The Four Founders had come from different walks of life.
Out of the four, Godric Gryffindor was born a noble, his father being Lord Cadwgan Gryffindor and his mother Lady Aderyn of Gwent. He was tall for his age, solidly built just like his father. From his mother, he inherited the bright red hair that would darken with age before turning silver in the years before his death and deep brown eyes that flashed fiercely when challenged. When in his armor, he would chill the hearts of many men in battle, most fearing the tall spectre from a distance.
Rowena Ravenclaw, daughter of Rozenn and Nolwenn Ravenclaw, was born from a family known for its oral traditions though in secret, she was descended from the Roman family of Cato, the keepers of the scrolls of the Library of Alexandria. Her hair was a deep black like the shadows that flickered in the halls of the family library, framing a slim face on a thin body. Though she was not as beautiful as other women in her village, she held herself with pride and a certain nobility that few ever had. Her keen intelligence was reflected in the steel grey eyes that would devour book upon book in her life. Her fingers were always stained with the black ink that was rare in her time no matter what time of day it was.
Helga Hufflepuff, daughter of Cliodhna and Aodh Hufflepuff, was from a family of blacksmiths, known for their hardworking and fierce loyalty. Shorter than Ravenclaw, Helga was a stocky woman when she matured, sturdily built for a hardworking life. No matter what job or responsibility was given, she tended to it with silent hard work and no complaints. Her light brown hair would be swept back in a bun, her sleeves rolled up to keep them as clean as possible. Her brown eyes shone brightly with caring and motherly affection that would be one of her signature traits when Hogwarts opened its doors years later.
Salazar Slytherin came from a peasant family, born to Rhonwen who died in childbirth, and Ailill Slytherin, who later died to an illness from working the meager fields. Like his parents before him, Salazar was a thin boy of average height. His features were plain except for his eyes; the dark, piercing stare which captivated most people when he reached his potential. His black hair was pulled back in a simple ponytail, a few wisps always breaking loose to frame his thin face. Always quiet, he would easily blend into the background, forgotten and overlooked by regular people until he would do something that would catch their attention which he seldom did often.
It was by chance the four young mages had met.
Lord Gryffindor had been traveling at the time and had seen the young Slytherin being beaten by mundane children, who had been told from a travelling foreigner that the orphaned child had been touched by evil demons. Seeing the young boy trying to fight back, Lord Gryffindor saved him. He questioned the young boy and learned of his hard past and his early losses. After bringing him back to the castle where he lived, Lord Gryffindor came to the decision that he would take the boy under his wing and raise him as a playmate for his son, Godric. By the end of the first month, Lord Gryffindor noticed that both of his boys had the natural gift given to them by the mother of all, Ceridwen.
As the years passed, the two would forge a deep brother bond between them, one that later generations of wizards would forget. Lord Gryffindor hired a tutor from the Ravenclaw family to teach his sons on how to control their magic as the people in Wales had still retained their deep pagan roots. It was during their studies, that Godric and Salazar met the other two of their future quartet, Helga and Rowena. For nine years, the four would learn together along with a small number of children from the surrounding lands the various magics, from potion making, to spell casting and duelling.
When Salazar was 15, Lord Gryffindor watched in worry as the younger boy went off to war under the banner of Kenneth the Second, King of Scotland. Godric stayed behind, helping his village expand its borders, helping to cultivate the fields and herd the cattle. While Salazar cunningly fought armoured enemies on the fields of battle, Godric kept an eye on the sleeping villagers of his home. Salazar returned to the home of the Gryffindor family, more wealthier and more respected than ever before as King Kenneth had given the former peasant child his own land bordering Lake Lomond. As the two brothers caught on news, Lord Gryffindor noticed that a dark presence had settled within Salazar's soul. It was not evil as the foreigners from the South had claimed but rather one arising from the loss of innocence.
And that made it more tragic.
Lord Cadwgan Gryffindor died in 990 AD, never knowing that a rift would soon from between his true son and adopted son. The control of the land and the vast wealth was given to Godric, along with the title and the position in the King of Gwent's court.
