Name: Puppeteers
Rating: NC-17/M
Warnings: Graphic Violence, Bad Language

Chapter 1 – The Potion [Prologue]

The wards would come down in exactly twenty-two minutes and thirteen seconds.

It was rather strange that he knew this fact this precisely, but, after all, he was practically the inventor of modern-day warding, so it shouldn't be that surprising that he felt connections to these wards, that he had constructed himself and that only he could use, that no one else could feel. However, despite his deep connections to his creations, there was one thing missing that would allow him to recharge the wards again: magical power.

Not that he wasn't powerful, of course – hell, he was probably one of the most powerful wizards that had ever lived – but even powerful wizards like him could be drained. And he was. He was now effectively trapped within his personal potions lab, with the time slowly ticking away, while his own son was slowly dismantling the wards that protected him from what would probably be a very gruesome death. It was now rather not a question whether it would happen, but simply when.

He quickly glanced around in the potions lab, hoping against hope that he would find the necessary ingredients for an Energy Restoring Potion, but no such luck. Nearly all his ingredients were used up, he only had a pint of basilisk venom, a griffin feather and a few other ingredients in the room – ironically enough, they were all incredibly rare and expensive, but not of any use right now. All his mundane potion supplies (and quite a few of the rare ones, too), he had used for his newest project, the Bloo-

Of course. He mentally smacked his forehead. The Bloodline Curse. The potion that he had been working on for six months straight – it was nearly done. Why not use it now – it wouldn't prevent his death, but he felt that he had exceeded his prime anyway, now at one-hundred and twenty-two years of age. The only reason that he had fought death for so long was that the thought of leaving all of his belongings to his son – the gold wasn't the problem, it was the knowledge that he had gathered, especially that concerning the Dark Arts, the very reason that his one-time best friend had turned on him – he couldn't understand the difference between dark and evil. Should these tomes fall into the hands of his son, he doubted that the world would survive the result.

He sighed, allowing himself to drift into his memories for a short while.


"Push!" The healer said, looking down at his wife, who was currently in labour, her beautiful face scrunched up in concentration, beads of sweat forming all over her body. She was swearing in Gaelic, her home tongue, and even though his Gaelic was rudimentary at best, he could understand the gist of what she was saying – and it was not pretty.

At exactly this moment, the house shook – the wards of their manor were being breached at this very instant. §LOCKDOWN!§, he hissed, but it was too late. The attackers were very swift and had already entered the house, thus rendering the lockdown that the manor went into useless. He took a deep breath and looked at the healer, who was looked rather frightened, just as his wife was.

"Look out for her." He told the healer. He didn't even wait for a response – he spun on spot and left the room, leaving behind two very frightened women.

Outside the door, he rapidly began construction parsel wards on the door. They weren't at full strength, but that was intentional, since he planned to weave a blood ward into it anyway, which would make it impossible for anyone to enter, even for himself and that only he could dismantle and the parsel wards, should they be at full strength, would only interfere with the blood magic that he would perform.

He quickly cut himself across the palm with his potions knife and, dipping his wand into the flow of blood, drew three runes upon the door, in his own blood. No sooner that they were drawn, he began chanting in a mixture of Parseltongue and an ancient druidic language. The blood runes, were beginning to glow, first a deep blue, then a sickly green, then a bright red and-

Shit. A sickly green killing curse just flew over his shoulder and he cursed. He had been so close to finishing the blood ward and his wife would have been safe – but now it was too late. If he tried to finish the chant, he would die and leave the charm unfinished – better to try and fight his opponents. This decision, made in milliseconds, prompted him to stop mid-chant and conjure a slab of concrete that he quickly levitated over to where the attack had come from – and not a moment too soon. Another curse impacted with the slab, that immediately burst into tiny shards, giving him an unobstructed view of his attacker- or rather, attackers.

They were two people that he knew very well, but that he had hoped to never, ever see again.

"Thanatos and Saladin." He growled, recognizing his two younger brothers, with sick gleams in their eyes. They both looked a lot like him – slender figure and black hair that fell to their shoulders – but the numerous dark rituals that they had performed without doubt over the last years had taken their toll. Their skin was unnaturally pale and they were radiating blackness in a way that just felt twisted and wrong to him. Their eyes, opposed to his striking, emerald green eyes, were black, not the lively, albeit cruel brown they had been during their childhood – another side effect of tampering with something that was better left alone.

