Dear Wizarding Britain
Disclaimer: I own nothing. If I did, I probably wouldn't be playing around on fanfiction.
A/N: This chapter takes place during November of 1998 and was largely written with the help of ChatGPT, as the part of my brain that determines creativity has taken a vacation. It's not a complete regurgitation of what ChatGPT produced, but that program did go a long way into putting my thoughts into a workable format so that I could get something in writing and posted.
A/N2: This chapter was updated to include an additional author's note at the end.
Daphne's hands trembled slightly as she finished reading the article. The truth of the situation was even worse than it had been while she had still been part of Wizarding Britain and was still attending Hogwarts. It was worse than she had imagined the situation to be when Astoria was still attending Hogwarts. The rampant injustice, the horrifying treatment of muggleborns, and the blatant disregard for the safety of young witches and wizards within Hogwarts left her feeling sickened. She knew that the situation was dire, but seeing it laid out in such stark terms was gut-wrenching.
As Harry had mentioned, they hadn't been aware of The Wizarding World News before. This publication seemed to provide a more accurate and unbiased view of the current state of affairs, a stark contrast to the propaganda-filled articles in The Daily Prophet.
With a heavy heart, Daphne realized that they couldn't simply ignore this any longer, no matter how much Harry had previously been determined that it was no longer his fight. It was within their power to do something and they had a responsibility to take action. Setting down the paper, she quickly made her way to find Harry, hoping to discuss their next steps.
She found him in the study, pacing back and forth with a deeply troubled expression. Without a word, she entered the room and closed the door behind her.
Harry looked up at her, his green eyes reflecting a mix of frustration, anger, and determination. "Did you read it?"
Daphne nodded solemnly. "Yes, Harry. It's worse than we thought."
He let out a frustrated sigh and ran a hand through his hair. "I can't believe I've allowed myself to be so blind to this for so long. I've been so focused on our own lives, our happiness, that I've missed the suffering of so many others."
Daphne stepped closer to him and placed a comforting hand on his arm. "It's not entirely your fault, Harry. You were trying to create a safe haven for yourself and your loved ones. But now that we know what's truly been happening, we can't turn a blind eye anymore."
Harry turned to face her, his expression resolute. "You're right. We can't. I have this power that no one else is capable of. To paraphrase Peter Parker's uncle, 'With power comes great responsibility,' I have the power to do something, so it's my responsibility to do something."
Daphne squeezed his arm gently. "What are you thinking, Harry?"
He took a deep breath. "We need to rally the people, expose the death eaters for what they truly are, and build a resistance against the current regime. I know I can't do it alone."
Daphne nodded in agreement. "We have friends, allies who share our concerns. And now that we have this paper as a source of information, we can start spreading the word."
Harry's eyes gleamed with determination. "We need to gather those who are willing to fight for change. People like us, who won't stand for the atrocities happening in our world."
Daphne felt a surge of pride and admiration for Harry. She had always known he was a remarkable person, his previous resolve to stay out of the war notwithstanding, but his commitment to justice and his unwavering resolve were truly inspiring. "So, where do we begin?"
Harry took a moment to think. "First, we need to try to get in contact with Kingsely to see if he's been able to put together that task force that I'd put the twins up to suggesting he do. Once we have a line of communication open with them, we can ask the twins to send us more magical cell phones that we can send over to Kingsley, so we'll be able to speak to them more securely. His experience should help us organize and gather information."
Daphne nodded, her mind racing with ideas. "We should also consider reaching out to foreign magical communities. If the current regime gains too much power, they might become a threat beyond our borders."
Harry's expression grew more serious. "You're right. We have to prevent this madness from spreading. And we can't do it alone, Daphne. We'll need to form alliances with the other magical ministries and unite against Riddle. I just hope he hasn't already planted his own spies."
Daphne placed her hands on either side of Harry's face, gently guiding his gaze to meet hers. "We can do this, Harry. We have each other, our friends, and our determination. We'll fight for a better future, for everyone who deserves to live without fear."
Harry's lips curved into a small, determined smile. "Let's do it, then. Let's begin the fight."
As they stood there, united by their purpose and resolve, Harry's thoughts briefly turned to the little life growing within Daphne. Their unborn child and little James needed her care and attention, and he couldn't risk her safety in this dangerous mission.
"Daphne," Harry began, his voice gentle yet firm, "I need to remind you of something important. You can't be on the front lines of this fight. You're carrying our child, and we also need you to take care of James. Your safety and their safety come first."
