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Archangel's Heir

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Hallowe’en—and the following Samhain—was always a busy time of year for Tricksters but their God, Loki, had not been expecting it to be this busy. This year seemed to be exceptionally busy, he’d already visited sixty-four houses, thirty bonfires, and two hospital rooms tonight—several duplications of himself had been necessary to get this all done but he’d done it—but the next two prayers coming at the same time put him in a bit of a bind.

Lord Loki! Save them please!

Archangel Gabriel, who art in Heaven’s Halls, I call to thee to hear my pleas! I will soon no longer remain on this plane, but my son needs your guidance and protection. Archangel Gabriel, protector of Messengers, God’s Justice, and Children’s protection, I call to you to protect my son! Am—

There had been a time that the Being now known as Loki had answered to another name. Once he’d been known as the Archangel Gabriel, a Being of Light as tall as the CN Tower. He’d given that name up after his older brother and mate was shoved from Heaven and his following escape from the rigidity of Heaven to join the freer Pagan Gods of Asgard. He’d taken the name Fiðri, meaning feathers, and joined the Asgardian Royal Family as a mage and friend to the youngest Prince, Loki. Eventually, Loki had needed to step back from taking Prayers, so Gabriel stepped into his place.

So, for these two prayers to come at the same time, and to come for each side of the Trickster God’s persona, he was caught between a rock and a hard place. At this point, he couldn’t split himself between Loki and Gabriel to go to the prayer for Gabriel without giving himself away, and he refused to do so because he knew that he would be forced back to Heaven by his remaining family if he was found out. And he didn’t want to return.

Due to that fact, he called to the Original Loki for help. The other Being was dressed in his usual Visiting clothes, but he looked exhausted, which didn’t surprise Gabriel in any way. The Dark-haired Trickster was coming up to the final part of his latest pregnancy and it was exhausting him—which was part of the reason that Gabriel had taken up the title of Loki in the first place—but he still enjoyed coming out for a few prayers every Holiday.

Gabriel reached out to touch Loki’s wrist, so he could transfer the pull of the Loki-prayer from his Center to the other’s. After a second, Loki nodded and then snapped his fingers, disappearing from sight to follow after the pull.

Gabriel took a quick moment to just breathe before he also snapped his fingers and disappeared to follow after the Gabriel-prayer’s pull.

The house he appeared in front of would have looked like a normal family home on a normal Hallowe’en with the jack-o-lanterns on the steps and the cut outs of bats and cats pasted to the walls and windows, but this wasn’t a normal Hallowe’en. Instead, the house he appeared in front of visibly looked fine from the front, but he could feel the magic in the air—the Death Magic in the air.

He headed inside, invisibly taking in the sight of the broken door, and the body of a young man sprawled just before the stairs. He could see Loki’s magic on the man, and knew that whoever had called for Gabriel, it hadn’t been him and that there was someone else inside this house somewhere else.

He took only a short moment to lean down over the young man and touch his forehead. “Blessings unto you,” He whispered, watching as a soft glowing ring of light appeared through the man’s shirt over his heart before it faded away again.

Gabriel then headed up the stairs, knowing that if the man had met whoever head on at the door that there was someone upstairs he was protecting. He followed the feel of Loki’s magic to one of the back rooms in the upstairs portion of the house, which also had the door blown off, and when he stepped into the room, most of it was gone and the remaining portions of the walls, roof, and the floor were all dyed a sickly green.

Loki was standing over a crib, cooing quietly at a small baby who looked much like he did. On the floor behind him, a young woman with red hair lay sprawled across the small round carpet before the crib.

Gabriel sighed quietly at the youth of the two adults. Why did the young always have to die? And why always so violently? He settled himself down next to the young woman, lightly tugging at the silver chain around her neck which revealed a St. Gabriel medal and a simple crucifix.

“Well sweetheart,” Gabriel greeted the young woman quietly. “I’m sorry I can’t take you to Heaven myself, but I’m sure that your Reaper has explained why.” Reapers seemed to know everything about everyone, there was no escaping it. He carefully petted his fingers through her hair, cleaning up the bit of blood and cuts on her head from the explosion as he did so. “I give you my blessing however. May you have the knowledge to go between the Afterworlds.” He leaned down to press a kiss to her forehead, leaving behind a small freckle that was barely noticeable amongst the ones she already had.

Gabriel then rolled to his feet and moved up to Loki’s side. “How is he?” He asked, looking down at the tiny toddler before him who was blinking sleepily up at the two Beings. The soft forest green of Loki’s magic was visibly wrapping around the babe, most likely the cause of his sleepiness.

“Physically fine, but you will need to do something about the little soul shard in his head.” Loki lightly tapped his finger against the small newly healed sowilo-rune-shaped scar on the babe’s forehead.

Gabriel was just about to answer when they heard the banging footsteps and loud cry of someone downstairs. Gabriel spun around to face the door, a short silver-appearing foot-long sword dropping from his sleeve.

“Harry! Lily!” An anguished voice shouted as hurried footsteps stormed up the stairs.

The young man that popped into the doorway had a wand clutched in his hand and he immediately pointed it at the Beings before him. His curly black hair was left wild around his face and his gray eyes were full of unshed tears with a wild look like a caged animal gracing his aristocratic features.

“Put that stick away Mortal, your magic is nothing next to ours,” Loki drawled, turning back to the baby.

“Lord- Lord Loki?” The young man questioned hesitantly, lowering his wand but keeping it in his hand.

“Yes, we are,” Gabriel replied, carefully shoving his blade back up his sleeve.

“There are two of you‽”

“It’s a long story that we don’t have time for,” Gabriel responded, searching the young man’s soul. “How can we help you, Sirius Orion Black the Third, son of Orion Renard and Walburga Artemis Black?”

“I–” Sirius was cut off by the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs. He spun, turning his wand to the top of the stairs, leaving the Beings to wonder who was coming. “Snape,” the word was nearly a growl as the Wizard pointed his wand at whoever had come up.

“Put that wand away, mutt,” An acidic voice snapped from the hall and the two Beings shared a look, rolling their eyes at each other before turning their attentions back to the two in the hallway.

“Both of you get your asses in here,” Gabriel ordered, shifting himself around and moving to settle the young woman into a more dignified position. “Mortals and their pissing contests,” He muttered under his breath, adding in a few more words that weren’t so nice.

Sirius kept watch as the other man who’d entered the house came into the room in front of him before the Black Heir followed him inside. Their second visitor came to a stop just before the body of Lily Potter with a wince before he looked away at the two Beings before them.

Gabriel stared at the new man’s soul, surprised by the ties to it, and the purity of one who, from what he assumed, should have a soul destined for his mate’s domain.

