PoP 23

Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity

Year 2: The Advancing of Shadows

Chapter 10: Struggles and Stirrings

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 Fezzik, as well as my other betas Athena Hope, Mr. 3CP, Luq707, Raven, Regress, and Yoshi89 for their incredible work on this story.

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Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity

By ACI100

Book 2: The Advancing of Shadows

Chapter 10: Struggles and Stirrings

October 9, 1992

The Third Floor

9:49 PM

Harry’s week had been long ever since that detention with Aberforth. None of what he now presumed to be Grindelwald’s memories plagued him in sleep — not new ones, at least — but there were other visions. Wylla Nurmen still crept up every now and again, but he had a new recurring nightmare as of late. A sinister, inhuman voice hissing in the back of his mind; urging him to rip, tear, and kill, and him listening — doing unspeakable things under the voice’s persistent guidance. 

There was plenty more to deal with in the waking world, as well. The upper years were growing bolder by the day, and Harry now spent his free time almost exclusively in the library. The positive of this was that he was making astounding progress in pushing ahead in his magical pursuits. The second-year syllabus for Transfiguration, Charms, and Defence Against the Dark Arts was suddenly looking laughably easy. The negative was that the isolation was getting to him. It wasn’t even really being alone. He enjoyed solitude when it was self-imposed. When it was forced upon him, however, it reminded him too vividly of the years he had spent on Privet Drive; years he would never be able to look back on with anything more than spite and bitterness.

He had just finished yet another Occlumency lesson with Professor Dumbledore. He was making great progress in that as well. The man said he was improving rapidly and that in time, they would be able to actually begin aiding Harry in repelling presences from his mind. Even just being able to force his mind calm had come in handy often this past week. It was an apt counter to the memory of voices only he could hear, but it was not something he had yet managed to accomplish while under a great deal of stress. It did still require a fair amount of focus, so the ability could not simply be called upon at one’s every whim.

Yet he wished it could.

Had that been within his capabilities, he would have done it the moment a jet of light soared past his head. It missed him by mere inches, and he knew at once he had reacted in the least ideal way imaginable.

He had frozen where he stood.

Two figures stepped out from behind suits of armour and Harry recognized them at once. They had been two of the more vocal Slytherins in opposing him. One was Marcus Jugson, a sixth-year Slytherin who was the pseudo ringleader of a pack of boys who had resorted to making Harry’s life a living hell. The other was Martin Macnair. He was a fifth year and — while not quite as talented as Marcus — what he lacked in skill, he made up for in vicious cruelty.

“Going somewhere, Potter?”

“The common room, if you don’t mind.”

“And if we do?”

Harry didn’t have a good answer for that and both of them knew it. 

They did not wait for an answer.

As soon as he hesitated, twin jets of light flew towards him. He had scarcely enough time to recognize colours before he dove to the side and summoned his own wand from its holster with a swift flick of his wrist. He leapt back to his feet and was immediately spared by luck. A curse missed his shoulder by less than an inch but a second later, a Cutting Curse grazed him. Fortunately, it was only a graze. It opened a gash on his shoulder that burnt like the sting of a dozen bees, but it was not terribly deep — nor pressing.

He feinted to the right, and Macnair bought it. He tripped up Jugson and his bid to block Harry, and he knew he had his chance. His wand rose and flashed towards the more talented of the two, who had stumbled and was trying to right himself. The incantation for the Cutting Curse formed on his lips, but at the last second he froze.

“Come… come to me…” Harry remembered with a shudder. “Let me rip you… let me tear you… let me kill you…”

He hesitated as the words went through him with the suddenness and immediate impact of a lightning strike. His body even ceased like that had been the case as his brain tried to rationalize everything. Thoughts of the voice brought back thoughts of Aberforth’s insinuations of all that could have gone wrong on the Quidditch pitch and, more pressingly, Wylla Nurmen’s blood staining the snow with the deathly crimson glow of her mortal essence. 

Pain wracked his midsection and suddenly, Harry felt weightless for seconds before impact unlike most things he had ever felt wracked his entire body. He was on the floor and he didn’t realize for some time how he had come to be there but after some seconds, he realized that his hesitation must have cost him. One of them must have gotten through a Knockback Jinx, or something similar.

“Fucking filthy mudblood piece of shit!” snarled Macnair, bearing down on Harry with his wand raised. “Tormensia!”

