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The Scholar

Chapter Text

Black Castle

Unknown, England

29th August 1992

Harry looked up as Arcturus entered the library looking exhausted, he asked,"What's wrong grandfather?"

"Just after the battle I have been weaker then normal and get exhausted quicker. Anyway, on Monday and Friday of every week of when I will be teaching at Hogwarts, we shall have private lessons. We start today with Greek mythology."

"Ok. What myth?"

"Theseus and the Minotaur." Arcturus raised his hand and the curtains snapped shut as the fire darkened."Minos, King of Crete was a man who was feared by his own people and other kingdoms. When he demanded something he recieved it whether it was precious, expensive or rare. It was as if he was blessed by the gods themselves. Now, inside his colossal palace lay a labyrinth. Inside the labyrinth was a Minotaur of legend. The humans trapped in the labyrinth would traverse the vast prison till they met the Minotaur and were savaged by it. Then every year, Minos demanded that the City of Athens provided seven young men and seven young women. One year the Prince Theseus asked,'Father, why do we send several young people to Crete every year? And why don't they return?'

'If we don't send them then Minos would wage a war on us. A war we wouldn't win. And they don't go there to be slaves but the be fed to the Minotaur.' His father the wise King Aegeus answered.

'Father, this is terrible! We cannot allow this to continue. I will go to Crete myself and defeat the Minoutaur.' Theseus shouted in reply.

Try as he did, Aegeus couldn't change his son's mind. Even when the King had reminded his son that others had been foolhardy enough to swear the same.

Finally Aegeus agreed,"Then I wish you luck. I shall watch for you every day, if you are successful change the sails from black to white so that I will know you are safe.'

When the ship boarded in Crete, King Minos himself came to look at the young people. He jeered,'Is all Aegeus can offer? I will probably have to ask for extra next year to feed the Minotaur. Who shall go first?'

'I will go first. I am Theseus, Prince of Athens and I do not fear what is within the walls of your maze.'

'Those are brave words for one so young and so feeble. But the Minotaur will soon have you between its horns. Guards, open the labyrinth and send him in.'

Standing behind the king, listening, was his daughter, Ariadne. From the moment she set eyes on Theseus, Ariadne fell in love with him. As she listened to her father goading and taunting the young prince, she decided that she would help him. As he entered the labyrinth and the guards walked away, she called softly to him.

'Theseus, take this,' she whispered. 'Even if you kill the Minotaur, you will never find your way out again.'

She threw him a great ball of string and he tied one end of it to the entrance. He smiled at her, turned and began to make his way into the maze, the string playing out behind him as he went.

Theseus walked carefully through the dark, foul-smelling passages of the labyrinth, expecting at any moment to come face-to-face with the creature. He did not have long to wait. Turning a corner, with his hands held out in front of him feeling his way, he suddenly touched what felt like a huge bony horn.

In an instant his world turned upside-down, quite literally. He was picked up between the Minotaur's horns and tossed high into the air. When he landed on the hard cold stone, he felt the animal's huge hooves come down on his chest. Every last breath seemed to be knocked out of him and he struggled to stay alive in the darkness.

But Theseus was no ordinary man. He was the son of the King, he was brave and he was stubborn. As the Minotaur bellowed in his ear and grabbed at him with its hairy arms, Theseus found a strength which he did not know he possessed.

He grabbed the animal's huge horns, and kept on twisting the great head from side to side. As the animal grew weak, Theseus gave one almighty tug on the head, turning it almost right around. The creature's neck snapped, it gurgled its last breath and fell to the floor with an enormous thud.

It was over, he had done it. The Minotaur was dead. All he had to do was make his way out of...and then he realised the awful truth. In the struggle, he had let go of the string, his lifeline. Theseus felt all over the floor in the pitch darkness and kept thinking he had found it, only to realise that he all he had was a long wiry hair from the Minotaur.

Despair set in and Theseus wondered if this was where his life would end, down in the dark, all alone, next to the stinking body. Then, his hand brushed a piece of string and, with a whoop of delight, he knew he had found the thread which would lead him back out. As he neared the entrance of the labyrinth, the darkness began to fade and he made out the figure of Ariadne, waiting for his return.

'You must take me back to Athens with you,' she cried, 'My father will kill me when he finds out that I have helped you.'

'But of course you must come with us,' said Theseus, 'it would be cruel to leave you here.' Quickly and quietly, they unfurled the great black sails of their ship and headed for home.

'I cannot believe how my life as changed,' said Ariadne, as they sailed across the calm seas towards Athens. 'To think that I am free of my cruel father and that I will soon be married to a great prince.'

'Married?' said Theseus, 'Oh, yes, that will wonderful.' But in truth, Theseus did not really find her attractive.

So, when their ship docked at an island on their way home, to collect fresh water, Theseus sent Ariadne off to find bread and fruit. The moment she was gone, he set sail and left her on the island. Now, you might think that this was a bad way to reward someone who had helped him and had saved him from certain death.

The Gods clearly thought the same thing, for they had a further horror in store for him, as a punishment for his ungrateful treatment of the young girl.

In his haste to get away, Theseus forgot to change his sails to white. King Aegeus, waiting on the headland, saw the ship approaching with its black sails flying in the wind.

