Title: Qye

Author: Shades

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Fifth Year has come around for Harry Potter, one summer since the tragic events of the Triwizard Tournament. He has become quiet and withdrawn, keeping his gloomy thoughts to himself. But he will not have the time to be concerned about outside worries like Voldemort, not when he has to worry about his own problems at Hogwarts. Because with Fifth Year comes a woman, a vampire woman, DADA teacher and with her she brings out odd feelings and odd people. Indeed, Harry is in for another life-turning year at Hogwarts.

Warning: PS/SS, CoS, PoA, GoF. NO OotP! I will NEVER acknowledge that book as part of HP world! Do you hear me Rowling?!? *shakes fist* There is slash however so if that isn't your cup of tea, please leave and don't flame me. Thanks!

Disclaimer: *glares* You're going to make me say I don't own Harry Potter and all its characters? *hisses* Well, you don't either so nyah! I do, however, own all the original characters in this story and you DON'T so HA! *looks smug* And if you take em, I'll kill you! *brandishes dagger*

------- = Change of Scene

~~~~~ = Flashback




'Is this the kind of weather that a day meant for celebration is supposed to have?' Jordan Taine thought wearily as he stared out of a nearby window and into the fierce thunderstorm outside.  The rain was coming down swiftly and the lightning made the dim room fill with light for a moment before being plunged back into near darkness, the only source of light being a small fire in the stone fireplace.

Jordan raised a hand to his mouth, trying to stifle a yawn as his fraternal twin, Jacob Taine, grumbled, "The least our cousins can do is supply us with sangis vinum.  Or maybe some champagne. I mean, honestly, the war's finished now, ain't it?  We should be celebrating!"

"Should we?" said Leon Hastai quietly, his pale brown eyes looking at Jacob with his usual serious expression.  "So many have died in this war…so many families have been broken, so many old ways…do you honestly think we should celebrate?"

"You really know how to liven a gathering, don't you Hastai?" Saira Latvian asked sarcastically, her blue-violet eyes glaring darkly from her seat at the table to Leon in the armchair.  "The damn thing is finally fucking done and all you can think about is how many have died and how much we've lost?"  She snorted derisively and crossed her arms, a sneer playing on her lips.  "Bright ray of sunshine, aren't you?"

The brown-haired man frowned at black-haired Saira.  "I was only saying," Leon said in his mild voice, showing how insulted he was, "that we should not make light of the end.  As it is said, no war - "

"- is a good war," Jacob interrupted, rolling his green eyes at the older man.  "Yeah, yeah, we know the cliché Pops.  But that's just so damn depressing.  I mean, we're alive, ain't we? We managed to get through this hell without kicking the bucket, haven't we?  I think we've deserved a little bit of a party."

Jordan shook his head in exasperation.  "Jacob," he began in his most calming tone of voice before his hotheaded twin got into a fight with the head of the Hastai family.  His twin's red hair matched his fiery disposition and Jordan once again thanked all the gods and goddesses that he wasn't next in line to be head of the Taine family.  That happy title landed on their older sister, Natalie Taine.

"Oh, don't 'Jacob' me, Jordan," his red haired twin said in annoyance, glowering at him.  "You know I'm right."

"I think you're right," Krista Jeaneyl said, smiling while her hazel eyes twinkled in mirth.  "'Mourn the losses because they are many but cherish the victories because they are few,'" she quoted, brushing her long brown-blond hair out of her face.  Jacob grinned at her, snapping his fingers.

"Exactly," he said cheerfully, still grinning at the representative of the Jeaneyl family.  Jordan often suspected there was something going on between the two or that there might be something in the future but he said nothing.  Jacob continued in a passionate tone of voice, saying, "At least there's somebody in here who's just as smart as me.  I mean honestly, who the hell wants to think about all this gloomy shit when - "

"What do you think Pater Nosferatu?" Verna Zabar suddenly asked quietly from the rocking chair by the small fire, not looking up from her knitting.  Jordan looked at the elderly woman in confusion from beneath his golden fringe, his blue eyes blinking in puzzlement.

