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This Thursday felt lonely again. His wife, Luca, took a day off and stayed home. His mother-in-law, now retired, was also home; his father-in-law was walking their vizsla dog. Aaron Perry was laying in the couch pretending to still be asleep after having decided to take a post-lunch nap in the sitting room. The radio was on (“Yesterday the society for European Socialist Writers started its three-day-long consultation in Budapest.”) Luca and the mother-in-law engaged in casual chit-chat. Aaron kept his eyes closed, he was in no mood to join in. (“Gustav Heinemann was elected federal President of West Germany.”)

Luca approached his husband, gently stroking his head and whispering in his ear, "Time to wake up, honey. Coffee is ready." Aaron opened his eyes and tried to smile gratefully. Although it really did not matter. He was authorised to wipe off any memory he found undesirable. But he still felt an urge to play his part, to try and be a good husband. Aaron hated the life he was living: secretly brewing batches of love potion to keep his wife, obliviating the whole family on a daily basis. He really was a patriot, ready to do anything the Ministry for Magic commissioned him to do, but this time he was confused. He had been living under cover for three years as Áron Papp in a remote village of a country he hadn’t even heard of before. One day he had been ordered to move here, get a wife and blend in. And just wait until further instruction.

He got up, kissed his wife and embraced her as they walked to the table laid for three with coffee and cakes. From the corner of his eye, he could see the suspicious look on his mother-in-law’s face; they never got on well, but he didn’t care enough to try and help it with magic.

The radio was still on, something about a visa agreement between Hungary and the Soviet Union.

***

The train was dirty as always, and its lights glimmered. Soma wormed his way past a few passengers to find a place to sit. It had been another exhausting day. And one more day to go until the weekend. His hands felt cracky, his eyes were sore. Cleaning a whole grocery store would have been so much easier with magic. But his wand had been confiscated on that damned day when he entered the national duelling competition. That Dancing Feet Spell was not meant to be deadly. When he said “Tarantallegra” in no way did he expect that his opponent would end up dead. He never even knew of anyone who would show this kind of overreaction to such a harmless spell. Yes, he did freeze in dismay unable to stop the spell while there was still time. He could have saved him, at least that’s what they said.

The train stopped, and people got on and off. Soma just sat there staring out the dark windows. He had been living for more than nine years as a muggle, but still he could not get used to it.

***

Ieasha thought that vomiting was the most disgusting symptom ever to be experienced by a human being. And yet here she was some minutes after having woken up with a strangely icky feeling in the pit of her stomach, still bending over the toilet bowl. Just as she tried to take a few deep breaths, a silvery-white conjured fox appeared in her bathroom. “It will be tonight. Don’t be late.”

***

The train had finally reached the end station and Soma was walking the remaining few meters to his home. His feet knew the way, half-asleep he didn’t need to pay attention. Take the left here, then veer right. Litter lying everywhere on the dark streets. One panel house after the next, all the same, all pathetic.

All the sudden he felt that someone forcibly grabbed his arm and clammed him up. He was then dragged away into the basement of a nearby house. Next thing he noticed, Soma sat tied to a chair in a small windowless room. Two witches and a wizard held their lit wands aloft and towered over him.

"Kik maguk? Mit akarnak tőlem?!" Soma’s voice was meant to be angry as he demanded to know what was happening to him, but it sounded ridiculously thin.

"Soma Czajlik, do you understand me if I speak English?" someone asked.

He nodded.

The witch who was talking to him had heavy eyebrows and a long, pallid face. She introduced herself in a brisk manner. "My name is Eileen Prince and I’m here to help you as an interpreter if needed. Otherwise these two will tell you what this is all about. This is Ieasha Hayes and Aaron Perry." Soma looked at them, but did not say a world. Apparently he did not have to. The woman named Ieasha stepped forward. She had dark circles under her eyes and looked sickly. But when she spoke her voice was firm.

"We are offering you a second chance Mr. Czajlik. We know you once were a skilled Auror at the Hungarian forces. And we know you are a good man, despite the fact that you accidentally killed a fellow dueller."

***

The four of them apparated in a hallway covered with greenish linoleum. At the end of the corridor a man in his forties was standing with his hand on the shoulder of a boy that did not older than ten years of age.

"This way, gentlemen" Ieasha pointed to the door next to the father-son couple. Then she nodded to the two "Lupin." She opened the door at the end of the hallway, and led everyone in. It was a small room with one table and chairs surrounding it. A woman was already sitting at the far end of the table, reading newspapers.

"Everyone is here, Minister." said Ieasha.

