Prisoner Zero's Birthday
“And here we are minister, the final part of the tour. This is the Pit.” The warden motioned over a deep pit in which a single cage was hanging from chains, a figure hidden in shadows sat in the centre of the cage.
“What are the measures here to stop the prisoner escaping?” Lucius’s drawl echoed through the chamber.
“I’m afraid those are classified Minister.” The Warden said as he nervously rubbing the lightly glowing amulet.
“Our Lord would be most upset to hear about a lack of security regarding his honoured guest. Can you imagine what would happen when I reported such back to him?” Lucius’ sneer was worthy of the Headmaster of Hogwarts at that moment.
“No! No need for that, I was just concerned, of course you’d have the required clearance.” He coughed for a moment. “Well on top of the islands normal security, the Pit has only three points of access. Here at the top for keeping an eye on things. The Heart stone for the prime ward scheme is up here, the anchors built into the walls of the pit itself. A secondary ward scheme to prevent any interaction with the prime heart stone is based at the bottom of the Pit, the anchors for that are bound to the very stones of the prison itself. The only way to bypass the defensive wards is the Wardens Ring, which is worn at all times by myself. I cannot remove it, nor can it be taken from my finger except by the Minister of magic or the High Lord himself.”
He looked at the minister who nodded and motioned with his cane to continue, his eyes never moving from the figure below.
“The water at the bottom of the pit is connected to the sea outside to prevent stagnation and with cooling charms in the stone kept to just above their freezing point. Guarding the Heart stone of the secondary ward system are 21 inferi commanded to defend the stone at all costs. They have all been enhanced with armour implanted into their flesh and weapons to defend themselves. The prime ward scheme is fuelled by the prisoners own magic, his own magic keeps him in place, it also fuels a rather unique ward design to prevent house elves to enter the area. Should the prisoner draw on his magic then an equal amount is drawn to create shields to prevent damage. Now the third point of access is at the middle of the Pit, there a bridge can be extended out to the cage. Shall we move to that point?”
Lucius stood and turned to the warden, “Lead on. I do not wish to spend much longer than necessary here.”
The pair moved down a separate set of stairs to a large and heavily protected door, the warden knocked thrice and a slot opened. “Lazarus,” the warden stated. The slot closed and Lucius heard a series of bolts move and the door opened.
“As you can see Minister, we have a three man team here at all times, the guards are rotated out every 24 hours when the supplies are delivered. One man rests, one guards this door and the third watches over the charms tied to Prisoner Zero.”
“Charms?” Lucius drawled as he looked at a set of crystals on a desk by the opposing door.
“Oh yes, they are tied to several things. His health and the compulsions are the most important. The bars of the cage are warded and enchanted to maintain them, the prisoners magic also fuels the compulsion charms on them to prevent the prisoner from attempting to hurt himself. A slight bonus is that he is always fatigued as a side effect of all this. We tried to Imperius him to begin with but he kept breaking free of it after a while, a low level compulsion isn’t enough to trigger a fight response from him. Our healer provided a report on some potion damage from his youth being the cause of that.”
“Potion damage? I was unaware of that.” Lucius’ tone for the first time changed with interest.
“Well, we found traces of several potions in his system when he became our guest. Loyalty keyed to a number of people, amortentia and a blocker on his magic were the ones which stood out. We haven’t found out who he was tied to, we haven’t been able to authorise further checks since his arrival, so the traces should be gone now. Most were several months old and only a few traces remained in his system.”
“I can make a few guesses on the matter myself Warden, continue.”
“In addition to the three man team there is always a dementor in the Pit itself, they cannot get close enough to the Prisoner to harm him permanently and he can’t allow that to happen due to the compulsions.”
“Why did I not see one when I was looking earlier?”
“That’s because of you sir, when you’re gone they will be allowed back in, we didn’t want them to try and affect you during your visit.”
“I understand, go on.” Lucius waved away the issue with one hand as he looked over the room.
“Yes, anyway. The prisoner is also chained to the eight corners of the room, he has a little motion available to him so he can reach the cage door to gather his bowl and jug. He is fed and watered once a day at midday, the bridge is extended, the charms watcher is the one to go out, they leave their wand behind to prevent any incidents. They ladle the prisoners meal and exchange the jugs then they leave as the new team takes over. A series of charms are cast on the guard before meal time as ordered. They cannot hear or speak, nor can they see the prisoner, as commanded by the High Lord.”
