Disclaimer: Let's have a little English lesson and dissect the word fanfiction. Separating it into two parts you get "fan" and "fiction." Clearly, "fan" is the more important word here. So, please, kind, honourable lawyers of JKR (who are currently too tied up in the lexicon case anyways and wouldn't be looking in my direction anyways…)…don't sue!
Secondary Disclaimer:The only person who figured out the pop culture reference from last chapter was an anonymous reviewer who went under the name of "Anonymous shall do." Perhaps I was too vague? Anyways, so I don't get sued by a troupe of insanely comedic Brits, the quote from last chapter "We are all individuals!" is from Monty Python's Life of Brian. Hilarious movie, though if you're a bit sensitive about Christianity and the whole Jesus thing I would avoid it…
Author's Notes: Okay, lots of stuff to say, most of it apologies on this extremely belated update. It's like wishing someone a happy half-birthday because you completely forgot their birthday was six months earlier…that's how belated this is. Yeah…so…please don't shoot, at least I've updated? Terribly sorry it's so late, some explanation at the bottom of the chapter… You guys have to be the best readers ever, I swear. Barely any nagging!
Also, please see the end of the chapter for details on betaing and such…
Plotting Plots & Breaking the Law
Getting permission from the Department of Mysteries to access their semi-public library was like pulling out an unwilling patient's tooth with a pair of pliers without anesthetic—when they and all involved felt the procedure to be unnecessary. Or like wading through molasses with weights strapped to one's feet. Harry wasn't quite sure which simile worked better, but he did know it was possibly one his more frustrating afternoons. In fact, he would say it made top ten, if not top three.
"The ink on this signature is smudged," the head librarian said snidely as he looked down his nose at Harry, the superior and smug expression that had been on his face all afternoon pissing Harry off more and more as the day wore on. "And look—this 'r' does not match up with Mr. Raken's usual signature!"
"If you feel so certain that it's a forgery," said Harry coldly, "then I suggest you firecall Professor Raken. He'd be more than pleased to inform you that I have the proper access as befitting for those studying for their Masters in Alchemy."
"Oh, no, I wouldn't dare trouble him with something as menial as this. You couldn't be more than twelve! I can't even believe the Unspeakables upfront let you in this far, boy, but I'm sure the Aurors would be happy to escort you back to your mummy."
Harry's cold gaze did not waver, even as the head librarian mocked him. "If that is the case, I'd like to know your name before I leave."
"You came in here expecting to pass as the son of the Flamels and you did not even think to look up my name?" the librarian asked incredulously. "You're quite something, boy. My name is Daren Fergout, if you must know. Nineteenth generation."
"Thank you," Harry said politely, still smiling coldly, before turning to leave. He had known the man's name, of course, but it was always good to make sure he was getting the right man fired, instead of some other innocent head librarian—at some other branch of the library. Unlikely, but still.
"Ah, Harold! Our little genius! How old are you now, m'boy? Twelve, thirteen?" greeted the jovial old man as Harry entered his office. His face carried permanent laugh lines like battle scars of happy moments and despite his age he had a fair bit of energy—though, Harry supposed, he wasn't that old for a wizard.
"Nearly fourteen, sir," Harry answered politely. Immediately after being kicked out of the library, he had headed towards the Department of Education in the Ministry, heading straight towards the man in charge of those studying for their masteries in the more obscure subjects. He had hoped to find him free and was in luck—the man was with a guest, but could spare a moment.
His general cheerfulness often put Harry off-guard, but he usually shrugged it away in favour of remaining polite and in control of the conversation, for the most part.
"This here is Tracey Davis, my great-granddaughter, actually. I hear you're studying at Hogwarts now—you two might have met."
"We have," Harry replied, turning to Tracey. "A pleasure to meet you again."
"Likewise," she returned.
"Now, then, what seems to be the problem, Harry?"
"The head librarian of the public sector is giving me a hard time again," Harry replied, rolling his eyes.
