A/N: *Guiltily looks at feet* Hiiiiii guys! Can't believe I'm doing this again-this is literally getting a bit silly, but I JUST can't seem to drag myself away from good ole' Tomione 3 This had been an idea that's been on my brain, legitimately, for years! Just little bits and pieces, and I'm still working out the kinks, but I do have a general plotline, which, guys, if you know me at all, is way more than I usually have at his point;)
Surprise, surprise, this story is going to be AU, so there might be some characters that are out of their timeline, no worries! It all pans out! It's also going to be a bit of a slow start. I'm going to try to establish some really strong relationships, and some really thorough character developments, so the romance might not come rollin' in for a wee bit;) *Don't eat me*. This one will be a little more actiony-adventurey as opposed to my usual adventurey-romancey, so I really really hope y'all like this. I'm super excited, and I hope we're in for another fantastico ride!
So, without further adieu, I humbly present to you, Chapter One!
Disclaimer: All familiar content belongs to the magnificent J.K Rowling. Disclaimer applies to all chapters!
The long, wide hall was all but silent as the Minister of Magic rose from his chair. The sharp screech of the splintering wood against the smooth granite tile had several members of the audience jumping visibly, the sudden racket startling them. They watched with bated breath as the esteemed man took his place at the tall podium, overlooking the sea of faces, all turned up towards him, attentive, captivated by his mere presence alone. A seemingly kind smile touched his face.
"Greetings, old friends, and new. Fifty-two years have passed since you have so graciously bestowed upon me the honour of leading you and your kin. Fifty-two years since my dear, and most beloved friend, Gellert Grindelwald, was assassinated, leaving me at a loss. Gellert had always, even leading up to his death, been the charismatic, certain one between the pair of us. He knew how to run a country. I, however, found myself hopelessly impaired.
"Nonetheless, together, with the help of you, my people, we soldiered through, creating a new world, in which our citizens who had once been condemned to a life of prejudice and despotism were free to live their lives as contributing members of the wizarding society, and, henceforth, the rightful inheritors of the wizarding world!"
A cheer broke out within the hall, beginning as a low hurrah and tumultuously developing into a roar of approval. Dumbledore's piercing blue eyes twinkled happily as he surveyed his swarm of supporters.
"Those of Pureblood descent have, for far too long, looked down upon Half-Bloods, Muggleborns, even blood-traitors, with disdain, hatred, even condescension, for far too long! The witches and wizards among those families of Muggle origin far outnumber those of the 'superior' birthright. It has long since been proven that the continuation of Pure bloodlines, through practices of betrothal at best, and incest at worst, has tainted even the most talented wizards' and witches' abilities, and cause severe deformities within wizarding families even of modern-day society. And these are the people that we would have mate with our daughters? Our sons?"
Cries of agreement chimed clear throughout the hall; the peoples' anger had so thoroughly manifested that several of the onlookers could be seen raising their fists high into the air, violent fury evident in their expressions.
The Minister opened his mouth to speak again, but the voice that next reverberated around the room was not a voice of composure and conviction; rather, a tone of palpable rage.
"Are they not people as well, Dumbledore?" Members of the audience looked to and fro for the person who had spoken. They finally found him, a blonde young man standing rather conspicuously on one of the tall columns, one hand gripping the pillar as he leaned precariously towards the wizard whom he spoke to. "Is this treatment not reminiscent to the very treatment you fought so arduously against concerning Mudbloods and Half-Bloods?"
Several gasps could be heard throughout the room; the word 'Mudblood' was not a word that one used lightly; on the contrary, even the use of the word could have a person jailed.
Dumbledore, however, did not look at all surprised by the young man's outburst. He peered at the boy, seemingly collected, and then, once again, addressed the crowd. "Is this not proof enough of the cruelty which will be inflicted upon you if Purebloods were allowed to roam free? Is this not sufficient evidence of their savagery and inability to show mercy?" He turned to the young man, whose glower was so sharp it could slice concrete. "Such a pity. You seemed like such a nice, salvageable young man. However, it is obvious that your parents' influence could only be staved off for so long." A malicious glint, hardly noticeable unless you knew to look for it, seemed to glitter in Dumbledore's eyes, behind his half-moon spectacles. "Seize him."
