Second to last chapter in Bad Moon Rising everyone.

I don't have much to say here, so without further ado…

On with the show.


Artemis.

It happened in the late afternoon.

The Hunt had just settled down to make camp after a short dissatisfying hunt of a small pack of Cynocephali that was acting as a small gang and terrifying mortals in New Jersey. The hunt was settling down in Lewis Morris Park for the night and thankfully they were not too far from New York City, which meant that it would be a short trip for the hunt to make to the Empire State Building and the Department of International Affairs to pick up her two wayward hunters. Many in the hunt were excited to have both Atalanta and Harry back with them and the upcoming hunt their arrival would bring.

Artemis had put off the upcoming hunt for two months, something that was unheard of her. A fact that didn't not escape Agent Doe, for every time he had brought it up she had brushed it aside earning her an odder and odder look from the man. There was a confirmed brood of Chimera in Northeast Brazil numbering in the high thirties, the largest confirmed pack in almost two hundred years, she had thought it an amazing birthday present for Harry. All of her hunters headed to South America to find the brood and cull them without mercy, they have already been reported to have raided villages and killed many locals which only made the hunt more exciting. Afterwards, Artemis was planning to take Harry into some of the magical villages around South America to take in some of the local cultures.

Perhaps try to secure a tour of Castelobruxo, the Magic School of South America, for Harry to compare to Hogwarts. While she wasn't sure of what the school taught, she did know they had a very in-depth and world-famous Magizoology program, Artemis was sure Harry would at least like that.

It happened while she was in her private tent with Zoë.

They were discussing the finer details of their trip south and were debating the use of a Portkey over just taking a boat to the Panama Canal and traveling southeast on foot. Zoë felt a march through the jungle would do good for the whole of the hunt, showing the younger members just what the real fringes of civilization looked like, as well as a reminder to the older members. Artemis was more in favor of the Portkey for the simple fact of the convenience of it, seeing that she and the rest of the hunt at large would only have Harry and Atalanta with them for at most two months before they had to return to England and she did not want to waste it marching through a rainforest.

Zoë had done what she had always done when she knew she wasn't going to change her mind. She rolled her eyes, smirked, and shook her head before making an excuse to leave. But the Nameless Nymph couldn't hide the real reason why she wanted to take the long march over the quicker method.

To spend more time with Harry, she was just as excited to see her little brother as Artemis was to see her son.

As Zoë stood, saying something about checking on how everyone was settling into camp, it had happened. A force much like a blow to the chest from a warhammer, like an arrow piercing her heart, and if she was mortal she had no doubt it would have knocked the wind from her lungs. Zoë gasps and stumbles, grabbing onto one rails that held up her tent to keep herself from falling over. Artemis' eyes widened at the feeling, for it could only mean one thing.

"Headcount," Artemis whispers, her voice full of horror, stumbling a bit as she stands. Not wanting to look, not wanting to see, not wanting to know.

"My Lady-" Zoë tries to say something placating, but Artemis is in no mood for it.

"Headcount, lieutenant! Now!" Artemis snaps angrily at Zoë, her eyes blazing with power and wrath. Zoë jumps a bit at her raised voice, a voice filled with more fear than rage, but Zoë quickly collects herself and gives Artemis a quick jerk of her head before leaving her lady's personal tent. For the first time, in a very long time, the immortal Goddess of the Hunt Artemis felt fear. The fear of loss, of losing something she had just gained and had not wanted to let go of it just yet. "It has to be someone else, please let it be someone else," Artemis thinks to herself and hates herself for those thoughts.

She would never, ever wish death on any of her hunters. They were her sisters, her daughters, her friends, and soldiers all in one. She cared for them all, be they handmaiden or hunter, whether she had saved them or not. But in this moment all she could think of was Harry and the fear of loss that gripped her immortal heart.

Artemis takes a deep breath, trying to calm herself as she decides to check her temple on Olympus. It was an unheard-of thing for one of her handmaidens to perish within the sanctuary of our temple, but Artemis needed to be sure. She steps through time and space to her temple, appearing before her shrine within the depths of the forest that was her domain. Daphnis was already there, his head hung low and whispering a prayer of the Hunt under his breath.

He stops as soon as he feels her, his head turning slightly toward her. "My Lady, were you on a hunt just a moment ago?" Daphnis asks, his voice quiet and mournful at this moment.

Artemis paused, hesitating for just a moment, and that was all Daphnis' needed not to hear.

"I see," he says softly before turning to the shrine. "I've already asked Cecilia to not only get a headcount but to…" Daphnis' voice cracks, his mouth opening and closing a time or two before finishing his words. "But to also gather the priestesses," he says, his voice flat and emotionless with the words. Daphnis hated it. He hates to lose a sister, he hates to call upon the priestesses to do their duty, and he hates to give his sisters their last rites.

It pains Daphnis every time he is called to do so.

They fall into near silence, waiting for both Cecilia and Zoë to call to Artemis or to report back to Daphnis. Waiting was the worst part for the goddess. The seconds felt like years as Artemis' anticipation built, wondering if she would have to cremate a daughter or a son.

