Ares’s month at the Burrow wasn’t fun. Iris, Charon and Shadow had been kept locked up in the shed and Ares hadn’t been allowed to leave his room except to go to the bathroom and that was with an escort. The rest of the month he was kept locked in the room the Weasleys had put him in. Try as Mr. and Mrs. Weasley might Ares decided to ignore the both of them and refused to eat the food they brought for him. Ron was pulled out of school to try to talk some sense into Ares but only succeeded in further darkening Ares’s mood.
“Mom it does no good. The Potter brat won’t even talk to me. He doesn’t see how this is for his own good.”
“I can’t believe that St. Mungo’s found nothing wrong with his mind. There must be something wrong with the boy to make him think that the Dark Lord actually saved him. Must be some really powerful dark magic that has hold over the boy with the Dark Lord’s death. Well you’ll both be going back to Hogwarts tomorrow. Just keep trying to talk to Harry. I’m sure with time he’ll come around and see how wrong he was to think that the Dark Lord could ever love him.”
Ares’s eyes were closed as he listened to the conversation going on in the kitchen. Since he had been trapped in this room for a month he had taken that time to better understand his powers and improve his hearing and sight. After the Blood Adoption Ritual his vision had improved so he no longer needed glasses for which he was thankful for. Father. I’m sorry that Dumbledore followed me and killed you. I swear I will get you back and together we’ll take down the light starting with that bastard Dumbledore.
Ares knew these fools were starting to test his patience and he was beginning to consider forsaking politics and becoming the next Dark Lord. After he was already the Prince of the Death Eaters and they had no choice but to follow him now that their Lord was dead. His education came first though before ruling the Death Eaters. Tom would want his son to graduate Hogwarts before he did anything else.
Ares was glad to be back in Hogwarts the next morning. If I’m going to become a Dark Lord I need my own followers. My friends are a good place to start. But first I should discuss it with them before I brand them. Thankfully father showed me how to do it at nine years old.
“Deathly Hallows would make a good mark,” Ares muttered quietly to himself as his face twisted into a feral grin. “It’s powerful and would strike fear into these fools. Taking a symbol from a children’s book and making it evil… that would work to ensue mayhem and panic.”
As Ares began walking to Ravenclaw tower Professor McGonagall spotted him and came over. “The Head Master wants to see you in his office Mr. Riddle. Your things will be taken to Ravenclaw.”
“Thank you Professor,” Ares said smiling. In order to get the bastard off my back I’ll pretend I’ve seen the error of my ways and act like the perfect little light wizard. Though if that weasel tries anything else I’ll fucking kill him. Once I’ll graduate I’ll show the followers of Dumbledore that I am not someone to be fucked with.
Ares walked to the Head Master’s office with Shadow draped around his shoulders and Iris beside him. Hedwig and Charon had been released to go to the Owlery. “I need to see the Head Master,” he said to the gargoyle and charging the rune tattoo on his hand. The gargoyle quickly sprang to the side and Ares went up to the Head Master’s office. He knocked and a voice said “Enter.”
“Ah good morning Mr. Potter.”
Ares’s eyes darkened before putting a smile on his face. “Good morning Head Master. I’m glad to be back in Hogwarts and I must say you were right about Voldemort.”
“Glad to hear it my boy. So the Weasleys did you some good then?”
“Oh yes sir. They made me see the error of my ways and I would like to apologize for accepting Ronald’s duel.”
“I expect we’ll have no more bad behavior from you for the rest of your school years here?”
“No sir. I love Hogwarts too much to risk expulsion. It’s a second home to me.” That was the only truth he was going to admit to.
“Good well then off you go.”
“Good bye Head Master.”
Ares went to Ravenclaw tower and stopped in front of the eagle knocker. Why is the symbol of Ravenclaw an eagle?
An Arab sheikh tells his two sons to race their camels to a distant city to see who will inherit his fortune. The one whose camel is slower will win. Reluctantly, the brothers started out on this unconventional "race". After wandering aimlessly for days, they came across a wise man and asked him for advice. After hearing the advice of the wise man, the brothers jump on the camels and race as fast as they can to the city. What advice did the wise man offer?
“He suggested they switch to camels since it was obvious they were afraid that their camel was faster than the other’s.”
Ares stepped through the door and sighed in relief upon seeing the common room again. He collapsed in a chair by the fire and Iris lay at his feet. The door opened and Orion came in before running towards Ares. “Ares you’re back!”
“Why aren’t you in class Orion?”
“Why aren’t you?”
“I just had a meeting with the Head Master. I decided not to go to class after the meeting and besides I just go back to Hogwarts.”
