Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Phoenix Eclipse

Chapter Twenty One: Target Sighted

by Spyridon 4 Reviews

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres:  - Characters:  - Published: 2010/06/01 - Updated: 2010/06/02 - 8876 words

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Chapter Twenty-One: Target Sighted[//]
__________

"What happened between you and Ferdinand?" Hermione asked, dodging a Bat-Bogey Hex from Ginny as they practiced. Shyamal was walking about the room, offering basic dueling stances and dodges. The students were using stinging hexes, light punching spells, and Shield charms during this ID session.

It was their third meeting so far and every single person coming to the meetings were showing noticeable improvement. Even Neville who was one of the slowest students in their year was gradually improving under Shyamal's tutelage and Zacharias who complained at every advice.

Between Hermione's pleas and the looks the Hufflepuffs were giving him, Shyamal had conceded to let a few more members join but only after he had personally talked with them. No one knew of course that Shyamal had wiped one potential member's memory after learning that person was hoping to reveal them to Umbridge in hopes of getting immunity from the ever increasing audacity of the Inquisitorial Squad.

"He didn't like the fact that I was putting the Quidditch practices in front of him. So he decided to look for another girlfriend." Ginny shrugged.

"I can't believe that git." Hermione said indignantly. "Didn't he tell you that he wasn't going to hold that against you?"

"At least I know his true colors. If it happened further down the road, it would have probably have more painful consequences."

Hermione twirled her wand, a punching hex shooting to Ginny's side but the red-head quickly jumped to the side. "Are you going to look for a boyfriend right now?"

Ginny shook her head. "Not right now but that doesn't mean I can't look no?"

"I get you there girl." Hermione grinned. "You know, Seamus' accent can be sexy at times."

Ginny laughed, not able to bring up her shield in time to block Hermione's next hex. The magical sting underneath her ribs made her laugh even harder, wand lowering. "He's cute but he's too feisty for me with all the Irish blood. I prefer someone more controlled of themselves I guess." Ginny shrugged her shoulders. "All I really know is what I don't want in a man. What about you, Hermione?"

"Hmmm, someone who can let me be what I am. Most don't like a really studious girl, you know. You do have to agree that Roger Davies does look hot in his uniform." Hermione grinned as Ginny spluttered.

"Nah, not my type. What about Anthony Goldstein?"

Hermione thought it over. "He does have a way of chewing on quills; Justin Finch-Fletchley from Hufflepuff?"

"Too timid." Ginny's eyes starting roaming the Room. "Oh, what about Shyamal? He does have this mysterious air about him. Plus he's hot-"

"My brother is oblivious to girls." Ginny jumped back slightly, wand moving but she saw that it was only Hala Suha who had spoken.

"What?" Hermione asked, walking until she was next to Ginny.

"My brother, Shyamal; there's a reason why he hasn't dated any girl in Durmstrang nor Hogwarts even though they tend to fight over him. He doesn't pay attention to what girls are doing." Hala shrugged her shoulders. "I always believed he just didn't have time to date you know but I've been noticing he's been watching the boys a lot."

Ginny looked confused for a second before blushing. "Oh!" She sighed. "The good ones are always taken or gay. Well, I can always look still."

"Sure." Hermione studied the smaller girl before her. It looked like Hala was glaring at Ginny for one second and the next, looking innocent. "Have you made any new friends since you've started here, Hala? I haven't seen you with Shyamal the last couple of weeks."

"Oh, I've a study group. I wanted to focus on the subjects here while my brothers focus on the sports." Hala waved for her partner to come over. "This is Jack Sloper; he's been helping me with my Transfiguration project for McGonagall."

"Hala is good at potions so it works both ways." The small boy said shyly. "We just started studying last week."

"Snape and McGonagall were always hard for me." Ginny said.

"Oy, are you guys practicing?" Ron stepped over with Shyamal.

"We were just talking about studying." Hala answered.

"Hopefully about the spells we will be using?" Shyamal crossed his arms, raising his eyebrow at his younger sister.

"Maybe." Hala smiled back.

Suddenly Ron smacked his head. "Talking about school, the next Hogsmeade trip is next Saturday. Anybody care to join us for a drink in the Three Broomsticks? I can do away with Umbitch."

"You and everyone else here." Ginny replied.

"She's been getting worse. Her detentions have started to become borderline Dark." Hermione huffed. "I found another victim today with the words 'I will not sleep in DADA' etched into the back of her hand. That vile woman is going too far with the powers the Ministry has granted her."

Shyamal frowned. "That sounds like –"

"– A blood quill I know." Hermione shook her head. "I can't believe the Headmaster doesn't know."

"Have you tried telling him?"

The Gryffindor prefect blushed. "No."

"You should. If nothing happens, then we'll have to take actions." Shyamal checked the time. "It's getting late. We should be heading back to our Common Rooms." Shyamal pulled out the Map, making sure Argus was in his office and Umbridge in her quarters before releasing the students in groups of five or less.
_________

Shyamal studied the students around him as he carefully brewed his Eye-Clarity Potion. As usual, he had taken his normal seat right on the borderline between the two Houses; Gryffindor on his right and Slytherin on his left. Goyle was sitting to the left of him, looking away from Shyamal. His loyal companion Crabbe was sitting in front on the upper left seat from Shyamal. Directly ahead of Shyamal sat Hermione with her cauldron bubbling nicely, her potion a pale lilac. Behind Shyamal sat Ron with Blaise Zabini next to him in the lower left seat. Edward Potter was in the back room, glaring into his cauldron. Neville was sitting next to Shyamal on his right, Lavender Brown behind him and Dean Thomas sitting in front. Al three were slightly turned away from Shyamal that day.

