Just a few quick things I want to say before you begin reading chapter 1 of Albus Potter and the Foulest Book.
First, thank you to anyone reviewed. You don't get paid for writing fanfiction, but the knowledge that people are reading my work ( and enjoying it no less) is reward enough. It doesn't matter if it was a raving review, constructed criticism, or even just a couple of words, knowing that these stories are appreciated is what keeps me going. The fact that you guys have enjoyed my previous stories has inspired me to work harder than ever to make sure that Book 3 is just as satisfying as you guys deserve it to be. So in short, thank you. Keep reviewing guys, it really makes my day.
Second, to anyone who offered to be my beta, thank you so much, but shortly after finishing book 2 someone close to me offered, and for conveniancy sake, I've made them my beta. But the thought is very much appreciated : )
And now, the summary of book 3, and the first chapter. Enjoy!
Summary : The world around Albus is changing. Fear that hasn't been felt in twenty years is slowly starting to grip the wizarding world. Though there's no proof just yet, talks of war and rebellion lurk in the corners. Reginald Ares is abroad, and if the ministry doesn't take a stand and try to find him, the public will. But the outside world isn't all that's changing. Though his father assures him that this will be his most normal year yet, Albus enters his third year of Hogwarts with new classes and Hogsmeade visits, new staff changes that seem anything but trustworthy, and enough inner battles to make his head explode. But in between fighting with family and falling for his friends, he also learns the horrible truth. Ares isn't just hiding. No, his former headmaster is waiting. Waiting to do the very thing that he was imprisoned for trying to do years ago...
Chapter 1 : Office Pranks
Matthew J. Hampton was having a very bad day at work. This was not uncommon, as working at a paper company tended to be dreadfully boring, and he was more than used to it by now. But this day was unusually bad. Everything seemed to have went wrong.
First his tire had blown out as he had been parking, and when he checked his trunk, he saw that the spare that he kept had mysteriously vanished. Then five potential buyers had cancelled on him at last minute, causing him to spend hours cramped up in his office filling out paperwork. Matters had only gotten worse when he tried to call his wife to ask for a ride home. His cell phone, you see, which had been charging for hours the night before, had inexplicably died on him! He would have to walk home. All in all, he was more than pleased when he finished the last of his paperwork, and was more than ready to leave.
One look out the window told him how late it was, but just to be sure, he checked his watch. It was half past midnight. He gave a tremendous sigh before closing the window blinds and locking the door to his office. He glanced down the hallway that led to the elevator and saw that every cubicle was empty. Everyone else had gone home hours before. The only person left in the building other than himself was probably Ray, the janitor, a pleasant old man.
He walked down the hallway, his briefcase swinging as he did so, whistling nonchalantly as he went. He supposed that he could always take the bus. If he was lucky his wife may even have set dinner aside for him. Things would look up by the end of the night, he was sure. He glanced at a window and saw his reflection. His short brown hair was ruffled and his beady brown eyes were drooping ; he was clearly exhausted. He would be looking forward to taking the elevator. He worked on the top floor, and would otherwise have a ten minute walk down the stairs to leave.
He approached the elevator and pressed his hand on the down button. He expected the eerie silence to be interrupted by the sound of the elevator moving upwards; expected to see the green light of the button pierce the pitch blackness around him. He was disappointed on both counts. The elevator was not working.
He felt his mustache quiver in frustration. He pounded the button with his fist once more. Then again. Still nothing.
It was those damn pranksters, he thought bitterly. Being a man of considerable stature and importance in the company had made him many enemies with his co-workers. Or his subordinates, really. It was not uncommon for them to put things in his coffee, or hide important memos from him, and they had known that he had been having a bad day..They had no doubt found a way to make the elevator stop working. Well this office prank was not funny, he refused to walk!
Five minutes later however, his feeling of obstinance passed. He had pounded on the elevator button several more times, and had concluded that the stairs were the only alternative. Heaving another tremednous sigh, and turned and his made his way to the staircase, which was (of course) on the complete other side of the floor.
