A DARKLY SLANTED MIRROR
James Potter only wanted what any decent Wizard could hope for, a bloody gorgeous wife, three brats and his three best mates close by. He didn't expect to catch a Witch from the skies or to fall in love with her haunted honey eyes.
Hermione woke up broken and alone in front of Potter Manor, with no memory of her past life, but an infinite well of knowledge at her disposal. Her one solace quickly became not only her love for the determined and free spirited James Potter, but all of the Marauders.
She has been given a new name and the family she senses she has always craved, but fears digging too deeply into her past. Little does she realize that the scars on her hand are the mark of her time turner, or that she comes from more than twenty years in the future. Nor does she realize the impact her presence has already had on those around her, how she's helped forge and break relationships. Or how prophecy and history is now being rewritten.
The Dark Lord is on the rise, and Hermione is determined to do whatever it takes to save the ones she loves. James will stop at nothing to keep her or to remind her that true love is worth fighting for at all costs.
Sides will be chosen and friendships divided in the sequel and conclusion to "A Darkly Slanted Mirror."
A THINLY DRAWN VEIL
PART 3: Hogwarts
It was a decidedly frigid morning, when the Hogwarts students arrived at King's Cross and gathered together on Platform 9¾. Steam hissed as it escaped from the train waiting on the nearby tracks. Hogwarts Express was filled with a wary assembly of young Wizards and Witches, some oblivious to the increasing darkness of their world. Still others looked at their classmates and families with suspicious expressions. Most wore some form of Wizarding robe, even many of Muggles. The few dressed in Muggle jeans and jumpers didn't notice the dark glares from the more finely dressed crowd overlooking the proceedings.
The date was January twelfth, 1977 and even here with the bustle of baggage crow of magical pets and shouts of children, the fear on this platform this day was tremulous.
Or so thought Sirius Orion Black as he escorted his best mate's Witch through the crowd. Hermione was wearing the Dumbledore phoenix crest around her neck proudly today, contrary to her usual timidity. He was used to seeing her duck and hide from the calculating eyes of the Snakes. But they had discussed their strategy at length with Reggie the weekend before, and under the Black brothers' urging, Hermione Dumbledore was coming out of the cupboard. She was going to play the part that Dorea established for her, to charm and dazzle her Housemates. And hopefully, Reggie had said, pull the bloody wool over all of their eyes.
Lately he felt like he had been leading a life in that Muggle Telly show Moony was obsessed with, "The Twilight Zone." Ever since they were quite loudly kicked off Potter grounds, they had made their home with Uncle Alphard at his estate on the fringes of upper class London.
They had at last visited Grimmauld Place together and with each visit, Walburgha seemed to warm to the idea of them together. Not like the Dragon could ever be described as loving and affectionate. But Hermione assured him that she had an understanding with the Black matron, and didn't mind watching him spending his time playing Wizarding chess with Grandfather in the library.
Hermione and he had been about as happy as could be expected when parted from their best mates and the love of her life. Sirius couldn't recall a time when he hadn't talked with Prongs. From the owls Mooney frequently sent back and forth, he learned James wasn't taking this well at all. Rumor had it, his former best mate had spent most of his time in the skies, or with Mummy P and the other two Marauders. Pete hadn't quite understood the rift between their group until James literally exploded in his face about it. Sirius passed this on to Hermione, but he didn't tell her everything. He didn't mention how James was disappearing from the house on odd errands, or that Professor Dumbledore had been over more often than usual.
Remus was worried that James was "getting involved," though what exactly that entailed, he was afraid to know.
Hermione received a visit and several owls from the Headmaster, herself, but declined a return to her uncle's home. She told him that her place was at Sirius' side, now.
And he didn't know why that made him feel so sad, yet joyful at the same time. He hadn't felt like he was ever going to get the things he wanted out of life. Not because he had stopped wanting them, but because he knew he didn't deserve them. Try as Prongs, Moony and Mummy P had, nothing could get rid of the truth he knew in his head. He was a terrible Wizard who was raised to do terrible things. So he fought that darkness more than anyone else in his House, or among his acquaintance. And it was this struggle that drew him to Hermione.
Reggie gave them a silent nod as they passed by the Slytherin crowd. Sirius placed a hand over hers, currently clinging to his elbow. While outwardly she was the picture of confident, strength, inside she was a mess.
