November 26, 1996.
The middle-aged man walked on the footpath on the right side of the street, idly watching the traffic go by. Swallowing the piece of pastry in his mouth, he lifted his right arm to his mouth and took the last piece of the cream pastry between his teeth. He chewed while pushing the now empty wrapper into his right pocket of his trousers. Feeling the brown paper bag his hefted in his left arm jostle slightly, he shifted his gaze from the road to the brown paper bag holding the groceries bought ten minutes ago. Continuing to walk, he adjusted his grip to ensure the bag did not tear. Out of the corner of his eyes, he noted a group of boys talking with wild gestures and laughs as they stood by the high wall of a three storey house.
Dismissing them from his mind, he slowed his pace, hoping for the walk to last longer. Seeing dark clouds in the sky, he looked down and heaved a sigh but immediately looked up at the sound of footsteps approaching him. Expecting that it might be the boys trying to pull some kind of prank, his expression hardened but quickly relaxed at the sight of the couple who smiled at him.
The middle-aged man tightened his grip on the groceries and waved his right arm. "Hello guys!"
The couple greeted him back. "Hi, mate./Morning."
The three of them stopped on reaching each other. The middle-aged man asked, a mischievous smile on his lips, "Plans?"
The black-haired young man laughed, a blush coating his cheeks. "Well…"
The brunette smiled at her husband's blush and nervous answer. "We were just planning to meet some friends, Fabian. Martin just doesn't like to admit he was looking forward to this for over a week."
The middle-aged man, Fabian, gave a small chuckle. "Well, I certainly hope you have some fun."
"That we will, mate." said John. A contemplative look came over his face. "Speaking of meetings, Fabian, you up for a beer with me and the guys later? We are heading over to Boyd's in the evening."
"If my work is finished, sure."
The woman frowned at the brown paper bag in Fabian's arm. "Why did you buy more groceries this week?"
Fabian blinked. "I'm sorry?"
The woman gave a long suffering sigh. "You bought an entire lot of them two days ago." She pointed a finger at the paper bag. "Unless you have started eating for five people, I don't think you need those."
Fabian smiled, running his right hand through auburn locks. Cecilia was too observant some days. "A few friends of mine decided to raid my house last night. Drunk idiots nearly ate me out of my home." His smile widened. "Dropped them at home around morning five and checked my pantry." He jostled his bag slightly. "Went down to the Waitrose for some essentials."
Cecilia said, "Oh. Well, it was nice seeing you, Fabian. We'll be on our way now." She walked past Fabian, dragging Martin with one arm. "Come along, Martin. We do not want to be late."
Still getting dragged down the street, Martin turned back. "Stanley's at your gate, Fabian. Looked like he needed to talk to you about something."
"Thanks." Watching the couple walk down the street of brown buildings for a few seconds, Fabian turned around and began walking home.
Taking a right onto his street, he immediately spotted the distinctive Royal Mail uniform and the boy who wore it standing beside the metal gate of his home.
As Fabian neared the gate, the mailman smiled at him. "Morning, . It looks like a fabulous day, doesn't it?"
Fabian smiled at the boy, trying to dispel the nervousness he could see despite the uniform doing a very good job at hiding said. "That it is, Stanley. But why don't we talk about the real reason you are still standing in front of my gate when you could have just as easily dropped the package and left."
Stanley scratched the back of his neck with a nervous laugh. Gripping the belt of his satchel with his right hand, he shovels on his feet before looking straight at Fabian. "You see… I wanted… Could you give me some advice on how to… approach th-this g-g-girl I l-like?"
Fabian smiled, remembering an older friend who once approached him in exactly the same manner. Smile softening at the memory, he put his free hand on Stanley's shoulder. The boy slightly jumps at the contact. "Finish your work and come back to my home at five in the evening, and we will find a way to get some confidence in you."
Stanley was stunned for a few seconds before smiling brightly with a furious nod. Two seconds later, he learnt to use his mouth. "T-T-Thanks, . I won't forget this."
