Disclaimer - I don't own Harry Potter.
So, this is the last chapter! All I can say is that I hope you enjoy and give me reviews? Also, thanks to Manatheron for helping with the whole evil Dumbledore bit and to GinnyLover14 for Sirius' wife suggestion. And, is this soon enough for everyone? I just wanted to finish the story before I go back to school.
Dumbledore sighed, dropping his head down onto his desk. How on earth had Harry Potter been Sorted into Slytherin? Even if he had been Sorted under the name Black, Dumbledore would have recognised him a mile off; the green eyes that belonged to Lily – even if they had become slightly greyer – and the tousled black hair from James, although it had become neater. Again, another effect of the apparent blood adoption. He was supposed to be a Gryffindor, for Merlin's sake! That way he would be surrounded by children of the Light, and it would be so much easier to keep him on track as the wizarding world's hero, rather than this Black that he had become. And now he was surrounded by the children of former Death Eaters – well, that was what they said, but Dumbledore knew they were as 'former' as he was a hater of lemon drops – and they were sure to try and sway him to the Dark under the orders of their parents. Although, he was a Black in name so he was probably already a Death Eater in training! Unfortunately, this was the general view of the wizarding world; Blacks equal Slytherin equal Death Eaters. And Sirius had wondered why everyone believed him so capable of going Dark?
But that hardly mattered now, Dumbledore thought miserably. The boy had most likely been raised to mistrust him from first sight, and that could only change if he somehow managed to become friendly with the Light, and that could only work if he was a Gryffindor. Wait. Could he...could he have the boy re-Sorted? It was part of the Hogwarts Charter that a student could be re-sorted, but the minor snag was that he had to have the full support of all four Heads of Houses and there had to be an extremely good reason. Plus, there was paperwork. Well, persuade them all that it was for the greater good, and perhaps remind Severus about the origins of Caelum Black. Smiling predatorily, he quickly scribbled down a few rough plans of how best to make Harry Potter a Gryffindor. And how to get him away from the Blacks.
"But don't you see, Minerva?" Dumbledore was trying to explain a day later. "If he stays in Slytherin, he'll be corrupted by the Dark. If we can resort him, then it will be for Harry's own good." Minerva still didn't look convinced, Albus noted sadly, and he sighed softly. Would he have to use a Confundus charm on her again?
"You, of all people, Minerva, should know how entrenched the Blacks are in the Dark Arts," Dumbledore pleaded. He didn't really like using the Confundus Charm – it did tend to start frying the brain, as it were, after copious amounts of use.
"Orion Black may have been extremely fond of Dark magic," Minerva said firmly, "but Sirius is a different person! I like to think I know my Gryffindors after seven years, and no matter what you think, I am sure that Sirius did not betray James to You-Know-Who." The phoenix gave a squawk of approval, but Dumbledore did not take any notice of the bird.
"Severus, you must agree with me!" Dumbledore moved onto Snape as his next target...possible ally. "Surely you wouldn't want to have a reminder of Lily in your house for the next seven years?"
Severus glared. That was a low blow, and he heard faint sounds of sympathy coming from the others around him. "The boy is...rather different when compared to his natural father," he said silkily. "Personally, I find him to be much more sufferable as a Slytherin. He is a lot easier to teach; Gryffindors seem to think they know everything," and threw a sneer at McGonagall who bristled at this insult to her charges.
"I too do not find Mr Black to be any trouble," Flitwick added with an approving smile. "He is a most calm and conscientious student and he often helps his fellow Slytherins. A lot like his natural mother, I think, in that he is a virtual prodigy at Charms."
This wasn't going right, Dumbledore mentally shrieked. They were supposed to be condemning him so that he could have a viable reason for Sorting him into Gryffindor. Looking at Pomona, he saw the same expression on her face as on the others, and it was certain he was not going to find an ally in her. Why did they not understand? What was the happiness of one boy when compared to the safety of the whole wizarding world? It was for the greater good and nobody could seem to understand that!
He relented. "Perhaps you are right in that Mr Potter should not be re-Sorted. I shall leave this matter alone then." If one was sharp enough, they would have heard the unspoken 'for now' at the end of his sentence, but three of the four professors nodded kindly at him, now that he had regained his senses and left quietly. However, Severus' eyes gleamed with hidden thoughts, and Albus wondered what exactly was hiding behind the veneer of his pitch-black eyes as he too left.
"Actually, Minerva, would I be able to see you on a matter of paperwork?" he called out just before the woman in question had left. Albus made sure that the door was shut before returning his attention to his Deputy Headmistress who was looking at him in expectation.