However, as the guards made towards the blonde boy, several things happened at once: the doors burst open, and a flood of witches and wizards clad in brown robes poured into the room; at the same instant, a tall, pale, dark-haired man burst from the door behind Dumbledore and shot a spell towards the old man. In the midst of all of this, a shaggy-haired boy wearing round spectacles, with a peculiar lightning-bolt shaped scar in the center of his forehead swung down from the chandelier, bumping carelessly into guests and security men alike, headed towards a heavily-guarded door just to the right of Dumbledore's podium. The wizard himself did not notice, as he was now engaged in a duel with the dark-haired man, his aged face creased with anger and concentration.
The bespectacled boy finally reached the door, and shot two stunners at the guards standing closest to the door. The first guard easily deflected it, but the second guard was not so lucky; the spell hit him square in the face. The shaggy-haired boy engaged the remaining three guards in a duel, but it soon became obvious that they had him outmatched. A sweat broke out along his hairline as he cast spell after spell, conjuring up a shield just in time as the burly, dark-haired guard shot a rather nasty-looking yellow hex in his direction.
Quite suddenly, two curses spun towards guards from his left. The two wizards were knocked out, and, in his moment of distraction, the bespectacled boy easily disarmed the third. "Nice shot," he called, grinning broadly at the blonde boy who had emerged from between several panicked guests.
"Thanks." Draco Malfoy smirked in return, his white-blonde hair caked with blood that seemed to be steadily dribbling from his temple, sharp grey eyes glittering with amusement. "Ruddy gits wouldn't keep their hands off of me."
"It might have been you word choice," the shaggy-haired boy mused, his voice a tinge reproachful. "You really didn't need to use the word 'Mudblood'—"
"Yeah, yeah, bad habit, Potter, now let's go, before he notices us."
Harry Potter turned and quickly cast a nonverbal Alohomora, and he and Draco rapidly slipped behind the door, shutting it with a nearly-silent snap behind them. "It'll be a while, I reckon," Harry pointed out. "They're both ruddy brilliant duelers—"
"Merlin, no wonder Granger complains about helping you with essays, you are so easily distracted."
The two of them peered down the long, eerily dim hall. It was lined by rows and rows of what appeared to be bookcases, but each shelf was filled, not with books, but with tiny metal boxes.
"Lumos," Draco muttered, and started down the hall, peering at the first row of boxes. Harry mimicked him and began to peruse the next row over.
"Hermione told you that I'm easily distracted? Since when are you two all chummy-chummy?" Harry's tone was good-natured, amusement outweighing the irritation in his voice.
"Snape and Mrs. Weaselbee—"
"Alright, alright, don't get your knickers in a twist, Snape and Mrs. Weasley have been working together on some sort of healing potion—she's really good with the healing spells, you know, and he's blood brilliant at potions—and my mum was just giving them a hand. Well, you know Hermione's always tagging along after Snape, so she was there too, and we were chatting a bit. If it makes you feel any better, she said Weasley's got the competency of a second year."
Harry let out a snort of amusement. "That does sound like something 'Mione would say." He was about to say something else, when he broke off, his eyes flickering over a silver box at the end of the seventeenth row. "Malfoy, I think I've found it."
The blonde boy was by his side in an instant. "12E?"
Harry nodded, lifting the box as though it were a fine piece of china. He opened the lid slowly, and there, lying harmlessly against the cold metal, was a tiny golden key, no larger than Harry's little finger. He lifted it from the box, grinning rather goofily at Malfoy, who looked more excited than Harry had ever seen him.
The door slammed open, making both of them leap out of their skin. Harry hastily set the box back on the shelf, making to shove the key in his pocket, when Draco stopped him.
