Under the Hunters Moon - Kingsaxcul - Harry Potter (2024)

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Waxing Moon I Summary: Chapter Text Chapter 2: Waxing Moon II Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 3: Waxing Moon III Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 4: Waxing Moon IIII Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 5: Crescent Moon I Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 6: Crescent Moon II Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 7: Crescent Moon III Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 8: Creasent Moon IV Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 9: Crescent Moon V Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 10: Crescent Moon VI Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 11: Crescent Moon VII Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 12: Crescent Moon VIII Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 13: Full Moon I Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 14: Full Moon II Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 15: Full Moon III.V Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 16: Full Moon III.8 Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 17: Full Moon IV Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 18: Full Moon V Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 19: Full Moon VI Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 20: Full Moon VII Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 21: The Land of Shadows Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 22: Gold amongst the shadows. Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 23: Silver souls, pulsing as one Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 24: A Hound and a Hearth Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 25: Waning Moon I Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 26: Waning Moon II Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 27: Waning Moon III Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 28: Waning Moon IV Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 29: A Hope Held in Hallow Silence Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 30: A Beast Under the Moonlight Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 31: Heir of the Hunt Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 32: The End of the Hunt (A Promised Hello) Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 33: A Midsummer Hunt. Chapter Text

Chapter 1: Waxing Moon I

Summary:

In which, Lily Potter tries to summon Mother Magic, but through a miscalculation, Summons a different moon goddess entirely.

Chapter Text

October 31st, The Forbidden Forest.

On the night of the full moon, Lily Potter nèè Evens finds herself on her hands and knees in a forest clearing right outside the school she had graduated from almost 3 years ago.

She was on her hands and knees bathed in the light of witch-fire and moon because she was inspecting the ritual circle in the middle of the clearing.
She went over the details for the third time and ensured she had everything right, everything perfect because this had to work. It had too, and like last time, everything was set and perfect. She sighs in relief as she stands and brushes the dirt off her pants.

Her eyes turn to the full moon, a whisper of a prayer on her lips, as the forest around her fills with sounds of the late-night hour. A crash from the underbrush has her jumping out of her skin, spinning around, wand in hand with a curse on her lips.

"James!" She cried out after seeing her husband pick himself up off the ground where he had fallen in the clearing. "You had me jumping out of my skin!" Her heart rate lowering, she hops over her circle and makes her way over to him. "Are you okay? Did you get the wards set up?" She asks with worry as James brushes off the dirt from his Auror robes, for he had come directly from training to Hogsmeade to help Lily with this.

"Sorry, Lils, I'm fine; it's just me and some vines which had a disagreement; it looks like they won." He says with a crooked smile and a laugh.
"But the wards are all set, followed your instructions to the letter. Nothing should be bothering us for a little while, at least." James tells her because he was absolutely pants at charms and runes for all his skill in Transfiguration and Defense. Thankfully he had Lily's big beautiful brain to compensate for those shortcomings.

Lily snorts at James' joke, it could be in the middle of a life or death duel with the Death Eaters, and James would still have a joke or a pun ready to fire off just as quick as his spells. But then again, that was a part of his charm and one of the reasons she loved him, so with a smile and a quick kiss on his cheek that got him grinning hard, she turned back to the middle of the clearing.

"Good, everything is set on my end too, the circle, the sacrifice. Can you recite the chant from memory?" Lily asks with a little worry line forming on her forehead.
James smiles and says "Klaatu barada nikto, right?" His eyes gleam with mischief in the moonlight.

"James Potter! Don't even joke about that!" Lily yells, regretting ever bringing James to a muggle movie theater to see any type of movie as James laughs his full-body laugh at the look on her face.
"I'm sorry, Lils, I couldn't help it." He says, wiping away a stray tear as he smiles. "But I've been practicing it under my breath for the past two weeks; I memorized it as well as any other spell I know." He says in a more serious voice and with a soft smile.

Lily shakes her head as she turns back, a small smile on her lips; she walks back to the circle and prepares the small bronze bowl full of different herbs and animal parts. The ritual required nothing rare or expensive. Things that one could pick up in any potion supply shop, really. Then James spoke up in an uncharacteristically severe voice.

"Lils,..." He pauses for a moment as Lily turns her head to him; seeing the look on his face worries Lily; it's quite unlike him to look like that, all pressed lips and frowned brow.
"Are you...Are you sure about this, Luv?" He asks as he hops into the middle of the circle with her. "We don't have to do this; Sirius is checking through the Black library for whatever curse was used. He just needs more time, and even if it's too late to undo it, there's always that muggle thing you suggest invitro-whatever."

Lily looks at him, hurt in the Emeralds that were her eyes, and she opens her mouth to rebut James. He quickly explains.
"I'm not saying that I won't do this, Lils, because I WILL do this with you. I'm just saying that we don't need to, we don't need to do a ritual that you found in an old book that you half understand to take care of this. I know you're scared, Luv, I'm just saying, and I can't believe it's ME saying this; we don't need to rush into this."

James' worried tone paints his words with broad strokes, his eyes a hazel of uncertainty and careful consideration for her.
It almost breaks her heart to see the usually carefree man like this. She almost reconsiders, but everything is already all set. There was never a more perfect time to do this, placing a hand on her lower stomach and sighing. She gathers the courage that Gryffindors are so known for she looks James in the eyes.

"I...I know, James, but we don't know what the long-term effects of the curse are; it could be on a time limit or has already taken root. This is the only thing I've found that could circumvent it; we already have everything set up; it's the perfect night to do this." She sighs once more, "and...and if this doesn't work..." She shrugs as she shakes her head before leaning in, placing her head on James' shoulder as he embraces her.

"Then we'll wait; we'll try something else, I promise," Lily says just above a whisper. She feels James nod as he squeezes her tightly as if he is trying to wring out all the worries never being a mother causes her.

As they break from their embrace Lily asks him if he is ready, all James could do is nod and ask, "so, how much blood do we need to um,...sacrifice?" He looks queasy as he says the words as if the mere mention of a blood sacrifice involved a whole human worth of the stuff.

Lily smiles before reassuring him, "Not as much as you're thinking, dear, just a drop from each of us, no more than a paper cut." Lily smiles at him as he nods his head, looking much more comfortable until Lily pulls out the silver knife.

She takes his hands and cuts the bottom part of his palm, just below the pinky finger, and as he hisses in pain, she does the same to herself, wincing in pain as she does. They both looked each other in the eyes and nodded; it was now or never.
Pressing their palms together over the bowl at their feet, they began to chant. The ancient Magic of the forest begins to stir, their words giving meaning to the spell, their will shaping it, and their intent together broadcast it out into the world.

The bronze bowl that had caught their blood and all within it ignites into silvery bluish flames, casting shadows from the circle into the deep woods; unperturbed, the two lovers continue their chanting, using words of power from a civilization that had Magic before wands were even a thing.
As the chant reaches its crescendo, the fire dies. They stood there, in the moonlight, both praying.
Lily prayed to a God she wasn't sure existed anymore, begging for this to work, as James asked the witch father and mother Magic for Lily to be alright.

A minute passes before Lily's sob breaks the quiet; James wraps his arms around her, pulling her close, whispering words of comfort to her; the ritual, to them, had failed.
As they stood there under the full moon, one crying as a failure and the other comforting the woman he loves, a deep primal sense began to perk up in James.

James had long ago accepted this sixth sense of his; it came from what he was, an Animagus. Ever since his 5th year, he has felt like a prey animal when it knows danger is about and has saved his ass on more than one occasion. Which is why now, he listened to it, his eyes narrowed and scanning the shadows for danger. His wand arm leaves Lily's waist as he prepares to snap it from the holster on his wrist and drag Lily behind him.
That's when he noticed something that sent a very human chill down his spine.

The forest was quiet; he could only hear Lily's soft sobs as she cried into his shoulder. No small animals in the underbrush, no bugs chirping, not even the trees of the Ancient Forest made a single sound; it was the eyrie quiet one would hear right before a predator descended upon its prey. He could only hear Lily's soft sobs as she cried into his shoulder.

As James was about to open his mouth to tell Lily they had to go and go quickly, a new voice had cut through the woods; it sounded young but stern and full of anger.

"Do you have any idea how insulting I find this?"
The two lovers turn to the voice; James, already on edge, had snapped his wand into his hand as he turned to the...girl?

They both stared, almost gawking at her; she couldn't be older than a first-year at Hogwarts. Her long black hair pulled up into a high ponytail to keep it out of her face, her skin a deep olive-brown, she was wearing muggle clothes, denim jeans, a silver blouse and a pair of trainers, she had a leather bomber jacket that, to Lily's eyes, seemed to be spray painted silver and to complete the entire look, a silver bow slung across her right shoulder.
But it was her eyes that put James on edge.

A deep glowing amber, her pupils split like a cat's eye. They radiated age and power of the likes James had never seen, and he has looked into the eyes of Voldemort himself. She also looked angry and outraged; it was like looking into the face of Professor McGonagall after he had saved Snape from Lupin; James swallowed the lump forming in his throat as he heard Lily gasp next to him.

"Oh my..." Lily whispers, shock and excitement painting her features, "James, it worked! Well, kinda. But we did it! I can't believe we did it!" She was giddy, her drying tears soon forgotten as she hugged James; it was at this point she noticed he was stiff as a broad; everything was coiled to either run or fight. Lily was confused at this; she could see James looking into the eyes of the Maiden like a deer caught in the headlights of a car.

"James..." She whispers, shaking him; he doesn't move. She grabs his chin and turns his head to break eye contact. "James, are you okay?" She asks as James blinks before opening his mouth "what? Uh, yeah, Lils. Yeah. But umm...I don't think she likes us right now." He says before nodding to the still waiting divine in the circle, still glaring, still looking very unhappy.

Lily turns to the small divine-like girl and bows her head. "Forgive us, Maiden, we did not mea-"
Lily is cut off as the tiny angry goddess snaps at her.
"Did not mean to what? To insult me? To summon and bind me during a fertility ritual ?" The Goddess hisses through clenched teeth at Lily, her eyes glowing with anger. "You are a very foolish girl Lilly Evans; you should have known better than to even think to do this. If it wasn't for the ritual binding me to nonviolent acts, I'd have killed you both here and now for this."

Lily was shocked at this reaction; looking into those ancient amber eyes, she could feel the ages of this Goddess weigh on her. She could feel the sheer magnitude of power; Lily was like a hare caught in a wolf's jaws and about to be torn apart.
That is when James did something very brave but also very stupid.
James steps in front of Lily, raising his wand to point in between the eyes of the angry Goddess.

"Now hold on, no one threa-" James begins to say, shielding Lily from the Wrath of the Goddess before him. Unfortunately, it was not a good move to make; before he could even finish his sentence, a sharp crack echoed throughout the woods, and instead of James Potter standing protectively before Lily, now stood a stag.

The amber-eyed Goddess scoffs, "boy's, always foolish.", before turning to look at the horrified face of Lily Evans. "Now, for you, If it wasn't for the fact that I'm bound by your spell, and I have to listen to your proposal, I would have summoned my hou-" the Goddess stops in the middle of her threat. Before her eyes, something happened that she'd never seen before.

James Potter turned back from a stag to a man.

Everyone in the clearing stood still, no one making a move or saying a word. One feeling confusion, another shock, and the last one fear.
Confusion because he didn't know how Prongs came out without him willing it.
Shock because a man of all things reversed a divine curse.
Fear because she knew precisely what the Goddess did, and she couldn't do the same as James.

It was James and the amber-eyed Goddess who broke the silence, both speaking simultaneously and saying the same thing in shock and confusion.

"How did you do that?!" They both said, eyeing one another with their own respected emotions. With a glare from the Goddess, it was James who answered first.

"Do what?" He asked in his confusion, "turn into a stag? I've been able to do that for a while now. Since my 5th year, turning back isn't all that hard when you get the first part down."

The Goddess looked at him, her face turning from one of a shock to one of curiosity. "And it's always been a stag?" She asks him

"I mean, yeah." He shrugs, "There's a whole ritual involved and a spell; you have to keep a mandrake leaf under your tongue for a month; honestly, that's the worst part. Tasted bloody awful." James rambles on before Lily elbows him in the side and gives him a look.

"I'm an Animagus; I can turn into Prongs, the stag, at will and back again." He says as the curiosity on the Goddess's face turns to a more calculating look as if she was trying to figure out a riddle for which she almost has an answer.

The Goddess walks around the outer ring of the circle, inspecting the symbols and the ancient Greek that formed the Magic that had summoned and bound her. The spell itself was one she knew of but had never been the target of.

It was a parley between the divine and mortals. The premise of the spell was simple, using symbols that align with a God or Goddess, you could summon them and bind them to the spot to ask for a Boon. However, the God or Goddess was only forced to listen to them and could not be compelled to act in one way or another.

If, at the end of the parley, the mortals who summoned the God swayed them with their words, then the God would grant them the Boon they sought; if not, the God could either leave or curse the mortals for wasting their time. It was a gamble for the mortals, and one was often made as a last resort. As the Goddess walked the circle, she had found the symbols she was looking for, spelled out in Greek "childbirth."

James and Lily watched the Goddess with trepidation as she inspected the symbols upon the ground; the amber-eyed one finally asked a question as she looked around the clearing they stood in.

"Where are we?" Is all she said, and it was Lily who answered her. "It's called the Forbidden Forest, right outside our alma mater. The ritual said we needed a place where ancient power ran deep. The forest was around before the school even existed and is thought to be one of the last purely magical places left in all of England."

The Goddess scoffs at this before taking a hand and rubbing the bridge of her nose. She turns to Lily with a sigh and asks an odd question to Lily "Who do you think I am, Lily Evans?" The Goddess asked.

Lily thought this was an odd question for the fact of who she summoned should be answered enough. Still, she complied nonetheless, "You're The Maiden, one of the aspects of the triple goddess, The Morrigan, Mother Magic." After a slight pause, she adds, "right?" With a look of confusion and hesitation on her face.

The amber-eyed Goddess looked her in the eye before giving her an answer she didn't want to hear.
"No, Lily Evans." The Goddess says, "I am a maiden, but I am not the Maiden you speak of." Even with the look of defeat and despair on Lily's face, the Goddess continued, " My name is Artemis Phaesporia, The goddess of the moon, of the woods and hills, of the hunt, of maidens, and of childbirth."

With Artemis' true identity now revealed, Lily's face dropped, her eyes wide in shock, and her mouth opened in horror as she finally realized just how bad this had turned out. After opening and closing her mouth a few times, the only thing she could say was, "oh…".

"Yes." Artemis says back flatly, "Now you're figuring out just how bad you've messed up."
James, a bit confused about who Artemis was, looked at his fearful and shocked wife and summed the situation up as really bad.
"I'm sorry, but if you aren't who we were trying to summon, how…did you end up here?" James asks, trying to figure out where the spell went wrong, seeing that Lily was right in just about everything regarding the theoretical side of Magic.

Artemis looked at James with the face of someone trying to decide whether she should answer a child's stupid question. Should she be as mean as possible or not? She simply replied, "it was you, boy." With a frown.

James is taken aback by this; he was undoubtedly no Maiden, nor was a hunter unless you count dark wizards. Even still, he barely knew who Artemis was, let alone how to summon her.

It was Lily, like always, that cleared it up for him.
"Prongs, dear." Lily says, "The Stag is considered to be Lady Artemis' sacred animal, and with your Animagus form thrown into the ritual, it wouldn't be a huge jump to think she would show up, but I didn't even think of it."

"Oh!" James said, his face turning sheepish as if he was caught in the middle of a prank by one of the teachers. "Sorry..?"
He makes it sound more like a question than the statement it should be.

"This was not as… intentional as I thought it was. But I still do not take slights like these…kindly." Artemis says, narrowing her eyes at the couple.
"So your explanation as to why you were trying to parley with a goddess for fertility reasons better be a good one, or I will be hunting two animals to feed my wolves before this night is done." Threatens the still upset Goddess.

Lily swallows, shaken by the looming threat to their lives by a being that very much can and will do it as myths in ages past have told. So it was James that began, and he told the Goddess of the civil war that was happening in their world.

On one side, the pure-blood supremacist, descendants of old family names tracing their lines back to the times of the founders and the dark wizard and self-proclaimed dark lord, Voldemort. How they wanted to kill and/or enslave the muggleborn witches and wizards of their world because they believed that they were unworthy of Magic, and how Lily was one such muggleborn.

And on the other side, wizards and witches that didn't believe in the pure blood Supremacy, that fought for the inclusion of all those with magical blood, muggleborn or not. And how they were led by their old headmaster of all people, Albus Dumbledore.

It was when they got to the why they did the ritual that Lily took over.
"About six months ago, during a Death Eater raid on Diagon Alley." Lily begins, "We had just got there and were helping people evacuate and distracting the Death Eaters so they wouldn't focus on the civilians that it happened. I was dueling one of them; I think it was one of the Lestrange brothers, but they had their masks on, so I couldn't tell. Anyway, while I was dealing with him, I had him on the ropes and about to finish him off; I was hit in the back by a…a curse." Lily looks down at this, her hand pressing against her lower stomach.

"It had knocked me to the ground and felt like my insides were getting put through a grinder, I…I blacked out from the pain," She admits in a quiet voice; her husband pulls her close and into an embrace before she continues, "When I had awoken I was in Saint Mungo's curse ward they,...they told me the curse had shredded my lower intestines and reproductive system. Curse damage is incredibly hard to heal, even for the most talented healers. While they rebuilt everything, they told me…they told me…" at this point, tears flowed freely down Lily's face.

"That the chances of her having children were now nonexistent." James finishes in a dead tone of voice, frustrated and saddened that he could not help the woman he loved.

Lily sobs at the truth of his words, "Then, while researching esoteric magic for a thesis I was writing for Charms Monthly, I came across this ritual." She admits, wiping away her tears. "We didn't mean to summon you, Lady Artemis, I swear, I was trying to summon The Mother aspect of the Morrigan, I…I was hoping she would be able to help us, to use her power to maybe fix me, or give us a chance to have a child…, We're sorry, My Lady."

"I am not your lady, Lily Evans." Artemis answered the last part in a curt tone, "I have not been your lady for a few years now."

As the couple explained their reasons behind summoning her, Artemis prowled around the outer ring of the summoning circle, taking in and judging their words and the truth behind them. While it does not shock Artemis that they fighting in a war, mortals are always fighting over one stupid thing or another, just like her family.

What does shock her is the truth behind their words.
They didn't mean to summon her, but they did; that in itself wasn't a crime, merely insulting to a degree. They were indeed remorseful for this accident and meant no offense by it; they were also not asking HER to have a child but asking for help to fix the problem they had no way of resolving themselves.

She was also impressed by Lily Evans; to recreate a ritual that had not been done in over a thousand years just by reading about it while studying esoteric Magic was a feat in and of itself.

But what they were asking for, however, was not something Artemis thought of much. Due to her oaths, she couldn't have a child, but she had been curious about if she did have one.
Not to break her oaths, but how would they turn out? She had seen many Demigod children; some had even joined The Hunt. How they acted like their godly parents, had seemingly random powers from their parents, and had inherited the flaws of those same parents.

Apollo, her brother, could go on and on about his own children, how proud he was of them, how much he loved them. It wasn't like Artemis couldn't feel pride for something else; her hunters were proof of that. But love? That was almost a foreign concept to her.
She likes her brother and honors her father, but that was it.

But…

And there it was, that simple little word. But. But what if she did have a child? Would they be like her? What gifts would they get from her? What flaw would be passed on to them?
Her oaths stopped her from having a child herself, that and the fact that she thinks she could never be a good mother, a leader, yes. But a mother…, no. She could never feel like that for something else, someone else.

But…

What if she didn't have to break her oath? Her sister Athena, another sworn Maiden, had children all the time due to the idiosyncrasy of her own birth, her "thought children," as she calls them.
What if she didn't need to be the mother? She had one right behind her, who had summoned a divine to help her be one.

If the fates had a hand in this, then maybe she should go along with it, so Artemis did something quite unlike her; it was more like how her twin brother would act; she decided to do something…on a whim.

As the Potter's tale comes to an end, the Goddess of the hunt asks them just one question where she had been quiet before.
"Is It that you can not conceive a child, or you can not carry one to term?" Artemis asks.

Lily is caught off guard by the question, one she didn't expect to be asked and that she honestly had no answer to. So she answered as such, "I…I don't know." She watches as the Huntress breathes out a sigh before looking up at the full moon for a moment. At that moment, the mortals can't help but wonder what will happen next. Was this the night that they would die? At the hands of an angry god, and not by the hands of a would-be one?

"Listen, and hear me, mortals, for I have made my decision." And as Artemis spoke these words, the ritual circle that had offered protection against the wrath of an angry God fell, and the parley was over. Now the Goddess will do what she willed to them.

When Artemis looked from the moon to them and took a step forward, James' grip on his wand tightened; he would not die without a fight.
When Artemis took a second step, coming within touch of the Potters, Lily's back straightened; she would not die a coward, begging for her life.

When Artemis looked up and into the eyes of Lily Evans, she couldn't help but smile.
"This a shame we had not met a few years ago, Lily Evans; you would have made a fine huntress."
Artemis says Before she places her hand on Lily's lower stomach, and the grove where they stood filled with the moon's silvery light, more intense than ever before. Pulling her hand away and slipping it back into her jacket pocket, her eyes locked on the Emerald orbs of Lily Evans. She tells her, "You will have one chance, and only one chance Lily Evans. If you can't carry the child to term, or if it is born still, then you must accept the fate that you will never have children yourself, am I understood?"

Lily is stunned at this, her eyes wide and her mouth begins to work, but no sound comes out. So she opts to just nod her head as James relaxes his grip on his wand.

With a nod from Lily Evans, Artemis turns on her heel and begins walking into the forest's shadows; she is done here.
"But!" Lily calls out to the Goddess, "But what if I do carry to term? What if I give birth to them?" She asks in a worried voice fearing old stories about how the gods would steal away their children for the mortal parents.

Artemis stops, looking back over her shoulder, her amber cat eyes glowing like the Predator she undoubtedly is in the dark of the night.

"Then Lily Evans." She states, "Then I will come before you once more, and we will have a conversation about what you should expect when raising a Demigod child."
Artemis watches the worry on Lily Evans' face melt to relief as she heads into the shadows of the woods and vanishes as if she was never there.

The sob of relief and the kiss between the Potters was one shared in private. They had somehow done it; they summoned a God and gambled with their lives only to come out the other end unscathed; Godric Gryffindor would be proud.

It would be another six weeks until Lily, in tears, tells James she is pregnant.

At the end of her first trimester, Lily Potter would retire from active duty with the Order of the Phoenix but stay to help heal her injured comrades.

At six months, unable to hide it, Lily and James break the news to their friends and loved ones and ask Sirius Black to be the godfather.

At eight months, Albus Dumbledore is told a prophecy while interviewing for the divination position at Hogwarts, about one who has the power to defeat the dark lord, one who is born as the seventh month dies.

Nine months to the date, Harry James Potter was born on July 31st.

Three months later, The Potters would go into hiding, and a Huntress would come calling on them, as they did with her.

Chapter 2: Waxing Moon II

Summary:

In which we learn of events that only are known by 4 people.

Notes:

Okay, so an author's note before the story.

Let's talk about Harry and Artemis real quick.
First off, Harry. J.K Rowling did a lot of amazing things with Harry, but she did drop the ball on a few MAJOR things, and one such thing is what abuse will do to a developing child, and I'm not even talking about exaggerated abuse, I'm talking about Canon. Harry wasn't a wanted child in the home he grew up in, and he was only put up by his relatives because of his Aunt's guilt and love for her sister, not him.
Coming from an abusive home myself, I can tell you know that it f*cks a kid up.

So, Harry is gonna act a bit more realistic in this fic. He's going to be awkward around people, even with Ron and Hermione. The only "person" he'll be comfortable with is Hedwig, because she's not a person at all, among other things that you'll see later on.

Now for Artemis, where the hell do I even begin with her?
First off, she doesn't get a lot of screen time in the books, so we don't get a lot from her. We know she is a goddess that takes her job and oaths very seriously, but she knows how to joke from time to time. She believes the worst in men until she is shown otherwise, and once you have that respect, you will have it until you do something to lose it.
She is a fair but cold goddess.

In myth, well it's a bit of a different story, Artemis is a very "bows before bros" kind of gal. It is said that Aphrodite, the GODDESS OF LOVE, has power over every being in the universe but three.
Those three are Hestia, Athena, and Artemis.
How I'm choosing to interpret this is that Artemis has no concept of love, she's never felt it in any form because of who she is.
She doesn't know how to tell romantic love from familiar love, love to her is just that, love, and she doesn't want to deal with it.
But this is my story, so she's gonna have to, and she's gonna be…very confused and conflicted about Harry.

But enough with this mortal prattle, on with the show!

Disclaimer!

I own neither of these stories or any characters in said books, otherwise, Lily Potter would have been talking mad sh*t to Voldemort before she died.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

December 17th, Godric's Hollow.

It has been five months since the birth of Harry James Potter was born from the Union between Lily and James Potter with a little help from the divine, though that last part is only known between the people who were there that night.

And in the last five months, Lily and James had learned one very important lesson, raising a baby was exhausting! Like, exhausting. Neither of them had a full night's sleep in months, baby Harry was seeming a ball of limitless energy. Now whether this was just how normal babies are, or because Harry was…special, James and Lily didn't know. From letters from her friend, and Harry's godmother, Alice Longbottom, it was normal, but still Lily didn't know.

With Alice in hiding as well, Harry and Neville weren't going to be playmates anytime soon, and neither Lily nor James had a point of reference when it came to babies, James being an only child and Lily being the youngest. So if Harry wasn't a normal baby, they had no clue. What they did know was that they loved him, with every laugh and smile from little Harry they smiled they returned was even bigger, from his first words to his first steps they grew prouder, and his first burst of accidental magic was met with cheers as Harry had summoned Lily's cat into his arms.

But still, with all his boundless energy, the young parents couldn't keep up with him. So James called in the Calvary and the rest of The Marauders.
Peter, Lupin, and Sirius had no problem swooping into babysitting while the parents took a well-needed rest, always happy to see the newest member of their merry band of Mischief Makers.

Sirius would always entertain little Harry with stories and fairy tales both magical and muggle, giving shape to them with witch-fire and nightlight charms to dance in the eyes of his godson.
Lupin, always the most serious and grim, had walked around with cub in his arms talking to him about the history and magical theory, answering whatever babble little Harry had let out as if it was a question to something he was talking about.
And Peter, always the most gentle with Harry, rocking him in his arms as he told him tales of the Marauder's most infamous pranks and tales of a magical castle he would someday see.

Today was one of those days, Lily and James had asked Sirius to come over and watch little Harry while they snuck out to muggle London and have a date night, to unwind from both Lily's research and James Auror Training.
Sirius had agreed and used a few safety measures so they could avoid being spotted or recognized, they had left Sirius with his godson for only a few hours.

When they arrived back home at the reasonable hour of 11 pm, they had found Sirius asleep on a chair next to the fireplace, head tilted to the side, wand Loosely in his hand, and Harry's baby blanket at his side, but no Harry.

"Sirius" Lily says softly "Sirius, wake up. Where's Harry?" She shakes him, trying to Rouse him from his slumber. There's a snort, and a twitch from the man before he mumbles something.
"Sirius, what did you say?" Lily asks, confused.

He speaks up, eyes still closed and half asleep "he's right here Lils." He grumbles out, Lily feels her heart stutter and looks back at James with wide eyes, James to his credit doesn't panic as much as he should, his training kicking in, and his wand shoots into his hand as he starts looking around the bottom floor as Lily turns back to Sirius.

"Sirius, where is Harry?!" Lily speaks up, anger, worry, and panic bleeding into her voice as she hisses at Harry's dog father.
"Lily, he's right-' Sirius' eyes had opened at her tone and gestured with his wand at the blanket, now empty of a baby.
His eyes go wide as he shoots out of the chair, James making his way back from checking the ground floor looking grim and shaking his head, to say he had not found his son.

Sirius' panicked eyes dart around, seeing James come back he quickly calls out Padfoot, nose to the ground he begins to sniff all around the chair before heading to the stairs that lead up to the second floor with all the bedrooms before he changes back.

"Someone else is here." He hisses as quietly as possible to his friends, "I don't know the scent."
James nodded before figuring out their next move, "Okay, upstairs sweep. Lils your in front you have the best shield charm out of all of us, I'll be right behind you conjured copper disks at the ready to catch anything too nasty to block, Sirius, every curse you know, I don't give a damn if you have to use an unforgivable, you get them away from Harry. Understood?"

Lily and Sirius nod at James before falling into the formation he had called out, quickly ascending the stairs to the top floor.
It was easy to tell where the intruder was, for the only door on the floor that was open was the one to Harry's bedroom. The group swallowed their Collective fear, and as quiet as they could enter the room.
Whoever they expected to find was not in the room, for illuminated by the soft light of the moon coming through the window, was a small girl, her back to them as she looked down into the crib in the room, the sounds of a baby giggling could be heard.

As Lily, James, and Sirius begin to raise their wands for a child that they cared for far more than themselves, the figure turns her head and looks at them with glowing amber cat-like eyes.
As Lily and James look into the eyes of the goddess that had helped them, they begin to panic. James quickly turns on his heel, grabbing Sirius' arm and forcing his wand away from the girl before slapping his hand over his mouth and beginning to push his best friend quickly out of the room, they scuffle about as James gets him out of the room

"No, no Sirius listen she's not a threat- oww! Don't bite me damnit, bad dog." James' muffled voice can be heard as he drags his friend down the hall as Lily quickly shuts the door behind them.
The goddess scuffs at the antics of the boys before turning her attention back to the baby in the crib.
Lily, not knowing what to do, decided her best course of action was to be polite to the moon goddess and speak up.

"Lady Artemis, umm…welcome to our home." Lily begins "Sorry about that, we, ah, we didn't know it was you." She cringes at the thought of almost attacking the goddess and just how bad that would have ended.

Artemis says nothing for a short while, looking upon the child in the crib. "You are forgiven." She finally says, barely above a whisper. "The parents must protect the child, yes?" Artemis asks, not knowing the answer.

"Umm,...yes," Lily says, the room lulling back into quiet as Artemis doesn't move from her spot.
"His name is Harry, Harry James Potter." Lily tells the goddess, "It's a boy, I hope that you're not…upset by that." The last part Lily says in a whisper.

Artemis is quiet for a moment, before answering Lily back in the same flat, uncaring tone she always uses. "No, not upset. Just…a little disappointed I believe." She admits, "But it is not like you could control the gender of the baby." Artemis says Before she raises her hand and snaps her fingers, Lily flinches at the sound, and with a start, she realizes that Artemis wasn't targeting her.

With panic barely hiding in her voice Lily asks "what did do to him?!" A bit quickly, Artemis turns fully to face her.
"Nothing to worry about Lily Evans, I just put him to sleep, I can't stomach the whining and crying of babies for long and would rather have him asleep for our conversation. He will wake up in the morning none the worse." The goddess tells the mortal, calming her down.

"You said you would come again, to…to have a conversation about what to expect, right?" Lily asked, Artemis nodded her head before speaking.
"Yes, and there is much you need to know." Artemis then begins to tell Lily what was to be expected, of inborn battle instincts that will be similar to ADHD, how his mind will be hard wired to read ancient Greek, and how he will have a scent that would attract monsters to try and eat him when he is older.

In the last part, Lily begins to panic once again before she is calmed by Artemis with a gesture.
"Be calm Lily Evans, and let me explain." Artemis states "we gods are tied intrinsically to Western civilization, when the seat or heart of that civilization moves, so do we. It is currently in America, New York to be specific." Artemis explains, "When we move, so do the monsters that hunt the Demigods. While the heart of western civilization was once here in England, it is no longer the case, so many of the monsters are gone as well."
Lily sighs in relief at this news before the goddess of the hunt continues.

"While most are gone, it doesn't mean they are all gone, so you must always be on guard when he is older for strangers he says he does not know. But there is another matter to talk about, and that is about the Camp." Artemis says.

"Camp?" Lily asks "what camp?" Confused by the words.
"It is called Camp Half-Blood, it is a summer camp that trains Demigods on how to defend themselves and how to use their abilities. But know, if you send him to this camp, it will be of your own choice, if he does go, he will stay in the God of Roads cabin, for I will not claim him publicly." Artemis tells her before Lily asks her why she won't claim him, he is her son in a way.

Artemis shakes her head before answering "it would cause more problems and complications than I care to deal with, it will be up to you and the boy to explain to him what he is and who I am to him, I will watch over him the best I can, but ancient laws prevent me from getting involved more directly than this."
Lily nods her head, taking in the information just as she did when she was 11 and being told she was a witch for the first time.

"I will check in from time to time, whether you know I'm here or not will be up to my discretion Lily Evans," Artemis says, ending her explanation of the deeper part of the world Lily had found herself in.

Lily had only two more questions, the first was far more important to her than the other for it involved Harry's safety at the core, so Lily asked, "How,...how did you find us?" With a bit of hesitation in her voice, "we're supposed to be hidden by a powerful charm, one of the best for hiding places like our house."

Artemis took the question with a bit of amusem*nt "it takes a much more powerful ward than one that hides a secret to stop me, Lily Evans, it would take something of the level of the binding ritual you used when we first met to hide from me. Goddess of the Hunt, remember?" She says with a quirk of her lips.

Lily blushes and apologizes to Artemis, but she waves it off, informing Lily that her time was almost up and she had to return to her hunters soon.
As Artemis begins to make her way from the room, Lily blurts out her question, the one she didn't think the goddess would do, but one she felt she needed to ask.

"Do you want to hold him?" Lily asked, stopping the goddess in her tracks.

"What?" Artemis says, a bit confused so Lily explains, "Harry, would…would you like to hold him before you go?" Lily sees the looks of…something dance through the eyes of the Huntress, unknowable and complex emotions that she couldn't begin to guess at with the normally cold goddess.

Artemis could do nothing but stare at Lily Evans as what she thought, fought with what she felt.
She was asking her to touch a boy of all things, it was insulting, she should know better by now.
But it wasn't a boy, it was a baby, they didn't have the feeling of urges that they get when they're older. All babies wanted was to eat, relieve themselves, and be entertained.
But she had never held a baby before, goddess of childbirth she may be, but she was only invoked to relieve the woman of their pain, or to make sure the birth went well, not to take care of them.
But it wasn't just any baby, it was her son…kinda.
No, it wasn't, it was Lily Evans' son, she was merely the divine help needed to make it happen, the baby was a curiosity to her. That was all.

Artemis opens her mouth, but for the first time to Lily, she hesitates with her words, before closing her mouth and shaking her head.
Lily, with a bit of disappointment in her eyes, only nods before following the goddess out of the room and down the stairs.

They pass Sirius and James on the way, James had just gotten done explaining who was in the room, and how she had helped them.
James nods his head respectfully to Artemis on her way out, as Sirius just looks at her with narrowed eyes out of weariness.

This causes the goddess of the hunt to chuckle before meeting Sirius' gray eyes with her glowing amber ones, she quirks her lips before saying "Dog star indeed, Sirius Black. If it was anyone other than me who was here tonight, you would have fought with your life, as a good guard dog should."

And with that, Artemis opens the front door and leaves the cottage with a laugh.

~~~~~~~~~

September 15th, Godric's Hollow.

The crack of the apparition was an unfamiliar sound in Godric's Hollow, it was however unfamiliar when it was two o'clock in the gods be damned morning.

But the pounding on the Potters' door was what woke them up, Sirius on the other side bleeding from several different injuries across his body. Lily was quick with getting him inside and his wounds cleaned up before healing them as best she could.

After letting him sleep through the rest of the night, and most of the next day, they found out what had happened. While leaving the pub last night he was ambushed by a group of Death Eaters, if it wasn't for the dragon-hide jacket he would always wear, the first stunner to his back would have gotten him.

He had fought off four of the bastards at once and gave as good as he got, but he had been tracked, he had almost been captured. It means they knew who he was, that he was the Secret Keeper; this had Sirius worried.
He would rather die than give up James and Lily, but the stories he had heard about the horrors and tortures that old voldyshorts could and have had made him worried if he would break under torture he'd rather give up his own life than the life of his friends.

So, Sirius devised a new plan, with the spy within the order and not knowing who to trust, he convinced James and Lily to switch secret keeps in secret, it would be the last laugh he had if or when he was caught, but it would be the best laugh of his life, pranking the Dark Lord.

With that, they had chosen the most unlikely of their friends, Peter Pettigrew, to be the new secret keeper; and unknowingly sealed their fate.

~~~~~~~~
October 31st,1980 Godric's Hollow.

A sharp crack once again echoes around Godric's Hollow, but it was no friend bringing holiday cheer, nor a hurt friend seeking shelter.

No, on this moonless night, it would be none other than the Dark Lord and would be God, Voldemort; and he was done playing this game of cat and mouse with Dumbledore and his followers. Thankfully the Rat had finally learned where his former friends were hiding and with a few words of what power, Prestige, and wealth he would earn in his inner circle the boy had handed his friends over on a silver platter.

Dear Peter has more than earned his reward this night, nor would he forget the promise to Severus, that he would give the woman her chance to live so long as she stepped aside and allowed what must be done.

"This game ends tonight." The Dark Lords' voice speaks in a whisper to the cold October air as he raises his wand to start laying down his wards to stop the family from escaping.
~~~~~~~~
Inside the cottage.

Tonight was a peaceful night, James had gotten back from work, he had finally achieved what he had worked so hard for. He was a full Auror now, he had come home with the news, Lily, himself, and Harry had a small celebration here in the cottage; just the four of them.
Lily had just gone upstairs to put Harry down for bed as James did his part and started to clean up the kitchen when his sixth sense had kicked in again. Danger, it whispered to him, run, it had yelled. James slowly turned his head to look out the living room window and what he saw made his stomach drop to his feet. The only thing he had thought when he saw the red eyes of Voldemort looking back at him was "why Peter, why did you do this."

He would not think of it again, he had his family to try and save.
"Lily!" He yelled, turning to see her coming down the stairs, eyes questioning, "it's him, Lily, take Harry and go. I'll hold him off as long as I can." Drawing his wand and looking back at the Dark Lord, who was taking his time to make it to the front door, he looks back at his beautiful wife who stands motionless on the stairs "Go!" He yells for the final time, shanking Lily from her shock. She turns around and bolts up the stairs intent on saving her son.

"I Love You." Is the last thing James says to the retreating back of his wife before the front door is blown off its hinges and the high cackle of Voldemort fills the home.
With a wave of his wand, James vanishes the dust and debris from the air, he needs eyes on his target.
With another wave, he animates the furniture to attack and box in his opponent before conjuring saw blades and banishing them at him.

The Dark Lord stops the animation effects and transfigures the furniture into a wall, blocking the blades before sending the wall at James who dives out of the way as it crashes into the kitchen. James aims a blasting curse at the banister above the door shattering it before transforming the falling pieces into blades.

They fall upon Voldemort piercing his skin, with a growl the dark lord begins to fling curses at James at a rapid pace giving James no time but to shield against them, he was not quick enough as one lands on his leg, causing a long gash down his thigh, he his out in pain before he transfigures the floor beneath Voldemort into wires and animates them to wrap around the Dark Lords wrists. Voldemort quickly vanishes them but it bought James enough time to put out one of his best tricks.

You see, to vanish a conjuration, you must first recognize it was there. With that in mind, James summoned a host of what muggles called "ninja stars", some made of iron and some made of glass. Voldemort took the bait and only vanished what he could see after James banished them towards the Dark Lord, the glass stars hitting their target. As James cheered at his attack hitting he had forgotten one of the basic rules to dueling, watching where you step.

He had made to step back with his injured leg, hitting a piece of debris, his leg giving out and he started to fall, and the last thing he saw was emerald green fire surging at him, and he knew no more.

James Potter didn't die without a fight.
~~~~~~~
In Harry's room.

Lily never heard James' last word to her, she had charged up the stairs to her son's room when the front door was destroyed.
As she made it into his room she had shut and locked the door with every spell she knew before running over to Harry and scooping him up. She turns on her heel, …and nothing, no squeezing sensation, no crack of sound. She curses before grabbing the nearest toy and pointing her wand at it, " Portus" but still nothing.
She lets out a shuddering breath as she realizes what Voldemort had done, and puts Harry back in his crib.

There is a crash below them, shaking the house, Lily casts a silencing charm on the room so no noise can get it, she doesn't want Harry to miss a single word she's about to say.

"Harry." She begins getting his attention "Harry, I want you to know that mummy loves you. She loves you so very, very much. So does daddy, okay?" The house shakes once more, and Lily is crying as Harry giggles away.
"There was so much I wanted to show, and to teach you. So much I wanted to see you do, to become the man I know you can be, but no matter what Harry, I'll always be proud of you, and we will always love." Lily sobs as she bends down and kisses her son on her forehead.
"When you meet Lady Artemis, be respectful, she's your mom too, okay baby?" Lily says as she places the tip of her wand to his head and begins to chant with tears running down her face, this will be the last spell she casts, she made sure it was a damn good one.

As she feels her magic burn in her chest, preparing itself for the next step of the ritual, Lily Potter looks down at her smiling beautiful baby boy, "he won't touch you Luv, he will never touch you." She vows as she drops her wand into the crib. It was useless now, just a piece of wood to her.

"I love you Harry" would be the last thing she says to her son, as the door to the room was blasted inward. Her body shielding Harry from the blast, Lily screams out in pain as a piece of debris lands, piercing her side.

Lord Voldemort was behind her, and James was without a doubt dead.

Still, Lily turned to face him, fear forgotten about in the face of saving her son. She looks at the monster in human skin in the eyes as she walks to the middle of the room.

"Please." She begs "Please not Harry, take me instead, kill me instead. But not my Harry, Please. Mercy." She pleads with the monster before her as he measures her with cold red eyes.

"You need not die this night Lily Potter." His voice is soft, cold, and controlled. "Lord Voldemort knows mercy, Lily Potter, just step aside and let me do what I must."

Lily shakes her head, her mouth set in grim determination, "No, you would have me live without the two people who mean more than this world to me." She looks at him in anger and disgust, "No, the only way you're touching my son is if you're stepping over my corpse to do so."

The Dark Lord raises his wand pointing it at her, "step aside you silly girl, step aside. I won't ask again!" Voldemort says his anger slipping into his voice.
Lily, a true Gryffindor to her core, doesn't move but instead says to the Dark Lord's face "Make me, you snake-face mudblood bitch."
The Dark Lord finally snaps, "Avada Kedavra!" Voldemort screams, and if it was for the curse blocking his line of sight, he would have seen the grin on Lily's face as the curse flew toward her.
If it was for the fact that the curse brought a Swift and immediate death, the laugh Lily was about to do would have escaped her throat.

But Voldemort didn't know any of this, and as he stepped over the corpse of Lily Potter, to the crib of her son, The Dark Lord didn't know his fate was already sealed.
As he looked the baby in the eyes and raised his wand, he thought to himself, why did people make these things, these babies? To replace themselves when they grow old and feeble? To carry on a legacy that does nothing for the living? He didn't know, nor did he care. Why should he? After all…
"Only I can live forever." He whispers to the child before casting the killing curse for the third and final time that night.
As his magic carved a scar into the boy's head, a scar overnight that would become world famous, his curse was rebounded onto himself, and death came for its dealer.
~~~~~~~~
For the most part, the story remains the same.
The first to arrive is a dark man carrying regret in his heart, he stops at the body of James Potter just long enough to feel that odd sense of regret for his death, before burying it deep inside him, his heart would shatter when he came across the body of the woman he loves where he and the boy in the crib would cry together over the same woman for the only time, he would cradle her body apologizing over and over again hoping she would wake up and say she forgives him, though he knows he will never deserve it. He would only be roused from his despair by the sound of a motorbike making its way down the street and screeching to a stop, he would whisper his apology into dead ears one last time before standing and disappearing with a crack, just as the scream of a man who had lost his brother in all but blood echoed throughout Godric's Hollow.

Sirius' scream would wake the neighbors and alert them to what had happened, with great difficulty he would walk away from James' body to find Lily and Harry, he know James would want him to cry over his body if his wife and child were still in danger, he took the steps three at a time to find Lily's body. He would feel his heartbreak all over again for her, and if it wasn't for the one-year-old crying he would have stayed there kneeling on the ground weeping till the ceiling above him collapsed.
He had taken Harry wrapping the baby in his jacket, before leaving the room just in time to watch the crib be crushed by the falling ceiling. He would meet a friendly giant, who like him, had tears in his eyes over the death of those inside.
The giant would tell the man he was there on Dumbledore's orders, to take wee little Harry to his Aunt's home in Surrey, something about Lily's last spell. The man would hand Harry over, still wrapped in his jacket, along with the keys to his motorbike, it had a sidecar and would be much safer than the knight bus for the child, and when the giant asked him where he was going, all the numb man could say was "I'm going to kill a rat."

So, the boy was delivered to the headmaster, and with notes from the mother, the old man created a ward based on her last spell. Nothing from the outside could harm or find the boy unless the old headmaster would allow them to, for the last spell of Lily Potter was ancient and high esoteric Magic based on summoning a God.

Albus Dumbledore knew that night that he was leaving young Harry in a life where he was not as well loved, or as well cared for. But so long as the boy showed up at Hogwarts whole and alive, they might just have a chance, for Albus knew Tom Riddle was not dead, that he would return someday; and on that day they would need the one he marked as his equal.

And so the hound chases the rat, right into a trap, leaving the wolf to meander through life broken and lonely.
While the woman in number 4, begrudgingly accepts the boy into her home, out of a selfish desire to keep the emerald green eyes of her sister in her life; but not for the love of the child himself.

What of the Goddess you may ask? On the nights of the new moon, she is struck blind to the world. So when she showed up at the cottage the next night, all she found was the aftermath of Thanatos' work and a crushed crib.
She would leave that house with a ping of something in her chest not knowing how to put the feelings into words thinking her only child died with his parents, she would put it out of her mind, and would consider this the price one pays for curiosity. And for eleven years she would never know her child yet live until she heard his prayer.

As for the boy? Well, he would grow up much as the Headmaster thought, but in other ways much worse. When one grows up in hate and ridicule, one thinks they deserve it.

Notes:

Holy hookers having hand grenades I wrote this in a f*cking day.
Well, this is chapter two for the, ….holy sh*t? Do you guys like it that much? Umm, …okay.
Small heads up I have a beta reader who is the single hardest bitch in the whole world who makes awesome cupcakes, Prongslover77.
She goes over them after I publish them and fixes all my f*ck ups because English may be my first and only language but it's still my worst.

Already seen questions come up, and I'm going to head them off before you all start assuming stuff.

How long is this story gonna be?
A: Honestly, no clue. I have like half a year planned for Harry in my head, and that's subject to change. If being a DM for the last 11 years has taught me anything, it's to plan small but execute big. But don't expect 7 years out of me.

What's the pairing?
A: I'm a huge fan of rare or unconventional pairings in Harry Potter fanfiction, such as Daphne Greengrass, Tracy Davies, Bellatrix Lestrange, or a Fem! Voldemort.
But for this story, I'll be sticking as close to Canon as possible for reasons that I will explain later on.

Will Harry go to camp Half-Blood?
A: Haha! Nope, Harry will not go to camp Half-Blood or meet Percy Jackson in this story, nor will the Demigods come to Hogwarts and Harry will not be trained by Artemis and the hunters. As stated above, I'm trying to keep as close to Canon as possible.

Will Artemis and the hunters adopt Harry?
A: As above, so below. Harry going to the Dursleys and his life there is going to be a key story element that I don't want to take away. Not to mention Artemis is not the type of God that would break ancient laws all willy-nilly, you see how seriously she takes her oaths, why would the laws be any different?

How powerful will Harry be?
A: if you're looking for a Godlike! Harry story, you are reading the wrong story.
Canon Harry is already an incredibly powerful wizard by the last book, able to keep up with and out-duel fully grown Death Eaters, and he wasn't even out of school yet. This is gonna be the same Harry, but with a little Demigod thrown in the mix.

What will be the powers and flaws he gets from Artemis?
A: That! Is mostly gonna remain a secret until it's revealed, but the things I have in mind for our best boy are gonna match well with his characterization in the story.

KingSaxcul, out.

Chapter 3: Waxing Moon III

Summary:

When after 11 years, the goddess finds her lost child.

Notes:

Oh man, I wanted to end the Waxing Moon chapters with this one, but it went on too long. Harry is just too fun to write like this and demands his snark to be heard.
But I digress. Now Let me show what a man is!
On with the show!

Disclaimer!
I own nothing and I make no money from this.
If I did, dairy! Riddle would have gotten his sh*t pushed in a bit.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

New Jersey Pine Barrens, Mid-day.

It had been eleven years since that cold night in October, she had never told anyone what had happened nor what she had done out of a whim and curiosity. She had paid the price for it that night, or at least she thought, She and her hunters had found themselves in the New Jersey pine barrens, not the hardest place in the world to survive, but they weren't there for a survival exercise; they were there for a hunt!
It had been a few years since they had hunted the hind, a ritual that is done every one hundred years or so to test the skills and wills of the recruits and keep sharp the skills of the older ones.

She had released her Hind with a two-day head start in the pine barrens before bringing her hunters in.
The rules were simple: hunt the Hind by any means, do not lose yourself to the hunt, and those who bring the Hind back alive will be honored as Hunt leader for the next year.
If the hunter would bring back the Hind dead, well they would still be honored that night for bringing back the kill and showing the respect it deserves, Artemis would just revive the Ceryneian Hind the next morning.

The Hind was a particularly difficult hunt to have, The Hind was fast and none but the swiftest hunters could hope to keep up, it was smart and able to double back on its tracks, use rivers and lakes to wash away its scent from hounds, it would use rocky paths to hide its tracks. Yes, one had to be cunning to hunt the Hind, and thanks to its golden fur it is almost unkillable by any normal methods. She looks forward to seeing who can catch the Hind this year.

Artemis sits atop the peak of a hill overlooking the pine barrens and a small lake in the middle, her eyes picking out her hunters as they scour the land looking for the Hind, she sees a few of her oldest hunters who have done this hunt before lazy away by roaming the forest or sleeping in trees. This brings a smile to her face as she picks her target, a hunter by the lake, a fishing pole resting against a rock and her with a book in hand.
Artemis takes out her bow and notches an arrow before aiming, and takes her time picking her shot, so when the huntress raises her water bottle for a sip; she lets the arrow fly.

As it strikes the water bottle almost a mile away she laughs at the shocked hunter looking for where the arrow came from, hopefully, that would hopefully teach Phoebe to look after her younger sisters and not lay about; no matter how many times she had hunted the Hind.
Artemis sits back down on her perch looking over the forest below, none of the hunters were close to finding the Hind, which was currently swimming in the river leading to the lake. The rustle of pine needles behind her perch in the tree alerted Artemis of someone walking up behind her, not sneaking per se, they had long ago learned that was impossible in her domain of the forest.

Her lieutenant was just naturally quiet after all these years.
"Zoë." Artemis greets her second in command, "Has anyone lost themselves yet?" She asked the more important question first because she both knows how the hunt is going and why Zoë had not joined.
"No, My Lady." Zoë replies "All seem clear of mind and focus on finding the Hind, but I will keep an eye on the younger members, they are the most susceptible to it as you know."
All the Goddess does is a nod, her blessing was a powerful one but not without its downsides. For those who hunt monsters must remember their humanity, or else become like the monsters they hunt; lost in the bloodlust.

Those who take her blessing are endowed with boosted senses, they can see, smell, hear, and feel more acutely than before. Their skills with a bow and survival increase ten-fold even if they had no skill at all, and they become immortal and unaffected by the passage of time, but her blessing also comes with a curse.
An ever-consuming need to hunt, what they hunt does not matter to them, so long as it was fed they did not care. Some get lost in the euphoria of the chase, the lust for their prey, and the intimate moment of the kill. She called it "Losing one's self to the hunt." Where they considered themselves predators and everything else around them prey.

It hasn't happened in a while, but still, it's best to be prepared if it does.
It's never easy to kill one of her Hunters, but once they cross that line there is no coming back from it.

"I have the fetish keeping an eye on the two new recruits, making sure they have a stable mind," Zoë says as she looks down into the valley below, leaning on the tree Artemis is perched on.
The Goddess of the hunt chuckles at the name but nevertheless tells Zoë "I really wish you wouldn't call one of your sisters by such a vulgar name Zoë."
Said girl crosses her arms and pouts of all things before speaking her mind.
"I still don't know why you let her rejoin the hunt, she broke her vows once, I have no doubt she will do so again." Artemis does not comment on the last part but does tell her lieutenant
"Aphrodite helped the boy cheat during that contest, and sank her hooks into her afterward. The hunter had paid for that for the last almost two thousand years, besides I've been in a…forgiving mood as of late." She admits freely to her long-time friend.

"She chooses to keep the ears and tail, My Lady," Zoë says in a flat unamused voice "Considering all the weird things Lord Apollo brought back from Japan, that artwork of those, what did he call them? Cat-girls? What else am I to call her?"

Artemis rolls her eyes, "Maybe she just-"

~please help me, I need help. I can't do this alone. Help!~

"Likes them…" Artemis' head snaps to the east, her voice trailing off.
It was a prayer, while not unusual for her to hear, most of them tend to be from her Hunters, all young girls or from older men who kept to the old ways; as rare as they are.
Not from young boys, crying out for help.
He was also crying out for anyone to help him, not her specifically, just a plea for anyone to help. So, why did she hear it?
There is a ping in her chest, almost like a pull to whoever had prayed, the feeling so odd she can barely form the words in her mind to explain to herself; let alone voice it.

"My Lady?" Zoë calls from below, noticing her lady's odd reaction to something. "Is everything okay?"
"I do-...Yes." Artemis says before jumping from her perch to the forest floor, placing two fingers into her mouth she lets out a shrill whistle that echoes throughout the woods, all her hunters should hear it and head back.
She turns to Zoë, "Have your sisters break for camp by the lake, they are no closer to catching the Hind than yesterday. You are in charge till I get back, there is something I need to…investigate." Artemis tells her lieutenant.

Zoë is not one to ignore her lady's orders and simply nods before wishing her a good hunt.
Artemis begins to descend into the valley, walking under the canopy of trees and past the ancient trunks of the forest, she focuses on the pulling sensation in her chest, letting it guide her to the one who sent the prayer.

The musky smell of the forest gives way to the damp wet smell of a cavern, and the crunch of pine needles beneath her feet becomes stone that she moves like a ghost over. The towering trees of her realm become pillars of stone snakes in her Uncle's realm, and the sounds of the forest are replaced by the hiss of something monstrous.

As Artemis makes her way to the last pillar in the row, she stops in the shadow of it. Peaking around she spots what was making the hissing sound that filled the chamber.
A basilisk, nearly 30 ft long from snout to tail tip, female from the missing plumage above its head, and old, very, very old. Oh, what a beauty she was, what a hunt she would make! Artemis almost snatched up the serpent right there, A Basilisk was rare enough, but to have one that old and that large, the beast would be a worthy hunt for her and her hunters.

If it wasn't what she had noticed next, she may have done just that, a small boy moving across the forehead of a large stone face carved into the wall. He moved with grace and was sure of foot in the almost impossibly angular position of the stone forehead, that is when Artemis stopped marveling at the great serpent and took in the rest of the room. Other than the boy fighting the Queen of Serpents, with what seemed to be a silver sword of all things, there were three other beings in the room.
One girl, a maiden her divine senses supplied, lying on the ground, her eyes closed and her skin pale, she felt as if her life was draining away drop by drop.
Another boy? Was it a boy or a piece of one? Whatever he was he did not seem whole, how odd. He was tall, fuzzy around the edges, and his back to her as he watched the younger boy fight the great beast.
Then there was the Phoenix, perched atop one of the stone statues on the other side of the chamber, in one of its claws it held a small black book, its plumage was the mix of the red and gold typical of its kind, and as she studied the bird, it studied her right back.

They watch each other for a moment, both of the ancient beings wondering what the other was doing here. That's when Artemis felt it, a tug, a pull on her divine realm, one she did not use so often anymore. Sudden and swift death, she only uses it in modern times to end a hunt that had gotten out of hand, or when one of her hunters had lost themselves to the hunt.
She turns her eyes from the Phoenix and back to the boy fighting for his life just in time to see him sink the silver blade into the roof of the serpent queen's mouth, and with a burst of divine power, she feels the great beast die.

"No," she thinks to herself, "No, no, no. The boy is dead." She was there the night after it had happened, she had felt it, three souls were cut from their mortal bodies, the crib crushed. But against her belief stood proof she was wrong, the boy had pulled on her divine power, and she had heard his prayer. Not because of a hunt, but because she was the closest God to him in a metaphysical sense, he carried a piece of her inside him, his prayer would go directly to her so long as no other God had a claim on him.
Beyond any of that, in the dark gloom of the chamber, she saw the only proof she would need.
As the boy grinned in Triumph as his sword slid through the brain of the basilisk, she saw his eyes behind his glasses. She saw his emerald green eyes, the same color as Lily Evans, but his pupil was a slit, like a cat's…like hers.

Her son was alive.
~~~~~~~~
Harry Potter, Chamber of Secrets.

I move across the giant stone forehead of Salazar Slytherin, or at least I think it is, honestly looks nothing like his portrait in the Slytherin common room, dodging the strikes of the overgrown garden snake. Really, how big can a snake get! This is just ridiculous.
I weave back and forth as it tries to eat me, hissing at me that I'll taste delicious because I'm a half-blood, yeah yeah I know my mom was muggleborn, shut up about it already!

It slams its nose into the statue just as I step back, HA! Maybe that will shut it up for once.
As it pulls back to once again lunge at me, it opens its mouth and I see it. Black spots floating in my vision at the back of its mouth, there, that's where I need to stick the sword, I just know it.
This time when it lunges I'm ready for it, my feet are planted as I grip the sword the hat gave me and take a breath, and as it lunges at me I lunge at it. I meet it before it could touch the stone head, the blade punching through the roof of its mouth and I feel my ears pop, my cry of victory turns into a hiss of pain as the great big old snake goes limp and crashes onto the floor below with the sword still in its mouth. Man, I hope that didn't land on Ginny or Ron is gonna be pissed.

Pain burns throughout my arm, looking down I see why, sticking out of the crux of my elbow is three inches of basilisk fang. Oh, that can't be good, the venom that it spat at me at the start of this melted through my leather jacket, my dragonhide leather jacket. So I'm sure that what it does to flesh isn't gonna be fun, I pull the fang from my arm and look at it in confusion, what am I gonna do now?
That's when the vertigo hits and with the dizzy spell, I lose my footing, falling down the stone forehead, rolling and landing on the basilisk before bouncing off and landing firmly on my arse. Oww.

As I lean against the body of the stupid snake, footsteps grow closer, and as I see them enter my darkening vision I hear the sound of clapping, oh please don't start gloating, please.

"And so ends Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived" Tom's voice says, damnitt he is gloating, "It took eleven more years than it should, but Lord Voldemort got you in the end."
I want to point out it was Slytherin's pet snake that did, but the chamber of secrets is doing the best impression of a merry-go-round of all time, and I'm afraid if I open my mouth I'll be sick, huh, maybe I can hit his shoes.

My vision swims as I try to make the room stop spinning, my head slumps to the side, and look past Tom's ever-solidifying form to the columns on the other side of the chamber and I see the oddest thing, eyes. Glowing amber eyes, they look like they belong to a cat, a really big cat, and they're looking right at me with a mix of curiosity, and something else… it's the same look Hermione gave me last year before going through the fire or the one she has on her face when she thinks I'm not paying attention.
Honestly, the look is just weird.
"Even Dumbledore's bird knows it, look at it, it's even crying," Tom says. Oh right, he was gloating, and hey Fawkes! When did he get there? I opened my mouth to say he was brilliant, how much of a good job he did, but I don't know if I said it or if it came out as a slur, I was feeling numb all over.

"I'm going to stand here and watch you die, Harry Potter," Tom tells me in that I'm better than your tone of voice he likes to use, but hey, at least the spinning stopped, …and my vision is getting clearer instead of darker.
Wait, Phoenix's tears did something, didn't they? He felt like someone told him something like that, was it Hermione? It was probably Hermione, she was always talking around him about one thing or another.
"Get away, get away from him you stupid bird!" Tom yells as I blink the spots out of my vision. A loud boom echoed through the chamber as Tom shot a spell at Fawkes, okay not cool. There are three competent and trustworthy things in this entire Castle, one is that Phoenix, and the other two are Hedwig and Miss Norris. I'm going to make him scream before this ends.

"Phoenix tears, I had almost forgotten," Tom says as he walks closer to me, he's looking at where Fawkes had flown off to, so it gives me the chance to switch the basilisk fang I was still holding onto to my other hand before he turns back to me.
"Better this way, I think." He says as calm as ever, "You dying by my hand instead of the bite of Slytherin's basilisk, yes Harry Potter, I want a front row seat when the light leaves your eyes." He states as he walks up to me and bends down to meet my eyes on the balls of his feet, the tip of my Holly wand pressed to my neck.

Looking back on that moment, later on, I couldn't tell you what was more satisfying, the look of shock on his face when he saw how quick I could move, the scream of pain that he let out when I had grabbed his wrist and twisted it till I heard the wet snap of his wrist breaking; or the crunching sound of my forehead hitting his nose.
Whatever it is, I do know getting headbutted when you are on the balls of your feet does not do good things for balance, so when Tom is falling back and my wand clatters to the floor, I noticed Fawkes's parting gift, the diary, perfect.

With a heave, I pull on Tom's broken wrist, pulling him back towards me, I see the rage, pain, and hatred in his eyes as my other arm comes up, basilisk fang held high; I wanted him to see this.
He looks at the fang before looking down at his dairy, he makes a face like he was going to say something or scream, but he doesn't get the chance as I plunge the fang right into the heart of the dairy.
I watch his eyes widen as his form cracks like glass before he shatters into golden motes.
I slump back against the dead snake with a sigh, it was over and I am exhausted. I lay there for a moment, merely taking in the rush at the end that I feel, I glance over to the columns remembering the eyes, but they're gone. Probably just a hallucination from the venom anyway, I'm more than ready to take a nap, and I almost do. But I then remember why I had come down here in the first place, Ginny.

I pull myself up off the ground and limp my way over to her, I think I may have cracked my tailbone because every step has me wincing. As I got closer I could see some color had returned to her face, and checking her pulse had her heartbeat nice and strong but she still hadn't woken up yet. I sigh, walking over, I pick up my wand and the dairy and shove them into my pockets, before grabbing the sorting hat and tucking it into my belt with an apology, and finally pulling out the sword from the snake's mouth, careful not to nick its fangs.

I walk back to the still sleeping Ginny before picking her up like a princess and begin to move to the safe-like entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, I stop for only a moment to look down at the half-melted Aviator jacket and curse, I had owned that before ever coming to Hogwarts, I've had it since I could remember, hell it used to be my blanket when I was little enough, and now…now it was gone.
With my arms full of a fair maiden I couldn't take the jacket too, we had to get out of here and get out of here now, I'll ask Professor McGonagall if she could help me come back down here later and grab it if she says no, …well I do have a very nice Cloak I could use.

I called Fawkes and got him to follow us out as I sealed the chamber behind us because seriously Salazar, what the hell?
~~~~~~~~~
The now sealed Chamber of Secrets.

It was only after the door was shut did Artemis step out from behind the pillar she had used to hide behind, so the boy was alive….
Interesting, but how did she not know? When the moon was full she saw all that it did, much like her brother and the sun. So how did she miss the boy?

Artemis makes her way over to the great serpent, running her hands down its scales, what a marvelous beast, what an amazing hunt. Questions on how the boy survived and how he has been hidden from her aside, he had grown strong. It would have taken at least 5 of her hunters to take down a basilisk that was this size and this old, for the older the creature became, the more powerful it would become.
But the boy did it by himself, with only an ill-fitted sword, her divine realm notwithstanding of course.
Artemis turns her head and spots the jacket the boy speared a mournful glance on his way out, he had left it behind because he chose to save the maiden, Ginevra Weasley, walking over and picking up the jacket, she feels as if she has seen it before, on someone…somewhere…
Artemis shakes her head, no time to ponder about the jacket, she has questions that need to be answered about the boy, she snaps the jacket flinging off the venom, as it hits the floor it hisses and bubbles, more like acid than venom.

Artemis looks from the jacket to the dead serpent, her eyes narrow, the boy didn't take his spoils. His hunt was a success, he had felled his prey, and yet he took no spoils as is his right to do so. It seems that the boy, like much of his kind, was a fool.
But foolishness can be fixed, ignorant gasps could be filled with knowledge, the boy is untrained that much is true, but that can also be changed.
Artemis walks back over to the serpent, once again running her hands over its scales, yes. The boy will need training, as to how and who, she has no idea yet, so she will figure it out later.
But first…

First, the boy would get his spoils, as his right as a hunter.
Artemis drops the jacket to the floor before reaching behind her back and drawing out a silver hunter's knife. Yes, such an excellent hunt deserves a fitting reward, does it not?

The silver hunting knife stabs into the dead body of the queen of serpents and begins to cut away.
~~~~~~~~
Gryffindor tower, second-year boys dorm.

Harry Potter was exhausted, not just in terms of his body being tired, but he had felt mentally drained, as soon as he had got back from the hospital wing he was swarmed by his fellow Gryffindors all asking questions, getting too close, trying to get him to talk.
He understood why Fred, George, and Percy had come up to shake his hand and thanking him for what he did, but honestly, he was starting to miss Hermione, she would normally send one look at anyone to get them to leave him alone, and if they didn't she would start asking questions about classes and test coming off scaring off any student who was within hearing range.

So when he had crawled into bed that night he was done, just so very done with it all, he had told Ron the whole story so he could answer any questions anyone had, Harry just wanted peace, quiet, the dark, and sleep. Happily, he got all three, but that's when the dreams started.
Harry was not new to weird dreams, he's had them all his life, from flying motorbikes and green lights to chasing a golden deer and fighting a giant scorpion; to the small olive skin girl in the silver tunic with the silver bow.

His dreams were weird, but then again he wasn't a normal kid so why would his dreams be normal. Harry had known he was a weird kid since he was five when he had learned what the word "freak" meant.
People had always looked at him oddly, from his aunt and uncle to the kids at primary school, to even here at Hogwarts. He was always the freak, personally, Harry didn't mind it, he hated when people crowded him, or talk to him, or ask one of their many stupid questions. Why couldn't they just leave him alone, it's one of the reasons that he liked Ron and Hermione so much, both had hobbies they could do without speaking a word to Harry.

Ron had chess, sure you had to call out your move, but it wasn't talking to each other. You were just moving the pieces, which was fine, the only problem was Ron played the game so slowly, he could spend hours thinking of his next move and it was almost enough for Harry to lose all interest in the game until Ron showed him speed chess, which was much more his style.
Hermione had reading and the library, which was a problem all on its own, he hated reading, anytime he would look at a book would make the letters swim across the page and give him a headache, and he could sit still for the life of him. Lucky Hermione seemed to understand, she called it sex daily, wait what? No, she called it dyslexia! That was it, also she thought I had ADHD, whatever that was. She had told me to go to McGonagall about them, but McGonagall hates me, I just know it. The way she looks at me, or how she takes points off when I can't sit still in her class. She hates me and I know it.

When it comes to essays and tests and the book stuff I'm pants at it all, the practical part, however, that I'm pretty good at. Or that's what Hermione says at least, she only needs to show me a new spell from class once or twice before I get it down pat. Though she always has one of those weird looks when I do, like she can't figure a really simple puzzle or something.

Anyway, where was I? Right, dreams. I'm used to them by now, the one I had this night doesn't even break the top 10, but still weird.
I was floating just above my bed, I couldn't see the alarm clock so I had no idea what time it was. But I could see myself under my covers, face in the moonlight with the curtains around my bed pulled shut. The door to the room creaks open, at first from the silhouette, I had thought it was Ginny back from the hospital wing, trying to peek at me or something. But when the figure moves across the light coming through the window, I saw it wasn't Ginny, it was someone else, a girl I've never seen before.

She stops at the foot of my bed before taking a package that was tucked under her arm and laying it on the end of my bed, right on top of my trunk. She turns as if to leave, but stops herself, before creeping around the side of my bed to pull aside my curtain, she looks at me, studying me as if I'm the most fascinating thing in the world, kinda creepy.

"I had thought you dead." She murmured into the night, "yet, here you lay, hale and whole."
Well, yeah. It comes with that stupid nickname the wizarding world gave me, but how did she not know that?
The strange girl raises her hand and brushes the bangs of his hair out of his face, stopping once she sees the equally stupid scar on my head, her thumb ghosts over it and she has an odd look on her face as if she's worried about something.

She's quiet for a few minutes as she studies my face before she speaks again.
"A marvelous hunt you had, I had only caught the tail end of it, but to kill the Queen of Serpents with but a sword, Marvelous boy. It would have taken at least five of my hunters to bring a beast of that size and strength down." She chuckles a bit. "It shouldn't be all that shocking when I think about it, you are after all, in a small way, my-" as she says the last bit her hand moves to my cheek, her fingers curling around it, and I feel them on my face.

I wake up with a gasp as I fling myself out of bed, I don't make a sound as I land on my feet beside my bed, slipping through the closed curtains.
My breathing is heavy as I look around the room, the dark room is greyscaled for me, the dark has never bothered me before. Hermione had said once that my pupil would slit vertically like a cat in the dark rooms of the castle or outside in the night, no idea what that implied, but hey, it helped.

But other than me and my roommates, there was no one else in the room, empty of extra body and sounds I sigh out in relief, about to crawl back into bed and go back to sleep.
But the pale off-white package with a silver ribbon laying on my trunk, goosebumps run up my arm as I realize my dream may not have been JUST a dream.

Ron would probably tell me to open it to see what's inside, and Hermione would probably tell me not to be going around and opening packages that weird touchy dream girls left for me in the middle of the night without telling a teacher first.
Naturally, I listened to my inner Ron and opened the package.
It was my jacket, my whole unmelted jacket. How? I had talked to Dumbledore, and he said he'd go down to the chamber with me in a few days to get it after all the extra work from what happened and what piled up when he was gone for the last few weeks was done with.
The Chamber was sealed, both the bathroom and the main entrance were closed. I did it myself.
But here was my jacket, it looked the same, from the faded tags to the wear and tear from years of use, it even smelled the same how the hell?

I try it on and it fits like a glove, I've had this as long as I could remember, it was like my second skin, and last year when Charlie told us it was dragonhide Hermione almost blow a gasket and started asking all these questions about where I had got it that I didn't possess an answer to.
But now it was back and I could honestly care less about the how, as my hands run down the front of it as happy as I can be, I feel something in the pocket. This is odd because nothing was in it when I went down to the Chamber, reaching into the pocket I feel something hard, and pulling it out I see what it is, it's a swiss army knife I think, made with silver and some type of white wood, carved on one side of the handle are letters, letters I've never seen before but know for a fact what they spell "Great Serpent-Hunter.".
With the knife is also a card, a plain white paper card, not parchment like wizards use, the same type of letters are on it, in perfect little typewriter style.

" Always claim your spoils after the hunt, young hunter."

Notes:

Well, that's the end of the chapter, I had one more scene in mind but it hit my word limit for the chapter which is, …bleh.
Oh, well. Next time Artemis is gonna get some answer to her questions, and she is not the type of person to take "no" as an answer.

The quote about showing you a man at the top comes from a French novelist and Castlevania.
"What is a man? A miserable little pile of lies, now enough talk, have at you!

so, a little note on Harry's Demigod abilities because I can hear you all now and holy f*ck please shut up.
has anyone here seen Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba?
What the f*ck am I saying, we're all nerds here, of course, you have.

think of the swift death ability much like Tanjiro's ability to smell the opening thread to cut off a demon's head.
if Tanjiro isn't fast or strong enough, or if his opponent is just better than him at fighting he won't be able to do that.

but with Harry, it's not chopping off heads, it's ending the fight the quickest, it shows him openings in his opponent's fighting style he could exploit if he is skilled enough.

and that is my explanation of why is such a talented duelist.

KingSaxcul, Out.

Chapter 4: Waxing Moon IIII

Summary:

In which the moon learns something.

Notes:

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, to another chapter of Under the Hunters Moon.
A quick note before going on, there will be no bashing in this fic, each character will be as close as I can possibly get them from canon, if you don't like that, well…sucks to be you.

Now step right up, the unknowing is about to begin!

on with the show!

Disclaimer!
I don't own any of these stories, not the characters, I'm just borrowing for the time.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

~~~~~~~~
Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore has had a day almost twice as long as his name, after the Chamber of Secret fiasco that young mister Potter had ended one would think that was that. But oh no, dealing with the DMLE and keeping their appearance in the school from the students was a circus by itself, but also dealing with the board of governors, the ousting of Lucius Malfoy from the said board, and the paperwork that had piled up while he was away; he honestly couldn't blame Minerva for that last one, the school HAD been in a crisis after all.
And now after a long day of dealing with the aftermath of the Chamber of Secrets and keeping young Harry's name away from it all, Albus was finally climbing the stairs to his office, where soon he'll be able to enjoy a nice cuppa with a splash of brandy before turning in for the night, so much work to be done tomorrow as well, he just hopes he'll be able to keep his word to young mister Potter.

Stopping before the door to his office and reaching with his magic to undo the wards that sealed it in his absence, he pauses. It was an oddity, the wards were whole and intact, and none had been breached or destroyed but still, the wards told him there were two beings inside his office.

Now one he had expected, for there was no ward known to Wixen-kind that could stop a Phoenix from going where they pleased, beings of fire, life, and light as they were.
Fawkes has been his steadfast companion for many years, Albus had expected him to return to his roost after helping in the Chamber.
But the other Being was a surprise and Albus truly meant the word Being, for how old their magic felt it was no human within his office.

What most wizards and witches speculate on how powerful another Wixen is, is based on the thought that if you had more magic, then you are more powerful.
This is a falsehood, for most Wixen did not have magic. They had a core or soul that could Channel magic through it and use it with a foci, one could only measure the strength of one's magic by the AGE of their core and the knowledge they had gained in their studies.
Only with understanding and time can one cast the most marvelous or malicious of magics. There are rare exceptions, yes. But this was the truth that most magic followed.

Albus was old enough and wise enough to feel out the age of the magic around him, it was not as fine-tuned as many would think. He can tell if it was younger or older than him, that was all and not a very good way to try and measure power. He could feel the age of Fawkes and know the Phoenix was older than him, he could feel the magic of Hogwarts through the wards and feel the ancient thrum of power of the old castle.

But the guest beyond his door was older than both.

So with this in mind, Albus quickly comes to two conclusions, the first is that without a doubt that the being beyond this door was waiting for him, and that put him on edge.
The second was, that while whatever was in his office may be hostile to him, it wasn't to the school, or else the wards would have alerted him. So with those two facts in mind, the Wand of Destiny slips into his hand from his sleeve before he opens his office door, better safe than sorry after all.

What he found in his office was honestly not what he had expected, he felt the age coming off the being standing at the window that overlooks the grounds of Hogwarts, but seeing that said form was that of a first year in what looks to be a silver bomber jacket, admittedly, had him on the back foot. He looks over to his long-time friend to see him asleep on his perch, head tucked beneath his wing.
With a nod, Albus closes the door to his office and turns back to his guest.

"Good evening Miss," Albus begins with "it seems you've caught me right before I was going to have some tea before going off to bed, would you care to join me?"
The girl by the window slowly turns to look at him and, ah the eyes are an odd bit yes, and asks him "You find a stranger in your office in the early morning hours and you offer them tea?" Amusem*nt and disbelief colored her tone of voice.
Albus smiled before answering back "my mother would never forgive me if I did not mind my manners, and you are in Great Britain, and in Britain, we drink tea." The girl snorted before turning to look back out the window as Albus climbed the stairs to his desk and pulled out his chair, before turning back to the young-looking girl.

"Last chance for that tea Miss." He says, pausing for a moment, to let her answer. "It seems if I am to be a guest, I should act like one. Yes, tea sounds lovely, thank you." She said in a flat, uncaring, but polite tone.
Albus nods before summoning Tipsy, a house elf, and orders tea for two with biscuits, the elf nods before popping away.

It is when Albus takes his seat does she speak to him, instead of answering a question. "You…are Albus Dumbledore, correct?" She asks without turning around from the window.
"I am indeed, Headmaster of these hallowed halls of Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry, along with other unimportant and superficial titles that are worth much less than the first, yes." He answers, but all the girl does is nod and remains quiet.

Another popping sound fills the room and appearing on the Headmaster's desk was a tea tray with biscuits. With a wave of his hand, the chair on the other side of the desk slides out, and Albus asks the young lady to join him.
The mysterious girl simply looks at him for a long moment, before nodding and taking the seat across from Dumbledore. "How do you take it?" He asks her, the girl tells him plain and that is how the cup is placed in front of her. Albus on the other hand puts three sugars and reaches into his bottom drawer to pull out a bottle of brandy before adding a splash.

They sit at his desk, neither saying a word, Albus studies the girl and the girl glares at her cup as if looking for words she isn't quite sure how to say. It's Dumbledore who breaks the silence after a few minutes, "Hopefully, you will excuse me Miss for how rude I am going to be here in the next moment, but I find it pertinent to ask, What are you?"
The girl looks up from her cup with a raised eyebrow before saying "Most would ask who, not what." She states simply.

Dumbledore chuckles at this, "So, you would be a person of some renown by how you put that, and with the power you project I do not doubt that. However, it is your age that throws me off, because, from my point of view, a young girl has more power and age behind her than the three of the most talented wizards in the last century rolled into one." He says before taking a sip of tea.
"To me, it speaks that the form of the young girl before me is but a mask or illusion which you project. And since metamorphmagues do not typically live to the great age I feel coming from you, I can only ascertain that the term what is far more useful to know than the who at this moment." Dumbledore explains before taking another sip of tea.

The young girl smiles ever so slightly at the aging Headmaster, "They did say you were smart and sharp when they spoke of you." She says.
It is the Headmaster's turn to raise an eyebrow, "and who are they, in this?" He asks.
The girl just smiles before saying "James Potter and Lily Evans. But we are getting off-topic, I will introduce myself and perhaps you will figure it out from there, my name is Artemis Phaesporia." She informs him.
At the mention of James and Lily, the Headmaster was surprised, he had thought he knew all their friends and family, but when the young woman introduced herself Dumbledore's face went passive, then his brow crinkled and he began to stroke his beard in deep thought.
He looks away from the girl, gears turning in his mind and considering what his next move was, because if the girl in front of him was truly the Goddess Artemis then this conversation was about to take a very dangerous turn for him.

He looks back at the girl after a moment, "Forgive Lady Artemis, if I, once again, seem rude or overstepping my bounds, and while well aware of what usually happens to mortals when they question a God. I can't help but ask you, as the younger generation would say, to prove it." Dumbledore tells the goddess sitting opposite of him, goosebumps rise on his arms as a chill runs down his back, and the air grows thick with power from the young girl. Fawkes wakes from his slumber as he feels the effect of Artemis' rising anger.

Artemis narrows her eyes at the aging Headmaster, "I am in a good mood this night Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, do not test my anger over foolish mortal pride." She speaks softly, but the hard steel of fury in her voice is undeniable. To Dumbledore's credit, he does not show fear, nor does he start to cower and beg, he bows his head and says "forgive me, Lady Artemis. But I am an academic first, and a man of faith none at all." Keeping his head down in respect, "I ask this to not only prove to me that I have been wrong for a great many years, but to also prove your claim." He doesn't look up, even as the feeling of him being chased down by dogs hungry for his flesh abides.

There is a pause for a short minute before Artemis speaks again, "Fine, what can I do to prove to you that I am what I say." Her voice was still hard from the insult paid to her.
Albus finally looks up and with a wave of his wand he conjures a plate and utensils, "Simple, a piece of roasted wild game, could be any animal really, just a small piece."
Artemis looks at him and through him, trying to find if there is a trick, her eyes flicker to the plate as reality folds like origami and a slice of roast sits on the plate.
Dumbledore simply nods and casts a few spells before picking up a fork and stabbing the meat, after a moment he picks it up, and eats it.
"Marvelous, venison!" He says with the sound of joy in his voice. "My deepest apology Lady Artemis, but I had to be sure and I thank you for showing patience with me, the humbled fool." The old man says with a smile and twinkling eyes.

"That's it? A piece of venison and you're ready to worship me with joy?" Artemis says with a confused look on her face. "You are an odd man, Albus Dumbledore."
Dumbledore laughs, taking no offense to being called odd. "It was not just a piece of venison, Lady Artemis. You irrevocably broke a law of transfiguration, something we mortal wizards and witches could not do no matter our age or knowledge. You conjured food from nothing, that in and of itself proves to me who you are without a doubt." Dumbledore explains to the Goddess of the Hunt.

He vanishes the conjured dishes before picking up his tea, and with a shake of his head and a smile takes a sip. The elderly wizard continues to smile, to find out the old legends are true was simply amazing, but it also brings about other questions, one he gave voice to. "Lady Artemis, do not get me wrong, as much as I'm honored to have you here, I do not believe, no matter how arguably important I am in the wizarding world, that you would come to see me and chat over a cuppa. If you are here to recruit for your hunters, I would ask, humbly, that you recruit from our 5th year and up." He smiles at the last part, intending it to be a joke, but the goddess doesn't smile.

"I'm here about the boy." She simply states. Dumbledore sets his cup down, "oh, and which boy is that Lady Artemis?" He asked the goddess, but already knew the answer to the question.
"Do not play coy with me, Albus Dumbledore, you know which boy I speak of." She states bluntly with the hint of the earlier steel back in her voice. And indeed he did, he knew who this was about the moment he saw her eyes. For Albus had encountered only one other person with eyes like that, in a small unused classroom holding a mirror in the middle of the night, when only a few hours before they were normal.

"Harry Potter." He says, not a question or doubt, a simple statement of fact.
"Yes." The goddess replies, her glowing amber eyes burning into Albus' blue ones. "Did he somehow offend you, Lady Artemis?" The old Headmaster asks back, his mind whirling with theories about the connection between the two. "No, I was more impressed by his hunt under your school than anything else, tell me about him." She says.

Dumbledore pauses to collect his thoughts, unsure of where this was going but very much worried about young Harry. "The boy is quiet but polite, prone to odd behaviors, and if I am being honest, a poor academic." Albus says, the goddess' face does not change from the uncaring and passive look upon it. But she does ask a question "odd behaviors? What do you mean by that?"
Albus is quiet for a moment, studying the immortal in front of him, her face hadn't changed but there was an odd thing flashing in her eyes, he would not call it an emotion more of a twitch of a shadow of emotion. "It had been brought to my attention last school year of Misters Potter's behavior by his head of house, Minerva McGonagall, who in turn had been told by the house prefects. Mister Potter had an odd habit of never staying in his bed, he would bunker down with his roommates but by the time morning would come, many would find him sleeping on the couches or chairs in the common room and one time under his bed." Albus pauses here to take a breath before continuing,
"It is not the only odd behavior that I had noticed, for the first three months he seemed to have made no friends, no social circle, and he did not eat with anyone. If it wasn't for a certain incident on Halloween of that year, I think Mister Potter would still be friendless."
The goddess doesn't ask about the incident, perhaps she had already known about it, perhaps she didn't care.

Albus went on to explain the boy's poor grades, how in almost every class except astronomy he had a failing grade within those same months, but soon changed thanks to the help of one of his friends, a Miss Granger.
The goddess's lips twitch at the mention of astronomy but otherwise as impassive as most of the conversation thus far.
It was when he got to explaining how Miss Granger had approached her head of house with concerns about the boy, about his trouble reading The goddess had the rest of the story before it even left his mouth, how the boy would get headaches and how the letters and words floated.
This caused Albus to pause before he continued about the boy's trouble in the classroom, how he had lost more points than he had earned because he had trouble sitting still and paying attention, but once again she had known his problem before he even started to explain it.

Once again Albus pauses, looking closely at the goddess of the hunt as she continues looking at her cup of cold tea, "Lady Artemis, please forgive me if I am too forward with what I'm about to ask but, do you happen to know what is wrong with the boy?" He asks.
The goddess is quiet for a moment before she speaks again, "These problems stem from what the child is, the boy is a Demigod."

She says it calmly, quietly almost like a whisper in the silent office, and with that utterance, several pieces fall into place for one Albus Dumbledore, and his eyes grow wide as he begins to understand the power he knows not. He also understood something else, something he gave voice to.
"He is your son," Dumbledore says breathlessly
This causes the goddess to finally look up, her burning amber eye staring directly into Dumbledores, but the elderly Headmaster continues anyway ignorant of the anger building in Artemis.
"You were Lily Potter, that certainly explains her almost intuitive-" but that is as far as the Headmaster gets in his speculation as Artemis stands abruptly, the chair she had sat on sailing out behind her and smashing into the wall, shattering.
"YOU DARE!?" yells the Goddess, whose eyes were like an inferno, a harsh silver light begins to come off her form as her anger reaches its peak and the sounds of a hunt begin to fill the office. Albus Dumbledore has never felt so close to death until this moment.
Not with his duel with Gellert, nor with the few times he had faced Tom, at this moment he was a bowstring from death and he knew it just as well as he knew of the hounds snipping at his heels.

He falls quiet as he looks at the Goddess of the Hunt, "The boy is not my child, he is the child of James Potter and Lily Evans." She says with such steel in her voice, that it causes the windows in the office to crack.
She turns on her heel and walks down the small steps, stopping before the fireplace.
She is quiet for a moment, getting her temper under control, she still needed the old man and could not kill him yet for his insult.
After a moment she explains, "The boy is not mine, though he does have a piece of me in him. He is a curiosity to me, that is all. I had helped Lily Evans on a whim, nothing more."

"The curse," Albus concludes, and Artemis nods "Lily Evans invoked a very old ritual, she had hoped to summon another goddess, but she had called me instead. I granted her a boon on the agreement that she would take care of the child, but she died before she could fulfill her side of the agreement, which brings me to why I am here tonight." Artemis says as she turns back to the Headmaster, "Tell me what happened that night." She orders.

Dumbledore did not need to ask what night she meant, so he did what was asked of him and told her of that Samhain eleven years ago, the story of betrayal, murder, and a sacrifice made out of love. Artemis takes it all in without once speaking a word or asking a question. After she asks how the boy was hidden, hidden so well that not even she knew the boy was alive, Dumbledore explains that it is most likely for him to be blamed for that.

"You see when Lily Potter sacrificed herself she once again invoked an ancient magic, one so old and powerful that not even I, with my great understanding of magic, could not make heads or tails of. But through the development of this ritual, we corresponded and she shared with me her notes, with which I was able to create a powerful ward on her sister's home. So long as the boy could call the place where his mother's blood dwelled home then he would be protected and hidden from all those who seek him. His enemies could stand on the front lawn and he on the porch and they couldn't even begin to comprehend that he stayed in the house, let alone was standing in front of them." Albus explains to her.

Artemis nods at this, if the ward was powerful enough to block her out then it stands to reason that the other Olympian Gods couldn't find him either, and if they couldn't, then the monsters that would eat the boy couldn't. Artemis feels relief at this, but she could not say why, she pushes it aside, for now, there are other matters to deal with.
"The boy will need to be trained." She tells Dumbledore, and he raises an eyebrow at this before pointing out that is the reason he is at Hogwarts.
"No, the boy is here to learn, not to train. With him having a piece of me in him, he has my blessing, which comes with a downside." Artemis begins "The call of the hunt is a dangerous thing if left alone the boy will lose himself to it, he'll become no more than a wild beast hunting everything and anything around him until he has to be put down like A rabid dog." The Goddess explains she has seen it happen many times before, starting with Orion. "Did you not stop to consider why the boy went after the basilisk, even knowing how dangerous it was? He felt the call and followed it like a bloodhound with a scent" the goddess goes on before pausing for a moment and saying "Then there is also the fact that the boy's dyslexia can be helped, his brain is hardwired for ancient greek, if he can get his books in that it should help with his reading problem," Artemis informs the Headmaster.

Albus nods "I think I will pass this along to his friend Miss Granger, that and a simple translation spell." Artemis looks at him with a raised brow, Dumbledore merely chuckles before saying "I would be a poor educator indeed if I did not help a student in need, Lady Artemis." The twinkle in his eyes returning, "But that does leave the question of training, I do not believe anyone on my staff could train the boy properly."

Artemis silently agrees with the Headmaster, looking into the crackling fire she thinks about it for a few minutes before answering. "I will send one of my hunters, the boy will not know as to why she was sent, but she will help him control his urges, and teach him the finer points of hunting," Artemis says, coming to a decision. "Expect them at the start of your next school year, they will make contact with the boy, you need not interfere with that." To this all Albus could do is nod.

"Will you not tell the boy?" He inquires of the Goddess, and without looking away from the flames she answers "No, nor will I claim him publicly for my own reasons." She says in a tone that brokered no argument, and all the Headmaster can do is nod, if she would not tell the boy, then he will when the time is right.
"Then I will make sure accommodations are made for your hunter, she will be treated as a guest of Hogwarts," Albus tells her before the goddess rebuts him. "No, you have a forest on the grounds, and they are a hunter, that is all the accommodations they will need. If anything, the forest will be cleared of anything too dangerous before the next year is up." Artemis says.

"Be that as it may, I will still prepare another room for them to use if they so choose, Scotland can have some very cold winters." The Headmaster's tone also doesn't give room for argument.
Artemis scoffs, but otherwise remains silent, turning away from the flames she looks back at the Headmaster, "That is all I need from you this night, Albus Dumbledore, my hunter will introduce themselves when she arrives so you know her, but except that will be the only contact you have with her." She tells him before she turns to the office door and begins to leave.

"Then, Lady Artemis, I wish you a good night and a happy hunt." He says as the goddess just nods at him and closes the door.
After she leaves, the weight of the ages leaves with her, and Albus sighs out in relief. This night has truly been one of Revelations for him, the boy was a Demigod, the diary that the younger Tom had come from, that the old legends are true, and if that was the case, could Dún Scáith still exist? The Tuatha de Danann? What about the myths and gods of the united kingdoms before the Judeo-Christian conquerors came? could they still be running around with the wizarding world ignorant of them?

Questions for tomorrow he had decided, for now, to finish his tea and bed, he'll talk to Minerva in the morning about Miss Granger.
~~~~~~~
New Jersey Pine Barrens.

It was late when Artemis had gotten back to camp, the patrols of hunters bowing their heads in acknowledgment of their patron as she walked back to her tent, slipping inside; she is not surprised to see Zoë and her Hind waiting for her.
"Report." That is all she's said before Zoë lunches into a quick rundown of what had happened while she was away, no hunters lost, no Hind caught, but they did kill a horse goat thing with wings about an hour before she returned, how odd.

As she sits down and listens to Zoë's report as her hind lays down beside her, placing its head on her lap, she absentmindedly strokes its head. Artemis' mind is a thousand miles away, with a boy with unkempt hair and green eyes, she sighs.
"My Lady?" Zoë asks "is everything alright?" Her lieutenant has a worried look on her face, she has been with Artemis since the start of the hunt, she took her blessing after being cast out of her home by her sisters, there is no one more loyal to her, no one more trustworthy. But she did not doubt that if Zoë found out about the boy she would hunt him down and kill him for the sacrilege he represented, which would be a shame after finding him alive again.

Artemis sighs, before nodding "Yes Zoë, everything is fine. It has just been a long few hours of dealing with some things." The Goddess of the hunt explains, "is there anything I can help with, My Lady?" Zoë asks with the same worried look on her face.
Artemis just shakes her head, "No Zoë, but do not worry, all is well. It has just been a long day, even for a god." Zoë just nods at her mistress's words before going back to her cross stitch, some habits die hard, and hobbies are forever Artemis guessed.

The goddess of the hunt loses herself to thought, going over what she had learned today, the boy was alive and protected behind a set of blood wards powerful enough to hide him from the eyes of the divine, it was better protection than even Camp Half-Blood could give the boy. So no need to send him there, but the boy's urges to hunt will need to be brought to heel, he went after a Basilisk alone and armed only with a sword. What kind of fool boy does that?! He could have been…
It doesn't matter, the boy is alive, he is armed and armored and all that needs to be done is to get him trained. One of her hunters will need to go, she'll just rotate one of the handmaidens from her temple into the hunt, but who to send? Not Zoë, not Phoebe for almost the same reason.

Artemis sighs before looking up, she sees her brother's chariot peaking over the horizon before turning to Zoë, asleep on her cot, huh? Was she so out of it that she didn't notice that? How odd.
She stands and leaves the tent, letting her second-in-command sleep in considering her late night last night. She stands on the edge of the circle of tents, watching her brother raise the sun, her thoughts still twisted up in her mind.
Artemis' quiet is disturbed in the early morning light, by one of her hunters walking up with a smile, she tips the Italian football club hat as she greets her "me'lady." The hunter says with a smirk.
She's tall, even taller than Zoë, her shortcut blond hair comes down to around her ears, and her green eyes sparkle with a bit of morning mischief, she's lithe and long with a runner build, underneath the silver leather jacket is a green and gold skirted leotard, her black leggings are skin tight and cover much of her legs and wrapping around the arch of her foot. She said she hated wearing shoes of any kind and liked the feeling of mud between her toes.
Hmm, she was an old hunter and knew of the dangers of her blessing, she was good with the recruits and would not be welcomed in her temple on Olympus thanks to her checkered past, yes.

She would do.
~~~~~~~~

Notes:

So, maybe I'll be adding a few things of my own to this, hmm?
Anyone here knows about Irish mythology or folklore?
No? Yes? Should be fun either way if you picked up the hints I've laid down.

But who is this new chick? She's an oddball, could she be the "fetish" that was talked about in the last chapter?
Who knows?!?!

Anyway, the scene with Dumbledore was fun to write, him pissing off Artemis got him really close to death, but Artemis still needs him to protect the boy that is in no way her son, baka!

But here's your update, hope y'all enjoyed it.

Also, who started this "firstborn of a god is always more powerful" thing? There is nothing in canon that supports that and my need to beat whoever started it in the knees with a ballpene hammer is strong.

KingSaxcul, out!

Chapter 5: Crescent Moon I

Summary:

In which we see the world through Harrys eyes.

Notes:

*looks up from my desk to the audience in front of me.*
Oh, f*ck. Y'all are back again?
Why the f*ck are y'all back?
Whatever.

Welcome back to another chapter of Under the Hunters Moon.

We have officially left the setup chapters and have entered the true story, the crescent moon starts here kiddies.
This story will mainly focus on Harry's 3rd year, the demons he deals with, him finding out some things he didn't know about himself, and a hunt.

But enough of this mortal prattle, on with the show!

I own nothing that this story is based on, or knockturn alley would live up to its name.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

~~~~~~~~~~
Privet Drive, Surrey.

Harry Potter was angry.

"Bollocks, f*ck, bitch, whor*, slu*t, c*nt, f*ck f*ck f*ckf*ckf*ck!!!" Harry's voice echoed throughout the street of Privet Drive as he stormed down the street red-faced.

Okay, correction, Harry Potter was pissed.

One week, one bloody week was all he had to get through, and he couldn't even do that! It all began two weeks ago when his uncle stormed into his room and told him with no uncertain terms that his sister Marge (Harry refuses to call her aunt in any way, the one he already had was bad enough.) Was coming to stay for a week, and if he wanted his bloody form signed for his freak school for freaks like him, that he would mind his manners and not a peak of freakishness from him or else.

What the "or else" was I had no clue, I had left before he could make good on the threat, and the week went fine until tonight. I had sent Hedwig to Hermione's with a note asking her to watch my owlish friend while Marge was over, I had put up with all her remarks, and man did she like making those, it's not like I don't already know how useless and pathetic I am. I put up with her ugly as sin bulldog that takes a real effort not to punt the damn thing over the fence, I took it all with a smile just to get that Hogsmeade permission form signed, but Marge had seemingly saved her best insults and remarks for her last drunken night at my aunt and uncles.

My mom and dad, she tore into them and repeated all the lies I had grown up with. Aunt Petunia never makes comments about them nowadays, not even uncle Vernon says anything since Hagrid knocked down the door almost three years ago. So having all those lies dragged up again, I-I just lost it, Ya know? It slipped and the next thing I know she started to swell up like a balloon, well a much larger balloon than she already was. With Dobby dropping the pudding last year, I have no doubt the Ministry is at my Aunt and Uncle's house right now looking for me to snap my wand, or at the very least are on their way. I have to get out of here, I need to get to the Ally so I can grab some gold and get out of England or something.

I had come to the park down on Wisteria Way, the place Dudley normally bullies kids half his size out of pocket change and sweets, but he's always been like that when he and his friends weren't "Harry hunting" that is, not that they could ever catch me. I might be worthless but I'm at least fast enough to escape him.
I drop my trunk by the curb and take a seat on it, rub my eyes and face, I am so totally f*cked. I sigh as I look up, the half moon drifting lazily in the sky, I've always liked the night sky, the soft silver glow of the moon, the twinkling of the stars I can half make out, and the constellations I knew by heart, the only class I do half decent It Hogwarts was astronomy I'm horrible at potions with Snape breathing down my next, McGonagall couldn't even look me in the eye last year and she's my head of house. Probably already knows how useless I am, with as many points she takes off me in class it wouldn't shock me if she and Snape work together to get me kicked out, and probably celebrate after I'm gone.

I sigh out loud, putting my face into my hands, what am I gonna do. I could always just go back, and let them snap my wand, it's not like I'm actually good at this magic stuff, I'd just have to suffer three more years at the Dursley's then I could just live off the gold in my vault, get it converted to Pounds, wouldn't be to- what the f*ck was that? I heard something snap in the bushes across the way, I'm standing, wand held low but ready. I swallow the lump of fear forming in my throat, as one of the biggest dogs I've ever seen comes from out of the bushes. It was a matted mess of a stray, I could practically count its ribs from how thin it was, almost as thin as me.