“How did it go?”
“The meeting or the time at the Weasleys? Being at the Weasleys was hell. However I managed to sharpen my sight and hearing and even found out I’m a Pyromancer. That’s what this rune on my hand is. It’s for ‘fire’.”
“The others finished their Animagi forms. Do you know what yours is?”
“A golden eagle. I practiced my Animagi form while locked up at the Burrow.”
“Indigo’s a jaguar, Hermione’s a lioness, and Draco’s a cat. As soon as you know your form Hermione will complete the bracelets and give us each one. I’m not in class because I heard that you were in the castle from Professor McGonagall so came here.”
Ares nodded. “The light is really pissing me off. Did you know the Weasleys kept Iris, Shadow and Charon locked up in a cage that they made impervious to magic and put the cage in the shed? They also kept me tied to the bed the entire month I was there. But they’re still shocked that St. Mungo’s couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Mrs. Weasley is convinced that father must have some powerful dark magic on my mind. Dumbledore killed my father. He followed me back home when I left Hogwarts.”
Orion shook his head. “Bastard.”
Ares and Orion went up to their dorm. Ares concentrated on his Animagi form and turned into Skywing. Skywing flapped his wings and landed on Orion’s bed. Then he changed back. “Very cool! What’s your Animagi name?”
“Skywing. What are the others?”
“I’m Claw. Draco’s Cloud, Hermione’s Dusk and Indigo’s Nocturne.”
“Claw certainly fits you Orion.”
Orion smiled and sat down on his bed. “I feel like going for a flight tonight. It’s the full moon yes?”
Orion nodded. “Good then we’ll go to the Forbidden Forest together. My plans for my life have changed due to what Dumbledore did to my father and has been trying to do to me so far this year.”
Orion said nothing but lay back on his bed fingering his wolf pendant. Ares noticed and sparked by curiosity he asked the question he had been thinking of for some time. “What’s with the pendant Orion?”
Orion appeared shocked at the question. “I’m surprised you have an interest in it master.” Realizing his mistake he shut his mouth and mentally berated himself for letting his tongue slip.
“What’s with the ‘master’ bit Orion?” Ares asked though he was pleased that one of his friends and hopefully future followers was already referring to him as that.
Orion seemed to regret opening his mouth but sighed. “What do you know of the master/slave bond?”
“Only what Professor Bloomsdale said. That the bond was implemented on the tenth generation of werewolves after a community of werewolves was killed by wizards and witches in 1890. As such all werewolves are registered with the Werewolf Registration Act and can be sold into a master/slave bond. Werewolves didn’t exist until 1880 when Amber Flame and Flint Blossom were turned after being bitten by Asena who was one of ten sons of a mythical female wolf.”
Orion nodded. “That’s correct. But my mother, my werewolf mother I mean, made a deal with the Riddles. The son of Tom Marvolo Riddle would inherit her third cub. That means I’m your slave and I hope to be your friend.”
Ares was shocked at this news. “I had no idea that my father had set up something like this.”
“Your father didn’t know because his mother died when he was born and his father abandoned them after finding out his wife was a witch. I only know because my wolf mother wrote me a letter informing me of the master/slave bond she made with the Riddles. As for the wolf pendant around my neck… it was a gift from my wolf mother. As I understand it my three siblings also have pendants from our wolf mother.”
“What’s her name?”
Orion appeared surprised. “Her name was Storm Rosewood. She was killed when I was nine years old.”
“Were you close to her?”
Orion smiled. “Yes. She and my siblings taught me the dangers of being a werewolf and the prejudice we would face in the wizarding and muggle worlds. I have a younger sister who is with my older siblings. She’s five.”
“I’ve never known a werewolf to take such an interest in her cubs before.”
Orion laughed. “True. My mother was killed by Fenrir Greyback. My siblings and this pedant are all I have left of her.”
“Have you seen your siblings recently?”
“Just before I left for Hogwarts. We have a home near the Black Sea. We also have a large territory with my brother and his mate being the alphas.”
“So where does your loyalty lie?”
“With my pack first off. To my parents second and to my friends third. To a werewolf a pack is everything. They’re your family and friends and really the only ones you can count in two worlds that would love to see your kind dead.”
“Can I break this slave bond?”
Orion appeared shocked. “You would do that?”
“Yes. It makes me uncomfortable to be honest. I don’t like the idea of owning one of my friends.”
“Well yes but I’ll have to take you into my territory in order to break the bond.”
“When can we leave?”
