A/N: To those who read the summary and came here hoping to see the glorious Akane Tsunemori in action or else are wondering if this is something they're going to be able to follow, be disappointed/worry not. This is no crossover, just me applying the concept and many of the fantastic storylines of Psycho-Pass to the Harry Potter universe. Consider it a tribute to the show (and one that will grow ever less recognizable as we get further into it at that).
Also, apologies, I have had to grievously disrespect the timeline in order to make the characters more evenly aged. Gilderoy Lockhart was apparently born in 1964 and that would make him a Hogwarts student, so we'll add ten years to that. I would prefer Tom Riddle to be a bit younger (for more than aesthetic reasons, I am not entirely shallow) and McGonagall has to be his age, so they are both anno 1949. Bellatrix, too, should be younger for characterization reasons, so consider her born in 1957. People not yet born (Luna Lovegood) are strapping teens. I'm not happy about doing this, but hey, this is a dystopian anime-inspired AU, there are going to be a few artistic liberties. All in the name of fun.
They must've realized it the moment they saw each other. That long before they had met, this destiny awaited them. They were not like ships passing in the night.
«Psycho-Pass», Gen Urobuchi
September 12th, 1979
Diagon Alley was in chaos.
Not that it would have been the paragon of order and efficiency on any other day, but on this particular Tuesday there was pandemonium. There were people rushing in every direction, aimless but stressed and not sure where they had last seen their families, and the sheer noise of it all was enough to make one dizzy.
Dementors had been called in to restore order, and they were hard at work. They flushed out the stores that still had people in them and cut into the crowd with precision, separating the civilians into manageable groups and escorting them out of the Alley.
Evacuation was protocol for crisis situations such as this one: stress levels always ran high, and ever since ALBUS had started recording people becoming criminals merely by being close to other criminals the Ministry had been more insistent on evacuations and quarantines than ever.
In the center of all the commotion one shop remained untouched by the scouting dementors, and the man standing outside it, stoic and stern, was left undisturbed. He was meant to be there: as soon as all the civilians had been evacuated and the dementors had vacated the premises it would be his job, as an auror, to go inside and make the arrest.
His and one other.
He glanced down at his watch in irritation. The recruit should have been there by now.
A young woman burst forth from out of the thinning crowd then, and she hurried towards him.
«Sorry I'm late, I- Severus! What- you're an auror?» Lily Evans stared at him in shock, exhaustion forgotten for a second as she stared at him in astonishment. Then she started heaving for breath again, bending over a little. «Sorry,» she said again, almost wheezing.
Severus stared back at her, just as shocked. «Yes,» he said, and blinked.
She straightened and grinned at him. She looked genuinely happy to see him, he marveled. «It's great to see you, Sev,» she said.
For a moment his heart felt like it had just been warmed up by the power of a dozen rainbows, and he wanted nothing more than to smile back at her like an idiot and say something sappy, but he managed to compose himself. He pointed to Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. «We've got a job to do,» he said instead.
Lily blinked. «Of course. I'm sorry I was late, the apparition wards…»
He waved a hand. «It's fine, I take it you haven't been informed about the breakpoint. And we'll have to wait a bit, anyway.» He gestured towards the civilians, of which there still remained a few dozen.
She frowned at «breakpoint», but didn't ask. «What are we to do when they're all gone, then? And do we know who's in there?»
«We wait for the enforcers, they'll do the heavy lifting. It's great to see you too, by the way,» he replied, blushing ever so slightly at that last part.
She blinked. «Yes. Yes, it is, quite. Enforcers?»
The last of the civilians filed out through the portal to The Leaky Cauldron and the Dementors bled away into the shadows. Within seconds, Lily and Severus were completely alone in the street.
Rather than replying, Severus pulled out a small, intricate-looking device. It reminded Lily vaguely of a sextant, only there were wheels and it was ticking. He ignored the more intimidating aspects of it, though, and spoke directly into a tiny microphone tucked away near the top: «Activate», he enunciated slowly.
Then he stepped back. Lily opened her mouth, but did not have the time to ask the question before it was answered by the blue light of a portkey erupting where Severus had stood. She stepped back.
