*Weapons of Choice*
Weapons of Choice by Pseudonymous Entity
"If you mess with dragons, you will get burned. Don't say no one warned you." -Slaying Dragons
Summary: In a world where Tom Riddle never became a dark lord, and Lily died after giving birth, Harry Potter is raised with limited human contact shut away in Godric's Hallow. Political battles and blood prejudice rise to the forefront of the wizarding world just as Harry turns 11. With help from an unlikely source, and his eccentric cousin Andares Black, Harry must fight for his place in magical society...or lose it.
Characters: Harry Potter (Others will be around and we will see POVs from various characters...)
Warnings: References to and Definitions and Examples of: Emotional Manipulation, Wizarding Politics, Magical Creatures, Pureblood-isms, Traits and Talents, Prejudice, Status and Ranks, Houses, Wizarding Nobility, Political Maneuvering, Manipulation of Probability, Masks, Alliances, Natural Magic, Low Magic, High Magic, Spellcrafting, Magical Theory...
AN: Hints about why Remus went to Regulus for help, and of what is going on in the wizarding world outside of Godric's Hollow and little Harry. Also contains hints of the sort of things Harry will be dealing with when he is older. In just a few chapters in fact...
Ever Yours, Pseu [The clever, magnificent and ridiculously good looking]
"It's in the way you sell every word and phrase
And leaving me to know how much the meaning weighs
Saying that but meaning this, using hands for emphasis
There's that smile again, you fake it and I follow you right in
...and those eyes are telling white, white lies."
In the soft light of the secret room -which had no visible source that Remus could detect- the werewolf watched Regulus enchant the ring he'd made.
Carefully drawn runic arrays filled several large pieces of parchment, within which lay the ring. Remus knew enough about this sort of thing to know that it was difficult and complex, and that Regulus' 'special skills' were ridiculously rare. This was of course why Remus thought to come to him with his problem. He did not know the mechanics of the other wizards skills or how it worked. What he did know was that the metal manipulation which permitted him to create such intricate metal and jewelry work was used alongside or perhaps connected to his skills of Augmentation and Bestowing.
Both rare and coveted gifts.
In the wizarding world, magic was accepted as something which made the impossible possible. But even magic had its rules. Or at least, it had a tendency to do certain things in a certain way. Accordingly, wizards formed their culture around the 'facts' of magic as they knew and understood them.
A family with powerful, rare or dangerous talents and traits are considered a 'House' when the line produces the same sort of traits and talents effectively for at least four generations, and when two of those magicals were classified above average in their magicks, skills or talents. This created the basis for the basic definition of a House. This family or connected families -by blood/marriage- could in theory, with the appropriate proof of their claims, apply for registration in the House Ranks, forming a House.
What is important to keep in mind here are those Traits and Talents.
Magic, and subsequent talents and traits, were passed down through the bloodline from parent or parent to child. Hence the emphasis and importance of blood in wizarding culture. Generally, a magical being will have a singular dominate type of magic at which they excel and, if they belong to a family with proven talents and traits, a specific family talent or trait. While there are always ways to strengthen and amplify your talents through rituals, enchantments, and just practice, you can't actually develop or learn a trait or talent that isn't already somewhere in your blood.
For instance, if you were born to a family whose elementals traits granted you the talent to focus and command static electricity in the environment and contain them into mini lightning bolts you can shoot from your fingertips, you couldn't force yourself or your magic to attain a talent that would allow you to manipulate the moisture in the air around you to produce rain or snow. Even though both are elemental manipulation talents.
No matter how hard you tried.
There are certain peculiarities to magic. Exceptions to every rule. The skills Regulus used to create the perfect alternative to repression potion in the ring laying on the table before him, was one of these peculiarities. Not that Regulus didn't already have enough of those.
Augmentation. The talent which allows the witch or wizard it belongs to to directly enhance or weaken aspects -skills, talents and traits- of someone else. To manipulate and alter someone else's magic.
Bestowal. A talent which allowed Regulus to create a small, contained packet of magic mimicking nearly any trait or skill, and gift it within another wizard or witch. Making it a part of their magical makeup and giving them the ability to develop it. How quickly and how strong depended a great deal on the dedication of said witch or wizard to practice and develop it. It would never, of course, be as strong as or easily controlled as it would be had they gained it naturally.
The point being that Regulus Black was probably one of the only wizards alive uniquely qualified to assist Remus in this problem. These weren't his only peculiarities. But Remus didn't like thinking about the others. No one did.
In front of him, Regulus carefully placed the newly designed and enchanted ring within a small glass case. He snapped it shut with a muted click and held it up, grey eyes examining the creation within in the light. Giving a nod -which was probably more for Remus' benefit- the wizard held it out for the werewolf to take.
