Title: Wind Shear
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is copyright JK Rowling
Author's Notes: Something that came about and I decided to work with. Started some time back, took me a ways to get it completed hence why you might see some information or names that are now no longer right. I don't publish anything beyond fragments anymore until I have an entire completed book length of stuff.
In addition, this fic has been more thoroughly rewritten than any of my past fics. I hope it shows.
I have also released my first novel on Amazon. Book One of I'm Not a Super Spy!: I'm Only a Freshman! By Jonathan McCready
You can find a link to the novel on my new site chilord then add the dot and the com put together at least to work with the way links are stripped out.
I will be not only promoting published novels, but other original works I'm putting together there.
Bellatrix Black tightly gripped her wand with a grin of anticipation curling over her features. Today, she was to join in her first… assignment with the Knights of Walpurgis. Today, she would have her chance to start purifying the mudborn filth that had been rotting the wizarding world.
It was a simple raid into muggle London to have their sport and bloody their wands, so to speak.
They'd found a muggle pub, not too far from the Leaky Cauldron, and with a pair of guards posted at the entrance, warding and repelling any witnesses, they'd entered in explosion of glass and wooden fragments of what had once been a door, dressed in their dark robes and skull-shaped masks.
There had been shock, and fear, and a wonderful aura of terror. Their wands had risen and they'd been prepared to unleash torment and death upon the foolish little muggles at their leisure. They hadn't been expecting the bottle of whiskey that had smashed into Rosier's face.
They really hadn't been expecting the blast of an incendio spell that followed it up and set him alight.
The muggles were scrambling, panicked and shocked, even more so when one of their attackers who had arrived in an entrance of violence and destruction suddenly burst into flames.
The Knights of Walpurgis weren't doing much better. Most of them had turned their attention to trying to put out Rosier with a variety of spells that saw him soaked, frozen and thrown to the ground. The others on hand ignored his plight to take the opportunity to either gleefully curse anything that moved or, like her, search out the source of the bottle and spell.
It gave her the warning and time to dive out of the way of the banished chairs, bottles, and table that smashed into the group.
And then she saw… Him.
Burning, angry emerald eyes, messy black hair and a look of cold, burning rage on his features as all around him everything that wasn't nailed down to the ground or one of the muggles themselves was banished at their members as violently she had ever seen a wizard manage.
It had seemed an almost amateurish move to Bellatrix. There were oh so many more powerful spells that could be used. Spells that rotted, destroyed and flayed. Spells that could peel the flesh from a man like a grape.
Then he'd made everything he'd banished explode. Shrapnel of wood and glass rocketed into their bodies in an eruption of pain. As the screams of surprise, agony and rage filled the air, she managed to turn her attention back to him, raising up her wand and ignoring how sticky with blood it suddenly felt. She could feel the pounding in her chest, the fear, the adrenaline, pouring through her veins.
The words rose in her mind, she began to force it through her body, into her wand. Then every piece of shrapnel imbedded in their bodies was ripped free as violently as it had been implanted. A vicious summoning that pulled it all into a great, bloody beast of sharp jagged chunks of wood and claws and teeth of sharp broken glass. Their blood stained it almost to crimson in the dull, warm light of the pub's electric lights, still glistening and fresh from the wounds they'd occupied a moment before.
With a flick of his wand the beast was set loose and it tore into them with a great and terrible glee.
Her wand and spell faltered as the pieces had been ripped out, broken by the fresh surge of pain that howled through her flesh. She could hear the screams of her fellow knights as the beast tore into them. A sickened twist of her stomach came when it was all too easy to imagine what was happening to them as they screamed and the coppery scent of blood reached her nose.
She took aim at him again, desperate now, fear and panic driving her as her hand trembled. His eyes found hers. In them she saw anger, and scorn, and disgust. From them she could see his wand already pointed towards her.
"STUPIFY!" She knew she was supposed to be beyond vocal casting, beyond stupid, childish stunning spells, but at the moment she was panicked and senseless, starting to turn and crawl away as she saw a flash of a shield catching it, before his eyes and his wand began to move closer to her.
She was going to die. She was going to die, here in this stupid muggle tavern. She was going to die crawling away some kind of wounded rabbit before the wolf.
