Disclaimer: I don't, and never will, own Harry Potter.
/mind-to-mind with Huginn/
A/N: Again, thank you for all your patience and reviews! Please note any flames will be ignored. I understand this is not everyone's cup of tea, and critical reviews are read and taken into consideration. Also, please be warned, there is quite a bit of drama ahead in this chapter. Even with that, I hope you all enjoy!
Unsure as to why it was not affecting him as much, Corvus stepped forward a bit more and stood before the book. Before he touched it, a shimmering form stood above it.
"Who are you?" it asked in a hissing voice.
Corvus was frozen in place in a state of shock. This ghost brought flashbacks to his previous year and dealing with the deranged Tom Riddle. There were some obvious differences, such as the fact the 'shade' was much older and refined. He could see multiple rings on the being's fingers and a heavy necklace around it's neck.
"WHO ARE YOU?" It-He-roared.
"Corvus Lestrange, sir," he replied. After a moment of silence, he added "It is only polite for you to introduce yourself as well"
"I" the once man replied pompously, "am Stefan Lestrange." His lip curled up in disgust, "And you, are no Lestrange, but a Potter," he spat the name out.
No one noticed Severus' eyes widen. He had not told the Lestranges the names of those mentioned in the book, only the base story. He now regretted omitting the information.
Corvus didn't move, though his eyes narrowed fiercely. "I am a Lestrange by blood and magic," he sneered in return, "nothing you say can take that away from me. What have you done to my mother?"
"Dear Bella? Oh nothing she didn't want. She wanted to learn so I taught her."
"What exactly are you?" the boy asked.
"A memory in a book," the shock was hard to avoid as all the men's eyes opened a bit at that. "You think that upstart of a Dark Lord was the first? No he was the last and weakest. But he still fights for our agenda, so I will teach any who need to know. Unlike him, however, I have no plans to take the life force from Bellatrix. I would rather not live in that world again. Here I live forever, able to impart my knowledge to any who I deem worthy."
Corvus could hear and feel his familiars in his mind as they worried for him. They too felt the unfamiliar magics through their bond and didn't like it much. :/:Let me bite it, Master:/: Veurr begged through their mind link.
But Corvus stared at the smirking shade of a memory and knew it wouldn't be enough this time. :/:No, Ve, this one is stronger. Your venom will not be enough this time.:/:
The young wizard could feel the Black magics battering at his shields and shuddered at the contact. Without realizing it, his wand slipped into his fingers, while Veurr slid into the room unnoticed.
"You will stop messing with my mother's mind," he demanded. "You will return to your memory form until called upon again!"
The memory of Stefan Lestrange let out a loud laugh, drowning out the boy's whispered fiendfyre. The spell, he knew, was difficult even for adults to master, but he knew the basics. If he lost control, he knew that any of the three standing behind him could grab onto it- that was why he cast in English.
The laughter stopped as the fiery serpent began to head towards the book. "Oh, itty Potter wants to play?" he laughed again, sending chills up the boy's spine.
Corvus didn't allow it to deter him or make him lose focus, but suddenly he did.
Just before the spell reached the book, the flames extinguished with a bright flash.
When the four wizards could see again, the sight that met their eyes was both angering and disheartening.
Bellatrix stood before the book, wand in hand and a fire in her eyes.
"Mum?" Corvus spoke softly, but the woman heard him and smirked coldly back.
Once it ended, no one was really sure who threw the first spell. Bellatrix was a one woman army before her venture into the Black arts. Now she was a near impossible enemy.
The witch aimed to severely injure if not kill, much to the shock of her men. Rabastan was the first to go down after a blasting curst knocked him into a wall. Once his brother was down, Rodolphus was in a panic. Bella had lived with Rabastan for years, the two being as close as siblings. If she could knock him down...
His thoughts cut off as a sickly yellow light flew towards his son, only for it to be stopped by a hiss and slash of the boy's wand. Unfortunately this did not stop the witch's fighting. It only served to make her focus even more intently on the youngest Lestrange. It was only when the boy let out a scream of pain that she finally paused, the insane gleam seeming to fade minutely.
Without thought, Severus and Rodolphus both sent their own barrage of spells and finally incapacitated her. They didn't even pause before both turning on the book and casting their strongest fiendfyre spells possible. They didn't flinch at the tortured screams that echoed through the room, only nodded at each other before turning to the mess.
While each wizard had his own injuries, they focused on the others present. Severus beat Rodolphus to getting to Corvus who had leaned himself against a wall, panting and pale. Blood blossomed on the front of his robes, and a shaking hand was held before him.
"Corvus?" Severus said, but got no reaction. He repeated the action again and watched as the boy's eyes snapped up to his own. He was in shock, quite obviously, and Severus could say nothing. He removed his own robe before coving his godson with it and taking the boy into his arms.
