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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Underwater Trial

“Ares,” Lily said coming towards him and giving him a hug.
“Hey Lily.  What’s wrong?” Ares asked seeing his girlfriend’s face.
“Susan is gone.  We were all hoping to support you in the coming task and Hannah said she was called to the Headmaster’s Office last night.”
“So Susan is the one I have to rescue at the bottom of the Black Lake,” Ares said as anger filled him. How dare Dumbledore use one of his girlfriends in the second task! He just hoped nothing bad happened to her.
Ares had stolen some Gillyweed for the second task from Severus Snape’s private stores during class.  Hermione had provided a distraction so he could sneak into the private stores and steal it.  He held it in his fist as he began walking towards the Black Lake. Helga had suggested it when he had written to the four founders.  They were upset that Ares was a part of the Triwizard Tournament though they knew he had nothing to do with entering.
Three tall wooden platforms were above the water with students on them.  Ares followed Cedric onto the third platform where they would start and end their race.  “Now in this tournament each champion had something stolen last night. You have an hour to rescue your champion and get back here. Those who don’t complete their mission will earn 0 points.  Get ready and begin!” Ares shoved the Gillyweed in his mouth and dived off the platform into the murky depths of the lake. 
Ares struggled in the water, choking until gills appeared on the sides of his neck and his fingers and toes webbed together.  With a shout he shot up into the air and back down into the water before beginning his search for Susan.  Ares saw something before a Grindylow attacked him.  “Stupefy!” Ares shouted pointing his wand at the creature that held him and was trying to drag him deeper.  The Grindylow let go and he heard a scream and saw a flash of blond hair.
Ares kept his eyes for danger as he kept swimming. Spotting the tail fin of a selkie Ares followed and saw the four hostages.  Susan was on the left end, a girl who looked to be around eight and appeared to be a younger version of Fleur was beside Susan, Cho Chang and Maria Weather.  He waited for the other contestants to arrive.  Cedric arrived. He had used a bubble head charm and cut Cho loose before taking her back to the surface.  Victor arrived moments later. He had done a partial transformation by turning his head into a shark’s head and Ares had to move out of the way, watching as he sliced through the ropes binding Maria.  Ares waited for Fleur to come but she didn’t show up.  He undid Susan and then began to cut the ropes around the little girl only for the selkies to get in his way and poke their tridents at him. 
“Only one,” a male selkie hissed.
“But the other constant isn’t coming!” Ares protested.
“Only one,” the selkie said.  This upset Ares and he shouted a spell at the group of selkies before grabbing the little girl in the other arm and swimming towards the surface of the lake. He shoved Susan and the girl up to the surface of the lake as he began to sink, clutching his throat as the gills disappeared and he lost the webbing between his fingers and toes.  Susan grabbed the girl and began swimming to the platforms where they were pulled up and given blankets to wrap in.  Fleur clutched her sister to her. 
With a gasp Ares hauled himself out of the water and struggled toward the platform where Draco and Odin pulled him out.  “Thank you Monsieur,” Fleur said hugging Ares.  “I was attacked by the Grindylows and unable to help her.”
“You’re welcome,” Ares said.
“Mr. Potter you receive 0 points,” Dumbledore said coming over. 
“I had a reason for getting back late headmaster. Miss Delacour was intercepted by Grindylows and unable to rescue her sister. I couldn’t just leave her there.”
“Miss Delacour would have been perfectly safe there until someone was sent to rescue her.”
“So you are willing to leave foreign born guests in the bottom of the Black Lake with people who hate us?” Ares said raising an eyebrow. 
Dumbledore’s faced turned red which caused Ares to smirk.  “If you don’t believe me Dumbledore then ask the selkies.”
Dumbledore turned and began talking with the selkies who had popped out of the water.  He turned and chatted with the other judges before sighing.  “Very well Mr. Potter you will be given 50 points. Miss Delacour you receive 0 for failing to retrieve your hostage.  Mr. Krum you receive 20 points for rescuing your hostage and a partial transfiguration.  Mr. Diggory you receive 50 points for successful use of a Bubblehead charm and being the first one to come back with your hostage. This means that Mr. Diggory and Mr. Potter are tied for first place in this task, Mr. Krum is second and Miss Delacour third.  Total points so far for each of our champions are: Mr. Diggory in first place with 315 points, Mr. Krum and Miss Delacour tied at second place with 110 points each and Mr. Potter in third place with 95 points.  There will be two weeks respite and then the third task will begin.  Good luck champions.” 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Golden Riddle

Ares stared at the egg.  He searched for a clasp and opened it only to drop it and howl in pain as the screeching filled the air.  Quickly he picked up the egg and shut it.  Draco and Odin came in and looked at their master.  He pulled out the chain he used for messaging his followers and sent a message to meet him in his quarters at midnight. Setting the egg on the bed he flopped down and stared at the canopy of his bed, his hands behind his head thinking.  There had to be some way to deal with the egg without it hurting his ears or bothering anyone else. 
