It was now the end of August. Alya had not made any progress with her father apart from showing him how talented and smart she was, that is.
In less than a month she was able to isolate the werewolf gene in their blood, something no one bothered to do before just limiting themselves to test their potions on the blood as a whole or on a subject directly; and she was ready to start testing every reaction to different ingredients and concoctions.
Rabastan and Rodolphus still had a long way to recovery but thanks to her potions, a planned diet and some light exercise, they were back to looking healthy and soon they would gain their muscle strength back. Their magic was stronger too, as proven by the numerous duels they involved themselves in. Often they would convince her to join and much to their embarrassment, she would wipe the floor with both of them every time. They had also started seeing a mind healer, a witch from Spain who graduated from her school years before and couldn't care less about her patients status as wanted criminals. Their sessions were going very well and the men already looked lighter, as if invisible weights were lifted from their shoulders.
Bella was still playing ghost, she had seen her only once in passing and the woman was quick to leave as soon as she noticed her. She was unsure if it was for fear or because she was planning revenge. Her money would be on the latter, she was too insane to have the sense to leave her alone.
Much to her displeasure, Voldemort had given Draco the task to find a way to get death eaters into Hogwarts. She wasn't sure if he was just testing her cousin or if he really wanted to rally the school, she sure hoped not, otherwise all her thoughts on how sane he had been since the ritual would have been wrong.
And, he had been saner. More and more each day, you could see him more human, closer to his emotions even though he not always understood them or knew how to deal with them. He was back to careful planning and cunning strategies, so that announcement had left her confused. Nonetheless, she would probably find a way to help the blond or have Blaise lend him a hand since he would be closer.
While Blaise went back to school for his sixth year, she would be back at the Academy. Finally only days before her departure she had received a missive from her Headmaster announcing that she had been admitted to the prestigious program that would make of her a Master of Magic. Attached to the very welcomed missive was also a massive list of books and supplies she needed to procure. It seemed that even though school would provide the untraceable ones because illegal or lost, she still had a library full of material to add to those. Something told her that all the stress and exhaustion of the NEWTs would be considered a walk in the park in comparison to what awaited her.
The good news though were that she would be given her own time turner, so she could attend all the lessons required in a day, each one lasting four hours minimum with six different subjects each day. Counting the time she would need to sleep, eat and do homework in between every two classes, she would have to relive the day three times at least. Thankfully she would not age by taking a non aging potion before each jump back to revive the day, but she had to brew it herself she had been warned, so she had to make time for that too.
If she wished, she was free to leave campus each night or each weekend and visit home. That would allow her to check up on daddy dearest, just to make sure he didn't do something moronic; keep up with her plan to win the bet and see Blaise too. Maybe she would have enough energy to wreak some havoc too; she really hoped so.
This year she would not take both her pets to the Academy. Dion, her beautiful snake would go with her of course, as her familiar; but the little diva of a cat had fallen in love with Blaise and refused to be parted from him. The boy had been amused but said that it was no problem to take her along, she would keep him company and she would have one less thing to worry about while studying for her masteries.
Lucius had refused to speak with her for the rest of the summer, still offended that she dared to talk back to him. It seemed that the return of his Lord coupled with his really short stay at Azkaban, had his arrogance sky rocket to levels never seen before. He prided himself as being the Dark Lord's right hand and having a teenager question him and not showing him due respect was unforgivable in his eyes, no matter if the girl in question was said Lord's daughter.
A week into the school year Alya was glad that she had enchanted a pair of journals to talk with Blaise as owl post would have been slow and make it difficult for her to keep track of things. She had also left an enchanted parchment to Rabastan and Fenrir both , so they could keep her updated on the goings of the Manor and warn her if the pack needed her.
It seemed that as soon as she left, Bellatrix was once again strutting around the place like the Queen of England, ready to curse everyone who looked wrong at her and trying, and failing miserably, to get into the Dark Lord's pants. She would have to teach her another lesson soon. The two brothers had been keeping up with her potion regimen and exercise schedule, they were excited to be able to do more and more as the time passed. She supposed it was a horrible feeling for a man to be so weak that they could barely hold a cup full of tea without their hands shaking and arm hurting. Soon they would be able to lift weights with no problem she was sure.
Fenrir spoke mostly of the pack, saying that the cubs were looking forward to playing with her and Blaise again and that the women were grateful for the books on household charm she left them along with basic healing kits for the most common ailments.
At Hogwarts everything seemed dull according to Blaise, who proclaimed he was going to die of boredom if something didn't happen soon. As it was, the highlight of the week was that apparently Potter had taken to stalking Draco. There was a bet in the common room going, some said that Potter got the hots for Malfoy, others that he cursed himself on accident and was now in love with the boy, the more sane ones bet that he was suspicious about something but as Draco had done nothing yet they were all pretty confused. When asked Blaise said that he put his money on Potter wanting to shag Draco, not because he really believed it but it was too amusing to pass the chance to embarrass Draco. The poor boy was quickly becoming paranoid and checking every five minutes that Potter was nowhere behind him.
