A haggard middle-aged wizard with spectacles hanging off the bridge of his pale nose stared at the journalist report in his hand. "Rubbish," said the editor-in-chief of the Daily Prophet, Barnabas Cuffe. He was, in fact, the youngest editor in chief for the last hundred years as he'd been made chief about five years ago only being thirty-five years old. Tossing the report onto his desk he grabbed the next one as his light-colored eyes flashed as he began to read the next report.
"Can't they pick anything better to write about than quidditch?" Cuffe grumbled. "Please give me something scandalous that will arouse the public's attention." He rubbed his dry eyes and ran his fingers through his wry hair.
The Ministry of Magic had politely requested that the Daily Prophet change the subject given the recent tragedies that had occurred. And with elections right around the corner and the international eyes upon the whole of England, the owner of the Daily Prophet had ordered Barnabas Cuffe to fall into line. As if, the scandal about the Auror's not finding a clue wasn't disgraceful enough. But in retrospect, it wouldn't do for tourism in the long run.
Cuffe snarled and grabbed a quill from his desk. In the margins, he wrote, "Get a clue! The word is spelled, D-I-S-P-R-O-P-O-R-T-I-O-N-A-T-E! You're a reporter learn how to spell, Mr. Weed!" With great relish, he folded the letter up much like a paper plane, before muttering the charm and sending the flying pointed message on its way.
Cuffe leans to the side intently as he cups his hand to his ear before a loud pained cry is heard to his satisfaction. "That will teach him," Cuffe murmured to himself, before grabbing the next sheet of paper.
The half-open door is suddenly slammed open by a blond-haired witch with tight blond curls. Wearing green leather with maroon furs at the collar and sleeve, Rita Skeeter his sharpest tool in the box, breathlessly says, "Give me the Evening Prophet edition!"
"And why should I?" Cuffe feigned indifference.
"Because I've just heard the scoop of the century!" Skeeter happily declared despite having to give up half of her savings to procure the news.
"Which is?" Cuffe said with an arched eyebrow.
"The old Prince called a conclave today," Skeeter said as she shuffled over and took the seat before him.
"So, I've heard," Cuffe drolly commented as he glanced back down at his desk.
"Yes, yes," Skeeter dismissively gestured with her red painted claws. "But it's not we thought it would be, the Prince revealed their family heritage."
"Let me guess, he's the Heir of Slytherin," Cuffe said failing to see the astonished look on Skeeter's square face.
"How did you know?" Skeeter asked as Cuffe dropped the paper in his hand.
"Come again?" Cuffe choked in disbelief.
"The old Prince not only proved that he was Salazar Slytherins heir but Merlin Ambrosius as well. Not only did he provide proof, but in recorded history, they've produced four parselmouth's and two far seers. But best of all the Prince ghost that still dwells at Prince manor was a parselmouth when living. That is more than sufficient proof to their claims!"
"Brilliant!" Cuffe excitedly said. "Skeeter have that report to me written an hour and it'll go on the front page of the Evening Prophet!"
"Done!" Skeeter purred, before sashaying away with quick high heeled clacking footsteps.
"Atta girl," Cuffe said in pride, before shouting at his secretary. "Miss Twinkle, let the printers know that we're changing the front page for the evening news edition!"
"Yes, Mr. Cuffe!" Miss Twinkle eagerly replied, a witch with bright pink lipstick.
Cuffe happily returned to his sorting of the articles with much more glee. In fact, he might have even said a kind comment or two. Which later would give the receivers almost a heartache as Cuffe never gave out compliments!
When the evening news went out two hours later, the whole wizarding world was up in whispers. The purebloods that had not invited to the Prince Conclave suddenly began to think of ways in which to contact the Prince. Others wondered if they should make sure to distance their children from the Prince grandchildren as they were now proven to be Slytherin's heirs. While a few others paled and began to ponder on how to exactly distance themselves from a certain Dark Lord.