'My son has failed and he is dead,' he cried. And in despair, he flung himself from the cliff into the raging waters below. From that day on, the sea was named in memory of Theseus' father, and to this day, it is known as the Aegean Sea. So Harry what is the moral of the story?"

Harry replied,"Is that you shouldn't let happiness and celebration stop good judgement and fairness?'

"Exactly. If Theseus hadn't left the girl on the island then Aegeus wouldn't have killed himself and the two would have reunited. Now I want you to write a four foot essay on flaws off Theseus and the moral of the story." Arcturus said as he stood up and went towards the section of the library on Soul Magic.

The Sanctum Sanctorium 

Bleeker Street, New York

29th August 1992

Dr Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth and Master of the New York Sanctum sat quietly in the mediation chamber of the sanctum as he thought about the surge of power he had felt days prior.

Wong whispered,"Strange, the Masters have decided that the surge of power came from Westerm Europe. During the time when you were meditating, a massive amount of power was released from Scotland. Then after we realised what had happened, the power reappeared in a area in Yorkshire in England."

"So whatever caused the surge orginatined from England? I guess that it was by a member of the British Wizarding World." Stephen answered.

"That is correct. Master Alexander has told me that the last time they felt this much power was when Dormammu granted Kaecilius his power from the Darm Dimension."

"So either this person is a ally or someone we don't want to cross?"

"That is correct." Stephen stood up as he considered what he had just been told.

The Sorcerer Supreme mururmered,"Then we must use the Cauldron of the Cosmics."

Wong nodded as he and Stephen moved quickly towards the room where multiple artefacts. The cauldron had been given to the New York Sanctum by the Ancient One decades ago.

Stephen stepped into the room and raised his hand as he stopped in front of a crystal cauldron. Liquid began to appear in the cauldron that was bubbling quickly as it turned from brown to white.

The Sorcerer Supreme placed his hand in the liquid, then he was flung into the astral dimension. He floated in the sanctum for a few seconds before flying out of New York and over the Atlantic until he arrived in Britain.

Stephen flew towards Yorkshire as the sky began to darken considerably, he stopped on a patch of empty grass. The sorcerer focused hard and then a castle began to appear out of thin air.

Words began to form in front of him until they spelled out: Black Castle, Ancestral Home of the House of Black.

The Newsies' Lodge 

New York

29th August 1992

Racetrack 'Race' Higgns sat up with a start as he looked around wildly, he noticed that the lodge seemed to be in a state of disrepair and was covered in moss. He looked next to him and saw his brother, Romeo lying on the floor, passed out.

Race's hand came to his head as images of the past flickered into his brain. Then the words of his adoptive father flashed into his mind,"I'll see you in my time. Just follow your heart and I will see you again."

He turned around as he saw Crutchie standing up and looking around confused. Race looked to his right as he heard Romeo begin to stir. The other boys began to wake up as well and look around with confusion.

His brother whispered,"Are we finally here?"

"I think we are. D'ya still have the watch?" Romeo removed a golden pocket watch from his pocket which had a sentence engraved in Latin. "Da said that it would open when we arrive in his time. He also said that the lodging house would be a bit wrecked. I think he was right."

"He was always right. Would 'ave been better if he was here for the strike. We 'ave won then. How's ya hearing Racer?"

"Better. At least da taught me how ta read lips before he went."

Race fell silent as Jack approached them and said,"Ya all right?"

"Fine, Jacky. Now what we gonna do?"

"I think we need ta find out what happened to the lodging house first." Jack turned around as Rimeo nudged Race who looked down to the pocket watch.

Instead of there being numbers and hands the words: Black Castle, Yorkshire, Britain, 1992

"Jack!" The boy turned around at he sound of his name being called. "I think we know someone who can 'elp us."

"Really?" Crutchie moved towards them with Davey to hear what was being said.

"A tiny problem though." Race sighed. "He's across the pond in Yorkshire."

"Well, we need to work put how to get over there then." Davey muttered.

"That's the problem as well. Only you 'ave any schooling he rest of us 'ave been selling papes instead of goin' ta school."

The words on the pocket wath changed quickly: Race check your pocket. Race quickly looked through his pockets and underneath one of his cigars a piece of paper lay there.

He pulled it out and unfolded it to read it. It seemed to be a list of jobs that didn't require a degree. As well as an address that apparently a shop that had just been opened and was opened by Black Enterprises.

"Well Jacky, I think I 'ave found our answer to getting money in."

The words on the watch changed again: Both Pulitzers, Miss Larkin and Mr Conlon have travelled with you.

"Kath, Miss Medda and Spot have also came with us. As well as Pultizer."

"Really?" Crutchie asked.

"Look over there." Romeo pointed towards the entrance to the building where four people had entered.

Spot moved over to them and demanded,"Jack, what 'appened?"

"I don't know."

"We gonna do then?"

"Race knows someone who can help us but he lives across the pond so we 'ave ta get a job."

"And ya know where we is gonna get a job?"

"Yes. Racer knows a place that has just opened. As well other places for work." Spot nodded his head as he turned to look at Race.

"So are we gonna do about the lodging house?" Davey asked.

"I don't know." Jack sighed in reply.