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Updated (Beta'd): 8-21-2013
A Shadowed Soul
Chapter 1: Meeting a Shadow
A cool summer wind whipped through a darkened apartment in a London suburb, alighting on the simple furnishings of the elegant living space. The wind continued through the rooms, gently caressing the smooth skin of the apartment's owner. He sat cross legged and perfectly still on the floor of this empty room, his lithe body relaxed, his eyes closed. The night breeze tussles the youth's long silky ebony hair, held at the nape of his neck by a simple black elastic. It teases the bare skin of his back and chest, its night-icy fingers receiving no reaction for their work.
The gust dies as the young man remains still, the only movement was the constant rise and fall of his chest, the only sign that he lived. He sat in deep contemplation, in meditation to prepare himself for the difficult task ahead. This centered him. His magic crackled around him, silver and blue lines of power. He loved these missions, the adrenaline rush. He was good, damn good at this. He was The Shadow.
The room brightened as his power flashed more and more violently around him. Knowing this was happening, as it always did, he picked up his dagger from its place beside him on the floor. Eyes still closed, he pricked his finger, allowing a few drops of his blood to fall on the blade. The room blazed as though it were lit with a hundred torches, a whirl with such intensity. The youth held the bloodied dagger between his palms, making sure blood connected each hand to the blade. The energy crackled and attacked the dagger, swirling violently around it again and again before being sucked into the steel right at the point where his blood lay. The room fell into darkness; it was over.
Startling emerald eyes suddenly opened, their light almost glowing in the blackness. He lowered the dagger and slowly stood, sheathing it in its place in his mid calf-high dragon skin boots. The youth, Kai, as he called himself, took a deep breath and proceeded to check the wards he had placed on his special meditation room. Wards were his specialty, he could make or break the best of them. He would simply close his eyes and his mind and magic would soar over the boundaries, finding its point of casting and unwinding it. His mentor, Krystien, had said that he had never seen anyone do such a thing before, that Kai was special. Kai closed his eyes again, thinking of his mentor, the only person that he had ever loved, his family. Of course, Krystien wasn't Kai's real family, his family was long dead, 16 years. Krystien was dead now too, in a job that went bad only 11 months ago.
Krystien had taken Kai in went he was only eight years old, living on the streets, having been abandoned to the cold of winter. His guardians were cruel and left his life bereft of any kind of love or caring or friendship. They beat him on a whim, used him as an excuse for everything wrong in their lives. Krystien found him cold, hungry, dirty, and terrified, curled up between two garbage cans in a dark alley. He had fed him, cleaned him and warmed him and from then on, taught him everything that he knew. You see, Krystien was a wilder, that is, he learned magic without any formal training. He used his magic without a wand or any other controlling device, he simply tapped directly into his own raw power. Some wizards were meant for this style, floundering under the normal methods. Kai took to this style, he had no patience for things that controlled or limited him. Krystien was a Muggle-born, so he spent Kai's next 3 years teaching him magic the way he wanted to teach him, regardless of ministry regulations.
Krystien was also an assassin and Kai took to this as well. As a child that had been practically devoid of emotion, Kai trained hard for nine years to become what he was today. He was a master and so was named by those inside of his society as Shadow. Krystien showed him many sides of the world, the good, the bad…but most of all, Krystien had shown him the love of a brother. Knowing that he could never replaced a parent for Kai, Krystien took Kai under his wing as a little brother and showed him the power of loyalty and friendship.
The almost six foot teen walked from the meditation room into his kitchen, pouring himself a glass of water. He was in the zone, completely aware of every sound and movement around him. It was almost time to go.
From time to time, the government of the magical society, the Ministry of Magic, would send an agent to meet with him. Of course, his Metamorphmagus abilities allowed him to alter his appearance enough that no one would be able to recognize him. This ministry had a problem, a big problem to be a bit understating. This wizard, a man by the name of Voldemort (though none of the idiots would ever say that name to him, and would barely spell it for him), was creating a ruckus in their world. Kai was happy to keep himself withdrawn from English society, having been trained in a facility in North America. Well, it seems that several of this wizard's followers, Death Eaters, needed to be gotten rid of and he had conceded. They had apparently liked his work and had employed him on a number of occasions, being incapable to finding these targets themselves. This was one of such occasions.
