I'm back on the forums and I'm back on posting after a terribly long absence. I was trying to get rid of my writer's block on my ongoing fiction, and I re-read all the fics I've written, so far. I've come to a realisation: they were awfully written! and they lacked continuity!
So I decided to rework them from the beginning. So even if you've already read Seal of Chaos, you will find new stuff in this topic. If you haven't read it already, I hope you will like that.
Now, about the story. I have started to write it after the release of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". I wrote a story taking place five years after Voldemort's defeat, based on the events that had taken place in books 1 to 5. Now that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is out, this story can be seen as nothing else but Alternate Universe. I tried to think it over, and I tried to re-adapt the contents to what had taken place in Book seven... it couldn't be done without totally destroying the spirit of this "Hogwarts series". I decided to stay AU and just stick a little closer to the reality of magic as described by JKR. So it's another reality that is written, here.
As usual when dealing with fanfiction, nothing in these lines is meant for profit. I claim neither ownership or authorship of the Harry Potter Universe. I do claim the characters I've created in this story, among others, Alexander Lockenburn and Phyllis McRoth.
Enjoy your reading. Let's start with a prologue!
Prologue: Rise of the Entropist
October 31st: The night of the “Boy-Who-lived”
The night sky shone with a thousand lights over Kent. Stars were shooting in every direction in a fantasy of colours that was far from being natural. A little five year old boy was looking to the sky with a dazzled face, and he couldn’t care less if that was natural or not. This was the most beautiful night he had ever seen. The celestial lightshow was receding now. There still were some sparkling stars falling off the sky. And his mother didn’t seem too pleased about it.
He could hear her mumble behind him. “This is madness! Taking such a risk!” But he couldn’t understand what was wrong with the falling stars.
“Come on, Chandra,” said his father voice. “If we can’t celebrate today, when can we, honestly?”
“I’m not saying this isn’t a time to celebrate, Damien, but to risk the exposure of our world today just to celebrate, this is madness. Dedalus should know better, after all.”
“Dedalus is a little light-headed sometimes,” admitted Damien. “But you can’t deny that this is a beautiful show!”
“I do think it’s beautiful,” said Chandra, a little impatiently. “But it’s risky.”
“You would be surprised, my dear,” Damien said. “Muggles are so easily forgetful of those things. They seem to be able to wipe the most astonishing things from their minds; just to be sure they won’t have to face the mere idea of believing it. And the kid loves it.”
The voice of his father was warm and calm. He always had been warm and reassuring to him, but in these days, he had sounded worried as well... deeply worried. That was beyond all the little worries he could show when his son got into trouble. It had been a shadow that had scared the boy. Tonight, the shadow was gone.
He heard his mother come near him.
“Come on, little wizard, it’s time to bed!”
“Couldn’t we just wait a little, Mum?” the boy asked.
“No, Honey, we can’t. It’s already ten. You should have been in bed for an hour, already.”
His father joined them and they walked back to their house, each parent grabbing one of his hands. This felt good.
“Say, Daddy, why do we celebrate, today?” he asked.
Damien chuckled. He stopped walking and kneeled before his son.
“Were you eavesdropping again?”
The boy shifted uncomfortably on his feet, feeling a little guilty of having overheard their conversation.
“Well, you were talking very loud,” he said, trying for that explanation.
Damien laughed a little louder. His mother smiled.
“Today, something great happened,” she said “.And something terrible as well. You remember this Dark Wizard who is terrifying everyone? The one who killed so many people?”
“Voldemort” the boy said, nodding.
It was a name he wasn’t used to speak aloud. His father had told him many times not to tell it to his friends, as many people were even afraid of this name. His parents didn’t fear that name, and they didn’t fear Voldemort. They hated him, which was a thing the young boy had figured out himself. Voldemort had killed some of his parents’ friends. He was an evil man.
“Well, today, Voldemort has been defeated” his father said.
“Really? How? Who did it?”
His curiosity was natural at his age, but his mother seemed a little uncomfortable.
“How, we don’t know,” his father said. “But we know who did it. It was a little boy. Do you remember James Potter?”
“Your Quidditch partner? The tall guy with glasses?”
“Yes. He has a son, Harry. And Harry Potter caused Voldemort to be defeated.”
“Wow! Is it possible, Mum? Can a baby defeat a Dark Wizard?” he asked.
“A little boy can do so many things,” said Chandra with a smile. “Even getting in trouble every hour of the day,” she added with a pinch of feint reproach in her voice, but still smiling.
“That’s why we celebrate tonight. To remember the day the Dark Lord disappeared.”
“Is he gone for good, Daddy?” the young boy asked.
“We don’t know, son,” his father answered. “Only time will tell. I hope so, but it’s not sure. Come on, now, off to bed.”
The boy followed his mother to their house. He turned to his father.
“One day, I’ll be a hero, too,” he said. “I’ll defeat a great Dark Wizard myself!”
“I’m sure you will, my son, I’m sure you will,” said his father, grinning.
“But before that, you have to sleep!” his mother urged him to move over to the front door.
They have been watching the falling star rain from the garden of their house in Kent. The couple lived there for years now.
As his mother was tucking him into his bed, the little boy asked.
“And that little boy, Harry… what will happen to him. Will he be a hero?”
“I don’t know, honey,” his mother said. “I don’t know.”
There was something wrong about it, the little boy knew it. His mother suddenly went sad.
“What’s wrong, Mum?” the boy asked.
His mother always told him the truth, so she couldn’t hide it from him.
“It’s just that this poor Harry will have to live without his parents now. They’ve been killed by Voldemort.”
The little boy felt suddenly sorry for the young Harry. And he felt sadder because he had liked James very much. James was a nice man, always good to him when he came to visit them, even if it hasn’t been really often. He felt the tears coming to his eyes, without really understanding why. His mother took him in her arms, and he began to cry. But finally he fell asleep, in his mother’s arms.
Chandra kept looking at her son for a long time. Damien joined her at some point. Chandra couldn’t help a shiver going down her neck. Damien’s arm came over her shoulder, reassuringly. He smiled to comfort her.
“There’s nothing to worry about, Chandra,” Damien said. “Now Voldemort’s gone, everything will get better.”
“I’m thinking about Harry, all alone, orphaned. What if the same happens to him?” she said, looking at her son.
“It won’t happen,” Damien said. “Our son is safe. Voldemort never was after us, nor were his followers. Our son won’t be deprived of his parents. He has a destiny. But he won’t be alone just like this poor Harry.”
Chandra broke into tears.
“I still can’t believe it. James and Lily! It’s horrible!”
“I know, love,” Damien said. “I know.”
And all this time, young Alexander Lockenburn was sleeping, unaware of his parents’ worries, but dreaming about a little baby, forced to face the world alone, now. A little baby with a scar on his forehead.
When he told his parents about his dream, the next morning, they looked puzzled. Where did he get the idea of a scar on the baby’s forehead?
Two weeks later
“And still you say he must live there?” Damien asked. “He should live in his own world, you know.”
“I understand your concern, Damien,” Albus Dumbledore said. “But there is a powerful magic where he lives that protects him. It may not be the best way, but it’s surely the safest. We all want to keep Harry safe.”
“Why? He can’t be touched! Voldemort’s gone, isn’t he?” Damien said.
“Nothing’s less sure than that,” said Dumbledore. “And I’m quite certain an Auror like you has considered the idea of someone wanting to avenge him.”
“I can’t imagine what would have happened if Sirius had put his clutches on Harry,” said Chandra, with a shiver.
“There’s still something fishy with Sirius,” Damien said. “I still can’t believe he’s a traitor. Are you sure he was James and Lily’s Secret Keeper?” he asked Dumbledore.
The old Wizard nodded, sadly.
“The last time I spoke to James about the Fidelius Charm, he was still intending to make Sirius their Secret Keeper. So it leaves us only one truth.”
“Sirius” Damien whispered. “It doesn’t stand! He was dark, yes, but nobody despised dark Magic more than him, except maybe James. He was so willing to escape his family’s history. I still can’t believe he’s guilty.”
“And I still say we could have taken Harry with us,” Chandra said. “We may not be family, but we were friends of his parents. Even if we weren’t as close to them as Remus was, we could have taken that poor child. He could be happy here.”
