Hey there! Look, I'm alive! Way! Sorry about the long wait on the update of Celestin but a lot has been going on. I didn't have access to the Internet at all over Christmas, and at University I had several assignments that I needed to do. As usual, because I am crap at time keeping, I foolishly left it to the last minute. However, with those out of the way, I thought I'd better get things done. Oh, and I also went into Naruto mode of a while and wanted to give 'Uchiha-Potter' a few chapters. Anyway, enough with the babbling, I'll just get to the important stuff shall I?
Disclaimer: although this is an AU, it is still a Harry Potter Fanfiction. But that is all it is – Fanfiction. I do not own any of the characters because of this – except those who do not appear in the Potter books (i.e. Marius Alric)
Last time on Celestin:
after being accepted into Ravenclaw house, Celestin realises things could become difficult for him when he finds out that both Snape – his Father's rival and a spy among the death eaters – and Moody – an ex-Auror that would definitely want the death-eater assassin dead – are both teaching at the school. As well as this, Dumbledore announces the Triwizard. The ball is set to roll…
For most people, when you wake up, it is a slow process of floating from the deaths of sleep into the state of wakefulness. However, this had never been the case for Celestin Alric, also known as Harry James Potter. Having grown up constantly in danger or constantly having it drilled into his head about the dangers of an assassin being completely and utterly vulnerable when he slept, Celestin could never allow himself even that small pleasure. So when Celestin woke up in the morning, it was always instantaneous.
Emerald eyes snapped open, instantly taking in his surroundings, detecting any sign or danger. He didn't move, his eyes flickering around to take everything in, his ears straining to hear any sign of movement around him. The first thing he saw was deep blue velvet drapes surrounding a large, yet exceptionally comfortable bed. From somewhere outside the cavern of cloth, Celestin could hear the soft snores of other people, the soft muttering of the occasional voice – male – still asleep, although the exact number of people in the room was unknown.
Celestin blinked a few times in surprise, before what had happened the day before flooded back to him and he groaned, rolling onto his back and throwing his arms over his eyes. That's right, he thought glumly, I let that damn vampire convince me to come to Hogwarts because of the Triwizard tournament, and landed myself with my father's rival and a paranoid ex-Auror as teachers. Joy.
He sighed and rolled over again, pushing himself up. His long hair, unbound, trailed over his slim, yet muscular shoulders as he duvet slipped down to his waist, revealing his uncovered chest. He scooped up his contacts from the bedside table and inserted them with years of practice without even batting an eyelash, before he slid his feet from the bed, lazily pushing aside the drapes surrounding his bed, surveying the rounded dormitory of the fourth-year Ravenclaws.
The room was filled with several other beds, all covered by luxurious royal-blue drapes, none of which were drawn yet. He tilted his head for a moment and listened to the sounds coming from within them, yet none of them made any signs of waking. He glanced out the window and grimaced slightly. The sun had barely started peaking up above the forbidden forest, casting an eerie pink glow. For Celestin, this was a normal time to wake up to train, but for the average civilian, it was still much too early. Celestin let out a breath of a chuckle, slipped on a pale tank top and slipped out of the room to the common room. Letting his eyes glide over the furniture and pictures he had seen the night before, Celestin made sure no one would be eavesdropping on him (whether human or painting) as he moved into a space close to the portrait hole for a quick escape, just in case.
'Tch,' Celestin murmured softly, shaking his head. It's not ideal, he thought, but until I learn the layout of this place a little better and find somewhere more suited, I'll have to put up with it – if I don't get caught first.
He closed his eyes and let out a soft breath, before he started his usual morning routine. He started with the normal stretches, then dropped to the floor to begin push-ups and sit-ups with efficient, sure movements. That done, he began on some basic kata to make sure he didn't get rusty while posing as a student. God only knew what would happen if Celestin didn't keep up practice and was placed in a life or death situation. As the death eater assassin had proved time and again, relying entirely on magic could get you killed. He continued until he was breathing hard and a slight sheen of sweat covered his body. Finishing the final move, he began to slow down, moving fluidly from deadly moves to the softer cool down ones. His eyes were closed as he concentrated on his breathing until it became normal once more.
Standing still in the middle of the room, he let the quiet wash over him for a moment, before he glanced out of the window again, judging the time. During his workout, the sun had risen past the tops of the trees of the forest and was now spilling the early morning gold across the still slightly misty grounds. From what he could tell, it was already coming to about six in the morning.
He let out a slight snort as he finished, tossing raven strands over his shoulder as he glanced towards the dormitories once more. Still no sign of movement. He shook his head in exasperation. Civilians! I swear, one of these days it's that laziness that'll get them killed… But he just sighed and spirited back up to the bedroom to grab some of his clothes from his trunk, striding back towards the bathroom as he heard the first of the earlier risers stirring with a slight chuckle and shake of his head. He'd never understand that. Still, at least he got the shower before all the hot water was used up!
