Declaration: I write for my own pleasure and not for profit. I do not own Harry Potter Universe.

With You by My Side

Chapter 40- Justice Served! Or was it Revenge?

WEREWOLF AFFLICTION LINKED TO MADNESS IN ANIMALS

By: Xenophilius Lovegood

Though we at 'The Quibbler' have often been accused of publishing notions without any evidence to back our claims, this one is based on irrefutable evidence. In an exclusive interview before the official launch of their new book, 'Malady of the Were', Harry Potter and Hermione Granger shed some much needed light on the very real problem of werewolf transformation.

The book was a result of evidence based research by the famous duo from 'Harmonian Magiks' with help from a Professor Musser of Boston, in the United States, and our own Hogwarts' ex-professor Remus Lupin. The book addresses the reason why a werewolf transforms under the light of a full moon and also how the disease is contracted through the bite of a transformed werewolf.

Yes, dear readers, you read it right!

"The so called curse of being a werewolf is neither a curse nor it is brought upon by the wrath of the gods. It is a disease, plain and simple" Said Professor Minerva McGonagall. The deputy headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was intimately associated with the study as an unbiased reviewer of the work. With the help of 'Lily Potter Foundation' and many werewolves here in Britain, the team from 'Harmonian Magiks' worked wonders to not only understand the malady but also to try and mitigate the disease. The book is meant to provide the reader with hard facts gleaned by many hours of dedicated work and gives a point by point rebuttal of many of the myths associated with lycanotrophy.

Potions master Severus Snape was ecstatic after reading the book. The normally stoic man was proud of his students, "Now that we know what to look for, we may be able to invent a cure."

We at the Quibbler came to know that 'Harmonian Magiks' founded by Harry Potter and his betrothed Hermione Granger were already working with Professor Snape in attempting a cure to the debilitating disease. They even succeeded in bringing about a modification of the existing 'Wolfsbane Potion', aptly named 'Harmonian Modification' to reduce the pain and the muscle damage associated with the forced transformation in werewolves. Though this potion does not cure the disease, it at the very least takes away the trauma.

The 'Lily Potter Foundation' came forward to buy the modified potion from 'Harmonian Magiks' and distribute it to all needy werewolves free of cost. A spokesperson for the foundation, Dr. Emma Granger, urged all the werewolves in the United Kingdom to contact the foundation to setup a reliable and discreet method for easy delivery. Details can be obtained by contacting the Lily Potter Foundation's office in Central London.

The two teens, since their arrival in the wizarding world just two years ago, made dramatic changes in the way we wizards and witches understand magic and also worked relentlessly in making the lives of our auror force safer through their inventions. Speaking to the two teens, we were humbled by the sincerity in their efforts to make the lives of everyday witches and wizards that much easier and safer.

Harry Potter, the 'Boy-Who-Lived' (he scowled at me when I used the moniker), had this to say at the apparent lack of a miracle cure to the werewolf disease. "There are many diseases in the non-magical world that cannot be cured but with proper medication and timely management the affected individuals continue to live a healthy life."

Hermione Granger the 'Brightest Witch of Her Age' who was also instrumental in the success of the potion modification was more pragmatic, "We will always strive for a cure, but if this is the next best thing we will take it."

(The 'Lily Potter Foundation' is currently accepting donations. These acts of charity are exempt from taxes under rule 292 clause C of the British magical law.)

Minor Break

"So how much has been done with the modification of the Wolfsbane potion?" Susan asked watching Neville fold the Quibbler back after reading the article out loud.

"It's ready actually" Hermione supplied.

Harry continued from where his girlfriend let off, "It was the very first potion that we tried to modify, since we had an interest due to Remus." Everyone agreed to that, not only was Remus Lupin a part of 'Harmonian Magiks' but he was also the best professor for 'Defense Against the Dark Arts' and was universally liked. He was also a good friend to Harry's parents and so it was no surprise that Harry and Hermione would try to help him.

