Disclaimer: See Chapter One
A/N: Didn't quite make two thousand reviews with the last chapter, but the story did hit over two thousands favorites! A lot of great reviews keep them coming! There is a little bit of everything in this chapter, I hope you enjoy! Now on to Chapter Twenty of Passageways!
Lily busied herself in her room while her mother was downstairs in the kitchen preparing that nights dinner and her father was rummaging around in the attic. Ever since the car ride home Geoffrey Evans kept hearing that name echo in his mind…Eveningshade…Eveningshade…Eveningshade.
It would not leave him alone. Flashbacks to his youth assaulted his mind's eye. A whispered conversation between his father and grandfather at the hospital. 'What was it they were saying…something to do with that name? Why had they argued? Why had his dad forbid him to speak the name?
Was his great-grandfather a traitor to the Crown, is that why the name was forbidden to speak aloud? Perhaps a murderer? Were the Eveningshades' pirates? Though he could not recall the name showing up in any history book he had read, still it was a possibility. The name evoked so many questions; this curiosity about the connection to his family name had not been this strong since he was a child. And so he found himself in the dust layered and cobwebbed filled attic, looking for an old family heirloom.
Geoff continued his search for the object that could possibly shed some light on the issue, a relic he had not thought of since Lily was a child, a small rosewood box that his grandfather had given his father and had then come to him upon his own father's passing. Fifteen minutes later and a lot of stirred up dust had resulted in finding the object of his search.
It was about fifteen inches long and about three inches wide, and about two and a half inches deep, made of delicately carved and stained rosewood. At the center of the box was a pure black phoenix with spread wings and large fanned tail feathers. It was centered in the middle of a blood red circular field.
He took hold of the box and tried to open the lid. It would not budge. He adjusted his grip and tried again but without success. He turned the box over and over in his hands trying to find a way to open it. There had to be a way, he could see the small hinges, but no matter what he tried it would not open.
At length, he decided that later he would take it to the garage, maybe after dinner. There he would try and remove the hinges with his drill, if he was careful enough he would not damage the surrounding wood. He wasn't sure where this obsession was coming from, but the thought would not leave him since the car ride home.
"Geoff, love! Dinner is ready!" He heard his wife call to him from the bottom of the extendable ladder that extended down from the attic hatch to the floor below.
"Be right there!" Geoff Evans replied, shoving the long thin box into his back pocket. He descended the ladder and washed up a bit before heading downstairs. Walking through the family room, he placed the Rosewood box on the mantle of the fireplace and then entered the small dining room where his wife and youngest daughter had already taken their seats at the table.
On the table was a platter of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and coleslaw, and buttermilk biscuits. Geoff chuckled quietly. His wife Rose had become obsessed with Kentucky Fried Chicken since it came to the UK in the mid-sixties, though she never quite got the chicken recipe right it was still rather tasty.
"Oh shut it you!" Rose Evans mock glared at her husband knowing what he was chuckling about.
"I think I almost got the seasonings right, a few more herbs and spices and I'll have it. Just you wait!" She sniffed superiorly. Geoff lost it and began to laugh out loud, quickly followed by Lily who had been watching the interplay.
The rest of dinner passed by quickly with playful comments and chuckles here and there, the mood was light and homey. Something that Lily had missed, though she had barely been at school for about a month.
"So tell me sweetheart, how are things at the magical school of yours?" Rose Evans asked her daughter, as she brought in a platter of treacle tart, lily's favorite.
"It's wonderful mum! I've already learned quite a few spells, and potions class is the best. My professor says I'm a natural!" Lily beamed.
"That's wonderful dear. How about friends? Have you made many?" She asked.
Lily's countenance fell just for a split second but it was enough for the experienced mother of two to catch. "I have made one really good friend." Lily replied.
"Oh?" her mother asked warmly.
"Yes, her name is Narcissa." Lily told her mother.
"Narcissa?" Her father asked. "Now there is a name you don't hear every day." Geoff Evans chuckled.
Lily glared at her father. "She is very sweet and my best friend." Lily defended. "And her sisters are great too. Andromeda is a third year, and Bellatrix is a fifth year. In fact Bellatrix and Andromeda have taught me some very helpful jinxes to keep people from…"
"From what dear?" Rose asked worriedly, from the look on her daughter's face it wasn't something good.