"Confundo!" Dumbledore cast on his Deputy Headmistress. "Obliviate!" He watched happily as she looked around dazed. "Oh, Albus! I'm so sorry; I must have missed what you said."
"Not at all, Minerva," Albus replied, sipping at his cup of tea. "I was simply saying how it would be a good idea for Harry to be fostered by some of the Lighter families so that we can turn him away from the Dark. For his own good, of course."
He watched her carefully as she hesitated before answering. Her natural instincts were most likely trying to throw off the effects of the Confundus
"I suppose you may be right," McGonagall finally allowed, and he breathed a small sigh of relief. "I believe Harry has a trust fund so that there would be an allowance for his foster parents to spend on him. It wouldn't truly be a hardship for them to take him in then."
Albus simply smiled as he watched Minerva plan.
Conversely, a few days later, Albus Dumbledore could be found cursing loudly and throwing things across his office. Several of the items had been thrown clear out of the window as well. Stewing in his anger, he even started to curse a couple of the portraits but the wards on them only reflected the curses back at him, and he had to quickly dive to the floor to avoid them. He sank down into his chair, covering his head with his hands. The bloody Wizengamot had blocked his appeal to take Harry away from the Blacks, indicating that he appeared to be well-loved in his current home, and he was able to be well-provided for. Did nobody understand that things had happen for the greater good, and this included the boy being a symbol of the Light so that he could defeat Lord Voldemort and, if Albus was lucky, die so that he would always be remembered as a Light symbol. If he didn't die, then Albus had planned to mentor him in all things Dumbledore so that perhaps Harry Potter would further his agenda when Albus had passed on, after at least another hundred years of life, which was enough to completely brainwash the boy.
But those plans were all going down the toilet now, because the bloody Blacks refused to let him out of their custody!
Caelum was lying by the Black Lake in the late afternoon sunshine and simply relaxing as he tried to forget about the copious amounts of work that the professors had given him, and it was only his first year! He frowned, thinking of the glares that many other members of the school had been giving him ever since his Sorting earlier in the school year. Most people never saw past his name to try and recognise the boy and so name that he had once had. As a Black and son to a wanted fugitive, he was treated almost like a pariah in the school unless they already knew the truth, which included many of the Slytherins, and Susan Bones, who had tried her best to increase Harry's reputation in Hufflepuff House. There was also the odd dreamy girl who had been Sorted into Ravenclaw, and had approached him one afternoon, claiming that although Stubby Boardman was innocent, she was sure he'd had a good reason as he was perhaps trying to avoid the Rotfang conspiracy. It had taken him a while to realise that she meant his godfather, Sirius Black. Then, she'd eyeballed him with a very focused expression for her and told him to beware of spiky things. He'd politely thanked her, and she had smiled dreamily at him before wandering off. Harry wasn't quite sure what to think of her, but had rather liked her odd sense of humour. Theo and Draco had immediately teased him about having a crush on her, and so he'd had to knock that crazy idea out of their heads. He thought the detention was well worth it; they certainly hadn't teased him anymore about Luna Lovegood.
He heard a crackle in the dry grass behind him, and he half-turned, expecting it to be perhaps Draco or Theo attempting to sneak up on him. He was therefore rather surprised when he saw a hedgehog trying to escape his notice before transforming into a man with straw-coloured hair and with an evil grin on his face. "Stupefy!" he cried, and Caelum's last thought before his world faded into blackness was that Luna was right.
Caelum woke up with a start, only to flinch as he saw a wand pointed right at his face. "Why, good evening, Mr Potter. So...nice of you to join our little party," the man in front of him said with a demented grin on his face. "Master would have been awfully hurt if you'd declined his conversation, and then Master would have punished poor Barty but it was lucky that Barty found you and had you come here, wasn't it? Never mind about that, though. Barty has the entertainment to prepare for, and you, dear little Potter, are the main event! So then, let Barty Crouch escort you to your seat!"
"Incarcerous!" Crouch cast, his face twisted into a mocking smile as he watched the ropes fly from his wand, looping themselves around the boy and the gravestone in the form of the Reaper, and pulling themselves tight which forced the boy to yelp in pain as the rough edges of the ropes pulled on his skin and his head impacted hard on the stone.
Caelum watched, dazed, as the man who had kidnapped him – Barty Crouch, he'd called himself – move towards a cauldron that was placed just in front of him. He had a wriggling and squalling baby in his arms, but the glimpse that Caelum caught of the baby showed him that this was no typical child. It might have been once, but the effects of whatever had been done to it had turned it into something resembling a monster; the limbs had been elongated to different lengths and there was an expression of pure evil upon its face. The kidnapper gently set the baby inside the cauldron and its gurgles disappeared as it too disappeared beneath the water in the cauldron.
"Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son!" Barty Crouch proclaimed proudly, raising his wand high in the air, and there was a slight pause before the earth of the grave that Caelum was tied to shifted, a small flurry of dust rising and then falling into the cauldron, sending sparks in all directions.
"Flesh of the servant, willingly given, you will revive your master!" Caelum watched in horror as Barty Crouch Jr sawed through his wrist bone, cutting his hand off, with nary a whimper emerging from his mouth, and with an insane smile on his face all throughout the procedure. He let it hand on the end of his wrist for a small moment of time, before sawing through the last piece of flesh that connected his hand, and a dull thud could be heard as it impacted on the bottom of the cauldron, making the thick liquid turn a bright crimson red.
"Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken, you will resurrect your foe!" No signs of pain emanated from Crouch's face as he made his way towards the Boy-Who-Lived, drawing out a small knife from the depths of his robes, and as he cut away the right arm of Caelum's robe, the latter moved his arm a little closer to the knife. Caelum could only hope that 'willingly given' instead of 'forcibly taken' would lessen the effect that his blood would have. He watched, almost desperately, as the cauldron's fluid turned a creamy white colour, praying that the creature inside would drown, but it was not to be as he saw a figure rise up out of the cauldron, becoming, twisting, mutating into something that was most definitely not natural.
It landed lightly, almost softly, on the ground, and it did not appear to mind the fact that it was naked. Rather, it almost seemed to revel in it, stroking its body with long-fingered hands and marvelling at the way it could lift its limbs so effortlessly. Caelum could honestly say he'd never seen anything quite so disgusting. "Robe me," it breathed slowly, and Crouch hurried forward, conjuring a pair of robes quickly, draping them around the almost skeletal body that preened as it gathered the folds around itself. Finally, it looked up, and straight at Caelum, who only had time to catch a glimpse of a bone-white face, a snake-like nose and two crimson eyes before his scar started to pulse and he cried out in agony. Suddenly the pain dramatically decreased and Caelum blearily looked up to see Voldemort – for he had no doubt that this was indeed the Dark Lord – looking very pleased at the effect he had caused.
"Harry Potter," Voldemort greeted. "We meet again."
The boy said nothing, but simply stared back at him with a blank face. Voldemort frowned. This was...rather unexpected. He would have thought Harry Potter to have the fundamental characteristics of a Gryffindor, eager to rush into things without any thought, and calling it bravery. He snorted in disgust at the foolishness of some, but put it out of his mind as he saw his prize tied to the gravestone, the Reaper holding the boy in his stone embrace.
"Yeah. This is what, the second time we've met? And you still haven't killed me?" Voldemort started at the sound of the boy's voice. He had the same blank face as before, but when Voldemort peered closer, there was the slightest hint of mocking in the boy's eyes. Snarling furiously at this boy who dared to ridicule him, he sent a Crucio at him, and felt a shiver of pleasure run through him as he watched his enemy scream and write from the pain. He cared nothing for the fact that Harry was only a child, and even put a bit more power into the curse.
For Harry, it seemed like years had passed before the madman in front of him stopped the curse. He was no stranger to it, of course, as growing up in a Dark family did tend to introduce one to some of the nastier curses that were found in the wizarding world.
Voldemort watched the boy dispassionately as he tried to recover from the effects of the curse, but he could still see the mocking defiance in the boy's eyes. It went straight to his stomach, stirring up feelings of fury which only influenced the growth of the darkness in him, fuelling his desire to hurt the boy, to do something irreparable to him. So he did.
"Avada Kedavra!" he bellowed, and cackled madly as he watched the sickly green light fly from his wand and impact on the boy's chest. There was a moment of pause as he watched the boy's head rise to meet his gaze, and the sheer loathing in his stare almost had an effect on Voldemort. Almost. Then, time seemed to stop, and then the Dark Lord could have sworn that the eyes of his foe flashed red, before Potter's head dropped to lie limply against his chest.
Voldemort stared for a few moments before shrieking with joy as he saw no sign of movement from the boy, giving no thought to the flash of red eyes. Potter was dead. Harry Potter was truly dead! Spinning around, he pulled Crouch up from his position on the ground before snapping, "Arm." Knowing which arm he meant, Barty quickly held it out, only flinching when he felt the burn of the wand as it activated the Dark Mark. He barely whimpered as his Lord shoved him away, landing on his stump of an arm, but stumbled to his feet, cradling his shortened arm, and moved back to wait by the cauldron from where his Lord had been reborn.
