Warning: No eating, drinking, smoking, or reading in public places. Viewer discretion is advised.
Cyrus wandered through the rubble of the Great Hall and frowned at the looks he was getting. It wasn't like he wanted to be here on this stupid investigation unit. But no, Rivehn had insisted that he come and help decipher the events that had transpired a week ago.
The whole situation was one big clusterfuck, really. The Ministry of Magic was in complete disarray. They'd gone through at least three Ministers in the past couple months, apparently, with both assassinations and forced or willing retirement. Not to mention most of the Auror division had been sent to 'rescue' Hogwarts from the 'terrorist' that had befallen it, and had been subsequently wiped out by Set.
When Tara's aunt had shown up, claiming that the man who had killed so many at Hogwarts had attacked one of their council members, therefore giving them jurisdiction over the attack, it was happily shoved into the hands of their investigators on the condition that they shared their results with the Ministry. It was conveniently overlooked that this clan wasn't exactly a member of wizarding society as they knew it.
It never ceased to amaze Cyrus how stupid wizards could be. Honestly. A bunch of kids are killed at a school by a megalomaniac, and they give the investigation over to someone they've never even heard of before?
Tara's aunt must be some sweet talker. Or was it 'legal talker'?
"Hey! Over here!" someone shouted out from a corner of the room. Cyrus walked over curiously, along with Rivehn and Kephri. By the time he reached them, the vampire was holding what appeared to be a mostly undamaged scroll. "This is the most complete one I could find. The others will have be recovered very carefully. From what I've been able to make of the text, it appears to be Egyptian Hieroglyphs."
Rivehn peered at the papyrus thoughtfully. "It appears as though it's directions for the blood ritual. From what I've been able to gather from the runes still visible on the floor, it appears to be a summoning ritual. Cyrus, perhaps you could explain again what happened in more detail?"
The Shikaan student sighed. "Voldemort slit the throats of approximately twenty students in order to gather sufficient blood for the ritual. He chanted in a language I don't understand. I interrupted him part way through in order to bide more time, as I was planning on raising the dead bodies of the children as a distraction so I could destroy the part of the circle that kept us inside the circle. Unfortunately, even after some of the students escaped, it was apparently still enough for the ritual to succeed. I doubt Voldemort intended for that guy, Set, to take him over though. From what he was gloating about when I distracted him, he thought that the ritual would give him some kind of power. Instead, Set devoured his soul, which was apparently already damaged in some way. He made it sound like it was easy. After the explosion, some Aurors barged in and got themselves killed. After that, Set… captured me and made me his slave."
Rivehn had explained the whole thing to him when he'd awoken after the whole incident. Well, after Tara had tried to force him into growing wings again by tossing him through a window. Svea still didn't know how that had happened, though he could tell Cyrus that his body had been altered on a fundamental level. Unfortunately, since he'd never seen anything like it before, his illness was still a big question mark floating above everyone's heads.
Cyrus tried to content himself with the fact that because of it, he'd lived.
Kephri nodded. "Is there anything else of note you can think to mention?"
Cyrus shook his head. "Not really. I mean, he was a bit… possessive. When I accidentally called someone else 'Master', he got really pissed off. But isn't that typical psychosis?"
Rivehn's head tilted to the side, his dark hair falling like a curtain with the movement. "Who else were you calling 'Master', Cyrus?"
The young necromancer wondered whether it would be a good idea to admit that… "Uh… you and Yankovich, apparently." He shrugged.
"Ah. I see." Rivehn nodded to himself as though that made sense. "The particular permutation of a slave bond that he used with you was typically created between Master and Apprentice during that time. Back then it was not unusual for student and teacher to engage in sexual acts, so it wasn't unusual for the delivery system of the seal to be sex magic."
And that was not something he ever wanted to think about again. Thanks, Rivehn. "What does that have to do with you and Yankovich?" he asked, fists clenching at his sides at the memory of Set's hands on his body.
"Yankovich and I have both been very influential when it comes to your education. Due to your abilities, it is not unusual that your magic has formed a bond with us and views us 'Master' and 'Apprentice', in a sense. The seal adapted to this bond, so you found yourself wanting to call us by the title of Master. Do you understand?"
Cyrus thought about it for a second. That… sort of made sense. "I guess." He wracked his brain. "But how is it that Set was able to create this ritual anyway and keep his soul alive?"
Rivehn and Kephri exchanged glances. "I'm afraid that I am not able to tell you all of the details, Cyrus, due to the fact that it is related to clan secrets… but suffice to say that we have been researching Egyptian history for quite some time. Powerful sorcerers like Set would have little difficulty creating a ritual of that magnitude with the knowledge of magic and sacrifices they had at their disposal."
