Chapter 10 – Ministerial Mamba
Friday, 21 February 1986
"Lord Prewett," Lord Cyrus Greengrass stood greeting the twins, "Mr. Prewett, welcome to my humble home. It is my dear hope that you both find my hospitality acceptable?"
Lord Fabian Prewett, being the senior in social standing, answered for both Gideon and himself. "You have a beautiful home, my Lord. We have heard of your graciousness and openness to your guests. Thus far, the reports fall short of the truth." Fabian smiled at his host. He thought the etiquette required when visiting another lord archaic, but he knew how and when to follow the guidelines. His brother, Gideon, smiled at their host. He turned his head such that only Fabian could see and winked. Fabian almost snorted, but maintained control.
When Fabian and Gideon received Lord Greengrass's invitation, they expected luncheon with Lord Greengrass and his family. They were surprised to see Derrick Ollivander and Lord Victor Shacklebolt. Both were leading members of the Grey faction in the Wizengamot. Instead of a private meal with the Greengrass family, they walked into a business meeting. The two brothers looked at each other.
"May I present my good friends, Lord Shacklebolt and Mr. Ollivander?" Cyrus motioned towards the two men. "Garrick, we're not in your shop. Please forgo mentioning the composition of their wands." He chuckled to show the joke.
"Cyrus," Ollivander hotly replied, "I am not that obsessed with wands. It's that I like to make sure that my creations are being taken care of."
"Come in and sit down gentlemen," Cyrus pointed to a selection of armchairs. The room was large enough to easily hold forty people. There were two entrances into the room. They were on the same wall at each end. Opposite that wall was a bank of floor to ceiling windows with a view to the private gardens. The windows were hung with silver velvet draperies. The walls were painted a pale lime green. Two fireplaces were centered in both end walls. Portraits of various ancestors of Lord Greengrass graced the walls watching the men with interest. Spread throughout the room were armchairs in groupings between four and eight. Lord Shacklebolt and Garrick had stood up in the grouping nearest the entrance Fabian and Gideon entered. Lord Greengrass and the two Prewett men moved to join them.
"It's good to see you Lord Shacklebolt," Fabian shook the man's hand. Moving to Ollivander, "And you, Garrick." He moved toward a chair letting his brother shake the men's hands.
The men waited on their host. Lord Greengrass took a chair. As he sat, the others settled. Cyrus was flanked by Victor on his right and Garrick on his left. Gideon and Fabian sat across from him. Gideon had Victor to his left. Garrick sat to the right of Fabian.
"I must say, I was expecting something different." Lord Prewett smiled.
"Lord Prewett," Lord Greengrass said apologetically, "forgive my little ruse. My friends and I have been looking for opportunities to talk with you since Lady Longbottom rescued you. I am sure you would agree that having a private conversation before or after the Wizengamot sessions is impossible."
"Yes," Fabian agreed. "If not the other members listening in, the reporters pestering us for our feelings on the proceedings make any discussion difficult."
"We have noticed that since your return," Cyrus nodded to the two, "that your standing and votes have moved away from the Light faction and more resembles the Grey. As the leaders of the Grey, we wanted to hear your thoughts on where the country needs to go." Garrick and Victor nodded.
"What do you want to hear?" Fabian slowly asked. "Why don't you ask the questions and we'll answer?"
"That would be good, if we were adversaries," Garrick interjected. "I would prefer that we be friends."
"Yes, Garrick is correct." Cyrus took control. "We want to be your friends and allies, if possible." He paused. "You may not understand what the Grey faction stands for. Our opponents would tell you that we are fence-sitters waiting until we know who will win before joining. That is just as true as everything the Dark faction stands for is evil and the Light is always good. Balderdash."
"My personal philosophy is that each sentient be given an even chance." Cyrus said with some chagrin, "Some are more given more chances or abilities than others, but we all should start with no stereotypes hindering us. Likewise, other than necromancy or rituals requiring live sacrifices, magic should be considered neutral." Cyrus paused. He saw the two brothers were nodding in agreement. "Any exceptions should be considered and legislated by the entire Wizengamot. Nothing should be outlawed by ministerial fiat. The Unforgivables were debated by the entire Wizengamot before being outlawed."
Fabian looked at Gideon and nodded. Gideon spoke, "My Lord, nothing you have said do we disagree with. We sided with the Light faction in the last war. They spoke of equality between blood classes and magical species. They supposedly won. What happened? The Death Eaters bribed their way out of Azkaban and back into power. Laws were passed that penalized everyone, except certain pure-blood families. How did this happen? The Light abrogated their power. They abandoned their principles. It seems they spent more time trying to reform the Death Eaters than taking care of the country."
"They? Or, Dumbledore?" Victor asked. He wanted to understand where they stood.
With a deprecatory wave, Fabian said with disgust, "Has there been a difference?"
"Not until recently." Lord Greengrass nodded. "Lady Longbottom has moved away from his orbit."
The twins looked at each other. Making an unspoken decision, Fabian turned to the others, "Are you gentlemen looking to have us formally align with the Greys?"
"Partially," Victor answered. This was the part of the discussion where he was to lead. "Our faction has not put forward a name for Minister since Hector Fawley's election. With the corruption and ill-governing we have seen of late, we felt it was time to place a name into nomination."
"Surely you don't want me?" Fabian sat back in shock.
"No, not you." Victor focused on Gideon. "We are seeking an individual who fought Voldemort successfully. One who was imprisoned illegally because of a corrupt leader. A former auror who understands the laws and how they affect our populace. The brother of a sitting Lord. We wish to nominate Gideon for the post of Minister."
Gideon paled as Victor spoke. He had delighted in teasing his brother. The duties of being Lord Prewett were long and boring. Payback was coming. "No, I am not a viable candidate, my Lord. I haven't worked in the Ministry since Azkaban."
"You will be a champion against corruption. It was, after all, an act of corruption that attempted to destroy your life."
"I am not a member of the Wizengamot." He tried.
"Not a problem, many Ministers have been elected without being in the assembly." Victor was ready. "If your brother, Lord Prewett, were to stand and win the election, he would have to freeze his seat. The Minister only votes to break a tie. He would not be allowed to vote his seat and then a tie-breaker. Worse, he would not be allowed to use a proxy. Two votes."
"What if I say no?" Gideon finally asked.
"Brother, we both know we detest what has happened to the Ministry." Fabian interjected with a smirk. "How many discussions have we already had regarding how to clean it up. When will we get a better chance?"
