So I originally wasn't going to post this until next week because of finals but I decided why not? I've been sick for the past four days and life's been nothing short of miserable so this might cheer me up a bit.
Again, thanks to Roheryn's Knight for catching all my mistakes and helping make this story better!
This is a really long chapter, so I hope you all enjoy!
Chapter 4: Fate Howls
Thursday—November 1, 1990
When Evan and Lucius reached the doors to Harry's room, the screams inside had degenerated to the point of hysterical sobbing and pleas. Evan wrenched the door open and found Harry lying on the ground by the bed, thrashing and writhing as if some invisible assailant was torturing his soul.
He was momentarily stunned. None of the books had mentioned anything like this. He was sure that it had to do with Harry being a crafter; his eyes had rolled up so that only white were showing and crafter magic was thrumming heavily in the room.
"Dear Merlin," Lucius breathed next to him, wand gripped tightly in his hand. "What is going on here?"
Evan had little more idea than the blond but he had no intention of telling him that. "Help me put him back on the bed," he snapped.
The two men approached the shrieking child. Amongst the flailing limbs, both were able to pull Harry onto the bed, where he continued to thrash, pulling sheets with him and nearly slapping Lucius in the process.
Evan leaned forward and placed his palms on Harry's face. He began to pull at the magic connecting the two but found something blocking the passage. Confused, he poked at the wall and it held fast.
His magic circled the wall, looking for a place to penetrate and weave in. However, it was faultless, and when he tried attacking it, his magic was thrust violently out of the connection.
Gasping, Evan stumbled back. He stabled himself with a hand and glanced down at Harry. He had fallen deathly silent. The only sign of life was the occasional tremor going down his body.
Letting out a silent breath of relief, Evan met the eyes of Lucius who looked equally relieved.
Lucius stared at the boy with wide eyes. He knew he looked like a mess, his hair messed up and his face flushed with extortion, but he didn't care.
He had seen the boy wield extraordinary magic. A boy of his son's age, yet so much more powerful. And now he had seen the boy in pain, thrashing about in throes of invisible pain and agony.
He should be worried. He should be using the boy's pain for his own gain.
But for some reason, Lucius was only more entranced than before.
Evan narrowed his eyes at Lucius as the man began to watch Harry in what seemed like a new light. He knew what the blond was thinking.
"You should leave," Evan stated calmly. "I have things under control."
Lucius snorted in a decidedly undignified manner. "Don't think me stupid, Rosier. You have as much idea of what this boy is going through as I do. I can see it in your eyes."
Evan struggled to suppress the internal storm that gathered deep inside of him. His lips drew back in a snarl. "You have intruded enough, Malfoy. This is my home, my child—you have no place here. I will not ask you to leave again." The threat was not veiled in his words.
Before Lucius could utter a sneering retort, Harry's back suddenly arched off of the bed and a high pitched scream of utter agony screeched through the room.
Evan grunted as he restrained one of Harry's flailing arms, using his other arm to reach for his wand and cast an incarcerous, only to watch in surprise as the ropes slid right off of the boy's wrists.
He had forgotten. Simple wizarding magic would do no good to restrain a crafter intertwined deeply in the Mother's magic.
Curling his lip, Evan found he had no choice but to ask for Lucius's help. "Hold down his legs so he will not hurt himself any further," he ordered. Without pausing to make sure that the blond would listen, Evan reached over with his other hand to restrain Harry's other wrist, struggling to pry the crafter's fingers from scraping flesh off of the boy's own palms.
"Damnit, Rosier," Lucius snarled as he watched the child continue to thrash and scream and shriek. "What in Merlin's name is happening?" He let go of one of Harry's legs and moved to pull out his own wand so he could stun the boy himself.
Evan felt the anger that was bubbling up burst through the poorly made dam and he barked out, "Put down your damn wand, Malfoy! Do it or I will kill you right here right now, fuck the consequences. So help me, Malfoy, give me one little reason and I will do it right now."
Lucius felt himself freeze momentarily in shock. This Evan… was nothing like the Evan Rosier he used to be. The man was always composed; always cold and distant.
Imprisonment must have been worse than he thought.
Gritting his teeth, Lucius shoved his wand back into the walking cane and grabbed Harry's leg again. He would do it for the boy. The beautiful, powerful, alluring boy who would grow up to be such a gem—he would do it for him.
There would be no future gain for his family if he died anyways.
The boy continued to thrash and choke on his own spit for an hour until finally, nearly an hour after midnight, his shrieks subdued and his body stilled.
Lucius let go and leaned back in the bed, closing his eyes as his stiff body stretched out. "You owe me an explanation for this, Rosier."
Evan copied Lucius's movements, but not before sending a chilling look at the blond. "I owe you nothing," he said stiffly.
The two stood up at the bottom of Harry's bed and watched as the magic twirling around his body absorbed back into his core. And as suddenly as the crafter had fallen silent, his eyes snapped open and the boy sat up quickly, his eyes wild and pupils dilated.
Evan reached forward and grabbed his charge's left wrist. Pressing his nails into the skin of the pulse point, he forced his magic into the boy, past the now invisible barrier, and calming the hysterical child.
"Oh my god, oh my god," Harry whispered, his body shivering. He felt bile claw up his throat and he lunged sideways, puking up the contents of his stomach onto the ground. A cool hand pressed against his forehead and pushed him back down. He could feel tremors wrack through his body and his teeth chattered, despite the warm temperature in the room.
"Look at me, boy."
The commanding voice pierced straight through Harry's frantic face and he forced himself to pry his eyelids open. He stared into the calm, piercing eyes of his grounder and sank into their violet depths.
Evan reached out and caressed his charge's face. He watched with giddy satisfaction as the boy relaxed into the palm of his hand, pressing into him for more contact. Reaching with his magic, he wrapped a tendril around the connection the crafter and grounder shared and pressed delicately. The boy relaxed even further into the bed.
Finally, when he had subdued the hysterics, Evan turned with a scowling face toward Lucius. The blond, at least, had looked away, aware of their intimate exchange and offering what privacy he could.
