Love and Prophecy
Part 1: Chapter 1 – Code Purple
Diedre Collins was bored. She thought joining the Department of Magical Law Enforcement as an Auror would lead to an exciting life of tracking down criminals. That was, until she got put on the no-maj beat. And it was road season. She had around a forty no-maj case load and she spent from March through May checking in on them. Lawrence, Kansas wasn't exactly what she had imagined when she thought of traveling as an Auror. Vegas maybe, San Francisco... Merlin, she'd prefer just about anywhere to here. Kansas doesn't even have a professional Quadpot team – so now she was forced to listen to games over the wireless in her free time. 'Oh well,' she thought. She was only in her 3rd year of service. She was sure that if she worked hard enough she would soon be promoted and off to something far more exciting.
Diedre spotted her target. A pretty blonde woman was walking down the street with a handsome husband and was that…oh yes, a baby! There was a small blue bundle in a stroller the woman was pushing. Well that was new. Last she had seen of this particular family, it had just been the wife and husband. She did a quick mental check of what to do next.
She confirmed that her disillusionment spell was well in place and she stood by the couple, who had stopped because the child was crying.
"Where is his binky?" The woman demanded on her husband. The man looked a little lost.
"I'm not sure – did he spit it out?" The baby cried louder.
"Find it, find it!" The woman said frantically while cooing and trying everything she could to calm the baby.
This was Diedre's chance. "Puero magicis," she whispered while pointing her wand towards the family. Nothing happened. 'Thank Merlin,' she thought. That would have been a ton of headache and paperwork, especially since the baby had already been born. She was turning away to leave when she saw a faint purple glimmer. It wasn't coming from the child, however, it was coming from the woman's visibly pregnant belly. 'Well crap,' Diedre thought. She quickly ducked behind a corner and apparated back to headquarters.
"Sir, we've got a Code Purple," the young Auror, flushed from running, reported to her department head, Marius Fischer.
"As in the Purpura Convention?" This caught the older man off guard.
The Purpura Convention was older than MACUSA; it stemmed from Great Britain, although the protocol associated with cases under the Convention had changed over time. Originally, when a magical infant was born to a prominent muggle (such as the royal family) alarms would go off at the ministry. In order to protect the Statute of Secrecy the child was smuggled away from the family and memories were altered to make it seem as though the mother had had a stillbirth. Stillbirths were common enough until modern times that nothing seemed terribly amiss to the muggles. The child would then be adopted into a pure-blood family and treated equally, if not better, than natural-born children. The child would eventually be told, of course, and granted a title in the Wizengamot and a generous stipend for life.
This practice ended in England after one queen birthed 12 magical children and none of her remaining 5 lived much longer than a day or two. The expense had simply been too much. Additionally, some of the children themselves had rallied against the law, thinking it cruel, especially to their mother. Those children were able to bring Great Britain into a time period of cooperation between Wizarding Britain and the muggle government.
MACUSA never shared such a relationship with the no-maj government of the United States. The structure of the government made it easier to hide any magical offspring of prominent figures. The Convention was then adapted to protect the wizarding children of an entirely different sort of no-maj: hunters.
The Department of Magical Law Enforcement had a small, but dedicated team that tracked hunters. Hunters were considered one of the greatest threats to Wizarding Society. Because of their work with the no-maj supernatural, they often got dangerously close to discovering actual magical communities.
Even more dangerous, however, is when a hunter gives birth to a magical child. There had simply been so many magical children killed by their families in the 1920s and 30s that MACUSA enacted the old Purpura Convention. Any magical child born to Hunters were immediately removed from the family and put up for adoption; the family would be obliviated - would be made to believe that they had miscarried or had a stillbirth and the child placed in a safe, wizarding, environment.
"Deidre, are you sure? Which hunter?" Marius knew Diedre to be a competent young woman, if not a bit flighty and a bit too obsessed with Quadpot. So far, she filed her reports and hadn't caused him much grief.
"Affirmative. It's the Campbell family – their daughter."
Recognition flashed in his eyes. "What was her name…Meredith, Margaret or something like that?"
"Mary sir. Mary Campbell. Mary Winchester now, she's married."
"She had fallen off my radar. I thought she gave up hunting years ago."
"True sir. When she married, in fact, however, with her family background. Plus, her husband is the only child of Henry Winchester."
"Of the American Men of Letters Winchesters?" Auror Fischer was now extremely alarmed. Even though the Men of Letters in the US had gone extinct a number of years ago, and the department that had monitored them had been disbanded, they were notorious enough in his field to raise some alarm bells in his head.
