The castle always seemed far too dark for Daniel's tastes. Even during the day shadows haunted the corners where no one travelled, darkness shrouding the lower areas and beckoning from the eery forest surrounding it.

"Why can't they just have, oh, several hundred more torches lying about?" Daniel thought moodily, wrapping his arms tighter around himself and gritting his teeth to stop them from chattering.

As he rounded a corner, two figures unexpectedly came into view. Startled, Daniel bolted inside the brick wall, yet remained nearby, listening intently. They were the reason he was there, after all, and it wouldn't do him any good if he was spotted. He crept forward stealthily, making sure to keep his body well hidden in the rock. Holding his breath (a needless gesture), he peered around the right corner of the wall, catching a glimpse of two mildly menacing figures, one short and squat and the other very tall, before darting back again, trying not to pant too loudly.

They hadn't seemed to hear him, though, because they continued talking in hushed whispers. So hushed, in fact, that Daniel couldn't hear a word.

Distraught and worried that his hearing had somehow failed, Daniel darted over to the left wall, easily melding into it and moving slowly through it to his targets.

As he moved just behind the two, making sure to stay completely hidden in the wall, the world suddenly muffled around him, as though he had entered a vacuum, his ears numbed to sound. What made him stop from gasping in shock was how he could suddenly hear the speakers with alarming clarity.

"…never has this happened before. I thought they had it sealed long ago, no one really wants to deal with that sort of history, Dumbledore," a nervous, frustrated voice said, and Daniel figured it had been the shorter one to speak, though he could not see the speakers.

A soft "hmm" sounded before a deeper, croaking voice replied, "Yes, it is rather strange that the ancient seals have been broken, although most things do crack and break down as they age. All it takes is a strong blow to take out the older things."

The other sputtered some inaudible curse then snapped, "Yes, yes, everything grows older, but surely there's something you can do to fix it?! I mean, I highly doubt that, ah, He's down there, but it's better not to risk it. Plus, I don't think you need the bad coverage."

There was a rustling of fabric, and the deeper voice responded gravely, "I do not care what they say. The seal may be broken, but no one here is in any immediate danger. It is much like the Room of Requirement, except that one must have an imprint of oneself at the destination before being able to unlock it. Myself and the staff have placed wards over the area, and you can trust that we are well prepared."

A soft sigh sounded, and then, "I suppose you're right, Dumbledore. My, though, is there a draft in here? I'd think the children would be freezing."

There was a curious "hmm?" made by the taller fellow, and suddenly Daniel found himself staring into the blue eyes of the old man, blue eyes alight with a dangerous, dark fury. Daniel tried to scream, run, and throw his arms up to shield himself from the gaze of the man. Key word being tried. He found that he couldn't move an inch, couldn't blink, couldn't even draw false breath.

The man turned away from him for a moment and said genially to the other, "I'm sorry about that, dear Cornelius. Sometimes I wonder why we don't just replace the stone with self-heating rocks, but alas, there is a certain magic imbedded within these brickworks that must not be tampered with."

Cornelius paused before saying, "Quite right. Well, I must be going now. Thank you for meeting me this way, and at this hour. I bid thee farewell."

There were two sharp cracks, and then the vacuum they seemed to have been in dissipated, the soft creaking of the castle and wind blowing through the seams returning. A deep, weary sigh came from the old man, and Daniel found himself being dragged out of the stonework and into the open, under the scrutinizing stare of the other man. A smile flitted across the old man's face, and he stated duly, "I think it's time we explore those broken memories you have, Mr. Daniel."

There was a crack, a small, wrinkled creature appearing out of nowhere and looking up at the old man. He responded with a small nod, and the creature snapped, the world instantaneously spinning around, warping, colors blending together and suddenly they were in a room filled with strange, magical paraphernalia, including a large, red-feathered bird who crooned slightly at their entrance.

"Let's see…ah, yes, here it is," the old man muttered as he went over to a large glass cabinet, opening it and backing away slightly as a large, octagonal cauldron slid out.

Daniel could see light refracting from within the cauldron, some sort of liquid swirling about in it. It was entrancing, but suddenly the old man was in his face, a stick-no, a wand- pointing at Daniel's temples. Daniel wanted to scream and flee, yet the spell held fast. Time seemed to slow down as the wand made for his head, and Daniel felt a burst of anger, hate, aimed at the old man, a sudden urge to hurt this man who terrified him beyond reason.

