Chapter 13 : A Brewing Shadow
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Dark Days Pass But Are Never Forgotten
By: Logical Raven
I hope everyone has had a wonderful week. I for one have. I was a little worried about this chapter at first. I did get tickled at some of my reviews this week I have to admit. Though I disagree with some of you on the story of Harry’s parents, I’m going to sit back in the shadows. There is only one person who knows the entire truth, and so far she had opted not to tell. There it is.
This chapter quickens the pace of my story a bit. I imagine that the defeat of Lord Voldemort will cause a lot of tension to rise in this world, and there will be many fighting to take his place. I’ve really tried to work on character development in this chapter.
I have a few what I call one dimensional characters who just add to the background, then I have the one I really want to bring forward. I think I’ve also thrown a few surprises in here, and answered a few building questions.
Elections are right around the corner, and it will be a path that Harry has to carefully consider. Remember what Dumbledore said choosing between what is right and what is easy. You’ll see some old faces as well….. Their parts in this story has yet to play themselves out. Happy reading, and everyone have a wonderful weekend!!
Read and Review….Nothing is my own
Again, if you want to be added to my e-mail update notification just e-mail me or leave me your e-mail address in a review. Thanks again.
A Brewing Shadow
Noel narrowed her eyes as she and Harry waited in a small room, both of them responsible to guarding Draco Malfoy while the precautions were being made to allow him to return to his mothers. Narcissa was the most likely person to know the whereabouts of her estranged husband.
“So Potter, what happened to Chang?” Malfoy said with an annoyed smirk.
“Shut-up Malfoy,” Harry snapped, not taking his eyes off this prisoner.
“Did she run off with Eros Raymer?” Malfoy taunted, still possessing the ability to get under Harry skin.
“He isn’t going to warn you again,” Noel said slowly, her dark eyes flashing dangerously.
Malfoy grinned a little wider, “Or perhaps you have decided to run off with someone else and left Cho pinning for you.”
“How was Azkaban?” Harry retorted.
Malfoy cringed slightly at the name of the prison he had once called home, “Perhaps you’ll someday know, Potter. One day….”
“Are you suggesting that the followers of the Dark Lord are going to revolt again?” Noel snapped.
Malfoy cut his eyes over towards her, “I’m suggesting nothing.”
“You aren’t really planning of helping the Ministry to catch your father. You might fool some, but you haven’t fooled me. Just try to escape and get out of your deal. I’m watching Malfoy, and the second you step out of line, I’ll have you thrown straight back into a cell in Azkaban,” Harry warned.
Malfoy grinned again, “Your words are merely annoying chatter to my ears. You can deliver nothing but empty threats.”
“I suggest you mind your word. It would be an unfortunate situation if a hex accidentally slipped from my wand,” Noel growled.
“O’Riley?” Malfoy said raising an eyebrow, “Any relation to our dear former Defense Professor?”
Noel’s eyes widened as she turned her head away, almost acting as if she were ashamed of her relations.
“You didn’t attend Hogwarts. May I inquire why?” Malfoy asked in his best voice.
“I pursued other education opportunities,” Noel hissed, “Not that it is any of your affair.”
“Well, if my father was murdered by a werewolf, I’d avoid a school that employed them as well,” Draco said casually. “Or was it a Giant he was murdered by, no difference I suppose. There is one of those at Hogwarts to.”
Noel’s face twisted with rage as she raised her wand. Her expression warned Harry of the internal battle that was taking place within her.
”Noel! Ignore him, he isn’t worth it,” Harry said sharply, eyeing Noels trembling wand arm.
“You know nothing of my father,” Noel said dangerously as she slowly began to lower to wand aimed at Malfoy’s heart.
Malfoy eyes widened in amusement, “Apparently I’ve touched a nerve.”
“Shut-up Malfoy,” Harry warned.
“Soon we’ll have something in common, Draco,” Noel said calmly.
Malfoy raised his eyebrows.
“Both our fathers will have been murdered by someone they thought they could trust,” she finished coldly.
Malfoy eye glistened with rage, “You pathetic fool. You’re a disgrace to the pureblood that flows through your veins. You’re a disgrace to the name of wizard!”
“Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause,” Noel spun away from the two boys eyes as she watched impatiently out of the window for Moody and Tonks to return from securing the area. Harry’s eyes paused on Noel’s figure for a moment. It all made sense. A werewolf murdered her father. Then another horrible thought crossed his mind. What if the werewolf who murdered his father was Remus Lupin.
“Albus, I must protest. How can you allow Rita Skeeter to keep slandering you?”
Albus Dumbledore sat at his dining table with his usual light smile. Severus Snape slapped a copy of the Daily Prophet down in front of him to read.
