The Gringotts Account



AKA Lancer47

See disclaimer in Chapter One.

Chapter Five

"So young witchling, next ye'll be a' tellin' me that you were the witch that shut down the hellmouth in California all by her lonesome!"

"Well..." Willow started.

"Don't even try missy, it took a half dozen of the most powerful witches and wizards in the wizarding world – all imbued with white magic and good intentions mind – a couple of sennights to shut down a hellmouth o' that size. I know, because we done it afore, in Mayalsia."

"A, a, a dozen witches? Sennights?" wavered Willow.

"What's a sennight?" asked Xander.

"You probably call them fortnights o'er in the colonies."

"You couldn't prove it by me," said Xander.

"Those words are not unknown stateside," said Willow, "but we usually just say two weeks."

He looked at them like they were rude and ignorant third-worlders.

Xander and Willow were in the Leaky Cauldron, drinking Tom's best lager with Tonks. Once they mentioned they were from Sunnydale, they were joined by a couple of old-timers wearing frayed and crudely patched robes who had immediately started questioning them about life on the hellmouth.

Willow said, "And what I was about to say, sir, is that while I didn't shut down the hellmouth all by my lonesome, I was the only witch in attendance."

"Wot!? How could that be?"

"You see, the throat of the hellmouth was full of those horrifying Turok-han..."

"Those are...?"

"The original sort of vampire, very powerful, very hard to kill, nasty creatures."

"How many did you face?"

"Me? None. My role was to empower all the potential slayers, and that's exactly what I did."

Old-timer #2 stared with a shocked expression, #1 Old-Timer said, "How is that even possible?"

"Oh, see the senior slayer, Buffy, found an ancient magical weapon that had been forged especially for slayers. Using that I was able to craft a spell that reached out to all the potentials; and it worked. Today there's more than a thousand full fledged slayers around the world."

"A thousand...!?" said O-T one.

"The senior slayer is named 'Buffy'?" wondered O-T two.

"Yep," said Willow, "imagine more than a thousand slayers; all of whom look up to Buffy and Faith."

"So if either Buffy or Faith wanted to raise a super-powerful army..."

"There's no 'want' about it, they have a super-powerful army any time they need one."

Tonks looked thoughtful, O-Ts one and two looked horrified.

"You needn't be worried," said Willow, "These girls were chosen by the powers-that-be," she pointed up, "sort of like angels, really, and they didn't choose power-mongers or dictator wanna-be's. All the slayers have the built-in predilection to help people and save the world. Bunch of super-powered do-gooders, really." Willow added under her breath, "Except for Dana."

They were silent for a minute, until Tonks asked, "So I want to know how you could teach yourself witchcraft, what with all that dark magic swirling around you on the hellmouth?"

"Simple, I didn't know any better," said Willow, "it was just normal to me; I remember getting so excited about succeeding at my first attempts at magic, like turning ice into fire, that I just didn't realize how dark the background was. One time I was floating a pencil and I kinda got all emo and angry about something unrelated and without my doing anything special, that pencil streaked away and embedded itself halfway into a tree. Now I know it was because of the dark vibes from the hellmouth, but I didn't know that then. I kinda paid for that ignorance later on."

"Yeah? How?"

"Well, you know I'm mostly self-taught. I mean, Giles helped by providing a little general guidance and setting some rules, which I often ignored I'm sorry to say, but mostly it was books and the Internet."

"What's an 'enter net'?" asked old-timer #2.

"The world-wide network of computers which is used to exchange information."

"Ahh, and computers are...?" asked old-timer #1.

"Magic boxes of full of numbers," said Tonks.

"Sounds like the first cousin to a box of cobblers to me young Tonks."

"No, no," said Willow, "I wouldn't know what to do with boxed cobblers, but numbers are useful because they can describe the whole of existence."

"Hmmm," said old-timer #1.

"Hmmm," said old-timer #2.

"Hmmm," said Tonks.

