AoC 76

Ashes of Chaos

Year 3: The Blackest of Truths

Chapter 22:

By ACI100

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based on the Harry Potter universe. All recognizable characters, plots, and settings are the exclusive property of J.K Rowling. I make no claim to ownership.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to my editor Athena Hope as well as my other betas 3CP, Fezzik, Luq707, Raven, Regress, and Yoshi89 for their incredible work on this story.

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Harry Potter and the Ashes of Chaos

By ACI100

Year 3: The Blackest of Truths

Chapter 22: 


October 26, 1993

An Abandoned Classroom 

9:33 PM

Harry had been planning this meeting for some time. Not actively, but a part of him had known for a while it was inevitable. Harry had at first hoped his promise to Lockhart could be fulfilled by idle eavesdropping, but he had realized during their last meeting that was not going to be the case. Harry was going to need to actively get close to Riddle. After their confrontation in the Chamber of Secrets last June, that task felt almost impossible. Not only because of the girl’s daunting presence, but because Riddle was entirely too good at reading people. To imagine the boy she had confronted in the chamber sidling up to her looking for an alliance months later would be a stretch, if Harry had to guess.

A large part of Harry had been pondering on how best to dissuade Riddle of those beliefs and convince her he could be trusted. Given her abilities with Legilimency, the task was even more difficult and Harry ought to have known it was the wrong way to approach it. Part of him, Harry thought, for a more cunning idea had been forming in the back of Harry’s mind.

The problem with more cunning ideas was that they often had especially miserable worst case scenarios. Even if the potential of failing might have been lower, the costs of failure rose exponentially. Harry had only to think back to his first year to remember that. His first plan of this nature had almost gotten Tracey expelled, whilst another had seen Rufus Scrimgeour permanently crippled, and a third had almost led to disaster in the form of that damned dragon. All of that was saying nothing about how poorly any plan he had devised last year had gone. That was a collage of catastrophes Harry had no intention to relive.

Harry thought all of these failures probably had something to do with why his consciousness had evaluated every other option before allowing his subconscious to speak its only remaining idea. 

Harry really disliked this plan. Not only was it risky, but it made his stomach churn. He knew betrayal better than just about anyone and knew it stung worse than any curse. What Harry planned to do here was a form of betrayal, in a way, and it was a low he did not envy sinking to.

Yet it was necessary. Harry could think of no other way to accomplish this goal. If he was ever to keep up with the likes of Riddle, some sacrifices had to be made. People like her weren’t going to avoid the difficult choices just because they didn’t like them. In high-risk games of chess, those compunctions could be the difference between winning and losing.

Ares was already waiting for Harry in the specified room. That was one thing he liked about Ares — she had always been punctual. Now he knew that none of that had anything to do with Riddle or her influence. It was a small detail, but a comforting one. It showed that there really were bits of her that Harry had truly known.

“I was surprised you wrote to me,” Ares admitted.

“I could tell you’ve been wanting to talk.” That was, of course, not the real reason Harry had written to Ares, but it was true.

“I really do want to rebuild our friendship.”

“I know. I’d like that too, but I’m not just going to let it happen; not after last time.”

Ares grimaced as if Harry had driven something heavy into her stomach and forced all the air from her lungs. “I get it,” she said, “it makes sense and I would do the same if I was in your position. I just hope nights like this might help us start making progress.”

“They will.” Harry’s gut tugged tighter. Was Ares really going to make this so easy? Part of him hoped she wouldn’t. 

“Did you have a specific reason to meet with me?” Ares asked. “You’re not exactly the most sensitive friend someone could ever have.”

“And you’re not the most gullible friend someone could have, so I won’t try and lie to you.” Ares smiled thinly and Harry steeled himself. “Do you trust Riddle?”

The smile fell from Ares’s lips. “Do I what?”

“Do you trust Riddle?”

Harry’s heart sank when Ares narrowed her eyes. “Why do you ask?”

“You’ve spent time with her over the summer and I’ve seen the two of you together at Hogwarts. It just… strikes me as odd you’d keep up talking with her after last year. I wasn’t sure if your parents had forced it, or—”

“They haven’t. Neither of them have actually given me any instructions about Riddle other than to treat her with respect. The two of us… came to an agreement over the summer.”

“A mutual one?” Harry asked, watching her intently.

“It was her idea,” Ares admitted, “but I accepted it on my own. She didn’t try to force or intimidate me into anything.”

