Chapter 6

"You can't go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending."

-C.S. Lewis

Daily Prophet June 4st 2019

(Front Page)

It has been five years to the day that the spectacular battle of Hogwarts was concluded with the final death of He-who-must-not-be-named, at the hands of The-boy who-lived Harry Potter. After their spectacular final confrontation we have many more questions than answers. And the biggest mystery of all is still what happened to the boy who lived. Two months, after the final battle just after the final funeral he just disappeared and hasn't been seen since. There have been many theory's about what happened to Mr Potter, but few hard facts. None of his closest friends are talking. All they were willing to say when he disappeared was that after his hard fought battle against he who must not be named, he needed to get away and rest.

As for the rest of the golden trio Ronald Wesley joined up with the Aurors department rather than going back to Hogwarts to repeat his seventh year like so many others, and is one of there rising stars in the department. Single handedly catching several escaped death eaters and bringing them back in alive. While still finding time to become one of the most well know bachelors around town.

Hermione Granger, went back to Hogwarts for her seventh year, and managed to pass with the highest recorded scores in the history of the school. She then founded the Golden snitch company, with the aim of bringing muggle inventions and ideas into the to the magical world. Bringing several new revolutionary items to market. Such as the mobile telephone the washing machine, and electric light bulb. Making her what many people are thinking one of the richest people in Britain.

Now five years later with still no sign of our saviour, one as to asked what has happened to him? And yet our world has never been safer, our noble lords and the ministry have been working hard to help rebuild our world. Bringing back the prosperity that we all enjoyed, from before the rise of he who must not be named.

For the full story on our noble lords and the ministry's work see page 3-4.

Full story of Harry Potter and possible sightings on pages 6-11

Page 2

The grey man has struck again around the area of Knock-turn alley in the white district, the Grey Man assaulted, a lord and left him badly beaten. His unconscious body was found stuck to a wall both his arms and legs broken, when the Aurors found him his was almost incoherent with fear.

As our readers know from our diligent reporting the Grey man as been around for almost a year now. And has struck against upstanding citizens going about there business several times. Always with the same result. A badly beaten citizen strung up some where, incoherent with fear.

After this most recent attack against a lord no less, a new task force has been formed by the Aurors office to hunt down this Grey man. The new head of the department Ulick Gaunt had this to say.

" This menace to our society has run around for long enough, assaulting innocent citizens. Now we in the Aurors Department are giving this individual our full attention. I'm sure we will have him rounded up in short order. After the war we have retooled and redoubled our efforts, the Aurors Department has never been stronger. Only a handful of death eaters, haven't been caught. And we're running those last few too ground, has we speak. It's only a matter of time till they face justice. As for this so called Grey Man his time will come."

Strong words from the new department head, we look forward to seeing this vigilante brought to justice so we can all sleep a little easier in our beds at night.

October 4th 2019 2.22am

The witch formally known has Narcissa Malfoy, now known has Narcissa no name sighed as she shifted slightly in her spot fighting a losing battle trying to stay out of the rain and dry. Several drops of rain persistently dripped down from the over hang where she was trying her best to stay dry, and her cloak, which at one point she wouldn't have used to wipe the mud from her shoes was now all that was keeping her dry. The rest of the outfit wasn't much better, her corset dug uncomfortably into her side in several spots and, what would have at one point thought exposed far to much cleavage. Now she worked her not inconsiderable cleavage for all it was worth. Pride was a poor substitute for a hot meal and a warm place to sleep she had learned that lesson the hard way more than once over the last few years. Shifting her hand around she made sure the small knife was in the right spot, sown into the lining of her skirt. She had several other small blades hidden around her along with a stolen wand she had picked up several months back it was poor match for her but it worked and that was all that mattered.

Over the years she had learned that a sharp knife was worth allot in the back alleys of knock turn. For speed alone, most wizards that came down here were heavily into there cups, and not to dangerous. But you never knew when a trick would suddenly turn on you or some one would think you looked like you had something worth taking or something worse than a humans might try to stalk you as a late night snack. She had made that mistake twice before she learned that lesson, ending up laying beaten and bloody on the floor.

Reassured by the feel of slim steal blade against her leg. She waited for some one to come down to her patch, though with the weather the way it was she wasn't expecting much. She needed at least two more clients tonight and then she could call it a night. She thought to herself. That would mean enough money to pay off Tina and feed herself through the next couple of days. Shifting her feet a little trying to keep them warm and not think about the water she could feel leaking through one of her boots that her magic couldn't seem to fix with her poor wand. She Turned her mind back over the last couple of years, of the many downward turns her life had taken.