“Severus Alexander Tobias Snape-Prince, son of Eileen Ophelia Prince, and Tobias Gregory Snape,” Loki drawled, stepping lightly around Lily’s body to come toe to toe with the dour looking man. “What could possibly have brought you here? It is quite obvious what brought Devoted Heir Black here, the wards have been brought down, and as the Binder for the recast Fidelius he was connected to them. But what brought you…? That is the question, isn’t it?”

Severus flushed slightly, just barely a flare of color to his pale cheeks coming up. “Lily and I made up,” Severus croaked. “After Harrison was born. She and Potter Senior couldn’t agree on how to protect Harrison, so she cajoled Senior into agreeing to adding on another godparent…” He paused for a moment, a hand coming up to rub at the center of his chest. “And she initiated a Vow.”

Loki and Gabriel shared a look before snickering slightly, both being abruptly cut off when a shift in their magic from their arrivals registered a newcomer.

“What is it?” Sirius asked quietly, looking between the two Beings nervously.

“Someone just arrived from the edge of the street,” Loki murmured, eyes turning to the direction where the newcomer was coming from.

“You two have to make a decision now. Right now. About the safety of your godson. Can either of you protect him?” Gabriel asked, shifting from foot to foot as he strained his senses to see how long they would have.

Severus shook his head sadly, “I cannot. I have sold my soul to the evil I know, metaphorically speaking.”

Gabriel turned his attention to Severus’ soul at those words, searching out who he was connected to. There were faint threads to his deceased parents. Cushy ropes of friendship—some fading or faded—to his housemates, and Lily. A wide ribbon leading off to his romantic partner. And two thick pulsing chains that tied him to his ‘evils’: the disappeared Dark Lord Voldemort, and the ‘Light’ Lord Dumbledore.

“Dumbledore!” Gabriel hissed, eyes flaring bright gold as Severus nodded. “Interfering old fool!”

Loki raised a sardonic eyebrow at the Black Heir, waiting for his response as he focused his seiðr on keeping their visitor back until they had this finished.

Sirius shook his head, “I cannot either. I may not have sold my soul to the ‘devil’ that is Dumbledore, but because of the actions of my family members, I will end up with my custody being contested at every turn.” He shared a look with Severus before adding, “You two have more power than either of us could ever have. It would be best if you took him. And adopted him to keep him in your hands.” Sirius rolled his eyes at Severus’ look of shock, muttering to himself, “Lords only know what will happen otherwise.”

“What are your plans now? We wouldn’t want you to do anything foolish and get yourselves killed, now would we?” Loki questioned, glancing between the two young mortals. “And what were you doing before coming here?”

Severus shuffled slightly before he answered, “I will be going home to my partner, who I had spent the night waiting for at said home while he was out.”

Sirius narrowed his eyes at the other man before turning to the Beings, “I spent the evening before the alarms tripped with a family member. I have to go find Remus Lupin, he deserves to know what has happened.”

Loki and Gabriel shared a look before dipping their heads. Loki waved a hand, and when he turned it up to the men, two gold and silver-looking pendants dangled from his fingers on thin pieces of leather.

“We’ll see you and your others in a week, unless other circumstances come up.” Loki handed the two pendants over, watching as they were pulled over both men’s dark-haired heads. “The pendants are Ward Keys. I’m sure you know how they work.”

“One minute,” Gabriel interrupted, staring out at the street through the destroyed portion of the room. He walked over to Harrison’s crib, picking up the tiny toddler who’d been sent to and kept asleep by Loki’s magic.

“We will see you,” Gabriel told them, brushing a hand down Harrison’s back lightly.

Both mortals dipped their heads to the two Beings. Severus and Sirius shared a look before Severus spun on his heels and disappeared with a barely audible pop. Sirius cast one last long look at Harrison before he disappeared out of the room and down the stairs to greet the visitor.

Gabriel and Loki shared a look before together, they disappeared.

———

Gabriel helped Loki down onto a bench when they landed at their destination. The other Being gave him a shallow smile as he rested heavily back against the wall, dropping a hand to the heavy bump that was revealed when he dropped his Glamours.

Gabriel held Harrison close to him as he looked around the room. He could remember when his mate had first shown him this place that he’d had commissioned. He’d stepped into a room that seemed to glow like the Halls of Heaven or at least as close as Earth could get.

White marble, black steel, gold paper. All added up to a glorious entry way that brought Gabriel back to more pleasant times in Heaven sitting at his Father’s knee with his siblings. He sighed quietly as he glanced around, his free hand coming up to grasp at the star pendant around his neck.

The bell-shaped room was meticulous, from floor to ceiling, and Gabriel had a feeling that it was recently cleaned because it was almost never this well put together around Hallowe’en. Usually there would be bowls of candy everywhere, or some kind of decorations hanging from the railing of the stairs and landing, or even just some kind of muddy footprints on the floor, but there was nothing out of place, it looked exactly like it had when Gabriel had first come here, though with a few things he’d added over the years.

The eleven tables around the room were neat and tidied. Ten of the tables, set out two, hall, one, stairs, two, on each side of the room were carefully straightened under their respective Portrait or tapestry with their vases or sculptures carefully set out so they were no longer feared to fall and break. The long waist-high table which took up a space at the center of the room, had its altar of flowers carefully set out with an arch of black, red, and violet roses for Samhain and it was clean, not a flower out of place for petals to fall into the candles or ritual circles set out.

The gold and black brocade running carpets were clean and in their proper place on the elm wood stairs (probably with Sticking Charms, knowing the Elves). The marble floors had been washed and polished, and practically gleamed. The pale cream walls were cleaned and every decoration – tapestry, portrait, sculpture, etc. – was straight and in its proper place.

Even the ice crystal chandelier with its white-blue flames was cleaned, and that almost never happened, as there was always too much going on in the foyer for the Elves to feel safe cleaning it.

“Faðir!”

The two men looked up at the top of the stairs where a young man stood. He climbed up onto the railing before sliding his way down and jumping off at the bottom to land perfectly on his feet.

“Riss, what have we told you about sliding down the railing‽” Gabriel scolded quietly, holding Harrison close to his chest.

“Sorry, Uncle.” The teen hurried over from the stairs and leaned in to study the child in the Archangel’s arms. “Who is this? Where did he come from?”

“Call your siblings and we will explain,” Loki told his son, relaxed again and sipping gracefully at a cup of water a house-elf had brought him.

The teen narrowed his eyes at his father for a moment before he spun on his heels to face the stairs again. He took a step away before tipping his head back and letting out a low, rumbling wolf howl. The sound echoed through the room and continued for a long time before petering out and leaving silence behind.

Three pops and the rustling of wings sounded before six others appeared in front of them. Two young women, two young men, and two boys stood before them.

“Fenris, what– Uncle why do you have a child?” The eldest of the young men asked, pushing his fingers through chestnut brown hair to pull it back from golden-brown eyes as he came to stand next to his brother.

