Chapter 1 : I
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‘Harry Potter,’ I repeated.
Abel nodded. ‘The only person better for the job would be Voldemort himself. Also, Peter Pettigrew and Dolores Umbridge. The point is, we need an article that will be another reason for people to pick up the next issue of Fife. You can write that article the best.’
It had been almost a year since the war and ten years since Fife was started. The May 1999 issue of Fife had to include an interview with Harry Potter. Unfortunately, no other writer for Fife was a former Death Eater, so Abel had to pick me.
‘What about Ebenezer Rosier?’ I suggested as a writer to replace me for this assignment..
‘Why in the fuck would I pick him to write this article?’
‘Other than him being pretty much every reader’s favourite writer here, Ebenezer was favoured to be a Death Eater even over me-’
‘Well, he wasn’t a Death Eater, and he’s never known Harry Potter since he went to Durmstrang. On the other hand, you were schoolboy rivals with Potter, and whether you like it or not, you did work for the man who killed the boy’s parents.’
‘Surely he didn’t even say yes to this interview.’
Abel nodded. ‘Oh, he did. You must not twist his words in any sort of way, though. We can’t afford to be sued by Harry fucking Potter of all people. If we end up being sued, I will fucking kill you.’
It was a rite of passage for a Fife writer to have Abel threaten to kill him or her. I had already achieved that milestone just a couple of months before. ‘He agreed to do an interview with me?’
‘Well, he’s not aware of who the interviewer is.’
I predicted, ‘He will walk out of the room as soon as he sees me.’
‘He wouldn’t do that.’ Abel looked down at a piece of parchment on his desk. ‘You will be going to 12 Grimmauld Place. The Blacks lived on Grimmauld Place.’
‘They lived in 12 Grimmauld Place.’
‘I’m surprised an equal rights icon like him would live in such a place, even if he inherited the place from his godfather. Potter’s certainly rich enough to live anywhere he pleases. Ask him about that.’ Abel scribbled on a scrap of parchment then handed it to me. ‘Here’s a list of questions you should ask when you go over there Sunday.’
I read the questions. How has the transition from the Boy Who Lived to the Man Who Lived impacted you? How is a villain different from a hero? Why live in 12 Grimmauld Place?
At that moment, I nearly decided to write a scathing review of Abel Vass and attempt to slip it into the published copies of the 1999 issue as a replacement of the interview with Harry. Instead, I asked, ‘What time?’
‘Noon. If you need to go back to his place for an extended interview, keep in mind Sundays are his only free days.’
‘I believe it will be all over with in one afternoon.’
I was incorrect when I said Harry would walk out of the room when he saw me. Instead, he slammed the door in my face. I suppose he may have walked out of the entrance hall after he shut the door, though.
‘I am a reporter for Fife magazine,’ I called out. ‘Listen, I will not kiss your ass, and I will not kick your ass. I am simply doing my job.’
The door opened roughly half a minute later. His haggard self stepped out and left the door open. Harry asked me, ‘Why would Fife hire you?’
‘You know, Fife wrote pro-you journalism ever since Voldemort came back. Some of your friends didn’t even believe you back then.’
‘You’re saying you’ve changed.’
Harry hesitated for a moment, but he held the door open for me and gestured for me to come in. The foyer looked more run down than it had when I used to come here for Christmas Eve dinners, but it was pretty much how I remembered it. The house had a mixture of regal and repulsive decor, and it was still as gaudy as ever.
‘You have a list of questions, I guess.’
‘I do, actually. Abel Vass gave me this list, so I do not want to hear complaints about the questions.’ From the pocket of my trousers, I pulled out the scrap of parchment with the questions. ‘How has the transition from the Boy Who Lived to the Man Who Lived impacted you?’
‘I’m still alive.’
‘Why do you live here in 12 Grimmauld Place? I mean, you have plenty of Galleons. You could easily move, and this place isn’t a, ah, becoming home for someone who killed a pureblood supremacist.’
‘I didn’t kill him. He killed himself,’ Harry corrected.
‘So, why do you live here?’
‘I live here because I choose to do so.’
‘What is the difference between a hero and a villain?’
‘A villain acts for his own sake. A hero acts for the sake of others.’ For a minute, Harry waited for me to speak. ‘Well, what’s your next question?’
‘That was all of them.’
‘That was shorter than I expected. I suppose you can go now.’
As I tucked the list of questions back into my pocket, I decided I would have to turn this interview in a work of fiction that did not portray Harry in any sort of negative light. He would have to be a gracious host, offering me tea, and answering my questions thoughtfully. He would have to be at peace with what he experienced, and he would have to be the epitome of health.
I said, ‘Do you want to say anything else?’
‘Is there anything else to say?’
‘Yes. There’s a lot you could say. I can easily fabricate you, so it doesn’t really matter if you say nothing else.’
‘You will write me the way you want me to be.’
‘I don’t want to lose my job.’
‘Has your family lost your Galleons?’
‘We have lost Galleons even though we haven’t had to deal with legal fees like some of our...acquaintances and friends. Actually, we have taken care of some of their legal fees.’ I figured there was no harm done in disclosing this to a mere Auror in training.
You snapped, ‘How could you and your family do that? You know exactly what they did!’
I stood up. ‘I suppose I should leave now.’
‘Did you support your parents’ decision to fund their criminal friends and lessen their sentences?’
‘Not in all cases. Just a select few. Are you aware I have no control of my parents’ finances?’
‘You still support criminals not getting what they deserve!’
I glared at him. ‘You think I’m going to support the incarceration of youth who were forced to become Death Eaters and serve them? You know what would have happened to us if we had refused our parents’ commands? We would have been disowned. Well, it wasn’t even our parents ordering us. It was Voldemort. He would have killed us to show our parents a lesson. He only spared one kid when it came to recruiting Death Eaters. Even if I hadn’t been a Death Eater, I would still be entirely against innocent people being sent to Azkaban for something they had no control over.’
Harry processed what I said for a long while. Finally, he said, ‘I believe you deserve a proper interview. Feel free to sit down if you want to.’
Long time no see! This is the first fanfiction I've been able to write in a while, and it's of course a WIP.
Blunders happened because of the AU challenge and my need to take a detour from another short story, Riddle, but I still wanted to be in this universe. This story is somewhat of a prequel to Riddle, which is centered around Ebenezer and Voldemort(In this 'verse, he's still alive. Riddle will go into more detail about that.) I have no idea why I'm posting a prequel to the main story before the main story is published.
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