Daphne met his gaze, a mixture of determination and concern in her eyes. "I understand, Harry. I know I can't put our child and James at risk. But I'll support you in every way I can, from behind the scenes, along with Astoria, since she is just as vulnerable as I am right now."
Harry nodded, his gratitude evident in his expression. "Thank you, Daphne. Your support means the world to me."
With a plan forming in his mind, Harry continued, "Okay. I'm going to get in touch with Kingsley. Hopefully, he can help us find safe houses where the rescued victims can be kept safe. We'll need a network of secure locations to house those we rescue, because as much as I want to help them, I'm not willing to give up any more of this island for people I don't know."
Daphne nodded in agreement. "I can't blame you for that, Harry. We also don't have the additional housing available for anyone else to move here as it is."
Harry's grip on her hand tightened and he leaned down till their foreheads touched. "It's not only that, Daphne," he whispered solemnly, "I don't want to accidently bring anyone back here that could be a danger to you, no matter if they were victims or not. I have to be realistic about it, many of the victims of this war will blame me for not ending this war before it affected them."
Daphne smiled softly, her resolve unwavering. "I know you'll keep us safe, Harry. And I'll keep myself, our child, and James safe while you're doing what you can to keep us and the rest of the world safe."
With their determination bolstered and a plan in motion, Harry and Daphne left the study, ready to face the challenges ahead. They held onto the promise of a better future, one where justice prevailed and darkness was replaced with hope. And as they walked side by side, they knew that even though Daphne couldn't be on the front lines, her support and strength were just as essential to their cause.
Two weeks had passed since Harry and Daphne had read the shocking article in The Wizarding World News. In that time, they met with the rest of the friends on the island (Blaise and Hermione; Luna and Neville; and Astoria) and called the twins on the phone to keep them in the loop. The twins were ecstatic, since they'd been spending the last several months on a few inventions that could be used against the Death Eaters, though Hermione seemed to be the most relieved to finally be doing something to fight the war.
Everyone had been working tirelessly to make contacts, gather information, and plan their next steps. The urgency of the situation demanded swift action, and Harry had sent an owl with a package containing a magical cell phone along with instructions for use to Kingsley Shacklebolt; they'd managed to set up a face-to-face meet time in order to try to iron out some details.
Late one evening, under the cover of darkness, Harry made his way to the predetermined meeting spot. He had used his metamorphmagus skills to alter his appearance, masking his identity even from Kingsley. As he arrived, he saw a tall figure waiting in the shadows.
"Harry?" Kingsley's deep voice rumbled as he stepped forward, his eyes narrowing as he scrutinized the disguised figure before him.
"Kingsley," Harry replied, his voice subtly altered to maintain his anonymity. "I appreciate your willingness to meet."
Kingsley's expression softened as he recognized the seriousness of the situation. "Times are dire, my friend. As much as it pains me to involve you in this war, we must do all we can to fight against the darkness that has consumed our world."
The two wizards stood facing each other, the tension in the air palpable. Kingsley's eyes bore into Harry's, searching for any sign of recognition.
Harry took a deep breath, breaking the silence. "I know you have questions to verify my identity. Ask whatever you need to."
Kingsley nodded, his gaze unwavering. "All right. Who always tripped over the troll-leg umbrella stand?"
"Tonks," Harry answered.
Kingsley's stern expression relaxed slightly. "And who replaced Alastor Moody as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor during Harry's fifth year?"
"Professor Dolores Umbridge," Harry replied.
Kingsley's gaze softened as he finally seemed to be satisfied with the answers. "It's good to see you, Harry. I must admit, I didn't recognize you at first."
Harry's disguise slipped, revealing his genuine appearance, minus the scar which had been surgically removed with muggle means the summer before what would have been his sixth year. "I wanted to ensure our meeting remained as secret as possible and, of course, didn't want anyone to recognize me," Harry said, before changing his features back.
They walked a few paces, moving away from the main path. Once they were a safe distance from prying ears, Kingsley turned to Harry. "The situation is worse than ever. As you know, the Ministry has been taken over by "You-Know-Who, and his control is absolute. We're operating as a small, underground task force of squibs and muggleborns who managed to escape in the years prior."
Harry's jaw tightened. "The Ministry was always a puppet under their control," Harry stated, remembering how close Lucius Malfoy had always been to Fudge. "We can't let this continue. We need to put an end to it and do all we can to prevent the Ministry from becoming so corrupt in the future."
Kingsley's eyes gleamed with determination. "Agreed. We have to work together, gather information, and expose their crimes. But we can't utter his name. The taboo is everywhere."
Harry nodded, "I'm tempted to use that taboo against him, but it's going to take some planning. I've been calling him Riddle or Dork Lord, when I have to mention him at all."
