Author's note: I'm sorry, but I just realized that I've been spelling Rolanda's name incorrectly, and I'm sorry for that as I thought it was spelt Rolonda. On that note, I hope you enjoy the story! And sorry for the delay as I just didn't know what to do until now obviously. Best wishes!
Minerva stood with authority as she drew up all the leadership she could muster even though she didn't feel worthy of carrying such a large role, but no one else would agree to take the part. Despite the agonizing pain in her legs, she still walked with grace, commanding attention in any room she walked in just like she had at Hogwarts.
"Poppy, do you still have that book here." Minerva asked as her jaw was set strong and clenched. She knew what she had to do.
"Yes, yes of course. It's in the office where it always is." Poppy replied.
"Very well." Was all Minerva said before she left the room. The others followed her out of curiosity.
"You know Min, this isn't the best time to catch up on your reading even though I know that list is very long." suggested Rolanda, 'Maybe you should look in the mirror because you look like hell if you're going to spend some personal time.' Was her last thought, but she kept that to herself. Minerva brushed off Rolanda's comment as she pursued her way towards the office.
Poppy tried to help her as she saw Minerva was a little unstable. If anyone saw her, they would think nothing of it, but Poppy had known Minerva since their first days in school and therefore knew when something was wrong with Minerva. Minerva on the other hand thought differently, as she only pulled away from Poppy's helping hands. She didn't need Poppy crowding around her like some sick patient. She might have been injured, but she'd be damned if she let that stop her from what needed to be done.
Minerva pushed through the doors of the office and walked up to the bookshelf that remained directly behind the desk. Smirking she reached for the familiar old tome as she pulled it off the shelf and set it on the green felt on the desk. Minerva ran her finger across the cover and flipped through it, feeling its ragged old pages. She then grabbed out her wand from the pockets of her robes and tapped the cover.
"Inchoare conventus." Minerva pronounced each syllable loud and clear. The book was shot in the air, suspended overhead.
"I, Minerva Ceres McGonagall, call to order all the members of the IPA." Minerva stated.
"IPA?" Rolanda repeated.
"Shh…" Poppy silenced a bewildered Rolanda.
Suddenly, the book's pages were viciously ripped from its spin by an unseen force, only to collide together to form a large door.
"Whoa." Rolanda broke the silence. Minerva normally would've smirked from Rolanda's amazement, but considering recent events, she was in no mood to. Filius and Rolanda stood in the room speechless as they wondered what was happening, while Poppy stood silently in the background as if it wasn't her place to be there. Minerva on the other hand, stood to her full height with her head held high, her eyes narrowed in assertiveness, and her jaw set, ready to intimidate her prey.
"Poppy get Longbottom and Lovegood ready for departure soon along with yourself. Then wait here until I come back." Minerva ordered as she was about to move towards the door when Rolanda grabbed the crook of her elbow to hold her back.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going to go take care of business while you stay here until I tell you to." Minerva instructed her friend. Rolanda was frightened for her dear friend, but didn't question her any further. She gave Minerva a curt nod before letting go of her best friend.
Minerva stepped towards the door. Her hand reached towards the door knob. She gripped it tightly in her hand as it had been a while since she had been in this position. She never thought she'd have to do this once again. She had done it before in the second war. She had asked for their help in that war, but Harry Potter had banished the Dark Lord into exile before they could interfere.
In this war, Albus didn't want them to interfere. He wanted Harry Potter to fulfill his destiny to destroy the Dark Lord, but look how that turned out. She wouldn't hesitate this time to ask for their help, nor would they hesitate to help. She took a deep breath before turning the knob to enter the room that laid hidden behind the book.
Poppy ushered everyone out of the room and went to fetch Luna and Neville who had been in the garden while this all took place. Neville attended to the flowers in the garden, trying to distract himself from the thought of his lost girlfriend. He still felt the small box in his pocket. It would brush up against his leg as the corners would jab him in the thighs, reminding him of who he had lost.
Luna stared in the mirror pond, trying to get lost in the reflection of the surface of the water; trying to forget herself. She had lost her father, her friends, and anything that was even close to resembling a family. All she had left was Neville who was hurting himself from the loss of Hannah. Luna had liked Hannah, but she envied her a bit. She was considered normal compared to her. She was 'Looney Luna'. Who would ever love her? How could Neville ever like her? Never was the answer. She would try to console him, but he would just push her away. What could she do? Seeing him broken only broke her as well.
Slowly she got up from the rock she had perched herself on, she walked carefully over towards Neville who was bent over a flower bed weeding. She silently stood next to him, watching him pull the weeds that had entangled themselves over the tiger lilies.
