Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

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Eternal_Freedom
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-01-14 08:05am

That would work equally well I think. The trouble with Boggarts IMO is that whole "They showyou your greatest fear." Well that's kinda easy when writing a scene for kids (a big spider, a mummy, Snape) or a worried mother (her dead family)...kinda a lot harder for those whose greatest fears are a lot more complex than big spiders. Difficult to write something that truly captures the terror of being suddenly confronted with your greatest fear.

As for more exotic ways to kill Death Eaters, I would agree that simply using a gun or a rocket are unlikely given the complexities involved and the serious threat. I recall one HP fanfic where Harry gets fed up of Voldemort and so orders Dobby to take a bunch of natural gas canisters to the cellars of Malfoy Manor, let the gas out and then light off a firework, blowing the hosue and everyone in it to pieces. The idea of VX/Sarin or something similar being sent via owl post is amusing in the extreme - though it does leave an open question, IIRC there are various spells you can use to detect things that are harmful, like poisions. Whether VX would be detected as poison is,I tihnk, an open question.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by Stewart M » 2018-01-14 02:46pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2018-01-14 08:05am
The trouble with Boggarts IMO is that whole "They showyou your greatest fear." Well that's kinda easy when writing a scene for kids (a big spider, a mummy, Snape) or a worried mother (her dead family)...kinda a lot harder for those whose greatest fears are a lot more complex than big spiders. Difficult to write something that truly captures the terror of being suddenly confronted with your greatest fear.
Perhaps boggarts are limited to tangible, urgent fears. Jump scares, in other words. Bond's worst jump scare is probably one of his villains - Jaws or Scaramanga or some Craig equivalent. Bond wouldn't necessarily act frightened*, but your "greatest fear" isn't necessarily fearful, much like Kim Jong-Un's best haircut isn't necessarily a good haircut. The boggart can only do so much.

Dementors are a metaphor for depression. Bond struggles with depression, which would seem to leave him at a disadvantage. The usual passive defense against dementors is to focus on a thought that's dear to your heart, but it's unclear whether Bond has one (Duty? Moneypenny?). However, dementors feed on your good feelings, leaving you a psychological husk (this is before their dreaded "kiss"). People in despair are broken people. But their targets have rarely mastered emotional discipline. Wizards, generally, are eccentric self-interested kooks by muggle standards. They're hippies and drama queens. Stoicism is the exception in their community, which is why good occlumens are so rare.

Muggles, however, deal with the million frustrations of non-magical life with a grounded, resilient world-view. A typical office job in a crowded city must seem like the bleakest cyberpunk nightmare to some witch who teleports to her fungi fanciers club every evening after the dishes clean themselves. And James Bond is no ordinary muggle. Dementors cause their victims to relive their worst memories. Bond calls that Tuesday. He's a very functioning depressive. Now, Muggles can't see dementors, but dementors also have no eyes; they are drawn to fear. Bond has the stiffest upper lip the British isles have yet produced. He keeps his fears on lock. Perhaps the two monsters would pass each other by. http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Dementor

*he might if he believed they had returned from the dead (though I don't think Jaws died)
Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2018-01-14 08:05am

As for more exotic ways to kill Death Eaters, I would agree that simply using a gun or a rocket are unlikely given the complexities involved and the serious threat. I recall one HP fanfic where Harry gets fed up of Voldemort and so orders Dobby to take a bunch of natural gas canisters to the cellars of Malfoy Manor, let the gas out and then light off a firework, blowing the hosue and everyone in it to pieces. The idea of VX/Sarin or something similar being sent via owl post is amusing in the extreme - though it does leave an open question, IIRC there are various spells you can use to detect things that are harmful, like poisions. Whether VX would be detected as poison is,I tihnk, an open question.
After thinking about it, while I prefer more remote options - artillery, drone strikes, etc. - I imagine most targets are going to be magical places, which are likely Unplottable or guarded by other anti-Muggle hexes. I suspect that if this was a proper Rowling Harry Potter story, Muggles could not target or interact with such sites remotely by any means. You couldn't see one from a satellite even if the caster didn't know satellites existed. Coordinates typed in a computer would somehow backfire. In the spirit of the franchise, I bet a Muggle would only reach such a place if guided personally by a witch.

That leads us back to square one with a rifle, though it doesn't prevent Bond from bringing ten mates from SBS with their own rifles. If they were flanked by a Order of the Phoenix support squad to counter defensive charms, that might work. Bond has a history of calling in the calvary for the big showdown.

I'm still fond of the postal poison, though you're right about the possibility of detection**. At least it would clear out the less capable and paranoid pawns of the group - not everyone can be Mad Eye Moody. For the more capable and paranoid, perhaps it would go down like the CIA and Castro: a long line of indirect attacks in hopes that one eventually works. What MI6 really needs is more intel into Death Eater capacities and intentions so it can cut off their support, as said in the second and third chapters. More conversations with friendly wizards would help, but what they really need is an X-COM capture mission.

If I understand the timeline correctly, the high profile Dearth Eaters are no longer operating in proper society and now live in secret at Voldemort's side***. Even if this is true, a guerrilla army needs civilian support, sympathizers who are still working in society. Imagine: some loyal cousin of the Malfoy clan going about his business in some public place - the Ministry or Diagon Alley. A friend walks up for a handshake or a pat on the back. But it's not a friend, it's Tonks in metamorphed disguise, and now there is a dab of paint on Malfoy's sleeve or shoulder. This paint is invisible to the naked eye, but it has isotopes that shine bright and unmistakable in the infrared spectrum. Bond, who is flirting with the just-graduated serving witch and her two friends at a pub down the street, has Q-branch-issue glasses that can see the paint's IR wavelength. Now Bond can easily spot Malfoy in a crowd at a hundred meters, and even track him through walls. Perhaps a little microphone the size of a pin was slipped into the fabric of Malfoy's coat as well, and this broadcasts to an earpiece sewn into Bond's pointy wizard hat. Bond easily spies on the man all day, noting who he talks to and what about.

That evening, the man enters the loo after a few pints. Bond comes in and Judo chops the man, then drags him to a pre-arranged portkey. The portkey sends them to an undisclosed MI6 interrogation chamber. The man is administered psychotropic drugs which prevent him from focusing (and thus, apparating or cursing). Besides an interview, tests may be conducted to discover what wizards can physically tolerate, though that may be a step too far, and heaven help them if their magical allies find out. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Another commando tactic Bond might employ is enlisting mercenaries and indigenous fighters. There is no love lost between the Death Eaters and centaurs, merfolk, and the like. These races may see no kinship with wizards, who aren't nice to them as a whole, but Bond may convince them that Muggles are innocent, and indeed, there may be some low-hanging concessions from the Prime Minister to exchange for an alliance. Perhaps territory or manufactured goods.

Likewise, Bond has many contacts around the globe (and one of the Bonds may have encountered a dark wizard, Baron Samedi). It's not clear in-story why the obviously international wizarding community doesn't interfere with Voldemort's coup, but perhaps Bond can find help from the staff of Durmstrang or Beauxbatons.