"Go away, Malfoy," he whispered. "Go away now or you won't like what happens next. This is my last warning to you."
The blond stood up and bowed, albeit with a hint of mockery. "Until next time," he murmured, shooting one last intriguing glance at the boy before leaving the room.
Giving a small sigh of relief, Evan turned back to the boy and ran a hand over his raven hair. "Harry. Tell me what happened."
The boy mumbled incoherently and turned away, muffling his face into the pillow.
Evan narrowed his eyes. He dug his nails slightly into Harry's scalp so that the boy was forced to sit up with a cry of protest. "What was that?" he demanded lowly.
Harry swallowed his nervousness. "It was… I don't know. I was trying to meditate and the next thing I know, I'm in this room. Some kind of dungeon, I think, and there's this mirror. The man called it the Mirror of Erised."
Evan reared his head sharply at the name. "What?" he hissed lowly. "Who is this man you speak of?"
Harry could feel himself shaking again. "The man… Oh god, he's dead! The thing killed it! There was something on him, and it killed him. It killed the man, oh Merlin, it was so bloody, and horrible, and the magic was so, so wrong-" His hysterics cut off as he bent over, dry heaving on the bed in disgust. A dribble of bile fell onto the sheets, but he could hardly bring himself to care. He swallowed the sour taste in his mouth and continued, the words flooding uncontrollably out of his mouth. "I couldn't stop it, Evan. I swear, I would have if I could. It was so strange… It was like I wasn't there at all. And the man just kept dying and shouting, and the thing kept on laughing, and the magic—oh god, the magic felt so wrong and I couldn't see it."
Evan mulled over the information in his head. "Could you touch anything?"
The crafter whipped his head around and stared at the man incredulously. "No," he said slowly. "How could you possibly know that?"
"You were in a vision," Evan stated briskly, ignoring the question. "You know what these are; I've had you read about them. Sometimes, you will be sent visions—important parts of the past or future—that will in some way shape the future of magic. That's why you were born, to fix the inbalance of magic. Now tell me more about what you saw. What was the man's name? What 'thing' do you speak of?"
If getting visions as horrific as the one he just got were in his job description, Harry would have happily lived as a Muggle rather than a crafter. "The man… His name started with the letter Q. Quirrel, I think! And there was something growing on the back of his head. The man—Quirrel—he was wearing a turban of sorts, and when he took it off, there was this mutated head right there." His stomach rolled and he forced down the nausea. "The face was some kind of spirit, I think. I could feel the foreign magic from where I was. It began to do some kind of magic and this red stone appeared, and it forced Quirrell to… to swallow the stone."
Quirrell… Quirinus Quirrell, a half-blood graduate of Hogwarts who ventured on some kind of ridiculous journey after resigning his job as a Muggles Studies Professor. Evan wasn't sure which was worse—consorting with muggles and mudbloods or chasing after fantasized creatures.
Harry suddenly remembered what Quirrell called the thing that was attached to his head and he froze. "Evan," he said quietly.
Evan turned his gaze onto the boy and felt his mouth turn into a small sneer. "Yes?"
"I remember. Quirrell called the thing on the back of his head 'my lord' and 'my dark king'. He doesn't mean the Dark Lord, does he?"
And Evan felt his heart stop for a second before adrenaline rushed through his body and a sick, twisted grin spread across his face.
The Dark Lord was returning.
Thursday—November 1, 1990
It was weeks since Harry had received his first vision. Traumatic as it was, the vision served more than just to inform the eventual return of the Dark Lord.
It marked Harry's full awakening as a crafter.
Magic was now even more sensitive to him, and Harry could feel the webs caressing him, whispering soft secrets and pulling him in to Merlin knows where. He hadn't had another vision, but he was avoiding meditation like the plague.
However sensitivity to magic wasn't the only thing that was changing.
Days ago, while Harry was taking a relaxing shower, he had reached behind to scratch an itch in his back. Pulling his hand away, Harry looked down to see the water bleeding red into the drain.
It was blood.
Panicking, Harry had patted his body down searching for the wound, only to find in the mirror deep gouges in his back. Looking down at his innocent looking fingers, he peered closer to see them longer than usual and growing a hard, sharpened tip.
He had gone to Evan with his talon-like fingers, who dismissed the changes as genetic characteristics of a crafter. Without so much a word of care to his charge, the man had left Harry bleeding in the dining room, retreating to his personal office in a darkened mood.
Harry sighed as he leaned back against the headboard of his bed. He drummed his elongated nails on his knee as he flipped through the few pages of an ancient tome dedicated to legends of a crafter.
As it appeared, long nails something all fully fledged crafters developed during their growth. The extended nails would facilitate the manipulation of magic and the weaving of spells, while preventing the large, blunt heads of fingertips from interfering in the delicate work of a crafter. The sharpened tips also increased sensitivity and affinity to the magic around him.
And so as his nails grew longer, darkening at the sharpened tips, Harry was forced to accommodate his life around it. When he attempted to clip the tips so that the length was more manageable, he only accomplished snapping the metal nail clipper in half. Frustrated, he had even looked into cosmetic books, much to his embarrassment and Evan's mocking disapproval, and no spell or charm could reduce his nearly one-inch long nail.
While it was disgusting, it was also useful at the same time. It took him half the regular time to create spells from magic and he was able to touch the webs without causing an enormous flood or fire to burst out. Opening letters also became a much easier task.
But he wasn't the only one changing. Evan, his godfather, was going through bouts of what Harry called his "dark ages."
Harry sat on the opposite end of the dining table. He lifted his fork and knife delicately and cut into the slab of meat placed in front of him. Chewing on the gravy lathered beef, he sat back with a satisfactory sigh and relished in the comfortable silence he and Evan ate together.
He had discovered his godfather to be a man of few words. The man would sit with a blank look on his face while his eyes were constantly watching, taking note of his surroundings. He rarely spoke to Harry outside of their training, preferring to retreat into his personal study and only coming out for meals. Harry hadn't discovered where Evan slept during the night—that is, if he slept at all.
