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2/15 c74 15Vanessa Masters
Hannah coughed. "Sorry to interrupt, Ms. Smythe, but you might want to know that we learned in History of Magic last year that you can't actually burn witches."

"Naturally not," Fiona said. "We're a civilized society, now. No judge in the land would sentence someone to burning."

"Oh, I wouldn't know anything about that," Hannah said. "I just meant that there's a simple charm from old witch hunting days to protect from just such a threat."

"No kidding?" Fiona said, her momentum totally thrown. "Wait, do you mean to tell me that the old medieval witch hunts actually caught witches? That they weren't just a bunch of angry mobs going around executing helpless women based on nothing more than suspicion, xenophobia, ageism, and sexism? That the only thing preventing them from working was that the witches were immune to fire?! That rather than 'dangerous and extra-judiciary mob justice,' the phrase 'witch-hunt' should mean 'it all would have worked except that they hadn't invented the guillotine yet?'"

"Erm, I suppose," Hannah said. "A lot of innocent Muggle women were burned under suspicion of witchcraft."

"Bet they would have appreciated a fireproof charm right around then," Fiona muttered. "Typical." She rounded on Alecto. "Don't think that you can magic your way out of this one, though," she said. "They changed the punishment to hanging, so unless you've got a Vertebrate-to-Steel Charm as well, you're clear out of luck."

-

Well, now they've co winced Alectp to wear the wire.

Love it.
2/8 c73 Vanessa Masters
Milo snapped his fingers, and a small flame appeared in the air just above his thumb. It didn't have any visible wick or fuel. "Where we're going, we don't need jurisdiction," he said darkly. The fire vanished as quickly as it'd appeared.

Fiona shook her head. "We play by the rules or I do this alone."

Milo scoffed. "The wizarding government's in the palm of Riddle's hands. I should know, I put them there. And your Muggle government is, frankly, way out of its depth."

Hannah coughed politely, having apparently been content to be silent to this point. "Milo, of all people, you should know that every rule provides an opportunity. Miss Smythe, we might not have the Muggle government behind us, but the bad guys don't know that. They know even less about how your rules work than I do, and I'm thirteen."

Fiona nodded. "I can work with this."

-

Good on them.

And lucius does have some in his pocket still
2/8 c72 Vanessa Masters
SightTrue Sight? Arcane Sight? Darkvision?

Milo frowned as he heard Trelawney talk about books. Based on everything he'd heard Hermione say, in this world, people could learn virtually any skill or ability from a book. The kind of learning Trelawney was talking about—a combination of in-born ability and practical experience—was much closer to how he worked.

-Possible convergence of rules sets?

This he underlined several times as well.

"Many witches and wizards," Trelawney continued, "talented though they are in the area of loud bangs and smells and sudden disappearances, are yet unable to penetrate the veiled mysteries of the future. It is a Gift granted to few."

-Divinations possibly based on different ability score than other magic? Milo noted. He took in Trelawney's outlandish appearance and flamboyant clothing. Addendum: Possibly Charisma-based, he wrote. Milo frowned. Loud bangs, smells, and sudden disappearances pretty much exactly described his modus operandi.

This went on for a bit, with Trelawney proclaiming various vague but foreboding things about people in class before giving them their assignment: drinking tea.

"This is the kind of assignment I could get used to," Hannah said, sipping at the steaming cup and reclining in her armchair.

Milo couldn't help but agree. "Beats Potions," he said.

-

Meh, take it with a grain of salt.

But it leads Milo to speak to Fiona again.
2/8 c71 Vanessa Masters
Fiona, asking out Travis.
. And has a date, if she makes it through this.
2/8 c70 Vanessa Masters
"They thought I summoned the Basilisk," Milo said eventually. He didn't need to say who 'they' were.

"Yeah," Hannah said.

"They thought that maybe the Prophet got a few things right."

Hannah simply nodded.

"They think I'm dangerous," Milo said.

