Chapter 1: Beautiful
The boy was three when he first saw his Aunt bleed. He had been washing the dishes and throwing away scraps while his Aunt cut up the vegetables. It was a slip of the finger, a small cut that only looked bad because of the blood. His Aunt shooed him away from the sink and he watched in awe as the blood was washed away. The boy hadn't felt this fascinated by the cuts and scrapes Dudley's friends got when they visited, but as he watched his Aunt bandage her cut he realized she was special. Her blood had fascinated him because it was hers.
"You're beautiful Aunt Petunia," the little boy decided, not noticing he'd spoken aloud.
Petunia froze in shock as the boy went back to washing the dishes. He'd just called her beautiful, but no one, not even her husband Vernon has called her beautiful for years. She tried to ignore the feelings the compliment stirred up, reminding herself the boy was a Freak and leaving it at that. Except she couldn't forget about it. The words followed her to sleep and echoed in her head during the day. She assisted the boy with his chores and found ways to spend more time with him hoping he'd say it again. She disguised her behavior as just wanting to make sure the house was properly cleaned and hoped Vernon wouldn't notice.
Her injuries were far and few between, but when she scrapped herself in the garden or cut herself cooking, the boy was there watching her in awe as he said the words she sought so much.
"You're beautiful Aunt Petunia,"
He was the only one who called her such, and she craved it. It took a few years, years where she'd given the boy his own room, learned he rather is called Harry, and started taking the boy shopping with her, but she began to associate blood with beauty. Her own blood was what got her the compliments she so desired after all. She began hiding her scars, knowing the would raise questions. Lightweight ankle-length dresses that covered her arms. Jeans and longsleeved shirts. Even though she kept her scars hidden from the neighbors and Vernon, Petunia was actually quite proud of them. She bragged about them to her baby boy, Dudley, whenever she could, and when it was just her and Boy-Harry in the house she showed them off with pride.
Harry called her an artist, said her scars were fascinating and her arms were a masterpiece. Petunia took great pride in being a beautiful artist. She took care with her hair, stopped trying to change it or to force it into Vernon's picture of a perfect wife. Her rich bronze hair was styled into a playful bun, a few bouncy curls framing her face. She smiled more often and noticed that even without a lotion or cream the stress and age lines on her face began to fade. She was beautiful, she was creative, she was happy.
Harry started school with his Aunt's support and a whole new wardrobe of things he'd picked out. When Vernon couldn't stand the changes in his household, or in how the Freak was viewed and treated things in the Dursley Household got violent. Luckily, it didn't last long.
Petunia sat in the kitchen, her dress of the day pooling around her like a puddle of blood. Vernon had slapped her. He'd slapped her for defending Harry, the only one who saw her as beautiful. The only one who said she was creative, or smart.
Petunia slowly got to her feet. Turning around she grabbed her kitchen knife. She was good with this knife. She cut pig with this knife. She'd been complimented for the first time since her school days because of this knife.
"I'm beautiful," Petunia said. "I'm a smart, kind, and patient woman. I gave up my education to be your housewife, not your punching bag,"
She cut pig with that knife. She cut cow and turkey and chicken with that knife. She was glad to see she could cut ass with it too.
Harry and Dudley came home from school to see Petunia standing in the kitchen covered in blood. Dudley's eyes went to the horribly mutilated corpse of his father. Harry's stayed on the bloody figure of his Aunt.
"You're beautiful Aunt Petunia," he said. "Did you have fun?"
"Yes, yes I did," she said with a blush. "What do we tell the neighbors?"
"What's there to tell them? We haven't seen Uncle Vernon since he went to work this morning. We're worried about him, aren't we Dudley?" Harry smiled.
"Right," Dudley nodded. "Dad never came home,"
Petunia dealt with the corpse, while the two boys went to bed. The three spread their story, how worried they were for Vernon, how he still hasn't come home. Petunia filed a missing person report, and time went on. A few weeks later an officer informed the small family of Vernon's passing and questioning them on what they knew. They've told their story so many times it was practically truth with how easily it came to them. Years past and they never found the one who killed Vernon Dursley.
Petunia got her name changed to Evans, Dudley following with her. Everyone knew how much the remainder of her late husband upset Petunia, and they provided the grieving widow with their support. Then Petunia's boys turned eleven, and Dudley was getting ready for Great Oak Secondary School, and Harry was getting ready for Hogwarts.
"Will we see you again?" Dudley asked.
"Of course," Harry smiled. "Even if you can't go to Hogwarts I'm sure I have a house we could move into in the wizarding world,"
"I'd like that," Petunia smiled.
"See you at Christmas then Harry!" Dudley said.
The small family hugged and said their goodbyes. Petunia watched as one boy boarded a train and the other ran through a stone pillar to board another. She was going to miss her boys, but she'd see them soon. She should start getting ready to move, there was a lot of stuff that needed packing after all.
Chapter 2: Corvus Black on the Train
Harry looked through his stack of paperwork. He'd taken on the Heirship of the Black Family, which he'd inherited through his great-grandaunt and his godfather because the rest of the family was disowned, arrested, or dead. He'd changed his name officially when he took on the Heirship. Members of the Black Family had names associated with stars, so he changed his name to Corvus because it meant raven and ravens had black feathers which honestly fit with the whole family theme. Harry James Potter still existed, a figurehead, and Icon for the people to worship and a name they flock to. Officially, Harry Potter, the-boy-who-lived was being privately tutored due to his worry over the Death Eaters seeking revenge on the half-trained child who killed their Master.
Corvus Sirius Black was the hidden heir of House Black. Messy black hair and an enchanted piercing above his eye made his green eyes appear silver. Another enchanted piercing, this one in his ear, made his lighting bolt disappear. Aunt Petunia had been most delighted while they explored the shops of the Alley, and Corvus had bought her several medieval styled gowns and a few suits for his cousin and himself. Enchanted amulets, necklaces, and other pieces of jewelry were bought before they moved on to the books. Most of the books he needed were about his family and those he'd found in the forms of journals in the Main Vault. He'd gotten his school books and they moved on. Corvus found a fierce snowy owl he named Hedwig. He'd sent her on ahead of the train and hoped to see her at Hogwarts. His Aunt got a few snakes Corvus had requested to protect her. Having his Aunt coo over him talking to snakes was embarrassing, but his cousin just laughed at him. Corvus had kicked the larger boy in the shin.
After they had gotten everything Corvus would need for Hogwarts, they returned to the bank where the Goblins had finished auditing the vaults. Harry Potter and Corvus Black were both rich. With people signing away nearly everything they owned when they died to Harry Potter, the Potter's became almost as rich as a Noble. The Black Family were Noble, which meant there was a lot of legacies. He had paperwork though, which wasn't fun. He had to go through the family tree and review all his predecessors' decisions. Right now he was trying to reinstate members of his Family. Squibs? Married a Muggle/Muggleborn/Being? Was sorted into a non-Slytherin or Ravenclaw house? All were brought back into the family. The paperwork for each one was tedious though. First, he had to request information on the person from the bank, from the ministry, and from Hogwarts, so he could fill out the reinstatement request. Then he had to approve of the person getting whichever stipend they qualified for from the family vaults. Honestly, it was quite difficult but it gave him practice with using a quill so that was good. It also allowed him to figure out who he was related to and who he was supposed to be protecting. As Head of the Family, Corvus was the one proving protection and guidance, which was kinda like how things ended up being with Aunt Petunia. She just needed someone to be there for her, and she became a much better person.
His concentration on his paperwork was interrupted by a knock at the door. No one had come this far down the train since the Prefects did their rounds. Curious he cleaned up his improv desk and opened the door. A redhead with freckles all over his nose stood there, his face flushed in embarrassment, as he spoke.
"Could I sit with you? My brothers kicked me out of their compartment,"
"I don't mind," Corvus said. "Come in, I'm doing paperwork though so I may not be the best companion,"
"That's alright," the redhead sat down and pulled out a rat from his pocket. "I'm Ron, Ron Weasley,"
The redhead stared at him for a while, but Corvus ignored it.
"What House do you think you'll be in?" Weasley asked.
"Not sure, I could make any House work to be honest,"
"What do you mean 'work'?"
"If I went into Hufflepuff, then I could easily make friends with a wide range of people as well as find out what parts of society need the most help," Corvus shrugged. "If I went into Ravenclaw I could find out the same information about those in need, as well as have a team of people willing to help me come up with ways to fix the problems," Corvus signed another document before continuing. "If I went to Slytherin I would have to work harder to figure out who needed help, but I'd also be in the position to improve the Slytherin reputation and create strong political connections that would help me deal with various immoral practices within our world," Weasley looked like he wanted to protest but Corvus didn't let him. "If I went into Gryffindor I'd probably have access to favoritism and people willing to fight for my cause,"
"There's a way to help people by being Slytherin?" Weasley asked in disbelief.
"Politics," Corvus explained. "Are an intense battle of wits. Everyone wants something, whether it be money, power, or friendship, there's always something someone wants. Slytherin was originally a House that taught young Politicians how to figure out how to navigate the world of politics, using what you have to get someone else to see your point of view and aid you towards a common goal,"
Weasley nodded, seemingly following along.
"How would a non-Slytherin figure that out?"
"It would be much harder but its possible," Corvus set the document to the side and grabbed another one. "Are you asking because you want to enter politics?"
"I don't know much about politics but it sounds interesting," Weasley admitted. "At least the way you explained it,"
"There are two parts to how our government is run," Corvus's next explanation was cut off by the door being opened by a bushy-haired girl.
"Has anyone seen a toad? A boy's lost one and I'm helping him find it,"
"No, but the Prefects in cabin Two should know the summoning charm," Weasley said.
"That's a great idea! Thanks," She said but hesitated at the door.
"It's alright," a boy said, probably the one who lost his toad, "I'll go to the Prefects,"
"I was just about to explain Magical Government, if you'd like to join us," Corvus offered. The girl brightened and happily sat down.
"I'm Hermione Granger!" She introduced.
"Corvus Black," Corvus bowed his head before starting his explanation over. "Our government has two parts, the Minister, and the Wizingamot. The Minister is elected by anyone without a Noble title, as is supposed to be the voice of the people. The Wizingamot is full of the Nobles and where most of the politics take place. Unfortunately, most of the titled lines are dying and no one seems to be doing anything to either bring back those lines or earn a Noble title and start a new line,"
"How would someone start a new Noble line?" Granger asked.
"The Black family earned their Nobility by using Black Magic for the protection of the Magical Community during the Witch Hunts of the early hundreds," Corvus said. "The Weasley family earned their Nobility through their mass production of food, their farms making it easier for our people to separate ourselves from the muggles who wished to execute us,"
Weasley was shocked, so apparently, he didn't know his family had a Noble title. Suprise?
"So do something that can help the magical world?" Granger asked.
"Not just anything though," Corvus explained. "It has to be something that the community recognizes as being Important. Even the Potter boy defeating the false lord didn't earn the Potter's Nobility,"
"Something more important than ending a war?" Granger clearly thought that was an impossible task.
"Yeah....anyway back on topic, the Nobles are dying out generation by generation and the Minister is elected by the people. The Nobles vote on everything, usually, it's majority wins but there are certain situations where only a unanimous decision will see anything get done. A Noble has a set number of votes based on how many people their Estates provide for. One vote for every one hundred civilian people. For example, the Blacks currently have eighteen civilian ranked family members, one hundred- eighty - two employees, and twelve sponsorships. Rounding down to the nearest hundred means two hundred people, equals two votes for the Black Family. There are several people who boast about the number of votes their families used to have, but they're usually the ones who don't realize their vote numbers changed until the enter the Wizardingamot themselves. Most of the Magical world isn't working for a Noble or depending on a Noble. The Black family has the most votes, some Nobles don't even have a vote to use anymore but are required to show up due to having a Title,"
Corvus sighed when he noticed the two other eleven-year-olds were dazed. Maybe that was too much information? He went back to his paperwork until another person knocked at the door. Granger and Weasley seemed to be talking to each other, recovering from the shock of his information dump probably. He'd let them be for a while. Opening the door Corvus found himself face to face with a blond haired and silver-eyed boy.
"Greetings," the blond said. "I'm Malfoy, Draco Malfoy,"
"Black, Corvus Black," Corvus said. "Pleased to meet you Heir Malfoy,"
"Likewise Heir Black,"
Corvus was silent for a minute, a patient smile on his face he learned from his Aunt, as he waited for Heir Malfoy to explain his presence outside Corvus's cabin.
"I'm looking for Potter," Heir Malfoy said. "Have you seen him?"
"Nope! Sorry cousin," Corvus said. "I heard cousin Potter was being tutored,"
"I had hoped he'd change his mind,"
"With Fudge as Minister? Unlikely, that man would most likely let the Dementors lose if someone waved a bag of galleons in his face,"
Malfoy smirked with a huff of laughter.
"I suppose that's a fair point," Heir Malfoy said. "See you later then Cousin,"
"See you later then,"
Making it back into the cabin, Corvus was asked to re-explain how the Nobility worked and functioned.
"If someone wants a sponsorship from the Black Family, they'd have to send an application to the Head of the Family with an Essay on whatever project they want to be sponsored for. If the person becomes a potions master while under sponsorship, the Family would expect them to do something with that Mastership. Opening a potion shop would mean the Black Family owns the Potion Shop, but the Potion Master runs it however they wish. That would then benefit the Black Family because another Bussiness means more people working for the Black family, which means another potential vote in the Wizingamot,"
"I see," Granger said with a frown. "So the twelve sponsors the Black Family currently have?"
"Will all do something with their education for the betterment of the Black Family," Corvus said. "Whatever it may be,"
The train neared Hogsmead station so the trio took turns changing into their uniforms. It was almost time for the Sorting and the Hogwarts Welcoming Feast.
Chapter 3: The Sorting Ceremony
Corvus smiled at the half-giant calling for the first years and got into a boat with Weasley and Granger. If they got into the same house or remained on friendly terms after being sorted into different houses, then he'd let himself get attached. He'd read too many journals with varying accounts on how the tentative friendships his ancestors had made on the train were lost once the sorting happened. He really didn't want to face that pain when Aunt Petunia was so far away. Pushing the homesickness down, he focused his eyes on the castle looming in the distance. It was enchantingly awe-inspiring, he thought. Standing tall, with its lights and the stars behind it and the sheer magic in the air.