Knowing that he wouldn't talk to her, she knelt down on her hand and knees. She started to weed as well. Luna felt the soft moist dirt beneath her fingers. The feeling of it, for some reason, felt relaxing. It felt like she was back home by the broke that ran behind her house fishing. She'd feel the small pebbles and dirt beneath her toes on the banks beside the river.
She closed her eyes going back to those days. Those happy days in which she feared she'd never see again. She hadn't seen her home since the beginning of the school year. She had been kidnapped by the death eaters at winter break. From there, her life had never been the same. Life became dark to darker. Would life ever be the same?
"We have to pull out the weeds so that the flowers can grow and prosper." Neville broke the silence all of a sudden. His voice horse and ragged.
"The weeds take the sunlight and the nutrition from the flowers, eventually overriding them. It's as if they believe the flowers don't deserve to live." Neville continued, though Luna knew he wasn't talking about weeds at all. "What gives them the right to decide? Who gave them the right to steal from others, to take way life and destroy others?" He stopped to viciously pull a vine that had tangled it's self around a rose bush. Luna grabbed his hand gently, to keep him from taking out his anger on any more plants.
"The weeds might have taken what the others need to survive, but flowers like the rose, build defense mechanisms to protect themselves. Few weeds dare to mess with them." Luna pointed out to the thorns that were embedded on the roses' stems. "But," Luna went to entangle a weed from the lilies she had been working on, "more delicate flowers fall to prey of the weeds as they take advantage of their weakness. That is why we most get rid of the weeds, so then instead of the flower bed being filled with the weeds, they can be filled with beautiful flowers."
Neville listened to Luna, understanding that she wasn't talking about weeds or flowers either. She was talking about life. They had to get rid of the death eaters and Lord Voldemort along with his new queen. Only then can the magical world be in peace again.
"Children, get cleaned up. We're leaving." Poppy called out to them. Luna looked surprised as she went to face Neville as if he could explain what was going on. Neville just shrugged as he got up from the ground and held out his hand to help her up. They walked back into the house without exchanging another word to each other, but just knowing that the other person was there beside them was comfort enough for each.
Minerva walked into the large white room, just like she remembered it. The large stone round table dominated the room. She saw that some of the seats had already been filled while the others still remained empty.
"Is that really you Minerva?" asked a wizard who had already sat down. He wore pure snow white robes with olive green trimmings. He walked over to Minerva with arms extended.
"Devon, how are you doing?" Minerva greeted the man. He wouldn't accept her greetings with just a smile but with a hug. He wrapped her in his arms like a brother would to his younger sister. She returned the hug, despite the fact that it had pained her aching limbs. He had graying hazelnut brown hair with a trimmed beard and mustache to go with it. His silver slate eyes were as warm as she had remembered them.
"Minerva dear," he said standing back to look at her, "you look like hell."
"Still quite the charmer I see." She teased as others started to file in, almost completing the circle.
"I see Hogwarts has fallen." He said solemnly as she nodded to affirm his accusations. "I'm guessing this Dark Lord has taken over the magical world of Brittan and you want our help to stop him from taking all of Europe and eventually the world." He spoke in a serious tone.
"Please take a seat Devon, and I shall explain everything." Minerva pleaded and he obliged to her request. Before returning to his seat he gave her a friendly kiss on the cheek, fully welcoming her back to their society.
Minerva looked around to see everyone was there, seated in their chairs. Minerva looked around the table at all the faces. She was pleased to see that all the faces were familiar, not one was new.
She cleared her throat before she started to inform every one of her proposition. "I know all of you know of the recent Dark Lord that has been at large in Great Britain. He has won the war, along with taking in a very powerful queen. I came here to reclaim my chair full time and to stop him from spreading throughout the world. I ask for your help."
They looked at her impassive. Suddenly a witch spoke up as Minerva recognized her as Oksana. Her dark ebony hair was braided down her mid back as her skin was a warm honey color.
"Are there any survivors from the war?"
"Yes, I actually have a few that I was wondering could stay here for safety. There were others that I have freed, but I don't know what have happened to them."
Another wizard with bright red hair down to his shoulders spoke up, "I have checked in with Eumelia, she said you would return today."
Minerva nodded as she remembered Eumelia, the only true sear that she trusted. "And what else did she say?"
"She said we should let you return, or the whole world could fall under this dark lord you speak of. I say we vote." He looked around the room as all hands want in favor of Minerva returning as neither of them like Minerva, questioned Eumelia's predictions.
"And the others, may they come?" asked Minerva.
"Yes." answered the red haired wizard. "Is Poppy one of the survivors?"
"Yes she is."