Hannah smiled. "All of those things are true, you realize. You did summon the Basilisk—unwillingly. The Prophet was right about a few things—again, mostly things you did unwillingly or accidentally. And you are dangerous." Milo had a brief memory of blood-red snow, but pushed it away. "You're among the most dangerous people in the world—top ten, top hundred at the least—to the bad guys. To people that want to destabilize the world, to persecute Muggles, Muggleborns, half-bloods, and anyone else who gets in their way. To people who hurt innocents because it's convenient. You're so dangerous, I bet you keep them up at night with a cold sweat."

"Didn't stop You-Know-Who from killing me," Milo muttered. "After using my power for evil. Maybe Hermione was right."

"You came back," Hannah said. "You conquered death. Nobody's done that before. Ever. You-Know-Who tried to do that his entire life, and it didn't work. Not really. And that probably scares him more than anything. But that's not what this is about, is it?"

Milo sighed. "They didn't trust me, Hannah. Harry, Ron, Hermione. They didn't talk to me. They didn't even look at me." He picked up a rock to skip, but set it back down instead. "It's so stupid. Why should I care? My friends believed the overwhelming mountain of evidence over… I don't know. Their unfounded, vague feelings of faith in me. Why should I be surprised by that? It's perfectly rational." He laughed grimly. "Wait till they find out I'm harbouring—" he glanced around, remembering Hannah's warning about Dementors. "Well, you know." He sighed. "Gods, I sound like such a Hufflepuff."

"There's worse things in life than Hufflepuffs," Hannah said. "You want a piece of advice?"

"No," Milo said.

-

Accept ir

Also, Fiona escapes death again...hey, you want Mordy to talk to scabbers, so you can learn the truth!
2/8 c69 Vanessa Masters
Lucius simply shook his head. "He needs me too much for that."

Bellatrix's eyebrows shot up.

"Why ever would the Dark Lord need you?" She said in a mocking tone, but hesitated for a moment. Lucius stopped and paid close attention to her—he couldn't remember ever having seen her show doubt before. "Did you notice anything a little… different about him? Other than his body, of course."

Like the fact that he's got the power of a living legend and the impulse control of a hormone-addled teenager? "No," Lucius said. This incarnation was infinitely preferable—and more easily manipulated—than the last. Bellatrix was feared and respected by the other Death Eaters, so he needed her loyal to Riddle. Significantly more feared and respected than he was. If she began to waver… "He does and says exactly what he means to, as he always did." Lucius wondered idly if there was any way he could arrange for her to be… martyred for the cause.

Bellatrix nodded dubiously. "How much do the taxmen want?"

Lucius told her.

"Is it still three and a quarter pounds to the galleon?" she asked.

"No. It's up to five."

"Blimey," Bellatrix said. "Still, wouldn't want to be in your shoes." She glanced down at his Italian leather loafers. "Shiny though they may be."

As Bellatrix left his office, Lucius realized he wasn't altogether certain he disagreed with her.

He turned back to the tabloid on his desk.

Who would stoop to using Muggles as a weapon?

-

A muggle herself!

Damn, she was good against Alecto and her brother.

Oh, I'm glad she sees how poor Sirius was mistreated.
2/8 c68 Vanessa Masters
"If I may ask," Dumbledore said, "what did happen last year? For, I must confess, I believed you to be dead. Wait, no, do not answer me. It is the nadir of manners to ask personal questions of one under the effects of Veritaserum. We can discuss this matter later."

"How did you know they drugged me?" Milo asked.

"I do not mean to boast, but one does not get to be the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards by collecting bottle caps, Milo. Though I did, I must say, have a modest collection in my office at Hogwarts. I wonder what Severus has done with it."

"Fair enough," Milo said. "Can we finally go to Hogwarts now? I feel like this campaign is already half over."

"Of course," Dumbledore said. "Take my hand."

-

Imperius Amalia.

