Happy New Year everyone, I hope you've all had a good start to the new year. This chapter finishes the story, although I'm half planning another short bonus chapter to give you more of an idea about my personal Harry Potter Universe and the things happening in the background.
For those of you also following Hadrian Black, that will be updated next. Shouldn't be long now. On the bright side my brothers heart problem seems to have been resolved by medication, on the negative side of things... I work retail and there are a few more weeks until things calm down. Still, as you can see I found some time to write. :)
Because this chapter my trigger a few people, I'd like to say that what I've done with certain institutions and people on the planet, was done purely for the benefit of this story and has nothing at all to do with reality or indeed my personal beliefs.
Disclaimer: The usual...
Cause and Effect
Thus began a time of healing... not just for the magical community in Britain but perhaps most importantly for a young wizard who had finally gained what he'd always wanted. A family, love... and above all else... a choice in what to do. So that's what he did... he made choices.
The Goblins were gifted London to rebuild as they saw fit, simply because it was the sight of one of their Paragons. For the first time in centuries, they were allowed to dwell above ground.
Meanwhile the Dwarves were gifted general mining rights throughout the Empire. And took to surveying the country quickly. Small settlements sprung from the ground like weed.
The Nymphs, Elves and Fairies as well as Centaurs were given room to expand throughout the islands and were allowed to use the National Parks as their homes under the condition that they continue to do what they'd always done. Which was to take care of the nature around them. It would take some time, but before long, Hybrid colonies housing not one, but all races would be created.
Rules and laws were changed, especially those concerning wizarding kind. Love Potions were outlawed as liquid Imperius. While the definition of Chaos and Order magic once more found it's way into magical schooling.
The ministerial ban on so called Dark Magicks, and the Unforgivables in particular was lifted because the Cruciatus could in fact be used to resuscitate a patient suffering from heart failure.
The Imperius also found it's way into hospitals as a means to keep patients calm.
Meanwhile the killing curse would now be commonly found in slaughter houses, as a humane way to deal with animals. Needless to say, their criminal use was now more heavily punished than ever. Not only could criminals be locked away, they could be thrown into the Goblin pits, tortured or even killed.
For in Hadrians opinion... while perhaps no one truly deserved to die, there were most certainly those who did not deserve to live and breath his air.
6th Mai, 1998
Emergency Meeting of the ICW
Many seats at the table of the round room hidden for the purpose of this meeting, in the middle of Lichtenstein, were empty at this moment, giving proof to the disturbing rumours numerous members of the esteemed governmental body of the ICW had heard.
An uprising had taken place. Many of the magical races were gone from public view, and some... even from their seats at the table.
Apparently, if those rumours were to be believed. All of fairy, nymph and elf kind had declared their representatives Oberon and his wife Titania, High King and Queen. Something that hadn't happened since the time the magical world had decided to go into hiding.
The Dwarves weren't really much of a surprise, they had always had a close friendship with Goblin kind trading metals and gems at their leisure. Although of course, in the past years even their relationship had been somewhat rocky.
"Everyone... quiet, please." The dark skinned man up front said holding up his hand to gain everyones attention. It took a moment for the room to abide the command but then the noise around steadily died down. "We've come together, to discuss the newest uprising in magical Britain. To this end, we will now hear Mr. Pius Thickness, current Minister of Magic."
The lanky man was no longer walking tall. Instead he was visibly retreating into himself. Yet, he spoke with a certain amount of confidence.
"3 years ago... Albus Dumbledore was voted out and subsequently forced to vacate the honorable Chairmans position, why? It was for announcing the return of the Dark Lord V-v-voldemort. Time has passed since then and as you now all know, he wasn't lying. Minister Fudge... and Minister Scrimgeour both assured you that there was no such thing as a newly risen Dark Lord in our country, that everything was perfectly fine. That was until a year ago when I was called to office... which was the day our Ministry fell." Gasps drew around the room. "I was under the Imperius curse for most of the past few months. The lack of oversight, both from the Muggle Queen, as well as the ICW, saw to the destruction of magical Britain as you know it. You blindly believed me and those before me. So I'm not sorry."
"Not sorry for what?" Mr. Akingbade, the current Surpreme Mugwump asked.
"I've done terrible things in the past few months, Chairman Akingbade. Things that easily classify me as a monster... and Death Eater. I want you to know that I had a choice. I didn't have to do this. I could have just left... but to return to my home. To ensure the survival and safety of my family. And most importantly, to ease my conscious." He had barely finished when the door behind him blew open and two red robed Hitwizards were blasted inside before they came to a hold unmoving on the ground in front of them. All heads turned towards the slow tapping sound, of a staff meeting the stone floor.
"Thank you, Pius. You are free to go wherever you wish, including Ravenwood." The man smiled, bowed and quickly clasped his robe disappearing with the swirling magic of a portkey. Meanwhile Hadrian Ravenwood, now himself cloaked in black armour, with a black cloak billowing behind him strode into the room with all the confidence of someone who had just conquered a country.
He smirked lightly before turning to the dark skinned man up front.
"I must have missed my invitation." All wands in the room were now lit and aimed at him. "You do realise that a slight like this might as well be taken as a declaration of war in our world?" He sighed before conjuring a chair as from behind him Goblins moved inside, at the head of them now? Bludrock of the Gragga clan.
"We lost a couple of ships moving towards England..." Akingbade mentioned with narrowed eyes.
"Ahh... the red coats. I'm going to move my staff now, I suggest none of you fire a spell, otherwise this will turn into a blood bath. Aperi Porta." Out of the portal came one of the ICW Hitwizards, guarded by Jericho herself who was yet coiled around him. "Mr. Malone, give your report." He looked jumpy and weathered, but knew if he moved wrongly the serpent would drop him.
"My name is Logan Malone, I'm the highest ranking surviving member of the 3rd Interference Regiment. Our ships were sunk by Merpeople just off the shore of Britain, we were allowed to surrender and only those who fought, were killed. Of the 500 ICW Hitwizards you sent to aid Queen Victoria against the Dark Lord of Ravenwood, 392 survived and are currently imprisoned." He looked to the newly risen Emperor and hung his head. "I was also told to relay that while the Empire of Ravenwood is not part of the Geneva Convention. We're being treated according to it's laws."
