semi-circular building of smoothly hewn granite standing on its own. The signs in many languages indicated that the building was the Temple of the Sun. Molinero glanced about, seeing anyone was watching him, then quickly stepped over the velvet ropes keeping wayward tourists from physically entering the Temple.

The temple was an open room, with one trapezoidal window on the northern and eastern wall. Molinero barely gave them notice, his attention riveted to the smooth, stone altar in the center of the room. He moved to the altar and stood before, etchings of the sun covering its surface. He drew a black wand from his pocket and placed its tip against one of the sun hieroglyphs. This one had a dark face on it. The face had the features of a snake, the eyes with vertical pupils, the nose simply slits and a long forked tongue coming from the mouth. Molinero closed his eyes and mumbled a quick, abrupt word.

The center of the altar cracked open and revealed a small, golden idol, formed in the shape of an asp, coiled to strike. He reached his hand out, hesitating before his finger tips touched it. He took a deep breath and muttered a curse to himself then he reached out and touched the idol. In the back of his mind, as he began to flash into smoke, he thought how much simpler it would have been to put the port key somewhere closer to his home in Buenos Aires. Then, he was gone.


***

Harry reached the raised quarterdeck of the brig Discooperire and braced himself against the hard rush of icy cold air as the ship plowed through the heavy surf of the brutal North Sea. The helmsman held a hard grip on the wheel and made minute adjustments to keep the bow of the ship moving into the waves. Out and about, on the deck, the crew was going through their normal rituals, trimming sails, repairing ropes and generally keeping up the maintenance of the ship. Harry’s Aurors were spread about the deck, performing maintenance of their own, working on their skills.

There’d been a good amount of turnover among the Office of Aurors. In part, some of the resignations and retirements were to be expected, a general outflow based on the arduous demands the job placed on its people. But Harry expected a good amount of the turnover was due to Minister Scuttleburn’s changes at the Ministry of Magic. As he looked out across the deck, Harry reflected at the changes. Despite the losses, he’d managed to add some very good young Aurors to his ranks. Even more, he’d added people he could trust. At the bow, Mortimer was standing next to James, working through defensive spells from a book. James was headstrong, but all in all, a very quick learner. His pairing with Mortimer would help Harry’s eldest son learn to control some of his more hair brained impulses, at least Harry hoped so.

On the main deck, Eric Williamson was running Richard, Graciela and Teddy through some combat practice. Harry couldn’t help but laugh as he watched the three friends work. He remembered the day, three years ago, when they’d come through the admission board.

They’d stood proudly in front of a long table, allowing Teddy to talk for the three of them. They’d put on their best dress robes and were answering a battery of questions from the senior Aurors seated at the table. Finally, Harry asked the ultimate question.

“Why do you want to be an Auror?”

Teddy composed himself, his normally purplish pink hair muting itself to jet black. “My parents were Aurors and gave their lives in the service of their world. We,” Teddy waved a hand, encompassing his two friends, “started the Marauders to fight the good fight. We know what it takes to sacrifice for what we believe in. We know that we have to do this. We belong here. Besides…”

Teddy paused and finally, his hair showed the barest hint of pink strands and he smiled.

“You can’t spell Marauder with Auror.”

Ron leaned over and whispered into Harry’s ear. “There’s no ‘o’ in ‘Marauder’.” Harry stifled a laugh.

“Be nice, he’s on a roll.”

The choice had not been a hard one. Day after day, the three young Aurors continued to improve and demonstrate that Harry’s decision to admit them had been a good one. Footsteps behind Harry stopped and he heard a heavy sigh.

“It’s bloody cold out here.” Harry turned and saw Ron standing beside him, bedecked in a heavy cloak with a wildly colored, home knitted scarf around his neck. Harry’s eyebrow raised an inch.

“You’re mum still knitting you scarves?” Ron’s chin jutted out defiantly.

“No, Hermione made this. She says it helps work her mind.” Ron’s wife, Harry’s best friend, Hermione, had been a victim of Scuttleburn’s purge of the Ministry. Harry could only imagine how much she hated to be left out of the action.

“Hermione’s mad at you, Harry. “ Ron pulled the scarf tighter against the wind. “She says that she should be along with us in this. She says she doesn’t know how you expect to get along without her.”

Obviously Ron had done what Harry had done and talked to his wife before coming on deck. Harry nodded. “I imagine she’s right. We’re going to need her before this is all done.”

“Signor Harry!” A dulcet, sultry voice echoed behind them. Harry and Ron turned and were greeted by the sight of Captain Adelina Baretto, mistress of the Discooperire. The years barely seemed to touch the voluptuous captain. She sauntered towards them, wrapped in a long, ermine coat with a bright white sable collar, her dark skin contrasting nicely against the fur. Her lips were full, and bright red, locked in a perpetual smile. Harry knew immediately that Graciela, Adelina’s niece, got her fiery disposition from her aunt.

Captain Baretto stood next to them. “We are approaching the horizon. We should be able the prison within a few minutes.” Harry nodded and glanced forward.

Ahead was a massive cloud bank, reaching all the way into the sky without end. The ship plowed directly into the fog, shrouding everyone in mist and rain. Harry drew his jacket tighter and shivered from the extreme cold. After a few moments, enough time to compel a sense of claustrophobia from the poor visibility, the ship finally broke through into the open ocean.

At a distance, Harry could make out the shape of Azkeban Prison. Its high rocky sides stood sentry against the black roaring surf. The prison was like a scar on the horizon, an ugly visible testament to the darkness held inside.

“It looks intact.” Ron muttered, almost to himself. All activity on the deck had come to a stop as their destination hove into view.

“It does, doesn’t it?” There was an audible trace of skepticism in his voice. There was something wrong, Harry felt it.

A slight, barely perceptible wisp of warm air touched his face. He turned to Ron. “Did you feel that?”

Ron nodded. Despite the fleeting nature of the warmth, it was like an alarm going off in the subzero temperatures of the North Sea.

“Everyone stand back!” Harry shouted as he moved forward to the bow. The Aurors joined him. James reached a space on the rail next to his father.

“What is it, Dad?” James scanned the distant prison. Harry ignored his son, and drew his wand and extended his arms to the sky. Ron placed a reassuring hand on his nephew’s shoulder.

Ron whispered into James’ ear. “There’s a glamour around the prison. It has to be pretty powerful to hide whatever’s happening at the prison at this distance.”

Harry whispered a quick incantation and soon a brilliant white beam of light extended from his wand stretched across the water in a solid streak. It burst into a violent plume of smoke, as if hitting an invisible barrier. Harry grimaced and pushed his arms towards the barrier, pushing more magic, more energy through his wand. Finally, the wall fell, like a curtain into the sea, revealing what was really happening at the prison.

The air was filled with dozens of dementors, circling the tops of the prison. The walls were smoking and on fire, here and there marked with holes where the stone had been carried away. There were two ships down at the base of the island, circling rapidly and pouring cannon shot and mystical energy at the walls, while black and red hooded figures floated around the area, sending curses towards the defenders of the prison.

“Well, someone’s still holding out.” Ron said, noting the spells and counter spells emanating from the walls of the fortress.

“Not for long, I suspect.” Mortimer had a long, extendable telescope to his eye. “It looks like there’s a breach on the north wall.”

Harry studied the battle in the distance and the called the Aurors together. “Right, Ron and I will take James and Suttles and make for the prison. Eric?” He turned to his old friend. “You take the rest and do what you can with the siege. Captain, can you handle those vessels?”

The brash captain laughed heartily. “Two? Yes.” Then her demeanor grew serious. “Any more and we could have trouble, Signor Harry.”

Harry nodded. “Well then, let’s get to it.” There was a shout from the top of the mainmast. The lookout pointed out across the horizon. Through the protective fog bank, two shapes became visible. Two more ships, identical to the ones besieging Azkeban came into view, with several more wizards flying above them and a large, menacing figure over the wizards.

Ron groaned in protest. “It’s a dragon.”

Mortimer cleared his throat. “Actually, it’s a Hungarian Horntail, nasty buggers, if you must know.”

“I know.” Harry said in a low voice. “Believe me, I know.” Harry sighed and cinched up the top button of his coat. Then he picked up his satchel and pulled his broom from the inside.

“Time to go to work.”

A/N: I know, I know, all this time and no blood and guts...it's coming, believe me, it's coming. We'll have our fill, I just needed to get this going.

So, if you're still reading, please leave me some FEEDBACK. I'm even more self conscious than before.


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My Fanfics:
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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; July 18th, 2011 at 2:02 pm.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 4:50 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 6 – Death Games

As a group, the aurors rose on their brooms into the dark gray skies. The Discooperire, battened down for battle, turned and followed in their wake. The aurors flew in two waves, in a tight “vee” formation, with the upper echelon flying slightly ahead of the lower. Tucked into the tail of the lower “vee”, Harry led Ron, James and a newly minted auror named Katherine Suttles, using the other aurors as cover. Eric Williamson, leading the upper formation, ordered his aurors to split into two groups. Eric took the majority of his formation low and fast against the two ships that were blasting away at the prison, while the remainder ascended at a terrifying rate of speed, making a direct beeline for the mass of dementors circling overhead.

Mortimer led the lower formation and they turned suddenly and made for the pair of ships which had just breached the fog bank. Teddy, Richard and Graciela were part of this team. Like Williamson’s group, Mortimer split up his team, but this time, into three parts. The large group followed Mortimer low and fast towards the approaching ships, while another, smaller group rose to take on the dementors. The three Marauders formed their own group. Their task, was the dragon.

When the aurors split up, Harry dove for the surface of the water, pulling level barely three feet above the surface of the tumultuous sea. Harry took a quick glance backward, and saw the rest of his party matching his moves. Their task was the hardest. They had to evade the besiegers and then make their way to the penetration point on the prison. Once they cleared the relative safety of the other aurors, Harry knew his team would stand out. Accordingly, he waved at the others, who drew their wands. Just at that time, a wizard dressed in dark red robes led a dozen black robed minions down on them, and the battle was on.

***

The first thing Molinero noticed was the biting cold, which stood in stark contrast to the oppressive humidity and heat of the jungle he’d just left at Machu Picchu. He was in a large, round room, the walls made of ice, the floors covered in a thin coating of tightly packed snow. In the center of the room, an altar identical to the one he’d just left in Peru was the only furniture. He drew together the tops of the collar of his shirt, and felt a shudder rush through his chest. His breath was visible in the cold while his teeth began to shake and chatter. He turned and spotted a large, rounded arch across from him and with no other visible means of exit, he trudged towards the arch.

He walked through and found that he was in a huge cavern, stalactites of ice and stone hanging from the ceiling. There was a large platform seemingly suspended above a bottomless cavern near the floor with a narrow ramp leading down from the arch. He cinched up his backpack and started walking down the ramp and finally reached the platform.

The platform was large, the size of a football pitch. There were two ornately decorated buildings resting on either side of the platform, the entrances facing each other with a small courtyard in the middle, a small fountain gurgling its only feature. The ramp deposited him directly into the courtyard, so he stood beside the fountain and looked at each building in turn.

The buildings were mirror images of each other, with high peaked roofs atop massive marble columns. Carved into the columns were the figures of various magical creatures, all in postures of toil and strain, links of chains hanging from their necks. At the very top of the highest peak of each roof were the stone figures of men in long cloaks, wizards’ clothing with one arm stretched out, wands extended, the pinnacle of power. There were words etched over the entryways of each building. The building on the left said “Purity” while the sign on the right said “Power”. For the moment, Molinero hesitated, unsure of which building to enter. The question was answered as he spied a small, drooping figure of a person standing in the doorway of the “Purity” sign. The person shuffled out of the door and started descending the steps slowly, tentatively. As they neared, Molinero made out the figure of a woman, an old woman. She had the cowl of her hood pulled over her head, the greater portion of her head in shadows, only the tip of her nose and the fullness of her lips visible. In her hand, she leaned on a gnarled wooden staff and the only sound was that of her footsteps on each step and the thump of her staff on the granite.

After a moment, the woman cackled in laughter, a thready, grinding sound that seemed to hit him in the face.

“Good, good, Herr Mueller, you have come.”

It took him a moment before he realized she’d spoken in German. His response was measured, and in Spanish. “My name is Juan Molinero.”

The woman’s response was both amused and impatient. Again, in German, she admonished him. “Your name is Johan Mueller, you are of pure blood, after all.”
“But I was born in Argentina.” He protested.

“Where you were born is irrelevant. “ She smiled wickedly. “All that matters is blood. That is all that has ever mattered.” She seemed to grow weary of the argument. She waved her hand indifferently. “No matter, were you successful?”

He nodded and pointed to his backpack. “Yes, I’ve retrieved the Book of Souls.”

“Good, good…” She said, almost to herself. She looked up and Molinero finally saw her eyes. They were still in the shadow of her hood, but they were red, and glowing, the pupils were vertical, like a snakes. He shuddered once more as she gestured him to follow her back into the “Purity” building. She spoke again, in a wheezing, shortened breath.

“Come child, you have done well. You have set in motion this day that was long foretold. “ He walked slightly behind her. She turned her head. “You must tell me everything that has happened. I need to know where we stand. Most of all, you must tell me,” She paused and grasped his arm tightly, surprisingly strong for a woman of her age. “You must tell me what really happened to Lord Voldemort.”

***

Eric Williamson grunted as he pulled his broom into a tight turn, just in time to avoid a curse from the dark wizard to his left. Williamson extended his arm and sent a curse back at the pursuing wizard, sending the man flying down to the sea, where he landed with a loud “THUD”.

Williamson banked downward, aiming towards a group of wizards that were circling the Discooperire, which was locked in a brawling battle with the two ships that they found outside Azkeban. Eric saw that Captain Baretto was fighting magnificently. Already, one of the enemy ships was set ablaze, the magical fires flaring in bright purples and oranges all the while, the Discooperire was outmaneuvering the other combatant. Still, two against one were long odds. In return for her well fought battle, the Discooperire showed signs of wear and damage. Her forward mast had been cleaved in half and Eric saw the broken bodies of some of her crew lying about the deck.

Williamson grimaced as he saw one of his own Aurors fall beneath the repeated blows of several dark wizards. He’d entered the battle with twenty wizards and witches, but attrition was taking its toll. He’d lost five aurors to the enemy, whoever they were. Williamson had been an auror a long time, longer than anyone still on the roster. He’d fought the Death Eaters and this new enemy looked like the Death Eaters of old. They dressed in black battle dress with bright silver death masks on their faces. Their curses were sharper, better executed, but their patterns were uniquely reminiscent of the old enemy. Even the Dementors seemed stronger, better at what they were doing. The five aurors he’d sent to hold off the rangy former guardians of the prison were barely holding on. One had been overwhelmed by the mass of despair and tragedy that accompanied the Dementors. Williamson felt a tightening in his gut. They’d win this part of the battle, only barely, but the oncoming enemy reinforcements would be able to take them unless Mortimer and his team could significantly weaken their opponents. Eric chuckled. Everything depended on how Teddy and his friends could handle the dragon. That would tell the tale. Eric shrugged and turned to face a half dozen more dark wizards.

***
“Why do we have to fight the dragon?” Richard moaned, his tinny voice carrying through the wind.

“Stop whining! You know why.” Graciela sent a fiery blast charm that rebounded against the chest of an intercepting wizard. “You better be right about this, Teddy. Victoire will kill me if I let something happen to you!”

Teddy flashed his best devil-may-care grin at his friend. “She won’t kill you if I do something stupid.”

Richard snapped back sharply. “Well, this certainly would qualify.”

“Come on, Richard, the plan is brilliant, if I do say so myself.” Teddy twisted his broom in a tight barrel roll and flashed a curse that turned one of the oncoming wizards into pig. He laughed. “Well, what do you know, pigs can’t fly, after all.”

Graciela’s brown eyes flashed in anger. “Teddy, you need to be serious here. Your plan is suicidal stupidity.”

“That’s the point, Gracie! It’s so stupid, it’s brilliant!” Teddy winked and continued his flight high into the sky.

“Who can argue with logic like that?” Richard lamented, sharing a glance with Graciela. Then his shoulders dipped a bit as they followed Teddy. “I’m allergic to dragon scales.” He sniffed.

“You’re allergic to anything that puts you in danger.” Graciela responded.

“Of course, I’m allergic to anything that might result in bloody, horrible death. Go figure!”

***
The Hungarian Horntail was of a particularly nasty disposition. It roared ferociously, punctuating its cries with lethal blasts of flame. A pair of Aurors ventured too close to its flight path and one was completely incinerated by flame while the other was knocked out by the dragon’s club like tail. Teddy and Graciela sent strong blasting charms towards the dragon. Both knew that the spells would have little or no effect, but the idea was draw the dragon’s ire towards them and away from the rest of Mortimer’s team.

The dragon let out a loud and frustrated cry and turned to pursue the three former Marauders. Its mighty leather wings flapped rapidly, trying to catch the twisting and turning fliers. Richard let fly a spell that sent a viscous gel out towards the dragon’s face, coating its eyes and momentarily blinding it. This only served to incense the creature. It clawed at its face with its small, front hands.

“Well, that’s got its attention.” Richard, once in battle, was completely serious and focused. “You ready?”

Teddy nodded.

Graciela reached out a hand and grasped the handle of Teddy’s nearby broom. “I still think this is a stupid idea.”

“Well, you always said that you’d love to be around when I make a mistake.” Teddy stood and balanced himself on his broom. “This could be it.”

Graciela frowned, her beautiful, tanned face showing its characteristic annoyance where Teddy was concerned. “It might be worth getting burned to a crisp to tell you ‘I told you so.’”

Teddy laughed and flipped a jaunty salute with his hand, and then leapt off his broom and catapulted himself into the open sky. Graciela pulled Teddy’s broom close to her and shoved it clumsily into her bag. Then she and Richard continued their twisting evasive flight from the dragon. The Horntail had scratched itself considerably removing the last of Richard’s goo charm from its face. It howled in rage and continued its flight , not aware that it was pursuing only two tormentors instead of the original three.

***
Over the years, Teddy had bounced around from career to career. He’d served a stint with Puddlemere United as a reserve Seeker, but despite his love of the game, he never felt like he quite fit in. He’d apprenticed with George Weasley in the Jokes and Gags Division, but again, while it was fun, he felt empty. He’d kept in touch with his friends. Both Graciela, who had caught on with the Holyhead Harpies, and Richard, who’d been accepted on the Tutshill Tornados, had not found the same excitement as they’d had being Marauders. They all loved Quidditch, and the dangers of the professional game were real, but over firewhiskeys at the Leaky Cauldron, they’d all decided that they wanted to do more, to be more. They decided to apply to be Aurors that day, together.
These recollections flashed through Teddy’s mind as he somersaulted through the air. He focused and spread his hands wide and began to feel the change. Like his mother, Teddy was metamorphmagus, possessed of the ability to assume any form or shape. It was one ability that he worked on with complete seriousness and attention. His arms turned to wings, his face drew forward into a beak and within seconds, he’d assumed the form of a large sea eagle. He swooped his wings down and propelled himself upward. The dragon ignored him, having categorized the bird as harmless. Teddy swooped up and then drew in his wings and dove down towards the dragon.

He felt the wind in his face. He was aware of who he was, but some part of him was also the bird, instinctively building speed, aiming for a point between the neck and shoulder blades of the dragon. The dragon was gaining on his friends. He made a mental grimace a flash of dragon fire singed the back of Richard’s broom. Teddy sharpened his angle of descent and his talons grabbed purchase on the dragon’s back.

