The Sins of the Father.
Disclaimer: This is a work of FanFiction set within the Harry Potter universe. As such all characters and locations belong to J.K. Rowling and this work is not being produced for commercial gain.
Warning: This work is rated M for readers over the age of 16. The rating is because of themes. The content will be dark but not explicit. Please read A.N. at end of chapter for a more detailed warning.
There will be major character death and this tale contains alternative character interpretation.
Mike headed down the dimly lit corridor of Hogwarts's fourth floor pausing to study the map in his hands. His target was on his usual rounds for this time of night. Mike had watched him on the map over the last several weeks and had learnt his routine; now it was time to put what he had learnt into practice.
He paused slightly in a recess, close to the junction of one of the school's main corridors. He watched first on the map, and then in reality as his target passed him. He did not look in Mike's direction at all.
With one last check of the map to see that no one else was around, Mike stepped out behind his target.
He lowered his wand as his target stood rigid in front of him. He was careful to stay out of the line of sight of his target – there was no need to take chances, after all, and the next thing he tried was going to be very risky.
"Imperio." The spell struck; now to test its effects. He removed the body bind. "Take off your glasses, Professor Longbottom, and leave them on the window sill."
He watched in amazement and a kind of giddy excitement as the professor did as he was instructed.
"If they are found and returned to you, Professor, I want you to keep putting them down and forgetting where they are. In five minutes' time, continue your rounds and forget this conversation ever happened."
Mike headed off towards his dorm. It was a small thing he had done tonight, with no real impact. In time, everyone would think a little less of Neville, but as a Hero of Hogwarts and Deputy Head, guaranteed the headmaster's job when Vector retired, he had quite enough people thinking highly of him anyway.
However, it was also a massive thing he had achieved: Imperiusing Neville Longbottom, the man who had defied Voldemort to his face. Mike knew from his research in the Restricted Section that once someone was used to doing little things under the Imperius Curse, he would do bigger things, eventually going contrary to his nature with little fight. Still, it was obvious that Neville had been treading on his reputation for too long. Let's see how he handles the next phase of the plan.
Mike headed back up the spiral staircase to the Ravenclaw common room, answering the doorknocker's question without hesitation. He checked the map to see if anyone was within. He was several hours past curfew and, while he was a prefect, he would still have to answer to that annoying Portia Malfoy if she found him sneaking in. Thankfully, only Harriet was in there. It often amazed him how dissimilar the two cousins were.
"Mischief managed," he said, folding the map up and slipping it into a pocket.
As he entered the common room, Harriet rose from the chair she was sitting in and stalked towards him. Her red hair caught the light, and her lithe body transfixed him. Her green eyes burned with curiosity. Her mouth opened to ask Mike a question, but he leaned in and kissed her before she could utter a word. The tension he had been holding on to all evening finally released. When the kiss finally ended, Harriet spoke first.
"Wow! I take it everything went according to plan."
"Oh, yes, your map is still fully accurate. I was able to follow Professor Neville all evening. The old fool had no idea I was there. I think his reputation is overrated."
Mark refrained from telling Harriet about Imperiusing Neville. While she was the black sheep of the Potter-Weasley clan, she would never go along with Mike's plan. Still, she had come a long way from when Mike had first met her. Back then, she had been all bitterness but with no direction to vent it.
He gently pulled her down beside him onto a sofa, thinking back to when she had first sat next to him.
He had been sitting in the Great Hall of Hogwarts, watching the first years enter. It was the first time that he watched the sorting from this side. The majority of the first years looked around the hall with wonder in their eyes; one girl, however, looked around with cool indifference. It wasn't quite the hostility that he had tried to keep from his expression the first time he saw the hall, but she certainly didn't look happy to be here.
He had ended up sitting next to Portia at the feast and for once was quite grateful for it. Nudging her, he asked, "Which one of your cousins is that, Malfoy?"
"Just because she has ginger hair doesn't automatically mean we are related."
Mike just snorted in answer to that.
"If you must know, she's my Aunt Lily's daughter Harriet."
"Oh, great, just what we need: another Harriet." Mike turned to Dave Chadwick on the other side of him. "What's the current ratio of Harrys to Harriets at the moment?"
Dave looked to the roof in thought. "Well, with last year's exit and not knowing the firsties' names yet, we're on 12: 7 Harrys to Harriets."