The Minister put down the newspaper, that was featuring an article about Carlotta Pinkstone being out of jail again and continuing her campaign to lift the Statute of Secrecy, revealing the wizarding world to Muggles.

Eileen Prince entered second, and she also greeted the Minister "Ms Jenkins."

Eugenia Jenkins stood up and looked at them one-by-one as they entered the small room.

"Ieasha, a word with you."

"Yes, Minister." Ieasha went closer with the unpleasant feeling that Jenkins tried to use legilimency on her.

Aaron Perry remained last still talking to the Lupins.

"Lyall, you work for the Ministry, one would expect you to show some kind of loyalty," he said to the father.

"I do. I am loyal. But…" Lyall floundred, struggling to craft a defense.

"Good" Aaron cut across him. "Good. Then all will be good."

"Can you at least tell me what is going on? Please."

"No. I’m afraid not."

Minister Jenkins and Ieasha were standing just centimetres away from each other, but seemingly no one in the room cared about their tense situation.

"Do you love him?"

A gulp. Ieasha was surprised the Minister for Magic had the gall to discuss this. Despite their long history as friends, Ieasha felt that the Minister crossed the line here. "Excuse me?"

"The father of your child." There was an awkward silence between them, whispers leaked into the room from the conversation between Aaron and the Lupins.

"I’m afraid that’s none of you business." Ieasha blushed and her voice sounded somewhat more offended than she had intended.

"Miss Hayes, you are about to lead the most dangerous mission in the wizarding world under my authorization. So I think it definitely is my business. Don’t you realize that you are making the father of your unborn child a target for dark wizards?"

"I do." Ieasha’s answer was only a whisper.

"There is only one right thing to do here," said Jenkins decisively. Ieasha looked at the Minister, her eyes slightly wet. "There will be plenty of time for you to have children later on. I know someone in St Mungo’s…"

The door of the room closed, while Aaron mumbled, “Muffliato” . He then gently led Remus to the table and sat down himself. He seemed absent-minded, his unusually transparent eyes looking nowhere. Minister Jenkins looked at them, and took her seat at the table. "We are not done yet, Ieasha." As the squeaking of chairs faded, the Minister spoke again. "Ms Hayes, if you could just introduce everyone."

"Yes, Sir." Ieasha stood up. "So this is Eugenia Jenkins, Minister for Magic. She will personally supervise our mission. My name is Ieasha Hayes from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, I am in charge of leading this mission. This is Aaron Perry, also from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, he has been selected to vanquish the Dark Lord. Soma Czajlik - she said inclining her head as she continued - is a Hungarian ex-Auror who will aid the mission. Eileen Prince is here as a consultant due to her contacts with members of the Hungarian Gobstone team. And this is Remus Lupin…"

"Thank you Miss Hayes" Jenkins interrupted. "Our next point indeed involves young Mr. Lupin here." She stood up and walked over to Remus. Her hair tied in a bun, her eyes fixed on the boy without blinking; despite her deep warm tone of voice she did have quite a frightening appearance. "Son, we have to be sure, that you won’t tell anybody about what you see and hear here."

The boy, confused, gazed at her. "I promise."

"That is good." She smiled encouragingly. "But we need you to make the Unbreakable Vow."

There was a deep silence in the room, so much so no one dared to even move. "Don’t be afraid, it won’t hurt. And I will tell you father about it, he will make sure you are safe."

With this said Ieasha quietly walked up to them, the Minister and Remus kneeled opposite each other clasping their right hands. Jenkins spoke:

"Remus Lupin, do you promise not to ever talk to anybody about what you see and hear in this room?"

"I promise." As he uttered these words a thin tongue of brilliant flame issued from Ieasha’s wand and wound its way around their hands.

"Do you promise never to mention or even imply what happened in this room from the moment you entered, until you leave?"

"I promise." Ieasha’s wand slightly trembled, but after a moment of hesitation the red-hot wire flames came and locked again the hand of Remus and the Minister.

"Thank you." The Minister’s voice sounded a bit hoarse, her face unnaturally neutral. "Let’s hear out the prophecy that brought us all here."

Ieasha put a Pensive to the middle of the table, and from a little vial purred in it a silvery substance memory. "This is a prophecy by Cassandra Vablatsky that she provided us four years ago. This is the reason we are here. This is the prophecy we need to break." At a movement of her wand a tall and thin woman of about seventy years of age emerged from the Pensive. She was wearing purple robes with hoods that covered her face almost entirely, the mysterious green light of an Orb dancing on her clothes. As she spoke her voice was unnaturally deep:

“A descendent of the Gaunt family, now remote and almost forgotten, is preparing his dark soul, once ready he will endanger the whole of the wizarding world; a dark era will follow, but a werewolf born in the year that adds up to sixteen will support the wizard chosen to vanquish the Dark Lord, and the werewolf will sacrifice his life in the final battle bringing the Dark Lord down − you have five years to prepare for the worst”.