He'd taken her for a ride on his pride and joy the night before, just to help calm her nerves. While originally Hermione seemed to fear heights, since the night James had kicked them out of Potter Manor, she craved the thrill. He knew the feeling. It was one of the reasons he wanted a motorbike in the first place, after running away from Grimmauld Place.
How the fucking wheel has turned, he thought to himself as he glared back at the Snakes. Half of them were his relatives. He couldn't very well smile at them just yet. They weren't his mates and they never would be. Just because he was back in training to be the next Black heir, did not mean he had to suck up to those cock blocked wankers.
They made it onto the train without incident, until the Head Boy appeared at the opposite end of their car. Hermione's grip tightened until he felt like his circulation was about to cut off.
Sirius beamed immediately when he saw Prongs. He couldn't help it. They were blood brothers, after all, bonded in a different, but just as strong, way as Hermione. Or so Sirius, in his ignorance, believed.
"Oi!" he shouted, over the heads and curious faces of several Fourth and Second years. "Prongs, mate! It's about time you showed up."
For a moment James's expression lightened and the bespectacled Wizard seemed to contemplate coming to meet them. But that was when his gaze shifted to Hermione and immediately blackened. Without nodding to acknowledging them further, James slid open a cart just before having to cross paths and ducked inside.
Sirius stared, stunned at the space his best mate left behind. He admitted then to himself that in spite of what happened and all Moony said, things would be different when they met in person, better. He could barely speak or think as frustration and depression loomed over his head.
Seriously need a fag right now...
"Come on, Padfoot," Hermione softly said, pulling on his arm as she led him further down the train.
They glanced in at the car where James had been meeting with the Prefects. Lily was already waiting in the compartment just beside it. Her owl had told them she would meet them there the night before. They weren't expecting to find McKinnon, Binns, Eddie Underhill, Sasparilla Ashwood, Wilfred Smythe and Zephania Smith were already packed together in the seats and waiting.
Sirius frowned as something itched at the back of his mind, like this group, these people were somehow significant. He knew it for certain when Hermione gasped and clenched his arm again. He barely had room to shut the door behind them.
Merlin's tatty drawers, I'm gonna need a new arm after this!
Lily smiled warmly up at them and then addressed the others, "I think we all know why we're here." The others nodded and exchanged faint smiles.
Hermione at last nodded and spoke as if catching her breath. "You lot were in Hogsmeade, the day James and I..."
Sirius, who was known for having a minute by minute child's attention span, stopped staring at her breasts and honed in on her words. He felt like pieces of a puzzle were clicking together for him, but the picture wasn't quite clear yet. So he kept quiet, something he was becoming good at, being back in the Black Family's favor.
Marlene interrupted with that Scottish accent that drove Pete crazy, "Hermione, don't worry. Evans has shared a good bit with us already. We've all been looking out for you two since what happened. And we're not just here because you saved our lives, but because we think you might be the only one powerful enough to stop...You-Know-Who."
Hermione sputtered, "What?!" All her carefully schooled Slytherin graces went out with the rest of the shit, then. "Why would you think I was powerful? You're all just as clever as me," she said, her olive skin turning pink as she told an obvious fib.
Sirius couldn't help the roll of his eyes or his huff of amusement as he mumbled, "Godric's balls, Mione..."
Hermione slapped him and continued, without missing a beat. "Whatever you might think, or have seen or even heard, I'm nobody special. I'm even less than what you want me to be..." she murmured and he knew she was referring to the fact no one else in this room but him knew.
Sasparilla Ashwood piped up then, her pale blonde hair gleaming in the winter light peeking through the window. "But you're Dumbledore's niece, Hermione."
Binns added, "Yeah, and you're the brightest Witch in Hogwarts, besides. Even my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandad says so!"
Lily calmed them down when they began talking over one another. When he felt Hermione tense he rubbed his thumb absently over her hand, until she calmed again. He felt like this was his toughest but likewise, easiest job these days, keeping Hermione safe. That included keeping her from a bunch of hero-worshiping brats, pushing her into even more danger.
Lily finally shouted, "Shut it!" and smiled faintly when they turned to her with wide eyes. "Look, Hermione, we're not trying to force you into anything. But we wanted you to know that you have allies this year, eyes and ears in all the Houses. And when the time comes, they'll be ready for whatever you decide to do."
