Title: The Unspoken Ally
Fandom/Genre: Harry Potter/NCIS Fusion
Relationship(s): pre-slash Tony DiNozzo/Sirius Black
Content Rating: R
Warnings: canon-level violence, language, fanon accepted conspiracy theories
Saturday September 4th 1993
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
“Now, just to be clear – you’re absolutely certain you want to keep the time-turner? And you understand that by accepting the device you also accept any oversight the Department of Mysteries deems necessary?”
“Yes,” the young brunette stated clearly and decisively.
“Okay then,” Tony replied. “Then, proper introductions, my name is Unspeakable Canis Star. Before we continue there is the ritual to consider. I can’t put you under a typical wand-bound vow due to your age; so I’ve dug up a fairly benign truth ritual. Regardless of what conclusions Professor McGonagall or Headmaster Dumbledore jumped to, this ritual does not have anything to do with your virginity or even sex in general. It’s not even required to be performed sky-clad.”
“Oh good,” Hermione mumbled and Tony had to stop himself from laughing at the relieved expression that crossed her face.
“So, before I start – what exactly do you know about ritual magic? Since it isn’t taught at Hogwarts anymore I’d like to know what you’ve been told…and possibly what you’ve researched on your own.”
“Well,” Hermione began seeming to think of her words carefully. “It’s honestly not often discussed; unless the older years do. I didn’t even really know that it was a real thing until this summer. I ran across a few books in France that I bought; but my friend’s mother saw them and she took them from me. She told me that ritual magic is one of the darkest practices possible.”
Tony blinked behind his hood and asked, incredulously, “Exactly who told you that?”
“Uhh…Molly Weasley,” Hermione stammered. “Is she going to be in trouble?”
“No,” Tony responded honestly. “Though I do fear for her children’s education,” he added. “Then again, Molly Weasley was Molly Prewett, and well…now that I think about she might have cause to not look so highly upon ritual.”
“Why’s that?” the girl asked him and Tony considered for a second letting her know about the rumors of Molly Prewett being magically banished from her family for using a love potion on Arthur Weasley, resulting in a pregnancy, when she was betrothed to someone else. She had been lucky the Weasley’s were more interested in the Prewett’s vault then they were in sueing for line-theft; though, apparently the joke had been on them – Molly Prewett’s dowery quite famously went to pay back the bride-price of her original betrothed.
Of course, the Prewett’s were too ‘light’ to disown their child leaving them destitute so she didn’t lose everything; instead, they just cut her and her children off from the Family Magic. The irony being the so-called dark families took the money but let the child keep the magic – if only to keep feeding their own. Which in the long run certainly explained why the so-called ‘darker’ families were always so much more powerful, minus certain exceptions.
“Oh, just rumors,” Tony finally decided that letting her know that little nugget of information was probably not the best idea he had ever had. If only because the Weasley family was so far into Dumbledore’s pocket that he didn’t want to risk turning his potential protege away from them so obviously. He needed her to think for herself; but he also needed her to still be connected in order to get him information.
“So ritual magic is not dark?”
“Not by definition,” Tony replied. “But then again, neither is a levitation spell…but you could still levitate someone off a cliff…or levitate a piano over someone and drop it.”
“And who says you can’t learn anything from cartoons,” Hermione replied and then slapped her hand over her mouth just as Tony burst out laughing at her comment. “Sorry sir. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
“No. No,” he responded, still laughing. “Interrupt away if you’ve got zingers like that. And considering that’s where I got that example I’d say you were more then accurate. More importantly, did you take anything away from what I said?”
“Intent,” Hermione said decisively.
“Exactly,” Tony responded. “Now, that’s not to say there aren’t spells and rituals that are by definition dark,” he continued explaining while also herding her to the corner of the room. “Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Regardless of what you might have heard the Killing Curse is just that. You actually have to mean it in order to use it,” he added to his explanation and simultaneously unfolded a large silk cloth that had lines and runes marked onto it.
“But doesn’t that still go back to intent?” she questioned him. “Afterall, if your intent is to kill someone; then you’ve achieved your goal. But at the same time, if you’re defending yourself and the only option you have is to use the killing curse? Then is that murder…or self-defense?”
