Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Phoenix Eclipse

Chapter 23: Political Fallout

by Spyridon 1 Reviews

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Characters:  - Published: 2010/07/15 - Updated: 2010/07/15 - 5996 words

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Chapter Twenty-Three: Political Fallout


__________

Shyamal stumbled against a table as he and Eclipsis appeared in the Castellum, a gloved hand going to his side, the painful area throbbing with each heartbeat. Swearing under his breath, he reached up to the simple pendant around his neck, changing back into his school uniform. "Hogwarts, are you there?" Eclipsis settled on the back of a chair, his grey eyes watching Shyamal. The large mystical creature began preening the area around the wound, large wet tears rolling down the sharp beak. Slowly, the wound began to close as small down began to grow near the wound, covering it.

"I am here, Shyamal?"

"Can you talk to Damian and get him to come here with his medical chest without rousing suspicion from Cosmas and Hala?"

"He is on his way though baffled as to why you need his medical expertise." Hogwarts announced to Shyamal a few seconds later. "How did the battle go?"

"Considering it was my first battle and that I'm alive, it was successful as can be." Shyamal carefully shrugged off the black outer robes of his school uniform, wincing as pain radiated from the spot where the Dark Heir's spell had struck him in the lower back. He threw the robes over a chair. "Son of a bloody hag and Inferi, what the hell did he strike me with?" The tie and shirt followed, the tie slipping off and landing on the floor. Shyamal moved to sit on the edge of a chair, careful not to jar his back even more. "What happened while I was gone?"

"The rest of the students were successfully brought back onto the grounds, all of them accounted for. As for your brothers, they were able to successfully pull off their task without incident. The parchment with the runes is safely tucked away in Cosmas' trunk. Hala, once she learned the students were returning early, headed back to Gryffindor Tower where she is now."

"I wonder what she was doing on the third floor. There wasn't any club meetings that I know of today." Shyamal started going through what was on the third floor that could have caught Hala's interest enough for her to skip going with her friends to the mock Quidditch game that was being held between the students. He had asked her if she had wanted to go to Hogsmeade with him but she had declined, stating she was going to play in the game. Shyamal had taken her word and left it at that.

The Infirmary was on the third floor but she wasn't sick, at least not that Shyamal was aware of. Umbridge wouldn't dare request a meeting with her as Shyamal was keeping a close eye on the woman, besides the fact her office was on the first floor. McGonagall's office was on the first floor along with Flitwick's. Binns' was on the second floor with Black's. Vector was on the third along with . . . Shyamal froze.

She wouldn't dare. Hala knows what might happen if they found out about him.

"Shyamal?"

He started, rising to his feet before the pain presented itself. "Shit! Damian."

"What happened to you?" The younger boy took in the bare upper body of his older brother, worried about the large and deep purplish black bruise that dominated Shyamal's lower back, wrapping around his side. "Did a Slytherin jump you? I've been hearing about the confrontation you had with that git during the carriage ride back."

"No, I wasn't jumped," Shyamal said. He pulled out his wand and Transfigured the chair he had been sitting on into a high stool. "You might hear about it in the Daily Prophet tomorrow, if not tonight."

Damian tensed, suddenly becoming suspicious. "What did you do?"

"There was an attack in Diagon Alley. I went to help," Shyamal vaguely answered.

"You fought Death Eaters." Damian's face was beginning to turn a light red, a sign he was getting angry. "You left us here and decided to risk your life fighting without telling us? Why would you do that? I thought we were supposed to keep our head down and watch Edward. You never said you'd be fighting against Death Eaters."

Shyamal sighed. "Can you just look over my back and make sure there aren't any residual after-effects from the spell? We can discuss this later."

"I have half a mind to let you deal with it if there are any," Damian snapped.

Annoyance was beginning to creep into Shyamal. "What do you want me to do, Damian? Sit here and twiddle my thumbs while the Dark Heir is using my name and face to frighten the Wizarding world into bloody submission? Every time that bloody fucking wanker appears, I feel more and more violated and those stupid Aurors aren't doing their fucking job!"

The air began crackling with energy as Shyamal's temper rose, the books on the shelves around them rattling with an ominous threat.