"I think Cousin Jacob needs to learn to hold his tongue more," a new, cold voice came from the doorway of the room.

The room went silent

Jordan mentally groaned and fervently prayed that Mom and Dad wouldn't find out about this while hoping that Jacob would keep his fat mouth shut.

His idiot twin fortunately seemed to know what he was thinking and closed his mouth quickly, wincing.  "Sorry cousin," Jacob muttered, lowering his eyes to the floor, a submissive look on his face.  "I was just saying - "

"Hold your tongue while addressing a Head, boy!" Saira hissed, glaring at him while standing up from the table while the Taine's cousin silently entered the meeting room.  Leon didn't say anything as he stood from his armchair but Jordan but could practically feel the satisfaction pour out of him.  He grinded his teeth slowly while he straightened up from his position of leaning against the wall next to the window.  His twin was already standing in the middle of the room but Krista hastily stood up from the couch, walking towards the table in the middle.  The only one who remained sitting was Verna who was still sitting unconcernedly next to the fireplace, still knitting away.

His cousin stood at the head of the table and sat down as silently as he came in and Jordan gave a mental start when he noticed the other person who had walked in behind his cousin.  He hadn't thought his other cousin would make an appearance, as she usually wasn't in the meetings.  His forehead furrowed as he wondered why she was here now.

"Sit," the head of the Opacre family said, still using his cold voice.  As he sat down next to his twin, Jordan dimly pondered if he ever had another type of voice.

"State yourselves," his older cousin said in his icy voice.

Jordan felt Jacob's irritation at having to state themselves and he suppressed a smile.  It was a tedious thing but unlike his twin, Jordan knew it was necessary.  'Well, was necessary,' he thought as his twin stood up, being the oldest of the two by five minutes and therefore eldest of their family present.  'Not sure if it's still necessary…'

"Jacob and Jordan Taine," his red-haired twin said in his most formal tone voice.  "Representatives of the Taine family of vampires from the United States, which is second-in-command to the Head family of the North American vampires.  Sons of Robert and Morgan Taine, current Heads of the Taine family.  Cousins to the Opacre family of vampires and on the side of the Opacres."  Jacob sat back down and muttered under his breath, "Not that it matters anymore, really…"

Jordan pinched his twin while Krista stood up from across Jacob.

"Krista Jeaneyl," she said, her voice trembling slightly from her nervousness.  Jordan recalled that this was her first – and possibly last – time in a meeting of the Opacre leaders.  "Representative of the Jeaneyl family of vampires from Europe, which is the Head family of the lower-caste class," she continued, flushing a bit because of her status.  She quickly recovered and continued.  "Daughter of Nathaniel and Ginger Jeaneyl, cousins to the Heads of the Jeaneyl family who are David and Daniella Jeaneyl.  Loyal to the Opacre family of vampires and on the side of the Opacres."  Krista sat back down and Jordan saw Jacob grin at her, which she returned.

Saira stood up as soon as Krista sat down and said in a crisp voice, her blue-violet eyes flashing with disgust and annoyance at the girl next to her, "Saira Latvian.  Representative of the Latvian family of vampires from Europe, who are second-in-command to the Head family of the European vampires.  Wife of Bastian Latvian - " – Jordan saw a flash of pain in her violet eyes – " – who was my partner as Head of the Latvian family.  Loyal to the Opacre family of vampires and on the side of the Opacres."  She sat down quickly and Leon stood up from next to Jordan.

"Leon Hastai," he said quietly, his bull voice rumbling softly.  "Representative of the Hastai family of vampires from Europe, which is the head of the middle-caste class.  Head of the Hastai family of vampires, along with my wife Margaret who could not attend because of her fever."  He sent an apologetic look to the Head of the Opacres but Jordan's cousin just waved his hand, indifferent.  "Loyal to the Opacre family of vampires and on the side of the Opacres," he finished and sat down.

Jordan glanced nervously at Verna who was still knitting, wondering why she was allowed to be at ease and if she knew it was her turn to present herself.

