Alastor Moody had been working in the Auror offices a few months now and was already starting to regret his decision. All that that training, all that work, trying to get in there and all he ever did everyday was paperwork. They weren't sending him to do anything. It made him felt like a useless child and he was pretty sure that’s what everyone thought of him even though he was twenty-three years old. It was infuriating, most days. They had no idea what he was capable of and, obviously if he was able to make it through all the tests to become an Auror, he was worth giving a shot. How was he ever supposed to prove his worth if they kept holding him back?
It was just another summer afternoon when Alastor walked into one of the lifts to take him to the Auror office. However, unlike usual, he was not the thing in the elevator that people intentionally tried to look away from, be it from fear of the Malfoys or his eccentric appearance in general. Yes, also along with sitting there doing nothing, another annoyance here was that he was constantly being mistaken for a Malfoy because of his long blonde hair that was common of their family. He was too lazy to cut it, yet he did not want to be associated with the Malfoy family. A no good lot of dung they were, who would want to be associated with them?
However, today the object of everyone’s adverted gazes was a young girl with long hazel locks and matching eyes. She stood out in her red plaid dress among the dark suits and robes that surrounded her, but apart from that she was pretty average looking. Probably wouldn't have stood out so much if she was older and properly dressed. The lift jerked backward and sped down once the gates had shut closed. The girl, not being prepared like the rest of the daily patrons, fell flat on her ass. She sat on the floor of the lift with most of the people trying to pretend like she didn't exist. At the next stop, everyone hastily made their way out, except Alastor. Despite the fact that this wasn't his stop and it would be pointless to get off as the others had done, the polite thing to do was help her. He held out his hand and pulled her up onto her feet again.
"Thanks." the girl remarked, brushing herself off. She looked at him closely, appearing to examining his features. He held his breath and waited for the impending Malfoy comment, but she remained silent.
"It was no trouble," Alastor replied, simply. A small smile of gratitude for not calling him what she probably thought he was. "What are you doing here anyway? This is no place for children."
"I am not a child. I'm sixteen years old. Who are you to talk? Surely, you can't be much older than me." the girl answered, huffily. Surely enough, despite her prissy attitude, she had a point. He was in his early twenties, while she appeared to be in her late teens.
"What’re you doing here, kid?” he repeated, ignoring her argument.
"I'm here to attend a trial.”
"Which trial is it?"
"Why do you need to know?"
"If you don't tell me, I'll just have to throw you out." Alastor threatened, trying to sound as serious as possible. He didn’t actually have that kind of power, but it was not like she knew that.
"My friend was wrongly accused of murdering a girl with his pet Acromantula, Aragog.” the girl admitted, bitterly, falling for his lie.
"Oh yeah, I heard about that one," Alastor added. The girl looked at him with a surprised expression. Surely, she couldn’t have thought it was a secret. It had been all over the Prophet weeks after it happened. "A rubbish case, really. The victim would have had bite marks on her if she had been killed by the Acromantula."
"That's true…” she mumbled, appearing to be thinking on something. “Do you mind if I use that?"
"Sure, but I don't think they will be letting you—"
"I'm somewhat involved with this whole mess. They have to let me speak." she answered, with a small smile. Alastor slightly grew red at the sight of her smile. It was strangely familiar and comforting.
Level 2- Auror Offices
“This is me. Good luck then.” Alastor reported, giving her a small wave goodbye as he shuffled out. She tried waving back, but got caught by the men shuffling in. He could hear the girl struggle. If she wasn’t in front of the group, she’d probably suffocate.
“Damn thing’s jammed again.” Dale remarked, pushing the lift shut button feverously. Upon hearing Dale’s cursing, Alastor debated on at least turning around to see if the girl was okay. Those other Auror guys could be rough. However, right as he was about to turn and check, he was tackled by a familiar face.
Diana Dickson drowned him in her smooth blonde curls and her electric blue eyes were staring at him, warm and sparkling with bliss. Alastor was just about to shake her off like usual, however, then her gaze was focused on the lift. As she released him, he turned to find her staring specifically into the hazel eyes of the girl from the lift. He saw Diana’s wild electric eyes grow pained and shocked. She ran for the lift faster than Alastor knew she could even run. However, the gates shut right in her face and the lift sped back.