Clan secrets? Uh huh…
"If you have nothing else to add, Mr. Obsidian, I must insist that you leave the rest of the investigation to us. Rivehn? If you could return him to Shikaan, please."
Rivehn raised an eyebrow but did as she asked, placing a hand on Cyrus's shoulder and melting them into the shadows on the floor.
When they reappeared in Rivehn's office at Shikaan, Cyrus couldn't help but ask a question that had been bothering him for quite some time. "Rivehn… why exactly did Set call me 'Ra'?"
The vampire took a seat on the edge of his desk with an amused expression. "It's ironic, isn't it, that a being of his power could let religion blind him to the point that he let a sixteen-year-old kill him. Belief is a powerful thing. As a powerful priest and sorcerer from ancient Egyptian times, he inevitably believed that gods such as Ra existed. As a god of the sun, to Set it was obvious that you were an avatar or a vessel of that power. As he had turned you into his slave, he had disrespected this powerful god. He let you kill him for that reason."
Cyrus stared. "You're kidding. I took him out just because I grew a pair of wings and my hair and eyes changed colour?" Self-consciously, he ruffled the mop of red hair that now sat on the top of his head. His colours hadn't changed ever since his odd transformation more than a week ago. It had gotten to the point where, instead of answering the curious questions of classmates, he just started to ignore them.
A smirk twisted Rivehn's lips. "Hard to believe, isn't it? We live in a different age now. No longer do we search for the favor and forgiveness of beings from above. Some still worship the old gods, but their numbers are few."
Cyrus hummed thoughtfully to himself, fingering the two wands that Tara had recovered from Egypt for him.
"Do you have any other questions? I do have an investigation to return to."
Fiery eyes widened in surprise. "Oh! Sorry, I didn't mean to-"
Rivehn slipped off the desk and bent slightly to meet Cyrus eye to eye. "We expect great things from you, Cyrus," he breathed quietly, power dancing like amethyst light in his deep, violet eyes. The human froze and stared as the vampire's spicy scent reached his nose. "Don't forget that."
Without a word, he vanished into shadow.
Cyrus stared at Rivehn's desk for a long, drawn out moment as his brain tried to get back on the tracks. Damn. How did that guy always get some sort of reaction out of him? It was driving him nuts.
And why did he leave Cyrus alone in his office? Was it some kind of test? To see if Cyrus wouldn't touch or read anything?
Grumbling under his breath, he left the office and locked it behind him. Damn that guy made less sense with every week.
A few months later…
"C'mon, Cyrus! What are you, a damned chicken? Get your ass out here and face me like a man!"
Cyrus grimaced. Why had he asked Tara for help with training again? Oh yeah, he didn't want to die during the crazy ass Weapons and Battle exam. What cruel bastard had thought up that kind of torture anyway? He'd only seen a glimpse of the obstacle course from hell, and he knew it was going to blow balls.
"C'MON YOU GODDAMNED CHICKEN SHIT!"
An explosion ripped apart the tree right next to the one he was hiding in. Uh oh. Looks like it was time to face the music.
Calling his wings from his back, he jumped up into the sky and formed a ball of fire in his hands.
But Tara was already flying towards him. Cursing, he veered off to the side and cast a shield spell.
"NO MAGIC YOU DICK! This is to train your new abilities, not rot your GODDAMNED BRAIN!"
The rune-covered sword came out of nowhere, and the blunt side of it smacked into his ribs and knocked him to the ground.
"You're still too damned slow, Cyrus! How do you expect any of this shit to help you in a battle if you can't even match a vampire's speed?"
Cyrus growled and pushed himself to his feet. Focusing the magic thrumming through his body into his limbs, he disintegrated his wings and used his light weight to get inside her guard. Instead of looking alarmed, however, she just grinned as he landed a fire-covered fist in her stomach. Flying backwards through the air, she flipped and got her feet back under her before she crashed into the ground.
"Bout TIME!" she shouted, spinning her sword and funnelling power into it, making it glow with power. Cursing under his breath, Cyrus focused on the air in front of him and created a wall of fire.
Which sputtered into nothingness and faded along with the glow of his skin. Collapsing to the ground with his sudden change of weight, he groaned at the sight of Tara still charging in. Fuck. Rolling to the side to avoid her attack, he flooded his channels with death magic and reached into the earth beneath.
"WHAT?" Tara snapped when she saw the dead animals starting to move towards her. "Are you seriously out of magic already? Do you realize how easy it's going to be to kill you if you burn through it that quickly? I swear, you are the biggest freak of nature I've ever met." Swinging her sword, she discharged energy from the blade and incinerated all the corpses in one go.
