Updated June 10 - error fixed regarding Lavender's babies (cookies to tati1); notes added regarding The General and Minerva
A/N: Many, many thanks to DLRP, RRRII, and JW for their encouragement on this chapter. I found myself ill after I posted chapter 32 and was not feeling better in any appreciable way until late Sunday evening. It is these people you have to thank that I didn't simply post, "Twenty years later the King comes and everything is hunky-dorky. Fill in the blanks." I tried to work on this while I was ill and I really shouldn't have as it just made me severely frustrated since I was drugged up most of the time and couldn't concentrate for dragon dung. Once I was feeling better, I was able to finish the chapter in the day and a half I had originally thought I would need. The betas then got their hands on it last night and I fixed the last bits this morning.
I've downloaded my e-mail for the last week and have seriously contemplated hiding in a corner and whimpering in fear. Yikes, those things breed when you're not looking! In the interest of getting this chapter posted, I have not read any of the reviews or PMs that I've received since the last chapter. I usually like to read them first – I like to credit people with figuring things out or giving me inspiration to add things – but I just know it's going to take me all day to get through them and I didn't want to delay any more. So, yeah, if you've sent questions recently, or even inquiries about my health (which DH says he's seen and I greatly appreciate), I do promise to get to them today or tomorrow.
I don't particularly like most of this chapter – probably the residual frustration talking – but my betas assure me that it's just fine. I imagine you the readers will also come down on one side or another of this split. Some will be like me and not be totally satisfied and others will be like my betas and like it fine. All shall be in balance, I guess.
This is probably the fifth rewrite of this chapter. It's surprisingly hard to destroy a nation semi-realistically, just in case you were wondering… The arguments and discussions this chapter engendered between me and my betas… (snort) Some, or many, of you may be disappointed in the depiction of the decline of Britain in this chapter. I am sorry for that, but this story was never meant to be about the horrors that accompany war and, especially, genocide. This story was meant to be mostly about Harry's courtship, the birth of his first children, and the revelations about his heritage. The epilogue about his son assuming his destiny was always meant to be brief. Of course, brief seems to be a relative term… The epilogue is at least five times the length I'd originally envisioned.
I have a bunch of notes at the end of the story. Read or not as you please. They are answers to questions I received in reviews that I couldn't find a place for in the story. I will likely be adding to this section over the next day or two before I mark the story as complete. I do not plan on a sequel. If you are interested in doing so, or in just writing a missing scene, please let me know. I am not against adding an "omakes" chapter later or links to your efforts in my profile.
Cookies for everyone!
To everyone whose review I didn't answer personally – Thank you all! I was quite overwhelmed at times with the response to my story. I had some wine the night I hit a shocking 1,000. Just, wow.
General information about population/area:
Wikipedia put the population of the Isles at 65 million and the area as 121,673 square miles. I'm using a 1/2000 ratio and claiming 32 thousand magicals. So, you know, not completely PFA'd.
Chapter 33 – Epilogue (aka Dusk to Dawn)
Draco and Harry spent the remainder of the year at the Palace. Their days were spent caring for the babies, meeting relatives, alternately ignoring and planning for the war that was now in full swing, and determining what would be their duties to the Crown.
The Royal Ward-Master was sent to Draco and Harry's home to evaluate what needed to be done to ensure the new family's security while residing there. The man had returned and promptly closeted himself with the Royal Architect. The next morning Draco had found himself the official apprentice of both men, the recipient of quite a large salary, and politely and eagerly requested to teach his techniques to both his new master's people. Draco, dumbfounded, had simply nodded and gotten to work learning and teaching.
Harry continued to take lessons from his grandfather on all those things he would have been taught had he grown up in the Palace. He also spent a great deal of time with various family members, especially his great-grandfather with whom he had formed an almost instant rapport. Time was also set aside for refusing the numerous letters Albus Dumbledore sent begging Harry to return and with Gaius to plan the tracking nets they were going to erect. Most of his time, though, was spent possessively watching over his babies.
Gregory and Vincent spent their time with the Veela Royal Guard. While the Queen had been sympathetic towards the young men and the discharging of their vassal oaths, she refused to have any member of her family, and by default their mate, guarded by anybody less trained than the Royal Guard. Greg and Vin were ecstatic with the opportunity, if exhausted nearly every day.
Hermione threw herself completely into her new position and visited about once a month. She kept Harry up-to-date on the status of magical Britain and how many secrets her people had managed to hide. Hermione had also spoken to Gaius after the birth of the babies and arranged with him to take in the soon-to-be eleven-year-old muggle-borns found by her seers before they could receive their Hogwarts letters. It was quite the puzzle in Britain that year why there were no new muggle-born students coming to Hogwarts. Gaius and Hermione just smirked and made plans for future years.
Pansy and Neville married in August. The outcry was enormous. However, far from becoming outcast as she'd feared, Pansy found herself invited to more social engagements than ever before as the gossipers from both light and dark sides tried to ply her for information. She carried an emergency portkey with her everywhere, but attended as many events as she could. Pansy put her skills to good use and collected great amounts of information, which she faithfully passed on to Hermione for the Unspeakables, Gaius for the Malfoy family, and Draco for the Veela Queen. Neville was invited to a greater number of engagements as well, but had to decline most invitations as in September he started attending Andromeda's School of Plants in Greece. Pansy continued to remodel their manor and in December the couple announced that they were expecting their first child.
Voldemort's new General started the campaign against the muggles with a terrifying bang. On September 26 he supervised the flawless destruction of a sold-out concert in Wembley Stadium – over 80,000 people met their deaths that night. After that attack the General started widespread guerrilla attacks. Every month from October to December the General organized devastating raids in muggle Britain. Three unfortunate towns had had their fire and police stations razed, major access-ways destroyed, and hundreds of magical fires set all about town that started firestorms. Deaths from the three attacks totaled nearly 15,000 with another 45,000 displaced. The attacks were all extremely well organized and lasted no more than ten minutes start to finish and, as a result, the muggles, the Ministry, and Dumbledore's Order were unable to anticipate, mitigate, or stop any of the attacks. The only thing the wizards could do was assist in stopping the magical fires.
Wizards living within magical areas – most of Britain's magical citizens – were nervous but still complacent as none of them had been hurt. The protests of the muggle-borns were generally ignored. Unless something drastic changed, wizard analysts worldwide were predicting humongous losses for muggle Britain.
January saw Albus Dumbledore make accusations against the Veela nation about keeping Harry away from his homeland. Most of the British wizards believed the allegations and sentiments against the Veela rose dramatically. In response, the Veela Queen ordered the siege wards to be raised. It would be a year-long effort to completely protect the heart of the Veela nation, but it would be done before any damage could be accomplished by those foolish enough to attempt retribution.
In February there was a kidnapping attempt against Harry while he was visiting Spain. Every one of the attackers was killed, and none were marked, and so it was impossible to determine whether the assault had been ordered by Voldemort or Dumbledore. Draco had taken major exception and had assisted the guards in the destruction of the assailants. Harry's Veela magic obviously took the incident as proof of its mate's ability to protect home and family and initiated a second pregnancy. Draco and Harry were far from pleased with the timing, but what could they do?
In March Voldemort made another major attack, killing nearly 20,000 muggles during a ten-minute long attack on Heathrow. Air traffic was immediately grounded all across the nation. In April, the Channel Tunnel was attacked and collapsed from the center, killing an additional 1,500 as the sea flooded the tunnel. The muggles were frantic to find the "terrorists" that were wreaking such destruction. Nothing they did, though, brought forth any success. The muggle-born wizards that had attended Hogwarts were raising a fuss about fighting Voldemort, but most British wizards still did not much care. After all, while the death of so many was certainly tragic, it was like reading about a devastating earthquake on the other side of the planet: an interesting news item but of no great impact to their own daily lives.
The fidelius spell was published in The Prophet in June. Unfortunately, only about one person in two thousand had the power to cast the spell and most people didn't trust others to cast the spell for them. There were simply too many people who remembered the betrayal of the Potters and didn't feel the cost of casting the spell was outweighed by any benefit they might receive. The Malfoys didn't agree and immediately set about protecting the properties of their British vassals – nearly 2,000 estates. With nearly 30,000 vassals worldwide, the Malfoy family had access to 16 people able to cast the spell – they were all set to work.
August saw the birth of another set of Veela boys to Harry and Draco that the couple named Evander and Timeus. They were exactly one week older than Pansy's and Neville's first child, Franklin. Lavender and Liam left Britain for a home in France and become godparents to all three babies.
Hermione visited her parents in September, made her peace with them, and convinced them to move to Australia. Also in September, Luna bore her first and only child, a girl she named Regina. The father was a fellow Ravenclaw graduate that Luna had allowed to impregnate her at the Ravenclaw's New Year's party – he had been too drunk to remember what he'd done and Luna never told him.
The months they weren't attacking major targets, the Death Eaters attacked more random towns. Another dozen towns were destroyed by December – another 60,000 died with another 200,000 being displaced. Voldemort's success spurred recruitment to his cause and nearly one hundred new Death Eaters were initiated by December. With no progress on finding the perpetrators, the muggle citizenry started to emigrate. The muggle-born wizards forced their families to leave and left themselves. But the wizard-raised continued to be complacent.
Hermione pulled more of her people from active Ministry service and her secrets reached a little over 5,600 by the New Year.
The Malfoys finished protecting their vassals by the end of January and offered their services to Liam and Neville. Both men took them up on it and soon the Cadbury's and Longbottom's homes were also secreted away. Neville subsequently ordered his family to move their finances out of Britain. None of them were happy, but he laced his command with the magics of the family Head and they were forced to obey. He told them to be grateful that he'd given them four years to comply with his will. Liam wasn't head of the Cadbury family, but he, too, was moving his investments abroad and would be finished by the end of the year.
January also saw the siege wards of the Veela nation finally fully raised and the majority of the Veela population moved behind them. Several other sentient species had followed the Veela Queen's urgings and had also raised, or started to raise, their own wards. So far, Voldemort's new General had left the other races alone. It was a sound strategic decision, too, as the non-wizard races felt that the wizards should take care of their own problem and refused to get involved unless directly threatened.