"Verna Zabar," she said in her elderly voice, brushing her gray hair out of her brown face, her black eyes on the knitting.  "Representative of the Zabar family of vampires from South America, who are the next-in-line to be the Head family of the South American vampires.  Elder for the Zabar family of vampires, whose Heads are my son, Juan Zabar, and his wife, Maria Zabar.  Loyal to the Opacre family of vampires and on the side of the Opacres, as we will always be," she finished, never looking up.

Jordan's eyebrows went up at the straying of protocol and he nervously looked at his cousin.  He blinked in surprise at the lack of emotion on his cousin's pale face and mentally sighed.  'I don't know why I keep expecting something from him,' he thought, a bit sadly.  'He doesn't seem capable of emotions like the rest of us.'  Then he stopped thinking, nervously remembering that his cousin had a stronger Jewel and could read his thoughts.

To his surprise, his other cousin stood up from next to Saira.  Quietly, she said, "Marylin Opacre.  Sister to the Head of the Opacre family of vampires from Europe, who are the Head family of the European vampires.  Second-in-command of the family as well as advisor to the Head of the Opacres and European vampires."  She sat down and Jordan eyed her curiously, wondering why she stated herself.  He shook his head and returned his eyes to his other cousin.

His cousin's ice-blue eyes looked over all of them emotionlessly and then he nodded.  "Let's make this brief, shall we?" he said coldly.  "I know some of us want to do better things with this time than stay here.  Like celebrate."

Jacob squirmed in his seat and Jordan silently swore to smack him later.

"Being blunt," the Head of the European vampires said coldly, "is what I've been hearing true?  Is the Dazain rebellion truly put down?"

"It's true," Jacob piped up and Jordan groaned, wanting to hit his idiot twin.  Jacob didn't seem to notice his warning look and continued, grinning slightly.  "Those Dazains are good and whipped, cousin.  No sweat."

"Shut up boy!" Saira snapped from across Jordan, glaring at Jacob.  "Don't talk about things you don't know!"  Jacob glowered at her but thankfully stayed silent.

"What doesn't he know?" Jordan's cousin asked coldly. "Are the Dazains still a threat?"  Saira sighed irritably and turned to face her liege.

"Not exactly," she said reluctantly.  Jordan knew that a gang of Dazain vampires had been the cause of her husband's death and wasn't surprised that she was being reluctant.  She probably wanted to drag out the war against the Dazains as long as possible for revenge.  "It's true that most of the Dazain vampires are either in capture and awaiting execution or they're already dead.  But - "

"But nothing Saira," Leon rumbled, looking at her with his serious brown eyes out of a pale face.  "You know as well as I that the boy is pretty much right about the Dazain faction being defeated."

Jordan bristled slightly along with his twin, glowering at the older man next to him as he gave out the status report of the Dazains.  He shared an annoyed look with his twin.  'Boy?!' he thought indignantly.  'We're legal adults and have been in battle against Dazains!  We've been part of this campaign since it started and they still think we're boys?  Arg!  What the hell do we have to do to be accepted as equals here?'

"So as you can see, Pater Nosferatu," Leon began to conclude, "The Dazains are really hardly anything anymore.  Yes, there are still some Dazain groups out there right now," he added, seeing Saira beginning to open her mouth to argue, "but they can hardly be called a threat.  Give it a couple of months and the Dazains will be nothing but an extremely bad memory."

It was quiet for a moment around the table, the only sound in the room being the crackling of the fireplace and the clicking Verna knitting.

"Do you agree Saira?" his cousin asked quietly, voice cold as winter.  Saira sighed and nodded grudgingly.  It was quiet once more and then an absent voice called from next to the fire.

"Do not assume a vampire cannot be dangerous without its fangs," Verna murmured, examining her knitting.  Jordan saw his cousin's cold blue eyes narrow.