The Minister of Magic Jenkins was rather pleased, to say the least. Not only would the purebloods side with the Auror's, but with the old Prince in charge, none would step out of line nor attempt to pass laws against muggleborn. For the Prince's own two heirs were half-bloods. And those that were worried that the Prince would attempt against muggleborn wizards had nothing to fear for the exact same reason that the Prince heirs were half-bloods. It was common knowledge that the two grandchildren were half-bloods as it had been a rather infamous event for a time, when the heiress to the Prince fortune, Eileen Prince had run off with a mere muggle.
On the other hand, the purebloods that had attended the Conclave begun to take drastic actions that very same day. The Rosiers, in particular, cut off any family member that had sworn themselves to the cause of Lord Voldemort. The Crabbe and Goyle families that had been thinking of joining instantly pulled back and ensured that their sons were nowhere in the vicinity of any youth thought to be affiliated to that filfhy lying bastard.
As for the senior Nott and Avery, both original members of the Knights of Walpurgis, both decided to tactfully remain were they were at. Mulciber, on the other hand, agreed to turn neutral and refrain from involving himself to actively with either side for the time being. As for many other families, those that had not already begun fully pulled away, while those that could not disown many a child or relative in order to create a clean distinct break. More than two-thirds of the purebloods had pulled away, while those that remained were either loyal to the cause or simply seeking power by whatever means necessary.
Elsewhere on the cold floor of the Carrow home plenty of Death Eater's lay strewn on the floor as Lord Voldemort paced in utter rage. He'd read the article as had many of them and received the news that many of the pureblood families that were with him had pulled back. The pureblood families had even cut off their own flesh and blood and publicly disowned them.
But to make matters worse, three of his closest compatriots had abandoned him. Nott and Avery had already long ago pulled away but made the distinction that more obvious. As for Mulciber, he had politely stated, that he would refrain from interfering on either side claiming neutral ground. And as for Rosier, he was a lost cause.
The front doors swung open to reveal a dark, broad-shouldered wizard. His long, pale face, as usual, is twisted into a cold sneer. "Dark Lord," Antonin Dolohov smugly said as he leisurely bowed his head.
"Dolohov, where have you been?" Voldemort snapped as his fingers tightened around his wand.
"Milord," Dolohov mockingly said despite the danger. "I was merely confirming that the Prince's claims are real."
Dolohov paused as he heard an intake of breath from the Death Eaters in the room. "And it is true, Dark Lord. Those present all claim that the Prince ghost indeed is a parselmouth."
Whispered gasps fill the room as Voldemort whirls around in fury and screams, "Crucio!" A poor innocent Death Eater went down onto the floor withering for some time before Voldemort let the torture up.
Breathing harshly, Voldemort's nostrils flare in utter rage. "Even if that is the case, I am Slytherin's true heir."
"Of course, you are, Master," Pyrites warmly said as he rose to his feet. "For even if that was not the case, the Prince grandchildren are both half-bloods. A true heir of Slytherin would never have any tainted blood in them." Voldemort slightly flinched at the praise, but for two members of the room did not fail to miss the slight twitch.
Dolohov was one of them as his eyes coldly narrowed as he recalled the rumors about the Dark Lord being a half-blood known by the name of Tom Marvolo Riddle. But perhaps, there was some truth to the rumors after all given the fact that Abraxas Malfoy was now very much dead. And if so, there might be some merit in looking further into the sensitive subject.
"Indeed, what Pyrites says, is correct Dark Lord," the handsome curly-haired, Wilkes persuasively said. "Do not be worried milord, we shall prevail over thine enemies." Lord Voldemort slightly relaxes at their flattery.
Making sure his shields were up, Dolohov says, "Dark Lord allow Pyrites and I look further into the matter. For surely, we can bring harm to the Prince heirs via the muggle father."
"Yes," Voldemort said as the anger in his eyes slowly cooled. "But only you, Dolohov. I have another mission for Pyrites."
"It will be my honor to serve, Master," Pyrites breathlessly exclaimed.
With a gesture from Voldemort's hand, the Death Eater's eagerly arose and began filing out of the room. Those injured from the curses were aided to their feet by friends and were taken out of the door. In the end, only Pyrites and Voldemort remained behind. And whatever was said, no one came to know as by the time anyone entered the chamber again, Pyrites was long gone, and nowhere to be found.