Walking Dead Wizard

Chapter 83

Harry stalked into the doctors surgery, passed the waiting room which was filled with dozens of empty chairs that used to be filled with sick and injured people on base on a daily basis, worse before the 'virus' became something to really panic about and not just another 'pandemic' that could be cured eventually with an antidote. Now within these walls, you were lucky to see one or two people waiting each fortnight. Hershel had an office here, where he dedicated an hour while he slogged through all the paperwork related to the animals in his care to anyone who wished to see him for anything. Using his time wisely, but ensuring he was there for anyone who needed him. Harry had plans on having Bob help out, perhaps even teach Hershel a few things about the medical side of things, human anyway. Not that he'd need much training so to speak, it was more difficult to become a vet than it was a doctor.

"Hershel informs me you're good to go, now you can stay and have another meal before you leave, or you can just head out, the decision is yours," Harry informed them, as he swiftly removed the cuffs keeping them situated on the bed. The relief shining through their eyes made Harry feel a little guilty, but he wasn't about to apologize for keeping his people safe - not with the way the world was right now - and he doubted very much they were expecting one. They would have done the same thing if they had any sense, but because it happened to them they were probably feeling a little resentful.

Eugene looked terrified, quite frankly it was absurd just how afraid he was, he was a grown man for Merlin's sake. "Go on," he urged them by gesturing for them to get out of the room with a jerk of his head. Once they were on the move, Harry too began moving and continuing to explain, "I have packed a bag for each of you, with enough supplies to last a few days until you can stop for more. Food, a weapon, feminine hygiene supplies, a change of clothes and of course some painkillers and ibuprofen but I'd suggest only using them when and if the pain gets too bad."

"Thank you," Rosita whispered in genuine gratitude, it had been such a long time since she'd managed to get the sanitary towels from the last shop they'd raided. You would think there would be more available, it wasn't as if it was high up on the list of items you grabbed during an end of the world scenario, and that was coming from her, a woman. Her first thing was family, food, water, clothes, cooking and kitchen supplies, heartbreakingly she'd been the last one standing when she came across Abraham and the others.

"You're welcome," Harry commented, Luna who was in the front opened the door and everyone wandered out of the building and straight onto the street. "Of course, when you're ready to leave let me know, I'll show you where we keep our cars and you can take your pick unless it has already been claimed by one of our own."

Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene looked around in immense surprise, the smell was mouth-wateringly good, they could smell hamburgers, sausages, and hotdogs cooking as well as onions if they weren't mistaken. How were they able to eat so well? They never found much in the way of supplies that could let them eat this well, and there was only a few of them compared to the number of people they could see before them. They had the supplies to give it away to them? including weapons and a car? How long had they been here?

"Don't try anything, if you want to leave right now just say, then you can leave with your dignity, supplies and a motor to use," Merle warned them. Implying if they did try anything they'd leave with nothing and quite possibly a dozen bruises and sores added to the load they already had from the car crash. Not that he was worried about them being able to take on everyone, but he knew how vicious people could be when cornered. With wizards and witches all over the place, the chance of any success was laughable. Merle wasn't about to take the chance, next to him Daryl was nodding in agreement.

Abraham gave them an incredulous look, try anything? Against someone who had powers? That had faced a dragon - a bloody dragon!- and came away unharmed? He wasn't completely nuts thank you very much, he had warned the others as well, they had the ability to manipulate water and that was all he had seen who knows what else? The other elements? Fire, earth, and air? Like some sort of elemental, he'd seen on the TV once, watching it with his kids.

Daryl and Merle caught the look and smirked in satisfaction that they were properly cowed.

"Just let me know when you're ready," Harry added, before walking away from them, he wanted to spend time with everyone, especially the newcomers, try to see if they were integrating with them without too much trouble. Last night had definitely not left a good impression but it wasn't his fault a damn dragon had decided to drop in on them.

"Just a heads up, David has passed away, I did what I had to do, they're talking about burying him but I shot it down, I'm not sure if they listened though," Axel informed him as soon as Harry was within hearing distance, having been making his way over anyway, absently sheathing his knife as he spoke, and put away the bloody rag in his trouser pocket.

