~ Chapter 08 ~

Brennan watched everyone. There wasn't a moment when he felt he wasn't watching or searching for something hidden within a person and there was always something. The guy with red hair who frequented the bar on Thursday's was a fugitive looking for a place he could stay yet couldn't make up his mind where to go. There was an old lady who only ever entered Raven's gate on days that were odd numbers. On the thirteenth of every month a young man walked into the bar dressed as a black cat. Not that anyone noticed, he was always beneath a glamour.

There was always a pattern to a person, the one thing they found themselves doing without even realizing it. Tonight however it was difficult to find this in people as the minds of people within the club were stubbornly remaining on one subject.

Who would Brennan Nightrise chose to support in the upcoming war?

Quite honestly, he didn't know why they bothered to dwell on this. It was a small matter in the scheme of things. Brennan contemplated as he cleaned another glass.

"Another one of these Brennan!"

He was bartending that night but he found he didn't enjoy it as much as serving. Whilst he was bartending he didn't get the freedom to walk around and speak to everyone that he served. It was rather constricting but something he had to live with. After all why open a club if you didn't like the loud music or the crowds?

"Brennan, there might be a slight spill upstairs!" Sirius called over.

That had also been happening a lot lately. Sirius was great with the customers but bad with the service. Not that Brennan truly cared. His godfather was having fun and that was all that matter to him. It didn't mean however he wasn't going to make any type of joke.

"Yes and I suppose it has nothing to do with you at all." He said slyly.

Sirius didn't even bother to look sheepish. He just went straight into a rant about what tragedy befell him at the time.

"Some poor young sod bumped into my back as they were dancing and I immediately went to straighten so the tray wouldn't fall. I ended up dancing around to keep the drinks from slipping. It was a difficult thing but just as I was getting them under control another person bumped into me and they all crashed to the floor."

No one believed him but they went along with it anyone.

"Did you forget that you are a wizard Sirius?" Remus questioned.

Sirius appeared confused. What did being a wizard have to do with his accident?

"No?" he replied, confusion tinting his word.

"Then why didn't you simply clean it up with your wand?" Remus deadpanned.

Brennan snorted as did half of those listening. Sirius may have been out of Azkaban and free but he certainly hadn't recovered from the stint if his memory was anything to go by. He would get there eventually though with their help. They just had to be patient.

Upon hearing this Sirius turned sheepish and looked apologetically at Brennan.

"Don't look this way, just go clean it up before someone slips." Brennan said with a smile.

He could never become angry at Sirius. Even in his world, Sirius was someone that he couldn't ever become angry with regardless of their own decisions. Their relationship just wouldn't allow it. After all no matter how angry one became at a parent it always faded in the end when you needed them the most.

"But what if I said that I let someone else hold the tray for a moment and they spilt it?" Sirius whined.

Everyone burst into laughter. Sirius' stories were often hard to believe but it was hilarious to listen to the tales he wove. This one was no different. If he couldn't buy them with the first tale he would move onto something else. Sirius would do anything to get out of trouble once he was already in it knee deep.

"No Sirius, go and clean up the mess." Brennan laughed.

Pouting, he wandered away back upstairs. A loud muffled thump echoed around them as Sirius managed to slip on the spilt drinks. Sirius was one of the first to laugh at his mistake.

Brennan shook his head. Of course his godfather would laugh at himself. He was probably the only one that was carefree enough to do so and for that Brennan loved him dearly. Without Sirius everything around here would become rather dull rather swiftly. His actions and laughter were infectious. In a similar fashion the night continued on.

x-x-x-x-x

Brennan sighed as the music continued to blare through the speakers. It was rather beginning to get on his nerves as the guests upstairs had taken to stamping rather than dancing. The noise should have been kept at bay but something was faulty with the spellwork. He'd have to get a goblin to come and look at it in the morning annoying them for a small problem this late at night was just asking for trouble. They wouldn't appreciate it at all.

The club was full of laughter and speech as the doors opened and permitted several people to enter. Many guests tracked their movement as they entered. Brennan had been expecting them but he hadn't been certain that they would all turn up at the same time. Obviously the sanity in the Dark Lord helped to keep them in line now. The group certainly were something to look at.

The newly resurrected Dark Lord for once wasn't in the lead. Narcissa was taking the lead because no one really knew where they were meant to be heading well except for Fenrir. Lucius, Severus, Fenrir and Augustus were the Inner Circle members that the Dark Lord had brought with him. Brennan approved. They may have been diverse but there was a reason that they were present.

