Note: My thanks again to Hawklan
for helping out. By the way… you really should visit his author page. He has quite a few fics of his own you should check out.
Draco stumbled as he was pushed into the hall by Selwyn and Rodolphus. He had come home to find the two senior Death Eaters already waiting for him. They had demanded he tell them where his mother was, the problem was he didn’t know where his mother was at that moment. His answer had gained him a quick spell under the Cruciatus curse, and then he had been dragged to the floo and brought here to face the Dark Lord. He had a bad feeling things were about to get a whole lot worse for him, something had gone wrong and the Dark Lord wanted someone to punish for it. His mother had vanished and so far he had seen no sign of his aunt Bellatrix either, so he guessed he was going to be the one who was going to be punished.
“Ah Draco, welcome back,” the cold voice of Voldemort made him come to a standstill as his insides turned cold. “Have you forgotten your manners so soon?” he inquired.
Before Draco could responded he collapsed to the ground screaming in agony as the Dark Lord’s own Cruciatus curse hit him. He couldn’t even beg for mercy as the pain was so intense. Finally after what felt like forever the Dark Lord lifted the curse and he did his best to ignore the pain he still felt, and slowly pushed himself into a kneeling stance.
“Never forget your place Draco, which is far lower than you seem to think it is,” Voldemort commanded in a threatening voice. “Your father died a disgrace and it seems your mother and aunt have fled my service, thus right now the only reason you’re alive is your money,” he explained to him. “You will go to Gringotts and disavow your mother and claim your right of headship. You will then continue to feed me my tribute,” he informed him his tone becoming colder. “Do you understand me Draco?” he inquired.
“But my mother...” Draco tried to argue, but was quickly back on the floor screaming in agony as the Dark Lord hit him with another Cruciatus curse. This one seemed to last longer than the first one.
Voldemort enjoyed torturing the annoying brat, but secretly wished it was Lucius himself, but Lucius was dead and had robbed him of the enjoyment of making him suffer for disobeying him. Thus he would take what pleasure he could of making his spawn suffer. The fact Bellatrix and Narcissa seemed to have run fueled his anger and he kept the curse on for a little longer.
Draco almost lost control of his bladder as the pain increased until finally he was released. He took deep gulping breaths of air as his body shuddered as the agony of the curse continued to affect him.
“Now do you understand your orders Draco?” Voldemort inquired.
“Y…yes my Lord,” Draco managed to respond even as a hate ignited inside him aimed at his own mother for leaving him to face the Dark Lord on his own. “I will do as you command,” he added.
“Good,” Voldemort said with a smile. “Now get out of my sight and do not come back until you have my tribute,” he ordered. “Oh and Draco do not dare try and run for you will be watched closely and at the first sign of treason you will die,” he warned.
Draco froze at the door as the threat was issued and he realized with dread, there was no escape for him. He had always listened to his father’s tales of serving the Dark Lord with longing, wishing to be there side by side as they helped purge the Wizarding world of the impure. But the reality was nothing like the dreams he had once entertained. His father was dead and even had he not been he would have died rather painfully for disobeying the Dark Lord’s orders not to kill Harry bloody Potter. His own mother had deserted him alongside his aunt if what he had heard was correct. He now was truly on his own and would only survive this by his own wit and skill.
“I understand my Lord,” Draco finally responded with a bow of respect before he left the hall.
Voldemort watched him go before commanding one of his lesser followers to keep an eye on Draco, and if he should try and run to stun him and bring him back for his punishment. Voldemort leaned back on his throne and watched the young Malfoy run off clearly afraid, good that was just as he intended to keep the little toad.
“Contact Parkinson and have him prepare my supporters on the Wizengamot prepare to vote in someone we can trust to aide us in our cause,” Voldemort ordered as his mind switched to more important matters.
“Yes my lord,” Selwyn responded with a quick bow before moving to carry out his orders.
(12 Grimmauld Place)
Harry let out a groan as he began to wake up and quickly winced as he tried to move his right shoulder, his mind was groggy and it took him time to recall what had happened. He remembered bumping into Dumbledore and his cronies and then a blinding pain in his right shoulder, but he didn’t recall anything else after that. He blinked a few times as his mother’s face appeared above him. She gently placed her hand on his hair to keep him calm.
“Easy Harry, you’ve been unconscious for twenty four hours,” Lily told him softly as Pomfrey also appeared in Harry’s view and began to run checks on him. “The curse almost destroyed your entire shoulder, we had to replace the entire shoulder and some of your upper chest,” she explained to him. “Metal rods were inserted into your body to keep your body from collapsing into itself while we vanished the damaged bones and used skelegrow to regrow them,” she continued, running her hand through his hair hoping to keep him calm and stop him from trying to sit up too soon. “The bones have finished regrowing, but they are still to new for us to remove the rods, thus your right shoulder and arm will be very painful and hard to use,” she paused here as she looked at up Pomfrey.