**I'm also impressed by the Russian polonium trick, a weapon so exotic that even the UK's atomic experts claimed they only recognized by a fluke. It would take a awfully savvy wizard to guard against radiation.

***Come to think of it, this may also ruin postal attacks.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-01-14 03:40pm

A little further thought tells me that while nerve gas like VX or Sarin might show up under "detect poison" spells (for lack of a better term), explosives probably woulkdn't as they aren't (IIRC) poisonous or toxic at all and are generally only dangerous when they explode.

So instead of a wine bottle full of VX, post 'em a wine bottle-shaped mass of C4.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by Tribble » 2018-01-14 04:04pm

IMO Bond's best strategy would be to vary his tactics in order to keep the Death Eaters off balance. Vary his methods of killing, vary the size of the team supporting him, vary the location / time, type of targets etc. Keep things changing, keep them guessing, keep them paranoid. With any luck in addition to killing some of them he might throw them on the defensive and disrupt their plans as they'll have to shift focus in order to try and deal with him.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by Tribble » 2018-01-15 06:47pm

Bond should also try and dispose of the bodies when at all possible, and try to kill without there being any witnesses. Tonks should be able to help out with that via transfiguring the bodies into something mundane that's easy to get rid of. She should also be able to erase the memories of anyone present, provided she is able to overpower them and/ or catch them before they escape. Without any direct evidence it'll be harder for the Death Eaters to figure out exactly what's going on other than the fact that some of their members have gone missing and that they were probably assassinated.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-15 07:24pm

Stewart M wrote:
2018-01-14 01:05am
If Bond uses a rifle or rocket, he'd attack with impunity once or twice. The wizarding awareness of firearms probably stopped at dueling flintlocks, so the Death Eaters would have no tactical response. But if enough survive that one ambush, there's a modest chance they get wise, and nasty countermeasures are surely available in magical lore to threaten Bond's second or third encounter (magical guard dogs or land mines, etc.). That's assuming magical forts don't already have charms against mundane projectile, wind, and flame damage (i.e., bullets or explosives)*.
There are undoubtably defensive spells in canon that could keep a Muggle gunman out, if only by making the place almost impossible to find, or erecting a solid physical barrier around it.

Malfoy Manor probably wouldn't be as well-fortified as, say, Hogwarts, Azkaban, or Gringotts, but I'd expect it to have some defenses, and defenders capable of adding more defenses on short notice. Which is part of why Tonks and Bond both felt that it would be ill-advised to launch an assault on it.
The point? My hazy impression is the British have an above-average willingness to use "dirty" tools of war. E.g., Churchill was ready to use mustard gas if the Germans invaded. James Bond may even be a source of this stereotype, as a prolific assassin in a program of prolific assassins (the 00 agents). M already believes the danger of the Death Eater threat (great dialogue for the pair, btw - well-written conversation), and if Bond finds a stationary target like a house, she could authorize more exotic payloads.

Imagine, Tonks sends an owl to suspected Death Eaters. The anonymous letter is trivial, perhaps some municipal notice, but the envelope also contains anthrax or ebola or smallpox. Or she mails a bottle of wine, but the sealed bottle also holds VX gas. Or she targets the site with a drone strike. Not Bond's style, but he's a pragmatist. If the odds of a wizard effectively reacting to a man with a modern rifle is low, the odds of that wizard comprehending a nerve agent must be vanishing. How would they retaliate?
I think the damage caused by releasing smallpox in the middle of the English countryside would potentially exceed the damage Voldemort could cause.

Something less contagious might be an option, if things were desperate enough (like if Voldemort had succeeded in taking the Ministry at this point).
*I recall some interview with JKR saying that wizards have a natural resilience to Muggle injuries (nb: Neville's uncle dropping him out a window and Neville safely bouncing). Of course, the degree of this is up for debate, and she never focused on these sorts of hostilities. Though if memory serves, at the climax of Fantastic Beasts, the American wizard authorities seem comfortable warding off a line of policemen armed with Tommy guns. Yet my memory of the film is patchy, and American wizards are American and thus 170% more familiar with firearms. That's science.
The behavior of the wizards in Fantastic Beasts is strong indirect evidence, based on the characters' behavior, both that:

a) Firearms can be a threat to individual wizards if taken off-guard (Newt seems wary of gun-toting Muggle police who confront him).

b) Combat-trained wizards can erect fixed defenses that are likely capable of repelling gunfire (the example you gave, unless the wizards in question were being seriously overconfident).
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by moglwi » 2018-02-18 03:00am

Elheru Aran wrote:
2017-06-13 01:07pm
Having not read the story but I'll just jump in here real quick-- public libraries aren't as common in the UK as they are in the US (as far as I know, I could well be wrong). Regardless of IRL commonality, given the potential effects of reading magical texts and learning the wrong thing, I can easily see libraries of magical books being fairly rare, generally confined to institutions or private collections. Mundane books of course nobody minds those, but why bother making a magical library of mundane books when you have Muggle libraries available already?
Every local authority in UK has a legal duty to provide a library services and they are very comman in the uk.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-18 07:01pm

And, here's chapter five.

Normally I post my stories here first and then copy to Fanfiction.net, but since I was having trouble with this board at the time, I put it up on FFN first this time. Which means this chapter got twice the proofreading before I posted it, so hopefully it shows.



James stumbled as the universe stopped whirling and he landed hard on a grassy field. He felt Tonks' grip on his arm and regained his balance, starring around him at the flat, empty, and almost familiar moors. He swallowed down the urge to vomit and kept his mouth shut, not trusting himself to speak.

"We're here."

He turned to look at Tonks, who was eyeing him with a hint of a smile tugging at her lips.

"Apparating doesn't agree with you, Mr. Bond?"

He forced himself to reply with what he hoped was a confident smirk.

"Not the most comfortable form of travel. Bloody quick though. This is actually Scotland?" He pulled out his phone and checked his location. Even now, seeing it, it was hard to believe. "Handy trick, that. " If only it didn't feel like riding the bloody rollercoaster without a seatbelt.

"We're here", Tonks replied, sobering. "Greyback's camp should be just about a mile over that hill." He followed the direction of her arm to the top of a low rise, lined with short, scruffy trees, a few hundred yards ahead to their right.

"Right then", he said, looking around the desolate, too-familiar landscape. He drew his Walther PPK from beneath his jacket, checked to make sure the bag slung over his shoulder was secure, then strode forward in grim silence, a subdued Tonks trailing behind him.

Tonks followed Bond up the slope toward the encampment, a growing feeling of dread settling steadily over her. Her nerves were on-edge, and she felt queasy. It had suddenly hit her that this was real- before, it had just been talk, but now, they were actually going to attack Voldemort's allies directly. So far as she knew, it was the first collaboration between Muggles and Wizards in the wars against Voldemort. She thought that she'd heard something once about Wizards helping Muggles in World War One, or was it World War Two, but she didn't remember the details. She'd have to look it up, she thought distantly, after...

After Bond killed Greyback. If they succeeded, she would become an accessory to murder.

If they didn't succeed, they might both be dead in an hour, or worse.

It made it easier, a little bit, knowing that the target was Fenrir Greyback. Maybe it shouldn't have, but it did. None of Voldemort's followers were good people, of course, but Greyback was...