"That's correct. Sir, in training we covered the theory of what to do next, but I'm not even sure of the last time we've had to enact the Convention."
"It has been quite some time – almost fifteen years ago. First, how far along is she?"
"I'm not sure sir, she was showing. And she had a baby in a bassinet, so she couldn't be too far."
"That will be your first job then," replied Fischer, clearly not impressed by his subordinate. "Find out how far along she is and then we will have to start looking for a placement…"
"Are you serious?" Lily Potter questioned her husband. As a muggle-born, there had been many things that had surprised her about the old-fashioned nature of the wizarding world. She thought, after nine years of extensive research and reading, that those surprises would come less often. But this one just about put her over the edge. "They took the children away…that…that…that's barbaric!"
"Lils," began James, noticing that she was about to fly into one of her serious rages. That never ended well for anyone, but least of all James.
"No James, does everyone know about this? How is it possible that Professor Binns covered, at my last count, 62 goblin wars, but he didn't see fit to inform us that the Ministry steals children?!"
"Well, they don't anymore…"
James removed his glasses and squeezed the bridge of his nose. This lesson on the Potter family history had seriously derailed. He wasn't really very surprised by this. Family history had been a part of his lessons growing up. Surprisingly, one of his favorites, because it was his father that had taken great care in teaching him about the family. His father, although older than other parents, and also quite busy, always made sure to make those lessons special. James' mind shifted from minor frustration to sadness. Fleamont had died a year and a half ago, and yet, somehow, these memories still hit him as a sharp pain.
Lily saw the change in her husband and took some deep breaths. "I'm sorry James, we've gone off track. We were up to the late 17th century."
James pulled himself away from the grief, grateful to not have to dwell. "Yes, Wilelm Potter. He was actually one of those stolen children. He later would go on to fight for…"
"Wait, are you telling me that you are related to the royal family?" Lily had known that the Potter family was old and distinguished, if not somewhat tarnished by "higher society" for their affinity for muggle rights.
James looked at her blankly. "No, Wilelm was a Potter."
"But he was born to royal parents? Muggle royal parents?"
"And you descend directly from him?" Lily interrupted.
"That means that you also descend from those royal muggle parents," she interrupted again.
"He was born to royal parents, but he became a Potter."
There was clearly something being lost in translation.
"James, I don't understand. Did the Potters adopt him?"
"They didn't adopt him – they made him a Potter."
Lily stared. "How did they do that?"
A light went on in James' head. Oh.
"It's fallen completely out of practice now, especially since the Ministry ended this particular policy, but there is a ceremony – well, it's really more of a ritual, that brings a baby into a family. I don't know all the details – I never asked, but essentially the child inherits all the traits he would have if he had naturally been born to the family that is taking him in. He doesn't lose what he got from his birth parents, that would be barbaric, because something from those parents makes him magical. However, after the ceremony, the child is a member of the family. He will have the traits of his original parents, but he will not pass those along to any of his children. So Wilelm was a Potter, a pure-blood Potter, and I directly descend from him, but not his muggle parents."
James took Lily's stunned silence to mean that she understood now and moved on, "So after Wilelm came…"
Lily had stopped paying attention. She would make James go through the rest of this later, but while he continued to talk, her mind was going faster than a Cleansweep.
A week later, Lily was at the Ministry of Magic.
She had shirked some of her Order duties in that time doing research in the Ministry archives and talking to whomever she could about what she had since learned was called the Purpura Convention. James was not wrong when he said that the British Ministry of Magic had outlawed the practice – although it was slightly later than what he had stated. He failed to mention (he had since claimed ignorance on the entire topic) that the International Statute of Secrecy had passed just decades before the practice had been outlawed and the Convention was embedded in the original wording of that document. Other countries in Europe and around the world had continued using the Convention. While many, more recently, had also outlawed the practice sense, there were a few hold outs. The ministry in Italy being one (something to do with the Vatican and the Catholic Church) and the other being the United States.
Lily still didn't completely understand the magic behind the ritual that made a child the genetic offspring of four parents instead of two, but she was still horrified at the entire notion that a child could be separated from his or her parents and the parents being none-the-wiser. It seemed that there was nothing she could do – after all she wasn't American or Italian and had no abilities to change their laws and customs.
However, Lily was not one to give up so easily. With some help from a tricky little translation spell ('Thanks Remus,' she mentally acknowledged) she found what was required of the parents of the "adopted" child.
First, the adopting father had to be a pureblood - but only the father. It was the first time that Lily was thankful for the backwards, misogynistic way that the Wizarding world used to (alright, still did largely) work. She thought that the people who designed the ritual assumed that no pureblooded man would deign to marry beneath his station and the wife was simply not taken into account.