To the annoyance of Harry and Draco, the completion of the siege wards initiated Harry's third pregnancy and July saw the birth of Constantine and Galenus to Harry and Draco. Draco's favorite cousin, Flavian, and his wife Greta became the godparents. Lavender's first child, Jasmine, had been born in February and the two were frequent visitors to Harry's and Draco's home.
In January the General instigated a new policy amongst the Death Eaters: every marked minion was now required to spend two hours every day wreaking general destruction with the attacks – after reconnaissance – to be in no more than two minute increments. The Death Eaters attacked randomly – both in time and place – with favored targets being the planes and boats attempting to take muggle citizens out of the country. And the attacks to destroy random towns also continued, only now they happened every other week.
In June, Hogwarts had had the idea to send out invitations to every muggle-born student in their book, regardless of age, in an effort to protect the magical children. They were shocked, despite the lack of muggle-born students the last two years, when not a single muggle-born student could be contacted. Gaius and Hermione just smirked when they heard the news.
December saw several diverse celebrations. The Unspeakables celebrated the hiding of Buckingham Palace and its surrounds – along with its inhabitants – mere minutes before the Death Eaters came to attack. Their secrets now reached 6,500. Gregory and Vincent celebrated the successful completion of their training and the acquisition of their ICW bodyguard licenses. Hermione announced her intimate relationship with the Weasley twins – to which nearly everyone laughed hysterically while Hermione rolled her eyes and Fred and George smirked their superiority.
And the Death Eaters celebrated the death of four million muggles.
Harry published his first volume of essays on the comparative magics of different countries in January and it was extremely well received. Most of the accolades were based neither on his "Boy Who Lived" title nor his station as Prince and Harry was pleased. Unfortunately, so were his magics. Draco and Harry merely sighed and spent an evening snuggling when they realized in February that Harry was pregnant once again.
As per their expectations, Harry was carrying a human boy and a half-Veela girl. No one knew what that meant for delivery, a mixed birth having never happened before. Harry devoutly wished that it didn't mean he'd have to lay twice. He got his wish, and both his children were born in August. Aurelia appeared fine even being born a month late. There was concern over Victor, as he was two months premature. The little King seemed fine, though, and there was much rejoicing. Hermione and her Weasley lovers became the godparents.
In Britain, Alastor Moody had been engaged in a battle against a contingent of Death Eaters taking their time on the destruction of a small Scottish town. He'd suddenly lost focus and stumbled, the fall to his knees being the only thing that saved his life. The Order members with him grabbed their fallen comrade and left the scene, there simply being too many Death Eaters to win this round. Try as they might, though, no one could wake Alastor from his fugue. He woke on his own less than an hour later, however, with a big grin on his face. He had witnessed the birth of his King! The jubilation he felt more than offset the news that he'd lost his left ear from the spell that had clipped him as he fell.
Less than forty miles away from Alastor, Luna smiled and showed her two-year-old daughter how to hold a wand.
The Death Eaters – now nearing 150 – continued their generalized rampage. Twenty here, a hundred there, forty in another place, it all added up so quickly. And the muggles remained trapped as the transports leaving the country continued to be favored targets – when there were even pilots willing to risk their lives on such uncertain success. The Ministry and the Order could not respond to the hundreds of two-minute attacks each day and so continued to be of little effect in stopping the Death Eaters. More than one wizard believed the aurors shouldn't bother, either, since it was "only" muggles.
Magical Ministries of other countries offered assistance, but were rebuffed. Still, some sent investigators clandestinely – only to discover what the British Ministry already knew: there was nothing to find that would help and the attacks were too lightening quick to counter. Even protecting the favored targets of boats and planes was too large of a task to undertake in any effective way.
Hermione's secrets reached 7,300 by year's end and the muggle deaths were just shy of seven million.
The Ides of March saw the first attack within British cities. The early morning destruction of exactly five hundred different high-rise apartment buildings throughout the Isles cost the lives of several hundred thousand more muggles. Everywhere in the Isles there was destruction. There simply weren't enough resources, much less organization, to clean up the fallen buildings as well as retrieve and deal with the bodies. Other muggle governments had sent military support to help protect the citizens – at least until that effort, too, was shown to be fruitless. Not even the military units could do anything against an enemy that kept itself invisible until launching its attack then promptly disappeared to launch an attack elsewhere. All private pilots now refused to risk their lives on an attempt to land in Britain and the muggle governments followed suit. Supply drops were made every day, but no new personnel were sent to the afflicted country to die pointlessly.
Smaller towns continued to be attacked and after one of the attacks in April Harry received a box from Hermione. The accompanying letter revealed that the Dursleys had been killed when visiting Marge and the box held the heirlooms from Rebecca Evans that had been in the Dursley home. Harry appreciated the thought but was all for burning the box and its contents – he had way too bad many memories of having been required to obsessively dust the things to want to keep them, heirlooms or not. Draco stepped in, however, and claimed the children might be interested in their heritage. Harry reluctantly promised not to hunt down the box and destroy it – as long as he never saw it again. To calm Harry Draco called Pansy to the estate and Valerie – Pansy's and Neville's new baby that had been born in March – successfully diverted Harry's attention while Draco hid the box.
By December, Hermione's secrets reach 8,000. Death Eater recruitment topped 200 and muggle deaths reached nearly eleven million. Foreign wizards were making preparations to protect their homelands, but the lackadaisical British wizards, predictably, continued to ignore the destruction. After all, it wasn't them getting injured, now was it?
Neville graduated from Andromeda's the top of his class and was grateful. Antoinette's, his original choice, had folded due to financial instability caused by embezzlement and mismanagement a mere three months before. To have gotten so close to his mastery only to be thwarted at the last moment would have been devastating. He'd been expecting it – his letter requesting answers had asked why Antoinette's had been forbidden in the marriage contract and he'd received his answer – but the remaining Longbottom family had been shocked as they discovered, finally, why the requirement had been placed in the betrothal contract. Neville merely rolled his eyes at his family. And, as per the contract, he went to work for the Malfoy family as a manager trainee in one of their businesses to learn how to effectively manage his own business, should he eventually choose to start one.
A mere month after Neville's graduation, both Harry and Neville moved the last of their families' moneys and investments out of Britain.
In September, the wizard authorities managed to capture a Death Eater. Nothing was gleaned from the interrogation, however, as the first question under veritaserum had killed the prisoner. Examination revealed an unbreakable vow – probably for silence – had exacted its price.
December saw a macabre celebration by the Death Eaters. Instead of attacking small towns as they were wont to do, they attacked Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The Death Eaters set fire upon fire upon fire upon fire and in twenty minutes had successfully created a vicious firestorm that not even the wizard authorities could stop. It took two days for most of the city and its occupants – unable to leave due to the destruction of the surrounding roads – to become ash and rubble.
Hermione's secrets reached 9,000 and muggle deaths nearly sixteen million.
Attacks against muggles continued, but intelligence reported it was done simply as entertainment and to continue to discourage foreign evacuation assistance. Much of Voldemort's efforts were now centered on making all muggle-free zones unplottable as well as repellent to all without a Dark Mark.
Draco earned his Mastery in wards in January. It was a significant event and everyone waited for the announcement of a new pregnancy for Harry, especially since it had been nearly two and half years since the birth of his last children. All were surprised when Harry didn't, in fact, get pregnant. Harry and Draco were relieved; they loved all their children, but were glad Fate seemed done with them being born so close together.
The last of the Longbottoms removed their personal finances from Britain in August and Neville promptly ordered his family to stay within secreted properties or shop in mainland Europe from now on. They were unhappy, but this time they asked why. Only some of them believed him when he told them that Voldemort was going to start attacked magical citizens soon.
New Year's Eve saw the last secret – Hogwarts – hidden by the Unspeakables. There was relief and triumph that night, even as there was sadness as the Isles' loss of population – through death and successful emigration – reached nearly a third.
Voldemort quickly discovered the loss of Hogwarts. He then discovered that several other sites of historical, if not truly practical, importance were also missing. Everyone, on both sides of the conflict, had thought Buckingham Palace to be a unique occurrence and hadn't bothered checking for anything else unusual.
Voldemort was enraged at the loss of his ultimate goal and sought vengeance. Diagon Alley was destroyed, utterly, the first of February. The true target had been Gringotts – which had been successfully reduced to white rubble – and so the rest of The Great Square was left alone. The Goblins didn't care – they'd all quickly evacuated, none had been killed, and the entrances to their home caves were now sealed. They'd let the wizards finish their fight before returning.
The Death Eaters weren't affected by the closing of the bank as they'd all been advised to keep their funds elsewhere. The rest of magical Britain, however, finally realized just what their complacency had brought them. Most magical families found themselves struggling to simply eat as the economy instantly collapsed. Stubbornness reared its head, though, and nearly everybody refused to leave the country, even after months of struggle.
In March, Voldemort turned his wrath to the muggles and started, all by himself, a firestorm that destroyed a quarter of Belfast. In April and May, Voldemort attacked refugee camps. In June and July he focused on "blood traitors." In August and September he was quiet and retreated to watch the terror he had sown.
Into this chaos, on Halloween, Voldemort released the vampires, werewolves, and dementors to do as they would.
With no more secrets to hide, the majority of the Unspeakable had started tracking behind the Death Eaters and, while keeping the unplottable aspects of the ward sets, began stripping the repellent wards being erected that forbade access to any but Death Eaters. They were a year behind, but they'd catch up. The remaining "real" and "fake" Unspeakables continued to work for the Ministry, their official task to eliminate the monsters now indiscriminately preying upon the terrified and desperate citizenry.
Muggle deaths passed nineteen million by December. This year, however, there were magical casualties as well – nearly 1,000 "blood traitors" were dead before the New Year.
Draco earned his Mastery in construction in March. Days later Harry announced his fifth pregnancy. Aunt Madeline threw a huge "graduation" party for Draco and bragged to every person who would listen that her new home was built by Draco. With such an obvious showcase of his skills, Draco found himself inundated with commissions. Most requests were for personal dwellings, but there were a few more interesting ones. The merchants of the magical section of Calais asked for a central warehouse with integrated wards that could also act as an evacuation point. The Fontainebleau and Lefèvre families, providers of herbal and animal potions ingredients respectively, asked for secure warded manors. The Fierro family in Spain, the largest and most productive family of potions masters in the world, simply came right out and asked for a fortress to protect against Voldemort.