"We have to move, Rodolphus!" He yelled over his shoulder as he began a light run to the main rooms of the house, forgetting about the fact that a house elf would have reduced travel time.
Rodolphus followed behind, floating both his wife and brother, calling Mispsy to floo for Healer Jones right away.
"Sev-" he hear a gargled whisper and looked down shocked at the teal eyes.
"Don't talk, Cor. Healer Jones is on his way," the Potions Master said quietly and surprisingly calm himself. "That will teach you to remove your amulets while home, right?"
The boy chuckled and coughed up a bit of blood. He smirked a bit, "Guess so," he said roughly.
Severus brought Corvus to the boy's rooms and laid him down on the bed gently. He gently removed the blood soaked robes and conjured some sterile bandages to put pressure on the wounds. He didn't know what kind of spell was used and didn't want to take chances. He knew there were black spells that reacted negatively to light or grey diagnostic and healing spells- and since that was all Severus knew, he erred on the side of caution.
At the sound of Healer Jones coming into the room, Severus let out a sigh of relief. "What the hell happened here?" the normally composed man whispered harshly, taking in the situation and rushing towards his favorite patient.
Severus quickly went over what had happened, knowing he would be explaining in further detail later. He watched the man cast an unknown spell over his godson and stood stiffly by. At his questioning look, the Healer told him that it was a dark magic diagnosing spell- one of very few that would not react negatively with any dark or black magic cast on a person.
Unknown to the two men, Corvus himself was awake through all of this, listening to all that was being said as well as going over the events in his mind. He began shaking as his emotions and the shock he was in took hold. His breath froze in his chest until a sharp pain reminded him to breathe which he did too quickly. The sudden intake of breath had him choking, shifting the bandages on his chest and causing his wounds to begin bleeding anew. He was both relieved and terrified as darkness finally came over him.
"JONES!" Severus yelled as his godson began coughing.
The Healer quickly reviewed the diagnostic results again, knowing a wrong move could cost the young man his life. Nodding to himself he turned to the Potions Master, "Severus, your healing spell, help me!" he didn't even wait for the man as he vanished the bandages with a swipe of his wand and began casting quickly "Vulnera Senantur" he murmured over and over again. His wand waved slowly and carefully over the wounds. A breath later had Severus joining in his casting, their two voices joined as one, working together to push the dark magic from the wounds and try to close them.
The two men didn't know it, but it took them 30 minutes of constant casting to get the wound to finally close. "Stop, Severus," Jones spoke, sweaty and out of breath. He moved to grab blood replenishing potions and with Severus' help poured a couple of vials down the unconscious boy's throat. Casting the diagnosis spell one more time, the man nodded to himself. "Now," he said before falling into a seat beside the bed, "we wait."
"W-will he b-be okay?" came a soft voice from the doorway.
The two men looked up in surprise, not realizing that anyone else had joined them. Bellatrix was standing with her husband by her side, a hand on her shoulder that was clearly a tight grip. Severus imagined it was more to keep her from entering the room than for any form of support- especially if the grim look on the man's face was anything to go by.
The Potions Master felt a bubble of anger enter his stomach and he stood swiftly. He couldn't remain in the woman's presence, not without doing her some sever bodily harm. " I must check on my potion stock," he said through ground teeth. He took a breath before glancing at Healer Jones, "Please keep me updated and let me know if there are any other potions you will need." The Healer nodded at him and he turned and left the room quickly.
He couldn't believe the nerve of the woman! Or Rodolphus for that matter! To bring her by after all she had done. Oh he would be having some colorful words with her later, that was for sure, but right now he needed to cool down. Potions would do just that for him.
Rodolphus couldn't believe how his day had turned out. He never imagined this ending. Of course he expected some difficulties when he confronted his wife, but this?
After sending Mipsy to summon Healer Jones for Corvus, he brought his wife and brother into the Master Suite. He left Bellatrix bound as he checked his brother over and healed what he could. Rabastan was lucky to only have a concussion and a few scratches.
Once his brother was healed, the man moved over to his wife. The usually strong woman looked so frail and emotional that it took all of his strength to keep his own emotions from showing.
He healed her to the minimum of his capabilities, not that she needed much healing. When the woman moved to embrace him, he shifted slightly. It wasn't that he was disgusted by her, just that he was ready for the affection, or giving her relief. They had to talk- or actually he had to talk and she had to listen.
After giving his brother as small nod, Rodolphus left the suite with Bellatrix, a strong hand on her shoulder to direct where they were going. They stood in the doorway of their son's bedroom for twenty minutes just watching the healer and their friend work. Once they stopped and Healer Jones spoke, Rodolphus' heart moved into his throat.