And Dumbledore to the rescue!
2/8 c67 Vanessa Masters
Hannah nodded. "Dementors are said to take away your happy thoughts," she confirmed, "including your memories. The only thing that can stop them is a Patronus."

"Let me guess—they also make you relive your worst ones?" Milo asked.

"Sometimes," Hannah said. She gave him a curious look, but didn't press the issue when he changed the subject.

"I think it took my spells," he said. Every morning, he had to memorize the spells he was intending to cast that day, and if the incantation for Glitterdust didn't count as a happy memory, then surely nothing did. Though how it had pulled it off while Milo wore his Amulet of Protection was beyond him—he was supposed to be immune to all forms of mental attack. "...and my Experience."

Hannah's eyes widened. "How can you be certain?"

Milo shuddered. "I'm weaker, now. Much weaker." He took a bite out of the chocolate, and it was like (and Milo was embarrassed to even think this, accurate as it was) taking a bite out of sunshine itself. He swallowed, and felt warmth spread from his stomach outwards. It didn't return his spells or Experience Points, however. He estimated that he'd lost at least two thousand XP, dropping him back down a level—taking his ability to Teleport with it. "Thank you," he said to Hannah, and he really meant it. "If you hadn't intervened, that could have been worse. Much worse."

"Will you... be okay?" Hannah asked.

Milo nodded. "I'll be right as rain as soon as I pound a few monsters' faces in," he said. "Though I doubt I'll roll maximum HP again when I level up." he narrowed his eyes. "Actually, if we can trap a Dementor in a controlled environment, I can use it to repeatedly de-level and level up again in order to get the highest number of HP each time with minimal XP cost. I'll get two free new spells each time, too." Despite the warmth from the chocolate, he shivered slightly at the thought of willingly subjecting himself to the Dementor's attack again. Some memories were best left in the past. "Though I don't expect I'll actually do that. You say the only way to fight them is with this spell?"

Hannah nodded. "Nothing else—not even the Killing Curse—has any effect on them."

"Damn," Milo said meaningfully.

-

Damn.

Now they got Milo.

But...it won't work as afionna has maybe helped Milo put with that revenue thing to Lucius.

I hope.
2/8 c66 Vanessa Masters
Dementors could happen!

-

Milo had heard about that rule, of course, but he hadn't really thought about it before. "That sucks," he said. He'd already only had to spend less than a week with reduced spell casting capacity after Voldemort took his spellbook, and it was really starting to wear on him. He couldn't imagine having to go for two months without using any magic at all.

"Yeah," Hannah said. "And it's the most surefire way I can think of to keep us from remembering anything we learned the year before. Before Hogwarts, I went to Muggle school—my parents didn't know if I'd take after my mum or my dad when it came to magic—and it was hard enough remembering, say, maths after the summer. But even then, I mean, I never did, but theoretically, I could have cracked open a textbook and brushed up during the break, right? But with magic, doing a bit of summer revising is illegal. Which is annoying, because unlike maths, floating feathers around is actually pretty fun."

Milo could hardly speak. He'd just heard what had to be the most horrifying thing he'd ever encountered. "You..." he pulled himself together. "You forget your skills if you don't use them?"

Hannah nodded.

"I mean," Milo continued, "you actually get worse? Not like, maybe getting a bit rusty and not realizing what the most effective spell to cast in a given situation is," Milo knew full well that feeling, having been thrown against a Dragon Turtle shortly after returning to his world, after only fighting wizards and the occasional Redcap for a year, "but actually forgetting how to cast the spell?"

"Yeah," Hannah said. "Not just magic, everything. Languages, facts, talents. Physical stuff, too—if we go without exercise, we get unhealthy. Is it really not like that for you?"

Milo shook his head. "I've never actually had the opportunity to speak so much as a whole conversation in Draconic," he said, "but I'm still fluent in the language. And always will be."

Hannah gave a low whistle. "Sometimes, I forget how different you are," she said.

"And so do the Death Eaters," Milo grinned. "Nobody has yet hatched an evil scheme that relies on me not perfectly remembering minutiae from years ago, but one day, someone will. And when they do..."