Professor Snape was staying true to his habits, gliding around the classroom, offering advice to Slytherins who were lagging behind or insulting Gryffindors who were in the same predicament.

Because Shyamal was tilted slightly toward the Slytherin side he could keep an eye on the students. Ron was flicking his eyes to Shyamal every now and then, waiting for Shyamal's signal.

Hermione had objected at first, worried about the risk of getting caught by the Potions Master if the plan should fail. It seemed they had a similar plan back in their second year when they believed Draco Malfoy was the heir of Slytherin, going as far as disrupting his class to secure a bag of boomslang skin for the Polyjuice potion they were brewing.

Edward had been threatened by Snape after the destruction had been cleared the greasy-haired man believing the Boy Who Lived had something to do with the event that caused various parts of the students' body to swell. Of course, Edward had denied knowledge of it.

Shyamal had assured them, the risk of them getting caught would be low as he had cast a Notice-Me-Not charm on the Erumpant horn that now sat in Ron's book bag. Shyamal had one in his own book bag.

The bushy-haired girl pointed out that they hadn't been targeting the Potion Master himself in second year.

Shyamal had only replied that accidents happen.

"Potter! What are you doing?" Snape hissed, back to Shyamal. As the class turned to watch the scene unfolding before them, Shyamal caught Ron's eye, waving his hand to Goyle.

The red-haired boy bent slightly, hand slipping into his bag and pulling out the horn. Shyamal slid his horn out of his bag, turning slightly to Neville's cauldron. Already, the Erumpant horn slices Neville had sprinkled in there a few minutes were reacting with the acidic hellebore, the surface of the potion beginning to bubble wickedly. With a final look around the classroom, Shyamal flicked the horn into the cauldron, the object sinking quickly beneath the surface. Neville hadn't noticed the plop of the horn hitting the surface, disguised by the popping of the bubbles, still looking at Snape who was lecturing Potter. Turning back around, he saw Ron sliding into his seat, hands clenching tightly into fists but with no horn in sight.

The reason why Shyamal had chosen an intact Erumpant horn was because the horn was known to highly combustible, the caustic acid inside volatile even under safe conditions. The male bulls were known to die due to their horns exploding when they were in their mating drives. It would only take a few minutes for the acidic potion to eat its way through the horn shell and react with the explosive liquid inside.

"You will receive zero points for today, Potter. I will talk with your mother in regards to lack of attention to detail in this class." Snape waved his wand, Vanishing the contents of Potter's cauldron. "You will write me a 24 inch essay on the use and safety requirements of the Erumpant Horn in potion making, due next class."

"Yes, sir." Edward's jaw was twitching as he moved to put his things away.

The minutes began ticking down in Shyamal's head, his hands moving to pour a little bit of

Then -

BOOM!

Neville's cauldron was the first to go off, the contents exploding outward. The students around him dove behind their cauldrons. Some of the slower students weren't so lucky.

It couldn't have been timed any better.

Snape was assisting Pansy Parkinson on her Draught when Neville's cauldron had gone up. He was moving past Goyle's when the second Erumpant horn had exploded. Snape was picked up by the concussion wave and thrown hard against the dungeon wall. The room was in chaos, girls screaming on both sides, everyone huddled under their desks as noxious fumes began pouring from the two ruined cauldrons.

Hermione stood up. "Clear out! Someone go get Madam Pomfrey and a Professor!" The Gryffindor prefect ordered. The Slytherins were the first out the door, no one picking up their fallen Head of House, all thanks to the compulsion charm Shyamal had cast at the fallen man.

As the room emptied, Ron and Shyamal cast Bubble Head Charms on themselves before making their way to the Potions Master. Hermione covered them as she made sure everyone was heading toward the hall. Shyamal picked up the left arm, pulling on the sleeve until the Dark Mark was revealed in its full horrific glory.

"Damn, never thought it would be so ugly." Ron whispered.

"Everyone's out." Hermione said.

It was. The black tattoo seemed to have been carved into the flesh itself. The greenish black snake weaved its lithe body out from the grinning mouth of the black skull, the two ruby red eyes glaring at them.

Standing up, Shyamal pointed his wand at Snape, calling up on some of the Elven magic he was taught to hide the magical signature of the spell he would be using. "Sopor." A jet of silver light flew into Snape's chest. "Come on, let's get out of here before the fumes get to us." Each of them got an arm, hauling Snape up before dragging him out.

They had just cleared the entrance to the dungeons when Draco Malfoy dropped on them.

"What did you do?" The blonde-haired boy yelled, wand pointing straight at Shyamal's chest.

"We were rescuing your Head of House, who you selfishly left behind." Shyamal answered his eyes hardening as he stared down at the Slytherin Prefect.

"That is enough!" Professor McGonagall shouted as she strode quickly over to them, Seamus right behind her. Draco quickly hid his wand, fixing his hair as he glared hatefully at Shyamal. Gently as they could, Ron and Shyamal laid Snape out on the ground. "What happened?"

"Two of the cauldrons exploded. One of them caught Professor Snape and threw him against the wall. Before we could do anything, fumes began filling the room. I had everyone clear out. Ron and Shyamal were able to grab Professor Snape after we made sure the room was emptied." Hermione reported.

"Madam Pomfrey is on her way." Seamus added. No sooner than he had said that when the matron turned the corner, levitating a backboard before her.

"Stay here. I will go down and make sure the ventilation shafts are doing their jobs." McGonagall waved her wand around her neck, a transparent bubble encasing her head. She stepped into the dungeon entrance, disappearing into the gloom.