"You may now use the Portkey I've provided to you, and return to your family." Hadrian told the man crossing his legs. The man disappeared without another word while Ryan himelf leaned back in his chair giving them a very satisfied smile: "391 remaining prisoners of war." He gave a nod to Bludrock who immediately pulled a rolled up parchment from his armor.
"Ravenwood has been watching you, and we're well aware of your attempts to stop the general public learning of magic. We're also aware that you have utterly failed. Mainly because the video footage from the siege of London has since found it's way to newspapers all around the world and of course the 'refugees' from the islands flooding Europe."
"What do you want?" Asked a gnome donning the most majestic beard Hadrian had seen since Dumbledore.
"Reparations." Bludrock told him. "Every member of this confederation, with their admittance, has signed a contract which says that aid is to be rendered to any other member country in a time they are in need of such. Especially the risings of exceptionally skilled Dark Lords and Ladies. The last time this happened, all of Europe nearly fell to Hitler and Grindlewald before you deigned to interfere. This time... it was Voldemort. Killing thousands of non magical people, half bloods and pure bloods alike that didn't share his views. Only you didn't come. You weren't there 18 years ago... and you weren't there over the course of the past year. Instead... magical Britain looked to the Boy Who Lived. Harry Potter to get rid of a wizard several years his senior. Well... they got their wish." The Goblin proudly declared looking to his Leader.
"You broke the contract. All of you, either by down right ignoring anything going on in my country. Or by simple and sheer ignorance." Hadrian continued. "Which means you owe me. I've taken control of the Islands. I've proven that unless I want you there, you aren't getting there. So here are my demands. I don't want your money, I don't need your books, knowledge or supplies. I already have those things. What I want, is for you to declare the Empire of Ravenwood a sovereign nation in the eyes of the ICW, all witches, wizards and magical people out there. I want a signed accord of all members to leave us the fuck alone or be wiped from the face of this planet."
"And then?" The Surpreme Mugwump Akingbade asked.
"Then I'll leave you alone, you get the 391 red coats in my prison back. I'll open travel routes through portal magic at specific places that are yet to be chose, to allow those who wish to join me through. However, as a fair warning... let me just say that if anyone uses those to bypass my security and in any way threatens or brings harm to my people, I'll raze their country to the ground."
"You know as well as I do that what you want is impossible." Hadrian laughed openly at Akingbade knowing full well the man was blowing hot air.
"And why is that? The ICW has the greatest magical military on the planet. True. You usually have a thousand hit wizards on permanent payroll. Another thousand are available to your as a reserve force. Which means... the nearly 400 of your soldiers I have... make up a quarter of your fighting force. I can match every last one of your wizards with a Goblin, Nymph, Dwarf, Centaur, wizard or witch. Shit I'll even tell you that I outnumber your force easily four to one." The Goblins laughed. "So you aren't ready to provide us peace after what I just offered? What are the families of those witches and wizards going to say? Can you imagine the outcry? I've done what you have been pretending to do. While you've sat around your little table, trying to make the magical people believe that you want them all to work together. I've done it. My island thrives on our ongoing cooperation and so will my Empire before long. Regardless of what you decide. I'll soon issue an open invitation to all magical people to come and join us. To build something that will last forever. With only 1 catch. You need to forget and relinquish some of your freedom." Naturally that invitation would exclude all people he'd just recently kicked off said Empire. "So sign the damn documents, you can tell the world that you reasoned with Britain's Dark King, they might even kiss your feet." The dark skinned man sat down at last. Defeat writing all over his face. If he fought this, many more would die. And the chances of victory seemed slim. He believed that much at least.
"I have your word? That you will let everyone go?"
"The contract, if you'll just read it. Says everyone who wishes to leave my Empire is free to do so upon the signing of this... treaty." It also said that everyone who wanted to stay was free to do so as well.
And thus... Surpreme Mugwump Akingbade and the new Emperor of Ravenwood signed the Accord of Lichtenstein. Officially declaring the UK dead in the eyes of the magical people the way the Queen had done the moment she signed her surrender for Mundane kind.
"Before we leave." Hadrian said standing at the door. "Kinetic Nullification Ward. Just something to remember."
"I don't understand." The man admitted.
"The mundanes are coming. They won't differentiate between the Ravenwood magicals and the rest of the world. They won't give you the choice to surrender or evacuate innocents. They are going to swarm you like locusts and everything in their path will be destroyed." He then shrugged. "That's what I think in any case. Anyway... good luck Akingbade. You'll need it."
100 of the ICW's Hitwizards... stayed. And only a week later the Gnomes joined Ravenwood under the condition that they would be allowed to continue their banking business. It was decided that the Gnomes and the Goblins, would thus merge their banking systems and henceforth work together.
Imperial News Network, Newspaper excerpts:
Mundanes to have meeting discussing threat of the magical community. Churches say magic unnatural.
Mundanes have passed new law forcing magical citizens to register themselves.
Mundane Catholic church to re-establish Inquisition. Says unregistered magicals dangers to Mundane community.
Mundane Church to receive International funding. Inquisition to receive full world wide cooperation, battling threat of 'Wild Mages'
Magical Governments to be dismantled world wide. Emporer offers refuge. ICW powerless?
Supreme Mugwump detained after protecting magical family. Church to re-establish Witch Trials. Magical population horrified at implications.
Surpreme Mugwump executed! Emperor reissues open invitation to all magical people. You are welcome at Ravenwood!
Mundane Supremacy Movement rising to power in America. Threatens Witch burnings!
Catholic Church gives full backing to Mundane Supremacy Movement. Says demons must be purged.
American Universities of Magic forced to close doors. More magicals seeking refuge in the Empire.
ICW disbanded by mundane authority? Red Coats to join Imperial Army!
Emperor ensures cultural survival! Announces plans to build new Library for citizens of the Empire! Emperor looking for volunteer foreign book hunters!
World wide mass book burnings by Mundane kind! Pope John Paul the Second denounces magic as the devils tool!
Church employs Mundane Supremacists as Witch and Wizard hunters! Emperor assures public that Ravenwood is ready for any refugees.
American President declares: Great Purge. World Leaders applaud his initiative. European Union promises to join the effort to rid the world of magic! War imminent?
Violent skirmish between so called remnant Wild Mages and church! Witch Hunters issued freedom to kill resistant mages. Emperor yet refuses to get involved.
Small Mundane fleet sunk by Merpeople Protectors! Ravenwood remains safe!