"Again?" question Professor Gladwin Raken. "Wasn't the last one fired for misconduct?"
"Well, yes, but they seemed to have hired the exact same sort as the newest one. Seems to think that just because there's a tiny smudge in the ink and the 'r' is your signature is a touch different from what they expect, my pass isn't valid. I suppose it doesn't help that I'm so young and all, but it does list my age on the pass, doesn't it?" Harry said, his demeanour quite different from the cold one of before. He was quite exasperated now and wasn't afraid to show it—especially when it would help him in this case.
"Yes, yes, it should," Raken replied, looking a slightly puzzled. "And he didn't think to firecall? At all? I've been here all day."
"I know, and I even suggested it. He didn't want to waste your time with it," Harry snorted.
Raken sighed. "Ah well, and here I thought he actually wasn't all that bad. Fergout, right?"
"Yeah, that was him. Also enjoys pulling the pureblood 'x generation' line when introducing himself," Harry added, rolling his eyes.
Raken frowned. "I'll talk to the Director of Research in the Department of Mysteries. This falls under his jurisdiction. You'd think they would have learnt better by now…"
"I know, I know," Harry said, shaking his head. "Anyways, I'll leave you to it. I figure that since they've effectively kicked me out down there, I might as well study at home for now."
"I could just firecall down for you…" Raken offered.
"No, it's alright. I still have to figure out which major project I want to focus on first, anyways."
"Oh?" Raken asked.
"I'm not saying a word!" Harry said with a smile. "It's a surprise. Besides, you'll find out when I submit my preliminary report."
"So I should be expecting this ground breaking research when?"
"Only you, Harry. Off with you, then! Get working on that report so that we can start blowing things up together!" Raken said, dismissing him. As he was leaving, the man added "I'll owl you when the whole library thing is sorted out. Hopefully you won't have to rely on the out-dated stuff too much, m'boy!"
"Thanks, sir," Harry replied politely before leaving. "Nice seeing you, Tracey." Even though you didn't say a word and just observed, he added to himself. What are you plotting?
"You too," she replied.
Harry's summer flew by in a haze of research, knocking himself unconscious in the Alchemy lab (on more than one occasion), and attempting to break House-Elf magic. The House-Elf Teppy seemed to believe that the morning hours were enough for Harry to work on his project for his Masters in Alchemy, locking up the library and the Alchemy lab at noon everyday under the pretext that they needed cleaning—because teenaged boys made such horrible messes. This had only begun after Harry had shown that he spent far too much time in the library (which he really couldn't help—he had found a lead onto his project and had spent two days in there without sleeping before the new "law" had been instigated). Harry highly suspected that Nicholas had ordered Teppy to make sure he didn't overwork himself in his Will, or something of the sort, but he couldn't help but being annoyed—respecting a dead man's wishes or not. There was only so much time he could spend practicing duelling or working on some of his basic notes for the project without access to the library and only so many books he could sneak out without being caught. Crazy House-Elf…
Luckily, he received the owl from Raken only a day after the incident at the library, including apologies from the Department of Mysteries (which hadn't appeared in the last one…) and the promise of a different hiring and firing process for the library—and certainly a different policy on allowing in Mastery students.
Pleased, he made plans to visit the library sooner rather than later, but did acknowledge that he might be over working himself a touch. And libraries were only open for a certain amount of time during the day that he still had too much free time on his hands, without sufficient access to his labs. Free time often drove him mad, as had been witnessed by those subject to his temper and restlessness at such times.
Said free time and subsequent madness drove him to seek out Remus and Sirius more often than he probably would have, had he not been bored out of his mind and lab-less too boot. Despite his better judgment, Harry found himself there more evenings than not. Sometimes they talked about the past, splitting it evenly between the strategy of the last war with Voldemort and stories of Harry's parents. Sirius had been quite annoyed when Remus had recommended that Harry talk to Severus about Voldemort's first rise rather than them, and Harry had considered the suggestion briefly before deciding he'd do so during the school year. Instead he found himself picking through the public Ministry archives as well.
