The lateness of the hour showed on Cornelius Fudge's face. He sat slumped at his desk, fiddling with his bowler hat absentmindedly. The flickering light from the fire was the only source of light in the whole office; Fudge was alone, reading through some long scroll of parchment. The words kept slipping through his brain like a trickle of water, and a sudden knock on the door woke him from his reverie.
"Enter," he said wearily.
A man walked in. He was tall and had almost no hair except for a grayish-brown goatee; his crisp black Muggle suit gave the impression of neatness and order while a small scroll of parchment was clutched in his hand.
"Good evening Minister," the man said respectfully.
"Good evening, Alec," Fudge replied. "Please, shut the door."
Alec closed the door with a quiet snap, then went over and stood in front of the Minister's desk.
"Have a seat," Fudge offered him, but Alec shook his head.
"There's no need Minister, I actually have a call down in Liverpool in about ten minutes – I'll be quick," he handed over the small roll of parchment, which Fudge took, looking resigned.
"How many?" Fudge sighed, hesitating before unrolling the parchment.
"Just one," Alec said, and the Minister looked slightly relieved. "A man from Princeton, New Jersey in America."
"'Gregory House,'" Fudge read. "'Male, forty-five, and the only son of John and Blythe House…' what is it that makes him so significant?"
"He is a medical genius," Alec elaborated, "Sort of like a Muggle Healer. He recently graduated from some prestigious Healing school and was voted the number one diagnostician in the country, top five in the entire world."
Fudge could not help but be impressed by this House. "Is he getting suspicious yet?"
"No, not yet," Alec said grimly. "But our sources claim that it's only a matter of time. Muggle scholars and geniuses throughout history have always eventually begun to find out about our world, and we've always had to take certain measures to make sure we stay a secret."
"Yes, I realize that Memory Charms are out of the question," Fudge sighed. "This man offers too much to Muggle society, we can't take that away."
"As you can see, I've already written down the solution my department has come up with." Alec said quietly, nodding toward the parchment in Fudge's hand. Fudge looked down at it, read what was written underneath House's description, and immediately jumped to his feet, outraged.
"No! Absolutely not, Alec – this is mad!" Fudge shouted, glaring incredulously from the parchment to Alec.
"There isn't any other option," Alec stated defiantly. "We Unspeakables have excluded all other possibilities. Confunding friends and family members have never worked properly for us before, and the suggestion of feeding him a Love Potion was far too ridiculous, and could easily be more destructive than anything else we suggested. Also I had to remind my subordinates that the Imperius Curse, though effective, is in fact illegal… so we don't have any other choice, see?"
"Yes, but…" Fudge sputtered, staring at the parchment once again. "This is… this is just downright cruel! Setting a dementor on a helpless Muggle man? I could never allow you to do that! Never!"
"But think about it! Muggles can't see dementors, can they? So this House would never know it was there. I could order a dementor to follow him around everywhere he goes, feeding only off of him, no one else. That way, it will only affect him and not those in his vicinity."
"Yes, but still," Fudge raged. "Subjecting this man to a lifetime of misery just because he could possibly find out about our world? This is absolute madness! No, Alec – no, I'm sorry but I can't allow you to do this."
Alec's eyes flashed as they surveyed the Minister. "Dr. House is a threat," he said firmly. "We have no other choice."
Fudge did not notice Alec casually reaching for his wand from inside his suit.
The Minister's eyes flickered as they stared at the parchment. He slowly set it back on his desk and sat down. "Yes… no other choice… yes…"
"Good," Alec said quietly. "And will you give the order?"
"Yes," Fudge said vaguely, pulling a quill out of his cloak. "Yes… I will give the order… yes." He dipped the quill point in his ink pot and slowly scrawled his signature beneath the order. Alec reached over, picked up the parchment, and rolled it back up, tucking inside his suit. He casually twitched his wand once again.
"Thank you, Minister," he said before turning around and walking back out of the office. His face now averted from the other man, Alec's features suddenly twitched into an evil smirk.
Fudge blinked several times, feeling oddly groggy. Had something just happened? "Um… yes. Yes, Alec you're very welcome. Yes…" he said vaguely, frowning slightly.
Alec the Unspeakable indeed made that order to set a dementor upon Gregory House, who still walks around today with that soul-sucking fiend hanging over his shoulder. He doesn't know, of course, for Muggles cannot see the creatures, but he can certainly feel it. It continues even today, as Dr. House limps into Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital to start his mornings, one can almost see that dark, hooded figure looming over him, or even sense that clammy, rotted hand clutching tightly onto his arm, refusing, forever, to let go.
A little more depressing than my normal work, I realize, but whatever. I've had this idea for a long time and I finally decided to write it down. Hopefully, I hope you guys liked it!
Reviews would be simply lovely.