Ares was happy the next morning to see Charon fly through the air with the owls and land on the table in front of him. Orion was eating breakfast at the table with his friends. The crow had red eyes so they knew it was a magical bird as normal crows didn’t have red eyes from what Hermione had told them. “Hello Charon. I see you have a reply from father?”
Charon let out a squawk and Ares untied the letter from Charon’s leg. Everyone in the Great Hall was staring at Ares and Charon. He unrolled the piece of parchment and frowned as he read it.
I hope that all is well with you and you have made friends. I’m glad that you are happy in Ravenclaw and that Draco is also with you in Ravenclaw. As to your question about what happens to Nagini I can’t tell you that for your own safety. She’s big enough to take care of herself.
I must admit I laughed when I found out how you put Dumbledore in his place. In the event of my death I ask you to take charge of Charon. I had intended to give him to you anyway but you already have three familiars and was unsure if you wanted Charon as your pet. Make sure you don’t let Dumbledore get his claws hooked into you. I fear that if I were to die then that fool would try to put you with a light family in an attempt to sway you to good. Keep concentrating on your studies. Even if I were to die no heir of mine is going to fail his classes.
“What did master say?” Draco asked.
“He said to watch myself around Dumbledore, to keep my grades up and pass all my classes, that he was giving me Charon and he can’t tell me what will happen to Nagini for my own protection. He also said he’s happy that you and I are in Ravenclaw and he found it hilarious how I put the old fool in his place.” Ares sighed then. “He’s afraid that Dumbledore will try to put me with a light family should father meet his death.”
“I wouldn’t put it past the doddering old coot,” Draco said with a sneer on his face.
“Orion how are you feeling?” Indigo asked.
“I’m still in pain but I’ll be alright. My kind heals faster than humans.”
“We should do something about the torture you went through,” Ares said his eyes flashing with anger.
“And get yourselves expelled? Just forget about it Ares,” Orion pleaded.
“I won’t allow my friend to get tortured just because he isn’t human and just because the Ministry thinks it is okay to do so,” Ares growled. He stroked Charon’s feathers as he contemplated the werewolf cub’s plea. “Very well I’ll let it go for now but you are to report to me if that fool should try anything else. If he so much as tries throwing another Cruciatris at you I will kill him myself.”
Orion nodded and sighed in relief that Ares wouldn’t be doing anything right now. He appreciated his friends’ willingness to help him but he didn’t want them being expelled on his account. He knew the consequences of what the Ministry would make of that and place all the blame on him.
Ares quickly wrote a letter and tied it to Charon. “Go home to father. If anything happens to him fly back here.”
Charon spread his wings and took off after Ares’s order. Ares dug into his cold breakfast. It was Saturday so they had no classes for the weekend for which they were grateful. Hermione had a book she’d checked out from the library on Animagi. “According to this we need to decide what animal we want to be.”
“Well I like jaguars,” Indigo said. “I like any of the big cats truthfully but jaguars are my favorite.”
“The book says it may take one to two months to complete the transformation,” Hermione said sitting on her lap. “Apparently the first transformation is supposed to hurt as our body shifts into our Animagi form the first time. Once we know what the animal is supposed to be then it will be easier after that. Since we’re aiming to help Orion we should try to aim for two months maximum to learn and complete the transformation.”
“We’ll keep this secret. Hermione do you think you can invent a way for us to communicate with each other?”
“I should be able to think of something. Perhaps charm bracelets with the others Animagi forms on them that are enchanted to allow us to communicate telepathically with each other when in our Animagi forms. But until we have mastered the Animagus spell then the only charms I can make are four wolves.”
Hermione shut the book and put it in her book bag. They would continue reading it over the weekend. Hermione was taking notes in a journal on anything that she thought would be helpful for their transformation. They looked up as they heard footsteps coming towards them.
“Hi Harry what are you doing with the death eater and Mudblood,” Ron said.
“Hi Harry what are you doing with the death eater and Mudblood,” Ron said.
Everyone stood up at the comment and pulled out their wands. “Hello Weasel. I said to you before in Dumbledore’s office to not EVER insult my family or friends. I don’t ever want to hear that disgusting word out of your mouth again. Are you just jealous that you’re too stupid to be in Ravenclaw?”
