There was a chill in the air in Britain. The trip over was simple, but more laborious than need be. There had been so many transfers and elevators that seemed overkill for what could have been as simple as a pop.
Leviathan Wilde was here on assignment. A peculiar assignment by all measures, but he was ready to take it on, however dumb it might have been to accept.
Finishing his last checks at the Ministry, he put his identification away and grabbed his bags. He’d been a year in official preparation for this one task, but he felt like he was built for this. When they came to him with the proposal he was definitely too excited.
“Levi, we think you might fit this…almost too well. You’re very green, is our only hesitation, but also the only one we can think of and, honestly, the only person we can spare for this amount of training.”
He took to the training and research quickly and voraciously. It all led to this day.
He was escorted from the Ministry’s offices to a dark hallway connected to a private Floo Network. When he was instructed to call out “Azkaban,” he felt his heart speed up. Once he reached the other side of the Floo, an ominous door stood in front of him. The door open slowly to reveal a stone faced woman.
“Yes! Leviathan Wilde. You must be Auror Tonks.” He held out his hand.
“Black. Please, this way.” She led him inside, “I hope the Ministry wasn’t too much trouble.”
“Not at all. I hope you don’t mind, I know I’m a tad early, but I thought we’d have a lot to go over.”
The Auror continued to lead him to her office.
“No, no. The sooner, the better.” They sat. “So, what have they taught you about Bellatrix?”
Auror Black had a long, unrelenting list of limits and new information on his task here. Where he first assumed it would be akin to duels, strategy analysis and interviews, he learned it was more...involved. The top most task: convincing Bellatrix of it all. This hadn’t been part of his training. But he supposed...she would need to at least tolerate him in order to continue such an in depth project.
“Alright. When do we start?” Levi was ready.
“Well, tomorrow morning we could…”
“Should I meet her now? We can at least get introductions out of the way.”
“I suppose. Let me call down to the cells.”
After a short and indiscernible conversation, Auror Black addressed him again.
“Seems it’s your lucky day, Auror. I’ll see you to the cells.”
“Yes.” He clapped his hands to his thighs and stood, “ready.”
There was so much darkness in Azkaban. When they reached the direct path to the cells, he was instructed to summon his patronus. A slim and agile snake shot from his wand, gliding through the air.
“I’ve never seen that before…” Auror Black was surprised but they didn’t have time to dwell. As they walked through the dark hall he understood the need. Dementors scales the hallways. He’d never seen anything like it.
As if sending his fascination, Auror Black raised her hand, “not now, Wilde.”
At the end of the hall, there was a cell with a guard posted outside. The guard stood at attention. “Auror Black.” They addressed her.
“Thank you, Armon. We’ll keep this brief.” She turned to Levi, “Are you ready?”
“I’d say so.” He nodded confidently.
Auror Black opened the door with a complicated pattern of wand movements.
And then, there she was, in the corner, knees to her chin rocking back and forth, but immediately still at the acknowledgment of her guests. She caught eyes with Levi first.
“Who’s the morsel, Andy?” It was menacing and slow, the way she spoke.
“Let’s not be rude, Bella,”Auror Black sighed, “this is Leviathan Wilde. He’ll be helping with your release program.”
“Hi.” He nodded his greeting, keeping his hands in his pockets and his wand tucked in his sleeve.
“Shipping them in now, are we? A little...fae isn’t he?” Bellatrix tilted her head at him.
“Auror Wilde is your key to freedom. The American Auror’s Association were the only ones who would spare anyone to assist this program. If you want out of these chains, you’re going to have to cooperate.” Black had sunk to a squat to meet Bellatrix eye to eye.
Bellatrix sneered at her, “we’ll see how long he lasts.”
Auror Black stood. She walked towards the door, signalling their departure. Then Levi turned to address Bellatrix, “I won’t push, but...I think we’ll find we help each other. In the end.” He turned before her retort could be formed. The door closed behind them. He thought he could hear a distant cackle.
Sooner than he expected, they were back in her offices.
“We’ll start the paperwork tomorrow. Thank you, Levi. I trust you can see yourself out?”
“Yes, of course.” He grabbed his briefcase and was on his way.
Tomorrow would be a whole new trial of its own.
Levi was anxious to start. He slept well in the modest hotel they’d placed him in. He woke up early enough to polish up on his notes with a bit of coffee in his room.
Once it was time to start getting ready he lingered a bit on small things.
He was lean and tall so he wanted to wear something that wasn’t severe, as that might make her feel threatened but he didn’t want to look dowdy. He chose a white button down with black pinstripe pants that flared a bit at the boot. His boots were understated but fine leather. He fixed on his usual silver thin chain necklace. He went to his bathroom mirror to get a better look at what travel had done to him. He fixed things with some glamouring charms. His brown skin was given its usual glow. His short cropped hair left little to be done with, but he gave a small shine to it with a bit of oil from his bag.
One last look in the full length mirror and he felt he’d accomplished what he’d set out to.
He was off.
“Hello, Auror Wilde. Thank you for your punctuality.” It was nine on the dot as he walked through her office door.
Levi didn’t really know how to respond, so he nodded, “Good morning, Auror Black.”
“Ah,” she took a seat behind her desk, “Call me Andromeda. After all, we’ll be practically living together in the coming months.” It was true. They couldn’t very well let Bellatrix roam, so the plan was to board her, with Andromeda and himself, for a time, yet to be determined
They reached Andromeda’s office and began to iron out the last of the specifics
“Alright,” she sat behind her desk and motioned for Levi to follow suit in the chair opposite her, “we’re clear on everything, correct?”
“Yes. I feel thoroughly prepared.”
Andromeda laughed in the back of throat. Such confidence this boy had. “I doubt that.”
“Most people do.” He nodded his headed with a shadow of a smile on his lips, “listen, I’m sure I seem cocky and probably a little unreasonable in what you may think my expectations are, but I’m almost too familiar with the kind of situation I’m about to be in. I’m not afraid of pain, I have no secrets, and failure only entices me. I’m ready to be proved useless, essentially. Expectations only ruin the surprise of success.”
Andromeda just looked at him with a shadow of smile on her face. He was at least realistic, a spot of optimism, but mostly realistic. Levi was clearly an eccentric, but maybe that’s just what was needed. She addressed him with subdued resignation, “well, at least we’re in it together, mate.”
She reached across her desk with her hand outstretched. Levi shook it with a smile. They were in for a ride.