Madam Pomfrey finally reached the, heading quickly to Professor Snape side. "Who moved him?"

"We did." Ron motioned between him and Shyamal.

"Did you not think he may have received injuries that you couldn't see?" The matron huffed, running her wand over Snape's body.

"The room was filling with poisonous fumes. We thought it was better to drag him up here than leave him down there."

"You are lucky then. Professor Snape seems to be only knocked out due to the concussion he has. Nothing a simple potion won't fix." With a flick of her wand, Madam Pomfrey levitated Snape just high enough to slide the backboard under. Another flick and ropes were securing him to it. "He should up and walking around by dinner time." With that, Madam Pomfrey headed back to her infirmary, Snape moving along before her.

Ah, no he won't. Shyamal thought. He'll be out for the next 12 hours.

Professor McGonagall walked out of the dungeons. "The room shall be cleared once the cauldrons stop giving off their fumes. Your personal bags will be retrieved then. We will have to make sure that this wasn't intentional. Mr. Weasley, Mr. Suha, Ms. Granger, takes 10 points each for your quick thinking. Potions classes are canceled until further notice. Head back to your dormitories until your next class."

Shyamal, Ron, and Hermione waited until the rest of the Gryffindor class was slightly ahead of them before letting go of their breaths.

"I cannot believe that went off without us getting caught." Hermione said, wringing her hands.

"Better than using a firecracker." Shyamal looked pointedly at the two Gryffindors. "Since it's an actual ingredient in today's potion, they'll just overlook it."

"Hey, using the firecracker made perfect sense back then." Ron indignantly said. "We were twelve years old."

"Yeah, if you want to get caught." Shyamal reached into his pocket, withdrawing the Marauder's map. Tapping his wand on the surface, he activated it. Studying the dots, he smiled. "Everything's going just as planned. Madam Pomfrey has Snape in the closest corner to her quarters. All I have to do is sneak in tonight and scan his Dark Mark and we'll be one step closer to setting up the new Map."

"I can't believe we actually did this."

"What's so hard to believe, Hermione? It's not like we did rule-breaking before."

"We actually attacked a teacher, Ron."

"He'll wake up by tomorrow before breakfast. The spell's effects lasts only for 12 hours before dissipating. He's only in a deep sleep." Shyamal tapped the Map again, the lines fading away quickly. "Now we just have to get Professor Black's Auror badge for scanning."

"Having two accidents with two different teachers is pushing it."

"Yeah, I know. Maybe we can have Fred and George distract Black? We can do it on the weekend?"

"Next week is the next Hogsmeade trip." Ron said. "They usually have a list of the teachers heading with the students. We can see if Black is going to be escorting us that day."

"If he is, so much better. All we have to do is sneak in to his office and scan it. Hermione, do you think you can ask McGonagall to assign Black to the Hogsmeade trip next this Saturday? Your excuse is that some of the students are worried the Dark Heir will attack them."

Hermione nodded. "Sure, I'll bring it up in the next meeting." They arrived at Gryffindor Tower. "Gum drops! Now I need to find a way to carry out stuff to the next class. I should probably take a quill, some scrolls, and an inkbottle."

"At least we have an excuse not to bring our books. I wonder if they'll be smelling once we retrieve them."

"Look on the good side, Ron. You'll be able to practice the Scourgify spell of they do." Hermione answered, climbing through the portrait hole.
__________

Slowly, the Gryffindor Common Room emptied, the students heading to bed on ones and two until finally Shyamal, Ron, and Hermione were the only ones left.

"Too bad you don't have an invisibility cloak." Ron muttered, putting his chess pieces away. "I know Potter has one but he keeps it with him."

"Good thing I know the Disillusionment charm. It may not make me invisible but it will make it harder for people to see me and plus, I have the Marauders' Map." Shyamal had taken off his Hogwarts robes earlier, leaving them in the dorms when he had gone up to drop off his textbooks and book bag. He took out his wand and tapped his head with it. "Camuffare!"

Ron and Hermione watched in fascination as ripples flowed down from the point where Shyamal had tapped his head, leaving the teenager transparent. They could still see him, but the outline of his body looked like a trick of the light, the rays bending just enough to give him away if you looked close enough.

"Wicked!" Ron breathed, swaying from side to side. "I can still see you but at other times, you seem to disappear."

"No one knows the advanced form of the Disullusionment charms except for those who make Invisibility cloaks. They don't want people sneaking around you know." Shyamal picked up the Marauders' Map. "Too bad I can't do it to this otherwise I won't be able to see the names."

"It looks like the way is clear." Hermione said, looking over the surface. "You'd better go before you have to take the long way."

Shyamal nodded, folding the Map. "Gum drops!" The portrait swung open and Shyamal climbed through.

"Edward Potter! Where do you think you are going?" The Fat Lady shouted, looking distractedly around, Shyamal keeping to the shadows as he jogged away from Gryffindor Tower.

He climbed down to the sixth floor, pulling out the map again. The stairs were clear. He started down.

The Head Boy and Girl were combing the second floor when Shyamal made his way to the infirmary doors. Madam Pomfrey was hovering near Snape for a few minutes, no doubt doing final checks before she went to bed. The Head couple just barely arrived on the third floor when Shyamal slipped into the infirmary.

It was silent, darker than usual.

Outside of the tall arched windows, the moon was almost gone, just a tiny silver crescent in the dark inky sky.

