Title: Darkest Night, Shadowed Dawn
Genre: Drama, Romance
Main Characters: Harry, Draco, Severus Snape, Sirius Black
Secondary Characters: Lucius Malfoy, Remus Lupin, lots and lots!
Summary: DMHP. As their 5th year begins Rial Black (Harry) and Draco find themselves battling the prejudiced Light and the fanatical Dark as well as normal teen problems. Sequel to Midnight Sun, read it first. SLASH
It was a sultry late July afternoon, one of those that beg for a t-shirt, shorts and a glass of cold pumpkin juice. The figure sitting on a balcony had long since given into that temptation. His eyes were shut and he leaned back in a chair, skin transformed from ghostly pale to a light golden tan. Straight black hair was glossy with health and fell to his earlobes, usually tucked back behind one ear.
His aristocratic features were marred only by the long tattoo on the left side of his face. It was a serpent that shone a mixture of black and dark green in the setting sun. The serpent's head lay along the start of his cheekbone and curled around his ear and down the hollow of his throat. The tip of his tail was on his collarbone. It appeared to have been carved into his skin.
He opened dark emerald eyes and sat up with a sigh. Rial Black eyed the setting sun wistfully; he enjoyed sitting out here and soaking up the sun. This summer had been so different from his past 15 years. For once he didn't have to worry about being tracked down and insulted by his twin, nor did he dread his meals taken with family. He could be himself.
Rial didn't miss the Potter family household in the least. Zachary was welcome to his bedroom; he had a small suite of rooms for his use, including his very own miniature Potions lab. He'd been near giddy with excitement and joy when his father Sirius had shown him the room. He was determined to increase his skills and knowledge of Potions; it was his favorite subject at Hogwarts.
He smiled as he considered how much had changed in one year. This time last year he'd been called Harry Potter, the younger twin of the famous Zachary Potter, the 'Boy Who Lived'. He'd been ignored his entire life in favor of his older twin, to the point that his father James Potter had suppressed his magic to keep him from attending school.
He'd broken James' charm that summer and had attended Hogwarts for the first time in his 4th year. He'd become friends with Draco Malfoy and been Sorted into Slytherin house, where he'd immediately picked up three more friends. Blaise Zabini, Torian Lestrange and Pansy Parkinson had joined him in many pranks and helped him prepare for the Triwizard Tournament.
He'd been disowned on his second day of school, taken the name Rial on the same day he entered the Tournament. He'd completed three arduous Tasks and seen a foreign student die. He'd also seen the rise of Voldemort and watched Zachary leave him to die in the graveyard.
Rial's fist clenched. Remembering the end of last year could still make him furious. He'd gotten his revenge though. Ludo Bagman had come through and named him Triwizard Champion. The Cup was downstairs in a glass case in the living room. He'd also received a 500 Galleon prize.
After the summer holidays had begun he'd expected Sirius to place the money in a vault for him once he'd turned 18. To his shock Sirius had given him free rein on how to use the money, only advising him to spend it carefully and really think about his purchases. Rial had placed half of it in a vault. He intended to use the rest to buy school supplies, a few books for light reading and maybe a new broom.
The previous year Draco had mentioned wanting him to try out for the Slytherin Quidditch team. According to the blonde pureblood he was ridiculously light and he knew his reflexes were bordering on extreme. It had come in useful in avoiding his half-twin. However, his memory of the last time he'd seen Draco popped into his head and he resisted blushing.
Just before leaving their compartment on the Hogwarts Express last month Draco had given him his first kiss. He'd acted like a complete ninny, unable to even think until Draco had almost left the compartment. Since then he'd received two letters from Draco, one confirming their invitations to the Quidditch World Cup, the other a confirmation that Draco and his father Lucius would be delighted to attend his 17th birthday.
Rial was almost a year older than his friends, having been born in 1979. This should have been his 5th year but Zachary had been held back. James hadn't wanted his former friend's son placed higher than his famous heir and made the Education Department hold Rial back as well. At first Rial had been furious about being held back, now he was happy about it.
He smiled, tonight was July 30th. His birthday was tomorrow. It would be the first birthday party he'd even been given. They were keeping it basic, just a few friends and his father's brother Regulus. Rial had yet to meet his father's younger brother; he was an Unspeakable and kept exceptionally busy. Sirius had shown him a photo of him and his brother when they'd been younger and they were nearly identical.
He walked inside his bedroom and closed the balcony doors. It was almost time to go down to dinner.
Sirius Black sat in his favorite chair, perusing a report from the latest Ministry raid. They had been sent in to capture three suspected Death Eater supporters. The raid had been successful. However, the interrogation of the captives had not been. He scowled as he read the last few lines of the report and threw it to the side in disgust.
There was a single pop and the house elf Kreacher appeared. He bowed low and said, "There be a visitor in the foyer, sir."
