Disclaimer: See Chapter One
A/N: I'm so sorry I have not updated in so long. I've been dealing with illness for the past couple of months and it has taken quite a toll on me, not only physically but creatively as well. I'm doing better but it has been a challenge to get back into a groove with my writing.
I'm sorry that this chapter is so short and admittedly not my best, but I wanted to get something out before everyone thinks I've abandoned the story. The next chapter is already percolating in my brain and will be much longer and hopefully better written than this one.
I sincerely appreciate all the reviews and for all of you who have PM'd me wondering about an update. I hope this satiate you for now. Expect my next chapter in about two weeks. Thanks again to everyone who takes time out of their personal lives to read my little story. So until next time, I hope you enjoy this latest chapter of Passageways!
Platform Nine and three-quarters on Monday January 3, 1972, was unlike anything that anyone had seen since Grindelwald's reign of terror during the mid-1940's. Red robed Aurors and purple cloaked Hit Wizards were positioned all along the platform; no less than five were monitoring the newly repaired portal that leads onto the platform from the muggle side of King's Cross.
More were watching the three connected floos in a reception area of the platform, and another half dozen watching the only apparition point at the far end of the platform. Parents were only allowed ten minutes on the platform before they were required to leave and the students had to board the train and not linger on the platform.
It was a new Ministry protocol, its purpose was to avoid large congregations of people that could be seen as potential targets for whatever terrorists that happened to be lurking about. Though there was no intelligence to suggest an attack was pending, the Ministry felt it had to do something to show strength and try to calm and reassure the understandably terrified witches and wizards of the United Kingdom that all was well in hand.
The events of the last two weeks had the citizenry very much on edge. First it was the attack on King's Cross while students were returning home for the Yule Holidays, and then the horrible massacre of the McNair family on New Year's Eve and of course the most recent attack happening just yesterday in broad daylight in Knockturn Alley.
The Ministry unfortunately was demonstrating quite effectively its ineffectiveness during a time of crisis. Witches and wizards across the country were clamoring for something to be done, sending angry posts and howlers to the Minister's office and to the DMLE and nearly every Wizengamot member. Hysteria began to surface, many were beginning to believe that Grindelwald had somehow made a return from the dead and was launching a second campaign of world domination.
Only a handful of people knew the entire truth, and they were keeping their silence. Captain Alastor Moody was one of these people. He was confederate in a plan to bring down not only the terrorists organization known as Death Eaters and the Purist Party led by Tom Riddle; aka Lord Voldemort, but also to expose the Brotherhood of the Fox.
It was the Brotherhood that was deeply concerning to his longtime friend and yes savior; Dorea Potter, who had patched him up more times than he could count during the Grindelwald war. He owed her a life debt a few times over.
Of course he knew who had been responsible for the Macnair attack, and who had planted the three bodies belonging to the Brotherhood. He was playing his part in the dangerous game of misdirection that Dorea had come up with. He even let certain information about the "suspected" handler of the Brotherhood agents.
Auror squad room, desk of Auror Captain Alastor Moody. Seven hours after initial investigation of the Macnair massacre.
Auror 1st class Blake Jackson strolled innocuously into the squad room. He greeted his fellow Aurors with a nod and an easy grin, making small talk here and there. He paid extra attention however to those Aurors who had participated in the Macnair investigation, making subtle inquiries into their findings.
Alastor had immediately locked eyes on the Auror as soon as he had walked in. He had to force himself to keep a neutral look on his face as he watched the man in boiling contempt. Thanks to Harry's pensieve memories of the future and a few books about the coming war from the Room of Requirement, Moody had learned of the five aurors within the DMLE who were Voldemort spies and who conspired with other Death Eaters spies within the Ministry to nearly bring down said Ministry in 1980.
"Oi Cap'n!" Jackson greeted Moody as he approached his desk. "Nasty business this Macnair case, eh?"
Moody glared at the short pudgy auror, a typical response from the older veteran. "Nasty business is it?!" Moody growled incredulously.
"A whole bloody family was wiped out!" Moody barked, playing up his part.
"I meant not'in by it cap'n." Jackson replied hurriedly. It would do no good to piss Moody off if he wanted to learn anything for his lord. "It's a terrible t'ing it is! Any leads on who dunnit?" Jackson asked hopefully.
And here it was, Moody thought. The bloody traitor was trying to glean what information he could to pass on to the Dark wanker. Moody grinned to himself; Voldemort took a significant financial hit with the Macnair fortune effectively being taken from him, not to mention the Malfoy fortune since Abraxas Malfoy fled the country.