A flash of blue erupted from somewhere between Daniel and the old man, and the old man staggered backwards slightly, a pained and confused expression on his face. Daniel get a surge of triumph, hardly noticing the fact that he was again free to move. The surge of triumph was quickly tamped down by a dawning horror, and Daniel staggered back from the man, frightened thoughts surging through his head.

"This is a powerful man and I just, I-I don't even know what I did! Oh no, oh no, oh no…" Daniel backed away further from the old man, torn between fleeing or begging for his non-life.

Before he could act, the magic from before seized him, and the old man strode forward, growling, "Well, wasn't that unexpected," before raising his wand and jabbing it through Daniel's skull.

Daniel screamed. Whatever magic had prevented him from moving ceased as soon as his past, one that he had tried to hard to suppress and erase, came rushing back, bearing down on him the loads of guilt, manic fear, insanity, the little girl-

Harry woke with a start, his rapid breathing causing his throat to ache, cold sweat pouring off his form. He unravelled the blankets fro his body, sitting up straight with only a brief rush of vertigo. He swung his legs over the side of his bed, grabbed his glasses off of the night stand and stood.

His legs wobbled slightly, but the rush of adrenaline kept him standing. Taking a breath to steady himself, Harry took a few steps to make sure he wouldn't collapse immediately before sprinting out of the hospital.

The dream…it had been just like the one he had before Daniel appeared. Fear, anguish, anger, hatred, all of those emotions roiled through him now, and Harry barely understood why. Why would Dumbledore be so intent on using Daniel's…were they memories? If Dumbledore didn't understand something, why didn't he just ask Daniel about it? Was it because the magic required the subject to be completely terrified?

A rush of anger directed at the headmaster swept through Harry, followed by confusion and pain as his heart twinges slightly at the thought. Had Dumbledore…would Dumbledore betray his trust? Did the man think it would benefit Harry in the long run?

Shaking his head, Harry sprinted on, the rush of emotion whirling through him. His feet found their footing easily, the rapid tapping of them echoing through the hallways. Harry's legs started to ache from the effort, and his breathing tended to hitch in his throat, but he could only plow forward, when suddenly the emotions stopped.

Harry, thrown by the sudden lack of emotions, tripped over his feet and barely managed to catch himself as he came to a stop. Looking around the hallway as though trying to find a clue, Harry felt a chill steal through his spine. Slowly, he started to walk in the direction of Dumbledore's office, now only just a turn around the next corner, his slow, uneasy walk turning into a quick, nervous trot as his own fear seeped into his blood.

As he turned the corner, a shuddering gasp went through him at the sight. Daniel, hardly visible in the dim light, was hovering just next to the gargoyle, looking rather confused as to how he had arrived there. He spotted Harry and lit up slightly, his blue body glowing slightly in the dark.

He darted over to Harry, quickly and excitedly saying, "Harry! I followed the old man, Dumbledore, I think, and I think I found out how we can get back to Brennenburg! Well, at least the prison area, even though it'll be dangerous, but we have to find Ron, right? Right! Anyways, I think we all just need to go down there together and I can summon it somehow. Um, we might have to take a stronger person with us, you know, someone we can trust, yet I really think we can-"

"Wh-what just happened?" Harry asked in a whispery croak, voice breaking slightly. The words hurt to say, and his throat twinges in protest, but he had to know.

Green eyes met green eyes, and Daniel jerked away from the contact. He wrapped his arms around himself and shivered, a look of frustration and confusion crossing his worn face. Harry waited patiently while the ghost collected himself.

"I…I followed Dumbledore into the hallways and found him talking to another man, Cornelius? They talked about how the dungeons were secure and he wouldn't be coming back. I think…" Daniel bit his lip at that point, then blurted out, "He knew I was there and he caught me with magic, somehow, before saying that the-the old castle magic was not to be messed with. Then…then…agh, I don't know how I got here!"

Harry's eyes widened at that, and Daniel peered down at him nervously, asking, "Do you have any idea how I managed to get here? Do ghosts sleep walk, or, eh, sleep float?"

Harry shook his head at that, trying to piece together the dream. He remembered pieces of what Daniel had said about listening to Dumbledore and Fudge, giving him an odd sense of déjà vu. However, that still left the pieces of memory that Daniel seemed to no longer possess, the pieces full of so much pain and fear.

Clearing his throat, Harry started walking back towards the hospital wing before whispering, "I think Dumbledore interrogated you somehow. I remember…a vat of some sort. And a lot of pain and fear. I think you also-" a cough shuddered through him, forcing Harry to quell it before continuing, "…do you think you have some sort of magic in you?"