Shyamal was raised his wand slightly. "Lumos." He whispered, controlling the spell to create a small dim torch beam. Right there, in the bed closest to the infirmary door was Snape. Hanging over the back of the chair next to it was his clean black robes, neatly polished shoes waiting on the seat. Shyamal checked the map and quickly extinguished the light. Crawling he slid under the bed and pulled the edge of the bed sheet down just as whispers were heard outside the infirmary door.

"Andrea, where are you going?" A boy's voice whispered quietly.

"I thought I saw a light here in the infirmary." The door was pushed open, a tall girl entering. "Lumos!" Shyamal laid down carefully on the cold stone floor as the beam of light crossed from one end to the other. "I guess I'm just tired from studying for the NEWTs, Jeff."

"I know how that feels. Come, we should get going. We still have five more levels to sweep through before we head to bed."

"Nox." The door closed, voices fading.

"Shit, that was close." Shyamal released the breath he had been unconsciously holding. He crawled out from under the bed and stood. Snape hadn't even twitched, the spell still working strong. He pulled out a long scroll of parchment, unsure of how many spells where invested into creating a Dark Mark. "Finite Incantatem." The Disillusionment charm disappeared, the transparency fading, Shyamal able to see the beige parchment.

Working swiftly, he drew a few runes on top of the parchment as well as around Snape's arm. "Duplicare Espeleir!" The runes activated, lighting up with a faint glow as even more runes began writing themselves across the parchment.

Minutes ticked on by as line after line was scribbled down. Shyamal gazed down on the parchment, eyes going straight to the magical signature.

He now had a record of Voldemort's own for future reference. Shyamal smiled.

The anchor spell for the Dark Mark was the permanent tattooing spell that created the image of the Mark itself. The other layers were all tied to that main spell. Shyamal's eyes flew over the runes; a messenger spell combined with a light Cruciatus Curse and timing spell; a compulsion charm; a locating charm, the list went on.

Finally after what seemed like a long time, the writing came to an end. Pointing his wand at the runes on Snape's skin Shyamal muttered a cleaning spell, wiping off any remains of his magical signature with an Elven spell. After checking his Deep Sleep spell to make sure it would wear off in the morning, Shyamal rolled up the scroll and stuffed it into his pocket. With a final check around, he picked up the Map and slid out the infirmary door.
________

Snape stalked around the room. "Have you been practicing, Potter, just like I told you?"

"Yes." Edward replied, looking at Snape's left shoulder.

"Well, we find out just how hard you've been practicing soon enough, won't we?" Snape stopped before Edward. "Wand out, Mr. Potter."

Edward pulled out his holly wand, standing up in front of the desk as Snape raised his wand. "One, two-"

"Professor Snape!" Draco Malfoy burst into the room, grey eyes going straight to the Potions Master. "Sir, Montague is missing and can't be found-" The Slytherin Prefect stopped, eyes going to Edward who had dropped his arm, hiding his wand. The blond-haired boy raised an eyebrow in surprise at seeing Potter standing there.

"Mr. Potter is here for a little Remedial Potions." Snape said smoothly, lowering his wand. Edward's face reddened as Malfoy looked like Christmas had just come a few weeks early.

"Really, Potter, Remedial Potions?" The younger Slytherin sneered. Edward kept himself from groaning. No doubt Malfoy would be telling his other snake friends tonight with some artistic license.

"Why are you here, Draco?" Snape asked, hand curling slightly.

"We were coming back from our rounds and noticed that Montague hasn't been seen since this morning. Madam Umbridge is worried that someone got to him and is asking for your help in finding him."

"How hard is it to find a student?" Snape's dark eyes bored into Malfoy's.

"I don't know sir."

"Potter, we shall resume this lesson tomorrow, same time." Snape motioned Draco to lead, sweeping from the room. The dungeon door closed with a final thump.

Angrily, Edward stuffed his wand into his pocket, reaching out for his book bag.

Stupid Snape. Dad was right; the man's a bloody git. Edward thought savagely.

When he was growing up, Edward had always noticed the tension every time Snape's name come up between his parents It wasn't hard to find out that in their younger days, Snape had been a very good friend with his mum but for some reason, had drifted apart.

Since Edward had started school, their friendship was slowly recovering. He knew his dad kept his ear to the ground for any sign of mistreatment from Snape who usually kept the insults to a minimum.

This year however, seemed different.

Snape was taking advantage of the tension at the Ministry and pressure from the public to belittle him now. Of course, he didn't want to cause any more stress now that his parents had to worry about what was happening on the war front and with the reappearance of his long lost twin brother. Sirius was also on the edge for much the reasons as his parents. Harry had been Sirius' godson.

Something that was a sore point for Edward as now looking back, Sirius had hung out more with Edward than Harry even though Remus' was Edward's godfather.

Edward was about to stomp out the room when he noticed one of the cabinet doors was slightly ajar, a silvery glow coming from it. He tilted his head, listening intently. Nothing; no doubt the search for Montague would take a while. Edward's fingers twitched.

It wouldn't hurt to take a peek.

He crouched before the cabinet, pulling the door open with his left hand.

There on the floor of the cabinet was a large grey stone basin, runes etched around the edge with a silver-grey color. Inside the basin, a wispy, silver-white gas swirled gently.

Edward had seen this once before, in his father's office back in his third year.

It was a Pensieve.

And it was here in Snape's office.

Grinning madly, Edward bent forward, interested in what memories Snape was keeping from him and plunged his face into the swirling vortex that was Snape's mind. The floor of the office lurched, the Pensieve sucking Edward into its gaseous depths. . . .

He found himself in the middle of the Great Hall, the house tables replaced by dozens of smaller tables. A student sat behind each one, head bent, quills furiously moving across the sheet of parchment before them. In front of them all, swung of the pendulum of the clock tower. It hit Edward; they were taking their end of year exams.