Lucius was the man's Right Hand. It was unlikely that they would ever be far apart during political missions such as this. Fenrir was present because of his heightened senses. He would be able to sense any deceit or harm coming their way. There was also the possibility that he represented the werewolves in general. Augustus was both a Death Eater and an Unspeakable. He would more than likely be present to tell if he were lying in any capacity. Severus was likely present because of the Dark Lord's suspicions. It was very difficult to be a spy and to be trusted however that was something only Severus could decide. Regardless of the Dark Lord suspicions only Severus would be able to pick a side.

Narcissa looked towards him as the others busied themselves with keeping their destination in sight. She was leading them directly there as she normally went by herself. Brennan had no problem with that. What did upset him however was the looks the customers were sending his way, they wanted to know his reaction to the Dark Lord revealing himself to their location.

As a neutral spot not many people that had already chosen a side entered the establishment. They did get a few but the majority of the patrons were neutral. Yet with this bold move everyone was eager to choose a side and most were leaning in Brennan's direction of thought. None would be able to tell what he was thinking however as he kept his emotions behind a rigid mask.

Brennan knew his customers were curious as to why the Dark Lord was present at all but he couldn't tell them anything. If he was present for a reading them confidentiality was his specialty and he wasn't going to break that for anyone.

"I believe I have other business to attend to." Brennan informed Sirius who took over.

Walking down the hallway towards his room, Brennan couldn't say that nervousness didn't exist within him. It had been many years since he had first arrived in this place and it felt even longer without the Dark Lord by his side. However he knew that rushing things wouldn't make anything better. Patience was what he needed most right now.

Did he even possess any to begin with?

Brennan didn't know. He had been so excited when he realized he hadn't died on that terrible night. Waking however without his lover beside him wasn't what he had expected at all. It had taken months for him to create his identity and start moving in the direction that he needed to go in. Building a reputation had also been part of that and the most tiring. Having no credentials didn't leave one with the best of impressions, after all one needed credentials to do their jobs. But he had eventually done it and everything had been leading up to this moment.

"Hello Cissa, I'm glad everything worked as planned." Brennan greeted.

Cissa smiled and nodded. It was thanks to this man that she had been able to regain the honour and prestige within the Inner Circle that they Malfoy's deserved. Not many people were seen as worthy within the Inner Circle currently because of their desertion of the Dark Lord. With their movements they had regained that and she couldn't thank Brennan enough.

Brennan turned towards the others sensing Narcissa's thoughts and only catches a glimpse of them all before he is caught in a very warming hug by Fenrir. It was close to the full moon as is proven by Fenrir's grip on him and his knowledge left by Remus.

"Yes, it is good to see you as well Fenrir."

Fenrir gave a pleased growl before releasing him. They had met a few years ago when Remus had been looking for a job. He'd been staying with Fenrir but didn't truly enjoy living out in the wild like his sire did. Remus preferred the comforts of solid structure and a roof over his head. Fenrir, hearing of his club, had brought Remus their as a last resort to aid him. They'd been close ever since then.

Brennan turned towards the shock of blond behind Fenrir next.

"It is a pleasure to meet you finally Lucius. From what I see you are a very charming man."

Lucius didn't blush which was as much as Brennan expected. He would have been rather disappointed to see a blush staining a Malfoy's face. After all, a Malfoy was never one to show emotion before strangers. All he did was nod back, accepting the compliment from a source his wife trusted.

Not bothering Lucius any further, Brennan turned towards Severus. That man had the worst decision in the world to make. Now that everything was about to change he certainly didn't envy the man. Yet he knew that Severus was a true Slytherin and would make the best decision to prolong his life and keep his promise. He just needed the chance first. Severus needed to act before Brennan could move.

"Severus," Brennan said, "you've had a hard past few years but it will get better."

Something flashed in Severus' eyes but he ignored it knowing that Severus was merely storing the warning away to decipher later.

"Augustus, you should remain as far from Prophecies as you can."

The man didn't even startle as he spoke his name. Brennan knew that he was once again going to be the one told to retrieve the prophecy but he wasn't going to allow it. Augustus was a brilliant man and they needed him as much now as ever. That had been one of their problems when the Dark Lord had first attempted to take over. Before Brennan could have aided in instructing him, he'd gone and already sacrificed several of his best players.

"And finally we arrive at the Dark Lord. There is so much I could tell you however in the presence of your followers I doubt you'd much appreciate it."

The Dark Lord's eyes narrowed upon him assessing if he was a threat but Brennan merely turned and ignored it. If he was going to do this right then the Dark Lord shouldn't have any reason to mistrust him. Turning and revealing his back was one of the many signs of trust between Dark Wizards. It left him wide open to be attacked by others even if he didn't really trust them at all. It gave them something to think about that was for certain.