It was Cecilia that arrived first, the littlest hunter doesn't seem surprised to see Artemis among them as she returns to the clearing. Her face seemed to be etched from stone as she merely shook her head at the unasked question.

None of the handmaidens were missing which could only mean…

"My Lady," Zoë's voice drifts into her mind and catches Artemis' attention as her immortal heart is seized in terror. "None of our numbers here are missing," Zoë's words were soft and mournful as she prayed to Artemis as if she too feared the answer.

Artemis sighs, her face contorting in anguish and as she focuses her attention on the link between all who shared her blessing and her, both Daphnis and Cecilia turn to look at her. She felt it as soon as she focused on the link, how could she not? It had been a part of the link from the very beginning and it felt as if a pillar of the hunt had been taken from the collective.

For there was now a lioness-shaped hole within the hunt.

The swiftest and most fearsome of her hunters, her lioness, the first mortal to ever take the oath of Artemis. Atalanta had fallen. Artemis opens her eyes as her heart echoes with loss and relief in equal measure, she turns to Daphnis and Cecilia, who are looking at her in equal grief.

"Atalanta," Artemis says softly, knowing that was all she needed to say. Daphnis' reaction was immediate, letting out a gasp as his face twisted into a look of overwhelming sadness. He stumbles back, his legs hitting her shrine before they give out and he sits down hard on her shrine. An action that Artemis would normally see as disrespectful, but as the sob rips through Daphnis' chest, her heart breaks for her high priest. For when Daphnis was given the opportunity to join her hunt Zoë had spoken against it, but it was Atalanta who had argued for letting the boy join them. The two had been close when Daphnis still had his sight, and it was Atalanta who had helped Daphnis heal after Zoë had carved out his eyes.

And Artemis couldn't help but to understand the true depths of loss of her High Priest's eyes were to him, for he could not shed tears for the loss of a beloved sister.

"Cecilia, perhaps it would be best if you lead the-" Artemis begins to say to the littlest hunter before Daphnis cuts her off.

"No," the blind hunter's voice was hard, resolute, and unwavering as he spoke. "I will not sherk off my duty to another My Lady, especially not this one," Daphnis says as he stands once more. "I will gather the handmaidens to collect our fallen sister, and I will see to Atalanta's final rest myself," he states, unflinchingly in the face of his Goddess.

Artemis turned and looked at him, seeing the steel in his face, all she could do was nod. "As you wish, Daphnis. I need to go speak with Zoë and one other, I will be back within the hour to bring no more than five of you with me," she says, watching Daphnis and Cecilia nod their heads before Artemis turns from them and vanishes from her temple.


Empire State Building, 600th floor, Temple of the Skyfather, 30 minutes later.

Artemis had returned to her hunt for a short while to inform them of Atalanta's passing. Sophie, Brittany, and Daisy hadn't taken the news well, for other than Daphnis, they had been closest to the Lioness. Sophie and Atalanta had got on like a house on fire from their first meeting, always cracking jokes, always rushing off to find something insane to do. Artemis wasn't looking forward to the next few weeks for Sophie, she did not doubt that the mad hunter would become more and more closed off as she spiraled into depression. She just hopes Sophie will seek solace with her sisters who are also mourning Atalanta's passing, like what she had done with the death of Strider.

Brittany had taken a while to warm up to Atalanta, both of them wild animals in a sense. They sniffed at each other while circling one another, waiting for the other to make the first move and eventually bonding over their shared love of tracking. Oddly enough, it was the younger hunter who became the mentor to the older one in this skill. Brittany had shared and taught Atalanta everything she could about tracking one's prey in the wilds, making the hunt stronger as a whole.

It was Atalanta who had taken young Daisy under her wing, with their shared background of being cursed animals of the Hunt. She had taught Daisy how to control the Hunt's influence, how not to give in to the beast, and how to deal with the pain and guilt that the curse could spread. How to fight, both against the bloodlust brought on by the curse and in combat, showing Daisy knife fighting and boxing so the girl would never be weak again. They spoke and acted like true sisters during the months when Atalanta was acting lieutenant of the Hunt, much to Artemis' pride.

Zoë had made no comment and showed no emotions at the news, which did not surprise Artemis. Stoic personality aside, the Lioness and the Nameless Nymph had never gotten along, either back in the ancient days to the modern day, they always fought about something. Whether that be Herakles or Harry, mundane topics, or how best to approach a hunt. But Zoë, no matter how she felt about the sister, would not speak ill of the dead. So when Artemis gave the order to build a pyre, Zoë said nothing, just nodded her head before leaving to fulfill her duty.

And duty is what brought Artemis to the Temple of her father. For as much as they fought over the last few years, he was still her king, and she would not break a law he laid down.

She passes through the open spaces of the Platinum Temple built as a palace of vanity for her father Zeus. Pass the golden statue created in his likeness that loomed over the marble interior, and pass the empty halls where his priest and priestesses once roamed. She approaches the back of the temple where a patio is set to overlook the city of New York from the heights only gods can reach.

