Not much to say apart from the usual. This is the last chapter of this fanfiction including an extended epilogue which serves both as a teaser to a future story as well as a small insight into my extended HP verse.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
The newspapers forever immortalized the end of our sixth year. They called Voldemort out on attacking a school filled with children. Purity of blood was secondary to the real issue, which was that anyone could have died.
Peter shortly relayed the message that Voldemort was raging about the entire raid, he was especially pissed about the fact that we destroyed the second half of the vanishing cabinet which had locked the so called Dark Lord inside for nearly two days without food or water.
Now you would think that Tom might have wanted to lick his wounds for a while but that's not what happened. There was... after all, a Black wedding to be had. What an opportunity to get rid of all of us Blood Traitors. Right?
The wedding of two well liked ministry employees was always going to draw a crowd. The fact that both Dora and Cameron were outgoing extroverts with a lot of friends throughout magical Britain and a few outside meant that the grounds of Black Manor would already be seriously packed to it's capacity. Now add to that the fact that Cameron was to become a Black thus strengthening one of the old sacred families and just about every magical in Britain was glamouring to get a seat to the proceedings. With Aurors, Hitwizards and all manner of law enforcement in the room I didn't really need to do much to take care of whatever attack force the old wanker sent our way. As a matter of fact I just dropped a short little notice to a small handful of people when I felt a disturbance of the wards.
It was laughable, truly. Tom had already lost most of his forces during the attack on Hogwarts. The dozen or so wizards trying to crack open the Black wards were never going to succeed in doing anything.
We stood there, everyone in their finest robes and suits. It was like some sort of paid entertainment. Some of the people hit themselves with low powered silence hexes snickering away as the enemy forces fumbled around with the Black family ward stones. Finally I shook my head and cleared my throat.
"Excuse me~?" They all froze as I smiled at them with my arms crossed behind my back. Standing behind me a mixture of all manner of wizards and witches. It was Pettigrew himself who looked over his shoulder to say something just before his eyes glazed over as he recognized his true Master.
"Mercy?" One of them mumbled.
"That highly depends on whether you and your friends drop your wands." My mother said already pointing her own wand at them threateningly.
"Wouldn't be a Black wedding without some sort of bloodshed." I chuckled. It was Kingsley who tried to take control.
"Pick up your wands by their front end and drop them. If anyone makes a threatening move we are dropping the lot of you." Another one of his Auror buddies then summoned the focuses.
"I want them charged to the full extent of the law. They just attempted to break into the home of one of the sacred families." The foreign wizards nothing but mercenaries themselves had no idea that death would have been preferable to what was about to happen to them. Normally it would be a lengthy stay in Azkaban perhaps even the kiss. Pure bloods took this sort of thing very seriously. But at the time we simply deported them. Threw them into Nurmengard, out and away of Voldemorts reach. He didn't dare make an enemy of foreign nations when he was already so close to loosing.
There would be no mention of the small altercation in any of the papers. No one dared ruin the wedding day of the young Black couple.
"Make sure these people disappear." I threatened the present aurors. "Otherwise you will learn that Blacks can hold a grudge."
We returned to find Ted Tonks leading his daughter down the aisle, Nymphodora looked more concentrated than she had all her life, intent to make her way to the altar without tripping or stumbling.
Cameron watched with no small amount of amusement but managed to hold on to his laughter quite well. My mother, who was chosen to act as the official for the proceedings smiled widely at the display and soon moved through them with practiced ease.
"Tojours Pur. A promise to yourselves and others. A promise to which you are bound through mind." She moved her wand between their heads creating a flashing string of magic between them that soon dissolved. "Through body." She repeated the movement. "And magic." This time twirling the piece of wood around them in a circular motion. It was nothing but a bit of fancy spellwork, there was no grant effect to it, it was simply the ceremony she had worked out with my grandfather. Few might have noticed how utterly happy she was at being able to finally use it for the next generation of Blacks. It would not be the last time she did either. "Honour Thy Blood." She said loudly.
Many of audience repeated her words and this included the bride and groom up front.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife." There was clapping and cheering as she allowed the happy couple to finally kiss.
A small party followed and we mingled, of course. I danced with my sister, Haley and even Lily Potter. It was a festive atmosphere and for once there was no arguing or fighting between us. James Potter stayed away throughout the day, having been invited for the simple fact that he was my blood relation.
The party ended with a young journalist named Terence, taking a group picture of the entire family and the attendees of the wedding. It would make his career. Why had I allowed this? Because he was going to help me in return. I needed a press conference. I figured that I might as well call Tom out now. I felt as ready as I was ever going to be. At best it would tie his hands, at worst I was going to die, then again nobody lives forever, right?
Jokes aside... it really was time to wrap it up and move on. The girls and I would go on a cruise around the world on our very own yacht at the end of the coming year. Taking in the sights, visiting a few of the old places of power. Afterwards...maybe a couple masteries, learn as much as we could before settling down at last.
The meeting with Terrence was a short affair. In which the Lord Black… that being me, dressed down Tom Riddle for taking a title that was not his to take. I revealed his Blood status to the world and even addressed him as an imposter to Slytherins name.