Teddy resumed his normal appearance, holding tight onto the vertical scale plates on the dragon’s back. The dragon seemed to be aware of his presence, irritated at the presumption that someone would try to actually ride him. It roared and flipped itself inverted. Teddy felt his legs fall, while desperately clinging to the dragon’s back. The dragon flipped over again and Teddy wrapped his legs around the dragon’s neck, holding on tightly.

“Now!” Teddy shouted.

Graciela pulled Teddy’s satchel from her broom and flung it in the air, over her shoulder. Teddy extended his wand.

“Accio bag!” The satchel flew through the air and bounded into Teddy’s outstretched hand. Awkwardly, he slipped the strap of the bag over his head, as the dragon performed another somersault. Teddy clung on with his legs, this time inverting with the dragon and going back, right side up. Teddy’s hair was flashing shades of bright red and dark blue, his focus and seriousness ever focused. He reached into his bag and drew out a tapered spike, made of silver. He looked about the dragon’s back and spied a hole, lined in gold, directly over the junction where the dragon’s shoulders met. Without waiting, Teddy drove the spike into the hole.

Dragon tamers typically have a failsafe option, a way to interdict the beasts’ baser instincts. For Hungarian Horntails, this involved drilling a hole in the spine. The silver spike, when inserted, interrupted brain messages from the head to the rest of the body, effectively paralyzing the dragon.

The original plan had been to disable the dragon and for Teddy to transform back into a bird once the deed was done. But an idea, perhaps even dumber than the one he’d had for this stunt, entered Teddy’s mind. Being who he was, he acted on it.

***
Graciela and Richard pulled up to a hover and watched as Teddy plunged the spike into the dragon’s neck. They watched expectantly, as dragon’s body tensed and became rigid, then began a slow fall to the water far below. For a moment, they waited, expecting Teddy’s eagle to soar above. Graciela let out a low curse.

“What is that bloody fool doing?” Richard asked.

The dragon began to pick up speed, dead weight, falling. They saw glimpses of pink and purple hair, indications that Teddy was still on the beast’s back.

“Let go, Teddy!” Graciela screamed. “Something’s wrong! We’ve got to get him!”

The panic in her voice was exacerbated by the fact that both Richard and Graciela knew there’d be no way for them to reach Teddy before he plunged to his death below. They were too far away. All they could was watch the dragon continue its death plunge to the cold, unforbidding depths below.

A/N: Oh yes, cliff hangers!!! Muhahahahahahahahaha! I hope nothing happens to me...or to Teddy...

Best leave me Feedback, or the Metamorphmagus gets it!


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My Fanfics:
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Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders ; A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era (on hiatus); You Are Cordially Invited... (First Attempt)
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Old July 21st, 2011, 3:03 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 7 – Special Abilities

The cold hand of dread gripped Graciela as she watched the Horntail’s descent to the waters below. Events moved in slow motion, where she could make out every detail of the creature, every scale, every tooth, every ridge of the dragon’s lolling wings. Most of all, she saw her friend, Teddy, and his determined face as he clung to the dragon’s neck. The Horntail careened headfirst towards the black waters below. She felt the scream building in the back of her throat, unmindful of the chaos of the battle around her. She hardly noticed the dark wizard heading towards her, his wand extended, his face hidden behind his death mask. Richard sent a blasting charm that struck the man, sending his body flying upward into the clouds. The heat and pressure of the explosion struck Graciela, bringing her back to reality.

“Snap out of it, Gracie!” Richard snarled.

Graciela’s voice was weak, almost broken. “But Teddy…”

She turned in time to see the dragon strike the water, throwing a tremendous plume of water into the sky.

Richard lowered his head, “Teddy’s gone.”

Richard shook Graciela out of her stupor. Together, they were fighting off the dark wizards that had risen from the battle below to take them on. The fight on this end of the battlefield was not going well for the Aurors. Mortimer’s team was fighting well. Wizard for wizard, witch for witch, the Aurors were superior fighters, but the combination of numbers and the amount of dark magic that the unimpeded ships could throw into the fray was telling the tale. Mortimer had entered the battle with twenty three wizards. He was down to sixteen and each loss was actually a double the impact as another vital link in their battle strategy was compromised. There was no hope for help from the Discooperire and Eric’s team, considering the fight they were having on the other side of the prison.

Graciela stunned another opponent, but her eyes were drawn to the huge column of water that rose majestically into the sky where the Horntail had entered the sea. A dark figure emerged from the top of the water spout. Wings spread wide, the Horntail emerged, seemingly none the worse for the wear, and even more frightening. It roared and let fly a gout of flame that punctuated its return.

“This is not good!” Graciela shouted. “The spike must have been dislodged in the fall!” She was crestfallen. Teddy’s sacrifice had been for nothing. Now, they were lost. There was nothing else they could do.

***
Being a metamorphmagus was extremely rare in the wizarding world. Many wizards can be taught to be an animagus, but a metamorphmagus could assume any shape or form they wanted, but within limits. Most of the time, for most forms, it was simply a matter of concentration and will, and the wizard could assume that shape. But assuming the shape of a magical creature was very different. The physical being of magical creatures like a griffin or a phoenix contained very special magical properties that disavowed a metamorphmagus from taking that form without first touching the beast. Physical touch allows for the wizard to incorporate the creature’s unique magical essence into the transformation.

Teddy was an accomplished metamorphmagus and his unique relationship with Harry had afforded him the opportunity to get a “reading” on a number of magical creatures. He’d met Witherwings, er, Buckbeak at Hogwarts and did an excellent transformation into a hippogriff. He was the descendant of a werewolf father, so his werewolf was second to none. He’d managed to assimilate any number of magical creatures, but he’d never had the occasion to meet a dragon. As he rode the Horntail’s back, Teddy had an interesting idea. He tore off his leather gloves and ran his hand underneath one of the heavy scales of the dragon’s back and began reading the essence of the dragon.

Time was a factor. Dragons were wondrous, terrible and majestic magical creatures. Humans’ knowledge of their chemistry and biology barely scratched the surface. The amount of mystery that Teddy had to take in was massive. The real flaw in the plan was whether he had enough time to gather the right amount information and transform, before he became a flat, pink colored streak on the ocean floor. It would be close.

***
Graciela felt numb. Teddy was gone and the dragon was bearing down on them. They’d failed and the Aurors would lose the battle. She felt Richard draw closer to her, perhaps for a more coordinated attack. The dragon had seemed to turn towards them, coming directly at them. She steeled herself and raised her wand, prepared to go down fighting. Suddenly, Richard grabbed her arm.

“Wait. Look at the scales along the back of the dragon’s spine.” Graciela followed Richard’s gaze and looked closer at the Horntail. The vertical plates on the dragon’s back normally were a lighter shade of the dark grayish tan of the creature’s body. But on this dragon, the plates were alternating colors from bright red, to a garish purple, to blue to pink, like a string of Christmas lights on a particularly obnoxious Christmas tree. Her face showed her utter relief, and then darkened to a dark, menacing scowl.

“I’m going to kill Teddy.”

***
When he assumed a form, a good portion of Teddy remained whole. A tiny bit of the creature he became was resident, enough to tell Teddy how to function. That portion of the beast helped him experience the wonder and alien joy of being wild, of being a creature of nature. Assuming the form of a Hungarian Horntail was immensely satisfying. The dragon’s sight allowed him to take in every element of the battle all at once. He could see Eric and Captain Baretto’s battle coming to a close. He could see Harry, Ron and James approaching the breach point on the prison. He could make out Graciela and Richard in every detail, including the brooding, angry expression on Graciela’s face. She only got that way when she was mad at him. Most of all, he could see the desperation of the losing fight that Mortimer and his team were engaged in. It was time to change the odds.

Teddy banked on the tip of his wing and dove with a fury towards the nearest enemy ship. It was time to see how much of a game changer a dragon was in a battle.

***
Mortimer knew that he was running out of time. “Silas, make for the nearest ship. We’ll try to take it and disable from inside. That may keep the other one from firing on us!” Silas Hornsby, Mortimer’s longtime friend and fellow Auror nodded grimly and dove immediately for the dark shape of the enemy ship below.

Mortimer’s analytical mind took in the target ships. The vessel was long and narrow, hardly ideal for the heavy seas found near Azkaban. The ship was black, laden with barnacles and dead sea creatures who’d run afoul of the ship in its journeys. The crew seemed to shuffle from gun to gun, place to place. At the stern of the ship, the apparent captain stood next to the wheel, shouting orders in a hissing, foreign, yet familiar language. The captain was a large man, wearing a tricorner, peaked hat atop a head wild black hair and had a long, brambly beard. The beard was braided in places with the ends set afire and smoldering, the smoke twisting in front of the wild man’s ice gray eyes. He carried a large cutlass which snapped fire and spells at rapid intervals and he thumped around, his right leg gone, replaced by a knotty, ancient peg.

Mortimer and Silas landed at the bow of the ship and drew their wands. The nearest of the ship’s crew turned towards them and began to run towards the two Aurors with unbridled abandon. Silas sent a spell that propelled a sailor backward, but the man simply picked himself up and resumed his charge. Mortimer took a closer look at their adversaries.

They were dressed in rags, the clothes hanging torn and tattered from their bodies, which were withered and dried, almost skeletal. Their voices hung in the air, more a moan than anything coherent. Their eyes were empty, glazed over gray and white, not really seeing. They kept coming at the two men.

“Inferi!” Shouted Silas. He cast a fire spell outward that engulfed two of the nearest enemy. For a moment, it seemed as if the spell had worked, but the two men shrugged off the fire, the flames burning off what tattered remains of clothing were left.

Mortimer scowled. “Not Inferi, worse, they’re zombies.” Zombies were a bit more problematic. Inferi were the animated forms of dead bodies, but tended to be susceptible to the weakness of the shell they inhabited. Zombies differed, in that, an evil core existed inside the being, driven to destroy and very hard to control. It was dark magic, indeed, that the enemy had found a way to control zombies.

Mortimer reached inside his cloak and drew a long, sharp rapier, the blade flashing in the light of a nearby spell. “Draw your sword! The only way to defeat them is decapitation. We’ll have to do this old fashioned way.” He strode forward and brought his blade down in a speedy, dizzying arc. The edge of the blade cut through the neck of a nearby zombie, severing tissue and sinew, sending the head tumbling back towards the main deck. The headless body collapsed, while Mortimer, followed by Silas and few more of their newly arrived Aurors pressed on.

They cut their way towards the back of the ship, but reached a standstill in the middle of the main deck, near the main hold hatch. A seemingly endless stream of the creatures was pouring forth from the hold. There were simply too many of them. Mortimer and his team fought hard, cutting the zombies down by the score. The captain, perched at the stern, seemed to be cackling with satisfaction. The aurors were tiring, it was only a matter of time.

Suddenly, a loud roar reverberated through the air and a dark shadow descended from above. Mortimer glanced upward and felt a sense of utter dread as the Horntail landed on the main deck, above the endless wave of zombies. They were lost. Between the zombies and the dragon, there was no way for the aurors to prevail. The dragon roared again and then shot a blast of flame. Mortimer raised his arms in a futile attempt to cover his face from the flames, but the fiery death never came. He looked forward was utterly stunned. Normal flames have no affect on zombies, but dragon fire was mystical, it was magical and it was very effective on zombies. When the flames struck the undead body, it simply disintegrated. There was no ash, no burn, no remnants, only destruction. The Horntail obliterated the wave of zombies and sunk its claws into the deck below, crushing wood and steel, driving its tail into the very bowels of the ship, until it punched a hole through keel of the ship. The captain shouted in panic, his expression changed from smug contempt to one of utter desperation. The dragon stuck its head outward and aimed its snout at the second ship, nearby. He sent a blast of flame that stretched out and engulfed the other ship in a horrid torrent of green and blue flame which burned endlessly. Soon the ship was covered in an inferno of destruction, the decks literally melting and the ship plunging headfirst into the sea. There were no survivors.

The dragon turned and faced Mortimer. It seemed to stare at him, as if conveying a message. It gave a slight twitch of its head and Mortimer nodded. He turned to his remaining Aurors.

“Right, everyone off, back into the sky, all of you.” Mortimer stowed his sword and climbed aboard his broom. The aurors reached up into the sky. The dragon leapt into the sky. As it flapped its wings, gaining altitude, it craned its neck and sent a fiery blast at the remains of the ship below. It was consumed by the flames in a matter of minutes. The dragon glided along the air currents and swooped onto a new course, taking it towards the other half of the battle.

Mortimer stopped, rallying this remaining aurors around him. He saw Graciela and Richard approach and nodded.

“Good job, you two. How did you take control of the dragon?” He looked about the sky for the third member of their party. “Where’s Teddy?”

While Graciela stewed, Richard spoke up. “We didn’t take control of the dragon.” Richard pointed towards the large figure in the sky. “That is Teddy.”

Mortimer nodded. “Brilliant! That was an excellent idea. We should use that again, sometime.”

Richard noticed a slight tremor come from Graciela, whose fist was in a tight ball. Gracie was a strong woman, not tolerant of someone who can expose an emotional weakness she might have. Richard shook his head. “Uh, sir, I don’t know if Teddy will survive long enough for us to try it again.”

As if noticing Graciela’s mood for the first time, Mortimer nodded. “Pity.” Mortimer glanced back at the receding dragon as it began its first attack on the last enemy ship, “Sucks to be Teddy right about now.”

Graciela returned his statement with an icy stare. Silently, Mortimer led his team in the wake of the dragon.


A/N: Still not as much blood and guts, not yet. This is building into something big, along the lines of Simon Clark or the vampires arc from the previous fic. There are clues, but I've not yet given enough information as to WHO is behind all this and WHY are they coming after Harry?

More to come later...

I let Teddy live, for now, but unless I get FEEDBACK, I'm going to let Graciela at him.


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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)

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Old July 27th, 2011, 3:36 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 8 – Rash Acts

A massive, square stone counter sat at the center of the main reception floor of Azkaban prison. There were four broad passageways that radiated outward from the central desk in the four cardinal directions. Small cross corridors connected the main hallways at various points from the outer wall down to the main desk. When the mysterious wizards breached the north entrance, the defenders centered their resistance at the central desk, blocking cross passageway as they could. The influx of enemies was wearing them down. The dark wizards had managed to open one of the small passageways and gained access to the eastern corridor as well. Still, they held out. The fighting was vicious and no quarter was asked, or given.

The first indication that Harry had that there was a limit to the enemy’s forces was that no one was watching the landing where they had made their first penetration of the fortress’ walls. The tenor of the external battle made their approach less contested than he’d expected. The four aurors alit on the landing and peered down the wide hallway. Harry led the way, his back brushing the wall on the right. James followed close behind his father, pressing him, the need to get into the action making him anxious. Ron led Suttles down the left wall. The two pairs of aurors made their way silently, wands drawn, ready for anything.

Thick, gray smoke hung in the air, punctuated by flashes red and green light from the center of the floor, the sounds of curses hissing. Every so often, a wayward spell will pass them in the air, having missed its target. Other times, the grunts and yells of people could be heard where the spells hadn’t missed. They came to the opening of a cross passage, and Harry nodded to Ron with a knowing look. Ron pursed his lips and nodded back. He waved at Suttles and the pair turned down the passageway, looking to take the wizards in the eastern passage from the rear. Harry waited, counting to thirty and then continued his movement towards the sounds of battle.

James gripped his wand tightly, his heart raced in anticipation. For the umpteenth time, he bumped into his father, as Harry stopped and assessed the happenings down the corridor. Harry gave a withering glance at his son and held the tip of his wand to his lips, telling James to take his time. After a moment, Harry turned and continued his slow movement down the hall. The smoke began to dissipate and Harry bent his knees, proceeding forward in a crouch. James followed his father’s movements and inched forward.
The counter was now in sight. There were barricades thrown across the passageway, consisting of broken office furniture, massive rocks from the shattered walls and in some places, bodies of the attackers and defenders, including some of the mystical creatures that formed part of the defenses. Thus far, no one had seen them. There was a line of attackers behind the makeshift wall, sending curses towards whoever was holding them off behind the desk.

James’ eyes grew wide, his mouth drawn tight in a grimace. This was their chance. What were they waiting for? He stood and started walking forward, his arm held out. Harry made a lunge to grab at his son. He shouted in a barely heard whisper.

“James, what are you doing?” James eluded his grasp and continued on. Harry followed and then raised his wand.

“Stupefy!” James first spell struck a rather large man in the back, sending him careening forward into the wall. Before he hit the floor, James turned and aimed at the next witch in line. Harry sent a stun spell at another wizard. Father and son managed to take down a good half dozen of the dark wizards before they were noticed. There were still a good fifteen or so, still active and ten of them turned and began hurling curses at the two. The harsh green essence of a killing curse flew outward and Harry shoved James to the side roughly, just before the spell struck the younger Potter. Harry’s reaction was instinctive, he rolled to the floor and pointed his wand.

“Reducto!” A shattering explosion echoed in the hall, having stuck the heavy stone ceiling. Tons of rock and granite fell atop the wizards at the barricade and the shockwave blew back, funneled by the confines of the corridor. Harry was knocked off his feet and fell to the ground. A crack appeared in the ceiling continued growing, radiating down the corridor. Harry struggled to rise, the air having been forced from his chest by the explosion. Suddenly, the weakened roof gave way and Harry heard another explosion, and then, darkness.

***
Molinero sat in front a massive oak desk while the old woman was ensconced in a plush, high backed chair behind it. She’d led them into the frozen temple and high into the catacombs behind the main chamber. They entered a room that startled him in its incongruity. It was a well appointed office. The room had high ceilings with an immaculate crystal chandelier hanging from the center. The walls were lined with intricately carved bookcases interspersed with large framed oil paintings on the walls. The paintings were covered with black shrouds, hiding their portraits from his sight. There were no windows, although the main fixture of one of the side walls was a massive stone fire place with a sculpted mantle and another painting above it.

There was a blood red carpet on the wooden floor. The carpet seemed new, yet based on the intricate gold threadwork layered inside it, Molinero could tell it was older than he was. The old woman had removed her cloak and hung it on a coat tree near the door. Molinero fought down a gasp, as her appearance completely surprised him. She was short and frumpy, shaped like a fat pear. She wore patched and quilted housecoat in various shades of black and gray with a gray headscarf wrapped around her spindly white and gray hair. Her face was worn, and punctuated by a long, hooked nose that had a large, hairy mole at its tip. It was all he could do to not stare at the mole. She looked like a monochrome babushka, only uglier. She seemed to notice his discomfort, but said nothing. She shuffled around the desk and sat down in her seat with an audible sigh. She clapped her shriveled hands together and a hidden door opened in one of the bookcases. The pathetic figure of a house elf came from the opening, balancing a large silver tray precariously in her small hands. The house elf looked like a miniature version of the old woman, though her gait and demeanor was that of a creature that has lost all hope. She wore a tee shirt that came down to her knees. It was once red, but had faded over time. Molinero could barely make out lettering across the front, but could not distinguish what it said.

The house elf set the tray on top of the desk and quickly placed a cup and saucer of fine white china in front of the two wizards. Deftly, the house elf poured tea from a silver urn and then turned to leave.

“Putzfrau!” The crone’s voice made Molinero jump in his seat, striking like lightning. The house elf’s torn and tattered ears seemed to droop even more. Slowly, the pathetic little figure turned to face her mistress.

