I do not own Harry Potter or the Walking Dead
Just a heads up, I only gave this a quick read through. I wanted to get this up today since tonight was Walking Dead night. Hope you enjoy.
"Come on, kid, you need to wake up."
Harry's eyes quickly snapped open, not only because of the prodding in his side, but also because of the urgent tone in the arm guy's voice. "Where are we?" He slurred sleepily. He had fallen asleep almost the second he got in the jeep, but he felt as though he had only been sleeping for minutes.
"Virginia," the army guy answered briskly. "I brought you all the way over because things are bad out there and I wanted to see you safely across the bridge and into Virginia. That, and they're not allowing any foot traffic over the bridge. Hell, they're getting ready to shut the bridge down completely in about an hour."
Harry looked out the window, his eyes squinting from the bright morning sun. "Thanks a lot for bringing me all the way over. What's going on out there?"
"We have to get back to the city, people are rioting and destroying everything and the dead are attacking everyone. It's literally a bloodbath."
Harry could see multiple clouds of black smoke billowing up from what he assumed was Washington, DC. "It's that bad out there?"
"Worse," the army guy answered anxiously. "Look kid, I shouldn't be saying anything, but get as far away from Washington, DC as you can. I'm hearing talk across the channels of bombings of all the major cities."
"Bombing!" Harry cried, his face losing all color.
"Dead are everywhere," the army guy explained. "They're hoping to wipe them out before this gets even more out of control. Find your uncle and head for somewhere remote, somewhere where there aren't a lot of people. Less people equals less hungry dead to worry about."
Gulping fearfully, Harry nodded his head. "I can't believe this is happening. Is it also happening in London?"
"Every country," The army guy admitted as he reached into his pocket and held something out to Harry.
"A knife!" Harry epeed.
The army guy grabbed Harry's hand and slapped the knife onto his palm. "It has to be the head, remember that," he said seriously. "Also, keep an eye out for the living. When people are scared they do stupid and careless shit and only think about themselves. It's very dangerous out there. Fear both the dead and the living."
Fingers closing around the knife, Harry numbly nodded his head. He didn't know if he would physically be able to attack the dead, but he would take the knife anyway just to be on the safe side. "Thank you so much for helping me."
"Stay safe, kid," the army guy said as he leaned across the passenger side and opened the boy's car door. "Remember, get as far away from Washington as you can, don't get bit or scratched by the dead, aim for the head, don't be ashamed to run like hell, and most importantly...don't die."
Harry couldn't hide his trembling. Nodding to the army guy, he hopped out of his jeep then turned to wave to him. "You stay safe too."
Harry watched as the jeep weaved in and out of cars as it drove back towards Washington. It was still somewhat early, but people were starting to crowd the roads, some trying to get out of Washington, while others we're trying to get in.
Not looking forward to doing more walking after only a short rest, Harry turned back towards Alexandria and started putting as much distance as he could between himself and Washington. If bombs were being dropped, he wanted to be as far away as possible.
Jumping from the loud bang, Harry ducked behind a parked car and hid. He could understand why people were freaking out over what was going on and fighting with the dead, but why the hell were they fighting each other? More importantly, why were they breaking windows, robbing stores, trashing cars, and fighting with the law enforcement that was trying to help them? People were insane and losing their damn minds.
He was relieved to feel that his bond with his mate was leading him out of the city of Alexandria, he just wished that he had a faster way of getting there. He was terrified that someone was going to attack him or shoot him. People were running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. Even with the knife in his pocket he was as defenseless as a newborn baby, not a good thing to be at a time like this.
Standing up and tucking his chin to his chest in an attempt to not be seen, Harry quickly walked away following the road that would take him out of the city. As he walked, his mind kept drifting to everyone he cared about back home. Not his relatives of course, he didn't care much what happened to them, but he was worried about all those he cared about in the Wizarding World, especially poor Remus who was all alone. Hopefully he was safe behind the wards at Grimmauld Place, or at Hogwarts with Ron, Hermione and the rest of the Weasleys. He didn't think the dead would be able to breach the wards at Hogwarts.
Sniffling, Harry brought his hand up to his face and was surprised to find that he was crying. He couldn't help it, he was scared and it was looking like he would never be able to return home again. It tore at his heart something fierce the thought of never seeing Remus again. If the busses weren't running, then there was no way the planes would be flying. Things were looking bad...worse than bad. It was looking like the world was coming to an end.