“I know, Dumbledore said. But still Harry’s safety will pass before his happiness. I’m sure you understand, Chandralène. The Magic of his blood will protect him while he’s there.”
“Of course,” Chandra said, a little gloomily.
Damien couldn’t help a smirk.
“She wants a little brother for Alexander, whatever the cost,” he told Dumbledore, teasing his wife.
“How’s the boy doing?” Dumbledore asked. “He’s the reason of my visit, after all. You said he dreamed of Harry?”
“Alexander’s fine,” Chandra said, with a light trace of bitterness in her voice.
“What is it?” Dumbledore said. “You look concerned”.
“It’s just that Alexander is showing very little sign of Magic. All his friends are teasing him saying he’s a squib,” Damien said.
“But Hogwarts registry has his name on it,” Dumbledore said, surprised. “Never any sign of Magic?”
“Well, we sometimes feel he will do something, and suddenly it stops,” Damien said. “It’s a little frustrating.”
“I’m sure it will come with age,” Chandra said, a little aggressive. “My son is not a squib!”
“I don’t believe he is,” Dumbledore said, “especially not after experiencing a vision like this one.”
“A Vision?” said Damien.
“A vision,” said Dumbledore. “Dreaming of Harry Potter is normal right now for a lot of kids. He’s bound to enter legend. But nobody knew about this scar until a few days ago, when it was mentioned in the Prophet. If he has seen it on the night Harry was attacked, it means it was a vision of some kind. And it means Alexander has magic in him. It’s amazing he managed to see the truth about this scar. It kind of shows a connection between him and Harry. Curious. Anyway, I doubt his magic will stay discrete for so long. Not with this particular destiny he seems to have.”
“Still no news about this Prophecy?” Damien asked.
“No,” Dumbledore conceded. “It’s strange. We have rarely seen a Prophecy so powerful but we never found the exact meaning of it.”
The night Alexander was born, a very famous Seer had experienced a Prophecy. At the exact second Alexander came to this world, the prophecy was enounced by the Seer. It was short, clear, but still mysterious. And the vision had a strength few people had seen before.
The Son of Entropy is born, the world dreading his rise. Watch his path closely, for it will define the fate of those who will come after him.
That could, obviously mean a thousand things, and nobody knew for sure what would happen to Alexander. But still the fact he didn’t show any magic was concerning for Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts and one of the greatest wizards in the world.
At this moment, somebody came knocking frantically on the Lockenburns’ door. Chandra came to open and Lavinia Hawkeye face appeared rather pale and flustered.
“Damien, Chandra, quick! There’s something wrong with Alexander at the little school!”
The little school for Wizard children was more a place to play and learn usual interaction between wizards than a real school. Most children of this region were attending this place, to learn how to live with each other.
When Dumbledore, Chandra and Damien apparated in front of the school’s garden, what they saw made them stand still in shock. But the shock lasted only a few seconds. Dumbledore started to smile. But Chandra didn’t.
“ALEXANDER TIBERIUS LOCKENBURN!” she shouted. “What do you think you’re doing?!”
Slowly, carefully, Alexander turned to face his mother, his face red with embarrassment, but with still a slight trace of fury in the eye. Right over him, there was a pack of four kids who seemed tied by an invisible bound, and stranded, floating in the air. Each one looked in pure panic!
Chandralène knelt before her son, a stern look on her face.
“What are you doing?” She repeated.
“It’s their fault!” Alexander said, pointing at the boys angrily. “They keep saying I’m useless! They say I’m a Squib!!”
“Let them go, now, Alexander,” his father said.
Alexander looked at the boys, frowned slightly and the boys fell roughly on the ground. Mrs Hawkeye ran to them and took them in the school, talking softly to calm them. They were giving Alexander terrified looks, as if he would make them explode, this very second.
“How did you do that? “ Chandra asked.
“Do what?” Alexander looked puzzled.
“Do what? You just levitated them in pack! How did you?” Chandra said, a little note of concern coming in her tone.
“I dunno,” Alexander said. “I just did! I looked at them and I wanted them there, so they wouldn’t mock me anymore!”
Chandra looked petrified.
“If I may, Chandralène,” Dumbledore intervened.
The Old wizard knelt in front of Alexander. He smiled reassuringly.
“You have done this before? Make things happen like that?”
“Sometimes, I do things weird, but when I want to show someone, it doesn’t work!” said Alexander.
“His tone was so frustrated that they couldn’t doubt for a second he was honest. Yet for all his anger, he looked at Dumbledore with wide eyes. He seemed fascinated by the Old Wizard.
“What kinds of things?” Dumbledore asked.
Alexander looked up to his father.
“Come on Alexander, answer Professor Dumbledore,” he said with a smile.
“Well, one day, I turned a frog into a lizard, because it was the same green, but then he seemed not happy so I turned him back!”
Chandra blinked, her mouth fell open, out of surprise. This kind of transfiguration was just out of range of a five year old wizard.
“And then, one day, I send this rock up to the top of the hill,” Alexander said.
“To the top of the hill?” Dumbledore repeated.
“He was the only rock in the grass” Alexander said. “There are plenty of rocks up there, so I sent it at the top, so he could be with his friends”.
“That was nice of you, Alexander,” Dumbledore said with a smile. “Very nice indeed”.
“Am I going to be punished?” Alexander asked reluctantly.
He was looking so repentant, now, that Chandra couldn’t help but laugh. She was more than convinced that he regretted to have done that... at least a little. She took her on in her arms and held him tight against her.
“Just promise you won’t do that again to your friends, okay?” she said.
“‘Kay” Alexander said, looking very relieved.
Dumbledore turned to Damien and exchanged with him a significant look. Something odd was going on, that was for sure.
“He’s using very powerful forces on his own” Dumbledore said. “And on a very instinctive level. That’s very rare. The last case we had a wizard act like this with such a power was in the Thirteenth Century.”
They were back in the Lockenburns’ lounge. Damien and Chandra sat, facing Dumbledore, over the tea set. They looked concerned about their son’s first shot in magic. But at the same time, they were reassured, as Alexander obviously wasn’t a squib.
“So what is he?” Damien asked.
“I think we found the meaning of the 'Son of Entropy', said Dumbledore. “Alexander seems to use Magic at its most primal level, when it’s still pure chaos. He’s using its power at will. Many wizards can perform wandless spells, but never at such a level. I think that we can consider that Alexander is what we call a Chaotic Wizard. That’s very strange indeed. I’ll have to study the question.”
“My goodness! Does it mean he won’t be like the others?” said Chandra.
“We’ll have to wait until he attends Hogwarts,” Dumbledore replied “When he gets his first wand, we’ll see how he evolves as a wizard. You need not to worry, Chandra. At least he has proved everyone that he’s not a squib, didn’t he?”
Dumbledore had a twinkling in his eyes that Chandra wasn’t sure she liked. Somehow, she suspected the Old Wizard to find all of this thoroughly amusing.
August, Diagon Alley: Ollivander's
“Mrs Lockenburn,” Mr Ollivander said, with a kind smile. “Headmaster Dumbledore told me you would come soon. So this is young Mister Lockenburn,” he added, looking straight into Alexander’s eyes.
Alexander felt a little scared by this old man. He had eyes that were so clear they seemed unnatural, even in the wizarding world. Alexander had the odd feeling that Mr Ollivander was looking right into his soul.
“So you’re here for your first wand, aren’t you, my young Sir?”
“Which hand are you using?”
Alexander raised his right hand. Mr Ollivander began taking all kind of measure with a self-acting ribbon. Until he looked satisfied, the ribbon continued to measure things on Alexander, even the compared length of his two little fingers. Then, on a snap by Mr Ollivander, the ribbon dropped on the floor, without any further moving. Alexander only noticed that Mr Ollivander had gone in the back of his shop, but at the very same second he turned to his mother, Ollivander was back, with small black leather boxes under his arm. There were five of them.
“May I suggest you try one of these? Headmaster Dumbledore warned me you may be a tricky client. And according to my measures, you seem to fulfil his expectations. Let’s try this one. Ebony, very strong, and Dragon heartstring.”
Alexander took the wand Mr Ollivander was giving him. Nothing happened at all. The old man looked a little thoughtful for a moment. Then he smiled cunningly.
“Hmm, maybe a more reactive substance, then,” he mumbled.