The chemistry lab that the pair set up in the castle attracted quite a few tourists. The slowly whirling bottle with the condenser to collect the distillate, and the process of separating the complex potion into much simpler ingredients was fascinating to the students of the school. Harry and Hermione with the help of professor Snape managed to conduct an impromptu workshop on the basics of non-magical sciences with emphasis on Chemistry and its role in medicine. Even the hardcore pure-bloods had to acknowledge the glaring commonalities between potion making and chemistry. Unfortunately, the couple did not have any of the modern day equipment which could actually analyze the components of the potions and find their non-magical counterparts, if any. That would undoubtedly have silenced even a hardened critic.

Starting with baby steps, the 'vibrant couple' concentrated on lessening the effects of the transformation into a werewolf, has on the human body, unknowing that they would eventually have to settle for that in their quest to rid the disease. The logical choice was the pain relief potion but it was a disaster when they tried to mix it with the Wolfsbane potion. The active ingredient from the pain relief potion was incompatible to the extreme with the Wolfsbane potion; thankfully, the couple was competent enough in brewing potions and they had Snape helping them too, that they recognized the dangers and stopped the brewing before the cauldron blew.

Even though professor Snape had a vast experience with potion brewing and development of new potions, the idea of dividing a potion into its components and adding them to complete potions, either during the brewing process or after, was intriguing to him. He was clearly out of his depth at the novel concept and therefore it was left mostly to trial and error, and that was what Harry and Hermione did.

As luck would have it, they found the right mixture in a potion that was as complicated as Wolfsbane and Veritaserum, the potion to regrow bones, Skelegro. The couple was now writing up the paper that described the entire process of making the 'Harmonian Modification' to the Wolfsbane potion. Even though professor Snape was acknowledged as an expert potion maker, his fame did not go beyond England and in there too he was mistrusted to a large extent due to his connection with the death eaters. Hopefully now that Harry and Hermione with the help of the professor managed to achieve a major breakthrough, the animosity against the man would lessen.

Snape came clean to Harry regarding his role in learning part of the prophecy which led the dark lord to target the Potters. Initially Harry was angry but it lasted as long as the time it took Severus Snape to tell him that he went to Dumbledore and that led to the Potters hiding under a Fidelius Charm. Harry had to accept that it was the inherent problem with the charm and a bad decision regarding the choice of secret keeper that killed James and Lily Potter, not Snape. If he could not be angry at Sirius for abandoning him and going after Peter Pettigrew rather than raising him, then he could not be angry at Snape. His actions though were faulty, he more than made up for his mistake by alerting Dumbledore. Harry did the best thing he could do, he forgave Severus Snape.

The group of ten students around Harry and Hermione who were listening to the tale were surprised, "I never imagined that a potion used to growing bones would work…" Hannah exclaimed.

"What were you looking for" Luna enquired.

Hermione smirked appreciatively at the diminutive blonde Ravenclaw, "We wanted a pain reliever with muscle relaxant and if possible tissue regeneration."

"Hmm…" Hannah mused out loud, "It's not that farfetched actually…" The blonde Hufflepuff wanted to follow the path of her mother and train to be a healer and so was actually quite good at the theory behind the healing process. She was not accomplished enough to actually apply her knowledge practically but her grasp of basics was many years ahead of the rest of her classmates even Harry and Hermione, something that she was quite proud of.

Seeing the bewildered looks on their friends, Harry elaborated, "Knitting broken bones is quite easy requiring only pain relief. However, while re-growing bones, a plethora of changes take place…

"The muscle and skin around the growing bone need to relax and stretch…" Hannah interjected enthusiastically unable to contain her excitement much to the amusement of her friends. Ignoring the snickers she ploughed on, "The tissue around the bone has to regenerate and muscle has to form new connections. Unfortunately, the one thing that skelegro cannot give is relief from pain."

"… and you cannot give a pain relief potion along with skelegro" Tracey agreed.

"Why?" Colin asked in an honest attempt to understand.

When Hannah did not venture an answer, Hermione took it upon herself to answer, "Numbing pain means that the nerves that are present in that area are repressed, essentially put to sleep, so as to not receive sensations. If that happens when the nerves need to attach to the growing bone, then the proper connections are not formed, leaving the entire arm without the proper nervous system."

