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Rutherford relaxed, laid the automatic on the sofa between us, and flung back her mink coat. She was an appetizing little number, if you like 'em red-haired, well-developed and mad through and through. I only needed it for the maid. Tell me, Winnie, have you got her on your string, too? The maid made or undone, as they used to say. There's nothing more to be said about it. It's finished, done, kaput! All's well that ends. She laughed again, and looked at me closely. In spite of myself, I began pulling nervously at the lobe of my left ear, a habit of mine when confused which has always irritated my Dorothy.

Nice as you are and beautiful as you are, we're washed up. It won't work and we both know it. So why not shake hands and quit friends? You're a total stranger. He was much pleasanter as he was—a rich, friendly boob. As for you, whoever you are, I'm on to your game. You aren't Winfred Tompkins and you know it.

She laughed airily, helped herself to a cigarette and leaned forward while I lighted it so that I could not help seeing deep into the straining V of her blouse. In the first place, you call me 'Virginia' when we're alone instead of 'Bozo' as you always used to do. Winnie never did that. When he was in a spot, he always reached in his pocket and jingled his change or, as a desperate measure, twiddled his keys. No, I don't know what your game is but I'm on to you and we're going to be real buddies from now on or—". Now I'm willing to be broad-minded.

Winnie was a louse who had it coming to him, I guess. I was playing him for a quick divorce and marriage. Three million dollars is a lot of money, even in these days, and it would have been nice to have been married to it. But it's even nicer this way, I guess. It's because now I don't have to marry you and I still have a pipe-line to the Tompkins millions. After all, I still could. But a wife can't give testimony against her husband and I think I'd rather like to be able to give testimony if needed. Besides, a husband has too many opportunities to help the undertaker.

There are accidents in bath-tubs and garages, medicines get mixed up in the bathroom cabinet and there is always the old-fashioned hatchet. No, since you've managed to get rid of the other Winnie, somehow, I think I'll keep a safe distance and my silence, as long as you make it worth my while. You can use it to call the Secret Service for all I care.

See what luck you have with your story, when my wife is here to testify that I'm Winnie Tompkins. Her face paled and her eyes narrowed angrily. Virginia Rutherford looked trapped and she instinctively pulled her mink back over her shoulders. He's been acting so strangely that he doesn't seem like himself at all. And so are you. That's what I meant by saying that you were both in it. Please go or I'll call the police. The two women exchanged appraising glances which suggested that they were both thoroughly enjoying the touch of melodrama that had come into their well-fed lives.

I agreed to do so, so you can't blame her. We talked things over and decided that it's all off—a few moments of madness, but that's all, and not worth wrecking two marriages for. Isn't that so, Mrs. Virginia shook her head. Jimmie, I came here with that gun. It wasn't loaded but the next time it will be. I made Myrtle or whatever her name is show me in and I told her I would shoot Winnie if she gave the alarm. Then I told him what I know about him. I told him that I wouldn't tell his secret if he paid me to keep silent. And he told me to call the police.

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My wife went over to her and took her hand. You've got yourself all worked up for a nervous breakdown. Of course it's Winnie. I'm married to him and I ought to know my own husband, shouldn't I? You've simply got run down and all, with rationing and war-work. Why don't you let Jerry send you for a few weeks to the Hartford Sanctuary for psychoanalysis and a good rest? We've all been letting ourselves get over-emotional and this war is a strain on everybody.

Jerry can fix it for you quite easily and I—we both will be glad to help pay for it, if you're worried about the money. After all," Germaine added wryly, "the whole thing is pretty much of a family affair, isn't it? Let's keep it that way.

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Don't worry about my mind. Start thinking about the electric chair. Remember, in this state they execute women who kill their husbands. Jimmie waited until the door closed behind the doctor's wife. Then she turned to me with a curious expression of weariness. There's myself, of course, but wives don't count any more, do they? And there's Virginia Rutherford and Myrtle, and there was that blonde actress we met at Martha's Vineyard last summer, and is it one or two girls at the office? Here was where I could object with complete sincerity. Maybe you brokers have an exchange system for taking on each other's stenographers—charge it to business expenses for getting information about each other's dealings—but I know I've heard the name Briggs mentioned somehow in your connection.