The young girl was gone.
Diana rushed back to Alastor, immediately, and shook his right arm desperately,
“Alastor, who was that? Just now, that girl in the lift, who was she?” Diana asked, frantically. Alastor stood flustered and confused. In the twenty-three years he had known her, he had never seen her make such an expression.
“I don’t know who she was. She was just a girl heading down to the courtrooms. I honestly don’t know!” he answered, hastily, hoping she’d stop acting weird and deranged and let him go. Her expression softened, but into one more somber and gloomy. Alastor sighed, exasperated, thinking he knew what she’d been going crazy about, “Don’t tell me that you were jealous again.”
“Of course, that was it. I was just being jealous again,” she replied, forcing out a nervous sort of chuckle. “I love you, Alastor.”
Normally, if someone said that too you so casually and you weren’t in anyway together, you'd be in some kind of shock or another reaction of that sort. However, their situation was different. Alastor had known Diana ever since they were born and they grew up together in Godric’s Hallow. Then, Diana’s parents practically dumped her with his family and he couldn’t escape this friendship even if he wanted to. Living with each other for all of their lives, both being placed in Gryffindor house in their school days. It was impossible not to be somewhat close.
"Yeah sure, you do," Alastor sighed, dismissively, already continuing to just walk into the offices. Diana followed after him with a slightly hurt expression.
"I'm serious, Alastor.” she pouted, childlike. He knew her feelings were no longer a sibling-family love. She was talking, kissing, holding hands, and all that shebang. He did not feel the same. However, no matter how many times he said it was impossible she always said she would never give up.
"Doesn't matter if your serious or not. My answer remains the same as it always has been. You’re like a sister to me, Diana." Alastor argued, as he sit down at his desk. She was about to answer when the head of the office, Rufus Scrimgeour, interrupted the room for some announcements. He was not much older than Moody and Diana and was already head of office. People surprisingly respected him, but were probably mostly held in line by fear. Clearly, if he was able to climb the ranks so fast, he was not a force to be trifled with. Alastor usually tuned out his announcements. It's not like they ever concerned him…
". . . Alastor and Diana you two will take the lead, is that clear?"
"What?" Alastor stammered, in a mix of shock and distraction. Diana gave him a harsh look for not paying attention or perhaps it was for the latest rejection. He couldn't tell for sure.
"I think you two are ready for a mission and Diana expressed a keen passion for this one in particular.” Scrimgeour remarked, looking over at the pair of them.
"Really?" He was trying to suppress the urge to jump up out of his chair with joy. Finally, a chance to prove how good he was. He would get to show everyone that he was not just some rookie.
"Yes. We have received intelligence that the infamous dark wizard, Grigor, and a few of the followers he has left, are hiding out in a forest in Albania. They’re apparently starting a plan for him to take out the minister and rise to power,” Scrimgeour explained. "Your task is to find out information, so we can successfully take him out before he is able to do so. Do you think you both can handle it?"
"Yes, sir." Moody answered, immediately.
"Excellent. You two will leave in a few days then." Scrimgeour added, returning back into his own office. A few moments passed of nothing, but the sound of shuffling papers and people getting back to their work.
"Wow, this is big. Isn't it, Alastor?" Diana remarked, as soon as she was sure Scrimgeour was back in his office.
“It’s just a mission, Diana. We were bound to get one eventually. It’s not such a big deal." Moody stated, a bit emotionlessly, even though he was excited for it as well.
"Yeah, but it's our first mission –”
"Like I said, it's not a big deal."
“Look I didn’t need you to get this mission for me. I could’ve gotten it on my own. I’m not going to reconsider my answer, just because you did this for me.” Alastor snapped, coldly. She was obviously wanting him to praise her for getting him a chance to go on a mission. She wasn’t passionate about the mission, she was just trying to bump his affections for her up to her level rather than sibling level. "I don't know why you even wanted to become an Auror, Diana. We both know your heart isn't actually in this."
"I have always wanted to be an Auror after my father!" Diana shouted, angrily, back in his face. He clearly had gone too far. Alastor had only seen this look once when a first year Garrick Ollivander was about to toss her wand off one of the staircases. She’d punched him in the face and, the second he lost hold of her wand, Jelly Legs jinxed him. They had all been best friends ever since. "Don’t think so highly of yourself. Just because I love you doesn’t mean I begged for you! If anything, I did this for me. Did you forget? That man killed my parents and my little sister!”