Four people, two women and two men, fell out of the light. Lily blinked at them: like herself and Severus they were clad in Ministry uniforms, but theirs were a discreet grey, and they had no badges.
She was surprised to recognize one of the two women as Bellatrix Black, Sirius' cousin and a Slytherin prefect when she was still in school and, more notably, the wealthy daughter of one of Britain's most prominent wizarding families who had been disowned when her Delinquency Estimate declared her a criminal two years earlier. Her husband had even divorced her (not that that was uncommon, as spouses of irredeemable criminals were considered at high risk of becoming criminals themselves and thus strongly encouraged by ALBUS to terminate the commitment). The scandal had been on everyone's lips that Christmas.
The two women made eye contact, and any doubt as to whether Black knew who she was disappeared when her mouth curled disgustedly at the sight of Lily. «You're the new auror,» she stated, her tone strangely bitter.
«I am,» Lily said.
The other three looked at her in curiosity. The second woman, a buxom blonde with stiff corkscrew hair and green glasses, was a complete stranger to Lily, as was the tall dark-haired man. They were young still however, they could be no more than thirty, but she would guess that they had both graduated Hogwarts before she started attending it. The last man, also blond, was a bit younger and looked vaguely familiar, but she could not place him.
One thing she knew for certain about them, though, not just from what she knew of Bellatrix, but from something in the way they carried themselves, something intrinsically there: these four people were criminals.
She felt a small shiver steal up her spine.
Severus walked up to stand next to her, and she noticed that he angled his body ever so slightly towards the four Enforcers, making his stance slightly hostile. She caught an amused twitch in the dark-haired man's eyebrow. «Enforcers,» he said in a loud voice. «This is Lily Evans, your new Auror. She is new, but you will respect and obey her as you do me.» He did not wait for any acknowledgement of this order, but turned towards Lily and, in a vaguely reassuring voice, began explaining. «Enforcers are criminals we use to do the, ah, grittier work. They're very useful, but harmless to us - in order to become an Enforcer they all had to make an Unbreakable Wow never to disobey or be disloyal to their assigned Aurors, and even without that there are restrictions that keep them from committing any actual crimes.»
Lily felt as if she'd just been informed that they would be fighting crime with the power of organized dance numbers. «How come I've never heard of this?»
The blonde woman snickered. «We're ALBUS' dirty little secret,» she said, and winked at Lily. «I'm Rita Skeeter, by the way. Pleasure.»
Lily nodded back at her. «Pleasure,» she replied, not sure what else to say.
«I'm sure you remember Bellatrix Black,» Severus said, and there might have been something snide in his voice then, certainly the woman gave him a filthy look, «and that's Gilderoy Lockhart,» the blond man smiled at her, and she realized that she'd seen him in Marlene's Witch Weekly cutouts, «and Tom Riddle.» The dark-haired man looked up at her, and for a moment she had a sensation like he was fixing her with gaze, suffocating yet swift like a flash of light reflected in a mirror.
Then he gave her a nod, and only a second had passed.
She swallowed a grimace, and smiled to the group: «It's very nice to meet you,» she said. More nods from Lockhart and Skeeter, so she nodded a little as well.
They stood there staring at one another, all six, for about a moment, until a sudden shriek and the sound of something breaking resounded from somewhere inside Madam Malkin's. A second later alarms started howling all over the streets: Lily yelped at the sheer loudness of it.
«I guess it's time we start doing our actual jobs,» Riddle muttered, earning himself several glares, though it was a wonder anyone had even heard him over the screaming alarms.
«Shut up, Riddle! Bugger, he must've moved,» Severus said, and ran towards the building.
«He?» Skeeter inquired, trailing after Snape. «So we know it's a he?»
Lockhart followed up with an inquiry of his own. «So, what's the plan?»
Lily saw Black smirk and mutter something to Riddle, though he appeared to be concentrating on something else. She brought out her wand and pointed it at the closest siren. «Deactivate,» she said, and was pleased to find that it worked right away. Blessed silence reigned once more.