The first years were lead from the boats into a side chamber where a stern-faced woman stood waiting for them.
"Firs' years dis' Fosser McGonagall,"
"Thank you, Hagrid," Professor McGonagall said. "The start of term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory and spend free time in your house common room. The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours. The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting,"
Corvus's mind lingered on the term Family and smiled at the thought people like Aunt Petunia or Dudley. Someone special, different, people who would care about him. He jumped when someone screamed. About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glancing at the first years. Corvus shook off the shock, remembering what he'd learned from the few mentions of ghosts in his ancestors' writings. A ghost is an imprint of a person's soul left behind by their magic. There have been a few cases of a person's Familiar dying and becoming a ghost if the bond between Human and Familiar is strong enough.
Professor McGonagall walked back into the side chamber and the first years followed her into the Great Hall. The students were called up one by one. Sitting on a stool and trying on a hat. The sorting hat declared the student's house and the next one was called by. Corvus was relieved that things, like fighting a troll or taking a test, weren't actually how students were sorted.
Corvus walked up to the stool and thought back to the different Houses. Hufflepuff would mean making friends with a wide range of skills, Ravenclaw would mean a team of people to help research and develop solutions. Slytherin would mean being in the position to create strong political connections and Gryffindor would mean access people willing to fight for his cause. No matter which House he went to, he'd be able to make it work.
"That's quite the thought out plan,"
Corvus blinked. Since when did he have a voice in his head?
"I'm the Hat," the voice said. "And you are a very interesting child. You're loyal but only to those you consider Yours. You're hardworking, but only when you believe it's necessary. Hufflepuff is not for you. You're brave, even if it's a bit twisted. Gryffindor is a possibility, but you're smart. Clever even, to have so many plans rolling around in your head. Modernizing the Ministry, increasing protections around our world, bringing back traditions and increasing the Magical population. All these ideas and plans, yet you've only truly been a part of the Magical community for a year. That ambition and cunning will do you well in-
Corvus smiled at Professor McGonagall as he handed her the sorting hat. She didn't look surprised at his sorting, considering most of House Black were Slytherins. Granger was sorted into Ravenclaw, and she gave a wave from her table. Corvus grinned. Granger's friend from the train, the boy with the missing frog, Longbottom Neville, was sorted into Gryffindor. Corvus made a mental note to attempt befriending the nervous boy. If Granger was going to stick around as a friend then he could attempt befriending her other friends. Cousin Malfoy was sorted into Slytherin and sat at the snakes' table with a confident smirk.
"How much would you bet that Headmaster Dumbledore never removed Cousin Potter's name from the list?" Corvus asked.
"Two hundred galleons says he did remove Cousin Potter's name," Malfoy said.
Soon enough it came to the Ps.
"Potter Harry!" Professor McGonagall called.
No one stepped forward.
Malfoy huffed but pulled out his coin pouch.
"I don't know why the Headmaster didn't remove Potter's name," Malfoy said. "Doesn't he know how rude that is?"
"If he does he clearly doesn't care," Corvus slipped his winnings into his own coin pouch.
Corvus was nervous about Weasley's sorting. Would they still be able to become friends when Weasley went to Gryffindor? Would they become enemies or rivals? Would Weasley hate him? Corvus could grin and bear it with the best of them, but honestly, he'd rather be friends with Weasley and Granger.
A redhead at the Gryffindor table started hyperventilating, and the redheaded twins were laughing themselves to an early grave. The rest of the hall was too stunned to react. Corvus stood up and smiled. He began clapping, slowly, for his new friend. Malfoy stood as well, and soon the entire table was standing and politely welcoming Ron Weasley to the table. The first Slytherin Weasley in five-hundred years, Corvus believed. Even then, that Weasley had been raised by a member of House Black.
"What if I'm disowned?" Ron asked in a faint whisper.
"Claim your Heirship before your parents get the disownment paperwork finished," Corvus said. "I can take you with me to Gringotts this weekend,"
Weasley still looked faint, but he nodded. When dinner was served, after a suspicious comment from the Headmaster about the third floor, Ron began to relax.
Chapter 4: Welcome to Slytherin
The Slytherin common room was in the dungeons. Like that's not ominous at all.
"The password is Pureblood," The fifth-year explained. Corvus couldn't stop the scoff even if he wanted too. Enforce the narrow-mindedness that is leading to the fall of their society? No thank you.
The parseltongue terrified a few, surprised others, and made the snake portrait change position.
A dark-haired girl fainted into the arms of a surprised Italian boy.
"Could I and my friends be granted access to the common room?"
The snake twisted around the painting before opening. Corvus grabbed Draco's wrist and Ron's arm, leading the two boys with him into the common room. They walked through a curtain of magic, and a snake statue moved.
" Speaker and his friends will always be welcome in the Slytherin House, no password necessary,"
"Even if they're from a different House?"
Corvus nodded and relocated his surprised friends away from the entryway.
"You speak snake," Ron said.
"I do," Corvus shrugged. "It was bound to show up somewhere in my family line, considering the Wedlock Scandal of 754,"
At their blank look Corvus sighed. Was he the only one interested in the history of his Family? He'd thought at least Draco would know of it since it involved the Hellsworth Family that helped the Malfoy Family escape the Witch Hunts in France.
"I'll tell you later," Corvus said. Their Head of House, Professor Snape, was there, as were their new housemates.
"Welcome to Slytherin House," Professor Snape said. "Should an issue arise between you foolish children, don't get caught while dealing with it. Your actions reflect on the Slytherin House, for better or worse, you will be held accountable for your actions. Lights out is at nine-thirty, those of you with responsibilities outside of Hogwarts must arrange for such to not interfere with your studies. The common room floo is available starting tomorrow morning if you need to use it, tell a Prefect so they can key you into the system. They'll also teach you how to use the Record Book. If I find out you've used the floo without filling out the Book you'll be banned from using the floo for the rest of your time as a Hogwarts Student,"
"Am I understood?"
Professor Snape scanned the crowd before he stormed off. A Perfect picked up the explanation of Slytherin House's rules.
Four boys to a room meant Corvus got to room with Ron, Draco, and the Italian boy Blaise Zabini.
"So," Draco said as he jumped into bed. "Are you going to share the story or not?"
Ron climbed onto his own bed, and Corvus grinned as he realized his friends picked the beds closet to his own. Ron on his right, with Draco in the bed across the room.
"Alright," Corvus began. "In the 700's it was the first rise of the Witch Hunts. Back then, Magic was only practiced among Clans. In 754 Randall Black fell in love with the married Evangalina Slytherin, the young woman was been unhappy in her marriage since she found out her husband, Allanon Hellsworth preferred Helenfer Longbottom. When the Clan heads, Black, Longbottom, and Slytherin found out about the affairs it was the first Blood Feud in recorded history. It lasted ten years when in 764 Elminster Potter helped Evangalina Slytherin end her marriage to Hellsworth and remarry to Black. Hellsworth married Longbottom, and with the Clan Heads satisfied with the new arrangement, the Blood Feud ended,"
"How do you know all that?" Ron asked.
"What else was I supposed to before Hogwarts?"
Corvus fell asleep that night with a smile. Tomorrow was the start of classes, and for all his plans to change the world, first, he had to learn magic.
Chapter 5: Voldemort changes tatics
Voldemort viewed his new body in the mirror. Quirrell was a weedy young man, and though the body won't last that long, once he got the Stone he'd be able to repair the damage. Killing Quirrell's soul and taking over his body had always been a just in case option. With the Potter boy in hiding, Voldemort was free to take his time. He wouldn't have to depend on a quick escape with his prophesied enemy nowhere to be found.
Dumbledore has clearly hidden the stone in the Third Floor Corridor, behind traps. Figuring out those traps should be easy enough, so in the meantime, he'd arrage a meeting with his Death Eaters. Maybe stage a breakout of Azkaban while he was at it. That should send the public into a frenzy, and while Minister Fudge sought a way to salvage his reputation Voldemort or one of his Death Eaters could swoop in and save the idiot from himself.
Then there was the whole problem with Dumbledore. Best way to convince the old man Voldemort was dead would be to replace the Stone with a fake and keep his plans to the shadows as much as possible. He could do that easy enough by having his Death Eaters focus on recruitment and training until they were ready for attack. Assuming the Order will be as much of a pain as last time, he'd need to send spies into Dumbledore's army and figure out their numbers and skills. Did Dumbledore have any plans in place for the Potter boy? Definitely, something to find out.
Voldemort began getting ready for his first DADA class, First year Slytherins and Gryffindors. What should his first lesson even be? Creatures? Beings? Laws? The Laws surrounding underage magic should be a fun topic to discuss, considering their first years. He also had several pure-bloods in this class, which meant there would be a clear separation between those who could do magic during the summer and those who can't.
If the Nobles sworn into his service haven't suffered too bad financially, he'd be able to start arming them with better uniforms and protections, stock up on potions and turn an old but still useable mansion into a Headquarters.
"So much to do," Voldemort smirked. "And all the time in the world to do it,"
Chapter 6: School Starts
"I still can't believe the bias against Muggle-borns," Hermione said. "I found a book, The Laws Explained, and it's so outdated!"
"Outdated by Muggle standards or magical ones?" Corvus asked.
The brown-eyed girl blinked once in confusion before understanding dawned.
"Right," she nodded. "The magical world functions on a Feudalism type system, to dismiss the laws that maintain that order would mean anarchy from those who rely on that system for survival,"
"That's right," Corvus said with a smile.
Hermione bit at her lip with a shy grin.
"There are some laws that need to change, which is one of the things I hope to accomplish in my life," Corvus said. "Magic shouldn't be outlawed in the MAGICAL world, regulated? Sure, depending on the type of magic, but most of what's been outlawed are only petty spells or traditions and that's not right,"
Draco, Ron, and a very confused Neville were following the discussion as the group walked through the halls. It was their free period, and they were looking for a room to hang out in.
"And the laws about Muggle-borns?" Hermione asked.
"I think families that have magic should be brought into the magical world much sooner," Corvus said. "And I think the magical world needs to distance itself further from the muggle world,"
"Because the muggle world has always been our enemy," Corvus turned to face the group. "Witch hunts every few hundred years, we're bound for another one any year now. The muggle world creates new ways to torture and kill. our population is falling, Only three thousand magical people in our community and decreasing. Our people aren't helping those numbers by casting out squibs or pushing away the Muggleborns. I want to bring anyone who has Magical blood back into the magical world. If a Muggle can have a magical child then they must have enough magic in their blood to have another. If we can increase our numbers, grow our community, invest in improving our world our way, then we'll be so much happier than if we kept trying to copy the muggle world. We're not the muggle world,"
"I agree," Ron said. "We shouldn't hunt the muggles, but we shouldn't copy them either,"
"Sounds like a lot of work," Draco said. "Where do we even begin?"
"P-probably w-with an f-following," Neville blushed.
"I have a newspaper," Corvus shrugged. "The Nova Report, it's not all that popular though,"
"We'll just have to make it popular then," Hermione said.
The week ended with a lesson in Herbology, where Neville seemed to excel. Saturday came and Corvus gathered his things for his meeting. He made sure his obsidian tipped piercings were in place but hidden. The one across his upper ear and the one at the end of his eyebrow changed his eye color and disguised his lightning bolt scar. He wore a suit and grabbed his paperwork case. Ron was waiting in the dorm room, and Corvus sighed.
"If you're going to a meeting you have to take into account how you're appearance will be perceived," he explained. "Bad business decisions had your Father removed as Heir of Weasley,"
"I know," Ron said. "I talked to Percy about it. I just don't have anything fancy like you or Draco,"
Corvus frowned. He grabbed a spare suit from his wardrobe and tossed it at Ron. The redhead was torn between refusing the charity and accepting the aid.
"It has resizing charms on it," Corvus said. "I want it back once you get your own,"
Ron nodded before stepping into the bathroom to change.
"You have any business Draco?" Corvus asked.
"No," Draco smirked. "My Father runs the House,"
"Guess you'll be having fun without us,"
Ron followed Corvus out of the dorm room and to the c ommon room. Sliver eyes blinked in shock at what was waiting for them in the common room. Corvus had taken Hermione and Neville through the portrait a few days ago when he left behind a book on Sponsorships the two had wanted to read. Corvus hadn't thought Hermione would choose to enter the Slytherin common by herself though. the Ravenclaw stood tall in the face of the less than pleased Slytherins around her. She held a stack of parchment and the book he'd loaned her in one arm and wore her Ravenclaw uniform transfigured into a dress suit.
"I wish to accompany you to Gringotts," Hermione said. "Please,"
"You're welcome to join us, Hermione," Corvus grinned.
A perfect reluctantly keyed the three first years into the floo system and pulled the Record Book from above the fireplace.
"You fill out your name, your year, your destination, and your reason for leaving. If you are under seventeen and not the Heir of your House then you need to include a letter from your Lord, Lady, or Parent giving you permission to leave Hogwarts grounds,"
Corvus glanced at Ron, who was holding a letter in his shaking hand, to Hermione who held out a letter proudly. Corvus went first, hesitating on his reason for leaving before writing down 'Family business'. He passed it to Ron, who stuck his letter on top of his page before the book was handed to Hermione. She took five minutes to write out her page, but she closed it with a snap and beamed at the annoyed Prefect.
Stepping into the fireplace with a handful of floo powder Corvus imagined his office.
"Super Nova," and then the green flames whisked him away.
Ron and Hermione came stumbling out of the floo behind him, and while they looked around his office Corvus dusted the soot off of them.
"Alright, let's go,"
He leads them through the newspaper building, idly showing them around as they left. Gringotts is a few blocks away, but they get there soon enough.
"I have a meeting to get too," Corvus says. "Think you'll be alright?"
"We've got it Corvus," Hermione smiles. "Thank you for bringing us here,"
Corvus turned and headed through to his Account Manager's office. Legally reinstating his family will mean magically reinstating them once Corvus puts the Heir Ring back on. They'd all feel it the moment they were accepted back into the Family, or added to the family for the first time.