Fabian laughed. Laughed Hard. It had been far too long since he was asked for some normal advice. Wiping tears from his eyes, and adjusting his paper bag again, he looked at Stanley with a small grin. "I was just remembering an old friend, Stan. Don't think too much about it." He returned the boy's nod. "Now, if that's all you came here for…"
"Oh, no!" Stanley waved his hands in the standard gesture of denial. "I do have a package that I am supposed to deliver to you." Looking down at his satchel, he opened the bag and rummaged through it before lifting a standard file-sized brown envelope out of it. Holding it towards Fabian, he said, "This came in yesterday."
With a deep sigh, Fabian took the envelope and placed it on top of his groceries. "Thanks, Stanley. I'll see you in the evening then."
"Yes, Sir." Nodding again, Stanley hesitated for a second but walked away from the house and in the opposing direction from which Fabian entered the street.
Good Kid. I just hope he found a nice girl. Shaking his head, Fabian opened his gate, walked in and closed it behind him. Glancing up and down the street, and finding no one, he turned around and walked up the sandstone path to the porch of his two storey red bricked Georgian house.
Walking past the wards he knew would not attack him, he stepped up to the front door, muttered a few words and opened the door. Entering the foyer, he locked the door behind him with a muttered word.
Grabbing the envelope, he dropped the groceries beside the door. Drawing his wand and vanishing them, he walked past the wooden stairs and pale yellow walls into the large family room.
Standing at the entrance of the family room, Fabian glanced around the twin couches and three armchairs scattered quite haphazardly and the fireplace located between two windows on the wall facing him.
Knowing the windows were reinforced with obscurity charms to prevent eavesdropping, Fabian walked forward and stood in front of the fireplace. Drawing his wand, he knocked the fifth stone above his line of sight. A subtle wave of magic passed over the entire house, providing him with the status of the wards and the number of beings in the house.
Feeling the wards at standard power and the presence of none but his own, Fabian tapped the third stone to his right.
The fireplace split down the middle and the two pieces folded into the wall revealing a narrow space leading to a well-lit area. Wand in hand, Fabian walked the narrow path that barely adjusted to his width. The entrance close behind him.
At the end of the path was what appeared to be a stone walled humongous library. Several glass shelves filled with scrolls, books, tomes, parchment, quills, inkpots, notebooks and several rune inscribed stones stood against the walls. A modern desk and a chair were located at the far end of the room and a plain black shield hanging on the wall behind the furniture. On the desk was a single file set to the side, a pen and quill holder holding an equal number of both and a small inkpot. Two chairs sat in front of the desk.
Fabian walked forward and occupied the chair behind the desk. Placing the envelope on the desk, he waved his wand over the file-sized piece of mail. It glowed blue for a few seconds before transforming into a modern blue file. He holstered his wand and picked up the file. Opening said file, he looked at the magically pressed white paper and began reading the report.
All agents and assets involved in the creation of this report have been disposed of. Upon this report being written, verified, and sealed, I shall undergo a multi-tiered memory erasure regimen to remove all knowledge related to this report.
Report from Master Tactician Agumbe:
As per protocols pertaining to files containing mentions of the Council or the Shadows, this file is classified PURPLE with an OBLIVION tag attached. As such, only the Director, yourself, and those authorised by the Director may view the file.
Any attempts to copy this report, unless under authorisation of the Head of Shadowfall, will result in immediate annihilation.
All current information has been collected from various sources: International Guild Members, Vaults of Fabulinus, Council Enforcers, Alexandrian Archives and Knights of Walpurgis.
Caution: Assume that the file is an understatement.
(TRUE NAME UNKNOWN)
Formal Titles: UNKNOWN
Nicknames: Angel of Death
Age and sex: Unknown. Estimated to be over 470 years; Presumed Male
Wealth: Unknown. Suspected to hold assets worth at least three million galleons.