The two young women came over at the words, and it was the older of the two who spoke first, blue and green eyes wide in shock.

“Harrison James Potter.”

“Hela?” Loki questioned, looking at his daughter.

“Harrison is the youngest of the Potentials for Death for the decade last,” Hela whispered, reaching out a spotted hand and brushing her fingers lightly over the tot’s cheek. At the contact between her skin and his, she stiffened and her eyes flared white as something reached out to her.

Her trance only lasted a minute at most, but the effect on her made it seem like it had lasted much longer. Which it had. In the mindscape between them, time moved much quicker than it did outside, so while it only seemed a minute on the outside, on the inside it was almost an hour that passed.

Hela gasped upon being released, her eyes returning to their natural colors as she stared down at the sleeping tot in Gabriel’s arms. “Do not destroy the soul shard,” She told the two men, shifting her gaze to the scar on Harrison’s head. “The Host did not make his Soul-ties willingly, and he deserves a proper chance.”

Gabriel narrowed golden eyes at her before nodding, “I won’t destroy it, but you will explain what you saw later.” At Hela’s nod, he looked down at Harrison before continuing, “We will be doing an Additive Blood Adoption at his godfathers’ behest.”

He’d barely finished his sentence before a knock sounded at the door, causing the group as a whole to turn and face the heavy oak. The other young woman shifted on her feet for a moment before she marched over to the door and threw it open.

Four men, a young woman, and a young girl stood at the door. Three of the men, and the young woman all had dark hair, but the girl had fire red hair and the remaining man had hair the color of silver.

“Come in, Aunts, Uncles.” Gabriel smiled at the politeness of his daughter’s tone as she stepped aside to let the five inside.

“We came as soon as we heard!” The woman exclaimed, purple eyes wide as she hurried over from the door to stand at Gabriel’s side.

“Hello, Hecate,” Gabriel greeted, tipping the sleeping tot so that she could see him. She leaned in and gently brushed a light finger down the bridge of his nose.

“Hello, little fawn,” Hecate murmured to the babe after a nod of acknowledgement to Gabriel. “Your mother and father loved you very much, and we will make sure that you remember that. Everything in our power will be done, so that you can see that.” She brushed a finger down Harrison’s tiny cheek, and the group watching in fascination as her wheel flared to life over his head in the violet of her colors at the same time that a similar image blossomed to life on the inside of his left wrist.

“Well that solves Hecate then,” The silver-haired man joked as he blinked red-black eyes at the tiny black mark.

“Thanatos!” Hecate gasped, reaching out to swat at the Primordial, who only smirked and sidestepped her reach.

“Well, you are the one who claimed him,” Thanatos chortled as he rounded to Gabriel’s other side, the others of their group coming over from the door. He reached out a gentle hand to touch Harrison’s fingers, grinning slightly when the tot’s fingers opened and curled around his touch, the boy’s green eyes sleepily opening to look up at him.

“Hello, little Death,” Thanatos murmured, brushing his thumb over the backs of Harrison’s fingers as the tot blinked at him again.

“Well,” Gabriel murmured, watching as the others came to check on his new charge. “Shall we continue with our night before we run out of time?”

“Yes, of course,” The youngest of the females in the group, the little red-head who had arrived with Thanatos, Hecate and their companions, murmured as she twisted around, her floaty red dress swishing as she started to the stairs. She paused at the bottom and raised an eyebrow at the group, “Are we going or not?”

“Calm, Hestia. We still have plenty of time,” The eldest of the group remarked, dark hair falling into black eyes as he stepped close. A gloved hand came up to touch Harrison’s chest as the man seemed to begin listening to something within the child. “We must be quick,” The man murmured, head still tipped to the side like he was listening. “The shard is weak, and any longer threatens that Harrison’s magic will engulf it, not that it would do much to harm the Host as it is a small piece. Already the Gifts of the Host have been given to and reawakened in Harrison.”

“What do you mean, Uncle?” Gabriel questioned, following after Hestia. He paused next to her, watching as the others joined them; Fenris and Hela helping their father to his feet as the others crossed the room around the shrine.

“Lillian Colette Evans was a daughter of a cadet branch of Slytherin, much like Thomas Marvolo Riddle the Third is of the main line,” Death replied, pausing at the altar to touch one of the violet roses lightly before he followed the others over to the stairs.

"I really hate this," Loki breathed, leaning on Fenris' shoulder as the wolf-born helped him up the stairs, Sleipnir having taken his sister's place on Loki's other side. The pregnant Pagan sighed softly when his sons hiked him up higher against their sides and wrapped their arms more firmly around his back.

"I know you do, Lokes," Gabriel replied, turning his head to look at the other over his shoulder. "But for things like this, it's best if we use the Familial Ritual Room, not the main one. Especially considering the type of magic we have to do before the adoption."

The ritual room both were referencing was most definitely a pain to reach. One had to go up onto the second floor and the all the way to the back of the hallway, before opening the hidden doorway behind the portrait of Lucifer's eldest Magi-Nephilim, Eniah. Down three flights of stairs to the basement and through another door before down a short hallway and through another door. The ritual room itself hid Morningstar Manor's wardroom, only to be opened by the Lord or Consort rings that Gabriel wore.

"Thankfully, Luce thought of everything," Gabriel murmured, coming to a stop before Eniah's portrait.

"Papi, going down?" Eniah questioned, tipping her head to the side as she studied the group for a moment.

"Yes, Eniah."

She smiled at them before the portrait swung open and revealed the spiral staircase down to the hidden portion of the basement. As soon as the door swung open wide enough, the silver sconces on the walls sprung into life, white-blue flames like in the foyer chandelier springing to life in the basins. The white hue of the lights brought out the rivers of quartz in the stone of the stairway, the different colors blooming amongst the creme of the stone as the group went down and down and down.

"Pyre, can you grab one of my loose feathers please?" Gabriel requested, thinking himself a fool for not remembering the key to getting inside.

Pyriel rolled her eyes at her father's forgetfulness before with a snap she had a handful of burnished gold and bronze feathers. Visibly they looked like the metals they were colored like, but physically they were like every other feather on any bird. Angel feathers may look harmless but threatened or at war, and an angel's feathers turned to steel.

Gabriel reached out and plucked one from her hand, pressing the feather quill first to a tiny notch in the wall. A flash of gold and the feather disappeared into the stone, the stones parting to make a doorway into the ritual room.

"In we go," Gabriel murmured to Harrison as the stones stopped grinding and the doorway stayed open. "Shit, what are we going to use as a vessel?"

Hela hummed quietly, digging through the pockets of her dress for something. A grin on her face, she pulled out a short length of silver chain and a small silver coin pendant engraved with a winged candy skull in the center and a wolf and snake chasing each other around the rim.