What did the man mean? Would he survive? Would he wake? What were the issues that he would face?
He was surprised to hear his wife speak up, but definitely not surprised at the anger that showed suddenly from Severus. He pulled his wife out of the way as the man moved swiftly out of the room.
Once Severus was gone, Rodolphus looked to Healer Jones. The man was exhausted, that was plain to see, but he still had more work to do. He cleared his throat and nodded as the Healer's eyes met his own, "I know you are tired," he spoke softly, "but could you please check over Rabastan? I checked and found just a concussion, and some scrapes and bruises that I healed, however I am no healer."
The man glanced over Rodolphus and Bellatrix before letting out a sigh and standing, grateful that he held steady. He grabbed his bag and walked towards the door. He stopped before the two, noticing their rather haggard looks. "And you Rodolphus?" he asked.
"When you have finished with Rabastan, you may look over myself and Bella," he answered firmly.
The Healer nodded and left the room, leaving the small family alone.
Bellatrix stood in the room with her head down, eyes anywhere but at the boy lying pale in his bed.
"Look at him," Rodolphus ordered. When she shook her head, he growled at her and grabbed her chin roughly, pointing her head towards the bed, "LOOK AT HIM!" She finally did, only for a moment, before falling to the floor with a choked sob. "Why did you do it? For power? For HIM? What will happen to our boy should HE return? Remember the last war Bella! What you did to him will be nothing compared to what will happen if the Dark Lord gets his hands on him!"
Bellatrix didn't respond to the questions, knowing it wouldn't do any good. Her answers were still the same, even with what had happened and the results lying in front of her.
"But," Rodolphus continued in a rough voice, grabbing her chin to look at their son again. "But you did this, Bellatrix. YOU did this! That boy is your life. I know it. What will happen if the Dark Lord were to order you to torture him? Could you do it? Could you kill him?" She still didn't answer and Rodolphus felt his anger heighten. He tightened his grip and made her eyes look into his own, "You are banned from the Library and every study. If you need to do estate duties, then you may ask a house elf. They will have restrictions on what exactly they will be able to provide for you. You will attend sessions with a competent mind healer."
"And if I don't," she asked softly, eyes lowering, unable to take the anger in her husband's eyes.
"Don't make me make that choice, Bella." He removed his hand from her chin and placed a hand softly on either side of her face. His thumbs rubbed the sides of her eyes until they once again met his own. Her breath hitched at whatever she saw there. "I love you. I. Love. You. Please don't make me choose."
He kissed her forehead before leaving her on the floor.
Bellatrix didn't know what had come over her, but looking at her son lying pale on the bed- it really didn't matter anymore. Rodolphus was right.
She did this.
She stood from where her husband had left her on the floor and stumbled over to her boy's bed, collapsing into the chair Healer Jones had used. "What did I do?" She murmured to herself hoarsely, "WHY did I do it?"
Most of it was a blur, but Bellatrix knew all the events that had unfolded were by her own choice. She remembered making the decisions.
But the question now was 'Why'. Did she really do it all for the Dark Lord?
He was a mentor of sorts to her once upon a time, someone she looked up to.
She remembered hunting through the library and stumbling across the side room. She did want to learn more, to be better, but is this how she wanted to do it?
She felt threatened, Bellatrix realized. Corvus knew so much. And he was powerful. So powerful. Master Lestrange knew this as well, so agreed to train her. She had to be strong enough to protect her family!
'But this wasn't the way,' she thought to herself wryly.
Tears burned their way down her cheeks. She moved the chair forward a bit and grabbed her son's limp hand, tears falling steadily faster.
She cried for a long time.
She cried for the loss of Master- no, not Master- Stefan Lestrange, her mentor over the past year.
She cried for her son lying in bed, for her part in his injuries, for her now damaged relationships.
She cried for her foolishness.
The road to recovery was long, but she would do anything to get back to normal.
Taking a breath, Bellatrix slowly released Corvus' hand and stood from her chair. She wiped her face of tears and walked determinedly to the door. She glanced over her shoulder once at the boy on the bed. Her boy. Her life.
She called Mipsy to watch over Corvus and, taking another breath, left the room. She had a husband to find, and mind healer appointments to have arranged.
A rat slowly crawled it's way through a familiar run down house. A place where those he trusted once played. Trusted HA! They were hidden and left me in full sight. They didn't care when the Slytherins came after me. They didn't care!
Peter Pettigrew knew school would be starting soon and so hunkered down onto some old worn blankets. Full from the trash he was able to grab on his long journey.
They never would have made it this far, he thought smugly. After being starved and not moving for so long... they wouldn't have made it. But I will avenge My Lord.
A/N: Yup, here's Pettigrew. Can't forget that he will be part of this 'book' ;) Please R&R.