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A/N: Sorry for such a long gap between chapters. College has been murder and I couldn’t get any time to write. I hope this isn’t a disappointment. For those who enjoyed the chapter Dreamscape, you will certainly enjoy this one. Now you will find out just what happened to William and his friends after the Black Forest incident. Please enjoy and leave some feedback. Thank you! 

It was nearing midday when Virgil and Dante made it back to the bar on Center Street. Lucky for them, the really big crowds of tourists and partygoers wouldn’t be out for another few hours, even on a Sunday night. Normally both of these boys would love to go out and see where the action was, but at this point the only thing they were thinking of was a warm bed and a hot meal. 

Rather than going straight in, Virgil decided to weigh his options before making any rash decisions. Looking through the side window of the bar seemed quite childish, but then again Virgil always thought of himself as a child at heart. 

“So what’s the situation Virg?” asked Dante leaning against the side of the building. Like Virgil, he could barely stand after this day’s events. 

“Well,” replied Virgil taking a quick glance, “Mike’s behind the counter cleaning glasses, Momma Pearl is sitting in her booth as usual, and it looks like my brother and his girlfriend are having it out again.” Deciding this was more trouble than he wanted to deal with, Virgil decided on a different way of entrance. “I guess we’d better go up the back steps.” 

Living in the apartments above the Raven’s Claw Bar had more benefits than most people would think. In the highly likely event there was a party, you’d be no more than twenty feet away and living above your place of business also lets a person keep an eye on their assets. The other benefit that most people other than Peter, Virgil, and the Hardcastles, the co-owners of the bar, didn’t know was that places like this were prime spots to get privileged information; both in the Ministry of Magic’s infrastructure as well as the criminal underworld. 

“They’ve been having it out a lot lately, huh?” asked Dante as he followed his friend through the back door and into the stairwell. 

“Yeah.” exhaled Virgil. The steps each seemed 10 feet high, which he chalked up to his pounding headache and lack of sleep. “Apparently Cassidy got a transfer overseas that’ll take effect at the New Year. Now it’s all fighting and screaming. Of course there were screams before, except they came from the bedroom.” 

“Come on man! I don’t need a visual!” exclaimed Dante. 

“I’m just messing with you D.” laughed Virgil. The climb up the stairs was quicker than he anticipated as he found himself standing in front of the door to the apartment he and his brother shared. It was also convenient for Dante as well, seeing as how he lived right across the hall. “So I guess I’ll see you later?” 

“Yeah, Sunday dinner at four, okay?” asked Dante as he unlocked his front door. “You’ve got four hours so get some sleep and a shower. You know how my grandma hates it when you come to dinner all disheveled.” 

“You got it!” said Virgil as he pulled Dante into a half hug half handshake maneuver. “I’ll see you at four.” 

The apartment the McElroy brothers shared was not the typical bachelor pad that most people would imagine. In fact, it was very clean and well furnished with a study, a living room, two bedrooms, a full kitchen and 2 walk in bathrooms. With the space they had, two families could live quite comfortably there. For two young men living on their own, they lived quite responsibly. 

Peter made sure that he and Virgil would be well taken care of since the day it became clear that they would be on their own. It was his responsibility that Virgil have a proper upbringing and as his sole guardian, he would not disappoint the memory of his parents as well as his adopted ones. 

The first thing Virgil decided to do was take a hot soothing shower. At this point, sleeping in the almost tangible layer of sweat and grime on his skin was not his prerogative. Twenty minutes later a good nap was exactly what the doctor ordered after the much needed shower and shave, but Virgil’s stomach had other plans. The only thing on his mind now was the leftover pizza sitting in the fridge. 

Halfway through his third slice of cold pizza, Virgil found that he was not alone in the apartment anymore. The whole floor must have known, especially when a door was slammed that loud. 

“What do you mean you can’t take all the secrets and lies? I never lied to you once!” yelled Pete as he made his way past the living room and into the kitchen. As far as Virgil was concerned, they did not even notice he was there. 

“How about when you said you and Virgil were from the future? Do you have any idea how crazy that sounds?” replied the buxom brunette in a tone just as loud. “Right Virgil?” 

“Don’t get me involved in this?” said Virgil almost laughing at how immature the two of them were being. It wasn’t until this moment that Peter realized his brother was in the room. 

“Good thinking Virgil!” He then did a double-take after finally noticing his brother’s presence. “How did things go?” asked Peter temporarily distracted from his current predicament. 

Being that Cassidy was in the room, Virgil could not give a very detailed answer. The other reason he could not open his mouth was because it was full of pizza. He instead opted to give his brother a thumbs-up. 

“Awesome!” was Peter’s only reply. “We’ll talk later.” 

“You see,” explained Cassidy pointing at the two of them, “This is exactly what I’m talking about; all of these inside discussions and plans. Why can’t you just open up to me?” 