"Thanks, Axel, I'll go and speak to them, I assume they're back up at the house?" Harry asked, giving Axel's shoulder a squeeze, it couldn't have been easy to do what he had in front of the family, or even if they'd gone outside, doing it knowing the family knew. It wasn't going to end there either, everyone here would regretfully get the same treatment if and when their time comes. Harry didn't like to even think things like that, even if it was inevitable in this world in which they now found themselves living in.

"Yeah," Axel agreed, inhaling deeply, "Man that smells good," almost drooling over the smell emanating from the burger van.

Harry laughed, "Go ahead, they smell about ready," clapping his hand on his back before he sighed when he was walking away from everyone. Praying to every deity that he didn't believe in, that they wouldn't give him an impossible time, but they were grieving, so of course, they might do. It didn't take him long to reach the right door, which was open, the sound of sobbing reached his ears, he stood at the door, debating mentally whether to do this or let them grieve for a while longer.

In the end, he stepped up to the plate as he often did, putting aside his own feelings to do what was right. He left the door open as it had been left, and walked through the living room, where the family sat with their father/grandfather's body, lying pale and still on the bed where he had been since they arrived the first night. At his temple blood pooled sluggishly out of the wound Axel had created to prevent reanimation.

"I am sorry for your loss," Harry said, his tone low and sympathetic. He knew what they were going through, he had lost so many people he cared very deeply about over the course of his life. "I know words don't mean much at a time like this, but surely David knowing that you were all safe, fed and moderately happy must have eased many his fears?"

"It did," Lily said wetly, her voice wobbling, "He was so happy that we were safe," he may not have said much but he had expressed that over the course of the last few days. She'd known it would happen sooner or later, it wasn't as if he could miraculously get better. "Thank you, thank you for giving us longer with him and…making sure he was comfortable," she added, gathering her strength to show she knew what Harry had done for them over the past few days and that not everyone would have been so compassionate - not in this world.

"It's been my pleasure," Harry said, extremely pleased that she had acknowledged he had gone to extra lengths - lengths in which he did not need to go - to make this easier for them all. During an apocalypse like this, many leaders would have just left him to die, refusing to waste resources to an invalid who was going to die anyway. "If you wish to skip the celebration today, I can bring you some food if you like?"

"Where are we burying granddad?" Meghan questioned from where she was curled up beside her mother.

"We don't bury people here," Harry said, his tone soothing, soft and quiet. Wandering over to the child, he knelt down so he could see her face to face, explaining the situation to her was better than hiding it. Harry nevertheless glanced at Lily, she was her mother and she did have the last say in the end. Looking conflicted then defeated, Lily gave a single nod, giving Harry permission to explain it to her daughter. "You understand that being bitten turns you into a walker too, yes?"

Meghan nodded, yes, she understood she wasn't stupid.

"The infection lives on in all of us, if we can manage to find a cure to stop this virus then it is our duty to prevent it from coming back again." Harry explained, "So all walkers and everyone here will one day be cremated too. We can if you like, begin a memorial wall where you come to remember your grandfather, how would you like that?" giving her at least a tangible place where she could grieve or remember her grandfather to help her along in her healing process.

Meghan looked up to her mother, not sure what to make of Harry's words, feeling very unsure and insecure.

Lily stared down at her daughter, putting on a very brave face, sweeping her long blonde locks from her daughters face, that was the only thing she'd received from her father. Her family was all dark-haired, she herself had brown hair, Meghan suited her hair though, she was the most beautiful girl in the world she didn't care if she was biased. She was only seven when the apocalypse began, her eight birthday had gone uncelebrated. For a long time Meghan had refused to speak, but now here she was actually talking again, it was amazing to see. She would allow her father to be cremated if it kept them here without causing trouble or tension. Giving a nod she smiled, it was brittle around the edges but clearly enough to fool her daughter. "Okay," she declared giving her consent as if it was the deciding factor overall.

"Would you like to spend the afternoon with Sophia and the others?" Harry then asked her, it would allow both Tara and Lily the privacy to properly grieve for their father. Both of them would just try to be strong for Meghan's sake, he understood why of course, but regardless, they didn't have to suffer alone. "Read more books and talk to some teachers about your magic as well as have some burgers and cakes they brought with them." Harry whispered the last part conspiratorially.

"Can I mom, please?" Meghan perked up immediately at the mention of food and magic.

"Of course, you can," Lily said, a genuine smile brightening up her features.

Meghan sped out the house before Lily even stopped speaking.