He felt barely any pain; he was too ecstatic at the sight of seeing his Lord once more. He had spent so much time waiting; in Azkaban, for one, hearing the demented whispers of the other followers around him, and feeling a strange sort of pride in all of them. They were the bravest; strong enough to stand up for the Dark Lord in front of the court and proudly announce their doings that had been done in his name. He was rather surprised that Bellatrix Lestrange had not been there in Azkaban with him. She was famous in the wizarding world for being one of the Dark Lord's most fanatical servants and Barty doubted that she had not at least been interrogated by the Aurors.
He slumped suddenly to the ground, leaning against the cauldron to try and remain upright, and Barty grinned dementedly as he realised what exactly the possession of his body by Lord Voldemort had done. It was killing him, but Barty really didn't mind. How could he when his sacrifice had meant that his Lord would come back to life? The takeover of his body by Voldemort had forced his body to become dependent on the other's magic, and now that it had been removed, his body was decaying. Bartemius Crouch Jr died with a smile on his face.
Slowly but surely, sounds of Apparition echoed throughout the graveyard as his followers made their presence known. Dressed in their identical black robes and white masks, they were nearly indistinguishable from each other, but Voldemort knew who they were. The flash of blond hair told him Lucius was here. The hulking bodies standing at least two feet above the others meant that Crabbe and Goyle were present. A mad cackle indicated that Bellatrix was in the graveyard. Oh, there were many signs for Voldemort to recognise his followers, not to mention the use of the Dark Mark which showed him who exactly was in his presence. Silently they moved until they were standing in a semicircle around him, waiting for his orders, but Voldemort did nothing. He would wait. Wait until one of them dared to question him, and then he would relay his demands.
There was a small movement amongst his followers as they noticed the dead body of Harry Potter tied to the gravestone of his father. Curious, Voldemort mused, but he took it as a sign that they now knew that the approach of his absolute power over the wizarding world was imminent. After all, he thought with a cruel smile, they also knew what else was imminent if they thought anything other to that. It was taking a while for them to make a sound, Voldemort realised; but of course, they knew what was in store. No matter; he could be patient when it suited him.
"Master?" one finally began. "How is it that you have returned to us?"
"Crucio!" Voldemort whispered, revelling in the screams of pain that emerged from the man's throat as he screamed himself hoarse. "I smell guilt," he hissed at them. "I smell the guilt of those who swore an oath of undying loyalty to their master, yet never took the time to come to my aid." The Death Eaters shuffled, but before they could answer, the sound of Apparation echoes throughout the graveyard and suddenly Albus Dumbledore was in their midst.
Voldemort gaped at his sudden appearance, and Dumbledore took the chance to size up his opposition. He was a disgusting mockery of a human being, taller than normal, bone-white, with a snake-like nose, and Dumbledore shuddered at the sight of him. It was even worse when he started to speak. "And what brings you to this humble graveyard, Albus?" His voice was soft, yet cloying, and it almost seemed to caress Dumbledore's skin with the resonance of Dark magic.
"You need to be stopped, Tom," Albus said gravely, and Voldemort hissed at the mention of his given name, immediately launching into battle with the old Headmaster. Albus felt a jolt of shock run through him before returning to the present threat that had just tried to curse him, as he saw the small body of Caelum Black – no, Harry Potter, he corrected himself –hanging limply to his right, tied to a gravestone.
How on earth was Harry Potter going to fulfil the prophecy and get rid of this Dark Lord if he was dead? Perhaps Neville Longbottom would have to be used for this task. He was certainly malleable enough to be manipulated into doing so, the Headmaster thought. He swore silently; one of Voldemort's curses had nearly hit his arm. Shoving the thoughts of Harry Potter's death aside, he concentrated fully on his enemy.
The battle between the two famous foes was truly something to watch; jets of coloured lights were flying everywhere, and only when they hit their target did they truly show their danger. Gravestones around the duelling pair were slowly being eroded by the curses that hit them, and it took all the skill the Death Eaters had to twist and dodge the curses that had flown off in their direction but more than one was hit. Of course, Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort were not without their own fair share of injuries; the Headmaster was currently suffering from a broken collarbone, a cursed leg, and several cuts and grazes, while the Dark Lord had a large burn that covered the right side of his body and a cursed wound that was seeping blood on his left leg. They carried on duelling, with the tempo and danger increasing before a spell that was light-grey in colour shot from Voldemort's wand and hit Dumbledore directly on the chest, who looked down in horror at the place where it had impacted. It was a curse that would become visible, and took the form of tendrils of black shadow that crept over the body, and when it had reached the end of every limb, it slowly sucked out all the moisture from the body. It also had the effect of paralysing the body when the tendrils had reached to the knees and elbows, and so it was obvious that the subject of this curse would need immediate medical attention. Dumbledore looked conflicted; he knew that this was his best chance to kill Voldemort, but on the other hand, he would die very soon if he stayed and he was not the one of the prophecy. His decision made, he Apparated away from the graveyard.