From now on, I'm going to be a one-woman man. Germaine faced me with an air of resolution. But I'd better say it anyhow. I can't keep on suppressing it. His clothes fit you but Virginia Rutherford is quite right—you aren't Winnie Tompkins. You seem to be in deep trouble of some kind. I—I'd like to help you, if I can. Don't think I'm hard on my husband. It's been years since we—oh, you know. I married him for his money and I still don't know why he married me. Yes, I do, but I've never liked to admit it. He'd made a lot of money in the market and had built this house.

He needed a wife the way he needed an automobile, a portable bar, a Capchart, a thorough-bred Great Dane and a membership in the Pond Club. I was available, at a price, which he met—but that's all there it to our story. No, I'm not Winnie but I don't know who else I could possibly be. You see, less than twenty-four hours ago I was a lieutenant-commander on a light carrier in the North Pacific and—".

I'll take care of you and see that you get over this. Wait, I'll call the doctor right away. The Hartford Sanctuary's a very nice place, and I can come over every week to—". Besides," I added, "how do you know that I wasn't batty before and have just come to my senses. Her eyes were frightened.

My wife sat down beside me and studied me closely. You're sort of coming to a focus. You're so different and—strange. I know you, of course, and my name, and that this is my house and that Ponto is my dog, even though he tried to bite me.

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I can't recall where I work or where I bank, or who my friends are or what kind of car I drive or what I was doing before yesterday afternoon. It was one of those dreams which seemed so real that real life seemed like a dream. It still does a bit. That's where my alleged mind got stalled and I'm still floundering around. Help me, won't you?

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You have your own firm—Tompkins, Wasson and Cone—at No. It's sort of combination brokerage office and investment counsel. You once told me that your specialty was finding nice rich old ladies and helping them re-invest their unearned millions. You bank at the National City Farmers and your car is a black '41 Packard coupe. If I go to town tomorrow, I ought to be on the lookout for them. Business isn't so good right now that I can afford to let myself be run in as an amnesiac while my partners look after the loot. Sometimes you talk about the men you see at the Club but I've never been able to keep track of the Phils and Bills and Neds and Joes and Dicks and Harrys.

You'll have to find your own way there. At the office, of course, there's Graham Wasson and Phil Cone, your partners, but you won't have much trouble once you're at your desk. Wasson is dark and plump and Cone is fair and plump and they're both about five years younger than you are. The office will run itself and you need a rest. I don't know much about amnesia but I've always heard that rest and kind treatment—". I've always heard that the thing to do is to go back over the ground until you come to the thing that gave you the original shock and then it all comes back to you.

If I stick around Bedford Hills I'll just get panicky over not being sure whether I remember things or not. I'll go to town in the morning and see if I can't find myself. She laughed, as wives laugh. Tell me, to change the subject, you say that you remember me. Tell me what I seem like to you, now that you've changed, as you say, aside from age, sex, scars and distinguishing marks, if any, and marital status.

I closed my eyes and thought of Dorothy as she had been that last night in Hartford before she walked out and I decided to join the Navy as a Reserve Officer. You are apple blossoms against a Berkshire hillside. You are the smoke of fallen leaves climbing into the cool October sky. You are surf on a sandy beach, with the gulls wheeling and the white-caps racing past the lighthouse on the point. You are bobsleds and hot coffee and dough-nuts by a roaring wood fire. And you're a lost child, with two pennies in your fist, looking in the window of a five-cent candy-shop. You've mentioned almost everything about me except the one thing I obviously am.

After she had left, I sat for a long time. There seemed to be nothing to do or say. Winnie's domestic life was still in too much of a snarl for me to do the obvious thing and follow Germaine upstairs, and into her bedroom, lock the door, and kiss her tear-stained face and tell her that I was sorry I had hurt her Before it would be safe to accept her gambits I must first explore my business connections. Hadn't my wife said something about girls in the office?

My first stop in the morning, after I had been careful to take a late commuting train in to the city in order to avoid business men who were sure to know and greet Winnie Tompkins, was the Pond Club. Tammy was behind the bar and as soon as I entered he turned and mixed me a powerful pick-me-up.

I drained it with the usual convulsive effort and then pretended to relax. You were looking a trifle seedy—if you don't mind my saying so, sir—when you were in here Monday afternoon. Anybody in the Club? A couple of gentlemen were asking for you yesterday afternoon—that would be Tuesday.

