Actions

Work Header

The Master of Death and The Merchant of Death

Chapter Text

Ali Potter was fourteen. Her and Dudley had just been attacked by Dementors, and Aurors had appeared quite quickly after her use of the Patronus charm. They had taken her and Dudley straight to the Ministry. Ali had been forced into magic suppression cuffs before they had been apparated to the Ministry before a Healer who had been present when her and her cousin had been roughly moved into the DMLE had realised they were both suffering from the effects of Dementor exposure.

The Aurors had removed the cuffs from her and allowed the Healer to treat them both. The Healer was now yelling at the two Aurors who had dragged her and Dudley in here without checking them over. Ali was watching, with no small amount of barely hidden contempt directed towards the Aurors. Dudley was watching as well, on the seat beside hers, his arm around her shoulders protectively. Since his parents weren’t around, he could show that they had a reasonable relationship these days.

Dudley had really grown up whilst at Smelting.

Dudley had come to her after his first year, when his parents had locked her in her small room after she had suffered through a visit from a slightly deranged, yet utterly loyal, house elf. Dudley had apologised for the way he had allowed his friends to bully her, and the way he had never protested his parents’ treatment of her. She had accepted, provisionally; if he could continue his new attitude, she would completely forgive him. Dudley had never been the one to beat her up, he had just stood back and let Piers Polkiss, and the others torment her. After that, Dudley had begun sneaking her as much food as he could, and he beat the tar out of Piers the first time he tried anything with Ali.

In the last few years, Ali had managed to get the reason he had changed out of him. One of his teachers at Smelting was the sibling of a Muggleborn and had recognised the same in Dudley. He was the sports teacher, and had begun talking to Dudley every day, trying to encourage him to talk about his guilt, and the feeling of helplessness he had. Mr. Jenkins had encouraged Dudley to start boxing, and learn how to be a man, not whatever Vernon was. Ali had met Mr. Jenkins once Dudley had told her the truth, and she realised he was a good man, just trying to keep Dudley from making the same mistake he had with his sibling. And that was what Dudley was now, her brother, even if they couldn’t show Petunia and Vernon that. Now, he tended to whine and grumble to his parents about how they were disturbing his tv viewing if either started in on Ali, and he still snuck her quite a bit of food.

Dudley had also been quite vocal about Ali saving him from the frightening things with cloaks. Ali, once she realised Dudley could indeed see the Dementors, had begun trying to figure out how she could get him to the Goblins of Gringotts to assess him for magical blocks. Squibs and Muggles couldn’t see Dementors, only someone who had magic could. A woman in a monocle that Ali recognised as Madam Bones, the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, or the DMLE, had been out to see what was going on, and an Auror that Ali recognised as Kingsley Shacklebolt, a Hufflepuff and one of Ali’s closest allies, and she’d even say a friend, had begun explaining things. He hadn’t been one of the arresting Aurors, but he had been in the room when Ali and Dudley had been dragged in. He had also looked extremely concerned and had been the first one to order the other Aurors to remove the cuffs.

Ali had managed to get his attention and begged him not to inform Dumbledore she was here, yet. He had agreed to follow her plan, as she knew he would. They had met a few times since Ali was six, and she knew he would follow her. Ali knew she had limited time before Dumbledore found out, and she was hoping that Madam Bones would be willing to listen.

“What do you have planned, Ali?” Dudley murmured to her. They had both convinced the Aurors, and the Healer, not to contact Petunia and Vernon. It had taken some tears on Dudley’s part, and some begging on Ali’s, but they had finally agreed.

Ali didn’t do Dudley the disservice of pretending not to know what he meant. He had learnt just what a hidden Slytherin Ali was once their relationship had improved.

“As long as I can get Madam Bones to agree to call the Wizengamot and agree to Veritaserum, I can turn this whole thing back on the Ministry, and if I can convince them to watch my memories, I can convince the Wizengamot that our dearly undeparted Dark Wanker is back at the same time.”

“What about when they ask your name? Are you willing to let your true family get out, like this?”

“I’ve kept it hidden since I was eleven; if this is the way it has to come out, then I will endure whatever consequences come as a result. I am reasonably certain I will be able to get around anything they could try that may be detrimental to me. And I know that my friend will help me there. And no matter who my family is, no matter who my father is, Dudley, you are my brother, and that will never change.”

