Ministry of Magic, June 15, 1997
The Ministry of Magic has finally fallen to their forces. Even though they had people on the inside, the resistance was stiffer than anyone expected, even with Scrimgeour, an ex-Auror, as Minister. He fought valiantly, refusing to surrender and being the last to fall, never betraying his secrets.
Elias Boone looked over at Matthew Richards, his long-time friend and now colleague in the newly created Department of Surveillance.
Matt looked as nervous as Elias himself felt. Beads of perspiration slowly rolling down his forehead. They both stood in the main atrium of the Ministry, all workers gathered together, standing in a fidgety group, awaiting the arrival of their new Leader.
And here he was, the Dark Lord strode confidently in front of the crowd, flanked by elite Death Eaters.
The sight of the Dark Lord, as he swept his mysteriously glowing crimson gaze over the atrium, had many lowering their eyes.
“Wizard and Witches gathered here, on this glorious day,” The Dark Lord’s voice resonated through the hall, even without the assistance of magic. Nobody dared interrupt. “I repeat, on this glorious day, we have made a significant stride forward towards a new, brighter future. We may have encountered setbacks, but now we stand on a precipice. A new order begins starting today. There may be dissenters, misguided souls lied to by the traitor, Albus Dumbledore, misled to believe in Harry Potter.”
The Dark Lord put his hands behind his back and his pale face twisted into a furious scowl. “Harry Potter, traitor to Wizardry, a traitor to the very blood in his veins, consorting with filthy Creatures and Mudbloods, has fled the country, after being complicit in the murders of Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Alecto and Amycus Carrow, Bellatrix Lestrange, Corban Yaxley, Thorfinn Rowle and Alfred Gibbon. He will be caught and he will face JUSTICE!”
On this proclamation, the floor seemed to shake as murmurs broke out among the audience. The gathered witches and wizards nervously looked at each other as the Dark Lord visibly calmed himself down.
“The rebels will be caught and taught the error of their ways. No longer will our culture, our heritage be tainted by Mudblood ideology under the guise of progress! Our World, Our Magic shall be polluted no more!”
Hogwarts, June 16, 1997
The atmosphere in the Headmaster’s Office was tense. Just the day before, Voldemort launched his coup and the effects of that event had already reached Hogwarts.
Now, Albus Dumbledore, his deputy and Neville Longbottom, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger sat around a table, all looking grim. Albus, looking more tired than the others could ever recall, spoke first.
“Many refugees, often entire families, have reached the castle. We have space and our excellent elves have assured me that our food stocks can last even with so many additional inhabitants. What news do you have? Minerva?” His voice, deep and steady, did little to reassure the others in the office.
Minerva sighed, deep weariness seeping into her voice, “The castle was cleansed of dark artefacts and listening charms, Albus. The students who returned are mostly fine, but scared. They do not know what to expect.”
Albus nodded at this piece of news while Fawkes loudly chirped in an effort to raise the mood.
“Understandable, Minerva, we all wish to know what the future will bring. What news from your family, Ronald?”
Ron, fair-skinned at the best of times, now seemed to have a bit of deathly pallor.
“They have spread out, Headmaster. Mum and dad are in the Headquarters, Fred and George are organizing a safe house near Bascote. They also have a hidden workshop where they work on useful items, both defensive and offensive.” Ron gulped and nodded before continuing, “Charlie is in Romania, he says people there are mostly sympathetic to us. He also sent word that Krum is rallying people against V-voldemort. Bill is making portkeys and working as relay. He says that lots of people went into hiding. But the resistance is going to be uncoordinated.”
Albus acknowledged the report, “Very well, mister Longbottom, miss Granger, what news can you share?”
Neville spoke up first, “Most of the DA are here with us. They mentioned that their parents are willing to stand against the new Ministry, but each family has only limited resources. I inspected the school’s greenhouses. We can grow most of the necessary medical herbs here.”
Hermione piped up next, “We can use the DA coins from fifth year, maybe even make some more. We could distribute them, help people organize through these. Even Harry has one.” Here, Hermione showed her fake Galleon.
Albus perked up at this. “How do these creations of yours work, miss Granger?”
Hermione smiled tiredly, “It is a modified Protean Charm. They can carry messages to a single other galleon or to multiple others. The message appears as writing on the edge of the coin. Look.”
