Cornelius was nervously waiting for the Romanian delegates to arrive. Whispers had been circulating the Department of the Law Enforcement department that the Blood Elves had been attacked by a force that had killed thirteen Elven warriors. At first he had not cared as they were creatures, not human wizards. It wasn't until yesterday that he had found the report on the attack but again he hadn't cared for it, wondering instead about the gala for Christmas Day and who should be on the invite list. It wasn't until Tiberius Ogden had sent memos, calling for an emergency meeting that would be held in Court Room One as the Romanian Minister and the High King of the Blood Elves had requested to meet with the British Wizengamot.
Now, the fifty members of the Wizengamot sat silently in the well lit room of Court Room number one, the benches immaculately clean for the meeting soon to take place. Each wore the plum-colored of their positions, the carefully stitched silver 'W' worn proudly on the left side of their chests. Quills, bottles of ink, and scrolls of parchment littered the small shelf before each member, hands waiting to take down notes. The scribe for the meeting was none other than Percy Weasley was was sitting neatly next to Delores Umbridge who had traveled from Hogwarts to be there for him.
His eyes darted from where he sat in the chair of his office as the Minister of Magic. On his right sat Tiberius Ogden who now held the position of Chief Wizengamot and on his left sat Amelia Bones as the Head of the MLE. He knew he could not count on any of them as they both supported Albus Dumbledore, the wizard who wanted his seat. It was the reason way he had requested the Wizengamot to allow Delores Umbridge to seat on a lower bench with the other Winzegamot members. Out of all fifty members, Fudge knew he could rely on her support.
At length, a pair of Aurors stepped into the room, taking up their posts on either side of the door. The Romanian Minister of Magic and a tall, elderly Blood Elf entered the room side by side, in step as they crossed the small Court Room to the table set up before the Wizengamot.
The Romanian Minister was a tall man, though not as tall as the Elf, dressed in fine silver-grey robes that flowed gently around him. Red, yellow, and blue threads ran around the edges in delicate designs. His balding hair was slowly turning from a light brown to a dull grey color. His skin was light, lined around the mouth and eyes which were a dark earthy brown. Rimless oval glasses sat perched on his nose.
The Elf was dressed in simple sea green robes with opalescent white threads running around the edge. His silver hair flowed free and straight, golden eyes taking in everything. A silver cane was held lightly in one hand, the other held formally in front. Cornelius' eyes fell on the golden and silver crown adorning his head, eyes drawn to the twinkling diamonds.
Behind them, a pair of Romanian Aurors and two Blood Elf warriors followed behind. All four of them were armed; the Aurors dressed to an almost exact match like their compatriots in the British Auror department except the scarlet robes of the British Aurors were replaced with deep blue robes with a black badge on the left side. Their wands were holstered away probably on their arms.
The Elven warriors were wearing a dark red tunic, with silver-plated black dragon leather vests, boots, and silver helmets that hid most of their faces. A slim scabbard was barely visible on their back, the hilt just peeking from their cloaks. Other than that simple weapon, he could see no other sign of armaments. They stepped into the shadows, taking positions to see the entire room.
Cornelius Fudge stood, clearing his throat before addressing the foreign dignitaries. "Welcome, Minister Andrei Mikhail, King Shahriar Siofra to the British Ministry of Magic."
"Minister Fudge." Mikhail addressed as Shahriar gave a very stiff bow, eyes not leaving the British politician. "I appreciate you accepting our request for a meeting with your Wizengamot on such a short notice but you can agree that these circumstances require immediate attention."
"Of course, of course." Fudge motioned them to take a seat. He waited until they were comfortable before taking a seat himself. "News of the attack on the kingdom of the Blood Elves has reached us."
"Then you must know of the concerns that we have." Mikhail leaned forward, eyes sharpening behind his glasses. "With this attack and threat of future attack, we have now taken a special interest on the events going on here."
"What concern does the country of Romania and a foreign authority have with us?" Lucius Malfoy primly asked, his grey eyes narrowing as the golden eyes of the Elf King swiftly met his. "And does the Blood Elves have any real power in your country?" To those not paying attention, one would not have heard the slight undertone of disgust coloring the man's voice.
