Wand, Knife and Silence
Moon: And here I am, once again trying to do something a little less common, mostly borne out of my fascination with the fact that Blaise's mother is a Black Widow and the fact that I'm pretty sure an assassin would be a better parent than the Dursleys. For this story I will be ignoring Blaise's characterization in Half-Blood Prince because that's easily my least favourite book out of the seven and a wasted opportunity for Rowling. I do not own Harry Potter and...enjoy!
Chapter 1: Harry Zabini
The dust was still settling from the Dark Lord's death as Samantha Zabini made her way through Little Whining towards the airport that would take her home. As a pureblood, she didn't like travelling by muggle lines, but for Samantha it was less that she thought muggles beneath her as she found it cumbersome and frustrating because she always got lost in their gigantic transportation network. Besides, International Portkey would take you home in half the time.
Her idiot husband hadn't even been bothered to provide her with a portkey home in case of emergencies; she had lost her faith in her parent's abilities to find her a match who wasn't either a cruel, inbred bigot or some sort of corrupt noble. She was already schooling herself to put on the wailing and crocodile tears when she returned home; she could summon no real grief over Byzantine's death.
Anyone who kowtowed to that sick excuse of a dark lord deserved what they got in the end, she thought scornfully.
Technically, the battle against the Dark Lord hadn't been an immediate concern of hers – she was Italian and lived in her homeland, having only come to Britain to see its allegedly superior schooling. Despite Hogwarts' reputation it ended up a severe disappointment to her, for the teachers didn't bother to make any corrections of their students prejudices and the curriculum was lacking, especially in History of Magic. That class would have you believe the only thing of note that happened in all the years of magic was that there were over a dozen Goblin rebellions.
Samantha's main reason for staying was a boy who'd captured her attention quite without her permission during her tenure at Hogwarts. But after the end of the battle, and what followed it...well. She was going home now.
A young muggle male whistled at her as she walked past. Samantha tossed her dark hair over her shoulder and smirked to herself. She had gotten used to her fair share of male attention over the years, some less welcome than others. Her skin was golden brown and her body slenderly built, lithe. Her eyes were a deep-sea blue-green, inherited from her mother.
It was one of her great advantages, especially whenever she had complete her missions.
Samantha turned onto Privet Drive, looked at her map again and growled in frustration. She was lost, and it was getting quite late. Damn her father for not teaching her more about muggles! Pretending they didn't exist wouldn't make them disappear, and they had to interact at some point.
"I won't have him in here!" A voice shouted. Samantha turned her head to the right and saw the door to number 4 slam shut. There was a small bundle lying on the front steps, abandoned.
Curious despite herself, Samantha approached the house silently.
Her breath caught in her throat, the bundle on the steps was a baby. He had soft wispy black hair, and his eyes were closed in sleep. His skin was soft and pale. And there was a small, lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.
This was Harry Potter! The little boy, barely over a year old, who had vanquished Voldemort when even seasoned wizards had been felled by his power. His tiny body was trembling in the November wind.
Without thinking, Samantha plucked him off the cold stone steps and cradled him carefully, like she did her own son, Blaise. He was a pretty little thing, most likely inherited from his parents – both Lily and James Potter had been notably attractive, after all.
She bit into her lip, orphaned so young, with no one to turn to; for he had no cousins or siblings. He would never know his parents...what a lonely life that would be. Her mind went back to Blaise's cradle, where he was waiting for her return, being tended to by a nurse and the house elves. Harry was just a month younger than him...
Samantha looked up at the house with no small amount of bewilderment. Why was he here, in a muggle neighborhood? Surely there was a wizarding family who would be willing to take him in, why raise him away from his heritage? What had possessed someone to leave a baby on the front steps of a house? In the middle of November!
The boy snuggled down in her arms. He was still asleep, but undoubtedly responding to the warmth of her embrace. He looked so sweet.
Samantha raised her eyes, hearing shouting continue inside the house. She stepped off the stairs and waited at the edge of the window, listening carefully.