He couldn't think about that now, he couldn't think about his loved ones back home or let his fear and homesickness distract him. He was in danger and he had had to keep his wits about him. Not only were the dead wandering the streets attacking, but so were terrified, trigger happy people with guns.
Harry was so hungry...scratch that, he was starving. He hadn't eaten properly since he returned home to his relatives after his fifth year at Hogwarts, and now every store he passed was closed and he didn't have the heart, or the nerve, to break in and steal food and water. The army guy had given him a cheese sandwich when he first picked him up, but that had been over twelve hours ago.
He was relieved to be out of the craziness of the city, but it was going to be dark soon and he couldn't go on much longer. He needed food, water, and a safe place to sleep. He had a feeling that all three were going to be impossible for him to find.
The area he was in was much nicer than the city. Virginia was very pretty and he would have been enjoying the scenery if every little sound didn't have him jumping out of his skin. He had been lucky in the fact that he had only encountered a few dead since leaving the city, and he had easily managed to outrun them. He had a sick feeling though that his luck wouldn't hold out for much longer. Luck had never seemed to be on his side.
He had been following the road for hours, but sticking to the woods when possible. When around the city the road had been bumper to bumper, but now as he was in more farm like area, the roads had gotten clearer. He assumed that people were afraid to leave their homes, that, and there had been a lot of military trucks heading towards Alexandria and Washington, DC, so news may have ordered people to remain indoors.
Spotting a sign for a Rest Area a mile ahead, Harry perked up a bit. Maybe had could find a snack and soda machine there? A washing up in the sink would also feel wonderful right now. He could still feel that trucker's hands on him and it made him sick to his stomach thinking about it.
He could also still feel his bond to his mate pulsing strong, but he had a feeling that he was still a good distance away. By car he could probably find him quickly, but on foot while dodging the hungry dead, he was terrified that it could take days.
Another problem that had been plaguing him ever since he decided to set out on this insane adventure, how the hell was he going to approach his mate? He just couldn't come straight out and tell him that he was his mate. What if he wasn't an elf or a magical person? Could someone like him be mated to a muggle? He really should have thought this out more, or at least talked to Remus before running blindly to America.
Harry silently crept up on the Rest Area, his eyes and ears straining to see or hear anything strange. There were a few big trucks parked in the back, but other than that the place seemed to be pretty deserted. He found the silence more disturbing than if a hundred people were running around screaming. Where was everyone? The city had been swarming with looters and people just running out of control, where were all the country people hiding? The news must have ordered everyone to remain indoors? It made sense, what with all the dead attacking and eating people.
Darting out from the woods, Harry raced to where the snack and soda machines were. He didn't want to linger too long, he didn't feel safe out in the open. He wasn't sure if he could fight the dead, but he knew for a fact that he couldn't fight the living.
Looking frantically around to make sure no muggles were watching, he placed his palms on a vending machine that had sandwiches in it and pushed his magic into it. He didn't feel too guilty breaking the machine and stealing, it wasn't like it was a store. He was starving and dehydrating and things weren't looking like they were going to get better anytime soon. He had to start thinking of his survival.
A dozen different types of sandwiches fell from the machine. Scooping them up, he quickly stuffed them into his backpack while keeping an eye on his surroundings. Later when he found a safe place to sleep for the night, he would place preservation charms on his food to keep them from rotting. He had to ration his food despite being hungry enough to devour everything now. He didn't know when he would find food again.
Moving to the snack and soda machines, Harry did the same thing, taking as much of everything as he could. This much food, despite not being healthy, would be enough to keep him going for a while. Hopefully at least until he found his mate.
Feeling a prickling on the back of his neck, Harry spun around, his arms going slack and dropping his backpack when he saw what was behind him.
Stumbling backwards, Harry fell onto his backside and scooted away until his back hit the vending machine behind him.
"Easy child, she won't hurt you unless I command her to."
Gulping fearfully, Harry stared wide eyed at the very large tiger that was damn near towering over him. He was so scared that he didn't even notice at first that the tiger was connected to a very thick chain that a man was holding. "And are you going to command her to eat me?" he asked, his voice weak and trembling.
"Have you done anything to hurt me?"
Harry finally tore his eyes off of the tiger to look at the man that was talking. He was a tall dark man with kind eyes and wild, white dreadlocks that came below his shoulders. "No, sir," he said, carefully shaking his head no. He whimpered softly when the large cat followed his head movements. "I was just getting some food."
Grinning, the man approached the boy and held out his hand. "The name is Ezekiel."
Harry looked fearfully between the hand and the tiger. "Will she eat me if I accept your hand?"
