So here we are in another chapter of Battle Mage of Hogwarts. Last time, Harry was attacked by the Dementors, and was promised lessons in how to defend against Dementors.

Now, Harry must regroup, and press onwards. So let's begin!

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. That belongs to J. K. Rowling.


Chapter 6

The Horrible Truth

When Madame Pomfrey finally released him from the Infirmary, Harry was happy to be back in the hustle and bustle of school life. He needed the distraction of class and people to keep his mind off of the nightmare he had.

Sadly, some of that distraction wasn't pleasant though. Draco Malfoy, ecstatic over Gryffindor's loss, constantly celebrated by imitating Harry falling from his broom. Thankfully, there were few who actually enjoyed his performance. Most were astounded by the fact that Harry had wounded a group of Dementors with that fire ball he had launched at them. To their knowledge, it had never been done before.

Professor Lupin had returned to class the first Monday after the Quidditch fiasco, and after revealing his surprise at Snape's choice of monster for them to study, he had begun teaching them about hinkypunks.

When class was over, Lupin stopped Harry from leaving. "Harry, wait a moment please?"

As Harry turned to Lupin, he noticed that the DADA teacher seemed much paler, and if anything, his hair seemed a bit more gray. He hoped that whatever his teacher was sick from, he got well soon.

Lupin sighed as he leaned against his desk. "The Headmaster told me about what happened at your match. I'm sorry about your broom," he said quietly.

Harry shrugged. "Better it then me," he said. Harry had started looking into a replacement broom, but his parents told him to forget about it, that they would send him a new broom for Christmas. What type though, they were enigmatic about. He guessed that would be the surprise.

Lupin nodded with a smile. "I wanted to inform you that we would begin your lessons in defending yourself against Dementor's after Christmas. I'm afraid I have a little too much at the moment. Though I am told your parents will be sending you and your brother Travis some spells?"

Harry nodded at that. In fact, Blaze had arrived just that morning with a letter containing the spells both Travis and Harry should begin training in. Harry had made a copy and given it to Travis as quickly as he could.

Lupin nodded. "Good. Now there is something you can do before our first lesson. You can start looking up a spell, the Patronus Spell. And if possible, start practicing it. We'll see how you do at our first lesson. I would suggest possibly telling Travis the same."

Harry nodded in thanks to his DADA teacher, before heading off towards the Gryffindor Dormitories. When he got there, he quickly found his friends, and joined them to work on homework. He blinked though when he saw a pensive look on Hermione's face.

"Something up Hermione?" He asked as he sat down. Hermione glanced up, before shrugging.

"I'm not sure exactly. It's just something that has been bugging me a bit ever since the Boggart Lesson we had with Professor Lupin. Didn't you find it odd his Boggart looked an awful lot like the moon?"

Neville blinked. "Now that you mention it, it did kinda look like that."

Hermione continued the conversation. "And oddly enough, I noticed that Professor Snape took over Lupin's class around the time of the full moon too."

Harry raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Coincidence?" He asked.

Hermione shrugged. "Maybe. I don't know, it's just been bugging me a bit," she said, before shaking her head. "Anyways, we should get to work, shouldn't we?"

Harry nodded, as they started working on their homework. Ginny soon joined them, coming from her Charms class that the Second Year Gryffindor's had been in.

A couple hours later, after dinner, Harry was up in the boy's dormitory, searching through his trunk. Since he was alone, he figure now might be a good time to start looking through Merlin's Grimoire. He wasn't sure if he could start learning anything from the book here at school, but it wouldn't hurt to give it a precursory reading.

Finding the ancient, leather bound book, he hopped up onto his bed and drew the curtains, before opening the book and starting to read through it.

As he read the book, Harry couldn't help but admire at the thorough job Merlin had done. When Merlin's Grimoire had accepted him, it had converted the writing in the book into a more modern version of English, seeing how the book was originally written in early Latin. The book was divided up into multi chapters, with the first being Merlin's thoughts and notes on magic itself. The different ways it responded to his use of it, different types and field of magic, so on and so forth. After that, each section was devoted to Merlin's teachings and theories on individual aspects of magic, and the spells, incantations, and recipes for the various spells, potions, and runes he had come up with.