Licking his lips, Harry forked a piece of steamed broccoli and brought the garlic scented vegetable to his mouth. Crunching around the head, Harry heard a clang of dishware and looked up.
Evan had a murderous expression on his face, his left hand clamped over the right. On the floor was his knife, a slice of meat still protruding from the top.
Harry could barely keep his gasp of surprise inside of him. Evan, the pureblood extraordinaire and most controlled man he had ever met, had dropped his fork. Loudly. In the middle of dinner, of all places.
Before he could open his mouth and speak, Evan shot a poisonous look at the youth.
"Have something to say, boy?" he snarled.
Harry winced at the name, boy, an image of his Uncle Vernon flashing through his mind. Shaking his head, he remembered that Evan called him 'boy' only when he was angry.
"No," he muttered, looking away.
But that did little to placate the man. Giving a roar of anger, Evan hefted his half full dinner plate and threw it against the wall, watching with wild fury as the plate smashed. Growling, he stood up so abruptly that his chair toppled backward and planted his hands under the table. Giving a scream of rage, he lifted with hall his might and flipped the solid wooden table over. Harry's dinner joined the rest of the dishes as they slide down and smashed into the floor.
With fork and knife still poised over open air, Harry felt his mouth gape the slightest bit. He could feel concern ebbing at the edge of his mind, but what was most prevalent was fear.
Fear that his godfather would hit him. Take out his anger on Harry.
Dropping his fork and knife on the ground with a clatter, Harry stood up from his chair, intent on retreating to his room, when a shout stopped him.
"Don't you fucking move, boy!"
Harry froze. Heart pumping quickly, he turned slowly and faced Evan. The man's face was pale and drained, his normally perfect hair in a disarray. But what caught his eye the most was the small tremors in the man's right hand.
"Are you alright?" he asked softly.
Evan snarled unpleasantly and surged forward. Taking a handful of Harry's hair with one hand and a fistful of shirt in the other, Evan slammed the crafter against the food stained wall and pressed his face close to the boy.
"Do you think this is funny?" he whispered, a mocking tone underlying his words. "Do you think it's funny, watching your fucking godfather lose control?"
"N-no, sir," Harry stammered. He kept himself frozen, afraid of provoking the man even further. He sniffed and wrinkled his nose. The man's breath smelt strongly of alcohol.
Evan sneered viciously and pressed Harry even harder against the wall. "Don't patronize me, boy. I saved you. You owe me. You. Owe. Me."
"Yes, yes, I owe you everything," Harry babbled. "Please let go of me, Evan. You're scaring me."
Rather than let go, Evan chuckled deeply at the ten-year old. "You think yourself so perfect, don't you? A perfect little crafter with all the magic in his tiny little hands. Well guess what, golden boy, you ain't perfect. You're broken goods. You're the son of traitors and imbecilic to the bone. And to think myself proud to call you mine? Ridiculous."
Spittle hit Harry in the cheek and he flinched back. The words stung, but Harry could do nothing but accept the abuse.
Evan moved his hand from Harry's hair down to the nape of his neck and squeezed. Hard. "I am your grounder. You serve me, boy. Now get out of my fucking sight!"
Flung aside like a rag doll, Harry landed on his hands and knees in the middle of a pile of shattered China. Crying out in pain as the ceramic dug into his skin, he barely had the time to attempt to get up when a booted foot connected with his stomach and sent him flying across the room.
Grunting on impact, Harry stared up at his godfather, who had a maniacal glint in his eyes.
"Poor little Harry," Evan sang softly. "Poor little helpless Harry. What will he ever do?"
Recoiling in horror and terror, Harry jumped to his feet, and ignoring the pain, sprinted back to his rooms, his godfather's mocking laughter following his retreat.
The dining room incident had occurred and passed almost a week ago. Evan had returned to his usual calculating self, but he made no reference to his loss of self-control. But Harry could sense the distance in him. No longer was the man his "godfather", but strictly teacher. Even as a teacher was he more withdrawn.
And Harry too had changed. The man he thought he could trust with his life—and had to trust his life with—had hit him. Physically abused him, just like his Uncle did.
Déjà vu had never been so harsh.
He hadn't mentioned the tremors in Evan's hand again. But he noticed that with every tremor did a violent outburst occur. So when Harry would notice the man's spell weaken, or hear something clatter to the floor, he would back out of the room, his eyes glued on the floor while the man raged inside of the room.
Instead, Harry spent most of his time self-studying. And with his grown sensitivity, he could see the faint outline of magic everywhere he looked. There was no need to conjure up the raw foundational webs—rather, all he needed was to use his own magic to bend the free magic around him to his will and intent. Also, with his newly grown nails, he didn't need much of Evan's guidance to weave together magic. Whispering soft words to the webs and weaving it with his nails would create a powerful, complex spell. He rarely used his powers to see the webs of magic now. Magic was made simple for him.
Until Evan decided that Harry would have to learn wand magic.
Harry gritted his teeth as he slammed the tome on his lap, sneezing at the cloud of dust that puffed out from the pages. Fanning the dust away, he slid the book onto his desk and lay back on his bed with a huff.
Wand magic. He couldn't even wrap his mind around how he would be able to force magic through a solid piece of wood and cast a spell. He was so used to the webs and being able to see the magic he could cast that using a wand would only hinder him.
Where was he supposed to get a wand anyways? Evan was a fugitive of the British Wizarding world, where the traitorous Light side had infiltrated. And Harry had no means of getting access to a wand by himself.
It was late at night, and Harry was about to spell out the candles in his room and burrow himself in his blankets and worries when a knock sounded on his door.
Harry frowned but sat up. "Come in," he called warily.
Evan slid smoothly through the wooden door and stood in front of Harry's bed. He regarded Harry with cool, violet eyes before speaking. "We are leaving Britain."
The words hit Harry like a raging hippogriff. "Leaving Britain?" he echoed emptily.
"Yes," Evan snapped. "We leave in the morning. Pack only essentials—we will be traveling lightly."
