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Shadow of the Dawn by VoodooStu
Format: Short story
Chapter 1: Prologue
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Splinters of wood twirled and billowed through the early morning mist that was beginning to rise in smoky tendrils, the splinters spun and twirled as though caught in a breeze, like autumn leaves towards the rocks below the Hogwarts Causeway oblivious to the bloodshed their previous Master had caused not hours earlier, many of their larger comrades having already reached their terminal destination had splintered further and settled amongst jagged rocks beside the moat that ringed the castle looming overhead.
From the shadows three figures cautiously emerge, each draped in robes as black as tar and carved masks, signifying, to anyone watching, these three as Death Eaters.
The smallest of the three, a lithe Witch with tawny hair tied into a tight bun, rushes forward and grasps handfuls of the larger pieces of the, now destroyed, Elder Wand whilst her companions, two Wizards, attempt to sweep up as many of the smaller splinters as possible.
None of the trio dare utter a single spell to make their quest easier in the event somebody truly was watching from the stone causeway high above, where their Dark Lord had fallen that night.
Satisfied they had gathered enough pieces of the wand for their schemes, the Wizards slink silently back into the shadows; the lithe Witch takes one last furtive glance over her shoulder, as though ensuring they were not spotted before joining her cohorts as they make their escape across the quickly lightening Hogwarts grounds.
* * *
Above, on the Castle’s Grand Causeway, the Victors; a rag-tag mob of Students, Hogsmeade residents, the depleted remnants of the Order of The Phoenix and an assortment of other Magical-Folk who formed the castles defences that night, gleefully drive off the now vastly outnumbered Death Eaters and those who aligned with them, some of whom are now refusing to surrender; Amongst the Castle’s defenders, Slytherin students attempt to plead with expressionless masks for their parents to surrender now, rather than be hunted down and possibly killed by an overzealous Auror or a Wizard seeking revenge for his family and friends.
Those Death Eaters already captured or surrendered are surrounded by a small group of Aurors, a few students and assorted other magical-folk jeer at them as they pass but none of the Death Eaters return but a glance, instead hang their heads in commiseration, hopeful that, their captors will show more mercy than they know they’d have shown in their place.
Narcissa Malfoy stands nearby, sobbing as she clutches her Son, Draco, who tactfully turns her away from where Lucious has refused to surrender and is being overrun by Aurors who have begun to give chase to a few fleeing Death Eaters.
“Mother, for once I’m going to do the right thing, I won’t run, I’ll face any punishment given to me for my crimes, I’d rather that than bring anymore pain to you or further disgrace to the Malfoy name by running like a coward.” Draco almost spits his last words as he turns his head in the direction of his fleeing father. Narcissa just sobs and tightens her grip on her only child.
Chapter 2: One
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“Footsteps, whose are they?” Thought Harry “Where are they coming from? For that matter, where am I?”
Harry struggled to regain his senses, still groggy from a spell from some unseen Death Eater when he went to confront Voldemort he concluded
“Its dark” Harry thought upon opening his eyes, he could see he was in the Great Hall, blurry shapes surrounded him, were they…
“Your friends, Potter” Laughed a nearby Death Eater, noticing his gaze “You lost, you lost and your friends died the moment you thought you could hold out against us”
Suddenly a scream cut the air on the other side of the Hall, a flash of green light and a, now dead, body was silhouetted against it for a moment before slumping to the ground.
Harry thought about Ginny, he thought about Hermione and Ron too, he tried not to think that they must already be dead, or worse.
More footsteps, footsteps and then a sneering laughter; a sneering laughter that Harry thought he would remember for the rest of his life.
“You thought to defeat me Potter? You thought a mere half-blood child could hope to defeat me? The greatest Wizard to ever live, whilst I am in possession of this?” Voldemort held up the Elder Wand, as though for his followers to admire, before whipping it down in a cruel arc; “Pathetic, Potter. AVADA KEDAVRA”
Harry suddenly shot up in bead, his forehead and torso covered in a layer of cold-sweat, Ginny is sat with her legs crossed under the bed covers next to him in their dark bedroom, looking at him with an expression of worry on her lightly freckled face, her deep red hair cascading loose down her back,
“You were shouting in your sleep again, I couldn’t wake you” Ginny said softly.