“What have you forgotten?” The old woman glared at the house elf, her hand resting on the desk, her stumpy fingers beating a staccato on the polished oak surface.

Decades of servitude taught Putzfrau to hold her tongue. She hadn’t forgotten anything. Her mistress wanted something, but as of yet, house elves could not read minds.

“Where are my strawberry scones? I always have strawberry scones with my tea.” Putzfrau nodded in acceptance. Her mistress hadn’t had scones since last year. Recently, she’d been taking cheesecake with her tea, but the elderly elf dared not mention it.

“Of course, mistress, Putzfrau is a horrible elf.” Putzfrau pounded her chest with her fist, hoping the punishment was enough. Of course, it never was. The woman reached down and grasped one of the elf’s ears and twisted, hard.

“Never mind now, I’ll do without, but don’t you forget my scones next time!” With a kick, she sent the house elf flying towards her bookcase entrance. The door closed behind the elf, leaving Molinero alone with the strange woman.

The woman turned in her seat and sipped at her tea. Her eyes were still red, but not as glaring as they’d been when she met him outside. They were more bloodshot, with just the haze of a glow in them. She stared at him and it seemed as if he could see her thoughts dancing behind the redness of her eyes. She set her cup down on the saucer and placed her hands on the desk.

“So tell me, Herr Muller, how did dear Tom Riddle meet his end?” She studied him and raised a finger in warning. “Tell me everything. I will know if you are lying.”

Molinero barely stopped himself from correcting her about his name. She was Gudrun Burwitz, after all. One rarely corrected one of the world’s greatest dark witches (especially if no one had heard of her before). He sipped his tea to compose himself and then started speaking.

“Tom Riddle was arrogant. He thought he’d figured out how to beat death. He was wrong…”

***

The explosion raised a thick pall of smoke and debris throughout the room. Ron choked back the dust and wiped the front of his robes. He’d been surprised to see the violence emanate from the other passageway. He and Katherine weren’t in position. When Harry had signaled him to take the side passage, Ron thought he’d seen Harry tap the top of his head, which was laid out the prearranged course of action they were to take. When Ron and Katherine were in position, Ron was to send a sparkler spell to the center of the passageway to allow he and Harry coordinate their attack. Ron guessed that perhaps Harry had been spotted before Ron was in position. Still, the results were messy and probably a lot bloodier than they needed to be.

The room was silent. Whatever caused Harry to act, the end result was that the remaining dark wizards were down. Most were not breathing, the compression of the blast and the weight of tons of rock and stone crushing their bones. Ron inched forward, studiously stepping over debris and body parts, making his way to the counter. He turned to Suttles.

“Start looking through the rubble. See if any of them are alive. We need prisoners.” The slightly built young woman nodded. Ron could see the uncertainty in her eyes as she glanced towards the corridor that Harry and James were supposed to come down.

Ron followed her gaze and started making his way there, looking around for any sign of Harry. His journey was interrupted by the sound of coughing. He saw a head pop up from behind the counter. A short man, barely two thirds Ron’s height made his way around the counter and held up his hand in greeting. He was covered in powdery white dust, his reddish brown hair covered in layers of it. He had a cut across the bottom of one eye and he looked like he hadn’t slept in a month. He had a broad, muscular chest with a slight thickening around his midsection, a testament to middle age. He coughed heavily and smiled at Ron.

“Hey Ron, I thought you Aurors were trained to be delicate?” He took in the destruction as more of the guard aurors emerged from their positions and began to shore up the walls. “Subtle, Ron, very subtle approach you got there.”

Ron laughed. “Jimmy Peakes, as I live and breathe, how the heck did you end up at Azkaban?”

Jimmy was a couple of years behind Ron and Harry at Hogwarts. Despite his diminutive stature, he was an excellent beater and played Quidditch ferociously. He shrugged his shoulders.

“I couldn’t cut it with the Cannons, so I went into Magical Law Enforcement.” Jimmy smiled and looked around. “Seriously, you guys almost blew this place up. Was that the plan?”

Ron shook his head. “No, in fact, this took me by surprise. Harry was supposed to stun the wizards in the north passage, while I got the guys in the east passage.” Ron stared at the piles of rubble in the north passage. “Has anyone seen Harry or James?”

The silent reply sent a twinge of panic through Ron’s chest. He charged into the remains of the north passage and began furtively digging through the debris. Soon he was joined by the survivors of Azkaban’s guard force. A nameless wizard shouted after a moment.

“Over here!” Ron moved over and found the man standing over a figure with bright red Weasley hair. Ron reached down and pulled James from the floor and helped the young auror sit up.

Ron reached and felt along James’ neck and exhaled deeply as he found a pulse. “James, can you hear me?”

James shook his head to clear the cobwebs and looked up at is uncle. “Where’s Dad?”

Ron looked around hurriedly. Jimmy Peakes was across the passage, kneeling over another still figure.

“Harry’s here. He’s alive.” The room let out a collective sigh. Harry began to stir and sat up, holding his hand to his head. Slowly, he began to rise.

“Steady, Harry, you’ve got quite a gash on your head.” Jimmy gripped Harry’s arm to steady him. Harry nodded both a hello and thanks to his old friend.

“I’m okay.” Harry looked over to Ron and James. “You okay, James?”

“I’m okay, Dad.” James struggled to his feet and stood. Harry walked over to him and James held out his arms, expecting his father’s embrace. Instead, Harry placed his hand in the center of his son’s chest and pushed him against the wall.

“Good, because a lot of people died today because you didn’t listen.” Harry leaned close to his son, ignoring Ron’s restraining hand on his shoulder. “If you’re going to be an auror working for me, you’re going to obey orders. This isn’t some sort of wild west show, this is serious business. We’re not here for your amusement. The next time you go off kilter and try to Rambo your way into a fight, you will be finished. Do I make myself clear, Mr. Potter?”

James was visibly shaken, surprised and shocked at his father’s reaction. His first instinct was defiance, then, as the events of the previous few minutes started to sink in, his face lowered in shame.

“Yes sir. I understand.”

Harry released his grip and turned. “Status?”

A voice punctuated the tension in the air. A wizard in the far corner shouted. “We’ve got a prisoner over here.”

Harry and Ron moved over to an area near the main counter. Somewhere, someone had found a metal folding chair and sitting on it was one of the enemy wizards. His black robes were caked with rubble and dust and his silver death eater mask was cracked and broken on the floor below his feet. He had long platinum blonde hair and despite being a prisoner, he held his nose in the air in a sense of superiority and arrogance. He had cold gray eyes that blazed in defiance and he smiled without any warmth or humor.

Harry checked his surprise, not at the man’s presence but at the fact that his looks, his demeanor were of a man from thirty years in the past. The man studied Harry like a jungle cat stalking his prey.

“Well, well, Potter, you think you’ve gotten the best of me, but you haven’t won anything. Enjoy your victory while you can, because the Dark Lord will have you in the end.”

Harry straightened his shoulders and stared at man, his green eyes fixing the other’s gray orbs until the man finally looked away. Finally, Harry spoke.

“Well Lucius, no matter what your appearance, things never seem to change.” He motioned for one of the guards to paralyze the prisoner. “You still can’t beat me on your best day.” The guard led the younger Lucius Malfoy away towards an interrogation room. Harry turned to Jimmy Peakes, who was visibly shaken at seeing Malfoy.

“Harry, I’m telling you right now, that is not Lucius Malfoy. He’s in lockup. I know, I saw him, I visually verified his presence.”

“I don’t doubt you, Jimmy. Why don’t you bring your prisoner up to the interrogation room as well?” He turned to Ron and Katherine, noticeably ignoring James for the moment.

“It’s time to find out what the hell is going on.”


A/N: We're starting to get there, but not quite yet. Is the Dark Lord back? Is there someone else out there? Who knows? Wait, I do, and I'll start sharing with you if you leave me some freaking FEEDBACK!


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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; July 27th, 2011 at 3:41 pm.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 7:31 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 9 – Who Am I, Really?

“Wake up, Al. We’re burning daylight.” The flap of his tent was flipped open abruptly and Albus Severus Potter groaned to himself and rubbed the sleep from eyes. He turned his wrist and stared at his watch and winced as he saw it was few minutes after five in the morning.

“Burning daylight? What daylight?” Through sleep blurred eyes, he saw the broad smile of John McBryde, one of his traveling companions.

“Get up, already. We’ve got to get going or we won’t get back before dark.” McBryde was a tall, African American from Dayton, OH. He had a broad chest and thick arms and Albus’ roommate at Columbia. It was at his insistence that Albus had decided to change his plans to go home for the holidays and go on a camping trip through the most remote parts of the Appalachian Trail. Not for the first time, Albus wondered if he’d made the right decision. He nodded his head and waved his friend away.

Quietly, Albus moved to the tent opening and pulled it close. He reached into his bag and pulled his wand and held it in the air. With a few quick, mumbled words, the tent flap sealed and the tent itself suddenly expanded into a spacious, open air environment.

“That’s better.” He moved quickly, without speaking and showered and dressed. It wouldn’t do for one of his friends to try to open the tent and goose him further. He packed his pack and kit for the climb. After a look around, he drew his wand and returned his tent to its muggle parameters and walked through the flap.

The brisk cold of the late fall morning permeated his bones, even through his insulated jacket. Albus was tall and lanky, a testimony to his mother’s side of the family. His shoulders seemed wider than they were, due to his mother’s constant insistence that he stand straight up and throw his shoulders back, instead of resorting to the traditional slump that usually accompanied taller people. His hair was a wild tangle in jet black. No matter how hard he worked to rein it in, regardless of the number haircuts he had, Albus could simply not control his hair. The other gift he received from his father (and his grandmother, for that matter) was his eyes. They were dark shade of viridian, piercing and soft at the same time. Unlike his father, Albus did not wear glasses, so his eyes weren’t framed or hidden behind appliances. They were open to the world, and generally intense. The blazed coolly, like a glacier in winter when Albus was upset and enveloped those around like a warm embrace, whenever Albus was happy. Their sheer intensity often overwhelmed those around him and he’d taken to being withdrawn and shy in large groups.

His roommate, John McBryde, was Albus’ polar opposite in personality and exuberance. It was as if the computer at the housing office programmed to find divergent personalities and ensure that they became roommates. John was everything Albus was not. Popular, outgoing and outwardly unmoved by spectacle and limelight, John was studying to pre-law and was well on his way to being a flamboyant trial attorney. For some reason, the two men got along well. They complemented each other’s strengths, although it pained John that Albus didn’t seem to take to people well. John seemed to fly through girlfriends, often having dates with two, even three different women on any given weekend. Not to be deterred, John insisted on including Albus in attending parties, going out to clubs or to sporting events, making sure Albus was included in John’s wide circle of friends.

All of John’s efforts culminated in this winter trip to the mountains. They were with a group of people John knew through his law studies. All were law students, most having parents who were accomplished practicing attorneys in their own right. Albus found them intimidating. Almost all of them seemed overly self-assured and confident, seemingly bred to greatness and success. Albus felt he didn’t fit in with them, and for their part, none of them seemed to go out of their way to bring him into their circle. But they wanted to be around John. John exuded greatness. They wanted to be part of that greatness. They wanted to be part of whatever circle of success that John would most assuredly be part of. So, they accepted Albus, in a way, if only to be part of John’s circle.

Albus walked out towards the fire. He saw John heading down the trail towards one of the bathroom lodges that dotted the campsite. As he neared, four of the group was huddled around the fire, their backs to him. Two girls and two boys were talking in low tones, their hands held near the fire against the bitter cold of the morning. Jenny Colber was a plain-faced blonde girl whose father was a founder in one of Boston’s more prestigious law firms. It had been a veritable scandal that she’d chosen Columbia over Harvard. Anne Forester was her best friend. Coincidentally, Anne’s father was Mr. Colber’s partner in the law firm. Hunter Reynolds was thin, short man whose bout with male pattern baldness had begun when he was sixteen. To compensate, he’d shaved his thinning brown hair off completely and steam was rising off his bare head in the morning mist. Kyle Fratelli was the scion of an old Philadelphia family who were both lawyers and politicians. He was a large boy, and his bright orange quilted snow jacket made him look like a parade float. Whispers of their conversation drifted to Albus before they could see him.

“He’s just weird, Jenny.” Hunter’s reedy voice seemed louder than it really was. “No one knows anything about him. Let’s face it, ‘Potter’ is a common name, even for England.”

“Yeah, and do you see his clothes?” Kyle was particularly conscious of brands and names on the labels of clothing. “Not a decent label on a stitch. He dresses so…common.”

“Well I heard he’s here on scholarship.” Anne’s nasal inflection made the word “scholarship” sound like an epithet. “I don’t know what John sees in him.”

Jenny Colber had been silent. She sighed and with a shrill giggle, shrugged her shoulders. “He’s just a passing fad for John. You know how he takes on some sort of charity project until he gets bored, and then he goes on the next one. Think of little Al as his pro bono work for the year.”

The group laughed together. Albus stood for a moment and then cleared his throat. The people around the fire grew silent, unsure of how much Albus had heard. Albus nodded to them and sat at the fire and stared at them. The cold ice of his green eyes stopped all thoughts of conversation. The silence grew longer and awkward. None could meet his stare until John’s voice echoed from nearby.

“Morning everyone!” John drew up to the fire and sat next Albus. “It’s great to see everyone up. Let’s go! It’s going to be great day.”

Albus stood and looked over at Jenny Colber, locking eyes with her, allaying all doubts. She knew he’d heard every word. After a moment, Albus hitched his daypack to his shoulders and followed John down the trail.

***
The cell was long and narrow, very much like a train car. The walls and floor were gray, dismal, yet clean. On one side, a narrow cot stood made, its blankets folded with sharp creases, its single pillow fluffed as much as it could. At the end of the cell was a metal desk with a single, wooden chair. The man seated in the chair rose as the cell door opened and Harry and Jimmy Peakes walked in.

Lucius Malfoy looked thirty years older. The once smooth skin of his face was corded with wrinkles and his eyes were gaunt. He looked tired and worn, yet his gray eyes still held fire. Almost automatically, he assumed a pose of superiority, his nose rising ever so slightly into the air. His platinum white hair was pulled into a tight ponytail, nary a strand out of place and Harry couldn’t tell which was original color and which had paled due to age and incarceration. Harry fought down a smile. Lucius Malfoy had lost much in life, but he hadn’t lost his arrogance.

“Ah, Potter, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company?” Malfoy put his hands behind his back and stood tall. “No doubt, you will want to explain the change in my routine over these past few weeks?”

“Sit down, Lucius.” Harry crossed his arms and stared Malfoy down. Malfoy thought about defying Harry. Then, as if thinking such an approach would only prolong Harry’s visit, sat down.

“Now then, Lucius,” Malfoy winced at Harry’s casual use of his name, but remained tight lipped. Harry continued. “As it happens, the prison has been under attack, but you know that, don’t you?”

“It’s hard to ignore the sounds of killing curses and explosions.” Lucius conceded. “I can only hope that your muggle-loving government has run into a bit of trouble. The mudbloods getting a bit unappreciative, are they?”

Harry wanted to knock the smug grin from Malfoy’s face, but held back. Instead, Harry smiled.

“Actually, we changed governments a few months back. We have a new Minister of Magic.”

Malfoy sneered. “No doubt, he’s a muggle.”

“Worse, he’s Irish.” Harry laughed at the look of incomprehension on Malfoy’s face. “But the real problem is who has been attacking Ministry officials and who attacked this prison.”

“What has that to do with me?” Malfoy asked , a look of genuine curiosity crossing his face.

“Well, now that you ask, why don’t I show you?” Harry turned to the open door. “Bring in the prisoner.”

Mortimer pushed the captured dark wizard through the door. His hands were bound in front of him and a leather gag was covering his mouth, but there was no doubt who he appeared to be. He was the younger version of the cell’s sole occupant. The older Malfoy gasped audibly and rose from his chair.

“What is this? What are you playing at, Potter?” Gray eyes met gray eyes. The younger doppelganger didn’t seem surprised, yet there was a definite look of shock and fear on his face. He squirmed and fought against Mortimer’s grasp. Harry reached up and pulled off the prisoner’s gag.

“I thought you two should meet. You seem to have very much in common.” Harry watched the prisoner’s face. There was definitely terror in his eyes. Then Harry turned to Malfoy. “This man, and men like him have been attacking us. They claim the Dark Lord is back. What do you know of this?”

Malfoy seemed at a loss and then he turned to Harry. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Abruptly, he pulled up the sleeve of his shirt and displayed his dark mark tattoo. It was faint and faded, barely discernable. “I would know if the dark lord had returned, whether I wanted to or not.” Lucius then placed the tip of his cold finger against Harry’s forehead. “And so would you.”

Harry recoiled slightly. It was true, he’d felt a tingling in his scar, but not as painful, not as distinct as before. Harry wondered if it was simply an unconscious reaction to the situation. Malfoy’s scar was clearly not active, which gave Harry an idea. He turned to the prisoner and pulled up the sleeve of his robe, exposing his forearm.

He had a tattoo, but not a dark mark. It was a small circle, with two broken straight lines in the center. Harry recognized it immediately but his brain refused to believe his eyes. In his hesitation, the younger Malfoy began to laugh.

“The Dark Lord is back, only he’s not the charlatan you know. He’s not that failure of a wizard, Voldemort!”

Lucius Malfoy had no reason to be offended. Voldemort had nearly killed his son, had nearly killed him, yet years of devotion were ingrained. He ran forward and grabbed the younger Malfoy by the throat.

“How dare you speak of my lord in that manner!”

The young man screamed. It was a shrill, piercing cry of utter horror and pain. Harry grabbed Lucius and pulled him off the man. Mortimer was thrown backwards as the bindings on the man’s wrist snapped and the man threw his arms outward. His skin began to crack and harden. Light burst from his eyes and ears and his shouts of pain grew harsher and louder, echoing maddeningly in the small room. His body shimmered and then crackled, his voice grew steadily silent and then there was one sudden blast of blinding light and then, silence.

Harry’s vision cleared and he stared at what was left of the younger Malfoy. Where he once stood, there was a dead, gray tree. On its surface, there was the etched figure of the man who had been there. Harry moved forward and ran his fingers along the carved features of the man’s face in the tree. The surface was warm, yet brittle. Pieces of bark broke off in Harry’s fingers. Then, there was a snap. The center of the tree trunk cracked open and a small, gray figure fell to the floor from the crevice in the trunk.

The creature was furry, with bits of leather skin connecting its hands to its feet, like a bat’s wings. Its eyes were bright red, open, even in death, lacking lids. It had a small, gnome-like mouth with razor sharp teeth. It lay on the floor, unmoving, dead as far as Harry could tell.

Mortimer drew closer and stared at the tree and then the strange body on the floor. “What is it?”

“I don’t know.” Harry responded, afraid to touch the small creature.

“It’s an aswang.” Harry turned. Lucius Malfoy was seated in his chair, his hands shaking in front of him.

Harry looked at the creature and then at Malfoy. “Aswang? What’s an aswang?”

Lucius took a deep breath. “The dark lord had shown interest in them in the early days. They were found in the Philippines. They’re shape shifters of a sort. They’re more parasitic. They take the form of someone and become that person. The dark lord was looking at using them instead of relying on the Imperious Curse or Polyjuice potion.”

“How do they copy their host?” Harry asked.

Malfoy shrugged his shoulders. “They drink blood. They’re also vampiric.”