The last couple of years hadn't been kind to her, after the battle of Hogwarts her family had been stripped of almost all of there wealth by the ministry. During the trials all the hidden deals that her husband had made or forced people into had come out. This had destroyed what little social standing they had left, even after Harry Potter had spoken up for her family keeping them all out of Azkaban. They had, had almost no money and no one wanted to do business with them. Lucius had fallen into a deep depression, and ended his life several months after the trial.

She had come looking for him one evening and found him seated in his study, he had turned his wand on himself and blown the back of his head off. She absently noted from the blood splattered wall and the wound in the back of his head that it looked like he had used the reducto curse. Moving over to the desk she noted the letter clutched in his hand. The letter was from the goblins calling in several huge unpaid loans that she hadn't know about. Lucius had taken out the loans for the dark lord to help fill his war chest.

She had found herself strangely ambivalent about him ending himself like that, just one more cowardly act in a long line of dishonourable acts. There had never been any love between them even after 17 years of marriage. Just a common cause, and there son. The goblins had shown up the next morning and stripping the manor of everything of value that the ministry hadn't already taken, informing them that they had defaulted on there loans and that all of there property's were forfeit along with all items that they owned were to be sold to pay off there debts, and they had one week to vacate the property before, the new owners moved in. she and Draco had taken what few items she had hidden away for a rainy day and fled.

She had tried several of her so called friends for help. But no one would take them in there social standing had been destroyed and there name was cursed she even looked for Harry Potter hoping to find shelter in her old house, but he had disappeared several months earlier without a trace. But she was a daughter of the house of Black and determined to get back everything she had lost. They had moved to a small one bedroom apartment above a tanning shop. The smell was terrible, even with the best charms they could put up around there room but it was cheap and she knew she had to husband what little resources they had left. After several weeks she had managed to get a small job cleaning a potion shop after they closed, the pay was tiny but she managed to use the potion equipment once the owner trusted her enough to go home and leave her there alone and managed to make several difficult potions which she had then sold down knock turn alley for a tidy profit. This had been enough to keep them going for a time.

And then the final blow had come, Draco had been raging for months about the loss of there standing and wealth, taking no responsibility for what had happened. He blamed his farther and her for losing all of there wealth and status. Refusing to go out and work, not that many people would be willing to hire a 18 year old former death eater, who hadn't taken his NEWTS and who couldn't bend his pride enough to stop looking down on everyone (how he got sorted into Slytherin she could never understand.)

She had come home one morning after working all night to find that he had run off with all of there things, the last two pieces of jewellery she'd had, the Malfoy family grimoire, and even her wand which she had let him use while she was at work.

At first she had been afraid there had been a break in and looked for Draco everywhere. But after looking for him for, a day with no trace. She had to give up and had to admit that he had stolen there things and abandoned her.

That had been the final straw and she had fallen into a deep depression at that point. Stopped going to work and just lay in bed waiting for the end. After a week without payment the landlord had thrown her out onto the street. She wasn't sure what happened over the next several weeks her memory was a blur of cheap drink and cheaper men. She barely ate, living of refuse and sleeping in whatever dark alleys she could find without care, she was still amazed that something hadn't eaten her. Then she had fallen ill and didn't care. Burning with fever in some random alley she had lay down ready to die.

Tina had found her half dead weighing so little she had been able to carry her to her small home just off knock-turn alley in the white district. Tina saved her and over the course of several more weeks nursed her back to health. It was a month before the drugs and alcohol had flushed enough from her system enough to wonder why she had saved her? Then Tina had sat down with her with a cup of tea and explained her plan. She had recognised who she was when she had seen her laying in that alley way and realised allot of her clients would pay a great deal to sleep with a high bourne lady like her. It had taken allot of cajoling, but in the end she went along with it in spite of her heart break about Draco running off, she wanted to live and realised how close she had come to the void. Tina had given her several simple pieces of advice that had helped stir those dead coals of what she had thought was her soul.

In order to get back at the people who had put her here she needed to be alive.

So they had stuck a deal, she could have a spot by Tinas fire to sleep and she would help her enough to get her back on her feet. And she would pay ½ of her earnings for a year to cover costs and the help she would give her. after that she was free and clear. Both swearing a magical oath on it.