"Brother." They smirked as one. "Long time no see." Apparently, know that he was conversing with them, they had lost their immediate interest to kill him, though there were both still idly twirling their respective wands.

"What are you doing here?" He hissed, not quite as venomously as he had intended, though – he was worried sick about his wife and didn't like thinking about what these sick fucks would do to her. His brothers apparently caught this and sneered.

"Well, brother," Thanatos answered, his eyes never leaving his opponent that was shielding the door behind which his child was just now being born with body. "It's really a shame that you are the oldest, and thus the Family Head. Especially when you're a blood traitor that doesn't even understand the fact the Mudbloods aren't people, but scum, fit for being slaves and whore, but nothing more." Upon hearing these words, rage burned his veins – his own wife was Muggle-born, god damnit!

"So you see, we've had enough of you fucking around, disregarding your pure-blood background and what comes with it." Saladin continued, his voice soft like Thanatos' was harsh, yet filled with the same malice. "With our fortune and tomes, we would crush the stupid Mudbloods to dust in an instant. And the only obstacle to our life-long goal is standing right in front of us." Both of them whipped up their wands in unison and bellowed: "Expulso!"

Knowing better that to stand there idly, he jumped aside into an alcove, as the spells whizzed past him. However, he was as lucky as he had hoped and one of the spells caught his on his left hand, ripping off two fingers and carrying them with it. His left hand seared in pain, completely distracting him from what was happening with the spells.

As the two powerful Exploding Curses hit the incomplete blood ward, carrying the casters blood with them, all hell broke loose. Blood magic was extremely volatile, especially in an incomplete form. So when the curse hit, the ward glowed a sickly kind of green, Avada-Kedavra-like and absorbed the spell. Then, for a second nothing happened.

Then the ward exploded.

The force of the explosion was enough to slam him into the wall with tremendous force. It hurt like a bitch, even though the wall was somehow cushioned – probably an accidental reaction that saved his life.

His two younger brothers had more luck than he had had, because their distance to the ward was greater, giving them more time to react. Only Thanatos was quick enough, however, to bring up a green shimmering shield. Saladin was hit full-force by the blast, which knocked him into a manor wall. There was sickening crunch and he dropped down to the floor, dead – his neck had snapped. Thanatos was only thrown back a few feet, his shield absorbing the biggest part of the shockwave.

This was the last he registered, before everything went black.

Upon awakening, he frantically searched for his wand among the rubble, until he found it a few seconds later, unharmed by the explosion. Quite suddenly, he felt cold dread and, fearful of what he would encounter, turned around, to face the room where his wife had been. Nothing stirred amongst the rubble, leading him to assume the worst. Still, he had to know for sure.

He tried to stand up, but found that he was far to dizzy to even attempt that. Therefore, half-stumbling, half-crawling, he made his way through the rubble to the remnants of the door. Steeling himself, he entered the room.

The room had not been affected as strongly by the explosion as he would have thought – most of the explosive force had been forced outwards. However, all the windows had shattered, nevertheless. However, upon seeing the sight that he encountered in that room, he immediately wished himself to be back in the rubble again.

The healer had been hit by an Entrail-Expelling Curse, causing her guts to spill all over the floor. Her kind blue eyes were filled with horror, shock and pain. She was naked, and there were cuts all over her body. A mixture of semen and blood was flowing from both her vagina and her anus, causing him to convulse, his last meal threatening to resurface. Just how long had he been out to give his brother the time to commit such atrocities?

His wife was also naked, with an even greater number of scars all over her body – the most prominent one was the inscription "Mudblood bitch" on her stomach, nearly five centimetres deep. Blood coated her body, far more than there would probably have been because of the wounds. Another close look at her body had provided the answer: his brother had used a spell to suck the blood from her veins, without harming her body and had coated her in it. He crept up towards her and one look at her mouth caught him to break down at last and to vomit across the floor – his brother had drowned her in her own blood.

The last conscious thought that he had before falling unconscious once again was that it was kind of strange that the child's body was nowhere to be seen.

When he came around once again, he cleared up the mess and buried the bodies respectfully, all the while mulling the mystery of the missing corpse of his child, until it finally hit him, two days later. Thanatos had been banished from the family – he had never found out the reason, but with the death of Saladin, he would never get his hands on the family fortune, even if both he and his child were dead. Unless-

Fuck. He didn't even need to get his hands on it.