Hermione nodded after a while and said, "I-I guess I should thank you. Just...look after Ja-Potter when you can. Things are a bit more complicated and he might...Well, never mind that. Just keep an eye on Slytherin and if any of you hear anything, you know how to contact me," she finished.
Sirius tried to hold in his laugh as Lily ushered them out of the room.
"Remember to keep your coins on you at all times," Lily encouraged as they nodded and hugged and shook her hand.
Hermione shifted uneasily when the Second Year, Wilfred Smythe, actually bowed to her. And then they were alone.
Sirius and Hermione took their seats across from the red-headed Witch and he watched, again silently, before he burst, "Okay, what the hell was that about, Evans?"
Lily narrowed her startling green eyes at him, "That was part of the plan, Black. Though why Regulus let you take over his part in it, I'll never understand. You're about as subtle as a bull in a china cupboard."
Hermione's worried frown broke into a slight smirk. This encouraged Sirius to continue their little debate, as long as it distracted her from her fear.
"You're just jealous you don't get a piece of this action, Evans," he told her, batting his eyelashes at her.
"I don't know how you put up with his mucking about, Hermione," she said with disdain. Lily pulled a disgusted face, shaking her head so her straight, dark red hair flew out of her face. "Now listen. I know Potter is royally pissed with you two, but I'm sure he'll eventually come round again. Especially once he realized you two aren't in it for keeps."
Hermione linked her fingers together, occasionally twitching enough that Sirius could feel the pressure of her restrained magic. He glanced at her as she replied.
"I would have liked some sort of warning before you brought the others into this...but what are the coins you were mentioned?" She leaned forward, almost eagerly as Evans answered.
"Oh that! I had this idea of charming these coins so they'll let everyone know when and where to meet for meetings."
"Meetings?" Sirius asked.
Lily nodded and continued, as if talking about the bloody weather. "Yeah, we need some way to convene quickly."
"Convene?" Hermione said and then frowned. "Lily, I'm trying to keep a low profile, not start a revolution under Uncle Albus's nose."
Sirius added, "She's right! Are you fuckin' mental, Evans? Seriously, do you think the Snakes won't notice us disappearing off school grounds?"
Or James since he's still got the map...need to make sure Moony keeps it this term.
Lily looked between them for a long pause. "Look, I'm not forcing anything on you, either of you," she reluctantly said. "Black, you know the dangers she's under more than most. We all have to be more careful than ever, now that we're divided. I can't even be seen with Sev in public."
Sirius held up his hands and felt nauseous, "Ugh! For the love of Salazar's loins, please don't finish that. What I don't get is how he turned you over to the dark side..."
"I could say the same thing about you, Black!" Lily snapped.
Hermione put her hand over his, so her fingers brushed over his family ring. He could feel the tingle from the light magical bond the contract had already linked them. It was enough to shut him up.
"I'm glad we have allies, and I appreciate everything you and Snape and Regulus have done for me," Hermione said. "But Sirius is right. People are going to be curious and they're going to be watching. Not just at Hogwarts, but the Death Eaters as well. I haven't even told Uncle Albus everything, to protect him."
"Exactly," Lily announced. "And since you can't play the role you wanted, we'll be your eyes and ears. We'll deal with the Death Eaters and this time you'll know long before You-Know-Who decides to show his ugly face."
Sirius sighed as they made plans for the school term. He didn't think it was a good idea bringing more people into their mess, but Evans actually had a good point. And as their conversation died and plans of his own began to formulate in his head, Sirius opened his arm to draw Hermione closer. He vowed to himself that he wasn't going to let anything happen to her. But this time, though he didn't admit it, his reasons had nothing to do with James.
The Welcome Feast was hell, in Remus John Lupin's humble opinion. He could feel the angst and anger reeling off his pack members throughout most of it. He had gone from blessed peace and quiet to constant noise and scents, his Werewolf senses were tingling from things he had no control over.
Sirius and Hermione were sitting together at the Slytherin table, not because he wanted to. Remus knew Padfoot didn't trust most of the Snakes and half of them were his bloody relatives. But it did save them the trouble of facing James.