Locking the door, he quickly showered, taking a moment to enjoy the warm water trickling over his skin, before he dried and clothed himself in his new uniform. Black robes hemmed in blue, a blue and bronze tie and the Ravenclaw badge bearing the eagle of Rowena Ravenclaw – definitely a far cry from his usual muggle-magic mixed clothing and battle-robes. Celestin grimaced slightly, before pushing the thought of how much like a pansy he looked in those robes out of his head as he quickly brushed his unruly long hair and pulled it into his usual low ponytail at the base of his neck. He glanced up at the mirror above the sink as he pulled out a royal blue bandanna and tied it round his head, covering his lightning-bolt shaped scar from the world. He stood, staring quietly at the stoic figure looking back at him for a moment, taking in the emerald green eyes, dangerous and wiry, the slight frown under the blue cloth, before he let a slight smile quirk on his lips.
'Well, I guess Harry Potter must meet and greet the world, and turn it upside-down,' he laughed softly, 'just like I promised, eh, Marius?'
'That's the spirit, deary,' murmured the mirror's sleepy voice.0o0o0o0o0o0o0
'Nice of you to join us, Anthony,' Terry said as the shorter boy yawned loudly as he plopped into the seat at the other side of Celestin, promptly let his head slip onto the table – although not before Celestin had snatched his plate from smacking him in the face, his eyes dancing with amusement.
'Sod off, Ter,' came the slightly muffled response.
The three of them were seated in the great hall somewhere at the end of the Ravenclaw table, nearest to the door. Celestin, although he had more or less memorised the route up from the great hall to the common room, had decided not to rise any suspicions – after all, wasn't the Ravenclaw house known for its perceptiveness? – and decided to wait for his new friends. Terry, it seemed, was one of the early risers of the tower and had been the first one to wake up after Celestin had finished getting ready. Anthony, on the other hand, had to have been the laziest. Terry, a boy who introduced himself as Michael Conner – the poor schmuck who sat opposite Anthony during the feast, if Celestin remembered – and himself had spent the better part of an hour trying to get the guy up. But after being swatted away and listening to a long verity of cusses (who'd have though the guy could be so ingenious with his insults? Hell, even Celestin was impressed!) They just left him to it. Celestin was now wondering if, on hindsight, that was a good idea, looking at his half-ruffled appearance.
'Well, now that Anthony is among the living…' Celestin glanced at Tony again, 'er, sort of, what were you saying about classes?'
'Yes, as I was saying,' Terry said, buttering some toast and promptly tapping Anthony on the back of the head, passed them to the boy, who perked up immediately. 'Classes depend on our timetables that our head of house'll give us in a bit – though it might take a while, considering.' Celestin wasn't about to argue when said head of Ravenclaw house was only a foot taller than Bede back home and could barely look over the table. 'Sometimes we have shared lessons with the other houses. Like in Herbology, we always seem to share with the Slytherins, care of magical creatures with the Hufflepuffs, Astronomy with the Gryffindors, that sort of thing.'
'Interesting,' Celestin muttered. 'So there aren't any classes with all of us together?'
'Nah,' Anthony said round his toast. 'Only happened once in our second year, when that moron Lockhart was our teacher and we had a Duel class. It was a disaster, wasn't it, Ter.'
'Exactly,' the taller boy looked over to Anthony lazily. 'Nice to see your mind caught up with your body…what little of it you have anyway.'
'Hey! That wasn't very nice…'
Anthony pouted, crocodile tears jumping into his eyes. 'Fine, pick on the little guy…you…you meanie!'
'I'm hurt,' Terry said dryly. He looked over at Celestin slyly. 'Besides, that one won't quite work anymore, since Harry here is shorter than you.'
Celestin choked slightly on his own toast, surprised that he had been dragged into the argument, then groaned as he realised just what they had said to get him involved. He let his head hit the table. 'Why does everyone have to comment on my size?' he mumbled. 'It's not like it's my fault…'
'You'll get used to it!' Anthony chirruped.
Celestin gave him a mock glare. 'At least I have more than half a brain cell, Goldstein.'
'Got you there, Tony,' Terry chuckled slightly, letting Anthony pout.
The conversation, or verbal sparing, was finally halted when the tiny Professor – Flitwick if Celestin remembered correctly, finally reached their table, a stack of timetables in his arms. Immediately, they fixed their attention on the teacher.
'Goldstein, here you are,' Flitwick squeaked, his voice rather high-pitched and bird-like as he handed Anthony his timetable. 'Boot, there's yours' Terry took his with a small thanks. Flitwick glanced at the name on the next one and squeaked excitedly. 'Harry Potter!' his voice sounded breathless, and he looked at him as if he was meeting the Minister of Magic himself. Celestin grimaced and forced himself to stay seated and not bolt out of the room as his instincts were telling him.
'Here,' he said quietly, trying not to flinch at the elated look on the small professor's face.
Thankfully for Celestin and his sanity (or what was left of it, he added mentally) Flitwick pulled himself together and handed Celestin his timetable, but not without at least telling him, "welcome back to the Wizarding world". Celestin took his timetable with a small smile. 'Um, sure. Thanks.'
As the tiny professor moved on to the next few people, Celestin studied his timetable. Anthony glanced over his shoulder.
'Hey, you've almost got the same timetable as I do!' He exclaimed, looking from his to Celestin's and back again. He spotted something and frowned. "You're not doing Divination either? Damn, I thought I might at least get a Divination partner.'
