HP: The Arcane Thief -
Chapter 3: The Changes
When he woke up, Axel found himself strapped to a bed.
Startled, he tried to free himself in a hurry.
Feeling sore all over his body, the previous events came rushing back to him like a tide. Torture, a wizarding world, and war.
Was it all just a fantasy? Was it imaginary?
'Where am I now?'
[Replying to the host, you do not seem to have fantasized anything.]
"Dang it!" It looks like the world really isn't as simple as he had thought. Unlike last time, his state of mind was much better right now. He realized that he had killed someone and he didn't feel the slightest bit of guilt doing it. He also realized that someone else in place would probably be freaking out right now.
But well, he grew up in a different environment than those pampered good-natured wannabes. Morality doesn't fill your stomach, nor does it make you invincible. And as for the whole magical world fiasco, he wasn't that much surprised. He had already gotten the letter to Hogwarts and even if he didn't believe in its contents at that time, he had still somewhat accepted the possibility of magic existing.
He scanned his surroundings. He was in a clean room, with some weird-looking gadgets around him some of which were making beeping sounds.
His belongings were taken away, but he still at least had his cross shaped pendant around his neck.
Examining his body, he realized that his shoulder and jaw were fixed but the same could not be said about his body. When he looked at his hands, he realized that they we're still trembling.
He clenched his hands into fists.
"That guy... I really killed him too early," he muttered, feeling unreconciled.
At this moment, he heard rapid footsteps which made him tense up.
"Oh! You really are awake," she said, looking surprised. She was a beautiful woman, with a somewhat aristocratic bearing, but her eyes conveyed kindness.
She slowly approached his side, her gaze not leaving him for a second examining him like she expected him to do something.
"You don't need to fear anything," she said slowly, as if talking to a small kid, "You are safe here. Nobody's going to hurt you,"
Looking at the woman with raised eyebrows, Chris replied,
"Well, I wouldn't have been worried in the first place if I wasn't strapped to a bed like this," he said calmly, gesturing at his restraints.
There was a pause where the woman's eyes widened. Then,
"H-How...?" She questioned, looking at him in disbelief. It was assumed that the patient must have gone insane or brain dead after that much damage.
Axel was feeling a bit impatient now,
"Hey lady, can you please undo the restraints? And why am I strapped up in the first place?" He asked looking calm, though inwardly, his heartbeat sped up.
'Did they figure out I killed a man?!'
The woman recovered quickly as she explained, "You have been tortured by the unforgivable curse, it is expected that you will not be... in the right state of mind after such a prolonged exposure." she explained.
Axel shrugged, "Well, as you can see, I'm completely sane right now. There's no problem with my head whatsoever. Is that so surprising?"
The woman nodded looking at him with pity, "It really is surprising. Especially considering your age. It's not like there's no other case of people staying sane after that much exposure. But, they're were all adults, very powerful, and skilled in mind arts. You, on the other hand, are too young. Your body and mind aren't developed enough. So the damage and pain your body and mind would suffer would be that much more crippling. If only you had been a few years older, atleast you wouldn't have suffered such physical harm..."
The woman seemed to be ready to go into full-on geek mode, so Axel shook his restraints a little to get her attention.
"Oh right. I suppose we won't be needing the safety restraints anymore," saying so, she waved her wand and Axel was suddenly free.
"...Thank you," he said politely, though he was still on guard.
The woman didn't fail to notice how he had flinched when she had pointed her wand at him. Compassion and sorrow filled her eyes and she put her wand far away as she could before she sat at a chair by his bedside and gave him a gentle smile.
"You really don't need to worry. I'm Andromeda Tonks, a Master Healer. What's your name?"
She waited for him to elaborate, but Axel couldn't say master thief' as his profession, so he stayed silent.
"Um... Axel, would you like to contact your family or guardian, so that they can visit you? You've been here for two days, so they must be worried."
Axel's eyes grew unfocused for a moment.
"I... don't need to contact anyone," he said, his tone a bit rigid.
'No one would give a shit whether I'm alive or not,' was what he meant.
Andromeda paused at that, feeling even more sorry for the poor boy. But her healer duties came first.
"Can you tell me how this happened? Who did this to you?"
Axel shook his head, "I can't tell you anything," he said instantly. It wouldn't have been a problem if the person in question wasn't dead right now.
Andromeda put a hand on his shoulder, "Axel, you can tell me. They won't be able to hurt you again. I'm willing to help you... My sister is Bellatrix Black. You might have heard of her...
"Uh... I don't know?"
"She's the minister of magic."
Axel's eyes widened at that news.
'Minister of Magic?!'
He knew that term well from the knowledge he'd gotten from the system.