Chapter 7: Bonds of Family
A silver ring, with a black jade stone, was dropped into a bowl of glowing water.
"I welcome home Andromeda Dorea Tonks nee Black,"
The bowl flashed white.
Andromeda was having dinner with her Ted when she felt a punch to her chest. She braced herself against the table, gasping for air, as Ted rushed to her side.
"I welcome home Edward Anthony Tonks, Husband of Andromeda Dorea Tonks nee Black,"
Ted stumbled a step before he fell against the wall. His eyes wide as an unfamiliar feeling coursed through his skin.
"I welcome home Nymphadora Andromeda Tonks, daughter of Andromeda Dorea Tonks nee Black,"
Dora was in combat training when she collapsed. Her team came to her aid, calling for a healer when she started shaking and hyperventilating.
"I welcome Henry Creevey, the descendant of Phineas Blavatsky nee Black,"
Henry was drinking tea with his lovely wife when he had a heart attack, Julia moved to call the doctor.
"I welcome home Julia Creevey, wife of Henry Creevey of Black,"
Julia's old woman knees gave out under her as her lungs constricted. A chill rattled her old bones, as something crept through her.
"I welcome home Robert Creevey, son of Henry Creevey of Black,"
Robert was having lunch with his family when he started coughing. The boys started panicking, and Hillary grabbed him a drink of water.
"I welcome home Hillary Creevey, wife of Robert Creevey of Black,"
Hillary dropped the glass of water, suddenly lightheaded as her fingers went numb.
"I welcome home Colin Creevey, son of Robert Creevey of Black,"
Colin's eyes rolled before he fell, his younger brother Dennis catching him and guiding him to the floor. The young boy was shaking in fear as he watched his family around him.
"I welcome home Dennis Creevey, son of Robert Creevey of Black,"
Dennis sank to the floor as his head began throbbing. He pressed his palms against his temples and cried.
"I welcome home Amber Hitchens, the descendant of Isla Hitchens nee Black,"
Amber was too old to be chasing after a toddler. Jennifer screamed as her grandmother collapsed in the yard coughing up blood.
"I welcome home Andrew Hitchens, son of Amber Hitchens of Black,"
Andrew ran out of the house when his daughter screamed, only to join his mother as he fell to his knees.
"I welcome home Jennifer Hitchens, daughter of Andrew Hitchens of Black,"
Jennifer kicked and screamed as something slimy crawled up her back.
"I welcome home Petunia Evans, consort of Black "
Petunia gasped, her eyes blown wide, as magic wrapped around her. Pain and pleasure coursed through her and she laughed.
"I welcome home Dudley Evans, son of Petunia Evans,"
Dudley sank to the floor, his punching bag swinging in front of him. Magic punched through his chest and he struggled to steady his breathing.
"I welcome home Irma Dorea Black, daughter of Cassiopeia Black,"
Viper was at a bar at Mafia Land, when a gaping hole in their chest was suddenly filled with a familiar but so different energy. They glared at the bartender, paying their bill before leaving. Something happened in England, and Viper refused to make assumptions.
"I, Heir Corvus Sirius Black, welcome you into the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black," Silver-eyes glowed with magic. The silver ring was slipped onto the boy's finger. The black jade glinted in the light.
"I hope to meet you soon," he smiled. "If you survive that is,"
Chapter 8: Heir of House Weasley
Ron sat in his Account Manager's office, a bag of journals at his feet and a stack of documents in his lap. The last Lord Weasley was Uncle Jackson, who became Lord Weasley instead of his brother, Ron's Dad because decided he'd rather live on the farm rather than run the family. Grandfather had decided that if Arthur wanted to live as a commoner then he would do so completely which is why they don't have access to the Main Vault. Because Uncle Jackson didn't have any kids and refused to marry, the right of Heirship returned to Arthur's family.
Arthur, due to having refused the Heirship already, was no longer eligible for it. Bill refused it by becoming a curse breaker for Gringotts. Charlie refused it by going to work with Dragons in Romania. Percy never showed up to claim it before he turned fifteen, which was the lastest an Heir could claim their title. Fred and George, while still being thirteen, made it no secret their desire to open a joke shop. Ron was the only male heir of his family who not only wanted to but was able to claim the title.
"House Weasley is low on funds," HookFang said. "With twenty-four farms dying, eight civilians members, and zero dependents,"
"Hire people to run the farms, got it," Ron said. Learning his family history, reviewing his predecessors' past decisions, and figuring out how to grow his House. How did Corvus make this seem so easy?
Ron left the office and waited for his friends in the lobby by reading through the First Lord Weasley's journal. Corvus said something about farms being what earned the Weasley's Nobility, didn't he?
Hermione asked the teller what her sponsorship options were, and learned all Nobles offered some type of sponsorship. With her desire to be a more academic activist, Hermione decided to apply for a sponsorship from the Black Family. Filling out the document, including the essay she wrote on werewolves and possible ways to remove the curse, she handed the parchment stack to the teller. Now she just had to wait for the papers to get to the Lord of Black. Hopefully, she would be accepted, if not she could see about House of Abbott. Curing lycanthropy counted as healing arts right?
Her mission of the day done, she found Ron reading in the lobby. Now all they had to do was wait for Corvus so they could return to Hogwarts.
Chapter 9: Now Hiring
Corvus sent out letters to the new members of his Family, opened personal vaults for them and branch member vaults for their families, and invited them to speak with him whenever they wished. He then created several ads and sent them to the Nova Report. Sure, only a third of the population reads it, but news travels fast in such a small community.
Ron was also putting ads into the Nova, but also the Prophet and the Quibbler. Considering he needed at least two thousand farmers in order to feed their entire community, he needed his ads noticed sooner rather than later. When the Weasley farms start producing crops and livestock again, the price of food will go down due to it being 'locally grown' instead of getting it from Muggles. With the decrease in food prices, Hogwarts tuition will go down, which will mean more civilian students attending Hogwarts instead of the Trade schools. When the Trade schools run out of students, the Professors will seek out job positions at Hogwarts, will mean introducing a new variety of classes and increasing the quality of education of Hogwarts students.
"So, what exactly are House Elves?" Hermione asked. "A Muggle-Born's Guide makes them sound like slaves, but Nobility through the Ages makes them sound like servants,"
"They are servants," Corvus said. "But from a Muggle point of view, their slaves. House Elves have no need for currency as humans use it so they get 'paid' in something they actually need. Magic," Making sure his audience was still paying attention Corvus ran a hand through his hair. "House Elves used to be called Plaga esuriit, Hungry Pest because they gathered around the Magic Clans and ate the excess magic in the air. When Hughes Longbottom spoke to one of the 'Hungry Pest' he offered the small being access to willingly given magic runoff, in exchange for service to the Longbottom Clan. Not to be outdone, the other Clans did the same. No longer 'Pests' we now have House Elves who work for those with large numbers or strong magic for the willingly given excess magic,"
"Does your family have any House Elves?" Hermione asked.
"Only one, and he went insane from abuse and starvation long before I was born," Corvus sighed. "I was thinking about meeting a few and attempting to bond with one from Hogwarts but I'm not sure I can provide for one right now,"
"My family has a House Elf," Draco said. "How can you tell if it's starving or being abused?"
Hermione shot the blond a judgmental glare, but Draco was too worried to notice.
"The three big signs of starvation or abuse are, a desire for things recognized as comfort objects, decreased vocabulary or poor mental capabilities, and persistent hovering," Corvus said.
Draco's eyes widened before he quickly excused himself and left the library at a quick paced walk.
"M-my fam-family also h-has a Hou-house Elf," Neville said. "Sh-she ho-hovers ar-around me a lot wh-when I'm ho-home,"
"Why would your family think you're a Squib then?" Corvus asked.
"I di-didn't do a lot of ac-aciden-dental magic,"
"That should be expected if your House-elf is hovering around you," Corvus said.
"Oh! I get it," Hermione said. "With your elf eating your magic runoff, you didn't have enough build up for accidental magic!"
"Correct," Corvus nodded. "What I find confusing now, is how you have enough magic to feed an elf by yourself as a child yet not enough for spells,"
Neville shrugged but seemed to be confused by that too. Deciding to drop it, for now, Corvus went back to his paperwork.
Four of the young adults under Black Sponsorship were going to open or take over their businesses this year, which hopefully meant an increase in employees. Another document showed an updated census of his employees at Nova Report. There were still the same one-hundred-eighty-two employees from the census five years ago, except this time they were including their family information. That really changed the numbers. Wives, husbands, children, elderly, students at Hogwarts or at a Trade school. Add in the estimation of employes for the four new businesses and their families, that would be about six hundred people.
The good news is that his number of Political votes will increase. The bad news is that if the businesses fail or fall through then that's going to be a major blow to the Family's finances. Four buildings, each with wards and decorating to be added. It's a risk, but Corvus believed they'd be fine. If it really went wrong, then Corvus could just slap his 'Harry Potter' face on it and see if that helped. If the way people flocked to 'Harry Potter' when he first entered the Leaky Cauldron was any indication, then it should keep the new businesses running for a while.
"Hey," Hermione said as she put down her book. "What is the reversal animagus charm?"
"I don't know," Corvus said. "But I think the Prefects would,"
"Very well," Hermione nodded. "Ron, could you bring your rat? I want to see what the reversal animagus charm does to a normal animal for my transfiguration essay,"
"Alright," Ron shrugged, "You don't think it'll hurt Scabbers right?"
"It shouldn't," Hermione said as the two left. "It should only make Scabbers glow blue unless he has a familiar bond, then the color would be white,"
Corvus eyed the mess Ron left behind with a sigh. To clean it up or to leave it there, he thought.
"I wonder when we start Flying lessons?" Corvus asked.
"Ne-next week," Neville said.
"That's so far away though!"
"Only th-three days,"
"But I wanna fly now ," Corvus whined.
Neville laughed at him.
Chapter 10: Conspiracy I Say
Ron followed Hermione to Ravenclaw tower. Scabbers was napping in his pocket, charmed to be comfortable, soundless, and warm. He was interested in how the spell Hermione was doing her essay on would affect Scabbers. If he was a familiar that would explain how he lived so long.
They walked up to the Ravenclaw guardian and Hermione huffed.
"Samuels, a third year, changed the riddle," Hermione explained. "You can tell because the Statue is fighting it. Some riddles the statue just doesn't like to give,"
Ron frowned but could see the Statue grimacing and fighting to keep her lips shut.
"I have a stiff shaft. My tip penetrates. I come with a quiver. What am I?"
Ron blushed as red as his hair, squeaking as he watched Hermione cross her arms and glare.
"An Arrow," She spat. "I'm going to hex Samuels' arrow off,"
The statue opened the door, and Hermione dragged a still red-faced Ron up the stairs. Entering the common room, Hermione left Ron by the entrance to collect himself as she went to find a Prefect.
"Thank you, again," Hermione said to the seventh year at her side. "I couldn't find more than a mention of the spell in the library, but I found enough about animagi that I wanted to learn it. Oh! And Samuels' changed the Riddle again,"
"What was it this time?"
"A prick joke,"
The seventh-year groaned but didn't seem surprised.
"The rat?" the seventh year asked.
Ron pulled Scabbers out from his pocket and held the sleeping rat in his palms.
"It's a reverse swish followed by a tap and jab at the animal you're checking," the seventh year explained. "If it is positive, then there'll be a change, if it's negative then the colors white or blue will tell you why. I'll demonstrate first, then you can try, alright Granger?"
The seventh year did as she'd explained. Tapping and jabbing at the rat on Ron's hands. Then they screamed.
Filius Flitwick ran out of his common room office, to see the seventh years surrounding a short man with grubby skin, small watery eyes, and a pointed nose, with a squeaky voice. The unknown man had a large bald patch on his head, with dull, thinning hair. The seventh years had the man tied, bound, and secured to a chair. All six had their wands pointed at the man, who was stuttering and crying and begging for forgiveness. The Fifth and Sixth years were keeping the younger years out of the common room, the only first years in sight being the Slytherin Weasley, and Miss Granger.
"I remember where I recognized his name from," Weasley said, pale and shaking. "Corvus said something about a conspiracy. The Ministry arrested Sirius Black for killing Peter Pettigrew and twelve muggles without a trial due to 'outstanding evidence of guilt'. They never checked Mr. Black's wand, and they never found Pettigrew's body," Weasley's blue eyes glanced to the man crying in the chair. "If that's Pettigrew, then that means the Ministry declared War on House Black by arresting House Black's former Heir without a trial,"
Miss Granger easily transfigured her uniform into something easier to move in, before bolting out of the common room.
Filius made eye contact with one of the seventh-years, nodding and leaving them in charge, before he went to call the Aurors.
Hermione ran into Draco on her dash through the halls. She may not know as much about politics or Nobility code as her friends do, but she trusted them to keep her informed when it matters.
"Ministry declared war," She panted. "On Black," She dragged the blond with her as she kept running. "Have to tell Corvus,"
Draco nodded and ran ahead. Hermione dropped to her knees against the wall, out of breath but certain Draco would tell Corvus.
Draco had never been more thankful for his seeker's build than he was right now. As he slipped through the crowd of Hufflepuff's outside the History of Magic classroom, he thought about the message he was delivering. The Ministry can declare war on a Noble House one of two ways. One, they kill or wrongfully arrest a member of the Family, the higher the person's rank within the Family the worse the added insult. Two, they name the Lord of the Family a 'Most Wanted Criminal'. Seeing as the Prophet has been singing Corvus' praises for more than a year, that meant a Black was either killed or arrested. Corvus would have noticed someone of his Family being killed, so that meant someone was arrested. The current Blacks in Azkaban were...Bellatrix, and Sirius. Bellatrix was arrested for what she did to the Longbottoms, and she had a trial where she boasted and gloated about her devotion to the Dark Lord.
"Sirius Black," Draco said as he ran up to Corvus and Neville. "Sirius Black was wrongfully arrested by the Ministry,"
The Slytherin common room got eerily quiet as the ramifications hung in the air.
"Proof?" Corvus asked, his tone ringing in warning.