"To understand Slytherins legacy you have to look at the whole tree and not just a branch. There were two families that had a claim to the Slytherin name. One was in fact, Slytherin and the other was a family called Gaunt. They were radicals, worse than we have now. Marrying daughters to brothers or fathers." The reporter groaned immediately reprimanding himself for his slip up. "Oh yes. It's bad enough that we dilute our blood with close relatives but that's just beyond good taste. I have a few scientific papers with me from the Muggle world that a friend of mine watered down for easier understanding. It shows why new magical blood is now stronger than pure blood. And to put it bluntly. It's our own damn fault." I laughed then and rubbed the back of my head as we were city in a private room at Black Manor. Me behind the desk, he in front. "We've moved away from the topic at hand it seems." The reporter smiled and gave a nod. This wouldn't be the last time we met, and it wouldn't be the last time we talked about this topic either.
"Is there anything else you might like to say about… about the Dark Lord."
"If he is… as he claims, a champion to Pure blood ways, then I offer him a formal duel to the death with the Potter heir. All or nothing. Until one of us falls dead. I intent to write out a more personal challenge with a time and place set for the foreseeable future. Until then, if he honours the old ways, he is to stop with the pointless slaughtering of defenseless women and children. Let him prove his worth against a real threat."
"And if he doesn't?" Terrence asked with a tremor of fear in his voice.
"Then everyone will know who he truly is, just a sad disturbed delusional old man without friends or family." And how true that was not only for Tom Riddle...
Was it stupid? Perhaps. But it was the only way for the Dark Lord to stay relevant and not disappear into the pages of a few dusty old history books.
So by choice or not he simply couldn't allow himself to take his anger out on the people of Britain. If he did then all that good will, the payments of gold and respect he enjoyed from what little remained of his Pure blood forces would simply vanish. And then he truly wouldn't be much more than a single wizard that while powerful would never change the path of history.
Because that was the Dark Lords goal. To be remembered as the Dark Lord that changed everything. The one that showed the magical people their place... beneath his boot.
We barely noted our last year moving by... that's how quiet and peaceful it was. There was no grand plan in the works, everything that I would need to kill Tom Riddle was in place. There were no troops to speak of and while he was trying to gain new followers, recruitment had clearly come to a grinding halt.
The challenge was set to happen at the leaving feast, so that everyone could see Tom Riddles last hurrah.
I watched Danny speak to his friends. The Gryffindors all in all telling them about his plans now. Ever since his second meeting with Gabriel at Dora's wedding the two had stayed in contact. Fleur still wasn't so sure she liked the boy but acknowledged his worth none the less. More than anything she trusted her sister to make the right choice.
My Christmas present of two communication mirrors was well received, he even confided in me that he planned to move to France for a Charms apprenticeship, possibly even undertaking it at Beauxbatons itself, all to be close to her.
Seated at the Slytherin table I looked at my pocket watch and opened the lid. There was a group picture of the girls and I, always close to my heart, yes I know... I've gone soft. Inspiration for this, had of course been none other than Salazar himself. On the dot of the pre-determined time the gates to the Great Hall flew open and exposed the eh... imposing, figure of Lord Voldemort showing off his pale upper body with a loose robe.
"POTTER! I'm here as challenged. Now come out and die." I sighed and rose just as he moved inside confidently, his dark cloak dragging over the ground as it usually did. Naturally he was barefoot, he was above plebian things like shoes... he was a powerful wizard after all. There were spells for such things.
"I'm not here to fight you, boy."
"Oh but you are. I am the Potter heir, Mr. Riddle. Only a few seconds it might be, but I am... until the end of this fight. Still lawfully considered the next head of the family."
"But you... that's..." The dark Lord had not just stuttered. He changed his mind mid sentence. Big difference.
"I've made it publicly clear that I have no intention of becoming the Potter. And I won't. But for the purpose of the challenge, you are here to face me. Hadrian Salazar Black-Potter." I hope no one noticed the shiver. Dear Merlin I do not like to call myself that.
Dumbledore had apparently not read his mail for he simply sat there staring at the two of us. Voldemort was angry, so much was clear... then again, when wasn't this man angry? It's a miracle he hadn't keeled over from blood pressure issues. He was an old man after all.
"You have made a fool of me, Potter."
"Hey it's not my fault you can't do research to save your life." You might have heard a needle drop, no one dared to speak to the Dark One that way. No one. Many of students looked at me as though I had suddenly lost my mind.
"You dare talk to Lord Voldemort like..."
"Let's get something straight Mr. Riddle. You are no Lord." I cut across him, his eyes widened, people did not interrupt him when talking. "You stand before the future Lord Black, you are a low born that has taken a title that was not his to take and by your own wide spread propaganda I should rip your wand from you and have you killed in the most graphic manner I can think of." Voldemort would soon be immortalized in the Daily Prophet looking not unlike a gaping fish. Luckily you could take pictures from pensieve. "Now let's get to the point of why you are here, to formally duel and show everyone just how powerful you truly are. With that said... would you like to eat first?" I pointed towards the Slytherin table where many of my fellow students paled.