Mikhail met Lucius' eyes. "The government of Romania recognizes the kingdom of the Blood Elves as a sole sovereign as per the agreement between us and the humans who lived alongside us which was written and sealed decades of years ago. As a British Wizengamot member, I believe you should already have known this." Lucius flushed slightly at the veiled insult.
Shahriar leaned forward, fingers coming together under his chin as his eyes bored into the sweating Fudge. "Regardless of who wields the greatest authority, we must address the issues we are faced with at this very moment. We have – concerns, you might say - as to the ability of the British Ministry of Magic of keeping a certain threat contained within their jurisdiction, as we have stated before. The two surviving wizards left behind were a part of the group known as Death Eaters, who supported and were loyal to Lord Voldemort, as he calls himself, a man we have learned to have returned just recently to power."
Umbridge coughed, leaning forward. "I'm afraid you are mistaken, King Shahriar. Voldemort is dead. Perhaps the culprit is another." She suggested over the whispers of the Wizengamot.
"We have heard otherwise." The king raised an eyebrow at her. "Who are you, Madam, to speak in at this meeting? I believe there were only fifty members to the British Wizengamot if my training is correct. Yet here are fifty-one members besides those needed to record the meeting."
"I am Delores Umbridge, the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic and Hogwarts High Inquisitor. I was allowed to partake in this meeting."
"Are you trained as a Hit-Wizard or trained as an Auror to protect this government and the public from threats and chaos?" King Shahriar brushed the glare from the woman. "If you don't have the skills and insight to provide critique on how to better defend this government then allow those who do to discover the best course of action." The whispers turned into loud murmurs, a few of the Wizengamot carried brief smirks on their faces before disappearing behind raised hands.
"Madam Umbridge, you are here as a courtesy at the request of Minister Fudge. If at any time you create a further disturbance, I will have you removed." Umbridge closed her mouth, her face an ugly red color. Amelia nodded to the foreign dignitaries. "You can finish now, Minister Mikhail."
"Thank you, Madam Bones. As King Shahriar stated, we have heard tales of the evil wizard's return and learned that the source of this information was none other than Edward Potter, the Boy Who Lived and who was supported by the Hogwarts staff. You mean to tell us that this is just a rumor?" Mikhail asked, aiming the question directly at Fudge.
The British Minister shifted nervously. "Earlier this year, Edward Potter whom we have trusted previously began spreading lies after the death of his fellow classmate Cedric Diggory, claiming that You-Know-Who had returned. Since then, there have been no sightings of him or any sign pointing to his return."
"Did you verify if his statements of the situation were true? I'm sure I am correct in saying that standard procedures include veritaserum and Penieve memories." Fudge shifted even more in his seat, his eyes glancing around in an attempt to avoid Minister Mikhail's cold eyes. "Well, Minister Fudge?"
"The events following the untimely death of young Mr. Diggory were chaotic, dealing the stricken students of all three schools, the grief of his parents. Surely you must know-"
King Shahriar interrupted. "It has been five months since then and you still have yet to support your claim that the tales were false. You persecute the family that has led to Voldemort's first downfall in this farce of justice. You potentially allow his armies to grow under it while putting the entire family under pressure."
As Fudge fumbled for a bit, Amelia took up the slack. "If the assumption that Voldemort has returned is true, then what will the stance of the Romanian Ministry and the Blood Elves be?"
"The attack on Uaithne provided a look into Voldemort's plans. As there were Giants, I strongly believe the clans of Giants have joined Voldemort. They live in Russia and the northern Carpathian mountains in Ukraine and Poland away from the prying eyes of humans. Because the Giant clans are not recognized by any Ministry, they do not belong to any one country which poses a problem. For us to fight them, we have to request admittance onto the soil of the countries where the clans are. Russia has given us permission to engage any clan that attacks a muggle or Wizarding village. Poland and Ukraine are still deciding if the Giants on their land are under Voldemort's service. Romania is in agreement that any Giant in service to the Death Eaters and their new leader whoever it may be, is a threat and will be dealt with accordingly until either side surrenders." Minister Mikhail took a sip of his drink, allowing Shahriar to pick up the thread.