Psychological Summary: [Caution: Consider all data to be mere assumptions. Repeat, all data to be mere assumptions.] Based on all known evidence and historical records, Azazel appears to exhibit sociopathic tendencies with a complete disregard for any and all authority and morals. He is also considered to be a master manipulator.
Military Summary: UNKNOWN
Civil Summary: UNKNOWN
Education: UNKNOWN. It is speculated that he holds a mastery from, at the very least, one of the International Guilds.
Significant Family: UNKNOWN
Overall Threat Rating: Considered to be a LEVEL IV, but his ability to strike from complete obscurity and infiltrate the most secure locations classifies him as a LEVEL V.
His magical signature was first found by investigators of the ICW beside the dead body of Paracelsus at the home of the alchemist in Salzburg, Austria in the year 1541. Further investigations revealed that an apprentice of Paracelsus had visited him a few hours prior to his death. Witnesses described a man of blonde hair, strange robes (probably wizard's robes) and a small goatee. All attempts by the investigators to locate the man failed.
The magical signature was again found by ICW War-Wizards during the French Vampire uprisings that nearly destroyed the magical community of France, Belgium and Spain. It was found in the base of operations of the French resistance and the hideout of one vampire Lord who was found staked and decapitated. Users of mage sight revealed that the bodies were charred using extremely concentrated bursts of light. Current historical analysis reveals that the destruction of the French resistance had nearly resulted in the destruction of the magical community of France while the slaying of the Vampire Lord halted the invasion in its tracks.
The same magical signature was later discovered by Elementals of the Magical Empire of China in the governor's palace after the massacre of Sichuan in 1645-46.
Twenty years later, an ICW Research expedition were attacked by a hooded figure who quickly incapacitated the ten-member team. The members woke up a day later to find themselves within a cave warded with powerful protective barriers and their belongings intact. ICW Investigators were completely stumped to find the same magical signature again. The ICW launched a furious investigation into the matter in order to ascertain the culprit and apprehend them. A year later, the inquisition was halted due to a lack of sufficient leads, but the signature was placed on a high priority list of offenders.
The owner of said signature was finally encountered in 1689 when the Knights of Walpurgis were attempting to retrieve an ancient artefact of power whose name is now known only to the Council. Perenelle Flamel led the forces of the Council and ICW War-Wizards against the Knights when a hooded figure attacked Perenelle. The man, according to the Lady Flamel and ICW records, fought Perenelle to a standstill, allowing the Knights to escape, the artefact in their possession. The hooded man escaped using a primitive version of a portkey. Finding that his magical signature matched the same on their high priority list sent the ICW and Council on the warpath. Sadly, they never did find the man even after six years of relentless effort and were forced to put the investigation on stasis. It was at this point the man was named 'Azazel' for the black wings of flames he utilized in combat. (Note: Unable to find any references to the person who coined the term.)
In 1734, three Enforcers of the Shadows were found butchered in a mundane house in Moscow, the magical signature of Azazel permeating the gore. The Chinese Sorceress, Yun Zhao, was called in by the ICW Research Division to scry the man using the magical signature. The attempt ended in failure, the sorceress not willing to explain the situation before leaving.
In 1757, the Special Warfare Division of the ICW spotted Azazel fighting against the Dark Lord Pietro during their mission to eliminate said Dark Lord. Azazel assassinated Pietro before leaving a package for the War-Wizards and apparated away. The package left behind contained all the evidence needed to arrest the Dark Lord's allies and sympathizers.
From 1810 to 1840, a squib police officer in Britain reported several grisly murders of mundanes and squibs to the British Ministry of Magic once he spotted the signature of magics in the area. The investigating aurors sent the forensic analysis to the Alexandrian Archives Research Division who matched the signature to Azazel. No other traces were ever found.
