fi_admin (fi_admin) wrote in fi_synopsis,

The Beginning

"In ashes of despaire, though burnt, shall make thee live." --Sir Philip Sidney, Arcadia

The war raged for nearly three years. Sometimes Death Eaters had the upper hand, sometimes the Order of the Phoenix did. Through it all, the Ministry tried to appear competent, efficient, and knowledgeable—mostly ineffectually.

The Beginning, March 1, 2000, Opening Game Day.
One of the few useful devices they developed, with the aid of their Experimental Charms Department, was a magical communication book, dubbed, mundanely, Journals. These were interconnected with each other, and given out, free of charge, by the Ministry to every magical adult citizen. These journals could be charmed to be private, or viewable only by a specific individual or individuals, or public. It was an effective tool to permit the Ministry to notify the public, directly, of any advancements they had made in the war, or any new warning which needed to be delivered.

Unfortunately, in its enthusiasm to aid its citizenry, the Ministry made no effort to monitor this new tool or to be cautious to whom it was given. In very short order Death Eaters had access to the same communication tool, and once again the tides were equal. In tribute to the skill of the Ministry's wizards, the security charms appear to be effective--no known breach of 'private' entries has ever been documented.

As in any war, countless people died, and as is often the case, the vast majority of these were the innocent bystanders caught in crossfire or used as tools.

Shortly after the wedding of Bill Weasley to Fleur Delacour in June of 1997, Harry Potter and a select few of his friends all but vanished from the public eye. Hogwarts reopened, but without The Chosen One in attendance, and few knew what Harry's activities were—least of all the Ministry of Magic, no matter how hard they attempted to find out what he was doing.

In the end, Harry's quest to find the missing Horcruxes was aided primarily by Remus Lupin and Aberforth Dumbledore, who had sources of information which they would not reveal to Harry and his friends, yet which proved invaluable. The primary unknown source, of course, was Severus Snape. His information aided in the finding of the Horcruxes, and in their destruction, with minimal injury and no permanent damage to any of those involved.

Severus Snape returned to the Death Eaters in June of 1997 in full glory and honour—after suitable reprimand for doing the task which had been set to Draco. However, his position of honour at his Lord's side was supreme and unquestioned (at least openly) from that moment forward, and Severus appeared, to those few who had opportunity to see him, to be fully 'in the fold'. Wormtail continued to live at Spinner's End, though the roles were reversed and now it was Snape's charge to watch Wormtail for signs of deception.

There was never any love or trust lost between Severus and Bellatrix Black-Lestrange.

In July of 1997, Voldemort's jubilation over the death of Albus Dumbledore translated into his brand of 'forgiveness' for his follower's failure at the Ministry the year before. Deliberately timed to be a 'birthday present' for Harry Potter, Voldemort sent a team of Death Eaters, leading several giants, to use sheer, brute force to break into Azkaban and free their imprisoned brethren. The release, yet again, of the likes of Lucius Malfoy, Walden Macnair, Rudolphus and Rabastain Lestrange, just to name a few, led to a sudden and dramatic rise in Death Eater power, attacks, and rising casualties among the populace and the defenders.

In 1998, a major raid against an Order of the Phoenix stronghold in Hogsmeade ended in the recapture of Bellatrix--effected, surprisingly, by Neville Longbottom. Peter Pettigrew met his demise there as well, at the hand of Remus Lupin. Several other Death Eaters were also recaptured at this time, once again swaying the tide of battle back in the favour of the Order.

And so it went, back and forth. Werewolves, Giants, Dementors breeding, being killed by Aurors, and then breeding some more. No one knew who to trust. Purebloods were targeted by Fenrir as often as the Mudblood, as a tool by which to encourage recruitment into the Death Eaters, which made many fearful and reluctant to take sides on any front. The Ministry often imprisoned and accused the innocent, merely to appear effective, which simply bred more fear and malcontent. Chaos reigned.

The Order was delivered a severe blow when, not even a full year after her imprisonment, Bellatrix was deemed 'insane' rather than 'criminal', and released to the care of the St. Mungo's mental patient ward. Undoubtedly money crossed hands somewhere, in large amounts, but sources were never traced. The protests of the surviving Longbottom family fell on deaf ears, and even the testimony of those who had been in the Ministry and witnessed Sirius' death at Bellatrix' hand held no weight.

