Well, sorry for the long delay, especially for such a relatively short chapter. I have no real excuse for the lateness of this chapter, other than the fact that I had some writer's block. Oh and Modern Warfare two has pretty much stolen my soul. It's been a herculean effort to try and take it back. I think I'm making some progress with that.

Warming up and running around the campus every time he went to school was just a habit for him after three full years; the usual monotony of running around in the long hallways of the school made him zone out, he knew these outer hallways like the back of his hand.

No one talked during the jog, though there was hardly anyone to talk to anyways. Dale's mind wandered to recent events, and somehow he began thinking about the newspaper he had read nearly a week ago, about the attack at the Quidditch World Cup. The sight of the Dark Mark had caused shockwaves, even in the Americas. Any time a dark lord rose to power, or something similar, immigration to the Americas always seemed to dramatically increase. It sent shivers down his spine when he thought about it.

It meant either all of the Western hemisphere would have to travel across the Atlantic to fight a bloodbath nearly as bad as the war with Grindelwald, or be flooded with refugees, and foreigners until his country was no longer his. The xenophobic outlook shared by many American witches and wizards would no doubt lead to a proverbial, if not literal, witch hunt for foreigners. Dale hadn't been alive during the Dark Lord's reign, but even he knew enough about He Who Must Not Be Named to justify that fear.

The fifty minutes of running didn't seem that long to him, and was almost shocked when his former Marine drill instructor of a PE teacher yelled at him to hit the showers.

This was the true reason he liked having PE first thing in the morning, the class always seemed to fit a schedule. Ten minutes of stretching, fifty minutes of exercising, and twenty minutes to clean up and cool off. In his mind it beat having a useless class such as herbology, and if he really needed to he could always finish a homework assignment at the last minute. He took out the schedule he had received in the mail yesterday. He was dreading having history next, not because he hated the subject, but because he knew that Professor Keels would go into a fit about the Dark Mark being cast. Dale had not been old enough to remember the fear associated with the dark lord, nor had any of his peers, which resulted in many of the students ridiculing Professor Keels on his paranoia, something which even he had admitted to.

The bell rang, signaling the ten minute passing period between first and second periods. The one other boy in the locker room, a second grader whose name Dale never caught, heaved his backpack and shot out the door. Dale imagined that either the kid was a brownnoser, who always wanted to be the first to class, or else he had to run to a the opposite corner of the school, which meant that he had to have herbology, potions, or care for magical creatures.

Dale however was relatively lucky, as the history classroom was not that far away, and was less than halfway between the locker rooms and the floo room.

Like all of the classrooms in Salem Institute, it was incredibly large. Though this resulted in fewer classrooms, this was only possible by the school's low student population. Entire grade levels could be taught in most classrooms, and most of the students in Dale's grade were in fact in the classroom when the bell rang to signify the end of the passing period. He sat next to his two cousins Samantha and John. It was either that or sit within ten seats of the Jessica, the girl who had a crush on him. The feeling was far from mutual. It wasn't that she wasn't good looking, far from it; it was that she was irredeemably stupid; and she obsessed over Harry Potter to no end. Dale just assumed she had a thing for people with interesting stories.

Even though Dale had kept his distance as best he could, he could still hear the obnoxious girl's loud rant. "Did you hear what happened at the Quidditch World Cup? I heard that a hundred Death Eaters came out of nowhere and tried to kill everyone. I hope Harry Potter didn't get hurt, his life must be so sad, not knowing his parents and stuff. I hope the exchange program actually works next year, I'd like to go there and…"

"Miss Roberts, if you will please be quiet so I can address the class?" The old professor asked. Dale stopped trying to strangle himself with his hands as the obsessive fan girl shut up. "And Mr. Franklin strop trying to strangle yourself every time Miss Roberts speaks about Harry Potter. And Mr. Franklin," The professor added, looking at John, "every time I see you mimicking another student I will throw you in for detention… one hour before school."

"Eh I've had worse." John muttered.

"My mom's cooking does not count as worse." Samantha retorted under her breath.

"As you all likely know, or as Miss Roberts has likely informed all of you, the Quidditch World Cup was attacked by a group of Death Eaters. Now as I'm sure all of you know the Death Eaters were once the most feared group in all of Europe, back when the Dark Lord was in power." Professor Keels said, as he wrote unintelligible notes on the blackboard. "And during those years when they were in power, England suffered a wave of violence and fear so powerful, that many nations effectively stopped accepting immigrants from other countries, just to lower the likelihood that Death Eaters would try and wage genocidal war against non purebloods."

"Is it true that we sent in special commando style operations back then to try and stop the Death Eaters?" Dale asked.

"No it is not true. Despite what you may have heard there were in fact no military operations taken during that time, everyone was afraid it would be too much like the war with Grindelwald. But I thank you for bringing that up. During that time several vigilante groups sprang up to fight back. Very few actually worked, with most groups failing quickly. The three groups started over here to try and fight the war didn't have enough strength or leadership to effectively fight. The members of all three groups were quickly killed by the Death Eaters." Professor Keels lectured. "Simply put the Death Eaters were unstoppable with the Dark Lord as their leader. Every minor victory against the Death Eaters lead to even more violence for the general populous. Until that fateful Halloween night that is…" Professor Keels stopped for a few moments.

Dale was honestly waiting to hear what Jessica was going to say, if only to make a quick smartass comment. Anything to get the point across that he hated her was perfectly fine with him. Sadly he never got the chance, as the professor brought his attention back to the class, and assigned a three foot essay on the implications of another dark lord coming to power by using the remnants of the Death Eaters.

So for the rest of the period the class did not do much more than write their opinion or they tried to. Many were still stuck in a vacation mindset, and did not wish to start new school year thinking about such thoughts.

Dale was halfway done when the bell rang. He noticed the somber look on the old man's face as he left the classroom, and for the first time, felt a slight twinge of pity for the man who had given him many sleepless nights filled with writing.

Yeah, I can't remember if I said this might be only ten chapters, but the way things are going it's going to take a lot longer than that. Hopefully I will write a new chapter faster than once every four months.

posted 3/9/10