"Why are all of you looking so baffled?" asked Willow. "You know we're not just talking about integers here, but the whole number line from minus infinity to plus infinity which includes both rational and irrational numbers!" Willow spread her arms wide to illustrate the infinite number line. She looked at her left hand, then her right, and gave up, putting her hands on the table. She paused with a frown for a moment, then said, "Well, maybe not irrational numbers now that I think about it, except for a few special approximations. But let's not forget imaginary numbers – they're so cool! And oh, oh! Zero gets a special mention! And don't forget hyperreal, superreal and surreal numbers! Although some of those might be hard to represent accurately in a computer, still, there's p-adic numbers to prime-number bases! And quaternions! And all the super important special numbers like pi, and the log of minus ten, and tau, and e, and, and e to infinity – that's my favorite number! – and the square root of two, and the golden ratio, and s the silver constant, and 5, 9, 42, 47 and a bunch of others in pop culture – oh gosh am I just the nerdiest nerd you ever saw?"

Xander said, "No, not at all Will, math is very exciting."

"You don't have to be quite so sarcastic, Xander."

"I was agreeing with you."

"Uh huh."

"You do get a little overexcited, you have to admit."

"No I don't," said Willow. "The funny thing is, a computer doesn't actually understand anything except on and off, and with just that it's able to represent every kind number and math that we been able to imagine, and I don't know what could be more exciting than that! Unless maybe it's calculating pi out to trillions of places and finding a secret message from the Powers-That-Be."

"I think you've made your point," said Xander.

"Yes," said Tonks, "numbers are important, I understand."

Willow added, "Oh, I almost forgot transcendental and transfinite numbers!"

"Willow! Breathe! Slow down, enhance your calm," said Xander.

"Okay, okay, sorry, I got a little carried away."

Xander leaned in and whispered in her ear, "Good job changing the subject away from Darth-Willow."

Willow smiled wanly.

Old-Timer #2 asked petulantly, "How do you fill a box with numbers? Why don't they fall out?"

Dawn was browsing in Flourish and Botts, trying to winnow down her selection of books to match her budget – she had discovered that Gringotts was happy to change Pounds to Knuts even though their account wasn't fully theirs yet. She mumbled under her breath, "I've just got to own every damn book in this store!"

She hadn't noticed a young woman, just a year or two older than her, passing behind until she laughed and said, "Oh yeah, you and me both! No such thing as too many books."

Dawn looked up: "Oh, sorry, I didn't realize anyone was there."

"That's all right. My name is Hermione, what's yours?"

"Dawn, Dawn Summers." She stood up holding a pile of books, two started to slip out of the stack but Hermione grabbed them.


"So, excuse me for being blunt, but you're a yank, right?"

"I'm from California, we don't think of ourselves as 'yanks', that's reserved mostly for the New England states."

"Really? I thought all Americans were called yanks."

"Nopers. You need to be careful because there are some who consider 'yank' an insult."

"I'll remember that."

"But not me. You want to get some ice cream?"

"Fortescues? Sure, let's go."

A few minutes later they were enjoying towering concoctions of ice cream and various fruits and topped with a bewildering variety of nuts and sauces.

Dawn said, "This wizarding world of yours is amazing! I just love it here!"

Hermione frowned slightly. "You're not a witch? Then how...?"

"I'm not a witch, no, but I do have familiarity with magic and I am capable of certain types of spells and summonings. The people I work for, the Watcher's Council, has ties with this world that go back to the founding of Gringotts, or even further. So I have every right to be here."

"Oh, I didn't mean to imply you didn't, I was just worried about breaking the secrecy laws."

"Not to worry, we fall under a special category reserved for semi-magical people of a certain, ah, influential weight."

"In other words, Minister Fudge is frightened of your organization."

"That's about right." Dawn paused for another bite of ice cream slathered with pumpkin sauce and chopped Bokuop nuts, then asked, "Is it just me, or is Fudge kind of lightweight to be in his position?"

Hermione sighed deeply, "Oh, it's not just you. As far as I can tell, he's spectacularly good at licking the boots of powerful people, but doesn't have any useful leadership qualities."

Dawn laughed. "Yeah, I've run into that kind of mindset all over the world."

Willow joined them. "Hey Dawnie, introduce me to your friend."

"Willow Rosenberg, this is Hermione Grainger."

"Hi Hermione, so what's it like to ride on the back of a dragon?"

Hermione choked on a bite of fruit, tried to cough and started to turn blue. Dawn got up and gave her a solid whack on her back. Hermione spit out the errant wild berry that had started down her windpipe.

"Are you all right?" Dawn asked urgently. Willow smiled gently at her.

Hermione, after she finished coughing, said, "I'm fine, fine. And I wouldn't know anything about dragon rides."