'Well, why did you choose it in the first place, moron?' Terry asked with a sigh, shaking his head. 'You don't believe in Divination anyway!'
'Because I thought it would be easy,' Anthony said grumpily. 'Trelawney's as big fraud anyway, you know that. She wouldn't be able to tell the future even if it hit her in the face with one of her crystal balls!'
Celestin wisely decided to keep his mouth shut about the fact that Prophecies were real, and that there was once concerning himself that Trelawney had made while in the hold of a seer-trance. After all, no one was meant to know about that Prophecy. Who knew what damage could be caused if Voldemort got his hands on it?
However, even if prophecies and such were real, Celestin knew damned well that he hadn't got a seer bone in his body. Marius had tried to see if he had while they were in France once with a local Seer, but that had been close to disastrous. He grimaced as he remembered what happened that time. Celestin had fallen asleep five times, choked on the tealeaves that hadn't settled properly in the bottom of his cup and almost broke the poor seer's crystal ball by knocking it off the table. In the end the seer almost had a mental breakdown and was foretelling his own death in a very hopeful voce. So what if he was only eight at the time – it was just plain embarrassing!
'Then why don't you just drop it like that Granger girl in Gryffindor?' Terry was asking. Celestin pulled himself away from those memories to get back to the conversation at hand. 'At least she had the sense to. Sometimes I wonder how you got into Ravenclaw.'
'This was the girl who was taking Muggle studies even though she's a Muggleborn,' Anthony pointed out.
'Makes it an easy subject I guess,' Celestin said as he pondered over his timetable.
'Then why'd she drop it?' Anthony said.
'If you'd use your ears, Weasley half yelled it last year that Granger was doing more subjects than normal. It couldn't have been healthy to take that many subjects. I'm guessing she did it so she didn't burn her self out.'
'Idiot. So, what did you take instead?' Terry asked, turning to Celestin, ignoring the currently spluttering Anthony for the moment.
'Ancient Ruins,' Celestin said. 'A lot of powerful magics were made through ruins years and years ago – it seemed kind of interesting.'
'Well, at least someone has some sense,' Terry said, not reacting to Anthony's "Hey!" and, seeing Celestin's slightly questioning look, added, 'I took that as well. It's quite interesting. Are you sure you'll be able to keep up with the class though? You have missed a year of it.'
'I wouldn't worry,' Celestin said with a slight wave of his hand. 'After all, I did tell you I was home schooled.'
'What are these for?' Anthony asked, pointing to the places in his timetable that both he and Terry had blank spaces for breaks. Celestin glanced down too; noting it stated "Independent study". Obviously these were the time slots that McGonagall had given to him for Animagus training, not that he could tell them that.
'It's to make sure that I'm keeping up with the school curriculum,' Celestin lied easily.
'But I thought you8 just said you could keep up because your home schooled,' Anthony said accusingly.
Celestin rolled his eyes. 'When you're home schooled, you don't always learn things in the same order that you do in large schools like Hogwarts,' Celestin said slowly, as if talking to a child. 'Professor McGonagall, Headmaster Dumbledore and I discussed it, and they decided to give me a few sessions, just to make sure I can keep up with everything.'
'Hey, you, Harry Potter!' interrupted a voice. Blinking, Celestin looked up from his timetable and glanced over his shoulder to see the redheaded Gryffindor, Ron Weasley, if he remembered rightly, flanked by two other boys – a dark-skinned boy and a sandy haired one. Ron Weasley was standing extremely close to him, leaning over him as he gave him a hard stare. Celestin didn't so much as blink at having his personal space invaded. However, Terry and Anthony weren't so un-flapped. Terry frowned. 'What do you want, Weasley?'
'I want to talk to this guy, not you, Terry. Can't you tell he's an impostor?'
Celestin allowed himself to blink at that. '…I think you lost me at that point. What do you mean?'
Ron turned back to Celestin; his frown deepening and he prodded at his chest. 'You can't be Harry Potter,' the redhead said darkly.
Celestin raised an eyebrow. 'And you worked that out how, exactly?'
'Well, first off, Harry Potter wouldn't associate with Slytherins! Not when they are all from dark families.'
'I don't know about Zabini's family, but Daphne at least isn't from a dark family – she's my cousin. Unless you forgot, the Boot family was a Light family,' Terry said icily, looking rather offended that Ron had said such a thing.
'I think I can associate with whomever I want,' Celestin said lightly, not really wanting to make enemies. But as he had already said, he would rather not get stuck in the middle of a house war. After all, he liked Daphne and Zabini. 'There's nothing wrong with ambition – after all, if we aren't ambitious to a healthy degree, we won't amount to very much, or even get a job. As with cunning – it can be useful in many little ways. Having that doesn't make you dark. Besides, just because a family is dark, or one person from that house was dark doesn't mean everyone is. After all,' he added lightly, although his emerald eyes hardened, 'the person who betrayed my parents to Voldemort was from Gryffindor, I recall.'
Ron flinched (along with the rest of the Gryffindors and all the Ravenclaws within hearing distance) at the use of Voldemort's name. Hissed whispers of amazement spread amongst those close by. Ron spluttered for a moment at Celestin's statement, eyes wide as Celestin calmly sipped his drink, before he managed to pull himself together. He jabbed a finger in Celestin's chest again. Celestin sighed as Ron snapped, 'And another thing – Harry Potter has a scar'
Celestin couldn't help but feel amused at Ron persistence, 'I have many scars, Ron. Was there a particular place you had in mind?'