Ezekiel looked curiously down at his tiger. "I think she likes you. Normally she growls and threatens everyone with the exception of me, but she isn't acting that way with you. It's very odd."
Harry briefly wondered if him being an elf had something to do with the tiger not wanting to tear him into a million little Potter pieces. From what he read, Elves were more in tune with everything nature than muggles and other magical creatures. Maybe the tiger could sense what he was.
Ezekiel gave his hand a shake. "I will not harm you nor will my Shiva. Take my hand and allow me to help you up."
Taking a deep breath, Harry accepted the man's hand and allowed him to help him up. "Thank you," he mumbled, he eyes still on the massive tiger. The damn things back almost came to his shoulders.
"Not at all, after all, we are the reason that you were on the ground in the first place." Ezekiel chuckled. "Do you have a name, young one?'
Harry froze when the tiger bumped her head into his stomach. "H-Harry Potter."
"Well, Harry Potter, you must be something special for my tiger to like you. I am the only person she has ever allowed to pet her."
Harry hadn't exactly gotten up the nerve to pet the tiger, she was more like petting him, but he wasn't going to point that out. "How exactly does one get a tiger like that in Virginia?"
Ezekiel threw his head back laughing. "Yes, they are not native to here, are they? NO, I am a zoo keeper…. or should I say I was. Two days ago everyone abandoned the zoo and all the animals. I couldn't allow my Shiva to starve to death so I went back for her and released what animals I could. Not the dangerous ones of course, sadly they will die a slow and painful death."
"Two days ago!" Harry cried. "I thought this plague or whatever it is just started?"
"It only got this bad two days ago," Ezekiel corrected. "The first reported case of whatever is happening was technically two weeks ago, people just weren't taking it seriosly. Have you not been watching the television?"
"No, I was in England with my relatives and then traveling here. My uncle doesn't like anything strange or freaky so he probably switched the news channel if they started talking about it. The first I heard of this was yesterday. What exactly is going on?"
"That is the million dollar question, now isn't it?" Ezekiel sighed. "No one knows what is happening and the television stopped broadcasting early this morning. There are still a few radio stations up and running, but they're mostly running the emergency broadcast alert on a continuous loop. I don't wish to scare you, but I'm afraid that we are looking at the extinction of mankind."
"That's actually terrifying," Harry mumbled, his heart pounding in his chest.
"Forgive me," Ezekiel said with a small bow. "But I believe that it is smarter to be well informed than to spare ones feelings. It's a matter of life and death now."
Biting his lip, Harry looked around the empty parking lot. "Where is everyone?" he asked curiously.
"Home with loved ones, praying in their churches, flocking to Washington, DC in hopes that it will be safer there since that's where the president lives, trying to get to friends and family, or even at one of the many safety zones that the military has set up." Ezekiel answered.
"Washington isn't safe, I was told by an army guy that they are going to bomb it."
"I assume they will be bombing all the major cities," Ezekiel sighed sadly. "I'm sure by now that the president has been moved to some hidden underground bunker."
"I don't understand, if people are flocking to the city, where are all the cars? I have passed some, but not many."
"The major highway that runs parallel to this one is at a bumper to bumper standstill. The people there won't be moving anytime soon."
"It's like being a sitting duck," Harry said softly. It sounded like it was a good thing that he was travelling on foot, at least he could weave in and out through obstacles and cut through the woods. "What are these safety zones that you mentioned?"
Ezekiel chuckled when his tiger laid down and rested her head on the boy's foot, he had never seen her act like this around anyone. "Just designated areas where the military has set up a perimeter where you can safely stay and get medical help. I believe that they are using schools since most of them are already fenced in and have plenty of room."
Swallowing back his fear, Harry reached down and tentatively touched the tiger on her head. He was shocked when she started purring loudly. "I take it you aren't heading for one of these safe zones."
"No," Ezekiel snorted. "I don't think my Shiva will be welcomed there, nor do I think she will like it there. We will find somewhere remote to hide away until this mess blows over. What are your plans?"
"I'm looking for my uncle, but I don't know where exactly he lives," Harry lied. "We were supposed to meet at the bus station, but I had to hitch a ride from Delaware after the busses stopped running."
"Do you just plan on wandering until you stumble upon him?" Ezekiel frowned. "That doesn't sound like a smart or safe plan."
"That's pretty much it." Harry said forlornly. He just wanted to find his mate, he was tired, hungry, and scared.