Daniel quirked his head curiously at Harry, reaching a hand up to cup his chin. A memory must have sparked through the ghost because he exclaimed, "The Orb! That's what did it!"

A sudden, croaking "Meow!" caught them both off-guard, and Harry whispered, "Filch!", immediately going into a panic and trying to find a closet or somewhere he could hide, somewhere safe...

Daniel suddenly whisper, "In here!" before disappearing through a door Harry could have sworn wasn't there a minute ago. Harry didn't wast time to think about it, throwing the door open and slowing to quietly shut it behind him.

He could hear Filch thumping outside, muttering, "I'll find you this time, you mangy ghost."

The caretaker didn't seem to notice the only door in the hallway, however, as his mutterings faded from hearing. Harry, leaned up against the door, gave a sigh of relief, ready to open the door and exit when a breathy, excited voice whispered behind him, "Look at this!"

Harry turned around to look at the room, expecting perhaps a potion or creature left unattended in the classroom, but he certainly wasn't expecting the giant, huge, unbelievable amount of things, stuff, magic, piled to the ceiling all around what looked like an endless room. His jaw dropped, his eyes barely registering the cages holding furry creatures that continuously purred and squeaked, the flying whirligigs, a random fountain with a centipede body and a baby's head-wait, what?

Harry approached Daniel, who was staring at the fountain with a mixture of awe and horror. Harry could definitely see the horror part, noticing the slimy green moss hanging from the baby's mouth like dangling flesh, the cracked pair of legs at the rim of the disgusting pool, and the rusty-red tinge to the water, almost looking like blood.

Daniel shook himself quickly, a grimace on his face as he looked over at Harry and said, "I remember this being in the castle. It creeped me out then, and age certainly hasn't done it any favors."

Harry grinned at that and nodded, and a strange, sudden urge made him reach out and slap the grimy water in the base. His face wrinkled up in disgust as the oily water clung to his hand, the red-orange liquid beading on his palm. He violently waved his hand, trying to get the liquid off, and commented dryly, "I don't know why I did that," realizing that his throat hadn't hurt nearly as much as it had.

Daniel let out a small laugh and said, "Honestly, I had the same urge. I'm almost glad I can't actually touch it."

Now the ghost's smile looked rather distant, and Harry felt a twinge of guilt. He knew that Sir Nicholas held deep regrets and remorse for the things he had lost, but somehow he felt it far more tangibly with Daniel.

"I wonder if it has to do with our strange connection," Harry mused as Daniel flitted off to look at the magical items littering the room.

A wave of weariness descended on Harry, and Daniel seemed to take notice because he swiftly flew back to Harry's side. Harry said, voice cracking only slightly, "I think we should explore this in the morning with Hermione. We can talk with her about…all of this, okay?"

Daniel smiled and nodded, and they left the room, with only a single orange hand print staining the wooden door.

Warm sunlight found Harry's face the next morning, dispelling worries and welcoming the belief that everything would be okay. Yet, as Harry rose from the bed and began to dress, worry returned to him, worry for Ron, for the threat deep below their feet, and for the memory Dumbledore seemed to have erased the night before.

Now the sunlight seemed to have a cold tinge to it, a shiver stealing down Harry's spine. He shook his head before heading towards the exit, grabbing his book bag off of a hook and slinging it over his shoulder. Madame Pomfrey saw him as he was halfway to the door, and she made a strangled, gasping noise.

"Mr. Potter, you better get back in that bed this instant! You are certainly not fit for any kind of walking-"

"I'm sorry, Madame Pomfrey, but I don't think my throat injury has really-" he coughed lightly, "…affected the rest of my body. May I please leave?"

The plump woman seemed to puff up for a moment, sizing up Harry and assessing how well he looked. He put on a relaxed smile and let his posture loosen slightly to show that he really did feel fine. She deflated at that, a small smile gracing her features as she said, "Very well, dear, I suppose you're free to go. Although, you must promise to take your medicine every night. Ah, no, I'm not going to give it to you at the moment," a small smirk crossed her features before being quelled by a more gentle smile, "No, it couldn't do to have strong medicine in the hands of minors, oh no! I'll have the house elves put a small, appropriate amount on your nightstand, and they'll let me know if you skip out. Sound good, m'dear?"

Harry grinned and nodded, quickly saying, "Thanks," and bounding out of the room. Madame Pomfrey called after, "And don't strain your voice!"