Voldemort laughed wildly in triumph as he watched Dumbledore disappear from view, but paused when he heard no other sounds of laughter emanating from his followers. Odd, he frowned. They normally joined in with his maniacal laughter or else they faced the Cruciatus curse, but when he looked around, he found a group of purebloods facing him with hard faces that showed no sign of emotion. They were gradually moving closer, and the Dark Lord looked wildly around, searching for a face that showed sympathy to the cause, but he saw none.
Slowly, step by step, the purebloods amassed around him approached him with stony faces. No hint of mercy could be seen on their faces, and Voldemort suddenly knew that his old followers would never serve under him again. Somehow, in the space of ten years, they had regained their own wills, and were now very willing to kill him. He also knew that he would not be able to defeat all of them at once, even if he released all of his power at once, and caused a magical version of a bomb. Unfortunately for him, that would also have the detrimental effect of killing him, and he did certainly not wish to die after he'd only just got his body back. Granted, it wasn't quite the same as before for which he was sorry; it was certainly easier to charm people into taking the mark when one actually looked human.
Time had almost seemed to come to a standstill as his former followers surrounded him in a semicircle, and he spun around desperately, looking for the one that would start the cursing. He had no fear that they could kill him; after all, he had his Horcruxes. But, a horrible thought struck him, what if his former servants had discovered them? He pushed it away, preferring to keep his mind focused on the current threat.
A branch cracked behind him, and he froze. He hadn't seen anyone behind him, hadn't seen any of his servants move in order to try to attack him from behind. Whirling around, he only had time to take in the whispered words, a sickly green light that matched the silver-tinged emerald eyes so full of hate, and a lightning scar that looked crimson on the boy's bone white forehead.
The soulless husk of the former Dark Lord crumpled to the ground, with the boy that had killed him standing behind, his wand unwaveringly pointed at the body on the ground before him.
"Caelum?" Lucius asked quietly and in slight awe of the boy before him. After all, it wasn't every day that your nephew survives the Killing curse. For a second time, he mentally added. The boy had not appeared to hear him, and Lucius stepped closer, freezing when the wand swung up to lock onto his body. "Caelum?" he tried again, hoping that his voice would get through to the boy in his state of shock, and it worked. The boy focused on him, and promptly dropped his wand to the ground as he ran forward and hugged Lucius Malfoy around the waist. To say the pureblood was surprised was an understatement. Nobody, not even Draco, had ever hugged him around the waist, but he let it slide this once. After all, the boy had just rid him of the Dark Lord.
"It's all over, it's all over, it's all over," the boy was murmuring over and over again into the folds of Lucius' robes, and he clasped Caelum's shoulder, trying for some sort of comfort, before addressing the other former Death Eaters around him. "Mrs Black will call a meeting in a few days. You shall be there." Before anyone could protest, Lucius Apparated away, holding onto Caelum tightly and landed on the stoop of Number 12 Grimmauld Place.
Caelum let out a small sob, and threw himself at the door as it opened, darting past the rather confused form of Kreacher, who opened the door wider, expecting Lucius to enter. He walked past, dismissive of the house-elf, and made his way to where he could hear talking. He opened the door quietly, not wishing to disturb his aunt-in-law and cousin-in-law. Walburga was looking stunned and Sirius worried as his son held tightly to him.
"What the hell happened, Lucius?" Sirius demanded, hugging his son, and glared at the Slytherin when he took his time in answering.
"It appears that the Dark Lord is dead for good," Lucius answered calmly. "Caelum killed him. But when the Dark Lord called us, Caelum was already dead, so I for one would like to know how that could be."
"What?" Sirius looked horrified, and unconsciously hugged the boy closer to him. "Harry, is this true? Did Voldemort kill you?" The small head that was visible nodded, and then buried closer to Sirius, if that was possible. "What the fuck?" Sirius finally said in confusion.
"He was a Horcrux," Walburga said softly in a tone of realisation. "Voldemort must have made him one in 1981, and so when he killed Harry tonight, their souls must have battled for dominance over who was to be killed." Lucius nodded, his curiosity satisfied, and quickly said his goodbyes.