That was Commander Tolan, sir, and a friend of his, a Mr. Harcourt his name was, who hasn't been here before. They asked me if you were at your home but I just laughed. Tompkins, I knew you didn't want to be bothered wherever you were and so I said the first thing that came to my head. Now then, I'd like you to tell me what happened here Monday afternoon. It's the first time in my life I've ever drawn a complete blank. You said something about having had lunch at the Harvard Club, sir, and had a couple of Scotch and sodas here.

You didn't show it, and after a time you went to sleep, like you was tired out. You was still sleeping when Mr. Davis and Commander Tolan came in. That would be a little after three o'clock, sir. They made some talk about how you were sleeping through the noise they made, that it would take a bomb to wake you. Then, sir, I guess you had some kind of a dream. You began talking like and thrashing with your arms and making noises. So Commander Tolan he said, 'Jesus we can't drink with that going on' and went and shook you by the shoulder until you woke up.

You'd been dreaming all right, Mr. Tompkins, because you talked wild when you woke up, about Alaska and where were you. The others joked a bit about it after you left but I'd take my oath, sir, that you weren't really what might be called tight, Mr. I drew a blank and didn't know where I'd been or what I'd been doing.

Can you let me have some money? I'm a bit short of cash. If you'll just sign a check, like the house rules says, I'll get it from the safe. He nearly caught me. Signing checks was something I simply could not do until I had learned to imitate Winnie Tompkins' signature. I had tried in the guest-room at Bedford Hills, the previous evening, and found that my original signature as Frank E.

Jacklin was completely unchanged by my transmigration, and that my own copy-desk scrawl was the only handwriting I could commit. I had burned the note-paper on which I had made the crucial experiments and flushed the ashes down the toilet. One of my objects in coming to the Pond had been to see if I couldn't get money by simply initialing a chit.

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I hastily looked in my bill-fold. There was still a fair amount of money left. It would last me until I found a way to draw on Winnie's bank-account. If anybody asks for me, you haven't seen me since Monday and don't know where I am. My next stop was at an old hangout of mine and Dorothy's from my early newspaper days: I knew that none of Winnie's friends would be seen dead in the place and I didn't want to try lunch at the Harvard Club, where I'd have to sign the dining-room order or the bar-check. The place was reasonably uncrowded—it was not quite noon—and I had a pleasant lunch.

It was a little after one o'clock when I reached the Harvard Club. The door-man glanced at my face and automatically stuck a little ivory peg in the hole opposite the name of Tompkins on the list of members. I checked my hat and coat and strolled through the sitting-rooms into the large lounge-library beside the dining-room. A couple of men nodded and smiled as I passed them, so I nodded back and said, "Hi!

In the lounge I found a chair and a copy of the World-Telegram, so I decided to catch up with the war-news. The German Armies were beginning to crumble but there was still talk of a stand along the Elbe and Hitler was reported fortifying the mountain-districts of Southern Germany into a redoubt for a last Valhalla Battle. The Pacific news was good. The fighting on Okinawa was going our way and the clean-up in the Philippines was well in hand. The Navy Department discounted enemy reports of heavy damage to American warships by Jap suicide-pilots but, as an old Navy P.

I'd heard about the Kamikazes from some of our pilots who had seen them off Leyte and I had no doubt that they were doing a job on the 7th Fleet. I looked up to see a lean, wolfish-looking man, with a gray moustache, a slightly bald head and definitely Bond Street clothes. None of the other alleged friends we know had the guts to tell you. But I thought your room-mate—". Now, if you'll just crawl out of your alcoholic coma and listen to me for five minutes before you take off for your next skirt, you'll learn something to your advantage.

There's a story going the rounds that the F. At any rate, at least one obvious G-man has been reported in full cry on your foot-prints. Told fibs on my income tax return? Failed to notify the local draft board that I was taking the train to New York? Bought black market nylons for my mistress? I leaned back in my chair and shook with laughter. I give you my word of honor as a Porcellian that there's not a syllable of truth in it.

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Vail looked increasingly distressed. Ten-to-one you haven't an alibi, and you'll need a lawyer. Slip me a bill now and retain me as your counsel. No, this isn't a gag. Something's cooking, even if it's only mistaken identity, and I've seen enough of the law in war-time to know that you'll be better off with the old cry, 'I demand to see my attorney,' when they march you down to the F.