“I know, Ali. I’m not worried about that; I know how tightly you are willing to cling to those you view as family. I’m worried about you. There were a lot of reasons you never wanted people to know who you are related to. I just, don’t want you to regret this. Claiming them as family could bring us more family, family that love both of us, or it could be as you fear, and we will find assholes who hate us for reasons that make no sense, other than human pettiness. Because it is us now, Ali. I’m not letting you go into this alone anymore. You’re stuck with me, little sister, against everyone. Just, don’t let the fear of what could happen, rob the chance of happiness.”

Ali huffed at Dudley and smiled at him thankfully. She didn’t get a chance to reply, as Madam Bones and Kingsley Shacklebolt walked over to them. Madam Bones spoke once she was close enough.

“Miss Potter. I am so deeply sorry for the way my Aurors reacted. I will need you and your cousin to give me a statement about what happened, and then you will both be free to go home.”

“I won’t be being charged?”

“No, of course not. I will of course be launching an investigation into how Dementors attacked you, but the evidence is irrefutable, Dementors attacked you two, and you protected yourself and your cousin.”

Ali felt her jaw clench, and she stared at Madam Bones for a moment, before speaking slowly.

“Thank you, but for the sake of justice, and to make absolutely certain of the facts, should there not be a trial, in front of the whole Wizengamot, where I am to take Veritaserum, and the whole truth must come out.” Despite the phrasing, it was not a question.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Madam Bones narrowed her eyes at Ali; if she didn’t know better, she would think the young Potter genuinely wanted to be taken before the Wizengamot.

“We do not use Veritaserum on underage witches, Miss Potter.” Amelia Bones was curious to see where Aliandra Potter would go now. She watched as the young Potter heiress’s jaw clenched briefly, before she spoke again.

“Still, using magic outside of school, especially something like the Patronus Charm, and especially in front of a terrified Muggle, is highly against the law. That alone could call for a trial, surely, even if not Veritaserum.”

Madam Bones could admit she was genuinely curious to see where this was going. She had never had someone beg to be placed on trial before. She watched in bemusement, as the young Potter grabbed her cousin and proceeded to whisper urgently in his ear. He looked at her shocked and shook his head vehemently. Aliandra nodded at him looking urgent. Finally, Dudley Dursley huffed, and glared at her for a moment, before he looked at Madam Bones, and began to talk, his voice and expression disgruntled as he continued to shoot glares at his cousin.

“Yes, definitely. I was utterly terrified when Ali began using magic illegally at me. I was worried that she was going to kill me, the way the papers are saying she killed that boy a month ago.” Dudley glared at his cousin again, and she nodded at him, a thankful look in her eyes. The boy had spoken in the most unconvincing scared tone Amelia Bones had ever heard; she was rather impressed, she had to admit to herself.

Amelia Bones realised with startling clarity what Ali Potter was trying to do. She looked at Kingsley and saw the same awareness in his eyes.

“You are correct, Miss Potter. It is obvious how terrified your cousin was, and still is, about you using such dangerous magic in front of him. Especially as unstable mentally as you seem. I will convene a full emergency Wizengamot tonight, and we can go from there. As Albus Dumbledore is no longer on the Wizengamot, would you like me to contact him to speak for you, or will you arrange someone else to speak for you?”

“No, Madam Bones. Is it a requirement of the Wizengamot to have someone to speak for me, or can I speak for myself? I have someone else who can speak for me if I can’t speak for myself.”

“As you are an underage Heiress, you must have someone speak for you.”

The young Potter nodded thoughtfully and asked how long she had to arrange them. Madam Bones told her it would take an hour to convene the Wizengamot. Madam Bones and Kingsley Shacklebolt watched in bemusement as the young woman simply pulled a piece of parchment out of her pocket and scribbled a message on it using a piece of charcoal. They watched as the words disappeared, and another message appeared, before Ali Potter smiled and slipped the parchment back into her pocket.

Madam Bones and Kingsley both looked at each other, eyebrows raised. That parchment was something only Unspeakables used. It wasn’t even known about by the public. The only reason they both know about it is because of their high positions in the DMLE. Amelia noticed that Kingsley looked amused and had a slightly knowing glint in his eyes. Bones ordered Shacklebolt to remain with the two children, whilst she went to convene the Wizengamot.

Things had just gotten interesting.

And complicated.