"Wait!" He whispered, and he hastily pointed his wand at the key, murmuring a spell that Harry didn't recognize. There were now two keys sitting in Harry's palm, instead of one. "Duplication spell," Malfoy said, "So they won't know we've taken anything!" He quickly shoved the faux key back into the box, shutting the lid.
Harry pulled something out of his robe pocket. "Quick, under this!"
Draco looked wary. "What is it? Are you sure—"
"Don't argue, just do it!" Harry pulled him beneath the invisibility cloak, and not a second too soon, for moments later, two security guards came around the corner, shining their wands down each row. One of them was a fair-haired, big-bellied man who looked vaguely familiar to Harry, though he couldn't pin-point exactly why, and the other man Harry recognized as Kevin Entwhistle, who had attended Hogwarts a few years above Harry.
Once the two guards were far beyond their row, Harry and Draco moved as quickly and as quietly as they could towards the door through which they had entered.
Out in the main hall, it was clear that, once their task had been completed, the remainder of their comrades had fled. Dumbledore could be seen pacing upon the platform, looking harried and annoyed. Beside him stood several guards, wands pointed towards a group of rebels who had been captured. The four of them were tied to one another, looking nervously around as the guards menacingly circled them. Harry bit his lip, taking half a step in their direction.
"Don't even think about it Potter!" Draco hissed, gripping his arm tightly. "You heard the werewolf, all we're supposed to do is get the key, and get out. Our duty is completed, we'll rescue the others another time."
Harry, however, was not so easily swayed, either due to sheer stubbornness, or what Hermione liked to refer to as his 'blasted nobility complex'. He recognized one of the captives as his good friend Seamus Finnigan. He raised his wand, his mind already running through the hexes and spells he would cast, when Draco gripped his arm once again, only this time, he felt the familiar pull of apparation, his stomach twisting violently and lungs contracting. Moments later, they landed rather unsteadily in the drive of the Burrow. The towering, tilting house loomed in front of them as the setting sun beamed its last rays down across the acres of grass. Harry, however, could care less about the scenery as he whirled on Malfoy, his face distorted with rage.
"What the hell did you do that for?" The dark-haired boy shoved him rather unceremoniously, his bright, vivid green eyes ablaze. "You selfish, arrogant, bastard, you—"
"Cut it out, would you, Potter?" Malfoy snarled, "I was only following the plan, seeing as you are incapable of doing so. I follow directions Potter—"
"Those were our ruddy friends, Malfoy! Do you have any idea what will happen to them? Of course, if it had been Blaise, or Pansy, or Merlin forbid, Crabbe or Goyle up there, you would have rushed to their aid, but when it's just one of my insignificant friends—"
"Of course it would have been different if it had been my friends, you idiot." Draco rolled his eyes, making his way towards the Burrow's front door. "Didn't you notice anything about that lot? Finnigan, Abbott, Boot, Alderton—the lot of them are Half-Blood, at best."
Harry's breathing had slowed significantly, but the anger had not yet completely abandoned his tone, nor his expression. "So you're saying—"
"So I'm saying, dear Potty, that that lot isn't going to be—Merlin—imprisoned in Azkaban or the likes. Sure, old Dumbly will give'em a bit of a warning, little lashing and all that, and then send them home to their mummies and daddies." Malfoy's face darkened, and Harry saw a flicker of what made him one of the most feared young men in the ranks. "That's the joy of being impure...they'll let you get away with murder, won't they?"
Harry's anger had completely abated now, and he put a reassuring hand on Malfoy's shoulder as the blond yanked open the door. "I don't think it's right either, Malfoy. Far from it."
As soon as the two of them stepped through the door, they were immediately assaulted with the aromatic scents of Mrs. Weasley's cooking. The pair quickly forgot about their argument, and as they sat at the table with the rest of the party, they eagerly recounted the tale of their day's adventure.