The next couple of years, the quartet saw their fellow classmates being targeted by their unnaturalness, leading them to the decision of building a school, a place where children who showed magical abilities could be taught without fear of pain and retribution. The Founders decided to build the school on the lands under Salazar's control as yet it was still wild and untouched by any other human. Godric used his vast wealth to buy the building material and have it shipped to the site to be built by hardworking witches and wizards of the surrounding villages.
By February of 992 AD, the school, Hogwarts as she was named, was finished.
In June, the Founders called the Mundane Kings of the Isles to come to Hogwarts, to sign a decree that Hogwarts would belong to no country and was under no rule of any king. From England, King Æthelred the Unready came. From Scotland, King Kenneth II rode with his entourage. High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill rode swiftly from Ireland. Also joining them were the Welsh rulers, Kings Rhodri ap Elisedd and Gryffydd ap Elisedd of Gwent, Kings Rhys ab Owain and Hywel ab Owain of Glywysing, and King Marcdudd ab Owain of the territories of Deheubarth, Gwynedd, Powys, Maelienydd and Buellt. After a long arduous debate and days of argument, all of the kings signed the Magical Royal Charter of 992 AD, binding themselves and the future rulers of the lands to leave Hogwarts alone, under the control of the Founders and their descendents.
So, in peace, the first class of the school arrived, eighteen in total. Hufflepuff's House had six, Ravenclaw's five, Gryffindor's four, and Slytherin's three. Their first lesson was on how to control their magic as not to draw attention of the growing Christian community. The four watched as their first students studied, taking down notes, going into the forest to gather wild herbs or toil in the simple open gardens.
But the peace would not last long.
In 995 AD, King Kenneth II decided to go back on his word of leaving Hogwarts alone and began to gather his army to march back toward the new school in an attempt to raid the new castle of its rumored wealth. Salazar, with the cunning and wariness borne of his time in battle, soon learned of the errant King's march. Without a word to his friends, he left the protected stone of Hogwarts and disappeared, only to reappear a few days later. It was only until Ravenclaw learned that the Scottish King had been killed by his own men through the treachery of Finneguala in revenge of the murder of her only son that it was revealed what Slytherin had done. She spoke of her beliefs to Godric who confronted his younger brother. When Salazar all but admitted to the deed, Godric was shocked at the now apparent changes in his younger sibling. Gone was the little, defenseless boy who had followed him everywhere in mapping out the large estate of the Gryffindor family. For the first time, Godric saw the battle-hardened man his brother had become, seeing what his father had seen all those years ago. He could not reconcile with the differences in Salazar and so the great rift that would be spoken of a thousand years later had began to form.
During his time in battle, Salazar had learned spells that Godric looked down upon, magics that used anger, hate, and pure, unadulterated fury to kill, maim, curse, and permanently wound victims. In his mind, Godric believed it was these spells that had corrupted his brother's spirit and thus, began speaking out against any and all types of war magics. Salazar could not understand the sudden shift in his brother's attitudes against his magic and began fighting back, stating that Godric was putting them all at risk every time Godric allowed muggles to come to Hogwarts.
By 997 AD, the brotherhood that had once been so strong between Godric and Salazar had all but crumbled into dust. Arguments and fights would erupt between them both, one shouting to all that the magics Salazar used were Dark, evil, corrupt while the other would shout that Muggles were nothing but a plague on this earth as they easily swayed the honeyed words of foreigners to the point they would attack their own flesh and blood.
It all came to a head when Godric shouted that Salazar would kill his own father for being a muggleborn to get rid of the fact that he had at once had two muggle parents, thinking in regards to Salazar's biological peasant farmer. Salazar, believing that Godric was saying he would have killed the former Lord Gryffindor, shouted that he would rather kill the man who died toiling the fields like a slave than do such a thing as Godric was thinking. Angered by what he saw as a betrayal of family, Godric cast out Salazar from the Gryffindor family, saying that he was a shame to the noble and most ancient house of the lions. The students from their towers, watched as the furious Salazar left the grounds he had gained from the former King of Scotland.