"Your sister is the Minister of Magic?" He repeated in surprise.
Andromeda beamed proudly, "Yeah, and the best one yet too! Magical Britain has made rapid progress in the last 10 years under her leadership. It has jumped from 30th place to 5th place in the world's most Magically advanced countries in just a decade," she said. She really looked like an elder sister bragging about the achievements of her little sister.
"Is your sister a good person? How strong is she?" He asked, thinking about what the system had said.
Andromeda shook her head, "Bella... she appears strict and merciless. But she has a kind heart. And she's powerful... power, skills, brains: she has them all," said Andromeda fondly.
Axel grew confused, 'Oi system, is this woman lying? If not, then why the hell is a war going to happen in the future?'
[She's not lying. Bellatrix Black is a good leader. But, she's too prideful. Voldemort can take advantage of her pride and arrogance to bring her down. Once she's down, and this developed magical Britain falls into the hands of Voldemort, war is inevitable.]
Andromeda suddenly realized that Axel had very expertly diverted the topic and she still hadn't gotten her answers. Feeling embarrassed, she came back to the main concern,
"So, as I was saying, you can tell me everything. I can help. We can sign the healer-patient contract. I'll keep it all a secret."
'Just leave me alone, ma'am.' Axel was now feeling uncomfortable from this lady's kind intentions.
'What the heck does she want from me?' he wondered.
Nevertheless, Axel shook his head,
"It's not a big deal. Someone was just feeling bored and wanted some amusement. I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. They didn't let me see their face."
Andromeda frowned. She wondered why this boy sounds so dismissive when such a big episode happened to him.
'Does he not realize?!'
"It IS a big deal," she said, getting frustrated. "You had to bear an unimaginable amount of pain! You could have gone insane! Your entire Nervous system is in shambles! Even with the improvement in healing practices, the side effects might not be completely cured for life! Do you not understand?!"
Axel laughed sardonically at that,
"Of course I understand! And Of course, I care! But, I know... that it is useless to complain! Cause no one else would care enough! Even if they care, it's because they want something from me.
This is not the first time I've ended up with the short hand of the stick! I was not strong enough, and that's it. I'll be ready for it the next time." he ranted. By the end of it, he was feeling quite calm.
Yes, there's nothing to complain about. He's already killed the bastard. He can't resurrect him, just to kill him again, can he?
Wait, can he?
"Now, can you please tell me when I can leave?" He asked the stunned woman.
And Andromeda was positively despondent looking at the boy. He must have suffered/@ a lot to have this kind of outlook on life. He needs some positivity in life.
"You are eleven, yes?" She asked suddenly, surprising Axel.
"...What— my age? Um, yes I'm eleven," he said, wondering what this woman was up to now.
"Then, I suppose you are going to Hogwarts, yes?"
Axel thought about it. He did get a letter from an old. It was unbelievable at that moment, but it seems that it is real.
'System, can I really learn magic there?'
[Affirmative. In recent years, after some changes, Hogwarts is shaping up to be one of the best institutes for magic. Even students from different countries are coming to attend it.]
'Can I delay it?'
[No, you won't be eligible next year.]
Axel thought about it and made a decision.
"I will attend it," he answered Andromeda.
The woman beamed. "That's great! Have you done your shopping yet? The term starts in two days, right?"
Axel shook his head. He suddenly remembered that he was supposed to meet up with a member of staff tomorrow at his address(An Alley) to go shopping. It was written in the letter that the school would pay for all the necessities. They had also tried to meet with him earlier but he only goes there at night and also thought that it was all a hoax so...
"I have to meet a staff tomorrow to do the shopping," he told her.
Andromeda denied it instantly, "Don't go with them. They'll only buy you cheap stuff. I'll write to Professor Mcgonagall to let me take you shopping!" She decided. The main aim was to keep an eye on the boy.
She has to observe if he's physically and mentally stable for allowing him to leave.
Does she have the money and authority to do so? Bitch, she's a member of the Black family (reinstated by Bella) and a master Healer. In here, whatever she says, goes.
Axel on the other hand, still had question marks on his head.
'What the hell does she want?'
A.N.: So, as you can see, the AU is strong with this one. The world is quite different from your boring ol' HP world. Britain is only fifth in the world. And that after 10 years of advancement. What else changed along with this? Ans: A LOT!
Though whatever happens, it'll be due to a reason and these reasons would be slowly explained and it's all done to make the story more interesting.
How did Bellatrix Black (not Lestrange) became the Minister of Magic? Also explained ahead. (In ch 13 ig)
Are you guys looking forward for more? Send me your powerstones and add it to your Collections.
Pàtreon has upto Chapter 10 right now, though I plan to keep a lot more there.
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