He opened another of the black boxes. He held out a different wand to Alexander. A wand that was thinner and longer as well.
“Thirteen inches, Beachwood and Phoenix feather. Let’s see.”
Alexander took the wand, waved it, but nothing happened. He was starting to get nervous. He knew that he may not find the proper wand. His parents have already told him he was dealing with Magic a very special way. But the idea of not getting any wand was scaring him. It would confirm for good the fact he wasn’t like the others, an idea he clearly disliked. After the five boxes, Ollivander gave him wand after wand to try and get some reaction. With each failure, he was noting something on a little notepad, with a little quill. After a while, he seemed to conclude complicated calculations, and his clear blue eyes lit up somehow.
“Aha,” he said. “Well, maybe we do need something unusual… really unusual.”
He went to the front of the shop, opened a delicate frame and got out a very beautiful wand, before to hold it out for Alexander.
“We’ll try with this one, then. Mahogany and Willow, twelve inches, and…”
Mr Ollivander seemed to make his sentence last, in order to preserve a mystery. A little uneasy, Alexander took the wand, felt its warmth in his hand. He gave it a wave. There was a flash of lightning. All the wands in the shop seemed to react as there was a trembling in the piles of boxes. Mr Ollivander looked around, with a surprised look on his face. And then he smiled with the look of someone who was given a very special treat.
“I never thought I would sell this one at last,” he said. “But to the unusual magic, the unusual wand, of course.”
“Unusual wand?” asked both Alexander and his mother.
They smiled at each other.
“You see, Mrs Lockenburn,” Mr Ollivander said, “I usually make my wands out of one type of wood and with three very special substances. Dragon heartstring, Unicorn hair, and Phoenix Feather. One day I took on the challenge of making a wand out of unusual substances. This one is a mix of Mahogany and Willow, combined by magic which makes it both strong and flexible. And in the core, I used Magic blue Quartz. I thought it would never fit anyone. It was more like an artistic challenge, you see. The trick with that wand is that to make it react properly, you must be in real deep contact with magic inside yourself. Some wands reinforce the inner power of their wizards, but some others need a great personal force to be worked. Professor Dumbledore told me your son was going to be a special case.”
“And so this wand…
“This wand needs very powerful inner magic to work properly. And as you saw, it worked. I’m sure you will be satisfied with this wand, young sir,” Mr Ollivander said turning to Alexander.
Alexander watched his wand closely. It really gorgeous. There were some markings on it, drawn by the two different wood colours. Alexander looked up to Mr Ollivander.
“As I told you, an artistic challenge”. The old man smiled.
They paid the wand (a little higher than usual, for it was unique), and went out, back on Diagon Alley. All the way back to the Leaky Cauldron, Alexander looked at his wand case, made of elegant black leather. What did it mean? Did he really have such strength inside him?
And what should he do with such strength?
King's Cross Station, Platform Nine-and-three-Quarters
Three days later, he said goodbye to his parents, who waved to him as the Hogwarts express was starting to move from Platform Nine and three Quarters. Very quickly, he saw them disappear in the locomotive steam, and just as fast, London began to pass before his eyes, at full speed.
Alexander sat back into his seat, in his empty compartment. But he didn’t stay alone for long.
“Hi, Alex!” said the voice of Judy Waterhouse, his best friend, as she entered the compartment, with a cage that contained a nice Owl.
“Hi, where have you been? I looked for you at the station,” Alexander said.
“We overslept,” said Judy with a grin. “Malcolm is such a marmot! Dad was forced to shake him off his bed. We almost missed the train! So, back together, huh?”
“Yeah,” Alexander said, smiling.
Judy was entering her second year in Hogwarts, being one year older than him. Her brother Malcolm was in his fourth year. Alexander had missed her this year, while she was away in Hogwarts. He couldn’t wait to join her in the greatest school of Magic in England.
“So,” Judy said in a conspiracy tone. “Did you get a wand or what?”
Alexander smiled, and pulled his wand case out of his trunk. He had told Judy of her mother’s concern about his wand, of course. He was telling her everything. He pulled his wand out and showed it to her. She whistled appreciatively.
“Nice! She said. What is it made of?”
“Mahogany, Willow and Blue Quartz”.
“Alex, I’m serious! What’s in it?” Judy said in exasperation.
“I’m serious,” Alexander replied. It’s a special wand. Mr Ollivander said it was a “vintage”,” he added with a chuckle. “He only done one of this kind”
“Wow, this is cool,” said one voice at the entrance of the compartment.
A short and stocky young man, seeming a little older than Judy was standing there, a large smile on his face. He had a freckly face and red hair. He wore his wizard robes, black with a red and golden emblem sewed over it. Alexander knew he was in Gryffindor, just like Judy.
“Hey, Charlie,” Judy said. “Alex, this is Charlie Weasley. He’s the Gryffindor Quidditch team Seeker. He’s in his third year. Charlie, this is Alexander Lockenburn.”
“Hi Alexander,” said Charlie, vigorously shaking Alexander’s hand. “Welcome to Hogwarts. We’ll see if you join us in Gryffindor.”
Alexander chatted a long time with Charlie and Judy. About Quidditch, and other stuff. He was following Quidditch, of course, but he wasn’t very fond of flying, so he didn’t play it. His favourite team was the Falmouth Falcons. And while talking just about anything, he thought of the Houses of Hogwarts. He didn’t want to argue with Judy, but he’d rather be in Ravenclaw than in Gryffindor. Ravenclaw House was one House for Wizard with minds and thirst of knowledge. He thought it was the best place to understand his gifts. And it was something he was wanting more than anything else. Understand who he was. And of course, his mother had been in Ravenclaw, while his father was in Gryffindor. Damien always said he didn’t care in which house his son would end in, as long as he did his best. Chandra, on the other hand seemed to be very proud of her house, and Alexander knew it would please her to see her son in the same house as hers.
The trip was pleasant. Alexander met a lot of young wizards going to Hogwarts for the first time. The closer they got, the more excited they were. Alexander couldn’t wait to see the school.
When the train stopped at last, night has fallen on the land. They were all dressed in robes, now. They all left the train, leaving their stuff behind as ordered. When they got on the platform, Judy waved to Alexander, wishing him good luck for the Sorting. She disappeared in the crowd, as a huge voice roared over the mass of students.
“First Years, this way please!! Come on, don’t be shy!! Over here!”
Alexander found himself facing the biggest man ever. He was hairy (Alexander searched the big man head for a hairless spot), and had eyes shining like beetles. He was smiling.
“Everybody here? Okay, follow me, all o’ yeh”
The rest of the trip was lost for Alexander, as he walked right behind the huge man, whose name was Hagrid. He was the Game keeper. But the next thing he saw was the wonderful Castle, its towers pearly white with the moonlight.
This is the coolest place I’ve ever seen, he thought as the students made their way to little boats, to start their journey across the lake.
His name echoed freely under the bewitched Ceiling, showing the starlight of outside. After her rather stern welcome, Professor McGonagall was now calling the first years one by one to Sort them in their Houses. Alexander’s turn had come.
He made quick steps toward the stool and sat on it, a little shaky. Professor McGonagall put the Hat on his head and it came to block his view of the Hall.
Well, well. Interesting, said a voice in his head. You’re an unusual boy, aren’t you?
With a sudden panic, Alexander hoped this comments were not heard by the whole school.
You’ve got talents. Talents which long to express. You’ve got the will to understand. That is clear. But this is not the most important thing in your mind. You want to do something in your life. Something … Ah, fascinating! A very unusual combination. Well for that there’s only one place, my boy… GRYFFINDOR.
The hat was removed from Alexander’s head. He saw Gryffindor table cheer at this shout of the hat. He stood up and walked to their table, feeling a little puzzled. Why did the Hat put him in Gryffindor? He saw his will to understand things. What could be more important? And if that thirst to do something in his life was so great, why didn’t it put him in Slytherin, where ambitious belong?
There was something fishy, here.
But as soon as Judy was beside him hugging him in delight to have him in her house, his worries about his Sorting disappeared. After all, Gryffindor was a good house. His father went there. And even Albus Dumbledore made his studies in Gryffindor. This was an honourable place.
Let’s hope that Mum won’t be too disappointed, he thought at one moment.