"No! Absolutely not...I'm not having that freak's child inside this house! Her and her wastrel of a husband are the bane of honest, hardworking people like us! They think they can go blow themselves up and dump their brat on us like that?" The man from before was still shouting, his rage nearly rattling the windows.
"But Vernon, he's out protection." A woman protested. "He said that the freak that killed my sister will come back...the boy destroyed him. He might look for us because I'm related to her."
Protection? They weren't talking about a bloody ward, this was a child in question! Who the bloody hell called their nephew a freak?
"What would it ruddy matter Pet? We've got nothing to do with that freakish nonsense!" Vernon snarled. "He should stay with all the other freaks and terrorize them, rather than bringing his presence down on us!"
"He's protection, though," The woman – Pet – said. "Also, he said that he'd pay us for taking care of him. Think of it that way..."
Vernon growled. "I won't have him tainting Dudley."
"He won't! Dudders will always have priority over the boy," Petunia said, as though Harry was a piece of baggage that needed to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible. "We'll give him everything that Dudley doesn't want. We just have to put up with him until it all blows over..."
Unconsciously, Samantha tightened her grip on Harry. She had heard everything she needed to, and it was making her sick. Despite her occupation, she would never harm a child, and she could tell that these two would. It didn't matter that Harry was their own flesh and blood.
Samantha had plenty of run-ins with unsavory individuals, and Harry's aunt and uncle were currently falling into one of the worst categories in her mind. Who were these people, that they would treat a child with cruelty? She didn't have to tail this Vernon for several days to know that this man would emotionally mistreat Harry if not worse!
Who would ever leave the boy who lived in a house like this?
Samantha cast a quick diagnostic spell over the house itself. It picked up wards that seemed to be tied to the woman inside the house. Blood wards, an ancient magic that had lain untested for years and had a tendency to unleash horrible punishment for even the slightest breach of it's decree. It was strong, too, and freshly cast. The signature was unmistakable.
Dumbledore, she thought darkly. Yes, this would be his style. A cruel upbringing meant nothing in the face of being the savior of the wizarding world, did it? She scowled darkly. That would be so typical of the old nutter; she doubted that the Order would have suffered half the casualties that they had if he hadn't insisted on taking prisoners instead of killing.
She looked down at Harry. He was still asleep despite the noise, and again she was reminded of her own son. Could she honestly go home to him and tell him that he'd left a boy with people who hated him?
Innocent soul. Helpless. "You're coming with me," Samantha whispered, striding up the street with Harry in her arms.
"Samantha, my daughter, I'm glad to see your finally home – WHAT IN MERLIN'S NAME?" Her father gave her a rather unorthodox greeting as Samantha finally returned to her mansion in Italy. As she had predicted, she had gotten lost twice in the airport and had to come up with the most ridiculous excuses ever created when her wand messed up several machines at customs. Once again she cursed Byzantine for not having made an emergency portkey and for her severely lacking muggle education.
Samantha walked into the house past her stunned father, Rupert Zabini. He had the same dark hair and skin that she did, though he was noticeably stockier. He was dressed in a suit and tie, making her think that they'd had important visitors over before her arrival. He was a man of old talents, ones that were highly paid for although frowned upon by the public. Usually stoic and level-headed in every situation, apparently the sight of her with a baby was enough to reduce his brain to mush.
Her eyes were on Harry. The boy slept like a log; even her father's shout hadn't awakened him. Samantha was impressed but also concerned, if you slept deeply it was easy for people to sneak up on you when you were vulnerable.
Undoubtedly hearing her husband's cry, Sonia Zabini rushed down the elegant stairwell. She had come to Italy as a foreign half-blood, ensnaring her father's heart while he had been sent to assassinate her when she became a member of government. She gave Samantha her sea-storm eyes, her hair was a light brown and her high cheekbones gave her a look of beauty and class.