"Good doggy, nice doggy," I say to it in a calm voice "you're not gonna bite me are ya boy." I've always liked animals, Ripper not included, and they've always liked me, Ripper also not included. So I try to be nice to stray dogs and cats I see around the neighborhood, but this one is new and has a bit of a crazed look in its grey eyes. When it starts barking I lift my wand, I was just gonna scare it off, a simple firecracker charm, nothing to hurt it, like I said I li- BANG.

and like that, I'm falling ass over tea kettle over my trunk because something HUGE pops into existence right before me. As I look up from the ground it's, well it's a bus, I think. Never seen a bus that has three decks and was purple of all colors with "THE KNIGHT BUS" printed on the side in letters so big not even I could be mistaken by them.
That's when the door by the front of the bus pops open and out steps a pimple-faced guy only a few years older than me and starts reading something off a card. I looked around my trunk but I didn't see the dog anywhere and it didn't sound like the bus hit it.

"What'cha doing on da ground for?" The pimple-faced guy asks me, what? Oh, right, enormous purple bus. Person talking to me, I knew that. I get off of the ground brushing myself off, "I fell." I tell him and he gives me a look.
"This is a bus right?" I ask him. He tells me it is. "And you'll take me anywhere?" I ask for my follow-up question.
He looks at me oddly again, "are ya soft in da head, boy. I just told ya dat." He says and I feel my face do an involuntary twitch at the word, I really do hate being called that.

"Ah, right, sorry. To the leaky cauldron then?" I ask, he nods and gives me a price and I quickly dig the gold out of my trunk, he listed a bunch of other things but I stopped listening after I handed him the gold. "-Name?" I catch him saying to me, "What?" I ask back confused, he looks annoyed with me as he asks again "I asked what'cha name was boy?" I once again twitch, oh f*ck he wants my name. "Umm, … Neville, Neville Longbottom," I tell him remembering one of my dorm mates' names, and he just nods and writes it down on some parchment.
"How long till we get to London?" I ask pimple-face, I think he said his name but I completely missed it, "oh, I'd say about two hours, we've got two stops before yours." I just nod as he helps me with my trunk and an empty cage up onto the bus.

It wasn't too bad, I was pretty bored, I took the time to check out the top two compartments, trying not to bother anyone else. We stopped a few times and picked up a few people, and dropped off the two other passages before me. Before I knew it they were calling my stop, and I was getting off the bus, just to be greeted, by my real name, by Cornelius Fudge. The Minister of Magic himself, well…f*ck.

He thanked the guys who were working on the knight bus for dropping me off safe and sound before dragging me upstairs, he explained that I wasn't in trouble, that "accidents do happen.", and my Aunt was no worse than how she was an hour before I had left, shame about that last part.
He also told me that the Ministry had paid for my stay at the leaky cauldron for the remainder of the summer so long as I was not to go into Muggle London and stay on the Magical side. He also asked me about some guy, Sirius Black. My first question was " Like the star?" And he just chuckled, apparently, the guy escaped Azkaban and was on the run.
I agreed to stay on the Magical side and not leave it, the Minister then shook my hand and told me it was an honor to meet me, I have no idea why it was, and left. Huh, get out of jail free card, sweet!
Tom then showed me to my room and told me I had already had a guest, this confused me right until he opened the door. "Hedwig!" I called out, she turned and saw me before flying over and landing on my shoulder, nuzzling her face into mine.
"I've missed you too girl," I say as I nuzzle her back, Tom, the innkeeper not the asshole, speaks up, "Wicked smart owl you've got there Mister Potter, showed up about an hour before you did and refused to leave. If it wasn't for someone passing through I wouldn't have known she was yours." He tells me before going on to explain when breakfast and dinner are served, apparently, I'd just missed dinner. He told me about a few places to catch a meal in the alley if I was feeling peckish.

I thank him for everything before he leaves, I set up Hedwig's cage and make sure she has water before I grab my money pouch and start to head out. As I get to the bottom of the stairs I can hear Tom the innkeeper, not the asshole, arguing with someone.

"Come on man, you take gold and this is gold." A female voice says followed by a few knocks on the bar. "Ay, it MIGHT be gold but it's not stamped gallons nor is it Pounds little lady, I'm not taking it. You can go to Gringotts and get them exchanged. I don't do foreign currency here." Tom the innkeeper, not the asshole, says back. I finally come into the bar area and get a look at who the female's voice belongs to, and, man, she is tall. Probably taller than most 7th years, her shortcut blond hair falls over her ears, her back is turned to me so I can't make out her face, but she's got a blue and silver Muggle cap on, a silver jacket, and black tights but oddly enough, no shoes. The Jacket sparks, something, in my head like a memory of a dream that you've half forgotten, Ya know.

The woman sighs out in frustration" I don't even know where this Gringotts is, I'm just passing through, I'll just be here a day or two at the most." She says in a pleading tone of voice but by the way, Tom the innkeeper, not the asshole, is looking at her, I can tell it's not gonna fly.

"I can show you." They both turn to look at me, Tom with wide eyes and the women with narrowed ones of forest green. She has high cheekbones and a slightly pointed chin, she'd be really pretty if she wasn't scary as all hell. Why the f*ck did I just say that?
"I'm umm, I'm going there myself, I can show you…" I trail off and fidget a bit as she doesn't even blink, she looks me up and down like she's sizing me up or something. Seriously, why did I open my mouth?
The woman doesn't smile but nods, "sure kid, thanks for the help." She says with an odd mix of an accent, which sounds like a blend of American and something else, she picks up a backpack off the floor. Her hat has some type of face logo on the front with "blat canal boat fallout" right above it, I think? Doesn't matter much as Tom the innkeeper, not the asshole, opens his mouth and says "Very generous of ya Mister.." I cut him off with a look, he seems to get it as he doesn't finish saying my last name, I don't need that any more than I get in my life.

We go out the back of the inn and walk up to the brick wall, the woman looks confused for a second before I pull out my wand and tap the correct brick, the pathway to Diagon Alley unfolds before us, I look back and the woman doesn't seem too impressed by it, I shrug and walk through with her following behind me.
"We're going there," I say as I point out the tall marble columns and walls of Gringotts at the top of the alley, I hear the woman snort behind me, when I look back at her she must have seen the question on my face.
"Sorry, it just reminded me of something else, I found it funny." She says with a shrug. We walked through the alley, with the late hour most of the shops were closed but I could see a few of the late-night food places still open, and, oooh the ice cream shop is open, I know what I'm getting.
"So, why are you in England?" I ask my companion as we walk at a decent pace, she shrugs again before saying "Work, to be honest, I'm supposed to head up north to Scotland to a big castle up there, meet some kid. The boss was pretty light on the details." She glances over at me, "you go to Hog-quarts, right? Some school up in Scotland?." She asks me.

"Umm, do you mean Hogwarts?" I ask back, keeping my eyes on my shoes, while she takes the lead. With it being dark out I don't want to freak the girl out with my, well freakiness.
"It's called HogWARTS?! Who names a school that?" She asks in a shocked but amused tone of voice, I shrug, I don't know why it was called that either, pretty sure Hermione would know, I should probably write to her and tell her what happened. I'll do it tomorrow, after a full night's rest, hope she's not freaking out because Hedwig isn't there anymore.

"Do you know a kid named Harry Potter?" She asks, I almost stop and look at her, but I continue mumbling something like a no while freaking out a bit on the inside, "oh, well my boss wants me to meet him, I think she's looking to recruit him or something a bit weird, to be honest." She says back, I open my mouth to ask what she does for a living for her to be recruiting when a breeze picks up, the smell of the wind does make me stop and snap my head off to the right.

You know that smell when you find a dead animal, the sickly sweet smell right before something begins to rot, it still makes you want to gag but it's not as bad as it's gonna be? That's what I smelled at that moment, but what I saw didn't match up, two women in thick black cloaks and long red dresses, both were very pretty. Pale skin that seemed to glow in the moonlight, bloodless lips that seemed almost blue, huge dark bags under their eyes, and even from across the street I could make out the crisscrossing veins that run under their skin. But it was their eyes that put me on edge, red, not like they were bloodshot but a full red Iris. Vampires and they were looking dead at me.

I swallow the lump in my throat, my heart starts to beat faster, my hands clench and unclench, I wanted…, I wanted to…
I nearly jump out of my skin when I feel a hand on my back, the woman was looking right at the vampires hanging outside knockturn alley, I hear her tell me in a low voice "don't worry about them, just keep walking, if they try anything I'll deal with them."
But I didn't want to walk away, I wanted to go toward them, I wanted…, I don't even know, but everything in me wanted to chase them, to-to something. I shake my head and listen to the tall scary lady, so I keep my head down and start heading to Gringotts again.

My body is shaking like it's freezing outside but it's a warm summer night and my heart is pounding in my ears, it feels like, like when me and Ron found the book page in Hermione's hand, when we found out it was a Basilisk in the Chamber or when we ran through the gauntlet in the Catacombs under the school, it gets harder to focus on anything but, but the chase and, and…

We're at Gringotts, the golden door that welcomes thieves and customers alike, the armored goblins at the front eye us as the woman, with her hand still on my back, guides me inside.
The rest is kinda a blur, she leaves me to go get an exchange, I show a teller my key and get my gold. I don't wait for the woman to show back up and leave the bank by myself hoping for something to happen, as to what that something is, I have no clue.

I stop across the street from knockturn alley, making sure that I'm in the shadows so as not to be seen, I watch for a few moments, the ladies of the night are gone but I do see a few hooded people come and go, my stomach is in knots as I just stand here. Wanting to go across the street, but at the same time just wanting to go back to the Leaky Cauldron where Hedwig and a bed are waiting for me. In the end, my cowardice wins out and I start back to the inn, some Gryffindor I was.

I make it in before Tom the innkeeper, not the asshole locks up, I inform him the tall scary lady should be back soon with the galleons to pay for her room, and he tells me he'll wait a little bit longer to lock up for her. I get upstairs and go to my room, kicking my shoes off and go lay down on the bed.
I let out a sigh as soon as I lay down, it's way too soft, like sinking into a marshmallow, I hate that I miss my cot from the cupboard all these beds are way too soft for me, so I pick myself up off the bed and grab the blanket, moving to the large reading chair by the unlit fireplace.

As I swing my legs over the armrest and get comfortable, a flapping of wings gets my attention as Hedwig lands on the back of the chair, she looks down at me and flutters her wings then tilts her head, her yellow eyes blink as she softly hoots. "Come on girl," I tell her as I pat my chest knowing she'll understand me. She does as she hops down and begins to nest in the crook of my arm against the seat, with her legs pulled up and her on her back, she hoots softly one more time before closing her eyes. I take my wand out of my pocket, and with it firmly in hand and on my chest, I close my eyes drifting off to sleep.
~~~~~~~~~~
"What did I tell you!? What did I tell you, boy!?" Uncle Vernon screams at me, purple in the face, as he drags me down the hall by my arm, almost wrenching it out of the socket "I told you no more freakishness, that I won't tolerate any more of it! You're not a wizard and I will hear no more business about some freak school!"

"Please Uncle, I don't know what I did, please not the cupboard!" I beg, crying. I look over to my Aunt's uncaring face, and Dudley, pointing and laughing at me, knowing they won't help, they never help. I hear the cupboard door open, "please no, I don't want to go back, I didn't mean it, I'll be good I swear!" I try to pull my arm from his grip but he's far too strong. I feel him pick me up and throw me bodily into the cupboard like he's done so many times before.
It feels like I'm being thrown through molasses as I fall in slow motion. I watch him slam the door shut before locking it, his bloodshot eyes looking through the vent as he screams "There is no such thing as magic! You're right where worthless little burdens like you belong! It will be a week before I let you out if you're lucky!" Before he slams the vent shut, locking me in darkness.

I fall.

And fall.

And fall.

I hit a cold wet stone floor, I look around, and I'm back in the Chamber, Ginny is laying on the ground, pale and lifeless, I crawl over to her calling her name begging her to wake up, but I know I'm too late.

"She's dead." A voice says from behind me, I look, and Tom Riddle is standing there, my wand in hand and a smirk on his face. "You're too late Harry Potter, the girl is dead and it's all your fault because you were too pathetic to save her, too weak, too…" his smile turns sharp and cruel "worthless."

"No!" I scream, "No, i-i killed the basilisk, i-i-i stopped you!" I cry out into the uncaring cavern as the massive shadow of the great serpent raises behind Tom Riddle, his cold laugh echoing throughout the Chamber.
"You did stop me, didn't you, Harry Potter? But at what cost?" A high hissing voice calls out, I spin around and I see Voldemort's face coming out from the back of Quirrell's head, red eyes gleaming with malice. I look past him and into the mirror, I see myself on my knees, the body of my parents next to me.
"It's your fault they're dead, Harry. I only came for you, if it wasn't for you, if you were never born, then they would still be alive and happy." He hisses the truth at me, it is my fault, I shouldn't have been born, not me. I'm just a worthless freak, I wish I was never born.

The growling comes next, right in my ear, I turn my head and spot the massive black dog, hungry and half mad, slobber dripping to the floor, its grey eyes looking into mine, I close my eyes waiting for the end, hoping it's the end. I don't want to do this anymore.

"Wake up."

I open my eyes, and the large black hound is gone, but Amber cat-like eyes replace it, I can't see the face for it's hiding in the shadows.

"Wake up boy, or else you'll be the prey this night."

And then I feel a small hand push me…
~~~~~~~~~~
I awake with a gasp, my hand tightens around my wand as I look around the room, I'm not in the Chamber, I'm not-not in the cupboard, I'm in my room at the Leaky Cauldron, I let out a sigh. It was a dream, it was all just a dream.
A clatter draws my attention, I look over and see the window in my room open, weird. I get up, shifting carefully to not disturb Hedwig, and lay her down on top of the blanket, putting my wand next to her. I walk over to the window and shut it, latching it closed, sighing again I close my eyes and rest my head against the window. It was just a dream, I saved Ginny, and I stopped him.

As I open my eyes, readying myself to crawl back onto the chair, my heart stops. In the reflection of the window, over by the chair, I see two gleaming red eyes. I spin around quickly, it's the redhead from Knockturn Alley, she looks at me with a smile as I pat my pockets in panic, f*ck! My wand! It's on the chair!
She chuckles at me, "missing something?" She says in a teasing voice, "I'm surprised you woke up, I thought I was being quiet enough, but then again, you half-bloods always have a strong sixth sense for danger, so I shouldn't be that surprised." She takes a few steps closer as I try to move away from her, backing myself into the corner of the room.

"It's been a while since I had a taste of your kind, as soon as we saw you, we knew. But being this close, your scent is simply mouth-watering." She says as she edges closer, her hand trailing the back of the chair, her fingernails like talons. There's a thump coming from the wall next to my bed that makes me jump, "mmm, don't mind that, it's my sister dealing with the Hunter, she'll be done soon, and then she'll come to join us. I personally think that I got the much cuter prey, however." She says with a flirtatious smile, well I think that's what she's going for, all I see is the fangs.

I press myself between the dresser and a wardrobe, and my eyes start flickering around the room trying to find a weapon, anything to help me. Then I see it, the swiss army knife that I got from the dream girl, I wonder for half a second how it got there when I know it was at the bottom of my trunk, before grabbing it and trying to find the knife, "oh no dear, none of that!" She says as she starts to charge at me.
That's when a berk fills the room and my wonderful, beautiful, smartest, best owl in the whole damn world flys at her, like a vengeful spirit, she claws, pecks, and pulls her hair as I fiddle with the knife. I look down for half a second and, Yes! The knife! Then I look back up as I hear a sqwak and something hitting the wall, Hedwig is on the bed, unmoving.
I turn my head and look at the Vampire, this bitch just hurt Hedwig.
THIS BITCH JUST HURT MY OWL!

Instead of the white hot rage I expected to fill me, I got calm, and my panic disappeared, and the vampire starts moving so slowly. She turns and lunges at me, and I swing my knife, except it's not a knife anymore, it's two and a half feet of glowing silver sword.
It cuts through the vampire's outstretched arm like it was butter, I see her stop her momentum and try to pull back, but the tip of the sword catches her eye and craves it out.
Her scream of pain is only drowned out by the scream that comes from the other room.

She turns towards the scream yelling, "STELLA!" Before turning back to me looking far more feral than before, her face shifting to ugly bat-like features, she hisses at me showing rows of shark-like teeth before someone starts banging on my door. "I don't know who's in there, but I've already called the Aurors, they're on their way, do you hear me! Mister Potter, are you okay? Say something!" Calls Tom the innkeeper, not the asshole.
The Vampire looks at the door, then back to me and my silver sword, before roaring and jumping out of the window right as the door to my crashes open, Tom the innkeeper, not the asshole, sees this, curses, and turns on his heel to chase after her.

I run to my window, I can see my prey running down the Alley below, before I know it my foot is on the ledge of the window and I'm about to jump out and give chase, but the stabbing pain in my foot draws me back to reality, what the hell am I doing!? I look back down at the fleeing vampire, half of me wants to jump out of the window and the other half wants to break down, I feel like I'm being torn in two by it.
But that's when I hear, the twing of a string being plucked, and a silver streak flying across the night sky as if it was a comet, and I knew, whatever it was, it was gonna hit the Vampire, I don't have to wait for long to see that I'm right. It lands and a burst of flames comes from the middle of the street as the undead heart is pierced.

I stood at my window in shock, wondering what the hell was that when the face of the tall lady from earlier appeared from the roof, upside down, she looks at me oddly before asking "You okay kid?"
I don't answer her back, as I'm too busy looking at what's coming out the top of her head, cat ears, two large fuzzy cat ears, like the kind Hermione had coming out of her head last year, but these look like they blended perfectly in with her hair, same color fur, and everything.

When I don't answer back, she tilts her head, looking between my eyes and the silver sword still in my hand, then she smiles a large grin which reminds me of the Chester cat.
"Don't know Harry Potter, huh?" She says.