Here, Hermione showed her coin closer. The writing stood out now.
FLEUR AND I IN FRANCE. SAFE. HP
Ministry of Magic, Department of Surveillance, September 17, 1997
Elias looked at his balding colleague, both standing in their office, next to a large table with a map of Great Britain.
“Matt, this is an amazing piece of enchantment, not gonna lie. Covering the whole of Britain, immediately detecting apparition, both departure point and arrival point, even measuring the magical residue.”
Matt nodded at Elias, watching his reedy colleague. “That’s true, Elias. A real wonder. So we just sit here and write reports, send them up the ladder. Not a bad job, I’d say.”
Elias confirmed that with a shudder, “True that, wouldn’t want to be out and about in the field. Heard it got nasty yesterday.”
Matt sipped coffee from his cup, “Merlin’s beard, that was a bad piece of business. People are fighting in the countryside. Heard two Aurors didn’t come back. The buggers who did it even got away. Their house burned, but the hexed things they were throwing around, eugh.”
Elias hit the table with his right hand, “Bugger them, all right. Traitors to their own kind. At least the news from abroad is good, right? Have they caught Potter and his pet Veela yet?”
His counterpart mournfully shook his head, “Something went wrong. Last I heard they tracked him down to a forest north of Verdun, but not one Auror has returned. Rumour has it that it was a trap. There is no statement, which tells you everything you need to know. .”
“Damn murderers,” Elias shook his head, “but we’ll get them. If they even try returning, we’ll know immediately. I heard we have support from France now?”
Matt cheerfully nodded, “Oh yes, quite a lot of families didn’t like the new administration and their ways. They’d prefer a return to the old ways. Soon, we’ll see a change in France’s official policy, you’ll see. No more consorting with creatures.”
Elias poured himself a drink, “Cheers to that thought! Even the Magical Roman Empire endorses us now. Heard the Emperor is on our side. They may allow Mudbloods, but they at least treat them right. Keep them for menial jobs, heh.”
TROUBLE IN FRANCE | HANDLED IT | STAY STRONG! HP
FIGHTING GOT WORSE | RON DEAD | KEEP SAFE! HG
Ministry of Magic, Department of Surveillance, November 8, 1997
“How have the kids been, Matt?” this question came out awkwardly, as Elias noticed his colleague’s state.
“The kids are fine, but scared. There was a fight near the neighbours. Turns out they were helping the traitors. Merlin I wish we could clean this damned country up. But Dumbledore is holed up at Hogwarts. Three assaults and they still failed. Our Lord wasn’t happy. I’d say most wished they died at Hogwarts.” Matt seemed exhausted and he had a burn scar on his face.
“At least we’re pushing them back,” Elias tried to reassure his friend, “Our Aurors caught a lot of traitors last week. True, some ran away like cowards, you know, I saw it on the map. It dinged, showing their departure points, but not the arrivals. They’re away from the country.”
Matt looked at the map, glared really and seemed to be brooding, so Elias tried to fill the silence, “Also heard that Potter and Delacour split up. She was seen in France and he in Milan.”
In answer to that, Matt snorted, “Heh, Italy. What a joke of a country, their Ministry is laughable, their authority ends at the doors to their building. You know the Families there are the real power, doing whatever they want.”
Elias sipped his coffee and smiled, “Yes, they do. Which means that the Zabinis there are free to gather allies for our cause, their Ministry can’t do a thing.”
STAND TOGETHER. | RESIST AND BITE. HP
GOT RON’S KILLER. | GREENGRASS NOT SO PRETTY IN THE END. HG
Ministry of Magic, Department of Surveillance, February 13, 1998
As Elias entered the office, he noticed Matt already sitting there, having circles under his eyes.
“Matt, how was the night shift? Everything fine?” Elias cursed himself for how his voice wavered.
Matt tiredly beckoned to Elias and poured him a coffee. “Come in and close the door, Elias.”
With a click, the door was closed and Elias cast the usual security charms. “Hell of a month so far, Matt. What happened, yesterday was tense.”
Matt sighed and blew into his cup of coffee, “It was bad, loads of unauthorized apparitions all over the country. We lost fifteen people during the night. We got some of the bastards too, but they’re learning. Like they’re led from somewhere.”