Unregistered Italian magical child found using accidental magic. Child to be brought to Vatican. World Leaders applauding church for thoroughness. Parents pleading with Emperor for help.
15th April, 2000
9 year old, Paolo Renzo guilty of crimes against Mundane kind. Emperor attempts Diplomatic solution.
24th April, 2000
9 year old child, burned to death! Magical community outraged!
Great Citadel, Island of Men
They waited in the council chambers, just the way they had done in numerous times the past 2 years. Nobody would have believed things would spiral out of control like this. Now... now all bets were off. And all those in the room, the Overseers of the magical races... knew what would happen next. What had to happen.
The door blew open and in strode their Leader flanked of course by his wifes. Hadrian hadn't changed one bit in the past 2 years. He walked up to the table leisurely. As though he had no worries, before seating himself while the rest of the table rose to their feet.
"What the fuck happened Oberon?" The elf King looked pale, much paler than anyone had ever seen him. For this was his fuck up.
"I hadn't expected them to be capable of blocking apparatition. My spy didn't make it out either."
"A 9 year old boy is dead, what are we going to do about it?" Hadrian asked completely ignoring the mention of a spy.
"Wipe those monsters of the face of this planet." Bludrock demanded with a growl slapping his hand harshly on the table.
"Seconded!" Donovitch yelled outraged.
"An eye for an eye." The Gnomish ambassador agreed. Hadrian raised his hand.
"I was specifically asking Oberons and Titanias opinion on the matter. Seeing as they both assured me that should the diplomatic way fail... we would get the boy out, without any problems." They flinched and knew the tone of his voice was no more real than the expression on his face.
For a moment, silence reigned in the room, then out of nowhere the table suddenly exploded into a thousand splinters and there he was. The Chaos Mage become King. Magic coiled around him like a second skin, his eyes aglow of great ethereal power no living thing could match. "You made me a liar." He hissed angrily. "2 years ago, I promised everyone entering my Empire safety. I promised them peace. Now I have a shattered mother in the Atrium. A mother that has just lost her 9 year old son and expects some sort of explanation as to why."
"There is none for us to give. I have no excuses to give my Lord. I failed in the most terrible manner possible. And if it makes her feel better, I shall gladly offer my life in repayment." Oberons voice was small, Titania herself couldn't even speak as silent tears ran the length of her cheeks. Those in attendance knew perfectly well how hard this was, not just for them, but also for the Emperor. This council was his extended family.
"I want the Shadow Mages ready. I want Clinton and this Putin character in the dungeons by sun down. Burn the White House and Kreml to the ground if you have to."
"What are you going to do?" Dora asked carefully.
"I'll remind the world not to mess with us. As for the church... they are about to get a lesson they won't ever forget. Have Skeeter and Creevey meet me in the Throneroom." He got up, so did the others, they bowed and saluted as was customary and waited for them to leave.
The mother... a black haired, olive skin woman. Beautiful by any definition of the word. Her husband, a sturdy looking man, with equally dark hair...
Things had changed for Hadrian. Love had changed him. He was no longer the heartless bastard he'd been when he started doing Blood Rituals. He felt loss now.
They saw him approach, it was clear that the mother had been crying and the father was preparing to rip straight into him. He simply fell to his knees and offered a sword.
"Neither I nor my people have an excuse for what has happened. And no words can ease the pain you must feel. My people failed in protecting your son when I promised we would. If this is what you need. Then I'm ready to give you my life as repayment for the one you lost. If not... command me. Anything. And it will be done." They shared a look, they knew of this King. Knew that the outside world was of little consequence to him. They should have come early. Come 2 years before.
"Go." The mother just said without feeling in her voice.
"I'm so very sorry. But believe me." His eyes glowed darkly when he raised his head to look at them, with a voice that shook with suppressed rage he told them: "The Mundane Supremacist Church... will be sorrier."
It was that same night, that saw Ravenwoods Chaos Sigil rise once more into sky, for the first time in 2 years. The Serpent and the Raven cried out to let the Empire know... that this atrocity would not stand.
No Goblin Legion followed him. No soldiers or wizards took position to protect him on his journey. Instead he simply pressed his feet down and leapt from the highest Citadel tower. With his body aglow, wards were activated quickly.
He flew above and past Ragnok, previously called London. People cheered for the Dragons that came after him. Jalochs family had answered the call to arms. The old Dragon herself was carrying Rita Skeeter and Colin Creevey on her back. They would make sure that this night... would stand as an eternal reminder in Muggle History. The Empire of Ravenwood was off limits. And with it... all those with magic in their bodies.
The last noise the Empire heard that night, was the sonic boom their King left behind as he accelerated and charged off into the night sky.
Vatican City, 25th April, 2000. Exactly Midnight
"Are we set?" Hadrian growled angrily staring down at the city.
"Yes, my Lord. We are now streaming live to every household in Ravenwood. Mister Creevey here will make sure we have footage for the Muggles." He turned to look at the camera and took a deep breath.
"I once gave my word... to lead you to peace. I have failed. But just as Tom Riddle had to learn, so must the Mundane Monsters who would burn a 9 year old boy. So for every Magical they murder, I will take 2000 of their Mundane lifes. For every Magical, I will raze a city down to the last rock and living thing." With a motion of his hands the 5 Dragons moved towards the city, quickly breathing their inferno as he turned to the two reporters with magic alight in his eyes. "For one life... I'll take your history, your culture. And I'll burn it all to nothing." Screams quickly began to sound from the city, no matter how much they begged... they wouldn't find mercy here tonight. "Let's go, we need to get them before we accidentally burn one of the 22 Cardinals or Johnny himself." That'd be the true tragedy of this. Let them off lightly. Oh no... not tonight. John Paul the second and all those under his rule, were going to burn.
With the cameras rolling, Colin Creevey caught his Emperor exactly the way he liked it. Blazing with magic the likes of which were uncommon even in their Kingdom. And yes... he did think it was strange to think of it that way, instead of a country. But alas, that was how things were now.
The violet ethereal energy spread evenly along the Apostolic Palace and by the time the first gun shots were fired it was well and truly engulfed.
It was a testament to Hadrian Ravenwoods power that with a single motion of his hand and arm, as though he was bitch slapping the entire Vatican, the roof ripped off the palace.
As though he were directing an orchestra, he moved his hands to guide his magic, picking away at the ancient building until at long last he discovered the panic room. A bunker build to withstand the impact of an atomic bomb. It should come as no surprise that he simply strode through the metal as though it weren't there, all things did this means bidding. He wanted passage... so the metal melted away.