This was Snape's memory so the git had to be around here somewhere. Edward looked carefully, eyes drifting from one tousled head to the next, searching for the familiar greasy black hair of his Potions Master.

And there he was, three rows behind him and two over, hooked nose hovering just above the beige parchment as he scribbled, hair falling around his head. Edward moved behind Snape, taking a glimpse of the exam.

DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS
ORDINARY WIZARDING LEVEL


Edward studied the teenager before him. The Potions Master had to be at least fifteen years old, if not sixteen. His skin was pallid as if he had been kept in a cold dungeon away from the sun, devoid of any vibrant color. If Edward thought Hermione was studious, her writing was nothing compared to Snape's. Cramped, tiny, and shaky, Snape had filled out a response that was a foot longer than the students around him, and still adding more.

"One minute left!" Professor Flitwick was easily identifiable on his usual stack of books as he watched from the front of the Hall.

"Quills down, please!" Squeaked the short man. "Quills down! You too, Mr. Wood. Please remain seated! Accio!" Every single roll of parchment shot into the air, zooming straight at the arms of the Charms Professor. The force of all the projectiles knocked him off his feet, a few students laughing. A couple in the front row got up and helped the man to his feet. "Thank you, thank you. You are free to go!"

The mass of students made their way toward the doors, chattering excitedly, grateful for the end of one test. A couple of groans were heard every now and then as a few reviewed questions with other students.

Luckily for Edward, Snape was close enough to the Marauders that Edward glided his way over to hear Sirius question Remus on the test.

"Did you like question ten, Moony?" Sirius asked as the Marauders made their way into the entrance hall.

"You don't even know." Lupin laughed. "'Give give five signs that identify the werewolf, providing specific examples.'"

James narrowed his eyes at Lupin in mock suspicion. "Are you sure that you managed to get at least five signs down?"

Lupin tapped his chin, a thoughtful look crossing his face. "Hmm, I think I did. One: He lives with me. Two: He's sitting in my chair. Three: Steals clothes from my closet. Four: Sleeps in my bed. Five: Um, uh oh, I think I forgot the last one."

The three taller Marauders laughed except for one.

"I think I got at least three down." Wormtail anxiously said, his hand rising before him as he counted on his fingers. "I got the snout shape, the pupils of the eyes, and the tufted tail but I wasn't sure about the rest. I guessed with size of the wolf and the teeth shape."

James looked at Wormtail. "Come on, Peter! You only run with one once a month at least! You should at least remember that Moon's head comes up even with my antlers."

Lupin knocked an elbow into James' side, glancing around to see if someone overheard them. "Shh, someone might hear you."

"Oh, don't get your knickers in a twist, Moony. Almost everyone is worried about the OWLs." James waved his hand.

Luckily for Edward, all of the students as if on a majority vote were heading down to the lake side. The Marauders sat down underneath the beech tree where Seamus, Dean, Lavender, and Parvati hung out in Edward's year. Edward noted with some slightly disgust that Snape had settled himself behind the very bushes that he had been using a lot this year to avoid the students stares.

I am never using those bushes again. Edward thought. Need to find a new hiding spot.

Edward made his way back to the Marauders thinking they would provide more entertainment.

They did at first.

Remus had taken out a book on Transfiguration and was reading it. Sirius was gazing out around, winking and waving at any girl who just so happen to look at him in the eye. Edward laughed. It reminded him so much of his Sirius now. His dad pulled out something from his pocket, opening his hand.

A Golden Snitch flew from his palm, zigging out just in front of the awed face of Peter before his dad's hand flashed out and caught it.

"Where did you get that?" Lupin asked, his head rising from his book momentarily.

"Nicked it from Hooch's office." James let the Snitch go again, tracking it lazily with an eye. Just as it looked like it was going to fly away, his hand flashed out, fingers curling around the golden shell. Peter laughed in delight.

After a couple of minutes of watching the Marauder, Edward was bored.

At the fifteen minute mark, he was wondering how to get out of the Pensieve or move on to the next memory.

At twenty, he was wondering if he would die of boredom.

A minute later, he was wondering how Peter could be so easily entertained by his dad catching that Snitch.

Edward almost cried in relief when Sirius apparently agreed with him.

"I'm bored." Sirius groaned something that Edward definitely agreed with. "Put that away before Peter decides to wet himself again." The rat Animagus blushed.

Again? Edward thought. It happened once before? I need to ask my dad that. Could use a good laugh.

James straightened slightly, eyes glinting maliciously suddenly. "Your boredom is about to end my friend." He motioned toward the clump of bushes where Snape had sat down behind, Edward tensing at the look of anticipation on his dad's face. "Look who it is. . ."

"Snivellus." Sirius looked like a dog with a scent, figurative tail twitching in barely restrained instinct.

Remus only sighed, head diving even further into his book.

Snape had risen and was now moving across the grass, nose still buried in his book like Remus who sat not a few feet from Edward. Wondering what was going to happen, the Boy Who Lived stood, head bouncing back and forth between his future Potions teacher and father.

"How was the test, Snivellus?" James asked loudly.

Before Edward could even blink, Snape had reacted, his bag dropping to the floor even as his hand dove into his robes for his wand. His hand was beginning to withdraw when James shouted out in glee. "Expelliarmus!"

Snape's wand went flying, landing more than ten feet away from the fallen boy.

Several students around them stood. Edward thought one of them would surely get up and help Snape.

Seconds ticked by and not one moved to help the teenage Snape except to move closer to the growing spectacle.

