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Chapter 18

(Ebony P.O.V)

We followed her down the winding staircase, and I saw that the way was lit by bright torches.

"The temple is on the bottom most floor, teaching and meeting rooms are the two floors before that, and the upper most two floors are living areas. You will be tested before anything else happens." She explained.

"Tested? But, we haven't had enough chance to study!" Hermione said.

"I mean on your magical levels and types. We have a way of determining who your magic will work well with. All priestesses are a part of circles of five." We all stepped onto the first, and highest level, and I felt magic wash over me. "What was that?" I asked.

"That was the time shield. It was activated the moment you entered. We knew you were coming, so upon your arrival, the time shield was ready to go."

"What's a time shield?" Hermione asked.

"It distorts time. For every day spent out in the real world, a year will pass here. If you work hard here, only a year will be needed for you to learn what you need to be at the highest level you can accomplish. However, the time shield will stop you ageing prematurely. Therefore, when the shield is lowered, you will be the same age as when you step out. Understood?"

"Completely." I said, frowning.

"What is wrong, young one?" The woman asked.

"For us, a year will pass, correct?"

"Yes."

"Well…"

"You are worried about your soul bond?" She asked.

"How did you know?"

"It is easy for any trained priestess to see. Do not fret, everything will be fine." She smiled. "Now, I am Angharad, I am of the lowest order of priestesses."

"I'm Luna Lovegood."

"Hermione Granger."

"Ebony Creed."

Angharad smiled. "Well, I should get back to the testing. When we test you, it will be to see what level of Priestess you will be, and who will be best in your circle. Now, circles consist of five priestesses. We have three levels of priestesses, the lower powered of the two, being called simply priestesses, and the most powerful, and smaller group, being what is known as high priestesses. I can feel the power from all of you, and I'm sure you'll fit in the highest group, but we still need to test you, in case I am mistaken. We must head for the temple"

She led us all down past the remaining three levels, until we got to the fifth level. We were greeted with the sight of a large silvery curtain, that blew in a non-existent wind, and seemed to have no way round it, bar shredding it to pieces.

Angharad stepped forward and passed through the curtain, seemingly disappearing. The three of us exchanged glances; Luna smiled serenely, and followed Angharad through the curtain. Hermione followed, with me right behind her. However, the power that I felt when I stepped through, spreading through me, testing me almost, brought me to my knees on the other side. I saw Hermione and Luna were both unconscious, with a couple of strange women, leaning over them.

I snarled. "Get away from them!"

"She is indeed powerful." The eldest, a greying woman with green and silver eyes said. "To have remained conscious during the test. But it is not something I have not seen before." She approached me and I growled, low in my throat.

"What did you do to us?"

"That was simply a test. New priestesses always have this reaction to the curtain. Sleep now. We will talk more when you awake."

I couldn't stay awake any longer. Darkness swallowed me, and I collapsed.


When I came round, someone was leaning over me. I blinked. "What the hell?" I asked suddenly, sitting up, and Daphne Greengrass jumped back. "What were you doing leaning over me?"

"Just checking on you." She said, haughtily.

"Where are Hermione and Luna?" I demanded.

"Relax." She said. "They're still out for the count." She pointed to two other beds. I noticed both my friends still asleep, but unharmed. I looked round, and saw another two beds in the large room.

"What are the two extra beds for?" I asked.

"Me and Hannah Abbott." Daphne answered. "It seems that we are all in the same circle. Hannah and I just woke up about an hour ago, in another temple. Then, we were flooed here. Or at least, their version of the floo. Everything seems to be silver. Like moonlight"

"So, they haven't been harmed?" Ebony asked.

"They're fine. And we're all going straight into High Priestess training the moment we're all awake, dressed and have eaten."

Ebony looked down, and saw that she was in a white nightdress.

"Ok, who the hell changed me?" I asked. "And where are my clothes? And my wand?"

"Your cupboard." Daphne pointed. There was a row of five cupboards against one wall. "But, I suggest you wear your training clothes. You'll be able to tell them from the others."

Just then, one of the two doors opened, and Hannah stepped out. She was wearing a silver skirt and top, was bare foot and her hair was damp.

"Good morning Ebony. The bathroom's now free if you want to use it." She said, smiling.

I nodded, and got out of bed. I used my nose, and caught my faint scent coming from the cupboard on the right edge. I opened the door, and found my clothes and wand, as well as several outfits like the one Hannah, and now I looked, Daphne, was wearing. But there was one problem.

"Sandals? They expect us to wear sandals?" I asked.

"Yep." Hannah said.

"What about other types of shoes?"

"Trainee priestesses wear sandals. Don't know why. I guess it's just part of the uniform." Hannah said.

"Right." I muttered. "This is going to be a long year."

I took a quick shower, and when I came out, I saw Hermione and Luna had woken up.

"Ebony, I've been wondering." Hannah said.

"What about?"

"How long have you had the cat features?"

"Since just before the world cup." I answered. "When do we have food?"

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Really Eb, you eat more than Ronald. Thankfully, you have better manners."

"Yeah, well, I'm not about to lose any of my food because I ate with my mouth open."

"You'd swear that at one point you were starved." Hermione said.

"Before Dad found me, I was." I slipped. I almost groaned. How did I let that out?

"What do you mean?" Hannah asked. The Hufflepuff girl looked appalled.

"Oh, my biological mother never told dad about me. Until we did a blood test, I thought dad adopted me."

"She meant about the starvation, Eb." Hermione said, standing up.

"Did she?" I asked, eyes wide, pretending to have been ignorant on the subject.

Hermione sighed, exasperated. "Ebony, what do you mean, you were starved?"

"Well, my treatment at the hands of my 'mother' and her husband were like the Dursley's treatment of Harry. Then, when Stryker got hold of me, after binding the adamantium to my skeleton, he wanted to keep me week, so I got minimal food." I shrugged. "That part of my life is over now though. And you know the saying- what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Now, are you and Luna going to get ready or not?"

Hermione and Luna went and got ready and then, we all left the room. But I knew that wasn't the end of the questions.


A/N: Sorry for the wait! Please REVIEW!