Deciding two could play this game prompted Peter’s line of questioning. “What about you? You disappear all the time and I get no explanation.” 

“I’m an Auror in the Special Crimes Unit! You know I can’t discuss that! I shouldn’t have told you to begin with but I trusted you nonetheless.” 

“Does it help to know that I’m in a similar position?” He was close to the edge of revealing key pieces of information, but realized it soon enough. 

“If I can trust you with what I do, then why can’t you trust me with your past?” replied Cassidy. 

For the first time in a long time, Peter had finally found a girl he loved but he simply could not tell her about that other life. If protecting her meant lying to her, then that was what he had to do. “I can’t. It’s not that simple.”
“Yes, it is. You’re just making it hard.” Cassidy was at the end of her rope with this part of her life. This was the first person she truly loved, but if he wasn’t going to be honest then maybe it was time for her to move on. “I can’t do this anymore Pete.” She then moved toward the door, which her lover quickly followed. “Call me when you want to get serious about us.” 

“Cassidy wait!” exclaimed Peter as his girlfriend exited the apartment. He would have followed her, but he knew it was better for her to have a chance to cool off. At least, he hoped she would. It was not in either of them to give up on anything, especially each other. Right now he could only have a long talk with his brother. 

“Well, I’d ask you how your day went, but what would be the point?” said Virgil as his brother walked back into the kitchen. 

“Don’t start little brother.” replied Peter. Virgil knew not to push the issue any further seeing as how Peter was in no mood for games. “Just tell me how it went. Did you get the Dreamscape recipe to Hogwarts alright?” 

“That’s the kicker!” exclaimed Virgil as he finished another bite of pizza. “It turns out that Doc already gave it to them. He made them a whole batch.”
“Wow! He really made them the potion?” asked Peter rhetorically. “That means he must have told them the story. He hates to talk about the Black Forest; not to mention he’s taking a big risk by telling them.” 

“You could learn from that example.” suggested Virgil. 

“I’ll tell Cassidy when I’m ready, ok?” quipped Peter. Seeing that he knew his brother was serious Virgil let the subject go. “How did the school look? Did you leave the package for Doc to find?” 

“The school looked great for something that was formerly a battleground!” replied the younger McElroy as he finished his pizza. 

Peter would have loved to seen it, but the circumstances did not permit such a pleasure. “I can’t wait to see it again someday!” He rubbed the tattoos on his wrists anxiously at the prospect of these thoughts. “What about the package? Did you leave it with McGonagall so she could give it to Doc?” 

“I’m sure the package got to Doc, but I didn’t leave it with the Headmistress.” Virgil knew there was a barrage of questions about to come his way but he prepared for that the moment he left the Three Broomsticks. 

“Then who did you leave it with? That picture shouldn’t even see the light of day let alone be in the hands of someone from this time!” The urgency filled his voice to greatest extent. 

“Relax! I left it in the hands of some very trustworthy people.” 

“Who then!” 

“Harry and the Weasleys.” answered Virgil very sheepishly. 

“Oh, come on! The one thing I asked you to do was stay away for the time being and you couldn’t even do that?” 

“Will you give me a goddamn break?!” It was a statement more than a question. “I haven’t slept in 32 hours! I’ve apparated and portkeyed through God knows how many time zones! And to top it all off, I was within two seconds of seeing some of the people that I care about most in the world and I left because you told me to stay away. So excuse me for saying hi to people we haven’t seen in 8 years.” 

Pete had to admit to himself that if he were in Virgil’s position, then he would have probably done the same thing. He also knew that Virgil was a tough kid, but even he needed to see the ones he loved. 

“I’m sorry Virg. I’m just a little tense. You do realize this is the first time in years that all of us have a shot at getting our lives back, right?” He then started rubbing the tattoos on his wrists again. Rather than showing his nervousness by standing and pacing, he decided to sit down with his brother at the kitchen table. 

“You think I don’t how hard it’s been?” From the look in his eyes, Peter knew he was completely serious. “Do you think it was easy for me over the years as my magic got stronger while yours was gone? I want you and all the others to get your magic back more than anybody. I want you to get back that piece of yourself that you lost when we got here.” 

Peter knew Virgil better than anyone. He knew that on the outside he could be the toughest person the moment called for, but deep down he was a kind soul. With no warning, he came around the table and gave him a bone crushing hug, to which Virgil immediately reciprocated. “How’d you get so smart? 

“I had a good teacher.” 

After relinquishing his brother, Peter returned to his chair and finished the drink Virgil had poured for himself. “So how’d they look?” 

“They looked good.” replied Virgil instantly with a smile. This made Pete smile too. 

“How did things go at the docks?” asked the older brother getting back to business. 

“Dante and I took care of the crew like you asked. The barrels were there as well as two Death Eaters.” The look in Peter’s eyes went from calm to serious instantly. “Don’t worry! We knocked them out before they knew we were there.” 