"And what would happen if you get caught by a Killing Curse then? Have you ever thought once of what would happen if they discover your real identity and our secret? You keep on preaching and making sure we do nothing to rouse the suspicions of Dumbledore and them. Yet you fucking go off and put yourself right on the bloody battlefield," Damian hissed back.

The glass pane shattered, sending hundreds of glass slivers all over the floor.

Shyamal took a step forward. "I'm not doing this on purpose. Everything is spiraling out of control. Every time I try to blend back into the masses, something has to pop out of nowhere and I have no reason why I let myself be dragged back into the limelight. I didn't want to teach them how to fight, much less be the one leading it. Then comes the stupid reminder that if I don't, I'll have their blood on my hands because I could have done something to make sure that they go out there with some skill in defending themselves since the fucking school doesn't want to be the one to do it. Even now, I have no fucking idea why I even give a bloody fuck about them." Shyamal hissed, his voice taking on a growl. "To even add more, I didn't want to be on the Quidditch team just to be one up on Edward, no matter what Hala believes. I've always wanted to be the seeker for a House team so I could prove to dad that I am like him in some way but I can't tell him because our bloody lives are so fucked up, it's not even funny!" Shyamal roared, waves of pulsing magic flowing from him.

His hair waved in an ethereal breeze, the edges of his irises black. His fists were clenching and unclenching, his chest rising up and down rapidly as he tried to draw in breaths of air. Eclipsis trilled a few notes, his wings opening as his head swung towards Shyamal. The older boy closed his eyes, allowing the notes to wash over him. His heart slowed down, the brief rush of adrenaline flowing out of his system. He slumped against the table, the pain making itself known again.

"I'm sorry, Shyamal. I shouldn't have accused you like that," Damian said as he went to the medicine chest and opened it, taking out a few tins.

Shyamal huffed, raking his hair without opening his eyes. "I guess I had to get that off my chest." He opened his eyes, casting a Reparo at the broken pane of glass. The slivers tinkled slightly as they reformed back, the lights reflecting off the hundreds of surfaces.

"Sit on the stool. I want to look at the large bruise." Shyamal complied, wincing at the new painful waves emanating from the area. He heard Damian whisper some Elven incantations, apparently not trusting his skills with wizard healing magic. "Do you know what you were hit with?"

"It was a Bludgeoning Hex."

Damian whistled. "It sure was a powerful one then to get past the mithril armor. You have a really deep bruise here. You're lucky it didn't the hit the spine otherwise you probably wouldn't be walking right now." He prodded Shyamal's back with a finger. "The last two ribs underneath, the right kidney and the lumbar muscles are also bruised. You're lucky your liver isn't bruised otherwise I'd be more worried than I am right now."

"So I'm not bleeding to death?"

"No, unless that spell wasn't a Bludgeoning Hex." Damian rummaged through his chest, searching for something. Finally he pulled out a large vial of green liquid with a blue shimmer to it. He carefully poured out some of into in to a conjured container. "Drink it; it will help with the bruises."

"How long will it last?" Shyamal swallowed it, wincing at the bitter aftertaste.

"Considering how deep it goes and how many regions were affected, you're looking at a ten hour healing. The muscle bruises will heal quicker than the organ and bone bruises. If you urinate blood, tell me because then it could be a sign of something I'm missing."

"Wouldn't want that, would we?" Shyamal quipped dryly.

Damian helped Shyamal dress, seeing how the injury had affected his movement.

"I believe it best if you start making your way back to the Gryffindor Common room. Hala and Cosmas have become suspicious of your disappearance."

"Thanks, Hogwarts," Damian called out.

Eclipsis, has your injury healed or do you want Damian to look over it?

I am fine, Shyamal. The Occamy was young and its venom glands still immature. Eclipsis sent back, his grey eyes staring carefully at Shyamal as if he was making sure the teen was okay..

Thanks for your help doing the fight. You were a big help in getting the injured Aurors out of there.

The phoenix ruffled his feathers. You need not thank me. I shall be with my father. I have to ask him a few things regarding the creature.

I'm sure it was his familiar, fitting that it would be considering who his mentor is; an Occamy of all things. Shyamal snorted in disgust. He saw Damian's eyes glance at him. I will meet you later. Eclipsis bobbed his head before flaming out.