"Since we are right across from the Giants near the Ukrainian border, we will focus primarily on them which in turn should keep them from joining Voldemort here in Britain." Shahriar fixated his golden eyes on Fudge who now couldn't look away. "In return, we ask that you contribute by finding and dealing with any Death Eater who carries the Dark Mark and is in active service to the new leader."
Somehow, Fudge dredged up enough courage to speak out. "What if we were to deny this tentative alliance?"
Mikhail gave a grim smile. "I assure you that that decision will not bode well for you financially. I am sure that there a few trades going on between the two countries. It would rather be devastating if they were to fall through."
"King Shahriar." The Elf High King turned around to see a tall man striding toward him, purple robes flaring out, light glittering from the shooting stars running across the length of fabric. "May I have a moment with you?"
"Of course." Shahriar turned to Mikhail who was waiting for him at the elevator. "I will meet up with you for supper as we planned, old friend."
"Be careful, Shahriar. Voldemort's spies are out and about." No one in the office flinched as Mikhail had spoken in Romanian, using the codename the Romanian Ministry had come up with for the British Dark Lord. He entered the elevator, flanked on both sides by his Auror guard.
"If you may." Shahriar bowed slightly, allowing the wizard to lead him off to a private room. They entered one just off the Atrium, out of the way of bustling secretaries, Ministry employees, Auror trainees, and the odd wizard here and there. His eyebrow rose as the silver-haired wizard took a circuit around the perimeter, wand weaving across the walls, floor, and ceiling. Either this wizard was paranoid or he knew how the Ministry under Fudge worked.
"Sorry for the pause but I had to make sure our conversation was not being infringed upon." The silver-haired wizard motioned for Shahriar to take a seat as he did the same. "My name is Albus Dumbledore, the current Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"Ah, yes. I remember, you are the one who defeated the Bulgarian Dark Lord Grindalwald back in the 1940's I believe."
A dark expression of guilt and shame crossed Dumbledore's face at this before clearing. "Yes, well, I understand that the Blood Elves and the Romanian Ministry were planning on seeing if roads could be laid to handle the threat of Voldemort and his supporters."
"As you may soon hear, it did not quite go as planned." Shahriar stated. "The Minister is very set in his ways and does not want to deviate at all from his well trodden path for fear of running into a scary monster, one that will not vote for him."
"Sadly, that is true." Dumbledore's light blue eyes firmed. "I wish to seek an alliance with the kingdom and the Romanian Ministry."
"What authority do you have?"
"I am the leader of a group that concerns itself with the preservation of the people and their freedoms; the Order of the Phoenix. We are small, but we are well trained and willing to take the fight to Voldemort if need be."
"You are in charge of a school full of children."
A solemn look crossed the Headmaster's face. "I fear that I may not be in the position for much longer. Minister Fudge seeks to discredit me even further to ensure his hold on the office of Minister. But if that were to happen, it means I can fully give everything to the fight."
Shahriar leaned back in his chair, studying the old man before him. The tales he had heard from the witnesses of the battle between Dumbledore and Grindalwald had been full of adjectives, endearments, and ideals. But rumors of another sort, ones that were ignored by the public at large came to his ears when he had been a teen with his father as the king, the Great Mother bless him. Those rumors did not place the wizard in a good light. "I can tell you this, Dumbledore, as I cannot speak for the Romanian Ministry and her people, but I can provide support in an unofficial capacity."Albus peered at the Elven High King over his half-moon spectacles.
"There are times, where we take in the odd wizard or witch here and there, mostly stragglers who have lost their way. You are familiar with the Suha siblings?"
"Yes, we have had a few altercations with them between other students."