In 1875, Hogwarts Headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black encountered Azazel – Phineas did not recognize the man – within the Headmaster's office, speaking to one of the portraits. Before Phineas could react, Azazel stunned the man. When Phineas later woke up, he found the contents of the office, private apartment and those on his self to be intact and not missing. An investigation was led by the British DMLE for a few hours before the Council claimed authority and proceeded to take over the case. The results of their enquiries could not be retrieved, but it is known that none of the portraits claimed to have spoken to the man.
In 1932, Azazel's magical signature was found at the site of the Quidditch match between the Vratsa vultures and the Appleby arrows. Discrete forensic analysis revealed the bludgers, snitch, quaffle and the goalposts were charmed to ensure the Vultures lost.
In 1937, the military wizards of the Australian Ministry of Magic encountered Azazel at Uluru after the Ministry detected an unauthorized apparition into the country. He disapparated before the wizards could apprehend him.
Azazel's magical signature was found inside the Alexandrian Archives in the 'Magecraft: Elementals and Warlocks' section in the winter of 1940. No files were missing nor copies made. The situation left investigators stumped.
In 1967, He was found and attacked by Warrior Priests inside the Ise Grand Shrine, Mie prefecture, Japan, where the legendary Yata Mirror is purported to be stored. The Royal family refused to release any details, even to the Council.
In 1972, Azazel broke into the British Ministry of Magic and snuck into the Department of Mysteries and made away with a copy of every piece of research that the agents were working on. The theft was discovered too late and all attempts to locate the research were in vain.
In 1979, Azazel's magical signature was found by the British Aurors inside a Death Eater safe house filled with mundanes, a few Veela and werewolves beside the butchered bodies of thirteen death eaters.
In 1981, Albus Dumbledore witnessed Azazel and Voldemort engage in a magical duel where Lord Voldemort was wounded, resulting in him retreating via portkey.
The last confirmed sighting of Azazel was in 1988 at a temple in North India where he met several priests and left before ICW warriors could descend on the temple.
One word: UNKNOWN.
The man, or what appears to be a man, has fought on all sides of the war, assaulting the ICW, facing the Lady Flamel in magical combat, butchered Enforcers of the Shadows, sabotaged a Quidditch team AND faced the Dark Lord Voldemort in open combat.
We have yet to ascertain any common goal or goals that would allow us a glimpse into the mind of the most elusive figure in the magical world.
Organizations and Affiliations:
He has never declared any form of allegiance or affiliation with any organization or individual. In many cases, he appears to be a mercenary, although we have insufficient data to assume such.
The one time he faced Lady Flamel in combat, Azazel relied on a combination of Kotodama, the magical art of imbuing words with power, and advanced Dark Arts. His signature spell appeared to be two pairs of wings of black flames that he seemed to manipulate at will.
He is considered to be an unparalleled Ward breaker as he has broken into the Alexandrian Archives and the legendary Founder's Wards of Hogwarts and left the premises without being detected. The analysis of the barriers he placed around the ICW expedition team he attacked revealed tier-based and threading techniques considered so advanced that many of our systems now incorporate a reverse-engineered version of the techniques.
Notable Allies: NONE
The ICW, The Council, Knights of Walpurgis, Shadows and over a dozen magical governments.
Our analysts only have speculation and wild guesses, which I shall not repeat here as I prefer hard data and deductive reasoning to random musings.
What my analysts all agree on is the fact that Azazel seems to not care for any form of life and is merely playing an elaborate game which suits his whims. They believe - all of them - that he must have suffered a trauma of soul-crushing magnitude to turn him into what he is.
Might be wielding political power through proxies or Polyjuice-based costumes, although the ICW, under the command of the Council, conducted a thorough investigation into mundane and magical politics on all continents and found every politician to be above board.
If you believe in your wards, I suggest you tear them down, remove your ward stones and rebuild your ward stones, wards and shields from the ground up, preferably using soul, rune, blood, arcane, draconic, elemental, and any other means you can think of. Azazel has entered places of power with wards that were nearly considered unbreachable without significant effort and detection.