“I’m proud to be in Gryffindor. Hermione is a bossy know it all! Malfoy and you should both be in Slytherin. I can’t believe you’d actually want to be the son of the Dark Lord. You’re supposed to be used to help defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named not be his son! You’re a Potter and should use the name given to you at birth!”
Ares’s eyes narrowed. “In case you didn’t understand before Weasel I willingly and freely took the Blood Adoption Ritual to make myself Voldemort’s son. Dumbledore gladly left me to rot there and would have continued sending me back to that hell hole that was the Dursleys. Dumbledore only wants to use me to kill my father. That will never happen and I won’t tolerate such disrespect from some fat pig that stuffs his face every day and talks with his mouth open.”
The others sniggered at Ares’s remark. Everyone in the school knew how Ron liked to stuff his face at the Gryffindor table and was lazy about doing his homework. “No wonder you’re in last place in our year,” Indigo said. “Maybe if you tried more and actually put effort into doing your homework instead of putting it off until the day it was due then you wouldn’t be at the bottom of first year in terms of scores.”
“You should follow Dumbledore and watch who your friends are. I can’t see the Death Eater son ever changing his views about purebloods lording it over the half-breeds, half-bloods, squibs and Mudbloods.”
“So you’re saying you think you’re better than Hermione here?” Draco asked. “Ares has taught me that blood doesn’t matter. Even the Dark Lord doesn’t hate all Muggles and half-bloods. He just believes the Muggle and wizarding worlds should be kept separate. Have you not noticed the influx of Muggle born being accepted into Hogwarts since Dumbledore became Head Master? Did you even know that Hogwarts was originally built for ten years of school and the third floor corridor was the dorms for eighth to tenth years?”
Ares snorted at the look on Ron’s face. “Apparently you didn’t know that. Now if you don’t mind we’d like to be left alone.”
“I challenge you to a duel of honor!” Ron shouted.
Ares turned back and raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure you want to do that?”
“Yes! You’re a disgrace to wizard kind everywhere Riddle! Forsaking your heritage, hanging out with the son of a Death Eater and Mudblood, forsaking your name in favor of pretending that You-Know-Who could ever have the ability to love! I bet your father couldn’t even get a girl to fall in love with him without torturing her first!”
Ares’s eyes flashed dangerously. “I accept your challenge! We’ll see who has more right to be in this school and I’ll make you regret your words about my father and friends.”
“Bring it on Death Eater scum!”
By this time they had been surrounded by a number of students ranging from first to seventh year. Professor McGonagall came hurrying over. “What is the meaning of this Mr. Weasley and Mr. Riddle?”
“Ron challenged me to an honor duel and I accepted Professor,” Ares said.
“Is that so Mr. Weasley?”
“Yes Professor. The son of the Dark Lord needs to know his place. He forgoes his birth name and his birth parents in favor of being the son of that monster.”
“I was legally blood adopted by Tom Marvolo Riddle at six years old after he rescued me from an abusive life at the hands of my Muggle relatives. Dumbledore never once bothered to check up on my welfare and now thinks he can get me to turn against my father? Ron also insulted Draco and Hermione here in addition to slandering my father.”
“Very well Mr. Weasley and Mr. Riddle. Come to the Great Hall and you can have your duel.”
The students followed Professor McGonagall to the Great Hall where she waved away the house tables and caused benches to appear so students could watch the match. Dumbledore stood up from his seat at the staff table and looked as Ares and Ron made their way to opposite sides of the dueling platform.
“Minerva what is the meaning of this?”
“Mr. Weasley challenged Mr. Riddle to an honor duel and Mr. Riddle accepted. They are going to do the duel here under the supervision of the staff. Filius would you mind refereeing the duel?”
“Not at all,” Filius said in a squeaky voice.
“I demand this stop immediately!” Dumbledore shouted. “I will not allow a duel in my school nor between two light wizards.”
“Would you rather us have the duel somewhere else without the supervision of the staff?” Ares asked. “For your information I am not and never will be a light wizard so get over yourself and get that idea out of your head you fool.”