Remus and Sirius also attempted to help Harry with his attempt at becoming an Animagus, which really hadn't yielded any results as of yet. Remus wasn't sure he had an Animagus form—after all, only about one percent of witches and wizards were able to become an Animagus. When Harry had asked to see the study proving this, he had promptly shut up, mumbling something about hearing it in Transfiguration years ago. Harry held little belief in Transfiguration, and, undeterred, he continued his Animagus studies more or less on his own. This came with little help from Sirius, as he was more interested in regaling Harry with stories of pranks, trying to turn him into a quintessential Gryffindor, much to Remus's amusement and Harry's dismay.
At least two afternoons a week was spent in the Flamel home in Manchester (instead of in the library), having "Constant Vigilance!" constantly yelled at him by Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody for hours on end. Moody had told Harry about Dumbledore's information regarding his true identity several days after he had found out—Harry had been knocked out cold due to an accident in the Alchemy lab for three days straight right around the time Moody had appeared in Flamel Manor to inform him of the horrible news. And then Harry had gone and knocked himself out again by foolishly deciding to duel with Moody to get rid of the anger. That was when the old ex-Auror had decided that Harry definitely needed some training up, especially using his more interesting talents.
And so Harry's summer until the last week of August was spent in a mess of research, Marauders, and dueling. A rather odd combination, but it kept him busy and at the same time allowed him to plot. He needed, above all, to be prepared.
He didn't explain to Remus and Sirius that Dumbledore knew who he was. It would create complications as the two of them still held some loyalties towards Dumbledore—though they had not been the ones to tell him, if they knew that he knew, information might be leaked more easily. It was convoluted logic, but it made sense to Harry's paranoid mind.
He wasn't only taking precautions with Remus and Sirius. He had also hired an ex-Unspeakable (though, of course, the ex-Unspeakable hadn't told him that) to further his Occlumency skills. As they were, they barely stood up against Dumbledore. He knew he had a long way to go before he would be able to keep the man out entirely without exhausting himself.
The only odd incident of the summer occurred in the beginning of August, when Harry began experiencing vision-like nightmares with a frightening frequency. They always had the same two figures—Peter Pettigrew and a grotesque snake-like baby, who he highly suspected was Voldemort himself. Unfortunately, these were the only sticking points of the dreams, as Harry could only remember a few words of what was said. The stand-outs had been words such as "Tri-Wizard," "Potter," "Azkaban," "World Cup," "Flamel," and "Malfoy." It was a combination of words that could occur in any series of sinister plots, really. Or in a combination of benevolent plots, in fact. Though Harry had to think harder to consider those.
All in all, they told him absolutely nothing. Which worried him far more than he let on. Trouble had a way of gathering and growing around the names Potter and Flamel, and he was unfortunate to carry both.
Sighing, Harry packed his trunk as the time for him to return to the prison that was Hogwarts approached. He would not be the only one of his summer acquaintances returning early; he had heard from Sirius that Remus would be teaching History now, and Moody had told him that Dumbledore had asked him to teach Defence. Dumbledore naturally believed that Moody had not remembered the incident he had Obliviated from his memory, and Moody had seen it to his advantage to return—if only as a way to get an "in" with Dumbledore.
Half-formed plans were developing in Harry's mind, most ready to be put in place at a moment's notice if need be. The next year at Hogwarts would be a dangerous one, and he knew it.
Harry still couldn't help but feel as if he were forgetting something, however.
"Welcome, friends," Lucius Malfoy declared with a smile that did not reach his eyes. Lucius smiling instead of snarling was a rare event; his welcoming manner similarly so. It wasn't his usual sneering manner, nor was it his usual sycophantic method.