“Why?” Harry asked.

“Why what?”

“Why would you trust her enough to willingly enter into an agreement?”

Ares tugged at a strand of hair. “You wouldn’t understand—”

“Try me.”

Her tugging intensified. “I just… I understand her. I knew she legitimately felt awful about my parents and what they had done—”

“How?”

Ares scowled. “I just did! You learn to understand someone after spending a year inside their head. I could tell she wanted to do something about it, and… I don’t know. It’s childish, but I just… I’d hoped it could work.”

It was childish and Harry would have liked nothing more than to tell her that, but he hesitated. Hadn’t he thought similarly once? When he had tried to make amends with his father because of a thousand dreams experienced whilst staring at the underside of a battered set of stairs?

“And has it?” Harry asked instead, forcing down any of those memories as he met Ares’s eyes.

She frowned. “Has it what?”

“Has it worked? Has Riddle been as trustworthy as you’d hoped.”

Ares hesitated, but nodded. “I’m not going to say she’s a good person because she isn’t. She’s one of the more selfish people I’ve met, but I honestly don’t think she wants to hurt people around her if she can avoid it. Anything she’s ever told me, she’s supported. She helped me over the summer and is keeping it up this year. I… don’t completely trust her, but…” she trailed off.

“But you’re confident enough to keep trusting her for now and you think she’ll prove you right?” Ares nodded. Harry pondered his next words, calculating risks versus rewards for each phrase that sprang to mind before finally deciding on one. “You said Riddle is selfish — what exactly does she want?”

Ares opened her mouth, then closed it, a look of dawning comprehension flaring up behind her eyes. Harry knew what she would say before the words left her mouth. “I… don’t actually know.”

“She wants control of the house.”

Ares nodded. “She does, but I think it’s just a means to an end. I’m just… not sure what that end is.”

“And I’m guessing you won’t tell me what she thinks of her competitors?”

Ares shrugged. “I don’t think she does think anything of most of them. They’re just… in the way.”

“Anything I should know about how she thinks of me or Calypso? Nothing to compromise your guys’ relationship, I would just rather not get caught up in something like the first night.”

“I haven’t heard her talk about Rosier,” Ares said with noticeable trepidation.

Harry narrowed his eyes. “And me?”

“She doesn’t have any plans for you that I know of,” Ares said hastily, “but she’s… curious about you, I think.”

That checked out with what Harry had suspected after their confrontation last June. “If I know anything about Riddle, I doubt she’ll just keep being curious.” Ares nodded with visible reluctance. “Any ideas how she might try and sate that curiosity?” She shook her head. “Okay, new tactic; any idea how I might make sure she sates it safely?”

Ares appeared to consider something for a moment before speaking. “You could always approach her.”

Harry grimaced. “I’m not chancing that without more information after how last June went.” He looked pointedly at Ares. “I’m not opposed to talking with Riddle, but not until I know she has no ill will or any plans to silence me.”

Ares’s shoulder slumped. “You want me to be a messenger, don’t you?”

Harry’s expression did not waver. “I think you’d rather the two of us at least be neutral than be fighting. It makes your position a lot easier if you really do want to be friends with both of us.”

Ares sighed; she knew Harry was right and that there was no use denying it. 

“Fine. I’ll do it.”


October 27, 1993

The Great Hall

8:41 AM

A storm of owls flew above the four house tables, swirling and flapping in a grey cloud almost as thick as the dread that blanketed Harry. The longer this week stretched on, the more and more anxious he became. Samhain was on the horizon and if there was one annual tradition in the wizarding world, it was that something miserable happened to him on Samhain. It really was almost comical. Harry had seriously considered locking himself up in the Speaker’s Den for that night, but with his luck, Riddle would pick that moment to barge in and find him there. He would have considered the Chamber of Secrets but any time he thought about the place, Harry re-remembered that somehow, he had forgotten exactly where the entrance was. He really ought to ask Grace or Calypso; surely one of them would know.

A familiar owl swooped down from far above and dropped a letter in front of Harry. He knew without picking it up that the letter had to be from Charlus. The question was what it contained. His mind considered the possibilities. Surely his moron of a brother could not have unravelled the mystery so fast? Harry thought Pettigrew was obviously behind it, but he had expected more time to pass before Charlus was even willing to consider that possibility. That was to say nothing of however long it would take to collect the necessary evidence. 