The anger of that thought was drowned away as she watched a body fall to the ground in front of her. Another knight, clutching and gurgling around what had been their throat, trying desperately to keep their life's blood from spilling out like a fresh geyser. She could see the blood seeping, pulsing through their fingers. She could hear the gurgling sounds of their desperate attempt to breath.
Then she could feel the spell that struck her in her back and her whole body went rigid, wooden.
All she could do was watch, frozen, as a pair of boots stepped just to the side of her head. The knight in front of her had their mask struck by a cutting curse, slashed at an angle into it, and a moment later, it fell into two broken pieces on the floor in front of her. She had just a moment to recognize the face of Rodolphus Lestrange, the man who had just begun courting her in the last year, before his face split in bloody line and one section slid forward into the ground in front of her.
"You know, I had already been having a bad day." She didn't recognize the voice but instinctively she knew it belonged with a pair of brilliant, cold emerald eyes. "I came in here for a bit of peace and quiet and a nice drink. I just want to be left alone."
She watched as the blood soaked beast of wood and glass stepped into view before collapsing into a pile of simple debris.
"But… no, I had to pick the one place where you little blighters decided you'd exercise your special little brand of political expression." The disgust was audible as she felt herself being levitated up, just enough to be flipped over onto her back and unceremoniously dropped.
"Now, who do we have here?" Her mask was peeled away and she found herself staring up into those eyes of his, watching as the recognition passed through them. "Well now, that's interesting. Ickle little Bella-kins, hmm?"
She could see him moving back towards where Rodolphus lay and she sound of his body being lightly nudged onto its back. "Oh, and is this ickle little Roddie Lestrange? It is!"
Then she could feel the touch of his wand's tip lightly tapping against her cheek. "Now… what to do, what to do, what to do? You've put me into a bit of a pickle here, Bella-kins. You see, Tommy's not going to be very happy with you. That leaves me torn.
"On one part, I could kill you now and not have to worry about you making trouble for me later," he stated simply, and she could feel the way the tip of his wand slowly traced down the line of her jaw in an almost sensual manner. "On the other, if I send you back… that will leave quite the impression I think."
Slowly then he looked around and then stood, his fingers snatching her wand out of her fingers and lightly twirling it about between them as suddenly she could move again. "Take a good look, Bellatrix."
And she did. The muggles were cowering against the walls, staring fearfully, but not at her, not at the Knights of Walpurgis. They cowered in fear from him, and the bloody, savaged remains of those knights.
Every wizard she'd arrived with was lying dead on the floor in front of her, their bodies torn into chunks and pieces.
"I'm going to guess, all of them purebloods like you, hmmm?" He said the words simply, easily, against her ear in a hot breath as she felt the tip of his wand suddenly digging into her throat as he wrapped his arm about her from behind and she was pressed back into his chest. "All of them dead, because of a single halfblood that didn't need to use even the slightest bit of dark magic."
He snorted and shoved her away, letting her stumble and fall into the half pile of blood and flesh. "That is the simple truth. Pureblood spills just as easily as any other; it doesn't make you any better, doesn't make you any stronger. It just makes you a puffed up little fool if you think it does."
She scrambled about, panicking, slipping against the sticky blood, the dead, unseeing eyes staring back at her. Whimpering, her voice warbling at the brink. And she heard his voice command her, "Run, little Bellatrix. Run and tell Tom Riddle his war will not be as easy as he thinks."
Without even looking back, she scrambled over the bodies, clawing, sliding back out of the pub and fleeing in terror back into the night
Behind her, Harry Potter stared down at the mess he'd made, listening to the messy crack of apparition striking outside. "Well, this is going to be trouble."
The end of the war hadn't been enough for Harry. Sure, he'd celebrated. He'd even felt a great swell of relief as the weight of the wizarding world's future had been lifted from his shoulders.
Only, he wasn't free.
He learned rather quickly that a gilded cage was still very much a cage, and without Dumbledore there to absorb the attention being simply being Dumbledore, he was caught in the middle of it.
It was events and parties at first. Everyone wanted to invite him around, and he was always inclined to go. He was told it would be rude not to, after all.
He had become a symbol of the end of the dark days. Only they didn't seem to be that ended. Bigotry was still rampant, dark wizards still lurked, the Ministry, despite its relatively well-meaning new Minister, was still corrupt.
When he walked through Diagon Alley, he could still see Nocturne Alley next to it, sulking smug and content to its darkness and shadows. There were still the purebloods, looking down their noses at the muggleborn and halfbloods. There was still a festering rot of superiority in the minds of the Wizarding World.