There were twelve of them sitting around the table. All were cloaked and hooded. Only Lucius and the man sitting to his right—who he liked to cleverly think of as his right hand—knew all their identities. And for now, that is the way it would remain.
He knew what he was doing was very risky. But the Dark Lord had not returned and the mudbloods still perverted decent Wizarding society, destroying its customs and the minds of the next generation. He had worked behind the scenes for the past thirteen years to attempt to solve this problem, but he knew it couldn't be done on his own. Of course, many of the old pureblooded families agreed with him, but most were too uptight to dare to do anything about it.
The eleven in front of him were.
"I assume you all know why you're here?" Lucius continued smoothly, as if the sight of him smiling had not been something monumental.
"Oh, just get on with it already, Malfoy," one of them snarled. "Can't we hear your plans for world domination before the pleasantries?"
Lucius sneered. "I did not ask you for your opinion on what we discuss—if you do not wish to hear all of what I say, you may leave." He paused for a few seconds, waiting for the dissenter to get up. He did not. "Good," he commented. "I see you truly do want to be here," he mocked.
"There is a reason you are all wearing cloaks and hood, why you all arrived at separate times," Lucius explained. "Your status in society—aside from the fact that you come from the noblest of blood—does not matter here. I do not care if you are a member of the Wizengamot or a shopkeeper in Knockturn Alley. We are not here to undermine each other. We are here to work together to remove the parasite that is the mudblood from our society.
"If you do not believe that this is a noteworthy goal and have come because you think that this is some sort of high society club," he sneered, "Then I highly suggest you leave now." No one moved.
Smirking, Lucius laid out the bare minimum of his plans to those in front of him—just enough to ensure that they stayed interested, but not enough that if any of them were to betray him it would all end in disaster. He knew the chances were slim—most of the men seated at the table had been Death Eaters that had barely escaped Azkaban. The rest had not been old enough at the time, but were highly valuable and clear on their views.
He had, of course, been making connections for years now…in fact, he had attempted to form a group similar to this before. But the political climate had not been right. Now, however, was the time…It was time for those of the true blood to take back what was rightfully theirs. In the last month two mudbloods and become Department Heads, for Merlin's sake! Of course, they were of the less significant office, but what was next? Minister for Magic?
The taint had to be removed.
"M-master, I have returned…" quivered a voice, as it approached the back of high backed chair in the middle of a dusty sitting room. Whomever was sitting in the chair faced the fire and could not be seen.
"Wormtail," a high pitched, chilling voice began mockingly, "Did I ask you to take all day?"
"N-no, my Lord, b-but…" Wormtail stuttered in fear, his body shaking uncontrollably. He had escaped the Dementor's Kiss by confounding Fudge and pretending that it had worked for weeks, nearly a month. Then he had escaped from the ward in St. Mugno's reserved for those who had suffered from the Kiss, only to find himself in this situation.
"Did you expect me to milk Nagini myself?" the voice asked sibilantly. The tone lowered, increasing Wormtail's fear tenfold.
"Of c-course not, my Lord," Wormtail said weakly.
"Crucio!" the voice suddenly hissed. The chair was still not revealing its occupant, as the spell had been cast as if the one casting had no need to see. "Fool! Would you leave me to die, leech?"
Wormtail was held under the curse for several more minutes before it was removed. Quivering, he slowly climbed to his feet. "M-master, I have n-news," he said, when the voice said nothing at his servant's apparent recovery.
"Go on, leech, and perhaps Nagini will not eat you tonight," the voice responded eagerly, whether for the news or the chance of Wormtail being eaten by Nagini.
"I-I went to Crouch's, m-my Lord," Wormtail began. "I c-cast Imperio on h-him."
"Good, Wormtail. Let us hope that your pitiful magic holds," the voice sounded pleased.
"What about Crouch's son?"
"H-he was n-not there, m-my Lord," Wormtail whimpered, knowing his words would earn him punishment.