"What do you mean Verna?" he asked silky and Jordan shivered.  He had almost forgotten about his cousin's silky voice.  The last time he used that tone of voice had been when he had killed the assassin of the last Head of the European vampires.  He had been one of the unfortunate ones to be there when the Opacre group had caught the assassin.  He shivered again and felt his twin grasp his hand under the table reassuringly.  Jacob hadn't been at the…execution…but he had heard enough from Jordan's nightmares to get a vague idea of it.  Jordan gratefully squeezed his twin's hand.

Verna said nothing, resuming her knitting and Jordan felt his cousin's anger rising.

"She means that the Dazains are finding another way to rebel," Krista suddenly said quickly, anxiously.

All eyes snapped to her and the representative of the lower-caste vampires gulped.

"Explain Jeaneyl," his cousin said.  Jordan was oddly relieved to hear it revert to its cold tone again.  He didn't think his twin would like it if something happened to Krista.

"Well…" Krista said hesitantly, looking nervously at the Pater Nosferatu.  She gulped under his cold gaze and spoke in a rush.  "Well, you see, some of the Dazains under Jeaneyl custody have been interrogated and by adding that with the information our informants having been sending us we've been developing a tentative theory about something the Dazains were planning to do before that final battle in Norway and even though the Dazains are pretty much crushed we're still getting information that's still pointing to the way the Dazains were planning on going to before - "

"Get to the point," the Head of the Opacres growled, blue eyes flashing.  Krista gulped again.

"We think the remaining Dazain vampires are going to join with Voldemort," she said nervously.

Silence met the table again.

"I should have known," Saira sneered, breaking the silence a few moments later.  "The Dazain bastards never had any honor," she said contemptuously.

"Joining with wizards," Leon said, shaking his head in disbelief.  "They can't be that desperate, can they?"

"I thought the Dazains were always proud of being a vampire," Jordan said, blinking.  "Why would they join with wizards?"

"Wanna go down with a fight," Jacob grinned.  "I would've done the same thing if I were in their place."  He rubbed his hands together, an eager light in his eyes.  "Fighting wizards…now that's going to be something…"

"Shut up boy," Saira snapped, glaring at Jacob.  Jacob growled at her, glaring darkly at her with annoyed green eyes.

"Why is it always me?" he muttered to Jordan, looking very sour.

"Because you need to learn to shut up," he muttered back, ignoring the scowl his twin sent him.  Instead, he leaned forward and looked at his cousin who was looking at Marylin.  "Cousin?"  They both turned to look at him, expressions extremely neutral.  He met their blank expressions evenly and asked quietly, "What are we going to do?"

Marylin and her brother shared long looks again and Jordan furrowed his forehead.  There was something about their looks to each other…

"I assume you'll be accepting young Dumbledore's request?" Verna suddenly asked.  Jordan blinked and turned around.  The Elder had finally put down her knitting and was looking at them with a calm expression on her face.

"Who's Dumbledore?" Krista asked and Jordan shared a slightly relieved look with his brother.  It looked like they weren't the only ones who didn't know who this Dumbledore was.

"Dumbledore?" Saira said sharply and Jordan jumped, turning his eyes back to the table.  Saira looked furious and was glaring back and forth between the Opacres and Verna.  "Dumbledore?  As in Headmaster Albus Dumbledore?  As in Wizard Dumbledore?" she snapped.

"Could you perhaps fill us in, Pater?" Leon said mildly but Jordan thought is sounded more like an order from stern father to a guilty child.

Apparently his cousin thought so too.  "Watch yourself Leon," he said coldly, glaring icily at the older man.  "You may be older than me and friends of my father but remember that I outrank you in every way.  Don't question me or make me remind you why I outrank you."  Leon lowered his eyes and the Head of the Opacres looked at him hard for a few more moments before nodding.

The Pater Nosferatu looked around the table before saying quietly, "Dumbledore, the wizard, sent me a letter this morning.  Apparently, wizards cannot handle wars among themselves.  He asked us to join his side against Voldemort, saying that it would strengthen the bond between all the beings of the magical community."  He smiled mirthlessly.  "He also said he would help to stop the 'injustices' against us."