Portia bristled as they talked and was about to say something when the hat burst into song. After the hat had finishing singing, the first year sorting began.
Mike was fairly indifferent to the sorting; the Weasleys would all come at the end, and he'd take note of them and anyone else that Portia mentioned as a relative. Halfway through the sorting, Mike watched Harriet be called forward.
"Potter, Harriet." Professor Longbottom called her out of the diminishing ranks to a surprised whisper from the tables.
"I thought you said her mum was related to you?" Mike asked of Portia.
"She is, hush."
Mike inwardly seethed at her attitude yet again but kept his mouth shut. She would get hers one day, her and all she held dear, but not now.
The hall fell into silence, as Harriet was proving difficult to sort. Mike watched her lips move as she held a conversation with the hat. He took a sip of his drink and almost spat it back out when he clearly saw Harriet's lips move and seem to say, "Put me into bloody Gryffindor and I'll come back with a box of matches."
There was a slight pause, and then the hat shouted, "Ravenclaw!"
Portia waved Harriet over and made a space for her. Mike moved in the other direction; at least now he had a buffer zone between himself and Portia. Harriet sat down in the now vacant space; she looked first at the table in front of her, then turned so that her back was to Portia and she was facing Mike.
"Can you believe that bloody hat wanted to put me in Gryffindor?"
"Language, Harriet," Portia interjected.
Harriet ignored her and continued to speak to Mike. "As if it isn't bad enough being Harriet bloody Potter at Hogwarts, but to be in Gryffindor as well. I might as well dye my hair black and carve a lightning bolt into my head."
Mike wasn't certain what he found more amusing: the girl's words or Portia's face every time she was ignored.
"Harriet, that is quite enough of that," Portia finally interjected.
"Oh, do shut up, Malfoy. Do I need to tell you that it was my granny who invented the bat bogey hex, and yours just made a bag for carrying more books? You're not my mother. You're not even a close relative. We only see each other at family gatherings now and then, so for the last bloody time, bugger off, Malfoy. "
Mike watched Portia's face change colour faster than a set of lights at an all night rave before she turned her back on them and returned to talking to her friends.
"What are you smiling about?" asked Harriet.
Mike pulled her onto his knee. "Just remembering the look on Portia's face that first time we met. I knew we had a big future together then. I'm glad I was right."
After some time kissing and cuddling, the couple reluctantly separated and headed off to their respective dorms.
Mike found sleep hard to come by tonight. He had been planning since he had found out about this world and his heritage, but tonight was the first time he had taken action. In one way, it was appropriate that the first step involved Neville Longbottom. He was the man who had introduced him to this world, after all.
Mike was sitting in his bedroom, watching his latest videos, when the icon started flashing for a call from his mum. He briefly considered ignoring it, but the last time he had ignored a call from his mum, she had blocked his web access. It had taken him at least two hours to hack his way around that, and it would only take a moment to speak to her. He allowed his vision to focus on the icon of the call and double-blinked it. His mum's face filled his vision and, from his perspective, his bedroom on his augmented reality display.
"Mike, we need you downstairs. There is a visitor here and we have something important you need to hear about."
Mike didn't have time to answer. His vision briefly returned to normal before the AR Vid kicked back in. He blinked and shut down the display. Walking downstairs while watching a vid took skill, which Mike had, but making it look natural enough to fool his mum was beyond him. He briefly considered taking out the contacts but felt his mum would be ok with that, provided he didn't switch them back on.
Downstairs, he was met by his father and a man in very formal clothes. He was dressed in an immaculate three piece suit in a black pinstripe. Mike glanced across to his dad, who only bothered to wear a shirt and tie when the full board was meeting.
Tom met his son's look and shook his head to let him know not to ask any questions.
Mike looked around to see his mum enter the living room. He was struck by how pale she looked this morning. Wisely, he didn't comment on that. He might have only been ten, but he knew better than to tell his mum she looked awful.
"Thank you for your time, Mr and Mrs Jones, and you, too, Michael." The man turned to make eye contact with each of them as he spoke. "I'm Professor Longbottom, and I represent Hogwarts School. We would like to offer Michael a place at our institution. "
While Mike was intrigued by this man's offer, his mum's reaction was starting to worry him. She had paled even further and had her hand in front of her face to stifle a sob.
