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Chapter Eight

“Good morning, Minister.  I brought Luna with me.  We need to discuss something with you.  It’s a matter of some importance.” Harry said.  Kingsley nodded.
“A while ago, Luna discovered a creature that she’s calling a Mamlah.  It’s incredibly aggressive, and has few if any readily exploitable weaknesses, and seems to have been bred from Dragons and Eidolons.  We know who the person who bred them is.

“Luna brought her notes on the creature with her for you to review.” Harry said, handing Kingsley the notes.  The minister nodded as he read the notes, seeming to grow more and more concerned as he went through the many, many pages of notes and pictures, all of which were done quite meticulously.
“Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Harry, Luna.  What is this person’s name?”
“April Hayley, sir.”

“Ah, I know her.  She violated the ban on experimental breeding a few years ago as well.  But she exterminated the creature and we haven’t heard from her since.  If I’m correct, she would be living at this address, now.” Shacklebolt said, handing Harry a piece of paper.  Harry nodded.
“Bring Luna with you in case you run into any creatures while you’re there.” The Minister said.  Harry nodded, apparating away with Luna.

As they apparated onto April’s property, there was immediately a loud howling that forced Harry and Luna to cover their ears.  Two dog-like creatures came out, charging the two.  Harry was first with his wand.  He stunned the first creature, hitting it directly in the chest.  Luna stunned the other one right in the head, sending both of them into unconsciousness.

“What are you doing on my property! Get off, immediately!” Came a voice.  A young woman not much older than Harry or Luna came storming out.  She had messy, burnt sandy brown hair and mismatched eyes, one brown and one green and a fierce expression on her face.
“Auror Department, Miss Hayley.  It’s my unfortunate duty to arrest you.” Harry said politely, showing his Auror’s badge.  April nodded, stopping, and putting her hands behind her back.

“I assume this is about breaking the ban on experimental breeding again? Which creature is getting me arrested?”
“I’ve called it a Mamlah.  It’s a 7-10 foot tall and 12-15 foot long creature with segmented armor on it, created from breeding an Eidolon with one or more breeds of dragon.”
“Ah! My Poison Tailed Eidragon.  Has it been causing problems?”

“Not yet, ma’am.  But it will if we don’t stop it.  It’s a severe breach of the Ban on Experimental Breeding.  I’ve seen it eat three deer in one meal.  It has no natural predators, and it likely can’t be easily defeated by one or even five wizards and witches.  It’s a dangerous creature.  Perhaps you would be so good as to give us any notes that you have on it?” Luna asked.  April nodded.

“I wouldn’t advise that you go in there.  Most of my files are protected with an explosive rune.  It will go up in flame if anyone but me touches it unless deactivated.  Plus, I have a lot of my files on a computer.  You can watch me while I print them.”
“What is a computer, Harry?”

“It’s an electronic box that allows people to talk to other people, and create documents.  Think like a pen that doesn’t require a quill and ink.”
“And this is a Muggle invention?”

“Yes.” Harry said, leading April inside, where she went on the computer and quickly began to print out dozens of documents, stapling them together and putting them in individual folders, handing them to Harry and Luna.
“Okay, that should be all the documents I have for the last two years.  As we leave the house, I’ll destroy all of my experiments.” April said, walking out with Harry and Luna.

When they got far enough away, she spoke a single word that Harry didn’t understand, and the entire complex went up in flame, exploding.  Shortly after, it stopped burning, and was nothing more than a pile of dust.
“Don’t you feel the least bit bad about killing living creatures?” Luna asked.  April looked genuinely confused.

“Why would I? I gave them life, thus I should have the right to take it away.  I’m proud of my inventions, but not so proud that I can’t part with them.  I don’t love them.  They’re not my friends.  By the way, who gave me up? It was that giant oaf, Hagrid, wasn’t it? I identify with him in some ways.  We both enjoy animals.  But he doesn’t have the mind of a scientist.  I’m sure that he didn’t want to give me up.  I made him promise not to tell anyone.

“That stupid mongrel is probably still eaten up about giving me up.” April said disdainfully.  Harry growled.
“Hagrid is a good friend of mine.  I made him tell me who was breeding those creatures! How dare you belittle him!? He’s one of the kindest people I know!” Harry snarled.  April scoffed at this.