Saira snorted.  "Yeah," she said sarcastically.  "So long as we do the dirty work, right?"  She glared at the Pater.  "Please tell me you told him 'hell no,'" she growled.

His cousin looked at her coolly.  She flushed but kept her gaze.  They continued like that for a few moments before he finally said in a slightly irritated voice, "I haven't said anything yet.  I barely received the letter this morning and I wanted your advice for my response."

"You got your response," Jacob grinned.  "A, as Saira so lovely put it,  'hell no.'"

"Shut up boy!" Saira growled, not taking her eyes off their cousin.  Jacob growled, leaning forward slightly and Jordan put a calming hand on his shoulder.  His twin bared his teeth at him but settled back down.  Saira ignored them and leaned forward, glaring at the Head of the Opacres.

"Well, Pater?" she said, a slight tone of disrespect in the title.  "What are you going to say to the old man?  Hand us over to be slaves?  Have you our collars ready?  Are you eager to be like the Dazains, following a wizard like a dog?"  Jordan frowned along with the rest at her.  Disliking his cousin's actions and decisions was one thing…outright disrespect to him was another.  Jordan and his twin frowned a bit more than the others.  Their cousin and them might not necessarily be as close as some others and they also may not like his ways but they were still family and they would be damned before they let someone else mess with their family.

"Watch yourself Saira," Marylin suddenly said softly.  They all jumped when she spoke and even Saira looked at her.  Then she leaned back, seeing the fires of anger leaping from quiet Marylin's eyes.  Jordan suddenly remembered how frightening his other cousin was, just like her brother.

"It's alright Soror," her brother said quietly, smiling mirthlessly.  "I would have said the same thing in her place.  Still…don't forget yourself as well Saira.  I won't go easy on you if I have to remind you why I'm in charge."  He stared at her with his winter-like eyes until she looked down.

"Sorry Pater," she said sullenly but obviously put back in her place.  Jordan shook his head, mentally sighing.  'First Leon, now her…' he thought wearily.  'It's a good thing the war ended when it did.  If it went on anymore, who knows how the Heads might be around each other.'

"As I was about to say before we strayed from the topic," Pater Nosferatu said, acting as if the displays of disrespect had not occurred, "Dumbledore obviously wants an alliance with us.  Before this meeting, I was ready to agree with you Saira.  However, because of these new developments brought forth by the Jeaneyls, I think we should reconsider it."

"Fight fire with fire," Jordan suddenly said, eyes widening.  He blushed when everyone turned to look at him and sunk in his seat.  He coughed and looked timidly at his cousin.  "That's what you mean to do, isn't it?  Use this alliance with Dumbledore to fight against Voldemort if the Dazains do join him."

"That was the idea," his cousin said, nodding.  Saira looked furious and even Leon looked disapproving.  His cousin turned his icy cold eyes on both of them.  "Unless both of you want another five years of fighting against wizards and Dazains?" he asked softly.

"We can deal by ourselves," Saira growled.  Leon nodded.

Marylin snorted and Jordan jumped with his twin and Krista.  "Oh yes," she said sarcastically, looking in contempt at Saira.  "We can be judge on the same level as wizards, who can perform a variety of spells and kill us without being within 10 feet of us."

"So can we," Saira shot back, glaring at Marylin.

Marylin came as close as she ever did to a sneer.  "For how long?" she said, eyes flashing.  "In case you've forgotten, they outnumber us, 10 wizards for every vampire.  And let us not forget their various ways of concealment, both in mind and body.  Oh, and the potions they brew and…"

"Fine!" Saira shouted, throwing her hands up in the air.  "Let's join these damn wizards already.  But the minute they start to want to tag us and treat us like servants, I'll be among the first to say 'I told you so' and fight for myself."

"Your right is reserved," Marylin's brother said dryly and the women jerked, obviously forgetting he was there.  Marylin glared slightly at her brother before turning her eyes back down.  Saira just scowled and crossed her arms.  The Head of the European vampires looked around and asked coolly, "Any more objections?"

