Disclaimer: see previous chapter.
Note: contains spoilers for the official series.
When Aoife returned carrying the basket, the baby and the explanatory note, Alexandra had magnanimously chosen to listen to her quite carefully, and Aoife was somewhat grateful for that. For soon after that the fog giant that was sent to accompany her to Heathrow returned, and he was angry, and wanted a meal.
Sadly – for him – the giant was also loud, and that proved to be a mistake. An average fog giant is about 24 feet high and is quite strong; and this one was slightly stronger than an average fog giant as well. Alexandra, however, was a Yagishna, she was almost as tall as the giant in question and stronger yet; a brief frontal face-off and the giant backed away in a rush, his fog clearly second best against Alexandra’s storm.
And then Alexandra’s purple eyes (the only way to distinguish her from her twin, whose eyes were of a silvery-grey colour instead) alighted on Aoife, who almost shivered.
“So, Aoife,” Alexandra said with a deceptive mildness that fooled no one. “I think that we have something to talk about.”
* * *
Several days later, when Aoife was settling into her new home (yes, the local Unseelie court possessed enough money to spend it on whatever they considered important – or rather, what Alexandra considered), when a wizard of Britain (a society that she hadn’t seen in a while) apparated into her living room.
Aoife blinked and recognized him. “Albus Brian Percival Wulfrik Dumbledore!” she exclaimed cheerfully. “My, but you have changed a lot since you and Gellert Grindlewald danced in the company of my cousins on Brocken-Mountain in 1909! Tea?”
The last question was added because the aforementioned ABPW Dumbledore stared at Aoife glassy-eyed painfully trying to remember and recognize her – unlike the wizard, the succubus did not change at all since then. “It’s me. Aoife?” the succubus asked innocently as she looked at the wizard painfully remembering the events of 1909 – and not liking what he remembered. “Still no go? How about a kiss, then – maybe it’ll stir your memory.”
In the next moment ABPW Dumbledore proved to Aoife that he hadn’t changed that much, and he still preferred the company of men to women, especially of Fae women: with a cry he apparated back from where he came.
“That was weird,” Aoife told baby Harry (for that was his name, according to his papers), “but Dumbledore was always a little weird. He and his friend Gellert both.”
* * *
The next wizard was not long in coming. He looked about Aoife’s apparent age, which made him less a century old by Fae standards and so Aoife almost prepared to dismiss him – almost, but not quite.
“And who are you?” she asked in a tone of insulted virtue, which was not even fully fake: Dumbledore’s abrupt departure was rude, and Aoife hated rudeness.
Aside from the Blood King, who was in a league of his own, and whose marriage – a.k.a. Aoife’s revenge – became something of a Fae legend, anyone or anything that incurred Aoife’s hate tended to die quickly after, but the new wizard didn’t know that.
“My name,” the wizard said rather haughtily, “is Severus Snape. And who are you, madam, to have put our esteemed headmaster into a state of almost sheer panic? Grindlewald failed to do so, the Dark Lord failed to do so, and you did do that. Why, he almost thought about sending Aurors to do that, before he remembered about me. Our headmaster doesn’t like Aurors – unless it’s Moody – because he got me.”
The last words were half-boast, half-bitter, and Aoife knew about bitterness – it had been her drink for a long while. “Do go on,” she said nonchalantly. “Tea?”
“Maybe,” the wizard said calmly, clearly taking a measure of Aoife as well. “So, why does our headmaster fear you?”
“Because I know him,” Aoife said simply, “I know him and his friend, Grindlewald. What has happened to him, incidentally?”
Snape told her.
* * *Brocken-Mountain lies in Germany, not Great Britain, but so what? Victoria, the great queen, has relatives in Britain, in Germany, in Russia; the magic-users of these lands – and of the Austrian empire too – are all but a single great family as well. Really. Hogwarts and Durmstrang may not be twin brothers, but both of them are superior to the Durmstrang of those French frogs – how’s that for a safe middle ground. Honestly?
...Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindlewald do not care about politics; they do not care about magic; all they care about each other, each other... and their new companions.
Large is the succubae family of Fae, several different clans compose it, and that of Malcanthet blood is the prominent one.
But Albus and Gellert have sought out another clan – that of Xinivrae, Malcanthet’s greatest rival. Tonight, they are in luck. Pterelaus, an incubus of Xinivrae’s clan, has agreed to talk to them, to dance with them, and to learn from him.
There are rumours of succubae – inconsistent, unsubstantial, but still present – who let their designated “students” go. Even the succubae of Xinivrae’s clan.
There are no such rumours of their more brutal, more direct incubi.
Aoife is sitting dispassionately under a tree, observing two young wizards – brought here with her help - are beginning to learn what Pterelaus is going to teach them.
Aoife doesn’t care – after all, wizards or not, they are only human.
Aoife has plans. Aoife needs allies, and if her cousin Pterelaus will be more predisposed towards her after this, it will be good – but not good enough.
Aoife needs better, stronger allies.
Aoife needs to bear new daughters.
* * *
“And that was when I saw them last,” Aoife told Severus Snape the somewhat edited version about how the two wizards have encountered her kin. “I caught a lot of trouble for this - according to the law of 106, and its edition in 149, wizards and witches have no business in Fae busi-ness, but still...”
“I see,” Snape nodded thoughtfully. “So, it is true. Dumbledore and Grindlewald-“
“I see,” Snape said and got up. “I think I have learned enough from you for now, Aoife of Xinivrae’s clan. I’ll see you around.” And he apparated – back to Dumbledore, presumably.
Aoife smiled a thin smile that had very little humour in it, muttered something unpleasant about the male gender in general, and returned back to her business – taking care of Harry.TBC