Harry felt every bone in his body revolt against whatever Macnair had just cast upon him. It felt like each of them had taken to painfully grinding against its nearest counterpart, as though trying to reduce their counterparts to fine bits of powder.

“No!” Jugson screamed, and Harry felt the curse lift. “Not in an open corridor, you idiot! The boy will scream and draw attention! If you’re going to torture the little shit, at least drag him into a classroom to do it and silence the door.”

“What are we waiting for, then?”

“It’s too late now,” said Jugson. “Somebody will have heard the bang. Come on, let’s go.”

The two of them sprinted off in the opposite direction and Harry struggled badly to retake his feet. He had desperately hoped that no one else would come; he had no desire to be seen like this. No one did, which was either fortunate or extremely unlucky. He knew at once that at least two ribs were bruised. Moving was a task and even breathing sent sharp stabs of pain up his side, as though someone had poked his very skeleton with a flaming hot iron.

He needed to be better than this.

He needed to sort out whatever the hell was going on in his head and continue to improve. One would not do without the other in check. This had been a painful reminder of that, and it was one he would be heeding.

…but Merlin, would tuning out the memory of that horrible voice be a task, and that was saying nothing of its potential return.

Merlin, Harry hoped it stayed away.

Later that night…

He sat at a central table in the dining room of their small family home. A chessboard sat between him and his mother, who was the lone parent home today. His father was away, helping a family friend on their farm, and he would not return for some days — maybe even a week. 

The clouds outside seemed to mourn the man’s absence along with Gellert, who was more disappointed than he would care to admit about the fact his father had missed his birthday just days earlier. The clouds outside were as grey as colourless fabric and they did a great job of ensuring no sunlight fell upon them from above. Snow fell in its place. It was late in the year for such snowfalls, but the sky seemed to have forgotten. Gellert had never seen so much snow later in the winter, and he worried for his father, out farming in such horrid conditions.

His mother moved a chess piece and set it down with surprising force. She had been quiet and had scarcely spoken to Gellert since Wylla the witch had been pummelled to death by all those stones. The departure of his father hadn’t seemed to help matters. She indulged him in a game of chess, but it was clear it was more out of obligation than anything else.

His mind focused more on his mother than on the game as he moved his own piece. He wondered why she had spoken to him so little. He wondered why she seemed so distant. He hadn’t done anything wrong when Wylla had died, as far as he could tell. He had been well-behaved ever since, too. She had no reason to be upset with him — or anyone else, really — but she was, and it had him more than a touch confused.

“Check,” she said dully.

Gellert looked back at the board, startled. He had made a number of careless moves without thinking, so lost in thought he was. He examined the pieces and their positions and quickly realized that he was in a losing battle. He could extend the game, but he would inevitably fall to a swift checkmate unless his mother made an especially foolish mistake.

It frustrated him more than it should have.

Not so much losing at chess. He was extremely competitive and he was very annoyed at that, but the habit was one he had worked on over the years. Both of his parents had told him he needed to become better at dealing with losses and to not act like a child after they took place. He had gotten a bit better at that, but the loss wasn’t what really bothered him.

It was losing track of thought.

It had happened so frequently since Wylla Nurmen’s death and the conversation with his father. The nightmares had receded some since their night time stroll, but in return, the thoughts seemed to plague him more in his waking hours. They seemed as unshakable as a shadow on a bright sunny day and Gellert could not be rid of them — no matter how hard he tried. 

His mind had just focused on it so many times. 

He did not understand.

Why should Wylla have died just because she had powers that the rest of them didn’t have? Why should anyone die for being better? If someone dies, it should surely have been because they had done something horrible? Being born with magical powers seemed quite the opposite. It seemed to Gellert like being born the wealthiest man around. He would want nothing more than to have those powers, and it seemed terribly unfair to kill children for such things. Even at his age, he felt oddly about it.

He felt strangely affronted by it, and all of his feelings were coming to a head inside of him. They were swirling in his very chest like vengeful storm clouds, coiling tightly like an angry viper and coalescing with some resistance, like water and fire yielding a piping hot wall of steam.

Bangs could be heard all around the dining room as his mother let out a terrified scream. It took Gellert a moment to realize what had happened but when he did, his eyes widened in transfixed puzzlement.

All of his mother’s pieces had leapt straight from the board with impossible fervour. A few had jumped straight upwards and bounced hard off the ceiling. Some of them had fallen to the floor, others bouncing all about the room, and a few had even clattered off the window like fast-flying bugs.

