I do not own anything you recognize as belonging to other people. I won't be repeating this, as once should be enough.
Harry Potter grunted with exertion as he pushed himself up off of the ground during his morning workout.
It had been three weeks since the fiasco at the Department of Mysteries. Three weeks since Sirius had died, and Harry was still trying to work through it.
At first, he had passed the days simply lying in bed, staring at the wall or ceiling, depressed. But he'd later forced himself into doing something to take his mind off of it. And that something, at the moment, was exercise.
At the time he had been too flooded by adrenaline to notice it, but by the end of the battle, after it had faded from his system, his body had been screaming at him due to all the activity he had put it through in so short a time. Not that he had been too concerned about it when he did notice. He had other things on his mind, after all.
Since then, though, he had thought about what had happened. His mind had been plagued with what ifs. He understood, at least intellectually, that he did not hold all the blame for what happened to Sirius. He definitely deserved some of the blame, no matter what Hermione said in her letters, but not all of it. Still, his thinking about the possibilities of the battle had led to him trying to improve his physical fitness. After all, if he'd been faster, or more quick to react, things might have gone differently. And not just with Sirius. Hermione had almost died as well, after all. As it was, she was still taking potions to help deal with the aftereffects.
"98, 99, 100." He said, finishing his pushups before immediately rolling over to perform sit ups.
One thing that had surprisingly changed for the better was his relationship with Dudley. He didn't know what happened to him exactly, but it looked like the Dementor attack the previous year had shaken something loose in him. He was much nicer to Harry now, to his parents' horror. He had actually helped him put together an exercise routine using what he'd learned from his boxing.
The exercise wasn't the only thing Dudley helped with, though. Understanding that Harry needed something to keep his mind occupied, if not exactly why, he had introduced him to the wide world of non-magical pop culture. From anime to comics to video games to movies, Dudley had done his best to get Harry into as much of it as possible. He'd even gotten Harry into Warhammer 40K, which Harry actually found somewhat comforting. It was nice to know there was a reality that had it worse than his.
"42, 43, 44…"
Harry had actually come at Dudley's pop culture lessons from a different angle even as he enjoyed them. Mainly, he wondered if there was any way to adapt some of the abilities or weapons he saw to his use magically. Some of them would be very helpful the next time he met with Voldemort, after all. The only problem with that is that he couldn't experiment thanks to the Underage Sorcery laws. And doing other things, like trying to eat fire or electricity, didn't seem viable without someone around to help in case things went wrong. Which, knowing his luck, they would.
There was one thing that he knew he got out of it all though: ideas for transfiguration. He smirked somewhat darkly at the thought of transfiguring assorted objects into xenomorphs and setting them on hapless Death Eaters. He'd need some practice to make something like that possible, but it sounded worth it.
"79, 80, 81…"
Perhaps he could conjure a bolter to use? Or at least a regular gun. Not exactly legal, but it could be useful. Although he was sure Hermione had given him some reason why that wasn't really viable. Possible the complexity of all the different parts working together, along with the chemicals in each bullet's powder that would need to be created as well? Oh well.
One thing Harry had noticed was the fact that his thoughts weren't exactly, well, all that nice, anymore. Sirius' death had driven home the fact that Harry was now in a war like not even Cedric's had. And that stupid prophecy Dumbledore had revealed to him at the end hadn't helped matters. Hearing that he'd have to kill or be killed was sobering. So Harry no longer thought of the best ways to stun and immobilize his opponents as much anymore. He'd seen how ineffective that had been during the battle at the Department of Mysteries. He focused more on putting his opponents down permanently, as that way they couldn't get back up to hurt him and what few loved ones he had as easily.
"99, 100." He gasped before laying back on the floor, breathing heavily. A few minutes later he got up and wiped his face and bare chest with a towel before looking down to examine himself.
He'd always been rather skinny, and even though the large, filling meals at Hogwarts had helped remedy that a bit they had been counteracted by the Quidditch practice he did. Now though, despite only a few weeks of exercise, he was getting some definition. He had a theory that his magic was helping his progress along by maximizing the gains he made as much as possible, though he had no proof. Whatever the reason, he was grateful. It would undoubtedly be helpful in the future.
Harry pulled on a shirt after another wipe with the towel and headed downstairs to the kitchen to get a drink and a snack. As he got there and started making himself a sandwich he heard the sound of the news going in the living room.
"…And in other news, the Justice League helped with disaster relief efforts after a 7.9 earthquake struck Peru. Many people were freed from rubble thanks to their assisting the Peruvian government's military."
Uncle Vernon scoffed at that. "Justice League, pah. Bunch of weirdoes. I tell you, Pet, I have no doubt they cause more problems than they solve. World would be better off without 'em. We'd have less supervillains that way, too."
Harry rolled his eyes as he put away the mayo. Vernon had never liked the Justice League, or the other superheroes around the world, for the same reason he hated magicals. They were different than him, and that just couldn't be allowed.
