Overall summary of the entire fic:
This story begins during the summer holiday of 1996, post-OOTP.
Harry is hellbent on thinking that his godfather is somehow still alive but there is no evidence that tells him that Sirius is dead or alive. The Veil was just more than a passageway to the Otherworld as Dumbledore had informed some of the members of the Order that there is still a chance that Sirius is still hanging around, somewhere. Harry however, was kept in the dark, for they feared to bring his hopes up.
Sirius had managed to stumble into a grove and his pain attracted a lot of attention of the Elementals living in the area. Fortunately for Sirius, Fenix Maxwell, who is a Master of the Fire Element and also of the Air, was living in the general area where Sirius had fallen unconscious. Fenix Healed Harry's godfather while her sister, a normal Muggle nurse, helped to patch Sirius up.
When Sirius woke up to find that he was in a bedroom and not St. Mungo's, his alerts went up but he trusted Fenix enough that she means no harm to him. So, a lot of things happened in that time span when Sirius was recuperating in Fenix's house, including an attack from the Dementors and Harry had already gone on to spend the rest of his summer with a werewolf and the Weasleys in The Burrow.
Carrying out a cryptical message that had been in fact, sent by Fenix on the instant it was midnight, brought out what he thought was the best birthday present in his life. Harry didn't quite know how to react to Fenix when she came to live in The Burrow, but her sense of humor intrigued him and to his disbelief, Cupid had released the arrow and Fenix was trapped by a pair of soft, hazel brown eyes. Sometime during their stay at The Burrow, they found that they have to cope with the attitude of a very irritating wizard: The Potions Master. Dumbledore had forced Snape to take a vacation and spend the rest of his summer until term starts in the company of the Fire Master. Fenix's excuse as she had explained it to Harry, was because she wanted to keep an eye on the Potions Master.
There's much more happening in this fic, as Time moved forward, the Future guided by the small and big deeds of those alive. So read on, if you wish to find out what happens to the people of Hogwarts when the Fire Master begins her career there, when someone gets disowned, when two individuals finally became oathbrothers.
~ Chapter 1: The Welcoming Committee ~
End of Spring
It was quiet in the three-story house belonging to a tanned-skin woman with long, raven black hair. The twenty-six year old was humming absently to herself as she prepared an extra room for her elder sister, who was taking a vacation to visit her in Scotland. Her concentration was broken when something leapt at her back and instantly knocked her down to the floor. She struggled briefly, and managed to get onto her back to fend off the attacker's muzzle.
: Silver! Get off me! Bloody hell, you're not a cub anymore! : She 'yelled' using her mind to communicate to the huge silver-furred wolf. Another set of paws tickled her feet, as the wolf's mate Wind joined in the fun. Fenix wiggled desperately out and curled into a ball, her hands clutching her waist as she laughed uncontrollably.
: Sorry! I think your sister has arrived. : Storm sat on his haunches regally as his penetrating silver-black eyes gazed at hers. Wind sidled up against him, nibbling on his neck ruff gently, before turning to grin at Fenix.
Fenix controlled her laughter and gave an unlady-like snort at the bigger of the two wolves. : You need to work on your language. You definitely sound common-born and not at all suitable for your current pose, : she said haughtily, as she got up to her feet and straightened her blouse. She heard the sound of a car engine as it abruptly pulled in, with the noise vibrating loudly in the garage. She grinned widely and went down the stairs briskly, almost flying out of the house to give her elder sister a warm hug.
"Fenix, act your age," Giselle Liana Maxwell said in exasperation, but returned her sister's hug. She drew back from her younger sister and looked at her in amazement. "What have you done to yourself? Dieting again?" she demanded, looking at her sister's trim body.
"Nonsense! Dieting is too troublesome, so I did it the hard way, running. You should try it," Fenix suggested mildly as she looked archly at her sister's waistline.
"Huh, as if I have the time to do that!"
"Really? Then how come you have the time to pay attention to that handsome black-haired Elven guy?" Fenix asked, giving her sister a sly look.
"What--how did you know that he's an elf?" Giselle demanded, looking wildly at Fenix as they went back into the house, struggling to bring the suitcases she had brought with her to the second floor.
"Sis, in case you hadn't noticed, I have a pair of eyes that work perfectly well. I'd grant you that his disguise is excellent, but it's just that I have a tendency to spot the Otherworldly," Fenix replied in an offhanded manner. "All in all, he was rather charming about the whole thing. I'd often wondered about his reactions when he found out that his disguise didn't fool me in the least. And Aldren-- you do know that he is Derian's older brother, right?" she inquired of her sister, who nodded. Fenix continued, "Although I knew about the whole thing all along, Aldren didn't want to enlighten his younger bro that I saw through the disguise. He wanted to continue his pretense that Derian is a human librarian. It worked rather well, since Derian was off studying in Ireland when I came to the Grove to continue my education."