She had to admit that after a strenuous and very long -relived four times- day, the knowledge that her cousin could have a fanboy made her laugh until she cried and could barely breath, it freed her of all the tension and tiredness accumulated.
I guess madness really runs in the Black Family, not to mention the insanity I must have inherited from my father. What the hell did I have in mind when I decided to go through with this? They're trying to kill me, I tell you! Every single one of my masters is a slave driver and they all demand perfection in as little time as humanly possible. Just today I had to attend four hours of Charms, six of Potions, two of necromancy, five of transfiguration, a three hour theoretical lesson in wand making, two of curse breaking and six grueling hours of spell crafting. I am ready to kneel over and die. Thank Merlin I have a time turner and I'm able to get enough food and sleep to survive.
On a more positive note, I finally settled in a stable enough routine to have my own personal study/research time. Yes, I need to revive the day another additional time to do it and it's quite taxing, so I limit it to three times a week only.
I've been experimenting with the isolated werewolf gene and I've been getting good results. I mean, lots of ingredients or concoctions react badly with it but it's good to know. I also brewed the wolfsbane myself and adding it to Fenrir's blood I was able to see up close for the first time the damaging effects it brings. While it lets the man keep his mind while in wolf form, it slowly destroys the body from the inside. The effects could be life threatening on long term. To confirm my theories though I would have to run tests on one of the werewolves who had been taking it for at least five years. I think I'll ask Fenrir if he knows someone who could help me with this part of the research, maybe they even will be willing to donate blood or test the potions I come up with once they are finished and deemed secure for consumption.
I spoke with my Herbology and Mind Arts Masters, I want to look into plants or herbs to relax the mind and sooth the anger to recreate the calming effect of the Wolfsbane on the wolf part of the person. If I were able to make the wolf relaxed enough that the man would be able to keep control, instead of wanting to lash out, it would be a breakthrough for this project.
I have a few ideas in mind, the one that could work best though is probably a very rare flower. Well, I guess that if it does work I could always buy some seeds and cuttings and have the elves grow it in one of my Black properties, after all I have money to spare.
How was your day? I'm sure you're getting tired of me leaving poems about what I did or didn't do, at least four times a day. It's just that I already miss you so much, and it's barely been a month. Do you know when your next Hogsmead Weekend will be? Maybe I could come if you like...
"You really think that you'll be able to fix that vanishing cabinet in the room of requirement?"
"Yeah, it will take time though. I just hope that Alya is working her arse off or I'll get her drunk and make sure she gets the biggest and ugliest tattoo known to mankind" he deadpanned
Blaise chuckled "She would have your hide and put your stuffed head over the chimney as a trophy if you tried"
Blaise relaxed on the couch. He had been studying for three hours that day in an abandoned classroom, making sure he was not falling behind the curriculum his tutors gave him, he wanted to take ICW NEWTs once he was good enough, not the crappy ones offered at Hogwarts. After that he took a long run around the lake and practiced his martial arts and sword. Needless to say, he was tired.
Talking about the room of requirement gave him an idea. The place was incredibly fascinating and he promised himself to explore it all and relieve it of anything useful or valuable. There was no need to let it go to waste in a mythical room that next to no one knew existed.
Cassandra, the little puff ball of a cat, jumped on his lap and began kneading the shirt over his stomach, purring loudly in a demand of cuddles. He stroked her amusedly and scratched just below the ears, that was guaranteed to render her a puddle of kitten in no time. He had been surprised when she got so attached to him, but it was probably because Alya regrettably didn't have much time to dedicate her while studying for important exams, while Dion as a snake and able to converse with her was taken along just about everywhere. He was sure that once Alya was done with her schooling she would spoil the kitten rotten, since she hadn't been able to this summer with all the chaos they had been through.
In the meanwhile, he was happy to have a cuddly companion in this dull place. At least she was bound to make life interesting , getting in all kinds of trouble.
As soon as they arrived at school she claimed Theo's bed as hers and no amounts of bribing could let her give it up. Trying to remove her by force got Theo badly scratched all over his face. In the end, she decided to leave and jump on the bed with him once she realized she would have to stay so far away for the night otherwise.
The previous week she used Draco's favorite sweater as a scratching blanket, rendering it to tatters; while Goyle had the misfortune to have his shoes used a an emergency toilet when she was too lazy to walk to the bathroom where her sand box was placed.
Yes, little Cassy got in all kinds of trouble and the worst part of it was that she was so little and adorable that no one had the heart to scold her for it, allowing her to get away with everything.
Fishing the notebook from his bag, he settled for reading the last entry Alya left a couple of hours before. He had seen the diary glowing but he was immersed in a complicated curse and needed to concentrate if he didn't want to accidentally blow himself up.
While a slight smile curling his lips he propped the little book up, still scratching his little trouble maker, and read, impressed by her words.