Snape dove to his wand, hoping to get there in time.

"Impedimenta!" Sirius barked, the spell catching the diving boy in mid air, sending him flying even more. "The testers probably won't be able to read a word of what he wrote. His big nose was smearing grease marks all over it." Sirius laughed viciously.

"Pathetic- Potter- arrogant." Snape panted, glaring up at James.

Sirius laughed. "Pathetic us, Snivellus? We are not the ones on the ground like a beaten dog."

James grinned at the swear words and hexes streaming from Snape's mouth. "How foul is your tongue, Snivellus? You should wash out your mouth before talking to a lady like that. Scourgify!" Pink and purple soap bubbles foamed from the boy's mouth even as Snape began coughing helplessly. Everyone around the group was laughing, not caring that Snape was being choked, face turning blue. Edward could only watch in detached horror at the transformation of his usually easygoing dad.

Edward looked at Remus who seemed to be ignoring the whole thing.

"LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Edward spun around, mimicking James and Sirius.

His mother, red auburn hair streaming behind her, was stomping from the lake edge, her younger face twisted in an expression Edward had only seen a couple of times in his life and never directed at his father.

It was one of pure loathing.

"Well, hello, Evans." James' voice had changed from the malicious and antagonizing voice to one Edward more identified with his father; caring and affectionate.

"Leave him alone." Lily stood before James and Sirius, her fisted hands on her hips. "What has he ever done to you?"

James looked thoughtfully at the gagging teenager, pretending to mull it over. "Well, it's more of the fact that he exists, you know."

Lily's face reddened even further. "You think you are funny, don't you? But you're nothing, Potter. You're just an arrogant bullying toerag. Leave Severus alone."

"Ah, I'll leave him alone if you go out with me." James looked Lily over, an ugly grin spreading over his face. "Go out with me and I'll never lay a wand on Snivellus again."

None of the teens noticed that Snape was edging toward his wand bit by bit, the Impediment Jinx wearing off.

Lily snorted in disgust. "I wouldn't go out with you if the choice was between you and the giant squid. Not even if the Wizarding world depended on it."

"Ouch, Prongs." Sirius winced, turning around. "Sh-OY!"

Sirius' warning came too late. Snape aimed his wand at James. A bright flash of light and a large gash opened up on James' face, blood spraying out. A second flash and Snape was hanging upside down, robes falling around his head to reveal some ugly underpants that Edward wouldn't be caught dead in.

Edward watched in horror as Snape started flailing around, trying to summon his only line of defense wandlessly.

"Confundo!" The jet of yellow light struck him in the chest, breaking through his hastily erected Shield charm, his focused thoughts suddenly become disjointed and hazy. His arms started spin wildly as he tried to keep his balance on the precarious edge of the platform.

Hmm, maybe he should jump off since the world was spinning wildly. Maybe it was drunk? He would have to talk with Uncle Moony about that, see if Voldemort didn't pour tons of Ogden's Finest down an active volcano. Who knows what that could do to the planet's ecosystem?

"Liberacorpus!" A bright flash of light (did the Sun explode?) and his body jerked up in the air, He was now dangling upside down.

As he struggled to get down or up, that's when Edward heard it.

Laughter.

"Accio wand!"

Working to get his robes out of his face he could see the rest of the students were laughing at him, some pointing their fingers at him, others whispering behind their hands and giggling.

All at him.

"So much for the Golden Boy!" A boy with a silver and green tie yelled out, his sneering face boring into Edward. The crowd laughed even harder.

"Not so big are you now, Potter!"

"That is ENOUGH!" Sirius was yelling now, the laughter disappearing immediately.

"Liberacorpus!" He was suddenly plummeting but before he could hit into the platform, his fall was slowed down until he gently touched down. His face burned in utter humiliation as Shyamal Suha confronted the Slytherin who had mocked him, his words unintelligible over the roar of blood pumping in his ears.

Unable to look at the other boy, Edward turned his gaze to the wall, sensing Suha jumping off the platform. Arms grabbed at him, helping him up to his feet.

He didn't even pay attention to the confrontation between Sirius and Umbridge.

All he could feel were the humiliation, vulnerability, rage, and depression rolling in his gut.

"Let him go, Potter!" Lily roared, stepping closer to James. Edward snapped out of his own memories, eyes on Snape, the boy utterly helpless against his dad.

"Of course, Evans." James jerked his wand, Snape falling into a crumpled heap on the ground. Before Snape could even do anything else, Sirius yelled out.

"Locomotor Mortis!" Snape's arms and legs snapped to his body, falling over once more.

"LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Lily withdrew her own wand, James and Sirius now carefully regarding her.

"Don't me make me hex you." James cautioned, eye warily watching her wand arm.

"Then take off that stupid curse."

"Fine, fine, since you're the one asking." James muttered the counter-curse. "There you go, Snivellus. You're lucky Evans was here to help you-"

Snape gathered himself up, dark furious eyes on Edward's dad. His wand was still a few feet from where it had fallen the second time."I don't need help from disgusting mudbloods like her!"

Lily looked at Snape in surprise before composing herself. "Fine. I won't help you in the future. I suggest using a better shampoo in the future, Snivellus."

James glared angrily at Snape. "Apologize to Evans." He raised his wand threateningly.

"I don't want you making him apologize. You're just as bad as he is if not worse." Lily rounded on James.

"What?" his dad yelped. "I'd never call you a – you know."