He was there, of course, sitting and relaxing at a table with Artemis' stepmother, Queen Hera. The Queen was the first to notice Artemis, her cold eyes turning to look at her with a detached sort of interest. Artemis and Hera really got along, much like the rest of their family, they were both cold and uncaring to each other but never disrespectful. Especially after the first and only time that Artemis had disrespected Hera, the Queen of the Gods had, quite literally, put Artemis over her knee and spanked her with a sandal as if she was no more than a naughty child. The worst part was when Artemis had told her own mother Leto about the altercation and she had told Artemis that's what she got for showing disrespect to her elder.

It was a mortifying and humbling experience for Artemis, one that she had no wish to repeat.

Zeus was faced away from her, sipping wine from a glass while overlooking the city he ruled from in a rare moment of silence for the King of the Gods.

Artemis takes a deep breath before speaking. "I am sorry for interrupting your leisure time, Father, but I must speak with you," she says, keeping her tone calm and peaceful.

She watches as Zeus pauses, his glass halfway to his lips. "Are we back to father now, Artemis?" He says, his words sharp but calm, causing Artemis to flinch at his words as Zeus turns to look at her. He started with a glare of annoyed anger, his stormy gray eyes piercing through her for a moment, but as he took her in the glare softened. He could see the pain in her eyes, the mournful look upon her face, and her slumped shoulders. He frowns, but it is not an angry one, more soft before speaking in just as soft of a tone. "What is the matter, my child?" He asks.

"One of my hunters has passed," Artemis simply says, watching as her father's face becomes confused for a moment. It was not up to him to replace her hunters, nor was replacing one that had died with a new one would go against any of his "suggestions" of keeping the numbers of her hunters low.

But soon enough his eyes light up with understanding. "Ah, the one you sent to England," he says, watching as Artemis nods her head once. He tactfully doesn't mention the point of contention between the two of them and why she had set Atalanta in the first place.

"I am here to ask for your leave to go to England to retrieve her body so I may give her her final rights," Artemis supplies, not mentioning she would also be bringing back that very same point of contention between them.

Zeus' lips press into a thin line before turning away from her, swirling his wine glass in thought before speaking. "You may have my leave, on one condition," he says, not needing to see as Artemis nods at his words for she was expecting this. "You are to follow protocol to a T with this, do you understand?" He asks, still not looking back at her for he already knows her answer.

"Yes, Father," Artemis tells Zeus with a nod of her head, trying not to look at Hera who was looking between the two with narrowed eyes.

"That means you are to go to the southern part of the island and wait for the Queen of the Celts to show up and permit you to continue onto her islands. If she is to say no, you are to respect it and come directly back here, from there we will find another way of collecting the hunter's remains," Zeus tells her in an unyielding and firm voice.

"I understand, father," Artemis says before turning on her heel and moving to leave, her business in her father's temple concluded. "And thank you," she whispers under her breath.

After a few moments, waiting for Artemis to step out of the temple, Hera turns to her husband. "You do know that she is going to bring the boy here, yes?" She says with a raised brow.

Zeus scoffs at his wife's words. "Of course she is, and I think it's high time that daughter of mine learns a hard lesson," he says before placing his wine glass down.

"Oh? And what of the boy?" Hera asks, her eyes twinkling with something far too close to mischief for Zeus is like, but all the same, he answers her.

"So long as the boy stays away from New York I will, benevolently, turn a blind eye to his existence for now," the Skyfather says as his fingers run through his thick beard as he ponders how his lesson for Artemis will take shape.

"May I make a suggestion, My King?" Hera offers as she leans back in her seat, taking her glass of wine with her. She waits for Zeus to finish with his own thoughts on the matter before turning to her.

"What is your council, Hera?" Zeus asks her, his eyes twisting like thunderstorms to match his own thoughts.

"If she wishes to have a magician, to house one, to protect one, even to love one, that is fine. But she should be made aware of the consequences of them," Hera says, turning away from Zeus, her eyes gazing over New York. "On that note, are you aware that she is taking her hunt to South America in just a few days?" She says before sipping her wine to hide her smirk.

"Ah," Zeus says, his eyes flashing like lightning as he understands his Queen's words. "Paititi, I see," he mutters as he continues to stroke his beard. "A wonderful idea, Hera. But I think she needs a bit more perspective on the matter, I wish for this lesson to sink in and she can be rather thick-headed at times," he says before downing the rest of his wine and setting his glass down.

"No idea where she gets that from," Hera mutters under her breath, knowing full well Zeus could hear her. But all the skyfather does is let out a scoffing laugh at his Queen's backhanded insult, he knew himself well enough to not even to begin to argue that.

"Be that as it may, my point still stands. After Artemis leaves on her hunt, I will call a council meeting to explain why it is necessary," Zeus says as he stands, brushing the wrinkles out of his suit.

"Oh? Are you really going to go that far?" Hera asks with a raised brow, watching as her King nods once. "Well, you will have my Vote, My King. So long as the boy comes to no harm that is," she says before downing the rest of her own wine and placing the empty glass down as Zeus narrows his eyes at her.

