In the shadow of the forest a Bengal tiger watched the group of six leave the Forbidden Forest. The tiger’s ice blue eyes shone with interest at the eleven year old wizard who commanded a werewolf, a cat, a lioness and a jaguar. Turning the tiger made its way across the grounds to the Owlery and shifted into a thirteen year old boy and pulled a letter out of his robes before looking for the boy’s owl. Spotting it he whistled softly and Hedwig flew down to perch on his arm. “Hello beautiful. Your master has done a fine job of raising you,” he said stroking the owl’s breast. “Take this to your master at breakfast will you?” Hedwig gave a soft hoot and flew back up to her perch with the letter tied to her leg. Smiling the boy shifted back into his tiger form and disappeared back into the forest to wait.
Ares stopped causing the others to halt and look at their master curiously. Ares turned back towards the Forbidden Forest and looked towards the trees but didn’t see anything. “What is it Dark Raven?” Draco asked as Ares held up a hand.
“Must be nothing but I swear I felt eyes on me,” Ares said. Shaking his head he started for the castle again with the others following and they made their way back into Ravenclaw tower where they split up and went to their dorms before falling asleep. He needed to find more followers and get robes for them. A trip to Madam Malkins would be useful as well as getting masks. Then all he had to do was cast a memory charm on the woman and she’d never know about his followers robes.
At breakfast the next morning Ares was surprised to see Hedwig with a letter. “Thanks Hedwig,” Ares said untying the letter and feeding her a piece of bacon before she took flight again. He looked down at the letter and his friends quickly saw the puzzlement on his face.
Stupefy, Ares said silently looking at Draco. Draco fell off the bench. Whimpering in pain he got up. “What did I tell you last night?”
“Forgive me Ares. Slip of the tongue.”
“See that you remember your punishment. That goes for all of you,” Ares said looking at his three other followers. They quickly nodded and Ares turned his attention back to the paper.
Hello little prince,
I must say the way you can control a werewolf and three Animagi is interesting and intrigues me. I sense you’re a fire elemental and very powerful for one so young. Take the path through the forest until the river turns to black and the shadows are deepest before the dawn.
“Well this is certainly odd,” Ares said frowning at the letter.
“What is it?” Orion asked meekly.
“It appears our actions last night were noticed. Now I’m going to have to see who this ‘Griffin’ person is and see if he or she is a threat to my plans.” Ares stared at the letter and it burst into flames.
“What are your orders?” Hermione asked.
“Do not attract attention to yourselves first off. See if you can find me some more followers who aren’t totally useless. I want people who will be useful to my cause and aren’t bigots. Which means no Slytherins.”
“Slytherins are cunning,” Draco said.
“Then find me some Slytherins who don’t believe in that pureblood bullshit if that’s even possible. Not Crabbe and Goyle. Their fathers are useless and so are they. Why father kept them alive I have no idea. See if you can get some Hufflepuffs to join as well. They’re extremely loyal.”
“Should we come with you to this meeting?”
“Orion you need to rest. Stay in the dorms tonight. Hermione and Draco come with me tonight to see this fool who seems to know about me. Indigo tend to Orion tonight.”
They obediently nodded and then purposely switched the topic to homework so nobody would know what they were up to. At the staff table Dumbledore was watching the five friends curiously. He’d seen Draco fall off the bench when Ares looked at him. Draco must have leaned back too far and fallen off the bench. It wasn’t possible for a first year to use wandless magic. He was just assuming things about the boy.
The five friends went to their classes. Ares was bothered by the note he had received that morning and made sure his followers knew it for they instinctively kept quiet in order to avoid their master’s anger. Draco knew from being around Tom and Ares that Ares wouldn’t hesitate to use the three Unforgivables if he was angry enough.
Ares relatively enjoyed his classes at Hogwarts except for History of Magic which was an utter waste of time in his opinion. “Professor Binns needs to be tossed out of Hogwarts. Pity there’s no spell that can kill a ghost.”
“He seems to be bigoted against goblins. That’s all he talks about,” Hermione said.
“That’s another problem that I’m going to have to solve,” Ares said with a sigh. “Sacking Binns and finding a competent History of Magic Professor.”
They day passed slowly which further annoyed Ares. At sunset Skywing took flight from Ravenclaw tower while Dusk and Cloud leaped out the window landing softly on their feet before going towards the Forbidden Forest. ‘Take the path through the forest until the river turns to black and the shadows are deepest before the dawn.’ Any ideas what that means?
Ask Dusk. She’s supposed to be the smart one.
You’re also smart Cloud otherwise you wouldn’t be in Ravenclaw, Skywing said getting annoyed with Cloud’s attitude.
You’re forgiven. But do not test me Cloud.
The three Animagi continued along the forest path until they approached a black river. Dusk or Cloud which way? You know I can’t see in the dark.
Left. The shadows are darker than on the right, Dusk said.
They turned left and followed the bank of the river downstream. This river is strange. I’ve never seen black water before, Cloud said.
Well it is the Forbidden Forest and Hogwarts. Anything’s bound to happen here, Skywing said.
After two hours they finally came to a glen that was completely dark. Skywing shifted and there was Ares with Hermione and Draco beside him. “Lumos,” the three said and held their wands up though the spell did nothing to quell the darkness around them. “It’s pitch black out here.”
A tiger suddenly appeared out of the shadows and came stealthily towards the three wizards. Its form shifted and a thirteen year old boy stood in front of them, his ice blue eyes shining in the darkness. “Welcome Dark Raven. Pleased to see you came.”
“How do you know who I am?”
The boy just looked at him searchingly. “My name is Griffin. Though in my Animagus form I’m Nomad. I watched you as you left the Forbidden Forest last night. How is it that an eleven year old wizard can control a werewolf and demand such respect from his peers?”