She halted not far from Samantha and stared at her twenty-three year old daughter, and then at the child in her arms. She took a deep breath and said, "Samantha, darling, please tell me this child isn't from a wedlock. Black-"
"No, mother," Samantha interrupted before her mother could gain steam. Her intimacy with Sirius Black had been something Sonia fretted over for the better part of their interaction, for his family history was not a very kind one. She supposed that in the end, she'd had a point. "He is not mine. This is Harry Potter."
At this, her father wrenched himself away from where he'd been frozen at the doorway and joined his family. "Mother, how is Blaise?" Samantha asked, her son on the forefront of her mind.
"Sleeping. He has missed you terribly." Sonia said.
Samantha was crestfallen, "I'm sorry, but there were things I must do and Byzantine didn't think to have an emergency return key."
"But – Samantha, you must explain this to us. You've kidnapped the Potter heir? The trouble we'll get into-" Her mother started, winding up for a rant.
"He's an orphan now, mother!" Samantha said, scandalized at the implication that she had stolen Harry from his loving parents. She would have thought her mother knew better than to make such an assumption. "Surely you heard about Lily and James's deaths."
Sonia recoiled slightly, appalled – both by the deaths and how insensitive she'd unintentionally been. "I – no, I hadn't. The information came to us third-hand, we merely heard that a babe inexplicably vanquished a Dark Lord that seasoned wizards had failed to destroy."
"Still! What possessed you to make off with him?" Rupert insisted, having recovered his wits. "Albus Dumbledore-"
"Left him on the doorstep of an uncaring, overgrown beached whale and his self-interested giraffe of a wife," Samantha spat. Harry whimpered, as if sensing the tension in the room. Samantha turned her attention to him, rocking him gently and murmuring soothingly. Harry's face relaxed.
Both her parents stared at her. "Explain," Sonia said, pointing to the couch. "Now."
Samantha sighed and sat down, careful not to jostle Harry too much. Her mother loved her very much, but she could be overbearing at times, although Samantha was now a woman. Perhaps it was simply in a mother's instinct to occasionally treat her children as though they were still that. Her parents immediately took to the seats across from her. "I mean to say," Samantha said with a scowl, "is that the venerated Albus Dumbledore put up a Blood Ward and then dumped Harry on a doorstep, in the middle of November, at the door of two of the most unpleasant muggles I have ever had the misfortune of listening to. He hadn't even been bothered to knock on the door and ask them to bring him inside!"
Sonia's jaw dropped, and after a second her eyes lit up with a flame of righteous anger. Despite her faults, there was one infallible way to set her mother off – the mistreatment of a child. "What? That's an outrage! Are you sure?"
"Yes," Samantha said, "I put my father's skills to work, I didn't have to listen to the entire conversation to know exactly what they were like. It's as if there's nothing else too them – they're the shallowest, worst kind of folk. They would have been emotionally abusive at best, had Harry been left there. In the entire conversation I heard, I never heard them use his name – it was 'freak' or 'boy', as though he were some sort of mangy dog being forced on them."
Sonia's lip curled back. Rupert's eyes narrowed and he became serious.
"Blood ward, you say? What type?"
"It was bound to the...woman," Samantha decided that was the most she could stay while still being an upstanding young lady, "and she mentioned her sister, so I assume the connection was between her and Lily Potter."
Rupert sat back in his chair, fingers intertwined. "I had heard that Lily Evans was muggleborn, though only through reports of her testing in the regional school fields. She had one of the highest OWL scores in all of Europe when the final results were tallied and exchanged."
"Yes, she had always been extremely intelligent and adept at mastering new spells," Samantha said.
"Were you acquainted with her?"
"Not closely," Samantha admitted. "Though not for initial lack of trying. We had exchanged pleasant, friendly conversation in class, but there was something slightly guarded about her. I believe we did not approach each other because I was in Slytherin, and thus tainted by association to the budding Death Eaters who were training there."
Rupert made a disapproving noise. "Prejudice weakens the mind and makes one foolish," he said.
"Measure a man by his wit and his magic, not by his standing," Samantha repeated automatically, the saying having been drummed into her during her training. Her free fingers tapped the silver sheath that was ever-present under her coat.
