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From the Ashes by The Golden Snitches
Chapter 3 : Alastor Moody
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1


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Alastor Moody

Written by Gryffin_Duck




 


                The clock chimed eight times.  Dong, dong.  Alastor looked up from his desk to glare at the wooden grandfather clock that had been taking up residence in the corner of his study since before the study was his.  Dong, dong.  It was a constant reminder of how much time he spent at work.  Dong, dong.  Its constant ticking was a reminder of how much time went by.  Dong, dong.  Alastor gnashed his teeth together as the deep donging ended, only to be replaced by the quieter, but no less irritating ticking.

 

                Alastor sighed as he ran a hand through his stringy hair and leaned back in his chair.  He glanced out the window.  It was dark, but the nearly full moon was shedding light upon the paperwork atop his desk.  He had been consumed by paperwork for the past three hours, but had not seemed to make a dent in it.  The pile of completed paperwork was a mere inch tall and the pile of yet to be completed paperwork was at least five inches higher.  Alastor chortled to himself as he remembered how he thought the paperwork would decrease when he was made Head Auror.  He thought he could have gotten a junior Auror to do it for him.  How naïve he had been back then.  How simple everything had been back then!  Back when taking a week to catch a rogue wizard was considered stressful and most days went by without risking his life every waking second.

 

                Shifting aside the paperwork, he grimaced as his eyes rested upon that morning's copy of the Prophet.  The words 'Two Muggle Families Murdered: Murderer Remains at Large' were splayed across the top, a picture of a destroyed house below it.  A skull shaped cloud that had recently been named 'the Dark Mark' was above the house.  Alastor crumpled the paper and forcefully threw it into the dying fire. 

               

                Eleven months.  It had been eleven months since the first odd murders and disappearances had started.  The murders were strange, done to people who had lived quietly, never stirring up any sort of controversy and with no connection whatsoever to the Ministry.  The disappearances were just as strange.  None of the poor witches and wizards seemed to have any connection to each other, and no matter how many Aurors looked at the cases, no such connections arose.  As the months progressed, the amount of murders and disappearances increased and now it was considered a modern miracle if a week went by without any mention of such atrocities in the Prophet.

 

                How was it that eleven months could go by without any sort of lead?  Not a single clue had turned up and the only similarity in any of the cases was that odd Dark Mark cloud that appeared in the air.  Of course, not a single person who had been questioned had any idea what it meant, so it was for all intents and purposes useless. 

 

                The Ministry wasn't helping at all, what with the slew of paperwork that was still required to be completed.  If Alastor had his way, he would have forgone all the paperwork in an effort to put more Aurors on the field and less holed up in the Ministry, doing tedious tasks.  Filling out form after form was not going to catch the people doing this.  To top it all off, the Ministry was putting the blame of all of this on the Auror Department, as if they had the ability to put all of their effort into catching these people while following usual protocol. 

 

                All of this meant that Alastor was having to put in more and more hours, far more than he used to.  If the paperwork had to get done, he was not going to keep more Aurors indoors during the day, he was just going to have to do it himself at night.  If only there was a better way.  If only there was a way to keep the Ministry happy while making sure that the murderers wound up in Azkaban. 

 

                It was a question that had been lurking in the back of his mind for at least three months now and it had finally festered into an idea, a solution to the problem that had plagued him for so long.  What if he broke apart from the Ministry?  What if he worked apart from the government, possibly with a few trusted comrades, and worked to catch these people without all of the politics?

 

                There was a loud rap on the door and Alastor jumped.  No one else was at the Ministry this late, save for the night guard roaming the halls and he never disturbed him.  Grabbing his wand, Alastor rose from his desk and swept over to the door.

 

                “Identify yourself!”  he shouted, pointing his wand at the oak door.

 

                “It is I, Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  My favorite sweet is lemon drops and I have a fondness for Muggle knitting patterns.”

 

                Alastor opened the door a crack and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that it was indeed, Albus Dumbledore and not some murderous madman waiting to off him.  One could never be too careful.  Constant vigilance, that was his motto.  He stepped aside as Albus entered the room and took a seat in front of the desk.  Alastor resumed his seat behind it.

 

                “To what do I owe the pleasure, Albus?”  he asked.  Albus was a long time friend of his, but he rarely ever paid visits to the Auror Department.  Usually while at the Ministry, Albus was seen advising the Minister or taking up his seat on the Wizengamot.

 

                “Dark times, Alastor, dark times,”  Albus mused as he glanced at the parchment cluttering the desk.

 

                “Dark times indeed,”  Alastor agreed,  “and getting darker.”

 

                “That they are.  Last attack was-”

 

                “Yesterday, those two Muggle families murdered,”  Alastor interrupted as he glanced at the fire.  The Prophet had been reduced to ash and the burning embers were now cold.

