A/N: I know! I know! It's been 10 months since I've updated and I'm sorry this chapter took so long to post…ARRGGHH! I've had tremendous writers block along side not really knowing where I want this story to go…that adds up to a long wait! Hopefully, this will be the last time you have to wait so long for an update, but they will not be coming as quickly as they did with my first story. I actually think the rate I wrote At The Heart Of The Matter is part of the reason I've had this current writer's block…or burn out if you will. Thanks for hanging in there and THANKS for the AWESOME reviews!
JKR owns all but this plot…and any original character's I create! ENJOY!
How To Make Fudge Covered Toads
Once the group made it outside the wards of Hogwarts, they decided that Lily, James, and Sirius would disillusion themselves before entering the Ministry. Despite the lies that Dumbledore usually spewed, he did have a valid point that the Potter's return, without a proper explanation first, would be seen as dark, evil magic or some sort of trick. Sirius, of course, was still a wanted fugitive, but Cam had every intention of clearing that little matter up by the end of the day.
The Atrium of the Ministry was littered with people going about their day to day lives and those present took little notice of the six newcomers, although in reality it was nine with the Potter's and Sirius being invisible, as they made their way to the hall leading to the rest of the Ministry, only to be stopped by the guard at the security desk.
Before the guard could utter the typical "Wands please," Cam caught the man's eyes and using the Rolling/Hypnosis he inherited from the Ancient Vampire, put the guard into a temporary hypnotic state, all the while pushing thoughts into the guard's mind that he'd already checked everyone's wands. This took all of about two seconds to accomplish as they walked past the security desk, making their way towards the Minister's office. As the group continued on their trek, Cam gave a predatory smile…the element of surprise would not be lost when it came to Fudge or any of his lackey's.
Upon entering the outer office for the Minister of Magic, Galdor froze and silenced Fudge's secretary, while simultaneously casting an Elvish revealing spell on the Minister's solid oak and gold doors to view who and what was inside.
Galdor smiled in a way that showed just how much he was going to enjoy this day, and said, "We couldn't have planned this if we tried. Fudge, Umbridge, and all the department heads are here…Perfect!"
Cam, with an equally intimidating look said, "Well, we shouldn't keep them waiting. After all, today's cooking lesson is how to make Fudge covered Toads, and I'm sure that those inside are most anxious for the recipe."
Without another thought, Cam threw open the heavy doors as if they were made of paper, causing all those within the office to leap out of their seats while drawing their wands, curses ready to be fired just waiting on the tips of their tongues.
With eyes bulging and heart pounding, Fudge yelled, "Who are you, and what the hell are you doing in my office!"
"Now, now Fudge…don't be rude, and keep your bowler on. I'm sure you recognize Lucius here; he is after all one of your favored advisors. I think it's safe to say that he wouldn't let any harm befall the Minister of Magic?" said Cam with a slight smirk playing at his lips.
At the piercing look that Hecate quickly gave that said 'Don't let this spin to far out of control' Lucius moved around Cam, who quietly whispered "killjoy", and in trying to keep things somewhat hospitable for now, continued, "Thank you for the introduction, but really Cam…don't goad him on. Minister, I'm sure you know of Remus Lupin and Charles Weasley. The other three…well that's a bit more complicated. If we could all just put away our wands and take a seat, I will attempt to explain."
Warily, the room's occupants put away their wands while retaking their seats. This left the newcomers standing, but was quickly rectified when Galdor waved his hand conjuring several comfortable chairs.
Making sure he had everyone's attention, Lucius began, "Before I continue with the introductions, I'd like to offer a bit of a story as a way of explaining why we are here.
Who here remembers the old ways…the ways that saw magic governed and guided by beings that worked to assure balance and continuity, which in turn allowed stronger magic to flow in each of us?
Sadly, the knowledge of the old ways, which involves the rule of the Lords and the laws by which they rule, is what has been forgotten. The days that saw all magical beings prosper have been lost for several generations. For those of you who may not remember, the flow and stability of magic can only flourish when there is a Dark Lord and a Light Lord presiding over it, protecting the delicate balance that is essential to all magical beings.
These two individuals continue to rule until one or both die, at which time, Magic herself selects two more individuals to watch over her.