On that note, she ran out of the office and just in time to catch the next lift away from him.
Smooth one, Alastor.
He completely forgot about her family. However, to be fair, it was always a kind of taboo subject with her and around the Moody household. They didn’t talk about it, so he tended to forget about it easily. Her parents didn’t abandon her, without just cause. Sometimes he even forgot that she wasn’t actually his sister and she was someone else’s, or used to be some else’s. It wasn't his intention to be that cruel, insinuate her goal of being an Auror was not genuine. It just kind of slipped out. Unfortunately, she could be anywhere by know. Apologizing this time was going to be difficult.
Diana returned eventually, however, it wasn’t because she wanted to talk. She sat back at her desk with a less teary, but still down, sort of face. He gave her another minute to simmer before he tried apologizing,
“I’m sorry, Diana. I didn’t—”
Things did not get better, even though they were force to spend a huge amount of time together planning the mission. It would seem as if she demoted him from practically her brother, to just another coworker. Diana spoke to him only when it was necessary and only with work subjects.
A few days of getting details and planning strategies and they were ready to go. Sunday morning, they exited the visitor’s entrance and walked down Whitehall Road, arm-in-arm. Just a normal muggle couple planning a weekend away. They were new to the Aurors office so they probably would not be recognized, but they had to take all the precautions they could. Grigor had his suspicions the ministry was mobilizing, which is why they were going to be traveling by only muggle means of transportation. They were walking towards King’s Cross station in a bit of a rush so they could make their train at twelve. However, for some reason Diana seemed to be stopping at every little thing she saw. A little girl crossing the road with her mother, the city orphanage. Even the backs of a girl with long hazel locks and a boy with dark neat hair, passing across the street in the opposite direction seemed to catch her eye, for some odd reason.
“Come on, Diana. Pick up the pace—”
She had stopped in front a ruined old house with an eerie air. It didn’t seem to be out of place, what with all the other wreckage in the war damaged London, and yet she seemed transfixed on this house. Alastor stared at it for a moment, trying to see what she saw in it, but there was nothing. So, he tugged her away with an exasperated sigh.
She was just wasting his time...
They made the train in the nick of time, yet Diana did not seem at all pleased by this fact. She too busy being either angry or in a strange despair. It was unsure which, considering she had been ping-ponging between the two a lot lately.
"You should still be on your guard for anything suspicious, Diana." Alastor added, sitting down in an empty compartment seat.
"I don't need to be told things I already know, Alastor." Diana hissed back, angrily.
"Diana, I already apologized. I didn't mean to—”
"It doesn't matter if you have apologized or not. My answer is still the same. . ." she answered, bitterly, slightly repeating what Alastor had said in his latest rejection. She sat down in the window seat beside him, yet paid him no attention. Diana muttered to the window, "I don't forgive you."
The train sped away loud whistles and gears, however, their compartment was filled in silence. Eventually, about half-way through the trip, the stubborn glaring subsided because Diana accidentally fell asleep on his shoulder. Alastor looked over at her, but decided not to wake her. Just because he didn't love her like that didn't mean he didn't care about her at all. His eyes were soon fixed on the scar wrapped around her left wrist like a small chain bracelet. He could remember the day she got it. She had saved his life that day and it was that day he officially declared that he would become an Auror. So, that someday he would be strong enough to protect her. He could admit to himself that he did at one point have a small crush on her, but had grown out of it. Now, he sat there, doing nothing but making her scars even deeper. She started to wake up and noticed he was staring at her. She almost had slapped him silly. He really was sorry. So much for a first mission…
The two got off the train and started walking miles to the forest where Grigor was said to be hiding. It was growing darker and darker as they walked father into the forest. Everything was deathly silent, until Diana suddenly let out a small scream and crumbled to the forest floor.
"What is it? Diana, are you ok?" Alastor asked, in a panic. However, it turns out she had just tripped over a tree root. He held out his hand to help her up and, surprisingly, she took it. She did not take it to help herself up instead she pulled him down with her.
"What in god's name are you—?”