"You could always come with us," Ezekiel offered. "My Shiva adores you, so that means that I automatically trust you. She is an amazing judge of character."
As much as Harry didn't want to be alone, he was afraid to trust a stranger after what happened with the trucker. Ezekiel seemed nice, but he had a tiger that could easily bite his head off with one chomp.
"You do not have to make your mind up now," Ezekiel said when he saw how reluctant the boy was. He was smart, it wasn't safe to trust strangers right now, especially one with a man eating tiger. "There is safety in numbers, so why don't you come with us for now while you think on it. I swear on my Shiva's life that I will not harm you."
Harry cautiously nodded his head. He had always trusted his instincts and right now they were telling him that Ezekiel was safe. The mas was right, there was safety in numbers. Four eyes, well six counting Shiva, was much better than two. "Alright," he agreed. "I will stay with you for now as long as you are heading in the same direction as I am."
"You have a direction?" Ezekiel chuckled. "I thought you didn't know where you uncle lived?'
Harry couldn't tell the man about his bond, he would think that he was a nutter. "I know that he is somewhere in or near Alexandria."
"Fairfax is close by, could he be there?" Ezekiel asked, he really didn't want to leave the boy on his on with everything that was going on.
"I really don't know," Harry sighed despondently. "I have never been to America before let alone Virginia."
"You look exhausted, kid. How about we stick together for the night so you can get a good night's sleep while I keep watch?"
Harry looked wearily between the man and the tiger asleep on his shoe before giving a small nod. The man looked honest and his magic was telling him that he was to be trusted, his tiger too. The offer of sleep was also too good for him to pass up. "I'll stick with you for now, thank you for the offer."
Harry couldn't believe that he was traveling with a strange man and a very large man eating tiger. Could his life get any crazier? It had been two days since he had met Ezekiel and Shiva, and while an odd pair, they had been great to be with. It was nice not being alone and having someone there to watch his back. Shiva was incredible, she could hear and sense the dead a good mile away. She was also ferocious when it came to killing them. He never wanted to get on the tiger's bad side.
Sadly he was afraid that their time together was going to be coming to an end. Ezekiel was talking about heading a little more south, maybe Georgia or Florida, and his bond to his mate was keeping him in Virginia. He was going to greatly miss the crazy duo, and he also wasn't looking forward to being alone once again. Stumbling upon the dead was getting to be more and more frequent, soon the area would be overrun with them. Even deep in the woods they were coming across the dead wandering in search for human flesh. It was the living that was getting to be a rare thing to see.
"What do you hear, Shiva?" Ezekiel asked, placing a calming hand on his tense tiger's head.
Harry shivered when the tiger let out a loud roar. For some reason each time she did that his wings would vibrate under his skin. Scrubbing as his dirty face, he walked to a fallen tree and sat down. He had never done so much walking in his life and his body was aching. He had suggested taking one of the many cars abandoned along the way, but Ezekiel said that Shiva hated vehicles. It was probably better walking anyway, most of the roads they passed were lined with abandoned vehicles, they wouldn't have gotten far.
"You alright, Harry?"
Grimacing, Harry rubbed at his aching chest. The bond really wanted him to find his mate. "I'm fine," he answered tiredly. "Though I would give anything for a soft bed." Hell, he would happily crawl into his cupboard under the stairs with his thin sheet as a blanket.
"Things will only get better. We must be strong, I'm sure there is a kingdom out there waiting for us."
Harry chuckled softly, sometimes Ezekiel talked like he was from the Renaissance age. "I don't need a kingdom, just a safe place to lay my head and food in my belly."
"A big juicy cheeseburger would be good right about now," Ezekiel agreed, his stomach rumbling loudly.
"Vending machine sandwiches and chips are getting pretty old,' Harry agreed wistfully. He hated how his relatives starved him all his life, but at least they had prepared him for this. His stomach was use to going days without food, this was nothing new for him.
"I think it's time that we hit a store," Ezekiel suggested. He had suggested this before but Harry always balked at the idea, he hated the idea of stealing.
Grimacing, Harry reluctantly nodded his head. "I don't like it, but they are all abandoned now and we are starving. I think something like some pasta and sauce will last and will be easy for us to cook over a fire."
Grinning, Ezekiel patted Harry on the shoulder. "It's all about survival now. We shall feast like kings tonight, my friend."
Harry stood forlornly at the fork in the road. With a heavy sigh, he looked to the dirt road that branched to the right. They had taken to traveling on old back roads and through the woods finding that they had less dead. They still ran into plenty unfortunately, but the main highways had herds of them looking for fresh meat to devour.