“Is that it?” 

“No, we marked the barrels with the special cargo like you asked and called in the tip to the Ministry.” Virgil stopped for a moment to rub his eyes. The need to sleep was growing increasingly urgent. “You do know that because of this, they’re gonna shut down all magical transportation in and out of the national borders of Great Britain, right? Because that’s going to be a little hard for Doc to come and find us.” 

“Ye have little faith my brother.” smiled Peter. As always he had a plan all along. “I don’t anticipate for Doc to find us for at least a couple of months. I just want the Ministry to tie up all the loose ends with the remaining Death Eaters in Great Britain. We have to make things safe for Harry and everyone else before we can even think of going back.” 

“Well if you can wait then I guess I can wait.” answered Virgil who saw the logic in his brother’s plan. “Anything else you need to know about the trip?” 

“No. Why don’t you get some sleep? We’re having dinner with Dante’s family in a few hours. Momma Pearl’s making that Creole dish you like so much so I know you want to be awake for that.” 

“That’s true.” replied the tired teenager as he made his way down the hall to his bedroom. “Wake me when you need me!” 

“Will do Little Bear!” 

Two hours before… 

“How is it possible that you weren’t the only one person sent back?” exclaimed Harry trying to comprehend just what William was implying. “The only people who came through those portals were you, Padfoot and the Redeemers!” 

It didn’t seem like the message was getting through to William, the group observed as they quickly followed behind him as he maintained his elevated pace toward the castle. 

“I didn’t say they came through the same time as me!” replied William as he passed the gates, clutching the picture and his new caged owl in each hand. “I’m willing to bet anything that they were sent back to a time years before this one. How old did you say Virgil looked when you saw him?” 

“He looked about our age, why?” asked Ron trying to understand just what he was telling them. 

“He was nine when I last saw him that’s why.” said William as he entered the castle. 

“That means Pete and the rest of my friends must have been here for at least 8 years.”

“Hold on, hold on!” exclaimed Ginny as she cut around the group and stopped William in his tracks. “Are you saying that the boy we just met in the Three Broomsticks was Virgil and that he as well as the rest of your friends have been in our time for almost a decade?” 

“That’s what I said.” answered William almost not believing it himself. 

“I knew he looked familiar!” exclaimed Hermione to which the group shifted eyes to her position. “He reminded me of the little boy from the picture you showed us; the picture with you, Peter and Virgil flying around on the broom. I knew I had seen him somewhere!” 

“I understand now that who we saw was Virgil,” added Harry. “But why is he here?” This was the rest of the group’s sentiment exactly. 

“I don’t know, but that’s what I intend to find out.” answered William as he made his way for the Headmistress’s office. 

Rather than knocking to gain entrance, William quickly turned the knob and burst right in. To Harry’s point of view, as well as the rest of the group, it seemed that this was a matter of grave importance. 

Upon entering they discovered Professor McGonagall was just as alone as Hermione had left her a few hours before. Only this time she was sitting in her chair looking over a piece of parchment. 

“I’m sorry to barge in like this Professor, but I need to talk to you.” pled William bowing before the woman he respected so highly. 

“There’s no need to apologize William.” smiled McGonagall. She had come to respect him as well, more so after Hermione had told her about how he had helped them with the Dreamscape. “I was actually planning on coming to talk to you.” 

“Well I’m here now so what do you need to know?” asked William in the most patient tone he could muster. 

“Actually it’s about the potion you procured yesterday.” replied McGonagall holding up a piece of parchment for him to examine. 

“What about it?” asked William as he reached to examine the sheet of parchment. When his eyes read the first line, a million more questions had entered his mind. He then passed it to Harry to let him see what this was all about. 

Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny huddled around the piece of parchment and instantly knew this would be important. The title said it all; “Dreamscape: A Cure for the Prometheus Curse.” 

“How did you get this Professor?” asked William in complete confusion. “I don’t remember giving you a copy. In fact, I know I kept the original.” He then passed it to Harry for him to examine. 

“That’s the funny thing Mr. Black. It was delivered this morning by friends of one of my foreign contacts.” answered McGonagall. 

“Could you tell me who it was?” asked William, who had a sneaking suspicion that he already knew the answer. 

“There were two young men who made the delivery. The young African American gentleman said his name was Hardcastle. I believe Dante was his first name.” William had no idea who this was. “And the other boy stayed outside of the office.” 

“Was his name Virgil by any chance?” interjected Harry. At this point he was just as intrigued as William; as were Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. 

“Actually it was!” answered McGonagall, slightly surprised. “How did you know that?” 

“We had the pleasure of meeting him earlier.” answered Harry. 

Remembering why he was there, William brought himself to the Headmistress’s desk and asked her, “What was the name of your foreign friend who sent the potion recipe?” 

“McElroy, Peter McElroy.” 