Colin shuddered at the thought of a dead limb. He heard about phantom pains that occur in an amputated limb; even though the limb is not present, the nervous connections are still wired in the brain and they act up suddenly giving the sensation of a pain in the absent limb. He briefly wondered how it would be to not have any nervous connection to a limb that is present; and realized that the brain may go haywire trying to connect what it was seeing but not feeling.

"We tested it out in a few volunteers without any problem" Harry broke into his musings.

Hermione snorted at that, "Poor Remus!" she exclaimed, "He had to undergo the transformation for three consecutive days and then brave a full moon transformation as well."

"But it worked" Harry crowed.

Everyone looked in confusion at that. "Wait a minute" Neville interjected, "What do you mean Remus was able to transform for three consecutive days?"

"Oh! I guess we forgot to tell you; we were able to identify and prove that the reflected radiation from a full moon is what causes the werewolf transformation" Hermione explained.

Michael opened his mouth to ask for details but then decided that it would probably fly past him, "It's too complicated for us to understand isn't it?"

"Yeah!" Harry agreed, "Suffice to say that the surface of the moon contains a special blend of minerals that is not found on earth and at full moon, the reflected light contains a high amount of a unique radiation that it effects the transformation."

The explanation was enough for the group and they believed that it was quite possible. If Harry and Hermione said that was what happened on a full moon night, then it was what happened on a full moon night, period. The group of friends knew that the book about the werewolves was already available but it was not so popular. In a sense it was quite expected as the magical society in England was averse to change and Harry and Hermione's book 'Malady of the Were' was preaching something new, that a witch or a wizard having a disease were werewolves. It would take some time for that bit of fact to be accepted but the name Harry Potter and the support of Hogwarts staff in the form of McGonagall and Snape gave it some legitimacy, not that it was needed as the words of the 'Boy-Who-Lived' were the next thing to gospel.

It was eye opening to learn that the affliction was similar to a disease that was quite commonly known in the muggle world, causing loss of memory or loss of motor function in old age. Moreover, it was quite common in animals in the muggle world and there is an active search going on for finding a cure. The magical world never bothered about the plight of a werewolf, classing them as feral beasts, and not allowing them to work for their living. They were not ready to accept that their discrimination was driving the wedge further. But now something that they could not ignore was compelling them to stop and take a look; the 'Boy-Who-Lived' and his muggleborn betrothed were trying to bring, if not a cure, at least a modicum of respectability to the werewolves.

"Radiation like that of the sun can be shielded, right?" Hannah asked.

"Yes" Hermione agreed, "There are creams that people use on their skin that can block out the sun's rays. They are called sunscreen or sunblock."

Harry took up the explanation, "We tried to mix the active ingredients, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, first into the Wolfsbane Potion but it failed spectacularly. Even the modified Wolfsbane did not survive, everything precipitates out, forming a muddy brown and sticky sludge."

"… but don't we use the sunblock on our skin?" Colin ventured.

"Exactly" Harry clapped the younger Gryffindor sitting close to him around the table. He had to reach around Luna and Hermione, but he wanted to encourage the scientific thinking in him.

"We tried to mix both the chemicals in the 'Burn Salve'…"

Hermione was interrupted when Susan Blurted out, "Why that one specifically?"

Instead of answering, Hermione looked at the aspiring healer and Hannah obliged, "Hearing about it and from the little I read from the book, I believe sun's radiation causes itching and in severe cases even burns…" It was half stated and she looked at Hermione for confirmation. And getting it she explained how the 'Burn Salve' is also used to soothe itches and burns caused by spell fire if not direct flame. After the explanation it did not take the group to understand why Harry and Hermione chose that particular salve.

"Even then we found out that the concoction still precipitates out. However, we found a particular binder that may help us. Even if the binder would not do its job and since it is a salve and not a potion, it would work" Harry explained. They wanted to name it simply as 'MoonBlock' but it was not catchy enough for Sirius and so they settled on 'MoonShine Screen'.

Hermione added to the explanation, "We were hoping that when the potion is evaporated to form into a salve, the precipitate, if it forms, gets evenly mixed in the paste."

"But the mixture has to retain its properties, doesn't it?" Luna asked.

Hermione sighed, "Yes that is there."