Thanatos wasn't after the money because of its monetary worth, but to use it to his ends – the war to exterminate all Mudbloods and blood-traitor, like him. And with his death, the fortune would fall into the hands of that child that Thanatos had kidnapped and raised, according to his ideals – a child that would, if Thanatos played his cards correctly, undoubtly fight his war for him. What did the time matter for him, anyway?


Sixteen minutes.

Shit. He shouldn't have gotten sidetracked. He needed to finish the potion before the wards fell. Luckily, the potions was nearly done – he only needed to add the last three ingredients, wait until they had dissolved and, as a final ingredient, add seven drops of blood. The reason why he hadn't finished earlier was that he wasn't sure what the three last ingredients should be.

You see, the potion that he had brewed, actually, that he had invented, was called the Bloodline Curse. Upon drinking it, the drinker cursed the bloodline of the person that had given their blood. It only worked with willingly given blood, however, so the possibility to use it as a weapon was rather slim. Basically, what the potion did was that it declared any kind of heirship to the cursed family null and void, until a person came along in this bloodline that would unify the three traits that the last three ingredients of the potion represent – therefore, the formula for the potion was not always identical, rather, more often than not, it was a rather large difference, because differences in the last three ingredients could also alter the procedure of the steps done beforehand, to enable the potion to work with these ingredients.

And because he hadn't left any notes behind, only a potions prodigy like him, and only under very lucky circumstances would be able to recreate this potion. It was one of a kind, really.

Fifteen minutes thirteen seconds.

Now then: what three personality traits should one of his descendants have to show, to be proclaimed worthy of their vast fortune and their gigantic vaults, full of gems, weapons and ancient tomes of knowledge?

A sense of equality and justice, for one. He absolutely despised the people that thought themselves better than others, simply because of their names or their blood status. His wife had been a Muggle-born herself and she could outmatch any of his three best friends in a duel anytime – proof enough that the preconceived notions of these people were not worth a shit.

He scanned his potion ingredients, until he had found what he had been looking for: a fang of a Twilight Wolf. The Twilight Wolf was a magical wolf was home both in light and in darkness and that was capable of both of the blackest and the lightest magics – possession of another animal as well as astounding healing capacities, and pretty much everything in between that could be classified as aura magic, the art of magic that is not dependant on a single spell, but that rather emanates from the aura of the caster and that is solely based on will and intent – possession took absolute hate, whereas healing required a real sense of love and kinship. Twilight Wolves were incredibly rare and he had been really lucky that he had once been able to save the cub of a Twilight Wolf from a pack of lethifolds, during his travel through the jungles of Africa. In gratitude, the mother wolf had shown him the body of her husband, that had died mere minutes beforehand and indicated that he should keep it. Placing it under a stasis charm, he had brought the dead body back home and had harvested it. He quickly placed the fang into the simmering cauldron, causing the potion of a brilliant red turn to a deep blue quickly, as the fang dissolved under hisses. He stirred until the fang had completely dissolved in the potion, before he could add the next ingredient.

Ten minutes forty-one seconds.

The second personality traits that a worthy descendant had to show, he decided, was intelligence, determination and cunning. To represent this trait, he chose the claw of a Thunder Hawk. These frightening predators had been the rulers of the sky, a long time ago. They were known as ruthless, cunning and intelligent, yet not unnecessarily cruel creatures. Their magical capacities were supposed to be vast, but there were next to no documents concerning the Thunder Hawks. The only thing that was quite certain was the fact that they could call upon the very power of lightning and unleash full-blown storms on their opponents at whim. This particular claw had been in his family for longer than anyone could remember, but no-one before him had ever actually found out what it was – they had simply assumed it to be a trophy of a hunt, never understanding the immense value of this artefact. It to, with a small twinge of regret, wandered into the potion and he stirred to make it dissolve. This took considerably longer than with the wolf fang, but eventually, it had dissolved too, leaving the potion a brilliant shade of very light blue, almost white.

Three minutes.

The last trait was relatively easy to think of: magical power. All of these traits were useless, if his descendant didn't have the magical power to act upon them and to, should it be necessary, change society accordingly (he had a very unpleasant feeling that it would be necessary, seeing the path on which society was currently headed). After a short glimpse across his ingredients, however, he had to concede that none of these ingredients would probably fit his purpose.

Two minutes forty-nine seconds.

He sighed, coming to the conclusion that he had known all along, even though he didn't like it one bit. He quickly calmed his breathing and sunk into trance, being able to do so rather quickly because of his numerous hours of practice, until he found his magical core. It was rather large and a pleasant green, with darker and lighter patches all over it.