Well, …f*ck.
~~~~~~~~

Notes:

When I started this chapter, I didn't know if I liked it or not, but after reading and rereading it, I think I do.

I think I nailed the whole "Harry is a f*cked up kid" vibe I wanted.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to one of the two teachers I have planned for our best boy!
I give you ancient Greece's original tomboy!
The hunter who made the first shot on the Calydonian boar!
She sailed and fought with the argonauts!
Give it up for Atalanta, the swiftess hunter in all of ancient Greece!

If you don't know where her design came from, look her up on the type moon wiki.

Anyway, one more thing I want to point out before I go.
The "firstborn demigods are stronger" thing, you all realize that all the demigods in Percy Jackson are like…12? Right? And the ones in the myths are full-grown men with years of training, not just 2-3 months out of the year? Right?

Anyway,
KingSaxcul, out!

Chapter 6: Crescent Moon II

Notes:

*Stuffing a body into a barrel, a leg won't fit so I grab a hammer and beat the kneecap till it snaps and I stuff it into the barrel by bending it the wrong way before capping it and turning around with a bloody hammer.*

Oh, you're back…

YOU SAW NOTHING!

on with the show!

Disclaimer!

I own nothing, not even the body in the barrel.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Harry Potter, The LeakyCaldron

The rest of the night passed in a blur of questions, worries, and anxiety for me.

The tall scary girl swings into my room with the grace of a cat, landing in my room wearing only the tights she had been in earlier and a sports bar, and holy f*cked was she ripped, her jacket and shirt hid defined muscles and scars built up over what had to be a lifetime of battle. She's holding a black and gold bow which she folds up like a tripod and shrinks into a multi-tool before she tucks it into her waistband.

She still gives me this calculating look, like she's measuring me up to something unknown, before telling me to put the sword away or else be prepared to answer a lot of awkward questions, before she leaves my room. I limp over to my bed, glass from the window still jammed into my foot, leaving a trail of blood behind me.

"Hedwig." I call out to my friend, hoping the worst hasn't happened to her, "please girl, please wake up." I say as I stroke her feathers softly, I feel tears burn at the corners of my eyes, but I refused to cry, Vernon hated when I cried, I hear feet storming up the stairs and I slide the sword under my bed, having no time to close it because I'm f*cking useless.

Soon my room is flooded with people in red robes with wands out, one approaches me, a tall dark skinned man asking me questions at a rapid pace, I ignore him as I stroke and try to wake Hedwig up, pleading with her to wake up.

The tall guy grabs my shoulder and turns me to him before asking me point blank if it was Sirius Black, "What? No, it wasn't him! It was some redhead vampire woman." I tell him, and he nods slowly and asks if I'm hurt, at this point I start screaming at him. "I don't care about me! Hedwig is hurt! My owl is hurt, help her!" He flinches back at my yell, looking me in the eye, he had this look of uncertainty and maybe a little fear, as he opens his mouth to say something else someone comes, elbowing him back as a woman with the same red robes as the man, but with a green patch with a wand crossed over a bone.

She gives the taller man a look that makes him back off, before turning her attention to me, "Hello sweetheart, you're worried about your owl, right?" She asks me in a calm voice, I just nod my head and she offers to take a look, asking me what happened to her. I tell her as much as I could as she waves her wand over Hedwig in complicated patterns.

She stops after a moment, she smiles at me and says that Hedwig is going to be fine, she was just stunned and knocked out, just give her a few more minutes and she should wake up. I sigh out in relief as I thank the woman over and over again before she tells me she wants to take a look at my foot, oh right, I was still bleeding.

She casts a few spells on my foot and tells me I have no nerve damage, which is good. She vanishes the glass in my foot and heals the cuts on the bottom of my foot, I thank her as she smiles at me before leaving the room.

The tall dark skin Auror comes back, he apologizes for being rude, which is weird, but whatever. He asks a lot of questions, what happened? I was attacked, who was it? Some redhead vampire, have I ever seen her before? Yes, a few hours ago she was outside of Knockturn Alley, I passed her on my way to Gringotts.

And on and on it went, for about an hour, the only reason it took so long is that ten minutes into it, Hedwig woke up, and ooooh boy was she an angry owl. She'd fluff up and attack anyone within ten feet of me, barking, hooting, and screeching. She is a good owl, so she sits in my lap as they ask me questions from the door. When we get to the quick fight, I pet Hedwig and keep my eyes on the floor, I'm pretty good at lying, so telling them I had a wand instead of a sword isn't very hard to make it sound believable, I won't mention what the scary lady said to me, how she knew who I was just by seeing the sword.

I can almost feel it, laying under the bed, like a weight about to break through the floor, it gets my heart pumping again, I can see the vampire fleeing into the night, down the main alley, I have to look away from the Aurors as I shiver a bit; all it makes me want to do is chase after something already dead when I think of it.

I saw the woman go by the open door a few times during the hour, she was dressed in a green shirt with a cat on it and the same blue and silver hat. Each time she passed she always looked in, and always made eye contact with me, there was something in her eyes every time she did, like the look Hermione has when I say or do something she can't understand like she's stuck on a puzzle she can't quite wrap her head around.

After the Aurors question me, they take a few pictures of the window, the ashes from the hand that burnt up on the floor before cleaning up the room, and tell me I should get some rest, before leaving me alone with Hedwig. After the door closes I feel like a small weight is gone from my back, I dislike being around too many people, I like my quiet, I like my space; though it feels like I never have enough of it.

I put Hedwig on the bed, before dropping to the side of the bed and looking under it, I don't see the sword because it's now just a swiss army knife with the blade out. I reach under the bed and pull it out, and hold it in my hand, it feels like it weighs a ton.

How did it turn into a sword? Did I do it? Hermione once said that wandless and wordless transfiguration was one of the highest levels of magic one can achieve, to take the form of one thing and change it into another with just will and intent alone. I doubt that I did that, he wasn't very good at the magic stuff, so it was probably accidental if anything.

I sigh before folding away the blade and placing it back in his trunk, right back where he had put it last time, but how it got from the bottom of his trunk to on top of the dresser he also has no clue about, did he summoned it? Could that be done? He'll ask Hermione next time he sees her, she'll know. I close the trunk before turning off the lights the Aurors had turned on when they got here, before walking back over to the chair and climbing back into it to go back to sleep, Hedwig flies onto the back of the chair again, and I pat my chest to get her to come down, but she just shakes her head, looking to the window and then the locked door, and back to me. Huh, seems like I have a guardian angel tonight, well, she does have the wings for it. So, I rest my head against the armrest, my wand firmly back in my hand as I fall back to sleep, dreaming of watching a girl with long blond hair hunting a monstrous boar with a gold and black bow.

I woke up to a knocking on my door, I hate to already know who it is and what they want so I've decided that it was far too early to deal with it and was gonna go back to sleep.

"Come on kid, I know you're in there." The lady from last night says, I don't answer, but Hedwig barks at the door, but otherwise doesn't move from her spot. The handle on the door jiggles but the door doesn't open because it's locked, I hear her sigh through the door before she knocks again.

"Come on kiddo, I brought breakfast." She calls through the door, my stomach, grumbles, I hadn't had anything to eat last night before coming back to the inn. "I have waffles and bacon~," she says in a sing-song voice, and my eyes snap open. I look at Hedwig who is now looking at me with a surprised face, "I have no idea how she learned our weaknesses so fast girl." I tell my owl as she hoots in agreement and the girl on the other side of the door laughs.

I groan as I get up from the chair and throw the blanket back onto the bed before moving to the door with my wand firmly in hand, I unlock and open the door to peek through. On the other side, the woman stands with a smile and what looks like a serving platter in her hands. "May I come in?" She asks in a polite tone, I narrow my eyes at her but stand to the side, letting her in. She walks in with the tray, sits it on the desk, and offers me a plate, I take it and sit at the armchair and tuck in as she had pulled out the chair at the desk and sat reverse in it to look at me. We didn't really talk the whole meal, she would look at me as she chewed her food, but she never said a word, I think she was trying to be polite so I did the same but with less looking.

After we were both done eating and feeding Hedwig bacon, she finally spoke up, "So kiddo, we weren't really supposed to meet till around your first week back at school." She admits to me but also confuses me, "Why? Why are we supposed to meet at all?" I ask while looking at her, trying to figure it out.

"Well, …" She begins and taps her hands on the back of the chair, "Like I said last night, my boss wanted me to head to Hogwarts and find you and scout you or something, you see I belong to an…" she hesitates her for a second, "Organization that hunts monsters, you know, things like a basilisk?" She tells me with a crooked grin and a co*cked eyebrow, and I'm starting to see why they might have wanted to meet me.

"So when my boss hears this crazy ass story about some 10-year-old kid killing the Queen of Serpents with a sword of all f*cking things, you can damn well bet she gonna want to know more about ya, see if you have the chops to join, or at the very least give you some training, ya know?" She says with a smile that I don't trust.

"Im thirteen," I tell her.

She blinks "What?" She asks back in a confused tone of voice. "I only killed it only a few months ago, my birthday passed a few weeks ago. I'm thirteen now, not ten, and it's the King of serpents; not queen," I say as I do my best Hermione impression. She co*cks her eyebrow but doesn't smirk this time, "did it have plumage?" She asks, and it's my turn to say what. "Did it have these red feathers on its neck right by its head?" She clarifies and I shake my head no, "Ah, no plumage means it's female, hence Queen." She says with a smirk. I sit in the chair, looking at her with narrowed eyes and I open my mouth to ask how she knows it didn't have plumage and a few of my own questions but she cuts me off.

"See, that's some of the stuff I'll be able to teach you, and a few other things. My boss already talked with your Headmaster about all this, dumbdoor already agreed to it all, thought you could use it." She says with a shrug, all I say back is "his name is Dumbledore."

She blinks a few times before she starts laughing, "oh man, could you imagine the look on his face if I called him Dumbdoor to his face?" She says as she wipes away a tear, I snort a bit, but I'm not laughing. I open my mouth again to ask her about the sword and how she knew it was me, but again she cuts me off, "oh! I haven't even introduced myself, have I? Sorry about that kiddo, names Atalanta." She says with a smile and holds out her hand. I take it and shake it, before saying "Atalanta…?" I finish off with a look of confusion waiting for the rest, she looks confused for a moment, "oh! Right, the last name, umm, I don't have one." She tells me as I let go of her hand and jokingly ask if she was raised by wolves, she laughs a bit with me before blowing my mind with "No, not wolves. Bears." Because looking into her eyes I really don't think she's joking.

"But if you need to have one for me I guess Claydon will do." She says with a shrug, I just nod my head, before I ask "How did you kno-" I start but she cuts me off again, "WELL, kiddo the breakfast was nice, but like I said last night, I was only here for the night. I need to pick up a few things in the Alley and then start heading north, a long hike, ya know?" She says as she turns around and starts toward the door, I start to follow her intent on getting my answers. "But it was nice to meet ya earlier than planned Harry, I do hope we get along at your school, I know I'll be there for at least this year." She says as she starts to open the door, but she found it slammed shut when I run into it with my shoulder.

"No." I tell her, she slowly turns her head and looks down at me with a cold look, "kiddo, you're blocking the door, and I need to go." She tells me in a firm tone of voice.

"You haven't let me ask a single question this whole time, all you've done was bring me breakfast, tell me what you're doing here, that you know me, and something about scouting me, whatever that means," I tell her, "How did you know who I was from just the sword? Why do you have cat ears? Why do you have to hike when you can just take the floo?" I ask rapidly, her face getting harder and harder with each question, her lips become more pressed together, and she doesn't answer anything but she does say "You are blocking the door, Boy. Move it." In such a hard and cold tone, the opposite of the light and teasing one she had been using since we met last night, and when her hand came up, reaching for my shoulder pressed against the door, I flinched.

I don't know what over, be it my own feet, the rug, or the air, but I trip and land on the floor. Atalanta looks down at me, with the same strange look that Hermione gives me now and then, she's silent for a second as I look up at her, I can feel my body shaking, she was gonna hit me I'm sure of it.

"Harry, are you okay?" Atalanta's voice comes out soft, she reaches down to smack me but I crawl back with a shout of "Yes!" She stops, as Hedwig lands on the mantle of the fireplace all puffed up and ready to attack, the strange look never leaving Atalanta's face. "Okay, look I'll just back off, how's that?" She says as she stands back up and takes a step back to the door. "Go," I say, coming out a bit weakly at first, "You said you had to go, so just go." I finish in a stronger voice. She looks at me for a few more seconds before nodding her head and turning back to the door and opening it, "I'll see you at Hogwarts, okay kiddo?" She says in a soft voice as she turns and looks at me, I don't say anything for a few seconds before she sighs and leaves the room, shutting the door behind her.

I jump up and lock the door in every conceivable way I can that the door has, reminding myself that the locks are on my side this time, I can keep her out. I can keep them all out.

I grab the blanket off the bed and go back to my chair, curling up and hiding under it.

I didn't leave my room that day.

Three weeks later.

It's been three weeks since I saw Atalanta leave and in that time it's honestly the best time of my life so far, I get to wake up whenever I want, go to sleep whenever I want, and eat! Doesn't matter how much I order so long as it's between the breakfast and dinner hours Tom, the innkeeper, not the asshole, told me about it, I can order however much I want! Compared to the smaller portions I got at the Dursley's it was like a feast every day!

I got to explore Diagon Alley more than ever before and find all sorts of shops I didn't know that was around, a shop for nick nacks, a joke shop, a shop that enchants things for you, a Quidditch shop that was selling a new broom, thefirebolt, I was also a regular at the ice cream shop. The old guy who was running it helped me with my summer work and gave me free ice cream every half hour I spent doing it, a pretty good motivator if you ask me.

I avoided Knockturn Alley for obvious reasons, though every time I passed it I would always stop and look at the entrance, expecting to see something like the vampires hanging out at the front, I know it's a dumb idea but I just couldn't help myself, every time I tried to ignore it I would remember that night and start shaking again and then go back.

I had gotten my Hogwarts letter about two weeks after I arrived at the Leaky Cauldron and got everything I needed that day. The guy at flourish and blotts almost cried in relief when I told him I didn't needthe monster book of monsters.

I had a random idea when walking by the enchantment shop one day and brought the swiss army knife for the Runemaster to inspect apparently it was some of the finest craftsmanship he's ever seen and had a whole host of charms on it he couldn't even figure out and offered to buy it off me for a small sum.

I had laid and told him it was in my vault when I first opened it and it was left there by my parents, so I didn't want to sell it, he got this weird look on his face and didn't ask again.

More importantly, I found out what the strange symbols on the handle are, Greek,AncientGreek. It's not that common to use that style of Runes in magical Britain anymore, he said they were more common in America and the Mediterranean. I went back to flourish and blotts to see if they had anything on ancient Greek, and they did! A whole section devoted to various types of ruins from all over the world, I started to regret my pick in electives but it was too late to change them now I expect.

One old book I found was completely written in ancient Greek, I found I could read it just fine, better the fine, in fact, I didn't get a headache just from reading a few paragraphs but the stuff it was talking about was way above what we learned in school, it talked about ancient rituals and something called esoteric Magic. I got it anyway to show Hermione, she's smart, maybe she could figure out what that stuff was, or help me figure out how I can read ancient Greek.

Speaking of Hermione, I did get around to writing to her the day after Miss Atalanta left, leaving out the vampire attack and Miss Atalanta. I didn't think she would like that and would start asking a lot of questions that I didn't know the answer to. She did write me back the same day, asking if I was alright, if I was hurt, if I was doing okay by myself.

I told her I was fine, honestly don't get why she asked that stuff, I mean I did write to her I'm obviously okay.

But she gets like that sometimes, something would slip out about the Dursley or my home life and she'd get this pitched and upset look on her face and start asking a bunch of questions. I normally ignored her until she stopped. She would say she was sorry for some reason, but hey, got her to stop asking questions, right?

She told me the date she and her parents would be coming to do school shopping, which lined up with the day the Weasleys were going to show up from the letter he got from Ron. Which is nice I guess.

Ron showed up first, knocking on my door in the morning. We hang out, eat breakfast, and play a few rounds of chess. His brothers and sister are here as well Fred and George stop by to say hello, and so does Percy, puffing out his chest with his badge on his everyday robes, he seems a bit disappointed when he leaves, Ron tells me he's the new head boy, that would explain the chest puffing. Ginny says hi to me when I see her, she doesn't turn red and runs away like she used to, so that's nice, I think?

Hermione shows up around lunch and pulls me into a hug, which is still weird, the whole touching thing. I hug her back so she doesn't ask questions like normal, she hugs Ron, so maybe this is normal? I have no idea but I go with it. We spend the day shopping, getting the school supplies that I already got, the man at flourish and blotts does cry this time when we ask for a few copies ofthe monster book of monsters. We stopped at the pet shop for Scabbers, apparently, he's been sick since Egypt, and Ron wanted to get him checked out. We left after a ball of orange fury attacked Ron, but we got the tonic for Scabbers, the shopkeeper did say he was old for a common rat, which is weird, but I chalk it up to Magic.

Hermione, who had gone to look at owls, had, instead, come out with the orange ball of fury whose name was Crookshanks, this wasn't gonna end well I think but don't say it out loud, but Ron had that covered.

We end the day back at the Leaky Cauldron for dinner, the food is good here but not as good as Ms. Weasley's, we say goodbye to Hermione before she and her parents leave, telling her we'll see her tomorrow on the train. She hugs us one last time, still weird.

It's late at night when I'm on the way back to my room from the bathroom when I hear the argument between Mr. And Mrs. Weasley, it stopped me because I've never heard them argue before, or even heard of them arguing before.

"-a boy, Arthur!" Mrs. Weasley had said in an angry whisper. "I know that Molly, I'm not trying to scare him, I want to warn him so he knows what's coming." Mr. Weasley says right back in a much calmer tone.

"No, absolutely not. He doesn't need the knowledge of a mass murdering psychopath who wants to kill him hanging over his head all year Arthur, the boy already has enough trouble at his home, and you want him to bring that sort of darkness with him to Hogwarts." Mrs. Weasley says with a scoff.

I hear Mr. Weasley sighs, "You don't understand Molly, you've never been to Azkaban. The place is a twisting Labyrinth of corridors, cells, and stairs, a singular hell of grey wet cold misery. A place where all hope and happiness go to die, and that's only the top level. The maximum security cells are at the bottom level, right next to the Dementors hive, the people who are in those cells don't come out the same way they went in if they come back at all." Mr. Wesley explains in a haunted tone of voice, that his wife doesn't say anything is a bit shocking to me, he continues nonetheless.

"Most people that go down there go insane in two years, catatonic in five, and dead within seven. Sirius Black was down there for twelve years, Molly, still awake, still attentive, and able to hold a conversation. He is dangerous, and the last thing the guards reported him saying in his sleep washe's at Hogwarts, he's at Hogwarts." Arthur finishes with another sigh.

They're quiet for a few moments before Mr. Weasley says what sounds like his final words of the night, "After what he did for Ginny, what he did for us, last year I won't let him go to Hogwarts ignorant of the danger that's after him, I'll be telling him before he gets on the train tomorrow Molly, whether you like it or not, Harry needs to know."

I don't hear any more as I move away from the door and back to my room, I crawl into the chair, wand in hand. Hedwig comes to join me, and as I pet her to sleep, I think about the madman I now know is after me.

A man trying to remember, a forest in Scotland.

He wakes up in a forest, having no idea where he's at, Padfoot comes out so often he doesn't know how long he has traveled but he has to be close now, right? Where was he going again? A castle right? But why?

Then he remembers,the rat, his revenge, to stop him, to stop him from…

He doesn't remember, he knows he has to kill the rat to get revenge for something he did, but he doesn't remember what the rat did nor what he's stopping him from doing. All he knows is that he needs to, it's like a bone-deep desire that warms him after the long cold, and he hates the cold after that place in the sea.

Hogwarts! That's what the castle is called, that is where the rat will be, he needs to get there and kill the rat. It's simple, right? Sneak in, grab the rat from the boy, run away and kill it. He gets up from under the tree and starts to walk, he doesn't know how he knows he's going the right way, but he does. He'll get to the train tracks soon and all he has to do is follow them, train tracks, a train, a red steam engine…

"This compartment is free if you want to share it, I'm James. James Potter."

Who? The man doesn't remember anyone by that name, but the memory still comes but is blurred. He can't make out the boy's, James', face. But it feels like a happy memory, one he hadn't had in a long time, maybe before the cold place. It doesn't matter, he has to get to the castle, he has to kill the rat, it's the only thing that matters. He needs to protect, to protect…

Who does he need to protect?

It doesn't matter, castle, rat, revenge, that's all that matters. Nothing else, …right?

Harry Potter, Hogwarts express.

True to his word, Mr. Weasley had pulled him aside before getting on the train and made him promise that no matter what he was told, no matter what he hears, he won't go after Sirius Black. He had promised and he meant it, he wasn't about to chase one of Voldemort's followers because he was coming after him, he was stupid, but not that stupid.

It was getting dark now, the rain that had started not long after leaving Kings Cross was pelting the window. He had told Ron and Hermione about Black as well and had made the same promise to them, both Hermione and Ron had the weird look on their faces when he had told them, and even now as he looked out the window; watching the countryside roll by in the night.

The train started to slow down, which was weird because they couldn't be at Hogsmeade yet, could they? The lights flicker and then go out as they come to a stop, the compartment plunges into grayscale for Harry as he looks around, he hears Ron and Hermione scream in shock at this, and the man on the other side of the compartment begins to move.

The door opens and a boy comes in, Neville, that's his name! He had used it on the knight bus, he should try and remember that. Then Ginny comes in talking about how all the lights are out on the try, asking why we stopped.

"Quiet." A new voice says and I turn to see the sleeping man stand up, lighting his want and making me flinch. He starts to say something, but his voice dies as the room starts getting cold, colder than it should ever be in summer. Frost begins to build up rapidly on the windows before the sound of the compartment door opening for a third time echoes throughout it.

A tall hooded figure is on the other side, I can't see his face but it's hand, its hand is pale white and scabbed all over, I can see bones and muscle underneath what seems to be rotting flesh, I start to shake and shiver like nothing before, I jump at the sound of my cupboard door blaming shut, Uncle Vernon, yelling at me, then someone screaming.

I knew no more.

Notes:

Holy high snakes this was a bitch to pump out, those three weeks Harry was at the Leaky were horrible to think up and I honestly think this is the worst chapter by far.

But we got the first glimpse inside Sirius' head, and it is not a nice place at the moment filled with revenge and half-remembered people, don't worry I do this for a reason for later on.

Harry doesn't people well, and I feel that.

He'll get better, I promise.

For those of you who were worried about Hedwig, let me ask you this: Why would I kill best girl in the series?

Im a cruel person, but not that cruel.

as for why the narrative shifted? because I felt like it.

some chapters will be third person, some will be first, most if not all of first person will be from Harrys point of view because that's who this story is about.

Btw, I am active in the comments of this fanfic and will talk sh*t to you, just FYI.

KingSaxcul, Out!

Chapter 7: Crescent Moon III

Notes:

So, big A/N about me explaining stuff about Harry, why he says and thinks the way he does, his swiss army knife, and the blessings he gets from Artemis being his mom, if you want to be surprised just skip to the story and don't worry about this part.

First off, Harry himself, as I said before JKR really dropped the ball with how an abused kid acts, and make no mistake Harry is an abused kid, a heavily abused kid.

This version of Harry acts more like a kid in his situation would, he believes that he's worthless, that he's stupid, that he's a freak, because that's what he's been told all his life, and he believes it.

The f*cked up thing is I'm not even adding more abuse, I'm taking everything from canon.

He was locked in a cupboard and fed smaller portions of food, while it's never said that anyone hit him. It's not a far leap to it when you've got Petunia throwing frying pans at the boy. We've read about Vernon throwing him in the cupboard and not letting him out. When he got his Hogwarts letter they moved him to Dudley's second bedroom, the room that held all the broken and discarded things. Not because they cared, but because they thought they thought they were being watched.
Harry at this time has never had people care about him, so he doesn't know what it's like hence the "weird" looks Hermione gives him.
The Swiss Army Knife has three forms, a sword(knife), a bow(scissors), and a Hunting spear(screwdriver). I'll let you guys figure out what his go-to weapon will be. The enchantment on it isn't like Riptide, it doesn't return to his pocket when he loses it, instead, it comes to him when he needs it, like fighting for his life or during a hunt.

Now for his blessings, he has three.

The first is "sudden death" I've already explained this.

The second is Artemis' main domain, The Hunt.
This blessing works just like the one she grants her hunters, but without the ageless immortality. Harry is faster(much faster), stronger, and better with a bow. He has better senses of sight(he can see in the dark) smell and hearing. Being around a large group of people is basically sensory overload for him, which is why he avoids people so much. He can also talk to animals or at the very least predators.

The third and final blessing is the Moon.
How this is gonna work is gonna remain a secret till I reveal it, but I'll give you a hint, think Nico when he's underground.
But the downside is most Demigod powers are locked away till either they are in great enough danger or till they are told they are demigods. Sure they get passive abilities but they don't get their full power till they start training.

But that's all I wanted to talk about, on with the show!
Disclaimer
I own nothing, not even the door that was not there.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Hermione Granger, Hogwarts, the day after.

There was something wrong with Harry Potter. This wasn't a guess or a deduction, this was simply a statement of fact. Hermione noticed it two years ago, on that Halloween night during her first year, the night the troll had gotten into Hogwarts with the help of that year's Defense teacher. She was predisposed in the lavatory due to a few choice words from Ron earlier that day, she had long since forgiven him for them, but still, Hermione had no clue about the troll when the rest of the school found out.

It was Ron that showed up first, Hermione had no idea how he had known where to find her and had thought he had come to make fun of her some more. But no, he was babbling about a troll and how sorry he was, and they had to leave now. Hermione had barely processed what he had said when the troll had entered the restroom, almost ten feet tall carrying a wooden club half his size and could kill her and Ron with a single hit, its stench had filled the lavatory and had both of them gagging. When the beast saw them it had roared and started smashing everything in the lavatory trying to hit them.

It was around this time that Harry Potter walks into the lavatory, it was the first time seeing Harry's face like that, Hermione had run into him a few times, and every time Harry had this look of passive acceptance or deep sadness that she could not understand, Hermione had seen Draco Malfoy insult him, try and bait him, even challenge him to a duel before, but his face was always the same, passive and uncaring, looking as if Malfoy was a child throwing a tantrum for no reason. But his face when he walked in, it was pure joy as Harry looked up at the troll like he had found the prize at the end of a maze or something. Harry had climbed up it, stuck his wand into its nose yelling at Ron to use the troll's club, and before Hermione knew it, it was over and the professors had shown up. They were sent off with a stern warning and a few house points. Ron had apologized for his unkind words and that was that Hermione had made her first friend when they stopped in that hallway. Harry, however, kept walking back hunched and head down, he looked disappointed. It was at that moment that Hermione decided Harry would be her second if not best friend.

It worked, kinda. Hermione would drag him off to the library to study and do homework and he would just sit there, bouncing in his seat, looking around, and not reading. When Hermione had asked why he wasn't studying, Harry just shrugged and said it gave him a headache when the words floated when he tried to read a book. Hermione had asked some more questions and wrote to her parents, she had quickly figured out that Harry had a host of learning disabilities. When she went to Professor McGonagall with it, the Professor had informed her that he couldn't have anything mundane like that affecting him, his core would have corrected the problem in childhood, and looking that up as well had proven the Professor right, his core SHOULD have fixed it any issues, but it hadn't. Any child born with a magic core has access to the magic of the world, and magic, being a semi-sentient force but no will of its own, wants to be used, so when a magical child is born, Magic fixes any problem the child may have either in the womb or in early childhood. Hermione was convinced it had to do with the curse that struck Harry that night, she had looked into it and found, well nothing.

Harry was the first, last, and only person to ever survive that curse. Oh, sure there were many theories on how or why he had survived that night but no conclusive evidence. When she had once again gone to her head of house she was told that unless Harry himself came forward she couldn't do anything. Which wasn't fair, Harry didn't like his classmates let alone any of the teachers.

So Hermione hatched a plan, it was a long-term goal, but if she could pull it off she could help Harry. So, Hermione stuck with being his tutor, she taught him not to write in cursive but in print, which made his handwriting much more legible for his essays and classwork, Hermione let him use her notes to help him write the short essays he did, they were short and to the point, he wouldn't get full grades on them but it was better than the nothing he was doing. Then, Hermione had gotten to practical spell casting with him, which had changed everything. While it would take Hermione hours or days of study to read up on the theory and technique of the spell and then a few more hours to learn how to cast it perfectly. Harry however only had to see the spell cast once or twice before trying it himself, and he would cast it perfectly only after three or four tries.

Harry couldn't even tell you how he was able to do it, he just did. Hermione was in awe when he did it the first few times, but Harry would get this look on his face, almost like he was angry and disappointed with himself.

Hermione would come to understand why in a few short months.

It would come a month before their first-year exams, Hermione, Ron, and Harry would be studying in the library. Ron, thankfully, just needed a little motivation to study, and Harry would need a break, so for every one hour of studying, they got to play a half hour of chess.

They played off quite well with each other in fact, which was good.

It would be during one of the hours of studying that Harry would ask a simple question and a picture would start to form for Hermione and Ron.

"Why are you helping me?" Harry had asked them with a curious look on his face, "My Uncle told me I was too much of a stupid freak to learn anything correctly." He had finished before a look came over his face, as he realized he said too much.

This had started a round of questions from Hermione that Harry ignored, when she hadn't stopped Harry simply left the library and didn't talk to them for a few days until she had apologized for it. But during those days Hermione couldn't help but think of his odd behavior, how he would flinch at loud sounds, how he avoid people, and how once during potions Professor Snape had pulled him away from another one of Seamus' exploding cauldrons snapping at him "Move Boy.", how Harry had gone pale and started thinking before leaving the class and was not seen for hours.

Hermione had cried when Ron had written to her, telling her what he had seen when they broke him out of the Dursleys, the bars on the window, the locks on the outside of the door, and the cat flap. Ron had told his mother, and Mrs. Weasley had left early the next day only to return a few hours later with an angry red face from where she had gone, but still, her friend was sent back at the end of the year. Why she had no idea, Hermione had reasoned that Harry didn't even like to think about his relatives let alone talk about them.

Hermione had hoped to build up his trust, to gradually talk him into going to Professor McGonagall, trying to paint her a stern and fair teacher who graded like that. That she would help no matter what, and it had been working, he was thinking about it, and then Quirinus Quirrell went after the philosopher's stone and Professor McGonagall had, in a dismissive tone, destroyed all her hard work.

They had told Hermione after she had been unpetrified that they went to Lockhart over McGonagall, which, in hindsight, spoke all that needs to be said about Harry's trust in the professors of the school.

In the catacombs below the school was the happiest Hermione had ever seen Harry, and it had scared her, the glint in his eyes and the smile on his face as they moved through the gauntlet of traps going deeper and deeper, and in the second to last room where she had first hugged him, she had seen his eyes, the silted pupils had thrown Hermione off enough she had barely noticed him flinch at her hug.

Hermione did not doubt that he had the same look, the same eyes when he went down into the Chamber of Secrets last school year.

But seeing him last night on the express, unconscious, pale, twitching, and moaning had shaken Hermione she had never seen her friend like that, thankfully it did not last long as it seems that their new Defense professor know what he was doing as he had chased off the dementor and harry was up within a few minutes with chocolate in hand, his first question was who had screamed Hermione had told him no one had. He had gotten an odd look on his face but said nothing further, when they got to the castle he was sent to the hospital wing overnight because of what had happened on the train.

Hermione made her way to the hospital wing the morning after, Ron with her to get Harry and go to breakfast together. Harry was awake when they got there, looking at a block of chocolate like it had personally offended him in some way. Harry looks up at them as they enter, and the sides of his lips lift a bit. It's about as much as a smile as they get from him, but both Hermione and Ron know it's more than he gives to anyone else. And as Harry throws his legs over the edge of the bed, ready and eager to get out of the hospital wing he stops as Madam Pomfrey shouts from her office "Mister Potter if you leave your bed without finishing your chocolate, I will hunt you down and spell it into your stomach and let you deal with those consequences by yourself!"

Harry looks back towards the open office door before whispering to Ron and Hermione, "How serious do you think she is?" Just before Madam Pomfrey's voice yells out once again, "Just try me, Mister Potter!" Harry sighs as he quickly eats the chocolate and yells that he had eaten it, and no sooner than he did, did Madam Pomfrey appear, her wand out she does a half circle before flicking it towards herself. After a second she nods before saying "If Mister Potter faints again, if he is feeling dizzy, or starts to hear things, bring him back here immediately. Dementors can have a whole host of nasty side effects, why they let them by the school I'll never know, bloody fools." She says not to Harry but to Ron and Hermione who both nod, not wanting to cross the stern matron of the hospital wing, knowing Harry wouldn't come back unless he was dragged here.

After one more check-up, Harry was released from the hospital wing for breakfast and Harry couldn't move fast enough to get out of there. In a short time, they made their way to the great hall, Harry grimaced at the number of people eating breakfast. He had hated being in overcrowded places, Harry had said multiple times of the headaches that too much noise or people cause him. He was always ducking out of the after-Quidditch parties that Gryffindor would throw when they had won. As they took their seats by the end of the table McGonagall had appeared with their schedules in hand, passing one to each of them, both Harry and his head of house avoid talking to each other, McGonagall with a sad look in her eye that Harry wouldn't see as you looked squarely at his food, mumbling a thank you under his breath.

As Harry inspected his schedule across from Ron and Hermione, frowning at it for the double Transfiguration and Potion period during the week, his head jerks up and looks to the rafters just as the snowy white owl descends from above and lands on the table quickly approaching Harry. Hedwig and Harry had always had a special bond and was one of the reasons Hermione was looking for an owl that day in the Alley. Watching them across from the table as they nuzzled their foreheads together, Harry smiling just for his familiar and Hedwig softly hooting for her human brought a smile to Hermione's face. Because if there was one way to cheer him up, it was spending time with his oldest friend.

As Harry feeds her some bacon and pets here Hermione speaks up, "she has a note." She points out. Harry takes it from her and unfolds it, his smile turning into a frown, which is never good.

As Hermione opens her mouth to ask what it is about, Ron speaks up first. "Hermione, I think Professor McGonagall messed up your schedule, see you've got Ancient Runes at the same time you've got divination with us," Hermione tells him not to worry about it, she had worked it out with their head of house before the school year began. Harry looks up from his note, "Hey, that reminds me, Hermione, have you ever heard of someone able to read Ancient Greek without having to study it?"

She opens and closes her mouth a few times giving Harry an odd look with Ron, "No, I-I can't say I have Harry, why?" She asks him, Harry goes on to explain about a book he found in Flourish and Blotts that he could read without getting a headache from floating words and letters because they didn't float or dance across the page, how he had read a full chapter without a problem, well, he didn't really understand what the book was talking about, seemed like some advance stuff.

Hermione nods along with his story, trying to understand it, it's not that she didn't believe Harry, it's just…reading another language without even knowing it was hard to wrap her head around. "Could you translate a passage from the book?" Hermione asks and when Harry makes a face and opens his mouth Hermione cuts him off, "It's not that I don't believe Harry, I just want to cross reference it with a few books the library has on Ancient Greek, that's all." She says, knowing how Harry would react to being called a liar about something. Harry paused, lips pressed into a thin line, but nods. He knows what Hermione is like by now and just wants to make sure it wasn't something else.

"So, what did the note say?" Ron asks as he spears a sausage and pops it into his mouth, "Oh, it's from the Headmaster, he's asking me to come up to his office in two days to talk about something." Harry replies with a shrug.

"Did he say what about?" Hermione asks, a little worried. Harry shakes his head no, but from the look on his face, Hermione was sure Harry already knew why.

It wouldn't be until the next day that Hermione got to test to see if Harry's statement was true or not, with the book Harry had gotten and her own book on translating ancient Greek to English they had sat down that night having Harry write out a few paragraphs before Hermione translated straight from the book, she was shocked when they had matched almost perfectly, almost because she had mistranslated a word.

This starts frenzied research on how it was even possible, which leads to dead end after dead end, which drove Hermione crazy. She had torn through every text that the library had on innate magical abilities and still nothing turned up. She had decided to put it off for a later date and not look a gift horse in the mouth. She started to look into translation charms, but she couldn't find anything for ancient Greek in the library, so she went to her head of house to see if she knew anything about them.

Surprisingly, she did in fact know of one, one just for ancient Greek, apparently, the Headmaster had shown her it a few months ago near the end of the year. Which was either a huge coincidence or the Headmaster had known this was going to happen, and Hermione, for one, couldn't decide which one would be more true. But in the end, Hermione had used the spell on every single one of Harry's books before teaching him the spell and counterspell. They had tested it as far as they could, Harry could read it, but couldn't write or speak in it, they had no idea if he could understand if he heard someone talking it seeking that it was sort of a dead language.

But Harry could read his school books without any problems now! Which was a major victory in Hermione's books, now they just had to work on Harry paying attention in class and she was sure that he could become one of the best students in school, or at the very least not flunk his O.W.L's in two years.

It was on the day of Harry's meeting with the Headmaster, the one where he wouldn't say what it was about, much to Hermione's annoyance, when they were leaving charms right after being told their homework would nine inches on the effects of the next spell they were learning and what it could be used for, that Harry was asked to stay behind by Professor Flitwick.

Hermione and Ron told Harry they would be waiting outside the class for him, they didn't have to wait long, but when Harry came out he had a look of confusion and frustration on his face, when asked what was wrong he had said the Professor had told him not to worry about the full nine inches, that six inches would do for him, he had tried to argue against it but he had said, Professor Flitwick had told him that Harry had never turned in more than six inches before, and that is the new standard that he would hold him to do to his learning disabilities. Well, Harry had said, "because I'm stupid." But Hermione could read in between the lines.

But this had got Hermione wondering something, Harry wouldn't go to a teacher even for the most mundane thing let alone about his own personal problems, that was all but proven by this point, so if he hadn't told a Professor, who had?

Notes:

Sorry about the short chapter folks, I just wanted to get an outside view of the oddity that is Harry in the fic.

Hermione is smart enough to figure this stuff out, so I went with her.

In the next chapter we will be welcoming back Atalanta and she's gonna have "the talk" with Harry, we'll see how he takes it.

KingSaxcul, out!

Chapter 8: Creasent Moon IV

Notes:

Welcome back my many readers, I'm honestly surprised that this has made it to over 500 in the week or so since I started it.

As more of you ask questions I feel the need to answer them, allow me to check my notes.

*looks at the empty notebook, realizing I write most of this off the top of my head.*

Huh, well okay then, on with the show!

Disclaimer!

Quidditch makes no f*cking sense y'all, but that's probably the point ya know?

I also own nothing!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

HarryPotter, second-floor corridor.

I'm dragging my feet, and I know that. It's barely past five in the afternoon and dinner doesn't start till six, the Headmasters note had said he wanted me to be at his office after classes and before dinner, and classes are let out at four, giving the students time to unwind and relax before dinner, unless your Hermione who immediately gets started on homework and quizzing me about words in ancient Greek.

After I dropped off my bag in the common room and told Ron and Hermione I'd see them at dinner I had left Gryffindor Tower and set off in the most roundabout way to the Headmaster's office, going down all my favorite side corridors, secret passages, and back hallways all to avoid going to a meeting I knew I had no choice but to attend, well that and just avoiding large crowds in general, but now I've run out of odd ways to get to the corridor on the second floor that holds the secret entrance to the Headmasters office, and as I walk down the windowless hallway I can't help but think whose brilliant idea was it to make this part of the castle so open to the outside? Does the snow get in when it's winter? What about the rain? Like, why altogether? Probably should ask Hermione this stuff, she'd know.

I stop right out front of the gargoyle standing guard over the Headmaster's office, and just look up at it, sighing, I really didn't want to do this.

I jump a bit when the gargoyle speaks up "They're waiting for you, Ya know?" He speaks in a Gravelly voice, like two rocks getting rubbed together and somehow making sound to form words, "Yeah, I know. I'm-I'm just not looking forward to it." I tell the gargoyle, it nods its head before saying right back, "It's not like you're in trouble kid, it's just a private chat, and if you ask me the Headmaster was in a good mood about it. So go on then, speak up." Before going still as it waits for the password.

I sigh before saying Skittles and the statue hops aside for me as I begin to ascend the stairs to the Headmaster's office.

I get to the small waiting room right outside of the main office, a Crescent shaped room with a couple of comfy-looking chairs with a table, and a chess set in between them, a couch on the other side, the whole room is decorated in the four house colors, like a crazy clash of colors and to be honest, suited the Headmaster perfectly in my opinion. As I walk up to the door and raise my hand to knock, I hear Headmaster Dumbledores' voice call out, "Come in Mister Potter, it is open." I hesitate for a second before opening the door to his office, which was filled with odd bobbles and knickknacks as always.

"Come, have a seat, Harry." He says as he gestures to one of the chairs in front of him, the other one already has somebody in it, I can feel her forest green eyes looking at me as I keep my eyes firmly on the Headmaster as I take the seat offered. He smiles at me and offers me a lemon drop but I turn it down, "Now Harry, allow me first to tell you that you are not in any trouble be that in the vain of school rules or academics which has shown vast improvements since you started at Hogwarts two years ago, I might add." He pauses and looks at me, to see if I have anything I just nod my head as I look at his desk.

He speaks up again after I nod, "And I had learned just a few moments ago that you have already met our guest over the summer, but for propriety's sake I will introduce her nonetheless, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Miss Atatlanta Claydon, a Hunter of Diana." I look over to Miss Atalanta at this, she's sitting cross-leg in the chair next to mine, wearing almost the same outfit I saw her in last time, but her green shirt has a cartoon cat dressed up like a medieval knight with "we must slay the red dot." Under it, she smiles at me before saying "Hey kiddo, how ya been?"

Not knowing what to say I just shrug and mumble good under my breath as I look away. "Um, Headmaster Dumbledore, what is a Hunter of Diana?" I ask him, knowing he might give me an answer as opposed to the woman sitting next to me, "Ah, for that I think I'll leave it to the Hunter herself to explain." He says politely as he turns to face her, hopefully missing my grimacing at it. Atalanta turns in her chair and faces me as I go back to looking at the desk. "The Hunters of Diana is the organization that I told you I belong to. What we do is pretty simple: we work with the MCUSA to hunt down dangerous creatures within the Americas, making sure they don't break the stature of secrecy. I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill creatures either, we might hunt down Griffin every now or then, but we go after legitimate threats, XXXXX class creatures. We are talking about manticores, dragons, drakons, Acromantula, Thunderbirds, and-" I cut her off by saying "Basilisk's?" She stops but nods her head, "Those too kiddo."

"It was that you slew the one here that had caught Miss Claydon's employer's attention, when she had heard of the story she immediately came to Hogwarts to verify it. When Miss Phaesporia-" Dumbledore was explaining before I interrupt him "Light Bringer?" I ask, confused.

"...Yes, that is what her name means, Mister Potter," Dumbledore says carefully as Harry blushes when he realizes he had rudely interrupted him. I can feel Atalanta looking at the side of my head, but I don't turn to look. "When Miss Phaesporia showed up and initially asked about the event, I had told her all parties that were a part of it were underage and that I could and would not tell her any details. Until she had brought up why the story was of such interest to her, I had listened to her proposal and decided that I would acquiesce to her request." At this point, Miss Atalanta had snorted.

When we both turned to look at her she apologized for the interruption, "Sorry, it's just that my boss isn't the type to take no for an answer in anything she wants. Even if the Headmaster had the gall to tell her no, she would either do it anyway or find a way to. No offense to you, Headmaster Dumbledore." To Dumbledore's credit, all he does is laugh and wave it off, "Yes, Miss Phaesporia did strike me that type, so no offense taken, Miss Claydon." He says with a warm smile.

"But we are getting a bit off track, you see Mister Potter, the leader of the Hunters of Diana had offered to send one of her hunters to come to assess you and if you are found to have a, let's say a natural inclination, to the work that they do, the Hunter would stay on at the school for the year to give you some of their basic training and teach you about the types of creature they hunt," Dumbledore explains pausing once again for me to ask any questions. All I can do is nod my head in understanding and Dumbledore continues "Excellent, now since it would be a tad unfair to ask you to take on what would be essentially an extra class I have asked Miss Atatlanta to grade you in this, a simple pass-fail grade, which will be added to your Care of Magical Creature and Defense against the Dark Arts studies this year." He informs me to which I just nod at before asking "So, does that mean this is voluntary?" The Headmaster and Miss Atatlanta looked at one another and I knew what he was about to say.

"While, yes this a voluntary class Mister Potter, I would advise not turning it down. This is a great opportunity for you, The Hunters of Diana are a very selective group in who they recruit, for them to reach out to you in this way speaks of what potential they see in you, the same potential I and the rest of the Professors here see in you, Harry." He tells me, in a roundabout way he's telling me that no, I don't have a choice in this, his comment on my potential almost gets me to laugh, I'm useless and stupid, and I doubt I have any true potential, so I just sigh and nod my head.

"Okay, I-I guess I'll do it," I tell him, and the Headmaster smiles at me, his eyes twinkling as he does. "Excellent Harry! I will leave it to you and Miss Claydon to work out a schedule that would work for both of you, while she is acting in a teaching position here at the school, she will be unable to award or take away points, seeing you are the only student in her, shall we say, class. She will also be unable to assign any detentions or homework. However, she will be able to talk to a professor and ask them to give points based on your performance. Now, do you have any questions for either me or Miss Claydon?" He asks me and I once again shake my head, he nods before checking the old clock on the wall.

"Well, we are close to dinner so unless you have anything else to add Miss Claydon, I think we should send young Mister Potter on his way, hm?" Miss Atalanta just turns to me and says "I was thinking Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays in the evening after classes get out but before dinner, what do you think?" I just nod my head for a second without thinking, before jerking my head up and saying " I have Quidditch practice on Saturday, real early in the morning." I tell her hoping to get out of it, she just nods her head and suggests I take a nap before showing up then. I just sag in my seat before nodding and looking at the Headmaster, "Am I excused, sir?" He has an odd look on his face but says yes to me anyway. As I get up he turns back to Miss Atatlanta and asks her " Are you sure you will not reconsider Miss Claydon?"

"I'm fine for right now, I'm still scouting the forest and want to make sure the area I have planned to train him in is cleared of anything too nasty, besides it gives me a chance to prowl around for that other thing we talked about," Atalanta says as I reach the door and walk out, I barely catch what Dumbledore says before the door shuts behind me "And what of the-" I don't hear the rest as the door closes with a click. I make my way down the stairs and off to the great hall before stopping, my stomach twists at the thought of being around a lot of people, and I'd rather avoid Draco doing his best fainting impression while yelling "Scarhead" at the top of his lungs like a screaming baby, honestly, the guy needs a better hobby.

I turn on my heel, not feeling in the best of moods. I start heading up to the Defense Against the Dark Arts tower, following the curling pathway beside the main corridor I make it to the top floor where the Owlery is located. I open the door and the smell of owl pellets and droppings hit me as I step into the room, seriously, does no one clean up here?

I take out my wand, whipping it in a wide circle and casting aMaximumversion of theScourgifyspell, it cleans out most of the mess in the Owlery as I walk over to the North facing window, it's also without glass to let the owls come and go as they please. I hear a few berks or hoots at me in thanks. I wave to them as I sit down at the opening, legs dangling over the grounds as I lean against the black metal bar to stop people from falling from the tower.

The sounds of fluttering wings and the familiar feeling of owl Talons on my shoulder tells me who it is before I could even call her, I rub the side of my head against Hedwig and she hoots softly.

"No, it's just been a long day and I don't feel like going down to dinner." Hedwig hoots again, nipping my ear.

"No, I just don't feel like being around everyone right now." She barks at me, puffing up angrily.

"I know girl, but I'm used to missing a meal or two, it's not gonna kill me," I tell her, she hoots again but deflates.

"Yes, I promise to eat a big breakfast in the morning. I swear I'll even save you some bacon. How about that?" She preens, pleased with what I said as I shake my head with a smile, such a silly wonderful bird I have.

We enjoy the quiet and the sunset together, no one but us, well us and the floating Dementors far over the forbidden forest, by they were too far away to count. I wonder why I reacted like that? Passing out and all that rot. I mean I understand the cupboard and my uncle but who was screaming? That made no sense, I wonder what spell Professor Lupin used to cha-Bang!

I hear the owlery door open and footsteps behind me, I stiffen at the sound and turn my head around to look over my shoulder. "Ichabod!? Where are you? You ornery owl." The girl says in a high posh voice, she has her long blond hair done into an elaborate braid, that is over her right shoulder and hanging down her front. She has high cheekbones, a button nose, and purple eyes. She has a small smirk on her face as she looks around for her owl, well, right before she spots me and her face drops to a sneer, ah! Green trim robes, that's why.

"What are you doing here Potter?" She asks, the sneer never leaving her face, "Breaking school rules again, I see." She says in an angry tone. "Um, no. I'm just sitting here enjoying the view." I tell her, honestly confused by her tone of voice and accusation.

"Oh, then do tell, where are your robes?" The girl says in the same tone of voice. I look down, and sure I'm not wearing my school robes but I do have my jacket on. "In my trunk," I tell her and her face gets even more of a hard look, "I don't have to wear my school robes unless we're at a feast or if someone is visiting the school. So long as everything else is present and the teachers can see the Gryffindor crest and tie then I'm in dress code." I tell her, she looks taken aback by it before asking where in the school rules is that. "Section 3, subsection 6, paragraph 4." I spouted out due to it being drilled into my head.

She has the funniest look of confusion on her face I can't help but smile a bit at. "How in the Witchfather did you know that? You can barely read a book let alone remember anything." She remarks in a scathing tone. I just shrug and say "Hermione."

"Granger," she says in a voice full of scorn, "of course, it would be Granger helping you out, you'd be no better than a squib if it wasn't for her." Oww, I mean, she's right but still. I open my mouth to retort as a large-horned owl flies down and lands on her shoulder. "Ah, there you are Ichabod," she says to the owl before pulling out an envelope from her pocket, "To mu-To mother and father if you please." She tells Ichabod the owl before he takes it and flies off out of the open window.

I watch it take to the sky, soaring out to wherever it's going, unable to stop the envy I feel at that kind of freedom. I sigh looking out over the incoming night sky with a small smile, it was my favorite time of day. "Well?" Says the girl behind me, and I don't even hold back the groan that escapes my mouth, why can't she just leave me alone.

"Well, what?" I snap at her, turning to her, angry at this random girl who walked in and started insulting me for no reason but who I am. She looks taken aback again, good. "Why aren't you at dinner with your fan club? Tired of us mere mortals?" She asks after recovering, I sigh, breathing out my anger trying to keep it under control, not trusting my mouth I just shrug and turn back around.

"You're just as conceited as Draco says you are, aren't you?" She says, I can hear the sneer in her voice when she does.

It's at this point Hedwig has had enough, turning around on my shoulder she puffs up and barks at the girl, spreading her wings and getting ready to chase her off from me, I hear her gasp a bit, so I reach up and put my hand on Hedwig's head, "No girl, we don't need a rumor of Harry Potter's crazy attack owl floating around." I feel her lower her wings as she hoots harshly, "I know girl, but it doesn't matter." She gives one last dismissive hoot before turning back around on my shoulder.

"Is it so hard to believe that I just want to be left alone?" I sigh out.

The girl doesn't say anything for a moment, and by the time she would have the door to the Owlery opens again. "-mione, if he isn't here I'll eat my new wand." I hear Ron say as I turn and look. Ron and Hermione had just walked in, Ron's hands are filled with napkin-wrapped sandwiches, and Hermione carrying three goblets and a pitcher they probably took from dinner. The girl had turned to see them as well, and the moment she and Hermione locked eyes it felt like the Owlery drops -10 degrees in an instant.

Hermione glares at the blond Slytherin for a moment before saying, in a very cold tone of voice for her, "Greengrass." Oh, right Daphne Greengrass, that was her name!

Daphne answers right back in the same cold tone, "Granger. I see you come following your precious boy-who-lived all the way to the Owlery, waiting on him hand and foot, hmm?" I flinch at the name, I hate that name, it's a stupid name.

"I'm surprised that you're not dry-humping Malfoy's other leg, or did Parkinson kick you off to get to both?" Daphne scoffs, "Like I would do anything for that little weasel, he, much like yourself, is far beneath me." She tosses her braid over her shoulder before co*cking her hip and crossing her arms. "You're going down this year, Granger, I'll be taking the top spot this year, showing you once and for all your nothing but dirt beneath my heels." With that said she moves around Hermione and out of the Owlery as Ron and I just stare at Hermione in shock.

"What was that about?" I ask, that was quite unlike the Hermione I knew. "Hm? Oh, that was Daphne Greengrass, she's held the number two spot for our year the past two years in a row, mind you it's only been by two or three grades, but still number two. We have a bit of a rivalry." She says this all matter of fact, I just nod dumbly to it because wow. I look at Ron and he just shrugs before coming over and sitting on the floor next to the window. Hermione takes the spot opposite of him and puts the jug and goblets.

As they sat down and passed me a sandwich they explained that when they didn't see me at dinner they nicked what they could and went out to find me, apparently, it was either here or the astronomy Tower where I'd most likely be and they had check here first. We sit and chat about classes and how we think the year will go, avoiding any talk about Black or what happen on the train, I'm thankful for that. It's weird having friends, and I guess that's what they are now, no Dudley to chase them off and they don't seem to mind that im dumb or a freak. As the sun finally dips past the horizon and the stars come out I can't help but watch them, it's a lot different here than it is at Privet Drive, not much light pollution to black them out. I can almost name all the constellations by now, it's peaceful here.

"So," Ron begins "What was the talk with Dumbledore about?" He asks before taking a sip of pumpkin juice. I had almost forgotten about that when he asked, "oh, um apparently me killing the Basilisk was a bigger deal than we thought, a group from America had heard about it and sent someone to scout me, whatever that means." I tell them

"Well, yes Harry, it is a big deal," Hermione says, and seeing the confused look on my face she explains "Harry, what you did by yourself hasn't been done in almost two hundred years. The last known record of someone killing a Basilisk happened in 1799, it took a full group of 30 trained Aurors to bring it down, and by the end, there was only a handful left, and the one they went after was only half the size of the one you killed."

"Oh." I say a bit surprised, "The group is called the Hunters of Diana, they hunt down things like the Basilisk or dragons, stuff like that. Their boss came and talked Dumbledore into it, it's gonna act as another class that I'll be graded on, the grade is gonna go towards Care or Defense or something like that." I say with a shrug.

Hermione thinks this is a good thing, looking positively ecstatic for me, "Oh, Harry! That sounds wonderful, just think of all the old magic you'll learn about for hunting dark creatures!" She says as Ron nods along, with a confused look. "What?" I ask him, he opens his mouth but closes it, lips pressed into a firm line like he's trying to figure out a tricky question on a quiz.

"It's just I've never heard of them, and Charlie is a bit creature mad when It comes down to it mate, if there was a group of hunters like that, then he should have heard about them and gone off on a rant about how creatures like that should be protected, not hunted." He says as he strokes his chin in thought, I look over to Hermione, who also looks a bit confused. "Have you never heard of them?" I ask and she shakes her head. "No, but I haven't looked up much of the Magical Congress of the United States of America, who im assuming they work for?" She asks me and I just give her a confused look.

"The MCUSA Harry." She tells me,

"Oh, yeah I think that's what Dumbledore called it," I reply with a nod. Hermione takes a sip of her juice before saying, "I'll look into them when I have the time Harry, but this does seem like a great opportunity to learn from someone who knows how to take down the dangerous creatures with magic." I frown, thinking about the only time I saw Miss Atalanta in action, she didn't have a wand, she had a bow.

I tell Hermione about it, and she looks confused about the lack of a wand but instead starts to interrogate me about how I saw her in action, which leads to me telling to them about the vampires that attacked, whoops, must have forgotten to tell them about that because their faces. "Harry James Potter! This is what you are supposed to tell us about!" She yells at me, I flinch at the volume. "Why? All you would do is yell at me about it." I say back in a weak voice, scooting away from her.

"No Harry, well yes. But im not yelling at you, I'm yelling about what happened." She sighs out with an odd look on her face as she stares at me.

"How about we just move on from that? It happened, Harry is fine, let's move on to the scary girl with cat ears killing vampires with a bow." Ron says holding up his hands in a placating way, Hermione huffs out with an angry look on her face. None of us figure out why she had used a bow and not a wand, so we pack up the goblets and jug and drop it off back in the great hall before going back to Gryffindor Tower.

Hogwarts Quidditch pitch Saturday.

The note had come on Friday, delivered by a hawk of all things, it was simply a date, time, and place for my first lesson with Miss Atalanta. So at three o'clock in the afternoon, I started my way down to the pitch a place I was at this morning, bloody Oliver Wood wanted to do practices from five in the morning to almost noon, the mad man. I did like what was suggested and I took a nap in between it all, didn't really help. I sigh out as I walk down the wooden steps to the field, dressed in shorts, an oversize shirt, and my jacket. It was still a bit hot, but I didn't mind.

Hitting the tunnel I hear her call out, "Hey kiddo, good to see you made it. We're a bit early but they only have the pitch for another 10 minutes or so." Miss Atalanta says as I walk up. She is leaning against the wall at the end of the tunnel, by her feet are two quivers full of arrows of all things, but I guess that makes sense, she did use a bow.

"Who has it right now?" I ask in honest curiosity, but I answer my own question as I step out of the tunnel and look up, seeing blurs of green and I can't stop the groan coming out of me. Miss Atalanta looks at me and asks "What's wrong?" With an eyebrow raised. I sigh, "It's just the people practicing are my houses rivals, if they see me here they're gonna flip, so I'll just-" I never get to say what I'm gonna do as I hear the Captain of the Slytherin team, Marcus Flint, call out.

"Potter! What the hell are you doing here? Come to spy 'av ya?" I have my back turned to him but I can still feel the sneer on his face, I turn around to face him, oh look at that I was right. "No Flint, I'm not here to do anything like that. I was asked to be here at four, if Wood was gonna send someone to spy on you I'd think he'd send someone less conspicuous, you know?" I tell him honestly, his sneer starts to lessen as his eyes flick between me and Miss Atalanta.

"Seriously, if I knew you guys were here I would have been late to this," I tell him as Miss Atalanta gets up from leaning on the wall and walks over, "He's being honest, I reserved the pitch after you guys and told him to meet me here, I didn't know that this, whatever it is, was gonna be a problem." She says as she gestures between me and Flint, for the most part, he seems to believe Miss Atalanta, and as he opens his mouth to say something, but someone, a very unwelcomed someone I might add, yells out before him.

"Scarhead! What are you doing here? Come to see the better seeker play and steal his moves?" Malfoy asks with a much more pronounced sneer on his pointed face, why can't he just leave me be? All because I turned down a handshake two years ago when he was being rude?

By this time all of the Slytherin team had landed and were grouped up together, I just sigh and tell them Malfoy, "No, I'm just here at the wrong time Malfoy, I didn't come here to watch." He just huffs at me, "As I'd ever believe that Scarhead."

I open my mouth to retort, but Miss Atalanta cuts me off, "As much as I want you to watch you two get into a dick measuring contest, you have exactly," she checks her wristwatch for the time "Three minutes before the field is mine, shouldn't you be wrapping whatever the hell you all are doing?" She asks in a flat tone, and Malfoy turns on her. "Who the bloody hell are you?" He asks in that normal angry tone.

"I'm the girl who reserved the pitch for four o'clock, so pack up and get out of here, you're cutting into my time." Miss Atalanta said, her tone having a creeping touch of steel in it. Malfoy either doesn't notice it or doesn't care, "Well, practice doesn't end till the seeker has caught the snitch, and I feel off my game today. Might take a few more hours." He says dismissively, a few more hours? What? "You have been out here since around lunch, how have you not caught it by now?" I ask genuinely confused, I'm nearsighted but even I'm not that bad, normally it only takes me only a few minutes to find it.

It was the wrong thing to say by how red Malfoy's face gets, but it gets even worse when Miss Atlanta snorts, "Oh, what's so funny you disgusting little Mudblood, bet you can't even fly in a straight line." He says as he turns to Miss Atalanta with a glare. Flint and two of the other players eye Malfoy with an unfriendly look as the rest giggle like idiots.

Miss Atalanta just raises an eyebrow in question before turning to me, "Harry, I feel like he's trying to insult me, so what's a Mudblood?" She asks with a look of confusion on her face, that question leaves the Slytherin team also with a confused look.

"Er, it-its a racial slur for, you know, Muggleborns." I say feeling a bit uncomfortable at the moment with her eyes on me, "Okay, and what's a Muggleborn?" She asks as a follow-up if her last question confused the Slytherin team, this one throws them for a loop. "A magical child born to non-magical parents," I explain as her face adopts a look of understanding. "Oh! You're talking about Mundanes, wow, talk about culture clash, huh?" She says with a shake of her head before turning back to the group.

"I'm not whatever-born, I'm technically a Mundane as well." Miss Atalanta states in a matter-of-fact tone the same one Hermione uses when she corrects me or Ron. It takes a few seconds for Malfoy and the rest of the Slytherin team to work out what she just said, but they get there.

"Wait, you're a Muggle!?" Malfoy says, disgust on his face, Miss Atalanta just shrugs and says "Sure if that's what Mundane is called here." Malfoy and a few on the team look at her with disgust, while the rest look at her in surprise. "What is a disgusting Muggle doing here? Has that old crackpot finally lost it! You shouldn't even allow licking the boots of your betters, let alone be on Hogwarts grounds." Malfoy says in a vile tone of voice, but this was evidently the wrong thing to say, for Miss Atalanta crosses her arms and glares at Malfoy, "My betters?" She asks, her tone dripping with venom. Malfoy is either too dense or too dumb to see the danger he's in, and he just smiles at her and tells her he is.

Miss Atalanta just smiles at him, but it's all teeth before turning around and walking back over to the quivers against the wall, taking one of the arrows from within. She spins it between her fingers as she walks out to the field, "Harry, which one is the snitch?" She asks as she pulls the black multi-tool from her jacket pocket.

"Um, it-it's the golden one, with wings," I tell her, and she just nods and opens up the multitool which unfolds into a black bow with golden accents, this causes someone on the Slytherin team to gasp as she notches the arrow and aims off to her right way above the ground. "There is no way you'll be able to hit it with your pathetic mug-" but that's as far as he gets as Miss Atalanta releases her shot, and a~ping~is heard, "-gle weapon…" Malfoy trails off with a shocked look as Miss Atalanta catches the falling snitch and her arrow landing far downfield. She walks up to Malfoy with an angry look on her face as she shoves the snitch into his chest, "Well look at that, your player caught his ball, looks like you better pack up because your three minutes are up, and get the hell off my field. Now." She says this with so much force I flinch, as does half the Slytherin team.

She pushes Malfoy aside and starts to walk back over to me shaking her head when Malfoy decides to do something stupid and draws his wand, leveling it at Miss Atalanta's back. "It's time someone put you in your place, you muggle bitch." He says.

Everything slowed down for me, as I flick my wrist to draw my wand, Miss Atalanta turns her head, eyes narrowed and she lets go of her bow. She had gotten maybe six feet away from Malfoy by then, but when she turned to him shemoved. In less than half a second she had crossed those six feet, grabbed his wrist, twisted it to where the wand was no longer pointing at her, brought her leg behind his, and then punched him in the chest, knocking him over and onto the ground at the same time her bow hit it. With her free hand, she rips Malfoy's wand from his hand and puts her bare foot on his chest, keeping him pinned.

She looks up to the rest of the Slytherin team who had frozen in shock, "Let me make this very clear to you all, the next person who points a wand at me will find themselves being made into an accurate representation of a stick puppet. Now, you've caught your snitch and your time is up, pack your sh*t andleave. My. Field.Before you all start looking like target practice to me." She says the last part with so much venom that no one thinks about questioning her, Flint snaps everyone out of it and tells them practice is over. Getting Malfoy up by roughly pulling him up and smacking the back of his head; he tells him to head to the common room, no stops.

He mutters something about his father under his breath before stomping away, Flint gets Malfoy's wand back from Miss Atalanta while eyeing her warily, and within ten minutes the Slytherin team had left.

Miss Atalanta watches them like a hawk, bow in hand, eyeing anyone who seems to be moving too slow. When they all clear out she lets out a sigh.

"That was…" I trail off, not knowing what to say, scary? Awesome? Badass? She just shrugs like it wasn't a big thing moving that fast. "Listen kiddo, we've got a lot to do and a lot to talk about, but there's something you need to know first." Miss Atalanta says as she turns to look at me, her face as serious as when she was threatening the Slytherin team.

I swallow the lump in my throat, I honestly can say that I don't like how she's looking at me.

"It's something your Headmaster probably wouldn't want me to tell you, but I think you need to know because not knowing could get you killed and I'm not about to let that happen, okay?" I just nod my head, thinking this was about Sirius Black, but I can't help but have this creeping sense of Deja Vu come over me.

"I promise I'll answer all the questions I can, but I may not have the answers you want or like, okay?" Miss Atalanta informs me as the sense gets worse, but nod my head anyway, she takes a deep breath and says.

"You're a Demigod Harry."

All I can do is stare at her dumbly before asking.

"I'm a what?"

Notes:

BOOM chapter is done!

A bit longer than my normal ones, but I'm sure y'all won't mind. But the reveal is out! How will Harry react to this sh*t, you'll have to read the next chapter to find out.

For those of you who don't know, Atalanta is fast, like freakishly fast. She was faster than any other mortal in her time beating anyone who challenged her in a foot race while she was decked out in full weapons and armor and they just had tunics.

Also, no. This was not Malfoy bashing, he was raised on the belief that Muggles and Muggleborns were lesser than him, and seeing a muggle in school triggered him.

Also, yes. Atalanta wasn't a Demigod, she was just pure unadulterated badass.

So Daphne is in this, her having a rivalry with Hermione over grades is one of my favorite things that the fandom has made up so I'm going with it. No idea if I'll do anything else with her.

KingSaxcul, out!

Chapter 9: Crescent Moon V

Notes:

When last we left off our emotionally damaged best boy was told about what he is, shall we check in on him and see how he's coping?

*looks at Hogwarts from a distance seeing it burning.*

Yeah, that was just what I expected.

But on with the show!

Disclaimer.

I own nothing, or else Snape would be a different type of asshole.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Harry Potter, The Quidditchpost, Hogwarts.

"I'm a what?" I ask, the sense of deja vu now overwhelming, I feel like I'm back in the house on the tiny rock again. Miss Atalanta answers back, proving I didn't mishear her, "You're a Demigod Harry, you are the child of a mortal and an immortal, a god." She pauses for a moment as I feel something, an odd stirring in my chest well up and I take a step back, trying to piece together all this in my head. I feel my mouth go dry, my breath getting shorter, no no that was impossible, I can't be I know my mother and father were human, I have pictures of my mum pregnant with me, I have pictures of them in school. Just-just no.

"I know it's a lot to take in Harry, you may not believe me, so let me ask you a question." Miss Atalanta says to me, "Can you do things that aren't normal, things that not even wizards couldn't do without casting a spell?" Panic rises in my chest, not because of the question, but because she's right. Hermione had told me about my eyes, she's even looked into them, there isn't any record of wizards or witches that had slit pupils, who could see in the dark just as well as they could see in the light. Not even Animagus like Professor McGonagall could do it and she could turn into a cat, the human and animal forms are separate, you can get a sixth sense from it but that's it.

I turn away from Miss Atalanta, walking back over to the tunnel that leads down to the pitch, my chest is tight like I can't breathe, and my head is spinning as I lean against the wall and slide down it to sit. I swallow, trying to get rid of the dryness in my mouth, it kinda works. I can't, how, but they were, I-I, one of them is alive?

I didn't notice Miss Atalanta following me so I jumped when she asked if I'm okay.

"What? I-I don't…" I trail off as I look at her, confused, she's kneeling in front of me with the weird look on her face. "How-How did you know?" I finally ask, and she moves to sit next to me, I scoot away from her a bit not really wanting to be near her. "The conversation we had in Dumbledore's office, it's basically a cover story for me being here, but there is a lot of truth in it." She tells me, "I am a part of a group of hunters that hunt monsters, but we aren't a part of the MCUSA, we're led by a Goddess, the Goddess Diana to be specific, she's the Roman Goddess of the Hunt." She explains in a careful voice and I just nod, "When you were hunting the Basilisk, did you pray? It didn't have to be a specific prayer, just a plea for help." She asks me.

I think back, to that cold Chamber underground, the hissing of the great serpent, Fawkes arriving, and the shade of Tom Riddle mocking me as Ginny was dying. I did, when I covered my eyes with the old hat I had begged for help, for anything to help me. I nod, "Yeah, I-I did." I tell her, it's her turn to nod as if she had expected that answer. "What you didn't know, Harry, was that something heard your prayer." She tells me in a soft voice, "it was my patron, the Goddess Diana. She told me when she first heard it she was confused, she doesn't get a lot of prayers from boys your age. So, when she heard it she became curious and went to see what was happening. She had gotten there just in time to see you kill the serpent." Miss Atalanta tells me, "she was impressed by your hunt, and don't even think about saying it wasn't one. She wouldn't have heard it unless you were deep into one." She tells me as I open my mouth to tell her it wasn't before I close my mouth because she was, she was right. I was hunting for the Basilisk, I was hunting for who had ever opened the Chamber of Secrets. I just didn't realize it until now.

I just sit here numbly, drawing my legs up to my chest and hugging, looking for some type of comfort I had only found in the dark of my cupboard, late at night when the Dursleys were all asleep. I swallow again and ask "and-and she sent you to find me? Why?" My voice comes out as small in the enormity of this. Miss Atalanta sighs, "I don't know, she just told me I was to go to England, find the Headmaster of Hogwarts and tell him who sent me and that I was to train a boy by the name of Harry Potter." She tells me, "If I had to guess, I would say you impressed her so much she's thinking about recruiting you for her hunt, And that Harry, that is a huge honor." She says in an impressed tone of voice. "Why is it so huge?" I ask uncomfortable with how she had said it, "Because Harry," Miss Atalanta begins to explain, "It's so huge because out of the thousands of year's the hunt has existed, there have only been technically three males to join, and I say technically because one got turned into a girl when they joined because at the time Diana had a hard no boys allowed policy." She tells me and my jaw drops, I feel my eyes go wide. "Is she gonna do that to me?" I ask a bit scared because I like being a boy.

Miss Atalanta just starts giggling, "Oh Gods, you should see the look on your face, it's priceless." She goes on laughing as I begin to glare at her, finally, she calms down a bit before telling me "No, she is not gonna do that unless you want it done, she still only accepts girls, but she will take boys if they meet certain conditions. That's why I'm here, to see if you meet them, or at least that's what I think." I just look at her, I can feel the confusion on my face, "what conditions? Because I'm pretty terrible at, …well everything." I tell her honestly, she just smiles back. "Now I don't believe that for a moment, if you were so bad, you would be basilisk droppings by now." She tells me with a hit of a smile, well the jokes on her because she's wrong. "But the conditions are pretty simple, you have to be a great hunter, and I do believe we can check that box, you have to be willing to submit to the oaths of Diana, we won't know about that till later, and finally, you have to have no Romantic Entanglements. But you are thirteen, so that's gonna be a hard one." She informs me, "why no romantic whatever?" I ask confused.

"Well, Diana is a maiden Goddess. She's sworn oaths to keep it that way, which means her followers have to do the same thing, no love, and no sex." She says but grins at the blush that I feel creeping across my face. "Have you broken that last one already, Harry?" She asks in a teasing voice as she wiggles her eyebrows.

I blush even deeper and stammer "N-no!" How could she ask something like that! She laughs a little more before standing up, "Well, that's good I guess. Wait, do I need to give you the talk?" At this, she sounds a little concerned as if she was gonna have to do it, but I quickly answer "No! No, I-I've already had it! I swear!" I tell her, Madam Pomfrey is very serious about her job and making sure no one has any "accidents" at school of any kind. I hear her sigh out in relief that she didn't have to do that, "Well that's good, come on kiddo, I want to see what you can do now that you know." She says as she starts walking towards the exit of the tunnel, I jump and start to follow her "Wait, do you…" I pause not really knowing how to ask, "do you know who they are?" I finally get out, hoping she understood what I was trying to ask.

She pauses, and without turning around she says "I'm sorry, Harry but I don't know the details." I feel myself deflate at those words, "My best guess would be either an Olympian or one of the gods or goddesses that are still worshipped here on the islands, most likely associated with hunting." Her voice is odd while saying this, "That is one of the reasons Lady Diana was able to find you, after all, you were on a hunt, so…" she shrugs and finally turns around.

"What does she look like? Lady Diana?" I ask Miss Atalanta squint's her eyes at me before telling me "She is not what you'd expect a Goddess to look like, she normally takes on the form of a young girl wearing a silver-" I cut her off, finishing her statement. "Bomber Jacket, right?" I say remembering the girl from my dream and the package left on my bed.

"I was gonna say tunic, but yeah she has been known to wear a silver bomber jacket from time to time, how do you know that?" She asks me with her eyes narrowed.

I go on to explain my dream, what I could remember of the girl in the bomber jacket, and the gifts she had left me. Miss Atalanta just nods her head as I explain, she doesn't seem to question the dream itself, nor does she seem surprised at all. When I asked her about it she said "Demigods and weird ass dreams that tell the future or warn them of stuff go together like kittens and catnip. I may not be a Demigod but I had a few friends who were, and they told me all about that stuff." I'm half tempted to make a joke about me taking Divination but all I do is nod.

"So the sword I saw that night was a part of her gift to you, huh? Damn kiddo, for you to get something like that from Lady Diana she must have been really impressed with you. I had thought it was the same sword you killed the basilisk with, to be honest. Do you have it on you?" Miss Atalanta asks as I shake my head, "No, it's up in my trunk back in my room." I tell her, and she just nods back at me, "Bring it with you next time, Lady Diana doesn't give out things that just do one thing and swords aren't really her style ya know?" She tells me with a slight smile.

"So, what are we doing today then?" I ask before her grin turns almost feral and I want to run away.

The path leading to the Quidditch pitch, thirty minutes later.

Severus Snape was not a man to take an afternoon walk on the weekend, he had much better things to do with his time in the dungeons of the ancient castle he, reluctantly, teaches at, and judging from his pale complexion that it was true that he rarely leaves its cold confines. But when half his Quidditch team burst into his office when he was enjoying his downtime in between his own brewing and keeping the little dunderheads he calls "students" from killing themselves in the most asinine ways, but when said dunderheads come crashing his tea time screaming about a rabid muggle down at the Quidditch pitch that had attacked and threatened them he reluctantly had to leave his preferred part of the castle to come investigate. So when he gets to the pitch he is rather confused as to the sight of a tall woman in a muggle hat and silver jacket watching Potter, of all people, running at a dead sprint around the pitch.

As the brat sees him he starts to slow down right before the woman yells at him "Pick those legs up kiddo, I want you moving! If I think you're slowing down again I'll be shooting arrows at you instead of words, understand me!" She has an odd American accent but the boy apparently believes her and starts to run faster. Snape has a bit of trouble keeping his face straight as he sees the fear on the brat's face, it was hilarious, but he does believe he had found the "rabid muggle" as it were. As he watches the boy take a wide turn to avoid him, he starts to approach the woman, she turns in a circle to follow the boy's path, he had made it to the other side of the pitch by the time Snape gets to the woman.

"You would be Miss Claydon, I believe." He tells the woman who has been subtly watching him approach her, all she does is a nod in response, as she eyed him up and down, sizing him up to see if he was a threat or not before her eyes switch back to the brat. "You seem to have me at a disadvantage, you know who I am, but have yet to introduce yourself. That's considered rude where I'm from." She says back, her eyes never leaving the brat.

Snape concedes to her point with a nod, "Forgive me, My name is Professor Severus Snape. I am Potion Master and head of Slytherin House here at Hogwarts." He sees the light of recognition in her as she lets out an Ah in it. "The Headmaster told me about you, said if I were to find any…" Miss Claydon paused looking for the right words, "security breaches I should look for you or a Minerva McGonagall if I couldn't find him." She says.

Snape nods at this, "Minerva McGonagall is the deputy Headmistress and head of Gryffindor House to which the brat is in." He tells her while jerking his head to said brat, her eyes narrow as they cut to him in a slight glare, he just raises an eyebrow to it. "Speaking of the brat, why is he running laps around the pitch like Dementors are chasing him?" Snape asks in honest curiosity.

Her glare intensifies but she answers anyway, "Because I told him to and if he were to slow down I'd start shooting arrows at his legs till he started to run faster." She tells him as Snape snorts in amusem*nt.

"Is he suffering?" He asks with a slight smile, at this Miss Claydon turns and gives him her full attention, which would intimidate a normal man seeing she was a good three inches taller than Snape, but the Dark Lord was taller and much more intimidating, so the man doesn't even blink. "Do you hate the kid that much?" She asks with a bit of steel in her voice. Snape just shrugs before answering, " Putting aside my own personal feelings for him. The brat has melted twenty-three cauldrons, wasted hundreds of galleons worth of perfectly good potion ingredients, and almost killed his entire class, …" As he pauses and the woman opens her mouth to give some scathing retort he was sure, he cuts her off by saying "Twice."

Claydon just looks at him, unamused, "What are you doing here Professor Snape?" She asks. "Half my house quidditch team came into my office and rudely interrupted my off time with stories of a quote 'rabid muggle' unquote that had attacked and threatened them, and in doing my due diligence to the school I came to investigate." He states in a calm but uncaring way. "Pray tell, would you be this rabid muggle they were ranting on about?" He asks finally with a raised eyebrow.

The woman scoffs and rolls her eyes before looking back to the boy who had just completed his fourth lap around the pitch since Snape had gotten there. The dark man stands there waiting for her answer, after a minute his patience with her was up.

"Well, did you attack my students or not women?" He snaps at her, as she turns to face him with eyes full of anger, Snape doesn't blink.

"I knocked one on his ass because he had his wand pointed at me and yelled something about putting the muggle bitch in her place, so yeah. I did, and then I told the rest of them that the next one to try that again was going to be turned into a stick puppet with their wands." She informs him with a steely tone, Snape blinks and thinks it was probably Malfoy, "Now, was that so hard to tell me? By your reaction to the question, the Headmaster informed you that we do. Not. Attack. The students. No matter how thick they are." Snape tells her, and she has the dignity to look away embarrassed. Good, the head snake thinks, the lesson should sink in.

"Now, be it as it may, you have defended yourself from an attack on your person, so I will not be bringing this up with the Headmaster, and I do believe the embarrassment that the boy suffered was punishment enough," Snape tells the taller women, "but make no mistake, this had better be the last time I hear you putting your hands on the student body, or else I will be removing you from the grounds myself, and trust me it will not be a pleasant experience for either of us. Do I make myself clear Miss Claydon?"

He could practically hear her grinding her teeth, but she does nod in understanding. Snape turns and watches the brat complete his sixth lap, huffing and puffing like mad, a look of pain across his face. He smirks at it, but it does bring another thought to the potion master's mind, and he voices it to the taller woman "The Headmaster has informed me as to why you are here Miss Claydon, both the official and unofficial reason." Snape says and the hunter's eyes snap back to him.

"How much did he tell you?" Atalanta asks with her eyes narrowing once again. "Enough to know the boy is not what he seems, that his…" Snape pauses for a moment searching for the right word, "Genetic donors aren't who the rest of the world may think, though he gave no information on who they may be, even when I pressed him. You wouldn't happen to know? Hmm?" Snape asks turning back to the hunter, the woman just shrugged before saying she didn't know the details, a truth Snape thinks, but not a direct answer to his question. He considers it for a moment but decides that, while interesting, it wasn't his problem, yet; so he lets it go.

He switches the topic of conversation so the woman doesn't figure it out, "A shame, almost a shame leaving a basilisk corpse unharvested and instead of rotting away in the Chamber." He says before turning on his heel and beginning to walk away.

"You could just ask him ya know." The woman calls to his back, this stops Snape and he turns back to Atalanta with a frown, "Excuse me?" Snape asks.

"I was told the story, I know he's the only one who can get in. Why not just ask him to take you down there?" She says as if it was a simple matter, Snape scoffs at the thought of his relationship with the brat being so simple as him just asking him. But he does pause to consider something, his frown lessening as he begins to consider his options, as any good Slytherin would. With a startled scream and the sound of something heavy hitting the grass Snape turns around and almost begins to laugh, it seems the brat had collapsed, finally exhausting himself. He makes a comment to the women "The brat has collapsed, do make sure he doesn't die." He says as he continues on his way as Miss Claydon calls out after him, "Well, if he didn't collapse I wouldn't be doing it right!"

Snape does chuckle under his breath at that one.

Atalanta walks up to the downed Harry, laying on his stomach, his head turned sideways as he takes in deep breaths of air, sweat soaking his body.

"Not bad kiddo, you could give some of the younger hunters a run for their money." The taller hunter comments with a smirk, Harry being too busy laying on the ground trying not to die doesn't say anything back. "In through your nose, and out through your mouth kiddo. Gonna do nothing but hurt yourself by breathing like that." She tells him, Harry listens and starts breathing as instructed.

What the ageless hunter didn't tell him was how impressed she was, the kid was fast, damn fast, he doesn't beat her top speed but then again he hasn't even started accessing the blessings past to him by blood. Not to mention the kid ran at top speed for almost 18 minutes, that was insane. She was honestly surprised he didn't puke.

After a few more minutes, after Harry had gotten his breathing under control and Atalanta had him sip some water he asks her if they were done. All The Huntress did was laugh before telling Harry, "What are you talking about kiddo, that was just the warm-up." With an all too vicious smile.

All Harry could do was groan.

Notes:

Surprised update bitches!

Honestly, I stopped here because there will be time Jumping through some months and this was a good place to stop as I set them up and think them out.

How did y'all like my Snape, he's a pity asshole but it's more of how much he thinks Lilly would be disappointed with her son. He has no right to think or judge that, but he's gonna do it anyway, also no, Snape has no idea Harry has been living with Petunia, but that will come out later on.

Next is basically a training montage with a few month's worth of a time skip, should be fun.

KingSaxcul, Out!

Chapter 10: Crescent Moon VI

Notes:

I sense a wandering soul in search of answers, which begs the question of what the f*ck are you doing here?

This is cringe fanfiction, not the guide to life.

But maybe you're here for the fanfiction, in which case, welcome back!

On with the show!

Disclaimer!

I own nothing or else they wouldn't have left a rare magical creature to rot in a Chamber.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Harry Potter, Hogwarts, October 31st.

The last two months have been, for the lack of a better term, hell for me. Other than the normal craziness of classes like Malfoy getting himself attacked by Buckbeak and the Boggart lesson in Defense that I wasn't allowed to take part in because I admit, was a good reason by Professor Lupin when he explained himself. Everyone on the Quidditch team threaten to revolt if Wood woke any of us up before six am for practice, we know he wants to the win the cup, but it's not worth it if we lose sleep over it, so that ended the five-day five am training with Wood, it did not help with Atalanta however.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday for the first two weeks back I was down at the Quidditch pitch with her, no matter how tired I was or what I had done that day most of the time she would work me into the ground, stretches that increase flexibility, running laps till my legs felt like lead weights, footwork exercises that I did forward, backward and side to side, when I had brought the swiss army knife the next time, we got it to turn into a bow and hunting spear, other then it's sword form. The sword, a short-length Xiphos, is beautiful, It's about a foot and a half of silver that gleams and glows like the moonlight. It honestly reminds me of Sting from The Hobbit. The phases of the moon are etched from guard to sword tip, Waxing from the bottom to Waning at the tip, the handle I had thought to be made from some type of wood is not. Atalanta told me it was Ivory, the bone of the animal polished and set into the silver, when I had asked what animal it was, she had just looked at me with a smile and asked me what I had hunted to get it.

The bow and spear were in the same style of silver and moon etchings but the haft of the spear and arms of the bow was made with cypress wood, I could feel my magic try and attach itself to the wood, but without a magic focus in the wood, all it does is hover over the top. We learned I am pants using a sword, sure hacking and slashing isn't that hard but when Atalanta had brought two wooden Xiphos we had went a round of what she called "combat practice", I like to call it paint Harry purple with a stick; we did a lot of that.

Atalanta has some training to use a sword, but not enough to justify how bad she beat me.

She just shrugged and said, " Maybe you're just not a sword guy." I had thought it was just like everything else, just me being useless and stupid. But then, I picked up the bow and spear, and everything changed. When we started with target practice, Atalanta walked me through the process of how to draw from the quiver, notching the arrow, pulling it back, and releasing it. I had hit the third ring from the middle on my first shot from three hundred feet away. I was shocked but Atalanta urged me on, so I shot again and hit the bullseye, and I did again and again after each shot.

Atalanta was giddy, jumping up and down, hugging me, and yelling out how I got Archery as a blessing, we went on to test it. We moved on from stationary targets to moving where she would toss clay disks in the air and I would shoot at them, I hit every one. Then when she gave me blunted arrows and told me to try and hit her it was another level of challenge, she was just so fast and agile for every five shots I would maybe hit her once.

But she got her revenge for that. More than once I had walked down to the pitch and found she was up in the stands firing down at me with blunted arrows, running, dodging, and rolling were practiced on those days but I would still leave with a mess of bruises.

When I had started to use the Spear form, it-it just felt right, Ya know? How it fits in my hand, how it was balanced just right. It was seventy-three inches in length, with the last twenty-two inches of it being the double-sided silver blade. Unfortunately, Atalanta didn't know the first thing about using a spear, so I was left on my own to practice with it.

I didn't only see Atalanta when she was working me into the ground on the odd days when I had no homework and didn't feel like dealing with All the people in the common room. I would take a walk around the grounds and somehow I would always find Atalanta doing the same. We would talk, and she'd tell me everything she knew about Demigods and the life of one, there were more than a fair few in the hunt, and some of her best friends were Demigods.

She told me of the monsters that would try and eat me, but how the wards at Hogwarts were powerful enough to keep the nastiest of them out and how they move with the flame of the west, so most of the islands were gonna be native creatures. When I had asked her about the Dementors all she could do was shrug and say she's never had to hunt one, but best be on the safe side and avoid them, I had agreed.

When I asked about the ward around my aunt's home all she could do was shrug and tell me "do I look like a witch to you?" Which was an answer in and of itself, because I've never been attacked there, other than…well, it didn't matter. She told me of the hunt, the immortal and ageless hunters so long as they held to their oaths, I had asked how old she was but she had just given me a mock glare and told me it was rude to ask a woman her age; she never did answer the question. She told me of Ambrosia and nectar and how it would heal me of any wounds but mortal ones, but dangerous in large quantities for it could burn me to ash. She said she had a small amount of both just in case i needed it for future training.

The way she had said that scared me a bit, like I was in for a lot more dangerous training than I could imagine, Hermione was already angry over it all, every time I shuffled into the great hall after practice with a limp or barely lifting my feet off the ground she'd get the weird look on her face and start asking me all sorts of questions that I would ignore in favor of eating everything in front of me, sometimes even falling asleep at the table. Atalanta had the bad habit of running late with the training. The four hours during the weekdays could easily turn into eight, and Saturday could go even longer.

When Hermione had asked me about the training I was doing, I told her. She had looked confused for a moment before asking if I was going to learn magic at all from Atalanta, and that's when I told Hermione that Atalanta was a Muggle. She had just sat there and looked at me in surprise for a good minute before getting back to her homework. It would be about four days after that when Hermione had told me she had looked into the Hunters of Diana and their work with MCUSA and had found nothing. So she started to ask questions I didn't know if I could or even if I should answer.

When I had brought up how Hermione was asking questions Atalanta had told me that it was my secret, if I wanted to share it with them or not was up to me. So I had put it off, made excuses, and told her that Dumbledore had approved all of it, that had stopped her questions but not the weird looks when she would see me after training or the odd bruise on my arm.

That was another thing, sometime in the last few months Miss Atalanta just became Atalanta. I don't even know how it occurred, one day I was calling Miss, and the next, just her name, she didn't seem angry at this or even upset; she had just smiled at me when I did it. It was like with Ron or Hermione but, I don't know if I could put it in words, the way she would joke with me or tease me, always calling me kiddo or ruffling my hair after training and telling me I did a good job that day. I normally don't like it when people touch me, like, at all, but with her it was different. It's weird to be completely honest.

But the weirdest thing that happened in the first two weeks back at Hogwarts was Snape holding me back after class.

Potions classroom, three days after the first day of training.

The door to the dungeon classroom closes with a click, Hermione and Ron had said they would be waiting just outside in the hall, which was a bit reassuring, to be honest. Professor Snape sat at his desk just looking at me with barely veiled contempt, the classroom is quiet now, neither of us speaking yet. Because he was studying me and I was looking everywhere but at him, it was almost a minute into the awkward silence that Professor Snape spoke.

"Potter." He said and my attention had snapped back to him, "Sir, um, if you don't mind me asking what is this…about?" I grimaced at the question, I've been doing better in his class, I think. At least I haven't melted a cauldron yet, I think to myself as Snape speaks again. "Consider me impressed, it's been almost two weeks, and yet you haven't ruined one cauldron nor have you caused your group to get lower than an A. But please allow me to hold back the overwhelming need to give you a standing ovation for such an overpowering performance in this class." He tells me In a dry sarcastic tone as he leans back in his chair. "But for individual grading, well, after teaching you for two years it shouldn't be surprising to find you are once again the lowest performing student in class, and even with the help of one of the top performing students in your year helping you out, you still can't even make it pass an acceptable on your own, and don't even get me started on your, well, let's call them disadvantages and not what they really are for you, personality traits."

I shrug at this, it's nothing new honestly, Professor Snape reminds me of Vernon a lot, always reminding me of what I am, all I do is look at his desk trying not to let how much it gets to me show. "So, I have decided to waste my own time to beat something into your head that even you can learn. This Saturday you will be doing remedial potion lessons in some of the most basic of skills one needs with the art. We will be rendering potion ingredients from animals, it is not easy work, it will be messy, but at least you can learn this and get the basic understanding of how to prepare your ingredients so as not to drag your group down with you." He tells me in a snide voice.

All I do is nod along, waiting for him to get to the end of his rant about me so I can tell him that I had training this weekend with Miss Atalanta.

"It is just a shame we do not have anything bigger on hand, I would at least be able to give you a better grade if you could do something a bit more challenging than rats and bats." He tells me as he gets up from his desk and walks around it, his cloak billowing behind as he does, moving like a shadow attached to him, he moves to stand in front of me, looking down and waiting for me to say something. "I understand sir, it's just that I have the training for the hunters on Saturday, and Miss Atalanta won't be happy if I miss it," I tell him as I look up at him.

All he did was sigh out through his hooked nose and said in a clipped tone "I'm sure Miss Claydon won't mind you missing an afternoon of training if you were doing something worthwhile, perhaps something you killed yourself." I looked at him in confusion, I hadn't killed any rats, bats, or toads myself.

His head tilted back with his eyes closed and lips pressed firmly together before letting out a deep sigh, "Potter," he said in a voice holding back a great pain, "I need you to do the impossible here and use. Your. Brain." Before looking back down at me.

"I know for a fact there is a large carcass of an incredibly old and magically powerful creature on the grounds, a very big one at that, in a place where only you can get into. If you were to tell me this, I could be persuaded to increase your overall grade." Snape said in a strained voice. I blinked up at him, confused before it clicked, he wanted the basilisk. "Sir," I started to say carefully "Sir, are you asking me to bribe you for a better grade?" I asked him in shock.

"Potter, that would be incredibly unprofessional of me to ask you to bribe me." He said I opened my mouth to ask him what he wanted then but he cuts me off, "No Potter, I'mtelling youto bribe me." He finishes. I looked at him gaping like a fish as he looked back at me with a raised eyebrow, "And I get what out of this?" I ask him, I swear his lips twitched for just a moment like he was going to smile but quickly schooled it. "Why Potter, if I wear to get my hands on a basilisk carcass, no matter how rotted it may be, and you were to help break it down, I could be persuaded to bump your overall grade for the term up a few places, nothing pass an exceeds expectations but an overall bump, which in term will increase your final grade for the year I would suspect." He told me with a raised brow.

I rock back and forth on the balls of my feet thinking about it before I asked a question "what would you do with it, sir?" He blinks at me and seems to be caught off guard by the question itself, but answered it anyway " The Basilisk is a very rare magical creature, Potter. They are not born in the wild, they must be created by a wizard or witch with the knowledge of how to do it, and much like a dragon, they are purely magical creatures which means their blood, bones, venom, organs, eyes, horns and skin all have magical properties that one could use in potions or alchemy." He told me as I started to get the picture, he wanted to experiment with it.

I just nodded my head and said "Okay, but I still need to talk with Miss Atalanta about it, see if she won't let me come late to training or something." Snape just smirked, "Ah, yes don't worry about that Potter, I'm sure I can persuade her into letting you go for a day."

Somehow he did, the next day I got a note from Atalanta telling me to meet her right outside the great hall after lunch on Saturday. When I had shown up I got a shock when I saw her in Hogwarts robes, green and silver trimmed Hogwarts robes. When I asked her why she was in robes and Slytherin colors as well, she shrugged and said it was to help her blend in better when she was in the castle, that green was her favorite color and silver was the color of the hunt. She honestly had no idea that they meant anything when she had picked them out before the school year even started. Professor Snape had met us by then and we all proceeded to the Chamber of Secrets together, bringing a pair of brooms with us so we could get out.

With a little transfiguration on the collapse portion of the cavern, when we got to the sheded skin Professor Snape actually smiled, it was one of the scariest moments of my life seeing that he had announced we were not leaving without it. When we got to the Chamber proper, we had found out that the Chamber had a powerful preservation charm on it, keeping the carcass as fresh as when I had first left it, when I had asked about it Professor Snape theorized that it probably had to do with how the basilisk survived for a thousand years with no food, suspended and preserved in a hibernated state by the charm and more.

Atalanta was shocked at the size of it and said she could see how I had impressed Diana in a whisper to me, when I asked why she had agreed to this she told me that learning how to break down large animals was something she was going to teach me anyway, so might as well start with the biggest thing we could find.

The oddest thing was a section of the carcass was already missing, a relatively small patch but it was still gone, when Professor Snape had asked me if I did it all I could do was say was no. He was wary that someone else could get into the Chamber, neither I nor Atalanta had said anything about it so he would stop every now and then to cast a spell to revile if anyone was hiding in the Chamber, but nothing had come up. With Atalanta and Snape working quickly and showing me how to do things properly with both a knife and wand we were able to break it down in under 6 hours, everything from the hide to the bone was packed away in bottles, chests, and crates that we're shrunk down and pocketed by Snape before we went back and got the shedded skin.

With the two brooms and a levitation charm, we all made it out before I sealed the Chamber behind us for the final time. Atalanta said her goodbyes and that she would see me on Monday before leaving the castle, which was odd because I had thought she was staying inside, turns out she was camping in the forbidden forest, setting up a place for further training.

Professor Snape walked me back to the entrance to Gryffindor Tower before leaving me without even a goodbye.

As Atalanta said, we had moved from the Quidditch Pitch to the Forbidden Forest, where she had told me she was going to train me how to hunt properly. This had gotten me excited, after she had said that she had slapped my shoulder and screamed "You're it" before running off into the woods laughing. We were playing tag now? I didn't even think about it as I charged off after her, but man she was fast, I could barely keep up behind her as she ran through the woods, dodging around trees, jumping over logs, running through the underbrush, and using rocks as jumping platforms. Whenever I got close it was like she could feel it and would turn around, grab me and flip me over, slamming me on my back. The first time she did it she had a look of shock when she had turned around, but every time after that she had this odd gleam in her eyes, like the one Hermione would get when I answered a question right when she quizzed me on things. I would have between the edge of the forest and her campsite to tag her, but every time I had caught up with her enough to do it, she turned, flipped me, and then ran off even faster than before; it was annoying. She didn't seem to have a top speed but running through the forest, it was, it was something else. I felt more alive as I moved through it like I was right on the tail of something that I had to catch, that INEEDEDto catch, and I was always smiling when we got to her campsite.

She started to show me how to track things, what plants and fungi were edible, and which were poisonous, how to identify tracks and so much more. It was weird because I always seemed to know the answer before she finished saying anything, like I had always known it but had forgotten about it till she brought it up.

The next Saturday we had gone out to the woods with the intent to hunt a deer, I was so excited I could feel my heartbeat in my chest, I could hear it in my ears as we tracked the deer with only bows. We had caught sight of one two hours later and the chase was on, with quick bursts of speed we had chased the deer deeper into the forest, taking shots at it with swallow tip arrows making it run in the direction we wanted it to. Never too deep into the woods, always making it turn around and head towards Atalanta's camp, but It started to get smart. It had waited till right after we shot at it, both of our arrows hitting its backside, and it had escaped off into the underbrush and we gave chase to it.

We followed it, taking shots at it, trying to make it turn the way we wanted but it never did, deeper and deeper into the woods we ran till Atalanta had said to take it down before it went any further, it was after she told me that everything gets blurry. I remember running ahead wanting that chase, knowing I would get it at the end, get my just reward at the end of the chase.

I remember I was so close to it, all I had to do is reach it, then something had grabbed me I tried to fight it off but it was far too strong and had thrown me back into a tree when I tried to move around it, it did it again so I had decided to hunt whatever it was that was stopping me. Then Atalanta slapped me hard across the face, and the sounds of the forest came rushing back, everything became clearer than in the blur that was the chase. I could hear the calls of a dying deer, Atalanta had me pushed against a tree, pinned there by her hand with a tight grip on my shoulder, the weird look on her face while her other hand was behind her back, as I looked in her eyes she asked me "Harry, say something to me, anything besides hunting, please." She said, I could make out the desperation in her voice. All I said was "You hit me." In a small voice, I saw her face become washed in relief before she pulled me into a hug and started to drag me away from the tree.

"Come on, we need to get out of here before that thing brings some of his friends back to snag us as well." She had said, and when I look back in the direction I was running to all I saw were right black eyes and massive pincers dragging the still-alive deer into a wall of webs that mark the beginning of the forbidden forest Acromantula colony, and I had almost run right into it. She had dragged me back to her camp, it was a well-hidden place set in a small clearing that looks as if it had sunken into the earth, exposing the roots of the trees that line the top of it on three sides. It was cleared of all the old undergrowth and mulch that would accumulate over time in the forest, I was never allowed inside the silver tent she had but the campfire and the seats around it were always welcoming to me. When I had asked what had happened to me she had told me about the double edge sword of what she called "The Hunt".

" I can only tell you what I've been told about it, Harry, I'm not an expert in any of this but I know the basics." She had said while sitting down beside me at the campfire, "When we as humans go out hunting under the blessing of the divine, we pull on the domain of hunting through that divine. It's how we worship them during the hunt, and it's how they empower us to take down bigger and stronger prey. But as we pull power from that domain, it also pulls us closer to it." She said with a grim and serious face that was Foreign to face that was almost always smiling. "As we get closer to the domain of the hunt, we start to lose all human rationality, we become no more than mindless beasts who are obsessed with the chase that comes with the hunt, and we lose ourselves to it. When one of the hunters of Diana loses themselves like that we have to put them down because of it." She was quiet for a moment, looking off into the forest that surrounds us before sighing and looking back at me.

"You have to be careful kiddo, the domain of the hunt is one of the oldest and most powerful there is, and if you can't remember that you are human and lose yourself to it, it will consume you. Please Harry, always remember that."

We sit quietly together as the shadows of the forest deepen, each lost in our thoughts, before Atalanta stands up. "Come on kiddo, that's enough for today, let's get you back to the castle."

We start heading back, not playing the normal game of tag walking at a slow pace through the woods, "How do I remember to be human?" I had asked her, but she doesn't stop or even turn her head as she tells me "I don't know kiddo, it's something every hunter has to figure out for themselves, mine is a bit difficult from the rest I know that, but I'm sure you'll find something that ties you to your humanity." That's the last thing she had said to me that day, I still don't know what that could be.

A man remembering Hogwarts, outside Gryffindor Tower.

He remembers being here, walking up these stairs to the painting of the fat opera singer after a hat had shocked him with its cry of Gryffindor, it was with a group of boys his age. There was that James kid, and, and Remus! That was the quiet boy's name, Remus Lupin they were also with, with The Rat.

It had taken him weeks to get to Hogwarts, to sneak past the Dementors, and remember a good day to sneak into the castle. He had remembered the Halloween feast they had every year, it was required for everyone to attend, and no one would be inside the Tower if that was the case.

There was something else important about Halloween, right? Something about a house…

The cottage was in ruins, his body laying on the floor, eyes emptied of the spark of life. He was dead, had to find his wife, he wouldn't want me to cry over him if she and…

He shakes his head, no. No more, no more dead bodies, no more cries from baby's he half knew, he was here for the rat, for his revenge. Nothing else mattered.

Harry Potter, Hogwarts, The Great Hall.

I push the green beans and boiled potatoes around on my plate, looking at them scornfully, I hated Halloween. I didn't want to be at the feast, I wanted to be out in the forest with Atalanta, away from the noise and people in the great hall celebrating a day that I can't stand.

Nothing good happens on Halloween, I never went trick or treating, never did any normal things when I was younger, I was just a freak in a cupboard. I'm still just a freak. When I got to Hogwarts it went from bad to worse, first with the troll attack then with the Chamber being open, it was just an all-around bad holiday for me. "Harry, you really should eat something," Hermione says next to me as Ron on my other side is happily eating a second helping of roasted chicken and potatoes. "I'm just not hungry, Hermione, that's all," I tell her as she makes her weird face at me.

"How is your training with Miss Claydon going?" She asks, I just shrug in response, what was I supposed to tell her? That I'm an actual demigod being trained by an immortal hunter of a Goddess who is interested in me because of some reason that the hunter doesn't even know? Yeah, I'm sure that would go over well with her. Oh, let's not forget the training may turn me into a rabid killer wanting nothing more than to hunt down everything around me till I'm killed myself, yeah fun times.

Hermione makes a disgruntled sound before turning back to her food, she's been like that for the past two weeks every time my training is brought up and I don't answer her questions. I think it's from all the stress from taking every class the school has to offer to doing it to her. Maybe she should cut some as Ron suggested, instead of driving herself up the wall like this.

Before long the feast ends and we are, mercifully, dismissed. Me, Ron, and Hermione take a roundabout way to Gryffindor Tower, avoiding the crowds and hopefully help soothe my growing headache, but when we get to the stairs that lead up to the fat lady's portrait there seems to be a backup, what was going on?

"Think someone forgot the password?" Ron had asked, but before Hermione or I could point out that not all the students could, we are pushed past by the Headmaster and Professor McGonagall. With their arrival, all the students on the stairs quiet down and I was able to hear what was going on.

"What is going on here?" Professor McGonagall had demanded, the stern tone in her voice had left no room for any snarky answers, it was Ron's older brother Percy that answered back, "The fat lady is gone, ma'am, we can't get in, it…" he hesitates for just a moment, "It looks like someone had tried to force their way into the tower." He tells the Professor. I see the Headmaster whip around and start scanning the crowd of students till his eyes land on me, it looks like he sighs in relief before pulling out his wand and casts a spell, a silvery Phoenix shoots from the end of his wand and he speaks to it.

"To Atalanta: we have had a security breach at Gryffindor tower, search the forest and the grounds, deal with it as you see fit, but I would like him brought in alive." He tells the Phoenix before it flies off. I hear Hermione say that was the same spell Professor Lupin used on the train, the Patronus Charm. The Headmaster then orders us back to the great hall and escorts us there himself right after telling Professor McGonagall to round up the other heads of houses and teachers to begin to search the castle.

We're not the only ones who end up in the great hall, as the other houses come filing in, but news quickly spread, Sirius Black had broken into the castle.

November 1st, Hogwarts, the Great Hall.

Before leaving the hall, the Headmaster had done a pretty cool display of magic transfiguring the tables and benches into comfortable sleep bags, we had grabbed a few and dragged them into a corner of the hall and had laid them out before Hermione started freaking out on how Sirius Black got into the castle. She was shooting me her weird look before the candles in the Great Hall went out, Percy and the prefects were guarding the door and making rounds up around the Great Hall, telling people off for talking and not sleeping. I have no idea how long I was just staring at the corner, thinking how this day went from having a nice cuppa with Professor Lupin, and him telling me about my mom and dad to this. The weirdest thing that happened during that was him asking where I had got my jacket from, I had told him I'd had it since I could remember and he didn't make a comment about it again, just had a faraway look on his face when I had left.

I must have fallen asleep while pondering about all of it because the next thing I know I'm awakened to the voices of the Headmaster and Professor Snape talking in the Great Hall.

"-Theories on how he got inside Albus?" Snape says, there is a pause before the Headmaster answers, "I have many Severus, each more impossible than the last, I'm afraid that we will only find out when he is captured." The wizened voice of the Headmaster whispers out.

"My theory is that he had help, inside help." The Potion master speaks in a soft voice laced with hatred, the Headmaster sighs, "We have been over this before Severus, I trust him with my life, just as I trust you." The headmaster's words carry a finality that Vernon uses when he threatens me during the summer, all Professor Snape does is scoff. They continue in silence for a few moments before the Professor asks him "and the Dementors? Did they want to search the castle?" The Headmaster makes an angry noise at this before saying "Oh, my yes. Though I had told them in no uncertain terms that they were not allowed in the castle, having them on the grounds is bad enough, I will not have them in my school." He says with such steel in his voice I don't doubt that the Headmaster would sooner burn down the castle than let those things in.

The door to the great hall opens and the voice of Ron's older brother Percy hisses out "Stop, I told you can't go in here, stop before I have to use force." I almost flip over when the voice of Atalanta answers him back, "Try it boy and we both get to see how far I can cram it up-" she tells him angrily before the Headmaster cuts her off.

"That is enough Miss Atalanta. Mister Weasley, thank you for doing your duty, but she is known to me. Why don't you get some rest before the night becomes morning, hmm?" The Headmaster says, I don't hear Percy say anything but soon enough I hear the doors close.

"Where is he?" I hear Atalanta's question, but no response, I lay still with my eyes close as I feel her kneel next to me, she lightly brushes my hair out of my eyes before quickly jerking back her hand, and I try to keep my breathing as even as possible.

"Have you come to care about the boy that much and so short of a time, my dear?" I hear the Headmaster ask her and Snape scoffs at the question before adding his comment, "Great, just what we need. One more added to Harry Potter's personal fan club." In the same dry wit, he normally uses.

Atalanta stands before I hear her threaten, "One more comment out of you, and I'll make that hooked nose of yours point in the other direction, how about that?" She tells Snape with the edge of violence to her voice, "I'd like to se-" this is as far as he gets before the Headmaster cuts him off, "That's enough. Must I remind you two that we are on the same side, Miss Atalanta, did you find anything during your sweep of the grounds?" Dumbledore asks.

There's a pause before Atalanta whispers "No, whoever this guy is, he's good, couldn't find hide or hair of him. Doesn't help that this place has too many odors in it to properly scent him, and tracks are useless when he has a stone path everywhere he could go." I hear her sigh in aggravation.

It's the Headmaster that speaks up next, "Perhaps Miss Atalanta, it is time for you to reconsider my offer, I know Lady Ar-" but Atalanta cuts him off, "Lady Diana." She stresses, "is someone you can reason with so long as you have a good justification in doing what you did, unlike some of her more unreasonable family members. I will talk to My Lady about why, but I don't think she will have a problem after this, she wants the boy safe after all." She tells the Headmaster.

"I see." Dumbledore begins, "well, if that is the case, then I will make sure your room in the castle will be close to Gryffindor Tower, just in case this happens again. Please, come with me and I'll show you to it, I'm sure you could use the rest." The Headmaster finishes before I feel Atalanta come back over to me, I can feel her looking down at me, and barely hear her say in a whisper to lower for a normal person to hear, "I won't let him touch you, Harry." Before leaving with the Headmaster.

And for some reason, I felt like I'd heard those words before.

Notes:

Chapter done!

Well, we learned how the Hunt works, I hope I explained it well enough in a basic way, ya know?

And no, I'm not shipping Atalanta with Harry, she's gonna be like a big sister to him.

Hermione is asking questions about things Harry has no idea how to answer, or even if he should.

Sirius is starting to remember things, he'll just need a slight push to remember it all.

Other than Artemis, I do plan on three other Olympian gods showing up and talking to our best boi, comment on who you think they will be!

KingSaxcul, Out!

Chapter 11: Crescent Moon VII

Notes:

Well, this story is well on its way to a combined 1k likes and follows, and it's only been three weeks or so, holy f*ck.

Did I go through a door that wasn't there before? Is the spiral f*cking with me?

I'm honestly floored by the response to this, like thank you for enjoying my cringe-ass fanfiction.