Closing his eyes in defeat, Gideon agreed. "Alright, I will allow my name in nomination. However, if I become Minister, I will be my own man."
"Of course," Cyrus agreed. "With our business concluded on a friendly basis, I would prefer if you were to address me as Cyrus. Might I also call you, Fabian and Gideon?"
"Of course, my Lo.." Fabian blushed. "Cyrus."
"Thank you, Cyrus." Gideon smiled at his brother's discomfiture.
"Let us withdraw to my family dining room. I would like to introduce you to my wife and daughters." Cyrus stood up. The others stood. "Your wives are already with them, correct?" Cyrus looked at Victor and Garrick.
"A Lord of an Ancient and Most Noble family and a soon to be Minister of Magic both bachelors." Garrick shook his head knowingly at the other two married men. "I believe our friends will be quite the topic of discussion. I cannot speak for your wives, but my wife is affronted when she meets a good eligible wizard who is not married or betrothed." He laughed.
"My wife, Delphina, will take the lead." Cyrus laughed, seeing the twins blanching. "The two of you will be married before you can blink!"
"Lillian?" Jessa asked while juggling three Lumos balls of light. They had finished playing the Hide-and-Seek game.
"Yes, dear?" Lillian watched the little girl.
"How come Harry is learning to be a meta," she paused trying to remember the term, "meta… How come he's learning how to change himself and I'm not?"
Lillian looked at the girl, who used to be her sister. "Harry is a metamorphmagus. That means it is natural for him to change himself. It is a special gift and cannot be taught."
"How does it work?" the girl cancelled her spells and sat down.
"Well, everyone has a core. Wizards' and witches' cores are large enough to use magic. A muggle core is only large enough to keep them alive." Lillian sat across from the girl. Jessa nodded her understanding.
"Part of every core is a section that defines how everyone looks. Normally, this cannot be modified. A few, very special people can change this. This is Harry's gift."
"Okay, I understand." Jessa began to ask, "What would happen if he didn't practice?"
"I don't know, sweetie." Lillian scooted next to the girl and hugged her shoulders. "If he didn't practice, my guess is that he would accidentally change."
"That makes sense." Jessa thought hard. "If I am not a m.e.t.a.m. , how did you change my appearance?"
"One of my gifts is to be able to see magic. When I want to, I can see your core." Lillian said. "Because I can see cores, I can see where everyone's body image is. This was how I could change your looks permanently. It wasn't easy. Your body image is bound tightly. Most people's body images are. Harry's is completely unbound."
"If you can see my core and changed my looks, could you teach me what you did?" Jessa asked pleadingly. "Please?" She broke the puppy-dog eyes out.
Laughing at her, Lillian sighed. "How about this? Keep up your other studies school and magic, and I'll see what I can come up with. It's supposed to be impossible to teach a gift." She tightened her hug. "That just means we haven't tried."
"Right!" Jessa hugged her. "I love you, Lillian!"
"Love you, Jessa." Lillian disengaged. Using her magic, she caused a child's building block to fly across the room into her hand. "Let's try something new. I want you to turn this wooden block into a rabbit. Let me show you how it should be done." She slowly walked through the process.
Jessa watched her, but it was obvious she hadn't followed each step.
Lillian leaned closer to the girl and whispered, "Would you like to cheat?"
"Yes," Jessa said eagerly.
"Okay, I want you to come into my mind like we're going to play Hide-And-Seek." Lillian kept whispering. "Don't come in. Just wait. I'll let you in." The girl nodded. "When you are in, we'll do the spell together. We'll use my magic. I want you to watch what I do and feel how it's done." She looked at Jessa. "Okay?"
"Yes, Lillian." Jessa smiled at her. She moved from Lillian's side to across from her.
"Red Rover, Red Rover, Jessa come over," Lillian smiled.
Jessa stared into Lillian's eyes. Within moments, her consciousness entered Lillian's mind. She stopped at the edge and waited. Lillian showed up and welcomed her.
"Hi, Jessa!" Lillian greeted. "Are you ready?"
"Oh, yes." She giggled.
Lillian turned around and squatted in front of Jessa. "Climb on." Jessa climbed on. Her head lay on Lillian's left shoulder. Her arms were wrapped around her neck and her legs wrapped Lillian's waist.
The mindscape shifted. Lillian and Jessa were now in a copy of the training room. "Jessa, close your eyes and reach out to my magic. When I feel you are ready, I will transform this block." Lillian pushed her magic against Jessa. Jessa's magic responded and their magic connected. "Open your eyes."
Jessa opened her eyes. Lillian held the block in her left hand, giving Jessa a perfect view. "Feel my magic." Jessa could feel Lillian's magic pool with intent. It built up and then was released. She watched the block change as the magic drained from Lillian. "Did you feel how I powered the spell?"
"Yes," Jessa said. "But I don't understand how you knew to let it go."
"That's okay," Lillian encouraged. "I want you to know how it feels, before we do anything else. Ready to go again?"
"Yes." Jessa said. Lillian and Jessa went through the transformation twelve times before Jessa anticipated the release.
"Good girl!" Lillian hopped a little. This caused Jessa to yelp and giggle. Coming back to the block, she said, "This time, I want you to feel and hear my thoughts. Stay attached to my magic, though. I'm opening my thoughts to you."
Jessa went from telepathically communicating with Lillian to a deeper level. At this level, Lillian's thoughts felt like hers. Jessa kept her own thoughts, but Lillian's were there too. Jessa heard and felt Lillian concentrate on changing the block. The magic was building. Lillian's focus was on the spell. At the point of execution, Lillian's focus merged with her magic. The block was a rabbit. There was no block.
"Well, there's a thing." Jessa muttered.
Lillian quickly changed the rabbit back. Jessa was still connected deeply with Lillian, but it went too fast. "Let's do it again." They performed the conjuration several more times until Lillian began hearing Jessa saying, "Now!" in anticipation.
Jessa could feel Lillian's approval. "Ready for the next phase?" Lillian asked with a smile.
"What's next?" Jessa asked.
"We're going to work together. This time, I want you to build the magic while I concentrate. Let me know when you think it's enough." Lillian instructed. "Don't worry, I don't expect perfection. If it doesn't work, it means we get to try again. Ready?"
"Yes," Jessa said a little nervously.
With a nod, Lillian began. Jessa began building magic. When she felt it was right, she let Lillian know and they cast the spell.
The block became furry.
Jessa started to pout.