Before the man could walk back out of the door, Harry called out desperately. "Did the Aurors find us?"
The man's head snapped back to stare at the boy. "They can never find this manor," he hissed. "It is unplottable—haven't I taught you anything?"
Harry ignored the jab and continued. "Then why are we leaving Britain? This is our home And the Dark Lord is returning, we've established that weeks ago. Shouldn't we wait here?"
"The Dark Lord will have no use for a half-trained crafter. You will be useless to him in your current state."
"So are we leaving to… train?"
Evan looked contemplative. "You could say that."
Harry narrowed his eyes. "Then why would we be leaving the manor?"
A look of annoyance flashed across Evan's face. "That's none of your information."
But Harry knew. He wasn't as dumb as the man thought. He had seen letters delivered by sharp-taloned eagle owls. He had seen the looks of rage and the clench of fists as Evan read the letters. And he hadn't forgotten Lucius Malfoy's appearance in the manor.
Evan was running.
"You can't just leave when people start finding you!" Harry snapped, anger flying unrestrained. "Running solves nothing! There's a difference between preferring solitude and seeking isolation!"
Evan's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Don't talk to me in that tone, Harry."
Harry gritted his teeth and forced his clenched fists to loosen, feeling a trickle of warm blood slide over his palm. "Sir. We can't just leave Britain. I've still got wand magic to learn, and Britain has the strongest Wizarding community in the world."
Harry felt his head snap to the right as Evan's backhand caught him on his left cheek. Not moving, Harry stared at the wall and swallowed the blood from his mouth.
"You will not speak to me like that," Evan said quietly. "I am not your friend, nor am I your father. I am your teacher, and you will respect me."
And what about godfather? Harry thought bitterly. If family means so much to Purebloods, why does he act like he hates me?
"I will not repeat myself again, Harry. We leave in the morning." Evan moved to close the door behind him but paused. Perhaps he was being too harsh on the boy. "I will take care of the wand. You pack."
Harry stared at the closed door in contempt. He was naïve to believe that he could find a family here. Even his blood relatives treated him horribly.
Bowing his head in restrained anger and defeat, Harry stood up on trembling legs and moved to summon a trunk for his belongings.
Friday—November 2, 1990
The next morning, Harry stood by the drawing room, trunk by his side. He had forced himself out of bed early in the morning so he could finish packing and be ready to leave before Evan was. Then, he wouldn't be reprehended for being "late".
Unfortunately, Harry had been waiting in the same room for over two hours. He was too scared to send a house elf looking for Evan, afraid of interrupting the man and provoking an outburst. His stomach growled uncomfortably and Harry glanced at the clock for the umpteenth time.
Finally, Harry heard the sound of heeled dragonhide boots on the marble floor. Evan strode into the room as if perfectly on time, a line of three trunks floating behind him obediently. A quick twitch of his wand sent the trunks lining up neatly by the wall.
Harry greeted the man with what he hoped was a sincere smile. "Are we leaving now?"
Evan glanced at the ten-year old in speculation. The boy was surprisingly mature for his age, and hopefully he would act appropriately. Pulling out a flask from his robe pocket, he held it up toward the light so that the brown, muddy-like substance could be seen better. "Do you know what this is?"
Harry squinted at the flask. He mentally flipped through the book of potions he had been studying for the past few months. "Is that.. polyjucie potion?"
"Correct," Evan said softly. "Polyjuice potion, used to take the appearance of another person for an hour." He turned the flask around slowly before turning to face Harry. "Before we leave Britain, we will be making a side trip to the Ministry."
"The Ministry of Magic?" Harry asked in a shocked voice.
Evan nodded. "Yes, When I was imprisoned, they confiscated some of my belongings. We can also obtain a wand for you inside of the Ministry." He held the flask out to Harry. "You won't be able to go as yourself though. Drink."
Harry accepted the potion and stared at it dubiously. "Have you put in hair already?"
"Yes," Evan snapped. "Now drink it. We don't have much time."
Popping open the flask, Harry tilted the potion back and swallowed it in one gulp. The potion felt slimly sliding down his throat and he would have gagged it back up if not for Evan's swallowing charm. Choking on the disgusting flavor, Harry gasped as his body began to tremble and shoot up. He doubled up as a burning sensation burst from his body, and he could feel his shoulders stretch and his face narrow – his robes were stretched as his legs thickened and his arms stretched out to his long fingered hands.
When the burning ended, Harry stood up, gasping. He wobbled, unsteady with his new gait and stared at Evan. He had grown nearly a six inches taller, yet he was still shorter than the grounder.
Evan appraised the polyjuiced boy with careful eyes. "You don't fit the looks of a blond," he said casually.
Harry scowled at the man as he downed his own flask. His anger flittered away as he saw for the first time what a person undergoing polyjuice potion looked like. The skin bubbled and stretched grotesquely, and bones cracked and snapped with sickening sounds. Harry watched with fascinated horror, unable to turn away.
Finally, when the transformation was finished, Harry was looking up at an exact replica of Lucius Malfoy. He felt his eyes widen in surprise.
Evan gave a twisted grin. "I managed to snag one of his hairs when he last visited the manor. Luckily, I was also able to summon a hair of his son, Draco."
"I'm Draco Malfoy?" Harry asked bewilderedly as he thought back to the lessons on pureblood families. He subtly twisted his fingers and a mirror was conjured in front of him. He looked at his reflection with shocked, gray eyes.
He was taller and more leanly built. His face was pointed and clearly aristocratic while his platinum blond hair fell down to his ears. Screwing up his face in clear disgust, Harry forced down a sign and twitched his fingers again, watching with disgust as his hair slicked back.
Evan gave a smirk of pride. "Well done," he congratulated softly before pulling out his wand and transfiguring both of their robes into proper dress robes that the rich Malfoy family wore. "I've trained you how to act like a proper Pureblood. Now is your test."
Harry nodded his head and squashed down his growing resentment for the man. Now was not the time.
