Nymphadora "Don't use my first name" Tonks was not having a good day. It had started out just like any other day since she had begun her training as an Auror recruit with Moody as her instructor. She had even gotten to have an hour off that evening when Moody had to go off to Hogwarts to observe her little cousin's honour duel against that Malfoy brat.
She didn't even know how it had went yet because the second Moody had gotten back he had dragged her off to train, and that was exactly where she found herself now yelling as she dived and dodged out of the way of several curses coming at her from various different directions, as she landed behind cover in one of the Auror training rooms.
Usually she would only have to fight one or two of the training dummies that were set on medium difficulty for her training, they were hard enough to beat when they outnumbered you. But the second she was in position to start her training her skin paled and her hair went white, as Moody activated seven of the bloody things and put them on the max difficulty.
She had not even been able to get off a single spell for the past hour as she avoided the rainstorm of spells, they continuously threw at her, none of them lethal but all of them extremely painful.
"What the hell Moody, have you finally lost it!" She yelled over the cover to the grizzled old Auror who stood off at the boundary line to the training area with a grin on his scared face and a glint in his good eye, "Call them off, I've been at this for an hour now, isn't this enough"
"If you can still talk during all this then you're no where near done lass," Moody barked back at her from where he was standing, "Let's see if you can handle another four hours of this, maybe by then you can handle yourself against a Cerberus who's lost his favourite squeaky toy" he mused with a sadistic smirk on his face that made it look even more gruesome than usual.
Tonks wanted to cry when she heard that she was going to have to handle four more hours of this same level of training, but her thought process screeched to a halt when she heard his next word and a memory of herself using that exact same phrase came to her mind.
She had used it when talking with Magnus about Moody's harsh training and attitude and she immediately made the connection. Her little cousin had ratted on her to him, and his response was this training from hell.
'Magnus, oh you are so going to pay for this when I next see you' Tonks thought to herself with a snarl before she heard the familiar hissing of a bombarda spell coming towards her cover and she instantly jumped away before her shelter blew to bits instantly making her go on the defensive once again.
-Percy fire calls home about Scabbers-
Arthur Weasley sighed contently as he relaxed in his favourite armchair having just gotten back from his day at the office. Things had been going well for him as of late, work had been relatively slow, and that had allowed him more free time than usual. Now with all but little Ginny off to Hogwarts the Burrow was peaceful and he could take time to relax and read his collection of Muggle magazines that he had been stockpiling but never had time to browse.
Just as he reached over to take up the first one, titled "Golf Magazine" of all things, the floo flared with green embers making Arthur sigh, what had the twins done this time. Merlin, he loved all his children to bits, but he just did not know what was going on with those two at times.
Getting up from his chair Arthur approached the fireplace and got down on his knees as he leaned forward into the flames just as the visage of Professor McGonagall appeared in them.
"Good evening Professor, so what have the twins done this…" Arthur started to greet her through the flames, entirely expecting her to inform him of the latest prank that his two sons had no doubt pulled, and what their punishment was going to be. Only to stop himself when he saw her expression, it wasn't annoyance or irritation as it normally was, it was much more paler than that, he didn't think he'd ever seen her look so, shaken. "Minerva, what is it?" he asked as he realised this was not a regular call.
"Oh Arthur," Minerva said with a sigh, "Somethings happened, but I don't have time, I have to go and get back to try and calm the students, Percy is here and he can explain what has happened" she explained before her face pulled back out of the fire before Percy's took its place.
"Dad," Percy greeted as soon as they saw one another.
"Percy, what's happened, what's wrong, is someone hurt? The twins? Ron?" Arthur began to ask quickly already suspecting the worst having happened.
"What?" Percy asked not understanding why his father was asking about his younger siblings before realisation dawned on him and his eyes widened, "Oh no, no dad, they're fine, they're all fine… well Ron was knocked out but he's okay but considering what could have happened" he said looking a little green at whatever it was he was thinking about.
"What? Knocked out?" Arthur said in shock and concern for his youngest son, "Percy, what happened?" he asked in a harder tone wanting a straight answer.