"No kidding. I knew you're damn eccentric sometimes, but I didn't know it went that far. It happened when you got into that accident right? The one that occurred eight years ago? When our family--" Giselle faltered then looked curiously as her sister helped her unpack her luggage. Her younger sister was shaking her head.
"Wrong, I was like this since I reached puberty. You know what they say about having sixth sense as a child. It tends to fall into disuse when you hit that stage, but well, I guess my Gifts stayed."
"Huh, should have expected it," her sister grumbled and fell silent as the two women began sorting out the clothing and hanging them in the wardrobe. "Aargh!" Giselle suddenly screamed as Silver fell on her and began licking her face. "Silv, yuck! This is disgusting! Get off, wolf!" she giggled helplessly as the silver wolf licked her face for several more moments and then trotted off to sit near Fenix's heels. "Have any of your neighbors noticed them?" Giselle asked her sister with concern, finally noting the size of the male wolf.
"Yeah, they have, but they don't say much about them. Just to let me know that it's all right for me to take care of the wolves. The people living around here are more of the eccentric type," Fenix shrugged as she hung the last item from the suitcase and closed the door of the wardrobe.
"I see, so they know about the elves back in the woods?" Giselle asked her as she stacked the suitcases and kicked them to send the stack sliding noisily under the bed.
"Sis, this is Scotland after all. How can they not know about the Fair Ones?" Fenix replied, going to her own bedroom to get several towels for her sister.
"Okay, that was a rather stupid question," Giselle agreed, as she accepted the towels with a nod of thanks. "Well, I'll go and wash up. I hope you have something good to eat; I'm famished!" she raised her voice a little as she closed the bathroom door. Fenix grinned after her and went into her own room to bathe.
: Now, don't go messing with either of us after we've washed, : she warned Silver. : Promise? :
: Cross my heart? :The wolf replied roguishly.
She gave a throaty laugh, hugging the wolf and rubbing his neck affectionately. : What would my life be like if I don't have the both of you with me now? : She squeezed the silver wolf fondly.
Wind trotted up to her and gave a nibble on her long black hair before answering her human friend. : Probably you would be bored and a little more desperate to catch a boyfriend. : The grayish wolf with a streak of black along her muzzle replied impudently.
: You could be right, : Fenix said as she hugged the female and stepped into the bathroom. While the two wolves went down the stairs slowly to wait in the kitchen, Fenix's thought reached their minds. : But then--maybe not! :
"Those things we caught on the digi-cam --what are they?" Derian, a seemingly handsome, black-haired human with an unusual pair of ears and eyes asked Aldren the elf. The latter was currently dressed in a dark brown scout's clothing and was precariously balancing himself on a tree branch. His other hand held a digital-camera; a gift from his friend, and sometimes sparring partner, Fenix R. Maxwell.
: Be quiet! I'm trying to listen to Evangiana's thought, : he said rather absently, as the elf frowned in concentration. : Giana says that the creatures have already disappeared. : Aldren informed his brother as he switched the digi-cam off. "Fenix will have to know about this," the elf muttered darkly.
"Wait a minute! Don't you mean Giselle? And how do you know she's here?" Derian hissed.
"What in hell are you talking about? This isn't Giselle's home or wood!"
"But Fenix doesn't know about us!" Derian protested. "Does she?" he continued timidly as his elder brother gave him a frown.
: By the hands of Phoebus! Are you even my brother? : Aldren exclaimed in indignation, his cat-like eyes widening incredulously. : You can't even tell that she's one of the Ancients? :
: What? : Derian yelped, switching to mindspeech. : But that stuff the Elders tell us about the Ancients is just stories! :
: For entertainment? :Aldren leaned towards his brother, his eyes flashing dangerously. Before the older of the elves managed to do the younger harm, a voice spoke up from below them.
"'Scuse me, would ya mind getting off me branch? Ye lads are giving me trunk the aches," the Tree requested humbly. The elves looked incredulously down towards the middle of the trunk to see a pair of wrinkled brown eyes and a rough mouth looking at them with amusement. Aldren quickly jumped off the branch with the agility of an acrobat and stared at the Tree with shock.