She'd overheard Sirius and Lupin talking about it once, though she hadn't understood it all at first. She'd asked Sirius later, and he'd told her that Greyback was the werewolf that had bitten Lupin. From what she'd heard, he'd only been a kid at the time. It made her feel, in some way, as though by doing this she were... avenging Lupin.

The thought made her feel ashamed. This wasn't about her stupid little crush. It wasn't supposed to be personal. She was doing this because it was right, because, she thought, it had to be done. Didn't it? It wasn't about indulging her own feelings. Right?

"Lupin."

"Tonks."

"Can I... um... have a word?" She'd sounded so awkward, and so guilty, that she could have kicked herself.

"Quickly. I'm rather busy, I'm afraid."

Of course you are, she thought bitterly. You always are, whenever I want to have a word with you.

No, she thought, ashamed of her pettiness. That wasn't fair, especially considering what he was busy with.

"I just... wanted to know how you're holding up, dealing with Greyback. " She almost winced when she saw his face twist slightly at her words. "I mean, I know about... you know." She shrugged awkwardly, desperately avoiding his eyes.

"I'll manage", he replied grimly, and she felt her heart rise at his words. He was so brave, never complaining, just doing what he could to help the Order.

"Its just... I worry, you know. We all do", she added quickly. "You'll be out of touch- how would we find you if something... if something happened?"

His expression turned wary. Damn it, he's probably worried I'll go running after him like some fool girl. Which would piss me off more if I wasn't actually planning to go looking for the place- or rather, to help Bond find it.

"Dumbledore knows where I am", he replied shortly, at last. "I appreciate your concern, but I really must be going. Good night."

Remus turned and strode out the door, pausing to exchange a few words with Mrs. Weasley in the Burrow's front yard, and leaving her standing, acutely embarrassed, in the kitchen.

Damn it. She couldn't ask Dumbledore. Those eyes of his had a way of seeming to see right through you. But maybe...

She didn't want to do it. But he might tell her, if she worded the question the right way. And if she could keep a straight face while she asked it. And if there was anyone Dumbledore would trust with his plans, it was Alastor Moody...


"Tonks?"

She broke out of her thoughts and turned to find Bond standing at the base of the hill a few yards ahead, watching her.

"Bond."

"This is as far as you go", he said. "Wait for me here. If I'm not back in an hour, apparate back to London and tell Shacklebolt what's happened."

She nodded, her throat tight, her stomach queasy. She didn't say anything. What was there to say? Bond turned and strode up the slope in the direction of the trees lining the top of the ridge. She watched him until he vanished over the ridge, then sat down, wand in hand, back to a boulder, and waited.

Bond climbed the hill in the direction that Tonks had indicated. When he reached the top, however, he stepped behind a tree, out of sight of Tonks, and immediately dropped into a crouch. Carefully, he peered around the trunk of the tree. It took him a few moments to spot Tonks, sitting more or less where he had left her. Good. He hadn't thought that she would try to double-cross or tail him, but it was best to verify that himself.

Keeping low, he eased himself down the slope, using the underbrush to screen him from sight. It took him close to twenty minutes to reach the half-way point down the incline, and there, in a hollow between two trees, he crouched, and removed the bag from his shoulder. Carefully, he unzipped it and drew out the stock, barrel, and scope of a sniper rifle, laying each piece on the floor of the hollow beside him. It took but moments to assemble the weapon. It wasn't the best MI6 had to offer-the technology was some years out of date-but it was the best he could requisition without filing a special requisition with the armory, and M wouldn't want a big paper trail for this assignment. Satisfied with his work, he slowly raised his head above the rim of the hollow, peering through a gap between two bushes, then raised the rifle to his shoulder, resting the barrel on the ground, and gazed through the scope at the small encampment some hundreds of yards away.

He could see a few low, ragged tents of dirty fabric, and in the centre, a small circle of stones around a burned-out campfire. Small bits of trash, old food and utensils, were scattered here and there. He could see someone pacing about aimlessly; another couple, a young woman and an older man, sitting in the shade of one of the tents. From the way the man had his arm around the woman, he figured they were a couple.

He moved his cope to the entrance of the largest, and furthest, tent. It was a perfect shot. Now he just needed the werewolf to show his face. A minute passed. Two. The tent flap opened. He moved his finger to the trigger, then paused.

A man stepped out, but it wasn't the hulking, unkempt figure of Fenrir Greyback. This man looked younger, though his features were worn. He was dressed in a slightly rumpled brown tweed suit, his hair combed but somewhat mussed, his face pale. Bond thought he saw a bruise under the man's right eye, and he seemed to be favoring one arm. He turned to face the tent's entrance. The tent flap opened again and another man stepped out. This one was bulky, with long, ragged hair and an ugly look on his face. Bond recognized this man from the dossier. Greyback turned to the first man and gestured angrily. He appeared to be shouting, though Bond was too far off to hear what he said. The first man held up one hand in a placating gesture as he backed away, though contempt as well as wariness was etched clearly on his features. He turned to go, walking away from the camp with long, swift strides. Bond turned his attention back to Fenrir Greyback, lining up his sights, finger tensing on the trigger-

"Hey, you there!"

His head whipped 'round and he cursed. Two filthy figures in ragged clothing were standing half-way up the slope above him.

More of Greyback's pack.

"He's got a gun!", one of them shouted, a woman, and the other bounded down the slope towards him. Bond dropped the rifle and rolled into a crouch, drawing his pistol. He had to give the first attacker credit- he barely hesitated when he saw Bond draw the gun, then hurled himself forward with a roar. But it was too far, and he never had a chance. Bond fired twice, the first shot striking him in the centre of the chest and bringing him stumbling to a halt a dozen paces off, the second catching him right between the eyes. He dropped like a stone.

The other starred, wide-eyed, then turned and started to run. Bond considered shooting her too, but he didn't much fancy shooting an unarmed woman in the back, even if she was part of Greyback's crowd, and the trees between them made a pistol shot difficult in any case. Grimacing, he turned, grabbed the rifle, and quickly began disassembling it and stuffing the pieces into the bag. Below, in the camp, he could distantly see figures running, gathering, a man who could only be Greyback gesturing towards the ridge-line.

Damn it, this should have been a simple hit. Slinging the bag back over his shoulder, he took off at a run back up the slope, keeping low, pistol at the ready.

It took him perhaps five minutes to reach Tonks. She sprang to her feet as she saw him coming, whipping 'round with her wand held at the ready. She relaxed slightly when she saw that it was just him, but she didn't put the wand away.

"Trouble?"

"Ran into a couple of the pack. The rest are right behind me." Glancing back, he saw the first dark figures appear on the top of the rise.

"Shit", Tonks muttered. She gripped his arm, and Bond braced himself as she turned on the spot and the world twisted once more, Tonks apparating them away from the Scottish highlands and back to their usual room in the Leakey Cauldron.

***

Fenrir Greyback starred at the spot a few hundred yards away where the wizards had disapparated. A low growl escaped his lips.

"We found Tom", Jackobi said beside him. "Dead. Big gaping hole blown through his chest, and another one through the head."