“You are a light wizard Harry. You’ve been brainwashed by Voldemort and…”
“Stupefy,” Ares said lazily pointing his wand at Dumbledore and laughing as he was blasted off his feet. “I am not a light wizard as I just stated. Now are we going to get on with this duel or is the weasel too scared to face me?”
“I’ll fight you anywhere anytime Potter,” Ron said.
“Good then let’s fight here since Professor McGonagall was nice enough to set up the Great Hall for our duel and get this over with.”
“No dark spells are to be used in this duel. The first one who is knocked out or off the platform is the loser. Begin.”
Filius jumped off the platform as Ron and Ares bowed to each other. “Expelliarmis!” Ares shouted and Ron’s wand flew into his hand. “Stupefy!” Ron got knocked onto his back. Ares tossed Ron’s wand back to him and smiled as Ron tried a cutting hex. “Protego,” Ares said and his entire body was instantly covered in a head to toe blue shield. The attack didn’t even break the shield.
Everyone was staring at Ares who had cast a second year spell and was able to cast a shield like that. Dumbledore had now gotten to his feet. “Mr. Riddle you are hereby suspended from Hogwarts for a month.”
“Fine by me. At least it will get me away from you and this idiot here,” Ares said.
Ares turned and left the Great Hall with the rest of his friends. “Ares how will your father react to your suspension?” Orion asked.
“He’ll find it hilarious that I casted stupefy at Dumbledore and put him on his back. He’ll also be pleased that I defended the Riddle name against that bigoted weasel.” Ares quickly wrote Riddle Manor on a piece of paper and then separated it into three before giving it to Hermione, Indigo and Orion. “You can write me at my home. Your owls will find me. I’ll see you all in a month.”
Ares left them standing at the bottom of the stairs and went up to his common room to pull out his trunk. He shrunk it, collected Iris and Shadow and headed for the Owlery to collect Hedwig. He put Hedwig in her cage and walked to the edge of the wards before pulling out a port key his father had given him in case of an emergency and disappeared from Hogwarts.
Ares walked through the wards surrounding Riddle Manor with Iris at his side. He opened the door and walked to the living room where Bella was sitting in a chair and jumped up as Ares came into the room. “Prince!” She bowed and then rushed towards him to wrap him in a hug. “What are you doing here?”
“I got suspended from Hogwarts for a month Bella. Nice to see you too.”
Tom came into the room at the sound of Ares’s voice. “Dismissed Bella,” he said.
“Yes My Lord,” Bella said before going to the fire, taking a pinch of floo powder and disappearing from Riddle Manor.
“Ares what’s this about you being suspended from Hogwarts?”
“Ron Weasley started saying stuff about Draco, my friend Hermione who’s a first generation witch, and you. He said stuff about you before during my meeting with Dumbledore and Ron as well last month and I told him if he said anything about you again I’d make him pay. Well he challenged me to an honor duel which I accepted. Dumbledore tried to stop it but Professor McGonagall allowed us to have the duel. I stupefied Dumbledore when he said I need to turn to the light and then was in the middle of the duel with Weasel when Dumbledore suspended me for a month.”
“Pity you didn’t finish him off. I would never have thought the Weasleys were Muggle haters.”
“I think it’s just their son. I haven’t talked to the other Weasley members yet. I also overheard Dumbledore say at the end of the meeting when I left that he was going to slip Ginny Weasley love potions to fall in love with me. Apparently he thinks that will turn me over to the light.”
“No son of mine will be dating or marrying a Weasley.”
“I have no intention of dating anyone at the moment father.”
“Star!” Tom shouted.
A house elf appeared in front of them. “Young Master Riddle. Pleasure to see you home.”
“Thanks Star. Take my luggage to my room for me will you?”
“Right away young master.”
Tom motioned for his son to sit and took the seat Bella had vacated. “How are your studies?”
“Going well father. My friends and I are in the top of our year so far. I found out that one of my friends is a werewolf and Hermione is a Muggle.”
“So you have the son of a Death Eater, a Muggle and a werewolf as your friends? What about the fourth you wrote me about? Indigo was her name?”
“Indigo’s a Muggle like Hermione.”
“You certainly have an interesting group of friends Ares. Assuming they don’t get you into trouble I’m fine with that.”
Ares smiled at his father being so accepting of three of his friends. “Get some rest Ares. I’ll send a house elf to get you when it’s time for dinner.”