Harry glanced over his shoulder to ensure no one was walking behind him before opening the letter.

Harry,

I’ve made some progress with the search, but I’ve… got a bit of a problem I think you might be able to help me with. I know it’s weird to ask you for a favour after everything, but it would be dead useful and I can’t think of anyone else to ask for. If it costs me another favour or something, then fine. 

Can we meet up again later this week? Maybe Friday, same place as last time?

Write back soon,

Charlus

Harry frowned. Had Charlus really made progress so quickly? Perhaps Harry needed to reevaluate his brother. He was looking at Charlus in the context of the boy who had made so many mistakes involving Harry, but that boy had existed a year ago. Plenty had happened since then, most of which was more than capable of changing people forever. Was it really out of the question for Charlus to have matured so much in twelve months? Harry at the end of his second year would hardly have recognized the boy who had been sent back to Privet Drive and locked up in his room for the better part of the summer. Why was it he had such a hard time imagining Charlus going through a similar transformation?

When Harry refocused his attention, there was another piece of parchment in front of him. This one wasn’t in an envelope and he cast a sideways glance towards his suspected sender. Daphne’s expression was completely passive, but passing along notes so subtly when she wanted something had become a sort of trademark of hers. 

Harry could do little more than give an internal sigh. It appeared he would be having several difficult conversations this week.


That night, in the Speaker’s Den…

Harry had thought long and hard about a meeting place for that night. The idea of meeting in the Speaker’s Den twice in two weeks with another Parselmouth around made him uneasy, but he had reluctantly concluded there was no better option. If this was about Riddle, there was nowhere else in the castle Harry trusted as much as the Den; keeping these sorts of secrets was going to be imperative. 

Amusingly enough, it was Blaise who helped Harry slip away to the Den with Daphne. He had been nearly impossible to shake earlier in the year for their group meeting, but Blaise understood discretion better than just about anyone. So long as he wasn’t the topic of discussion, he was more than willing to aid Harry in whatever bit of espionage he was partaking in.

Harry looked all around the room when he and Daphne stepped inside. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting. The Den was password secured so even Riddle would be unable to enter just because she was a Parselmouth. She would need to guess the password, and Harry doubted she knew enough about his life and how he acted to guess it accurately. Still, this was Riddle and the mere idea of her made Harry cautious. Part of him expected her to be lurking in the shadows any time he stepped  into this room, but she wasn’t. Nothing was there but the long table and its chairs, the shelves of ancient books, and the throne-like seat at the table’s head.

Harry noticed that Daphne was watching him closer than usual and forced himself not to meet her stare. He had been doing that more lately and he found it somewhat distracting. Tonight was not the time for such things, especially not if Daphne had come to discuss what Harry suspected.

“You looked deeper into Riddle, I’m guessing?”

She nodded, her expression grim. “I took your advice and looked into old editions of the Daily Prophet.

“And?” Harry asked, pulse quickening as he leant forward in his chair. Could this be the moment the veil was pulled back?

Daphne reached into a pocket of her robes and withdrew one of the papers she had been speaking about and placed it on the table. Harry bent his head over the paper. It was obviously from Riddle’s time at Hogwarts. The pages had thinned over time, but they were well-maintained. Many things could be said about Madam Pince, but the hawkish woman took great care of any book entrusted to her. 

This particular prophet showed Riddle standing side by side with a man who Harry failed to recognize. He squinted, then his eyes widened. It was Dumbledore. His hair in the photograph was auburn, but those eyes and half-moon spectacles were unmistakable. The two of them stood together and held plaques that Harry recognized thanks to a morning last June in Hogsmeade when Gilderoy Lockhart had seen his bravery rewarded.

“This is for the Battle of Katalysator, isn’t it?” Harry asked, running delicate fingers over the aged photograph. Daphne nodded, still watching him closely. “I actually never realized she’d gotten an Order of Merlin for that.”

“First class, too,” said Daphne. “It’s said she directly escorted dozens of prisoners from the facility and indirectly saved hundreds by personally duelling Grindelwald.”

That still unnerved Harry. How talented must Riddle be to have been able to duel Gellert Grindelwald before her Hogwarts graduation? Lockhart had even implied the duel had been competitive despite the fact Riddle was on her way to losing. Even if Grindelwald had been testing her, it was a remarkable feat. Every time Harry considered it, he grew less confident about his mission involving this incarnation of the teenaged prodigy.