“Rose is correct in her analysis. I give it two days for you’re to be able to use your right side normally Mr. Potter,” Pomfrey told him. “The rods inside your shoulder will feel very strange to you, but they are a necessary evil until the bones have grown stronger,” she added. “They were a very helpful idea from Miss Granger, otherwise healing your shoulder would have been even harder or damn near impossible,” she told him. “The longer we delayed the more damage would have been done,” she finished.
“Who?” Harry asked after his mother had given him a small cup of water to drink.
“It was Amos Diggory who hit you,” Jenny told him as she replaced Pomfrey next to the bed. “We think Dumbledore convinced him to turn the blame for Cedric onto you as before he joined the Order he had no negative feelings towards you, but once he joined his feelings changed,” she informed him.
Harry just nodded his head in understanding and remained in position as Fleur quickly took Jenny’s place and gently took hold of his left hand. Seeing her was comforting and helped him stay where he was. Clearly his injury was worse than any he had taken before if he was hearing correctly, and it seems Dumbledore was the cause once more. It was becoming a tiresome fact that every bad thing to happen to him had some connection to that cursed old man, just as much as it had a connection to Voldemort.
‘Was there any real difference between the two anymore?’ he wondered.
“You just need to rest and recover Harry,” Lily told him. “There is no rush,” she added, having no idea just how wrong she was about that.
Amelia sat in her office in complete shock as the news of Fudge’s assassination came through. She had arrived hoping to talk to Fudge right away only to find he had not arrived at the Ministry at all. She had sent Kingsley, Tonks and a team of Aurors to Fudge’s home and they had just returned with the news that Fudge was dead as were his bodyguards. A dark mark had been found above the manor which meant Voldemort had ordered the hit at the same time as the attempt on her own life. Obviously he was hoping to cripple the Ministry by taking out its two main members who opposed him. This couldn’t have come at a worse time she knew, they would have to move quickly now to ensure no follower of Voldemort or Dumbledore replaced the slain Fudge.
“We need to summon everyone we can trust who is not a supporter of the Dark Lord or Dumbledore. We need to find someone we can suggest as the new Minister of Magic,” Amelia finally said to them.
“Yeah but who?” Moody inquired with a grunt. “Who would be insane enough to take the job, especially after that twit Fudge got wasted?” he added.
“I don’t know Alistor, but we have to find someone,” Amelia responded with a sigh. “Otherwise we may be up shits creek without a paddle,” she spat, repeating a saying she had heard a couple of Muggles say over the years.
Tonks smirked as she recognized the Muggle saying as her family lived in a Muggle neighbourhood. It was not something she had expected to hear from the pureblooded head of magical law. Remus also chuckled as he had also heard the saying, hearing it from the rather strict Amelia Bones was humorous. Moody was the only one not to recognize the saying, but he understood what it meant and grunted in agreement.
“What do we do about Amos Diggory?” Tonks inquired, wanting to reminded her superior that she had planned to arrest Diggory before learning of Fudge’s demise.
“I still want him arrested, but that will have to wait till we have sorted this mess out,” Amelia finally answered after a short time thinking on the matter. “Tonks go back to headquarters and fill everyone in. I may need Harry sooner than anyone expected,” she ordered. “Even injured his voice carries weight,” she added. “Remus, Moody begin locating anyone we can trust who sits on the Wizengamot,” she continued. “I will do the same, we will need all the help we can get to pull this off,” she admitted.
The three all nodded and then left to carry out their orders, this left Amelia to stare off into space for a few seconds as she tried to figure out who they could trust with the post of Minister for Magic.
Martin Abbott was surprised when he heard the knock on the door, it was still pretty early so who could be paying him a visit at this time. Opening the door he was even more surprised do find the new Lord and Lady Black outside, alongside them Remus Lupin who he recognized from his own time at Hogwarts and someone who he did not know.
“Lord Black, I must say I am somewhat surprised to find you outside my door so early,” Martin said, quickly recovering. “Is there something I can do for you?” he inquired.
“I am here on behalf of Susan Bones. She and her aunt were attacked last night by Death Eaters,” Xander answered deciding to leave the more personal subject for later. “Thankfully they got help and survived, but Susan was forced to take a life. She is in quite a state and she asked that we bring you and your family to her to help,” he informed them. “She especially wants to talk to your daughter Hannah,” he added.
Martin let out a gasp of horror mixed in with surprise at this news, Amelia was a long-time friend of his and his wife Stacy and their children had been lifelong friends. The thought that they had almost been killed the night before made him feel slightly sick. He quickly turned and shouted for his wife and daughter, wanting to get to Susan as quickly as possible.
“If Susan is with you where is Amelia?” Martin asked as he waited for his family to arrive.
“Amelia went in to the Ministry with Kingsley Shacklebolt, Mad Eye Moody and Tonks to report the incident as well as deal with another serious matter that happened earlier on,” Jenny told him. “She was just as shaken by the attack, but she refused to stay with us while work needed to be done,” she added with a slight shrug.