“I dreamt he won again Gin, It’s been 5 years and my scar hasn’t hurt since, it’s even started to fade but I swear these dreams still feel real.” Said Harry, rubbing where his once prominent scar, given to him as a one year old by Voldemort, sat on his forehead
“You know you should listen to me and let St. Mungo’s have a look at you Harry, it isn’t normal for someone to walk around as a Horcrux for 17 years, let alone survive the killing curse-twice!” Ginny said whilst tucking a rogue strand of hair behind her hair from where it had fallen in front of her face
Harry looked at her, even as a child she had been pretty but now as a grown woman in her twenties she was stunning, her red hair that shimmered in the sun and lithe figure from playing chaser for the Holyhead Harpies, Harry knew he was head-over-heels for her, he also knew she was probably right;
“Maybe, but right now I need to be getting ready for work” he said kissing her on the cheek, breaking her worried expression with a smile “And you need to be getting to training, Gwenog Jones said she’d have my head if her star chaser was late again!”
This made Ginny laugh “I wouldn’t put it past her either, for Gwen, Quidditch is life!”
Harry stepped out of one of the many floo network fireplaces located in the cavernous reception area of the Ministry of Magic and into a line for one of the, confusing at first, lifts that would take him to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, specifically to the Auror’s Offices where he had worked first as a volunteer Auror for a year, now a full time Auror after discovering he had a knack for this kind of thing.
Overhead enchanted paper planes carrying notes and messages all over the Ministry flew, zigzagging and dodging each other with ease, a small number of red planes were amongst their number; “Howlers!” grimaced Harry as he remembered one Ron had received in their second year of school, Harry smiled at the thought but only for a moment as he had just spotted a familiar face in the crowd
“Ah! Harry, good morning!” It was Arthur Weasley exiting one of the lifts
“Arthur! Good to see you! Ginny tells me you got your hands on a muggle computer?”
Arthur Weasley was fascinated by muggle technology, Harry suspected it was a mixture of admiration at their inventiveness without magical aid and almost pity that muggles couldn’t access magic.
“Ah yes! Very exciting this ‘Combobutor-thing’ is too Harry! Did you know muggles can even use them to talk to each other across vast distances using something they call the ‘Into-Nets’? I’m very eager to try it but Molly says she’ll use me for curtains if she catches me stuffing her net ones into the back of it again!” Arthur scratched his head pondering this last bit for a second “Anyway Harry, must dash, reports of enchanted teapots in muggle shops and whatnot, duty calls!”
“I’m not sure that’s quite how the Internet works Arthur, but I’ll see you tomorrow evening for dinner” Harry called after the father of his best friend and girlfriend
Soon after Harry stepped into the now-familiar surrounds of the Auror office within the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, although still technically a junior Auror he was still well regarded amongst his colleagues partially due to him being the only known person to survive the killing curse. Twice.
Harry walked over to his desk, next to where his friend and fellow Auror, Neville Longbottom, was sat reading today’s Daily Prophet.
“Morning Neville, anything interesting in the news today?” asked Harry, setting his briefcase down next to his chair
Neville, who since beheading Nagini and, as those present argued, turned the tide of the battle had only grown in confidence since leaving Hogwarts and had turned out to be a fine wizard in his own right, looked up from his paper to greet his friend and colleague
“Morning Harry, not much today, Ron won’t be happy though, the Cannons got destroyed again last night; keeping them dead last. Still nothing new on that fellow that disappeared a fortnight ago either, Ravenclaw in Ginny and Luna’s year, Amity Carroll, remember him?”
“Mmh” Harry grunted, a letter on his desk had drawn his attention away from the conversation, not that it had disinterested him nor was the letter entirely remarkable in anyway, it was the handwriting that caught his eye. He probably hadn’t seen it in nearly ten years, blocky, a little bit scruffy and written with a heavy hand, it couldn’t be, could it?
Chapter 3: Two
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Dudley Dursley lived and entirely unremarkable life, every morning he got up, kissed his wife, Henrietta (Hetty to her friends) good morning, ate breakfast and set off to work at some inner-city conglomerate (except for weekends of course).
Except he didn’t, that was just what his neighbours and parents thought, every morning he got up, kissed Hetty good morning, ate breakfast and set off for work on weekdays, entirely normal, except that his wife, Hetty, was a witch.
A witch in the Dursley family! He could only imagine what his father would say, thus why he kept it quiet, Hetty understood, it was hard for some muggles to understand, let alone accept that a whole world existed without them, especially for self-important men like Vernon Dursley, who she had had the (dis)pleasure of meeting only once.