Moving with his godfather, they entered the Floo and with a handful of powder, flashed to the entry fireplaces in the Ministry.
Harry found himself stumbling onto the black tiled floor. A steady hand rested on the small of his back and Harry looked up with a smile of gratitude. But while he met the gentle expression of Lucius Malfoy, the father of Draco Malfoy, he saw the warning eyes of his grounder and mentally reprehended himself falling for false hope.
Straightening up and plastering on an I-hate-everyone sneer on his face, he followed his "father" through the Ministry, trying not to gape at the new surroundings. Witches and wizards were tightly packed, each moving quickly to reach their new destination. Newspaper boys were shouting the daily news while Ministry officials conversed avidly with each other, skillfully dodging paper airplanes that darted around the crowd. He could see Aurors cloaked in crimson red robes standing guard at corners and quickly averted his eyes.
"Come, Draco," Evan said in a cool voice. With his conjured replica of Lucius's staff, he tapped open the elevator doors and stepped inside. They stood in the middle of the small space, two mediwizards standing side by side behind them and a tall witch in Auror uniform in the far corner. Harry forced his nervousness down and stood behind Evan, watching as the doors and gates closed.
The elevator moved with quickly and a cool voice announced, "Level 2, Department of Magical Law Enforcement."
Harry felt a hand push at the small of his back and he forced his leaden limbs to move forward out of the elevator. When the female Auror had disappeared around the corridor, Harry turned to Evan with a slightly frightened look.
"Law Enforcement?" he whispered. "We're on a floor full of Aurors."
"I know that, boy," Evan snapped. "Now keep your chin up and let me do the talking."
Tapping his walking staff on the ground, Evan strode down the hall with purposeful strides, his body moving fluidly almost identically to Lucius's. Harry followed the pace, his shorter legs forcing him to nearly run by the man's side.
Evan continued to walk, paying no attention to the suspicious looks from the milling Aurors. He did nothing to mask his sneer of disdain. The Wizarding World law enforcement was a joke. Following the Second War, the quality of Aurors had fallen, leaving only incompetent, weak wizards who lacked efficiency and backbone to protect the Ministry.
Ignoring the protesting secretary outside of the door, Evan burst into the Head Auror's office without as much of a knock. He arched a perfect brow at the man behind the desk and appraised the man with reluctant approval.
Rufus Scrimgeour was not the typical Ministry worker. He was a force to be reckoned with, not only with magical power but political prowess as well. His face was hardened from the war and tawny hair framed his yellowish eyes. Many thought Scrimgeour looked like an old and scarred lion, and Evan couldn't help but find himself agreeing.
"Lucius Malfoy," Scrimgeour said smoothly, not even flinching at the abrupt entrance. He stood up from his desk and walked confidently around to offer a hand to Evan. Harry noticed a slight limp in the man's step.
"Head Auror," Lucius said respectively as he shook the man's rough, calloused hand firmly. "It's been a while."
"Yes, since your trial, yes?" Scrimgeour said with a gleam in his eyes. A wicked smirk wound around his face. "I hope my Aurors haven't inconvenienced you in anyway. Unfortunately, surveillance requires it. Apologies, but we cannot revoke the order."
Evan, being the man he was, took little insult. He wasn't Lucius Malfoy and he didn't care about the man's problems. "Yes, I understand that, but I'm here on a different sort of business."
Scrimgeour's bushy eyebrows raised in surprise. "Oh?" he asked with a suspicious tone. "And what is that?"
"This," Evan said in dead tone before drawing his wand and pointing it at the Head Auror. "Imperio!"
The man managed to summon a book to block the spell, which exploded upon contact. Scrimgeour's eyes narrowed dangerously and a wand appeared in his hand. "Careful, Malfoy. Assulting an Auror is one thing. Using an Unforgivable is a completely different level. Anything else you do will extend your Azkaban sentence to life."
Evan let out a barking laugh. "You are a fool if you think that I would let myself be captured. Draco?"
Harry looked up and understood. Taking a deep breath, he clenched his fists and an array of foreign magic webs appeared in front of him. Reaching up, he began to weave a ward, whispering affectionately to the magic, coaxing them to move and bend to his will. In the matter of seconds, the web was finished and he released it with a flick of his fingers.
Harry could feel the magic expand outwards and encompass the office. He sent a small touch of magic toward the Head Auror, successfully immobilizing the man. The ward would put the office in a form of a notice-me-not charm while also creating a privacy and impenetrable barrier.
Scrimgeour found himself more surprised than he had ever been. The wards in the Ministry would have prohibited such casting but for some reason the boy had done the impossible. He caught a glance of long fingernails and the pieces clicked.
"Your son is a crafter," he said flatly. "We're both pureblood, Malfoy. I know one when I see it. And I can see why you're so confident now. There's no possible way for me alone to overpower your son." He cocked his head. "The question is why he's with you."
Evan ignored the question. "Well done, son," he said softly.
Harry felt himself swell in pride despite knowing that the words were only a cover.
"Can't you see, boy?" Scrimgeour spoke, directing his words to Harry. "He's manipulating you. And guessing by your stance, I can tell he's your grounder, however the hell that happened."
Evan snarled wordlessly and stalked forward. "This is not any of your business. Now, I want you to tell me where I can find confiscated wands."
Scrimgeour tilted his head back and gave a roaring laughter that was soaked in mockery. "Lost something, Malfoy?"
Evan narrowed his eyes. Whipping his wand out again, he cried, "Imperio!"
Harry watched as the man's eyes glazed over and his hostile posture relax.
"Harry. You may release his bonds."
Harry obeyed with a quick twist of his wrists. He kept the wards in place however. But when he reached out to verify the strength of the webs, he felt the presence of wizards sending spells at the ward. So far, the spells were absorbed, but he could feel his poorly crafted web breaking.
Cursing his lack of attention and practice, he turned to Evan.
"Father," he said carefully. "The ward isn't going to hold any longer."
Evan shot the boy a disdainful glance. "And you couldn't your one job correctly."