After the end of the feast, the First years were led to their Dormitories by the prefects. The place was unbelievable. So many halls and corridors, moving staircases, so many paintings to welcome you in Hogwarts. It was beyond all of his wildest dreams.
This is the coolest place I’ve ever seen, he thought again, echoing his first impression of the Castle.
“Mr Lockenburn!” A voice called him, just after the prefect gave them the password to enter the Gryffindor Common Room, behind a painting with a fat lady.
Professor McGonagall was standing at one of the crossing of two corridors. All the first years stopped.
“I’d like a word with you, please,” she said.
He followed her in the stairs, leading to her office. She gestured to him to sit in front of her desk, and took her seat in a large comfortable armchair. She gave him a long penetrating look, as though she wanted to see right through him.
“Professor Dumbledore told me about your specificity. I must insist that nobody knows about it in this school. Except for the teachers, of course. I know your talents may be impressive, but I must ask you to refrain your potential will to, well, “show-off”. I wouldn’t tolerate show-offs in my House. Am I clear?”
“Yes, Professor,” said Alexander.
At no time, he would have thought of showing off. It was a very hard work to control all these phenomena that were happening around him. But, in the past three years, he didn’t have any accident. And now, he didn’t need to be reminded of that. Only you couldn't cross your House Head on your first evening at Hogwarts, so he only nodded at that.
“Not that I had to worry,” said Professor McGonagall. “You seem just as gifted in Common sense as your father was. I hope you will make my House pride, and that you will honour your family’s name. Now…”
She stood up, and walked around her desk to face him closer.
“Could I have a look at your wand or is it in your trunk?” she asked.
In fact, Alexander’s wand was in his pocket, as he had simply put it back in it, when he had begun to chat with Charlie. He held it out for the professor, who took it cautiously. She looked at it very carefully. She weighed it, tested it for a long moment. Her stern expression was suddenly a little more relaxed, as if she was so immersed in her fascination for the wand that she just forgot how to look intimidating. After a while, she waved it. Alexander was surprised to see the wand react and send out a little burst of light.
“Hmm,” said McGonagall, almost to herself. “I see what Ollivander meant by saying it needed punch to make it react.”
Then she gave it back to him.
“Professor?” said Alexander, a little lost.
“Your wand maker wrote to me about this very special piece,” she explained. “You see, I have a hobby. I like to study wands. I'm interested in any innovation that appears in the making of those. Yours is not only unique for you. It's a completely new way to conceive a wand. I find it remarkable.”
Alexander nodded, with a timid smile. Surprisingly, she returned that smile.
“It’s a very interesting piece of work, Mr Lockenburn,” she said, before to regain her seriousness. “Regarding your special... let’s say abilities, you will have a special lesson every week, on Saturday. We will keep it discrete, so your fellow students won’t have anything to say about it. These lessons will aim at teaching you the control of this very special gift you have. You will follow Professor Flitwick’s teaching on this matter. After your third year, I will take the relay, and by your sixth year, the Headmaster will take care of it himself. We will teach you how to use these gifts on a more controlled way and to specific uses. I will give you your timetable tomorrow. Now you can go to your dormitory. If anyone asks you why you were delayed, you can tell them that I was interested in your so particular wand. It won’t stay a secret that it's not the usual wand. Students love this kind of little mysteries.”
Alexander left her office, with more questions than answers in his mind. Special lessons? A special timetable? It was troubling. Why did everyone think he was that special? He was not Harry Potter, after all!
Now, what? he thought.
September the 1st: King's Cross
“Hey, Alex! Over Here!”
Judy waved to him, and Alexander bid his parents good bye before joining her beside the train. This was September the first, and he was on his way to begin his new year in Hogwarts. His Sixth year. That was a fascinating perspective.
Aside from the idea that this was an OWL-free year (to his great relief), It was this year that his personal lessons, on Saturday Morning, were about to be taken by Professor Dumbledore himself. Alexander was thrilled by the thought. Even if it had to be kept a secret, it was a great honour to study with the greatest Wizard of the age. Of course, he had enjoyed working with Professor McGonagall. And he was certain that she would succeed in maintaining some of their sessions, as she had promised at the end of last term. Still, it was Dumbledore!
Judy interrupted his thinking by jumping at his back, laughing like a little girl.
“Woohoo! Another year!! And that’s my last one!” she said.
He was trying to get rid of her when he was joined by a group of Sixth year, and among them were his classmates, Davon Riley and Alfric Twowands. He greeted them warmly.
“Hey, how was your vacation?” Davon asked.
“Good,” he said. “I went to Ireland with my parents. We’ve been in the Fairy Forest. That was beautiful!”
“Ireland, huh? Did you saw the Quidditch match of the National team against the Wales?”
“Yes. Dad got us tickets. That new seeker, Aidan Lynch. He’s awesome!!!”
“Hi, Alexander,” said a soft voice behind them, which make him turn right on his heels.
Phyllis McRoth was facing him, a sweet smile on her face. She was a fifth year coming from Ireland. He met her in her second year, but they only became friends last year, during a Quidditch match. She had flaming red hair, and Soft blue eyes. And if you were to ask Alexander, she was the most beautiful girl in the world. He smiled back at her, feeling a little strange. Like always when she was facing him, he felt like a fool, had his tongue tied and could do nothing but uttering the most inane comments. No wonder he still hadn't gotten the nerve to ask her out, despite his friends' teasing and Judy tireless efforts.
“How was your summer?” She asked.
“Great. I went to your country. It’s beautiful”
Alexander felt really stupid. He was surely making a fool of himself in front of her, unable to say anything better than “Your country’s beautiful.”
“Thanks,” she said, blushing a little. “Too bad I was in France, then. We could have met.”
Somebody called her, far behind the group. Too far, if you’d ask Alexander.
“Well, see you soon,” she said.
“Okay,” he replied, his heart in his throat.
As she walked away, somebody patted Alexander’s head.
“Hey, come back on earth, Buddy,” Judy said.
“I can’t believe you went in her home country and you didn’t even manage to meet her,” said Alfric, rolling his eyes. “What are we going to do with you, Xan!”
“Give me a break, Alf. How Diana’s doing?” replied Alexander with a nasty grin.
Alfric was dating a Ravenclaw sixth year, named Diana Wentworth and he was very sensitive about it.
During the train trip to Hogwarts, the main subject was the summer, but at some point, Davon told them that her mother was so pleased with his OWLs results, that she bought him a new set of robes, all out of silk. He was showing them to Judy, when Alfric asked Alexander about his own OWLs results.
Alexander had done quite well. He managed to have three “E” and even an “O” in Charm lessons, as he was very gifted with that subject. His E’s were in Astronomy, Defence against the dark Arts and Transfiguration, which granted him the access to Professor McGonagall’s NEWT, which was the only one he cared about, along with Flitwick’s. He also got a series of A’s in Care of the Magical creatures, Arithmancy and in Rune translation. He completely ruined his Divination OWL, with a D, and Professor Snape, apparently disgruntled that young Professor Quirell was confirmed as the Defence against the Dark Arts Teacher seemed too happy to grant him a P on potions, which meant he couldn’t attend the NEWTs required to become an Auror like his father. Not that it mattered really. The only thing he wanted to do was to improve his level in Transfiguration, and Charms, so he could become a Curse breaker. Charlie Weasley’s elder brother, Bill, was now working for Gringotts in Egypt. That was a career that fascinated him.
The chat in the compartment was suddenly interrupted by the passing of a toad. He went across the wagon, croaking loudly. That interruption made everyone laugh.
After the lunch Trolley has come through the train, students began to walk across the train. Davon went to see some friend of his in Ravenclaw. Judy went to find her young sister who was beginning her first year at Hogwarts.
When Phyllis passed before their compartment, she waved discreetly at him. He stood up to follow her, hoping to catch up with her so they could talk a little privately. But as soon as he got out of his compartment, he walked into the person he disliked the most in all Hogwarts, including Snape.
“Hello, Lockenburn,” said Devin Stiller with a mocking smile. “Trying to find the guts to talk to her at last?”
“Zip it, Stiller,” Alexander replied.
Devin Stiller was a Slytherin Prefect, with sand hair, and clear blue eyes. He was a handsome young man, according to some girls Alexander knew. But in Alexander’s view, he was nothing more than an aristocratic git.