"Narcissa says that you are the one that aided her in all of this."

It was the Dark Lord that spoke. Lucius took everything that his wife said at face value and the others hadn't been informed of something so important.

"I merely pointed Narcissa in the correct direction everything else she did was on her own. Well I'm assuming that Lucius also aided her in this however I can't be certain that is what truly occurred as after I gave her everything she needed I haven't read for her again until today."

It wasn't a lot to go on. However he didn't want to take the spotlight away from Lucius and Narcissa. They were the ones that had completed the ritual. He hadn't really had a hand in anything and even if he did, the Dark Lord wouldn't remember him straight away. His suspicions would have been raised and everything would have gone downhill.

"Why is your club in Knocturn Alley?"

That question he certainly hadn't been expecting. Brennan thought it was rather obvious as to why he was in Knocturn rather than in Diagon. Perhaps he was wrong.

"The Alley doesn't attract as many people as Diagon does because of its less than desirable inhabitants. It makes my location less noticeable and grants privacy to myself and to my customers regardless of whom or what they are." Brennan explained.

Fenrir agreed. Several of the werewolves in his area had told him that it was easy to slip into the club without notice. No one cared who you were within Knocturn Alley as long as you didn't cause trouble for the store owners. He explained as much to the rest of them as Brennan took his usual seat.

The room was identical to what Narcissa had first walked into. It was dark, gothic and something out of a Victorian house all in one. How Brennan constantly pulled it off and made it popular, no one who entered the club appeared to know. Yet Brennan looked at him amongst everything. The one thing that no one had ever seen was his true diving piece.

He never took it out or hinted towards what it might be. Thought knowing this was personal for each person, many customers wanted to be close enough to Brennan for him to use it. Brennan always sensed their intentions and went for other tools instead. No one could boast that they were close to Brennan except perhaps Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. However they kept to themselves as well which was very convenient for Brennan Nightrise.

"Why do you welcome so many different types into your club?" Severus enquired curiously.

Brennan looked towards him and smiled. Getting Severus curious in his club would be beneficial in the long run. Once Severus began to see things differently, once he had all the information he needed to make a decision, he would make the correct one for him. If he was led astray everything would be ruined and Severus would end up in the same place as he did before in Brennan's world.

"Someone has to stick up for those that aren't able to."

Those words struck Severus somewhere deep and Brennan knew it. Yet no one else could catch it.

"Why should I trust in your skills?"

It was the Dark Lord that spoke but everyone was thinking it from the looks on their faces. Seers weren't respected for what they did and were often met with disbelief. To find a true Seer was rare and to find one that was accurate was ever rarer. Yet it was past clients that let Brennan down. If someone disliked what he spoke they would call him a fraud.

"Some of my clients don't come here seeking answers but good news." Brennan explained.

That only appeared to bring on more questions.

"What is the difference?" Narcissa questioned remembering that he often warned it might not be what she wanted.

Brennan smiled. Narcissa was the only one that truly cared for the art. Everyone else present was sceptical at best. They didn't really care for what he could do they had only shown up because their Lord had asked them to. If they could, they would definitely be anywhere else.

"Answers can be either good or bad. Good news or good fortune won't be found here. I only speak the truth though occasionally that doesn't please those I read for."

It was the Dark Lord's turn to smirk though Brennan didn't quite understand what that meant. He wouldn't be able to make sense of a lot of the Dark Lord's thoughts until he read for the man personally or he spoke his thoughts.

"They call you a fraud when clearly you are doing your job. It is rather amusing. When they discover they were at fault do they ever return?"

Ah, so that was it. The Dark Lord wanted to see how cruel he was when dealing with those that call him a fraud. That was easy enough to answer.

"Indeed they return, but no, I do not permit them to have another reading."

Everyone chuckled darkly at that. Brennan didn't really see how that was evil or dark in anyway. He just didn't want someone who believed him to be a fraud to be in his club or his presence. That wasn't really unreasonable.

Of course as soon as that was all over, everything turned extremely serious.

"Why did you add tears of the desired into the potion?"

Brennan sighed. He knew this was going to be asked. The Dark Lord had obviously been waiting for the perfect time to attempt to catch him off guard and stutter his way through his explanation. It wasn't going to happen. He was far more composed than that.

"As Cissa has already explained it is to remember what you have forgotten."

The Dark Lord growled.

"I haven't lost any of my memories."

"There are other things that can be forgotten as well. You have already begun to feel the effects. You have more sanity than you've gained in years and the logic and reasoning to back up any plans that you see fit. Other changes will be with your followers. Your Death Eaters for one will respond to you more appropriately. They will become more loyal and eager to please and gain your attention without punishment. They will want to serve you instead of the need to serve."