Harry gritted his teeth. "I've never made a ward under a time limit and foreign magic. The webs are very powerful in the Ministry and it was difficult enough to get the magic to work against the Ministry itself."
Evan sighed. "Then I will clean up your mess. Don't try anything—you've done enough as it is—and follow me."
Obeying reluctantly with a bow of his head, Harry settled against the wall with a frown. Evan was quickly glamoring the Auror's eyes so that they seemed normal and when finished, tucked his wand into the sleeve of his robe to hide it. He beckoned a finger to where Harry stood last and pointed his hidden wand at Scrimgeour, whispering a command.
When Scrimgeour walked into the ward, Harry could feel the webs shatter upon contact, shriveling and absorbing back into their original state. The ward shouldn't have broken so easily… Harry sneered at himself in disappointment. The one time he had the chance to prove himself, he ruined it.
The crowd of Aurors stopped shooting spells at the door when their Head of Department appeared, intact and alive.
"Sir?" one of the Aurors asked carefully. "Are you alright?" She sent a poisonous look at Evan, who was watching nonchalantly behind Scrimgeour.
Scrimgeour grunted. "I'm fine. Haven't you lot ever heard of privacy? There's a reason I cast a ward. Mr. Malfoy and I had private information to discuss. Besides, an alarm would have gone off if I was attacked."
The same Auror stared at Scrimgeour with disbelieving eyes. "The alarm did go off," she said slowly.
Harry cursed himself and could practically feel his skin burning from Evan's furious glare.
"That happens all the time," Scrimgeour dismissed with a wave of his hand. "There's no need to go and destroy the front of my office." And it was destroyed, charred black from the barrage of spells.
The Aurors scratched their heads sheepishly but the same Auror didn't look convinced. "Lucius Malfoy barged into your room unannounced and you cast a privacy ward for the first time in five years. I'm sorry, sir, but you can see why we were so concerned."
Scrimgeour gave a wry grin. "I suppose so. Well spoken, Auror Rhodsey. Now back to work, you all. I have business with Mr. Malfoy, and you all have cases to work on."
His commanding voice sent the Aurors scattering, but not before several shot a concerned glance at their Head Auror. Scrimgeour merely stood tall, his ragged face not showing a hint of concern. When the last Auror had dispersed, Evan flicked his wand subtly and whispered, "Bring us to Evan Rosier's possessions."
Scrimgeour began to move down the hall. His injured leg gave a brief tremor before returning back to its regular limp. Harry thought it looked like the man struggling to regain control but he kept his mouth shut as commanded.
When the trio reached a thick, metal door, Scrimgeour waved his wand in a complicated pattern and pressed his palm against the door knob. Something hissed and the lock clicked open, leaving the door swinging wide open.
Harry looked around the room in wonder. It was filled with shelves nearly twenty feet tall. Each had a small, long box with a sheet of paper taped over it, the name of a convict and his/her wand core and wood scribbled on it. In the middle of the room was a large desk with cabinets bulging with unfiled papers and what seemed like confiscated items that reeked of Dark Magic.
The keeper of the room appeared by Scrimgeour's side. He was a small, mousy man with ratty brown hair and rectangular glasses that slid down to the tip of his nose. The man wore dirtied trainers and ripped robes, and looked up at the Head Auror as if he was Merlin himself.
"Sir," he said hastily with adoring eyes. "How may I help you?" His eyes slid over to Evan and Harry but he made no comment.
Scrimgeour gave a brief smile. The edge of his mouth twitched erratically before settling again, and Harry turned just in time to see Evan's expression harden the tiniest bit. "I'd like to see all of Evan Rosier's possessions, including his wand."
The keeper's mouth dropped open unattractively. "B-but sir!" he gasped. "Rosier is an escaped convict! Possessions of escaped convicts are prohibited from leaving this room!"
"And who made those rules?" Scrimgeour snapped. "I am the Head Auror and Head of this department. If you value your job and the pay that comes with it, you will go and get Evan Rosier's possessions. Now."
The man squeaked in fear and darted off. He waved his wand and a slim box flew to his hand, along with a separate chest that rattled and shook ominously.
"Thank you," Scrimgeour said as the items were handed over to him.
"Yes, thank you," Evan said smoothly before raising his wand. "Stupefy."
The keeper didn't even have a chance to blink before he toppled over, stunned.
Evan turned to Harry with a smirk. "Now go along and choose a wand, child. Be quick, we don't have much time left."
The last thing Harry wanted to do was get a wand. The mere thought of forcing his wild, free magic through the restraints of wood made his body shiver in disgust. But doing as told, he walked forward into the room and gripped his hands.
Webs appeared as usual and Harry followed the strings of magic, hoping to find one that would lead him to the most compatible wand there was. His instincts served him correctly, and Harry found himself climbing up a nearby ladder, blowing the dust off of one box and bringing it down. He turned the box over and squinted his eyes to read the name of the previous owner.
"Sirius Black. 13 inch Hawthorn wand with Dragon heartstring." He turned the dark brown wand over in his palm and felt a rush of magic pulse through his arm. The wand was accepting him as its new master, but the two were still not completely compatible. True ownership still lay with the so-called Sirius Black.
Climbing down the ladder, Harry held the wand out to Evan for inspection. The man did so before turning to the crafter with questioning eyes.
"Who was its previous owner?"
Harry brushed his thumb against the hilt of the wand. "Some man named Sirius Black. It's Hawthorn with a Dragon heartstring core."
Rather than the impressed look Harry was hoping for, Evan burst out in rancorous laughter, his body shaking with every guffaw. Harry scowled and waited for the man to stop laughing.
Finally, when the last tear was wiped away, Evan turned back to the crafter, a maniacal grin still on his face. "Oh, this is perfect," he sighed with cruel satisfaction.
"What's perfect?" Harry asked, annoyed.
Like usual, Evan waved away the question and moved toward the door, the humor sliding off of his face quickly. "Never mind that," he ordered. "We must get out of the Ministry." Taking the shaking chest from the stunned keeper, he threw open the door and waved Harry out. When the boy left, Evan looked back into the room at the still stunned Scrimgeour.