Ares hugged his father and then walked up the stairs to his room. As he was walking along the hall he spotted Nagini. Hello little one. Tom will be happy to have you home. But what did you do to come home so early?
I knocked Dumbledore on his back with a stupefy before beginning a duel with the youngest son of the Weasley family for saying shit about father and two of my friends. Then Dumbledore suspended me for a month in the middle of the match.
Shame you didn’t kill the fool.
I would have been locked in Azkaban for that not that I would have cared. The old fool deserves to die and doesn’t know that father and I know the prophecy is fake.
Well I’m glad to have you home. It’s been lonely without you here and Tom has missed you as well.
Thanks Nagini. I’m looking forward to being home.
Ares continued walking to his room and saw Hedwig was out of her cage. He opened his window and allowed her to stretch her wings. Charon also took off after her and Ares collapsed onto his bed to sleep. A few hours later Ares was downstairs with his father eating dinner. He missed it when it was just the two of them. They ate in silence when the wards around the manor activated.
Old man is here Tom. Must have followed Ares home.
Shit! I didn’t know the old coot was following me father.
It’s not your fault Ares. That man is clever I’ll give him that. Upstairs to your room. The house elves will know to go to the dungeons and stay there until the danger is past.
Ares immediately did as his father said. As soon as he closed the door to his room the wards activated barring entrance. He knew also the wards would activate around his father’s room and the chamber where the Blood Ritual Adoption had taken place when he was six years old. What’s wrong Ares?
That fucking bastard is in Riddle Manor! I didn’t even know he was following me. He must have left after my friends and I did.
“Hello Tom. I can’t believe you corrupted Harry Potter though that shouldn’t surprise me.”
“His name is Ares Salazar Riddle you old fool. You think I will allow you to take my son from me after you took my love? You’re a damn thorn in my side Albus.”
“Harry will be much better when he’s placed with a proper wizarding family and your years of brainwashing have been corrected.”
“You mean placing him with a light family. I notice you decided to leave him with muggles who hated him. Never bothered to check on him either during those six years of hell he suffered. Was your plan just to let him get abused and keep sending him back there so you could use him against me?”
“The boy needs to be under my control and the only way that will happen is for you to die. Stupefy!”
Tom erected the same head to toe shield around himself that Ares had during his duel with Ron Weasley. “Crucio!”
Albus dropped to the ground and shouted “Avada Kedavara!’ The spell blasted through Tom’s shield and hit him in the chest. Smiling at his dead enemy he walked up the stairs looking for Ares. Nagini lunged at Albus having heard the battle going on downstairs and hearing the old man shout the killing curse at her master. The attack took Albus by surprise but he quickly recovered and shouted “Bombarda!” Nagini was lifted up into the air and blasted down the hallway before hitting the wall. “Banshima!” With a swirl of black smoke Nagini vanished.
Ares’s magic crackled around him causing Iris and Shadow to stay away from their master and friend. As Albus forced his way into Ares’s room he smiled. “Come on Harry it’s time for me to take you to a proper home.”
“You’re a fool if you think you’re going to take me away from here. This is my home or do you still not understand that?”
Ares felt his limbs freeze together as he fell to the ground. “Crucio!” Ares ‘s eyes rolled back into his head unable to move or scream as the torture curse hit him. “You WILL join the light and you WILL destroy your…”
Iris was on Dumbledore in a flash biting and tearing at him. “Stupefy!” Albus shouted sending Iris crashing into the opposite wall. Iris howled in pain as she felt her ribs break. IRIS!
Ares’s magic surged around him and blasted Dumbledore into the hallway and through a wall. Dumbledore lay there on his back as Ares came towards him. “How is this possible? You shouldn’t be able to fight the Cruciatris!”
“I told you Albus Dumbledore. I’m not a light wizard. Crucio!”
Albus screamed and Ares just laughed at the headmaster's agony. “Apparently you don’t understand a thing I tell you.”
Ares suddenly found himself unable to move as his throat began closing. Keeping a tight grip on his wand Ares clutched his throat with the other trying to breathe. “Impedimenta,” Albus said. Ares’s head hit the back of the floor and he blacked out. Inside his head Iris began to scream in pain.