"HP: Potterlock" AU
'The Case of the Stone'
- Night of Honour (Part I) -
A/N: I don't own squat, save for the plot.
This part is in half, mainly because it's been so long in updating. The other half shouldn't be as long of a wait.
It was quiet after the dinner 'meeting' in the sitting room at Homes Manor. The Dowager was sipping some sherry to settle her nerves, while Madam Bones was still scribbling in her muggle notebook. Lord Malfoy had a tumbler of Ogden's Finest and was standing next to the mantle, plotting. John had his own tumbler of scotch in the corner, while Sherlock and Mycroft waited for the inevitable questioning on opposite sides of the room.
Malfoy's mind was racing. He was beyond pleased with tonight's revelations, as he had been attempting to remove the Headmaster for quite some time. Mostly, it was a political move, as it would severely curtail Dumbledore's power base within the Wizengamot. With what was revealed, true or not, he had a fledgling hope in removing Dumbledore from the Chief Warlock position now. It was almost tenable, and he was salivating over it.
The Dowager was a mix of emotions. Fury was interspersed with extreme sadness over Lord Potter's childhood, or lack thereof. She kept wondering how much different Neville's upbringing would have been, had young Harry been a brother figure for him. Remembering how James was such a troublemaker in his youth had her conclude that the pair would have gotten into quite a bit of mischief, much to her dismay and secret delight.
Sitting in the corner, John was amazed over what was happening. While he was incensed over what had happened to Harold in his youth, he set it aside to concentrate on the facts. This Dumbledore character seemed to be the de-facto leader of the Magical World. It was mentioned that along with his position as Headmaster, he was in charge of both the Magical Government in Great Britain and the International community as well. "It's astounding," he murmured.
Sherlock looked up and over at him. "What is?"
Caught out of his analysis, John chastised himself for voicing his opinion. "This Dumbledore seems to be in complete control of the Magical World. Not only here, but throughout the entire planet."
Intrigued by this, Malfoy arched his brow. "Continue."
Thoughtful expression on his face, John set his scotch to the side and crossed his arms, staring off in the distance while he compiled his observations into words. "Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards; Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot; Headmaster of Hogwarts, the most respected source of education; Dumbledore has the ability to enact laws, enforce those laws, and educate the next generation into supporting said laws. Imagine: One man has the ability to shape young minds in any way he sees fit, then release them into the public, supported by his own world view no matter where they go… save the Americas, of course.
"Reminds me of the Non-Magical world. Sixty years ago, Adolf Hitler, dictator of Germany, changed the entirety of the German education system. He shaped young minds to support the Aryan Doctrine, while coercing them to discriminate and hate the Jewish people. Scapegoats, if you will. While the Hitler Youth program was enforced, he enacted many laws restricting the Jewish community at first, then later relocating them under the so called 'innocent' label of the Final Solution to get rid of them. That was solely to pilfer whatever the Jews had of value, then work them to death in concentration camps. When the extremely underfed people could no longer work, they were sent to incinerators and dusted the countryside with their ashes.
"The main difference I see between the this and the 'Final Solution' is population. While I know that there are people who support the Pure-blood Doctrine, there is a significant difference. The Jewish community is a minority, while the Pure-blood Families are the ones in decline. In addition to this, if one were to remove anyone that isn't a pure-blood from Magical Britain and Ireland, the economy would collapse."
Watching the others while John was on his soapbox, Mycroft and Sherlock had a bit of a smile. They could tell that Malfoy was waffling between being incensed and thoughtful over what was being said. The Dowager had a simple growing look of concern on her face, while Director Bones held her hard mask. Sharing a look between them from across the room, Sherlock nodded for Mycroft to ask the obvious question.
"Your observations aren't that much different from the Death Eaters of times past. However, why would the economy fail?"
"Well, it's obvious, isn't it?" John said, looking back to the others. "Without a happy workforce, nothing would get done. Sure, you could attempt to restrict anyone not of pure blood, but how long would it last before they decide for greener pastures? With the continent not being all that different, a smart person would take their entire family and immigrate to the Magical States or Australia. Of course, one would attempt to coerce the non magical community into service, but remember that they number over seven billion. Once they cotton on, they'd annihilate the Magical World."
