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    A mother kangaroo stood absolutely still in the moonlit forest, watching her child play in the bushes in front of her.  The mother would gently pull the roo back every time he got too far away.  She was watching him carefully when a loud pop startled her.  The joey hopped back over to his mother and jumped into her pouch.   They hopped away quickly, not noticing the man who had just appeared a few meters away.

    The man swore under his breath as his face contorted.  His round face was elongating and his black hair lightened to a brownish shade.  He stumbled around and kicked off his shoes as his feet grew too large for them.  It was not only his feet that were growing, but his entire body.  The man was now six inches taller than he had been when he first Apparated into the forest.  Finally, it stopped.  The man now looked completely different and kind of strange in Muggle clothing that was far too small for him.

    He opened his bag and pulled out a set of black wizard robes, changing into them quickly.  He tossed the Muggle clothing into the bag and set off at a brisk pace.

    "Bloody Muggle airplanes,"  he muttered to himself,  "Ministry ought to just allow international Flooing."

    It was a very quiet night, with only the occasional owl hooting in the distance.  The moon was not full enough to provide enough light to illuminate the path, but the man did not want to draw attention to himself by lighting his wand.  He merely stumbled along, swearing every time he tripped over a rock or a tree root.

    The tall man was not entirely sure how far he would have to walk to find the place he was looking for.  In fact, the man he was going to visit did not even know he was coming.  Nevertheless, he kept walking through the forest, until he finally came to the edge.

    A short distance away stood a rather large house.  It was not big enough to be considered a mansion, but substantially larger than most houses.  The man glanced at his watch before continuing towards the house.

    "Damn,"  he muttered as he noticed that his watch was still set for British time.  He pulled out his wand and pointed it at his wrist.  The hands on the watch swirled until coming to a stop.  It was nearly midnight.

    There was one lone light on in the house.  Other than that, the place seemed either deserted or its occupants asleep.  The man did not care if everyone was asleep; he would merely wake them up.  He picked up his pace as he crossed the yard and ascended the steps up to the front door.

    The man knocked three times and stood waiting for someone to let him in.  A short while later, the door opened a crack.   However, it did not appear that anyone had actually answered it.

    "Is you needing something, sir?"  a squeaky voice asked.

    The man looked down and saw a house elf peeking his head around the door.  "Why yes,"  the man replied,  "Is Lubar in?"

    "Master Lubar?"  the elf asked,  "He is."

    "I need to speak to him,"  the man said.

    "Come in,"  the elf replied,  "Is you wanting a drink?"

    "No,"  the man muttered as he entered the house,  "Just show me to Lubar."

    "Yes, sir.  This way."

    The man followed the elf through the extravagant house.  He always wondered how Lubar managed to afford everything.  It's not like he made much money at his job.  There were statues, works of art, gold encrusted tables, oriental rugs, and the fanciest furniture in all of the rooms he passed. 

    The elf led him to a room with the door halfway open.  Light was streaming out of it, but the man couldn't hear any voices.  Lubar must be alone, he thought. That would be best anyway.

    The man pushed past the elf and into the room without knocking.  He didn't see the need.  Lubar was family.  Sure, the man hadn't seen him in years, but he was family nonetheless.  Lubar was the man's wife's cousin, to be specific.

    Lubar was sitting at his desk, perusing a book.  His untidy brown hair was dangling over his face.  He looked up when the man stepped into the room.  He looked momentarily shocked, but regained his composure and stood up.  Lubar was quite a bit shorter than the man in the doorway and was wearing similar black robes.

    "Jarrett,"  Lubar gestured for him to come in,  "What an, unusual, surprise."

    The man, Jarrett, walked in and took a seat in the red leather chair in front of the desk.  Lubar resumed his position behind the desk.

    "To what do I owe the pleasure?"  Lubar asked, folding his hands in front of him.  "It's been a long time, Jarrett."

    "I know, Ralph, it has indeed,"  Jarrett mused.

    "I have half a mind to throw you out of this house after what your brother-in-law did to my brother,"  Lubar growled.

    "And I assure you that I understand,"  Jarrett replied,  "I do not approve of what my brother-in-law did.  I have not spoken to the man since."

    Lubar raised his eyebrow.  "Interesting.  And has your wife been in contact with him?"

