Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody sat swirling the glass of Firewhiskey in his hand. He knew better than to have more than a drink or two even today. While today was for celebrating the downfall of the latest wanker to call himself a Dark Lord, the real work would begin tomorrow. Tomorrow was when they went out to round up every Death Eater that could be found. Now, he sat swirling his glass remembering the fallen, especially one extremely adorable chubby cheeked toddler turned grown woman named Lily.
Lily. He'd known Lily since before she was even Lily. It had been in the days that he was just getting used to a curse that St. Mungos both didn't understand and couldn't reverse. His maxim of "CONSTANT VIGILANCE" came from the curse that had knocked him out while it rewired a very small part of his brain and its results. Back before he'd learned that little things would do and that he didn't need to grab every last thing his hands itched to take, he'd lived in a tent constantly moving in fear that someone would discover what he'd been doing and would apprehend him. He'd found Lily on his couch when he'd returned home from a long day of pretending everything was normal while he waited for his coworkers to arrest him. At that time, the little two year-old had been calling herself "Ban-Ban".
It had been his fear of discovery that had caused him to place Lily in the muggle orphanage the instant he confirmed that none of the nearby muggle campers or any of the wizarding families in the UK were looking for a child that matched her description. He'd wanted to keep her - she was very adorable and rather well behaved, and he already knew that he would have to adopt if he wanted children thanks to a childhood illness - but if he was discovered with a child that wasn't his along with the items that he'd taken from the Malfoy, Black, Potter, and Longbottom residences before an adoption could go through, people would come to the wrong conclusion and kidnapping was punished far more severely than thievery. The wizarding world wouldn't care that he hadn't taken the child or that he planned to return all of the stolen items anonymously as soon as the itchy feeling he got every time he tried to do so went away. All the wizarding world would have cared about was the crime committed or at the very least the illusion of a crime having been committed.
He'd kept track of her though. He'd watched her when he could. He'd been there the day the small red haired green eyed child was carried out of the orphanage in the arms of her new family. He had watched as they brought her home to a suburb on the edges of a neighborhood that had been created to house the employees of a nearby factory and her new father whirled her around on the small front lawn while her new mother watched and her new sister excitedly ran in circles around them. If he went on the Hogwarts Student Protection Detail that had sprung up after Death Eaters had attacked the Express more times than was strictly necessary, that was his business. When she and James had invited the entire Order to their wedding he had happily accepted the invitation, carefully clearing his schedule so he could attend.
Now the bright little Lily that would have been his if he hadn't been hit by a curse that caused something that was very similar to what the muggles called Kleptomania was gone.
It had been when he finally decided to drain the glass that he'd been nursing for the past hour while reminiscing about his fallen comrades and the woman that could have been his daughter that he'd heard the noise. It had been a thump that came from the direction of the cupboard under the stairs that he stored his trunks in. The thump was soon followed by insistent knocking. Setting his glass down, he grabbed his wand and made his way past the pyramid that consisted of canned food he'd taken from the shelves of several muggle stores, the table of knickknacks he'd palmed on the visits he'd made to both Albus Dumbledore's office and private residence, and his nearly complete tower of Leaky Cauldron salt and pepper shakers. After nearly tripping over his tourists' handbags collection, he finally made his way to the door of the cupboard.
The knocking turned out to have come from the third trunk down, his prized twelve compartmented trunk that came complete with miniature dungeon. Instead of coming from the dungeon as he half expected, the source of the knocking came from his hidden secondary compartment where he kept his collection of "spare" wands, the door of which was located behind the Sneakoscopes. When he opened the small sliding door, he found himself looking into a pair of hazel eyes that were more in the blue/green range than the green/brown range.
"Thank the Goddess, I thought I was going to be trapped in here." the owner of the eyes said.
"What the hell are you doing in my trunk?" Moody asked, almost too surprised to wonder how the hell the man could be in a space that was two feet by two feet by six and a half inches without being squished much less how he could move his arm enough to knock as loudly as he had.
"Honestly, I was looking for my little sister's body so she could have a proper burial, either that or so I could be near her when I died. I didn't expect there to be people living here." the man said, peering up at him.
"Why would you be looking for your little sister in my trunk?" Moody asked.