"Shh!" she shushed, placing her index finger to her mouth. Diana gestured Alastor to follow her and looked out from behind the tree. He did the same and sure enough there stood a tall dark cloaked man, looking around the perimeter for any sign of movement.
"Is it him?"
"No. I think it's just a guard," Diana answered, trying to get a better look without giving away her position. "I'll take care of him."
Diana quickly withdrew her wand and a red flash irrupted from it. The flash hit the guard in the back of his neck and he also crumbled to the ground. She ran out from their hiding spot and crept down beside the stunned guard.
"Diana!” Alastor whisper-yelled, following after her. She got to her feet upon his arrival and stuffed the guards cloak into his arms. He gave her a puzzled look. "What the hell do think you're doing?"
"Here. You can use it to infiltrate the camp, so we can take em' all by surprise." Diana answered, as she grabbed the man's wand as well. She gave it to him as well and he just stared at the items in his arms with the same confused expression. Was she mad crazy, as well as just mad?
“The plan was—”
“Screw the plan. Come on, Alastor. You aren’t going to ditch the amateur status by hiding in some bushes to eavesdrop,” She rummaged into her pack for a couple minutes and then pulled out a hip-flask with a small skull top. “With this, we can obtain all the information we need.”
"Yep. My dad's old flask. . . I filled it with Polyjuice
Potion. Thought it would be useful," she said, flipping open the top. It
was all quite brilliant. No wonder she was made an Auror, but Alastor would not
tell her that. She plucked a few of the guard's hairs and dropped into the
flask. A sizzling hiss and the potion turned a sickly sort of puke green. Diana
handed it to Alastor and he looked at it for a moment.
It was clear what her motive was. She wanted revenge and was about to go as far as defying the orders of the Auror office to get it. He could jeopardize his future by doing this. However, he’d made an oath to protect her and he wasn’t about to go back on it now. Alastor stopped thinking and took a giant swig of the potion. It tasted foul, but he willed himself to swallow it anyway. Suddenly, he was an exact copy of the man lying on the ground at their feet. Diana and him propped him behind a tree a few feet away and began to walk in the direction he came from.
"What about you?"
"Relax, I'll be hiding nearby, until you give me some kind of signal."
She grabbed a dark cloak from her bag and draped it over herself, hiding her long blonde hair beneath the hood. However, before they could even start looking for the camp voices came from behind them. A stunning spell flew past them, narrowly missing their heads by inches. Alastor grabbed Diana's wand from her and held her by her hair as the figures drew closer. The two men sprinted over to them, to see what they had caught. They looked about as unkempt as the first guard, one with a shaggy dark beard, the other with dirty ginger locks.
"It's alright I got her." Alastor stated, in a voice that was not his, pulling Diana's hair up. She threw him a confused and angry look at first, but then catching on to what was going on. She let out a small shriek in terror.
"Let me go!" she screamed, sounding desperate and slightly afraid. The two men smirked at her.
"Aren't you just feisty?" Black Beard grinned, leaning in closer to her and looking at her with lustful eyes. "I would hate for a pretty little thing like this to go to waste. . ."
"She is an intruder. We must take her back to the boss before we do anything with her," Alastor added, pulling her up beside him. He did his best not to glare at them for the way they were looking at her, but was finding it difficult. "For all we know she could be dangerous."
"Fine. Let's make it quick, though. It’s been ages since I’ve had a little fun." Black Beard grumbled, still looking at Diana with lust in his eyes. The four walked along the forest with Alastor still trying to keep the guards from Diana, but keep his cover. Alastor was relieved when they finally arrived to the camp. There were only a few other guards there besides them. They guarded the perimeter of the camp, while one man sat near a blazing bonfire in the center.
"Sir, we've found an intruder." Gingy reported, walking over to the man. Alastor and Black Beard dragged Diana over to him threw her down at his feet. His long dark hair swept past pale green eyes, as he looked down upon her. Although, he must have been approaching his fifties, he looked no more over twenty. It was the Great Grigor, right in the flesh.
"Well, well, what's your name, my dear?" he asked, smiling down upon the bound girl kneeling at his feet. Alastor mentally begged her not to speak her real name. Surely the dark wizard would recognize it and, he had a feeling, that he was not one to leave loose ends or unfinished business.