The room was silent.

Jordan's cousin nodded.  "Very well, I'll send the reply tonight.  If the Dazains do join Voldemort, we'll be there to meet them with our own surprise."  He stood up and Leon suddenly spoke up.

"What makes you think that the wizards will help us in time of need?" the large man asked mildly, looking into the fire.  The disapproving look appeared to have disappeared but Jordan could see traces of reluctance in his eyes.  It appeared Leon did not want there to be an alliance with wizards but was resigned to the fact that there would be one.  'I guess all he can do is make the most of it,' Jordan thought, looking at the older man.

"I've already thought of that Leon," his cousin said, smiling humorlessly.  He looked at Marylin and she stood up.  "And here's the answer."

Jordan shared a confused look with his twin.  Looks of similar puzzlement were around the table and his cousin's mirthless smile deepened.

"Dumbledore mentioned in his letter that there was a vacant teaching position at Hogwarts," he said coolly.  "Defense Against the Dark Arts.  He said that no one seemed to want to take the job and if I knew anyone, he would be more than happy to take them on.  He obviously wants me to suggest a vampire for the job, I suppose his way of 'helping' fight against the 'injustices' done against us."

"And Marylin is going to take the job," Krista said, half-stating, half-questioning.  The Pater Nosferatu nodded and Krista looked confused.  "How's this going to help?"

"Hélène," Saira said in disgust, glaring at Krista.  "What are they teaching you at Nosle?  How to tie your shoes?"  Krista blushed and looked down in embarrassment.

"Well, we can't exactly learn it from you old folks who can't bend far enough to touch your shoes without breaking your back or wheezing," Jacob snapped, glaring at the Latvian Head.  Saira growled, half-rising out of her chair.

"Act your ages," Jacob's cousin snapped, his blue eyes flashing.  Saira growled again and sat back down while Jacob looked sulkily at the table.  Jordan sighed and shook his head wearily.

"Krista," the Pater said coolly and she looked up embarrassedly.  "While she's teaching those children, she'll also be correcting their views on us, which means they'll tell their parents.  The adults who have some shred of intelligence will listen to them and will help us when we need them, hopefully.  Also, while she is there, she'll be negotiating a treaty with Dumbledore and be sending me updates regularly on what's going on there.  Dumbledore is leading a force against Voldemort and Marylin will be 'part' of his group, which means she'll be receiving information on what he's doing.  If the Dazains do join him, we'll be one step ahead of them and we'll be waiting to crush the rest of them."  He looked around.  "Does anyone here see why it's a good plan?"

"You're assuming the children's ideas about us can be changed," Leon said quietly, looking at the cold blue eyes.  "Your whole plan revolves around people's views about us being changed.  Do you know how unlikely that is?"

"Do you have a better idea?" Marylin asked sarcastically.  Leon sighed and lowered his eyes, shaking his head.   "Then we stick with this.  If you do come up with a better one, share it with us.  I know this plan is almost impossible - "

"And completely stupid," Saira muttered, arms crossed.  Marylin ignored her.

" – but it's the best we have so we'll go with it while we can.  Any questions?" Marylin asked, looking around.  No one said anything.

"Is that it then?" Jacob asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Almost," came a voice from near the window.  Jordan jumped and turned in his chair to look at the window, blinking.  His cousin stood there, staring out of the window, watching the rain cascade down.  He hadn't even seen him move.

"I just want to know that if the Dazains are truly a threat at the moment and if they will be if they join Voldemort," his cousin said quietly, his back turned to them.

Leon frowned slightly.  "The Dazain threat right now is extremely low, I told you that. They'll be nothing in a couple of months," his bull voice rumbled.  "And if they join Voldemort…" He sighed and rubbed his eyes.  "Well, even if your plan with Dumbledore doesn't work, we'll still beat them though it might take longer.  And if your plan does work…well, the Dazains won't stand a chance."  He paused.  "Why do you ask?"

The Head of the Opacres and European vampires said nothing.  He merely raised his right hand to touch something around his neck.