“I don’t understand why you waste your time over this little mudblood,” Devin said.
There was a quick slapping sound, and a second later, Devin was holding his cheek, looking furious. Alexander hadn’t moved. But his power had soundly slapped him in the face.
“There are so many things you don’t understand, Stiller,” said Alexander, on a very tired tone. “I begin to think your case is hopeless. You still didn’t understand to stay out of my life. And to stay cordial to girls. One of these days, I’ll have to teach you more seriously.”
And without waiting for his reaction, he passed him and tried to find Phyllis.
But there was no way of finding her. Alexander felt for a moment a will to walk back to Devin and punch his foul words on Phyllis back into his throat. But that would be useless. His ideas about blood were incurable stupidity. More violence wouldn’t help it. And Phyllis hated violence, most of the time.
As he wandered down the train, he crossed two first years.
“Have you seen a Toad?” asked a little girl with bushy brown hair, caramel eyes and rather large front teeth.
She was speaking in a very bossy way.
“Neville lost his” she added, indicating the other boy, who blushed furiously.
“I think I saw it back there,” said Alexander, as he guessed it was this toad which passed before their compartment.
The young girl thanked him and hurried “Neville” toward the rear of the train. Alexander smiled. A lost toad. What an adventure to begin with Hogwarts! He remembered his first trip on the Hogwarts express. While wandering in the train, half hoping to find Phyllis again, he heard rumours, spread by excited students, as usual. Most of these rumours were ridiculous, as the one saying that Snape was leaving Hogwarts to go and grow flowers.
But at some point, a name made Alexander stop dead in his tracks in front of a Compartment.
“Harry Potter? You’re sure?”
“Yep!” Said one of the Weasley twins... Fred or George. Alexander didn’t know them well enough to distinguish them. “He’s on the train! With my brother Ron. I saw his scar!”
“Will you get out of my way?” said a drawling voice. “I don’t have all day, you big tree!”
A young boy, first year apparently, was standing in the passage way, escorted by two rather big acolytes. He had a pointed face with blond hair that seemed almost white. He wore a contemptuous face. No need to guess who he was. Alexander had already seen this face, one day, when he had met the Malfoy family with his father, in Diagon Alley. This day, Lucius just had the same expression on his face. Alexander narrowed his eyes. This had to be the young Malfoy, whatever his pompous first name could be.
“I don’t think it would hurt you to be polite, Malfoy,” he said.
“How do you know me?”
“None of your business, actually. Know just that what I know of you is more than enough,” said Alexander. “Now, talk to me like that again, and you’ll regret to have crossed me, I can guarantee that.”
Malfoy lost a little of his pride. He passed him, avoiding him with a mumbled apology. Alexander liked to do that from time to time, using one of his father's favourite ways to put someone back into his place.
Alexander headed back to his Compartment. So Harry Potter had come to Hogwarts? If he thought about it, that would make sense. Harry had to be eleven now. Alexander began to think that would be an interesting year, with Harry Potter in the school. He remembered all these curious dreams he had as a child about the life of the legendary boy. He wondered if any of what he had seen was true.
A thought passed through his mind, almost against his will, as he didn’t care much about the Houses.
I Hope he gets in Gryffindor!
The great Hal fell silent as Professor McGonagall brought on the stool and the Hat for the sorting Ceremony. Alexander didn’t really listen to the song of the Old Hat, even if it was a new one. Instead of that, he looked at the first years. They looked anxious, some mumbling spells they remembered. Some were whispering furiously, making sure to keep their voice under the Hat’s song.
When the song ended, the Hall exploded in applause. And the Sorting began. Hannah Abbott was sent in Hufflepuff, and so was Susan Bones. Terry Boot was sent in Ravenclaw. The young Girl who asked him about the toad on the train was named Hermione Granger, and she was sent in Gryffindor. Alexander greeted her cheerfully.
Suddenly, silent fell on the Hall. A silence followed by a surge of whispering.
“Potter, did she say?”
“The Harry Potter?”
Alexander watched closely when a young boy with jet black hair climbed on the stool. Before it disappeared under the Hat, Alexander had a glimpse of Harry’s face. He was very much like his father, as Alexander remembered him.
It took a long time to the Hat to cry out.
Alexander clapped vigorously to greet the famous young boy to his table. 'We got Potter! We got Potter!' chanted the Weasley twins.
It would definitely be an interesting year.
“Are you still alright, Mr Lockenburn?” asked Professor McGonagall.
Alexander nodded, without opening his eyes, still lost in his concentration. He was gathering the energies of the Chaos to draw pure power and transfer it into his teacher, as she was incanting. Her wand was swishing and turning in every direction, in moves so complex Alexander had given up the idea of trying to follow them. So he had decided to shut his eyes, to ease the process.
His mentor had resumed their sessions, alright, even if Dumbledore was now teaching him directly every Saturday. But the contents of the lessons with McGonagall weren’t what he had expected. In fact, she had requested his help for a very special project. It was about turning giant Chess pieces into animated warriors that would play Wizard Chess against... who? That was the question. Alexander had understood by the look of his teacher that it was better not to ask questions. So he had simply enlisted into the project.
It was very simple. McGonagall provided the spell, he provided the power. They were halfway through it, by now, after two weeks of work. Alexander had helped completing the black set. Now, they were starting on the white King.
“Let me finish this one, and then, we will take a break,” said McGonagall.
Alexander nodded again, still focusing on his power. He couldn't help but wonder. What was this chess board supposed to be used for? And against who? And more precisely, since the outcome of the game seemed to decide whether someone would cross the door at the other end of the room, what was kept behind that door?
“Gryffindor wins the House cup!” announced Dumbledore, as the decoration was shifting to red and gold.
The table literally exploded in cheers. Everyone in the House was hugging each other, shaking hands, dancing joyfully. Alexander fell into the embrace of Judy, who was totally beside herself.
What a year! Alexander could hardly believe it. Harry Potter had just changed all the rules that applied in the way a year went on. Since he had gotten in Hogwarts, he had become the youngest seeker in a century, and he had just plunged the whole school in mayhem with his feats. Battling a Troll, facing a monster in the Forbidden Forest, and most of all, stopping Quirrell to get his hands on the Philosopher's Stone. Alexander had been finally told, after the ordeal was over, that his help on the Chessboard was aimed at guarding the mythical substance. And Ron Weasley, Harry's best friend, had beaten the board.
This was no small feat, either. If Professor McGonagall was good at something besides transfiguration and handling her students, it was at chess. They had spent hours playing, Alexander slowly rising in talent, but unable to catch up with her. And an eleven year old boy had been good enough to beat her!
What a year!
Alexander looked at Harry Potter, who was shaking hands with Lee Jordan. He felt curious about all of this. He had never directly talked to the boy, but still, he felt that connection, as if something in his future would be connected to him. That was a puzzling idea.
Anyway, now, Harry Potter was in Hogwarts and you could expect just about anything, now.
Alexander crossed Professor McGonagall's look of pride as she was surveying her House. He did something he would never have dared at any other moment. He smiled at her and winked.
She winked back! His smile widened.
Now what? He thought.
The graduation party was going on for most of his friends, but Alexander was looking for someone in particular. He never had the chance to talk to him, within the two years they have had in common at Hogwarts.
He was looking for Harry Potter.
He was walking toward Gryffindor tower, where he thought he would find him. After the events of this year, He was usually hanging with Hermione Granger and the Weasley Family, in the common room.
Alexander just couldn’t believe what the young Harry had done. He had faced a basilisk on his own; to rescue a girl. After the bout he had with Quirell last year, it was a monumental understatement to say that he was a hero. Alexander still felt bitter about all of this. Not about Harry. He was glad that the boy had saved his friend and solved the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets. But he couldn't help but thinking that he had been completely useless this year. With all his power, with everything he could do, he had been able to do... nothing.
“Don't blame yourself, Alexander,” had said Professor McGonagall, in the middle of the crisis, as he had voiced his anger at himself. “The issue here isn't about power, but about how you use it. You have an uncanny ability, but it simply couldn't help with the situation. You're not all powerful. This curse that hits our students is simply beyond your range of power. Try not to over step your limits, my boy.”
That was meant to ease his conscience, but still, while he, a sixth year gifted with Entropy, was staying helpless in the Gryffindor Tower, a young twelve year old boy, with nothing more than his courage and a sword, had faced one of the deadliest creatures on Earth and rescued his best friend's sister.