It was all over, he suddenly realised, as he stood before the gates to Malfoy Manor. They opened automatically, recognising the Malfoy blood, but he stood there in the light drizzle and rolled up his sleeve. His shout of joy could be heard from the Manor where Narcissa was anxiously awaiting news of her husband and of what had happened that day.
"What happened in the graveyard, pup?" Sirius asked gently. Caelum hadn't got out of bed since the incident, and he was starting to get rather worried so he had decided to bit the bullet, as it were, and question Caelum about what had happened in the graveyard. Caelum was staring at the wall, away from the worried eyes of both Sirius and Remus, who had joined his friend to make sure that Caelum was alright. They sat in silence for a long time; the adults letting their son and nephew know that they were not going to give up on the questioning even if he did not want to speak, before Caelum gave up.
"I saw Mum and Dad," Caelum finally said, after it had become clear that Sirius and Remus were not going to leave off the matter. It certainly shut them up, he thought, when he'd said that.
"You saw Lily and James?" Sirius asked carefully, after it had become clear that his adopted son was not going to volunteer anymore information and Moony looked rather disinclined to speak as his mouth was open in shock.
"Yes." Caelum finally rolled over and stared at his father, before proceeding to speak. "Voldemort killed me." He quickly cast a charm on his father and honorary uncle that would keep them stuck to their seats, and quickly continued. "But then I was in a train station with my parents. It looked a bit like King's Cross, I thought at the time, but I guess it doesn't really matter. Anyways, Mum and Dad just...appeared out of nowhere. They told me that I had died but that I wasn't dead exactly, because Voldemort had made me a Horcrux, but that I could stay with them if I wanted."
His father and uncle looked shocked at the announcement; their son or nephew had died but hadn't truly died. A random thought flashed through Remus' mind of a movie where that had happened; something to do with princesses wasn't it?
"I almost wanted to at first," Caelum's small voice cut through both Sirius and Remus' thoughts, and they were slightly startled at the fact that he had wanted to die, "and they said they wouldn't mind but you two would be awfully upset, and then I remembered about you guys and the rest of the family and Draco and Theo as well, so I wanted to come back. And there was a baby crying," he said, wrinkling his nose, "but Mum and Dad ignored it, so I did as well. And then, just before they disappeared and I woke up in the graveyard, they said they were proud of me and of you guys as well. And then Mum said she was happy that you weren't so hot-headed, Father, and that you took me here to Grandmother, otherwise you could have ended up in Azkaban because you went after Wormtail and he killed thirteen Muggles, framing you."
The two men looked at each other in shock; surely the Ministry wouldn't send people to Azkaban without a trial. "Wait. How would Lily know that?"Remus asked, puzzled.
"Mum said that there were other universes that you can see in heaven, and they happen depending on what choices you made. She told me that she was glad that you chose this one otherwise I would have grown up with the Dursleys." All three made matching faces of disgust.
"Then I woke up on the stone, and I remember still seeing Mum and Dad in front of me and saying that they – they loved me so much and wished they could be with me, and they wo-would be proud of me whatever I wanted to do," Caelum finished, tears starting to fall from his eyes.
There was a pause as Sirius and Remus took in what they had just heard, before Remus leaned forward on his chair and hugged his honorary nephew. Sirius looked surprised – normally Moony wasn't one for physical displays of affection – but also leant over, wrapping his arms around Caelum, offering him comfort as he cried silently. They stayed like that for quite a long time, before Sirius cleared his throat, which echoed loudly in the quiet of the room, and both Remus and Caelum turned to look at him questioningly. "I also have an announcement to make. I'm engaged."
Remus simply stared for a moment before roaring with laughter, dramatically changing the general mood of the room. "Sirius, you old dog, you! Getting tied down, are we? Whatever happened to 'I'll be a bachelor until the day I die. I'm much too serious to ever be tied down'" and then promptly started to laugh with increased fervour.
"You said that?" Caelum quickly interjected with a smirk on his face. Merlin, was this blackmail material! "Who is she?"
Sirius blushed at the question, and muttered something under his breath. Caelum looked at him in confusion, whilst Moony burst out into laughter all over again, pointing and laughing at both Sirius and Caelum.
"Who?" Caelum asked, confused. Why was Remus laughing at him? "Say her name again, Sirius, and soon, because I really don't like that smirk that Moony's got on his face."
"Aurora Sinistra," Sirius muttered again, but loud enough for his godson to hear this time. When Caelum still looked confused, Remus interjected, with a chuckle, "You might know her as Professor Sinistra, cub."