He certainly seems eager to end this bond. Still he’s a good friend and it makes me happy that he is as disgusted with the master/slave bond as I am.
“We can leave after Christmas break.”
Ares nodded. The two sat in silence and then went down to dinner. “ARES!” Hermione shouted throwing her arms around him. “Hello Hermione, Indigo, Dray. Glad to see you all missed me.”
“I’ve mastered my Animagus form,” Ares said quietly to his friends. “Can you finish the bracelet tonight Hermione?”
“Yes. What’s your form Ares?”
“A bird of prey would suit you,” Draco said.
“Finish the bracelets and let’s meet in the Forbidden Forest. I have something I want to discuss with you all.”
They nodded and continued eating their dinner. Orion, Draco, Hermione and Indigo were glad that Ares was back in Hogwarts and were interested in what he had to say. Afterwards they went upstairs where Hermione got to work finishing the charms bracelets. Orion’s was made of gold since silver could burn werewolves whereas the others’ were made of sterling silver. “They’re charmed in that we can now communicate telepathically while in our Animagus forms.”
“These will be useful. Great idea Hermione,” Ares said giving his friend a smile.
They hurried out of Ravenclaw tower and towards the Forbidden Forest. Skywing took to the sky, his bracelet around his left leg. Nocturne and Dusk slunk deeper into the forest. Cloud bounded after the two bigger versions of his family. His fur shone silver in the moonlight. Orion whimpered when they stopped with Nocturne and Dusk patiently watching him. Skywing came to rest in a tree and peered down as Claw emerged and threw back his head in a long drawn out howl.
Watch yourself Cloud.
I’ll be fine. Claw won’t eat me.
Don’t be so sure.
He’s right Skywing. There’s deer in this forest. I can smell them. Orion also wants to run free. We’ve been kept caged too long and it’s nice to be under the sky. The only time I can run free is when I’m with my pack mates in Turkey.
You have other pack mates Claw?
Of course Nocturne. My three siblings and my older brother’s mate. They’re werewolves like me. I also have a human sister in Hufflepuff who is a sixth year and a younger brother who will be starting Hogwarts in three years.
Aren’t we your pack too?
Yes Cloud. You’re my pack while at Hogwarts. My second pack. Now can we please stop talking? I’m starving for deer!
Skywing took to the air and began flying as they followed Claw through the forest to where he smelled the deer herd. Claw, Nocturne and Dusk watched the deer herd and saw a couple of bucks on their own.
Dusk and Nocturne you two take the younger buck and I’ll take the older.
Sure thing Claw. But are you sure you can get the deer all by yourself?
Yes I’m sure. You guys can share the second deer. After being cooped up for so long I’ll probably attack you if you come near my kill.
Fair enough Claw, Skywing said from where he was in the tree near them.
Claw sniffed the wind and pulled back his lips in a snarl showing fangs dripping with saliva. Darting forward the three predators cut off the two deer, separating them from the herd. Nocturne and Dusk worked together to bring down their deer and Claw leaped onto his prey’s back and used his weight to bring it down, his fangs fastened in the animal’s neck. Hungrily he tore into the deer’s haunch while it was still alive making the animal scream in pain which he ignored as his hunger got control of him.
Skywing fluttered down and began tearing off pieces of warm flesh. Cloud ran forward breathing heavily and started tearing at a leg while Nocturne kept her mouth clamped on the deer’s throat. Dusk began tearing into the deer’s back right left haunch. The six Animagi ate with gusto as blood splattered on their fur. I need to tell you guy something, Skywing said when they were full from the meal and satisfied from the hunt.
What is it Skywing? Dusk asked turning to look at the golden eagle who was preening his feathers.
Did you know that Dumbledore killed my father?
WHAT?! Everyone else shouted.
Oh Skywing I’m sorry, Nocturne said.
I was taken forcibly to the Burrow. It’s the home of the weasels. They took me to St. Mungo’s to see if father had brainwashed me. Naturally they didn’t find anything much to Dumbledore’s disappointment. They threw Charon, Iris and Shadow in a cage and bound me to a bed with magical ropes. I was only allowed out of my room to use the bathroom. The rest of the time I was tied to the bed. But in that time I discovered I am a pyromancer.
A pyromancer? Nocturne asked.
Fire elemental Nocturne. I can control fire. That’s why Ares has a fire rune tattoo on his right hand.
Interesting! Dusk shouted.
Yes it is. You know how everyone says Ares is going to be the next Dark Lord? Well I think I will. I’m already a dark wizard and am a parslemouth as you all know. I was wondering if you would like to become my first followers?