"Well…there are a few bullies that don't like that I'm a muggleborn." She offered demurely.
"A muggleborn?" Her father asked.
"A witch or wizard born to non-magical parents." She sighed, but then hurriedly added. "But that's no longer the case with me!"
"So other students are bullying you?" Her mother stated fiercely, not catching the second part of her daughters response.
"Have you gone to a professor?!" Rose asked.
"You haven't, have you?! Lily Evans, you need to tell someone at that school what is going on or we will!" Rose stated pointing to herself and her husband.
"I can take care of myself mother!" Lily fired back. "And besides I can defend myself quite well, thank you! And Bellatrix would hex anyone into oblivion if they dared try anything to hurt me!"
"Sweety…" Her father said tenderly. "We are just worried about you. You are so far away from us, and it's hard for a parent to think of their child being all alone and picked on."
"But I'm not alone. I have Narcissa and Andromeda…a-and Bellatrix and now Harry." Lily replied a bit more evenly, her father's soft voice calming her down.
"Harry? Who is this Harry?" Her mother asked.
Lily smiled and twirled the ring around her finger that was hidden from view, her hands in her lap. "I-I'm actually glad you brought that up." Lily replied looking a little apprehensively at her father.
"Dad, I…I learned something today. A-about myself…about our family really!" Lily began hesitantly.
"Oh?" her father asked and motioned for her to continue.
"Y-you see, I'm, well that is…we are…" Lily sighed in frustration at her own lack of knowing how to start this conversation.
"Just spit it out Lils." Geoff told her with a warm smile.
"Dad, I know that you have never spoken about our family history except in very vague generalities, and I was too young when Grandpa Evans died to know or care about that sort of thing. But today I learned something about our family, about the…Eveningshades." Lily managed to say finally.
"Eveningshade?" Rose asked in confusion. "You mean the Evans, don't you dear?"
"No, I mean the Eveningshades; Great grandfather changed it to Evans. Didn't he father?" lily asked looking to her father for confirmation.
"Y-yes, I believe he did." Geoff Evans stated softly, as a clearer memory of the conversation that he had overheard between his father and his grandfather in the hospital came to him. Geoff stood as the scene from the hospital came into focus. He paced a bit before speaking again.
"Y-your grandfather was told by your great-grandfather that the true name of our family was Eveningshade and that he hoped that one day our birthright would be restored. Your grandfather had angrily replied to him, that what was lost should stay lost and that he didn't want his family to be associated with such unnaturalness ever again. I didn't know really what he meant by those words. What did they mean Lily, do you know?" Her father asked questioningly.
"I believe I do dad. I believe great-grandfather at one time was a…a wizard, a magical like me. Or at least a squib." Lily proclaimed softly.
'What is a squib dear?" Rose asked her daughter.
"A child born to magical parents but is not magical himself or cannot access his magic for some reason. Lily explained.
"Not, that I don't believe you, love. But how can you be sure that he was a wizard. I never have heard of anyone else in the family having magic." Geoff replied skeptically but was willing to hear his daughter out.
"Because…because I met an Eveningshade, father. He told me of my…of our heritage." Lily replied nervously.
"Just because you met someone, with the same last name as our ancestors, doesn't mean that we our descended from the same line." He replied sympathetically.
Lily sighed heavily. "Dad, there are means by which the head of a magical house can detect a person of his bloodline."
"And this Eveningshade you met, he is the head of his house?" Geoff raised an eyebrow.
"Lord Eveningshade, and he is dad." She replied.
"I don't know sweetheart. How do you know if this guy isn't just telling you what you want to hear?" He offered.
Lily looked down at the table trying to think of a way to explain to her father how she knew it was the truth. "Dad, when he touched me…"
"HE WHAT?!" Geoff Evans started with a raised voice.
"Not inappropriately father! He took my hand! Sheesh!" Lily shook her head and rolled her eyes. Her mother chuckled at her husband's embarrassed look.
"As I was saying, when he took my hand, my magic flared and seemed to almost sing. It-it was recognizing him and I felt his magic recognize me in return. There was this intense feeling of familiarity it-it was intense!" She told her parents.
Geoff sat back in his chair and slowly shook his head; he placed his hands on the table and looked at his little flower. Lily could see the doubt in her father's eyes. She reached out and placed her small hands on top of his larger ones in a comforting gesture.