Gellert and his mother had stared at each other with wide eyes and both of them seemed to come to the same conclusion at the same time.

Gellert realized what he had done. The words of his father came back to him, and he could scarcely believe them, even now. 

 “Witches are real, Gellert; so are wizards, and they are not evil. They are great. They have powers that normal people could never dream of, and it isn’t because they made some kind of deal with the devil. It’s because they’re special and made for greater things.”

He had moved the chess pieces without touching them. He hadn’t wanted them to move, but he knew it was true. Losing the game had been what had made his mind travel to less desirable places, and it made sense to his young mind that it had triggered a reaction.

Did this mean he was a wizard? Had his father known this all along? Had that been why he had told him out in the town’s square as opposed to in the comfortable living room of their quaint and cozy home? Had this been why the man’s eyes had watched his son close as a predator might it’s prey as he had told the tale of magic and murder?

Gellert did not know, and he certainly did not have time to contemplate such things?

He felt pain lance through his scalp all of a sudden, like someone had poked it hard with something vaguely sharp. He looked up, startled, and froze at what he saw.

His mother’s pale, shaking fist was full of his hair as she dragged him to his feet. There was a look on her face he had never seen there before, but he had seen it once.

In the faces of those gathered around the church; those who had thrown stones at the helplessly bound witch who had died from those injuries.

“Mami!” Gellert cried. “Mami, what are you—”

His voice was cut off when her hand, which seemed so large to him, small as he was, found its way over his mouth. She tried to pull him down the hall, but he kicked and screamed. 

Fear had gripped him now, tighter than the jaws of a lion. He remembered all of the horrible dreams. The ones in which it had not been Wylla chained to the church wall, but him. He remembered the sight of stones flying towards him as though he had truly lived the memory.

He kicked, and flailed, and squirmed, and bit, and tried to fight, but it was no good. He was much too small and much too young. When dragging him no longer became viable, his mother simply scooped him up into her arms like she might a basket of dirty clothes. He tried to thrash, but she was much stronger than he was and before he knew it, he had been carried into his room and thrown onto his bed. The door slammed hard and he bolted to his feet, intent on opening it, but he couldn’t. 

His mother must have been leaning against it, else she had put something on the other side to stop him from opening it.

Gellert flopped down on his bed. Tears blurred his vision until it looked to him as though his room was cloaked in a heavy fog, and sobs wracked his body so intensely, that it looked as though he was having a fit.

All he could think of was the way his mother had thrown the stone, the way Wylla’s parents had done nothing, and what it might mean for him in the days and weeks to come.

October 14, 1992

The Grounds of Hogwarts

7:57 AM

The sunlight flowing down from the sky above still seemed as bright as a raging supernova to Ron, even though he had been bathing in its glow for some time now.

His robes billowed him around him as though they were flowing water and his hair whipped back in the wind, which buffeted against him like they were jousting. 

It was very rare that Ron Weasley awoke so early. He could hardly believe he was awake at all. He wouldn’t have been, had it not been for Cedric Diggory, who had proposed an early-morning flight around the grounds in light of the then predicted good weather.

Ron had agreed and they had met up in the entrance hall that morning at seven with their brooms and departed the castle, taking to the sky; cutting through the frigid autumn air like a knife through the butter as they soared high above the castle; which looked strangely more impressive from above, as their eagle-like perspective could now drink it in in all of its majesty.

The two had flown for some time but Cedric gestured for them to put a halt to the fun. Breakfast was fast-approaching and they both had lessons first period. Ron flew towards the ground with him. They circled each other on the way down, laughing as they tried to fly tighter circles than the other until their feet touched down.

“Thanks for coming out, Ron,” said Cedric. “It’s just been a shame we haven’t gotten to speak much since school started back up. I’ve been more busy than I’d have liked.”

Ron could agree wholeheartedly. His spat with Malfoy and Potter out on the Gryffindor had resulted in him being followed around and pestered at every passing moment for the next couple of weeks. It turned out that getting nastily cursed by the Boy-Who-Lived turned one into a sort of overnight celebrity. Ron thought he would have enjoyed the attention had it been for different reasons; he always had, when it had been because of anything involving Quidditch.

“Nah, no problem,” said Ron. “It was actually a good laugh. Next time, let’s maybe do it at any other bloody time on the clock, but it was fun.”