Fenrir frowned. He hadn't heard of any spells that left wounds like that.

"Show me", he grunted, and followed the nervous Jackobi back down the slope to where the body was lying. Sure enough, Tom was lying on his back near a small hollow in the hillside, spread-eageled, a bloody hole in the centre of his chest and another right between his eyes. Fenrir kicked the corpse once, then turned to Jackobi.

"Any witnesses?"

"Charlie was with him", one of the others piped up. Tim, he thought his name was.

"Must have run off", he growled. "Gutless bitch." He growled again under his breath, rage building in him. They had come here and killed one of his people- no doubt he was the intended target. The Ministry cowards, or maybe Dumbledore's lot. The Dark Lord would know of this treachery, and then he would have his revenge-

"Um, sir?"

"WHAT?", he roared, whirling on Jackobi. The young man stumbled back a step, and stammered a reply.

"I-I th-think I... recognize those wounds."

"What of it?", he growled. It didn't matter to him what bloody spell the arsehole had used.

The kid stepped forward and knelt cautiously by Tom's body. His eyes tracked over the scruffy grass, until he rose, holding something between his fingers. He looked up, his wide eyes meeting Fenrir's.

"A bullet casing", he said.

"What?", snarled Fenrir.

"A b-bullet", he stammered. "A metal projectile, fired from Muggle guns."

Fenrir just starred. Then he scoffed, absently cuffing the idiot and knocking him on his arse.

"Don't be a fool. Muggles can't apparate."

"Maybe they was workin' with a Mudblood", Jules piped up nervously.

Fenrir starred at him. Jules swallowed as Fenrir stalked over to him, staring him in the face from two feet away.

"You might have somethin' there", Fenrir said. "Dumbledore always was a soft one for the Muggles." Jules let out a slow sigh of relief- then staggered as Fenrir cuffed him across the face. He waited until Jules fell to his knees, then kicked him hard in the gut. Jules groaned.

"That's for talkin' out of turn."

He turned and strode back into camp. He needed to send a message.

***

Bond exited the cab a couple blocks from his flat, then made his way home by a roundabout route. He was reasonably certain that he hadn't been tailed, but the old rules didn't apply now, did they?

He cursed himself for not remembering that there was a spell that could turn you invisible. One word from Tonks, and those two could have passed within five feet of his hiding place and missed him. Now instead of a dead terrorist leader, he had one dead grunt who might or might not have actually been a terrorist, and one live witness who could identify him.

Why did I hesitate? I could have made that shot. He knew the answer. Sentimental. Too much conscience for this line of work, and not enough left for anything else.

Too much guilt.

And why hadn't he thought to have Tonks cast the disillusionment charm on him? Was it simply that he was unused to factoring magic into an operational plan? Was it that he didn't trust Tonks? She'd had plenty of chances to double-cross him already, but you couldn't be too careful. He'd learned that lesson the hard way. Or maybe he just wasn't comfortable with the thought of actually having magic cast on him.

Get it together, James, he told himself. Got to get your head in the game. Today's debacle meant that, in all likelihood, the enemy were now aware of their operations. That meant that he had to assume that he'd be tracked, sooner or later. Even if their pursuers hadn't identified Tonks, they'd know that a skilled witch was working with a Muggle gunman, and that one or both of their attackers had access to information on the whereabouts of Voldemort's suspected followers. If Voldemort had, as Tonks suspected, infiltrated the Ministry-and it was the first thing Bond would have tried to do in the wizard's place-then it was only a matter of time until they were found.

I should have insisted that Tonks stay here.

Granted, the two of them together wouldn't have much chance if Voldemort came calling in person. Bastard'd probably burn the building down around us, if he couldn't get in the door. Or just apparate in invisible. He shook his head, downing a glass of whiskey.

The question was: what next? They were running out of time, and out of options. Their next shot needed to count, because it might be their last. Sitting by the coffee table, he pulled out the file of known and suspected Death Eaters. The face of Bellatrix Lestrange starred up at him. He put it aside. He wasn't ready to attempt an assault on Malfoy Manor. A plan in that direction was beginning to form, but there were difficulties that he had yet to resolve. That left him essentially two options: he could try another hit on Greyback, or he could go after the next target, or rather targets, on his list.

His mind made up, he put away the file. He'd contact Tonks tomorrow, then stake out the target's home. Once he was certain of his target, he'd make his move- within two or three days, if all went to plan. He snorted.

That'll be the day.

***

His black cloak spread out like wings in the warm summer breeze as Severus Snape strode up the pathway toward the gates of Malfoy Manor. Past the gates he went, up the long, empty drive through the well-manicured and entirely too ostentatious grounds.

If Lucius spent less of his gold on his vanity, and more of it on supporting the Dark Lord, and bribing the Ministry, this war might be over by now. But no. As long as Dumbledore was alive, Voldemort dared not move openly. Their encounter at the Ministry had been inconclusive, but both men knew that they might not be so fortunate a second time.

As long as Dumbledore is alive. But how long would that be? The old man was dying. Another six months? A year? And then?

Severus's grip tightened on his wand as he approached the front doors, and he closed his mind, shielding his thoughts against any who might attempt to penetrate them.

They were gathered in the Dining Hall, as usual- a half-dozen black-robed Death Eaters in a rough semi-circle, facing the tall, inhuman figure at the head of the table. Lord Voldemort's pale, flattened features regarded him as he entered, his expression amused and holding just a hint of malice, as that great snake Nagini coiled around his shoulders. Severus inclined his head.

"My Lord."

"Just in time, Severus", Voldemort's high voice said. "Now that we are all together, let us begin. First, our dear friend Greyback"-the sarcasm and disdain was clear in his voice-"has news." Voldemort gestured lazily to Greyback who rose, ill-concealing his displeasure at being left kneeling at the Dark Lord's feet, and began to speak.

"This morning, my camp was attacked by an unknown intruder. He killed one of my men, then fled. He was pursued, and we saw him apparate away with the assistance of an unknown witch. No doubt I was their target.

"The Ministry?", Yaxley asked.

Greyback hesitated.

"I don't know." He paused, fiddling with something in his pocket. Severus's eyes narrowed as he drew it out and put it on the table. The werewolf seemed almost uncertain, if that were possible. "One of my people found these at the scene."

"What are they?", Yaxley asked, but Severus's eyes were on the Dark Lord. He was gazing at the little bits of gleaming metal with a strange expression.

"Thank you, Greyback. I will consider our adversary's change in tactics. You are dismissed", Voldemort said, dismissing Greyback with a lazy gesture. Greyback opened his mouth, thought better of it, closed it, and after a muttered "My Lord" and a quick nod, turned and stomped from the room.

His disrespect will cause him trouble one day, Severus thought, not bothering to conceal his distaste for the beast.

"Well, Severus?", the Dark Lord asked at length.

He met his master's eyes and carefully concealed his thoughts.

"If it was someone in the Order, I knew nothing of it", he replied.

"Indeed", the Dark Lord replied. "The old fool is too soft, I think, for such tactics. And yet..." He frowned slightly, gazing contemplatively at the ceiling for a moment. Then he fixed his gaze on the Death Eaters around the table.

