A very short chapter today, but it's to let everyone know that, after almost a year of in activity, Harry Potter and the Brotherhood will continue. I apologize for making you wait so long and pray you all have it in your hearts to forgive me. I prize every review and hope everyone will enjoy what is to come.
In summation: I AM BACK!
An unfortunate part of having your body's natural magic in constant flux was the effect it had on the surrounding area if you were not fully in control.
As Altaïr walked down the corridor to the Headmaster's office, scorch marks and icicles began to form is his wake. The temperature dropped twenty degrees Celsius as he passed, leaving the floor covered in ice and snow, the pictures shivering in their frames and the ceiling awash with sharp looking spikes of ice. Every so often, blackened and molten rock smoked against the sudden blizzard, caused by bolts of lightning that snapped out to touch the walls in deadly arcs.
As much as he considered it his fault that Anaïs was hurt, someone else shared the blame. Someone who should have known that the Moody he hired was not the genuine article. Someone who had known the man for several decades and would've known his mannerisms.
The gargoyle that barred his path bared its teeth at him, a rattling hiss escaping its stone throat as it crouched as if to pounce and do battle. Its wings spread wide and threatening as the Assassin approached, waiting to strike.
As soon as Altaïr was in range, the gargoyle lunged forward, aiming to clamp its stone teeth around the man's throat. In its enchanted eyes, this was not a student or teacher that was mad. This was a killer who was extremely dangerous. Normally, the wards would never have let him this far, but for some reason he simply walked through the shields and barriers the school had erected in response to the violently-tainted uncontrolled magic.
Without pause, Altaïr's hands flashed up to the gargoyle's eye level, hidden blades springing out to use the beast's own momentum to drive their points deep into the enchanted skull.
As with most archaic forms of rune-enchanted guardians, there was a globe implanted in the skull where all the rune arrays were kept, distributing the magic in a parody of the human brain.
Once they were destroyed, the stone cracked and crumbled, leaving the Assassin to walk calmly over the large pile of shattered stone and gravel. He brushed a few motes of dust off his bracers as he kicked the wall, using his magic to jumpstart the rising spiral staircase. With a groan of shifting stone, the stairs began to rise, pausing sporadically as the wards fought back against the foreign magic.
The magic of Hogwarts was strong, the accumulation of several centuries of sitting on several ley lines. It was natural magic, flowing naturally and fierce. The Assassin grit his teeth, drew on his magic, and pushed.
With the natural magics of the wards thrown back by the sudden flux of foreign magic, the stairs rose smoothly and let the Assassin step lightly off the stairs to approach the door to Dumbledore's office.
As soon as his hand wrapped around the door handle, his entire body froze. Multiple body bind curses wrapped around his body, halting his advance with a jarring stop.
Behind the door, seated at his desk with wand drawn, Dumbledore allowed a small smile to break over his face. I have an Assassin trapped, he thought with glee. He'd been warned when Altaïr left the defense classroom, magic flaring with malicious intent. He'd thought the castle's wards, ancient creations that had held off many enemy hordes, would have been able to stop a single man, but something was allowing him to slide right through the magics.
Now, he, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, had stopped a man the very Castle of Hogwarts could not.
He stopped a man who's magic, legend and reputation was impossible. Who
Altaïr sighed inwardly, rolling his eyes as he casually broke the several curses with a flex of magical might. The arctic lightning storm had flared down halfway up the stairs, leaving the staircase half covered in fresh snow, and allowed him to stop announcing his presence with crackling booms that accompanied the lightning. With a smile, he turned the door handle and pushed open the door.
He raised a hand as he walked through the doorway, casually slapping away an incandescent bolt of red magic and flicking his fingers to send the aged wizard into the wall behind him, smashing the chair he'd been sitting in.
"…how?" coughed Dumbledore, his eyes wide as he saw Altaïr calmly vault his desk and sit on its edge, as if not a care in the world. "How can you slide right past my magic and the magic of Hogwarts?"
Altaïr's smile – if one would call a feral baring of teeth a smile – was the only thing Dumbledore received as an answer as the Assassin started flicking his wrist. A shining blade sprang out and in with a grind of metal and gears. He warily flicked his eyes from the blade to Altaïr's face and back, swallowing nervously.
"How can you not know the man whom you are employing is not the real man?" asked the Assassin, his voice flat. The blade had sprung out and stayed, shining in the torchlight. Deadly and sharp. "How did you miss everything?"
"Wh-what are you talking about?" huffed Dumbledore, his breathing hindered by the unseen force pressing against his chest. His eyes bulged behind his half-moon glasses as the pressure increased.
"How did you not recognize the imposter on your staff table? How did you not notice Moody wasn't himself?"