"You can't fool me missy, but don't worry, even though you lie badly, I think you're a good person, and I certainly won't go around telling people you helped to rob Gringotts."

Hermione looked ready to burst into tears. She hesitantly reached for her wand, but couldn't find it. When she noticed her wand was in Willow's hand, she started to really worry.

"Oh, stop, really, we're friends," said Dawn, looking uncertainly at Willow. "Aren't we?"

"Yes we are, but Giles and I are going to have a long talk with Miss Grainger.

Giles, Willow, and Dawn, followed by two of the Ackerlys, walked into Gringotts bank the following morning.

"Mister Giles!" said Mr. Lockwasher with a bow, "how may we help you this morning?"

"Miss Ackerly here has the necessary paperwork to finalize the replacement of our key."

"Hello Mr. Lockwasher," said Miss Ackerly while handing over a stack of paper scrolls all tied with small black ribbons. "I think you will find this is in order. I request and require that you turn over the replacement key as soon as you have satisfied yourselves of the bonefides."

Lockwasher signaled to an assistant to take the paperwork. The two bustled over to a more senior manager and they spent a few minutes studying the wording, interspersed with a few fidelity spells.

Lockwasher came back to the group, who were seated on a row of hard wooden chairs, and said, "As it happens, all of this became quite unnecessary this morning. You see, one of your own managers, a Mr. Edwin Travers, has already presented his key and became the new representative of the Watcher's Council. He is down in the vaults doing an inventory even as we speak."

Before Giles could explode in anger, Ackerly Senior stood up and said, "I am sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but you you were taken in by a fraud, Mr. Lockwasher. I do fear that you will find that your bank will be on the hook for anything at all that Travers manages to abscond with."

Lockwasher looked stricken. "F, f, f, fraud?" he whispered, horrified beyond belief.

"Yes, fraud," Ackerly senior reiterated sternly. "Mr. Edwin Travers has served time in gaol for fraud, and was disowned by his father. If he possess the genuine key, then he stole it."

"Ah, ah, ah, ah!" said Lockwasher, stumbling backwards, just barely keeping his balance. He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his face. He seemed to recover his calm through sheer force of will, folded his handkerchief carefully and deliberately replaced it in his pocket. Finally, he turned to his assistant and said, "Find the Head of Security and have Mr. Travers detained as soon as possible. And make certain his key is returned to me."

The assistant, Mr. Jackleg, scurried off to find the Security Chief, Colonel Rockcrusher, as fast as he ever could.

Lockwasher invited the group to the Customer Lounge, where all retired to wait. Everyone refused refreshments, to the disappointment of Mr. Headframe who had offered a large array of delectable snacks and drinks.

It was about fifteen minutes later when a strong-jawed goblin in a Gringotts Bank uniform marched in and declared, "The miscreant, young Travers, has been secured. The Ministry is sending several senior Auror investigators, they would like to speak to you as well as Travers."

Giles smiled, the Ackerlys looked satisfied.

It took several hours for everything to conclude, but the Auror Senior Inspector Goshawk was a happy woman when she finished reading the materials supplied by the lawyers Ackerly and Ackerly as she wouldn't have to do anything but turn Travers over to the prosecutorial arm of the ministry. She had a check in the 'cleared' column and a guaranteed conviction, all without doing much work; a win for any detective in the world.

Finally, Lockwasher smiled at the group, accepted a key-ring from the Auror investigator, and handed it to Giles with a flourish.

Giles looked at the tag attached to the keys, and smiled. He showed it to the others. The tag had the words: MALFOY MANOR SECURITY DEPARTMENT written in small type across the top. Under that were several identification markers, clearly identifying the three keys as Gringotts keys to Vaults 5, 47 & 1283.

"Huh," said Dawn, "how do you suppose Malfoy got a hold of our key?"

Several Watchers, Slayers and Aurors were gathered at a conveniently vacant house three doors down from Malfoy Manor. The huge expanse of gardens around each impressive house made that a long distance, but this was the closest they could get before tripping the Malfoy alarm system.

"Hah!" said Willow, "he has magical alarms only, no physical systems other than the wrought iron fence."

"Not too surprising," said Giles, "these Wizards place a low value on our 'muggle' putterings."

"Yes," said Tonks, "it is one of our blind spots." She held up a sheaf of papers and said, "So, we have the requisite Warrants from the Ministry as well as from your Queen. We've 'analyzed' the manor house and grounds, we have a plan; shall we go?"