And so, Matthew found himself spending another tedious five minutes walking around the floor until he reached the staircase, this time not whistling or swinging him briefcase. He was right about to take the first step when he saw something most peculiar. There was a man leaning up against the wall next to the stairs.
Matthew blinked. He was sure that the man had not been there a second before, but he supposed it was easy to see why he hadn't noticed him. The man was almost entirely covered in the shadows. The angle at which he leaned caused his face to be completely out of view, and he was dressed in black as well.
"Who are you?" Matthew asked, backing up several steps.
The man did not reply. Matthew saw that he was occupied. Though it was hard to see, the man was doing something with his slightly outstretched hand. Upon closer inspection, he saw that he was rolling a coin in between his fingers, back and forth.
Matthew snorted but still continued to stare at the mans hand. He saw that it was not a regular coin, but rather much larger, the size of a hubcap, and gold in color. It looked vaguely familiar. The man rolling the coin back and forth finally flipped it into the air and caught it. He gave his hand a little shake and opened it, and Matthew saw that the coin had disappeared.
"How did you do that?" he asked, completely forgetting that he was talking to a complete stranger who had already failed to answer him once.
The man snapped his fingers, and within seconds, was rolling the coin across his fingers again. "Magic," he replied in low tone.
Matthew swallowed. He was intimidated, yes, but he was not going to let this man know it. "Who are you?" he asked once again, this time his tone much more firm.
The man straightened his posture, though his face remained concealed in the shadows. "I'm not here to hurt you," he said, "I just want to talk to you."
Matthew glanced at his watch but didn't even bother looking at the time. "Well it is much too late. I have to get home. If you were sent here to negotiate, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until tomorrow. You had all day. Now please move aside, I need to use the stairs," he said in what he hoped was an intimidating, forceful tone.
He stepped forward, but the man did not move.
" You can go," the man said, "After I've asked you a few questions."
"You will be asking me no questions!" Matthew barked. "I will be doing that! Who are you, and what are you doing on the top floor of this building at this hour!"
"I am looking for you," the man replied calmly.
"You are looking for trouble!" Matthew shouted, "And you have found it! I should have you know that this is your last opportunity to move out of the way! I am a black belt in multiple forms of martial arts, and I will not hesitate -"
But he was cut off by the mysterious mans sudden movement. He emerged from the shadows, and Matthew gasped at his appearence.
Half of his face was perfectly normal looking, if not a little pale. The other half, however, almost made him vomit. It was just as pale, but not a single inch of it wasn't scarred. There were places were the skin was dented, places were the skin protruded in large bumps, and half of his mouth was so thin that it looked like it couldn't move. The man pushed his untidy black hair out of his face and stared at him.
For a split second, they made eye contact ( if you call it that, one of the mans eyes was like a slit, incapable of being opened very far) and the next moment he had began speaking.
"You took a single karate class when you were in middle school, and you haven't been in an actual fight since high school," the man said.
Matthew stared at him, dumbfounded at how he had seen through his lie. And how very accurate he was as well.
"Wh- wh- who are you?" he managed to stammer out, still gawking at the mans disgusting appearence.
"Are you Matthew Hampton?" the disfigured man said, ignoring his question completely.
Matthew nodded, still transfixed at the mans appearence. "How did you -?"
But then it dawned on him. Now that the man had stepped from the shadows, Matthew saw that he was not wearing normal clothes. He was wearing pitch black robes.
"You're part of my brothers crowd, aren't you?" he asked.
The man nodded. "I am a wizard, like your brother," he said.
Matthew attempted to regain his composure after this. "Well then I should have you know," he said, "That my brother is very high up amongst your kind. So I would advise to leave at once. Before you get yourself in trouble."
He was not lying this time, and apparently the man knew it, because he took a step back before speaking.
"I've already told you," he said. " I'm not here to hurt you. My name is Sancticus Fairhart. I knew your brother, we worked together."
Matthew was a split second from asking what exactly he did when he noticed something. Had he said ' knew'?
"What do you mean you knew him?" he asked.
The man known as Fairhart hung his head low. "Your brother is dead. Murdered."
Matthew felt his head spinning. This was all a dream. He had fallen asleep at his desk, and soon enough, he would wake up to find a stack of paperwork in front of him.