"What I want to do is rip your beating heart from your chest and throw it to my next serpent familiar." I chuckled at that.
"Yes, very well. I'll take that as a no then." I waved my hand and so the Slytherin table rose to move to the side.
"So... who of your little friends will die for you today then? Another elf perhaps?" He heard the cry of the Thunderbird as she came to seemingly hover over us. "Or perhaps it's going to be the chicken."
"You couldn't if you tried Tom. That's the truth of it all. You came to the Potter home in Godrics Hollow that night and not only did you fail to kill my brother and I. You failed to kill anything at all." The Dark Lord licked his lips as he whipped his cloaked around to the side, circling me as I was doing him. A ruse of course, to get him to go where I needed him.
"Oh but I did, killed that little elf of yours, didn't I." I laughed. He hadn't picked it up yet.
"But that's my point, you didn't. The self proclaimed greatest Dark Lord of living memory failed to kill a simple servant. Do you want to know what really happened that night Tom?"
"For every time you call me that dirty Muggles name I'll extend your suffering for years." He hissed angrily. "I know what happened, I know the protection around your brother. Sacrifice magic. A mothers love." The Dark Lord was taken aback by nearly the entire Slytherin table laughing at him meanwhile I smirked.
"Really, love? I get why Dumbledore was stupid enough to swallow that. He's going senile. But I expected better from you." The protests from McGonagall were drowned by the raucous laughter of the students. "No, what brought you low was an experimental blood ward, designed by a gifted young woman."
"THERE WAS NO SACRIFICE!"
"Wasn't there?" I reached into my robe and threw the powder I had stored there, pulsing my magic outwards allowing it to take the memory from me.
The elf standing between the Dark Lord and the crib.
"You is not harming the young Masters!"
"An elf... of course it's an elf." There it was again, the dark lord moving up the staircase..
"Is this all the great Albus Dumbledore has given his greatest champion? An elf protector. You should laugh as well... it is funny."
"What you didn't see in your grandstanding, was Nips latching on to the magic of the most powerful family member in the house that night." I undid my cloak and with another pulse of violet magic I covered myself in runes. "Nips did the only thing she could, she broke her sacred bond and dove into my magic. Ther she dug out what would become my future. She did this while counter casting and warding your attempts to get at us. And so I did what Lily Potter had been unable to do." Rune clusters sprung from my hand. "I threaded the clusters, burned the connection runes into the walls around us and when I was done..." The memory projection moved forward, showing the wards breaking down and Nips smiling. A cutting curse flew at her, but before it opened her throat, magic surrounded her it was only for a moment, only the flash of an instance before the curse slashed her open. The Dark Lord looked furious, how could he have missed it?
"So you see Tom... it wasn't you that killed Nips. I did. Because she willed it so and activated the ward." Finally I relaxed. "And you've finally stepped into range. Mia, energize." Tom Riddles head snapped upwards as Mia's eyes imitated mine in giving off a powerful glow, her energy saturated the air, bringing up the ward we'd carved below the hall over the course of the last two years. Around us a sizzling cage of pure lightning. I smirked. "Welcome to Thunderdome."
"Two men enter." Blaise said from the side.
"Only one man leaves." Theo said crossing his arms over his chest.
"My Lord, I have a question, does the term Glock 26 ring any bells?" The mans eyes settled on one of my best male friends who stood there unflinchingly. "No?"
"Don't throw unintelligible words around like a common buffon, boy."
"Hadrian, I think that counts!"
"It does." I stepped to the end of the lightning arena. The size of a common duelling platform. "We duel by the ancient laws. No first blood, no seconds. Winner takes all. The duel ends when one of us lies dead on the floor."
"I grow tired of your insolence, so perhaps before the duel I will purge another name off the Potter family tree." He pointed his wand slightly to my side, at the Gryffindor table. "Avada Kedavra." The spell flew off and I flicked my hand, the ward opened and the spell got through, I knew this wouldn't be so hard. The guy was prone to throw these killing curses around like candy.
Daniel Potter who had been watching just the same as anyone else was immediately lifted from his seat and was made to intercept the killing curse. Lily Potters pained scream of: "MY BABY!" Made many stare at me. Completely in disbelief that I had just used my brother as a human meat shield. I sighed and moved away towards him.
"Danny, wake up." The boy groaned as I slapped him. "Wake up now or pictures of you in a dress will find their way to the prophet." His eyes snapped open.
"I hate you." He groaned.
"You could have told me this would hurt so much." I sighed
"You don't know anything about pain Danny. Talk to me when you've watched your mother on her death bed. This... is just physical. In an hour you won't even feel it." He smirked and grabbed the back of my neck.
"You go kill that fucker." I smiled and with another wave of my hand, my brother moved out of the ward once again. Tom still just staring.
"It's not looking so good for your seven step plan for immortality." A red hot rage descended on the Dark Lord and he started blasting at the Gryffs table.
Only the energy crashed into a wall of energy and when it left on the other side it was nothing but wisps of green smoke, plastering a shocked expression on his face.