Finally, she spoke. "Thank you, Professor, for your offer. We will need to discuss this in private and let you know our response. There will probably be follow up questions, too. How soon and in what way should we contact you?"
"We like replies by the end of July, but there are things that I think you should know about Hogwarts to help inform your decision."
Mike had run a quick search while his mum was talking and was surprised to find no results. Everything had some results these days. Mike had even tried entering nonsense words in the engine when he was younger and got a surprisingly large number of hits for those. Eventually, he got a hit on a veterinary web site, but he was pretty sure that wasn't what the professor was inviting him to join.
He turned his attention again to his mum.
"I know of your school, and I would like to discuss the implications of this offer with my family, in private. I am sure we will inform of our decision in the fullness of time."
Professor Longbottom got the dismissal in his mum's statement and politely excused himself. Mike looked over at his dad, who shook his head in bewilderment.
Mike thought back over the rest of that day. His gran arrived with the news that she was a witch, and it looked as if he had the ability to be a wizard. It had skipped a generation; his mum was something that was called a squib. Then there were the other facts, the ones Mike was not supposed to hear once his gran had left and his parents thought they were alone. He had left a wireless transmitter running in the sitting room and headed upstairs to watch some shows on the AR. He connected to the device and listened in to his mum's explanations. It was his future they would be discussing, he rationalised.
His mum had never told his dad about magic because she thought it would never affect them. Squibs and muggles didn't have magical children; it was unheard of. Then there was the fact that his gran had turned her back on the magical world once his mum had been born. Finally, there was the planet-shifting fact, the one that altered Mike's whole life.
There had been a war in that world. When all looked lost, when the time was darkest, Mike's gran had been treated as a slave, as vermin. They had called her a Mudblood and had used her as they wanted. One of the men whose house she was cleaning had noticed her and had raped her. Mike's mum was the result of this act of violence, which was why the very existence of this world was one his mum and gran had hoped to leave behind.
Mike closed the link. Listening to his parents in tears was a difficult thing for him to cope with, but it was then the fire in him had started. Sometimes it burned white hot; other times it was an ember that he protected and nourished. He had sworn vengeance then on the man who had committed that act and the world he had come from.
He tossed and turned in his bed again. He wished Harriet was with him; she had the ability to get him to be still. How ironic, he considered, that he had fallen for the granddaughter of one of the men on whom he had vowed to gain revenge.
He spent much of his first year in Hogwarts working away in the library, as a good Ravenclaw should. He looked through modern history books and cross referenced newspapers and even gossip magazines. He eventually found the name he was after: Lucius Malfoy. In the reconciliation hearings, he had been ordered to pay his grandmother, Jessica Tilden, a hundred Galleons for her forced labour in his house during the Dark Days, as they were now known.
Lucius had escaped prison by paying his restitution and testifying that a few of his friends had been as bad as he had been. Harry Potter himself stood and testified on his behalf; that, more than anything, kept him out of prison.
Mike punched his pillow in frustration. That Lucius had died before he had a chance to get revenge. He had died when he was 80 – a young age for a wizard, but it seemed that working for a dark lord who Crucioed for the slightest fault affected your health. Still, Harry Potter, who had spoken on Lucius's behalf, had become Mike's new target for hatred, along with Draco, who by all accounts was as bad as his father had been. So they were his targets: one the grandfather of the girl he spent all his classes with, the other the grandfather of the girl he spent his free time with.
However, as he read all he could, he began to understand that it was not just them at fault: it was the whole society they represented. A place where privilege and prestige counted more than the rule of law.
So, Mike had decided, it would all have to go. Whether he would replace it with anything would be a different matter. He had looked at this society with an outsider's eye and seen it for what it was.
Mike watched in amusement as over the next month Professor Longbottom never seemed to have his glasses. He had proven now that he the strength of will to dominate someone else: time to take it to another level.
He Imperiused Neville two more times. Both were petty little things. The first was a compulsion to start over-eating, the next, an instruction to ignore hygiene issues. As Neville was still Herbology Professor, it didn't take long for that last instruction to have an effect. Soon people were starting to avoid him, staff and pupils alike.
A week following that last instruction, Mike noticed with use of the map that Neville was staying in the castle on a night he usually returned home to be with his wife.