Lavender's and Liam's second child, Liam Junior, was born in May. Pansy's and Neville's third child, Lionel, was born in September. Harry's second and third girls, Eliana and Callista, were born the first of October. Draco's cousin Renatus and his wife Xenia became the godparents. All the children were healthy and Harry's and Draco's home was constantly awash in the sounds of fifteen children of varying ages.
Voldemort continued his rampage in both worlds and the death toll for wizards reached 2,000 while the muggle's tally reached over twenty-two million. The Death Eaters continued to recruit and their numbers reached 400. Wizard emigration was minor; most families choosing to consolidate and ward their properties. The Unspeakables estimated that the unplottable land now totaled over 13,000 square miles.
The raids against magical families suddenly started to be foiled and no one knew why. The Ministry hadn't been responsible. Neither had the Order. Nor had the Unspeakables.
Luna merely smiled as she urged family after family to leave their homes mere hours or even minutes before Death Eater attacks. Coincidentally, or maybe not, she met up with Hermione one evening and told of her activities and requested that Hermione start releasing the food supplies that had been laid in by the Unspeakables. Hermione agreed, on the condition that Luna specify where they were to be delivered. Luna smiled and agreed.
The Lovegood family quickly gained a reputation amongst the people of being saviors; rescue, food, and healing were all guaranteed should they show up on your doorstep. News, too, was provided in the form of stories told by Xenophilius. The Prophet and the wireless office had been destroyed along with Diagon Alley and news beyond your circle of friends and family was hard to come by.
The Order and Ministry continued to fight to the best of their abilities, but it was the Lovegoods who became idolized by the populace. The Order was thrilled people were being helped, but wanted the Lovegoods to join them and help foil even more attacks. The Ministry was desperate to find the Lovegoods so as to learn their secret. The Death Eaters had been commanded to hunt down and eliminate the rebellious family. Not one of those parties so much as caught sight of them, much to everyone's frustration.
The Unspeakables, except for the occasional contact with Luna Lovegood, ignored the situation. They were exceedingly busy fighting monsters and re-tuning all the wards being erected by the Death Eaters. A total of nearly 22,000 square miles had now disappeared from maps.
Some werewolves, vampires, and even Death Eaters, were killed when they attacked larger contingents of muggles. The dementors, however, were having quite the field…year…and had been directed to target the military and police so as to undermine what social order that was still being kept. Muggle deaths reached over twenty-four million and the death toll doubled again for wizards – now reaching 4,000.
Draco finally finished the Fierro Fortress in July and he called in the payments owed for it and the manors he'd built for the Fontainebleau and Lefèvre families. Overnight, all potions and potions ingredients were no longer sold to Britain. The boycott would be in effect for fifteen years, with an option by Draco to cancel the boycott earlier should he choose.
Voldemort was not happy and sent minions to "talk" some sense into the three families only to never see those minions again. Attack teams were sent only to meet the same mysterious fate. Furious, Voldemort went on another personal rampage. Another two thousand "blood traitors" joined the muggle ghosts, bringing wizard deaths to 6,000.
Luna smiled as she and her family rescued more people and directed them to the nine new settlements she had asked Hermione to have created. Luna, Xenophilius, and Regina, now nine, held the exponentiated secrets to these places.
Unplottable land reached 31,000 square miles – all of it successfully re-tuned by the Unspeakables. They weren't as successful against the werewolves and vampires, however. With free reign, there were more monsters being made than could be killed each month. Muggle deaths topped twenty-seven million.
Lavender's second girl, Rosemary, was born in April. That same month Hermione nearly lost her life doing a food run to one of the settlements.
Alastor Moody was doing reconnaissance when he saw a woman fleeing from Death Eaters. He saw her hit with a cutting spell, fall, and barely manage to hide behind a tree. Because of his vantage point, he saw her shift into a squirrel then try to climb the tree. But she was too injured and, in fact, looked barely conscious. He cursed as he shifted into his tiger form and sprinted across the open space, only the shock of seeing a Bengal tiger in the middle of Britain keeping the Death Eaters from firing spells at him. He stopped barely long enough to engulf the small squirrel in his mouth before racing off again, his missing leg only a minor hindrance after so much practice in this form.
He ran for five minutes, pushing his old cat form to its limits, before stopping in a clearing and setting the squirrel down and shifting back to human. He was shocked when the squirrel also shifted; he'd been sure she'd been unconscious as she'd made no move while in his mouth. He was shocked again at her identity but healed her as best he could. When she was better she dug out a pouch of potions and finished the job. In repayment, Hermione Granger left her savior an expanded trunk that held enough food to feed 200 people for an entire month as well as a variety of potions. He was too shocked at the gift, desperately needed by the Order, to speak before she had kissed him on the cheek, said they'd meet again, and left. Alastor felt a spark of Fate run through him and he wondered at her role when the King came.
Luna and her family continued to fill the settlements, now known collectively as The Pleiades. The Weasley twins worked with these settlements to train the willing (almost everyone) how to use various Weasley inventions to best advantage against Death Eaters. The attack teams from these settlements quickly became some of the most successful in repelling Death Eater attacks as well as fighting off the werewolves, vampires, and dementors.
But there weren't many attack teams and they couldn't spare the resources to protect muggles. Only another thousand wizards joined the dead by December, bringing their total to 7,000, but the muggle deaths reached over thirty million. The Unspeakables continued their self-appointed task and a total of 41,000 square miles of the Isles was now gone from maps.
Pansy's third son, Gerard, was born in March. Neville chose that time to start his own herbology business. He could have quit his job with the Malfoys two years prior but stayed on as he felt he still had more to learn after his required five years were up. He felt he was now prepared to competently manage his own business. Immediately he started growing his favorite plants – the rare, exotic, and extremely difficult to successfully grow. By Christmas he'd already made a name for himself.
Robert, to his surprise, found himself being wooed by an older Veela widow and, to his even greater surprise, mated with her in September. To everyone's surprise, Charlotte found herself pregnant in October. A quick check confirmed that the child was not a human pregnancy but a Veela pregnancy, and therefore not Robert's biological child but the child of Charlotte's first mate. Nobody cared, especially not Robert. The couple did agree that it was going to be very odd to have a child the same age as their great-grandchildren, however.
Luna's daughter, Regina, managed to cast her first healing spell two days before her eleventh birthday. She'd been casting simple spells for years, mostly cleaning and cooking, but this was her first intermediate-power spell. Luna smiled as Regina spent the next month proudly healing every tiny cut she could find on the people they rescued. The people adored the bright and cheerful little girl.
The existence of the refugee settlements in Britain had been discovered but neither Dumbledore nor Voldemort could find them. The WATs (Weasley Attack Teams) claimed a major victory in July when they eliminated nearly one hundred Death Eaters in a single two-minute guerilla assault on a training camp betrayed by one of the few spies. There were still nearly 500 Death Eaters, but losing a sixth of his fighting/warding force enraged Voldemort, who immediately took out his frustrations on hapless muggles.
But things were still bad for the magical population, whose losses now totaled 8,000. The muggle's population losses topped thirty-three million.
Voldemort took over the Ministry building in May. It hadn't been too difficult; by that time there wasn't much of a Ministry left due to the economic collapse. The madman had declared himself Emperor of the Isles and demanded that every able-bodied citizen report in to be Marked and join his army in the destruction of the muggles.
Very few complied, choosing instead to hide, leave, or join the resistance. Given the prior complacency of the population, this response engendered shock world-wide. It seemed the British wizards had finally found their backbone.
Voldemort had ordered the capture of every non-complying citizen but wasn't having as much success as he wanted. Voldemort became even more frustrated and went on several personal rampages across the country. He also sent teams on forays into surrounding countries, but every team again disappeared. Unable to determine the cause of failure – causing the loss of over fifty minions – Voldemort focused on hiding his newly cleansed territory and killing muggles.
Teams of Death Eaters started placing buoys four miles out from land in a rough oval. The buoys were spelled to be muggle repellent for a half-mile radius and were placed every quarter-mile around the Isles. A total of twelve thousand buoys – all evidently manufactured before the fall of the Ministry – were placed by year's end. The muggles now had no means of escape and their deaths continued to rise – over thirty-six million were dead by the time the line of buoys was finished.
The wizard death toll rose to 9,000 and the disappearing land reached 59,000 square miles.
Another victory against Voldemort was won in January. A mysterious informant had passed information to the Order that several inner-circle members would be at a certain location at a certain time. There was debate as to whether the information was a trap but plans were made regardless and six inner-circle members were successfully eliminated by the Order.
Lucius Malfoy was among them.
Martin Goyle, gravely injured, managed to apparate away both himself and the body of his charge. He spent the next month at the Malfoy estates recovering from his injuries and grieving the loss of his friend and co-guard Clement Crabbe. Of Lucius he said nothing.
It was an ambivalent Malfoy family that gathered for Lucius' funeral. Draco returned home to Harry, bringing with him a severely depressed Martin Goyle. Harry was surprised and a little worried. He had liked Martin, years ago, but wasn't convinced he was the same man now. An unbreakable vow later and Harry was comfortable having Martin around his children.
It was Victor, the future King, who brought Martin out of his depression. Victor had, somehow, conned Martin into telling him anything and everything he knew about Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Harry was not pleased his ten-year-old son was learning such things but did not put a stop to it; Victor would need that information. Martin, once he'd been told the prophecy, threw himself completely into educating the future King, finding a new purpose in his life.
The Lovegoods continued to rescue and hide the citizens, but losses among wizards still reached 10,000. The Unspeakables continued to release the food supplies, but were now helped by the Malfoy vassals. It was through the efforts of both sets of people that no wizard in Britain was in danger of starving. The Unspeakables also continued to re-tune the wards the Death Eaters set, the total unplottable land reaching nearly 70,000 square miles by the new year.