Regulus put his elbows on the table in flippant disregard of the complex arrays and magics he'd just performed on it. "He'll need to wear it at all times. Any magic which he produces that has a destructive or harmful aspect will be contained and held. Temporarily. If he doesn't use it he'll need to redirect it into something else. He will, of course, be able to perform any sort of magic he consciously intends to perform."
"Which hand?" Remus asked carefully.
Grey eyes glimmered with amusement. "The second finger of his left hand would suit your purposes best."
"Thank you." Remus turned to leave.
"A moment," the younger wizard's voice drawled out. "If you please." He finished when Remus turned to him warily. "I'd like to offer a bargain. Outside of this transaction but related to it. I'll even keep my silence with it as well."
Remus resisted the urge to shift on his feet. Regulus Black was not only the blood brother of Sirius Black, one of his closest friends and current head of House Black, he was also -according to tradition if not officially recognized by the ministry- the second highest ranking member of that House. If something happened to Sirius today. If he should die or go to Azkaban, Regulus would be the one to step into his place until Sirius' so was old enough to contest his position. These things meant, regardless of his personal feelings, Remus had to be careful to end this conversation in a way that didn't put Sirius in an awkward position between his friend and his duties.
"What sort of bargain do you have in mind?"
Regulus did an odd shimmy with his shoulders as if suppressing a delighted shiver. This really didn't convince Remus of he cleverness in entertaining this kind of conversation with him. "I'd like to offer you my counsel and my aid."
Amber eyes blinked. "What."
"Sound advice on the choices and paths you'll be choosing, and whatever help I am capable of providing." Regulus defined. He studied the nails of his left hand as if he hadn't just suggested something Remus could never hope to afford.
"Why would you do that? What you require from me in return for your help?" Remus asked.
Regulus waved his hand. "I'd like updates on this situation with Harry. I want to see what he is capable of. I find it all...very interesting."
"Updates," Remus repeated. "Information on Harry."
"Don't look at it that way." Regulus reprimanded lightly. "I have no desire to hinder your efforts. In fact, I'd very much like to see where this goes. What could happen."
Regulus clapped his hands together. "Excellent. I'll fetch my pensive." Regulus abruptly moved away from the table, heading toward one of his glass cabinets. He slid a case to the side and pulled from within a carved stone bowl Remus recognized as a pensive.
He blinked. "Pensive?"
Regulus set it on the table and began replacing the materials from his earlier metalworking back into their cabinets. "I can hardly floo over and see for myself." The pensive was moved to the middle of the table as soon as it was cleared. Grey eyes gazed at him expectantly.
"And," Regulus said, smiling, "I doubt James Potter would allow a child of his, even one he does not seem too fond of, anywhere near me. He won't allow you to bring him here."
Remus fought with himself a moment. Struggling between not wanting to offend Regulus Black and feeling the need to point out the obvious. "People avoid you for a reason."
Regulus placed his hands on the table and swung his body around to sit on the table directly in front of Remus, leaning closer to him than the werewolf was entirely comfortable with. "They avoid me because of what I don't do. Because of what they fear I am capable of, what I could do if I wanted to." Slender fingers played with the buttons on Remus' shirt idly. "They avoid you out fear of what you have done and what you will do. And yet, here I am. Politely requested not to leave my home and to willingly submit to monitoring of my every action. While you..." He purred. " Are free to move about as you wish regardless. Of course, that may not last much longer. One never knows."
Guilt. The other wizard played along Remus' fears concerning recent moves in politics, and his guilt that he'd managed to avoid restrictions and regulations that those like Regulus were subject to. Regulus likely knew and counted on how Remus would respond to such a tactic and it was this fact that convinced he werewolf to accept the bargain. This trait, this specific skill being offered that he could not resist. The talent that sent shivers down his spine thinking about just as it ignited small flames of greed and curiosity.
It was considered a form of Luck Magic and Foresight. The ability to see all possible outcomes from any situation or course of action and the consequences that came along with each one. It was even rumoured, whispered, that he could affect the which outcome was likely to succeed, regardless of how unlikely it might have been. It was this ability that was the final nail in Regulus' coffin. The strongest leg of The Ministry's argument for the wizard to be kept under what amounted to house arrest.
And it was this that Remus knew would be invaluable. Knowing exactly what to do and say to get things to work out in his favour. Remus wasn't an ambitious werewolf, but he was one that had sworn to protect and watch out for a child and he would do what he could to uphold that promise.
Notes: Thoughts, Theories, Questions, Comments and Limmericks always welcomed
An: Theories or guesses about Blood Traits and why they're relevant? Ideas on what this means for Harry? Catch some of the references to stuff going on in wizarding politics? Any guesses how this has affected the wizarding world along with the lack of a wizarding war with Voldemort?
ANx2: Time skips ahead!
Ever Yours, Pseu