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Chapter 2 : CHAPTER 1: A SHADE OF GREY
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Following the death of Harry Potter, many of his pureblood supporters were rounded, tortured and given a choice: renounce their fate or experience the Dementor’s kiss. Most, after suffering for months in concentration camps, gave up and joined the fold of the new regime.
One of the first to surrender was Professor Horace Slughorn who betrayed the Order even before Harry was buried. With the information he gave to the Death Eaters, many key Order members were captured or killed and forced McGonagall and other Hogwarts professors into hiding. He also brewed various potions that were used to torture captured Order members. For his exemplary cooperation to the new regime, he was named Headmaster of the newly rebuilt Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the Purebloods. His teaching staff included the returning Alecto and Amycus Carrow, teaching Dark Arts and Destruction of Muggle Studies respectively.
Neville Longbottom, himself a pureblood, was accepted into the regime after six months of torture administered by the Dark Lord himself. They were rumors that as penalty for trying to kill the Dark Lord’s pet, he was forced to murder his own grandmother, Augusta, who disappeared the same day her grandson embraced the new regime. Neville now teaches Herbology and its Dark Art’s Application at Hogwarts.
Hannah Abbot soon joined Neville at Hogwarts, taking the position previously held by Madam Pomfrey. The students easily learned to be wary of the demure-looking nurse for her cure leads to more pain than alleviation. There are rumors that she was one of the few women carted off to Malfoy Manor for Draco’s amusements. They say that she killed three other captives before she was given amnesty and was accepted into the new regime. If all these are true then her experience in the hand of Malfroy has jaded her and turned her into one of the cruelest of the Dark Lord’s new convert.
Change was not only felt in Hogwarts but all over the Country. Thanks to the Death Eater’s preoccupation of bringing their world under their rules, muggles have suffered lesser casualties than some of the Order feared. Big Ben was blasted to smithereens after the Dark Lord paid the muggle Minister a visit. His demand was simple: the muggle minister must surrender all authority to him, making him Minister of both worlds. The muggle Minister would still sit on his office as a figurehead but it would be the Dark Lord who would be calling the shot.
The muggle Minister said no.
In retaliation, he was tied to one of the hands of Big Ben before it was destroyed by the Dark Lord himself. His replacement was a lot more willing to cooperate with the Dark Lord. As such, open warfare between muggles and magical people were averted, the muggles never knowing that they have already been invaded.
Diagon Alley has changed too. It was like Knockturn Alley has expanded to take the whole of Diagon Alley. Most shops were boarded up or closed; some showed signs of being looted. The only exception to the gloomy atmosphere is the Weasley Wizard Wheezes who still advertises their most prolific product in blazing purple color: YOU NO POO! Death Eaters, however, are always seen hovering outside their door. The only thing that stops them from carting George Weasley off is his father who has also joined the new regime and is now tasked to hunting mudbloods.
Godric Hollow has changed too. The Potter family memorial was replaced with a statue depicting the Dark Lord sitting on a throne being raised by grimacing muggle caricatures, the body of Harry Potter lying at his feet. The Potter old house was also renovated and repaired into a two storey house owned by Bellatrix Lestrange. There are whispers that beneath the house is one of the secret prison camp built by the Regime.
Even the so called ‘half-breeds’ did not escape unscathed during the take over. Centaurs, werewolves and even vampires were hunted to extinction. Fenrir Greyback thought he was on the winning side only to be betrayed by his Death Eaters allies and imprisoned in one of the many concentration camps that the death eaters have created.
“And that concludes my segment of ‘Changes: A Year after our Greatest Defeat’” Lee Jordan spoke sadly to his microphone. “That is all for now. I may be off air for a little bit longer as I try to look for a safer place. These Death Eaters are like dogs when they are sniffing around. My next segment will all be about the nearly forgotten valiant heroes who are still fighting the good fight: The Order of the Phoenix or what is left of them. But before I finally go, join me as we offer a moment of silent prayer in remembrance to this sad day, the day Harry Potter died.”
Lee Jordan sighed and closed his eyes, not for the first time dreaming what would have happened if Harry had succeeded in defeating the Dark Lord during the Final Battle.
“No use dreaming of things that will never be…” He muttered before turning his microphone on. “Well, that is it for now Password for next airing is EXPELLIARMUS. Until next time…if there is a next time… this is Potter Watch.”
Lee slumped on his chair when he was finally off air. He knew he should probably change the title of his radio program but he couldn’t make himself to. He still wants to believe that Harry Potter is out there, searching and looking for the Dark Lord’s weakness, bidding his time before he reveals himself again. But he knew better. He was there when Harry died…when Voldemort mockingly gave him a proper burial. He didn’t do it at the kindness of his heart. He just wanted the world to see that he has finally killed The-Boy-Who-Lived.
Standing up, Lee started packing his equipments, shrinking them to miniature size for easy storage. He needed to get back to George before the twerp do something stupid like irritating the Death Eaters shadowing him. It might even enter George’s mind to attack Malfoy’s mansion and liberate the Patil twins and other women being violated there by the degraded Malfoy.
With another sigh, Lee Jordan looked around at the mounds of gold that surrounded him. No one will be using them now that their owner is dead. He turned around as the door to the vault opened.
“You are done?” The goblin Alguff huffed as he leaned against his silver cane. “You better leave fast. The Dark Lord is coming to check something in his vault.”
“Thanks for the use of the vault, Alguff.” Lee nodded as they exited the vault. “I know this goes against all of the bank’s policies.”