Cedric laughed as the two boys made for the castle’s front entrance. Even from outside, the smell of bacon wafted out from the Great Hall. Breakfast must have properly started.

“Anything interesting happen since school started?” Cedric asked. “Except for the drama with Potter and the other Slytherins, of course.”

“Just me wanting to hex a bunch of gits for following me around over it. It made me realize I didn’t know enough hexes, actually.” Cedric sniffed amusedly. “Other than that, not really. What about you?”

“Even less than you, I’m afraid. Us Hufflepuffs tend not to start full-blown duels on the Quidditch pitch. Just Quidditch, really. I’ve been made the house’s starting seeker, but I’m sure you knew that.”

Ron did, of course. “Congrats on that, mate.”

“Cheers, Ron.”

“And for the record, I didn’t want to start that duel. I just… I couldn’t let Malfoy just call Hermione that.”

“So he did use the word, then?”

“Yup — wanker, he is.” He scowled. “Not sure Potter’s any better. I thought he might’ve been alright, but bloody hell. That curse could’ve killed me if he had aimed a bit lower.” 

Cedric eyed him carefully. “Something’s bothering you. Any time you talk about that or seem to think about it, you get tense. What’s up?”

Damn Cedric and his keen eye. There was a reason he made an excellent seeker despite being far from the most naturally gifted flyer to ever attend Hogwarts.

“I just felt useless,” Ron admitted. “Potter shot that curse at me and I didn’t know what to do. Not even just that. Spells were flying everywhere and I froze. It wasn’t even because I was scared, I just didn’t know what to do. I borrowed a couple of books from Percy on defensive magic over the summer, but they’re not good enough. I’ve never actually duelled; I’ve no clue what I was doing. I never really thought I’d need to.”

“Most people don’t, to be fair,” Cedric assured him. “Most never get into a proper duel in their life.”

“Have you?”

Cedric fidgeted. “Well… yes. My father always said I needed to know how to duel. I got lessons these past two summers. Nothing super intense, or anything. Just basic self-defence stuff, really.”

“Can you teach me?”

The question was blurted so hastily, Ron hadn’t even paused to consider its implications. Why would Cedric take time out of his schedule to teach some second year? He could feel his face flushing as soon as the question was asked but — to his surprise — Cedric did not immediately shoot his request down.

He looked upon him with a critical eye. “Is this… actually something you want to learn? It’s not some passing fancy because of what happened with Potter?”

“I wanted to learn it before that,” Ron said hastily. “Like I said, I borrowed books from my brother over the summer. I really do want to learn.”

And he did. It ran much deeper than spells traded on a Quidditch pitch and a nasty cut courtesy of the best student in their year — at least according to Hermione. The desire ran back further, and its roots could be easily traced to a dark set of tunnels far beneath the castle; treacherous tunnels in which Ron Weasley had seen one of his best friends for the final time.

Cedric seemed to consider. “Alright,” he agreed after some pause, “if you’re sure. Just the two of us, or do you mind if others get in on it? I know Susan would love lessons. She was begging her aunt for them this summer, but Madam Bones wouldn’t give her any. She told her maybe in a few years, but Susan doesn’t think they’ll ever happen.”

“I don’t mind company,” said Ron. “Hermione and I sit with Susan and Hannah in Herbology. They’re a good sort, we just don’t get much time to talk.”

Cedric nodded just as the two of them stepped into the Great Hall, thus necessitating their departure from one another. “Tell you what, Ron. I’ll talk with Susan and Hannah and try to find a decent classroom we might practice in. I’ll get back to you if I find any.”

Ron grinned, hardly daring to let his hopes rise as he made his way towards where Hermione sat near the end of the Gryffindor table. This may well be the first step to ensuring he was weak no longer.

October 16, 1992

The Potions Classroom

9:00 AM

Harry was one of the first to the Potions classroom that Friday morning. He took his customary seat at the back of the class and pulled out a book on Transfiguration theory he had taken from the library. It was more complicated than any he could read, but he found it actually improving his wandwork, and he needed distractions nowadays.

The dream about Grindelwald and his mother had strangely been the most disturbing one yet. It had come the very night of his beating at the hands of the upper years. Madam Pomfrey had been able to heal him easily enough, but the dream had affected him infinitely more than the curses that came before it.