“It’s ridiculous, ‘Harry Potter feels Albus Dumbledore is losing his grasp on reality. He provided no assistance to the young man during his defeat of the Dark Lord, yet he is determined to steal all the glory’….Do you see?” Snape snapped.
“Ah Severus, I do not believe Harry ever said a foul word against me to the Daily Prophet. He has my complete confidence. When he is ready I’m sure this whole will be resolved,” Dumbledore said lightly, waving off Snape’s comments.
Snape made a foul face, “I’ve always said you were far too lenient on the boy.”
“Children learn best by making their own mistakes. A philosophy I’ve always carried,” Dumbledore replied, “It wouldn’t surprise me if Harry hasn’t fully decided if it is best for him to run or not.”
“Honestly,” Snape said harshly, “Potter as Minister of Magic. He’s barely more than a child.”
“A child that has been though more than most twice his age,” Dumbledore reminded.
“Have you spoken with O’Riley,” Snape asked quickly, hoping Dumbledore wouldn’t notice his disgusting tone, “It would be helpful if we knew whether or not she was going to act as your campaign manager.”
“It is a difficult decision to make. By accepting my request to manage my campaign, she would be sacrificing her entire career. She may need a few more weeks to consider the offer,” Dumbledore answered.
Snape’s face hardened, “Sir, I would be more than willing to talk to Skeeter for you about this slandering in the paper. Also, a conference with George Steppin wouldn’t be too absurd.”
“Ah Severus, you are loyal to those you respect. I trust you will do everything in your ability to help me though this process. However, I chose not to ask you to handle my campaign for a reason,” Dumbledore said honestly.
“But sir, I must warn you against not taking immediate action,” Snape protested, “I will not tarnish you reputation. I merely am asking you put out some sort of a statement.”
“There is no need for such tactics. Harry will come to me soon enough,” Dumbledore continued.
“But…,” Snape began to protest.
“No but Severus. I trust in Harry,” Dumbledore continued.
“I fear you put too much trust into the boy,” Snape finished before rising from his seat, “I’ll deliver your message to the Headmistress.”
“Thank-you Severus,” Dumbledore replied lightly.
“Fourteen, that’s all?”
The clocked figured nodded in an eerie accord as they scanned the room. One of them had summoned them there with the dark mark. It was thought that only Voldemort himself could do such a spell, but one of them had figured it out.
“It is more than should have shown,” Luna Lovegood muttered lightly. Only a short while ago she was soaring on her destiny. Convinced she had made the only choice she could. Now she was on the run, wondering if she would even live to see her next day.
Her father would never forgive her, and her friends were merely cloaked figures without faces or names. Everything had been destroyed in a matter of a few moments. She watched as one of the Death Eaters ranted about Voldemort’s next return.
Surely they understood what she did. Voldemort was not returning, he was destroyed. Harry Potter, the boy who lived, had finally figured out a way to undo all the steps the Dark Lord had taken to seal his immortality. Lord Voldemort was gone.
“Many have been killed or worse, thrown into Azkaban,” Luna said a little louder this time as one of the Death Eaters swished his cloak in fury.
“The Dark Lord will not be happy that only fourteen of his faithful servants returned to his side when the Dark Mark burned against their flesh,” he continued.
Luna’s eyes rounded, the dreaminess that once was a trademark of hers was no longer seen; “How do we know Potter didn’t destroy the Dark Lord.”
“He returned before. Our master took too many steps in his quest for immortality to be fouled out of life by a child.”
“You saw what I did. He wasn’t just killed,” Luna said in a low whisper, “Something more happened that day.”
“She’s right,” another Death Eater agreed, “His spirit was spoiled. I saw it with me own eyes.”
Luna startled back a step at the outburst.
“Our master will be most disappointed that his Death Eaters have such little faith.”
”What do you suggest? It isn’t like last time. There are no rumors or murmurs of his whereabouts. He is gone without leaving any trace on where to find him,” another Death Eater to Luna right argued.
“Then we find someone who knows. We torture them until they tell us where our lord is.”
A tall slender cloaked figure at the edge of the group spoke in a deep drawn out tone, “I work in the Ministry with very high ranked law enforcement officials. Nobody is talking. She is right, this isn’t like the last time when rumor could be heard in the shadows to those who were listening.”
Luna grinned forcefully as a thought came to her mind, “I wasn’t born the last time, but I know mistakes were made among those who are loyal to the Dark Lord. This time we can change that. We continue his work, and elect a temporary leader to carry out his plans. When or if our master returns he will not have to rebuild his power again, it will be as strong as it was the day Harry Potter tried to defeat him.”
