Author's Note:

Here it is. The final chapter of A Second Chance.

I can't believe it.

I hope you like it.

Thank you to everyone who has been following me for the four years it has taken me to write and post this massively huge story.

To those of you who have been with me since the very beginning — THANK YOU! Thank you from the very bottom of my heart!

This story has reached 15,152 reviews on ffnet and 4,913 reviews and 3,524 Kudos on Ao3 before I post the final chapter and that is absolutely incredible and mind-blowing to me! You lot are rockstars and I appreciate you so much for taking the time to leave me your kind words and support!

Fanfiction is written for free and shared for free and reviews are how you pay us.

THANK YOU! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

REVIEWS AND COMMENTS: To Hellpony: Yes, time does fly. Thank you for sticking with me for over 300 chapters. Thank you! To GryffindorHealer: Nah, they were only two kilos each, small as there were two! It was a typo that I fixed LOL. Thank you! To briana_t: Yes, congrats to Harry and Ron, they deserve it! It's true, LOL. Harry and Ginny cannot keep their hands off of each other and it's very good they're both on the potion lol. Ginny is a Harpy! It's very exciting. Percy and Audrey are engaged and yes, Fred and Fiadh are now officially parents. Theo has got Sebastian to (mostly sort of) confirm that he is a Knight of the Auror. Those are two are adorable. Thank you! To marauders_mowopapr: Thank you for saying that chapter was so good! I can't wait for you to read the final chapter! Ginny is living her dream and Harry is so proud of her and so excited to start off as an Auror. Harry most definitely loves being her boyfriend more than anything and will always skip over his own personal accomplishments. Thanks for loving the twins' names. Thank you! To CorbanD17: Thank you very much! No, I do not have a final chapter count for TTTC. It's barely written (only 7 chapters officially done), but I do know it will NOT be as long as ASC. Thank you! To AQuickRead91: They are all growing up so fast! I have no idea what my top fave chapters are! Definitely the one where Harry and Ginny finally kiss and maybe the one where Harry first tells Sirius he loves him. I honestly don't know. Thank you and happy New Year in Australia! Thank you!

To MotherofKatie: Yes, five days of new stories (well, at this point it's the final day) but happy to make your holidays so much better! Thanks for loving the names of Fred and Fiadh's twins — Happy and Courageous, exactly. I felt it fit well for them and it definitely is the perfect sum of how Fred and Fiadh are. Sebastian said "this is so sweet" in a sarcastic teasing way. He knows how much Theo loves Blaise and how sweet and kind and good for Theo Blaise is as a friend and brother. He's not jealous at all. Thank you! To 19HuffleClaws: Yes, I will still be doing Third Times the Charm, but I will be taking a break before I start posting it for myself (as it's much needed) and for time to write. Thank you! To BadWolfKris: Thank you! To TatiRena: Yes, the three missing assholes is a bit nerve wracking, isn't it? Thank you for loving all of the fluff! Thank you! To Paus24: Thank you. To katelyn453: I honestly can't believe there's only more chapter left myself and this story has been officially completed since August, but posting the final chapter makes it seem so much more real! Thank you very much! To DaniMalfoy: Seeing everyone so happy is so nice! Thank you!

To Bellmel: Ginny is so bloody amazing, agreed! I think Angelina is definitely doing exactly what she's supposed to be doing and she's loving it. She knows Quidditch and she knows what she's doing, despite being new to the job. She's strong and confident and not afraid to fight for what she wants. She's definitely going to be one kick-ass agent! She's definitely going to be Damon (because she's that awesome). Ginny will definitely have a big adjustment on her heart, trying to balance everything and still work hard enough on her studies to pass her NEWTs, but if anyone can do it, she can. She does still have to find her rhythm, and she will get there. Sebastian loves Quidditch so of course he's excited about a new rookie player and the fact that he knows her, even cooler in his book. Um, yes, I was trying to justify myself in one line with the books, but am I wrong? No. LOL. I think Ron and Hermione moving in with Harry does bring everything back full circle, the trio back together and it just fits. Thank you for saying Harry being an Auror just fits. I agree. Yes, he would be a great Quidditch player and yes, he also could be a professor, but I don't think those positions truly suit him like being an Auror does. Those uniforms are a bit elaborate and dressy, but they definitely look so hot! Ginny and Hermione definitely agree! Yes! Harry getting a chance to work alongside of Tonks now, instead of being near Remus all the time at school, also brings it back full circle. But Harry knows better than to ask Tonks for anything sex related because she will not hesitate to embarrass him lol. Of course the Kanes are awesome and of course they want to have dinner with Theo even when Sebastian is at work. Sebastian does have great timing lol. Ha, don't worry, the smutty Quidditch novel was a good one, definitely part of the Fake Boyfriend series (promise). Thank you for saying it's surreal to you as a reader, it's also incredibly surreal to me. I do love happy fluff and thank you for your kind words! Thank you!

To Potterm1997: I cannot believe it's the last chapter either! Thank you very much! To LadyKitai: His first assignment is still ongoing. Cases are not solved in one day and we'll see and hear more about Fletcher Fleming again soon. Thank you very much! To Marauder0716: Ha, nope! Had to wait a few more days for this final chapter! Thank you! To mike3308: Harry and Ginny are doing very well with their careers, but yes, her schooling is going to be a challenge for her to accomplish. Thank you! To ThomasJAvery: Thank you for saying this chapter was a perfect mixture of fluff and important events! Ginny gets to play for her dream team and Harry and Ron are officially A1s! I'm glad you liked the names I chose for the twins and yes, Percy and Audrey are engaged. Things are looking up! You think the Fleming storyline with the stolen cauldrons will play into the Bella, Donna, and Bart storyline? Interesting. Yes, Molly is making friends with Fiadh's mum. Theo does plan on being a Mind Healer. Thank you very much! To Cassiopeia Anastasia Black: I was doing my best to stop in and show a bit of what everyone has been up to, to give closure to as many characters as I can. Percy's proposal was very Percy/Audrey-esque. Ginny, Luna, and Colin have school to finish up and moving on and new jobs. It's going to be a big change. Thank you! To scrappy8: Yes, Harry and Ron are Aurors and Ginny has been given the opportunity to play professional Quidditch for her dream team. Fred is the daddy of two little girls! Thank you!

To Nightwing2013: Aww, thank you for the tears of happiness. Yes, lots of steam for Hinny — those two cannot and do not want to keep their hands off of each other. Percy is a bit cliché but it suits him lol. Theo is seeing Na'eemah again and it's great for him. It's true, Oliver might destroy the bed with his claws, but Theo will just buy him a new one and spoil him even more. Thank you! To Martiflex1991: Thank you for reading this story! You found it a month ago just as I'm finishing it up, what great timing! I love that I made you laugh and cry. I understand that you hated parts of it (as I did cause a bit of emotional pain in places). Thank you for loving seeing my characters grow. You think the final chapter will be "a super cliffhanger with the Triumvirate of Madness doing whatever ritual they are trying and us not getting to see the outcome until the third part is posted." This is partly correct, I admit. I want to make sure people are interested still after all. 😉 Thank you! To Read and Fly: Harry is so proud of his badge (as he should be). We will get to see Ginny playing, promise. Yes, Theo is finding it a bit difficult to see all of his friends move on and start their lives and he's still a bit stuck. But he will get there himself as well. You're nervous about the fugitives, that's fair. Thank you very much! To Bruck27: Thank you so much! To alix33: I wish I could see the cute naked baby photos of Bas as well lol. Thank you! To chilburn40: Thank you! To darkhk: I friction' love Theo and Bas as well. Thank you!