It was then that he saw it. Her father leapt to his feat, his chair falling over backwards to the floor. He held up Lily's right hand and stared unblinkingly at the small ring on her ring finger. He immediately recognized the symbol that was on it.
Geoff Evans swallowed hard and then looked into his daughter's green eyes, the same eyes that he bore. "Sweetheart, where did you get this ring?" He asked softly.
"It was created for me by Lord Eveningshade." She didn't mention how and from what it was created, she didn't think her father would take it well if he knew it was created from her blood and the blood of Harry and Bellatrix.
"Wait here for a moment." Her father said mysteriously and then left the dining room. A few moments later he had returned with a beautiful thin box. He turned it around and held it with both hands so the seal was pointing away from him. "This belonged to your great grandfather and was given to my dad and then to me."
Lily looked at her father confused at first but her eyes suddenly widened as she saw the same crest on the box as was on her ring. "The Eveningshade crest." She whispered.
"May I?" She asked holding her hand out for the box. Her father nodded and placed the box into her hand. The small box suddenly began to glow a rich golden color at her touch. Slowly the lid began to open revealing its contents. A wand.
It was ten and a half inches long with what appeared to be two distinct colors of wood fused together spiraling each other seamlessly. One half was a dark ebony color and the other a bright ivory. It was in Lily's opinion a most beautiful piece of craftsmanship. She reached for the wand with her right hand and it literally jumped into her awaiting palm.
A surge of powerful magic went through Lily as the wand chose her. Her parents involuntarily stepped away from their daughter as she was enveloped by a bright light that filled the room. Rose Evans gasped as she witnessed her daughter's green eyes begin to glow dramatically. As the light around Lily faded and her eyes took on their normal hue, she staggered breathlessly and only the presence of the table behind her kept her from falling over.
"Whoa!" Lily breathed heavily as she leaned against the table. "I guess that answers the question of whether or not we come from magicals!" lily grinned and then promptly fainted.
No sooner had Harry and Bella returned to their room after dinner than Bella had jumped into Harry's arms, wrapping her legs and arms tightly around her husband. She kissed him passionately before pulling back with the largest grin on her face.
"Sweet Morgana, you were brilliant Harry!" She squealed excitedly.
Harry couldn't help but smile in return at her enthusiasm. "Yeah? You think so?"
"Harry, you got grandfather to side with you! That is huge! With his vocal support the rest of the family will not dare to challenge you! Even Uncle Orion won't publically take sides against you now."
"I noticed you were pretty silent during dinner." Harry stated with an arched eyebrow.
"I was being the dutiful wife." Bella said in her most aristocratic voice, before smiling. "It was your time to show strength, love. You needed to do that on your own in order to prove to the rest of the family that you are a leader, the Head of House Eveningshade, and a force to be reckoned with."
"I see." Harry replied, flopping back on the bed, exhausted from the mental exertion at dinner.
Bella lay next to him, cuddling into his side with her head on his shoulder. "This first meeting, Harry, was all about politics. The family would politely listen to you, then challenge your positions and then judge you worthy or not of their allegiance. They respect only strength my love." She softly spoke.
"Soo, dinner was a test then?" She nodded her head. "Why didn't you tell me beforehand?" Harry asked in a serious but nonthreatening tone.
Bella sighed and tightened her arms around his waist. "I didn't want you to over think things and become too concerned with how they would react or try and pander to them. I wanted you to be yourself and speak from your own convictions, and show them the strength of those convictions. I wanted them to see what I see, a strong and passionate man, a man who will take a stand, and save our world despite itself."
"So is the testing over with then?" Bella took another long breath and let it out briskly.
Bella shook her head. "No, my love. It's just begun. The strategizing will now start, but I believe most of the family will follow grandfather's counsel without question, but Uncle Orion and perhaps Aunt Walburga will not be easily swayed. I wish we would have thought to bring Aunt Walburga's portrait with us." Bella sighed.
"That wouldn't have been wise, since we're trying to keep secret that I'm from the future." Harry smirked playfully earning him a swat on his chest.
"Well, we should be fine without it, I don't think they will defy grandfather, they may be a source of constant contention and testing your limits though. The other problem may be great-aunt Cassiopeia." Bella replied.
"She seemed to be anti-Voldemort though." Harry looked at her confused.