His eyes widened in realisation and horror. "My teacher! You had to pick a teacher of mine!" Remus burst out laughing at Caelum's next remark. "But you're going to know what I'm doing all the time! And how I do in class!" Now Sirius was smirking as he watched his godson's horror and panic at the situation, and Caelum pouted as he realised that both Sirius and Remus were laughing at him.
"Ah, Lucius, good to see you," Fudge babbled. "Now what's this about a complaint of magical explosions in Little Hangleton?"
Lucius regarded the short portly man in front of him with visible disdain. How he'd ever managed to work with this man was beyond him, really. The sheer stupidity and cowardice he displayed was enough to upset even the person with the best intentions. He smirked, though, as he realised his failure to answer had caused the man to tremble slightly.
"Lucius?" he asked, almost fearfully.
"So sorry, Minister," he drawled in reply. "My mind was on something else. Would you mind awfully if I opened the window?"
"N-No, of course not," Fudge stuttered. There was something about Lucius today that distinctly put him on edge, and he thought for one terrible moment that Lucius would swing around and kill him. He grasped for his wand, and felt secure in his knowledge that if Lucius did try to kill him now, he wouldn't be able to. He put out of his mind Lucius' reputation as one of the most sadistic, and quickest , Death Eaters out of his mind; after all, Lucius had been Imperius-ed into doing that monster's command. But a subconscious part of him wondered if his story had actually been true as Lucius turned around, stepping away from the window, with a small smirk as he saw Fudge with his hand on his wand.
Fudge let out a small sigh of relief as he casually moved his hand away from his wand, pretending to adjust his acid-green bowler hat, but he saw that Lucius' eyes missed none of his movements. A wave of anxiety flowed through him, and it seemed clear that there was something wrong. He was about to voice his fears to Lucius, but he was interrupted by said man.
"Oh, and in answer to your question, Minister, the explosions were caused by the rebirth of Lord Voldemort last night," Lucius said casually, buffing his nails against the soft fabric of his robes.
"Wh-What!" the Minister stuttered out. "You-Know-Who? Alive again? That can't possibly be true," he said, shaking his head and waving the words away. "Harry Potter killed him. So he can't have been re-born. Really, Lucius, where did you get these rumours from?"
Lucius simply stared at him. How thick could one get? He had been one of the most important Death Eaters during the war, and this man dared to question him about the rise of his former Master?
"Actually, Minister, it is true," he said calmly. He thought himself very restrained for not attacking the man, actually. He definitely deserved a prize. "I know it's true because I was there."
Fudge went pale and stumbled backwards, hitting the corner of his desk, and nearly falling over. He sat on the floor, frozen in fear, unable to get back up, and simply stared up at the blond Death Eater in front of him. "And I suppose I should say that it's been a pleasure working with you, Minister, but if I'm honest, it really hasn't," Lucius drawled lazily. "And now you have to die."
Fudge's eyes widened in shock before there came a whisper of 'Avada Kedavra' and a green light flew through the window, striking Fudge in the middle of his chest. For a moment, he looked at Lucius in confusion, obviously seeking some sort of answer, and only found a smirk that answered the unasked question on his face. Lucius was watching in delight as Fudge crumpled heavily to the floor, and it took him a few moments to rearrange his face into something resembling the emotions of shock and slight horror as he waited for the Aurors to come running in. After all, he had just seen the Minister of Magic killed right in front of him. Never mind that he'd planned the whole thing.
It took a few days for the results of the emergency election to come in, and there was almost a unanimous agreement that supported the election of Lucius Malfoy to the position of Minister. One thing that had rather shocked the was the public was Amelia Bones' support for the new Minister, as her loathing for the man was almost infamous in the Ministry; she had personally been at the head of the investigations into his actions as a Death Eater at the end of the war, and had headed several raids into his home for the purpose of finding Dark artefacts, all of which had failed. But now she was supporting him!
Said woman was currently smiling wryly at the newspaper where it announced Lucius Malfoy's new position. She hadn't had much choice in voting for him; Walburga Black had been very vocal about her choices after she had visited the Black home, but she was happy in her position as Director of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and to be completely honest, Lucius Malfoy would probably be a much better Minister when compared to Cornelius Fudge. Indeed, one law he had passed in his first day as Minister called for the introduction of Muggleborns into the wizarding world a year earlier so that they could be educated on the wizarding culture. Amelia smiled, almost fondly; nothing would ever be quite like before, she thought. With Sirius Black advising the Minister, (whether Lucius wanted it or not) there would be definite change for the entire wizarding world.