Percy winced slightly at his father's tone. It was true that their mother was normally the one to take charge of the daily running of the family, handing out chores and tasks and generally keeping everyone in line. But that was only due to his father being preoccupied with work, and while Arthur may let Molly run the show most of the time, when it matters, he steps up to deal with things.
"R-Right, sorry, it was just all such a shock that I'm still trying to come to terms with things, but I knew you and mum needed to be told about all of this straight away" Percy explained before he began his tale.
As Percy talked, Arthur listened to his every word in silence, as his expression changed multiple times over the next few minutes as Percy finished his explanation of events that had transpired not an hour before.
'Dear sweet Merlin, how could we not have noticed this before' Arthur thought to himself as he leaned back out of the fireplaced to run his hand over his face as he tried to collect his thoughts.
Scabbers was an Animagus, not just any Animagus but Peter Pettigrew, and had been living under their roof, his roof, for the past ten years. He had been around his family, his children, all without his knowing. The thought of what he could have done at any time made Arthur want to throw up. However, his son's voice from the green flames brought him back out of his thoughts as he leaned back into the flames.
"Alright Percy I understand," Arthur stated grimly, "you were right to be in shock, I never imagined something like this could have been under our noses this whole time, we owe Magnus…Heir Black a great debt for having exposed this threat to our family, I want you to personally convey my thanks to him the next time you see him. I will write to him as well to give him my thanks, and I will be writing to your Grandfather to inform him of these events, I have no doubt that he will agree with me that all of House Weasley owes him and House Black for what has been revealed today"
Percy nodded in response knowing that this was a serious conversation, and to take his fathers orders seriously, while Arthur may not have been the current lord Weasley, he was the Heir Primary with Bill taking the spot of Heir secondary. While their family did not put much stock into traditions and customs as others did, an obligation of a debt being owed was another matter entirely.
"I will do so Father, and I'll make sure that both the twins and Ron know to make sure to thank him as well," Percy told him before wincing slightly, "I don't know how Ron might take it, given the situation, I recall some rumours of he and Heir Black having butted heads over some matters, but I'll speak with him about it and try to head off anything before it happens."
Hearing about Ron having troubles with Heir Black made Arthur sigh, Ron always was a bit hot headed at times, he knew he got it from his mother, the Prewett's always did have nasty tempers especially if they didn't get their ways, he'd have to talk with Ron when he could.
"Alright thank you Percy, send me a letter and let me know how it goes, right now I have some letters of my own to send" Arthur told him before leaning back out of the emerald flames as they went out.
As Arthur got up from his knees at the fireplace Molly came in with a basket of laundry in her arms, "Oh Arthur, was there a floo call, what did those two do this time" she said before frowning, "Do I need to get my howler parchment out again"
Arthur winced but shook his head, "No dear, but I think you had better sit down, there's been a discovery at Hogwarts that I need to tell you about and then I need to write a few letters of my own"
-Voldemort's anger, poor Quirrell-
It was an hour after the duel between Heirs Black and Malfoy that the door to the Defense against the dark arts classroom burst open and Professor Quirinus Quirrell, letting out a hissing gasp of pain, collapsed to the floor, barely being able to keep himself from breaking his nose by reaching out with his hands to stop himself going face first into the hard stone slaps that paved the castle floor.
"I suppose you think that you were being horribly cleaver back there" a rasping voice spoke from behind him, "awarding that foolish boy so many points, even after he so openly insulted me".
Quirrell's body shook as he slowly pushed himself to his feet as he fought through the pain, "I don't know what you're talking ab…" he replied as he started to get his footing again only to let out another cry of pain before stumbling forward to brace himself against one of the many desks in the room to keep himself from falling again.
"Do you think you can lie to me Quirinus, foolish boy," The rasping voice snapped, "I am in your head, I know your every though and waking desire. You found it amusing how that impudent whelp slandered me, and how he defeated Malfoys spawn so easily."
Quirrell didn't respond, he knew it had been foolish to give Heir Black so many points as a pseudo reward for what he said, but then again he had just been doing one foolish thing after another ever since he went to that accursed forest because of his stupid desire to prove himself a "Great" wizard and now look at where it had gotten him. Oh, he knew he was a dead man, he knew that he would not survive the year, it was a miracle that he had survived this long. He knew what had happened to him and all those like him, he was a dead man walking no matter what he did. But at least he could have a little fun like that from time to time.