    "She has,"  Jarrett sighed,  "But that is just one of the many things we have different opinions on.  I am well aware that you have no plans to forgive her brother, which is why I am here unbeknownst to her. I would like to put that issue behind us and rekindle our friendship, Lubar."

    "I will have to think about that,"  Lubar said.

    "I understand,"  Jarrett said,  "That's all I can ask you to do."

    "I am quite curious as to how you managed to get here.  Isn't your entire ministry after you?  I pay attention to magical news all around the world, you know.  I have been following your story for the past year,"  Lubar changed the subject.

    Jarrett smiled.   It had been surprisingly easy to get to Australia with Muggle transportation.  It took a while and was rather annoying, but easy.

    "Yes, the Ministry is after me.  However, I took the liberty of using Muggle transportation to arrive here.  I simply took some Polyjuice Potion, bought an airplane ticket, and now I'm here."

    "Impressive,"  Lubar replied,   "You used the new 24 hour Polyjuice?"

    "Obviously,"  Jarrett smirked,  "Otherwise I would have turned back into myself in the middle of an airport."

    "True.  Now, what can I do for you?  What could you possibly need that would cause you to take Muggle transportation to get here?  Somehow, I don't think you would go through such extreme measures to rekindle a friendship that died a decade ago."

    "Do you know why the Ministry wants me?"

    "Something about dueling Harry Potter?"  Lubar smirked,  "That might be the stupidest thing you have ever done."

    "That's the gist of it,"  Jarrett muttered,  "But we had reasons for doing it."

    "We?"

    "Yes.  Myself, my son, and one of my friends."

    "Ah,"  Lubar leaned back in his chair,  "Do you care to enlighten me about your reasons?"

    "We want to unite the Deathly Hallows in order to help our mission to continue the plans of Lord Voldemort,"  Jarrett explained,  "Harry Potter knows the location of all three of the Deathly Hallows and currently possesses two of them.  Have you heard of the Hallows?"

    "Of course I have,"  Lubar snapped,  "Mind you, I thought it was just a children's story."

    "I assure you, it's not,"  Jarrett said,  "I myself saw the Invisibility Cloak.  They exist and had something to do with Voldemort's downfall."

    "Lord Voldemort,"  Lubar mused,  "I understand.  I myself agree with his ideas about the wizarding world.  Especially when it comes to half-breeds."

    "I was hoping you'd say that.  Now, we have been on the run for over a year.  After our first unsuccessful attempt at obtaining the Hallows, we chose to lay low for a while."

    "You know where all of the Hallows are?  You said Potter's got them?"

    "Two of them,"  Jarrett corrected him,  "We thought we knew where all three were, but we were wrong about the Elder Wand.  Well, Potter could be lying to us.  That's entirely possible.  But even if he does not currently have it in his possession, I am sure he knows where it is.  The Invisibility Cloak is currently in possession of Harry Potter's middle child, Albus.  The Resurrection Stone is residing in the forest next to Hogwarts, although I am not sure where."

    "Interesting,"  Lubar mused,  "But what do you need me to do?"

    "I'm getting to that.  Recently, my son and I came up with a plan to obtain the Invisibility Cloak.  My son was to lure Albus Potter out of school by capturing his cousin.  To make a long story short, it ended in a duel between my son and Harry Potter.  Potter captured him and he now resides in Azkaban,"  Jarrett seethed.

    "That sounds like an absolutely abysmal plan.  Did you actually believe Potter's kid wouldn't tell him his cousin was captured?"

    "We kind of hoped so-"

    "Shut up.  The point is, that was a horrible plan, and now your son is in prison."

    "Yes,"  Jarrett sighed,  "And I was kind of hoping you could help get him out."

    Lubar stared at him and then smirked.  "Me?  Help get your son out of prison?  How in the name of Merlin do you suppose I'll be able to do that?"

    "Well, you're a high ranking Ministry official, you must have a lot of influence in these kinds of things,"  Jarrett stammered.

    "I am a high ranking Ministry official in Australia, not Britain,"  Lubar laughed,  "Why do you think I have any influence over there?"

    "But don't you keep in contact with Britain's Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures?"  Jarrett asked.