"What is your interest in the boy, Hera?" Zeus asks, suspicion deep in his voice.

"Nothing of interest to you, My King, merely my agreement with Queen Morrígan from long ago, that is all," Hera says, waving her hand as if to brush it away. Zeus huffs at Hera's words once, not fully trusting his wife with whatever she was planning, but that was neither his business nor did he honestly care.

"Fine, keep your secrets, Hera. But if it backfires, you will be the one to take the blame, not me," Zeus says his final words to his wife while pointing a finger at her, before with a crack of thunder, he vanishes from Olympus.

Hera turns back to the city, watching the sun begin to set at the edge of the world with a frown on her face as she recalls her last and only meeting with The Morrígan.

"They will never be accepted among us if they go through with this,"

"They will be hated, ostracized, and casted out. Is that truly the fate you want for them, for your champion, whoever they will be?"

"No. But they won't be yours, they'll be ours and unlike with your kin they will be accepted among us,"

"Then why ask this of me?"

"Because, you won't be able to ignore them either,"


Mill Bay of Nanjizal, southern England.

Artemis stood over the small cliffs that face the bay, the full moon high in the sky as it illuminated the small beach off in the distance. The waves roiled and crashed against the rocks sending the spray of the sea into her face, as dark clouds gathered in the sky sending forks of lightning across Nyx's sky to the north. Her handmaidens and her High Priest stood at attention and in silence, the necessary equipment to prepare and move Atalanta's earthly remains distributed among them.

Artemis says nothing as she waits, watching the moon in the sky with an air of solemn loss around her. She had been waiting for the last twenty minutes according to her Father's wishes and wanting nothing more than to rush to her son's side.

For she knew…

Her eyes leave the moon as the Mists of the Otherworld begins to gather across the green grass of the hills behind her, and before long, The Morrígan steps from the Mists. She was dressed for battle in pitch black armor of screaming faces, her helm tucked in between her arm and her side. Her hair spilled down her back and her face was that of glacial ice, but her tone was surprisingly soft as she spoke.

"Lady Artemis," the Queen of the Celtic Gods greets her with a blank face and soft tone. "I apologize for the way I am dressed, I had not the time to change before your arrival," she says with a bow of her head in a show of respect.

"I've come for my hunters," Artemis says, her tone flat and betraying nothing as she cuts to the point. "Do you intend to deny me?" She asks.

For a moment, The Morrígans eyes soften at the accusation thrown at her, but all she does is shake her head. "No, of course not. I would sooner bury my own daughter than deny a grieving mother and sister the right to claim her child's and sister's body," she says softly.

Artemis nods at her words, accepting them before asking a question that has been bothering her. "How?" She asks, knowing The Morrígan would understand her meaning.

"Voldemort," The Morrígan says shortly, as if it was an explanation all and in of itself. And in some ways, it was, but still she elaborates. "Tom Riddle finally made his move and freed an evil of my people to walk this world again. I had sent Harry to try and stop him, to buy time till the Aurors or the order could arrive, but it was for nought. Atalanta gave her life to protect Harry from a killing blow, and to give us a chance at finally killing him. Be proud, Lady Artemis, she was without a doubt a true Hero," The Morrígan explains, and offers lipserves in Atalanta's name, but Artemis cared little for lipserve from her. Artemis knew that Atalanta would have given her life for Harry, because, in a way, Atalanta loved Harry like she does.

And that's why she knew…

"Where is she?" Artemis asks, she was unable to feel Atalanta in the blessing any longer so had no way of tracking her.

"Grimmauld Place," The Morrígan answers. "You have my leave to collect your fallen hunter, Lady Artemis as well as my condolences," she offers with a small bow of her head.

Artemis nods back once before speaking again. "I am taking Harry with me when I leave," she states in a challenging voice, but to her surprise, The Morrígan just nods her head.

"Of course, when can I expect him back? September first?" The Morrígan asks, her face a mask of soft smiles and Artemis hated it.

"No," Artemis says, her anger leaking into her tone. "Harry will return when he feels ready, no time sooner. I do not care if this whole island burns because of that, it has already taken so much from him, I will not let it continue," she growls slightly out and watches as rage and wrath flashes in the eyes of The Morrígan before she looks down and to her left. Her eyes scan back and forth, as if reading something or watching something.

Before long, The Morrígan looks back to Artemis with a perfect smile on her face, as if she was in on some joke. "But of course, the boy will need time to heal from all he has lost tonight, we will hold the line until he returns," she tells Artemis, her grin never faltering.

"You speak as if he'll choose to come back," Artemis says with a frown at the annoying goddess and fae queen.

The Morrígan just chuckles as she turns away from Artemis. "He will, after all, his greatest hunt awaits him here," she says with a sense of finality as she steps through the Mists and vanishes.


Grimmauld Place, London.