"What were you guys talking about?"

"Something we found out about the Dark Heir. The wanker has a familiar of his own."

"You're kidding me!"

"I'll talk more about it once we meet up with Hala and Cosmas."

"Are you going to tell them?"

Shyamal sighed. "As much as I don't want to, considering Hala's reactions the last time I did something she did not agree with, no, but I'm sure they'll put the pieces together."

"It will be in the Evening Prophet today unless Fudge decides to hold it back until he is satisfied on how he manipulates it."

"He might do that since a Blood Elf showed up during the battle. He can't lose control of the situation otherwise the public will lose faith in him. We'll just have to see what he does next." Shyamal and Damian appeared in the teleport room in Hogwarts. "How's the research on the werewolf scroll coming along?"

"Slow. The research is more Cosmas' field but from the document we showed you it was a copy of the basis for the Wolfsbane Potion written by Arcturus Elwood, one of Ravenclaw's most trusted students. Damocles Belby, who invented the Wolfsbane Potion, used it to create his invention which is successful in helping werewolves keep their human mental processes. They still get the werewolf instincts and such but werewolves are given more control than before. We went back later and found Elwood's diary, memoirs, and other documents. It seems he collaborated with Ravenclaw on his theory of how lycanthropy appeared and became an epidemic."

"When were the documents written?"

"Oh, around 1009 AD, I have to say. Cosmas was huffing on how long it took the wizards to be able to create the Wolfsbane Potion since the copy we found was close. It was just missing the monkshood."

As they neared Gryffindor Tower, Shyamal motioned for Damian to cease talking. "Don't want anyone to hear what we're talking about as they might get curious." They stopped before the Fat Lady who was talking with her friend Violet.

"Password, dearies?"

"Shrivel figs." The portrait swung open, revealing a subdued room full of students.

"Any news out there?" A sixth year called out. Quite a number of the younger students looked directly at Shyamal and Damian though the older students were more subtle in the questioning gazes, trying to look as nonchalant as possible.

"No, nothing," Damian answered, the common room immediately losing interest in the two of them as everyone turned back to their previous activities. The two of them headed over to where Hala and Cosmas were sitting near the large window overlooking the Forbidden forest. Hala had the Standard Book of Spells before her, the large tome opened to different categories of spells and their different requirements while Cosmas had out quite a number of potion books.

Cosmas laid down the quill, looking at his brothers as they took a seat across from him. He wasted no time in talking to his older brother. "People have been talking as to why the Hogsmeade trip was cancelled; an attack maybe?"

Waving a hand, Shyamal cast a Muffliato spell. "It was a large scale attack on Diagon Alley."

Cosmas and Hala's eyes widened. Leaning toward his siblings, Shyamal began to tell them what happened just an hour earlier, keeping certain details from them. When he got to the end, Hala and Cosmas were quiet for a brief second as they digested the information Shyamal told them.

"He has a familiar?" Cosmas asked, paling at the thought. "How big was it?"

"Not that big. When he Disapparated out, it curled around his neck like a scarf so I have to say it was about a yard long, from head to tail." Shyamal showed them the distance with his hands.

"That's a young Occamy." Cosmas looked seriously at Shyamal. "They can grow up to three yards long if they live long enough. Their venom glands mature around three years old, so if Eclipsis said it was still immature, you're looking at a relatively young Occamy. You're going to have to be careful with its fangs as you don't know when they will mature."

"What does the venom do?"

Cosmas winced at Shyamal's question. "It begins to break down the surrounding tissue, allowing the Occamy to digest its prey. It won't debilitate you if bitten in a non-vital place such as the arm, but you will be in massive amounts of pain as your flesh is eaten away and over time of non-treatment, you'll lose any use of the inflicted limb."

"Nice." Shyamal leaned back in his chair. "Can the venom kill a phoenix?"

"I would think so if the Occamy is able to bite him in the brain. Eclipsis might be able to regenerate but there is a chance the Occamy might kill him as he comes out of his burning phase. You're going to have to be careful."