To Nuno Neves: Thank you! It is unbelievable that there's one more chapter left and it's done! It was nice to see the Golden Trio living together in Somerset. Percy and Audrey are engaged and doing well. Fred is a dad and he and Fiadh are settling and happy. Blaise and Theo are still great friends and yes, Theo and Bas are still adorably in love and happy. I do think both Ginny and Hermione were very big fans of seeing their boyfriends in uniform lol. Yes, Harry does have a similar reaction when he first sees Ginny in her Harpy uniform (unfortunately you won't see this until TTTC). Thanks for enjoying their mirror sex. They are very much in love with each other. I have never liked the idea of Hermione being Minister of Magic, so no, that will not happen. Thank you! To EnigmaticEmperor: Thank you for liking the interview Harry led, it won't be the first time people do that and it was important to see how he handled it. It was fun to write him interrogating someone and I wanted to show how he's using what he's been taught. Even Robards was impressed with how well he did. You thought Ginny was going to be abducted lol? Nope, only good news. Unfortunately, Ginny will not have time to play for the Gryffindor Quidditch team on top of being a Harpy and keeping up on school and writing for the school paper. Something had to give. Theo needed Blaise and he's such a great friend. Yes, Sebastian is a KofA, he just can't "officially" admit it. Though he totally did to Theo. No, they can't go on whatever missions they want, but they do participate in a lot of top secret things for over departments and even other countries through the ICW. Thank you very much!

To A Huge Fan: Thank you! I'm so glad you're excited about five posts in five days! No, I don't like Cursed Child. I just personally never liked the storyline about Voldemort fathering a child and I take personal offence to Harry being a bad father (he would never, not how he grew up)! The only thing I like about Cursed Child is the friendship between Albus and Scorpius (as I definitely ship them as falling in love). As to Slytherin being the bad house, I agree. There are bad people everywhere and I like showing that they can come from any house and that Slytherins, while being oily and something assholes, can also not be. As to the friendships, they will change not seeing each other all of the time, but they will stay strong. There is definitely something about a man in uniform lol. Thank you very much! To pix25: Thank you! To mischiefxmanaged0802: Thank you for taking the time to review for the first time. Wow! You've reread this story at least three times, that is quite the feat! Thank you! You're welcome for giving Harry the life he deserved with Sirius and thank you for reading! Thank you! To CrazyWithABook: Thank you! I can't quite believe it's coming all together either and I've been done writing for months! But posting the final chapter makes it seem so much more real in ways I can't even put into words. Thank you very much! To Sets: Thank you for saying the previous chapter was "beautifully written." I do try my best. Thank you!

To wiebenor: I do take the time to read every single review left for me. If someone can take the time to leave me a comment, I appreciate it so much! I want to take the time to respond to them. I definitely agree with you on the updating status of stories. No matter how much I love an author, if they are not updating regularly, I lose interest in the story. I need consistency lol. There's been quite a few fanfics I have lost interest in because it's been years since they were updated. It makes me sad. Thank you so much for saying you love my story because it has a "well thought out world building plot that engages you at the right moments and saddens you at the right moments, makes you laugh and cry in equal measure to keep the balance from going too light or too dark, too happy or too sad." Thank you very much! To the Mandalorian terminator: It was so great to see Harry and Ron get their Auror badges! They deserve them! Harry did handle the interview well — he's definitely a natural! He's going to make a great Auror! Ginny's a great Quidditch player and everyone wants to see what she can bring to their team! Thanks for liking the proposal of Percy and Audrey. Thank you very much for saying ASC is incredible and wonderful. Thank you! To Charlotte: Thank you! To MissKnowItAll: Thank you! I thought naming their daughter Finley was such a sweet tribute to Finn. Yes, I hope the DE's are caught soon as well! They are definitely going to cause some trouble. Thank you! To George R: Thank you very much for saying my attention to detail is impressive. I have charts that have charts upon charts upon charts and I still get things wrong. I really do try my best! Thank you for saying I bring my characters to life and allow you to see everything with such clarity — that is exactly how I strive to write. I would love to see this story on film as well (even the spicy bits 😉). Thank you very much!

To Hanacide: Thank you! It's nice to know people are excited about stories to come! I'm honoured that you'd want to re-read it all — thank you! To ellyann13: Yes, Fiadh and Fred are getting their happy ever after! Yes, the nursery school is a magical establishment. Colin definitely has a future as a photo journalist if he wants it. Kelly Casey is a cousin of Ciara's, yes. Thank you! To TessaRoseDiggory: Thank you very much! I am also going to be sad when it's over. Thank you for saying that ASC is basically canon at this point. It is like saying goodbye to old friends. Um, I don't know if I can update ASC on goodreads, but I will certainly try! It's so cool that's even there! Thank you very much! To reginaphalange: Thank you very much! You're so sweet for saying that I'm a treasure to society. Thank you! To Mackie919: I cannot believe it's coming to an end either! It was nice that you had a block of chapters to read! Yes, there are still a few psychopaths on the loose! Thank you very much for saying this is one of the best AU's out there! Thank you! To Thank You! I know you are not remotely caught up, but thank you so much for dropping a crap ton of reviews! I hope you enjoy the final 150 chapters! Lots to catch up on, but thank you so much for such amazingly beautiful written reviews! You are too kind! Thank you! To SupaTheDupa: Thank you for following this story since the beginning! I'm honoured it's one of your favourites of all time! Thank you!

To Sloopyqueen4: Thank you for the 10/10! It's insane to me that I've been writing it since 2018 lol. Thank you very much! To Gigi87: So nice to hear from you again! I was getting worried! Wow, that sounds like an amazing opportunity and good on you for doing such an amazing task. I would definitely be crying every day too! As to Sebastian losing his kidney (review from 351), it will make him have to be more cautious with his job, but he will still get to be an MIA. Theo is definitely a mother hen and so worried about his boyfriend and too afraid to say the words back just yet. I don't think either of the Patil twins died in the war in canon, but I honestly don't remember. Thanks for loving my Hinny dancing in the rain scene! I look forward to reading each and every review as you catch up on the final 9 chapters, thank you so much! To Ellieoryan7447: Thank you so much for taking the time to drop a bunch of reviews (and for even attempting to review the chapters you haven't, you are a gem of a human)! Thank you so very much! You are too good to me and I really hope you enjoy the final chapter (and don't kill me). 😉

PS — I listened to Gob's "I Hear You Calling" while writing most of this chapter as well as Beethoven's fifth symphony because I'm weird like that. This means that the ASC playlist has been updated on Youtube; the link is on my tumblr pinned post. I was about 50 chapters behind on my playlist being updated. As I do mention a lot of albums, the entire albums are on the playlist as well.

