"Rule 34: War is good for business."
- Ferengi Rules of Acquisition
Scotland, UK, April, 1980
Humans were so amusing, these wand wavers especially so, Anyanka thought.
She was spending a lot of time in the so-called "Wizarding world" these days. They had one of their wars going, and wars, for vengeance demons, meant great business.
Anyanka had been a vengeance demon for over a thousand years, granting wishes to those in need of her particular skills, sort of like a fairy godmother from the fairy tales. Of course, Anyanka knew the Fae well, and whenever the Sidhe did indulge in this sort of thing, they tended to be a lot gentler than Anyanka's Order. Well, at least the Sidhe of the Seelie Court were gentler. Those of the Unseelie Court... Well, that was a different matter.
A wish granted by a vengeance demon tended to be granted in a manner the client didn't intend. After all, they were demons.
"Do you have to work in that disgusting place?" her old friend and fellow vengeance demon Halfrek asked over tea.
"The place does smell disgustingly of goats," Anyanka replied. "But, the Hog's Head is the perfect place to find clients. So many interesting people come through there."
"Yes, but there are nicer places you could have assumed your barmaid identity. Rather ironic guise by the way, dear."
"Yes, I suppose it is, considering how I got into the vengeance game. But trust me, Hallie, this is the place where I'll paint one of my masterpieces. I know it."
"If you say so."
"You're just mad because you can't visit, yourself."
Hallie smiled, and said, "Old Abbie might recognize me. His brother certainly would."
Each vengeance demon had a specialty, based on what drove them to take up the calling. Anyanka specialized in taking vengeance on men for angry women. Hallie's specialty was children who had been wronged by their parents or guardians.
"I don't know why you think they'd recognize you. These wand wavers have no sense of their own history. Most of them don't even know we exist. They don't want to acknowledge the magic that's outside their little bubble."
"Oh, I know. Have you seen that fountain they have in their Ministry building?"
Anyanka laughed and replied, "Yeah! They really think they're on top of the magical food chain, don't they? Do you know what they're calling this Tom Riddle guy who's causing all the fuss?"
"He Who Must Not Be Named," Hallie said in overly dramatic tones, then laughed.
"This guy's got them quaking in their little boots! They think this is the scariest thing out there? They should see the real things that Must Not Be Named. Idiots... Blind idiots have no idea..."
"Albus Dumbledore's a little smarter than most, though," Hallie said, thoughtfully. "He'd put two and two together if he ever saw me, again."
"That was great work back then, by the way."
"Yes," Hallie said, warmed by the memory. "That sister of theirs... Her pain called out to me..."
"Oh, I'm going to top that, soon," Anyanka said, the friends always being competitive. "I'm just waiting for this one to say those two magic words."
"Anyone recognize you, yet?"
"Morgan's been around."
Hallie was surprised to hear that name.
"Morgan? Morgan of the Seelie Court? How is she?"
"Would you believe she married one of those wand wavers? Guy named Xenophilius Lovegood."
"Morgan settling down, again?" Hallie could hardly believe it. "I thought she'd given up mortal husbands. After all these years... He must be something else."
"He is... As men go." Anyanka hated men, but had to admit Xeno wasn't bad for one. She actually enjoyed having conversations with him, which, for her, was almost unheard of.
"Morgan's not going to tattle on you, is she?" Hallie asked, concerned.
"No, we talked. I leave her alone, she'll leave me alone."
"Well, that's good," Hallie said, relieved.
"They're expecting. I think that's mellowed her, a bit. So, she won't sic those horrible... things on me, again."
Anyanka shuddered at that memory, when Morgan confronted her with her most primal terror. While the Sidhe of the Seelie Court were gentler than those of the Unseelie Court, they could be quite horrible when provoked. Morgan probably kept those blasted bunnies around the house...
It was a quiet night at the Hog's Head. Anyanka was about to give up on any potential clients, let alone the one she'd been working so hard to coax a wish out of, when they arrived: The Potters, and those sidekicks always attached to the husband's hip. Anyanka sometimes wondered if the five of them had orgasms together, but dismissed the thought. These were Gryffindors. Wizards were a repressed lot for the most part, and Gryffindors especially so. Wizards were also immature, letting old House rivalries from their boarding school days guide all their relationships. Not that Anyanka was complaining. Such things made her job so much easier.
Another entered the Hog's Head. Perfect. Just who Anyanka wanted to see. There was a history between Lily Potter and Severus Snape. What made things even better was Lily's husband and his friends had always bullied Severus in school. Now, they were on opposite sides in a war, though Lily and her friends didn't know that, for certain. If James Potter and his gang hadn't been off talking to Albus about something or other, things would get ugly, very quickly, and violent. As it was, though, only Lily was aware of Severus's presence... Besides Anyanka, of course.
Severus was looking at Lily like he was about to vomit, Anyanka thought. This had no doubt to do with Lily's pregnancy. Lily was just staring at Severus, coldly.
It was time.
"Still bothering you?" Anyanka asked.
"He always bothers me," Lily replied.
"Well, that's men for you."
"Not all men!" Lily said, offended.
Anyanka had her own opinion on that. She didn't like James Potter one bit, and frankly didn't understand what Lily saw in him. But, no sense telling Lily that. She had a job to do, here.
"OK, not all men. Just that one," she amended.
"I mean, you trust a guy, you open your heart to him, and he cuts it out."
Lily looked crestfallen, then angry again.
"I just wish..." she began.
"I wish... I wish something would happen to him to show him what he's become! To make him know regret! I want him to be haunted by what he's put me through for the rest of his miserable life!"
Lily shook her head in confusion... She thought she just saw... No, a trick of the light. She smiled as her husband and friends returned, Professor Dumbledore with them.
"Hello, Lily," Albus said.
"Professor," Lily greeted, smiling.
"I'm sorry that I can't stay and chat, but I have an interview to conduct for the Divination post. But, I wanted to say hello."
Anyanka watched the humans do that small talk they always felt the need to engage in before Albus went up the stairs for the interview. No one but Anyanka noticed Severus Snape follow after a few minutes.
Anyanka smiled, knowing her work here was done. She didn't know how this wish was going to unfold, but she knew, she knew, that the results would be spectacular. She had a sense of these things.
Yes, they'd be talking about the results for a very, very, long time. Humans were so amusing, especially these wand wavers. For all their arrogance, thinking they were the masters of the mystical world, they forgot one of the most basic rules of magic...
Be careful what you wish for.