Hogwarts afterwards continued on after the confrontation, the three remaining founders hiring another couple of professors to take up the classes that Salazar taught. Godric in his anger switched the name of the Defensive Magic class to Defence against the Dark Arts. Lady Gryffindor, wife of the Cadwgan Gryffindor would continually travel between her two sons, dismayed at her oldest for doing such a thing. Many times, she would try to have Salazar go back to his brother to clarify the words cast between them or to have Godric extend a hand of apology but neither would do so because of their pride.
She would die in 1005 AD, unable to mend the yawning chasm in her family.
Salazar would wander the Isles, teaching here and there, helping children who had been condemned by their villages for consorting the Christian god of the underworld, Lucifer. He would finally settle down with a muggleborn witch by the name of Astraea. In the next decade, they would have three kids: Ophiuchus Salazar, Daithi Eimhin, and Bran Owain. Peace for Salazar would end with the death of his wife.
The village's rich girl would see his wife casting spells to clean her house and would head to the village magistrate, claiming the devil had over taken Salazar's wife. In fear of having the Devil overtake the village, the Magistrate marched over to Slytherin's house and with a few of his men, dragged her from the safety of the wooden walls to the town center. The younger children had been playing the woods and had hidden themselves among the people in their small cloaks, watching as their mother was manhandled to the stake. They watched in horror as she was burned to death, her feminine face twisted in a gruesome mask of pain and suffering. When Salazar and Ophiuchus returned from their journey, they would come upon the smoldering remains of Astraea. In his grief, Salazar lost control of his magic, destroying anything in sight, killing those who tried to flee before him. Ophiuchus, shocked at the wild man that had once been his father, grabbed both of his younger siblings and fled into the wilderness. It would be days before Salazar would return to his senses and by then, the Slytherin boys had entered the hallowed halls of Hogwarts. Salazar thinking he had killed is children in his rage. Unable to bear the loss of his sons and wife, Salazar than brewed a potion of pure poison and with a single swallow, ended his life. It would take years, when the oldest turned 13, that he and the aging Gryffindor would journey back to the abandoned village and discover the bare bones of Salazar Slytherin.
Time passed, Gryffindor dying next, broken by the meaningless loss of his brother, with Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff following last. All three of them saw as the Slytherin family fractured even more apart. Ophiuchus was run off by his younger brothers later when they were young men for lacking in magic, for being a filthy muggle as Daithi said. The two younger ones had their hatred of muggles that killed their mother twisted by the grief of Gryffindor who claimed that had he listened to his younger brother, his wife would not have been killed by the village muggles. Thus in their minds, muggles were seen as people who would easily jump at the slightest sound and turn so quickly on individuals they thought were tainted with the evilness of Satan.
At this point, nothing could be done to turn the two young Slytherins from their beliefs.
Before her death, Hufflepuff would summon the Kings of the times to her, King Henry I of England and Wales, King Alaxandair mac Mail Coluim of Scotland, High King Domnall Ua Lochlainn of Ireland as well as the challenger to King Domnall's throne, Muirchertach Ua Briain of Ireland. They would sign another Charter stating the control of Hogwarts would be under the Council of Sentinels, the remnants of the ancient magical kingdom once ruled by the House of Pendragon. The Council would select the first Headmaster or Headmistress to watch over Hogwarts until the time the four Founding families would come back together should they decide to reclaim the school. The Charter spelled out the rights of the Council to interfere with the Charter of Hogwarts that the Founders had written in 993AD that lined out the duties of the professors. The Heads of the House, the title of Deputy Head, the Keeper of the Keys, and other positions were created. By the time of Hufflepuff's death in 1110 AD, Hogwarts was functioning efficiently under the Council.
A serious blow would be dealt to Hogwarts in 1307 AD with the destruction of the centuries old wards designed by Ravenclaw and erected by all four Founders, leaving the ancient stones open to outside attack for a month while the decaying Council of the Sentinels constructed a plan with the newly formed Wizard's Council of Scotland to reward the school, under the oversight of the muggle royal King or Queen. They would create wards that would be controlled by the Wizard's Council and that would slowly strengthen over time, depending on the unity of the four Houses of the school. They would see the electing of the newly formed Board of School Governors to elect new Headmasters and Headmistresses.