"Papal Guards!" More gun shots. Hadrian would have found it funny, had it not been so stupid. Instead he extended a hand, forming a flaming sword as he did, he thought this was a fitting end for the popes attack dogs.
Two men with assault rifles went down cleaved in two from bottom to top. Two others, apparently smart enough to not even try to get past his Kinetic Nullification wards drew swords on him.
Their metal did not hold up and failed to pass the test against his magic, they melted just as their walls had when they met his own sword and soon both where cut in half at the waist.
"Stop this madness!" Johnny yelled loudly.
"Oh I intend to, don't you worry."
"We give up, the Vatican is yours to take!" The Emperor raised his arms and declared: "Incarcerous." Binding them with numerous ropes.
"Mercy!" The pope plead desperately tears now filling his old eyes.
"What Mercy did you give young Paolo old man?" Hadrian asked kneeling next to him, staring into his eyes.
"It was nothing personal! It was a group choice, we had to do it!" Hadrian smiled.
"In that case, this isn't personal either old man. We are going to deliver you to justice for the whole world to see."
"Do with us what you will, but spare our people!" One of the cardinals yelled loudly. Hadrian simply stared at him before he slapped the man to the ground coldly and told him:
"No. I'll burn this entire city to the ground until there's nothing left. All of this could have been avoided, all the people dying..., you damned them! Because you are afraid, and don't take to warnings well, you did this... as a group, because you had to." And with Hadrians eyes flashing of magic they were taken away.
Isle of Man, The Great Citadel
While the Dragons made sure the Emperors word was kept, and the Vatican was well and truly burned to ashes, the man himself had other things to take care of. Namely the execution of the 22 Cardinals and the pope, John Paul the second.
"Make sure they are displayed for all to see." He ordered Oberon, who had clearly waited for his return, still holding his wifes hand. "And make sure they are sufficiently warded, I don't want them to die too quickly."
"It will be done, my Lord." Titania answered with a light bow, that was soon followed by her husband.
"You will be interested to know that we have two guests in the dungeons." The woman informed him. A feral smile spread Hadrians lips.
"Is that so? Well then I should play the mannered host and welcome them, shouldn't I?" He walked down to the holding cells, already contemplating how cruel he would need to be this time for them to answer for what they had done.
Even now... in the years after the second Blood War, he had mellowed. Clearly... as was evident this night, there were still certain things to work through...
The Elves and Nymphs alike had tried to approach this with civility, trade, favours. But the church had reached for power and the sheep of Mundane kind had all eagerly followed the loudest voice. There was now little that kept the Church apart from the Nazis, soon enough he would be forced to raid and destroy the churches very own concentration camps.
"My Lord Caesar." The Goblin guard declared seeing him approach the cell, followed by a crisp salute.
"Good evening Barkaxe, please open the cell." And so he did.
He found the two man, Clinton and Putin, engaged in a game of chess, one that the latter seemed to be winning. When Clinton attempted his next move, a pawn in front of his King animated, turned around and seemingly stabbed him, the same thing happened on Putins side of the board. Leaving both Kings in a downed position, signalling the end of the game.
"That's how that game works now." Hadrian declared with his eyes aglow. They turned to him with profoundly different expressions. Clinton seemed to be seizing him up, a respectful yet deeply distrustful look. Putin was simply admiring him, and contemplating how he could gain what this Emperor had. It was clear even without Legilimency that the current President of Russia had designs on gaining himself more power.
"Why are we here?" Clinton asked earning himself a look from Putin that asked: 'Are you serious?'
"I will assume you've found it easy to overcome the language barrier?" Hadrian asked sharply, still leaning on the doors frame.
"Yes." They both declared.
"Good, let's take a walk Gentleman." They rose from their chairs, Clinton was still wearing full pyjamas, while the pants on the Russian President were clearly conjured. "You are here because a great injustice has happened, an innocent boy was killed and you let it happen. You are partly responsible. Now, rather than kill you where you stand... to make his mother feel better. I intend to try scare tactics."
"Russia is not easily scared."
"And while I'm sure that's true, I will still be trying." He chuckled darkly. "Humour me, I assure you that after this little presentation you will find following my orders an easy thing to do. I will expect you to go home and retract all assistance you've been rendering to the radical branch of the Catholic church." Both man felt an involuntary shiver travel down their spines, they had heard enough about this man to be thoroughly concerned.
They soon made it to an empty room, inside were only two things, a chocolate brown couch for two and large TV.
"Be seated." Hadrian ordered in his most polite voice. Both man knew they had little choice if they wished to ever return home.
It took only a few minutes for them to watch the recorded live feed of the Vaticans Downfall. Putin stared as people burned, Clinton threw up over the arm rest unable to keep it together.
"This is your future Gentleman, if my demands are not met... and you refuse to resolve this peacefully, then your countries, your people and your way of life... will be next to burn." Putin was no longer sporting the puppy look now. Instead he seemed to realize that this man was prepared to do far worse than he. "Now, on the small tables to your sides, you will find phones that are directly connected to the people that have authority when you are incapacitated. Your second in commands to be more precise." Both man looked, only to find the aforementioned tables and phones pop into existence. "You will call them, and you will tell them to launch a nuclear warhead directly at my Empire, where exactly is up to them."
"Are you out of your mind?" The US President yelled angrily making him laugh.
"I want you to understand how futile your attempts of resistance really are. I'm not afraid of your guns and weapons. So make no mistake," He said smiling gently. "you will call your people, whether you do it of your own volition or because I mind control you into it? Is entirely up to you." It was a testament to how scared the two in front of him were, that each man simply reach for the phone and dialled out without considering who was going first.
"Yes, you heard me correctly." Clinton said nervously just as Putin did the same next to him in Russian.
It took four hours for the two countries to finally launch their warheads. And only a few seconds for them to be made useless.
Rita Skeeter, once trash columnist had been reborn, she didn't exactly like the ways Hadrian employed in getting what he wanted, but no one could argue with his results, so naturally... even after the Blood Wars were over she had stayed in his service. A few months ago she had even been offered to run the Imperial News Network. She had refused the offer, citing that she had always preferred field work.
She had shortly taken young Colin Creevey on as an intern, proving that even in her on going years... she'd still got an eye for talent.