Harry opened his mouth, but closed it. He had been about to remark on how inconceivable it was that the girl in this photograph would grow to to become known as Voldemort. Whether the Unspeakables’ oath covered that or not, Harry was unsure, but he suspected it did. All he knew was that the oath would prevent him from speaking secrets similarly to how Salazar’s Sanction prevented leakages of conversations held in the Speaker’s Den. What Harry was unsure of was what happened if he tried and failed to work around the oath. Some secrecy pacts came with built-in punishments for those who actively tried to violate them. The Unspeakables had mentioned no such clause, but Harry was unprepared to take those kinds of chances.

“They really are the same person, aren’t they?” Harry looked up from the paper and towards Daphne, whose expression was ominously blank. 

“Who?” asked Harry.

“Riddle and Nigma. I don’t know, but they’re the same person. It doesn’t even look like she’s aged a day.” Harry had hoped the oath would allow him to speak the secrets once someone put them together, but it didn’t, so he just looked expectantly towards Daphne, hoping she would continue. “You can’t say anything still, can you?”

Harry grimaced. “I don’t think so, no.”

“I’m right, then.” Daphne nodded, looking almost at ease. It was an odd way to look given the current circumstances. Her lips then pulled together and formed an expression Harry recognized — Daphne was thinking deeply about something. Harry suspected she was choosing her words carefully. Now, both of them were trying to work around his oaths. “Emily Nigma was the Heir of Slytherin, wasn’t she?”

Harry considered, weighing the words in his mind before finally, he nodded. It was saying nothing directly about Riddle and mercifully, he felt comfortable in opening his mouth. It appeared that the magic binding his oath agreed with his assessments. Never before had Harry understood so completely why these kinds of things were never accepted in a court of law.

“Nigma was the Heir of Slytherin, yes. She… wasn’t around last year. She stayed the same as in that photo for a long time but with the help of the person she was working through, she returned to Hogwarts at the end of last year.”

That would have to do. Harry did not dare speak on the diary, let alone the concept of horcruxes. That was one oath he currently had no plans of working around.

Daphne just chewed her lip. “So Astoria has made friends with the Heir of Slytherin. That’s wonderful.”

Harry pondered another set of words before slowly, he opened his mouth. “Daphne, can you think of anyone else who has ever claimed to be the Heir of Slytherin?”

Daphne frowned. “The Dark Lady claimed to be a descendent of Slytherin himself.”

Harry met her eyes unblinkingly. “You should go look at different additions of the Prophet; I think what you might find surprises you.”

Daphne’s eyes narrowed. “What are you hinting at this time?”

Harry still refused to look away, wondering how he would deal with the fallout from his next words. “There has only been one Heir of Slytherin living in Britain during the last fifty or so years.”

Daphne’s eyes widened.


October 29, 1993

Rosier Manor

11:46 PM

Peter sighed with relief when he finally entered the sitting room at Rosier Manor. There was something about Evan Rosier that intimidated most men, but Peter found him pleasant company more often than not. Even if he didn’t, he thought anything would be preferable to what he had come from. 


Some time earlier, at Potter Manor…

Peter watched with a frown as James poured himself another glass. Back in the summer, Peter had sought to prove him mentally unfit, but never had he imagined he would watch the Potter lord fade so quickly before his very eyes. James’s habits were starting to be noticed. James had shown up to work more than once with the symptoms of a hangover still clinging to him. Thus far, he had always managed to do his job just as well as ever, but Peter wondered if that trend would continue.

Part of him knew that he should revel in Jame’s descent. Peter had failed to prove his instability over the summer, but actual instability on the part of James would accomplish the same thing. If Peter was especially fortunate, whatever had James so riled up tonight might push him even further over the edge and expedite the process.

So why did Peter feel so miserable? The fruits of more than a year’s work were blooming right before his eyes, yet Peter felt hollow but for a dull, throbbing ache in the pit of his stomach. It was like someone had grabbed hold of an intestine and was slowly twisting, sending lances of pain through his innards every couple of seconds.

Peter remembered feeling sick for weeks after setting up the trap on Samhain 1981, but that had been almost twelve years ago now. Peter had grown in leaps and bounds since then. What had unsettled him twelve years ago should roll off him now. He was stronger in every way imaginable, so why did he feel such teeth-clenching pain?