"My name is nothing of importance." Diana answered.
“Your face looks familiar…”
“Keep thinking. I’m sure it’ll come to you.”
"Why don't you just tell me your name, dearie?" he smiled, wickedly, lifting her chin with his wand. He drew it away and began to pace around Diana, like a vulture. "There’s no point lying. I’ll find out eventually.”
“Very well, then,” she replied, simply. “I am Diana Dickson and I’ve come here to kill you.”
“That’s quite a vengeful spirit you’ve got there. What was that like ten years ago? It was just a job, my dear.”
“Regardless of whether it was just a job, or not. It was one in which you succeeded in doing,” Diana yelled, with a venomous glare. No one had noticed with the show going on, but Alastor, but his face was starting to morph back. They were running out of time. Then, Diana eyed him out of the corner of her eye and slightly nodded her head. "Alastor—NOW—"
In one swift movement, Alastor had replaced the stolen wand with his own and started sending off spells in different directions. Black Bear and Gingy had gotten hit, however, Grigor had managed to evade them. The three other guards had heard the commotion and started shooting spells off at them. Four against two. They were outnumbered. Alastor had just shot one of them down, when a different one had hit him. The spell had slit his left eye.
"Are you alright?" Diana yelled, wanting desperately to go and help him. However, having her hands full with all the guards, she could only watch as he clutched his eye. Alastor was starting to lose vision in it, but had to keep fighting. Diana had just managed to finish off the last of the guards, before he could continue to fight with them and was running towards him. But not for the reason he thought.
"Alastor, look out!"
Grigor had sent a spell right at Moody, but she had jumped in front of him to take the hit. The spell had not been the Killing Curse, but a Slicing Charm. Diana stood clutching the bloody stump of what had used to been her right arm. Without warning another quick slice meant for Alastor had hit her and was now missing her left leg. Of course, missing one of her legs, she started to fall.
"Diana!" Alastor yelled, catching her as she fell to the ground. This didn't stop Grigor. He was laughing as he sent another spell at her. Slice! Her right leg was now gone as well. Alastor's anger was overfilling as he looked down at Diana. He raised his wand at Grigor and yelled, with absolutely no hesitation or remorse, "AVADA KEDAVRA!"
With a flash of green light the dark wizard fell. The guards who had been merely stunned were now waking up and looking down at their dead leader and the furious man pointing his wand at the spot where he once stood. Alastor made sure that his working eye glared at every last one of them and they all fled into the forest, not wanting to find out if they were next. It was over, or at least it was supposed to be…
Diana lay in a pool of her blood with Alastor kneeling down beside her holding the only limb she had left. The pain he felt in his damage eye was nothing compared to the pain that she was in. He couldn't possibly even imagine what hell she was experiencing. Yet she was alive. After all that…She was still alive.
"Diana, I'm sorry. . ." Moody mumbled, grasping her left hand tighter. This was the end. He didn’t want to come to terms with that fact, but it was the truth. And he had to make things right and apologize again. "I'm sorry I couldn't protect you."
"Alastor. . . I love you," she smiled, weakly. She was looking up at him with her electric blue eyes. The only time he had felt the genuine seriousness in her voice. He was starting to grow teary eyed with a somewhat knowing that that was the actual last time he would hear those words ever directed at him.
"I love you too." he heard himself saying back. The truth was he had always loved her, something he could not even admit to himself. She had always been right by his side supporting him, even sacrificing her life to protect him. The feeling was not like he loved his mother or his father. He was truly in love with her. But it was too late now. "I'm sorry it took me so long to realize it. Please don't leave me, Diana."
She gave him the best smile she could before she started murmuring something, something that he could not understand. Her left hand wiggled in his and he let go of it. She held her hand over her right eye, still murmuring something. It sounded like some sort of spell.
"Diana, what are you doing?" Alastor asked, his panic growing larger. Suddenly, she had torn her right eye right out of its socket, as if she wasn't in enough pain already. She held up the eyeball beckoning for him to take it. He held out his palms and she dropped the electric blue eye into his palm. Even though it was detached from its owner, the eye swerved in his palm.
She gave him one last look before he saw the light leave her remaining eye. She was gone.
Alastor Moody had not only lost his eye that day.