“How the heck did they know to copy Malfoy?” Jimmy Peakes had finally recovered his voice. “None of those things has gotten in here, I can tell you that.”

Malfoy exhaled loudly. “Part of becoming a death eater, part of giving your allegiance to the dark lord requires the servant to give blood, to be drained in order to receive your dark mark. You’ve seen part of the process, Potter.”

Harry spared a glance to the long scar that marked his left forearm. Then Harry turned to Lucius. “You said Voldemort looked at using them, why didn’t he?”

“They couldn’t be controlled.”

Harry snorted. “You mean, he couldn’t figure out how to control them.” Malfoy remained silent, confirming Harry’s suspicion.

“Well someone figured out how to control them and is using them now.” Mortimer said. “How do we figure out who?”

The question hung in the air as Harry looked back the wood carving that had been a young Lucius Malfoy. His gaze fell upon the etched remains of the being’s arm, the tattoo had been preserved in relief.

“I don’t know who is behind all this, but I know where to start.”

Mortimer followed Harry’s gaze. “Where?”

Harry pointed to the symbol in the circle, the two interlaced broken lines. It was a symbol of racial purity, arrogance and true evil. It was a swastika.

“We find out when in his life Tom Riddle talked to the Nazis.”


A/N: Kind of a long winded chapter. I know. I had to bring Albus in, because he'll have a part. We're getting there. More to come this week.

Feedback, please, please, please.


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Old August 3rd, 2011, 2:48 pm
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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.


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Last edited by USNAGator91; August 3rd, 2011 at 2:52 pm.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 6:14 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 11 – Family Blues

Hogsmeade Station bustled with excitement and anticipation. Throngs of students were bidding each other farewell, but there was no sense of delay. Unlike the end of the school year, the winter holiday break didn’t bring a sense of finality to the passengers who were boarding the train. The Hogwarts’ students knew they were returning and the vast majority looked forward to going home, their moods lightened by the onset of Christmas. A single figure meandered through the crowd, studiously ignoring the revelry of the moment.

Lily Luna Potter was gifted with stunning beauty. She wore a dark robe with an ermine lined hood hanging from her shoulders. Her hands were kept warm in a muff that matched the fur on her robe. Though not tall, her bearing was straight, her delicate shoulders held back and her chin slightly raised. She had a warm complexion, her skin smooth with freckles that seemed less a mark and more an accentuation of her beauty. Her hair was a dark hue of red, fine and full and long, reaching down, almost to the middle of her back. She wore it loose, carefully cared for and brilliant in the winter sun. Like her mother, she had warm, brown eyes that seemed to embrace when she was happy and smolder when she was enraged. Today, they practically seethed as she walked the platform and for the most part, the other students unconsciously steered clear of her path.

Well, most of the students avoided. Lily felt a hand lightly grasp her shoulder. She whirled around, her eyebrows arched and her hand grasping her wand inside her hand warmer.

“A bit jumpy aren’t you, did you think a death eater was attacking?” Hugo Weasley smiled at his cousin, and almost immediately, the fierceness of her mood seemed to dissipate, if only a bit. Hugo, like every other Weasley boy, was tall, close to six foot two. He had a long nose and bright blue eyes and looked very much like his father, had Ron had been able to attend his seventh year at Hogwarts. While his physical appearance was like his father’s, his demeanor was very much his mother’s. He was a brilliant student, although he’d managed to not maintain a “know it all” attitude at school, probably as a result of all of his father’s friends that actually taught at the school. He wore the head boy’s shield on the lapel of his robes and yet, many of the students passing by, regardless of year, seemed to smile and nod in his direction.

Hugo had a giving heart, and much to his father’s chagrin, never really seemed to develop a knack for trouble. In fact, Hugo had seemed to develop into the conscience of his extended family, a physical manifestation of the nobility and heroism of Weasleys and Potters. His smile was warm and the black cloud of Lily’s mood had completely disappeared.

“I am not jumpy.” Lily replied, but the tension in her shoulders visibly eased.

Hugo’s eyes twinkled. “You’re bothered that you have to ride with grandfather.”

A flash of anger passed Lily’s face, though not directed at her cousin. “It’s not fair. I want to ride with my friends.” Hugo let it pass. Lily’s history at Hogwarts did little to garner a parade of close friends. She’d managed to burn too many bridges. Her lips pursed into a pout.

“It’s like my parents don’t trust me.”

“Can you blame them?” Hugo asked. If it had been any other person, Lily would have probably hexed him for his temerity. Instead, she raised her chin even more.

“I don’t know what you mean.” Her attempt to feign innocence failed miserably.

“Let’s see, you levitated the entire Slytherin first year class and had them doing aerobatics. You hexed Perrin Zabini so badly that he spent a whole month in the hospital wing until all the mold could be removed from his ears.” He paused and placed his hand on his chin, in a thoughtful pose. “Let’s see, oh yes, you created a lake on the third floor landing and then froze it right before the Hufflepuff third years were walking to Divination class with their crystal balls.” She held up her hands in surrender, but he continued. “And all that was just this year. Should I start on what you did during the NEWTs?”

“Okay, okay, you made your point.” She dropped her hands by her side. “Sometimes I just want to leave. I don’t want to be here anymore.”

Hugo reached out to her shoulders and grasped them with his hands. He locked his eyes on hers and nodded. “I know, Lily. Believe it or not, I understand. It never is easy being related to living legends. Our entire family tree is full of people who have done great things, both in and out of school. Look at Albus, he just went away. We all deal with being who we are in different ways, but consider this. You’re almost done. You only have one more semester left and then you can make your own choices. I mean, you have seven Quidditch clubs recruiting you.”

“Eight.” She corrected him. One of the more constructive outcomes of Lily’s aggressive nature was that she was an amazing beater on the Gryffindor House team. Many a chaser and seeker on the opposing teams had frequent visitor privileges with Madame Pomfrey.

“Eight, then. You’ll have your choice of teams to play for, or you could choose not to play. You just need to be patient.”

Lily laughed. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but patience is a trait sorely lacking in our family.”

Hugo laughed with her. “I know, but you can do it, Lily. I believe in you.” He paused and she finally nodded. He dropped his hands. “Look, I have to go to the Prefects’ compartment and check then I’ll come down and sit with you and grandfather. After all, SOME of his stories are pretty good.”

She smiled and nodded, when a familiar voice reached them. “Ah, there you are Lily.” Arthur Weasley strolled up to where they were standing. He wore faded blue jeans that had visible tears all along the front and back. On his feet, he wore a pair of black canvas Converse All Star sneakers and he had a thick, quilted flannel jacket over a bright orange tee shirt. His gray, thinning hair was hidden beneath an orange hunting hat that had large flaps on the side, covering his ears. He carried a square, metal lunchbox with a painted scene from the series “Happy Days” on the front. He approached his two grandchildren and gave them a thumbs-up.

“Ayyyy, how are youse guys doin’?” He said in his best Arthur Fonzerelli.

Lily held up a hand. “Oh no, grandpa, you will NOT talk in that ridiculous voice for this trip.”

Arthur’s face fell a bit, and then a smile returned. “As you wish, my dear, but you could learn a lot from the Fonz.”

“I’m sure, but I’d rather not learn anything. I’m officially on holiday.” She responded. Despite her anger, she had a soft spot for her grandfather, who was unfailingly positive.

“Right you are, and so am I.” He offered her his arm. “Shall we? I got an owl from Albus and he told me about a most remarkable muggle invention. Have you ever heard of ‘Play Doh?’”

As he led her away, she turned and looked pleadingly at Hugo, who was holding back a laugh. Hugo mouthed to her, “I’ll join you as soon as I can.”

She replied. “You’d better.”

As Arthur started discussing the many colors of Play Doh, Hugo gave one last message. “Maybe I’ll be late.”

Before she could respond, she was on board the train.

***
The trek up the mountain trail was arduous, but not too difficult. John McBryde led, his pace brisk, and he seemed to ignore the complaints and mutterings from his friends. Albus, however, walking directly behind John, heard them. For the most part, they complained about the effort. They were spoiled brats, thought Albus, used to easy living among privileged elite, and not used to having to toil, especially as a form of recreation. Their comments, especially Jenny Colber’s, were not limited to their dislike of where they were. There were several snide comments about Albus as well, and spoken loud enough where they knew he heard them. His hair was weird, unkempt, like a vagabond’s. His jeans were faded and worn, so obviously he must come from common stock. It was at this point, that their comments began to really bother Albus.

Jenny was talking to Anne Forester, in a loud whisper which echoed loudly in the mountain air.

“I bet his parents are blue collar. I bet they ‘work’ for a living.” She spoke with a sneer on every word and Anne giggled. Egged on, Jenny continued. “They probably get paid by the hour, maybe in the service industry.”

“I think you hit it on the head.” Kyle Fratelli was breathing heavily. Despite the brisk winter cold, sweat was pouring down the front of his face and his fat cheeks were flushed from the exertion. “I bet his mother is a maid somewhere.”

Albus stopped abruptly and spun around, his eyes were an icy emerald, as if they could burn through the four people behind him.

“You’ve seemed to have hit a nerve Kyle.” The last of the foursome, Hunter Reynolds spoke up. Jenny chimed in, a hint of triumph in her voice at having been able to get a reaction from Albus.

“You’re right Hunter.” She spoke, her black, boring eyes looking right at Albus. “Worse yet, maybe he doesn’t know his father, maybe his mother had a tryst with some rich man. That’s why Al here thinks he belongs with us?”

Albus seethed. He felt an itch in the palm of his hand, yearning to grab his wand and to hex the daylights out of these people.

“You people are a complete waste of oxygen.” He said quietly. “For your information, my parents are great people, of noble families.”

Jenny sniffed. “We know the royal family, and there are no ‘Potters’ among them.”

“Royalty does not define nobility.” Albus said. Jenny rolled her eyes while the other three had blank looks on their faces, not really understanding what he’d said. Jenny pressed on.

“So they are commoners, aren’t they? What does your father do, Albus?” Jenny challenged him. For a moment, the thought of telling them about the great Harry Potter tempted him, but he restrained the impulse.

“He’s a policeman.”

“Ha!” Jenny exclaimed with a note of triumph in her voice. “He IS a commoner. Your father is nothing more than a flat footed bobby, no good for more than taking pictures with tourists.”

Albus clenched his fists and took a step towards Jenny. “I have just about enough of you. You’re a lazy, fat, spoiled little rich girl who is just going to school to find her a husband. You’ll never amount to anything in life.”

A dark expression passed over Jenny’s face, but she held her ground. “I was born to matter. You, on the other hand, will be nothing more than a servant for people like me. You don’t matter a bit, Albus. You weren’t born to greatness, you don’t come from the right blood line.”

The history of the past fifty years was something that was heavily emphasized at Hogwarts. The notion of blood purity and the price paid by wizards and muggles alike over the notion of who was pure and who was tainted was foundation that the Potter and Weasley families had built their reputations. They were defenders of liberty, regardless of whether they were active guardians like Harry and Ron. The notion of standing up to those who thought they were purer than anyone else was ingrained in all of them. While Albus had chosen to live among muggles, he had not given up the core of what made him Harry Potter’s son.

“You just proved how much of a stupid and ugly cow you really are.” He stepped closer to her. “I may be common, but I can always find fortune and fame, but you, Jenny, will always be an ugly cow, no matter your ‘bloodline’”.

She reached out her hand and slapped him across the face. “How dare you!”

Just then, John McBryde’s voice stopped everyone in their tracks. “What’s going on here?”

Jenny shouldered her way past Albus and placed the tip of her finger on John’s chest.

“Did you hear what he said? He’s a bully, John. We don’t need someone like him around.”

John looked at Albus and then at Jenny. “I heard.”

Jenny turned her head towards Albus and sneered in triumph. But John continued.

“In fact, I heard everything, the entire conversation.” Jenny’s mouth stopped in mid smile. “I’ve heard everything you’ve said, this entire trip and the only thing I don’t understand is why I didn’t dump you losers a lot sooner.”

Jenny turned back, the shock registering on her face. “John, you can’t mean that. We’re your people.”

For the first time that Albus could remember, John’s normally ebullient expression became grim and serious. “You know what, Jenny? My father is a policeman too, and my mom cleans houses to make ends meet. I wonder how you treat them if you ever met them.”

“But John, we don’t mean you don’t belong, but Potter, he’s just not like us.”

The smile returned to McBryde’s face. “You know what, that’s the first thing you’ve said that I agree with.” He signaled to Albus. “Come on, Al, let’s finish the hike. Let’s not continue to offend our friends here with our common presence.”

Albus cinched up his pack and followed behind his friend. Not once did he turn to look at the stunned expressions of the four they left behind.

***
Despite her age, Gudrun Burwitz walked at a pace that forced Juan Molinero to quicken his pace. They strode through the halls until they came to a large room. A simple sign in German said “Congregation Hall”. The room was large, but not open. There were tiers and tiers of alcoves along the walls and arranged in rows in the middle of the room. Each alcove was about the height of a man and just wide enough to accommodate a single person. Inside the alcoves, Juan saw the black robed figures of the dark wizards that have served as the primary fighting arm for them. He peered inside one of the little pods and saw one of the wizards standing inside. He was covered head to foot in his dark robes, with its cowl pulled up over his head. His face was half covered by a black, gauzy shroud, which wrapped over his mouth and forehead, leaving just a slit that exposed his eyes. His eyes were shut, the skin a greenish gray hue, mottled with black spots. Along the aisles, dozens of house-elves wandered the floor, each carrying a tiny clipboard, checking each alcove as the wizards stood in repose.

One of the elves approached. He walked upright, almost proudly. He had nothing on, save for a starched white Peter Pan collar and a golden monocle affixed to his right eye. He seemed to sniff in contempt towards Molinero and stopped and offered Burwitz a slight nod of his head. When he spoke, his manner was crisp and aristocratic and despite his diminutive height seemed to be looking down at them, through his monocle.

“All Totersoldat are in repose, mien frau.” He paused and pulled the monocle from his eye and huffed on it. He snapped his fingers and a bright white handkerchief appeared. He rubbed some nonexistent smear from the glass and replaced it, snapping the handkerchief away. ”Is there something I can help you with?”

“It’s time, Diener.” She responded, despite her rush, maintaining her composure. “It’s time to wake up my father.”

The house-elf seemed to hesitate and then he nodded slowly. He walked past the pair and out the door. Burwitz turned and followed the house-elf leaving Molinero to chase after them.

They walked out of main entrance, the letters above that spelled “Purity” seemed to stare them down. The crossed the open area to the next building, the foreboding letters spelling out “Power” forcing Molinero’s heart to race. Diener, the house-elf, reached the large bronze doors at the entrance of the building, each door adorned with a swastika in relief. He reached his hand up and touched one of the evil symbols and the doors swung open.

They found themselves in a foyer, the floors of highly polished marble, inlaid with gold. Torches hung on sconces on the walls but the room was without decoration or signage. There was another pair of doors on the opposite wall, these made of silver and gold. Standing in front of the door was a man. He was huge, almost seven feet tall and half as broad. He wore an immaculate black uniform, with silver piping and a death’s head insignia on each collar. He had polished high topped boots and a red armband with a swastika on his arm. He looked like every Nazi SS trooper that Molinero had seen on television and in movies, except he really wasn’t a man. His skin was ashy and wrinkled, almost pickled, as if he’d been dead for decades. His hair was white, in a flat top. His eyes had no irises, but were milky white, glossy. In fact, the man was dead, yet not mindless, like an Inferi. He was a trottel, a zombie, charmed to do one job, protect the room beyond the doors. He spoke in deep voice, his looking but not seeing. He held a large axe in his hands.

“Who wishes access to my master’s house?”

Burwitz stepped forward. “I am Baisermort, the ‘Kiss of Death’, here to see my father. It is time for him to awaken.”

“You are recognized Baisermort. You may enter.”

The guard stepped to the side and the doors opened soundlessly. With the house-elf leading the way, the three entered the chamber and despite all he’d seen, Juan Molinero felt his breathing stop in awe. The room was massive, reaching almost ten stories in height. The marble from the foyer stretched along the floor and extended out towards the end of the room. The walls were lined with alcoves like those in the Congregation Hall, but these were larger, each holding a man very much like the guard. The figures were encased in glass, their eyes were open, but glassy and milky white like the guard’s. Between each alcove, there was a blood red Nazi flag on a post. They walked, without talking. It was all Molinero could do to not gape. At the end of the room, there was a raised platform of granite and limestone, polished to fine sheen. Atop the platform was a figure encased in transparent material, like plastic. The man was surprisingly short, wearing a black SS uniform, which seemed ill fitting. Everything about the man seemed off. In addition to being short, he had a bit of a paunch, the uniform seemed to hang on him oddly. His thinning, black hair was combed over in a futile attempt to keep his balding head covered. A pair of round, silver wireframe glasses was perched on his nose. He had more the look of an accountant, than that of a man who had overseen the murders of millions of people and was one of the earth’s most powerful dark wizards.

Burwitz walked up a set of stairs and onto the platform. There were two gold name plates affixed to the glassy coffin. One was at the top, and the other was at the bottom. The top name tag said, “Reglemort”, or “Ruler of Death”. Burwitz reached up and gently touched the tag. Then she glanced down at the name plate affixed to the bottom. It identified the man’s real name. It said “Heinrich Himmler”, in bold, Teutonic script.

Burwitz spoke out loud, but only seemed to be speaking to the man in glass. “Father, Stille Hilfe is still in place, but it is time for you to awaken.” She beckoned Molinero to approach with the Book of Souls. This time she spoke in a much more assertive, much more menacing manner.

“Voldemort has failed in his task. You must awaken, father. We have a new enemy. His name is Harry Potter, and he needs to die.”


A/N: Look, there's nothing more fun to write than a good Nazi Zombie story. Now you know who, but the question I need to answer is how? How did Voldemort get hooked up with these guys? I have a plan, really I do.

Please, the summer's ending, and I'm dying for some FEEDBACK.


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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 10th, 2011 at 1:36 am.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 3:15 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 12 – Interlude

Andromeda Tonks had aged well. As she walked through the glass window of the abandoned department store and into the main entrance of St. Mungo’s Hospital, she held her head high, her shoulders square; the personal tragedies of the past half century showing no visible sign of wear on her physical appearance. Nearing ninety, she looked considerably younger, her long black hair showing no sign of graying, her skin smooth and blemish free. She was a tall woman, regal in bearing. The only hint of worry was her pace. She walked quickly through the main entrance hall and had the look that she would have walked through the lift door had it not opened when she arrived. Fortunately, the door opened and she strode through and pressed the button for the first floor (the entrance was located on the fifth floor which was street level and the hospital’s levels were buried deep beneath the street.).

The doors opened and she found herself on the Creature-Induced Injuries floor. There was a large, circular desk with a gruff, ogre-like nurse sitting at the station. As Andromeda approached the desk, she saw that the nurse was a real ogre, or some hybrid of a human and an ogre, which left many visitors wondering how exactly that type of pairing had occurred. The nurse looked up from her parchment and gave Andromeda a wary look.

“May I help you?” Her voice hissed, like air funneling from a tire. Andromeda spoke with an air of authority.

“I’m here to see my grandson, the Auror Teddy Lupin.” Despite the circumstances, there was a hint of pride and fear when she spoke Teddy’s name and title. Andromeda had been extremely proud when her grandson had declared a vocation he’d wanted to pursue. He’d been such a dilettante, trying to determine his course in life, so when he demonstrated passion for working in the Office of Aurors, she was pleased. At the same time, her daughter had been an Auror, the frontline in the fight against the Dark Lord, which had subsequently led to her death.