"They move quickly." Shyamal remembered the Occamy's speed and agility. "Those hind legs he has would have been deadly if one didn't have the necessary protection. I was worried those claws might get through the mithril covering at some points."

"What are you going to do now?" Hala asked.

Shyamal looked at his sister, trying to see if she angered by what he had done. He saw nothing; a fact that had him deeply concerned. "I don't know, we'll have to see what the Ministry of Magic does next."
__________

"Minister, Lucius Malfoy is here to see you," Fudge's secretary announced from the door.

The sweating man looked up from where he was reading Potter's preliminary report. "Let him in." Fudge's eyes flicked to where Dolores Umbridge was sitting, her carefully manicured nails tapping lightly on the teacup in her hands.

A few seconds later, the tall blonde aristocrat appeared, his cold grey eyes taking in the scene before him.

"Come in, come in. Would you like something to drink?" Cornelius said as he stood up, waving his long time supporter to the chair opposite Umbridge.

"No, as I here only on business," came the prompt reply from the pureblood. "I hear that you have quite a situation on your hands after the events of today."

"Yes, yes, you have no doubt heard of what happened during the battle in Diagon Alley against Potter's dark son."

"I have indeed, and to say that I am concerned of Potter's incompetence is a gross understatement. To have our Aurors forces saved by a foreign magical creature is preposterous!"

"I certainly agree with you, Lord Malfoy," Umbridge girlishly said. "It surely shows how lacking Potter's training program is if he cannot repel an attack by the Dark Heir's forces when his son would rather watch than engage in the fight. The public will surely be outraged at such a showing of our magical law enforcement and it will surely reflect back on you, Minister."

"But I am not the one who elected him to the post of Head Auror. That was Millicent Bagnold!"

"It does not matter. You are the current Minister for Magic and in the public's eyes, the one to blame for the appointment of Auror Potter," Lucius said smoothly, pretending to flick off a speck of unseen dust on his knee. "The only thing you can do now is to steer the public's eye somewhere else."

Fudge's eyes turned to the blond-haired man. "What would you suggest I do, Lucius?"

"The one who appeared to help the Aurors was an unknown Blood Elf. Despite our assurances of not needing their assistance in the war against the Dark Heir, they still saw fit to send one of their own." Lucius gave a calculating smile to the Minister. "I am sure if we have the Daily Prophet describe the battle just right, then it will place the pressure back the Blood Elves."

"Exactly how, Lucius?"

"If worded correctly, the public will believe that the Blood Elf King promised to supply us reinforcements if we were to promise to deal with the Dark Heir but only sent one warrior. The masses surely would not place the Blood Elf kingdom in good light after the apparent disregard to their safety. I have heard from business contacts that the Blood Elves are currently engaged in a war against the Giants in the Carpathians."

"It surely would place the disgusting creatures in a bad light. We can also use it to shift blame on Potter for having to depend on the creature to push back his dark son. The Daily Prophet would love to print that; Head Auror unable to stand against his own flesh and blood," Umbridge announced in a mock reporter's voice.

"On a related matter, it has come to my attention that Albus Dumbledore seems to be overstepping his boundaries," Lucius announced, taking pleasure in how Cornelius' face paled dramatically. He knew it was only of Cornelius' worst fears that Dumbledore was actively trying to gain his seat the Minister of Magic.

"Surely what do you mean?"

"I have a trustworthy source that has brought it to my attention that Dumbledore was seen speaking with the Blood Elf King on the day he was here with the Romanian Minister of Magic." Lucius studied his cane, his leather-covered hand squeaking. "I find it highly suspicious of the Hogwarts Headmaster to meet with such an authority figure even for scholarly reasons."

Umbridge's eyes bulged out the at Lucius' statement. "This is perhaps more proof of the Headmaster's plan to take over the Ministry." Lucius could see the gears shifting the short woman's mind as her black eyes darted back and forth. "Yes, it all makes sense now. Dumbledore wants to cement his position as a leader and what better way to do it than by becoming Minister of Magic? The only way to achieve it is if he has support behind him and what better than the paramilitary culture of the Blood Elves?"

"Perhaps it's wise to remove Dumbledore from his beloved school."

Cornelius nodded. "Perhaps it's time to enact a couple more Educational Decrees. Dolores, how is the situation at Hogwarts?"