-

Oh, yeah, that does give Milo a advantage.

Milo finally meets Fionna and she has a new lead, Lucius.
2/8 c65 Vanessa Masters
Oh, Fiona on the track, Milo and Siirus on the move.
2/8 c64 Vanessa Masters
Fiona off to find Milo and Milo getting to know Sirius.
2/8 c63 Vanessa Masters
Sirius explains himself, Milo learns about Demnetors.

Tom is so angry that Milo has escaped.

His secret?

His magic is different and also, a god helped him.

But he's happy to see Hannah, learns what Animagus is and Hannah points put his amulets have a back door.
2/8 c62 Vanessa Masters
Riddle removed the sheet covering the victim, and Lucius had to strangle a laugh as their face was revealed.

Riddle's chosen equal for Bellatrix Lestrage, widely considered the greatest duelist of her generation, killer of an unknown number of wizards, witches, and Muggles alike, famed for torturing Alice and Frank Longbottom to the point of insanity and well beyond was none other than Gilderoy Lockhart.

For a moment, Lucius wished the ritual actually worked the way that everyone else believed. It would make his life so much easier. As it was, this would only serve to cement Lockhart's reputation. How strange the way the world works sometimes...

-

Well, no love lost for Lockhart.

Bellatrix had her bones broken, Tom his nose bashed, but still too strong.

But Sirius saves Milo, huzzah!
2/8 c61 Vanessa Masters
Bellatrix stared at Milo, as if noticing him for the first time. "So, what's your deal?"

"I was killed by a book and my god returned me to life to find you."

"Wow, that is new. Avada kedavra." She said it like one might say 'Well, whatever,' or, 'That's public transit for you.' She didn't quick-draw like a gunslinger, or scream like a barbarian, or even shrug. She just said it, as if the words were ordinary conversation. Maybe to her, they were.

But Milo had been ready for it—literally. His Readied spell sprung into action almost before he was really aware that the combat had started.

"Summon Skeletal Troll." A great skeleton of a lanky beast with far too much arm and too little leg appeared directly in the path of the Unforgivable Curse, which burst harmlessly against its chest.

Bellatrix cocked her head sideways. It was a curiously bird-like gesture. Her wand, however, remained perfectly still. "I see you know a thing or two."

Milo shrugged. "You're not the first Death Eater I've fought." This was good. Undead were immune to, near as Milo could tell, all three of the Unforgivable Curses. Death Eaters never seemed to cast anything else, so as long as he could keep the Troll between him and Bellatrix, he'd have this.

Bellatrix grinned. It was a terrifying expression in that it was absolutely genuine. She was, if his ranks in Sense Motive were to be believed, completely thrilled to be fighting.

"Fascinating!" she said. "I'll have to have somebody here magic the answer to that little riddle out of your corpse," she said. "But first—Diffindo!" Bellatrix swiped her wand in a horizontal arc in front of her.

At first, nothing seemed to happen. A moment later, the skeleton seemed to waver slightly, as if unsteady. Then it collapsed, the top half of its skull sliding from its head, severed by a single, unimaginably sharp cut. The skeleton vanished before it hit the ground.

"Oh," Milo said. "Crap."

-

Damn Genimo Charm I gotta look that up.

And I hope Bellatrix lost truly.
2/8 c60 Vanessa Masters
Milo made a dismissive gesture. "Not a problem. Why was she rounding up spellcasters?"

"For her search," Lkoturo said. "She's completely obsessed, especially in the last few days. High-level spellcasters possess very potent divination and transportation spells, allowing them to find and retrieve objects the world over."

"Interesting. But what is she looking for?"

"Philosopher's Stones," Lkoturo said. "She's got dozens of them."

-
Holy crap!

Wow.
But how did they know to send her searching, how did they know about the other world and Philosopher's Stone.

Unless Lucius meant for it to be a wild goose hunt.
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