In 1603 AD, Queen Elizabeth I would pass the decree that the second after James VII of Scotland would be crowned James I of England and Ireland, the control over the Wizarding population of the Isles would pass to the Wizard's Council until the true magical king or queen would be presented, if ever. The second after the royal crown touched James VI, the Wizarding population rejoiced as their freedom from muggles became a reality. Immediately, the Wizard's Council would come together to hash out plan on creating a new government for the magical population of Britain. It would take decades but by the year 1625 AD, the British Ministry of Magic was formed. They would join the International Confederation of Wizards in 1648 AD, with all delegates signing the International Code of Wizarding Secrecy in response to the Salem Witch Trials in America in 1697 AD.
The control the Ministry had by the beginning of the eighteenth century remained for three hundred years, unchallenged by the decaying lines of the Sentinels and the Founders.
At least until Albus Dumbledore took the mantle of Headmaster after the passing of Armando Dippet in the last half century. The power struggle between the Ministry and Hogwarts had been building as Dumbledore fought for autonomy from the power-crazed politicians sitting in their cozy white offices in London.
Hogwarts looked at the three faces looking at her.
"So for centuries, the fact that the British Ministry has said the Hogwarts' wards were so legendary has been a lie?" Shyamal asked, his fists clenching in anger.
He began breathing through his nose, exhaling out through his mouth, in an attempt to calm down. "I came here to protect my siblings from outside attacks and I found out that what I thought was protected was just an illusion."
"Sometimes a myth can be more powerful than a fact," Hogwarts said simply.
Ron shook his head. "That was very Slytherin of you."
Hogwarts looked at the tall teen, her eyes unnaturally dark. "Considering the fact that the Headmaster at the time was indeed a Slytherin, it seemed fitting."
Shyamal didn't listen to the conversation between Hogwarts and Ron. The thoughts that his younger siblings could be attacked within the halls were not helping in anyway. If the majority of the wards were controlled by the Ministry, all Voldemort would have to do would be to infiltrate the Ministry and bring the wards down from there. A much simpler task than the one he would have to conduct if the original wards still existed. Just one Death Eater perfectly placed and Hogwarts would be left unguarded.
"That would explain on how Voldemort and Umbridge could enter the wards. You said that after the original wards were destroyed, the Ministry had a hand in raising the new wards and over time, they gained a greater majority through political dealings with the current Headmasters and Headmistresses at the time."
"You're not making sense, Hermione," Ron said, a confused expression on his face.
The bushy-haired Gryffindor turned around to her friend. "The Ministry has control of the wards, Ron. I bet Umbridge had the Ministry lower the wards just long enough for her to enter with the Blood Quills or even do away with certain ones that would have caught her illegal acts. I also bet that Voldemort found a way to get around the Ministry wards since they weren't the original ones. That was why when Potter was speaking to Voldemort in the room where the Mirror was held that Quirrell and Voldemort boasted on having gotten around Dumbledore's precious wards. He believed that he actually found a way to enter the legendary wards of Hogwarts." Hermione began pacing in a short line, her brow furrowed in thought. "Hogwarts said that the wards are based on the unity of the four Houses. There has always been some sort of rivalry between the Houses, especially since the 1930's as the Slytherins at that time joined Grindalwald in his bid for power. Since that time, the rivalry between Slytherin and Gryffindor began to grow tenser and tenser, each group wary of the other. The Gryffindors believed in Professor Dumbledore since he was a student there during his time at Hogwarts while most people whispered that Grindalwald would have been a Slytherin had he come to Hogwarts. With the rift between the two Houses, the wards weakened. It all makes sense. But if that's true, then the wards would only progressively get weaker now, since supposedly You-Know-Who is making a comeback," Hermione finished, giving her friends a solemn look. "It would be easier for You-Know-Who to bring down the wards even without the ward control stone."
Without a word, Shyamal turned around, swiftly walking back to the teleport room. Hermione stood frozen for a second before going after him. "Shyamal! Where are you going?" she asked, trying to keep up.
Shyamal answered without breaking his stride. "I just need some time to handle this. I don't think I can work on the new map right now."
"Sure, mate." Ron placed a hand on Hermione's shoulder, both of them slowing down to a stop. Shyamal disappearing around the corner.
