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Happy New year everyone
Back in Little Hangelton he went up to his master's old house. He was weary of how his master would react to the news. It was not well known that the man had changed before his fall. The Dark Lord's sanity had diminished right before the fall. He hoped that it would return after the ritual.
The wards around the house accepted his entrance. He could feel that Wormtail was in the house. His magical sensitivity was strong. Much stronger in him than it had been in several generations. That made him sought after when he was younger by the dark lord.
He knocked on the door to where the dark lord was. Pettigrew answered it and he glared at the rat. This coward was the only reason why he knew where to find the dark loed. Didn't mean he had to like it though.
A gravelly voice said," Barty come closer. What news do you have from Hogwarts?"
He moved into the room and kneeled as he replied," My Lord I bring news not from Hogwarts but from Jason Crabbe."
"Our mind healer? What news could he have that concerns our current affairs?"
Barty could understand the man's skepticism. Normally they wouldn't contact the man until after their Lord's return. Still he had been hoping to start sessions as soon as possible. His mind had been damaged by his time in Azkaban. Something he desperately wanted to fix.
He had been extremely surprised to find someone else at the man's summer house. Jason was far from a trusting individual. Only a handful of his most serious cases had seen it. Barty was one of the only ones given permission to come and go as he needed.
So finding someone he didn't know there was disconcerting at best. Then when he found out who the other was. Well his first reaction had been to kill the other. Now he was glad he hadn't.
He said softly," My Lord when I went to visit Jason tonight he had someone staying with him. While this isn't unusual in our circles I didn't recognize who it was. At first glance I would have thought him to be a squib or muggleborn."
He paused to trying to find the best way to phrase it. Finally be decided to just go with the complete and honest truth," My lord, it was a boy by the name of Roy Mustang. You would better recognize his birth name as Harry Potter. The younger brother to the Boy Who Lived."
An angry hiss was the only answer he received. He had to force himself not to flinch. There was a lot of bad blood between the Potters and his Lord. It made him glad that he had the agreement beforehand. Otherwise this could end badly.
He hurried to finish," The boy asked if it was possible to substitute his blood for his twins. He would give it over willingly as long as his and his brother's safety was promised. They both have have agreed to make a vow of neutrality."
His Lord asked in a neutral tone that made it difficult to discern if he was angry or not," Are you sure of their truthfulness? Will they betray us?"
Barty replied calmly," I believe both boys meant what they said. Neither of them want anything to do with the war that's coming. Especially the younger one."
He had to hold back a shudder at the memory. There was more pain in that fourteen year old boy's eyes than someone under a crucio. It made him wonder what he had gone through to earn such a look. It also explained his presence with the mind healer. No doubt whatever he had seen and done scarred him mentally enough to need a mind healer.
After a moment his lord replied," We will do the ritual in two nights from now. You had better be right about this Barty."
The underlying threat was there. One that promised pain if he did not deliver. Or it didn't go as planned.
Thankfully he had seen the determination in the young boy's eyes. The willingness to do anything to protect his brother. It made him confidant in his part of the ritual. That Roy would not betray them.
He bowed his head again as he replied," Of course my Lord. I will go contact them immediately."
Two nights had passed and he stood nervously in borrowed robes in a graveyard. Jason stood off to the side warily watching over him. Not that the man would be much help if they decided to kill him. He was unarmed and there were going to be at least three of them. No his only hope for survival was that Barty Crouch Jr. would keep his word.
His green eyes found the figure out Pettigrew as he came into view. Anger coursed through him. This was the bastard that not only betrayed him and his brother but tried to kill Alex. If it was up to him the man would be nothing but a pile of ash. No matter how far killing him would set back his healing. It would be worth the damage.
As if sensing his thoughts Jason moved closer so to lightly touch his arm. The touch calmed him. As if the other had given him a calming draught. He looked over his shoulder at the man. Jason only shook his head not saying a word.
Pettigrew for his part either didn't notice the interaction or didn't care. Based on his intelligence Roy's money was on that he didn't notice. Still he began the ritual. As it began he moved closer so that they would get what they needed from him.