The nurse eyed her suspiciously, but Andromeda stared her down, asserting an unspoken position of a person not willing to accept no for an answer. The nurse broke eye contact after an uncomfortable moment and looked to her clipboard.

“He’s in room seventeen.” Abruptly, Andromeda turned and walked around the desk and proceeded down the passageway.

Room seventeen was an isolation ward. The door opened to a waiting room with its far wall lined with windows that looked into the actual patient’s room. The waiting room was packed. On one side, Andromeda saw Teddy’s friends and fellow aurors, James, Graciela and Richard. On another side, there was a group of more aurors, members of Teddy’s team, including his team leader, Mortimer Gafney. Her eyes fell upon the people standing in the center of the room, Ron and Hermione Weasley, Harry and Ginny Potter and a fair haired, beautiful woman with pale skin and light blue eyes. The woman’s eyes were tearful and frightened and she became more so when she saw Andromeda enter the room. Victoire Weasley almost ran to Andromeda and the older woman opened her arms and embraced her grandson’s girlfriend.

“Oh, Andromeda, it’s horrible.” Victoire’s voice trembled. “Teddy, oh my Teddy…”

Andromeda stroked the young woman’s hair and shushed her. Ginny walked over and pulled Victoire to the side, while Harry approached and hugged and greeted Andromeda. Teddy’s grandmother steeled herself and tried to maintain the façade of composure that she’d almost lost in seeing how distraught that Victoire was.

“Alright, Harry, what’s going on?” Harry quickly related the events at Azkaban and Teddy’s actions. When he related what Ron had done to get Teddy to the hospital, Andromeda stopped Harry and walked over to Ron.

“Thank you. You probably saved him.” Ron’s face was torn, crestfallen. His voice checked in his throat. Andromeda held up a finger. “I know that it might be too late, but you’ve given him a fighting chance.”

She turned to Harry. “What are they doing now?”

Harry nodded to the glass. Inside, Teddy lay on a gurney, his hands bound to his side with thin strands of silver wire. His eyes were closed and his chest barely moved from the deep coma he’d been placed in. Beside the bed, there were several healers clustered around Charlie Weasley and another man, who was shrouded from view.

“Right now, they’ve got him in a deep sleep, so that, he can’t transfigure himself. Charlie called in a specialist he works with in Romania. They’ve been working on him ever since. We don’t know the prognosis, Andromeda. We’re still waiting.” Harry turned and noticed Charlie heading to the waiting room door. Charlie was tall, like the rest of the Weasleys. He was dressed in black leather pants, a black shirt, with a long black leather coat over top. His dark red hair was worn long, pulled tight in a pony tail and his high leather boots snapped sharply on the faded marble floor. His skin was pale which highlighted numerous scars around his face and neck, testimony to the dangers of working with dragons. He came into the waiting room and walked directly to Andromeda and Harry.

“We’ve got him stable and I think we have a chance here.” He said, looking at Andromeda. “These type of injuries are beyond my abilities, so I called in a favor.” Just then, a short, squat, overweight man entered the room. He had oriental features with a round face and wore a white fedora over his head. His eyes were black and recessed within the folds of his face. He wore a white, three piece suit with a black bolo tie. A silver watch chain hung from the pockets of his vest and he carried a dark black walking stick that clicked on the floor as he approached.

Charlie spoke. “Yur Fat.”

Andromeda Tonks looked at Charlie. “I beg your pardon?”

Charlie’s pale face grew a deep shade of red. “I’m sorry.” He pointed to the man. “This is Yur Fat. He’s a dragon specialist from Shanghai. He’s the expert I asked to come in.”

The rotund man bowed, which seemed more the motion of a weeble wobble, since he didn’t seem to have a discernable waist. He took Andromeda’s hand in his and kissed the top in greeting. When he spoke, he had a high, squeaky voice that resounded, surprisingly, in a Louisiana Cajun accent.

“Pleased to meet you, cher. “ He nodded to Harry. “And of course, you too, Mr. Potter.”

“Mr. Fat?” Andromeda saw him confirm her address with the nod of his head. “What do you think? Can my grandson be saved?”

“I think so. Silver has magical qualities for dragons.” He shrugged his shoulders. “I’ve prepared a potion that should help.” He drew a silver pocket watch from his pocket and checked it absently. “The fact that he assumed the form of a Hungarian Horntail should work to our advantage.”

“Should?” Andromeda asked, keying in on the uncertainty in his voice.

“Hungarian Horntails are very primal, by nature. That’s both good and bad, cher.” He paused. “The good is that a human’s intellect may overwhelm the simplicity of the animal nature of the horntail. Had it been a Welsh Gray or a Chinese Fireball, which are both very smart dragon species, your grandson’s human intellect would have been immediately subsumed during the first transformation.”

“What’s the bad?” Ron asked for them all.

“Ah yes, well, the bad also has to do with the emotional pull of the primal nature of a horntail. It really all depends.”

“Depends on what?” Andromeda asked.

“It depends on whether your grandson responds to the emotional pull of the dragon or the intellectual pull of being human. We should know soon enough.”

“How so?” Andromeda’s voice began to crack. Teddy was an emotional person, hardly known for thinking things through.

Yur Fat sighed. “The sleeping potion will start to wear off. Then Mr. Lupin’s conscious brain will take over. At that time, we’ll see what choice he makes, man or dragon?”

***

The waiting room was quiet, only whispers of conversation could be heard. Andromeda and Victoire huddled in a corner, sitting together. Harry surveyed the room and noticed a dark hint of emotion cross Graciela Bareto’s face as she looked at the pair. Was that envy? Harry had no idea and resolved to ask Teddy about it when this was over. Harry was convinced Teddy would pull through. Despite appearances, his godson was one of the most rational people he knew. If anyone could do it, Teddy would.

Silas Hornsby entered the room, his massive size and rippling muscles practically pulling his dark shirt apart. He strode silently to where Mortimer stood and leaned down and whispered in his ear. Mortimer looked to Harry and gestured to the door. Harry nodded and tapped Ron on the shoulder. Hermione followed her husband out as well.

In the corridor, they grouped around Silas. The large man spoke in quiet voice. “Harry, the forensic healer has been going through those bodies you brought back from Azkaban. You might want to come down. They found something interesting.” Harry motioned for Silas to lead. Mortimer and Ron followed, as did Hermione.

“Where are you going?” Ron asked.

“With you. Maybe I could help.” Hermione was on edge and seemed ready to argue should her husband, or Harry, for that matter, decided to disagree. Instead, Ron nodded slowly.

“Harry and I were thinking we should bring you in on this. We definitely could use your insight.”

Hermione felt her jaw drop. Harry smiled at her. “What? You seemed surprised. You know that Ron and I respect what you can bring to the table.”

“I’m not surprised that you two wanted to bring me in to consult.” She said, a twisted grin on her face.

Ron sighed. “Okay, I’ll bite. Why are you surprised?”

Hermione tapped him on the chest. “I’m surprised that you actually used the word ‘insight’ correctly in a sentence.” She smirked and walked to the elevator leaving Ron to seethe. Harry smiled at his friend.

“She’s got you there.”

***
After the confrontation with John’s so called “friends”, he and Albus decided to cut short their hike after an hour or so. They turned back on the trail and headed back to the campsite. When they arrived, they found their erstwhile companions in the middle of a wild spree of destruction. Their tents were shredded and torn while their clothes and camping gear was in a pile atop a roaring fire.

“What do you think you’re doing?” John shouted.

Jenny looked up, surprised that John and Albus had returned early. “You chose that loser over us John, typical common behavior.”

“Yeah, common.” Kyle voice was muffled, his mouth full of smores from the previous evening.

“I’m going to beat the snot out of you.” John was angry, his fists clenched.

“Touch any of us, and we’ll sue. We may anyway and John, you’re a smart boy. You know who our parents are. We’ll sue and we’ll win. We’ll ruin you.” John stopped and Albus saw the defeat in his eyes. Slowly, Albus reached into his back pocket and drew his wand and let his arm drop to his side, holding the wand along the seam of his trousers. He lightly flicked his wrist and subvocalized a spell.

Kyle’s mouth blew out his mouthful of food. His face grew a bright shade of green and began to expand, bloating twice its already large size. He continued to spew marshmallow and chocolate, a constant stream that shocked his friends. This continued for about a minute and then stopped. His face continued to get larger.

“He’s having an allergic reaction.” Hunter shouted.

Jenny seemed shocked, but her hate and anger at Albus overcame that. “He’s allergic to Albie over there.”

Albus ignored her and quietly pointed his wand at Anne. Her face suddenly broke out as hundreds of pustules of dripping acne practically exploded on her forehead and cheeks. She screamed held a towel up. Every zit that popped up, burst out into the towel.

“What’s going on here?” Hunter shrieked and began fumbling with pockets, pulling out his keys. Albus quietly pointed his wand at Hunter next. A series of red and white horizontal stripes crossed Hunter’s face.

“Ow, it’s hot and it’s cold!” The red stripes seemed to sizzle with heat while the white stripes frosted over. “Ow, ow, ow, ow…..”

Jenny looked at Albus, fear and anger on her face. “What are you doing, you freak?”

Albus effected his best innocent expression. “I’m not doing anything. I’m common, remember? I’m nothing special.” He smiled serenely and whispered almost inaudibly. “Oppugno!”

From the ground, a pile of slugs that Albus had conjured earlier began to fly through the air and covered Jenny from head to toe. There were so many that the slime from their bodies practically immersed her in goo. She screamed and ran for the car, her friends in tow behind her. The foursome jumped in the car and Hunter started it. In a flash of gravel and dirt, the car peeled out and careened down the road and out of sight.

“Well, that was interesting.” Albus smiled, put his wand back in his pocket.

“You did that.” John said. It wasn’t a question. Albus looked at his friend.

“What are you talking about?” Albus wasn’t a good liar, and he couldn’t look his friend in the eye. “You said it yourself, they just weren’t cut out for the great outdoors.”

John approached him and put his hands on his waist. “You did that, Al.”

“That’s impossible, John. How could anyone make that happen?” Albus felt a bit guilty, he hated lying, but rules were still rules and secrets had to remain secrets.

John exhaled. “You’re a wizard. Don’t deny it. That’s what you are.”

“Do you hear yourself, John? What’s next? Are you going to say that you saw a unicorn too?” Albus tried to laugh it off.

“As a matter of fact, I have seen a unicorn, but that’s neither here nor there.” John put a hand on Albus’ shoulder. “I know you’re a wizard. I’ve always known. You see, my mother is a witch. You don’t think your father was going to let one of his kids wander aimlessly without backup, do you?”

Albus was angry. How dare his father interfere with his life? “What are you saying? You’re a wizard, too?”

“No, I’m a squib.” John replied apologetically.

Albus was seething. “So, you just pretended to be my ‘friend’ so you could spy on me?”

“No, Al. I am your friend. You’ve got to believe me. I was just supposed to help keep you out of trouble.” John seemed chagrined, almost pleading. Albus shook his head.

“Well, you did a fine job of that.” He gestured around at the wreckage of their camp. “Our ride left.”

“Can’t you just apparate us out of here?” John asked.

“No. I don’t know where here is, and the only places that I do know are out of range.”

“Hmm, I didn’t know there was a range. How far?” John asked, the student coming out despite their dilemma.

“I think it’s a thousand miles alone, a little less with sidealong. I really don’t know.” Albus looked around and John nodded.

“Well, we’re fifty miles from anything out here, and it’s going to be another cold night.”

Albus nodded. He was thinking about survival. Now what would they do. He plopped down on the grown, near the side of the gravel road that lead away from their campsite. The prospect of hiking through the freezing cold in the mountains was daunting. They were well and truly…

Just then, a loud bang echoed through the woods. Albus looked down the road and a large white mobile home came careening around a corner. It was an beaten down, old Winnebago, trailing a cloud of smoke behind it as it raced at breakneck speeds towards their campsite. Albus scrambled to get out of the way as it screeched to a halt, barely inches from where he sat.

The sides of the camper were lined with dried palm trees and tiki torches poked out from the sides in various places. The battered side door swung open and a man stepped down, the pounding rhythms of Jimmy Buffett echoing from within the RV. He was an odd man, with a bare head and long hair running down from the sides of his head down to his shoulders. He wore a gaudy red Hawaiian shirt, with a long, light blue pair of Bermuda shorts and his feet encased in knee length black socks and leather Birkenstock sandals. He had a plastic parrot perched on his shoulder. His look was topped by a thick walrus mustache on his lip. He looked like David Crosby after a long night. He coughed a bit and then seemed surprised to see Albus sprawled out on the ground.

“Well, what are you doing down there, dude?” There was humor in his voice and he reached into his pocket and pulled out what looked like a crumpled receipt from a pizza restaurant. There was writing scribbled on the back.

“My name is Edgar Handley. Welcome to Knight Bus Lines International for stranded and wayward wizards.” He looked back at Albus and then up to John. “That’d be you boys, I guess.”

He waited and for a moment, no one spoke. Then he clapped his hands. “Well, we don’t have all day. Hop aboard already.”

John walked over and extended a hand down to Albus. He helped his friend up. Albus drew his wand and pointed it towards the campsite. The scattered items drew together and packed themselves in a small backpack nearby. The campfire went out and the ground became cold. Albus reached down and grabbed the pack and followed John into the depths of the Winnebago.

Inside, the compartment was over four stories tall, with loose bunk beds on the floor. Handley was already in the driver’s seat. He turned and yelled back. “Next stop, Washington, D.C.!”

“Wait, what? No, we want to go to…” Albus’ shouts were drowned out by the chorus to Cheeseburger in Paradise and Handley slammed his foot down on the accelerator, knocking the roommates down to the floor and against the back wall. He sang along with the music and fishtailed his camper around a bend, while Albus and John hung on for dear life.

A/N: If this chapter seems incomplete, it's because I'm trying to keep each chapter under 4,000 words. This one could have easily been 5,000. The outline has some more transition scenes and then we get into the truly evil part.

Please, if you really want to know what happens to Teddy...leave FEEDBACK.


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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)
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  #13  
Old August 15th, 2011, 5:59 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 13 – And So it Begins…

The lift tolled as they reached the sixth floor, technically, the lowest level of St. Mungo’s. Mortimer led the way from the elevator car. They found themselves in a dark, murky passageway with intermittent lighting flickering along the walls. The floor was damp and grimy and moldy moss edged its way down the black brick walls. The area had more the look of a dungeon than a hospital and eerie chill made Harry shudder. Mortimer walked with a purpose, down the hall towards a door at the far end. The only sound was that of their feet tramping the puddles on the floor. They reached the door and Silas leaned forward and pushed it open with great effort. The door seemed to fight, its massive hinges groaning under the strain of the effort.

The room they entered made Harry think of the old monster movies Dudley liked to watch when they were kids. A flight of stairs led down to an open space. There was a row of gurneys in the center of the room, each holding the still form of one of the black robed wizards they’d fought over the past few weeks. Along the walls, there were machines crackling and snapping with static electricity and in the midst of it all, there was a tall, lean man with long hair that seemed to standing straight up on its ends. The man was extremely tall, well over seven feet. He wore a long white lab coat, with a cracked leather apron over top. The apron seemed to be smeared with reddish brown stains that Harry hesitated to guess its origin. The man had a pair of leather trimmed goggles over his eyes and a pair thick, rubber gloves that extended to his elbows. The gloves were bright yellow, and Harry could almost discern the logo of a famous cleaning supply product company on its edge. Dr. Hiram Beauregard was a walking cliché of the mad scientist. He was also the most gifted forensic healer in the world. He was bent over one of the corpses on one of the gurneys and he turned towards the corner of the room, opposite of the door.

“Igor! More light!” He yelled. Harry rolled his eyes. Of course, every mad scientist had their Igor.

“Yes, Doctor.” The male aurors’ heads spun to the sound of the voice. From the shadows, Dr. Beauregard’s “assistant” strolled into view. Igor was almost six feet tall, and she was stunningly beautiful. She was dressed in a nurse’s uniform, but hardly practical for the task. The hem of the skirt stopped roughly a quarter of the way down her shapely legs, well above the knee. She wore white stiletto pumps and the buttons of her blouse were undone almost to her midriff. She had a hump, like the original Igor. In fact, she had two of them, and they weren’t on her back. They were straining the remaining buttons of her blouse. She strutted to a large switch on the wall, in the manner typically reserved for fashion runways and pulled down on a large handle that connected a circuit and flooded the room with light.

Ron leaned towards Harry’s ear and whispered. “You ever think we got into the wrong profession?”

The blow that Hermione landed on the back of her husband’s head was immediate and sharp. Words were not needed and Harry stifled a laugh as he saw Hermione’s expression of disgust mixed with exasperation. Thankfully, the awkward silence was broken by Dr. Beauregard.

“Ah, Harry! There you are.” Harry gave the healer a grateful nod.

“What do you have, Dr. Beauregard? Silas said you found something.” Dr. Beauregard inclined his head towards the body nearest him. He seemed excited and nodded furiously in agreement.

“Yes, yes, quite fascinating, actually, come, come, take a look.” They crowded around the gurney and stared at the robed figure.

“You see, we have what looks like a common zombie.” He reached down and pointed towards the face. “Note the dead and dried portions of skin along the cheeks and chin.”

Ron stared and shook his head. “So, they’re zombies, like Inferi?”

“No, in fact, these are unlike even regular zombies.” He turned to Ron. “You do know the difference, right? Between zombies and Inferi?”

“Dead’s, dead, right?”

“Oh no, they’re not the same. Yes, both involve the animation of the dead, but Inferi are mindless. They are cursed to perform a task, but they have no internal motive force at all.” He took a breath and then turned the corpse’s head to show the hole in the skull he’d cut to access the brain. “Zombies, normally, have an internal motive force that drives them. On their own, they are driven to eat the brains of living humans.”

Harry caught an inflection in Beauregard’s voice. “You said ‘normally’?”

“Right you are, Harry. These creatures have all the regular highlights of zombies, but there are some noticeable differences. Zombies are dead. Their bodies continue to decay. If you really want to survive a zombie apocalypse, all you need do is wait a few weeks and the zombies will decay into dust.” He reached down and pulled up the sleeve of the body, displaying its arm. The skin was greenish gray and, surprisingly, moist.

“It’s not decaying.” Mortimer commented.

“Precisely, the skin is quite moist and preserved. It threw me off for a moment, because with zombies, you can determine who they are by looking for the recently deceased. I couldn’t figure out who this person was, but then I looked at the skin and figured I couldn’t place when this person had originally died by dating the skin.”

He flipped open the front of the man’s robe, exposing his chest. “Look at this.” Imbedded in the body’s sternum was a black and silver dagger. Its hilt was the shape of a snake and there were a pair of letters on the base, that spelled out “SS” in the shape of a lightning bolt.

“Nazis?” Harry asked. Beauregard nodded his head. He pointed down and pointed to some figures etched in the skin, just below the dagger.

“But these are Egyptian, they’re hieroglyphs.”

Hermione leaned forward and studied the figures. “They’re from the ‘Book of Souls’”.

“What’s that?” Harry asked.

“The Book of Souls is rumored to be the Egyptian book of death. Whoever has it can bring the dead back to life, among other things.”

Harry studied the figures and then looked at Hermione. “Okay, that’s what I was supposed to recover at the warehouse on the Thames, but how did the government get their hands on it?”