"He's very worried about his siblings, isn't he?" Hermione asked, her brown eyes full of concern for her friend.
"I would too if I was in the same situation as him," Ron said grimly. For the red-head, it was unbearable to think of losing such a large family in the way Shyamal had lost his parents. He shuddered to think about the dark possibilities now that the threat of war was looming increasingly over the castle grounds.
Hala was heading back to Gryffindor Tower when a dark figure moved before her. Startled, she dropped her books, her hand swiftly moving to pull her wand from its holster on her arm.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." The dark figure moved into the circle of light being cast by the burning torches, light dancing upon the features of a solemn Edward Potter. His hands were in the pockets of his robes, his shoulders slumped.
"Oh, its you." Hala slid the wand back into her holster, bending over to pick up her books. She froze when Edward did the same, picking up her Transfiguration book. "What are you doing?" she asked, blushing at how high her voice sounded, cursing her shock.
"Helping you." Edward handed her books back to her. Unable to help herself, Hala took a closer look at the older boy, seeing the frown lines that were etching themselves into his relatively young face, the dark bags under his brown eyes, the lank hair that was usually untamable, the absence of his go-lucky attitude. Something had changed in Edward that Hala wasn't sure she liked, even though the old Edward had been an arrogant arse.
He caught sight of her gaze. "I know I haven't been the best classmate or a perfect gentleman but I just wanted to say I'm sorry for everything I said about you. It was definitely uncalled for," Edward said simply. Apologizing to so many people had greatly helped his ability to do so despite quite a number of negative reactions. Very few had been serious in his dealing with him and even less had been willing to forgive him.
"Why are you apologizing? You always had this air of attitude of indifference, why this sudden change of heart?" Hala stated suspiciously, wondering if this was some type of trick she didn't know.
"I know it may seem that way but it isn't. I came to my senses a few days ago. It opened my eyes to what I was turning into, into what I was." Edward opened his arms, his voice full of what seemed to be sincerity. A part of her was scoffing at the idea that Edward was seriously trying to apologize for his mistakes but a larger part, the part that had yearned for recognition by her older brother was winning.
Hala turned to Edward, eyeing him slowly. "I won't be your best friend all of a sudden but I am willing to give you a chance to prove your sincerity."
"If you want, I can carry your books back for you." A blush was creeping up on Edward's cheeks, a rosy hue that Hala remembered from the days when she was called Evie.
"That would be great as my arms tend to get tired." Handing the books back to Edward, Hala massaged her arms as they started walking to Gryffindor Tower.
"So," Edward started awkwardly, wanting to get to know the younger student better. "How goes the war between your brothers and the Weasley twins?"
Hala rolled her eyes. "It seems that the Weasley twins are winning over my brothers, though I have heard that my brothers are planning something big and it has to do with Umbridge."
"Are they sure they want to mess with her? Umbridge will eat their hides if she finds out if it was them." Edward stifled the urge to rub his left hand over his right, knowing the words that had been carved there during his first sessions with Umbridge. Thankfully, the scars had disappeared over the weeks since then but Edward knew that if he had continued his detentions with the toad, it would have been permanently carved into his flesh over time.
"They would have to be caught first. Despite Umbridge's grip on Hogwarts right now, she still needs concrete proof that it's my brothers doing it. If she doesn't, she will just have to stew," Hala answered with a smile. "My brothers are good at not being caught."
"Hala!" Both of the turned around to see Shyamal walking toward him, a suspicious look on his face as he neared them. "What is he doing with you, Hala?"
"He was escorting me to Gryffindor Tower." Hala saw the look of disbelief on her older brother's face. "He also apologized for being a prat earlier in the semester."
Edward lifted his head as Shyamal scrutinized him. Turning back to Hala, Shyamal switched to Elvish. "Are you sure he's not doing this to hurt you more? I'm not able to believe that he would have a change of heart so quickly after the arrogance he showed since the day we saw him in Diagon Alley. A lifetime of habits is hard to break."
"He's sincere about it, Shyamal. It just goes to show how brave he is since he's willing to turn on the beliefs he held for so long. Just give him a chance. Please? For me?" Hala asked.