The table trembled slightly when James slammed down his glass. He had drained it, so no alcohol sloshed over its sides. 

Peter just frowned. “Is everything all right, James? You seem troubled but you haven’t said a word.”

“I just needed a bit,” James muttered, running a hand through his raven hair. It had grown slightly more unkempt in the last few months, but Peter suspected few noticed. James’s hair was always messy, only people like Peter had been around him often enough to tell the levels of messiness it reached.

“Have you had a bit?”

James glowered at him. “Shove off, Wormy.”

Peter blanched. “I’m sorry, James. I’m just… worried about you.”

James frowned. “Worried?”

“Yes, worried. You’ve… had a difficult year and it’s starting to show.”

James looked from Peter to the bottle of fire whiskey. “You mean this?” he asked, gesturing at the bottle. “Don’t worry about it, Wormy. I can cut back any time I want. It just helps, you know?”

It did indeed help, Peter thought. It helped James numb the pain and kept him ignorant of what was to come. Peter wondered whether his friend would see what was really happening had it not been for his drink and his sorrow. He doubted it. James had always been exceptionally talented, but never had he been known as observant. There was a reason Sirius had been the one to lay out their plans while James had often been the facilitator. He was excellent with practical work and applying ideas and concepts, but his own intuition was not always trustworthy.

Peter frowned. “Just be careful, all right? We might need you at your best if Sirius decides to pull some sort of stunt.”

A moment of alertness came over James as he appeared to blink the effects of the drink away. “Charlus wrote to me the other day.”

Peter felt a jolt in his chest. Could it be that Charlus had shared the same concerns with his father that he had with Peter? Peter had honestly expected he wouldn’t. Charlus just seemed to have grown out of telling James most things. It had been a flaw in his plan. Merlin, what had James told the boy?

“Was it about Sirius?” Peter asked. “Has something happened that the department’s kept quiet?”

“No,” said James, deflating as he reached for the bottle again. It had filled itself in the time he had been away from it — one of the house elves was watching, Peter suspected — but James seemed hardly to notice. 

“What is it, then?” Peter asked, forcing his lip to tremble. “James, is something wrong? Is Charlus all right?”

James sighed after a long pull straight from the bottle. “I don’t know what to think, Wormy.”

“You don’t know what to think about what?”

“Charlus is trying to figure out who used the Imperius Curse on Ron and wiped Charlus’s memories.”

“That’s good, isn’t it?” Peter asked.

James’s expression darkened. “It’s good if he succeeds or if he’s careful but Merlin, that boy has the tact of a hippogryph. You know better than anyone that investigations need, require subtlety. Charlus doesn’t have any of that.”

Peter realized then how little James knew about Charlus now. He was still seeing the boy who had first gotten onto the Hogwarts Express. This Charlus had kept more than a few secrets from his father. It was thankful for Peter that he had, but the thought made him strangely sad.

“Does he have any ideas?” Peter asked, remembering the conclusion he had steered James towards months earlier.

“He thinks it’s Snivellus. Meant to write back, but haven’t yet. Need to warn him that I think it’s Sirius.”

Peter frowned again; he would need to play this just right. “For a first guess, Snape actually isn’t bad.”

James sighed. “Dumbledore trusts him,” he said as if that was the matter closed.

“He does,” Peter admitted, “but Dumbledore’s human.”

James sat straight up in his chair the best he could and studied Peter. “Are you saying you think it might be Snape? Didn’t you think it’s Sirius?”

Peter scowled and slammed his hand down on the table. Merlin, that hurt; the pains he went through for the sake of method acting. “I don’t know! ” Peter growled. “That’s what bothers me the most. I’m supposed to be the best detective the ministry has, and I just don’t know. It could be Sirius, but… gah! We can’t even find Sirius! Hell, forget about finding it, we don’t even know how long he’s been off that bleeding island! It all just feels too much; I don’t know what to think anymore.”

James had nothing to say to that. For a moment, Peter wondered whether he might break down completely at the sight of Peter like this. Peter had always been the one with all the answers and he wondered what seeing him with none would do to James. A complete mental breakdown was what he expected, but perhaps it would harden his resolve.

Instead, it did something far better for Peter, but Merlin, did it have to worsen that strange pain in the pit of his stomach.

“Here,” James said, shoving the bottle towards him with a sympathetic expression, “I think you need this as much as I do.”