"You're a Mnid," Aldren whispered, his voice thick with wonder. Then he turned to his brother, who was dusting off broken twigs and dry leaves from his trousers with trembling hands. : Just stories eh? What is this one, then, if not one of the Ancients? : Aldren demanded.
Fenix was frying tempura for their dinner as her sister made a big jug of fruit punch. The two wolves were in a corner screened by canvas, where they sat and tore at the fresh haunch of beef that Fenix had provided them. Giselle swerved her head and looked curiously at the kitchen door. Then as she began to think that she had imagined the knock, another vibrated through the room. Fenix signaled her sister to take over the frying as she moved towards the kitchen door and looked through the peephole. She giggled as Aldren made a funny face right at her.
"Looks like your knight is here, Sis," Fenix said mischievously. Giselle glowed for a moment, her eyes going distant. She stuck her tongue at her younger sister before dipping in a fresh batch of prawns. Fenix opened the door, giving the older elf a hug, a chaste kiss, and a smile to Derian.
: Is that enough for the four of us? : Aldren asked hopefully, gazing longingly at the golden-brown of fried prawns.
: Yes, Aldren, : Fenix sighed, : I knew you would be dropping by, : she glanced obliquely at Derian as he cast several wild-eyed looks at her, : and what's wrong with your brother? :
: I had just informed him that you are the Phoenix. And that you knew of our existence a long time ago. :
She looked at Derian with amusement. : Didna' take it too well I imagine, soon-to-be-brother-in-law? : She gave him a disdainful look as he stood still, gaping in shock. She rolled her eyes theatrically as Aldren chuckled softly. Giselle caught their attention with the sound of clearing her throat and stared at the three of them, her eyes narrowing with suspicion.
: Nothing, sister of mine. :
: Nothing, dear. Didn't know that your sister could use mindspeech. :
: You can? :Giselle asked Fenix.
: Well, I just did, didn't I? : Fenix replied in confirmation, adopting an innocent expression on her face.
: Shame on you! Should have told me earlier, : her sister gave a reproachful look.
"Well, since you know now, I might as well tell you that you can communicate with the wolves the same way," Fenix said helpfully, looking at the wolves who were nearly completing their dinner. Giselle gave a gasp of surprise and looked at Silver in concentration. After a moment, her face began to turn red slowly and she broke off and concentrated on frying some more prawns.
"By the way, did you know about the tree beside the mint grove?" Aldren asked Fenix casually.
"Yes, but why do you ask?" she replied as casually, giving him a careful look.
"Nothing. By the way, I have something to show you. This thing came in handy as I was patrolling just now," Aldren said as he patted the digital video camera fondly. Then he gave a frown as a red light flashed. He cursed and she smiled gently at the swearing elf.
"Don't worry, Aldren. Go ahead and use the computer to recharge it. I keep an extra cable in the black drawer."
"You're a thoughtful girl," Aldren said fondly.
"Nah, not thoughtful, just well prepared," Fenix disagreed.
"Derian, rewind that--okay...now pause!" Fenix instructed firmly as the elves, humans, and wolves crowded around the television. Aldren adjusted the visual a little and Fenix shivered involuntarily as she looked at the TV screen.
: Is that a werewolf? They look… grotesque. : Giselle asked in their minds, not trusting the environment around them. Fenix did not blame her sister, although she had placed shields on the house and then cast an extra layer that expanded all the way to the wood. Silver and Wind pushed against them and studied the unmoving picture silently.
After a moment, Silver spoke up. : That is not a werewolf. I could give you several reasons why it is not. One; it's still daylight and even if the moon came out early, we're having the full moon on next Monday. It's only Wednesday now. Two; A werewolf does not wear a cloak. It might have worn something but it will probably ended up in tatters-- :
Fenix interjected. : And three; those things really look like rotten thin-- : Suddenly she stopped as her eyes took a distant look. Aldren frowned slightly and waited for her to speak up. : Giana says that the creatures were just passing through. And she tells me something else; she had managed to find out from a careful probe that the things are dead and she says that they're some kind of an evil version of an Empath, : she said, her eyes focusing sharply on the TV screen.
: Now that's wrong thinking for a werewolf to have, : Derian agreed, his arm snaking out to hold Giselle lightly on her waist.
: Damn, I'm wishing now that I hadn't seen this. And right before I go to bed, : Giselle complained, her face still pale.
: Don't worry, I'm here. :
: Would you like me to stay too? :Aldren whispered.
Fenix gave him a very sad look that did not escape her sister's alert eyes.
: If you don't mind, : she said, : I think I would really like to have someone to wake me up before I get nightmares. :