He imagined that Voldemort wanted some answers and some payback from whoever had perpetrated the hit on the family. And this toady in front of his desk was to get that information. Dorea had been right; 'of course she was.' Moody inwardly chuckled, that clever lady usually was. She predicted that Voldemort would not let this attack on one of his inner circle go unchecked for very long. Less than eight hours to be exact!
"Nothing I care to share with you Jackson! You know protocol on open cases; only those assigned to the case are authorized to know details." Moody stated, but in an exaggerated move he closed the open file in front of him and slipped it under a stack of other folders. Jackson saw the move and Moody noticed the sudden glint in Jackson eye.
'Like taking candy from a baby.' Moody mused.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I have a meeting with the director to get to." Moody stood and then walked toward the outer squad room door. As he approached the door he looked back surreptitiously over his shoulder to see Jackson trying to be inconspicuous as he slid the file out from under the stack of other folders and slip it into his robes.
The very next morning as the businesses of Knockturn Alley were just opening, a dozen masked and black robed individuals popped into existence in front of the shop of Borgin and Burkes. The front of the store was blown away as a dozen reductor curses hit the entrance of the shop all at once.
Borgin his wife and two adult sons were dragged from their home and executed while on their knees in front of many on lookers in Knockturn Alley, with the specter of the Dark Mark floating high above the alley afterwards.
Jackson had reported to his Lord that Marius Borgin had sent agents of the Brotherhood of the Fox to kill the Macnair clan in what appeared to be a case of political assassination. The Macnairs' and the Borgins had both become members of the Wizengamot in 1810, but due to some cheating at cards on the part of the Macnairs, the Borgins lost their seat because of Breadthart Borgin in 1915.
Breadthart, who had a gambling problem, had incurred an enormous debt, more galleons than he could afford. Since Borgin could not pay the debt, Macnair demanded he turn over his seat on the Wizengamot as payment. Since then, there had been a great enmity between the two families.
Voldemort ever since the latest ritual, had become more and more volatile and unstable, a side effect from performing it too soon after the last one. His irrational bouts of anger and paranoia were becoming common place and it had his followers always on edge.
So it was not surprising that he had become enraged when he had heard the report that Jackson had removed from the DMLE. Macnair and his family were killed it seemed by a political move by the Brotherhood facilitated by a vendetta seeking Borgin! Voldemort remembered well his time as the protégé of Gellert Grindelwald, he himself being a former member of the secret society until he tried to take control of the society himself and was banished.
Voldemort thought the Brotherhoods aims were good, however he thought they moved too slowly for his tastes. They moved in slow calculating steps, remaining in shadow, hiding themselves from public view. They used political espionage, blackmail, and occasional assassinations to achieve their goals.
Grindelwald, Voldemort knew, believed he had erred in his belief that he could take over the magical world by using brute force and terror to conquer. His alliance with Hitler had ended in disaster as the Nazis and their axis allies were beaten into submission.
He had planned to allow Hitler to rule the muggle world for a time, if he had won, more or less as his puppet, but he would eventually kill the man and take his place. But until then, he would allow the charismatic German his time and make use of his war machine to further his own goals. But it all fell apart, and to make matters worse he was defeated by Albus Dumbledore his onetime friend and possibly more.
Many believed that Dumbledore had killed the man, but in fact had gotten lucky with a disarming spell. Grindelwald was then imprisoned in the very edifice he had built to hold others. It was a humorous mistake on the allies' part. Grindelwald would of course have made a way were he could escape should he somehow be forced to take up residence there.
Grindelwald would allow Dumbledore and the allies to think he was safely put away and he took the time to rethink his strategy, he never would however, give up his dream to rule the world and subjugate the muggles. It was for the Greater Good of course. The muggles were warlike and destroyed everything they touched, he and Albus saw the inhumanity of man first hand.
Muggles needed to be subjugated so that the world could finally achieve the peaceful Wizarding ruled utopia he and Albus had envisioned. But Gellert went from one extreme to the other, from brute force to clandestine chess playing.
But Voldemort believed there was a middle ground that would be successful. Gellert's first attempt had been too large in scope, trying to conquer the world in one go, he on the other hand planned to take the British Magical world first then England, and then move on from there. He would have left Gellert alone in his German home, but that was before this latest incursion against him.
Gellert's interference with one of his financiers and inner circle members, meant that Gellert was making some kind of political play in the Wizengamot and in England, which was not acceptable! England was his to take and he would not let the Brotherhood get a foothold! He would send them a message to keep out of his isle, a message to Gellert himself to stay out of Britain! The head of Marius Borgin and his family would do nicely for a start.