His target was a pureblood wizard by the name of Lucius Malfoy. He could remember the meeting with the agent well, for it had made him slightly uneasy.
"You brought the information?" the lithe youth had asked.
"I have, as long as the deal stands from the previous arrangements," the man kept his hood up over his head, his face hidden within the cowl. The contact agent had changed, Kai did not like this.
"It is as I have said before, wizard; I do not like to repeat myself."
The agent slid him a briefcase underneath the table in the booth between them until it brushed the calf of the Shadow. Kai nodded, picking up the disillusioned briefcase and leaving.
There had been something about that meeting two weeks past that Kai did not like. It had been that man; he had given him a bad feeling, but the bastard's mind had been closed even to him.
Breathing deeply, he grabbed a simple black tank top off the floor by the door and pulled it over his head, his taut stomach flexing with the movement, the muscles' definition telling of years of dedication. He walked to his supply closet in the room and first grabbed the two holsters for his forearm length battle daggers. The assassin slid the daggers into the holsters so they ran horizontally along his waist on the back. Kai almost never used his Dagger of Power in his work, death released a wizard's magic and death magic was not something he wanted tainting this precious tool. He clipped shrunken vials in his right pocket, blood replenishing, healing and energizing potions and a poison that caused almost instant death. All were for him, in case of emergencies. The dark youth had seen firsthand what could happen to assassins that were apprehended on the job. An acquaintance of his, Craig, had miraculously escaped a really bad situation and it had left his face horribly scarred and him without his right hand. At the point where such a situation was imminent, Kai knew he would rather go on his own terms, than go mangled and screaming, without any pride or honour. He knew a number of assassins that took this approach as well and even supplied this mixture of his own creation to his closest friend Tobias, who was non-magical and could not create it on his own.
The emerald eyed youth sighed, "Might as well get this over with," he whispered, his low silky voice smooth, almost snake like.
Stepping in front of the mirror by the apartment entrance, Kai slowly morphed his features. His hair shortened to a near buzz cut, fading to a medium brown. His angular features softened to a more generalize face and his eyes became dark brown. Most importantly, he moved the sharp scar that sliced down the right side of his forehead to his right thigh. Nodding in satisfaction, he stepped outside his door and the anti-apparation wards and was gone without a sound.
The assassin reappeared three miles off from the well disguised Unplottable Malfoy manor. Kai had scouted the manor for a 5 mile radius for the past two weeks, studied the defences and observed the household's behaviours.
Breaking into a jog, Kai ran along the path he created in his mental map of the land toward his entry point. Less then a quarter hour later, he stood at the boundary of the wards, a mile still from the manor. The point of casting, that is the point which all the threads of the wards were tied was dead ahead at the very top of the dome. Sitting cross-legged on the forest floor at the edge of the warding, he quickly dropped into his meditative state and used his magic to feel along the wards to that crucial point. Strand by strand, he unravelled the rainbow of protections. Once he had unravelled all the warding, he held the loose ward threads and weaved them together in such a way that there was a hole 10 feet in diameter in the dome.
Dropping back within him self, Kai smirked, took a step back and slipped into his animagus form, a pitch black thestral. The horse-like creature stretched its huge black wings and leaped into the air, soaring high about the warding before diving at top speed through the hole. Landing softly on the ground, he shifted back into his human form, ducking low and moving at a quick walk towards his target, Malfoy manor, following his strategy to the letter.
Invisible, he observed the house's guards in their normal positions. He scanned the outside of the house for wardings that could be traps for him. Finding none relevant to him, he disillusioned himself and crossed the open yard, crouched low and eyes open for the guards that were circling in other areas. He reached the side of the house and immediately started climbing the bricking on the building, pulling himself up to the second floor balcony that lead into the elder Malfoy's bedroom. The assassin stepped silently onto the balcony, using his magic to scan the attached room as he had the house and also to sense the state of the room's two sleeping occupants. Kai quickly disabled an alarm ward and various other wardings including many monitoring wards that surrounded the door and room.