The seer disappeared back into the shallow stone basin. For an eternally long minute there was only silence.

Ieasha was the first to speak.

"So this would be it. The prophecy was followed by intense research on our part, and as a result we have here the team that is most likely to prevent this Dark Lord from raising to power. Our story goes back to the 16th century Hungary when Mathias Corvin II. was born in 1504. He was the youngest grandson of Mathias Corvin I., famous Hungarian king who waged victorious wars against many enemies at his time and made it to a number of folk stories as the king who is just and a defender of his people."

Soma took a pack of cheap cigarettes out of his pocket. His hand trembling, he lit one of them, and then looked around blowing out the smoke. Everyone looked at him surprised and confused.

"Sorry, I took up the habit while living with muggles." He put the cigarette out and looked back to Ieasha. She remained for a little while with her eyes were fixed on Some biting her upper lips, then continued.

"Mathias Corvin II. is claimed to have died in 1505 while still an infant, and muggle history books seem to have forgotten him. However the truth is that in 1505 it turned out that Mathias had magical powers, and thus the family disposed of him. He was sent to Africa, where a wizarding tribe tutored him until he was old enough to attend the Uagadou Wizarding School. By the time his only descendent moved back to England in the 17th century he left to him as a heritage not only the knowledge of Hungarian language, but also the power to cast spells simply by pointing the finger or through hand gestures as it is customary for African wizards. This descendent became a famous healer, who to his tragedy was the first transvestite documented in wizard history. Using his unusual magical capacities he was able to transfigurate himself to a witch, and he even gave birth to a squib daughter. And this is where the story of the Hungarian royal family crosses with the Gaunts."

Ieasha was interrupted by an intense coughing that came from where Remus was sitting. The boy seemed to almost choke with the convulsions.

"You’re okay, son?" Jenkins asked.

"Fine" squeezed Remus between his teeth. He could barely talk with the wild coughs. "Just got some cold."

Jenkins looked at him, and for the first time since he entered the room she didn’t see in him a boy that needed to be sacrificed, but a human being who was suffering. Two days had passed since full moon, and the young werewolf was bearing clear signs of it. He was skinny by nature, but he seemed to have lost a lot of weight recently, his hollow checks were sickly pale, his eyes full of the terror typical to the recently tortured. "Aguamenti!" she produced some water that Remus drank without a word. "You may continue Miss Hayes."

"The squib girl went to serve to the Gaunt family after the suicide of her transvestite mother, and she later became pregnant by the master of the house. His son turned out to be a very talented wizard and he was treated as an equal to the other Gaunt kids, while still learning about his Hungarian origins from his servant mother. Later on he heard rumours surrounding the foundation of the Ilvermorny School, thus he went to America where he managed what everyone thought was impossible: he cut a wand from the snakewood tree that had grown from the wand of Salazar Slytherin. This wand was then passed on to his descendent, Corvinus Gaunt who became famous for incorporating the trapdoor entrance for the Chamber of Secrets into the plumbing of a new bathroom that was built at his time in Hogwarts. After graduating from Hogwarts Corvinus Gaunt married a Hungarian witch and he settled down in the Northern Hungarian Mountains where he worked with Hungarian Horntails. Not much is known of his family after this point, but they for sure remained in the Hungarian dragon reserves, and the only living descendent of Corvinus Grant is a man called Gellért Gauroch, born in 1916. We concluded that he is the descendent the prophecy warns us about."

"Although" Jenkins added, "there is another branch of the Gaunt family, descending from a half-brother of the boy who cut the wand from the snakewood tree."

"Yes" Ieasha nodded. "Indeed another branch of the family lived on to produce Marvolo Gaunt and his daughter Merope Gaunt. But we all agreed that Tom Riddle cannot possibly endanger the wizarding world."

---

Author notes: I invented the characters Aaron Perry, Soma Czajlik and Ieasha Hayes. The gaps filling in the holes of the Gaunt family are also my ideas. The rest of the characters… − well you all know who they belong to :-)

The story takes place on the 6th March 1969, I made every possible effort for it to be cannon- and muggle history consistent, but do let me know if you spot any anomalies.

Translation for the Hungarian sentences:
Kik maguk? = Who are you?
Mit akarnak tőlem?! = What do you want from me?

A huge thank you to Jennifer (LunaStellaCat) for beta reading! (Although I'm stubborn enough not to follow all her advices, so anything you don't like is my fault ;-))

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