So he'd joined the Aurors. It seemed the logical step at the time. He could get out there and make a real difference.
Only they'd wanted to just wave him through, hand him a shiny badge and sit him behind a nice, fancy desk in a big office doing absolutely nothing. He'd balked, of course. He wanted to be out there, helping people! He wanted to make a difference.
So, reluctantly, it was agreed to put him through training.
He quickly discovered, though, that most of the 'training' was learning a number of rules and regulations. There were no special spells, no tactics, no classes in investigation. It was a bunch of boring laws drilled into his skull and reminding him again of how little the wizarding world had changed.
Then he was partnered with a more senior Auror who would take care of the rest of the training.
They then had the brilliant idea to partner him with John Dawlish.
Harry was the first to admit Dawlish knew what he was doing. He was an intelligent and skilled wizard who did his job thoroughly and without complaint. Though he taught Harry a number of ways of refining and mastering his spells, he also was a constant reminder of the way the laws of the Wizarding World had still not really changed.
For a time he'd stuck to the job as best he could. It was a commitment he'd wanted to live up to.
Then there had been the chance to help hunt down a dark wizard who'd broken one too many laws in eastern Europe. He'd jumped on it, thinking that it would be a chance to get away from the oppressive rigidity of Dawlish and the Ministry. He turned out to be right.
He also turned out to be in over his bloody head. Again! The team he'd joined had been rather infamous for chewing up young, idealistic wizards and spitting them back out gibbering wrecks that made Quirrell's act in his first year at Hogwarts look positively calm. A reputation no one told him about until he was already stuck with them.
What no one figured was how well he'd end up fitting in with the lunatics.
Just shy of his 21st birthday they'd gone into particularly hairy situation with a dark wizard messing around with time magics, blood sacrifices, reality warping and platypi.
They never did understand the last bit.
Eventually, it had come down to the big showdown. Harry remembered a bright explosion. Then he'd found himself waking up in Wales, July of 1970. Of course, he hadn't known it was 1970.
At least, not until he'd seen the paper and all the people dressed in the strange clothes. Then he'd managed to snag enough of the current pound notes to pay for a decent bottle of whiskey at the pub. He'd barely started on his first sip when the proto-Death Eaters had barged in, wands drawn.
Which lead him to his current situation, where he was sitting across from a younger Alastor Moody, bearing a number of scars, but lacking his trademark 'Mad-Eye' and peg leg in favor of their still natural counterparts.
"Mind explaining to me why the hell I shouldn't have you dragged off to Azkaban?" Moody demanded as he glared back at Harry.
"Because I was just defending myself?" Harry offered before glancing around. "And I had to waste a perfectly decent whiskey on one of those idiots instead of getting drunk off of it like I planned?"
"What were you doing in a muggle pub then?" he said, frowning as he watched Harry critically. "The Cauldron's just a bit down the way."
"Yes, and generally it's considered rude to put up a Notice-Me-Not charm to get people to leave you alone in a wizarding tavern. Muggle pubs don't have the same problem," Harry stated with a slight burl if irritation. "I'd had a bad day and those idiots stopped me from even getting one bloody finger down."
"And you killed them because they interrupted your drink?" Moody was more than slightly skeptical.
"No, I killed them because they blew in the door and windows, then stormed in, wearing black robes, masks and having wands drawn," Harry shot back. "When they started throwing curses at everyone in sight, I wasn't about to just leave it like that."
"Most would've just up and ran," Moody noted, his tone a bit more neutral now.
"I only run when I have to," Harry stated without even pausing. "They didn't even remotely qualify as that dangerous."
"There's going to be a bit of outrage over this. There were some rather prominent individuals in that little pile of dead idiots you left back there. The Lestrange's won't be happy their heir is dead."
"Well then, they should've taught their heir better than to go running about at night randomly attacking people without knowing if they can defend themselves or not."
"If they weren't dangerous enough to make you run, why'd you kill them, then?" Moody snapped back with a growl.
"They came at me, and those around me with the intent to kill and maim. And the rest of this lot were muggles and couldn't do anything to defend themselves." Harry stated simply.
Frowning Moody shifted about with a huff as he reevaluated his opinion of the young man in front of him. If it wasn't for the bodies he'd left behind, he'd almost call the kid arrogant. Only, people that left broken piles of corpses without taking so much as a scratch in a fight tended either be boastful or, like the kid in front of him, matter-of-fact.