Thank you to Dusk for her amazing editing skills. You were an amazing find and I'm honoured that you took the time to help me with my grammar on this very large story. You are amazing and I adore you! Thank you! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

As always, thank you very much for reading and please, please review!

Your reviews give me life! They give me inspiration! And they make me want to keep writing for more than just myself! Thank you for all of your continued support!

The One Where It All Comes Full Circle

30th October, 1998…

Ron had to admit, being an Auror was kind of awesome. Sure, he had to start his days going for a run with Harry (the sadist) and then he had to bring Baxter a coffee and run around to get his files for him, but he was doing something. He was helping people.

And he kind of loved it.

Not to mention that Eric Baxter was totally the greatest partner ever. They got along really well and Baxter was full of energy, which he rather liked. Sure, he made Ron do his scut work (all of it in fact) from doing most of the paperwork, to fetching him coffee, to using him as an owl between other Aurors but he also let him ask questions, take the lead in tasks, and explained everything he was doing and why to help Ron get the basics of what life as an Auror is like.

They even tended to work unofficially with Harry and Higgins from time to time which Ron enjoyed even more. The Dark Arts Unit of the DMLE covered any and all criminal activity that had anything even remotely to do with dark magic. They were called in for potion mishaps, bad transfiguration accidents, homicides or any suspicious death, and lots of other random things that might result in them investigating or passing it off as not a potential DAU case and assigning it to other departments.

Gawain Robards was the Head Auror of the Dark Arts Unit, having taken over for Kingsley and Scrimgeour when Kingsley took over the department and Scrimgeour's death had caused a bit of a hole to fill. Elsie Barrow was the Deputy Head of the DAU. It was Ron's job to report to Baxter and then Ron and Baxter would report to Atwell and then Atwell would report to Robards and Barrow.

It all came full circle.

It was an interesting dynamic and Ron loved it.

The case they'd been handling lately was going after an unknown subject suspected of Death Eater activity who had been making waves about resurrecting Voldemort. Harry and Higgins were assisting on a separate side of it (they reported to Tonks who reported to Robards and Barrow) and were in the middle of following a trail that they suspected was going to lead them to Barty Crouch Jr. The wizard was a known serial killer and psychopath and the mixed sightings of him as of late had every one one edge. Someone had even owled in a reported sighting of Bellatrix Lestrange in Diagon Alley.

So far all reports had come up empty and Ron knew that it was really grating on Harry to try to find out where those three were.

With it only being the last Saturday of October and Ron having been an Auror for barely a month, he was still very much getting into the swing of things. The days were long and a lot of work and the kit was sometimes a bit stifling (he bloody hated ties), but Hermione's expression when he'd come home from work that first day in full uniform had definitely been worth it.

He had no idea that Hermione found Aurors so sexy until she was holding him by his tie and suspenders and riding his cock in the armchair near the fireplace of their bedroom. When she called him Auror Weasley, he might have come harder than he'd ever had in his life and the look on her face… fuck. Ron was hard just remembering it.

Yeah, Hermione was definitely a fan of the uniform.

Now, Ron and Baxter were looking into the rumours of the ashes of Hades having arrived in England a week ago.

"Why is that a big deal?" Ron asked as they headed to Gringotts to talk to one of the curse breakers there who had worked in Greece.

"Hades is the god of the dead, Weasley," Baxter said. "A powerful one at that. It's rumoured that he once ruled the underworld."

"How did he die?"

"It's all very steeped in mystery," Baxter told him. "But these magical deities that Muggles view as gods and goddesses were really just powerful witches and wizards at one time. Hades was considered a god because of his raw power and he came from a very old and powerful magical family, the Olympus family. His ashes have been protected for centuries and if someone really managed to get a hold of some of them…"

"What do the ashes of a dead wizard do?"

Baxter pursed his lips. "The ashes of anything can be used if someone wants to use them, but nothing good comes out of it, Weasley — especially not that of a well-known and powerful wizard who was once considered to be a god. Some people even claim that Hades was the original Death in the Three Brothers story. We need to find out if the rumours of his ashes finding their way into England are true and if so, who obtained them and for what purpose."

Forty minutes later, Ron knew that Baxter was as worried as he felt. Not only had the ashes reportedly come through the Gringotts vaults, but the beautiful blonde woman who had taken them had an Italian accent and told the goblins her name was Donna Fannucci. Baxter suspected that it was the elusive Belladonna Brambilla and that didn't bode well.

They spent two hours interviewing the goblins and curse breakers at Gringotts, determined to speak to anyone and everyone who may have seen Donna Fannucci. Unfortunately, the goblins ran their own ventures when it came to gold and anything remotely of worth was passed through the bank without question.

"We do not ask what people are passing between their personal vaults," Bogrod insisted. "We are merely the ones who are here to assist them."

Ron spent time talking to Bill, but he received much of the same runaround.

"There's nothing that we can do, Ron," Bill explained. "She had a key and since she didn't actually go into the vaults, her disguise wasn't detected. The transfer came from Cairo and was brought right to the teller counter in a gold box."

Ron made notes on the description of the box and from the wizard who had sent it from the wizarding bank in Athens to Cairo and then onto London, but as Baxter told him when they left the bank, the goblins had done nothing wrong.

When they returned to the Ministry of Magic, Baxter asked Atwell to get a conference room. Twenty minutes later, the room was full of Atwell, Ron, Baxter, Harry, Higgins, Tonks, Barrow, and Robards.

"What's going on, Eric?" Tonks asked, popping a large piece of pink bubblegum to match her hair.

Baxter quickly outlined what they had discovered.

Tonks frowned. "Ashes of… fuck, are they trying to bloody resurrect him?"

"How?" Harry demanded, his voice a little higher than usual. "I killed him! He's dead and gone! His body was cremated and his ashes scattered!"

Robards frowned. "Dark magic can do a lot of horrible things and if they are using the ashes of Hades as a starting point, Lupin's right — it's not a good sign. Potter, the graveyard where Voldemort originally returned in '95, it was in New Hampshire, correct?"

Harry swallowed and Ron reached out to put a hand on his friend's back. He could see that Harry was freaked out and he couldn't say he blamed him. Just the idea of them trying to bring Voldemort back in any capacity was beyond terrifying.

"Pretty sure, yeah," Harry replied. "It was in a town called Little Hangleton, by the Riddle mansion. There was an old case surrounding the area half a century ago worked on by Arnold Moody."

Robards nodded. "Weasley, Potter, head down to the Department of Files and Records and dig out the old case files on Little Hangleton. I only heard pieces of the memory shown in the Wizengamot of that resurrection ceremony, but didn't they use bones?"

"His father's bones," Harry said. "He was a Muggle."