“She was utterly and completely insane,” the experts said, “and likely had been since first being branded by Voldemort. It was impossible and even cruel to hold an insane person accountable for their actions, no matter how heinous. Besides,” the argument went on, “imprisoning her in the Hospital was just as safe as Azkaban. It was the duty of the Ministry to tend to the welfare of all its citizens--even the insane.”

Bellatrix needed mental treatment and medical care, and spent the rest of the war safely ensconced in a high-security, private room in the mental ward of St. Mungo's.

It is completely impossible, considering that she was watched twenty-four hours a day, for her to have been responsible for the deaths of Alice and Frank Longbottom. These deaths, coincidentally, occurred a few months after her hospitalization. They died peacefully, in their sleep, a few days apart from one another, with no evidence of foul-play.

Voldemort never tired of his drive to find and kill Harry, firm in the belief that only Harry could threaten his existence. To eliminate Harry would guarantee his immortality. Late in 1999, in a desperate attempt to draw Harry out into the open, Voldemort did what he had often done before when trying to get at Harry--he attacked Harry's friends and loved ones. In this instance, he blatantly tortured and murdered Hermione Granger's parents, after first making several threatening attacks near their home. The Order attempted to protect them, of course, but Voldemort attacked hard and fast, and they were lost.

At last, early in 2000, Harry and his friends found and destroyed the final Horcrux. Amazingly enough, Voldemort never learned what they were doing, and never suspected the damage to his Horcruxes. Harry had managed to learn Occlumency well enough to prevent Voldemort's easy entrance into his mind--though he could often feel Voldemort making the attempts.

By this time, fear was so rampant throughout the wizarding community that Hogwarts was no longer really a School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, so much as a military academy, the students receiving intensive training on personal safety, defence, combative techniques and even tactics. Many, many students had been removed from Hogwarts to finish their education privately, or at foreign schools.

At the end of January of 2000, all attempts at holding the pretense of education were given up, entirely. Hogwarts officially became a military base. Harry and the most loyal of his friends and supporters from the D.A. and the Order of the Phoenix joined him at Hogwarts where he began openly to show himself, and where they all received training and practise in combative techniques.

This was all it had required to draw Voldemort to the school at last. The final battle raged through the last days of February, though it was a testimony to the skill of the combatants on both sides that most of the casualties were merely severely injured rather than killed. Voldemort was not seen on the battlefield, though he was clearly close-by, issuing directions and able to monitor what was occurring. It was then that Harry remembered the Chamber of Secrets and realised Voldemort would be there, conducting his troops like pieces on a chessboard.

Harry refused to permit anyone to join him in this last, desperate battle. Voldemort had proved time and again that he would attack those Harry cared about first--knowing those attacks would hurt Harry far more than anything done to Harry, himself. Unable to sway Harry in his determination, the remaining combatants set forth a mighty skirmish against the Death Eaters, at last joining forces with the Ministry Aurors who attacked from behind as the Hogwarts defenders harried the front. Even the Centaurs agreed to help, now that the threat was on their doorstep, and sent deadly volleys of arrows from the relative concealment of their precious forest.

The attack was so ferocious that Voldemort was forced to respond with all his forces, over-confident that this was an act of desperation of a dying enemy. He arrogantly left himself alone and unprotected, observing the battle through a specially-enchanted pensieve at the foot of the statue of Salazar Slytherin.

No one but Harry Potter knows what occurred within that Chamber late in the afternoon on February 29, 2000. Fires burnt in dozens of places on the grounds, in the forest, Centaurs shooting burning arrows at the attackers, the battle thick with haze of smoke and spell-fire, the air ringing with shouts and screams of the injured and the triumphant. Chaos reigned and none could spare thought for the lone young man somewhere in the depths of the school.

Until the world exploded. The sound was low and deep and muffled and so far distant one felt it more than heard it. The violent trembling of the earth caused even the sure-footed centaurs to topple like toy soldiers brushed carelessly aside. Large, gaping cracks appeared low in the foundation of Hogwarts castle, out of which suddenly billowed dark, black smoke.

All this was overshadowed by the shrieks of Death Eaters all throughout the grounds. They fell to the ground, not one left standing, writhing in agony, screaming and clutching their left arm as their Dark Marks burnt as hot and bright as when it was first branded into their skin. Their shrieks faded as quickly as they has begun as the Marks vanished in a small, faint parody of that same thick, black smoke. Most of them remained frozen, paralysed in shock as they stared at their bare arms, faced with undeniable proof that their Lord had been vanquished.