"Peter Pettigrew was found alive fifteen minutes ago," Hermione ran into the Slytherin common room with a few newspapers from the Library's archives. "The Auror's showed up and confirmed his identity. They haven't moved him from the Old DADA classroom by Ravenclaw tower. They also haven't contacted their superiors yet,"
"Who made the arrest of Sirius Black?" Corvus asked. His voice was devoid of his usual cheer. It was cold, and his eyes hard as he stared straight ahead.
"The three-man Auror team consisting of, Cino Contento, Bradley Ratke, and Jafari Tas," Hermione replied.
"Who was Minister?"
With each question, the Slytherins realized Corvus was already planning his response. Worried glances between friends and allies showed no one knew what to expect from the first year.
"Minister Millicent Bagnold"
"Who was Head of DMLE?" Corvus walked to the fireplace, grabbing the Record Book from the ledge.
"Bartemius "Barty" Crouch Senior,"
"Who was in charge of Azkaban?"
"Auror Rory Toma,"
Dropping the filled out Record Book back on the ledge, Corvus grabbed a handful of floo powder.
"I, Corvus Black, Heir of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, promise you this. There will be Blood,"
Hermione walked up to the Record Book, flipping to her previous entry she moved her permission paper to the new page and filled it out. She followed Corvus to the Nova Report. Draco wished he could aid his friend, as Hermione was able to, but couldn't. Like Ron and Neville, Draco was Heir to his own Family. The three boys couldn't get involved in a Seige against the Ministry without risking their lives. Draco and Neville would also have to keep the Lord, or Head, of their Family, informed of the situation.
"She better keep him alive," Ron said.
"She will," Draco said. "I know she will,"
Neville's steady presence at their side was a comfort as they remained hesitant to move. The three boys watched the floo, waiting for their friends to return and resenting the responsibilities that kept them from chasing after the duo.
Chapter 11: Unexpected Promotions
Sirius blinked at the figure climbing in through the tiny window of his cell. Only a really small first year could fit through that window, or a really emancipated dog.
"I can't believe I agreed to do this," A young girl said. "Blowing Auror Toma's head off I can understand. Climbing up the side of a cursed Castle with soul-sucking demons? You owe me an extremely rare book,"
A figure dropped into the cell, a boy in dragonhide armor, with familiar silver eyes.
"And I mean so rare it's considered one of a kind," the girl said as she too dropped into the cell. "Got it Black?"
"I get it, Hermione," The boy said. "remember what I said at Nova?"
"I do," Hermione, a girl with a hair like a lions mane, said. "No matter what you call yourself or what you look like, you'll always be my best friend,"
The boy smiled at her. He removed a small rod from his eyebrow and his eyes went from a familiar silver to a familiar green.
"Hey Padfoot," The boy said. "Do you remember me?"
"Harry?" Sirius asked. If this was a hallucination or a dream then he never wanted to wake up.
"Yeah, that's me. Glad you remember me because I only remember you as a large dog,"
Sirius barked a laugh.
"Right then," Harry said. "To get you caught up on current events. It's October 5th, 1991, Peter Pettigrew was found alive and is currently awaiting execution at Hogwarts. Corvus Black is Heir of Black and first-year Slytherin. I've refused public schooling for personal reasons. The Ministry hasn't given you a trial and according to the Noble Codes that means War with House Black,"
"Shortest war ever," Hermione said. "Harry and Corvus are total cheats,"
"Former Minister Millicent Bagnold told me where the prisoner records were kept before she lost her head. Bartemius Crouch Senior was a lost cause, but told me about the bribe from Anthony Parkinson that convinced him to skip your trial,"
"The boys blew up his head," Hermione added."The three Aurors who arrested you met a similar end as we left the ministry,"
"Now we're bringing you to a safe house," Harry said. "My Aunt is expecting you,"
Between one blink and the next Sirius was on a boat and sailing away from the island.
A few days past and Sirius realized it wasn't a dream. Hermione returned to Hogwarts as soon as they returned to the Mainland, with a reminder that Corvus owed her a book for her stress. Harry took Sirius to the Muggle world, then to a small suburban neighborhood where a beautiful young woman was waiting for them. He was fed, and took a shower, and given real clothes. When a week had passed, he was finally starting to get his head on straight.
"I had been planning on forging parents for my Corvus identity," Harry said during lunch. "Figured there were enough members of the family who never had kids or had squibs, it would work out. But now I was thinking that Sirius could be Corvus' Father because he's already my godfather, so it'd make sense right?"
"That makes sense," Petunia said. "but wouldn't that mean Sirius would take over as Lord?"
"In the Muggle world, it would have," Harry said. "But in the magical world if an Heirship isn't claimed by sixteen, or a Lordship by seventeen, then it moves on to the next in line,"
"Slow down a bit for this old dog," Sirius said. "Whose my kid?"
Harry pulled a small rod from his pocket and slipped it through a hole in his eyebrow. His green eyes turned silver.
"I'm Corvus Black," he removed the rod from his eyebrow and another rod from the top of his ear. Green eyes and a lightning bolt scar. "Now I'm Harry Potter The-Boy-Who-Lived when his parents didn't," He put the metal back and returned to being Corvus.
"Got it," Sirius said. "Corvus is my son, his mother was?"
"Pick whoever you want as long as their dead," Corvus-who-was-Harry-in-disguise said. "If you don't mind I have to get back to school,"
"Thank you for visiting me dear," Petunia said as she hugged the boy. "I'll see you during Christmas break right?"
"That's the plan," Corvus said. "I'll...send you letters, kay Dad?"
Sirius gulped and nodded, tears about to spill from his eyes.
"Ha-have a good time at school...son,"
Corvus nodded, and an impulsive hug later, was in the fireplace and returning to Hogwarts.
Chapter 12: The Nova Report
Ministry Declared War on House Black
Reporter Richard Jones
The Ministry of Magic declared war on the House of Black and for ten years no one noticed! Yesterday, at two-thirty-six in the afternoon, Peter Pettigrew was found alive in Ravenclaw Tower. The Aurors who arrived on site confirmed that while Peter Pettigrew had been declared dead, his body had never been found. Sirius Black had been arrested, without a trial, based on circumstantial evidence. Mr. Black, as a member of House Black, falls under the protection of the Noble Code which requires all members of a Noble House be given a Trial with their Head of House present. Due to being one of the Heirs of the Black Family, his arrest should have raised more outrage from his Family. The War with The False Lord left the numbers of the Black Family few. When Heir Corvus Black found out his Father had been wrongly arrested, he invoked the Noble Code to stage his counterattack.
Former Minister Millicent Bagnold, Former Head of the DMLE Bartemius Crouch Senior, Senior Auror Captian Rory Toma, and the three-man Auror team Cino Contento, Bradley Ratke, and Jafari Tas were found with their heads piked on spikes outside the Ministry of Magic early this morning. Attached to the former Minister's head was a note from Heir Black.
"Threaten, harm, or wrong any of Mine again and I won't be so nice,"
An exclusive interview with Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived, reveals another side of the story. Potter says "Sirius Black was-is my godfather, but he's Corvus' Father first. What the Ministry did to Corvus was like what V------t did to me. This just proves why I can't trust the Ministry, they're just like V-------t,"
*This writer has omitted the name for the sake of our readers, our young hero is so very brave to speak the name without fear.*
For Potter to compare our Ministry to You-know-who, things must have really fallen in our community. What other wrongs is our Ministry hiding? What other betrayals will they commit? Who else will suffer due to the Ministry's negligence?
Mr. Black is currently recovering from his time as a Prisinor of War at an undisclosed safe house of the Black or Potter families. Heir Back has returned to Hogwarts to continue his studies, and our young hero Harry Potter is back in hiding.
I don't know about you, my dear readers, but I'm glad I'm a dependant of House Black. With Heir Corvus Black looking out for me, I've never felt safer in my life.
Chapter 13: Trolls, Girls, and Pumpkins oh my!
Corvus didn't really want to get out of bed. This was the day he was orphaned, either as Harry Potter or as Corvus Black. Harry had his parents killed in front of him, Corvus' Father went mad in his grief. It was painful to think that, so many people were celebrating today and seemingly forgetting those they lost along the way.
"I think we need Neville," Ron said. "Corvus isn't responding to us,"
"And how do you propose we get into the Lion's Den?" Draco asked.
"I'm not standing in front of the Marble Lady like a fool all day,"
"You don't think you could solve a riddle?" Ron asked. "Guess chess is your only skill,"
"Is not! I can definitely solve the Marble Lady's riddle,"
"Are you sure? Because all I'm hearing is 'I can't, oh Ron your so smart you go solve the riddle',"
"I'll show you smart,"
Corvus pulled his blankets closer around himself as his friends left. He felt so numb right now, and he wasn't sure how to explain it to them. What was his mother like? Was she smart? Was she stubborn? What about his dad? Was he the jealous sort? Was he arrogant or just self-confident? Did his mother have any friends? What were they like?
Corvus wasn't sure how long he had been lost in thought, but Ron and Draco returned with Hermione and Neville.
"Are you serious?" Hermione said.
"No," Corvus groaned. "That's my Dad,"
There was a muffled laugh. Corvus could only imagine the look on Hermione's face as he refused to move.
"You did not just make that pun," Hermione said. "No, you didn't. I'm going to get lunch when you decide to get your angsty birds' nest out of bed I'll meet you there,"
"Well someone's in a mood today," Draco huffed. "Why am I surrounded by such drama queens? It's always the end of the world with you,"
Ron and Draco started bickering again. Neville sat on the edge of Corvus' bed with a sigh.
"My pa-parents are li-living in the lo-longterm rooms at Sa-saint Mungos," Neville said. "I need-never got to know-know them,"
Corvus climbed out from under his blankets.
"Dad has a few memory problems," Corvus said. "He doesn't remember who my mother was,"
Neville nodded and offered a hug. Corvus rested his head on Neville's shoulder.
"When I first found out my Dad was a 'traitor' I hated him," Corvus said. "Then I find out it was all a lie and now I find out my Mother was never added to the Family Records and he doesn't even remember who she was,"
"My Mother doesn't know who I am,"
The two boys sat in silence taking a quite comfort form the others' understanding.
Hannah watched as her best friend reread her copy of The Nova. Brown eyes would glance from the newspaper to the Slytherin table before she blushed. Having already read the Report, Hannah could guess which Slytherin was on Susan's mind.
"What are you going to have for lunch?" Hannah asked.
"A strawberry cream fruit salad with a turkey sandwich," Susan said, still stealing glances at the Slytherin table.
"And what is Black having for lunch?"
"Chicken salad, steamed potato with cheese and breadcrumbs, chocolate mint tea and three slices of watermelon,"
Hannah had to bite her lip to keep herself from laughing. For the past three weeks, Susan's been watching Black and its honestly the best thing ever.
"What classes do we have today?"
"Charms with Corvus,"
"Don't you mean with Slytherin?"
Susan squeaked. She pressed her face against the newspaper.
"Oh Merlin Hannah," Susan said. "Why do you do this?"
"Because you make it too easy," Hannah shrugged. "And it's hilarious,"
"If I made fun of your crush on Terry Boot you wouldn't think its so funny,"
"I'm over Boot," Hannah said. "But you wouldn't know that because you've been making cupid eyes at Black,"
"I have not,"
"What did we have for breakfast yesterday?"
"Wha- I don't remember,"
"What did Black have for breakfast yesterday?"
"Grape jelly on toast with two eggs and bowl of diced fruit,"
Hannah raised an eyebrow.
"She's got it bad," Megan, their dorm mate, laughed. "This is better than both the Scandal and Romance articles in the Nova,"
Charms went as it had nearly every class so far this year. Black finished the spell and then helped Weasley do the same, circumventing the need for a wand altogether by practicing wandless. If Hannah thought about it, Longbottom had also shown problems using his wand. Hadn't he managed yesterday's transfiguration wandless?
Hannah was brought out of her musing to see Susan trying to plan out a greeting.
"If you want to talk to Black then just talk to him," Hannah said. "You don't need to plan it out,"
"If I don't I'm going to be a stuttering blushing mess!" Susan said.
Seeing an opportunity as they were leaving the classroom, Hannah gave Susan a sudden push in the right direction.
When a red-haired girl came stumbling through the door, Corvus turned around. Catching the girl with one arm and her bag with the other, he sighed in relief.
"Careful there sweet-cheeks," Corvus said as he helped the girl to her feet. "Wouldn't want you to lose those cute freckles of yours all over the floor now would we?"
The girl's face steadily grew very red, until her hair looks more pink than red in comparison.
"Su-Su-Susan," the girl said. "I- I am a-ha- Bones," she squeaked.
"Stay safe Sweet-cheeks," Corvus said. He handed her bag back and lifted her chin with his fingertips. "And try not to fall down,"
Susan squeaked again, but Corvus smiled. Some people were like Neville and were just shy.
Susan watched as Corvus Black walked away. Gently touching her chin where he'd touched her, his words on repeat in her head.
"So, what did he say?" Hannah asked as they walked to the Halloween Feast.
"He...he called me sweet-cheeks," Susan's blush came back, but this time with a small smile. "He called me sweet-cheeks, Hannah, I can't even..."
Lavender Brown scoffed as she walked by. Stopping and turning around, the Gryffindor Golden Girl crossed her arms.
"Did chubby buddy Bones talk to Black?" Lavender asked. "Does she think she has a chance with the boy of her dreams?"
Lavender's entourage laughed behind her.
"Remember what I said last week Bones," Lavender said. "And back off,"
The Gryffindor girls sauntered off leaving Hannah confused as she comforted her best friend.
"Susan, what happened last week?"
"I'm ugly Hannah," Susan wiped her tears away. "I don't even know why I thought-"
Susan cut herself off, pushing Hannah away and fleeing. Hannah had never felt more useless in her life.
The feast was lonely without Susan by her side. Hannah had tried going after the redhead, but apparently, Susan had the protection of Moaning Myrtle. The teenage ghost had refused to let Hannah in, even creating a screen of ghostly mist to block her.
Professor Quirrell ran into the Great Hall, and straight to the head table. Everyone watched as the Headmaster locked the great hall doors.