Second, the father had to prove that he was not entering into the agreement for his own personal financial gain. So, it had to be someone independently wealthy and the stipend provided by the Ministry was for the child, and the child alone.
Third, the adoption ritual had to be performed within 72 hours of the father taking custody of the child.
There were many other stipulations – the list was on parchment over 10 feet long. But it was towards the end of the list where Lily found the jackpot. The father was to be present for the birth of the child and the memory wipe of the birth family so that the child's magical core could be verified and the birth parents were deemed "acceptable." (Lily didn't even want to think about what had caused that particular addendum to be added.)
Although the Convention no longer applied in the United Kingdom, any magical family that fit the requirements could put themselves on the list of possible adoptive parents of these children. It wasn't terribly common that the Italian children got sent abroad; usually they were shifted around the magical city-states of the modern muggle country. In the case of the United States, it was actually preferred for the children to be sent abroad. Lily wasn't quite sure what a "hunter" was and why hunter parents were classified as top (and often only) priority in the American version of the Convention, but she couldn't imagine the rationale behind blindly removing a child from their parent's custody, lives, and minds.
James and Lily had married very young. With the looming war and the early death of their parents, it had just felt right. They did not have any intention of bringing a child into the world during this time of darkness. The inheritance James received from his parents made it possible for both Lily and James to forgo paying jobs and throw themselves entirely into working for the Order of the Phoenix. While Dumbledore was the leader of the group, Lily had quickly become instrumental in the daily running of the Order, using what James called her, "Headgirl hat" to organize and keep the group together. Naturally, spending their days secretly working against an evil dark lord did not seem ideal for raising a child. (Even though their friends and fellow Order members had already started – Alice and Frank had wasted no time in starting their own family.) Plus, as the couple always joked, they were still too focused on raising Sirius to take on another child.
In the last week of research, though, Lily had made up her mind. She and James would get on the list of potential adoptive parents for a child. There hadn't been a case in nearly fifteen years, so it was unlikely they would get a child anytime soon. If they were chosen, they would go through all the required parts of the adoption but modify the memory charm put on the actual parents. When the coast was clear, so to speak, and requirements met, they would return the child to his or her rightful parents. They could act as "guardian angels," and check to be sure the child was being treated well, but otherwise, they would right a wrong.
Hence Lily's trip to the Ministry. James had taken a little convincing, but eventually he came around; not only did he have a very hard time denying his wife anything once she put her mind to something, but he saw this as a great way to stick it to the system. She had all the documentation ready and she was headed to the Department of Wizarding Child Welfare to be officially placed on a list of potential adoptive parents.
While waiting to be approved for a child, Lily would start researching ways to get this old Convention overturned, but this way she felt like she was doing something. She could stop obsessing over this small part of Wizarding tradition and get back to what was most important – the Order and stopping Voldemort.
"Five months sir," Diedre reported.
Fischer looked up from his paperwork. "She's due in five months or is she five months along?" As a confirmed bachelor, talk of pregnancy and what he thought of as "witch issues," made the senior Auror pretty uncomfortable. But this was work, and he had been told by the President of MACUSA herself that it was a top priority.
"Five months along. But I have to say sir, she doesn't hunt anymore. Her parents have been deceased for seven years. I looked back on the field notes on her - her parents were killed by a demon and it doesn't appear as though that she has done anything to try and find that demon or any other no-maj supernatural creatures. And her husband, John, never even knew his father. Does this really fall under the Convention still?"
Auror Fischer could see where Diedre was leading with this. But she was young still and hadn't experienced the same things he had while in this department. "How far back in her case file have you read Collins?"
Diedre thought for a second. "I started around her 11th birthday – just to be thorough and to be sure that she never received acceptance to Ilvermorny." She knew that Mary had started her training young, but it was incomprehensible to the young Auror that any fighting training could begin before a child was old enough for a wand.
"And you didn't look further into her family's past?"
How annoying. She hated when he asked so many rapid-fire follow up questions. She had only been on the case for a day and a half now – there had been no time to go deeper. She took a deep breath and bit back the retort on the tip of her tongue. "No sir, I did not."
Fischer sighed. He had hoped that she would find this information on her own and understand what monsters these hunters were – especially the Campbells. He knew that the first couple of years on the hunter beat sometimes made Aurors question how dangerous these no-majs were. Some even came to see themselves as similar to the hunters – after all, many of the creatures that were hunted were a scourge to the communities they chose to terrorize. But underestimating them, as if they were just normal no-majs, was a very big mistake. Sometimes deadly – even to wizards.
"Come with me Collins – there is something you need to see."