"And so you see... everyone. The Dark Lords true nature revealed. As if anyone had any doubts left. Someone gives him back talk... and he goes and tries to kill off unnamed witches and wizards in an angry frenzy. Blood status be damned." Tom grit his teeth and raised his wand again, this time towards me. Meanwhile Lily and James were moving towards my brother to make sure he was alright. I took a deep breath. "Time to end this at long last..."
"Take out your wand, boy."
"I won't need one for you, Tom. The legacy of my Grandfather will be more than enough to destroy you." The rune clusters still on my hands started spinning, the magic on my body pulsed. It had been a long time since I'd truly felt it's burn. This time... he wasn't facing some child. Theo stepped forward.
"TO THE DEATH! FIGHT!" The Dark Lord let loose a barrage of spells while I spun and turned the violet constructions of magic pulsing in front of me into a powerful runic shield. Like a great tidal wave breaking on the rocks by the shore.
"Is that all you got Tom? Pityful... Dare I say disappointing." I pushed my hand forwards having caught a half dozen cutting curses in a runic net behind the shield and send them forward. The first half was blocked, then his shield broke and Hogwarts watched as the Dark Lord jumped out of the way, rolling along the ground. I moved forward. "Force." A blast pushed him towards the lightning dome. He screamed in pain, the voltage easily ripping through his cloak. "Pain." He braced for crucio only to be electrocuted from behind once more.
"I.B.M Tom, I.B.M. Intent Based Magic. There are dozens of ways I can use force, I can push, I can pull, I can lift you and throw you across the room. I can throw other things at you."
"That's not how magic works!" He whined as he turned part of the floor into a serpent that sprang forward only to be met with another small runic cluster from my hand and turned to dust.
"IT'S HOW IT WORKS FOR ME!" I snapped back. The Dark Lord slid over the ground towards me quickly flinging his wand at the dome I'd created. He was adept at taking energy from elsewhere to bolster his magic, only he quickly found he couldn't. "Trying to leech of my power are you? Well it's not really a surprise, you'll have started feeling weak already. You are cut off from the last few followers you have, no more influx of magic..." He wasn't happy that I knew this. "Infelicitas." The Dark Lord brought up his wand to block, not realising that the curse was already on him and I was simply activating it. In the process he dropped his wand, trying to reach for it he got then caught in his robes and stumbled to the ground. "Force." Tom's wand snapped towards me and was instantly caught by my outstretched hand. "Fire." It was a flash fire and all that remained of it were ashes blown around me.
"YOU ARE NOTHING, BOY! NOTHING! Do you have any idea what I've done?! The magic I've seen?"
"You tried to perform the oldest rituals known to magicals and failed. That warped your magic twisted it through the chaotic nature of your emotions, made worse by the fact that you've never loved anyone. And hence you have fallen to be this." I disappeared and re-appeared in wisps of magic behind him. I brought my arms around, and strangled him from behind. "I know all about the trials, I know about your failure. I know about you. I made it my business to know because I always knew it was going to be me that got to you." I closed my arms around his neck a bit tighter, there it was the ringing for air. "And now? I want you to beg, Tom. I want you to turn your face to all these kids. To the teachers. And I want you to beg for their forgiveness. Tell them how very sorry you are." There tears in his eyes as he fell forward, coughing violently for air.
"I... I'm sorry. I... please..."
"Tell Neville you are sorry for his parents. Tell McGonagall you are sorry for her husband. Tell my mother you are sorry for hers." I grabbed his throat and squeezed. "TELL THEM!" My magic thundered through the great hall rattling the tables and the cutlery. And so Tom Riddle did the only thing he could, crying tears of defeat he begged for mercy, for forgiveness from any that might be able to give it to him. "And so you see... Lord Voldemort is nothing more than little Tommy Riddle, an abused little kid with delusions of power. You really shouldn't have split your soul."
"Please don't kill me, I'll give you whatever you want."
"No Tom, to just kill you... would, to be perfectly honest, not satisfy me. Did you know that we have two witches from india in this school? They were kind enough to procure the powder I used for the memory playback... they procured something else for me..." I stuck my hand in another one of my pockets and threw it at him forcing him to sneeze, it was a strong hallucinogenic. "I'm the Lord Black. And that means a Grim is coming for you." What followed was the outlines of a massive black dog forming around me. Dripping fire from it's maw it growled.
"No, no, no! Please!"
"You are going to die, and there is nothing you can do about it." When the image around me opened it's maw Tom grabbed the front of his cloak and fell over. "What now?" I asked moving over. I tried my best not to let the smirk show. "Well, anticlimatic? A little. But behold!" I said with an exaggerated wave. "The most dangerous Dark Lord in recent history brought low by a light show. Passed on because a school boy scared him so much he had a heart attack." Some people laughed, others were simply speechless. A nail in the coffin, nothing more. That's how I wanted history to remember him, as a man with more bark than bite.
"Mia, you can let it go now." And so she did, landing on his shoulder before nuzzling his neck. "You did great." I told her. Lutain slithered closer.
'For a pigeon.' He hissed shortly dodging a small bolt of lightning coming from her.
"You two are never going to grow up." I told them as Amelia Bones rushed forward to check on Tom Riddle, even taking out her wand to do so.
"He's dead." I shrugged.