"I'm sure she is, but she is also anti-Dumbledore. She is a true neutral; she will be hard to convince that the family should get involved with the coming conflict. She won't want to risk the family unnecessarily. "Bella shook her head.
"She and Aunt Dorea are the keys to the neutrals though. We know Aunt Dorea will aid us; fortunately she is well thought of and respected and has many, many connections with neutral families from great and minor houses. But if we can get Aunt Cassie to see our side of things, we could really pull in the neutral families, especially those on the fringe." Bella explained.
"The fringe?" Harry asked.
"Kind of hard to explain, you see there are still certain families that follow the old ways." Bella began.
"I thought the Blacks followed the old ways?" Harry asked propping himself up on his elbows to better look at his wife.
"Well, there are the old ways and then there are the OLD ways, in fact these families are actually probably more in line with the Eveningshades than the Blacks." Bella explained.
"How so?" Harry asked curiously.
"Well for starters they practice the blood arts and ritual magics like the Eveningshades. You see Blood Magic has been outlawed for centuries now, but these families never gave up the practice. Though the Ministry has outlawed it they are too afraid to truly enforce it, because Blood Magic is essential in long term curses, and no one from the Ministry wants to get cursed by these families.
Now, Ritual Magic, is almost a lost art as well as only those who have the gift of enchantment can properly use them. This gift runs in the Black Family, I have it!" She said proudly.
"Aunt Cassie has it and I think Aunt Dorea does as well, but it is weak in her. She can only perform minor rituals. The fidelius charm is an example of a powerful enchantment, which is why only a few people can do it." She said.
"Dumbledore supposedly cast the Fidelius charm on my parent's home." Harry replied tersely.
Bella caressed his face to calm him down. "Yeah, I heard he was an enchanter, though I don't know how powerful." She replied.
"So they are fringe because they practice old magic?" Harry asked to make sure he hadn't missed anything.
"Yeah, that and many still follow and worship the old pagan gods." She said.
"The pagan gods?"
"Yeah, like the Morrigan, or Hecate, or even Hern. There is quite the mix of Celtic and Roman gods that are still worshiped and their rituals practiced. Most of the modern houses and the Ministry consider them to be barbaric practices, but because of the ancient status of their houses they can't be kicked out of the Wizengamot for it. But it has been decades and decades since most have even attended a Wizengamot session." Bella explained.
"So your Aunt Cassie knows these fringe families then?" Harry asked.
"Oh yes, Aunt Cassie is a follower of Brigid and the Morrigan. In her youth she was actually a high priestess of the Morrigan." Bella told him.
"Wow, what kind of family did I marry in to?" Harry teased.
"The best mister!" Bella replied and dove on top of Harry, starting a tickle war between the two teens. Bella managed to get on top of Harry, and straddled his chest while pinning his arms above his head. Her long dark hair fell forward and draped both of their faces almost blocking out the fire light that was softly illuminating the room.
Their eyes locked on the other's as their breathing slowed from the intense wrestling around on the bed. Bella leaned down turning her head slightly, Harry mirrored her actions and soon their lips met in a soft and tender kiss. She slid her lips slowly over his and seductively began to trace the contours of his mouth with her tongue.
Her mouth hungrily moved over his and gently asked for entrance; he offered no hesitation as he parted his lips and their tongues met and then began their own wrestling match for dominance. She slid her body down the length of his, she grinned saucily as she felt his excitement against her body. Slowly she ground her hips into his causing him to moan loudly at her teasing.
Her gyrations on top of him went on for several minutes and were getting too much for Harry; he was nearly ready to explode at any second. Suddenly, Bella jumped off of him giggling. "That was nice…I think I'll just go take a shower and get ready for bed now." She stretched and yawned exaggeratedly and gave him a smirk as she walked toward the bathroom door swinging her hips.
"Oh you evil little minx!" Harry shouted and jumped off the bed and dashed toward her. Bella squealed and laughed uproariously as she dashed into the bathroom quickly followed by a hot and bothered Harry.
Lily awoke the next morning feeling a bit out of sorts, she couldn't remember coming to bed, in fact the last thing she remembered was reaching for the wand in the Rosewood box…her great grandfather's wand!