Elias grimaced, “Do you think it’s Dumbledore? He’s been staying at Hogwarts, holding out. Damn bastard, without him, our Lord would have taken that Merlin forsaken castle ages ago. Heard that Greyback’s pack was wiped out when they tried to sneak in.”
“Good riddance to that rubbish, I say.” Matt snorted, “Filthy beasts, shouldn’t have been allowed to exist.” The stress lines on Matt’s face deepened. “But that’s not all. We’ve lost contact with a few people in Serbia and Romania. And we don’t know if it was targeted or not. There’s been some unrest there.”
Elias nodded, bad news meant that the Dark Lord was in a bad mood. “Anything else? Are we still getting support from abroad?”
Matt blew out a deep breath and nodded, “Yes, the Habsburgs send some intervention teams to help us with our Mudblood problems. We’re getting money and potions supplies from France, but they’re having trouble affecting the changes they want, so it’s getting slow. The Zabinis are with us and they’re slowly convincing members from other Families. But, Elias, it’s individuals, if the whole Families won’t agree, it will get bloody.”
HOLD OUT. | YOU ARE NOT ALONE. HP
BE CAREFUL. | TOOK OUT GREYBACK. HG
Ministry of Magic, Department of Surveillance, May 27, 1998
“Damn the French, bloody frog eaters can’t do anything right, can they?” Matt threw his cup against the wall in anger. “How hard is it to take out the Ministry when they consort with Mudbloods and Halfbreeds?”
Elias threw up his hands in a placating gesture, “Matt, calm down. It was expected, it can’t go smoothly everywhere. We have the Dark Lord at our side. You know that the Empire will support our friends, the French traitors won’t last long. At least it’s not as bad as in Italy. I knew Potter was a murderer, but what he did in Italy, it gives me the shivers.”
Matt looked at his colleague in askance, this was apparently news to him, “What are you talking about, Elias? I thought the Zabinis had it under control. Weren’t they supposed to have a gala at their villa? Formalize the agreement with the sympathizers?”
Elias paled, still remembering the reports and sat in his chair, “That they were. They gathered there, everything seemed to be going fine. Then anti-apparition and anti-portkey jinxes covered the entire villa. It was Potter, he had several strike groups with him. He gave the Zabinis an ultimatum. Asked them to surrender and come peacefully.” Elias swept the cold sweat from his forehead. “The Zabinis laughed in his face, their home was well fortified. Well, it wasn’t, he somehow pierced their protective enchantments and walls. Started a cursed fire inside. The people inside panicked and tried to escape. They couldn’t, so they tried to run outside and apparate out.” Elias was now deathly pale as he recounted the tale. “Only that was what Potter and his butchers wanted. They cut them down as they were trying to run for their lives. Both Zabinis and guests. There are no more Zabinis now. The entire Family was wiped out.”
“WHAT?” Matt’s shout of surprise shocked Elias, but it was understandable in a way. “How did they manage to do that?”
Elias shrugged, looking as tired as he felt, “We don’t know. The hit-wizards were probably French, but we don’t know how Potter got the information. Anyway, soon after that the other Families either folded and want nothing to do with us or joined Potter outright. All of Italy went dark, we lost all contacts there.”
“Merlin…” Matt didn’t want to believe that. Their cause was righteous, they were supposed to win.
MORE ALLIES. | CUTTING OFF THEIR SUPPORT NOW. HP
BE CAREFUL. | WE THINK OF YOU. HG
Ministry of Magic, Department of Surveillance, August 30, 1998
“Elias, what happened to the world? This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.” Matt sounded scared, and it was no wonder. “I’ve never seen the Dark Lord so angry. True, the traitors try to push us back, but they’re losing. What made Him so angry?”
Elias had to focus to stop his teeth from chattering. “That was terrible. We’ve been receiving bad news from France, the fighting there is really ugly. Delacour’s still there, but we have no idea where Potter is. And the support from the Habsburgs is getting weaker now, seems they have their own troubles in Italy. With the Zabinis gone, Potter got the Italian Families to work together for once. And rumour has it that there's also a revolt in Transylvania.”
Matt snorted at that, “Who would have thought? How many of the Great Houses there are either trying to get the throne or go independent?”