In fact, the only person who had seemed to oppose Lucius Malfoy's appointment as Minister was Albus Dumbledore, but he had simply been overruled by the other members of the Wizengamot. After all, with the Boy-Who-Lived's (for a second time!) support, Lucius Malfoy was immediately popular throughout the entirety of wizarding Britain. The copious donations that had been 'given' to the other members of the Wizengamot also helped to ensure his popularity.
Snarling furiously, the Headmaster in question strode away from the courtroom, where the new Minister had just been elected, ignoring the numerous reporters that tried to get a quote from likely the only man who opposed Lucius Malfoy. He elbowed a few of the reporters out the way, before disappearing into thin air as he Apparated.
Rita Skeeter narrowed her eyes at the retreating back of Albus Dumbledore as she picked herself up off the ground where she had so unceremoniously been shoved. He would pay, she thought darkly. She didn't know when or where, but he would.
A pop sounded, and Albus Dumbledore emerged onto the edge of the Hogwarts wards, looking around cautiously. No sound was heard out of the nearby wood, and he relaxed, albeit keeping his hand on his wand. This reflex served him well, as when a crimson beam shot out of the nearest clump of trees at him, he was able to quickly block it. The unknown attacker kept up their barrage of spells, forcing him to concentrate solely on the clump of tress in front of him, so it was a small shock when he heard the whispered words of Stupefy come from behind him, and he collapsed forwards. He strained to lift his head to see who had attacked him, and widened his eyes with disbelief as he met the dispassionately cold eyes of Severus Snape before darkness completely overtook him.
He woke suddenly, and was immediately aware of the presence of two people in the room. One he guessed was Severus, but the other was unknown. He lay still, trying to avoid their notice so that he could play dead for a bit longer and perhaps figure out who the unknown was and what he wanted. Unfortunately for Dumbledore, Snape and his accomplice only seemed to be talking about inane things such as the weather, which suddenly switched onto a rather gorier topic. His death. They both seemed to be taking an extraordinary amount of pleasure in planning it out, and when it got one particularly disgusting bit, Dumbledore flinched. It was a barely noticeable twitch but it was enough to catch Snape's attention, who silently pointed it out to the man standing by him, who stepped forward to where Dumbledore was laying.
"Well, well, well," the voice drawled. "Look at what we have here. The Headmaster." This last word was said with so much scorn that Dumbledore could nearly feel the contempt and disdain that was dripping off it.
He strained to raise his head to meet the eyes of the man by him, and was only a little surprised to see that it was Sirius Black. He had long suspected that the man wanted vengeance, but how could Black get to him? But now he was defenceless, and Albus lowered his head in defeat. He was most likely going to die, and to be honest, that was just really...annoying. He couldn't exactly think of any other words that described his untimely death as well as that. All those plans and ideas would go to waste, and his school would fall into the hands of those who would change things. He wouldn't be the great Albus Dumbledore, the esteemed Headmaster and Head Warlock of the Wizengamot, anymore. He'd simply be another old man who had died and was buried somewhere whose location would eventually be forgotten by time.
"Cordis tempus augmentis!" Sirius cast at the man in front of him, and Albus gasped as he felt the curse hit him, centring on his heart with an odd burning feeling before he felt the tempo of his heart alter slightly and start to speed up, faster and faster.
Sirius stared at the old dying man in front of him with a cruel smile adorning his face. Snape shifted by him as they watched the man die and Sirius suspected that he was feeling a little guilty about not doing anything for the man that had helped him, had given him a job and a feeling of hope. Time for realisation, Sirius silently scoffed.
"You do remember that he was the man that did nothing to punish me after fifth year. He was the one indirectly responsible for Lily's death. He was the one that took you in because you were a useful tool as a spy and teacher. Nothing else," Sirius said bluntly.
Severus' expression hardened and he glared at Sirius, but said nothing. It was true, after all. Sirius shrugged before levitating the soon-to-be former Headmaster away from the shack that had conjured in the midst of the clump of trees to keep them hidden, and put him down, none too gently, on the road, near to the edge of the wards. This location, along with the curse that sped up the heart's tempo, would lead anyone on discovering it to think that the Headmaster had died from a heart attack after the stress of Apparating from London to Hogwarts.
He heard Snape Apparating away from behind him after dispelling the charms that held up the shack and as it vanished, it took the evidence with it, what little there was anyway. Sirius watched until the Headmaster gasped for breath as his heart kept speeding until it finally stuttered and stopped. He stood there for a moment, simply watching, before Apparating away from the scene and returning home. Perhaps Aurora wouldn't mind a surprise visit tonight.
Author's note – so Voldemort's dead, as is Dumbledore, and everything seems as if it's going to be alright, which it is. Hope you enjoyed, and don't forget to review!