Of all the people that Artemis thought would be waiting out front for her, Nymphadora Tonks wasn't even on the list. The legacy of Aphrodite had always run from the room whenever Artemis had walked into it, and not without good reason, for Artemis had given the girl plenty. But the normal vibrant girl was sitting on the steps that led up to the old town house, her hair down and in a natural chestnut color. Her red robes worn torn and burned in places as if she had just left a battlefield, her face was vacant and her eyes glassy and a thousand miles away from where she sat.

"Nymphadora Tonks," Artemis says as she and her Handmaidens approach the townhouse, but oddly enough the girl does nothing, just continues to look off in the distance. Artemis frowns before walking over to the ever-changing girl before placing her hand on the Legacy's shoulder. "Nymphadora Tonks, did you hear me?" The goddess asks, only for the girl to turn and look at her with dead eyes.

"Don't call me- oh, it's you," Nymphadora says, but there was no heat to her voice, no anger, it sounded dead.

"I am here to collect Atalanta," Artemis tells the Auror her intent, and all the girl does is nod her head.

"Yeah, Dumbledore said you might- yeah, she's- she's upstairs, in the Lady of the house's room. Third floor, left side," Tonks says before turning back to look off across the street as Artemis nods. She waves her hand, parting the veil that hid the house for just a moment to let her handmaidens and high priest inside to collect the body.

Artemis stops Cecilia as she passes and looks to her littlest hunter. "Bring it to me, Cecilia," she orders and her handmaiden bows her head in a show of acceptance before following the rest up the stairs and into the house. Artemis walks over to one of the park cars and leans against, waiting, it doesn't take long before Cecilia to show back up, her hands clutching a small item wrapped in silver silk and passing it to Artemis. Black veins spread from Artemis' hand and crawls down her arm, but she ignores the lingering touch of death on the item and slips it into her jacket pocket as Cecilia returns to her duty.

Artemis looks down, her mind thousands of years in the past during the time of myth, when she had first met Atalanta. The eager young girl looking to prove herself and escape the fate that her brother's Oracle had dictated for her. The smile on her face as she recited her oath, the triumphant grin on her face as Artemis handed over Tauropolos to her, her prayer of protection when she boarded the Argo to carve her name into legend. The look of joy on her face when she was freed and protected from Zeus' curse and was able to rejoin the hunt, the look of rage on Atalanta's face when she had yelled at her over Harry. The fit she threw when she wasn't allowed to go back to Hogwarts during the Triwizard Tournament, to the look of confusion as she caught the silver chain that brought her back to England to protect Harry.

Her Lioness was dead, and like always, it felt as if Artemis had lost a piece of herself.

"Where is Harry?" Artemis asks when she felt her handmaidens coming down the steps of the townhouse.

Nymphadora blinks once before speaking, not looking at Artemis as she does. "Hogwarts, its- its the only place safe at the moment," she says quietly as Artemis nods at her words.

"Is Sirius with him?" Artemis asks and hopes that Harry had at least one person that shared his loss, so he wouldn't mourn alone. She watches as Nymphadora's face falls, her glassy eyes begin to water as her lower lip begins to tremble and the dam bursts. Silent tears begin to stream down Nymphadora's cheeks as she chokes down her sobs and her head bends down to rest her forehead on her knees. As, all at once, Artemis fully understood what Harry had lost this night.

"He's- he's g-gone," Nymphadora says through her tears. "Vol-Voldemort k-k-killed him, there's n-nothing left to-to b-bury," she says as she openly weeps for the loss of her cousin. "Not- not even his w-wand. I can't- I-I-I don't- don't even kn- know what I'm go-going to-to tell Remus in- in the M-morning," she tells Artemis sorrowfully. The goddess frowns as her handmaidens come down the steps to the town house with Cecilia leading the procession. Atalanta's remains were wrapped in a silver shroud and laid upon a stretcher to be carried, emblazoned with symbols of the hunt, of Artemis, and of her homeland with the visage of a roaring lioness in the middle of it all.

Artemis raises her hand to teleport her Handmaidens to her camp when a crack of thunder catches her attention. She turns around and looks skyward, on the edge of a storm cloud was assembled The Wild Hunt with Cernunnos leading his hunting troup from the back of a massive war horse. They were in a single line formation with Cernunnos at the front, the savage god looking down at Artemis and whispering to her, though she heard his words as if he stood next to her.

"I and my hunt have come with our condolences for your loss, sister in the hunt, and know that Lord Nuadha would have come as well if he were not injured. He sends his own condolences, and his word that he will honor the girl as well, in his own way," the Horned God speaks to Artemis. The goddess nods her head as Cernunnos raises his spear in a salut before, as one, The Wild Hunt all raise their weapons as well. "My Wild Hunt!" Cernunnos bellows, his voice like thunder splitting the sky. "A sister in the Hunt has fallen in battle, let us honor her in our way! Let our spears rattle! Let our horns bellow! Let our hound loose! We will give the monsters in the dark that have done this NO QUARTER! NO REST! AND NO MERCY!" He roars, directing his steed up and down the line of ghostly hunters of the dead. "FOR THE HUNT!" He chants before the sound of hunting horns cut through the quiet of the night, his battle cry echoing among his hunting party as they take off north to fulfill that oath.