Higgins whistled. "Bones of the father are a pretty damn powerful ingredient in any spell. What was the father's name?"

"Tom Riddle," Harry answered.

Ron knew his friend's mouth was as dry as his own.

"Lupin, Higgins, you two are heading to the graveyard while Potter and Weasley check out old case files. You've just been assigned grave digging duty."

Tonks wrinkled her nose. "That sounds much more like A1 scut work, Sir."

"Today it's A3 scut work, Lupin. Dig him up and bring the whole bloody coffin back with you. Even if this amounts to nothing more than a scare tactic, we're leaving nothing to chance," Robards exclaimed. "Atwell, you and Baxter are going to keep investigating more about the ashes of Hades. Touch base with the MIA and get into contact with the Greek ministry as well as the Gringotts Bank of Greece. I want to know everything. Dismissed."

They all hurried off to do their tasks and Ron nudged his shoulder into Harry's as they took the lift down to level ten.

"It's only rumours, Harry."

Harry didn't say anything until they reached the dark corridors of level ten. Then his eyes were so dark they almost looked black when his gaze met his. "I'm going to tell Robards about the Horcruxes."

Ron's eyes widened. "You are?"

Harry nodded. "I know why we decided to keep it quiet while we were hunting them down. Uncle Siri was right about that, the more people who knew, the better the chance was of us not succeeding. But this is serious, mate. What if… what if there were more? What if we missed one?"

"We didn't."

Harry let out a slow breath. "Yeah, yeah we didn't. He was scared when he realized I… no, we got them all. I know we did."

"We did," Ron assured him, squeezing his shoulder. "This has nothing to do with bloody Voldemort. This is something else. His followers want to bring him back, but stuff like this doesn't work, Harry. Even if they do, he's not going to be right. It's like fucking necromancy! He'll be an Inferi or something worse."

"What's worse than an Inferi?" Harry asked.

"Soulless. Mindless. Empty. Like after a Dementor feeds," Ron explained.

"He was soulless before."

"No," Ron said, carefully. "He was insane and mad and an absolute wanker, but he still had a sliver of a soul living inside of him."

Harry frowned, his green eyes sparkling in curiosity. "I've never really thought about… what happens to people after Dementors feed on them?"

"They go mad," Ron whispered. "Bill told me once. He said that people can live without their souls. They have all of their memories, but they don't have any emotion. They are mindless. They are selfish and dangerous. A person without a soul doesn't show any real emotion. You could be staring at the love of your life and you would easily snap their neck without a second thought. Their entire being is about cruelty and violence and taking whatever they want. If they don't succumb to it, they go mad. Bill said it's like their mind cracks until they either have to be killed or they kill themselves."

Harry gulped. "Why would they want Voldemort to come back like that?"

"They don't," Ron told him. "If he came back, it wouldn't be his choice. He would be even more mad than he was the first time around and giving him a second chance at resurrection isn't going to make it any better. They obviously don't know what kind of fire they're playing with to even consider this. Third time's the charm is not how this shit works, mate. Not to mention that he doesn't even have a bloody body, though I suppose they haven't thought that far ahead. Come on. Let's see what we can find out about Little Hangleton that we don't already know."

Ron watched Harry roll his neck over his shoulders and agreed that Harry would tell Robards about the Horcruxes on Monday. Ron hoped that they found something to prove all of this wrong. He said as much to Hermione when they were alone later that night.

"They aren't really considering… it would be impossible, Ron," Hermione insisted.

Ron shook his head. "Not entirely. I mean, it's a Resurrection Stone and we know that they have it. It was missing from the grounds when Luna went to collect it."

"And the stone can't bring people back from the dead. Even in the story, it was only a shade of the woman he loved. He couldn't truly bring her back."

Ron shrugged. "I don't know, Hermione. There's something strange about all of this, we just haven't figured it out yet."

"You will," Hermione assured him.

"Too bad you didn't want to be an Auror with us," Ron teased. "Then I could actually tell you everything that I knew about this case and pick that beautiful brain of yours for help."

Hermione smiled. "No, thank you. I think that I've had more than enough adventure to last me a lifetime." She took a seat on the side of the bed and walked her fingers up his bare chest. "But if you wanted to put your uniform on or get out your handcuffs, I wouldn't protest."

Ron's eyes widened to saucers and his quick grin had her licking her lips. "You naughty witch."

Hermione leaned down to kiss the centre of his chest. "You boys will figure it out. But now, turn your brain off."

"That's usually my line," Ron said, pulling her down on top of him and covering his mouth with hers.

The feel of her lips on his warmed him and he knew that she was right. They would figure it out. Ron just wished that he could figure out what the hell it all meant.

~ ASC ~

2nd November, 1998…

Zee left work during her lunch hour to run to Apricity Lane. She really wanted to get Mina this princess toy that was going on sale today for Christmas. She couldn't believe her babies were going to be two already and she was excited to experience a real Christmas with them where they would be a little more alert to what was going on.

It was already the second of November. Mina and Leo were loving their nursery school at Once Upon A Nursery Story. It gave them the chance to be around other kids and they were saying more and more words every day. It was amazing and charming.

Harry picked them up from nursery school for her on Mondays and usually started dinner. She loved having him around more and hearing all about how much he loved working at the Ministry of Magic. Sometimes they even grabbed lunch together.

Tonight he was planning on coming over and they were making plans to go to Godric's Hollow and have a toast for Sirius on his birthday tomorrow. She knew that he wouldn't be over tonight until after eight and she made a mental note to leave a plate of food warming for him. Watching him miss Ginny and talk about her practices and how proud he was of her warmed her. She loved seeing the pride and support he had for the woman he loved and she was anxious herself to see Ginny's first game in a few weeks.

It was going to be incredible.

She shook the thoughts from her mind and headed into the popular toy shop in Apricity Lane called The Treasure Treehouse. The store was popular because it was literally a treehouse and each level had activities for kids to play in while the parents shopped. It didn't take long to find the toy. Zee paid for it with a skip in her step and headed back out into the cold air. Winter was seeping its way into the world early this year.

A glance at her watch told her that she still had time to pop into The Poison Brew for a cuppa before she had to meet with the Canadian magizoologists. Ouellette and St Louis had returned to work on a joint project with the Menagerie detailing their training of the cobra chickens. Despite the fact that they weren't a magical creature, they were doing a study on whether the training they used could also be helpful in learning to train other magical animals. She was looking forward to the meeting to see what they had to present on the subject.

After enjoying a hot cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit, she grabbed her purse and the files she needed, planning to get to the restaurant early. The cold air seemed to suddenly swoosh around her when she stepped outside. She stood there, shivering a moment, tugging her red hooded cloak around her that Sirius had bought her years ago. When she turned, a sudden chill washed over her that had nothing to do with the weather.

She looked behind her but didn't see anyone out of the ordinary. She turned and shuffled quickly down the street to the exit of Apricity Lane just as a slim beautiful, blonde appeared in front of her.

"Zee? Zee Zacarias?"