The cameras were rolling as not one, but instead two dozen rockets made their way straight for the place the Americans and Russians believed was the location of Ravenwood island. Consequently... they weren't right, but they weren't wrong either. A couple of kilometers off wouldn't matter one bit if the warheads had gone off.
"Bludrock, can we extend the wards far enough?" The Goblin smiled toothily.
"Whenever you're ready then, I'd like to see them come to a dead hold before we take care of them." Hadrian smiled and looked out over the water in the sky waiting. Fleur, Erica and Nym all waiting at his side in casual mundane wear. They had insisted to be the ones to take care of this.
He listened to the Goblin next to him chant away, spreading his arms as violet magic pooled out of his small frame. A pulse from the Chataeu behind them saw a blue bubble around the island become visible, before it quickly expanded covering the target area.
The girls all slowly hovered off the ground, moving forward to where they knew the ward would stop the rockets. Then they simply waited.
Both Nation Leaders watched in disbelief as their weapons came to a complete stop. And then, if that wasn't enough, they bore witness to their rockets disappearing into nothingness one after another. All it took was the waving of three wands. Both men knew that truly, even one of the Emperors women could have done the job. The sharing was done because they wanted, not because they needed to.
The lights danced and flickered around them as the Ladies of Ravenwood moved towards the back of the attack. The last two rockets dropped into the water having been put under a stasis charm, where they were picked up by Merpeople and brought towards the beach.
When everything was done... not even 10 seconds had passed.
"Thank you Murcus." Hadrian said blowing the wild looking woman a kiss. She blushed before a short screeching noise was heard, then the mermaid vanished back into the blue water. Turning back to Putin and Clinton Hadrian sighed heavily. "As you can see gentleman. We have no need to be afraid of you any longer. Your last opportunity to destroy the magical people, ended when the Goblins saw fit to join me." Bludrock gave them a toothy smile, pointing towards himself before declaring:
"The council has decided to take Lady Fleurs advice. One bomb... is a gift for each of you. They will be placed in stasis just above your Nations capitals." Both men drew sharp shocked breaths. "In case you change your mind about abandoning your support of the church." Placing his hand on his Goblins friends shoulder Hadrian gave a nod of approval. He then turned back to the two men, only adding:
"Remember this moment... and the way it could have gone."
It goes without saying, that after both men returned, they kept their end of the bargain, all but leading mundane society to forget that the magical community ever existed.
The church didn't stop with what it was doing of course, but without money... their activities were much more easily monitored and countered. The mages to be picked up in the years to come, would all be people that had either refused Ravenwoods assistance or had never been offered such, namely previous followers of Tom Riddle and all those following his Pureblood doctrine.
The day came to an end with a peaceful camp fire that was accompanied by music...
Well no, it was time for the burning of the churches most high ranking members and their echoing screams of pain in a room that was occupied only by them, the Emperor and the parents of one Paolo Renzo.
The Cardinals and Pope were arranged in a circle so they could watch each other burn. If that was not to their liking, Erica had insisted on summoning a mirror in front of each of them so they could watch themselves be swallowed by the flames.
It wasn't a quick death. Nor was it merciful.
With wards in place around and on them it was really much more of a slow burn...
20 years later, somwhere in Italy
It was a boring, grey looking day... fitting really for what was about to happen.
Not all magicals had followed the call of Ravenwoods Emperor, to evacuate the mundane world and leave it's dangers behind. Some, very few, had decided to remain outside it's boundaries for the longest time. Over the years, more and more had asked for refuge, for the safety of the Empires wards.
The Supremacist Church had learned from it's previous mistakes, and never again attempted a public execution, with that being said they'd never stopped hunting.
Some of their targets made it, the fast... the cunning and the magically powerful. Refuge in the Empire of Magic was open to all magical beings. If nothing else they could live there without fear of being picked up.
Those that died... found themselves in unmarked mass graves. The world leaders either kept their options to themselves or would swear that these days Ravenwood was all but gone. That their dark demonic powers had corrupted and killed them without the Church having to as much as lift a finger.
And yet? No laboratories survived for longer than a few days, no prisoner camps went unraided for more than even a few hours.
Ravenwood... was still watching.
There was a small home, located in a community of about a hundred people, made of white stone with a clean picket fence around it, the neighbourhood was made up of homes just like it. There was a swing in the garden up front and red ball to play with for children, still lying around from the previous day. Nothing about the place would have suggested that any freakishness might be going on around there.
Some nosy old ladies quickly peered out of their windows as two cars came to a hold in front of the home. White SUV's carrying the lettering: By the Lord's grace!
The men exiting the vehicles were all clad in a white uniform, from their left waist to their right shoulder there was an ornate dark red shawl wrapped around their person. 'In Gods Name!" The white lettering on it said.
Some of them carried guns, others tasers and stun batons and even swords. They were the Inquisition, and they'd come to hunt down another wizard.
They took their time, activating a device in both cars that was supposed to ensure none of that teleporting nonsense was happening.
They stepped past the letter box which spelled: Longbottom on the side. They didn't ring the bell, instead the man up front signalled for one of his underlings, who brought his shotgun to bear and ripped out the lock.
Neville and his family were still sitting at breakfast when the gun shot cracked the peace of their home. Neither he nor his wife Hannah seemed to have grown older much at all.
"Hannah, take Alice and go! It's them! Go! Run! I'll hold them... I'll...!" He looked at his family in shock and raised his right hand to his mouth shocked and what he'd just said. He had known... one of the few privy to that particular moment of Harry Potters life. The only memory of his parents... shared with his then best friends...
The inquisition stepped into the room and with flicks of their wrists, shields expanded just far enough so they could shield against incoming curses.
Two of them came charging for him but Neville was no longer the weak little boy he'd been in first year. He ripped the mans shield from his wrist with a sickening crack and whacked him across the face, sending him whirling to the ground. At the time his wand slipped from his wrist holster into his hand ready to unleash every bit of spell knowledge he had... to protect his family. All that righteous talk... about turning dark, forgotten.
Meanwhile, Hannah had tightly grabbed her five year old daughter and spun on the spot, only to realise that Apparation did not work at the moment.
Not wanting the witch to pull her wand as well, knowing full well that two wand users were much more of a threat han one, the Inquisitor carrying the shotgun opened up on mother and daughter. Neville's heartbreaking wail of: "Nooo!" Died in is throat as he sacked to the ground all strength suddenly leaving him.
