An Imperfect Love Part 2

Help return Brilliant Foundables from the Brilliant Malfoy Manor, including the Portrait of Bellatrix Lestrange and Portrait of Voldemort.

An Imperfect Love Part 2

INTRO

HERMIONE

SOS Task Force agents are reporting my surge has returned, but something's wrong. They're indicating it's become Dark and oppressive, rife with Foundables related to Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange... Essentially, the polar opposite of the direction I'd intended to take the surge in.


CONSTANCE

As if it's become another surge altogether, eh? Say, Harry, do you think this is like when you wrenched control of November's surge away, but in reverse?


HARRY

I think that's exactly what's happening here, Constance. The Unforgivable must be trying to guide the Calamity back in their intended direction.


HERMIONE

I agree. But if they wanted control of the Calamity, why wait until halfway through my surge to seize it? Why not preempt it, like you did?


CONSTANCE

Perhaps we'll find some answers hidden inside this troubling surge.


BRILLIANT PORTRAIT OF VOLDEMORT

HARRY

Constance, the memories fuelling this surge... they're mine.


CONSTANCE

You're sure? Not to question your judgement, but we have been wrong about these things in the past.


HARRY

I'm positive. I feel the same as I do when new Adversaries are summoned: like someone's flipping through an open book of my memories and ripping pages out, emotions and all...


CONSTANCE

So The Unforgivable are able to snatch others' memories to create both Adversaries and surges? Bloody hell! Seems every time we take one step forwards towards getting the Calamity under relative control, they take two.


HARRY

I wouldn't be surprised if they were responsible for the surge I thought I unknowingly started last month too. But what are they hoping to achieve and why do they keep targeting me? Is it my history with Voldemort and his Death Eaters? My position? Or something else entirely?


BRILLIANT PORTRAIT OF BELLATRIX LESTRANGE

CONSTANCE

The more of this surge I experience, the more convinced I become that this must be related to Adversaries.


Lethifold did write in the letter we intercepted back in October that they were trying to ‘bring them back.’ If ‘them’ truly are the Death Eaters, this could be a part of their plan.


HERMIONE

That is the most reasonable conclusion to draw, isn't it? Still, I can't help but feel that, more than anything, this surge was intended to make a mockery of mine. Granted, I may very well feel that way because they interrupted me personally, but hear me out.


I based my surge on my memories of Ron and I's early relationship which, despite its admittedly rocky start, was built on genuine love. Theirs seems to be centered on Voldemort and Bellatrix's obsessive, self-serving relationship. It's as if they took my core construct of love and tainted it.


CONSTANCE

I hope you're right. If not, it would likely mean that The Unforgivable are actively trying to revive the Darkness of Voldemort and Bellatrix and, well... I don't really need to state how terrible that would be, do I?


MORSMORDRE DARK MARK

HERMIONE

The Dark Mark was more than a symbol of allegiance to Voldemort and a way for him to communicate with his Death Eaters. It was a threat, a warning intended to inspire fear.


Voldemort weaponised fear in his quest for power. He used violence to intimidate any who disagreed with him into silence or submission.


I wonder... Could The Unforgivable be trying to do the same to us?


MASS BREAK OUT AZKABAN DAILY PROPHET

CONSTANCE

While most Death Eaters denied their ties to Voldemort after his initial fall, Bellatrix Lestrange proudly proclaimed hers. She rotted in Azkaban for fifteen years, apparently always believing Voldemort would return for her.


I know Bellatrix was a horrible person and her infatuation with Voldemort was likely extremely unhealthy, but... Is it odd that I admire her devotion?


After all, I get antsy when Lucas is thirty minutes late for our dinner reservation. I can't imagine waiting for fifteen years with only Dementors for company.


SWORD OF GRYFFINDOR REPLICA

HARRY

I've long believed that Voldemort was incapable of love. It seemed the best explanation for why my mother's sacrifice mystified him so much.


But he clearly felt something for Bellatrix. You need only look at how special he treated her to see that. And that's saying nothing of the fact that he entrusted her not only with what he thought was the real Sword of Gryffindor but also one of his Horcruxes.


Dumbledore once told me that Voldemort couldn't understand love. That he took no trouble to comprehend that which he didn't value. So perhaps it's not that Voldemort was incapable of love, but that love was such a foreign concept to him that he dismissed it as unimportant.


It's ironic. For all his attempts to obtain power, he failed to see the single greatest source of it, despite it being right in front of him.


MYSTERIOUS NOTE

1ST PIECE

CONSTANCE

Curious, there was a piece of a note attached to that last Foundable, though it's too fragmented to make anything out.


HERMIONE

I had a hunch that The Unforgivable were trying to send us a message, but I didn't think it'd be quite so literal.


CONSTANCE

Makes you wonder what it says, doesn't it?


HERMIONE

We'll have to assemble the rest of the pieces before we can know for certain, but I suspect it's nothing good.



5TH PIECE

HERMIONE

We haven't found enough pieces of the note to make out most of its contents yet, but one thing is clear - the writer wanted you to read it, Harry. It's addressed specifically to you.


HARRY

Considering how many memories of mine they've snatched and twisted into Adversaries, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a thank you note. You'd think, after more than two decades, I'd be a better Occlumens. I wish I'd kept up with my lessons...


HERMIONE

There's more. I believe this was written by Lethifold. I can't be completely certain as the note we intercepted from them was written in a runic script, but, upon comparison, the spacing, sharpness, and slope of the letters all seem to match.


HARRY

Certainly adds more credibility to our running theory that Lethifold and Barghest are members of The Unforgivable, doesn't it? Now if we could only find out who they are, we might finally get a tangible lead on the cabal.


FINAL PIECE

CONSTANCE

Harry, we've managed to reassemble the entire note and it's... well, to be frank, it's dreadful. The Unforgivable are advising that we ‘ought to stop meddling with the Calamity.’ If we do, they promise to leave us be and ‘forgive our past transgressions.’


HARRY

And if we don't?


CONSTANCE

They don't make any specific threats, but they do say that we'll ‘learn a valuable lesson about actions having consequences.


END

HERMIONE

We've managed to stamp out their surge, but The Unforgivable's threat remains. Harry, what are we going to do about their demand to stop interfering with the Calamity?


HARRY

I say we ignore their bravado and continue doing everything in our power to stop them from abusing the Calamity. The fact that they reached out to us directly means they're worried. They know we're getting closer to exposing their identities.


If we continue to press them, there's a good chance they'll become increasingly desperate and, in their desperation, get sloppy.


HERMIONE

Or they'll be driven to take more extreme actions to stop us. Let's not forget what they've proven themselves to be capable of. Curse-breakers were able to free Kit Gerrard from the painting, but the Healers at St Mungo's haven't been able to restore any of Kit or the informant's memories.


HARRY

Don't worry, Hermione. If there's one thing this surge has made me realise, it's that we've faced worse threats before and survived. I'm confident we'll do it again.