"This should do," She murmured, brushing her thumb over the relief. "Harrison can keep it with him. He is already tied to it, so it won't harm him to have it like it would others." With deft fingers, she put the pendant on the chain before handing it over to him.

Gabriel hummed quietly, studying the runes carved into the room, walls and floors and ceiling and altar all covered in carefully carved marks. He stepped into the circle, the runes behind him lighting up with golden light as he moved across them and his invisible wings touched them.

Gabriel hummed soothingly as Harrison murmured quietly, "Maman et Baba?"

"Fyrirgefðu, lítið gróft," Gabriel murmured, brushing a hand over the tot's hair. That would be something they'd have to continue, Harrison's language lessons in – from what he could glean from the tot's memories – French, Arabic and a form of Magical Egyptian that was mostly written rather than spoken. There would, of course, be others added to the list like Parseltongue, Enochian, and the Icelandic that they all spoke now. Latin would be a good idea too, Gabriel mused as he settled Harrison into the heat-treated basin of the altar which would generally be used for burning mass herbs and the like. He placed the necklace next to the basin.

As Harrison squirmed his way out of the blankets around him, Gabriel full-body stretched - wings and all. Gabriel sighed quietly at the relief of moving mostly unused muscles before he curled his wings around the altar.

"Malak?" Harrison questioned, green eyes wide as he looked over Gabriel's shoulder.

"How can you..." Gabriel narrowed his eyes at the tot before holding his hand out to him. It was hard to get permission from children, but this was the best he could do.

Harrison reached out, fingers curling around Gabriel's palm and Gabriel's wings flared out as he pushed in to look at the boy's soul.

Chapter Text

To say Gabriel wasn't surprised at what he found, would be like saying the sky was green. A total and complete lie.

Gabriel found many things in his glimpse into Harrison's soul. It was an Old Soul, but still young and full of power. Extremely full of power—almost enough to be on the same level as a Fledgling Angel.

Harrison's soul, a delicate little thing the color of his eyes, was a bit of a mess, but considering the trauma he'd undergone just hours before, it wasn't as bad as Gabriel had originally feared it would be. Like the Thrones they were based off, souls were made up of a main 'eye' and then the rings of connection that curled around them. Harrison's soul had dozens of connections, mostly to family and some to friends of his parents, and of course, the blooming connections to Harrison's soul mates and the new connection to Hecate.

What had surprised the Being was the connections to himself and other Beings that the tot's soul contained. In fact, a large portion of the young Scion's soul was made up of Divinity, and Divinity from all areas. There was a portion of his Grace—which where had that come from?—and Loki's bloodline many times over, several Greek lines, some blood of the New World, and some Hindu and Egyptian too.

He petted lightly over his Grace in the boy, the Grace piece giving him its memories, which revealed how the Grace had gotten within the tot.

When he left Heaven, he'd cut out a large portion of his Grace – just enough to make it sentient and regenerative but not to kill or harm him – and left it to do his duties for Humanity on its own. Harrison's grandfather on Lily's side, Garrett, was a Mail Carrier, and he'd gotten into an accident shortly before he married Rose, Lily's mother, which was not in his cards, so apparently, the Grace had reached out and helped keep him alive. When Garrett died in 1976, the Grace passed to Lily, and then from Lily to Harrison when she died.

The other Divinity, Gabriel found was born and bred in Harrison, not added later. The Potter line started in Ancient Egyptian as a bastard son of a Pharaoh by the Goddess Wadjet while she hid in the guise of a Potterer's daughter. At some point, before they moved north, Medusa fell in love with a blinded member of the family and they had children. The Potter family then moved north and began co-mingling with various lineages and Divines which eventually led to Harrison, and his mess of abilities and bloodlines.

"Well, Harrison, let's get this show on the road." Gabriel smiled at the tiny being in front of him before he began the process of unwinding the soul shard from around Harrison's.

It didn't take Gabriel long to get it unwound from Harrison, maybe a minute or two, but it took twice as long to coax the shard into twining around the necklace. The shard was afraid, which was understandable, it had almost been engulfed by its accidental Host and was now in the presence of one of the only Beings in the entire known world—which was a vast space if it was based on Angels who were there when the world was created—that could smite it into nothing. He did eventually get it to wrap itself around the necklace, and once it was settled he fed it a portion of Wild Magic to strengthen it before he wrapped it in a protective bubble of Pagan Magics to hide it from detection—especially by wards such as the ones of Hogwarts, as Gabriel had a feeling that Harrison's keeping of this Tie would be for many years.

With the Tie settled, Gabriel undid the magnetic clasp before hanging the necklace around Harrison's neck. The pendant bounced off the tot's pudgy stomach and he cooed quietly as he reached out and patted it.

Gabriel grinned, ducking in to press a kiss to Harrison's head before he folded his wings back and took a step away.

Death stepped into the circle first, gloved hands coming up to rest on the Archangel's shoulders. "Well done, Nephew," He praised, squeezing lightly.

"The Shard is a mouthy little shit," Gabriel admitted, watched the pendant for a moment before looking at the Elder over his shoulder.

"Thomas has always been that way from my understanding," Death agreed with a small smirk.

"Have you decided which adoption we're going to use?" Hestia questioned, pushing her way between the two men. She curled her fingers around the edge of the altar's edge, pushing up onto her toes to look at Harrison over the lip of the table.

The tot looked down at her, blinking and leaning forward, nearly falling over until Gabriel pressed a hand to his chest to keep him up. A snap of the Archangel's fingers and a larger fluffy fleece blanket wrapped itself around the tot to keep him in place.

"Yes," Gabriel replied. "I thought the Aster Adoption."

Hecate laughed from her place at the door. "Wonderful choice!" She cooed, purple sparks popping off from her hands as they came together.

The Aster Adoption was one of the more complicated ones. Named for a Queen from Magical Babylon after its Non-Magical counterpart fell, the Adoption was created to integrate new with old. Astera, the Queen, was the Blood-Child (Godchild) of the previous Queen, Hara, who'd been injured as an adult with no Heiress, and when Astera's parents died, Hara had her advisors come up with an adoption ritual that wouldn't erase the original blood and magic but would interweave the new magic and blood together with the old.

It seemed fitting to use as it would mean that Harrison would be able to keep all the gifts that his parents gave him while getting more from every person who added themselves into the ritual. And with the different Divines gathered in this room, his new gifts could be anything.

"It would be most fitting," Death agreed, reaching out to lightly pet Harrison's head. "And with what day it is, it would also call his parents and grandparents here for the ritual. They would give their blessing and add to the exchange."

"I'm pretty sure that I have everything," Gabriel murmured as he moved from the ritual circle to a wooden door off to the right side from the entrance. He pulled the door open, stepping inside to find everything necessary for the ritual and its potion.