"Thanks for waiting it out, especially when I pulled Daniel into the curse."
"I've learned my lesson. My niece trusts you, so I'll trust you." She told me pointing her people towards the dead body, they would pick him up and throw him through the veil for good measure.
"Good, because there is more." I said while Cornelius Fudge was starting to pose next to the Dark Lords body. "I have with me two notebooks. The first is for you, the second is for Madam Longbottom. This shows every bribe ever taken or paid out by our dear minister. It shows every law he's broken for as long as I've had my eye on him. I killed Tom Riddle for you, the least you can do is clean your own house." The severe woman gave a sigh and put out her hand.
"I hand you the ashes of your Ministry." I said smirking. "Figuratively speaking at least." Dumbledore was already waiting for my attention.
"That was extremely dangerous Mr. Black. In a school full of children of all things." I ignored him and went straight for Nevilles gran.
"This is for you. It will show in detail all the bs the Headmaster has pulled since I started attending this school. That is excluding most of second year. Infractions both minor as well as major. Rules and laws he's broken and statements he's twisted."
"The school governors will see it, as will the DMLE before long, I'm sure."
"Good." I told her turning to both Susan and Daphne who had patiently waited their turn. First Daphne slapped me.
"That's for scaring 10 years of my life." Then she kissed me as passionately as she could, roaming hands and all. Sending the younger students into complaints about that being yucky and the older ones into blushing frenzies. Susan followed suit. I pulled her close, cupped her ass with my hands and nearly bend her over the table.
"I can deal with a couple slaps if I get to do that more." She laughed and shook her head.
"Believe me the others will want to get their two cents in as well." I knew, and I didn't care. The last to come forward, were the Potters.
"I think you owe us an explanation."
"I think I owe you shit." I told her smiling nicely. "Although I do apologize for Daniel, but he knew it was necessary and asked me to make sure he was in place when it was his time to act. Being unsure he could do it by himself."
"Happened? I won. That's what happened, rejoice... celebrate and go ahead and make more little Potters." I told them the smirk never leaving my face.
"But the prophecy..." James said with the smallest and most hollow voice I'd ever heard from him.
"Can be interpreted a million ways, you and Dumbledore just chose the most obvious." I laughed. "It's over Potters, no reason to be so glum. Invictus Maneo, the Potters stand yeah?"
"Hadrian?" It was Tracey who pointed at her wrist.
"Right. Now it was absolutely wonderful entertaining you all this evening but I believe now that it's all said and done, It's time to go. If there are any further questions you may contact me by owl. Alas for now, we'll have to end it here. I have a Yacht to catch. Otherwise we'll just screw up our time table." Rose jumped forward wrapping me in a massive bear hug. "Whatever you need, whenever you need it." I told my grinning little sister.
"I know big bro. But I'm a big girl now. I can take care of myself." I ruffled her hair.
"To me you'll always be my little Rosy." She blushed but continued on smiling. The entirety of Hogwarts watched us leave, all of us. Some surprised to see Tracey, Hannah and Fleur from the teachers table follow us out the door. Others not so much.
It was over at last.
We spent a year living on our Yacht, sailing the word and seeing different Ley Nodes of power. In the meantime Fudge was thrown into Azkaban and Amelia Bones ascended to the position of Minister.
Dumbledore plead out in his case against the people of Britain. Accepting 'early' retirement with half benefits. He would work for a year longer as an Alchemist for hire, at which point he passed away quietly in his bed at night. Personally I think he deserved worse but the simple truth is Hogwarts was his whole life and he didn't know how to survive without it.
Before we ever made it back we received word that Sirius had proposed to Amelia and she had said yes. It wasn't long afterwards that the two announced that a new member of their family was on it's way. A family that would grow with one son and two daughters over time.
In her fifth year, Rosy came out as a lesbian. I learned about it first when she asked Daphne and Tracey how they knew that they were attracted and in love with each other. It would come as no surprise to anyone who knew them that Haley agreed to be her girlfriend not two days later. They would come to raise a daughter years later. The two would go on a sponsored cruise around the world. I'd pay their way, they would get to see all they wanted just like the girls and I had. My gift to my sister and the most important person in her life.
Blaise married Millicent Bullstrode. It will surprise no one that not a day after the leaving feast she went to St. Mungo's and underwent extended transfiguration just as most Pure bloods did. Paid for by Zabini money she came out as a young woman that might rival a Veela. They moved back to Italy where he took over the family business, he stayed in contact with Theo and I though and invited us to every large party he would ever host.
Theodore Nott joined the Unspeakables and was put in charge of a new branch modelled after the secret service. It was hush hush, but the truth was they were there to keep another group like the Death Eaters from infiltrating the ministry. He married Astoria Greengrass, Daphne's little sister, who gave him a son he named Ryan after me... his best friend. Goes without saying I'm also godfather to the kid.
Hermione also joined the Unspeakables with a recommendation from my mother, she would go on researching Blood Wards and ways of blocking the unforgivable curses. A way she would discover in her thirties. Afterwards she attended a number of Mastery curses and became one of the most qualified Professors Hogwarts had ever had.