But he did not wake up. Fairhart waited in silence to let the information sink in. Matthew felt his body give out. He dropped his suitcase and collapsed, strangely landing in a chair that had not been there seconds before.
"D- dead?" he asked.
Fairhart nodded. "I'm sorry," he said, and he sounded sincere.
"H-how?" Matthew said, "Murder? I don't - he was - can't you kind prevent that?" he asked.
Fairhart crouched down so that he was on speaking level with the now sitting Matthew. "Only sometimes" he said grimly.
"Who?" Matthew asked, "Who murdered him? Why?"
"That's what I'm trying to figure out," Fairhart said. "I have an idea, but that is why I needed to question you. Were you an Maury close?" he asked.
"We - we talked, occasionally -"
"When was the last time? Within this month?"
"Yes," Matthew replied, still absolutely stunned. "About two weeks ago, he called me. It was first time since Christmas."
Fairhart narrowed his eyes, or one of them anyway. "Did he seem...preoccupied? Like there was something else on his mind?"
"He didn't speak long. He seemed...unusual."
Fairhart continued to survey him, apparently deep in thought at how to ask his next question. "Did he seem like there was someone else inside of him? Like he was two people?"
This was such a peculiar question that Matthew had to take a few seconds to ponder how much this man knew.
"Yes," he said after a moment, "Exactly."
"Did he mentioned any names? Did he mention the name Ares?"
Matthew shook his head. He would have remembered any names. Fairhart was now biting his lip - or half of it. He finally asked the question that he appeared most anxious to ask.
"Did he mention a door? A specific kind of door?"
Matthew nodded. "Yes. He kept saying that he had to open a red door."
Fairhart hung his head low.
"Are you going to explain to me how my brother died?" Matthew asked, "You clearly know."
Fairhart scratched his chin. He took a deep breath, then began speaking, " Your brother worked in a special department in the Ministry of Magic known as the Department of Mysteries. Another wizard - a wanted felon - used the Imperius Curse - a curse that allows you take over someones mind - to take control of your brother. How, we do not know. The curse weakens over time however, your brother was undoubtedly calling you for help, but was unable to separate his thoughts from the other wizards. This particular wizard - a very powerful one - needed him to open a certain door. When he realized that it couldn't be done, he killed him. I'm sorry."
Matthew blinked stupidly. "Who's job is it to stop this?"
"Mine," Fairhart said sadly, before pulling out a long stick that he Matthew knew was a wand. He recoiled at the sight of it.
"You - you said you weren't going to hurt me!" he stammered.
"This won't hurt. Obliviate!" Fairhart cried, brandishing his wand in one fluid motion.
Matthews eyes slid out of focus and turned mysteriously blank as he slid out of the chair. Fairhart knelt beside him and began speaking.
"Your brother died in a car accident. Hit and run. I am his Executor of Estate. By the time you come to meet with me for his will, I will have been fired and replaced with someone who has no idea who I am. You only know this because you recieved a call from your wife about it, which is what made you faint in the first place."
Matthew continued to stare up at the ceiling blankly.
"That reminds me," Fairhart said, and he waved his wand once more. "Your phone is working again. You may want to call your wife for a ride home, it's awfully late."
He stood up as Matthew began stirring, though he was still clearly confused. Fairhart vanished the chair with a wave of his wand, then with another one cried "Expecto Patronum!"
Something silvery shot from the tip of his wand, and seconds later it formed itself in a semi transparent bird, one that emitted a powerful silver glow.. Despite it's color however, it was easy to see that it was a crow. It flew onto Fairharts shoulder and began nipping at his ear, though nothing happened. The silvery crow was not solid.
"Send a message to Harry Potter," Fairhart said, "Tell him that he was right, about everything. Ares is after the Book, and he damn near got it."
The silver crow flew from off of his shoulders and passed through a closed window, leaving the hallway just as dark as it had been moments ago.
Matthew was now done stirring and had managed to pull himself up into a crouched position. By the time that he had picked up his briefcase and looked around confused, there had a been a loud crack!, and he was all alone.