If someone was trying to teach Alexander that the power didn't make the hero, he was doing a hex of a job with it.
Alexander entered the Common room and found the whole them sitting in the armchairs beside the fireplace. Percy looked up to him and waved discreetly to him. Alexander nodded. He liked Percy, but he thought he was a little too stiff, even for a prefect. His elder brothers hadn't been like that.
Alexander walked toward them.
“Hum, Harry, could I have a word with you?” he asked.
Harry blinked, a little surprised, but nodded. He stood up and followed him in a corner of the room. Harry seemed to be looking for his name in his memory. Alexander smiled to reassure him.
“I’m Alexander Lockenburn,” he said. “We never talked before. But there was something I wanted to tell you since you arrived.”
Harry raised his eyebrows. Alexander thought a little before to speak. What was he trying to say, exactly?
“My father knew yours. They were playing Quidditch in Gryffindor team,” Alexander said, finally.
Harry’s eyes widened.
“Really?” he said.
“Yes. They were friends. I remember your dad. He came over to visit us. He was nice, you know. And… Sorry, it’s ridiculous.”
“What?” Harry asked.
“I’ve tried to find the time to talk to you for two years and now I’m here, I don’t know what to say. I just wanted to say that I was sorry of what happened to your parents. I was sad when I heard about it, even though I was only five. You see? Something like that.”
Alexander realised it sounded completely ridiculous. He could have told him about the dreams, about the fact that he could have helped him. But all he could do was doing nothing but opening an ancient wound again. He wanted to slap himself. But Harry smiled.
“Thanks,” he said. “You know, you’re the first person, beside my friends, to tell me that. Thanks.”
“Don’t’ mention it,” Alexander said, reassured. “And also, I wanted to say that you made these last two years much more exciting, you know!”
“That wasn’t my idea,” Harry said with a grin.
“It never is,” Alexander said. “Anyway, if one day after school... you need help, you can ask me.”
“I'll remember that,” said Harry.
“Good bye, then,” said Alexander. “Maybe we'll see each other again.”
“Maybe,” Harry said.
Alexander smiled. No need to bother him about these dreams. He had more than enough on his plate, right now. Alexander thought he needed to tell Dumbledore to call him in case of need. Something was telling him that he would cross path with Harry Potter again, someday. And a feeling told him it wouldn't be a peaceful time.
The Second Rise
“Your appointment, Minister,” said Dolores Umbridge, a dubious tone colouring her announce without any discretion.
“Ah, yes, yes,” said Cornelius Fudge, standing up from behind his office to greet Alexander. “Come in, come in. You can leave us, Dolores, thank you.”
Alexander could tell that the under-secretary who had greeted him as if he was an inconvenience was both surprised and clearly annoyed by that order. He didn't mind her discomfort. There was something fishy with the toad-like witch. He pushed her out of his thoughts as he entered the Minister's office. Fudge came to shake hands with him, with a bright smile on his face. Too bright. What was the matter with him? Didn't he realise the mess he was in, now?
“Sit down, my dear boy,” said Fudge, stirring him gently toward a comfortable looking seat. “Cup of tea?”
“I'm fine,” said Alexander, sitting down, with one eyebrow cocked up expectantly.
“To what do I owe the honour of such a summoning, Mister Fudge?” he asked.
“I have a business matter to discuss with you,” said Fudge. “You seem surprised.”
“I am surprised,” said Alexander. “Given that, during the two years I collaborated with the Ministry, you always managed to avoid direct contact with me, I'm, somehow, shocked, now, that you would feel the need to meet me in person.”
“Well, I guess I have been busy...” began Fudge.
“I'm sure you were, Sir,” said Alexander, sarcastically. “Still, my astonishment stands, when I think of the attitude of your subordinates when dealing with me.”
“The... the attitude?” stammered Fudge.
“Yes,” said Alexander. “Everyone in the administration seems to think of me as a ticking bomb. Why would the Minister of Magic want a ticking bomb in his office?”
The dark look he gave the Minister was enough to make Fudge spill a little of his tea. Alexander wasn't used to be neither so direct not so rude to someone both older and higher ranked than him. But his view of the Ministry had reached an all-time low during his last intervention for them. The way they feared him, refused to consider him a full-time employee, and yet never failed to summon him to counter a very nasty spell was unnerving. They considered him a hazardous asset, at best. Fudge hadn't hidden his distrust of Chaotic Magic. And now, he needed his help? There was something behind all this. And Alexander knew what it was.
He had received a letter from Minerva, before mayhem exploded in the papers. Of course, he knew why fudge wanted him in his office.
Fudge tried to appear undisturbed by Alexander's glare... and failed miserably.
“Surely a misunderstanding,” he said. “I've got nothing but respect for your powers.”
Alexander's eyebrows shot up again.
There we are, he thought. Power. Minerva was right to warn me.
He recalled his mentor's letter quite clearly. And as Fudge began his speech, he could hear her own words as a counterpoint.
“You know that the Triwizard Tournament has sadly ended in tragedy,” Fudge said.
Alexander, something terrible has happened at the last task of the Tournament.
“Some mishap happened with the trophy after a lone madman altered it. The two champions disappeared for a while.”
A Death eater masquerading as Alastor Moody has arranged for Harry Potter to be snatched away from the school grounds and he was confronted to Lord Voldemort.
“When they returned. One was dead. Cedric Diggory died in an accident after the transport.”
A student was murdered by the Dark Lord's wand and they used Harry for a ritual to restore Voldemort to a full body.
“Potter brought his body back, but I think the shock has somehow... altered his mind.”
Harry managed to escape but now the worst has happened.
“He claims that You-Know-Who has returned, can you imagine that?”
Voldemort has returned and soon, he will be gathering his followers again.
“He even went further with his lie. He added names of respectable members of the community, accusing them of being Death Eaters. The nerve of this boy!”
The Death Eaters have already joined him.
“And Dumbledore... the old man must be losing his grip, because he bought the whole thing. He went as far as announcing it to his students! He is using all his influence in the Wizengamot to back up Potter's wild tale!”
Dumbledore is already calling on to his old allies as well. I hope I can count on your help, in the dark days to come.
“We can't allow that to go on, of course. If they spread their lies any further, they will cause panic.”
The Minister refuses to see the truth.
“I mean, the very idea of You-Know-Who's return is preposterous. It's more likely some of Sirius Black's doing. Crouch and him were allies, you see.”
He's too scared to accept that he needs to take measures to save the country from Voldemort.
“I've been very disappointed to hear that Potter hides very troubling issues, and a few dark abilities, as well.”
He has started to claim Harry is insane.
“But Dumbledore... backing him up, I mean... it's outrageous. And he threatened me, you hear that? ME? Preparing for the worst? My eye! He wants my job and that's all. He's been planning all of this very carefully. I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't gotten the Diggory boy killed so he could launch his tale, supported by this hysterical boy.”
Soon, he'll claim Dumbledore is only after his job.
“But we can't have that, can we, Lockenburn?”
It is even possible he tries to recruit you.
“I will need your help to counter that move against the Ministry's authority. We can't let hysteria get the best of us. You-Know-Who isn't back. But we must focus on the real threat... Dumbledore.”
Don't be fooled by what you will read. Voldemort is back, I can assure you. You must be ready to fight.
Incredible to think she could have foreseen each and every move of the Minister, weeks in advance. Fudge had used this argument with many people before Alexander, if what he Father had told him was right. And now he was trying to gain the Entropist to his side. That was a good move from the Minister. Except it was futile, it was too late, and it was a little too desperate to seem truthful. Fudge wanted to use him against Harry and Dumbledore.
In the two years that had followed his graduation, Alexander had gathered certain fame because of his powers and the various interventions he had done for the Ministry. His nick-name, the Entropist, was starting to make people talk. If Fudge got another prominent young wizard to stand up to the Boy Who Lived, then he would get credibility and counter the efforts of Dumbledore.
Alexander was lucky Minerva's letter had caught him before he was summoned, for he had entered the office fully prepared for what Fudge had in store for him.
The Minister had finished his ranting and was now facing Alexander, expecting an answer, or a loyal salute. Alexander hoped he wasn't this deluded, really, because the country in the hands of such an idiot would stand no chance against Voldemort.