If the police are looking for me, I'd better go down to my office and see that things are apple-pie before they lock up the brains of our outfit. Besides," I added, "you've just given me an idea of how I can make a hell of a lot of money. The rooms were carefully furnished in dark wood and turkey-red upholstery, in a style calculated to reassure elderly ladies of great wealth that the firm was careful and conservative.

The girl at the reception desk looked as though she had graduated with honor from Wellesley in the class of and still had it—pince-nez and condescension—but she was thoroughly up-to-date in her office-technique. Tompkins," she murmured in a clear, low voice, "there's a gentleman waiting to see you in the, customer's room, a Mr.

He's been here since ten o'clock this morning. I clucked my tongue. Send out for a club sandwich and some hot coffee. Give me five minutes to take a look at my mail and then send him in. When the food arrives, send that in, too. She blinked her hazel eyes behind her pince-nez to show that she understood, and I walked confidently down to the end of the corridor to where a "Mr. Tompkins" stared at me conservatively from a glazed door. My office lived up to my fondest dream of Winnie. It was an ingenious blend of the 's and functional furniture—like a cocktail of port wine and vodka. There were electric clocks, a silenced stock-ticker in a glass-covered mahogany coffin, an elaborate Sheraton radio with short-wave reception, tuned in on WQXR, and desks and chairs and divans and a really good steel engraving showing General Grant receiving Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, with a chart underneath to explain who was who in the picture.

The desk I was glad to note, was bare except for an electric clock-calendar which told me that it was 3: A glance out the window gave me a reassuring glimpse of the spire of Trinity Church. There was a single typed memo on the glass top of the desk, which read: Would not state business. I pushed one of the array of buttons concealed underneath the edge of the desk and a door opened to admit a largish blonde in a tight-fitting sweater.

Harcourt sent in," I said, "And when he comes, bring your note-book and take a stenographic record of our conversation and—er—what's your name? She raised her well-plucked eyebrows. A moment later, she reappeared holding a card in her fingers as though it was a live cockroach. Federal Bureau of Investigation, U. Department of Justice, U. Harcourt was neat but not gaudy: Edgar Hoover which always worries me about the F. Harcourt shook my hand, took a seat, refused a cigarette and cast a doubtful glance over his shoulder at Arthurjean Briggs, who was working semi-silently away at a stenotype machine.

I hope the machine doesn't disturb you, Mr. The G-Man looked as though he was worrying over whether he ought to call Washington for permission. They hadn't taught him this one in the F. Harcourt," I added, "I just learned as I came in that you've been waiting for me since ten this morning. It's after three now so I took the liberty of sending out for a sandwich and some coffee for you. I thought you might like a bite of lunch while you are talking with me.

The Special Agent looked as surprised as though he had found Hoover's finger-prints on the murder-gun, but he nodded gamely. And of course I'll have Miss Briggs send a complete transcript of our talk to you at F. First of all, if you don't mind, would you show me your official identification and let Miss Briggs take down the number and so on.

It's always best to put these things in the record, isn't it? The G-Man gulped and produced a battered identity card, complete with finger-prints, number, Hoover's signature and a photograph which would have justified his immediate arrest on suspicion of bank-robbery.

Harcourt," I remarked, "that you've had plenty of time in the last five hours to question members of my staff about whatever it is you think they might know about my business. He looked up, almost pathetically. Nothing for Grand Jury action—yet. So far, I don't even know what you wish to see me about and you have just made a libelous statement in front of a reliable witness. Is that the way J. Edgar Hoover trains his Gestapo? Tompkins, on behalf of another government agency. I'm not at liberty to tell you which one. I am simply instructed to ask you what you know about U.

Alaska and naval dispositions in the North Pacific. I leaned back and laughed. Something about the U. Alaska being blown up off the Aleutians. Tolan was there when I woke up and I passed a few remarks about my dream before I was fully awake, if you know what I mean. That's all there is to it, Mr. I don't think my chief believes in dreams. Not that kind of dream. So far as I am concerned, the F. The trouble with your dream seems to be that the general public isn't supposed to know that the U. Alaska is in commission and that the Navy department has had no word from her since last Saturday.

We'll be in touch with you, off and on. He rose, very politely, shook hands again, thanked me for the food, nodded to Miss Briggs and made a definitely Grade A exit. His steps died away down the corridor. Miss Briggs waited until he was out of earshot then turned to me. Why did you admit anything? I alibied you up and down. Listen, Winnie, the F. We were warned not to whisper a word to you. There was an agent waiting to grill me when I got home last night.