It had been hard for Dudley too at first but since that cousin of his, Potter, had saved him from those things he had slowly drifted away from his parents’ hard-line distrust of all things magical (pig tails not included)
“Morning Dudley dear, there’s a postcard from your Mother and Father on the counter and your newspaper is on the table” Hetty said as Dudley walked into kitchen and then behind her before planting a kiss on his Wife’s cheek
“Good morning my love” Dudley said planting himself in his chair at the table where his morning coffee sat unfolding his paper and flipping to the sports pages at the back as he did so, the contents of the back page eliciting a loud ‘tut’.
“What is it dear?” Questioned Hetty from the kitchen, which opened out into the dining room where Dudley sat.
“Oh, nothing important” replied Dudley “Chelsea lost again, absolutely demolished again apparently, by Everton in the cup this time”
“Oh is that that feet-ball thing you like watching?” asked Hetty, absent-mindedly stirring her own coffee with her wand which was previously up her sleeve
Dudley smiled at his wife’s mistake “Yeah bloody useless that lot spent loads of money, new players, stadium renovation and all for nothing if you ask me! Mind you could have been worse, could have lost to liv-“ Dudley noticed his wife has stopped paying attention and is staring out into the garden still stirring her coffee with her wand
“Ah, sorry I’m boring you again” he started “You should be careful with that wand of yours though! Most- what is it your kind calls us? Muddlers?”
“That’s it, muggles, most muggles are still unaware of magic and heavens forbid that Old Mrs. Gordon next door peeks into our conservatory again, you know how she likes peeking!”
Hetty put her wand away quickly, still remembering the fine and the rather passive-aggressive letter she received from the Ministry when she had attempted to spruce up their garden with some spells and magical plants, unfortunately Hetty hadn’t counted on little Jonny Brownsmith from next door climbing their fence to get his ball back, only to nearly be eaten by an unusually feisty pixietrap the Ministry has taken an equally dim view of her unleashing garden Gnomes on Little Whinging also.
Walking into the dining room she spots something on Dudley’s paper that makes her freeze in her tracks “Whats that on the from Dudley?” she asks suddenly worried
“Just another disappearance; third this year and its only april! Caught up in drugs or something I expect, judging on the look of him and-“ Dudley stops, he sees the look on her face and hears the tone of her voice, a chill almost makes it down his spine “What’s the matter Hetty darling?”
Hetty turns her gaze to look at her husband “I know that man, he was a year older than me in school, let me guess, Amity Carroll, twenty-two, your police have no leads and are completely baffled, something like all of the doors of his home where locked?”
Dudley just looks at her, confused for a moment “How did you-?”
Hetty brings her copy of the morning’s Daily Prophet from where it had been rolled up in her waistband into view, the front page dominated by a large Orange cannon continuously misfiring, (Dudley still found the moving pictures hard to believe), advertisements for the new ‘Stormchaser’ racing broom (as ridden by Holyhead Harpies star-chaser; Ginny Weasley (“I recognise her”)) and in the corner and column headed by a moving picture of the same Amity Carroll and the title: Ministry still baffled by disappearance of Wizard.
The text below began: Ministry officials still have no leads into the disappearance of Ministry Wizard, Amity Carroll.
Carroll, 22, who had recently begun work at the Department of Magical Artefacts and Artefact requisitions and was a keen Magical historian was said to have begun researching the… before going onto a following page
“I don’t see-“ began Dudley
“Those other disappearances, they’ve been magical-folk too Dudley” explained Hetty “And if they’re making it to muggle news it means the Aurors aren’t treating it as suspicious, these last two though have both been looking into magical artefacts, perhaps they stumbled across something they shouldn’t and somebody wants to keep them quiet”
“I think maybe you’re looking too much into this” said Dudley, frowning slightly at his wife
Hetty returned the frown, wrinkling her forehead which was hidden by her tawny fringe “Perhaps but we’ve had disappearances like this before in the magical world, not for years now though, not since-“ Hetty stopped suddenly “No, surely not, he’s gone for good this time” she muttered to herself
“Perhaps the Aurors haven’t seen the link, they probably have loads of stuff coming through each day so it’d be easy to miss!”
Hetty stood up and begins pacing the room deep in thought
“I’ve got it! You mentioned your cousin was a wizard? Potter right? By any chance is that Harry Potter?”
“Yeah how did you-“
Hetty interrupted her husband “That doesn’t matter right now, right now, what matters is we need to get in touch with him, he is an Auror, which is a little bit like muggle police except they go after dark wizards and witches” Hetty added, seeing Dudley’s confusion
“Hetty, I’ve not spoken to Harry in years, nor would he probably even want to speak to me, regardless I doubt he even has a phone or whether he is even listed and-“
Hetty shushed her husband and smiled “You leave that part to me” she said stroking her owl.