Harry soon found himself immersed in a section Merlin had labeled as "Defensive and Offensive Hex's and Jinx's". Here, Merlin had listed numerous different spells he had created not only to defend and battle against other wizards and witches, but also against creatures as well.

Harry continued to read the section quietly, only to stop. Blinking, he focused more on the section he was reading.

"During my years travelling and learning about the new potential magic I had unlocked, I came across many magical dangers. Other wielders of magic, dangerous creatures, some of which were almost unimaginable. But these dangers could be faced, could be defeated. And yet, I came across a danger that to my knowledge, no amount of known magic could defeat. In my travels, I discovered proof that there were dark spirits and wraith like creatures. Beings that could not be touched by any form of steel or spell. If these creatures proved to be a threat to the growing world of both magical and non magical kind, how could they be stopped?"

"I put my mind to task at hand, to find a way to drive back or damage these spectral forces. The problem was finding a way to utilize magic to affect not a physical target, but a spectral target. One such example was a strange creature I found while visiting the country of India. Something they referred to as 'The Shadowed Death'. They described it as little more than a black cloak shape that moved along the ground. It would sneak into the bedroom of a sleeping victim, and smother them, then disappearing with the corpse. Very few people had ever survived an encounter with them. A few mages who had managed to fight and escape one had spoken of how most of their attacks seemed to almost pass right through it, with fire being the only truly effective deterrent. This meant that most normal spells I had thus far created would more than likely be ineffective." (1)

"I eventually was able to finish two spells that I found worked to deter or even kill targets of a more spectral nature. The first I called The Patronus Charm, and it acted as a deterrent spell. The caster would summon a powerful memory that created positive feelings. These feelings would be channeled into the magic put into the Charm, which would create a construct of these positive emotions. Considering most spectral creatures or enemies are generally created or fueled by negative emotions, the powerful positive emotions would create a shield, generally in the form of an animal that best embodied the caster's spirit and personality. My own strangely enough took the form of a swan. This 'Patronus' thus would stop most spectral creatures, and hopefully drive it back if the caster's will and positive emotions was strong enough." (2)

"The second spell I created is far more complex. But at the same time, the result is far more effective then the Patronus. Like the Patronus, this spell is fueled by the emotions of the caster. But unlike the Patronus, it is not reliant upon happiness. Instead, "Animi ardores Hestiae" or Spiritual Flames of Hestia, is fueled by the power of a person's emotions altogether. It calls upon the power of their spirit and will to create a fire that does not burn flesh, but burns the soul. It is a complex and draining spell and the effects depends upon the one casting it. One who is generally good or pure of heart will call forth a mighty flame that will damage or destroy evil in their path, whether it be a dark creature, or one with an evil heart. But should one of darkness cast the spell; their evil flame will increase the power of dark spirits, and darken even the purest spirits. It is this spell that I constructed to not merely stop spectral creatures that cannot be hurt by other means, but to damage or destroy them, if need be. However, because of the demanding nature of this spell, and the potential risk it carries if abused, I cannot freely teach this spell to those who now learn from me. Only those who I know will not abuse this spell can be allowed to learn it. Hopefully one day, it can be given freely."

Harry blinked as he finished reading that final passage. A spell that could potentially do more than stop Dementors. A spell that could destroy them. Harry glanced down at the instructions, mentally debating with himself. Merlin spoke of the spell being not only complex, but incredibly draining. And yet Harry could not get the images from that nightmare he had out of his head. The Dementors destroying all he held dear. Making a decision, Harry grabbed a piece of parchment and ripped part of it off, sliding it into the book to mark that page. He would start looking into the second spell, as Merlin had stated the Patronus was more of a deterrent then anything else. Having marked the pages where those two spells, Harry began to read further into the book, feeling a sense of renewed hope spring up in him.

Meanwhile, a large black furred dog was slinking its way through the alleys and backstreets of Hogsmeade, heading towards the post office. If anyone had seen it, they might wonder why it had an envelope in its mouth. But in the fading light of evening, most people were rushing to finish their business and return to their homes. So no one saw the large canine approach the post office. Standing on its hind legs and bracing itself with its front paws on the wall, the dog managed to slide the envelope into a drop slot in the side of the post office. The black dog immediately trotted off, its furry tail wagging happily as it disappeared into the woods surrounding Hogsmeade and Hogwarts.