There had been no horrible violence like what he had seen when Wylla Nurmen’s skull had been cracked as easily as an egg and her body flattened like a pinecone that had been trodden on. There had just been an eerie and terrifying psychological shift. Grindelwald’s mother had been quiet and distant before, but to see her switch from caring mother to something so deranged and single-minded had both terrified and infuriated Harry.

The sudden shift was terrifying, but the behaviour was as he had come to expect. It was not at all dissimilar from something the Dursleys might have done in the same position. For the first time, he wondered whether Grindelwald may truly understand him. It was a very worrying thought, but it made a disturbing amount of sense. Perhaps that was how his words had touched Harry so deeply. If they were not dissimilar, he might have known what to say. The more troubling possibility was that he hadn’t needed to think and had only spoken naturally. 

If that was the case… Harry might need to do even more soul searching; which was actually something he had painstakingly avoided ever since hearing voices that first detention with Aberforth. In the one since, he had just stood there for the allotted time, unwilling to so much as think of trying to slaughter the sheep that sat before him.

Harry heard a bag set down beside him, but something felt odd. He glanced to the side and did a full double take. “Greengrass?”

The tall blonde girl had slid gracefully into the seat beside him; the one that was supposed to be occupied by Crabbe — his designated partner, courtesy of Professor Snape.

She frowned. “I thought I told you to call me Daphne. We spoke for hours on the train, didn’t we?”

Harry blushed. “Sorry, you… surprised me, was all.”

She shrugged. “We haven’t gotten a chance to talk since then. I thought this was the perfect chance and time. Especially now that Draco isn’t just hanging off of you at all hours of the day.”

That was an interesting description. Harry had always felt as though it was him hanging off of Draco, but upon a bit of self-reflection, Daphne might have been right. Any time they were seperated, it had usually been because Harry had needed space. He supposed he just viewed himself as a follower, since it had been Draco who had introduced him to the magical world, but maybe that hadn’t been true. Hell, perhaps that had been the cause of their separation. Perhaps Draco had realized Harry had grown out of his role of follower and the blond grew uncomfortable with their evolving dynamic.

“You took your time to come find me, though?” he accused with narrowed eyes. He didn’t just trust anybody. Let alone someone who approached him in a way that seemed as blatantly opportunistic as this.

Daphne gave him a pointed look. “Do keep up, dear,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “You and Malfoy argued for the entire end of last year and then you just showed up at Hogwarts in September like nothing had ever happened.” She gave him a pointed look. “Have you figured it out yet?”

Harry thought. “You… thought we might make up again?”

Daphne smirked. “There we go. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t exactly love Draco. He’s…” 

But what Draco was, according to Daphne, Harry did not find out. Snape had entered the room, which had filled around them. Harry took the chance to glance around for the first time. Crabbe was sitting at a table with Goyle, though he was staring at Harry awkwardly. Harry just shrugged, but Snape did not miss the oddity either.

“Potter!” he snapped. “You are to partner with Crabbe as I have made painstakingly obvious already. If you disobey my instructions again, it will be detention.”

“Excuse me, sir,” said Daphne politely, “but I was actually the one who chose to sit with him. His partner hadn’t arrived yet.”

Snape’s eyes bore into her, but Daphne did not so much as flinch. “And why would a sensible student like yourself do such a thing, Miss Greengrass?”

“Well, Professor, I’ve noticed that he hasn’t been doing well in Potions lately.” Harry pulled a face, but he knew it was true. Partnering with Crabbe was difficult work. He wasn’t naturally gifted at Potions as it was, and Crabbe was worse than useless. Harry spent most of the class trying to make sure the boy didn’t cause a catastrophe. It left him little time to even focus on brewing. “It’s one of my best subjects, sir, and I thought I could help out a housemate, was all? I can move if you’d like, but it’s no trouble. I’m always happy to help someone who’s struggling.”

Harry looked at her with a strangely hurt expression for all of a second before his brain caught up and he realized what she was doing. Her own visage was almost too polite, too perfect. Whatever Daphne’s intention had been, it was not to ensure Harry had a better Potions grade, nor was it to avoid embarrassment for Slytherin House — which was how many in the classroom seemed to have taken it.

Snape did not look at all pleased, but he knew he couldn’t object. A slight bias against Harry was one thing, but disadvantaging Slytherin and slighting people of its more well-respected students in Harry’s year… he was never going to do such a thing in front of the Gryffindors.