The woman scowled darkly. "The point system at the school is still down due to unknown causes. The trophies for both the Quidditch games and the House point system are still missing despite attempts to find them. The only upside I can see is the help I am receiving from the few students loyal to the Ministry." She paused for a second. "I did have a spy in Gryffindor Tower but once I touched his sister, he has since refused to help me."

Lucius turned to Umbridge. "A Gryffindor, a spy?"

"Yes, it seems he is protective of his siblings as they transferred from Durmstrang whose wards are not as strong as Hogwarts and being the Gryffindor he is, took the change without studying the decision well enough."

"Perhaps it's time you get back on his good side. If Dumbledore is really creating an army, perhaps it would be prudent to have eyes in Gryffindor Tower."

"He was not giving me information." Umbridge waved her hand. "It does not matter as I have the Inquisitorial Squad."

Lucius turned to her. "Are you mad, Dolores? Every single student on the Squad is a Slytherin. Do you really think the rest of the school will trust them, or are you thinking like a Gryffindor?" he sneered as Umbridge gasped in outrage.

"I would never-"

"Then get back in this student's good graces at all costs," Lucius ordered, ignoring the fact that Cornelius was with them. "Gathering information is your duty as a Ministry official. If our government fails, it will be on your head." Umbridge huffed, hatred burning in her eyes.

"Dolores, I will have the new Decrees ready for you to sign by tonight after I convene the Wizengamot in a special meeting."

"What decrees do you have in mind, Cornelius?" Lucius asked.

The Minister leaned back in his leather chair. "I think it's time to hit Dumbledore's base of support. Who knows what those professors of his are teaching our kids."
__________

"What's up, Hermione?" Ron asked the brunette who was uncharacteristically cursing at the newspaper in her hands, her nostrils flaring in anger.

A few moments earlier, the flocks of owls had arrived, circling the five tables as they searched for their familiars in the mass of people. Being the next morning, Shyamal was quietly waiting for the newspaper to appear to see what Fudge would say about the events of the day before.

"Th-that hag!" Hermione hissed, her eyes flicking up to the smirking woman sitting at the Head Table. "I can't believe it!"

A second later, Hedwig dropped a newspaper right before Shyamal, the large Snowy Owl carefully settling herself between Ron and Shyamal. The four siblings clustered around it as Hala nudged a water goblet over to the Snowy Owl who gratefully drank from it.

MINISTRY ISSUES NEW EDUCATIONAL DECREE!
By Elena Spencer

In a surprising move, Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, has handed down a new Educational Decree with approval of a specially convened Wizengamot in response to the events earlier today.

"We have a pressing concern to ensure that our students are receiving the best possible education they can gain from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. No doubt, the students would have a concern which could significantly diminish their attention from their studies to pursue a line of questioning not conducive to their education. Educational Decree Number 27 will rectify these matters and give teachers a reason to steer their students' straying minds back on topic in classrooms."

As stated above, Education Decree Number 27 would ban any conversation between a professor and a student that is not related to the subject they teach. One can only hope. . . .


"Ugh, how can anyone believe this- this . . ." Hermione gave a small scream of disbelief.

"If they want to deny hard enough, it's possible," Shyamal said, disgusted beyond belief. "It's another form of control over this school."

"Say one little thing that's not related to Transfiguration to Professor McGonagall and you'll be placed in detention at best, expelled at the worst," Damian said out loud as he read through the article. "Isn't there anything Dumbledore can do?"

Hermione shook her head. "His arms are tied behind his back. Ever since the Founders moved on, Hogwarts has been under the control of the Ministry's predecessor since 1044, when Hufflepuff died of old age. At that time, their descendents didn't want to take over the school as they believed it should be in the hands of the people since it was their children being educated. Personally, I think they didn't want the responsibility of supervising the school. When the Ministry of Magic came into being in 1697, control was handed over to the Wizengamot and the newly formed Board of School Governors with the passing of Education Decree Number One. The only way out is if a descendent of one of the Founders claim Hogwarts."

Everyone head's shot up, disbelief written over their faces.