But no one could spare the resources to help the muggles and they continued to die in droves. Their food supply was unaffected, but social collapse still caused starvation of a great number of unfortunate people. Unsanitary conditions were rampant and death from disease was high. Riots killed even more. The monsters of the night were rabid and uncontrolled and attacked at their fancy with minimal interference. December saw the muggle deaths top forty million, nearly two-thirds of the original population.
Lavender had her fourth and last child, Devlin, in August. A month later Pansy announced her fifth pregnancy. A month after that everyone laughed at a smug-looking Robert and Charlotte as the older couple announced they were also expecting.
In April, a major victory was won against Voldemort, perpetrated by, of all people, Severus Snape. It had cost him his life, but he had finally earned enough rank in the Death Eaters to be invited to the meetings held by Voldemort's mysterious General. A wordless beheading curse later, he activated his emergency portkey back to Order headquarters. He wasn't quite fast enough to escape the retaliatory spells of those also in the room and had had only enough time to gasp out his accomplishment before dying.
It was Alastor Moody who arranged for the spy's funerary rites. It was Alastor who gave the eulogy, expounding on Severus' many faults as well as his gifts and sacrifices. It was a rather bald and shocking speech, but everyone agreed that Severus would rather have the truth told about him than covering up what he was in pretty euphemisms. It was also Alastor who lit the sacred fire beneath Severus' body, shocking everyone in attendance. The antagonism between the two men was legendary and the sacred fire could only be summoned with feelings of true sorrow for the death of the ones for whom the rites were being held. Alastor simply shrugged and refused to comment.
Voldemort was obviously at a loss without his General and organized attacks abruptly stopped. That isn't to say that there wasn't still danger from enterprising Death Eaters – over 600 strong – as well as the rapidly multiplying monsters of the night. The warding of the Isles still continued apace and by December 80,000 square miles had been warded.
Wizard deaths reached 10,500 and muggle deaths were estimated at forty-three million.
Charlotte bore her child, Adele, in March. Gallard, all of three years old, was delighted with his little sister. Pansy had her last child, Orson, in May. Harry announced his last pregnancy in June – thought to have been initiated by general contentedness – and on Christmas birthed Phoebe and Roxana. Giselle, Harry's favorite cousin, and her mate Lysander became the godparents.
After the Blessing a month later, Draco's arm sported six sets of red twin bands. A week following the Blessing he and the family sat for a portrait that would grace the Halls of Accomplishment in the same gallery as other mates with a full dozen offspring. Draco wasn't the only one with a twinning mate, nor the only one with a conception pregnancy or wartime births. He was, however, the only one with the combination of all three. Draco's tattoo afforded him a great deal of respect among the Veela – above and beyond the fact that he'd won a Delamater mate. Neville, too, was in the portrait, holding the babies and was sporting an armband that had an engraving that copied Draco's tattoo. Neville wore the armband constantly – and not just because of the protections cast upon it – and was given much respect by the Veela nation for having been the midwife for all of Harry's chicks. Draco had continued his architectural career and was hailed as the finest architect for the last three centuries. Draco had been responsible for building many of the homes and buildings in the new town that Queen Émilie had ordered constructed to house the Veela population she had encouraged to leave Britain. He was also responsible for quite a number of homes for the European wizard aristocracy.
When finally questioned about her childless state, Hermione had merely shrugged and said she, like all Unspeakables, had no interest. The pursuit of knowledge always came first and the last Unspeakable to have a child had been over 200 years ago. It didn't matter, she said, as her friends had kindly provided any number of kids to spoil.
New Year's Eve brought several pieces of good news. The Weasley Attack Teams had found three large vampire lairs and eliminated a quarter of the estimated vampires with minimal losses. Infighting amongst the Death Eaters had cost them sixty-one people without any of the resistance having lifted a finger, leaving about 650. And dominance fights among the rabid werewolves cost that population over half of their members, also without anyone having to lift a finger.
Wizard deaths in the Isles reached 11,000 but Voldemort still found himself stymied when he tried to wreak havoc outside the country. His minions would leave and never come back and he never heard why. He angrily contented himself with muggle hunting and forty-seven million were dead by the end of the year. He didn't allow the warding of his "Empire" to be affected by any of his recent setbacks, however, and the unplottable land reached over 92,000 square miles.
Ginny and Ron Weasley went missing in February after a fight in a rural location. Ginny was found by the Unspeakables in April, quite by accident, in a coma in an isolated farmstead being tended to by a muggle shepherd. The shepherd had been given food in payment – the man having refused to evacuate – and Ginny was taken to one of The Pleiades and healed as much as possible. The blow to her head that had landed her in the coma had cost her her sight, but she would otherwise recover. Ron was never found.
In June Voldemort tried to send another party outside the Isles, to Paris, to start expansion of his empire. But again his people went missing. He tried to send just one minion, to collect news, but that minion also went missing. He finally had the idea to send an unmarked and imperioused prisoner for news. But the unfortunate captive came back empty-handed and was promptly tortured to death.
Unwilling to risk himself, he concentrated on subjugating the remaining population of the Isles. But he had problems there, too, he realized. The number of vampires and werewolves now outnumbered the Death Eaters five to one. He was worried about a rebellion but the half-breeds seemed content to hunt muggles and fight amongst themselves. The Death Eaters, in between recreational hunts for muggles and blood traitors, were still working on the wards and had managed to ward 105,000 square miles of his territory by year's end.
Wizard deaths reached 11,500, many of the raids against them still stymied by the Lovegoods – whose reputation continued to grow. It became rumored that it was the Unspeakables that had been providing food the past many years and that group, too, became revered by the people. Hermione was pleased at the results of her rumors as it would help ease any tension people felt about what her people had been doing all this time.
The muggles, still without help or recourse, managed as best they could. They clustered about food producing areas, despite the fact that this made them easier mass targets. Their deaths topped fifty-one million by December.
Charlie Weasley had the brilliant idea of training the dragons to attack vampires. The dragons hadn't been useful as yet in protecting wizards – they'd been disallowed in the war when the Ministry was still in place and after its fall had been just as ineffective as anyone, or thing, else against the guerrilla attacks. Hunting vampires, though, proved highly successful. The dragons could smell the vampire lairs from a hundred miles away and Charlie and his friends spent several jubilantly slaughter-filled months flying dragons around the country and having the great beasts sniff out caves/cellars/hideouts and spew their hot fire. No one in the resistance cared if muggles saw the dragons, either, as the secrecy statutes had long since been shot to pieces as far as the British population was concerned. Britain was mostly vampire free by November.
The WATs exulted and immediately left the vampires to the dragons, turning their efforts instead to the werewolves. That population soon found themselves in dire straights as well. Siriusly Silver Starbursts – a grenade like object that exploded into silver vapor – had been perfected by Fred and George just after the New Year. The spells to ensure the toxic silver vapor tracked just to the werewolves, while avoiding all other living creatures, had been the hardest aspect of their new weapon. Their research and hard work paid off handsomely, however, and the number of werewolves was halved by December.
Voldemort and the Death Eaters grew nervous as their allies were destroyed around them. With nothing else to do, though, they continued their prior activities. And at nearly 800 fighters, the Death Eaters still maintained the arrogance of assured victors. By December the unplottable land reached almost 119,000 square miles, dead "blood traitors" reached 12,000, and dead muggles topped fifty-five million. Some of the Death Eaters did try to leave to other countries – despite prior evidence that such an action didn't seem to be successful – and were never heard from again.
February saw the last of the Isles warded unplottable. Muggles around the world mourned the loss of an entire nation and wondered what had caused the sea to reclaim the land. Wizards had several theories on what had happened but it was only the top echelons of the governments that had received confirmatory reports about unplottable wards. None of those governments wanted to give their people ideas, however, and the information was not disseminated.
When the last ward was re-tuned, Luna smiled and started making a dress for her daughter. Hermione's seers told her several things once the wards were finished being re-tuned and she made the decision not to pass along the information to her friends – they'd be stressed enough without her warning. Instead, she focused her Unspeakables on helping the populace however they could and waited.
The WATs and the Order joined forces in March and spent several months ignoring Death Eaters and hunting the werewolves to extinction. Voldemort made several personal appearances in April – killing hundreds of wizards in just a few weeks – and crushed the hope that was starting to rise in the populace. Dumbledore made just as many appearances to try to keep that hope alive.
May saw the death of the last British vampire and hope rise.
June saw the death of an entire WAT in a Death Eater raid and hope dropped.
July saw the death of the last British werewolf and hope rose again.
August saw the death of Albus Dumbledore and hope plummeted.
--The Last Hope--
He was flying, zooming, towards an unknown destination. He flew over forests and water and then areas of destruction. He realized this must be Britain, or what remained of it. He continued flying slowly over the devastated landscape and he thought he might be able to retrace his steps if needed, especially since particular landmarks seemed to jump out at him. Suddenly, he dived towards the ground. He felt no fear as he saw the rapidly approaching roof of a large house and was unsurprised when he slipped through the roof with no problems. He floated through the house and eventually arrived in a large room, a kitchen by the looks of it. He stopped. Curious, he looked around. People were whispering and the looks upon their faces indicated something very bad had happened. He listened.
"Do you think he'll be all right?"
"We can't lose him."
"If he dies, we'll have no hope."
"He can't die! He just can't!"
He wandered and listened and wondered what he was doing here. A door opened and he turned with everyone else to see an older woman enter. She looked grave and there were sobs.
"He won't last the night," she said softly. "I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do."
"Laura, are you sure?" asked another older woman imploringly.
Laura nodded as tears ran down her face. "I am. You-Know-Who's spell was too strong and has done too much damage."
Weeping broke out all over the room at the pronouncement. He wondered whom it was that everyone was so distressed over.
"He's asked…he's asked that everyone come to see him for a few minutes privately," Laura said hesitantly. "Alastor is to go last."
He wandered about for quite some time as people left in tears then came back in even worse shape. He recognized some of these people, he thought, from a few old pictures and the descriptions of his fathers and Martin and the intelligence reports he read. He watched as Alastor "Mad Eye" Moody finally made his way to the door to take a turn saying goodbye.