I told him you'd been spending the week-end with me. He wasn't interested in my morals. I told him about our place up in the fifties and gave you a complete alibi from Friday close of business until Monday noon. And now you have to make like a Nazi with the ships in the Pacific. Say, what is it you've supposed to have done—kissed MacArthur? That was to punish you for giving me the fish-eye when you came in.

I'm your Arthurjean and the market's closed so you'd better catch the subway uptown with me and I'll cook you a steak dinner at our place. This was too deep water for hesitation, so I took the plunge. Taking my hat and coat I told the genteel receptionist that I'd be back in the morning. I waited for Arthurjean at the foot of the elevators and followed her lead, into the East Side subway and up to the 51st Street station, on to "our place. It was very discreet—an old brown-stone front converted into small apartments.

There was no doorman and an automatic elevator prevented any intrusive check on the comings and goings of the tenants. The third-floor front had been made into a pleasant little two-room suite—a "master's bedroom" Why not 'mistress's? There was a small sitting-dining room as well, and a kitchenette with a satisfactory array of bottles in the Frigidaire and a reasonable amount of groceries.

Arthurjean took off her hat and coat, fixed me a good stiff drink and then disappeared into the bath-room. After a good deal of splashing and gurgling, she reappeared clad in maroon satin pyjamas. You've always been swell to me, and you know it. I don't care if you're a louse or a souse. You can always come to me any time you're in trouble and I'll fix you up.

Now you're in trouble with the cops, so how about me helping you? You see, I can't seem to remember what I've been doing before last Monday. It's sort of like loss of memory, only worse. She looked at me questioningly. She slouched across the room, leaned down and gave me a hearty kiss. It was like I told that detective. You and me were right here in this place over Easter and don't forget it. I liked Arthurjean, though she was as corned-beef and cabbage to Germaine's caviar and champagne.

You stood me up Friday night and today's the first time I've set eyes on you since you left the office Friday morning. Boy, you may have some explaining to do to the F. She remained silent, hunched on the floor beside me, with her maroon pyjamas straining visibly and a pile of cigarette butts in the ash-tray at her side. Tompkins, that is—all she could think of was to send me off to a plush-lined booby-hatch until I was sane again.

The others—at least Virginia Rutherford—are beginning to suspect that something is wrong and that damned dog knows it. So be original and pretend that I might be telling the truth. Instead, she stood up, stretched, strolled over to the kitchenette and mixed us both two good stiff drinks. He wasn't dumb in business. He picked up a couple of million bucks and gave them a good home in his safe-deposit box. He wasn't so hot on music and books and art—except for his damned ducks—but he was a lot of fun.

He liked a good time and he liked a girl to have a good time. He should have been born in one of those Latin countries where the women do all the work and the men play guitars, drink and make love. I drew a deep breath. I had won my first convert. I knew what Paul of Tarsus felt when he met up with Timothy. Crazy though the whole world would consider me, here was one human being who could listen to my story without phoning for an ambulance. Seems to me you—Winnie, that is—told me he was the guy she'd had a sort of crush on at school.

Winnie was still sort of sore about it twenty years later. Winnie wasn't so hot then—nice but with too much money. Jacklin's people were poor, by comparison that is. He got through Yale, slid out into the newspaper game, held his job, married a girl, had a bust-up with his wife and joined the Navy as a reserve officer after she walked out on him.

The Navy assigned him to P. Tell me more about her. I thought a long time. She was necessary to me, long after I was necessary to her. She had a mole on her left hip and a gruff way of talking when she was really fond of me. I guess she got tired of living in Hartford and took it out on me. I shook my head vigorously. She said she didn't want any until we could afford them. I was fool enough to believe her. Then when we could afford them she didn't want them.

Can't say I blame her. Who wants to be happy? She made me miserable, but it was exciting to be around her. I never knew what I'd find when I got home—a knockdown drag-out fight over nothing at all or hearts-and-flowers equally over nothing. You're Frank Jacklin and Winnie Tompkins rolled into one. The point is, where do we go from here? Let's see you sign Jacklin's name. I pulled out Winnie's gold, life-time fountain pen and wrote "Frank E.