Harry had more to add, "Then again, it may not make much difference. The Sunscreen lotion or gel has just a binder along with the chemicals, so even if the entire thing forms a precipitate, it may still work."

"So all one has to do is to apply it to the skin and block the moon's effect…" Tracey ventured.

"Hopefully that is enough to prevent or at least ease the transformation…" Ginny said with genuine sympathy. She really liked the soft spoken Remus Lupin and she was praying that whatever concoction it was, it would help him.

"It will still take some time for us to come up with it but hopefully would be successful" Harry mused.

Silence fell on the group as they simply tried to assimilate all that was discussed on that day. Suddenly a subdued growl was heard but it was still loud in the silence; it originated from Neville's stomach. Everyone inside the library erupted in laughter at the embarrassed boy with even some of those who were about to leave for dinner and passing near the table the group was on, joining in.

Daphne, who was silent most of the evening, suddenly straightened. "Harry!" she called gaining the attention of the raven haired wizard who was busy packing his bags. She caught his eye and with a slight nod of her head, passed a velvet box which looked obviously like a box containing jewelry. "This is the one that you asked me about, my father sent it to me just today."

Ignoring the slight tension in Hermione beside him, Harry opened the box to spy a brooch which was shaped like the very top of a peacock's tail feather; the indigo coloured eye surrounded by green tendrils that fanned out in the shape of a crescent moon.

"It's beautiful" Harry murmured. He reached out to touch the gem with his right hand. There was a spark and a flash of light between the gem and his middle finger bearing the Potter ring. Harry felt only darkness and heard the cries of alarm from his friends; thankfully, Hermione caught him before he could hit the floor before he lost consciousness.

Scene Break

"… It has to be that Nott. It has to be…" Sirius exclaimed, waving his arms about while pacing the floor in front of the fireplace in the sitting room of the newly refurbished 12 Grimmauld Place, the seat of House Black. "… Why would he send his son to stalk Miss Greengrass otherwise…" he ranted.

They planned for the eventuality and according to Harry and Hermione, executed it to perfection; even their close friends were terrified, until the two eventually took them into confidence. Still, it was nerve wracking for the adults, as anything could have gone wrong and even the smallest surprise could have had dire consequences to not only Harry but also to the one they were desperately trying to protect.

On the other side of the room, sipping his coffee sat Remus along with Dora, while Amelia was desperately trying to keep her emotions in control. Remus sighed heavily which drew the attention of Lord and Lady Black; the werewolf was quite happy with his life. His work as the operations manager with 'Harmonian Magiks' agreed with him while his growing relationship with Dora brought a smile to his face. So to hear him sigh and to see him exchange worried looks with the metamorphmagus alarmed not only Sirius but also Amelia.

"Moony…" he growled.

There was enough warning in that one word that Remus knew to spill the beans. Exchanging another look with Dora and taking a fortifying breath, Remus spoke, "No not Nott" he could not help the small grin on his face but instantly sobered, "… its McNair…" Seeing the startled looks of the Blacks, he amended, "… At least I think he is the one."

With help from an equally fidgety Dora, Remus explained about Pierre's investigations and how Macnair's name up came up repeatedly. Word from his ears on the ground, the werewolves that were now loyal to Remus and in extension, to Harry, told about the whispers among those on the other side of the law, all of which pointed to the increasing influence of the man in the ranks of the beleaguered death eaters. They were being readied, for what Remus could only guess, but it looked as if Macnair knew something or was planning something and all the death eaters in hiding were ready to mobilize at a moment's notice. It certainly did not provide comfort to the head of DMLE and to the Lord Black.

After his explanation Remus looked at the face of his one living best friend and saw the reddening, indicating an imminent explosion and he was not disappointed, "What the hell Remus. You knew that there was an imminent threat to us and you did not inform us?" Sirius screamed. Amelia immediately went to his side and laid a calming hand on his shoulder; she was angry too but her years of experience and training helped her calm down and analyze the situation. Amelia realized that more than being angry, she was terrified that they could have lost everything and everyone in one moment. That thought itself brought clarity to her; if she was this worried after the fact, she could imagine how anxious and how flustered she would have been if she had even a hint of approaching danger that day before their wedding. Amelia knew or rather hoped why Remus and Dora did not tell them about the attackers on the street that day before Christmas.