Anthony hid a gauff at that. Ron scowled at him, 'On his forehead. It was a curse scar, and everyone knows you can't hide a curse scar!'
'Good deduction,' Celestin said musingly, 'but I'm afraid that is a wrong assumption.' He unwound his bandanna and pulled it off, pushing back his bangs to reveal the still-red scar. 'The last time we met I never showed it to you.' He tied the blue cloth around his head once more, ignoring the slack expression on the Weasley's face. 'I think that last time we met my hair was most likely covering it. After all, there is rather a lot, wouldn't you say?'
Ron's face flushed, whether from the reminder of the incident where they met, the fact Celestin had protected him from the ministry's stunners or from the obvious answer to the accusation, he didn't know. However, it looked like his friends weren't deterred. 'How do we know it isn't make-up or something?' the sandy haired boy asked, glaring.
'You're being even more stupid than normal, Seamus,' Anthony said, still hiding a slight chuckle. "Seamus" whirled on him immediately, scowling as Anthony sighed, shaking his head mournfully. 'You know perfectly well that you can't draw on something that looks like it was cut into your head and make it took like a real curse scar – even Ronald knows that.'
Celestin shrugged, having lost interest by this point and didn't really feel like having to fight civilians first thing in a morning. Now looking back at his timetable again, munching on his toast, he said simply. 'It's not like I care. Believe what you want. I am who I am; nothing can change that – not even if you think otherwise. Now, if you're done interrogating me, do you think I could finish my breakfast? Unlike you guys, I do need to learn my way around this place for my lessons and everything…'
'Morning, Terry, Anthony, Harry,' said a voice and Celestin glanced back around to see Daphne, followed closely by a stoic-looking Zabini, had come up behind the three Gryffindors (who jumped at the sudden noise and spun around at the unexpected sound). 'It says on our timetables that Slytherins have got Herbology with the Ravenclaws today, so we thought that we'd walk down with you. You don't mind, do you, cuz?'
'It's fine,' Terry said, downing his drink and ignoring the irritated "Hey!" coming from one of the Gryffindors. 'We were just about to go down anyway.'
'Well, perhaps we can finish this…interesting discussion another time, hm?' Celestin said to the Gryffindors, not wanting to antagonise them too much. 'But I'm sure you don't want to be late for your lessons either, so, Adios.' And with a quick nod in their direction, Celestin made his way out of the hall with his four friends, ignoring the three spluttering Gryffindors he left behind.
Professor Sprout, the head of Hufflepuff, taught Herbology out in the greenhouses. For Celestin's first class that he attended at Hogwarts, Herbology was quite an easy start in comparison to his training and tutoring amongst Marius and his worldwide associates. However, although it was easy going in comparison (and lets face it, when having a powerful Vampire almost chopping your arm off in sword-practice, having homicidal divination teachers, trying not to be blown up by a nutty potions-master and learning Astronomy from a sort tempered centaur who would rather buck you into the river than have you question the why's of his fortunes and learning Care of magical creatures by said magical creatures, anything could be thought of as easy-going.) Celestin didn't find it very endearing. As soon as the odd group of three Ravenclaws and two Slytherins joined the rest of the group, Professor Sprout held up the ugliest plant that even Celestin had ever seen. They looked like vertical slugs producing from the soil and even wriggled like one. The only reason Celestin hadn't just assumed they were overly large flesh-eating slugs was the fact that they had many little swellings on it, filled with some sort of liquid.
'Bubotubers,' Sprout told them briskly, 'They need squeezing. You will collect the pus in these bottles. Wear your dragon-hide gloves – it can do funny things to the skin, Bubotuber pus.' And she showed them the correct way of "Extracting the Pus"
'Nice,' said Zabini sarcastically, his nose wrinkling against the petroleum smell it gave off. Terry looked a little green next to him, holding the plant as far away from him as possible.
'Clears the airways,' Celestin joked, although he had to cough a few times. He decided that this was probably quite low on the "things-I-would-like-to-do" scale. Daphne gagged slightly at the squelching yellowish-green liquid oozing from the burst swelling, but steeled herself to do it.
'I think I'm gonna be sick…' Anthony muttered, covering his mouth and nose with a free hand.
About halfway through the "Lesson", Celestin was once more interrupted in what he was doing. His time it was by a pale blond boy and two rather large and mean-looking boys that reminded Celestin a little of Bouncers outside of clubs in the muggle world. The blond boy looked Celestin over from head to toe and then nodded with a smirk. Daphne twitched.
"Hello Greengrass,' the boy said, her movement having caught his eye. 'It looks like you have some taste in friends after all.'
Daphne growled slightly. 'What do you want, Malfoy?' She snapped.
'I've just come to congratulate your friend for putting that Weasley,' he sneered the name, 'in his place.' He turned back to Celestin, blatantly ignoring Daphne's remark about him needing to be pulled down a few pegs too. 'So, what we've all been told is true then?' the blond boys said smoothly. 'Harry Potter has returned from a thirteen year absence and has come to Hogwarts.'