Dark Raven’s Quarters, Midnight:
“You’re all here,” Dark Raven said taking a seat at the head of the table.  “I have come to a decision about the fate of Spina Corvos.”
The room was silent in respect for their master.  “If you do not know I’m the heir to Salazar Slytherin and Godric Gryffindor.  I found Salazar Slytherin’s diary and was transported to Avalon where I was advised to not stray down the path of a Dark Lord by my ancestors.  It is after much thought that I have decided they were right and from now on Spina Corvos is disbanded.  You are all free to do what you will but there will be no more killings or raids. Well there will be one more killing.  Albus Dumbledore will die at the hands of my father and I when I resurrect him but other than that nobody else will die.”
“What do we do?” Taylor asked.
“Whatever you want with your lives.  Continue to study hard and do your best at Hogwarts.  But I will no longer lead you in killing people or raids.  That is all.  Goodbye Spina Corvos,” Dark Raven said and the room became silent as people filed silently out.  They would obey their master-their former master now-and do what he said. 
“Wait,” Hermione said.  “Spina Corvos doesn’t need to be disbanded my Lord.”
“What would you have it become Hermione?”
“What if Spina Corvos became a symbol of justice?”
“Explain Hermione,” Dark Raven said as his people began filing back in the room.
“Instead of killing people how about we only go after bad people?  We can be a force for the magical creatures and the half-bloods and muggle borns who are discriminated against in Britain and around the world.”
Dark Raven nodded.  “I think that is good.  I want to change everything for the downtrodden beings of the magical world anyway.  Very well Spina Corvos will remain intact but from now on we work to help the magical beings, muggle born and half-bloods. Is this agreeable?”
“Yes master,” Spina Corvos said, happy to know they weren’t being booted after all.
“Don’t call me master.  I’m nobody’s master but I will be the head of this noble organization if you want it.”
“We do,” Spina Corvos said.
“Should we change our name and image?”
After quiet talking the group shook their heads.  “Very well. You will all be knights of Spina Corvos.”
Two weeks later:
“Hey Ares,” Cedric called.  “Can I talk to you a moment?”
Ares looked at the Hufflepuff and nodded. They went into an unused classroom and Cedric put up a silencing charm when the door was closed. “Have you figured out the Golden Egg yet?”
“No. I tried opening it in my dorm and…”
Cedric nodded to show he understood.  “Take a bath.”
“What?”
“Take a bath. I recommend the Prefects bathroom. It’s on the fifth floor.  Password is Pine Fresh.”
Cedric lifted the silencing charm and left the room.  That night Ares snuck into the Prefects bathroom and began filling the tub with hot water.  He tried opening the egg again.  “Hello Ares,” a voice said and Ares looked to see Moaning Myrtle.
“Myrtle! What are you doing here?”
“I sometimes come to watch the Prefects.”
“That’s disgusting!”
“Put the egg under the water and then put your head under,” Myrtle said ignoring what had just been said.
“Come seek us where our voices sound
We cannot sing above the ground
An hour long you’ll have to look
To find out what we took.”
Ares listened to it two more times before finally realizing it was merpeople.  Those were the only beings he could come up with that lived permanently in water and so must have been able to speak underwater naturally.  But I have many precious things.  What will I lose?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Air of Flames

November came and it was time for the first task to begin.  The stadium was packed with students from all three schools along with all the Hogwarts staff.  Ares had no idea what was in store during the nine tasks of the Triwizard Tournament and hoped that he would be able to survive until he managed to resurrect his father.  He had found a potion that involved him giving a lot of his blood which would allow his father to take on his former appearance.  It was hidden in his chambers with the Elixir of Life that he had made from the Sorcerer’s Stone. 