“We do not like wizards interfering with our affairs.” Alguff huffed again as they boarded the rickety carriage that would carry them out of the cavern of vaults. “The Dark Lord should have kept his nose out of Gringott’s affair.”
“Lucky for me…” Lee snickered. “By the way, what will you do with all the gold now that he is dead? Does he have a will or something?”
“Something like that…” Alguff grumbled before the carriage zoomed away from Harry’s vault.
Xenophilius Lovegood found himself on all four as he closely inspected the patch of ground in what used to be Aragog’s nest. Nothing much has changed within the clearing. The thick ropes that were used to tie Hagrid still hang around the two trees and the Dark Lord makeshift throne still stood in its place, albeit already covered in vines. The outcropping, gnarled roots are now lost to the bed of dried leaves that constantly fall from the trees.
“It is here somewhere…” He muttered to himself. Ever since their encounter, Xenophilius has felt something strange about Harry. It was a feeling he didn’t pay attention to that time due to his distress and concern to the welfare of his daughter Luna.
But after being carted to Azkaban, he had a long time to process their encounter and he had come to a realization. The boy was exuding the Hallow aura. As a scholar dedicated to the pursuit of the Hallow, he should have recognized it immediately. The boy whether he was aware of it or not, has somehow touched one or maybe all of the Hallow.
And the Hallow has accepted him as a candidate to be its Master.
The boy did not know his true potential! Xenophilius shook his head in wonder of it all. The moment the new regime freed him from Azkaban with a promise to join their fold, he immediately set fort to investigate the strange phenomenon of Harry Potter and his experience with the Hallow.
Harry Potter was quite famous, in the later days of life, for having an invisible cloak. Luna herself testified regarding its quality. She even informed him that Harry inherited his cloak from his father. The cloak’s capabilities should have deteriorated yet there are numerous facts that Harry appeared out of thin air at the beginning of his fatal duel against the Dark Lord. His cloak is everlasting; that Xenophilius is sure and it could only mean one thing: the cloak is one of the Hallow—the very cloak used by the third brother to evade Death.
And Xenophilius is also quite certain that Harry Potter was buried with the cloak. The Dark Lord made a fanfare of burying the boy, of proving to the whole world that Harry was truly dead.
Xenophilius was there. He was one of those who lined up to see one last time the face of their would-be champion. He saw as Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, crying, covered him with the cloak, hiding him forever from the people he had left behind in darkness.
Xenophilius also saw something else.
As a last gesture of arrogance, the Dark Lord placed in Harry’s cold hand, the wand Harry disarmed from him. “Take your mentors wand with you to the afterlife. I don’t need it anymore.” Those where the Dark Lord’s exact word as he sealed Harry’s coffin.
Xenophilius had sent Luna to Ron. She was probably one of the last people he talked to before he disappeared mysteriously. According to Luna, Ron was adamantly claiming that the wand belonged to Dumbledore and that the Dark Lord stole it from the headmaster’s grave. The Dark Lord needed an unbeatable wand to fight Harry with because his original wand, the wand he is using now, shared a core with Harry’s wand. More researched revealed that it was the same wand that was used by Grindelwald, considered unbeatable until Dumbledore disposed of him. Dumbledore himself was second to none before he was killed. It is still just conjecture on his part but Xenophilius is quite sure. That wand is the Elder wand, the death stick, the very same wand that Death gave to the First Brother. It was the first of the Hallow.
Harry Potter was buried with two of the Hallow. The question was: Where was the third hallow? The resurrection stone…the one given to the Second Brother…
He was certain that one point or another, Harry also owned such treasure.
Some records of the Siege of Hogwarts states that Harry managed to get pass the Dementors to reach this very same clearing without using a patronus for which he was so famous for. Some of the death eaters present that time admitted that they were baffled how Harry could bypass the Dementors without being noticed.
Xenophilius believes he used the stone to repel the vile creatures. And since Harry didn’t bear the stone in his body when he died, it was obvious that he must have dropped the stone here when he was first hit by the killing curse.
Xenophilius has still to sort out how Harry could survive the first killing curse but couldn’t against the second one. He didn’t have time to think about the mysterious circumstances of Harry’s demise. What is important now is to confirm his theory that the stone is here somewhere.
“Are you looking for this, father?” Luna Lovegood asked dazedly, not far from him, as she held up a ring with broken black stone. “I found it here, half buried in the dirt. I figured Harry must have passed through this spot since Hogwarts is that way. And it was just here, glinting against the sun.”
Xenophilius rushed to her daughter with exclamation, taking the ring from her and raising it to the light of the sky, filing at the back of his mind his question on how Luna could have found it without much effort when he had already scanned inch by inch the area where she found it.
“It’s broken but I can still fell its aura. This is it, Luna. We have finally found it…a year of searching has finally paid off.” He said excitedly. He is probably the first and only scholar to hold an actual Hallow in his hand.
“Will this work, father?” Luna asked; hope starting to shine from her eyes. “Will these truly work?”
“I am sure of it…” Xenophilius nodded. “Now, let us be off. We still have a lot to do before we are done. We must prepare Luna. The Hallow is not easy to master. He would need our help and expertise if it comes to it.”
“What ever you say, father…” Luna replied serenely, a thin smile finally appearing on her lips. Hopping, she took his father’s hand as they jauntily left the clearing. Hope has finally returned to her heart.
DISCLAIMER: EVERYTHING BELONGS TO JK ROWLING
A/N: HOPE YOU GUYS LIKE THE FIRST TWO CHAPTER OF THIS BRAND NEW STORY :)
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