Harry practically sprinted down the hallways, ignoring the warnings from the paintings not to run down the halls, focused on getting to where he knew Hermione, Daniel and himself would figure out a plan to get Ron back and maybe even take down Voldemort in the process. He was so caught up in his thought that he didn't even notice a certain blond until they were both sprawled out on the floor.

He was about to apologize when the other boy spluttered angrily, "Are you mad?! I wouldn't be surprised with the friends you keep nowadays, Potter!"

Harry glared at Malfoy, a retort forming on his lips when he paused. Malfoy, glaring at him and trying to fix up his mussed robes, looked…different. Dark shadows bagged under his eyes, and his face looked gaunter than usual. Noticing that Harry was studying him, Malfoy spat, "What, Potter? See something you like?"

Harry gritted his teeth and snapped back, "Ever see something so horrific, terrible and disgusting that you can't look away, no matter how hideous it is? Like watching an atomic bomb go off in slow motion? Yeah, that's what seeing you is like."

Malfoy's lip turned up in a snarl, but Harry was already up and dashing down the hallway, strong away Malfoy's condition for further analysis. Perhaps his father was in contact with Voldemort, and had placed pressure on Malfoy to do something…

Harry slowed to a walk as he entered the library, nodding at Irma Pince, who returned his greeting with a stern look. Giving the librarian a wide berth, Harry spotted Hermione and Daniel sitting at one of the tables, surrounded by stacks of books and pouring over the tomes. Occasionally, Hermione would reach over and turn the page of the book Daniel was reading, never removing her eyes from her own book.

Harry couldn't help but smile at the set up, and he quietly approached the table, waiting a few minutes and then asking, "Have you managed to find anything?"

They both jumped back, startled by Harry's voice, but once they recovered Harry found himself being hugged by one Hermione. She released him quickly enough, and the smile on her face told him that yes, they had definitely been successful.

As Harry pulled a chair from another table closer to their chosen one, Hermione said, "Daniel told me everything you two found out last night. Although it's interesting to know how we can get back to the dungeons, the most valuable piece of information was the name; Brennenburg Castle. Harry, it's like-"

"It's like uncovering some ancient, unknown architecture, hiding secrets lost to man for ages and ages! It's very…" Daniel trailed off when Hermione raised an eyebrow at him, coughing lightly and smiling sheepishly, saying, "Er, yes, you may continue."

Hermione grinned, sitting down in her chair and reaching through the pile of books and pulling out an old, tattered and charred book with a faded green cover. She laid it out on the table reverently, as though it was the most important jewel in the world. She glanced up at Harry to make sure he was watching before continuing her explanation.

"Brennenburg Castle is almost the same age as Hogwarts. It was made in what was once Prussia, although now it's Poland, just near Altstadt. Now, you know Salazar Slytherin, and how he had very different policies than the other founders? Well, it says here," she pointed down to the book, "that he actually left for several years, exploring the world. When he returned to Hogwarts, he proclaimed that he was a changed man. The other founders were wary, but they agreed that four balanced out better than three, and accepted him back. However, things weren't exactly the same…"

Hermione delicately turned the page, flecks of paper fluttering off, and pointed to a grand, foreign looking castle that rivaled Hogwarts with its beauty, despite its slightly smaller stature. Hermione tapped the picture and continued, "Salazar had built his own castle in relative secrecy. During his second tenure at Hogwarts, he managed to set up a portal between Hogwarts and Brennenburg, one that can only be activated by someone who's actually been to Brenneburg, just as Dumbledore implied. The author wrote that Salazar, with the help of an unnamed baron, started stealing Muggle born students, bringing them through the portal and back to his own castle where he…performed experiments on them. It-the author goes into quite too much detail about that. Anyways, Salazar was eventually found out, and that was when the great rift between Slytherin and the other houses, especially Gryffindor, occurred. They tried to seal off the portal but, well, they apparently didn't know that an even more powerful magic had created it.

The author apparently met the ghost of the baron who had helped Salazar, and somehow convinced the 'blood covered phantom' to tell him everything, and then the author started to use Salazar's techniques for his own gain. He frequented the school grounds, surprised by the lack of security, and used it to his advantage. He figured out how to construct a portal leading back to his beloved, and starts to explain the use of 'Orbs', but the rest of the book got caught in a fire…"

She gently closed it, leaning back in her chair and calmly looking at Harry. Harry took a deep breath before asking quietly, "Who was the author?"

With surprising venom, Daniel answered with a growl, "Alexander of Brennenburg."