Inside a large yellow tent stood the four champions and their headmasters.  Ludo Bagman entered with a small sack.  “Gather round champions,” Ludo Bagman called.  “Now inside this bag you will find the dragon you will face.  As you know from earlier during the Weighing of the Wands you can’t use broom sticks during the fight. Your task is to retrieve the Golden Egg among the dragons’ in the quickest time possible.  The Golden Egg will have a clue to your next task.  Now when I pass this bag around reach in and bring out the dragon you will face. We’ll start with you Mr. Krum.”
Victor reached in and pulled out a scarlet dragon with golden spikes around its snub-snouted face.  “The Chinese Fireball. Oooh.”
The bag passed to Fleur.  She reached in and pulled out a green dragon.  “The Common Welsh Green.  Mr. Cedric your turn next,” Ludo said.
Cedric reached in and pulled out a silver blue scaled dragon.  “The Swedish Shortsnout.   And that just leaves…”
Ares reached in and pulled out a black dragon.  “The Hungarian Horntail.”
He looked at each of the four champions.  “You will wait here until your name is called. Then you will go outside and perform your task. Good luck champions,” Ludo said as he and the three headmasters walked out of the tent and to the judge’s stand.  The four champions waited nervously for their names to be called. As the tent emptied Ares paced nervously not sure what he would do.  Think Ares. What are your strengths and abilities? Well flying is one of my strengths but we aren’t allowed a broomstick.  Abilities are Parsletongue and wandless magic but I can’t risk the wandless magic. Are dragons close enough to serpents to understand Parsletongue?
“Harry Potter!” Ludo called out which annoyed Ares but he walked out of the tent anyway.  He listened and heard the dragon’s breathing.  A jet of flame shot out and Ares ducked behind a huge rock to escape being incinerated to death.  He quickly cast a fireproof spell on his clothes and peered over the rock. He could see a huge black dragon standing before him. 
“Accio Firebolt!” Ares shouted.  Sirius had snuck into Gringotts and informed the Goblins that he wasn’t dead and purchased Ares a Firebolt to make up for thirteen years of birthdays.  He ducked back behind the rock and waited for his broom to arrive.  Finally it soared into the air and he jumped on it before taking off as a burst of flames shot after him from the mother dragon.  The dragon tried flapping its wings as it roared after him and managed to break the chain tethering it to the ground.  Deciding to get revenge on Dumbledore for putting him in the tournament Ares flew straight at the judges and then pulled up at the last minute.  Both Karkaroff and Dumbledore got whacked by the dragon’s tail as it flew by, sending them both to the ground. 
Ares smirked to himself as he flew away from the stands and out into the open sky.  He loved flying.  He didn’t like Quidditch as much as some wizards did but flying just for the fun of it? That was something he loved with his heart.  The dragon roared and shot another flame of fire at Ares who dodged it by diving down at breakneck speeds.  His Firebolt moved at the touch of a hand.  It seemed to be able to discern his movements and acted accordingly.  Never before had he had a broom like this.
Ares swerved, climbed and dived but the dragon continued on her pursuit of the one who dared to harm her eggs.  The dragon shot fire at Ares’s broom and he glanced back to see the tail sticks on fire.  “Aguamenti!” Ares shouted and a jet of water splashed on the burning tail sticks which put the small fire out.  However why he was putting the fire out he didn’t see the roof of a tower. The dragon saw her chance and slammed her neck into Ares’s broom which knocked him off and his broom fall to a ledge underneath him where it got stuck.  Ares clung to the roof shingles and saw the dragon land on the tower beside him and begin making her way to where Ares was. 
~Stop!~
~Speaker?~
~You understand me?~
~Parsletongue is snake language and it can be used with dragons though many have evolved too far ahead to remember the language speaker.  You are fortunate that I am not one of them. Why did you try to attack my nest?~
~I am sorry for you being brought here by the wizards’ noble dragoness but they planted a fake egg in your nest.  It’s gold and I have to retrieve it.~
~Very well as long as you do not harm my eggs then you may have this gold egg.~
~Thank you.~
~To make sure you have not spoken to me I will chase you and act ferocious. I’ll lag behind a bit so you can miraculously escape my flame and jaws and retrieve this egg.~
~A smart idea noble one.~
Ares dropped and grabbed his Firebolt, leaping onto it and flying away as the dragon released her claws from the stone and flew after him. They soared back into the stadium and the dragon let out a roar and another burst of flames for good measure.  Ares dove down and reaching out managed to snatch the Golden Egg just as the dragon came behind him and landed carefully at her nest.  The dragon tamers came and kept her away from Ares as he nodded to the beast.