“What say you, boy?” said Fudge. “Will you help your country?”
“What is it you want me to do, exactly?” asked Alexander, rather dryly.
“Well,” began Fudge.
“No, let me get that for you,” Alexander cut him. “You want me to go public and claim that Harry Potter is a liar, that Dumbledore is a liar and that everything is fine. And then you want me to go to Hogwarts, defeat Dumbledore with a snap of my fingers and all will be well again in the world, right?”
Fudge looked at him, uncertain to follow his meaning.
“What will it be, next? A tap dance on the Giant leader's bones? And then I will be your magical lapdog, enforcing your will on those who disagree with your short sight of the world?” Alexander went on.
He stood up from his chair and saw Fudge back down a little.
“Forget it,” he said.
“What?” exclaimed Fudge.
“What do you think is going on, here, Minister?” said Alexander. “A seventeen year old boy was murdered. I knew Cedric Diggory at school. I can tell you I won't let you slander his memory by claiming that his death was either an accident or plot by Dumbledore to overthrow the Ministry. Didn't you read the signs? If Harry says Voldemort's back, then I believe him. If Dumbledore is calling us to fight him, then I will fight. You want me to oppose the man who taught me magic. Fudge, you're a fool.”
“Now, listen, young man,” said Fudge, his face growing red and his voice rising. “I will not be spoken to on such a tone by a weird nineteen year old boy!”
“You were trying to cajole the weird nineteen year old boy a few minutes ago, because it suited your goals! Don't play me for a fool. I know how it works. I will not betray my principles because you're scared out of your wits.”
“That's enough!” roared Fudge. “I'm the Minister of Magic!”
“Then act like one!” Alexander shot back. “If Lord Voldemort is back, you have more to do than try to save your seat. Sorry, Fudge, but you won't enlist me in your petty manoeuvres against Hogwarts.”
He headed for the door.
“You think I will let you walk out on me, like that?” spat Fudge, still looking furious.
“Watch me,” said Alexander.
“You're with them! You're a threat to the Ministry!” Fudge exploded.
“Right,” said Alexander. “Go on like this, Fudge, and soon there won't be a ministry any more. Because you're playing Voldemort's game, here.”
“HE IS NOT BACK!” roared Fudge.
“Keep deluding yourself if you want,” said Alexander. “I'm going out there to fight. Stay and hide behind your precious desk for all I care.”
“So we agree we can use this place as Headquarters?” said Dumbledore.
“Yes,” said Moody, before to turn to Sirius. “Thanks for lending us the place.
“Anything to be helpful,” said Sirius. “Don’t you think Harry could come here? He would be safe under the guard of the Order.”
The discussion was taking place in 12 Grimmauld Place, in the kitchen. The guests were taking decision about their action regarding Voldemort’s return. Sirius could barely put his mind off Harry, since he had to go away from him, in search of allies.
“I’m afraid it’s not possible,” said Dumbledore. “The magic protecting him in his uncle and aunt’s home will keep him safer than any wand. Besides, I still need you to gather a few more allies, while we still have time. We need to ensure you don’t get caught again.”
Sirius nodded at that.
They had gone over the list of potential allies when a name came up that Sirius had never heard of.
“What about Alexander?” asked Minerva. “I sent him an owl merely hours after the Diggory boy was killed. He isn't likely to turn his back on us. I’m sure he will help us.”
“I'm afraid he cannot help us,” said Dumbledore. “Cornelius has made a terrible mistake. In his move to counter what he fears is my taking over the ministry, he has tried to recruit him against Harry and me. Since he refused, Alexander has been labelled as suspicious, and even dangerous, for all authorities under Fudge’s control. He just left the country.”
“He just WHAT?” exclaimed Minerva.
“Hold on a minute, who's Alexander?” said Sirius.
“The son of Damien Lockenburn,” said Dumbledore. “He has a great power, completely based on chaotic magic.”
“I can't believe the son of Damien would be a coward,” objected Sirius. “Why would he leave?”
“Not for his own safety, I can assure you,” said Dumbledore. “Cornelius has pushed the idiocy as far as sending Aurors after Alexander. He left the country so he wouldn't be forced to... incapacitate them.”
“Incapacitate them?” said Sirius.
“You don't know the Lockenburn kid,” said Moody, in a growl.
His eye was still twitchy and he still looked a little restless after so much time locked up in his own trunk, but the glint in his eye was intact. And his determination looked clearly stirred up by the events, as if he had just been proved right after all these years being called paranoid.
“He's got a power you can't imagine,” he went on. “If Voldemort wasn't such a tricky !@#$, and if the fight was a straight one, all we would need to do would be to sit back and look at Alexander beating the pulp out of the bloody snake. But the stakes are different, now.”
“It has to be Harry, then?” said Sirius, darkly. “Why? Could someone tell me why?”
“In time, Sirius,” said Dumbledore. “Anyway, I'm sorry, Minerva, but we will have to count without Alexander, no matter how willing to fight he would be.”
“darn Fudge and his paranoia,” said Moody. “Lockenburn could have been a great help against the Death eaters, at least.”
At this moment, an owl swooped inside the room from the nearby window. It landed near Minerva who untied the letter from its clutch. She read the name on it and recognized the handwriting.
“Speak of the devil,” she said. “It’s Alexander.”
She began to read aloud.
I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you’ll have to count me out, for the time being. Because our minister is a paranoid oaf, I’m no on the run. I'm sorry I had to get away like this, but the Aurors were on my tail, and I can't decently turn against them, no matter how dim-witted their orders are.
I just want you to know that I continue to stand by your side, even from the other side of the sea. Over here, there is a movement rising in response to the Dark Mark. I can sense it, and I’m already on their trail. I’ve come in contact with another friend of Professor Dumbledore, Aldwyn Armstrong. He has given me a few directions already. Many dark wizards are starting to stir trouble in Eastern Europe. I will keep an eye out from here, and try to help you on this front.
I can only wish you the best. If things really get awry, send a message to me and I’ll return even if I have to break a few skulls and wands to do so. Right now, I prefer to divert Fudge’s attention from you. I heard he has still sent people after me even though I’m abroad. The idiocy of that man is of the mythical kind.
I’ll try to keep in touch.
“Alexander still hasn’t lost his flame, has he?” said Dumbledore, smiling.
Sirius mouth had twisted into an ironic smile.
“Doesn’t care much for etiquette, does he?” he said.
“Well, he’s always been a free spirit,” said Minerva, with a smile. “I’m glad to see he’s alright.”
“I think we can say that Alexander may be of help to us, after all,” said Dumbledore. “With him and people like Aldwyn on the continent, we can focus a little more on the problem of Voldemort.”
“I know a few Death Eaters that are still abroad for now,” said Moody. “We can set Alexander after them if need be.”
“Agreed,” said Dumbledore. “Now let’s focus on the Prophecy, shall we. What measure do we need to ensure it’s safe from the enemy?”
“Do we have any news on Severus?” asked Dumbledore, urgently, as he entered the Headquarters.
“Not yet,” said Kingsley, very sharply. “If he was dead, Voldemort would surely have made it as public as possible, I guess. I hope our people got to him in time.”
Dumbledore looked very tense. He hadn’t shown such a worry since the moment Death eaters had managed to snatch Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom from Hogwarts. No matter if they had been thwarted, this had come so close to disaster that everyone had been under a huge shock. Now, their most valuable spy was uncovered and his life was at risk.
Minerva arrived at this moment. Her face showed a deep concern.
“I can see from your look that you have heard the news,” said Dumbledore. “Severus is still out of touch.”
“I know,” said Minerva, tensely.
There was some commotion at the door and soon, the screeching of Mrs Black resumed in its greatest fury.
“Disgraces to the name of magic! Blood traitors in my home! Plotters, cowards, weaklings! Statues!”
Both Dumbledore’s and Minerva’s eyebrows shot up at that. Statues?
“Oh, will you shut up,” said a voice in the corridor.
And the screaming suddenly ended. That alone was enough to stun everyone in surprise. But Minerva’s face had lit up suddenly. She had recognized the voice, like Dumbledore had.
“Alexander?” she said, her voice blanching in shock.
“Could someone come and give me a hand here?” called the distinct voice of Alexander Lockenburn.