“That sounds like Amelia, she never did know when to take time off,” Martin responded with a shake of his head as his wife and daughter finally arrived.
He quickly filled them in on what had happened, as he had expected Hannah looked distressed and upset for her friend while his wife Stacy had gone very pale. Just before they left he heard his floo activate and the voice of Amelia Bones calling for him. He rushed into his living room to find Amelia’s head looking for him.
“Ah there you are Martin I was hoping to catch you before you left,” Amelia said with a tired look in her eyes and he could hear stress in her voice.
“Are you okay Amelia?” Martin inquired. “Lord Black has just informed us of the attack on you and Susan,” Martin told her. “We were just about to go and see Susan before you called,” he added.
“Susan was very upset, not about the attack as thanks to Harry Potter she was ready to fight, but due to having to take a life,” Amelia answered in a pained voice. “She will need all the help she can get, I thank you for going to check on her,” she admitted.
“Of course Amelia, Stacy and I consider Susan and you as close as family,” Martin assured her.
“I’m afraid I am calling with more bad news Martin,” Amelia admitted, changing the subject as she knew once Martin and his family got to Susan her niece would be fine in time. “It seems there was more than one attack last night. Fudge was hit as well and the Death Eaters there were far more successful,” she told him.
Martin froze as he realized just what Amelia had told him, if she was correct then that meant the Minister of Magic was dead. Granted he had never really liked Cornelius Fudge that much, he found the man to be a complete idiot who did nothing but make mistake after mistake. He was not a capable man and he was certainly not a capable Minister for Magic, his whole reaction to the return of the dreaded Dark Lord was an example of this. But that did not mean he wanted the man dead, shaking his head he quickly put together why Amelia had wanted to contact him with the news.
“There will have to be a special session of the Wizengamot to decide on a replacement,” Amelia continued breaking into his thoughts. “I’m contacting anyone I can trust to form a block so we can ensure someone we can trust becomes the new Minister. We can’t afford to have someone who is a supporter of the Dark Lord or Dumbledore get into office,” she told him seriously.
“Dumbledore?” Martin inquired with a raised eyebrow. “I know you are not exactly on great terms with Dumbledore, but I thought against the Dark Lord we are all on the same side,” he stated somewhat confused by why it seemed like that was no longer the case.
“Alexander and the others will fill you in about Dumbledore,” Amelia told him. “Just tell them I said it was okay for them to tell you as you can be trusted, all I will say is he is as much a problem as the Dark Lord,” she stated. That very sentence sent a chill down Martin’s spine. “What I need to do is to find someone we can trust to be Minister. Do you have any ideas Martin?” she asked.
“What about your second Rufus? Last I heard he had political aspirations,” Martin suggested.
“No, I would never want to see Rufus in office,” Amelia shot back at once with a shake of her head. “He is a good Auror and an excellent second, but I would not trust him to be Minister. He is too much like Fudge in that he would try and promote a vision of strength to the public, no matter what,” she told him with a slight frown. “He would fight, but he would fight just as much like a politician as an Auror,” she added.
“Then I really do not know who else we can turn to who we can trust,” Martin shrugged. “Let me think on it while I take Stacy and Hannah to see Susan, then I will join you at the Ministry,” he told her to which Amelia nodded before ending the call.
Martin ran a hand through his hair as he came to the conclusion there was a lot going on he did not currently know about, but that would change he decided as he rejoined his family before following Lord Black and his group to where ever Susan was staying.
Dumbledore stared at the report in his hand that had just come in from one of his spies in the department of law. Cornelius Fudge had been killed the night before along with his bodyguards. This was a blow to their side, but he also saw a very good opportunity to further his own goals, maybe even fully regain control of Potter and everything else that seemed to have slipped through his fingers. He also read the report on Amelia Bones and her niece, a dark thought entered his head that he almost wished Amelia had died during the attack as she was proving to be as problematic as Potter was. He shook that thought off and refocused on the news about Fudge’s death. Could he use this to his advantage?
‘Yes this could work in my favour indeed. If I move fast enough,’ he concluded before rushing to the floo to make some important calls.
(12 Grimmauld Place)
Hannah immediately ran to comfort Susan as soon as she entered the living room where her friend was sitting, silently staring at the fire. Stacy quickly moved to join them while Martin remained near the door watching as the women began to discuss things. He could see Susan still had a haunted look in her eyes from where he stood and he hoped Stacy and Hannah would be able to help Susan work through the emotions she must be going through.
“Now Lord Black, you will tell me what Amelia meant when she said that Dumbledore is as much of a problem as the Dark Lord,” Martin said turning to Xander who had remained behind him while the others had gone elsewhere. “She told me to tell you that I could be trusted to hear the truth,” he added.
Xander looked into the man’s eyes for a few minutes before deciding it was time to tell Martin Abbott not only the truth about Dumbledore, but also the truth about his family connection to the Abbott family. It was a long overdue conversation he had been putting off for some time.
‘Well this should be a fun discussion,’ Xander thought.