A/N: Happy New Years! I'm sorry I haven't updated this for so long, but I'm way too busy with school and everything that I don't have much time to write. Anyways, thanks for reviews and I hope you like the chap, though it's a bit shortish...

There was some complaint about how I describe the DoM, so I'd like to remind you that this is AU fanfiction, which basically means that I can do whatever I want with the characters and places. I'm well aware that in Canon the DoM focuses only on some kind of research, but since this is my fic, I'm gonna describe the place however I want. I did mention in earlier chapters that there is a research department in the DoM, which is more known than the one Sky works in. So, if you don't like it, don't read.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J. K. Rowling

Marcus sat at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour eating ice cream and watching people as they rushed through Diagon alley, mostly to Flourish and Blotts to see Gilderoy Lockhart. He snorted at the people's stupidity for believing in the books the man had written, as if he could cast even a disarming charm properly.

Marcus himself refused to go anywhere near the man having had enough of his company back in school as he had attended at the same time as Lockhart and so he had told Sky and Dora to go by themselves. It was three weeks till the start of the new term at Hogwarts and Marcus had decided to take Sky and Dora to get their things for the new year. They had already shopped for a few hours and their books were the only thing that was left. Refusing to go into the rush hour of the book store with that peacock signing his oh-so-wonderful books, he had told the kids to go get their books and meet him at the ice cream Parlour.

Marcus took another bite from his ice cream and thought back to the day Sky had received the memory of the night Marcus had found him, back. He couldn't imagine how awful it must have been for Sky to go through that night again, though taking into account Sky's reaction as he woke up, Marcus did have some inkling. It had been truly shocking to see Sky, who hadn't cried since the day in the Phoenix Manor many years ago, to just let it all out. Marcus was glad Dora had been there for Sky to help him come to terms with that night, though he wished he could have done something to help the boy he regarded as his own son.

To be honest Marcus was glad Sky had finally broken down and let out all the emotions he had kept inside for so long. Now that he had properly mourned for Blake and Fox he could finally move on and remember them without the pain and sorrow that came with them. On another matter though, Marcus was slightly concerned that Sky would seek revenge upon the people who had started the fire on the shack.

In other words: the Mallorys.

Marcus was utterly disgusted with many Pureblood traditions and beliefs, and disowning their children because they had no magic was one of them. And on top of that they were given a knife to kill themselves for embarrassing the family. It was truly horrible. As if it was the children's fault they didn't have any magic. The blame should be put on their parents and ancestors for inbreeding. Never before had Marcus been prouder to say he was a Half-blood.

Marcus couldn't really fault Sky for wanting revenge upon the Mallorys, but he was worried for Sky's safety should he attempt it. The Mallorys were, after all, a very powerful family in the wizarding world – even the Malfoys didn't hold a candle to them. The Mallorys were one of the oldest Dark families, going back centuries, not to mention one of the richest too. They were powerful both politically and magically and had many connections to other countries too. It was no surprise they had gained a place in Voldemort's Inner circle.

Marcus himself had been at school with the current Head of the family Gabriel Mallory. Gabriel had been a few years ahead of him, in Slytherin as one could guess, and Marcus could honestly say he had never liked the man. Gabriel was the most arrogant person he had ever encountered and had an insane streak in him. Marcus remembered he had been particularly fascinated with the element of fire and had once, at the age of fourteen, burned one poor Gryffindor's hand so badly it scarred for life and could no longer be used properly.

Gabriel had of course received no punishment for what he did, apart from a few house points being taken away as the Gryffindor's parents didn't dare go up against his family. That incident had only made Gabriel worse and affirmed his belief that he could get away with anything. The boy had strutted through the halls of Hogwarts like he owned the place for the rest of his time there and Marcus had been sickened to see many of his fellow students follow him like he was Merlin reincarnated, or perhaps more proper name would be Salazar Slytherin reincarnated.

At present Gabriel Mallory was one of the most influential people at the Ministry having avoided Azkaban by claiming Imperious like many other Death Eaters and was very close to the Minister himself. Marcus wouldn't go up against him at the present climate and had advised Sky not to do so either. Sky, however, was young and could sometimes be rather impulsive. Marcus only hoped Sky wouldn't encounter the man as of yet and if he did, that Sky would be able to restrain himself from confronting the man. A time for that would come; Marcus was sure, but not yet.

Marcus was brought back from his musings by a groan as an exhausted-looking Dora flopped down on the chair in front of him.

"I hate shopping!" She moaned.

Marcus raised an eyebrow suppressing a smirk.

"I hate Lockhart." Sky muttered, he too sitting down.

"That too." Dora agreed. "I can't believe all those girls and women are in there fawning over that… peacock. It's obvious he's a fraud. And he's not even good-looking!"

"What, you didn't like his smile?" Sky teased her. "He has, after all, won Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award for five times!"

"God no!" Dora cried. "He's utterly disgusting."

"And here I thought you would have been fawning after him like every other female as it appears. Though, I think I saw a few men there too." Sky said.

"Definitely not! You should know me better than that, Sky." Dora said wrinkling her nose. "Lockhart is definitely not my type."