Years of dealing with a moody and angry Sirius gave Remus the skill for the perfect approach to calm the man down. With a tone than betrayed nothing about his feelings, Remus answered in a bland tone, "We did not tell you because we knew how you will react…"

Remus trailed off purposefully to give a chance for Sirius to retort but before he could gather steam, Remus derailed him again, "Just like this…" he reminded him. Dora and Amelia could see Sirius' shoulders sagging a little bit and marveled at the skillful handling. "Besides, it was the time for your wedding. You did not need this trivial matter to worry over."

"Trivial" Sirius shot back with wide eyes, "You call going into an ambush trivial…"

He was quickly cut off by Remus, "Yes, it was trivial" he emphasized. "We had it all in control. Besides, if you knew, Harry and Hermione would know, they are always a few steps ahead of us" he added with a rueful grin.

Sirius had to admit that Remus was right. The teenaged couple always had a nose for sniffing out trouble and if one of them would act anything but normal, they would hound the person to drag every detail out of them. The Lord Black had to admit, he would never have kept the matter a secret away from Harry and Hermione.

"They would have done anything to keep us safe, even put their very lives at risk." Remus had a faraway look filled with guilt, "It was not their battle, and it should never have been."

A solemn silence took over the parlour, something that Amelia relished. She was even contemplating asking Remus for tips to tame her husband. Sirius had been a lot easier to handle when they were dating back at Hogwarts and just after he graduated; but the burden of being an emotionless head of the house Black and the horrors of Azkaban changed him. Amelia managed to bring most of the Sirius of young back but he still had moments where even she could not handle him and was best left to come out of his funk by himself. Running a hand on her barely visible belly bump, she hoped that the coming child will abolish the black mood of the Lord Black, forever.

Dora broke the silence with a soft tone, pleading for him to understand, "It was for the best that you and Amelia were not aware Sirius. We were there, making sure that nothing went wrong and besides, Pierre was there too with the aurors. His family too was in danger."

Before Sirius could say something, Amelia interjected, "I was and am the head of DMLE, I should have been told." She saw that her outburst startled Sirius and diverted his attention to her health instead, bringing her husband back to an even keel from his outrage; no one could say that the new Lady Black was not a fast learner.

"The DMLE was represented by your head auror, Amelia" Dora supplied helpfully.

"Shack was there?" Amelia asked in surprise, and getting a nod in acknowledgement, she hissed, "… and he did not tell me."

"He was asked not to…" Remus told them bluntly and before they could protest, delivered the final nail, "… as the officer in charge of the operation and also the senior most official on site, Pierre had command of the auror force, even if they were British."

Amelia had to admit that based on the operation and the situation, a sufficiently high ranked ministry official can take command. Moreover, most of the attacking force on that day were French mercenaries and that meant that Pierre as the representative of the French Ministry had precedence over even English aurors. She could not find any fault in the planning as the arresting aurors were from England. However, that did not satisfy Sirius as he continued to grumble about putting his charges in danger and other similar sentiments.

Those around Lord Black knew that he was just venting his frustration as there was nothing he could do now about the event that happened nearly three months ago. That was the way Sirius was; he was fiercely loyal but at the same time was a little immature too. He was unwilling to understand that there were some things that he could do nothing about and this was one of those things. Rather than accept the fact, he was grating on Remus' nerves.

"Do you not trust me to keep my family safe, Padfoot?" he cried in exasperation and a hint of anger.

'Family' that gave Sirius pause. Whatever they were doing was for them only. He was the only one alive that knew the fact that Remus never considered himself as a part of a family after his parents' deaths. It was in the same attack that he was turned into a werewolf. He did not want to bear the disappointment of a rejection based on what he turned into on a full moon night; he was deathly afraid of the moon and what it meant for him. To never have a family. True, he became close to James, Peter, and himself, but they were friends and not family.