Zee frowned. The woman looked familiar, but not enough for her to place her. "Yes?"

"Oh, this is so lucky!" the blonde exclaimed. "I've recently applied to the DRCMC and you're just one of my absolute idols. What an honour to meet you! I'm Delta, Delta Frost."

Zee started to offer her hand, but the sudden smell of leather, forest, and dog had her pausing. The voice in her head sounded so much like Sirius that she was startled by it.


She turned to do just that when arms grabbed her from behind. Putrid breath was close to her as a creepy sing-song voice whispered in her ear.

"Now, now, dearie, just where do you think you're going?"

She opened her mouth to scream and Delta Frost silenced her half a second before a hood was pulled over her head. Something heavy hit her from behind and her world went black.

When she blinked awake, it was to find herself by the Black Lake at Hogwarts, but it was the dark haired man with the tattoo covered arms nuzzling her neck that made her pause.


His grey eyes twinkled in happiness. "Merlin, I've missed you, Zahira."

His lips were on hers half a second later and it felt so real that tears welled up in her eyes.

"Am I dead?"

Sirius' thumbs brushed her tears away. "No, baby, but you are in trouble. They want to do something awful. They have the Resurrection Stone."

Her eyes widened. "But Voldemort… Harry killed him! He's gone! He has no more Horcruxes!"

Sirius pressed his forehead to hers. "Fight, baby. You've been such an amazing mum to Harry and Merlin, Mina and Leo are fucking everything. You've done so good. Zahira, you have to fight them now. You can't let them use the stone."

She nodded. "I'll fight. I will."

Sirius' lips met hers once more. "I love you, Zee."

Then he was gone.

When her eyes opened again, she was no longer by the Black Lake. Instead, she found herself blinking in the semi darkness, a pounding headache behind her eyes. She was chained up, her hands tied above her head. She could hear whispering in the background.

"It has to be her," Frost's voice said. "It's too ironic for it to be anyone else. His mother died to protect him so it has to be the woman whom he considers his mother to be the sacrifice now."

Zee's heart raced in her chest.


Hell no, she thought.

There was no way she was letting them sacrifice her for anything. She attempted to loosen her hands to no avail and the sound of the chains rattling made Crouch step into the room.

"Awake, dearie? Excellent. We can't wait to show you what we have planned, right, Bella?"

When Bellatrix Lestrange stepped in front of her, Zee's heart jumped into her throat and she couldn't shake the sudden fear that told her she wasn't going to make it out of this one alive.

"Good," Bellatrix exclaimed, grabbing her by her hair. "Tonight's the Red Moon so I'm glad that you're awake." She leaned in close and licked her cheek. "It means that Bart and I get to play first."

Crouch giggled as fear gripped her. He clapped his hands together and leaned forward to lick her other cheek.

"Let's make the bitch suffer, Bella," he said, his finger walking down her neck. "Donna, Bellatrix, and I are going to make all of your dreams come true, dearie."

The blonde, Delta Frost or Belladonna Brambilla or whatever name she was using, stepped forward to stand in front of her, an evil smile on her beautiful lips.

"The Red Moon demands blood and you will be our human sacrifice. Don't hurt her too badly until tonight, Bart."

Then the door closed behind her and Bellatrix and Crouch both grinned identical and horrifying smiles.

"Go ahead and scream, dearie," Crouch's voice hissed in her ear. "It turns us on."

Then his fist plowed into her stomach.

Her vision blurred as pain shot through her and Crouch's evil smile made bile rise up in her throat.

"Fight," Sirius' voice echoed in her mind.

She didn't know how, but she was going to do her damnedest to try.

Even if she had to kill them both to do it.

~ ASC ~

Harry was trying to figure out the same thing that Ron was. He and Ron spent all of Saturday working down in the Department of Files and Records and part of Monday morning, pulling up everything they had on suspicious activity in or around the village of Little Hangleton since the Riddles were murdered in July of 1942. Tonks and Higgins had returned with the body of Tom Riddle Senior. One bone was missing from his corpse, the same bone that they had used in '95 when they'd originally resurrected Voldemort.

"Do you think that they still have it?" Ron asked, scratching his long nose.

"I don't know," Harry admitted. "It went into the cauldron and it could have melted into the potion for all I know. I was kind of focused on other things at the time, Ron."

"So, they could use it again," Baxter said, a pensive look on his face. "But it could also be tainted from the previous potion. Fresh ingredients would be the wisest course of action."

Harry only made a sound of agreement. The more they talked about this, the less he liked it. It was Sirius' birthday tomorrow and he had been looking forward to going to Godric's Hollow with Zee and the twins, having a toast to the man they missed, and then having a delicious dinner at Clevedon Court. Zee was expecting him after work tonight to make plans. Instead, Harry was planning on working overtime, trying to find this connection between the resurrection potion that Harry had been forced to witness at fourteen, and the missing ashes of Hades now.

After talking to Tonks about the Horcruxes, he asked for a private meeting with Robards.

"We'll figure this out, Harry," Tonks assured him. "A lot of Auror work requires time to process the evidence. Talk to Robards and then stop by the cottage later and fill me in, all right?"

Harry promised to do so and then he went to meet with Robards and told the Auror everything. He filled him in on the Horcruxes, on the connections that they had established over the years between Riddle and his followers, and everything that Sirius and Dumbledore had put together before they died.

Robards' eyes gave nothing away when he finished. He leaned back in his chair, his eyes on Harry and his two index fingers gently tapping together pensively.

"Auror K suspected that there was more than we knew," he finally said, breaking the silence. "It was why Scrimgeour decided to bring in Auror K from the MIA, to be honest. There was too much going on with the breakouts and the attacks all over the country. Bringing in the MIA and assigning Auror K to this department for an assignment was partly to try to uncover how and why Voldemort had returned. King knows?"

"Some," Harry admitted.

Robards nodded. "And you destroyed all of them?"

"Yes, Sir. Ron took out the last one in the Battle of Hogwarts, his giant snake, Nagini."

Robards tapped his fingers on his desk. "Horcruxes are the darkest magic known to man. If he truly split his soul six ways to Sunday, it's too damaged to ever be properly resurrected."

"But he still could be?" Harry asked, his heart sinking. "Would he return soulless?"

Robards ran his tongue over his bottom lip. "Resurrecting spells are extremely rare, Potter. The success rate is even lower. You need the right ingredients, the right mix of power, and Merlin only knows what else to succeed. I'm glad that you told me about the Horcruxes and I agree, we'll keep this strictly between us or on a need to know basis. We don't need it getting around and giving people ideas. In the meantime, I want you to focus on what we know about these three and their relationship with Voldemort. There's something else going on here. I can feel it."

"I agree, Sir. Resurrecting Voldemort just isn't plausible, but what else could they be doing with the stone and the ashes of Hades? Crouch was his whipping boy, but we know what he did to Snape. To his own father. And Lestrange… what she did to Zee, to Sirius, to Hermione… she belongs in Azkaban."