"Thank you, Lord Cernunnos, for the honor," Artemis whispers back to the King of the Wild Hunt as she turns back to her handmaidens. She waves her hand, sending them and Atalanta's body back to her camp. She then turns to still weeping Nymphadora and walks over to her, and lays her hand on the girl's shoulder.

"I am sorry for your loss, Tonks. Sirius Black, despite all his faults, was a good man, and know I will mourn his loss too," she tells her before turning to step away from the girl, stopping only from a brief moment to speak once more. "It is custom in the demigod circles, that if a hero falls in battle and his body couldn't be retrieved for whatever reason, they burn a shroud that represents who that hero was in place of a body," she tells the ever-changing girl before stepping into the moonlight and vanishing.

Artemis wouldn't find out for a long time, and Tonks would find out soon after, that a shroud was made for Sirius Black. One bearing the emblem of his house but not its motto but with a howling Grimm, a rearing stag, and a hunting wolf. One with symbols of friendship, of the Hunt, of hearth, of home, and of family.


Hogwarts, the Headmaster's office.

The office of Albus Dumbledore looked like a warzone. The scattered remains of books and silver instruments laid across the floor, his heavy desk looked to have been tossed through the window as what chairs remained whole was thrown about. The man himself sat in the remains of one of the chairs, his head bowed and face covered with his hands with his shoulders slumped in defeat.

"Albus," Artemis says softly, causing the headmaster to look up at her. He looked to be a defeated man and every year of his one hundred and seventeen years of his life weighed heavily on him. His eyes were watery and bloodshot as streaks of drying tears ran down his face as they sunk into his pale and exhausted face.

"Lady Artemis," Dumbledore says, his voice breaking once as he addressed her, sounding as tired as he looked.

"Where is he?" Artemis asks, her voice was cold but soft when she spoke to the old mortal, knowing he would understand of who she spoke of.

"I can not say," Dumbledore says as he stands, his posture slumped by an invisible weight on his shoulders. "He left in a rage after our…discussion of what transpired tonight," he says, pausing to look around his destroyed office.

"I see," Artemis says softly, looking toward the door to the office, it was barely hanging on to its hinges.

"He blames himself for Sirius' and Atalanta's deaths," Dumbledore admits, looking back toward Artemis with mournful eyes. "He would not listen when I tried to explain that it wasn't his fault, but of mine and that of Voldemort's," he admits with a frown, looking down and away from Artemis.

Artemis senses no lie from Dumbledore, the old wizard truly believing what he says. Artemis says nothing as she turns back to the old headmaster. "Do not blame yourself Albus, my hunter knew what she was getting into when I set her here. She gave her life for that cause and I will not have you sully her sacrifice over your own self guilt," she informs Dumbledore with a soft chiding tone with no true anger to it.

Dumbledore nods once, as if he accepts her reasoning, but his eyes speak a different story. Artemis just sighs before turning back to the door. "I am collecting Harry and I am taking him with me, I do not care for your excuses nor your arguments about why he should stay. He is leaving with me, tonight, and that is final," she tells him before turning away completely and heading to the door.

"Of course, Lady Artemis," Dumbledore says with a tired sigh. "I shall expect to see him back September first-" but that was as far as Dumbledore got with his words, for Artemis quickly cut him off.

"You misunderstand me, Albus Dumbledore," Artemis says as she turns back to look at the headmaster, her eyes glowing in the dark of the destroyed office. "I do not plan on letting Harry come back to England again, and if he ever does, then it will be because he wants to and for no other reason. I do not care if he is the only one who can kill Voldemort, I do not care if he is the only one who can save the United Kingdom, let it all burn for all I care. He has lost too much, too fast, or did you think it was just a sister and a godfather that he lost this night?" She asks, Dumbledore taking a breath to say something but she doesn't want to hear it.

"He didn't just lose a sister, Albus. He lost the sister that he loved the most, even more than me," she snaps at him. Artemis was no fool, she had known that since the end of that domain damned tournament that started all of this, when she saw Atalanta reach Harry in the depths of the Hunt and calmed him when she couldn't. Atalanta was one of his greatest anchors to his humanity, as well as Sirius, and he had lost both in one night. "He didn't just lose a godfather, he lost a promise and a hope that that man represented. That Harry wasn't some unwanted thing locked in a cupboard under the stairs, that he was loved, that he was cared for," Artemis tells the Headmaster, watching the old man flinch at the word Cupboard. "Good, he understands" Artemis thinks to herself as she watches pain flicker across his face.

"I am taking my son, and I am leaving, and I will kill you if you try to interfere again," Artemis tells Dumbledore, her voice cold and hard with finality as she turns and leaves Dumbledore in the ruins of his office.