"Surely, you jest," Malfoy commented with disdain. "How many? And how would they 'annihilate' us?" he asked with a sneer.
Looking at him, John could tell there wasn't an ounce of belief in what he was saying. "Seven Billion. Billion with the letter B. But, to take this solely to what we have here, non-magicals number around forty to sixty million, give or take, as that's an estimate. Her Majesty's Government has an arsenal that would either bypass or overpower house wards, and would be able to do so from a distance of a few miles, or from their chairs in various bases along the island, depending on if we're talking about aeroplanes or missiles. Are you aware of why Japan capitulated in the non magical Second World War?"
Seeing two shakes of the head, he explained. "The United States of America developed a weapon that utilizes the destructive force of the most basic building blocks of matter. Dividing them sets off a chain reaction with their adjoining neighbours.
Initially, there were two types. One was rather slim, the other quite large. Each used a slightly different version of the contraption. So, not knowing which was better, they made both.
The skinny one was dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The resulting explosion completely vaporized the city. Those survivors that were close to the edge of the resulting shock wave, but not burned alive, suffered from the exposure and died a few weeks later.
"Since Japan didn't capitulate even then, the larger of the bombs was dropped on Nagasaki with the same results. Needless to say, they surrendered unconditionally. Now, since technology has advanced, they don't even need an aeroplane to deliver those foul things."
The silence that generated was broken by the director. "I can see that you still don't believe him. Lord Malfoy, Dowager Longbottom, I can assure you that those devices exist."
"As can I," Mycroft said, startling his counterparts. "As you know, I act as liaison between the Wizengamot and the Upper Echelons of Her Majesty's Government. I can assure you that there are many countries in the non magical world that have these devices. They are also called WMD's, or Weapons of Mass Destruction. If a war were to ever break out utilizing them, the entire planet would not be able to survive. We very nearly came to such two moments in recent memory.
"The first was in the sixties, when Magical Russia convinced the U.S.S.R. to move some of them close to the United States. The President of the Magical States and the President of the United States conversed with the Russian Premier and the Magical Czar for two weeks. Eventually, land was the deciding factor, and Cuba 'lost' a third of its land mass to Magical Russia from the Magical States.
"The second crisis happened a decade ago, and was curtailed by the death of the self named Lord Voldemort's demise. If he had not died, we would not have a Magical Britain. To use your vernacular, Lucius, the uppity muggles had us over a barrel. The deadline for that war was November 2nd,1991, and they were going to utilize a concentrated version of the bombs that were used in Japan to completely destroy us."
Lucius held his empty tumbler out to the side, where it disappeared and was replaced by a full one by his unseen house elf. After drinking half, he sat down rather abruptly.
"Yes. Now you see why my hairline receded a few decades early," Mycroft quipped.
"If I may," John interrupted, "what would have happened to the rest of London?"
"You may not remember, since you were out of the country, John," Sherlock explained. "London and the surrounding areas were evacuated, along with Edinburgh, Cardiff; and Dublin, Howth Head, and Limerick of Ireland; as well as Belfast and Londonderry of Northern Ireland."
"Did the IRA take the blame for those?" John asked.
"Of course," Mycroft grinned.
Amelia stood. "While history is fascinating, I need to take my leave. The Ministry is bound to be in an uproar, and we need to move quickly."
Mycroft inclined his head with a knowing smile. "As always, it has been a pleasure. We must do this again."
"If these 'conferences' are as enlightening, I would most definitely attend," Amelia replied with a predatory grin.
Once Madam Bones, his brother and John left the room, Mycroft looked at each of his counterparts in turn. "I will be calling an emergency meeting for early tomorrow. As Dumbledore's actions were taken under his duties at the Ministry, I intend to call a vote of no confidence against the Chief Warlock. Will I have your support in this endeavour?"
Lucius nodded immediately, but Augusta had one caveat. "I have an addition to your proposal," she started. "Since the position of Supreme Mugwump is dependant upon the nation of origin's approval, I dare say that we should remove that support as well. Mr. Watson's comments chilled me to the bone."
"Seconded," Lucius quietly said. "I've always been suspicious of that man." He noted the dry looks he got, but didn't give them any mind.
"Tomorrow should be a historic day," Mycroft said. "The Light, the Dark, and the Grey all agree on something. I cannot remember the last time that happened."