"Students, the Troll from the third-floor corridor has broken free and is now roaming the Castle. Please remain in the great hall until the creature is captured,"
Hannah panicked. Ignoring the Perfect trying to talk to her Hannah ran towards the Slytherin table. Most would turn to a Gryffindor for something like this, but the Gryffindors were far from Hannah's mind.
"Black!" Hannah said. "Susan's in the second-floor girls' bathroom, she's going to be killed if the troll finds her,"
Black was out of his seat before Hannah finished her request.
"I'll bring Sweet-cheeks back," he promised.
Hannah believed him.
Susan buried her face in her arms, hiding in a bathroom stall and crying, she felt every once as hideous as Lavender said she was. Lavender was slim, with a button nose and a clear complexion. The Gryffindor Golden Girl was Witch Weekly's, Classic Lady. With rich golden blonde hair and a doll-like face, she was easily one of the four prettiest girls' in their year. Lavender was perfect, and Corvus Black, as Heir of his House, needed someone just as awe-inspiring as him by his side. Who better than the prettiest girl from Gryffindor?
No one, much less a Noble, wants an ugly civilian for a bride. What do you have to offer him? Oh, You’re a good person? That's nice, but your weight is actually a big turnoff. I'm not surprised you were sorted into Hufflepuff, the walk up to the Towers or to the Dungones would probably kill you. At least there's' one good thing about your body, it's not as ugly as your face! I mean, thank Merlin I don't have those disease-ridden spots if I did I'd have done my Father a service by dropping dead. Oh, wait? Aren't your parents dead? It's no shock they died with a daughter like you. Fat, ugly, and stupid too. I heard you were crushing on Black, and I wanted to let you know you'd never have a chance with him. Your pinning is pitiful, you'll only make yourself look worse than you are naturally.
Myrtle hoovered around the crying first year, sorrowful sympathy drawing her into her own wails of misery. A foul stench followed by slow thundering steps drew the two girls from their tears. A groan, a crash, Susan screamed. A green troll stood, dumbly staring at her. It held a large clobbering stick and swung it at the bathroom stalls. Myrtle dived into a toilet. Susan scrambled to get away from the shattered chunks of wood.
Corvus ran into the bathroom to see Susan crawling to the door, blood and tears falling from her terrified face. He grabbed a nearby piece of wood and rushed the troll. Stabbing the creature just below its knee, Corvus jumped back and did it again. The troll moved to slap at the small boy but missed. Slapping his large hand against the human-sized wooden sticks, the troll pushed them deeper into the calf muscle. Corvus grabbed Susan, and quickly lead the girl out of the bathroom. Running back into the bathroom, Corvus began using the levitation charm to jerkily remove the troll's 'splinters'. Tearing off his cloak, Corvus levitated it around the wounds and used a sticking charm on the cloak to keep it there.
the troll dropped its club and sat down on the floor. Blinking it's tiny beady eyes for a second before it reached out. Susan watched from the hallway with wide eyes as the troll picked Corvus up and raised the tiny boy to his face.
Corvus was quick to cast a bubble head charm as the troll picked him up, and smiled up at the big green guy.
"Erdy," the troll said. "ur Erdy ood. Gurk tect Erdy,"
Corvus wished his thrice great-granduncle had an interest in Mountian Trolls, instead of Water Trolls. Maybe the languages were similar? A sonorous on his throat, he hoped for the best.
"Em Gurk," the troll nodded. "ur Erdy,"
"Em Erdy," Corvus said. "ur Gurk,"
The troll nodded, then licked him. Being right always had a drawback, he thought. Corvus managed to get Gurk to put him down before the Professors showed up.
"Don't move!" Corvus said. "Gurk's a good boy, he's my new friend,"
"A friend?" McGonagall asked.
"Yes," Corvus nodded. "And his name is Gurk,"
McGonagall looked faint, Dumbledore's eyes were bright, and Snape actually looked about to laugh. At least, for a stoic-faced man. Does the lower edge of a lip quivering count as trying not to laugh?
"I see my boy," Dumbledore nodded. "And what will you do with your new friend?"
Corvus ran a hand through his hair. He had no idea how to get Gurk back his mountain, whichever mountain that was. Maybe finding Gurk a new mountain?
"House Black has an old coal mine, the Mountains there would be perfect for Gurk to make himself a new home," Corvus nodded. "I'll call my Dad,"
McGonagall, faint but still stern-faced, walked Susan to the clinic. Corvus headed outside, his new friend Gurk following like a slow moving dog. Pulling out a mirror, he held it to his face. The first time he uses the mirror, and it's for something like this.
"Pup!" Sirius cheered. "How are you?"
"I'm good. I made a new friend," Corvus said. "I wanted you to meet him. Think you could get to Hogwarts soon?"
"Sure, be there in a few minutes,"
So...I edited the Skull-Corvus name thing a bit (a lot) but otherwise, it's pretty much the same...I think... going forward, things should be interesting. I have plans, not sure about final parings yet but suggestions would help. So far I know, Corvus and Susan will have a 'sweetie first love' romance, but what happens after that is up in the air.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
Chapter 15: Family
"Aunt Petunia!" Colin said as he ran into the room. "Jennie is drinking the Pensive water again,"
"That girl," Petunia tutted as she set down her book. "Dennis, watch your Uncle Sirius for me, please? Make sure he doesn't wander off on us now won't you?"
"I will Auntie," Dennis said, turning away from the fireplace to stare at Sirius.
Petunia left the boys in the living room as she headed upstairs.
"So~," Colin said. "You're Heir Black's Father,"
"I am," Sirius said. Technically speaking anyway...
"He killed our parents you know," Dennis said. "It was really scary at first but then he showed up and told us about the Olde Magiks and the Family Bonds and stuff,"
"That's interesting," Sirius said. He wasn't really sure where this conversation was going, or what the two boys were trying to get from it. They didn't seem all that bothered by the deaths of their parents...
"When we move to the Manor I want the room closet to Heir Black's," Colin said.
"No! I want that room," Dennis pouted.
"The building prints say there are two rooms in the Heir wing, and a servants quarters," Colin said. "The second room will go to whoever Heir Black names his Heir, so that leaves the servants quarters. I want that room, and it's not big enough to share,"
"That's not fair! You always get everything,"
"Uncle," Colin said. "Who do you think should be your son's personal assistant?"
Sirius was saved from answering when his mirror flashed.
"Pup!" Sirius cheered. "How are you?"
"I'm good. I made a new friend," Corvus said. "I wanted you to meet him. Think you could get to Hogwarts soon?"
"Sure, be there in a few minutes," Sirius pocketed the mirror, glad for the escape, and grinned. "Looks like we'll have to continue this conversation another time,"
Colin was clearly displeased, his blue eyes narrowed and his arms crossed. Dennis was bouncing on his heels in excitement.
"Since Auntie left me in charge of you that's means I get to go with right?" Dennis asked. "Right?"
"That's not fair! I'm the oldest,"
"I'm the favorite,"
Sirius left the two bickering boys in the living room as he headed upstairs. He found Petunia in her bedroom with Jennie. The Pensive lay tipped over on the ground, and the magical water soaked into the carpet.
"I don't care if it tastes good Jennie," Petunia sighed. "You can't keep drinking the Pensive water,"
"but it tastes like Papa,"
"Brother. Corvus isn't old enough to be your Papa,"
"But the magic paper says he is," Jennie huffed. "I drank his blood and everything,"
Petunia ran a hand over her face. Sirius raised an eyebrow at the duo.
"When Corvus welcomed the kids into the family, in person, Jennie bit him," Petunia explained with a wave towards the armchair. "Normally that would be fine, but Jennie drew blood then licked it. Due to the Olde Magiks still fresh in her system it was recognized as a blood adoption. Completly bypassing the more traditional rituals,"
Sirius took a seat in the armchair and watched as Jennie nodded, quite proud of herself.
"Papa is Papa because magic said so," she said. "He's the best Papa ever,"
"He's eleven," Petunia said.
"He gave me magic," Jennie said.
Reasoning with a four-year-old was obviously not working, so Sirius decided he'd interrupt.
"I've been called up to Hogwarts," Sirius said.
"You'll be home for dinner won't you?" Petunia asked.
"Of course," Sirius said.
He left number four on the Knight bus, heading for Hogsmeade. He'd walk the rest of the way to Hogwarts, and meet Corvus at the gates. Who did Corvus want him to meet exactly? Why couldn't it wait until break?
Chapter 16: Hermione
Hermione was a rational girl. One plus one equaled two unless it was a full moon then it equaled eleven, or if it was a Solstice because then addition became subtraction. Adding the laws of magic into her view of the world took her all summer, but she managed.
She learned all she could about things the Magical World considered common knowledge.
One - Mudblood was an insult used to dehumanize a person whose blood or magic wasn't purely Human. It was ill-mannered to utter the word, and if spoken in the presence of a Noble who took offense then a Blood Feud was a strong possibility.
Two - Harry Potter was their Saviour, the perfect young Hero gifted to the magical people to protect them from the Dark Lords who sought to ruin the communities peaceful existence. Harry Potter feared the Ministry, hated the Prophet and hasn't been seen since September first, 1990. A whole year before what would have been his first year at Hogwarts.
Three - Heir Corvus Black of the House of Black was a mystery no one wanted to risk solving.
There were other things she learned too. Things like the Minister's name, the history of the War, and all she could about Hogwarts. Riding on the train to Hogwarts had been an experience, but meeting the 'high-risk mystery' was actually underwhelming with all the rumors she'd heard. Learning how the government worked was most informative, and she valued Corvus' patience because he had to explain it a few times.
That meeting changed her life more than she had expected. She went from being the outcasted know it all, to the research inclined best friend of the most popular boy in school. Sure, his popularity was mostly within their year, but still. He said something, and he was heard. He was smart, magic came so easily to him that he had to spend more time studying the theory behind the spells, which meant he was able to make connections between branches of magic that only their Professors or the sixth and seventh years knew about.
He didn't seem to notice when their post library meet up at the old charms classroom turned into a study club for their year mates. He was completely oblivious. Hermione had watched as it happened, how the ranks were formed, and the fact he didn't notice was a minor source of amusement. There was the Head table at the front of the room where Corvus, Ron, Draco, Neville, and herself sat. Then to the left was a table of three Gryffindor girls, Lavender Brown, Parvati Patil, and Rachel Clover. Lavender had seemed to be interested in Ron until Corvus got a tie-dyed 'Howler' in the Owl Post. Hermione remembered that breakfast very well.
It was a few days after their first trip to Gringotts. Corvus was oddly tired that morning but brushed off their concern. Breakfast went as expected until Corvus' snowy owl Hedwig flew in.
Hedwig dropped a sparking, multi-colored letter on Corvus' plate before turning tail and fleeing. The letter floated up.
"PAPA!" A really young girl's voice screamed.
"Not your Papa," A woman said. "Brother, he's eleven,"
"Magic doesn't lie, Auntie," The girl said with a 'duh' in her tone. "Anyway, Papa guess what? I locked Grand-foot in the barn with magic, and Auntie had to tear down the wall-"
Corvus had such a soft, fond smile on his face as the girl talked. He sat there, smiling as if everything was right in the world. Even when Hermione knew he was having trouble with the Charms assignment, or that his newest stack of paperwork had really upset him yesterday. He was smiling, and relaxed, and everyone in the great hall noticed.
Hermione shook herself out of the memory, bringing herself back to the essay in front of her. A glance around the classroom showed the 'Cliques' were still there. The three Gryffindor Girls sat with a smug superiority, due to the fact their table was closer to the Head Table. There was the Quidditch table, often full of debates on whose tea was better than whose was full of sports heads. Then there was the academics table, who Corvus drifted to when he felt his friends were occupied with their own work. The first time he had asked that group for help was definitely...special.
Corvus repeatedly tapped his quill against the desk. Hermione had gotten used to the sound, having heard it every day for a little over a month. A glance to the others showed they were also unbothered by their friend's stress tick. When the dark-haired boy pushed away from the desk, they all glanced at him. Corvus walked away from their table and walked straight towards the group of their classmates on the other side of the room.
Corvus marched over to a Ravenclaw boy, Terry Boot, and stared the blond boy into submission.
"Why does the wrist movement of the Hover charm differ from the Rocket charm?" Corvus asked his whispered question threatening in silence.
Terry was shaking so much he looked like a parchment in the wind. He squeaked an answer, Hermione couldn't hear, but Corvus nodded. He frowned, thinking about the answer Terry had given. The Ravenclaw looked faint.
"I see," Corvus said. "Much appreciated Terry Boot, I owe you one,"
At that Terry did faint, falling off his bench and onto the floor. Corvus paid the table no mind as he walked to another student.
"Is there something important about favors I should know about?" Hermione asked.
"Personal favors, House favors, and Life Debts," Ron said. "A personal favor is simple enough. If you were to owe a favor to say... Susan Bones, then if you pay it back or not isn't that big a deal,"
"Unless you acknowledge that it's there like Corvus is doing because that makes it a matter of personal honor," Draco added.
"House favors?" Hermione asked.
"When someone aids a Noble in a way where the entire House has been aided, then the entire House owes that person," Ron said. "Each member has to pay back the favor, but that's only for members who hold the Family Magiks,"
"And the Family Magiks are what makes the Family a Noble One, right?"
"Okay, and Life debts?" Hermione asked.
"A favor is something that can be paid back or not, it's an honor thing that reflects on the Family and the Person," Draco said. " A Life Debt is something that you don't have a choice about paying back. Your magic will seek to pay back a life debt, one way or another,"
Corvus' sudden return interrupted them, as he sat back in his seat and finished his essay. Hermione glanced around the room to see several students either panicking or paralyzed with fear.
"What did you do to them Corvus?"
"I asked for help," he shrugged. "Not my fault our classmates are weird,"
After that event though, their classmates walked up to the Head table for some help of their own. Corvus cheerfully lectured on Government, current Politics, and the terrifying history of the Witch Hunts. With how he explained the Muggle world’s fondness for destruction and their new weapons of death, Hermione realized how easy it could be for another Witch Hunt to kill off their small population.
"My dad's on his way to see Gurk," Corvus said as he, and his friendly Mountian Troll, walked into the Gathering Room. Hermione eyed the troll warily. She trusted Corvus more than her books, but there were a lot of documents detailing how dangerous the Trolls were as a species.