“And if something is wrong with the prisoner?”
“Then the gems glow brightly and a tone sounds to alert the watcher, they then trigger a ward to alert the other guards and to summon a healer. The watcher and the resting guard then go to investigate, it takes two authorised wands in their wielders hands to open the cell or my ring. Once everything is cleaned up then the investigators are obliviated of what happened after they open this door to investigate. The healer is left fully aware but bound by an unbreakable oath regarding their service to the prison and their silence on the matter, they are authorised to speak only to me about the prisoner and cannot make any records with the prisoners true name or his physical description. Any spell casting down here triggers an alert with my ring, that way I can send a team down to investigate.”
Lucius lifted his wrist to check his watch. “And that is everything? Nothing you have forgotten?”
“No, that’s everything, do you wish to see the prisoner?”
Lucius took a small flask from his pocket and took a swig, grimacing at the taste. “It has been a while since we last spoke, and it is his birthday. Yes I would like to say a few words if I may.”
“Of course, open the door.” The Warden motioned to the guards who followed his command.
They turned a wheel to cause the bridge to extend, then opened the door, making sure they couldn’t see anything. Then they went back to their duties.
“Do you wish for some privacy Minister?”
“If you don’t mind Warden, that would be appreciated. I believe you require my wand first?”
“Ah yes, of course, we have to follow procedure.” He smiled at Lucius for a moment as the ministers wand was passed across, he turned to place it upon a shelf by the door when he dropped from the stunner in his back.
The guards were shocked and froze for a second before beginning to move, three more stunners swiftly struck out and the bodies dropped. Malfoy quickly moved to secure the room, no-one else was there, so he put everyone back in their spots. He then turned to the Warden and cast a cutting charm on his finger, with a quick healing charm to seal the wound. Taking the finger Lucius moved across the bridge and opened the cell.
“Merlin, you look like absolute shite Harry.” Lucius voice rather more feminine than before.
A dark and twisted chuckle came from the figure sitting at the centre of the cage. “Hello love, how’s it been? How long have I been here?” I don’t have any way to measure time other than keeping track myself, I lost count a while back.
“Oh Harry, its been too long. You’ve been here a year.” Lucius’ hand gently took his thin limbs and unshackled them with alohamora’s. Come on, we have to move quickly. Lucius led harry into the guard room. He pulled a handbag from a pocket and pulled a set of clothes for harry out. “Here get changed, we don’t have long.”
It took a few minutes and some help before he was in clean and fresh clothes once more. Lucius yanked a hair from harry and dropped it into a flask, then opened the wardens mouth and poured a dose down his throat. Waiting until the Warden had taken Harrys shape, he then switched the clothes so the warden now wore the prisoner rags. He levitated him into the cage and quickly shackled him. Pulling a syringe from the bag, he quickly injected an air pocket into the wardens veins. He then dropped the syringe into the waters below and sealed the door behind him.
Moving back to Harry, he stood before him and looked him in the eyes. “I‘m going to have to cast a spell on you, you need to relax for me, then we’ll be free of here, okay?”
He looked into Lucius’ eyes, “I trust you. I hate your new look though, it doesn’t suit you.”
Lucius smiled, “I’ll need a good shower after this to feel clean. Now lets get this done. Stupify.” He caught Harry as he dropped, lowering him to the ground gently. Then a piece of transfiguration magic turned Harry into a ring, Lucius placed it next to the wedding ring on his finger.
Turning to the guards, “Obliviate, Memoria Falsum.” He repeated this to each of them making them think nothing had happened and everything was okay, the warden had passed through to show the prisoner to the minister and then everyone had left. He quickly transfigured the Wardens clothes into replicas of the gems and cast a few charms to replicate the effects. He swapped them over and looked over everything, with a nod he left the room and cast an area enervate into the room as he shut the door. He quickly walked up the stairs and headed for the exit.
Prison guards nodded as he passed on his way to the docks, his auror guard and assistant joining him on route.
“We can leave now.” He said as he stood on the boat, settling down as they left the island.
Once out of sight of the shore and the dementors, Lucius quickly pulled harry of his finger and placed it on the deck of the boat. With two spells harry was restored and looking around groggily. The aurors all began to transfigure their gear back to normal. Lucius’s assistant passed a vial across to Lucius who drank it, his flesh began warping painfully immediately.