"Well," said Buffy, "aren't you chomping at the bit to arrest your Lord Malfoy!"

"Yes, yes I am. Who gets to give the word to go?"

"By all means Tonks, the privilege is yours."

Tonks raised her wand dramatically and shouted, "EXECUTE!"

They had to physically punch through the doors and windows due to the magical protections being too strong to drop them in a hurry. They yelled going in and immediately ran into groups of Deatheaters who fought back in their usual cowardly fashion with curses. But the Deatheaters couldn't advance against the overwhelming force of the Aurors, Watchers and Slayers. As varied spells seared back and forth, some splattering against the stone walls or shields, others going true and resulting in an outraged yelp, or an ominous thump followed by silence.

The Deatheaters had to escalate to grenades and magic bombs, which they found preferable to surrender. Giles jumped when a hand grenade rolled between his feet. He had started to bend down to pick it up when Buffy slammed into him frorm the side, wrapped her arms around his torso and leaped through a large, but closed, window. They landed on the beautifully landscaped lawn in a shower of glass and started to run; Buffy holding back so as not to leave Giles behind.

"Hurry Giles, in here!" Buffy exclaimed urgently as they ran.

They ducked behind a low wall and into a storage shed, and got knocked off their feet by the explosions outside. They tumbled to a stop against a stone wall.

Giles said, "Marvelous, I can't see a bloody thing."

Buffy said, "Here, I've got some matches."

A naked flame lit up the dark shadows, wavered, moved closer stacks of boxes labeled:

Danger – High Explosive

"Do put that out," Giles said with exaggerated calmness.

Buffy shook out her match, darkness fell.

"There's a good girl."

Buffy exclaimed, "Oh come on Giles, if anything explodey was leaking, we would've gone kablooey as soon as I struck the match and we wouldn't have felt a thing."

"That's so comforting."

"Well I think so; in my experience when it comes to dying, the quicker the better."

Giles was empty of any possible reply.

After a minute of silence, Buffy said, "I think the coast is clear."

"Yes, yes, let's see what's left of the manor."

Buffy held the door open for Giles. He stepped out, squinting against the sunlight, polishing his glasses. They walked over to where several Aurors and Slayers were gathered around a half-dozen manacled men and another dozen dead bodies. Tonks said, "We've snatched the nutters and disabled their explosives, it's safe now, guv-nor."

"So you've set straight this argy-bargy?"

"Oh yes. Although we'll have to wait for the fire brigade before we can finish our reports."

Buffy pointed across the lawn and said, "There's a bunker of high-explosives over there. You might want to send the bomb squad."

Tonks waved a spell in the direction of the bunker and wrote herself a note.

"Did you find Malfoy senior?" asked Giles.

"He wasn't here, but the 'B' squad came across him in his club, off Diagon Alley." Tonks paused and laughed, "He was easy to nick, they found the bleedin' toff taking a bath. He couldn't find his wand for the suds in his eyes so it wasn't any trouble to slap the cuffs on 'im. He's still tetchy about it."

Lucius Malfoy sat across the wide expanse of the conference room table, staring at Rupert Giles. A servant brought tea and scones, and deferentially set the trays down on the table between them.

Giles said, "Tea and scones, Mr. Malfoy?"

"That's Lord Malfoy to the likes of you," he sneered, his contempt palpable.

"Not in Great Britain. The Queen isn't familiar with your name, and you're not on any honors list that I could find, you're not an English peer – and I have the complete list available – so no, you're no Lord, thus you will remain mister Malfoy in these walls, and indeed, anywhere outside that lunatic asylum you call the wizarding world."

Malfoy fumed, but he didn't let it show. After all, this mere muggle could not possibly affect him in any meaningful manner. "Why am I here? And where is my wand, you do not have the right to remove my possessions from my person."

"Ah, well, we can't have you going around magicing us with your little tricks now, can we?"

'Little tricks? I'll show you tricks,' Malfoy mentally snarled, imagining in great detail how Giles would be ripped apart by a well-timed reducto conseco.

"And we've taken steps to prevent you from accessing your magic wandlessly, if you are capable of that particular discipline."

Malfoy glared murderously.

Giles said, "You are here, mister Malfoy, because it has come to my attention that you are the instigator of a plot to steal money from the Watcher's Council. This cannot be countenanced, will not be allowed. How a mere wand-waver such as yourself expected to get away with a crime of this magnitude is beyond me." Giles fancied he could see steam rising from Malfoy's ears.