For the last 50 or so years, the wizarding world has had a self proclaimed Dark Lord and Light Lord that we all know as Voldemort and Dumbledore. Due to Voldemort, Albus and both directly and indirectly, the current Ministry of Magic, people of today associate all Dark Lords or Dark Wizards as evil and everyone associated with the Light as good or virtuous, and as you know, that is just not the case
They alone are responsible for the imbalance we see today, which has lead to an increase in the number of squibs born, causing many magical creatures to slowly die out, and the magical power levels to which all wizards and witches are born, to be on a decline.
This may come as a shock, but Grindelwald and Dumbledore were asked by Magic to be her Dark Lord and Light Lord many years ago.
While Grindelwald accepted, Dumbledore declined because he did not want to share his power and prestige with anyone; so over the next several decades, Dumbledore waged war on everything he thought evil, discrediting Grindelwald, and after successfully killing the true Dark Lord, took on the mantle of Head of the Light, thereby being praised as one of the greatest wizards to ever live.
Unfortunately for the wizarding world, this was not enough for Dumbledore…he wanted to be THE greatest.
This in turn caused an extreme shift in the balance of magic thereby allowing Voldemort to rise in power, creating a being that was truly evil and out to destroy all that he deemed unworthy.
Dumbledore thought he could once again destroy 'EVIL', thus allowing him to be the epitome of all wizards once more; succeeding would make him more powerful and loved in the eyes of the wizarding world, making him greater than Merlin.
Well…as we all know, this is not what we have today. Dumbledore has been unable to defeat this latest Dark Lord and both of these 'men' have been slowly destroying magic, and if this balance is not restored, Magic will no longer allow herself to be used by us mortal beings. It's unfortunate that today's witches and wizards do not understand what would happen if the old ways are not restored."
The blame for our world as we know it can solely rest with two of the worst power hungry beings to walk this plane in hundreds of years…Voldemort and Dumbledore. They alone are responsible for the imbalance in the magical flow that, thankfully, will be made steady when the true Lords of the Dark and Light take their rightful places."
Taking a look around at the faces of those in the room as Lucius finished the first part of his introduction, Cam saw awe, fear, disbelief, skepticism, anger and shockingly on a few, relief. Looking over at Galdor and Hecate, they nodded to him indicating that they too, seemed to see the same thing.
Collecting a breath, Lucius continued, "I would like to now introduce the rest of my companions. The gentleman on my left is Galdor Anwarünya, Lord of the Light; to my right is Camthalion Tinehtelë, Lord of the Dark; and this beautiful woman is Magic herself, Hecate."
Whatever stupor had fallen on the room while Lucius had been speaking seem to shatter at the introduction of the three most powerful people beings alive.
"Unbelievable!" shouted Rufus Scrimgeour, head of the Unspeakables.
"Great Merlin…" breathed out Amelia Bones, head of the Auror's.
"Bloody HELL…" came another outcry from the Minister himself.
"Minister Fudge! These have to be imposters…we need to call in the Auror's and have them arrested!" cried Umbridge.
"What…Aahh…Lucius?" asked Fudge, totally lost for words while his thoughts warred over believing his most favored advisor, Lucius Malfoy, or listening to his outraged Undersecretary, Delores Umbridge.
"Minister Fudge, I speak the truth and believe me when I say that you do not wish to anger any one of these people I have introduced you to. Delores, I would be silent if you knew what was good for you." stated Lucius coldly, never taking his eyes off the toad like creature.
With eyes beady, Umbridge strode over to Lucius and with a disdain dripping from every word, she said, "How dare you barge into this office and presume to tell this preposterous story. The Minister of Magic IS the ABSOLUTE authority over the British wizarding world, and you would do well to heed my words…this is TREASON! You DARE to undermine Minister Fudge's government! I'll see you in Azkaban for this. LIES!!! All LIES!! Minister, let me call in the Auror's and have these people arrested!"
Having had enough, Cam slowly but gracefully stood, using his imposing stature to quail those in the room, and in his deep baritone voice, coldly said, "You, Madame Umbridge are treading on very thin ice as it is, so heed MY warning…SHUT UP and SIT DOWN before I do it for you….permanently!"