Artemis descends the stairs to the Headmaster's office, ignoring the gargoyle and the whispering portraits. She crosses across the corridors before putting two fingers into her lips before whistling twice, long and sharp. She comes immediately of course, fluttering down from the rafters above like she had been waiting for Artemis and lands on her shoulder. Yellow luminescent eyes are vibrant in the dark of the school as Artemis morphs her form to that of an adult. "Lead me to him, Hedwig," Artemis says softly before wings as white as snow spread and take flight down the corridors of the winding school around her.

Artemis follows the snowy owl that acted like a guardian angel for her son, Hedwig flutters from rafter to rafter, from open door to open window to the helmets of the knights that stand as silent guardians around the school. Leading Artemis ever upwards, and halfway to her destination she recognized where she was being led too. "The astronomy tower," Artemis thinks to herself.

Artemis gets to the hatch that leads up to the tower itself, pausing for a moment as a small pop echoes behind her. She turns to see one of the enslaved Aos sí looking at her.

"Would you be the Missy Artty, Ma'am?" The small elf asks, it's tennis ball sized eyes blinking under his witches hat that matches the oversized robe it wore.

"I believe so," Artemis replies before the elf's head bobs up and down before snapping his fingers, Harry's trunk appears next to the little Aos Sí.

"This is the great Harry Potter's things ma'am, heady-master Dumbly-door asked Dobby to make sure this and the Great Harry Potter's wand and gold bracelet was delivered to you, they be in the trunk Ma'am," Dobby says before bowing low and quickly to Artemis and without another word, vanishes with a pop. Artemis sighs before shrinking Harry's trunk with a thought before picking it up, as she raises, she raises slowly as she feels another being enter the corridor. Mist begins to crawl across the floor and up the wall, a presence as powerful and fathomless as her uncle stands not too far behind her.

Artemis sighs before frowning as she turns to face the man now before her. "King Manannán," she says before bowing her head to the King of the otherworld.

He stood before her, his face set in a solemn and pained look, his cloak closed around his form as the bottom of it filled the hallway. "Lady Artemis," he greets with a bow of his own head. "My apologies if I surprised you, but I felt you in the castle and thought it rude not to at least greet you," he says, his voice soft, tired, and full of pain.

"It is fine, King Manannán, I am merely collecting my son. Though I am surprised to see you instead of Scáthach," Artemis admits slipping Harry's trunk into her pocket.

"Scáthach is…recuperating," Manannán admits with a slight flinch and pained eyes. "She was weakened after tonight's events and I am looking after the castle while she rests," he tells her with a hollow, joyless, smile. Artemis' eyes narrowed a bit at Manannán words, she had already gathered something more than Voldemort freeing some monsters by the feel of the very air on the islands. It was heavy, weighted as if something had compressed and strained against reality but she didn't ask questions; she would get the full story out of Harry soon enough. "My reason for coming to see you like this is to inform you that I have sent the soul of your hunter and that of Sirius Black to the Greek underworld with one of my most loyal Dullahan," he tells her, as a confused look crosses Artemis' face.

"Sirius Black may have Roman blood, but he was born on the islands. He should rest in your afterlife, should he not?" Artemis asks, only for Manannán to chuckle humorlessly.

"That would be true, if someone from the Greek pantheon had not put a claim on his soul," Manannán informs Artemis.

"It wasn't me," Artemis informs the God of the Sea.

"No, not you," he says before turning and vanishing into the Mists from whence he came.

Artemis frowns before shrugging and banishing the worry from her mind, she had many things to worry about and the dead and their souls were not one of them. She quickly climbs the ladder to the Astronomy Tower, finding the wide open space set inside the tower eclipsed in darkness; not that would matter much to her. Her feet follow the soft sounds of spat, spat, spat, or silenced tears hitting the wooden floor boards of the ancient castle. Artemis finds Harry sitting against the back wall on the ground, as if he had slid down the wall to sit. His arms rested on his knees as his head was hung with slumped shoulders and air of defeat and self loathing around him so thick that Artemis could practically taste it.

"Harry," Artemis calls to him softly, but he doesn't look up and she doubts that he actually heard her. She walks over to Harry and sits down beside him, wrapping her arms around him and pulling him into a comforting hug. Harry doesn't fight her, and leans into the embrace as silent tears run down his face. Artemis remains quiet as she places her chin on top of Harry's head, unsure of what to say or how to even say it, so she decides to just be there for him.

He was covered head to toe in what smelled like tainted blood, the smell reeked sweetly to her with the touch of ocean brine. Something had settled in Harry, a power that was both alien and frighteningly familiar to Artemis all at the same time. Though she chose not to voice it to Harry or ask questions about it, for she had other worries at the moment.

"It's my fault," Harry whispers hatefully, mournfully, to Artemis. "Atalanta is- Sirius is-," he tries to say, tries to explain but he couldn't finish the sentence. He refuses to do so, but fresh sobs rip through his chest as though he did. "It's my fault," he says one more time.

"Such a silly foolish son I have," Artemis says softly to him. "Their deaths were not your fault Harry, that blame lays solely at the feet of Tom Riddle and no one else," she says as she holds onto Harry.