"Oh, no you don't, Jessa." Lillian lightly scolded. "I told you not to expect perfection. This was better than I expected. I was expecting the block to turn grey."
Jessa's pout stopped. "Really?"
"Of course, I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it." Lillian huffed in false anger. "Let's go again."
It took over twenty attempts before Jessa could correctly balance the magic three times in a row. Jessa smiled at the three rabbits.
Lillian dismissed them. "Now we do the next step. This time, you will focus and I'll supply the magic when you are ready."
It took forty some odd tries before Jessa began casting the spell with the correct focus.
"Wonderful, Jessa." Lillian squatted to allow the girl off her back. "Would you like to know a secret?"
"Yes," Jessa was happy with the progress they made.
"I stopped controlling the magic after the second try. You've done this all on your own." Lillian turned around and hugged Jessa.
"I did?" Jessa asked. Lillian nodded. "I really did?" Lillian smiled at her. "I DID IT!" Jessa began bouncing on her feet.
"Now it's time to cast the spell outside of my mind." Lillian suggested.
"Oh, okay," Jessa cancelled the Legilimency and was sitting across from Lillian again.
Lillian smiled at her. "You've done it. I want to see a rabbit." She handed Jessa the original building block.
Jessa nodded. Before she began casting, she settled. With a giggle and a glance at Lillian, she turned the block into a pink rabbit with white ears and tail.
"Really? Pink and white?" Lillian deadpanned at the girl.
"I like pink and white." Jessa giggled.
Lillian grabbed the girl in a hug. "Scamp." Lillian looked over at Harry. "Why don't you show Harry your new spell?"
"Harry, Harry! Look what I can do!" Jessa ran over to the boy. She turned another block into a rabbit.
"Wicked! I haven't done that yet!" Harry exclaimed.
Private Dining and Meeting Room
Isle of Man
Sunday, 23 February 1986
Lord Arcturus Black was led into the room. There were no windows. The room was a small square, only large enough for eight or less people. The walls were painted an innocuous off-white. There were two chairs sat across from each other at the table. The chairs and table were made of matching teak.
"Well met, Lady Longbottom," Arcturus moved across the room. He took Augusta's hand and lightly kissed it.
"It is good to see you, Lord Black." Augusta smiled at him. "We simply need to stop meeting like this. Imagine what the Prophet would say!"
"I imagine they would report the world coming to an end." He walked to the empty chair and sat down. "The leader of the Light and Dark factions meeting surreptitiously? Obviously, I must have slipped you a potion and brought you under my thrall." He grinned back. "I have had quite an interesting few weeks since the last Wizengamot. I would wager half of my vaults that you have had an even more exciting time."
"I would decline that wager." Augusta answered. "It is beneath a lady to dabble in such base delights as gambling." With a small smirk, she continued, "If I were not such a lady, I would certainly know a," she paused searching for the correct word. "sucker bet when I see one."
Arcturus laughed with her. "My dear, I have missed such repartee since my dear wife passed." Sobering, he changed the subject. "Unfortunately, as much as I would enjoy matching wits with you, we are constrained by time. As such, we needs must focus on the more mundane."
"I agree, Arcturus," Augusta inclined her head. "Shall I start?"
"Of course, dear Lady." Lord Black demurred. "A true gentleman always defers to a lady."
"Enough flattery," Lady Longbottom smiled. "We are past such enticements." Smile leaving her face, she continued, "The last few weeks have been quite active for the Light. Minister Fudge has been haunting my home and office. I wonder if he has performed any work since the meeting."
"That is probably good for the country," Arcturus joked.
"Indeed," Augusta deadpanned. "Our Chief Warlock has been silent on the position of Minister. With the challenge to his positions, his focus has been on regaling everyone how well he has performed his jobs. That this latest scandal is but an aberration, not the norm. He came unannounced to my manor just yesterday. He wanted my support."
"What was your answer?" Arcturus interjected.
Augusta's lips ticked up briefly, "I told him that I was undecided. That indeed, I found myself in agreement with several of Lord Greengrass's arguments."
Lord Black smiled, "I imagine, dear Lady, that he found issue with your position?"
"Oh, yes." Lady Longbottom returned. "He reminded me of his defeat of Grindlewald. During that tie, he was Chief Warlock and Head of Transfiguration at Hogwarts. He was Chief Mugwump, Warlock, and Headmaster in the war against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." She took a sip of water, "I simply told him that I was looking at all evidence. After he left, I had myself and my home checked for any charms or potions."
"And?" Arcturus' attention sharpened.
"Nothing was found." Augusta waved her left hand as she set the water goblet down with her right hand. "I am not sure whether I was more relieved or surprised. With his history with my family, the possibility of trust does not exist."
"Indeed," Arcturus inclined his head. Getting back on task, "I am curious who you would replace Fudge with and how you would seat them?"
"There is only one person currently in the government who has refused bribery and other enticements." Augusta began her response. "Lady Amelia Bones, Head of the DMLE, according to all my contacts has never wavered from following all laws."
"There are two problems with her." Arcturus interjected.
"Yes, I am aware. The minor issue with her candidacy is that the Dark faction that was led by Malfoy would never support her. The true hurdle is the fact that she has stated numerous times that she does not care to be Minister. She is happy where she is at." Lady Longbottom replied coolly.
"How do you propose getting her acceptance then? If the light and Grey support her, she will be Minister." Lord Black demurred. He was enjoying working with such an intelligent woman.
"Unless the Greys deliver a surprise nominee, there are no reasonable aspirants within the Dark or Light factions. Your factions most electable contender is Pius Thicknesse. The Lights best? Lord Macmillan." Augusta deadpanned. "Pius is too junior and his opinions too well known. I cannot say that I have ever Lord MacMillan proffer an original opinion."
"The Wizengamot would quickly deadlock if given those choices." Augusta leaned forward towards Arcturus. "I believe that in this instance, Lady Bones could be persuaded to become a dark horse candidate."
"A sound strategy," Arcturus began. "It seems to hinge on the assumption that the Greys will not have a candidate."
Augusta smiles, "It would be better if they put someone up. It is likely that whoever they put up will be acceptable to most."
Lord Black nods, "Let us then proceed with your plan. If the Greys put up an acceptable candidate, we shift our support to them. If not? We follow your plan to draft Lady Bones."
Augusta smiles and inclines her head. "Arcturus, how goes the orphanage?"