Neville knelt down next to harry, his electric blue eye checking him over from its scarred socket. “Here, drink this,” he croaked, the scars on his throat making it hurt to speak as he passed Harry a potion, “Nutrition and healing potion combo. Just enough to keep you going until we’re safe.”
Hermione quickly restored her own gear before carefully gathering harry in a hug. “I promised you love, nothing on earth would keep us apart.” She let the tears flow as she held onto him.
Neville nodded at the pair before he stood, he turned to watch as the others each restored the people they had replaced, a few memory charms later and they had covered themselves. Lucius himself was restored and memory charmed with Hermione’s knowledge of what had happened with a few tweaks here and there. Then she cast Imperio and prepared him for his mission, placing three packages in his pocket.
The first team used their portkey as soon as they reached the halfway mark. Neville placed a stone on the deck and touched it with his wand, markings lit up and seemed to be waiting for something. He helped Hermione secure harry to the portkey, and they waited. A silver hare arrived and whispered to Neville, he nodded and called out “Mischief managed!” The portkey took them away as the stones glow flared for a moment and then it turned to dust. Everyone left on the boat woke up, each thinking they had nodded off and not to mention this to the others.
Lucius Malfoy entered his office in the ministry and took a few minutes to relax in the incredibly comfy chair. He had not been looking forward to the tour of Azkaban, but this was the first time with his Lords guest in attendance, and it was Potters birthday after all, it would have been rude not to celebrate with him. It was also a tradition for the minister of Magic to visit the prison once a year and this was his first year as Minister.
He pulled a package from his pocket and placed it on the middle of his desk, then went to give his report. The package unwrapped behind him and a small wooden box remained. At his secretaries desk he halted and turned to his daughter in law. “Send a message to the Head Unspeakable, tell him Lex Talionis, he’ll know what I mean.”
Pansy Malfoy nee Parkinson looked at him in confusion for a moment, “Yes Sir, by the way, you have an appointment in half an hour with Draco.” She quickly wrote the note and sent it away.
“Take your lunch with him, I should be done by the time you return.” He called as he went towards his lift.
“Yes sir” Pansy smiled as she gathered her things, if she hurried she could make the other secretaries jealous of her and her husband.
Algernon Moody ended the argument as the message arrived, he smiled and went to his office, there he quietly sealed his department from outside contact, he gave the message to his assistant who nodded and left to clean house. He sat back in his chair and pulled the picture frame from his draw, a number of photos collected together in one frame of his family, he poured himself a glass of firewhiskey from his stash and saluted them, “Constant Vigilance” he whispered as he drank the shot in one. He looked at the present waiting until he managed to see his great nephew again, the plant would survive for a little longer.
At the desk of the High Lords assistant Lucius placed another package without thinking about it and then knocked, he heard the summons from within and entered. Percy Weasley returned a few minutes later from his lunch and took the package from his desk and began unwrapping it, confused as to where it had come from.
The High Lord was receiving the current updates from his commanders and looked over to see Lucius enter. With a smile and his usual twinkle in his blue eyes he motioned Lucius to join them. Shacklebolt stood tall at his Lords right hand, Delores Umbridge beside him, the obnoxious pink toad smiling sickeningly at her Lord as she was giving her report, Ronald Weasley glowering in jealousy at Shacklebolts position of honour.
The High Lord raised his hand to stop Delores report on finding the newest eleven year old Mudbloods. “Lucius. How was Azkaban? Was our guest comfortable?” The High Lord called from the head of the map covered table.
“My Lord, he was secure and safe, if in poor spirits. However I have found you a gift during my travels to lighten your day.”
“Oh? What would that be?”
“This my Lord,” Lucius then passed the third package to his Lord.
Unwrapping it, the High Lord frowned as he looked at a small puzzlebox. With a raised eyebrow he looked up at Lucius in confusion.
“There is a message to go with the present my Lord,” Lucius’ voice suddenly turned monotone “For, the use of cool intellect when others were in great peril, 50 points!”
Albus Dumbledore, the High Lord of the United Kingdom widened his eyes in surprise and fear, realising who the message was from. He dropping the puzzlebox as he took in a breath to call for his bound phoenix to rescue him from the secured and warded chamber. The puzzlebox opened just as it left his hand, the fiendfyre held within erupted with a roar like lions.