"Mostly with Shyamal protecting his siblings from said students?" Albus nodded. "Ah, Shyamal has been too overprotective of his siblings after the death of their parents, almost to the point of obsession. But I digress. There was another wizard who we took on, slightly younger than Hala when we took on the Suhas. He has stayed with us even though he is of age in most countries. Due to what happened to him early in life, he cares little for the racist and superiority issues of humans who hold such views. He has heard of Voldemort and strongly opposes his belief of Muggles, Half-bloods, mudbloods, and the like. In fact, I have had to make sure that he kept his temper in check as the Blood Elves were not willing to interfere in the dealings of the British Ministry." Shahriar traced the grain in the wood. "If the council is willing, we can have him join you in your fight against Voldemort." His golden eyes flicked up, catching Dumbledore's.
"But be warned, until the stance of the Ministry changes here, you will not have the full backing of the Blood Elf Kingdom, nor will the wizard should he come here."
Dumbledore slowly nodded, thinking that one fully-trained wizard was better than none. "What is his name?"
"I wonder how long they worked on this." Hermione muttered as her, Shyamal, Ron, and his siblings were in the Castellum, looking over the huge library that completely encompassed the fourth floor. That didn't include the Archives that were in an even large chamber that was hidden below. After asking Hogwarts, they learned that everything held in the two large collections were the magical portion of the knowledge that had once been stored at the Library of Alexandria, secreted away during the siege by wizards who had seen to their duty of preserving the scrolls. The muggle equivalents of the scholars weren't so lucky. The muggle books and scrolls had been burned along with the Library and the Museum next to it.
Ron had to drag Hermione to where they were presently were to stop her from rushing down to the Archives while Shyamal and his siblings watched in amusement.
Shyamal, Ron, and Hermione were huddled around a table next to a large arched window that looked out over the cliff side, the towers of Hogwarts gleaming on the valley floor. Damian and Cosmas had gone off the medical section of the library floor, hoping to see if they find any useful potions, charms, spells, and the like for use. Hala had disappeared to the history of the Founders. For what reason, Shyamal didn't know.
"A good while at least. They had to find all the passages and the words before incorporating them into the Map." Shyamal tapped the parchment, using a spell he had found in a large tome called Revealing Hidden Incantations and Spells that described how to find certain magical signatures left behind by past, latent, and active spells. A layered image appeared above the aging paper, different spells and charms weaving together in a multicolored display; a general tracking spell, some storage charms, bits of spells containing the personality of the Marauders.
"We should work on the formatting of the Map first." Ron suggested, unfolding the Map to its greatest length, stretching to over a meter wide. "Imagine trying to fumble with this during a fight. We should slim it down."
Hermione tapped her chin with a finger, her eyebrows creased a bit. "We can have it respond to touch, shifting the image of school around with a finger. The only problem would be allowing the map to show multiple floors at once and in their entirety while not destroying the quality of the writing."
"We should have the Map be able to identify Death Eaters and Aurors and such." Shyamal studied the 3-D images of the spell weave in the Map. "We're going to have to start from scratch as if we try to mess with this one, everything will fall apart." Seeing Ron's questioning look, Shyamal explained further. "The Map is so old that the spells have actually melded together. If we try to tweak a spell, it'll basically be ripping the spell above and below it apart."
Hermione dug into her school bag, shifting some books around until she pulled out a rather large scroll of parchment. Whereas most scrolls were a foot in length, this one was almost a foot and half and about a foot wide. "We can put the new Map on this." She rolled it out, placing books on each end to keep it open. "First let's get the mechanics down first before we start adding the little details.
Ron studied the old Map. "Let's include Hogsmeade in the map, probably on the same level as the one that will show the entire Hogwarts ground. If You-know-who tried to get into Hogwarts, it'd be through the village."
"Kind of predictable, don't you think?" Shyamal asked.
"Not anymore, Mr. Suha." Came Hogwart's disembodied voice. "Since my awakening, I have been repairing the ancient walls that used to run along the boundary of the school. They have been rising from their foundations for quite some time; however, it will be a while before they reach their full height."
Shyamal shared a glance with his friends. "Do you think you can provide the entire information on the layout of the school?"