As an assassin, neither blood status nor wealth nor power held any meaning. It was just a person and his or her defenses, and how to get past them. You just judge all your opponents as though they were equal threats. There was no room for anything less.
"I did not share this prejudice."
"Good. You had said as much in many of your letters." Rupert said approvingly. He frowned, "Blood wards are old magic, people weren't even sure if they worked. How desperate was he, if that was the protection he chose for Harry?"
"The charm that he had used before had failed the Potters," Samantha replied. "Perhaps he felt that there was no other option."
Sonia looked slightly disbelieving, but instead she chose to say, "But why those muggles? Even if they hadn't been cruel, he would be raised away from the world of magic. He's the last of one of the oldest families alive. Why?"
Samantha shook her head. "I do not know. Dumbledore was less than forward about many – if any – of the reasons behind the grand schemes he had us complete. He was completely silent about where he had placed Harry; I stumbled upon the house quite by accident."
"You've run diagnostics on him?" Rupert asked. Samantha indicated yes with the slight nod of her head. "Is there any indication of how he defeated the Dark Lord Voldemort?"
Samantha didn't flinch at the name. She thought it was ridiculous, the way the British feared it. It gave him more power over them, for them to fear him so. "He will be magically powerful when he gets older, father." She said. "More so than most students."
"That doesn't surprise me, a Potter with his ancestry." Samantha cast her eyes down upon Harry. "There's something else." It wasn't a question. No matter how adept she got or how well she concealed her emotions, he could still guess her thoughts. He was her father, she supposed.
"Yes. There's something inside the scar in his head that troubles me. It is dark magic, but I cannot identify it...that means it is some of the oldest that there is."
Rupert and Sophia's eyes darkened significantly at this. "He was after the boy? Meant to use him for something, no doubt..." Sophia said darkly, looking at the small, jagged scar.
"It could be the reason he approached the Potters alone...no one was sure why before..." Rupert muttered, eyes closed in thought. "I will go to the Succubus in Lunar Avenue and see if she knows anything when I have a moment."
At this Sonia stood up, indicating that the meeting was over. "I will have the house elves prepare another cradle. There's another room in this old house, but perhaps it will be better for him to share with Blaise for now."
Samantha nodded and walked up the stairwell.
Her feet had memorized the path to her son's room; she had tread down it more times than she could count. She opened the ornate door and smiled at the inside. It was a bright red room, with some golden designs painted on the walls. Juliet, one of her maids, was sitting next to her beloved son's crib, a storybook on her lap. The second cradle had been deftly set up in the time it had taken her to ascend the stairs. The house elves took their work seriously.
"How is he, Juliet?" Samantha whispered, walking over to her son's side, settling Harry in the second cradle and pulling a blanket over him.
"Very well, milady," Juliet said softly in Italian. Though Samantha had asked her several times to address her informally, the young maid never seemed to come up with the nerve. "He was happy to know you were coming home today."
Samantha leaned over the side and stroked her son's cheek. He cooed and turned onto his side, eyes closed in sleep. "That is good to hear. You take good care of him when I am gone."
"Anything for you and your family, milady," Juliet said with a smile. She looked over at Harry's crib. "If – If I may be so bold, miss, who is he?"
"This is Harry, Juliet," Samantha responded. "I brought him here because he was not safe at the home he was in. If I have my way, and I hope to, he and Blaise will be brothers."
"I see," Juliet said. "Then shall I tend to him as well?"
"Yes. Take good care of him." Samantha instructed. Juliet nodded and rose from her chair, walking over to the crib.
Samantha gently brushed stray hair out of Blaise's eyes. "I am home, little one," She whispered. "And I am here to stay. I promise."
Samantha jumped at the noise of her father slamming their door with all his might. She immediately abandoned her newspaper and rushed out to the hall.
Rupert Zabini looked the picture of fury, a crumpled paper in one hand. Sonia appeared at the top of the stairs and hurried down to join her daughter.
"Father!" Samantha exclaimed. He had gone out to see the Succubus this morning; if that was the source of his broken composure than whatever it was must be gravely serious.