Harry looked over to see Daniel practically seething, his brow furrowed in anger. Suddenly, glimpses of an elderly, white haired man flashed through Harry's mind, accompanied by snippets of a deep, growling voice. A flurry of fear, followed by the anguish of betrayal. He let out a small gasp at the onslaught of memories, and they stopped all at once.

"Are you two all right?" Hermione asked cautiously, peering at them.

Daniel replied off-handedly, "I'm fine, just…the memories I have of that man could never be considered fond, at least not after his betrayal."

"That's for certain," Harry muttered, rubbing at his aching head.

Hermione let out a small breath, standing up and lifting a large, yellow tome that thunked onto the table. The cover read Telepathic Connections for the Average Magic-User. She opened it up and shifted through the pages until she came to a small comic strip showing a wizard killing someone with, well, the killing curse, and the next panel showing an unhappy ghost following the now angry wizard. The title read "Dealing with the Dead". An asterisk next to it showed at the bottom of the page another title called "How to Haunt the Living for Average Specters".

"It reads here that 'Rarely, the killed will latch onto the killer. When this does occur, if the dead person had a leaning towards being an empath, then the killer is afflicted with the dead's emotional state."

Daniel shrugged and added, "I do have a strong intuition, I think."

"…once the killer falls asleep, his or her soul may travel with the dead during the night, unbeknownst to both until the morning comes. Warning: do not test this out on friends."

Harry, still confused at this idea, asked bemusedly, "So, are you saying I somehow killed Daniel?"

Hermione grinned at him devilishly and slammed the book shut, to which a sharp "Shush!" sounded from Madame Pince. Hermione mouthed "Sorry!" before stippling her fingers and looking into Harry's eyes.

"I'm not completely positive, and there's no way to replicate these results, however… Daniel told me that before he went to seek you out, he had woken due to a bright flash of green light, which probably belonged to You-Know-Who. You-Know-Who tried to kill you, Harry, and instead forged a sort of connection between you and him. This same connection can be travelled through your wands, since they are brothers. And that's how you two are connected."

She sat back in her chair, a smug grin on her face. Harry, opened his mouth, closed it, opened it one more time before closing it and turning to Daniel, pointing with his thumb at Hermione and giving Daniel a flabbergasted look. Daniel laughed and said, "I believe she got it right, and besides, I'm definitely not the one you should be asking advice from."

Harry shook his head before saying, "Well, I guess that solves that mystery. How are we going to get Ron back?"

Hermione faltered, her face falling. She stood up and quietly muttered, "Return," prompting all of the books on the table to rush back to the cabinets. She turned towards Harry and said, "I-I don't…we should probably go to class."

She darted away from the library, Madame Pince almost barking out a reprimand at the rush but failed to as Hermione left. Instead, the strict librarian turned a pointed glare towards Harry, who quickly grabbed his book bag and left, trailed by a rather unhappy ghost.

"Come on, it won't hurt you to ask! Really! You can't even feel anything!"

"Yeah, but what about the 'mentor? Or the dementors?! They can certainly hurt!"

"He's repenting, sad, and lonely. You two will definitely relate."

"He has a temper so strong that other ghosts fear him!"

"Don't tell me you don't have a temper, too!"

Harry was trying to convince Daniel to go ask The Bloody Baron for more information regarding Alexander. Classes had dragged on for forever, with Harry reading like mad to catch up. The highlight of the day had been hippogriff care instructions, where they had to learn care for hooves and talons.

Now, it was after hours, and Hermione had come up with the brilliant plan to ask The Baron for advice. They had convened in a hallway just outside of the lunch hall, close to where The Baron usually appeared for dinner. Unfortunately, their one connection to the past was being unwilling, stubborn about it, and all around cowardly. Not that Harry could blame him under normal circumstances, but at the moment…

The appearance of The Baron himself startled everyone, Daniel instantly fleeing into the brickwork (Harry briefly wished the ghost hadn't picked up on that aspect of being dead) and leaving Hermione and Harry behind. The older ghost looked amused at their expressions, and he asked, "What would two -or was there a third?- Gryffindors want with me?"

Hermione nudged Harry in the ankle, and he swallowed before saying, "M-mister The Baron, er, sir? I, er, we would like to ask you about your, um, previous acquaintances?"

A glazed over look crossed The Bloody Baron's face, a dark frown creasing his features, and he snarled, "I wouldn't meddle in the affairs of people far beyond your time, you daft fools! Who I met in the past has no connect to you now, and you're lucky that I-"

"Wait! Wait, I'm sorry, they didn't mean anything by it, Mister The Baron!" Daniel had bolted out from behind them, hands raised in a halting gesture, startling The Bloody Baron into quiet.