Unlike the last hour where he had been unable to leave the room, he now felt compelled to follow Moody. He followed the man as he made his way up a set of stairs and then up yet another set of stairs. The place was gloomy and he decided it was likely the Grimmauld Place house that had once been described to him. He followed Moody into a well-lit room. There on the bed was Albus Dumbledore, unmistakable with his long beard, looking very much on his death bed.
Albus held out a hand weakly and Moody took it and sat on the bed. "Albus," Moody said softly
"Alastor, my old friend," Albus said sadly.
"We've had some good times, haven't we?" Moody asked as he squeezed Albus' hand.
"Yes," Albus said with small smile. "Not too many recently, though. I've become a bitter old man, haven't I, Alastor?"
"Aye, Albus, that you have," Alastor said with small nod. "It's not been entirely unwarranted, however."
"And yet you stayed beside me," Albus said. "I can never thank you enough."
"You don't have to thank me, Albus," Alastor said. "What kind of friend would I be if I abandoned you when you needed me the most?"
"Nevertheless, I thank you," Albus said sincerely.
"You're welcome," Alastor said with another small nod.
Albus was quiet a moment then said, "I tried. I tried so hard. I did everything I could."
"I know," Alastor said. "Nobody thinks you didn't."
"You don't understand," Albus said. "You don't understand."
"Then tell me," Alastor said. "Make me understand."
"There was a prophecy," Albus said as a tear leaked out one eye. "I tried to break it. I tried everything."
"What did it say?" Alastor asked after a moment.
He listened. He listened as the prophecy was recited word perfect. He'd known about the prophecy all his life and had it memorized by the time he was five. His fathers hadn't been pleased at his destined role, but had nevertheless done all they could to prepare him for it. He'd had lessons in magic since he'd first asked for them, in all innocence, when he was three. He'd started lessons in fighting – both magical and physical – a year after that. He'd had lessons in politics, diplomacy, and leadership since he was six. He'd been taught about law and justice and social structure since he was eight. He'd been taught how to build houses and how to fight werewolves, how to put out fires and how to banish dementors. He'd been taught how to heal and how to kill. He'd been taught how to be the best King he could be when the time came.
"That's a very interesting prophecy, Albus," Alastor said. "Very interesting, indeed. Now I understand why you did some things you did, especially in regards to the Potter lad."
"Harry will never forgive me," Albus said, more tears leaking out the corner of his eyes.
"No, I doubt he ever will," Alastor said.
"He doesn't understand," Albus said as forcefully as he could. "I hoped. For so long I hoped that I could get him to vanquish Voldemort forever. I hoped that I could keep the Kingdom from falling to ruin. I hoped that I could break the prophecy. I hoped for that so badly. And now my only hope is that it's true in its entirety."
"I'm sure it is Albus," Alastor said comfortingly. "Take that hope with you."
"But when?" Albus asked sadly. "When? What shall be left? The seventh son…has he even been born?"
"It's been nearly twenty years, Albus," Alastor said.
"I know. He's probably born but he's still a boy," Albus said, closing his eyes. "How much longer must the people wait?"
"Not much longer, I do not think," Alastor said after a pause. "You are often thought of as the last hope, Albus, and by dawn you shall be lost. Perhaps the King will come very soon indeed."
Albus opened his eyes and got a look of hope. "Perhaps you are right." He deflated then and said, "But he would still be a boy. No one will follow a boy."
Alastor snorted. "Don't be ridiculous, Albus. I know you don't like to think about it, but we have fighters as young as twelve and team leaders as young as fourteen. As long as the King is over that age, there will be no problem."
Albus smiled softly. "Perhaps you are right."
"Of course I'm right," Alastor said.
Albus laughed weakly then fell into a coughing fit. It was several minutes later when he said desperately, "You must find him when he comes. Somehow, you must find him."
Alastor said nothing.
"Promise me!" Albus pleaded weakly. "Promise me you will find him and help him and the counselors. They won't understand what's needed, coming from outside. You must help them. Please, Alastor, as my dying wish, find him. Find the King."
"I will not need to, I don't think," Alastor said softly. "I think he will find me."
"He will not know where to find you," Albus said, rising panic draining his remaining energy. "You must look. Promise me!"
"He will find me, Albus, I am sure of it." Alastor said softly. "I am the Tiger."
Albus gasped and immediately fell into another coughing fit. "Alastor?" he asked when he recovered, barely able to speak.
"I am the Tiger. I hold the crown," Alastor said softly. "The King will find me, Albus, I am sure of it. And he will come soon, I think. He turned sixteen just two weeks ago."
"How do you know this?" Albus asked, weak with death and wonder.
"I saw him born," Alastor said with a shrug. "It's why I lost my ear. You remember that weird fugue I went into that one time, I'm sure."
"The others? Do you know the others?" Albus asked, hope mingling with darkness in his eyes.
Alastor paused. "I know who the Squirrel is, I think. I don't know anything about the Wolf. They will come when needed, I'm certain."
Albus closed his eyes. "Do your best, Alastor," he said very weakly. "Promise me."
"I promise you, Albus," Alastor said softly. "I promise."
Albus didn't speak again and two minutes later he died quietly. Alastor released his friend's hand, setting it back on the unmoving chest, then stood and turned. He stopped and blinked in surprise. "Nice pajamas," he said blandly.
The guard burst into the room and breathlessly announced, "There's someone at the door!"
"Silence!" Moody yelled into the resulting hubbub. When a reluctant and scared hush fell he turned to the young man and asked. "What does he look like?"
"He's about six feet with shoulder length dark hair," the guard said, frazzled and wild-eyed.
"I don't know. I'm sorry," the guard said, shaking his head. "He looks about sixteen."
"He is sixteen," Alastor murmured.
"You know who it is?" Arthur Weasley asked in surprise. "I thought everyone was here. Is there someone else Albus told the secret of this place?"
"I think so," Alastor said. He put a hand down by his side and felt the crown he had been carrying there this past week ever since he had gotten a spirit glimpse of his King. "Let him in and bring him here"
Alastor waved the others quiet and moved to the front of the room, just feet away from the door, and waited. The others were wary and frightened. "There is nothing to be afraid of," Alastor said calmly. "He is here to help us win."
Surprisingly, this settled everyone. They trusted Alastor and if he said this someone was here to help then this someone was here to help.
A few minutes later the guard brought back a young man and those who had known Harry Potter knew instantly who the boy was.
"You're Harry's child!" Molly exclaimed but before anyone could do or say anything else they all watched in stunned amazement as Moody went down on one knee.
"Your Majesty. I am glad to finally meet you," Moody said respectfully. Seeing the spirit of his King a week ago had only vaguely prepared him for seeing his King in person. The tendrils of Fate were ripping through him, changing him somehow, and he felt a sense of rightness permeate his entire world.
Victor saw the man kneeling to him and felt the weight of his responsibilities finally turn from a vague knowledge to a real understanding. He put his hand on Moody's bowed head. "Did you lose more pieces, Advisor, since last week? I see you have a bandage around your hand."
"Just a couple fingers, Your Majesty," Moody said dismissively. "Nothing that will impact my service to You."
"I didn't think it would," Victor said in amusement, forgoing the royal pronoun. He figured, rightly so, that it would hinder his chances with these people rather than help. "I've heard much about you and doubted such a thing would influence you. I am simply concerned for your health."
"I am perfectly fine," Moody asserted.
Victor laughed slightly. "I'm sure you are," he said. "Rise, Alastor, and serve me and our people. You have something for me?"
"Yes, Your Majesty," Moody said as he rose and looked over his King from head to toe. His King allowed the perusal and even had a smile on his face.
"Do I meet your approval, Advisor?" Victor asked in amusement.
"Aye, Your Majesty," Alastor said with a smile. "Now?"
Victor looked over the silent contingent of people in the kitchen that were still staring in amazement, though many gazes were now tinged with curiosity and hope. He turned his gaze back to Alastor and said with a smirk, "If you think it best, Advisor. I'm quite aware that my coronation will be nothing grand and pompous, so if you feel it best to continue right now, here in this kitchen, then so be it. It is your choice."
Moody grinned scarily and pulled the crown from his robes with one hand. This time it was Victor's turn to kneel and bow his head. Both of them ignored the shifting and murmuring of the Order.
Moody held the crown above his King's head with both hands. The crown hadn't changed in any way since so long ago when he'd touched it during Harry Potter's courting. He felt power resonate throughout the room as magic and Fate spoke through him as he asked the young man kneeling before him to swear his oaths. "Will you solemnly swear to govern the Races of Avalon, according to their respective laws and customs, to mete out Law and Justice and Mercy in all your judgments, to honor and promote the Gods of this Land and their will and teachings, to protect the Races and this Land from those who would come to conquer it?"
"All this I so swear, before the Gods," Victor said strongly and sincerely. "May my reign honor our Peoples and our Gods."
There were gasps of wonder, awe, and even fear, as the crown held by Alastor floated away from his hands then spun and sparkled. The magics throughout the room became oppressive then seemed to all be absorbed into the crown as it slowly settled onto the young King's head. Only Alastor was close enough to hear the soft intake of breath and see the slight shiver as the crown settled into place.
Victor did his best to not collapse or cry out in surprise as the crown bonded to him and he felt the amazing well of power now available for him to call upon. Slowly he rose and looked over the remainder of the Order. Everyone looked on in varying degrees of amazement, disbelief, and hope. Victor turned back to Alastor and smiled. "So, Advisor, tell me about my people…"
"I'm surprised you like our food," Brent said with mild curiosity.
Victor looked up from his breakfast and raised an eyebrow at one of the youngest scouts and team-leaders of the Order. Over the last month of getting to know the Order, it had become easily apparent that it was this young man that would be the key to winning the support of the younger fighters. "Why would I not?" he asked politely.
"I'd think you'd be used to fru-fru meals, not the basic fare available during war," Brent said, tilting his head as he watched the supposed King eat another bite of scrambled eggs.
"Well," Victor said slowly as he stabbed a piece of sausage. He waved the meat in the air as he decided how to respond. Finally, he shrugged and said, "It's better than kimchi."
"Better than what?" Brent asked in confusion.
"Kimchi," Victor said with a straight face and a not-quite-hidden grimace. "It's cabbage that's been harvested, buried in pots for months, fermented, then dug up and eaten. Spiced to taste, of course."