She sat up quickly realizing she was in her room and immediately looked for the wand. She then saw it across her room sitting in the open box it came in on her dresser. She stood from her bed and without thinking raised her hand, meaning just to walk toward the wand and pick it up, but to her surprise the wand rose from the box and floated to her outstretched hand.
"Wicked!" She said slowly. She felt the wand literally hum in her hand. She felt connected to it, truly connected, not like her other wand which felt fine but this was entirely on a different level. She knew that this wand was meant for her…a perfect match.
Something else was different as well, as she took stock of herself. She could feel her magic flowing more freely through her than it ever had, as if something had been dormant…sleeping, and was now awakened within her. She wanted terribly to perform a spell to test herself, but she knew it was forbidden to use magic outside of school, so unfortunately she would have to wait.
Wondering if this had something to do with the Eveningshade magic, she pulled from her school bag an Eveningshade history book, which Harry had loaned her. It was the history of Marius Eveningshade, and the war of 1648. Harry had mentioned that she could glean quite a bit of information on the family by reading this journal. The story it told had Lily captivated.
England was in its second muggle civil war, but the magical houses never squandered an opportunity to cause their own mayhem under the guise of collateral damage from the muggles. In that year House MacTavish decided to test their mettle against House Eveningshade. Their goal was to take the lands and chattel that the wealthy house had and make it their own.
The MacTavish first struck a small village of Eveningshade kinsmen while they slept in their beds. Every adult wizard and every adult witch who fought back were butchered and their heads put on pikes lining the road through the village. Sixty-five men and woman were killed, while nearly seventy women and children were taken as spoils of war.
Bolstered by their complete victory over the village they moved to the next village where other Eveningshade kinsmen lived and wreaked the same devastation on it. Attacking under the cover of night, they would kill, rape and burn homes down with the families trapped inside. They made a terrible mistake this time and left a few people alive to warn their liege of what had happened and who was doing it.
Further emboldened by their success House MacTavish launched an assault on Castle Eveningshade in Yetholm. With two hundred wizards, and five battle mages they felt confident that they could take the castle and claim the Eveningshade wealth. However Lord Marius had been warned by those villagers who had escaped the slaughter and was ready for the attacking force.
The MacTavish army of wizards and mages confidently entered the grounds surrounding Eveningshade Castle. Lord MacTavish in his hubris called out to the lord of the castle and challenged him to come out and meet his army on the field of battle instead of cowering within his castle walls.
Lily read on in horror and fascination as a piece of her family history was literally unfolding before her eyes as she read the words on the pages of this ancient book. A mental image formed, it was like watching the tele, and she could see what was happening as if she was there. She briefly wondered what spell was used to create this piece of extraordinary magic. She turned back to the book and began to read again and was pulled back into the events.
The large castle doors slowly creaked opened. A thick and cold mist poured from the doors and on to the grounds. There was something or someone stirring just behind the large doors, silhouetted just out of focus. Soon the silhouette began to move forward, it was a solitary man. No…wait, it was more than one.
Out they came in a straight line until the first man stopped and five silhouettes broke to the left and five more to the right. They formed a skirmish line, each silhouette about six feet from the other. As the images began to sharpen, eleven men in hooded black dragon leather battle robes stood silently and motionless in front of the two hundred plus force just a hundred yards in front of them.
Lily gasped and sat up straighter as she saw eleven men defiantly face down the army of Lord MacTavish. Her heart was pounding wildly; the scene was awe inspiring in its apparent hopelessness. How could eleven wizards hope to defeat this force were they were outnumbered nearly twenty to one? She grabbed her pillow and held it tightly to her chest as she continued to watch the scene unfold before her.
"Is this all the men you could scrape together?!" Lord MacTavish mockingly laughed and many from his company laughed as well. But not a sound did the eleven wizards make, but silently stood their ground.
"I have you outnumbered, surrender now and I will spare your women, but I'm afraid your men will receive no such quarter." MacTavish chuckled.
Again the men remained silent and unmoving. Unease fell upon MacTavish's men, as they looked upon the eleven who had not moved an inch since they arrived, nor had they spoken nary a word. It was unsettling.
Eleven heads began to look up at the opposing force; gasps were heard up and down the MacTavish lines as eleven pairs of eerie glowing green eyes stared back at them. With unnatural speed eleven wands snapped into eleven hands and were held loosely to the side of each man.