They found a secluded spot, hidden from view by dense trees. Seating themselves on a fallen log, the tension began to ease, replaced by a shared understanding of their mission.
"I've been doing some digging," Kingsley began, "and it seems the pureblood families involved have established connections with international criminal networks. They're profiting from selling these young witches and wizards into human trafficking. Sadly, it seems to be something that has always been going on, but on a much larger scale than before. There's no one to keep them in check now."
Harry's expression darkened. "They're exploiting the fact that Riddle won't care about the missing muggleborns. And the wait it's going at Hogwarts, it sounds like he's not even keeping them in check when it comes to the pureblood children either."
"Indeed," Kingsley confirmed. "We need to find the evidence that we can follow in order to find the ringleaders and save as many lives as possible."
Harry leaned forward, his voice low and intense. "I have the beginnings of a plan. I can infiltrate Malfoy Manor, see if I can overhear any information about it that might lead us to a location."
Kingsley raised an eyebrow. "Malfoy Manor? That's a high-security location."
A confident smile tugged at the corner of Harry's lips. "I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I won't disclose all of them, but I feel confident that I can bypass their wards."
Kingsley's curiosity was piqued. "Care to share?"
Harry hesitated for a moment before relenting. "I came into a unique ability when I came of age, it seems to be a rare form of metamorphmagus ability. Not only do I have the normal ability to change my appearance, but I can transform into any animal I choose, which should allow me to bypass most wards, so long as there are no animagus wards in place, which I doubt they have at Malfoy Manor, since Wormtail is probably in residence."
Kingsley's eyes widened in surprise. "Metamorphmagus and unlimited animagus?"
Harry nodded. "Exactly. It's an ability I've kept hidden from all but my very close friends, for obvious reasons, and I believe it will give me an advantage."
Kingsley's expression shifted from surprise to intrigue. "That could indeed prove useful." Then he immediately offered an oath of secrecy on the matter, so that he couldn't accidentally let it slip, which Harry was grateful for.
"Once inside, I'll gather information, monitor their activities, and see if I can find any leads on the whereabouts of the captured muggleborns," Harry explained.
Kingsley leaned back, his thoughtful gaze fixed on Harry. "It's a risky plan, but it might be our best shot. Just promise me you'll prioritize your safety."
Harry met Kingsley's gaze with determination. "I will. And if I find any prisoners, I'll make plans to go back to free them at a later time, no matter how much I'd prefer to get them out while I'm there."
Kingsley nodded approvingly. "Good. We'll coordinate closely. Be prepared for anything."
As they finalized their plan, a renewed sense of purpose settled over them. The fight against Voldemort's regime had begun, and Harry was ready to use every skill at his disposal to bring justice to those who had suffered. With Kingsley's support, they were determined to make a difference, one step at a time.
The night was shrouded in darkness as Harry cautiously approached the imposing wards of Malfoy Manor. He had spent hours poring over the layout of the Manor and analyzing potential weaknesses in its defenses. A decision had been made: he would transform into an animal that would hopefully bypass the wards, granting him access to the secrets held within.
Drawing upon his Metamorphmagus/animagus abilities, Harry's form shimmered and shifted until he took the shape of a sleek and sinuous snake. His scales were a deep emerald green, glistening in the dim moonlight. Slithering silently through the underbrush, he moved with the grace and stealth of his serpentine form.
The wards of the Manor crackled and hummed with powerful magic as Harry drew closer. He knew that the magical protections were formidable, but he hoped that his serpent guise would allow him to slip through undetected. As he approached the perimeter of the wards, he felt very little resistance against his scaled body, like a sheer, soap bubble pushing back against his advance.
Pressing on with unwavering determination, Harry continued to move closer to the Manor. His senses were attuned to the surroundings, and he could hear the faint sounds of voices and footsteps from within. He knew he was getting closer to the heart of the enemy's lair.
Suddenly, emerging from the shadows was a massive snake, Nagini. Her enormous form coiled and uncoiled as she moved, and her yellow eyes fixed upon Harry's serpentine form, narrowing with curiosity and hostility.
"Who trespasses in my domain?" Nagini's voice hissed, her forked tongue flickering in the air.
Harry's heart quickened as he met Nagini's gaze. He had not considered the possibility of encountering Voldemort's serpent familiar during this mission. He knew he had to tread carefully to avoid exposing his identity.
Cautiously, he replied, "I mean no harm. I'm simply passing through."
Nagini's gaze intensified, suspicion evident in her eyes. "Your scent is foreign to me. You are not one of us."
