Demons of the Mind
Disclaimer: The only things I own in this story are the plot, Nick, and Shikar. I snitched the rest off J.K Rowling and Rumiko Takahashi. They own it, but I snitched it, and they can have it back once I'm done. Hopefully I won't break it. If I do, they can probably fix it.
Warnings: If you don't know who Inuyasha is, that's all right. I'll explain who he is somewhere in the story. I'm assuming you're familiar with the events and characters of HP books 1 through 5; if not, I'm not gonna hold up the story to tell you who and what happens in five books.
Author's Note: If you're going to tell me it stinks, at least put it in legalese, ok? Thanks. Yes, for your information, I do speak legalese.
Chapter One: Silent and Unseen
To any causal observer, the corridors and mighty staircases of the venerable castle would have seemed deserted, save for the occasional man or woman sweeping up and down the passageways on some last minute errand. In the near darkness of evening, unlit by torch or candle, it would be difficult to see anyone clearly. As one last person quit the hallways in deference to the late hour, silence fell. The moving pictures on the wall fell silent and still. Nothing could be seen to move in the ancient castle. That did not mean there was nothing, or no one, there.
He moved silently, undetectably, up and down the passages of the castle. Wrapped in the trailing threads of his own aura, there were few living, and fewer unliving, that could even suspect his presence, much less find him. Though he shared skills with the human race, his power was different. He was separate from everything they did.
The sheer waste of power, long soaked into the stone and permanently absorbed, made his skin itch. Snarling briefly, he shuddered and moved on, scouting every inch of the castle. He trailed one clawed hand against the stone absently, thinking.
Five hundred years this hunt has run, he thought angrily. It's long past time it ended.
He pulled his gaze from the floor, where it had drifted as he thought, and twitched in slight surprise. He was facing a mirror, and to his annoyance, he could see his own reflection.
Ah. A drawback. Remember to avoid mirrors in future. As if he didn't already. He hated the sight of himself. Although the image was blurry, he could still see his reflection, and it was clear enough to show his eyes.
Long ago, they'd been bright golden, full of life and spirit. Now, although they still shone gold, his eyes were hellholes of rage and grief.
Snarling aloud now, he tore his gaze away and gritted his teeth. To distract himself, he leapt to the top of a staircase, balancing easily on the rail. His ears twitched as he listened for conversation, listened for one word in particular. He knew these people knew of him; that was why he was here. He waited impatiently, but soon gave up. He strode angrily up more stairs, looking for people, people that might not guard their conversation, being as there was no one around that they could see.
I hate stairs.
Carefully, silently, he entered a tower room, brushing the closed door aside without a sound. Nevertheless, the old man seated tiredly at a desk looked up sharply. His brow furrowed as he spotted the opened door.
"Who's there?" he called, a note of near-fear creeping into his voice. "Show yourself. I mean you no more harm than you mean me," he added in a warning tone.
Idiot, he thought, perched safely out of the man's way on a wide wooden rafter.
I'm not talking to you. I have no use for you. And I'm not even really here. Ignore me.
Out of habit, and the fury consuming his soul, he growled faintly with annoyance at the man's perception. Unfortunately for his remaining temper, the man heard, and took instant measures, uttering a spell with a purely unproductive wave of his wand. The intruder remained hidden, but the old man didn't give up, annoying him.
The man continued to scan the room for any uninvited guest, sending out spells of revealing, and falling back on the ever-useful biological invention of the naked eye. Still invisible, his ineffective spells brushing right past him, he clenched his fists so hard that blood ran from his palms, dripping (visibly, but unnoticed) onto the wooden rafters, and swore silently and inventively. Shut up! he reminded himself harshly. Let the humans play at their war, no matter how stupid.
Still shaken, the man took the failure of his scrutiny to mean that he was jumping at shadows, and relaxed slightly. He was still on edge, but no more than he had been before his uninvited visitor arrived.
Above, said intruder snarled silently in contempt.
You'll get yourselves killed that way, relaxing like that. Not that I care. He snorted scornfully.
Dismissing the intrusion from his mind, the old man reached for a silver object lying on his desk. He pulled it towards himself and tapped it musingly with his wand. Under his thoughtful, if slightly absent, gaze, smoke emitted from it, billowing out into the room. It clumped together in a vacant area, and began to clear, revealing the insubstantial forms of two boys and a girl, all around sixteen.
From the rafters, he watched the three teenagers directly under his nose closely, leaning over slightly. Hmm, he thought. So these are them, huh. Feh. Knack for trouble, all three of them. They reek of it, even in an illusion.
Imprinting the images into his mind as they faded away, he looked down at the old man, who was tapping frantically at some other gadget. It didn't seem to be working, however; no matter how hard or how fast the man struck it with his wand, it simply sat there. Finally, annoyed out of his composure, he whacked it with the flat of his hand. It emitted an annoyed squeak and began to create more fog, which would have amused the watcher in the rafters had he not been beyond amusement…and had not the mist taken the form it did.
Biting his lip to keep from growling in hatred, he dug sharp claws into the wood he perched on, digging deep furrows into the rafter. Eyes locked on the shape produced from the mist, he neither noticed, nor would he have cared had he discovered, that he had really bitten his lip, and blood was flowing smoothly down his face, which was twisted into a horrific caricature of rage.
Shikar! The hunt is not over yet! You will pay!
His aura flared with his fury, and for a few seconds, anyone watching would have dimly seen a humanoid form manifest itself, and then fade away again as he got control over himself, and focused on the old man, deliberately not looking at the illusion of his mortal enemy.
"Shikar…" the man murmured softly to himself. "What will you do? How can we stop you? We cannot have our enemy keep such a powerful ally, and yet we cannot fight you. You must be stopped because of your power, and yet we cannot confront you because of it." He rested his head in his hands and sighed, exhausted in body and mind, unseen by mortal eyes. The only one to bear witness to his little breakdown had no sympathy whatsoever.
You've been fighting him for two months, he thought coldly. Shikar is mine. He has been for five hundred years and more. I warn you now. I have no interest in your little squabble with your own. It's only because Shikar is here that I am. I'm not going to help you. I don't need to hurt you, as of now. But if you get underfoot, I'll step on you.
Silently, he rose from his crouch. Closing haunted golden eyes, he shot one last hate-filled glance at the fading image of the lizard-like Shikar. As he vanished from the castle that those that knew it call Hogwarts, and he called a trap, one final thought lingered, though none could hear it.
It's almost ready. It will soon be over.