"Are you sure my small friend?" Ezekiel aked heavily.
Virginia was a big state, but he hadn't expected it to take him this long to find his mate. It had been almost two weeks since he first stepped foot on Virginia's soil and he was still wandering aimlessly looking for his mate. He was close though, he could feel it.
Harry turned and looked sadly at his friend, and that was what Ezekiel was now...a friend. The man and his tiger had saved his ass multiple times now after finding out the hard way that he couldn't fight the dead. Ezekiel had taken Shiva out to hunt on his own since he particularly didn't like watching the cat take down and devour deer and bears when he had stupidly let his guard down and fell asleep sitting against a tree. He had maybe been asleep for a half hour when he felt a tugging on his shoe. His eyes snapping open, he was horrified to find a dead gnawing at his foot. Luckily he had been wearing his dragon hide boots that Sirius had given him the Christmas before he died.
He had went to kick the monster in the face when his leg froze up on him. Here he was with an Inferi type creature getting ready to make a meal out of him and he couldn't do a damn thing about it.
Since the outbreak, as Ezekiel had taken to calling it, he had been doing a lot of thinking about his no violence situation. The book had said that he couldn't use his magic, his body, or weapons with the intent to hurt someone, but what if he could trick his magic? He hadn't come up with a solution yet, but there had to be some way of making his magic think that he was helping, when in fact, he was defending himself.
Yanking his foot out of the creature's mouth, Harry turned and crawled a few feet away then got quickly to his feet. Feeling a trickling on the back of his neck and smelling something putrid, he violently released his wings in a burst of blood, hitting the dead in the head and sending it crashing to the forest floor.
Crying out in pain from releasing his wings for the first time since his inheritance, Harry went to take off running when a large orange and black blur raced past him and leapt on top of the dead that was trying to eat him for dinner. His shaky legs giving out him, Harry fell to the forest floor and watched as Shiva ripped the head off of the dead.
That was how Ezekiel discovered that he wasn't one hundred percent human. Oddly enough, or maybe not so oddly seeing how odd Ezekiel himself was, Ezekiel had take the news that he was an elf surprisingly well. He had also taken to being overly protective of him after finding out that he was completely helpless against both the living, and the dead.
Taking in a big gulp of air, Harry nodded his head. "My bond to my mate is pulling me that way, I have to find him."
"We could go with you," Ezekiel offered.
"No," Harry said, stuffing his hands in his pockets to hide their trembling. He wanted to beg Ezekiel to go with him, but he knew that the man wanted to get to warmer climates before fall hit. Walking from Virginia to Georgia or Florida with a tiger was going to take Ezekiel a very long time.
Frowning, Ezekiel looked in the direction in which he needed to go. 'It doesn't feel right leaving you."
Harry laughed sadly when Shiva bumped him with her head hard enough in the stomach that it sent him tumbling onto his butt. "Silly girl," he said affectionately, scratching the tiger on her head.
"See, even Shiva doesn't want to leave you," Ezekiel chuckled.
Using the tiger to help brace himself, Harry got back to his feet. "I'll be fine,Ezekiel," he reassured, though he wasn't sure if he was trying to reassure his friend, or himself. "I have gotten really good with my shield charms and I can feel that my mate is close."
"You have been saying that he was close for over a week."
"I think he has been moving too," Harry defended. "He must be hanging around in one place now because this is the most excited the bond has been."
Ezekiel really didn't want to leave the boy on his own, he had come to care deeply for him. "If he's that close then maybe I should stick with you for a few more days, at least until you find this mystery mate."
Harry was so tempted to say yes, but he had a feeling that he needed to find his mate on his own. With tears in his eyes, he walked up to his friend and gave him a hug. "Stay safe."
Closing his eyes in acceptance, Ezekiel hugged the boy back. "I have a tiger, I'll be fine. You stay safe."
Stepping away from Ezekiel, Harry got down on his knees so he could hug Shiva. "Watch over him and keep him safe." he said, a few tears falling from his eyes when the large cat started making a crying noise.
Quickly standing back up, Harry picked his backpack up from the dirt road and slung it over his shoulders. With one last smile to his friends, he turned and briskly walked away. He wanted to get around the bend before Ezekiel saw that he was crying. Ezekiel was a damn good man, and he was afraid that there wouldn't be too many good men left in the world. He prayed that his mate would be a good man that would accept him and protect him. His mate was all he had left in the world...or what was left of the world anyway.