"You don't know- you don't understand, you weren't there," Harry says through heart breaking sobs, trying to push her away. But Artemis refuses to let him go, not again, never again. "They came to pull me out, we could have escaped- we should have escaped. But I wanted to stay, I wanted to continue the fight. I wanted- I wanted- I-I-I," Harry tries to explain through the tears and heartache, to tell Artemis that it was his fault that Atalanta had died a needless death. All because he couldn't- that he wouldn't let go of the hunt in front of him.

"Did Atalanta argue with you or did she agree?" Artemis asks Harry as she holds him firmly as he spills his heart out to her.

"What does- does it matter, they're both-" Harry says, cutting himself before he could say their fate.

"It matters because Atalanta was no fool, even if she acted like it from time to time. She wouldn't have stayed to fight an unwinnable battle, she would have moved to extract you and Sirius," Artemis tells her son in a soft but unshakable tone and she was right. Atalanta had gone on my hunts and fought in many battles aboard the Argo and knew a losing fight when she saw one.

"It's still my fault," Harry stubbornly says through his own heart break causing Artemis to sigh softly. She realizes that Harry is choosing to shoulder the blame, for this, and many other things he had yet to speak of. She would be wasting her breath while the wound on his heart was still so fresh, but Artemis resolves herself to find some way to help Harry in the future.

"Tell me Harry, do you know what happens to a Hunters weapon after they fall?" Artemis asks softly, hoping to distract him in some way.

"They're- they're enshrined, in your temple," He answers quietly.

"They are," Artemis says before reaching into her pocket and pulling out the bundle of silver silk. "Strider's sword sits in my temple, so does Victoria's, as do a dozen more in places of honor for our fallen sisters. Some bows, some spears, in one case a shield, but other than honoring them, do you know why I keep them?" she asks, and feels as Harry shakes his head.

"As you know, nothing in the Hunt goes to waste, whether that be the spoils of war or the organs of mundane animals, all things have a use and so we use them. So, why would the weapons of my hunters be any different?" Artemis says as she peels away the silver silk to reveal the black multi-tool that was the mundane form of Atalanta's mythical bow. "The weapons sit, enshrined, only for as long as they need too. Until another hunter comes along worthy enough to pass them on too," she says quietly to her son.

"Atalanta held many titles within the hunt, The Lioness, a title that came from her time as a beast of the hunt. The ancient hunter, one that speaks of her true age, and finally, The Swiftest in the Hunt. A title she bore with great honor, for it spoke of her speed and her accomplishments in eons pass," she explains before holding out her other hand, and in a flash of moonlight, Harry's own swiss army knife, The Great Serpent Hunter, appears in her hand. "There had been no other hunter that could come close to the speed that Atalanta could move at, not until you," Artemis says as she looks down at her son.

Artemis turns to her two creations, allowing her power to wrap around both and levitate them in the air. Tauropolos form becoming like wet clay as it molds itself into a small pair of scissors, as Serpent Hunter breaks apart and separates itself into its varied tools.

"She spoke often, and with great pride, about how you were the only one in the hunt that was as fast as her. Atalanta would swear to anyone willing to listen in her belief that one day you would surpass her in terms of speed, she held that faith, no matter what anyone said. Because she believed in you, that one day you would become a hunter that surpassed even Orion himself," she continues as she reaches out and plucks the silver pair of scissors from the floating Serpent Hunter.

"And I believe her in that, in this, that you will one day become a Great Hunter, surpassing all others before you. That is why I know that Atalanta would not only want this, but approve of me passing on this little piece of her onto the one she loved the most," the Goddess of the Hunt says before slipping the black bow, Tauropolos the bow of promised calamity, into the Great Serpent Hunter before reassembling it. It lands softly into her open hand before she offers it to her weeping son, heartbroken over the loss of his sister, of his protector, and his first teacher.

Harry takes the swiss army knife and pulls it close to him. Cradling it in his hands like something precious as Hedwig hoots softly before fluttering down to rest on Harry's shoulder. Nudging him softly to show that she was there for her hatchling.

"It's time to go, Harry," Artemis says softly, causing Harry to finally look up at her with bloodshot eyes.

"Go? Go where?" Harry asks, confused.

"Anywhere but here," she answers scornfully, before, in a flash of moonlight, She, her son, and his own vanish from the Isles.

Harry Potter would not be seen on the Islands for a while yet, not even when September first rolled around and the last compartment on the left hand side would be one person short.


Chapter done!

One more to go and we are officially done with Bad Moon Rising!

Now, I have some good news, some bad news, and some excellent news to share with y'all. First, the bad news: after the next chapter I will be taking a bit of a break as I always do in between books for this story.

The good news: I plan on updating all of my other stories in that time!

The excellent news: I had an epiphany the other night about a plot point for the next story and I realized that I could wrap the Hogwarts years in the next book. I'll have to thread some things really close together, and a lot of things are in flux but the first third of the book hasn't changed, so there is at least that.

Also, can I get like, six more favorites(the heart one) from the people on FFN? Because it's at like 994 and it's killing me not to have that an even thousand.

Kingsaxcul, Out!