"What spells did you use then?" Moody half demanded.
With a slow, calm motion, he made a show of drawing out his wand by the tip, offering it in his direction. "Run a Priori Incantatos to see."
Grumbling, Moody pointed his wand to Harry's and ran the spell in question. Then the results rolled back until what looked like the start of the fight he frowned and went over them.
A simple incendio to start, followed by a few banishing spells. Then there was an explosion hex, followed by a… summoning, and animation charm? Then there was an attack command spell, a shield, a body bind and a cutting curse. There were cancellation spells here and there, but not a single dark or illegal spell among them.
"Huh, a bit more simplistic than what I was expecting," Moody admitted before glancing around. "None of the bodies showed any signs of a body bind."
"I didn't execute anyone if that's what you're wondering," Harry stated simply. "I don't particularly care for murder."
"What would you call Lestrange's head being bisected?" Moody countered back. "But, none of the muggles show signs of it, and there's a rather interesting spot right over there in front of Lestrange."
"Considering his throat? A mercy so he didn't have to drown on his own blood," Harry stated with a shrug. "As for the interesting spot, not really an auror, so…"
"Like someone was there right when Lestrange got his skull split during that mercy of yours," Moody said pointedly. "Splatter leading up to it and around it, but nothing there.
"That's interesting," Harry noted blandly with a nod of his head.
"And you just happen to know nothing about it?" Moody pressed with an arch of his brow.
"Why don't you ask the muggles?" Harry asked calmly with a similarly arched brow.
Moody scowled lightly back at Harry. "I would've. If I could use their damned testimonies. Or if they hadn't been bloody well oblivated already."
"Shame they went and did that. Imagine they could've given you a much better picture of things," Harry noted with a nod of his head.
"You let one of them go." Moody accused.
"One of the muggles?" Harry asked with a still-arched brow. "I thought there was a muggle repelling charm keeping them from the door?"
"One of them," Moody stated as he gestured to the bodies now being collected and organized nearby.
"Now, why would I do something like that?" Harry asked, curiosity filling his voice.
"… You know something you're not telling me." Moody accused.
Harry looked at him for a moment before he slowly chuckled slowly. "Auror Moody, I know many, many things I'm not telling you."
"Something I should know," he countered back with his eyes narrowed into slits.
"You think this is the first time they've made a little… excursion like this?" Harry asked suddenly, a brow arching. "You think it will be the last? You think they just all happened to be together, dressed the same, working together?"
"So, what, you think this is some kind of sick little muggle baiting club?" Moody asked, his head lightly tilting to the side.
"… I think, Mr. Moody, when you find out what they are, what they seek to accomplish, and what they are not only willing, but planning to do… you'll wish that is what they were." Harry stated seriously as he looked into the man's eyes. "A storm is coming, Mr. Moody. Best be prepared, or be swept away."
"And where will you be, Mr…?" Moody asked, his eyes narrowed.
Harry shrugged his shoulders a bit. "I suppose you could call me… the storm chaser."
Moody snorted. "That's a load of ponced up shit."
"Alas, a legacy of a misspent youth," Harry responded with an easy grin.
"Sir," a young auror, barely looking out of Hogwarts approached Moody and gestured to Harry. "What are we going to do with him?"
"Not much we can bloody well do," Moody snapped back and gave the man a look. "It's a pretty straight forwarding case of self-defense."
"Self-defense?!" the man stated in shock, "But… he had to use some kind of… He had to have used some kind of dark arts!"
"Banishing spell on the tables and glass, followed by an exploding hex on them after they hit them," Harry commented casually as he twirled his wand about his fingers. "Animation did the rest."
At the Auror's gaping face, he shrugged a bit. "What? You're hardly being discrete and Moody here can confirm what I cast. The dark arts never worked for me. They require too much hate."
Moody snorted, "Aye. Which makes you that much scarier."
"Me, scary?" Harry asked, looking almost surprised. "Who would find me scary?"
For a moment, Moody looked over at the dead bodies and then just looked back at Harry with a flat look.
"I'm sure if you ask them, they won't tell you they find me scary." Harry insisted.
"Sir, they are dead thanks to you," the young auror declared, glaring at Harry. "Some of these are fine, upstanding members of…"
"Please, explain to me what they were doing in a muggle pub dressed like that then," Harry interrupted.
