Author's Note: I was surprised to see the response to the prologue of this story. I'm glad that so many people are interested in my story so far. I'd really like to hear my readers' thoughts on this story. Any thoughts, questions, criticisms? I hope you like this next chapter! =o)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
British Department of Mysteries - July 28, 1978 - 8:30 pm
Dorea sat calmly at the bedside of the little girl that had come through the Veil, impatiently waiting as the Healer in the Unspeakables' Hospital Wing looked over her. It had been discovered that the child was simply knocked out from a stupefy curse. While they had removed the curse, they had spelled her into a sleeping state until they could address any health issues the small child might have had. It was apparent in the way Adelaide Montgomery, the Healer, held herself that she was very angry with the state of the child's health., but the woman had yet to share anything with Dorea.
Adelaide gently lifted the child's hand and used her wand to prick a tiny finger, drawing just a few drops of blood to add to a vial of bright blue potion on the bedside. Healing the girl's finger, the Healer looked back to the potion, waiting impatiently until it turned from bright blue to a sickly-looking yellow hue. She glanced at Dorea before taking out a blank piece of parchment and dropping precisely ten drops of the potion upon it. With that complete, Adelaide turned to Dorea and sighed softly. "This poor child…whomever her guardians are, they should be sent to Azkaban. She is so malnourished and underweight, not to mention the bruises and evidence of previously broken bones. And then that scar…" The Healer broke off with another sigh, glancing at the parchment where the potion is beginning to work.
Dorea reached over and grasped the unconscious child's hand, gently rubbing the top of her hand. "What about the scar, Adelaide?" The Healer tore her eyes away from the parchment to look at Dorea to whisper intently, "It's a curse scar. Someone tried to use the killing curse on this child. How she survived is a mystery…" A gasp escaped Dorea before she could stop herself. "Poor little thing. It might be best if we keep that to ourselves, Adelaide. You know how the others would be if they found out," she whispered back, "How old is she?" "We'll know in a moment, Dorea," Adelaide murmured before looking back at the parchment.
It was tense for the next few minutes as the two women waited impatiently for the potion to finish its job. Finally the parchment stopped glowing and writing began to appear upon it. Adelaide glanced at her friend once before reaching for the parchment to see what it would reveal about their little guest. A startled gasp escaped the Healer as she stared wide-eyed at the potion-treated parchment before looking back at her friend. Dorea looked at Adelaide impatiently before taking the parchment from her and reading it herself. There were several thing written on there, but the most important facts that caught Dorea's eyes were these. The little girl was nearly four years old, her birthday being in three days. And yet, according to this, she would not even be born for six years. And in what was perhaps the most important point of all, she was her grandchild, the child of her son and his wife. Quickly making a decision, Dorea stood up and gathered the small child in her arms, stating out loud. "As Matriarch of the most Ancient and Honorable House of Potter, I, Dorea Elise Black Potter, recognize Vivienne Grace Potter as my blood and take her into my protection, for so long as breath is in my body and blood in my veins. So mote it be." Adelaide stared at her friend and whispered in response as a faint glow outlined the pair, "So mote it be."
A disgruntled sigh from the doorway caught the attention of both woman, drawing their eyes to the tall, red-headed male standing there, shaking his head. "You would make a claim on the child before she could be questioned, Dorea," he muttered, shaking his head once more. Dark gray eyes narrowed as Dorea drew her newly discovered granddaughter's small body closer, "She is only three, Prewett. I wouldn't have let you question her even if she wasn't of my blood." A chuckle escaped the man as he straightened up, "Relax, Dorea, I don't blame you for it. I would have done the same. In fact, I, Alexander Bilius Prewett, scion of the Honorable House of Prewett, vow to aid Dorea Elise Black Potter in her quest to protect her grandchild, Vivienne Grace Potter from all that would seek to harm her. So mote it be." The two startled woman uttered the customary response before shaking themselves of their surprise.
Adelaide laughed softly at the look on her old friend's face, "Alex, you old softy, you just love to pull one over on Dorea, don't you?" "Of course, Addie," the redhead laughed as well before becoming serious once more, "and now that that is out of the way, let's move on to more serious matters. Dorea, I would really like another set of eyes watching while I interrogate the woman who came through the veil after the child. Knowing what the Ministry used to use the Veil for in the past, we can only assume that she is a criminal of some sort." Pressing a soft kiss on the forehead of her sleeping grandchild, Dorea tucked the little girl back into the bed, nodding once at Adelaide before turning back to Alex, "I wouldn't miss this for the world, Alex." And with that, both Alex and Dorea swept out of the room, leaving Adelaide to watch over her young charge.
With a groan, Marianna Crouch awakened with a start and tried to lift a hand to cover her eyes from the bright light shining in them. Tried, being the operative word, as Marianna discovered that she was restrained with what was obviously a spell. Her brown eyes widened in mute shock as she caught sight of a tall, red-haired male standing before her. She didn't understand what was going on. Barty was supposed to meet her after she died. So why was Alexander Prewett standing in front of her? The last she had heard of him was his death at the hands of several Death Eaters.