“Honestly, who knows?” Elias shrugged, “That’s their problem. But this night, there was an… incident.” Elias seemed to be shaking, “You remember how we lost some people in Romania?” At Matt’s impatient nod, Elias continued, “Well, it kept on, it spread to other countries too. We’ve been losing contact all over the Balkans, Scandinavia too, even Couronia and Livonia. The Commonwealth is probably behind those, even if their envoy will once again promise us their loyalty and support. Bloody cockroaches, the whole lot of them. First the Prussians and Swedes, now the Polish - Who will backstab us next, the Russians?”
Matt drew in a breath, his face white. He did not even notice his hands shaking until he tried to grab a quill. “So many? Damn, that’s bad.”
Elias chuckled mirthlessly in answer, “That’s not all. All of those countries have gone dark, no contact at all, except for last night. We received a portkey package in the middle of the atrium. The alert summoned even the Dark Lord. The box was charmed to shrink and it expanded upon arrival. Matt, it was so horrible.”
“What do you mean, Elias?” Matt leaned towards him.
“Inside there was a howler. Krum sent it, can you believe it? Krum!” Elias was now hoarsely shouting, “Called himself a personal friend of Harry Potter, and you know how his family has the ear of their Minister. Morgana curse that bastard! Said he sent his regards.” Elias was now panting, “But the worst was to come. It turned out that there was more inside the box. Matt, it was heads. The heads of all the people we lost there. They murdered and mutilated all our people.”
Matt palmed his face, “So that’s the reason He was so angry. Merlin! He’s pushing our people to hunt more traitors around the countryside. We’re losing lots of magical people now.”
GOT EVEN MORE ALLIES | CUTTING OFF HIS SUPPORT FROM MAINLAND. HP
PUSHING BACK. | LOSING PEOPLE. | WE WILL HOLD. HG
Ministry of Magic, Department of Surveillance, December 6, 1998
Matt just finished his sandwich when he saw Elias enter the office, looking pale and exhausted, “Why the long face, Elias, we’ve finally pushed the traitors out of England and Northern Ireland. Wales is next and finally Scotland. With the supplies from the continent, we’re set.”
Elias collapsed into his chair, seeming to fold into himself. “There won’t be any supplies nor men from France, Matt.”
“What do you mean by that? They were fighting, but still had a surplus of resources.” Matt retorted hotly, clearly unhappy with another piece of bad news.
Elias wearily sighed and rubbed his face, “The Uprising there has ended. Delacour drowned it in blood. The Frogs call her the Crimson Flower now, call her a hero. A hero my ass, a bloody murderer more like, she and her people slaughtered so many purebloods, it makes my stomach twist even now. The sick bastards even put their heads on display in front of their Ministry!”
Matt looked as if the fight just left him, “So France is out,” he sighed out, “what about the Habsburgs? Have they pacified the other Houses?”
Elias shook his head in the negative, “No, it’s getting even worse in there. The border territories of the Empire want to secede. The throne shakes under the Habsburgs. There’s murmurs of the Mudbloods rising up too, led by those Hohenzollerns of all people. A family pure for hundreds of years, and they pick up the traitors' banner. It’s going to get ugly there, believe me.”
Matt’s hands shook as he spoke, “What about Potter, any news?”
“Nothing,” Elisas shook his head, “After Italy, we don’t know where he went, could be in the Balkans, together with Krum.”
“Hope a vampire drains him there, the bastard.” Matt spat on the ground.
HOLD ON. | SECURING OUR BACKS. | GIANTS NEUTRAL NOW. HP
LOSING GROUND | ENGLAND ABANDONED | MOLLY DEAD. HG
Ministry of Magic, Department of Surveillance, April 12, 1999
“Elias! Elias! Are you here?” Panting and sweating, Matt ran into the office, causing Elias to drop his cup of coffee.
“What’s the matter, Matt? You look as if you’d seen a Grim.” Elias scrambled to pick up his cup, unfortunately, his coffee spilled on the ground.
“There’s war in the Empire!” Matt gasped, “That’s not all. Potter’s been inciting the Mudbloods there, he’s leading them in the field. Around half of the Great Houses proclaimed neutrality, they don’t want to fight him.”
“How do you know that, Matt?” Elias wondered with a chill running down his spine.