It was in those three words that William’s suspicions were confirmed. Mentally, the million question in his head just decreased by one. Physically, he was shocked by this confession as were Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny. 

“He’s contributed donations to the school for the last eight years.” 

“Told you!” William exclaimed to Harry. “Didn’t I say 8 years?” 

“I met him once at a lecture on Transfiguration while vacationing in New York.” continued McGonagall. “Does this mean something to you Mr. Black?” 

Rather than explain himself, William thought the picture would speak the best. “You might as well show her!” said William motioning to Ron, who was currently holding it. 

After placing it on her desk, Harry asked, “Does anyone look familiar?” 

The Headmistress had to only scan the picture once to recognize the young man she had met those many years ago. The other person she recognized was standing in her presence. How exactly that was possible was beyond her. “Where did you get this?”
“Virgil, the young boy outside your office today delivered it to us to give to William.” explained Harry trying to calm down the obviously shaken professor. “He’s Peter’s younger brother.” 

“This can’t be real!” exclaimed Professor McGonagall who was beginning to get the picture. 

“Madam I can assure you its real.” replied William as he rubbed his temples. “I know because I was there when it was taken.” 

“What does that mean exactly?” Now she was really starting to worry. 

“It means that the Peter McElroy you know is the same man who has been my friend since I was eleven years old. He, as well as five of my other friends, has been in this time for at least eight years.” 

“But how is this possible?” 

“I need to tell you while Kingsley is here too!” exclaimed William. “I have a feeling that he needs to hear this as well. In the meantime I need to know exactly how you have been in contact with Peter. Do you know where he is?” 

McGonagall had to think for a second. This was all too much information to take in at once. “I only met him that once. But I did get letters with checks for donations to the school! The post marks were always blank. I do know that he does teach Muggle Studies and Potions at a public Wizarding school in Merlin’s Circle.” 

Now William was the one who had to think. “Did you say Merlin’s Circle?” 

“Yes, why?” 

“Ok now I really need to speak with Kingsley. Do you know where he is?” asked William who was beginning to grow desperate for answers. 

“He was called away on Auror business. It sounded very urgent.”
“Well if you can get him here as soon as possible, then that would be great. In the meantime I need to do a little research so you can find us in the Room of Requirement.” 

Just as the group was about to leave, there was a knock at the door to which Professor McGonagall quickly allowed in. It was none other than Bill Weasley. 

“Bill what are you doing here?” asked Ron as he shook his brother’s hand. He was then given a big hug by Ginny to which he immediately reciprocated. 

“Well I needed to talk to the Headmistress about getting a replacement for my position as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. It’s good to see you all. You too William.” replied the elder Weasley as he then shook Harry’s hand and gave Hermione a hug. In Bill’s eyes they were family and they would be treated as such. To William he gave a casual nod. 

“Why Bill? We love you as the DADA professor.” plead Harry. 

“I appreciate the vote of confidence but I want to home with Fleur as much as possible when the baby arrives. I already talked to Griphook at Gringotts and he said he’d be happy to give me my old job back so much as I personally escort you to your vault next time.” laughed Bill who was then joined in by the whole group. 

“Well I guess you have to do what’s best for your family.” replied Harry. He only knew this because it was what he thought he would do when he started his own family. “I think we should get going though.” Harry said this more to the group than to Bill.
“I’ll see you later then.” replied Bill. 

The group was almost out the door when McGonagall caught their attention one last time. “Mr. Black, what should I tell Kingsley when he asks why you need to see him?” She had not the foggiest idea of how to tell him what had just happened. 

William thought for a second but then knew what would immediately pull Kingsley away from whatever he was working on. “Tell him there’s a full moon and a friend is at the gates. He’ll know what that means.” And with those words he was off to find his long lost friends. 

William had no idea how in the hell he was going to find his friends in the maelstrom that was the post-war wizarding world. He could only hope that the Room of Requirement would provide a solution to narrow down his search. When the door failed to appear, it was obvious that it would not be that simple. 

“What’s wrong? Why hasn’t the door appeared?” asked Harry as he walked past the wall three times as was the usual custom. “It should have been here by now. William?” 

William could only hold his chin and think deeply on how he could look for his friends. “I’m thinking. I need a way to narrow down the search area as well as show you. I need Kingsley for the other part.” 

“Why don’t we just use a map?” suggested Ron. It was not the best idea but at least he was contributing. “All we have to do is focus on the areas you know where your friends are.” 

“That could work. Don’t you think William?” added Harry. It was obvious that William approved as the door slowly but surely formed in the wall. 

As the door parted, the group was surprised to see Ron’s idea come to life, although it may not been as he would have pictured. In the center of the room stood a giant globe that floated and rotated very slowly in the air. 

“I never thought I’d say this, but good thinking Ron!” exclaimed Hermione as she hugged the amazed young man standing next to her. 