Sitting down at the table across from her, the Unspeakable regarded Marianna calmly as he clasped his hands in front of him. "Well, young lady, I believe that you and I are going to get to know each other quite well. Agent Harris, if you would be so kind…" Marianna opened her mouth to say something, and was cut off by several drops of a tasteless potion being tossed in as a hand held her by the hair. Choking slightly on the liquid, she swallowed convulsively before feeling it begin to take effect, leaving her with a hazy feeling swamping her head.
Dispassionately, Alexander Prewett watched as the Veritaserum took effect, the young woman's eyes taking on a glazed look. Nodding once to Dorea, who triggered the dictating quill to begin taking notes, he looked to their prisoner and spoke firmly, "Date: Friday, July 28th, 1978 at 9 pm in the evening…this is Unspeakable Agent Alexander Prewett for the Department of Mysteries interrogating a prisoner sent through the Veil of Death under the influence of Veritaserum. Witnesses are Unspeakable Agent Dorea Potter and Unspeakable Agent Clark Harris. First question: Prisoner, please state your name and date of birth for the record."
Marianna tried, but found herself unable to stop from answering truthfully, "My name is Marianna Delores Figg Crouch, born on April 28th, 1958." She couldn't focus, barely even noticed as the three Unspeakables in the room exchanged looks before beginning the questioning again. "Why did you go through the Veil of Death, Marianna?"
"I wanted to join my Barty in the afterlife. I miss him so much," she answered as her head lolled back against the chair. "Your Barty? What happened to Barty?" "He died in Azkaban after his creep of a father sentenced him to life for his part in the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom on November 1, 1981." Alexander Prewett glanced at Dorea again before asking another question, "Why did Barty torture the Longbottoms, Marianna?" A strange laugh escaped the drugged woman as she answered him, "Because that was the orders the Dark Lord gave him and the Lestranges before he was killed by the Girl-Who-Lived."
"The Girl-Who-Lived?" "Oh, yes, that little Potter brat. She killed the Dark Lord when she should have died. This is all her fault." Alexander frowned slightly before leaning closer to ask more questions, "Please tell us everything you know about the day the Dark Lord was murdered, Marianna." Marianna lifted her head and focused hazy eyes on the man questioning her, "It was October 31, 1981 when the Dark Lord decided to attack the Potters at Godric's Hollow in Wales himself. No one really knew why he decided to attack that blood traitor James Potter and his mudblood wife Lily Potter, but he killed them both. And then he tried to kill their one-year old daughter, Vivienne, but when he fired the killing curse at her, it rebounded and destroyed him instead. Not even the great Albus Dumbledore seemed to know why."
Dorea closed her eyes at hearing the news of her son and daughter-in-law's death before regaining her composure long enough to listen to the next question given to the young woman. "How did Vivienne Potter end up going through the Veil?" Another laugh escaped Marianna as she answered him, "I tossed her through it. It's all her fault that the Dark Lord and my Barty died. She deserved to die, but it seems she can't even do that. Maybe I should have left her with her muggle relatives. She made a rather interesting house elf for the disgusting beasts." "What do you mean about muggle relatives and a house elf?" The question escaped Dorea before she could stop herself. An insane giggle escaped the drugged woman again, "Oh, yes, with all her family being dead, Dumbledore decided to leave the little girl with her mother's family. It was insanely easy to find the child considering they left my squib of a great-aunt as a little bodyguard in the neighborhood. Just a strand of her hair and a bit of polyjuice, and Lily Potter's ugly muggle of a sister thought I was my aunt. Heh, though I suppose with the way they treated the brat, they would have gone along with what I did without the subterfuge. It was amusing to watch them force the girl to do all those chores, and even more amusing to watch some of the punishments they gave her for not completing them."
Alexander Prewett gave a wary glance towards Dorea, quite certain that he would find her to be intensely angry by now. The look of cold fury on the witch's face prompted his nod to Agent Harris, who immediately stunned the captured prisoner. Cancelling the spells on the dictation quill, Alexander gathered up the parchment log and rose to his feet, leaving Agent Harris to return the unconscious woman to a private, solitary cell within the depths of the Department of Mysteries. He grasped Dorea by the arm, drawing her out of the interrogation room before murmuring quietly to her, "Calm down, Dorea. I know that you're angry, and I don't blame you. But now we have the chance to fix things so that this doesn't happen. For now, take your granddaughter home, and see your family. In fact, take the weekend off, and we'll resume questioning on Monday. I promise that I will do everything in my power to help you fix the future." Dorea took a deep, calming breath before nodding slowly in response to her superior. Drawing her arm away, she turned on her heel and walked away back towards the infirmary where she had left her granddaughter earlier.