"Yaxley, instruct our Ministry contacts to make enquiries. Severus, you will discover if Dumbledore knows anything. The Headmaster may be too weak for such tactics himself, but there is little that he is not aware of. But for the moment, we have other matters to discuss. Yaxley, if you would?"

Severus listened as Yaxley laid out his progress in infiltrating the Ministry, filing the information away for subsequent use. Who had attacked Greyback? Not the Order, he was certain. It might simply have been one of the many people with a personal grudge against the notorious werewolf. If so, then Dumbledore might actually know nothing. He grimaced. In that case, the Dark Lord would be most displeased.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by Stewart M » 2018-03-18 11:14pm

"He moved his cope
*scope

Good chapter. Interesting that some of Fenrir's camp recognize a gun on sight (unfortunately, the first stranger Bond runs into), but others are not even aware they exist.

It's well within Bond's MO to go in alone, but maybe next time he'll be more amenable to backup.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by Tribble » 2018-03-19 03:23pm

Well that went south fast - not only are the Death Eaters tipped off to the fact that someone is using guns on them, Greyback got away.

Still, even if the more knowledgable Death Eaters and Voldemort take measures to protect themselves from bullets, Bond has plenty of options left. I don't think any of them stand a real chance against him in hand-to-hand unless they manage to curse him first. Bond + knife + disillusionment charm would be a really nasty combination :D
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by Tribble » 2018-03-19 04:08pm

Hmm, I also wonder if a disillusionment charm and/or silencing charm can be cast on a bulletins it's casing? It'd be real hard to protect against something you can't see or hear that's traveling at super sonic speeds. And that doesn't appear to leave any visible evidence apart from the wounds (though the Death Eaters know what they are looking for now)
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-19 06:12pm

Stewart M wrote:
2018-03-18 11:14pm
"He moved his cope
*scope
Damn it.
Good chapter. Interesting that some of Fenrir's camp recognize a gun on sight (unfortunately, the first stranger Bond runs into), but others are not even aware they exist.
Yeah. I think you'd get a lot of that in the Wizarding World in general- your average pure blood (unless they are a Muggle enthusiast like Arthur Weasley, or work in a Ministry job that requires them to know Muggle stuff, like Shacklebolt) probably knows nothing. Remember, in book three, the Prophet actually had to tell its readers that a gun was "a kind of metal wand Muggles use to kill each other", or some such.

Muggleborns (and probably most half-bloods) would at least recognize a gun, I think. Tonks is sort of in the middle here, having a Muggleborn father and pureblood mother.

Voldemort, who's backstory has him spending his childhood and teenage summers in Muggle London during WW2, is undoubtably aware of Muggle weaponry and its power, in at least broad terms.

Another question is weather Fenrir or his pack have ever bitten Muggles. I doubt it happens often, because the Ministry and possibly the ICW would come down on them like a ton of bricks if they did that. But I imagine werewolves biting Muggles must happen occasionally, and in a state of war, it'll be harder to police that.
It's well within Bond's MO to go in alone, but maybe next time he'll be more amenable to backup.
There are a couple of things going on here:

The first is that M and the PM want to keep knowledge of magic limited to as few people as possible, because once the genie is out of the bottle, there's no going back, and its the cluster fuck to end all cluster fucks. And because they don't want M and Bond getting mind-wiped by the Ministry of Magic (to say nothing of Tonks and Shacklebolt losing their jobs and possibly going to Azkaban).

The second is that Bond really isn't used to dealing with magic, yet, is uncomfortable about trusting it or those who use it in the field, and is still tending to default to tried and true methods, rather than fully employing the advantages magic offers.

For now.
Tribble wrote:
2018-03-19 03:23pm
Well that went south fast - not only are the Death Eaters tipped off to the fact that someone is using guns on them, Greyback got away.
Wouldn't want to make it too easy for Bond, now would we? :wink:

Besides, I think its realistic that Bond would still be a bit off his game. His entire understanding of the world has just been turned upside down, and even if he takes that in stride, it'll take time to fully learn the "new rules", so to speak.

I hope I've struck the right balance in making him out of his depth without seeming incompetent.
Still, even if the more knowledgable Death Eaters and Voldemort take measures to protect themselves from bullets, Bond has plenty of options left. I don't think any of them stand a real chance against him in hand-to-hand unless they manage to curse him first. Bond + knife + disillusionment charm would be a really nasty combination :D
I believe I said before that in my opinion, nothing in the Wizarding World short of a troll is taking Bond in hand-to-hand. :)
Tribble wrote:
2018-03-19 04:08pm
Hmm, I also wonder if a disillusionment charm and/or silencing charm can be cast on a bulletins it's casing? It'd be real hard to protect against something you can't see or hear that's traveling at super sonic speeds. And that doesn't appear to leave any visible evidence apart from the wounds (though the Death Eaters know what they are looking for now)
My personal impression from the books, at least, is that there are basically two kinds of silencing charms. One is Silencio, which is cast on a person and basically keeps them from making audible mouth noises.

The other is Muffliato, which IIRC seems more like an area-effect thing, creating a "bubble" where any sound inside the bubble is blocked or at least dampened for those outside the bubble.

The latter has wonderful possibilities for preventing evesdropping/surveillance of meetings, especially if it also effects electronic surveillance.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by Stewart M » 2018-03-19 07:37pm

There are a couple of things going on here:

The first is that M and the PM want to keep knowledge of magic limited to as few people as possible, because once the genie is out of the bottle, there's no going back, and its the cluster fuck to end all cluster fucks. And because they don't want M and Bond getting mind-wiped by the Ministry of Magic (to say nothing of Tonks and Shacklebolt losing their jobs and possibly going to Azkaban).

The second is that Bond really isn't used to dealing with magic, yet, is uncomfortable about trusting it or those who use it in the field, and is still tending to default to tried and true methods, rather than fully employing the advantages magic offers.
I just meant backup from Tonks.

Speaking of Wizarding knowledge of muggles, check out this screenshot. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Image

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-19 07:42pm

Yeah.

I think a lot of fandom plays up the "all wizards/all purebloods are completely ignorant of Muggles" thing way too much. It'll vary by individual, of course, based on their background, experiences, and personality, but...

I mean hell, in book one Draco fucking Malfoy knew what a helicopter was.

And, of course, my favorite wizard Kingsley Shacklebolt, who according to Pottermore is a pureblood, I believe, but knew enough Muggle shit to not only fit in seamlessly in the PM's staff, but get kudos from the PM for being such a good employee.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-03-19 08:10pm

Will Bond learn some tricks of the wizarding trade, like he learned some ninja moves from the Japanese secret service in You Only Live Twice?!

(one of Sean's)

Also, I'm not up to date on the Potterverse, but does Potterverse magic operate on the "cold iron " principle?
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-19 08:15pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-03-19 08:10pm
Will Bond learn some tricks of the wizarding trade, like he learned some ninja moves from the Japanese secret service in You Only Live Twice?!

(one of Sean's)
I don't want to give away too much, but I don't think its a spoiler to say that Bond will be learning how to take full advantage of the situation as time goes on.
Also, I'm not up to date on the Potterverse, but does Potterverse magic operate on the "cold iron " principle?
No mention of that in any canon that I've seen.