Celestin sighed, suddenly feeling the urge to bang his head against something rather hard…repeatedly. It had only been two days back in the wizarding world and using his real name and already Celestin liked using the name as much as he'd like to catch the bubonic plague.
Deciding against his rather childish urge to say, "Well duh!", Celestin just looked in the blonde boy's direction and gave him a curt nod. 'So it seems,' he replied offhandedly, eyeing the newcomers carefully. If the three boys before were Gryffindor's infamous "golden-trio", then these three must be the Slytherins that Daphne, Zabini, Terry and Anthony had warned him about, the middle one being Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy's son. Immediately, behind his relaxed appearance, he was on guard. However, he decided he would play the innocent for now. 'You seem to know who I am, but…?' he left the question hanging.
The blonde one, although frowning slightly from Celestin's almost-as-irritating-as-saying-well-duh answer, took the hint straight away. 'Oh yes. That is Crabbe,' he nodded over his shoulder at one of his "bodyguards", 'and that is Goyle. And I'm Malfoy. Draco Malfoy.'
Celestin nodded in acknowledgement when each name was said, before turning back to Malfoy. 'Oh. Hello. Nice to meet you, Malfoy.' He turned back to what he was doing. 'Could you pass me another of those pods, Zabini?' Celestin had a role to play. It didn't mean that he had to become all chummy with this boy, however. When there was himself and people who acted like Malfoy in one room together, people usually ended up dead. He would rather avoid that. You know, it wouldn't look good on his CV after school, would it?
Zabini shot him a surprised look at the quick introduction and the rather obvious and slightly abrupt finish to his side of the conversation. From the way Crabbe and Goyle exchanged glances and the way Malfoy's eyes widened slightly before narrowing, his face flushed pale pink, this was a rare occurrence for anyone to brush him off, however politely, even during class.
Malfoy frowned at him. 'We're not finished talking, Potter.' His voice was clipped, obviously annoyed with the dismissal.
'Oh, sorry,' Celestin said, only flickering his eyes towards the blonde momentarily before they fixed on the pod he was currently squeezing once more. 'I didn't mean to be rude, but aren't we supposed to be doing something just now? Besides,' Celestin continued mildly. 'I don't see what I did wrong exactly for you to be so rude yourself. You introduced yourself and, as you already knew my name, there didn't seem much point in re-introducing myself, was there? Anyway I acknowledged you and spoke to you, and that was about it. There wasn't anything else to say just now. Besides," Celestin shrugged, then pointed to the pod in his hand. 'We're kinda in class at the moment. Would you rather I drop everything just to exchange a few words and get us both into trouble? I didn't think you'd appreciate that, somehow.'
'Indeed, but Sprout wont say anything just now. After all, I'm just offering guidance to our newest student.' Obviously Malfoy couldn't make fault with his claim, so seemed willing to give Celestin a chance to "redeem himself", his arrogant air restored, confidant that, whatever happened, he wouldn't get the blame. Celestin fought the sudden urge to roll his eyes. Where the encounter with the Gryffindors had amused him, having this as well was just plain exasperating. 'Anyway, since you're new here, Potter, you probably wouldn't know how things work around here just yet. After all, some of us here are a little more important. You see, I'm not some poor no name idiot like that Weasley and his band of merry dorks. I'm a Malfoy. You need to be careful what you say around people like my family and I, if you know what I mean.'
Celestin stopped what he was doing and fully turned to the blonde, looking up at him from his place on the bench, tense and ready despite looking indifferent and lazy. 'And, pray tell, why should the fact that you're a Malfoy change how I should or shouldn't act?' he asked lightly.
Malfoy seemed to loose his stride slightly at that. His cool grey eyes widened slightly, before he frowned. 'What?'
'Should I be giving you some sort of special treatment because you are a Malfoy?' Celestin asked. 'Or perhaps because you're a Slytherin, maybe?' he continued. He hoped Daphne and Zabini wouldn't be too offended by that, but he wanted to make a point. 'Family doesn't make a person,' Celestin said calmly. 'Nor does house. For instance, a person from Gryffindor may have the potential to be brave and heroic, but it doesn't mean they won't think, or that they will use that bravery when the circumstance arrives. Likewise a Ravenclaw may have knowledge, but it doesn't mean that they will go out and use it. Likewise a Hufflepuff may be loyal, but to whom are they loyal to? And a Slytherin may have ambition, but it doesn't mean that they will ever reach it. It's the same with family. Your family may be rich, or well respected, but that doesn't automatically transfer to you. If you want my respect, Malfoy, you'll have to earn it.' Because I bow to no one, Celestin thought vehemently. I respect those who deserve it, because they earned it, not because of some family rep. The sooner you learn that, Malfoy, the sooner you may save yourself from the "death-eater assassin's" wrath, should that day come. Like I said to Marius, if you follow them, I'll show no mercy, even to a child.
Zabini stared at his as if it was the first time he had seen him, Anthony and Daphne looking at him in awe, while even the more stoic Terry raised his eyebrows, the corner of his mouth twitching upwards at the blatant dismissal. Unfortunately, Malfoy didn't see the humour in it and his eyes narrowed.