The man could have broken into the Council Chambers and we would not know.
Also ensure that the people next to you are trustworthy as any one of them might be an agent of Azazel.
Fabian closed the file with some vehemence although the file merely made a small sound. This was the third iteration of the file in as many decades and yet they were no closer to discerning the identity of the man/woman/vampire/whoever the hell it was. And it was quite heavy resources to gather the intel they needed. Some of them had to be sacrificed despite the uses they still had. Others… He hated this job half the damn time.
He could not reach out to any organisations without revealing his own and that was certainly not an option. They needed to operate in complete secrecy. Anything that was needed to achieve that was obtained without question. No matter the methods they needed to employ
Besides, contacting a third party was a moot point. Anybody he could contact regarding the details of this… ghost were none he needed nor wanted to talk to. Even in the best of circumstances, he knew he was not walking away from such a meeting without blood being spilt.
Rotating the file with the index finger of his right hand, Fabian stared at the blue colour. It had taken over fifteen contacts and seven agents to create this report. He knew, without a doubt, that all those sixteen contacts were now ashes in the wind. Cursing loudly, he picked up the file and threw it to the nearest wall. The file collided with a shelf, a ting sound reverberating off the glass as the same file fell to the floor.
Scowling at his behaviour, Fabian slammed his occlumentic shields to regain control of his emotions. Taking a deep breath, he summoned the thrown file with a wave of his wand. Placing the file aside, he leaned back and looked up at the ceiling.
Azazel. The name alone generated an automatic scowl on the faces of most enforcers. Considering that the name was synonymous with failure, it was no wonder the agents of several organisations hated it. Whoever it was, they were incredibly good at what they did. One had to look no further than the undetected entry into the Alexandrian Archive, the largest archives in the world and one of the most highly secured divisions of the ICW. Despite the fact that Azazel had stolen nothing, or at least appeared to, the ICW was out for blood. Even the bloody Council was heavily involved and their search dogs… Fabian shivered slightly.
Wiping his face, Fabian turned towards the rest of the entire room. Seventeen years… Over seventeen years had passed since then. Life was far less complicated in those days. Going out with friends, dinners and pranks with family… The thoughts, and memories they invoked, brought a smile to his face. They were difficult times but he would not trade them for all the gold in the world.
Glancing around, Fabian sometimes wondered if he had ever lived such a life or was it merely his imagination gone wild. Most days, he believed that this had always been his life, that he was born as an Agent. Trained to do nothing but complete one mission after another, discarding his emotions as nothing but tools to accomplish his tasks. His cheerful demeanour around this town had served to help people trust him. He snorted. They should be running away from me.
Giving himself a firm mental shake, Fabian shoved his self-recriminating thoughts to the back of his mind. If he had time to mope, he had time to finish his work. Deciding on a course of action, he turned to open his right drawer and his eyes fell on the pair of black wings that adorned the seamless white file and the piece of parchment stuck to the corner.
He blinked at the sight, remembering the man who sent it to him six months ago. The one man on earth he could trust to not have any malicious intentions towards the world. The only mage he knew to have taken on the Dark Lord Voldemort and caused the monster to retreat. The ex-officio Supreme Mugwump and the former Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore.
Lifting the file and placing it before him, Fabian stared at the piece of parchment. Written on it were the words:
Black wings. If you have to ask, you will never know. If you know, you need only ask.
A few seconds later, the answer struck him and Fabian cursed at the roof quite loudly. "Bugger me! Idiot! Moron! Daft, foolish, stupid son-of-a-gun!" A distant part of his mind thanked magic for silencing wards.
Looking at the pair of black wings emblazoned on the white file, he sighed heavily. Something must be wrong with me today. I keep forgetting my occlumentic emotional dampeners. A few seconds later, he hung his head. "Looks like the old man did not lose his omniscience despite his age." Chuckling at his inability to not recognise the clue – He should have, a part of his mind whispered harshly – he stared at the file and whispered, "Azazel".