"Oh Quirinus," the voice rasped again, "you may be a dead man in the future, but yet again you prove your foolishness, just because you are going to die, and I cannot reach that whelp Black yet, dose not mean that I can't take my anger out on others, mainly you"
The next second Quirrell's body stiffened as pain wracked his ever nerve as the seconds slowly passed by feeling like hours before finally letting up as the man lost his grip on the desk and fell to the floor once again only for his body to start to shake as the pain began once again as his torture continued.
As Quirrell shook on the ground in spasms of pain and anguish, the spirit of Voldemort raged inside his mind. He was not angry, oh no, he was so much more than that. He was livid, that boy had dared to say such things about him, the greatest dark lord who ever lived. Oh, he would be sure to make him suffer once he returned, once he gained back his body, he would see his entire house brought crumbling down to the ground. First, he would kill Potter and then Black would follow, but not until he had taken his time to make him suffer for his words. Oh yes, he would make an example out of him. No one would ever dare to insult him again.
Phineas Black was furious, and with good reason, having left his portrait in the headmasters office he knew he had to do something, tell someone about Albus' plans and intentions towards his house.
However, with his portrait at Grimmauld Place unavailable to him, that left him with only a few options. As a portrait he could naturally move to other portraits in the same building, he could try to find either Andromeda or Magnus via that method, however given the time he knew he wouldn't be able to do so as both would already be turning in for the night and he wouldn't be able to talk to them until the morning.
So with that he was left with only one course of action for the time being, and that was why he stepped through the doorway within his portrait that lead to his third portrait that hung upon the interior walls of the Black family vault within Gringotts. While he may not have been a pervious lord of his house, his achievements in life were enough for him to be recognized as being worthy to be given a place amongst them.
As soon as he had taken his seat in his portrait he called out, his voice booming and echoing loudly in the stone vault, "Orion, Walburga!" letting his voice carry to the other portraits upon the same wall.
This of course received cries of outrage and annoyance from the other portraits having been woken up by the yelling but were quickly silenced by a second and third voice yelling together "Enough!"
As the portraits fell silent Orion and Walburga appeared within their own portraits looking none the happier having been woken either but contained their irritation for the moment.
"Phineas," Orion greeted from his portrait, "why have you called us here, it must be urgent if you have come here from your portrait in the headmasters office" he inquired.
"Forgive me Lord Black, but I was left with little other option, given that I am unable to reach my portrait at Black manor" Phineas apologized with a bow of his head.
"With good reason," Walburga sniffed, "the current heir Black had your portrait removed, for concerns of where your true loyalties lay, he did not wish his comings and goings to be reported to your current replacement, something which I completely agree with"
Hearing that made Phineas pause in thought, realizing that Magnus had omitted the truth to how his portrait had been removed, though many would be angry at being suspected of such deeds. Phineas was not, more so he was actual impressed with the young Heir Black for taking such decisive actions. Even more so, now that he recalled the few encounters that the young Heir had been in with Albus.
With the knowledge that Magnus did not in fact trust Albus, he was starting to look at those encounters in a whole new perspective and light and could not help the slight smirk that came to his lips. 'Cleaver lad' he thought to himself before clearing his throat.
"I see, his suspicions were not without grounds, but I can assure you Lady Black that I am still as I was in life, completely loyal to House Black, it is why I have come here rather than remain silent back in my portrait at Hogwarts," Phineas told them, "While Heir Blacks suspicions about myself were ill-founded, his suspicious about my current replacement are not, and I can confirm that Albus Dumbledore has ill intentions towards House Black"
Hearing Magnus' suspicions about Dumbledore confirmed, both Orion's and Walburga's eyes narrowed as they leaned forward in their paintings as the other portraits still awake did as well. Though they were all portraits, they all held the attributes and loyalties that they did in life, and one fact that every one of them held stead fast to was unshakable in them. All who would cross House Black would suffer, no one crossed House Black and lived.
When Orion spoke next, his voice was calm and collected, but the fire in his eyes spoke for his intentions towards any who would plot against them and theirs, "Tell. Us. Everything."