Tony smoothed out the cloth and set a large white candle on each corner with his hands, not wanting his magic to interfere with the ritual circle he had brought for them to use, “Is it considered self-defense if you shoot someone who is threatening you with a knife from across the room? No. Self-defense is legally considered when you are in imminent danger and the participants are of equal standing. Essentially, it gets really technical in the legal jargon and it tends to be an iffy defense unless the person who claims self-defense had a lesser weapon on hand. It gets harder in magical courts considering they’ll basically just ask you why you didn’t stun the person threatening you.”
“And there is no real defense to a killing curse,” Hermione extrapolated where he was going with his statement. “That’s entirely too convoluted.”
“That’s the magical court system for you. It’s half the reason people get away with throwing their gold at a problem to get it to go away. Now, let’s get you in here and we’ll get started.”
Hermione took his direction quickly and easily; in this case Tony was thrilled she was as smart as advertised, since he didn’t need to explain more then once what she had to do. Once he was certain she had her one very simple line, to be repeated multiple times, memorized he asked her if she had any questions before entering the circle.
“Why is it in English? I thought this was a Turkish ritual?”
“Hold your wand and say light,” was the only answer Tony gave her and then gestured for her to do just that.
“Light,” the younger witch whispered, looking uncertain and causing Tony to roll his eyes when her face fell as nothing happened.
“Now try it with some meaning,” he explained. “Feel your magic and say light,” he added, frowning at her once again uncertain expression as he had no idea what was confusing about what he had said.
“Light,” she stated, this time with a firmer tone and once again her wand did nothing.
“Okay…I think part of these sessions are going to be remedial magical theory. Why do you look so confused?”
“Well, you said to feel my magic.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” the girl mumbled looking upset at admitting that.
“That’s…how…I only graduated in 1986. We learned that in my first year! Hell, I was taught that by the time I was eight.”
“Then they don’t teach it anymore,” Hermione told him seriously.
“Wonderful,” Tony groaned. “Alright…nevermind that. Straight answer then – not only is what defines magic intent. Magic itself is intent. It’s how silent magic works – do you think adult magicals wave their wands in super complicated patterns just to move a stack of books? Same idea with spells. Latin is used here in England, because Old English is no longer the common tongue and Latin is the easiest language to translate any of the romance languages into. But you can be certain they don’t use Latin in Japan or China. And they still have levitation spells.”
“So, if I intend to light my wand I can say lumos, light or just think at it really hard?”
“Sort of,” Tony admitted. “That last one is a little…off. But we’ll work on it.”
“Why’s it off?”
“Because, I guarantee when you find your magic, you aren’t going to find it in your brain.”
She didn’t look entirely convinced and Tony only shook his head, logic wins the day…for now.
“Now, as I’ve just established that you apparently have a very minimal education in theory. I made some assumptions; which we all know what happens when you assume. So that was my fault. Once we activate this ritual everything you learn from me is secrecy sealed. You can attempt to discuss it…and you’ll find yourself embarrassingly tongue tied. Subsequent meetings will have a, let’s say, shorter initiation, but they’ll also be secrecy sealed. This is to protect both of us. All you’ll be able to do is let anyone who already knew about our meetings – Dumbledore and McGonagall – that they went fine and nothing untoward happened. Do you understand? Last chance.”
Hermione nodded and took the place Tony had instructed her to stand in as he took his own on the opposite side. Her wand was held carefully in front of her chest and slightly aloft, exactly as Tony had described, ‘as though you are a knight of old holding their sword up to their king’.
Tony took one moment to reconsider what he was about to do; but everything he had learned of her by following her this summer, plus the annoyingly persistent voice of Nimue in the back of his mind, told him he was correct in this present actions, “Alright, let’s get this ritual out of the way.”
Tony held out his own wand and with four swift flicks ignited each of the candles on the corners of the cloth before stating in a loud voice, “Welcome child of magic. Welcome to a place where hearts live and lies are disavowed. A place of purity and truth. Do you swear child of magic to honor these ideals?”
“I so swear,” Hermione’s voice answered him, her eyes not leaving the blank place where his own face would be without his robe.
