Shyamal relaxed his fingers, watching as the other boy gasped for breath. "This is a warning, Potter. If I hear any more talk from you about any of my siblings, Voldemort will be the least of your worries." He let him go, watching as the boy crumbled to the floor in disgust.
Edward glared at him, hazel eyes burning with fury and embarrassment. "Once Dumbledore hear-"
"Once he hears about how the golden boy of the Wizarding world is spreading rumors about the new group of students before they even meet them, I wonder what he will think of you." Shyamal leaned in close. "He might even think you're turning into another Dark Lord." His face was now less than an inch away. "A slip can turn into a fall. You might want to think on that." Shyamal turned away and went to his bed. Behind him, he heard Potter give a huff before the curtains swished closed. He turned to Seamus whose face was beginning to redden into the beginning of a bruise. "I might have something that can help that heal faster."
"That would be great. I would like not to go to the infirmary and explain to Madam Pomfrey how I got this." He caught the small jar Shyamal threw at him. Opening it, he smelled it. "What's in here?"
"Some phoenix tears and other medicinal herbs that grow naturally in Romania. Works wonders for bruises and small cuts." The two boys traded knowing grins. Seamus went over to where a mirror was and began applying the icy blue goop inside.
"You have a phoenix?" Ron asked interestedly. "The only person I know that has a phoenix is Professor Dumbledore's and his name is Fawkes."
"I don't have a phoenix personally as the one I get the tears from is a wild black one that isn't bonded to anyone. But I did save him once and we became friends." The lie easily came off his tongue, not wanting to explain why, in fact, it was the phoenix that saved him and his siblings.
"I thought he would have to bond with you then? And it's a black phoenix? I thought they were red and gold."
"Once the phoenix gets past a certain age, they can no longer bond. Those who have phoenixes as their familiar usually had them when they were babies who just hatched. Very few phoenixes abandoned or give their eggs or leave them for long and it doesn't help that they are rare creatures either. The last recorded birth of a phoenix before Fawkes was two hundred and thirteen years prior." He caught the small jar as Seamus threw back it with his thanks. "Most phoenixes are red and gold but just like any other species, evolution and personality can make a few that have different colors. I've seen a red and gold one like Dumbledore's and the black one that saved me. There are more varieties but I haven't seen them. Perhaps Fawkes is red and gold because Dumbledore is a Gryffindor at heart and those are the house colors."
"Wow. So the chances of another human getting a phoenix tamed is slim." Dean asked eyes wide.
"Yup." Shyamal yawned. "I'll see you guys tomorrow." The boys said goodnight, curtains swishing close and lights going out.
It was growling in the darkness.
Black eyes flashed with an emerald flame, the feline orbs gleaming in the shadows of his mind.
Shyamal breathed slowly, trying to keep focused on the beast prowling the ethereal edges, imagining the restraints tightening even as it roared it fury. Even through the barriers, he could feel its need for freedom, for blood. It roared again. The waves of dark magic rolled in chaotic motions, bashing against the restraints that glowed with a golden white light.
Shyamal itched to release it, fingers twitching unconsciously.
The calls of the thing behind the restraints called to him but at the same time, he cringed back in fear in thought of what would happen if he released it.
He could feel the need to take back what would have been his family, even if it meant spilling blood into the rivers of the world. It might even hurt Edward or even Dumbledore.
Another roar broke through, the restraints straining even more. One broke, snapping into millions of shards of ethereal light.
Shyamal shot up in bed, panting heavily. He held out a shaking hand, a small orb of light illuminating the inside of the curtains; red, gold, and black. The carvings on the bed posts taunting him, the eyes of the dozens of lions gazing into his soul as if they could see the beast in him. He flicked his hand, the orb dying out, casting the bed back into darkness.
Tomorrow, when he could, he would have to weave more restraints on it to keep it in check.
It couldn't be let out again.
One death was enough.
The weekend saw a change in Edward's attitude just a bit, his strutting less pronounce. Most of the student body believed it was from the dozens of articles in the Daily Prophet regarding his mental stability. But Shyamal had an inkling it was from the talk Friday night about him turning into a Dark Lord. Every time, they neared each other in the corridors or in the rooms, Edward steadfastly ignored him, either walking away or staring on past him as if he wasn't there.