Edward blew out a breath, knowing this would be a good time as any to apologize to the elder Suha. "I'm sorry for causing problems when I first met you on the first day of school. It was wrong of me to call your sister names and for baiting you into defending her. You were new to the school and to put you into such a position showed how arrogant and self-centered I was. I just hope that you'll be able to give me a chance to redeem myself in your eyes."
The silence stretched as Shyamal pondered his words. On one hand, he wanted to smash his brother's head in for what happened five years ago but knew that wouldn't do. He could deny his apology but Hala wanted to give him another chance and he didn't want Hala angry with him after finding out about the wards. Coming to a decision, Shyamal locked eyes with Edward.
"Make no mistake, Potter. I don't like you and I'm not even sure if you'll be able to regain what dignity you have left in my eyes but my sister thinks you are sincere and worthy of another chance. I'm willing to give it to you but my words from earlier still hold true. Just one word . . . ." Shyamal left the threat hanging in the air between them.
He received a nod from Edward. "I can understand. Thanks for listening." The trio turned to walk back to Gryffindor Tower in silence. Inside the Common Room, Hala took back the books from Edward who gave them a small smile before disappearing into the crowded room. The two Suha siblings made their way to where the other two siblings were sitting at table near a window in one of the darker corners of the room.
As he sat down, Shyamal cast privacy charms all around them.
The moment the charms were up, Damian quirked an eyebrow at his older brother after looking up from the book he had been reading. "What's up, Shyamal. You seem tense."
"The legendary wards of Hogwarts don't exist," Shyamal said bluntly, crossing his arms on his chest after sliding his wand back into its holster.
"They do exist. Everyone knows that."
"They're just Ministry wards. The original wards fell apart centuries ago in the fourteenth century. That's how Umbitch can slip those Blood Quills of hers into the castle. I also heard that Voldemort was able to slip in a couple of times."
The Suha siblings exchanged looks with one another. "What are we going to do now?"
Shyamal closed his eyes before opening them once more, a hard look in them. "Christmas is coming up soon. The students who will be going back will be leaving on the train. We could use the excuse that we wish to return home for the holidays to make our escape. By the time they figure out we're not coming back, it will be too late to stop us. By then, we will be back in the jurisdiction of Romania at least."
"But what about the ID?" Cosmas asked. "You're the one training them to fight."
"My primary concern is the three of you. They are not my family and I will be fucked if you're placed in danger," Shyamal said fiercely, slamming a fist down on the table. The small wells of ink rattled ominously before settling once more. "They can find somewhere else to train them or even teach themselves if they have the drive to defend themselves and those they love."
"And our friends here? They will think we've abandoned them to the wolves."
Shyamal leaned over the table, resting his elbows as he raked his hands through his hair. "We have no choice. I have no choice. I only came here as Hogwarts was boasted to have the best wards in Europe. It would be safer for the three of you to return back home for the time being. I can still use the identity of Anthanasius to move around here but all of you must go back home."
"NO! What happens if you get hurt? You'll be by yourself here!" Damian hissed. "You have no back up since Shahriar called back Owain and his guards. If Fudge catches you when you're injured, they'll use you to get the Romanian Aurors and the Blood Elves into the war. They might even try to throw you in Azkaban for using dark curses and at the worse, they'll throw you to the Dementors."
Shyamal groaned. "Voldemort already entered the Ministry wards once and he'll do it when he has the wizard power to take over the school. The threat of facing Dumbledore will only stop him for a time before he gets enough arrogance to try and kill Dumbledore one way or another."
"And is it fair for us to leave when we know the wards are gone when the rest of the school doesn't even know?"
"My decision is made; when the Christmas break begins, we're heading back to Romania," Shyamal stated firmly, staring at his siblings with a hard look. None of them said anything, the three of them just staring sullenly at the table top. "I know this decision is hard to reconcile with but I have no choice."
Hala's head snapped up. "Don't even go there, Shyamal. You made the choice to sacrifice them after we've gotten to know them and hung out with people we actually call friends that don't have pointy ears. I can't believe you." She huffed, shooting to her feet before stomping off to the girls' dorms. Cosmas just shook his head, walking out of the common room. Damian leaned back, staring at his older brother.