"Then how come Voldemort hasn't claimed it since he's the last Heir of Slytherin?" Ron asked, forgetting he had a fork full of eggs and bacon halfway to his mouth.

Hermione folded the newspaper. "There was a safeguard, I guess, otherwise Hogwarts would be under the control of the school." The bushy-haired girl bit her lip in thought. "No one knows why Voldemort can't take control of the school, though there have been speculations and such. One even theorized that Voldemort was lying about his claim as Slytherin's last heir."

"Oh, what happened to the fool that said that?" Cosmas asked.

"He died the next day in a personal attack by Voldemort himself back in 1978." Hermione ominously did not tell them the cause of death. The Gryffindors shuddered in response, trying not to think on what could have happened to the man before Voldemort finally finished him off.

"Maybe it has to do with Hogwarts herself?" Hala thought out loud. "I mean, you guys did state that she said she was finally fully waking up from her slumber."

"That could be a possibility. We should ask her," Hermione said, nodding her head once. "I can't believe I didn't think to ask her before."

"Come on, Hermione. You can't think of everything," Ron stated. The tall redhead turned to Shyamal. "What do you guys think on the Blood Elf? I wonder what's going to happen to him."

"The Ministry seems to be thankful for his appearance during the battle yesterday," Damian noted, trying not to look at his brother as he said this.

"It's quite obvious that the Ministry of Magic is forcing the Blood Elves into a tight spot," Hermione slowly said as she read through the article on the third page. "The way they make it sound, it's as if the Blood Elves promised to send reinforcements to the Ministry but so far haven't lived up to the deal. Basically, it's putting the Blood Elves in a negative light."

"Maybe they have better things to do with their time? I heard the Blood Elves have engaged in a full out war with the Giants." Ron drank some pumpkin juice. "Everyone knows there are clans of the creatures in the Carpathian Mountains."

"That's not the only thing the Daily Prophet is talking about," Cosmas noted as he read the article on page two from where he sat. Shyamal looked over the top of the newspaper as he was the one holding up the paper as he ate. "There's a jib toward Head Auror Potter in this article. Fulmouth Coach Jerome Fallbrook's training for the worst team in the English League is worthy of success seen under the leadership of Head Auror James Potter. They're blaming the inefficiency of the Auror forces on him since he's the Head."

"The public won't care squat." Shyamal folded the paper, handing it morosely to Damian and Cosmas. "Fudge has been decreasing the funding of the Auror forces for years, ever since Voldemort's last fall and I have a feeling he's going to use the 'inefficiency' of the forces to redirect more funding somewhere else."

Just before Hala could say something, a crash sounded further down the Gryffindor table. The six of them turned around with everyone else in the Great Hall.

To Shyamal, it seemed a young Hufflepuff had slept in late and upon waking, realized how late it was. Running at full-tilt, he had crashed straight into Edward Potter who was leaving after finishing his breakfast. Now, the Hufflepuff was splayed out on the floor, looking up fearfully at the taller Gryffindor.

Around him, Shyamal could feel everyone bracing themselves for another tirade.

A second ticked by.

Moving without a word, Edward bent forward slightly, his hand going out. The Hufflepuff looked his open hand then Edward's face, obviously confused by the lack of angry yelling. Cautiously, the Hufflepuff grabbed his hand and yelped when Edward pulled him to his feet. The surrounding students gaped in surprise when Edward clapped a hand to the startled Hufflepuff's shoulder and said clearly, 'No harm done."

As Edward strolled out from the Hall, the four tables broke out in startled murmurs.

"Well," Ron said, his face still set in disbelief. "I believe it's a cold day in hell right about now." The other five Gryffindors burst out in laughter.
__________

"How long did it take for the Suha siblings to master this?" Remus asked the Meditation Master as they took a break from lessons.

"It took the oldest approximately three years to fully master it, which is an incredible feat for his age. The youngest has not mastered it to my knowledge though she was nearing it during her time here. As for the two younger brothers, they mastered it by the beginning of their fifth year here. Soon after, they were able to control their transformations," Crina Aurelius replied lightly as she sipped her tea. Her golden eyes roamed over Remus' slumped figure. "You must not berate yourself. For many generations, our ancient techniques have been passed down to each child as is our custom. You humans are not ones to delve deeply into your mind except for a precious few such as Albus Dumbledore."