“That’s exactly why he and I could never truly be friends.  He sees me as a friend, but he’s just a means to an end for me.  Well, regardless, I will tell you no lies.  You may ask me any questions you like, and I will answer with complete honesty.”
“Why did you breed such dangerous creatures as the Mamlah?”

“Well, because I could.  Why does anybody do anything? I was curious about whether I could, and whether they would breed true.  I can see that I succeed beyond my expectations.  The Mamlah as you call it, Miss Lovegood, is more powerful than even I expected it to be.  May I look at the notes that you have on it?” April asked.  Luna handed her the notes.  The criminal looked them over, nodding at points, and clicking her tongue at others.

“Your notes are accurate, but woefully incomplete.  For instance, the Mamlah has major weak points on its knees, its toes, and at the juncture between its legs and its body.  A spear or other sharpened weapon to those areas would cripple or, if aimed correctly, kill it.  Its ribs, while dense and strong, won’t prevent a weapon from being slipped between them.  It will generally rear on its hind legs when it is sufficiently threatened to appear larger, and at that point, its stomach will be exposed.

“While its heart is not there, you could do serious damage even before its regeneration begins to kick in.  Its regeneration will not allow it to regrow limbs.  Thus, a severing spell or even a Reductor Curse of sufficient power, could destroy a leg, and cripple it.  Its throat is also a weak point and while its tail is highly muscular and dangerous, it can be fairly easily severed.

“Furthermore, the sac that holds the acid for its breath attack is in that area, right about here…” She said, pointing to a small area on the side of its stomach.  The sac, while resistant to damage from its own acid, will not regenerate if severely damaged.  Its tail has poison in it, and the creature is not resistant to poison.  Thus, it must be wary of being stung with its own poison.  

“Oh, on an…  Unrelated note, am I going to become famous for my new breeds of magical creatures? Perhaps that oaf, Hagrid will teach about my creatures in his classes? It still amazes me that anyone would allow him, clumsy beast that he is, to teach young children.  Dumbledore may have been brilliant, but he really bollocksed things up with that appointment.”

“Your creatures may make it into a textbook on magical beasts.” Luna said, grabbing Harry’s hand and Apparating to the Ministry, where they took April directly to the Minister.

“Ah! Luna, Harry…  And you must be April Hayley.  I could send you to Azkaban.  But perhaps Hagrid could use an assistant at Hogwarts.  I feel that you, as such a well-read magizoologist, would more than qualify.”
“Oh, God! Just execute me now, why don’t you! I can barely deal with that oaf for an hour! I’d end up killing the dumb bastard if I had to deal with him every day! Then you’d have me for murder!”

“Very well…  Azkaban it is.  We’ll set a date for your trial.”
“No need.  I freely confess to my so-called crimes.  You say that I’m a criminal, but really, I just speed up the natural processes of evolution in the world.  Eventually, such creatures would come along on their own recognizance.  But your inability to recognize that slows down progress.  Do you know who funds my research? Some of the wealthiest and most powerful wizards in the world.

“I could easily buy almost anything.  The Mamlah as you call it was a tactical suppression weapon that I was creating for a man who wanted to have something that could stand up against an army, but didn’t want to spend the money to have enough wizards.  The ones that you’re trying to kill are the failures, well, by my standards.  They have too many weak points.  

“I’ve recently completed successful ones.  Ones that have skin dense enough to repel almost any spell and armor thick enough and dense enough to repel even most tank fire.  I suspect that a railgun could pierce the Mamlah 2.0’s armor.  Unfortunately, I doubt that the explosion killed it.  

“So, congratulations, a beast that’s even more belligerent and aggressive, five times as strong as the original Mamlah, and twice as large.  There’s no way that a wizard or witch could defeat it.  It’s now free and able to wreak havoc in the world.  Its eyes are its only weak point.  I imagine, again, that a tank or a railgun could harm it.  But a railgun is impractical, and wizards don’t generally have tanks.”

“What is a tank? And what are railguns?” Luna asked, smiling despite having no idea what April was talking about.  She was actually very worried.  A monster like that would normally be heavily regulated by the Ministry, and hunted until there were only very small numbers of said creature.”
“How fertile is this Mamlah 2.0?”