"She's got a point, Shyamal. We've gotten close to people that we've begun to care about, maybe not as a surrogate family member but enough for it to hurt to even think about losing them. We're all in this one way or another. What would you do if you received word that Ron and Hermione died in an attack that could have ended differently if you had been there to warn them? It's just something to think about." Damian got up before going up to the boys' dorms.
Shyamal reached out to grab a peice of parchment only to tear it into shreds. No matter how much Shyamal wanted to deny it, what they said was true. If Ron and Hermione were to die in some attack without Shyamal there, he would feel burdened by the guilt that he had abandoned them in their time of need. But he couldn't risk the lives of his siblings, the only family he had left. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place; damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Flashes continued to flip in his mind's eyes, time passing until the Gryffindor Common room was empty. Still unable to come to the emotions welling up in him, Shyamal hauled himself to his bed, everyone already fast asleep.
"Shooting a spell is easy," Shyamal called out to the listening students, walking slowly in front of them. "Hitting the target isn't." He stopped in front of the younger students. "You've all done extremely well so far in picking up the spells I've taught you, learning how to properly say the incantation and learning how to apply it at a stationary target. And in some cases, a few have learned to cast it silently with a number of you starting to attempt it." He grinned at Hermione and Terry who grinned back. "However, in real life fights and battles, an opponent will never stay in one spot for long. They will move, dodge your attacks if they can without using one ounce of their magic. To them, this is an advantage, conserving their magical reserves to be able to throw a deciding spell when the opportunity arises. If there is one thing that common magical folk here don't recognize is the physical part of dueling. Stand still and you will become an easy target.'
Flicking his wand, he animated a dummy that Hermione had been able to conjure with the help of the Room of Requirement, bringing it to stand next to him, its movement flawless. "In order to rectify these shortcomings, I've decided to use the last session of the semester to give you a taste of what you will learn next semester when I will teach you some basic defensive maneuvers."
"Wouldn't it be obvious to duck in battle? I mean, it is common sense," Zacharias said loudly.
"If it so obvious, then how come you didn't dodge during the practice the past few sessions?" Shyamal shot back, looking over at the blonde boy over his shoulder as he steered the mannequin to the opposite side.
"You said for us to practice our shields as well as the casting."
"So for you to dodge the spells by yourself, you needed my order to do so? Would you have waited for me to tell you in a fight as well?" Zacharias opened his mouth but no reply came out. "In a fight, you have to learn how to think for yourself; when to use a spell, which one would be the most effective, how to dodge, how to maneuver your opponent into a corner, and how to escape with your lives. You cannot depend on another to make a decision for you lest it get you killed," Shyamal told the others. "Something as easy as dodging shouldn't be told to you, it should come as an instinct so ingrained into you that you do it without thinking and contrary to popular belief, it's not easy as it seems." Pointing, Shyamal became serious. "I will show you a demonstration of what you could do if you have the motivation and will to see it through."
Giving them one last look, Shyamal turned to the mannequin and with a flick of his wand, it came to life. It moved like a human, casting spells and dodging the barrages Shyamal sent at it. But all the eyes of the room were not on it, awed at the complexity of the spells Hermione had cast but rather they were focused on Shyamal or more specifically, how he moved. His movements blended into one another, the ending of one spell leading fluidly into the beginning of another spell, the jets of light heading where the mannequin would be, not where it had been. At the same time, he was ducking between spells, pivoting on a foot, throwing himself to roll back to his feet, or doing a cartwheel in midair when caught in a corner.
It came to an end when Shyamal blasted the dummy off it's feet and into the wall.
Panting, Shyamal rose back to his feet, sweat trickling down his face. "And that was only one mannequin. The Death Eaters will try to have a greater number of fighters when engaging in battle. That's how they work. A quick fight before fleeing once the Aurors arrive, leaving only devastation and death behind for the Ministry officials to clean up."
"But how long will it take us to learn that?" a Hufflepuff asked, his eyes slightly wide. "How long have you been training?"