As a Grey witch, Amelia Bones could feel that things were changing. And she knew that Aliandra Potter was going to be the person leading the changes. Now, she just needed to decide if she was going to be willing to follow the young girl or stand in her way, just like some of the idiots she had the misfortune to work with.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Ali watched as Shacklebolt, (call me Kingsley, or just Kings if you would like), grabbed some tea and food for her and Dudley. He had acted like he had never met either of them before, which Ali was pleased about. No one needed to realise she knew more about the wixen world than what certain people wanted her to. He left them seated where they were after the Healer had stopped fussing over them. He was close enough to them to supervise, but not close enough to hear them if they talked quietly. Dudley kept his arm around the back of her chair, shielding her from the room and keeping up a steady stream of commentary as Ali ate and drank robotically; she wasn’t surprised to taste the nutrition and calming potions in her tea.

Clearly Dobby had found her and was taking care of her.

Ever since she had freed him from Lucius, and asked him to be her elf, Dobby had been slipping potions into every bit of food and drink she had. She knew he got them from the Goblins; Rockface was a good account manager. Ali was aware Dobby was more than a little insane, but he was utterly loyal to her, a good friend, and took care of her. She didn’t have to worry about love potions, or any other non-prescribed potion, in her food or drink, he would never betray her in anyway. (She also knew Lucius had sent Dobby to her; she wasn’t sure why, but she figured he was playing a long game the same way she was. She had decided he could be a tentative ally if their goals happened to overlap. If that was a mistake, she had no problem crushing him. She knew he loved his family above everything else; she had no problem using that against him if he became a thorn in her side.)

Plus, the friend she had contacted with the parchment could also have told Dobby where to find her, she mused.

Ali knew the risk she was taking by not only standing trial for something she didn’t have to, but also using the parchment. She had seen that both Madam Bones and Kingsley had recognized it for what it was. Still, her friend had always taught her to take advantage of any situation she could. (It still made Ali amused that the only reason the Hat had placed her in Gryffindor was because he said she would have been so bored in Slytherin that she would have taken over it in less than a year, and that he feared what she would do after that. At least the Gryffindors lacked the self-preservation instincts to just bow to her because it would be smart. She would have to work for it. Ali knew herself well enough, even at 11, to know that being bored was never a good thing for her. She began looking for things to do.)

Her friend had cackled when she told him what the Hat said, given he generally displayed the emotional depth and humour of a teaspoon when he was not in his favoured disguise, she had adored the genuine laughter she had managed to get him to display that night. After he had finished being amused at her plight, he just gave her another lesson to learn the same way he had been since they met when she was six.

She knew contacting him was a risk; it allowed her relationship to the man to become known. She knew she would probably have to leave England tonight as soon as the trial was over. Dudley would come with her, she would have to meet Rockface and gather some papers she would need, but given the Tournament had declared her an adult, she would be able to have free reign over her money and investments now. She had already been planning on leaving England, at least for a little while this summer, to try to gather allies for the upcoming war.

This just meant she would have to leave a little earlier than she had planned.

Still, this opportunity was too good to let go. Dumbledore wouldn’t find out about it until it was over; it would get Fudge off her back, and the pink toad who was his undersecretary. It would get the Ministry to take a good look at how complacent they had become. It would get the truth of many things that had happened in the open. Despite the risks, it was the best opportunity she had.

The fact her friend was going to make her do the thing she had been putting off since she was 11 was a little disheartening. However, she knew she didn’t have any further excuses to put it off any longer.

As soon as she did this, she would have more enemies out for her, and she needed the protection it would provide. She had managed to get both the Goblins and her friend to back off her finding her biological father by saying she didn’t want to, because it wouldn’t get her anything. Now, as an emancipated minor, due to the Goblet of Fire, due to Goblin Laws, and due to the Potter inheritance rules, she needed to be emancipated in the muggle world as well, or the Ministry had something they could chain her with.

Still, she had businesses and holdings in the muggle world; she was going to have to oversee a few of the negotiations herself. Having to hide from the British Wizarding World meant she would have a lot of time in the international muggle world.

Provided she got her emancipation papers signed and got to oversee her businesses, and gained some allies for the war, she would consider basically being exiled from Britain a necessary sacrifice.

Ali was aware that the shadows around her had lengthened slightly as she felt the presence of the being who had been watching over her for years touched her. She knew no one else would be able to sense the genderless being, but she felt comforted that they had decided to make themselves corporeal for her in this moment. She knew they had felt her anxiety and worry, and had come to her, like they always had, and that gave her the courage to know she was doing what she needed to.

Ali sighed softly as she opened her eyes from where she had been meditating and working on her occlumency barriers. Dudley looked at her and smiled,

“Got a plan, sis?”

“Hmm. You have the trunk I spelled for you, right?”