He slowly opened the balcony door, drawing the hilt of the dagger protruding from his right side and clenching it tightly in his fist. The assassin picked Malfoy out of the two forms lying sleeping on the king size four-poster bed; it was indeed him as he had felt the man's magical signature for the past two weeks. Lucius Malfoy's long platinum hair splayed across the pillows, mingling with that of his wife's. Kai wished that the lady had been absent this evening, but he had no such luck. He had a certain distaste for killing females such as she, with no training or ability to defend themselves, utterly helpless. That was why he was moving as soundlessly as possible. The dark haired youth hoped that he would be able to do his job quietly and while Lucius still slept so no one would be the wiser. He had managed it before and hoped he could do it again.
He crouched low beside the bed, weapon drawn blade down ready to deal the final blow. Suddenly lights blared on in the room and a loud buzzer sounded.
"Damn!" he hissed and dove for the balcony, only to have the doors slam shut in his face and wardings snap into place around the room. He spun on a heel and turned to face the room, dagger in hand, body low in a wary defensive stance.
He cursed inside his mind as he looked to the doorway to see the Malfoy heir standing there, wand pointed directly at him.
"Don't move," the youth, Draco if Kai recalled correctly, yelled at him. It was then that Kai realized he wasn't invisible anymore.
"He's here I see," a voice drawled from the bed as a fully clothed Lucius Malfoy got up, motioning for his frightened wife to leave the room, "Now, why don't you drop that nicely crafted blade you have there, your wand, and put both hands behind your head, hmm?"
Kai didn't move, he just stared down his target. Kai had no wand to give him so the situation was not going to get better if he yielded his knife.
"You can do this the easy way, my friend, or the hard way. Drop the blade or my son will kill you instantly."
Kai smirked darkly at Lucius calling him his 'friend'. The look didn't look near as menacing as it would have in his natural face, but it was dark enough that Lucius drew his wand and pointed it at Kai as well.
Deciding to play along, Kai dropped the gleaming silver dagger he had and kicked it towards the father and son. As Malfoy the elder bent down to pick it up, his eyes momentarily left the assassin. Seeing this, Kai gave a quick snap of his wrist, sending a disarming magic blast to the two, removing their wands from reach. Lightning fast, he was on the younger Malfoy, sweeping his legs and in the same movement, round-house kicking him into the wall behind him, knocking the youth unconscious. Turning on his heel, Kai spun to face his target who stood regally before him, exuding all the power he held.
Kai nearly smiled, 'A challenge,' he thought.
"Impressive," Malfoy drawled, "but you're not good enough, boy," Lucius drew a long elegant saber from a sheath on his hip that Kai had not even noticed.
Kai couldn't hide his sharp intake of breath as he felt the powerful death magic surrounding the sword, its aura making Kai's nose wrinkle in revulsion. Many a powerful wizard had died by that sword and their power was forever trapped in the blade. Cursing inwardly, he called his Dagger of Power into his right hand while simultaneously drawing his second battle dagger with his left.
"Fucking set-up," he muttered, shaking his head.
Magicked steel met magicked steel as the two fought. Malfoy was a talented swordsman, but not talented enough. A line of blood dripped down from a long cut of the Lord's face, telling of Kai's win of First Blood. Kai danced out of the way as the saber sliced towards his midsection. A ripping sound told him that he needed to move faster next time. He barely blocked a strike aimed directly at his neck, his two daggers crossed to catch the blade. Forcing Lucius' blade to the side, Kai struck out with a black booted foot, the powerful strike catching the blonde hard in the head and flinging him back.
"Crucio!" a shouted spell came from behind him and Kai dove hard away from his current position, tucking and rolling back onto his feet facing the doorway where 10 new opponents had entered. Thanking the gods that he had managed to dodge the pain curse, he stood warily, daggers raised as he stared down the new Death Eaters.
A tall, lean man stood at the head of the group, the magical aura was a swirl of darkness that crackled around him, telling of great power and great evil. This was not good.
"We came as soon as Narcissa alerted us, Lucius, now let me take a look at him," the tall man's voice was smooth, dark, like a snake's even, similar yet dissimilar to Kai's.
He stepped forward, staring hard into the eyes of the assassin as Kai worked diligently on the wards. Suddenly, Kai's magic felt like it was hit by a brick wall as layer after layer of warding was piled between him and escape.
