Summary: Azkabam escapees, politicians, dementors, divided loyalties, difficult questions and, soul mates? Things are getting complicated. Mentions of slash & 3soms. Violence and some language.
Thanks to Chaos Babe, who inspired a little section of this chapter. Cheers duckie!
Escapes and Conversations
Azkabam was always cold, never saw sunlight, which could be a side effect of dementors, or could have been the reason for its location. Whatever the reason, the entire place was an icebox, but even the cold couldn't suppress the stench of misery and unwashed bodies.
Bellatrix hadn't been worried about her sanity before she started to find it homely.
"… itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water marks…" she giggled, still watching the insect climbing up the wall, if it was an insect, were spiders insects? Or were they bugs? What was the difference between insects and bugs anyway? Didn't people eat bugs? Weren't they rather crunchy?
Boredom really did send the mind down strange tangents…
A rat wiggled into her cell, sniffed the air and squeaked a bit.
Bellatrix reached for a stone she'd pried from the wall some years ago. It had been a rat who brought the news that took her lord to the Potters, her poor, wonderful lord…
The rat turned into a man, the rat man who had brought the information, in fact.
Hm… A bigger rock might be required… Strangulation was always an option…
He offered her two potions, and a fold of parchment with familiar, elegant handwriting on the outside.
Take the potions Wormtail gives you. One shall strengthen you, and the other shall unlock your animagus form. Remain in it as much as possible; it will shield you from the dementors effects somewhat. Escape if you are able, if not, stay strong, and await rescue. Do not risk your lives in foolish attempts.
We shall take our vengeance soon.
Bellatrix closed her eyes, and kissed the signature before snatching the potions from the rat man.
Her lord bid her to escape, so she would escape.
The guards were worried, very worried. The Lestrange bitch hadn't made a single sound in two days, and considering her habit of singing to herself, breaking into laughter at random moments and talking to herself that was a pretty good reason to believe something awful to be going on.
One of their newest members suggested that she might have finally lost whatever strange energy kept her going and died in her sleep. He was treated with great scorn for making such a stupid comment.
There were theories about Lestrange, and one of them, the least spoken of and most believed, was that she was never going to die. She was just going to carry on in her cell, and in a few centuries some stupid bastard was going to let her out, and then she was going to go on a mass murdering spree and hurt down all their grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, and fed them their own intestines.
There was something about the way she looked at people, something about the way she smiled, which made that all too easy to believe. She always had this look in her eyes that seemed to say 'I'll get you in the end, but no hurry, I can wait, I have time' and despite her famous insanity, they believed it.
They peered into her cell, but couldn't see her. In the end they drew straws over who would go in, and the pair, no-one would have gone in alone, with the misfortune of having to going in were regarded with pity.
They edged in, peering into every corner, and half relieved to see no-one there. If the bitch had escaped then she wasn't going to kill them. Not yet, anyway.
One yelped, and the other quickly did the same, reacting to sharp stings on their ankles without know what caused them, but dreading to find out.
Moments later the world was fading to black, and their wands were plucked from their nerveless fingers.
"Diffido. Expelliarmus. Diffido."
The last surviving guard backed away, wand hand shaking too much to hold aim on the woman bouncing in the door way, splattered with blood and smiling. The expression was too innocent, too sweet, her large, lavender eyes too calm.
"Corpses remain buoyant for several hours you know."
He finally managed to fix his wand on her, but too late.
As the green light flew at him, he wandered if, with the absence of children from him, she would go after his brothers' family.
Hopefully he didn't matter enough to her to warrant their deaths.
Augusta unrolled the Daily Prophet with one hand, the other, and most of her attention, engaged in getting the marmalade before it vanished. Neville did eat a lot, and Harry was fond of marmalade as well.
Then she looked at the front page.
The marmalade dish landed on Augusta saucer, knocking both it and the teacup over with a sharp clatter of crockery. Harry and Neville both jerked to stare at her, not use to her dropping things.
Madame Longbottom was an almost deathly white, an expression of blank dread on her face.
"Grandma? What is it? Are you okay?"
"Oh Hecate." She breathed, breathing deeply. "Come here a moment, both of you. Let me hold you, just for a few moments."
Neville, not understanding why she needed this but knowing that she did, darted over and gave his grandmother a hug of unquestioning, undemanding affection. Harry, always more reserved, just placed a hand on her shoulder, and picked up the newspaper.
Azkabam escape… Death Eaters… 5 dead… Lestrange, Rockwood, Carrow, Svenson, Trelor…
He moved closer, wrapped an arm around Augusta shoulders, and sighed ever so softly.
Confused golden eyes met shadow filled green.
"Bellatrix Lestrange broke out of Azkabam."
Narcissa was having a wonderful summer. Her husband home, her eldest children gone for a couple of weeks to give them alone time, and her youngest behaving beautifully. Utter bliss.
She opened the newspaper, and her summer was officially ruined. She proceeded to express her displeasure at this from a word learnt from her sister during a particularly bad day.
Andromeda had always been a potty mouth.
"Love?" Severus gazed at her, concerned. "What's wrong?"
She silently handed him the newspaper.
Severus hissed, his creature blood blazing through for a moment in bared fangs and eyes that reflected the light like those of a cat.
"We need to tell Miranda and Indigo."
"She wouldn't hurt them." Of that at least Narcissa could be certain. "However insane Bellatrix may be, she loves me, she'd never hurt my children."
"It isn't Bellatrix that worries me 'Cissa, it's what over people will do."
For the first time in her life Narcissa regretted her looks, similar to those of her sisters, and regretted that she had passed them on to two of her three children.
The English visitors had caused quite a stir among the staff of the Summer Palace, for many reasons.