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Jacklin" over and over again on the back of an envelope. The figure on the other side was completely hidden by a cloak with a heavy cowl that was spelled to show nothing but shadow. Until, that is, the man pulled the cowl back to show a young face with well-coiffed blond hair and sparkling blue eyes. We were on the verge of knocking the whole Lestrange clan out when your precious Order members came in tripping over their own feet throwing stunners to counter the Death Eater's killing curses.

Gideon and Fabian had little choice but to play the part of loyal Order members and did the same. It was a no win situation. Control gave the order to retreat, but by then You Know Who showed up. He threw up an anti-apparition and anti-portkey ward in under a minute and had the whole lot of us trapped with twenty wizards. Aphrodite and I managed to fight our way out with Persephone and Hades, but we lost the twins. I swear Helios that Headmaster of yours is going to end up getting us all killed.

Control is very seriously considering taking him out. We've lost two agents because of it already, and the Ministry has lost eight aurors. We suspect it was the Hastings girl. She was abducted four days before Control confirmed the Taboo was real. Adonis took a long ragged breath before he nodded to the three bodies in the living area. The three of them walked up the stairs. When Sirius, Peter or even Remus walked on the stairs, they creaked loudly. When Lily, James and Adonis walked up the stairs, they made nary a sound. In fact, James and Lily moved very differently around Adonis than they did in the presence of their friends, or Albus Dumbledore.

A bluebell flame cast a gentle, soothing blue glow over the nursery when the three of them entered. Four-day old Harry Potter lay sprawled on his back in the center of the cot. Through his thin eye lids all three could see his eyes moving as his lips trembled. Occasionally one hand would jerk for no reason. He reached into his large robe and pulled out a hoop of gold studded with pink diamonds. He tapped the hoop with his wand and then held it directly over Harry for a moment.

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When he let go, the hoop continued to hover. A soft pink glow began to clash with the blue of their magical nightlight. The pink light concentrated in a cone that fell around the still sleeping baby. The light continued to strengthen in intensity until it began to blink. The blinking continued for five seconds before the hoop made a light tinkle, like a delicate bell. He casted the measuring charm and beside the column,. The column continued, now twice the height of the scale, until it met the ceiling and both the pink column and the blue scale beside it disappeared.

Adonis nodded and completed the thought for her. He's completely off the scale magically. With a good environment and solid training, he could easily become a threat to Voldemort and Dumbledore. Your primary role now is to ensure that Harry is kept safe. I'd put you under the Fidelius myself right now, but we all know the questions that would raise. Instead, tell Dumbledore you've agreed to his suggestions. He has too much emotional baggage and we know for a fact he talks in his sleep.

Considering the number of ears that pass through his bed, that's a recipe for disaster. You might want to consider Lupin or Pettigrew instead. I can't imagine Remus would join him, but he might be under a lot of pressure we don't know about. He looked carefully from Harry to James and finally to Lily.

The official record will be sealed as a state secret in the Department of Mysteries. If anyone asked, he scored a ninety. That's what will be publicly available. That is high enough to brag about in public and may excuse what will most assuredly be some incredible bursts of accidental magic. In the meantime, get Dumbledore to cast that charm. We need to be as proactive as possible. Dite and I always knew you would make incredible parents. While they exchanged their farewells, no one noticed the scurrying rat-sized shadow that disappeared from just inside the door. When they returned down stairs, Black and his companion were still in the same place, while Peter had rolled onto his side and was snoring loudly.

When he was gone, Lily stepped into her husband's embrace. We've fought his death eaters as both Unspeakables and as Order members. We've fought his supporters and allies in three different countries. In all those battles, I've never been so scared. James hugged her closer. We'll floo Albus tomorrow and tell him we accept his offer.

Peter's a great friend, and no one will suspect him as our secret keeper. The two walked silently back up the stairs. Only when they were gone and the gentle click of their closing bedroom door drifted down to the ground floor did Peter Pettigrew sit up. In the dim light of the kitchen lamp, his cheeks glistened.

He looked back down at Sirius, then lay back down once more and stared into the darkness of the kitchen while he wept in silence. In a crowded den of a too-small house, Arthur and Molly Weasley held their newborn baby girl while around them ran ten-year-old Bill, eight-year-old Charlie, four-year-old Percy "I'll be five in eleven days! He was currently being held by his older brother Bill while trying to eat his foot. Arthur had dark rings under his eyes, proof not only of the financial pressure of trying to support seven kids, but also the added pressure from his job at a floundering Ministry and his second position as a member of the Order of the Phoenix.