December 8th

As the end of the term drew near, the festive Christmas spirit began to infect the students and faculty of Hogwarts. Flitwick and Filch could be seen decorating and cleaning up the castle, as students talked about their plans for the holidays. Not surprising, a good majority were planning on heading for home, considering the Dementors and Sirius black breaking into the castle. Harry himself was looking forward to getting away from the Dementors, even if for a few weeks. Hermione and Neville though were both planning on staying though, as Hermione's parents were going to a medical convention taking place in France after Christmas, and Neville's grandmother was going to visit his Aunt Eunice, who he wasn't entirely fond of.

Both Harry and Travis had begun studying the fire spells their father had sent them. The problem was finding a place to practice them, due to it being rather dangerous to practice them inside Hogwarts, and the Dementor's not exactly making it safe outside either. Eventually, it was agreed upon that they could practice on the Quidditch Field with Madame Hooch's supervision. They were often joined by their friends, who watched the two conjure flames from their hands, and launch them at simulated targets. They were in particular awe of one technique Harry used that let him launch a constant stream of fire from his hand.

In the week before the last week of term, there was an announcement for another Hogsmeade visit. Many of the Gryffindor 3rd Years and above eagerly talked about doing Christmas shopping and such.

Harry sighed quietly, hearing the students eagerly talk about it. The more they talked about it, the more he really wanted to visit Hogsmeade. He knew he could probably visit next year, but that was still a ways away. Instead, he and Ginny made plans for the day.

As the Saturday of the visit arrived, Harry and Ginny went to see Neville and Hermione off to Hogsmeade. The two waved at them as they left with the other students heading off to Hogsmeade.

"So, should we go get a start on one of the Christmas Projects? Or maybe go play Wizard's Chess?" Ginny asked. Ginny and Neville had introduced Harry and Hermione to the Wizard's version of chess earlier that year. Neville was pretty skilled at the game, and Ginny had picked some things up from her brother Ron, who was incredibly good at the game.

Before Harry could respond, he and Ginny were yanked into a nearby classroom. They found themselves looking into the grinning faces of Fred and George Weasley.

"Well well, if it isn't the hero of the family! And our little sister," Fred said.

George grinned. "Sorry for the rather abrupt way of getting your attention, but we have something rather secretive to tell you both. Or rather, give you both," he said, as he pulled out a folded piece of parchment.

Ginny blinked. "Ummm….what is it?" She asked, confused. Harry shared her sentiment, as he studied it. It looked to be a blank piece of really old parchment.

Fred and George both grinned. "To the untrained eye, this is a simple blank piece of parchment. But this is actually the secret to our success as the prankster kings of Hogwarts," George said, as Fred unfolded it, and pulled out his wand. He lightly touched the paper while saying "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good".

Before Harry and Ginny's eyes, lines of ink began to spread from the point where the wand had touched the map. The lines began to form designs, eventually turning into what was easily recognizable as a map. The top of the map, in great curly green words, read:

Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs

Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers

Are proud to present

THE MARAUDER'S MAP

Harry's eyes were wide as he studied the map. It was incredibly detailed, covering the entirety of the castle, as well as the grounds surrounding it. And moving around the castle was a mass of small dots, each with a small balloon near them that had their name.

Ginny glanced up at her brothers. "Where did you get this?" She asked.

They both grinned, as George spoke. "We got it in our very first year. Ohhh, we were a pair of carefree, innocent youths, ready to learn the intricacies of magic," he said in a nostalgic tone. Harry just snorted in disbelief, as Fred chuckled.

"Well anyways, we set off a couple of Dungbombs in the hallways and Filch strangely objected to it. He dragged us off to his office and threatened us with the usual, when we noticed a file cabinet drawer marked 'Highly Dangerous'. Of course our interest was piqued, and after dropping another Dungbomb, we swiped this from the drawer."

Harry blinked in a bit of confusion as he lightly traced a corridor that seemed to be leaving Hogwarts. There were actually seven of them all together. "Where do these go?" He asked, pointing to one of them.