Remus was not only smart and frighteningly loyal, he was also very brave, sometimes up to the point of being foolhardy. All that was due to his lack of self-worth. Now it seemed like Remus was finally accepting that he could have a family and was even forming one. He was perpetually happy, the cloud of despair that always accompanied the man was nowhere to be seen these days. Remus was openly acknowledging the sense of belonging and that he was willing to give them as chance to be a family and Sirius would never take that away from the man. It looked like he was willing to take a proactive stand against those who threatened his family and Sirius owed at least that much to his best friend, one who lost as much as himself, if not more.

They were now building a family and they would be damned if anyone would come in their way, least of all the death eaters.

"I am sorry my friend" Sirius apologized. He walked over to the werewolf and embraced him tightly, almost lifting the man from the floor much to the amusement of Amelia and Dora.

The resumption of normalcy allowed everyone in the room to get back to their refreshments and mull over things that they learnt during the heated discussion. "What happened to Miss Greengrass?" Dora asked breaking the comfortable silence.

Amelia who was now leaning into a seated Sirius answered her, "Officially the entire family has been arrested on charges of conspiring to harm the head of an Ancient and Noble house…"

"Unofficially, they are on an all-expense paid holiday, somewhere south of Spain…" Sirius offered.

Remus gently grasped Dora's hand to gain her attention, "The Greengrass family were mostly neutral in the last war. They did not raise their voice against the death eaters but at the same time did not officially help the good side. They preferred to keep quiet and go on with their lives, but now that both the girls were threatened, Lord Greengrass had to take a stand, either for or against Harry. He was brave enough to choose to side with Harry..."

"… and you know Harry and Hermione; once they allow you into their family, they would do anything to keep you safe" Amelia concluded.

"The Greengrass family has some friends near Ibiza and we used the cover of them being arrested to spirit them away to meet them. Both Lord and Lady Greengrass will stay there while the two girls will be back to school after we find that they were just carrying out orders" Sirius finished.

"That's a good plan" Dora agreed, "While it will appear that those responsible for harming Harry are being arrested, it will also give the family a chance to be away from danger, especially the girls."

That was the plan; in the letter written in Braille that Harry received from Daphne Greengrass, Lord Greengrass pledged to support the houses Black and Potter, both when it came to legislations or through trade. He wanted protection for his family. The protection meant that the one who was threatening the family had to be neutralized. Unfortunately for Sirius, Lord Greengrass was forced to swear a magical oath to keep the name of the person giving him the tainted brooch, a secret.

Dora had something else bugging her, "How did Harry escape without any problem and still keep up the ruse? I mean he had to handle the brooch to make it convincing…"

Sirius just smirked and tapped the ring on the middle finger of his right hand, further adding to Dora's confusion.

Amelia rolled her eyes at her husband's antics, "The ring that a Lord and a Lady of an Ancient and Noble house wears, is not an ornament Dora. It has magic imbued in it from generations, making it a very effective sink for magic. More often than not, they are enchanted to protect the wearers."

"Blacks being who they are, actually enchanted the ring to retaliate against hostile intentions. If I have to duel in a friendly match, I will have to consciously let my magic know that I do not want to harm my opponent. Otherwise my ring can kill you…" Sirius was all serious when he said that.

Taking the opportunity, Remus butted in, "James told us that the head of house ring for House Potter was actually enchanted by Rowena Ravenclaw herself. The ring used to be for Gryffindor house but when the last daughter of that house married into Potter line, the ring also transferred allegiance. It has one of the best protections you can imagine."

"I am sure that Hermione's betrothal ring also has impressive protections. It was granted to her by Harry's magic after all" Amelia concluded. The appearance of the ring on Hermione's finger at the same time that Harry got the head of house ring meant that not just Harry but Potter house magic itself considered Hermione to be a worthy Lady Potter.

"Yeah! No doubt about that" Remus concurred. "I believe that Hogwarts also provided sufficient protection…" Remus half-stated while looking at Sirius.

Sirius nodded his head in confirmation, "Yes, Hogwarts provided a shield around the group and also around the brooch itself. It was not needed though as Harry's ring neutralized the curse even before he touched the brooch."

"I did not think that Hermione had it in her; she put on a masterful performance after subtly casting the sleeping charm on Harry" Amelia sniggered. The four of them had a hearty laugh at the poor boy's expense.