The temperature suddenly dropped twenty degrees as the mist rose up from the ground and surrounded the two opposing forces in a shroud of bone chilling murky haze. It made the glowing green eyes of the Eveningshades seem much more ominous.
Lily squeaked unintentionally, and began to chew desperately at her fingernailsas the tension rose to incredible heights. She knew that she was not part of what was happening but her emotions were off the charts, she felt fearful and anxious as the scene was about to climax.
Lord MacTavish became visibly nervous, an affliction that quickly spread to his men. Someone screamed a blood curdling intonation, whether it was a scream of fear or a battle cry, it did not matter, but it did result in the first spell being cast from the MacTavish lines.
The spell cast in panic or haste went well above the heads of the eleven, but it was all the incentive they needed to retaliate. Their wands were a blur of such speed that it was impossible to see the movements required for each spell.
With deadly precision twenty men lie dead before the MacTavish army could even return fire. They moved with the speed and agility of vampires. The mist then lit up in a rainbow of colors as spells began to be fired fast and furiously.
Three Eveningshades ran head long into the MacTavish lines cutting wizards down and leaving a trial of dismembered limbs and entrails as they passed through. The three came face to face with the five battle mages who were at the rear of the force.
With their long staffs they let loose a hail storm of powerful blasting spells that caught one of the Eveningshades flat in the chest splattering small pieces of him across the field. The remaining two Eveningshades cast their eyes on the five mages who were now bearing down on them. The mages smirked as the two black cloaked wizards stood still.
The mages twirled their staffs ripping hundreds of blades of grass from the ground and caused them to hover in the air in front of them. With another wave of their staffs the blades of grass became sharpened blades of steel. Still the two Eveningshade did not flee. They walked slowly with purpose toward the five mages.
With looks of smugness the mages banished the hundreds of miniature razor blades at the two men. Their looks of smugness suddenly fell and became looks of surprise, and then horror as the razors passed right through the cloaked men as if they were not even there. The blades continued to travel and struck several of the MacTavish men.
Two dozen men fell screaming from the dozens of punctures and cuts from the transfigured blades of grass, five fell dead from the attack gone wrong. The next thing the mages saw were the wands the two Eveningshade men were carrying, elongating into double edged swords.
Again with inhuman speed the Eveningshades fell upon the five mages and liberated their heads from their shoulders and further bathed the ground in their enemies' blood. Screams of mercy began to echo as wizards fell to the drenched earth. The smell of blood and gore flooded the battlefield and hung heavy in the air.
Lily fought with everything she had not to wretch at what she was seeing. She was already in tears as she witnessed the horror of what a wizard can do to a wizard. She was also stunned at the magic that her ancestors were using and wondered briefly if she would learn how to wield this kind of magic as well.
Whips of fire, and ribbon cutters, cut down men left and right. The Eveningshades moved like ghosts seaming to become wisps of smoke one second and then solid the next. The MacTavish had never seen anything like it, their fear of this unknown type of magic turned into desperation for survival. That desperation turned into an inability to focus on their own spell work and soon they became nothing more than easy prey for these demonic Eveningshades.
The battle soon became one sided as the Eveningshades laid low any wizard they confronted. Soon the battle was over. They had lost three of their own, and left no enemy alive except for one. Lord MacTavish. He had managed to apparate away before he was taken, but in his haste to flee after watching his invincible army being decimated, he lacked the concentration required for apparition, resulting in his right leg being completely severed from splinching.
The leader of the Eveningshades stepped forward and lowered his hood, and looked to those with him. "Gather the others."
Lily watched as twenty Eveningshades appeared at what could only be called a hill fortress. It sat on a large knoll, surrounded by two sets of earthen and wooded battlements that provided two layers of defense against an invading army. Lily wondered how the Eveningshade were going to get past this.
The ground began to shake but her ancestors paid it no mind, a loud roar was then heard as something was crashing through the surrounding forest. Soon a large Hibernian dragon came into the open, it was being led by one solitary man who was walking along side of it and seeming to talk to it.
Lily wondered if this was another demonstration of Eveningshade magic,the ability to talk to and control dragons. It would be an amazing ability to have, dragons were known to be magic resistant so was there some other means by which her ancestors controlled them?
The dragon was led to the first fifteen foot high battle works and with a large intake of breath, belched out an impressive stream of fire that immediately set the fence ablaze, green and purple blasts of light indicated that whatever spells or wards that had been on the battle work was now destroyed by the dragon fire.
