Constance's Lament Part 2
Constance's Lament Part 2

29 November 2021

Brilliant Event

Intro

Harry

My Aurors finished searching Constance's flat. Sure enough, they found Matthias Pickering right where she said he'd be, under the effect of a Draught of Living Death, but otherwise unharmed. They also found large quantities of ingredients needed for making Polyjuice Potion.


Hermione

Don't you think it's odd how forthcoming Constance is being? Why would she willingly incriminate herself by admitting that she overthrew her grandfather and took his place as the leader of a criminal organisation?


Harry

Perhaps she's genuinely come to terms with the fact that she's reached the end of the road with The Unforgivable and has decided to just come clean?


Hermione

Or she's hoping her candor will lure us into a false sense of security. I'd suggest taking everything she says with a grain of salt until we can figure her intentions out.


Fortunately for us, Constance may have unknowingly revealed the location of the last bit of leverage The Unforgivable has over us: Penelope Fawley's location.


Vanishing Cabinet

Constance

Well? Did you find Matthias?


Hermione

Yes, he was exactly where you said he'd be. The Ministry has taken him into custody, where we've already corroborated some of your claims against him. It appears you were actually telling the truth.


Constance

You find my honesty suspicious, don't you? I don't need Legilimency to see that.


Hermione

Frankly, yes. I think you have an ulterior motive for telling us all this. Am I wrong?


Constance

No. As usual, Hermione, you're spot on. The truth is that I want you on my side. And deep down, I think you want to be on mine, too.


Brilliant Portrait of Albus Dumbledore

Harry

You promised you'd tell me anything I wanted to know, so tell me this. You avoided Hermione's trap, so you must have known she was going to use Veritaserum to expose the identity of The Unforgivable's mole. So why didn't you warn Gareth Greengrass?


I understand that you didn't want him to know you were Theus. But I'm sure you could have found a way to discreetly tip him off. So why didn't you? Why did you let another member of The Unforgivable fall into our hands?


Constance

Because I knew you could do what I couldn't: get Cereus the treatment she needed for her blood malediction. But Gareth was too stubborn and angry at the Ministry to realise that himself, so...


Harry

So you let things play out and manipulated Gareth and I into reaching an understanding. You encouraged me to empathise with Gareth, knowing that I'd end up wanting to help Cereus. You set us both up!


Constance

And Dumbledore set you up to face Voldemort, knowing full well that meant sending you to your death. He understood that you have to do some bad things for the greater good. I'm sorry for manipulating you, but because I did, Cereus is finally getting the attention she should have gotten years ago. And that's what really matters, isn't it?


Regulus Blacks Locket

Hermione

I found her, Harry! I found Penelope Fawley!


Harry

You did? I've had my Aurors out searching for Penelope ever since Grim announced that The Unforgivable were holding her hostage, but they never found dragon hide nor unicorn hair of her. Where was she?


Hermione

On Constance's desk. The portrait Gareth Greengrass trapped her in had been Transfigured into a paperweight. Constance's earlier comment about why she hid her grandfather in plain sight got me thinking the same was probably true for Penelope.


Harry

To think Penelope was right under our noses this entire time and we never noticed... I must have searched her office ten times. Never once did it occur to me that the paperweight might be anything other than a paperweight.


Hermione

Don't beat yourself up over it. The only one who should feel guilty is Constance. Fortunately Penelope is safe now and we're one step closer to ending both The Unforgivable and the Calamity for good.


Mysterious Note 

First Piece

Harry

Hermione, is it true that one of our volunteers found a note from Grim Fawley after returning a Foundable?


Hermione

A piece of one, yes. We can't be certain it's from Grim just yet, but it seems likely.


Harry

Grim wouldn't work with us because The Unforgivable had taken Penelope hostage and were threatening to hurt her. Now that she's safe, Grim might finally be open to ending the Calamity.


Fifth Piece

Hermione

Now that we've managed to recover half of the note, I can confirm that this letter does appear to be from Grim.


Harry

Well, what does it say? Does Grim seem like he'd be willing to work with us?


Hermione

He did write that he wants to meet now that Penelope is safe and Constance is in custody, but...


Harry

But what?


Hermione

I don't know, the note cuts off there. We'll have to find the rest of the missing pieces to get an answer to that.


Tenth Piece

Harry

I heard our volunteers were able to recover and reassemble the rest of Grim's note! So? What's his condition for meeting with us?


Hermione

It's Penelope. He won't turn himself in until she's been freed from her portrait.


Harry

That shouldn't be too difficult. After all, we freed Kit Gerrard from the same curse. I'll get the team of curse-breakers that helped Kit on it right away. Restoring her missing memories will be more difficult, but even that's doable.


This might really be it, Hermione. Once we have Grim on our side, we might actually be able to end the Calamity.


Hermione

It does feel like this years-long battle is finally drawing to a close, doesn't it? Even so, we shouldn't get complacent. After all, there's no telling what The Unforgivable might do now that they've been backed into a corner.


Poisoned Oak Matured Mead

Ron

Some kids get brooms for their seventeenth birthdays. I got a near-death experience.


Harry

Not one of your better birthdays, was it?


Ron

No, but surprisingly not the worst either. That honour belongs to the time George tricked me into eating the extra strength Puking Pastille he was developing.


Harry

I remember that. We were celebrating your birthday at Brews and Stews. The servers had just lit the candles on your cake and were in the middle of singing ‘Happy Birthday’ when you projectile-vomited all over them. That was pretty bad, but at least it seems you've gotten more of your adult memories back?


Ron

True, and now I finally understand why Hermione never wants to eat out.


Conspiring Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape

Harry

You're a talented and passionate witch, Constance. You could have had a long career at the Ministry, where you'd have actually been able to make a difference and create the sort of the change you keep insisting you want to see. So why did you throw that all away?


Constance

Don't fool yourself, Harry. I know you've seen the limits of what the Ministry can do and how many people fall through the bureaucratic cracks. Just look at what happened to Gareth and Cereus Greengrass. 


Harry

The Ministry isn't perfect, but think of all the good we've done since the Second Wizarding War ended. Werewolves used to be ostracised and discriminated against. But thanks to our outreach program, attitudes are changing. The wizarding community is becoming more inclusive.


Constance

I'm not discounting the progress you've made, but didn't your original proposal include providing free Wolfsbane Potions to any werewolf who wanted them? Politics and protocols prevented you from making the kind of change that would have done the most good.


I know you're trying your hardest, Harry. But at its best, the Ministry is ineffective. At its worst, it's dangerous. You can try to change it, but there will always be things the Ministry simply can't do.


End

Constance

As promised, I've told you everything you wanted to know about my involvement with The Unforgivable. Now I hope you'll keep your promise and hear me out.


Hermione

Harry and I have heard and seen plenty. We know firsthand what happens when you ‘help people’ and what you'll do in pursuit of the ‘greater good.’ I know I speak for both of us when I say we want no part of it.


Constance

But Hermione, how many times have you wished you could make a real difference without having to navigate petty politics or legal red tape? Or you, Harry. How often have you seen the guilty walk free because they know how to play the system?


Harry

What exactly is your point, Constance?


Constance

You need someone who can work outside the system to do the things you want to but can't. That's where The Unforgivable come in. We'll get our hands dirty while you keep trying to change things from within. Together we'll be able to make a real difference, starting with revealing magic to Muggles.