Lily bit her lip, wringing her hands anxiously, the urge to run after her daughter was strong.

"The teachers will be here all day, and I keep in touch with them all the time, any time you wish to speak to them then I'll make it happen," Harry reassured her, surprised by how…easy this entire situation had been. "Give yourself time to grieve, we all understand, we've all lost people close to us. I will keep an eye on Meghan I promise,"

"Thank you," Lily whispered, swallowing back more tears, her fingers fiddling with the armchair material.

Harry nodded before standing, "Say your goodbyes to him, we will cremate him tonight," with that he stood to leave, making his way out of the property, pausing when he sensed someone following him. He expected it to be Lily, but it wasn't - it was Tara, and she looked down at her feet looking depressed.

"I'm sorry," she eventually said, peering up at his intense green eyes before they fell back down. "I shouldn't have been so quick to cast judgment…I was just…terrified." it hurt to admit since she had been training to be an officer of the law. Hell, she still had her service pistol, even if it had no bullets in it.

"Everyone was," Harry pointed out, "It was an unfortunate incident, but incidents like these tend to bring out the best or worst in people." and he'd never been more proud of Sophia for her reaction.

Tara winced at the dig, stiffening her spine, "It won't happen again," she vowed, "I'll prove myself to you and everyone else." and that was a promise she would keep.

"Tell me, would you be apologizing if Luna hadn't spoken to you?" Harry queried neutrally. Yes, he knew she'd spoken to Tara, what she'd said though was unknown to him, Luna hadn't elaborated on that front.

Tara met Harry's eyes, "Yes," she answered honestly, seeing Harry going up to that dragon to protect everyone there…yes, she had felt bad before Luna had made her feel one hundred times worse than she already did. Laying some cold harsh truths at her feet, not that she blamed Luna for speaking her mind, in reverse she'd have defended her sister or niece. That was just how a family was.

"Then I accept your apology, think of it no more, and I look forward to seeing what you become," Harry answered promptly, giving her a nod, he stalked away, making a beeline for the party which had already started by the looks of it. Axel had been right though, the smell was utterly divine, he was glad the girls had thought of this. They definitely needed it.

"How have they been?" Harry asked, sliding up next to Daryl, Sasha was next to him they'd obviously been talking, sliding up, not sneaking, Daryl and Merle were impossible to sneak up on, just like he was.

"Are you sure we can't tell them?" Sasha gritted her teeth, she just wanted to bash Eugene's face in.

Harry grinned at her widely, genuinely amused, "I know the feeling, but no, there's no point,"

Sasha groaned, glancing up at the sky before sighing resignedly.

"Both men are quiet, the woman's happy to talk to everyone," Daryl grunted, giving him his own take on the situation he'd been monitoring since he, Merle and Luna had left the surgery. He didn't take well to grieving people so he'd stayed away, best for all that he did.

Harry nodded, he hadn't read their thoughts, except gleaning what he did from Eugene. If they had chosen to stay they would have been subjected to it, just like everyone else was. "Where're the animals?" he asked, glancing around with a frown.

"Minerva levitated them towards the wooded area, some food and water is being laid out for them when they wake up," Andrea answered who was close enough by to hear Harry's question, "Hershel decided them being closer to familiar surroundings would make it easier on them until they're released."

"Mmm, good point," Harry nodded thoughtfully, glancing to the side where he was nudged in the arm, finding Hermione and Luna next to him, Hermione was holding out a bottle of Butterbeer.

"You seem to have quite a lot of supplies," Severus pointed out from where he stood, arms folded an impassive look on his face that scared nobody, even if he was a wizard they had gotten used to Merle and Daryl and they might be Muggles but were just as dangerous as a wizard in their opinion. "It's been a long time, you have a lot of people in this group, are you trading with others?" as always he never missed anything and was too curious for his own good.

"No trading yet, but it's something I'd like to do," Harry answered, "The only group we've met already have a …agreement with somebody."

Severus arched an eyebrow at the way the sentence was worded, silently demanding further information.

Everyone of course, was listening in, including Minerva and Hershel who were making their way back from presumably getting the animals more comfortably situated. So when they heard Severus speak yet again, it startled them completely, it showed just how much this wizard knew Harry that he could deduce such a thing out of a sentence that wasn't particularly notable in any way.