'He's touching that choker,' Jordan realized.  He only saw that choker a couple of times but he had often seen his cousin rub something on his neck whenever he was stressed or contemplating something.  It was one of the two pieces of jewelry he wore.  The other was the Opacre Pendent, which held his Jewel.  Both pieces were worn under his shirt and hardly visible, which hid the sign that he was a Head. Unlike other Heads, his cousin didn't wear things that proclaimed his title.  He didn't need to, not with the presence he had.

"Carus Noctivagus," Verna suddenly said.  Jordan blinked and looked at the Elder.  She was looking at his cousin, an amused expression in her eyes.  "Is that not right, child?"

Jordan shared a confused look with his twin – Christ, how many looks have they shared in this one meeting?! – but blinked and turned when Krista gasped loudly.

"You mean he's alive?" she squeaked, looking wide-eyed at his cousin.

The room chilled.

"Krista," Marylin said coldly and Jordan moved slightly closer to his twin.  "Do not make statements like that again.  I will be seeing that you are never a representative again as you do not seem capable for the job."  Krista looked down, red faced and ashamed.

"What the hell - " Jacob began angrily but Jordan interrupted before his twin caused any more damage.

" – is a Carus Noctivagus?" he said, shooting his red-haired twin a warning look.  Jacob growled, eyes burning but Jordan was unfazed, keeping his stern look.  Jacob snorted in disgust and turned his head away, refusing to look at him.  Jordan mentally sighed.

Saira snorted in disgust but said nothing.  Leon quietly said, "A Carus Noctivagus is a vampire's mate.  Your sister has one I believe?"

"Yeah…" he said slowly, remembering Harvey.  "Is that what you call them?" Jordan asked in surprise.  Leon nodded and Jordan furrowed his eyebrow.  Leaning closer, he whispered, "Why is Cousin Marylin upset?"

Leon glanced at the still figure of his other cousin and his lips twisted slightly.  Quietly, he whispered back, "Because some people think Pater Nosferatu killed his.  Krista obviously is one of those people and he hates hearing that accusation."

"Oh," he said.  Leaning away, he looked back at his cousin.  There was silence in the room again, Saira and Leon looking at their liege in new understanding, Marylin in pity and what appeared slight anger, and Verna with amusement.  Jacob was still scowling at the tabletop and Krista was still shamefaced.  Jordan just looked at his cousin.

Finally, he asked, "What are you going to do?"

Rain poured outside and thundered bellowed.  His cousin didn't turn to face him as he said quietly, "First, I'm going to get rid of the Dazains we have right now.  Then I'm going to try and ally ourselves with the wizards.  After the alliance seems sure enough that we can rely on it in case the Dazains do ally themselves with Voldemort, I'm going to do something I've been wanting to do for a long time."

Jordan asked quietly, "What's that?"

Lightning flashed and the room was illuminated.  The blinding light made his cousin's blond hair shine brightly and his reflection shimmered for a moment on the window.

He was smiling a slightly warm smile, the ice gone from his usually hard blue eyes.

Lest Opacre whispered quietly, "I'm going to visit my in-laws."


Author's Notes: *waves merrily* Hi! I'm back! Didn't I promise that I would have a new chapter out by the middle of December? Doesn't your lovely author deliver? *grins while eyeing reviewer who are eyeing her with suspicion*

*looks at chapter* Yeah, not that great I know.  No Harry yet but I thought I should give some background to what's been going on.  Oh, and I know probably a lot of you are confused about who's who. Sorry. But don't worry about that just yet.

Yes, this chapter was long. From the way I see it, ALL my chapters are going to be long. It's going to be a LONG story people so get ready for a long ride. The whole thing is outlined out and since I'm on winter break, I'll be turning those outlines into chapters.  But I'm only going to post a chapter a week, either Saturday or Sunday. Hopefully my comp won't die.

I hope you people like it!  People from Opacre, here is the long awaited thing you've been waiting for.

(Lest) Yeah right. *gets smacked by Shades*

*grins* Until next time!