"HOW DARE YOU TALK…." Delores Umbridge started screaming, only to be roughly replaced in her seat, mouth now gone from her face with only a look from Cam. This act alone sent warnings throughout the rest of the assembled group…This was a man you did not want to anger or insult.
Cam looked about the room with cold eyes and then proceeded, "Now, you have two choices before you. You can either work with us to heal and restore magic as it should be, abiding to the old ways and laws; or you can go against us….and die. Make no mistake ladies and gentlemen, Galdor, Hecate and myself are here to claim our rightful places and restore order and law in this ill begotten world…with your help or without it. Believe my words here today…fight us and you will NEVER live to regret it!"
The room, at Cam's proclamation, was so still and deathly quiet that you could literally have heard a pin drop. While Cam had been speaking, Galdor joined him and with the absolute fury in the eyes of these two incredibly intimidating men, this brought all in the room to a realization that what they had just heard was no joke…even those that knew what was to happen could feel their mouths go dry. Fearsome did not do the Dark and Light Lords any justice.
Clearing his throat and with fear lacing his voice, Fudge spoke his first coherent words, "Do you have any proof that what you say is the truth? I can't and won't allow anyone in this room or our society to simply bow down to you without it. I am not trying to be disrespectful, but I must think and act in the best interest of my people."
"Well said Minister, well said. I do believe that is the most intelligent statement I've ever heard you say." stated Galdor, with a slight twinkle playing in his eyes.
Finally joining her chosen Lords, Hecate smiled and said, "I concur. Minister Fudge, I am going to allow you all to view bits of my memories, from various times throughout history, and then, after that, if you are still unconvinced, well, I'll come up with something."
Over the next hour, she allowed the occupants in the room to view the times throughout history where there was balance and imbalance of magic; Merlin's acceptance of being a Lord; Grindelwald's acceptance and his true intentions; Dumbledore's refusal and subsequent events surrounding the uprising of Voldemort; Lucius's acceptance as Governor; the turning of Cam and Galdor, as well as their training; the promise and fulfillment of Cam's gift…the return of James and Lily Potter; and last but not least, Dumbledore's confession and demise.
After several long, silent minutes, Fudge breathed out while saying, "So, Dumbledore's dead then." Seeing Hecate, Galdor and Cam all give a small nod of agreement, they were amused when they saw Fudge cotton onto the other big revelation.
As if being hit with a bludger, Fudge goggled at Galdor and Cam while blurting out, "Your…your…Oh Merlin…Bill Weasley and Harry Potter…I just don't know what to believe. AND James and Lily back from the dead…where are they if this is true!"
This last bit of shock must have been too much for the Minister of Magic, because as James and Lily materialized out from their invisibility spells, all that was heard in the room was a loud thump as Cornelius Fudge fell to the floor in a dead faint.
Taking pity on all, Hecate enervated Fudge and cast a calming spell on the rest of the room to allow the assimilation of what and who had been revealed to this group to be taken in and processed without unnecessary stress.
After about 20 minutes or so, Hecate asked, "Now that you've had a few minutes to digest what you've been told, does anyone have any questions?"
Taking a deep breath, holding his head high, Fudge said with a touch of anger lacing his tone, "So, you just expect me to step down as Minister and hand over our world to you, unchecked by the Ministry or Wizengamot? Even if all you've said is true, I, in good conscience, can't do what you're expecting. I have been in office for many years, and I will not see what good I've done be undone because you think otherwise.
Both Bill and Harry are still very young, and to allow them to rule would be very irresponsible and lead to an upheaval unseen in quite some time. I'm sorry, but I won't allow you to just take over like this. There are a lot of good people in this government, working hard everyday to ensure our world is safe and protected from those who seek to undermine it."
Looking directly into Fudge's eyes, Hecate coolly said, "I take it Cornelius that you do not believe what has been shown to you. Is this correct?"
"In all honesty, I'm not sure what to believe, but even if I did, that is beside the point. I will not see our way of life altered to fit your whims. These people are depending on me and this government to uphold our laws and that is what I intend to do."
At this proclamation, Cam could not keep silent any longer, and sneering the whole while said, "What laws would that be, Minister? The ones that state every witch or wizard deserves a trial and Veritaserum if requested to prove his or her innocence, or is it the law that prohibits any Headmaster from holding any other office within our government, thereby reducing the risk that any one person would have to much influence in our world.