"Agreed," Robards said. "And we'll put her there, Potter."

The knock on the door had Robards barking out a command to come in before his secretary stuck her head in.

"Yes, Fiona?"

"Sorry to bother you, Auror Robards, but an urgent Floo call has come in for A1 Potter."

Harry frowned. "What? From who?"

"Once Upon a Nursery Story in Polperro. It's from Mr Philip Lawrence, Auror Potter."

Harry frowned and excused himself from Robards, moving to the fireplace in the main bullpen of the DMLE in time to see the familiar blond head of the man who ran the nursery school floating there.

"Phil, are Mina and Leo all right?"

"They're both fine, Harry," Phil said, his brow furrowing. "But we're closing up and we can't get a hold of your mother. She was supposed to be here to pick them up over two hours ago and she never showed. We've Flooed her office, sent her an owl, and my husband sent her a Patronus. There's been no response."

"That's not like her," Harry said, biting his lip. "I'm on my way."

"Thank you, Harry," Phil said before disappearing from the flames with a loud pop.

Harry stared into the flames for a moment. Zee not going to pick up Mina and Leo was very strange. It wasn't like her to forget something so important. Even if she'd gotten caught up with something at work, she would at least have sent word to him or to Sorcha to get them. He glanced at his watch. It was already almost half past six, Mina and Leo were supposed to be picked up at four. No, Philip Lawrence was right, this was very strange.

He grabbed his overcoat and shucked it on, sticking his head into Robards' office.

"Sir, I have to run out for a bit and pick up my brother and sister."

"Everything all right, Potter?"

Harry bit his lip. "I don't know. I'll be back in a bit. When Ron and Baxter return, can you tell them that I'll touch base when I get back."

Robards waved him off and Harry headed to the lifts. The idea of Zee forgetting to pick up Mina and Leo was unthinkable, but she did have a lot on her mind lately with a lot of the changes that were happening in the menagerie and in the DRCMC itself. He headed out to the Apparition point and arrived in Polperro five minutes later. He walked the short distance to the nursery school, the sweet little farm house appearing overhead. Phil and his husband, Edward, greeted him at the door. They were the ones who owned and operated the school right out of their home.

"Harry," Edward said, a warm smile. "So sorry to bother you. Your mother is always telling us how busy you are as a new Auror."

"It's no bother," Harry told him. "Still no word?"

Edward shook his head. "No, nothing."

Harry nodded and went into the story room where Mina and Leo were playing with some toddler brooms. They ran to him when he came into the room and he scooped them both up, kissing each of their chubby cheeks.

"Thanks for calling me."

"Of course," Phil said, reaching for his husband's hand. "We hope that she just was caught up with something at work. Bye Mina, bye Leo. We'll see you tomorrow."

"Bye-bye!" Leo said, opening and closing his hand in an adorably awkward baby wave.

"Bye-bye!" Mina said, doing the same.

Harry held them close to his chest and Disapparated straight to Black Cottage. Mina and Leo were both crying when he appeared on the drive.

"I know, I know," he soothed, kissing both of them as he cradled them closer. "Apparating sucks, I'm sorry."

They were mostly soothed by the time he arrived at Black Cottage to find it dark. Padfoot barked in greeting. Harry put the twins down in the living room, giving them some of their toys before he tossed his red Auror overcoat over the sofa and pulled out his communication mirror. When Zee, didn't answer, he sent her a Patronus.

He had dinner cooking in the kitchen when Sorcha, Colt, and Flo arrived. Flo moved to kiss his cheek and took over the cooking.

"I got it, honey. Sit down."

Harry thanked her and took a seat at the kitchen table, trying to call Zee again. When there was still no response on the mirror, he bit his lip.

"Something's wrong, Grandma."

Colt came into the kitchen with Mina in his arms as Sorcha came in carrying Leo. They both put them in their highchairs before Colt spoke.

"Did she have to leave the country for a case?"

Harry shook his head. "No. She always tells me if she's going to be out of England for the day. Can you guys stay here with Mina and Leo? I'm starting to worry now. She was supposed to pick up the kids a few hours ago. That's not like her. I want to retrace her steps today."

Sorcha nodded, taking his hand and kissing his cheek. "Go. We'll take care of them and get them into bed. You go find your mama."

Harry glanced over at Mina and Leo happily drinking milk from their sippy cups. It didn't make sense for Zee to not have come home. It made even less sense for her to have not picked up Mina and Leo from nursery school. Zee was never late for stuff like that and she was always diligent about making sure that Harry knew if she was going somewhere outside of England for a case. In fact the more he thought about it, the more anxious he became that something must have happened to her. Zee wasn't the kind of person who up and left for any reason. He needed to retrace her steps and find out exactly where she'd been seen last.

He sent an owl to Robards explaining what was going on and then decided that he needed to check in with Tonks first. He Apparated straight to Wrexham after kissing Mina and Leo goodbye and let himself into Remus and Tonks' cottage. He found Remus sitting on the sofa, a sleeping Teddy snuggled against his shoulder.

"Hey, Harry," Remus said.

"Hi, Uncle Rem. Is Tonks here?"

"Here!" Tonks said, coming out of the kitchen and stubbing her toe on the potted plant. "Ow! Buggering fuck!"

Harry couldn't help but smile. "At least some things are predictable."

"Oh, shush," she said. "What are you doing here? Aren't you working until eight?"

Harry's face sobered. "I was. I know that you probably just got home, but I need your help."

Tonks lifted an eyebrow. "Did something happen since Rex and I left you and Ron? What did Robards say?"

"Yes," Harry said. "I talked to Robards, but that's not why I'm here. Zee didn't pick up the twins from nursery school."

Remus frowned. "Well, maybe she got delayed at the office."

"I can't reach her, Uncle Moony. I've sent three Patronuses and called her on the mirror countless times. There's no answer. She was supposed to pick them up at four and it's almost eight. I want to talk to Oliphant and retrace her steps for the day."

"That's not like her," Tonks agreed, frowning. "She has been missing Sirius a lot lately and with it being his birthday tomorrow, maybe she went to Godric's Hollow without you?"

"No. When she's missing him she goes for motorbike rides," Harry told them. "And none of the bikes are missing."

"Did she have to leave London for work today?" Remus asked. "Maybe she got caught up."

"No, it's not like her," Harry insisted. "And I don't think so. She usually touches base with me if she's going out on some kind of mission or assignment. I'm the second contact at the nursery school so when she didn't show up to pick them up at four, they Floo-called me."

Tonks grabbed her wand off of the coffee table. "Let's go."

She kissed Teddy's chubby cheek, then kissed Remus.

"We'll be fine, Dora. Go," Remus assured her.

When they arrived at the Ministry of Magic, it was fairly empty. Most people had gone home for the night and only twenty percent of the Ministry worked a night shift. They headed straight to the DRCMC where Oliphant was supposed to meet them. Harry recognized the older wizard immediately and headed straight towards him.