Fred and George grinned. "Those are secret passages leading into Hogsmeade. We think they were created by the Founders as secret escape routes either from Hogwarts or Hogsmeade in case of emergency. We've been using a few of them to sneak into Hogsmeade whenever we want. And that is why we want to give it to you two."

Harry's eyes went wide. "You want us to sneak into Hogsmeade?!" He said in surprise.

Fred grinned. "Or use it for whatever. Sneak around the castle, look out for bad guys. We just thought you could use it more than us now. But if you do decide to sneak outside, here are a few tips. Filch knows about these four passages, but we're pretty sure he has no idea about these three. Now don't use this one behind the mirror on the fourth floor, it caved in last winter. And this one is right under the Whomping Willow so don't use it. But this one here leads to Honeydukes, and its right through the hump of the statue of the one eyed old crone right outside this room. Oh and if you want to wipe the map clean, tap the map and say 'Mischief Managed'. Otherwise anyone can use it."

Ginny looked up at them. "Guys, this is a pretty nice gift but…don't you think you should maybe give this to Dumbledore or something? I mean, this could be really useful in hunting down Sirius Black."

Both of them looked uneasily at each other. "Well, we did think about that," George said. "But well…honestly we've been keeping an eye on it practically every day that we could, and we haven't seen Sirius Black pop up anywhere on the map. Not to mention that…well…"

"We really wanted to thank Harry for saving your life Ginny. And this was the best gift we thought we could give him." Fred finished.

Harry was still looking at the map. "I…thank you guys. But you didn't have to give me anything at all. I was happy to rescue Ginny because it was the right thing to do."

Fred grinned. "And that's why you deserve it. If you want to give it Dumbledore or whoever, feel free Harry. It's yours. But I'd suggest using it at least once for your own personal needs."

"Now if you'll excuse us, we're off to Zonko's," George said with a grin, as the two twins left Harry and Ginny there.

Harry glanced down at the map, before looking at Ginny. "What do you think?" He asked.

Ginny crossed her arms. "Well first off I think my brothers are big jerks for not sharing something like this! And second of all…well…I really think we should maybe turn it in to someone. We could even do it anonymously. This could really help the faculty watch out for Black."

Harry nodded. "I agree, but…I am tempted to use it once…for myself."

Ginny sighed as she glanced at the map, swaying a little from side to side in indecision. "I suppose…we could maybe use it once… it would be cool to go to Hogsmeade a year early."

Harry grinned. "I suppose it would. But I think we should take my dad's Invisibility Cloak," he said, which caused Ginny's eyes to widened. She had heard Harry talk about the cloak, but she hadn't seen it.

Harry blinked. "Do you think we should invite Travis? He might enjoy this too," he said.

Ginny shook her head. "No. Last I saw of them, Colin was introducing him to some card game from the Muggle World. Something Japanese I think," she said.

Harry grinned. "Alright then. I'll grab my cloak, you wait here, okay?" with that, Harry rushed off towards the Gryffindor Common Room.

After passing by Sir Cadogan with a hurried 'Blackguard' ("I'll have ye head ye scurvy cur!"), Harry grabbed the Invisibility Cloak, stuffed it into the windbreaker he was wearing, and left again, drawing some stares. He soon returned to Ginny, who was standing near the statue of the Old one eyed crone.

Harry blinked when he got there. "I just realized…how do we get into the statue?" he asked, looking at it.

Ginny blinked as well, before growling. "Ohh, those two! I can't believe they forgot to tell us!"

Harry took the map from Ginny, and checked it to make sure no one was coming. And he blinked when he saw dots for himself and Ginny standing near the statue. A little extra bubble was coming off of his dot, and in it he could make out the word 'Dissendium'. Harry looked at it, then at the statue. "Here, hold this," he said, giving her the map and pulling out his wand. He walked over to the hump on the statue's back, and pointed his wand at it, saying "Dissendium."

Nothing happened, so Harry tried waving his wand while saying the word. Again getting no result, Harry tried tapping it this time. And slowly the hump began to split open, revealing a narrow passage small enough to slip through. Grinning, Harry held out a hand to Ginny, who took it. With his help, she climbed up into the passage and slipped through. Harry quickly followed, and the passage sealed up behind them.