He glanced up from his meal while Dumbledore droned on about the usual spring term shite. Usually he would have been listening with rapt attention, eager to soak in these last vestiges of his education. Remus knew he wasn't going to be pursuing any studies after this. His condition made impossible so many things the rest of them took for granted. Nobody would keep an employee requiring nearly a week's absence out of every month. And even if they did, soon as they realized it was a recurring thing, it wouldn't take them long to put two and two together. Then he was good as locked up in Azkaban for some crime he didn't commit, or cast out on the streets. And he couldn't be a burden to his parents forever...
"Moony?" James hissed across the table, drawing his surprised attention. His best mate, the one who first learned of his condition and still made him an honorary brother, was watching him with mild concern. Remus wasn't expecting to see that James.
Lately Prongs had been a constant flux of change, determined and hopeful one second and prideful and furious the other. He could see the shadows hidden by his friend's spectacles and his hair was even more windblown than usual. He had no doubt Gryffindor was going to win it this year, with all the practice their captain was putting into it.
James grinned, though it never reached his eyes and added, "You're making Wormy nervous, you know."
Pete paused in his desert with his mouth hung open and crumbs spilling with his reply, "Oi! Am not!"
"Shhh!" several heads turned their direction.
Remus was embarrased and when he looked at the podium, the Headmaster's twinkling gaze was fixed on him. Sheepishly he gulped and cast a harsh glare at the other two, before returning his focus to where it ought to be.
The Headmaster's voice carried though he seemed to speak with little effort. "I have no doubt, that many of you have heard of the horrifying attacks over the holidays. I regret to inform you that two of your classmates have not returned this term, due to this. But let me assure you, though the world is locked in this season of death, the ice always cracks and life will return. The sun will beat back the shadows and we shall do all in our power to keep you safe. And keep in mind, it is our choices that define who we are, not our abilities."
Remus grimaced, disturbed by the Headmaster's words. He lifted his gaze then and across the hall, met a pair of golden, amber shaded orbs that were just as wide and concerned as him. He smiled faintly at Hermione and then rolled his eyes when Sirius leaned in front of her to make a face and a rude gesture. It was a game they had played since Second Year actually, so he made the answering signal back without thought.
"Easy there mate," James laughed, holding up his hands. "I wasn't trying to get you in trouble, y'know."
Remus glared at his oldest friend. "I don't know if I feel like carrying out Plan 753 after all..."
Peter choked on his drink and James slapped him on the back, answering, "C'mon Moony! Don't be so pissy, you old furball. You just looked like death had walked over your grave. And you've been doing such a bully job keeping me sane. Can't have you going mad too. Then what would poor Wormtail do?"
Peter shook his head to himself, mumbling words James couldn't hear. But his Werewolf senses understood clearly. "Barmy git, kicking Mione out of the house...of course you're mad..."
Remus hid his smile behind his hand and looked up through his eyelashes to watch James. He was expecting a sharp retort and some more fun before Prongs gave up. But, yet again, the new James Merlin Potter had lost his thoughts to she-who-must-not-be-named, and had a morose, pained expression on his face. It came and went so quickly when Frank Longbottom turned to ask him something about Prefect patrols, that Remus knew he wasn't going to make it to the rendezvous point.
She'll have to owl me about it later, he thought with a slight grimace. It was far better to stay and keep an eye on James and the Marauder's Map, after all.
Soon as his best mate was finished, he stood and spread open his hands, "Well, what are we waiting for? To work, gents," he said.
James's hazel eyes lit with new life.
"Shh!" Remus ordered.
"But he's stepping on my foot, Mooney!" Pete whinged.
James started laughing until Remus elbowed him in the chest.
"You want to try brewing this potion next go around? I didn't think so. Now, come on. These charms won't last and the elves aren't brainless like you two."
James used his wand to open the portrait of fruit and the three, "Ready? One...Two..."
"What happened to three?" Pete peeped before Remus shoved him in the kitchens.
As they had suspected, the kitchens were empty and only one House Elf remained at the fireside, mindlessly snapping its fingers whenever the flames began to die.
Remus tensed, and prayed the silencing charm would work. Elves weren't stupid and could see through Wizarding magic, if they were aware of it. If they pulled this off the right way, there wouldn't be any hiccups. Otherwise, this could get very messy.
James turned to him from underneath his dad's invisibility cloak and nodded with a sloppy side-grin. They moved a huddled mass. After years of sneaking undetected under this thing, they had the skills of a bloody ballerina. And he had to admit it was easier without Padfoot making lewd jokes on purpose to make them laugh.