The pellets from the gun... meanwhile... drew an all too familiar violet shine behind them. And finally stopped short of a couple of inches from their two targets. Which meant it was time for the two Inquisitors with swords to step in. One simply towered above Neville while the other charged his wife and child. "In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen"
„Fuck you." Neville raising his wand to counterspell the oncoming weapon, only for his wand to be sliced in two by his opponents speed. However, it never reached his neck, instead it only drew a ribbon of violet energy after it, quickly stopping dead in the air.
"Kinetic Nullification Ward..." A male voice said melting out of the shadow in the corner of the room. He was completely obscured by some form of dark sizzling energy around him. "Once you overpower it just a little bit, it can really stop anything down to the common slap, the harder you push. The less of a chance you have to actually move." In a flash he was suddenly in their midst, his hand touched the man in front of Hannah only lightly on the army, flinging him shortly out of the closed window with enough force to shatter bone. "You made two mistakes." He said now turning to the man with Neville while all the others fired, and shot and whacked their weapons and him, seemingly without any effect whatsoever.
"Shadowmage!" The Inquisitor with the Taser cried only to be grabbed from behind, before he was shortly dragged into the shadows, where he disappeared.
"Your first mistake..." He continued. "Was to come light. An 8 man hit squad? Fucking insulting. Just a year ago you'd sent twenty just for a show of strength. Now that... was a slaughter fest." The Inquisitor towering Neville quickly pulled his side arm, completely emptying it's clip towards the slowly approaching man. "Your second mistake..." He said with a suddenly flash of violet within the dark energy. "Was to go for the little girl. Because that means I have card blanche to rip you and your people, inside out." The man dropped the sword and now attempted to run. Consequently, this always happened.
"Leave me alone, demon!" He screamed. "The power of Christ compels you! Be gone foul beast!" It goes without saying that he was unable to take even two steps. The man stepped up behind the soldier and grabbed his right shoulder. Whatever the dark energy was, it made the man go rigid, as though he was struck by a fullbody bind.
"In the name of magic, sanity and the Lord Sovereign." And without even another sound, they disappeared.
"Neville!" Hannah yelled, her blonde her flying behind her as she jumped into the arms of her husband, still carrying their crying daughter.
"Wait for it." He just said. There was a sizzling noise by the stairs and by the time they turned, there was another figure clad in the black energy, this one decidedly female. She reached for the front of her chest, pressing down on something and slowly... steadily, the magic disappeared.
"It's been a while, Neville." She said pulling back the cowl of her robes, not only exposing her face but also the black armour of Ravenwood.
"Carrow..." He hissed.
"Hestia." She clarified remaining seated. With a quick look to his family he lowered his head.
"Thank you." She smiled at him and shrugged.
"I still remember seventh year, what you did for all of us." She then sighed and got up. "I'm not here to force you into anything, instead... I'll take this moment to formally inform you that the council has decided to give you one last choice. In the future, Ravenwood will not be here for your protection, nor to evacuate you should the need ever arise."
"Meaning?" Hannah asked carefully.
"Meaning you are the last of us, all the others of our kind are either dead or have accepted the refuge Ryan has been offering. The few Muggleborns that show signs of magic are contacted early and evacuated or kidnapped from their parents just as soon as we find them. Before you judge... what happens always depends on the parents reaction. So come back with us Neville, Hannah. For your daughters sake. I won't even ask you to bend the knee to the Lord Sovereign, all I ask is that you at least show the respect he deserves for all he's done." Hannah watched her Neville, clearly arguing with himself in his head.
"If we stay... they'll find us again." She pointed out gently, placing her hand on his arm.
"Maybe it is, time." Neville admitted heavily. Another sound and four more figures emerged from the shadows.
"They are taken care of." The man in front said walking up to Hestia smiling.
"Thanks Dennis." He just shrugged. Neville cleared his throat and clearly declared:
"I would like to ask for asylum for my family and myself, in your Empire of Magic." That made everyone smile.
"Excellent, that means we'll be back in time for the celebrations." Hestia said grabbing hold of them before activating her portal device, by which they were quickly swallowed whole and transported to the Island of Ravenwood and their Emperor.
"I guess the proverbial 'I've been waiting for you', goes without saying yes?" They had barely stepped out of the energy vortex when Harry's voice forced Neville to visibly tense. When he finally looked around to find his old school buddy, he found Harry seated on a chair in the corner. The room itself was completely empty of anything else... that was excluding the round stone circle engraved by the still glowing violet runes, they had just stepped through.
The Emperor himself hadn't aged much since they'd last seen each other so many years ago at Hogwarts. But where back then he had embodied a dark strength, his aura so Neville would have called it, had palpably changed. The man in front of him wore a dark red, everyday robe that simply put... seemed more comfortable than anything royalty was supposed to be wearing. The fuzzy slippers with miniature serpent heads on their front just made him look ridiculous and hard to take serious. Neville couldn't help himself but smirk. 'Cute' He thought.
"So what am I supposed to do here now?" Harry rose from his chair and walked over, extending his hand for a shake.
"Common decency will suffice. You are here because you needed help, you will have to abide my laws and accept the way I run this Kingdom. If you want something from me you will address me as Lord Ravenwood, or simply: Your Grace." Harry sighed. "People insist on the latter. Otherwise, please drop 'Harry' from your vocabulary, I've had my name legally changed to Hadrian, so you can call me that in private." He turned to Hannah and her daughter who was trying to hide behind her right leg. "The same offers extends to your family as well." Neville instinctively stepped in front of them.
"I've heard these guys..." It was only now that Neville Longbottom realized, as he turned around, that he and his family, were already all alone with the Emperor of Magic.
"I assume you've heard the Shadows call me Lord Sovereign. It's a title very few use, and one given out of respect." The sentence was brought to a close with a very short glow of Hadrians eyes. "Only call me that when... and if you mean it. Otherwise I'll need to feel insulted." All three gave a nod.
"Good, now then..."
"Wait... just a moment." Neville interrupted. "Introductions are in order. I'm sure you remember Hannah." Hadrian took her hand and shortly kissed the back of it.
"I remember, it's good to see you again."