"The renovations are almost complete." Arcturus said. "Narcissa will be ready to accept the first orphan in April. Working with the ministry, we have found five magical children in muggle orphanages and three in muggle foster homes. These will be the first to be brought to the Safe Haven home."
"Is there anything my family can do to help the effort?" Augusta asked.
"Once the home is opened, it will be attacked politically." Arcturus answered. "Your support in deflecting the attacks will be needed."
He leaned back and smiled at her. "Augusta, our business is complete. Might I suggest the rack of lamb? I'm told that it is quite exceptional here."
Monday, 23 February 1986
Lillian bypassed the lines and walked directly to Orevein's office. "May our gold ever increase, Orevein." She spoke Gobbledygook as she entered his office.
"May the blood of our enemies grace our weapons." Orevein motioned her to a chair. "What business do you wish to discuss?"
"The Harry Potter books. Where are we in finding how these were allowed?" Lillian quickly began the business meeting.
"Harry's So-called Magical Guardian, Albus Dumbledore, signed the contracts allowing the stories." Orevein answered. "The contracts allow the use of the name Harry Potter for the creation of youth adventure books. There was a payment of 100,000 galleons and a royalty of one sickle per novel sold."
"Have the monies been placed into the Potter vault?" Lillian asked. She suspected that they had not.
"Albus paid himself 95,000 galleons as a consulting fee. For each sickle paid in royalties, one knut is making it into the Potter vaults." Orevein read off a parchment. "Dumbledore acting as both the Magical Guardian and Regent for the Potter family, signed a secondary contract allowing those fees."
"Was Dumbledore ever officially given Harry's guardianship?" Lillian asked.
Orevein smiled ferociously, "No, he never filed any of the paperwork. He simply took the title."
"So, nothing was legal?" Lillian smiled back. "We can take them for everything?"
"Yes." Orevein cautioned. "But, we need to unseal the will and show that Sirius Black is the proper guardian."
"We need to have a copy of the sealed will brought before the Wizengamot." Orevein told her. "The best person for this would-be Sirius himself. Failing him, his grandfather should bring it forward."
"With the official will sealed, Sirius or Lord Black will have to bring their unofficial copy. The copy given to them by the Potter elves." Orevein told Lillian. "The effect of this will increase the pressure on Dumbledore and will force the unsealing of the will. It will also stop Dumbledore from legitimizing his guardianship of Harry."
"How quickly can we make our move?" Lillian asked. She wanted to stop the hero-worship as soon as possible.
"The next session of the Wizengamot is set to elect a new Minister and a vote of confidence for the Chief Warlock. There will not likely be anything else of consequence reviewed." Orevein mused. "The March session should be our target."
"I need to approach Lord Black to find a way for Sirius to speak." Lillian thought out loud.
"Indeed, Lillian." Orevein nodded his agreement.
"When it comes out in the Wizengamot, how quickly can our lawyers begin their suits?" Lillian asked.
"As soon as the will is unsealed, the suits will be filed. The paperwork is ready." Orevein let her know. "What is next on the agenda?"
"Death Eaters." Lillian spat out in disgust. "I need your advice. I can go after those in the Wizengamot, those in Azkaban, or those that are free, but not ennobled. I'm not a warrior or a strategist. Goblins are both. I am a mother. Can you help me plan my attacks?"
"It will be my pleasure." Orevein bared his teeth. "We need to creep up on the cowards. I would target the Death Eaters that will not be missed. Gibbon, Goyle, Macnair, and Greyback will not be missed. Greyback has an open bounty. Severus Snape, like those on the Wizengamot, is in too public of a position to target yet. If we removed those in Azkaban, questions would be raised. After clearing these, we should slowly remove the rest from the war."
Lillian looked disgusted. "I understand. I hate this."
"The first three will be relatively easy for you. Greyback will be tough. Do not give him a chance to attack. Kill him." Orevein spoke seriously. "I know you don't like killing. Greyback loves to torture and kill. Do not give him the opportunity to escape. He will come after Harry."
Nodding her head, Lillian sighed. "Very well. I can use his Dark Mark to kill him."
"I need a way to introduce Draco Blackett to Harry and Jessa. Which of the Crouch and LeStrange properties have been restored, warded, made unplottable, and under a Fidelius?" Lillian asked.
"Let me see." Orevein magically opened a filing cabinet and floated two folders onto his desk. "The LeStrange manor and a property outside of Cannes are ready. The Crouch home and property have been completed. There are vacation properties and farms that are not ready."
"Narcissa has been to the LeStrange manor. I doubt that she ever went to the Crouch home." Lillian thought aloud. "Can you set up a meet with her?"
"I can, Lillian." Orevein assured her. "Why do you want to meet her?"
"I want to show her the benefits of training our children in magic after their first accidental magic." Lillian smiled. "Once the orphanage is open. The orphans and Draco will begin training their magic. This will break the concept of blood purity and strength down. When the pure-bloods enter Hogwarts alongside children ready for their third year or more, they will be jealous. Before it goes too far, we will offer the same training to any magical child."
"Any," Orevein cocked an eye. "Werewolves, half-humans, and non-humans?"
"It will take time. My dream would be that goblins, centaurs, werewolves, and any other sentient magical be allowed in my schools." Lillian stated.
Orevein nodded, "That is quite a dream. With enough time, I have no doubt that your dream will be realized."
Lillian stood up. "Our business is done. Thank you, Orevein. May the gold in our vaults always increase."
Orevein stood and walked to the door to his office to let Lillian out. "May our enemies' blood flow off our blades, Lillian."
As she exited, several wizards and witches looked surprised hearing a witch speaking gobbledygook. She moved to a private floo and exited home.
Professor Dumbledore's Office
Evening Monday, 22 May 1939
"Welcome, Tom!" Professor Dumbledore's door opened as Tom approached. It was a trick he liked to use to impress his students.
"Professor," Tom strode into the room. "Will we be continuing these lessons next year?"
"If you wish, my boy." Albus' eyes twinkled at the boy. "Since this is our last session of the year, let's go over what you've learned this year." Making a motion towards a love seat, he sat down. Tom sat next to him.
Putting his arm around the young boy's shoulder, the Professor praised, "Tom, I cannot tell you how proud I am of you. You were top of class in Transfiguration. In addition, with our sessions, you have cast each of your spells silently. My boy, in my years of teaching, no other student has been able to cast silently in the first year. The best I have seen was a witch who began casting silently in the third year."
Tom leaned into the hug. Shyly, he asked, "Truly, Professor Dumbledore? No one else?"