His glare focused on Daniel, and the other ghost swallowed nervously before asking, eyes looking anywhere but at The Baron, "We actually wanted to ask about a-a man named 'Alexander'. We just wanted to know if you had any information that you would want to share or if we better stop asking now…"

The Baron now looked confused, and he replied, "I never knew of a man named Alexander," turning away from the three after stating the fact.

Daniel shrugged to the others, as if to say "We tried", but after catching a glance at Hermione he sighed and called out, "Wait! Does the name, um, 'Brennenburg' ring any bells?"

The Baron paused, tensing up for a moment before sagging down, muttering, "I thought I asked Peeves to burn the thing," before turning around and floating back over to them.

Simultaneously, Harry and Daniel both asked, "Did he influence Volde-""What was he like?!"

The Baron raised an eyebrow at that, and they both back away slightly, embarrassed at their own over-enthusiasm. Hermione gave a petite cough before stepping forward, a scroll and quill in her hand. She smiled pleasantly at The Baron before asking, "We would like to know more about The Orbs and their Shadow, please."

The Baron didn't relax as he told them of The Orbs and their power. How they tapped into the spiritual energy that is vitae and created magic where there was once none, and heightened the power of magic that was already there. He implied that The Orbs might even be the cause of magical ability in humans, as it seemed to affect Muggles that way.

However, experimenting with that power drove men to madness, as it had to him and, to a lesser extent, Salazar. Besides the madness that clung to The Orbs, a living nightmare haunted them as well, one referred to as only The Shadow. It hunted anyone who stole an Orb, chasing them down until the thief either returned it, or was killed in the chase. It was apparently partially sentient as well, holding grudges and, strangely, being able to forgive. It manifested as bloody, raw chunks of moving flesh, as though devouring everything in its path.

"…I'm quite sure The Shadow got Salazar in the end. That thing doesn't even let a soul escape. I think that's enough for one century," The Bloody Baron rattled his chains slightly and departed, not sparing another minute with the three.

Harry's voice squeaked out, "D'you think Voldemort got an Orb?"

Neither Daniel nor Hermione answered him directly, and Harry could still "hear" them screaming yes.

*************************...?

Neville was done with it. Here he was, sitting outside the fat lady's portrait, with no one but Trevor to keep him company. He didn't want to bother the others' rest, and thus he was stuck here, in the dark, waiting until someone went for a midnight walk or something. His eyes burned from lack of sleep, but the fear thrumming through him kept Neville wide awake.

A soft growl startled him, and he leaped back up against the wall. Trevor landed with a wet the, and immediately started hopping away.

"Trevor…" Neville called weakly, but the toad was already lost to the shadows. Another growl sounded, swiftly followed by a sickening squelching sound and a high-pitched croak.

The silence lasted for what felt like an hour. Plucking up the courage to rescue his toad, Neville slowly started forward, hunching low to the ground and trying to keep quiet. He kept his eyes peeled on the ground for any sign of Trevor, not really expecting to see him right away-

His throat constricted as his body worked to vomit out his insides. He had found Trevor, oh, poor Trevor, or whatever was left of Trevor. Something had sliced through his poor toad, severing the bone and splaying out the entrails like something Professor Trelawney would say deserved a "proper reading". The gash marks were reminiscent of claws, being jagged and horrible to see. Neville wanted to do something, maybe yell out at the attacker or pick up poor Trevor's remains for a proper burial or something other than just standing there, trying not to puke.

The fear and disgust had him so overwhelmed that he didn't even realize he had been slashed by something that tore through the flesh on his back, causing immense pain and sending him to the floor. His brain didn't properly realize that he was falling until the world swirled around him, swimming, swimming, swimming…

Author's Note: Are you ready for the climax?! Because I am! If you're not, well…

I hope you've enjoyed it thus far, despite the random updates and the length of time between them. At least I haven't given up, right? …right? Anyways, as per usual, if I made any mistakes (having "fond" instead of "found", you know, things the grammar checker wouldn't catch), or even in how I wrote it, drop me a line!

Before I go, everyone who reads this should check out a game called "Don't Starve". It's adorable and scary, and one of the hardest games to play. If/when you do play it, do not mess with the killer bees. The normal bees are okay, but those bees are twice as terrifying as the 'mentors 8(

Until then, later~

P.S.: Tell me if you can get what the chapter's name is referencing to! If you want to, that is. It is rather embarrassing if you know about it. Mmmm, spaghetti~ =)