“About as fertile as a human, maybe a little bit more.  However, it has very specific mating seasons, where it lays a single clutch of eggs of three to five eggs.  More unique amongst the Mamlah is its tendency to mutate.  They are more likely to mutate between generations due to slightly unstable DNA, and thus, they evolve much faster than most species.  Within ten generations, they could be much stronger than they are even now.”

“I see…  And how would we kill them?”
“Violence, poison, death curse, the same way you’d kill any creature.  The problem comes with the fact that the armor is highly resistant to magic.  So, yes.  I’ll go to Azkaban if you think it appropriate.  But I only ask that my research be shared with the world.  I’ve done a great deal of research and I would hate for it to go to waste.”

“I cannot promise anything.  Well, regardless, Harry, take her away.  Luna, hand me the files that you have on the creatures she has bred.  Oh, April.  Are the files on those who hired you in there?”
“No.  But I keep a flash drive with files on them.  I’ll give them to you in exchange for reduced time in Azkaban.  Otherwise, I’ll gladly destroy it.”

“We’ll discuss it.  Take her to Azkaban.  We’ll see what we can do with her creations.  How many do you think, April, are still alive?”
“Well…  Probably only the Mamlahs, though a few others may be alive, including the Mamlah 2.0s.”

“Very well.  Have a good day, Harry.  After you finish delivering April to Azkaban, please check up on the Wild Mages.  I want to stay on good terms with them, but I do want to keep an eye on them as well.  As vital as they are to a growing wizarding world, they can also be dangerous.  They could expose wizards to Muggles.  I understand that an anti-wizard organization called the New Salem Philanthropic Society is beginning to gain power in Britain.  Have you heard of them?”

“I…  Can’t say I have.  So, they’re like an Inquisition organization? Do they work with the Catholic Church?” Harry asked.  Shacklebolt shook his head.
“I don’t think so.  They may well have Scourers amongst them, though.  They have magical power, but they hate witches and wizards, and use their magic to destroy them.  

“I suspect that now, with Wild Mages beginning to gain momentum, they may begin to use them as well against us.  Thus, it is increasingly important to remain on good terms with the Wild Mages, lest we lose them as allies and they become our enemies.  Make sure they know about the threat these New Salemers pose both to them and to Wizards.”

“Yes, Minister.” Harry said, taking April outside Shacklebolt’s office, and apparating to Azkaban, where he handed her off to the guards, telling them the crimes that she was accused of committing, that she confessed to.  One of the guards, Harry knew, was a witch named Elsbeth Zeller.  She was an Irish witch who was highly intelligent and creative with her spells, and was known to be very fast with her wand hand, able to cast several spells in as many seconds, especially when she could use non-verbal spells.

She was noted for being quite pretty, and talented with charms and jinxes.  She had bright green eyes and vibrant red hair.  She seemed out of place in Azkaban, but with her skill with magic, she was perfectly placed to defend if a prisoner escaped.  She was an Auror, and volunteered to become a guard shortly after her husband, who was also an Auror, died while fighting a wizard who was resisting arrest.

The other was Zograf Blaine, a tall, black haired wizard whose hair was thinning and turning grey with a gaunt face and sunken grey eyes that had dark circles under them from lack of sleep, limp black hair that fell in his face.  He rarely spoke, and when he did, he had a seemingly insubstantial, and frankly depressing voice that reminded Harry of the grave for some reason.  He wore thin wire rimmed glasses and his breath smelled like pipe tobacco.  

“Thank you, Harry.” Elsbeth said with a smile.  Harry handed April over, whose eyes went wide.
“April?” The two said together.

“It’s great to see you again, Elsie! Top of your class, finest student in our generation.  You were well placed in Ravenclaw.”
“And you.  You were always so ambitious.  Slytherin really was the right house for you.  You were always better in Potions and Care of Magical Creatures.  And look at you now.  A magical breeder and magizoologist.  Shame such a promising student had to end up like this.”

“I trust you won’t give me preferential treatment just because we were friends in school, right?”
“Of course not, well, thank you, Harry.  I hope your job is going well.” Elsbeth said.  Harry nodded, walking out of Azkaban, to the edges of the anti-apparition perimeter, and apparating away from the prison that used to be guarded by Dementors, but was now guarded by Aurors and people paid specifically to guard Azkaban.  It was lonely but important work.
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Submitted on
January 27
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