Down at the bottom, Harry and Ginny both used the Lumos spell to create a small ball of light at the end of their wands. They found themselves in a stone room, with a single passageway. With a grin, Harry led the way down it.

The passage took many twists and turns, and slowly changed from a manmade stone passage into a natural one. After about a half hour of travelling, the passage changed into a flight of stairs that disappeared into the darkness. Harry groaned softly, looking at them. "This is a lot more work then I was expecting," he said.

Ginny chuckled as the pair began to climb up the stairs. It was a lengthy flighty, and Harry had passed two hundred when he found himself facing a trap door. Turning to Ginny, he placed a finger to his lips to signal her to be quiet, before slowly sliding the trap door up, peeking out. Not seeing or hearing anything, he slowly pushed the trap door open, and stepped out, turning the Lumos spell on his wand off. Ginny soon followed suit, and the pair looked around, finding themselves surrounded by crates.

"We must be in the basement under Honeydukes," Harry said. They soon found a small flight of stairs leading up to a door. With a nod, the pair slipped the Invisibility Cloak on, and quietly headed up the stairs. Silently pushing the door opened, they slipped through and found themselves behind the counter. Ducking under it, the pair found themselves in a whirlwind of chaos, as students milled around the shop. As the pair managed to get their bearings and take in the store, all they could think was 'Wow'.

The store was wall to wall sweets and candies. Things that were easily recognizable, and things that neither had ever seen of, heard of, or thought of. The walls were packed with trays and shelves of chocolates and nougats and other sweets. Barrels dotted the floor, filled with Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, giant sherbet balls, and other confections.

Harry just grinned as he glanced at Ginny to his left. "Talk about candy heaven, ehh?" He asked. Ginny giggled as the pair slowly made their way through the crowd, expertly sliding through and trying not to bump into anyone. Harry suddenly grinned as he saw Hermione and Neville standing in one corner, looking over groups of exotic candies.

"Blood flavored lollipops? Who on Earth would eat those?" Hermione asked.

Neville shrugged as he held a jar of what looked like cockroaches. "Who knows? Probably the same people who would eat these," he said, shaking the jar.

Harry grinned at Ginny, before speaking up. 'Oh I don't know. I might eat one of those if someone dared me," he said.

Both Hermione and Neville nearly yelled, and Neville barely held onto the jar. They both began looking around wildly before Harry and Ginny took pity on them and opened the cloak enough for them to see them.

"Harry? Ginny? What are you two doing here?!" Hermione demanded, clutching her chest. Harry just kept grinning as he explained what Fred and George gave them, and how they ended up here.

Neville blinked. "So they've had a map of Hogwarts all this time? Wow. No wonder they knew their way around the castle so well," he said. Hermione though had a rather stern look on her face.

"Harry, you do realize how dangerous this map could be, yes? Or more importantly, how useful it could be to the faculty?" She asked, crossing her arms.

Harry sighed quietly, looking down a bit. "Yes Hermione, I do. But it could also be useful to us as well. Think about the danger we've been in the past two years, and now this year as well! Voldemort on Quirrel's head the First Year, and the Basilisk the previous year. Maybe having this would help keep us a lot safer."

Hermione bit her lip. "I suppose so, but… I don't know Harry," she said.

Harry nodded;. "I understand Hermione. And believe me, I am considering sending this to one of the teachers. But for now, let's just have some fun, okay? Please?"

Hermione finally relented. "Okay. But just this one time. After this, either send the map to one of the teachers, or use it only when necessary."

Harry nodded, grinning, before he and Ginny had to move to avoid hitting another student. "Maybe we should get out of here. It's pretty crowded."

Neville and Hermione nodded and went to pay for their things, while Harry and Ginny snuck out of the shop. A few minutes later, the former pair joined them and they took Harry and Ginny on a tour of the village. Eventually, they stopped at a small inn called The Three Broomsticks.

"How about we go in for some butterbeer?" Neville asked, his teeth chattering a bit. It was quite cold outside, so the other three agreed. The four entered the small yet busy establishment.