Dumbledore mouthed words with no voice, his face turning blue due to lack of oxygen. He was sure his ribs would not hold much longer against the vice like grip he was held in. He sent a plea laced jab of legillimency, hoping that he would feel it and let up for a second, before he succumbed to unconsciousness.
With a glare, Altaïr blinked and let the wizened man drop to his knees, the magic holding him up vanishing instantly. He let the man gasp for air on all fours for a moment with his robes crumpled around him before conjuring him a chair. He sighed and levitated the man into it, his temper under control enough to talk rationally.
For a few minutes, at least.,,,
"We are going to have a chat about you letting men into your school and be around my team without making sure they are who they say they are."
Alyssandra leaned against the wall, just shy of a mound of rubble, watching her friend descend from Dumbledore's office. She was idly playing with a shard of the stone on her hand, making it flip over her knuckles as one would a coin.
"What does the old man say?" she asked, slipping into step as Altaïr walked past.
"He knew that the Templar wasn't Moody," he said, casually vanishing the inch thick layer of ice he'd left in the hall with a wave of his hand. Alyssandra and he could have walked over it with no problems whatsoever, but he didn't want a student to slip. "His idea of solving problems is a 'Wait and See' approach. We're going to the infirmary, by the way."
"Is he mad? What if he'd been sent to plant a bomb or something worse?" she pondered as they walked down the stairs, walking on air when necessary, much to the amazement of several students. "Why are we going downstairs then?"
"I needed the walk. He claimed to have set his watchdog on him."
"Oh? Ah…the Potions Master. I like him," she purred. A gust of cool air ruffled their hoods as they stepped outside, walking beneath the moonlight. "He's got such a fragrance about him. It's good to see him again. Wonder if his blood still tastes the same."
"As do I, but I don't think he's ready to be re-introduced just yet," replied Altaïr, before jumping the two hundred feet necessary to land on the windowsill of the infirmary. Alyssandra continued along the grounds, off to patrol.
The red streaked Assassin let himself in, sliding over to Hephaestus without anyone noting his arrival.
"Give me back my bloody leg, you poxy bint!" screamed Moody, who was strapped to a medical cot in the infirmary pending treatment for dehydration, malnutrition, exposure to the Cruciatus curse and several other unidentifiable curses.
Despite the watchful eye of Madam Pomfrey, Moody had made it down onto the grounds in only a bathrobe in numerous escape attempts. After the sixth time, Pomfrey had confiscated Moody's wand and prosthetic leg.
After the tenth, she strapped his three limbs to the bed and threatened him with several foul tasting potions should he attempt to escape again.
Altaïr leant against the door, smirking beneath his hood as he looked over to the screaming ex-Auror. His HUD told him he was still suffering some aftereffects of several Templar curses, painless but active, but they would be gone within the hour, thanks to a quick healing from Hephaestus once he returned from Langley.
"He'll be fine," said the German Assassin, standing behind the Master Assassin, idly tightening a bolt on his leg with a ratchet. "He is strong, despite his age."
"Yeah, I know. He thinks he's stronger than he is, though."
"He doesn't want to be seen as helpless…" said the mechanically inclined Assassin, grasping his friend's shoulder in a quick squeeze of assurance. "Do not worry."
Altaïr nodded and smiled at his friend as he spun on his heel and left the infirmary. Hephaestus always knew what to say to help his emotional state.
Unfortunately, not all was well in Hogwarts.
Altaïr mood went from cheery to gloomy in seconds, his face going from smiling to stone cold as he looked over to the bed at the end of the room.
Anaïs was stable, but still in a coma. The Assassins could heal her wounds, but not much else. Forcing someone out of a coma by magical means was incredibly dangerous, even if the magic was Assassin type. Altair had heard of several attempts over the years, but all had ended in death for the patient and occasionally for the caster.
A few lengthy tests showed that she would be able to walk again, thanks to Altaïr, but her training would have to be slowed down by a fair bit. One does not simply wake up from an assault like that and continue as if nothing happened.
She'll survive, he thought as he knelt by her bed. His HUD scanned her quickly, showing no changes from the last time he'd been there. Vitals as normal as can be for someone in a coma.
He sighed, rising to his feet. Being unable to help his team mates made him restless and frustrated. He needed to move, train, do something to keep his mind off things. He squeezed her hand quickly in farewell, then turned on his heel and left.
Altaïr gave a casual two fingered salute to Hephaestus as he walked out, looking for something to do. An idle Assassin was a recipe for trouble.
As he walked down the hall, he caught sight of the Beauxbatons carriage and the several pale blue figures walking to and from it. He smiled as his skin shifted, hair lengthened, scars receded and eyes lightened.
Let's see how much she remembers…
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