Certain magical creatures do have certain specific weaknesses that can be exploited, but there's no general weakness like that that affects magical beings generally, to my knowledge.

That said, there's no reason to believe that a bullet to the head won't work just as well on a wizard, goblin, house elf, etc., as on a Muggle (well, there is some evidence of wizards having somewhat superhuman durability, but not to superman levels or anything).

Edit: The trick is hitting them before they can disable or kill you. And some of the bigger or more esoteric magical creatures would be hard to take out with small arms. Dementors, in particular, are something that a Muggle gunman can't realistically counter without the aid of a highly skilled wizard.
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"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-03-19 08:31pm

Okay. It's just usually, in stories where magic is involved, it's usually limited by the presence of iron.

Interesting so far.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-20 12:13pm

Thanks. Glad you like it.

Yeah, Potterverse magic is kind of its own thing, in a lot of respects. Its tricky because Rowling is not a great world-builder (her strengths lie more in characterization and social satire, I think). On the one hand, that gives a fanfic writer a lot of latitude. The other side of that is that a writer has to put more thought into how they handle the setting, or they risk continuity errors or ripping off other settings (in particular, I've gotten the impression that a lot of HP fanfic these days rips off The Dresden Files, although its possible that they're just boring from the same older inspirations).
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-03-20 01:22pm

Dresden Files takes some of the tropes ofvsword and sorcery and technomancer fiction, make them their own and improve on them. In particular, there are some similarities between Dresden and Roland the Gunslinger from King's Dark Tower series, which are entirely unintentional.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-20 01:31pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-03-20 01:22pm
Dresden Files takes some of the tropes ofvsword and sorcery and technomancer fiction, make them their own and improve on them. In particular, there are some similarities between Dresden and Roland the Gunslinger from King's Dark Tower series, which are entirely unintentional.
Yeah.

Say what you will about Jim Butcher, he's a lot more thorough in his world-building that JK Rowling. I mean, he's not Tolkien-level, but then who is?
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-03-22 03:20pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-20 01:31pm
U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-03-20 01:22pm
Dresden Files takes some of the tropes ofvsword and sorcery and technomancer fiction, make them their own and improve on them. In particular, there are some similarities between Dresden and Roland the Gunslinger from King's Dark Tower series, which are entirely unintentional.
Yeah.

Say what you will about Jim Butcher, he's a lot more thorough in his world-building that JK Rowling. I mean, he's not Tolkien-level, but then who is?
Tolkien had what... 20yrs of revisions before he published first? And even then LoTR and Hobbit don't completely match up?

The only question I had was why didn't they give Bond *silver* bullets for the weres? Or does that not work?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-22 05:42pm

LadyTevar wrote:
2018-03-22 03:20pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-20 01:31pm
U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-03-20 01:22pm
Dresden Files takes some of the tropes ofvsword and sorcery and technomancer fiction, make them their own and improve on them. In particular, there are some similarities between Dresden and Roland the Gunslinger from King's Dark Tower series, which are entirely unintentional.
Yeah.

Say what you will about Jim Butcher, he's a lot more thorough in his world-building that JK Rowling. I mean, he's not Tolkien-level, but then who is?
Tolkien had what... 20yrs of revisions before he published first? And even then LoTR and Hobbit don't completely match up?

The only question I had was why didn't they give Bond *silver* bullets for the weres? Or does that not work?
You know, I don't recall anything in canon about werewolves and silver one way or the other, though since they're pretty-much bog-standard werewolves otherwise, I would think that it would work.

But Bond went after these wolves when they were in human form, and there's certainly no indication of invulnerability to mundane damage in non-transformed werewolves. There might be some greater durability, since some werewolf abilities seem to carry over in diluted form, at least in the books (like Bill being scarred and affected by Greyback, but not becoming a werewolf). But I should think a direct headshot would still be effective. That is the presumption I am operating under, in any case.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-28 02:55pm

Accidental post. Please disregard. I was editing the draft for the next chapter, and posted submit by mistake instead of saving my last edit. :oops:
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-31 05:37pm

And... done.




August 1st.

"Mr. Bond."

"Tonks."

They were back in the room in the Leaky Cauldron, Bond in his usual seat across the table from her, having given her his usual once-over that was half-leer, half calculation. Lately, meeting Bond, she always found herself feeling that he was measuring her. What his conclusions were, he kept hidden behind a blank mask or a smirk.

She shifted uncomfortably, reassured by the feel of her wand in her right hip pocket. There were times, when they had to maintain the pretense of being a couple meeting up for a date, or when he let his mask slip enough to show his discomfort with magic, that she felt almost comfortable around him, like they were... friends. But he was a killer, and they were fighting a secret war in which discovery meant at best the lost of a career, at worst a slow death for them and everyone they-or she-held dear. She wasn't actually certain if Bond had anyone. It was remarkable, reflecting on their meetings, how little he had ever let slip about himself. Another reason for discomfort.

She looked at the folder he had placed on the table in front of her, a sick feeling forming in the pit of her stomach. Our next target. She opened the folder, and saw two names starring up at her.

"The Carrows?"

Bond grunted, retrieving the folder.

"Brother and sister. The sister lives in an old country house on the outskirts of Hogsmede, the brother lives in an attic over a shop in Knockturn Alley. No official employment in either case, though they are believed to be suppliers of stolen or smuggled goods for a pawn shop in Knockturn Alley." Bond glanced at the papers. "Borgin and Burkes. Suspected by the Ministry of being used to traffic dark artifacts. Amycus Carrow has a prior conviction for assaulting a Muggle-born, for which he was fined 100 Galleons and put on probation. Alecto has been seen in the company of convicted Death Eater Walden McNair. Amycus has been seen in the company of Fenrir Greyback and members of his pack. Both suspected Death Eaters, but insufficient evidence for an arrest."

Tonks chewed her lip. Something about this was bothering her.

"Problem?", Bond asked.

"Well... the thing is, we don't actually know that they're Death Eaters. They're not nice people, obviously, and they probably have Death Eater sympathies, but murdering someone on nothing but suspicion..."

"Greyback wasn't convicted of being a Death Eater either", Bond reminded her.

"That's different", she protested. "The Order knew that Greyback was meeting with Death Eaters, trying to recruit people to their cause. We knew he'd bitten children, on purpose. All we know about the Carrows is that they're small-time crooks who occasionally talk to Death Eaters. I'm just... not sure that that's enough to justify murder."

"We've been over this", Bond replied, his voice hard. "This isn't police work, this is war. We find them, we kill them. You brought me in because the Ministry of Magic can't touch these people, because these are problems you can't solve inside the limits of the law. I need your help, but I can't afford second thoughts."

She starred at him, momentarily at a loss. Then she took a deep breath, and tried to give a response that would convince him.

"I'm in", she said. "Someone needs to stop them, and you can't do it without my help. I just think that we should try to confirm the target before we go blowing their heads off. There are several ways of magically verifying whether someone is telling the truth. We can erase their memories afterward." Before he could reply, she continued. "What's the point of having a witch as a consultant if you don't listen to their advice?"