Harry sat down and ate his sandwich as he listened to the news report continue talking about other superhero activity, thinking. Perhaps contacting the Justice League for assistance with Voldemort would help? The magical world would no doubt be horrified by the thought, but Harry wasn't stupid. He had no doubt the League was aware of them. They did, after all, have several magic based heroes, even if said heroes used different types of magic than what he was aware of.
He sat back, pondering the idea. It could work. Maybe that was the Power the Dark Lord Knew Not from the prophecy? Common bloody sense? He snorted at the thought. It wouldn't surprise him. Hermione herself had said that the average magical didn't have any, all the way back in first year, and he'd seen more than enough evidence of that fact throughout the years.
As he was finishing his snack Dudley walked into the kitchen, nodding at Harry as he got a protein drink from the fridge. "Morning, Harry. Finish your workout?"
Harry nodded as he sipped his orange juice. "Yeah. It's getting easier. Think I'll need to increase the amounts again soon."
Dudley shook his head. "It's not fair, you know? I wish I could get results as quickly as you do." He glowered slightly at Harry's playful smirk. "Asshole…" He muttered. "What have you got planned for today, anyway?"
Harry groaned slightly. "As much as I want to watch the next Game of Thrones episode online, I need to get started on my summer homework. I've been neglecting it."
Dudley sat down, looking interested. Harry absently noted that it was a measure of how far Dudley had come that the chairs no longer groaned alarmingly when he did so. "Anything interesting?" The larger teen asked.
Harry shrugged. "Not really, at least to me. Hagrid…" He ignored Dudley's slight flinch at the name. He was still slightly traumatized by his first meeting the gentle giant. "…didn't give us homework for Care of Magical Creatures. Transfiguration is going to be tedious. It's all about the rules of conjuration, since we'll start studying it this year. Honestly, the worst one is going to be Potions. All about the safe uses of venomous plants in various potions."
Dudley nodded sympathetically. He didn't really understand, of course, but he got the gist. "Think it'll take you long?"
Harry shrugged. "If I focus just on it all I should get it all done by the end of the week. Then I can do other things."
Dudley smirked. "Like trying to give yourself super strength again?"
Harry scowled. "I thought we agreed never to bring that up again. That chair was perfectly fine after we used some duct tape on it. Besides, it worked… sorta." Dudley's snort showed what he thought of that. Harry grumbled to himself about irritating cousins as he got up and cleaned his dishes.
He was about to head upstairs when Vernon appeared at the door of the kitchen. "Dudley, boy, into the living room, both of you." And he stomped back away. The boys shared mystified looks before complying.
When they arrived Petunia was pursing her lips tightly as Vernon stood in the middle of the room. Dudley went and took a seat besides his mother while Harry remained standing, arms folded and eyeing Vernon warily.
Harry and Vernon had endured significant friction during this summer. After the warning Harry's friends had delivered when he'd gotten off the Hogwarts Express, Vernon had been furious, partly as a way to deal with his fear. Said fear was part of the reason he didn't fully take it out on Harry. The other part was the simple fact that Harry refused to take any of Vernon's shit anymore. After everything he had gone through during his years at Hogwarts, especially the most recent one, he saw no reason to fear a blustering muggle like Vernon Dursley like he had as a child.
So things had been tense in the Dursley household because of this. The teens had ignored it as much as possible while Dudley educated Harry, but it was always there, in the background. The fact that Dudley was even spending time with Harry had no doubt made things worse.
Vernon cleared his throat as he puffed up. "I've got good news Petunia, Dudley. I have been selected by Grunnings to be an ambassador of sorts to a company in Spain they are working on a possible merger with. That means that the three of us will be leaving to stay there for the next month."
Harry was surprised by Vernon's apparent enthusiasm about this. Being a xenophobe Harry would have expected him to sound horrified by the idea of having to live in a country that didn't even speak English. Then again, he figured it was in part Uncle Vernon's greed and ambition showing. This position was obviously a prestigious one, and could potentially open the door to more if he made a good showing.
The fact that it would get the family away from Harry was a rather obvious bonus as well, as it was painfully obvious they wouldn't be bringing him along for any reason.
Indeed, Vernon turned to look at Harry with a nasty look on his face (not that most looks weren't nasty on the walrus). "We leave in a week, and I expect you to be gone by then, or shortly thereafter. I don't want you in this house on your own for any amount of time. God knows what you'd end up doing."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Trust me, I was already seeing about getting out of here. I was told that they'd come pick me up in a week and a half."
Vernon eyed him before nodding. "That will have to do. But I'm telling you now, boy, a single thing out of place, and no amount of freak threats will save you."
Harry turned away to head upstairs. "Yeah, yeah. Whatever you say." And he left, waving away Vernon's threats.
Nine days had passed, and the Dursleys had left for their trip to Spain without incident. Dudley had provided Harry with his passwords so he could get on the computer to continue watching and reading what he wanted, which Harry used gratefully. After all, he'd lose access to everything once he was back in the magical world, something he wasn't looking forward to. He wished he could take a laptop with him to Hogwarts so he could keep up, instead of having to wait till next year and catch up on everything then.
Harry had just gotten back from a run around the neighborhood when he was interrupted by a voice in the hedges. "Wotcher Harry."