Both Lily and James Potter tried to enter the arena in politics but always seemed to be overshadowed. That's because I brought all of my influence to bear. And if there was something I didn't like? I squashed it. For that reason I founded the Wizards Alliance for Superior Politics. It was a company with many smaller companies under it's influence. Warding firms, law firms and a particular research centre working on a cure for the Werewolf sickness.
The idea for that actually came because of a letter I received lying in the sun 6 months after Hogwarts had ended, on the deck of our boat. The girls around me, all of us naked... good times. I opened it and read it out loud:
Dear Mr. Black,
We are pleased to inform you that your magical ability has qualified you for a potential spot at our school, where we offer advanced courses for both practical and theoretical magic.
You will find enclosed information material on everything offered as well as rules and behavior expected.
We await your reply no later than the evening of the winter solstice. Should you so wish, a representative will seek you out to answer any questions you might have.
Stanley Fallen, Headmaster of Scholomance Academy of Magic
Agatha Blackwing, Deputy Headmistress
I didn't go there immediately, I met with the representative of the school a curvaceous dark haired woman with black wings on her back. A succubus. As Fleur noted in surprise when the woman appeared.
I attended the school a full year later to learn advanced Mind Magics which would come in useful for changing the way wizarding Britain worked. For two years I studied and finished my... I guess it would be best likened to an apprenticeship, with a female Naga called Lady Reef.
Meanwhile Tracey went on to play professional Quidditch. Rising to prominence with the Holy Head Harpys as a Chaser. Daphne was her agent, and soon gathered more players making all of them some pretty nice money. Susan and Hannah went to work wherever they wanted in my companies. The opportunities were numerous and they had fun finding something they enjoyed doing. Meanwhile Fleur learned business practice and stood in for me with Gryphook as the manager of my estate.
5 Years after Voldemorts defeat...
"Hadrian I can't accept this." Remus Lupin said holding out the envelope I had just handed him.
"You can and you will. This is what you've always wanted. Hope for a better life. Grasp it Mr. Lupin. You deserve this." His eyes glaze over as the magic in my voice took hold of his mind.
"Yes, yes I think you are right."
"It's dangerous, please make sure you tell that to James Potter." Again he nodded.
"Thank you, thank you so much." The people behind me stared after him.
"Bit disrespectful if you ask me."
"Nevermind him Mr. Baddock. Have the test subjects ready while he gets changed." That first night there was simply about observation, and when Remus Lupin went to Potter Manor gushing about the program he had just been admitted to, he was all happiness and laughs. A better wolfs bane, a possible cure. He was beyond excited. Hopeful that finally his suffering was going to end.
4 weeks later...
It happened suddenly, Remus was just changing... but the others in the room were faster and they came for him. Plucking him limb from limb as he ripped and bit back. Half aware.
"He seems to be more aware at least." Malcome Baddock noted entirely unimpressed by the slaughter going on in the room in front of him.
"Good work." I said putting my bowler back on, pulling my magic from the two Werewolves that were taking Remus apart. His debt too... had now been paid. James suspected of course, but he had no way to prove anything, and the time for him to open his mouth to me were long since over. I had more influence than he ever would and I was the more powerful wizard. For him there was no way around staying quiet.
Draco wasted away in prison for years. No idea what finally happened to him. I know that Daniels friend Ronald went to play Quidditch for the Canons. And I only know that because I get a perverse pleasure seeing Trace crush him. Far as I know he married a fellow Gryffindor who became a reporter.
My brother returned to Britain shortly after Remus Lupins unfortunate complications during the new Werewolf bane testing. After a lengthy stay in France to study Charms to it's very limits he became a Hogwarts Professor along with his wife Gaby. He was nowhere near as qualified as Hermione when she finally joined, but he was her superior in Charms at least. He and Gaby had a set of twin daughters as well as a son.
15 Years after the war
"Ehm, Sir?" Daniel looked up kindly towards the young boy that had just come up to him. We were at a ministry ball at the time.
"I'm a big fan, Sir. When I grow up I want to be just like you." Daniel raised his brow.
"You are looking for Hadrian Black aren't you? Our new Minister?"
"Yes, Sir. You aren't him?" Daniel let out a long sigh. He had put on a bit of weight while I obviously liked to work out to stay fit. Sort of have to otherwise the five wives will have my ass. But apparently the kid couldn't see the difference. Probably the loose robes.
"You might want to look over there. After all..." He sighed pushing a hand through his black hair. "I'm just the other twin."
Extended Epilogue: Legacy
110 Years later...
Years later, as tends to happen people started passing away.
The wives left first. Hannah and Susan started it out, one day they simply didn't wake up anymore. The others just natural followed. Daphne caught the magical flu... she gave it to Tracey and so they both passed within only a few months of each other. Fleur stayed with Hadrian for a year longer. But by then everything was different and they were both waiting for it to end, dying of broken hearts.
Hadrian Black had served as Minister for close to 20 years. Under his leadership he brought the reintegration of much of the older ritual magic as well as adaption of electronic Muggle devices into magical households. His rune work to both protect some of the devices from magic as well as enhance others, lay the ground work of all runic innovations spanning the next 200 years.