"Good, Alastor wouldn't shut up about her." He said as it was followed by a round of laughter. Minerva's eyes shot up as she looked around for her dear old friend that she had presumed dead.
"What, but he had passed away." Minerva questioned.
"No I haven't; yeh've never found my body." came the familiar voice of Alastor Moody. Minerva whirled around to look at her friend Alastor. It seemed that the IPA had done some work on Alastor. His wooden leg was replaced with something made of metal that had resembled a foot. Some of his deep scars almost looked healed, but he still had that magical blue eye. Minerva wanted to cry again as she went to embrace her lost friend.
"Well hello to you too Min." Alastor returned the hug, but pulled away to study her face. "You look…You've had better days. Anyway how is Poppy? She isn't hurt is she?"
"No she is perfectly fine, I'll go get her, or would you like to?" offered Minerva, knowing how much Poppy had cried after hearing that Alastor had been killed while trying to transport Harry safely to the Burrow. She had shed quite a few tears herself that night.
She saw his eyes glaze over for the first time since the day of his wedding.
"She's right through the door Alastor." Minerva pushed him forward in the other direction to get him to go see Poppy. Alastor was at first motionless, but then he took a deep breath and walked in. He found himself in his old office in Switzerland. His heart started to pound unbelievably faster when he heard the sound of his wife in the kitchen. He smirked as he heard her yelling at Rolanda about something.
"Ro, just drop it!"
"But, why, I mean it's a considerable question. If you won't talk to me about Severus leaving, then at least tell me what the bloody hell IPA is?"
"IPA is a secretive organization that I cannot tell you about."
"Because I don't even know much about it, it was Minerva and Alastor that were in the organization." Poppy's voice got unnaturally quiet. "He wouldn't tell me anything about it. He told me it was for my own wellbeing."
"And it sure was for your own wellbeing."
Poppy whirled around to see her husband smiling at her sincerely, leaning against the door frame while Rolanda just gaped at the scene rendered speechless. Alastor walked over to Poppy as if he had never lost his leg, benefit of his new silver one the IPA gave him. She stood still, wondering if it was her mind playing tricks on her. Her heart pounded louder in her head, causing everything around her to be unconceivable.
Poppy's eyes started to burn from the force of holding back her tears as her mouth grew dry. Alastor stood in front of Poppy, looking down into her blue eyes. He saw the pain she had been through, the hurt of letting go. He reached to cup her cheek with his hand to let her know that he was alive. This wasn't a dream, but he was truly back and he had missed her.
"Alastor?" Poppy choked, still not entirely sure if it was him.
"Yes my flower, I'm here, and I'm never leaving you again." replied Alastor, and before Poppy could react or even take in the words he had said, Alastor captured her lips with his. He had wanted to see her for a long time. He wanted to return to the war and to the Order of the Phoenix, but Eumelia told him to stay. No one went against Eumelia's words as she was the seer, the leader. No one made a move in the IPA unless she approved of them.
When they parted, Poppy let her tears go. She sobbed into Alastor's arms, and he held her. He never wanted to let her go. Suddenly Minerva had appeared in the room. She didn't want to break them up, but the sooner they left the better. First they had to get rid of the evidence that they were there in case someone came looking for them. Rolanda, Flitwick, Minerva, and the young adults cleaned up the evidence while they let Alastor and Poppy to get reacquainted with each other.
Once they were done, Minerva led them through the door and casted the spell that would close the entrance way as it would turn back into a book and put itself back on the shelf. Minerva led them through the advanced complex to the guest rooms.
"So can you tell me what the IPA is?" asked Rolanda impatiently.
"It stands for International Peace Alliance."
"So you're what, a member?"
"I'm what they call a Guardian as there're two per country. Alastor and I are the Guardians of Brittan."
Rolanda looked at Minerva with a bemused expression as if she were the majestic queen of Great Brittan herself.
"How did you find this place?" Filius talked for the first time.
"We were chosen by the founder of the association. Her name is Eumelia. She is a seer as some members were picked before we were even born. Alastor and I are included in that list."
"Wait then how long has this group existed?"
"It's been around since 253 A.D. Any major war that has occurred through history has had help from the Guardians, although recently we haven't been interfering as much. Mostly because most of the members have been growing older and Eumelia is looking for their replacements. I must get going. I shall see you at dinner." Minerva told them as she dropped them off. They said their good byes, even though they were still unsure of the situation.
Rolanda looked at her quarters. There was one room as it was the bedroom. It was furnished all in white like the rest of the place. It was quite daunting how much white there was. Rolanda was afraid to do anything in fear of staining the white surfaces. The walls were pristine white with white carpeted floors and furniture. She didn't really have anything to unpack, so instead she spent the day resting on the full sized bed.