While Gabriel was gone, Hecate began directing the others around the room to their places, which was dependant on their power and closeness to both Harrison and the Lokis.

In a semi-circle, she positioned the others around Harrison and the altar. Hela, then Thanatos and Anubis, a space for herself, then Sleipnir, Fenris and Jormungandr next to each other, then Hermes, Hestia, and then Vali and Nari together with Pyriel bracketing them. Death was pushed behind the Altar to preside over the Adoption, and Loki settled into a conjured chair before the altar. Thankfully the parental part of the adoption was minimal as Loki was still feeding a large portion of his magic to the new Being he carried.

Gabriel exited the storage room with his arms full. He had a small bronze bowl; a short matching bronze anthame with amber and tiger's eye in the hilt-guard; a tray with a cup of water, some sugar cubes, and a vial with a small amount of something that glowed gold in the bottom; and a piece of white ribbon. He carefully set it all down on the altar, gently pushing Harrison's hands away as the tyke reached for the sugar.

"Shall we get started?" Death questioned, running a gentle gloved hand over the top of Harrison's head.

"Yes," Loki responded, shifting in his seat with a wince.

Death nodded his head before he began to pull his gloves off, finger by finger. He shoved them into the pocket of his suit jacket before resting his hands on the top of the altar.

“On this night, the eve of Samhain—the day when the Veil is the thinnest—I, Mortimer Sephtis, the Pale Horseman and the End of All, stand as officiant and call forth the spirits of those we have lost.” With the opening spoken, Death raised his hands and clapped them together just in front of his face. The sound rang through the stone room for a moment before fading into silence.

The room began to chill as six wisps of light bloomed behind Gabriel and Loki between them and the others and another bloomed into being at Gabriel’s side. The chill grew as the lights did until the forms of James and Lily Potter, Fleamont and Euphemia Potter, Garrett and Rose Evans and Heylel Morningstar stood inside the ritual circle.

Looking at the spirits, it was obvious where certain traits had passed along the line.

In life, and even in death, Rose Evans was a beautiful woman. With no true old age in death, Rose appeared before them as a woman in her late forties. She looked like the perfect 50s housewife. Her strawberry-blonde hair was pulled back into a carefully crafted bun. Her pale blue dress was carefully pressed and hugged her in all the right places while a string of gray pearls accented the collar, peeking out between the hem of her white knee-length cardigan. A pair of white heels brought her 5ft 4in frame up another three inches bringing her eye line up to just over her husband, Garrett's shoulder. Her pale skin was flawless with her freckles left out to be seen which brought out the hazel of her eyes.

Garrett too looked to be in his forties. His brown hair was just beginning to bleach, a few sections barely starting to turn white along his temples. He was dressed for comfort in a plaid shirt with a pair of jeans. He had a dark gray canvas jacket pulled on over top, and a pair of light tan work boots on his feet which added an inch to his already tall 6ft 3in frame. His eyes were a dark blue and the crow’s feet at the corners drew people to them. He had an arm around Rose's waist, his hand tucked against her hip.

Lily looked very similar to her parents. She had Garrett's almond eyes and high cheekbones. Rose had given her plush lips and a button nose. Lily had Garrett's rosy skin tone rather than Rose's peaches and creme skin. She'd gotten Rose's freckles; however, they seem to have multiplied, covering Lily basically from head to toe.

Thankfully, due to the time difference between the Afterworld and the Mortal plane, Lily—and James as well—had had plenty of time to come to terms with the fact that they'd died. It had also given them time to settle.

She was standing next to James, head resting back against his shoulder. Her fire red hair was pulled back into a simple half-up ponytail, held back by a large blue jeweled butterfly clip whose wings fluttered occasionally as was custom with Magical jewelry items. Her green eyes didn't stray at all from Harrison, the lighter gem-toned eyes catching the light slightly. Her crucifix stood out sharply against the black background of the turtleneck sweater she was wearing. She had her hands in the pockets of her dark wash jeans as she leaned hip to hip with James. Unlike her mother, she had foregone the heels and wore a pair of simple black flats with a plush sole, bringing her to about 5ft 7in.

James too couldn't keep his eyes off Harrison. From behind thin framed square glasses, sad mocha brown eyes remained focused solely on the child that he would never get to see grow up in person. He reached his free hand up, brushing scarred tanned fingers through thick wild dark brown hair. The sunspots and natural freckles that dotted around his face stood out as the eyes were drawn along the path of his fingers. The dark green hooded sweatshirt hugged his body in all the right places, and him having the sleeves rolled up drew the eye to the strength in his arms as he tucked his free hand into the back pocket of his own dark wash jeans. The gray converse on his feet left him at his natural height of 6ft 2in.

It was quite obvious where James and Harrison had gotten their coloring from. Fleamont Potter was a bit darker in coloring, but it was obvious that he was where the coloring in both his son and grandson had come from. Dark sepia skin had been passed down but lightened in his son and grandson thanks to their mothers, with James’ skin only a few shades lighter than his father's but still a few shades darker than Harrison's and Harrison's skin bronzed instead of dark. Fleamont was where James had gotten his brown eyes from, though like everything else, the eldest Potter's eyes were much darker, more the color of black coffee than the mocha of his son. There was no way of knowing whether the man had the signature Potter hair, as he had his left long and tied back into a tail at the base of his skull. He looked very smart, dressed in a dove gray three-piece suit with a white shirt and silvery tie. Black leather shoes left him at eye level with his son, the younger sharing his father's height. Though it was unnecessary in death, Fleamont still held a cane in his hand—which from a quick read of his soul by Gabriel was a remnant from the man's Auror career ending injury to his right knee—though he didn't lean on it as much as he had when alive. His free hand was out to his side, entwined with the fingers of his wife as she stood next to him.

Euphemia looked the staple of an aristocrat's wife. Her flaxen blond hair was pulled back from the peak of her forehead to the back in a pair of braids, clipped with several different cuffs before it was spun up into a perfectly set bun. Her pale violet eyes were clear as crystal, a single spot of dark blue the only flaw in otherwise perfect amethyst. The violet of her v-neck knee-length half-bell-sleeved dress matched her eyes almost exactly. The black pumps on her feet brought her usually 5ft 5in frame up three inches, making her of similar height to her daughter-in-law.

Heylel had an arm curled around Gabriel’s shoulders, the ghostly image of the raven-haired Archangel seven inches taller than his 5’ 8” mate. Red eyes met Gabriel’s gold for a moment before he turned his attention back to Death. The silver and white feathers of his wings looked bedraggled, but he held himself straight, showing no sign of the pain he must be in. He was dressed in a charcoal gray mandarin collared tunic with a pair of black slacks and bare feet. He looked very well put together for someone who’d been in a prison for several millennia.

None of them looked surprised to have been summoned; all of them were relaxed, sad, but relaxed as they waited for Death to continue the ritual, so they could take their turns and speak.