Hermione bit her lip gently in thought. “If I remember correctly,” which made Ron roll his eyes. Hermione always remembered correctly. Hermione ignored him. “The book was found at the end of World War II near Flensburg on the Danish border along with various other magical items the Nazis had stolen.”

Dr. Beauregard snapped his fingers. “That makes sense. You see, I’ve identified this person.”

“How did you do that?” Hermione hadn’t put together the pieces well enough to see how Beauregard had managed that feat.

The doctor pointed a finger at a series of numbers tattooed to the body’s chest, just below the dagger. “SS men had identification numbers tattooed on their bodies. I deduced who he was from that number.”

Ron asked, “What type of magic lets you do that?”

Igor spoke up, her voice husky and sultry. “The Internet.” She nodded to the corner where a PC hummed on a desk. Ron turned red, either from the embarrassment of the obvious answer or from the attention he’d just received from the sexy assistant. A quick look at Hermione told him it had better be the former.

Beauregard’s voice snapped him from his reverie. “His name is Kurt Wagner. His last assignment was to a unit of two hundred bodyguards nicknamed the Praetorians.”

“Who were they assigned to protect?” Mortimer asked.

Beauregard responded. “Heinrich Himmler.”

Harry nodded. “Well, we know more now than we did before, but we still don’t know how Himmler fits in all this. Most of all, we don’t know the connection between Tom Riddle and Himmler.”

“We have a timeline, Harry.” Hermione responded. “Tom Riddle graduated in 1945. Himmler died in 1945. It seems to me, we need to find out what Tom Riddle was doing around that time. We need to go back to Hogwarts.”

Harry nodded and then exhaled. “That sounds reasonable. We’ll go to Hogwarts in a few days.”

Ron jumped in. “Why not now, Harry?”

Harry sighed. “Ron, it’s a couple days before Christmas. No one is there. Besides, we’re strung out and tired. We all need the rest. Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out.” He addressed all of them. “Get some rest, everyone. I have a feeling the new year will be a long one.”

***

The cavern had been transformed for the ceremony. The floor was clear, save for a simple altar at the end and a podium to the side of the altar. A circular mirror hung from the ceiling at the front of the room. On top of the altar, there was a large ruby suspended in the air. The ruby was perfectly cut and the size of a basketball. Juan Molinero wore a long robe and wore an Egyptian headdress. He was standing behind the altar with his arms wide. At the nearby podium, Gudrun Burwitz stood with the Book of Souls open in front of her. She wore her blood red robes and held her place in the book with her wand. Diener, the house elf, stood next to her, his monocle firmly affixed to his eye, his arms held behind his back. The amber cylinder containing Heinrich Himmler was on the floor, a few feet in front of the altar.

They waited a few moments. Silence dominated the room. After another minute or so, a cascade of multicolored lights reflected off the mirror near the ceiling. The lights of the Aurora Borealis grew stronger and struck the mirror, entering the chamber through a hole in the ceiling. The rays of light hit the mirror and reflected down to the ruby. Red beams of light left the ruby and landed on the amber container and the alcoves housing the remains of Himmler’s Praetorians. Bathed in a harsh red glow, Molinero turned his head towards Gudrun and nodded.

She glanced at the book and then spoke. “It a’nen. A’nekh. Metey nehem ne ek sekhrey.” (Father return. Correct the mistake of your follower.)

The ruby burst into an explosion of light, reaching down the beams of light to the alcoves and the totem containing Himmler. The amber surrounding his figure began to melt away, slowly revealing his head, then his neck and onward until it was completely gone. Meanwhile, the beams of light connecting to the alcoves holding the Praetorians turned into bright red snakes. Molinero glanced at the nearest alcove, containing the body of one of the bodyguards. The man could not have been older than eighteen when he died. His skin was chalky white with ripples of green and gray along his arms and neck. His plain black uniform hung limply on his shoulders. For a brief instant, the guard’s eyes were normal, a light brown that became wide with fear, as if he knew his fate. His body remained frozen in place, but his eyes locked with Molinero, pleading for relief. Nearby, the guard caught sight of the red, ruby driven snake slowly inching its way towards him. The snake raised its head and stared at the man. Its eyes were glowing red, matching the color of the light emanating from the ruby. It slithered across the floor to the man’s leg and began to crawl upward, towards his head. Molinero could see the fear become terror. The man was trying to scream, but couldn’t, his body held in place by the power of the spell. The snake made its way up and came even with the man’s face, as if taunting him, letting him know his own powerlessness. The snake edged its nose to one of the man’s ears. The guard’s eyes grew wide, the extreme terror and panic emanating in silence. The snake began to push its way into the man’s ear, its body following.

Molinero held his own terror in check and watched the man’s eyes. The brown irises rolled upward as the snake finished its journey into his body. The guard’s eyes turned white and the exploded in color, finally becoming a fiery red, glowing menacingly straight ahead. His skin darkened from its ashy white to a pale green, muted and mottled with gray. All along the line of Praetorians, similar events happened until they all stood still, green skin and red eyes awaiting their leader.

Himmler stood still. He was short, frumpy, his black uniform hanging limply over his shoulders. He was balding, with a thin layer of fine hair combed over from one side to another. His eyes were normal, little black dots hiding behind a pair of round, silver wire-rimmed glasses. He had more the look of a doughty accountant than that of a dark wizard. He took a breath and nodded his head. As one, the Praetorians turned to their alcoves and pulled out long, rich purple robes of satin and donned them and returned to their places. Himmler reached his arm out expectantly.

Diener stepped forward crisply and extended his arm. He placed a wand of simple black wood, smooth and straight into Himmler’s hand and then stepped back, bowing at the waist. Himmler rolled up the sleeve of his left arm and touched the point of his wand to the faded tattoo on his inside forearm. The tattoo was a dagger, with two snakes intertwined, their heads facing a round shield with a swastika in the center. The tattoo began to writhe and animate, growing darker. The Praetorians raised their left arms to the sky, their palms outward. The sleeves of their purple robes dropped, revealing tattoos matching their leader’s. As one, they shouted.

“Sieg Heil!”

Himmler nodded in satisfaction and turned to face the altar and podium. His dull eyes took in Molinero. “You must be related to Johann and Marta Muller. Their son, perhaps?”

Molinero didn’t trust his voice. He simply nodded and bowed his head. Himmler turned his gaze towards his daughter.

“Gudrun, you must have a good reason for bringing me back before we had agreed.” Himmler looked around the room. “Where is Voldemort?”

“Tom Riddle’s absence is why we brought you back, father.” Gudrun seemed remarkably timid. Her voice shook and her fear touched Molinero’s own terror. Himmler was not one to be trifled with and he did not suffer failure well.

“Tell me.” Himmler said quietly. “Tell me who stopped my star pupil and who now must face my wrath.”


A/N: It's time get a bit creepy. I mean, I love writing the sappy stuff, but let's face it, it's a lot more fun to write a villain that even Voldemort feared. Hang on to your hats.

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Old August 17th, 2011, 8:02 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 14 – The Eye of the Storm

Albus had lost track of the number of times he’d been thrown off his feet as the Winnebago caught air over another curb in the driver’s haphazard course down the road. For the past hour, they’d screamed through towns, across intersections and around highways. Edgar Handley didn’t seem to notice his passengers’ discomfort. In fact, he seemed more interested in creating the perfect margarita, while keeping his knee on the steering wheel, all the while leading a blustery and shrill karaoke of Jimmy Buffet’s greatest hits. Albus and John had managed to grasp on to some leather straps which served to keep them partially rooted to a section of the interior cabin of the camper, but every time Handley struck a pothole or left a street to drive on the sidewalk, their feet would be thrown from underneath them and more than once, Albus was inverted and left wondering if he wouldn’t have been better off left in the woods.

He and John didn’t speak much. Most of that was due to the fact that they were hanging on for dear life, which suited Albus for the moment. He was mad. How dare his father send someone to spy on him? Albus had been determined to escape the legacy of Harry Potter. It didn’t help that Albus looked like a carbon copy of his father. Everywhere he went, he was mistaken for Harry or asked about Harry. Albus was proud of his father. Reading and hearing about what his father had done was like hearing about a legend. Whenever they went out in public, people stared and whispered and bowed their heads. But no one, not even the great Harry Potter, could prepare someone for a life of being the child of a living legend. Albus’ brother and sister handled things in their own way. James embraced the lifestyle, but James didn’t LOOK like Harry, so James could lead a relatively innocuous life. Lily was a daredevil, and stunningly beautiful to boot. Yet, she was having difficulty coping with the reality that came with being a Potter. So, knowing that his father had sent someone to look after him raised a level of annoyance in his head. He’d come to America to escape the legend, to forge his own identity. Now he wondered if there was any place on earth he could do that.

Through brief glimpses in the windows, Albus saw a tall, white obelisk in the distance. They were rapidly approaching Washington, D.C. The national capital was laid out in a confusing array of radiating spokes, which made Edgar Handley’s task doubly difficult. The careening Winnebago would traverse the city streets with no real direction or purpose, going the wrong way on one way streets or cutting through alleys blindly. Fortunately, it was late at night, on a holiday weekend, so the streets were nearly deserted. The camper nearly tilted over as it turned on Madison Drive, which ran parallel to the National Mall. Abruptly, Handley pressed both feet down on the brakes, sending Albus forward into the front windscreen, pressing his nose against the glass. Albus was at eye level with a dancing hula girl doll mounted on the front dash, its grass skirt waving to the rhythm of the diesel engine. Albus picked himself up and turned to face Handley.

The man’s walrus mustache moved. “Well, here we are. Everyone out!” He hummed along with the tune to “Margaritaville.”

John and Albus collected their backpacks and stepped to the corner, their knees still shaking from the wild ride. Edgar stood at the door and flipped a couple of dog-eared business cards their way.

“If you’re ever in a bind, give us a ring. We’ll be there.” Then he pulled the door shut and within seconds, the Winnebago took off, fishtailing around a nearby corner and hopping onto the Twelfth Street Expressway and with that, it was gone.

Albus plopped down on the curb, in front of a large glass and stone building. They were in front of the National Museum of American History. It was nearly midnight, so the building was dark, the Mall was empty and a light dusting of snow started to fall, adding to his misery.

“How does this make our situation any better?” Albus asked, finally breaking the silence between him and his roommate. John was standing in the middle of the street, staring at the broad façade of the museum.

“We’re all right, Al.” John turned his head down. “Look, I’m sorry, man. Your dad wasn’t spying on you. I mean it. You’re my friend. You’ve got to believe me.”

“I do, I guess.” Albus sighed, swallowing his resentment. John had been the first person to treat him like a real person, not awed by who he was or who he was related to. “I’m just a little jolted.”

“I understand.” A smile returned to John’s face. “By the way, Merry Christmas, Al.”

Albus glanced at his watch. It was midnight on Christmas Eve. It was Christmas. “Yeah, you too; Happy Christmas.”

John beamed and extended his hand to his friend. “Come on. It’s time to go. I’m freezing.” With a questioning gaze, Albus took John’s hand allowed the large man to lift him to his feet.

“Where are we going?” Albus asked. He glanced around. The Mall was empty, the whisper of the wind pushing the thickening snow into drifts along the monuments. John started walking towards the Museum of American History and beckoned Albus to follow. John bypassed the front of the building and went around the side. There was a small shrub hiding a small flight of steps leading into the ground. A sign, denoting a warning from the D.C. Public Works Department, was firmly affixed to a door at the bottom of the stairs. John reached down and turned the door know, and the door creaked loudly as it opened.

They found themselves in a tunnel that reeked of sewage and dampness. It looked like a maintenance tunnel servicing the area servicing the Mall area. John led on down the tunnel until they reached an intersection. He reached into his pocket and pulled out an old fashioned brass key that was worn and dull from use. He inserted the key into a keyhole hidden behind a pipe that passed overhead and was rewarded by a grinding of gears and the sound of concrete on concrete. A large part of a nearby wall swung open, a hidden entrance in the main tunnel. Quickly, John ushered Albus inside the entrance and the wall closed in behind them.

Albus looked around. They were in a corridor. The walls were high and paneled with rich maple wood. The floors were tiled and covered in antique Persian rugs. Gas lamps were mounted on the walls and Albus detected the faint sound of a symphony being played from somewhere down the hall. John turned and headed for the music. After a moment, Albus followed. They reached the end of the corridor and stopped at a large set of wooden double doors. The doors were inlaid with oak molding and detailed in slivers of gold etching. John grasped the handle and pushed the doors open, ushering Albus inside. What he saw took his breath away.

They were inside a large room, easily five stories tall with an open ceiling. There were four large crystal chandeliers suspended from the ceiling and the walls were lined with dark wooded bookcases, each shelf overflowing with books. Every tier of shelves had a landing and small spiral staircases were dotted along the wall, allowing access to the various levels of books.

The center of the room contained four rows of thick tables piled high with assorted items. The music emanated from an ancient crank handled phonograph located on the center table. John pointed out some of the items and smiled.

“Welcome to the Museum of Magical Mysteries and Other Stuff.” John said proudly.

“Stuff?” Albus asked.

John laughed. “Yeah, well this place was started by a hippie in the late sixties. They were a lot more informal back then.”

“I bet.” Albus said. “What is this place?”

“It’s a place where people bring all sorts of strange magical items to be studied and catalogued.” John pointed out some of the items on the tables. “You have Aladdin’s lamp over here.” He picked up a battered bronze lamp, lacking a cover. “Without genie, of course.”

“Of course.” Albus responded.

“Over there is Durandal, sword of Roland and here…” He hefted a rusted spear, its wooden handle breaking apart. “This is the Spear of Longinus.” He tossed it back onto a pile of weapons. “There’s all kinds of stuff here.”

“This is great, John. Why are we here?” Albus was tired. It was late and it was Christmas. Sightseeing was last on his list of things to do.

“We’re here to meet my contact.” He looked down the row of tables and smiled. “Ah, there she is now.”

Near the phonograph, standing over one of the tables, Albus saw a woman humming gently to herself. She was of average height with long, scraggly blonde hair that hung down to her waist. She was busily studying a mason jar that appeared empty, but as she held the jar up to the light, she noticed them standing there, seemingly for the first time. She smiled in a dreamy way, and she glanced over at Albus, her silvery gray eyes locking with his. It only then that Albus noticed that she wasn’t wearing shoes.

“Aunt Luna!” Albus walked over and embraced Luna Lovegood Scamander tightly, thankful for the sight of a familiar face.

“Hello, Albus.” She spoke in a simple, soft voice, but her eyes twinkled in delight. She nodded to John and then turned back to Albus. “Have you finally figured out that you can’t run away from who you are, or are you still hiding from your family at that muggle college?”

Albus laughed. Luna Lovegood never pulled punches, she had a terrific knack for articulating uncomfortable things, which served to get them in the open.

“I’m still hiding, but I’m getting better.” Luna looked at John then back at Albus.

“Don’t be mad at John for watching over you, Albus. It was quite foolish to think that anyone could leave you unattended in a foreign country among all those muggles.” She set the Mason jar down. “Perhaps if you tried looking at things from your father’s perspective instead of trying to run away from his shadow, you might be able to get the freedom you want.”

Albus blushed and then nodded. “You’re right Aunt Luna. What are you doing here? How do you know John?”

Luna twirled the end of her hair in her fingers. “Oh, Rolf and the boys are communing with the yetis in the Himalayas. I’m classifying different types of horstblumes.” She picked up the jar. “These are Des Moines Horstblumes.” She leaned forward and whispered. “They’re invisible.”

“Of course they are.” Albus turned to John, who shrugged. He’d never heard of a horstblume either. Instead, John laughed.

“When your father heard that Luna was going to be here for a spell, he asked her to contact Stanley Greenberg who runs the Department of Magical Affairs here. My mother works for the department in the Curse Reversal Bureau and because I was attending Columbia, arranged for me to be your roommate.” He offered in explanation.

“I thought you told Jenny that your mother cleaned houses.” Albus asked.

“She does.” He gave his best innocent grin. “She cleans them of curses.”

Albus felt a bit better. Luna was standing there and she reached down and grasped his hand. “Happy Christmas, Albus.”

“Happy Christmas, Aunt Luna.”

Luna started leading them away. “Let’s go have something to eat. The cafeteria here puts on a splendid dinner and they should be doing a grand Christmas Feast.” She leaned in and whispered in his ear. “I hope there’s pudding. I love pudding.”

He laughed and let her lead him down the hall, already the aromas of a grand feast reaching his nostrils. Now he felt a lot better. He hoped there was pudding, too.

***
There was blinding flash of light and then Teddy Lupin found himself standing in the center of the room. He standing tall and felt remarkable. He looked down and saw he was wearing his casual clothes, new blue jeans and a black tee shirt. He flexed his arm and stretched. He felt great. He took in his surrounding and laughed, curious as to how he got here.
“You look well.” The voice jolted him. He’d never heard it before, yet he knew it right away. Standing by the door of the room was Remus Lupin. Remus was tall, neat, his face smooth, none of the scars of his “condition” evident as Teddy had seen in pictures of his father. Next to Remus, Nymphadora Tonks stood, grasping her husband’s arm, a picture of peace and beauty. She let Remus go and walked up to Teddy and embraced him.

“My goodness, you’re such a handsome man.” Her hair flashed a bright shade of pink, and Teddy’s hair matched his mother’s, basking in the glow of her admiration.

Teddy shook his head. “Am I dead? Where am I?”

Tonks stepped back and Remus stepped forward. “You’re not dead.” Remus looked around the room. “As for where you are? Where do you think you are?”

Teddy looked around. The room was circular and there were beds arrayed around the edges of the room, neatly made and trimmed in scarlet and gold bed clothes. Teddy shrugged. “It looks like I’m in my dormitory in Gryffindor Tower.”

Remus chuckled. “Indeed. I recognize the room, myself. It was mine and the Marauders’ room as well.” Remus turned to the door and pointed to a sign hanging from the back of the door with the work “Marauders” on it. Beneath the word, several names were etched into the door, the names of the original Marauders and those of Teddy and his friends during their time at Hogwarts.

“I see you kept the tradition going.” Remus said, a proud smile on his face.

Teddy laughed and then scratched his head. “If I’m not dead, what am I?”

Tonks allowed a serious look to cross her face. “You’re at a crossroads, son.”

She pointed towards one of the beds. Next to them were two doors, that were standing upright in the center of the room.

“It’s time to make a choice.” She said.

Remus raised his arm and both doors opened, allowing Teddy to see inside. He walked closer and looked inside the first door.

It was a mountaintop, but it wasn’t like a window, looking onto a landscape. He was looking down from the mountain, as if perched from it. He felt the familiar feeling of elation he’d felt when he’d been the dragon. The view took in everything from the mountain on down. He felt his heart race and his mind sang with the raw power of what he’d been. He felt energy surge through his body and had he not been conscious of who he was with and where he was standing, he would have willed himself to jump from the mountain and extend his wings. Abruptly, the door slammed shut and Teddy took a moment to compose himself.

“Tempting, isn’t it?” Remus’ tone wasn’t accusing. In fact, there was a distinct tone of understanding in his voice. “Believe me, I know the sensation of giving in to one’s animal instincts. Despite my curse, I do believe that I enjoyed being a werewolf when I was transformed. I remember the feeling of power. I absolutely absorbed the notion of being something so powerful, so invincible. It was exhilarating.”