~Wait! Before you go take this egg.  You deserve to have a dragon partner in your quest young speaker.  Take good care of my hatchling.~ The dragon lowered her head to a black egg and carefully nudged it toward Ares.
~You’re giving me one of your eggs?~
~Yes.  My son will serve you well as long as you treat him with kindness. Goodbye young one.~
~Thank you again.  What is your name so that I can tell your son?~
~The humans call me Dusk.~
Ares slowly bent down and carefully grasped the egg in his own.  Well now I have two magical familiars; a basilisk and a dragon, two birds and two normal animals.  I hope I don’t get anymore.  The egg began cracking and Ares watched as the shell fell away to reveal a baby black dragon who whined for food.  Ares gently cradled his dragon and the egg to his chest as he made his way to the infirmary tent where Madam Pomfrey was waiting.  Behind him he heard mutterings from crowd over the fact that he had a dragon and was a Parslemouth.
“Mr. Riddle where are you hurt?”
“I’m not hurt Madam Pomfrey,” Ares said.  “Tulip!”
“What can Tulip do for master?” Tulip asked.
“Can you get my little one some raw steak strips and some milk mixed with chicken blood?” Ares asked.
“Yes Master Riddle. Does master need anything else?”
“Have some food waiting for me in my dorm room.  Anything is fine.”
“Of course Master Riddle.”
“Mr. Potter!” Dumbledore shouted coming into the tent with the other judges.  “It is against the rules to speak a dark language and use dark magic to win this tournament!  And you will hand that beast back to the dragon tamers immmediatley.”
“First off headmaster Parsletongue is not dark magic.  It’s not my fault you aren’t special enough to inherit it.   Secondly I didn’t use dark magic to calm the dragon and where does it say in the tournament rules that Parsletongue can’t be used?  It is one of my abilities and I will not shun it just because some people are ignorant and think all Parslemouths are dark wizards and witches.  Thirdly my hatchling is not a ‘beast’.  It is a gift from the dragon I fought and is one of my familiars.”
“Dragons aren’t allowed in the castle or anywhere on the grounds!  Give it here!” Dumbledore made to take the dragon which lunged and sank its tiny teeth into the headmaster’s hand. 
~Easy little one.~
~Me hungry!~
~Food will be waiting for us when we get back to the Ravenclaw dorms.~
“What did you just say Mr. Potter?”
“Headmaster in case you’re as blind as you are incompetent you will realize that Harry Potter no longer exists.  That name, that person died when he was six years old.  Now I’d appreciate my score if you will so I can get back to my dorms and get some sleep.”
Dumbledore frowned and made to move but Madam Pomfrey intervened.  “That’s enough Albus.  Leave the boy alone and he’s right. If the dragon is Mr. Riddle’s familiar then it is allowed to be in the castle.”
The headmaster turned to the others and conferred. “Very well then Mr. Potter.  Follow us to get your scores.”
Ares wasn’t surprised to see Dumbledore give Ares a 0 for a score.  Bagman gave him a 8, Maxine a 7 and Karkaroff surprisingly a 10.  He probably was trying to protect his own life once his father got ahold of the fool.  “That totals up to 25 points for Mr. Potter. Mr. Krum has 50 points for use of a Confundus spell but the dragon smashed some of its eggs which is why isn’t as high, Miss Delacour has 60 points and Mr. Diggory has 65 points.  So in first place is Mr. Diggory, in second place is Miss Delacour, in third place is Mr. Krum and in fourth place is Mr. Potter.  Now you will have three weeks before the second task.  Have a good evening everyone and get some rest.”
Ares turned and made his way to Ravenclaw Tower. 
He who has it doesn't tell about it. He who takes it doesn't know about it. He who knows what it is doesn't want it. What is it?
“Counterfeit money,” Ares said.
You may enter riddle master.
Ares walked into the common room and made his way up to the fourth year dorms where his other familiars swarmed around him.  “This is my newest familiar, a Hungarian Horntail.  I received him as a present from his mother for being a speaker.  His name is Lightning,” Ares said setting Lightning down on his bed and being swarmed by Iris, Shadow and Hades.  He changed into his pajamas, cast some wards and silencing charms on his bed, pulled the drapes shut and fell asleep with Lightning snuggled next to him on the pillow.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Champions

A month had passed since the announcement and it was now Halloween.  Hogwarts had expanded to allow the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students their own wings and people were slowly beginning to make friends across all three schools.  Classes had been canceled for the day and everyone was now pouring into the Great Hall to learn who the champions were for the three schools.