"That's disgusting," Brent said with a look of revulsion.
"Yes. Yes, it is," Victor said with a serious nod. He ate his sausage piece and cut another.
"You've eaten that?" Brent asked, ignoring the snort of Alastor Moody who was sitting two seats away.
"Not by choice, I assure you," Victor said. "But when your choice is to starve or eat something even vaguely edible…"
Brent looked horrified. "Why would you ever be in that situation?"
"I've traveled extensively around the world," Victor said in explanation. "At some of those places I've been apprenticed for a time to different masters so that I could learn the magics I would need to protect and rule Avalon. One of those masters was Asian and had no sympathy for my pampered ways, as he put it. It didn't do me any good to complain that I hadn't been pampered; I was still required to either eat what was offered or starve. Sometimes I think his wife made the most awful dishes just to try and encourage me to leave. Too bad I'm stubborn."
"Too bad for you, it sounds like," Brent said, still disgusted.
Victor laughed. "Yes, probably."
"What did you want to learn that was so important to eat that?" Brent asked in morbid curiosity.
Victor smiled grimly and both Brent and Alastor – and a couple others who had been paying attention to the conversation from afar – looked impressed that such an inexperienced young man could hold such a visage convincingly.
"What's your biggest problem right now?" Victor asked grimly. "Other than Voldemort and his people, I mean."
"Dementors," Brent said unhesitatingly.
"Yes, exactly," Victor murmured. "Dementors. Do you know what they are?"
"Of course I do," Brent said in offense. "They're soul-sucking demons."
Victor shook his head. "No. That's what they do. Do you know what they are?"
Brent narrowed his eyes in aggravation. "I suppose you have an answer."
"Dementors are vindictive spirits," Victor said, twiddling another piece of sausage. "Other people call them wraiths or liches or revenants. At their very base, dementors are all vindictive souls who want to spread the anger, hate, and despair they felt while alive. The problem with them is that they are more powerful than other lingering spirits and can't just be exorcised like regular ghosts."
"You learned how to exorcise them?" Brent asked scornfully.
"Do you think that knowledge was worth six months of kimchi?" Victor asked pointedly.
Brent stared at the crowned young man across from him and felt the first stirrings of hope. It was a foreign emotion to him, having been raised in war. But the supposed King seemed so confident… "If you actually get rid of all those demons, I'll kiss your ring."
"I don't have a ring," Victor said blandly.
"Your ass, then. I don't care," Brent said angrily. "You get rid of them and I'll believe you can actually be King."
Victor took a couple sips of his water as he studied the young man across from him. Brent was two years younger and had had far less formal training than himself. However, he was quite aware that the Order's foremost scout had a hundred times the amount of actual experience than a newly crowned King.
"I need to set up a dozen temporary gates to the Otherworld," Victor said while looking Brent in the eyes. "Each gate will act like a vortex on the dementors, sucking them through and out of this world. I only have the knowledge of how to anchor the gates for a month – dark moon to dark moon. The gates will affect an area of about ten thousand square miles, so I'll need to set up a dozen all across the nation on the same night so that the dementors have nowhere they can flee. You're the best scout, I've been told. Perhaps you can determine where I need to put those gates."
Brent was silent a moment then leaned forward with as much eagerness as he ever showed. "What kind of place do you need?"
Victor smiled slightly. "Well, it needs to be flat…"
"Laura!" Alastor called loudly as he apparated into Grimmauld Place with the bloody and barely conscious form of his King. "Come on, Your Majesty, just hold out a bit more. No dying on me, you hear. I don't want to know what your parents will think of this."
"They won't think anything…if you don't tell them," Victor gasped out.
"What about you?" Alastor asked gruffly as he lay his burden down on a bench that had been hastily conjured by one of the other returning Order members.
"I'm not telling them…anything. They told me…they didn't want…to hear it," Victor answered.
Alastor snorted in understanding. He wouldn't want to hear about his children's near-death experiences, either. If he'd had any children.
"Said they only wanted…to hear…the bard's songs," Victor groaned in relief as the healer finally arrived and cast several pain relieving charms. "They only want to hear the songs proclaiming my awesome greatness. Everything else would be too stressful."
"Isn't that just like them to bury their heads in the sand just like they've done the past two decades?" came the bitter voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt.
"Shut your mouth, Kingsley!" growled Alastor.
Victor struggled to sit up but was held in place by Alastor and Brent. He gave up trying to move but nevertheless responded to the accusation. "You don't know what you're talking about."
"They could have helped but they chose to run away like cowards!" Kingsley said angrily. "They left their home to rot!"
"They've done more for the people of this country than you have," Victor said with quiet intensity. The tone of his voice caught the attention of nearly everybody and a hush rose as people listened and/or watched the brewing argument.
"They've done nothing!" Kingsley yelled. "Have they fought off Death Eaters? No! Vampires or Werewolves on the full moon? No! They've done nothing but abandon everyone!"
"They've eliminated five hundred Death Eaters and fed this country," Victor said, glaring at the raging man. "Do you know why Death Eaters that leave Britain never come back? Of course you don't. Do you know where your food really comes from? No, you don't. You don't know anything!"
"Be still, Your Majesty," Alastor said as he held an angrily twitching arm and shoulder. He didn't interrupt the argument, however. Kingsley had long needed to be taken down a peg or two. Of course, it wasn't as if he wasn't curious about those answers himself.
"The Malfoy family has allied families all across the world with a total number of family members reaching nearly 30,000. Starting in 1999 Harry Potter worked with those people and the Malfoy Head to weave Dark Mark detection and tracking nets across the globe, especially in Europe and Scandinavia," Victor said, still glaring.
"Impossible," Kingsley sneered. "Such nets are only theoretical. They can't be maintained."
"Wrong," Victor hissed furiously. "With tens of thousands of willing people Harry Potter was able to successfully raise the nets – highly volatile though they were. The nets require constant attention and it takes all the Malfoy allies to keep them from collapsing. Contacts were found in law enforcement departments to respond to any alarms triggered by the nets. Those nets were the idea of Harry Potter. The creation of those nets took the coordinated efforts of Gaius Malfoy and Harry Potter. Those nets continue to be maintained at the request of Harry Potter. Five hundred Death Eaters have been captured and executed because of the efforts of Harry Potter! You know nothing!"
"Calm down," Brent said urgently as he worked with Alastor to keep their angry King still. "You're making it difficult for Laura!"
"And it's at the request of Harry Potter that the Malfoy allies – a total of over five thousand families – send a care package to the Unspeakables every week!" Victor continued adamantly. "Half the food and most of the supplies that the Unspeakables ration out come from the Malfoy allies and you can ask the Unspeakables if you don't believe me. All at the request of Harry Potter. You've probably cursed his name in the same breath as you ate the food he arranged for you to have!"
Shocked murmurs floated about at the information that had been revealed. Even Kingsley looked taken aback. Alastor remained silent but was internally quite impressed at what the Potter lad had done. It was Brent that quietly asked, "What about your other father?"
Victor took several deep breaths in an attempt to calm down. "Draco Malfoy is the premier architect in the wizarding world. He rediscovered how to integrate wards into a building as it was being constructed thereby improving the building's stability as well improving the efficacy of the wards. It was he that built the new manors and several other buildings for the Fierro, Fontainebleau and Lefèvre families." Victor paused and looked around. "I see a few of you understand the significance of those names."
"I don't," said Michael, a younger member of the team that had returned with Victor.
"It's his fault we don't have potions!" Kingsley yelled, newly incensed. "He blackmailed those families not to sell to us!"
Victor was gratified to see that no one appeared to take that accusation at face value. "The boycott of Britain was the payment he asked for, that's true. St. Mungo's was hard hit, but the general populace mostly got by, at least until the Ministry fell, with what they could make themselves or buy from other more expensive sources. The Death Eaters, however, were severely impacted. Did you never connect the boycott with the discontinued use of dark potions by Voldemort? Not once? Did you think they stopped just because they felt like being nice? No. Draco Malfoy, another name you've probably cursed, was solely responsible for that."
"He could have put qualifications on the boycott," Kingsley insisted.
Victor ignored the comment, knowing it wasn't worth arguing over where the potions would really have ended up. "And if that wasn't enough, they raised me. They knew I was to be King. They knew and they made sure that when I came here I could do my job. My parents have done a great deal for this country and you will keep a civil tongue about them."
Kingsley was positively quivering in anger. "You are not my King. Britain does not need a King and I certainly will not swear fealty to the son of those two traitors!"
Victor sighed and closed his eyes. Obviously the man was too bitter and/or set in his beliefs to see anything beyond what he wanted to see. "You do not have to, Kingsley Shacklebolt. All who swear me fealty will do so of their own free will and desire. Now please leave. Laura needs to finish and I need to recover." Victor ignored the angry grumblings and the shifting of the people about him and continued to keep his eyes closed, relishing being free of the pain from the cutting curse he'd taken from Voldemort himself.
"Not all of us are against you," Brent said softly.
Victor opened his eyes again and smiled slightly at the head scout. Brent had sworn his fealty oaths less than a minute after seeing a dementor sucked through a Gate. After Alastor, he had been the first to do so. "I know. And I knew that it would be the older crowd who would be less accepting of me. It's all right."
"Did your parents really do those things?" Brent asked curiously. "That's…really a lot."
"Yes," Victor said and closed his eyes again. He ignored the soft conversation going on above him and drifted off into a healing sleep, conveniently arranged by a conniving healer.
"I am not being overconfident," Victor protested. "Honestly, I've been thrashed into the ground by the Royal Guard too many times to have that particular ego problem. No, this is pure logic. We've hunted and killed over half the remaining Death Eaters in the last two months. We should be able to maintain that momentum and kill another couple hundred by Christmas. It might even be more if we're lucky and they do stupid things because of fear. That will leave us just the last two hundred to fight at the final battle."
"And what about the rumors?" Arthur asked. "The rumors of a prophesied King, along with the loss of the dementors and the death of their comrades, may have set fear into the hearts of the Death Eaters but it's just made You-Know-Who even more angry and insane."