The Dark Lord began hissing suddenly, causing Wormtail to quake in fear. A large snake appeared, slithering into the room from the open doorway. It's forked tongue flicked into the open air, tasting it, before retreated. It began slowly approaching Wormtail, who was backing away from the snake.
"Do not move, Wormtail. He was not there, you say? Explain." the voice said with a threat hidden behind every word.
"N-no, m-my Lord…I-I asked Crouch a-and he said that h-his son v-vanished l-last October," Wormtail said, his stuttering getting worse the closer the snake approached.
"Dead, then," the voice dismissed summarily.
Wormtail didn't dare question his logic. The last person to question the Dark Lord had been a fool Muggle and he had died within seconds. No, he knew better than that.
"I expect you to do better in future, Worm. Especially with events coming together as they should…" the voice continued silkily, pretending to be unaware of Wormtail's quivering and fearful thoughts.
"Y-yes, master," Wormtail said, bowing.
"Now, can you not see that Nagini is waiting to be milked? For your foolishness…Crucio!"
"Let this meeting of the Order of the Phoenix commence on the sixteenth of August, 1994 at two thirty-four pm," Albus Dumbledore called out to those assembled before him before banging a purely ceremonial gavel. Those seated at the long table before him immediately quieted.
"Official note taker for the meeting is Emmeline Vance. Subjects to be discussed are as follows; Harry Potter, Rising Death Eater activity, Security for International Events," Dumbledore continued once everyone had quieted down. Two seats to his left sat Emmeline arranging a self-dictating quill to stand on its own, as well as several sheaves of parchment.
"Back to him again?" sneered Severus Snape from his position next to Emmeline Vance. "Haven't we concluded the boy is probably dead by now?"
"Now, Severus," Dumbledore chided, "You know that's not true--my sensors say that he is perfectly fine. This is just a general update for you all to keep an eye out around Manchester, as I've recently found a lead there."
Severus simply sneered in response. "Fine, can I get on with my report then?"
"Patience, Severus," Dumbledore gently scolded. "And yes, you may. If you would share your findings...?"
"Nothing terribly significant, but some of my old acquaintances—"
"Friends, you mean," snarled Mad-Eye Moody under his breath. Severus chose to ignore him.
"—seem to have gone quiet all of a sudden. No more ranting about mudbloods, excuse me, Muggleborns, invading our society and the like," he sneered. "Their sudden silence leads me to believe that they have perhaps rallied under a cause. And have not seen fit to inform me, as for all intents and purposes some of them see me as a traitor."
"To which cause?" Moody once more commented irately, this time much more loudly.
"Quiet, Alastor," Snapped Dumbledore uncharacteristically. "Severus has proved his loyalty many times over."
Moody snorted, shaking his head doubtfully, but didn't comment, despite the fact that he clearly wanted to say something along the lines of "What loyalty?" and see the reaction.
"Is that all, Severus?" Dumbledore asked.
"It is, Headmaster."
"Thank you. Arthur?"
Late August—Two Days Before Hogwarts
"I'm not quite sure what to call this discovery yet…but well, it could work wonders medically. Give witches and wizards several more years, theoretically. I've been thinking of calling it Finis Facultas. Well, you've got all the information there yourself to see why…" Harry rambled, a touch nervously.
"Harry, m'boy! This isn't preliminary research—it's a Master's work in itself!" exclaimed Professor Gladwin Raken in shock as his eyes read over the abstract of Harry's work. "I expected something great from you, but this by far surpasses my expectations!"
Harry didn't blush at Raken's praise, but he did offer a smile for the energetic old man. "So do you think it could earn me my Alchemy Mastery?"
Raken lowered the notebook that Harry had handed him, containing his preliminary report. "Harry, I think the Department of Mysteries will give it to you in a heartbeat. You've just broken one of the main laws of Alchemy—in two months!"
Harry tried not to look too smug. "I didn't actually intend to, sir."