As for the one person who had guessed, you're right about one, the other two not so much, keep in mind the themes of the story.

RIP Technoblade, my favorite ophankiller.

But enough of this mortal prattle, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

November 6th, Hogwarts hospital wing, Harry Potter.

I slowly drift back to consciousness, I hear the shuffling of people around me and murmuring conversation as I try to piece together where I was and how I got here. The last thing I remember is the Quidditch match, we were supposed to play Slytherin but their team used the excuse that their seeker was still too hurt to play so we had to play Hufflepuff.

A storm had kicked up in the early morning and had only gotten worse, the wind was blowing so hard the brooms were twisting and hard to control.

Cedric was flying after the snitch and I shot after him and I was so close, then… then the icy feeling of bone-deep cold crawled through my veins, the familiar sound of his cupboard door slamming and Vernon's screaming voice echoing throughout the house. As I felt my hands slip from my broom it was a man's voice screaming this time,"Lily, it's him! Take Harry and run!"The voice screamed,"Go!"There was such desperation in his voice. I fell from the broom as my eyes rolled back and the scream of the woman, of my mother, filled my head.

He had lost consciousness after that, and soon the smell of potions fumes, freshly washed sheets, and mud. I was in the hospital wing, of that I was sure of, the worried voices speaking in soft whispers. I heard Ron and Hermione, the twins, Kate Bell, Angelina Johnson, and Alicia Spinnet all talking about the fall, over 100ft Fred(or was that George?) Said just before I heard the door to the hospital wing open and close.

"Is he still out?" Asks Atalanta in a weird tone of voice, I can't even hear her footsteps as she gets closer, I can only track her by the sound of her voice.

"Who are you?" I hear Kate ask, before Alicia, I think, elbows her and whispers "Silver jacket, it's that hunter chick Dumbledore told us about." Dumbledore did indeed tell the whole school that he had hired an extra guard because of the break-in, that the woman was here for our protection, and we were not to get in her way and she would stay out of ours. That we would know her by the silver jacket she wore, both Hermione and Ron had looked at me when the headmaster had said that, and I had shrugged not knowing what agreement she and Dumbledore had come to.

I hear the hunter answer from my left, "Atalanta, I heard that he had a fall because of those…things." She spits the last word in anger before she takes a deep breath to calm herself a bit. "Not to be rude-" one of the twins begins "But why do you care Miss?" Finishing the other, there's a quiet moment before Atalanta speaks up, "If Harry hasn't told you yet, you'll have to forgive me when I say it's not yo-" but she's cut off by Hermione.

"She's training Harry for a group that calls themselves the Hunters of Diana, supposedly they are a group of monster hunters from the states." She says in a clipped tone. I could almost see the glare she must have pointing at Atalanta.

The quiet returns for a moment as the atmosphere grows tense but Atalanta speaks in a soft tone, "You must be Hermione Granger, Harry said you were the smartest witch of your age. But right now I'm really not seeing when you're trying to pick a fight with me." I hear the underlying tone of danger in Atalanta's voice and decide this is a great time to wake up, so with a groan I finally start to open my eyes to the dark midday sun leaking through the window.

And true to how I saw it, Atalanta and Hermione are glaring at each other before they both break off and look at me, Hermione with a gasp of "Harry!" And Atalanta with a raised eyebrow as if she was asking why I was still sleeping. "Wha-what happened?" I ask in a scratchy voice. This stops the fight I was sure was about to break out as they explained, the dementors coming from the mist and clouds like the old legends of the wild hunt, me falling and Dumbledore saving me before I hit the ground too hard, how Cedric had gotten the snitch and we had lost by one hundred points; how Wood was still in the showers possibly trying to drown himself.

There was some talk about how we could come back from this, but I tuned it out. I looked over at Hermione and Ron, Ron was looking at the Gryffindor team adding in his two knuts about it all as Hermione avoided my gaze and fiddled with a sack.

"Did, did anyone get my broom?" I ask and all conversation stops and they all start to avoid my eyes. It's then Hermione drops the worst news of all time, my nimbus hit the whomping willow and had not made it.

The rest of the team apologizes for not saving it, as I look down at the bag of splinters, I feel a sense of loss almost too deep to put into words. This was my first real gift before Professor McGonagall wrote me off completely, before she figured out I was a f*ck up and a failure. I sigh as I lay back down, Atalanta looks at me with a weird look, sitting in a chair right next to me her forearms braced on her legs as she is leaning forward, "You okay kiddo?" She asks me, I don't say anything as I continue to stare at the bag holding my shattered Nimbus.

"I thought you were here for Sirius Black?" Kate asks, before explaining "Sorry about being nosy, or whatever, just curious what you're doing with our seeker." Atalanta looks over at her before shrugging "Wasn't the original job, but Dumbledore asked me to help out with it and all things considered, I don't mind." Atalanta goes on to explain that what Hermione said was true, that she was there to scout me for a group of monster hunters, Kate looks impressed but when she asks what she's gonna do to help capture Black, Atalanta raises an eyebrow and says "Capture? Little lady, I'm a hunter. I'm going to put an arrow through his eye socket." Her tone was that of a statement of fact, the conversation stops and everyone turns to look at her.

But it was Hermione that says something, "You're just going to k-kill him?" Hermione is shocked at the casual mention of murder, but Atalanta looks unaffected by all the looks she was getting, "We'll, yeah. I'm a hunter, killing things is kinda what I do. Besides, I figure it's both a mercy for him and making sure he never hurts…" she hesitated here, tripping over her words before finally saying "Anyone ever again." Hermione makes a face but says nothing, everyone looks grim but I feel confused, "Why is it a mercy?" I ask Atalanta, but it was Ron who answers "The Dementors kiss, it's not a good thing Harry." He then goes on to explain just what it is, everyone's, other than Atalanta, face goes pale and grim and I couldn't honestly blame them.

The Gryffindor team drifted out of the infirmary slowly, with the twins being the last to leave with a promise of stopping by again once they had a shower, leaving only me, Hermione, Ron, and Atalanta. The girls go back to their staring contest for a few minutes before Atalanta was the one who breaks it by asking "What is your problem?" To Hermione. "My problem? My problem is that you're lying to Harry, I've looked everywhere I can to find anything about the Hunter of Diana and I can't find a single thing." Hermione says, sounding very cross with Atalanta, the hunter just scoffs at her before saying "I haven't lied to Harry about anything so far. If he hasn't told you yet then that's not my problem."

Hermione doesn't take that well as she turns to me, "hasn't told me about what, Harry?" I gulp as she levels her look at me, I try to smile back but it only makes her glare harder at me. I look to Atalanta who tells me, "it's your secret to tell kiddo, if you trust them I'll back you up." She smiles at me and I look back to Hermione and Ron, the same people who had gone down into the catacombs with me, who helped figure out the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets with me, who helped tutor me so I wouldn't be failing and I sigh, I nod, knowing Atalanta would understand me.

So I told them everything, about me being a Demigod, about the Hunters of Diana, about how after killing the queen of serpents the Goddess Diana became interested in recruiting me for the hunt. They nod along, Ron asking if that was why I was so durable and strong with all things considered, avoiding mentioning my family, Atalanta answers that was probably why but I can feel her eyes on me, practically asking what he had meant by that; I don't look at her. Ron accepts it quickly with a nod saying that it explained a lot about me that he noticed.

Hermione however had a thousand and two questions, I answered them the best I could but it was Atalanta filling in most of it.

"How does the immortality work?" Hermione asks, "If you're asking for the specifics, I can't tell you, not because it's a secret or anything, it's because I honestly don't know. After we take the oaths we become…" Atalanta pause here, thinking of the right words, "We become more than what we were." She tells Hermione in a solemn voice. "And what does the oath entail exactly?" Hermione asks in her classroom voice, Atalanta just smiles and asks "Why? Thinking about joining?" With a raised eyebrow.

Hermione is quiet for a moment before answering carefully, "Not right now, I would want to finish my schooling before making a commitment like that." Atalanta just chuckles and says "it is a big commitment, you basically pledge yourself to Lady Diana, to obey all her orders, to forever remain a maiden, and to forsake any romantic love. Then you stay with the hunt, forever untouched by time and sickness only able to die in battle." Hermione stares at Atalanta for a moment, "if that's the case, then how old are you?" She asks in a quiet voice before gasping "Wait, are you the Atalanta?!" She asks the ageless hunter who just smiles and sly grins before saying "honestly I've been waiting for this one to figure that one out." She says as she jerks her head at me Hermione's jaw just drops in shock.

I'm all the more confused and look at Atalanta, "are you famous or something?" I ask just before Hermione goes off on one of her rants "You've met Medea! You sailed on the Argos! You hunted the Calydonian boar! You're a symbol all over the world for females, you proved that you didn't have to be a male to hunt or to fight! That females could be equal to men in anything we try!" Hermione finishes in awe as Atalanta begins to laugh at the star-struck schoolgirl, "I'm sorry im sorry, it's just that when people figure out who I am they jump to me meeting Heracles, not Medea, and that's the first time I've ever been told about that other stuff. So a fan of mine, huh?" Atalanta looks at Hermione with a grin.

Hermione blushes at the grin and sputters out a yes as Ron and I chuckled at her. "It's just you're a symbol for feminism the world over," Hermione says in a quiet voice as Atalanta chuckles, "Well, while it's nice to hear, that wasn't my intent when I did all those things. I did it because I wanted to prove that I could to myself, and in the end, I did for the most part." Atalanta says with a small smile.

"Were you really turned into a lion? Harry says you have, you know…" Hermione gestures at the top of her head, and Atalanta looks around for a moment before taking off her hat, showing off the two large gold cat ears on the top of her head and winking at her before putting her hat back on, "It's not a time in my life that I like to talk about, but My Lady found me again one day and transformed me back so long as I kept to my oaths again." Atalanta says. Hermione fumes at this, "But it wasn't your fault at all, if Hippomenes didn't us-" but she gets cut off when Atalanta raises her hand, "Don't blame Hippomenes for that, he was a poor dumb naive boy who believed Aphrodite when she told him she could help him win the race, he accepted without thinking of what it was gonna cost. She didn't care about helping him, she cared about punishing me for forsaking love." Atalanta says in a soft but stern voice, "we talked before the race, he was a sweet kid with more heart than brain, he had apologized for the race, I was honestly confused about what he was talking about before he had started throwing those damn apples on the path." She sighs at this before shaking her head.

"So, …" Ron starts to ask, getting everyone's attention before finishing "Do you know who it is?" He says as he nods towards me. "Huh?" I ask before finally getting it, "oh, ah no. We don't know who it is, Atalanta thinks it's a god or goddess of the hunt from the islands." I say before looking at Hermione's confused face, "My divine mom or dad." I say. Hermione makes an Oh face before asking "Why do you think it's a Gaelic God?" She asks Atalanta who just shrugs, "None of my gods have been in the UK for a while now, longer than any of you have been born." She says leaning back in her chair and kicking her feet up on my bed. I turn to Atalanta at that "Didn't you say they could be an Olympian as well?" I ask confused for a moment, she had said it when we first met.

Hermione tilts her head quizzically looking at me before turning to the hunter with narrowed eyes waiting for her answer. "Yeah, I said it could be, but it would be a very slim possibility for that." She says dismissively but Hermione is asking why before she can even finish the statement "Well, the main reason is because of how close Harry is to the hunt, the only Olympian god that has control over that domain is Lady Diana, and she Is a maiden goddess, she technically can't have kids because of her oaths." Atalanta says, and as Hermione opens her mouth to ask another question Madam Pomfrey comes from around the privacy screen with a tray of food and a steaming mug of milk chocolate and puts it down at the bedside table before turning to everyone.

"Well, sorry to break up this conversation but visiting hours are up, and I'm going to ask all of you to leave." The Matron says in a voice that brokered no argument while looking at Atalanta, Ron, and Hermione. When they nod and start to get up to leave, telling me that they'll be back tomorrow for a visit as Madam Pomfrey turns back to me. She conjures me a set of pajamas going on a rant about the Ministry sending Dementors and Dumbledore letting them, I just sigh and drink my milk chocolate, silently agreeing with her.

November 7th, Hogwarts hospital wing, two am.

The main door to the hospital wing inches open as Atalanta slips through the gap, as quiet as an owl in the night, she closes the door behind her without making a sound before walking down the ward to where she knew Harry was asleep, she had just come back from sweeping the grounds again for any sign of Sirius Black and had once again come up empty handed, for some guy without a wand he was damn good at evading her.

She sighs out in the almost empty hall as she reaches Harry's bed, she looks over him as he sleeps, and she smiles for a moment seeing the kid she had grown close to over the last few months safe in bed until he starts to kick and twitch, saying things she can't make out in the garbled half spoken way someone talks in their sleep.

She walks to the side of his bed and sits down, frowning not knowing how to help him chase the nightmares he has a way with sad eyes, so she does the first thing that comes to her and runs her hands through his hair, he flinches at first but before long his kicking stops and he calms down falling deeper into sleep.

Atalanta smiles before she stands up, "Rest in Morpheus' embrace Harry." Atalanta whispers before moving to the chair at his bedside, she takes out her multitool and places her quiver next to the chair. She sits down before kicking her feet up onto the bed and leaning back in the chair and closes her eyes to join him in sleep. The ward is quiet as the two inhabitants sink slowly into a deep sleep, but only one is awoken as a voice whispers, "I had thought I told you, you were not to stay in the castle." The voice appears with the moonlight that fills the room when the clouds move from covering it from the storm that had stopped only a few hours before.

Atalanta is on her feet with her bow drawn and arrow notched before the voice finishes her statement, pointed right at the amber-eyed Goddess of the Hunt standing with her back to one of the many windows in the Hospital wing; with the moonlight engulfing her form. Artemis' face remains passive in the face of her hunter aiming at her, Atalanta sighs out in relief before relaxing the taut string of her bow. Atalanta quickly checks on the sleeping boy making sure he's not awake like the last time she was having a private conversation with someone, "The boy is asleep, and will remain so till morning." Artemis says as she sees Atalanta turn around.

The hunter nods to her lady, "it is good to see you again My Lady, how fairs the hunt?" Atalanta asks, Artemis quirks her eyebrow but answers all the same "The hunt is doing well, the younger members had killed a hydra just last month." Artemis says with pride coloring her tone as it often does when speaking of her hunters, "But, pray tell Atalanta, what are you doing sleeping in a castle that I had ordered you not to step foot in?" The Goddess asks, returning to her monotone voice. Atalanta grimaces at her question, but knowing she must answer she tells her, "I was staying out of the castle My Lady, but there has been a complication…" Atalanta trails off, not knowing how to explain it to the Goddess with it sounding like she was close to breaking her oaths. Artemis merely raises an eyebrow as if to ask an unspoken question to her hunter, Atalanta sighs and answers "A man by the name of Sirius Black has broken out of their prison, He's after Harry, My Lady."

"It is Harry now, is it?" Artemis asks with a slight tone of steel in her voice, "do I need to remind you of your oaths Atalanta, and what would happen if you do not keep to them? My father's cur-" but her hunter cuts her off, "I know what would happen, My Lady, nor would I be a fool enough to break them again." Atalanta says quietly, Artemis looks at her as if she was picking out where to land her arrow before nodding, "I sense no lie from you, make sure you keep it that way, I do not wish this to devolve into another Hippomenes situation." Artemis says in reference to the curse on Atalanta, the younger hunter just nods before telling her Goddess it wasn't like that.

"But back to my original question, so the man who had betrayed James Potter and Lily Evans has broken out of a prison, what of it?" The Goddess says in a flat indifferent tone, "the castle has wards and guards I doubt h-" it is the Goddess's turn to be cut off, "He's already made it inside once, he got to right outside the dorm Harry stays in before he could get no further, we don't even know how long he was gone by the time I got the Headmaster's message." Atalanta informs Artemis, frustration and worry in her voice, the Goddess falls quiet, a frown firmly set on her face; she was unhappy, but could not say why.

The Goddess does not speak as she turns around to gaze at the Crescent moon that hangs in the sky, and the twinkling stars that surround it. The ward is quiet as Artemis ponders the feeling in her stomach, why was she unhappy? Was she unhappy with her hunter? No, if she was it would be directed at her, no she wasn't happy with the boy, about the boy? It was like a crawling clawing feeling in her stomach and she despises it immensely.

"Fine," the Goddess says after a few minutes, "Stay inside the castle, watch over the boy, and make sure Sirius Black does not touch him," Artemis tells her hunter, and Atalanta sighs in relief and nods her head.

There, thought the Goddess, the feeling was gone, she had one of her best hunters watching over the boy. He would be fine. Artemis makes a face at the thought, it was almost as if she cared for the boy, she mentally scoffs at this. Caring? For a boy? How unbecoming of her. "Speaking of the boy, how is his training going? Does he know who I am to him?" The Goddess of the hunt asks her hunter, turning around to look at her. Atalanta shakes her head, "No My Lady, I've been steering him to the idea of being a Demigod of one of the old gods of the islands, one who has the same domain as you." The hunter informs her Goddess, and Artemis just nods her head. Good, the boy looking in the wrong places and turning over stones looking for a long faded god was better than him knowing the truth. If he did know and said as much with her father's or brother's name in the same sentence, the consequences would not be good for either of them.

"His training has been going well, I think you'd be…" Atalanta trails off at this, unsure if she should finish it, so she moves on not knowing how her Goddess would react, "He has your skill with the bow, though I think he may prefer the spare to it, he says his magic reacts to the wood in a comforting way, whatever that means." Artemis shrugs at this, not knowing either. "The wood is from a Cypress tree from the island of Delos, it is an old tree, perhaps it has to do with the wands the Wixen use." Artemis guesses before Atalanta continues, "You were also right about him gaining access to the hunt My Lady, he's close to it, dangerously close to it. When he's on the trail of something he becomes faster, much faster, he's even caught up with me a few times."

Artemis' eyes go wide, and she finds herself shocked, while Zöe Nightshade was the best overall and oldest hunter, but she had nothing of Atalanta's raw speed. She was known as the Swiftest in the hunt for a reason, and for the boy to be able to keep up with her, let alone catch up with Atalanta was something to boast about. But it was also worrisome, to get that close to her domain of the hunt for a simple chase either spoke of the lack of control the boy had or just how much more of her power the boy has compared to her hunters.

Atalanta chuckles at the look on Artemis' face, "Yeah, I know. Surprise the hell out of me when he first did it too, had to toss him so he wouldn't be able to tag me." Atalanta laughs softly at the memory and shakes her head. "We went on a small hunt a few days after that, I was hoping for him to get a feel for it, but he had almost lost himself to it, and had to drag him away before he ran head first into an Acromantula colony." She sighs at that as Artemis raised an eyebrow, "Acromantula colony? There's one by the school?" The Goddess asks and her hunter nods "Don't worry My Lady, I have plans to take care of it." Atalanta assures her but Artemis still frowns at this. An Acromantula colony was as dangerous as the size of the colony, depending on the size it could make a good hunt. But how did a colony come to be this close to the school, she knew the magic wards that surround the school would keep them at bay but still, she did not like this. "This may be a good call for a hunt, do you know the size of the colony? How it had gotten there?" Artemis asks and Atalanta shakes her head, "No, My Lady. I know it is large but not how big it is nor do I know how it got into the forbidden forest. I will try and find out then pass it along to you." The hunter tells her goddess. Artemis just nods, before asking a question, a question she didn't really know why she asked. "What have you found out about the boy himself?" Artemis asks.

Atalanta is quiet for a moment, she turns back to the slumbering boy, her lips pressed into a thin line. "Not much My Lady, he doesn't speak of himself much, but when he does is self-deprecating, and I do not think he's joking when he does it. He has mentioned living with Relatives out in a place called Surrey, but hasn't told me anything about them. I've been trying to show him that he is better than he thinks and I think it's working, I've considered getting one of his friends to help, but…" Atalanta trails off making a face showing her discomfort with the idea, "she's smart, and asks too many of the right questions." The hunter says, and the Goddess understands, that if the girl asks the right questions she may be able to figure out the ruse she had set up so the boy would remain ignorant of his true relationship with her. "I've been trying to throw her off the trail by using the Roman names, but I do not know how long that's going to work, all things considered." Atalanta sighs, unsure of that part of the plan.

"Proceed as you see fit Atalanta, protect the boy and teach him, make sure he and his friend remain ignorant of the truth as long as you can. Do not disappoint me." The Goddess of the Hunt tells her, before vanishing into the moonlight.

"Easier said than done, My Lady," Atalanta whispers to her, alone other than her sleeping charge, in the hospital wing.

From a dog who remembers, to a man who has almost forgotten. The shrieking shack.

He awakes with a groan, rolling off the rotted bed and onto the floor. Padfoot must have come out, he had those fuzzy half-remembered dreams from the Grimm's point of view. He was watching a Quidditch game, one boy in particular, twisted and spinning in the face of the cold storm the boy was chasing something. Then the dementors had shown up and the boy had fallen from the sky, poor kid, the only reason those damned monstrosities had shown up was because of him. He remembered the boy who owned the rat and a girl picking up the pieces of a shattered broom, that was his fault too, wasn't it? He feels bad for the boy, maybe he should replace the broom, and get him something nice for all the trouble he was causing around the castle, but he would need to know the boys na-

"Harry, that's what his name will be, Harry James Potter."He remembers a woman telling him that, a woman with fiery red hair and beautiful emerald eyes and a belly swollen with child. But he couldn't remember her name, he knew her and he couldn't put a name to her face."And we want you to be the-"he shakes his head before James could finish, no. No time for that, Padfoot heard his name, that was it, had to be. Yeah, he'll have to send an owl to Gringotts, they pull the gold from the Black accounts and send the kid a better broomstick, he'll tell them to get the best on the market, should make up for it. Should be there in time for Christmas, yeah, he'll sneak into the school tonight and do it. For Harry.

Notes:

Hello, hello my readers! Been a while since I posted a new chapter, not gonna lie, I'm probably going to try for weekly updates if nothing else. I won't be doing the story day by day because honestly, I don't have that much planned for it, I have a few big things I want to do and that's it.

But this last week has been filled with ups and downs, on July 1st my favorite streamer lost his battle with cancer and passed away, but left behind a goodbye in the form of his last video "So long nerds", and in the same old Technoblade style he then went on to sell out even after his death, what a f*cking legend.

Can we get a RIP or an o7 in the comments for the blood god himself?

But a few days later it was the 5th anniversary of FGO and Castoria was added to the game, and with 27 tickets and over 400 SQ, …

I got her in the first roll, get dunked on bitches!

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 12: Crescent Moon VIII

Notes:

Welcome back my fellow readers, wanted to let you know before we got started that this will probably be a shorter chapter than normal.

As to why? Well, I've had some sleeping issues pop up in the form of night terrors. Don't worry they're normal and are already going away, I actually got some sleep last night!

Anyway, we are almost to the full moon where Harry finds his hunt for the year and the real meat of the story is.

But enough with this mortal talk, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Defense Against the Dark Arts tower, Hogwarts, November 20th.

It was a few weeks before I could catch Professor Lupin alone again, with Quidditch practice, training with Atalanta in hand-to-hand combat, and Hermione's tutoring sessions, I barely had free time for myself let alone trying to talk to him alone. Today was my lucky break, Professor Lupin had dismissed the class early, and with it being an off day in training and Hermione burying herself in the history section looking for something, though what she hadn't told me or Ron about, I had some rare free time today.

"Umm, Professor do you have a moment to talk?" I ask as the last of the class leaves the room, Professor Lupin looks up at me after he drapes a dark curtain over the tank of the dark creature we had been studying this week with a smile.

"Of course Harry, I also told you to call me Remus outside of class." He says with a tired smile, he looks pale and sickly, his face flushed red as if he was running a fever.

"Right, umm sorry," I say as I scratch the back of my head awkwardly, "I wanted to ask if you've considered what I asked about last time we had tea," I say hopefully, as I shift my weight from one foot to the other, getting antsy from all the standing around. He sighs and drops his head before rubbing his eyes.

"I have Harry." He says as a pit begins to form in my stomach with anxiety feeling it, he looks back up at me with sadness in his old eyes, "I don't think you understand what you're asking me to teach you, Harry" I open my mouth to tell him I did but he holds up a hand to stop me, "I'm not talking about spell itself, but the intricacies behind it, it is a very old and powerful esoteric spell. The reason that it's a post-NEWT spell is that it needs an older core to be able to cast, even then very few can successfully cast the spell, there are only five Wixen in this whole school able to cast the spell myself included in that number." He says with a defeated sigh.

"But if the Dementors show up again, I need to know how to defend myself. I don't…" I hesitate not wanting to tell him what I hear every time they're near me. "Want to fall off my broom again, I-I spend too much time in the hospital wing as it is," I say as a joke, but he just looks at me oddly before his lips press in a thin line.

"I doubt they'll show up at the next game, Dumbledore was very cross with them. You'll be fi-" he tries to tell me but I cut him off.

"And if they show up anyway? What then?" I ask as I feel the anxiety give away to a hot coal of anger and my voice raises with it, "I fall and hope someone stops me before I hit the ground and die?" I ask him, not yelling but getting louder with each word, all he does is avoid my eyes and apologizes.

"I'm sorry Harry, you're not ready yet." He then turns and gathers his things at his desk and begins to walk towards his office door. I can feel my teeth grinding, I want to curse and yell but that never helped when I was little, and it wouldn't help now. So, I say something I know he couldn't ignore.

"Lily, it's him," I say in a whisper, something a normal person couldn't hear but Professor Lupin still stops, hand raised to open his office door, "Get Harry and run, Go!" I say louder this time, "Please take me, kill me, not my Harry. Kill me instead-"

"Stop." He whispers out, but I don't.

"Step aside you silly girl, step aside. No, please have mercy-" I continue, my voice dead as the words echo in my head, replaying like some horrible movie I can't get away from.

"I said stop!" He says louder, not in anger but in desperation not to hear anymore when he realized what he was hearing.

I turn to him, the same desperation choking my voice as I say "I hear them every time those things are near me, it took a while to figure out what it was but I-I can't hear it again I…" my voice cracks with emotion "I can't hear that again, please." I ask him again, but he doesn't say a word. Just standing there, not saying a word, not helping like most adults in my life, after a minute I growl out "Fine, be like that." I turn and grab my bag and storm towards the door.

"Wait,…" he says as I make it to the door, stopping me and I turn back to look at him, his eyes wet from holding back tears as a look of profound sadness settles on his face. "It won't be until after the holidays, with my illness acting up again and midterms coming up, the best chance to teach you is after the holidays, Harry." He says in a defeated tone of voice.

I look away from him, shame burning in me for what I had just done. "I-Im sorry for…" I trail off, not really knowing what to say, I had just told the man the last words of his best friends before they died. He'll probably hate me as McGonagall and Snape do, but I hear him sigh out.

"No Harry, I'm sorry." He says and it surprised me, I look up with im sure was a look of confusion on my face as he explains, "I'm sorry for a lot of things Harry, I should have…" his lips pressed into a firm line, "I should have guessed that was what you would have heard, but I didn't think you'd remember it. You were only one when it happened, I had no idea the Dementors could draw on memories from that young. I'm sorry Harry, I've failed your mother and father in many ways, but this one I won't." Professor Lupin tells me, with a voice full of regret and purpose.

I open my mouth to say something, but I can't find the words, so I simply nod my head and leave. I shut the door behind me with a sigh, I hated that, hated looking weak or showing something like that to anyone. I shuddered just outside the door and hear Professor Lupin enter his office, I decided to take a long way around to get back to Gryffindor Tower. The walk will help me clear my head.

I take a moment to think if I should go see Hedwig before deciding against it, she was probably asleep and would be cranky if I woke her up before dusk. I take off for the main part of the castle taking the back corridors and passages like I always do, they were better than the main hallways so full of people, loud, noisy, slow people. I never understood why everyone seemed to move at a snail's pace to get somewhere like they wanted to be late or had liked the overcrowded hallways; it was beyond annoying to me. Too many smells, too much noise, too many people.

Just last week when Atalanta was acting as a bodyguard for me she had asked why I always take the longer routes to class, I had explained, and unlike Ron who looked confused, or Hermione who had asked a lot of questions, she had just nodded and accepted it.

That's what I liked about Atalanta, she would ask something and never judged me on the answer, never interrogated me on the answer, just accepted it or explained a possible reason why. It was only when we arrived at class had she told me what the possible reason was, enhanced senses. Sight, hearing, smell, and even taste could be improved by pulling on the hunt and that is what I was probably doing. This was just another reason why she was so sure my divine parent is one of the hunt, I accessed it far more easily than she could. I wonder about them from time to time, how they feel about having a useless freak for a kid, they were probably ashamed of me, Atalanta had told me I should try praying or burning an offering in their name, to try and forge a connection to them, but I don't know, I feel like it wouldn't work. That they were the type to ignore it, it was just a feeling, one of the bone-deep ones that settled in my gut and wouldn't leave. Maybe I should pray to them next time I was on a hunt, maybe that would get their attention, and maybe they could help me get away from the-

I shook my head to rid myself of that thought, no one was going to help me with that, I was just an unwanted freak, it didn't matter where I went. It didn't matter in the long run, once I turn seventeen I can leave there, I would finally be free from-

I hear something when turning along the charms corridor, like labored breathing, someone trying to breathe through a straw and wheezing out of one. I stop and listen, the sound was coming from a flight of stairs that went up to the sixth floor, walking over to it and following the sound to a large portrait of a dark-haired man holding a shield and a wand looking at me, "Thank Merlin someone showed up, listen here boy," I flinch slightly at the word but the man continues, "There is the first year of my old house behind me, she seems to be affected with something. You need to tap your wand against my frame thrice and get her to the hospital wing. I've tried to contact her head of house but the man is teaching at the moment and not in his office."

I blink twice before pulling out my wand and tap on the frame three times, the portrait opens up with a pop and swings wide to reveal a landing leading to a set of stairs that lead down, laying against one of the walls is a first-year by her size, but she looks thin and frail, her breath coming out in short

weezing gasps that sound painful. Black lines run over her face and hands stand out on her pale skin, as if something was creeping through her veins with her blood. Her eyes were shut so I couldn't tell if she was unconscious or not, but I waste no more time as I scoop her up, she feels bone-thin and light as a bag of feathers; did someone do this to her? My blood aches at that thought, for someone to attack a first year like this wasn't a nice thing to do, it was like the Chamber of Secrets all over again.

I take off in a burst of speed, running as fast as my legs could carry me making it back to the main hallways of the castle, they were mostly empty by now thanks to everyone returning to their common rooms but still a few stragglers left in the corridors. I slip around and through them, as I make my way to the hospital wing, taking the shortest path I know, hauling the little girl in my arms up the flights of stairs and around corners, nearly knocking over plenty of people but I pay them no mind as I hear her breaths become more labored and her heart beating more erratically, a shock of panic shoots through me. She was getting worse and my time was getting shorter, so I did something I didn't think I would do so soon, I prayed.

Please, I need help, I need to get her to the hospital wing, I need to be faster. I don't want to let her die.

As I turn the next corner I could have sworn I heard a scoff before I feel my ears pop, everything becomes clearer, I watch what little students move even slower like they were moving through tar as I feel my legs move faster, I move through the people like wind through the trees. I push myself harder than ever before and I can't help the smile that splits my face, it felt amazing moving this fast, I felt amazing as I jumped on the railing and run up it to avoid a large crowd of Hufflepuff as I turn the final corner and rush down the hall, crashing through the door with my shoulder screaming "Madam Pomfrey!" It takes no time at all to hear her call back.

"Mister Potter, I swear if you are back here for something so soon I will strap you to a be-" she stops dead as she comes from her office and see the girl in my arms, she wastes no time before telling me to put her on a bed in which I quickly move to do as she makes it to me and the girl, wand out and casting spells.

She mutters a curse under her breath, before casting a spell I couldn't even understand or let alone pronounce before turning to me.

"Mister Potter, go into my office and use the floo to contact Professor Snape, use Severus Snape's office, tell him that Astoria is having an attack, he'll know what you mean. Go now!" She orders me and I shoot off to her office, skidding to a stop in front of the fireplace before grabbing a handful of the green powder from the mantel and tossing it into the fire calling out the location, the fire turns green, and spins in place before the coals turn dark poisonous green.

"Umm, Professor Snape?" I call into the coals, "are you there? Can you hear me?!" I call letting some of the panic bleed into my voice.

"Potter, what in Merlin's name are you doing?" He snarls out, I must have disturbed him doing something, but I answer him anyway.

"I'm in the hospital wing, Astoria is having an attack, Madam Pomfrey is with her right now." No sooner had the words left my mouth that he had cursed.

"Salazar's sodomites!" He had said, pretty sure he was talking about the death eaters there, "Move out of the way boy I'm coming through." He orders and I back away as the floo bursts into green flame and he steps out before breaking into a run down the wing.

"Severus!" I hear Madam Pomfrey call as Professor Snape charges down the way.

"I'm here, how long?" He asks obviously knowing what was going on more than I did, as I follow.

"No clue, Mister Potter brought her in less than a minute ago." She says and Professor Snape's head snaps to me before turning back to the girl and pulling a large bottle out of the pocket of his robe before tapping with his wand and flicking it towards the girl. Madam Pomfrey starts to cast more spells in quick succession as Professor Snape turns back to me, his eyes narrowing a bit when he looks at me, caution coloring his face for a moment before going blank.

"How long has she been like this?" He asks in a low but serious voice.

I open my mouth to answer but I feel my ears pop and my legs begin to cramp, but I'm able to choke out through the pain "I-I don't know sir, I fou-found her inside a secret passage by the Charms corr-corridor and r-r-ran her up her-here." I'm barely able to make out as the cramps begin to spread, my breath comes out rough like I can't get enough in my lungs and I stumble back grabbing the metal frame of the bed behind to keep myself standing as the I feel it spread to my back and neck, I grit my teeth as blood rushes to my ears and thoughts begin to get hard to form, all I want all I want, …

Is to hunt.

To chase something, it didn't matter what.

And I can hear the heartbeats behind my closed eyes, one weak and fluttering, it wouldn't do, better to kill it quickly, no. I shouldn't do that.

I hear a squeal of something as I squeeze the bed frame harder, I'm not a killer, I'm a hunter. But the heartbeats one fluttering with panic now, it will run first then I could chase it No! I let out a ragged breath, I need to get away, it's singing to me, I need it. I want it.

"Harry!" A voice screams at me and I'm finally able to breathe, a gasp escapes my lips as I draw in a breath and collapse to a knee before opening my eyes. Professor Snape is standing in front of Madam Pomfrey with his wand out, pointing down, but still at the ready.

"Are you okay Potter?" He asks, not relaxing, I don't think I can speak so I just nod my head, I can feel the sweat on my forehead and running down my back as Professor Snape begins to relax, "Are you sure?" His voice is soft.

"Y-Yeah, I just-just need some air," I say as I stand, my body feels sluggish as I stand and begin to move to the door, my head swimming as I leave in rush trying to get away from people as Professor Snape calls after me, making my way to the astronomy tower and climbing the stairs to the top before pushing the hatch open and dropping to my knees before rolling onto my back. It was quiet up here, away from the heartbeats of other people I feel the pull of the hunt begin to recede with the soreness, as I close my eyes I can hear the voice that had called my name say something as I pass out.

"As the hunt feeds you, you feed the hunt. But beware for if you don't, because the hunt will feed on you instead."

Notes:

Well, that was a fun chapter. Harry finding out the backlash of a hunter not hunting when pulling on the domain.

I can not overstate how dangerous of a domain it is, I'm pulling inspiration from The Magnus Archives with it. My head canon is that the hunt is one of the oldest domains, if not the oldest domain predating humanity by many, many centuries. I'll probably get more into it later on with Artemis.

Did I put Astoria in this just so I have a reason to have another Daphne scene? Maybe. Or perhaps it was a maiden in trouble and Harry wanted to do his saving people thing.

Also, weird that Hermione is looking through the history section, wonder what that is about?

The next chapter is gonna be longer because we move into the full moon where Harry gets his hunt for the year.

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 13: Full Moon I

Notes:

Welcome, welcome readers to another chapter of Under the Hunters Moon.

We've moved from the Crescent and onto the full moon, this is where the hunt begins and mother meets son.

For those who have pointed out little details in the story, like the portrait of the wizard with a wand and shield, some of those details are little easter eggs from other fanfictions I've read and enjoyed over the years, little shout-outs to them.

But enough of the mortal prattle, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Hogwarts, December 4th lunchtime, the Great Hall.

It's been two weeks since my little episode in the hospital wing, and it has been a strange two weeks. For the first week during class with the Slytherins, I've felt eyes on the back of my head but not the normal glares or curious glances, just looking at me, but every time I turned my head to see who it was, no one was looking. While the next week the looks hadn't stopped, I was starting to be followed by someone. She wasn't very good at following me unnoticed, but the little girl could hide better than Ginny did last year.

It was the girl I had brought to the hospital wing, Astoria was her name I think, she doesn't follow me all the time just in between a few classes during the week. I have no idea why she is doing this but it's weird, I had decided to just ignore it, for now, she'll stop sooner or later.

Atalanta really kicked up training the last two weeks, I had told her about what happened with Astoria and what happened to me in the hospital wing. She wasn't happy that I had done that, and we went back over how dangerous the hunt could be, but now, now I understood. The want and the hunger, the hunt wanted blood, any blood, and was going to use me to get it one way or another. Atalanta had told me she was approached by Professor Snape and he had told her a few things I didn't notice, things like how I had bent the iron bed frame that I had grabbed to support myself and just how fast I had moved, some of the students I had run by had just reported a blur of black and grey running through the halls. She had explained how she thinks the blessing of the hunt works for both of us, she had explained it like a faucet, while she had it open at a drip and could open to a steady stream when she needed it. I was different, it wasn't a blessing from a goddess for me, it was a part of who I was and it would always be opened at a stream, and if I could do what she thought I could, submerging myself completely into the hunt and letting it take me over; I didn't like the thought of doing that.

The bloodlust from doing what little I did had scared me, I had wanted to hunt and kill everything in the hospital wing and it had shocked me out of falling deeper in. Atalanta told me the best way to not fall completely into the hunt and to pull myself out of it was to find something that reminded me that I was human, not a mindless hound on the trail of prey, something to tie myself to my humanity.

I didn't know what that was, she gave some examples like friends, family, or even someone I loved. But all of them didn't feel right to me, I mean, sure I had friends in Ron and Hermione but they didn't feel all that close, the less said about my family the better, and I'm only thirteen, what did I know about love?

When I had asked Atalanta what she used to remind herself, she had shaken her head and told me that she was a bit different than the rest of the hunters, she had been a lion for a long, long time and knew what it was like being a beast of the hunt; so she knew where the hunter and the human side of the line was and could pull herself back from it. It was frightening to know just how dangerous it was, teetering on that line between human and hunter knowing dipping too far one way could turn me into something like that. So, we've been working on controlling how to open and close the valve that controls it. I found out that whenever I wanted it to open more than I'd feel this pressure in my ears, all I had to do was let them pop and it would flood into me like a river. I was, like with everything else, completely pants at it and had gone through a few more full-body cramps before Atalanta said I was making good progress with it.

Though I think she only said that for my benefit, to try and give me confidence instead of telling me what she really felt.

We also went over all the common types of monsters that a Demigod would encounter, their weaknesses, and the best way to fight them. Hellhounds were just bigger dogs, so taking out a leg or two would hobble them. Cyclopsis had notoriously bad eyesight from far away, but with a great sense of smell, a bow is the best bet. From lesser Giants to pit scorpions, chimera's to hydra's, she had gone over the best way to hunt and kill each one with me, telling me to write it all down because she would be testing me on this. No idea if she was serious about it with the smirk she had, but I did so anyway, because as she said; a hunter is always prepared.

I was excited about today, however, if not a bit apprehensive. Last Wednesday she had told me we were going on a hunt Saturday, and we were going to hunt a few pests in the forest, the Acromantula. She had scouted out a small colony of them that had broken off the main swarm, she wanted to deal with them before they decide to test their luck against the wards at Hogwarts or attack a CoMC class while we were in the forest. They were smart at human-level intelligence, which made them very dangerous, but there were no more than 5 or 6 of them, with bows it should be quick kills, we just had to be careful, they were XXXXX beast for a reason and should not be underestimated nor disrespected in any way.

I was in the Great Hall, eating lunch with Hermione and Ron, I had just gotten done with Quidditch practice, took a shower, and changed from my Quidditch gear into my hunter training gear. Which wasn't much, just jeans, an oversized t-shirt, and my Jacket. I've just finished up with lunch and I tell Hermione and Ron I was heading out, Ron wishes me well while Hermione just waves me off, her nose stuck in an old Latin book, she had said its name wasCodex Deorum Albionis,which made no sense to me but Hermione was in one of her studies moods so I was content to let her read whatever. So I got up and left, heading out of the Great Hall, and started to leave through the main castle doors, I caught something on the edge of my hearing, footsteps quickly trying to catch up with me. I tense, ready for a mocking word or a hateful sneer, but instead, I got a cold but polite voice calling out to me.

"Potter! Mother Magic damn you, slow down!" The female voice says, I stopped, confused at the voice, it's not like many people try and stop me in the halls, just whisper and point like rude children that they are. I turn to see who it was, and oh, f*ck what was her name! She was Hermione's "rival", Greenwood? Bluegrass? Greengrass! That's right, her name was Greengrass!

" Umm, May I help…you?" I ask as she catches up to me, still confused as to why she of all people would want to talk to me.

She huff's as she stops her almost jog to catch up with me, she's not smiling which is in some way bad, she's just looking at me with cold calculating eyes as if she was measuring me up and finding me wanting for something. She sighs out before reaching into her inner robe pocket and instinctively my hand shoots to my wand in my back pocket as I take a step back, she pauses when she sees that.

"Calm down Potter, I'm not reaching for my wand, just an invitation, that's all." She says with the same cold look on her face, we stare at each other for a long moment before I move my hand away from my wand and just nod, she reaches into her pocket and withdraws a simple white envelope with a green wax seal and hands it to me.

"An invitation to what?" I ask, flipping the letter over and seeing it was indeed addressed to me.

"The Greengrass annual Yule ball of course." She says with a polite smile and a nod of her head.

"Oh," I say a little awkwardly, I start to look around for an escape from this. I really didn't like the sound of a ball, it sounded like it was gonna have a lot of fancy people who were gonna judge me over something and that didn't sound like fun to me.

"I understand that you may not have appropriate dress robes, but not to worry my mother would happily loan you one of my fathers." She says, sounding polite but for some reason, I felt like she was laughing at me, something in her eyes.

"Umm, thank you but, …" I pause before I start trying to turn down the offer, "you see, it's just, umm- i-i don't do well with…people" I grimaced making a face of dislike, "especially with, with large ah, groups." I say as I look everywhere but her face, I could feel my face burning red. "Besides, w-why would you want some…" I choke on the word freak, before saying "someone like me at a Ball. I'd just embarrassed your family." I finish up by looking away.

"I see," she says after a moment, "Well, it's an invitation, you are under no obligation to accept it. Though do write back to my mother and politely tell her you won't be showing, give any excuse that you like just don't be rude, understand?" She asks though it feels like she's telling me, at least there's no judgment in her voice, so I just nod in understanding.

"Also expect a gift from at least my little sister, but more than likely my mother as well." She says before I finally look back at her confused.

"Why?" I ask before she starts to share my confused look.

"Because of what…" she trails off as recognition enters her eyes, "You really don't know?" She says and huffs out a laugh, "The girl whom you raced to the hospital wing was my little sister Potter." She says, oh! That made a bit of sense I guess.

"Oh! Okay, sorry I ah, I didn't know that." I say a bit awkwardly, "Is she alright? She looked pretty bad when I, ah found her." I ask though I know she has to be fine considering she's been following me around for the last week or so.

She nods her head, "Yes, she's…sick," she says with a bit of an odd look in her eyes, "when she filters too much magic through her core, she has an attack like what you saw. Normally she knows when one is coming on and goes to an adult or, at least she should but she is growing to be a stubborn girl with an independent streak you see." She says while I just nod.

I swallow and look back out the main entrance to the castle, I could feel the call of the woods before I look back at Greengrass. "Yeah, umm, sorry to hear that, but I ah, need to go, I've got this thing…" I trail off with a cringe, even I know how bad that sounded, but she just politely smiles and reminds me to write to her mother or father before the twenty-fourth of this month before turning and leaving.

The forbidden forest, twenty minutes later.

I enter the grove that Atalanta had set up as her camping spot, frost and snow covering very little here thanks to the canopy above, I see Atalanta perched in a tree, laying on a particularly thick branch, she's dressed for the colder Scottish winters with a jumper under her silver jacket and a few pairs of long johns and silver and green scarf. She seems to be dozing off like a cat, but I have no doubt she heard me coming into the clearing.

I gather up some snow in my hands, before swiftly throwing a snowball at her, hitting her in the side of the head she sputters and falls out of the tree but gracefully lands on her feet.

"Harry!" She yells at me, "You little sh*thead, what was that for!?" I couldn't help myself as I laugh at the look on her face, half shocked, and half good-natured anger.

"Can't have you catnapping on the job can we Professor Claydon?" I say in between laughs as I walk up to her, honestly, we have such a weird relationship but I find myself enjoying it, which is weird when I stop and think of it. I know I'm a pretty closed off person, but Atalanta had gotten as close as Hermione and Ron have in half the time.

"Did, …did you justCATpunme?!" She yells at me, the shock deepening on her face.

I smile when I say " Yes." And then she matches my grin back.

"I have never been more proud of another person in my life, kiddo." She says in a serious voice, but her matching grin betrays her. We both laugh at all this before she gets down to business, "Alright kiddo, listen up. We'll be doing something dangerous today so I need your full attention, the spiders we're hunting are XXXXX for a reason, they're smart and deadly, why is that?" She asks me.

"Because they have human-level intelligence and are ambush predators that work in packs or colonies. Their venom is septic with necrosis and anticoagulant properties, while one bite won't kill you, it will take you out of the hunt." I repeated the information she had beaten into my head for the last three training days, literally, she quiz me as she taught me boxing.

She nods at this, "correct. Now, weak spots? Where are we aiming?" She asks her follow-up questions without pause.

"Weak spots are the back half of their body, either slashing with a blade or a good shot will stop them from being able to use their webs, their eyes, aiming for them will punch into their brain dropping them, legs on one side of their body, take those out and then they do nothing but spin in a circle," I answer back easily to her smile.

"Good, I think you're as ready as we can get you, you've killed basilisk kiddo, you can kill these things." She says as she drops her arms that were crossed over her chest, "but heed my words Harry, if I tell you to leave, you leave. If I tell you to hide, you hide, if I tell you to run, you hall ass back to the castle and you get the headmaster. Understand?" She stopped smiling during her speech, as my lips pressed together into a thin line but nod my head not liking it.

"I want to hear you say it, Harry." She tells me in a voice that brokers no argument.

"I'll listen to you, Ma'am," I say looking into her eyes, she sighs before nodding.

"It's Atalanta, not Ma'am Harry, you know that but I get it." She says with a soft smile, "Now come on, we have some spiders to hunt." Before turning around and heading up the hill that leads deeper into the forest. I follow behind her, only stopping for a moment to grab my quiver.

"So, how deep are we heading?" I ask Atalanta, curious to know if we'll be by the main colony or not.

"Not too deep, they made their den in a nice little hollow of one of the ancient trees in the forest." She tells me as we head deeper into the forest for our hunt.

We walked for thirty minutes before Atalanta gave the signal to slow down and get low, we didn't need to alert our prey to us just yet. As we got closer, I could see the vale of webs and the scattering of bones of both small animals and larger prey of the Acromantula as we slinked closer to the nest. I could just make out the shadows of the giant spiders in the webs as they sat perfectly still, waiting for unexpecting prey to come close so they could attack. Atalanta and I take a position behind a large tree that was clear of webs and brush that gave us a perfect angle at the three large Acromantula hiding in the webs above the forest floor, we both take out our bows and notch an arrow as Atalanta whispers to me.

"You take the one on the far left closest to us, I'll take the one in the middle, then we take the one on the far right, okay?" She says in a low and hushed voice, I nod as I line up my shot, breathing slowly and steadily, contrary to the excitement I feel in my chest, "On three, one, two…" she pauses, and as I look at her confused I see her hat twitch. I watch her eyes widen just a fraction before she yells "sh*t! Harry! Get back!" and reaches out grabbing my jacket and throwing me backwards. As I sail through the air, I watch in horror as trap doors made from web, dirt, and forest debris open, and two Acromantula burst from them, one grabbing air and the other snagging Atalanta and pulling her under as she drops her bow.

(3rd person POV)

Harry sails through the air with a scream of his teacher's name, "ATALANTA!", the Acromantula that was meant for him turns as its intended prey was sent flying by the other one, its pincers snaps, and clatter as the annoyed spider charges at Harry as he lands and slides on the ice and snow backwards. Harry with his notched arrow wasn't one to waste a shot, he quickly draws the bowstring back and fires at the beast, hitting its open mouth and piercing its brain, it drops to the ground and slides forward as Harry quickly gets to his feet just in time to watch the three spiders descend from their nest with hisses of "fresh meat." That sends a shiver of worry down Harry's spine.

As the Acromantula touches the ground Harry gets his first good look at them, they were as white as the snow and ice with glittering black eyes like gemstones, their pincers and fangs clatter together in excitement for the fresh meal that had found their way into their nest. Harry quickly aims, notching another arrow, he wasn't leaving without Atalanta, but as he does the large spiders scatter into the underbrush and webs, and he sees the trees and bushes shake and move as they encircle him. Harry fires off a shot blindly into a bush to his right, hoping to slow it down or outright kill it. But as soon as Harry does that, another burst out to his left and quickly charges him, reminding him of the night Harry had first encountered them, it rises to its back legs and leaps at Harry, acting quickly Harry rolls under the charge right into the path of the third, as the Acromantula tackles the boy hunter, he rolls with the momentum, dodging its venom-filled fangs and thanking whatever god of the hunt was watching over him it was a smaller one as when he gets his feet under him he lunches off his back.

Spinning on his heel Harry turns back to the spiders to see two of them regrouping and beginning another charge, so Harry does something a smart hunter would do, he turns around and starts running down the path he and Atalanta had come from, folding up his bow before reopening the swiss army knife to his hunting spear, Harry feels his magic wrap around it, Harry hearing the Acromantula chasing him does something very brave, but also very stupid, he closes his eyes.

Harry focuses on the hunt, on the faucet and valve that controls the flow of the divine power and he turns it open as far as he dares let it go. He feels the pressure build in his ears before he feels them pop, Harry opens his eyes, now slitted and ducks as the Acromantula jumps at him. The creature flies over him and crashes to the ground, scrambling to get back on all eight legs as Harry jumps onto the spider's back, planting his spear right through its head before rolling off and continuing to run leaving his weapon behind stuck in the now dead giant arachnid.

With his divine boost of speed, Harry runs through the forest as the other two Acromantula chase after him, ahead of him he sees a fallen tree on the path, held up at an angle by another. The space beneath it was barely big enough to fit Harry, but it would do.

He jumps, twisting in the air where he can see behind him, the Acromantula was catching up to Harry, just like he wanted, Harry thrusts out his hand, hoping his intent would be enough as he focused on his spear that he could still see, calling it to him, back to Harry's open hand, and to Harry's surprised his spear answers him.

Ripping itself from the spider's corpse, it flies with incredible speed to Harry's open hand, which he catches as he hits the ground and slides under the fallen tree, Harry jumps to his feet as one of the Acromantula tries to follow him under the tree, getting stuck. Harry thrusts forward with his spear, piercing the Acromantula right through the head, quickly pulling the blade from the creature's head. Harry swings upwards just in time to bisect the smaller Acromantula that had chosen to go over the log. Wasting no time Harry leaps over the log and races to the clearing all of this started in, unbeknownst to Harry, with the divine hunt pumping through him he had made it back to the clearing before the fourth Acromantula body even hit the ground.

"ATALANTA!" Harry cries out as he reaches the clearing, running towards the corpse of the first Acromantula, the trap door that Atalanta was dragged down into bursts open as the spider comes out of it, and Harry spins his spear in hand and takes aim before stopping dead and using his momentum to lunch the hunting spear through the air with aim straight and true Harry spear hits the Acromantula and pins the creature to the tree.

Atalanta soon follows it, she pulls herself from the webs, covered in green goo and hunting knife in hand, and with a wild scream, she quickly scans the surroundings for any threats. Atalanta's and Harry's eyes meet both their bodies tense, ready for another fight, they look at each other for a moment ready for anything, before the older of the hunters begins to relax.

"Harry," Atalanta says, her voice colored with concern for the boy she had started to see as a younger brother, "Are you still with me?" She asks as she slowly begins to climb out of the hole.

Harry takes a deep breath, gritting his teeth, he focuses on the valve, turning it close, willing the flow to slow down, and minute by minute his body begins to relax as Atalanta climbs from the trap door and very slowly begins to move closer, the hunting knife gripped in her hand and a prayer in her mind.

Atalanta watches as Harry lets out a deep breath before his knees buckle and he begins to collapse from the exhaustion filling him, Atalanta is there to catch him before he falls.

"It's okay Harry," she says to him, "it's okay, you did it kiddo, you did it. You pulled yourself back, you did good, Harry." Atalanta smiles down at Harry, pride shining in her eyes, "Just rest for now."

(End third person POV.)

I lay on the cold snow-covered ground as Atalanta walks around the clearing, I hear her struggle with something, and as I open my eyes and raise my head I see her with a glass beaker with some sort of cover over it taking the fangs of the Acromantula and jabbing them through the cover and filling the beaker with the venom.

"What are you doing?" I ask she looks at me before turning back to her work.

"Hm?" She makes a questioning sound, "Oh, you mean this? I'm just milking the fangs for venom. Damn handy stuff, useful in antivenoms, potions, and for hunters like us, we can lace our arrows with the stuff to hobble our prey." She says as she drains the first one before moving to the second and continuing while I lay my head back down, "ruins any meat it hits, but when you're using poison to put something down, there's a good chance you're not gonna eat it afterwards." She tells me as I lay on the ground.

"Like Sirius Black?" I ask in barely a whisper.

I hear her stop for a moment before walking back over to me, "Yeah. Like him." She tells me when she comes into view and looks down at me. "He won't touch you, Harry. He'll have to get through me first, I promise you that." She says with a solemn vow. The crazy thing is I believe her.

She reaches down with a hand and helps me to my feet, and we begin to walk back to the castle, only stopping so she can drain the other three Acromantula of their venom before moving on. I wonder as we walk by the dead spiders, I didn't feel any pain after closing the valve but I was tired, almost dead on my feet, so I ask Atalanta about it.

"Hey, Atalanta," I start off waiting for her to make a noise telling me to continue, "When I closed myself off from the hunt, it didn't hurt this time, why was that? All I felt was tired after I closed it."

She takes a few moments to think about it before answering. "For us Harry, hunting is like a ritual." She begins in a quiet voice, "When we say our prayers to our god or goddess of the hunt, it initiates the ritual, and as we chase our prey through the woods and over the grasslands we feed the domain of the hunt, filtered through our gods and into the domain. Now, what happens if the ritual isn't completed?" She asks and I take a moment to think, ritual magic was high-end magic but Hermione had gone on a few rants about it while doing Ancient Ruins homework.

"If you don't complete a ritual as intended, it can have a backlash," I answer, silently thanking Hermione.

"Bingo," Atalanta says, and all at once I understood, "Us completing the ritual is us ending the hunt by killing our prey and offering it up in the name of our gods and the hunt itself. But if we don't the hunt takes from us in blood and pain." She explains what I had figured out.

"The downside is that the longer we are on the same hunt, the deeper we can fall into the hunt and lose ourselves," Atalanta says in a quiet almost sad voice, "We call it the Everchase, where the Hunter becomes no more than a beast that needs to be put down because they will never stop hunting."

I shiver at the thought, out of fear or anticipation I can't tell, so I keep quiet as we walk the rest of the way to the castle and Atalanta does comment anymore, we walk back in silence, but as we reach the main door to the castle I stop before it looking down.

"And the exhaustion I felt?" I ask not looking up.

"Harry, you had hunted, fought, and killed four Acromantula after waking up at gods knows when for Quidditch practice, anyone would have been tired after that," Atalanta tells me, and I believe her, maybe I wasn't as weak as I thought. I feel a small smile grow on my face as I turn to face her, only to get a face full of snow.

Atalanta's laughter echoes on the empty grounds as she points at me, "Oh, gods you should see your face," she doubles over with laughter "priceless." She gets out between laughs as I wipe and shake the snow from my face and hair.

"And what was that for?" I ask, not even trying to hide my smile or my own laughter.

"Paybacks a bitch, kiddo," Atalanta says before wiping away the stray tears in her eyes. After calming down and collecting herself she tells me "come on kiddo, let's go to my room and order some snacks, we'll review the hunt and brainstorm where I f*cked up and what we can do better next time, huh?" She throws her arm around me and drags me inside with her, we smile and laugh all the way back to her room.

But what neither hunter noticed was the large shaggy black hound, watching them from the shadows of the forest they had just left. The howl that follows fills those who hear it with a profound sense of sadness and loss.

Notes:

Yoooooooooo, Harry's first hunt without it involving some convoluted plot to kill him went pretty well!

Good for our best boy, he deserves a win.

Was the fight scene good? Did y'all like it?

I did.

Some readers were complaining about Harry's lack of cunning, well, as we see above there is a reason for that, a few good reasons in fact.

Did y'all see that book Hermione was reading? Weird name.

Also, have I been misspelling the headmaster's name this whole time without noticing it? Because if I have, I'm going to laugh at myself.

Anyway, we might be going on a short Hiatus for the story for two weeks at most, I have another bug crawling in my head that I want to do a one short for.

Y'all like Code Geass, right?

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 14: Full Moon II

Notes:

*Jaw hanging open as I check the latest comments and see one in particular*

Guys, guys, holy f*ck guys, VinCredable commented on my fic, im freaking the f*ck out!

He was the author that inspired this fanfiction with Harry Potter and Olympians: Tides of War, I straight up stole the idea of the swiss army knife that Harry has from him. I am fanboying the f*ck out!

Hey, VinCredable, if you're reading this, FINISH TIDES OF WAR!

Anywho, welcome back to the new chapter, I finished my one shot pretty quick, it's a code geass/Harry Potter crossover called "Through the Looking Glass" go check it out.

But enough of this mortal prattle,

On with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Harry Potter, Hogwarts, the last day of term.

I stand outside Hogwart's main gate, waving my arm like an idiot as I watch Ron and Hermione go down the main road to Hogsmead in the carriages, as they turn out of sight I heave out a sigh and scratch the back of my head feeling awkward just standing here, so I turn on my heel and start my way back to the castle. Maybe Professor Lupin would be up for a chat over a cuppa, he could always hunt down Atalanta to see what she was up to, she was normally hunting in the forest or patrolling the ground just in case. Maybe I should go catch up on a few of the essays the Professors had assigned over the holidays, I have to admit that with the reduced inches per essay my grade has improved a lot over the weeks. I never understood why they wanted the unnecessary fluff that most of the teachers wanted in them, who cares so long as the students understood the facts about them.

As I moved up the stairs to the third floor and past the library, I heard a set of familiar voices calling out to me, Fred and George over by an unused classroom waving me over. Having nothing to do, I walked over to them, a bit wary about what they wanted.

"Harry, my good man-"

"-Brother befriender-"

"-Sister savior-"

"-and seeker extraordinaire!"

They say as I walk up to them, unable to keep the smile off my face, they always seem to know how to put a smile on my face, and I'll never even know who said it, enhanced sense of smell or not, they smell the same so I don't even know who is who.

"Hey, guys," I greet them, and their antics, "What are you guys still doing here? I thought you would be on your way to Hogsmeade?" I ask them, right before they both grab me and pull me into the abandoned classroom.

"We were, but then we saw you walking down the hall-"

"-and we figured that we might as well give you your Christmas present early." They both say, finishing each other's sentences.

"Oooookay," I say, still a bit wary of an oncoming prank by the two, their pranks were never mean-spirited or hurtful, and they never singled one student out over the rest, but that just meant everyone was fair game; even me.

"You guys know you don't have to do that, right?" I ask, I didn't save Ginny expecting them to give me anything.

"Oh, we know our good man-"

"-But we want to,-"

"-So, we decided to share with you-"

"-The secret to our success!" They finish as we walk up to the desk and one of them pulls out a folded piece of parchment and places it on top of the desk, I look down at it with a quirked eyebrow.

"A spare bit of parchment?" I ask looking back up to them, now sure this was a prank of some kind.

They both scoff, "A spare piece of parchment he says" the twin on the left says before the one on the right rolls his eyes, "Shall we Fred?" The one on the left says before the one on the right turns to him and says "Wait, I thought I was George today?"

"Were you?" The other asks before they both shrug and pull their wands out and taping the parchment in perfect synchronicity.

"We solemnly swear we're up to no good." They chant together before I watch the parchment come to life as web-like lines of ink across it, crisscrossing and twisting around before they settle on it, and I gape in astonishment.

Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers

are proud to present:

The Marauders Map.

I pick up the parchment and look, still in surprise, as I watch the footprints of people walk to and from places, showing off empty rooms, the common rooms for each house, and secret passages a plenty. "Did you two make this?" I ask when I look up at them.

"No, we nicked it from Filch's office during our second year-"

"-Took a bit to figure out, but our forebears of this map have helped out greatly." They both smiled at each other before telling me that they were now passing it on to me. Showed the secret passages out of the castle and how to wipe the map after I was done using it. After telling me not to do anything they wouldn't do, which was a shortlist honestly, they had left me in the empty classroom.

Leaving the classroom and moving to the statue of the humpback and one-eyed witch I checked the map and found myself on it, my footprints had a speech bubble above my head with "dissendium" in it. I tap the hump and speak the word and watch as the hump opens up with a drop down into the darkness.

Harry Potter, Hogsmeade, one hour later.

The trip through the tunnel was a long one, first dropping me down onto a platform about ten feet down, which I then had to drop down on two more platforms before I found a ladder that lead to a tunnel underneath the school which I was about sixty percent sure could lead to the Chamber of Secrets before following that to some type of maze that luckily had chalk markings leading to a ladder up to Honeydukes. After that, it was easy to sneak into the shop proper, seeing Hermione and Ron in the crowd. I stalked them a bit as they made their way through the candy store, picking out this and that.

"Do you think Harry would like these?" Ron asks Hermione as she was inspecting a rack of fudge before turning to him.

"I don't know Ron, if Harry brought you back co*ckroach Clusters, would you like them?" She answers back as I walk up behind her, keeping my head low and ducking down a bit.

"No, I guess not," Ron sighs out before reaching for the Blood Pops, "What about some of these?" He says as he turns to them.

I move quickly, getting into both of their blind spots before leaning against a stand for chocolate frogs, "I know I like my meat on the rare side mate, but not that rare." I say loud enough for both of them to hear, I have to hold back a laugh as I watch them both jump at the sound of my voice and turn to me with wide eyes.

"Harry?!" Hermione hisses out and Ron cheers.

"What are you doing here?!" Hermione asks as Ron follows up with his own question.

"How did you get here?" He asks with a smirk.

I quickly pulled them aside and explained about the map, Fred and George, and the secret passage under Honeydukes.

"Hold up, why didn't they tell me about the map?" Ron asks dejectedly, I just chuckle and shrug.

"Never mind that Ron," Hermione says before quickly glancing around, "Harry, you need to get back to Hogwarts right now. It's far too dangerous for you to be here." She tells me.

"What? Hermione, he just got here." Ron tells her looking shocked.

"Ronald, use your head. Sirius Black is still on the loose, not to mention Harry isn't supposed to be here." Hermione tells us both as she continues to look around worriedly.

"Hermione," Ron begins, "Sirius Black isn't about to come out of hiding in the middle of the day, in a crowded town full of students and teachers, just to attack Harry." He explains like she is four years old, Hermione turns to him with a glare but it's a weak one.

"Besides, we both know why he couldn't get his form signed and it's bullsh*t." He finishes and I flinch a bit at it. Hermione closes her eyes and breathes out a sigh while pinching the bridge of her nose.

"Fine," she finally says before looking up, "but we only stay for an hour or two, and you and I go into any shop beforehand to check for teachers while Harry hides outside, understand?" She tells Ron before turning to me; both Ron and I smile before nodding in agreement. "Good, Harry if you want anything just tell me or Ron, and we'll get it for you, you can pay us back later but we don't need the shopkeepers to notice you, okay?" Hermione says as she turns to me, sounding like a solid idea I just nod.

We spent a few more minutes in Honeydukes, filling up on chocolate frogs, fudge, and a few other goodies before leaving and heading down the main drag just taking in the small village of Wixen, it reminds me a lot of Diagon Alley with magic everywhere I look as Ron and Hermione argue about where to go next, Ron wanted to show me the Shrieking Shack while Hermione was adamant about their next stop being Tomes and Scrolls so she can pick up a few books she had ordered from private libraries from around England with them, so we naturally went to Tomes and Scrolls first. Honestly, the shop was interesting, a three-story building with the first floor selling parchment, ink, and quills of all kinds for students and teachers alike, from color-changing ink to anti-cheating ink, scented parchment to charmed parchment that would hide what was on it until you spoke a password, from eagle feathers quills to Griffin feather quills, the second floor was set up like a small private library holding rare books from around the world, there was even a few in Ancient Greek that I flipped through, it was all about setting up wards for ones home, way out of my understanding to be completely honest, but still neat.

Hermione had picked up her books, old tombs hand-bound the shopkeeper had warned her not to damage because they were worth a small fortune, she politely nodded and told them she would take good care of them before turning them into Madam Pince when she was done with them, apparently Pince had put in a good word or two for Hermione to get her hands on the books.

When we made it outside, my curiosity got the better of me so I asked what she had to call in favors to get.

"Oh, a personal journal of a wizard by the name of Amaranthus Black, Foedere Graecorum Deorum and Mages, magic, and magicians," Hermione says as she tucks her package into her bag.

"Black as in…" I trail off a bit confused.

"As in the Black family, apparently they're an old family whose line can be traced back to the time of Merlin, this Black was alive during the early fifteenth century during the hundred-year war." She explains and I just nod before we start heading to the three broomsticks, Hermione slipping inside to do a check for any of the Professors as Ron and I waited on the side of the building, after a few minutes she comes back out and waves us inside. The place is packed with students and locals alike, we were lucky to find a booth empty, we slide in before the bartender comes over and takes our order. I sigh out, already feeling a headache coming on from all the people around, I try to focus on the faucet and turn it back as much as I can, it helps a bit but still, the noise is almost overwhelming. By the time the drinks come my head is already resting on the table, I can feel Hermione's eyes on me but I brush her off when she asks me if I want to leave; at least the butterbeer is good.

"-honest to goodness Cerberus, and you had it as a pet?" A familiar voice cuts through the loud voices all around us, my eyes go wide as I look over to the door to the inn just to see the door shut behind Atalanta and Hagrid. I quickly slip under the table with my drink.

"Aye, his name is Fluffy! The cutest little guy you ever did see." I hear Hagrid say before I press myself to the back of the seats as far as I can go, "Oy, there be 'ermione and Ron, let's see if they're up for a bit of company."

As I sit between Hermione and Ron's feet I feel them stiffen before Atalanta unknowingly saves us.

"Let them have their day Hagrid, besides weren't you meeting some people here?" Atalanta asks him before Hagrid remembers and I breathe out a sigh of relief before the door to the inn opens again. I hear the voices of Professor McGonagall, Flitwick, and the Minister of Magic himself walking in and I curse my luck in my head.

They settle in a booth near us, I hear them all order drinks before Fudge introduces himself to Atalanta.

"Nice to meet you, Miss Claydon, I heard that Dumbledore had hired extra security after Black's break-in a few months ago," he says " Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic for England. A pleasure to meet you."

"Nice to meet you Minster, but please call me Atalanta," she says in a bit of a cold tone, but apparently the Minister either doesn't notice or doesn't mind the tone.

"Then please, call me Cornelius." He offers back as the bartender comes back over.

"One butterbeer, three fire whiskeys, and a double pint of the house mead." I hear her say as she sets down each glass, "if you need anything else don't hesitate to call." I hear her start to turn around before Fudge calls out to her.

"Nonsense, come take a seat Rosamertta, take a load off." Fudge tells her

"Oh, well I could use a small break, are you sure Minister?" The bartender asks, but Fudge brushes off her concern before she pulls up a chair and takes a seat with them.

They make small talk for a little bit as I sit under the table sipping the butterbeer I had gotten as I listened in on and off. It wasn't until the bartender asks the Minister what he was doing in the village that I started to pay closer attention.

"Just checking in with the Dementors about how Black got past them when he had broken into the castle a few months ago." The Minister says

"I still can't believe that he had done that." The bartender says, "is it true minister, the biggest piece of Pettigrew they found was a finger?"

"Yes, it was. They found Black at the scene of the crime, the street destroyed, fire everywhere, muggles screaming, and Black in the middle of it all laughing." Fudge says

"I still remember them coming in here, they were always good for a laugh, even helped out a few times." Rosamertta sighs out in remembrance.

"That brave stupid boy, always following them around, I guess he thought he needed to get revenge for what Black did to the Potters," McGonagall says.

"I'm sorry, but what did Black do to the Potters?" I hear Atalanta ask the question I had in my own head.

There's a moment of pause before McGonagall speaks up, "I'm sorry dear, I had forgotten you don't know any of this. You see, James Potter, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin were the best of friends back in their school days." She says in a sad tone.

"Thick as thieves them boys never met more rambunctious troublemakers before or afta' they came to Hogwarts," Hagrid says before taking a swing of his tankard before Flitwick picks up the story.

"You see, eleven years ago when the Dark Lord was still alive he was hunting for the Potters, they went into hiding under a very powerful and complex charm called the fidelius charm, how it works is the caster imbues a target with a secret that the caster wants to hide, such as a location or an item, the target is referred to as a secret keeper." Flitwick explains as I feel a pit begin to form in my stomach, "only the secret keeper can give out the secret, I had heard that Dumbledore had offered himself as secret keeper, but James and Lily wanted Sirius Black to be it."

"He betrayed them, didn't he?" Atalanta says, her voice tight and controlled but I can feel the anger creep into her voice just as I feel my own building.

"He did," Fudge says in a solemn voice, "we don't know when he turned but a year after they went into hiding Black betrayed them and turned them over to the Dark Lord."

"My gods, that's…" I hear Atalanta pause trying to find the right words but failing as I feel rage start to fill my chest.

"That's not even the worst of it." I hear McGonagall whisper.

"How in Hades does it get worse than that?" Atalanta asks, her voice crawling with anger.

"Because James and Sirius were as close as brothers, you wouldn't see one without the other. He was James' best man when he married Lily, as soon as Harry was born James had asked him to be Harry's Godfather," McGonagall says as I stop breathing I can feel tears in the corners of my eyes (I won't cry, Vernon hated when I cried.) "And he remains Harry's Godfather to this day." I feel the empty bottle of butterbeer shatter in my hand before I hear Atalanta ask one more thing.

"Harry doesn't have a clue, does he?" Atalanta asks in an empty voice.

"No," McGonagall says sadly in a hollow voice, "and the boy shouldn't know, he's far too young to know something like this, best to let him think that he only has a madman after him rather than his godfather."

I can't take anymore, I feel my chest tighten, and my breaths are coming out in short gasps, the hunt starts to leak in because of my panic and I could practically feel every heartbeat in the room. The thump-thump, thump-thump, like a cacophony of prey around me as my anger tastes bitter on my tongue. I had to get out of here, I hated how being under the table made me feel safe, I hated the sounds around me, the people, the lies, and broken oaths.

So as soon as I see a large group of students pass in front of the table, I dash out from under the table, blending in with them as they make their way to the exit. I keep my head down and try to keep my emotions under control, but with the hunt pumping through me it's hard and the students are moving too slow, so I push past them ignoring the remarks that they said, ignoring the three sets of eyes on me, and make it out the door.

I take a deep breath of the cold air that burns my lungs, but the world spins around me and I can barely keep my footing, (it's his fault.) I pick a direction and I take off down the main street, having no idea where I was going but all I could think was I had to get away, I had to get to my cupboard, (it's his fault I need to find it.) I push my way through the crowded streets trying to find a place to catch my breath as I move, my head frantically shaking back and forth as if trying to dislodge the thoughts from it.

"Boy, how many times-"

(It's his fault.)

"Up, up, get up fre-"

(He sent us there.)

"For a week! You be lucky if we fe-"

(He was supposed to come for me, to take me away from them, but he killed them, he's the reason I'm there, he betrayed them.)

"Watch it, …Potter?"

(It's his fault, his fault, His. Fault. And I am…)

I finally come to a stop in front of an old house, my breathing still shallow and my world still spinning I collapse to the ground, trying hard to get the mess I call my mind under control, I wanted to crawl into my cupboard and stay there, I wanted to hunt, to chase, to kill, and to bleed, I wanted to go back to the castle, I wanted revenge.

That last one pumped into me so much I could feel my blood sing with the thought, and amid the panic and hunt, I have one very clear thought.

I am going to kill him.

As I'm on my hands and knees sucking air through a straw and trying to will the world to stop turning, I hear the crunch of snow behind me, he was here, he was here and he was gonna try and kill me, I grab the valve in my mind and twist it as far as I could go. I didn't care, he was going to die, I was going to hunt, I was going to kill him. So as I feel a hand on my shoulder I turn quickly to-

"No, get back!"

"Umpho!"

"Atalanta, no!"

"Granger, what in the witch mother-"

Something had hit me, tackled me right when I was gonna kill him, another death eater! I try to fight back, but they're too big, too strong, I try to hit, punch, and grab like Atalanta taught me about but before too long they're on top of me, fist co*cked back and-

Harry Potter, Atalanta's room, Hogwarts.

I awaken with a groan and promptly fall off the couch I was laying on, my body felt like one big bruise, and my head was throbbing pulsing along with the pain in my jaw. As I begin to pick myself up off the floor I hear Hermione.

"Harry, oh god are yo-" she calls out before Atalanta cuts her off.

"Get back you idiot!" Atalanta cries before I hear the sound of struggling.

"What are you doing!? Ron, no let me go." Hermione complains as I push myself off the floor and open my eyes just to flinch from the light as I stand back up.

"Harry," Atalanta says in a soft voice full of concern, "I need you to say something, anything that doesn't involve hunting." I can't see her, my glasses missing from my face so everything's a mess of blurry images and smudges.

"Why does my head hurt and where the hell are my glasses?" I ask, my voice strained as I taste old blood in my mouth, the feeling of anger not leaving my chest, I hear Atalanta breathe out a sigh of relief and her hunting knife slides back into its case and she hands me back my glasses.

I slide them back onto my face and the world once again comes into focus, Ron had his arms wrapped around Hermione pulling her back behind Atalanta who was standing closer to me, she had a relieved look on her face but sported a black eye. I sit down on the couch I had woken up on clutching my head, wondering what had happened till it hit me, the Three Broomsticks, the Minister, the Professors, and Atalanta all talking, talking about…about…

"Oh." Is all I say when it all comes rushing back, Sirius Black being my godfather, his betrayal, my freak out, then it was a blur. Did I fight someone?

"Yeah, kiddo." Atalanta says, "Oh kinda covers it. What do you remember?"

I tell her everything I do remember, all the while Hermione and Ron were giving me weird looks when I get to my freak out Hermione speaks up.

"A panic attack," Hermione says in a soft voice, almost quiet, "I think. I used to have them when I was younger in social situations." She explains as Ron and Atalanta look at her a bit confused. She goes on to explain what they are and what most commonly they come from, including something that was called PTSD, but she looks at me and just shanks her head not explaining further.

"It wasn't just that," Atalanta says after a moment, "You also accessed the hunt, you almost attacked another student Harry, I had thought you had lost yourself to it." She says with worry in her voice and the say weird look Hermione and Ron have, why was she worried about me? Was it because she thought I was still dangerous?

"I'm fine now," I reassure Atalanta, but all she does is nod and keeps the same odd look on her face, I shuffle a bit in my seat uncomfortable with all of this, "di-did I hurt them?" I ask.

"No, I got there in time to make sure that didn't happen, Harry," Atalanta tells me, "Hermione ran damage control as I umm, …got you under control." She says with a grimace. "Doesn't mean I came out unhurt, however." She says as she taps just under her black eye, "Hell of a right hook you've got kiddo."

I run my hand along and flick in pain when I get to the swelling, "You knocked me out, good. Good." I say as Atalanta walks back into her room before coming back with a plastic Tupperware container, popping it open, and passing me a small yellow square, Ambrosia. I pop it in my mouth and chew slowly enjoying the taste of treacle tart before swallowing. The room is quiet for a long moment before I speak, it comes out soft and almost broken, "I'm sorry…" I say as I look at the ground between my feet, "I'm sorry for being so weak."

It was Hermione who talks next, her voice in the tone she normally uses when she was torturing me, "Harry, you're not weak." She says as she walks over to the couch and sits down next to me before pulling me into a hug, I flinch at the abruptness of it but she doesn't let me go. "You're not Harry, you had just learned something horrible that, …that reminded you of them." She says and I don't need to even guess who the them is.

"It's called post-traumatic stress disorder, it comes from the trauma you've suffered Harry, you are not weak, do you understand me?" Her tone of voice becomes scratchy and iron-clad with no hope to argue back, I just nod, but I know the truth.

I glance up to see Atalanta has turned to Ron with a questioning look on her face, Ron, much to his credit, shakes his head while looking at her. It wouldn't be much later that Ron was saying "Not now, instead of Won't tell you."

Hermione Granger, Gryffindor Common room, December 26th.

Something was wrong with Harry Potter, Hermione had this thought often but in the last week, it had come to her more and more. As most of the castle left for Yule Holidays, Harry had taken to sitting in one of the high-back chairs, one he had dragged over to one of the windows, twirling his wand in between his fingers as his slitted eyes bounced back between the portrait entrance to scan the grounds. Hermione and Ron knew what he was doing, and it made them both scared for Harry. It didn't help that Atalanta was encouraging him, she had heard back in Atalanta's room, whispering low between themselves as the Gryffindor trio were leaving to head back to the tower.

They whispered of a hunt and of bait, it wasn't too hard to put together, Harry wanted revenge and he was going to do something stupid and reckless and that woman was helping him. How had one of the greatest symbols of feminism turned out to be like this, encouraging someone to seek out his own death? It was ridiculous. It didn't even cover what else she was lying to Harry about, if her hunch was right, she really hoped it wasn't.

He hadn't even fought with her when she had pointed out the Firebolt could have been sent by Sirius Black, he had just handed it over with a shrug, Ron wasn't too happy about it but that didn't matter, the matter was keeping Harry safe, Ron, at the moment, didn't think so. It was late at night or early in the morning when Hermione descends the girl's staircase. Her jumper was pulled over her nightgown and a set of PJs pulled over her legs to keep her warm on the freezing December night, and Harry is once again sitting in the chair by the window, spinning his wand in between his fingers; the fire crackling low in the fireplace.

"Harry," Hermione calls out softly, "it's getting pretty late. Don't you think you should go to bed?" Harry doesn't react or comment back. Hermione sighs, she's seen him like this before, before the catacombs and Ron had told her about the descent into the Chamber of Secrets. Harry's single-minded focus made him such a force to fight against or hide from, she had seen it get him through a lot but it had always put her on edge with the fear he might look at her like that, and now she knows it was a very real fear to have.

But he was her friend, she cared for him and not even the Gods themselves could stop her from helping him, so with that thought in mind, she drags a chair over to the window and sat with him.

He doesn't move when she drags the chair to him, he doesn't answer when she calls him again, he does jump and realizes she's there when she touches his shoulder.

"Merlin! Hermione, you scared me." Harry says when he turns to look at her, wand gripped in his hand.

"Sorry," Hermione says softly, "I tried to call you a few times but you didn't answer me." She tells him to his confusion.

"You did?" Harry asks, and Hermione just nods, "Sorry, I was lost in thought. Hades, what time even is it? Feels early." He says as Hermione frows at his choice in curse.

"It's almost three in the morning, Harry," Hermione says as Harry yawns and looks out the window to the full moon, Hermione's eyes narrow at the flicker of silver in his eyes as he does, she was quite sure it wasn't a reflection either.

"Harry," Hermione says, hitting her bottom lip, considering her next words carefully, "I've been doing some reading, researching really." Harry snorts before turning his head to her.

"Hermione Granger? Researching and reading? What sacrilege is this?" Harry's smirk is in full effect as Hermione reaches over and slaps his shoulder calling him a prat as he laughs, Hermione smiling with him.

"I've been researching people like you, demigods that is," Hermione says to start off her rant, "for how long the wizarding world has been around, I had thought that maybe we, as a people, had crossed paths with the Gods before, and I was right. The earliest known Gods we interacted with were the Tuath(a) Dé Danann, interesting enough there's an old myth that one or more of the founders were trained by Scáthach herself before the founding of the castle." Hermione pauses to make sure she still had Harry's attention, when she sees that she does she continues. "The books I picked up from Hogsmeade were from the time that the flame of the west was located in England, where the powers of the Gods from the Mediterranean was here. I'm hoping to find out more about local Gods and Gods from all over the world because if I can find a physical description I was thinking I could narrow down who your divine parent could be." Hermione says as Harry raises his eyebrow in question, she could see the hope in his eyes, the trust he had in her, however little it was; for Harry didn't trust humans very easily.

"Have you?" Harry asks, a spark of hope in his voice.

That sound had made Hermione pause, could she tell who she suspected was his divine parent. She only had a few facts and no concrete evidence but her gut told her she was right, but what if she was wrong? She would send him charging in without thinking, it could ruin his relationship with Atalanta, no matter how much she disliked the older hunter, no matter how much Hermione didn't trust Atalanta, Hermione couldn't say Atalanta's relationship with Harry wasn't good for him.

So Hermione decides to bite her tongue until she knows for sure.

So shaking her head she says, "Sorry Harry, I haven't found anything yet, but as soon as I do, you'll be the first to know. I promise." Hermione tells him, and at his disappointed look she decides to redouble her efforts, classes be damned.

"But I did find something interesting, do you know you're what's known as a Magician?" Hermione tells Harry.

Harry sighs out, his head falling against the back of the chair with his eyes closed, "I really don't want to be known as anything but Harry, Hermione." He says

Hermione chuckles at that, because she knows that. "It's not another title or anything like that Harry, it's pretty much the technical term for you." She says and Harry just grunts.

"It's a term for someone born with both a magical and divine core, most of what I've read considers you a danger to most Gods." She says as Harry remains silent, "it's not really clear about the why, however. All I've come across is a term called Mantling, but it doesn't say what it is. Kinda infuriating, to be honest." She looks over to Harry, seeing his chest rise and fall gently under the full moon.

"Harry?" Hermione asks in a low voice, when she doesn't get an answer she smiles before getting up and heading up the stairs to grab a blanket for Harry and herself, no matter what, Harry wouldn't go through this alone.

The forbidden forest, February 11th.

(Third-person view)

It has been a full two months for Harry Potter, his Christmas was pretty good, the Firebolt situation notwithstanding, he had received his Weasley jumper with a tin of homemade fudge, a few books in ancient greek from Hermione that talked about defensive magic, and different magical creatures from around the world. Atalanta had sent him a magical quiver that she got the Headmaster to enchant, it held a truly insane amount of arrows and was small enough and light enough to be strapped to my belt without anyone noticing, along with a nice set of archery gloves. One went up to mid-forearm while the other stopped at the wrist.

Ginny got me some chocolate frogs, while Astoria had sent me a tin of homemade biscuits in a variety of flavors with a thank you note, Astoria's mum, Mrs. Greengrass had sent Harry a very nice dragonhide wand holster that had matched his jacket perfectly, enchanted to help him draw and stow his want easily, as Mrs. Greengrass had said in her note, "a good wizard is always ready." She even got his name embroidered on the inside of It.

Harry had thrown himself into training with Atalanta harder than before, they had moved on from showing how to box to actually boxing. Atalanta has said this part of the training was very hands-on as in, she was "going to put hands on him till he learned how to block, dodge, or counter." And she wasn't lying about that, it wasn't like what Harry had seen on muggle tv, there were no pads or gloves, just simple cloth wraps around their hands and knuckles as Atalanta knocked him around the clearing. It wasn't the only training he was receiving, his private lessons with Professor Lupin were going. If you were to ask the Professor he was doing amazing with his silver mist, if one were to ask Harry, he wouldn't have an answer for him. It was pretty obvious how piss-poor he was at the magic stuff, so he would just shrug and mumble something before walking away.

It was in the late evening that Harry found himself with Atalanta, the sun was starting to creep to the horizon and the clearing was starting to get darker and colder as Harry was trying to land a single hit on Atalanta, the problem was she was too damn quick. She would weave in between combos as it was he was swinging in slow motion before she lands a strike on him, normally Harry's chest or just slapping him across the face which always made him angry, which made him sloppy, which made Atalanta grab him and toss him twenty feet onto his back. This is how Harry found himself now, looking up at the darkening sky, breathing hard, with his back and face sore.

"Not bad, kiddo," Atalanta says as she walks over and sits down next to him, "you're getting better pretty quick."

"Yeah, you say that, but I can't land a hit on you," Harry says in between breaths with frustration in his voice.

"Well, yeah." Atalanta answers as if it was obvious, "I've been fighting for a very long time, Harry. There aren't a lot of people around who can go toe to toe with me in hand-to-hand or boxing." She says with no little amount of hubris in her voice.

"Is this how you learned?" Harry asks as he pushes himself up to a sitting position.

"No, not really." Atalanta says, "I learned the basics from my adopted dads, but got better in the bars and taverns of Greece when I wasn't hunting. More often or not a man would get a bit too drunk and a bit too handy, I would then proceed to break said hands." She says with a laugh as Harry chuckles with her.

"No, the teacher who taught me was a step above the rest," Atalanta says with a smirk, her eyes distant looking into the past to a ship on the Aegean sea. "The guy who taught me I met on the Argo, it was a few weeks into the journey when a few of the sailors decided to share me amongst themselves." Her voice had a flat tone, showing what she had thought of that, "well, needless to say, they didn't know who they were trying that with and they all ended up on the floor, bleeding with a few broken bones each. I stood there, on the deck of the ship, eye swelling shut, busted nose, my tunic was torn and I spit out blood on the deck and I asked who was next."

Harry laughs because it sounded just like something the tomboy would do, "did anyone say anything?" He asks.

"Oh yeah, one of the biggest men I had ever seen stands up in between two twins and tells me, Yeah, he was," Atalanta says with a fond smile, "This guy was as big as an Ox but moved like a ghost, no idea how he did it. But we faced off on the deck, people were crowding around, placing bets on who would win, cheering for me."

"Did you win?" Harry asks, enthralled with the story.

"Oh, no. I don't even remember the first round all that much." Atalanta admits freely to Harry's surprise, Atalanta wasn't one to bow before anyone she was an anything you can do I can do better type of girl, "All I do remember is seeing him move and then darkness. I woke up a day later with the guy leaning over me, and the first words he said to me was 'You're good, but you could be better.'" Atalanta says, mimicking a deep voice. "After that, I learned his name was Heracles, and he and his half-brother Pollock taught me how to fight better." She finishes with a sad smile.

"You learned how to box, from the most famous demigod the world over?" Harry asks in shock as Atalanta just laughs at the look on his face.

"Yeah, we became good friends, him, Medea, Pollock, and Castor we-" Atalanta starts but is cut off when both her and Harry hear the snapping of sticks, they jump to their feet as Atalanta moves in front of Harry as he draws his wand.

"Harry, do you remember the plan?" Atalanta asks as she draws her black and gold bow.

"Cutting curse, legs, arms, back or stomach. Slow him down so you can take him." Harry repeats the plan they had created to take down Black, Atalanta just nods readying her bow as they both tense for the fight to come. But who comes from the woods wasn't Sirius Black, but Hermione who's followed closely by Ron.

Both look grim and serious, Hermione has red-rimmed eyes as if she had been crying with a book in hand, one of her fingers stuck in it to hold her place, as soon as they make their way to the top of the clearing they stop, Hermione's face contorts in rage upon looking at Atalanta. The two hunters lower their weapons as they see who had entered the clearing.

"Hermione, you okay?" Harry asks, confused to see her, and worried about the state she was in.

Hermione ignores his question as she glares at Atalanta, "Tell him." She hisses out at the older hunter, "Tell him now before I do."

Atalanta stands there, confused as to what the bookworm was talking about, "Hermione, what are you talking about? Tell who what?" The older hunter asks.

"Who his mother is," Hermione says through gritted teeth, and Atalanta's face drops, and Harry perks up.

"I don't know the details about that, Hermione. It could be anyone, so I sugges-" Atalanta tries to say, but Hermione cuts her off.

"That's not an answer. An answer would be no, you don't know. You're dodging the question." Hermione states, before continuing "but you do know, you've known this whole time because she sent you here." Hermione then turns to Harry, "Harry, your mother is-"

But Atalanta cuts her off with a yell, "Stop! Don't you say another word, you don't even know if you're right, so stop right now before you step into something you can't back out of girl." Atalanta finishes with a growl and Ron pulls out his wand, stepping up beside Hermione.

"We're sick and tired of everyone lying to Harry, treating him as if he's just a small child unable to handle the truth about Father Christmas." Hermione tells Atalanta, "he's been through enough without people treating him like that!" She finishes with her own yell before turning back to Harry, standing confused in the middle of all this, Harry, your mother is-"

"No, don't say the name!" Atalanta says as she makes her way up the hill with a burst of speed.

"-Artemis!" Hermione finishes and Atalanta stops halfway to her, "And she was the one who sent her here to train you." Pointing at Atalanta.

"What? No, Hermione, she was sent by Diana." Harry informs his friend.

"They're the same Goddess Harry, Diana is her Roman name. But they're still the same." Hermione tells him, and Harry slowly turns his head to Atalanta.

"Is she right?" Harry asks his teacher in a low, hurt voice.

Atalanta turns around and starts making her way back to the boy who lived, "Harry, you have to under-" she begins to say, but is cut off once again, but this time by Harry.

"Is she right!? Is Artemis my mother?" Harry yells as he backs away from Atalanta, her face twisted with sorrow, but she doesn't answer, merely looks away with sad eyes, once again Hermione speaks up, reading from the book she had with her.

"And I entered the clearing, the moon hung high in the midnight sky, as my head hung low, looking at the ground to make sure not to see if any of her hunters were without clothes to avoid her wrath. When told I left my head and kneel in reverence to the Goddess of the hunt, she had taken the form of a young girl in a silver tunic, her bow strung over her shoulder as she looked at me with burning eyes like amber which was slit much like a cats eyes were, the Goddess Artemis beckoned me to raise." Hermione quotes from her book.

"There are plenty of Gods with cat-like eyes, Granger. It doesn't prove anything." Atalanta defends weakly.

Hermione tilts her head before asking Atalanta "Harry hasn't told you, has he? He can't read Gaelic, or Latin, or even old Norse ruins. He can read ancient greek." Hermione says and Atalanta closes her eyes with a look of pain on her face.

"Harry's mother is the Goddess of the hunt from the Greek pantheon, Artemis, the Eternal Maiden." Before she sorts, "not eternal anymore I guess."

"Don't you dare question her! And stop saying her name!" Atalanta hisses out at Hermione, full of venom, but Hermione doesn't flinch.

She calmly says "Artemis, Artemis, Artemis, Artemis. Why does it matter if I say her name? It doesn't detract from you lying to Harry!"

But as Atalanta opens her mouth to say something, a new voice calls out, but ancient and youthful.

"Because, Hermione Granger, names have power, and invoking them brings upon you the attention of those the name belongs to." The new voice says as Atalanta pales, Hermione's eyes go wide, and Ron jumps and points his wand at the newcomer.

Harry slowly turns his head to look at the other side of the clearing, and there, walking out between the trees was a small girl in a silver bomber jacket, her eyes like a cat with the color of amber.

Notes:

Cliffhanger bitches!

Oh, sh*t it's about to go down, the long-awaited meeting between Harry and Artemis.

I'm super f*cking excited for the next chapter, which will be Artemis focused for the most part.

Oh man, this is gonna be great, get hyped!

In other news, I finished my one shot in a night, I do hope you all go read it and tell me what you think.

But other than getting Summer Karia, I have nothing to report.

Kingsaxcul, Out!

Chapter 15: Full Moon III.V

Summary:

(Post writing A/N): it has been a few months since i wrote the next few chapters, which are hands down my favorite chapters i had written.

Notes:

Well, boys and girls, this is it. Artemis and Harry meet for the first time, how will an abused child respond to a mother who doesn't know nor understand love?

Y'all ready for this trainwreck? I am.

but just in case y'all haven't guessed TW: mentions of child abuse, child neglect, starvation, and getting stuffed into a cupboard, and a whole host of other things.

But enough with this mortal prattle, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Forbidden Forest, Atalanta's campgrounds.

The campground was quiet as Artemis strode into it, the eyes of those who were there before her are on her, she came to a stop just outside the tree line of the camp, her face passive as ever as she stared at the bushy-headed girl across the way, Artemis had words for her, but first…

"Boy, if you do not stop pointing that wand at me, I will turn you into a jackalope and set you amongst the Acromantula of this forest," Artemis states, not bothering to look at the now pale face of Ron Weasley. But her lips do twitch at the sound of the frightened squeak coming from the boy before Ron points his wand at the forest floor.

"So-sorry Ma'am" the redhead stammers out.

Artemis ignores the boy as she focuses on the girl beside him, "Hermione Granger, correct me if I am wrong, but just a moment ago you were speaking of something, were you not?" The Goddess asks.

"W-we were t-talking about h-how Harry i-i-is your-" Hermione begins but is quickly cut off.

"Unimportant at the moment girl, I was speaking of your insult," Artemis says, anger simmering under her tone, "An eternal maiden no more was it?"

Hermione stutters and blushes in equal amounts of embarrassment and fear as she tries to answer the Goddess, she can feel the unspoken threat in her voice, she can see the power in the amber eyes, so painfully like her best friend, dripping out and shaking her to Hermione's core.

"Leave her alone," Harry calls out, Artemis narrows her eyes at the girl shaking like a rabbit in the jaws of a wolf, and scoffs at her before turning away.

"It is no wonder that you had such a hard time keeping it a secret, Atalanta," Artemis says as she turns to her hunter, ignoring the other boy in the campgrounds, "Not with a Legacy of Athena looking into it." The amber-eyed Goddess says as she walks down the short hill.

There's a moment of quiet before Hermione speaks up in shock, "I'm what?"

Artemis stops at the bottom of the hill, she can feel Harry's eyes on her but she answers Hermione instead of looking at him, "You're a Legacy of Athena girl, a few generations removed but I can feel her blood in you, and her insatiable hunger for knowledge." Artemis smirks at the shocked look on the girl's face as she turns back to her hunter.

"My lady, I'm sorry for not-" Atalanta starts to say as she kneels, but is cut off by the Goddess.

"Enough with the groveling Atalanta, you know I dislike it." Artemis states, "We both knew it was a matter of time before the boy found out, I will not blame you for something out of your control this time." The Goddess speaks softly, noting said boy flinched, but says nothing to him as Atalanta nods and stands.

Harry stands there, he can feel his muscles coil with tension, he wants to run, he wants to stay, and he wants to hunt all in one but he decided to speak instead, "Are you- wher-" but he can't decide what to say first, indecision choking his words in his throat.

Artemis continues on, never turning her attention to the boy who carries a piece of her in him as though he wasn't there, "How is the boy's training coming along?" The Goddess asks her hunter, ignoring the flinch from the child, Atalanta's eyes flick back and forth between Artemis and Harry, visible confusion on her face.

"It's… going well, we have hunted a few Acromantula, and he did extremely well," Atalanta says, wondering why the Goddess she was sworn to didn't ask the boy in question, "He's able to control himself and pull himself back from the hunt when needed."

"Good, continue how you've been training him, I want to know the limits of what he can do, focus on controlling the hunt. It would be a shame to kill him so early in his training." Artemis says, her tone as cold as the snow and ice around, before continuing to walk forward to the forest edge. Atalanta knowing an order and dismissal of her Goddess nods her head before moving out of her way.

Harry, however, had other ideas about this.

"Where are you going?" Harry asks, his voice coming out soft, almost pleadingly, but the Goddess keeps walking, "I said where are you going!?" He says louder this time, but Artemis keeps walking to the treeline, intent on leaving. Harry, wand still in hand, raises it with the yell of "Locomotor Mortis" the spell hits true, striking Artemis but sliding off her form like water on oil. The anger Harry feels chases away any fear he has and fuels his words, "Look at me!"

Those in the clearing watching in horror as Harry casts a spell at the Goddess, the rage in his words drowning out their gasps and calls of his name.

But Artemis does stop, turning her head to look at the boy, eyes narrowed in anger at the audacity of Harry, but staying her hand the boy wanted her to stop moving and pay attention to him, fine. He would have the full attention of the hunt, so as she looked into the slitted eye so much like her own she called to the forefront of the boy's mind of being the chased and of prey.

But Harry doesn't flinch at the feeling, he knows it intimately from living with the Dursleys, so he pushes it down and away from the anger he feels. "Why didn't you answer me?" Harry asks the deceptively simple question.

Artemis quirks her eyebrow at both how the boy reacted to the hunt and the question in and of itself. "Which time boy? When you were in the Chamber under your school hunting the basilisk? I did and sent one of my hunters to train you. Or perhaps when you carried the sick maiden in your arms, I answered then too, opening you to just enough of the hunt to carry you and her swiftly through the castle. If you are talking about just now because we have nothing to speak about." She tells the boy, and watches his anger build and build with each word, confusing her, and as she was about to turn and leave the clearing the boy spoke again.

"No," Harry says with gritted teeth, "Not any of those times, I don't care about any of them." Harry could feel it burning in his chest, the injustice of his childhood, his anger at being left with them, the pain of knowing, of knowing…

"Where were you when I was little, growing up with them," Harry growls out the word with hated enough to bare his teeth at a Goddess, "Atalanta told me my prayers go directly to you, you would hear every word I said, feel every emotion I poured into them, so answer me:Where. Were. You?!" Harry yells at Artemis, and as she opens her mouth to answer Harry cuts her off, feelings he had thought he had killed brought back up, and with them, the memories he didn't want to have, the scars he carried tore open as fresh wounds in the cold February evening.

"Where were you when I prayed to be taken away from them, when I prayed starving alone in the dark of the cupboard, when they would leave me there for weeks, after every beating, after every Harry hunt, after every time I would wake up from every hit from my Aunts frying pan,WHERE WERE YOU!?" Harry screams, heedless of the other souls on the campsite, emotions pour out from him like a broken dam. "Where were you when I needed you the most?" Harry says in a quiet broken voice, wand still aimed at Artemis. He vaguely hears the sounds of sobs and crying from Hermione, but he doesn't see the grim face set on Atalanta and Ron looking at him.

Artemis looks back at the boy, with something clawing and crawling in her chest, a growing rage and anger, but to what? She had no clue, so she shoves it down and answers the boy.

"So?" Is all Artemis says at Harry's outburst, Harry's face crumples from anger and desperation to broken and hopelessness, and Artemis carries on, heedless of what the boy felt. "I wasn't there, what does it matter? I'm not here to coddle you boy, you survived hale and whole, and that is all that matters. You survived, I found out, and now my curiosity can be stated."

"Curiosity?" Harry asks in shock, "Is that all I am to you? Something to satisfy a curiosity?"

"Yes," Artemis answers, but the answer doesn't feel right, the words leave a bad taste in her mouth, she feels wrong but pushes it away, "Your mother summoned me to help her, to lend a bit of myself to help her and your father to conceive you. I was to be left out of raising you, if things had gone to plan you would have never known who I was to you. I'm sticking to my part of the agreement, that's all." Artemis shrugs in the face of the boy as his arm drops to his side, "Continue your training, master the hunt, and then we will talk of what used you can be." The Goddess takes note of the shock and anger on Atalanta's face, but turns her head from the boy to leave.

She feels something approaching her rapidly, not a spell, but something divine, Artemis turns sharply catching the thrown object and tracking its path right back to the boy, his handsome face contorted in rage and grief, turning her hand around she sees what he had thrown at her, her gift, the Great Serpent-Hunter. Her eyes narrow, how dare this little brat, but before she speaks Harry screams at her.

"Go to where gods die and rot!" Harry yells at her, much to Artemis' shock, "and take her with you," he says pointing at Atalanta, "I don't want your training, I don't want your gifts, I don't want anything from you!" Before turning on his heel and storming up the side of the small hill that surrounds the campsite, Atalanta reaches out to him, she wanted to stop him, to explain, to show him she was there for him, but he jerks away from her like he had that first morning they had met.

"Don't touch me! You lied! You knew this whole time and you lied to me! I hate you, so leave me alone!" Harry screams at her, he sees the pain and hurt in her eyes but he doesn't care, she was like them. They all lied to him, so he tries to not care as he continues on, only to stop by the angry voice of the Goddess behind him.

"And the Jacket, boy!" Artemis snarls out at this disrespectful brat, how dare he reject her gifts, how dare he turn his back on her, "if you've forgotten the Jacket was a part of the gifts or did you think it magically repair itself after it was melted in the basilisk's venom?" She says it mockingly and full of anger. When the boy stops, she smirks, she knows the boy wouldn't let the jacket go. It was a link to something like a hope for him, that someone cared, so she was shocked when the boy, hesitantly, took it off, letting it fall into the snow and ice and sliding to the bottom of the hill, abandoning it to her as he walks off.

The other boy and the legacy look between the path Harry took and the fuming Goddess of the hunt before taking off after their friend, leaving the hunter and the Goddess she was sworn to alone on the campsite. Artemis walks over to the jacket, picking it up off the ground, she can feel the rage pump through her, but she can't pin down the reason as to why, the boy was a reason that was without question but it wasn't for the disrespect he paid her, it was something else she could not put her finger on.

"Go get the boy and drag him back here if you have to, I'm not done with him yet," Artemis orders her hunter.

"No," Atalanta answers back with gritted teeth.

Artemis' head snaps to her hunter, "Excuse me? That was an order hunter, go get the boy." Artemis says back with as much anger as her hunter had answered her with.

Atalanta turns to Artemis, and with fire in her eyes and unwavering steel in her tone she tells her "No, do it your damn self." Before turning and walking away.

"Have you forgotten your oaths, Atalanta!" The Goddess screams at her hunter, her tone threatening, "Have you forgotten what will happen if you break them!"

Atalanta turns on her heel, facing Artemis, "THEN DO IT!" She screams back, "Take away your protection, let Zeus curse take me again, let me become a mindless beast of the hunt again! But I won't drag Harry back here for you, I won't let you treat him like my father treated me! He isn't a thing for you to use, Artemis, he's your son!" Atalanta screams at the Goddess, much to Artemis' shock, none of her hunters dared to speak to her like that. But her words strike Artemis' core, she had saved many of her handmaidens from homes that had abused them in some way or form, for one like that to tell her she was acting like the man that had abused her had hurt.

But the hurt made the anger flow stronger as she glared at the disobedient hunter, she was close to removing her blessing from Atalanta, rending her into nothing more than a mindless beast that would feed on anything, mortal, monster, or demigod.

Wouldn't that be a suitable punishment, having the lioness feed on the one she cared about, and in Artemis' anger she almost did, but a piece of her, a small one at that, had stopped her. A piece that sounded like a woman from years ago.

"Would you like to hold him?"

"Do it," Atalanta says, "and I swear on the River Sticks, the first thing I hunt will be you." With a crack of thunder, Artemis knows her hunter's threat wasn't empty, she would get her hero's death, one way or another.

Artemis leaves with one last glare at her hunter, disappearing with the wind and falling snow. Atalanta takes a breath, preparing herself to take on the form of the monster she became so long ago, trying to enjoy the last of her freedom from the everchase, but the beast does not come, nor does the bloodlust. Atalanta crumples to the ground and weeps for her broken oaths and the little brother she felt she betrayed.

Harry Potter, Hogwarts grounds.

Hopeless, useless, worthless, unworthy, and a waste of space.

These words kept playing over and over in Harry Potter's head, the words of his Aunt and Uncle, the words parroted by his cousin. Words he knew he was to the core of his being because they were driven there over ten years of living with them. He didn't know why he trusted Miss Atalanta, who gave empty and false praises just to lie to him in the end, because that's all people do in the end, lie to him.

He didn't know why he held out hope for anything to think he was worthy, worthy to raise, worthy to praise, worthy to love, because, in the end, he was worthless and unworthy of anything, even from a god. He was just a waste of space, and that was all.

So as Harry stormed his way back to the castle, he ignored the calls of Hermione and Ron, intent on finding someplace dark and quiet to hide from the world(just like his cupboard.)

"Harry! Harry, wait!" Hermione yells as she chases after her friend.

"Mate! Hold up! We're not as fast as you!" Ron calls out, but Harry ignores it all, wanting nothing to do with people, all he wanted was somewhere dark and quiet(his cupboard).

"Harry, please stop! We need to talk about this!" Hermione says, finally getting Harry to stop and turn around, but what she sees wasn't her best friend, so strong and standing tall to meet any challenge, but a broken child who had gone through a hell she could barely conceive of.

"Why!? Why should we talk about it Hermione, huh?" Harry yells at her, "You got your answers, isn't that all you wanted? To figure out a question you didn't have an answer to?! You got what you wanted!"

Hermione stops, looking into the crying eyes of her friend, whatever words she was going to say died in her throat, as she too started to cry.

"Are you happy now!? Got the answers you wanted!? Good, so leave me alone!" Harry yells, not caring for the crying girl for the moment but knowing it will haunt him later.

"Mate. Harry, she was just trying to help." Ron says as he places his hand on Hermione's shoulder.

"I don't care!" Harry shifted his focus to Ron, "If she didn't go digging for answers for questions that wasn't hers to answer, that no one asked her help on if she would have listened to Miss Atalanta when she said stop saying the f*cking name, none of that would have happened!" Harry screams at Ron, "I was happier not knowing, I was happier…" Harry cuts himself, not knowing if he's even been happy or loved, he just felt angry. So he turns on his heel and continues on his way back to the castle, leaving his hurt friends he wasn't worthy of behind.

Hermione remains crying as she falls to her knees, begging for forgiveness she didn't know she already has for wasting her time on such a useless waste of space like Harry.

Harry makes his way into the entrance hall, turning to make his way up the Grand Staircase intent on grabbing his cloak and map and becoming a ghost amongst the stone corridors and empty cupboards of the ancient castle until Sirius Black showed his face so he could kill him, but he stops as annoying, high pitched, and posh voice calls out to him.

"Aww, what's wrong scarhead? Did someone finally put your pet mudblood in her place?" Malfoys calls out, stopping Harry in his tracks.

As Harry turns his head to look at Malfoy and his pack of cronies, Crabb, Goyal, Nott, and Perkinson, Malfoy starts to laugh at the tears in his eyes and it was the straw that broke the camel's back and with a roar and popping ears did the hunter pounce on his prey.

When the spell smoke cleared, and the bodies lay on the ground amidst the growing crowd of students, only Harry was standing. before turning and running from the voice of the potion master yelling after him.

Number 4, Privet Drive, Surrey. February 13th, 1994.

Artemis had no idea why she stood out in front of this home, this cookie-cutter prison set in bland suburbia. But it wasn't hard to find once she knew where and what she was looking for, or to be specific, what she couldn't find. The house thrummed with the ancient magic that had once bound her in a clearing thirteen years ago, she could taste the blood in the air, Lily Evans blood, used to power the ward that protected the house from eyes that would look for it. She could see it plain as day, for as strong as mortal magic was, when a God wanted to find something they would.

Artemis stood on the edge of the ward, she could pass it, she knew this, but she hesitated for a reason she could not voice, was she afraid? Afraid of what? Of what she would find, a truth she didn't want to know, one she didn't want to bare.

She had switched out her normal bomber jacket with the one that was the boy's, she did it on a whim and she could see why he liked it so much. It was warm, like an embrace of someone she didn't know, a forgotten hope that was never voiced because the boy was afraid that if he did, it would die. But as the Goddess of the hunt inspected the twisting symbols and shifting features of the ward she couldn't help but admire it, for it was a beautiful and powerful piece of mortal magic, male or not, maiden or not, Albus Dumbledore and Lily Evans were masters of their craft. But as her brother draw the sun grew closer to the edge of the world, the moon Goddess decides that it was better to know a harsh truth than bask in the sweet falsehood of a lie and crosses the ward line, and oh how she wish she hadn't, how she wished to have those falsehoods back.

Because they slammed into her like a tied, one after another, countless in number, (1,077 her divine mind supplies) all the prayers the boy had sent out, ever since he was young (the oldest being sent seven years ago.) First to the Judeo-Christian God and his son begging for help, then to all the angels the boy could name, followed by the saints, then the sinners, devils, and demons hoping anything that could answer him would and take him away from a place devoid of love and care for him. That was just filled with hate and pain for him, and Artemis heard it, after each prayer something would die in the boy's voice, die and die again until there was no hope left to have. Artemis heard hope die in a voice far too young for it to happen to.

The boy, Harry, her boy, her son had suffered at the hands of those who should have taken care of him, and it had broken him. Artemis felt it all, the desperation in the prayers, the rage in them when they went unanswered, the pain when he spoke after the sobs had turned his throat raw from crying in the dark and lonely cupboard that was both his prison and his peace, right down to the last and dying gasp of hope he had in him, begging one last time for someone to save him.

But no one ever did.

And the beast that crawled in Artemis' chest roared out for blood for this injustice, that every soul who damned her son to this hell be punished in this life and in her uncle's realm forever more. She didn't know why she felt like this over a boy(her son) of all things but at the moment her mind was not in control, it was her heart, a heart that was breaking for her son.

Her mind drove her forward, the form of a child would not do here, no she would take a form she hated. The form she had worn for Orion, so her body shifted like the mist as she grew taller, her body filled out to a more mature form with breasts and hips and all things she hated wearing as she steps up to the front door and knocked, once, twice, thrice, and she waited. Her face set in anger, her mortal form tense, as her hands clench and unclench trying to work the beast from her breast but it is no use as the door swings open.

"Yes?" Answers the tall horse-faced woman, Petunia Evans, the sister of Lily, and the twisted reflection of her own blood. As Petunia looks into the eyes of the unknown individual on her doorstep her stomach drops into a pit, she feels fear, a fear once all but forgotten by her and everyone like her, the fear of the hunt.

Petunia pales as she sees those haunting eyes and in her fear she lashes out, "You're one of them, one of those freaks," Petunia hisses out at the woman on her steps, never noticing the Jacket she wore was the same one that her nephew wore all year round, "I won't have you here, leave and don't come back, you hear me freak, leave!" And Petunia goes to slam the door in the woman's face.

But one does not refuse a god their do hospitality without consequences, so as the door goes to slam shut the olive-colored hand stops the door from closing before being forced back open with ease. The amber eyes slitted like her nephew's glow with anger as they look into the soul of Petunia and find wanting from what they see.