They all got their own bedroom to stay while Poppy went with Alastor to his quarters and Minerva returned to her own old quarters. It had been a long time since she had been there. Last time she had visited the IPA, it was over twenty years. Her quarters hadn't changed one bit. She had a sitting room with a small kitchen. Being a Guardian, she was able to design her own room to her personal taste. She felt like she was walking back into her private quarters at Hogwarts as the floor was of dark wood and crimson furniture.
Her old books were even on the shelves. A tartan blanket was draped over the back of the sofa, she was back to her old home, but for some reason it didn't feel like home. Maybe she just needed more time thought Minerva. Her legs ached from standing too long as she moved into her bedroom to check her scars. The cuts had luckily not reopened, but they were irritated and fuming red.
She swiftly covered them again as she couldn't bring herself to look at them any longer. They were hideous. Maybe that was why Severus had left she thought. She was mangled and broken, not as graceful as she used to be. Of course he wouldn't want her anymore. Minerva caught a quick glimpse of her reflection in the mirror.
Her eyes were all red rimmed and swollen from crying as her face was blotchy. She looked too thin and malnourished. All together she looked dead beat awful. She went to quickly clean herself off. Once she was showered and clean, she felt like she had been reborn, but something was holding her back. Something was weighing her down. Minerva looked again the mirror, trying to stare long and hard at her reflection.
She could see all the pain she had been through, begging for release. Not thinking twice, she conjured a pair of scissors. She gripped her long waist length raven hair in her hand as she cut straight through. She let the locks tumble to the ground, pooling at her feet. She didn't bother to think of them. She felt like she was cutting all the years of worry away. She was cutting away her memories, her regrets, and finally Severus.
When she was done, she reexamined herself in the mirror. Her dark hair framed her face as it fell around the middle of her neck. She smiled at herself. She was free. A sudden banging from the outside of her private quarters startled her, bringing her back into reality.
"Minerva, Eumelia as order us to go. France has just been attacked as the death eaters are starting to spread to Spain and Portugal." She heard Devon's eager voice. She grabbed her customary white robes of a Guardian and was out the door.
The Dark Lord along with his queen was dressed in dark robes, getting ready for battle. The Dark Lord had already sent some death eaters ahead of them so he and his queen could be the ones to give the final blow. He didn't need to deal with puny screaming muggles. He knew the wizards and witches would come out and fight towards the middle instead of the beginning.
He turned around to look at Harry. His dark shaggy hair matched his dark robes. His green eyes were memorizing. He loved them as it reminded them of Harry's mother. Yes, Lilly was quite a pleasure to kill. He enjoyed taking her life as he enjoyed looking at Harry.
The Dark Lord came from behind Harry to wrap his arms around the young man, his husband, his lover.
"Today is a big day my dear. Are you ready?"
Harry smiled as he leaned back against Lord Voldemort. "Of course I am ready. Soon all shall fear us. They shall fear the name of Lord Voldemort and his queen."
"I love the evil things that spill from your lips my love." Voldemort admitted. Harry turned around as he faced him grinning mischievously.
"And I love the feeling of your lips upon mine." Voldemort smiled at this. They captured each other's lips, savoring the taste, the touch, the feeling. Their tongues fought for dominance. Voldemort grasped Harry brutally as Harry did the same to the Dark Lord. Most wouldn't call what they had love, but more of obsession. They loved power, and therefore they competed for it constantly.
"My Lord." came the tiny high pitched voice of Peter Pettigrew only to regret it. He didn't know they were in an interment moment as he knew better than to interrupt them. Voldemort broke away from Harry furiously.
"What is it Wormtail?"
"The death eaters, they have been ambushed by an unknown group. They're a bunch of witches and wizards in white my Lord."
The Dark Lord scrunched top part of his face. If he had eyebrows, they would be furrowed. White robed witches and wizards? Why he couldn't remember anything like that, but yet it seemed familiar to him for some reason. His expression then lightened as he remembered where he had remembered them.
Yes, he had seen them in history text books. They were an unknown group. They only came out when there was a large war, threatening to take over the world. This would be interesting. People called them the guardians of peace. He was thrilled to get to fight them. He wondered how powerful they were. Were they as great as how history books portrayed them? He wanted to know.
"Harry, my darling, let's go. We have a world to conquer."
Author's note: I'm sorry that this might seemed rushed or unrealistic, but this is AU here. ;) Again, I apologize for the delay of this story, but hopefully this chapter made up for it. Review if you like, and I promise to finish this story eventually. Best wishes!