“Good job mate!” exclaimed Harry. “Now let’s see what we’re dealing with.”
“What do we do now?” asked Ginny as she stood next to William, looking on with him as he gazed into the globe. 

“I haven’t the faintest idea!” said William who received several incredulous looks.
“What? Just because I thought it was a good idea doesn’t mean I said I know how to use this.” 

“Why don’t we just see what happens?” added Harry as he stepped between the globe and William. “Will use the information we already have. The first thing we know is that McGonagall said she met Peter in New York.” 

Just then looks of amazement appeared on everyone’s face, but not because of Harry’s words. When he turned around he knew just exactly what they were staring at. The globe had transformed from a full view of the world to an equally large scale model of New York. 

Harry then proved his accidental discovery of how the globe worked by saying, “Hogwarts.” The map then morphed into another vividly detailed representation of the school. 

William then gave Harry a hard pat on the back. “Great job Harry! You solved the globe!” 

“Now we can begin!” added Hermione. “What else do we know?” 

“Well we only know where Peter and Virgil are so why don’t we stick to finding them first.” suggested Harry. 

“Sounds like a plan!” approved William. “The others would probably stick close by. If not, then that’s what I summoned Kingsley for.” 

“What do you mean?” asked Harry. “How would he know where to find them?” 

“You want to use the Registry don’t you?” added Hermione. She thought this was what William had in mind upon noticing his insistence that Kingsley be there. Up until that point it was only myth people told to evoke fear of the government. Of course, William had a knack for making myths come to life. “The Minister of Magic has the power to get you the information faster.” 

“What’s the Registry?” asked Ginny. 

“The Registry is a system that each country’s Ministry of Magic uses to keep track of what and how many wizards and witches are in the country at all times. It’s done through private records like bank transactions and travel logs from portkey hubs.” explained William. “Each name usually contains a last known address. I was hoping Kingsley could get in contact with the a few other foreign ministries to find those addresses.” 

“Does everybody know that the Ministry reads their mail and travel arrangements?” asked Harry as he contemplated the implications this system could have on the public. “Isn’t that unethical?” 

“Probably.” replied William realizing just how many applications the Registry could have. Rather than leave Harry and the others to worry, William cleared the air by saying, “All I know is that looking into the Registry can only be done by high-ranking Ministry officials during times of dyer need. Other than that it’s like an unread inventory sheet. It probably explains why Riddle was able to find the people he hunted down during the war.” 

Upon realizing his mistake and seeing the looks of doubt on Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s faces William said, “Except of course the three of you. It was pretty smart staying off the grid like that. Had it not been a time of war, it would be highly illegal to apparate across national borders.” Seeing that they were happy with his correction, the four Gryffindors turned their view back to the globe. 

The group was flattered by this, considering they never thought their evasion methods were anything special. Hermione however was not only thinking about William’s admiration. She was wondering just how he knew about the Registry’s existence.
Ron was the first to ask the question they were all thinking. “So where exactly is Merlin’s Circle?” The globe then slowly transformed the model of Hogwarts into a landscape littered with buildings of all shapes and sizes. It also looked like there were many roads and intersections traversing the span of the city before their eyes. The strangest thing about it was that there were large pillars scattered strategically around the city as well as in the center of it. 

“That’s amazing William!” exclaimed Harry as he looked on into the vast structure that was the city. “It’s like Diagon Alley on a grand scale!” 

“Have you ever been there?” asked Ginny as her eyes stalked over the intricate network of streets and avenues. “And what was it like?”
“Well the last time I was there was when I was 15.” replied William recalling the fond memories of that summer. “I remember that it was really big and anybody could find something they wanted to see or do.” 

“Why do they call it Merlin’s circle?” asked Ron as he continued to gaze over the vast span of the cityscape. 

William then thought to himself of how he could show them. “Let’s see if other commands work on the globe. Merlin’s Circle ceiling view!” 

The layout of the city then shifted itself to accommodate William’s command. They were no longer looking at the side of some buildings but now they were seeing the entire city as if they were looking down from the sky. The landscape of the city formed a perfect geometric circle. 

“That’s why they call it Merlin’s Circle!” laughed William upon looking at their stunned faces. 

“That’s amazing William!” exclaimed Harry. “That city must be massive.” 

“Just how big is it?” asked Hermione. “This globe isn’t exactly giving us too many details on demographics. I mean how many people would you say live there?” 

William had not even thought about that up until this point. For one, things were a lot different from now and his time. He knew the population would have changed in 25 years, but he simply thought that didn’t matter because Kingsley was going to help narrow down the search. 

“I have no idea honestly. I guess I’ll just have to get the number from another source.” He then pulled his wand out and with a flick of it said, “Accio Phantom trunk!” 

There was that word again; phantom. The group had heard it from Virgil earlier and was puzzled by its meaning. They make a point of asking him about it later. 