“Always.”

“Good. We may need them tonight.”

Dudley nodded in acceptance. They both lapsed into silence for a while before Kingsley stood up and moved over to them after getting a memo.

“The Wizengamot has been convened. It is time for your trial. Please follow me.”

@@@@@@@@@@

Kingsley watched as Ali and her cousin both stood up and moved after him. He stopped them in a small room on the way down to courtroom ten, and quickly transfigured their clothes into more wixen appropriate garments. The transfigurations would only last a few hours, but he figured it would be long enough for the young girl to complete whatever plan she had.

He hoped she knew what she was doing.

Still, he knew who had been training her since she was six, given he’d introduced them. (He still sometimes wondered if she would simply take over the wixen world because she was bored, or if his half-brother had been enough to keep her occupied. He wouldn’t have been surprised if she had taken over the underground crime in the wixen world; his half-brother had always been intent on playing (and controlling) both sides, and Kingsley knew he had passed that trait onto the witch who was his protégé. He was certain neither Dumbledore nor the Dark Lord had any clue as to who would be coming after them both. Or Snape. It was a good thing Ali had always told his half-brother she was amused by Snape; it was the only reason the man hadn’t been assassinated. Yet. Kingsley had sat back and watched the chaos that a Girl-Who-Lived, trained by his half-brother, had carried out in four years, and loved every second of it. He had been hard-pressed over the years not to cackle out loud when he read some of her letters.)

Kingsley ushered the cousins out of the room, and into the elevator. After a gut-churning ride, which Potter seemed to love Kings noted, he led the two fourteen-year-olds towards the courtroom. He opened the door, and ushered Dudley towards a seat on the side, and Ali towards the defendant’s seat. He watched as she straightened her shoulders, raised her head, and calmly sat upon the chair. Kings stayed beside Dudley, hoping Ali knew what she was doing.

His half-brother would never let him hear the end of it if he allowed the man’s protégé to be thrown in prison.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Ali sat calmly in the chair; she could see the members of the full Wizengamot, all fifty members, staring at her. She could see the confusion on many of the faces, as well as the dirty looks that the eager looking Fudge and Umbridge were receiving.

Clearly, a lot of the members had decided that Fudge and Umbridge were over-reaching. Ali didn’t mind that the Wizengamot had decided that Fudge and Umbridge had forced this matter to court on such short notice; it worked better in her plans for that to be the case.

Fudge called for quiet; Umbridge was glaring at Ali; Madam Bones was looking at Ali curiously and with anticipation.

Ali tuned out Fudge saying the charges she was being tried with. Her attention was focussed on the door of the chamber.

“Who will stand in the accused’s defence?” Fudge called out.

The chamber doors burst open, and a man walked calmly in.

He was the very definition of non-descript.

He was average height, weight, build. He was wearing good clothes, nothing too fancy, but still expensive. He had hair of greying-blonde, close cropped to his head. His skin was Caucasian, but there were hints of either continental or Indian in his features. There were no scars or identifying marks at all on this man.

He was completely forgettable.

If one passed him on the street, you wouldn’t notice him.

He moved his way over to Ali, ignoring the spluttering coming from Fudge. Pressing his hand against her shoulder, her friend squeezed her shoulder, and spoke. His voice was mid-range for a man, no noticeable accent. Like his feature, his voice was the definition of non-descript.

“I am Grey Wallis. I am the Head Unspeakable for the International Confederation of Wizards. I am here to speak for Aliandra Potter.”

There was utter silence after his declaration.

Then, the pandemonium began.

@@@@@@@@@@@@

Amelia Bones saw the Head Unspeakable of the ICW talking to Ali Potter even as Minister Fudge tried to get order restored. She had guessed that the Potter Heiress had contacted an Unspeakable; but the Head Unspeakable of the ICW?

REALLY?????

Everyone in law enforcement knew of the Head Unspeakable of the ICW. The person who held the position always went by the name ‘Grey Wallis’. The glamour that they wore was always the same; male, female, genderless, they always took the name, face, and voice of the very first Unspeakable in the world. No one was sure how it occurred, because the spells to hide the being’s identity were complex and only known by the ICW.

Given the way Grey Wallis was fussing over young Potter, though discretely, Amelia thought she may know who the current Head Unspeakable of the ICW truly was.

It was a dangerous move to make for Potter. Amelia wouldn’t be the only person to realise she would have some idea of Grey Wallis’s identity behind the disguise. This would only gain the child more enemies.