Hermione led Harry and Ginny to a table near one of the corners, while Neville went and got the butterbeers from the rather pretty witch who owned the place, Madame Rosmerta. He soon came over and passed out the butterbeers, with two of them disappearing under the Invisibility Cloak. Ginny grinned as she drank some. "Oh this stuff is incredible!" She said. "I wonder why my mother hasn't let me have any yet," she commented.

Harry just chuckled as he took a drink as well. It really was an excellent drink.

Their attention was drawn towards the door when a gust of wind hit them. Almost immediately, Harry and Ginny's faces paled as they saw Professor Flitwick and McGonagall enter, followed by Hagrid and the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. It took them a few moments to remember they were invisible under the Cloak, but Hermione apparently didn't want to take any chances. With a soft muttered spell, she caused a nearby Christmas tree to levitate and slowly slide over, blocking them from view.

A couple minutes later, the group of four sat down on a table near the one Harry and company were sitting at. They were soon joined by Madame Rosmerta, who started handing them their drinks. When she finished, Minister Fudge spoke.

"It's lovely to see you Rosmerta. Why don't you join us here for a bit?" He asked. The inn keeper accepted his offer and soon returned with her own drink, sitting down.

"So what brings you around here Minister?" She asked, as the five adults began to enjoy their drinks.

"This Sirius Black business. You heard about how he broke into Hogwarts on Halloween?" Fudge asked.

Rosmerta nodded. "I heard a rumor about it. Course business has been a bit slow lately due to all those Dementor's scaring off my best customers," she said with a bit of an edge to her voice.

Fudge shifted uncomfortably. "I know Rosmerta, I know. If there was a better way, I would have taken it. Especially with that business where they tried to assault Harry Potter during that Quidditch Match. But sadly, there is no one better to track down Sirius Black currently. And they're in a fury because Dumbledore won't let them back onto school grounds. Not that I don't blame Dumbledore," he added hastily, seeing McGonagall about to speak up.

Madame Rosmerta sighed. "What I can't believe is that Sirius Black went dark. I remember him from when he went to school at Hogwarts. He was one of the last people I'd expect to join You-Know-Who."

Fudge shook his head. "You don't know the half of Rosmerta. Most people think that those thirteen people he killed were horrible. But what he did before that was even worse."

Harry inadvertently leaned in, to make sure he heard what they were going to speak about. If he could learn more about Black, it might help better prepare him for the worst.

Fudge started up again. "You say you remember when he went to Hogwarts, yes? Do you remember who his best friend was?"

Rosmerta smiled. "Of course. Never saw one without the other. Right pair of troublemakers, Sirius Black and James Potter."

Harry froze at that, staring in the direction of the adults speaking. Neville, Ginny, and Hermione were all shocked as well.

McGonagall nodded. "Incredibly bright, the pair of them. I don't think we've had a pair that were incredibly smart, and yet squandered it on pranks and such. Except perhaps the Weasley Twins."

Fudge took over the conversation again. "Black was Potter's best man at his wedding to Lily Evans. And what's more, they actually named Black Harry's godfather! Can you imagine how the boy would react, knowing that? I shudder to think what would happen," he said quietly.

Harry was trembling at his point, the mug clutched tightly in his hands and shaking as well. He was spilling some butterbeer on himself, but he didn't notice.

"As it would turn out though, Black was a traitor the whole time. He was secretly a spy for You-Know-Who, passing him information on Dumbledore's efforts against him. Things came to a head when Dumbledore learned that You-Know Who was after the Potters. He tipped them off and told them to go into hiding. And to do so, they decided to use the Fidelius Charm," Fudge continued.

"The what Charm?" Rosmerta asked, a bit confused. Flitwick spoke up, since this was his field of expertise.

"The Fidelius Charm is a rather complex spell that is used to hide a secret within a single person. So long as that person does not reveal that secret, no one else will ever know of it. In this case, the Secret Keeper would be told the address of where James and Lily would be hiding, and no one else would ever know of that place's existence unless the Secret Keeper told them," the diminutive Charm's Professor said, before taking a drink from his beverage.

Fudge nodded. "Dumbledore wanted to take the position of Secret Keeper, but James insisted that it should be Sirius. Not even a week after the Charm was performed, He Who Must Not Be Named showed up on the Potter's doorstep, and the rest you all know," he said quietly.