"I can. First you must set it up before I can begin to update the Map first."
"Too bad you can't design it for us." Ron muttered as he got up to search for more books.
"How exactly are we going to be able to identify Death Eaters from students, Aurors, professors, and the rest?" Hermione asked.
"The Death Eaters are marked with the Dark Mark as you know. The only trouble will be able to scan one long enough to design a tracking spell." Shyamal knew that each spell had its own signature and the Dark Mark was no different.
"Professor Snape has one." Hermione murmured, fingers now tapping against the table top. "Can't see him allowing us to scan it."
Shyamal snorted. "Well, I don't plan on going to Azkaban and doing one there." He stopped, watching Ron as he came back with a pile of books. "We're going to have to find a way for us to scan Snape's."
Hermione's eyes bugged a little. "Shyamal, that's suicide. If Snape was to find out, we'd be expelled."
"Whoa, whoa, what's this about Snape?"
"He wants to find a way to scan the magical signature of Snape's Dark Mark so we can use it to identify the Death Eaters if they were to enter the school."
"I have to agree, mate, that's suicide."
"We can come back to that problem later. As for the Aurors, it's a little easier. All Aurors have badges with them which are also specially made for the Ministry with tracking charms with the lists being updated at the Head Office." Hermione shrugged her shoulders. "It's a way for the Head Auror to keep track of his or her men."
"We'll we can always scan the one that Professor Black keeps in his desk." Before Shyamal could say anything else, the three of them heard a commotion from where Damian and Cosmas had gone off to.
Damian entered the room on his stomach, sliding against the marble with a sound that caused Ron to wince in sympathy. Cosmas came in more gracefully, stumbling against the wall as he barely was able to keep himself from falling. In his hand, he could see a scroll that was a light grey color.
"Shyamal! We have something you want to see." Cosmas yelled, bouncing rather quickly to his feet and crashing into the table. Not caring that the Marauders' Map was there, he placed the other scroll on top of it and rolling it open.
Spidery black ink run across the weird colored parchment, the entire document looking like something Shyamal would see in his potion book. "I see it. What is it?"
"It's a basis for a possibly new medical potion." Damian huffed out, a hand on his stomach as he tried to regain control of his breathing. "One that could revolutionize modern magical medicine as we know it!"
"It's always been believed that any virus, magical or muggle, would be an almost impossible feat to cure because of how they work on a genetic level. " Cosmas added. "To become a werewolf, you have to be infected by one on a full moon, during which the virus that causes lycanthropy is fully active. The Wolfsbane potion works on the genetic material of the brain, the only potion known to be able to work on those infected with lycanthropy due to its ability to bypass the blood barrier around the brain."
"Anyway, we were looking through the books in the medical section when we came across this." Cosmas waved a hand at the innocuous scroll.
Shyamal glanced at it before turning back to his siblings. "Still don't know what it is."
The Suha twins glanced at each other then back at Shyamal. "This might lead to the discovery of a cure for lycanthropy!"
The night was falling.
Hermione, Ron, and his siblings had gone back to Gryffindor Tower to finish homework that would be due soon. Well in Hermione's case, to start homework that was due at the end of the week.
He had followed them back to pick up some things and drop off others except for the Marauders' Map. The copy of the scroll that his brothers' had found was now sitting securely in his trunk, underneath other items that he wanted to keep from prying eyes.
Shyamal dug through the stained pages of the ancient tome before him on war spells. After the news of the discovery, Shyamal had gone off in search of Hala when a large Eagle owl had swooped in long enough to drop its letter.
There were only three words on there in Shahriar's familiar script.
Prepare your armor.
From those words, Shyamal knew that Owain was able to alert his father to his intentions. It also meant that the High King had found a way that might allow Shyamal to fight without revealing himself; the only thing he had to do now was wait for confirmation.
He paused at a page showing the moving figure of the spell the chapter was focusing on. Peering at the picture, he could see the grey wizard jumping out of the bed, a bubble appearing next to his head with the words 'Celo Ferratus'. The next second, the nightshirt the wizard wore was disappearing, his ancient Auror robes appearing, the thick dragon cloak hampering his movement as he moved out of the picture. Shyamal looked away, staring out of the window as he thought about the spell.