The man flustered and glared back at Harry, "I'm sure that they had a…"
Harry just snorted, "A reason for blowing in the windows, and attacking a muggle pub?"
"Well, it's not like they were anyone…" the man started, only to freeze when he found himself under a pair of very cold, very dangerous glares.
"Auror Moody," Harry noted in a coolly detached voice, "don't you think it would be prudent to make sure that nothing important was lost when the deceased had their bowels release?"
Moody slowly gave Harry a rather familiar grin of vicious approval. "Indeed, and best not to use magic. You never know what might get vanished by accident."
"I defer to your judgement," Harry stated simply as he leaned back in his chair while the green auror looked confused for a moment, then quickly paled.
"Sir, surely you don't mean…" the rookie started to protest.
"I think I surely do," Moody stated flatly. "Get started."
"… Yes, Sir," the rookie acknowledge with a glare.
"Was there anything else?" Harry asked politely of Moody.
"As the damned Wizengamut doesn't see fit to force your identification when no crime has been committed, no," Moody stated flatly. "Keep yerself available, though. I'm sure I'll have more questions."
"I have a feeling we'll probably be seeing plenty of each other," Harry stated with a slight nod of agreement before standing up and walking out without even glancing back.
Once he was gone, the rookie turned and glared at Moody, "You're just letting him go?!"
"Kid, how many piles of shit do you have to sort through?" Moody asked, a brow arching.
"What does that have to do with this?!"
"Because that's how many people with wands already drawn he put down in less than ten seconds from what we can tell," Moody stated flatly. "If we had tried to arrest him for defending himself, he would've resisted."
"We could've…" the rookie started to protest.
"And, if you looked in his eyes, and bothered to actually look, you'd have seen he would've resisted," Moody continued, ignoring him. "And we'd either have ended up dead or put down hard. We might've gotten lucky enough to take him down with us, that that was a damned big might."
"He's barely older than I am!"
"It's not the age, boy; it's the experience, and the power." Moody stated flatly. "Now that shit isn't going to sort itself, unless you really want to draw it out."
The rookie just glared and Moody was left shaking his head.
As she stumbled into the meeting room, Bellatrix struggled to keep down the contents of her stomach as the full weight of her little adventure slammed down into her. She'd grabbed the two confused guards and ran. Well, they had apperated away, and then one of them had reminded her of their port keys.
With a tug on their navels, they reached her stumbling entrance into the room.
"What, she couldn't keep her stomach for the initiation?" an annoyed, cold voice asked as a figure in dark robes looked coldly down upon her. "The lord will be most… displeased. Roldolphus assured us you would perform admirably."
Just fifteen minutes earlier, those words would've been a horrifying, dream crushing insult to her. Now though?
"Bloody well hang his displeasure!" she said with a hissing snap. "We're not here because I couldn't stomach it! We're here because the others are all bloody well torn to pieces!"
That brought the figure up short. "What? Are you saying a group of Muggles could possibly slaughter a team of the Knights of Walpurgis?"
"It was a wizard," Bellatrix hissed angrily. "One wizard having a drink with the muggles. One wizard who slaughtered us in an instant!"
"And yet somehow you live," the figure countered back with a sneer.
She gestured then to the blood splattered across her face and mask. "Do you see this blood? This is Rodolphus', from where that wizard bound me in place and made me watch as he split his head like a soft melon, mask and all!"
"So, what, you were to be the messenger?" the man demanded.
His words came crashing back into her then. Her eyes contracted, grew distant as the memories suddenly smashed into her like an arctic wave. "He… knew me. He knew Rodolphus, but I'd never seen him before in my life. He told me he could've killed me then, but it would make more of an impression if he let me go. He told me that being a pureblood meant nothing…"
"Lies!" the man hissed, his fingers gripping on his wand.
"Because all of them were purebloods, and he had slaughtered them all," Bellatrix continued, ignoring him, seeing those burning emerald eyes in her mind. "He said… he said to tell Tom Riddle that his war will not be as easy as he thinks."
This brought the man up short. That name… it should not be known. Who was this wizard who sat drinking among muggles then dared slay an entire squad of the Knights of Walpurgis?
"Leave," the man finally snapped out, glaring at her. "Do not come back."