The four siblings kept to themselves, catching up on the lessons their respective classes had gone over or playing out on the grounds near Hagrid's hut. They had tried the water of the lake and found it be cold enough to feel like their bodies were burning. Hermione and the Weasley siblings joined them from time to time, especially on Sunday when the eight Quidditch players enjoyed a game as Hermione read in the stands, reading up on the Seraphinas from a book she had found in the school library.
On Monday, they started their classes. History of Magic had been a boring experience. Shyamal was surprised to find the class being taught by a ghost who had died one night and simply gone back to his classes the next morning, leaving his body behind. He thought it would have been nice if Professor Binns hadn't been so attentive to his duties, choosing to go on to the next leg of life rather than coming back. The class took the chance to daydream, finish some homework, or catch up on lost sleep as the professor droned on about wars and battles long past.
The next class period, Shyamal found himself sitting in Potions, working on the Draught of Peace. The Head of Slytherin House had walked in, sneering at Potter as he passed. The homework over the break was turned in and the class started on their class work. During the whole time, Snape hovered over Potter's shoulder until Neville spilled a bottle of hellebore near his desk area. When he saw Snape was heading back over to Edward after taking five points from Neville for carelessness, Shyamal knew something was going to happen
"What is this, Potter?"
"The Draught of Peace." The boy drawled back. Shyamal gave his cauldron one last stir. Potter's cauldron was too thick, a true Draught of Peace being fluid in its movements. Even the colors was off.
"Tell me, Potter, didn't your father teach you how to read?"
"Yes." Already, Edward's face was turning red with anger.
"Then read the fifth instruction." Edward did so, his face paling slightly as he came to the end. "Did you follow instructions?"
"Well, then. That is no marks for the day." Snape flicked his wand, the contents in Edward's cauldron disappearing instantly. Shyamal was surprised Edward didn't start spitting back at Snape, choosing instead to grind his teeth. "I want a 24 inch parchment on why it is important on carefully preparing a Draught of Peace. Due the next time we meet, Potter."
Shyamal saw the professor walk away as he pulled out a flask from his satchel. He carefully placed some of the potion into it and wrote his name and year on it. Shyamal finished cleaning up his station and cauldron when the bell rang throughout the castle, signaling the end of the period. Shouldering his bag, he walked up the stairs into the main hall.
Thanks to the explorations over the weekend, Shyamal made it on time for DADA. Taking a seat in the back, he studied the man sitting at the desk in detail.
Same shaggy black hair now with some slight coloring at the roots, Sirius Black hadn't changed much in appearance. A few wrinkles around the edges of his eyes and lines adorned his face. Still tall and good looking, Shyamal wondered if he was still a bachelor. He pulled out his book and writing tools, trying to repress the bubble of hidden anger building up in his chest. Out of James Potter's remaining best friends, Sirius Black had been Harry's godfather, Remus Lupin being Edward's, joking that he would try to corrupt the cub that had Lily's eyes. After that Halloween, Sirius had forgotten him, leaving him to watch his siblings from the darkness while Edward bathed in the light of fame.
His eyes flicked over to the woman toad sitting in the corner. She was wearing an ugly dress and the same cardigan from the feast. And she was staring right him.
He stared back at her.
Umbridge's lips quirked up in a parody of a smile before turning back to look at the class as the bell rang again.
Black stood up, hands on the desk before him. "You guys know the drill. The beginning of each new unit will comprise of reading the theory behind the spell and learning to pronounce it correctly. The next few lessons will be the actual practice of the spell itself."
Black sighed, eyes closing for a second before looking at her. "Would you like to add something?" The words were slightly growled at her.
"Perhaps it would be prudent to focus on the theory of magical defense. Studying the actual spells themselves is too far advanced for fifth year students."
"That is what I'm doing, Madam Umbridge. If the student can't practice the spells then it obviously means that they haven't grasped the theory. If need be, we will go back."
Umbridge narrowed her eyes at him. "It is not because you are trying to teach them spell work to supposedly face off against a non-existent threat?"