Tonks stepped forward and placed her hand on his shoulder. “That was something I enjoyed about being metamorphmagus. You could be anything you want. You could fulfill any desire you could imagine.” She pointed to the next door. “What you have to decide is whether there is something more.”

Teddy turned and walked to the second door and glanced inside. He saw a small house on a rocky beach in winter. The sky was overcast and the surf crashed on the shoreline in a loud howl. Teddy could practically feel the chill from the scene. The door of the house opened and a graceful figure emerged and walked from the house and stood at the top of a nearby cliff, taking in the surf. Teddy felt his heart race. He no longer felt the chill of the winter scene. The woman standing there was immediately recognizable and Teddy knew from the first that he was looking at Shell Cottage and the woman was Victoire Weasley.

She wore a light blue dress with a matching overcoat to protect her from the cold. Her platinum blonde hair was flowing in the wind revealing the delicate lines of her face. Teddy seemed to rotate around her and saw her pale blue eyes clouded with tears. She was in pain and suddenly he knew that he was the cause of that pain. He wanted to reach out and take her in his arms, to let her know he was all right, but he couldn’t move. He could only watch. Simultaneously, he felt a rush of warmth filling him up from looking at her, and the cold emptiness of the vacuum she left if he were to lose her. He felt tears running down his face and felt his control leaving him. Then, the door slammed shut and he was back in the room, with his parents.

Tonks hugged her son. “Either path will be difficult. Either path will be rewarding. You can only choose one.”

“It’s hard.” Teddy said, his chin falling to his chest.

Remus drew Tonks to his side and nodded. “Of course it’s hard. That’s life.”

Teddy looked at his parents. They held each other, the utter and purity of their love for each other seemed to fill the room, chasing away whatever remained of the chill. The tears cleared in his eyes and Teddy smiled.

“I wish I could have time with you.” Teddy said. “I wish I could have made you proud of me.”

Remus reached out and hugged his son. Tonks followed suit and kissed her son on the cheek. Remus patted Teddy on the shoulder. “We are proud of you, son. We’re always with you, remember that.”

“I will.” Teddy said. He wiped his sleeve along his face, clearing up his tears. “I’ve chosen.”

“We know.” Tonks said, smiling at him.

“It wasn’t that hard of a choice, after all.” Teddy said.

“Of course it wasn’t.” Remus said. “The choice is simple. It’s the regret that’s hard to live with. Everyone makes these types of choices in their lives. No matter what happens, regret will always result. Someone will always be hurt and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Tonks held Remus’ hand. “The secret is, Teddy, to not let the regret overwhelm you. Once you choose, give it everything you have.”

“I will.” Teddy stood straighter. “I love you, Mom. I love you, Dad.”

“We love you, too, son.” Remus said. Teddy nodded and strode to the door of his choice. He threw it open and walked through, and didn’t look back.


A/N: The choice is pretty easy, but I wanted an excuse to write Tonks and Remus in. The sap factor will ratchet up a little more next chapter, then BOOM goes the dynamite.

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  #15  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 8:40 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Chapter 15 – A Yule Time Reprieve

The snow arrived later in the season than usual. Molly Weasley brushed a few wayward flakes from the skirt of her dress and sighed in relief. Had it gone any longer, she was of a mind to ignore the Ministry proscription against magically inducing weather patterns and made a snowstorm herself. She strode across the new blanket of white across the Burrow towards the weather beaten garage she’d demanded that her husband build as far away from their home as possible. The fogged over windows offered a flickering wisp of light from the gas lamps inside and every so often, a shadow would pass between the light and window, casting the image of her husband on the ground outside. Molly pulled the opening of her jacket closer together and trudged up to the double door and wrapped on it loudly.

“Arthur Weasley, you open up these doors, this instant!” Her voice trailed higher as she ended her sentence. Almost immediately, the door opened a crack. She inserted her fingers into the opening and pulled the door open wide. A voice within echoed out as her eyes grew accustomed to the glare of the hanging lamps.

“Hello, Molly Wobbles! It looks like you got snow after all.” Arthur Weasley was standing by his workbench, wearing a long carpenter’s apron over his clothes. There were traces of soot in his hair and his face was streaked with a rainbow of brightly colored paste.

“Don’t you ‘Molly Wobbles’ me, Arthur Weasley.” She pointed the end of a wooden spoon at his face. “And don’t change the subject.”

“What subject is that, Molly Wobb…I mean, my dear?” Arthur cringed slightly and prepared himself.

“It’s Christmas Eve and we’ve got a million things to do, while you’re out here prattling away in your workshop.” She pointed around the room to the cavalcade of junk and debris littered about the room. “The delivery owls haven’t stopped bringing your muggle putty since last week and you KNOW I don’t want you to make a mess of my living room with your crackpot whimsies.”

Arthur offered his best offended look to his wife. “It’s tradition, Molly. I always provide a theme for our Christmas gatherings. We haven’t had one in so long, it’s expected.”

Molly and Arthur were parents to six (a brief shudder of sadness passed through Molly’s chest, remembering her seventh child, Fred, who died fighting at the Battle of Hogwarts) children. The Weasley home was always a hive of activity during the holidays with the Christmas party being the hallmark event. As their kids grew into adulthood and began building families of their own, the parties simply stopped. During an offhand conversation with Ron the previous summer, Molly had seized upon the notion of having another party. With all the grandchildren growing older, she wanted another taste of the holiday spirit.

Arthur had his tradition during the holidays as well. He’d seized upon the idea of creating a special theme display in their living room. It had started with a simple Victorian village, with the figures magically conjured to move about. It escalated every year, much to the chagrin of his wife, who usually found bits and pieces of his masterpieces well into the new year.

“I’ll not have a repeat of your famous Feline Advent Calendar, Arthur Weasley. We spent most of the holidays at St. Mungo’s.” Arthur blushed and his face fell. One year he’d created an Advent calendar, with each day containing an exotic cat. He’d been especially proud of being able to put a live miniature lynx on December 21st. Unfortunately, Audrey, Percy’s wife, was unremittingly allergic to cats. Allergies among wizards and witches were a dreadful thing. She’d immediately broken out into hives, which, in turn, had grown into fur and whiskers. It had taken the healers at St. Mungo’s almost a month to reduce her tail.

“This is completely innocent, Molly. I promise.” He held up his hand in a solemn gesture. Molly stared at him skeptically, then shrugged her shoulders.

“It’s too late to undo what you’ve done, but mark my words, Arthur, if I find so much as a scrap of that junk in my floorboards, I will make sure that ‘Play Doh’ is all you have to eat for the rest of the year. Now come along, you’ve got help me with the pavilion.” She twirled around and marched away. Behind her, Arthur let fly a fist pump and followed her out the door.

***
Four figures suddenly appeared in the center of the courtyard of the Burrow. Harry felt a momentary pang of sadness as he realized his middle child was not with them. He could only wonder how Ginny felt. As if on cue, Ginny’s hand reached down and took his and she led him towards the door of her parents’ home. Lily and James stood where they were, taking in the scene. James smiled and winked at his sister.

“Can you smell that? Grandmother must have been cooking for a month!” He rubbed his hands together and then stopped. “Oy, what’s eating you, sis?”

Lily’s brow was knitted close together. “Nothing.”

“Come on, you can tell me.” James needled her, but put an arm gently around her shoulders. When they were kids, he would have been inclined to pick on her, but they weren’t kids any longer. She sighed and let the tension drift from her shoulders. “I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m in the mood for all this sappy stuff.”

James studied her face and then shook his head. “That’s not what’s bothering you.”

Lily returned his gaze and then smiled. “Oh, all right. I’m still upset with all the close attention I’ve been getting at school. There, happy?”

“Well, it’s not like you haven’t given them a reason to be so interested in your activities, Lily.” James snorted. His sister had become an even more notorious troublemaker than even he’d been.

“I know, it’s just that…it’s just that…” She tried to explain why she was feeling so lost.

“You don’t know what you’re supposed to be, right?” James finished her thought for her. She nodded emphatically.

“That’s right. I mean, I have all these offers to play Quidditch, but Mum did that when she graduated. I love the game, but every time I interview with a team, all I get is, ‘if you have half the talent your parents did, you should do fine’. It’s like I’m always getting compared to Harry and Ginny Potter.” She let out her breath in a huff.

James smiled knowingly. “There’s a lot of that going around, sis. It’s not easy being the offspring of living legends.”

“What do you mean?” Lily asked. James shrugged his shoulders.

“Well, look at Albus. He ran off thousands of miles to escape being compared to Dad. And me? I can’t seem to do anything right working for the old man.” He related the events at Azkaban Prison to his sister. Despite his momentary bout with depression, Lily seemed a bit buoyed. She laughed.

“It’s good to know that I’m not alone.” She replied. This time, James laughed out loud and pointed to the haphazard shape of the building down the way, the Weasley home. A raucous roar was emanating from the building, the party in full swing.

“One is never alone when one is related to the Weasleys, little sister. “ James grew serious one more time. “Look, we can’t help who our parents are. All we can do is live our lives. Uncle Ron has been pounding that one into my head for the past few days.”

Lily nodded, as James continued.

“Just do what makes you happy, Lily. If you want to play Quidditch, play it. Don’t do it to fulfill some destiny. I became an Auror because that’s what I wanted to do, not because I’m Harry Potter’s son. In the end, that’s all we can do, okay?”

This time Lily nodded and embraced her brother warmly. They broke away and she daubed her eyes. Lily, like her mother, was not one to make outward displays of sadness. James turned away while his sister composed herself. After a moment, he turned back and offered Lily his arm.

“Shall we?”

“If we must.” She took a deep breath. “I still think that this is going to be boring.”

“That is where you’re wrong, little sister.” The confident James was back. He gave a devilish sneer. “You might not remember, but these parties are an excellent opportunity for me to get back at Uncle George.”

“Get back for what?” She asked. James reached into his pocket and pulled a tattered sheet of parchment out. He held it up for her to see. At the top were two names written by a child’s hand. It simply said “James” and “Uncle George” with a series of tick marks below each name.

“Christmas is known for an escalating war of pranks between me and Uncle George.” He rolled the parchment up and put it back in his pocket. “I seem to be one point down. It’s time for payback. Want to help?”

Lily gave him a conspiratorial grin. “Of course, after all, I’m the most accomplished prankster in the Potter family.”

Normally defensive, she’d offered him an argument that he couldn’t fight. Instead, he nodded and brother and sister walked towards the door.

***
Molly had outdone herself. She’d created an opening in the house wall near the living room and had attached the side of the large pavilion tent to that opening, effectively creating one, seamless space. At one end of the tent, she’d had Arthur build a full kitchen, and the living room with Arthur’s display was at the other end. A giant, twenty foot Christmas tree was at the center of the room with long tables between the tree and kitchen and an open space between the tree and living room. The room was buzzing as the extended Weasley family enjoyed just being together. Molly stood near the stove, looking out over the scene.

All of her children were there. Ginny and Harry, with Lily and James, were seated at one of the tables, enjoying part of the feast. Molly felt a twinge of anxiety, noting that Albus was not there. Ron and Hermione were sitting with the Potters, with their children, Hugo and Rose. At another table, Percy and Audrey sat with George and Angelina, while their children, Molly and Lucy for Percy and Fred and Roxanne for George, were sitting cross-legged in front of the winter scene Arthur had created from Play Doh. The scene was constantly moving, constantly changing. Arthur had gotten the idea from watching stop motion animation films that Albus had shown him on the computer. The scene was the entire campus of Hogwarts, completely made out of the moldable child’s toy. Miniature representations of the people and animals literally moved through the scene.

Arthur had settled on a Christmas scene, so the hills and the castle were coated in white dust and Father Christmas flew by, his sleigh towed by thestrals, including the leader with a bright red nose. Despite her misgivings, Molly noted the joy on the faces of the younger children. She heard a loud snap, and she saw that Bill and Fleur had arrived, with their children, Victoire, Dominique and Louis. There were greeting all around, but Molly noticed the oldest, Victoire, slide away and move to a corner of the pavilion. Victoire seemed distracted and sad. Molly made a move to comfort her granddaughter, but Bill’s hand held her shoulder.

“Leave her be, Mum. She needs to be alone, for a bit.” Bill smiled at his mother and then turned to greet Charlie, who’d also just arrived. Molly stared at Victoire as a tear formed in the corner of her eye. Then, the matriarch of the Weasley clan took a deep breath and went to mix with her children.

***
The side flaps of the tent were down, but there were panes of actual glass imbedded on fabric that formed windows. Victoire gazed out at the barren, snow covered landscape. The snowfall had stopped and the sky was clear, with the stars showing through with surprising clarity. The breathtaking beauty of the landscape was lost on her. Her thoughts were passing through her mind at a racing pace, the idea that Teddy, her Teddy, was fighting a battle of wills with himself. As part Vela, she understood the pull of primal instinct, the notion that there was an utter purity of the animal spirit. Part of her felt a twinge of jealousy, that she was involved in some sort of competition. This contest, though, was for Teddy’s soul, his essence, and the stakes were of the highest sort.

She’d received no word since Charlie had told her of Teddy’s condition and his need to choose. The building anxiety from the lack of knowing was slowly causing her to unravel. There was a building emptiness in her chest. The longer she went without knowing, the greater the dread she felt. She hated admitting to herself that she could not live without Teddy. They belonged together and no matter what she said to her family, she knew that if Teddy chose his dragon persona, she would not know how to live.

There was a commotion coming from the room which snapped her back to reality. Victoire turned and suddenly, she forgot to breathe. From the living room, Teddy entered the pavilion, with Andromeda following a few paces behind. He looked healthy, the color returned to both his skin and his hair, which was a vivid shade of purple. He was dressed in a neatly tailored three piece suit, with a lavender tie. He ignored the cheers of the others, but strode purposefully in her direction. Without speaking, he gently reached down and pulled at her hand, drawing her to the center of the open room, in full view of everyone there. A hush fell on the room, even the displays seemed to freeze in place.

Teddy’s hair turned black and formal as he slowly went to a knee in front of her. From his breast pocket, he pulled out a small, cedar box and opened it. Inside, was the engagement ring his father had given his mother. It was a simple gold band with a large diamond mounted at the top. On either side of the diamond were two gray pearls that looked like two moons, glistening, even in the shine of the diamond. Teddy breathed out slowly, the only hint of his nervousness.

“Victoire, my love, I know you’ve been through a lot where I am concerned.” He paused. He’d been practicing this speech since he’d left St. Mungo’s. A glance at his grandmother, who was smiling, prodded him to continue. “I know that I’m not deserving of a life with you. You are the most wonderful person I’ve ever known. As I lay in my dreams, trying to figure out the right path to take, all I could think of was you. The love I have for you transcends everything. There is no temptation, even that of the soul, that would have kept me from you. In the end, the choice was no choice at all. I am, and will ever be, yours.“ He let the words sink in. She’d been shocked out of her depression with the sudden realization of what was happening.

He pressed on. “Will you marry me, Victoire? Will you make permanent, the bonds of love we share, and be my wife?”

The room was on edge. Not a sound could be heard. It was as if the entire room was holding its breath. Victoire stared at the ring on her finger. She’d known its origin. The emptiness in her chest filled immediately and she leaned forward, grasping Teddy’s face in her hands.

“Yes.” It was all she could muster. She tried to say more, but the happiness in her heart would not let the words come out. Instead, she reached down and kissed him hard on the lips. His hair turned rapidly from black, to pink, to purple, to blue, to red, covering the whole rainbow. The Weasleys burst into a tremendous shout of joy. The sound reverberating everywhere and was far louder than any crowd at any Quidditch World Cup.

***
“Where are we going?” Harry asked as Ginny led him by the hand up the spindly stairs of the Weasley home. Behind them, George’s howls echoed as he shouted expletives at James. Harry chuckled.

“That had to be Lily’s doing. McGonagall always said she had a knack for charms, if she’d only use her powers for good.” The scene they’d left was that of George with his arms and legs transformed into flippers and his nose turned into a bicycle horn. James was bounding a striped ball off the horn, causing it to toot the tune of jingle bells.

Ginny grinned. “I’m sure James was involved in the planning. He’s a sneaky one, our eldest son.”

“Where are we going, Ginny? Everyone will wonder.” Harry said without too much resistance. The reached top of the last flight of stairs and stopped outside the door to her old bedroom. “We haven’t been up here since school. Fancy a bit of snogging?” He winked at her. She smacked him playfully on the shoulder.

“Get your mind out of the gutter, Harry Potter. I want to show you something.”

“I bet you do.” Ginny rolled her eyes and opened the door. The interior had been left pretty much the same as the day she’d moved out to live with Harry. From time to time, the female offspring of the Weasley family had used it when staying over with Arthur and Molly, but the décor was still Ginny’s. She led them across the room to a pair of French doors on the far wall. With some effort, she pried the doors open and led him outside.

They were on a narrow terrace. Her father had built it for her when she was ten, in part, to placate her sadness when Ron went off to Hogwarts, leaving her alone with her parents. On one side of the terrace, there was a bench seat, that allowed her to sit and watch the sun and moon set in the western sky. She pulled up the top of the seat and reached inside. She withdrew a small rag doll and dusted it off gently. Then she handed it to Harry.

The doll had wild black hair and pair of drawn on spectacles covering two emeralds as eyes. There was an exaggerated scar drawn on its forehead and it wore dated Hogwarts robes. Harry looked at the doll and then back at Ginny.

“This isn’t some sort of voodoo doll, is it? I mean, I’ll behave, honestly I will.” He laughed and she reached down and took the doll from him.

“No, silly.” Then her voice grew lower, as she grasped the doll lovingly. “I made this after the first time we met. Remember? At King’s Cross Station?”

He nodded, too moved to speak. She continued.

“I would sit on this bench and look out to the west. You know why?”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Because you like the sunset?”

“I do, but that’s not why.” She sat down on the bench and held the doll to her chest. “Because that’s the direction that Hogwarts is. That’s where you were.” He sat down beside her and took one of her hands. She smiled at him.

“I’ve always wanted to be your wife, Harry. Even back then. I would hold this doll, look out there and pretend that we were always going to be together.” She chuckled. “Silly things we dream of as little girls.”

Harry touched her cheek and felt warmth radiating from her face to his hand. “Dreams are important, Ginny. Dreams tell us that there’s hope, even in the darkest of days. Dreams make sure we hold on to what’s most important.” He paused. “Why did you want to show me this?”

“I don’t know. Seeing Teddy and Victoire realize their dreams made me think of this.” She held her breath. “I love you, Harry. I always have and I always will.”

“I love you, too, Ginny. You are my world, never, ever doubt that.” They kissed, their lips meeting in an almost forgotten urgency. Harry felt heat reach from their connection and reaching down to his feet. He held her tight. Married couples sometimes get too involved in the minutiae of life, caring for kids, having careers. Sometimes they forget what brought them together. Harry knew that they needed times like this to remember.

After a lingering moment, they parted lips, the breath gone from their lungs. Together, they rose and stood by the rail, holding each other, looking out into the evening sky.

“I guess you did want me up here for a little snogging, eh?” His words broke the silence and they laughed.

“I guess I did.” She rested her head on his shoulder, the essence of lilacs drifting up to his nose. He pulled her close to him. She sighed.

“Look, Harry, a shooting star, let’s make a wish.” He glanced up and saw a small light streaking across the sky. He froze.

“That’s no shooting star.” He grasped Ginny to him and pushed her into her bedroom as the streak of light suddenly turned and shot towards them. It struck the terrace and exploded, destroying landing and showering them with debris. Then the whole world burst into a curtain of fire and light, as screams rippled through the Burrow.