“In the future, Miss Greengrass, your generosity is not needed. You are a very gifted student who should not waste that talent on the likes of Potter, but you may do as you wish.”

Snape set them to work on that day’s brew, and Harry quickly became awed by the proceedings. 

Daphne had asked him to prepare the cauldron while she fetched the ingredients. Her return had then led to a lengthy lecture about the importance of studying the available ingredients and selecting only the best of the bunch. She spoke of all kinds of things like cross-contamination and less than ideal conditions for some of what they would be using to rest in. 

After that, they had begun brewing. Most aptly, Daphne had begun instructing Harry on what to do and for a moment, he had almost argued.

“Daphne… it says to stir clockwise, not counterclockwise.”

She had only grinned at him. “Good reading, Harry,” she said with a mischievous glint in her eyes. “Maybe leave the brewing to me for now, though. We’ll get you there one day.”

His jaw hung slack as the potion skipped its next stage entirely, completely voiding three steps in the process and immediately putting them miles ahead of the next furthest group in the class.

Harry argued no more after that.

It was the smoothest a brew had ever gone for him and at the end of class, he couldn’t help but peer suspiciously at Daphne in a way that made her raise a brow.

“What is it you want, Daphne?”

“A friend?” she asked, seemingly puzzled. “Why is it so weird that I’m just being friendly? The Malfoys might view you as a tool, but that doesn’t mean all of us do.”

“W-what?” stammered Harry, blindsided.

She just gave him a hard look. “I’ll let you work it out, for now,” she decided. “Think on it and get back to me. I’ll be in the library at lunch, but you’re welcome to sit with my friends and I at dinner if you’d like.”

And with that, she was gone, her last words ringing ominously in Harry’s mind.

“The Malfoys might view you as a tool, but that doesn’t mean all of us do.”

October 18, 1992

Malfoy Manor 

10:00 PM

The ancestral home of the Malfoy family stood tall and imposing against the velvety black sky. It was made of wood so dark that it blended with the night so seamlessly, it might not have been there at all. No light shone from any of its windows, and an outside observer would think all in the house was quiet.

That was not the case.

If one left the entrance hall and followed a slightly confusing sequence of corridors, they would find themself in front of a heavy oak door that would lead into a room that had not been used in almost eleven years.

Until tonight.

The room would have been bright in day, had heavy black curtains not been drawn across its large, clear windows and had it not been the dead of night. The presence of curtains meant that not even moonlight flowed in through the windows, thus the only light that lit the room were the torches. They were hung in ancient brackets of what appeared to be bone, spaced conservatively along the room’s four walls.

A table dominated much of this place. It was of wood as dark as that which made up the home’s exterior and it was very long. It too bore a small number of torches and in the low lighting of the room, they cast the faces of the table’s few occupants into shadow.

Until the man at the head of the table leant forward. The torchlight washed over him. His bright blond hair gleamed like a winter’s snow and his face was lit as brightly and suddenly as a pale lantern. His grey eyes seemed to somehow be brighter too as they observed the other three men at the table.

One had short brown hair and a hard face with a number of scars. He looked the oldest of the bunch, and his eyes were both the darkest and the cruellest. Another man had blond hair, like the host’s, but his had a golden hue to it and was different in that sense. The fourth man’s hair fell to about his shoulders and it was as black as the night outside. His eyes were grey like the host’s, but they were darker and seemed somehow fiercer.

“My friends,” said Lucius Malfoy from the head of the table. “After many years, we meet in this room again, and I trust the three of you know I would not have called upon you without… developments to report on.” The air seemed to thicken until it was denser than any gas. “I have news that must be acted on at once, and I humbly ask for each of you to help me in your own way. Should we form a plan that works, I have no doubt we will be rewarded.” His lips curved upwards into a smug smile. “After all, I am sure our lord will be most pleased.”

Author’s Endnote:

I know Harry hasn’t been as present in these last few chapters but trust me, that will change. This is just a very Down point in the year during which JKR did nothing canonically. I am filling it, to an extent, but I don’t want to create a subplot with Harry that is going to take up a ton of words; not with the Grindelwald memories already in play. Outside of that, I am using this time to further subplots not involving Harry and giving you a look into the mind’s of some other characters. I hope the slight shift has been enjoyable, but worry not — our main attraction will step back into the limelight in due time.

Please read and review.

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