"And what exactly do you plan to do with...Gurk?" Hermione asked.
"He's moving to an old Coal mine mountain my House owns,"
Hermione wondered if she should start getting used to these types of things just happening.
Sirius Black did show up, and he did meet Gurk. The troll licked the man like a dog would, and Sirius shrieked like a banshee before laughing like a hyena.
"Gurk tus Erdy na tigh?" Corvus said.
"Na tigh," Gruk said with a nod.
"Gurk ollo Pos Erdy," Corvus said, slapping his dad's back.
"Na tigh, Gurk ollow," Gurk said.
"Eet ja," Corvus grinned. "Erdy dos,"
"Gurk dos," Gurk said.
Sirius looked just as confused as Hermione felt. Since when could Corvus speak troll?
"It was nice to see you again Dad," Corvus said. "But now you need to take Gurk to the Black Family Coal mine in Pakistan,"
"You're sending me to Pakistan? How am I supposed to get ... Gurk ... to Pakistan?"
"You're the Marauder," Corvus shrugged. "You figure it out,"
"I'm going to be late for dinner," Sirius protested. "Petunia's gonna kill me,"
"I'm sure you'll be fine Dad-foot,"
Hermione wondered how any of this was legal.
Chapter 17: Adventure Date
Corvus sat down at the Hufflepuff table with Hannah and Susan during dinner. He gave no warning or explanation to his friends before doing so, but they weren't as surprised as everyone else was.
Susan was wide-eyed and blushing as Corvus ate dinner with her. He didn't bring any of his paperwork or research with him like he usually did during meal times. Hannah and Megan gave supporting smiles, and Susan tried not to melt in her seat.
"Sweet-cheeks," Corvus said. "Let's go on an adventure tomorrow,"
"Oh-kay, yeah," Susan said. "I'd- I would love- like too,"
"Have a nice night then Sweet-cheeks, and I'll see you in the morning,"
Susan watched as Corvus walked away before she turned to her friends.
"That's a date right?" She asked. "He just asked me on a date, right?"
"Oh yeah," Megan said, tossing some popcorn in her mouth. "That's totally a date,"
"What do I wear on an 'adventure' date?" Susan asked. "What does he mean by adventure?"
Susan ended up wearing an easy to move in battle-dress her Aunt Amelia gave her. The battle-dress came with dragon armor boots, a wand holster, and a matching hair net. Hannah helped Susan transfigure some blue flowers around her bun, the netting would keep her curly red hair from being in the way. Megan helped Susan use her cosmetic potions.
"Now, he said something about your freckles being cute right?" Hannah said. "So don't cover them up,"
"And he calls you sweet-checks," Megan added. "And you've got some lovely brown eyes,"
When Corvus showed up in the Hufflepuff common room at ten o'clock, Susan was ready for everything from a duel to a picnic.
"How did a Slytherin firstie get here?" someone asked.
"No clue," another said.
Susan walked from her dorm room to the common room and was glad to see Corvus in his own battle tunic, dragon armor vest, trousers, and boots. She ignored the hushed whispers of her housemates as she walked over to him.
"Good morning sweet-cheeks," Corvus said, producing a red amaryllis flower. "Are you ready for our adventure?"
Susan held the red amaryllis, splendid beauty, also, worth beyond beauty, in her hands. She stuck the red flower in her hair, between the blue roses around her bun, and smiled.
"Where are we going?" Susan asked. She had taken a chance when they were walking up the stairs to try holding Corvus' hand, and the fact he still held her hand long after they'd made it to the third floor was pleasantly embarrassing.
"Dumbledore said something at the welcoming feast," Corvus said. "do you remember what he said?"
"Something about the third-floor corridor right?"
"That's right, but he also threatened the entire school with death,"
"Are we going to the third-floor corridor?"
"Are you scared?"
Before they could turn the corner, Corvus pushed Susan against the wall. The two peeked around the corner and saw Professor Snape and Professor Quirrell.
"-don't know why you wanted to meet here of all places, Severus,” Professor Quirrell said.
“Oh, I thought we’d keep this private, students aren’t supposed to know about the Philosopher’s Stone after all.” Professor Snape said. “Have you found out a way to get past that beast of Hagrid’s yet?”
“but, Severus, I-”
“You don’t want me as your enemy, Quirrell," Snape took a step forward, backing Quirrell against the wall.
“I don’t know what you-”
“You know perfectly well what I mean," Snape said. “- your little bit of hocus-pocus. I’m waiting”
“But I don’t-”
“Very well. We’ll have another little chat soon when you’ve had time to think things over and decided where your loyalties lie.”
Corvus pushed Susan into a side room behind a tapestry. His hand over her mouth kept her from squeaking as Professor Snape walked past.
"Dearest, Severus," Quirrell said long after Professor Snape had left. "Always the clever one weren't you?"
Corvus waited until Professor Quirrell was gone before he let Susan go.
"What was that all about?" Susan asked.
"Not sure, but whatever it is we should be careful," Corvus said. "If the third-floor is hiding the Flamel's Alchemy Stone then this is concerning,"
"If Dumbledore put that Stone in Hogwarts, then he painted a target on Hogwarts for every criminal who knows of it," Corvus said. "If a Noble or a member of a Noble House is harmed due to the Stone..."
"Blood Feud?" Susan guessed. "Isn't Dumbledore supposed to be some honorable genius ?"
"Really makes you wonder, doesn't it?"
They continued their walk, heading for the corridor with new purpose.
Opening the door of the corridor, Susan squealed.
"It's a puppy!" She ran into the room with an excited hum. "Dancing bears painted wings, things I almost remember, and a song someone sings ~"
Corvus huffed a laugh as Susan sang and was nuzzled by the Cerberus.
"Who's a good boy? You are, and you, and you, yes you are," She scratched behind their ears and under their chins. The three heads all eager for some love and praise that Susan was happy to give.
They made their way back to the Hufflepuff common room, Susan holding Corvus' hand again, and smiling excitedly.
"We should do this adventure thing again sometime," Susan said, before kissing Corvus' cheek.
"Anytime you wish sweet-cheeks,"
This was a pretty fun day, Susan thought, conspiracies and unexpected dangers included.
Chapter 18: Richard
Richard eyed the numerous trinkets in Dumbledore's office. Why did the Headmaster have a Child Monitor? Why was the Child Monitor red? Who was connected to the Monitor? Did the Headmaster have a child? Was he a Father? Grandfather? Godfather? Where was the child Dumbledore was Monitoring? Was that a Blood Wards text? Why was it in Romanian? Where did Dumbledore get it? Why did he have it? As Chief Warlock, Dumbledore should know the laws around Blood Magic. Was this an abuse of power? Why did Dumbledore have a Forbidden text in his Headmaster's office? What if a student found it? What if a Noble found it? Was Dumbledore trying to start another Honor War between the Nobles and the Ministry? Not all the Nobles would be as forgiving as Heir Black.
If Lord Malfoy knew his Heir was in danger, then the Ministry would be torn down from the inside out. If Lady Abbott found out her daughter was in danger, Richard shuddered. There had been plenty of Death Eater corpses that showed just how dangerous Healing Magic could be. Having the skin around your face 'healed' so all the 'wounds' were closed up, faceless bodies suffocating and thrashing on the ground, and it wasn't Lady Ophelia Abbott standing there but Ophelia Black former Ravenclaw and Curse Mistress of House Black.
"Richard my boy," Dumbledore greeted joyfully. "I'm so glad you could meet with me,"
"Of course Headmaster," Richard said. Not like he'd been given much choice when the Phoenix flamed into his office at the Nova and snatched him.
Richard hesitated. Normally he'd decline, while the Headmaster of Hogwarts wasn't allowed free use of Truth Potions, the Cheif Warlock was. If Dumbledore was abusing his titles to bring forbidden texts into Hogwarts, whose to say he wasn't doing the same with Truth Potions? But then again, if it was a Truth Potion and Richard took it, Heir Black would find out. Not just find out, Heir Black's connection to the members of the House would tell him as soon as the potion took effect. The Head of House must be present in cases involving Truth Potions, Pensive Memories, Blood Quill contracts, or Magically binding contracts. There were more, but Richard couldn't think of them right now.
"No thank you, Headmaster," Richard decided. "Was there a reason you wanted to see me?"
"Yes, yes, of course," Dumbledore said, walking to his desk with a laugh. "I was wondering what you knew about Harry Potter,"
"He's the boy who lived?"
"And you interviewed him for your article,"
"Yeah, with Heir Black's wand at my head," Richard said. "He's very protective of his civilian cousin you know,"
"Ah, that's nice,"
Richard looked around the office again. The Phoenix was on a golden perch, the sorting hat sat on the bookshelf, and there was a book on Curse Marks in some Oriental language. That made two forbidden texts in other languages. There was a ward monitor by the child monitor and a Gringotts letter on the desk. There were a few of those, actually, some were more formal than others, and one even had a sliver seal rather than the usual bronze. What did Dumbledore do to get on the bad side of the Goblins?
"How do you contact Harry for your interviews?"
Richard blinked in confusion before he remembers where he was.
"I don't," Richard shrugged. "He comes to me,"
There was a row of former headmaster portraits along the upper wall. None of them were speaking or moving. Like the magic was drained out of them. It wasn't natural, the stillness. It sent chills down his spine.
"And what does he talk about when he visits you?"
Richard jumped. He'd forgotten Dumbledore was there again.
"I ask him questions, he answers, and Heir Black stands over my shoulder with his wand in one hand and the Noble Code figuratively in the other,"
Was that a Quibbler article? Why was Dumbledore reading one of those?
"Does anyone else accompany Harry when he visits you?"
Richard's eyes darted back to Dumbledore. Why was he asking so many questions about the last Potter?
"Usually his Aunt and Heir Black," Richard said. "Recently there was also Heir Black's father, Sirius Black,"
Richard rubbed his hands over his arms. Why was he so cold? When did the temperature drop?
"I see," Dumbledore said. "Is there nothing else you can tell me about Harry Potter?"
Richard couldn't think, his breath came out in wisps of air. He was shaking in his seat, his teeth grinding behind blue lips.
"How did you meet Heir Black?"
Richard woke up in his office, jumpy, cold, and unable to remember the second half of his conversation with Dumbledore. With shaking legs and tense fingers, he wrote a letter.
Black Parchment. Red ink. Purple ribbon.
Was he overreacting? Was this truly that important?
He took a breath. It came out visible and rattled his ribs with ice.
Sending the letter off, Richard knew this was not just important, but necessary.
Chapter 19: Yule
Corvus stood in the empty living room of Number Four. Dad was helping the boys into the safety seats while Aunt Petunia checked for anything left behind. It was Yule break, and their small family was moving to the Mansion today. Corvus was excited, scared, nervous, happy, it was complicated. He'd grown up in this house. He was Freak in that cupboard. He'd become Boy when he learned how to cook in that kitchen. He became Harry, and then he'd became Corvus. This house held so many memories, good, bad and in between, he wasn't sure what he felt about it.
"Papa?" Jennie asked. "Are you crying?"
"Yes, Jennie," Corvus said. "I am,"
"Change is difficult sometimes, but this change is a good thing,"
Jennie leaned against his arm, her blue eyes peering up at him. He put his hand on her head, the messy black curls soft under his palm.
"Can I sit on your lap on the bus?"
Jennie cheerfully began telling him about her latest bout of accidental magic. Corvus smiled fondly at her as the two left Number Four behind them.
Moving into the old Black Manor was exciting for everyone. Jennie dragged Corvus off to find their bedrooms, Aunt Petunia took Dudley to find the kitchens, and Sirius was left to supervise the two youngest boys.
"Could you sing me a lullaby Papa?" Jennie asked as she crawled into bed long after her room was decorated. Her room was a shade of pink that was mostly red but was still very pink. She had a bust of a young woman by a vanity mirror, and a princess styled canopy bed. Her walk-in closet had been converted into a personal library, and she had an expanded wardrobe for her clothes.
"I don't really know how to sing Princess," Corvus admitted. "I don't know how good I'll be,"
"I don't care," Jennie said. "Please?"
Corvus sighed, but sat on the edge of her bed. He pondered the few songs he knew, and the various things he knew, and decided none of the songs were actually meaningful. He didn't want Jennie growing up with muggle nursery rhymes or fairy tales. She needed something that would actually teach her something, maybe one that would help her later in her life...
"Snare and deadfall, pit and noose, Drive your quarry where you choose, Baffle them with trick and ruse, Snare and deadfall, pit and noose," Corvus sang softly. "Snares are meant to catch and hold,"
Dudley had escaped his Mum's kitchen renovations with a comment about finding himself a room. He found Uncle Sirius' being a mute judge to Colin and Dennis' latest debate. Deciding not to get involved with it, he turned around and headed upstairs. There was a blank nameplate on the first room, the Servant or Personal Assistant of the House Lord would live there. The second room was Corvus' room, the Lord's room had a balcony and according to one of the Black family traditions each Lord had to come up with a new trap for it. Then it was Jennie's room, and Dudley was about to pass by and up the stairs when he heard someone singing. Curious, he hesitated by the door to listen.
"Let them think they’ve won the war, While the noose draws ever tighter, Deadly though these brigands are, Traps can take the toughest fighter," Corvus sang. "Snare and deadfall, pit and noose,"
Dudley peered into the room to see Corvus kiss Jennie's peacefully sleeping face. It was a catchy tune, Dudley thought. Maybe Corvus would teach him the lyrics later?
Once Jennie was asleep, and everyone else had finished unpacking, Corvus called the rest of the family into the parlor for a meeting.
"There are a few our family only positions I would like to discuss," Corvus said. "You may know a few already, but I can't have these positions held by someone who doesn't understand them,"
Colin and Dennis listened with large grins and naive optimism. Dudley looked about to fall asleep, while Aunt Petunia and Dadfoot just waited patiently.
"My personal assistant -" Corvus was interrupted by Colin and Dennis yelling 'Me! Me! Me!' and refrained from rolling his eyes. "Is one of three positions that are Family Secrets,"
"No one but Family is allowed to know who the Lord's assistant is, where they are, what they look like, where their rooms are, anything. Basically, they don't exist," Sirius said. "The same goes for the Archivist and the Graveyard Master,"
"With our family numbers so small and those three positions open, we need to figure out who's going to take which until our numbers increase and apprentices can be trained," Corvus said.