'You really need to watch that mouth of yours.' He said at length, darkly. 'If you're not politer, you'll go the same way as your parents. They never did know what was good for them.'
At that, Celestin turned around so fast that the others couldn't follow, a dark smile spreading over his face, which was almost nose to nose with Malfoy. He jerked back minutely. 'Really. I'd very much like to see him try.' Suddenly, his expression lightened and it was as if that smirk had never been there. Celestin smiled harmlessly. 'I think we should be getting back to work. I don't think Professor Sprout would be very happy with us. First impressions and all, right, Malfoy?'
Yes, and what an impression he was leaving already…
The rest of Celestin's morning was pretty much unremarkable, unless of course you counted all of the students who blatantly stared at him as he passed until he felt more paranoid than even Moody, the sharp, slightly bitter glances from Malfoy or Ron or one of his friends muttering under their breaths that he might be a fake. However, Celestin ignored the stares and Ron's grumbles were pretty much ignored by everyone anyway. He guessed they were still a little awestruck that the Harry Potter was still alive and, apparently, in very good health. Still, he was hoping the shock would wear off soon; otherwise he may blow his cover by killing half of them just to stop the stares.
Marius must be laughing his socks off at me right now, Celestin thought grumpily as he followed Terry and Anthony to the dungeons for their next lesson, this time with the Hufflepuffs. I bet he knew this would happen when he told me to use my true identity. Bloody Vampire.
However, Celestin allowed himself a breath of a sigh before he pushed that to the back of his head. There was no point worrying about it just yet. After all, he was sure he could come up with an… interesting revenge the next time he saw his guardian. Hopefully something to do with lots of sun and a whole load of garlic.
Right now, Celestin was on his way down to Potions with his Ravenclaw companions. He had both been quiet looking forwards to, and yet felt some foreboding about this lesson. Looking forwards to it because, although Potions wasn't Celestin's best subjects, it was one that still fascinated him after he had trained with another of Marius' associates. He was also half-dreading it, because the person who would be teaching this lesson was none other than one of the two professors who were on his 'to-watch-out-for' list.
Lovely. Nice to know that his first day at Hogwarts also had him facing the man who absolutely despised his father. No doubt the man would be terrible to him as well. Old grudges die hard. He of all people knew that.
It also wasn't every encouraging when Zabini had clapped him on the back in condolence and Daphne had given them all a look of sympathy when they had left the two of them after lunch. Anthony just looked green and was currently rambling to an increasingly irritated Terry that he needed to see Madam Pomfrey and was pretending to faint and such in an effort to get out of the class. In the end, Terry just whacked the smaller boy over the head and hissed that if he didn't let go of his robes then he would be forced to curse him. Celestin just shook his head in amusement as he watched their antics.
The dungeons were cool, dark and slightly damp in places and Celestin was sure he saw a few shiver slightly from the cool air. Some drew their robes a little closer around themselves. Ignoring the cold as easily as he did his emotions during a battle, Celestin took his time to observe the classroom itself. Dark and dank as the rest of the dungeons, it was about as inviting as a prison cell, even more so with the various body parts pickled in jars around the shelves. Out of the corner of his eyes he could see several of the more nervous students shuffle a little closer, one girl with a round face and pigtails outright shivered.
'C'mon, its better to sit in the middle here,' Anthony said in a surprisingly hushed voice as he took hold of Celestin's robes and tugged him to one of the bench-tables near the centre of the room. 'The closer you sit to the front or back, the more likely Snape is to pick on you.'
Celestin blinked at that as Terry didn't say anything, even along the lines of being a paranoid idiot like he had been expecting, instead just leading the way to one of the tables and immediately pulling out his quill, parchment and cauldron. Celestin couldn't help but wonder what this Snape must be like in real life if it stopped these two from their, what seemed to be, customary play-arguments.
It wasn't long before he found out.
Several students jumped as the classroom door bounced slightly off the wall from the force as Snape himself stalked into the room, his jet-black robes billowing out behind him as he walked, as if moved by an unseen wind. If Celestin were anyone else, he would have guessed that Snape had a perchance in dramatics. But then again, Celestin was no normal person. He could easily recognise intimidation tactics when he saw them. After all, as an assassin, intimidation was his forte.
Snape looked over the room with onyx eyes before going straight to the register and began calling off the names. Short, sharp, he barked out the last name and the student would jump and squeak out a 'Yessir!' before Snape moved on. Said student practically deflated in relief when Snape passed to the next person. This continued all down the list until Snape reached a certain name.
'Well, well, if it isn't our long lost hero,' Snape said, tauntingly, his mouth twisting slightly. 'Mr Harry Potter.'
Celestin could feel every pair of eyes spin towards him, but he ignored them if favour of locking his gaze unwaveringly with the onyx eyes of the Potion's professor. It was like looking into a pair of endless tunnels, dark, icy - cold as stone. Just like in the great hall, Celestin felt a faint probing as his mind and he strengthened his shields to near titanium levels.