Baring her fangs at him, she vanished her sword and crossed her arms over her chest. "You're never going to be able to use these abilities in battle if you keep burning through magic like butter, Cyrus. You need to get more serious."
The necromancer scowled. "Getting serious doesn't change a damned thing, Tara. Nothing I do decreases consumption."
Letting out a sigh, she fell gracefully to the ground, legs crossed beneath her. "Honestly. How you can continue to be so pathetic astounds me."
Cyrus glared. "It's not like my illness has ever worked in my favour before. Why would it start now? Even when it was just in the developmental stages, it ate magic faster than Xanthir eats Doritos."
She smirked. "He does like those damned chips." When Cyrus just sighed and fell back to lay against the ground, she frowned. "Hey. Don't give up so easily, little bitch. I'm not training you so you can throw in the towel like a little girl."
Cyrus rolled his eyes. "Do you ever get tired of insulting me?"
She grinned. "Nope!"
"XANTHIR! GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE!"
Cyrus watched in alarm as a certain cackling, leg-less werewolf zipped by on a magic wheel chair that had apparently been retrofitted with rockets. Tara ran after him, swinging her sword about with a scream of fury.
"GIVE BACK MY HANKY PANKY!"
"You sure this is a good idea?"
Zachary smiled. "The dojo is fire-proof, Cyrus, regardless of the materials it's made of. You will not be able to burn it down. Now, shall we begin? Tara has charged me with training you while she's on vacation."
Cyrus grumbled. "You sure we couldn't just go do something fun? Like soak in that hot spring you got out back? Or maybe play a game of Go?"
"I thought you said you hated that game." Without waiting for Cyrus's answer, he charged straight on.
Ten minutes later…
Cyrus stared in dismay at the wreckage laid out before them. Damnit. He knew it was a bad idea training in a wooden building…
Zachary stood beside him, arms crossed serenely over his chest and eyes closed. "It can be rebuilt."
A red eyebrow rose in incredulity. "You're kidding, right? Your grandpa's going to murder us."
Zachary nodded sagely. "Yes. Perhaps it is best we engage in another activity for the rest of the day. Have you ever gone sky diving?"
"Rivehn, I was wondering if I could ask a-"
Cyrus froze in the entrance to Rivehn's office.
Yankovich got up off his knees and blocked Rivehn's rather naked lower half from view. "I knew I should have shut and locked that door. Whoops."
Rivehn put a hand to his forehead and sighed.
Numerous students in the quiet library twitched at the sound before returning to their work.
Heads rose and looked around for the culprit to no avail.
Tara looked around suspiciously along with everyone else. She never should have eaten those oysters. Thank God for silencing charms.
"Must focus, short-sighted one! Concentration, very necessary it is in order to master death magic."
Cyrus sighed at the sight of Gyrdrich in Yankovich's office instead of the shadow demon himself. "Yankovich is… out on 'business' again, isn't he."
The fire demon shot a blast at him and Cyrus batted it away with a raised eyebrow. "Ah yes, my incompetent apprentice did say you had gained new fire. How is this so?"
The not-quite-so-human sighed and ran a hand through his red locks. "Potter luck."
"You are a potter? Splendid! I have many broken dishes. You will make me more. Yes, it will be part of your training."
Cyrus stared at him in dismayed disbelief.
Rivehn twitched and kept scribbling away at a report on his desk. Honestly. The incompetence of some of the younger vampire generation never ceased to-
The pen in his hand snapped in half and would have sprayed ink all over his face and papers if not for his quick spell casting. Just as he was reaching for another pen-
"Alright! That's enough!"
The only other person in the room turned to look at him in surprise. Rivehn spun on him with irritation burning in his eyes.
"Yankovich! Get rid of that ghastly thing this instant before I eradicate it! This is becoming beyond ridiculous."
The demon frowned with a 'hurt' expression on his face. "B-but, Rivehn! Bob can't help that he's decomposing in your study. Isn't that right Bob?"
The zombie didn't so much as twitch.
"Is that a…"
Pause. Cyrus ran a hand through his hair. "I'm not sure you wanna touch that."
Xanthir made a face. "No, seriously. It could be toxic. For all we know it's rabbit spleen." Two heads turned to look at him with raised eyebrows. "I'm serious! There's this one time, it was actually rat brains, and- I was scarred for life!"
Yalmireth snorted derisively. "I highly doubt you were ever forced to consume rat brains."
A very solemn and serious expression darkened the werewolf's face. "You don't know Tara's childhood tea parties like I do."
Apparently some people aren't reading my messages…
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