He wasn't being very honest about any of this. All of these would happen however there was another effect that would start to kick in soon that he wasn't about to mention. If he did, Voldemort would fight it and then he'd have no hope. No, this was best left until it started to take effect. Then it would be too late to do anything about it.

The Dark Lord sensed that something wasn't quite right but he couldn't deny that he'd already seen the changes in his minions. They were eager to please him and he didn't seem as Crucio happy as he used to be. It made them work efficiently.

"I still don't trust your judgement."

Brennan shrugged. "There is nothing I can do about that. If you can't trust my judgement then I can't help with that. You have to come to trust me on your own terms."

The Dark Lord sneered but didn't speak of anything else. He wasn't going to deny that trust was something acquired because that would mean he would need to spend time around Brennan Nightrise for that trust to build. Dark Lord's didn't spend time with people to build trust. They let their power do it for them which wasn't likely to occur here at all.

"Very well Cissa, shall we start our yearly reading then?" Brennan said.

He wasn't about to waste time whilst the Dark Lord came to a decision about trusting him or not. Quite frankly he didn't expect that trust to be built over night or within a month. He hoped one day it would be there but it just wasn't to be right now.

Narcissa nodded unfazed with everyone else being present. She had faith in Brennan's abilities and she wasn't about to let him down just because the Dark Lord didn't believe in it. Besides she had missed her appointment last year because she'd been busy searching and preparing everything for the Dark Lord and to be honest she rather enjoyed these sessions. Brennan was as close to a friend as a Pureblood Lady could have in her circle.

Brennan poured tea again. He rather doubted that the men in the room would be pleased if he pulled out a crystal ball or a deck of Tarot cards. No the tea seemed safest. Making sure that everyone had a cup just to be polite, Brennan sat down and stared deeply into the depths.

He forgot that everyone was around him and merely fell into the future and what it would bring.

"This year shall be remotely calm for you." Brennan started.

The Dark Lord scrutinized him deeply. He'd been to a few Seer's before but this was something else entirely. Watching Brennan peer into the future was unlike anything he'd ever witnessed. It felt… real something he'd never thought of before.

"There shall only be a slight drama when concerning Lucius and your sister Bellatrix who will be rescued from Azkaban towards the end of the year. They will both go to the Department of Mysteries on his orders. There is nothing to fear however as they both escape. Lucius shall escape undetected as a Death Eater, Bella however won't be so lucky. Otherwise Lucius shall have a good year at the Ministry in general."

Brennan actually took a sip of his tea in between his readings for a fresh perspective.

"For Draco, he shall not be harmed this year. He will however suck up to the Ministry goon they are going to send over. There will be a slight mishap at the end of the year where he is caught up in the torture of a student for information."

Looking away from his tea, Brennan smiled.

"For obvious reasons I shall not continue to read for the Dark Lord through you."

Narcissa accepted this. It was more than enough that he had done so for the past few years. Considering he had taken them this far, she wouldn't ask for any more. Brennan had done more than enough to be considered a family friend to the Malfoy's after all. In High Society that wouldn't be overlooked by anyone.

"Why do you only predict a year in advance?"

The question was quiet and curious. Brennan realized that was the first time he had heard Augustus speak. He'd taken out a notepad and appeared as if he wanted to take down some notes for his work as an Unspeakable. More than happy to help, Brennan nodded his acceptance of this and answered.

"Future can change with a single decision. Nothing is set in stone unless people such as I don't tamper with them and even then I can get things wrong. If I go too far into the future then I risk being incorrect in my predictions. The further I go the harder it is to get details that are concrete which is why I didn't say the name of the student going to be tortured or what information this teacher is searching for."

Augustus wrote everything down diligently. Information was hard to resist for Unspeakables and since they were rather knowledgeable being able to provide information to them was rare. There was hardly anything that they questioned.

Brennan smiled as the man began to mumble about travelling into the future and the likelihood of something going wrong. If what Brennan spoke was truth than going into the future was something that wouldn't ever be possible. At least, you wouldn't be able to go to the same future twice.

"Are you interested in a reading now?" Brennan asked the Dark Lord.

The scrutinizing look returned. It was fairly unsettling as Brennan had never felt that look from Voldemort. Even in their past world it had never happened. The Dark Lord had simply accepted everything at face value he was that far gone. This was a good sign however for Voldemort's sign and a difficult road for their relationship if it ever occurred.

"I would like for you to read for me," was the final decision.


Is it ridiculous to be so pained by a cliffhanger I created? Because even I think that ending was rather mean. I'm sorry. Thanks for the reviews.

~MidnightEmber