Better yet, I know what law you are protecting, it's the law that allows a teacher to be held responsible and accountable for any neglect or abuse…I mean really, you would never allow your appointed High Inquisitor to use a blood quill for hours on end as punishment, going against all the laws in place to keep a school full of CHILDREN safe, would you.
Are these the laws that your good and worthy government are protecting? Because if they are, you've been failing miserably, and don't, for one minute think that you've got anyone in this room fooled by your 'concern' for the wizarding world. You're just concerned with keeping your own grasp on what little power you have."
When Cam was finished, Galdor angrily added his take on how good Fudge's rule had been, and said, "Not only have you NOT held up the laws of this world, but you've had the gall to try and eliminate most forms of magic like Runic Casting, Blood Magic, Druidic Magic, and Elemental Magic, in the fear that those that could master these forms as well as countless others, may have been able to keep you in check.
Out of fear and what I'm sure is a lack of magical power, you, instead of teaching Magical Ethics and learning to embrace the many branches of magic I have mentioned, in the last 50 plus years, this Ministry, YOUR Ministry and the Wizengamot have taken the easy way out and banned them, not even attempting to understand there usefulness. It's people like you who seek to corrupt it or control it to fit their needs, experience, or magical levels. Well that all ends today, Fudge."
"Don't you dare threaten me, young man! I'll have you sent to Azkaban so fast your head will spin. Now, I suggest you get out of MY office and leave the wizarding world in the hands of those far more experienced than yourselves." barked Fudge, feeling more important than he should have.
At this, Hecate looked at the soon to be ex-Minister, if he didn't do a quick about face, and said, "As far as experience goes, I don't believe anyone on this plane or any other plane of existence has more than myself, and I guarantee, Minister, that leaving the wizarding world in the care of my chosen is your only option. You are starting to bother me, Fudge, so unless you would like to experience life as a muggle, or better yet, end up like Dumbledore, I suggest you start co-operating…NOW!"
Taking a deep breath to calm herself, Hecate continued, "None of you in this room, or for that matter, any other being anywhere has a choice in this. I have decided who will rule, or, as Lucius stated earlier, I will strip this world of all magic. It's that simple ladies and gentlemen, like it or not. Your co-operation is wanted and will make the transition easier, but it is not necessary that we have it…so do not overestimate your own value."
Giving Cam a quick nod for him to proceed with the plan, Hecate turned to head back to her seat.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is how things will proceed. The first thing to take place will be a press conference covering the return of the TRUE Lord's of magic, the exposure of the false Lord's, and letting all the magical world know that each and every law will be gone over and judged. Any law deemed unjust will be eliminated, regardless of what country it is a law in.
The second thing will be to get this government and all other governments cleansed of those who are corrupt and power hungry. This will go from the top, including you, Cornelius, to the lowliest janitor. Only those with fair minds and a keen sense of what is right versus what is wrong will be allowed to keep their positions.
The third, which has already started to be implemented, is the complete overhaul of our educational system. The old magic's will be taught once again in conjuncture with a Magical Ethics class. No one will be judged or held back due to blood purity or any other such rubbish.
The fourth will be to right the wrongs that this and many other governments have done…starting with freeing several prisoners that have been unjustly incarcerated. As a matter of fact, one of those will be taken care of before this day is done.
And lastly, which will come very soon if I have anything to say about it, is the complete annihilation of Voldemort and all his minions. No longer will they be allowed to wage their reign of terror on our world or the muggle world.
Now, in regards to the matter of freeing an innocent man; Mum, Dad, who is the person that betrayed you as your secret keeper?"
James looked to his son, pride shining forth for all to see, and said, "Peter Pettigrew was our secret keeper, not Sirius Black."
Well, there you go. I hope you like, and I would like to thank all of you who have hung in there. It's great to hear that so many of you have been looking forward to this update. I will let you know that I will not be able to post nearly as often as I would like, and most likely it will be at least a month before I can post the next chapter. I've been hard at work over this last year, and time to sit and write or read is hard to come by. I hope you continue to hang in their, because I promise to finish this. Most likely, there will only be about 4-5 more chapters to this story, and I've been making notes on some other plot bunnies bouncing through my head. Thanks again to all of my wonderful reviewers!!!!!