Bond considered.

"Risky. Safer to just shoot them than try to take them alive."

"Think of the information we could get if we questioned them."

"Hmm. How good are your memory charms?"

He sounded like he was considering her proposal seriously. She pressed her advantage. "Every employee of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement has to be proficient in Obliviation."

"And every M16 agent is supposed to be proficient in hand-to-hand combat. I can assure you from experience that many are rather sub-par."

"I can cast an effective memory charm."

"Weaknesses? It can be broken?"

She shrugged.

"Any trained witch or wizard can undo standard Obliviation, if they know to cast the counter-spell. A more powerful, or botched, Obliviation can damage memories irretrievably."

Bond nodded sharply.

"Alright. We do it your way. We interrogate the targets under Veritaseurum, see if they can lead us to other targets, or provide information on Voldemort's plans. If they're clean, you wipe them and they go free. If not..."

She nodded, relaxing slightly. Bond rose, slipping the folder back into the pouch he had brought it in.

"We'll apparate to the outskirts of Hogsmede. I've staked out the house- it should be clear by about ten o'clock. We'll break in, capture the target, interrogate her." Bond rose, and Tonks hurriedly followed suit.

"Now?"

Bond smirked back over his shoulder.

"No time like the present."

Tonks followed Bond out of the Cauldron and down the street, before ducking into a side alley. Bond glanced about to make sure they weren't followed, and Tonks cast a quick Homenum Revello.

"We're clear", she announced.

"Better change your face", Bond said, and after a moment's thought, she allowed her face to shift into its newly chosen form. Her skin tanned, nose lengthening, her hair becoming shoulder-length and black, her breasts shrinking slightly and her height dropping by a couple of inches.

There, that should be nicely inconspicuous. And different enough not to be recognized. As a final touch, she added a large pimple on the left side of her nose- exactly the sort of feature that would be noticed by witnesses and confuse descriptions, then shot a smug grin at Bond. She'd had a hard time passing the tests to become an Auror, but one thing she'd never had trouble with was disguises.

"Alright, hold on." She gripped Bond's arm, turned quickly, and apparated.

***

Bond stumbled slightly as the terrible pressure and disorientation of apparition vanished and he found himself standing on a grassy hill, ringed by foreboding mountains. A cold breeze swept the hilltop as he glanced around them. There was no one in sight. Tonks cast her spell again, and seemed satisfied that they were unobserved. The witch was completely unrecognizable, and Bond shook his head slightly in silent admiration. If he hadn't seen Tonks transform, he would never have known that it was her on this hilltop, and he suspected that she could easily fool even the best facial recognition software if she tried.

Its going to be hell securing MI6 against Wizarding infiltration, he thought grimly. Especially since M couldn't actually give the real reason for the increased security protocols. Though she had begun introducing a number of new measures, including additional security cameras and random psych. evaluations, which had caused much grumbling among employees who didn't know the reasons for the new security.

Now that he knew they had not been spotted, he took a moment to study their surroundings. They were on a low, grassy hill on the Southern edge of a large valley, ringed by mountains. Somewhere in northern Scotland, he knew, as the cold and the heather growing thickly on the hilltop suggested. Perhaps a mile away, he could see a small cluster of buildings with steeply-peaked roofs, presumably the village of Hogsmede, with smoke curling from their chimneys into the chill grey air. A winding dirt road, like a thin pale snake winding across the grassy hills, lead down from the mountains and through the village, then continued on past a sprawling expanse of tangled dark forest to their left. Beyond the forest, or perhaps in its midst, he could just see the distant towers of a castle.

"That's Hogwarts?" He pointed in the direction of the castle.

Tonks nodded.

"Schools' out now, not a lot of people around."

"Maybe you'll give me a tour", he said, smiling.

She frowned.

"Dumbledore knows everything that goes on in that school. We don't want to draw his attention."

Indeed. He snorted. The problem with operating in the Wizarding World was that he still didn't really know the full limits of what was possible. He'd checked Tonks' information, and Kingsley's dossier, against various other sources, and he had confirmed a lot of the basic information. But every agent knew that a briefing, however accurate or comprehensive, was no substitute for in-the-field experience, and he simply didn't have that yet. The memory of the bungled raid on Greyback's camp was still fresh in his mind, and he certainly wasn't ready to try to deceive the most powerful and well-connected wizarding official in the world, especially when he still didn't know exactly what that wizard was capable of. He turned toward the village, and gestured to Tonks.

"Ladies first."

***

It was ten thirty by her watch, and Tonks was cold, tired, hungry, and stiff. They'd been watching the little house on the edges of Hogsmede for hours, and had seen nothing but an owl and a stray dog. The lights were out inside, and she had rejected casting Homenum Revello for fear of tripping any security charms. She'd cast a few cautious detection spells, and she was pretty sure that there was some sort of magical alarm around the edge of the property. That would be a problem. She had warned Bond, and he had suggested trying to ambush the Carrows as they arrived or departed, which ought to work as long as they left the property before apparating. And so they waited. Bond didn't speak. He simply sat, cross-legged and still, against a boulder. Once or twice he glanced at his watch.

A chill breeze gusted through the trees, and Tonks shivered. She started as she felt Bond touch her arm, and turned to see him offering her his jacket. She starred for a moment, then resisted the urge to roll her eyes. She supposed that the gesture was meant to be chivalrous, but...

"Quite unnecessary, thank you." She pulled out her wand and muttered a quick warming charm. Bond raised an eyebrow.

"Warming charm", she explained, then pointed the wand at him. "You?"

He hesitated, then gave her a short nod. She cast the charm again, and after a moment, Bond settled back against his boulder, relaxing.

"There's not much you can't do with magic, is there", he said after a moment. He sounded uneasy, she thought. She usually couldn't tell what he was thinking except when he was leering at her, but she'd been around him enough to notice that magic made him uncomfortable.

"Does that bother you", she asked after a moment.

He was silent for a minute.

"In my line of work", he said eventually, "You survive by staying one step ahead of your opponents. Knowing what they're capable of, what you're capable of. In my world, I know the rules. But here-"

She nodded.

"You have to relearn everything." She hadn't really thought about how frightening that must be for him, to suddenly find himself back at square one after a life time of honing his skills.

"Shhh." Bond interrupted whatever she might have said next, holding a finger to his lips, then carefully turning and peering over the edge of the boulder. She froze, eased herself down behind the rock and then rolled over to peek around it.

A small, dark figure, hunched and bundled in tattered cloth, was hurrying up the path towards the cottage's door. She couldn't tell if it was either of the Carrows, but in a moment it would be behind the cover of the cottage's spells. There wasn't time to think. She just pointed her wand and muttered the first spell that came to mind.

"Petrificus Totalus."

The figure stiffened and fell face-first to the ground. After a quick glance to make sure that no alarm had been raised, she rose and moved across the wet grass toward the path. She thought she heard Bond say something, but she wasn't sure.

Carefully, she approached the fallen figure, keeping her wand trained on it, her eyes scanning the darkness for any sign of movement. Slowly, she reached out with one foot and nudged the person. When they didn't move, she bent down to turn them over.