Remus rubbed his forehead. "I guess I had some belief that this would be easy. I hoped that I would easily master this technique and be able to control my transformations in the first few weeks, if not days. Now it seems pretty ridiculous."

"It is never simple as that." Crina sipped a little more. "Learning one's mind is a long and arduous process, one that a person must forever go through as the self is always constantly shifting. The most difficult stages is the first and third, when you first learn how to expand your senses to see the magical auras around you and when you first turn it upon yourself. I remember when the Suha were-brothers first looked in upon themselves and saw what they felt was the scourge upon their souls."

"I can relate to that." Remus said bitterly.

Crina narrowed her eyes at him. "If you are ever to gain control of your werewolf self, Remus, you will have to learn how to accept the beast that dwells in you."

He remained silent, knowing that obstacle was the biggest one as he always believed the werewolf to be a separate identity, one so dangerous he knew his friends risked their lives when they transformed with him during the full moons. During his dark days when he was a teenager struggling to get through his Hogwarts years, he would at times loathe himself so deeply that he had contemplated ending it all right there. Luckily, James and Sirius would distract him with runs in the forest and other means. "Do you have any more documents on what the Suha siblings did during their stay here?"

"I might have a few things but ultimately, what happened with them was more of a last desperate effort to lighten their burden. Shyamal Suha was the one who always was with them when they were meditation as he took the burden of caring for them on himself. If you wish, I can pen him and see what he did while with his brothers."

"Is that wise? Hogwarts is currently under close scrutiny by the British Ministry of Magic."

"We, Blood Elves, have long trained in stealth and observation. I am sure our best spies will be able to infiltrate the land surrounding the school long enough to deliver and receive a quick message from Shyamal."

"I only hope that he does not get caught. The ramifications for him could be disastrous. Minister Fudge will be willing to persecute him if he believes doing so will cement his election for another term in office." Remus could already see the headlines of the young teenager being caught and sacrificed up to the masses as a fake symbol of security.

"I don't believe he will be foolish enough to try a Romanian citizen as a spy." Seeing Remus' questioning look, Crina clarified herself. "When someone is born or adopted into the Blood Elf kingdom, they are given dual citizenship status in both of the sovereign countries since the two governments act strongly with the other."

"Perhaps." Even then, Remus still had a feeling in his stomach that would not let him sit at ease. "Precisely what documents do you think you might have that could help me."

"Mostly, they might be brief things I have written down in observation of the Suha siblings. Also, I believe that we might be having a visitor soon to our library, if I am not mistaken."

"Who?"

"Camilla Greyback." Crina noted Remus' rigid posture. "She is the older sister of the infamous Fenrir Greyback and only living relative."

"Are you sure she is not a supporter of He Who Must Not Be Named?"

"The King and his council are in agreement she possesses no significant threat after going through an extensive check. It's difficult for one as her to support her brother when he is the one responsible for their parents' deaths as well as that of her husband and one month old son," Crina carefully said. "Ever since then, she has sworn herself to finding a cure for lycanthropy even though she knows her brother has fallen too far to be redeemed."

"Does she think the lycanthropy is the cause of her brother's madness?"

"No. She admits that even as a child, Fenrir showed a certain aggressiveness that had their parents concerned. In her mind, it made him a more efficient killer once he himself was infected on accident. She does not blame the werewolves for her current misfortune."

"Why is she coming here? I believe the research centers for lycanthropy up in Scotland and Transylvania were more advanced in the current theories."

"She is one not to let opportunities for another route to the cure to be overlooked. She is interested in whatever material we have. At the present moment, however, she does not know of the current conditions of the Suha siblings. As you say, we cannot be totally sure of where her loyalties lie."

"When is she set to arrive?"

"Tonight."

Remus looked up into Crina's golden eyes. "I would like to meet her."
__________
Spyridon- Sorry for the long wait but I had to get some things donw. Also, next week, I'm hoping to release a one shot titled "The Good Auror". It's slighlty based on the Documentary "The Good Soldier". So don't expect CH24 of PE. Look to my profile on FF.net for updates. REVIEWS ARE WELCOMED.
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