Many of the Aurors managed to keep their wits about them, having been hopeful something dramatic would happen to the Death Eaters if Voldemort died, and quickly bound the incapacitated Death Eaters. Harry's closest friends ran to the school, desperate to find him, aid him if possible—but it was unnecessary. Harry, bloodied and battered but still standing on his own two feet, met them at the oaken front doors.

"It's over. He's gone."

Broken homes, broken lives, broken families, broken trust--but the war is ended, Voldemort is gone, the time for rebuilding is at hand. There is jubilation among the majority of the people, who have no real concern for the finer points of politics--they merely want to be left alone, in peace and without fear at last.

The Ministry is already declaring victory--and a heavy-handed policy to restore and maintain the peace. Clearly, politicians had been planning for this hopeful eventuality, even as their bungling seemed destined to hinder the successful end of the war. Rufus Scrimegeour died on the battlefield, but was succeeded by his Deputy Minister without fuss.

Something trivial, like elections, would simply have to wait until order had been restored, of course.

Smoke still billowed up out of the bowels of Hogwarts when the acting Minister for Magic announced instant, restrictive regulations governing the actions of anyone with Death Eater ties. Included in these regulations are all known or suspected Death Eaters, all Werewolves, and even those who might proved to have been falsely accused of Death Eater activity—and any relatives of these categories—just to be safe. For the safety of the populace, all of them will now be 'registered', their activities monitored, strict curfews in place, international travel limited, regular, required reporting into 'compliance officers'....

Determined to prevent the rise of the next Dark Lord, the Ministry has leapt to policies which dehumanise those it suspects of being likely sources of malcontent--all under pretense of 'protecting the public', of course.

The Pureblood supremacists have not given up their beliefs. Indeed, the actions of the Ministry only strengthen those beliefs, as they watch more and more 'low-bloods' continue to presume to have authority over them.

Hogwarts itself remained relatively intact, though the grounds were scarred and burnt, and great, graping cracks are visible in the foundation of the building, looking like sharp, jagged fingers creeping up out of the earth to claw at the castle, as though to pull it down into the earth. A great deal of work will be required to return the building to being structurally sound and safe for use--but the castle stands.

Minerva McGonagall survived the war with barely a scratch and listened with shocked outrage as the Ministry outlined policies almost guaranteed to incite more strife and prejudice rather than unite the citizenry. Determined to rebuild and reopen Hogwarts, she is also determined to keep it wholly separate and apart from the Ministry. Enormous financial grants have already been offered to help repair and reopen the school—from the Ministry, with a heavy price of allowing Ministry control and jurisdiction over the school and its curriculum.

Minerva refused to accept a single knut. It took longer, and required a great deal of private help and fund-raising, but she refused to allow Hogwarts to become a tool for the prejudiced Ministry propaganda.

Less than twenty-four hours after Voldemort's demise, lines were drawn in the sand, showing the war might be over, but prejudice and strife would always be rampant and hinder the ability of the Wizarding World to rebuild and be united.

"Sometimes . . . the end is the easy part. It's where you go from there that really matters. The choice is yours. . . where are you heading?"

January 2002, Game Time, How far we have come - and how far we still have to go.

Minerva opened Hogwarts - without needing any Ministry funds to rebuild - and announced broad, sweeping changes of the Sorting System, the Quidditch Program, and with new staff appointments to key positions.

Severus Snape was returned to his position as Head of Slytherin House and Potions Master - he had never really wanted the Dark Arts job - Potions is his first love. Remus Lupin is head of Gryffindor House and Professor for Defence Against the Dark Arts. Filius Flitwick is presently Deputy Headmaster, Head of Ravenclaw, and still Charms Professor, though he contemplates retiring in the next decade or so. Snape has begun the role of 'Assistant Deputy Headmaster', working in conjunction with Filius in preparation to take over the role when Filius retires.

Students are no longer sorted as first years - a shocking development which has caused a great deal of disquiet amongst the parents. Minerva is determined to be even more pro-active than her predecessor in regards to fighting bigotry among the students. All First Year students now go to Hufflepuff House. Second Year students go to Raveclaw, Third Year to Gryffindor, and fourth year to Slytherin. At the beginning of the fifth year, students are Sorted, and those upper school students then continue their last three years in their House. The first year of this new development has gone tolerably well, though there have been a number of fights between students who consider themselves to be 'really' of one house or another from prior years - particularly the Gryffindors and Slytherins!