“Yes, we continue our master’s noble work,” the ranting Death Eater agreed immediately. The remaining group cheered in agreement as they shot spells into the air in jubilation.
Luna cheered loudly next to her nameless friends. For the first time since the day her master had fallen she felt part of something again. This would continue, and she vowed that she would personal live to see the day when Harry Potter met his own end.
“Who summoned us? Who knew how to use the Dark Mark?” asked one of the figures.
“I did,” a voice answered almost immediately.
“Malfoy,” someone whispered as Lucius Malfoy removed his hood and shook his long wispy light hair down his back.
Alastor Moody and Nymphadora Tonks seized Draco Malfoy by the arms and drug him out of the small room that he had been waiting in for the past few hours. His two guards sighed in relief as Mad-Eye muttered quick instructions into the former Death Eater’s ear, reminding him of his cover story. He sealed it with a quick threat and a prod from his wand.
“Do you think he’ll betray us?” Harry asked his mentor Tonks as Malfoy walked slowly from their concealed location, unescorted.
Nymphadora Tonks avoided Harry’s eyes as he answered, “We must remain optimistic.”
Noel O’Riley was inclined to disagree, “It seems fool hearted to trust a double crosser.”
“You’re just full of witty saying aren’t you Miss O’Riley,” Moody croaked as his magical eye scanned her again.
“I learned my wits are the only thing that may keep me alive Master Moody,” Noel answered cocking her eyebrows as if she had taken Moody’s comment as a compliment.
Moody growled in a pleased way and nodded, “You and Potter need to report back to the Academy. There isn’t anything left for you to do here. It is more important for both to study hard in your lessons since you both failed your assessments miserably.”
Harry swallowed hard as he watched Mad-Eyes eyes twitch as he turned to watch Malfoy enter his mother’s home; “Sir, wouldn’t it be a better idea if we waited behind awhile. Just in case.”
“Wanting to avoid lessons aye Potter?” Moody said in what appeared to be a laugh.
“Alastor, Harry might have a point. Him and Noel can keep this watch. If we can get a bit closer than you can read Malfoy’s lip with your magical eye,” Tonks suggested, “Do you have your cloak?”
“Course I do,” Moody said gruffly as he pulled out a silvery invisibility cloak from his satchel. “Well Potter, it looks like you’ll get your request granted. Keep an eye out, and watch your back.”
The two Aurors covered themselves quickly as a closed door signaled they had made their move to get a closer eye in.
“Honestly, I don’t know why the Ministry ever allowed Master Moody to come out of retirement,” Noel said sharply as she kept her eyes forward toward the Malfoy’s Manor.
Harry glanced over at her, but for the first time in weeks he didn’t have a sudden urge to hex her instead another emotion took hold, pity, “Your father…”
“Isn’t any of your affair either,” Noel snapped without moving her eyes.
Harry bit his bottom lip, “So what Malfoy said was true? He was murdered by werewolf?”
Noel found the air heavy as Harry’s word dangled in the air. She had never spoken of her father to anyone but her mother, and now she was forced into a corner, “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” Harry asked skeptically, “How can you not know?”
“Because the Ministry classifies murders such as my father under top secret priorities,” Noel said quietly, hoping Harry’s gaze would soon fall of her.
“I don’t understand,” Harry started.
Noel’s eyes flashed with fury, “I told you it wasn’t any of your affair.”
“If we’re going to have to work together than it is my affair,” Harry retorted, “You and I have gotten off on a sour foot, and I’m trying to make some peace between us.”
Noel fell quite for what seemed like an eternity then she finally spoke again, “My father was a potions master who worked for a private firm hired by the English Ministry of Magic. His death was caused by a work related accident, the specific details of his murder were never disclosed to the family.”
Noel could feel Harry’s eyes examining her and she prayed he wouldn’t hear her heart pounding against her chest. Why did he have this affect on her? She attempted to take a breath but the air was too heavy, and it pushed uncomfortably against her chest.
“I’m sorry,” Harry muttered, “I shouldn’t pry.”
“Wolfbane,” Noel said as if she hadn’t heard Harry’s apology, “My father was working on the early stages of the Wolfbane potion.”
”So is that why you think it was a werewolf?” Harry asked quietly.
Noel shook her head bitterly, “No, I think it was a werewolf because of what my mother screams out at night when she’s asleep. ‘Don’t August, it will rip you apart.’ She screams all night long.”
Harry swallowed hard as Noel eyes stared into the night towards the Malfoy Manor, “So your mother.”
“Was driven mad…. Apparently she witnessed the whole thing,” Noel said before Harry could ask, “She won’t talk about when she’s awake. She promised my father she wouldn’t.”