“Got a cousin-in-law in Bavaria. He’s one of the guardsmen for the Wittelsbachs. Sent a letter that he’d seen Potter in the fields.” Matt had to work to keep his breathing even, “Said he was lucky to come out alive. Potter took out his partner with a single spell, just a flash, a boom and his partner exploded into ash.”
Elias put his hand on Matt’s shoulder to calm him down, “Your cousin’s a lucky bloke then, did he say anything else?”
“Yeah,” Matt nodded, gasping again and shivering, “he’s not half bad with Legilimency. Said he’d tried to get a read on Potter. Was as if he stood in his own grave. Then Potter looked at him and he nearly pissed himself, said he’d never seen eyes that cold.”
Elias shivered too, “How many of us is Potter going to kill? Does he hate magic that much?” He shook his head disbelievingly. “And we can’t send any reinforcements, we’re pushing through Wales. Fortunately the Dragon Reserve is safe.”
Both men just sat, looking at the map, neither seeing anything.
CLEANING UP AROUND VIENNA. | STAND STRONG. | LOVE. HP
LOSING WALES. | MAKING THEM PAY. | WE WILL NOT FALL. HG
Ministry of Magic, Department of Surveillance, September 29, 1999
Elias looked at Matt, both of them sitting in the office, ignoring their coffees with haunted looks in their eyes.
Matt palmed his face, “I can’t bloody believe it…”
“Yeah,” Elias breathed out, still in shock, “I knew it was bad there, but…”
Matt nodded, “To think Potter would lead them so far. The Habsburgs…”
“Gone, after such a long time.” Elias finished for him. “Still difficult to believe. The Great Houses, to think so many would betray their emperor.”
“The Empire is gone, fractured. Potter crushed the Magical Roman Empire... “ Matt shuddered and whined. “Can’t believe none of our hunters took him out.”
Elias shrugged, seemingly having given up, “You’ve also heard the stories, even in Hogwarts he was lucky.” Giving a weary sigh, Elias continued, “We’ve lost contact with the mainland. Even your cousin doesn’t write anymore. Do you think he’s alive?”
Matt nodded, “Yeah. Potter asked him to surrender, so he did. A bloody risk if you ask me. How many of our people did Potter murder after they surrendered? Still, he’s alive so far.”
“Well, now we have no support. Even if we’ve pushed into Scotland, it may not help. We need Hogwarts, we need Dumbledore dead. Before it’s too late.”
"We need a miracle," Elias sighed tiredly, feeling the weight of the past weeks if not months on his shoulders.
STAND STRONG. | STAND TOGETHER. | WE ARE WITH YOU. HP
RETREATING THROUGH SCOTLAND. | HOGWARTS STILL STANDS. HG
Ministry of Magic, Department of Surveillance, January 27, 2000
“We’re all alone, Matt, what are we gonna do?” Elias’ shoulders shook with desperate sobs.
“We have to finish with Hogwarts, Elias.” Matt had his arm around Elias’ shoulder, trying feebly to calm his colleague. “Our Lord is getting ready to assault the castle itself personally. We have to finish this.” But even to his ears, this sounded weak.
Elias looked at him, trying to control himself, “Thanks Matt. Yeah, we just have to finish this. With Hogwarts in our grasp, we’ll have all of Britain. We’ll be in control. We’ll stand united, with our Lord at Hogwarts, not even Potter will be able to do anything.”
“That’s right, Elias,” Matt encouraged his friend, “Positive thinking, once we’ve purged Britain of that filth, we’ll be strong enough to defend Britain even against Potter. And you know he must be at least a little scared.”
“Sure Matt, he’s never even tried getting in since running away with his pet creature.” Elias nodded again and pointed at the map. “And he doesn’t even know that we have this. Once our Lord has finished with Hogwarts, we’ll just wait here, and once Potter tries coming back, we’ll report him to our Lord. We’ll be heroes, he stands no chan…”
However, Elias’ words were interrupted by a loud Ding, as the map registered an apparition arrival, immediately followed by an activated Caterwauling charm.
Matt’s jaw dropped while Elias disbelievingly looked at the map.
“P-potter! He’s come!”
“That’s D-delacour, Matt! Bloody Delaco…”
Any further speech was impossible through the cacophony of alerts from the map. Uncountable, they were enough to cause Matt to faint while Elias screamed for help.
WE ARE COMING! HP