The two Aurors headed over to the records room. Diedre had spent a good amount of time in this room – especially when in training. All trainee Aurors were required to spend six months in the Hunter division. It was meant to teach them not to underestimate no-majs. In reality, it usually ended up being a lesson in tedium. Aurors often joked that the first year was meant to scare them to death – with gruesome stories of Dark wizards. The second year was to bore them to death – that was when they had to spend time learning to process paperwork and read endless files on dangerous no-majs. And in their final year they were worked to death. Diedre felt like, even three years later, that she hadn't had a chance to catch up on sleep from her final year of training.
"Dirkwood, I need to see orb 784," Fischer said to the elderly clerk sitting at the reception desk.
"Right away sir," he replied. "Can I just see your badge?"
Fischer fought the urge to roll his eyes and produced his Auror badge.
"Everything seems to be in order," said the clerk, summoning the requested orb.
Fischer took Diedre over to one of the pensieve rooms to the left. They were actually quite lucky that there weren't any trainees in there doing research. He carefully put the memory inside and directed the younger woman to take a look.
"You're not going with me sir?" she asked.
"No, Diedre, I think once was more than enough for me," he replied.
That made Diedre a little nervous – she didn't think anything could shake Auror Fisher. She stuck her head in.
She was in a dark, dank room. There was water dripping on the floor. Drawn in the center of the room was an odd-looking rune – in the shape of a pentagram. Although she had taken Runes at Ilvermorny, Diedre didn't recognize it in this particular situation.
In the center of the run was a young woman – couldn't be older than 16 or 17. She was chained in place from hooks anchored in the concrete floor. Her brassy brown hair was strewn out in all directions away from her face. The look of terror on her face was impossible to miss.
"Uncle Samuel – please."
That was when Diedre noticed that there were three other men in the room. One looked to be asleep in a chair – no, she realized, he was tied to the chair. Carefully though, and he seemed otherwise unharmed. Another man, who appeared to be in his 20s, had tears in his eyes as he looked at the girl chained on the floor. He seemed sad, but resolute. The scariest of the three men was the one the girl had addressed. Middle-aged and bald, he had a look of someone so single-minded that they were almost manic. He was the one who responded to the girl.
"I don't know if you are possessed or if you've been making deals, girl. But either way, I'm putting an end to this."
"Neither! I told you – they said I was born this way – I've not…"
"No one is born evil, Liberty," he said severely. "You're not natural. Carry around this stick as if it were a proper weapon proving that you're not safe either – I can't allow you to continue to endanger this family. Now, I've tried every form of exorcism that I know. Time to try something new. Mark – the wire."
Mark, the younger man in the room quickly wiped away any evidence of wetness on his face and a look of grim determination. He grabbed a coil of wire from a shelf and started walking towards the oldest man. Samuel, while waiting, started examining what must have been the girl's wand.
The girl started mumbling to herself – Diedre could just make out her chanting, "alohomora."
'Oh no,' thought Diedre. Liberty was at just the wrong age for such an attempt. A little too old for the emotional magic outbursts of youth a little too young to have the control for non-verbal or wandless magic.
Diedre wasn't the only one to hear though – "Uncle Samuel" dropped the wand on the floor near his feet and turned his attention back on his niece.
"What was that girl? Are you trying, even now, in a devil's trap to perform your perversion? See, Mark, I know you had your doubts. But look at her – that is not your sweet baby cousin. Can't you just hear the evil rolling through her voice? This is why I've raised you as a hunter. Can you imagine – I let this thing babysit Mary? Imagine what she could have done to your little sister?"
With what must have been her final bit of strength, the quiet mumbling became bigger. "ALOHOMORA!" Liberty shouted. Her chains came loose and she was free. Samuel's eyes went big as she was able to leave the circle – he started towards her, trying to prevent her escape. But she was emboldened now, and even though Diedre was not present in the room, she could feel the girl's magic. "ACCIO," she exclaimed. Her wand flew into her hand and Samuel was pushed back with such might that he was thrown into the wall. He didn't get back up.
Liberty ran over to the man tied to a chair, and pulled out her wand, "Enervate."
"Dad," she said, as the man began to come to, "come on, we have to go." She was shaking now – the power of the moment had seemed to be disappointing. "Alohomora," she tried again, with no results on the ropes around her father's hands. "Alohomora!" She tried again – still no luck.
Mark, in all this, had run over to Samuel. He was examining his father with more and more frantic energy. No matter what he tried, the man wasn't coming to.
He turned to Liberty. "You bitch!" he cried, pulling a handgun out from his side. "What did you do to my father?" He started advancing on her.