"No one, my boy!" Dumbledore gave a light squeeze of Tom's shoulders. "Keep this up and one day you'll break all of the school records."
Tom looked up and smiled at his mentor.
Albus' smile dropped slightly, "You asked if you could stay at Hogwarts during the summer. I approached the Headmaster. He apologized to me, but stated that all students were required to return to their homes. I argued with him. I reminded him that your place of residence is a muggle orphanage. Armando shook his head, telling me he was sorry, but his hands were tied."
"They hate me there!" Tom moaned. "Did you tell him that?"
"I did, my boy." Albus tightened his hug. "I know that you will be challenged this summer. It is difficult for us to live in muggle areas." He paused. "Do you remember our talk when we first met?"
"Yes, Professor." Tom's gaze dropped to the peop
"I want you to remember that because of our gifts, we must take care of those weaker than us." Albus started. "We have the power to hurt the muggles in ways they have no defense. My boy, that is not how we should use our power. A muggle philosopher, I think his name was Charlus Darwiche, stated that life is a survival of the fittest. Like wolves, there are alphas and the rest. Do you follow?"
"I, I think so." Tom nodded hesitantly.
"Magic makes us naturally stronger and healthier than muggles. For this reason, you need to be careful around them. They are fragile and weak. However, there are many more of them than us. With our natural superiority, we should guide them. When you interact with those weaker or lesser than you, I suggest you always ask yourself how you can lead them into acting for the Greater Good." Albus turned his head and looked at the boy. Tom looked up and met his gaze.
"Greater Good? Like Grndlewald?" He asked puzzled.
"That is an excellent question, Tom." Albus squeezed the hug briefly. "Gellert wants to conquer the muggles and put us in charge of them. I believe he is wrong. There are too many muggles to control. We need to direct them like a shepherd directs his sheep. A shepherd by himself can lead hundreds of sheep. Why? They trust that he is taking care of them. When you go back, think of your fellow orphans as sheep. When I was there, the matron and children were afraid of you. You were a wolf hiding in the flock. My boy, make me proud this summer. Think like a shepherd, not a wolf. In time, you will gain the respect and companionship you crave."
Tom didn't understand everything his Professor was trying to say. He understood that Albus told him that he was better than the orphans since he had magic and they did not. He was told he should lead them. Why? Because he was more powerful. He wasn't sure what the Greater Good was, but it sounded like what was best for the leader would be best for the group. "I'll try, Professor." He wrapped his arms around his Professor's chest. "Thank you, sir."
Albus was tempted to place a kiss on the top of the boy's head. He held himself back. Tom wasn't ready. "You are welcome, my boy. Enjoy your summer. If you need anything, owl me."
Albus released the boy. "Now be off with you, Tom. Enjoy the rest of the week."
Ministry of Magic
Friday, 28 February 1986
The visitor's gallery was full. Reporter's from every magical country were seated and had auto-quills at the ready. The Ambassadors from MACUSA, France, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, and Spain were in attendance. The French ambassador sat with a superior smile. He seemed to be letting all in attendance know that the French would never have fallen so low. The others were in better control of themselves and let nothing show.
Each Lord was in attendance. The leaders of the factions were just entering. Lady Longbottom came through the entrance followed by Lords Black and Greengrass walking side by side. Once in the center of the chamber, they each gave nods of acknowledgement to each other. Turning, they made their way to their seats.
Once they were seated, the Wizengamot slowly quieted. All eyes were on the chamber doors. The silence began to stretch. After several minutes, the doors were opened. The Chief Warlock and the Minister walked in. Albus strode confidently in. His shoulders were back. He glanced at no one. He simply walked to his chair and stood beside it. Cornelius walked as if he was being led to his execution. Even though he was a superb politician, he knew this was his last session as Minister. He attempted to seem unaffected, but his nervousness showed in many little tells. His eyes flickered back and forth to the members he hoped would support him. When his gaze slid across those he knew were against him, his shoulders stiffened as if in preparation for Fight or Fly response. In his case, it was a Flight or Fly response.
Albus watched Fudge ascend to the Minister's chair. As Cornelius reached the last step, the chamber rose. He moved to his seat, turned around, and looked around the chamber. With a visible deflation, he sat down. Once he was settled, Albus followed suit. Following this, Lady Longbottom looked towards Lords Black and Greengrass at an almost invisible signal the three sat. The rest of the chamber followed.
"The February Wizengamot for the year 1986 is now called to session. The Sergeant-At-Arms shall tally the roll." He turned to the Sergeant-At-Arms, the witch began the process.
The roll was quickly finished and the requirements for a quorum were met. In fact, only three seats were empty. These belonged to three Order of Merlin winners who were on a scheduled trip to South America.
"We have a quorum, Chief Warlock, Minister, Lords, Ladies, and members." The Sergeant-At-Arms proclaimed.
"Thank you." Albus Dumbledore smiled. "As Chief Warlock, I call this session open. The first order of business is the call for a vote of confidence on the Minister Cornelius Fudge. Lord Prewett," Dumbledore paused to turn towards Fabian. He frowned internally as he noticed the Prewetts were sitting with the Grey faction. "As the motion was made by you, I give you the floor."
Hiding his nervousness, Fabian slowly stood holding a few papers. He glanced at the parchments briefly before putting them down. "Chief Warlock, Minister, esteemed colleagues." He looked around the room. "The stability of our government relies on the faith and trust of our citizens. I come today not just as Lord Prewett. I am here as a citizen looking for hope. Hope that our government is honest. Hope that our government has the safety of us, the citizenry, as its' primary priority. Hope that the faith and trust that we give to our leaders is warranted." Fabian paused to look around the chamber. The reaction was mixed. The Greys were enthusiastically following his words. The Light faction were following Lady Longbottom's lead. She was smiling and acknowledging his points, but was not overtly showing signs of support. Lord Black sat expressionless. The Dark faction, therefore, showed no reaction. The reporters and others in the gallery were hanging on his every word. "Thus far, we have shown that their trust was not misplaced. However, the one wizard who should have led the charge against the corruption and vice failed us. Instead, he chose to allow it. I do not know whether he actively took part." Fabian took a breath, visibly containing his anger. "I do not care. It thrived under his watch. I cannot and will not follow one who has allowed this." Looking towards Dumbedore, he continued. "There will be calls to give him a second chance. That people make mistakes. I agree with the sentiment. I do not agree that we should forgive and forget, leaving him in the same position. He has lost our trust. He should work to regain our trust. I look forward to the day where he stands before us with our faith in him restored. Until that day, he should have no place in our government. Therefore, I made the motion to remove Cornelius Fudge from the office of Minister of Magic. The trust between his office and the people has been breached. To restore the public's trust, a new wizard or witch must replace our current Minister." As he finished, he held Minister Fudge's gaze. "I yield the floor."