Moody stood on Platform Nine and Three-quarters watching the Hogwarts students being dropped off by their families and allowed his thoughts to mull over the events of yesterday morning. Dorea's plan had set Voldemort and his ilk on the road to war against the Brotherhood.
It had been her plan to get the two organizations ire turned toward one another so as to camouflage hers and Harry's actions. From what she had gathered from the three men she had captured and tortured, Borgin was an important intermediary and handler for the Brotherhood in Great Britain. He provided not only intelligence but resources. Truth be told he was an equal opportunist, a true capitalist who saw profit in playing every side.
However, his great-grandfather had been a member of the Brotherhood at its inception and felt some loyalty to the organization. Marius was the handler of five Brotherhood cells that operated throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Each cell operating independent of the other, only Borgin knew who all the members were, except for the Brotherhood leadership.
As such, the Brotherhood would not take his assassination lying down. It was only a matter of time before the Brotherhood would answer the assassination back with one of its own, and Voldemort being the egocentric megalomaniac that he was, would of course retaliate, his ego would demand nothing less, thus creating a back and forth feud between the two organizations.
It was a clever move on Dorea's part; he just hoped it went the way she was hoping it would. These were two extremely dangerous groups that she was trying to manipulate, but if successful, they would thin each other out enough to be better managed by others. Of course she would continue to subtly push them into conflict with one another while masking her own involvement. Their infighting would be enough to disguise what they were planning to do with the other members of the "Thirteen" now only being eleven.
Harry and Bella, had decided that they would not return to Hogwarts, as students that is, but would use the Room of Requirement as a base of operations and coordinate with the marauders, including Andromeda and Narcissa, as they quietly recruited students of neutral and gray families to the Eveningshade cause.
Harry decided to actively pursue the remaining families that made up the original "Thirteen" and begin the political maneuvering to take back the hereditary seats that his family had lost. Not forgetting his promise to the Lady Hogwarts to protect Hogwarts from the horrors that Voldemort had unleashed in Harry's past, and Bella's future.
He and the marauders would crush the young Death Eaters within Hogwarts as clandestinely as possible, hopefully without raising Dumbledore's attention. But Harry knew that he would eventually have to deal with Dumbledore. Not only for his ideology regarding the subjugation of muggleborns for the purpose of infusing the purebloods with new magical blood to avoid extinction, but more personally for his family's role in the extermination of his own.
Harry however reluctant to let his family go on the train without him. It was true in his own time as it was in this one, that when hundreds of teens are left alone for hours with little to no adult supervision that there would be innocent pranks and not so innocent…incidents, between those who saw themselves as better than others, and felt that their mistreatment of those lesser beings as perfectly fine and justified. They needed to be put in their place after all.
So Harry had given Lily and each Black Sister a pendant with the Eveningshade crest, which was charmed to warm a similar pendant that Bella wore to indicate they were in danger. It was charmed to activate when the girls uttered the word "Bettlegeuse" and also acted as a homing beacon so that Harry and Bella could apparate to them. It was an altered scrying enchantment that Bellatrix placed on each pendant, hers being the master.
Alastor Moody noticed the arrival of the Potters; Dorea, Charlus, and James along with Lily "Eveningshade" and little Remus Lupin at the approved apparition point on the platform. Dorea and Charlus gave him a nod of recognition but did not stop to talk.
They moved forward onto the platform where other families' were seeing off their Hogwarts bound students. A few moments later Cygnus and his wife arrived with the three Black sisters, well two were still Blacks' the other was now the Lady Eveningshade, though that information was still very much a secret. They were accompanied by a young man, tall with an athletic build, long dark chestnut hair, pulled back in a low pony tail as was pureblood fashion for the elite, and piercing green eyes that could stare down a rampaging Hippogryph.
This group ignored Moody completely, keeping up appearances of an elitist family, though he did see an almost imperceptible nod from Harry as he brushed by. They moved forward and were in mere feet of the Potters. The two pureblood men then nodded to each other as was pureblood custom. The niceties must be observed.
They were soon followed by Lord Orion and Walburga Black with their sons Sirius and Regulus, who quickly joined Cygnus and his family. Sirius upon seeing James, Lily, and Remus peeled away from his family to chat with his friends. Orion, Walburga, and Regulus approached Cygnus and his group.
"Is it wise for you to be so exposed my lord? Out in public like this?" Walburga asked Harry in a hushed voice.