Amycus Carrow's face starred up at her, frozen except for the eyes which bulged out of his face, tracking her movements. She shivered. And that was when she heard the door of the cottage swing open, and golden light flooded into the night.

She rose and spun, but her wand snagged on Amycus's cloak. She jerked it free, cursing; heard a woman's voice shout harshly and looked up to see Alecto Carrow scrambling for her own wand. Tonks' first hasty shot went wide, and before she could take aim again, a jet of silver light shot through the darkness and pain seared up her left arm. She shrieked, tumbling to one side, but she kept her grip on her own wand. She heard Alecto cursing, saw a flash of light, and the next thing she knew she was lying on her back, starring up at the stars, her body immobilized by invisible force. She lay there, heart pounding, as footsteps approached her down the rocky path. Where was Bond?

"Finite Incantatum", she heard Alecto cancelling her body-bind on Amycus. She heard the other Death Eater getting to his feet. Where was Bond? She hoped he had had the sense to run, to go get help... except he couldn't do that. He wouldn't break his cover. She would die here, probably in agony, because she hadn't been quick enough-

A loud crack split the air, and she felt the bonds around her loosen. She scrambled backwards as someone started screaming, her gaze falling on the crumpled body of Alecto Carrow, her neck twisted horribly, her eyes starring blankly as a trickle of blood ran down her forehead from the hole in her head. Amycus was crouched next to his sister's body, his face twisted with rage and confusion. He raised his head, his eyes meeting Tonks', and his face convulsed into a snarl of murderous fury. She raised her wand.

"Expelliarmus!"

The Death Eater's wand flew from his hand and landed beside her. He lunged at her, but her stunner caught him between the eyes and he fell, unconscious. A shadow fell across her.

"Need a hand?"

She looked up and found Bond standing over her, one hand held out to her. She pulled herself to her feet instead, brushing dirt off of her jeans and hoping that Bond couldn't see how her hands trembled. She starred at Alecto, lying dead in the driveway, then at the gun in Bond's other hand.

"You shot her."

"Only way to break the spell on you was to kill the caster. Good job stunning that one." He nodded at Amycus's unconscious form. "Would have been a shame if we couldn't question him."

He turned and hoisted Amycus's body over one shoulder and carried him into the house. She stood there for a moment, then pointed her wand at Alecto's body and muttered "Mobilicorpus.' The body rose into the air, limbs and head dangling horribly. Tonks looked away, then with a wave of her wand guided the floating corpse towards the house.

***

She helped Bond carry the bodies into the house, casting another quick detection charm to make certain that they were not observed. They triggered the alarms when they approached the house, but it didn't matter now- anyone inside already knew they were there. She tried not to look at Alecto's body, or to think about how Bond had just shot a woman who might or might not have really been a Death Eater. Of course, he'd been protecting her, but she never would have been attacked if they hadn't come here. She put it aside, casting another detection charm and then vanishing the blood from the path with a few flicks of her wand. When she came back in, Bond was tying Amycus to a wooden chair in the parlor. He stood up, nodding to her as she closed and locked the door behind her.

"Upstairs is clear. Put up a detection charm, and a sound-dampening charm." She did so, then turned back to Bond, who was gazing grimly down at the unconscious Amicus.

"Wake him."

She pointed her wand at the man, a sick feeling in her stomach, then paused.

"Wait. We should give him the veritaserum first. If he's awake, he might be able to resist the effects." Bond nodded.

She pulled the vial out of her bag-the charms had kept it from shattering during the fight-uncorked it and poured a few drops down Amycus's throat. His skin and hair were greasy to the touch. She stepped back, wiping her hands, and pocketed the vial. She glanced at Bond.

"Do it."

She pointed her wand at the man and said "Enervate.' Amycus's eyes blinked. Then he raised his head, gazing at them blearily.

"What is your name", Bond asked.

"Amycus Carrow", the man replied.

"Are you now, or have you ever been, a servant of Lord Voldemort?"

"I serve the Dark Lord. I will be... rewarded greatly, when he rises to power."

Tonks felt her shoulders sag a bit in relief. She shouldn't be glad that this man was a Death Eater. But at least they hadn't attacked an innocent person.

"What about your sister", she asked. "The woman we- that we killed? Was she a Death Eater?"

"She was." He said the words without emotion, as though the death of his closest relative made him feel nothing at all. Tonks shivered.

"Do you know the identities of any other Death Eaters", Bond continued.

"Yes, several."

"Name them."

Tonks hurriedly fumbled for a quill and parchment and began scribbling notes.

"Walden McNair. Lucius Malfoy. Crabbe. Goyle."

"Any who weren't apprehended at the Ministry last spring", Bond interrupted.

"Bellatrix Lestrange. Runcorn. Yaxley. Severus Snape. Draco Malfoy."

Tonks looked up sharply at that name, but Bond gave no sign that he had recognized it.

"Do you know Lord Voldemort's current whereabouts?"

"No. He usually meets with us at Malfoy Manor."

"Are you familiar with the Manor's defenses?"

"No."

"Can you tell us anything about the spells protecting it?"

"There's an anti-apparition charm on the grounds, and a locking spell on the gates."

Bond grimaced, reflecting Tonks' own feelings. It was nothing they couldn't have already guessed.

"What is Lord Voldemort's next target?"

"I don't know."

Bond glanced at her.

"Anything else?"

She tried to think, but her mind was blank. She shook her head slightly, willing herself not to look away, not to try to shield herself from witnessing the consequences of her actions. Without a word, Bond raised his gun and fired twice. Amycus's body jerked in the chair, twitched once or twice, then went still.

"Transfigure the bodies. Something small and ordinary."

It took her two tries, but she managed to transfigure the two Death Eaters into a pair of small bones. Bones seemed appropriate, she thought, trying to surpress a nervous laugh. Bond pocketed them.

"Time to go."

***

The Sun was rising over London as a solitary man in a jacket and tie strode along the banks of the Thames. He slowed as he neared the ruins of the Millennium Bridge, pausing to fish a pair of small objects out of his jacket pocket. He leaned over the rail at the bank of the river. There was a splash, and the man turned and walked away, leaving spreading ripples in the murky water behind him.

***

It was mid-morning before Tonks could face the walk up her parents' drive. She paused at the door, then knocked twice. Her mother opened it, and one look at her fact told Tonks that something was very wrong.

"Mum?"

A loud thumping sound approached from down the hall, and the grizzled features of Mad Eye Moody stumped into view behind her mother, wand drawn and pointed at her.

"What was it you called me after your first weekend of Auror training?"

"A bloody paranoid pillock", she replied tiredly.

"And what did I tell you?"

"That being paranoid had kept you alive."

He gave her a brief shadow of a smile before his face settled into its usual scowl.

"Lupin missed the meeting last night." Her heart plummeted and the world seemed to fade around her as Mad Eye continued. "He's not answering messages. Arthur went by his house this morning, but he's not there. He's missing."
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prime Minister's Plan.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-02 02:49am

It's going to be interesting when Death Eaters on the fringes just start disappearing. Voldemort and company might overreact to such actions, driving the neutral wizards away from them.
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