"Of course not, Harry," Raken winked. He still marveled at the abstract in front of him. "A potion that can do this much, however…a vow of silence might be in order for both of us from the Department, and we both know I don't mean the one of Education."
"Well it's not much of a potion, sir. A few ingredients and lot of complex Runes and Arithmancy…and, of course, a drop of blood from the drinker."
"Still, still…" he muttered. "Oh! Where are my manners? Would you like a cup of tea? I'm afraid I'll be a while reading over it so you might as well keep yourself busy with tea and perhaps a book I'm sure you have in that bag of yours."
"Sure, that'd be great professor. Thanks."
He tapped a little ornament of a ship on his desk with his wand, and with a small whoosh a tea tray appeared, complete with biscuits. "It was one of the better days when the Department came up with those…we don't bug the House-Elves and they don't bug us, at least for something as minor as tea. Sugar? Milk?"
"No sugar, thanks, and just a touch of milk," Harry replied, taking his tea as it was offered. He set it on the desk, pulling out a large volume with no title. Professor Raken merely raised his eyebrow, to which Harry shrugged and said "A bit of light reading for another project I'm considering."
"Light reading, hmm?" the professor chuckled, to which Harry gave a small smile. "Well, you get on with yours, and I'll get on with mine, shall we?"
"Of course. Oh, and professor, I think you'll like the last page. It's in essence a list of all the ways the alchemical synthesis can be modified—it kind of got away from me, in that sense. I think Healers will quite like some of it—if the Department of Mysteries lets it be published, that is," Harry added as an afterthought.
"I'll take a look at it once I've read the rest. There's only so much shock an old man like me can take. At least I can prepare myself for it if I've read the rest!" Raken commented cheerfully.
"Alright then," Harry shrugged, and pried open his book.
Despite the fact that Harry had his book open on his lap and was seated in a rather comfortable chair, he was not actually reading. He was, instead, contemplating his research and hoping it would pass muster. Even though the professor had told him that he would surely gain his Masters from his preliminary work, he was still slightly uncertain. It was possible the Department of Mysteries would just lock up his research and tell him to find another project. Or worse, imprison him for dabbling in forbidden arts.
It hadn't really started as a project to break the laws of Alchemy. He had had another project in mind for his Mastery, in fact, that had nothing to do with his final product. It was what he was reading about now, but that was another story entirely. The idea for this one had stemmed from his own frustration and difficulties at becoming an Animagus.
No, he had not created a potion to turn someone instantly into an Animagus. That would make life too easy, wouldn't it? But he had come very, very close. With several more years of research and re-working the potion, it could perhaps be done. What he had created was something that could be just as beneficial as it was dangerous.
The potion, in essence, turned the drinker into what their Animagus form would be if they chose to become one. However, there were several difficulties. The first being that for several hours the drinker would have to take the time to master the instincts of the beast, otherwise there was a risk of being trapped in the form of an animal forever if there was no one adept enough to Transfigure them back. This time varied from person to person, according to his research, and could last up to two days. After that point, chances were the drinker would be trapped in the body of the animal forever. It was also a one-time only potion. No more trying to become an Animagus after. It was the one and only time the drinker could experience being an Animagus.
Most would not see the benefit in this. What was the use in a one-time only sort of potion? But it would benefit elderly patients or terminal patients immensely. When a body changes form like that, into what is essentially themselves at their most basic and instinctive levels, something well, magical, happens. Some imperfections, within certain limits, are healed. A terminal patient would maybe have a few more years. An elderly patient would be given a few more years of their life. Both would have the chance to experience true freedom before death. The transformation back to becoming a human, specifically, done with will alone and without help (such as through Transfiguration) would have the body trying to correct itself to what the patient feels his or her body should be like, not what it actually is. It wouldn't be able to cure anything major, or restore twenty years, but it would be something.
There were also the psychological ramifications of the potion. For permanently insane patients, turning them into their basic and instinctive version of themselves would be a release and a blessing—with family consent, of course. It would be a mercy, because the animal spirit would most likely be untouched by the madness, unlike the human mind.
