Prologue

The Library of Lost Wands,

Epic Potterverse Fanfiction set in 1919

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch,

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March 1917, a forest in Eastern Europe

Seamus had seen how this would end. He raced through the tall pines, their sharp scent mingled with the smell of perspiration, lending him courage. He did not know which country he was in. The borders of the human world were changing, but out here the tree roots wrote the maps. Above the war drum of his pulse he heard the nonchalant pace of his foe’s footsteps through the undergrowth. He slowed his own steps and breath, aware that his trousers were torn and his ankle and shoulder were bleeding. Frightened though he was, laughter gurgled up from deep inside him. It was all so ridiculous. Skilled, cynical seer though he was, he wondered how this crucial mission could fall to a Hufflepuff who, six months ago had been given the role of Care Taker to the herd of Pegasus horses at Beauxbatons School.  His sister was the one who worked at the Ministry of Magic in London, and she knew nothing of this. He had made sure of it.  As skilled in shielding his thoughts and feelings as she was in reading them, he’d distanced himself from loved ones to shield them as long as he could.

He had closed off the telepathic connection that had seen the twins through quidditch matches, midnight picnics and being sorted into different houses in their Hogwarts days. It had kept them sane in the short, intense years since. It was vital she knew nothing until later. He had needed time to lay the trail of breadcrumbs he hoped she’d follow.  In the three months since he seen what was unfolding he had worn anonymity like an invisibility cloak. Using polyjuice potion, he’d borrowed the faces and names of soldiers recovering in field hospitals, all the while hoping he didn’t see his cousin, Syd, on one of the stretchers.  He’d passed as a muggle for as long as he could.  It was a safe disguise because those on his trail viewed non-magic folk as below their interest. Earlier, he had hidden his wand with all his secrets where he hoped his sister would find it. Then he had come here.

He had chosen the place himself; he’d always found peace among trees.  Wandless, he couldn’t summon the usual anti-detection and repelling charms, but the canopy of inky firs would help prevent witnesses. Looking up into blue sky beyond them gave oddest sensation of winging down a long tunnel towards its exit.  He imagined for a moment he had changed form and flew with an eagle now soaring overhead. Mentally he called to the bird; “Tell my sister if she comes this way, tell wisdom too if you see her.” The bird screamed, “Aye” in ascent. Her feathers dappled red and gold as she appeared to disappear like Iccarus into the sun.  Seamus found himself wishing he had studied in Africa, where wizards were often adept at shapeshifting and did not traditionally use or need wands. But his plan could only work this way. And the plan had to work. So many lives depended on it.

A footfall sounded nearby. Sweat merged with one lazy tear wending its way towards his mouth, which he realised in surprise was smiling.  He did not believe in fate. Many thought this strange for a seer. He saw prophesies like maps, but some could be used like weapons, especially if those thirsting for power believed in them. This one held the key to stop a tyrant, to end an endless war and to protect millions of muggles and muggle born from being oppressed.  Few would ever know his choice, but Lindsay would. He felt the creatures in the forest watching and listening, so he began to softly hum one of Uncle Harris’s old sea shanties, dancing his way into a low bow as he did so.

“You play the cribbage and I’ll stick the pegs”
Singing blow the wind westerly, let the wind blow
By a gentle nor’wester how steady she goes.”

He rose slowly, calmly. He saw the house elf before he saw the tall figure striding effortless after her towards him. The elf was pleading, tugging at the hem of a cloak woven of black smoke. The wizard kicked out and the elf fell into silent watching. Colder, clear eyes that may once have been handsome fell on Seamus.  It was time. The wind whipped up, caressing his wounds. He heard birdsong over the taunting indifference of the voice behind the wand raised in his direction.

“This is the end,” promised the wizard, the elf quivering by his side as he prepared to strike.

“No”, this is your end beginning.” said Seamus.

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