Severus, who had been pacing, stopped to stare at her. «Right. Thanks, Lily,» he said. Then, still addressing only her, he continued. «Homenum Revelio tells me that there's no one in the building any more, but he's got to be close. Or she.» he heightened his voice to address the rest of the team, «All we know about this criminal is that they tried to purchase a set of robes when the clerk scanned them and found their coefficient was violet at 112, ALBUS alerted itself.»
«Do we know what became of the other people in the shop? The clerk?» Lily asked.
Severus shook his head no. «It had already been evacuated when I arrived. I didn't even see Madam Malkin.»
«Should we split up, then?» she asked.
Severus pressed his lips together, looking unhappy. «It would be better. I'll go in after him, with Lockhart, Black and Riddle. Skeeter, you and Lily will guard the exit.»
«Aren't there other exits?» Lily pondered.
Snape glared. «Yes, but- I'll explain later, alright? Wait, Riddle, do you even know the area?»
Riddle glared at him, looking insulted, but did not reply.
Severus glared back at him and looked about to say something before his eyes widened in realization. «Right. No need to shut up anymore, answer the question.»
«Thank you. And yes, of course I know the area,» Riddle snapped.
«Right, then,» Severus said, leading the quartet towards Knockturn Alley. «We'll have to split up further, I'll take Black along the main street…» they turned a corner and disappeared.
Lily and Skeeter were left standing on the very empty street in front of the very empty shop.
How about that.
«Shouldn't we move towards the Cauldron?» Skeeter asked.
«The criminal has had almost half an hour to think, he's got to know that we'll be guarding the main exit. Maybe Se- Snape can flush him out, but there would still be other exits he can use. Or he could just hide until we have to reopen the street,» Lily replied, though she did not feel very sure of herself. The banality breeding desperation had been one of the most frequently repeated lessons during her Auror training, even if she struggled to put her faith in it.
«But those other exits are all hidden, few people know about them. I didn't know any until I became an Enforcer. And ALBUS is patient, we can wait him out.» Skeeter countered, though she didn't seem all that sure either.
Lily pressed her lips together, but said nothing. She wished Severus had shared his reasons.
For lack of a better plan the two women moved to stand where they had been told, a few feet apart so that they could see as much of the Alley as possible.
The silence was absolute, sinisterly so: the street had always, from the day Lily first laid eyes upon it, been filled with people, no matter the hour, day or weather. To see it void of people was almost like looking at a photograph: it looked just like the real thing, but it was no more Diagon Alley than it would have been if you removed all the buildings.
She shifted her weight from one leg to the other, and even that felt loud in this silence.
She had not known quite what to expect as a crime fighter in a society free of crime but this waiting around had not been it. She refused to feel bored, but there was something about having the adrenaline that had pumped in her body dwindle down to nothing that made her feel like she was wasting her time. Disappointed, perhaps.
She dared a look over at Skeeter. The woman seemed unbothered by the silence and was squinting into store windows. Of course: she had to have been in countless evacuated areas before. Lily looked over the woman's grey uniform again.
«How do you do your shopping?» she inquired, and almost flinched at how much her voice was like a shout against the utter silence of Diagon Alley.
Skeeter shrugged. «I don't. We have these uniforms, of course, then there's casual robes, accessories…» she looked heavenwards in an attempt to jog her memory. «And night clothes and toiletries, of course» she concluded. «The Department acquires these things for us.»
Lily stared at her. «What about your personal belongings?» ALBUS confiscated all of a criminal's belongings, safekeeping them until the criminal was either rehabilitated or he or she had died, in which case their next of kin got to inherit. It was not a popular measure but had always seemed like the lesser evil to Lily, as someone imprisoned would have no use of their property anyway and this way they would have something to come back to, but Enforcers fell between two chairs.
The Skeeter shrugged again. «Well, yes, we get them back, but it's a bit depressing. I won't be able to replace things like my nail polish when I've used it all up, you know? Bella's still saving her things, though,» she said.
Lily wasn't quite sure what to say to that.
Silence reigned again for a few moments. Lily could feel the other woman's eyes on her, and felt slightly uncomfortable. She'd never been near a criminal before.