"Run, Liberty!" the man in the chair coughed.
She listened. She started scrambling towards the stairs – struggling and tripping slightly on her feet.
'BANG,' sounded loudly from behind and struck Liberty in the back. 'BANG BANG,' again. She fell just at the bottom of the stairs, her wand rolling into the blood freely flowing from her body.
"NO!" yelled Diedre.
"That's enough," said Fischer. He pulled them out of the memory.
Diedre stumbled a couple feet away to the corner of the room and promptly lost the contents of her stomach.
"Come with me, Collins," Fischer said in a gruff voice while placing a gentle, guiding hand on her back. "I've got a calming draught in my office. Then we'll discuss what needs to be done with Mary Winchester's baby."
Even with the calming draught in her system, Diedre could feel the crawling of horror, anxiety, and sadness under her skin. She knew it was there, but she could no longer access those feelings, making it easier to focus on the matter at hand. All she could ask was, "Why? How was this possible?"
Fischer looked at her seriously from behind his desk. While he hadn't needed a calming draught, he had taken the opportunity to pour himself three fingers of fire-whiskey.
"I'm going to need you to be more specific," he growled. "Why was she murdered? Why wasn't it stopped? How was she not removed from her family, as most children born to hunters?"
Diedre didn't have any words. She just nodded, for him to continue on.
"Lionel Campbell was her father – the man you saw tied to the chair. He was a veteran, served as a pilot in the no-maj Second World War and in the Korean conflict. He was often away on tours of duty. Hadn't hunted in years. We thought she would be safe. Her mother was a squib – something we thought would help protect the child. She could explain the difference between natural witches and demonic ones. Evidently, she did explain. Lionel understood. He didn't love it, but he did love his daughter," Fischer stopped for a moment to finish his drink and pour himself another.
He took a deep breath, "He actively avoided his brother, Samuel, after Liberty got her letter, especially because her magic was so strong, as you could see. By the time she was 17 though, they thought that she had it under control. They went to the family reunion that summer – which, in the Campbell family was more of a yearly knowledge-sharing seminar and a time to brag about kills. One evening Liberty was watching Mary – that's right, the very Mary currently carrying a magical child, and she performed some little charm. I don't even know what it was. But she was caught. And then…"
He didn't need to keep speaking for Diedre to know what followed. Torture, the death of an innocent young witch. There was a pause.
"That memory came from Mark. The accidental magic was strong enough to catch the attention of the local Aurors. He thought that Liberty had killed his father, and in the heat of the moment, well you saw what happened. He was taken into custody and tried. So was Samuel. Mark was given life imprisonment. He died just a couple of years in. Samuel though – he was considered too dangerous, but not guilty of murder. His memory was wiped. The family's whole memory was wiped. Not a-one remembers her. But this is why we mustfollow the Convention. To the letter. Do you understand Diedre?"
She nodded. She felt sick, but she understood. She would do whatever it took to save this child from Liberty's fate. Mary and John Winchester could not be allowed to keep the child.
AN – Hello welcome to my Love and Prophecy! I have not written anything in many years, but due the pandemic, I'm finding myself with more free time than usual. I will use this bottom section to give a couple of notes.
First, this fic is being beta read by my good friend, whom I have known for just about as long as I have been writing! Thank you very much to her.
Second, I've been reading fanfics for almost two decades now. There are some fanfic tropes that I use that I know came from someone else, but I couldn't tell you who to save my life. I will note these things here. If you know who the author is, let me know, and I will be sure to credit. Also, an example. I have seen at least one, but probably many authors "cast" their original characters for the reader's visualization. I hope not to have many OCs in this fic, but here are the ones (that will reoccur) for this chapter.
Diedre Collins: Issa Rae (I know that she is known for comedy, but I can just feel her in this character – I think she has great dramatic chops, we just haven't had a chance to see them completely yet.)
Marius Fischer: Holt McCallany (as he is in Mindhunter)
Third, this fic is currently planned for three parts (We'll see how it's going to know if there will be more). I have parts one and two completed and will be updating once a week, with a two week break between each Part. This should give me enough time to finish writing Part 3 and to make sure that everything is well edited.
Fourth, I love reviews, but hate trolls. I have one Golden Rule in life that I try my best to follow (to varying success, I'll admit): Don't be a dick. Please try to also follow that rule when reviewing.
Lastly, if you go to my profile and see what else I've written, please be very sure to note the dates. The fanfic I wrote when I was 13? Not very good. Also, this is my first Supernatural fanfic, so if you're a Supernatural expert and would like to work as a sounding board, shoot me a PM.
And, of course, please read and review. 😊