"Who said anything about that? I certainly didn't. Since this is the fifth year class, they will focus on subjects that might have the chance to appear on the OWLs. You have agreed with me and Professor Dumbledore that the students haven't been up to par on their coursework since their first year. As such, I will have to move quickly to cover five years worth of material that includes basic spells such as Expelliarmus, Stupefy, and others."
Shyamal would have laughed at the scandalized look on Umbridge's face. "Now, if you excuse me, I have a class to teach." The ex-Auror turned back to the class, a small smirk on his face. "The Expelliarmus spell is a simple one and is usually called the Disarming spell for obvious reasons. If used correctly, the spell will cause your opponent's wand to fly out of his or her hand and away from him. Those with enough power behind it will also cause the person to fly backward and if you have truly mastered it, the wand or object will fly toward you, allowing you to catch it. Who can tell me the problems with this spell?" Shyamal raised his hand to the interest of his classmates. Black was glad to call on someone besides Granger as Shyamal could see. Perhaps her reputation as a know-it-all reached the Potter family's ears with some negative results, no doubt thanks to Edward. "Yes, Mr. Suha?"
"The spell takes the wand away from the person. If the person wasn't thrown back, they can easily retaliate back by either engaging in physical combat or by Disapparating away. If the person is capable of wand-less magic, they can still cast spells and hexes."
"Excellent answer. Take ten points for Gryffindor. Would you please come here, Mr. Suha? I would like to demonstrate the spell on you." Black motioned for Shyamal to stand on the other side of the classroom. "Now, watch closely class. Expelliarmus!" The jet of magic shot toward Shyamal, who didn't do anything, the spell striking him in the chest. His wand rocketed out of his hand, shooting toward Black. The professor caught it. "To keep your wand, it would be best if you kept a firm grip on it, making it harder to disarm you this way." Black threw Shyamal's wand back at him. "Firm grip, Mr. Suha." Shyamal nodded, watching as the spell came his way again. His wand vibrated a bit but didn't move. "See how it didn't fly out?"
"One would think it would be obvious to keep a firm grip on one's wand." Draco drawled sarcastically, his head held up by his hand.
Black looked at him. "If it was so obvious, then it wouldn't be used. In battle, most veteran combatants are relaxed during their fighting. Their grips may follow suit and if they are hit, are quickly disarmed. Ten points from Slytherin for inappropriate remarks, Mr. Malfoy." The boy's face flushed with anger, keeping his temper in check. "You can take a seat now, Mr. Suha."
The rest of the class had them reading from the textbook, taking notes. Shyamal glanced up from time to time, catching the Ministry puppet glaring at Black with barely concealed hatred. No doubt, she was going to find a way to take control of the Defense Against the Dark Arts class. As the period came to end, Black was asking the class if they had any questions. Immediately, Edward's hand came up.
"Are you going to start up the Dueling Club, Professor?" He asked a hopeful expression on his face. Others in the class instantly perked up, interest crossing their features.
"We'll see. I have to talk to Professor Dumbledore first to set up times and limitations. I have heard of the so called Dueling Club held about three years ago and I can honestly say this year's will be different. I'm sure we can have more experiences hands involved in this."
"I do not believe the Ministry will approve of such things." Umbridge stated haughtily, her lips pressing in a thin smile. "Dueling Clubs are much too dangerous for young students."
Edward rolled his eyes. "I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to Professor Black."
Umbridge tutted. "Such disrespect, Mr. Potter. I'm sure detention will fit well for you."
"Madam Umbridge, you are not an official staff member here and as such you cannot assign detention nor remove or give points to students for their behaviors. The most you can do is to advise a teacher. I say a ten point deduction will suffice as a warning." Black sent a glare to Edward, warning him to stay out of it.
"Potter, I believe the Professor told you to stay out of it." Shyamal hissed toward him, receiving shocks from the Gryffindors. Their saving grace was the bell. As the class gathered their stuff to leave, Umbridge walked up to Shyamal.
"I would like to see you in my office, Mr. Suha." The toad waited just long enough for him to gather his things before leading the way down to the room that survived as her office while she stayed at Hogwarts.