It would solve a lot of problem if he stored his Elven armor in something that he would wear constantly. If he didn't use it, it would take time for him to simply put the armor on. The problem of keeping it close would also be solved, lessening the chance that someone might see it as well. Turning the page, he read the basic diagnostic of the spell.
The first component of the spell was that he would need something to store the suit of armor in, like a bracelet or a necklace, or even an earring. Next, he would have to actually put on the Elven armor without anything else so he could store it along with a memory of his body shape. If he didn't do that step right, his clothes would just appear, potentially appearing inside his stomach, chest, or any other vital area. Once the charm was set, he would then have to weave another spell; the Robe-changing charm so the item could switch his current set of clothes for the Elven armor inside the storage unit.
Shyamal stood up, proceeding to take off his Hogwarts robes, draping the red and yellow scarf over the high backed chair. Pulling the locked box he had taken from his trunk earlier, he opened it with another password, the top springing open. Inside were the shrunken pieces of the armor.
He slipped on the simple undergarments followed by the dark red clothing, consisting of a tunic shirt that came down to just above his knees and slightly baggy pants with silver threads running around in simple designs. Next, he withdrew the black dragon leather vest, gauntlets, and boots. The vest was formed in the basic style of the armor of the Roman Empire; the lorica segmentata. Mithril plating on top of the leather gave added protection to the spell resistant dragon hide against blades and clubs. With delicate care, he pulled the item he intended to use out of the vest and laid it carefully against his chest.
He slipped on his dragon-hide, mithril-plated boots which were more comfortable than the shoes he had been wearing to Hogwarts. He checked to have his tanto blades secured firmly in the small slots on the outside edge of the footwear.
The dragon hide belt was next, going around his waist to secure the middle of the tunic firmly. The slim, light, sword slung from his back, the dark red cloak hiding it except for the simple leather handle. A shorter blade, twelve inches in length, went on the left side of his belt. Next to the small scabbard was an empty wand holster. The armored gauntlets went on next. Unlike the armored front of the lorica segmentata, the mithril plating was limited just enough to allow full flexibility of his fingers, hands, and wrists. Finally the helmet went on, his eyes staring out of the eye sockets.
"Hope this works." He picked up his wand carefully, uncomfortable with using it with the gauntlets on. "Celo Ferratus!" A bright white-blue light flashed around him, the Elven Armor disappearing. Shyamal blinked, looking down at himself.
All the components of the armor were gone, not even the garments were on him. Smiling he quickly placed his wand back on the table to redress in his Hogwarts robes. Fully dressed, he removed the necklace, casting the Robe-changing spell. Casting another diagnostic spell on the necklace, he saw the spells settle nicely.
"If anything is to happen to me, get Damian will you?"
"What about your other siblings?"
"Damian won't ask questions like Hala and won't crack jokes like Cosmas." Shyamal picked up the necklace and retied it around his neck. Holding his wand in his right hand, Shyamal closed his eyes, whispering the final spell in his head, pushing his magic into the necklace. At first, there was a resistance in the necklace against his throat which only lasted a second before giving way.
He felt a breeze sweep around his body, from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. Opening his eyes, he looked down just in time to see his shoes fade out, his boots replacing them. "Hmm, going to have to work on the timing." He checked over the armor, not seeing anything out of place. He whispered the spell again, pushing his magic. This time he could see the clothes shifting into phase as the armor disappeared.
Satisfied with the results, Shyamal closed the tomes he had been using, Banishing them back to their place on the shelves.
If everything worked out, the Dark Heir wouldn't know what hit him.
Spyridon- Due to final exams coming up next week and the studying I definitely I have to do, I probably won't be able to post for the next couple of weeks. I will try to use the time constructively to work on the previous chapters, polishing them down, and adding some more details. We'll see. Updates will be posted on the BWS Fic Forum on my profile or on my ff.net profile. Reviews are welcomed.