"Stop! Le-leave at once!" Petunia cries out to the uncaring Goddess as she steps inside Petunia's perfectly normal home, "We-we're under the protection of Albus Dumbledore, Y-you'll be in big trouble if you d-d-do this!" Petunia stutters out as she steps back further into her home.

"You are under a misconception, Petunia Evans, allow me to clear this up for you," Artemis says in a soft voice, betraying her anger, "I am no Wixen, they are to me, as you are to them. No, I am here to have words with you about your treatment of the boy."

Petunia pales further before tripping over her hallway rug and landing on her backside, "boy? W-w-what boy?" She starts to push herself away as Artemis steps into the home.

"The boy you've abused, the boy who you starved, the boy whom you locked away in a cupboard! That boy," Artemis says, her voice growing louder with each word, "is the one we will have words about." The rage that slammed the door shut behind the Goddess shook the whole house.

Harry Potter, Hogwarts, broom cupboard on the 7th floor.

Harry Potter hasn't been to class in two days, he hasn't gone to any assigned detentions, he hasn't gone to the Great Hall to eat any time of the day, nor has he answered any summons from his Professors and the Headmaster. If it wasn't for the fact the boy has been seen in the common room by the prefects, one could say Sirius Black had snuck back into the castle and kidnapped him.

If the Head Boy or any prefects tried to escort him to the Headmaster or a Professor they would turn a corner with him only to find themselves alone the next moment, with map and cloak the boy was a ghost in the halls; and he could care less about what anyone wanted from him.

He took to hiding in broom cupboards under his cloak, watching the map for approaching teachers and prefects looking for him, watching for the name of Sirius Black to pop up. He would wait for as long as needed, but what he was waiting for he couldn't say.

For the Grimm that has been haunting him to come finish the job and kill him…

For Sirius Black to come back to the castle so he could hunt him down to kill him…

He didn't know, but he was fine with both endings at the moment as the words still replayed in his head days later.

Hopeless, useless, worthless, unworthy, and a waste of space.

Number 4 Privet Drive.

The cupboard door was open in the hallway of number four, Artemis stood in front of it looking into it, it was small and cramped, barely big enough to fit a hound, let alone a child, a growing one at that. She saw the ratty cot pushed against the back wall, the broken army men on top of the water heater, the smudges of color forming a rainbow on the back wall from markers bleeding through the paper as the bo-, as Harry had pushed too hard with the markers as he had colored, she saw the words "Harry's Room" carved on the underside of the stairs; she saw all of this and more as she looks at it with a blank face.

She could smell the salt and rust wafting from the small area like the rotted body of sins these mortals have committed, the rust from blood of wounds untold, and only Harry knew from where, the salt from an ocean of shed tears in the lonely dark of his prison, of his peace.

She heard the sobs of the pathetic mortal cowering on the couch, for Artemis had already seen the room of unwanted and broken things they put the-, where they put Harry to remind him what he was in their home. She saw the catflap and the locks on the outside, the bars on the window. As Artemis took all this in she felt pain unlike any other, a stabbing and burning feeling in her chest, she wants to ignore it, to push it away, but she can't.

The door handle to number 4 rattles before it turns, opening the door with a yell of "Petunia dear, we're ho-" but the booming voice of Vernon Dursley dies as it spots a stranger in his home, and his face turns purple when he sees the freakish eyes the woman has, like the freak he was forced to put up with every summer.

"OUT, GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, I WILL NOT HAVE YOUR KIND HERE!" The overly large man holars at the intruder, heedless of his wife's warnings she shouts from the sitting room.

Artemis tilts her head at the yelling man-thing and tells him "No." Before noticing the blonde boy looking at her with lust in his eyes, the maiden Goddess would not have that. So with a snap of her fingers, the boy turns into a boar with thick blonde bristles before it starts squealing and charging around the house.

Vernon not listening to his very reasonable fear stomps up to the woman, first raised in the air to strike the freak while screaming "TURN HIM BACK, TURN HIM BACK RIGHT NOW OR I SWEAR YOU'LL LEAVE IN A BODYBAG!" Making his way up to the woman's uncaring face. When Artemis once again answers "No." Vernon swings intent on beating the freak into submission till she does what he wants. But to his shock and pain, the woman catches his swing as easily as she was snatching a tossed piece of rubbish out of the air, he then hears the wet snap of bone as Vernon's wrist is twisted in the opposite direction breaking it cleanly and forces him to his knees with a scream.

"Is this what you did when the boy wouldn't listen to you?" Artemis asks, deadly calm, "is this what you did when his magic lashed out to defend himself or when he spoke up about how you treated him?" Her voice becomes a growl, "DID YOU HIT MY SON!?" Artemis screams in the face of the man who had kept her son in pain and terror all his life.

Vernon Dursley looked into the eyes of a God this day, but it wasn't the ones spoken about in the New Testament, full of mercy and love. No, these eyes were filled with wrath and perdition of the Old Testament and he was the sinner caught in their gaze.

Albus Dumbledore, the Astronomy Tower, February 13th.

Albus Dumbledore did not get involved with the student body lightly, he preferred them to see him as he liked to see himself, the kind yet a bit off his rocker grandpa figure who enjoyed the occasional spot of mischief.

Rarely did he punish his students, and even rarer did he expel them from Hogwarts. But when the Head Boy, multiple prefects, and a few of his Professors couldn't find Harry Potter, and if they by some chance they did and lose him so after, Albus decided to step in.

He had gone to his friends first, the few he had, Miss Granger and Mister Weasley, but both had no clue of where he was, they hadn't seen him in the past two days. When he had asked them both what would have brought on this behavior, he had found out the boy had learned the truth about Sirius Black and his ties to James Potter, Albus had felt them hiding more, but had not pushed them to tell him. He had a feeling where he would find the answers he sought, and on the way to her room he had ruminated on the boy's odd Behavior, Harry had never acted like this in the last three years he had attended Hogwarts, behavior so odd that even Severus had found it off point for the boy, passing or failing Harry had always shown up for class. Earned or not, Harry had always shown up for his detentions. Then there was his assault on other students, from Miss Greengrass' account it was not an entirely unprovoked assault either, but Harry had never lashed out like that, not even in his own defense, only when defending one of his few friends, so what had brought on this streak of trouble making within the boy? Albus had a few theories, and none he liked.

So when he got to the painting of the witch Madea he asked the witch to inform Miss Atalanta he wanted to talk, he had no clue of what he would learn, he never imagined the sins unknowingly committed would weigh so heavy on his heart.

He had damned a child to a home full of hate, no matter the greater good it was for, it was inexcusable to do.

So when he had found Harry on the tallest tower in Hogwarts, as far away from his peers as the boy could get watching his steadfast familiar diving and swooping with Albus' own, what words could he speak? Because no matter the apology, no matter how it was worded, it would never be enough for him to forgive himself, let alone for Harry to forgive him. When Molly Weasley came to him last year speaking about barred windows and locks on the outside of the boy's door, he had thought a personal visit to Petunia would have been enough, for the protections afforded by the blood ward was too powerful, too precious to lose for the boy, but as he stood in the hallway of number 4 Albus couldn't begin to imagine the horror that hid in the cupboard under the stairs. What could Albus say to the one who has every right to hate him the most? Sorry, would never make up for his sins against the boy.

"It seems, Mister Potter, we keep meeting under circ*mstances that we never should," Albus says as the boy turns around, his eyes looking dead to the world with dark bags under them, causing Albus' heart to break, for no child should have a look so haunted.

"Headmaster." Is all Harry says in greeting, in a quiet voice so thoroughly beaten down.

Albus decides to cut to the root of the matter, "You haven't been to class in two days, Mister Potter, nor have you reported to the detentions that were assigned for missing said classes." Albus says softly looking at the boy. His rumpled clothes, his unwashed hair, and the dark bags under his dead eyes.

Harry hadn't changed his clothes or taken a shower in the last few days, nor a good night's rest.

To the Headmaster's statement, Harry just shrugs before saying "It doesn't matter sir, I'm pants at this magic stuff anyway, I was only getting by with Hermione's help, and I…" Harry pauses with regret flashing through his eyes, "I don't think she'll help me now, not anymore." He finishes softly.

"One should never count out one's friends in dark hours, Mister Potter. For they can be the light that keeps that dark at bay." Albus tells the young man in front of him, "I have spoken to Miss Granger, Mister Weasley, and Miss Atalanta," at the last name Harry's face twisted in anger, "and they are all worried about you, they have also made me aware of a few things." Albus continues carefully.

"Oh yeah, like the fact I know that Sirius Black is my Godfather?" Harry spits out in anger at the feet of the man who hid it from him.

Albus doesn't even blink at the hidden blame Harry throws at him, because the boy was right, he hid it from him because he had thought to protect the boy from a horrible truth.

"Yes, and the fact that you met your mother, and that it had not gone well," Albus says watching the boy's face shift from confusion to understanding.

"Of course, you knew the whole time, didn't you?" Harry growls out, "she had to go to you for you to allow Miss Atalanta on the grounds." Harry looks away, his anger at them all boiling back up again, "so what? Par for the course for me."

Albus sighs out at the answer spoken with such bitterness and anger for a boy far too young for it. "While I can ask you for your forgiveness about keeping your connection to Sirius Black from you in the hope to save you from that terrible truth and the pain it would deliver upon you, I can do nothing about the truth about your mother-" but Harry cuts him off.

"She's not my mother! My mother is dead!" Harry growls out, and Albus nods, accepting the words as truth for the boy.

"As you wish, Harry," Albus says " but regardless of what she is to you, you carry a piece of her inside you." Albus pauses before finishing what he was saying before, "I could do nothing about the truth that lies between you and Lady Artemis, for all my power, I am no god Harry, so when she told me to keep the secret, what could I do but obey." Albus shakes his head looking down, "No, I could have told you and she would have killed me, and as much as I look forward to the next great adventure, I am still needed here."

As Harry looks away, the Headmaster takes a deep breath, it was time to face his sins.

"But beyond all that Harry, beyond the Headmaster and Student relationship, why did you never tell me what happened to you at the Dursleys?" Albus asks looking up and into the haunted eyes of a child.

Harry flinches, shakes, and begins to sob in what he knew was weakness.

Number 4 Privet Drive.

Artemis stood in the sitting room of number 4 looking out the window as the lamp posts illuminated the street outside, the sounds of two squealing hogs filled the house as one terrified mortal sat on the couch, shivering in fear of the immortal in her home.

"So, we have an understanding, correct?" Artemis says in a cold flat voice to the only sentient being other than herself left in the house, Petunia Dursley nods in fear.

"Y-yes Ma'am." She says in as little of a voice as she could, as not to upset the Goddess in her sitting room.

"So, just so we arecrystal clear," Artemis says as she walks over to the woman who had the blessing to be useful to her, leaning down to look her in the eyes, "You are to leave the boyalone. If I hear one word, one prayer, one thought of you continuing the treatment you've already done to the boy, I will return. I will turn your husband and son back into hogs, and I will make you watch as my hunters hunt them down, bleed them out, skin them and cook them before forcing themdown your throat, all while they keep their pathetic empty minds." The woman soils herself at Artemis' words, but the Goddess of the hunt wasn't done yet, "But you Petunia Evans, will go to the hunt as you are, you will be hunted for a long, long time, and when you finally die I'm going to cut out your tongue, cut off your ears, and gouge out your eyes, so you will wander the underworld blind, deaf, and mute so all who see you may know, there goes Petunia Evans, the fool who crossed Artemis." The Goddess's eyes burn with that promise to the mortal before standing straight and walking to the entrance of the sitting room.

"You survive this by the grace of your blood and the wards that protect Harry, that alone makes you useful to me.Do notforget that." Artemis says before snapping her fingers turning Vernon back from hog to man, "He survives because you are too weak to fend for yourself." Artemis continues to the door to the home.

"W-wait, my son, please my son." Petunia begs

Artemis looks back at the woman with cold eyes burning into the mortal, "Do it yourself." The Goddess says before leaving, slamming the door behind her.

Hermione Granger, Gryffindor Tower, February 13th.

Hermione sits in one of the high-back chairs, trying to write out an essay due tomorrow for muggles studies, there is not a single word written on the parchment for she can't focus on the task at hand.

First, it was Harry, the anger at her in those slitted eyes as his words filled with rage aimed at her like sharp knives all pointed at her underlined with the pain and hurt he's taken on over the years, she had deserved every single one.

Then, Ron, Scabbers had disappeared over the past two days, he had blamed Crookshanks and she had no idea if it was her cat's fault but he had blamed her anyway and wouldn't talk to her either. She was alone again, friendless through her own fault of asking needless questions and ignoring the fact her cat was after a rat.

Harry had come through the common room just a few minutes ago, it was the first time seeing him in two days. Hermione had tried to apologize for what she had done, to ask and beg him for forgiveness but he had ignored her all the way up the stairs just to slam the door to his room in her face.

Now Hermione was sitting in a chair with glassy eyes, she could feel the eyes of her housemates on her, and Hermione couldn't help but to think as she began to cry.

"What was all this for?"

Notes:

Over 7,000 words and we're still not done with the aftermath of the meeting, there is still a bit of Artemis left and Atalanta still needs her time to shine, and for those who have siblings will probably know how that's gonna go.

But I feel the need to point out that no one was in the right with what happened, not Harry, not Artemis, not Hermione, no one.

But on a personal note, this chapter was probably the hardest to write, not for trying to find out what I wanted to happen, I had that planned out for months. No, there is a reason why I empathize with Harry so much, because I was that kid from an abusive home, I've been starved, beaten, and neglected and I begged a high power for help but none came, I had to crawl myself out of that hell by myself.

And I did, and it still affects me to this day.

I'm not looking for sympathy, or kind words. I just want you all to know how close to home this chapter hits.

My thumbs are tired.

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 16: Full Moon III.8

Notes:

First off, VinCredable has done a remaster of Harry Potter The Olympians: Tides of War, I also had the chance to talk with them(fanboy squeal) and they are working on the next chapter after ten f*cking years. Go over and give that fic some love, because it's what has inspired me to write this.

After posting the last chapter I notice Albus took up a lot more than I thought he did, which was odd because I did his part on a whim, but the old man likes to ramble on and on and I can't help but love Dumbledore and his character, I actively hate GG!Dumbledore and the like because they don't do his character justice.

But tell me, my little readers, have y'all been paying attention to the date in the fic? I've been rather particular about it.

But enough with this mortal prattle, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Privet Drive, Surrey, February 13th, 1994.

The Gods had a set of unspoken rules in the regard to having children, they were mostly followed by all. The rules are as followed:

1: Never take a mortal lover that would go against the laws of man.

2: the mortal parent must be able and willing to take care of the child.

3: Protect the child to the best of their ability while working within the ancient laws that bound the Gods.

Artemis had broken two of these rules, not that she even meant to have a child. Even her flighty and airhead brother followed these rules, and Artemis could hardly believe thatheof all gods was a better parent than her, not that she had much practice mind you. So when Artemis left Number 4 Privet Drive, she had made sure she would receive any prayers that Harry would make inside of the house by injecting the wards that were around the home with a small sliver of her divinity. It would not stop the wards from functioning, but it would no longer block Harry's prayers from reaching her, and as soon as the protections fell she would know.

But still, the pain and the beast in her chest had yet to settle, it still hurts, she replays the image of the cupboard and the room of broken and unwanted things over and over, twisting the dagger in her heart more and more, as the Beast that bays for blood has yet to abide from what Artemis promised to Petunia Evans. With her heart and mind warring with each other over the child that carried a piece of her inside him, her thoughts wander back to a time long ago as her body wanders the streets of Surrey, to a time where one could look to the heavens at night and see the stories written in the stars unlike nowadays with the mortals polluting even the sky, to a dark forest in her homeland, to a man made mad by the hunt and the overreaction of her brother.

"I knew, I knew that you were a Goddess who couldn't understand her own heart, but even knowing that I still fell in love with you…"

Orion's last words still rang true, even two thousand years after his death, even after she had immortalized him in the stars. Because Artemis didn't understand her heart nor what it desires, but she understood her mind and her wants, and shereallywanted to kill something right now. She wanted to hunt down Sirius Black and peel his skin from his still living body, she wanted to raise Voldemort from the dead to strip him of his magic and hunt him like the animal he was, she to boil Dumbledore alive in Tabasco sauce before shaving his stupid beard from his face. She would have to settle for something else however, Black would meet his fate soon enough, and Dumbledore was needed.

So as Artemis prepared to go back to her hunters, it was like the domain of the hunt answered her own wants as the prayers of her hunters reached her, they had cornered a Drakon in a cave somewhere in upstate New York. Perfect.

Artemis follows the prayers back to the source, a large wooded area not too far from Mount Greylock (He could have gone there if we brought him to the camp.) Artemis grits her teeth as she marches through the woods, the sun still hanging in the sky thanks to the time difference between the U.K and the States. She finds her handmaidens hidden in the trees and the underbrush, waiting for the beast to leave its cave to ambush it, the younger hunters in the back to learn from the elders on how to take a beast as dangerous as a Drakon. (He could have been here, he could have grown up amongst the hunt where he belonged.)Shut. Up.Artemis tells her heart that flooded her mind with the shoulda, coulda, and woulda's because it doesn't change the fact of what happened had happened, the boy survived, that's all that matters, he is hale and…he is hale…(but not whole, we know that now, don't we?)

Artemis finds her lieutenant quickly, in the hopes of a good fight will purge her mind of these traitorous thoughts of the heart. Zoë was skillfully hidden in a tree, eyes locked on the cave when Artemis lands on the branch next to her.

"Report." Orders the monotone Goddess.

If Zoë was surprised at the sudden appearance of her Goddess, she does not show it as she does what is asked of her, "My Lady, we have tracked the beast to the cave beyond yonder. There were several reports from the DOMC that large predators in the area were found savaged and half eaten, along with a few missing hikers, with it being so close to the school they asked up to hunt whatever it is down and neutralize it." Artemis nods at her lieutenant's words, the DOMC, or the Department of Mist Control was a branch of the MACUSA that helped control the Mist that hides both the Wixen world and Divine one from mundane eyes, whenever they came across a beast that could destroy the fragile balance the world found itself in, they would pass it along to her and her hunters to take care of. Only the highest forms of Government were even aware of the Gods, unless they were Demigods themselves. But it was for everyone's benefit to keep the worlds as separate as possible to not step on each other's toes.

"We think it's the Draco," Zoë says, and at this Artemis' eyes widen, Gigantomachian Drakon was a rare hunt indeed, the beast was created to try to bind Athena during the first war with the Giants before she proved too much for the beast and tossed into the heavens forming the constellation that shared its name. But what was it doing awake? The beast shouldn't have risen thanks to most forgetting its story, questions for later, for now.

"Take the hunters and fall back, leave this to me," Artemis orders her lieutenant whose head snaps to her with wide eyes.

"But My Lady, we've been tracking the beast for hours, most are starving for the kill," Zoë informs her.

"That was an order lieutenant. I will take on the backlash of the hunt upon myself, but this is my fight, now go." Artemis said through gritted teeth and with eyes blazing.

Artemis never talked to her lieutenant like this and it shows in Zoë's wide and shocked eyes, but an order was an order, and Zoë was not her Lady's lieutenant for disobeying a direct order. So she nods and leaves her perch to inform the other hunter here.

"Good," thinks the Goddess of the hunt, "my hunters didn't need to be in the area for what I am about to do." Artemis opens her link with those that have her blessing, she can feel them all. The thirty-nine close by, the other forty on Olympus, and the one in England. She feels their souls, Zoë's as cold and distant as the stars, Phoebe's which burned like the sun much like her father, Atalanta's was as fierce as a lioness, and, to Artemis' surprise, the boys(Harry's). She had not opened this link in many years, there was no need she had always made sure her hunters had a hunt to feed off of, to take in the kill at the end of the hunt. She could not stop the hunt from taking them, but she could take on the backlash to protect them by the vows they took when coming under her protection. His soul felt like she was looking at the full moon's reflection on a calm dark ocean of hidden depths, it was a beautiful sight to behold. (If we had opened the link sooner, we could have found him, we could have sav-)ENOUGH! what was done is done, we can not change the past.

Artemis drops from the tree, her body twitches as her muscles convulse from the backlash of the hunt, but she ignores it as she marches on, intent on feeding her bloodlust as she draws her silver hunting knives, which twist and shift according to her will, lengthening into a pair of short swords. Her bow would do no good here, she wanted a fight, something to vent herself on, so she reduces her own divinity to a level of a child of her fathers or uncles to extend the fight waiting for her.

As Artemis approaches the entrance to the cave, the Drakon emerges, and her hunters were correct, it was indeed the Draco. A serpent as long as a New York subway train and just as thick, its scales shifted and twisted with a reflection of the night sky as its eyes, crest, and fangs all burned with star fire. When the beast sees the Goddess, its roar shakes the earth and heavens around it and Artemis answers the beast back with her own cry, as she submerges herself fully into her divine domain of the hunt and meets the serpent head-on and losses her hurt heart to the bloodlust of the hunt.

Harry Potter, Gryffindor Tower, Hogwarts.

Harry had run away, he had run away from Hermione's pleading, unworthy of her forgiveness, or so he thought.

He had run away from Ron's words of sorrow over what had happened by shutting his curtains and putting up a silencing charm that Hermione had shown him because he didn't know what Ron saw in someone as useless as him, or so he thought.

He had refused to talk to Miss Atalanta after the Headmaster had confronted him about his weakness, because even if he put aside that she lied to him, how could someone as weak as him become a great hunter, or so he thought.

He had run from the Headmaster after the man's placating words of removing him from the Dursley, Harry knew it was untrue for the wards were too powerful to ignore and be left to fall, he would return to his prison in a few short months of freedom and magic. The Headmaster had subsequently given Harry a pass for the days he missed and for the remainder of the week to come to terms with the upheaval he found himself in the middle of and canceled the detentions that he had earned, but would not overturn the points lost for it.

So as Harry lay in his bed, stewing in the misery brought up by just being him, the words beaten into him play on repeat till he dreams of a moon on the ocean.

Hopeless, useless, worthless, unworthy, and a waste of space.

Artemis, a bloody field full of heartbreak.

Artemis sits on the unmoving corpses of her prey looking into the sky, the fight was magnificent and lasted well over an hour as she met her prey's fangs and star fire with her own silver and cunning. She was covered head to toe in gore and blood as she looked upon Orion high in the sky as his last words replayed in her head, "A Goddess who doesn't understand her own heart." He was right of course, he could always see through her in the end. She didn't understand her heart, and now, she wasn't even sure she was the master of it, as the grim grip of despair had its claws around it and refused to let it go. She had thought her heart had the desire for a hunt, for a kill, for something to vent upon but still, it twisted in pain of what she had found in the halls and minds inside of number 4 Privet Drive.

For a short time, her heart was forgotten as she fought The Draco at a mortal level and submerged into the hunt, in the violence that she had thought it called out for, but as soon as the great serpent of the stars lay dead and she emerged from the hunt it all came flooding back, the want for violence, the pain in her breast, her sweet victory turned to ash in her mouth; and she didn't understand why. (We left Harry, our Harry, in a hell because we never checked the connection with him, we assumed he was dead.)

The crib was crushed.

(We never saw a body.)

We felt three mortal souls ripped from their bodies.

(We never even looked!)

It doesn't matter, it wasn't our fault.

(Yes it was.)

The crib was crushed, and three mortal souls were ripped from three mortal bodies, we assumed it was the price we paid for our curiosity.

(But we were not the ones who paid for it!)

"A Goddess who doesn't understand her own heart."

"JUST SHUT UP!" Artemis yells to what she assumed were just the cold uncaring stars so far away.

"My Lady?" The voice of Artemis' lieutenant carries out of the dark forest behind her, Artemis' head quickly turns as Zoë steps out of the shadows holding something in her arms concern coloring her face. "Are yee feeling well?" Zoë asks.

Artemis is quiet for a long moment as her head tilts back to Orion, mockingly looking down on her, never knowing how much his words had haunted her to this day. All Artemis can do is shake her head, she didn't understand, so she doesn't think she was well.

"No Zoë, I do not believe I am well." The Goddess admits freely to her oldest friend and hunter.

"Is there anything I can do My Lady?" Zoë asks, wanting to help the Goddess that took her in and gave her a new purpose so long ago.

Artemis shakes her head before answering, "No, for I do not know what is wrong Zoë." Artemis sighs out as she drops off the body of The Draco and walks over to her lieutenant as her heart cries out to her mind.

(It's because we love him, and we hurt him, we left him in darkness and pain for all these years and did nothing.)

We do not love.

(We love him, we love him like we loved Orion.)

Then we are like our father now?

Her heart had no answer to that because it did not know.

"I see," whispers her lieutenant softly before holding out what was in her arms, "A clean jacket My Lady, I will not question why you wear that old one, but I thought you might like one not so beat up and raggy," Zoë says, unknowingly insulting the boy(her son).

"I like it, it's warm." Artemis makes her excuse. (Because it smells like Harry.) But Zoë continues to stare at her, unblinking, holding out the bomber jacket, Artemis shakes her head and smirks at her Lieutenant before taking the jacket, "Mother hen." Artemis calls Zoë.

"Well, My Lady, someone must make sure you look presentable, or else you'd run around covered in mud and blood." Zoë snarks back with a smile of her own. Artemis shrugs, she knew Zoë was right.

"Nothing wrong with being covered in the blood of one's prey, Zoë," Artemis says, not changing out of the jacket, but instead turning back to the sky, back to Orion.

"Of course not, My Lady," Zoë says as she turns her eyes skyward to where her Goddess was looking, "Do you miss him?"

"Yes." is all Artemis says.

"A Goddess who doesn't understand her own heart."

"Well," Artemis thinks to herself, "it's about time I figure it out, huh Orion?"

"Zoë, you're in charge of the hunt till I return, apologize to them for me for taking their kill," Artemis tells her lieutenant.

"If I may ask My Lady, where are you going?" Zoë asks

"A place I swore I would never step foot in." Artemis says as she begins to walk towards the woods, and Zoë makes a noise of protest, "do not worry mother hen, it's not dangerous, merely…humiliating." Artemis says the last part in a sigh, "I'll be gone two days at the most, take care of the hunt." She tells her lieutenant, already knowing she would.

"Of course, My Lady," Zoë says with a worried frown as she watches the Goddess she was sworn to disappear into the dark of the woods.

Mount Olympus, Empire State Building, 600th floor, New York.

Artemis hated pink, it was an awful, disgusting, eye sore of a color found nowhere in the natural world other than flowers, flowers that only bloom in spring to be fed upon by deer and trampled under their feet when the hunter approached. Now, now she was surrounded by the color that should be used to torment the vilest souls in Hades realm, and she hated it even more because she had come here willingly, why couldn't she go with a better color than barbie pink, silver was a very good color, in fact, it was the best if one would to ask the Goddess of the hunt.

Wait, what the hell was abarbieand how did Artemis know thatBarbie pinkwas even a color? great, this place was infecting her.

At least it had a skylight.

Artemis stands in the temple of her immortal enemy, a being that had cursed her, and her hunters, they had fought on the floor of the Olympian counsel and had come to physical blows more times than Artemis cared to remember. The only time in their long history of fighting they ever agreed on something was to punish Apollo for sending Orion into a mad rage that pushed him so deep into the hunt that Artemis had to put him down. Neither Artemis nor her enemy talks about that day with each other.

The room she stands in is modeled after a high-class ritzy hotel penthouse in Paris, France, everything was high-class and crystal from the vases, to the cups, to the Chandelier and Artemis wanted to smash it all just to spite the bitch, but she wasn't here to cause trouble, no she was her because she needed said bitches help, Artemis feels so dirty admitting that to herself. Honestly, the look on the receptionist's face when Artemis walked by her heading into the heart of the temple was almost worth the visit, almost.

So as the hearth crackles away with divine fire Artemis was looking to the Moon so high above the earth, cold and uncaring, above the petty arguments of the mortal realm, the door handle to the room turns, and in walks the bitch.

Her blonde hair hung in ringlets going down to her mid-back, eyes as blue as cut Sapphires, skin pale and without blemishes or scars, her figure one that most mortals would cause a genocide for. But like most things with the bitch, none of it was true, her features would shift and twist into whoever the beholder loved, be it the puppy love of the young, the never-ending devotion that comes with true love, or the heated passion of lust. So when Artemis' eyes briefly looked over to who had entered the room and saw blonde become black, and sapphire become emeralds, Artemis quickly looked away, cursing herself for coming here.

"No, I'm telling you Persephone, Hades loves the evil queen step-on-me look, leave him with a good memory to rema-" the Goddess stops talking on the slim flip phone in shock as she sees who is in the heart of the temple.

There is a moment of complete quiet, other than the crackling of the hearth, as one Goddess looks at the Moon and the other looks at her uninvited guest in shock.

"Seph, listen, something just came up. I've got to go, no no, nothing bad, I hope." The Goddess says into the phone as she walks into the room and sets the bags she was carrying down on one of the chairs. "I'll call you back later, promise, yeah. Bye loves." She says as she shuts the phone and tosses it with her bags and looks at the Goddess of the hunt with trepidation.

"Aphrodite." Artemis greets the mistress of the house in her normal cold tone.

"Artemis." Aphrodite greets back in the same cold tone.

There is a moment of tense silence as the two Goddesses who hated each other the most occupy the same room without it exploding into heated tempers. Aphrodite takes it all in with cold calculation, what did Artemis want? Was she here to pick a fight the day before Aphrodite's holiday? She wasn't a fighter like her boyfriend, nor was she clever in the way her husband was, but Artemis had walked into the heart of Aphrodite's center of power, where she reigned as queen, not her.

"I need to…speak with you about something private," Artemis says the words like they were the most painful thing she had ever spoken.

Aphrodite quirks her perfect eyebrow at this, She and Artemis didn't have a good history of girl talk, in fact, they had no history of girl talk. When they normally talked to each other it was to trade insults with one another.

"If memory serves me right, last time wetalked," Aphrodite uses air quotes for the last word, "You called me the, what was it again? Ah right theOlympian organ orifice" the Goddess of sex co*cks her hips after reminding Artemis of her words.

The Goddess of the Hunt doesn't flinch or turn her eyes from the Moon as she is quiet for a moment before saying "I'm not apologizing for being right." In the same deadpan tone.

Aphrodite yells in exasperation as she throws her hands in the air, the pure nerve of the Moon Goddess gets under the Goddess formed from sea foam skin faster than anything, Aphrodite needed a drink to deal with her. So as Aphrodite walks across the room to her private bar she fumes and tells the other Goddess in the room.

"If this has anything to do with your hunters, it was all-natural, I had no hand in it."

The Goddess of Love was telling the truth, after the incident that happened fifty years ago, it wasn't worth the collateral damage messing with Artemis' hunters anymore, Aphrodite had a lot to lose, Artemis, by contrast, had very little to lose.

"No, it's not about them, though I will remind you to keep away from Atalanta," Artemis says as she continues her star gazing.

Aphrodite busies herself with making a mimosa and snorts, Atalanta wassoB.C and would likely shoot her if she got within a hundred miles of the lioness. So as Aphrodite turns around to look at Artemis, crystal Margarita glass in hand, she notices the Goddess of Maidens has not once looked at her, Aphrodite's eyes narrow a bit but says nothing about it.

"So, if this is personal andnotabout your personal group of prudes, what is this about Artemis?" Aphrodite asks, patience wearing dangerously thin.

"I need you to swear an oath first," Artemis tells the beautiful one, "that you will not speak about anything you learn from me to anyone else on the pain of all of your children's deaths."

Aphrodite's eyes narrow even further at that, taking a sip of her mimosa the Goddess of Love thinks to herself, Artemis would never ask for an oath of secrecy unless what she wanted to talk about wasreallyjuicy. The fact she wanted to keep the girl talk a secret by oath, that she had not looked at her once after Aphrodite walked through the door, and the damning fact that she had come to her of all Gods, oh this was gonna begood.

So as Aphrodite leans against the private bar she smiles and says, "I swear upon the River Stixs and the painful death of all my children that whatever you tell me in the next, say, two hours, starting now, I will not speak to another living being, be it Gods, mortals, demigods, or monsters and everything in between without your expressed permission unless they already know." With a crack of thunder, the oath was sealed by the powers higher than the Gods.

With a sigh, Artemis finally stops her stargazing and looks at Aphrodite, Artemis sees the curly blonde hair shift to an unruly black, and the perfectly cut sapphire eyes turn into sparkling emeralds.

Aphrodite feels her features shift to a more masculine look, her hair turns black, and her eyes the most shocking shade of green as her mouth opens in surprise, Artemis had never made her form shift, but it wasn't as shocking as what the Goddess of the Hunt said next.

"I have a son." The Goddess of Maidens confesses.

The crystal glass shatters when it hits the floor as Aphrodite drops it in shock, along with her jaw.

One hour and three neat whiskeys for the Goddess of Love later.

It was one hour, three neat whiskeys, and one short screaming match when Artemis tried to sit on her antique Haverty's furniture when said Goddess of the hunt was covered in blood and dirt, and Aphrodite confiscated the worst offenders on Artemis' body, a beat up old leather jacket she was wearing. Oh, the fit she had thrown over that shook the temple to its roots, and Aphrodite could tell why, the jacket was a gift out of love, not her type of love mind you, but love nonetheless. Interesting.

Not as interesting as the story, however. A binding ritual for fertility that had caught Artemis in its web because the male could turn into her sacred animal, a woman in this day and age who could cast it, Artemis actually accepting and gifting the couple with a child before their untimely death over a year later. Aphrodite felt like she had hit pay dirt for a best-selling novel, or some cringe fanfiction.

But it hadn't stopped there, she had found the boy, Harry Potter, Alive, eleven almost twelve years later. Her son she had assumed dead in a war between Wixen, another casualty of it, only to hear a prayer from him while he was fighting a basilisk of all things to save a girl, Aphrodite almost swooned right there.

How Artemis had sent a hunter, Atalanta the lioness herself, to train the boy because of the double-edge blessing that her domain was, how the boy had savedANOTHER maiden from death or so it seemed, at that point, Aphrodite's near-perfect poker face had almost crumpled right then and there, this boy was A+ hero in a classic romance novel and he wasn't even eighteen yet!

Then they had gotten to their first meeting and the train wreck that it was, even under perfect conditions a demigod meeting their divine parent was always touch-and-go. Unique for each of the children, sure the divine parent could choose to meet their children right before claiming them, but once again, very touchy. But this meeting? This meeting took thecakeon f*ck ups, telling the boy he was just a curiosity after said boy admitted he was abused? I mean, Artemis have some tac for once in your life and read the room, campsite, whatever.

Artemis admitted to never hearing any of the prayers the boy had spoken of, so she had gone to the house where the boy lived, and boy did she find them. Stuck in a loop inside the blood protections that the mortal mother had laid on the child before it was turned into a ward to protect the boy behind his mother's blood, Aphrodite whistled at that part, that was a part of her domain and that was thehighestlevel conceptuallypossiblethat mortal magic could go, to even stop a God for a short time, no matter how short of a time, was a feat worthy of the legends of old.

But then Artemis had gotten to what she had found in the house, both a prison and protection for the boy. She had spoken of dark cupboards and a room of broken things, about the rage, pain, and desperation in the prayers, she spoke of how hope died in a boy who hadn't even reached double digits in age. Aphrodite's heart went out to the kid, it really did. But she was focusing on theimportant thingsat the moment, like the tiny little heartthrob running around a magic castle saving maidens with a dark past and scars, adding in the leather jacket that Aphrodite was sure was the boy's and she almost creamed herself in excitement. This was one hundred and one percent her weakness, how old was this kid again?Thirteen?f*ck, far too young. Okay, so she couldn't show the kid what love can do like that, but Aphrodite was pretty sure she had her next drama, she just had to scout the localtalent.

But then Artemis got to the meat of this five-course buffet, and oh was itgood. Artemis thought she was turning into King Bull himself, now don't get her wrong, Aphrodite had taken a ride on that bull herself, she didn't like to think of the aftermath, not her best moment, but the point was she knew the appetite of the king of the gods and frankly while he was into some kinky stuff, Aphrodite was unimpressed. Zeus was beyond a selfishlover, toeing into toxic, but Artemis thought she was at Zeus-level hedonism? That was a joke, she wasn't even on the chart. But Aphrodite understood where her enemy was coming from, Artemis was beyond her power and domain, and because of that, she could not tell lust, from love, from family. It was like a built-in blind spot for her, she couldn't tell she loved the boy as a son and not like Orion.

While Aphrodite could explain this herself, and teach Artemis what her heart was feeling, it does, technically, fall into her realm. But she would step on some toes, toes that if she did step on would earn her the wrath and rage of every being on the Olympian Council and Aphrodite would rather avoid that. So as the two Goddess lulled into silence after the yarn had been spun, Aphrodite decided to go for it.

"Artemis," Aphrodite begins slowly and cautiously, "While I would love to help you in this matter, I fear that I am the wrong Goddess for this. So I would like to bring in another, with your permission."

"How can you not help? You are the Goddess of this, are you not?" Artemis questions but all Aphrodite does is frown before informing the Moon goddess of what her limits were.

"While yes, this is a matter of love, it is not the circles of love that I dabble in," Aphrodite admits because while yes she could, due to being the Goddess of Love, we circle back to pissing everyone off. "It's someone we both trust and someone who will keep your secret without an oath ever being needed," Aphrodite informs Artemis, and sees the amber eyes go wide in realization.

"Oh, her. Are you sure she can help?" Artemis asks

"This is more her domain than mine, Artemis" Aphrodite assures her.

Artemis thinks about this for a moment before nodding, and with that Aphrodite gets up from her seat and walks over to the Hearth before leaning down and calling out into the divine fire.

"Aunt Hestia, are you free? I have Artemis here and she needs to talk to you." Aphrodite says and waits for the response she knew was coming.

"Arty you say? With you? Is everything…okay?" The youthful voice calls from the fire.

"We are beingcivilif that's what you are asking, Aunty," Aphrodite says to the eldest female Olympian that everyone but her brothers and sisters called Aunt or Aunty in some form or another, Aphrodite wasn't even related to any of the Olympians and she still called Hestia by Aunt Hestia, "But Artemis needs some help with a very sensitive topic, and she is far overdue for an explanation about a few things."

The fire crackles and goes quiet for a moment before the voice of the last Olympian calls out, "Stand back, I'm coming through." And Aphrodite does that, moving across the room towards the door.

The fire from the Hearth roars as a figure steps out, she looked no more the eight or nine, dressed in a simple brown dress, her brown hair looked as if flame licked at the edges of it, but I was the eyes that gave her away as a god, like twin burning coals or dancing flames in the dark. The first eternal maiden, the keeper of the flame of the west, and the last Olympian, Hestia. While technically a minor Goddess, there was not a soul on Olympus or in Hades that would dare call her that. She was the eldest child of the Titans and the youngest of the Olympians that had the love and respect of all who had sat by her Hearth, and without saying a word, Hestia had conjured up two mugs of hot chocolate and sat by Artemis.

"Speak child, let me know what weighs so heavily upon you." Aunt Hestia speaks softly, offering the Moon Goddess one of the mugs, and as Artemis does, she is cut off by Aphrodite speaking.

"Know this, and know this now," Aphrodite speaks and her power resonates throughout her temple, " You speak of matters of the heart, in the temple and seat of my power, know that you may speak freely for none will know what is said but you two and none shall interfere with you." And as Aphrodite speaks, her power takes hold, and Zeus could be right outside the door striking it with his master bolt, but it would do little for this was her domain where she was queen. And her word was law.

So as Aphrodite turns to the door to leave the maidens to speak alone, she sneaks a peek behind her and sees Artemis far too wrapped up in speaking with Aunt Hestia, Aphrodite reaches out and quietly picks the old and battered leather jacket off her coat rack and leaves the room with it and a smile on her lips.

She would have to push back her Bi-brunch with Poseidon and Amphitrite if not outright canceling it, she could push back her roleplay lunch with Ares, he wouldn't mind. There wasn't a force on earth or in Hades to make her cancel her dinner with her husband, but that doesn't matter, she would return long before then. After all, it wasn't that long of a trip to the Scottish Highlands.

Notes:

Bet you didn't expect a third chapter, did you? Well, f*ck you here it is.

Did anyone guess that Artemis, the chaste Hunter would go to her greatest enemy?

What about Hestia? I mean one of the main themes is family.

But now Aphrodite is heading to Hogwarts, god's help that poor school, it's about to be the personal playground to the Goddess of Love on the one day of the year when she is stronger than Zeus.

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 17: Full Moon IV

Notes:

So, I've hit the limit on angst I want to put up with in the last few chapters, It's time for someone to step and do something about it!

*The door behind me opens and in walks Aphrodite.*

Oh, f*ck! That's not who I meant, that's not who I meant at all!

*Aphrodite smiles at me before looking out to the audience*

"On with the show." The Goddess of Love says before smirking wickedly.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Aphrodite, Hogwarts.

Heartstrings. This little term has been used from time immemorial, from Sappho sitting at an inn and gazing at a woman so beautiful she had cursed Aphrodite for pulling at them, to the modern day as a God stood on a beach with his wife looking at a young woman in a blue bathing suit, both feeling the strings of their hearts pulled to each other by a weave of knots and entanglements. Heartstrings were powerful, possibly the most powerful thing in the known universe, if one knew how to pluck at them that is; and Aphrodite certainly knew how to do just that. There are three common types of heartstrings, the most common were the gray threads that attached a heart to things they care for, be it an object, a pet, or a person, these tied people together in friendship mostly and were the most fragile of the heartstrings, prone to wear and tear until they snap or are forgotten about.

The next are the golden threads, which show the love between two or more people that could be wound so tightly together that they become a Gordian knot in and of themselves. They were uncommon, but still in abundance considering the last heartstring, the golden thread tied deep friendships and love blooming between to hearts together, they connected family with one another and those who were like family together. Aphrodite tries to avoid playing with the golden threads for while tied to her domain, it was also a part of Hestia's more deeply, and she did not want to cross Hestia any more than Hestia wants to cross anyone.

Then there is the last of the threads, the red thread of fated love, the one Aphrodite was most interested in. The red thread connects two or more hearts to each other so thoroughly and so tightly, that the hearts start beating as one at first sight. They were unbreakable and impossible to serve, even for a Goddess of Love like herself, but it did not mean Aphrodite could not manipulate them. All Aphrodite had to do was cut her finger and run it along the thread that connected two people together, and voila, instant red thread. Her son Eros had a simpler way to do this with his arrows, but her way works just as well.

The gray and golden threads can and would switch between coloring as mortals and gods went through their lives up and downs, gaining and losing color till they either die and all threads but the red ones snap or till they snap for other reasons. The red threads always stayed even after death and would normally drag the other person it was connected to, to their death as well. It was a rare power that only one in a hundred of her children could see them, one in a thousand that could pluck at them as she did. But as Aphrodite weaves these threads into a complicated and convoluted tapestry that no other being other than herself could make sense of, she was cursed as cruel and wicked, and praised as loving and wise, the goddess of love could do this to anyone, to anything, at any time; if one were to ask her Aphrodite would simply shrug and tell them it was just a part of her nature.

It was the heartstrings that would lead her to the boy, she was sure of it. So as she appeared on the green grounds of Hogwarts she was surprised to find not one, but two strings attached to the leather jacket she held folded in her arms, one gold and one gray, the golden one was pulled tightly leading off into the woods, while the other was snap and flailing in the wind. Aphrodite follows the golden one because she was sure it would lead to Harry, besides it was leading into the woods, son of Artemis, this was a no-brainer. But she didn't find a boy, but a large black hound laying under a tree looking up at the castle, and as the Goddess of love approached the hound, it stood looking between the jacket and her before growling and backing away. As Aphrodite ponders this odd occurrence of the heartstrings, the hound turns tail and runs away.

"Such a strange dog," Aphrodite murmurs to herself watching it run off, it was almost as if…

No, focus. She was here for the boy, nothing else. Sighing to herself Aphrodite came to terms that she was going to have to do this the hard way. So turning on her Gochi heels she starts walking to the castle, shifting her form from that of an adult to that of a seventeen-year-old, copying the outfits of the students she sees off in the distance and walking through the doors of the castle.

As she walks the stone halls, and through the corridors of the castle looking for something she couldn't find thanks to a spell based on her domain, she looks for the heartstrings that bound the boy to others. But she found a shockingly little amount of them, it was like trying to find a needle in a needle stack. No gray strings lead her to the boy's heart, no golden ones that bound him tightly to others, it honestly worried Aphrodite a bit, for even a sociopath who could not feel love had the strings of others bound to them. Aphrodite searched high and low in the castle looking for the boy or any string that would lead her to him, if it wasn't for the looks of lust and love during her day, she would have given up by now, but with the bursting breath of power she got from the worship of the mortals inside the castle celebrating the day of love, she knew this was the best chance she had to find the son of Artemis.

She got her first hint as to where the boy was down in the dungeons below the school, who has dungeons at a school? I mean it did put an even more kinky spin on the whole teacher naughty schoolgirl/boy roleplay, but really, this was a bit much even for her. But as Aphrodite stood at the dead end of another corridor cursing her luck in finding the boy, a shadow peeled itself off the wall and walked into the torchlight.

"Has Azkaban rotted your brain so much that you thought impersonating a woman twelve years dead was a good idea, Black?" Severus Snape snarled at the imposter in Lily Evans' form, "Or did you wish to insult the dead as well as finish the job the Dark Lord started?" The dark man says as he raises his wand against the Goddess, the fires of hate burning in his eyes.

Azkaban? Black? Insulting the dead? Aphrodite feels like she was missing something as she turns around to take a look at the man pointing a stick at her like it was going to do something. First off, eww. Second off, D'aww.

Eww, because of…all of what that man was, he needed a makeover and wardrobe change ASAP, because as much as Aphrodite liked the goth dom daddy look as much as the next girl, he was not doing it for her. His hair was greasy, he needed to trim the goatee, and get some proper skin care and some sun, a manny peddy wouldn't hurt either, He also looked like a giant bat in that cloak of his, he could work it though, she'd give him that.

D'aww because this man had more golden threads than grey ones wrapped around his heart, as well as a string tying him to someone dead, a flame carried around all these years, that was impressive to have a golden thread tied so tightly around his heart for, …for, …oops. Charmspeak time.

"Professor," Aphrodite begins her tone of voice layered with the double timber of her personal magic, "I think you may have gotten me confused with someone else in the torchlight, perhaps you need to go back to your office for a nice cup of tea and a nap."

Severus' eyelids droop as the magic worms its way into his ear, Aphrodite smiles her charming smile, as she watches the dark man's eyes look around confused, and his wand hand lowering. As Aphrodite begins to walk forward and around the man, his eyes open wide and snap to the Goddess, stopping her in her tracks and slashing his wand upwards sending a burst of mortal magic at her. Aphrodite has no choice but to swing her hand forward, shattering the dark magic, otherwise, it would have ruined her cute schoolgirl outfit. As the look of shock grows on the face of Severus Snape, Aphrodite speaks.

"First off, Rude! I came to this school with no intent to harm anyone and here you are slinging your thick stick around trying to ruin my outfit." Aphrodite reprimands the now shocked Potions master, "Second off,Shampoo, have youheardof it?" It takes a second before the rage leaks back into Snape and he flings another spell at the disguised Goddess that shatters like crystal against steel on her as she swings her arm again, "and finally,sleep!" And as the Goddess of love finishes, she raises her hand and snaps her fingers, forcing enough mist and Charmspeak into the order to knock out a god, and Snape was no god, so he crumpled to the floor like a puppet with its strings cut.

Aphrodite lets out an aggravated sigh as she goes to step around the man, she feels it, a heartstring, waving in the wind much like the jacket, not quite broken, but not quite attached to something. It wasn't the sleeping man's fault, it was what it was attached to trying to push it away, and best of all, it was a heartstring attached to one Harry James Potter. It was at best a direction to the boy, at worst only attached to something with the boy's name. Either way, a clue. But first the man, Aphrodite kneels, brushing a greasy lock of hair from the man's face and inspects the heartstring attached to Lily Evans, a death the man had never gotten closure to, so the heartstring pulled him down more than it uplifted him. If Lily was still alive Aphrodite wouldn't have bothered, she'd probably grab some popcorn and watch the show, but the woman was dead and so was the hope for her, and it was best to let the dead sleep.

"Sleep, Severus Snape, sleep and dream of red lilies telling you to live a life for yourself, and not for the dead," Aphrodite speaks softly in the ear of the Potions Master, knowing Morpheus would do the rest, she moved on and back up to the main floor of the castle, following the heartstring that leads her closer to the son of Artemis. As she moved through the castle she would cast her gaze left and right, stopping every now and then to poke and prod along the thread of the young couples encouraging the puppy love, to lust, to forbidden romances. Watching the blushing faces of young women and the stuttering words of young men confessing their feelings, or the secret looks two boys would give each other. She smiles back at the coy looks she gets from boys and girls alike, it's around this time she sees the next threads that connect to the boy she seeks, a pair of strings flashing between gold and gray, not quite a crush but not quite caring for the boy, looping up to the upper floors of the castle. So the goddess of love takes note of the two girls in green and silver robes before heading upstairs, a crash from below almost stops her but as one of the two girls says something makes her laugh more than anything.

"Honestly Tracy!" The blonde one says.

"Did you not see the thighs on that bird!?" Says the girl in the beanie who had just crashed into a suit of armor because she was too busy being a woman of culture much like Aphrodite.

As the Goddess of love wanders around the upper floors looking for threads that tie the boy to anything, her worries grow, no favorite class he likes more than others or favorite desk he sits at, nothing. But as she passes a painting she was sure she had passed three times now, she can't help but feel as if the castle was leading her in circles. She was quite sure she had gone up three flights of stairs and yet it felt like she was on the same floor like the castle was alive or something. That thought stops her dead. Was the castle alive? It wasn't unheard of for magical architecture to gain a form of sentience, the Labyrinth was proof of that. Aphrodite approaches the wall and lays a hand on it, focusing on the stonework and what lies below, she feels it, a pulse much like a heartbeat. While the stonework was based on mortal magic, the very cornerstone that the school was built upon was something else, something divine; and it did not like her being in the school.

She tries to apologize, tries to reason with it, tries to explain that she meant no harm to any that dwells within her walls. But while it was alive, it wasn't alive enough to listen to her, like a mostly faded god, more feeling than thought.

Aphrodite sighs, "Great, a stupid lump of stone stops me, you're lucky we're so far away from the flame of the west, or I'd turn you to rubble." The goddess tells the wall angrily.

"You shouldn't talk to her like that, she doesn't like it." A voice says in a dazed and dreamy tone from behind Aphrodite, who jumps at the sound and quickly turns around to find a girl, a little too close for comfort. She had impossibly wide misty blue eyes framed in a pained face and blonde hair, with a wand tucked behind her ear, she smiled a dreamy smile up to the Goddess of love that didn't quite reach her eyes.

As the Goddess of beauty inspects the girl, with no heartstrings attached to the boy, she can't help but to ask, "Where are your shoes?"

The girl, in the same tone of voice as before, says "The Nargles took them."

"I…see. Well, I don't think the castle likes me very much anyway, so it doesn't matter much on how I talk to her." Aphrodite says as she turns back to the wall with a frown.

"That's because you killed her," The girl says, pausing as Aphrodite turns back to look at her with surprise on her face, "Well, not you specifically Miss, but those who worshiped you. They came and spelt the blood of the old Gaelic gods, spilling it upon her stones. Or, that's what she told me." The girl says as Aphrodite's mouth opens slightly in shock, the girl could see through the mist. The Goddess turns her full attention to the girl with narrow eyes but says nothing.

The girl doesn't say anything either, just continues to look at the Goddess with a dreamy smile, so as the Goddess looks at the girl, the girl looks back at her for a long moment of awkward quiet.

"Are you looking for something?" The girl asks finally, tilting her head and Aphrodite coo's in her head at the cuteness of the act.

"More like someone," Aphrodite says as she bends her knees getting on eye level, their noses almost touching, "I'm looking for a boy by the name of-"

But the dreamy girl cuts her off, "Harry Potter."

This shocks Aphrodite that the girl knew, "Did the castle tell you that little one?" The Goddess asks.

"No," replies the girl, never losing her smile, "but you glow like him, but you're a kaleidoscope of all beautiful things, and he glows softly silvery, like moonlight."

Yup, that was the child of Artemis alright, "do you know where he is little one? I have something of his I'd like to return." Aphrodite says, holding up the jacket in her arms.

The girl looks at it tilting her head, before nodding. "He's normally in the owlery just above the defense tower," the girl says before holding up her hand, "I can show the way if you want."

Aphrodite smiles at the girl, and takes her hand, "Why thank you my little guide, I accept your offer." The girl's smile finally touches her eyes as she drags Aphrodite down the corridor and around the corner as the Goddess giggles.

With the girl as her guide, the castle seemed to move out of their way, shifting and turning to make longer-looking hallways impossibly short, or moving staircases to connect to the right corridors all the while the girl with the misty blue eyes and the Goddess giggled as they ran. In no time at all the girl stops pulling the Goddess along outside a seemingly random stairway that looped up and around the tower above.

"He's up there," she says as her smile turns a touch sad, "I think he likes to be alone too much, he needs help." She comments as she turns to look at the Goddess.

Aphrodite narrows her eyes at the girl, did the girl think Aphrodite was her to help? Oh no, she was here for her own selfish wants to toy with Artemis. The hunters may be off limits, but the boy? The boy was fair game. But the girl doesn't need to know that.

"May I have the name of my little savior?" The Goddess asks with a smile.

"Luna. Luna Lovegood." The girl says with a curtsy of her skirt, and as Aphrodite opens her mouth to give her name, the odd girl turns on her heel and skips off deeper into the castle. Aphrodite tilts her head with a look of amusem*nt at the odd little Luna girl's back.

As the Goddess of love turns back around and looks up the stairs, she giggles once again, a smirk forms on her plump perfect lips as she begins her ascent to the boy, the smirk turns to a grin, to a smile full of playfulness, to a malicious teeth-baring grin of manic glee because finally,finally! After three millennials putting up with nettling words, open insults, and disrespect paid to her over and over and over again by Artemis, the Goddess of the Moon finally had something morepreciousthan her Hunt to lose. How many of her children lay dead because of Artemis and her hunt? How many of her beautiful baby boys turned to animals before being set upon by the hunt and hounds? How many of her gorgeous daughters did Artemis have stripped and humiliated before being killed like animals!? Countless. So now, as Aphrodite climbs the stairs that lead to the son of the hunt she could finally have the justice so often denied to her.

But it won't be quick, oh no, that was too good for Artemis. The boy will suffer, she'll drag him through the fields of razor wire and broken glass that was toxic relationship after toxic relationship. Having the boy's heart break again and again as he gave up piece after piece for "love", and when there was nothing left to give, only then would the boy die, and he'll die with a smile and a prayer on his lips venerating her and her alone for helping him find "love". The look in Artemis' eyes when it happens will beorg*smic.

But as Aphrodite got to the top of the stairs and cracked the door open ever so slightly to get her first peek at the son of Artemis, her plan fell to ruins. She now knew the reason why the boy had no heartstrings attached to anything or anybody while Aphrodite looked around the castle, the thick stone walls the boy had built around his heart had only let one string out, and it was tied tightly to the owl sat perching on the boy's shoulder. The string burned and glowed with the force of the sun and if it wasn't the fact she could only see one from the boy, she would have missed the thread from the owl to the boy that burned just as brightly.

But both paled in comparison with what was buried in the stone wall around the boy's heart, it was breathtaking, a matrix of golden thread spun and threaded so tightly around it that Aphrodite almost couldn't tell if it was his or not. It weaved in an intricate pattern like a complex knitting project that hugged the boy's heart as firm and tight as a mother's hug, and Aphrodite understood all at once where it had come from, Lily Potter's willing sacrifice, the woman had given up her power, her core, her very magic and walked into the jaws of death with a smile on her face just so her son could live.

The Goddess shuts the door and begins to curse, while Artemis had told her about the sacrifice of Lily Potter, there was no way the Goddess of the hunt could understand what it truly meant. Hades, not even she, the Goddess of love, understood until she lay eyes on it. While still the highest end of esoteric Magic bordering on the realm of the Gods, it was much more than that, it was the type of magic that beat like theheartof Aphrodite's very own divine domain. A power so grand and all-consuming that it would even stave off death itself, and it had, she could practically feel death's touch on the boy, as deep and as intimately as any lover's touch. The boy was wrapped up in death and fate so tightly that he almost seemed to be a puppet to both.

This wasn't something Aphrodite could just brush aside like it was inconsequential, a willing sacrifice in the name of her divine domain was to be venerated and respected, Lily Potter wanted her son to live a long and happy life, and if Aphrodite were to go against that, it would be considered heresy of the highest order and earn her the wrath and anger of every God, Dava, Demon, and Devil that dealt in the domain of love, including Hestia. Then there was the wall around the boy's heart, built from the inside out. He wasn't like his divine mother, who was the cold unfeeling calculation right before the kill in a hunt, no. The boy could love so deeply and so true that after being hurt by hands that should have cared for him, he had built a stone wall around his heart to never feel that pain again. It was no wonder this boy had no heartstrings attached to a person or thing, the boy wouldn't allow himself to care, and why did the heartstrings of others could not attach themselves to him, because he wouldn't allow it.

No, Aphrodite could see the writing on the wall and the hands of fate guiding her, she was no fool. To harm the boy would be sacrilege and the antithesis of everything the goddess of love was, she would not get her revenge this day. Aphrodite sighs out in frustration, it wasn'tfair! But then again, all was fair in love and war. So the Goddess of love takes a deep breath and composes herself, revenge may be off the table, but her drama will go on, she would help the boy tear down the walls that surrounded his heart whether he wanted to or not, for no living mortal should be bereft of love. So, with that thought in mind, Aphrodite reaches out and turns the handle of the door, and steps inside of the room with an angelic smile on her lips.

"Hello, Harry Potter." Aphrodite closes the door behind her.

Harry Potter, Owlery, Hogwarts.

Harry Potter was hiding away again, he was avoiding Ron, Hermione, and Miss Atalanta tucked away in the Owlery with the only person in the world he felt cared for him, and he for them, his owl, Hedwig. She was currently perched on his shoulder, not wanting to leave her friend and master alone in his stewing misery. The owl felt the pain in Harry's heart as much as she could feel her own heart break for him, so like the silent ghostly Guardian she was, she would stand vigil till her master could pick himself up again as she has seen him do many times before. So they sat together overlooking the grounds of Hogwarts watching couples and friends alike enjoy the budding spring day by taking walks around the lake or finding hiding spots to express their love on this day of love. But as Harry Potter's guardian with wings as white as the fiercest angel's hears the doors to the owlery open, she turns her head to the newcomer and is instantly on guard, turning on his shoulder and puffing up to warn the woman from her master, she feels Harry shifts as he lifts a hand to calm her, but stops as he hears the woman speaks.

"Hello, Harry Potter." She says in a soft tone and with a smile.

To Harry's credit, he doesn't jump, but turns his head to look at the soft voice and narrows his eyes. She had a scent to her, one that smelled of roses and light rain, with the undertone of something musty he couldn't put his finger on. Her features seem to shift and change, jumping around as if she couldn't make up her mind about what she wanted to look like, from soft round features, to sharp and defined, from warm brown eyes to purple, to a shade of green that he only saw in the mirror. A cascading color and hair type twisted and shifted from short and blond to long and bushy brown, to curls of red licked by flame. She was dressed in robes that flashed through the house colors of each of them, her hands behind her back and a smile on her lips. Still, Harry isn't moved by the sight, he knew this day would come sooner or later when Miss Atalanta had told him on the Quidditch field of what he was.

"Hedwig, go," Harry tells his owl before it barks at him in indignation, she was a guardian, she was going nowhere, "I don't want you to get hurt too girl, please. Go to Hermione, she'll take care of you." Harry smiles sadly at his owl.

The unknown girl giggles, "I'm sorry that's just way too cute, but I'm not here to hurt anyone, Harry." She says with a sigh at the end of it, as if she was disappointed in that.

"But, you're a monster, right?" Harry asks, confused.

The girl grins and raises an eyebrow, "To some," she says with a shrug, "but to most, I am a blessing."

Harry's eyes narrow further, "Then who are you?"

"Hmm," the older girl hums, "how about this? Let's make a game of it, I'll give you three hints about who I am, and you'll get one guess." The girl says as she walks forward towards Harry, "and if you get it right, I'll give you a treat." She smiles down at the boy.

"And if I get it wrong?" The son of the hunt asks.

The girl just shrugs again, "Then you get nothing, but do try to get it right, my treats are to die for." She says in a low and sultry voice causing the boy who lived to blush, before just nodding dumbly.

The girl winks at him before giving out her hints, "I am the reason that one of the most famous wars of the ancient world was fought, I lay in the heart and soul of every mortal, whether they know it or not, and finally: I am the antithesis to your divine mother." The girl says, making Harry flinch at that last part and look away.

The moment of quiet carries on for a minute or two as Harry puzzles out who she could be, famous wars, the Trojan war? In the heart and soul, heart and soul, in the heart! Love! Oh sh*t!

"Tick-tock, Harry Potter." The girl says before Harry looks back at her.

"You're Aphrodite." Harry states.

"Ding-Ding-Ding, he gets it in one, hmm, smart and cute," Aphrodite says giving Harry a calculated look, "You gonna be a panty dropper and a heartbreaker when you get older." She says with a laugh and as Harry blushes deeper.

"What are you doing here?" Harry asks, not trusting the Goddess of love due to all the stories of her flights of fancy she was prone to.

Aphrodite doesn't even blink before waving her hand, conjuring a thrown of gold and pinks to sit on before tossing Harry his reward, the Jacket he had left in the woods to Artemis, he blinks in confusion, and before he could ask how she had gotten it she answers his first question.

"Well, I was just coming back from a shopping trip and getting back to my temple on Olympus, when I walked into the deepest chambers that are my rooms when I found I had a guest." She tells him, "None other than Artemis herself." A smirk forms on her lips at Harry's confused look.

"Why would she go to you?" He asks, he knows the stories, Miss Atalanta had told him of his mother's greatest enemy and some of the things they had done to one another.

"Why else Harry?" She says as the answer was obvious, "for matters of the heart."

Harry quickly looks away, "She doesn't have a heart." He says with anger and stinging pain still fresh in his mind.

"As the foremost expert on these things that you've met Harry, I'd have to disagree," Aphrodite affirms him, "Your mother does have a heart, she just has the emotional understanding of a thumbnail."

"She's not my mother," Harry says firmly, his hands curling into fists as he denied a truth he didn't want, as he continued to look away from the Goddess.

Aphrodite is quiet for a moment, "Yes, she is Harry. No matter how much you wish it wasn't true, you carry inside of you a piece of her, whether you want to or not, just as my children do for me." The Goddess of Love says in a soft tone.

Harry doesn't say anything as he sits stiffly looking out the window that his legs dangle out of, the corners of his eyes burning, but he wouldn't cry, Vernon hated it when he cried.

"She came to me after she had visited your home." Aphrodite continues softly as she watches the boy's shoulders stiffen at the mention of it, "She saw the cupboard, and the room, but most importantly she found out why she couldn't hear your prayers."

"Why?" Harry whispers barely loud enough to hear.

"The spell your mother cast before her death made for two things to happen, first was to protect you from the next person that tried to kill you forevermore and made sure that no one was able to find you if they wanted to hurt you till you came of age, when someone had expanded that into a ward, the ward made sure nothing could find you by any means unless the person who cast the ward allowed them," Aphrodite explains

"Dumbledore." Harry mumbles.

Aphrodite nods her head slightly, "Whoever did it, Harry probably didn't even understand what he had done unless he knew you were a demigod at the time. But the ward had made sure that no prayers that you made within it could leave it, so when your mother went to your home they hit her all at once, and for the first time in a long time, made Artemis feel something with her heart." Aphrodite finishes.

"... she's not my mother," Harry says stubbornly.

"Yes, she is." Aphrodite says still in a soft tone, "and she loves you, she just didn't know till she crossed the ward line."

"No, she doesn't," Harry says, refusing to believe it because he wasn't worthy of love, that was for smarter, better people, not a waste of space like him, "I'm just a curiosity to her, she told me so herself." He focuses on the black lake, willing the Goddess to leave him alone, why couldn't anyone just leave him alone!?

"You're wrong Harry," Aphrodite tells him, "She's loved you from the moment she laid eyes on you when you were a baby, she just didn't know it."

Something snaps in Harry's chest, he turns to look at the Goddess, to yell at her, to tell her to go away, to ask what would she know about any of this! But as he turns, the rage and words die in him, and his eyes widen, because sitting on the throne was no longer the ever-shifting form of the Goddess of Love. But bright emerald green eyes, so painful to look at, set into a round friendly face and hair like the fires of hell hanging down straight over her shoulder, the smiling face of Lily Potter looks back at Harry.

And as if she read his mind, she answers his unspoken question in a voice only Harry's walled-off heart remembers as his mother's, "Because Harry, a mothers love is one of the most powerful forms of love in the world, I've seen it move mountains and topple empires, I've known titans and gods fall to its power." Aphrodite stands and moves over to Harry, kneeling to look him in the eyes at his level, emerald meets emerald under wings of white as the Goddess reaches forward and presses the palm of her hand to his heart, "Because without the love of your mortal mother, death would have reached you, Harry Potter, and I can still feel her love in you, around you, and through you. It shields you, because she loved you, and still does."

Harry was shocked still as the form of his mother standing from the throne conjured and walked over to him, kneeling before him, she talks but he doesn't hear, too busy remembering the curves of her face that weren't a reflection in a mirror. Harry tries to open his mouth to say something but the hand over his heart is warm, and the words soft, and before he knows it he's choking back sobs threatening to burst from his chest as the Goddess in the guise of his mother, slowly and cautiously, wraps her arms around him pulling him into her embrace.

He feels Hedwig fly off from his shoulder and land somewhere else in the room, Harry stiffly leans into the embrace, not sure what to do. What he would've given for this, all the gold in Gringotts, his cloak, his magic, just to embrace like this with his mother. But now that it was happening as close as it could Harry knew not what to do, until Aphrodite spoke again.

"Shh, Harry, Shh. Don't think, just…let go." She whispers into his ear after a moment, "You've been so strong for so long, and made them both so proud, just let go, Harry. You don't need to be strong now, just let go."

And Harry did, he wept. He wept for all the horror and pain in his life, he wept for the parents he never got to know, he wept for the seven-year-old still locked in a cupboard asking what he had done wrong just to get the belt for asking a question, but most importantly he wept for himself and the damage done upon his heart and mourned the loss of his innocence so young.

Harry didn't know how long he cried, with sobs ripping through his chest as he hugs the form of his mother for dear life, as she rubs his back and whispers sweet nothings into his ear about how it wasn't his fault, that he wasn't weak or worthless, and how he was stronger than he would ever know. And when the tears all dried up, Aphrodite still didn't let go of the sad and broken boy with walls around his heart, she just held him tighter.

It wasn't until a few minutes later when Harry felt her head leave the top of his as it snapped up did she say something, "Harry, I'm sorry to say it but looks like our time is up." She informs the boy.

Harry looks up with bloodshot eyes and says in a voice thick from crying "What?" And when he looked at the Goddess that held him as he wept, he saw her not in the form of his mother, but in the ever-shifting visage she had worn when she walked into the room.

"It seems your mother has figured out where I'm at and is not very happy with me, she's probably sending Atalanta here as we speak, so listen to me and listen well to the words of Aphrodite." She says as her voice is laced with power.

"The stone wall that you've built around your heart so thick, thicker than the walls of this castle, is built on a faulty foundation, of sand and shells that will crumple before the sea that is waiting for you beyond your walls of clay and straw." She speaks as her words feel as they sink into Harry, and all at once he feels something build in his chest.

"HARRY!" He hears his name being called at the end of the hall, the Goddess of love doesn't break eye contact as she flicks her hand to the door. Harry hears it screech as it does, …something.

"You are loved far more and far deeper than you know Harry Potter, than you can even feel now, but heed the words of Aphrodite, before this year ends the walls around your heart will fall, and you will know," Aphrodite speaks with power that could not be ignored by anything.

"HARRY, GET AWAY FROM HER!" He hears yelling as a few sets of feet come charging up the stairs getting closer.

The Goddess of love finally smiles at him, "oh, Harry! I have such fun plans for you, the romance, the drama, oh you'll love it. From a pureblood princess, to a will they won't they, to the daughter of your greatest enemy, and so much in between. Don't worry, I'll make sure the last one is scrappy enough to keep you in line." Aphrodite says with a coy and teasing smile.

BOOM, BOOM! The door shakes as something on the other side hits it, "GET AWAY FROM HIM YOU f*ckING c*nt!"

"You're going to fall hard and fast for so many, and love so deeply and true…" Aphrodite says as she grabs his chin and leans forward.

"Move, you stupid girl!" Another voice shouts

"That you will walktodeath of your own free will for them." Harry hears the Goddess of love whisper into his ear before kissing his cheek.

BOOM! The door explodes into the room and all the owls but Hedwig scatter, and as the dust and feathers settle Atalanta charges in, bow out and arrow drawn aiming right at Aphrodite, who just smirks at the hunter.

"Hello, Atalanta, cute ears!" The Goddess of love says before Atalanta fires, but it's far too late as Aphrodite disappears in a puff of pink mist with her giggle echoing around the room.

Mount Olympus

Hestia sat at her Hearth in the throne room of the god's stirring the ash and ember of the flame of the west, she had finished talking with her favorite niece just a short time ago, she was the shoulder the girl had cried on as they talked about the boy, about Harry, and her feelings to him. Hestia had helped her sort out her emotions about the boy, they had spoken about the boy's life and Hestia boiled with rage.

But with the rage, also came confusion, she had gotten the story of how Harry had ended up in the home that he did, it wasn't right. When she had looked into it with her own power, she found no strings attaching the boy to his aunt or cousin. But she did find a thread that was connected from a hound to the boy, so when Artemis found the Jacket missing she had charged off after Aphrodite, who was without a doubt, off to stir up Mischief with the boy in the center, Hestia had watched as the hound that remembers changed into a man who has all but forgotten.

And as Hestia stirred the ashes and embers of the flame of the west, stoking it as she always did, she thought about the strange hound and of Harry, and as she looked into the flames the flames looked back and she saw inside the ash and fire what was to come.

She saw a hunt…

A hound and a rat…

A wolf under the silver moon…

And the last two fragile threads that held Harry to his humanity snap, and the boy goes feral…

And of blood…

"Well," Hestia whispers to the flame, "That won't do."

Notes:

Raise your hand if you actually thought that Aphrodite left to go help Harry willingly in some capacity?

That many? Dunce caps are to your left, please put one on.

Aphrodite is not a nice god, she is capricious and fickle, petty and vengeful and just an all-around c*nt.

This means I f*cking love writing her.

I tried to make her absolutely terrifying, because she really is that scary.

Did I hit the nail on the head?

Now we finally see the gods poke around with Harry's life and oh boy, he is going to an amazingly terrible time with it. As in it will both be amazing and terrible at the same time!

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 18: Full Moon V

Notes:

With this chapter, I break 100k words with over a combination of 1000 likes and follows. Nice.

But I would like to talk about something before moving forward, and that is the God's and their interaction with prophecy. First, what is prophecy? Prophecy is a series of events that comes to pass after being foretold, they are set in stone and can not be changed, though often the lines in the Prophecy can have a double meaning.

What types of prophecy are there?

By mixing two worlds with their way of approaching prophecy one must take both ways into account. First, we have Seers from HP, they see the future and ordain what is to come, be it big or small, they set the events they see into stone.

Then we have the Oracle of Delphi in PJO, which is in some ways a Seer as well, but it sees more of personal events that will happen to those who ask of her.

As some of you may have noticed, I try to keep the world separate but the lines between them blurred. The divine believes it's a smart idea to keep the worlds as apart from each other as possible so no conflicts can arise like the one between the Roman and Greek gods.

That being said, how do we bring them together without invalidating one or the other?

Simple, they both come from the same source, the divine domain of fate/destiny. But what makes them different? Simple, Seers see the events of the mortals, while the oracle sees the events of the divine.

But in either case, the Gods have the same rules and are bound to the same laws for both. They can not change what Prophecy has set in stone, if they know the prophecy they can meddle with it to an extent but they can't change anything, keep that in mind going forward.

What did Hestia do in the last chapter with the fire?

What she did was a form of divination, not giving a prophecy just seeing events as they could play out, or the most likely that would come to pass. As to what will happen, well. You'll just have to read on to find out.

But enough with the very little world-building I do, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Atalanta, Hogwarts, February 14th

Atalanta missed the Hunt, She missed the chase, She missed being in her Lady's presents, and most of all, she missed her sisters. Don't get her wrong, she doesn't regret coming to Hogwarts under her Mistress' orders. The first two months were rocky, between hunting alone in the woods and getting Harry out of his shell, it was lonely for Atalanta. She slept in the dark woods alone when with the hunt you got to bunk with whoever wanted to bunk with you for the night, normally Atalanta bunked with the younger girls, they didn't mind the fact she liked to snuggle with the nearest warm body. It was a comfort to both the younger girls and Atalanta, knowing someone was there when any of them woke from the nightmares of time before the hunt, before the sisterhood. But during the first two months, Atalanta was without that comfort, waking up in the dark of night in the forbidden forest wasn't a fun thing to do, there were a few nights when she had awoken from a nightmare thinking she was back in the body of the beast she was for so long.

When Halloween passed and she took up Dumbledore's offer for a room inside the castle, even when Artemis had forbidden it, it was a small comfort. Being able to wake up from a night terror and look in the mirror and know she wasn't an animal anymore was a great help, there was also all the pillows she had on the bed to snuggle with, but it still wasn't her sisters of the hunt. When Artemis found her again five years ago, when she had offered her to retake her oaths and escape the nightmare she had lived for the past untold years, she had jumped on it. But being someone from ancient Greece and transmigrating to the Modern world was difficult at first, getting used to the new world she found herself in, and finding out the subtle changes to the Gods was a shock.

Artemis would let girls leave the hunt when once it was a lifetime commitment to it, and forgiving slight transgressions instead of pushing them harshly was also mind-blowing.

She was blown away by all the progress the mundane world had made, toasters, ovens, and the food you could get at a burger place where once preparing a meal would take hours it could now take as little as 15 minutes. Cars were also a huge thing, metal and plastic boxes that speed down roads so abundant to carry people and things from one place to another in a journey that measured hours when once it would take days. The hunt had changed as well, little things and one big thing, but change it did.

Back in Atalanta's day, the Hunt was a loose collection of girls who had taken the oath and journeyed the known world by themselves or in small groups. Nowadays it was one large group of girls that numbered forty strong, no more, no less, that all hunted together with Artemis when once it was only Zoë and a few Nymphs that traveled with her. Atalanta likes that change, to be with the Goddess of the Hunt and hunt with her was considered the greatest honor a hunter could have during Atalanta's time, but now they all traveled with Artemis, and it was, well Atalanta couldn't put it into words of what it was like. The Hunts, the feasts, the comradery, and the cuddle piles were great, more so than the days of stalking Africa as a lioness or being kept in a cage to fed on whoever and whatever was thrown to her that day. Those days as a Lioness, as a monster, and a beast of the hunt were a blur of blood, carnage, and the Everchase. She didn't ever remember when Hippomenes had left to stalk demigods, it wasn't until she went to Camp Half-blood and found out from Chiron of what happened to him. He gave in fully to being a monster where Atalanta had fought against it, Heracles would later kill him and take his pelt for a spoil of war.

She had burned a shroud of Arcadia for him at the Camp as an act of mourning, to her surprise Artemis was the one to allow it.

"For who would mourn for him if not his wife?" Artemis had said, mostly in jest.

Hippomenes was with her when she had hunted the Calydonian boar, before she went to have her adventure on the Argo, and had fought to let her keep the pelt, he was a good kid, a bit too eager, a bit dim, but a good kid before he let the Everchase consume what was left of his humanity. He deserved to be mourned by someone, even if she was over two thousand years late. She was happy to be back with the Hunt, with sisters new and old, even if Zoë was being a bit of a bitch to her, but Atalanta had broken her oaths once upon a time, so she understood where Zoë was coming from.

Then the hot morning in June happened, where Lady Artemis had pulled her aside telling her she had something for her to do, that it wasn't an order, but a request. But Atalanta, like all in the hunt, was eager to please her Lady, so she had accepted before Artemis had even told her what she wanted Atalanta to do. She doesn't regret it either, oddly enough, Atalanta sometimes thought the Goddess picked her because she was uniquely qualified to do it, she was, technically, one of the oldest hunters, she had worked with male demigods before, and she was often in charge of training the younger hunters on how to control the power of the hunt. So when Artemis had told her of a young boy in England who had the hunt pumping through his blood, how he had killed a century-old Basilisk and was considering him for the hunt, Atalanta had no problem with going there to help him.

Atalanta was told of the Wixen world, of the school she would be camping near, and of the Headmaster she was to contact before talking to the boy. That all blew up as soon as she got there, by fate or mere coincidence she had met Harry long before she was supposed to in that little inn. Her first impression of Harry was that he was awkward and quiet, how he wasn't suited for the Hunt, because the Hunt was more than just Hunting, killing, and serving their Lady, it was a sisterhood where it was shared and share alike, in glory, in the chase, in the kill, in the Hunt you were one of many in a family. No one in the Hunt could be shy or stand-alone, and that's how Harry had struck her, alone. He wanted to be left alone, his body language during that walk was closed off and he half mumbled his answers, why he even offered to show her the way she still didn't know.

But then Striges had attacked, she honestly hadn't expected it, she had thought the danger of attacking a child in a populated area would stop them, but that was before she knew that the boy who had shown her the way was the same boy she had come to train. He had shown his potential by fighting off the Strix that was after him while she had dealt with the one who came to kill her, the Stix had thought she was just a lone hunter and not the Atalanta. After killing one in her room and then finishing off the fleeing one she checked on the boy, she had seen the slitted eyes and silver sword and knew who he was, but when the Aurors had left she had tossed and turned in her bed, thinking of those slitted eyes and how hauntingly similar they were to Artemis' own. She had known the Goddess for a long time since she was ten years old after seeing the Oracle of Delphi, she had sworn herself to Artemis, hunted and sacrificed in her name, and returned to Claydon to hunt the boar in her name. She had looked into her eyes as Artemis handed her the bow Atalanta still used to this day, Tauropolos: The bow of promised calamity, named after Artemis herself.

When she finally arrived at Hogwarts and met the elderly Headmaster, she had played it off as if she had already known who Harry's mother was, the Headmaster had let it slip, he had said he was surprised that Artemis would help anyone have a child, and Atalanta had found out the boy was a child of Artemis, that night she had prayed to her Goddess, asking for a word in private and had asked her. Artemis confirmed the boy had a piece of her inside him, but he wasn't her son, Atalanta had other thoughts on that but dared not voice those thoughts. Atalanta was told to keep the secret from all, even from the boy. Atalanta had agreed, but she had no idea how hard it would become to keep that secret over the following months. Not because of Hermione's insistent questions, no, but because of how close she would become with Harry. As the weeks of training went by, spending time with him while not training he started to open up, they were surprisingly alike. They both had an odd sense of humor of a blend of puns and dark humor, they swapped stories of their adventures and his Quidditch games, and they both loved spending time outside him flying and Atalanta running through the woods. She started to care for Harry, looking forward to hanging out and exploring the castle with him, cracking jokes and going on hunts, there were a few moments when it was just them either cloud watching or stargazing that she had almost told him, she almost broke her word to her Goddess because Harry had wormed his way into her heart, she had never had a younger brother, but she likes to think Harry would be it. She was proud to be his teacher, and took pride in every smile he had on his face after accomplishing something he thought he couldn't do, to show him he was greater than he thought he was.

But that was the big thing that Atalanta saw in Harry, he would always cut himself down, try to stop himself before he even tried, would talk down to himself calling himself all sorts of names that weren't true. He wasn't book smart, but he was quick to pick things up once you showed him how to do something just once, he thought he was useless but he wasn't, she had seen him more than once help out the younger kids with their wand work or show them how to ride a broom on the Quidditch field. He wasn't any of the things that he called himself, and Atalanta never knew why he did it, until three days ago. The foolish little bushy-haired girl had confronted Atalanta about Harry's divine mother. Atalanta had tried to divert, to lay down false tracks by pointing them somewhere else, but neither Harry nor any of his friends had told her they discovered that he could read ancient greek. After that, the cards came tumbling down, Artemis had shown up being called by Hermione's words, Harry found out she had lied to him, and the look of betrayal and pain in his eyes had stung deeply in Atalanta's heart, Harry's confession of his home life and the cold uncaring words of her lady that sparked anger in Atalanta's heart.

She had never expected to hear Artemis speak like that to anyone, even to the rare few male demigods that stumble upon Hunt's camp, so long as they did not do anything that was considered rude or broke the oaths of the hunters, they would be allowed to rest, eat, and be sent on their way by the next morning. Artemis would never speak to them as she did to Harry, her own son; she had dismissed him as a curiosity, a thing to use. Sounding so much like Atalanta's own father that it was like hearing an echo of his own words on the wind.

Then the absolute worst thing happened, Aphrodite found out about Harry, the raw panic still Rose in Atalanta's throat when she thought about it. With the panic in Artemis' voice when she had spoken to her making Atalanta flat out bolt from her room and ice cream to all the way across the school, Atalanta didn't know how Aphrodite found out about Harry, but at that moment all that mattered was getting the boy out of the Goddess of loves talons. She had called upon the hunt to increase her speed as she raced through the halls, Artemis guiding her steps, she remembered charging past the great dungeon bat, but how he had kept up with her she had no clue. She had finally got to the owlery, screaming for Harry, telling him to run, telling Aphrodite to get away from him. Slamming her foot against the door, trying to get the damn thing open. It wasn't until the Bat had shown up and blown the door off its hinges that Atalanta had gotten in and fired off a shot at Aphrodite as the Goddess mocked her.

The Goddess got away with a giggle, and Atalanta had run over to the still red-eyed and shocked Harry clutching onto the jacket that Artemis had taken with her, how had Aphrodite found out about the boy was starting to become clearer as she grabbed Harry by the shoulder and starts to check him from head to feet ranting and raving to the boy asking questions to the now stiff and frightened boy.

"Harry! Harry, did she hurt you?!" Was the first thing out of Atalanta's mouth, "Harry did she touch you at all!? Did she give you anything?!"

That's when Harry hugged the jacket to his chest like it was the most precious thing in the world, before kicking Atalanta in the chest and taking off out of the room. Atalanta had tried to follow him, she had to stop him, the jacket was a trap she knew it was! But then the great big bat ass in black had stopped her with an almost full body bind before walking over to her and asking

"in the sweet name of Merlin, Who the f*ck was that?" He was red in the face and rage boiling over as he looked down at Atalanta, and he wouldn't free her till he got the truth, so she had told him. The man did not take it well as he left her in analmost full-body bind in the owlery for a full 2 hours, thankfully, while Harry was mad at her, Hedwig was not.

The ever-loyal owl had gone to find help, dragging back a fourth-year girl in green and silver, with hair so blonde it almost looked white and deep blue eyes who promptly undid the body bind on Atalanta, Atalanta apologized for the soon-to-be ass-kicking of Professor Snape before leaving the giggling girl behind.

Atalanta storms through the castle, students seemingly sensing her mood and parting for her as she made her way to Gryffindor Tower. She had to get to Harry, she didn't know what Aphrodite had done to the boy but Atalanta know the blonde bitch had done something, some curse or item that would harm Harry and Atalanta wasn't about to let that happen. She sends a prayer out, hoping Artemis does something about the Goddess of Love, all she feels is simmering anger coming back to her. She takes the stairs three at a time before coming to the landing with the crazy knight protecting the common room of the lions. She stops before the portrait of the mad knight.

"Open up." Atalanta all but growls out, but as the mad knight turns to her, a glint in his eyes that spoke of him belonging to Dionysus more than any god, he speaks.

"Ho-oh, fair maiden, but for me to open for you, you must give me the password or go on a quest for me." He says with an equal amount of madness in his grin as he had in his eyes, but Atalanta was in no mood to play.

"Open the f*cking door, orI will cut you from your portrait and set your mad ass alight," Atalanta says through gritted teeth.

"Oh, a dual it is! Have at thy!" The knight says before drawing his sword and getting into a fighting stance, giggling like a fool.

Pulling her hunting knife from the holster on her belt, Atalanta fully intended to go through with her threat, "I don't have time to put up with this bull-" she says but is cut off when the portrait swings open, and out steps the bushy headed Menace.

They look at each, reaching glaring for their own reason, one for the truth withheld from her friend, the other for pushing something she had no right to push, they both speak at the same time.

"Where's Harry?"

"What are you doing here?"

They pause again, neither one answering the others question, both stubborn to a fault, Hermione begins to slowly and carefully scoot out of the way of the portrait hole so it can close fully. But Atalanta catches the movement and moves faster than Hermione can blink, closing the distance between them, her blade between the wall and the portrait making sure it wouldn't snap close. But Hermione wasn't a Gryffindor for nothing, she knows she can't beat Atalanta in speed so she doesn't try, but she does pull out her wand and place the point to the underside of Atalanta's chin.

"Move," Atalanta growls out.

"No," Hermione says back with just as much fire in her voice.

And as they stare into the eyes of each other, the brown of Hermione shows her stubborn determination to not let her friend get hurt again, as Atalanta's burned with the fires of protection.

"Get out of my way Hermione, before I take your head off," Atalanta warns her, her tone speaking of a promise of violence really seen inside the school.

"You're not allowed to hurt students and I'm not defenseless, So. Try. Me." Hermione says promising just as much violence.

Atalanta tries to calm the beast in her wanting to meet the tone in Hermione's voice with the full fury of the Hunt and show the girl her place on the food chain. Atalanta takes a deep breath, reminding herself, that no matter how pushy the girl was, she was one of Harry's friends.

"Move aside Hermione, Harry might be in danger." The lioness of the hunt says, trying to reason with the girl, but the girl just huffs out a laugh.

"That's rich coming from you, do you know how many times I've watched Harry come back from your training limping, how sore and worn out he was in the morning, how many times I had to talk him into going to the hospital wing because of an injury you caused him. No, I think he's perfectly safe in his bed away from you and your lies." Hermione says in an even voice but grinds the tip of her wand into Atalanta's chin.

"You don't understand, this is more dangerous than a bit of training that you get banged up in, more threatening than going down in some chamber under the school to fight a snake," Atalanta says, with a force in her voice.

"Like what?" Hermione spits out, she had seen and heard Harry stand against impossible odds and come out on top. To Hermione, there wasn't much Harry could do if he put his mind to it.

"Aphrodite," Atatlanta says the name with venom.

Hermione narrows her eyes at the hunter, "What?" She says after a moment.

"She washere, Hermione." Atalanta says, "She found out about Harry, and she was here,talking to him." The hunted stresses as Hermione's face drops from a fierce protectiveness to one of dismay, for as well read as the bookworm was, she knew that the Goddess of the hunt and the Goddess of love, were not friends, but deep bitter enemies.

The wand stops digging into Atalanta's chin and drops a bit as Hermione pales, "Di-Did she do something to him?" Hermione asks in a frightened whisper.

"I don't know, Hermione. I didn't get a chance to find out, she left as soon as I got there and Harry bolted from the room before I could find out. Then the asshole Snape froze me and left me on the floor for two hours, but before I go kick his ass, I need. to see. Harry, So. Move." Atalanta grows out the last words. She really didn't want to hurt the legacy of Athena, but the lioness was close to chucking the bookworm over the railing and being done with it.

Hermione to her credit didn't back down at the growl, "If this is a lie…" the bushy-haired legacy says narrowing her eyes, leaving her threat hanging in the air as she moves her hand behind the frame and pushing it open, Hermione's vine wand not leaving Atalanta's chin till she steps to the side, letting the Lioness of the Hunt into the Pride of Gryffindor.

As Atalanta walks into the Tower of red and gold, what's waiting for her is something that brings a ping to her heart as she sees the rambunctious lions of Gryffindor in the seat of the chivalrous and brave that was their house common room, the loud and wild kids and teens that sit around and share stories, play games, and lean on one another. Atalanta briefly wonders if Harry has even been in the middle of the Lions, celebrating a win at Quidditch or talking after one of his adventures, for some reason she can see him locked away in his room to avoid it all, and that brings a pain ever greater then missing the Hunt. The Lions soon see the silver jacket of a Hunter in their home and some narrow their eyes untrusting of one whom they've seen run around in silver and green, but most look confused as to why she was there. The whispers start as soon as Hermione shows her the way up the stairs on the boy's side, one of the fifth-year prefects dashes out of the common room to go find either the head of house or the head boy.

The two Lioness climb the spiral staircase they say nothing to each other, Hermione's face set in worry, as Atalanta's is set in a type of grim determination. Getting to the third-floor landing they come to a door marked with last names, one of them being "Potter", Hermione knocks, but Atalanta isn't one for waiting and opens the door. Inside the room were three boys she could see and one of the five beds had its currents pulled shut.

"Oi, some privacy would ni-" Samus begins to say before Atalanta cuts him off.

"Out. All of you. Now." She tells the room not caring if Ron listened or not.

Most of the boys are shocked at the tone of voice, Ron Narrows his eyes at the hunter, a scene from when he was younger playing out in his head. Except it was Bill and not Atalanta who was looking to empty a room to have a private "word" with Charlie. When the others try to protest, it is Ron who speaks.

"Oi, trust me, mates, we don't want to be in here in the next few minutes," Ron says as he hops off his bed, collecting the chessboard that he had been playing himself on, and moving towards the door. Dean and Samus look at one another and decide that if Ron was bailing, it was probably a good idea to do so as well. So gathering their homework and things they make their way out of the room, Ron stopping before the door and glaring at Hermione who still denies that her ruddy cat had anything to do with Scabbers death.

Atalanta sees the discomfort between the two friends but says nothing as she stalks forward to the closed-off bed, stopping before it, "Harry, I need to have a word with you, get out here, now." Atalanta says, trying to keep her voice level.

"Won't work," Ron says as Atalanta turns to look at him, "He uses a silencing charm, he won't hear you."

Atalanta sighs before walking around the side and pulling open the curtains seeing the Harry-shaped lump under the covers trying to ignore the world was the last straw for Atalanta. She shoves her hands down between the mattress and the frame before flipping it over, and Harry's world gets flip upside down.

"Atalanta!" Hermione yells.

"Oh, no," Ron says.

"I said get up Harry!" Atalanta screams.

Harry kicks the mattress off of himself, before standing up, anger covering his face, "What the hell is your problem!?" He yells back at Atalanta.

"My problem? My problem!?" The lioness yells back, "My problem is I got kicked in the boob when I was trying to help you, you were alone with Aphrodite, Artemis' biggest enemy, for the gods know how long, and I was f*cking worried about you!? And then, you kick me in the tit and ran away!"

"I don't want your help, just-just leave me alone," Harry says getting off the floor, trying to walk past Atalanta but she just pushes him back.

"Well, too f*cking bad bucko, I'm not leaving till you tell me what happened!?" Atalanta says

"It's none of your business, so just leave me alone and let me pass!" Harry yells, red in the face.

"Why? So you can run away again?!" Atalanta yells back into Harry's face.

Harry grits his teeth as the hissing voice of his uncle reverberate in his head "Weak." It says.

"That's it isn't it? You run away from all your problems in the hope you don't have to confront them, you ran away from me, you ran away from your mother-" Atalanta says through clenched teeth getting cut off by Harry's a very shout of "She's not my mother!" But continues on, "and you ran away from your friends. You'll run from anything but the jaws of death, when they pop up you happily turn your heel and jump into them, isn't that right?" Atalanta asks quietly.

Harry's angry glare is the only answer she gets back, but that's all the answer she needs.

Hermione's soft call of his name draws his attention, "Harry, …" she says with tears forming in her eyes, "Have you been trying to…, All this time? Harry, you could have come to us, we would have helped you." Hermione says in disbelief.

"What? No, I haven't been, no!" Harry says back, he shakes his head trying to regain his equilibrium before turning back to Atalanta, "It doesn't matter, I'm not telling you anything. You're just like them!" He hisses out.

"Like who Harry? You keep saying that but I don't understand what you mean." Atalanta pleads, she has a suspicion he was talking about, but she wanted to hear it from him.

"The Dursleys," Harry growls out with such venom he could match a basilisk, "All they did was lie to me, they lied about who I was, they lied about my parents, they lied to me all my life, just like you did," Harry says, hatred pouring from his voice.

Atalanta was right in her suspicion, but that wasn't something that made her feel good,

"if it's not to try and kill yourself, then why do you keep jumping into the jaws of death Harry? The troll in your first year, the Basilisk last year, the Acromantula just a few months ago. You've made a habit of it, if you're not looking to die then why?" Hermione asks wanting to help her friend.

"It doesn't matter!" Harry yells, he doesn't want to deal with this, he doesn't want to be here, he forces his way past Atalanta trying to make a break for it, "I'm done, I'm leaving." He says, hoping they would just leave him alone!

"Well, too bad! I'm not done with you yet." Atalanta says as she reaches out and grabs Harry by the shoulder and pulls him back. She didn't expect for Harry to spin on his heel and punch Atalanta across the face, through the shock Atalanta was able to roll with the punch, and she slowly turns back to face Harry, whose eyes were split with the power of the hunt.

Hermione gasped out when Harry had thrown the punch, Ron just swallowed, and begin edging him and Hermione closer to the door.

"Harry!" Hermione says beginning to reprimand Harry for his action, "Under no circ*mstances should you ever-" before she is cut off by Atalanta.

"Hermione, Shut. Up." The Lioness says, still looking into Harry's eyes, "Leave, both of you." She says calmly as she removes her jacket and lets it hit the ground before taking off her hat and letting it fall too, "You two do not want to be in the middle of this."

As Hermione opens her mouth to protest, Ron drops his chessboard before looping his arms around her waist and picking her up, and pulling her from the room.

"Ron, no! Put me down!" Hermione calls out.

"Don't hurt each other too bad, I'll try and make sure you're not disturbed!" Ron calls over Hermione as he shuts the door behind them.

As the door swings shut, neither of the hunters breaks eye contact, Atalanta takes a deep breath feeling the power of the hunt flood into her.

"You sure you want to do this kiddo?" Atalanta asks, giving Harry one last out.

"f*ck. You." Harry says through gritted teeth.

Atalanta just nods, "Okay," she says before her fist meets Harry's nose sending him flying backward, crashing into Neville's trunk, Atalanta was right on top of him as he stands up, first co*cked back for a second blow that Harry ducks, but ends up meeting Atalanta's knee she drives into his face.

"Yes, I f*cking lied to you!" Atalanta screams, grabbing Harry by the hair and pulling it back to get two clean strikes across the face, "but I had no f*cking choice about it!" She yells into Harry's face, he takes this lull in Atalanta not throwing fists, he spits blood in her eyes. As Atalanta jerks her head back it lets Harry jaws her with a wild hey-maker, before kicking her back as she eats the blow and wipes the blood from her eyes just to see Harry charge her and move out of his way, and he crashes into one of the posters and breaking it cleanly off the bed. Harry rolls off the bed and grabs the broken poster and throws it at Atalanta who dodges it only to be tackled by Harry. They wrestle for a moment before Harry can get the upper hand and get on top of Atalanta.

"You had a choice! Everyone has a choice! And all people choose to do is lie and hurt me! Why doesn't anyone understand!? I. Want. To. Be. Left. Alone!" Harry screams, his rage and the hunt pumping through him as he slams his hands across Atalanta's face.

Atalanta grabs one of Harry's wrists before he pulls it too far back to swing again, "Because you idiot, it's because we care that we won't leave you alone." The Lioness says, "and I didn't have a choice, Harry. It was either lie to you or I turn back into a monster." Atalanta admits, and as Harry pauses, processing her words, Atalanta uppercuts him before throwing him off of her.

Atalanta groans as she stands back up, wiping the blood from her bleeding and possibly broken nose, she can already feel her eye swelling shut. "The only thing that holds back Zeus' curse is Artemis' blessing, if I break my oath again if I disobey again, I lose that protection, and I revert to a beast again," Atalanta says as she walks over to Harry as he tries to get up, though she swiftly ends that by kicking him in the ribs, she feels some give and hears the crack of something breaking.

"And I never want to go back to that, I spent over a thousand years as a beast, as a monster of the hunt. I killed everything that crossed my path, mortals, monsters, or demigods, it didn't matter. I hunted them and feasted upon them, I can still remember how they tasted,remember just how good I thought they tasted." The Lioness speaks with a quiver in her voice, of fear, of sadness, and one of loss, "So yes, Harry, I lied to you. But I didn't want to, it was either keep the fact I knew who your mother was from you, or become the monster that would most likely eat you, I knew what my only answer could be." Atalanta tells him, begging him to understand, to know how sorry she was. Harry doesn't move, breathing labored on the ground, so Atalanta sinks to her knees beside him.

"I'm sorry, Harry, I'm so, so Sorry," Atalanta says as her voice cracks with emotion, tears in her eyes.

Only Harry's breathing can be heard in the room, he turns and rolls onto his back and looks up at Atalanta, his eyes normal in the evening light, no longer cat-like from the power of the hunt.

"It's… because… it's the…only way…I'm not…worthless…like they…said I…am." Harry gets out in between labored breaths, he admits it, the words that play like a recording in his mind in the voices of his tormentors for so long could only be quieted when he had leaped into the jaws of death, when he had come so close to death and come out on top surely, surely he wasn't as hopeless and pathetic as they told him he had saved the day or beaten the odds.

"You idiot," Atalanta says, her tears finally falling down her cheeks, "You're not worthless, Harry. You mean so much to so many people, but you have the emotional intelligence of a thumbnail and can't tell that we care about you." Atalanta says as Harry huffs out in pain as he was trying to laugh.

"Is…that…why…all the…weird looks?" Harry asks as Atalanta stands up and walks over to him and gets Harry up and to the door, helping him along the way.

"Weird looks?" Atalanta asks with one of Harry's arms over her shoulders, she reaches out and opens the door to the dorm.

Artemis, New York, West 4th St, Graham Windham Orphanage.

When Artemis first arrived at the three-story building she would have never guessed it housed a Goddess, it was a rain-stained brown, the same color all buildings as old as this one turns. The high brick wall surrounds it with a small gate big enough to let one car in at a time, the rocky path that leads up to an even rockier parking lot on the side of a hill with stairs that lead up to the old building. Artemis sighs to herself as she climbs the stairs, she was so stupid, stupid, stupid. By the time the conversation with Hestia was done Aphrodite and the Jacket were gone for hours as Artemis sorted out her "feelings" about Harry, and the blonde Barbie had taken advantage of her distraction to go find the boy. When Artemis had found out she had instantly sent Atalanta running to save the boy, but she had yet to hear back, but she trusts Atalanta to find out what Aphrodite had done and fix it, if not, tell her so she shot Aphrodite's full of arrows. It wouldn't be today sadly, seeing it was Aphrodite's day of power and it would be a foolish move to do so.

That's why she had already sent her hunters out to burn down all of Aphrodite's favorite salons, shops, and clubs down in the city, and teach her and her children what for.

As she walks through the spinning doors to the building it gives her the moment needed to shift from that of a preteen to an older teenage form before walking through the lobby hands in the pockets of her silver bomber jacket, Artemis already misses Harry's jacket how warm it was, how it had smelled like him, and how well it fit her. She passes by a small group of kids chasing each other as she makes her way down the hall and down a flight of stairs. She was here to see the Goddess that was the working hands behind the Orphanage here in New York, she had long taken care of demigods and wixen that ended up lost in the system, making sure they got to their true homes in either world, always with a cookie in hand and a smile on the child's face.

Artemis finds the Goddess in the kitchen area, her back to the door. The Moon Goddess steps into the kitchen, as quiet as a ghost, making her way to her, taking careful quiet steps to not make a sound as she makes her way to the island in the middle of the kitchen, Artemis was going to do it this time, she was going to sneak up on the Godde-

"Artemis dear, can you bring the small ice cream scoop over here while you stalk me?" The Goddess says, a smile evident in her tone.

Artemis stops and sighs, before turning and picking up the request scoop and walking over to the woman and handing it over to the woman.

"How do you always know?" Artemis asks the only god to even catch her sneaking up upon them.

The Goddess turns as she takes the scoop, smiling as she does, "because Arty, a Mother always knows." Leto, the Goddess of Motherhood tells her.

Artemis scowls but says nothing else as her mother finishes the cookies she was making.

"Sit dear, I'll be right with you after I put these in the oven for the little ones," Leto says gesturing to the small table against the wall, "Tea while you wait?" The older Goddess asks.

"No, thank you mother," Artemis says as she takes a seat and watches as her mother bakes her sweets for the children of the orphanage, Leto doesn't say anything as she goes about her work. Unlike most Goddess, Leto wasn't one to be vain, she did not take on the form of a young woman but that of a middle-aged one with crow's feet and laugh lines around her eyes and mouth and greying hair, she looked like a mother, which she was. Artemis' stomach clenched at the thought of what brought her here, how would she react? Would she be angry? Would it be better than her being disappointed in Artemis?

The oven door shuts as Leto wipes her hands on her apron; she walks over and kisses Artemis on the forehead before she sits down on the other side of her daughter with a small smile.

"What brings you away from your hunt to come to see me, dear?" Leto asks as she folds a hot cup of tea into reality.

"Would it be such a great surprise that I just came to see you, mother?" Artemis asks.

Leto chuckles softly before taking a sip of her tea, "while it would be nice once in a while, I know how busy both you and your brother are, and it would take quite a reason for you to leave your hunt to come to see me." Leto says this in a voice of understanding, void of blame or shame.

Artemis squirms at the truth in her mother's words, not looking at her, she felt like a guilty child who had been caught sneaking out of the house.

"Arty, honey. What's wrong?" Leto asks, worried about her normally cold and distant daughter, she was acting as if she was caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

Artemis takes a shaky breath before ripping the thorn out, "I have a son." The Moon Goddess says, not looking at her mother.

Leto is quiet for a moment, "Did you break your oaths, honey?" The Goddess of motherhood asks, her voice free of anger or accusation.

"No," Artemis said with no anger in her voice for those who normally accused her of that, "But I hurt him in a way I can't take back."

"Perhaps, you should start at the beginning dear," Leto says, and Artemis takes a breath and confesses her sins to the Saint and Goddess who has protected mother and child for ages untold.

Atalanta, Hogwarts.

When Atalanta and Harry had gotten out of the dorm, they were met with the matching grins of two red-headed twins, the one on the right turned to the other and said that the hunter won, so the other had owed him a Galleon before they moved into the room and started to repair the room as Atalanta and Harry made their way down the stairs confused. It was Ron who explained that he covered for the fight, telling Percy it was a sibling fight, to which Percy had just sighed and put Ginny on watch and the twins on silence and repair duty as he called a Prefects meeting to give them time.

Ron had taken Harry's other side and started to help them to the hospital wing, Atalanta had been pushed out of the way by Hermione to help Harry to the boy's surprise.

"We'll always be here to help you, Harry. Whenever you need it." She had told him, "because everyone needs help once in a while."

Harry doesn't say anything, just nods as Hermione and Ron support him to the hospital wing, and unbeknownst to any of them, the first brick of the wall that surrounded Harry's heart falls away and crumbles into the sea waiting just beyond.

Notes:

Chapter end.

I had more but I blew waaaaay, past my word count. How did y'all like things from Atalanta's point of view?

For a point of order, Aphrodite helps Harry be weak so he can properly mourn for a childhood he lost, Atalanta is helping him face the demons that haunt him from the years of abuse, and Ron and Hermione are there to show him that he doesn't need to run away from them, to let them help him in times of need, as for Artemis? Well, that's gonna be kept until the time is right.

But what of Sirius? I hear you all ask. Well, Sirius is there for a hope and a dream.

as for Atalanta getting what happened with the Goddess of love and her revenge on Snape? that will be covered in the next two chapters which will be two short ones.

Kingsaxcul, Out!

Chapter 19: Full Moon VI

Notes:

Welcome back to another chapter of Under the Hunters Moon.

This is just to finish up what happened in the last chapter, the next Chapter, however, that's either gonna be finding out what I hid under the school or finding out what Hestia is gonna do about all this.

Also, I've been thinking about doing another story for a while now, I'd probably do one chapter and then continue on this because I have…less than 10 Chapters to go with UtHM.

The next story will either be a Fem!Voldemort story or a Daphini/Harry story, idk yet, what do you mortals think?

On with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Hospital Wing, Hogwarts.

The trip to the hospital wing went by quickly with Ron and Hermione supporting Harry, Atalanta walking behind them, ignoring the whispered conversation of apologies and reasons, to give the kids some semblance of privacy. Harry had apologized for how he acted and how he ran from both of them, and they had apologized for pushing things they shouldn't have, with Hermione swearing to never do it again unless she was asked to. By the time the trio and Atalanta had reached the Hospital Wing all was forgiven and understood between Harry and his friends, but Atalanta still noticed some stiffness between Hermione and Ron, Atalanta bites her lip considering getting involved but unsure if she could even help.

Madam Pomfrey was not happy with either Atalanta or Harry when they admitted to fighting, she had gone red-faced and glared at Atalanta before telling her she was reporting it to Dumbledore, to which Atalanta shrugged before telling the Matron to tell Snape as well with a smirk on her face thinking of beating the grease out of the man soon for what he had done to her. When Harry's ribs were fixed and both his and Atalanta's bruises were all treated the trio and Atalanta retreated to Atalanta's room, sitting on the couch and chair in the small sitting room Atalanta had called out for the house elf in charge of the room and asked Miley to bring them some drinks and snacks before they all sat down. Ron and Hermione sat on either side of Harry before Atalanta talked.

"Harry," Atalanta begins, "I know it might be hard to talk about, but I need to know what happened between you and Aphrodite in the owlery. What did she say? Did she do anything to you or give you anything?" Atalanta asks her adoptive little brother with concern coloring her voice.

Harry sighs knowing it was coming, normally he hated talking about anything like what had happened in the owlery, but decided that if anyone deserved to know it would be the three people who have helped him the most.

"We didn't really talk much," Harry says beginning his tale, "She told me Artemis showed up to talk with her, something about matters of the heart." Harry shrugs but Atalanta nods her head.

"That fits, I'm guessing Aphrodite gave you the jacket back?" Atalanta asks.

Harry nods, "Yeah." He tells the lioness.

"Where is the jacket now?" Atalanta asks, noticing that Harry wasn't wearing like he always did.

"In my trunk, I didn't…I didn't want to look at it after what happened in the forest." He says, grimacing a bit.

"Good, don't put it on until we know for sure she didn't do anything to it," Atalanta says.

"Are you sure she would have done anything to it?" Hermione asks

"Without a doubt," the lioness says without hesitation, "She's cruel and calculating, she wouldn't hesitate to curse something she knew you were attached to Harry. She's your mo-...Artemis' oldest enemy, there's no way she's just going to leave you alone." Atalanta says, stopping just before saying Artemis was Harry's mother due to the look on the boy's face.

Harry looks at his hands, eyes narrowed as a look overtakes his face, both Ron and Hermione see it before looking at each other before quickly looking, remembering why they were not talking. But both knew the look on Harry's face, it was the look of him figuring something out and processing it.

"We talked about some things, personal stuff, she…she took on the form of my mother," Harry admits before Hermione gasps and Ron's face twists into a scowl, "But I think she did curse me. She was talking towards the end, her voice sounded all weird and I felt this, this power? I don't know how to explain it."

Atalanta leans forward in her seat, "What did she say, Harry? Her exact words, this is important." Atalanta asks, her face set in grim seriousness.

"Umm, …That the walls that I built around me will fall into a waiting ocean beyond them, and that I will fall deeply and completely in love." Harry admits with a blush towards the end, "I don't remember the exact wording." He says.

"f*ck." Atalanta curses.

"What? That doesn't sound too bad," Hermione asks.

"Hermione, this is from a god who hates Harry and took on the form of his mum to throw him off, it could only be bad," Ron says

"She cut Harry off from joining the hunt," Atalanta says.

"Oh…" Hermione says, "but still, Harry is gonna be loved, Joining the hunt or not, it doesn't sound too bad for him, right Harry?" She says looking at the boy in question.

Harry's face was grim, and a frown cut across his face, "She said I'd walk to my death of my own free will for them." Harry says in a whisper.

"And there's the other boot! f*ck!" Atalanta says as she stands up rubbing her face with her hands as she walks back and forth, pacing.

Hermione freezes, her mouth hanging open and her brain stops. Harry couldn't die, he was her friend, she had just got him back, she wouldn't let it happen!

"Bullock's!" Ron curses, "Can't Artemis help him? Can't he join the hunt and get protection or something?" He asks.

Atalanta just shakes her head, "It doesn't work like that Ron, The Goddess of love is possibly the strongest of the Goddess besides The king himself. Every one can love and be loved, as the Goddess of love, she gets power from all of that. Even if Harry wants to join the hunt," the growl from Harry shared his thoughts on that, "There is still love in the hunt between us all, we're not heartless girls who just roam and kill things." Atalanta begins to explain, "So even if Harry joins, he won't get immunity from a curse that was laid on him before he joined."

Ron sighs and puts his head into his hand, trying to think of a way out for his friend, stupid gods, stupid curses.

"I thought the hunt swore off all love when they joined?" Hermione asks.

"Not all love Hermione, just romantic love and sexual wants." Atalanta tills the bookworm as all three teens blush, "The hunt Is full of love, no matter how much our lady would deny it, we all love and care for each other deeply. We're more than hunters, we're a sisterhood." Atalanta says, in reverence of the absolute truth of it.

The group of teens is quiet for a moment before Atalanta speaks again.

"Harry," Atalanta says, "I want you to come back to training."

Harry doesn't look at her as he says, "I don't have anything to train or hunt with anymore."

"That's fine kiddo, I'll ask Dumbledore if he can't help with that, he's helped out before, he could probably whip us up a bow and spear pretty quick," Atalanta says as Harry nods at her words.

"Okay," Harry says as he looks down, "Atalanta, I'm sorr-'' he begins to say only for Atalanta to cut him.

" Harry, don't," Atalanta says as she stops in front of Harry and he looks up at her, "You don't owe me an apology for anything, I lied, you reacted as well as you were gonna considering everything." The lioness admits in a soft tone, Harry just nods and smiles up at her, and she smiles back.

"Good, plenty more you can learn and a few more hunts to do here," Atalanta says.

Hermione frowns at this, not liking this one bit.

"Well, looks like we'll have to stock up on bruise paste, huh Harry?" Ron jokes with a smirk.

"Ronald, really! This is not something to joke about. He could get hurt." Hermione says.

Ron scoffs at this before looking over to Hermione, "No more than Quidditch, besides he's gonna need it, and didn't you learn last time not to stick your nose into something that isn't your business?" He tells her with a glare.

"Guys, can you-" Harry begins to say but is cut off by Hermione.

Hermione's face goes red with anger and embarrassment, "He shouldn't be getting hurt period Ronald, We. Are. Children. We should be studying, not training on how to kill things and hunting down a dangerous criminal." She defends herself.