"What is the Graveyard Master's job?" Dudley asked.
"The Graveyard Master is the only one who knows where the Family Cemetary is, how to get there, how to get in, and is in charge of protecting it and keeping it clean," Sirius said. "If they take on apprentices, then no one but the Lord and the Master knows who the apprentices are, and the apprentices must be Family,"
"Fun," Dudley groaned.
"Is the Personal Assistant position anything like Before?" Aunt Petunia asked.
Corvus frowned. Before he changed his name to Corvus, Aunt Petunia was already acting much like a P.A. She arranged his martial arts training and made sure he reached various appointments on time. It was similar at least, so he nodded, and she grinned.
"Guess that's settled then," Sirius said.
Corvus nodded. Sirius twirled his wand.
"Not even Family can know who those three positions are," Corvus said. "No one but me,"
Sirius knelt before Corvus with a wolfish grin. The eleven-year-old tapped a finger against his Dad's forehead.
Aunt Petunia moved into the first room by Corvus' to make sure he took care of himself. Colin and Dennis found the radio and began arguing over Quidditch teams. The small family settled into their new home with ease. Yule was off to a peaceful start, and Corvus was happy. Then he walked into his office to see a black scroll tied in a purple ribbon on his desk.
"Yule was getting boring anyway," Corvus smirked. "It was about time something fun happened,"
Chapter 20: Yule- Weasley
To say Ron was scared of going home for Yule was an understatement. His only comfort was the supportive hands his brothers Fred and George kept on his shoulders. Percy had contacted Mum and Dad back in September with Ron's sorting, and it was only his claiming of the Weasley Heirship that protected him from being disowned. Mum had been in denial at first, Dad had been irrationally angry, and Percy had only made things worse as the months went by.
"No matter what Mum says," Fred said.
"You are not," George said.
"And never will be,"
"A Death Eater,"
"If you decide to,"
"We can always leave and,"
"Spend Yule somewhere else,"
Ron nodded. He could do this, it was just his parents, right? His Mum who lost her brothers to Death Eaters, who despised anything Dark Arts or Slytherin, who spent his entire life preaching the evils of You-Know-Who and his Slytherin ways. His Mum, who hasn't written to him or responded to his letters even though she sent letters to his brothers every day.
Ron opened the door, the twins at his back. He wasn't scared. He was terrified.
Two hours into the first day home, and Ron was done. His face was still wet with tears. Bill was speaking, saying something in Ron's defense, but Ron couldn't hear it right now. Dad had -he'd said he was ashamed. Said he regretted fathering him. Mum spent the past two hours acting as if she actually never had birthed him. Two hours, of arguing, accusations, and insults. Two hours of fighting and crying. The worst two hours of his life.
Ginny sat in her room, head against the door, and her heart shattered on the floor. Every day for the past week, Mum and Dad could be heard yelling and arguing with Bill and Charlie. Fred and George had taken Ron to their friend's house the first day, and they haven't been back.
"He's a Death Eater in training now William!" Mum said. "That's what they're taught in that cursed House,"
"He's your son Mother," Bill said. "Why you insist on pushing him away I'll never know,"
"That disgrace is no son of mine,"
Ginny hugged her knees to her chest. Ever since Ron was sorted into Slytherin, everything has been wrong. Bill visited more, but instead of it being something she could look forward to she learned to hide. She had to hide because if she didn't she'd become a subject of their arguments too. They argued about everything these days. From Ron's sorting to his friends, to which House she would be sorted into and who she'd marry. The first, and last time she'd protested she'd been Stupified. She's been too scared to speak up since.
"That disgrace is the Lord of our House," Bill said. "You best remember that if nothing else,"
Ginny crawled away from the door. She'd barely finished her breakfast when this argument started. It was almost supper now. Did she have any fruit left from yesterday? Grabbing the small basket of fruit from under her bed, she pushed herself to her feet with a wince. Her leg stung when she put pressure on it. She really shouldn't be running up the twisty stairs. The ten-year-old hid in her closet and turned on the radio. Turning the volume to the highest setting so she couldn't hear the shouting match.
When someone began throwing spells, Ginny cried. How did it get to this? How could they have fallen so far? Her room shook as a Duel broke out between her parents and her brother. When the harsh magic interfered with the enchanted radio, Ginny cried. The ten-year-old could hear every curse, hex, or shield they shouted at each other. What was she supposed to do? She didn't know, so she hid and she cried.
Lingering memories of her Mum and Dad being there for her when she was scared, of comforting her when she cried, made her feel hollow inside.
"I miss my family," Ginny whispered. The icy chills of loneliness were her only companions and they could offer her no comfort. "I miss you, Mummy, Daddy...please..."
Chapter 21: Information
Corvus drummed his fingers against his arm. Albus Dumbledore.
The headmaster of Hogwarts was allowed to act in defense of his students while on Hogwarts property, was allowed to hire whomever to teach any subject within Hogwarts, and was allowed to punish students and staff however he wished. Just because he could, doesn't mean he should though, because the Noble Code means if a Noble has a reason then they'd be within their rights to Duel the Headmaster or a member of staff, or a student, and that gets pretty complicated. But as Headmaster, as long as he's within Hogwarts grounds, he is able to do anything he wanted to legally. Which left going through the Noble Code for justice. Except...
Chief Warlock. Another title held by Albus Dumbledore. Corvus couldn't just kill him because as Chief Warlock, he is supposed to be the Neutral party between the Nobles and the Civilians. The position comes with protections, such as a representative for Duels. Killing all Dumbledore's representatives wouldn't be as satisfying as killing the man himself. So, he'd have to get Dumbledore voted out of office. Even if he could do that, there was one more problem.
Supreme Mugwump of the ICW. Corvus was really annoyed by how many titles this one man held. As if the first two weren't annoying enough, this one meant Dumbledore had more access to foreign communities than anyone else. Richard, the member of House Black Dumbledore had wrongly interrogated, had said Dumbledore had several illegal texts in his office. Thing is, as long as Dumbledore is Supreme Mugwump and the texts are 'gifts' or 'culture' from the other communities then it's not illegal, it's work. All those books are legal for Dumbledore to use, and that means Dumbledore knows spells no one else has been allowed to study or use for the past century.
"You're a difficult enemy," Corvus grinned as he flung a ball of flame at the Dumbledore trading card on his wall. "Difficult indeed,"
Corvus was still pondering the Dumbledore situation when he went back to Hogwarts. His friends, Ron, Draco, Neville, Hermione, Hannah, and Susan joined him in his train cabin, but so did an unexpected acquaintance.
"I request the sanctuary with House of Black," Blaise Zabini said when Corvus opened the door.
"Sanctuary from who?"
Blaise sat next to the girls, and everyone watched Corvus with curious eyes.
"Dumbledore has crossed several lines this past year, and I'm not putting up with it anymore," Corvus said. His friends nodded, and Blaise relaxed against his seat.
"What's your plan?" Draco asked.
"How can we help?" Hermione said.
"I've sent a few of my reporters out to find intel on Dumbledore but so far there's not much I can work with," Corvus said. "Dumbledore had a group called The Order of the Pheonix, and several people joined. Since Dumbledore is my enemy, not his Order, I'm going to try not involving them. If Dumbledore involves them, then I'll have to gut the Order before taking out Dumbledore," Corvus glanced at Ron and Neville, regret and worry in his bitter smile.
"My pa-parents are in Saint Mungo's," Neville said slowly fiddling with his potions textbook. "And my gran isn't happy that I'm hang-hanging out with Sly-Slytherins. If there's a way to con-convince them to switch their loyalties, well in my pa-parents' case heal them first,"
"If it gets to that point," Corvus said. "I'll let you know and stall as long as I can for you,"
"You have my alliance," Neville said. "Can't say the same for my House"
"I can't speak for my House either," Draco said. "But I give you my alliance,"
"You have the alliance of House Weasley," Ron said.
"The entire House?" Corvus asked. Mister Weasley and his wife were some of Dumbledore's most loyal followers, he didn't see them ever agreeing or accepting this alliance.
"I have faith our Honor will be protected by the Code,"
It only took a blink before the other Nobles in the cabin understood. Should Mister Weasley or his wife act against the alliance then they are also acting against their Lord which would mean Ron could disown them without disowning his siblings.
"I can't speak for my House, I'm only the Heiress," Hannah said. "But you have my alliance,"
Hermione tapped a button on her shirt, a soft green gem in a black metal, that marked her as an Academic sponsee of House Black. Susan gripped an amulet of protection, a bright red stone also in a black metal. The two civilian girls couldn't pledge their alliance, being civilians, but they knew where they would be when the time came.
Blaise eyed them with awed disbelief. An alliance. They only knew each other for four months and already they were putting their lives in each other's hands. Recalling what he'd come to this cabin for in the first place he paled. He'd just done the same thing. Asking an Heir he barely knew for sanctuary, even if they had a shared enemy right now, was just as insane as their alliance.
If this didn't kill me then Father would, Blaise thought. Then Ma's gonna bring me back so she can kill me again.
It was the first weekend after Yule that found Corvus following Blaise through the halls of Hogwarts.
"When I found it I knew," Blaise said. "I knew because it's been used in countless feuds, and wars, and even scandals,"
Corvus nodded, so Blaise continued.
"I don't know how Dumbledore got it, or what he plans to use it for," Blaise opened the door to a side corridor. "But whatever it is isn't good,"
When Corvus saw the mirror standing in the center of the room his heart froze. He crept closer, the warnings of his ancestors echoed in his head.
The Mirror of Desire could reveal a person's deepest secrets. Frequently used by enemies of House Black to reveal where their Honor lay, which was the easiest way to turn the Black Family against each other. While the family was loyal to each other, it was a grim truth that their Honor would always come first.
Blaise watched with baited breath as his Lord and friend stood in front of the cursed mirror. The black haired boy raised his hand, tears softly streaming from his eyes. Blaise wouldn't let the other boy stand there for too long, but when Corvus sniffled and huffed a bittersweet laugh Blaise decided his friend would need a minute.
"Why do you fight Papa?" Jennie asked during martial arts practice.
"So I can protect my Honor," Corvus said.
"What do mean?"
Corvus knelt in front of Jennie and held her hands. Her bouncy black curls held back by a hair tie and her bright blue eyes watching him with innocent curiosity.
"Everyone Honors something Jennifer," Corvus said. "It could be a person, or a concept, or a location, but everyone has something like that,"
Jennie frowned, her eyebrows scrunching in thought.
"So the Family?"
"No," Corvus shook his head.
"Why not? Didn't you say you'd die for the Family's protection?"
"Yes," Corvus said. "But that's loyalty, not Honor,"
"What's Honor then Papa?"
"Honor is precious Jennie," Corvus said. "Because it's a person's reason for living and what they continue to live for. It can take some longer than others to find, and rarely does it change,"
Jennie was quite for a few seconds.
"What's your Honor then Papa?"
Corvus smiled softly before answering.
A hand on his shoulder pulled Corvus from the memory, but his eyes remained on the four-year-old image of Jennie in the mirror. If anyone found out she was his Honor, Corvus clenched his fist. No one could find out.
"The worst thing about this mirror is that it's nearly indestructible," Blaise said with a glance to the mirror, his own deepest desire flickering in his sight before he turned to follow Corvus from the room.
"Everything can be destroyed," Corvus said. "I'll drop it into an active volcano if I have too,"
Anything to protect his Honor.
I made myself cry writing this chapter, I don't know why...
Chapter 23: Breakout Soulfire
Helena loved the feel of the chilly water on her feet, the winter winds in her matted brown hair, the shadowed sun on her pale skin. Thirteen years with the dementors had taught her a few tricks and Azkaban was a naturally dark and dreary place.
"Arrest me for Shadow Magicks," Helena laughed. "Then send me to the Castle of Shadow,"
The teenage girl hummed a melody, the shadows bending and twisting to her will. She raised her hand and sang.
"O'oh Death, O'oh Death, O'oh Death, won't you spare me over another year?"
The Dementors of Azkaban flocked around the girl, ignoring the fleeing prisoners around them. Wrapped in the cold embrace of her shadows Helena grinned.
"My name is Death and the end is here,"
Hermione buried herself in research the second she finished her school assignments. Lyancopathy was more than a curse, she was sure of it. The fact that 'The Moon Children' disappeared only a few months before the first 'Werewolf' was documented couldn't be a coincidence, they were too similar to be. There had been four clans who worshiped the Moon as the one who gave them Magic, and after generations of worship, these clans were blessed with a second form. These clans became wolf packs and were the first Moon Children, for when the moon was full their magic was strongest and the wolf form undefeatable, and when the moon was absent were the packs weakest. A witch could join a Pack, but to do so they'd have to willingly give up their magic for the magic of the Moon as the Moon Children did. Hermione theorized Lyancopathy was the result of a witch being turned unwillingly.
"Or a wizard," Hermione muttered as she reread her notes. "But is the distinction between genders truly that important?"
In order to change a werewolf back into a witch or wizard, Hermione had realized she'd need two potions, a ritual with a lunar based runic array, and something called 'An Amber Trinity'. Which lead her to Soulfire, which was a restricted but legal topic of study. Not to be hindered, Hermione turned to her friends.
"Soulfire," Hermione said walking into their study room. "What is it and how do I make an Amber Trinity?"
Corvus, Draco, Neville, and Hannah all looked up from their parchments with varying degrees of amusement.
"Soulfire is an extinct ability," Draco said. "but everyone has one. There are expectations and laws regarding them, or at least those who unlock theirs, which hasn't happened in hundreds of years,"
"In order to get an Amber Trinity you need three Amber souls. Thing is," Hannah said. "An Amber is required to marry an amethyst so you'd have to get the amethyst's permission first,"
Susan gave Hannah a disbelieving look. Hannah shrugged.
"I do read sometimes," Hannah said.
"Can I find an unbonded Amber?" Hermione asked.