A crease appeared between the professor's eyebrows, but it was the only reaction he had to being blocked out of his mind. Celestin found it rather interesting that Snape was trying to get into his mind at all. After all, he was just a student. What would any normal fourteen-year-old student think about? Certainly nothing that the Professor would be interested in, unless he was a closet gossip or something. Did he do this with all his students, or is it just that I'm special? Celestin wondered. Does Albus know about this? After all, there are laws against using Legilimancy on minors. Although I guess I should understand. I just appeared out of nowhere to attend Hogwarts, and Snape was a spy once. Like me, he is not about to let me off Scot free until he figures out if I'm a threat or not. Still, it doesn't mean I'm about to let him waltz into my mind so easily. I've got a job to do.
'Well then, Potter, let's see if you'll actually be able to keep up with the class, shall we?' Snape sneered at him finally, fixing him with a scrutinising glare. Celestin kept his face impassive, his body both relaxed and somehow tense at the same time. The look in the man's eyes put his assassin instincts on edge.
'Potter, what would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?'
'Draught of Living Death, sir,' Celestin fired back with no hesitation. The silence in the class was palpable. Even Snape blinked. Obviously Snape hadn't realised that Celestin was anything but a greenhorn in his class. Even though Harry Potter was new to the Wizarding world after a thirteen year absence, Celestin Alric was not.
'Where would I find a bezoar?' the man snapped, recovering quickly, although he still eyed him in a way that one would with an easy-looking jigsaw that was harder to solve than it looked. He also stepped up his Legilimency, pressing harder against Celestin's shields.
'Inside the stomach of a goat,' Celestin replied evenly. He kept his face blank as possible, not making any movement to show that he was even aware that Snape was pushing against his shields. It felt as though he was trying to prise it with a vice. But Celestin was used to it – his shields stood firm.
'What is the difference between monkshood and Wolfsbane?'
'Nothing sir, they are the same plant. Muggle botanists call it aconite.'
'What is the most popular use of armadillo bile?'
'That would be the Wit-Sharpening potion,' Celestin said, almost boredly. Snape's eyebrows raised slightly, before he could cover it up, although Celestin was sure only he caught the slight change in expression. Next to him, he could feel Terry and Anthony shoot him surprised looks. After all, the aforementioned was a Hogwarts fourth year potion – they hadn't even studied it in class yet.
'Ashwinder eggs?' Snape continued, watching Celestin closely. There was another sharp thrust at his shields.
'Love potions, professor. They need to be frozen, otherwise the potion wont work.' He added. The look on Snape's face was almost unreadable now.
'Powdered moonstone and syrup of hellebore, Potter. What potion uses both ingredients?'
'That would be the Draught of Peace, sir.' Snape was trying to trip him up with much more advanced material than Celestin should actually be able to know, even if he had studied at Hogwarts for the full three years that he normally would have done, had he not been training with Marius. He had to wonder what the man was trying to prove, but right now, Celestin couldn't help but toy with the man a little, especially if Snape insisted on toying with him.
'Strengthening solution, sir.'
'When must fluxweed be gathered to be useful for potion making?'
'During the full moon, sir,' Celestin replied. Snape's face was darkening and the class had gone utterly silent. Even the more diligent of Ravenclaws had stopped taking notes in favour of watching the scene, there eyes bouncing from Snape to Celestin and back again as if watching a tennis match. However, Celestin kept his eyes fixed on Snape.
'What are the uses of ginger root, Mr. Potter?'
'I believe it's also used in the Wit-Sharpening potion. Oh, and it's good in Chinese stir-fry.' He added thoughtfully.
There was a choke and a quill clattered to the floor somewhere close by in shock.
That got a furious glare from Professor Snape, who continued to fire questions at Celestin for more than fifteen minutes. Celestin had a steadily worsening tension headache, but managed to answer each question in turn, trying not to sigh. Finally, the professor appeared to have grown as tired of his game as Celestin was.
'What are jobberknoll feathers used for?'
'I believe that would be memory potions, sir.' He was dying to add "Are we finished yet? Because it'll be the end of the lesson if you don't get on to actually teaching." However, he kept his jaw shut.
'Like the one you took before this class, Potter?' the professor snapped. 'How else do you explain your encyclopaedic knowledge of potion ingredients? Decided to show off in front of your peers? Grab a little limelight?'
'Not at all,' Celestin responded coolly, feeling somewhat pleased with himself at finally trying the teacher's patience. Although unbecoming of an assassin like himself, Celestin wasn't about to be respectful to someone who would not stop trying to get into his head. 'You asked me if I would be able to keep up with the class. As it is, I had had a tutor in potions several years ago and stayed with him for a year or more. As it was, I also had his pride on the line and his intelligence was questioned.'
'A tutor?' Snape said, clearly disbelieving. 'Nonsense Potter! If you had had a tutor to learn that level of potions in a year, then you wouldn't have been classified as missing in the wizarding world, now would you.'
Celestin shrugged, not particularly caring that the man was glaring at him incredulously and everyone was deathly silent, straining to hear every single word. 'My guardian gave me a new name of "Celestin" and that was what I was known as by my tutor.'
'Oh yes, and who is this so called tutor of yours?' the Potions master was now towering over him. Celestin looked up at him impassively.
'Nicholas Flamel.' He said simply.