Lily gave a shrill laugh. "Messing up your hair like if you just came down off a broom, playing with that stupid Snitch you have in your pocket, arrogantly striding down the corridors like a Malfoy, picking on anyone you can, hexing younger students, I'm surprised you can even play Quidditch with a head as big as yours." Lily stepped right in James' face. "You - make – me - SICK!" With that, she turned on her hell and walked away.

"Evans! EVANS!"

His mother didn't even look back once as she walked back down to the water's edge.

"What's wrong with her?" James asked out loud.

Sirius tilted his head, glancing at his best mate. "Reading between the lines, I would have to say that she called you conceited."

Anger began spreading over James' face. "Right, right - back to business then?" Another flash of light and Snape was dangling back in the air. "Who wants me to take off Snivellus' pants here?"

Remus sighed again, snapping his book shut as he got up and walked away, leaving Snape with James, Sirius, Peter, and the crowd watching.

He never found out if his dad actually did take off Snape's pants.

Edward jumped into the air as a hand came down strongly on his shoulder, tightening. He looked up and came face to face with the apoplectic face of the now adult Severus Snape.

"My, my, aren't we having fun today?" Came the deadly quiet hiss of the Potions Master. With a jerk, the memory disappeared into a white mist, both of them falling through until finally Edward landed on the floor of the dungeon room. Before him, the swirling mists of the memories contained inside the Pensieve stilled.

Snape's hand tightened even further, his fingers digging into Edward's skin despite the layers of clothing. "Enjoying yourself, Potter?"

Edward tried to pull away, desperately trying to free himself. "N-no. . . ."

Snape's face was still except for his lips which were twitching, stained teeth bared like a caught animal. The sight scared Edward who had never seen this side of his professor before.

"I bet you liked how your father entertained his friends. Amusing man, James Potter." Snape shook Edward hard.

"I – You – Never – " The next second, Edward was flying through the air, landing in a tangled heap on the floor next to the door, book bag digging painfully into his side. He was sure he heard a couple of the ink bottle inside break.

"If you ever whisper a word of what you saw to anyone else, you WILL regret it!" Snape bellowed in rage.

"I won't – Never – " Edward stuttered, trying to get his thoughts together.

"GET OUT! I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOU HERE IN MY OFFICE AGAIN!"

Edward bolted out the door, running through the halls and bursting through the doors of the entrance and out down the steps of Hogwarts. Blindly, he headed for the lake, the gravel of the path crunching under his feet. There was just enough light for him to see by as he ran.

He finally collapsed on the other side, Hogwarts a dark looming shadow, pinpricks of light gleaming from its many windows. Shakily he removed the strap of the book bag from around his neck, rubbing the back of his neck. He looked down at the surface of Black Lake, seeing his darkened reflection in there.

In his mind's eye, he could see the true mirror reflection. Black messy hair, thin face, long nose, same twist of the mouth, hazel eyes that would sparkle with mirth at something funny. . . .

Features inherited from his father, ones that he carried with pride as they were signs that he really was his father's son.

Features that had him wanting to vomit now.

"Well, it's more of the fact that he exists, you know." His dad's voice came back to him, echoing in his mind as Snape hung upside down in the air, the other students laughing uproariously.

He knew how that felt, to be so humiliated right in front of your peers. Along with the feeling of vulnerability that was incomprehensible, unable to attack or even defend yourself. Edward was grateful that Shyamal hadn't taken advantage of the fact that he was helpless during the Dueling Club. A flick of his wand and his pants could have been taken off. Instead, he had simply freed him of the spell, barking at the Slytherin who had jeered at him to come up and duel him. But his dad hadn't been so merciful to the young Severus Snape. No, he made it into a sport, taunting the Potions Master as he yelled out to the gathering crowd.

You're just an arrogant bullying toerag.

James had always joked that Lily had disliked him when they had been in Hogwarts, stating that Lily would threaten him with bodily harm sometimes during their arguments. But from what he had seen, his mum didn't just hate his dad, no, she had totally despised him. The threats in the memory had been real, not the kind between friends but rather, threats between two enemies. Edward couldn't even call them rivals as that term would imply a sense of respect between two competitors; no, this was a duel of pride, life, and reputation on the line.

Snape had always said that he acted like his dad, arrogant, rebellious and spoiled.

If he did, it was no wonder why no one supported him now.

Edward slowly laid out on the ground, curled on his side.

Painfully, he brought memories of the last few years. He had actually harassed Ginny Weasley during his third year, all because of the one comment his dad had made after they had appeared in Professor McGonagall's door, covered in mud, slime, dust, ink, and in Edward's case, blood. His dad had commented on how Edward seemed to be taking after him in the love department, falling for a red-haired beauty just like his mum.

At first, he had taken it as a compliment, but now, seeing Snape's memory, Edward felt nauseated behind comprehension.

At every chance he got, he made sure to rile up Ginny as high as possible, thinking it was the right way for her to fall for him. At first, Ron had thought it was amusing until snippets of the rumors floating around reached his ears. Edward was now ashamed that some of them had started with him opening his mouth to other Gryffindor boys, openly telling them that she was his to do with as he pleased. Ron had confronted him on it but Edward had brushed him off, commenting that he should be glad that the Boy Who Lived had caught sight of his sister. In response, Ron had punched right on the jaw, breaking it.

That was the end of their friendship, Hermione turning from him as well.

Of course, when his parents had asked him why Ron and Hermione had stopped being friends with him, he had placed the blame at their feet, stating they had gotten jealous of his fame. Like any parent, James and Lily had sided with him.

How many times did he cover up his mistakes and blunders with lies?

"Well, it's more of the fact that he exists, you know."