Mike slipped out of the dorm and, using the map, stalked his target. Thankfully, it was easy to find him alone now. Not many people appreciated the smell of dragon dung fertiliser. Mike just needed a couple of minutes with no witnesses.
After watching and waiting for an hour, Mike saw Neville walking slowly away from his offices. It was past curfew and there were no prefect patrols near. Hurrying down an intersecting corridor, Mike saw and smelt his target.
Neville stood still as the spell took effect.
"Follow me, Professor." Consulting the map, Mike led Neville to a seldom-used classroom. Thankfully, the house elves kept it free from dust and there were no portraits within it.
"Now, Professor, we shall talk freely and truthfully. You shall make no attempt to communicate with anyone but me and you shall attempt no means magical or mundane to stop me. "
Neville's eyes brightened slightly and he sniffed, as he was able to smell himself for the first time. "Why are you doing this? You are using an Unforgiveable Curse for playing pranks. When you are caught, this will be beyond expulsion. You will face prison time for this."
"Is that so, Professor? I can think of many cases where the Unforgivables have been easily forgiven. We've read in the history books how your good friend Harry Imperiused a guard to get into Gringotts. Lucius Malfoy used all three Unforgiveables but got away with a slap on the wrist. I think the law should be anyone who Harry Potter doesn't like can't use them. Well, I'm dating his granddaughter and I make her happy, so it is okay for me to use them."
"It's not like that anymore. We have a rule of law now."
Neville instantly stopped speaking on Mike's command.
"I don't know why I'm even talking to you." Mike paused to gather himself. "Neville Longbottom, you will leave this place and go directly to the Black Lake. Once there, you shall start to swim, exactly as you are dressed now. You will not stop to communicate with anyone, and you will keep on swimming until you can't swim anymore. Do you understand?"
"Yes." Neville answered in a dull voice, and the glassiness was back in his eyes.
"Before you go, Neville, any regrets?"
Neville's personality returned to his body. "Yes. I regret my last words to Hannah were an argument about how bad I smelt."
"Go, Neville, and carry out your instructions."
Damn, Mike regretted asking that last question. Better to think of the victims as supporters of a regime that had to change than as people. He couldn't head back to the dorm until he had composed himself; if Harriet saw him, she would know something had gone wrong and ask awkward questions. Thankfully, she didn't know he was out tonight. It would be a little hard to admit he had just sent someone she called Uncle Nev to his death.
There was a week of mourning in Hogwarts leading up to Neville's funeral and service of remembrance.
The front row of mourners featured Neville's wife, Hannah; the Minister of Magic, Susan Finch-Fletchley; and head of the DMLE, Harry Potter, and his wife. Mike watched the elite of society as they mourned the first of their number to be brought down by him.
He kept a sober expression on his face, knowing that before the day was out he would be introduced to Harry. This would be their second meeting, although being introduced as the boyfriend of his granddaughter would probably make this a bit more memorable than their first.
Mike was polite to Harry and Ginny when introduced. Surprisingly, Harry did remember him.
They sat in the defence classroom. This was one that the upper years always talked about: the Unforgivables lesson. Muroidea Norvegicus entered the classroom first, followed by Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter.
"Good morning, class. I'm sure you know what today's lesson is, so allow me to introduce Harry Potter, head of the DMLE, who will be teaching today's lesson, and Professor Longbottom, who you all know. He will be supervising."
Harry stepped forward to begin the lesson. "Thank you. I hesitate to ask so simple a question of third year Ravenclaws, but can anyone name the three Unforgiveables?"
As usual, Portia's hand was up first. After she correctly answered the question, Harry asked his follow-up question.
"Does anyone know why these three spells are classed as Unforgiveable?"
There were a few guesses, but no one was correct. Harry continued.
"It is to do with intent. If you cast your mind back to when you were taught Wingardium Leviosa: Professor Flitwick, a Charms master, could make his feather dance around the room, while you all; struggled to make it float on your first effort. Well we did in my first class. He used the same words and the same gesture, but his intent was a bit more dramatic. All magic relies on your intent, the Unforgiveables more than most.
"I once tried to cast the Cruciatus Curse on Bella Lestrange. She had just killed my godfather, and we were fighting for our lives. I was intent on punishing her. She laughed off my attempt. She also explained why they are listed as Unforgiveable.