"Harry! I'm glad that you're here. I was starting to worry myself when Zacarias still hadn't checked in with me. She went out for lunch at twelve and then according to her secretary, she was scheduled to meet up with some international magizoologists in Apricity Lane at one. She never showed up for the meet."

Harry was starting to get a bad feeling now. He took down the names of the international magizioologists, surprised to recognize them as Ouellette and St Louis from the Canadian Ministry. He listened with half an ear as Oliphant explained how the Canadians had come to the Menagerie around two when she still hadn't shown up, thinking that they had crossed wires somewhere.

"It's really not like her," Oliphant declared. "And I can't get a hold of her."

Harry and Tonks double checked her schedule and it made Harry even more worried when he saw that her calendar specifically read a four o'clock pick up for Mina and Leo.

"If she goes to Apricity Lane, she always stops at The Poison Brew. We'll check there first and see if she made it there," Harry said. "Otherwise something happened between the Ministry and Apricity Lane."

Tonks squeezed his arm. "I'll call Rex in and let King and Robards know what's going on. I think that we could use the extra assist on this. Something's definitely up, Harry."

Tonks' words only made him more anxious.

What had happened to her?

Ron, Higgins, and Baxter met them at The Poison Brew ten minutes later.

"Sorry we're late," Ron said. "There was a rumoured sighting of Bellatrix Lestrange near Sussex. Baxter and I went to check it out."

"What's in Sussex?" Harry asked.

"Cemeteries," Baxter said. "Someone claimed they saw her near some of the pureblood mausoleums.

Harry frowned as Ron squeezed his shoulder. "Something's not right, Ron."

Ron gave Harry a worried look that did nothing to reassure him.

When they approached the barista inside of The Poison Brew, he told them that Zee had been in at half past twelve.

"A beautiful blonde woman stopped to talk to her just outside," the barista said. "I saw them walk that way together and that was it."

"Do you have any outside surveillance charms?" Higgins asked.

"We don't, but the upscale place across the street does. Obscure. You might have luck getting in front of our shop with their charms."

The owner of Obscure was kind enough to give them access without demanding a warrant and Harry watched as a beautiful blonde woman approached Zee on the cobblestone. He saw the moment that Zee realized something was wrong and when the woman turned, he swore.


"Bloody buggering hell!" Ron exclaimed from next to him. "That's Professor Carthaginian!"

"No," Tonks said, paling. "That was one of her many aliases. That's Belladonna Brambilla and if she has Zee, she's in serious trouble."

All of the blood drained from Harry's face and when Ron grabbed his hand, it did nothing to quiet the fear thrumming through his veins.

~ ASC ~

Crouch was excited.

In fact, he was so excited that for the first time since the Battle of Hogwarts, his cock had stirred against his zipper. It had been almost too easy to take the woman. Belladonna had been brilliant and managed to subdue her quickly. No one had been the wiser. A giggle escaped him when he saw her stir from where she was tied up against the tree.

"She's waking, Donna."

Belladonna turned to look over at Zee, an evil smile on her beautiful face. "See, Bart, I knew that just a few drops would be all we needed. He was worried I didn't give you enough of the potion."

Zee blinked at them, her eyes still dazed a bit before they focused. "You!"

"Me!" Belladonna exclaimed, laughing. "Are you shocked and surprised? Just because I didn't play with Bella and Barty doesn't mean I wasn't around."

Zee struggled in her bonds and the thick green vines tightened, thorns cutting into her. Her whole body hurt as she remembered how they'd spent the last ten hours torturing her.

"Let me go!"

"Why would we do that?" Bellatrix demanded, making Zee's eyes narrow in on her. "We've been waiting a long time for this moment. You should be honoured that we chose you."

"She will be," Belladonna said. "Don't worry, Bellatrix. She's going to love this."

Bellatrix spit in Zee's face. "The bitch is going to love every second of it, I have no doubt."

Crouch giggled again.

Ever since they'd taken her this afternoon, Crouch and Bellatrix had taken it in turns to beat her. Zee's face was so black and blue, she was almost unrecognizable. She had a cut over her eyebrow that kept dripping blood into her eye. Crouch knew he'd broken a rib or two, relishing in her painful cries and the hurt in her eyes. There was nothing he enjoyed more than seeing a body take abuse. He wished he could have held onto her for days, but the Red Moon was tonight and sadly, he'd only been granted a few hours. Belladonna had insisted that risking more time was unwise. He turned back to the gravestone in front of him and knelt down in front of the stone, dragging his tongue across it.

"Tastes fresh," he purred.

Zee struggled in her bonds again and the vines tightened, breaking skin.

"Your struggle is useless, Zacarias," Bellatrix taunted. "We've been planning this for months and thanks to my cousin's bloody godson, we have the two final pieces of the puzzle."

Zee's eyes widened when they fell on the Resurrection Stone sitting in Belladonna's hand. "How did you get that?"

Crouch moved over to Zee, dragging his tongue over her cheek. "Finders keepers, my sweet." He reached down to rub a hand over his erection. "This is going to be so good. I'm going to come so hard… are you excited to see it?"

"Harry will find you!" Zee exclaimed. "He's not afraid of you three. He killed Voldemort!"

Bellatrix snorted. "Potter is the reason that we're doing this, you stupid whore!"

The slap sent her head slamming back.

"Don't worry, dearie," Crouch whispered near her ear. "When He returns tonight, Harry Bloody Potter will never know what hit him."

"You can't bring him back. He's dead! Harry made sure of it!"

Crouch giggled again. "He will return, dearie, and your sacrifice will make it so."

Bellatrix grabbed a fistful of Zee's hair and dragged her across the ground. Crouch licked his bottom lip as he watched the woman struggle, her arms and legs still tied in the vines that were making her bleed. Bellatrix yanked her head back so hard that Zee shrieked.

"Oooh, do it again, Bella. You know how excited that makes me," Crouch purred, rubbing his hand over his groin.

"Enough," Belladonna exclaimed. "Stop taunting the whore and bring her over here. It's time for the sacrifice."

Crouch's eyes moved over the floating candles, the goblet full of a black smoking potion, the empty basin sitting next to it, and the Resurrection Stone sitting on the top of the grave stone. The golden runes carved into the circle surrounding it continued to write from the end of Belladonna's wand.

"It's rather poetic, don't you think, Bella?" Crouch asked. "That the sacrifice we need to bring Him back is the mother figure? I like the irony of it."

Zee screamed as she attempted to struggle, gasping when her head was yanked back by her hair and slammed into the stone of a nearby tomb.

"You won't get away with this!"

"We already have," Bellatrix replied, a cruel smile on her lips.

Bellatrix flicked her wand at the ground as dirt flew from the earth in waves, unearthing a circle around the tombstone. Zee swore as dirt smacked her in the face and Crouch was giggling in glee as Belladonna kept her arms crossed in front of her.

"Are you ready to see Him?" Crouch asked. "Are you ready to see the surprise, dearie?"

Crouch grabbed a fistful of her hair and dragged her across the dirt until she was face first with the tombstone.