"I can handle Voldemort," Victor said for the fourth time that night. "I've been trained on how to dissolve the bonds that are holding together his corporeal body and then I'll open another Gate and banish him through it. I simply need a long enough distraction."
"More of your necromancy," Minerva said disapprovingly. "Albus would never have allowed it."
Victor grit his teeth and refused to respond to the snipe. This woman was the worst with Albus this and Albus that. "Just what field of magic did you think exorcism belonged in? And I will remind you that those Gates solved the dementor problem in only one month. It's not as if I'm raising inferi." Many of the older Order members were suspicious of such "dark" magic, but Victor took comfort in the fact that the younger set of members couldn't care less what the new King was doing just as long as he delivered on his promises.
Fred Weasley stood up and said, "If we can get the Death Eaters down to only a couple hundred, I'll authorize the WATs to assist on New Year's Eve. Any more than that and I think it'll be too overbalanced in their favor."
The planning for the final battle went from there. Ideas were offered, discarded, modified, and incorporated until a final plan was agreed upon. The process took several days and involved many heated arguments, but it did get done. And since they did reduce the number of Death Eater to less than a couple hundred by Christmas, the plan went forward.
Ironically, it was near Little Whinging, Surrey, where Voldemort was finally cornered – there was no way the evil man would be leaving through the apparition and portkey wards Victor had erected with the power of the crown he wore. Upon realizing his predicament, Voldemort did the only logical thing – to him – and summoned all of his remaining minions to defend him. Victor nearly cackled in glee.
Under the cover of the fighting going on around him, Victor spent the next quarter hour casting the spirit-ward he'd been taught for this situation. Then he opened another gate. Only a few noticed. The dissolution of a homunculus was the last spell Victor cast before all attention turned to him and Voldemort.
Voldemort screeched as his body dissolved and the sound was enough to stop everybody in their tracks and turn to stare. Everybody watched in horror and disgust as a black spirit rose from the dissolving body and flew straight up – and hit a shield. The spirit screamed again and flew in another direction – and was stopped. The spirit then flew into one of the nearby Death Eaters and everyone shuddered at what was obviously an unwilling possession.
"Who dares attack the Emperor of the Isles?" Voldemort shrieked from within the body of his victim.
"We dare," Victor said, absently noting that Alastor had cast a voice amplifying charm. "We, the true King of Avalon, do hereby judge you unworthy to remain in this Land and banish you from it. We judge your minions to also be unworthy and they shall accompany you as you finally pass to the afterlife."
"I am immortal!" screamed a mad Voldemort.
"Not in this life," Victor said grimly then started casting another spell to magically grasp onto all who wore the Dark Mark.
Everyone there could feel the power of the King. They all watched in awe as the Death Eaters were pulled towards a churning black vortex few had noticed before. There was screaming and denials and pleas, but Victor was relentless as he forced one after another into the Gate. As part of the planning earlier in the month, he'd been introduced to the three spies in Voldemort's ranks and had tagged them. When those three men were drawn to the Gate he protected them from the Gate's pull and instead brought them towards him and set them into the custody of his Advisor.
Ten minutes later it was Voldemort's turn.
Voldemort fought with everything he had and, truly, the magic was spectacular. But Victor was resolute. Everyone watched as the determined King slowly pushed, by force of will alone, the Dark Lord back and through the vortex. When Voldemort was through Victor collapsed the Gate and then the spirit-ward. He swayed slightly before standing straight.
The deafening silence lasted only moments before the cheers became resounding. Victor grinned foolishly and leaned on his Advisor as everyone starting chanting, "All hail the King!" Victor walked through the people and let them touch him and thank him and cry all over him. It was hours later when Alastor shooed off the last of the people and steered his King to bed.
It was some indeterminate time later when Victor woke to a bedroom he didn't recognize. He lay there and let his mind take him over the things he remembered. "Voldemort, Death Eaters, Voldemort, people cheering," he said to himself. "It still doesn't explain where I'm at."
"You're in your father's…mother's…what do you call Harry Potter anyway?" Alastor said from next to the bed. "I can't believe I've never asked you that."
Victor turned his head to the left and blinked. "Papa," he answered.
Alastor stared. "Papa. All right. You're in your Papa's old room at Number 4 Privet Drive in Little Whinging in Surrey. Ironic, isn't it?"
"Somehow, I don't think that's the word that Papa would use," Victor said with twitch of his lips.
Alastor snorted. "No, I doubt it is," he said.
"How did I get here?" Victor asked curiously. "I don't remember."
"I brought you here," Alastor said. "The blood wards are down but the other wards on the property are still active. It was the safest place in the area."
"Why didn't you just apparate me to Grimmauld Place?" Victor asked in confusion.
"You can't apparate someone more powerful than you unless they're conscious and willing," Alastor said. "You were dead on your feet. This was the best I could do. Besides, you left the wards up."
"Oh, sorry. I forgot about them," Victor said absently. "And Papa always apparated with me so I never really thought about that aspect, either."
"Potter is still more powerful than you?" Alastor asked in surprise.
Victor smiled in amusement at his Advisor's shock. "He is, yes." He lifted his hand to his head and fingered the crown that was still there. "I have this now, though. I can feel the power available to me should I need it, like I did… How long has it been?"
Alastor grunted. "It's been two days. Laura looked you over and said you were just exhausted so we've let you rest. There're throngs of people outside, though, just waiting for a glimpse of you. Word spread fast. You'll need to make a few appearances."
"I will," Victor said. "I need to send a message my family first."
"Already done," Alastor said. "There are several replies waiting for you."
"Thank you," Victor said gratefully.
"You're welcome," Alastor said. "Now get up and make yourself Kingly. You have court to hold."
Over the next month Victor swore he must have met every last wizard citizen of Avalon and not a few of the non-wizard ones. Instead of meeting him and returning to their homes, the people starting camping close by, despite the cold weather, laying in wait to hear what the new King would do first. He was going to start issuing proclamations just so that everyone would go home. This was actually the purpose of calling today's "court", attended by a motley group of people whose turn it was to see him.
"Your Majesty?" one of the newly-appointed pages said hesitantly.
"Yes, Alan, what is it?" Victor asked the boy kindly.
"Regina Lovegood is asking to see you," Alan said hesitantly. "She has, uh, a white wolf with her and, uh, a squirrel is sitting on the wolf."
Alastor sucked in a small surprised breath and Victor shared a glance with him. "So, now we will both learn who the Wolf is," Victor murmured.
"You know the Squirrel?" Alastor asked quietly.
"Oh, yes. You?" Victor asked just as quietly.
Alastor nodded slightly. "I believe so," he answered.
"Show them in," Victor told the page.
A few minutes later the boy escorted into the "Hall" – a local school gymnasium that hadn't been destroyed – a beautiful young blonde woman dressed in what was obviously her best dress, a deep blue embroidered velvet that accented her light blue eyes. The woman approached and curtsied respectfully to the King while the white wolf sat quietly next to her and the squirrel clung to the wolf's fur and poked its head around the wolf's ears.
"Ms. Lovegood," Victor nodded politely. "I've heard much about you. All good things, I assure you."
Regina smiled and said, "Thank you, Your Majesty. I've heard much about you, too. Not all good things, though, I'm sorry to say. There are many who are worried that you won't be able to understand the people."
"An understandable fear," Victor said. "That is why I will take advisors from the people, like Alastor here, and, if I might be so presumptuous, the two animagi that you have brought with you."
Regina laughed lightly. "Yes, Your Majesty. May I present Hermione Granger, the leader of the Unspeakables."
There was murmuring among those present at the identity and the occupation the squirrel. The Unspeakables had been very helpful to the people but to have their leader here? And freely admitting to their identity? It was a good day to be in court. This was choice gossip.
The squirrel clambered down the wolf's body then turned into a bushy-haired woman dressed plainly in a blue sweater, worn jeans, and heavy boots.
"Your Majesty," Hermione said with a wry smile and a bow.
"Aunt Hermione," Victor said with a small laugh. There were more murmurings. "Did I do well?"
"You've done very well, my nephew and godson," Hermione said with a soft smile. "Very well. I'm proud of you."
Victor smiled and everyone could see that the young man, while King, was still boy enough to take pleasure and pride in pleasing the authority figures in his life. "You have something for me, Auntie?"
"Indeed," Hermione said and pulled something from a pocket then enlarged it. A large book became easily recognizable to everyone. "I have for you the secrets that the Unspeakables have kept hidden these many years. We hid the sites of importance from Voldemort and will now release them back to the people one by one at your command."
"And what are your secrets?" Victor asked over the exclamations of surprise. "Will you release one today to give hope to the people?"
"If it is your will," Hermione said.
"Please," Victor said.
Hermione opened the book to the last page. "I, Hermione Jane Granger, leader of the Unspeakables, do hereby release from our guard the secret of Hogwarts." She continued to speak over the excited hubbub. "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is located in northern Scotland," she said strongly.
Everyone present witnessed a globe of magic rise from the book and flash brightly before disappearing. Stunned amazement gripped the crowd for a moment as all those old enough to remember Hogwarts were now suddenly able to remember its location. Laughter and tears of joy were then shared for several long minutes.
"I thank you," Victor said softly once things were quiet again. "Let it be known that all with proper qualifications who wish to teach should present themselves to me over the next six months. In July letters will go out and school will start in September for all those who never got a chance to attend, even those over seventeen. Tuition for all shall be paid by the Crown for seven years."
The cheering was deafening.
When it was quiet once again, Victor said, "I offer to you the position of my second Advisor. Will you accept?"
"I would be honored," Hermione said with another bow and walked over to take her place beside a scarily grinning Alastor.
"And who else do you bring before me?" Victor asked Regina.
"Your Majesty, may I present my mother, Luna Lovegood," Regina said. The white wolf morphed into a smiling blond woman dressed in a plain tan dress.
It was only Hermione that was unsurprised.
Victor's eyes widened in understanding. "I see," he murmured, though only Alastor and Hermione were close enough to hear him.
"You understand the significance, Your Majesty?" Alastor murmured.
"Yes, I understand," Victor answered. More loudly, he said, "Ms. Lovegood. I've heard many good things about you."