"How bad is it?" Severus asked tersely when Harry said nothing.

Harry clenched his teeth, "They bludgeoned an underage wizard to death as a warning to cooperate, not that they were aware of what he was." and it was obvious to all that Harry still thought about it and was still furious over what happened. "They take half of anything they find or grow, for 'protection' which in any other circumstances would be ideal since only a few of them know how to fight."

"Is it a large group?" Severus questioned, not even blinking at the knowledge a child had been murdered, he wouldn't have even before the end of the world. He wasn't a man who showed how he was feeling, and he was quite angry at the death of a child, especially in such a violent way, there was never any need for it.

"Very," Harry nodded curtly, "I'd say the group is as big as seventy, most of them live in outer buildings or trailers," hardly anyone actually lived in the manor. It was such a huge group to take care of, and Jesus seemed to be the only one seriously invested in it, the leader was just a coward, a smooth coward admittedly.

"It is a bit big to suddenly merge groups together," Hermione conceded, speaking up so Harry could hear her over the dozens of conversations that had struck up, as everyone began to head into groups. "They would all fit comfortably in one of the hotels though, should they need somewhere to live, if the worst comes to the worst." She was looking at the bigger picture.

"Whatever you're thinking, stop!" Harry said wryly, giving Hermione a pointed look, he knew her well enough to know she was already trying to figure out everything to help them all.

Luna sniggered from where she had her head buried in Merle's arm.

"But…" Hermione protested, ready to fight for what she wanted to do.

"You can't do it all," Harry pointed out, giving her a sad sympathetic smile, "What you do is too important, don't worry though, I'll help them, I just need a hundred hours in a single day to get everything done."

"You'd take them all in? All seventy people?" Hermione asked genuinely curious, while his group had grown, no more than well perhaps ten had ever come at one given time. It allowed Harry to observe them, make sure they were fitting in with the rest of the group properly and having no problems.

"Yes, and I even told Jesus to get in touch if he needed to, I haven't heard anything from them," yet was most assuredly gone unsaid but the others around him most certainly heard it. "Hilltop is actually quite a suitable place to be, its as you can imagine on a hill top, not so easy for walkers to catch them off guard, especially with the fencing they have around the area. Unfortunately, though it meant they were visible to humans, and that's where the saviors came in."

"What about using the Fidelius Charm there? Securing the area and preventing Negan from ever finding them, setting up a trade agreement?" Hermione pondered.

"Non-magicals might not understand it, and they have a tendency to fear what they don't understand," Mira joined the conversation.

"Only you, Potter," Severus choked out, eyes slightly wider than normal.

Harry laughed in amusement while Mira, Daryl, Merle, Andrea, and Hermione glanced in complete bafflement to the Potions Master.

"That's right, you've never actually seen her in the mirror, have you? Mira Black, this is Severus Snape, the potions master, Professor this is Mira, she is the primary one who takes care of the potion ingredients, herbs and brews the potions for the group." Harry explained, blinking at Mira as if she was nuts at the starry-eyed look she was giving Severus.

Severus himself looked frankly alarmed.

"Rather you than me," Harry chortled evilly with a grin.

Severus sneered disdainfully at Harry, rolling his eyes inevitably in exasperation.

Meanwhile, Daryl was beginning to see what Harry and Luna had meant all that time ago when they spoke of the wizard.

"Well, what about concealment charms? Tweak a few runes that would prevent anyone who wishes to do harm to the community be unable to find them?" Hermione suggested, following Harry as he moved towards the van to help himself to two burgers, two hotdogs and a sausage on a roll. Hermione accepted the plate thrust upon her, and let Harry put a few things on it.

"How have you been? How's your relationship going?" Harry asked her, giving her a pointed look, no work talk today, it was the first time he'd seen her in over a year, he was going to take advantage of every second. Hell, he hadn't thought he'd ever get to see her again.

"Oh, he's sometimes quiet and reserved, but I knew that already," Hermione said, giving Severus a fond look, "We just click you know? He gets me, we're on the same wavelength, we don't even need to talk to understand how the other feels. It's not something I'd get with someone my own age, I like the fact he isn't intimidated by my intelligence." she told Harry picking idly at her food and eating the small pieces.

Harry and Hermione shared a look, 'like Ron' was thought by them both.