"Really? So tell me, who is your type?" Sky asked curiously and Dora blushed looking away.

"No-one." She mumbled.

"Come on Dora; tell me, who's the lucky guy?" Sky asked lightly though, Marcus could hear a tense note in his voice. Smiling he looked at the two. Dora's face was totally red as she argued with Sky, refusing to look at him. Marcus knew very well who the young girl was crushing on, but Sky, it seemed, was totally oblivious to it. Marcus also knew Sky liked Dora as more than a friend, but it appeared the young boy had yet to admit it even to himself.

Sitting back he observed the two children, both mentally much older than theirs peers, but still so young. The two had been through a lot in their short lives and were far too mature most of the time, but Marcus was glad to see that there were some things, they still weren't familiar with. Sky and Dora both hadn't yet learned to deal with feelings like love and lust and it warmed Marcus' heart that the two could be normal teenagers at least in that matter.

"So, did you get everything you needed?" He asked breaking the argument.

"Yeah." Sky said and Dora nodded.

"Good, shall we go then?" Marcus continued standing up and the two children nodded following suit.

Later that day found the trio eating dinner with Sirius and Remus, who had returned from their honeymoon a week earlier. The two men were greatly amused to hear about their day in Diagon Alley and especially the fact that Gilderoy Lockhart had been there.

"It was truly awful. The women were eating by his hand, nearly throwing themselves to him. I really don't understand what they see in him. He's utterly disgusting and his books are full of shit." Dora said.

"Language, Dora." Marcus chastened, though weakly as he was too busy smirking at her comment.

"I'm entitled to that if I have to suffer that peacock's presence for the next ten months." Dora said stubbornly folding her hands.

"What do you mean for the next ten months?" Sirius asked.

"He's gonna be the new DADA teacher." Dora said with a grimace. "I mean seriously, they expect him to teach us? His books are full of tips on how to make your hair stay in place when you're doing some made up heroic act. I mean seriously, everyone knows 'holy water' has no effect on vampires. It's just a silly Muggle belief that it burns them."

"He's going to teach?" Marcus exclaimed. "What in Merlin's name is that old coot thinking, hiring Lockhart to teachkids in the most important subject in the curriculum? The man can't even cast a proper tickling charm."

"Good luck with that kids." Sirius said laughing.

"Did we mention there was some action at his book signing?" Sky commented suddenly.

"No, what happened?" Remus asked curiously.

"Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley got into a fight."

"Really?" Marcus asked raising his eyebrows. "Over what?"

"I don't really know." Dora said. "I was out of the hearing distance. I only saw Mr. Weasley leaping at Malfoy."

"I think it had something to do with Weasley's daughter. She was in the middle of the fight." Sky said thoughtfully.

"That's right! You helped her up when she fell." Dora exclaimed.

"Yeah." Sky said absently.

"What is it Sky?" Marcus asked noticing his thoughtful state.

"Huh? It's nothing." Sky said dismissively, but Marcus knew there was something bothering him. Deciding to let him be for the moment he joined the others in discussing the Flourish and Blotts –incident.

Later that night Sky laid on his bed, thinking back to the incident at the bookstore.


Sky moved through the crowd trying to get to the bookshelves in order to find his new Charms' book when he saw a commotion to his left. A red blur moved quickly past him and jumped at a blond, whom Sky recognized as Lucius Malfoy. Sky quickly took in the scene and saw that it was the Head of the Weasley family, who had leaped at Malfoy. He also saw the only girl Weasley fall to the floor and instinctively reached to help her.

"Are you okay?" He asked the girl, who was clutching her books, which Sky noted, were second-handed like the girl's clothes.

"I – I'm fine." The girl said and Sky reached a hand in an offer to help her up. The girl looked at the hand for a moment before taking hold of it and Sky pulled her up. Just as he was letting her hand go he felt a shockwave go through his right hand. He locked eyes with the girl and saw that she had felt it too, but the moment was over as soon as it had appeared and the red-headed girl disappeared into the crowd rushing to break the fight between the two men.

End of Flashback

Sky knew the girl's name was Ginerva Weasley, though she was often called Ginny, and that she would be going to Hogwarts for her first year in a few weeks. What he didn't know though, was why he had reacted to her touch in such a way. Swearing to keep an eye on her and find out where the shockwave came from, while back in Hogwarts, he closed his eyes and fell into a dreamless dream.

The last of the summer holidays passed by quickly with Sky training and going on missions back in the DoM and training Dora back in the Lux Manerium. On the September the 1st he once again took on the disguise of Ray Evans, the blind Hufflepuff, and entered the Hogwarts Express with Dora by his side.

As Sky, once again, said goodbye to Marcus he found it much easier than the year before and didn't dread going into the school as much as he did then, which mostly contributed for having Dora with him. Now he only needed to find a new project to focus on so that he got through the year without being bored to death.

Hopefully though, this year would be calmer than the last one.

A/N: Thanks for reading, please review and tell me what you think. I'm having a bit of a writer's block with this story so I'm hoping to receive some suggestions on how to improve it. I try to, however, post the next chapter soon.

- Dalnim