His dad hadn't changed. The fact that he exists. Ever since Edward had told them, specifically his dad, that it was Harry who had lured them out there that tragic August night, his dad had pretended that Harry didn't exist, that Edward was the only surviving child of four children, not five. Harry's room hadn't been left untouched for more than two hours when James Potter, trembling in fury and completely tore the room apart, cleaning out with a hatred Edward would never had believed was possible.

The burden Edward had created for himself crushed him even further, stifling him.

It was too late wasn't it?

Daniel, Jonathon, and Evie were all dead and Harry was a Death Eater, no doubt feeling his brother's betrayal of him along that of the Light's.

He had pushed his brother away, breaking him until nothing was left.

He was the reason why Harry fell into the darkness allowing that monster to burn his skin that ugly branding.

Edward was the reason why Harry choose to go with the Death Eaters.

What other choice did he have when his father was hunting for him after Edward had told him it was all Harry's fault, Harry's decision to go out of the wards that night?

The feeling of loneliness was squeezing his heart.

He shivered in the cold night air, body numb.
________

Kingsly Shacklebolt watched as the Hogwarts carriages came into Hogsmeade, pulling up and dropping of the early students near the Three Broomsticks. A few couples broke away from the rest of their peers, no doubt wanting to have some alone time with their significant other. One pair was taking the route to Madam Puddifoots'.

Kingsley shuddered.

Awful place that was, too romantic to the extreme.

A few of the students were going to Zonko's joke shop, no doubt going to give Argus Filch later on. The Auror noted that two of them bore the red hair of the Weasleys.

A carriage pulled up, another group of what looked like third years getting off, Sirius Black right behind them. Underneath the robes of a Hogwarts professor, Kingsley could see the Auror belt strapped around Sirius' hips, including the extra wand and St. Mungo's Emergency Portkeys. The belt was Auror's second best friend, right behind the man covering the Auror's back; two knives with magical recalling spells, some Muggle pepper spray, basic potions for basic healing , all contained in unbreakable vials, a writing kit, a small bag of Peruvian Darkness Powder, and more.

A couple of schools girls to the left of him giggled, pointing at a boy down the street.

The Auror looked across the street, catching a glimpse of Dawlish lounging outside of Scrivenshaft's.

James had assigned a group of fifteen Aurors to cover the Hogsmeade trip. He wasn't taking any chances of Harry Potter coming after Edward or the students. About half of the Auror today were pulling double pay on making sure nothing threatened the young witches and wizards spreading out over Hogsmeade.

Professor McGonagall stepped out of a carriage, her bun neatly coiled on top of her head. She nodded to him as she went into the Three Broomsticks.

The last carriage pulled up, a sullen looking Edward appearing, head bowed.

Poor boy. Kingsley thought. No doubt Sirius gave him a talk along with Lily. Has to be hard being on your brother's death list.

Kingsley stepped off the wooden walkway that lined the main street, moving behind a group of sixth years, eyes moving from one place to the next, taking in every detail. Dawlish had moved to Zonko's. Down the street, Frank Longbottom was chatting easily with a couple of Hogsmeade residents, no doubt checking to see if anyone noticed something suspicious over the last few days.

Kingsley shook his head, remembering the news a few days of the event of October 31, 1981. James had still been on the edge after the attack on his family and rapid appearance of Daniel and Jonathon Potter. He was so twitchy about sudden drastic changes in routine that when Frank and Alice hadn't shown up for tea that night that James had called Sirius and Remus together to go to the Longbottom's home.

It was lucky he did.

Barty Crouch Junior, Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange had caught the pair alone. Both had been wrapped up with searing hot magical ropes and were cruelly being tortured with the Cruciatus Curse. A duel had ensued with the four Death Eaters now the ones trussed up like a turkey. Frank had gotten out with less permanent damage, suffering sporadic twitching of the nerves until his brain finally fully recovered a year later. Alice on the other hand wasn't so lucky; she now suffered from epileptic seizures that forced her to take a specific potion therapy once every day.

The most devastating blow was the fact the healers at St. Mungo's had told her she would not be able to carry another baby to full term with some serious risk to both her and the fetus.

Alice adhered to a second strict routine that suppressed her ovulation.

Kingsley snapped out of his musing when he felt the metal plate on his leather wrist band vibrate for a brief second. Realizing what it meant, he held his forearm before him, pulling the sleeve back just far enough to read the words.

ATTACK- DIAGON ALLEY
est 30 Death Eaters
Need reinforcements
DARK HEIR SIGHTED
USE EXTREME CAUTION


Kingsley cursed. Already Sirius was calling out for students to head back to Hogwarts. The professors were rushing out of the Three Broomsticks when Kingsley turned on his heel and Disapparated. . . .

To appear on the edge of a full out battle.

The wall next to Kingsley face exploded outward as a Bombarde spell landed on it, bits of the brick stinging Kingsley's cheek.

Already he could see a couple of bodies lying on the ground, an Auror in a puddle of blood further down near the line of Death Eaters.

Sitting at a table outside of the Ice Cream Parlour was the Dark Heir himself, finishing a dish that had been left there by a customer. James was near Madam Malkin's trying to cover a fallen Auror who was trying to keep his guts from spilling out onto the street.

Kingsley touched the buckle on his belt activating the calling charm that was linked to a wrist band similar to the one Kingsley was wearing; the band that was worn by the Elven warrior King Shahriar recruited to help them. After checking sure the call had been received, Kingsley through a Stone Shield Charm, darting his way to where James was standing, pulling out one of his medical portkeys out.
_________
Spyridon- So we are at the part where I've been waiting. Hopeful the dueling scenes in the next chapter are up to par. Please review!
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