"Guys, please..." Harry begs them as he puts his hand over his ears when they start to raise their voices.

"When have we had a normal year, Hermione? Harry is gonna need this, if Black shows up again, what is he gonna do? Sick your bloodthirsty fluff ball at him!?" Ron says back, his voice raising as he goes on.

"See, I knew this was about-" but that was as far as Hermione gets before Atalanta puts an end to it.

"ENOUGH!" Atalanta yells, quieting both of them, "What in Hades is wrong with you two, a few days ago you were a team?"

"Hermione's cat ate Ron's rat," Harry says with a sigh.

"Crookshanks didn't eat Scabbers!" Hermione says, refusing to believe it.

"That menace has had it out for Scabbers since day one!" Ron yells back.

"So you found the carcass?" Atalanta asks.

"What? No. The cat probably ate it all." Ron says and Atalanta makes a face.

"How big was the Rat and how big is the cat?" Atalanta asks.

Both Hermione and Ron look at each other then back to Atalanta and do rough estimates of both animals.

"And how do you know your rat is dead?" Atalanta continues with her questions.

"There was blood and hairs on my sheet," Ron says, when Atalanta asks if it was a lot of blood, Ron shrugs and says "No, not really."

"What about you? Have you bonded with the cat? Did he bring you his hunt?" Atalanta asks as she turns to Hermione.

"Of course, I've bonded with Crookshanks, and no other than a bit of blood, I haven't seen a body at all, and I'm pretty sure if he brought the body of a dead rat into my dorm room Ron would have heard about from Parvati or Lavender," Hermione says in her defense.

Atalanta looks back at Ron, "She has a point, Ron. When a cat makes a kill it will normally bring it back to whoever it bonded with to share with, besides your rat might be a bit too big for a cat that size to eat it all." She explains with a calm face.

"How would you know?!" Ron says angrily

Atalanta just points at her head with a look that explains just how dumb she found that question.

"Oh, right," Ron says, deflating "sorry, forgot." He says embarrassed at his slip.

"What probably happened is that the cat got the drop on the rat and spooked it, give him a few days Ron, he'll probably show back up," Atalanta says, and Ron nods before mumbling an apology to Hermione who just shakes her head and calls him an idiot before hugging him.

"Okay, good. Now you guys sit here and enjoy the snacks, I'll be right back." Atalanta says as she walks over to the door that leads to her room.

Harry turns in his seat watching her "Where are you going?" He asks, thinking they had more to talk about.

"Don't worry, I'll be right back, just gonna go pray, and then I have a bat to go kick the sh*t out of." She says with an air of casualty as if she hadn't just threatened someone before walking out the door.

"She wasn't talking about Snape, was she?" Ron asks to Harry and Hermione's surprised faces.

Artemis, New York, West 4th St, Graham Windham Orphanage.

"I see…" Leto says as she sets down her teacup, she is quiet for a moment as she looks at her daughter, Artemis squirms in her seat, she isn't looking at her mother but she could practically feel her disappointed gaze on her. Goddess of the Hunt or not, she was brought to heel at her mother's disappointment in her.

"Artemis, look at me," Leto says, her voice soft but thick with disappointment in her daughter. Artemis looks up and into the gaze of her mother and almost flinches, she is angry with her for good reason, Artemis feels a pit open up in her stomach as she looks into those eyes that are normally filled with a soft kindness, "Can you tell me what you did wrong young lady?"

Artemis had heard that line many times before, normally directed at her younger brother when he had done something foolish. Leto used it to teach him something he should have learned while doing the act, but it had never been aimed at her before.

"I abandoned him," Artemis says in a voice laced with pain.

"You did," Leto says, "but under the circ*mstances, it is understandable to say that it was an accident, that you did not mean to. It doesn't change the fact that you did, but it is understandable." The Goddess of motherhood says in a stern voice, "but I wasn't talking about that Artemis. What did you do?"

Artemis is quiet for a moment as she looks away from her mother, "I called him a curiosity, that he was nothing more than that." Artemis admits.

"Yes, you did," Leto tells her daughter, her voice thick with disappointment, "He is not just a curiosity. He is your son. The blessing of motherhood is learning to love someone more than we love ourselves. Lily Potter understood this, she died for it, can you say that you should do less than her? Because I know I raised you better than that."

Artemis does flinch at that, while she couldn't die for Harry, she could have done better for him, but now she has all but ruined that.

"How do I fix this?" Artemis asks, her voice small, unsure how to do it, she had never had to before. She lacks experience, this wasn't a hunt and Harry was no Maiden.

"I don't know Honey, the damage has been done and you can't take back what you've said," Leto tells her daughter in a sad voice, "Harry has nothing to prove to you, Artemis, nothing he needs nor will ask you for. You will have to reach out to him, to make amends for your cruel and thoughtless words." She tells her daughter.

"I don't know how to, all I can do is make sure he'll never go through that again," Artemis admits in a heartbreaking tone.

"That's a start sweety," Leto reaches across the table, taking her daughter's hand into her own, "I know it will be new, but follow your heart, it will show you what you need to do," Leto tells Artemis who didn't know what her heart wanted to do yet, "Will you claim him?" Leto asks.

Artemis shakes her head, "No, I can't. I do not know how father or Apollo will react, I will not risk Harry's safety with them." The Moon Goddess says.

Leto gives her a knowing look "Did Orion leave that deep of a scar on you, dear?" Leto asks and Artemis looks away giving the Goddess of motherhood her answer.

Artemis opens her mouth to say something, but freezes and stiffens, "Thatc*nt!" she screams.

"Language Artemis!" Leto reprimands her daughter, "There are children here!"

But Artemis ignores her, standing quickly, seething with anger, "She cursed him! She cursed him and cut him off from my hunt!" Artemis screams, and Leto watches as her daughter's mortal form begins to split at the seams, the silver moonlight of her godly form spilling into the room from her anger.

"Artemis you will control yourself or you will leave!" Leto yells, "I will not have you endanger the children here!"

Artemis' head snaps to her mother with a growl, but Leto meets it with no fear and fire in her eyes. The Goddess of the moon takes a deep breath, reigning in her legendary temper for her mother, and the splits and tears of her mortal shell begin to close, after a few more deep breaths her form was no longer in danger of destroying itself.

"Who cursed him?" Leto asks, already knowing it's about Harry from her daughter's anger.

"Aphrodite." She spits out the name like a curse upon the world, And Leto sighs. The Goddess of love had done the one thing that cut the boy off from his divine mother's hunt for good in an act of vengeance, she had cursed the boy to love.

Hogwarts dungeons, Severus Snape office.

Severus Snape wasn't a happy man on the best of days, but today he was in an even worse mood. He had spent the better part of the day watching over the hormone-fueled dunderheads of the school trip over themselves to share their affections with other dunderheads in the most nauseating displays possible, all thanks to Albus who had to leave the school for an "emergency", Severus had no idea what it was but he hopes that Dumbledore had a worse time than he had today. Because in the course of his day Severus had an encounter with a Goddess, and it had shaken him.

She battered aside his spells with a hand, then breached his mental shields as it they were wet paper and played with his mind, he can still vividly recall the short dream he had of Lilly as he first met her, telling him that she forgave him, thanking him for protecting the brat as much as he could, to…to let her go and live for himself.

He had heard all the things he wanted to hear from her and knew it was a lie. All told to him by a cruel Goddess, still the words had resonated deeply with him. He wanted to let her go, to stop the pain of it all, from the guilt of his role in her death, and the curse he had used on her during the raid on Diagon Alley so many years ago when he was younger, foolish, and far angrier then he was now. He had loved her, and he had killed her, he would repay that death by protecting the brat, even if it would cost him his life; and hoped when he sees Lily in death he will get to beg for her forgiveness before he pays For his sins.

But maybe, just maybe. He'll let her go before he does that, to let the dead rest, twelve years was long enough to mourn.

He sighs out as he hears someone knock on his office door, he really didn't feel like being bothered, he was enjoying the quiet of a crackling hearth and a glass of whiskey to drown his sorrows in.

"Go. Away." Snape calls out to the door before taking a sip of his drink, and almost spits it out as he hears the door to his office open, "Are you deaf you blithering idiot, I said go away!?" He says as he stands from his chair to face the intruder, and finds the hunter he had last seen in the owlery shutting the door behind herself.

They look at each other, both glaring for their own reasons, "What do you want, girl?" The Potions Master spits at her.

Atalanta glares at him, eyes burning with a mixture of anger and amusem*nt, amusem*nt at what, Snape couldn't tell.

"Two hours," The hunter says in a calm voice, "You left me on the floor for two hours," Atalanta says, not moving from the door.

"Two? The spell should have worn off after three, I must be getting rusty." Snape says in his normal draw, peppered with anger as he sets his whiskey down and puts his hands behind his back, his wand slipping into his hand.

Atalanta smiles at that, it was full of teeth and predatory power, "Do you remember what you said the first time we talked?" She asks.

Snape's knees bend, preparing for what he knows is coming, "No, do remind me if you will." He states.

"You said that next time I put my hands on a student that you would remove me from school grounds, and it would be an experience neither of us would enjoy," the lioness says as she removes her hand from her pocket and gasping the locking mechanisms for the door, a large deadbolt Snape had not used when he first arrived to his office, "and it just so happens that I just left Harry after beating some sense into his thick head." Atalanta states.

Snape raises his eyebrow, "Finally someone did it, glad it was the girl who came to train him." He says "so I see no reason to remove you from grounds for doing your job."

Atalanta scoffs, "See, small problem with that," she says, "Ireallywant to test that theory on if neither of us is going to enjoy it." The lioness says as she slams the bolt to the door shut and begins tomove.

As Snape raises his wand, and before Atalanta's fist slams into his nose with a crunch, all that passes through his head is "fast…"

Notes:

I would feel bad for Snape, but he really deserved that.

I got Kama/Mara in FGO! Beast III is complete and I'm so happy with that!

But Artemis is learning(and very angry), Atalanta points out some logic before punching Snape, not much with this chapter, just to move the story along.

So, what would you guys want to read, FemVoldemort or DelphinixHarry story more? Let me know because I like writing about sociopathic women as I am attracted to all the red flags they have.

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 20: Full Moon VII

Notes:

Hello and welcome back to Under the Hunter's Moon, in this chapter we will start our exploration of what I have put under the school. If y'all have been paying attention you'll know what it is.

But first, I would like to dedicate this next Arc of the story to SiriusOrionBitch, who has been a reader since almost the start. They had really wanted the Artemis and Harry Connection thing, so this arc is gonna have it.

Does that mean that Harry is just going to forgive and forget about Lily, no. You'll see what happens and I think y'all will like it.

Don't worry bahnannah, I see you too. I've seen you since your first comment months ago, you were literally the 4th comment on this story and I can not thank you enough for commenting on every chapter.

But enough with this mortal prattle, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Harry Potter, Hogwarts, February 20th.

Harry Potter has had a pretty good week, after his fight with Atalanta and making up with Ron and Hermione, Professor McGonagall had shown up after classes in the common room to give him back the Firebolt, she and Flitwick had stripped the broom down looking for anything malicious hidden in the enchantments and had found nothing. She had handed the broom back and had asked him to bring the cup back to Gryffindor, all he could do was nod. He had taken the broom out for a few rides, getting used to it, and it was like a dream for Harry. It was faster than his Numbis 2000 and turned on a sickle, Ron couldn't help but to smile smugly at Hermione about being right about it not being cursed. Harry had just shaken his head, and Hermione had rolled her eyes telling him it was better to be safe than sorry, and Harry had agreed with that.

They had tried to use the Map to try and find Scabbers with no luck, he was either dead or outside the bounds of what the Map had shown, oddly enough Harry had found that the map also didn't show Atalanta. He knew the room she was in but when he had checked it while looking at the Map she was nowhere to be found. Checking it when he could see her in front of him had shown she wasn't there either. Hermione had theorized that one had to have a magical core to be seen by the map, but without knowledge of how it was made, she couldn't say for sure. Speaking of the Hunter, the day after her and Harry's fight she was walking with a slight limp but a satisfied smirk on her face, when Harry asked what had happened, she just smiled and said,

"Don't worry about it, Harry, just had to show someone their place on the food chain."

Whenever she saw Snape in the halls, she would smile at him as he glared before turning around and quickly walking away without saying a word. It was honestly pretty funny, to see the Potions Master turn tail and avoid the hunter in the halls.

Like Atalanta had asked, Harry had returned to training, but without his weapons, they had worked on hand-to-hand combat, boxing, and grappling, Atalanta had also started teaching Harry throws to use and takedowns, all of which had hurt to learn. They had walked through their fight in Gryffindor Tower, going over what he had done right and all that he had done wrong with a distant cold feeling to it like it wasn't their fight, but a fight they had seen.

The next time he had shown up the snow had started to melt, making the ground slick with mud and training a lot dirtier, but like Atalanta had said Dumbledore had found a few spare armaments from the suits of armor in the castle, both the spare and bow were in good condition so Atalanta had approved there use. It was late Saturday afternoon in the forbidden forest during a chase between Atalanta and Harry, that Atalanta had stopped the chase early, which made Harry grumble under his breath because he was so sure he was gonna tag her this time, in a clearing not too far away from where Hagrid had his first CoMC class, Atalanta had spotted the telltale signs of two trapdoor hatches of the Acromantula, right beside a game path, the same path students used when going deeper into woods.

They decided quickly to deal with them before they could hurt any of the students, Atalanta muttering under her breath about how Artemis better hurry up with the hunt, Harry decided to ignore that, he didn't even want to think of Artemis let alone know she would be coming to the castle. Unbeknownst to Harry, or even Atalanta, Artemis had returned to the castle a few times. She would watch the two from afar, hands in the pockets of her jacket turning the swiss army knife in her hand, wondering what to do. She would watch for an hour or so, trying to build the courage to approach the boy, thinking of ways of reaching out to him or how to apologize for her words, but nothing would come, so she would leave to go back to her hunt.

So, the lioness and the son of the hunt had set themselves up to ambush the ambushers, luckily mortal weapons worked just as well as divine ones against the oversized spiders seeing that they were a mixture of both mortal magic and myth. The plan was simple, Harry would drop from the trees just above one of the trap doors after luring out the spider by dropping some stones and sticks and stabbing down with his spear, with a little luck, he'll bag one just for the other to shoot out just in time to get turned into a pincushion by Atalanta. Was this a good plan? Probably not, but if the spider doesn't take the bait on the first part they would regroup and think of something else.

Turns out the plan was better than they thought, the first spider took the bait easy enough, from her spot off to the side Atalanta could see the slight shift of the trap door, giving Harry the single the boy dropped, and when he lands a screech was heard when he crashes through the top of the organic barrier, followed by Harry's scream and then a crunch of roots breaking. The second Acromantula popped from his hiding place Atalanta planted three arrows into its brain, dropping the oversized arachnid before she ran over to the hole Harry had dropped into.

"Harry!" Atalanta yells as she runs forward, getting to the collapsed trap door of the spider, "Harry are you alright?" Atalanta calls down into the hole. When she got to the hole and looked down, she almost gasped, the Acromantula had built its borrow right over a sinkhole with only roots supporting it, and Harry had crashed right through the top of it. Looking down the hole, Atalanta could make out Harry in the dark, laying on top of the debris and a crushed and dead spider, "Harry, talk to me?!"

A groan escapes the boy as he rolls over and off the spider, shaking his head to clear the cobwebs before standing, using the wall to brace himself, he pauses then turns his head to face the wall running his hand across it.

"Harry!?" Atalanta yells.

The son of the hunt's head snaps up to look through the hole he had fallen through, wasn't his longest fall, only twenty-twenty-five feet at most but it was a whole other problem as well, he couldn't see a way to climb out.

"Er, yeah. Yeah, I'm fine, nothing broken, but I don't think I can get out of her on my own." Harry calls up to Atalanta, while there was a lot of debris down at the bottom of the hole, there wasn't enough for him to transfigure a ladder sturdy enough to hold his weight, and they have covered conjuring in class yet.

"Harry Potter, you are a wizard, are you telling me you can make a ladder or a rope or something?" Atalanta asks in exasperation.

"A ladder, probably not. I could do a rope, I think, how-" Harry begins to say before a cold feeling crawls up his spine as he hears something whispering from behind him, his wand snaps from its holster as he spins around.

"tha mi faicinn fear eile a' tighinn gu geata. A bheil na tha a dhìth ort, a bhalaich?"

Harry doesn't understand what was whispered, his grip on his wand tightens as he looks into the darkness and sees beyond it, past the roots and webs, a corridor. Not a tunnel of earth and rough stone, but worked and placed slabs of granite that make a hallway that was like the castle above, Harry feels the sweat drip down the back of his neck.

"Harry, what is it?" Atalanta asks from above, her tone colored with worry.

"It's a corridor, I think," Harry calls back up.

"A corridor?" Atalanta questions a confused look on her face, "Harry, make the rope and toss it up." Atalanta orders.

Harry breaks away from the darkness just long enough to transfigure a rope, before levitating it to the top for Atalanta, as she takes it and leaves to tie it to an anchor point, Harry turns back to the corridor.

"Lumos Constellatio." He whispers as he moves his wand in a jagged pattern much like the scar on his forehead, four small balls of burning witchfire are summoned at each stop of the movements of the wand before flicking them down the corridor, normally Harry had no problem seeing in the dark, but thanks to the afternoon light streaming in through the hole above it throws off whether or not his brain needs to turn it on or not.

As the corridor lights up with witchfire, Harry takes a few steps forward, eyes peeled, and wand at the ready, Harry swallows the lump in his throat. How did a corridor get down here? It wasn't on the maps so it's possible that the Marauders never found this place, Harry thinks as he moves deeper and deeper, from the looks of it, it seems the corridor slants down a bit.

The sound of something hitting the floor behind him makes him turn back around, hanging from the hole is the rope that he had made.

"Harry." He hears Atalanta call down, "What the hell are you doing?" She says, not being able to see him.

Harry walks back over to the hole and looks up, "Exploring, there's a whole unmarked corridor down her." Harry says as Atalanta looks down at him with a confused look.

"Kiddo, in what way does this NOT sound like a bad idea?" She asks

Harry blinks up at her, "It could be a secret corridor, this might be how Black has been getting into the school!" Harry calls back up.

Atalanta sighs, the kid had a point but still, "Harry, you had to drop through an Acromantula nest to find it, besides I'm Greek Harry, going underground is a big no-no." Atalanta argues back.

"There could be another entrance farther down," Harry says as he points down the tunnel, "I'm going to check it out, if it's nothing we go tell the Headmaster," Harry says looking up at Atalanta.

Atalanta sighs, this was a horrible idea, "How long is the rope gonna last?" She asks Harry wanting a way out if nothing else.

"Umm, …A while I think, it's made from similar materials, so the magic that changed should be close to permanent," Harry says, having to think back to first-year Hermione rants.

Atalanta just nods before dropping down into the hole, rolling when she hits the floor before drawing her bow and notching an arrow. "How far can you send the lights?" She asks Harry.

"About thirty feet." He answers her.

"Okay, game plan. Keep the lights upfront and you keep behind me, same rules as with hunting. Understood?" Atalanta tells him, her voice firm.

"Yes, Ma'am," Harry says before bringing up his wand and taking a step back to allow Atalanta to take the lead.

They proceed down the corridor like this, with every few minutes Harry recasting his Lumos Constellatio spell, when Atalanta first hears it she snorts in amusem*nt but doesn't say why she finds it amusing so Harry just shakes his head at the Lioness antics. The corridor leads forward in the direction of Hogwarts, it has a slight bend to it, and the floor is a bit slanted but other than that the hallway was like the ones in the school, right down to the same color as the flag store on the floor to the carved and fitted stone walls, all that was missing were the hearths, touches, and suits of armor lining it and Harry would have been sure he was in the school. The corridor was wide enough for four people to walk shoulder to shoulder down it, and the ceiling was a good fifteen feet up, at first Harry had seen roots, both large and small breaking through the ceiling. But as they moved closer to the castle, the fewer roots he saw, and the more water he could hear, the black lake? He was sure of it.

After thirty minutes of slowly making their way through the tunnel, they finally entered a chamber. It wasn't like any chamber Harry had been in all his time at Hogwarts, including the Chamber of Secrets. The chamber was round, almost perfectly so, with the sounds of lapping waves coming from it, Harry cast an eight-pointLumos Constellatiospell before sending them out to illuminate the chamber.

The worked stone stop right before it as it gave way to a smooth rocky shore, Harry could see the light of his spell reflected off of black glassy water coming from the far left side of the chamber, the ceiling was high but Harry could almost make out the top. The chamber floor was uneven, and Harry could almost call it natural if it wasn't for the four pillars that raised from the ground to the ceiling each a different size due to them being placed up the uneven stone that raises out of the middle of the chamber.

The pillars were inscribed with Runes Harry had never seen before, and images of battles, wars, and hunts. And from the bottom of each pillar, that twisted up and around each of them were barbed Gorse vines that looked as if they were made from iron. In the middle of it all on the raised platform of stone, stood a gate.

Gray stone made up its three sections, two jutted from the ground and bent in the shape of a U, with skeletons of humans, hounds, and demons on either side, the hounds were running forward, and the humans had some type of horn or instrument they were blowing in and the demons raised spears and bows. The third part of the gate floated over the other two pieces, with something written in a language Harry couldn't read, while already creepy the Demigod and the Hunter out, what put it over the top was the erie red light that the portal that looked to filled with mist gave off.

"What the hell is that Harry?" Atalanta asks as she was looking at the gate, all Harry could do is shrug, he had no clue.

"Fancy a look around before going to the Headmaster?" Harry asks the hunter who was stiff, her eyes shifting back and forth.

"I would like to point out that is the last words of anyone in a horror movie, Harry," Atalanta says in a flat controlled voice.

Harry nods his head in agreement, "Point, but the chamber isn't that big, and I just want to look around." He says, "we touchnothing, howev-" Harry begins to say but stops as he hears something in his right ear.

"gus do mhisneachd a dhearbhadh, do neart a dhearbhadh, tha e air a bhith cho fada bho bha fear agam airidh air teagasg." A voice, low and light, breathy and husky breaths into Harry's ear. He jumps, spinning around and sending out a purple cutting curse off to his right. Atalanta spins around searching for threats and seeing none.

"Kiddo, what the Hades, you almost gave me a heart attack!" Atalanta hisses at him.

"You didn't hear that?" Harry hisses right back.

"Thig a bheag dhiadhaidh, feuch am bheil na tha agad a' gabhail, rach suas chum an doruis."The voice whispers again, Harry turns, looking back at the gate.

"That! That right there!" Harry says.

"Harry, I don't hear anything," Atalanta says as Harry begins to walk forward, towards the gate with his wand held high.

"Sin e am fear beag, thig a dh'ionnsaigh a' gheata. nì mi an còrr." The voice takes on a teasing tone as Harry's eyes narrow.

"I think it's coming from the gate," Harry says climbing up slowly towards it.

"Then why the f*ck are you going near it?!" Atalanta says, almost not believing this boy's idiocy, "Get back down here you moron, we're going to Dumbledore about a creepy ass whispering gate under the school!" Atalanta yells from the bottom of the raise, not wanting to get near the gate.

"No sh*t, I just want to see what it says at the top." Harry says, "I'm not gonna get within ten feet of that thing." Before he climes a little closer to the gate, coming with twelve feet of it, and shines a Lumos spell at the hovering top of the portal.

feumaidh iadsan a tha 'g iarraidh na maighdean-cogaidh, tìr an t-soluis agus na beatha fhàgail, agus dol a steach do thìr an sgàile ; sìor-fhàsach leis a' bhàs.

Was carved across the top of the floating stone, Harry just nodded, yeah. He had no idea what it said and he wasn't about to stick around and find out, but as he turns around to head back down the stone path, he sees Atalanta's face go from one of worry to one of fear. Harry doesn't even look back, he calls upon the hunt, to leap back down to Atalanta and make a break for it, but it is far too late.

Harry feels something clamp down around his waist, he looks down to see the oversized jaws of a wolf or a hound biting through him, he feels cold in the jaws wrapped around him, his eyes flick towards his right side and he wished he hadn't. Eyes, uncountable, in the darkness that made up the bulk of the creature's form, all looking at him. His eyes flick back to Atalanta, she's sprinting up the landing, arm out reaching for him, and as Harry reaches for her, he hears the whisper once again.

"Fada ro fhadalach airson sin." It whispered.

And Harry was yanked out of Atalanta's reach and into the portal behind him.

Notes:

Oh, sh*t! Cliffhanger!

Welcome to the interlude arc, you'll get the name of it next chapter but this is where I fully jump the f*cking tracks and step away from cannon to have my own little fun with world-building.

Did anyone figure it out yet? I left breadcrumbs all this time.

Just in case, here's a hint. Hogwarts isn't the first magical castle in Scotland that trained people in things.

The next chapter is gonna be fun.

Anyway, want to touch upon the other stories I wanted to write because holy f*ck you all wanted Dephini x Harry, and I can see why, very underused pairing.

That being said I have 3 stories in mind,

First is a Dephini x Harry that's AU, where Dephini was born around the time of Draco, so Narcissa, after her sister gets locked up, just says the kid is hers to hide who her parents truly were. There are some other details like Voldemort only having one soul anchor, and Pettigrew getting caught in the third year. But it would be the exploration of a toxic relationship with an abused child. It's gonna be f*cked up, meaning it's gonna be great.

Second, is a fem!Voldemort story.

I'm like half and half on having the pairing be VoldxHarry, but I want to do something more with it. Maybe a corruption fic? But I don't want Harry and Voldemort's relationship to be as simple as loving one another, I feel like I could have some fun with it. Y'all ever read "Limpieza De Sangre" by TheEndless7? The relationship they had in that was simply amazing, you couldn't tell if it was a mother/son, teacher/student, or will they won't they lovers, and that's kinda what I want to shoot for in my own little way.

The third is a fem!Voldemort goes to Hogwarts with Harry's story.

She would be in their third year when Harry starts his first and we get to explore the nature of a possessive and obsessive person in what's not a relationship to anyone but her. Not a lot of thought put into it, but it sounds great in my head.

I will probably write out the first chapters for all three and then post them and see who likes what the most.

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 21: The Land of Shadows

Notes:

Oh boy, here we go. I'm excited for this one boys and girls.

I see a few of you have picked up the bread crumbs but have no idea what you're looking at, one of you has guessed right. To that person, shut up, they don't know who it is and it's gonna be fun introducing her.

But when I first started this fanfic, I had a thought, "why limit myself to only the Greek Gods?" So, I'm not. The Warrior maid is someone from the Irish Gaelic story of the Ulster cycle which takes place between the 8th and 11th century BC. Think of her as the Irish equivalent of Chiron, just far more hands-on.

Also, mwinter1, sorry about switching it up all the time. This is my first story and I've learned a bunch by writing it. But I have ADHD so my brain jumps around a lot and switches things up, but I swear, I'm trying man.

But enough of this mortal prattle, On with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Harry Potter, Unknown, Unknown.

Harry had no idea how long he had fallen for, he doesn't even remember passing out. But when Consciousness came to him again, he groaned out in pain, it felt like his body was beaten with beater bats, he didn't know if it was the backlash of the hunt or him landing on the cold stone under him. When he finally opened his eyes, all that greeted him was darkness, it was unlike the darkness of night that had the stars and moon to light the night, no this darkness was different.

It was devoid of all light, the shadows twisted and shifted like a living mist, clinging to him as if it was welcoming him, his eyes blessed by the hunt could not penetrate the darkness and make out the ground he laid on. Harry groans as he finally gets his hands under him and pushes himself off the ground. His body cries out for rest but he ignores it as he feels around in the dark until his hand bumps something on the ground and he feels the familiar pulse of his magic, Harry sighs out in relief as he picks up his wand and stands up.

He was on a plateau, about half the size of a Quidditch field, in the distance he could make out the faintly glowing red lights that swirled and twisted like mist, showing the silhouette of huge vines of thorny stocks growing up, wrapping around and in some case growing completely over other plateau's. They all seem to be growing upwards and some seem thicker than the Hogwarts express, Harry follows them with his eyes to the sky of this ever-dark domain, and his jaw drops at what he sees.

Hogwarts, glowing and gleaming like crystals caught in the sunlight, looked to be built of frosted glass and crystals growing from the darkness of the sky and hanging upside down. Harry would know the silhouette of his home anywhere, he could make out the towers and courtyards from where he stood. Harry was confused and awestruck at the sight, just where was he? As Harry looked at the replication of his school he soon noticed something else, the shadows that seem to twist around him began to shape themselves, in the hands that grasp and clung to him, claws that slashed at him but passed right through him, faces of man, animals, and monsters he had no names for began to form all whispering to him, welcoming him back, asking for his name, begging him to kill them. As they begin to overwhelm him he slashes out with his wand trying to disperse them but it didn't work, he tried Lumos, but the light suffocated and died at the tip of his wand.

Harry tries to fight but it does nothing, and as he falls to his knees, hands coming to his ears to block out the whispers that threaten to overwhelm his mind, a new sound is heard.

Clang!

The sound of metal striking stone, and as the sound echoes out, the shadows scatter from Harry and fall into the darkness of the chasms below. Harry turns in the direction of the sound and walking from the darkness and into the soft crystal light of the fake Hogwarts, is a woman.

She was tall, standing a good head over Harry and powerfully built. Harry couldn't make out her face thanks to the mourning veil she wore over it, but he could see her hair, blood red, not like his mother's that was the color of fire. No, like the color of freshly spilled blood, a deep dark crimson that fell in loose ringlets down her back. She wore a mixture of leather armor that encased her forearms to her elbows and from her ankles to her knees and scale tunic that Harry could barely make out from under the red and black Bratt that she wore over it, belted and pinned to make it more like a shirt that went over her armor, she had a ruby studded Torc hugging her neck. In her right hand was what made the sound Harry had heard, a spear, well calling it just a spear felt like it was insulting the weapon itself, it's a beautiful weapon brutally designed to maim and kill with efficiency like none Harry had seen before. The weapon itself was taller than the woman by maybe a foot, the wood for the haft was black as night, and what looked like red veins growing and pulsating with power through the wood, the butt and blade, and guard were of the same red metal that looked like curved ivory, while both ends of it were pointed and sharp, it was the blade and the socket that was designed to do as much damage to something as possible, they were hooked and barbed, so while the spear could slide into the flesh easily enough, when it was pulled out it would take anything that was hooked to it with it. It was more of a barbed harpoon than a spear.

The woman tilts her head as she walks toward Harry, she chuckles before saying "mar sin, chaidh leanabh Dhè air falbh air mo chù agus shlaod e a-steach do na faileasan, huh?"

Harry looks at the woman, confusion evident on his face, not knowing what she had said. The woman sees this, and Harry gets the feeling she pouts.

"skilurðu mig núna, barn?" She says and still, Harry doesn't answer.

"Me comprends-tu maintenant, mon enfant?" The woman tries again, but she gets no reaction; she tilts her head and makes a disgusted noise.

"quid de modo?" She spits out the words like a curse, and Harry just shakes his head.

"How about now, godling?" She says, her Scottish accent bleeding through her words, but finally Harry understands.

"Yes!" He cries out in joy, but the woman tilts her head again.

"I have no clue what that sound meant, Godling, just nod or shake your head if you can understand me." She tells Harry as he stands up from the ground with a nod.

"Good," the woman says with a nod of her head, "It would seem I'll have to keep this conversation to yes and no question, annoying but doable. So, Graeca, you came through the gate, yes?" Harry nods his head, he remembers that much.

"Were you looking for it?" She asks as she begins to walk around Harry, spinning the spear in her hand, he shakes his head.

"Sad," she says with a sigh of disappointment, "It has been such a long time since anyone had come here, I was hoping you had learned of my Legend and had come looking for the Gate of Skye that led to my domain." Harry watches her prowl around him, he can feel her eyes on him, sizing him up for something.

"But, since you have not a clue of who I am or where you are, allow me to inform you." She says as she stops in front of Harry, just out of arms reach for both of them, "I am Scáthach, the warrior maid, trainer of heroes, Queen of the Land of Shadows where my fortress, Dún Scáith, stands ever strong. You find yourself there young one, so allow the Queen of this place to welcome you to it." She says with what sounds like a smirk, "Welcome Graeca, to the land of shadows, ever teeming with death." She tilts her head and raises her spear to Harry's face; he flinches back, not wanting to get near the point, but all the woman, Scáthach, does is brush his bangs to the side to reveal the lightning bolt-shaped scar.

"But you already know all about death, don't you, Greaca?" Scáthach asks, but Harry doesn't answer her, just glares. Scáthach just laughs, "Oh, you have spirit, little Graeca, I like that." She says she looks Harry up and down again.

"My oh my, what a fine specimen you are, tell me Graeca, are you from the islands?" Scáthach asks, Harry narrows his eyes and slowly nods before she speaks again, "Good, I would hate to let someone not from my homeland to die here, to be stuck with an unworthy ghost is simply out of the question." Scáthach notices the boy flinching but says nothing as she takes a few steps back. She holds out her left hand and Harry watches as the red mist seems to twist and bend and consolidate into a single form, a long red lance, much like the one Scáthach holds in her right, just with no barbs or hooks. She tosses it to Harry, who catches it in his off-hand, the grip on his wand tightens, and he feels his mouth go dry as he looks at the woman in. Scáthach begins to twirl and spin her spear in a show of skill and confidence before sliding into a ready position as easy as if she was moving in a dance she had done a thousand times before.

"Ready yourself Graeca, It would be a shame if you were to die too fast," Scáthach says just before she lunges at Harry.

Harry back peddles, slashing his wand out, shooting off three cutting curses at the charging Scotswoman, all three were shredded by the head of her spear as soon as they made contact with it, Scáthach laughs before saying to Harry, "You're adraoidh,how interesting! But it won't save you, Graeca!" She thrusts forward with her spear to punch a hole through Harry's head, he yanks it to the left to avoid that fate but realizes it too late that it was a bad move. Scáthach had let go of her spear, letting sail behind Harry as she slams her shoulder into knocking Harry off his feet. As he falls to the ground Scáthach wraps her hands around Harry's twisting them as she flips him onto his back before digging her knee into his back and taking his wand from him, as if it was the simplest thing in the world to do.

Scáthach stands, twirling his wand in between her fingers, "When did staves get so small Graeca?" She asks, "Back when my school was open to all, some students would show up with staves, great big carved things that suggest they were overcompensating for something." Harry could hear the teasing tone in Scáthach's voice as she tucks away his wand into her Bratt and holding out her arm.

The barbed spear answers its master's call and comes flying into her hand, she catches it and spins it with a flourish, "Up, Graeca, I have yet to decide if I will kill you or not, so up! Pick up yoursleagh!Come at me!" She orders Harry as he stands up off the ground and readies his spear, and Scáthach smiles as she charges him again.

She danced around Harry, stabbing and slashing, and it truly was a dance. Her forms flowed like water from one move to the next, she twisted her body around every stab Harry could do back, and she'd spin both body and spear to add more momentum to her attacks. Harry could barely keep up, mostly blocking every attack he could be trying to counter with his own spear, but never getting a clean hit while he was literally covered in slashes and cuts from the barbs that had caught him. Soon enough Harry started to notice a pattern, not in her fighting style, no, to Harry's eyes it was a wild and chaotic dance of barbs and blood as she moved around him.

What he noticed was whenever he would try and shift his hands to a different position of the haft, she would crack the part he was moving to as to stop his hands from moving. As she danced around him, she would stab and slash at his feet and heels to move them to where to Harry had felt that he had a better balance, the stabs were slow enough to where he could see them coming and move his feet at the last second but fast and strong enough to where he couldn't block or bat it away. Her slashes were skin deep, annoying but he could ignore the pain, life with the Dursleys had taught him that, she would switch it up when he least expected it, and a stab would turn into a shoulder check, a slash into a strike with the haft or the butt of her spear, on the rare time's Harry would get to strike out with his own spear her duck would turn to a leg sweep that knocked him to the ground.

She would always wait for him to get up before she would resume her dance of twirls and spins and blood. She was relentless, if Harry took too long to stand back up she would kick him across the plateau with immense strength or stab at him on the ground to get him moving again. She didn't speak once to him the whole time she was knocking him around only laugh when he did something unexpected before countering it gracefully and effortlessly as if she's seen it a thousand times before.

Harry had no idea how long they had fought, how long she had treated him like a punching bag, but as the butt of her spear cracked against his head the umpteenth time and sent him flying. Harry tries to get back up, he tries to push as hard as he could but his arms give out and he falls back to the ground, huffing and puffing, his body sore and bleeding from the beating he took at the hands of the woman.

"Is that all you have in you, Graeca?" She says as she lowers her spear, the point level with the ground, "I confess myself disappointed, I had expected more from a bloodline that had conquered half the known world." She says with a disappointed sigh. "But that is what I get for getting my hopes up, but we have reached the end of this game, Graeca." She lefts her spear, pointing it at Harry and he watches it be consumed by an aura, he could practically taste the bloodlust from where he lay on the ground twenty feet away, the aura, much like the woman, was wild and twisting with a promise.

A promise of death.

"End of the line, Graeca." Scáthach says as she spins the spear in her hand, getting ready to throw it, "Time to join the dead here, goodbye Graeca."

Contrary to what Hermione had said in Gryffindor Tower, Harry didn't want to die. He wanted to live, he wanted to get away from the Dursleys, he wanted to finally live. He had been locked away for so long that he had gotten used to it, but he was close, so very close to escaping his cupboard to run free. he didn't charge into danger with a death wish, he did it because he wanted to prove himself better that he had been called all his life, he did because it made him feel free, for a short while. But now? Now he was going to die at the end of a spear, away from his home, away from his friends. Harry Potter was going to die and he knew it.

"No." Was Harry's first thought through the pain, "No, I don't want to die. I can't die here, I can't die here, I won't die here.I won't."

So Harry reached into himself and found the tap that controlled the flow of the hunt and he turned it, flooding himself with the ancient power. With a roar of defiance, the boy who lived picked himself up and charged at the Queen of the land of shadows. His vision had flickered, blinding him before coming back with a pop in his ears, he could see them now, the same black spots as when he had killed the basilisk, dancing across the body of Scáthach as he charged, one strike at any of them would end this fight.

The surprise on the Queen of the Shadow Lands' face could not be seen as Harry charged at her, nor the shook when he moves faster than she could follow with mortal eyes, only years of honed battle instinct saved her from getting her head crushed in by the boy when he swung to do just that. But as she blocked the strike and parried the attack and followed up with a snap kick that sent Harry flying the smile under her veil split her face and watched as the boy twisted in midair and landed on his feet to charge her again.

The dance begins again, faster and fiercer than before, Harry moving with the might of the hunt, every slash, every stab, every bash aimed to kill. His opponent was just another hunt and he was the hunter. But even with Harry on the offensive, he found he still couldn't land a hit on her, the faster he moved she would move just as fast, they exchanged blow for blow as they danced the dance of death in a land teeming with it, Scáthach laughing all the while.

"That's it! That's it Graeca! Fight for your life! Give me everything you have and more!" Scáthach calls out as she finds she can no longer land a clean blow on the boy, it was like he had gained a sixth sense for danger, dodging the blood-red glowing spear that hungers for the boy's heart.

The swift strikes and twisting bodies continue to dance in the shadows, neither one giving or gaining an inch, and as Harry felt the hunt become impatient, forcing more and more of itself into him, Harry knew he had to end this soon or be consumed completely by the domain. So, Harry did something very brave, but very stupid.

When the queen of the shadow land swings once more to take his head off his shoulders, Harry reaches out and grabs the socket of her spear, he winces as he feels the bones in his hand crack at the force of the blow. He cries out as he feels the hooks and barbs dig into his flesh as Scáthach tries to pull her spear from the boy's grip, but Harry holds on even though it feels like his shoulder was almost ripped from its socket, it was a familiar feeling from his time with the Dursleys.

But as the Queen pulls, Harry moves with it, stepping into the pull and using the forward movement to thrust the spear in his hand forward. The back spots danced around the heart of his foe, so that's where he had aimed at, Harry could feel the hunt purr as he felt the spear sink into the flesh of his opponent, and he pushed the weapon given to him out through the back of the one who gave it to him.

Harry let go of both spears, his left hand torn open and bleeding from the Witch-Queens weapon, but he had done it. He had killed his prey, but as he steps back from her, he feels wrong. There was no rush from finishing the hunt, no pulse of power, there was only pain as Harry gasped and his body began to convulse in pain.

Harry drops to his knees, before falling to his side as his muscles convulse as the hunt feeds on the hunter. "Why!?" Harry thought through the pain, "I killed my prey! I fed the hunt! Why!?" And as the boy who lived looked up to the Queen of shadows, he saw why.

Harry watched as the woman looked down at the spear piercing her heart, before reaching for it and pulling it from her chest. Instead of the flood of crimson blood he expected to pour down her chest, staining her armor, it was gold. Bright and glowing gold, ichor, the blood of the gods.

"Very good Graeca, it has been a long time since someone had landed a mortal blow against me," Scáthach tells Harry as his body tries to eat itself, "But a warrior should never let go of their sleagh unless they are throwing it or they are dead." The Queen walks over to Harry, stabbing her own spear into the ground before grabbing Harry by the back of his collar and begins to drag him over to the edge of the plateau.

"I do not know if it was desperation or a natural aptitude that had you land the last blow, but it does not matter Graeca, you show promise," Scáthach admits as she drags right to the edge of the chasm and tosses the spear down into the darkness below, "The quickest way to my fortress is the iron stocks of thrones, find one and climb up, if you make it to the top I will find you worthy to train." She tells Harry before picking him up by the collar of his shirt with one hand and with the other she pulls back the mourning veil from her face and over the back of her hair. Her eyes were a deep red, Auburn in color, her face was rugged and sharp with aristocratic features, and she wore red face paint swirling and hooked making her look an equal part demonic and angelic.

Scáthach smiles at him, "And try not to die boy, I think I may be starting to like you." Before she tosses Harry over the edge.

Harry watches her turn and vanishes into the darkness, as he himself fell into shadows and death.

Atalanta, Gate of Skye, Hogwarts.

"HARRY!" Atalanta's scream echoes throughout the chamber as she watches her charge get dragged through the gate by some monster made of shadow, without wasting a second she was up and over the stones and running right into the portal, jumping through the red haze of the portal intent of saving her adoptive little brother. As she passes through and lands she looks around trying to spot Harry or the beast, but all she found was the chamber the gate sat in.

"No…" she whispers in a small horrified voice, before turning around and jumping through the haze again, nothing. She had not gone through like Harry had, "No, No, No! Let me through! Let me through damnit!" As Atalanta screams and tries to cross through the haze but never leaves the chamber her panic grows. Something had Harry, something wasn't letting her through, she could protect him, she had to get to him.

But she couldn't.

She needed help, she needed to get Dumbledore, she needed to get Lady Artemis, one of those two should know what was going on and how to help. She could prey in the dark of the chamber, unknown who could hear her and she would not risk Harry to the unseen one or whatever forces haunted this chamber. So she turns heel and calls upon the hunt, pushing it to the line she knows all too well that separated her from who she was from the beast she had been and ran. She rushed through the tunnel, not caring about the consequences of not feeding the hunt she needed to get out of the tunnel and prey before going to get Dumbledore.

When she reaches the rope she climbs it quickly pulling herself over the lip of the hole and rolling it onto her back, she prepares herself for the hunt to take its pound of flesh and begins to pray.

"Lady Artemis, the chasted hunter, Lady of the hills, forests, and moon hear my prayers and answer my pleas, Harry was taken My Lady by a monster made of shadows and dragged into a g-gate, undergr-ground, we-we-we found it wh-while h-hu-hunting, p-p-please, M-my La-Lady, Help," Atalanta begs as the hunger of the hunt rips through her, as the pain begins to reach an unbearable point a hand lands on Atalanta's shoulder, and she looks up into the amber eyes of Artemis.

"Be at ease, hunter." She says in the same detached tone of voice, and Atalanta feels the pain drain away, "What happened to Harry?" Artemis asks after she had pulled the Atalanta from the jaws of the hunt.

Atalanta swallows before pointing to the hole, "we found that as we were hunting a pair of Acromantula, it lead to a gate under the school, Harry wanted to get close enough to try and read what was carved above but the shadows tore themselves from the wall in the form of a wolf or a hound and dragged him into it when he had turned to leave. I tried to follow through but the gate wouldn't let me." Atalanta explains quickly.

"Show me." That is all Artemis says in return.

So Atalanta does, she leads her Mistress through the tunnel and shows her the gate, Artemis walks around the monolith, inspecting it, running her hands over it. It was divine, that was no question, as old or even older than her. It did not feel like any of her Olympian kin, this felt different but familiar as well, like the taste of something that you can't quite place by memory alone. But this thing had dragged her son into it, and that wasn't something she would let slide. Artemis was positive she could force the gate to open and take her where her son was, but first.

"Atalanta," she calls the hunter to her before folding a notebook and pen into existence and handing them to her, "I know not where this goes, but I will be going through to get the boy. This is a breach of the ancient laws, another divine from a different Pantheon is interfering with us, this will not stand." Artemis tells her huntress and Atalanta pales at her words, this could be bad. "You are to write down what the inscription says and bring it to the Headmaster, he might have some insights into what this is." Atalanta nods at Artemis orders, "and finally, if I do not return in a day's time, pray to my brother and tell him…tell him everything. Do you understand?"

Atalanta's eyes go wide, but nods and says "Yes, my Lady. Be careful."

Artemis scoffs but nods at her hunter's words, she did not mean them as insulting, she was worried. "Thank you, Atalanta, but I plan on killing everything that dare imposes itself between me and Harry. Careful is not something I will be." The Goddess says before turning to the gate and stepping through.

Artemis, Land of Shadows.

Artemis was not happy, far from the word as she landed on the shadow-covered plateau, she had not been in a good mood since leaving the orphanage, Artemis had confronted Aphrodite about what she had done to Harry, her age-old enemy had just laughed at her and said "If I do not get to spend eternity with the children I love, then why should you? What are you going to do about it, Artemis, run to daddy?" Though the look on her face when she found out a few of her favorite date spots and boutiques burned to the ground was almost worth it. For while direct revenge was out, Artemis could still hit the Goddess of love where it hurt, the best part? She couldn't even complain about it, because if she was to say why the death of all her children would be on her own hands. What does her uncle always say? "Always get a solemn oath"?

The meeting with Aphrodite went smooth in comparison to the meeting she had with Albus Dumbledore, she had found out the old mortal played his cards close to the vest, and Artemis had made up her mind to kill the old fool, but then he opened his mouth.

Flashback, six days ago, Headmaster's Office.

"What did you say?" Artemis loosens her hold on the throat of Albus Dumbledore, she was intent on choking the life from the man before tossing his body to her hounds, She appeared in his office not long after she felt her divine curse on the Dursley boy be broken. While impressive, she wasn't about to let that go unanswered, a mortal shouldn't meddle with divine punishment until the lesson sinks in. So she had appeared in his office like she had all those months ago, but the curious feelings were not being buried any longer and Artemis' full rage was on display. She was in the same form she had terrorized the Dursleys in, another mortal was in the room with the old man, but she was in no mood to deal with extras, so with but a glance into his mind she had ripped forward the hunt in all of its fury and the man collapse gasping; Artemis was just surprised that he was still awake and not passed out from fear.

She had wrapped her hand around the throat of Albus Dumbledore and had told him, "Give me one reason why I shouldn't kill you for what role you've played in the boy's home life?"

She had mostly said it in jest, she had not anticipated any answer from Albus Dumbledore from staying her hand, but when he had choked out the words "Prophecy" and "He's not dead." She had dropped the old mortal to the floor.

"What Prophecy?!" She had asked through clenched teeth.

Flashback end

So Artemis got the full story out of the old headmaster, the Prophecy that tied Harry and this Dark Lord together, the power he knows not, the piece of her that Harry carried in himself, Albus had once thought it was Lily Potter's protection but now knew what the line meant. Then there was the fact that this mortal was able to cheat death, and so long as the man was wrapped in prophecy Artemis couldn't hunt him down, nor could Hades or Thanatos could do anything about it. And now, her son was kidnapped by some unknown divine power for unknown reasons, Artemis' mood was dangerously close to wrath, and that is exactly what she intends to visit upon the being that took her child and harmed him because she could smell his blood in the air.

Artemis turns her eyes skyward and sees the ostentatious crystal castle in the sky, she scoffs at it, she had seen worst from her kin, the glowing golden temple that her brother called home, the platinum fortress of her fathers, the pink eyesore of Aphrodite, the only two that had kept their respective temples to something simple was her and Dionysus. Hers was a silver temple made to look like the Artemisium, while Dionysus was a simple temple made of stone with a large vineyard surrounding it. She respects her half-brother for that, but she would still shoot him if he ever thought of going after her hunters.

Artemis twists her own form, shedding the guise of a human for now for one with feathers and claws, the silver hawk beats its wings as it takes flight through the darkness, heading to the crystal castle. As Artemis flew she took in all around her, the place she found herself in as a desolate land of crags and plateaus overflowing with shadows and death, she could make out the forms of creatures below she had never hunted before. They looked to be amalgamations of monster and beast, a lion with six legs, an alligator that stood on its back legs while its forearms were powerful looking with sharp claws at the end, and a basilisk-sized red serpent with three heads. She ignored them all and made it to the crystal castle before landing on a balcony and shifting back to her human guise.

As she walked through the castle, she couldn't help the feeling of Deja vu sinking in, had she been here before? No. Artemis does not think so, this castle however reminds her of something, Hogwarts! That was it. It reminded her of Hogwarts, granted she had only been in three parts of the castle, but this place had the same feeling to it. Like a memory that wasn't hers in the back of her head.

As if the castle was showing her the way through, she finds the throne room easy enough, Artemis knows this because she can feel the divine energy wafting from behind the door. Artemis pushes the door open and walks in, the hall was large and made for feasting or fighting, perhaps both. But the four long tables sat empty and devoid of life, a sense of sadness and loneliness permeated the air as Artemis' eyes landed on the Mistress of the castle.

She was dressed in a skin-tight leather full-bodysuit that left little to the imagination, a mourning veil trimmed with gold, she wore no shoes or boots, no gloves or bracers, her eyes were closed as if she was asleep with her ankles crossed and fingers interlocked, as a wicked-looking spear was stabbed into the grown a few feet from the crystal throne she sat upon.

Artemis moved deeper into the room with no fear, and as she reached the bottom steps that lead up to the platform where the throne rested, Artemis called out, "Where is the boy?"

The figure's eyes flutter open and look down at Artemis before smirking, "Oh? Two in such a short amount of time, my, how interesting. But I'm afraid you'll have to be a bit more specific, what boy?" The woman says in a flat and bored tone as Artemis' teeth start grinding.

"I am," Artemis begins in a flat and angry tone, "Soverytired of mortals playing coy when I ask that question."

The woman laughs, "Then perhaps you should ask a better question?" She says with a hint of a smirk.

"Where is myson?" Artemis says, her temper getting the better of her, "You have broken the laws of none interference, the ancient laws that we uphold, release him at once!"

The figure narrows her eyes at the Moon Goddess and glares at her, "Ancient Laws, you say? Broke them, have I? Why would I care about any laws outside of my own, hmm?" She says, Artemis here's the edge to her voice, and sees her hands begin to ball into fists.

"All of us divine are bou-" but that was as far as Artemis got before being cut off.

"Your laws bind me? Me!?" The woman on the throne shouts, "Look at where you are Moon Goddess, you are not in the material realm, you are inTìr nan dubhar! My land of shadows that your laws have no power over!" She had leaned forward on her throne to scold Artemis for ignorance, Artemis' face was a scowl of dark emotions.

"Besides, where were your ancient laws when your descendants came to my land, killed my kin, slaughtered my students, and tore down my castle brick by brick." The woman says with a matching look of anger, "No. Your laws are not welcome or wanted here, the boy stays until I am done with him." The Queen says.

"Where is my son, last chance to answer." Artemis hisses out dangerously as her bow finds its way into her hand.

The witch-queen let out an angry sigh before leaning back into her throne, "I don't know, I kicked him into the chasms, but that was a week and a half ago." She says as she watches Artemis' eyes go wide as the vivid memories of the monsters below fill her mind. "He could already be de-" but that's as far as Scáthach gets as she quickly has to bend her head out of the way of an arrow impacted with her throne, right where her head was just a moment ago.

Scáthach sighs out and stands before a smile grows on her face, "it's been such a long time since I've gotten to do this." She says walking over to her spear and pulling it from the ground.

"What? Be put in your place by your betters?" Artemis says with a growl, another arrow notched and ready, aimed at the heart of the other Goddess.

"No." The Queen of the land of Shadows says, "since last I killed a god." Before summoning a second spear to her hand and charging at Artemis.

Notes:

Oh, sh*t!? Oh sh*t!

Grab your popcorn kiddos because it is going down!

In the blue corner, we have the Goddess of the hunt and sudden death, vs her challenger in the red corner, the warrior maid and Queen of the land of shadows, the Goddess of death, Scáthach!

By the gods, it's the Ara-Ara aunt vs the Tsundere mom, this is gonna be a slobber-knocker!

So, a little background of Scáthach(skah-hahk) she is the teacher of Cú Chulainn, an Irish hero from the Ulster Cycle who is normally called the Irish Hercules for good reasons. She was the one who taught him how to fight and gave him a replica of her own spear called Gáe Bulg and the secret to how to use it. When next we see her she somehow became a god, thanks to the fact that the Celtics suck at writing down any of their stories. We have to rely on texts written by the catholic church some 300 years after they beat the locals into submission. Which aren't very accurate, to say the least.

What makes her so well fitted for this is where her castle is supposed to be, you see Dún Scáith, her fortress, was located in Scotland over on the Island of Skye where, what they think is, her castle still stands today. The cherry on top of the mythological Sunday is that Hogwarts's exact location isn't known! So for this headcanon boys and girls.

Dún Scáith is Hogwarts.

The original castle was destroyed by the Roman demigods after the Romans came to the islands, the two sects of gods fought and it turns out the Roman gods were stronger. The roman demigods tore down Dún Scáith and left only the cornerstones that it was built upon.

Unfortunately, for the Romans involved the Land of Shadows and the fortress Dún Scáith are located in both the material realm and the realm of the dead, so you can't really destroy it unless you can get past Scáthach. So when the founders found the cornerstones of Dún Scáith in a valley, they were like f*ck it, let's build a school, and the Dún scáith in the land of shadows was changed to match it. The founders had no idea that the place Hogwarts would stand on was once the domain of a god.

How is scáthach still alive and not faded? Is what I hear you asking, and that's simple. Her very being and story are tied to her fortress, so long as it stands she will not fade! She is remembered in the Ulster cycle and through Hogwarts. She is still as strong as the day she became a god.

How's that for a plot twist?

Also, Harry didn't outright beat a god, if you were paying attention, Scáthach was testing Harry, matching him in speed and strength, pushing him to his absolute limits to see what he could do. If Percy had done this, she would have done it the same way, though Percy would have ended it faster than Harry did with a lot fewer injuries.

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 22: Gold amongst the shadows.

Notes:

Welcome back dear readers, to another chapter of Under the Hunters Moon.

Where I kindly ask you to GET HYPED!

In this chapter, we witness a fight between two Goddesses.

Now before we get to the fight, I would like to preface it with two words.

Anime bullsh*t.

What do I mean by that? Well if this fight doesn't feel like something from a Shōnen anime I have done something very wrong.

These are two Gods fighting, so it should feel overpowered as f*ck.

But enough with this mortal prattle, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The Land of Shadows, Dún Scáith.

When the fight first begin Artemis had thought it would be over quickly because what being could hope to stand up to one of the twelve Olympians outside the scattered titans or the dead giants, this notion was quickly corrected as she watches the other Goddess slip in and out of the first two arrows she had fired at her before knocking the last one away with a spin of her spear. With the kick, the Queen of the land of shadows delivered to the Moon Goddess would have split a mortal in two, but as Artemis blocked the kick with her bow and her body was sent flying through tables and into the wall on the other side of the hall, Artemis started to reconsider her last though.

The follow-up from Scáthach was almost as bad, she threw the replica spear at Artemis with enough force and power behind it to punch through the crystal wall Artemis was kicked into, kicking up a cloud of dust. forcing the Goddess of the hunt to dodge, the hem of her bomber jacket being torn by the air pressure from the spear throw alone. In the dust, Artemis rolled to a stop, not breathing or making a sound, while she couldn't see her opponent, she couldn't see her either.

"What's wrong Graeca? Don't tell me that love tap took you out already?" Called Scáthach as she summons another spear to her hands with a calm smile on her face.

Artemis grinds her teeth at the blatant disrespect and draws back her bowstring, being one of the twin archers she did not need any arrows or quiver to load her bow, the arrows fold themselves into existence when she draws her string, and with rapid speed, she fires off four arrows from the cloud of dust before dashing out. Artemis hears the tell tail clang of Scáthach deflecting two of them as the tables and wall shatter behind her as she dodges the last two. Which is a considerable feat seeing as her arrows flew at supersonic speeds comparable to a Barrett M82.

Artemis moving with the speed and grace of the hunt runs wide around her prey firing arrow after arrow at Scáthach, but the infuriating Goddess with spears laughs as she knocks each one from the air with spinning spears as she follows Artemis with her eyes, tracking her easy enough, before with a burst of speed charges Artemis once again before throwing one of the recreated spears, making Artemis leap over the spear as in crashes into the wall on the far end of the room, the wall collapsing as it strikes. If Artemis' arrows were like a round from a Barrett M82, Scáthach's spears were that of a Howitzer shell.

As Artemis leaps over the spear, Scáthach makes it to her, and begins her dance of slashes and stabs with the barbed spear of death, Artemis is forced to dodge and dance with her avoiding the weapon the best she could, her natural speed and grace making sure she's not struck with the spear. Knowing her bow is useless at the range, Artemis twists her form into that of a Tiger and strikes back at Scáthach forcing her back as she dodges the deadly claws of the predator, gaining distance, even one so slight, Artemis capitalizes on the advantage twisting her form once again into a hawk and slips past Scáthach's swing to clip her wings to get above before changing into a bear and trying to crash down onto her. But Scáthach quickly rolls from the slam before popping back up to spin on her heel to try and sink the tip of her weapon into the hide of the bear. Artemis shifts back to her human form before jumping back and firing an arrow at her prey and smiles as she sees it sink into the chest of Scáthach, shooting her backwards and slamming her down through the row of tables.

Arming her bow again, knowing a single arrow wouldn't put down another god, she watches Scáthach jump back to her feet and swings her spear just in time to deflect the incoming arrow, Scáthach laughs once again.

"Not bad Graeca, not bad at all." She says as she stands and pulls the arrow from her and tosses it away, "Looks I will have to take this a tad more seriously, huh?" The Goddess of the lance says with a bloody grin and before Artemis can even consider what Scáthach meant by that, her eyes go wide as Scáthach summons six lances around her that float in the air before Scáthach smiles and lunches them at Artemis two at a time, forcing the Goddess of the hunt to dodge and twist out of the oncoming slot, the impacts of the spears shake the castle to the core as they leave craters in the ground and shatter the walls and in the middle of dodging the lances shot at her like shells, Scáthach appears admits The Barrage Before the last two spears even fire with an upwards swing with her personal weapon catching Artemis in the side and flings her skyward with a laugh.

The barbs and hooks dig into the side of the Goddess of the hunt and tear her mortal flesh, spilling the golden ichor that hid just beneath. Artemis ignores the ripped flesh and broken rib, twisting in midair and arming her bow before lining up a shot that would hail down arrows on her foe, but her line of sight is interrupted when Scáthach kicks one of the tables at her. Artemis quickly pulls out one of her hunting knives and cuts the table in two before it hits her, but to her shock, Scáthach is right behind it, grinning her mad grin as she plunges her lance into Artemis' stomach and twists it before they both slam into the wall behind Artemis, pinning the Moon Goddess to it with a scream.

"I have you now Graeca!" Scáthach yells in triumph as she summons another spear into her free hand before driving it down towards Artemis' head. With a howl, Artemis swings her arm armed with her hunting blade, extending it to serve the arm of Scáthach that was coming down with her conjured spear, before drawing it back at Scáthach's screams and plunging it into the Lancer's chest. Piercing her breast bone and into her divine heart and twisting it, Artemis shifts to her older form before kicking the Goddess of Dún Scáith off of her to the ground below. Gripping the spear that was pinning her to the wall and pushing with her feet while pulling with her arms she removes the barbed spear from her body and frees herself from the fall, Artemis screams as she removes the hooked and barbed spear from herself, feeling every inch as it rips and tears at her insides.

Artemis lands on the ground, tossing away the lance, and looks up to see Scáthach doing the same, pulling her hunting blade from her chest and tossing it away. Both Goddesses take a deep breath, focusing their divine power on healing the wounds on their immortal bodies. Scáthach's arm grows back in a burst of blood and shadow, as Artemis feels the wound in her stomach close. Scáthach holds out her newly formed arm calling her divine-killing weapon back to her as Artemis re-summons her bow.

"So, you're a war god then?" Artemis asks, it made sense to her, she had seen Ares pull off the same trick with the floating and attacking weapons, but Scáthach just laughs at her.

"War god? Polite of you to say Graeca, but no, I am no war god." Scáthach explains, "the mastery I have over my weapon comes from untold millennia of killing the monsters and half faded gods trapped in the land of shadows and mastering the art of war magic. No, I am no war god." Scáthach says with a smile.

"If you are no war god, then what divine domain do you belong to?" Artemis asks, honestly confused, Scáthach had fought on par with Ares himself.

"That is simple Graeca," Scáthach says as she spins her lance once more, "I am the mistress of Dún Scáith, Witch-Queen of the land of shadows, and…" Scáthach's grin grows to a smile full of teeth as she summons dozens upon dozens of her replicant spear above the head of Artemis all pointed at the Moon Goddess, "The Goddess of Death!" She cries out before the crimson rain of spears collapses upon Artemis.

Harry Potter, the Land of Shadows.

Harry had lost track of when the last time he slept, or ate, or had something to drink Hell, he couldn't even remember the last time he had stopped and rested. He had been down in the Crags of the Shadowlands for what felt like weeks, and it has been fighting, walking, fighting, running for his life, and more fighting. He had lost count of how many monsters he had killed, the only thing keeping him moving was the fear of death and the hunt feeding his body with every kill.

He could feel every wound on his body weigh him down with pain, every bite, every slash, and every claw mark twitched and ached with every step through the suffocating shadows he walked through. He had to rely on his hearing down here, for his eyes could not see through the shadows, not to mention he had lost his glasses some time ago. He hobbled forward, pushing himself far past his breaking point because he had to get home, back to Hogwarts, back to Atalanta, back to Hermione and Ron. He would not die here, he refused to. Sometimes, in the darkness of the chasms, he could make out the faint footsteps behind him, egging him on, to not turn back because he was almost there, and whatever he did, to not look behind him. For only death was waiting for him, so he didn't, he moved ever onward.

Before long and after many more blood-filled hunts, he had found the stock of iron thorns, and he began to climb, his palms slicing open on them, but still, he pushed himself forward, onwards, and upwards to the castle so much like his home.

Dún Scáith, The Land of Shadows.

The throne room of Dún Scáith was a mess of rubble, craters, arrows, and spears. Not much was left standing in the wake of the fight between the two Goddesses, the throne itself was shattered by the swing of Scáthach's spear when Artemis had dove behind it to avoid another barrage of lances. Pockmarks littered the ground, stained gold with the blood of the gods, for every shot that Scáthach had not dodged or blocked had landed and torn from her flesh and blood.

As Scáthach stood up from the latest exchange of blows, the half of her head that was blown away from one of Artemis' arrows rapidly regrows itself in a gruesome display of blood and bone, Artemis pulled the lance that had pierced her side to her armpit from her as both Goddess of death stands back up, breathing heavily.

"I must say Graeca," Scáthach says as she calls her spear back to her hand from where it had fallen, "This has been one of the best fights I've had in a millennia." With a smile.

"f*ck. You." Is all Artemis says back to the Goddess of Dún Scáth, but all Scáthach does is laugh and get back into her ready position to charge the Goddess of the hunt.

"Perhaps later, for now, I need to jam my big hard lance deep into you and find your heart," Scáthach says with a smirk before taking off in a burst of speed, appearing before Artemis, stabbing down at the hunter as she dives away, rolling away from the follow-up slashes from the Goddess of Dún Scáith. Artemis dives and picks up the hunting knife discard earlier, drawing her second one before turning to face the charging Goddess of Death. They clash in a dance of sparks from their weapons and the intent to carve the other one to pieces. Artemis knocks the barbed spear away, then swings one of her silver blades to gut Scáthach, to her surprise Scáthach takes the blow, and a waterfall of golden ichor pours from her belly. But the Goddess of Dún Scáith took the blow and capitalized on the momentary surprise to wrap her hand around Artemis' throat and picking her up, thrusting her lance forward, aiming for the Goddess of the Hunt's heart.

"Bleed for me Olympian!" Scáthach screams in the face of Artemis.

Artemis thinking fast stabs a hunting knife through the arm of Scáthach, making the Witch-Queen release her throat, Artemis twists her body, removing her heart from the path of the lance and landing a kick to the side of Scáthach's head, booting her away. But Artemis did not escape the exchange without injury as the lance ripped through her side before she landed the kick, and as Scáthach went flying the barbed and hooked spear was ripped from her side in a brutal fashion spelling more of Artemis' golden blood.

Artemis quickly closes the wound before putting her blades away and re-summoning her bow to release a barrage of arrows at high speed at Scáthach as the Goddess of Dún Scáith crashes into the ground and skids across the stone floor. As the smoke from the arrows clears Scáthach stands up, peppered with arrows and holes where they had punched through her body, leaking golden liquid to the floor, the wounds quickly close as she sneers at Artemis before calling forth a wall of red lances, hundreds floated in the air all pointed at the chaste huntress, too many to dodge without getting hit, and with but a gesture Scáthach lunches the barrage at Artemis.

Artemis had no way to dodge them all, so she did the one thing she could think of and called up a domain she did not use often, she called upon the Moon. With a scream, Artemis uses her Authority over it to summon a vortex that leads directly to its silver surface to swallow up the portion of the barrage that would hit her, taking it directly to the moon. As the other lances crashed into the wall behind her, destroying it completely and opening it up to the shadows below the castle, Artemis closes the vortex before collapsing to one knee. The Moon wasn't a domain she uses often for how much power she needs to call upon its full power, other than the ability to see all when it was full, calling upon it was too costly, it wasn't hers by birth nor by conquest. The mortals gave it to her after they had stopped worshiping Selene during Roman times. Artemis was no Goddess of magic so she could not utilize the ancient mysticism surrounding it as Hekate could.

As Artemis was on one knee taking deep breaths from the strain her trick had caused on her, Scáthach was smiling.

"A very good trick Graeca, but let's see you do…" Scáthach abruptly turns her head before sighing, "Let's see if we can not finish this dance, no?" The Goddess of Dún Scáith says as she walks a few feet over, lining herself right across from the Goddess of the hunt and pointing her spear at her, "Let me show you how to kill a god, in one perfect peerless strike of a lance, hmm?" Scáthach says as she tilts her head.

The lance then ignited in an aura of malice and death, twisting red mist surrounding it, and Artemis could feel how hungry it was, hungry for blood, hungry for a divine heart. Scáthach sets the butt of the spear on the ground before her smile grows from a soft smirk to a bloodthirsty one full of teeth, and she tosses the lance skyward with her hand. Artemis could tell what it was as soon as the aura covered the lance, a divine curse, and a powerful one at that, one that when once used would always seek the heart and never fail to strike it, to implant into the body iron thorns that would rend flesh and snuff out mortality.

Artemis has never been so insulted in her existence.

"Gáe…" Scáthach says, beginning the curse as she spins on her heel and jumps into the air back flipping as she does.

Artemis was done, she had enough of this fight, of this hunt. She wanted to collect her son and leave this god's cursen place and now the ruler of the shadowed-filled hell hole wanted to use a divine curse to try and kill her! A curse created to rend flesh and end mortal lives!? She was Artemis of the Olympians! The Goddess of the Hunt! How dare this Goddess insult her like this! She wanted to use a curse that ripped flesh and snuffed out mortal lives, fine! Artemis would discard both.

So she did, Artemis' human guise split and cracked at the seams as she discarded both her flesh and mortal form, it burned away like paper in a blaze, as Artemis assumed her true godly form. Silver light enveloped the room as her flesh burned away, she grow to the size of her brother, her hair hung loose and blow in an ethereal wind taking the look of a Nebula full of stars, and her eyes no longer glowed like amber in the dark, but shined the silver of the full Moon, but still slitted like a cats eye. She wore a simple silver belted tunic with sandals that wrapped up to her knees. In her hands, she held her bow and a single silver arrow, whereas her brother had his harp, her father his master bolt, and her uncles the trident and helm respectively, she had a bow and a single arrow forged by the Cyclopsis.

As she arms her bow and pulls the string back, she lays upon it her divine domains of archery, the hunt, and instant death.

"I am Artemis of the Olympians, and you will heed my word!" Artemis calls out to Scáthach, "and that word is," Artemis releases her arrow, "BEGONE!"

"BULG!" Scáthach screams at the same time as she kicks the butt of her spear with her big toe, launching the spear at the Moon Goddess' arrow.

As the arrow and lance meet in mid-air, they struggle to overcome each other as a divine curse meets a thrice blessed arrow. The lance tries to go after a mortal vessel in the room but finds none, and begins to waver, Artemis' arrow, however. The Cyclopsis only ever forged her a single arrow, because a single arrow was all Artemis ever needed to end her hunt and kill her prey. So when the lance wavers the arrow does not and shatters the spear and rockets towards the Goddess of Death whose eyes were wide with surprise as the silver streak strikes her, and for the first time in forever, moonlight comes to the land of shadows as the arrow strikes with the force of a tomahawk missile.

Artemis sighs as she doesn't see her prey stand again, and reverses back to her mortal guise before collapsing to her knees, she had used up too much energy too far away from the flame of the west and had drained herself. She had to find Harry and get out of her and recoup her lost power. As Artemis struggles to stand, she uses her bow to lean on and begins to walk to the door of the throne room that was somehow still standing, getting her son and leaving the only thought in her mind. So she was surprised when the door opened and in walked Harry.

He was covered in blood, his own blood, and what he was wearing was torn to shreds, showing bleeding wounds of claws, bites, and slashes as half his shirt was missing along with his glasses and one shoe. He was barely standing and clinging onto life, leaning on a red spear, taking slow and careful steps into the room before he began to collapse with a burst of energy Artemis crosses the room and catches him before he hits the ground.

"Harry!" Artemis screams as she does, "Harry, talk to me!? Please! Harry!" She says scared, not knowing what to do, she needed to get him Ambrosia and nectar now!

But as Artemis cradles the body of her child she hears him murmur, "I did it… I made it… I can go home…please…" the boy says before passing out.

"Don't worry Harry, I'll get you home, please, just, please keep breathing," Artemis says as she tries to lift the boy from the ground, but stops as she hears the laugh of another and slowly turns her head to the rubble by the door.

The rubble shifts and moves as Scáthach stands back up, fully regenerated from Artemis' greatest attack, an attack that should have scattered Scáthach's essence to the winds. Nothing short of Typhon or a higher god could have survived that blow.

Artemis' eyes were wide with shock as she asks, "How? My arrow should have killed you, it should have taken you years to regenerate from that!" Trying to understand what happened.

"Kill me? Kill me how Graeca?" Scáthach asks with a knowing smirk, "Perhaps you meant to scatter me over Dún scáith? Over the Land of Shadows? Tell me you jest." The Goddess of Death says as she co*cks her hip and recalls her spear. "I am Dún Scáith and the Land of Shadows, and they are me. How does one scatter a goddess over themselves, hmm?"

And all at once, Artemis understood that Scáthach had been playing with her since the start of their fight. Artemis would have to destroy the whole of the lands of shadow and the castle that stood in it to kill Scáthach in any term applicable to killing a god. For as the Olympians had tied themselves to the flame of the west and their thrones of power, Scáthach and the Celtic gods tied themselves to places of power where only they reigned Supreme, and Artemis was standing in the heart of Scáthach domain.

As Artemis gapped, Scáthach smiled, "But alas the boy has arrived and so our fun stops here Moon Goddess, I must say I am impressed by the boy, he bested Sétante recorded by a day." The Goddess of Dún Scáith says before snapping her fingers and repairing the damage to the fortress that the battle of the two Goddesses had caused.

Artemis recalls her bow and grips it tightly as she asks, "Now what? Are you going to try and kill us both?" Artemis asks and Scáthach chuckles.

"No Moon Goddess, while it was a good fight and I welcome another in the future, for now, I must make sure the boy lives." Scáthach says as she stabs her lance into the ground, "and I must do so quickly, he has bled in the land of shadows, so the land of shadows has bled into him. If he stays here much longer the boy will never be allowed to leave. So move and let me carry him, I will need to heal him."

Notes:

And the battle of goddesses is over!

That was fun to write, I stopped it earlier than normal because I wanted to keep the mushy stuff for the next chapter.

You guys have no idea how hard it was not to put the word "Thot" after that "begone." Anyway, I hope you guys like it, and if you didn't know VinCredable updated his Harry Potter story, so go check it out. Because finally after ten years! The King has returned, so excited about that.

To explain the fight and why Artemis got the boot is pretty simple, Artemis isn't a fighter, she's a hunter.

Scáthach on the other hand is a straight-up warrior maid, she trained the greatest of Irish heroes and is a badass so powerful she somehow became a god. How does that work? No idea, we don't have the full story.

Also, how Scáthach used the Gáe Bulg is how it is described in the epic of Cú Chulainn, you're supposed to use your big toe and toss it over your head. Weird sh*t.

Kingsaxcul, Out!

Chapter 23: Silver souls, pulsing as one

Notes:

And welcome back readers to the last chapter of the Land of Shadows Arc!

This is where we get to the Artemis Harry connecting, that's right SOB, I come to deliver on my promise to you. I'm glad all of you liked my battle between the Goddesses however.

But after this, we get back to the hunt, but I wonder if any picked up my hints in the last few chapters?

Yes? No?

Whatever, but enough of this mortal prattle, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Dún Scáith, Land of Shadows.

The door to the room opens after a short knock, a show of politeness that the Goddess of Dún Scáith would not have bothered with if it wasn't for the Goddess who had given her a good fight, and the child who she felt had potential on the other side. Scáthach enters the room, no longer in the skin-tight catsuit she had worn two days earlier for her battle with Artemis, but in an elegant light purple gown that she had once worn during feasts and holidays in days long past. As Scáthach enters she announces herself and watches the Goddess of the hunt tense as she always did when she entered the room. Good, the prideful Olympian has learned something about fear.

"I am here to change the boy's dressing, I'll be gone when I am done," Scáthach tells Artemis like the last four times she had done it before pulling back the covers, and setting the tray she had brought in with on the side table before getting to work.

Scáthach works quickly, with skilled hands she removes the old bandages and discards them before she takes the new ones, soaked in a healing poultice, and applies them to the now quickly healing wounds. Taking a vial of a slightly glowing silver potion, swirling it to check its consistency before spelling it into Harry's stomach. Normally she would work in silence as Artemis watches her like a hawk, but the Goddess of the Hunt felt like talking finally.

"Why are you helping him?" Artemis asks, her voice soft, almost a whisper as she watches Scáthach work.

Scáthach pauses in her work before she starts to clean up, as she does she speaks, "Because I see potential in him, he landed a mortal wound on an opponent that was equal in power to him, and survived the monsters of the chasms, and because I would be a poor teacher if I let him die after completing my challenges."

"Didn't you throw him down there yourself?" Artemis says, a growl in her voice, Scáthach just nods her head as she finishes up her cleaning.

"He could have died down there!? What would you have done then?" Artemis speaks, her anger leaking into her voice.

To this, all Scáthach does is shrug before saying "Then he would have died and been unworthy to teach. My methods are cruel but they yield the best results." Scáthach says before making her way to the door.

"He's been through enough cruelty in his life." Artemis spits out at the Goddess of Dún Scáith.

"Has he?" Scáthach asks, looking between Artemis and Harry, "and did he learn from it?" When Artemis doesn't answer but looks at the Scáthach with confused eyes, the Goddess of Dún Scáith elaborates, "A lesson can be cruel, yes. But if he learns from it, especially if it's a lesson worth learning, it is well worth the pain of the lesson."

Artemis looks away from the Witch-Queen before saying, "He…did not have the best of childhoods." The hitch of self-blame couldn't be missed.

"I see," Scáthach says in a soft voice, "A human can grow strong or can be broken during their early years, but if they do make it out of years of cruelty without breaking, it will take them years to unlearn the lessons that were forced upon them." Scáthach says in a sad voice that spoke of how many times she had seen it before, "but if he can make it past the demons that hold on to him, he'll be stronger for it, and I have learned that a mothers touch can exercise even the strongest of demons." The Goddess of Dún Scáith says with a knowing look at Artemis.

"I do not think I've been a good mother." The Goddess of the Hunt admits in the same soft voice, "I…said things to him that I had thought as true at the time, I have no clue how to take them back."

"I have learned over the years," Scáthach begins in the same voice she had used to teach so many so long ago, "That words are but wind, it is our actions that speak of our character not our words, mayhaps you can start there." The Goddess of Death says before opening the door, "Think on it Lady Artemis." Before leaving the Goddess of the Hunt alone.

Harry Potter.

As Harry slept, he had dreams of things that he would rather not remember.

"I told you, boy! I told you!" Harry could feel the sting of the belt.

"I can bring them back, such is the power of lord-" Harry could feel the desperation in his heart.

"Up Freak, I said get up!" Harry could feel the hunger crawl in his belly like a thousand thousand worms.

"Speak to me Slytherin, Greatest of the Hogwarts-" Harry could feel the fear overwhelm the joy of the hunt.

"And now my curiosity can be stated." Harry feels a hope that had bloomed, wither and die.

"Pad'foo, Pad'foo!" Harry feels something draped around him, warm as a hug from someone almost forgotten.

"Mummy loves you, Harry." Harry feels a warm hand pressed against his cheek, but sees the wetness of her cheeks.

Harry sees a pair of eyes, as dark and endless as the shadows he had wandered in, he sees black lips bend in a smirk and cold arms cradle him.

Harry feels himself jerk awake, his body protests this as he struggles with the heavy blankets in a bed far too soft, he needs to get up and start his chores, he needs to get up and run before monsters get him, he needs to, he needs-

"Harry, stop, you're safe Harry, you're safe. It was just a bad dream." Harry hears a voice say, unable to see without his glass. But callous hands softly push him back down onto the bed, "shh, Harry. You're still healing, you're safe now, nothing will hurt you, justsleep."

And with that, Harry falls back into dreams of a stag, doe, wolf, and hound under an endless full moon.

Dún Scáith

The door to the room opens once again, and the Goddess of Dún Scáith walks in with a new set of bandages and another round of potions, humming a tune from when she was just a young girl, she stops at the sight of her conscious guests frowning face.

"How is he?" Scáthach asks as she sets down the tray on the bedside table.

"He's been having nightmares," Artemis says, "Talking, begging really." She confesses.

Scáthach says nothing as she pulls back the covers and gets to work changing the bandages, it isn't until she is halfway done that she does speak. "The little ones normally have night terrors of the past, being in the Land of Shadows makes it worse." She says.

"You said something about him being here is bad before, is this what you meant?" Artemis asks.

"Yes and no, the Land of Shadows is a land of the dead and death. Surely you've felt it, we are as close to Terminus as one can get without dying." Scáthach informs Artemis, and the Goddess of Sudden Death nods, it was like being in her uncle's domain.

Seeing the other Goddess nodding, Scáthach continues, "A mortal in this realm without divine protection would not last more than an hour before the shadows consume them. But the boy is a Demigod and it is much harder for this to happen to him, but it doesn't mean he's immune to it." Scáthach applies the last of the bandages before pulling out the vial of the same potion as before and spelling into Harry's stomach, "The potion I've been giving also slows it down as well, but still, the boy had bled in the Land of Shadows, so the Land of Shadows have bled into him, it marks him with The End, and the domain will do what's in its nature to do, it will try and end him." Scáthach tells Artemis, and the Goddess of the Hunt sucks in a sharp breath of worry.

"The nightmares, in this case, are a good thing, however." The Witch-Queen supplies

"How are they good? They torment the boy." Artemis says with a hissing voice.

"Because they are reminding him that he is alive. Mortal life is pain, Lady Artemis, and death but a blissful sleep." Scáthach says before gathering the old bandages and leaving her guests alone.

Harry Potter.

"Harry? Harry!?" A familiar voice calls to him, "Harry Potter!?" Hermione says, and Harry's head jerks to look at her, his eyes leaving the page in his book that had ink running down the letters like blood.

"What is it, Hermione?" Harry asks confused as they sit in his Primary school library, why was he here?

"Weren't you listening?" Hermione huffs at his jumping attention span, she was used to it by now, "Parents day is starting soon, if we don't head out now, we're gonna be late, Ron already left." She says as Harry looks into the empty sockets of her eyes. Oh, that was right! Harry would get to see his Parents today! Harry and Hermione quickly pack away their bleeding books made from pale skin and spider legs with their too many blinking eyes that watch them as they read them.

They run through the halls made of moving stone and screaming faces and meet up with Ron, who was hanging from the ceiling with the rest of his family by their own insides, they wave at him cheerfully as he passes, and he waves back. Hermione sees her parents at the end of the hall and runs to them, telling them how much she had missed them, but the doll store mannequins merely stand there until she hugs the male one, which comes to life, the place where its face should be, splits open and bends over crushing Hermione's skull as it bites into her and eating her brains in an act the resembles a father kissing his daughters head.

Harry goes to the door on the left-hand side of the third-floor corridor, throws it up, and sees them. His mom and dad, Lily Potter kneels down and opens her arms, beckoning him closer as his father stands there with a proud smile on his face.

"Harry!" His mother calls, "oh Harry, how I've missed you. Come here, come to mummy." Her smile is the softest thing he's ever seen.

"Come on, son." James Potter says standing tall in the room, "it's time to go home." And he smiles a roguish smile.

Harry starts to run to them, opening his arms to be swept up by his mother, but it feels like he's running through sludge, he's slow, slower than normal.

"You're actually pretty fast kiddo," the lioness says, "almost as fast as me." The proud smile on her face as her cat ears twitch.

Harry stops running, there was something wrong here. His parents couldn't be here because they're, (CAR CRASH!? A CAR CRASH KILL LILY AND JAMES POTTER!?) Because they were, (BEFORE THEY WENT AND GOT THEMSELVES BLOWN UP!) Because they were dead.

No sooner than when Harry realized it, he watched his mother stand back up and lean against his father who wraps his arm around her. Harry was eleven again standing in the abandoned classroom looking into a mirror with his parents smiling at him.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget how to live, Harry." Says the old man in strange clothes with a twinkle in his eye as he too looks into it only to see a smiling little blonde girl in Hogwarts robes.

A new figure looms behind his parents, tall and imposing, Harry can't tell who it is, all he sees beyond the choking shadows are pale, pale, pale as a corpus skin and fathomless black eyes looking back. But as he feels his Uncle grabs his shoulder to lock him in his cupboard, Harry Potter wakes up.

Dún Scáith

Harry wakes with a gasp from his nightmares, he tries to sit up but his body protests this, and he groans, and no sooner than he does hands are there, pushing him back down into the bed.

"Don't Harry, you're still healing." A voice says, "lay back down, I'll put you back to sleep." The voice is gentle but firm.

"No," Harry chokes out, his voice horse from not being used, "No more sleep, please." He begs in a weak voice as he forces his eyes open looking at the blurry figure.

The figure pauses, before nodding, "Alright, no more sleep. Just promise me you'll stay in bed, okay?" The voice asks, and Harry nods, "Good, here let me get you some water." And before Harry knows it he has a cup pushed to his lips and is gulping down water, the cool liquid soothing his dry throat.

"Thank you," Harry said after he was done.

"It's fine," the voice grows quiet but Harry can feel the weight on his bed, he reaches over to the bedside table to get his glasses but doesn't find them, "Huh? Where are my-"

"Oh, one second." The voice says before Harry sees the blur bring her hands together and pulls them apart before leaning over him and slipping something onto his face, it comes slowly, like an old television station coming into focus through all the static. But as he blinks it all away and watches the face of Artemis come into view.

At first, Harry was confused, what was Artemis doing here? Then he was mortified, he didn't want her to see him like this, then he was angry, he didn't want to see her at all. But things beat into Harry taking over and before he could stop himself a thank you leaves his mouth before he quickly turns his head away from Artemis. Harry and Artemis sit in silence, neither speaking but thoughts of one another run rampant through each of their minds, and before long each tries to break the silence with words, each looking back at the other.

"How are you fe-"

"Where are w-"

Both stop talking before quickly looking away from each other, both feeling awkward for interrupting the other. Before long they each try again.

"I'm sorr-"

"Sorry fo-"

Both once again stop talking as soon as they realize they interrupted the other and fall back into awkward silence. Harry sighs and shuffles in the too-soft bed, and groans as he begins to sit up.

Artemis jumps as soon as Harry starts to move, moving quickly, hands flying towards him, "No, Harry you ne-" but stops as Harry flinches away from her, fear flashes through his eyes, She pulls her hands back and hops off the bed. "I'm sorry," Artemis says softly.

"I-I just want to sit up, am-am I allowed to do that?" Harry asks, watching Artemis' mouth open and close a few times before she just nods looking away, Harry struggles a bit but gets to a sitting position, leaning against the headrest and looking around the room, it was bare other than the bed, a nightstand, and dresser.

"Where are we?" Harry asks as he looks back down at the light blue blankets covering him.

"A fortress called Dún Scáith, in the Land of Shadows." Artemis supplies, before, slowly and carefully, sits back down on the bed. She looks at Harry's confused face before asking "How much do you remember?"

Harry narrows his eyes, trying to recall what he could, "Me and Atalanta were doing a chase game at the end of training, and we came across two Acromantula near the student path in the forest…" Harry trails off, remembering the kills, him falling down the hole, and then…"The Gate!" Harry shouts, "We found a weird gate! And I got bit by this big shadow dog thing and it dragged me through, and then I met-" but Harry is cut off as a new voice enters the conversation.

"Me." Harry looks over to the woman who just walked into the room, she wasn't wearing the armor, veil, or face paint but it was without a doubt the woman he had fought.

"You! You threw me over a cliff!" Harry accuses her, wincing as he lifts his arm to point at her.

"I did!" The woman says cheerfully, before walking over with a tray and placing it down on the nightstand, "and you, climb out. Very impressive by the way, you beat the best record by a day." She says with a smile.

Harry quickly scoots away from the woman before looking between her and Artemis' narrowing eyes, the woman who threw him off a cliff gives Artemis a look before the Goddess of the Hunt sighs and moves from her spot off the bed and switches places with the other woman who pats the spot Harry was scooting away from.

"None of that young man, get back over here I need to change your bandages and give you a potion." The woman says in a stern voice, but Harry still doesn't move, instead, he looks at Artemis, mouth trying to work but no words come out.

"She means no harm, Harry, well anymore," Artemis says with a shrug, "She's been changing your bandages for the last four days."

"Shethrew. me. Off acliff!?" Harry yells, "Also, how the hell can you understand me now?" He asks the woman, "What hell was that dog!?" He asks before turning to Artemis, "and what the hell are you doing here?!" All the anxiety gives away to confused anger within Harry, who was demanding answers from one amused-looking and one angry-looking Goddess.

The unknown woman chuckles at Harry's outburst, while Artemis, on the other hand, lets her temper slip as well, "Stop this now boy, you will show respect to where it is do!" The Goddess of the Hunt snaps at Harry, who flinches back, which in turn makes Artemis flinch in the realization of what she did. The Goddess of Dún Scáith however, just laughs.

"I don't see what's funny." Harry grumbles

"Forgive me, it's just amusing." The woman says, "You two are so much alike it's like watching a cat seeing its reflection of itself for the first time. All hisses, spitting and slamming into the mirror as it comprehends its own blunder." Both the boy and the Goddess look away from one another, one in embarrassment and the other in anger, "but to answer your questions boyo, I threw you off the cliff for my own reasons that I will not get into now, but know you are not the first I've done that too, but will probably be the last. As for how I can understand you now, would you like the simple answer or the long complicated metaphysical answer?" The Woman asks Harry as he looks back at her.

"Umm, …the simple one?" Harry says, knowing Hermione wasn't around to break magical jargon down for him.

"It's because she showed up." The woman says as she jerks her thumb towards Artemis, Harry just blinks before a confused look settles over his face as his eyes flick back and forth between the two Goddesses, "The hound that you spoke of was an old student of mine that offered to be the guard dog after his death, while the gate is sealed to anything that belongs here meaning he could not join me after sadly." When the woman says that, emotions dance across her eyes before she blinks them away, "As for what your mother-"

"She's not my mother," Harry says through gritted teeth at those words.

The woman pauses and levels a glare at the boy for speaking out of turn, "As for what your mother is doing here," the woman's glare burns a hole in the boy, daring the boy to speak out of turn again at the word when he doesn't, she continues, "She showed up about a week after you were in the chasm, demanding the return of her son before fighting me to try and save you from me."

Harry didn't know how to feel about that, but then a word she said caught up with him, "wait, a week? How long have I been here?" Harry asks.

"Oh, almost three weeks now." The woman says as Harry pales.

He lets his head fall back against the headrest with a groan, "Wood is gonna kill me, we had semi-finals for Quidditch this week." Harry says as he closes his eyes.

"I'm sure He'll live Boyo, now get over here, I need to change your bandages, you need to drink a potion, and then you'll have a few more hours of rest before you need to leave." The woman orders Harry, he sighs and slowly moves back over to her and flinches as the woman gets to work, if she notices it she says nothing. She works quickly, replacing new with old, before handing him the potion and watching him drink, it felt like cool liquid metal being poured down his throat.

"I'll be back in three hours, I need to prepare the exit for you both." She says before looking to Artemis, "Three hours Lady Artemis, that's all we can do. Hopefully, you thought of your actions while you can still do them here." The look she gives Artemis has meaning, but it is lost to Harry.

"Thank you, Lady Scáthach," Artemis says, and Harry's head pops up to look at the closing door with wide eyes, he knew that name!

The door closes with a deafening click, leaving the two hunters alone in the room, one trying to ignore the other, and the other trying to think of something to say, but all she does is sigh before sitting back on the edge of the bed before reaching into her coat pocket and pulling out a familiar swiss army knife and turning it over in her hands, before putting it on the bed and sliding it over to Harry.

"Here, I want you to have this back," Artemis says in a softer voice.

"I don't want it back," Harry says, anger clear in his voice, Artemis feels her own anger raised with the disrespectful tone the boy has but it soon dies with his next words, "I don't want to Sate your curiosity," Harry says and Artemis flinches as her own words are thrown back in her face.

"I did say that, didn't I?" Artemis asks to mostly herself in a soft voice, and Harry doesn't answer, she withdraws her hand from near Harry but leaves the swiss army knife by him. They both sit there in the quiet, each with their own thoughts, one thinking about how they wanted to be left alone, and the other on how not to leave them alone again.

"I couldn't hear you." Artemis finally says, "All the times you prayed, I couldn't hear a single one. They were blocked off, trapped in an eternal l loop inside the blood wards, I didn't get a single one." She says softly looking at the door in the room.

"I know," Harry says in a rough voice, "Aphrodite told me, She told me you wentthere." He says the word with such contentment it almost made Artemis want to go back and burn the house to the ground, "would it have mattered if you did?" The boy asks, after a long moment of silence between them, in a voice so low it was barely a whisper.

"Yes," Artemis says in the same low tone as Harry, knowing he could hear her as much as she could hear him, "I would like to think so, I would like to think that if I heard that first prayer filled with so much pain and desperation, that I would have gone on a rampage killing all who would dare lay a hand on my son."

"No." Harry says with a rough and thick voice, on the verge of emotions he didn't want to feel, as Artemis turned to look at him "I'm not your son, and you're not my mother! My mother was Lily Potter and she loved me, she protected me, and she sacrificed herself for me.You. Are not.Her." He says the last part through gritted teeth, pulling his knees up to his chest, wrapping his arms around them, and pressing his face to the top of it; imagining himself back in his cupboard away from pain and people he had grown to hate so much.

And Artemis understood all at once, that the ghost of Lily Evans hung on her son so heavy, both a ghost he refused to rid himself of, and a protection so powerful it had even stopped death. How could Artemis, with all her godly power, hope to match up to the single act of pure love that Lily Evans had made? Artemis could almost see Lily's ghost wrapped around Harry as if trying to comfort him from beyond the grave.

Artemis looks away, "I understand, Harry. I won't make you call me that, it wasn't me who bound a Goddess to have you, I didn't not carry you, nor did I give birth to you." She says softly, "That was your mother, Lily. But does not change the fact that you still carry a piece of me inside you." Artemis tells Harry softly.

"What does that even mean?" Harry asks, turning his head and peeking through his arms to look at the back of Artemis, "I've heard everyone and their grandma says it, but I have no clue what it even means."

Artemis' lips twitch at the thought of her own mother, Leto, meeting Harry before she turns back around and faces him, holding out her hand to him and Harry flinches back, "I'm not going to hurt you, Harry, I just…I just want to show you what it means." Artemis pauses, choosing her words carefully, and keeps her hand out, letting him come to her on his own terms.

Slowly, after some minutes, Harry reaches out and hesitantly touches his palm to hers. Artemis smiles softly before saying "don't try and fight it, just let it come out, okay?" Artemis says softly and Harry slowly nods, Artemis closes her eyes and reaches deep inside of Harry's soul finding the source of divinity she had left in Lily Evans so long ago, and touches it with her own.

Harry gasps at the feeling, like a harmony he had forgotten only to hear it play for him and only him once again. The sounds of hooves and paws beating on the forest floor, the giggles of young girls running through the hills, the cries of babies first being born, the twinge of a bowstring, and the sudden sleep and quiet of death(fathomless black eyes look back at him), the endless silver light of the full moon overhead, and through Artemis he felt the souls of eighty-one others pulsing as one; The Hunt. In that pulsing rhythm, Harry had felt something he had never felt before in all his years of being the freak, acceptance. Of a family, he didn't know he had, all calling out to him, "Brother. Come to us, the hunt awaits. One of us! One of us!" They cried in unison.

Harry feels Artemis' palm turn, slipping her fingers in between his and smiling at him as they were both illuminated in soft silver light, "That's what it means Harry." Artemis tells him in a soft voice, and he finally understands as each closes their fingers around the other hand.

Dún Scáith, three hours later, Harry Potter.

Over the next three hours, Artemis recounts the tale of Harry's creation, for the lack of a better word, Harry was shocked to find out his father was an animagus, but doesn't interrupt her, he hears out her side of the story, of that cold October night twelve years ago. How during the new moon she was struck blind to the world, and how during a full moon she could see all.

How she had arrived a few nights later only finding the death of three souls and a crushed crib, how she was a fool enough to never check the connection between them. The power of the blood wards blinding her to his suffering, and how she thought his death was caused by breaking her oath in a roundabout way. How she was sorry.

Harry didn't forgive her, he couldn't, not yet. But he did understand the hows and the whys behind her logic, and he had told her as much, all Artemis did was nod, accepting his choice.

She had told him of her visit to his relative's home, how she had threatened them. She actually got a real laugh out of the boy when she told him what she had done to his cousin all Harry did when she had asked him why he was laughing so hard was to say "Pig in a blonde wig." She had raised an eyebrow but had left him to his inside joke.

She had told him of how she had altered the blood wards to receive his prayers now, and if she had some much as thought his relatives continued their treatment of him like they had she would kill them all.

When they had gotten to the topic of claiming him, she had shared her fears with Harry, how she can see her idiot twin brother overreact and try and kill him, or how Artemis was sure her father would order his death as punishment for breaking his oath, to which Harry muttered the word "c*nt" under his breath, and Artemis couldn't really argue against that. How the only way Artemis could have protected him from both would be if he had taken the oaths and joined the hunt, but with Aphrodite cursing him, that was all but closed to them now.

"I will walk to death of my own free will for the ones I love," Harry repeats the curse under his breath and Artemis nods.

After the talking was done Artemis creates a new set of Hogwarts uniforms for him to put on and leaves the room to give him some privacy, when he exits the room she doesn't comment on how they fit nor about the missing swiss army knife from the bed and they walk through the halls of Dún Scáith with Artemis leading the way to the throne room, neither of them saying a word just enjoying the comfortable quiet.

When they get to the throne room, Harry can't help but to blink at the frosted glass and crystal room that looked too much like the great hall to be a coincidence, so as Scáthach was curving a circle in the floor of the doorway with her lance, Harry couldn't help but to comment on in it.

"Why does it look like the Great Hall?" Harry blurts out and the two Goddesses turn and look at him in confusion.

It's Scáthach that asks first, "The Great Hall?"

"Yeah, at Hogwarts. It looks just like this, right down to the placement of the tables." Harry says as he leans against the door to rest his sore body, as he watches Scáthach stop her work and turn to look at him.

"No, Harry. This is what Dún Scáith used to look like in the material realm." Scáthach says in a slow voice, as she was explaining something to someone with brain damage.

Harry scratches the back of his head, thinking back to when he had first seen Dùn Scáith from the shadows below, "No, I remember thinking that this castle looked like Hogwarts when I first got here, just upside down." Harry says too deep into thought to notice that Scáthach had pulled her lance from the stone as her hands started to shake.

Artemis' eyes go a bit wide as Harry says that, "I remember having the same thought, that it had even felt lik-" but Artemis is cut off by the Goddess of Dún Scáith.

"Stop!" Scáthach commands, "Do not do this to me, do not be as cruel to me as the fates, do not give mehope." Scáthach says, her lance shaking in her hands as an unreadable emotion passes through her eyes.

Harry and Artemis look at each other, neither willing to say anything more to upset their host. Scáthach takes a deep breath to steady herself before she goes back to carving the circle into the ground as all three of them are quiet as she works, and before long she is done, she ushers both inside the throne room before shutting the doors. She lays her forehead on the door and takes a deep breath.

"Harry," Scáthach says in a low voice, "What is this Hogwarts? What does it do? What is its purpose?" Harry could hear the raw emotions just underneath the question but answered as simply as he could.

"It's a school," Harry says as he watches Scáthach's shoulders stiffen.

"And the Gate of Skye, you found it near it?" Scáthach asks as a follow-up.

"Under it, in fact." He answers, and Scáthach takes a deep breath and nods her head before turning around to face her guests, clasping her shaking hands behind her back.

"When I reopen the door, the threshold will be tuned to the Gate of Skye, you'll be able to walk through it and exit the Land of Shadows." She tells them both before facing Harry, "Graeca, I expect you to return here within the year so we may start your training in earnest. Do you understand me?" Scáthach tells Harry as he looks back at the glaring face of Artemis that she was giving the other Goddess

"Umm, …I'll think about it?" Harry says.

"No Graeca, I expect you back, so you will return," Scáthach says before turning around and opening the doors to a red mist veil before stepping aside for her guests.

"But-" Harry begins to say when he is cut off by Artemis grabbing him by the shirt and dragging him forward and through the gate.

"Not the time, Harry. We're leaving." Artemis says curtly as she gives the side eye to the Goddess of Dun Scáith, as said Goddess just smirks at Artemis as she pulls Harry through the gate.

Scáthach then shuts the doors behind them, before collapsing to her knees and letting out a sob, her school, her beloved Dún Scáith stood again, full of happy children learning. She had to find a way out, to find a way back, back to her home. The boy would lead her way, she was sure of it, it was a sign, as soon as he returned after his name blossomed from the burning chalice. She would return home soon after, to her beloved Dún Scáith.

Gate of Skye, Hogwarts.

As soon as Harry's and Artemis' feet land on the uneven stone, Harry hears Artemis curse under her breath "That c*nt, I was worried for…" but she trails off as noise travels down the hallway up ahead.

"It's right down here Headmaster, a big f*cking gate with a stupid hound made of shadow." The voice of Atalanta says.

"Then perhaps, my dear, I should go first. I mean no insult to your fine skill, but I am the one with the wand." The elderly voice of Albus Dumbledore carries down next.

"Atalanta!" Harry yells down the hall, and for a second there was no sound before there's a crack of sound, and before Harry was tackle hugged by a lioness moving damn near subsonic speeds.

"OhmygodsHarryimsosorryiwasntfastenoughtograbyouandyougotthroughimsorryimsorryimsorry," Atalanta speaks at a rapid pace, crushing Harry to herself.

"Atalanta, He's injured, he needs Ambrosia and nectar before you break him in two," Artemis says as she begins to walk down the stone path, leaving the kids to their antics, the adults needed to talk.

"Oh sh*t!" Atalanta says, "Yes My Lady, right away." Before standing up and pulling Harry with her and helping him down the path, passing Artemis as she stopped at the base of the stone path, "come on Harry, let's get you back to the castle, how the hell did you get so injured so quickly anyway?"

"Atalanta, I've been gone for almost three weeks," Harry says with a sigh, not looking forward to dealing with Wood.

Atalanta stops and looks at Harry, "Harry, you've barely been gone for thirty minutes." The lioness says, and Harry's face drops in shock.

"What-" he starts to say before Artemis cuts in.

"Harry, don't question it, just get to the castle and get some rest, okay?" Artemis tells Harry, he looks back at her and opens his mouth before closing it and nodding. "Get well, Harry," Artemis tells him

Harry just nods, "Happy hunting Artemis." Harry says making the Goddess of the Hunt Smirk, and Atalanta looks between them confused but starts helping Harry walk as soon as he starts moving, only stopping when the Headmaster shows up with his wand alight, he opens his mouth to say something but Artemis calls out to them.

"Let them go, Albus, we need to have words." The Goddess of the hunt tells the aging Headmaster.

Notes:

Chapter over and arc ended!

Oh f*ck, so much to go over, too tired to do it.

Rapid fire time!

Scáthach's reason: her own to pass something along.

Complicated answer: gods = satellites, domain = mainframe they beam info to, other satellites can access the mainframe to gather basic knowledge about another satellite they come across including languages.

Artemis and Harry: Not mother and son, something less but something more, will explore deeper.

Scáthach finding out her school is still standing, I'm sure that won't be a plot point later on down the line.

Anything else? No? Good.

The next chapter is about a hound and a hearth.

Anyone else catch that Technoblade reference?

Kingsaxcul, Out!

Chapter 24: A Hound and a Hearth

Notes:

Welcome readers back to Under the Hunters Moon.

This chapter is about a hound and a hearth, about broken promises and the pain they cause, about choosing what is right over what is easy.

This will also be one of the shortest chapters in the whole story. So forgive me for that.

On with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The castle was quiet as a shadow snuck through the corridors, stopping every now and then to slip into a secret passage or a hidden door to hide from those who patrol the halls or the ghosts who were keeping a lookout. But, thankfully, the castle was large and easy to make your way through if one knew how to. Sirius Black and Padfoot certainly did know how to, they had spent seven years exploring the castle with other boys in his year, James, Ramus, and the rat. He remembers a map, but doesn't remember much else about it, he thinks it shows people on it. Maybe if he could find it again he could catch the rat if he ever tried to leave. But it didn't matter, hopes and wishes could only get so far, he needed to focus and a healthy dose of luck, which so far he has had.

The fireplaces and torches seemed to dim as he passed, the sound of footsteps echoing louder than normal, the quiet of the castle and how it seemed to guide him to the stairs of Gryffindor tower. Not to mention the best stroke of luck he could ask for, a list of the passwords for the portrait guarding the tower, he had found it in front of the fireplace in the Shrieking Shack of all places, some Gryffindor must have broken in on a dare and dropped it. It doesn't matter in the end, he was close to the rat, he could finally end this and make sure he wouldn't hurt…hurt…someone, Sirius guessed, it doesn't matter, only the rat mattered, only revenge. So when Sirius got to the fifth-floor landing for the tower, instead Of the fat lady he was expecting he was met with Knight. He was dozing, leaning back against his horse, dressed in black and gold armor, with a windmill in the background of the painting of farmland.

"Umm, Hello?" Sirius whispered to the knight, tapping on the frame.

The knight snorts before pushing up his visor "What!? Who goes there!? State your business scoundrel! Or perhaps you are here for combat, eh?" The knight says as he gets to his feet and draws his sword.

"Shh, I'm not here to fight, just keep it down," Sirius whispers looking behind him, to see if anyone was coming, the knight looks put off by his statement but says nothing.

"Then what are you here scoundrel, speak up!" The knight says as Sirius flinches at the volume of his voice.

"I just want into the tower, that's all," Sirius says while still looking behind him, keeping low in the shadows.

"Password?" The knight says in a dejected sigh.

"Oh, umm I've got a list, one moment," Sirius says as reaches into his pocket, pulling out the said list and looking for the right day and starting at the top.

"Pig snout?" Sirius asks.

"Nope!" The knight says gleefully.

"Dracarus?"

"No."

"contemne legem, posside meretricem;" Sirius had no idea how the knight came up with these passwords.

"Wrong!"

"filium oblitum, canis meminit," Sirius says.

There's a moment of pause with the knight, as he was about to answer no once again, but the portrait swings open, and Sirius smiles and enters through the hole behind it, never noticing one of the other paintings leaving a portrait. As Sirius enters the tower, a familiar warmth washes over him, as he looks around the gold and red common room of his youth, he couldn't help the past that he had forgotten drag him backwards.

"Hey, Padfoot, your back later than planned, run into Minnie?"James says from the chair by the window, his face a blur but the snitch buzzing around his head.

It was like he couldn't help it as he looked over at the chair, "No," he whispered, "The map worked like a charm, those snakes won't know what hit them in the morning."

James laughs before looking at Sirius with a crooked smile, "well hurry up, we need to grab Wormtail and head out soon to meet Moony."He says before fading, and Sirius shakes his head like a dog, no, no time for ghosts he couldn't even remember the face of, he was close to the rat now. Pulling the knife from his waistband, he takes a breath, it was time for revenge, his steps are light, trying not to make a sound as he makes his way over to the right-side stairs leading up to the boy's dorms, he'll have to search each one for the rat, hopefully, his luck wou-

Scrape!

The sound of metal scraping on stone stops him as he quickly turns his head to the sound and finds what made it, a young girl with brown hair falling in ringlets down her back, she was dressed in Gryffindor robes, and while Sirius couldn't see her face, he could see what made the sound, the girl was stirring the ashes and embers of the fire, stoking it back to a full flame.

"f*ck." Sirius thought to himself as he lowered himself behind a couch, hoping the girl hadn't seen him, and continued his way to the stairs, he was so close so he wouldn't stop now.

"I know you are there, Sirius Black." The girl says, making Sirius curse under his breath and slowly stand up, with his hands up.

"Okay, listen, little girl, I don't want to hurt you, I don't want to hurt any of the students, please, please, please don't scream," Sirius whispers to the girl.

She doesn't even turn to face him, only reaching out to grab a log and placing it in the now roaring fire, "I know," she says as she continues to look into the fire, "You will find what you need on the third-floor landing, and you will remember Sirius Black. But be wary of the Lioness, for she is very protective of her cub." The girl says in a soft voice.

"Yeah, Minnie is like that," Sirius says absentmindedly.

"I was not speaking of Minerva McGonagall, I speak of another who considers you a threat to the boy." The girl says.

"What boy?" Sirius asks, confused.

"Go, and learn." Is all the girl says back before she continues to stoke the flame.

Sirius backs away from the couch before making his way over to the stairs, turning around only once to look back at the strange girl, but she was gone. Another delusion Sirius decides and makes his way up the stairs to the third floor, wouldn't hurt to check it first, he enters the room as quietly as a ghost, he checks the first two beds and neither of the boys was one from the newspaper, so he moves on. The boy in the third bed looks familiar, but not the one from the paper, the fourth bed was empty, so he moves to the last and finds the boy with the rat, this was it. Sirius moves to the last bed, blade at the ready, he couldn't keep the manic smile off his face.

Until Padfoot screams danger to him, Sirius turns his head just in time to watch a shadow slam into him with a scream, knocking him to the ground. They flail and twist on the ground with the other person trying to get on top of him, he feels the boy's tiny fist slam into him, hitting everywhere he could with such force Sirius grunted with each blow, he could hear the other boys waking now.

"No!" Sirius thinks, "I'm so close!" And with a burst of adrenaline, he finally throws the boy off of him, and as Sirius gets to his knees the boy had rolled and popped up to his feet, and with a flick of his wrist, the boy had a wand in his hand and stepped into the moonlight that was coming through the window so Sirius could make out the kids face.

"James…" Sirius thinks as a lifetime of memories breaks through like a dam bursting in his mind.

"James, James Potter." Introduces himself on the train.

"Hey, mate, want to help up play a prank on Professor McGonagall?" James asks Ramus in their second transfiguration class with a smile.

"Come on Sirius, how hard could it be?" James says as he's waving the book on Animagus transformations around.

"Padfoot! Padfoot! She said yes! She finally said yes!" Prongs said as he shook his shoulders with the biggest grin on his face.

But it wasn't just James in the boy's face, for while James' face was angular with aristocratic features that came from being born to a noble house, the boy had a roundness to his face, how his nose slopped just so, or how his eyes brows sat on his face, and the eyes. While James' eyes were Hazel, the boy had vivid green eyes like the killing curse, Sirius has seen eyes like that before only on one other person.

"Sirius Black! how many times do I have to tell you not to prank the first years! keep to third years and up!"The redhead yells at him while flinging stinging hexes at him as he runs away laughing.

"Bad Padfoot! Off the couch, bad Padfoot!" Lily says with a giggle as she chases the untransformed Sirius off the couch and from her living room.

"Harry, that's what his name will be, Harry James Potter, and we want you to be the godfather,"Lily says, eyes shining with unshed tears as she holds her growing belly.

"Harry…" Sirius says under his breath, he remembers, he remembers that he had to protect Harry from the rat, that was it. He remembers now, that he was there when Lily went into labor, he had been in the waiting room for hours, until finally, they had called him into the room and little Harry was placed into his arms. He had broken down crying over how tiny he was, how he was the boy's Godfather, he had sworn to James and Lily that he would protect Harry with his life, to care for him if anything happened to them.

He had failed them.

As Sirius had spoken Harry's name under his breath, Harry had heard him. Sirius watched as his Godson's face twisted into a look of pure hate, of the deepest loathing, and the deepest want for blood. Sirius watches as Harry's pupils begin to contract and elongate into those of cats, Sirius has another memory bubble up, about a girl in a silver jacket laughing at his fear, but before he could make heads or tails about it, Harry slashed his wand forward with a scream of "Diffindo" and as Sirius leans back to let the charm sail over his head. Sirius twisted his body to the side and ran from the room, ducking to his left to avoid another Servering charm thanks to Padfoot warning him. Sirius makes it to the door, blaming it behind him and ducking down to dodge the piercing hex that goes right through the door where his head would have been.

"COWARD!" Sirius hears Harry scream, and he agrees with him, he was running from him instead of begging for his forgiveness for getting James and Lily killed.

"Harry, no!" Another voice calls out as Sirius runs down the stairs as quickly as possible.

"GET OFF ME, HE'S MINE! IT'S MY KILL!" Sirius hears his godson scream as he makes it past the second-floor landing as soon as the door opens, as he jumps from the first-floor landing to the common room he hears a scuffle from upstairs before a yell of "Stupefy" and a thump of a body hitting the floor. Sirius hits the ground running, he had to leave, he had to get out of here, Minnie would be here soon and he really didn't want to be on the other end of that wand, so as Sirius vaults over the couch making his way to the Portrait Hole, he stops as he feels a snap in the air as if someone had just broken a charm and Sirius watches in a rising horror as someone forces the portrait door to Gryffindor Tower openwith their bare hands.