Back in the present…

“You look fabulous,” Evan greeted Peter when he walked into the lavishly decorated sitting room. “How is your old friend, James?”

Peter just grunted and flopped into one of the overly plush armchairs. “Just get me the damn potion, will you?”

Rosier smirked and snapped his fingers, causing a house elf to appear and take his order. A minute or so later, Peter sighed, having drained a goblet of bright liquid and allowed himself to relax back into the couch.

“Our friendly auror is about that well, is he?” Evan asked, smirk still in place.

“The man’s a menace,” said Peter. “If he was half as fierce in solving this mess as he was with his alcohol, we would be fucked.”

Rosier chuckled. “I don’t think he’s any less fierce. I just think the man’s gotten himself so lost that his ferocity has no other outlet.”

“Let’s keep it that way,” said Peter, massaging his temples. “Charlus has written to him.”

“Oh? I’m assuming by your tone it was no ordinary letter.”

“He’s started trying to investigate who it was that took his memories and put Ron Weasley under the Imperius Curse.” 

Rosier looked thoughtful. “He’s convinced that the same person is behind both?”

“He and James both. It took some effort by me to convince James.”

“And where is that effort going to now, old friend? Who do the Potters think this dastardly figure is?”

Peter grimaced. “Charlus thinks it’s Snape.”

Rosier actually laughed. “Severus? My, my, you have done well, haven’t you? Two birds with one stone, they say.”

“Not as well as you think,” Peter said, bitterness evident in his voice. “James thinks it’s Sirius.”

“Ah,” said Rosier, sitting back in his chair. “That’s also quite the deception.”

Peter narrowed his eyes. “Don’t you see the problem?”

“Problem?” Rosier asked, raising an eyebrow. “What problem are you speaking of?”

“If James thinks it’s Sirius and Charlus thinks it’s Snape, then they’ll argue.”

Rosier reached idly for a mug of tea and took a long, languid sip. “I’m afraid I still don’t see the problem.”

Peter grunted. “What happens, Evan, when they tell each other who helped them come to their conclusions?”

Rosier sighed. “Oh, that is your problem. I had hoped you’d led them to believe their assumptions more subtly than that.”

Peter scowled. “So sorry to disappoint you.”

“I wouldn’t quite go that far,” Rosier said, getting to his feet and gesturing for Peter to follow him from the room. “You’ve improved greatly since the night you first came to us. You just… need a helping hand.”

Something about the way he said that made Peter’s blood run cold and suddenly, he was reminded of that painful feeling in his stomach any time he thought of how far James had fallen.

“What sort of helping hand is this?” Peter asked, narrowing his eyes as Rosier slid open the drawer to a large wooden cabinet.

“Well,” he said, leaning his head in and rummaging for something, “you’ve really done quite well. The Potters are both hard-headed and neither will concede that the other is wrong. You could really have sowed some beautiful division had you been a pinch more subtle.”

“But I wasn’t,” Peter said, stating the obvious in the hopes that Rosier would get to the point. “So, what is this helping hand you think will fix everything?”

Rosier stopped his rummaging. “Well, I suppose I misspoke. You see, I think it’s best if your hand is what helps. Your aid won’t be your hand, but what you hold inside of it.” Peter’s eyes widened when he saw what Rosier had retrieved.

It was a small, clear vial filled with an odd, dark purple liquid that was difficult to look at; a potion Peter had not seen since the Purity War’s conclusion.

For the third time that night, that dull pain came to life inside his stomach.


Author’s Endnote:

I debated doing this chapter and the next as one super long one, but the chapters have gotten much shorter this year, so a 10k+ word chapter would just feel out of place nowadays unless it was the climax of a year or something. Regardless, expect the events of Samhain next chapter. That one may end up being a little bit longer than the last few, but we shall see.

Please read and review.

PS: The next password will be released in one week. THE NEXT THREE CHAPTERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PATRONS RIGHT NOW, AND I WILL BE POSTING TWO MORE CHAPTERS FOR THEM THIS UPCOMING WEEK! If you would like to read all of those chapters early, feel free to sign up to my Patreon page.

PPS: I will be on a public voice call to discuss AoC or to just chat about whatever you lot fancy when the next AoC chapter is released for Discord members on February 11th. This will likely happen at some point during the afternoon hours EST, but stay tuned for exact times. They will be posted in advance on the Discord server.


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