With another internal sigh, he began what would probably be the last magic of his life – with all his willpower, he siphoned his raw magic off his core, forcing it through his wand and into a ball of pure energy, leaving only very little behind to still be able to use a wand. It was a process that felt tiring and so wrong, but he ignored it. When he opened his eyes, feeling quite empty, he saw that nearly all of what had once been his core was now floating in front of his wand. Because he had been magically exhausted beforehand, he didn't feel any more exhausted than before, only strangely hollow (the floating ball didn't represent his reserves of magic, but what potential he had, should his reserves be fully filled – he had diminished his potential to a minimum, not his actual store of magic). This would be the potential that his descendant had to reach, to be judged worthy as a heir of his bloodline.

Ever so slowly, he guided the orb down into the cauldron. The moment it touched the potion, it dissipated, flowing freely through the potion, infusing every drop of this potion with magical potential, dissolving in no time and turning the potion an angry green within seconds.

He sighed and reached out to the wards to find out the remaining time, but he couldn't feel them anymore. FUCK! This could be serious problem – he was now not magically aware enough to be able to feel the wards, so he could only rely on an estimate of time for how long he had. Probably around a minute or so.

Quickly picking up his potions knife, he cut his thumb ever so slightly, allowing the blood to drop, not to flow freely. Even though, he was in an emotional turmoil, he still able to hold his hand steady – years of working on potions were now invaluable.

One drop of blood fell into the cauldron. There was an angry hiss and the potion darkened slightly.

Two drops.

Three drops. The potion was now a dark, lush green, like moss.

Four drops.

Five drops. The potion was now nearly black only liked slightly green when looking very carefully.

Six drops.

Seven drops.

The potion was finished. It was now a pure black, but it still seemed to be pulsing with magic. He quickly stirred it three more times, hoping that the time would be enough – he now had twenty seconds left, at best.

He pulled a vial out of his pocket and quickly filled it with the black potion. He hesitated for another brief moment, unsure of the reason himself, before raising the vial to his lips and downing it in one gulp.

Just as the last wards fell and the door to his potions lab was blown open, allowing a slender figure to enter the room. His son.

Even though he knew that his son was his enemy at the moment, he couldn't help but drink him in now, seeing him for the first time. He looked so much like him, with the striking green eyes and the black, elegant hair falling to his shoulders. He had his mothers delicate nose and her beautiful cheekbones, though his face was marred by scars – probably souvenirs of earlier raids or of his training under his uncle. His handsome mouth was twisted into a malevolent grin.

"Expelliarmus!" He intoned, disarming his magically weakened father easily and casually throwing the wand that he caught with his left hand aside, while twirling his wand in his right hand, just like Thanatos had done during his confrontation with his brother, all these years ago.

"Father." He sneered unpleasantly, causing him to flinch – he had never hoped to hear this word in such a tone. "What's the matter? Weakened because of all the Mudbloods you fucked?" His sneer turned even more unpleasant, if that was possible. "Wouldn't surprise me."

"What's your name?" His father asked wearily.

"Cephyr. Just like my noble grandfather." He proclaimed proudly, causing his father to wince. Cephyr had been one of the first and most radical propagators of pureblood supremacy, killing Muggle-borns in masses. He sighed – his son was truly long beyond redemption, if he was proud of the deeds that his namesake had done.

"Well, Cephyr, I'm pretty sure you're not here to exchange pleasantries." He said, feeling the potion spread through his blood already. He knew that the curse had taken effect already. He had done what he could and would now die.

Strange. He wouldn't have pegged himself as brave, but just now, in his final moments, he found out that he didn't fear death at all. He welcomed it, really. His life had been long – it was now time to depart.

"You're right, blood-traitor." Cephyr spoke. Then, with one last, unidentifiable look, he raised his wand.

"Avada Kedavra!"

And like a puppet, whose strings had been cut, Salazar Slytherin fell to the floor as everything went black.

Author's Note: Yeah, it's me, I'm back, and I'm continuing. The title's changed, 'cause it's not really about the cursed bloodline anymore at all. Reposting everything because there's minor to major edits in every chapter. Since it's been a while, just re-read everything, then you're back up to date again. :) So, what happened? Basically, I was completely stagnating, because I knew the end, but I had no idea how to get there. Not the case anymore, I swear, it's all planned out, beginning to end. Also, done with school, that's great. I still can't promise regular updates, but... I won't abandon this again. Pinky promise.