"That monster," Rupert bit out, "Attempted to turn a one year old into a Horcrux."
Twenty years of an assassin's life and Samantha still threw her hands over her mouth in horror. The teacup Sonia had been holding crashed to the ground from her numb fingers. While they hadn't recognized one outright they had both heard of Horcruxes from the darkest rings of wizards, and it had filled them with revulsion. To make one out of an object was bad enough, but a child?
"He succeeded?" Sonia whispered.
Samantha swallowed. This was crucial; for if he had there was no way to destroy the Horcrux without killing Harry, and with a sharp stab in her chest she wasn't sure if she could handle that.
"Not quite." Rupert responded, walking inside and collapsing into his armchair. "Thank Merlin for it, but no. The curse meant to complete the ritual backfired, and left part of his soul clinging to Harry's forehead. Carlie stated that it would be possible for her to remove it, but it would come with a fee and would take delicate work."
"I will pay for it!" Samantha cried, "Let him be rid of it!"
"Of course my child, but this brings up a point that I fear may be reality. If Voldemort was attempting to turn Harry into a Horcrux, there is a strong possibility that he has already created at least one."
A stony silence. Samantha's face hardened into a familiar mask as she considered this. "He will return," She muttered, "And he will come for Harry."
Longer silence. The family of assassins looked at each other and then up the stairwell. "He must be ready," Sonia muttered. "Himself and Blaise, for they will be brothers and together in all things." She looked at her daughter. "Raise them as you were raised."
Samantha nodded and unsheathed her dagger. "I will start when they are old enough," She murmured, "But they must be happy and well-loved."
"Of course." Rupert said with the slightest smile, even though it didn't reach his eyes. "I would expect nothing less from you."
Time Skip – Hogwarts, 1997
Dumbledore let out an exhausted sigh and looked around. The room was packed with students in the late afternoon, watching a giant goblet eagerly.
The Tri-Wizard tournament was being held at Hogwarts school this year, and he had gone through a lot of trouble to see this part up.
Harry Potter had vanished from Privet Drive. It was an inescapable fact. He had waited, and worried, for the boy's Hogwarts letter to reach him and for him to return. As long as he was alive, the owls would be able to find him. He needed that boy, he needed the boy-who-lived because no one else had defeated Voldemort. He was certain the dark wizard would return; there had been signs everywhere.
Much to his shock, it was turned back denied, saying that he was enrolled elsewhere! Each year went by and still he did not appear within the school walls. This was impossible, completely unprecedented!
If he had just made sure the stupid muggle bint had taken Harry inside the house, he thought sourly, he wouldn't be in this mess.
Finally, in an act of desperation he had arranged for Harry Potter's name to be put in the Goblet of Fire. This, he thought, would make the boy show up.
There was gasps of shock everywhere when the fourth name had been called. They had sat in that room for three hours, waiting for someone to arrive. Dumbledore was getting frustrated when suddenly there was a revving noise in the hallway.
With a loud bang, the doors were nearly knocked off their hinges. Two motorcycles sped into the room and braked hard, just as several students scrambled to get out of the way.
The two riders stepped off their vehicles. Several girls squeed and gave exaggerated faints. They were completely dressed in leather and dagonhide gloves and boots.
The helmets came off; they were both boys sixteen years old. One was a tanned boy with dark hair and blue eyes. The other had long black hair and the sharpest emerald green eyes in the room. Even under the leather it was obvious he was quite fit, and very handsome.
The boy looked up, tossed his head a bit and said, "Would you look at that, Blaise. We've been summoned!"
The dark boy snorted. "Stating the obvious is not a good first impression, brother."
"Well, we all start somewhere, don't we?" The emerald eyed boy swept his gaze over the crowd. Several girls giggled or bushed madly. He smirked and then looked at a thunderstruck Dumbledore, Maxine and Karkeroff. "I'm Harry Potter. I understand my name somehow came out of the Goblet of Fire?"
Well? Good? Bad? It's just a start, but I hope you'll like it. Welcome Harry the Assassin.