The first six months had been the hardest and most draining of her life, she lost count of how many times she had to bite her tongue and play her part Tina had taught her about the the real underbelly of knock-turn. From knock-turn alley which was considered upper class criminals by the rest of knock-turn, but the real underbelly, from red square to the black district. People who would slit her throat for a knught and not think twice of leaving her body buried in the trash the slavers, and gangs always looking for fresh meat, not to mention all the other creatures that live in there that were always looking for fresh meal, and those were some of the more pleasant scenarios that Tina had warned her off.

She had been beaten twice once by a group of other working girls who hadn't liked her moving into there patch, and once by a customer that wasn't happy with her service. She had always been good at reading people before, but those first 6 months on the streets had honed her instincts to a razors edge. Over the last two years she had slowly moved her way from red square arguably the worst part of the magical district, to the black district. Which was only one street away from knock-turn alley. Once she managed to get back on to the main strip of knock-turn alley she knew she could work her way into some low level lords bed as a mistress and once she had that she could work through him to bring down all of her enemies. The last 2 years she had thought of almost nothing else non-stop about how to bring down her enemies, while horrid sweaty wizards barely worthy of the name rutted on her body.

6 more months she thought to herself and she was sure she could figure out a way to get rid of Margiee and take over her prime spot on knock-turn perhaps take a few other girls under wing. It was worth thinking about... She smiled inwardly at the thought, though her eyes hadn't stopped roving the street noting the positions of the other working girls and any potential customers or dangerous new shadows that may have moved in the last few moments.

She felt a stir in the air, all the denizens learned the skill of hyper awareness quickly or they didn't survive long. Everyone along the strip felt it. Half way along the street a slim figure was making there way through the mist that had risen up as the rain was dying off. She noted that the mist didn't move with his passage and he seemed to be walking across the puddles along the walk way without disturbing the water that the rain storm had left behind. He moved with a dancers grace looking like he could spring in any direction at a moments notice. She noted that his clothing was simple but top notch a little lose but well cut, noticing the clothing allowed full freedom of movement. Not quite duelling robes but close. though she couldn't tell what type of material it was, which was strange since she prided her self on her fashion sense even as far has she had fallen. Several of the other girls made to walk into his path but for some reason seemed to lose interest in him as he drew level with them moving back to there original spots without a word. Narcissa noted the subtle piece of magic that the stranger was using, to avoid unwanted entanglements not to mention he wasn't using a wand to do it. The strangest thing was that she couldn't see his face as some sort of illusion of a swirling grey fog seemed to fill up his hood of his cloak completely obscuring his face.

When he was about 50 yards away she noted he had picked up a several heavys, from the white snakes gang, from the cut of there clothing. They were one of the most vicious of the gangs in knock-turn and everyone gave them a wide birth. The man some how seemed to realised that he had picked up a tail. Turning calmly he stood and waited for them in the middle of the street, balancing on the balls of his feet, hands lose at his sides. She noted that his cloak seemed to be moving on it's own as if in a gentle breeze, even though there was no wind in the alley at the moment. The seven men who were tailing him stopped for a moment unsure of what to do, prey didn't just turn and face predators, and they considered themselves apex predators. The moment seemed to stretch much longer than it should as the whole alleyway watched this silent exchange ready to bolt at the first sign of spell fire. After a long moment the toughs seemed to think better of there aims and turned down a side alley leaving the man alone. As soon as the last of the White Snakes disappeared tension in the alley relaxed back to it's normal levels.

The man waited a moment a few moments longer making sure they wouldn't be back, before he continued making his way along the narrow alley. As he drew level with her she realised he was coming towards her spot. Who ever this was he would be a rich client definitely powerful she might even be able to get a full galleon from him. Pushing her cloak back over her shoulders and pushing chest forward to best effect giving the man a good view of her cleavage, with a well practised sultry smile as she took a step forward into better light. He stopped slightly more than an arms length away from her, noting that she wouldn't be able to strike him with her knife without taking at least a full step to close with him. This close she could feel several powerful charms coming from him as well, again they were subtle and obviously crafted by a master of the craft, but in spite of the fact that she had always prided herself on her charm work, if he wasn't so close she wouldn't have noticed them. Magic seemed to flow from him in gentle waves, the effect was so tiny she doubted most any but the most skilled of magic users would have noticed it, she had only felt something like this when she had been around the dark lord. Though where his power was a crushing weight to all around him this reminded her of floating on a large body of water dangerous to be sure but still relaxing to just float on it. All these thoughts passed through her mind in the time it took him to come to a full stop in front of her. He seemed to be studying her, though with the hood it was hard to tell.