"I have to say, out of all people, I didn't think it would be him," Harry admitted, raising his foot and pressing it against the burger van and got comfortable as he ate, the plate of food levitating beside him as he ate.

"Me neither, I thought I'd stay with Ron, it was more out of expectation in the end, but I couldn't do it, thanks to some really good advice," Hermione admitted, nudging him knowingly.

"Hey, all I said was we hadn't gone through all that shit just to be content, we deserved to be happy, really happy," Harry shrugged, a wry grin on his face.

"Yes, and that's what made me decide, Ron thought I was cheating on him," Hermione huffed derisively, "Still did even towards the end, I guess I would have liked it to have been a more mutual split, not that it mattered since…well, everything that happened afterward." Ron hadn't just lost her because of his stubbornness and blind idiocy, he'd lost everyone, Harry, Luna, Neville, he'd only had his family in the end.

"Idiot," Harry shook his head, Hermione wasn't one to cheat, she gave her entire heart and soul to something or someone and refused to give up or let go. "I still can't believe you're here, that I'm actually standing talking to you properly…" he trailed off in awe.

"It's all thanks to you," Hermione pointed out, "By the way, same could be said of you, should have guessed you'd end up with the bad boy type." nudging him again with a grin.

"Like you and Severus…he gets me," Harry said with a shrug, "Plus we've both been broken by everything that happened to us, it took us a long, long time to get together…it's not always easy, we're both stubborn, but we agree on nearly everything, we've never really fought…I love him, Mione," he admitted quietly.

"Duh, that's obvious to everyone!" Hermione said, but her tone was soft and gentle. "Have you told him?"

"No," Harry shook his head, "Honestly, I think he'd run a mile if I did, I'm not ready to say it and I don't think he's ready to hear it."

"You'll know when the time is right," Hermione insisted, she may have only had two major relationships but she knew what she was talking about. She had loved Ron in her own way, more like a best friend than anything, but with Severus, she knew true love, and she suspected Harry had it right with his first relationship Daryl seemed like he was the one for Harry. "You never have to say it to feel it, and if you look close enough…your significant other should be able to pick that up."

"Maybe," Harry murmured quietly, relishing in the happiness of his people.

"So, tell me more about this little girl you brought in, Meghan was it?" Hermione changed the subject knowing the previous one had definitely run its course.

"It is, come on, I'll introduce you, I'm sure Minerva probably wants to talk to her as well, judging by the way she keeps looking at Sophia I think she thinks it's her." Harry laughed, snatching the plate out of thin air, he began to move between the groups of people, occasionally patting them on the back without conscious thought. He wasn't surprised to see Meghan with Sophia, Meghan hero-worshipped Sophia, who was strong, brave and brilliant, who wouldn't want to be like her? She was a good role model as far as he was concerned.

"Congratulations you two," coming upon 'Hershel's group' which consisted of Lori, Rick, Hershel, Beth, Maggie, Glenn and Shane at the moment.

"Thank you!" Maggie said, a delicate blush staining her face, as she held up the ring, she might be strong and tough but she was still very much in love, and she loved Glenn wholeheartedly. She had been surprised by the ring, but when Glenn admitted he got it from Harry she really shouldn't have been, their leader had absolutely everything they could ever need.

"Hear here!" was called out, everyone suddenly began to call out their own congratulations, this time it was Glenn's face who went tomato red.

"I haven't seen you blush quite so darkly since the CDC," Harry said with amusement bubbling up within him.

It just sent Glenn an even darker colour of red.

As everyone laughed Severus stood to his side and said, "You've done well Potter, you should be proud." which translated for Severus speak, You've done well Harry, I'm proud of you' but honestly, Severus would probably prefer torture than admitting that.

"Thank you, Professor," Harry said, his tense shoulders relaxing, he had done well hadn't he? Pride at his own abilities began to thrum within him instead of feeling only pride when it came to the rest of his group's accomplishments.

Hermione squeezed his hand in a silent thank you, Harry didn't show how insecure he was to many people, Severus' praise probably made Harry very happy.

Severus' lips twitched, he never envisioned this as his future…but considering he hadn't thought he'd be around to have it, it wasn't all bad.

Abe, Rosita and Eugene staying or leaving? Will Eugene admit to being wrong or will one of Harry's group burst and reveal all? Or will Abe listen to Harry when he says there is nowhere that had withstood the apocalypse? R&R please