"You have to really hate to cast the Cruciatus Curse on someone. Anger doesn't do it; you must want them to suffer, you have to be the sort of person who enjoys the suffering you bring, because if you hesitate for a second, it won't work.
"The same applies to the Killing Curse. There are plenty of spells to kill someone, many of which we teach you as students. A Reducto or Diffindo, used wrongly, will kill. But so will this chair if I beat you with it. The Killing Curse, however, has only one purpose: to end life. I've heard arguments that we should allow doctors to use it to ease suffering in the terminally ill. Again, this is rubbish. You can't cast the killing spell with compassion. The intent has to be one of snuffing out someone's life. Of completely holding a person's life in your power and ending it.
I will not be demonstrating either of those two spells to you today. I don't wish to become the sort of person who can cast them.
The Imperius Curse, I will be demonstrating. At first glance, the Imperius Curse is a lesser evil than the others. But to cast the Imperius Curse is to completely dominate someone's self-will. A strong enough person can force the person to then go on and commit acts completely contrary to their nature. Is the person trying to kill you a willing recruit, or as much a victim as you are?"
Harry then demonstrated the Imperius Curse on a spider, which he made to do an eight-legged tap dance. Then, one by one, he cast the Imperius Curse on the class.
When it was Mike's turn, he felt a strange lethargy overcome him, then an overwhelming desire to do a handstand. But why? he asked himself, and as soon as he asked that question, he knew. As soon as he knew, he resisted.
"Sorry, Harry, I'd rather stay on my feet."
"Do you know how many third years can throw off my Imperius Curse? Of course I remember you."
Harry turned to Harriet. "This one has a bright future ahead of him, Harriet. It's good to see you two together. It's times like this that remind us how fragile life is. Now you've done your duty and spoken to the relatives; go and walk the grounds and enjoy the sunshine."
Mike had been married to Harriet for seven years, and he had been head hunted by the Department of Mysteries when he had left Hogwarts. Mike and Harriet had decided to put off having children, unlike most of their peers, who had children within the first year of marriage.
Mike had put his plots on hold for the time being. Although, he had recently visited the head of the Scottish military to suggest a new area of research to him.
To be told that the head of the DMLE was taking an interest in his career was worrying. To marry into the family of a man you had vowed revenge on was downright stupid. Still, he truly loved Harriet and they were happy together. She was an absolute genius in potions and had taken up a research role in WWW. The family business had left its joke shop origins behind many years ago. Although the joke shop was still a branch of its business, it had now become the cutting edge of new innovations in the world, wizarding and Muggle alike.
The real money, it had been discovered, was in selling a new version of the Pepper-Up Potion to Muggles as an energy drink. George and Ron were currently involved in a takeover attempt of Red Bull.
Harriet was heading the team that ensured the products would be safe to sell to non-magicals. Harriet had initially refused the job, but she was coming to terms with the fact that she had been employed on merit, not on family connections. This had been finally hammered home upon receiving her last bonus for finding a way to alter down the cure of the common cold so that it was still effective, but safe to sell to the Muggle world. In fact, she and Mike could have retired and lived comfortably for the rest of their lives on the proceeds of that one bonus, but they both enjoyed their jobs and had settled into a calm routine.
Mike had met with Harry many times since leaving Hogwarts. Married to Harriet, he had visited Harry's home on numerous occasions. They had argued politics on many occasions until Harriet had begged for peace. Mike blamed Harry more than most for upholding the status quo. For allowing Lucius to go unpunished and for not using his influence to create a fairer, more equitable society.
He no longer hated him as he had done when he had found out he was the man who had allowed Lucius to go free. But he would still have to go.
Partially as punishment, but also because he was one of the old guard who now held society to such an old-fashioned course. Harry could have forged a bright new path. Hermione had tried, but Harry had just accepted the system and allowed it to return as it had been.
Still, not for much longer. The Polyjuice Potion was prepared. He had endless hairs from Harriet he could use.
He hesitated over using Harriet this way, but she was at work in a busy lab, so he rationalised that she had a perfect alibi in case there was any suspicion. He would use a public floo from Diagon Alley so that he would be unlikely to be traced.
The only thing pleasant about taking the potion was the taste. The process of transformation was horrendous. The effects of the sex change had him throwing up and in agony. Checking his watch, he realised he was out of time. He had spent most of his hour curled up either in pain or throwing up.