"Your trunk is stuck in some sort of a giant dimensional pocket. From this side it looks like a small sliding door and a bunch of random polished sticks hanging about in midair. As for why I'm here looking for my little sister...About two decades ago, someone decided to experiment with the dimensional pockets we use to hold the things we can't carry on our persons to see if they could be used to safely transport prisoners. The animal experiments had looked promising so the "geniuses" at the lab - namely that asshat Hojo and his team - decided to try using a human test subject. They acquired this subject by going to a family who had allowed their unborn son to be used in a different experiment a few years earlier and purchased her from them. She went in, and there supposedly was some sort of an equipment failure because after she went in, she never returned. I found the equipment they used abandoned in a storage facility and got it working again, so here I am." the hazel eyed man said.
"But why my trunk?" Moody asked growing a bit more suspicious, after all why him out of all the thousands of expanded trunks out there and why this particular trunk out of all of the trunks he owned. His questions about why the man wasn't squished were answered, but he still wanted to know what the man was doing in his trunk. He had thought to stun first and ask questions later, but spells cast on or in expanded spaces had a bad habit of not working properly. The man hadn't made any threatening moves, but that could change quickly. If he could get him out of the trunk...
"First one I came across. If I saw someone else's, it would have been theirs I was knocking at." the man said, moving in a way that suggested that he was shrugging.
"Why don't you come on through son, and I'll see if your sister didn't pop out of someone's trunk when she got lost. It can't be very comfortable standing where you're standing, being in expanded spaces for a long period of time can be disorienting." Moody said, sounding just a little bit nicer and moved his wand so it wasn't pointed directly between the man's eyes. If he became too nice the man could become suspicious and either run back to where he came from despite claiming to be stuck or simply refuse to come out. If the man was as harmless as he seemed, he would apologize later for what he was about to do to him.
"I'm just going to use this to enlarge the door so you can get out." he said, moving the wand until he held it up in a non-threatening manner so the man would know it wasn't just a weapon seeing as he hadn't recognized the wands that were apparently hanging around his head (either that, or he pretended not to). Enlarging the door was really going to be pushing it, but he was rather curious about how the man had managed to connect his trunk to whatever the man was standing in which made it worth it. And if the man turned out to be a Death Eater...the old laws about the acceptability of using lethal force when defending one's home and property hadn't been stricken off the books yet, and likely wouldn't be any time soon.
As soon as the door was expanded after a bit of a struggle, the head of a man in his early to mid twenties with shoulder length ginger hair and a face that looked vaguely familiar popped out followed by shoulders clad in red leather with black shoulder pads and the hilt of a sword that turned out to be almost as long as the man was tall. When the man was fully out, it was revealed that the red leather coat he was wearing over his black clothing was almost long enough to qualify as a robe.
The instant the man was fully out of the trunk, Moody swiftly stunned him, disarmed him - finding that he had a knife tucked in his boot as well as the sword he carried on his back and that he carried no wand and therefore probably hadn't been pretending not to recognize wands when he was surrounded by them and had one pointed at him - and tied him to a chair. After giving him three drops of Veritaserum, he ennervated him.
"What is your name?" he asked.
"Genesis Rhapsodos." the man replied in a toneless voice indicating that the veritaserum was working.
"Are you a Death Eater?" he asked, deciding to get the question out of the way and maybe postpone the rest of the interrogation until he'd had a bit of fun with him if the answer was in the affirmative.
"No." Genesis replied.
"How did you get into my trunk?" he asked. While the man wasn't a Death Eater, that didn't mean he wasn't a threat.
"I activated the equipment used in the Shinra Corporation's dimensional pocket experiments. Using the same machine that was used on my sister, I was able to create a dimensional pocket with a large enough opening to crawl through. Once inside I found that I was able to stand and move about even though there really wasn't much to see other than a large gray void. After selecting a random direction, I exited, purchased several balls of yarn, and returned. I then went in the direction I selected, unwinding the yarn behind me planning on choosing a different direction if I either hit a barrier or ran out of yarn without finding my sister's body. Shortly before I finished unwinding my last ball of yarn, I ran into something that had at the time been invisible. Shortly after I hit it, it revealed itself to be a small wooden door surrounded by several polished sticks. When I moved back to inspect this anomaly, I discovered that I could not move more than two paces in any direction. It was at this point that I knocked, hoping the owner of the door and the sticks would hear me." Genesis replied.