    Lubar laughed.  "I do not contact Britain's Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.  My opinions are vastly different from those in Britain.  I would not want to associate myself with the blokes there.  Plus, my name is mud with the British Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures."

    Jarrett looked curiously at Lubar.  "That is hard to believe.  What did you possibly do to make them dislike you?"

    "That, is a very long story,"  Lubar replied,  "The old head of my department was a very liberal man.  He sympathized with werewolves and disliked any sort of strict legislation dealing with them.  His reason for this was because his own son is a werewolf."

    "Really?"

    "Yes.  Anyway, he was fired after he broke one of the werewolf laws.  Then I became head of the department and passed more laws.  He hated me.  He moved his family to Britain, where he got a job in Werewolf Support Services.  Turns out, he was planning on moving anyway, even before he got fired.  He wanted his werewolf kid to attend school.  The headmaster of the Australian School of Sorcery obviously did not let him attend.  The Hogwarts headmaster did.  As far as I know, he's there now.  Once there, he made sure everyone in his department knew my name and what I believed.  They do not speak kindly of me."

    Jarrett rubbed his chin.  "Interesting.  So there's a werewolf at Hogwarts?  Quinton never told me anything about that."

    "He probably doesn't know,"  Lubar smirked,  "I tend to doubt that the werewolf would announce it to the whole school."

    "Do you know the werewolf's name?"  Jarrett asked.

    "Don't remember his first name.  Last name's Eckerton."

    Jarrett thought for a moment and then his eyes popped out of his head.  "Eckerton?!  Quinton's mentioned that kid.  He's one of the ones we dueled with last year!  He's friends with Potter's kid."

    "Really?"  Lubar smirked,  "How interesting."

    "Yes, extremely interesting,"  Jarrett rolled his eyes,  "Potter's kid befriended a werewolf.  Thrilling, really.  Now, can you help get Quinton out of Azkaban or not."

    "Talk like that and I won't help you,"  Lubar muttered.

    Jarrett's eyes lit up.  "So you can help?"

    "Possibly,"  Lubar said,  "But I could most certainly help you get the Hallows."

    "And how would you do that?"

    "First, I give you advice,"  Lubar began,  "You're going about this all wrong.  Your first priority should have been the Resurrection Stone, not that Invisibility Cloak.  Yes, the Stone will be difficult to find, but nobody currently owns it.  It's sitting in the bush.  You've got to search that bush and get that Stone.  Then, you use the Stone."

    "Use it?"

    "Yes, use it!"  Lubar shouted,  "Honestly, I don't know what my cousin sees in you.  But anyway, use it to talk to Voldemort!"

    "Oh, right."

    "Then, you ask Voldemort what happened to the Elder Wand!"  Lubar continued,  "That thing is the best Hallow.  The Cloak is the least useful.  Anyone can make themselves invisible with a Disillusionment Charm.   You've got to get that wand and stone first."
   
    "Oh, I'll get looking for the Stone,"  Jarrett muttered.

    "Good,"  Lubar replied,  "And I'll go to Britain and help you."

    "Seriously?"

    "Yes.  I'll make sure you do it properly.  And I can check up on that werewolf kid,"  Lubar sneered.

    "What about the Ministry?  I thought they hated you."

    "They do,"  Lubar said,  "But I can come up with a good reason to be at Hogwarts this year."

    "What might that be?"

    "I cannot explain in detail.  There is an event happening at Hogwarts this year.  Students from Australia are participating.  I have reasons to be there."

    "Shall I wait for you to search for the Stone?"

    "Yes,"  Lubar said,  "I'll make sure you don't screw it up.  And perhaps, while I'm there, we can work out some way to break your idiot son out of Azkaban."

    "Thanks,"  Jarrett muttered.

    "Just remember, you owe me for this."


A/N:  I love it when editing takes less time than I thought!  Big thanks to my beta, Dancer_of_Starlight, who also named this story.

This story is more intertwined with In Moonlight's Shadow than my other Albus stories have been.  People who have already read IMS will know this now that they've read the prologue.  I suggest anyone who hasn't read IMS read it, although you'll still be able to understand this story if you don't.

I may be switching my update days to Wednesdays because I'm quite busy on Thursdays.  It'll depend on how the semester goes.

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