When Pettigrew finally turned towards him he held out his arm. A silver knife cut into his palm. It burned but the pain was dulled by his pain tolerance. He didn't even wince as he pressed into the wound to draw out more blood. It continued to drip into the cauldron until Pettigrew held up his hand that was left.
As he drew his hand back towards him. A faint twitch of his lips indicated his amusement to the fact that Pettigrew now only hand one hand. It was less than the eat deserved for his betrayal but it would have to do.
Next a pile of rags was dropped into the cauldron. In it was a baby like creature. The sight of it made him grimace. He stayed stock still though. He didn't want to incur any wrath from the wizards before him.
Only vaguely did he hear the whispered healing spell that was said by Jason. Or the way his flesh knit back together by the spell. His sole focus was on the cauldron as it began to bubble wildly. After a few moments a pale figure rose from the cauldron.
A hissing voice said," Robe me, Pettigrew."
The rat like man did as he was told and Roy took a step back to put space between them. It was allowing more polite space without it becoming rude. Still he felt like an outsider. In more ways than one he was an outsider. He didn't belong here anymore than he did anywhere else.
Scarlet eyes turned to him once the snake like man was robed. Pain coursed through his head. It wasn't like anything he ever felt before. He turned his defiant green eyes upon them. He might be willing to be neutral but he would not bow to this man. Not now. Not ever.
Jason greeted with a false sense of cheerfulness," My lord, welcome back. May I introduce to you Major Roy Mustang?"
Scarlet eyes left him and turned to Jason. The pain ebbeded ever so slightly when the eyes left him. It was still there though.
The man replied in the same hissing way," So we finally meet Harry Potter. Barty has told me about yours and your brothers wish to remain neutral. I will accept an oath of neutrality from both of you."
He wanted to sigh in relief. That was the only thing he wanted out of the evening. A way to protect both himself and Alex. Honestly as long as they were protected the Wizarding world could burn for all he cared. It wasn't his world.
Taking a deep breath he replied," I will make the oath and during Christmas break Alex will make his."
Jason said looking between them carefully," I will act as a bonder then. Are you both ready?"
They both nodded green and scarlet eyes never leaving the other. Jason asked," Do you swear not to join the Light in their ventures against the Dark? Do you swear to stay neutral unless defending you brother?"
Roy said without hesitation," I do so swear."
Jason turned to the Dark Lord," Do you swear to not attack Harry James Potter also known as Roy Mustang unless he should break his oath?"
The man said," I do."
They said together," So I say it. So mote it be."
A golden light enveloped both of them sealing the oath. Warmth spread through him. It felt similar to when he first began practicing alchemy. A rare sense of warmth in a cold world. This was different it was like liquid fire without the burning sensation that accompanied it.
For the briefest moment he allowed himself to bask in the warmth. When it faded he was left feeling disappointed and tired. Still it had been an experience for him.
When Jason came closer he could see the worry in his eyes. Something he had noticed was that the worry was never far from the surface. It was nice to have someone who cared though.
Jason said calmly," My lord, we shall take our leave. I will contact Barty when Alex is ready to take his oath."
The snake like man dismissively waved them off. He felt Jason pull him close before the feeling of being sucked through a tube overcame him. When they landed on Jason's lawn he barely was able to stay standing.
The events of the evening finally caught up to him and he sagged into his mind healer's arms. His consciousness began to fade in and out as Jason led him into the house. Gently he was laid out onto his bed. The world faded to black as he lay on the bed.
He let out a sigh of relief when Roy's eyes closed. It had been a long night for both of them. He had been especially worried that the events would cause a relapse. They were dangerously close to the events that had led the boy to this point.
He cast his usual wards over the room. No doubt there would be a nightmare tonight. Hopefully it wouldn't be one with fire in it.
Somsthing he had noticed with his patients nightmares was how hot the house became after one. It was as if he had used the alchemy there instead of just in the nightmare. Part of him wondered if there was a possibility of his magic manifesting the heat.
Elemental magic was rare even in the most basic forms. To manifest it to such a degree was almost unheard of. He might have to bring Roy to the goblins for an inheritance test. It would be able to tell them exactly what it was. The next thing would also be to get him a wand. Something he had been planning on for the upcoming week.
First they need to make it through the night. If all continued to go well he would make the appointment.