They passed the tables and endless pots and pans until they reached it. The pipes were twisting, rollicking things and Remus hoped this would lead to the Elf quarters and not Wizard and Witches instead. Everything depended on that.
"Ready?" He said, as he waved his wand and whispered the spell he'd found over break at Potter Manor.
Peter handed him the heavy glass of Firewhisky solemnly and James's grin turned devious as Remus smirked back. They began to pour the amber liquid into the open valve.
Hermione Dumbledore was hoping Remus could make it to their meeting. But when he didn't show, Sirius urged her on, promising, "Moony always has a good reason. Better than most, trust me, love."
She sighed and let him lead her down deeper into the dungeons. "I just miss him, them...you know."
"Yeah," he sighed heavily and eyed her. "But at least you've got me, yeah? Remember what I told you the other night? We're in this together, Mione, love. Don't be forgetting that having this Black on your side is better than any brand of magic."
She smiled at the mirrored sorrow in his beautiful gray eyes. "I believe you," she said, and she meant it. Sirius had been something of a slight thorn in her side, a twitch in her eye before this. She wasn't sure what she was supposed to say or how she should treat him more often than not. She couldn't ever pinpoint what her reasons for this were, for her discomfort around him. Likewise, he made her feel safe. He had turned his life upside down for no more reason than to help her and James. And she was even learning to like flying.
A motorbike really is much safer than a stick and straw, anyhow, she thought.
Sirius staggered then, hand on his heard and tugging her to the floor with him. "Sirius Black!" she screeched and then fell half on top of him against the nearby wall.
"Sorry, love, can't breathe!" he gasped beneath her, eyes crossing and staring up at the ceiling "You...you actually admitted you trust anything I have to say?"
"Sirius," Hermione gasped and struggled to right him, "You'd better stop before I hex you!"
"But you know everything, Mione, love," he said, suddenly straightening and winking at her, followed by his most winning smirk.
Hermione blushed and hit him with her fist. "I take it back. You're such a slimy toad sometimes, Black. I don't know why I ever agreed to marry you..." Both of their smirks faded and a brief, awkward pause ensued.
Sirius, never one for awkward pauses he had not initiated, said, "Why don't you sneak me into the Slytherin girls' dorms tonight, yeah? I'd love to see the looks on their faces when I turn up in the shower tomorrow morning."
Hermione rolled her eyes and slapped his arm again. They eased as they came to the door Lily marked for them. The rune was invisible until she approached it. "Speak friend and enter," she mumbled to herself fondly.
"What?" Sirius barked.
"Shh! Shut up a moment so I can concentrate." She shut her eyes and waved her wand. It was a farce really, because she was channeling her magic through her other hand. Her wand was ancient and far too powerful. And she was so much better at nonverbal wandless spells.
"Merlin's balls," Sirius mumbled as they entered.
The old classroom had been converted to something that resembled a common room. Lily and Severus had transfigured couches and chairs and the candles were warm and inviting. All dust and cobwebs had been cleared and Hermione blushed slightly when she eyed the bed at the far corner.
This time she was relieved that the only ones meeting them were Snape, Evans and Regulus. The latter lifted his calculating sapphire eyes to her with a smirk eerily reminiscent of his brother.
"Hermione!" Lily exclaimed and jumped up. She was dressed down, her robe tossed aside in favor of Muggle jeans and a jumper. Hermione was thrown off when the taller red-head wrapped her up in a tight hug, and she felt something that should not have been there.
Her mouth opened and she parted only to stare fixed on Lily's belly. Instantly, she reached out and brushed against the tiny being growing inside her and was even more startled to feel a knowing touch of magic reach back. "Lily..."
Lily blanched, obviously not expecting this reaction.
Sirius frowned, "What's going on? Why do you look like you've seen Professor Slughorn in a bikini, love?"
"Always the joker," Regulus commented snidely.
Severus added, "Indeed, but we mustnt' expect anything of real intelligence to come from his mouth, after all."
"You're right. Unfortunately, my brother's mouth always did get in the way of his brain," Regulus said with a smirk.
"I'm warning you Reggie! You piss me off or let that one rub me the wrong way and I'm gone."
Severus sighed, "Again, Black, you prove your oozing intelligence by making threats and ultimatums. If you're ever to blend in with your family, perhaps you should listen to your brother."