"No one knows who I am lovely lady. At least not yet, so I still have some anonymity." Harry gave her a charming smile. Walburga blushed at the unexpected compliment.
Harry had learned from her painted counterpart that the Lady Black was a pushover for flattery and it was one avenue for Harry to use that could soften the lady enough to sway her to him. In reality the austere woman had already decided to support the young lord, but not because he was a handsome young man, or his use of flattery, no, Walburga was moved by his power and ability, and Harry had both to spare.
Plus she saw what he had done to the Macnairs, and she liked her head where it was thank you very much! She deemed it very unwise to get on the bad side of the powerful young wizard, and now since the Blacks were no longer popular with the Purist crowd after they pulled their financial support from the organization, she needed to assure the survival of her family and since the young Lord Eveningshade was technically family it appeared that an alliance with House Eveningshade was their best hope to survive what was coming.
After saying their goodbyes and giving Lily an extra-long hug and a cautionary word of vigilance, Harry and Bella apparated back to the Eveningshade manor house. They would remain at the manor until the student's arrival at Hogwarts and then floo to the Room of Requirement where they would meet the new marauders.
Albus Dumbledore stood staring out his office window which looked down on the main gates of Hogwarts. It was a perfect view to watch the many carriages carrying the future of wizarding Britain toward the ancient castle. His thoughts were troubled though as he knew that they carried far fewer students than they carried at the start of the Yule break.
Several muggleborn and half-blood students had been killed or seriously injured by the explosion at Kings Cross station and would not be returning. It was a serious waste of magical blood he ruminated. This generation of witches and wizards had already lost too many, with birth rates among the established magical families at an all-time low, he feared for the future of his people with such loss among the newer witchborn.
It was now more important than ever to hold on to the muggleborn, and not let them stay or return to the muggle world. He had already ordered committees to look at drafting legal bills, to…in a manner of speaking subjugate the muggleborns to wizarding authority and jurisdiction as soon as they were identified as magical.
The children would then be distributed to wizarding families to be cared for and raised in wizarding traditions, all of course under Ministry oversight. With the older muggleborns, they would be required to become wards of these various old families and when they reached the age of maturity the head of house would then arrange marriage or concubine contracts to suitable families.
Still, no matter how much he tried to argue with the die-hard traditionalist he could not convince them that they needed to breed with the lesser bloods if they were to remain viable as a people. He had many of his surrogates out trying to sway some of the less rigid older families, and had seen some movement, but they wanted certain restrictions and regulations.
But if Tom and the Purist kept targeting the muggleborn all would be lost! His antipathy for the muggle world would be the ruin of the magical. He needed them to see reason, the muggles were far more dangerous than the Purist realized, and if they kept provoking them, eventually they would awaken a sleeping Titan that could literally obliterate their world.
Those disturbing thoughts led his mind to consider the other events of the last week. House Macnair was wiped out. By whom, was still unclear though according to his sources in the DMLE it may have been an organization that he had not heard tale of in many a decade. If they were indeed the architects of the Macnair's demise he could not fathom the reason why.
Then there was the execution of the Borgins. Retaliation perhaps for the Macnairs? But what if any was the link between the two massacres. Was the young couple that had fought in Diagon Alley involved? Albus did not like being in the dark, no, not at all. And so he decided to call a meeting of loyal friends and associates and those he thought could be valuable to him to organize an intelligence gathering organization.
They would meet after the welcoming feast in his office. It was time Albus thought, to take a more proactive approach in dealing with these new threats to peace in magical Britain. He would bring order back to his isle and they would achieve his utopia! It was after all for the greater good of their world!
S/N: I guess there are a few questions I need to answer. First it has been asked a few times whether Lily must remain a virgin or unmarried to be the Priestess of the Morrigan, the answer is no. She is not a 'Vestal Virgin'; I have not found anything that would suggest that she would need to be. In the Wiccan religion the high priestess can be married, my daughter is a practicing Wiccan and I've heard nothing to the contrary.
Next, the three men that were found at the McNair house were the three men (Brotherhood of the Fox) captured by Dorea in Diagon Alley, I thought that was obvious but perhaps it was too vague. Why were they there? Dorea is using a tactic of misdirection and you will see more of her using this tactic in following chapters.
The two minor McNair children were not killed but were taken back to Night's End and will be integrated into an Eveningshade family.
And finally, I may have not made this clear in the last few chapters, but Moody is aware of what is going on with the attacks and is helping Dorea in her misdirection tactics, remember he is one of the few that has seen Harry's pensieve memories of the future and is actively helping Harry and misleading the ministry and Dumbledore.