Harry's mind raced as he considered his options. He needed to divert Nagini's attention without revealing his true self. In a swift and daring motion, he shifted his form once more, this time transforming into an immense and terrifying basilisk, towering before Nagini.
Nagini recoiled, her hiss betraying her surprise and anger. "How dare you take the form of a basilisk in my presence!"
With a controlled hiss, Harry advanced toward Nagini, his massive form asserting dominance. The air grew tense as the two serpents faced off, a clash of ancient powers and instincts.
Nagini's defiance wavered, and she retreated slightly, her gaze flickering between the towering basilisk before her and the wards that protected her from harm.
Driven by the power of his new form, Harry lunged forward, fangs meeting scales in a clash that reverberated with magic. Nagini's defiant hiss transformed into a pained cry as the basilisk's venom coursed through her veins.
The serpent's struggles weakened, and her body slumped to the ground. The stillness of the night was abruptly shattered by a blood-curdling shriek that reverberated through the air. The lifeless form of Nagini lay sprawled on the ground, her malevolent presence extinguished. The echoes of her demise seemed to ripple through the darkness, carrying a message of both defiance and upheaval.
Harry's heart raced as he realized the magnitude of his actions. He had inadvertently destroyed a creature bound by dark magic. A mix of triumph and uncertainty washed over him as he realized the consequences of his actions. He had managed to eliminate one of Voldemort's most powerful allies, but the repercussions were already in motion. He knew he had to act quickly.
Without hesitation, he transformed into his phoenix form, a fiery blaze consuming his body as he soared upwards and then vanished from sight, leaving behind only a fading trail of sparks that covered up the evidence of a large basilisk having been present, other than the remains of Nagini's mangled body.
The phoenix's wings carried him to a nearby tree just outside the Manor's protective wards. As he landed gracefully on a sturdy branch, he shifted his form once more, becoming a raven with sleek, ebony feathers.
From his vantage point, Harry surveyed the scene below. Wandlight danced across the grounds as Death Eaters emerged from the shadows, their voices carrying a mix of urgency and confusion.
"Search the area! Find out what happened!" Voldemort's cold command cut through the night air, his presence casting a looming shadow over his followers.
The Death Eaters fanned out, their wands casting eerie glows as they scoured the surroundings for any signs of intrusion. The absence of Nagini's menacing aura seemed to unnerve them, their confidence waning.
The raven observed the chaos below with keen interest. His actions had set off a chain of events he could hardly control. He watched as the Death Eaters communicated in hushed, anxious tones, attempting to piece together the puzzle before them.
Minutes stretched on, and the tension among the Death Eaters grew palpable. Voldemort's influence was both a driving force and a shroud of fear, compelling them to find answers.
Then, as if sensing a shift in the wind, Voldemort's voice resonated once more. "You will not rest until you have found the answer to what happened here. No one will be given any mercy should you fail me. Now go." Voldemort looked down at Nagini's remains with a snarl. It seems he will need to determine if his other horcruxes were safe. He thought it was too big a coincidence that someone would come here only to kill his snake.
With a surge of dark magic, Voldemort apparated away, leaving behind an unsettled air surrounding the Death Eaters that hung like a heavy fog.
The raven remained perched on the branch, its gaze unwavering as it surveyed the aftermath. The weight of the night's events settled upon Harry's mind, a stark reminder of the danger he had willingly embraced.
His thoughts turned to his wife and friends that he'd left behind on the island—the companions who had become his family. He knew the path ahead was fraught with peril, but he was resolute in his mission. The time had come to confront the darkness that had taken hold of Wizarding Britain, to uncover the truth that lay hidden in the shadows.
And so, as the stars continued to shimmer in the night sky, Harry's raven form remained vigilant, a silent witness to the unfolding of a new chapter in the battle against the forces of darkness.
The night air had regained its stillness, the tension that had hung in the atmosphere slowly dissipating. Harry, perched as a raven in the tree, observed the aftermath of the Death Eaters' departure. Once the silence had settled and the Manor seemed to have regained a semblance of calm, he decided to take action.
With a silent transformation, he morphed into a small black kitten, his body now compact and nimble. The kitten's claws easily found purchase on the rough bark of the tree as he descended with careful precision. The transition from a bird's body to that of a feline felt both strange and familiar, a testament to his repeated practice of honing his metamorphmagus/animagus skills.
Harry's small form landed gracefully on the ground, his keen senses attuned to the surroundings. He crept forward with cautious steps, carefully avoiding the place he confronted Nagini, his eyes fixed on the towering edifice of Malfoy Manor. To his surprise, the protective wards that had shielded the Manor's grounds posed no longer gave even a hint of hindrance to his entry.