He reached forward with his gloved hand, which she noted matched the rest of his grey outfit. And seemed to flick his hand, and there was a large galleon held between his fingers. She frowned. Where had the coin come from, he didn't have his wand out and she hadn't felt any magic from him?

The large golden coin could feed her for a week. But her instincts were screaming at her to run, this was too much money. But her eyes never left the large golden coin.

"what do you want for that?"

She asked, trying to keep a level voice. Now that he was closer she recognised who he was. This was the second time they had met. Though last time she had been broken and bloody on the floor when he had driven off, three members of Nine Nails who were trying to shake her down for protection money when she had refused they had beaten her bloody and getting ready to rape her. She didn't remember much after that apart from allot of screaming. The next thing she knew she woke up at home fully healed on her tiny cot with no idea how she had gotten there. Tina hadn't seen anyone coming into her home, and Tina's wards hadn't activated, which she was quite miffed about. They had both worked hard on the wards to create a safe space for themselves. When she had told Tina what she remembered she had gone white as a sheet, and wouldn't talk about who she thought it was. It took allot of work to get her to talk about The Grey Man. She hadn't seen such fear of a name since Voldemort. He was only a whisper back then mostly thought to be some sort of myth. Everyone in knock-turn knew about him now though. No one knew who or what he was or what he was after, story's were only ever whispered about him. He seemed to be some sort of vigilante, though no one could work out his aims since he didn't seem to be trying to wipe out or run all the gangs. She had made a game of trying to figure out what his aims were, and even after two years of quietly looking into him she had no idea what his goals were. Some times he would target whole gangs wipe them out to the last man. Other times he would simply steal a single item from some one. Or protect certain areas of the alleys for a time. It was a maddening puzzle.

All the gangs wanted his head and there had been several attempts to catch him. All of them had failed... Badly.

Most had been killed but he always made sure there were at least a few survivors to tell others what had happened to them. All had there hands cut off and destroyed so they could never rise a wand against him again. What ever spell he used no healer had managed to regrow there hands again after the fact.

The bounty offered by the various gangs on his head now was up to a ridiculous amount, for anyone stupid enough to try and collect on it. Not that anyone but the most foolish or desperate were willing to try for him now.

Back when he had first appeared he had stopped several gangs incoming shipments, of illegal drugs, artefacts, stopped attacks on business for protection money. This had gone on for almost 3 months before the gangs had, had enough. They came up with what they thought was a clever plan to trap him.

She snorted to herself at the thought. The trap was in her opinion put together by a group of very young, very stupid Gryffindors. Putting out the word of a massive shipment of goods coming in through the London docks, they had thought they had put down bait they thought the grey man wouldn't be able to resist. Three gangs had put 40 thugs around the area several of them quite powerful. What happened next was still spoken of in hushed whispers. The thugs had waited till he went to check the delivery then sprung there trap. They'd thrown up a powerful

anti-apperation ward over the area, trapping him him in with them. What they hadn't thought of was that they were now trapped, in there with him. He tore through them like a hurricane not since the Dark Lord or Dumbledore had she heard of this level of power. All the thugs bar one had disappeared and hadn't been seen since. Only one had made it out alive and he couldn't remember what had happened to all the body's. Hands cut off, blubbering like a mad man he had run through the alleys shouting a very simple message.

"I'm coming for you."

The Grey Man had then gone on to make several very public attacks on those gangs that had tried to trap him. And single handedly torn them apart, till they lost all respect and money. Then he went after there suppliers and anyone else that was associated with them. Till the gangs broke apart and no one would have anything to do with them, for fear of the Grey Man turning his attention on them.

It was a brilliant plan, to force everyone to leave him alone. Everyone feared him since no one knew what he wanted or when he would show up. And when ever he did show up, everyone made haste to be some where else. Now the gangs knew well enough to leave him alone.

"I want to buy a beautiful woman a drink and talk, at the end of that talk I'll pay you 5 more galleons. If you decide to come home with me I'll pay considerably more."

The man's voice was barely above a whisper with some sort of strange dual tone to it. She found herself leaning forward slightly to hear him better. That much money just for talking would do allot for her. She could live of it for a couple of months if she was careful. But that money wouldn't do her much good if she was dead, she thought to herself. In the end she figured as long has she was in a public place she would be fine. Nodding she moved off from her spot to the closest bar that rented rooms by the hour. Looking back over her shoulder at her new shadow she said

"Your buying."