But that was nothing compared to the exhausted, haggard look of Molly Weasley, who just ten years ago was a young, vivacious, buxom young woman who caught the eye of nearly half her class. Now seven births had added permanent girth to her already flared hips, and rings and lines to her face. The deaths of her brothers left her heartbroken and constantly frightened for her family. Aphrodite, looking at the chaos that was the Weasley home, vowed that she and Adonis would never, ever, have children. She absolutely despised the nasty little buggers.

And we have the distinct honour of introducing our daughter, Ginevra Molly Weasley. She never cared for her given name of Dorcas Meadows, and did not think of herself by any other name but the one assigned to her by Control. Most of Arthur Weasley's brothers were squibs or died young. He lost three brothers to the dragon pox outbreak in the late fifties. Still, the seventh child of a seventh child, boy or girl, was arithmantically significant. The fact that the child was also the first girl child born to the Weasley family in three generations was also quite significant. All the children stopped their ongoing campaign of terror to watch as the pink column began to rise.

Aphrodite saw immediately that the column was already past the ninetieth percentile. She threw up a false scale, since the Weasleys were not authorized to see scales above the 99th percentile. Aphrodite herself was But this child…though the Weasleys were seeing a different set of numbers, what Aphrodite saw was truly astounding. The column finally stopped at the Ginevra Molly Weasley was one of the most powerful witches to have been born in a century.

Aphrodite tried to hide her impatience as the old wizard rambled on and on about Voldemort's motives and recruiting. Mason escaped back to the U. A few years after Alex came back from Vorkuta to join the SOG, his mother fell ill and his father called him and his siblings to her death bed. Mason failed to arrive, leaving a bad impression on his father and his sisters, Marion and Dot.

The two sent a few more letters to Alex but he failed to reply to any of those. From then, his father considered that his son should have died in Vorkuta , but Marion had informed Mason that he could stay with her at Renier if he needed to, and that her children still loved their "hero," uncle Alex. The Soviets were already aware of this attack by the capturing of Grigori Weaver , a CIA double agent who was compromised by Kravchenko.

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Mason and his team were able to rescue Weaver though his left eye was gouged out by Kravchenko and fought their way to the control bunker for the Soyuz 2 rocket, but were unable to abort the launch. Mason used a prototype Valkyrie Rocket to destroy Soyuz 2 in mid-air, after which the Operation 40 squad began a sweep of the facility to eliminate the surviving members of the Ascension group, a group of former Nazi scientists who had been collaborating with the Soviets, and to hunt down Dragovich.

They cornered Dragovich in his limousine and destroyed it, but rather than verify Dragovich's death, Mason decided to move on after being told by Woods that the explosion would not have left anything recognizable. Dragovich was assumed to be dead, but this was later proven to be far from the truth. After Mason escapes his interrogation in he has flashbacks suggesting he was the one who shot the president or that simply he was involved in the assassination. At one point, he says "Proceed Lee Harvey Oswald , who was an alleged Soviet defector.

When Mason has Dragovich pinned down on board the numbers station, Mason yells at Dragovich "You tried to make me kill my own President! However in , when Mason is talking to Mark McKnight , McKnight asks about his brainwashing and Mason mentions that the Soviets "gave it their best shot" , so it is possible that he was not involved in the Kennedy assassination and that his programming failed. Or it suggests that he doesn't remember what happened due to his programming so that Dragovich could have Mason carry out more missions.

Almost five years after the events of Baikonur, in , Mason joined the SOG unit led by Frank Woods and was sent to Vietnam for the purpose of searching for covert Soviet operations in Vietnam and Laos. Inside a safe room, Mason believed he is reunited with Reznov, "the defector", although "Reznov" was a figment of his imagination and the real one died after Mason got on the train from Vorkuta. While heading north into Communist territory, Mason's helicopter was shot down but, spurred on by a hallucinated image of Reznov, he escaped the wreckage.

Mason and the rest of the team silently entered a village where they sabotaged Viet Cong equipment. Afterward, Mason cleared out a "rat tunnel" and retrieved a Soviet operations book from Kravchenko's office. The tunnel later collapsed as a result of booby traps set by Kravchenko, and Mason barely escaped with his life. The intel led them to a Soviet cargo plane downed in Laos which was believed to be carrying some sort of chemical weapon.