Zee's eyes widened in horror. "NO! No, you can't! It's impossible!"

Crouch's smile widened. "Not what you were expecting, dearie?"

He loosened the bonds on her hands and she reached out to touch the stone, tears in her eyes. "No! No! Please, no!"

Crouch knelt in front of her, gripping her hair tightly in his fist and yanking her head towards him, causing more thorns to bite into her skin. His wand moved the vines aside, locking her more securely once more and bound her wrists. He spun her around, tying her to the headstone and leaving her chest clear of the binds. His tongue touched his top lip as he used his other hand to rip her blouse open. Zee's attempt at struggling made him smile as his wand opened her bra. His smile widened as he took in her full naked breasts, peppered in cuts and bruises from his activities that afternoon.

"Oh, dearie, I do wish that I had more time to play with you." He dragged the tip of his wand over her right nipple.

"Fuck you!"

He let out a nervous giggle. "I really wish I could, but you see, this is rather time sensitive. If we're going to bring him back, if has to be now, under the red moon just after midnight." He leaned in and licked her cheek. "But I promise to think about you when I'm wanking later."

He gripped her hair tighter and pulled and she let out a small scream.

Crouch's smile widened. "Bella, darling. I think she's ready for you."

The vines erupted from the earth once more, spreading her arms and legs with her back against the marble tomb like an x.

Bellatrix knelt down next to Crouch, grabbing the arm she'd carved the word Whore into. "You destroyed my work, but we both know that it's still under this tattoo. It's too bad you won't live long enough for me to give you another scar."

Zee stared into the grey eyes, hate blazing from her.

"Coming back from the dead isn't exactly an easy feat after all," Bellatrix declared. "But we learnt from the best on how to do it properly and this time we've… improvised."

Crouch nodded, grabbing the chains from the ground and using his wand to levitate them into place near the grave. "Just in case we need to contain him," he teased, winking at Zee.

Belladonna finished using her wand to carve runes around the gravestone before she cleared her throat. "It's time. The red moon is rising."

A small silver basin was placed in the centre of the circle before the three of them surrounded Zee, wands pointing towards the sky as Belladonna began to speak.

"Hades, god of the dead, we call your runes forward, coated in your ashes."

Bellatrix carefully poured ashes from a glass urn over the runic symbol for death that was carved into a blood red stone. She used her finger to fill every crevice of the symbol with the ashes before she carefully placed it into the basin and stood back up.

Belladonna made another rune with her wand, this one meaning life, carving it into the earth between Zee's spread legs as she spoke.

"Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son!"

Crouch picked up the large bone from the ground. It was glowing in a blue-like essence, iridescent in the light of the moon as he used the bone to trace the symbol in the earth before standing it into the small basin.

"Blood of the witnesses, given freely, you will revive Him!"

Belladonna cut her hand first, slicing through her palm and dripping three drops of her blood into the basin.

Crouch went next, doing the same.

And then Bellatrix.

"Stone of resurrection," Belladonna declared as the ebony coloured stone rose up from the ground to hover over the basin. "Given by Death, forged in fire. We bathe it now in dragon's fire."

The stone floated over the basin, shining in the moonlight as Crouch opened a phial and let two drops of a purple liquid fall onto the ebony stone. It hissed and flashed before bursting into flame, burning so brightly and so hot that the stone melted into the basin, ebony falling onto bone, blood, and ashes like molten rock mixed with lava. It sizzled and hissed as Belladonna carved another rune into the earth between Zee's legs, this one symbolizing sacrifice.

"Heart of the mother, the sacrifice of His soul, forcibly taken, you will resurrect Him!"

Bellatrix pulled a jagged dagger from her pocket and knelt down in front of Zee. "Go ahead and scream because I can promise you, Bitch, this is going to hurt like hell."

Then she pushed the dagger into her chest and began to cut out her heart.

Zee did scream.

The sounds echoed in the quiet night, but the wards around them stopped anyone from hearing her as Bellatrix pulled her still beating heart from her chest. She dropped it into the basin just as the red moon crossed the sky.

"We call the storm to bring life," Belladonna chanted. "We ask for life after death. Accept our offering."

Belladonna knelt down and carefully crushed the heart under the bone, mixing it all in the basin as Zee's body collapsed like a rag doll against the tombstone, a gaping hole in the middle of her chest. Belladonna poured the mixture over the ground, ignoring Zee's body. She stood back just as the blood seeped into the earth and lightning lit up the tombstone.

The red moon seemed to glisten in the night like a sun setting over the ocean before it vanished behind a cloud and darkness overtook them. The three of them stood there over the headstone, listening to the silence until the nearby clock tower struck midnight, and then the sound of nails scraping wood echoed in the dark cemetery.

Bellatrix cackled in delight. "Listen, Bart!"

The scraping grew louder and Crouch pointed his wand at the earth, making the dirt fly everywhere as the wood of the coffin was finally revealed. The scraping grew louder and then suddenly, a fist punched through it.

Belladonna waved her wand to let the lid fly open and Bellatrix's lips curved as she knelt down over the hole in the ground, extending her hand.

"Welcome back, Cousin."

Crouch watched in awe as the man lifted himself from the coffin. He brushed his hair out of his eyes before a slow, cruel smile crossed his lips. He looked over at Crouch and Belladonna before his eyes met Bellatrix's once more.

"What did you do to me?"

Crouch giggled at the gruff voice. "The question isn't what did we do, it's what you're going to do for us now that we've brought you back."

"What's that?" he asked, licking his dry lips.

"Help us kill Harry Potter," Bellatrix said. "Because trust us, he's never going to see you coming, Sirius. And it's going to blow his fucking mind."


End Author's Notes:

Whew! What a ride! I started writing this in February of 2018, posting in May of 2018 and I never imagined in my wildest dreams that it would reach a whopping 360 chapters! But thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey. I hope you enjoyed reading it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I hope the ending is a surprise and that no one guessed it!

I look forward to sharing the next part of the story with you — Third Time's The Charm. The third part to the Kismet Trilogy. Chapter One will be called "The One With A Second Chance." It will be a bit away before I start posting as I would like to take at least a month off, maybe two, to catch my breath and get more of the story written.

Thank you to Seriously Sam for helping me craft the idea of this ending in my mind way back in 2021. I couldn't have perfected it without your amazing talent as I always had this plan in mind, but I didn't know the specifics of how I was going to do it.

Thank you to celtics534 for your help in getting the words out just right.

Thank you to Dusk for being an incredible Beta for almost two hundred chapters of this story and all of The First Time Around. You are appreciated more than you can possibly know. You're amazing! Thank you!

Thank you very much to all of the readers for your support and love and thank you for reading.

A Second Chance is officially over, but my world of ASC has a prequel in the snippets and short chapters of The First Time Around and will continue in Third Time's the Charm sometime in the coming weeks of 2023.

I will keep you updated on my Tumblr — breaniebree.

Thank you for reading and please if you can find the time to please leave me a final review, it would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

🇨🇦Breanie, the fanfic writer from Canada🇨🇦