Her face twisting in disgust, Bellatrix pulled off the blood spattered mask and cloak and tossed them aside as she sneered back at him. "Gladly."
And then she turned and was gone.
Which left the man with the two guards and the thought of how best to bring this unpleasant bit of information to the lord.
It wasn't until Bellatrix returned home with another apparition that she realized she had never gotten her wand back from the strange wizard who had taken it. That brought her up short. She remembered how he'd plucked it easily about her fingers, the way he'd kept it dancing between his. She remembered the feel of his wand, warm and hard as it pressed to her throat as she was held against his chest.
She'd been absolutely helpless. She knew she couldn't fight him, couldn't beat him. She knew that he could've snuffed her out in an instant. And it had made her ache.
Her life continued only because he thought she'd make a good messenger, and she was thinking about how much she'd liked it. Morgana, she was a mess. She'd just watched her courter executed in front of her and she was fantasizing about the man who'd killed him.
And those eyes. She thought that she'd seen life when she'd listened to the Lord of the Knights of Walpurgis speak. The delight he'd taken in the casual cruelty he'd displayed to the muggles they'd brought for the night's entertainment had seemed so enthralling, the way he found such enjoyment from their screams. But the man hadn't.
Where the Lord had barely restrained his glee and delight at the pain he inflicted, the man had been unmoved. They weren't worth his time. They weren't worth his magic. He didn't need the dark arts to hurt, he didn't need them to kill or maim.
He used power, imagination and skill instead.
They were like polar opposites. One reveled in the obscure and the forbidden. The other raised up more commonly known spells in ways no one would really consider.
Dumbledore was powerful, and wise, and more importantly old. He almost never cast a spell where people could see him. He never displayed his skills, he never revealed the vaulted depths of ancient and obscure magics he was said to hold. He simply smiled, eyes twinkling and would dispense some random platitude disguised as wisdom. However, for all the derision, for all the disbelief, there was always something about him that would still more overt rebellion. Despite that they never saw it, it was always a point that maybe he didn't show off his magic because he simply didn't need to.
But, he had been old. That was the most important part of it. He was old and likely past his prime.
The Lord and the man were not.
"I had thought you were to be out later," Cygnus Black spoke as he saw his eldest daughter standing in the hall, her eyes distant and lost. "Did things not go well with… Rodolphus?"
"He's dead," Bellatrix stated wearily as she glanced at her father. "Things went very, very wrong."
Cygnus stood up straighter, eyes narrowed and fury sparked. "He did not place his hands upon you, did he?"
Bellatrix laughed then, a dark, almost broken laugh as dark black curls bounced against her cheeks. "No. Nothing like that. He took me to formally join the Knights of Walpurgis. We were to go on what I was told would be an easy, marvelous little bit of fun where we could torment and sharpen our dark arts to our hearts contents."
For a moment, Cygnus watched his daughter warily, seeing something in her eyes that almost scared him. "But?"
"He was there when we arrived," Bellatrix stated with a particular emphasis on the word describing the man, an almost… reverence in her voice that worried him. "He killed them all. In flash it was over and I was lying helpless and watching him granting Rodolphus the mercy of death."
"… What?" Cygnus tried to wrap his head around the words his daughter was saying. "Who? Who killed them?! This is…!"
"He told me he was a half-blood," Bellatrix continued, staring off into space. "I don't know that the Knights' Lord could've killed them as quickly or as brutally as he could. They were just… things to him. His spells weren't the obscure and forbidden dark arts. They were common… almost simple, but so perfectly executed."
His jaw dropping, Cygnus stared at her disbelief and denial quickly written across his face. "What…?! But… A half-blood could never…!"
"He did," she stated firmly. "I saw it. I was there. He told me. 'Pureblood spills just as easy as any other'. It doesn't make us as special as we try to say."
For a moment, Cygnus just gave her a look, studying her, the light in her dark eyes and the set of her shoulders, before he spoke, "Show me."
She was confused only a second before realizing what she meant. Nodding her head, she allowed him to lead her to the study. Once there, she waited for him to bring forth a familiar but not often used stone basin.
Waiting for it to settle, she froze then flushed brightly as she realized an embarrassing truth.
"What?" Cygnus asked, his eyes narrowed. "Have you forgotten how?"
"…" Her words were mumbled too quietly for him to hear as her head bowed in shame.
"You're a Black girl, speak like one." he demanded firmly.