When the woman steps in, Sirius can see the veins pulsing in her neck, the scowl on her face, and her forest green eyes focus on Sirius and he had never felt more like prey before in his life. Sirius takes a step back, and as the woman in green and golden cat paw print pajamas growls like a lion and the ears on the top of her head twitch, he now knew who his delusion was speaking of. She moved with a swiftness he'd never seen before and the next thing Sirius Black knew was the feeling of her heel digging into his stomach, if it wasn't for the fact he had not eaten today he would have thrown up on the woman's leg. She had kicked him with enough force to fling him over the couch and halfway to the fireplace in the room, Sirius tries to crawl backwards as he tries to refill his empty lungs. She was on him in a second, standing over him, eyes full of fury.

"I swear on the stixs that if you have hurt him the Dementors will be the least of your concerns, Black." The woman growls out before leaning down and grabbing him by the front of the rags he wore and slamming her fist into his face, Sirius feels his nose break with the hit, and she continues to beat on him.

"What is Black? Was taking his parents away not enough!?" She cracks him across the face again, "come back to finish your master's work and kill him!?" She screams in his face, "Was damning him to a hell not enough!?" She punches him again, Sirius' hands searching for something, anything he can use to defend himself.

"No, not him." Sirius says through blood and a broken nose, "Never Harry." While looking the woman in the eyes, she pauses in her assault, for just a moment, surprise and confusion on her face as Sirius' hand finds something and grabs it before swinging and the object collides with the side of her head sending her flying with a burst of power and heat. Sirius scrambles to his feet just in time to see a red-haired boy come down the stairs pointing his wand at him as he moves in front of the woman.

"Stand down Black, it's over, drop the fire poker!" He yells at him as the portrait hole opens again and he sees McGonagall walk in and sees him, her face goes white as her wand snaps to her hand as rage encompasses her face.

"No, no this wasn't supposed to go like this!" Sirius thinks as he backs up to the fireplace, the rat! Harry was still in danger!

As McGonagall jabs her wand at him and the red light of a stunner shoots out, he feels the heat behind him roar and swallows him, before dragging him through the fireplace. He tumbles and turns through the fire pulling him downwards. Before too long it spits him back out with force, he skids across the floor and slams into the wall on the other side of the room. Sirius groans and tries to stand but finds no strength in himself to do so, looking around where he was spit out at, he recognizes the room, he was back in the shrieking shack and he wasn't alone.

"To be fair, I did warn you about the Lioness," she said, the same girl from the common room, her back facing him as she stood, looking into the flames of the fireplace, "Do you remember now, Sirius Black?" She asks quietly.

Sirius rolls to his side, never taking his eyes off the girl, "Yes…" he whispers, "I do."

"Good." The girl says and finally turns to face him, and in the shadows of the fire, he looks into eyes that burn like fire, like hot embers in a hearth, "Then you remember the oath you broke to someone who was all but your brother born in blood, about Harry?" She asks.

"I-I-I couldn't, Azkaban, The-the rat." Is all Sirius can say while he was caught in the eyes that burned like perdition.

"No, Sirius Black. You made a choice that night, did you not? You choose blood and vengeance over doing what you had promised, what you had sworn to do, didn't you?" She says this softly, almost in a disappointed tone, disappointed in him.

"Y-Yes," Sirius chokes out, shivering like he was back in the cold cell in Azkaban, "But he went to family, he went to people who could care for him." Sirius makes his excuses, looking away.

"Could, yes, but they choose not to." She says in the same disappointed tone, as she walks closer, "Look at me, Sirius Black, Look at me andknow." And like he was compelled to do so, he does, he looked into those burning ember-like eyes, and then he knew, He knew he wasn't the only one locked away in a hell they didn't deserve. He tried to close his eyes to the truth, to look away but he could not, he was stuck in their disappointed gaze.

"Why do you haunt me so, Specter!?" Sirius yells from the ground, "Why do you show me these visions…" he asks softly from his spot on the ground.

"Because, Sirius Black, I am the ghost of the past you had forgotten and now remember," she kneels in front of him, "to bring you fire and hope so that I need not become the ghost of what is yet to come." She stands and walks back over to the fireplace, "Come, Sirius Black, warm yourself by the hearth and look into its flames." She orders him, and slowly Sirius stands and limps over to the flames and kneels in front of it, and looks into them. What he saw in the fire was something he never wanted to see, he saw his godson, dead, laying in a pool of his own blood with an arrow through his heart, and knew this was what was to come.

He closes his eyes, before he asks the girl, "Why do you show me these things…" His voice is weak and broken.

"These are only visions of whatcanbe, notwillbe, Sirius Black." The girl turns to him, looking upon him as a judge would to a criminal, "I come to you this night to offer you a chance of something sweeter than revenge."

Sirius looks up at the girl, "and what is that?" He asks in a whisper.

"Redemption," She speaks the word like it was a lifeline for the man who knelt in front of her, "to pick back up the oaths you swore to long ago, and to find Redemption through them, for yourself, for Harry. For, in the end, you're the only one who can save him." She says, in a voice full of understanding.

"From what?" He asks.

"From his greatest enemy, himself." The girl speaks with a soft smile. Sirius looks away from the girl and back into the fire, where he had seen a nightmare he had promised James and Lily that he would protect Harry from.

"Who are you?" Sirius asks without looking away from the flames.

"I am Hestia," she says, "I am the Goddess of the Hearth, of the Home, and of Family," Hestia says, revealing herself.

Sirius is quiet for a long moment before looking back at the Goddess, eyes once glassy and unfocused as a cloudy gray sky, now hard and focused as steel, his hands ball into fists and he sits up straighter, "What must I do?" Sirius asks, and the Goddess smiles down at him.

Notes:

And so the Hearth had made her move and the man remembers a past he chose to bury to hide from his guilt in the depths of a grey hell that he should have never been put in.

We have come to the part where we are fully leaving the canon ending of PoA, In the next chapter, we start the Waning Moon, and close the curtain on this drama.

Man, this story is so close to breaking 1,000 followers, I just want to get to that so I can invade DGjabberwalky comments on the Demigod who lived and point out how fast I got to it.

Anyway,

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 25: Waning Moon I

Notes:

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and everything else in between.

I welcome you all to the closing chapters of Under the Hunters Moon, where our hunt draws to a close, a boy finds that the door has never been locked, and a Goddess must make a choice.

In the two months I've spent writing this tale I never thought it would get this close to breaking 1k in so little time, I'm just hoping to do so before I finish it.

But enough with this mortal prattle, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Harry Potter, Gryffindor Tower.

Harry awakes with a groan, blinking the spots out his eyes as his head throbs with pain, before he even opens his eyes he can hear the muttering around him, of his dorm mates, Ron and Hermione, all speaking softly. He can tell he's back on his too soft bed, he reaches over to the table to look for his glasses when he hears Ron speak up.

"Here mate," he says before passing his glasses to him and Harry mumbles thanks before he sits up, leaning against the headrest and putting them on, wondering what had just-

Sirius Black. He was in the dormitory, he had run away!

Harry springs from his bed with a growl in his throat as he looks around the room, it was brightly lit and filled with his dorm mates all looking at him with a bit of fear before Harry starts towards the door, intent on chasing his prey, right before Hermione steps in his way, holding her arms up and palms out.

"Harry, stop!" She says, "He's gone Harry, he escaped, you need to calm down." Her eyes are full of fear, Harry can hear her heartbeat rapidly in her chest and he can feel Ron move to his back.

"Move, Hermione," Harry says as he flicks his wrist expecting his wand to slide into his hand, but when he feels nothing and only then does he notice his wand and wand holster missing, "Where is it!?" He snaps at Hermione before turning to Ron, "Where thehellis my wand?" He growls out.

"We hid it," Ron says as he leans against a bedpost, "because both of us knew you were gonna act like this when you woke up, Harry you need to calm down. Black is gone, he escaped, no tracks to follow, nothing to hunt. Calm down." Ron says calmly, but Harry can see his arms twitching, ready to do something about Harry leaving if he has to.

Harry's teeth grind and clench, He can still smell Sirius Black in the room, he had his scent he could hunt him! And Harry didn't need a wand to do that, he moves around Ron and walks over to his trunk before opening it and pulling out his Jacket and pulling it on, before grabbing his invisibility cloak and the map which he stuffs into his jacket pocket, he had to go get Atalanta. Checking his pockets and finding Serpent-Hunter, he starts to move to the door but once again Hermione moves in front of him to stop Harry.

"Harry, stop!" Hermione says, "The professors are searching the castle and the grounds, there's nothing else you can do, Black escaped through the fireplace. There is nothing to track." She pleads with Harry, desperation in her eyes, but what she sees in his eyes is nothing but obsession, nothing but the hunt, "Please Harry," she tries one more time. But Harry just shoves her aside, his prey is getting away, and moves to the door.

"Atalanta is in the hospital wing!" Ron blurts out, stopping Harry in his tracks, hand on the doorknob, Harry's head snaps to Ron, and finally, his eyes hold something else other than the hunt, concern. "Black cracked her across the head with something, nothing woke her up in the common room so they moved her to the hospital wing," Ron informs Harry, trying to stop him from going after Black by himself.

Harry's breathing turns heavy and frantic, the hunt slowly bled away from his eyes before he turned the handle and left the room, he ignored the shout from Hermione making his way down the stairs. Tossing his cloak over himself Harry makes his way out of Gryffindor Tower and down the stairs, not even looking at the map Harry makes his way through the castle. Moving quickly and quietly he dodges around the prefects on his way to the hospital wing. As he turns the corner and sees the door that leads to the hospital wing, Harry feels a pulse of magic and stops, turning around to look behind him and sees nothing, Harry narrows his eyes at the seemingly empty corridor Harry takes a deep breath through his nose, it wasn't Black, but from the smell of death, magic, and a potions lab, Harry has an idea who it is before he feels a hand grab him and slam him against a wall before the hood of his cloak is pulled off.

"Potter! Why am I not surprised to find you breaking the rules when a murderer who is after your hide is running about, you fool boy." Says the invisible man with a nasally draw. Harry growls at the voice as the disillusion melts away to reveal the potion master glaring down at him, "What the hell are you thinking brat? Wait, don't even bother, I already know you weren't." Snape says with an aggravated sigh, "That will be fifty points from Gryffindor and three days of detention with me, now come foolish boy, I have to waste my time walking you back to your common room, you know, the only place we know where Black isn't." He says as he turns on his heel to begin to walk up to Gryffindor Tower.

"No," Harry says as he doesn't move.

Snape stops, turning his head to the infuriating boy slowly, "Excuse me? I just gave you an order, brat. Come with me or I will force you to comply." The potion master states with a slight growl at the end.

"I said No, I'm going to the hospital wing," Harry says, turning to the doors of the wing and starting back towards it, Snape could feel the vein in his temple throbbing over the brat's blatant disregard and disrespect.

"Potter! I will not tell you twice!" Snape calls out to the boy, but Harry keeps moving to the door of the hospital wing. So Snape raises his wand and sends a wordless body bind at the brat, intent on dragging him back to the tower, but is surprised at the spell shattering across the cloak without harming the boy. Harry turns around, his hand diving into his pocket grabbing Serpent-Hunter, his pupils split and he bares his teeth at the potion master. The man himself quickly recovers from his shock and levels his wand at the boy, Snape would drag the brat to safety kicking and screaming if he had to.

"What is going on here?" A new voice says, "Harry? What are you doing outside of the tower?" And in the soft glow of witchfire, Remus Lupin steps around the corner with his wand out.

Harry's head snaps to Lupin as his knees bend in preparation to either run or hunt, though he had no idea which one he'd do. Lupin walks over slowly and carefully, hands out and wand pointing away from either of them.

"Let's just calm down here, okay?" Lupin says diplomatically, he could smell the aggression in the air between Snape and Harry. Snape lowers his wand but doesn't put it away, but Harry doesn't relax.

"I found the boy sneaking around after curfew while a madman after his hide is in the castle, he says he was going to the hospital wing, and I was about to escort him back to Gryffindor Tower when you showed up," Snape says as he glares at the two of them.

Lupin looks at Harry, disappointment coloring his eyes, "You've already taken points off and assigned detentions?" He asks, looking at the potion master.

"Yes, fifty points and three days worth," Snape says in his normal draw as Lupin nods.

"Let's make that a round hundred and a weeks worth of detentions," Lupin says as he looks back over to Harry, "Unless Harry has a good reason for sneaking out at this hour, during a sweep of the grounds for someone trying to kill him." The Defence Professor says.

Harry had yet to relax, his body twitching as his eyes shifted between the two professors, "I was, I was going to see Atalanta, she got hurt." Harry mumbles out.

Lupin nods and Snape sighs, "Well, while being worried about your…friend," Lupin says, unsure of the relationship between the two, "is a good reason, it still doesn't excuse this behavior, Harry. We are wasting valuable time standing here talking when we should be searching for Black, and you should be back in the tower. Now come on, I'll take you back myself." Lupin tells Harry, gesturing for him to follow, but still, Harry doesn't.

"No," Harry says through gritted teeth, "I just want to check on her, so take away as many points as you want, give me as many detentions as you want, I'm going to the hospital wing." Harry turns around and makes his way to the doors hearing the matching sighs behind him.

"You stubborn brat," Snape growls out before following behind Harry, "I'd almost say you're like your father, but at least he was smart enough to know when he was caught." The potion master says.

"No," Lupin says as he watches the two before moving after them, "He's much more like his mother when he's being this stubborn." He says with a smirk, remembering Lily's own stubborn and mean streak, causing Snape to stop and glare at the werewolf, who just shrugs at the glare.

Harry just grits his teeth before making his way to the doors and opening them, he is greeted by wand point as the Headmaster turns from the only occupied bed making Harry stop dead.

"Ah, Mister Potter." Dumbledore greets him and lowers his wand, "I should have expected you, now that I consider it." He sighs, "Please, do come in." He says as Harry starts to move again before Snape grabs his shoulder.

"I think not, Potter." Snape says, "My apologies Headmaster, it seems that Potter thinks himself above the rules for the moment." The potion master says with a glare.

"It's quite alright Severus, he may stay," Dumbledore says as Lupin enters the room.

"Headmaster, I feel that I must point out that there is still a killer after the boy who may still be in the castle," Snape says through gritted teeth.

"It has been three hours since Severus, I do not think Black is in the castle any longer if we have not found him yet." The Headmaster states, "His method of escape could lead him to any number of places, and I've had every room with a fireplace and the surrounding areas checked." He sighs as watches Harry free himself from Snape's grip and move to the bedside, taking off his cloak as he does and tossing it onto the chair next to it.

The potion master's lips press into a thin line, "Fine, but do not come blaming me if the boy is found dead." He growls out before storming over to the chair and grabbing Harry's cloak.

"Hey, that's mine!" Harry calls out in protest.

"No!" Snape says as he turns on Harry pointing a finger at him, "You obviously can not be trusted not to run around with it when a madman is after you brat, I will be confiscating this till either the end of the school year or till Black is caught. Why Albus gave it to you in the first place I'll never understand."

"Headmaster!" Harry says, turning to the older man hoping he'd help.

Albus sighs, "I'm afraid that Professor Snape has a point, Harry, so long as he remembers to give it back before the end of the school year." He says looking at the potion master over his half-moon spectacles.

Snape scoffs, "Of course, I'm not in the habit of stealing from children, Albus." Implying he wasn't above stealing from other adults before storming out of the wing.

Harry looks at the Headmaster, feeling a bit betrayed but doesn't comment, all too used to adults taking things from him, they never helped anyway. He turns to the bed, looking down at Atalanta's still but breathing form.

"What happened?" Harry whispers mostly to himself, he's seen Atalanta napping plenty of times before, more times than he cares to recount. Mostly when he would meet her for training, she would be napping in a sunbeam or on a thick branch of a tree waiting for him, but even then her ears would be twitching or she would be grumbling. Now? Now she was still, unmoving, but breathing. Harry's teeth ground together, he could feel his heart pump harder and faster and the Hunt poured into him.

He tried to even out his breathing, to exert control of the stream and close it, but it was no use. All he saw was Atalanta laying on the bed, Black creeping his way over to Ron's bed, hadn't he already taken enough from Harry? Did he think he could take more leaving Harry alone with the Dursleys again? Anger built too fast feeding into the Hunt and it was calling to him, to kill Black before he could get to anyone else, to end the hunt and put his spear through his heart.

"Harry," a voice says as a hand lands on his shoulder, and Harry spins around, fist raised to strike out before he was the one struck, where once he would cower and find mercy in his cupboard, Atalanta had shown him how to strike back and he would use it.

Lupin flinches back when Harry spins around, and even Dumbledore jumps a bit at the quickness with which Harry moved, "Calm down, Harry. No one here is going to hurt you." The Headmaster says, in a soft voice. Harry puts his arm down but still doesn't relax, "You had asked what had happened, you had zoned out while I was telling you." He says while looking at Harry, but notices Lupin's eyes flickering back and forth between the boy and himself.

"Sorry sir," Harry mumbles out, it is unknown who he was apologizing to, so both men take it as if it was to them.

"That's quite alright my boy, tonight has been stressful for everyone, and with Miss Atalanta in this state, I do not blame you for being on edge," Dumbledore said calmly as Harry turns back to look down at the Hunter, "But as I was saying after Miss Atalanta forced her way into Gryffindor Tower she encountered Sirius Black, it is believed a small scuffle happened between them." Harry lets out a soft laugh at that.

"If I knew her as well as I do Headmaster, she kicked his ass seven different shades of, well she beat him up pretty badly," Harry says, cutting himself off before cussing in front of the Headmaster.

The old man chuckles, "of that, I have no doubt, Harry, but when Professor McGonagall got to the tower thinking she was going to give more than a few students detentions for staying up too late and causing more than enough noise, she found, instead, Sirius Black standing up after striking Miss Atalanta with a fire poker." He finishes, giving Harry a moment to absorb what he had said, before continuing, "She has been unconscious ever since. Madam Pomfrey has informed me there is nothing wrong with her, but her being out for this long from a blow to the head is worrying." Albus watches as Harry's hand's clench and unclench as his face twists into something primal as anger blooms in his eyes, and Dumbledore is brought back to his office almost a year ago.

"The call of the hunt is a dangerous thing if left alone the boy will lose himself to it, he'll become no more than a wild beast hunting everything and anything around him until he has to be put down like A rabid dog." That is what Lady Artemis had said, and looking at young Harry's face, Albus now believed that.

But it wasn't Albus that spoke next, "She'll be fine Harry, from what you've told me about her, she's stronger than she looks, and she looks plenty strong." Lupin says in a soft tone, and Harry just nods.

"Can…can I stay here for the night?" Harry asks quietly but with an edge to his voice to the Headmaster.

"On the condition that you allow me to lock you in, and that you do not try to leave Harry." The Headmaster gives his conditions and Harry nods in acceptance, "Good, then you may stay till morning, but I still expect you to be in class tomorrow, do you understand Mister Potter?" Dumbledore asks, and once again Harry nods.

As the Headmaster nods to Harry before Harry takes a seat next to the bed, putting his head in his hands and trying once again to get the Hunt under control, something crumples in his pocket, he reaches down and pulls out the map, he'd check it when the Headmaster and Lupin left, see if he can't find where Black had run off to.

"Headmaster," Lupin says, as he was looking at the piece of parchment that Harry had pulled from his Jacket pocket, "While I'll need a word with you, do you mind giving me and Harry a private moment?" He asks.

Dumbledore nods, before telling Harry to try and get some sleep and making his way out of the wing. Lupin conjures a seat next to Harry and sits down with a sigh, the wing is quiet as Lupin watches Harry, the boy's eyes, so much like his mothers, bounce around the room from Madam Pomfrey's office, to Atalanta, to the waxing moon back to the parchment in his hands.

"I heard you fought with Black," Lupin says, and Harry's eyes snap to him and he just nods. "A very brave but all-around foolish thing to do, you could-"

"I almost had him." Harry hisses out, "if Ron hadn't gotten in my way or if Percy hadn't knocked me out we could have trapped him, we could have…" Harry wants to say chase him down, kill him, end the hunt, but he can't get it out because he doesn't know which one he wants more.

"Harry, he had escaped through the fireplace, one not connected to the floo, I doubt you or Atalanta could have stopped him if he wanted to escape," Remus explains to Harry.

"It doesn't matter, he wasn't- he isn't theirs to…" Harry says, trying to keep it all down, but the Hunt is itching for an outlet, and he just growls out angrily.

Lupin gives the boy a moment to collect himself before speaking, "They were looking out for your safety, Harry, don't hold it against them, they did it because they care about you."

"I know, I know it's just…," Harry sighs and opens his mouth to say something but just deflates And fiddles with the parchment in his hands.

Lupin watches Harry's hand play with the parchment, opening and closing it, spinning it in his hands, "What do you have there?" Lupin asks, and it was like watching a ghost of the past as Harry answers.

"Nothing," Harry says, trying to move it out of sight, "Just a spare bit of parchment."

Lupin couldn't help it, he chuckles at the James-like excuse, "Harry, if I had a Sickle for every time I heard your father say those same words, I would be a very rich man." Lupin tells Harry, before holding out his hand, Harry sighs and hands it over.

"It's just a bit of-" but Harry is cut off as he watches Professor Lupin tap the parchment with his wand.

"I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good," Lupin whispers with a hint of nostalgia behind it and Harry's mouth drops open in open shock as he watches Lupin smile as the map blossoms to life.

"How?" Is all Harry asks.

"A story for another time, Harry." Lupin says before clearing the map, "Perhaps over tea this Thursday." He offers before folding up the map, "Now, this will be our little secret, but I will be taking this so you don't get any smart ideas about hunting Black down yourself," at the flash of anger in Harry's eyes, he knew he did the right thing, "But, like your cloak, you'll get this back before the end of the school year, understand?" Harry looks away, gritting his teeth before nodding. "We're only trying to keep you safe Harry, please understand that," Lupin says as Harry looks away from him and glares down at his feet.

Lupin sighs before standing up, "I'm sorry Harry, try to get some sleep, okay?" But Harry ignores him, Lupin frowns but nods before leaving the room, the door closing with a soft click behind him, leaving Harry alone with the unconscious Atalanta.

Harry lets out a frustrated sigh, his map was gone, his cloak was gone, Atalanta was hurt, and he was pretty sure he had scared Hermione again and would have to apologize again. He could still feel the Hunt right beneath his skin wanting him to get out and hunt something and try as he might he couldn't turn the tap off. Harry lays back in the chair, closing his eyes with the thoughts of hunting under the full moon and revenge swimming through his head until another thought blooms in his mind. Beyond the hunt, beyond Sirius Black, he just wanted Atalanta to be okay.

And another brick comes tumbling down.

Remus Lupin, Hogwarts

After Remus had left Harry in the Hospital Wing, he confronted Albus about what he had noticed, Harry's even changing demeanor, his slit pupils, the scent of aggression and rage on the boy that was unlike him, and the smell of something familiar he couldn't put his finger on. Dumbledore seemed surprised that he didn't know, know what? Lupin couldn't say. All Dumbledore had told him was it was up to Harry to tell Lupin, not him.

Remus had stormed off, angry at Albus, angry at the traitor that couldn't serve his sentence in hell as he had deserved, angry at himself for not seeking out the child of his best friend earlier like he should've. He could make his excuses, sure, but being a dangerous dark creature didn't stop him from writing a f*cking letter. So, Remus berates himself for the rest of the week, all the way past the full moon and into Thursday when he once again helps Harry try and get a Charm that should be far out of his age range to do.

It was this that had caused Remus the most confusion, Harry was without a doubt skilled for his age, he was able to grasp the spells in class at an almost instinctual level with just seeing them once or twice, but for the life of him couldn't explain how he did it. But when it came to the Patronus Charm, his grasp of it was random at best, which was on one hand not shocking considering it was old magic, one far past Harry's age and skill, but on the other hand, there were weeks where Harry could try all-day, screaming the spell till his voice was raw and get nothing, and some weeks where he would get so close to actually completing the spell to get a Corporeal Patronus that Remus could taste the magic in the air. But the next week he would be back to square one, this was one of the weeks.

Remus sighs as he locks the boggart back into the trunk before turning back to Harry, picking himself up off the floor. He walks over to Harry, offering a hand to him, but he ignores him and picks himself up. Another thing so much like his parents, he was stubborn, almost as stubborn as Lily was when she wanted a reaction out of a spell that was out of her range. She would try and try again till she had got it and then mastered it, Remus saw the same stubbornness in Harry in moments like these and couldn't help but smile.

"One more time," Harry says before standing at his mark before his trunk, wand at the ready, but Lupin shakes his head.

"No Harry," Remus says, "you're spent, any more and I'll have to drag you to the Hospital Wing, and I'd rather avoid the wrath of Madam Pomfrey thank you very much." A coy smile on his lips, before walking over to the small table and chairs set up by the window, "Come, some tea and chocolate will do you some good before dinner." He says pouring some tea for himself and Harry and breaking a large slab of chocolate into pieces to split between the two as Harry takes a seat and nibbles on the chocolate.

"So, how has your week been since the last time we talked?" Remus asks with a smile before taking a sip of tea.

Harry shrugs, while just looking at his tea and nibbling on the chocolate, "Atalanta woke up a few days ago." Harry says as he sets his chocolate down.

Remus had seen that himself, she was out for almost twenty-four hours before waking up and tearing through the castle on a mad dash to find out where Harry was and what had happened, she had shown up in the middle of dinner still clad in her PJ's, if he hadn't seen the ears earlier Remus was sure he would had choked on his dinner like some of the staff and most of the students. But it was quite amusing to watch the huntress fuss over Harry before she realized she was still in her PJs before running off. He had also heard she interrogated Minnie about how Sirius had escaped but he didn't know the details about that.

"Yes, I wasn't expecting dinner and a show, but it was a nice surprise," Lupin says to Harry, teasing the boy.

But Harry just shrugs before popping a full piece of chocolate and chewing quickly and swallowing it, "You said, …" Harry trails off, eyes focusing on something off in the distance, through the window before shaking his head and continues, "You said you'd tell me how you knew about the map." Harry says in a quiet voice, Remus sees a bit of trepidation in his eyes when they flick up to meet his eyes before they look back down at his own cup. Another thing he had noticed, was Harry didn't ask questions a lot, not even in class or if he didn't understand a creature he was studying. It was almost as if he didn't expect anyone to give him an answer.

"It's because we made it," Remus says as Harry's head pops up to look at him, " We, as in your father, myself, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and, unbeknownst to her, your mother." Harry tilts his head with a look of confusion on his face. Remus chuckles a bit before he explains "We, the Marauders as we liked to ourselves back then, each put a little bit of ourselves on the map. I'm a drafted hand at Runes, James was a prodigy at transfiguration, Sirius was one of the best in the class when it came to curses and potions, and Pettigrew had an excellent memory and was skilled with penmanship and cartography" Remus says with a sigh reminiscing the past, "We had the building blocks for the map, but none of us was skilled enough in charms to tie it all together, so we went to the brightest witch of our age, someone with such an intrinsic understanding of charms and rituals that in the course of her school years she outstripped and surpassed every single student and almost Flitwick himself. Your mother." Remus says as Harry watches him with rapt attention.

"We had to trick her into at the time, she hated Sirius, Peter, and your father at the time for all the pranks they pulled on her friends, so I had approached her saying it was a personal project of my own, she had a passing respect for me at the time, due to being the only person the other three would listen to." He says with a smile, "even then it took a few weeks to get her on board without her thinking it was a trick, which it was, but not the kind she had thought." Remus takes a sip of tea before continuing, "but by the end of the week she had found the charms needed to tie it all together for us, out of respect, we didn't leave her out of the map, if you pay attention to the edges you'll see a doe wander around the edges, James' little joke." Remus chuckles a bit.

"My mom hated my dad?" Harry asked, confused.

"Has no one told?" Remus asks, and when Harry shakes his head, he explains, "oh, your mother hated us up to the sixth year, I think. We were never the most mature of children, your father, and Sirius especially. But by the time the sixth year came around, your grandparents had passed and the war was heating up. That woke James up and he really came into his own. One day he asked your mother out like he always did, and she finally said yes, and the rest is history as they say." Remus says as he looks out the window and both of them fall into silence, Harry shuffles his feet and plays with a bit of chocolate before rocking back and forth a bit, never sitting still.

"Harry," Remus begins slowly, "I've noticed some things about you, that I'd like an answer to." Harry stills and stiffens at those words before looking away from Remus.

"Like what?" Harry mumbles

"In the dark, you have cat-like eyes, some of the things I was warned about when teaching you shouldn't be possible for a wizard, and your mood swings from the other night," Remus says, confronting Harry with it all, "is there anything you want to tell me?" He asks, but Harry just stares at his cup not saying a word, and Lupin sighs. Disappointed in Harry for not trusting him, Disappointed in himself for not being there for him.

"That's fine Harry, you don't have to tell me," Remus says softly, "Just, …Just tell me this, did you ever come across a big cat or dog when you were younger and got scratched? Like a mountain lion or a wolf?" He asks with a sigh.

Harry looks up confused, "Noooo?," he says, his tone matching his face, "I mean I ran into a big dog over the summer."

"A big dog?" Remus asks, a pit forming in his stomach, before his eyes narrow, "what did it look like?"

"Umm, big black shaggy fur, gray eyes," Harry says, before he stops and thinks about it for a moment, "I think I saw it in the stands too." He whispers to himself.

It was Lupin's turn to stiffen, "You saw it here? At Hogwarts?" Lupin asks, now very sure of what Harry had seen, "what did it do when you first saw it?"

"You know, Dog stuff, barked, wagged its tail. I think it was here in the stands, it looked like the same dog but could have been a trick of the lightning, or the Grimm." Harry says with a dark chuckle.

Lupin says nothing, instead turns to look out the window thinking he's pulled back to reality when Harry stands up.

"May I be excused? I want to visit Hedwig before going down to dinner." Harry asks.

"Hmm, oh, of course. Take some chocolate before you go, Harry. Make sure to eat it all, understand?" Remus says and Harry nods before grabbing a chuck and turning to the door and leaving as Remus was lost in his own thoughts, had Sirius really seen Harry before he even came to Hogwarts? Did he get past the blood wards? Why hadn't he attacked him then? Why did Harry have his Jacket? The questions swirled in his head so quickly that he almost missed the pecking at his window.

He looks down to see a snow-white owl looking at him through the glass with a note clutched in its claws, letting the owl in, it hops onto the table and turns its head up to look at him with piercing yellow eyes, Remus feels as if he was being judged and weighed by the owl, like it was seeing if he was of worth, worth of what? Remus had no clue, but the owl seemed to find what it was looking for before dropping the note onto the table. A sharp whistle calls out before the owl turns his head and flies out of the window. That was one of, if not the strangest encounters Remus ever had with an owl.

Remus shrugs before picking up the note and opening it before he drops it as it had burned him, it was blank and only addressed to Moony. He pulled out his wand, casting every analyzing and detection charm he could think of on it, all he gets back is a very familiar charm. He takes a deep breath before tapping his wand on the note.

"I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good." He whispers and watches as painfully familiar handwriting blooms across the note.

Moony,

If our friendship has ever meant anything to you, and if you don't burn this note immediately after figuring out who wrote it, meet me at our old hang-out, tomorrow at noon. Come alone, we need to talk.

Ever the Marauder,

Padfoot.

Notes:

So the webs of fate string along pulling at the actors in this play to their final act.

Crazy sh*t, huh? Honestly thought I had it all figured out till a thought hit me, and have you ever had a backup plan that was just, …more fun than your main plan, and you said f*ck it, out with the old and in with the new?

I did.

Well, Snape is an asshole, Harry struggles with the hunt, Albus keeping secrets, and Remus worries if Harry got nicked by a were.

The next chapter is gonna be Harry-less, it should be fun.

What else is new?

Oh, to the one guy who asked me how I'm doing this so fast, I have no life and I've been thinking of this story for years.

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 26: Waning Moon II

Notes:

In this chapter, we see the strings even tightening around our players, snippets of the past, and a hunter putting together a puzzle they don't have all the pieces to.

Welcome back, to Under the Hunters Moon, we move away from our best boy and get some of the thoughts of those around him, it should be fun.

But enough with this, on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The Gate of Skye.

"Let them go, Albus, we need to have words." The Goddess of the hunt tells the aging Headmaster. Dumbledore sighs, but moves to the side to allow Harry and Atalanta to pass with but a nod to them, before stepping into the Chamber and casting his gaze everywhere.

"Marvelous, to think, all this time…" the Headmaster says before waving his wand, both casting a ward so no sound may enter the tunnel behind him and lighting up the Chamber to see better, his mouth slightly open in awe. Artemis lets the elderly man have his moment of awe for a few moments longer before she speaks up.

"As much as I'm sure you're going to enjoy studying this Chamber, that will have to be saved for later, Albus. We have business." The Goddess says, snapping the Headmaster's attention back to her.

"You're right, of course, Lady Artemis, I was merely caught up in all of this. But we can go over that later, you wish to discuss what we had…left off on, the last time we saw each other?" Albus says swallowing a bit from nervousness, the last time he and the Goddess were in the same room did not go well for the Headmaster for good reason, She had also nearly put Severus into a coma as well.

"Indeed, have you found an alternate solution to the problem yet?" The Lady of the hunt asks

Dumbledore sighs as he begins to walk around the Chamber, studying the walls, waving his wand over seemingly random parts, "The problem is not finding an alternate solution, Lady Artemis, for there are many, the problem is finding the best possible one." The Headmaster says, and when the Goddess does not comment he continues, "There are many, The Longbottom's would happily do it. Their own manor has some of the most formidable wards in all of Britain, but the matriarch of the family Augustus Longbottom is known to have a firm hand with children." Albus says and Artemis narrows her eyes, when Dumbledore looks over at her, he merely nods and says "My thoughts exactly, Lady Artemis."

"And the other options?" The Goddess asks

"I could have Harry emancipated, but that would have its own complications both politically and logistically," Albus says as he makes his way over to the pillars that hold up the Chamber, inspecting them from bottom to top.

"I do not care for your mortal politics, Albus, I care about his safety." Artemis says with a hint of steel in her voice.

"Whether you care or not Lady Artemis does not matter here, for Harry is already tied up in the politics of Magical Britain, even if he doesn't know yet." The Headmaster shakes his head, "When Voldemort returns, the people will look to the boy who was in part, responsible for his last downfall." Albus says before casting a few spells at the pillar and frowning, "and the logistical aspects are even worse, the Potters were a noble family, and a well-off one at that, but their manor house was destroyed during the last war, burned down to the foundation and the wards that had stood for over five-hundred destroyed."

Artemis scoffs at this, "The mortals can't even protect their own home, how like them." The Goddess says, annoyed at it all.

"Lady Artemis," the Headmaster says with steel in his voice for the first time since meeting the Goddess all those months ago, "I would ask you, respectfully, to speak more kindly of the dead. I had the privilege of calling both Euphemia and Fleamont Potter both students and friends. They fought by my side against Grindelwald, and killed half of Voldemort's original inner circle that night before dying to Voldemort himself." Albus says before Artemis turns to glare at Dumbledore, "Besides, they were your son's paternal grandparents."

Artemis looks away at that, her glare lessening as she sighs, reigning in her anger at the old mortal. As Aunt Hestia would say, family is to be respected. "Fine, what other options are on the table?" Artemis asks.

"The final option is the one I've considered the most but am hesitant to do, I admit," Albus says as he walks past the Goddess and up to the Gate of Skye to inspect it, "In the middle of London sits a townhouse, the land that it was built upon had been in the family that owns the townhouse since a time before the founding of Hogwarts, it is steeped in magic both marvelous and malicious with wards comparable to Hogwarts herself. With a powerful charm, it could be hidden away from all but those Harry trusts, behind those doors he would be safe." The headmaster says before reading the inscription above the Gate, his eyes widening as he does.

"Then why didn't you put the boy there in the first place?" Artemis asks.

Albus pauses, thoughts swirling in his mind as he read the inscription, connecting the dots he hadn't considered before, "For two reasons Lady Artemis, one: the spell of protection that Lily Potter cast that night surpasses every ward I've ever heard of even those of the townhouse and of Hogwarts, the fact that I figured out how to turn it into a ward is a miracle in and of itself." Albus turns from the arch and looks back to the Goddess, "The second reason is that who owns the townhouse, the Black family."

Artemis' eyes narrow in understanding, "I see."

"If I wanted to hand Harry over to the enemy, I would have executed James and Lily's will instead of sealing till Harry comes of age," Albus tells the Goddess, and she looks back at him with a questioning look, "Back then, about two months after the defeat of Voldemort where most of the crucial fires were put out I had found Lily and James' will, they, of course, left everything to their son. But had left Harry to Sirius Black, the man who betrayed him and was remanded to Azkaban for his crimes. If Sirius wasn't an option, Harry would go to his godmother Alice Longbottom, but at that time she had been tortured to insanity by a group of Death Eaters." Albus folds his hands behind his back, "if the will was executed it would have gone to the Wizengamot to decide what to do, with the enemy still abound they would have fought for the boy to be turned over to the Black family, his closest living relatives, and staunch blood purest. There was no telling what they would do to the boy, and I was not willing to risk it, so as the executor of the Potter estate I sealed the will until Harry came of age and left him with Lily's sister, a mistake as costly as if I had left him to his enemies, one I'm sure I will be paying for when I die." Albus says without a hint of fear for his own fate.

Artemis says nothing at first, she had already put enough thought into how Albus Dumbledore will pay for what role he had played in Harry's torment, and his afterlife would not be kind. "And what has changed if this is an option you are considering?"

"Many things, first the Black family has been reduced to only two blood members who are not disowned, dead, or incarcerated. While Narcissa Malfoy née Black is a formidable witch and politician, what I have planned not even she could stop, the second is the revelation of yourself and your relation to Harry, and finally is that Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban." Dumbledore says.

"What importance does an escaped madman have to do with it?" Artemis asks

"Because," Albus begins, "So long as Sirius was imprisoned and alive, his will could not be executed, now that he has the only fate left for him is either death or the dementor's kiss. With either of those, his will can be executed, a will only be known to two people, myself and Remus Lupin, in his will he names his sole heir to be his godson, Harry James Potter." Dumbledore tells the Goddess, "While Sirius was kicked out of his family, his grandfather never disowned him, he is still the heir to the Most Ancient and Most Noble House of Black."

A smirk grows on the face of Artemis at the old mortal's cunning, "and when Sirius Black is dead, Harry is set to inherit everything, including the townhouse, and at the same time you'll emancipate Harry and hide him behind the ancient wards, you cunning old bastard." The Goddess of the hunt says as Dumbledore nods.

"A Headmaster of Hogwarts should exemplify all of the characteristics of the houses," Dumbledore says, "but if I would choose the path we take, I would rather Sirius Black be killed rather than kissed."

"What does it matter, either way will work," Artemis says.

"I, personally, do not condone the dementor's kiss. It is a fate worse than death, it destroys the soul with no hope of redemption." Albus informs The Lady of the hunt who nods, if Black's soul is destroyed she wouldn't get to pay him back for his own role in Harry's torment.

"Then have my hunter do it, she is here to protect-" but Artemis is cut off by the Headmaster.

"No," Albus says, "and I mean no disrespect Lady Artemis, but I've asked Miss Atalanta to capture him alive."

"That is not your call to make Albus Dumbledore, why would you even begin to think you could order my hunters?" Artemis says, voice edging very close to anger as the Chamber filled with the sounds of the hunt.

"Because," Dumbledore says, as the death stick slips back into his hand behind his back, and unmoving steel enters his voice, "This is my school, and I am the Headmaster." Artemis feels the ancient wards made of miracles both divine and magical bend and connects to Albus Dumbledore answering the man's call to protect the school, "Mortal life may not be worth much to a being as timeless as you Lady Artemis, but I will not ask anyone who calls this castle home, no matter how brief, to take another life if I am not willing to do it myself." Dumbledore says in a voice that spoke of how much he believed in this.

"Before this school year ends, Sirius Black will be dead by my hand and no one else's." The Headmaster says.

Remus Lupin, the Shrieking Shack.

Remus had no idea why he had come, he should have gone straight to Dumbledore with this, but he hadn't and he had no idea why. Maybe he wanted to kill Sirius himself for what he did, Maybe he was hoping for Sirius to finish off what was left of the Marauders, Maybe he wanted to hope. But it doesn't matter as he passes through the secret entrance into the shack that was Remus's prison when he was a student at the school he now teaches at. Remus remembers every detail of the Shack from his school years better than his own home, he walks through the kitchen and heads into the dining room. Remus was just glad Sirius had picked a weekend where it wouldn't cause any suspicion that he was gone from lunch, okay, maybe Severus but that man had doubted him since he step a foot back inside the school, but that couldn't be helped.

Remus stops right outside the sitting room, he can hear the crackling of the fireplace and the steady breathing of a person inside, his wand drops into his hands, "one way or another, the Marauders end today." Remus thinks to himself as he steps into the room.

He was sitting in a chair facing the fireplace, and one of the legs was braced on a stack of old and destroyed books for balance. He was dirty, unshaven, and his hair was a tangled mess from being unwashed for so long that flowed down his back. He wore rags of black and white prison robes with an old beat-up coat over them, it looks like he had dug it out of the trash.

"I remember," Sirius says suddenly and with reverence, "sitting here in this room with you upstairs, waiting for the sounds of you transforming with James-"

"Don't," Remus snarls out, "Don't you dare speak his name." The werewolf says as he levels his wand at the back of Sirius' head.

Sirius sighs before he slowly raises his hands to show that he was unarmed, but still, Remus doesn't move his wand and tracks Sirius' head as he stands and slowly turns to face the Werewolf. The once handsome face was sunken in, his cheeks and eyes sockets were the worst showing the haunted look of spending years in hell he should have stayed in for the good of everyone.

Sirius swallows, "Moony." He greets him like an old friend.

"Black." Remus spits out, as if the man across from him was a hated enemy.

"Okay, that's fair I guess," Sirius mutters before he starts to put his hands down, causing a cutting curse to nick his cheek and ear before he brings them back up.

"Don't." Remus says, "Dont you dare move."

"Okay, okay, f*ck Moony, you almost ruined my good looks," Sirius says with a chuckle.

"You're joking!?" Remus says, "You think this is funny?" He says as he steps closer.

"Well, if you knew the whole story, I'm pretty sure you'd be laughing at it too," Sirius says with a smirk, showing a ghost of his old self.

"I know the whole story," Remus says through gritted teeth, "You betrayed them!"

"I never betrayed Lily and Jam-" Sirius starts to yell back before Remus shuts him up with a well-aimed punch to the nose causing Sirius to fall back. "f*ck! Why is it always the nose!"

"Don't you dare say their names!" Lupin yells at the madman on the ground, "You're the reason their dead! The only reason I came here is to hear your confession before I kill you, the last mercy I have for you." Remus hisses out.

Sirius stops cradling his nose as he lays still on the floor turning his head to look into the fireplace, tears welling up in his eyes, "I am the reason they're dead, it was my fault," Sirius says in a soft voice filled with emotions, "but it's not how you think Moony, I never betrayed them like that, I would have died before I did." The hound says as he turns his head back to his old friend, "I'm guilty of betraying them, but not because I turned them over to Voldemort." Sirius says as he pushes off the floor and onto his elbows.

"Bullsh*t!" Remus yells, "You were their secret keeper! Dumbledore cast the spell himself, you were there!" The Werewolf accused the mad hound.

"We switched secret keepers!" Sirius yells back.

"You can't manipulate a spell like that without the caster!" Lupin says back.

"It was acharm, Remus!" Sirius calls out, giving Remus pause, "If you don't think that Lily couldn't manipulate a charm, caster or not, you're more insane them I am." He says as he climbs back to his feet, "I mean, come on, the woman studied high esoteric Magicfor fun. She was well on her way to being the youngest charms master in history before she died, A thing like the Fidelius charm was atoyto her." Sirius says with intensity.

Remus takes a step back, didn't he, just yesterday, praise Lily's skill in magic to her son? Could he doubt her now, looking into the face that was their best friend, a man who spent more time at the cottage than anyone else outside the three who called it home. "Then who?" Lupin asks, wand still pointed at Sirius.

"Peter Pettigrew," Sirius says with a tone that spoke of a festering hate.

"You're mad, Wormtail is dead, you killed him," Remus says.

"Oh, you'd know all about the madness within, wouldn't you Remus? But no, not in this case." Sirius says with a laugh, "I was gonna kill Peter, after…after I left Harry with Hagrid I hunted him down, had him cornered, but the little rat pulled a fast one on me," Sirius laughs at this part, "he started to scream how I had betrayed Lily and James, before blowing up the street behind him with a piercing curse with a lightening modifier hitting a gas main, took out the whole street before cutting off his finger before slipping away with the other rats in the sewer." Sirius scoffs like it was one of the best jokes he's ever heard.

Remus got the dark amusem*nt that Sirius found in the story, Peter Pettigrew had pranked him, he had pulled a fast one and got away scot-free while Sirius was shipped off to Azkaban, but questions still remained, "if that's true, then why are you here at Hogwarts? Why did you break into Gryffindor Tower? Why did you attack Harry?" Remus asks, his wand lowering a bit.

"I didn't attack Harry, I would never-" Sirius stops himself, priority first, "He's here Remus, he's in the tower," Sirius says.

"How do you know this?" Lupin asks curiously.

"I'm going to reach into my pocket, just for a piece of paper, so don't curse me," Sirius says as he moves his hand slowly to his pocket before Lupin's wand snaps up back at him and Sirius stops.

"Don't move," Remus tells him as he walks over slowly and reaches into the pocket that Sirius was reaching for, and pulls out a newspaper clipping. It was of the Weasley family on their trip to Egypt, "This doesn't prove anything." He tells Sirius.

"Look at the rat, Remus. Look at the paw." Sirius says before Lupin looks back at the clipping.

He sees the rat, which admittedly looks like Peter's animagus form, then he saw the paw, "sonvu-a-bitch…" Remus says as his wand arm falls to his side.

"I would call him a c*nt, but yeah just about that," Sirius says as Remus moves to the seat and sits down in shock.

"He was the spy," Lupin realizing for the first time.

"Yup," Sirius answers back.

"We need to go to Dumbledore," Remus says.

"Absolutely not!" Sirius says quickly, a bit of fear entering his voice.

"What?" Remus says, confused, "Why not? He could help you," Moony says

"Other than the fact the old man would kill me the moment he sees me for what he thinks I did, I don't trust him after what he did, and I swore I'd do this hard way," Padfoot says.

"Sirius, what are you talking about? What did Dumbledore do? Swore to who?" Moony asks quickly.

Padfoot starts to pace back and forth, talking out loud, and trying to explain things, "You don't understand Moony, what the old man did, who's all involved in this, hell I didn't even know until it was almost too late, this isn't about revenge anymore."

"Padfoot, calm down and explain it," Moony says.

Sirius stops before turning to his old friend, sighing, taking a moment to calm down and gather his thoughts, "That…that night after I gave Harry to Hagrid and before I went after Wormtail, he had told me that he was taking Harry to Lily's sister on Dumbledore's orders. I had never met Lily's sister, she never talked about her, the whole reason was something about Lily's last spell, which made sense they had been corresponding about a backup plan just in case. He dropped Harry off with her, and never went back to check on him." Sirius rambled on, Remus not getting the point.

"So, he put Harry with family when he thought you betrayed us all, they would take care of him," Moony argues.

"That's the whole point Moony, they didn't," Sirius tells his old friend, "Petunia was like my mother but far, far worst." When Padfoot says these words, Lupin turns white. He knew what Sirius' mother had put him through, all the abuse that he had suffered at the woman's cruel hand, to even consider that Harry had suffered the same fate…

"How…how do you know this?" Lupin asks in shock, not wanting to accept it.

"I was shown it," Sirius says, "everything that happened to him since I left him with Hagrid that night, I wasn't the only one locked into hell by another's choice," Sirius says softly.

"Who showed you this? The same person you swore to?" Remus asks as Sirius looks into the flames of the hearth that seemed to burn a little hotter.

Sirius is quiet for a moment, "I had forgotten," Sirius starts with, "all I could remember was the how, not the why I was locked away. I knew that the rat was the reason that I was in that gray, cold hell and that I wanted revenge. I didn't remember his name or how he betrayed me, I didn't remember what you looked like but your name I recalled after a while, I didn't remember what James or Lily looked like or who they were to me, and worst of all, I didn't even know Harry existed. Azkaban took it all from me, and left only a shell." Sirius lets out a shaky breath, "but then last week I had thought I ran into a spot of good luck, a list of passwords for Gryffindor Tower, I found it in this Hearth," he says patting the fireplace, "But I was playing right into her hands."

"Who?" Moony asks.

"Hestia." Is the name Sirius says.

"Jones? The auror?" Lupin asks confused.

Sirius turns to him, equally confused, "Who?" He asks.

"Hestia Jones, she's an Auror with the Ministry," Remus explains, already knowing what Sirius was about to say.

"f*ck the Ministry, Anarchy in the UK," Sirius says almost automatically and Lupin snorts, there was the old Padfoot.

"But no, not whoever that is, I'm talking about the original Hestia, the one all others are named after," Sirius says as he looks deep into the hearth, "I ran into her in the tower, she wanted me there, she wanted me to remember everything. She knew the only way I would is if I saw…" Sirius pauses taking a deep calming breath, "if I saw Harry again and I did, it all came crashing back, and I realized I had betrayed Lily and James by choosing revenge over my oath to take care of Harry if anything happened to them, and I ran." Padfoot admits, "instead of begging Harry for forgiveness I ran like a coward," Sirius scoffs, "Some Gryffindor I am."

"How did you escape? After your fight with Atalanta?" Lupin asks.

"Atalanta?" Sirius asks, "is that the one with the ears?" At Moony's nod, Sirius chuckles, "Wasn't much of a fight, she knocked my ass around like a ping pong ball after I saw her force open the hidden entrance." At that Lupin's eyes go wide, he hadn't heard about that, "but yeah, the Lioness kicked my ass, after Harry had his turn that is."

At that Moony nods, "That I did hear about, had you at wand point and everything. You should have seen him afterward, Atalanta got moved to the hospital wing because nothing we could do would wake her up." Remus says, and Sirius swiftly asks if she is okay, "Yes," Lupin says, "She's fine now, woke up a day later, but I ran into Harry as he was trying to sneak into the wing to see her. Never more have I seen Lily in him other than that moment, her loving personality, her fierce protectiveness, and her stubbornness all rolling off of Harry. He may look like James, but he takes after his mother far more."

"Both of his mothers by what I saw and the bruises I have," Sirius says absentmindedly.

Lupin blinks before turning away from the fire he was looking into back to his old friend, "Both of his mothers?" Moony asks.

It was Sirius' turn to blink in confusion before he realizes, "You don't know, They never told you?" He says.

"Told me what?" Lupin asks

"How Lily came to be pregnant after being cursed?" Sirius asks.

Atalanta, Hogwarts.

"No, not him. Never Harry." That is what Sirius Black said to Atalanta in the Gryffindor common room, and ever since she had remembered him saying them, they swirled in her head playing like a record, and as Atalanta laid lazily in a tree overlooking the gamekeeper's Hut, she was trying to figure out a puzzle she didn't have all the pieces too.

Atalanta could tell when someone was lying, she could smell it, and Jason had taught her how to read people rather well back on the Argo, even if he was an unbelievable prick, he knew how to work people to his own benefit, and a part of that was reading them. So Atalanta knew that Sirius Black wasn't lying, and then there was how he had escaped from the Tower. Not through the green blaze of the floo she had seen the Wixen use, no, just by fire from a Hearth. It had thrown up red flags for Atalanta as soon as she was informed of it by McGonagall and with the scent of the divine and ash all over her PJs, it had pointed only in one direction, Lady Hestia.

But why? Sirius Black was not only an oath breaker, but he was as good as a Kinslayer. Someone Lady Hestia would not hesitate to toss into the depths of Tartarus, for all her kind and forgiving nature, even Hestia had a line and when you crossed it, there was not a god in the world that could save you from her wrath. So why had the lady of the hearth saved Sirius Black, Atalanta was convinced there was more going on her than she knew. But what was she to do?

Confront Lady Hestia? yeah no. Not the death that Atalanta wanted.

Tell Lady Artemis? Oh, yeah Atalanta was sure that would go over well, telling the Lady of the hunt that her favorite Aunt is conspiring to kill Harry, might as well just get laid and turn back into a lion herself.

So Atalanta sighs and leans back, watching the Hut, considering how to help out Hagrid with getting the giant Hawk-Eagle-Horse thing off of the school grounds alive without getting the loveable giant in trouble for it. She liked Hagrid as a friend, she really did, the man was a gentle giant with a love for all creatures in the world and knew far more about them than Atalanta ever could. Whenever Harry was in class and Hagrid wasn't busy, they would get hammered together and talk about her hunts and he'd have some weird tidbit of trivia about the creature she had hunted, and gods willing, Atalanta was gonna free the giant Hawk-Eagle-Horse thing before she leaves the school.

the Shrieking Shack.

After Sirius finishes his tale about the first night he had met a Goddess, Remus was quiet for a while, frowning face and considering his words.

"I am, …" Moony begins slowly, unsure of it all, "reconsidering the damage you suffered in Azkaban, Sirius." He says as he looks at his old friend.

Sirius scuffs, "I'm not that mad, Moony." He says acting as if he was insulted.

"Let's think about this rationally, Padfoot," Moony says.

"Rationally?" Sirius says as if Lupin just told him he was pretending to be a Werewolf all his life, "Moony, we are Wizards, you a Werewolf, and I can turn into a bloody dog!" Sirius says waving his arms around, "Where does rationality fit into all this?"

Lupin opens his mouth to say something, but nothing comes out, because honestly, the man had a point. "Be that as it may, you're telling me that Harry is a demigod from an unnamed Goddess because you won't say her name." Moony says, "how does that sound sane, Padfoot?"

"Because if I say her name, she'll know it's me saying it, and I'll be dead quicker than what the old man could do, and at the very least he would be merciful when he does it," Sirius explains.

"And how does this tie in with the woman who helped you escape, this Hestia, is she like the one you won't name?" Remus asks, trying to understand.

Sirius nods, "Yeah, as far as I remember Hestia is her Aunt and the only reason I got out was because of Hestia, she left a fire poker charged with divine juice for me to use and then pulled me through the hearth. After that she showed me everything, she offered me something sweeter than revenge." Padfoot says.

"How is this not about vengeance Sirius?" Remus asks, "What we need to do is hunt down Peter and kill him for what he did."

"You don't get it Moony," Sirius says with a sigh, "it's not about revenge, vengeance won't wash away what we did."

"We didn't do anything, Sirius, it was Peter who-" Lupin tries to say but is cut by Sirius shouting.

"WE LEFT HIM!" Sirius turns to his only friend left, "We. Left. Him. I choose to go after Peter that night instead of doing my duty as a godfather and taking Harry and fleeing with him, and look what it got me, twelve years! In Azkaban! Suffering in a wet, cold, gray hell while my godson was locked in a cupboard for just as long!" Padfoot yells, voice raw with emotions, "Dumbledore drop him off there and never went back to check, andyou, make your excuses to someone who cares about your furry little problem Remus, but all you had to do was to visit him once, to write one letter. All it took was asking Dumbledore and youknowhe would let you, and you could have saved him, but you didn't. We. Left. Him. And no one saved him." Sirius shakes his head as Lupin looks away from him, shame and guilt burned in his chest from his words because he knew Sirius was right.

"Revenge isn't what I'm after anymore, I don't care about it any longer," Sirius says now in a soft voice looking to the flame, "My priority is my freedom, and Harry, that's it."

"If it isn't vengeance you're after, what is it then?" Moony asks in a quiet voice.

As Sirius opens his mouth to speak, another voice speaks for him, one that comes from the Hearth.

"He seeks what I have offered him." The voice speaks causing Remus and Sirius' eyes to snap to the Hearth right before the fire inside of it roars out, filling the room with the sound of a storm, knocking both the men to the ground. As Remus watches the fire twist and turn, touching all but burning nothing, he feels the heat of it wash over him, but feels no discomfort from it, only the warm feeling of home and the family he had made in the very halls of this shack so long ago. Lupin watches as the flames begin to condense and twirl and shift into the form of a young girl with fire burning at the edges of her hair, her burning coal-like eyes looking at him filled with stern disappointment.

"And it is the same thing I offer to you, Remus John Lupin, the chance at absolution and Redemption of the oaths you made to those you called family and broke," Hestia tells the newfound believer laying on the floor.

Notes:

The show goes on, with curtain call only chapters away, with the hunter confused and edging on understanding and the wolf and hound on the same page for the first time in a long time, with the Hearth refusing to allow this travesty to go on any longer.

Oh, man I've got to say the comments about what Snape did with the basilisk are entertaining, every sees that and then completely misses the fact THAT HE CAST THE CURSE THAT START ALL OF THIS!

But the basilisk is gonna come back around here soon, that's gonna be a fun scene.

Could Albus take Artemis in a fight with the power of Dún Scáith and a (kinda) divine wand behind him? No, absolutely not he'd get his sh*t pushed, but he would be able to put up a fight.

For the one guy who asked what Harry's abilities are, please go back and read the A/N's.

Kingsaxcul, Out!

Chapter 27: Waning Moon III

Notes:

Welcome back my dear readers to another chapter of Under the Hunters Moon.

This chapter marks the start of the end, I do hope you all enjoy what I have in store for our best boy.

But as the Full Moon rises, we must get on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Remus Lupin, the Shrieking Shack.

If you would have told Remus a few weeks ago that not only was Sirius Black innocent, but the man who betrayed the Potters was the man Sirius was framed for killing and when he learned that, he would meet a Goddess, well he would either say you were mad or hex you out of his office, or both. But here he was, standing in a place he had a dislike for since his school days both believing and not as he looked into the eyes of said Goddess.

"Hestia," Remus hears Sirius breathe out as the Goddess looks into the eyes of Lupin with a stern disappointment. Lupin swallows the lump in his throat as he, with great difficulty, looks away from the Goddess with guilt in his chest and looks over to Sirius as he stands from the ground.

"Wha-what can I do for you, my Lady?" Sirius asks, sounding unsure as to how to address the Goddess before them.

Hestia just smiles at Sirius before saying "I'm not like the rest of my family, Sirius Black, I do not demand respect nor demand anyone to call me their Lady. I am just Hestia to you, if you do not mind, but I still thank you for the show of respect." Before she moves to the fireplace in the room, Lupin scrambles back from the Goddess before standing.

"So, you're the one who helped Sirius escape the Tower?" Lupin asks and the Goddess simply nods her head, "Why?" Moony asks as Sirius' head snaps to him and shakes his head, telling him to stop, but Moony carries on, "I ask with all due respect, of course, but I'm not used to people acting out of the goodness of their heart." The werewolf admits.

The Goddess tilts her head as to think over the question before with a wave of her hand restarting the fireplace to bring a comfortable heat back to the room before she answers, "It is probably because I am not a person, Remus Lupin, I am a God. It is a part of my nature to defend the Hearth, the Home, and Family." Hestia says with a shrug.

Remus looks at Sirius before turning back to the Goddess, "But none of us were Family." Lupin says, confused.

Hestia is quiet for another moment, looking into the fire before she speaks again, "Is that what you told yourself for all those years to ease the burden of your guilt Remus Lupin, that you were not family to James and Lily Potter? That you did not care?" She asks in a soft tone as she turns to Remus, eyes filled with disappointment.

"I never said that," Remus snaps at her, before looking away and to his feet, feeling as if he was a child being scolded by his mother again for being out too late, "I'm sorry, …" He whispers out.

"You are, but over the wrong thing," Hestia says, as she brushes aside the disrespect as it was nothing to her, "You had the power to change the boy's fate but you never once did so, he was locked away in pain without knowing the warmth and comfort of a real family and that damage is nothing something that can be washed away by teaching the boy a charm."

"I-I couldn't have taken him in any way," Remus speaks his excuse before the Goddess nods her head in understanding.

"I know," she says, "With the curse that runs in your blood you could not take care of a child so young, but you needn't have taken him in, just visited once, and you refused to even do that, so deep into your guilt and self-hatred that you heaped on yourself without cause," Hestia tells him like a cruel mirror, "Family is more than those who we share blood with Remus Lupin, some family we choose ourselves and you did choose your brothers, right here in these walls, and when you both choose something else over taking care of one of your brother's sons, you broke that oath," Hestia speaks a truth that Remus had long ignored, he does look up to see her face, the werewolf could feel her eyes on him.

"You asked why I am helping, then take this as your answer," Hestia continues, "It is because I refused to allow this travesty to continue. You will both set aside your self-hatred and your thirst for vengeance to make right the wrongs you have committed, or you will face the rarest thing in this world; My Wrath." As Hestia speaks the Hearth behind her roars spreading an unfriendly cold heat throughout the room, "and heed the words of Hestia if you do not, if you fail the task in which I have given you, no home will shield or welcome you, you will feel no warmth by a hearth, and find no comfort with family. Only the cold fury of a Goddess; do you understand me?" Hestia doesn't threaten, merely telling them what will happen, but both men nod all the same.

"Good," Hestia says, turning from Remus and back to the hearth.

Lupin is quiet for a moment before asking, "How do we even know he's in the castle still? He could have left weeks ago, I haven't seen him on the map either," he says as he runs his hand through his hair, sighing.

"You have the map?" Sirius asks, shocked. He was sure it was gone forever, lost in Filch's office.

Moony chuckles a bit, "Yes, and you won't believe where I found it," he says with a smile, "Harry had it."

Sirius smiles, looking more like himself than ever before, "How the bloody hell did he get that, I thought Filch would have kept it looked up."

"I won't lie, that was the first place I checked for it to keep a lookout for you, but it wasn't there," Moony says, "Harry had it with him a few weeks ago and I had to take it from him to try and find you, but that wasn't all he had, he also had James' old cloak." He says with a smile.

"Had?" Sirius asks, catching the word, "What do you mean had?" His eyes narrow as he tilts his head.

"Well, I wasn't the only one who had caught him sneaking into to see Atalanta, Severus was the first one that found him," Moony says, before Sirius' face turns from one of anger to confusion.

"Snivellus is here?! At the castle!?" Sirius half yells at Moony

Lupin just shrugs and tells him "Yes, and has been for the last 11 years or something like that, he's the potion master now." He tells Sirius shocked face.

"This is dragonsh-" Sirius begins before Hestia coughs just loud enough for both men to hear it before turning to her seeing that her head was turned slightly away from her hearth and was looking at Sirius with an unamused expression, "Spit," Padfoot says, looking at the Goddess with wide eyes, "Dragon spit is what I meant to say," Sirius says, and Hestia just smirks before turning back to the fire.

"We're getting off track, Padfoot," Moony says, "Severus confiscated the cloak after he found Harry sneaking around with it, I took the map but I haven't seen Peter on it at all."

"Snivellus took the cloak!" Sirius says, anger growing in his voice before Moony gives him a look, "Fine, fine. Curse that person when we cross them, the rat first." Sirius says.

"As I said, he could be long gone by now," Lupin says before Hestia speaks again.

"Just because you don't see him on the map, doesn't mean he isn't around Remus Lupin," Hestia says with certainty, "I know for a fact he has warmed himself by the Hearths of the castle in the late hours of the night." She informs them.

Both men look at each other before Remus speaks up, "couldn't you, …snatch him? While he's doing that?" He asks with trepidation.

"I could, yes." Hestia says, "But I won't."

"And if you don't mind me asking, why not?" Moony asks cautiously.

Hestia turns to look at him, as the room becomes uncomfortably hot again, "Because Remus Lupin, it was not I who broke oaths to family, and abandoned a child they should have cared for. This is your quest for redemption and absolution, not mine, I am here to set you on the path and help in small ways, but otherwise, it will be up to you and Sirius Black to capture the rat and see justice done." She informs him.

Remus opens and closes his mouth a few times before turning back to Sirius with a sigh, "So, the hard way, huh?" And Sirius just nods.

The two men were quiet for a moment both solemnly swearing they would catch the rat, and as they looked into the eyes of each other, they both smiled, it was time to do what The Marauders did best; Scheme, plan, and execute.

"Okay, so If Peter doesn't show up on the map he has to stay off grounds, which means either the forest, Hogsmeade, or here," Moony says looking at Padfoot.

"He hasn't been here, I've been sweeping this place every time I come here and only find normal rats, and I've been posing as a stray in town and sniffing around, and nothing there," Padfoot says, "He has to be in the forest."

Moony almost curses before holding it back for the Goddess in the room, "The forest is too large to search by ourselves, are you sure about not bringing this to Dumbledore?" He asks.

"Yeah," Sirius says with a nod, "Next time I see him it's to throw Peter at his feet and then punch him in the face." Moony rolls his eyes but nods.

"This would be easier if I had my wand," Sirius sighs out, knowing it was in Ministry custody.

"A wand?" Hestia asks in a soft voice, "Yes, I think that could work." She says

Both men look at the Goddess before Sirius speaks up, "What? You have a spare wand you carry around with you, Hestia?" He says with a chuckle knowing the eldest Olympian did not need a mortal tool to bend the world to her will.

Hestia turns to Sirius before smirking, "Not exactly," she says before kneeling before her Hearth and reaching into the flames and pulling out a still burning coal, "I do not know much of the craft, but I think I can make an approximation," she whispers as the last two true Marauders watch as she blows the flame out on the coal and spins it between her fingers as it lengthens and twists in her hands and under her care before long Hestia holds a wand If a smoldering ember in her hands. It looked burnt black with cracks and seams that glowed with the inner fire of the Hearth of Hestia, she turns to face Sirius and holds it out for him. "Go on, it won't burn you, Sirius Black." She says that after seeing hesitation in his eyes.

Sirius swallows before reaching and grasping it by the handle and gasps as he feels his magic flow through it, however…"It's not a perfect match," Sirius mutters and Hestia looks at him confused, "oh, I didn't mean, it's not, thank you for the wand Lady Hestia, I, ah, didn't mean to insult you." Padfoot says with a cringe.

"Once again, Sirius Black, it is just Hestia," she says, "and you did not, as I said, I do not know much of the craft, this is just a divine approximation of a wand. You can not use it for any curses or offensive magic, but your charms and transfiguration should work fine, and any spells created for cooking will be more powerful when you use them. I was just confused at the perfect match you had said." The Goddess of the hearth tells him.

"Oh, that's good to know," Sirius says, "and when we get our wands when wixen are eleven we don't really pick it, for it's the wand that chooses the witch, Miss Hestia," Padfoot says in a poor imitation of the man who had sold him his wand long ago, Hestia just nods accepting it his words.

"You must promise me, Sirius Black, to never leave the wand behind, to carry it with you at all times. For, in the end, it will save you." Hestia says in an ominous tone of voice and Sirius nods, vowing to follow what the Goddess had told him.

Hermione Granger, Hogwarts.

There was something wrong with Harry Potter, this wasn't the first time Hermione Granger had this thought, and if one were to ask her, it won't be the last. For the last few months, Harry had been on edge more so than ever before, the dark bags under his eyes, the nodding off in class, how he would twitch or jump at every loud sound or person coming too close to him, even her and Ron, she had even seen him jump at Atalanta's touch a few times.

Thinking back to the previous years, Hermione had picked up a pattern, as the school year was coming to a close, Harry would become more stressed, antsier, and more on edge. She now knows why, Harry didn't want to leave the school and go back home, to the abuse he had endured for an untold amount of time. She had written to her parents explaining it all, skimming over how it came out, but that it had come out. She had confessed that she didn't know how to help Harry, that she wanted to more than anything, her parents had written back asking for more details and telling her to talk Harry into going to a teacher or their head of house to report it. She had once again tried to talk him into doing it but once again, it had gotten her nowhere, in Harry's own words

"They never helped before, so why try again knowing they won't help anyway." He had said before walking off.

Then Sirius Black had broken into the tower and Harry had gotten worse, snapping at people, isolating himself more, She and Ron had tried to stick with him so he wouldn't run off and do something foolish and so he wouldn't be alone. Without the map and his invisibility cloak he was much easier to find, normally wandering the corridors less traveled or in the owlery with Hedwig. Harry had apologized for how he had acted that night, Hermione couldn't blame him, not entirely, it was hardwired into him to hunt, and who he wanted to hunt had just made it worse. But it didn't stop Hermione from shivering at the memory of that night, the look in Harry's eyes when she had tried to stop him from going after Black, he had looked at her like she was an obstacle, something to be removed so he could continue his chase. It had scared her deeply to be on the receiving end of that look, the look of a hunter who had prey in front of him, but that wouldn't stop her from trying to help him, so that's why Hermione was standing outside to portrait of Medea near the entrance to Gryffindor Tower. If she couldn't talk Harry into going to an adult, she knew someone who could and would do it, even if she had to twist his arm the whole way to do so. She was supposed to be in Ancient Runes right now, and she was, she had used the time turner to go back two hours to meet with her.

"Excuse me, Miss Medea?" Hermione says, waiting patiently for the painting to turn her head from the cauldron and goat to look at her.

"Oh, yes dear?" The hooded witch asks

"Is Miss Atalanta in?" Hermione asks, "I need to speak with her about something important," knowing she was thanks to checking with Harry, he had said she normally sleeps in on days they didn't have training.

"She is dear, let me see if the lazy cat is up for visitors," the Ancient Witch says before standing and walking from her frame. Hermione didn't have to wait long before the portrait opened up and the drowsy face of Atalanta pokes out.

"Bookworm?" Atalanta says as she blinks the sleep from her eyes, "What's up?"

"May I come in? We need to talk," Hermione says, "it's important," Hermione ignores the bookworm comment, she had been called worst over the years and it was also how Atalanta said it, more of a greeting or a nickname than an insult of any kind.

Atalanta looks confused for a moment but shrugs before opening the door wider letting Hermione into the room, Hermione takes her seat on the couch as Atalanta takes the high-back chair, folding her legs under her and stretches her back and groans at a few pops.

"So, what's up Hermione? Here to ask to join the hunt? I mean it is a pretty sweet deal." Atalanta says with a smirk.

Hermione rolled her eyes before shaking her head, "No, I'm not even sure what I want to do after school yet, and I would want to finish before making any decisions like that, this is about Harry." She says.

This gets Atalanta's attention as she wakes up a bit more at the name, "What happened with him now?" Atalanta asks with a sigh, the boy was a trouble magnet, honestly.

"You've seen what he's been like in the last few weeks, right?" Hermione asks, but she already knows the answer as Atalanta's face goes flat.

"Yeah, he hasn't gotten a lot of sleep, been in a horrible mood, one would think winning the cup for the broom sport would have put him in a better mood," Atalanta says with a sigh because like Hermione, Atalanta had seen the signs of exhaustion on Harry's face as well, and it had worried her as well. For the Hunt fed on emotions of those who use it, and used those emotions to get a grip on the person to push them further into the Hunt.

"I think," Hermione begins, "that it stems from Harry's mental state." She says

Atalanta quirked an eyebrow, had the bookworm figured out the Hunt with no one telling her? Atalanta knew that Hermione knew about the Hunt but she also knew the other girl was unclear on the details of it. "How so?" Was all Atalanta asked.

Hermione sighs, "Back during our first year I had heard most of his dorm mates complain about sharing a room with Harry, even Ron, but this was back before Halloween happened so they weren't really friends. He had terrible nightmares and would wake up screaming from them waking up everyone in the dorm." Hermione huffed out a laugh, "after waking everyone up the first week or so I remember finding him asleep in the chairs and couches of the common room in the morning, I still do sometimes…" The legacy says as she looks away and out of the window with a sad look on her face.

Hermione sighs before looking back to Atalanta, "I've noticed a pattern in the last few years, his nightmares get worse when the school year is winding down to a close. I knew his home life wasn't the best but now…knowing what it's like, it's because he doesn't want to go back to that." Hermione looks back to Atalanta frowning.

Atalanta sighs, before rubbing her eyes, "What do you want me to do, Hermione? In A few months, I will leave to go back to the hunt. I want to help, I wish I could drag Harry with me, but I can't." She tells the bookworm.

Hermione's face turns red with anger, "Why not?!" She hisses at Atalanta and stands up and starts to pace, "Yes, I get it. Divine curse, but still, it would be better than sending him back there with those people! So why not?! You care about him, I know you do, so help him." Hermione says, stopping to look at Atalanta.

Atalanta sighs, "I wish I could, Hermione." She says with disappointment dripping from her voice, "but I can't. Lady Artemis hasn't said anything about bringing him with me, so I have to follow my original orders, train and protect him; that's all I can do for now." She says as she looks at the floor.

"What if that's not everything you can do?" Hermione asks.

Atalanta looks up to Hermione, "What do you mean?"

"I don't know how much you know about the modern world, but there are laws now to protect children from neglectful or abusive caretakers," Hermione says, "I've been writing to my parents about it but they can't move forward unless Harry comes forward and accuses them of what they did, to tell someone what's happened to him."

"And you haven't talked to him about this?" Atalanta asks.

"Of course I have, but he won't listen to me. He won't go to an adult who could help him because I think he resigned himself to it all." Hermione sighs before sitting back down, "He doesn't trust any of them, for good reason, I would imagine. But He trusts you, Atalanta, he'll listen to you, you can get him to talk." Hermione pushes because someone has to.

Atalanta is quiet for a moment before she shakes her head and sighs, "I'll ask him, Hermione, but I'm not about to trick him or twist his arm to do it. In the end, it's his choice." She says sadly.

Hermione's face twists into anger as she glares at the huntress, "Why aren't you helping!? Why isn't anyone helping him!? I thought you cared!?" She hisses at the hunter, as Atalanta looks back at her without fear.

"I do care for him, Hermione," the huntress says with a sigh, "But if you haven't been able to do it, what chance do I have? You know how stubborn he is, if he doesn't want to do something he won't."

Hermione just glares at the hunter because she knows she is right, before sitting back down with a sigh, "It's not fair, he's been through enough, hasn't he? He shouldn't be scared to go home." The legacy says in a small voice, upset for her friend.

"I know Hermione, I know," Atalanta says back, "but I doubt Lady Artemis would let him go back to that now that she knows." The hunter says with faith.

Hermione snorts, "You were there, Atalanta." She says, "She doesn't care about him." The bookworm says with an edge to her voice.

Atalanta lets the insult slide because she was there, she knows how her Goddess came off as, "I wouldn't say that Hermione, something has…changed between them." The lioness pauses to think about what she had seen outside the Gate, "I don't know what, but I'm certain something had happened inside that Gate."

Hermione looks at the hunter with curiosity in her eyes, "What Gate?" She asks.

Atalanta blinks, she didn't know that Harry had not told her friends about it, "Well, you see…" Atalanta begins to tell the legacy about the odd Gate she and Harry had found underneath the school.

Ron Weasley, Gryffindor Tower.

Ron didn't know what to do, if he moved his Rook to trap the King, the Knight would just take it. His Queen was unable to help, stuck in place by the Bishops of the opposition, his Knights were useless in this game, they stirred up chaos in the enemy ranks but we're not good for this kind of problem-solving. What caused him the most concern was the enemy Queen, it had yet to make a move, and Ron couldn't even begin to guess what she would do, because who could guess what a God would do?

So Ron just sighs and moves his own Bishops to protect the king, the only thing he could do was support Harry. And it infuriated him, he couldn't help his friend as he thrashed in his bed late at night, the screams he knows that come at the end of the nightmares he has never escaping the silencing charm he cast before bed. He just hopes when the enemy's Queen does move, it would shift the game in his favor, because if it doesn't, he doesn't know what he could do to win the game.

Notes:

The next chapter is the beginning of the end.

Prepare yourselves.

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 28: Waning Moon IV

Notes:

Are you ready? We have maybe two or three chapters left in this drama.

So let the curtain rise on this final act!

And on with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Harry Potter, Hogwarts.

"Potter! Stay." The voice of Snape cuts through the class after he had just dismissed the rest of the class, Hermione and Ron look at him a bit worried as Harry hears a few giggles from the rest of the class as they pack up and clean their stations of anything that could be left behind and interfere with the next classes brewing.

As the rest of the class filters out, Harry waves off Ron and Hermione, telling him he'd meet them in the Great Hall for lunch before waiting at his station as Snape collects each sample of the potion they had brewed today before he starts moving to the door to his office and calling out for him to follow.

As the door to the office closes behind them and locks by itself, Harry takes a seat in front of Snape's desk, looking at the desk as Snape takes a seat. It was never good to be called into Snape's office, Harry had no idea what he had done wrong but prepares himself for the dressing down he was about to get, but as Snape takes his own seat, he just looks at Harry not saying a word for a long moment.

Harry fidgets under his gaze, tapping his foot as his eyes jump around the room filled with preserved parts of creatures he couldn't identify, probably used for rare potions and the like. Snape's desk was covered in essays and half-written letters organized in a way that only Snape knew where everything was, bookshelves lined the far wall crammed with books and old magazines that looked like potions monthly and dark magic, if Harry had to guess.

Finally, after a few minutes, Snape speaks, "Potter, we have three pieces of business to discuss before I let you go to lunch and cause whatever mischief you get up to when no one is looking," He tells Harry, "First, is this," Snape reaches into a stack of papers and pulls out a piece of parchment that looked like it was copied from a book and placing it in front of Harry. Most of it was obscured by a charm, he could see it was a list of names followed by a string of letters but couldn't make out any of the letters until he got to his own name.

Potter, Harry: T, T, A, E, A, A, A, E, P, A, A, A, E, E, A, A, A, E, E, A, A, O, A, E, A, P,

Harry looks up to the Potion Master with a confused look, "Umm, … what is this?" He asks.

Snape rolls his eyes before answering, "Your grades Mister Potter, if you were to compare them to the ones of last year, you would find that you went from barely passing to actually passing." Snape tells Harry to his surprise, "You went from one of the worst in your year to slightly better than average, as your grades stand now you would be passing my class with an Acceptable, not counting this lesson and your final exam." Snape says to Harry's shocked face.

Harry reaches out and picks up the parchment with his grade on it, it couldn't be right, He was stupid, worthless, and a waste of space, this had to be a mistake he thought to himself, "This-This is from the Basilisk stuff, right?" Harry says looking back up to Snape.

"I haven't applied those grades yet Potter, congratulations you have managed to…impress me with this turn about," Snape says like they were some of the most painful words he's ever said, "The only thing that holds you back is your written work, it shows that you know what is happening but that you do not understand the why of it all, your essays are short and to the point but lacks the understand and depth I look for in them." He tells Harry, "That being said, I do not expect to see you in my N.E.W.T classes seeing that I only accept those who get an O on the O.W.L's, the classes required a deep understanding of everything involved in the brewing process that you seem to lack." Harry ignores the backhanded insult as he was still trying to understand how he had gotten a higher greater than a Dreadful in, well, anything.

When Harry doesn't speak up or ask any questions Snape moves on to the next piece of business leaning over and opening a drawer to pull out a cloak and placing it on the desk neatly folded, "As I'm sure you're well aware Potter, exams are three days away and soon after the students leave the grounds for the summer, if it was up to me I would keep your cloak till you leave school, but as it is not nor would it be wise to make you leave without it seeing that Black is still out there, Tipsy!" He calls out and soon enough a crack sounds as a house elf shows up in the office.

"What's it's can Tipsy be doing for you Potiony Master?" Tipsy says while looking around the room for anything obvious before Snape holds the cloak out to her.

"You are to put this in Harry Potter's trunk the night before the train leaves, you are also to tell the Headmaster about this order and no one else, am I understood?" Snape says in a surprisingly polite tone to the elf as she nods and takes the cloak before she bows and apperates away with a pop.

He turns back to Harry and sighs at the boy's surprised face, "And now Potter for our final piece of business," he says as he leans back in his chair, "I have finished cataloging everything we have gotten from the Basilisk, which was more then what I could use in three lifetimes worth of experimentation, as per our agreement I will be keeping only the best parts of the beast." Snape says to Harry.

Harry blinks, a bit more confused, "It took you this long to do that?" He asks before he could stop himself.

Snape scowls at him, "It may come as a shock to you brat, but I am a very busy man, especially during the school year, trying to keep you little dunderheads from killing yourselves, so yes. It is finally done." His scowl doesn't lessen as he speaks causing Harry to shuffle in his chair.

"Okay?" Harry says, "Why are you telling me?"

Snape rolls his eyes before looking back at Harry, "Because you little dunderhead, I'm asking what do you want to do with the rest." He says, patience wearing thin.

"Why aren't you keeping the rest or selling it or something?" Harry asks.

"Because there is far too much for me to use just by myself, and it may come as a shock to you Potter, but I am not a man of excess. I do not need nor do I care for more gold that the rest of the specimen will bring, so what do you want to do with it?" He asks Harry.

"Umm, what can I do with it?" Harry asks.

"Final, an intelligent question from you Potter," Snape snarks at him, "You only have two options here, either auctioning it off in private to the highest bidder, which would bring in a fair amount of gold, or opening it to the public market and selling it like that, but you would get less gold off of it that way," Snape informs Harry.

"I don't really need the gold Sir, besides I don't know how to do, well any of that," Harry tells the Potion Master, who just raises his eyebrow in question at him, "I have plenty of gold Sir, I don't need much," Harry answers with a shrug.

Snape finds himself respecting that answer, not many would choose practicality over wealth, Snape dislikes the feeling he has for the boy but moves on with a sigh, " it depends on how fast you want to get rid of it, auctioning It Off will take longer than just opening it to the public market. I can help with both but will take a small cut of the gold for my time either way." Harry nods, it sounded fair enough to him.

"Public market then," Harry says, "I don't really need it or even have a place to put a giant bloody snake," Harry says.

Snape ignores the curse Harry had said but still gives the boy a look telling him not to do so again, before answering "Then you are in luck Potter, an old dorm mate, and father to a girl in your year has one of the largest import and export businesses in both the Muggle and Magic world, I'll write to him and see if he is interested in it, which undoubtedly he will be, do you wish to leave the pricing to me?" Snape asks and Harry shrugs.

"I mean, sure? You'd know more about what it's worth than I do Sir." Harry says and Snape nods.

"And what do you want to do with the gold if you don't want to take it?" Snape asks, honestly interested in the answer.

Harry looks down, what should he do with it? He really didn't need all that gold, he didn't care for it. The Weasleys wouldn't take any of the gold, as proud as they were, Hermione was supported by her parents.

It was when he had thought about Hermione that a thought hit him, he looked back up to Snape and asked

"Sir, is there a program that helps underprivileged Muggleborn students get what they need for school?" Harry's lips twitch as he almost smirks.

Snape couldn't help the laugh that escapes his throat.

Harry Potter, Divination Tower, June 6th

The last few weeks of term have been long, stressful, and weird for Harry, they had won the Quidditch cup and were a shoo-in to win the house cup this year so long as Ravenclaw didn't get sixty points in the next few days that is. After Black had broken into the common room the next few weeks were spent with Ron and Hermione both forgiving him for how he acted and trying to keep him distracted from hunting Black with help of Buckbeaks appeal, which sadly failed, the tri had promised to be there for Hagrid when the DoMC execution shows up to carry out the sentence. But Black and the hunt was always on the back of Harry's mind, he would spend hours looking out the window in the Gryffindor common room that overlooked the grounds and forest, imagining himself chasing down the man and sinking his spear into him or cursing him to pieces. Many late nights were spent like that when Harry was too afraid to sleep because his old nightmares of the cupboard would come crawling back up.

Hermione had tried to talk him into going to an adult again, but Harry had flat out said no this time instead of just ignoring her. It wouldn't help, it never helped, he had done it twice before and no one had done anything and all he got from it was a wrathful Vernon. He had calmed her down by telling her that his-, that Artemis had visited them and fixed the problem, Hermione wasn't convinced but it did placate her to let it go for now. She didn't think going back there was healthy, but all Harry could do was shrug, he had nowhere else to go. He was touched by her concern, he now knew what the weird looks were, she had been concerned for him, he didn't honestly know what to do with that, it was touching and weird when he thought about it, so he tried not to think about it, emotions were hard.

Another thing he didn't know how he felt about was Atalanta, and the fact that after this week he wouldn't see her again for who knows how long. He didn't want her to go, he wanted to go with her, he just wanted, well it didn't really matter what he wanted, after this week she would be gone and he wouldn't see her again; orders from Artemis were one school year, and she had done that. It was time for her to return to the hunt.

But that didn't stop training, Atalanta had pushed him harder than ever before, and they had moved to full contact sparring after Black had made it into the tower. It was a rush, nothing was off limits as they moved as fast as they could striking, kicking, blocking, grappling, throwing, and everything in between. Hermione and Ron had come a few times for Hermione to play nurse afterward, and apparently, it had them in awe with the speed they were moving at, Ron had described it as if they were dancing as blurs once in a while Harry or Atalanta would slow down enough or get thrown for Ron to see them but it would only last for a second before they were back at it again.

Harry still hadn't beaten Atalanta, but he knew it wasn't about beating her, it was about getting better than he was. Harry didn't think he could beat someone with Atalanta's speed or experience but the day he could, he was looking forward to that, to say the least.

He had gotten a note from Snape a few days ago telling him that his contract had bought the rest of the Basilisk wholesale and would be selling it to different apothecary's after everything was treated, the buyer was pretty happy and had agreed to keep Harry's name out of it all on Harry's request. The gold was donated to the Hogwarts Muggleborn fund, the donation was made in the name of Lily Evans, his mother, the irony of using the remains of Salazar Slytherin's dead Basilisk that was kept to rid the school of Muggleborns now helping them get things for said school was to rich not to smirk over to Harry, he was glad that Snape had got the joke and viciously approved of it.

But the last few days had been the most stressful for Harry, the final exams of his third year, he went into each one sure he was going to have to repeat the year. But hadn't panicked enough to forget all the rants Hermione had gone on about the classes during tutoring sessions or her advice about skipping questions he didn't know the answer to and moving on to the ones he did know, surprisingly he had remembered more than he thought, the Professors probably fixed his exams to make it easier for him is what Harry thought. The practicals were the easier part for some reason, he had cast every spell asked of him flawlessly somehow and had even impressed McGonagall by the look on her face when she had asked him to try and conjure something, he had, an arrow. She let him go with a smile on her normally stern face.

It was Harry's last exam for the day, and arguably his worst, Divination. In the uncomfortably warm room, he and his classmates were called one by one to look into a crystal ball and try and divine something as Professor Trelawney watched and graded them on their predictions. Hermione had left the class ages ago so Harry didn't have a rant that did end with the word "Hogwash" so as he looked into the orb he had just told her what he thought he saw. Raging Storms and Churning Seas, Fire and a crown, of a wolf and a hound chasing something, and eyes looking back at him as the sky was falling around him.

Professor Trelawney didn't seem all that impressed, patting him on the shoulder and telling him it was a good attempt and possibly next year his inner eye would open, Harry hoped it really didn't.

When Harry was dismissed and told to send up the next person, he had stood to do just that right when he had heard Professor Trelawney gasp, sitting ramrod straight and looking at nothing in front of her but seeing something as her eyes cloud open with a milky white cloud. Harry stops and looks at her, a pit growing in his stomach.

"Professor?" Harry asks, "Are-Are you okay?" He says moving a bit closer to her when she didn't say anything, Harry waves his hand in front of her face, and was surprised when her hand shoots out and grasps his wrist in a surprisingly strong grip, Harry flinches and freezes as his past conjures demons he didn't want to deal with. Professor Trelawney opens her mouth and white smoke escapes her that twists and turns into a form of a serpent before she speaks in a dead, monotone voice.

"It will happen tonight... The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight... the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant's aid, greater and more terrible than ever before and the Goddess must make a choice, her child to raise or let fall, if she were to name her Heir then the walls will fall, the weave comes undone and the Hearth burns in the darkness, and her Heir will rise to meet the Dark Lord, or his soul will fall under dreads domain, it will happen tonight before midnight….Under the Hunters Moon, the Heir will rise to meet the Dark Lord…"

Harry finally rips his hand from her grip, he could feel the blood drain from his face as he looks at Professor Trelawney, unsure of what to think. The dark lord's servant? Did she mean Black? Which Goddess? What Heir? He doesn't understand and takes a step back as Professor Trelawney seems to snap out of her trance and looks at him.

"Hmm, what's wrong Mister Potter?" She asks, looking confused.

"N-Nothing, umm, are you okay?" Harry asks more than a bit freaked out by this.

"I'm fine dear, why do you ask? Did you see something that I didn't?" Professor Trelawney's eyes were impossibly wide behind her thick glasses.

Harry takes a step back, swallowing the lump in his throat before shaking his head.

"Well then, you're excused dear, just send up the next person, okay?" She says as if nothing had happened, Harry just nods before quickly walking over to the trapdoor and throwing it open and jumping down, and taking off in a burst of speed because he didn't want to deal with whatever the hell that was, Ron calls out to him as he passes but Harry just wants to get out of there.

He makes it back to the common room, passing by the trolls guarding it in record time and panting just a bit before he collapses into his favorite chair before thinking "what the f*ck was that?" To himself.

Hogwarts, Hagrid Hut, June 6th.

Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid were all sitting around Hagrid's table, each of the tri had a mug of butterbeer in hand while Hagrid had a large tankard of mead. They sat in the hut talking to Hagrid about their exams, trying to take the large man's mind off the impending death of his feathered friend just outside. The tri had each bowed and said their goodbyes to Buckbeak, knowing it was unfair that the noble beast was to be put to death for following its nature had saddened Harry, but he could do nothing but wish for the creature to be reborn the same in the next life and had told it as such.

They had told Hagrid how much they enjoyed the final exam he had, to which he had smiled sadly at before looking over to Harry.

"By tha' way 'arry, Atatolanta came by earlier to talk about ya grade with 'er," Hagrid says and Harry looks up confused before remembering his training with Atalanta was technically a class. As he opens his mouth to ask what she said everyone in the hut jumps as the sound of the stove popping and a bottle falls to the floor with a crash, shattering.

"Bloody 'ell!" Hagrid says, "Damn near scared me out me skin!" He goes to stand before Hermione beats him to it.

"Here, let me Hagrid." She says as she waves her wand and mutters a spell before the bottle repairs itself, she walks over and picks it up before putting it back on the shelf from which it had fallen. She turns around to walk back over to the table before double taking to look out the small open window, "Where is Professor Lupin going?" She asks as Harry and Ron turn to look out the window and sure enough, Lupin was walking into the forest while stuffing something into his pocket and carrying something.

Ron just Shrugs, "His obstacle course was somewhat in the forest, maybe he's going to dismantle it?" He suggests and Harry just shrugs before turning back to Hagrid.

"So what did Atalanta give me?" He asks before Hagrid turns to him with a smile.

"An easy O, apparently she went to Lupin and Snape too, but I'll be adding that to ya grades for this year 'arry," Hagrid tells Harry and it was his turn to smile, and as they all focus back to the table and conversation none of them see Severus Snape rushing into the forest with a smoking goblet floating behind him.

After a while longer with the group talking about summer plans, Harry does not talk during this as he looks at the floor frown on his face, there was a knock at the Huts door. Hagrid looks up from his tankard with a sigh, "Guess it being that time, you three best be going." Hagrid says and all three of them look at him and shake their heads.

"We're not leaving Hagrid, they can take points if they want, but we're staying here for you," Hermione says in a soft voice as Ron nods in agreement.

"You all don't need ta see this," Hagrid tries to argue.

"And we won't, we'll stay inside, but we're not leaving you to this alone Hagrid," Harry says firmly, as Hagrid looks between the three and smiles at them before nodding and getting up to answer the door.

"Hagrid, my good man. May we come in?" Says the voice of the Headmaster as Hagrid steps aside with a nod of his head, when the Headmaster sees them his eyebrows shoot up, "Mister Potter, Mister Weasley, and Miss Granger, what an unexpected surprise." He says in a way that it's not really a surprise to him, but smiles all the same at them. Behind the Headmaster walks in the Minister of Magic and, one of Harry's least favorite people, Lucius Malfoy.

Lucius glares at Harry as soon as he spots him, to which Harry smirks back at him. The Minister greets them and they explain to them why they are here, Hagrid saying that he would be walking them up to the castle well before curfew before Lucius finally speaks up, saying that the beast was waiting and he would like to get this done now, before the group of adults makes their way outside.

The tri waits, listening through the thin walls, they hear the muffled sounds of the adults talking before the thud of an axe, and Hagrid's cries right before the mug in Harry's hand shatter in his grip of how hard he was squeezing it.

"f*ck!" Harry hisses, jumping up before snapping his wand to his hand and cleaning up the mess, and repairing the mug. Harry was angry, like he has been all year, the injustice of a corrupt system that he had just heard, all those eyewitness testimonies, all their research for nothing. "What a bunch of c*nts," Harry mutters, and before Hermione could berate him for his language the door to the hut bursts open, and Lucius Malfoy storms back in with rage in his eyes.

"You!" He says looking at Harry, stomping up to him, if it was a year ago, Harry might have backed away from the man, but that was a Harry a year in the past, not the son of the hunt that stood in the room now. So Harry meets Lucius' glare with one of his own, unflinching, "What did you do, boy? Where is the beast!?" He shouts, his cane in both of his hands threatening to unleash his wand.

Harry already had his out and at his side, "What are you talking about? I haven't done anything." Harry defends himself as he hears Hermione shift behind him, moving to his right as he watches Ron from the corner of his eye move slowly behind Lucius to get into a better position with his own wand out, Lucius doesn't notice as he glares at Harry.

As Lucius opens his mouth to say something else, a louder voice calls from the doorway of the hut, "Lucius Malfoy, I will remind you those are students of this school, if you were to do something untowards to any of them, I will be forced to defend them." The ancient voice of the Headmaster says, laced with power so thick one could taste it in the air, you could hear the wood around him crack under that power, Harry could swear he heard the unspoken "So, please do it." In the air.

Lucius slowly puts his cane down as he continues to glare at Harry, "Same sticky end, boy." Lucius says, reminding Harry of the threat at the end of last year, but Harry just smirks at him.

"Who got the stickier end, my mom and dad, or Voldemort?" Harry says without fear as Lucius flinches, "That's what I thought." Harry then turns to look at the Headmaster.

"I'm guessing Buckbeak got away somehow, sir?" Harry asks as Dumbledore nods, eyes never leaving the back of Lucius' head.

"Indeed, Mister Potter, that seems to be the case." The Headmaster says, "perhaps it's time for you three to leave seeing that you won't be able to comfort Hagrid as planned, a shame truly." He says as he steps away from the door and the trio makes their way out, Harry's eyes never leave Lucius' as he makes his way around him and out the door.

As the trio made their way back to the castle, Harry just chuckled at it all, it was funny how everything seemed to work out sometimes, the Ministry going alone with an injustice just to be beaten by the smarts of an animal.

"How do you think Buckbeak got away?" Hermione asks as she looks over at Harry, who just shrugs. He didn't know, but it was Ron who spoke up.

"My bets on Atalanta," Ron says, Harry and Hermione stop and look at Ron before he explains, "I mean it's obvious, Innit? She's a drinking buddy with Hagrid, and who else do we know is fast enough, skilled enough, and sneaky enough to pull something like that off other than the twins?" He asks them.

"She wouldn't," Hermione says as Harry begins to laugh.

No, no, that is one hundred percent what she wou-" Harry begins to say before he cuts himself off as a wind from the forest blows across him, and he freezes.

The last time this had happened to him was the night he met Atalanta in Diagon Alley, with the vampires. He had caught their scent and Harry had frozen with indecision and confusion, he had wanted to run away from them but at the same time, he wanted to hunt them down for the thrill of the chase, and the Hunt. He didn't understand back then, so confused and scared at his wants and fears, but he wasn't the same boy from back then. He knew what he was feeling now, he knew what he wanted.

"Harry…" Hermione calls to him, but she sounds a thousand miles away.

"Mate…" Ron said, so far away as Harry's head snaps to the forbidden forest, nostrils flaring.

He knew the scent of the wind, he had caught it so many weeks ago, it was mingled with other scents, scents that he didn't care for, scents that didn't matter to him, because the scent of his prey was on the wind.

Harry flinches and his head snaps back to Hermione who had put her hand on his shoulder, she flinches under Harry's gaze, eyes slitted with the power of the Hunt pumping through him. She looks into Harry's eyes before her gaze flicks over to the forest, and back to Harry.

"Harry, don't." She says in a soft and small voice, "Please. It's not worth it, Dumbledore is just back at Hagrid's, let's go get him, and he'll deal with Black." She tries to reason with him but backs away as a small growl escapes Harry's throat at the thought of someone else stealing his kill from him.

"Harry, please." Hermione tries one more time, as Ron's wand is pulled from his pocket, he didn't want to do this, but he would if he had to.

But as another wind blows, all rational thought leaves Harry as he turns on his heel and charges into the forest, Ron's stunner bouncing harmlessly off his leather jacket and Hermione's cries falling on deaf ears.

For Harry had caught the scent of his prey, he had caught the scent of Sirius Black on the wind, and the hunt was on, and before this night was done Harry was going to shove his spear right through the traitor's chest.

Notes:

The hunt is on, and Harry is out for blood. Finally, all our actors that have been strung along the threads of fate will meet.

Truths will be revealed, the moon will rise, and a beast of the hunt will howl.

I redid the prophecy to fit with it all, you guys have no idea how long I've waited to do the story's name drop like that. Damn, it felt f*cking good.

I've also figured out my FemVoldemort story, it's something a lot of people don't do when writing them and I'm excited to do it.

Kingsaxcul, out!

Chapter 29: A Hope Held in Hallow Silence

Notes:

On with the show.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Remus Lupin, The Forbidden forest.

It was a trick spell in the end that had caught Pettigrew, one, ironically enough, he had helped create. It was created by the Marauders back in their school days to turn an item transparent before yanking it to the caster quickly, the spell wasn't perfect, the transparency wasn't all that powerful or perfect so a keen eye could catch it, and the range was limited, and worst of all, it didn't summon something to your hand, you had to figure out where it was going and catch it. It was more of a string that you cast out before hooking it onto something and railing back like a Muggle fishing pole, the Marauders had created the spell to pass notes in class or snap something up that would get them in trouble before stuffing it out of view. The spell could work on anything smaller than a book, living flesh or not, the only thing it didn't work on is James' cloak, but not even theAcciocharm worked on that damn thing.

So, after exams were done for the day and dinner was coming quickly, Lupin found himself in his office, organizing his notes of everything that he had gone over for each year in his tenure working at Hogwarts, while he hopes the curse may leave him whole and healthy, he honestly was more afraid If something happening to a student, but either way, he was going to leave a stack of organized notes for whoever the defense professor was next year, he was just about finished with it when he decided to take a peek at the mad, a quick sweep of it, checking the perimeter of the wards, that's when he saw something that made his blood run cold.

Peter was in the same room as Harry, he was in Hagrid's hut. He took off from his office, running full tilt through the school only slowing down to cast a Patronus with a message to Sirius of where the Rat was and where to meet him. As he leaves through the clock tower courtyard he checks the map again and sees that Peter hadn't left yet, and makes it to the Hut, sneaking around the side and peaking through the window he sees the Rat, sneaking around the bottles on the shelves on the other side of the Hut. He closes his eyes and hopes his prayer would be answered for a distraction for the occupants inside the but before casting out his wand in a quick circle and a flick. He feels his spell connect and knew he had the Rat as it goes translucent, the stove in the hut makes a loud pop just as he rails the rat to the window, catching it before conjuring a cloth bag and charming it to be unbreakable as a bottle falls and shatters on the floor of the hut.

"Don't even try it, Peter, the bag is charmed, you'll die if you try to transform while in there," Moony hisses at the bag as he shoves the map and his wand into the pocket of his robes as he walks into the forest.

Lupin walks for a while, thinking of their next move, they had to get Sirius, Peter, and Dumbledore in the same room without the Headmaster killing Sirius as soon as he saw him and Dumbledore was out of the castle at the moment on business. Soon enough he enters a clearing, cleared of underbrush with a circle of stones laid down in the middle of it as if the older students were trying ritual magic in it, worrying but not concerned by it at the moment, he walks down one of the three low hills that surround the clearing before he hears the sound of someone walking through it, turning to his right he sees a large black dog standing at the top of one of the other hills and runs over to meet it as it transforms back into Sirius.

"Did you get him?" He asks quickly as Moony approaches.

Lupin nods and holds up the bag with a smirk, "Right here, he won't be able to escape this time." Moony says with a smirk.

"Yes!" Sirius cheers, a grin full-blown on his face, as he claps his hand and jumps around like a kid at Yule time.

"We've got you now, you f*cking rat!" Sirius says as he takes the bag from Remus, "How'd you pull it off with everyone in the Hut?" He asks.

"Vitrum et Hamo, hooked the bloody little bugger and pulled right through the open window," Moony says with a laugh, and Sirius starts to laugh as well, smiling a real smile for the first time in a long time.

"Okay, okay, enough with the back-patting," Sirius says, "What's our next move? Call in the Aurors?" Sirius asks.

Lupin shakes his head, "No, they'll come in with the dementors and won't ask questions, it's either Amelia bones or the Headmaster, and I think Dumbledore is our best bet at the moment, don't give me that look, Sirius." Moony says at the angry look on his friend's face.

"He can offer you sanctuary in the castle, after you throw Peter at his feet and punch him in the nose," Moony says, "The problem is that he's out of the castle right now, we could always go to Minnie, you can be transformed during and let me do the talking, hopefully, Dumbledore will be back to-" Remus stops talking then, his face going white as a sheet.

"f*ck!" Remus curses to Sirius' confusion.

"What?" Padfoot asks, "What's wrong?"

"I forgot to take my potion," he says as he turns to look at the sun getting closer to the horizon, the pinks and dark blues of twilight already painting the sky.

"Oh, yeah that's a f*ck," Sirius says as he paces a bit as the bag he held squeaked with every shake, "Okay, Okay, easy fix. We get deeper into the woods, pass the wards, we let you transform, I'll transform, we keep Peter in the bag and wait for the morning, easy fix."

"It's not that simple Sirius, my tenure at Hogwarts is based on taking that potion, and besides that, Severus is the one who makes it for me," Moony says, "when he doesn't find me in my office when he comes with it he's going to hunt me down to make sure I'm not a threat to the students." It was then Sirius' turn to curse.

"Oh, that's just perfect," Sirius says angrily, he had no doubt old Snivellus would kill him first and never ask questions, "Then what the hell do we do? Can you make it back to the castle in time?" Sirius asks and Lupin shakes his head.

"No, I'd never make it back in time, it would be better if we head deeper into the woods, by the dementors, no one would go out there, not even Snape," Lupin says as he watches Sirius' face twist into fear and look deeper into the woods.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that Lupin," a voice hisses behind the werewolf as he feels the tip of a wand pressed to the back of his head, "I'd like to think I'd follow you both into hell itself for a chance to kill you both," Severus Snape says as he peels himself from the shade.

Sirius whips back around, drawing the wand of the Hearth, and points it at the potion master who is standing behind Moony using him for cover. Sirius grinds his teeth as he sees the pale face and hooked nose of the man who had caused the Marauders so much trouble back in school and after as a Death Eater. Padfoot growls in his mind as Sirius grips his gifted wand harder, Sirius and Severus glare at each other in mutual hatred but neither of them speaks.

"Severus, you nee-" Lupin tries to speak as he raises his hands slowly but is cut off by Severus and the tip of his wand grinding into the back of his head.

"Be quiet, you mangy wolf." The potion master says, "I told Dumbledore months ago, I told him you were helping Black into the castle. But he wouldn't listen, and to all surprises, I was right." He says with vindication, "Now, I'm in for a treat tonight, the death of the last two Marauders and vengeance paid in full, oh, how I have waited for this day." He says with a smirk.

"You don't understand Severus," Lupin yells, "There's more going on here than you know!"

"I said be quiet!" Snape snaps back, "I know enough, I know you've been helping Black, you were probably helping him back during the war, spying on the Order, getting Lily killed, and leaving her brat to rot wherever Dumbledore put him." Snape sneers at the back of Lupin's head, "And when Black broke out of Azkaban you went running back to him to finish the job the Dark Lord started." Snape accuses both men as Sirius steps to the left trying to get a better angle at Snape.

"I didn't betray them!"

"He didn't do it, Severus!"

Both of the Marauders yell, but Snape ignores them both as he steps to the right keeping Lupin in between him and Sirius.

"Like I'd believe either of you," Severus says, glaring at Sirius, "Now, put the wand down Black, or I'll blow your pet wolf's head right off his shoulders." He threatens and digs his wand into the side of Remus' head and watches Sirius take another step to the left.

"Not gonna happen, Snivellus," Sirius says, taking another step, watching Snape do the same getting into view of Remus, "What's gonna happen is I'm going to knock your ass around like I did during school, and then I'm going up to the castle, and maybe I'll tell Dumbledore to come get what's left of you after Moony's furry little problem gets done with you, that's if you don't let him go,"

"Oh, you think you can take me after rotting away in Azkaban for twelve years?" Snape asks, "When I was free, keeping my skills sharp all these years,"

Sirius shrugs, "Maybe, but at least I'm not alone," he says with a smirk just before Remus swiftly knocks Severus' wand away from his face and jumps back, launching a cutting curse at Snape's leg before the Potion master casts a quick shield, blocking it.

Sirius spins his wand, twisting the branches on the forest floor into serpents before sending them to Severus. Snape vanishes the transfiguration before he starts to lunch curse after curse at the duo, Remus and Sirius dive behind trees, taking cover from the onslaught. As bark and wood chips fly Sirius takes the opportunity to transfigure them into flying and biting insects full of venom and sending them at his opponent. But as they buzz towards him the man casts a powerful flame charm burning them to ash before he is forced to take cover behind his own tree as Remus pops out of his and begins casting the red light of stunners at him.

They crash against the tree and Severus turns the leaves on the ground into spinning blades before banishing them at the pair, cutting into the trees at high speed. The Marauders duck behind the trees in time before returning fire with stunners from Lupin and conjured ropes from Sirius, but neither could tag the Dark Man as he zips from tree to tree using the shadows.

"You can't win this Severus, we are wasting time, the moon will rise in a little bit and I don't want to be around when that happens!" Lupin yells out from behind cover.

"Then it's lucky that I brought your potion then, huh, Lupin!" Snape says before popping out of his own cover and casting a wide range Aguamenti at them, as the Marauders duck behind the trees to avoid it, confused, Snape calls out, "Besides I'm not trying to win this fight right now," he says with a smirk in his voice.

"Then why are you even trying!?" Lupin yells, as he hears a sizzling sound that confuses him, and as he looks around trying to find out where it was coming from Snape answers back.

"I'm buying time," Snape says as the Sodium blades he had sent at the duo early begin to react to the water they were now soaked in, exploding with a thunderous crack, splitting the trees and making them come tumbling down on the two men, before they swiftly dodge out of the way.

Snape leaves his cover sending spell after spell, curse after curse at the two of them, "You see Black, when you said I was outnumbered, you were wrong!" Snape yells as he blocks more stunners from Lupin, "While the wolf was curled up in his room, safe and sound another predator moved into the forest!" The potion master says sending conjured razor wire made of silver at the werewolf before vanishing the conjured dogs Sirius had sent at him, "and trust me when I say, the Lioness is far more fearsome than the wolf!"

As the Marauders take cover behind the trees once again, Remus looks over to Sirius with a confused look, and mouths "Lioness?" At him, before Sirius pales and before he could curse, shout, or start running, he's smashed into by a silver blur and is once again folded and sent flying with a kick, as Remus cries out his friend's name, he watches as the bag that held Peter fly through the air and land at the uncovered feet of the Lioness, Atalanta had arrived.

The Lioness was focused on the fallen form of Sirius Black as she stepped over the squeaking bag and began to stalk across the hill of trees to her downed prey. There was no castle to hide in, no hearth to escape through, no, Black was in her realm and her Goddess' domain, this ended tonight.

"Atalanta, Stop! There's more going on here than you know!" Lupin screams out as he raises his wand above his head to cast a blasting curse at the hunter if he needed it, as thin silver wire comes from behind the tree his back was to, binding him to it. When Atalanta doesn't stop he was about to swing down with his wand but with blinding speed, the Lioness draws one of her hunting knives and flicks it at Remus catching the sleeve of his cloak, pinning his arm to the tree just before the werewolf feels the point of Severus' wand back at his throat.

Sirius begins to crawl backwards, fear in his eyes at the hunter stalking forwards toward him, he raises the wand of the Hearth, brandishing at Lioness, "Stop! Don't come any closer!" He yells at her, "Don't make me hurt you damnit!"

Atalanta tilts her head, in curiosity, those words coming from a supposed madman who didn't have a problem with mass slaughter didn't quite fit, but it didn't matter, she had her orders, "If you really think that wand is gonna help you, Black, you are stupider than Snape," Atalanta says as she continues forward.

Severus took offense to the comment but decided that it wasn't worth the argument that would undoubtedly spark if he said anything back, so kept his silence as he gleefully watched Black backing away like a scared animal.

Sirius curses in his mind as he sends a wave of animation magic at the roots of the trees by Atalanta's feet, they quickly rip themselves from the ground to wrap around the Lioness' feet, but before they could firmly bind her she moves with a swiftness breaking the roots as she leaps at the fallen man she had been hunting, twice he had escaped her, there would not be a third time.

She lands just before him and as he raises his wand for another spell Atalanta stomps on his stomach, knocking the air from his lungs, as he gasps trying to refill them, Atalanta grabs his wand arm and twists it, almost snapping his arm in two before she rips the wand from his grasp and stepping back. As she moves out of the way, thin conjured ropes snap around Sirius Black, binding his legs and arms together.

"No!" Padfoot roars, he was close, so close to freedom, but it was denied to him much like his vengeance as he thrashes in his bindings.

"Finally," Snape says as he stalks up to Sirius Black bounded on the forest floor, "This is for Lily, you backstabbing c*nt," he says with a viciousness he rarely shows nowadays and raises his wand "Avada ka-" but before Severus could finish the curse as he stood over Sirius, a hand lashes out, grabbing his wrist and squeezing hard enough that Severus could feel his bone shift, he hisses in pain as his glare turns to the offender, Atalanta.

She stands to the side of Severus, one hand holding his wrist, twisting it away from pointing at anyone, in her other, the wand Black was using. It was a short thing, covered in ash from a hearth and burnt black with a dull orange glow coming from the splits and seams of the wood where it had cracked in the fire. As she held the wand she did not feel the cold darkness of magic she was sure Black held in his soul, no. She had felt warmth from it, like from the campfires of the hunt, the closeness of her sisters as they snuggled up in the cold of the night to protect the younger ones from nightmares, she had felt…home.

Her eyes were wide and firmly looked onto the wand, mouth slightly open as she tried to process the fact that Sirius Black had a f*cking divine favor from the Goddess of Hearth and Home, How? Why?

"What are you doing, you fool girl!?" Severus yells at her, "Unhand me at once and let me finish this!" He scowls at her, trying to pull his arm from the band of iron that was Atalanta's hand.

Atalanta's head snaps to Severus, "No," she tells him, "the Headmaster had told me to take him in alive, so that's what I'm going to do," she tells him before the man scoffs.

"Have you started taking orders from him now too?" Snape says angrily as Atalanta lets his wrist go before tilting her now free hand back and forth in a "kinda" way while making a face.

"Besides I have questions for him," Atalanta says before walking up to the downed form of Black, grabbing the front of the Jacket he was wearing and pulling him close, bringing him face to face with the man holding out the wand that she had stripped from him, "Where did you get this Black? Who gave it to you? How did you escape the tower that night?" Atalanta growled into his face.

Snape scoffs, "Those are obvious to answer, girl, Lupin helped him escape that night, and he gave Black a spare wand he picked up in some back alley, not that hard to put together." The potion master says.

Atalanta looks back at Snape with a scowl, "Both those I doubt, as far as McGonagall described it the hearth in the common room was of normal fire, not green, and if Lupin somehow found this wand in a back alley deal, I'll break my oath tonight. This," the Lioness says holding up the wand, "is a divine favor, Snape, you don't just find these," she tells the man before said man grimaces and mumbles "not again" under his breath.

Atalanta turns back to Sirius, "Who gave this to you?" She asks for a final time.

"Hestia," Sirius says with a solemn voice.

Atalanta's eyes widened, he had said the name she had most feared for him to say, "Why? You're an oath breaker and as good as a kinslayer as far as I can tell, why would Lady Hestia want to help you? A person she would cast into Tartarus without remorse, Why does she want to kill Harry!?" Atalanta shouts at the end.

"WE DON'T WANT TO KILL HARRY!" Lupin screams, "Neither does Hestia, she's been helping us to catch the real danger, the person who actually betrayed James and Lily that night, Peter Pettigrew." Remus says as Atalanta and Severus look over at him, Snape scoffs again.