'…What!' Snape said sharply. Of course, in the potion's world, Nicholas Flamel was an almost legendary figure. After all, he was the one who had created the Philosophers stone with Albus as his lab partner decades ago, long before Marius had taken him to meet with the man. They had, of course, extracted an unbreakable vow with the man that he would not inform anyone about this unless they had the permission of either Marius or himself. Being a good friend of Marius, Nicholas had agreed wholeheartedly and taught Celestin everything he knew for the whole year they had stayed in Devon when Celestin was ten before their trip to Japan. He had never known anyone so passionate about potions as that man. He gave the words 'nutty Professor' a new meaning. Still, he had been a little sad to hear that his life's work had been destroyed and that his old mentor had only a little of his elixir setting things in order, but he knew he and his wife were quite looking forwards to the 'next great adventure'. Celestin wasn't religious in any way – what kind of god would an assassin prey to? – but if there was a next adventure, he was sure that the old coot would be ready to discover it…
A sound of disbelief came that came from Snape brought Celestin back to the present.
'Impossible!' Snape snapped.
'Not impossible, just highly improbable.' Celestin interjected. 'Nicholas was a wise mentor and a good man and he loved his work. Almost blew up the house once.' Celestin mused with a slight smile, his eyes far away as he remembered how that turned out. Marius almost flipped. Although Nicholas' wife made the Vampire's anger look like a breeze in comparison when she caught sight of the old man and himself. He mentally chuckled. 'Penelope was a kind and generous woman with a wicked temper at times and was really protective as well. Managed to stop him from getting too carried away with his work. As it is, I was sorry to learn that his life's work was destroyed. I'll miss them.'
The Potions master held Celestin's gaze a little longer, a slight frown on his face as if trying to see if he was telling the truth. His Legilimancy once more brushed at his shields, but this time, Celestin permitted him to detect the truth of his words, nothing more. They stared at each other for a moment longer, before Snape frowned at him, a mixture of puzzlement and…something else flickering through his eyes, before he finally gave Celestin a short, sharp nod.
Celestin read it easily. Keep your secrets for now, it said. I know you're hiding something.
Celestin returned the nod, making his own intent clear in his eyes. You can try. But you may not like what you find. Do not confuse me with my Father, Professor. It would not be wise. There is, after all, a reason why the hat did not place me in Gryffindor.
"Very well," Snape sneered finally. "Let's just hope that you can live up to that reputation, Mr Potter. I look forwards to seeing how well you fare, when it comes to practical application. After all, even a block head like Longbottom can recite from a book."
Around them, Celestin could almost feel the student body give a great sigh when Snape finally shot Celestin one last, and yet unreadable expression, before he swept around to his desk, his black cloak swishing out behind him.
Snape eyed Celestin with an almost blank expression, but Celestin could see the rather stunned look in his eyes. However, he masked it well – after all, he was once a spy. Like Celestin himself, he would have to keep every emotion controlled if he was to pass off any act undetected. Celestin was sure that only he could see the emotions behind his mask. And he could see them flicker in the dark pits of his eyes as he watched them busy with their potions - surprised by how he acted, stunned by his revelation of his rather legendary potion's tutor and annoyed by Celestin's 'arrogance', as he would no doubt call it. Still, he had to wonder what the man was thinking, as he left the classroom for dinner later on, conscious of the dark, coal-like eyes in a frowning face boring holes into his back.
'Harry, I'm starting to think you like scaring the pants off of us,' Anthony gasped out as soon as they were out of hearing range of the dungeons. 'I've never seen Snape look so disturbed!'
Well, there you go. I can't really say that it was my best chapter, but it was sort of a filler chapter anyway to introduce some of the characters. Either way, I hope it was alright, especially after such a long wait. I'll try to hurry with the next chapter, if I don't get caught up on a Naruto roll again. This one was meant to be a little more light hearted, as the story eventually gets darker as it goes on.
If anyone is wondering why Flamel, all I will say is 'why not?' You'll find Marius has many associates and Celestin needs to be the best he can be to fight off death eaters. So, Marius' associates will be very interesting in deed.
Oh, just a bit of random info – did you know that I based Anthony and Terry's characters on Naruto and (good) Sasuke from the Ninja anime 'Naruto'? I know, seems odd thing to do, but as Terry has about a line in all six books so far, and I don't think that Anthony actually has any lines at all, I had to get characters from somewhere.
On another note, for those who have asked about Sirius, I'll just say this – coming soon!
Oh yeah, for those who asked about Celestin's past, I was thinking of doing a companion story to Celestin once this one is finished. It will be called Celestin: Dawn of Blood and will tell of Celestin's past training with Marius. So far, I'm not sure if it will be lots of smaller fics in one story, showing snippets of kid-Celestin's life, or if it will be a full fanfic story in chronological order just yet. But we'll see. If anyone does have anything they wish to see happen in Celestin's past, though, please tell me. I might even be able to incorporate it into Celestin or Celestin: Dawn of Blood, when I get around to it.
Just one last thing to take care of before I sign off!Next time on Celestin
As Celestin gets used to Hogwarts, he begins his Animagus training and also has his first lesson with Mad Eye Moody. However, a strange dream of the past brings Celestin to meet with someone who is remarkably similar to him. Next episode: The Prophecy's Other.
But until next time, Ja ne for now!Chosha Kurenai xXx