Shingetsu and Titus shadow flamed back to Hogwarts after Shingetsu had told his parents how his first week of school went. King Arashi and Queen Yuki went back to Nightshade and sent out letters to all the commonwealths that they were now part of the empire Calista. Both vampires were refreshed and feeling much better after their hunting trip in Tasmania. There would be celebrations throughout the empire and Shingetsu knew that his parents would be inviting the Governors and their families to Nightshade for a celebration to commemorate this wonderful occasion.
Tobias was waiting up for Shingetsu when he shadow traveled through Hogwarts and up to the common room in Gryffindor Tower. He was happy to know that his friend didn’t appear sick like he had the past week and surmised that Professor Fang was feeling the same way. “Tobias what are you doing up at this late hour?”
“It’s five in the morning sire,” Tobias said. “I wanted to make sure you got back alright.”
“Tobias you don’t need to call me sire. You’re not one of my subjects. How is Nightmare?”
“Sleeping on your bed.”
“It was nice of you to wait up for me. Have you gotten any sleep?”
“Only an hour. I stayed up working on homework.”
Shingetsu shook his head. “Titus and I are fine. We came back late because I had to go get my parents for a meeting with all forty-two commonwealths. They wanted an empire so my parents made our nation an empire. We are now Calista. There’s going to be celebrations all over the empire now and my parents will be inviting all the governors and their families to Nightshade for a celebration in the capital.”
“Will you be skipping classes today?”
“No. My parents would be furious with me if my grades slipped and I cut class.”
Shingetsu let out a yawn then and went back to his dorm with Tobias following behind him. They went up to their dorm and crawled into their beds before falling asleep. Nightmare purred as Shingetsu scratched his familiar behind the ears. Shingetsu how are you?
I am fine Nightmare. Thank you for asking. The hunting Titus and I did has refreshed us and taken away some of the sickness we have been feeling all week with only animal blood and blood lollipops to get nutrition from. I don’t know how I will survive seven years of school here.
I can always go into the Forbidden Forest or into Hogsmeade and bring back prey for you Shingetsu.
NO! The Forbidden Forest is dangerous and has no prey for me or Titus. If you attack the villagers in Hogsmeade they may guess that you belong to me and then I’ll be in trouble with the Ministry. Who knows what they might do to my parents and sister? To our empire?
Empire dark phoenix?
Yes my dear, empire is correct. When we were in Tasmania all forty-six commonwealth governors were there. I had to go back to Nightshade to get my parents. The commonwealths wanted an empire so we are now Calista. It has made the vampires happy and no doubt they will be receiving owls this time tomorrow to tell them of the rise of Calista and celebrations will begin around the empire as the subjects celebrate.
It is a shame that you and Titus cannot partake in these celebrations at home.
It is but sadly there is nothing I can do about it. It was a risk just leaving Hogwarts in order to hunt and attend that meeting with the governors of the commonwealths.
Shingetsu woke up at 7:30 AM and with Tobias and Nightmare got ready for classes, grabbed their book bags and went down to the Great Hall for breakfast. Titus was up at the staff table next to in his seat between Professors Snape and McGonagall. Shingetsu and Tobias had just sat down at the Gryffindor table when the doors to the Great Hall opened and fifty people strode into the Great Hall. Shingetsu looked up and stood up. Nightmare came out from under the table and stood in front of his bonded. Up at the staff table Titus stood up as well and began walking towards Shingetsu while withdrawing his sword in one hand and his wand in the other. The column of people halted and as one bowed before Shingetsu.
“What is the meaning of this?!” Professor Dumbledore shouted into the silence of the Great Hall as he stood up.
The vampires on the ground ignored the headmaster and the leader spoke. “Prince Shingetsu, King Arashi and Queen Yuki have sent us here so you, Titus and any of your friends can celebrate the birth of the empire. Your parents have granted you and any of your friends leave to skip classes today.”
Shingetsu smiled then. “Tobias do you want to skip classes all day and attend this celebration with Titus and I?”
Nightmare turned his eyes on his bonded and Shingetsu laughed. “Excuse me. I forgot to include Nightmare as well.”
Tobias laughed and nodded. “I’d be happy to attend the celebration with you and I’m glad your parents thought to include me in the festivities.”
“Shingetsu Yamazaki and Tobias Moon are forbidden from skipping classes!” Professor Dumbledore ordered. “Shingetsu and Tobias you are hereby ordered to sit back down at your house table.”
When Shingetsu made no move to follow the headmaster’s orders he huffed and left the dais that the staff table was raised upon before walking over to Shingetsu and Tobias. Fifty vampires stood at attention and formed a circle around of their prince and his human friend with their wands drawn and pointed at the headmaster. “You have no authority over the King and Queen and thereby extension has no authority over the prince and princess of Calista. This is a celebration that the King and Queen wanted their son and any of his friends to attend as well as the prince’s guard and they will be attending the celebrations today. A human is not going to stop us from carrying out their majesties orders.”
“General Shade tell your men to lower their wands,” Shingetsu ordered. “Headmaster while you may have authority over this school and its students you have no authority over a member of the ruling vampire family. I expect no interference to come towards Titus, Tobias or myself from any mortal in this school. This is a joyous occasion for the empire and my duty to my parents and the empire supersedes any duties I have as a student. Rest assured that Tobias and I will make up any homework missed from today.”
The vampires and Tobias turned and walked out of the hall. Titus stopped and said “All of my classes for today are canceled,” before following his prince and fellows out of Hogwarts. The group walked with purpose down the steps into the grounds surrounding Hogwarts but kept hold of their wands just in case any of the mortals decided to try hexing their prince or his friend. Between the Black Lake and the edge of the Forbidden Forest a large circus tent was set up with a long table in the center of the tent that would hold all fifty vampires plus the prince, his guard and any friends he made.