The black wings and parchment glowed bright for a second before the file morphed into a six-inch high stack of files with a letter addressed to Fabian pinned at the top.
Fabian reached for the letter, knowing that the message contained within was going to change his world forever. Picking it up, he held it towards himself, watching the neat calligraphic letters of his name sparkle in the colours of the rainbow. He chuckled at the sight. Some things never changed. It was an oddly comforting thought. Flipping it over, he opened the letter. Staring at the plain black calligraphic words, he began reading the letter.
The realisation that the magical world would forever be changed did not strike him until the end.
Greetings on your recent promotion. I am quite sure that Rothford is placing heavy responsibilities on your shoulders, along with a serving of wonderfully imaginative curses. If not, well, I suppose you are indeed blessed by Lady Luck. As I have previously intimated to you, the initial plan for our mutual acquaintance has been discarded. I have deemed them to be worthless and would only generate more harm than good. New plans were devised to counter further alterations by third parties and related interests.
I have an important piece of information which I believe will both confound and amaze you. But before I give you the information, I have decided that it is time that I call in the life-debt you owe me.
Fabian frowned. It was a rather strange letter, the contents even more so. For Albus Dumbledore to call in debts of all things, was not just odd. It was an anomaly and anomalies did not escape his notice.
Fabian had offered his services many times, yet Dumbledore had brushed him off, stating that he would only collect his debts at the end of his days
He had considered it the old man's eccentric way of giving a non-answer. The letter was also strange for the fact that Albus Dumbledore had used the same masking techniques he taught the original members of Shadowfall.
He stared at the letter wondering if it was a good idea to read further. He had been around long enough to understand the man's ideals and thought process. Dumbledore was known for truly byzantine plots with over a hundred or more moving pieces. Any normal strategist would outright say that such a plan was utter madness and would never, ever work. Yet, to everyone's surprise, they always did. Back in the day, it had served to irritate most of the organisation.
Fabian gripped the letter firmly. He might not like the idea that Dumbledore was using him as part of some grand scheme but the old man had never failed to do his best to protect the world. Besides, he owed the man a life debt. His honor demanded he continued with the current course.
Taking a deep breath, he continued reading.
As promised, the information. You will be glad to know that the suspicion was indeed correct. The mimic ability that our mutual acquaintance demonstrates is ostensibly similar to what we know of. I have also discovered quite a conundrum of an answer.
His affinity and origin are one and the same. Paradox.
Fabian felt his throat go dry. An incarnation? He could not possibly leak this information to anyone. Not without severe consequences raining down on-
Wait. Staring at the letter again, Fabian scowled at the singular word. Paradox… What the fuck would that even mean? A walking-talking contradiction? Magical and not, at the same time? Defense and Offense simultaneously? Human and, at the same time, not? Occlumency at full strength, he ran through the list of possibilities, trying to make some sense of what he was reading, hoping he had once read a scroll or journal that might have contained any piece of information that would explain this. Ten minutes later, he sighed at finding nothing but useless trivia and hypothetical research and obscure theories that he had studied or memorised during his stint as an offshore member of Shadowfall.
Frustration mounting, he looked at the letter and continued from where he stopped reading.
In order to settle the life debt, I seek two assurances. One, I have it on good authority that He is taking an active interest in our mutual acquaintance. Unlike the Flamels, his intentions will be far from malicious. But knowing Him, and the events that surround His participation in events, the two of us are well aware of what might occur as a result of His involvement. If things appear to be dire, I need your word that you shall do your best to provide aid.
Next. When it is necessary, our mutual acquaintance is going to need access to the Archives. I leave it to your judgement on the path necessary to achieve that.
Do this, and I shall consider the debt to be paid back in full.