Witches and wizards from the castle began to shoot spells at the dragon from the cover of the stone walls, but most spells fell short of reaching the dragon, the few that did reach it, bounced off harmlessly.
The second battle work was then set a blaze by the dragon with the same results as the first. Smoke and cinder permeated the air and seemed to be pushed magically toward the castle, obscuring the view of the attackers from those in the castle. The roar of the dragon echoed through the dark night wanting to attack the castle but his handler spoke to it and calmed it down.
Lily watched as the Eveningshades walked through the flames and smoke like demons walking out of the depths of hell, their green eyes aglow with power and determination. They strode slowly forward to the castle, a line of walking death bringers. Spells from those within the stone walls were raining down on them but few came close to striking them and those spells that did come close were batted away like a pesky fly.
Twenty men came to a stop at the stone wall of the castle, dozens of eyes roamed over the walls searching for something. One by one the eyes stopped on a certain point on the wall and then each took on a look of supreme concentration and then one by one they stepped through the walls.
Lily gasped as she watched in amazement as the Eveningshades walked through solid stone! 'How did they do that?!' She wondered gob smacked. The next thing she saw was the complete annihilation of every adult witch and wizard within the walls, they had found Lord Hamish MacTavish and made him watch as his family and his house was made extinct.
According to the record within a time period of two weeks, every MacTavish was sought out and killed, except for the children who were all taken and bound to House Eveningshade or its allies, upon reaching their majority they were made to take oaths of loyalty.
Lily closed the book and sat back against the headboard of her bed. She sat there silently and tried to process what she had seen. Even with her limited exposure to the magical world, she knew that the power and magic the Eveningshades demonstrated was beyond what the average witch or wizard could do, and it excited and frightened her.
The next day Harry and Bella joined the rest of the Black family for a light breakfast in the back garden, politics was set aside for the morning in lieu of lighter conversation. James and Sirius tried to put together a pickup game of Quidditch, Regulus was all for it but Andromeda and Narcissa were not interested in the least.
The boys finally convinced the girls to play a game of the wizarding world's version of tag. Only low powered stinging hexes were allowed. Regulus was given a training wand that only had three spells it could shoot. A stinging hex, a tickle charm, and a tripping spell. It was an every witch or wizard for themselves and the last one not hexed was the winner.
Harry smiled from the table where he sat with Bella, Charlus and Dorea Potter, his grandparents. Harry watched his father at play, he looked so carefree and full of mischief, and he wondered if his childhood would have been similar if his parents had lived. Would he have grown up with cousins and other family members around him?
The smile that he was wearing slowly morphed into a pensive and wistful look. He had missed out on so much. He did not have a childhood, none to speak of really, no friends to play with, the Dursleys' made sure of that. He had been manipulated and moved about like a pawn on a chess board. Harry's mood was quickly falling and becoming morose.
"Will you walk with me my lord?" His grandmother's voice shook him out of his sullen thoughts.
"Wha-what? Oh of course!" Harry replied hastily, forcing a smile onto his face.
Bella looked at him and suddenly noticed the far off look of her husband. "Shall I come as well?" She asked.
"No need dear. I'd like to speak with Lord Eveningshade alone." She said for the benefit of the others.
"Offer a lady an arm my lord?" Dorea asked as she approached Harry.
"Of course." Harry replied extending his elbow. Dorea Potter slipped her hand through her grandson's offered arm. They set off toward the large pond to the east of the patio.
"Knut for your thoughts dear." Dorea stated with a warm smile. "You seem to be in deep thought about something. Something, that is troubling you?"
Before Harry could ask a stunned 'how did you know?' She answered his unasked question.
"James often gets that same look on his face with there is something troubling him." She said patting his arm as they strolled the grounds.
Harry sighed deeply as they walked. "I was just wondering…wondering what my life might have been like if…"
"If things had turned out differently?" She finished for him. Harry nodded glancing over at his father sneaking up on an unsuspecting Narcissa.
"Harry…I won't pretend to know the answer to that question, and I will not patronize your intelligence by stating that your life would have been a bed of roses. The truth is, is that we will soon be at war and there are no guarantees how any of our lives will turn out. As a mother and a grandmother…" Dorea squeezed Harry's arm affectionately.