Less than a minute later, the black trunk burst open the doors or the Room of Requirement and settled before William’s feet. He then performed knocking unlock sequence and removed the book Hermione and Ginny had seen him consult just days before. 

“What’s that?” asked Harry as William opened the book to the first page. “Is that like some sort of book of wizard facts?” 

“Kind of.” replied William before saying, “What’s new in the world?” The words then magically appeared before his and the rest of the group’s eyes. Having used the Marauder’s Map countless times before, the sudden appearance of letters was nothing remarkable. The only thing remarkable about it was that they were on a different medium than the map. 

Harry looked over William’s shoulder and read the title for everyone to hear. “’The All-Knowing Almanac: A Compendium of Random Knowledge.’” Harry had to think for a moment after reading the title. There were so many possibilities for a book that held a vast quantity of knowledge, especially one that had information from 25 years into the future. 

“Does that book know everything?” asked Harry as he continued to look over William’s shoulder. “I mean, how much does it know?” 

“The book itself acts as a link to sources of information like libraries, papers, or museums. Although the information is limitless it has nowhere near all of the answers.” said William trying to think of the best way to explain it. 

“I think Pete wanted it that way when he created it. He used to say that you have to figure some things out for yourself. He said it was more exciting that way.” added William in a somber tone as he ran his fingers over the paper hoping to find his friend as soon as possible. “New York City 2000 Muggle Census.” 

The group was puzzled as to why William put in the command for another city. They needed Merlin’s Circle not some Muggle city. Still, they were amazed to watch the globe transform into another equally impressive landscape. 

“Excuse me William,” interrupted Harry as William continued to look on into the book.  
“That isn’t the right city.” 

“Really?” said William feigning confusion. “Why don’t we look at it from another view?” He then turned to the globe and said, “Manhattan Island.” The other four boroughs around the city dissolved until a larger version of the fifth remained. “Do you see it now?” 

“No, because it’s not the right city!” added Ron who could not figure out where exactly William was going with this. 

“Are you sure?” laughed William. “Let’s see if this view works better. Manhattan Island, top side and sublevel view.”
With those words it finally became clear as to what William was talking about. The globe had told no lies up until that point, so why would it lie now? The top side of the view was the same Manhattan they just saw, but the bottom was very familiar. 

“Is that what I think it is?” asked Harry who could not take his eyes off the globe.
“Yes, it is.” replied William. He too was amazed by this architectural feat. Not many people could build an entire city under another. 

“Are you saying they built Merlin’s Circle under New York City?” asked Ginny incredulously. The city lay perfectly beneath the civilization above. It was almost like a world underneath the world. 

“They sure did!” replied William. “That’s why there are so many pillars holding up the city above.” 

“This is amazing!” added Harry. “But why didn’t you tell us that from the start?” 

“I wanted you to know just how hard the search is going to be.” William then turned his eyes back to the book. “According to the 2000 Muggle census, there are a little over 8 million people living in New York City. According to the Wizard census, there are 9.5 million people living in the city when you add in the population of Merlin’s Circle. Now you can see what kind of numbers we’re dealing with.” He then put the book back in his pocket. 

Before thoughts of how vast this search would be could sink in, the group was shaken from their doubts by a loud echoing knock from the doorway. Seeing as how only two people knew they were in the Room of Requirement, the only logical explanation to who was at the door was pretty obvious. 

“That must be Kingsley and McGonagall!” exclaimed Ron as he went to open the door. Upon opening it he was surprised that three people had entered the room instead of the expected two. 

“Hello Kingsley, Professor McGonagall!” greeted Ron as he held the door open for their old friends. The entrance of the third person perplexed the entire group. 

“What’re you doing here Bill?” asked Ginny as she walked forward with Hermione, Harry, and William to greet their friends. 

Before Bill could speak, Kingsley decided to answer for him. He knew how delicately the following matters would have to be told. “I’ve asked Bill to join us in order to help sort out some of this mess. He has some information that might prove useful.” 

The five Gryffindors did not know what to make of Bill’s presence but were willing to trust Kingsley’s judgment if it could help them out. 

“Minerva brought me up to speed on the current situation.” continued Kingsley in an unusually serious tone. “But before I help you I need to know who these people are.” 

Before any decisions were made, Harry thought it was best that Kingsley had full knowledge of what this mess really entailed. “That seems fair, don’t you think?” asked Harry turning towards William. “He should know the full story, Professor McGonagall too.” 

“He already knows who they are.” said William in a simple tone. To quell the sudden confusion on the group’s face he faced Kingsley and asked, “Don’t you remember my friends from the Black Forest?” He then handed him the photograph that had started this whole mess. 

“How does he know?!” asked Harry as William turned over the photo. “The only way he could know that is if… you told him!” 

“How long have you known what?” exclaimed McGonagall. She had been left out of the loop from the beginning and had no idea what they were talking about. 