Death studied the group before him for a moment before he spoke again, “We are gathered here to bring Harrison James Potter, son of James and Lillian Potter, into the Judicium-Morningstar and Lokason families. Spirits of our lost ones, do you consent to this joining?”

One by one the mortal spirits vocalized their consent, a thin strand of their souls unravelling from around various parts of them and moving to Death’s hand as they did so. Fleamont and Garrett both looked please as strands unwound from their throats. Euphemia was dabbing at her eyes with a white handkerchief as her strand separated from her fingers. Rose had her rosary clutched in her hand, dainty fingers vigorously working the beads as a single strand of her ghostly hair separated from her head. James and Lily looked fierce as strands unwound from around their wrists, clearly remembering who exactly was running the game that had brought the Dark Lord into their home, and obviously having learned more in the Afterworld.

“You give your kin Charisma, Knowledge, Strength, and Creativity, a blessing for a favoured son,” Death announced as he tied the strands together into a wreath before he placed it into the bowl. “Do you have words for the men who strive to continue your work?”

“Protect him,” The spirits intoned simultaneously.

James stepped forward to add, “Find my cousins, Marianna Hill, Andrius Potter the Fourth and Bryndyn Potter, they can help you with what you have planned, and the issues in your future.”

Lily stepped forward once her husband returned to her side, “Find my siblings. Holly and Rowan need the protection of a powerful archangel.”

Gabriel blinked, unsure what the spirits could be referencing—what could he be planning that they know, and he doesn’t? And what did he need to protect the younger Evans children from?—but knowing that whatever it was, it must have been important for them to have even mentioned it. He nodded his head in agreement, memorising the names for later on.

The corner of Death’s mouth quirked, a small almost unnoticeable smile crossing his face. “Heylel Morningstar, Gabriel Judicium, and Loki Frigguson-Laufeyson, you come to bring Harrison James Potter into your families. What do you give?”

Loki brought his hands up, the fabric of his sweater pushed away from his palms as he cupped his hands together. The space between his hands slowly began to glow green with his seidr. The magic pulsed for a moment before it slowly began to fade again, disappearing entirely. He opened his hands, holding out a small dark green emerald to the Embodiment.

Death took the outheld gem, tossing it between his hands for a moment before setting it inside the bowl with the wreath.

Heylel and Gabriel shared a look as they turned to face each other. In a practiced simultaneous movement, they reached for each other’s wings. As a spirit Heylel was capable of touching Gabriel’s wings, but to remove a feather from his own, only someone living could do it. Together, the two Archangels removed one gold and bronze, and one silver and white feather (though Heylel’s feather was still spiritual, not corporeal) from each other’s wings.

Death took the two feathers when they were held out to him, gently coaxing them into twining around each other until it was a spiral of gold, white, bronze, silver, over and over.

“You give Power and Might to the newest member of your families. Who do you choose to guide this child through all walks of life?” Death questioned, settling the feathers into the bowl with the rest.

Gabriel shared a look with his mate and Blood-brother before answering, “We agree that the godparents and Protectors set by his original parents will remain. We name Sirius Orion Black the Third, Severus Alexander Tobias Snape-Prince, Amelia Gretchen Bones, and Alice Windsdae Longbottom nee Bones as continuing godparents. We also name Anubis Almwat Ma’at, Thanatos d’Morte, Hermes Freeman, and Hestia Pyrkaia as godparents. We keep Remus Johnathon Lupin, son of Fenrir as Protector but add Thor Odinson, Castiel Thursday, Hela Lokadottir, and Pyriel Judicium-Morningstar as well.”

Death nodded to those in the room at the declaration, all watching as they brought their hands together and created their gifts. Anubis’ hands opened to reveal a black lotus flower which floated over to the Embodiment on a soft puff of dark smoke. Thanatos plucked a black feather from his wings and floated it over. Hestia’s gift ended up being a piece of obsidian, the black stone being thrown over to the Embodiment. Hermes smirked, pulling from one of the pouches on the belt across his chest, a short length of rainbow snake skin and a small red feather which he wound together before sending it over held by a small brown and white sparrow that returned to him upon completing its task.

Death closed his eyes for a moment, holding his hands out before him. He opened his eyes and snapped the fingers of both hands which brought two more objects to him. A small ball of glass containing a spark that constantly struck at the glass appeared in one and the other held a galaxy patterned feather. He placed both into the bowl before looking to Hela and Pyriel.

Hela smiled as she crossed the floor to hand him a black dragon scale from one of her tiny companions. She dipped her head before returning to her place.

Pyriel took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment before holding out her hands, which contained a long silver and gold banded feather, most likely one of her flight feathers. She reached up and twisted one her dark hairs around the feather, her fingers beginning to glow before the two items fused and the feather gained the image of an infinity symbol along the length of it. She walked over to the altar and handed it over, watching as Death twirled it around in his fingers before putting it into the bowl with the rest.

“Your eternal protection is promised, and gifts will be granted,” Death murmured as he raised the bowl and swirled it. He turned his attention to Loki’s sons as he finished. “We have yet to hear from the Sons of Loki. What say you, Sons of Loki?”

Sleipnir stepped forward after a long look between himself and his brothers. “We agree and welcome Harrison James Potter into the conjoined families of Lokason and Judicium-Morningstar.” He stepped forward to give his gift with the conclusion of his statement and his brothers followed after him.

Sleipnir handed over a short braid of the hair from his mane in his shifted form. It was tied together with a simple piece of black leather. Fenrir handed over one of his old teeth – being the oldest wolf in the world that constantly replaced his teeth. Jor handed over one of his scales, the shiny black and green piece almost as big as Nari’s head. Nari and Vali handed over one of their baby wolf teeth, Fenrir picking them up, so they could reach the altar.

“I give the final gift.” Death smiled slightly as he made a pulling motion with his right hand at his left wrist. He pulled from his wrist a similar substance to the soul-strings from Harrison’s birth family, except for the fact that it was a dark light-sucking black and looked like ink in water rather than the hair that the others had. He snapped his fingers and a glass egg appeared. He pressed the inky strand to the egg and as they combined until the ink had formed the image of a triangle bisected by a line with a circle in the center touching all three segments of the triangle. He set it inside the bowl, mixing it again before settling the bowl before the new parents.

“Spill your blood and welcome this child to his new home,” Death intoned, handing the anthame over to Loki. The dark-haired Pagan cut carefully across the base of his hand, dripping a small amount of green streaked blood into the ritual bowl with the gifts. He cleaned the blade with the cloth handed over by Death before passing the knife to Gabriel. The Archangel’s blood glowed gold and when the anthame was cleaned and passed to the ghostly image of Lucifer, the blood that exited the other was the same as would come from a unicorn—silvery with an opal sheen, though the Morningstar’s had a bit more of blue sheen to it than silver like a unicorn’s blood did.