“Welcome child of magic. Welcome to a place where ideas can be exchanged without repercussions. A place of learning. Do you swear child of magic to honor these ideals?”
“I so swear.”
“Welcome child of magic. Welcome to a place where masks are stripped bare in safety without fear of being revealed. A place of secrets. Do you swear to honor these ideals?”
“I so swear.”
“Welcome child of magic. Welcome to a place where those who belong will forever find safety inside its borders and by the wands of its fellows. A place of sanctuary. Do you swear to honor these ideals?
“I so swear.”
“Welcome child of magic. Welcome to a place where anxiety and fear become fuel for body and mind. A place of logic and action. Do you swear to honor these ideals?
“I so swear,” with Hermione’s final vow a rush of magic swept the circle in a visual display of gold and silver that left the teen gaping in shock.
“Well, now that the housekeeping is out of the way,” Tony interrupted the silence with a snarky tone and pulled his hood down. “I am Lord Anthony Dominic Paddington, Heir of the Most Noble and Most Ancient House of Paddington. Welcome to the Tiger Eye Coven.”
Hermione stood gaping at him for a second before she exclaimed, “You lied to McGonagall!”
“With a straight face,” he responded nodding. “The woman barely tolerated me as a student, especially in my later years. You think she was going to let me induct you, even nominally, into my coven?”
“Your coven?” Hermione squeaked. “I thought you were supposed to be making sure I don’t misuse the time-turner?”
“Actually,” Tony corrected. “I’m supposed to make sure you don’t burn out your still fragile magical core by using the time-turner or even worse, blow up the school by combining said fragile magical core with a completely unstable magical device. And while I’ll definitely be doing that; I thought this was a good plan too.”
“Why?” she asked quietly, looking overwhelmed and frightened and sending a pang of regret through Tony. Not regret that he had done it; regret that it was necessary.
“Because all signs point to a war coming again. A war that due to a certain friendship of yours you appear to be on the front lines of. A war that a certain Headmaster appears to want to keep those who could fight it, those who should fight it, uninformed. A war that will lead to death and destruction and probably annihilation of Britain if it’s allowed to happen for a second time.”
“So, what? I’m a source of information?”
“Yes,” Tony admitted unabashedly. “But unlike your Headmaster, I won’t leave you unprepared for what’s coming. I just can’t prepare you if I don’t know what I’m preparing you for. You like logic Hermione. Tell me does anything that has happened during your first two years here make any sense to you? Or am I making more sense right now?”
Hermione was silent, considering his words Tony hoped. He silently stood in front of her and let her think. It barely took five minutes before she spoke quietly, “I think I have some things you need to know about Lord Paddington.”
“Good girl,” he whispered and smiled softly at her. “You’re making the right choice.”
Wednesday September 15th 1993
7 Gillyweed Lane
It was the first night in two weeks that Tony hadn’t had Hermione’s soft, tearful, voice playing on repeated loop throughout his head as she recounted stories of Voldemort possessing teachers, Harry Potter being a parselmouth, a first year possessed by a diary that talked back, a (fucking) basilisk roaming the school…and that was just the ‘special events’. Then there was the bullying she was subjected to – both blatant from other students (and some teachers) and inadvertent from her very best friends. She had been slightly shocked when he had almost yelled at her to stop doing Harry and Ron’s homework or she would ruin their chances at thriving as adults. That being a good friend sometimes meant not ‘being a good friend’.
He had explained to her about the coven. The Tiger Eye Coven; the name taken from the meaning of the stone – balance and strength in difficult times – and the series of animal figurines his birth mother had given him for each birthday all made out of tiger eye. He had explained how it was a very small coven; six, now seven with Hermione (and let her know that Crispian was a member so she would have someone to talk to at school about everything), magicals tied to the D.O.M. who had similar goals for Britain – justice, equality and peace. He had explained his research into her and how he had felt Hermione’s magic when he first saw her in August. That he had immediately known she would be a good fit; even if for now, due to her age, she was only nominally a member.