The most dangerous part of the potion, however, was if it were to be used on a werewolf at this stage. The werewolf would not want to change back, would not even try, because it would be its animal self. The human mind is completely drowned in the case of werewolves, because they do not co-exist. It would be possible to augment the potion for a time limit, then the werewolf would never be able to change again, but unbelievably, many werewolves would be against this as it would be a loss of their freedom, to some. Harry would have to work on the potion some more, but he felt that it was the first step in a cure that still allowed them to shape change of their own free will.
There were so many ramifications of his research…he didn't even know if he'd have time to work on the following stages. It had taken him a lot of experimentation in the form of trial and error—and more of the latter than the former—to come up with his research. He wanted to continue working on it, but as long as the Ministry kept him locked up at Hogwarts he'd have a few problems in that sense.
He was broken out of his thoughts of ways to work around the Ministry's law by Professor Raken clearing his throat. "I see what you mean, Harry. That was…marvelous. And the next steps towards creating other potions—excuse me, alchemical syntheses…Merlin!"
"Thank you, sir."
"I should think we should probably call up a representative of the Department of Mysteries before this gets out anywhere. This definitely falls under their jurisdiction," he said contemplatively, taking a sip of his tea. He then grimaced and tapped it with his wand. "Stone cold," he muttered. "Fascinating research…"
"So I won't be arrested for my research then?" Harry asked innocently. Professor Raken laughed and shook his head.
"Doubt it. Though with this Ministry…you never know. I'd have a handful of Floo Powder handy, if I were you…"
Author's Note: So we're clearly veering off from canon here, much more so than I think even I originally intended…--shrug--. Anyways, just a reminder that this is AU, meaning it doesn't have to follow canon one iota—whether Harry being adopted by the Flamels would have affected that or not. So please don't send me a review saying that Malfoy was never that proactive in canon—for all we know he was. Besides, guess who has the keyboard and all typing powers? Mwhahahahaha!
Anyways, lack-of-update wise…entirely my fault and such. I have been ill, but a lot of it has to do with Writer's Block (yes, it earned capitals), lack of free time, and that for some strange reason procrastination fuels my writing…so now that school has started I feel like writing again. But conversely, since school has started I have a lot of work (AP does that) so my time to write is limited. Don't expect a lot in the way of frequent updates—I'll do my best to try and get them out, though.
By the way, for those of you who want more information on my views on Alchemy, take a look at chapter eleven and Harry's conversation with Hermione. A lot—but not all ;)—of it is explained there.
Okay, betaing… I had a beta ready to beta this chapter…back in April or a month around then. I'm afraid I have no idea if s/he is available any more. I've also received a bunch of beta offers recently. But my inbox is kind of a mess. Anyways, I hate to ask this, but if you're willing to beta and have already sent me a message, could you please message me again with why you think you'd be a good beta and such? And if you haven't messaged me, but are interested, feel free to do that too. Sorry to whoever was my old beta, but yeah…it was so long ago and I have no idea what's going on there.
Betaing job description: Go over my old chapters (no hurry there), go over my updates within a week of posting (preferably not as long as a week, but yeah…), and be prepared to wait about a month for updates or more…senior year and such (I think that's a requirement for all readers too…)
Thanks to all who offer!
P.S. (Sept 17 2008): A lot of people have commented that Peter Pettigrew was given the Dementor's Kiss in an earlier chapter. I fully admit that as an author I made a mistake, forgot that I wrote him off, and put him back in. However, assume that Fudge is an idiot and Pettigrew escaped (as explained in the chapter). Please don't be too harsh...I haven't written in six months and Pettigrew, who I thought I thought I wouldn't need back then, I need now. The explanation, while not the best, is plausible in a world where Fudge is an idiot...and in this AU, he is one. So please don't criticise too harshly. Thanks!