"A word, if you please, Dowager," Mycroft interrupted her. Augusta was about to toss some floo powder to return to Longbottom Manor, so this startled her.
At her nod, Sherlock held his arms behind him as he approached them. "While I realize that this is none of my business whatsoever, it has been brought to my attention that young Neville is using his father's wand."
"Yes? What of it?" the Dowager said frostily. "It served my son well."
Mycroft tilted his head slightly to give a disapproving look. "Come now, Augusta. The basic tenants of wand lore specifically state that 'the wand chooses its master'. Has it shown that it has approved of him? Sparks, glows, anything of the like?"
Her glacial expression softened and she shook her head lightly.
"Might I suggest that the reason for that is rather simple?" Sherlock asked.
Mycroft shook his head. "Allow me. Your social niceties aren't as refined." Seeing his brother tilt his head in a bit of a shrug, he turned to the Dowager. "Augusta, normally when wands change their allegiance, it was won during a duel. This is even more prevalent when the person it's taken from died through the duel. Since…" he trailed off, letting her draw the conclusion herself. "Now, while the wand may work for the young scion, it shan't be very well. I doubt the practicals would be easy for him."
Shaking her head slightly, the Dowager's face fell a bit. "I just want him to do well," she whispered. "Now he's in Hufflepuff."
"And he will," Mycroft said diplomatically. "Remember, Amelia Bones, the Director of the DMLE, is a Hufflepuff Alumni. To be perfectly honest, she scares me more than you do."
A rare smirk crossed her face. "But of course. She had to overcome chauvinistic bias. Besides, it's not like I can arrest you, just filibuster you to death."
Chuckling along with her, he conceded her point. "I stand corrected. Would you be open to the idea for the lad?"
Nodding, Augusta let her mask fall into place. "I will handle it after the vote tomorrow."
Watching the happenings of the sorting, a few things stuck out to a particular pair of redheads. One was a name of the only ghost they couldn't find on their map. Another was how a firstie had completely cowed the Headmaster. Right glanced at Left and a decision was made: They liked this kid. Then, the pair heard of what was being done to their only sister and nearly came completely undone.
One glanced up the table to Percy, while the other examined Ron. Neither liked what they saw. Instead of righteous indignation over their sister's life being bartered, they saw greed, loss and anger. Looking back at each other, they silently agreed to do something about this.
While disappointed that Potter wasn't sorted into their house, the hat's announcement that he was to be placed in Lord's quarters shocked them as well as everyone else.
Lee Jordan wasn't sure what to make of all of this. At first, he thought it was a joke that the youngest Weasley was set up to be a baby maker at age ten, or whenever it was done. He glanced at the twins across the table and saw them looking in opposite directions. Following their lead, he saw Percy's lip twitching with his brow furrowed. That had to be the most expressive the git had ever been. On the other end of the table, he saw the newest Gryffindor's face changing colours, with an expression he'd only seen on girls who were 'put upon' by useless prats.
Looking back to his two best friends and co-conspirators, he saw disbelief, disappointment, then determination. His head tilt question at them had two slow shakes of the head. He nodded, as it could wait.
It was only after the three of them were in their dorm, when Lee couldn't hold it in any longer. "What the bloody hell is going on?" he ended up shouting.
"If everything young Lord Potter said was true…" Fred started.
"… then Bill and Charlie were right to get out when they did," George finished.
Lee looked back and forth between them. He was one of a very few who could tell them apart. It was a tiny thing that hardly anyone noticed. George would tick his head to the right when he had an idea, while Fred would tick it to the left at the same time. He was also one of the few that understood that they were literally the same person. He waved his hand in a circle at George for explanations, while Fred was digging through his trunk.
"Remember that ghost we could never find?" George asked him.
Fred elaborated. "The one we spent hours tracking down, only to find Percy each time?"
Lee nodded, completely confused at the apparent change of subject. Then his eyes popped wide as he remembered. "Pettigrew?" he squeaked. "You're telling me that we had a hero in our house? A man that turns out to be the worst betrayer imaginable?"
"Yes," they both said without emotion.
Fred stood up with a parchment in his hand. Pulling his wand, he tapped it. "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good."