“What is a thirteen year old wizard doing in the Forbidden Forest?” Ares shot back.
Griffin laughed at the question. “Point taken Dark Raven. I’ve been in America for the past two years before coming here attending Fury Dragon Academy in Wisconsin.”
“That’s one of the top schools of magic in the United States isn’t it?” Hermione asked.
“Yes it is. However I’ve heard Hogwarts is supposed to be the best in the world which is why I came here.”
“Why haven’t you enrolled?” Ares asked Griffin.
“I haven’t felt like it. Besides I’ve been on my own since I ran away last summer. I didn’t have good experiences at home.”
“Your past is your past and you shouldn’t dwell on it,” Ares said.
“Wise for one so young.”
Ares snorted. “I’m in Ravenclaw for a reason and the son of Voldemort.”
“Indeed? That explains things then.”
“Explains what?” Ares asked his frosted eyes narrowing as he leveled his wand at Griffin and a ball of fire appeared in his left hand.
“It explains my question about how you can control a werewolf for one thing. It also explains why an eleven year old has mastered the Animagus transformation and why his plans have changed from what he originally intended.”
“You seem to know a lot about me.”
“Well are you interested in having someone join you willingly who isn’t after power or doing so out of fear? I can’t stand people who join powerful wizards out of fear. Means they’re useless and the ones who join only for powers are those that need to be watched in the event they try to usurp their master.”
“Wise for a thirteen year old. What do you have to offer me? I don’t take useless idiots or weaklings.”
Griffin smiled. “Well I’m an Animagus as you found out. I prefer working from the shadows and am also a Dragon Mage.”
“Dragon Mage?” Draco asked.
“I am bonded to a dragon hatchling and can control and communicate with dragons and I’m also a water elemental. So yes I think I would be an asset to Spina Corvos.”
“Will the dragons obey anyone?”
“No only me. I discovered both my Animagus power, my ability to control water, and that I am a Dragon Mage at eight years old.”
“‘Thorn Ravens’ huh? Interesting name. I like it.”
“Where is your dragon?”
A forest green dragon alighted on the ground before them and hummed softly as Griffin patted it on the nose. The raven one is powerful Griffin. Are you sure we can trust him?
Patience partner-of-my-heart. I sense this child will do great things for the world.
If he tries to harm you I will kill him.
I know you will.
“How old is your dragon?” Hermione asked.
“Seven months old.”
“Are there many dragons here? Where are they?”
“That’s none of your concern witch,” Griffin said his eyes flashing with anger. Edoc growled angrily and curled his lips away from his teeth showing his gleaming white fangs as the three wizards backed away.
“Where are your parents?” Draco asked.
“Dead. To answer your unspoken question I will gladly take your mark and follow you but my dragons are to be left alone.”
Ares thought about this for a few minutes. He already liked this boy despite having just met him. Having another elemental and Animagus would be a good thing on his side. Ares didn’t know anything about Dragon Mages but he knew that dragon heartstrings were taken from dead dragons after they had been killed. It made him sick to know that magnificent creatures were slaughtered just to make a stupid wand core. There had to be a better way.
“Fair enough. Hold out your left arm Nomad.”
“Vinezay,” Are said pressing his wand to the boy’s arm and the Deathly Hallows was branded into the skin. “Do you have a wand?”
“No. I never got the chance to have one since arriving in the United Kingdom and my other wand was snapped before I left the United States with Edoc.”
“We’ll have to arrange to get you one. The spell to cast the Deathly Hallows is ‘Elhalsto.’ I’d make sure Edoc and your other dragons are kept safe and away from the castle. A lot of Muggles and wizards and witches think they’re evil. Also make sure your secrets about being a water elemental and Dragon Mage are kept secret from Dumbledore and the rest of the staff and students of Hogwarts. Dumbledore will no doubt try to use your dragons against you like he is trying to use me.”
“I’ll remember that. Not all of them. Chinese and Koreans see them as Gods. My dragons can take care of themselves. So where do I go to get a wand?”
“Diagon Alley or Knockturn Alley. Diagon Alley would probably be best for you since Knockturn Alley is for dark wizards and the children of Death Eaters.”
Griffin nodded. “I think you’d best get back to the castle before anyone realizes you’re gone master.” Ares nodded and the three friends switched back into their Animagus forms before they disappeared back to the castle. As they left Griffin climbed up Edoc’s leg and got into the saddle before Edoc unfurled his wings and flew back towards the caves where they had been staying. Thirteen other dragons were in the caves and looked up as the Dragon Mage entered. Griffin held up his hand to quell their voices in his head.
“I’ve taken the boy’s mark and will be transferring to the school tomorrow. Will you all be alright here?”
We’ll be fine partner-of-our-hearts-and-minds. We can look after ourselves, a red dragon named Crimson said.
Just make sure the Dragon Flute is not seen by these humans. Even this ‘master’ that you have taken. Many other Dragon Mages of the past made that mistake and it nearly wiped our kind out as well as ended the line, a violet female dragon named Amethyst said.
“I’ll remember. Besides you can always flee to my home in Switzerland where you know you’ll be protected. The spells, charms and wards on my home and the surrounding grounds cannot be penetrated by any wizard or witch no matter how powerful.”
The dragons quieted at their master’s words. Edoc curled around Griffin and hummed softly to his partner/master. Griffin lay in the cave surrounded by his dragons and stared up at the ceiling. He liked the Dark Raven after having probed his mind. What fueled the child to become a Dark Lord was hurt and anger at being used by the light. Griffin nodded to himself. Yes being used and chained was something he was all too familiar with as he rubbed the scar around his right wrist.