"Why did your family wait two decades to go looking for your sister's body?" Moody asked. The timing of the search was rather suspicious. He'd have to look this "Shinra Corporation" up as well.
"My "family" didn't go looking for her. They just buried an empty casket, told me she got eaten by a wild animal, and moved on." Genesis said with as much passion as the Veritaserum allowed. "I didn't learn how Ban died until I wandered through the Shinra Storage Facility looking for parts for my Dumbapple pie launcher and came across the machinery and the boxes of notes nearby. If I hadn't read those notes out of curiosity, I would never have learned."
"You mentioned something about wanting to die near her body. Why would you want to go and do something like that?" he asked remembering something the man had said. The timing of the man's search and his arrival at his trunk out of the hundreds of thousands out there had been a coincidence. True coincidences were extremely rare, but they happened sometimes, especially when magic itself decided to interfere with something. He hated coincidences, they made you unnecessarily over-paranoid and people laughed at you about them later.
"My parents allowed me to be used in an experiment before I was even born. Genetic information from an ancient that had been excavated from an ash layer from a volcanic eruption that had taken place two thousand years ago had been grafted onto my own while I was still in the womb. Other than being a little faster and stronger than was strictly normal I was seemingly ordinary, up until a few months ago that is. I didn't notice when things started going out of whatever balance I'd been maintaining at first, but one day I had some sort of an episode and attacked a man that had been my friend for years and my hero when I was a kid. I got injured in the ensuing fight, and things really started going downhill from there. I was informed that I was "degrading" and that there was little to nothing that could be done to halt the process." Genesis said.
"When I finally realized that my sanity was slipping bit by bit, I did things that relaxed me before - such as reading LOVELESS - to get a handle on myself. It was my best friend Angeal who suggested that I make the Dumbapple pie launcher we used to talk about when we were kids. It was when I was looking for parts for the launcher that I found the notes. Since I'll be dying after turning into some sort of monster soon anyways, I figured I may as well be with Banora Rose. She was one of the few people I cared about, and I don't want my friends to be forced to watch what's going to happen to me." Genesis continued.
Moody couldn't help but stare after he heard the man's explanation. Some idiot who had absolutely no idea what he was doing had tried to create an Augmented and messed up badly. There was no way in hell that he would leave the man as he was. He would have to contact that American Auror who'd helped out in the fight against Grindlewald back when he was a trainee and see if the man knew if there could be anything that could be done. If anyone knew, he would, considering the fact that he and his entire family were Augmented. If nothing could be done, at the very least, the Americans who had had experience with such things since the Great Banishment would be able to find a way to put the poor man out of his misery painlessly.
From what the man said, he believed that his sister was dead, but if he could come through someone's trunk there was a possibility that his sister had done so as well. Though he said he'd ask around to lure the man out, it looked like he would so the man had at least a chance at a little bit of peace of mind before he went if nothing could be done for him. There was even a small possibility that the man's sister was still alive, and having her around when the time came would at least be a small comfort.
"Son, can you tell me what your little sister looked like when she was lost?" he asked.
"Ban was about average size for a two year-old. She had fire red hair and grass green eyes. I have a picture of her in an inside pocket of my coat." Genesis said.
Moody moved over to where he had laid the coat when he had disarmed the man, after having idly noted the hooks that would be nearly invisible while they held his sword in place. He'd thought them odd, but sensible if the sword was used often - as it appeared to have been - as drawing the weapon out of a sheath would probably take the amount of time between life and death and then some.
In an inner pocket that was about chest level were several small objects. Ignoring the polished rock, the silver locket, the braided lock of silver hair, the beaded bracelet with a broken clasp into which a lock of black hair had been twined and what looked like a ticket stub from a muggle movie theater, he grabbed the square piece of paper with the words Genesis and Banora Rose on it and turned it over. It was a muggle photograph of a pair of red haired children. The boy who couldn't have been older than four was hugging a small girl. The girl was Lily.