With the final drop of Lucifer’s blood, the contents of the bowl burst into bright white flames. The flames flared higher and higher until just as suddenly as the fire appeared, it disappeared. All that remained in the bowl was a clear liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Death reached for the vial, uncorking it before he began to pour the clear liquid into the vial by the spout of the bowl. The two liquids mixed together, clear and gold until it looked like golden glitter cased in resin. It was beautiful, and when the last of the clear was poured out and the contents entirely gone, Death set the bowl away and recorked the vial before shaking the vial rapidly for a moment.

When he was finished the liquid looked like the original golden liquid but much diluted. He then handed the vial over to Gabriel before he began to mix the sugar and water together.

Gabriel stepped in front of Harrison. “Harry,” he cooed, attempting to get the child’s attention.

“Malack!” Harrison cooed in reply, reaching out towards him.

“Can you take them for me, sweet?” He asked, holding out the potion to the boy once he’d pulled the cork back out.

“Good?” Harrison asked, peering up at him through his hair.

“Yes, it’s a good one,” Gabriel assured him, using his free hand to pet down the boy’s fly-away hair.

Harrison wrinkled his nose but reached out for the potion, making grabby hands when it wasn’t immediately handed over. Gabriel chuckled quietly, handing the vial over before watching as the boy sucked the potion down like a fish. Harrison wrinkled his nose as he handed the vial back, obviously he hadn’t liked the potion too much, but it was definitely better than some of the other potions he’d have taken.

Death handed the goblet of sugared water over, watching in amusement as the tot gulped down the water. “In the eyes of Magic, Death, and Creation, what will this child’s new name be?”

“Hávarðr Eiriel James Regulus Lokason-Morningstar-Judicium,” Loki replied quietly. “But we will call him Hávarðr Regulus Lokason.”

Death nodded quietly, turning slightly to pick up the ribbon. “The ritual will be completed with the final blessing. Your offerings?” He turned his attention to those gathered as he spread the ribbon out across the front of the altar.

One by one, each of them gathered their final blessings for the newly adopted child. It went around the circle, starting with Hela. She sent over a small burst of ice and snow that whirled around itself as she pushed it over the space where it floated to a stop just above the ribbon where it bobbed in place. Thanatos went next, sending over one of his few silver feathers. Anubis conjured a sprig of black fire that sparked green at the top as the fire whipped around and sent it over. Hecate sent over a ball of purple light. Sleipnir’s gift was a small piece of rainbow colored stone-like material. Fenris’ gift was a small carving of a wolf made out of a dark wood with white veins. Jor handed over one of his old fangs that had been carved with runes and designs stained with his dark green blood to set off the carvings. Hermes sent over a small piece of a tortoise shell, shined and buffed to almost a mirror-like sheen. Hestia sent over a piece of fire-born red agate that was striped with black. Vali and Nari together gave a small piece of matte black stone that had been shaped into a wolf fang. Pyriel sent over a wisp of what looked like blue smoke but was actually a tiny portion of her Grace. Loki placed a small red rose along the ribbon while Gabriel set a fire lily and Lucifer a silver blossom born from his blood spilt in The Cage. Finally, Death placed a tiny blackwood effigy of a bat on the ribbon.

The items and the ribbon began to float, the ribbon remaining stationary while the items began to float around the ribbon in circles that got closer and closer. A white light began to emit from the ribbon as the items got closer and closer, one by one being swallowed up by the growing sphere. The light grew and grew until with a soft pop, it imploded leaving the final blessing behind.

A bracelet appeared from the light, thin chained and covered in charms, it was tiny but the feel of it made them all realize that it would grow with their tiny new family member. It was made of a dark metal, most likely tungsten, and all of the charms made of various materials, mostly metals and stones.

Gabriel smiled to himself before slipping it onto Hávarðr’s arm. “Welcome to your new home, Hath.” He picked the toddler up, blankets and all and cuddled him against his chest, cooing quietly.

Chapter Text

“And that concludes our scheduled business,” Lord-Speaker Tiberius Ogden remarked as he flipped through the pages on his clipboard.  “Regent Bones, Lord Weasley, and Lady Greengrass all have outstanding business that has been brought to my attention, but is there anyone else?”

When no one made a move to speak, Lord Ogden ceded the floor to Regent Bones, with an elegant wave of his hand and a spoken, “Amelia, if you would,” before he sat down in his seat and waited to find what she had to say.

The imposing Regent Bones was a tall woman, just over 6 feet. She looked particularly severe as she rose from her seat; blank face, mourning robes and ribbons, tightly wound hair. Her shaking hands were the only takeaway from the image, but she didn’t seem to notice. She’d become Regent a mere month before after the neighbourhood where her younger brother Edgar—who had been the Lord—and his family were living amongst other Wizarding families had burnt to the ground, killing most of the occupants, and leaving Amelia as the guardian of her youngest niece Susanna and Regent until the girl came of the appropriate age.

“I received an interesting letter over the weekend,” She began, leaning a bit heavily on the railing before her as she spoke. “It would seem that the title of Lords Morningstar, Judicium and Liesmith have been filled once again as the letter was signed by said Lords.” Gasps sound throughout the room from all sides.

Those three houses, among a few others—Peverell and the Founders, for additional examples—were basically fairy tales to the Purebloods of Great Britain. Families of fantastic power and abilities that most other families had but one or two of, they were the boogeymen of the Great Islands—they existed and didn’t all at the same time. Lorded long before the creation of the Ministry or the Wizard’s Council, so long ago in fact that most couldn’t give an answer when asked why they were Lorded, the High families had power, a lot of power, enough power to disband the Ministry in fact.

So, for the Head Auror to receive a letter from them, especially with the way it sounds a joint letter, it was a time to shut up and listen to what she had to say.

“I will keep it simple,” Amelia commented after the noise died down. “To summarise, the High Lords wrote to voice their concerns when their scheduled meeting with Heir Sirius Black and Apprentice Severus Snape came and went without the men’s arrival.”

“What?!” seemed to be the resounding response to that information. Both men were in Azkaban, Death Eaters as far as anyone knew, so what were they doing with the High Lords.

Amelia snorted, having known that it would be the answer to her remark.

Lady Cassandra Greengrass rose from her seat. Her bleaching golden-brown hair was carefully piled on the top of her head, pulling it back from bronzed skin to reveal amethyst eyes that were narrowed in thought. Her robes were a softer plum than the usual Wizengamot colors but still dark enough to be appropriate.

“I received a similar letter,” she added. “The High Lords admitted that Apprentice Snape was their Spy in the Death Eaters, and that they would vouch for him if it came to it.”