"Thank you, Lord Prewett." The Chief Warlock acknowledged the other. "Does anyone else wish to speak on this motion?"
Lord Black and Lay Longbottom both raised their wands. The Chief Warlock noted them. "The floor is given to Lady Longbottom."
"Thank you, Chief Warlock." Augusta stood, taking the floor. "It is never a good day for Britain when a minister loses the support of our people. Today is not a good day. I truly am sorry that today has come. If we must vote today, Minister fudge will be leaving office." Murmurs were heard around the room. The stance of the Light was made clear. "Minister, to save you and, more importantly, the honor of your office, I ask you to resign. Your resignation will be the first step in the rehabilitation of your name. The office will survive, but our government owes explanations to our people. Will you, Minister, step down?" She looked at the minister. He nodded towards her. "I yield the floor to the minister. Minister Fudge, what say you?"
Cornelius Fudge was pale and shaking as he stood. His political instincts told him that his tenure was over. In a subdued voice, he stammered, "Lady Longbottom, I bow to the obvious. In order to save any further disgrace befalling this office, I offer my immediate resignation and will take my familial seat back from my proxy." He walked from the minister's seat to the Fudge seat. His wife moved to the gallery as he sat down.
"With there being no minister to vote on, may I request that the motion be withdrawn?" Dumbledore sadly said.
"Of course, Chief Warlock." Lord Prewett nodded, "I withdraw the motion of no confidence."
The Chief warlock stood. "With the resignation of the Minister of Magic, all other business must be tabled until a new minister is elected. The floor is open for nominations."
The body paused. The members were all looking at Lady Longbottom, Lord Black, and Lord Greengrass. With a barely noticeable nod, Augusta raised her wand.
"Lady Augusta Longbottom is recognized. You now have the floor." Albus bowed his head towards her as he sat back down.
"Firstly, I wish to thank Lord Fudge for his service. Our people have prospered these last few years. Your leadership was welcome." Augusta continued. "Our next minister must be above reproach and incorruptible. We need a leader who will be able to heal. It is my honor to nominate a Lady who fought the false Lord and his Death Eaters. Except for her niece, she lost her entire family. Her reputation is golden. I nominate Lady Amelia Bones, head of the DMLE for minister."
Heavy applause began behind Lady Longbottom. Lady Bones kept her countenance blank. She nodded her head towards Augusta.
"Second!" Garrick Ollivander shouted from his seat.
"Very well, the nomination of Lady Bones has been made and seconded. Are there any further nominations?" The Chief Warlock asked. Lord Black's wand was raised. "Lord Black?" Albus asked. Arcturus nodded his head slightly. "The floor is yours, Lord Black."
"Thank you, Chief Warlock." Arcturus began. "Thank you, Lord Fudge. Your service has been appreciated. We are better off today than when you began your tenure." He paused, looking around the room. "Lady Longbottom was correct in pointing out the next minister must be a person untouched by any scandal. One who everyone will see as maintaining our society. Our next minister should continue Lord Fudge's economic policies. These have brought us back from the brink of governmental bankruptcy to prosperity. The ravages of the war still haunt us. Our next minister must be courageous in looking forward. My friend, Lord Pius Thicknesse, is the Lord who will bring our society peace and prosperity. I nominate Lord Pius Thicknesse for Minister of Magic."
"Hear, Hear!" "Thicknesse? Thicker more like it." "Bravo!"
"Second!" Lord Corban Yaxley's voice cut through the din.
Dumbledore waited until the chamber had quieted. "Thank you, Lord Black. Your nomination of Lord Thicknesse has been seconded. We now have two nominees. The floor is still open for further nominations."
Lord Greengrass took the floor. He eschewed thanking Fudge. "Lady Bones and Lord Thicknesse are both strong candidates. However, I stand here today with a candidate who fought for us in the last war. His entire career has been spent as an auror. Due to corruption, his death was falsified. He was thrown into Azkaban as a nameless prisoner until Lady Longbottom's visit. He is a person who will fight any vestiges of corruption within the Ministry. I nominate Gideon Prewett. Gideon, the younger brother of Lord Fabian Prewett, is the wizard that will uphold the faith of the wizards and witches of Britain in their government."
"Hear, hear!" "A great nominee." "He has no experience." "Interesting." Clapping began behind Lord Greengrass. The clapping slowly increased. The people in the visitor's gallery began standing and clapping.
Dumbledore banged his gavel to silence the chamber.
"Second!" Lord Shafiq enthusiastically shouted.
"Gideon Prewett has been added as a nominee. Are there any further nominees?" Dumbledore asked. He looked through the chamber. "Seeing none, the nominations are closed." He smiled at everyone. "We will take a thirty-minute recess before voting. We will reconvene at 11:00."
After rushing to the public restrooms, the gallery quickly refilled. The members of the Wizengamot were more reserved in their exits and returns. At five minutes before the session was to begin, the members began returning. Looking very downcast, Cornelius Fudge entered alongside the lower ranked members. Without the power of being Minister, his personal power was mediocre, at best. There was a pause in the procession, Lady Longbottom, Lord Black, and Lord Greengrass strode in. Following them came the Chief Warlock. Everyone stood as he made his way to his seat. As Dumbledore began sitting, everyone in the chamber sat.
"As Chief Warlock, I declare the session reconvened." The Chief Warlock intoned. "Before the recess, the nominations for Minister were closed. Before we progress, the three nominees will be asked if they wish to stand for the position." Dumbledore paused, his gaze slowly panning the room. Lord Black glanced at Lady Longbottom. She placed her quill cross-wise on her desk.
"Lord Thicknesse, do you wish to declare?" he asked.
Standing up, Pius proudly began, "Chief Warlock, Lords, Ladies, and fellow members, I accept the nomination. If you grant me the honor to serve you as the Minister, I promise to uphold our traditions. I will work to grow our economy larger than it has ever been. Each Witch and Wizard of Britain will be better off. Before the war, we were the greatest magical country in the world. I will make us great again."