Two more tables had been added for the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students.  They ate the Halloween feast and then Dumbledore had Filch bring in the Goblet of Fire.  “Now I’m sure you are all eager for to learn who the champions are for the Triwizard Tournament.  Now when I call your name I’d like you to go through the door on my right and wait there until the judges arrive to tell you about the Tournament.”
Dumbledore tapped the box the Goblet of Fire was in and it opened to reveal the Goblet of Fire with blue flames coming out of it. They waited and the first slip of paper came out. Dumbledore caught it as it fluttered down to him.  “The champion for Durmstrang is Victor Krum!” Cheers erupted from the fan girls and the Durmstrang table as Victor got up, shook Dumbledore’s hand and made his way into the room on Dumbledore’s right.  The fire turned red again and another slip of parchment flew out.  “The champion for Beauxbatons is Fleur Delacour!”  Fleur got up to cheers from the Beauxbatons table and went into the room.  “And the champion for Hogwarts is Cedric Diggory,” to cheers from the Hufflepuff table and the rest of Hogwarts.  As Cedric went through the door Dumbledore turned back to the students.  “Now we have our three champions!  The first task will take place a month from now…” his voice trailed off as the goblet turned red once again and another parchment shot out.  He opened the parchment and looked up with ‘shock’ on his face.  “Harry Potter,” and whispers began breaking out amongst the students.
“Harry Potter!” Dumbledore shouted again.  Ares frowned but got up and walked to the table.
“He’s a cheat!”
“Not even 17 yet!”
“Through the door Harry,” Dumbledore said but Ares saw the faint gleam of triumph in his eyes.
“Of course headmaster,” Ares said.  He turned to the students still staring at him.  “I, Harry James Potter, or as I prefer to be called, Ares Salazar Riddle,” he snickered the gasp that came from Karkaroff, “did not put my name into the Goblet of Fire.  Lumos,” Ares said and his wand lit up showing he was telling the truth and still had his magic. As the room broke into outrage he turned and walked through the door. 
The other champions were standing around waiting for the judges to show up.  The judges were the three heads of schools and Ludo Bagman.  They looked up as Ares entered.  “Do the headmasters need something? Is that why you’ve come?” Cedric asked.
“No apparently I’m the fourth champion.  I already proved my innocence in the Great Hall but I’ll do it again.”  Ares took out his wand, repeated his statement from a few seconds ago and put his wand away just as the judges came into the room.
“Harry are you sure you didn’t put your name in the Goblet of Fire? Did you get someone to do it for you?” Dumbledore asked grabbing his shoulders and shaking him.
“Are you blind old man?! Did you not see me make the magical statement that I had nothing to do with putting my name in the Goblet of Fire? If I had I would be nothing but a squib right now.”
“How did this happen Dumbledore? We saw the boy make the magical vow.  He’s telling the truth,” Ludo Bagman said.
“It’s obvious isn’t it?”  Karkaroff said.  “Someone must have confounded the magical artifact to think Mr. Riddle was a champion from another school.  Only powerful dark magic could do that.”
Ares decided to have some fun with the traitorous death eater and slammed through his Occlumency shields.  Any explanation for why you have abandoned father’s service Karkaroff?  You death eaters are under my control for now and you failed to come to the meetings I held.  Do you perhaps think I’m not capable of killing you?  Ares clenched his hand into a fist while staring at Karkaroff who crashed to the floor grabbing his throat as Ares choked him wandlessly.  Understand your place now slave?
Young master… please…
“Are we going to hear about the first task or not?” Ares asked. “That is the whole point of being here isn’t it?”
“Yes,” Ludo Bagman said.  Nobody else had seen Ares use Legilimency on Karkaroff or his wandless magic.  “There are nine tasks in this tournament.  Some are easy and some are hard.  Points are awarded as follows: first place is 100 points, second place is 50 points, third place is 20 points and fourth place is 10 points.  If you drop out or fail to complete your task you receive 0 points.  The first task will begin a month from now but before that your wands will be weighed and you’ll have an interview with the Daily Prophet.  Notes will be sent to each of you letting you know the time of the weighing of the wands.  Good luck champions.”
Ares made his way back to Ravenclaw tower, answered the riddle and made his way up to his room before collapsing on his bed. He wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone but from the look in Dumbledore’s eyes, Ares knew who had put him in the tournament.  Well if the old man wanted to test Ares then Ares would give him a show.