"This is intolerable," answered Malfoy with counterfeit calm composure, "I do not answer to you, you are beneath me. You know nothing of Wizards, you know not the class of trouble that you have brought down upon your heads from these precipitate actions."

"Oh now that is simply not true, mister Malfoy. Perhaps you didn't realize the significance of the Council's vault numbers? No? The Council of Watcher's was instrumental in the founding of Gringott's Bank, along with several members of the Wizengamut, and the founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft. There was a time when the Council was inextricably linked with the wizarding world, although that did change over the millenia."

"Ancient history, it's in no way relevant today."

"Really? It should interest you to know that Salazar Slytherin was, for the first half of his life, a Watcher. Oh yes, he rode two horses simultaneously, with one stirrup in the Wizarding World and one stirrup in the world of muggle magic."

"You should be cautious about spreading such obvious falsehoods, Salazar would not have had anything whatsoever to do with muggles." Lucius was shaken, this muggle-man was just making this up to deceive, must be.

"It is written in the ancient journals," Giles continued, "he really was a watcher for quite a few years. But Slytherin being Slytherin, there was a falling out, and he ended up trying to push the Watcher's completely out of the Wizarding world after the great 'Hiding of the Wizards', and he may have been responsible for at least two assassinations of Watchers. He was not immediately successful in his endeavor; but eventually the Council severed most of their ties with the Wizarding world of their own free will because they felt the Wizard society was just too unstable."

"Hah, not a likely story. I'm certain the muggles were ostracized and no doubt richly deserved their ignoble fate."

"That turns out not to be the case; our organization is surprisingly powerful, according to our scribes we just didn't feel the need to remain friends with you lot, you being so far beneath us."

After a moment Giles continued, "Interesting footnote, according to one journal in our possession Salazar Slytherin's life was ended when a young girl thrust a wooden implement through his chest and he burst into dust, but I freely admit our researchers could find no corroboration."

"Of course that's false, Salazar Slytherin died in bed, surrounded by his loyal wives and children."

"Oh, I doubt that very much – it's much more likely that he was murdered in his sleep by an unhappy concubine, although since it is true that much of Salazar Slytherin's history is lost, we may never be certain. My point being, mister Malfoy, that the Watcher's Council is well versed in the antics of you self-styled Wizards."

Malfoy didn't see fit to acknowledge this.

Giles paused to look at his file and flipped to the next sheet. "Now mister Malfoy, you have a house on Chipping Crescent Square, correct?" There was no reaction but a baleful glare. "Well, to be sure, I should have used the past tense, as much of your house seems to have gone up in smoke."

Malfoy glared twice as hard. "Impossible! You miserable little muggles can neither see nor access Malfoy Manor. And the protections built in afford immunity to to physical mischance. You are trying to insult my intelligence, but – it – will – not – work!" He came near to displaying his emotional upheaval.

Giles removed a tablet computer from his valise, placed it on the table in front of Malfoy, and swiped his finger across the face a few times. Malfoy was startled when pictures appeared on the glass surface of the instrument, some of them even moved, and when Giles stopped flipping through and pointed at a single picture of Malfoy Manor, he was taken aback to see one wing destroyed with nothing but blackened spires sticking up out of a mass of burnt wood and tumbled stone, firetrucks all around, and people sifting through the smoking remains. The view slowly panned around the central structure.

"Was this not your house?" asked Giles.

Malfoy peered at the mysterious device, the image certainly looked like it could have been his manor, or what was left of it. "What manner of magic is this?" he inquired coldly, forcing his self-control to be ascendant by sheer will-power.

"It's called technology, a very powerful magic that's not available to you wizards. As for your manor, our staff witch hardly noticed your protection charm, she blew through it as if it were mere gossamer. But the fire was an unfortunate accident. Our people were attacked most viciously by several persons wearing frightfully ugly masks. Were they perhaps criminals of some kind? Invading your house? No? They were there by your invitation then. Whatever, as my young colleagues like to say, they weren't much of a challenge, but they did throw around a number of magical forces and managed to start the fire, which we were unable to control until after it did a great deal of damage. We were able to save much of the central and all of the south wing of your house, as well as your wife and your son, if that makes you feel any better."