"Hear, hear" "Dark Wanker" "Blinding" "Nice one" were some of the mutterings heard once he finished. Lord Black politely clapped and smiled at Lord Thicknesse. Lord Greengrass and Lady Longbottom clapped.
"Thank you, Lord Thicknesses. Mr. Prewett would you care to make a statement?" Albus turned towards Fabian.
"Yes, I do. Thank you, Chief Warlock." He spoke clearly as he stood next to his brother. "I accept the nomination. If the members of this chamber elect me as Minister, I will work with each of you to root out any and all corruption. The trust in our leadership has been broken. We must restore it. How, you say? By respecting all magicals equally." He paused, watching the reactions to his words. The Dark section was completely noncommittal. The Grey and Light were smiling and nodding their heads. "We may not be born equal, but each of us deserves respect. Why? We all have the gift of magic. Compared to the muggles, we are a miniscule minority. We should stand together, praise each other's strengths, and celebrate our differences. My main goal will be to regain the trust of our people by being honest and up-front in all my dealings. I agree with Lord Thicknesse in the belief that Britain was the greatest country in the world. I disagree with him in thinking we no longer are. We are a great country. I will work to make us even greater." He took one last look around the chambers and acknowledged the gallery. He bowed towards the Chief Warlock and sat down.
"Not qualified." "Hear, hear" "Britain is great!" "Blood will out!" "Equality? Bah" "Huzzah!" The members of the chamber were louder this time. Several of the blood supremacists were visibly sneering. The Greys were fully behind him. Surprisingly, the Light faction were smiling and supportive.
Acknowledging the bow, Albus smiled at Gideon. "Wonderful statement, Mr. Prewett! Now to our last nominee, Lady Bones. Madam, you have the floor."
The members of the Light all made noise for her. She waited for it to die down, then stood. "Chief Warlock, Ladies, Lords, and fellow members, I thank you for the consideration. However, after much thought, I ask that my nomination be withdrawn. Like Lord Thicknesse, I have worked in the Ministry and sat in these chambers while the corruption festered. The trust of our people will be difficult to recover while a Minister is sitting that was a part of the prior administration. Therefore, I ask that any who would vote for me instead vote for Mr. Prewett. He is a symbol of what the corruption led to. He is untarnished by what we have allowed. Mr. Prewett, I look forward to working with you."
Stunned silence met this statement. Lady Bones turned towards Gideon and bowed her head towards him. She then bowed towards Dumbledore and sat down.
Stunned himself, the Chief Wizard sat. Recovering himself, he bowed towards Lady Bones, "Your honesty and integrity amaze me, Lady Bones. The nominations have been accepted. The floor is open to debate."
"I move to close the debate and vote." Lord Doge yelled out. "We know who the next Minister will be."
"Second," Lady Blackett spoke out.
"The motion to close the debate and vote for a new Minister has been made." Dumbledore took the floor back. "All those in favor of closure?" He paused, "Against?"
"The ayes have it. Debate is now closed. We will move directly to the vote on Minister." The Chief Wizard directed. "A ballot will be placed onto each desk. Use your wands to select your preference."
The Chief Warlock sat back and perused the chamber. Each faction watched their leaders. Once Lady Longbottom, Lord Black and Lord Greengrass voted they voted.
Albus watched the tally board on his desk. Once the last vote came in, he pounded his gavel. "The vote is in. Congratulations Minister Prewett."
Gideon Prewett moved forward and the oath of office administered. Once completed, he sat down in the Minister's seat.
"There being no more business, is there a move to close?" The Chief Warlock asked.
"I" Madam Marchbanks was interrupted.
"Chief Warlock, there is one item of business yet to be addressed." Lord Greengrass stood up.
"There is, Lord Greengrass?" Albus looked puzzled. "The published agenda was for the election. There was nothing else."
"In the last meeting, I asked you to consider stepping down from two of your positions in order to focus fully on one." Lord Greengrass chided. "I would know your decision."
Smiling at the Lord, Albus patronized, "Ah, I remember. You asked me to consider stepping down from two of my positions. I considered it. There are no laws or traditions against holding multiple positions. Therefore, in my considered opinion, I shall continue in all three. Your concern for my health, is very well taken, Milord." He glanced towards Elphias Doge.
"I move to adjourn." Lord Doge jumped into the conversation.
"Second." Lord Yaxley bellowed. With Thicknesse not being Minister, he had better things to do.
"Ah, a motion to adjourn has been made and seconded." The Chief Warlock announced. "Those in favor?" He looked around the chamber, around a third of the wands were lit. "Against?" A clear majority were lit. "The ayes have it. This session of the Wizengamot is closed. Thank you, Minister, Lords, Ladies, members, and visitors."
Former Crouch Family Estate
Sunday morning, 2 March 1986
With a crack, Lillian, Harry and Jessa apparate in front of the refurbished cottage. "Let's go inside and get ready for Lady Blackett and her son Draco." The three went inside. The home was much larger on the inside. From the outside, it looked like a two story three-bedroom weekend home. Once inside, one realized that it was much larger. From the foyer, there was a circular staircase leading to the second and third floors. An opening on the left led to a ballroom capable of holding fifty comfortably. Looking at the right, a formal dining hall matching the size of the ballroom sat. On either side of the staircases, hallways led off. Lillian walked to the hallway between the dining hall and staircase. They went into the hallway and entered the first doorway on the right. This was an informal sitting room. It was also the room with an active floo. Furniture lined the walls. Each wall had two loveseats with end tables with lamps upon them. In the center of the room, a sextet of Victorian parlor chairs sat in a circle. Each chair had a small table for drinks or snacks next to it. The fireplace sat across from the door. The room was warded so that no one could enter the home without approval. The floo, itself, had an intent ward which would bounce anyone with ill intent to the public floos at the Ministry.
"Mimsy?" Lillian asked.
"Yes, Mistress Lillian?" the elf popped in.
"Please take this note to Lady Blackett. After she reads it aloud so that Draco can hear, destroy it." Lillian handed Mimsy a note containing the Fidelius code.
"Mimsy be doing that!" She said excitedly. With a light snap, she was gone.
A few minutes later, the floo activated. Lady Narcissa Blackett and Draco came through.
"Milady," Narcissa acknowledged Lillian. "I have come and brought Draco as you requested."
"Lady Blackett, my hope is that we can become friends. When it is the two of us, you can call me Lillian." Lillian stood. Motioning towards Harry and Jessamine, "May I introduce Harry and Jessamine Jameson?" The two stood up from the couch and moved over. Harry sketched a poor bow. Jessamine gave a careful curtsy.