He wanted to gag at the hideous decorations adorning the walls of the room. Shyamal watched as the Inquisitor sat down behind her desk.
"Now, dearie, I'm sure you are wondering why you are here instead of back with your siblings." Umbridge started in the sickly sweet girly voice of hers.
"Yes, ma'am." Shyamal said, trying not to gag on the last word.
"Ah, well mannered. More than what I can say for Potter." Her chubby fingers clapped together. "When the Ministry heard that you were transferring to Hogwarts, you can say we were quite- concerned- with the education you have received as well as the reasons as to why you transferred here."
"Headmaster Dumbledore has already interviewed us regarding our visit. I'm sure if you talk to him, he will tell you of the circumstances regarding our status." Shyamal had a feeling she wasn't ever going to ask him.
"I have received his report on you when he filed it into your folders. The information in there has quailed any fears. Rather I am interested in the relation between you and Potter."
Shit. Shyamal thought. Did Dumbledore place in their files that Cosmas and Damian were werewolves? From the attitude he had seen, Shyamal suspected that Umbridge was for pureblood superiority, a Death Eater thinker without the stupid Dark Mark.
"I have been hearing rumors of the confrontation between you and him on Friday night. I am quite surprised that you didn't get detention for hexing him." That neither confirmed if she knew their secret.
"Are you going to report me to Headmaster Dumbledore?" Shyamal quietly stated his eyes boring into Umbridge's. He noticed her mouth twist into a parody of a smile again.
"Oh no no no, dear. This is just between you and me." She leaned forward, her eyes flaring with interest. "You see, child, the Ministry takes great care of its wards and Hogwarts has become somewhat of an unstable environment for younglings like yourself. We fear that Headmaster Dumbledore may have gone. . . . soft in his old age and may no longer be fit to perform his duties as stated by the Board. I am here to oversee his handling of affairs here at the school during the next year."
"And exactly what does this have to do with me?" Shyamal crossed his arms, his mind running through possible scenarios. Umbridge stunk of evil darkness, her presence dirtying the air around him. How much he wanted to gag. He breathed through his nose, drawing in deep breaths before releasing it through his mouth.
"The Ministry has seen to appoint me into the new position of High Inquisitor. I cannot trust the prefects nor the Head Boy or Girl so I will be creating a new group of student leaders who will report only to me alone. I would like for you to join."
"You want a spy in Gryffindor Tower, to spy on the Potter brat."
"The benefits of joining the squad would be beneficial to you and your siblings. Things are changing around here and Dumbledore will no longer be in charge of Hogwarts as he once was. His corruption on the young students will end by the school year."
"If the Gryffindors or any other House sees me with you, I doubt the benefits will be all that good." Shyamal said nastily.
"Simply, you would report to me under the guise of detention." Umbridge leaned forward. "By the year's end, the rewards will be bigger for you and your siblings."
Shyamal thought about Dumbledore. He seemed to be losing Hogwarts through the actions of the Ministry. He had stated that no one would know about Cosmas and Damian. Hala would be targets as well. For protection, all he had to do was spy on the Boy Who Lived. But Umbridge was against half breeds and the like it seemed. What would she do if she found out that Cosmas and Damian were werewolves? "I'll do it. The only information I have as of right now is the Gryffindors think Edward Potter is proclaiming the return of Voldemort to gain more fame and glory. From what I have seen of him, it seems to be true. Potter is refusing to talk about what happened that night and any actions the other students try to take to find out are met with some hostility. That was how the confrontation came to be on Friday night after someone voiced disbelief about him."
Umbridge's fat fingers tapped along the desk top. "Just the way the Ministry would like it. If anyone tries to talk with the Potter boy, divert them. I want no one having contact with him regarding Voldemort."
"I can only do so much. Dumbledore knows I came here for protection from Voldemort if he has indeed return. If I show signs of suddenly disbelieving him, it will lay suspicions on me which we cannot afford. Besides, Potter is doing well in isolating himself."
"Do what you can then. You are free to go." Umbridge handed Shyamal a slip of parchment. "Run along, dearie."
Shyamal left. Trotting swiftly along, he glanced at the parchment. What he read made him think Umbridge had been planning about this since the rumors began.