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dh2_sockpuppet in dh2_challenge

Firing the First Shot

Title: Firing the First Shot
Character: Thicknesse
Word count: 552
Rated: PG
Highlight for Warnings: *angsty, a little violence*
Summary: I thought it was fascinating that in the film one of the DEs suggests to Voldemort that they delay the attack on Hogwarts right before it starts. Why? Well, I realized that that DE was Pius Thicknesse, so here is the resulting fic.



Pius Thicknesse had been a family man, before. He’d only gone into magical law enforcement for the steady and generous paycheque, hoping to give his wife and daughters the comfort and security that he’d never had as a child. He believed in the rule of law, of course, and was a proud enforcer, but he was also eager for the day he could retire to a desk job, out of danger, and spend more time with Moira and their girls.

Then Amelia Bones had been murdered, and in the confusing aftermath he had agreed to take over the department, and then all had gone quickly to hell. He took grim satisfaction in the fact that it had required four Death Eaters to put him fully under the control of the Imperius.

Pius didn’t know if his family was alive or dead. He’d left for the office one day, and simply never come home. In his most lucid moments, he hoped they’d run, that Moira had taken the girls and never looked back, but deep down he knew they’d never leave him like that.

His girls. If he worked for hours, he could break the curse just enough to remember their names. Natalie was twelve now. Eliza, fourteen. And the oldest one, with the dark curls...he couldn’t remember her name anymore.

His captive body moved and spoke and fired off murderous spells, and Pius watched it all as an unwilling passenger in his own skin. He’d tried to resist being made Minister at the fraudulent ceremony, Scrimgeour’s blood was still wet on the carpet, but his voice spoke the oath of office, strong and clear, and he couldn’t stop it.

Voldemort kept him close. After a while, it became pointless to struggle.

Now he was standing on a hillside, unsure of how he’d arrived there, and the lights of a castle were quietly shining below. He could feel an aggressive tide of humanity behind him, and a blood lust was being pressed on him through the curse, urging his body to make a kill.

Voldemort spoke a few words to his gathered followers, and in the awed silence that followed, Pius could hear his muddy mind screaming at him.

“Natalie! Eliza! Kate! That is Hogwarts! They are down there! The girls are in that castle!”

Kate, Pius thought. Kate, my oldest, with the black curls like her mother.

The sharp, clear thought of Kate cut the Imperius like a knife. He knew where he was, what he was doing there, what was about to happen. He couldn’t breathe, knowing all he knew. He was surrounded by parents, he knew that too. Why weren’t they all screaming at the top of their lungs for this madness to stop?

Pius thought Kate and willed his body to move, and for the first time in months, it did. He stepped to Voldemort’s side, wobbly and terrified, nothing to lose.

“My lord, shouldn’t we wait...?” he said, straining with the effort, but then the curse clamped down on his jaw and his muscles and he was forced to step back, ignored.

Pius could only watch as the first deadly spells launched towards his children, all of their children, one of them springing violently from the tip of his own wand.

Comments

Wow. This gave me chills.

I love your description of how it feels to be under the Imperious Curse; from your story, it's easy to understand why it's considered Unforgivable.

Nicely done.
Well done! Taut and terse and painful. I like your interpretation of Thicknesse, whom up till now I'd thought of only in terms of his name -- I'd noted it as a rather heavy-handed attempt on JKR's part to be allegorical, and then paid no further attention to him. But you've given him a full life and personality, and you give interesting insights into how the Imperius might work. I love stories like this, that flesh out and redeem characters that are just names in canon.
Ooh, this is fascinating. Wonderfully done.
Oh, no! You've made me cry. What an excellent little fic! I wondered about that in the movie as well, but this makes perfect sense. It also made no sense to me that so many adults were so willing to attack what was primarily a group of children. Imperius would explain a lot.
Thank you - this makes so much sense!
In the books, it's so easy to forget that Thicknesse isn't actually evil. I love that you've redeemed his character for me, and brought home the full weight of being under Imperius.

and a blood lust was being pressed on him through the curse, urging his body to make a kill.

This was the most chilling line for me. Not only are his actions being controlled, but his emotions as well. Well done.
Ooh, great job! This makes me wonder why there aren't more stories about what it's like to be under Imperius.
This hurt.

It isn't the use of the Unforgivable that hurts, or the loss of Pius' will. It's the love the man obviously has for his daughters. It reminds me so much of how much my father loves me, and it's terrifying to think that Pius could end up killing one of his own children.

Thank you, for writing this. It's beautiful, and it delves into the darker parts of canon, which Rowling tends to leave in the shadows.

August 2011

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