Hello everyone! I return to you with the sequel to Shades of Grey and Chasing Rainbows. This is the third and (probably) final installment, as I would imagine I'll be finished with it right around the time Book Six comes out, and that, of course, is going to change everything in this lovely world we like to play in.

I'd like to thank you all, too. I have had so many people following my writing, and sending me such encouraging emails. My family has been through a rather rough time this spring, suicide has touched us once more, and writing has been a big part of my grieving process. I thank each of you who have been there for me (you know who you are) and cannot thank you enough for your comfort. I have intentionally made myself "incommunicado" over the last few weeks to a few people who are, really, quite important to me. I needed to get some things straight in my own head before I inflicted myself on others, but I think I'm almost ready to be civil again.

As always, I have no claim on the wonderful world that JKRowling has created. I merely pay homage to her with my scratchings. I own nothing.

CQ


Two Kinds of Light

There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates,and the glare that obscures.

-- James Thurber (1894 – 1961)

Chapter One: The Veil

There were few lights in the huge marble hall. The dimness of the late hour shadowed corners and unlit rooms, those who worked there through the day were long gone for the evening. The few lights which were lit led the path through the hallways, through a door, past a dozing security wizard and down... through a round room with many doors, and through one of these, one of many, into a room lit with magical light... kept lit all the time, now.

But in this room, deserted because of the late hour, something disturbing seemed to be happening... or it would have been disturbing had anyone had been there to witness it. No one was. After all, the danger had passed. The Dark Lord was dead... killed by students on the grounds of the Wizarding school just two months past. Harry Potter had once again defeated him, saving the magical world from a fate darker than death. Light had conquered, and returned. Peace reigned.

The feeling of cold permeated the room. There was motion in the stone archway which appeared to be the only exit, other than the door which led into the room. There was a slight breeze, and the tattered veil which hung there wafted gently with the soft movements of the air.

And there were sounds, as well. Sounds which would have caused shivers down the spine of any mortal unfortunate enough to hear, any mortal who had witnessed death.

The voices of the dead. Or so it seemed.

As the breeze became stronger, pushing the veil out and into the room, a shrill shrieking began. There was no earthly sound like it, and therefore no description to give. It was haunting. It was ancient. The walls cringed with it, shrinking in on themselves, and had the wizarding world known, they too, would have shrunk back, uncertain of what was happening, but quite certain it could not prove to be good.

With a gust, the veiling blew inwards, and a dark, hooded shape stepped through into the room. Dark eyes surveyed the walls, and a sniff of derision could be heard. The stench of centuries of decay filled the area, and the being, for it could not be seen whether it was man or woman... or some other unearthly creature, breathed in the emptiness, the sound deep, rasping, filling the room with a tangible feeling of death.