But that was then... and his time had run out.
Mia rose from her position on top of her Masters chest, he was peaceful there in his bed surrounded by family.. their many children and grandchildren once more crying floods of tears. She didn't listen to the humans and their wailing. They mattered little in the grand scheme of things. Still, the old bird allowed herself a few sad tears herself trickling from her beak. She was so close now. The moment was coming. She knew this. He had grown so much stronger than when all this had first started.
With a last nuzzle of her face against his neck the way she had done thousands of times before she hopped from the bed towards the window.
'Take care.' Lutain hissed at her. She would miss him. But he would be back. Not as he was of course. Nothing was ever exactly the same.
"It's okay." One of the children told her. "You've served our family long enough." And so she had... and would again... and again. Without fail, without pause. With a bob of her head she leapt from the window spreading her now gold coloured wings as she went to ascend into the sky. A loud screech brought clouds above Potter manor and then... it rained. And it would continue raining for 3 days. The bird sighed and shook her head. Blinking away the tears. Duty called. She had stayed long enough, there were rules to this. Rules even she couldn't break. Not that she hadn't tried.
With a crack of her neck the long tail feathers receded. While her colouring flashed first to white, then black. With a few flaps of her wings Mia rose over the clouds and the storm she'd needlessly summoned with magic she would need got left behind. Another sigh escaped her peak. Like her father she was prone to make dumb decisions at times fuelled by nothing more than sentimentality.
The newly transformed large black feathered Raven needed a re-charge. And so she would.
For this she travelled across Hogwarts castle, calling for and latching directly into the ley node that was hidden beneath the castle. Pure magic pulsed forward as she called for it. The violet energy quickly seeped into her. Strengthening her own carried magic.
Her travels took her across the globe. Russia, Africa, Germany.
Then it was enough.
Her speed increased further and further. Soon enough she drew violet ribbons behind her. Then all too suddenly she spread her wings coming alight with runic markings glowing brightly.
This magic ripped open a pathway, a small swirling maelstrom of magic.
And so she dove for it.
She didn't like this part. Like apparition... only more primal. This wasn't twisting yourself and willing the world to spin until you found your exit, it was making your body into particles and reordering them upon arrival.
The bird shook herself and her feathers. This would have been a lot easier with access to the damn gate.
Then suddenly she heard a couple of bells. She instantly knew what exit this was.
"I'm late!" She thought quickly flapping her wings before as always when she appeared where she had, she banked left down towards Diagon Alley and the Owl Emporium. She rolled her eyes. 'Right.' She thought craning her neck again as once more her body changed. Her face flattened and feathers turned white. It was one of the more natural forms she'd taken. This had been the first face with which she had accompanied her father.
Allowing her gaze to wander she soon made out the big black bearded man, escorting the... boy, for his school supplies.
And so she used a back entrance, the same all the other owls used for their training exercises. There was a rather large proud looking Barn owl at the prime sale spot. One snap of Mias... no, Hedwigs beak later and the creature knew who the apex predator there was.
When the giant entered the store and asked for an owl for 'Harry Potter' she jumped from her perch presenting her perfect imitation of the picture perfect healthiest owl anyone had ever seen. When Hagrid later presented 'Harry' with his new familiar he beamed at her the same way he had done innumerable amounts of times before. She nuzzled her head against his. She was home again.
6 years later...
Oh how she hated this part, alas it was necessary. She had done worse to keep her father alive. A stray spell heading for the real Harry Potter amongst all the polyjuiced idiots nearly cut his life short. She hadn't allowed this to happen for... well, a long time. And so this time as well she dove for the killing curse, cutting it off half way. She hated him screaming out her name. Hated how she had to make him believe she was gone. All enchantments failed at once and she barrelled for the ground, where she impacted and shattered into a million pieces of wood.
The human expression of 'Oww' was accurate for this. It wasn't nice. It wasn't painless. She remained there, a sliver of her power drawing in the ambient magic around it. Gathering up the wooden splinters, lighting the occasional violet coloured spark of magic across them and the forest ground beneath her. When it was all done it burst into flames and from it, she rose. First as a chick, no smaller than the palm of someones hand. She grew quickly the bigger she was, the more magic she could draw in. And so that's what she did.
Hedwig had to make sure. Outcomes weren't always so clear. And so she spread her once more black wings and made her way towards the boy. She could find him and his magic anywhere.
Gliding down towards a tree amongst many, where she heard the familiar crack of apparition she found him. There he was. Magic coiling around him as gold bled into his emerald eyes she knew. Her father was awake.
"Fuck the rules." He growled. She watched him throw his rules away. That was good. Those weren't good for him. The boy become man always worked better when unshackled. He had never felt so... powerful. Her eyes flashed with runes and magic as she drew it in. The bird would watch and wait. And make sure he reached the end.
He did it, by magic he did it. 30th of April, 2020. Surrounded by so many magical species. So many saved, so many preserved. She watched her father speak to the Longbottom boy. Man... adult. She shook her head. That wasn't important.
"But alas... we all live with our choices."
