Darkness was all the man saw. He'd been taken from his home in the middle of the night with no warning. His mouth was gagged and his hands tied and a sack was over his head. He could do nothing. Suddenly strong arms grabbed him, hauling him down the hall. He tried to cry out in pain as the wrenched at his shoulders, but he could only sob silently.

At last, he was placed roughly in a chair. The hood was removed, and the man blinked into the glare of a bright light. The gag was taken from his mouth and he gasped for air. He began to sweat as the heat from the lamp roasted him, and from sheer terror.

"Gregor Milakovich. Born September 7th, 1941 in a small village called Retterburg. Parents, Milak Borisovich and Tanya Karkarov."

"Who are you?" Gregor demanded, blinking in the bright light.

"Who I am is unimportant to our discussion," the voice said. "What you are is of far more interest."

Gregor licked his lips. "I am a shopkeeper. I work here, in Moscow. I sell movies and electronics." What was this about? Sure, some, or really most, of his stock was bootleg or counterfeit, but the authorities had never cared about that before.

"Ah, yes, a shopkeeper. But what of your parents, Gregor? What are they?"

Gregor's blood ran cold. His parents. He had not seen his father in years, and did his best not to think of him. As for his mother, well, he could say nothing. "I do not know. I left home at 14. My father and I did not get along."

That was something of an understatement.

"But why did you not get along, Gregor? Was it because you are a, what is the word? Squib?"

Gregor gasped in shock. How did these men know? Who were they?

"Who are you?" Gregor demanded again. "What is this about?"

"Gregor, we know you see your mother and sister from time to time. We have pictures. You even visit them in their home, now that your father seems to be dead. Is he dead, Gregor?"

"I...my father is not dead," Gregor admitted. "He left my mother for another woman." A veela, but Gregor was not about to say that. "What do you want with my mother and sister?"

"Hmm. Interesting. We shall note that. Where do your mother and sister live, Gregor?"

"Well, if you've been following me, you should know that," Gregor said testily.

There was a heavy sigh, and suddenly a fist came out of nowhere, slamming into Gregor's gut. He slumped over, gasping for breath.

"Let us try again. Where do your mother and sister live, Gregor?"

Trying to suck in air, Gregor looked up. "You...you are KGB! Why are you questioning me?"

"We prefer the term FSB now. Last chance Gregor. Where do your mother and sister live?"

"They live in Ritterburg still, in a small house with my sisters husband and their children. I see them every few months." There. That wasn't so much.

"Yes, but you see, we have had some trouble visiting your mother and sister. We need you to take us there, Gregor. Will you do that for us?"

"Why would you want me to that?" Gregor asked, panic stricken. He couldn't take these men to his family's home. The muggle repelling wards would keep them away, and he couldn't let them kidnap his sister's family, even if Ivan was an ass.

"Because we require some witches and wizards of our own, Gregor. Your sister is just one part of a larger puzzle."

They knew. How did these men know?

"Never," Gregor spat. "I would die first."

"A noble sentiment. But, I wonder. Would you let others die?"

The light suddenly dimmed, and Gregor squinted, trying to see. There was a man in a suit across a wide table from him, two goons in the corner, one armed with a rifle, and….and a girl bound and gagged sitting next to the man in the suit.

"Sonya," Gregor gasped. "No."

His daughter's eyes were wide and full of terror. The man in the suit reached out, stroking her hair. "Yes, she is beautiful. It would be shame to mar such beauty."

He produced a piano wire with two sticks tied at the ends, and draped the wire around Sonya's neck like jewelry. "We would do it quickly, gently, so her beauty is not tarnished."

"No!" Gregor protested. "No, you cannot! Please!"

The man in the suit picked up the piano wire and slowly began to tighten it as Sonya's sobs intensified.

"I'll do it!" Gregor screamed. "I'll take you to my sister's home! Just, please! Do not harm my daughter!"

The man let go of the piano wire, leaving it tangled around Sonya's neck. "You would do that for us, Gregor Milkovich?"

"Anything," Gregor begged. "Just don't hurt my family. Please, who are you? Why are you doing this?"

The man in the suit produced an old radio set, and turned it on.

"-continuing reports indicate that hostilities have already broken out between the British authorities and these so called wizards. The BCC continues to broadcast that the magical side of things has been real all along, and living with us. Moscow has yet-"

The man turned the radio off. "We have long known that magic existed. We were the KGB. We knew everything. But we never did anything with the knowledge. We had other worries, and the party leadership did not wish to waste resources on a small fraction of the population that quietly lived out their lives without bothering anyone. We captured a few, did some experiments, but nothing came of it. But now? Now the time for hiding is over."

The man leaned toward Gregor. "And now, magic will do what I demand of it."

Gregor swallowed. "Who are you?" he asked once more.

"Vladimir Vladimirovich. You do not know who I am. Not yet. But soon, everyone will. For in this new world, he who controls magic, shall control everything."

Authors Note:

And with that deeply disturbing look into the geopolitical scene, I am pleased to announce that the first chapter of Nymphadora Tonks: The Last Auror has at long last been posted. You can find the link in my profile, or by searching for the story through the fanfiction search bar.