A/N: Like I said before, I love writing the tender scenes, but I also love writing the smash bang stuff too...and for my readers who know, I absolutely LOVE cliffies....I do that from time to time when the feedback falls off...so, remember, if you want to know what happens next, then leave some...

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Old September 14th, 2011, 5:34 pm
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Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

***Sorry for the brief delay - I had to travel for business, my kids' football seasons started and YES, I finally got into Pottermore...anyway, as a way to say I'm sorry, here's a longer chapter...with lots of action!!! Enjoy!***


Chapter 16 – Blitzkrieg at the Burrow

Everything was an illusion. The woman spread her arms out and felt the cool currents of the winter sky drift through the tattered strips of black silk which covered her petite figure. Her skin was pale and her jet black hair an even wilder tangle in the winter air. It wasn’t real, she thought to herself. She knew what reality was. She knew she wasn’t the person everyone saw. True, she felt real enough. She felt the crushing wave of hatred and the uncontrolled delight in mayhem that she knew she was supposed to feel. The living construct of the creature inside her chest made sure that those emotions and her actions were identical to those felt by the original, but her intellect, ungoverned by the emotion, realized that she was not who she claimed to be.

She glanced behind her and saw two figures standing atop a large flying carpet. Molinero and Burwitz stood as if in a room, heedless of being thousands of feet in the air with nothing more than an inch of fine Persian rug beneath their feet. Despite her rage, a trace of cold fear rippled through the woman. That her master, her lord, Voldemort was nothing more than a pawn and a minion of Burwitz’ father was a fact that both enraged and frightened her. Again, a pang of rational thought passed through her chest. She was not real. She was a construct, nothing more than the memory of a woman who’d died three decades ago. Yet she felt alive, because her anger was still there, hot in the cold air, the need to exact retribution on those that had stolen her rightful place at her master’s side from her burning like the coals of an uncontrolled forest fire.

She looked down and saw two lines of wizards and witches rapidly approaching the ramshackle collection of buildings standing in an open field. The first line were clad in black, the zombie wizards brought to life by Molinero that served as their shock troops. Closely behind were the purple clad wizards of Himmler’s Praetorians, the cold steel of their attack. Alongside her were the red-garbed aswang clones of the remaining death eaters. Their numbers, even with their second chance, had been whittled down, testimony to how much more dangerous the enemies of the Dark Lord had become. She gripped her wand tightly and a look of menace crossed the delicate features of her pale face. She was a copy, a fake and yet now, Bellatrix Lestrange would have her revenge. They weren’t here to capture or terrorize. Her mission was plain. They were here to kill. It would be death to Harry Potter and all the rest who’d led the fight against Lord Voldemort. Real or not, the feeling of exhilaration cascading through her body was enough to make irrelevant. Bellatrix Lestrange would be the instrument of destruction. Her wild cackle echoed through the air as she raised her wand and sent a curse flying towards the Burrow below.

***
The first touch of her lips to his told him he’d made the right choice. Teddy held Victoire’s face in his hands and returned her kiss with the passion of one who’d seen the abyss and found heaven in the arms of the woman he loved. They were sitting underneath the ancient oak tree, atop the stone wall that lined the Burrows proper. It was the spot Harry had told him about, the place where Harry and Ginny as well as Ron and Hermione found solace in the affirmation of their love for each other. Teddy and Victoire had slipped away from the party after the announcement of their engagement and were holding each other under the twinkling of the stars in the winter night. They held each other close, each drawing from the other, warmth from the love they shared. As their lips met, Teddy felt rather than saw something off in the distance towards the house. He jerked his head back and saw a streak of red light strike the top of the house.

Teddy didn’t think, but more reacted to the explosion. He stood and gripped Victoire’s hand in his own while his wand hand snapped outward, flexing the holster on his arm causing his wand to appear in his hand.

“Teddy, what’s happening?” There was fear in Victoire’s voice, but Teddy saw her eyes were solid, confident in him, but not necessarily terrified of the unknown.

“Shhh…” Teddy responded quietly, his gaze drawn to the rustle of sound on the outside of the wall. The tall grass in the field began to sway, opposite the direction of the wind.

“Down!” Teddy pushed Victoire to the cold ground, landing on top of her back, shielding her body with his own as a violently bright green light struck the oak behind them. A large, menacing figure in black leapt over the wall. Teddy rolled off of Victoire and leapt to his feet. There was no time to conjure a spell, so Teddy grabbed the newcomer’s outstretched arm and jabbed forward with his fist, driving into the attacker’s elbow. There was an audible crack as bone broke. Teddy didn’t hesitate. Continuing the momentum of his drive, he brought his knee up into the assailant’s midriff and snapped roundhouse kick into his face, driving the man backward over the wall with a thud. Teddy saw more figures, both in the field and in the sky, descending down on the Burrow. He reached down and helped Victoire to her feet.

“We’ve got to get out of here!” He started running towards the house as curses hissed and snapped nearby, from dozens of sources. Teddy turned and was pleased to see Victoire with her wand already in her hand, already responding in kind, then his face turned into a scowl. His arm raised up and directed a curse out towards another man who appeared over the wall.

“It’s too far. We’re not going to make it.” He concentrated and then cursed out loud. “They’ve got a counter apparition charm up.” Teddy thought for a moment and the made a choice. He shoved his wand back into his holster and concentrated.

Ever since he’d recovered his sense of self, he was afraid of this moment, a time when he would have to use his ability to transform. The barest flicker of temptation coursed through his mind. It would be so easy to change into the dragon. He would be so powerful, these attackers would never stand a chance. But then, he felt the warmth of the hand in his own. Victoire’s love seemed to be channeling through their connection. He took a deep breath, and then he changed.

Victoire felt her arm drop as Teddy made his change. She felt a momentary pang of fear; hoping that he was not opting for a change that would take him away from her forever. Instead, when she turned, she saw his choice, he was a werewolf. Teddy was standing on all fours, his head turned towards her. She nodded and leapt on his back, with a grace born of a dancer and clung tight to the purplish hair on the nape of his neck. Then he was off and running, not in a straight line, but moving from side to side at random intervals in a desperate hope to evade the increasing number of curses and spells being directed at them. Victoire clung to Teddy’s back with one hand, returning curses with her wand over her shoulder, protecting Teddy as he protected them both. The assailants may have thought that she was defenseless, but she was her mother’s daughter, a powerful witch and vela. They were wrong, and she made them pay for their error. However, there were so many of them. Victoire held on for dear life, wishing the distance to close as Teddy’s frantic movements inched them ever so closer to the relative safety of the house. It would be a near run thing.

***
Harry struggled to his feet. The wall where the terrace had been was open to the sky and he could see the indistinct outlines of his attackers and there were so many of them. For a moment, he hesitated. He could swear he could hear the high pitched cackle of laughter, a sound he hadn’t heard in almost thirty years. The sound was chilling, bringing him to his senses. He turned and helped Ginny to her feet.

“Are you all right?” He looked her over briefly and felt a sigh of relief escape as she seemed none the worse for wear. Her wand was in her hand and she pointed up into the sky.

“Who are they? What do they want?” Ginny asked, even as she sent a responding curse into the sky.

“It’s a long story.” Harry responded as he glanced towards the door. Debris covered the opening. “We’ve got to get downstairs.” He reached his arm around Ginny and drew her close to his body. Even in the desperation of the moment, he couldn’t help but notice the warmth of her body next to his and the effervescent scent of lilacs in her hair. She punched him in chest.

“Later, you!” She scolded him without any real venom. He laughed and raised his wand up, pointing it towards an undamaged gable on the outside of the house.

“Textus Funis!” A thin yellow line of light leapt from the tip of his wand and attached itself to the gable. The light didn’t dissipate, remaining as a connection between his wand and the roof. Without hesitating, Harry jumped out of the broken opening of the wall and out into the open air.

“Cado!” As soon as they cleared the building, the light rope began to drop them down, in a rapid but controlled descent. In a matter of seconds, they were on the ground, just outside the front door. Harry flicked his wrist and the rope disappeared while the door opened and James leapt out, his wand flashing spells as he covered his parents who ran inside the house, then James followed and slammed the door behind him.

Inside, he saw the family clustered in the living room, while most of the adults had taken up positions near windows or holes in the wall and were returning fire. Harry turned to Arthur.

“We can’t stay here. There’s too many of them and the defensive charms are failing.” Ever since the time of the Dark Lord, the Burrow had been protected by a series of protective charms. Even after the apparent danger had passed, Arthur and Molly had been in the habit of erecting the spells, given how famous their family had become. But this assault had come when they were preoccupied with Christmas. Combined with the sheer ferocity and numbers of their attackers, the spells had already begun to deteriorate. Arthur nodded in agreement.

“I know just the place.” He shouted and moved to the family clock near the wall. He gave the clock a shove, sending it crashing over. Molly have a small whimper then took a deep breath and began collecting the smaller children to her. Arthur was already moving. Behind where the clock had been standing was a small alcove that had a hole in the ground. In the center of the hole was a shining brass pole. Arthur had been quite pleased with himself when he’d installed the escape tunnel. He’d pattered it after a pole he’d seen in a muggle fire house. Now, he’d get to use it.

“Harry!” Harry turned and saw Bill Weasley’s worried face. “Victoire and Teddy aren’t here. We can’t find them.”

Harry felt a sinking feeling in his chest, but he suppressed it. Instead, he started getting people ready. “We won’t leave them. They must have gone outside after the party broke up.” He glanced at Ron and James then turned to the others. “Lily, you, Hugo and Rose get the kids down the chute to the portkey. Arthur, you and Molly need to go with them.”

Molly began to protest, but Harry held up his hand. “Arthur needs to go and set up our escape and you need to cover him. We,” he pointed to James and Ron, “will get Teddy and Victoire. The rest of you need to get away.”

He strode to the door, followed closely by Ron and James. James grasped hold of the knob and looked up at his father, while Ron and Harry prepared themselves to out into the open.

“Wait!” Charlie’s voice was insistent. Harry turned just as a dark shadow crossed in front of the large window in the living room. The shadow grew bigger and bigger and suddenly, the window exploded inward as a large figure crashed through it. Harry tried to react but stood stunned. The large figure was that of a large wolf, which was absurd in and of itself, but sitting atop the wolf’s back was a beautiful golden haired woman, riding like the Valkyries of myth. Ron began to chuckle as Teddy landed in the center of the living room and waited for Victoire to dismount before he started his transformation.

“Show off.” James muttered, but his thoughts were interrupted by a panicked shout from Victoire.

“Teddy’s been hit. Someone help me!” Harry and James looked down and saw Teddy, now back in human form, laying on the ground, a long black burn mark running up his side and shoulders. Victoire kneeled over him, shouting his name. She looked up at her parents. “He wouldn’t put me down, even after they got him with the flame charm, he kept going, he wouldn’t put me down!”

Charlie was the first to reach him. He aimed his wand at the wound and began healing the damaged parts and then looked up at Harry. “We’ve got to get him out of here.”

Harry nodded. “We’ve all got to go.” Harry nodded to Ron and James, who took up position near the shattered window and began returning fire. Harry turned to Ginny. “Get them going, Gin. We’ll be along shortly. We’ll cover you.”

Ginny looked at her husband dubiously. “This isn’t the time or place Harry.” She shared a look with Hermione who crossed her arms.

“What do you think you’re doing, Harry Potter?” Her voice came out as a demand and even Ron shivered at the tone.

Harry sighed. “Look, I’m tired of being in the dark here. We need answers and I’m tired of the people I love getting hurt while we’re in the dark.” He spared a glance at Teddy as Bill and Charlie helped him to the escape tunnel. “I won’t take any chances and if we can’t get them, we’ll come back, I promise.”

Ginny saw the resolve in her husband’s face and then sighed. “You’d better be back, Mister.” She took a small hour glass from her pocket. “You have five minutes, then we all come back for you. Understood?” Harry nodded and then waved Ron and James over to him, while the rest of the family made their escape.

“You have a plan?” Ron asked.

“Don’t I always?” Harry half quipped, and Ron rolled his eyes.

“I don’t get it.” James looked at them both. Ron smiled, despite the circumstances.

“Your father is about to go into ‘make it up as I go’ mode.” Ron responded and this time James looked at his father with his jaw open.

“You keep telling me to follow the plan.” There was an accusing tone in James’ voice. Harry laughed.

“Of course, when there’s time.” This time Ron laughed out loud. Charlie was last to leave. He offered a casual salute, then tapped his watch on his wrist, then disappeared down the escape tunnel.

“So what’s the plan?” Ron asked. Harry pointed out through the broken window. Ron sighed, then nodded. The three Aurors held out their wands and then jumped through the opening out into the night.

***
Molinero stared at the scene, as the magic carpet hovered in place above the Burrow. The main house was burning even as more and more of the shock troops and Praetorians surround the structure, pouring spells into the conflagration. Beside him, Burwitz stood, her old hands curled around a gnarled wooden staff. It was taking too long and they were too visible. He hadn’t been optimistic of outcome in the first place. True, it made some sort of sense to attack while all of their targets were in one place, but time and again Potter and his family and proven quite formidable and even more so if they were concentrated. This sort of direct attack was ill advised, but he wasn’t one to question Burwitz, who still had some sort of hold on her father. In Himmler’s case, the wizard was determined to wipe out Potter and his allies, so Molinero kept his doubts to himself.

The return fire had all but dissipated. Perhaps they’d killed or wounded them all. He couldn’t believe it, at first, yet after the initial losses, there’d been no sign of resistance. Then his eyes widened as he saw three figures burst from a nearby shed, set apart from the main house. The figures were rising. They were on brooms! He laughed inwardly. They wouldn’t escape, if that was their plan. The figures kept approaching, drawing nearer at a frightening pace. Molinero had a thought cross his mind. What if their plan wasn’t to escape? He turned to the woman floating nearby.

“Bellatrix!”

***
“I hate your plans!” Ron shouted as he leaned over the shaft of his broom. Harry laughed and pressed forward, coaxing even more speed out of his broom. Ron and James were tucked into a triangular formation behind him. Ron continued.

“Grab a broom and attack the leaders? What a great plan! Wait, I know. I’ve got a better plan. Let’s go drive our heads into concrete walls while we’re at it.” Ron grumbled and couldn’t help but notice James’ look of amusement. “Oh great, laugh it up! Don’t you ever try this with me around, or you’ll never get out of your apprenticeship.”

“Yes, Uncle Ron.” James shouted.

“Look! There!” Harry pointed to two people standing on top of a floating carpet. “That’s got to be the leaders.” He waved his arm forward and the three Aurors pressed their attack.

***
Bellatrix Lestrange turned her head at Molinero’s warning. She followed his pointed arm and saw the new threat and smiled.

“Rudolphus and Macnair, with me!” The nearby Death Eaters drew up and joined Bellatrix.

“I killed Sirius Black!” She shouted at the approaching figures. “I’m going to kill you, Harry Potter.”

***
“Break!” Harry shouted. James and Ron peeled off in opposite directions while Harry kept boring in on the three figures shielding his prey. He heard Bellatrix’ taunts and laughed inwardly. Thirty years ago, it might have caused him to react emotionally, but now, he had more than enough time to settle the loss of his godfather with that of his parents. Harry felt a moment of pity for Bellatrix. She had no idea the changes that had occurred in him over the years, but that moment passed quickly. Alice and Frank Longbottom were still suffering and no matter what, Bellatrix Lestrange didn’t deserve an ounce of compassion.

“I killed Tom Riddle!” While Harry had his emotions under control, the newly “reborn” Bellatrix Lestrange still felt the rage and the unremitting anger of the original.

“How dare you use the Dark Lord’s name!” She sped forward to meet Harry. “You mudblood lover! You half breed!” Her voice was shrill, reaching heights of hysteria. She flashed curses towards Harry who made subtle adjustments to his course, evading the deadly streaks of light. “I’ll kill you!”

Bellatrix felt the heat of her rage channeling through her body. Her eyes focused on the figure coming towards her, her teeth gritted in determination. Her focus was complete. She would kill Harry Potter and avenge her master. Such focus came at a price. She never saw James approaching from directly below her. He stretched out his arm.

“Petrificus Totalus!” Her body froze in place. She had no control of her extremities and her magic. She was a dead weight, hanging in the air, then gravity took hold. She plummeted towards the earth below in silence.

Her consorts’ eyes moved from Harry to James, and they missed Ron’s approach from above.

“Glacies Pugnus!” Ron held his wand out and a giant fist made of ice shot from the tip and barreled through Macnair and Rodolphus Lestrange, knocking them senseless and they joined Bellatrix in her fall to earth. Harry kept his momentum up and then leapt from his broom into the air.

“Eximus Orbis!” Harry had gotten the idea for this spell from the tiny super balls that Dudley’s kids had played with. He found himself encased in a perfect sphere of energy and light. The arc of his ballistic approach brought him down right in the middle of the magic carpet and then he bounced up in the air. The impact caused a ripple on the carpet, sending Burwitz careening uncontrollably over the edge while Molinero fell in the opposite direction, desperately grasping at the tassels on the edge of the carpet. He hung, suspended from the carpet. Harry broke the ball apart and stretched out his light rope to the shaft of his nearby broom. He held his free hand out and gave a quick spell and Molinero found himself encased in ropes and bindings. Harry drew himself up to his broom and lashed Molinero’s bindings to the broom and with Ron and James covering him, the Aurors flew off into the night, leaving the burning ruin of the Burrow behind.

***
The fireplace burst into a flash of green light, smoke and soot. Harry levitated his captive into the room and sighed, the familiar surroundings instantly relaxing his senses. He pushed his prisoner off to the side and saw a familiar face seated behind the large desk in the center of the room, yet his own face was drawn to the portrait behind Kingsley Shacklebolt, Headmaster of Hogwarts.

“Well done, Harry.” Albus Dumbledore’s face in the portrait beamed with paternal pride and Harry laughed, both with happiness and a trace of sorrow.

“Thanks, Professor.” Harry turned to Kingsley. “Is everyone safe?” Before Kingsley could answer, Harry was engulfed in a tight embrace of arms and red hair, he returned Ginny’s hug and then pulled her away long enough to kiss her lips. After a moment, the took a breath and Harry asked his question again.

Ginny smiled. “Yes. Teddy will be fine. Madame Pomfrey is going to keep him there overnight.” Then a shadow crossed her face.

“What is it?” Harry asked, but in the back of his mind, he suddenly knew what she was going to say.

Ginny gripped his arms. “Everyone here is fine, Harry, but what about Albus?” Harry didn’t have an answer for her as a dark, heavy weight pressed down on his chest.

***
SNAP/BOOM!

Ten figures apparated onto the open field and looked around. At one end of the open space, a tall obelisk, its lights reaching out into the air held vigil while at the other end, a broad, round topped building dominated the space.
An ugly, narrow faced man turned to a similar looking woman draped in red robes.

“Well, sister, we always did say we wanted to visit the States.” The woman chortled with a spit filled cackle and pointed to the large building off to the side. Alecto and Amycus Carrow led their zombies directly towards the Museum of Natural History where their target, Albus Potter was last seen, and this time, there were no Aurors to stop them.

Alecto’s hideous laugh carried off into the cold winter night.

***A/N: Whew, that was fun. How will Albus get away? Will he get away? I mean, it's only him, a squib and Luna...the Death eaters don't have a chance.

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