Fabian scowled as he dropped the folder back onto the desk. Access to the Archives? Did Dumbledore forget the security measures employed at the Archives? Forgetting the fact that the act was considered high treason and the culprit would be immediately executed – if they even bothered to capture us in the first place - it was far easier to try and attack a Guild than attempt such a foolish course of action.
This is madness.
But… Despite his thoughts to the contrary, Fabian knew refusal was not an option, and it was not just because he respected the old mage.
The very foundation of the Shadowfall organisation was built by Albus Dumbledore. In 1954, under the discretionary powers of the Supreme Mugwump, Dumbledore had commissioned, in utter secrecy, the creation of an organisation whose primary directive would be the security of the magical world and its inhabitants. The ICW Charter did give the Supreme Mugwump certain powers as long as said powers were used for the good of the magical world. Dumbledore had stretched the limits of the rule and Shadowfall was the end result.
Classified as Theta-Green, the knowledge of the very existence of Shadowfall was limited to Albus Dumbledore, and to the members themselves.
To everyone else, including the Guilds and even the fabled Council, Shadowfall did not exist. Every member of the organization served one singular purpose: To maintain the balance of the world, to protect when the titans clashed.
Shadowfall had begun with the motto:
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Who will guard the guards?
For most of the world, Fabian knew, the ICW was the supreme head of the magical world. But that was merely a fraction of the truth.
In reality, the ICW was led by the Seven International Guilds, schools that offered the best education across several fields of magecraft. Above them were the illusive Council, an organization that consisted of the true power brokers on the planet. The true leaders of the magical world and the only thing that stood against the Knights and the Shadows.
For reasons best known to himself, Albus Dumbledore had created Shadowfall to serve as a form of resistance against the titans of the world and to prevent collateral damage that was inevitably caused by their shadow wars between the Council and the Knights/Shadows. When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers most, the old man used to say. And now, after all these decades, the man was all but asking him to break the promises he made, ignore the very security he sought to-
The rune on his desk signalling an arrival at the front door.
Wand spinning into his arm, Fabian got up from the chair, walked past the shelves, through the now open narrow path and out the family room treaded towards the door. Reaching the door with sure, silent footsteps, his lips parted but hesitated to open the door as the bell rang again.
Being an Agent of Shadowfall came with its own share of perks and problems and, instinctually, Fabian had a feeling that this was going to be the latter. He had not felt any of his wards trigger at the approach. That meant the person or person standing at the door were definitely muggles. However, the nagging feeling at the back of his throat did not leave him.
Clamping down his occlumentic shields, Fabian held his wand firmly and parted his lips.
He paused. Again
The doorbell rang. Again.
Finally, Fabian uttered the command and the door clicked open. The door swung open slowly. Fabian held his wand arm, his right arm, behind his thigh just in case the visitors were muggles.
The door fully swung open and Fabian froze at the sight.
A young man stood at the doorstep, a wide grin on his lips, eyes lit up with amusement and a familiar wand spinning in his left hand.
Fabian felt his hold on reality shift for a moment, as he tried to make sense of everything that had just happened. There was no way, no possible way that this was happening. Not today of all days. Especially not when he had enough surprises to keep him occupied for a year. Merlin! Somebody up there must really hate me.
A moment later, Fabian regained his senses, eyes sharpening to razors. Staring at the familiar eyes swimming in face-splitting amusement, he pointed his wand at the visitor and angrily yelled, "YOU!"
The visitor's grin, if it was possible, widened further. "Me."
AN: And that is how it goes folks! Skad and me, well… after what could be millions of improvisations and discussions over a potential plot material decided to just go ahead with this idea. And here you have it, a story that begins with an OC!
Yes, yes, It is Fleur in the list, not JUST a Harry/Daphne. I know! (sigh!). Get over it!
Reviewers: WTF? WTF? WTF? 5 stories vanished!
AP: Well it was coming in for a long time. About time really!
Reviewers: WTF? WTF?
AP: That was elucidated rather well. Now, now, don't be impatient. You will get an update for the next chapter in a few years. Stay tuned!