 

                “And the Ministry is still requiring the usual paperwork?”

 

                “Of course,”  Alastor muttered.  “Merlin forbid a few lives get in the way of the Ministry following protocol.”

 

                “And that is exactly why I have paid you a visit this drizzly evening,”  Albus replied, his bright blue eyes twinkling.  “I wish to start an organization, underground and away from the Ministry of course.”  He chuckled.  “Well, I suppose the Ministry is literally underground.”

 

                “Yes, yes, get on with it,”  Alastor said.  As much as he admired Albus, the man got rather distracted by trivial things he found amusing.

 

                “We need to fight, Alastor.  Let's face it, the Ministry is getting in the way and innocent people are dying.  Muggles, children.  We are all in danger.”

 

                “I agree,”  Alastor said.  “The Ministry is impeding the investigation.  Great minds think alike, Albus.  I've been thinking about this for a few weeks now.  I am going to fight apart from the Ministry, without telling them, and work this out without them.  I've been thinking up others who are trustworthy enough to help.”

 

                “As have I,”  Albus said as he reached into his cloak and pulled out a piece of parchment.  “I've compiled a list.”  He handed it to Alastor.

 

                Alastor took it and read the names.  Hardly any were names he recognized.  Edgar Bones, Carodoc Dearborn, Dorcas Meadows, Gideon and Fabian Prewett.  How was he to know whether these people were trustworthy?  None of them were Aurors, that was for sure, but perhaps Aurors weren't what they needed.  They didn't need anyone who would let slip any of this to the Ministry.  Perhaps those with no Ministry ties would be the best fighters.  So long as they were trustworthy and excellent duelers, that is.

 

                “How do you know any of this lot is trustworthy?”  Alastor asked, tossing the parchment onto his desk.

 

                “All were excellent students.  Dorcas, Carodoc, and Gideon were Prefects.  Carodoc was Head Boy in his seventh year,”  Albus said as he folded his hands on the desk.

 

                “Yes, but how do you know they are trustworthy?”  Alastor said as he leaned across the desk.  “You're the Headmaster, you didn't teach any of their classes.  How do you truly know them?  Hogwarts has a lot of students.”

 

                “I make it my business to get to know each one of my students, Alastor,”  Albus replied.  “I would put my life in the hands of any one of these people.”

 

                Alastor said nothing.  If Albus Dumbledore had one fault it was that he was too trusting.  He always gave people the benefit of the doubt, whereas Alastor himself was more apt to interrogate first and take months or years to decide whether a person was trustworthy or not.  Yet he did trust Albus and if he trusted Albus, shouldn't he trust those Albus trusted?  Possibly. 

 

                “Something needs to be done,”  Albus said quietly.

 

                “All right,”  Alastor replied.  “Let's contact them, set up a meeting, and go from there.  If I get one hint that any of them are going to hinder this operation, they're out.”

 

                                                                                                ******

 

                “I'm not sure about this, Albus,”  Alastor grumbled and took a swig from his hip flask.  “Holding a top secret meeting in a pub?”

 

                “Well, the other option would have been to hold it in your home, Alastor,”  Albus pointed out.  “Might I remind you that the pub is closed to the public and those we invited will Floo directly inside.”

 

                “What about the barkeep?”  Alastor gestured to the old man standing a few feet away wiping out a few grimy glasses. 

 

                “He wishes to become a part of this organization.”

 

                Alastor opened his mouth to say something else, but was interrupted by the whooshing of the fireplace in the corner.  It lit up green and out stepped a young wizard, who looked to be a few years out of Hogwarts, with flaming red hair that was tinged with ash.  He stepped aside as the fire lit up once again and revealed an identical man.  The two stepped forward and greeted Albus before taking seats at one of the tables.

 

                The same scene repeated itself four times over again.  Alastor did not recognize any of the witches and wizards that Albus greeted as if they were old friends, except for Elphias Doge, a man Alastor thought hardly possessed the skills needed to triumph over the murderers.

 

                They all seemed rather uncomfortable, although Alastor was not sure whether this was because of what they were about to get themselves into or just their chosen meeting place.  He hoped it was the latter.  The pub was rather dirty and known for playing host to seedy witches and wizards.  The fact that two goats lived behind the bar did nothing to increase the pub's reputation and there was enough grime on the windows to darken the entire room despite the fact that it was broad daylight.

               

                “I believe we are all here,”  Albus said as he rose from his bar stool.

 

                “Excuse me, Albus,”  a blonde haired woman interrupted.  “Pardon me for interrupting, but isn't that Moody, the Head of the Auror department?”