"…I would do and will do whatever it takes to protect my family. You being here, has given us an advanced warning of things to come, an opportunity Harry, an opportunity to change our fates. You may never have the childhood you dreamed of, my dear boy. But perhaps this new future you intend to bring will be brighter for all of us.
I know that there is a certain young woman who is watching us closely back there, who is hoping for a long and happy life with you. Harry, now is the time to live for the future, not to dwell on ghosts and dreams of the past. Love your bride, protect yours and her future and the future of your own family you will have with her one day."
Harry looked back at the table where Bella was watching him with worry, but with obvious love in her eyes. 'It was time'. He sighed. Time to let go of foolish childhood dreams of a home and family he could not have and instead fight for the one which was now right in front of him. Harry's posture straightened and gone was the wistful looks of a moping teen, and in its place a resolute look of determination from a young man on a mission.
"Good, good!" Dorea praised looking at the set face of her grandson. "We are your family now, Harry. And though the dynamic is not quite would it should have been, it is close enough." Dorea squeezed his arm again and then led him back to the table.
A triumphant Andromeda walked imperiously toward the breakfast tables, with a treasonous looking James and Sirius plotting revenge as they rubbed their inflamed backsides behind her. Regulus and Narcissa were both sporting multicolored hair, and were grumbling and looking menacingly at James and Sirius as well.
The adults chuckled at the children's antics, before ordering them back inside the manor to get cleaned up for the day. Harry sat back down next to Bella when two barely audible pops caught the adult's attention. Two house elves had suddenly appeared. One looked very familiar as it walked to Orion. Kreacher.
"My Lord Black this urgent message arrived at Grimauld place for you." The old elf stated with a bow. Harry noticed the elf looking a lot healthier than when he first discovered him at the old Black house.
At the same time another elf approached Charlus Potter. "Master Potters sirs, an important message for you arrived at Potter Manor." The much younger elf bowed.
"Thank you Jasper." Charlus told the elf. It bowed and then was gone.
"What is it dear?" Dorea asked her husband.
Charlus sighed. "Dumbeldore has called an emergency session of the Wizengamot."
Dorea rolled her eyes. "Does the fool say why?" She asked.
"No, just that it begins at one this afternoon." He replied. "Orion, you got the same?"
"I did. I'm guessing we will be discussing what occurred in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley." The head of House Black suggested.
"I believe you are right." The two men looked at Harry, who remained stoic at their gazes.
"I need not remind you Orion, where our house stands in regards to Lord Eveningshade." Arcturus glared at his son.
"I am well aware, father." Orion replied.
Arcturus nodded. "I believe I will join you at this meeting, nonetheless." Orion bowed in acquiescence.
"My lord, I would be interested in attending as well." Harry mentioned to Arcturus.
"My lord, please, we are family now, call me Arcturus."
"Thank you, Arcturus, and its Harry…to all of you." Harry stated looking to all the adults.
"Harry, it may not be in your best interest to go, if you are indeed the topic of conversation." Arcturus offered.
"The ministry doesn't know who I am sir, and if I were to come as your guest or Lord Potter's, I don't imagine anyone questioning you about my presence." Harry said.
"You're welcome to sit with me Harry, and it is Charlus." Charlus told him with a nod.
"Thank you Charlus, I would be honored." Harry replied.
"Harry, I don't know about this." Bella stated worriedly. "But if you're set on going, I'm going with you!" Bella stated firmly, daring him to say otherwise. Harry blinked owlishly at his wife.
"Get use to it Harry." Charlus patted him on the shoulder. "Black women are incredibly stubborn when they set their minds to something." Charlus chuckled until he saw his own wife glaring at him and every other Black woman in attendance.
"Um, did I also forget to mention that their incredible intelligence is only matched by their amazing beauty?!" Charlus stated clearing his throat nervously. Dorea smirked at her husband and gave him a peck on the cheek while patting his other cheek with her hand.
"That'll do husband, that'll do." She grinned.
"Well, now that that is settled." Arcturus smirked. "I suggest we get ready for the meeting. We'll leave within the hour."
A/N: What did you think?! There was a lot of information for Lily and her dad, some more Black family interaction. And what will be discussed in the emergency session of the Wizengamot?! Plus a little more Bella and harry one on one time. Please leave a comment or a review!