He debated killing the man. Scrimgeour would sure become a worthy opponent of his Lord and the Dark side, yet he had some kind of fondness for the old, stubborn lion. Finally, he pitied Lucius and the mess the blond would have to clean up and pointed his wand at the Head Auror.
Evan barely spared the time to hear the thump of the body as he hurried to where Harry was waiting. Guiding the crafter in a hurried, yet unsuspicious pace, they made it undetected outside of the manor, and with a swish of his cloak, dissaparated them away from the Ministry.
The two appeared in the middle of a snow storm. Wind roared and whirled around the two, nearly knocking Harry down in the process.
Harry stumbled against Evan, clutching on the man's robes to keep upright. The snow rose to nearly his knees and his teeth began to chatter.
"M-merlin," he said. "Where are we?"
Evan flicked his wand and cast a warming charm over both of them. "We're near one of my safe houses. Stay close to me and keep alert."
Shivering, Harry pressed himself closer to Evan's warmth. He felt something bubble inside of him and he doubled over, fighting the wave of nausea as his body reverted back to his own. His stature shrank and Harry scowled when he found the snow now over his knees.
Following the man, Harry squinted his eyes, trying to spot any piece of magic. From where they were, it was almost like a no magic zone. He squeezed the wand in his hand tightly, apprehension building inside of him.
There was a howl in the distance. Harry turned his head, eyes searching wildly for the source of the animalistic howl.
"Evan," he whispered. "I think there are wolves here."
Rather than look worried, the man merely looked amused. "Not wolves, Harry. Werewolves."
"Werewolves?" Harry nearly shouted.
"Shh, don't speak too loudly or they'll hear you," Evan whispered. "Now follow me. We should be nearing the house. It has wards that will keep out the werewolves and any other intruder—it's under a fidelous."
Harry felt himself relax a bit. His ears perked when he heard another howl. This time, much closer.
"Evan," he whispered slowly.
The man now looked marginally worried, though his face showed no sign of fear. He flung his robes back and lifted his wand high in the air, pulling Harry closer so that he was protected.
"Fenrir Greyback!" Evan yelled in the wind. "Come out you mangy beast, I know you and your pack have sought sanctuary here after the Dark Lord's defeat."
There was a low growl and a single wolf emerged. It was enormous, easily twice the size of a regular Muggle wolf. Its snout was much longer and its legs thicker and more muscular, with dense grey fur covering the entire body. Harry remembered reading about werewolves like these. They could turn from human to wolf during any part of the day, but only during the full moon did they transform into a humanoid wolf form, with sharper teeth and claws and a wild, blood thirsty spirit.
Harry felt himself stiffen in fear. While it was still the afternoon, the full moon was today. The second of November.
The wolf paced forward slowly, its tail raised dominantly above its back. Behind, several more pairs of amber eyes appeared in the dark. And as more growls lit the air, more and more wolves appeared, surrounding Evan and Harry in a tight circle.
Evan was still. His wand was still tightly grasped in his hand yet no panic still showed in his face. He clamped his free hand over Harry's mouth to stop the boy's gasps of terror.
Suddenly, the wolves began to part on one side and a dark gray wolf emerged. It was much larger than the rest, with battle scars that decorated the body head to tail and an aura of power and command. The wolves around the Alpha backed away, ears pulled back and bodies bending forward in respect.
When the gray wolf reached the two, it shifted forms, the air blurring to reveal a man just as burly and scarred. He had yellowed eyes and long, scraggly grey hair that fell in tangles down his back. The man gave a rouge grin and eyed Harry suggestively. "Evan Rosier. You've brought me a treat."
Harry gasped and pressed further back into Evan, who in response pulled Harry behind him. Evan gave a sigh of impatience.
"No, Greyback. He is not yours to keep. Go fuck one of your own bitches. Merlin knows you've got enough."
Rather than take offense, the werewolf merely leaned forward, leering at the boy half hiding behind Evan. "But this one is so pretty. And he's got power—yes, I can taste it. And that blood, oh how potent will that be. I can't wait to sink my teeth into that pretty neck of his."
Evan's face froze. "This boy is mine. You will not touch him, Greyback."
The man gave a barking laugh and took a step back. "Of course, Rosier. I am but yours to command." He gave a sweeping bow. At his back, the wolves chortled and howled in laughter.
Evan didn't look amused. He gave a disdainful sneer and said, "Take your wolves and hunt elsewhere. This is my domain."
Greyback leaned back on his heels and gave a sharp smirk. Pointed teeth gleamed. "And who says that?"
Evan twirled his wand. "I say so," he stated. "If you remember, it was I who granted you access to these lands to hide and create a den in. And in return, you promised to guard the lands and to keep quiet about whenever I come here."
"That doesn't seem like an equal exchange," Greyback said with a twisted grin. "Don't trick me Rosier. If we wanted to stay on your land, we would have. You cannot defend you and your boy against fifty werewolves."
Evan remained stony faced. "I have wards surrounding this—"
"Save the embarrassment, wizard," Greyback laughed. "You forget how close the full moon is. We can feel her just behind us. You and your flimsy little wards will do little to stop us."
"Then what do you ask for?" Evan drawled, not fazed. "Proper clothing? Though it would be wasted on such uncivilized beasts."
Greyback gave an insulted snarl. In the blink of an eye, a burly arm shot out and grasped Harry's wrist and pulled the crafter close without loosening his grip.
Harry gave a shout of pain and tried to pull back, but the werewolf's grasp was iron tight. He could see Evan from the corner of his eye raise his wand but Greyback merely held his hand up.
To Harry's horror, the enormous man bent down, nearly in half, and ducked his head into the nape of Harry's neck. He froze as the man's whiskers brushed his skin, feeling the tickle of air as the man sniffed at his neck.
"Get off of him, Greyback," Evan snarled.
Greyback gave a low growl but lifted his head. "This boy is a crafter."
Evan barely gave a start at the proclamation. "How very astute of you. And what's it to you?"