"I won't lie. I've been training for a couple of years but now and then, I forget to stop moving which I learn dearly when my opponent catches me." Seeing the expressions of disbelief, Shyamal shook his head. "Don't think that this is impossible. You can learn by the end of the school year if you keep up practice of dodging. If there are any more questions, you should ask them now before we begin." No one said anything, a few biting their lips before sighing.
Shyamal flicked his wand again, little bright red balls appearing which began to bounce in front of the teen. "For today, we'll just work on your dodging skills. We'll incorporate spell casting later." Without warning, the red balls shot off, hitting various members as others began running around, trying to dodge the speeding balls.
As the chaos continued, Shyamal noticed that those who played Quidditch were being hit less than those who just watched the game. Both the Ravenclaw named Cho Chang, Ginny, the Weasley Twins, Katie Bell, and others were dodging with a lot more grace than say Neville Longbottom. They were constantly in motion, eyes searching for the tale-tell red blurs richoting off people.
By the time Shyamal Vanished the balls, people were nursing aches and sore limbs.
"That wasn't as easy as it sounded," a Gryffindor moaned as he left, gingerly stepping out of the door.
"If this is just the beginning, next semester is going to be torture," his friend agreed.
Shyamal tried not to flinch as he maneuvered the mannequin back into its corner. His heart thumped in his throat at the thought that he wouldn't be here to continue the sessions as him and his siblings would be back in Romania by Christmas Day.
Coward. A voice in the back of his mind whispered. Liar. Giving them false hope when you so quickly turn on them at the first sign of conflict.
I need to protect my brothers.
LIAR! You don't like the loss of control. Back in the kingdom, you've always kept tab of your siblings and what they did but here, you have no idea what they are doing. Look what Hala's been doing behind your back. She's been eyeing her mum even though you told her specifically to stay away. You were so sure there were wards protecting the remains of your family but you found there weren't any. You thought fighting the Dark Heir would be so easy but it isn't. You lost your head in battle. So lucky that you didn't die. You're afraid.
SHUT UP! The bookshelves holding the dozens of tomes splintered apart as the books shredded into small pieces. Breathing heavily through his nose, Shyamal tried to blink back the tears of anger and shame.
He wasn't running away.
Shyamal tried desperately to believe the hollow words.
Spyridon- Don't you just love it when you have to eat your words? I said I was going to try and update before the end of the year. That tells me how plans stay afloat when it comes to the holidays. Just about a paper boat's chance in a hurricane, eh? And from what I spoke with other classmates, this semester coming up is going to be worse due to one particular class.
Anywho, there were a couple of reviews that caught my attention. Scar-wise, the tattoo scar on the left forearm of Edward is the one thought to be the mark of LV. The scar on his right is from the ritual LV used in fourth year. Edward is feeling pain in his forehead but as I remember there is no scar there. That's due to a plot-detail shift somewhere in CH23 so the revised chapters will present that. Same thing goes for the mark on his chest. Ignore the ones from Ch12 on. I hope to get the next set of revised chapters out soon as I'm almost done with those. Also, a couple of loopholes in the story plot will be closed in those, specifically regarding the Marauder's Map. REVIEWS ARE GREATLY WELCOMED!
As for those who were able to catch a couple of the hints, keep on guessing. No one has yet been able to piece together the clues about who the Dark Heir is and what happened that night in August. But of course I have to eat my own words due to the fact that mutt N feathers is doing the same to me in her story Reanimer.
I'm also posting on my LJ regarding the relationship between Shyamal and his siblings and why they are reminding him that they need him. To give a rather unsatisficatory answer in my eye is: they are kids, including Shyamal, and such, can't lose the only family they have come to rely on. Kids do go this phase, especially one who was in someway abandoned by their father/mother/guardian. My niece shows them every time my sister pays attention to other things than her. The full answer will be posted on the LJ account in a more indepth reply. I might actually be posting really long answer there.
HPGW_OTP is open for the 2010 Best Awards fic. Link is in my profile. Open for a week with multiple categories in regards to Harry/Ginny fic.
The rec site hasn't seen activity so go there and post your recs.
Thanks to ginnyweasley_777 for the betaing. Mistakes are mine. Profile will be updated ASAP with relevant information on my other stories.