"Your Majesty," Luna said with the same smile and a small curtsey. She wasted no time in getting to the point – there was still much to do, after all. "You are a good man, Victor Potter, but you come from outside. You are King but have no ties to this Land. I would bring you fully to us, to your new people. I would give you ties here. I would give you my daughter as your wife. Will you accept her?"
Again there were murmurs, shocked and hopeful. The Lovegoods were the best of people and they could influence the new King. It would be good for him to have real ties here.
Victor took a deep breath. He'd known this was coming. And, really, given the girl's name, he should have realized. "Should your daughter be willing, I would be honored to accept such an accomplished and beautiful woman as my wife."
"I am willing, Your Majesty," Regina said with a grin. "If it pleases you, I would like to marry on April 10th in honor of my grandfather, who died just last year."
"Then let word go forth that we shall marry on April 10th," Victor said. "All are invited to witness our bonding and feast with us."
There was more cheering and Victor wondered if he should cast some muffling spells upon his "dais" of palettes. "And will you, Luna Lovegood, accept the position of my third Advisor?"
"I will," Luna said and walked gracefully to the Advisor's positions and joined Hermione and Alastor, her small smile still on her face.
Victor took a deep breath and went to more properly greet his wife-to-be. Regina grinned at the kiss on her hand and let her fiancé lead her to the makeshift dais and sit her on a second "throne" that he summoned from the folding chairs.
The remainder of that day's court was, thankfully, uneventful. The same thing could not be said for the days, weeks, and months that followed. Filius Flitwick arrived from The Pleiades one day and after an hour-long conversation with the King – and subsequent fealty oaths – accepted the position of Headmaster and took over the evaluation of applicants to teach at Hogwarts. Minerva McGonagall had asked for the position but it had been refused her after she refused to swear fealty. Minerva had left then and the remaining Order members found out about her March death only by accident.
The Centaurs had sent a representative and that negotiation had gone surprisingly poorly – Victor categorically refusing to cordon off any part of Avalon for the sole use of any one race. The Goblins had sent a representative with an already penned agreement and that negotiation had, to everyone's shock, gone swimmingly and the Goblins re-opened the Bank on February 4th. The Veelas sent a representative and Victor had merely confirmed that the agreement was the same as the one he'd hashed out years ago before signing it and sending it back to his great-great-grandmother.
The Unspeakables, a little bored, spent the majority of their now free time helping citizens build houses and start gardens. The WATs, also bored, joined the construction efforts, but focused their labors on building the workshops and guild halls that were requested by the still hidden craft masters. The King set aside a couple of hours every other day to help out on whatever project his Advisors told him to go to. Regina always accompanied him and he quickly gained a reputation for being even-tempered and hard-working. By April the people were much less worried about their new King and eagerly attended the wedding.
The wedding was, in fact, attended by every remaining wizard and witch of Avalon, regardless of age – a total of approximately 20,000 people. The Centaurs declined to come but nearly a hundred Goblins showed. Dignitaries from around the world were invited and all either came or sent representatives. Many from the Delamater family came and nearly all of the Malfoys. The truth of the Malfoys and the activities of their vassals had been revealed and all of the vassals were invited and more than half of them came - bearing food enough to feed everyone in attendance five times over.
And, of course, Victor's immediate and extended family also came. Aunt Lavender and Uncle Liam and Aunt Pansy and Uncle Neville came and brought all their children. His Father came and gave him construction plans for a palace of his own along with the promise to build and ward it for him. His Papa came, too, giving a bitter smile when he recognized the current "Royal" residence and stoically bearing the nasty glares of some of the people he encountered. In private, Harry gave his son the keys to the Potter vaults and told him to have fun with it instead of using it for rebuilding the nation. Victor's brothers and sisters had an entire contingent of Royal Guards accompanying them, but Victor was glad that his Papa had even let them come at all.
The bonding of Victor and Regina was held in the surprisingly intact Stamford Bridge stadium in London. It wasn't the most romantic of venues but it allowed seating for all the guests and the lack of decorations and flowers didn't seem to hamper the shedding of tears throughout the nearly 40,000 attendees at the beautiful ceremony.
The "private" reception for family, visiting dignitaries, Order members, WAT teams, Unspeakables, and miscellaneous high-level people was held back at the school gymnasium in Little Whinging. The "public" reception stayed at Stamford Bridge and spread throughout the entire stadium and its surroundings. Partying was enthusiastic and lasted all the way until sunrise at both locations.
It was a jubilant and hopeful people that watched the dawn and looked forward to a new era.
Bunches of notes follow. I've marked each one with a date, additions will be at the end.
Babies - June 4, 2008
6/98 – Amandus & Vitus
8/99 – Evander & Timeus
7/00 – Constantine & Galenus
8/01 – Aurelia & Victor
10/06 – Eliana & Callista
12/14 – Phoebe & Roxana
The names are all Roman and were found here: www.20000-names--com/female(underscor)latin(underscore)names.htm and www.20000-names--com/male(underscore)latin(underscore)names.htm
2/00 – Jasmine
5/06 – Liam Jr.
4/09 – Rosemary
8/13 – Devlin
8/99 – Franklin
3/02 – Valerie
9/06 – Lionel
3/10 – Gerard
5/14 – Orson
9/99 – Regina
Chapter Title for An Introduction to Veela - June 4, 2008
Doubled Biology – Hawk & Human
Halfling Gender & Genetics: Female, Y-Male, X-Male
Marriage, Mating & Reproduction
Family Structure & Material Inheritance
Community Organization – Villages & The City
Economic System – Careers & Caretakers
Political System – Queen & Country
A Brief History: Domestic
A Brief History: International
International Trade & Travel
Myths, Legends, & Spiritual Belief Systems
The Language – Not Just French
The Arts – Revered Craftsmen
The Sciences – Honored Scholars
The Farms – Respected Providers
Recommendations - June 4, 2008
This story was primarily inspired, I thought, by all the creature fics I've read where Harry and whoever are destined mates. I wanted something where Harry says "Destiny Shmestiny! You want me? Come and prove you're worth my time, punk!" Then I got a couple recommendations in reviews and went hmmmm… As my two favorite Veela fics, I'm sure that the stories below were also a strong influence – one for the slower buildup to a relationship and the other for a spunky "submissive" Harry.
"Not Your Usual Veela Mate" by Janara
Here on FF net. WIP. Veela!Draco. Surprise!Harry. Slower paced with an intelligent Harry who is intent on becoming independent with the help of his new mate (Draco, of course!) and his family (Lucius, Severus). Equal opportunity bashing for Pansy, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore. I like all the little subtle twists/sub-plots running through this story.
"Veela Inheritance Problems" by Sakya
Here on FF net. WIP. Veela!Draco. Veela!Harry. A faster paced story with fun hunt-the-submissive scenes. I really like the way Harry gets sideswiped by his Veela instincts and is constantly saying "Wait! That's not right." I can't help but laugh every time at the "pretty new robe" line. Harry's inheritance is a surprise to all and I like what Sakya is doing/has done with the discovery of Harry's Veela family.
Fast posting - June 4, 2008
For those of you who are dying to know my secret of fast posting (except this past week, of course)…(drum roll)…I was mostly done with it before I started posting. That's right, I only had this last chapter to completely write and a few others to finish fleshing out. I had wanted to be completely done, but the end of April was my own personal deadline to start posting, so I did. Of course, this caused some stress as I tried to finish up the last bits, especially since the betas were positively shredding my last chapter…
Bill - June 4, 2008
His magic attacked Harry and made him faint…because. Yeah, yeah, unsatisfactory. But, really, I didn't have a good reason other than it was a nice way to eliminate the man. Nope, he's not married to Fleur. In this universe, Fleur is half-Veela and would have needed to mate by the time she was 17 and a half or, in other words, halfway through the seventh year of school, just like Harry. Just figure she mated to some random wizard/Veela just before coming to Hogwarts…
Eggshells - June 4, 2008
The shells are from Veela - whose charisma (in the form of allure) and violence (in the form of fireballs) and shifting abilities (to a semi hawk form) are all well known. For the luck potion, I was thinking that the charisma/allure lends luck in the way that a pretty face gets what they want, etc. There would be other properties having to do with fire or protection from fire and maybe the form-shifting would lend itself to being adapted into an animagus potion, or something else similar.
Hedwig - June 4, 2008
Well…just presume she follows Harry to France, OK? I admit I never even thought about her until a reviewer asked and by that time I really had nowhere to include her in a reasonable way.
Lily having a Veela baby - June 4, 2008
Harry was a human pregnancy, not a Veela one. Remember, the initial mating isn't quite as critical for the females because, unlike the males, they can get pregnant at any time.
The King's oath - June 4, 2008
This is a condensed and modified version of the Queen's coronation oath that I found on Wikipedia.
The General – June 10, 2008
No, the General is not Remus. And, no, he's not Ron either. The General isn't really anybody. He's just some random muggle-hating bastard of a wizard that approached Voldemort and said, "Hey, I've read about this cool tactic called guerilla warfare and I'm a good planner. Can I be your General?" The General is not some godlike strategist, however. On the contrary, he's got this one idea that he uses over and over but not in a truly devastating manner. Consider…if the General was clever he could have destroyed Britain much, much more quickly. For instance, why not destroy the oil refineries first? That would stop gasoline production which would stop trucking which would stop delivery of food anywhere in the country which would cause mass starvation in week. No, the General was a pureblood and wizard-raised and, therefore, uneducated about how to go about destroying a muggle infrastructure. He probably didn't even understand the concept, given that the wizarding world has (mostly) instantaneous travel.
Minerva – June 10, 2008
Minerva was basically heartbroken. She had always been completely faithful to Albus and his vision. When Albus died, she just couldn't really accept anyone else in a leadership position, especially not someone with drastically different views/methods (necromancy). The fact that Victor was the son of Harry - someone who she perceived as having abandoned Albus in his time of need - was just another strike against him in Minerva's opinion. Minerva tried one last time to preserve Albus' legacy by requesting to be Headmistress of Hogwarts. She refused to swear fealty to Victor, however, due to the above reasons and was therefore refused. She left for her own home and basically died of a broken heart just a few months later.