Lee and George looked over his shoulders as the map revealed itself. Fred's fingers tapped, slid, and prodded the map with practised ease. When they found the name next to their little brother two floors down, the twins looked at Lee. "Get McGonagall."
After Lee left in a mad dash, the twins followed at a somewhat slower pace, splitting up at the stairs. Fred went down, while George went up. If someone was watching the both of them, their actions would've been in perfect synchronization when they got to the proper floors. Opening the doors to the first and fifth dorm rooms simultaneously, they went to their brothers' beds.
Their in tandem fetching broke when Fred found Ron snoring already, while Percy was still up and fuming. "Percival, family meeting," George said, grabbing him by the arm. "Now!"
"What's all this rubbish? I'm a prefect now," Percy complained as he was being dragged from the room. "Don't make me assign a detention!"
Fred pulled Ron's covers away and smacked him on the forehead to wake him up. His protesting "Oi!" halted when he saw his brother. "Whazzit goon on?"
Seeing Scabbers being held to his little brother's chest made Fred scowl. Remembering the fact that their Head of House was an animagus made him sick to his stomach. "Family meeting, Ronald. You can bring Scabbers if you want. This'll take a while."
"Shut it, Perce," George barked as he dragged his brother down the stairs. "This has nothing to do with school, you great prat!"
"We gonna get that contract back?" Ron slurred with a yawn, sitting up.
Incensed at this, Fred could only hiss as he yanked him out of bed. "Shut it, Ronald."
Watching them leave, Seamus and Dean looked at each other. The pair had no idea what was going on, but it had to be important. They grabbed their dressing gowns and sneaked down the stair to watch. They ran into Percy's dorm mates on the way down with equally confused faces.
Sitting in her office, Assistant Headmistress Minerva McGonagall couldn't concentrate on the duties that were required for the first night of the school term. Instead, she had a snifter of Ogden's Finest and was staring into the dancing flames of the offices connection to the internal floo network.
She liked to think of herself as a stern woman, who broke no rules of impropriety. Being caught out for favouritism was one of her fears, and would label her as a hypocrite. She couldn't help but feel that way to the son of two others that wormed their way into her heart sixteen years ago.
Lily Evans was herself in miniature. Highly intelligent and bold enough to stand up to anything or anyone that ran over her beliefs in right and wrong. The temper from hell was another tick in that direction as well.
James Potter, on the other hand, he was a roguish bully before everything changed during his fifth year. That was one thing she and Severus could agree on: The man had an arrogant streak a mile wide and just as deep. Of course, all that changed when James' parents were murdered in Diagon Alley. Forced to grow up, James had made peace with a lot of people. That didn't stop him from pranking the shite out of people who were racist, and or people who lived and breathed the Dark Arts.
She shuddered to think of what might have happened if Severus Prince was sorted into Slytherin, instead of Ravenclaw. And now, this is two debts she felt she owed to the scion – now Lord – of the Holmes Family. One of these days, Minerva was going to send Mycroft a letter.
There was no forgiving herself for that fateful November morning in her mind either. Just thinking about Lily and James' son being abused by those … people … had her in a fit of quiet tears. "I should'a fough' 'arder fer 'im," she said in barely recognizable English, as her brogue had completely taken over.
Loud banging on her door startled her so much, that not only was she drug back to the present, but she'd also dropped (read, half flung) her snifter to shatter on the floor. Standing, she stalked to the door. She snapped out a 'What is it?' as she opened it, and was immediately guilty to find one of her third year cubs looking up at her in fear.
"Professor!" Lee shrieked as he grabbed her hand. "Come quick!"
Yanking her hand out of the boy's grasp, Minerva was scowling. "Jordan! What the devil is the matter? One does na' pull on their professors. Explain yerself at once!"
"Sorry, Professor," Lee mumbled. It was interesting how this was happening again. He so hoped that wouldn't continue now that he was the literal voice of the Quidditch pitch. "Please come while I try to explain. It's important."
Lips pursed, Minerva nodded. "Oh, very well." Following the most hyper lion of her Griffs, she quickly cast a sobriety charm over herself when he wasn't looking. "What has you all in a tizzy, Mr. Jordan?"
"We're gonna need the bobbies for this…" Lee began, startling his head of house. His incessant babble was just as hard to understand as Minerva's brogue when she was on a tear.