"If this be true," said Malfoy, "you and your criminal organization will be prosecuted by the Ministry of Magic to the fullest extent of the law – you will wish you'd never been born! I assure you, the Ministry doesn't overlook muggle attacks like this!"

"Ah, but you misunderstand the situation, this was all entirely legal by your inclinations. The coordination between Her Majesty's government and the Ministry of Magic wasn't easy, but we managed it in the end; a number of your Aurors fought alongside us after delivering the requisite warrants from, erm, MoM." Giles couldn't hide a small chuckle at the acronym.

"Impossible! This is insufferable! I demand you return my wand and..."

Giles interrupted, "We were finally able to defeat your mask-wearing deatheaters, who fought us to the bitter end, but so far identification has proved elusive, as their masks seem to have fused to their faces, due to the extreme heat of the fire, you see. DNA analysis seems to be the only option left, but for the fact that we have nothing to compare it to."

Malfoy had no idea what deeinay analysis was, so he latched on to what he did understand and sneered, "In my world, educated gentleman don't end their sentences with prepositions."

Giles replied, "DNA analysis seems to be the only option left, but for the fact that we have nothing to compare it to, dolt."

Malfoy's eyes narrowed in anger. "If you value your life, you will not mock me," he growled softly.

"I'm not worried about you. And anyway you're wrong about your supposed grammatical rule on prepositions – there is no such rule in the English language and there never was such a rule."

"Not in my world," Malfoy said.

Giles said, "Forget those irrelevancies Lucius, may I call you Lucius? Excellent, I am very glad to inform you that your attempts to steal the Gringotts account have come to naught. We know you attempted to distance yourself by using the young and impetuous Travers spawn to actually do the deed, but by doing so you opened yourself up to charges of conspiracy, which increases the legal difficulties which are now piling ever deeper on your head. It seems that 'conspiracy' is a potent legal contrivance in magical as well as non-magical law-enforcement."

Giles picked up a small silver bell and gave it a shake.

"I believe, mister Malfoy," said Giles, "that you're all mouth and no trousers, you're not really up to what my organization usually fights."

The doors opened and several people came in. "These are police officers from your society – I believe you call them Aurors. You see, we don't wish to be unfair about this by confusing you with muggle laws and customs, nor do we wish to allow you the opportunity to cloud the minds of muggle judges and jurors with your brand of magic. We have already given the Aurors boxes of evidence concerning your perfidy, they are here to take you into custody."

"BLOODY HELL! I am Lord Malfoy, a senior member of the Wizengamut! A senior ministry official! You fucking Aurors report to me!" he roared, his fear and anger at last cracking the thin veneer of his civility.

The senior Auror removed a paper from her jacket pocket, and read from it: "By the order of the Supreme Mugwump of the Wizengamut, and countersigned by the Minister of Magic, Lucius Malfoy is to be delivered into the custody of the Aurors of the Ministry of Magic, and held over for trial – etc., etc. – all the fiddly legal details are here if you care." She looked up from the paper and said, "I am Auror Tonks, you are under arrest, sir, your wand?" She was trying to be coldly polite, but she was obviously very pleased to finally slap cuffs on Malfoy senior, something she'd only dreamed of doing before.

Giles handed her a long thin box. "Here is his wand my dear Nymphadora."

Malfoy was beyond making sense of any of this. He was Lord Malfoy, he could do anything he wanted to anyone he wanted! None of this was possible!

Giles flipped a page off the stack of papers in front of him, picked up a silver filigreed Montblanc fountain pen, made a note in the margins, then signed it with a flourish and handed it to Tonks. Malfoy noticed that the filigree was an expression of ancient runes – he was alarmed that he could not decipher the full meaning. What manner of muggles were these?

As he was being led away in magical handcuffs by the troublesome Tonks, he looked over his shoulder and stared at Rupert Giles. The man had spoken to him in clipped precise tones, never raised his voice, never blustered, never threw crucios furiously about, never appeared angered, yet he frightened Malfoy beyond all reason. This calm gray-eyed man, who to all appearances didn't have a tool any more dangerous than an expensive pen, had destroyed Malfoy's life.

And yet, while Malfoy still lived his shriveled black heart spewed hope while his eccentric intellect spun insane plans that he might yet serve his lord and master and destroy these maddening muggles in the fullness of time.

The End

A/N: Clearly, there is room for a sequel, especially since I have several scenes that haven't paid off yet.