Hagrid growled. "That filthy stinking traitor," he muttered. "Yeh know I saw him right before he went and killed all those people!? Dumbledore had sent me to get little Harry, and Black showed up on that flying motorcycle of his. Told me to give him Harry, saying he was the boy's Godfather. What if I had given Harry to him, huh? Probably ditch the boy in the ocean!"

McGonagall placed a calming hand on Hagrid's shoulder, as Fudge sighed quietly. "From what we can tell, Black, his true colors now exposed, tried to escape. Sadly, before we could get to him, one of his and James's friends from Hogwarts found him first: Peter Pettigrew."

McGonagall shuddered a bit. "That poor boy. He was never one for magic. I remember being so strict with him. If only I'd known," she said quietly.

Rosmerta gasped. "You don't mean?"

Fudge nodded sadly. "Peter confronted Sirius, yelling about how he betrayed Lily and James. He tried to go for his wand, but Black beat him to it. Blew up Peter, twelve Muggles, and the entire street they were on. Here's the strange thing though. When Auror's got to the scene, Black was still there. Just standing over Peter's robes and laughing madly."

Rosmerta shook her head. "I don't believe it," she said quietly. "I just can't believe it."

Fudge sighed. "Black went straight to Azkaban after that. And he's been there for twelve years now."

Hagrid growled. "Good riddance, I say. Wonder how he got out though."

McGoangall nodded as well. "I wonder as well. No one's ever escaped Azkaban. So how did he?"

Fudge shook his head. "That's the great mystery. I actually saw him during an inspection I took of Azkaban, not too long before he broke out. Most of the prisoners there, they seem broken, or insane due to the constant exposure to Dementor's. And Black had them outside his cell all the time. But he seemed…normal. Calm even. He actually asked me if I had finished my paper, saying he wanted to do the crossword in it. In fact, the only signs of anything wrong with him were when he slept. The guards told me he was constantly murmuring 'He's at Hogwarts, he's at Hogwarts'. I'm pretty sure he means Harry."

Rosmerta sighed. "Well hopefully he'll be captured, and soon. I'd hate to think what he could do to Harry Potter if he got his hands on him."

McGonagall nodded. "So do I Rosmerta. But I don't think Harry will be an easy target for him either. As much as I dislike the idea of one so young being trained to fight and kill to the extent Harry has, those Battle Mages have truly made him strong. He actually took down a full grown Mountain Troll with the help of one of his friends, Neville Longbottom."

"And don't forget last year when he fought that Basilisk," Flitwick squeaked out.

Fudge sighed as he finished his drink. "With any luck, Harry won't have to worry about facing Black. For now though, I need to get going. I'm having dinner with Dumbledore," he said, as he put his money down for his drink.

The others soon followed his example, and they were soon gone. As they left, Ginny slowly turned to Harry, seeing him sitting there with a blank expression on his face. She gently touched his arm. "H-Harry? Are you okay?" she asked softly.

Harry didn't answer. Instead, he just stared at the empty space where the five adults had been sitting, seeing nothing at all.


And scene. *sighs* Sorry for the long wait readers. I've had a lot on my plate here. First I got horribly sick and just couldn't do anything for like a week. And then my cat Smokey got sick, and we've been spending all this time and energy running him to the vet and getting him taken care of and stuff, and now we're having to do all this special stuff to care for him. If any of you are religious, please pray he'll be fully healed. And if you're not, then please understand why I'm taking so long to write.

I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. And I hope you'll enjoy what else is to come.

1. I'm actually referencing a creature known as the Lethifold here. It's native to tropical climates, but since most of the well known tropical climates (Carribean) are pretty much unknown to the European world at the time of Merlin, I went with one of the few known ones. Which are parts of India.

2. Due to the way I've constructed my timeline for this whole fanfic universe, the Patronus was not created to combat Dementors. It was created to combat spectral based creatures, such as the Lethifold. Dementors and Lethifolds fall under what I term 'spectral creatures'. A small minority of creatures that exhibit wraith or ghost like qualities, and thus in my opinion, require a spiritual based attack to deal with. Though fire is also good. Hence why in my fanfic here, the Patronus was designed to handle spectral based enemies, instead of just Dementors.

Please review.