The first of which, was that none of them were youkai, though none of them were purely human either. Also, only one of them spoke any Cantonese, and he had a rather odd accent and spent too much time on the walls muttering about runes to be of much use translating for the other two. Lady Liren was catering to the girl Miranda and the tiny, but ferocious, albino woman Liale, who seemed to be a bodyguard. The princess seemed completely happy with the arrangement, and the trio got on like a house on fire, but it didn't sit right with the councillors or the servants.
The attention their emperor lavished upon the boy, Indigo, wasn't exactly helping matters. If his majesty wanted wards why not go to a reputable ward crafter? What possible use could this child be?
Well, they knew he could win an argument. The sergeant of the wall guard had taken it upon himself to make the boy's task difficult, and had left the discussion with ears ringing, cheeks burning and contemplating the biological possibility of a creature capable of spitting acid.
And shortly after that Captain Doukugakuji had come and expressed his displeasure at the entire incident.
Needless to say, Indigo had gotten his way, and the sergeant wasn't going to be deliberately stupid again.
Currently he was setting the wards and quite a few people had been obliged to change their opinions of his skills.
It was, interesting to watch. Indigo had walked slowly around the walls, eyes closed and a trail of symbols drifting from what looked like a pool of light held in his hands, and then, when he had returned to his starting point, he'd spat three words in a language nobody recognised. For a second a veil of white gold light had wrapped around the compound, and then fell slowly inwards, draping over the palace and gardens before fading out of sight.
Indigo sat down as though his legs had just given up on him, and smiled in satisfaction.
"Oh, I'm good…"
10 minutes later Indigo was still sitting on the wall, and Kougaiji had come to find him.
"You've set the wards then?"
"Hm? Oh, yeah. Anyone who comes here intending to steal from the building or the ward keeper is getting electrocuted. Hand."
Kougaiji, a tad bemused, held out a hand. Indigo dropped an orb of light into it, which sunk into his palm.
"Congratulations, you are now the ward keeper." Indigo smiled slightly. "Could make things interesting if diplomats come here, but I expect they disserve it."
"I'm not going to argue with that. Are you capable of walking?"
Indigo looked thoughtful for a moment, and then climbed to his feet, slightly unsteady, and walked carefully towards the stairs down to the gardens. Kougaiji followed.
"I hate being a kid again, bloody restrictions…"
"I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about."
"In terms of raw power I could ward this place without worrying. But, I'm young and human so my body doesn't cope well with channelling that much power. Humans just didn't evolve that way, so if I use to much I end up unable to move. It sucks."
"Confident in yourself, aren't you." Kougaiji eyed the stairs thoughtfully, and then picked Indigo up bridal style and carried him down them. "No struggling, I don't want you falling and breaking something."
"Put me down, I can walk. And I have every reason to be confident."
"Um, no. You're kind of cuddly."
"I'm too thin to be cuddly!"
Kougaiji smiled at Indigos expression of utter outrage. The blond huffed, gave up the argument and relaxed, though his expression promising a strange and inventive revenge to come.
"If you prank me, I'm setting Liren on you. What do you have reasons for your confidence?"
"First lifetime, son of a god who left Heaven and twin to Goku's pre-incarnation-"
"Whoa, hang on, how can Goku have a pre-incarnation. He was born from the Earth, and that rather implies his being a new soul."
Indigo was silent for a long moment, and then sighed very softly.
"My fault, more or less. I'd been poisoned and Shar, Goku to you, tied our life forces together. It kept me alive, but would have killed him if it stayed that way, Tyzarin and Mareth, that's Hakkai and Gojyo, got linked into the mess later. It was unnatural, and killing them. I broke us apart, before we died, but I had to destabilise us to do it. Buggered up the natural balance of elemental magic, and Shar ended up with only earth magic which, combined with his natural connection to Gaia, sent him into the earth soul. As he wasn't really a part of it, a new body was created for him, and thus we had Goku."
"The alter ego?"
"The imbalance of his magic caused a similar imbalance of the mind. And I broke a link he created because he couldn't let me go, took away support he'd always had, and depended on, and left him to die alone." Indigo sighed again. "He hates being alone."
"If it unbalanced Goku, shouldn't it have caused a similar unbalance in everyone one else involved?"
Indigo smiled. It wasn't a nice smile.
"Kougaiji, what makes you think it didn't?"
Ron had woken up late, and gotten the news from Percy, who was on his way out of the door.
Their mother's intense and noisy disapproval had become too much. Percy was spending the rest of the summer with his lovers, on a road trip that promised to take them to several muggle music festivals and might just end with them stuck somewhere in Europe.
Ron saw him off with good wishes, a caution against back street tattoo and piercing shops, and a stern order to never accept drinks from strangers.
Percy seemed a tad baffled by all of this, but promised to do as he was told.
Ron then got dressed, and flooed to Longbottom Manor
He found Neville and Harry in the living room, the one that was actually meant to be lived in and so was comfortable and a bit messy, as opposed to the parlour, which was very grand and rather cold and only used when they wanted to impress or intimidate someone.
"Hey. You two okay? Where's the boss lady?"
"Grandma's gone to bully Fudge into gettin' more security around Hogwarts, auror's probably. And they she's arranging new wards for the manor. We're fine."
Neville seemed a little subdued, but otherwise okay.
"Good. What ya doin' Harry?"
"Hm?" The Ravenclaw glanced up, looking distracted. "Oh, hello Ron. What did you say?"
Ron, slightly amused, repeated his question.
"I'm trying to work out how they escaped." Harry gave the newspaper a look that they normally associated with Indigo and spontaneous combustion. "They don't give any damn details! Would it kill them to give details?"
Faced with an enraged, information deprived Ravenclaw, the duo took the sane and sensible option, and backed away.
Next time:Hogwarts and Arguments