The moment was coming. She could feel it. It had never been so obvious. Once more she flapped her wings. Gathered her magic around her fathers home. She was going to be late again. She always was. They didn't allow her to wait and see, she arrived when she was needed.
Once more her body came alight with runes, once more she spread her wings and disappeared into a whirling maelstrom of magic.
Hedwig felt the call suddenly and exited only to find herself following the pathway of a train surrounded by white nothingness.
She'd been there only a handful of times. Three times to be exact.
Three critical moments that broke the chains that bound her father.
Which meant that what she had felt was true. These moments were warnings. 'Brace yourself.' And so she did as she charged down following her father and the train as they turned to light.
With a high pitched shriek Hedwig once more entered the pathway.
Privet Drive Number 4, 1981
How she hated them. The things she would do to these people if she were able...
Immediately she dove.
The exit points she used were not always the same. Much more powerful individuals were interfering with her chosen mission. People powerful enough to stop her travelling. But not powerful enough to stop her own magic getting her at least close enough.
She landed on a nearby tree and looked around. The raven rustled it's wings. This wasn't right. Her masters magic was weak. That had happened often in the beginning and while it was hard to make out the time 'Harry' had spent there it was too soon. Much too soon for him to die of neglect.
Frantically she charged through a window, shattering the glass as she went, the TV of Vernon Dursley drowning out all incoming noise, coming upon that damnable cupboard door. Her own magic broke at the enchantments of the door. A translucent wall of light. Not of so called mortal design.
This was the moment she felt it. A wizard close by.
Moments... that's all she often had. She had doomed the boy before. But judging by the life force leaving the body and the speed with which it was doing so Hedwig had little choice. She flew to the outside, navigating past the remains of the window.
"Quaint." Sneered the blonde man outside looking at the houses lining the street. One more mundane than the other.
"Prek." His face was immediately drawn to the rather large black bird on the nearest lamp post. The bird then proceeded to point, with it's claws, at an empty lot.
Lucius Malfoy then allowed himself a heavy sigh, thank god he was alone for this. "Perhaps I should have had that drink after all."
She couldn't believe the stupid blonde bigot. Where did he get off ignoring her like that. How much easier was she supposed to make this for him. With a few angry flaps of her wings she flew up to the Dursleys roof.
The Raven spread it's wings and channeled her magic, runes travelled from her body over the house, giving it a light violet pulsing light.
It was... as was sadly true far too often, too much for her. When the so called Divine doesn't want to make you succeed, they do something as stupid as giving people like Albus Dumbledore a very unnecessary power up.
Suddenly... magic flooded her.
Impossible... resonating magic straight from... home?
Her eyes pulsed with such force and power that the wards on Privet Drive Number 4 experienced a cascading, catastrophic failure of all runic clusters and ward schemes shattering the main ward stone. She had utterly and completely annihilated it.
The force of the event threw a young Lucius Malfoy backwards against a nearby tree on the walkway. While he was still groaning and getting up a voice behind him spoke:
"Use this and be quick about. You are going to have no more than 2 minutes until people swarm this place... that you won't be able to out duel." The voice was a slow drawl, one far too reminiscent of his Master to be coincidental. Malfoy turned his head, searching... but found nothing only a muggle contraption at his side. "We call this a shotgun, I silenced it. Point towards the filth in the house, pull the small trigger underneath the barrel. Take the boy and run."
"Who are you?!" Lucius hissed angrily, demanding to know the name of the man trying to give him orders. Only there was no more sound now. He huffed and picked up the weapon. Better save than sorry, he thought before the platinum haired man moved inside. Kicking open the door as he went.
Petunia Dursley and her husband Vernon wouldn't survive the meeting of the Malfoy kind. He searched the house, three bed rooms… nothing. The only child he found was a fat little thing of a boy… no this was not Harry Potter.
Had it not been for small little Harry wailing weakly at his aunts gurgled threat over her husbands already dead body, he might have never found the boy. Filthy... sick. Left to rot in his own bodily wastes.
"And people wonder why we wish to purge some of these animals?" He snapped before he grabbed the boy from the floor in the cupboard under the stairs. Naturally he would just leave Petunia alive he pointed the gun at the woman on the ground and once more pulled the trigger, the kick back was strong but his wandless magic was strong enough to cushion his shoulder, he did not want to put the boy down again for now. With Petunia Dursley's brain matter spread across her living room Lucius left with a pop.
Just in time to miss a Ministry employee apparating unto the street. Followed by others who looked around confused until they figured out that someone had broken into a Muggle home.
"Getting sloppy there Stu."
"I swear there was a signature... it was right here." Then obliviators and Aurors were called in... but not by them. Instead they were called by one Arabella Figg, who for the life of herself couldn't figure out why she was outside at all that day.
Hedwig watched them, and she would keep watch for now. There was time to join her father later.
This was... after all... only another beginning.
And that my friends, is a wrap. Took longer than expected simply because I tried really hard not to leave any plotpoints open. And although I'm sure I missed something, I'm happy with how this turned out.
For those interested I'm currently working on a number of other fics. A shorter one I started to get my mind of this and the Game of Thrones crossover. The GoT one will take some more time. Having trouble figuring out how insane I want to go with it. So stay tuned.