"And this is my daughter, Alice." Neville said. Harry easily squatted down with kind smile on his face, for the young girl this was not the dangerous and scary man she'd heard her father speak about so many times. Still... she looked up to him, for confirmation that this was okay. When she saw her father give her the affirmative nod the young girl happily shook the Emperors hand while awkwardly saying:
"It's my pleasure entirely, Alice." He rose from the ground and looked them over for a moment before turning to the door. "Well then, let me show you to your accommodations for now, come along Longbottoms." And so they did. It was a pleasantly quiet walk Neville thought. And while he was nervous about whether or not they were really just being shown their room... he had decided to believe that at least... Harry hadn't brought them here to kill them, if that was the case he could have just left them at their home.
"So..." He asked carefully not wanting to cause offense. Hadrian levelled him with a curious look, out of the corner of his eyes.
"If you have questions Neville, ask them. I'm sure whatever you want to know is being taught to the children attending my schools. If it's not, I'll be sure to tell you." Taking a deep breath the last living male Longbottom looked to his wife who nodded her head in encouragement, eager to learn what had happened as well.
"Our Classmates and friends?"
"Most are located somewhere in my Empire, that excludes most of the Death Eater spawn. They were either... dealt with by our side, or simply left to the Inquisition. The Weasleys... well Arthur stroked out just after the war while having a fight with Molly about how he had handled me. Ginny married Dean, she's popped out two little ones already. Dean's working administration, she used to play Quidditch, not so much anymore. The twins are still running a joke shop, well... multiple as a matter of fact. They expanded quite a bit. Charlie was, " He looked back a moment to young Alice. "dealt with after he was caught making unwanted advances on a female dragon." Neville paled at that, while Hadrian laughed lightly obviously finding it funny. "Similarly, Ron was picked up after he attempted to convince Hermione Granger that he was 'the one' for her. They never could have worked out...The girl hex'd his ass through three Bookshelves in my Library before we got to him. He didn't make it. As for the girl herself... well, she's basically running the aforementioned Library. As you might imagine... our relationship is somewhat," He clicked his tongue, "complicated."
"What about Luna?" Neville asked having missed the strange but certainly fun girl. Thanks to the island being unplottable not even his letters had made it through.
"Married an elf and lives in one of their communities just north of Ragnok. She also runs a creature reserve around that area. She's very happy." He suddenly halted and turned around smiling.
"You might be interested to know that Susan Bones was inducted as Supreme Justice just half a year ago. She's basically the law of my Empire." That visibly cheered Hannah up, the two had been close friends at school.
"Colin Creevey now runs the INN, everything the public sees, is his domain. Rita was a bit disappointed when he decided to forego field work. You may have met his brother Dennis? He was part of the group that was sent to protect you."
"We saw him yeah." Neville said scarcely believing that one of those timid Creevey brothers could have grown up to... 'deal' with Mundane supremacists. Hadrian smiled at him.
"After the war..." He explained. "The Creeveys, excluding Colin, decided to leave for Europe. It was right around the time of the Renzo Incident that a group of drunken idiots decided to teach a couple magical families a lesson. They picked up Dennis's mother to eh... show her a good time." Neville appreciated Hadrian trying to keep it pg-13 for the benefit of his daughter.
"They got as far as ripping up her jacket when he tracked her down, having taken to putting a distress ward on her and his father. They returned to Ravenwood the same day, and he joined the Shadowmages a few days later. He's one of my best operatives." They continued to walk in silence, allowing Neville to digest a bit of that, he didn't notice the dark haired woman walk up to them until she spoke.
"My Lord? I'm supposed to remind you that you are... as of two minutes ago... late." Hadrian picked up his pocket watch and cursed quietly.
"Pansy?" Neville breathed in shock. The woman tilted her head before recognition dawned on her face.
"Neville Longbottom and Hannah Abbott, it's been ages, how have you been?"
"Married now." Hannah said pointing towards her daughter Alice who waved her hand lightheartedly.
"As am I." Pansy said proudly, happily displaying a rather rocky looking ring. "Maybe we could meet some time and talk about school days yes? I could show you around later after Ryan here opens the festivities?"
"Eh... sure." Hannah said carefully. "We can do that."
"Now that you two have that covered, would you mind telling them that I'll be right over, I've been taking longer than planned with the Longbottoms." The woman crossed her arms and smiled demandingly.
"What do I get out of this deal?"
"How about I won't sic Lis on you for the rest of the day?" Clearly, whoever this Lis was, made Pansy uncomfortable. She seemed torn between finding that both a good and a bad thing. Finally she decided to blow a raspberry at Hadrian and walked off shocking both Longbottoms present, while making the third of them laugh.
"You are friends with Pansy?" The Dark King gave a shrug.
"She married Donovitch's son, which means she's my liason to their people whenever he isn't around. Beltron, her husband... is more of a digger. He enjoys digging up shinies, as he likes to call them, and Pansy... believe it or not. Enjoys being gifted said shinies."
"Never would have taken her for the type." Hannah commented sarcastically.
"Well, would you have taken her for the type that goes out of her way to go down into the mines with her husband to spend time with him? Because she does that too." It wasn't meant to put her in her place, although his comment did so sufficiently. Things had changed and they needed to learn how much exactly.
"What was that about festivities?"
"Don't you know what date it is?" He asked staring at them in light shock, all of them were apparently drawing up blank.
"It's the thirtieth of April." He walked up to one of the windows and waved his hand to the outside, where all sorts of magic was on display, and stands were just being finished put together by people all around. Rides like those in amusement parks littered the ground as far as the eye could see. Alice's eyes grew big and sparkled, the Longobttoms had only been to a park once, she'd used accidental magic to make one of the rides go faster... they hadn't be able to go after that, fearing something bad might happen.
"Welcome to Ascension day." Hadrian declared festively. "Don't worry, you'll have more than enough time to join the masses outside and celebrate to your hearts content after I open it up."
"When?" Alice asked bouncing up and down excitedly.
"Soon," He said smiling at the girl, before he returned his attention to her parents. "I'll show you to your rooms, you'll find clothes and most of your personal belongings there. Tomorrow morning you'll have a meeting with one of my people, they will show you available homes in my Empire and you will have your pick." They had been doing it this way for years, a lot of mundanes fled the country after it was opened up to magical kind and they left their homes abandoned, which of course served them quite well.
They had just reached the room when Neville and Hannah noted three woman walked down the corridor towards them, between them a young girl about Alice's age. While the girls steps visibly picked up in speed at seeing Hadrian she seemed to force herself not to rush up to him making both Longbottoms chuckle lightly.