Staying close to the shadows, he slinked forward, his black fur blending seamlessly into the darkness. The windows and doors loomed before him, but he kept to the peripheral, avoiding direct paths of sight. His feline senses guided him as he navigated the unfamiliar terrain.
After a series of stealthy maneuvers, Harry found himself at the Manor's kitchens. The aroma of cooking wafted through the air, a stark contrast to the turmoil that had engulfed the outside world. The house elves were bustling about, their movements quick and efficient as they prepared a feast fit for royalty. He considered that he may have to pilfer through the leftovers, if he had to stay here undercover for too long.
Taking advantage of the commotion, Harry seized the opportunity to slip past the kitchen door. His small size allowed him to go unnoticed amidst the flurry of activity. Swiftly and smoothly, he traversed the interior of the Manor, blending in with the décor as he changed into a chameleon, adjusting his colors to match the surroundings.
The chameleon's adaptation skills allowed Harry to move inconspicuously along the walls. He moved upward with deliberate care, his eyes scanning for any signs of intrusion. Many people, he knew, forgot to look up, and he intended to exploit that fact to his advantage.
As he inched along the walls, he finally found his way to a corridor that led him toward his destination—the dungeons. The stone walls exuded an eerie coldness, the atmosphere heavy with history and secrets.
With each cautious step, Harry descended deeper into the bowels of the Manor. His chameleon form clung to the stone as he crawled through the dimly lit corridor. His senses heightened as he detected a faint scent that sent a shiver down his spine—dampness, fear, and despair. It felt as if a dementor was in residence to keep the prisoners subdued.
The dungeons lay ahead, a foreboding presence that spoke of captivity and suffering. As he approached the iron-bound door, Harry's heart raced, his determination to uncover the truth overcoming his trepidation.
He shifted back into his kitten form, after making sure there were no spying portraits, his claws making only the softest of sounds as he padded closer to the door. It was slightly ajar, granting him a narrow view of the interior. His ears pricked as he strained to catch any sounds from within.
In the depths of the dungeons, what he saw both horrified and fueled his determination. Prisoners, some of them children, most of the adults were women, their faces etched with desperation, stared back at him with hollow eyes. These were the innocent victims of a malevolent regime, trapped in a nightmare beyond their control.
Harry's resolve hardened as he realized the enormity of the task before him. He needed to find more information to unravel the threads of darkness that had ensnared the wizarding world. He couldn't do it alone, but he had already taken the first steps—steps that would lead him to confrontations and revelations he could hardly imagine.
The fate of the captives weighed heavily on his mind, and as he withdrew from the doorway, he knew that his journey had only just begun. With a quiet determination, he transformed once more, this time into a whisper of wind that fluttered through the corridors, carrying with it the promise of hope and the silent oath to bring justice to those who had suffered in silence.
A/N: In response to a recent review accusing me of plagiarizing the AI program, this is the response I sent to them and I'm copying it here too, should anyone else feel the same way.
Thanks for your comment. I think we have different definitions of plagiarism, since they were my ideas that I input into the AI program that I then added to and rewrote portions of what was produced from it. My understanding of the AI program is that I still own any ideas that is produced from it; therefore, it is not technically plagiarism, as the idea still came from myself and no one else.
However, I'll concede that that I wasn't happy to have resorted to trying out the AI program while I was stuck on how to convey the direction that I was trying to take the story. I wish I had had the time to work it out on my own, but I have a full-time job, I'm a wife and a mother, and the creative part of my brain has been too distracted to put to words the story I wanted to share. It had been several weeks since I'd updated, so I feel that posting something was better than nothing.
This is the first story (and Muggle Adventures) that I have even used the AI program that my coworkers have been talking about (of which has totaled the wedding scene in Chapter 27, what was uploaded for Chapter 28 - with my own edits and changes - and the most recent Muggle Adventures chapter). I don't have a fondness for the style it writes, and I have had to input my ideas multiple different ways in order for it to produce the parts that I did use.
I suppose I need to write an extra disclaimer to remind everyone that I started writing these stories for my own entertainment and if other folks enjoy them too, then good for them, but my mood and the writing that I do manage to produce is not contingent on how many followers/subscribers/likes/reviews I have. I'm not one of those authors that are begging for reviews before releasing another chapter. If folks want to leave a review, great; if they don't want to, that's fine too. If people like my stories, whether I'm writing it word-for-word myself or supplementing with an AI program, then great; if they share your opinion, that's fine too.
I hope you have a great rest of your day.