“How long ago?” Harry asked, wondering if he should just leave well enough alone.
Noel finally forced some air into her lungs with a heavy breath, “Long enough.”
The one question that was pressing on Harry’s mind came dangerous close to his lips. He wanted to ask about Lupin, he had to know if she hated him for a reason.
“What in Merlin name,” Noel said sharply rising from her position.
If Harry didn’t know better he would have swore he heard Tonks muttering her usual ‘sorry’ as a fallen trash can rolled halfway out into the road.
December O’Riley had never broken her word once she had given it. She had been sincere when she had promised Harry and Cho would not be thrown to the wolves and every attempt to bring her back into training would be attempted. Following Harry’s lead she now stared at a large wooden door.
She gently knocked on the small flat door in Liverpool. Her Auror mind was already thinking of possible questions to gain access to the inside on the location incase Miss. Chang didn’t want to be disturbed. Eros Raymer had assured December that Cho’s breakdown was disturbing but not lethal to her training.
A young curly headed witch whom December vaguely remembered from her Hogwarts teaching days answered the door in a confused state.
“Miss Edgecombe, I am here to call on one of my students. Is Cho available?” December asked in he r sternest voice.
Marietta Edgecombe glanced over her should and sighed, “I told her you’d be looking for her if she didn’t report back. You aren’t going to throw her in to Azkaban are you?”
December had to suppress a chuckle and fight to keep her serious expression, “I assure you I’m not here to cart Miss Chang away to prison.”
Marietta eyes shined with skepticism but she looked over her shoulder to call for Cho. The past few days had been some of the loneliest Cho Chang could ever remember. As Marietta called for her from the front door her heart stopped. Nobody knew she was there. For a brief moment she thought it might be Harry, there to rescues her, but Marietta would never allow Harry access. No, it if was Harry then he would have had to hex his way through the front door.
“Who is it?” Cho asked tensely.
Marietta stepped away revealing a stern looking December O’Riley.
“There you are Miss Chang. We’ve been searching for you.”
Cho nodded, “Have you spoken to Eros?”
December affirmed Cho worst fear, “He tells me you resigned. I’m here to discuss the matter and figure out a solution.”
Cho closed her eyes and mental told herself that she wasn’t going to cry anymore. She was going to be strong.
“Come in,” Cho said in almost a whisper.
December removed her Auror’s robe and hung in on a hook by the door and then followed Cho over towards the kitchen where they could sit and talk.
“So, Cho, would you like to tell me your side of the story?” December began as Cho poured her a warm cup of tea from the stove.
“My side? I thought you’d already spoken with Eros,” Cho asked looking slightly surprised.
“Indeed, I have spoken with Eros, but I would like to hear your side of the story as well,” December explained.
Cho closed her eyes and took a seat across from her instructor, “I was never dating Eros.”
December nodded and pushed to continue.
“I don’t think he ever accepted the fact I didn’t want to be with him. You know Harry and I decided to call an end to our relationship. I went to Eros for a place to stay, I thought I could trust him.”
“He is your mentor,” December said quietly.
Cho sighed, “Does Eros have the ability to tell me who I can and cannot associate with during my social time.”
December considered for a second, “To some extent.”
“I was told that I couldn’t date Harry any longer by my mentor. I was given an ultimatum, I could either forget about Harry or quit my training,” Cho continued, “So I made a decision.”
“Eros is still willing to be your mentor if you want to come back to the Academy,” December offered.
Cho’s eyes flashed for a moment with a confused emotion, “No, I can’t be Eros’s student anymore.”
“I understand,” December nodded, “Do you still want to be an Auror?”
Cho looked up from her broken gaze, “I have dedicated two years of my life to being an Auror, but there are something that are more important.”
“So you don’t want to continue your training?”
Cho bit her lip and took a deep breath, “If it means I’m going to have to compromise my principals and sell my soul than no.”
“What else did Eros do? Surely you didn’t quit merely because he told you he wanted you to break up with Harry,” December pushed.
“Eros is in love with her,” Marietta butted in; she apparently had been eavesdropping on the entire conversation.
Cho shook her head no; “I have no foul words against my former mentor. We all make mistakes.”
“Come off it Cho. Why do you have to be so forgiving? The bastard told you that you were going to bare his children,” Marietta argued.
December looked back to Cho who looked defiant, “It was out of anger. We both said thing…”
“So you and Eros had a row over this dispute,” December asked.
Cho nodded, “He gave me a choice and I made a decision. I know the rules of the Academy. If a mentor abandons a student than the student has failed their training. A Auror’s word is valued more than a student’s.”