Greyback gave a twisted laugh. "You must be his grounder. Ha! I wonder how that ever came to be." He patted his hand roughly on Harry's shoulder and his expression softened the tiniest bit. "Crafter's are precious to us, Rosier. They connect to magic and the moon as we do." A wicked gleam appeared in Greyback's eyes and he leaned down to slowly lick a path from Harry's neck up to his ear. "Delicious," he whispered.
"Then if you are so fond of him, you will return him to me unharmed," Evan snarled.
Greyback merely looked amused. "It is so tempting to take him from you wizards. None of you will ever treat him the way he should be." He turned his head to Harry and crooned, "Would you like to stay with me, child?" Teeth flashed. "We will take very good care of you."
Evan had had enough. "Let go of him now, you filthy beast. You know nothing about taking care of a child—hell, you fuck them and eat them for breakfast. Take your paws off of him before I curse them off along with those balls of yours!"
The wolves around Evan snarled and began to close in, only to be stopped by Greyback's hands. He raised his hands slowly off of the crafter and pushed Harry back towards his guardian, but not before nudging Harry's backside with a hand.
"Pervert," Harry muttered once he was safely in Evan's grasp. He heard an amused chuckle and bit back a smile.
"Do not harm the boy too much," Greyback warned. "He is valuable to us, the key to gaining back our freedom. We will guard the location and tell no one of your appearance, but in return, you will care for the boy and you will bring us more people to turn, children and women in particular. We need strong ties and females in our pack."
The werewolf paused. "And I want something else.
Evan curled his arm around Harry's shoulders possessively. "I've told you already, Greyback. You can't have him."
Rather than the expected anger, Greyback merely tilted his head back and gave a barking laugh. "I know that, Rosier. He belongs to the Mother." He spoke the world in whispered reverence. "Which means he doesn't belong to you either."
Before Evan could retaliate with another retort, Greyback continued. "I want him here. For the full moon."
"You haven't even heard my reason," Greyback snarled disdainfully.
Evan sneered in return. "It's painfully obvious. You want to turn him into a werewolf so you can keep him under your power."
"I would never," Greyback snarled with such ferocity that Evan looked momentarily taken aback. "He is a crafter. He must remain pure or else his power will die out. No, I want him so he can experience the Moon. He knows magic, but he has never felt the caress of the Moon. With his connection to magic, he can connect to the Moon just as we do, if not more intimately."
Evan glared at the werewolf suspiciously. "You're not an altruist, Greyback. You and I both know that. What's in it for you?"
Greyback gave a smile full of pointed teeth. "His presence will calm us. Legend has it that a crafter will increase the magic connection between the Moon and werewolves, allowing us to lose more of our obstructive humanity. No more wild aggression from the battle between our human and wolf side—we will experience power like never before." His smile twisted into a smirk. "Of course, this is all myth. I would like to see if this is true."
Evan pondered the offer. It was imperative that Harry take advantage of all the powers a crafter had to offer. And if Harry could sway the werewolves with his magic and connection to the Moon, then the Dark Lord wouldn't have just Greyback's pack on his side, but all the werewolves in Great Britain, maybe even Europe.
Nodding his head curtly, Evan tightened his grip on Harry's shoulder briefly so that the boy would know to stay and moved forward. He offered a hand stiffly. "Then so be it. You will have continued sanctuary in our lands and have the child for the full moon. In return we have your protection and secrecy."
Greyback peered at the offered hand. "No. I want to seal the deal with the boy."
Without hesitation, Evan reached behind and pulled Harry forward. The boy's body was stiff in protest but he made no sound.
Harry approached the werewolf for the second time. He towered over Harry, almost twice the size of the raven-haired crafter. Swallowing nervously, he offered a hand and watched with trepidation as his arm began to shake.
Greyback merely looked amused. He raised his hand slowly and firmly clasped his rough, calloused hand around Harry's thin forearm. Pulling the boy close, he leaned down and rested his forehead on the forehead of the crafter and whispered, "Then so mote it be, crafter."
Harry was shoved back, blinking in confusion. He could still feel the bite of Greyback's nails in his skin and he shivered.
Giving a smile full of teeth and another leer to Harry, Greyback shifted back to his wolf form and let out an earsplitting howl. His pack echoed him and loped off after their Alpha.
Harry breathed out in relief and leaned against Evan's body. "Thank Merlin," he whispered. His body felt dirty from Greyback.
"Yes, we must go," Evan said, frowning. He wiped his hands on his trousers and sighed.
The two continued their trek around a small circle of trees and up a hill. Both opted to ignore the whisper of wolves padding behind them. Finally, when they reached a large iron gate, Evan reached up to touch the elaborate lock in the middle. The snake encircling the lock reached out and sank its fangs into Evan's palm, drawing blood and tasting it to secure Evan's identity.
Yessss…. This is Master…..
Harry recoiled in shock. These snakes talked too?
He weighed the option of trying to talk to them again, but he didn't want to look foolish in front of Evan. Merlin knows how ridiculous he'd look trying to talk to a now inanimate snake.
"Come, don't stand around, child," Evan said impatiently, dragging Harry along.
Harry looked up at their new home and gave a smile. It was much smaller than a manor; more cabin than house.
"This is where you will be training," Evan said softly. "Where you will learn your heritage, your strengths, your weaknesses, and where you will become a true crafter."
Harry did not flinch at the words. He stood up tall, taking on a confident stance that Evan had drilled into him, and nodded resolutely.
He would become a crafter. He would become the best one there ever was, and he would fight for the Dark Lord and free the dark.
That is, if he survived Greyback and his werewolves.
Hope you all liked that chapter! I did in particular. Anyways, I hope I will get a couple more responses this time. I know it sounds stingy and I too hate authors who beg for reviews, but to be honest, they aren't wrong in that it is the reviews that fuel the story.
Nevertheless, I am eternally thankful to all that are reading this! Also, a side note in case anyone is wondering, this will not become an abuse story. This is literally as far as it will go.
Tell me what you think!