Sirius clenched his fists, but his wand hand stilled when Hermione instinctively reached out to stop him. "Oi! Did you not just hear him, love?"
"I'm pregnant, okay?" Lily said.
Hermione nodded, having expected as much, but her fiancee clearly had not.
"What the fuck, Evans?!"
"Sirius!" Hermione hissed and then, wordlessly, cast a silencing spell on him. He continued to shout and motion with his hands but she returned her gaze to the Witch before her.
"Thanks," Lily said, wringing her hands. The taller Witch turned to walk back over to the empty spot beside Severus. "Look, you were gonna find out soon anyway, so you might as well know now. I'm using charms to block it, and it should be enough until we graduate. Unless someone hugs me the wrong way." She frowned and glanced up at Severus, who met her with adoring eyes.
Hermione didn't know whether to be more surprised by this news or the fact Snape looked ready to spout sonnets. "I see...well, congratulations. I know this time is not ideal, but a baby is always a reason to celebrate." She smiled and then nodded firmly, confident that she was right. Her words made Lily smile broadly in return.
When she lifted the silencing charm on Sirius, he was out of breath and simply staring back and forth between Lily and Severus in shock. She patted his arm. "Come, sit down before you hurt yourself."
Regulus chuckled, earning a pointed glare from his elder brother.
Lily shared one more look with Severus before beginning, "So, now that we're all here, I thought you might want to know the real reason I contacted you."
"Obviously you think I'm important, or you wouldn't have formed a club of my...supporters," she admitted, awkwardly. She still didn't like the thought of students blindly following her, when she had done nothing real to earn their trust.
Regulus took over for Lily. "This was their idea at first, you know, to find a way to protect you from the Death Eaters. And of course, as you know Severus and I are just a sampling of the latest recruits," he said darkly.
Hermione's heart ached as she saw a flicker of his disappointment and fear. He masked it so well, but she remembered he was nearly two years her junior.
So young...no one should be fighting a war so young.
Lily sat forward in her seat and smiled. "We're going to have to pretend we can't sand each other in public now you understand. Anything that ties us together makes us a target. And we've been talking lately about how we think the boys can spy for Dumbledore, perhaps. Since he's your uncle, you could speak with him about it. But not yet. The grown ups don't think we're ready for this kind of war, for fighting. But we're a part of it. You heard what the Professor said during the feast. We want to make the right choices, not just for us, but for everyone."
Hermione nodded, and wondered if Albus would agree. She thought back to the holidays and her time with the Order of the Phoenix. Did they know about it? Should she tell them? She felt like she needed to talk to Sirius alone then, unsure whether two Death Eaters needed to know so much.
But they took a risk just coming here tonight...
"You don't have any right asking her this," Sirius suddenly said, his voice shaking. She blinked and turned to look at him beside her. "None of you. She's in hiding, don't you understand? And the ones that tried to kill her are still out there, but you just want to puff her up and make her your fucking chosen one, don't you?"
Regulus bowed his head and Lily actually looked chastened, but Severus sneered at him and cut in, "Granted, you have courage, Black. But you're a fool. No one's going to attack her, because the Dark Lord wants her. Get that through your thick skull. She has faced him and survived. He wants to collect and do Merlin knows what to her. And we can't afford to let that kind of power to get into his hands."
Hermione's blood ran cold as she realized what Severus wasn't saying. He must have been there that day in Hogsmeade and probably helped to trap the other students. She shivered.
Sirius leaned forward to look her in the eye. "Look at me love, fuck them and their plans to save the world. Just look at me and tell me you don't want to do this. Tell me this is too much for you and you want me to walk you to your dorm. Hermione, please," he whispered and covered her hand with his.
Hermione looked at him and tears blurred her vision. "No. I-I can do this, Sirius. Don't you understand? I have to."
Review: If you want to :) What do you think is going to happen next? Did the Marauders succeed in spiking the House Elves water supply? ;) Stay tuned to find out.
A/N: Yay! We're back for the sequel! I hope you're all as excited as I am about this story. The answers left unsaid in A Darkly Slanted Mirror will gradually be revealed. But of course I'm going to make you work for them a bit ;) Things are certainly darker in the coming chapters, but hopefully you'll hang tight and enjoy the angsty, drama and action filled ride. Thanks to everyone who reviewed and Fav'd ADSM and followed me these past years. This sequel wouldn't be here without you :)