Behind the group were the sounds of pounding feet. The guards in the rear spun around and leveled their wands at the intruders. Two students stood there looking at them. Shingetsu and Tobias came forward. Before them were a first year Hufflepuff boy and a first year Gryffindor girl.
“Claudius and Violet what brings you both to this celebration?” Shingetsu asked as he looked at the two students before him.
“Shingetsu we want to be your friends,” Violet said without looking at the vampire prince.
“Why haven’t you said anything before now? I was beginning to think Tobias was going to be my only friend for seven years.”
“We weren’t sure how to approach a creature let alone a vampire prince,” Claudius said.
“We also know our families wouldn’t accept us being friends with creatures,” Violet continued. “I’m a first generation witch. They already reject me for being magical.”
“I’m a half-blood,” Claudius said. “My parents would kill me for being friends with a ‘monster’ and disown me.”
Shingetsu looked at the two human children. “I’ll have to speak to my parents but if you both are in danger I believe I can offer you sanctuary within Calista during the summer and holidays. If you want to be my friends I’ll be happy. I could use friends my age.”
“What’s this I hear about your friends being disowned from their families Phoenix?”
Shingetsu turned and saw his mother standing in the middle of the circle. He looked and saw that the fifty vampires were all on the ground before Queen Yuki. “Mother!” Shingetsu shouted running towards her open arms and hugging her. “What are you doing here? Where’s father?”
“Your father is at home tending to the celebrations across the empire. We thought you should have one of us with you at Hogwarts to celebrate the birth of Calista so we decided to surprise you. Your father is sorry that he wasn’t able to make it but look who else is here.”
Queen Yuki stepped aside to reveal Hana. “Hana!” Shingetsu shouted grabbing his sister and swinging her around in the air as she giggled.
Shingetsu planted a kiss on his sister’s hair and turned back to his mother and friends. “Mother these are Tobias, Violet, and Claudius. Tobias is the friend I wrote you about. Violet is in Gryffindor like Tobias and I and Claudius is a Hufflepuff. We have Herbology together with Professor Sprout.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you your highness,” Tobias said bowing. Violet and Claudius bowed as well after a few seconds of staring at the vampire queen and mother of their friend.
“Such a kind boy,” Queen Yuki said smiling at Tobias. “It is a pleasure to meet my son’s friend. I am happy Tobias that you gave my son a chance to be your friend. He doesn’t have any human friends at home. I hope you will remain loyal to him and be his friend for as long as you live.”
“I have no intention of forsaking Prince Shingetsu your highness,” Tobias said with honesty.
Queen Yuki turned to Violet and Claudius. “It is sad to hear that your parents would disown you if you became friends with my son. Sadly this is not unheard of in the magical world. Are you prepared for being disowned by your families if you become friends with my son? I warn you that doing so should not be taken lightly. People will not react kindly to you three being friends with a dark creature. They will shun you and you may find it hard to live in your world.”
The two lions and badger nodded. “As for giving you sanctuary I can offer it but first I need to tell if you are going to betray or harm my son in any way.”
“How will you do that?” Claudius asked with a shudder.
“Stare into my eyes and open your mind to me. I need to examine your mind and your soul in order to see if you truly want to be my son’s friend or if you are working for the Ministry.”
“Why would we be working for the Ministry?” Violet asked.
“The Ministry has been known to use children who become friends with dark creatures in order to cause harm or wage war against dark creatures in the past child. Though it is now illegal I cannot take the risk of my son being in danger from people who would seek to harm him or the empire. Yes even children are sadly suspect.”
One by one Claudius, Violet and Tobias stared at Queen Yuki and she examined their souls and minds. “I can sense no evil in your hearts but you Violet are full of sadness and hurt. I could feel your emotions easily. You will want to learn to guard your minds by practicing occulumency.”
“What’s occlumency your highness?” Violet asked.
“Occulumency my dear child is the art of protecting your mind against external penetration from Legilimency. Legilimency is the art of magically navigating through the many layers of a person’s mind and correctly interpreting one’s findings.”
“Will it hurt?”
“It may hurt at first. A skilled Legilimens will be able to tell if a person is lying to them. You will need to learn how to defend your mind at all times; both awake and while asleep. You will also need to learn how to organize your thoughts and create a barrier against an intruder as well as plant false but believable memories so that a Legilimens won’t be able to tell that you’re lying. It takes practice and dedication to learn the art of Occulumency.”
“Queen Yuki everything is set up for the celebration,” a vampire with black hair said.
“Thank you William. Well young ones shall we go enjoy ourselves?”
At the nods of the five children Yuki smiled and led them to the table. Yuki sat at the head with her children on one side and the friends on the other. The fifty other vampires took their places and the human servants who had come with the queen and princess to Hogwarts served the food and drinks. “Welcome to our human guests to this joyous occasion,” Yukie began. “Yesterday my husband, King Arashi, and I went to Tasmania to meet with the governors of the forty-six commonwealths to discuss becoming an empire. The people speak for the gods and so we became an empire for the first time in our history. We are now Calista. By becoming an empire the commonwealths now have the protection that the villages and cities near Nightshade have. They will be able to join the Imperial Army and have the protection that an empire offers. You all have been chosen by myself and my husband to accompany my daughter and I to Hogwarts to share in this joyous occasion with my son, his guard Titus Fang and my son’s human friends. I just want to take this time to say that I am grateful that you have served our empire well.”
After a hearty breakfast the servants cleared the table of the dishes and tended to their respective duties while the vampires left the tent and went into the Forbidden Forest. They walked in single file with the humans and royal family in the middle of the group deep into the forest until they came to a clearing that had streamers slung through the branches of trees across the entrance to the clearing. Then the party really began.