“Professor Snape, please. I need to find out exactly who is responsible for the death of my parents, for the death of my mother. If it is Black, I will happily march him to the Dementors myself. Lupin too, for harbouring an escaped criminal. But, if there is even any chance that this story is true, I need to know that my family will be avenged by the suffering of the one responsible. Please, sir. Just, let us hear them out.”

Amelia Bones was jarred from her musings by the voice of Ali Potter. But not the Ali Potter seated in the chair.

No.

This Ali Potter was being projected using a courtroom penseive. The chatter fell silent as the Wizengamot turned to face the memory.

Amelia Bones saw Ali Potter, the seated one, slide a wand up her sleeve, and Grey Wallis was holding another memory vial. Or maybe two, Amelia couldn’t quite see.

She focussed back on the projected memory in time to see Severus Snape stalk forwards, to stand beside Ali Potter. They looked to be in a decrepit shack of some sort; a bushy haired girl, and a red-haired boy, clearly a Weasley by his features, were sitting on a bed that looked like it should be burned for lice. The boys’ leg was bandaged and splinted; broken Amelia thought.

Standing in front of Potter and Snape were two men that Amelia recognised and had once considered both friends.

Remus Lupin and Sirius Black.

Lupin had a wand in his hand, Black was holding a rat.

Snape stared at Potter for a moment, and then nodded.

“Very well. The spell cast on the rat will not hurt it if it is just a rat; if it is an animagus, it will be forced to change back. When the spell fails, and it turns out Black and Lupin have been in this the entire time together, I will march them both to the Dementors. In fact, the Minister is here right now; I will probably get an Order of Merlin for this. What ever occurs from this point on, is on your head, Potter. You will, for once in you spoiled existence, face the consequence for your actions. It will be worth the few moments the spell will take to finally prove to you, that you are not special. And the Minister will be only too happy to educate you on the error of your ways, that clearly your loving relatives never have.”

Bones noticed Ali Potter, in both the memory and the chair, flinch at that comment. She saw Grey Wallis rub her back; if looks could actually kill, Snape would be burning right about now judging by the look Wallis was giving the projection.

Amelia placed that into the back of her mind to investigate further miss Potter’s ‘loving relatives’.

Amelia and the entire Wizengamot watched as Severus Snape cast the animagus reversal spell; she wasn’t the only person who gasped when the rat transformed into a man who had been thought dead until just that point.

Watching Ali Potter prevent Black and Lupin from killing Peter Pettigrew on the spot, she had to admire the fact the girl was as bloodthirsty for revenge as she appeared to be.

She, at least, was smart about it.

Amelia gave a snicker when Potter said that Pettigrew could spend twelve years in Azkaban, in the same cell as Black, only with better protection against animagi’s. Her point about people saying they could have polyjuiced someone and then killed them was a good one, as if someone dies under the influence of polyjuice, they remained polyjuiced.

Amelia mused that maybe Ali Potter would make a good Auror in the future. She was logical and calm headed, and from all reports quite powerful.

The look that Wallis gave her when that thought crossed her mind made Amelia reconsider. She was clearly already claimed.

Wallis gave her a nod, and then turned back to the memory.

Yep, Ali Potter was clearly already claimed.

Amelia watched as the small party made their way through a tunnel of some sort; the Weasley boy was being aided by Lupin, Snape had stalked ahead, Black was walking behind Potter, both with their wands on Pettigrew, and the bushy haired girl, who Amelia thought was called Hermione, was in between Pettigrew and Lupin.

Amelia listened to the conversation about Black being Ali’s godfather and offering her a place to live. She was surprised, and concerned, about how quickly Ali agreed to live with him. She saw Wallis squeeze her shoulder again, and Ali gave him a quick smile. Amelia was wondering exactly what was going to go wrong; she didn’t have to wait long to find out.

She had to admire the fact that Potter threw herself in between the now transformed Lupin and her friends, even if it did allow Pettigrew to escape. Snape tried to protect them as well, and before they could be attacked, a grim dragged the werewolf away.

She wasn’t surprised that Black was an animagus. It seemed to be a theme for the Marauders to break the rules like that. Watching the Minister completely disregard anything Potter, Granger or Weasley were saying about Black being innocent was not surprising so much as it was disappointing.

Once the memory had played through there were calls from the Wizengamot about re-trying Black; Amelia noticed that Ali Potter didn’t seem too concerned about Black getting a new trial, just that her memory had been accepted.

Amelia realised why when the next memory started.