"Who is it?" Sirius asked, rubbing his temple with two fingers. If this is Hawthorne AGAIN…
"Severus Snape," was the swift reply.
Sirius blinked in surprise and said, "Show him in here Kreacher."
Kreacher disappeared and a few moments later returned with the tall Potions Master.
"Have a seat," Sirius gestured to the soft, comfortable chairs scattered around the private family living room. He caught the house elf's attention and said, "Get our guest whatever he would like to drink and a small glass of firewhiskey."
Kreacher disappeared with another loud pop and Sirius winced.
"Headache?" Severus said dryly.
"Yes. It just appeared when I finished reading that report," Sirius waved a hand at the offending piece of paper. "We just finished a successful raid to capture 3 suspected supporters of the Death Eaters. Unfortunately, one of them is now deceased."
"James Potter used," Sirius retrieved the paper to find the exact wording, " 'required force' to try and gain a piece of information. The amount of force required broke his neck."
"Somehow I highly doubt that a captive would be that resistant to questioning," Severus replied.
"James has been almost out of control since Rial won the Triwizard Tournament. He's been pushing through administration that would make the most prejudiced pureblood in Britain proud."
"James Potter is a fool, he is simply proving it now," Severus stated. "On to other topics, Albus has called a meeting of the Order on September 1st. He asks that you come as soon as Rial is on the train."
"I'll be there," Sirius muttered. "I won't sit anywhere near James or Lily though."
"Sit with me then," he stared at the dark-eyed Potions Master in surprise. "I am more than well-known for hating their company; yours and Lupin's would be welcome."
Sirius grinned. "I can't speak for Moony but I'll gladly take you up on that offer."
"Professor!" Rial walked into the room, smiling at Severus. The Potions Master had been a frequent visitor, bringing Rial's required potions as well as teaching him both Occlumency and Legilimency. Sirius had been proud of his son when Severus had said he was a natural at the subjects.
Rial had a natural rapport with the snarky Professor and Sirius had never felt jealous or envious of their easy conversations. He knew Rial looked up to Severus and encouraged it to a certain degree. He had never encouraged the stiff, cold emotional standpoint though. It was one thing to hide behind a mask of cool aloofness, another entirely to become that person.
"Severus, seeing as you're here at the right time, would you like to stay for dinner?" Sirius asked.
"I would be glad to."
Rial looked between his father and Head of House, resisting a grin as he did so. His father greatly respected Severus and the Potions professor did likewise. They had many common personality traits, though they would both be defensive if he said so. However, Rial kept wondering if there hadn't been another reason for Severus volunteering his services this summer.
He walked into the dining room ahead of the pair, sitting in his customary spot. The private dining room had a table that seated 12. The larger guest dining room could seat 100 when fully extended. Rial had been astonished the first time he'd seen the room, it was the size of a ballroom. Black Manor had been at one point in time a highlight of the English coast.
The thing it was still known for was the extensive private gardens. There was a miniature maze out there, made of carefully planted rose bushes and hedges. Some of the hedges had been carved into the shape of magical creatures. In the center of the maze was a large hedge carved into the shape of a shield with the Black family crest.
It had taken Rial up until the middle of July to venture out into another maze. Up until that time he'd been haunted by nightmares about the last maze. He kept seeing that particular corner where Fleur Delacour had met her end. She had been 17, his age as of tomorrow. Relations were still a bit strained between France and Bulgaria, the home country of Viktor Krum. Krum had been unfortunate enough to be caught under an Imperious.
According to the Daily Prophet, Krum had been devastated when he'd been released from the Imperious and told that he'd killed Delacour. Apparently the pair had been seeing each other since two weeks before the last Task.
Rial shook those thoughts out of his head as Severus said, "I heard Dumbledore talking to Minerva the other day. He's going to make Zachary Potter a Prefect this year."
"What?" Rial hissed, nearly falling into Parseltongue. "Is Dumbledore an idiot?" he continued incredulously. "Prefects are supposed to be able to consider things objectively and help other Houses besides their own. Zachary is the most biased person in Gryffindor. I would trust Weasley over him as a Prefect!"
"You will find that I think the same way," Severus replied, looking at him without blinking. "Unfortunately Albus is not an idiot, he simply turns a blind eye to Zachary Potter, believing him the Savior of the wizarding world."
Rial snorted and said bitterly, "Some Savior he is. Comes face to face with the Dark Lord for the first time and turns his back on another student to save his precious skin."
After that Rial ate quietly and excused himself, walking upstairs to his room. Changing into his pajamas he brushed his teeth. Staring into the mirror he ran one finger along the snake carved into his skin. "We're both Marked, Zachy," he whispered. "I will never forget you leaving me to die."
He walked over to his bed and lay down, pulling the covers up over his hips. Shutting his burning emerald eyes he slid into sleep after clearing his mind of all thoughts. Meditation was quite useful.