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Chapter: Prologue


That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.

-- The Twilight of the Idols, Friedrich Nietzsche


Ministry of Magic Decree #24,357

In light of the defeat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (Lord Voldemort) by one Harry Potter, any persons—namely offspring or acquaintances of his followers—who demonstrate sympathy towards his ideals, philosophy, or cause and are unable to convince the Wizengamot of their allegiance to the Light will be sentenced to one year of incarceration in Azkaban Prison.


She told them they were insane.

"Miss Granger, that was uncalled for."

Hermione stared incredulously at Rufus Scrimgeour and Percy Weasley, the former of which had just reprimanded her for her rudeness. "I apologize, Minister," she said breathlessly, her head feeling rather detached and very far away from her body. She steadied herself with a discreet touch of her hand to the wall behind her. "Is—Is there no one else? I mean… I have a history with these people. I know them from before. They're not going to listen to me."

"Hermione," reasoned Percy quietly, "there is no one else."

Her face fell when she realized the truth behind his statement. They had lost many in the Five Year War.

"No one else has the qualifications, knowledge, or experience regarding this matter. The Ministry asks this of you because it knows that you will remain devoted to the task, and will ensure that none of these people get out of this thing without a tremendous psychological transformation having taken place. We…We can't survive another war like this, Miss Granger. We can't risk someone else attempting to continue what he started," rasped Scrimgeour through his damaged trachea. One of Voldemort's lesser followers had planted a toxic, fume-emitting herb in his office several years ago; it had not been the first or last attempt on his life.

Hermione's eyes flicked back and forth between the two men before her, her expression calculating. "Harry suggested you ask me, didn't he?" Percy looked at his hands and Scrimgeour nodded slightly. She gave a dry sort of laugh, both amused and furious. "I'll deal with him later. As for now… I'll do it. I don't know why, but I'll do it."

"A last revenge, perhaps? Eliminate the last of him, once and for all?" Offered the minister in response to her vague reasoning, raising one wide shoulder in a half-shrug.

She smiled wryly, returning his shrug. "Perhaps. Next week, you said…Saturday at one o' clock?" They nodded simultaneously. With a faint rustle of her robes, she turned to exit, trying desperately to suppress the feeling that she had just agreed to sign her own death warrant.

"We will supply you with Aurors, of course. Any protection you might feel would be appropriate under the circumstances," said Scrimgeour.

Hermione shook her head. "These people may not listen to me, Minister, but I can assure you that I know how to handle them." And then, with an ironic eyebrow raised, "I survived the war, didn't I?"

They didn't argue with that.

"Saturday at one. I'll be there."


"In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule."

-- Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche


Author's Note: This should be very interesting… and somewhat original, I hope. Keep in mind this is just the prologue. More information about Hermione's task will be revealed in the next chapter. The next chapter will be much longer and probably won't appear until at least next weekend. I'm very busy, and I have other fics I need to focus on lest my readers attack and seriously maim me. Please note that this will not be very long… ten chapters at the most.

Tell me what you think and, as always, enjoy!