He had explained about the Unspeakables – with his personal circle activated she literally wouldn’t ever be able to tell anyone unless he released her from the vow and by that point he fully expected her to be well on her way for a trip to the Springs herself anyway.
He had reassured her that though he had been directed her way as a point of information, that he took care of those he considered his. That she and her parents were now fully protected – to the point that on her birthday she was going to receive a letter from Gringott’s explaining the wards that had been placed on her parents home and Dental Surgery.
So with all those thoughts cycling through, he had been thrilled to finally be able to push them aside and get some of his classwork done. Needless to say the constant scratching at the backdoor of his home was not helping the near constant sour mood he had been in.
After another ten minutes of hearing the scratching and whining he finally screamed and tossed his textbook onto the table in front of him. Jumping up off the couch he stomped across the cottage and flung open the back door to stare down at the skinny animal that had been disturbing him for almost forty-five minutes.
The cottage itself was located on the furthest street you could get from the Village Square, a twenty minute walk from High Street and in the opposite direction of the Castle, while still being considered ‘in town’. There were farms located further out from the small residential village but it was another fifteen minutes by broom from Tony’s street to reach the closest of them.
Tony’s cottage was small but comfortable; the main floor was a mostly open design with a kitchen, dining area, living room in the front. There was a bathroom and small study in the back. Upstairs was two bedrooms and another small bathroom. While the basement held a potions laboratory. The yard itself was the crowning glory of the property, a five foot stone wall surrounded the cottage and between that and the nearly overgrown landscaping you could barely see the house from the road. As it was on the end of the street the lot up into forested land, earning the property it’s name of ‘Paddington Glade’. As the cottage had originally been purchased by his Father’s great-great-grandfather to live in with his wife as a newlywed when the man was the Potion’s professor at Hogwarts if you looked closer at the landscaping you quickly realized that while it looked unkempt it was actually a well ordered garden filled with potions ingredients. After his graduation, when he moved into the cottage, Tony had been surprised to find that before Dumbledore took post of Headmaster the only professors who lived full-time in the Castle were the Heads of House, and even they were usually married with families. His Father had commented on the topic a simple statement, “Apparently, if the old goat can’t be happy and loved up then no one can.”
The thought of his former Headmaster ‘loved up’ with anyone had ended and further inquiry on Tony’s part.
“What do you want? I left you food already,” he snapped, pointing at the empty bowl that had sometime in the last hour been emptied of the leftover chicken and vegetables from his dinner. “Well?” he added, before shaking his head and laughing at himself. “Damnit Tony…it’s a fucking dog. It isn’t going to answer.”
The dog in question, a large black stray, tilted its head and barked once before trying to dart past, the now distracted, Tony and into the house. It was only due to years of reflexes honed from playing Quidditch and being an Auror that allowed him to get an arm around the dog and get it back out on the stoop.
“No. We had this discussion last week,” he stated forcefully, shaking his finger in the animal’s face. “You won’t even let me hose you down. No way are you coming in my house.”
Tony’s only answer was a pitiful whine, followed by the dog rolling over onto it’s back and presenting it’s belly.
“No…don’t do that,” Tony muttered. “Please?” he added, groaning when the dog only whimpered louder. He closed his eyes and waited only opening them when he heard silence…which immediately sent the whimpers into a louder and higher pitch. “Damnit. Fine!” he grumbled and stepped aside, rolling his eyes when the dog dashed into the cottage.
Tony shook his head at himself, thinking he had been too isolated since he left Rome if he was so easily caving to the idea of company. Even company in the form of a dog.
“Oh no,” he shouted across the room and almost laughed when the dog fully paused in the process of climbing onto the couch. “You want to lay anywhere other then in front of the fireplace then you’re getting a bath,” he added, pointing in the direction of the bathroom.
He did laugh when the dog proceeded to shuffle, rather then walk, across the small cottage and right into the bathroom with Tony following. When he entered the bathroom he smirked at the sight of the dog sitting patiently in the empty tub with the canine equivalent of a put-out expression.
“So, you’re humoring me are you?” he questioned, raising an eyebrow and starting the shower; immediately drawing a indignant bark from the animal as it scrambled back out of the way of the cold spray. “Hey, don’t take that tone with me…you haven’t been bothering any of my neighbors; I asked. You’ll take what you get.”