Followers Skywing? Claw asked nervously.
Yes Claw exactly what I said. You say you are my friends. I trust you four with my life. Now I want to know if you will trust me and serve me. I have no wish to control my father’s Death Eaters. I wanted to go into politics and change some laws as well as restore the three lost years of study to Hogwarts but these light people have pushed me over the edge. With followers I can make my dreams come true and get my revenge on those who wronged me. I’ll leave you for now and you can discuss this among yourselves.
Skywing took to the air and flew back towards the castle before alighting on a tree. If the others wanted to be his followers all they had to do was contact him. Back by the dead deer Claw, Cloud, Nocturne and Dusk were talking amongst themselves about the conversation they had just had with Skywing. Skywing is a great person and he is right about being a dark wizard.
True on both counts. What do you know about him Cloud?
Skywing was abused by his muggle relatives for five years. The Dark Lord rescued him and killed his relatives. They did the Blood Adoption Ritual changing his name legally and making him the Dark Lord’s son. Skywing wants to keep the Muggle and Wizard worlds separate, reinstate the dark arts class in Hogwarts, reinstate the last three years of Hogwarts, get rid of the betrothal contracts, give rights to creatures, kill anyone who expresses a pureblood mentality, stop the influx of Muggles entering Hogwarts, and allow women and children to be humans and no longer the property of their husbands. He has never considered being a Dark Lord before but I imagine with Dumbledore and the Weasels making his life hell it has pushed him onto that path.
Makes sense. What should we do?
I’m staying by Skywing, Claw said. I think we can only make this decision individually.
Claw made his way back along the path and heard the others running after him. That was fast.
Shut it Claw! We’re Skywing’s friends too and we’ll follow him to hell itself. Friends don’t give up on each other, Cloud said.
Yeah it isn’t just Slytherin that looks out for each other, Dusk said.
They ran along the forest path back to Skywing. Well?
We’ll follow you Skywing, Claw said.
Friends stick together.
Skywing transformed and there was Ares standing in front of them. “Pleased to see my friends will become my followers and servants. Now if you will kindly transform back into your human selves I can give you the mark.”
Claw whined. “How stupid of me. I forgot that you can’t resume your human form yet Claw. Sorry. I’ll brand you at sunrise then. As for the rest of you roll up your sleeves and hold out your left arms.”
“What do you know of the Deathly Hallows Draco?”
“It’s a tale from Beadles the Bard My Lord.”
“My Lord is it now? Yes that is fitting since I will be a Dark Lord like father. But you all are only to call me ‘My Lord’ when we are alone. Do I make myself clear?” At their quick nods Ares waved his hand in a sign for Draco to continue.
“The Deathly Hallows consist of the Elder Wand also known as the death stick and the wand of destiny, the resurrection stone and the invisibility cloak. They were given to the three Peverell brothers by Death. The oldest got the Elder Wand, the middle the resurrection stone and the youngest the invisibility cloak. The Elder Wand is made of elder wood and is said to perform remarkable feats of magic. The resurrection stone is able to bring back the dead from the grave and the invisibility cloak makes the wearer invisible. Whoever holds all three parts of the Deathly Hallows becomes the Master of Death. The straight line represents the Elder Wand which lays inside the circle the Resurrection Stone and the triangle surrounding the circle represents the invisibility cloak.”
“Good. I see you too know the story of the Deathly Hallows Draco. This is going to be the symbol of my followers and like my father the mark will be branded into your skin. However I am going to do something different. I have already found a spell which will cause anyone who betrays me to die. Now are you sure you want to follow me?”
They nodded without hesitation. “I’m impressed,” Ares said. “Let’s begin.”
Draco stepped forward. “Vinezay,” Ares muttered and the deathly hallows burned into Draco’s wrist that clenched his mouth shut to keep from screaming. Indigo and Hermione also took the mark. “Claw you’ll be branded when the sun comes up. To cast the deathly hallows into the air you shout ‘Elhalsto.’ A light of blue stars will burst from your wands and form in the air. That is to be used only when killing someone just as the Dark Mark is used for my father’s followers.”
“Who are you going to be My Lord?” Hermione asked.
“Raven. I think it suits me because I am after all in Ravenclaw just like the rest of you.”
Claw snarled. “Back into Animagus forms!”
They quickly obeyed their master and did as ordered and Claw quieted down. An hour later the sun came up. They looked up in surprise at the dawn breaking as they hadn’t realized they’d been in the forest all this time. “Vinezay,” Ares said and branded Orion who nearly collapsed on the ground. He pocketed his wand. “Better get back to the castle.”