 

                “Yes, Dorcas.”  Albus nodded.  “He and I have the same view on these attacks and he wishes to do something about them apart from the Ministry, same as the rest of us.”

 

                “But how will he do that when he's working for the Ministry?”  she replied.  “No offense.”

 

                Alastor groaned.  He already had his doubts about this woman in particular.  “I'm an Auror,” he barked.  “If I couldn't keep a secret I'd have been dead long ago.”  He stood up and joined Albus.  “These attacks must be stopped.  I have theories about them and the Ministry is hindering my ability to properly investigate and fight them.  My allegiance will stand with whomever allows me to do what I wish, and as of right now, that is not the Ministry.”

 

                He turned to Albus.  “May I speak with them?”

 

                “I daresay you already are.”  Albus smiled.

 

                “None of you are Aurors,”  Alastor said as he began to pace around the room.  “And I will not be taking that as an excuse for any screw-ups.  You must think like Aurors, you must fight like Aurors.  Be aware of your every surroundings, don't discount a single thing as insignificant or unimportant.  Constant vigilance, that's my motto.  If you follow that, there's a chance you might come out of this alive.”

 

                Alastor paused and looked around at the faces of those he would soon be fighting alongside.  Most were determined, but a couple were alarmed or even scared and that worried him.  Maybe they were not used to hearing something as blunt as that, but they needed to get used to it.  War was not a time to be coddled, especially if you were fighting.  Alastor was sure this was going to become an all-out war if something wasn't done soon, despite the Ministry's feelings that it would just blow over.  Someone who put that much thought into their killings was not going to just stop.

 

                “You must understand that there is a chance, and not a small one at that, that you might not make it out of this alive.  By signing up for this you agree to take that risk, so if you aren't willing to take it, I suggest you get up and leave now.  However, by coming to this meeting you are sworn to secrecy.  Even if you choose to leave, you are not to speak of this to anyone,”  Alastor continued.

 

                Alastor waited.  One minute, two minutes, five minutes.  Not a single person got up and left.  A few shifted uncomfortably, but they seemed to become less afraid as the minutes wore on.  Perhaps they would make decent fighters after all.

 

                “Good,”  Alastor muttered.  “You should also trust no one outside this room.  I'm not going to lie, we have gotten no where with the investigation as to who is doing all of the attacks.  I have a theory that they are all organized by one person, but again, that's just a theory.  The Ministry is completely clueless and they are not helping the investigation with all of their tedious regulations.  Therefore these attacks could be being executed by anyone.  A neighbor, a shopkeeper, or even a friend.  We just do not know.

               

                “I do not know a single one of you, aside from Elphias, and that is a problem as of right now.  I do not know whether I can trust you.  However, I trust Albus and that is why I have agreed to this.  For whatever reason, he trusts you and believes you possess qualities needed to win this war, and while that is enough for him to put some trust in you, my trust must be earned.

 

                “I suggest you do the same with each other.  Put enough trust in each other to work as a team, but do not let your guard down for one second!”  Alastor said.  “I only hope that you are as good of fighters as Albus has made you out to be.”  He nodded to Albus and resumed his seat at the bar.

 

                “Thank you, Alastor,”  Albus replied.  “I think it would be best to vary our meeting times and places.  We can use the Hog's Head as well as our own homes.  I will contact you with the next meeting time and place, as well as if any occasion arises in which we are needed.”

 

                Alastor watched as as the people Albus had possibly placed the fate of the wizarding world in left the pub, talking amongst themselves.  The barkeep disappeared behind the bar and into the back room, leaving Alastor alone with Albus. 

 

                “They will help, Alastor,”  Albus said as he took a drink of butterbeer.

 

                “I hope so,”  Alastor replied.  “Because this is going to be a war, Albus.”

 

                “That it is.”  Albus said quietly. 

 

                                                                                                ******

 

                Alastor jumped over a pile of smoldering debris as he shot a Stunner at the beefy man clad in black robes and a mask who was currently trying to kill him.  The man's killing curse was set off course as the Stunner collided with his chest and hit a nearby garbage can, which promptly caught fire.  The burning garbage can was only a small representative of the entire area.  Diagon Alley was under attack.  Madam Malkin's was engulfed in flames and the two adjoining buildings were smoking.  Black clad wizards in masks were shooting Unforgivables every which way while those out to do a day's shopping and shop employees were running around screaming and trying to find cover. 

 

                Alastor had arrived on the scene as soon as Albus had contacted him.  He got there to find a scene of chaos and only seconds to realize what was going on, before he had been attacked by a few would be murderers.  Thankfully everyone had gotten out of Madam Malkin's alive, but a few passersby had not been so lucky.  Alastor had seen no less than four bodies so far and the fight was still underway with no end in sight.