Ryan himself shortly followed their eyes and noted his family walking towards them and quickly fell down to a knee, which seemed to be the okay for the girl to bolt for him. What followed was the Longbottoms families first glimpse of the Harry they'd come to know during their years at Hogwarts.
He hugged the girl tightly before pulling her up to the front of his chest.
"You know I can't always be on time." She confirmed this by nodding her head, but was clearly still upset about him not turning up for something. "Neville, meet Lis Carina Ravenwood, my only daughter."
"It's nice to meet you." The girl said trying not to sound like she was about to cry while sticking out her hand which both Neville and Hannah took. They then watched the girl look at her father who subtly shook his head.
Neville noted immediately that she wasn't exactly normal, her magic was very strong for someone her age. Palpable which... to his knowledge, had never been documented in a child before. She also bore a clear resemblance not just to Harry, but all women present.
Her hair was bubblegum pink, an exact copy of Doras as she stood behind Harry her arms lovingly wrapped around him making faces over his shoulder at the girl in his arms. Lis's skin was the same olive colour as Erica Zabinis and finally, her facial features... were all Fleur Delacour. The ensemble was finished by a mixture of dark Jade and gold coloured eyes that she shared with her father.
"You guys might remember my wives, Dora, Fleur and Erica." Hannah curtsied which while unexpected was taken positively by not just the women but Hadrian as well. They valued respect within the castle. So Neville followed her example and offered a short bow. Alice of course, followed her mothers example.
"It's always nice to see people finally come home." Dora offered neutrally.
"Hopefully you'll enjoy the festivities." Fleur joined in with a smile before Erica closed with a hopeful:
"Perhaps we can get re-acquainted with each other later tonight? Perhaps at dinner?" Personally she didn't care, but they could do this for their Ryan who was happier, that the last of his class had returned to the Empire, than he was letting on.
"We would be delighted." Hannah said without thinking, watching Ryan place his daughter down, who quickly went to shake Alice's hand as well. Having been the only Longbottom not tall enough to reach her on her fathers arm.
It was clear to all present that this Dark King, wasn't so dark as long as he was amongst family.
"As you guys can see, my family demands attention, so take a look around and meet me in about an hour down that hallway."
Hadrian himself would spend the rest of the hour helping his daughter pick out her prettiest dress and putting the finishing touches on a short speech.
Before they left the room Lis walked up to a small glass jar on her night stand that contained what seemed like a miniature giraffe, a hippo and finally a common pig. "Can't forget to feed you guys." She said happily lifting the glass and doing exactly that.
Ryan himself watched her, smiling proudly over her shoulder. She took very good care of her pets and he was contemplating gifting her a serpent familiar soon, it would also help her deal with the constant attempts to escape these three were prone to do.
"Daddy are you coming?"
"Go with your mums, I'll be right with you." They left and for a moment, there was the shadow of madness in his eyes that had taken hold of him so many years ago. He bend down and smiled at the creatures.
"Karma... is a right bitch, isn't she?" He asked laughing lightly before straightening out to join his family and get that speech done with. He hated those...
He would stand on a terrace overlooking the grounds of the island and speak about how far they'd come, that no magical had been forced to suffer in the past twenty years. There would be a moment of silence for a young boy named Paolo who died a pointless death.
And finally... there would be fireworks, and Dragons. The Basilisks would take people on rides through the Ravenwood forest and along the islands coast, Mundane rides were build for all to enjoy and sweets and food were offered just like at any other amusement park on the planet! It was a party that lasted seven days.
Neville later joined Hadrian on the terrace as he looked down at the people in his Kingdom as they cheered and partied after his speech. The man himself smiling contently.
"I'm sorry for running."
"I'm not." Ryan admitted. "We were never exactly the best of friends, even though we really should have been. Back then...I just wanted change so badly... I didn't care how I did it."
"I was never against change Hadrian. I was against the way you wanted to achieve it. I remember Hogwarts, I remember the bloodbath you caused that day." The Emperor snorted, he hadn't forgotten either.
"I don't regret what I did, that needs to be clear between us. What I did back then paved the way for the Empire we've created. But now... years later I've matured... mellowed. And looking back I'm inclined to at least partially agree with you, what I did and the how of it all, was brought about by the way I was raised. I was angry at the world, I reasoned my anger to myself, made it seem like force was the only logical solution to all my problems. And when I went to fix those problems? I did so with extreme prejudice. It was foolish and naive, and because of that, we've lost a great deal of our heritage. Entire magical races were wiped out Neville... because they didn't trust me, because they didn't want to come here. That's what I regret, not making them believe that I, that this..." He spread his arms indicating the castle around them. "Could be their refuge. We lost the Succubus, the Kitsune and Lamia from Japan, the Naga and an entire Veela enclave up in Greenland because no one believed Fleurs mother when she begged them to come. We lost the Giants to the church, and whole tribes of Merpeople to the depths. I was forced to wipe out the entire Werewolf population for the security of my Empire because they wouldn't swear fealty and as for the vampires... well, you know, of course, how that turned out."
Indeed Neville did, it was never big in the papers, instead... a simple biological weapon was deployed that killed them off down to the last of them.
"I know more about them now, than I did back then. Part of them... could have been saved. The werewolves would have needed to be re-educated after Greyback fed them dragon shite for years, but they could have survived... if I had just thought it through more... so many could be alive. So you see Neville, you might still look at me and see a killer, and I am. I've never denied it. But I kill for a reason, I only slaughter those that would inflict harm on the innocent of this Nation." His eyes took on a far away look for but a swift passing second before he added: "But in the end... if I had another chance, I would do so much differently and with less anger. I would take my time, I would talk to the other races and attempt to preserve us all." He sighed heavily. "But alas... we all live with our choices." Hadrian then put a smile on his face as Lis ran up to him dragging him along by the hand, Neville watched them join the others down stairs as Ryan pulled her up and glided down towards his family with Lis in his arms, the royal family with all it's friends present. The Goblins, Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Centaurs and Veela huddled together, they laughed and quickly went to enjoy themselves. Some Merpeople had even come to join the celebrations, being carted around in see through tanks of water.
Neville thought, that in this moment it was pretty clear that part of the old Harry was still there, the part that he himself had sworn was all but acted in full effect... having bloomed to life through years of having the support of friends and a loving family.
The great Emperor regretted his choices because good people died. Good people he could have saved. So perhaps it hadn't all been an act, perhaps in some way... Hadrian had never lost his saving people thing.