That was a hell of a way to find out your wife was pregnant: morning sickness as you took her form.
He tried again the next day, taking a hair off a jacket she hadn't worn for a couple of months. He changed in the bathroom of their house, quickly dressed in an outfit that he knew Harriet favoured and then apparated to Diagon Alley.
"Hi, Grinny, can I come through?"
Grinny was a cross between Granny and Ginny that Harriet had used since she was a little girl.
Once he was in the Potters' house, Mike looked around the sitting room. The photos of the three children dotted around the room told tales of sadness to those who could look beyond the obvious.
James stood tall and proud, but always alone. His need to prove himself, to fulfil the expectation that everyone had of him, had never allowed him time to settle down.
Albus's photos of him and his wife Marie stood still, as they were not wizarding photos. Albus had left the wizarding world behind once he had finished his rather mediocre OWLs. He was a self-employed plumber, having enrolled in a technology college at sixteen. He had a well-established little business now. But there was sadness in his eyes. He and his wife had never had children. Albus's fear of the celebrity life he had grown up with had kept him from inflicting that on another generation.
The photos of Lily and Harriet told their own story. Lily had only married Harrriet's father as she was pregnant. The marriage had ended in divorce before Harriet was a year old.
While Mike looked around, Ginny got some tea together in kitchen. Very few wizarding families had elves these days. They nearly all worked for a branch of WWW run by Hermione: she ensured the elves had enough work to keep them happy, but were treated with respect and had fair conditions.
As Ginny stepped into the room, Mike hit her with an Imperius Curse. He gave her the instructions he wanted carried out, left her the collar and flooed back to Diagon Alley.
The next morning, Mike was at work when James came to see him. James was grey faced, and his eyes looked haunted.
"I need a favour of you, Mike. This is breaking half a dozen rules of procedure, but can you look at this for me?" The disgust was plain to hear in James's voice as he spoke. James dropped what looked upon first glance a small leather belt on his desk.
Mike recognised it at once. He had, after all, purchased it while disguised as Harry several months ago from a sleazy little shop in Knockturn Alley. He had seen it just yesterday when he left it with Ginny.
After first casting some diagnostic charms on it, Mike then picked it up and began to visually inspect it.
"Okay, what we have here is a self-tightening belt. But it's slightly damaged: could be wear, or bad manufacturing standards." Or the fact that Mike had spent some time deliberately making it look that way. "There is a rune here that has faded. That would have stopped the belt once it was tight. As it is now, whoever put this on would practically be cut in two. Was anyone injured using this, James?"
James, with a look of sadness on his face, answered in a quiet voice. "My father was found with this around his neck this morning. Mum called me immediately on finding him."
James's expression hardened and his voice took on a warning quality. "As it is now, only you, me and my mother know the truth. Don't tell anyone. Not Albus, not Lily, not even Harriet. As it stands now, he just passed peacefully in his sleep. That is the way we will keep it."
Mike sympathised: it must have been hard for James, who idolised his father, to find him wearing just a self-tightening collar.
James threw the collar into Mike's metal bin and cast Incendio until the belt burnt to a crisp. Mike was torn. On one hand, he hated the old families ignoring the rules for their own benefit. On the other, to have the current head of the Aurors and likely future head of the DMLE help cover up his most audacious murder was no bad thing.
It was a week after Harry's funeral that Mike's other instructions to Ginny became clear. The note she left ambiguously stated that she could no longer live with the guilt.
Her death was definitely not ambiguous; she took her old racing broom and flew it straight up until air and magic ran out. Her fall was spectacular and her impact messy. Mike rather regretted Ginny's death, and if he had known that James would help him in the cover-up of Harry's death, he probably wouldn't have told her to commit suicide. The manner of her death surprised even him. Still, she always had a melodramatic bent.
Mature content warning.
This story features amongst others things. Subduing peoples will and forcing them to commit acts out of character. (The Imperius charm) Impersonation and gender swap. (Polyjuice potion) Murder and major character death. Also within the back-story, rape will have been committed. I will not go beyond that level of detail in the story to write about the act. There will be major character death and this tale contains alternative character interpretation. After all I'm writing fanfiction, if everything was exactly the same as the books there would be no need to write it.
Part 2 coming soon.
Thanks again for Jedi Goat casting her strange force like powers over this and sorting out my scatter gun approach to punctuation.