"He still has my wand!" She angrily admitted as she looked up and glared at him, her face slightly red.
Cygnus blanched a bit, before reluctantly nodding his head. "I suppose I could understand then…"
Reluctantly, he handed her his wand, and watched as she withdrew the silvery thread from her forehead, and then carefully deposited it into the basin. Returning the wand to him, she took a step back. With a slight frown, he stepped forward and, with his wand in hand, entered into her memory.
When he emerged, he looked shaken, his face pale as he leaned heavily on the stand the pensieve rested on. Waving off Bellatrix's motion to help him, he took a slow deep breath to steady himself. Then, he entered the memory once more.
When he returned this time, he took a moment to stare out into the distance, not quite seeing anyone there. Then, he turned his head and looked at his daughter. "What do you remember of him?"
"His eyes," she stated instantly. "They were just…"
"He is a Potter," Cygnus stated confidently, before frowning. "But how, I know not. Such a child would've never escaped notice. And yet, there he was… It does not make sense."
"A Potter?" Bellatrix stated, as if tasting the word as she tilted her head to the side. "Mmm, I see…"
"It doesn't make sense. I know all the Potters. Not one of them has eyes like that," Cygnus stated with a sour twist of his lips and a mutter. "And a half-blood one of that?"
"A bastard maybe?" Bellatrix asked, clearly not caring. "It would explain being a half-blood."
"It doesn't matter," he responded, though his tone was one that clearly denoted that he did not believe it a likely explanation. "What matters is what this means."
"He knows something," Bellatrix stated as she recalled the Knight of Walpurgis' reaction to the message. "The Knight of Walpurgis that we were reporting to… he was disturbed by the message."
"Then it would seem that there's going to be a third side to things, shortly," Cygnus stated with a deep frown. "And this man has managed to muddy the waters. Nothing is certain anymore."
"I'm picking him," Bellatrix stated resolutely as her tongue lightly darted across her lips.
He looked at his daughter for a moment, frowning slightly, "You know that will not be an easy thing. He is a half-blood. Even with his power, he is still a half-blood."
"Who slaughters purebloods without issue," she responded back, smiling hungrily. "Proving his point. It's not about blood; it's about power."
Cygnus was reluctant to agree with her, however, what he'd seen in that man's eyes…
"We will have to find him first, and learn more," he stated, as it was a diplomatic answer, but one that seemed to satisfy Bellatrix… for now.
Harry had no idea what he was going to do.
He was a combat specialist, not a master of the more arcane and esoteric magics that allowed one to bend and break the rules of reality. Here he was, trapped a decade before his own birth, back at the very start of Voldemort's rise to power. All he had were the clothes on his back, his wand, a bit of pocket change, and talent that he was rather loathed to put into the employ of either the Ministry or Dumbledore.
With a sigh he glanced around the park he had apparated to. A small one in Surrey, near Privet drive. Seated in the swing, he slowly looked up into the near full moon hanging over head.
It was then that he could feel the tingle of anti-apparition wards being thrown up over the park.
Groaning softly, he quickly slid off the swing, discreetly casting a few spells on the swing set and see-saw, before another pair at the sand beneath his feet.
"Going to show yourselves then?" he asked, his eyes slowly scanning around the wooded perimeter as dark cloaked figures began to step forward, wands all pointed towards him.
"Who are you, and how do you know the name Tom Riddle?" one of the figures, face covered by a familiar mask, demanded as he took a step a little closer than the rest of the group.
"Mmm," Harry slowly hummed as he looked around the group. "He's not here, I see. So I take it you'd be the errand lackey. How'd you find me that quickly?"
He could just barely make out the way the figure's eyes narrowed behind the mask, before the audibly sneering sound came out, "Did you think you could spill that much blood and not leave it on you?"
"Ah, blood tracker," Harry pursed his lips a bit. "Didn't think you lot had enough brains for that."
"Answer the questions! Who are you and how do you know that name!" the figure demanded, his wand tip beginning to glow.
"You can call me the Storm Chaser," Harry stated, it was a whim really, but he might as well be consistent. "As for how I know the name of a half blood son of a muggle…"
The glow on the tip of the man's wand intensified even stronger as some of the figures looked at one another in confusion, while others merely kept their wands focused on him.
"I don't think I'll tell you," he finished, before suddenly the sand at the edge of the play scape erupted into a wall that blocked their sight of him.