Mason remembered stories Reznov had told him about a nerve gas called Nova 6, originally developed by Nazi scientist Friedrich Steiner , but commandeered by General Dragovich and reproduced by Daniel Clarke. After combating their way up the river to the crash site, the SOG team was set upon by both VC and Spetsnaz before making their way into the plane.

There, they found the Soviets have already retrieved the cargo and were waiting for them to arrive in the valley below. After an explosive fight, the plane wreckage tumbled down a cliff and the team was taken prisoner by the Spetsnaz for the second time. Mason infiltrated the island with imaginary Reznov at his side, flying into a port in Mo'ynoq using a requisitioned light aircraft [4] and stowing away in an empty crate being handled into the island.

When the crane carrying the crate set it down, they exited the crate and proceeded with making their way to the labs. They attempted to access the labs through the rooftops, when suddenly an explosion in the distance occurred, with the base going to full-alert. The two then picked up their pace to get to Steiner first, going down an elevator shaft, and breach the laboratories from there, carving through troops and scientists alike to get to Steiner.

They eventually cleared the facility out, and entered Steiner's lab. Steiner was contacting Hudson, desperately asking them to hurry up and extract him from the island, as Dragovich's men were executing personnel on the island. Mason then confronted Steiner, who was shocked that Mason had managed to reach him. Reznov began beating Steiner, who claimed killing him would not stop the Nova 6 attacks.

Reznov paid no mind, and instead reclaimed revenge in his name. Hudson and Weaver managed to make it to the lab, and tried entering the lab from a window by shooting it, but it was bulletproof, forcing the pair to break it with a crate. But by the time they managed to break the window, they were too late, as Mason witnessed Reznov shoot Steiner. However, as the same story was told through Hudson's perspective, it was finally revealed that Reznov was a figment of Mason's imagination, and Mason was the one actually executing Steiner.

As stated above, they broke the bulletproof glass and entered the room too late, as Mason shot Steiner in the head. He then shot Weaver in the arm when Weaver tried to apprehend him. Hudson then tackled and disarmed Mason, knocking him out with a pistol-whip. With Steiner dead, they left the island with Mason as their only link to the numbers, leading to his interrogation. Following his apprehension by Hudson and Weaver at Rebirth Island, Mason was interrogated ruthlessly. With Steiner's death, Mason was their only link to the numbers station and the impending Nova 6 attack by Soviet sleeper agents in the state capitals of every state in the U.

In addition, the President was prepared to launch an all-out nuclear strike against the Soviet Union in retaliation. If the numbers station could not be located and neutralized before Dragovich sent the signal to attack, World War III would break out. After forcing Mason to relive his experiences leading up to the present date, Hudson had yet to learn anything from Mason.

Mason knocked Hudson out and made his way through the interrogation facility, remembering his brainwashing at Vorkuta, realizing that all of his encounters with Reznov after Vorkuta were imagined, as Reznov had actually died during the breakout. Mason also remembered how to translate the numbers broadcasts.

After being subdued by Hudson, Mason translated the number sequences and explained that the numbers station is on the Soviet cargo ship Rusalka , which Mason had originally seen during his first meeting with Dragovich in Mason, Hudson, and Weaver raided the Rusalka , located in waters southwest of Cuba.

In the cargo ship's hold, they discovered an antenna with a tether leading into the depths of the ocean. Navy fleet is en route to destroy the Rusalka , Mason insisted on entering the submerged numbers station to kill Dragovich once and for all. After fighting through the numbers station as it comes under fire, Mason found the console controlling the numbers broadcasts and attempts to deactivate it, but was knocked away by Dragovich.

Hudson came to Mason's aid, distracting Dragovich and allowing Mason to pull him down. Mason strangled Dragovich, choking him to death in the waters. He then escaped the imploding numbers station with Hudson. With the station destroyed and Dragovich dead, the crisis was averted. Mason never fully recovered from his brainwashing, as he still heard Reznov's voice after killing Dragovich , making the CIA suspicious of Mason's actions and presumably his connection to the JFK assassination. Weaver and Hudson became targets of suspicion as well for their association with Mason and their supposed complicity in gathering top secret information for Mason.