"Tsk, tsk, young one, I saw what you did to the wards outside. I am compelled to let you live, your skills could be quite useful to our cause. Are you interested?"
This must be Voldemort, Kai laughed to himself, the man didn't seem that scary.
Voldemort glared at Kai, his eyes flashing red, "You find this situation funny? Huh? Do you know who you are dealing with? Boys, show him how its done."
'Okay, I'm going to do this the ugly way,' the assassin thought as he brought his magic up into a visible sword and dove for the balcony, magic slicing cleanly through the wardings, sending their threads whipping about in Kai's senses. Dispelling the sword in mid-stride he swan dived off the balcony, righting himself to land on his feet two stories below. He rolled to minimize impact and felt spells skim his back: fiery dark magic.
He darted towards the forest, hoping that reaching its safety would allow him to change into his animagus form and escape. With how powerful the Malfoy wards had been designed, he could go out the hole he created or not at all. They were a solid barrier. Unless he pulled the whole thing down, which he might have to do.
No, that would require him going into a trance. He'd couldn't afford that; he'd be killed.
Unfortunately, his path was cut off by fire from all directions. He jumped and dodged spell after spell, one hand holding a shield and another firing back spells just as brutal but more obscure than the typical unforgivables.
The assassin was getting frustrated; he was surrounded on all sides by what he estimated to be 20 Death Eaters. Oh yes, it was definitely a set up.
Kai knew he was in trouble when he felt Voldemort step into the circle.
"What say you now, assassin? Will you yield?" the Dark Lord hissed, voice easily crossing the distance between the powerful magic wielders.
Kai didn't answer, using the time to catch his breath and think of escape.
"You are too powerful to simply destroy, why not stand at my side?"
'Guy just doesn't take no for an answer, does he?' the assassin thought grimly, assessing his situation.
He couldn't change; he'd be shot down.
He couldn't apparate; there were wards.
He couldn't pull down the wards; again, he'd be shot down.
'Chances of fighting my way out: assessed as less than 5 percent. Well damn. I'm going out with a bang than.'
He shifted deeper into a fighting stance. 'There, Voldemort, you have your answer. '
"I see," red eyes narrowed. With a small gesture of his hand, he stepped back and the Death Eaters moved in. "Take him down. Coordinated strike C-360."
It didn't take long for Kai to figure out 360 meant he was surrounded for 360 degrees by enemies and that they would all fire simultaneously. What they were fired was no huge surprise either.
Now, no human could ever dodge 20 simultaneously cast Cruciatus curses all coming from different directions. Unfortunately for Kai, he was indeed human.
He dodged as many as could, jumping away from the center and towards those he assessed as being weakest in power. He threw up a shield, knowing it was futile. Seven curses hit his shield en masse, shattering it instantly.
Pain flooded his senses, like nothing he had ever experienced, it was maddening. He tried to remain standing but failed, falling helplessly to his knees, his muscles spasming violently. His vision blurred and he could only feel the Death Eaters circle him, surrounding him. More added their power. He forced him to accepting the pain as he was taught to, focusing his mind, drawing in magic from around him before flinging up the sharpest shield he could manage, slicing the connection between the caster and the spell, stopping it. As soon as the spells ceased, he and his shield collapsed, without the strength to continue holding. The Cruciatus did horrible things to your magic and your body.
That's when they fell on him, mercilessly kicking him in the ribs sending him rolling across the ground, undoubtedly breaking bones. One bent down and wrested his Dagger of Power, which he had managed to hold onto, from his hand, examining it. Kai's awareness returned at the loss of his precious dagger and he struck out desperately, sending a stunning wave towards the Death Eaters standing in front of him, surprisingly dropping three and rolling to his knees. He breathed heavily, his pain ridden mind forgetting about the others behind him until the steel of a blade sliced into his right arm and the handle of a sword was brought hard on the nape of his neck.
And then, he knew nothing but the darkness.
So, what did you think? Tell me, I'm just testing out the fanfiction waters so if I get a good response I'll keep writing, even when university starts back up in the fall (in my non-existent spare time...) so please review!