Everyone rushed in the corridor to find themselves confronted to a shocking scene.
The door was closed and in the entrance, stood a man, in a black overcoat, over a statue that had fallen on the wooden floor. The pose of the statue was far from flattering. The man represented was recoiling in abject terror. Minerva was looking at the statue with something like fascination, while Dumbledore was staring at Alexander. He took notice of them, and he had a slight smile.
“Hello,” he said. “How are you, Professors?”
“Well,” said Dumbledore. “It depends on what is that statue.”
“That, Professor,” said Alexander, “is the late Derek Masters. I caught up with him before he got to Snape.”
“Where is Severus?” asked Dumbledore, sharply.
“I dropped him at the gates of Hogwarts’ grounds, I think,” said Alexander. “I was kind of in a hurry, so I may have been a little imprecise.”
Kingsley came bursting in the corridor.
“Dumbledore!” he said. “Severus just reported in from Hogwarts!! He’s… what the hex is that?”
He had just seen the statue. Every eye got fixed back on Alexander, who smiled at them.
“Can anyone help me with the statue?” he said. “It's quite heavy and ugly, but I couldn’t leave it in plain sight, really.”
“You did this?” asked Dumbledore, after they had levitated the statue in apart of the cellar.
“Had to,” said Alexander. “He was aiming a killing curse at me.”
“Masters is dead?” exclaimed Kingsley. “Dumbledore. He was Voldemort's main assassin.”
“I guess thanks are in order,” said Dumbledore, turning again to Alexander. “How did you silence the painting?”
“I dispelled the magic of the piece,” said Alexander. “You want me to restore it?”
“No, thank you,” said Dumbledore. “We're all better off without that as well. How did you come upon Masters and Severus?”
“I'm following a Death Eater off east Germany,” said Alexander. “Lazlo Morgenstein. He's after something linked to Chaos. His trail led me to Masters and when I found out he was after Snape, I took a detour.”
Dumbledore's eyes went sharper.
“Tell me everything about this Morgenstein,” he said.
The Desert of Mongolia
Alexander raised his hand at the second Morgenstein raised his. Their wills clashed against each other. The world around them was pure madness. The Rift was reaching its greatest size, swelling with each wave of furious magic escaping from the Magic Dimension.
It had to be stopped. If that thing was left open, it wouldn't just destroy this patch of the Mongolian desert. It would cover the world with its fury and destroy everything.
Morgenstein's wand was flashing furiously, keeping the portal open. He had to be stopped. Alexander took his decision. He raised his wand and added a fire spell to the energy wave he was sending at Morgenstein. Morgenstein's shield suddenly faltered.
“No! No! It's not possible! You can't defeat me!” he roared.
“Face it, Death Eater,” snapped Alexander. “You've lost.”
He raised his wand in the opening move of a spell Alexander knew very well.
Alexander suddenly unleashed everything he had at Morgenstein. The wizard's shield exploded. He let go of his wand, which kept floating in the air, and screamed in agony. The explosion was blinding. When the light receded, Alexander could look at the damage. What he saw made him sick. Morgenstein was in pieces. Alexander fell to his knees, exhausted. He hoped he would have enough power to stop the Rift.
And then, as the light from Morgenstein's wand died, and the wand dissolved into dust, something happened.
It was just like the vision. Just like his dream, three days earlier. Alexander couldn't believe what he was seeing. The Chaos Rift was now collapsing on itself. The ground quake slowly calmed down. The tear in the sky closed on its own and the clouds returned to normal. Alexander heaved a sigh. It was done! It had been stopped. Killing Morgenstein had been enough.
Alexander looked around. His companions were all dead. He went to investigate the remains of Morgenstein, and made sure that he was dead. He was starting to feel a little light-headed, after these excruciating efforts. Facing another Entropist had been incredibly tiring.
All he wanted now was to sleep for three months. But then he remembered England, and Voldemort. Now that he had dealt with Morgenstein, he could help Dumbledore with the other grave threat.
With a deep breath to give him courage, Alexander apparated to the nearest relay, to head to England.
Ministry of Magic
“I can't believe I missed the fight,” said Alexander, rolling his eyes.
They were walking through the Atrium, walking out of a conference with Heads of departments and heading to a reunion of the Order of the Phoenix. The fighting were over. Most of them, anyway. The Aurors were rounding up the Death Eaters. Some of the inner circle were on the run, Lucius Malfoy in the lead.
But Alexander knew that he wouldn't pose a threat like Voldemort had.
It was madness, these days. People were celebrating all around. The Atrium seemed to buzz with excitement. Alexander could see that most of the wizarding population of England had other worries than work, right now. Since he had returned, he had seen around twelve parties, three ceremonies of awards, and special reports every day in the press.
Voldemort was gone. For good this time. The whole country hailed Harry Potter as their saviour. Of course, there was cause to celebrate. Alexander remembered the rain of shooting stars, when he was five years old. He guessed that there had been a lot of stuff like that, these last few days. Once reassured that his parents were alive, he had taken news of his close friends and family. He had been immensely relieved to hear that most of them had survived the fighting. He had gotten word of Phyllis, by Judy. She was fine as well.
And he had missed the whole thing. He just couldn't believe it.
Albus Dumbledore looked at him, surprised.
“Don't think like that, Alexander,” said Albus Dumbledore. “Let's face it, you had your share of fights, these days.”
“Well, I could have been of some help, here,” said Alexander. “We had so many deaths.”
“And yet, there would have been so many more if you hadn't caught up with Morgenstein in Mongolia,” said Dumbledore. “I don't think people realise it, but your own battle was as important as Harry's confrontation with Voldemort. Perhaps even more important. If Harry had lost, darkness would have fallen all over the world. If you had lost, I think it is safe to say the world would have been ravaged, good people and Death Eaters alike.”
“That is why you insisted on me meeting these officials?” said Alexander.
“Yes,” admitted Dumbledore. “We need to ensure your expertise is recognized by those who could become the next Minister for Magic.”
“What is happening with Fudge?” asked Alexander, fiercely.
“I believe no Minister has ever been sacked as quickly as Cornelius will be, once the commotion settles down,” said Dumbledore with a sad smile. “It should comfort you to know that the Wizengamot was really appaled by his treatment of you.”
“I don't really care,” said Alexander. “How's Harry taking all this?”
“He's incredibly relieved,” said Dumbledore. “You can't imagine the weight lifted off his shoulders.”
“I think I can,” said Alexander. “The dreams have stopped, by the way.”
“Stopped?” said Dumbledore.
“Yes,” said Alexander. “I don't have any more visions. It's like there's no need to, now.”
“I still wonder about the nature of these visions,” said Dumbledore. “It seems you have dreamed of every danger you have found yourself into. It is like your power has led you on the path that took you to Mongolia and close the Rift.”
“I understand that part,” said Alexander. “It's the dreams about Harry I don't understand.”
“Your parents had told me about it,” said Dumbledore. “It is strange. I guess we will understand it in time. I think you will understand if I don't trouble Harry about it for the time being. He needs to lead a normal life for a while.”
“I understand,” said Alexander, “though I doubt he'll ever manage that. The Daily Prophet won't shut up about him. They have called for the creation of Harry Potter's Day!”
“Utter nonsense,” chuckled Dumbledore. “I think Harry will just take his distance with all this. You should maybe do the same before they find out about you.”
“I won't stay around for long,” said Alexander.
“How so?” asked Dumbledore.
“I need to get back abroad,” said Alexander. “The Rift is closed but there are many effects of its opening. I need to investigate them and maybe try to fix them. It may take a while.”
“If you ever need help, you know you only need to contact the school,” said Dumbledore.
“I know, Sir,” said Alexander.
“And do drop by before you leave,” said Dumbledore. “Minerva will be very cross with you if you don't.”
“I will, Sir,” said Alexander, smiling. “I've got this feeling, you know,” he told Dumbledore, after a silence. “I think I will have to return sooner or later. And somehow I feel Harry will be involved. I just can't understand where that certainty comes from. It doesn't make sense.”
“It doesn't have to,” said Dumbledore. “Your last dreams have led you to save our world. I guess you should just trust your feelings. When do you plan to leave?”
“I don't know,” said Alexander. “I think I will wait for the first signs of trouble in Asia. But I guess I won't be in England for a long while.”