“It’s about my past!” explained William trying to end the confusion. “Kingsley asked me the day before I fought the dragon.” This answer received several incredulous looks. “I thought I would only be telling him.” 

“Well don’t you think we should tell Professor McGonagall now?” suggested Hermione seeking to include the Headmistress in this complex situation. 

William then turned to Kingsley and said, “Would you mind explaining in private later so she knows how this all fits together.” He then turned to Minerva and said, “I’m sorry for not telling you about this sooner. It was not my intention to leave you out, but I don’t like telling that story. When Kingsley tells you then you’ll understand why.” 

“It’s quite alright William.” said McGonagall reassuringly. “It is never easy to include others in matters that are personal.” Everyone could see it in her eyes that she took no offense to this. Not many people could because her words applied to all of them. “If it’s all the same to everyone, I would rather continue on with our current dilemma.”
It was Kingsley who decided to speak first. “If I’m going to help you then there are certain things that I’m going to need to know.” 

“Ok, like what?” replied William who was not sure where Kingsley was going with this.
“I need to know what kind of people your friend’s are.” explained Kingsley as he held up the picture. “A picture like this makes you and they look like you’re going into battle.” Harry and the rest of the Gryffindors had thought the same thing when they first saw the picture. It wasn’t customary for a group of teenagers to be toting around lethal weapons. “I need to know that I’m not just finding a group of criminals who could have been sent back in time as some sort of punishment.” 

That sounded more reasonable than anything they had heard all day. 

“I thought I made it clear what I am in the message I sent you.” replied William who did not like where this was going. “The same applies to them.” 

“And what exactly are you?” asked Harry who was beginning to grow impatient as to what William was keeping from them. 

“I’m something that nobody except for me and Kingsley knows about!” replied William.
“I wouldn’t be so sure of that!” interjected Bill. This took everyone by surprise as he had not spoken a word since he had entered the room. He then walked right up to William and said, “There’s a full moon tonight. I’ve heard werewolves come out in the full moon.” 

Everyone could tell that Bill knew something important seeing as how William’s eyes went wide as he finished his sentence. 

He then questionably replied, “So do Phantoms.” He then took Bill’s hand and shook it as his other hand went around his back to pull him in for a hug. Bill quickly reciprocated this gesture in the same manner. Needless to say, everyone except for Kingsley had no idea what was going on. 

“Excuse my language, but what the hell is going on?” interrupted Harry as William and Bill separated. “And what in the bloody hell is a Phantom?” 

“Yeah really!” added Ron. “I’ve been hearing that word all weekend.” 

Seeing as how he had the most power in the room, Kingsley opted to make the whole mess clear. “If you would all calm down I’ll gladly explain, but I need to know first that we are all in agreement that what is said in this room goes no farther.” He looked around the group and could see that they would have no problem with this as long as they received answers. “Agreed?” 

“Agreed.” They all replied in unison. 

“To answer your second question first Harry,” started Kingsley, “in each Ministry of Magic throughout the world there is a select group of unique individuals that answer only to themselves and their country’s minister. They run autonomously like the Order of the Phoenix. These individuals are part of an age old secret society whose sole purpose is to seek out and detain creatures that threaten our existence. These individuals are known as Phantoms. In short, they hunt werewolves.” He let his words sink in before he continued. 

“Why would you do something like this?” asked Harry who could not fathom why William would live a life like this; a life he said he cherished so much. “Why is it you instead of somebody else?” 

“You know the expression what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” asked William trying to explain himself. “In my case as well as my friends’ that’s not just and expression. The abilities we gained after the Black Forest were ideal for this sort of work. Nobody but us was capable of doing it.” 

“That’s not true.” added Ron. “The Ministry has a Werewolf Capture Unit which is trained to do that kind of job. Why would they need you and your friends?” 

“After the killings in the Black Forest there was a strong resurgence in werewolf activity.” explained William. “More and more of the smarter wolves we encountered started showing up in other countries. Apparently the threat of a cure made them want to increase their ranks. To help combat the threat we, as well as the other kids who gained our unique abilities, were recruited and trained. The Werewolf Capture Unit helped, but we were the main line of defense seeing as how we took on all of the dangerous cases.” 

“If you were so good, how did you stay so secret?” asked Ginny. Usually work like that attracted a lot of attention. 

Being that times were different, William had no idea how to answer this. “Kingsley how many Phantoms were there before this last war broke out?” 

“I was told by the last minister that there were over two thousand worldwide. All of them were recalled to active duty when Voldemort returned.” This widened everyone’s eyes. For a secret force that size to stay hidden was nothing short of a miracle. “Since the war ended the current estimate is 549. Most of them were either killed or disappeared completely.”
“How did you stay below the radar?” asked Harry. “How did you avoid extermination like the Phantoms before you?” 

“Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. About three days out of every month when the moon is full we track and capture werewolves. Any time other than those three days, we’re normal people just like you.” explained William. “Chances are you walk by us every day in the street and see nothing but another face in the crowd. Bill here is the perfect example.” 

It was then that all eyes shifted from William to Bill. He could do nothing but prepare himself for the questions soon to come. 

“So you’re a Phantom too?” asked Ron in a slightly annoyed and angry tone. 

Bill could only nod his head. He hated lying to his siblings but knew that one day he would have to fess up to them. 

“How long?” added Ginny who was just as stunned as everyone else. “I mean, do mum and dad know or Fleur for that matter?” 

“They’ve known since your sixth year Ron. The ministry recruited me after I was attacked by Greyback.” 

“So you’ve just been lying to the rest of us ever since?” asked Ron who was now clearly angry. 

“I didn’t say anything because you, Harry, and Hermione had your own shit to deal with!” Bill needed to show he was serious about this. “You didn’t need to worry about my problems on top of yours. We both had a job to do. All of us did what we thought would end the war. You went out with Harry and Hermione to destroy Horcruxes and I collected information on targets for the real hunters.” 

“You mean you never hunted with them?” asked Ron meekly. His anger gad subsided after what Bill had to say. 

“No, I didn’t. I’m what they call in my and William’s area of work a ‘shadow.’ We give intelligence like locations and names to the hunters.” explained Bill who was glad Ron and Ginny were not as mad as before. “If it helps, I retired the day the war ended.”
“Sorry I yelled.” said Ron as he realized his brother was only doing what he felt was right at the time. At least he got out when he had the opportunity. 

“Me too!” added Ginny who then hugged her brother. She could never stay mad at him.
“Now you see just how real the Circle of Phantoms is.” said William commenting on Bill’s confession. 

“So that’s what you call your organization’s called?” asked Hermione. “You really are stealth because I’ve never heard of it.”
“And that’s saying something!” added Harry. If there was one person who should have known it was Hermione. “So is that what that symbol means?” he asked pointing to the crossed sword and wand mark on top of William’s trunk. 

“No, that’s just an old pureblood crest Pete found when he was doing some research. He thought it would make a nice emblem for our hunting party. Apparently it was really important hundreds of years ago, but now it is all but extinct, kinda like people in my trade.” laughed William. “The only reason our society lasted so long is because we maintain anonymity by sticking to the shadows.” 

“Just how long have your people been around?” asked Ginny. 

“No one knows for sure. The oldest evidence dates back to the mid thirteenth century. Here let me show you.” He then pulled the All-Knowing Almanac back out from his pocket. As he lifted the book his pocket watch fell out from under it. 

Hermione, who was the closest, bent down to pick it up. Upon inspecting the outer frame she reluctantly handed it over to William. 

“Thanks Hermione.” He then opened the book and recited the words to examine the pages. “My buddy Pete had a theory about a former Phantom upon closer inspection of his work. Have any of you ever heard of Dante Alighieri?” 

“Sure.” replied McGonagall. One of her favorite hobbies happened to be medieval literature. “He wrote the Divine Comedy. You don’t think he was a Phantom do you?”
“And a wizard.” continued the young Phantom. “At the very least it explains why he such an understanding of dark creatures.” said William with a smile. “His work showed frequent metaphors and examples of things we encounter. Canto II is a prime example.” The pages then showed the correct chapter. “Here take a look.” He then handed Harry the Almanac. “Start at the middle of the page.”
He then skimmed the page and found the designated section William had marked. Harry then read aloud, “Your soul has been assailed by cowardice, which often weighs so heavily on a man- distracting him from honorable trials- as phantoms frighten beasts when shadows fall.” 

“You have to read the entire book to see just how much he knew about what we do.” explained William as the Harry passed the book on to the rest of the group. 

“I can’t see anything.” exclaimed Kingsley as he took the book from Ginny’s hands. All eyes turned to him in confusion. As each of them moved closer they could see that true to his word the pages were blank.
William then put his hand on the book to see what was going wrong. “This isn’t right. The writing should-” The sudden warmth coming from the pages stopped him in mid sentence. “Did you feel that?” asked William as he turned his gaze from the paper to Kingsley. 

“Yes, I did!” replied the the Minister. “Feel this Professor!”  

As soon as McGonagall's hand touched the paper the warming increased. She then asked for Harry to feel, which only caused the warm sensation to increase yet again. One by one they all put a hand to the paper until finally Bill was left. 

As soon as his hand touched the parchment, a bright light consumed the entire room. When it finally faded, the group found themselves in a different room altogether, far from their previous location.

A/N: So tell me what you think. I had a long time to consider just what to put in this chapter. By the way, that excerpt from Dante's Inferno is a direct quote from Canto II. This chapter was going to be alot longer so I decided to split it. The second part should be up as soon as this one is approved. Please tell me what you think so far!

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