With a smile at the children, Narcissa answered, "It is very nice to meet you. I am Lady Narcissa Blackett and this is my son, Draco. You can call me Lady Narcissa." She shook both children's hands. "Say Hello, Draco."
With a glance at his mother, Draco hesitantly began, "Hello."
Jessa grabbed Draco's hand. "Would you like to play?"
Narcissa glanced at Lillian, seeing her nod, "Draco, you may play with them."
"Sure." Was all Draco could say before the three children were out of the room racing to the front door.
"Boro? Grov?" Lillian asked.
"Yes, Mistress Lillian?" both elves popped in.
"Draco, Harry, and Jessamine are going to play. Will you watch them? They need to stay inside the wards." Lillian looked at the two in the eyes.
"Wes be keeping them safe, Mistress." Grov answered for them. They immediately popped out to oversee the children.
Turning to Narcissa, Lillian motioned for her to take a seat. "Would you like some tea?"
"Yes, please." Lady Blackett sat down.
"Mimsy," Lillian paused. The elf popped in. "Can you serve Lady Blackett and myself tea?"
With a snap, a tea service appeared with two cups already prepared.
With some uncertainty, Narcissa asked, "Lillian? May I ask why you asked us here?"
"Narcissa," Lillian paused looking for permission to use the name, "Harry and Jessa are being raised in the mundane world. They are being taught about magic, but have no magical friends. I am hoping that Draco can become their first magical friend."
"They seem to off to a good start." Narcissa nodded. "Draco liked them."
"They were very excited at the idea of meeting a young wizard." Lillian smiled. "That's all they have talked about since we confirmed this meeting."
"Harry, is your son, Harry Potter. Am I correct?" Narcissa changed the subject. Seeing a slight nod, she continued, "He does not look like you or James Potter. Is he under a glamour?"
"No." Lillian almost smirked. "We found a way to make semi-permanent changes. There is no glamour."
"So, who is Jessamine?" Narcissa was curious. "Did you change her appearance also?"
"I'll answer your last question first." Lillian sighed. "Yes, we changed her appearance. We changed it so that she and Harry look like twins. Both need to be hidden. Anyone looking for either would not expect to find twins."
"I assume her parents gave you permission?" Narcissa queried.
"She gave permission. Before you ask, I need to tell you who Jessamine is." Lillian forestalled Narcissa's question.
"Jessamine's given name was Petunia Evans." Lillian watched Narcissa for a reaction. "She was my older sister. We thought she was a mundane. She was born a witch. We just discovered that when I was born, her core was bound." Lillian then told Narcissa the entire story of finding the bindings on first Harry and then Petunia. She told her the options she gave her sister and how Petunia decided to be unbound and have a second childhood. Lillian did not tell Narcissa of the connection to Hufflepuff. She explained that she and Petunia came from a line of squibs. Narcissa became outraged when she was told the number of children that the goblins found evidence of being bound. She realized that by binding the first-born children, that families without heads could not be restored. Since the first-born could not claim their family, some families that could be reinstated stayed lost. In addition, the so-called muggle-born were being discriminated against without cause.
"Did your research find any true muggle-born children?" Narcissa asked.
Lillian thought for a second, "I cannot say. We were looking for muggle families with magical younger children. We weren't looking for heritage." She shook her head. "I wish I could understand what the point behind this was. It destroyed the relationship Petunia and I had."
Changing the subject, Lillian asked, "Narcissa, how are you and Draco?"
"Draco has had some moments. He still asks for his Father." She smiled, "When the workers arrived at the manor, he shied away from them. After the first couple of days, I could not keep him away from them. He kept asking them questions and wanting to know how and why they were doing things." She shook her head amazed, "I expected the Goblins to be rude and rough with him. They were patient with him, answering every one of his questions. When I asked the foreman, he told me that goblins believe children learn by asking. If they can answer his questions and show him respect, when he grows up he will remember and return the same respect."
"Just do not waste their time as an adult." Lillian nodded. "Disrespect."
"Exactly." Narcissa agreed. "I've learned more about goblins during the renovations than I thought there was to know."
Lillian smiled. "Narcissa, I am glad that Draco is doing well. How are you doing?"
"Better than I expected, actually." Lady Blackett started. "I must admit that I fully intended to hate you and work against you." She paused to sip her tea. "After seeing how Lucius degraded himself during his initiation, I was disgusted. He allowed himself to be branded like a sheep or a cow. The Malfoy family sold itself to a false Lord." She spat the last out. "I was raised a Lady of the Black family. Our motto is 'Always Pure'. The Malfoy motto was 'Purity will always conquer'. I am proud of my heritage. I can trace my family to before the founding of Hogwarts. Being pure does not mean being evil. It does not mean killing or torturing others because they are not pure. I was taught that being pure means that one knows who one is and stays true to oneself. Following a person who is ashamed of who they are is not being pure." She stopped.
"Staying pure of heart, mind, and soul," Lillian nodded. "would be a lifetime pursuit for anyone."
"You understand." Narcissa continued. "My closest sister, Andromeda, stayed true to herself. She married a muggle-born. My parents disowned her. My oldest sister, Bellatrix, followed the families wishes. The girl I knew would never have done the acts she performed. I believe she lost her goal of purity." She bowed her head. "I, myself, have strived to be the perfect Lady. I allowed parts of myself to be shunted aside to accede to Lucius' needs and wants. I lied to myself. I thought I was staying pure by being who my husband wanted me to be."
She took another sip of tea. She sat back and briefly closed her eyes. Opening her eyes, she leaned towards Lillian. "Your actions allowed my eyes to be reopened. For the first time since my engagement, I am being true to who I am. I must thank you for this. I miss Lucius. I miss the man who wooed me. I miss the smart and funny man who I fell in love with. He died before Draco was born. There is a reason Draco has no siblings."
"Lillian, my family owes fealty to yours. I will serve you to the best of my ability. You have given me a second chance." She bowed her head slightly. "We may never be best friends, but I hope that you will come to see me as a close confidant, if not friend, in the future."
"Thank you, Narcissa." Lillian answered quietly. "I look forward to being your friend."
A quiet moment ensued, the moment was broken by Lillian. "Can you tell me why we don't teach children any magic before the age of eleven?"
I hoped to have this out earlier. I hope you are enjoying this. The conversation between Narcissa and Lillian will be completed in the next chapter. There will be some surprises coming soon.