Tony fell silent as he shampooed the surprisingly well behaved dog, twice, with the muggle pet shampoo he had purchased a few days earlier. He rinsed the product out and grabbed his other purchase, this one from Hogsmeade’s apothecary, a flea potion that was guaranteed to kill off fleas and any magical parasites that might have latched on while the dog was in the wild.
Tony had considered just going with a muggle flea bath; but the dog’s intelligence had caught his attention and he couldn’t help but think that despite the large dog looking like a cross between a Wolfhound and a Setter (he refused to believe it was a ‘Grimm’) there was quite possibly some magical creature mixed in. Those two dog breeds themselves were intelligent; but his dog, specifically, seemed to know exactly what he was saying at all times. And occasionally answered appropriately.
Upon the potion finishing it’s recommended ten minute set time, and stopping the dog from licking at it at least five times, Tony quickly turned the water of the shower on full blast to rinse the green foul smelling concoction off the animal.
“Good; now don’t move,” he warned aloud and lifted his wand twisting it sharply and watching as all the water seemed to float right off the dog, leaving him dry. The fact that the dog looked startled as his head kept darting around staring at the hovering water, water that was slowly coming together to form an ominous looking large ball of water above it. “You like that? It’s a family spell I picked up from my Mum. She said Black’s invented it because their only imperfection is the tendency for their curls to become balls of frizz when dried. Personally, I think their imperfection is their tendency to be insane…but hey, to each their own. Your fur seems like it might have the same reaction to a drying spell.”
He couldn’t help but wonder what he had said to make the dog drop onto his belly and cover his eyes with his paws. Luckily Tony had mostly gotten used to the odd behavior from the dog over the past few weeks.
The dog, that Tony still hadn’t brought himself to name, had shown up a week after he moved back into his Hogsmeade cottage and hadn’t really left his yard since. It would disappear for a few hours at a time, though to where was still a mystery, but like clockwork the animal would return right after Tony finished his dinner and would wait patiently on the back porch for whatever leftovers Tony put outside in a bowl.
Their first meeting had shocked Tony completely because in the five years he had lived in the cottage following his graduation and before moving to Rome he had never seen the dog once. Nor had he ever been bothered by any stray animals. Then a week after moving in he had been sitting in his back garden, reading one of his texts, when a loud excited barking had filled the air and the next thing he knew Tony was being bowled over and licked by a large black dog that looked like it hadn’t eaten properly in years. It was the enthusiasm that had shocked Tony more then anything; stray’s aren’t known for their kindness or excitement for strangers. Yet, the dog had acted since that day as though Tony was his favorite person in the world and like he had belonged to Tony for years.
“Alright. Get out,” he ordered, once he had evaporated the water into the air. “Go. Get comfortable. I gave in, no more nonsense.”
He watched as the dog, with a happy bark, jumped out of the tub and dashed down the short hall into the main area of the cottage. The following crash drew a loud groan from his throat and immediately caused him to regret not sticking to his initial decision of letting the dog hang out in the yard without caving and bringing it inside.
“That better not have been any of my work!” he shouted out loud in the empty bathroom, glancing around and groaning again at the sight of dog hair coating the tub and water covering the floor. “I’ll do it tomorrow,” he muttered and left the bathroom, firmly closing the door behind him.
Upon re-entering the main room of the cottage, with the intention of sitting back down and finishing his reading, that he received the biggest shock of the evening. The dog, whom Tony had now internally dubbed ‘Parasito’ – Spanish for pest, had knocked over the cork board he had set up to display the limited information he had revolving around the weeks leading up to the end of Voldemort’s reign of terror.
“How is this my life?” he whispered covering his face with his hands in exasperation as he watched the dog pause in where he was throwing papers around, stare at one in particular before urinating on it with a large self-satisfied doggie-grin. “You are so very lucky those are all copies!”
Had Tony not surpassed aggravated and moved on to furious at that point; he would have noticed, before he banished the entire pile of papers, that the subject of that particular photo was Peter Pettigrew.
The dog seemed shocked to find itself once again outside that evening.