 

                Everyone from the Hog's Head was there and Alastor had to admit that they were fighting hard, not seeming at all afraid of what was going on.  He had seen them all dueling with the masked wizards, a few managing to bring some of them down.  Not a single one had been bested so far.  The twins in particular, he thought Gideon and Fabian were their names, were particularly skillful.  Each seemed to predict exactly what their opponent was going to do next, a trait that Alastor often looked for in potential Aurors. 

 

                Another masked man sent a curse at Alastor, who promptly side stepped and stunned the wizard with a flick of his wand.  He ran down the cobblestone towards Elphias, who was currently fighting off three wizards at once.  A whiff of burning flesh entered his nose as he went, and he cringed, covering the lower part of his face with his arm.  No amount of experience in law enforcement would cause him to get used to the sounds and smells involved with large scale fights like this.  A child's scream caused him to turn around.

 

                A little boy was standing in the middle of the fight looking utterly terrified, with his mother nowhere in sight.  Albus descended upon him and Alastor continued running.  Albus would be better with dealing with a lost child anyway.  One skill Alastor did not possess was the ability to deal with children.  They always seemed to be afraid of him. 

 

                Alastor joined Elphias and the two of them worked seamlessly together, knowing instinctively which direction the other was going to go and which spells each other was going to send out.  In no time two of the masked men were lying flat on the ground.  The third, seeing he was outnumbered, disapparated on the spot. 

 

                The other masked men were beginning to realize that they were outnumbered as well.  A few more disapparated and then the rest left as well, taking with them the bodies of their fallen comrades, and leaving behind the path of destruction they had brought.  Alastor, confused about their sudden departure, left to go find Albus. 

 

                He set off down the street, wand held out in front of him, glancing about.  Madam Malkin's and the two adjoining shops were destroyed.  People were weeping in front of bodies and others were huddled in groups, comforting each other.  Faces were glued to the windows in the Leaky Cauldron and shopkeepers were standing in their doorways, whispering to each other.  The smell of smoke lingered in the air, despite the fact that someone had doused the fire at Madam Malkin's.  It was very strange.  Diagon Alley had been in complete chaos just moments ago and now the masked wizards were gone and all that was left was the aftermath.  Why had they all disapparated so quickly?  It was like they had all received a message at the same time, to leave.  But Alastor had not seen any owls flying about or any Patronuses sent.  This wasn't right.  They were too orchestrated; it was not random enough.  This was a planned attack and Alastor was sure it was planned by one person and the masked men were just his minions.

 

                Albus was standing near Madam Malkin's, talking to Madam Malkin herself, who was shouting and using wild hand gestures.  Alastor continued towards them.  He heard slight movement behind him, but was not quick enough, and the last thing he realized before everything went black, was a sharp pain in his left leg.

               

                                                                                                ******

 

                When Alastor awoke he discovered he was in a small room, laying upon a soft bed while covered in a white blanket.  It took him seconds to realize he was in St. Mungo's and he cringed inwardly.  He was Head of the Auror Department for Merlin's sake.  How did he possibly wind up there?

 

                The room was quiet and Alastor was aware of a dull throbbing in his leg, which only became worse as time wore on.  Albus was sitting in the corner, looking perfectly content to sit there doing absolutely nothing and perfectly calm, as if the Head of the Auror Department had not just been seriously injured.

 

                “There was one hiding in the alleyway,”  Albus said as he stood up and strode over to the bed.  “He got you with a hex and then five of them converged upon you.  If it hadn't been for Gideon, Fabian, Dorcas, and myself, you would've been captured.”

 

                Alastor said nothing, still beyond embarrassed that this had happened to him of all people.  He had had to be rescued by a bunch of people who weren't even Aurors.  There was no denying it now; these people were skilled and they were capable of fighting the evil that was infiltrating their society. 

 

                “The healers say your leg will heal, but not completely,”  Albus continued.  “They believe you will limp, but I think you are just lucky to be alive.”

 

                “I know,”  Alastor said quietly.  “Thanks to the group.”

 

                “We've got a name now.  You've been out for two days and we came up with one yesterday.  The Order of the Phoenix.”

 

                Alastor nodded.  That fit.  “We are going to bring these murderers down.”

 

                “We will,”  Albus agreed.  “We just have to trust each other.”

 

                “I know,”  Alastor muttered.  “But I do not trust easily, Albus.”

 

                “As you shouldn't.”

               

                “They've earned it, though, the Order,”  Alastor replied.  “The Order of the Phoenix has my trust.”

 

                Albus nodded, but did not say anything.  Nothing needed to be said.  The only thing the Order could do was fight and fight they would.

 


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