"Finding an unbonded Amber, unlocked or otherwise, is nearly impossible," Corvus said. "Because the last amethyst King left unbonded sank Atlantis,"
Hermione sighed. She just wanted to cure Lyacopathy, why did this have to be so complicated?
"If I can't find an unbonded pair, then I'll talk to those who are bonded," Hermione said. "Who should I talk to?"
"Diggory could be an Amber," Draco said. "I'm not sure which of his friends is the amethyst,"
"No way is he an Amber," Hannah said. "He's clearly a Citrine,"
"You only say that because Chang's an Amazonite,"
"They are totally dating!"
Hermione rolled her eyes. She loved her friends but sometimes they forgot to explain things to her. A glance at the others let her know Susan and Corvus were writing something down and Neville was poking at his frog, Trevor.
"Hermione," Corvus said.
The Ravenclaw made her way over to Corvus and Susan, who had created a diagram and a scroll of notes.
"The amethyst Soul is considered Royalty," Susan said. "I'm not sure why,"
"The Amber soul relies on their Bonds to maintain their inner balance and can project that sense of inner balance onto others," Corvus said. "When Ambers bond it creates a natural inner balance in the other bonded souls,"
"There used to be two classifications of Soulfire," Susan continued. "The Dark, and The Bright,"
"The Bright are the only types that could affect us," Draco said, dropping his gossip argument with Hannah. "The Dark souls are just myth,"
"Do Dark Souls have anything to do with Dark magic?" Hermione asked.
"Nope, Dark, and Light classifications of magic are just political terms," Corvus said.
"There's a story about them, the Dark Ambers," Hannah's eyes gleamed as she spoke. "The Dark Ambers are three sisters who were separated at birth. It's said that the eldest sister created the Universe, the middle sister created Life, and the youngest was Death. When they were separated it threw off the balance of the Earth and until their mortal selves are reunited True Balance will never be restored,"
Hermione made a mental note to look into the myth later, for now, she turned back towards Susan and the boys.
"I need three Ambers," Hermione stated. "But no one in our Community has unlocked their soulfire in generations. Do I have that right?"
"Pretty much," Draco said.
"How would I get someone to unlock it?"
"You don't," Corvus said. "End of discussion,"
The suddenly angry boy left them in the classroom and slammed the door on his way out.
"There is only one way known to unlock Soulfire," Blaise said, speaking up for the first time since Hermione came in. "You have to destroy their Honor,"
Blaise left them as well, leaving Hermione with a horrible feeling in her gut.
"That's what Dumbledore plans on using the Mirror of Desire for, isn't it?" She said.
"That's the theory," Susan said. "I just hope Corvus doesn't get involved,"
"Why?" Hermione asked. "Isn't he already involved?"
"He is, but rarely does a Lord Black survive after unlocking their Soulfire," Susan said. "He'd need to be an Amber or have an Amber bond to survive it,"
Hermione tried to shake off the grim worry in her heart. Why would Dumbledore ever need Corvus' to use his Soulfire at all?
Chapter 24: Law and Code
There was a careful line between the Laws of the Ministry and the Noble Code. Ron had been reading through both and found a certain phrasing that really grated on his temper.
I, (Lord Ronald Arthur) of House (Weasley) do swear to protect and guide all Members of the House (Weasley). One of the many Noble Oath's he'd taken when claiming his title, without the Oaths' a Noble couldn't use the Noble Code and therefore weren't officially Nobles.
Per Hundred Citizens within their House, the House shall hold one vote. The Law as it was in the Ministry, which claimed Citizens as counting for votes, not Members. Additional Laws such as,
Any person who bares non-human blood shall no longer be considered a Citizen of this Ministry and henceforth be considered a Creature.
There was a list of 'Creatures'. Werewolves, Vampires, Goblins, Centaurs, the list goes on and on. Then there were the Creature laws, which only affected those who weren't Members of House.
Any Citizen who attempts to teach any Creature to spell, read, write, or magic shall, upon conviction thereof by indictment, be fined in a sum not less than 51 Galleons 16 Sickles 18 Knuts, nor more than 103 Galleons 16 Sickles 7 Knuts.
That whatsoever Citizen woman shall intermarry with any Creature shall be considered a Creature herself during the life of her husband; and that all the children of such Citizen women, so married shall be Creatures as their fathers were.
Ron honestly hated it. The fact that all these Laws had to be passed with either a unanimous vote from the Nobles or a majority vote from the Nobles and both the Cheif Warlock and the Minister. The more he thought about it the more pissed off it made him. Albus Dumbledore preaches equality and acceptance, but then laws like these get pushed through which would never bring about acceptance.
"Azkaban was attacked," Hannah said, tossing her copy of the Nova on the table. "Everyone escaped,"
"Ev-everyone?" Neville asked, shakily putting his research down.
"Every single one," Hannah confirmed grimly. "The Prophet is saying it was an unspecified werewolf, but the Nova says it could be a Death Eater or a Sympathizer,"
"All the Lyacopaths in our Community are working for me," Ron said. "At least, all those who were registered with Saint Mungo's,"
"What a wonderful start to the new year," Draco rolled his eyes.
A glance at Corvus, who was looking between the professor's table and The Nova in his hand with a frown, made Ron sigh.
"Knut for your thoughts Corvus?" Ron asked.
"Dumbledore has both the Flamel's stone and the Mirror of Desire in Hogwarts," Corvus said. "Snape and Quirrell were arguing over the stone and loyalty. The Ministry has been restricting the Nobles' influence within the Wizingamot for years, and now an army of Voldemort's followers or soon-to-be followers have escaped,"
"Something doesn't feel right about all of this," Hermione said.
"The enemies are everywhere," Susan said. "What are we going to do?"
"Discuss the situation with our families and the Heads of our Hogwarts House," Corvus decided. "Then regroup when we have more information,"
Ron packed up his parchment work, as did the others, and made his way over to the Gryffindor table. Fred and George had their backs towards him, they were bent over the table in a whispered conversation with their friend Jordan. Levitating two small sphere's of water from the Hufflepuff table, Ron made two handfuls of ice. With a shaky hand, he sent the ice down their robes.
The twins shrieked, jumping up and dancing on the table as the ice bounced around their robes.
Ron and the most of the Hall laughed.
"Our itty bitty brother has pranked us!" One of the twins said.
"How glorious this day is," the other swooned.
"We must celebrate!"
The Duo grabbed Ron and rushed out of the Great Hall with maniacal glee.
Percy narrowed his eyes at them, a plan made in anger burning behind his hazel blue eyes.
Chapter 25: A Woman's Intuition
Audrey Parsons, fifth year Ravenclaw. Percy's girlfriend. Couldn't find her last name so I picked one for her.
Audrey was concerned. Her boyfriend had been acting odd all year. Going from concerned about his youngest brother’s first year at Hogwarts to despising him? From a dutiful, caring, and determined young man to an angry, spiteful, hothead? Audrey knew the Weasley family had a temper, her mum had been dormmates with Percy’s grandmother. Audrey had heard stories, and then those years with Bill and Charlie before they graduated. But none of that was anywhere close to what Percy was doing now. Honestly, Audrey was fed up with it. People don’t just change so suddenly overnight. Over the course of time, sure. Change happens. But between the night before Ronald Weasley’s sorting the night after, Percy became an entirely different person. Something happened, and Audrey refused to standby.
“Audrey!” Percy protested. She ignored him. The Gryffindor Prefect was tied up with an incarcerous and immobilized with a freezing spell. He couldn’t get away from her.
“Ms. Parsons,” Professor Sprout said, eyeing the floating fifteen-year-old Gryffindor bound in ropes and the sixteen-year-old Ravenclaw on a mission. “I’m sure you have a very good reason for this.”
Students and Professors alike were watching them. Audrey did not care.
“Percy and I are in an exclusive, consensual relationship,” Audrey said.
“Is that true Mr. Weasley?” Professor Sprout asked.
“Yes,” Percy said, hesitant. “While this is an ...unexpected situation...I trust Audrey's judgment.”
“And the ropes?” Professor Sprout asked.
“We’ve played with ropes before, Professor,” Audrey said. “I know what I’m doing.”
Professor Sprout hummed at them as Percy flushed and began to stutter.
“Very well then.” Professor Sprout said. “As long as it's consensual…”
“Thank you for your concern, Professor.”
Audrey continued carting her boyfriend’s floating body through Hogwarts. He was clearly distracted now, imagining the possibilities of what was to come involving ropes and their past experimenting adventures. As Audrey neared the abandoned classroom she’d set up for this evening, she sighed. Unfortunately for her beloved, this evening was not going to be fun and games.
Stone floor, intricate runic arrays, and a skylight of the night sky. She lowered the redhead onto the runic array. His wide eyes darting to the runes running up the walls. Her boyfriend was such an academic, but even he couldn't figure out the purpose for all the runes. Without the whole picture, none of it would make sense.
“Do you trust me, Percy?” Audrey asked kneeling next to him as she pulled a potion vial from her purse.
“...what’s the meaning of this Audrey?”
“We made a promise in our third year. Do you remember it?”
“We’d been making love potions in potions class…” Percy said eyeing the room in confusion. “We promised we’d remove magical influences from each other because it’s impossible to tell when you’ve been afflicted…”
“Do you trust me, Percy Weasley?”
She held the potion to his lips and he drank it. She stepped back and removed her shoes. Her bare feet against the runic engravings. She let her magic flow from her, to her feet, to the runes. The ropes holding Percy easily fell away.
“I heal his mind where shadows dwell, whispering thoughts not his own. I heal his heart where aches the actions of an unwilling and unknowing oathbreaker. I heal his soul that enemies seek to control. I banish the chains that dare latch onto him. I speak these words to make it flee. As I will it, so mote it be!”
Glowing wisps of magic flowed through the runes lighting up the dark stone room. Percy screamed. Tendrils of magic sent shock waves through the room as they were dispelled. Potions were puked up, as Percy rolled onto his knees to purge the vile substances.
Audrey cried softly as wave after wave of mind control spell was dispelled. Layer after layer, potion after potion. But she held her ground. To completely release her beloved from someone else’s control, she had to hold the ritual to the end. No matter how much her heart ached.
Audrey scrambled to Percy's side as he struggled to his feet. The redhead was drained, half-crazed with fear and hysteria as he gripped her robe in his fists.
"I need to get to Ron," Percy said, his blue eyes wide in panic. "I need to stop him, he's-"
"Stop it, Percy," She said. "You're exhausted."
"My baby brother is in danger Audrey," Percy said, stumbling away from her. "And it's a danger of my own creation."
"What's wrong Percy?" she asked, catching him as he collapsed. "You need to rest, I can take care of it."
"You're just as tired as I am." He said.
"The ritual wasn't as taxing on me," She denied. "Let me help you."
Audrey stepped out of the ritual room five hours after she first entered. She put her shoes back on, tied her hair into a bun, and tossed her outer robe onto the floor. She wore her trousers and a tank-top, the outfit she normally wore when the Quidditch team trained. She might have missed team training, but she'd be getting a workout today anyway.
Hogwarts was a large castle, with several dozen magically expanded spaces that made it even larger than it already was. She had to get to the twins before they unknowingly carted Ron into a trap. She reached into her purse. A time-turner, spun four times to go back four hours. She put the trinket back into her purse and took a deep breath. Now, to get to the Great Hall before her boyfriend's brothers got hurt.
"Our itty bitty brother has pranked us!" One of the twins said.
Audrey slid down the banisters, avoiding the trick steps or other students altogether as she sped down the stairway. Jumping off one and onto the next, she ignored the shrieking students behind her.
"We must celebrate!" The twins grabbed Ron and rushed out of the Great Hall with maniacal glee.
The dark-haired Ravenclaw transfigured the stone sculpture on the end of the banister into a skateboard. She slid onto it as she dropped from the banister, a light wind spell propelled her forward faster-faster-faster.
"So this is our super-secret meeting classroom. Important secrets and pranks are discussed in this room."
Audrey came to a stop in front of the great hall. She couldn't see the twins or Ron. With a bite off swear, she flipped her skateboard around.
"Point me to Ronald Weasley." Her wand spun towards the abandon classrooms. Recasting the wind spell, she kept going.
"Oh yeah. We've learned a few wards from Percy and Bill that made this room safe for experiments and such."
Audrey saw the trio of brothers walking towards the classroom. She flipped her skateboard into the air, re-aiming her wind spell at the board she tossed it at the three redheads. It struck the twins in their chests, Ron ducked under the flying board with wide eyes.
"Don't touch that door," Audrey said.
"Why shouldn't I?" Ron asked.
"Because I promised Percy I wouldn't let you touch that door."
Ron frowned. Audrey hoped he didn't make this harder than it had to be. He glanced between her, and the door. Then he looked towards the twins, who were sitting on the ground with bruises on their chests. Then Ron lifted his hand to the doorknob. Audrey moved.
"My warding mastery project is turning a normal spell into a Ward, and I figured out how to."
"Isn't that a good thing?"
"Not this one. Not with the spell-the curse-I choose to convert. It's unforgivable. You can't let them touch that door."
Ron's hand brushed the metal doorknob. Audrey shoved the boy away. Red and blue sparks cascaded around to reveal a spider-web of ward work.
Audrey screamed. Her body hung, caught in the spider-web, her thrashing only aiding in getting her more tangled in the ward. Her eyes were blown wide as pain so intense and all-consuming numbed her senses.
Percy slashed a cut on his arm, rushing forward to smear his blood onto the doorknob. He caught Audrey as the ward fell away. He held the twitching and glazed eyed body of the girl he loved, tears streaming down his face.
"I'm sorry," he said, sobbing into her hair. "This wasn't supposed to happen, it wasn't supposed to happen."
"Perc," Audrey gasped, a shaking hand briefly brushed his cheek. "Ah lov uo."
"I love you, Audrey," Percy said, gripping her close. "I love you so much. I don't deserve you, I'm sorry, I'm sorry-"
"the 'ard 'as weak," she said. "o' 'etter,"
As Madam Pomfrey carted Audrey off to the clinic Percy vowed, he'd do better. He'd find a way to prevent mind control, to remove it quickly and counter it. This would never happen again. Not to anyone.
So, please don't hate me? Things get better, I promise. Please comment!