It took less than a second for a barrage of spell fire to start blasting through the sand in a variety of different colors. Harry himself dropped to the ground as the sand beneath moved out into a small earthen fortification. As soon as it reached the silt and lime-rich clay that made up the soil underneath, he began to cast again.
Beneath him, earthen wyrms were formed out of the thick clay earth, before rising up into the sand around him and making the hole deep enough to stand in.
Once they hit the sand, the granules clung to the skin, making them appear as if solidified creatures of the fine playground sand.
It took him only a mere handful of seconds to accomplish his act. Seconds he barely had as the veil of sand fully collapsed just as the earthen animations set out.
"You will find, Storm Chaser, that we are not foolish children for you to prey upon!" the leader declared. "And your little walls of mud will not…"
His declaration was silenced as one of the wyrms erupted from beneath him, rising between his legs to crush his pelvis between powerful jaws with rough, jagged teeth of silt fused together. As he screamed, however, the other wizards were far from idle. They did not freeze, they did not cower as their spokesman died, and instead they focused a barrage of bludgeoning, cutting and blasting curses upon the construct.
The wizard was dropped carelessly from its jaws a moment later as it collapsed back into the thick earth it was created from. That was when the others struck. They came from behind, or the side, or even the front.
Unlike the leader they did not aim for the body, they instead struck at their limbs. Legs and arms were bitten, broken and ripped off before the creatures would return to the sand. But, despite the chaos, they did not break and flee.
Instead, those that could rushed towards the small foxhole Harry had dug himself into, leaving behind their bleeding fellows to strike at the wizard behind them. One pair found themselves smashed to the ground when the seesaw turned itself on its side, and its board folded forward, snapping the wizard's legs between it like a pair of great jaws. The others found the seats of the swings splitting, the chains snapping out like snakes, grabbing them by their necks and throwing them away with an audible cracking snap.
In the end only a pair of wizards managed to reach the base of the sand wall, then struggled to rise up it. One stumbled and fell as the loose sediment gave way too easily beneath his feet, and then fell face forward. A moment later, the sand rose up, cocooning his head, then twisting it with a sharp crack.
The other started firing blasting curses onto the walls of the hole as soon as he saw them, sending chunks of clay earth scattering down and raining violently down on Harry. Fighting down the flinch that came when he felt some of the pieces of stone buried in the clay hit him and break his skin, Harry took aim at the wall the wizard was rising up and fired an explosive curse of his own. As the spell blasted a spray of sand up to the wizard's mask, it also collapsed the spell that was keeping the wall of sand in that form, causing it to lose the slight consistency it had to maintain its shape.
As he began to fall forward, the wizard's wand aimed at Harry again, a spell starting to form on the tip, suddenly he screamed and vanished as he was pulled away from the edge.
Grunting softly, Harry wiped some of the dirt and blood from his face and proceeded to cast a spell at the side of the wall, causing it to erupt and split as he started to run forward. Rising up to the revealed slope, he lunged out and rolled into a swinging sweep of his arm casting a spell that arched around him. Instantly, the sand congealed into a ring of spikes that shot out like cannon shots tethered on slender, flexible tendrils of sand grains.
They struck out, hitting into every body that remained, before flailing and tossing them about.
When they finished, he crouched there, eyes narrowed as he swept the area. Nothing was moving except for the restless earthen wyrms and the lightly twitching tendrils of sand. A quick detection charm confirmed that none of them were still alive, but a visual sweep showed that their outspoken leader was not among them.
With a faint growl, he hoped the attack had been brutal enough to be fatal and, with a swipe of his wand, he vanished the blood from his body and clothes. Moving swiftly, he moved from body to body, after checking for enchantments, charms or curses, he divested them of what he could. In the end, he was left with a few handfuls of wizarding money, some jewelry, and a number of wands.
Cleaning them all off and double checking that they weren't charmed in anyway, he then had the wyrms take the bodies and buried them a good thirty feet below the surface, before, with a few more spells, he restored the playground to its previous condition and vanished.
Post note: Again, I have released my first novel on Amazon. Book One of I'm Not a Super Spy!: I'm Only a Freshman! By Jonathan McCready
You can find a link to the novel on my new site put chilord then add the dot and the com together at least to work with the way links are stripped out.
I will be not only promoting published novels, but other original works I'm putting together there.