â€˜The Apprentice and the Necromancerâ€™ by JunoMagic
â€˜â€¦we never discovered if the Elder Wand was destroyed when Dumbledore’s tomb was blown up,â€™ Minerva McGonagall continued. â€˜What I am afraid of is that the presence of an Inferius might mean that the Resurrection Stone has indeed been found.â€™ The Headmistress aimlessly stirred a cup of tea long since grown cold and stale. â€˜And it wasn’t an ordinary Inferius,â€™ she added. â€˜Whoever raised Colin Creevey adapted the spell so the Inferius could speak. Not properly, mind, but if Professor Snape’s idea is correct, and poor Colin was only an unfortunate experiment, we may face troubles worse than the Imperius curse.
â€˜If worst comes to worst, we won’t be safe even in death now.â€™
Kingsley stared at the tea service on the table, the expensive porcelain, the golden rims, the silver spoons with their delicate ornaments. Only the best for the Minister of Magic and his guests. â€˜At least there have been no more attacks on Muggle-born witches and wizards since we implemented the Muggle-borns Protection Act.â€™
â€˜But we still don’t know who was behind those attacks,â€™ Minerva said sternly. â€˜This may very well be nothing but the calm before the storm. Kingsley, we need to find out who is behind all this. Even with the aid of the Hallows it takes a great deal of power to raise an Inferius and to interfere with the soul-magic of a portrait. Especially this particular portrait.
â€˜We have to assume that there is a powerful enemy out there. If someone has found the Resurrection Stone and gained ownership of the Elder Wand, it is possible that there is a new Dark Lord out there.â€™
The Head of the Order of the Phoenix gazed at the Minister of Magic. The words she hadn’t said seemed to echo in the silence of the room. Kingsley Shacklebolt stared at Minerva for a long time.
â€˜Out there,â€™ he said at last. â€˜Or in here.â€™
â€˜Hello there, Little Knights!â€™
â€˜Hi, Professor Hagrid.â€™
â€˜Don’t scowl, Alina, your face could freeze like that, and where would that leave you?â€™
â€˜Looking like her Head of House,â€™ Barret muttered.
Alina huffed and proceeded to ignore her friend in favour of cuddling old Fang.
â€˜She just doesn’t like that nickname,â€™ Alyah Beiond explained earnestly.
â€˜At least everyone knows us,â€™ Jo Flamel offered with a broad smile.
â€˜Can someone enlarge that table? There’s too many of us.â€™
â€˜Sure.â€™ Ebe pointed his wand and narrowed his eyes. â€˜Engorgio!â€™
â€˜Ouch! Ebe, you almost squished me to a pulp!â€™
Hagrid cleared his throat. â€˜Everyone seated, yes? Here’s tea. And right, so who wants rock cakes?â€™
â€˜Who has the best connections to dentists?â€™
â€˜That would be me, Cato. Thanks all the same. Hagrid, keep the cakes coming.â€™ Then Alina noticed that there was something alive in the basket near the fireplace. â€˜Hagrid, what’s in that basket? Are those kittens?â€™
The other â€˜knightsâ€™ grimaced. â€˜No more kittens, Alina,â€™ Ebe ordered. â€˜We have more than enough kittens in Hogwarts right now.â€™
â€˜Oh, Merlin’s garter belts, yes! Have you seen Mrs Norris lately?â€™ Myrrdin groused. â€˜She’s training them! All five of them. When I see them prowling in single file, arranged by size, my blood runs cold. Bad enough to have one snooping, scruffy cat around the castle. Now there’s six of them!â€™
â€˜It’s not a cat,â€™ Hagrid said. â€˜And I doubt that the Head of Slytherin House would look favourably on a pet like that. It’s an orphaned Jarvey.â€™
â€˜But Jarveys are cute!â€™ Alina exclaimed and dropped to her knees next to the basket. A moment later a tiny, sleek, black weasel lay curled in the crook of her arm, making tiny mewling sounds. â€˜What happened to its parents and siblings?â€™
Hagrid squirmed uncomfortably, almost crushing his chair in the process. â€˜There’s been someone or something out in the Forest lately, well, not quite lately, really, to be honest and accurate, like. It’s struck first over a year ago. Killing them Jarveys. Could have been Hippogriffs, but I’m not sure. Them Jarveys have a high value on the black market, because of their musk. It’s an essential part of magical perfumes. Like them French colognes.â€™
â€˜Awww, it’s cute!â€™ Alyah admired the baby Jarvey. â€˜Can it say any insults yet?â€™
Hagrid shook his head. â€˜Not yet, but it’ll start picking them up any day now. Which is exactly why you can’t have it, Alina. Or do you really want to keep your House in negative points for the duration of your time at Hogwarts?â€™
Ebe and Barret eyed Alina warily. Obviously they were not at all sure if that would bother their friend. Alina tickled the tiny Jarvey. In a demonstration of trust, it stretched out along her forearm on its back, tiny paws in the air.
â€˜You said it doesn’t know any insults now. How does it learn its language?â€™
â€˜Well, normally from its ma and da, of course.â€™
A thoughtful expression appeared on Alina’s face. â€˜So if its parents were, say, French, it would learn French insults?â€™
Hagrid’s brows furrowed. â€˜I suppose. I could ask Olympe, if you want me to.â€™
â€˜Hmm. So if it never heard any English insults, it wouldn’t be able to say them?â€™
â€˜Uhâ€¦I suppose so?â€™
Alina turned to her Ebe and Geilis. â€˜How well does Professor Snape speak Latin?â€™
Kingsley Shacklebolt sat at his desk and stared at the stacks of parchment in front of him. He couldn’t remember when he’d had a good night’s sleep for the last time.
Two women he didn’t trust farther than he could throw them without magic. Which wasn’t very far. Especially Umbridge.
Wearily he rubbed his forehead. He’d wanted this job. Power. To change the wizarding world. To make it better. Because he fucking could see how things might beâ€”now that Voldemort was gone.
Voldemort. A mirthless smile flickered across his face. Never think ‘it could be worse’. Someone might listen. Damn. What was he supposed to do? Was there anything he could do?