Lord Septimus Weasley too rose from his seat. Long graying russet hair swished around his head, the majority pulled back into a thin half-tie, but the few strands left free moved as he did. He too was in mourning robes, black fabric pooling down from his shoulders to cover him carefully. A pair of thick framed black rectangular glasses perched on the end of his nose and he pushed them back to the bridge of his nose with an index finger as he leaned against the railing.

“I too received a letter from the High Lords. More specifically, it was addressed to my wife as a Daughter of the House of Black,” Septimus added. He turned his attention to the Lord Black who sat across the room from him, speaking clearly to the man, “It contained an apology to you, Arcturus. The High Lords apologize for not writing directly, but they didn’t think the letter would get through the wards of the Manse.” He smoothed at a wrinkle in his sleeve before continuing, “We all know how the Fidelius works, correct?” He paused for a moment to watch as the other members of the Wizengamot nodded before continuing, “A Secret Keeper keeps the secret and must give out the secret through Magic or Presence.”

“What does that have to do with anything?!” One of the elected officials called from the space near the Minister.

“It means, you fool,” Arcturus said scathingly, “That a Secret can only be passed by magically creating a Secret-Paper or by physically being there to tell the Secret.”

“Sirius was at a dinner supervised by Lord Judicium,” Septimus deadpanned. “And do you really think that the Dark Lord would trust a piece of paper?”

Gasps sounded through the room again. Variations of “He’s innocent?” and “They’re innocent?!” and “Impossible!” began to make the rounds.

The Minister of Magic stood then. Millicent Bagnold was a middle-aged African-British witch. Red-tinted brown twists swung about her head as she stood from her seat abruptly, nearly black eyes narrowed. She straightened her red robes before barking out, “Williams, bring me the transcripts for every trial in the week I was away and the week after that.”

The runner at the door, a young woman with green tipped blonde hair saluted her before exiting the room and heading to the archives.

The room dropped into silence for a moment before Lord Ogden stood to speak, “This meeting will go into a short recess. It will resume in two hours at 1400 hours.” He clapped his hands before settling all his things into the small cabinet next to his seat.

The other members did the same before exiting the room, most headed for the upstairs cafes and food vendors to get lunch.

 

The thunderous look on Minister Bagnold’s face when the Wizengamot resumed did not bode well, nor did the four Aurors who’d been stationed in the valley of the chamber around a pair of chairs typically used in trials as the defendant’s seat. Her long red-painted nails clicked against the railing before her loud enough for the whole chamber to hear without magic.

Tension in the room grew and grew as Minister Bagnold’s magic roiled and flickered, almost becoming truly visible rather than just looking like heat haze as it slashed its way around the room. It didn’t touch anyone, but the heavy nature of it was oppressive as her jaw clenched and she continued tapping until everyone had been seated.

Once the last had been seated, she drew her wand from the holster at her waist and with a downward slash, signaled the Aurors to do what they had been tasked with. Quicker than most would be able to, the four drew their wands and threw petrifying and restraining spells at two men on opposite sides of the chamber.

The magic of the chamber, which would usually prevent magic from being cast upon others, ignored this occurrence and allowed for the two spells to hit each of the men. They dropped with a thud each, falling from their seats before being levitated over the railings of their levels and down into one of the chairs, where they were immediately wrapped in chains by the magic of the chairs.

“Former-Head Lord Bartemius Crouch. Former-Undersecretary Cornelius Fudge. Consider yourselves lucky that the High Lords actually follow the letter of the law,” Minister Bagnold hissed, leaning forward over the railing before her. “Otherwise it would be your heads!”

She straightened up, casting a true Sonorous on herself before speaking again, “Esteemed members of the Wizengamot, before you sit two men who have decided that they are above the law. Left ‘alone’ for two weeks, and they decided to hold the most influential trials of the decade as the most prejudiced trials of the century. Due process not being followed, shoddy following of due process, lack of trial, improper trials, lax trials; all things that took place the week I was away in Germany and the following week of international meetings, facilitated and headed by these two, who I trusted to leave in charge in my place. Hence, they are now being charged with malicious imprisonment, abuse of process, abuse of power, and anything else that comes up, while we are now charged with going over every trial that occurred under their management now and previously.”

She paused a moment to smooth a wrinkle in her open robes before continuing, “If I had my way, you would both be stripped of everything—titles, Bonds, Names—and thrown into the same space as the men and women you sentenced to Azkaban on prejudice and hearsay, but the High Lords have spoken. Lord Judicium wishes for justice, true justice. The indignity of trial and charge is enough for the High Lords.” She turned to the Aurors, waving her hand towards the doors in dismissal. “Take them away. Proper protocol will be followed, but for now, secure them and start the paperwork for the proper process.”

The Aurors bowed to the Wizengamot, before the two chairs were levitated from the room, their occupants still frozen and bound.

The entire room watched them leave before turning their attention back to the Minister as she picked up a packet of parchments that she rifled through for a moment before speaking, “Everyone sentenced to Azkaban or other prisons improperly or suddenly—being those who weren’t scheduled before I left—have been ordered returned to the Ministry holding cells. Petty crimes will be first, followed by High crimes, and finally Major crimes, as punishment exposure will need to be taken care of.” She closed her packet, folding her hands before her. “Notices will go out when trials are to take place. In the interim, Regent Bones will take over as Head of the DMLE and Miss Walters will take over as Senior Undersecretary.” With her piece finished, she sat down, tension leaving her body as she settled down.

A wand lit on the Neutral side of the room, a few rows up from where Lady Greengrass sat. When called upon, the young man stood and asked, “What is going to happen with the trials were nothing was done for the first one? I mean, there’s no evidence or witness statements or anything, so how are we to judge on nothing?”

Amelia lit her wand, she knew the answer to this question, as it was something the Bones family had created. “It’s quite simple, Lord Kysz. There is a simple ritual for gathering such information used specifically for trials where information is missing, or we wouldn’t know where to look. The ritual sends out subpoenas that are magically enforced upon opening. The subpoena attaches itself to the receiver on the day of the trial, forcibly Portkeys them, and only disintegrates upon arrival in the courtroom.”

“When will the ritual be done?” Another member asked.

“As soon as each folder is gone through. It is a simple enough ritual with very little magic consumption that one person could cast several of them a day without needing respite.” Madam Bones assured him, “We make sure to limit the number to ten every four hours with three-hour breaks between.”

“We’re going to get started as soon as the next Head Auror has been decided,” Minister Bagnold announced. “Madam Bones, who would you like?”

“I name Thaddeus Scamander as Head Auror until a decision has been made,” Madam Bones responded.

Lord Ogden clapped his hands as he stood up. He looked around the room. “Anyone have anything else?” When the room was silent, he nodded his head. “Well then, dismissed. We will reconvene upon notice unless otherwise needed.” A gong sounded through the room and the other members began cleaning up before exiting in pairs and groups.