Except for Remus.
«Why'd you become an Auror?» Skeeter suddenly asked.
Lily blinked. «Hm? Oh- I don't know, it's… why not, I mean.»
Skeeter raised an eyebrow at her. «Why not?»
Lily hmm-ed. «I guess ALBUS intrigues me.»
Skeeter continued staring at her.
«I don't really have a specific reason,» Lily finally admitted, and it felt fairly truthful. Indeed her choice remained something of a mystery to her, even now.
Skeeter seemed to accept that answer, or else she realized that she was not going to get any others from Lily, because she did not press the matter (although there remained a spark of curiosity in her eyes).
Again the two women were silent, and Lily found herself hoping the other Enforcers would be easier to talk to. Then, remembering Bellatrix Black's disdainful glare and Riddle's combination of creepy and disinterested, she found herself doubtful of that. The blond man had not seemed like her type either.
Perhaps it was just as well - these people did not seem quite the types to enjoy game nights and switcheroo duels.
It was in that moment that a thunder tore into the air, loud enough that both women took a step back. Lily looked up reflexively, but no, the sky was clear, and it had not come from there.
«Merlin, was that an explosion?» Skeeter yelled, and grabbed her arm.
She didn't answer, just looked at the street in front of her helplessly. It had come from someplace between Knockturn Alley or Gringotts, or so she thought, but there was nothing she or Skeeter could do about it without endangering themselves.
She turned to the other woman. «Go get help,» she said.
Skeeter shook her head frantically. «I can't, shit, you don't know this…» She started speaking very quickly. «We have restrictions against Apparition and Floo. You saw the portkey! And oh, there's Anti-Apparition wards up anyway, you can't leave either. Oh, Merlin…» she whined.
Lily wanted to swear. She could leave through The Leaky Cauldron, but that would mean leaving Skeeter alone, and assuming the worst, that the explosion had incapacitated Severus' entire team, she would be leaving the woman as the sole thing standing between the criminal they were chasing and freedom. But if she didn't, if she and Skeeter just stood there while their colleagues were in need of medical attention and at the mercy of a dangerous criminal…
She was woefully unprepared for this.
«I think we're just going to have to wait,» was her eventual conclusion, to Skeeter's visible relief. Better to protect the one she had her eyes on.
And wait they did, for several agonizing minutes, until the sound of a crash followed by a man's shout alerted them to the passage between Eeylops Owl Emporium and a teashop, some two hundred yards away. Seconds later two masked people, one man and one woman by the looks of it, came dashing out. They spun on their heels and charged directly for Lily and Skeeter, or more specifically the brick portal to the Cauldron behind them.
«Stop!» Lily shouted at the same time as Skeeter shot a «Peccatamostra!» at the man. The number 178 floated in purple digits above the man's head. Lily blanched at the high number, but took note of the color. Dread. Perhaps he could be talked down.
But for the moment the duo was charging towards them, and the man had reached a hand into his pocket. Lily's eyes widened and she cast a shield charm at the same time as Skeeter yelled «Peccatamostra!» again, this time aiming for the woman.
46, all white digits.
Lily's jaw fell, and she could hear Skeeter gasp. How could it be below 100?
As if on cue, Tom Riddle appeared dashing out from that same street, yelling «Imperio!» He picked up speed, sprinting faster, even, than the criminals. Criminal. Lily didn't understand. «She's under the imperius!» he yelled again, breathlessly.
The man took advantage of her distraction, and threw something small and metallic at her feet, right through the shield charm while the woman spun and threw a curse at Riddle, who threw himself at the ground to dodge it. «Get away!» he shouted to Lily, who felt her heart turn to ice as she recognized the object at her feet as a grenade.
She grabbed Skeeter, and after a second they had Apparated to Riddle's side. He picked himself up off the ground, and together they watched as the grenade detonated in the street only a second after that, filling the street with smoke. Even the criminals flinched at the explosion and looped around it, but then they were running straight towards the portal again.