"Pettigrew is dead," Snape says, "He killed him, was that how he bamboozled you and a God, Wolf, he spun you both a tale to match his madness," Snape scowls as his head snaps between the two men.

"Severus, Shut. The f*ck. Up," Atalanta growls out, "You can't trick a God with a lie, especially about their own domain," she tells the man before turning back to Black, "How do you know he's still alive, I want proof, now." The huntress demands from her prisoner.

"I can do a bit better than that," Sirius says with a smile, "He's here, right now, in the bag."

Atalanta turns and looks over at the small bag laying on the forest floor, it wasn't even big enough to fit a book, let alone a man, she turns back to Black with a confused look, so Sirius explains.

"He's an Animagus, a rat Animagus," he says with a grin.

Atalanta turns to Severus, "is there a spell to detect them? An Animagus I mean?" She asks.

"This is Lunacy," Snape snaps at her, "You can not be beli-" but is cut off by the Lioness.

"Is there a spell!?" Atalanta yells, to which Snape scowls but nods, "Then use it on the bag, if he's lying we beat the sh*t out of him before dragging him off to Dumbledore." She states before Snape rolls his eyes and flicks his wand to the bag.

"See, noth-" Snape starts to say but stops as the bag glows a light blue, he gawks at it for a moment before flicking his wand and levitates the bag over to him and he can hear the squeaking coming from inside, "Wormtail…" he says under his breath as his eyes widen in understanding.

"Is there a way to force him back into a human form?" Atalanta asks as she grabs the bag from the air, holding it as something struggles within.

Snape nods, "Yes, there is a spell, but I don't know it," he informs her looking at the bag.

"We do," Sirius says from the ground, "kinda needed when you're trying to become Animaguses, give me back the wand, and I'll happily cast it on him."

"As if I'd-" Snape begins to tell the man before Atalanta walks over and draws a second knife, and places it under his chin, "Try anything other than the spell on the rat, orders be damned, I'll gut you, understand?" She asks Sirius and the man simply nods.

Snape does not look happy but moves his wand to point at Sirius as Atalanta cuts him free. Sirius stands up and Atalanta hands him back the wand of the Hearth before nodding at him before opening the bag and reaching in. The squeaks are quickly cut off as Atalanta removes the rat from the bag and holds it out with her fingers wrapped around the animal's throat as Sirius casts the spell. Like watching a tree grow in fast forward, Atalanta watches as the rat grows into a man.

She had dropped the rat when it had started and didn't look away, she watched the form of a rat become the form of a man in ragged clothes and robes, face sunken in from not eating enough, large patches of hair had fallen out due to stress, the man's eyes were small, beady, and watery as they started to dart around the woods where he stood in between Atalanta, Sirius, and Severus and soon we're joined by a robeless Remus, who had somehow got out of the silver wire that held him. Snape slowly moved his wand from Sirius to the man quivering in the woods.

"Peter. Pettigrew." Snape says in a breathless voice filled with hatred, "It was you, wasn't it? You're the one who sold Lily and James to the Dark Lord, weren't you?" He's hissing at the rat by the end of it.

"N-No, Sev-Severus, it was him!" Peter squeaks out pointing at Sirius, "H-He tried t-t-to k-kill me!" The man backs away from the advancing Snape, bumping into Lupin, Peter turns to find Lupin's wand pointed at his nose.

"R-Remus, you must believe me, it was Sirius!" Peter tells his once friend.

"Then why stay as a rat, Peter, why hide for twelve years while Sirius was locked away in Azkaban?" Remus asks calmly, wand still leveled at the rat.

"He would have found me, he would have killed me like he did Lily and James! I knew he had powers that he learned from the Dark Lord, I knew he would escape!" Peter tries to explain, but Lupin just glares.

"You should have known Peter, you should have known if the Dark Lord or His followers didn't kill you, we would have," Moony tells wormtail solemnly, shaking his head.

"But I'm not one of his followers, he is Remus, even his brother joined them!" Peter tries, but Snape and Sirius had had enough.

Sirius spins Wormtail around, punching him across the face, "Leave Regulus out of this!" As he and Wormtail fall to the ground, "This is about us, The Marauders! And what you did, you sold Lily and James to the Dark Lord, you betrayed one of the people you called brother, you broke an oath sworn, that we all did! To watch out for each other! And worst of all you damn Harry to hell he didn't deserve!" Sirius screams at the man he beats on him, "Oathbreaker! Kinslayer!" No one watching does anything to stop Sirius Black from beating the rat under him.

"He's killing me! He's killing me! Help! Please help!" Peter begs, but no one moves to help, but Sirius does stop, breathing hard.

"No Peter, I'm not going to kill you," Sirius says as he stands up, pulling Peter by his collar with him, "No, I'm turning you over to the dementors," Sirius says with a vicious smile.

"No…" the horrified whisper escapes Pettigrew.

"Oh, yes Peter," Sirius says as he drops Pettigrew to the ground, "I will have my freedom, I will see you locked away in dreads domain, and I will do what I should have done twelve years ago," Sirius swears, before kicking Peter in the side.

It was Snape that speaks next, "Your right arms, pull up the sleeves and stick them out," the potion master says to Black and Pettigrew, "I need to make sure."

Sirius throws off his jacket and pulls up the sleeve on his right arm, revealing pale blank skin that bore no tattoo or mark. Peter tries to crawl away, whispering "No, No…." Over and over again before an uncovered foot slams down onto his back, knocking the wind from him he turns to look up into the merciless green eyes of a Lioness, before she bends down and drags him to his feet by his hair.

She puts him in a chokehold as she slashes down the right sleeve of his robes, before putting the blade away and holding out his too-blank arm.

"See, see, I'm not one of them! It's him, let me go!" Peter says as he watches Severus swipe his wand over Sirius' arm, and nothing happens. The two men glare at each other before Snape moves over to Pettigrew, who was struggling in Atalanta's iron grip to no avail, "No, no, no, please, no!" Peter begs as Snape's wand moves over his arm, and as it does the flesh on his forearm begins to twist and ripple until the skull with a snake coming out of its mouth appears in dark ink and Peter begins to sob.

"What the f*ck is that?" Atalanta asks as the three men look at the mark grimly.

"That," Snape says, "Is the Dark Mark, it is the brand that the Dark Lord marks his faithful with." As he looks into Atalanta's eyes.

Atalanta nods, kill anyone who has one, got it, she thinks to herself, and Snape nods before turning back to Black.

"You're coming back to the castle, you will be without a wand and restrained, locked in a spare room in the dungeons as I find Albus and some Veritaserum and we get the whole truth out of this, do you understand me?" Sirius looks at Snape, before turning to look at Remus seeing the werewolf nod, he sighs and nods his head to Snape, "Atalanta will be guarding both of you, and trust me when I say, not a soul here could take her on alone." He says as Atalanta smirked, Snape learned that in his office when she had beaten him into a paste, but she wouldn't say he gave as good as he got, and insult her own pride like that.

"One way or another I get to see the man who betrayed Lily suffer a fate worse than death," Severus thinks to himself as he summons the smoking goblet from the shadows, "Here wolf, before the Moon rises, I won't have you put the students in danger," Snape tells Lupin as he floats the Goblet in between them as Atalanta pushes Peter to Sirius.

"Here, hold him for now, I need to go check where Harry is and make sure he's not upwind from us before we start making our way back. Don't need him catching Blacks sce-" she cuts herself off as her hat twitches and her eyes widen before she spins on her heel "DON'T!" the Lioness says but it is far too late and three things happen all at once.

Atalanta tries to grab the black blur that comes shooting from the west to stop it but is too late as it clipped her in the side, sending her spinning before she slams into the ground. The black blur then hits the floating goblet knocking its contents to the forest floor, two men look at the mess made before both look at each other's faces, horrified. Lastly, the blur slams into Sirius Black, knocking him off his feet and down the hill as he dragged Peter Pettigrew with him.

Harry Potter, Midst the Hunt.

As Black, an unknown man, and Harry tumble down the hill into the former camping site of Atalanta, Harry doesn't let go of Sirius Black, he wasn't getting away this time, Black was His! He finally had him! Harry uses his momentum to control the roll down the hill, the three bodies hit the ground below at the same time as Harry swings on top of Black, sitting on his chest he pins him to the ground before he starts to lash out at the man beating his fists down on top of him. He was going to do it, he was going to get revenge against the man who had betrayed his parents, who locked him up withthem, for the cupboard, for the beatings, for being thefreak, all of it! He'd feed the hunt, one way or another.

As Harry roared and beat down on the man he thought responsible for everything that had happened to him, the man himself had brought up his arms to block the blows raining down on him, he didn't try to throw the boy off him, he didn't say a word, he took the blows, and even as he felt the bruises form and his bones crack under the blows he took them all without making one aggressive move against him. When the blows slowed down and stopped, he looks up through his arms, and his gray eyes meet the emeralds of Lily's but something was off about them, a ring of gold or amber had appeared around the iris and slowly starts to make its way to the boy's Slitted pupil. "Are you going to kill me, Harry?" Sirius asks up to his Godson, as his Godson glares with hatred unimaginable down at him.

Harry flicks his wrist and draws his wand, ignoring the useless sound everyone is making around him as he stabs his wand at the man's throat, "Yes," he growls out full of burning rage, he would finally feed the Hunt, He would finally get revenge.

All around him the other prey makes sounds, ordering him to stop, begging him not to do it, telling him he was missing something, but Harry doesn't care. He had his prey under him, the man merely letting his arms fall to the side as he looks up at Harry and smiles a mocking(sad) smile, nodding his head, seemingly accepting his death, and Harry found it…unsatisfying, he'd have to hunt more, plenty of prey around to feed the Hunt, he'll just have to do quantity over quality.

They still wouldn't shut up! With the screaming and the begging and the barking orders, he didn't care, he wanted them to go away, he wanted to hunt them, he wanted to be back in his cupboard because something was wrong. No, it was right the prey was right here, it was time to feed the Hunt!

So, Harry digs his wand into Sirius' throat, the spell on the tip of his tongue as those around him are screaming at him to stop, Hermione in tears, Atalanta in worry, Snape in fear, but it was Lupin that stopped Harry with a simple question.

"Harry, where did you get your Jacket!?" Lupin yells, and all heads in the clearing, the adults who were here before. Atalanta kneeled on top of the unknown man, keeping him pinned to the ground so he couldn't get away, Snape who had his wand pointed at his head, Sirius taking a beating from Harry. Even the two newcomers, Ron and Hermione who had rushed into the clearing one minute after Harry had crashed into Sirius, all turned to Lupin confused.

Harry looks at his mentor, equally confused, but shrugs it off as the Hunt calls him back to his prey, "I told you, I don't know, and it doesn't matter!" Harry roars, he had to finish a hunt and he wanted to savor it.

"But it does matter, Harry. It matters more right now than any other time," Remus says as he takes slow steps towards Harry, his hands up to show he wasn't a threat.

"Remus, you need to leave, now!" Snape hisses at him.

"One minute, Severus, and then I'm gone, just let me tell him this, please," Lupin says to Snape without looking at him

Lupin continues on, "You've had it for a long time, you told me yourself that you've had it as long as you could remember, but you can't tell me how you got it, and I don't know how you did either, but you have wondered, haven't you? Who was there that night, who cared enough about you to make sure you were warm before you were dropped off with your aunt and uncle?" Lupin asks, Harry's eyes jump back and forth between Lupin and Black, as Lupin gets closer he can see the light gold almost taking over Harry's eyes as the boy bared his teeth at him, but Lupin had his interest, the man could tell.

"Because the only man who can tell you how you have it, is the man you're sitting on," Lupin says quietly and he hears Hermione gasp, Smart girl probably already had it all figured out by now, Lupin watches Harry's eyes widen as he looks down a Sirius' face, the light-gold color slowly bleeds out of his eyes. Lupin nods to Snape, "The map is with my cloak," Lupin says before tossing his wand to Snape and running off deeper into the woods, hoping he would make it out of the wards in time.

"What does he mean?" Harry asks, But all Black does is look at him. '' He could see tears starting to form in the corners of his eyes, "Answer me! What does he mean!? Why are you the only one who can tell me!?" Harry screams because he had asked Hagrid years ago when the man had told him about his flight to the Dursleys, all Hagrid had said was he had it on him when he got him.

Sirius is quiet for a moment as he looks up into Harry's eyes, so much like both of his mothers but the looks of James, he speaks in a quiet whisper barely loud enough for the normal wizards to hear in the dark of the forest.

"It was chilly that night," Sirius starts his tale in a breathless whisper, drawing on memories long forgotten over the long cold years in Azkaban, "I was on my way over when I felt the wards fall, and I knew, I knew what had happened, I had gotten there just after it all, the first on the scene. I found, …I found James first, in the kitchen, it looked like a war had happened in there. The cottage was barely standing, I knew I couldn't weep over James because he would never forgive me if I didn't make sure his son and his wife were okay before doing it." Sirius was openly crying now, remembering that horrible night when he had found his brother in all but blood dead along with his wife, "I went up the stairs and found Lily, laying on the floor, gone as well. A hole was blasted through the roof letting in the chill, but then I heard you, crying, you were alive but when I picked you up you were cold, so, so cold. I didn't want you to get sick so I wrapped you in my jacket, I was making my way out of the house. I was going to take you to my place, I was going to get Remus to watch you or maybe Andy, but I was gonna be back in a few days, then I ran into Hagrid. He said he was going to bring you to Lily's sisters." At this Snape Hisses in anger, but other than the bookworm no one else noticed.

"A few days is all I thought, I was just gonna take a few days, I'd go after the person who sold out your parents and kill him, and be back to pick you up," Sirius says, "Just a few days, …" He whispers.

"That's when I betrayed them, Harry, when I handed you over to Hagrid to be taken from me, I should have fled with you, left for France or America, prayed to your other mother to get her to help, but I didn't. I chose revenge over my duty as your Godfather and chased after a rat right into a trap, and got locked away in Azkaban for twelve years when I should have been there for you." Sirius admits his crime to the one to whom it had caused the most harm to like a Sinner before his Gods, "I'm sorry Harry, I'm So, so sorry…"

How long did Harry wait in that dark cupboard, alone and scared, with only the spiders and dust bunnies for friends? Waiting for the day someone would take him away from the dark and hunger, to free him from his Aunt and her scornful looks, his Uncle with his heavy hands and rage-filled words of hate for him. No one came because he had thought there was no one left to come to save him, all hope died in that darkness until a friendly giant freed him from his relative's clutches and had his first taste of freedom and friendship he had never had before. To learn that he, the broken and unwanted freak, had someone who should have been there, who would have been there, that had wrapped him in the only hope that hadn't died because he had cared for him, was locked away in another type of hell for just as long. It tore at him and the heart he thought he had all but locked away, he could see it in Sirius' eyes, the sadness, the mournful want of going back and doing it again, to do it right, and the sorrow of not doing right the first time.

The regret that he did it at all to Harry, sent the first wave crashing down in the faulty foundation of the walls around his heart.

"Then who?" Harry asks, fighting back tears with gritted teeth, "Then who did it? Who betrayed them, betrayed you?" Harry wants to know, he needs to know, he needs to hunt them.

"Sirius, don't," Atalanta says, well aware of what would happen if he does, how the Hunt wasn't done, just shifted, she needs to get Harry away from everyone, give him a moment to collect himself before he loses himself. But whether the words fell on deaf ears or it was too late by the time she had said it doesn't matter, for Sirius turns his head to look at Peter Pettigrew with a glare and Harry followed his eyes to look at the scared balding men being pinned down by Atalanta and lets the hunt take everything for the revenge he so craved.

As Harry stood up, wand raised above his head to slash down, to sever the head of the traitor, or the rat, or the prey, from his shoulders, a beam of red light hit the back of his knee and he felt his wand ripped from his grasp flying behind him as his knee buckles. Ron catches Harry's wand from where he stood next to Hermione whose wand was drawn and pointed at Harry.

Atalanta leaps from Pettigrew and tackles Harry to the ground, He tries to stand and charge at Peter but is pulled to a stop by Atalanta, and as Peter looks into the complete yellow-gold eyes of the boy who lived, he knew he was prey this night, and the sound that escapes Harry's throat was not human, it was that of a beast, it was one of the Hunt.

Notes:

Show of hands, who thought Harry was gonna be the beast of the hunt howling in the night?

When I was first considering my ending I had thought that I would put in the shrieking shack because that's where it ended in the book, then a thought hit me, what if I had Harry lose himself to the Hunt and chase something, and that? That felt more right.

So that's what I'm doing.

This chapter is named after what Artemis said about the Jacket all the way back outside of number 4, " like A forgotten hope that was never voiced because the boy was afraid if he did, it would die."

The jacket to Harry was proof that someone had, once, cared for him enough to wrap him up to keep him warm. That to someone he wasn't a freak, he wasn't unwanted, that someone somewhere cared about him.

And he was right.

Kingsaxcul, Out.

Chapter 30: A Beast Under the Moonlight

Notes:

The Hunt is on.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The Forbidden Forest.

The silver light of the full moon cast long shadows in the woods as Atalanta struggles to keep a hold of the boy she had grown so close to in such a short amount of time. She was holding back as he growled and clawed at the Rat still laying on the forest floor as the rest of those in the clearing that was Atalanta's old campsite watched on with fear and surprise as the normally quiet and docile boy seem to throw away what little was left of his humanity as he thrashes in Atalanta's hold.

"Harry! Harry, you need to stop!" Atalanta's voice was full of panic and fear as she begs the boy, "You're pulling too much on the Hunt, you need to stop, you need to calm down!" She yells as she holds Harry back from killing the Rat, but the only answer she gets are growls and roars from a Hunt mad beast. She couldn't hold him back forever, and with this many people around it will just make for too many people being caught in Harry's hunt.

"Run!" Atalanta yells as her grip starts to give as Harry continues to delve into the Hunt's clutches, "You all need to run! I can't hold him for much longer, you're all in danger!RUN!" Atalanta screams.

Pettigrew, ever the coward, doesn't need to be told twice as he gets to his feet and starts to run across the clearing to the forest beyond, Sirius soon follows him yelling at the coward that he wasn't getting away that easy.

Harry struggles to follow after them, dragging Atalanta with him, until Atalanta sweeps his legs and slams him on the forest floor. Harry twists in her grip, head butting her before freeing his arm enough to elbow her in the face breaking from her grip and charging after the two men.

"f*ck!" Atalanta cursed before getting off the ground and chasing the boy, "Harry, stop, you need to fight it!" She screams as she tackles the Hunt-enforced boy.

"Back to the castle, both of you!" Snape snaps at the two students, "find the Headmaster and tell him what's going on!" Before quickly taking off after the two fleeing men.

Ron and Hermione look at each other, and for a moment, indecision strikes, to follow an order from a teacher or to help their best friend. They nod as one and charge into the fray, for there was never a choice for them. So, with wands out and ready they run towards Harry and Atalanta as they struggle and fight on the ground, Harry is once again able to free himself from her grasp and knock her away as Ron and Hermione begin their spell work with a clear target. The two friends work in tandem, with Hermione Transfiguring the stone and roots around Harry's feet into ropes and tar, trying to slow him down enough to stop him as Ron casts stunner after stunner at Harry and just tries to clip him but the son of the hunt was far too quick of a step and either dodge or had his Jacket take the hit rendering the blow useless.

As Harry takes off after the men, Atalanta is quick to follow, Hermione and Ron soon after, and the son of the hunt makes a terrifying headway chasing after Peter and Sirius. Every time Peter tries to transform into a rat, Sirius would flick his wand canceling it as he chased the cowardly bastard down, it wasn't until he heard the snapping of a branch and an animal-like growl come from behind him did the Heir to the house of Black start to sweat. He had first thought that Remus had transformed and doubled back, but no, in the pale moonlight he watches as a shadow in the shape of his Godson leaps from the side, aiming at Wormtail, just before another smashes into him from the other side, knocking him to the ground.

"Harry, stop!" Atalanta yells, panic in her voice, "You have to stop Harry, if you draw on anymore there won't be any turning back! Don't make me do this, Please!" She yells as she blocks his path to the rat again and Sirius can hear the desperation in her voice as he runs past them just in time to stop Wormtail from transforming again. Sirius hears the roars behind him and the clash of two bodies in combat, he keeps after the rat, he needs him alive and couldn't let Harry kill him yet.

Atalanta dances with Harry in a fury of fists and kicks, Harry would try and step around her to chase down his prey, but Atalanta grabs him and twists him with his own momentum to toss him backward before he gets back and charges again and they start the dance again. She struck him with a three-hit combo, one to the solar plexus, one across the cheek, which he rolled with(Just as she taught him,), and followed up by a kick that sent him back to the ground.

"Harry, please, stop!" Atalanta begs, "Come back, don't let the Hunt take you," she looks into the yellow-gold eyes of the Hunt as the boy she thought as a brother stands back up before pulling something from his pocket, "Don't make me kill you…" she whispers in desperation before Harry opens the swiss army knife and arms himself with his spear, growling like an animal as he charges.

Hermione and Ron finally catch up with Harry and Atalanta and watch in horror as their friend tries to cut off one of Atalanta's legs with a sweep of the spear. The Lioness quickly jumps before delivering a kick that sends Harry flying to his head, the son of the hunt rolls before popping up to go around Atalanta, to continue his chase. But the Hunter is too quick for Harry, blocking his path before kicking him back again.

"Stop Harry, you're not faster than me! You're not getting through, just stop, please!" The Lioness begs.

As Harry growls back like a beast, Ron and Hermione use this time to release a barrage of spellwork that if any teacher would have seen would have earned them points as they chained spell after spell together, jelly-legs, leg-locking, full body binds, tickling charm, stunners whatever they could think of to slow down Harry. The boy who lived brings up his arm when he felt the magic coming, blocking Ron's stunner before ducking the rest and charging at his prey(his friends), as Hermione and Ron continue their firing line of spells they watch, a bit horrified, as Harry not only starts to dodge them, but cutting through the spells thrown at him with his spear. He gets in range of them, far too fast to stop, far too quick to anticipate, he stops in front of Ron, Harry's spear drawn back to swing and he goes for the neck, planning to take his prey's head from his shoulders. As Harry swings with a roar, Ron watches in slow motion as the spear swings, Hermione screams, Atalanta yells, and Harry… hesitates. For not even a second, not even half a second, but Ron sees it in his best friend's eyes right before the son of the hunt is sent flying with a kick from Atalanta.

"You're that far gone are you," Atalanta says as Ron falls back in shock, "You can't even tell what is a friend and what's prey," her voice is full of pain as she draws her hunting knife before saying to Ron and Hermione, "You two need to leave, now, you don't need to see this," her voice had switched, once full of pain for what was to come next, to a dead monotone as she buried her heart. She would weep later, she would mourn later, she would burn a shroud and drown her sorrows and beg her Lady for forgiveness for killing her son, for now, she had a mad dog to put down before it killed someone. So, Atalanta takes a breath as she watches it climb back on its feet, drawing on the Hunt to empower her, and charges at the beast mad with the Hunt wearing Harry's face.

A fight between two hunters is rare, the hunters of Artemis rarely ever fight with one another, but it doesn't mean it never happens.

Atalanta charges first, intending on ending this as quickly as possible, moving inside the wild swing that it did, avoiding the blade but catching the shaft of the weapon to her ribs. She felt one of the bones break from the force of the hit as she swung her hunting knife at its exposed throat, but it twisted out of the path of the blade, jumping back to gain some distance.

The fight is normally brought on by emotions that the new hunters are taught to control, anger, sadness, jealousy, and hatred. They were a sisterhood and nothing should come between sisters.

It charges at the Lioness, sweeping the blade low to take out her feet, but Atalanta jumps over the swing, rolling across the ground behind it and popping back up to her feet before running into its back shoulder first knocking him forward but it was able to keep its feet under it before it spins in place taking a wild swing but the swing is knocked upwards as Atalanta takes a swipe at it with her blade.

The fights are normally quick and brutal affairs, the older hunters watching just in case they need to step in to stop the fight before it goes too far. The winner of the fight is normally the Hunter who could draw the most on the Hunt without losing themselves to it.

The mad beast wearing Harry's face brings its arm up, and the sweep of the hunting knife meets the thick leather of the dragon/basilisk hide jacket and doesn't even leave a mark. Atalanta growls at this before kneeing the thing in the stomach, making it bend over before Atalanta lifts the blade above her head and brings it down on the back of it, the blade is stopped before it could do any real damage by the jacket. Of course, her Lady would make sure the jacket acted like divine forged armor!

There are three with the hunt that no hunter would want to challenge because of this, Phoebe who has been with the hunt for almost a millennium, Atalanta who had been a beast of the Hunt for over two millennia and knew intimately where the line between human and beast was, and the Lieutenant Zoë Nightshade, who was almost immune to the Hunt do to her not being human, but something more.

It takes the opportunity while being bent over and having Atalanta so close, to wrap its arms around her waist and pick her up, to slam her on the ground, dropping its spear as it does. The two hunters struggle and wrestle on the ground, grabbing Atalanta's wrist, controlling where the hunting knife is as it swings, fist crashing into Atalanta's face. It takes the moment of temporary pain to climb on top of the Lioness' chest, pinning the blade to the forest floor as he continues to punch the woman who had taught it so much in the face.

With the Hunt pumping through these three they become a terrifying force in the hunt, the Hunt would make one faster, stronger, and able to ignore pain or mind-altering effects easily. The more they drew on, the deeper into the Hunt they went, the stronger they would become, only stopping when they reached the line between human and the beast or if their bodies gave out or reached their limits of what a normal human could do.

Atalanta brings her free arm up, blocking some of its strikes, she wiggled and shimmied down between its legs just enough to bend her back to bring her legs up and wrap them around its head, before bringing its head down with as much force as she could bare, it's head down hard on the forest floor with a thud before flipping its body off of her, it was dazed from its head hitting the ground so hard. Atalanta climbs on top of it, pinning its arms down with her knees as she raises her hunting knife high above her head. Harry had always worn his Jacket open, never zipped up or buttoned, so his uniform below it was exposed and unprotected.

As she looks down at it, at Harry struggling under her, tears form in her eyes as she tells him "I'm sorry Harry, …" Her heart broke again for doing this, being a Lion was easier than this, to kill the boy she saw as a younger brother was also killing her. But she would give him a clean death, a death with his hands free of innocent blood, the blood of his friends, and so she brings the blade down with enough force to pierce the breastbone that protected his heart; to end his hunt.

Hermione covers her eyes, as Ron screams at Atalanta not to do it, and as the blade comes down to end the boy who lived life, a shadow steps into the moonlights and with a flick of his wand flings Atalanta off Harry and into a tree.

"What the hell do you think you're doing girl?!" Snarled Severus Snape before his head snapped to Ron and Hermione, "And I thought I told you two to go to the castle and get the Headmaster!?" He yells as the brat picks himself from the ground and dashes for his spear.

"We're not leaving Harry!" The students yell, Gods save Severus from headstrong Gryffindors.

"He's not Harry anymore Snape, he lost himself to the Hunt!" Yells the Lioness, as if Severus had any clue what she was talking about.

When Snape steps fully into the Moonlight after losing the two men he was chasing and doubling back, he looks toward the boy who he had sworn to protect over the grave of his once best friend and love, the boy's eyes were no longer the emerald green of his mothers, but the yellow-gold of a wolf, the man frowns as the boy holds the silver spear aloft, eyes wide and wild. Severus points his wand at the boy, and speaks.

"Put it down, brat," the dark man says, "I won't ask twice," he threatens, the boy growls wild and unhinged before charging at the Potion Master.

All at once, Snape releases a barrage of magic at the child of Lily, intent on slowing him down and stopping him. But Snape is surprised when the boy cuts through the spells with his spear, the ones he missed were deflected off the leather jacket he wore. As the boy gets within range of the Potion Master and swings the butt of his spear at the man's head, there is a flicker of shadows as Snape sinks into them before appearing ten feet to the right of the boy and continues with hit barrage, aiming for the boy's feet, roots and fallen branches come alive to intangible the boy's feet, slowing him enough to where Severus can cause the forest floor come alive and twists itself into a cone trapping the brat within.

"He doesn't seem much different to me," Snape says, sure the transfigured earth would hold the boy.

"You don't understand that thing isn't Harry anymore, it's a mindless beast hunting," Atalanta says, getting back to her feet, "We need to-to put it down before it hurts anyone." Her voice cracks at those words.

Snape looks at the woman like she had lost her mind, "We are doing no such thing, I will not allow a student of any house to be killed under my watch." He says in a cold hard voice, his black eyes showing his conviction in this.

"He's not a student, Snape," Atalanta says, drawing her now, "he's not Harry anymore, he's an avatar of the Hunt and he will kill everything in his way, if we don't stop him!" She tries to reason with the dark man but he just scoffs.

"No," Snape says, hard and cold, walking over to Atalanta, "The brat is trapped, we will figure out how to calm him after we secure Pettigrew and Black, Now-" he stops what he was saying as his head snaps to where he had trapped Harry and sees the blade of silver pierce the stone of the cone and cut through it like it was butter before the boy breaks free and charges at the other students in a mad dash.

Hermione sees those yellow-gold eyes lock onto her, and she knew she was prey, she back peddles at Harry's charge, her foot catching a root as she falls backwards on the forest floor with a gasp. Harry is on top of her in a blink of an eye, spear raised and ready to strike, but she sees it in his eyes. Recognition of who she was and what he was doing and for a moment it wasn't the Harry she knew, the brave, kind, powerful soul that was held in the eyes of the dead, nor was it the frightening beast who had hungered for the hunt, but the eyes of a scared boy who had no idea what he was doing or why, so lost in his nature that he was.

An arrow shatters across his back and the boy she knew roars in pain before leaping over her and dashing off into the woods.

"What did I just tell you, girl!?" Snape yells at Atalanta after he had knocked her aim off from sinking an arrow into the back of the brat's head.

"You don't get to give me orders when you're being a daft c*nt!" Atalanta yells back, "He's more dangerous right now than ever before," she tells Snape before dashing off after Harry, chasing down the boy, quickly followed by Snape, then by Ron and Hermione.

"He stopped," Hermione tells Ron as they race after everyone else, "He knew who I was and stopped,"

"Yeah, he did that with me too," Ron says back, "He's still in there, but he's moving like a Rook, straight ahead. We need to act like Bishops and take him from the side as Atalanta acts as Queen and traps him." Ron tells Hermione as his mind runs a million miles a minute trying to figure out what their next move is, Hermione nods in understanding as they jog behind everyone, they would save Harry from himself before anyone has a chance to kill him.

As they catch up with Atalanta, Snape, and Harry they couldn't help but to stop and gawk at what was going on. Atalanta and Harry were blurs of silver movement, Harry would charge forward only to be blocked by Atalanta and be knocked back by a kick or a bow strike as Snape flickered in between shadows, tossing spells at both Harry and Atalanta. The spells shot at Atalanta would stop her from firing upon Harry, the spells meant for Harry were ones to trap or ensnare him but with his spear, Harry would cut through most of them and dodge what he could. Ron and Hermione strife around the edge launching stunners at Harry that he had to dodge, duck, or block with his jacket.

"Just stop! You're not faster than me!" Atalanta says, her voice full of sorrow for the son of the hunt, "it's over, just stop, make this easier for everyone, please!" She begs the boy.

Harry, however, was not a normal human. Harry is a Demigod, a child of Artemis at that, his relationship with the domain of the Hunt was unique among the Hunters of Artemis. Demigods were stronger, faster, and more resilient than normal mortals, so could push past the limits that a normal human could, but Harry had been neglected for the majority of his life, he was strong for his size and age, but not as strong as he could have been if he had not been so scrawny and small from being underfed for his whole life.

As spells pelted Harry, he cut through them with his spear, tanked them with his jacket, or dodged them, as he was batted around by Snape and Atalanta, he reaches inside himself, grasping the tap that control the flow of power in his veins and turned and turned and turned. The Hunt flooded him with power as he sunk deeper into it, submerging himself completely in it, before taking off in a mad dash faster than ever before. Atalanta moves to intercept him again, but to Harry, she was moving as slow as everyone else in the woods, which was too slow.

Atalanta was correct when she had thought that Harry had no upper limit of power he could draw on from the Hunt, the blessing from his blood, the blood of Artemis, and his Demigod nature all combined in the form of a child that was Harry Potter made him into a Predator like none other.

As Atalanta stopped to knock Harry back once again, all she saw was a streak of black and silver blow past her into the darkness. Harry had moved faster than ever she could comprehend with the power of the Hunt flowing through her. Atalanta had come from a time where Humans were faster and stronger than their modern-day counterparts, a time when anyone could become a hero, and being hailed as one of the fastest among them, she was shocked at the speed at which Harry moved.

The four that Harry had left behind in a burst of speed stood in shock, to three of them Harry had all but teleported from their sight, Only Atalanta could make out the blur that Harry had become. Before any of them could comment, or give chase to the boy who lived, another sound filled the clearing, a sound that sent a shiver of fear down the back of Severus Snape as a moment of his school days came back fresh in his mind, the first moment he had almost died. As the group turns to the sound they see the form of a large, monstrous wolf making its way out of the shadows, drool dripping from its muzzle, cold murderous eyes landing on the two smallest of the group and the easiest prey to devour. Remus Lupin hadn't made it past the wards that protected the school before he had transformed and was now trapped in with them all.

There is a flicker of shadows as Snape appears in front of the young students, wand raised and ready to give his life in his duty of protecting the students of the school. The Werewolf charges forward with the intent of ripping apart and feeding on everything and anything, and for a moment the trauma of facing down the same beast in his childhood freezes Severus Snape, and the wolf leaps at him.

"No!" Yells the Hunter before she slams into the beast, knocking it out of the air and onto the ground. The wolf corrects itself, getting its feet under itself before charging Atalanta, who meets it with her own charge, shoving her bow between its jaws as the beast sinks its claws into her, "Run!" Atalanta screams through the pain, "Take the kids and run! Stop Harry!" She yells as she calls on more of the Hunt, tossing the wolf into the shadows and jumping after it.

Snape snaps out of it as he turns to the students, "Go, run! Stay in front of me and do not stop for any reason! Run!" He yells at them before they take off, he turns back to the darkness that the hunter and the wolf disappeared into, he can still hear them fighting, and sends a prayer to anything that was listening that Atalanta would come out alive before chasing after the children.

By the time Harry catches up with the two men, Wormtail had decided to turn and fight; they were in the middle of a pitched duel. Wormtail flinging curses he had learned from the ranks of the Death Eaters as Sirius defended with conjured disks of copper and transfigured animals to chase after the Rat.

"Avada Kedavra!" Wormtail yells sending the poisonous green flames at his old friend, Padfoot moves one of the disks in front of the spell to take the blow.

"Do you hate us that much Wormtail?!" Sirius yells before he banishes one of the copper disks at the weakest Marauder who dives out of the way.

"It was nothing personal, Padfoot! He was winning, and I wasn't about to be on the losing side!" Wormtail yells back before casting the organ-expelling curse followed up by a bludgeoning hex.

"It felt pretty f*ckingpersonalWormtail!" Padfoot yells as he sends the transfigured forms of Padfoot, Moony, and Prongs at the rat before twisting his wand and drawing a line between him and the rat, causing the earth to crack and break and sink in between him and Peter, causing the latter to lose his footing and fall to the ground as the animated figure ponce upon him biting and stomping.

Wormtail screams in pain before he vanishes the constructs, just in time for Sirius to banish him into a large stone, he hits it with a crack and falls into a slump. Sirius hopes that didn't kill him as he jogs up to the kneeled-over body sitting up against the stone, putting two fingers to his neck Sirius feels a weak pulse and sighs in relief just as Harry bursts from the, a silver spear raised to bring down on Wormtail, Padfoot acts quickly and knocking him back with a sweep of his wand.

"Harry," Sirius yells at his godson, "Harry, stop, Don't, please!" He pleads with the boy, "I need him alive Harry, it's the only way to clear my name!" He tells the hunt mad boy. Harry just growls like a beast, readying the spear to charge again before Sirius steps in front of Wormtail, blocking him from Harry's wrath.

"I know Harry," Sirius says in a soft voice, "I know how it burns, how much you want it, but killing him won't bring James and Lily back, killing him won't rewind time twelve years for me to fix my mistake," Padfoot tells Harry, as the gold-yellow light starts to leave his eyes, "all that we get out of killing him is me getting the kiss, we need him alive, so I can get my freedom, so I can come to get you from them, and do what James and Lily would have wanted me to do all those years ago, we can be a family Harry, we can finally be a family," Sirius begs his godson, and slowly he sees the gold-yellow light being forced back in the boy's eyes, as Harry's humanity fights against the Hunt, beating it back as he shakes his head, trying to throw off the bloodlust of the Hunt. Harry's body is still tense, the grip of his spear still tightly held, but his eyes are becoming more and more human as Sirius takes a few steps closer, hands up, and pointed away.

"I know what it's like kiddo," Padfoot tells him, "Growing up in a sh*tty home, with sh*tty caregivers, and how it wasn't fair, it was never fair to you," Sirius approaches closer, his voice soft and low, "My own mother was a piece of work herself, I know what it's like Harry, but I got out, your grandparents took me in. Now please, Harry, drop the spear and let me do that for you, all you have to do is let it go, and we can be a family like we should have been."

Sirius watched as the gold-yellow color in his godson's eyes get pushed back to rings around the iris, his grip on his spear relaxed, as Harry looked up at the kind Grey eyes of his godfather, so full of love and concern for Harry it almost hurt to look into them, tears form in Harry's as he chokes out "Sirius…"

{A hope held in hallowed silence, because Harry was afraid that if he spoke it out loud, …}

Three stunners hit Harry in the back, and the full blessing of the Hunt fills his eyes again as turns and roars at those who did it before he charges at them.

("Because Sirius Black, in the end, you're the only one who can save him.")

"NO!" Sirius screams as he watches his Godson bolt at Snape, and the two students, he tries to reach out, to stop him but he's too slow as the boy makes it to Snape in a fraction of a second, swinging the butt of his spear to fast for the dark man to block as he cracked across the head by Harry, knocking him out cold. Ron and Hermione jump back screaming at Harry to stop, Harry turns back to the downed Wormtail before raising his spear and charging again.

("From what? The Rat?")

Sirius knew what he had to do, and his body moved before he could fully comprehend it. He couldn't let Harry kill Wormtail, on some level he knew that if Harry did, he wouldn't stop with just Wormtail. So, he takes a step into Harry's path, because if the boy wanted to kill the man responsible for all he had suffered, he would. It was Sirius' choice to switch secret keepers, it was Sirius' choice to chase the rat, leaving Harry with his Aunt and Uncle, it was all Sirius' fault, and if he had to pay for that with his life, then he would. Because he didn't want his Godson to turn into a monster.

("No, from his greatest enemy, himself.")

As the blade of the spear sunk into the flesh of the prey, the Hunt rejoiced with ecstasy, Harry had done it! He had killed the man! The man responsible for all his pain, for all those years of the cupboard, and for being the freak, and as his spear went through his heart, Harry looked up to see the brown eyes of the man so he could watch the light leave them. All he sees are gray eyes, so full of warmth, understanding, and forgiveness.

{That it would die.}

Notes:

Oh, sh*t! Oooooooh, sh*t!

Bet y'all didn't see that coming, and to be fair Harry did think he was going to do that.

To expound upon Harry and the Hunt, it's weird and kinda hard to put into words. Each hunter who takes on the blessing has basically a cap on how much power they can use from it, they can only get so much faster or so much stronger before they cap off, but can still go deeper into the hunt and lose themselves to it. Harry doesn't have that cap due to him being born from the Goddess of the Hunt, and being a Demigod he is naturally stronger and faster once he starts to embrace that side of himself. But even with this, Harry still has limits, he can still tear muscles and break bones, basically destroying his body as he pushes past even a Demigod's limits.

And do keep in mind that not every Demigod is the same. Harry is never gonna get close to the power level that Percy and Jason are on, but he would be faster than both of them.

This chapter was a challenge to write because its just one long extended fight scene and f*ck those are tough.

Kingsaxcul, Out!

Chapter 31: Heir of the Hunt

Notes:

Tune in, Turn up, and drop out, to this thrilling conclusion to the hunt.

On with the show.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The forbidden forest.

The small clearing was quiet after the small scream Hermione had let out, Harry stood in front of Sirius, eyes wide at the sight of his silver spear piercing the older man's heart. Sirius lets out a shuddering breath as he watches Harry's eyes widen in comprehensive of what he had done, and the gold-yellow of his eyes bleed away to the vivid emerald that Sirius remembered so fondly from holding Harry as a baby as Harry's humanity wins out in the fight over the boy's soul.

"Ah," Sirius whispers as the realization of Hestia's words dawns on him, "That's what she meant." His knees shake as he sinks to the ground, spear still sticking out from his chest.

"Sirius," Harry whispers horrified at what he had done, "no, no, no, Sirius, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Harry begins to shake as he feels the tears free themselves from his eye, running down his cheeks.

"Shh, Harry," Sirius shushes Harry in a soft voice as Hermione and Ron run over to the pair, "It's okay, it's not your fault, do you understand me, it wasn't you." He tells his Godson, his voice echoing his conviction, that it was his choice, in the end, to take the hit, to save his Godson from becoming a monster; his life was a small price to pay.

"But it was-" Harry starts to say, but his Godfather cuts him off.

"It. Wasn't. Your. Fault," Sirius tells Harry, he hears the girl sob as the other kid puts his arm around her and pulls her in close, "I don't blame you, and I never will. Because in the end, I will save you, so listen because I don't-don't know how long I have so you need to listen to me," Sirius says to Harry, with a sorrowful look on his face he nods, not trusting his voice to crack, break, or be rob from him in the sobs.

"After this, y-you need t-to get to Gringotts, okay? Ask them for my personal vault, only me and you are allowed to access it," Sirius tells his Godson, "inside you'll find my will, I left everything to you, the gold, the House of Black, everything,"

"I don't care-" Harry tries to say but Sirius cuts him off again.

"I know, I know, shh, I'm not done yet," the dying man says, "The next thing you do is write to my cousin, Andromeda Tonks, her husband is a solicitor, tell her what they did to you, everything Harry. Tell her it...it was my last request to have you emancipated, her husband will make sure you're free from them Harry, I might not be there but I'll make sure you won't go back," he tells Harry, tears of his own spilling out as Harry nods.

Harry looks down as a sob rips through him, Sirius reaches out and puts both of his hands on either side of his face and lifts it so he could look him in the eyes "this wasn't your fault, Harry, I'm the one who stepped in the way, me, I don't blame you, Harry, remember that. This wasn't your fault," Sirius tells Harry one last time, ''And I'm sorry Harry, I should have been there for you, I should have saved you, but I didn't, and I'm sorry."

Harry's mouth opens and closes as he tries to say something, anything, but nothing comes out of his mouth, so in the end, he just nods his head. Trying to accept, but everything telling him it was his fault nonetheless, Sirius smiles and nods with him before turning to the other two students in the small clearing.

"You two are h-his mates, r-right?" Sirius asks Ron and Hermione, Ron nods while Hermione's face is still buried into his shoulder.

"Best Mates," Ron says

"Good, Good, do me a favor and keep an eye on him wh-when I'm g-gone?" Sirius asks.

"He's a bit more trouble than he's worth honestly, but he's stuck with us now, and me mum already basically adopted him," Ron says with a sad grin as Sirius chokes out a laugh.

"That's good, that's good," Sirius says as he looks back to his Godson, smiling at him, before pulling him into an awkward hug, awkward because there was a bloody spear in his chest, but as he brings Harry close he whispers into his ear, "Your parents would be proud of you Harry, you grew up to be so strong, with so much compassion, they would be so proud," Sirius tells Harry.

And as Harry hugs Sirius tightly back, Sirius feels the spear shift inside him, he expects pain and stiffens in anticipation, but none comes. "It doesn't even hurt Harry, It doesn't ever hurt," Sirius tells his Godson before he closes his eyes, ready to slip away, ready to beg Lily and James for their forgiveness in what's after this life.

Except it takes a really long bloody time, Sirius opens his eyes again and looks around, why wasn't he dead? It didn't even hurt…

"It doesn't even hurt, …" Sirius mummers almost to himself, and pushes Harry back from himself, the boy looks up confused as Sirius feels. Sirius takes a deep breath, he can feel something pressing against his lungs but that's it, he feels fine.

Slowly he takes a hand off Harry and moves it to just under where the spear was buried in his chest, pressing his hand to his chest. He can feel his heartbeat, strong and steady, Sirius pulls his hand back and looks at it in the moonlight, he can't help himself, he starts to laugh long and loud, and it echoes throughout the forest.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione look at Sirius like he was the madman he was rumored to be as he laughs at his own death, "Sirius?" Harry asks, concern coloring his tone.

"There's no blood," Sirius explains breathlessly, showing them his hand, "There's no blood, Harry," Sirius tells his Godson as Harry's face shifts from concern to confusion as Sirius reaches down and grasps the spear by the handle, before taking a deep breath before pulling from his chest. Sirius feels the cold metal leave his chest, but no hot trickle of blood, he could still feel his heart beating in his chest as the spear hits the first floor. Everyone looks on with wonder and confusion as Sirius was unharmed, with no wound, nor mark, not even a scar on him where the blade had pushed into and through his chest.

"But how?" Hermione says slowly, unable to grasp firmly what had happened.

"I don't know," Sirius says, the words coming out like a laugh, and he looks into Harry's wide eyes with a smile, Harry's face quickly morphs from confusion to glee and he leaps into his Godfather's arms, and they embrace one more time on much happier terms. They laugh with one another in joy as Sirius wasn't dying by Harry's hand tonight.

"As happy as this is, I don't think we should stick around much longer," Ron says as Harry and Sirius turn to look at him.

"Oh, no! Ron's right," Hermione quickly says as the night's events quickly catch back up with her, "We need to get back to the castle, now! Professor Lupin didn't make it out of the wards in time, he came back and almost attacked us, Atalanta jumped in and saved us! We need to get Professor Snape and Pet-" she stops as she looks up and behind the two people kneeling on the ground.

Sirius turns his head around and sees why she stopped, Wormtail was gone.

"No, no, no, NO!" Yells Sirius as he stands up, the f*cking rat got away, how did the rat slip away he was right f*cking there! "WORMTAIL, YOU f*ckING COWARD! YOU'LL GET YOURS IN THE END, YOU HEAR ME! YOU'LL GET YOURS!" Sirius screams into the woods as he grips the wand of the hearth harder, "How could this night get any f*cking worst?" He asks under his breath.

And as if Sirius Black tempted fate once again, a chill begins to descend upon the small clearing on a hot summer night, and it runs down everyone's spine as Sirius looks back at Harry, both their eyes wide in fear as the servants of dreads domain descend from the sky. Sirius closes his eyes as the horrors of his past begin to creep up from the shadows of his mind, and sighs out, his hot breath coming out in a white mist. Sirius accepts fate at that moment, if he was to die, he would make sure his Godson lived.

Sirius opens his eyes and looks at his Godson, "What I told you will still work even if I'm kissed, Harry." Sirius smiles sadly, "One way or another, you'll be free,"

Harry shakes his head, "You can run, you've done it before!" Harry says in desperation.

Sirius just smiles, "I'm tired of running Harry," Sirius says, "and if I do, you won't be free, so stay here, stay safe," with that Sirius turns on his heel and runs from the forest, leading the Dementors away from the one who he was sworn to protect.

"SIRIUS!" Harry yells as he watches his Godfather dash off in the detection of the black lake, Harry jumps to his feet and moves to Ron and Hermione, "My wand!? Where is it?" He asks quickly in a panic.

"Harry, no," Hermione says, voice full of worry, "You know how those things affect you, you can't,"

"I know the spell, I can help, I can save him," Harry says with desperation.

Hermione shakes her head before Ron reaches into his pocket before pulling out Harry's wand and handing it out to him, "Ronald!" Hermione says shocked.

Harry quickly takes the wand and turns to go, before stopping, "Guys, I'm sorry for-" Harry tries to say but Ron cuts him off.

"Mate, save it for when you get back with Sirius," Ron says, his voice speaking with absolute faith in Harry, "we'll bring Snape up to the castle and find the Headmaster, tell him everything, just make it back, okay?" Harry looks back at his best friends, before nodding and taking off after Sirius.

Harry charges through the forest, hot on the tail of the chill of the Dementors, determination gripping his heart, he would save him, he had to, because, …because…{A hope held in hallowed silence} with a roar Harry calls on the hunt increasing his speed as he moves through the forest like he was born in it, Harry hears the scream of Sirius as he breaks from the forest and on to the shore of the black lake, Sirius was laying down on the rocky shore looking up to the night sky, eyes empty but talking, "I'm sorry James, im sorry Lily, im sorry Harry, im sorry." Harry hears him say to no one as the cold intensified, creating frost on the shore and freezing the lake over with ice, and all at once dread hits Harry.

The cupboard door slams shut, and he can hear the screams of his mother…

"Expecto-"

"How many times do I have to tell you, boy!?"

Flying, his first time flying, he focuses on that.

"Up, get up freak, and you better not burn breakfast this time!"

"Expecto Pa-"

"Move aside, move aside you silly girl!"

Hagrid in the hut on the rock, getting his letter, his freedom.

"Expe-"

"Speak to me Slytherin, Greatest of the Hogwarts four!" The grinding of stone on stone, the hissing on the great serpent hiding in the depths.

"I can bring them back, so is the power of Lord Voldemort," Harry feels the desperation in his heart as he wants to give in.

"And now my curiosity can be sated," says the girl in the silver jacket.

Harry had fallen to his knees, a cold freezing sweat covering him as he starts to crawl his way over to Sirius, pushing himself as the creatures that feed on all things happy and joyful hovered and floated around them, his Uncles words playing on repeat in his mind.Worthless, useless, unworthy, and a waste of space.Harry makes it to his Godfather, trying with all his might to stay awake, to protect him, he crawls on top of his chest and puts his hand over his mouth and nose, he wouldn't let them take him, he wouldn't…

Harry takes one last look across the lake as the cupboard door slams and the screaming starts again as if it was on a loop, and as the darkness starts to take him, he sees two glowing amber eyes meet his before he knew no more…

Artemis.

Artemis was angry, no scratch that, Artemis was furious. Ever since the full moon had risen she had watched the last two Marauders capture the rat, their duel with Severus Snape, Atalanta joining the fray and quickly ending it, and she was content on just watching the events unfold. Sirius Black seemed to be innocent and being helped by Aunt Hestia, not too surprising considering once she considers what was going on. But then Harry had shown up, he had learned his hope wasn't held in vain in his long years trapped in the cupboard, that the hope he wore on his back was real, and then, and then he had learned who truly locked him away, Peter Pettigrew and the hunt was on. Atalanta tried her best, had tried to talk him down, but the boy was too far gone to listen to her, and Artemis decided to intervene, to stop the boy, to drag him away from his hunt to calm him down to help him to control it and if she had to, end him. She would not allow Atalanta to suffer through that, the Hunt was her domain to oversee, and everything in it, including putting down those mad with the ancient domain.

But to her unending fury, she found that she couldn't, she couldn't move from the shadows to stop Harry, she couldn't take him away, she could do nothing. At first, Artemis didn't understand why, this fell fully into her domain it was hers to deal with but still she could not interfere even when her hunter had prayed to her, she could do nothing, and then it hit her all at once; prophecy.

What was happening tonight was preceded by Prophecy and fate, she, as a god, couldn't interfere. She also didn't know what the prophecy was so she couldn't manipulate the events to her liking, so she had to get…creative, to figure out what she could do.

She couldn't kill Pettigrew, but she could take him if needed, she couldn't affect Harry, but the rest were fair game. She had saved Atalanta from the Werewolf, the blow she had taken to save the children was something that could be healed and the bite wounds wouldn't affect Atalanta due to her protection and sent the wolf deeper into the woods, away from Harry. She could do nothing as Harry pierce the heart of his Godfather with his spear, but at the same time witnessed something she had no words for. Harry had escaped the Hunt, for how deep he was submerged it shouldn't have been possible, he had become an avatar of the Hunt, nothing but a mad beast to put down, like Orion. But somehow the boy's humanity had won, and he pulled himself from the Insidious clutches of the Hunt with force of will and a human heart, something no hunter had done before.

She felt…pride, she saw this scrawny thin slip of a boy pull himself from something that lured too many too deep all for the hope of a life beyond the abuse that he had suffered through in his life. Then came the realization that Black was unharmed due to the nature of divine forged weapons, they could not harm mortals, due to the shock of everyone, no one had told Harry that.

But then came the servants of dread, the Dementors, and saw once again the true character of Sirius Black as he ran away from the children to both protect them and give his life so Harry could be happy and free. She couldn't help but respect that, so as she saw Harry chase after him, hoping to save the hope he carried on his back even if it meant going back into the dark of the cupboard, her anger grew more than ever, because she still could do nothing. Watching Harry struggle with his own demons and trying to protect the man who wanted to protect him was one of the hardest things Artemis had to do. She waited for his prayer asking for help, but it never came. If he would just pray she could try to do something with that, but he didn't, because why would he? His prayers were never answered before, and the two that were, weren't about him, it was about a Maidan and a hunt, they were never about him.

So Artemis tries everything again, and the only thing she finds, …is her connection with Harry, but there was only one thing she could do with it, and she had sworn to never do it, how could she? Even if she did end up saving him from the creatures that descended upon him, she would just put him in more danger with…

But as the cloaked creatures of dread fall upon him and Harry sees her before falling into the darkness and despair of his own heart and mind, she knew there was never really a choice.

"Words are but wind," the Goddess of Dún Scáith had said, "it is our actions that speak of ourcharacter…"

And so Artemis reaches out for the connection between her and Harry's soul and follows it to the depths of the boy's heart, she reaches out and grasps the soul of Harry, of her son, and pulls it close to her breast and closes her eyes. She could feel it, flutter weakly from the nightmares and dread that were brought up by the creatures just outside his body. So she whispers to the soul of her son, to herself, and to the world.

"This is mine."

And laid claim to the divine spark within.

Artemis, memories of the past.

When she opened her eyes again she is no longer by the lake watching over the events from the outside, no, she found herself among the ghost and memories of the past that long haunted her son, the bland, boring, and badly decorated halls of number four Privet Drive spread out before her as Artemis could hear the shouting of Vernon Dursley and the nagging screech of Petunia Evans echo throughout the house (not a home, never a home.). If it was anywhere else, Artemis would have had to search everywhere to find Harry, but here? There was only one place he could be here.

His prison, his peace.

As she walks down the short hallway towards the kitchen, hearing the sounds of stomping feet and mocking words from a young voice, Artemis stops in front of the cupboard under the stairs. While it was shut firmly, the numerous locks on the outside were undone, unsealing the door, so Artemis reached down to grasp the handle and pulled on the door only to find it stuck fast. She couldn't open the door, and she was no Goddess of dreams so she could not control this one, the only one who could, was Harry. The vent on the cupboard door was still there in the dream, so Artemis reached over and pushed up the vent slowly opening it so she could see in the dark space, she had almost wished she didn't.

She doesn't flinch or look away from the sight before her, the recreation of Harry's worst memory made her want to kill Harry's Aunt and Uncle even more, and perhaps after this, she would. Harry was laying on the ratty cot in the cupboard, his head laying on the equally ratty pillow stained with dirt and old blood, he looked barely older than five, perhaps seven then. He was small, far too small for a child his age, this was a time before he got his glasses, his eyes were open but the emerald eyes Artemis has grown to love were listless and lifeless, the eyes of a doll, so dead and broken, looking into the dark of the cupboard and finding nothing; not ever hope. He was dirty and unwashed, swimming in hand-me-down clothes of rags far too big for him, tucked into the leather jacket far, far too big for him, using it as a blanket. It was a heartbreaking sight to see, she knew what moment this was, this is where all hope died for Harry, and he accepted his place as a broken and unwanted thing.

"Harry," Artemis says through the vent, and watches as the boy flinches before ducking under the jacket, like a scared rabbit into its burrow.

"I'm sorry Aunt Petunia, I didn't mean to do it, I swear," the young child says in a broken and rough voice from crying too much.

"Harry, I'm not Petunia Evans, it's me, Artemis." The Goddess says softly, "Harry, I need you to open the door."

He doesn't come out of the jacket, but answers her, "I don't know you, go away, please." He says

Artemis sighs, this memory wouldn't know her, this was the depths of his despair that she had left him in, he was trapped here, forced back into this place by the Dementor's effect making him to relive it.

"Harry, I'm here to help," She tells him, "Harry I heard your prayers, and I'm…I'm an angel, I'm here to save you, I just need you to open the door," Artemis says, remembering his prayers trapped in the blood wards.

"No, you're not," the boy huddled in the jacket says, "There's no such thing as angels, even if there were, there wouldn't be any for a freak…like me," the child parrots the words of his cruel caregivers, "leave me alone," he whispers.

"Please Harry," Artemis says, gritting her teeth, "I'm trying to help you, you need to open the door so I can get you out of here, so you can save Sirius," she tries to reason with the hiding child, but her time grows short and her patience wears thin.

"There's no one who going to save me," he says the only truth he had ever known, "I'm worthless, a waste of space, I'm just a fre-" As the boy continues to parrot words from people who never cared about him, Artemis had enough as she slams her hands against the door.

"Harry, you will open this door, right now!" Artemis yells, ordering the boy, but all it does is scare the boy deeper into the darkness of the cupboard, he crawls into the corner, wrapping himself deeper into the jacket, squeezing his eyes tighter, willing the world outside to just leave him alone.

As Artemis sees this, she shuts her eyes, trying to control her legendary temper, she sighs "Harry, please, I just need to touch you, to hold your hand, to remind you, please just open the door," Artemis pleads with the boy as he shakes his head.

For so long as he stayed in his cupboard, the world outside couldn't hurt him.

Artemis sinks to her knees, pressing her head against the door, "Please, Harry, please, I… I don't want to lose you," she whispers, but still, the boy remains quiet. It was then that Artemis heard a noise that she would never imagine to hear in the depths of despair, she heard laughter.

Turning her head she finds the source, leaning against the entrance of the sitting room of number four Privet Drive, was a woman who Artemis had not seen in almost thirteen years, long red hair cascading down from her head, as familiar emerald green eyes stare back at Artemis, Lily Evans was laughing at her.

"You know," Lily says, "for a four-dimensional being, your thinking is rather one-dimensional and linear," she tells Artemis, smiling at her.

"Lily Evans?" Artemis asks, "No, Lily is dead, you can't be her, then who…" Artemis trails off for a moment as the form of Lily Evans blinks owlishly at her, "You're her protection, her core," Artemis says.

"Lily Evans, …" The form of Lily says, "Is that who you see me as?" The form of Lily asks before pushing her lips together looking thoughtful before shrugging, "Sure, I guess. I was delivered to the boy by a wand, so that works."

"And why do you find all of this funny?" Artemis asks, "You're supposed to protect the boy, and yet you stand there and mock me when I'm doing your function," Artemis berates the form of Lily, but all she does is shrug.

"The protections laid on the boy only work under very specific circ*mstances, and Dementors are not one of them," the form says, "and the reason I find this," she gestures at Artemis and the cupboard, "funny, is because you want to touch a corporeal form when you're located in the incorporeal form of the boy's soul." She tells Artemis but gathers by the confused look on the Goddess' face that she didn't understand.

The form sighs, "You are in the deepest part of the boy, where his heart, mind, and soul all overlap to form the being that is known as Harry Potter, and you're trying to touch the form the boy constructed to feel the dread of the Dementors." The form explains further, "As I said, linear thinking stuck in a one-dimensional plane," the form says with a smile.

And all at once, Artemis understood, she didn't need to touch the boy, she already was, she held his soul in her hands, Artemis nodded in understanding before turning back to the cupboard door and pressing her palm to it. Like she had done in Dún Scáith, she connects with the piece of herself with him, to her, and slowly the Harmony begins to rise, and the boy in the cupboard, shaking in fear, stops moving as the most wonderful music begins to fill the cupboard. Driving away that sense of isolation and all-consuming loneliness that had been the only company the boy had ever felt.

The boy opens his eyes as the harmony starts to drown out the screaming voices of his Aunt and Uncle, and begins to crawl to the door, eyes wide with wonder as the song continues to play only for him. He sees the girl on the other side, her eyes close as he hears the harmony reach its crescendo and the girl opens her eyes to look at him through the vent, and the home falls quiet.

"Mummy, …" The young boy asks, as the girl on the other side of the cupboard door smiles at him.

"Yes, Harry, it's me," Artemis says, "I'm here, I'm finally here to take you away, but I need you to open the door, only you can do it." She tells the boy in the cupboard.

The boy crawls over to the cupboard door and pushes against it, but it doesn't budge, "I can't open it, it's locked, it's always locked," Harry says.

"It's not locked, Harry," Artemis tells him as she backs away from the door, "It's never been locked, you have to want it, kick it down if you need to."

So Harry sits down on his cot and places his feet against the door, he doesn't want to be in the cupboard anymore.

Bang!

He didn't want to be locked in any longer.

Bang!

He wanted what the song promised him.

Bang!

He wanted to run wide and free, away from the pain and the loneliness inside the cupboard.

Bang!

He hated this cupboard, and He. Wanted.Out!

And the boy in the cupboard screams, announcing his intent to his heart and soul.

Bang!

And the door to the boy's prison shatters along with the walls that had enclosed his heart and the boy turned young man lands on the other side of the cupboard door, finally free.

"Harry!" Artemis wraps her son in a hug, which he returns, grabbing onto her like a lifeline, "You did it, Harry, you did it." She tells him as she wraps him in her arms.

"You came, you finally came," Harry says with tears in his eyes.

"I did, Harry, I'm sorry it took so long," she whispers to him, before pulling back to look him in the eyes, "But we don't have a lot of time left, so I need you to listen to me," Artemis echoes the words of Sirius from earlier.

"The dementors are almost upon you and Sirius, you need to save him and yourself, you know the spell, Harry, use it," Artemis tells him as the boy shakes his head.

"I-I can't," Harry says, "I'm worthless, I can't save anyone,"

"You're not worthless, Harry," Artemis tells him, "You're worth more than you know, Sirius was ready to give his life for you, and your friends were ready to fight and die for you, and Atalanta drags herself away from death with only saving you in her thoughts, and I came here for you, Harry," she says while looking into Harry's eyes so much like hers, so much like Lily's, "because I could not bare to lose you after finding you again, you're not a curiosity, you're my son, my Heir," Artemis tells him as Harry's eyes are wide with shock.

"I know you can do it, Harry," Artemis tells her son as she presses her forehead against his, "Because I am you, and you are me. We are the Hunt and the Hunt is us, and we are prey to nothing and no one." Artemis whispers, "Now I need you to get up, and show them, you are the Heir to the Hunt, show them all what that means," She could see it in her son's eyes, a fire lit in them, unwavering in their convictions and belief in her words as the world around them falls apart.

Mount Olympus

In the hall of the Gods, where their thrones of power sit, where they would gather and argue about how to run the world of mortals, safeguarding it from beings that would rather see the world in ruins, sat a hearth, burning in the heart was the flame of the west, the power that the Greek gods had tied themselves to keep themselves from fading and to keep the west standing. Before it were two figures, the keeper of the flame, kneeling before it, Hestia, and the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite.

The taller of the two Goddess was dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief as she watched the events on the other side of the world unfold, she wasn't gonna lie to anyone, she had cried when she saw what Artemis had done for her son, the selfless act of the boy's Godfather, and those silly walls around the boy's heart come crumbling down like she had said they would.

"Zeus isn't gonna be happy with this," Aphrodite tells the shorter Goddess, "There's no turning back now,"

"My younger brother needs to learn to accept things that are not his to interfere with," Hestia says as she watches the boy start to rise, "besides, the boy needed this, and I will make sure Zeus knows that," the Goddess of the Hearth says as she smiles at the boy lifting his wand and speaking ancient words under the light of the full moon, grasping at the newfound hope in his heart.

'Such a silly boy' Hestia thinks to herself as she waves her hand through the divine flame, 'doesn't he know, the best place to nurture Hope, is in the Hearth.' And the wand Sirius Black still held is consumed in fire.

Harry Potter, The Black Lake.

Harry wakes with a gasp, he is cold, weak, tired, and miserable, but he pushes all that aside as he pushes himself up onto his knees. Harry looks up and sees the carnage of dementors descending upon him and Sirius, Harry wouldn't let them take him, He wouldn't fail at saving Sirius, no matter the nightmares these things bring. So as Harry grips his wand, he closes his eyes and focuses on the happy thoughts and times that were sure to come.

"He was going to live with Sirius, he was going to be free, he would be happy."

As the warmth of those thoughts fills Harry's chest he raises his wand,

"expecto patronum!" He calls out, as a silver shield of light surrounds them, but it wasn't enough, he knew it wasn't. Harry looks across the lake and sees the eyes of Artemis looking back, Harry takes a deep breath and looks up to the moon, full and hanging low in the summer night sky making it look closer to the earth than ever before, and as he looked at the moon, the moon looks back and reflects in the eyes of the hunter.

When Harry looks back at Artemis, if he was closer he would hear her gasp, for Harry's eyes were no longer emerald green, nor were they the gold-yellow of the hunt. They glowed silver with the light of the full moon, like Artemis' true godly form. Harry raises his wand once more, hope once again beating in his heart, he tries again, digging deeper inside himself looking for happy memories that he needed.

It was then, that the wand of the Hearth ignites, filling the shield with its warmth, and reminding Harry where true happiness lies.

Hermione's warm hugs and helping hands.

The chess games with Ron.

The hunts and games of tag with Atalanta.

His mother, both of them, told him that he was loved.

His father's pride in him he knew was there.

The dinners with the Weasleys.

His lessons with Remus.

Sirius' love for him.

The family he chooses, the family he loves.

"Expecto"I expect/I announce!

"Patronum!"A guardian!

When the phantom guardian appears, it doesn't appear with a roar, or a growl, but with a gore. Its horns Pierces through the first of the dementors before tossing it aside as if it was a piece of rubbish, it begins to lead and frolic, jumping to and fro around Harry and Sirius, with every jump and landing it sends out a shock wave of silver light like waves of moonlight burning and chasing the servants of dread away from Harry and Sirius and before long the dementors were chased away and the stag made from silver moonlight lands behind Harry to gaze across the lake where its master was looking at Artemis. Another light appears, but Harry would only learn what it was when Ron and Hermione told him about it, it was the face of a silver stag with golden antlers, a Crescent Moon in the shape of a bow hung between the antlers with an arrow drawn back.

As Artemis watches Harry tilt backwards, collapsing due from the exhaustion from the hunt, from using the ancient Magic, and from the claiming, she smiles before turning to walk into the darkness of the woods, because as much as she wanted to be by her son's side, she had something more important to do.

She had a Rat to hunt.

?

"Are they gone?" Says the form of Lily Potter as she walks back into the hallway of number four Privet Drive from the kitchen, seeing the wreck of a cupboard door all over the floor. She had left when Artemis had understood, wanting to give the mother and son time alone, so Artemis could do what needed to be done.

After seeing no one in the hallway, the form of Lily Potter sighs, "That boy really knows how to make a mess, but that shouldn't really be a shock, huh?" She says to seemingly no one as she walks over to the cot in the cupboard, "Not as shocking as how Artemis saw me, however," the woman sits down on the cot, "To see ME as Lily Potter, how odd," the form of Lily Potter says as she bends over to look under the cot, to the twisted, broken, ugly, and malignant soul under it that glares at her with blood red eyes.

"But then again, Everyone sees me differently, don't they," the form blinks, and eyes once so green turn into fathomless black pits, before she blinks again and they turn green once more, "Tom?"

She sits back up again when the soul shard shoved into the boy doesn't answer back, she chuckles as she lays back in the cupboard, counting down the minutes till she sees the boy again, he would come to her, after all, the boy was hers. He just didn't know it yet.

Notes:

So many of these scenes were in my head for years and it feels so good to finally put them down for all of you.

For those who don't know, Celestial bronze, the stuff Demigod weapons are forged out of, can't harm normal mortals, it passes through them as if they were illusions. The swiss army knife that Harry has follows this same rule, other than the wood that is, it's still wood. This little fact only shows up maybe three whole times in PJO and HoO.

And before any of you point out that it can hurt magicians, I need you to go back and re-read the story because I drew a very clear line in the sand about that.

But ladies and gentlemen, we have reached it, the next chapter is the last one.

Kingsaxcul, Out!

Chapter 32: The End of the Hunt (A Promised Hello)

Notes:

*The curtain parts, and a man dressed in a ringmasters outfit stands upon the stage.*

Welcome, one and all to the final chapter of Under the Hunters Moon, I feel the need to thank you all for reading this cringe-ass fanfiction that I had thought up.

But before we get to the story proper, I had forgotten to explain what Harry's final blessing was, and that is of the Moon. The Moon is one of the oldest symbols of Magic, which is why you see a lot of gods or goddesses who have ties to the moon, and also have ties to Magic in one form or another.

Artemis does not, she uses the Moon to light the night to hunt, that's all. She has her fingertips on the edge of this unfathomable pool of power and uses it as a f*cking nightlight because she can't use the ancient power and mysticism of the magic of the moon.

Enter Harry, the demigod son of Artemis, who just happens to be a wizard. This means that while Artemis can't use that ancient magic, doesn't mean Harry can't.

When the Moon is full and Harry is under the light of it, he is practically the most powerful wizard in the world, …if he knew how to use it that is, Harry is not that hot on learning things that aren't useful to him which mostly falls under dueling and combat spells. He's an amazing fighter, not so hot as an academic, he just does the thing, he can't explain how.

But what do I mean by the most powerful wizard in the world?

Okay, remember back in chapter…4? When Albus and Artemis first met and I went on a little rant about magic cores and their age. That the older a wizard gets, the more powerful magic he can gain access to? Yeah, Harry gets access to the Moon, you know one of the oldest symbols of magic in the world that has been hanging around our planet for….well, forever?

Yeah, do the math.

Harry, if he were to study enough, could make the things that his mother did look like cheap parlor tricks. He also gets a boost in strength, speed, and ability to heal his wounds from kills under the full moon, something like with Percy and being in the water.

Also, I love the fact that most of the comments about fathomless black eyes edge on understanding but don't quite grasp it yet. But to the one guy who had asked how Artemis couldn't tell who she was talking to, Let me ask you this, if a 3rd-dimensional being like yourself, started to talk to a 4th-dimensional being, do you think the other being would take its natural shape to speak with you, or take a form that it could actually communicate with you with?

But, I have stalled long enough, it's time for the curtain call ladies and gentlemen, and to end this Drama.

Now, one last time,

On with the show!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Peter Pettigrew.

Peter Pettigrew couldn't believe his luck, he had gotten away from Sirius, Remus, Severus, and the woman. He had pretended to be knocked out after Sirius had banished him into the stone, hoping to get a moment to plan how to escape. Then the boy went and killed Sirius after knocking out the hooked nose c*nt, he had quickly transformed and scurried off into the underbrush while they were crying over Sirius' soon-to-be-dead body. But Remus now knew, Severus now knew, and soon Dumbledore would know, Peter had to run, he had to escape the wards and get off of the islands and look for the one man who could protect him from Albus Dumbledore and his old friend, he had to return to his master.

So Peter ran as fast as his little feet could carry him, soon he would be outside the wards and could Apparate away and hop a muggle ship to the continent. But as the Rat known as Peter Pettigrew moves through the underbrush of the forest, a cold shiver runs down his back, stopping him dead. He tucks into himself listening to the ingrained instincts of the animal he became, waiting and listening to thecrunch, crunch, crunchof someone approaching near him. Who could have followed him out here? So deep into the woods, was it Snape? Was it Harry? As Peter waits and watches, he hears someone talking to themselves.

"What sight it was to behold," a voice says, a young voice whispers, "When he escaped the Hunt, I was shocked, no mortal had done it before, and he was so deep in it he had become an avatar of it; a living embodiment of the Hunt." The voice scoffs, "He was like Orion at that moment so deep and so lost, but still he pulled himself from it, something even Orion couldn't do. He is truly my Heir, for I'm the only other one I know who can submerge so deep in the Hunt without getting lost in it," the voice speaks softly, almost lovingly.

Peter didn't know who this young voice belonged to, nor why it was talking out loud in the middle of the woods, it must be a student. Didn't they know how dangerous the forest was at night? The little fool will get themselves eaten.

But the voice continues after a small pause, "And then his feat of magic at the edge of the lake, it was my Stag, his father's form, made from silver moonlight," the voice says louder, was she talking about Harry?

"I would have never imagined he would gain access to the domain of the moon," the voice admits, "It's not truly mine you see, I was not born to it, nor did I win it by right of conquest, it was given to me by mortals and I did not think it could be passed on to him," the voice pauses as the person stops walking close to Peter, "and it was magnificent to behold, it's a shame that you had missed it,Peter,"

They knew! Peter scrambled away, he wasn't sure how the person had known, nor did he care at the moment all he knew was that he had to get away, but he didn't get far as a wave ofsomethinghit him, and instead of the form of a rat, he was now in the form of a man scrambling on his hands and knees. Peter stops and flips around and gets his first look at the young voice, she couldn't be older than thirteen with olive skin and black hair pulled into a high ponytail, she wore a silver bomber jacket and Muggle pants with a bow slung over her right shoulder, looking at him with glowing amber eyes full of scorn.

Pettigrew wastes little time drawing his wand and pointing it at the girl, "Back!" He yells at her, "Back away, I-I'm a dark wizard! I'll curse you!" He shouts at the girl, who only chuckles in response.

"Now, now, Peter," the girl says to him with a smile, "I would caution against that, you see, I'm in a particularly good mood at the moment and it would be in your best interest not to ruin it," the way the girl spoke remind Peter of his Master, a being sure of themselves and their power.

"What do you want from me?" Peter asks, maybe he could play this to his advantage, and get protection from both Dumbledore and the Dark Lord.

"What I want Peter, is to reward Harry," she tells the rat, "What he did this night exceeded my wildest expectations of him, I want to make sure he doesn't have to return to where he was raised ever again, I want to make sure the boy is safe," she tells him, "and you are key to all three, so my gift to him will be you." The girl smiles viciously at Peter full of sharp teeth and ill intent.

"N-no, I won't go back, I won't go to Azkaban," Peter says as the forest grows quiet around him as if in anticipation of what's to come and his wand shakes in his hand.

"Good, Peter, good," the young girl tells him, "it wouldn't be a Hunt if you just rolled over and accepted it," she takes a step forward toward Peter and he jabs his wand at her.

"S-stop!" Peter squeaks out, "Th-this is y-your last w-warning!" He tells the girl who stops and raises an eyebrow in amusem*nt.

"I also can't forget what you did," she says softly, "nor can I forgive," the amusem*nt all gone from her face, "You'll have a special place in the fields of punishments, Peter, one I had reserved for Sirius Black, I was a bit too quick to judge the man, questing the loyalty of a man who can turn into a hound," she laughs quietly at that, "I should have realized, from that night so long ago, that the man was a guard dog to his core, but he'll be free soon enough," she takes another step towards Peter, and he had heard enough to know what she was going to try and do to him.

"Crucio!" Peter yells, sending the torture curse to the young woman, he was planning on killing her, and didn't want her trying to fight him off, best to incapacitate her beforehand. But as the curse was sent flying the young girl didn't even bother to block or dodge out of the way, she walked right into it, and with mounting horror, Peter Pettigrew saw it did nothing to her.

"What was that supposed to do Peter Pettigrew?" The girl asks, her voice going from light and cheery to a monotone, "I am not well versed in mortal magic, but it did tingle a bit." She mocks him.

"Avada Kadabra!" Screams Peter, sending the poison green spell rushing towards the girl, who does nothing to dodge or block the spell, she simply raises her hand andcatches the spell, and looks at Peter unimpressed.

"You used a spell of instant Death," The girl says, as Peter looks on in shock and horror, "Against the Goddess of it?" The young girl asks in confusion before crushing the spell in her hand like it was nothing.

Peter tries to transform into wormtail, but the rat doesn't come out, it was as if he was cut off from the other half of himself, he tries again and still nothing, Peter begins to shake as he looks at the young girl in fear as she drops her arm and the scornful look returns.

"I have just thought of something you can do for me Peter," she says as she unslings her bow from her shoulder and catches it in her hand in one smooth motion, "I want you to struggle, I want you to scream, I want you to run as fast as your legs can carry you, and I want you to give me a good hunt, Peter, for we do not have long and our time grows short." Her amber eyes blaze with a hunger Peter had never seen before, but she stops before taking another step forward a thoughtful look crosses her face before she speaks again, "But why should I be the only one to enjoy the Hunt tonight?" She asks as she smiles and raises her fingers to her lips and whistles sharply three times, the sound echoes for miles around them as she lowers her hand, the cruel smile never leaving her face.

As Peter starts to crawl back from the girl, he hears it, the sound of heavy paws hitting the forest floor as through the trees he sees the form of a large wolf walking through the moonlight coming up behind the girl. Peter keeps his horrified face firmly in place when he sees the wolf, it would be the opportunity he needed to escape when the wolf attacked the girl, but to his surprise and terror the wolf doesn't attack the girl as it walks up behind her, in fact, the girl lifts her hand for the wolf to walk under to be petted by the girl, and worst yet; he knows this wolf.

"After all, what is a hunter without her hound," the girl says with a smile, "and you know this hound, don't you Peter?" She asks as Moony takes a step forward and growls deeply at him.

Peter pales as he watches this impossible girl pet a Werewolf without fear and with a smile on her face, she turns to the large wolf before saying "You may chase, savage, and tear, but you are not to kill or bite him, he's protected from that and I'd rather not see what fate would do to you if you did, for you still have much to make for," she tells the wolf as he growls in response to her words as if it could understand her.

"What are you?" Peter asks, beyond scared, beyond frighted, slipping into the true terror of the Hunt.

The girl turns back to him with a smile like a wolf's, "I am Artemis, and you, Peter," she tells him, "Are Prey,"

The wolf growls and lowers himself for the charge to come,

"Run," Artemis Whispers maliciously.

And Peter doesn't need to be told twice and he picks himself off the ground and flings himself into the forest at a dead sprint to escape the growls of the wolf and the laughter of the girl on the Hunt.

Albus Dumbledore, 6th floor of Hogwarts.

Had Albus known that Harry and his friends were to encounter Sirius Black after leaving Hagrid's hut earlier this day, he would have invited them to stay and share a few age-appropriate drinks with Himself and Hagrid after seeing the Minister, Lucius Malfoy, and Walden Macnair off grounds instead of going with the Minister to speak with him about the Triwizard tournament that was coming to Hogwarts next year. The man wanted to bring in a few creatures from Greece for the final task, and he really needed to veto that suggestion before the fool brought in something that would go on a rampage when it smelled demigod in the castle.

Albus and the Minister were several cups deep in their discussion when Minerva's Patronus had entered the private room of the three broomsticks and announced the capture of Sirius Black, and while Cornelius ran off to floo call Madam Bones, Albus had rushed back to the castle to take control of the situation, meeting Minerva at the Entrance Hall she had told them everything she had found out. Sirius Black was brought in unconscious, along with Severus and Harry who shared his condition and locked in an unused classroom on the sixth floor, while Harry and Severus were delivered to the Hospital Wing, The children were fine for now, but were rambling about Peter Pettigrew being alive, something Albus would investigate in time. He had sent Minerva, Hagrid, and Filius out to the forest to find Miss Atalanta in the hopes Remus didn't kill her or she hadn't killed Remus.

Albus however, had business on the sixth floor, for he knew time was short and the Minister with a team of Aurors and Madam Bones were on their way. He had little time for pleasantries and manners, Albus had to get to Sirius Black before they showed up to feed Sirius to the dementors. Albus needed to know what the man had passed along to Tom before that horrible night twelve years ago, he needed to know what Tom knew to better prepare for the war to come, and after he had found out what he needed to know, he would kill Sirius himself, a final mercy to the man.

Standing outside the door, locked with charms and sealed shut with transfigured bars, Albus takes a deep breath to steel himself for what he was about to do, and with a wave of his wand, he undoes the locks that bound the door shut and opens it before walking in. Sirius was awake, sitting in a chair looking into a lit Hearth, Albus could see while it was lit, the fire was fed by nothing, a charm Albus decided, and a wandless one at that, if it was anyone but Sirius Black, Albus would have been impressed.

As the door shuts behind him, Sirius speaks without looking up from the flame, "Are you here to kill me, Dumbledore?" The man asks, but his voice holds no scorn or blame.

Albus sighs before speaking, "I am," Albus tells him simply, there was no reason to beat around the bush, or to gloat, Sirius just nods, accepting his fate.

"Is Harry alright?" Sirius asks softly, and Albus almost hesitates in his mission but answers Sirius anyway.

"As far as I know he is unconscious in the Hospital Wing in the care of Madam Pomfrey, far away from you," Albus says as he moves deeper into the room.

Sirius shakes his head, "I didn't do anyth-'' Sirius tries to say but is cut off by the anger and power behind Dumbledore's words.

"Silence!" Albus yells, loud and angry as his magic fills the room suffocating Sirius under its weight, "I will not hear it, you betrayed them, you handed Lily and James over to Voldemort, after everything they had done for you, after everything Euphemia and Fleamont had done for you, you spat on their legacy and left Harry to suffer," Albus tells Sirius in a hard voice as Sirius flinches at the tone and magic and the Hearth crackles.

"I am not here to go over the why of you doing what you had done, I am here to get the information I seek and to protect the boy who you should have, but failed to do so," Albus says as he levels his wand at the man sitting in front of the Hearth.

"Albus, I didn't do-" Sirius tries to say but Dumbledore doesn't let him finish.

"Legilimens," Albus speaks softly as he dives into the mind of a madman. Albus sorts and shifts through the memories, pushing past the years in Azkaban and starting from the moment Sirius had entered the war, fast-forwarding through the memories trying to find the meetings in secret with Tom to find out what Tom knew but he finds nothing. He looks for dead drops, messages pass in secret, and still nothing. He looks for him meeting with other Death Eaters, but all he saw were battles and healing on the Potter's couch, then the memory of him passing on the secret to another, Peter Pettigrew. Albus skips to the day where Sirius and Peter were in the muggle neighborhood and sees the events play out, and Albus pulls himself from Sirius' mind in shock.

"You didn't do it," Albus says in shock and horror, for all these years an innocent man was imprisoned in Azkaban for a crime he had not committed, subjected to a hell that even Albus could scarcely imagine.

"Yeah," Sirius says, as he huffs in the chair by the Hearth out of breath and sweating, "No sh*t,"

Albus pauses, his mind working a mile a minute, Sirius's death warrant was signed the moment he broke out of Azkaban it would take no less than Peter alive and well for Bones or Fudge to halt the kiss, and it was without a doubt Peter was long gone by now. Albus needed more time, time to think, time to plan, time…Time turner…Granger.

Albus quickly puts his wand away, "I'm sorry for this Sirius, but I do not have long, so a more thorough apology will have to wait till later. But I will make sure you do not suffer the kiss tonight, wait and hope I am in time, old friend." Before Dumbledore turns on his heel and sweeps out the door, sealing Sirius' cries for an explanation behind as Albus double-times it to the hospital Wing, thunder from the brewing storm outside shakes the castle. Miss Granger has a time turner, he hated to do it, but he would have to ask her and Mister Wesley, and if he was awake, Harry to go back in time to save Sirius from his fate. He would not let an innocent man suffer a fate worse than death tonight.

Heading down the stairs to the third floor and opening the secret passage that would lead him right outside the Wing, Albus stops in shock at who meets him in that passage.

"Lady Artemis, you must excuse me, but I must pass," He informs the Goddess in the passage, "My time is short and I must get to the Hospital Wing, I have learned-"

"That Sirius Black is innocent of his crimes," Artemis finishes for him.

Albus pauses, before asking "How long?" He asks about how long she had known.

"Not long ago, I learned it this night as well," she tells the old Headmaster.

"Then, please excuse me, I will not allow an innocent man to lose his soul this night," He says as he tries to move past her, only to find his path blocked by her again.

"You're heading the wrong way if you wish to free the man," Artemis says as another roar of thunder shakes the castle, Artemis narrows her eyes and turns her head before muttering under her breath.

"Lady Artemis, we are wasting time standing here," Albus tells her, trying to keep the frustration out of his voice.

"Yes, we are," she says turning back to him, "Turn around and head back up the stairs, at the top, you'll find a rat, I don't think I'll need to tell you what to do after that," Artemis informs him as the thunder continues.

Albus pauses, considering who he was talking to, and nods before saying "He'll have to return there for a short time, I hope you realize," he tells the Goddess, who just nods.

"How long?" She asks

"Two weeks, at least till the wards recharge," Albus says the words with a heavy heart.

Artemis grinds her teeth, but nods, "If I find they return to what they were doing before I will not hold myself back any longer," she warns Albus, "But if he can make it the two weeks, I'll be-" but Artemis doesn't get to finish as thunder shakes the building as a crack of sound and a flash of light fills the passage along with the smell of ozone before Artemis is gone.

Albus had covered his face to protect himself from the light and sound, and seeing Artemis gone, he suspected of what had happened but decides there was no time to speculate on something that was well beyond him as he turns on his heel and returns to the stairs he had just descended and made his way to the top, and just as Lady Artemis had said, Peter Pettigrew was leaning against the wall, bleeding and heavily injured, but breathing and alive. The Elder Wand snaps into his hand and he levitates Pettigrew's body and charges down the corridor with Pettigrew following him, hoping he wasn't too late.

When Albus makes it to the unused classroom, the Aurors are already outside, Dawlish and young Nymphadora, as he approaches Dawlish leaves his post and walks to meet him, hand out to stop him.

"I'm sorry sir, The Minister, and Madam Bones gave orders not to let anyone inside, not even you Sir," Dawlish tells him, but Albus is in no mood for it.

"Move," Albus Dumbledore says with so much force that it shakes the corridor and the man in front of him to the core.

Dawlish eyes go wide as he looks over to Nymphadora, whose eyes were equally wide, before turning back to Dumbledore and starting to tell the man his orders again before he's flung down the hall with a flick of Dumbledore's wand before he turns to the door and flicking it again, breaking through the ward around the room and the door itself before stepping into the room. Shacklebolt had his wand drawn and pointed at the door, while Moody was looking at the floating body behind Dumbledore with a surprised look on his scared face that was swiftly twisting into a rage. Sirius was backed against the Hearth with a lone dementor floating before him reaching out for him, while Fudge and Madam Bones had both turned to the door, with Bones' wand pointed at Dumbledore.

"Dumbledore, what is this madness!?" Screams Fudge.

"Call it off!" Dumbledore orders, "Call off the Dementor, now Cornelius, there is more going on here than you know."

Fudge stands there in shock for a moment before speaking, "Absolutely not, this man is an escaped mass murderer, he's too dangerous to hold in Azkaban, this is the only way this was going to end," Fudge says back, and as Albus raises his wand to chase the demon from his castle himself, something else decides to step in to help an innocent man.

The Hearth roars filling the room with fire, sending Sirius flying across the room to land in a heap by the opposite wall, everyone covers their face to avoid the flames before the fire pulls back, and in the flame's grip, the Dementor screams in pain as it begins to burn. All eyes turn to the site of the immortal creature's otherworldly screams filling the room and watch in abject horror as the creature of dread is proven not as immortal as it once seemed as the Dementor is burned into not but ash in a Hearth.

"I didn't do that," Sirius says to the stunned room, as they all turn their wands and heads to him, just before a body lands in the middle of the room, and Sirius is stunned like the rest before he starts to laugh, a deep half-mad laugh as he says the man's name "Peter!"

And Moody finishes it in a growl of pure anger, "Pettigrew!" As the unconscious Peter lay on the floor, bleeding and the Dark Mark on his arm was shown to the world.

Artemis, Mount Olympus.

"I AM NOT A CHILD THAT YOU CAN SNAP UP WHENEVER YOU WANT, FATHER!" Artemis screams in rage in the council chambers of the Olympian Gods.

"BE SILENT!" Zeus Roars back, "YOU HAVE CLAIMED A CHILD, BROKEN YOUR OATHS, AND WORST YET, MOTHERED A MAGICIAN!" His face is red with rage as he glares down at his daughter.

"I have broken nothing," Artemis hisses out at Zeus as he sits on his platinum throne, but he was not the only one there, every seat was filled. The full Olympian council had been called, the only one missing was Hades, and he wasn't allowed on Olympus unless invited by Zeus himself or it was the winter solstice meeting.

"But you do not deny mothering a Magician?" Asks Athena from her own throne, Artemis' lips pressed together before looking at her.

"The boy is no threat, he doesn't even know what he is or what he can do," Artemis argues from her throne of silver.

"Inconsequential," says Hephaestus the God of the forge, "Just because a part doesn't know its function doesn't mean it's still not a danger," and Zeus nods agreeing with his son.

"Now hold on here," Hermes says, "are we really blaming the kid for what heCANdo, and not what heHASdone?" The rest of the Gods turn to him, before the messenger god continues, "if that is the case, then it sets a very dangerous precedent, killing one of our children over what they can do in fear of what they will do," to which some of the Gods assembled nod to.

"None of our children can mantle, there is a reason why most of the pantheons have outlawed the mixing of magical and divine blood," Zeus says, "Or must I remind you of what happened to the Mesoamerican Pantheon or the Mesopotamian Pantheon before them," the God of the sky says with clenched teeth.

"Lord Zeus speaks truly," Athena says, "Even the most practiced hands of Mantling, The Egyptians, have outlawed its practice. The danger of having a Magician with Olympian blood can not be ignored,"

"I feel the need to point out that we have Magicians already," Aphrodite says next to her husband.

"But they serve a purpose, do not share any of this councils blood, and there are never more than two, one to manage the bridge between us and the Wixen and one to learn how," Athena says to counter Aphrodite's point, "But before we continue with what to do with the boy, I wish to know something beforehand,"

"Shocking that," mutters Dionysus from her left before taking a sip of diet co*ke.

Athena glares at him before turning back to Artemis, "You had taken sacred Oaths alongside me and Aunt Hestia, to remain a Maiden for all time, have you broken this oath, which is a crime, in and of itself, though not one we can cast judgment on," the Goddess of wisdom and war asks the Huntress. At this, all of the Olympian's heads turn to look at Artemis, she could feel the burning gaze of Apollo to her left, not in anger but concern.

"I have not broken my oaths, I laid with no man and have no interest to do so," Artemis says through clenched teeth.

"Then how did this child come to be?" Asks Poseidon, who had been up to this point quiet, there was no accusation in his voice, just curiosity from the earth shaker.

"The child was born of mortals via a ritual," a soft voice speaks, drawing out his words in a throaty growl, as the council chambers become just a little darker, and a little colder, as all heads turn to the voice.

His salt and pepper hair was neatly combed to the side and his black silk-like suit twisted with the faces of the damned as his oxford shoes clicked on the marble floor as he walked in.

"You knew of this Hades," Zeus growls out, as electricity sparks from his eyes.

"Of course," Hades says, "For when a Wixen soul crosses into my domain after being touched by one of us, I tend to take an interest," the Dark God says smoothly, "and I would like to remind you, Little Brother, that I am not a hound to call to heel when you feel like it, unlike some of you, I am a busy God with a busy realm, and have no time for pity arguments." He says with a soft hiss of anger in his voice.

"Uncle speaks truthfully," says Artemis, diverting the ensuing argument between sky and earth, "a mortal woman completed a ritual to summon another God, but she did not consider what would happen if her husband, another Wixen that could turn into a Stag, was apart of the ritual, and accidentally summoned and bound me," Artemis explains as most of the council nods having been bound by the same ritual before, "They had asked for help to create a child after the female was cursed barren during a war,"

"And you agreed?" Asks Artemis' twin in shock.

"They were not asking me to break my oaths or bear the child myself," Artemis explains, "and I was… curious on how a child of mine would turn out to be," Artemis says as she shuffled on her throne, and Apollo leans back in his seat in shock.

"So, you gave away some of your divine Pneuma to help create the child, how much did you use?" Athena asks

"Enough," Artemis says, much to the Goddess of Wisdom's displeasure.

"As annoying as this meeting is-," Hades begins to say before a loud pop is heard throughout the chamber and all heads turn to the Hearth.

"My apologies," Hestia says, "I had to fix something, please do not mind me," all the Olympians nod their heads in acknowledgment before turning back to Hades.

"As I was saying, as annoying as this meeting is, I do not see the point of it," the God of the Underworld says with a sigh, "a child was born outside our realm of power in a land of faded and dead gods, who just happens to be a Magician, the boy is no threat unless someone is stupid enough to make him one," Hades says, looking at Zeus, "and since I am not one to kill a child on what they could do, and believe in leaving other Gods businesses to them," he glares at Zeus at this, "and this will without a doubt go to a vote, my vote is for the boy to live," the God of the Underworld, and Zeus glares at him, hand tightening around the master blot before the Dark God turns to Demeter, "Since I am here, I would like permission to enter your temple Demeter, I wish to see my wife before I return to the underworld,"

Demeter makes a sour face before nodding to him, to which he gives a small bow back and turns around to leave the chambers.

"Wait, Uncle," Artemis calls out as the Dark God stops, and turns to look at her with a raised brow, "What happened to them, the boy's mother and father?" She asks.

"The Elysian Fields, for the both of them," Hades tells the Goddess of the Hunt, "Quite impressive in fact, the first civilian mortals to make there in a long, long time," he says before taking his leave from the chambers.

"This does not change the fact that the child is a threat to us, if he were to learn to Mantle it could spell the end of us all, it will be dealt with here and now," Zeus says as he strikes his master bolt against the floor, "as Hades said, we will take this to a vote, to kill the boy and end the threat, or let the boy live and hope he never figures it out,"

"Which is quite possible," speaks Athena, "We have wiped out all records of it from the mortal world,"

"My son will live, even if I must protect him from you, father," says the Goddess of the Hunt.

"I vote we kill the little bastard," says the God of War, ever thirsty for bloodshed

"I vote for the boy to live, I want to see how he will turn out," says the Goddess of Love who glares at Ares, and whom Artemis glares at for the trouble she caused.

"Well, if my wife votes for the boy to live, even if I do not think it's wise, I vote for him to live as well," says the God of the Forge, and his wife turns back to him with a smile that promises something very nice coming his way soon.

"The boy is an unknown quantity, it would be unwise to allow him to do as he pleases, I vote to end him," says the Goddess of Wisdom with cold logic.

"I agree with Athena, sometimes one must pull up a plant, root and all, for the garden to flourish, the boy can not continue to live if we wish to avoid a parasitic Vine growing," says the Goddess of Nature.

"Well, I'm not in the business of killing kids on what they could do, the boy lives and you all should be ashamed of yourselves," says the God of Roads and Commerce.

"The boy is a threat I will not tolerate, he dies," the God of Lightning says.

"I just have one question for Artemis before I vote, is the brat coming to camp?" Asks the God of Wine.

"No," Artemis answers, "Even if he wanted to, he is of the Hunt and should be trained by the Hunt,"

Dionysus claps his hands before leaning back on his Throne, "And like that, I vote for the boy, Henry Potts or whatever his name is, to live," the God of Madness says with a smile.

Zeus turns to his wife with a scowl, as lightning crackles from his eyes, "Well, dare, you agree with me on the threat the boy poses, don't you?" He asks his Queen.

Hera smiles at Zeus, as sweet as poison, "I vote for the boy to live, Artemis, unlike some other Gods I could mention, have respect for Marriage and solemn vows," says the Goddess of Marriage to spite her husband.

Zeus turns on his throne to look at Poseidon, "Brother!?" He says.

Poseidon looks at the King of the Sky and raises his eyebrow, "I don't know why you're looking at me, I'm voting for the boy to live," says the God of the Seas.

With his brother voting against him, Artemis smirks, her father lost the majority and would have to bow to the council's decision unless he wanted to go back into the net, but there was still one vote left, and so Artemis turns back to her twin, and finds him looking back. Their eyes meet, and the moon passes a message to the sun, "not like Orion." She pleads and the sun sighs.

"This vote was useless from the start," Apollo informs the gathered Gods, "The boy is protected by prophecy, even if you wanted to kill him, father, you can't," Apollo says.

"What!?" Zeus thunders.

Artemis had forgotten that. The events and worry of the day had washed the prophecy that Harry was a part of from her mind.

Apollo shrugs, "Even if it doesn't matter, I vote for the boy to live," says the God of the Sun as he looks at his sister, "But I want to meet him," he says with a cheeky grin.

Harry Potter

It had been a strange and exciting week for Harry, with the exams, meeting Sirius, the hunt in the woods, and the aftermath of it all. When Harry had awoken the next day with a case of minor magical exhaustion due to using too much, too fast at the lakeside, he was caught up with what had happened during the time he was asleep.

First was that Sirius' case was being reopened and investigated thoroughly by the DMLE due to eyewitness reports of Peter Pettigrew being alive, throwing the events in question into speculation, the eyewitnesses being the Minister, Madam Bones, two highly decorated Aurors, and Dumbledore himself. Followed up by testimony from himself, Hermione, Ron, Atalanta, and Professor Lupin. Apparently, Sirius had already had a solicitor in Theodore Tonks, who was doing the case for free seeing that Sirius was his wife's cousin. From what Dumbledore had told him, it was going to be an open and shut case and Sirius would be released before the end of Summer.

Atalanta had been found in the forest unconscious, bettered, and bleeding from her fight with Moony, but not bitten, though his claws were going to leave curse scars on her, when Professor Lupin showed up after waking up in the shrieking shack, and started to apologize to her, voice heavy with remorse all Atalanta started to do was laugh.

"You didn't mess up my pretty face, I got some wicked cool scars out of it, and it was a good hunt," Atalanta said to the shocked Werewolf, "Why are you so gloomy about it?" She had asked, confused and amused at Lupin.

Snape had claimed a blow to the head had knocked him out and due to a concussion, he couldn't remember anything after leaving the dungeon. Harry knew he was lying by the way the man had glared at him, but he was relieved for not to getting expelled over striking a teacher, but Snape wasn't about to help Sirius for some reason and had told Professor Lupin in no uncertain terms to resign from being the DADA Professor or he'd let it slip to the students about his furry little problem to the shock and anger of Ron, Hermione, and himself. But Professor Lupin had told him he already did and had given the Headmaster his letter of resignation before coming to the Hospital Wing, Snape had just glared and swept out of the wing.

That was about the time the bad news started to roll in, Peter Pettigrew had escaped from Auror custody before midnight last night and was currently wanted as much as Sirius was. That, while talking to his-, to Artemis, she had disappeared in a flash of light and thunder, this had Atalanta paling when she heard that before excusing herself to do something. Then, then the conversation Harry knew was coming but didn't want to have came up.

"I have to go back, don't I?" He had asked Dumbledore in a whisper, Dumbledore sighed at the question and removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes before putting them back on.

"I will not lie to you, Harry," Dumbledore said, "You can choose not to go back, for I will not force you into a house that has no true love for you,"

"But the wards," Harry had simply said, explaining it all, and Dumbledore nodded.

"Yes, the blood wards," The Headmaster confirmed, "I made a terrible mistake that day, all those years ago, leaving you there, and you paid the price for it. There are no words in this world to express my sorrow for that, Harry, that wasn't the life I'd imagine you having there." He said, sorrow thick in his voice.

"Why didn't you come back? To check on me?" Harry had asked.

"Because of an agreement I had with your Aunt," he said and seeing Harry's confused face explains, "I had returned once, after dropping you off with your Aunt. It was about a month or so afterwards, it was a busy time for me with all the trails and fires to put out, your Aunt had told me that the only way she would take you in, was if she never had contact with our world again. I had told her that, no matter her objections, you would be coming to Hogwarts when you turned eleven, she had agreed and on that day when I left, if I had known what she was going to do, I would have taken you with me. But hindsight is often 20/20, Harry."

Harry was quiet for a while after that, looking at his feet as he lay in the hospital bed, before turning back to the sitting Headmaster, "I forgive you," Harry had said softly, "You didn't know and were keeping to a promise you made to her, I forgive you." Dumbledore had just sat in his chair, his eyes slightly wide, his lips had parted a few times trying to say something, but in the end, failing before he stood from his seat and turned his back to Harry. He had pulled a handkerchief from somewhere, and wiped his face before taking a deep breath and turned back to Harry.

"It seems, Harry, I must be reminded of how much of an incredible young man you are at the end of every school year," Dumbledore had said with a thick voice, "but back to the matter at hand, while I can not ask you to return, I wish to ask you to be strong for me, one more time." He said before he sat back down, "The blood wards have a recharge time for them, around two weeks, after that the magic of the blood wards will be empowered for another year, can you be strong for me for two more weeks?"

"What happens after two weeks?" Harry had asked.

"Well, it depends, if Lady Artemis has anything planned, which by what she said, she does," Dumbledore informs Harry, to the boy's confusion, "If she does not contact me or you, then after two weeks I will be coming to get you myself, to leave that house forever after that."

"Where would I go? The Borrow?" Harry asked.

"That is certainly an option," Dumbledore said, "Molly is very vocal about that as well, but I have asked a few others, the Granger family had expressed a want to take you in, and so has Andromeda Tonks, Sirius' Cousin, but the choice my dear boy, is up to you." He had told Harry, "This would only be for the short term as well, for I had Sirius sign some parchment work before leaving last night to allow a group of curse breakers, magical construction workers, and other working-class folks into a townhouse in downtown London to begin renovations on it, and by there estimates should be done by late December."

"I get to live with Sirius?" Harry asked, shocked, and Dumbledore nodded.

"As you should have been all those years ago," Dumbledore said, "Once he has been cleared from the Rehab that I have been setting up for him, he also made the most curious comment of wanting a 'dragon-sized Hearth' installed." Dumbledore tilted his head in thought at that, before shaking it and they both fell in silence again for a long moment.

"Can you do it, Harry, can you be strong for me one more time?" The Headmaster asked, and Harry nodded.

So, Harry sat in the last compartment on the left of the Hogwarts Express looking out the window as the rolling green hills fly past them, heading back to the last place he wanted to go for the reward at the end of it all, a year of protection from his mother's magic, and leaving his prison for the last time.

To run wild and free.

As the towns start rolling past, he sighs, and Hermione looks up from her book, "Are you gonna be okay, Harry?" She asks, and Harry shrugs.

"It's only two weeks, and then I'll be free, besides my-, Artemis visited them a while ago and scared them, maybe they'll get the message this time and leave me alone," Harry says.

"And if they don't, I'll come back and beat that message into them," Atalanta says as she stretches after waking up from a cat nap, Hermione gives her a look, but doesn't say anything as Ron snorts before he starts to pack away his chessboard he was practicing with.

"Well, if they do start with that stuff again, write to one of us, and we'll send in the Calvary to get you," Ron says as the train starts to slow down, "besides, Dad got tickets to the world cup this summer, enough for us all to go, so that's something to look forward too,"

As the train screeches to a stop and the students all gather their things to disembark the train, the trio and Atalanta wait for the crowds to clear and follow after, Harry says hello to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, along with Hermione's mom and dad, before telling them both that he'd see them later in the Summer and heading to the exit of the platform, only stopping for a moment when he feels eyes on the back of his neck. Stopping and turning around to scan the crowd he finds who is watching him, Daphne Greengrass, he raises an eyebrow at her before she narrows her eyes at him, and her little sister turns to see who her older sister was looking at before seeing Harry and smiling and waving at him. Harry blinks, before waving back awkwardly back.

"You good kiddo?" Atalanta asks, and Harry turns back to her, nodding, "Good, now come on, I want to threaten your sh*tty relatives before I go." She says with a smirk as they both walk through the barrier.

They both wait at the gate, Atalanta checking her watch and tapping her foot, "They're late," she says, annoyed, "Are they always late?" The Lioness asks and Harry shakes his head, the Dursleys like being on time for everything, even picking up the fre-, picking him up. Harry walks out to the sidewalk with Atalanta following behind him as he starts to look up and down the street to see if he can spot the Dursleys car, maybe they had parked and were just waiting for him?

"Where the hell are they?" Atalanta asks impatiently, as Harry spots something and nudges her, and nods his head towards it.

A man in his twenties was leaning against a red convertible, he was tall with blonde hair and a handsome face, an open white shirt showing off a well-defined chest with blue denim pants and trainers, and a pair of thick black sunglasses covered his eyes as he smiled and nodded to a group of passing women who giggle and blush, and he was holding, oddly enough, a sign with Harry's name on it.

"Oh, f*ck…" Atalanta curses, before grabbing Harry and turning him away from the man, "Okay, don't panic, don't panic, we're just going to avoid him, get around the corner, and summon that knight bus thing, cool?" Atalanta whispers to him.

"Why?" Harry asks back in a whisper, trusting Atalanta, "Who is that guy?" Harry asks as he quickly takes his trunk off the trolley and opens Hedwig's cage letting her fly out, she knew where to go by now.

"That Harry," Atalanta says while making a face full of worry, "That's Lady Artemis' twin,"

Harry stops before paling a bit, that was Apollo, God of the Sun, Apollo, as in one of the people Artemis was worried about finding him, Apollo. That Wasn't good, Harry swallowed the lump in his throat, this was very bad.

"Okay, Knight Bus it is, hopefully, he won't-" but before Harry could finish what he was whispering to Atalanta, a new voice joins them from behind them.

"What are we whispering about?" The new voice whispers as well before Atalanta jumps like a cat, dragging Harry away as well, before turning around.

"Lord Apollo, what a pleasure it is to see you again!" Atalanta says to Apollo who had snuck up behind them.

"Atalanta, nice to see you not a lion anymore," the God of the Sun says back with a blinding smile, "Not trying to sneak away from me are you?"

"What? No, no, just…thinking of alternative ways to get this Random kid I just met home," Atalanta says and cringes at her own bad lie.

"Mmhm, Sure," Apollo says with a smile before turning to Harry and inspecting him from top to bottom, "Harry Potter, the son of Artemis and Heir to the Hunt," He says to the boy who lived who takes a slight step back, "Do you know who I am, Harry?" He asks as he tilts his shades so Harry can look into his eyes, twin burning stars sitting look back at Harry from behind his sunglasses with black holes for pupils.

"You're Apollo, Artemis' twin brother," Harry says with a bit of fear in his voice.

"That's right! You can call me Uncle Apollo if you like," he says with a thousand-watt smile

"Huh?" That is all Harry can say, confused at how the God of the Sun was acting.

"No? Hey, it's cool if you don't want to, just never had a nephew before, thought I'd give it a shot," Apollo says as he starts walking back to the red car, "Well come on, I told your mom that I'd drop you off at the place you staying at,"

"You're not here to kill me?" Harry asks, surprised

"Kill you?" Apollo asks, looking amused, "and what? Risk my sister's wrath and the death of all my children, yeah no, I'm good on that," he smiles once more before taking a set of keys out of his pocket, "You coming?"

Harry turns to look at Atalanta, eyebrow raised in question, she just shrugs and shoulders her bag before walking over before Harry follows, the trunk popping open as he approaches. Harry and Atalanta get settled into the car with Harry's trunk and Hedwig's cage in the boot, Atalanta sprawled out in the back seat, and Harry setting in the front seat next to Apollo, they don't talk much as they leave the city, the God of the Sun makes comments on one thing or another about the city as Atalanta makes plight conversation and Harry staying quiet.

"You're a lot like her you know," Apollo says to Harry, and Harry turns to him confused, "Artemis, I mean, she doesn't like to do meaningless conversation either, but will let me prattle on about anything while she kinda listens,"

"Oh, umm, …Yeah, sorry," Harry doesn't really know what to say to that.

"Don't worry about it, Harry," Apollo says with a small laugh, before going quiet for a moment, he presses a button on the dash, and the top of the convertible starts to come up, and he sighs, "Sorry Atalanta, but I need a moment with my nephew, Guy time ya know?" Before hitting another button and a divider comes up between the front and back seat.

"Hey, wait-" is all Harry hears Atalanta say before the divider cuts her off with a click before Apollo spins his seat to face Harry, the seat now more like a captain's chair on an airplane, Harry feels himself spin to face the God, anxiety raising in his chest as he does. Apollo looked at Harry, inspecting him once more and Harry felt like he was under a microscope.

"You've experienced a prophecy," the God says, not asking him, but stating, and Harry nods.

"Their intense things, the riddles of the future that mortals try and puzzle out, and for the Gods unable to stop," Apollo says solemnly, "Did you figure out what it was about?" He asks Harry who, once again nods.

"It was about Pettigrew escaping, and my-, Artemis making the choice to claim me or not," Harry tells Apollo and it was the God's turn to nod.

"For the most part, yes, but you're leaving something out Harry," Apollo tells the boy.

"Voldemort," Harry whispers the name like a curse.

"The mortal who thinks of himself as a god, Tom Riddle, his story is a tragic one, but it does not excuse him from the horrible things he has done," The God of Prophecy states, "He will return, Harry, maybe not today, or tomorrow, but he will rise again soon,"

Harry looks down to his feet, not saying anything to Artemis' Twin.

"And in the end, it will come down to you two," Apollo tells him, something that deep down, Harry knew, "there was another Prophecy given by the same seer, one that involves you and him, it's not my place to tell you what it says, but he is obsessed with it, it's the reason he went after you that Halloween night, and it's the reason why he will stop at nothing to hunt you down," Apollo says as he watches Harry consider what he was just told, the boy looks up at him, his pupils slitted like his mothers as he draws on the power of the Hunt.

"He can try," Harry says before repeating the words Artemis had told him in the depths of despair, "But I'm not prey to anyone or anything."

And Apollo smiles at the boy.

Number 4 Privet Drive.

Apollo had parked the car, telling Atalanta he'd wait for her until she had said her goodbye to Harry. She had gotten out and helped Harry with his trunk and cage before walking to the door.

"I guess this is it, Huh kiddo?" Atalanta says to Harry as the heir to the hunt sets down his trunk right outside the door.

"Yeah," Harry mumbles awkwardly, not really knowing what to say, or if he'll ever see Atalanta again.

Atalanta smirks at him, still the same old awkward kid she had met in the Leaky Cauldron all those months ago, just a lot more dangerous now.

"I'm going to miss our games of tag," she tells him as he nods and mumbles out he would too, Atalanta shakes her head.

"I'm going to miss you most of all, Harry," she tells him as he finally looks her in the eyes, she smiles at him, "Hopefully it won't be too long before we see each other again, huh?"

Harry doesn't say anything for a moment, his eyes shifting between the door to number 4 to the red convertible parked by the driveway, he awkwardly shuffles between his feet, before looking down again.

"Well, I'll, ah, guess I gotta get going now, don't want to ke-" before Atalanta could finish, Harry had moved almost too fast for her to see, throwing his arms around her and pulling her into a hug, burying his face in her shoulder. Atalanta is stunned for a moment before she smiles softly and wraps her arms around her little adoptive brother and hugs him back.

"Tag," Harry whispers softly, "You're it,"

Atalanta laughs softly before they break apart, She sniffs, fighting the emotions welling in her chest, and rubbing the boy's shoulder, "Happy hunting, Harry,"

He smiles back, "Happy hunting, Atalanta," he tells her back before Atalanta steps off the front porch and starts to walk to the car, not wanting Harry to see her crying, And climbs in. She turns her head just in time to watch Harry disappear inside the house, and she swears, one word from him, one word from anyone about the family inside hurting him again and she would return to f*cking murder every one of them and dance on their corpuses.

"Goodbyes are always hard," Apollo says, "but as bitter-sweet as they tend to be, there is always hope for another Hello in the future." Atalanta doesn't know if he's being poetic or prophetic, so she doesn't comment, just nods.

"Luckily, you're goodbye isn't for long," The God of the Sun says to the confused face of the hunter, "Orders from Artemis, you've earned a Vacation, but only two weeks' worth, I'm to drop you off at the Leaky Cauldron and you are to wait in the prepaid room, drink on the Headmasters Tab, and enjoy yourself,"

"Why? Why two weeks?" The confused Hunter asks.

"Because it's gonna take that long for the whole Hunt to come back to England, after Zoë shows up, you two are going to go collect Harry and then, you're heading out for a hunt," Apollo says as he starts the car again, before turning back to the shocked face of Atalanta.

"The whole Hunt?" Atalanta asks

"Yup," Apollo says, "heard there was a big ass spider problem by some school in Scotland, the Headmaster had prayed to Artemis for help clearing it out," Apollo says with a smile before Atalanta has a matching one.

Notes:

*Mic drop*

This is the longest chapter to date, I wanted to send this story off with a bang and I think I did just that.

What did y'all think? I thought it was pretty good, and fun to write. Not gonna lie guys and gals, im taking a break after this, I pumped this bitch out in under three months, and I really need to get back to planning dnd, or else my group is gonna kill me.

But please pay attention to this story, because you'll hear it here first if and when the sequels go up.

Any questions about all the weird sh*t I slipped in? I'd love to answer some in an A/N chapter. But be forewarned, anything about {fathomless black eyes} will not be answered, that is one mystery I'm keeping to myself.

Kingsaxcul, Out!

Chapter 33: A Midsummer Hunt.

Chapter Text

well, my dear readers, i would ask you all to come with me on,A Midsummer Hunt.

thats, thats the new story, its called that. go follow.

-kingsaxcul

Under the Hunters Moon - Kingsaxcul - Harry Potter (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Otha Schamberger

Last Updated:

Views: 6412

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Otha Schamberger

Birthday: 1999-08-15

Address: Suite 490 606 Hammes Ferry, Carterhaven, IL 62290

Phone: +8557035444877

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: Fishing, Flying, Jewelry making, Digital arts, Sand art, Parkour, tabletop games

Introduction: My name is Otha Schamberger, I am a vast, good, healthy, cheerful, energetic, gorgeous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.