Silence reigned for a few minutes after that only broken by Dora, "Macnair has to go, but how?"

Amelia whipped her head towards the young woman. She was an auror before joining 'Harmonian Magiks' and hearing about assassinating a man was shocking to the head of DMLE, "Dora!" she hissed. Before Amelia can continue, Dora interrupted her with a raised hand.

"Think about it Amelia" Dora began her argument which to her own surprise was rock solid. "We know that Tom Riddle prepared himself to survive against all odds. He planned it ahead of time so that he can be reborn in case he somehow lost his body. We can also speculate that at least some of his followers knew about his plan; Severus knew. The timing could either be purely coincidental or the pieces came together at this time, I do not know. What I do know is that after all these years of peace, the death eaters are mobilizing."

The head of DMLE could not refute the logic of the younger woman's tirade. Two years ago it was Voldemort himself attacking Harry in the form of a wraith hitchhiking on a professor at Hogwarts. The next year it was Lucius Malfoy and his diary horcrux, both to spread terror within the walls and also to regain a body; and this year it was Macnair.

Whether it was coincidental or not, all of the attacks targeted Harry and by extension Hermione and Susan too. Losing the last of her family and two members of her new family was not something that Amelia was prepared to allow, her morals and her ethics as a law officer be damned. When those in power were willing to put the burden of fighting a blood thirst megalomaniac on a pre-teen, then she was going to cross the line between justice and revenge to keep her family safe.

Finally, admitting defeat Amelia turned to her husband, "I do not need to know what you want to do. Just please don't get caught. I would hate to arrest my own husband."

Sirius drew her into a hug while running his hand over their growing child inside her, "I am a marauder" he smirked, "we don't do getting caught."

Even when they were arguing about the culpability of Macnair, Sirius was already planning. He knew someone who could take care of the problem for him discreetly. It would be a very nice gift to Harry and Hermione for Easter; maybe even the Greengrass family would appreciate it. It was lucky that the kids would not be coming home for the short holiday, due to their commitment to perfect the 'MoonShine Screen' during that time. With Harry being the apparent target of a cursed object and out of circulation and added to that, Hermione and Susan being in the presence of a multitude of witnesses, no one would even try to blame their family.

As for him, he would not be seen with the man who was going to take care of the problem for him, at least no one in England would see him.

Scene Break

A few days before Easter a man dressed in a stylish leather jacket with matching leather pants was rifling through the safe in a mansion that was home to Walden Macnair. Being a professional curse breaker, bypassing the wards of the house without bringing them down was easy for the man. Hitting the head of the department for regulation of magical creatures, with an asphyxiation curse was also easy to one who was willing to kill a man who could pose a great danger if left alive.

Neutralizing the blood based ward protecting the contents of the safe was child's play. He pocketed the gold and other artefacts, some of which were obviously cursed, 'He did tell me that I could help myself with anything valuable' the man mused in his Italian accent from southern Switzerland. In a bottomless bag in the same safe, he came across many detailed documents dealing with deeds, promissory notes or just plain blackmail material. There was enough in it to incriminate even the Minister of Magic; the bag was carefully sealed in another pocket of his greatcoat. This was the mother load that his friend the Lord Black wanted and was going to be extra careful with keeping it safe before dropping it off in a secure drop site in France.

Finishing with the safe, the man took his time wandering the mansion. Since Walden Macnair lived alone, there was no one to challenge him and the man took full advantage. In the basement he found another stash that was worth more than its weight in gold. Rare potion ingredients, meaning illegal ingredients, were stocked as if preparing for some eventuality and if he was a betting man it was for the return of Lord Voldemort and for the inevitable war. The man identified most of the ingredients and wanted nothing to do with them. He was a curse breaker and an enchanter, not a potions master. Besides he did not want to get caught with them or selling them, no, the DMLE could have them; he only had to point them to the stocked ingredients.

With his job done, the man left the house the way he came, leaving no trace of him being there. Only those that knew him could even find the smallest trace of magic he used to bypass the protective wards. For others, the only evidence of him being in the house would be the cold corpse of the man who would in time have become the right hand man to a resurrected Lord Voldemort.