«Reducto!» screamed Riddle, and Lily and Skeeter watched in shock as the brick above the portal to the Cauldron cracked and fell. The man immediately fell to his knees to shift away the rubble in panic, while the woman spun and shot a stunner at them, hitting Skeeter, who fell with a soft «oof». Riddle charged towards them again regardless.
Something occurred to Lily, even as she took off to follow the unreasonably quick Riddle.
The woman froze before she would have cursed one of them, and started blinking. «What-»
«Oh, no, no, no, Alice, don't- oh no,» the criminal said, pausing with his rubble.
The woman was in a state of shock. «Arthur, what-»
The man hit her with a stunner and put up a shield charm just in time to have Riddle crash into it. Riddle was not to be stopped, however: in one graceful flick of his hand the shield dissipated again, and in another the man was disarmed, with the tip of Riddle's wand just a bit too close to his face to be entirely professional, just as Lily caught up with them.
The criminal raised his hands, the left one still holding a brick, above his head.
Lily did away with the mask with a nonverbal gesture, and it flew into the remaining brick behind the man, revealing a fairly young red-headed man with a look on his face like he was watching something horrible unfold.
«Arthur Weasley, isn't it?» Riddle said after a second of inspecting the man. Lily shot him a quick, questioning glance.
Upon being identified the man's face crumpled even further, and despite herself Lily felt a sudden compassion for the man. «Please,» he said, and his voice was barely even there, «I have children. My wife is pregnant.»
Riddle looked about to say something, but Lily spoke before him. «I'm afraid your fate is up to ALBUS, not us,» she said almost softly, and got a sudden awkward feeling like she could feel Riddle's disapproval of her soft tone. And her words did not seem to make the man feel any better, he only hunched further in on himself.
«Peccatamostra,» she said, and the number 204 floated briefly above the man's head in green digits mixed in with purple. Anger and dread, then. She stared at the man. «You're worse than before,» she said incredulously. «How-»
«Drop the brick,» Riddle said quietly. The man's eyes widened, and Lily realized with dread that he was hiding something else in that hand.
«I work with Muggle artifacts,» he said in a shaking voice, though it sounded oddly rehearsed. «I know how to-»
«Expelliarmus!» Lily cut him off, and the brick fell from the man's hand, revealing a small grey box with a black button on it strapped to his palm.
«Is that a detonator?» Riddle inquired, though they could both tell that it was.
Weasley nodded hurriedly. «To a bomb. Just let me go, I won't-»
«He's lying,» Riddle hissed, eyes narrow and focused on Weasley's.
Lily stared at him again, but judging by Weasley's flinch Riddle was right.
And then several things happened at once.
Weasley moved quickly, too quickly for her and Riddle to stop him though they both lunged at him, he slapped his hands together and in the next second a horrid, wailing siren was blaring at them from somewhere in his pockets. He flung Lily to the ground and jumped on Riddle, ripped the wand out of his hand and tried to get up again, only to have Riddle pull him down. The two rolled over struggling, once, twice, until the man got Riddle with a «Diffindo!» to the face. Riddle yelped, and Weasley boxed him in the throat.
Lily got up to her knees, mildly disoriented, and tried to locate her wand. Weasley got up too before Riddle could compose himself, and pointed his wand at her. She froze.
As did Weasley.
For one moment, the two of them stared at each other, both astonished by the turn of events: how the turntables. His hand was shaking, she noticed. His color and coefficient had to have changed - again.
«Mister Weasley…» she said over Riddle's muffled gasps, only to realize she should kept silent when the sound of her voice made the man's eye harden. He looked to have reached a decision, and Lily felt a sudden dread.
«Incarcerous,» he said twice, and tiny ropes shot out of his- Riddle's - wand, knotting themselves around them as though they were a pair of steaks, although Lily at least got to continue kneeling while Riddle was rendered awkwardly supine. He followed up with «Accio wands,» and Lily watched in defeat as three wands, her own among them, neatly flew into his waiting hand. He then cleared away the brick debris with a scouring charm, of all things, cloaked himself, and stepped out into the free world.
Lily and Tom Riddle were left covered in ropes and mortar dust and shame.
And Lily no longer felt so sure about her choice of career.