She has also altered the Quidditch program so there are two full sets of teams. The 'upper school' teams, composed of the fifth through seventh year students, are the primary teams whose game-points count toward total House points, and who compete for the Quidditch Cup. The lower-school teams are mixed teams, so that the age distribution is equitable, and are therefore not associated with any one house. Each House team has a dedicated coach who is responsible for that house's Upper-School team, and also one lower-school team. The lower-school teams rotate coaches each year, so that each player will, in theory, receive the same training prior to being sorted into a House, having worked with each coach for at least one year.

Madam Hooch is still the Head of the Quidditch Department, it is simply far more extensive than it used to be.

Bellatrix Lestrange is now free - or as free as Ministry Registry Requirements allow her - after being declared 'cured' of her insanity. Lucius Malfoy, too, has been pardoned by Rudiger Shingleton, the present Minister for Magic.

Rudiger is becoming increasingly unpopular, though. His recent creation of Tracking Devices was met by an outcry of public discontent, and even calls for elections, thus far neglected since the war.

Lucius Malfoy, after being revealed to have been a spy for the Ministry throughout the war (?!) has even had his autobiography written by none other than Dan Brown, detailing his true remorse over the sufferings of his friends and family, and particularly his son, due to what he was 'forced' to do to maintain his concealment.

There is even rumour that Lucius would like to be considered for the next Minister for Magic - even though his present Registry status prevents such a step.

Bill and Fleur divorced in April of 2001. Fleur went home to France to be with what remains of her family.

Stella Sinistra, Astronomy Professor, will be marrying werewolf Caleb Moore on March 14, 2002 game-time. This, in conjuction with the Bonding of Remus Lupin and Severus Snape, means that at least three of Minerva's key staff are drawing unwelcome scrutiny to the school. The Headmistress remains staunchly determined to ignore and thwart all such prejudice directed at the school.

Life has goes on as people settle into new or former careers, trying to find their own piece of happiness.

Elections will occur in June of 2002 game-time. Rudiger Shingleton is highly unlikely to retain his office, which means his present Registry and Tracking device policies are also unlikely to continue. But Lucius Malfoy has expressed secret interest in the position, as has Arthur Weasley and others. How will a new Minister affect public policy?

Fenrir is still 'out there', and no one really believes the Death Eaters will relinquish their ideals so easily. Where things will be a year from now is anyone's guess.

Important world-events and game details to know as you consider joining this game:

Backstory plot that lays the foundation for in-game events.

Hogwarts reorganisation under Headmistress Minerva McGonagall.

Wizarding government and politics.

About the Ministry Tracking Devices and Registry.

Game calendar of upcoming events.

Fiery Inception and Deathly Hollows.

General Information to Know Before Going any Further:
(Also known as, how not to waste your time, or ours.)

1 - Quality Counts! - We are very picky about the quality of players we allow into this game. Your application is your audition. This cannot be stressed enough. Sloppy work will not be considered, no matter how unique/creative/interesting the grasp of the character.

2 - Canon Matters! - Do not apply if you have not read and are not very familiar with each of the six Harry Potter books written by JKR. Film knowledge is not sufficient for this game, and where book and film contradict one another, book canon takes precedence.

3 - Research The Game - before wasting our time or yours. If you are not motivated enough to at least thoroughly read this plot-history and decide whether this is a game you would like to be part of, then you are not motivated enough to play in this game.

4 - Be committed - we are here for the 'long term'. The admin team consists of three individuals who have been playing and/or administrating games together for nearly three years. This is NOT a game to join because you have two weeks of vacation coming up and want something to do.

We have plot-plans extending well into next year, and could easily see playing for years to come. Keep in mind that it takes several weeks for a new character to develop plots and sub-plots with other players/characters. We all have life-stuff that sometimes forces us to be away from the game for a few days or even weeks at a time - but keep the admin team informed of your absences, and be committed to the game and your character.

This game will remain canon through HBP, and AU to developments in Deadly Hollows, though we will consider Deadly Hollows as an important reference point. We will not end the game when canon changes, nor disrupt existing plots/kill off characters to match the new canon.

If this still sounds like a game which would appeal to you, then by all means, read on!

Note: Crucial game-history events are added as 'replies' to this topic and should also be at least briefly reviewed to understand game history to this point.
Tags: 1. beginning
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