“Eros had told me nothing about a row,” December said, “If I was to confront him, you believe he’ll deny it.”
“Of course he’ll deny it, wouldn’t you?” Cho said boldly. “I will not go begging him to be my mentor again, and I will not conform to what he wants. I will never marry him.”
“That what my father and him have been planning all these years. That has always been the plan,” Cho spat as her anger bubbled towards the surface, “My father was celebration with his best wine the day Harry and I parted ways.
“If I could arrange another mentor for you, would you be willing to complete your training?” December asked.
Cho eyes widened, “It is a wonderful offer Master O’Riley, but you know as well as I know there is nobody left.”
“I have no student Cho. I usually don’t take one due to my position at the Academy, but I might be resigning my head post to dedicate my time to something else,” December explained, “If you would accept me as your mentor then it would help me decided on this decision I’ve been faced with.”
“Honest? You’re thinking about resigning at the Academy?” Cho asked skeptically.
December nodded, “Dumbledore has asked a favor of me, and I’m afraid it would be a great conflict of interest if I remained in my position at the Academy. I haven’t had much field work, but I would try my best to teach you all I know.”
“Of course, I don’t know what to say,” Cho stammered, “What about Eros.”
“I can arrange everything and I’ll talk to Eros. There is no sense in losing a prized student because of a family dispute,” December said sternly, “I expect a lot out of my pupils as you are aware, so it would take immense dedication on your part.”
“Yes, you know I value myself on being a good student,” Cho said quickly.
“I’ll have it arranged. I’ll expect you back at the Academy tomorrow, if you need a place to stay during your off time, my home is always welcome, or perhaps Miss Edgecombe would allow you to stay with her. I only request you keep your family affairs apart from your training. You are almost halfway through with it, and hopefully your second half will run much smoother than your first half,” December said with a quick nod. She grabbed her cloak from the door hook and bid her farewells to the two girls.
“December O’Riley is going to be your mentor?” Marietta said as she shook her head, “And you thought Eros was a pain.”
Cho didn’t answer, for the first time in days she felt something she had almost forgotten, happiness.
“Honestly, what is he thinking?” Hermione ranted as she tucked a letter into her robe pocket.
“Ron?” Harry asked with a quick grin.
“He’s traveling to Geneva, without pay. Does he honestly think this Canons thing is going to work out?” Hermione continued, “I’m in a right good mind to tell his mother.”
“Oh Hermione,” Harry started.
“You encourage him,” she snapped, “Sometime I wonder why I even bother.”
Harry watched as she stormed off down the corridor, reminding him of the old Hermione that use to storm off when Harry and Ron were plotting rule breaking.
“Is she still complaining about Ron?”
Harry smile lightly as Susan Bones appeared shaking her head as Hermione disappeared.
“She is still upset about his career choice,” Harry explained.
Susan nodded, “You can’t blame her for being worried. Ron doesn’t always make the wisest decisions.”
Harry was about to disagree and argue that Ron made mostly wise choices when he caught sight of Noel entering the potions room out of the corner of his eye.
“How was your assignment last night?” Susan asked as she followed his eyes.
“Alright, what about yours?” Harry asked, hoping she didn’t ask any deeper questions.
“Boring, Michael and I had to do a stake out in Diagon Alley, rumors of a Gringotts break in all all. Hogwash if ask me. Who would be foolish enough to test the patience of a goblin?” Susan said.
Harry forced a smile, “Yea, our stake out was rather boring as well.”
“Where were you guys positioned?” Susan asked casually.
Harry shrugged, “It’s one of those classified locations. I’m not even sure where we were,” Harry lied with a shug.
Susan caught the hint, “Well, while we were in Diagon Alley I found this wonderful little pub I’d like to visit.”
Harry swallowed hard, “That sounds great. I don’t know when we’ll get that off time though.”
“I haven’t gotten any thing planned for tonight, and we’re allowed to leave the Academy for the weekend,” Susan hinted.
Harry took another deep breath, “I think I’m cleared off for tonight also.”
“I’ll meet you back in the dormitory after classes then?” Susan confirmed.
Harry forced another smile as he answered with a nod, “Sound good.”
The two walked into the potions lab and took their seats. Harry began pulling out his potion ingredients.
“Plans for tonight Harry?” Noel asked, coldness in her voice.
Harry glanced up at here, “ Susan and I were going to go into Diagon Alley.”
Noel rolled her eyes, “Lovely.”
Well, I’m gussing some of you are starting to see the plot begin to thicken, and some of you are on the right track. (wink) I’ll update soon I promise.
NEXT UPDATE: 05-23-04 You know I never cohear to this, but just in case…..
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