He turned, hand in his pocket for his wand, before he recognized the voice. "Tonks? What are you doing here?"
A head appeared in the bushes, obviously from under an invisibility cloak. She had mousy brown hair instead of her habitual pink, but it was unmistakably Tonks. "What do you think? My turn to watch you. First time in ages, too." She gave him a slightly tired smile. "You're looking good. The exercise is working for you."
Harry, however, was frowning. "I'm still being watched?"
Tonks rolled her eyes. "Of course you are, Harry. After the battle at the Ministry nobody was keen on leaving you unguarded. I shouldn't have let you know I'm here, mind, but I'm bored out of my skull. Besides, you look like you could use some company."
Harry sighed but nodded. "Alright, you might as well come inside so I don't look mad talking to a bush." He led her to the house after she had put the cloak back over her head. She took it off shortly after entering and stretched, pushing out her chest in a way that Harry really couldn't help but notice seeing as she was wearing a rather tight Weird Sisters t-shirt.
"Ah, good to get out from under that stuffy thing." Tonks walked after him as he headed to the kitchen, getting them each a glass of water, which he drank from heavily. "So…" Tonks smiled gently. "How have you been, Harry?"
Harry rubbed his eyes, feeling tired all of a sudden. He had expected a conversation like this eventually, but not so soon, and he had no real idea of what to say. "What do you want me to say, Tonks? That I'm fine? It's been just about a month, and I've spent it either moping or distracting myself with exercise and video games."
Tonks nodded sympathetically. "I miss him too, Harry." She sat back and watched him. "Sirius was my favorite family member when I was little, you know? When he got locked up I couldn't understand why my cousin Padfoot wasn't around to play with me anymore. As I grew older I began to resent him for betraying me and my mum, and wanted to become an Auror to stop bad guys partly because of it. Though I do like helping people." She smiled. "I was overjoyed when I found out he had been innocent all this time. I spent as much time around him as possible, to make up for lost time." She gave a tired sigh. "Seeing him die in the Ministry…"
Harry felt his heart sink. Somehow, selfishly, he hadn't really considered what the others who were close to Sirius were going through all that much. How was Remus dealing with it, he wondered? How was he dealing with losing his brother in all but blood once again, this time for good?
"I'm… I'm sorry, Tonks." Harry said, quietly. "If I hadn't gone to the Department of Mysteries…"
Tonks quickly help up a hand to stop him. "Stop right there, Harry. You did what you thought was right to help somebody you loved. You were working on incomplete information on a time constraint with lives on the line. Trust me, full training as an Auror couldn't have helped you deal with it much better. The fact that Sirius was the only one to die is, I hear, in large part to your leadership and the previous training you gave your friends." She gave him a rather fierce look. "If you have to blame somebody, blame the bastards who put you in that position in the first place. And learn from it, so it doesn't happen again."
Harry nodded slowly and gave her a tentative smile, which she returned.
Their moment was interrupted by a heavy feeling in the air making itself known. Tonks jumped, the chair she was sitting in toppling backwards as she looked around wildly. Harry got up as well, wand already in hand. "Tonks?"
The Auror waved her wand with a short incantation under her breath and cursed. "Somebody's just set up a bunch of wards. Anti-apparition and anti-portkey mainly." She looked at him seriously. "Seems like we're under attack."
Harry scowled. "Of course we bloody are." He made his way upstairs, Tonks following. "Let's grab my stuff. Maybe we can fly out of here." Tonks nodded in agreement. He quickly threw his things into his trunk, including Hedwig's cage (she was currently out delivering letters to Ron and Hermione). Tonks tapped the trunk and shrunk it, grabbing it and slipping it in one of her pockets as Harry grabbed his Firebolt, getting ready to leave. To his consternation, however, the broom didn't react, remaining inert in his hands. "What the hell?" He mounted it and tried again, but the broom wouldn't lift.
"Dammit, they set up an anti-broom ward too." Tonks said angrily. "They're not used often and are not well known. Mainly used by law enforcement to make sure nobody can fly away from a raid the way we were just trying to. We need to get out of range of the wards if we want to get away. Come on." She led the way downstairs, heading for the front door, only to almost get a spell to the head when she opened it. She yelped as the orangish light barely missed her and slammed the door shut. "Okay, we aren't getting out that way…"
Harry carefully made his way to the kitchen window. From there he could see at least fifteen black robed, masked figures making their way closer to the house. For a wild moment, he wondered what the neighbors thought of what was going on. Then he had to duck back as a Death Eater spotted him and launched a spell at him, breaking the window with a crash.
The Death Eaters formed a perimeter in front of the house, and Harry wondered what they were waiting for. It was obvious Voldemort wasn't around, as his scar didn't hurt. He wondered why that was. Surely Voldemort would want to be there when they finally got Harry, wouldn't he?
His question was answered when said madman suddenly showed up with a pop, bringing with him a wave of pain into Harry's scar. He kept focused though in spite of it.
Tonks entered the room and glanced through the window, grimacing with her face more than a little pale. They were both aware these weren't good odds. She briefly took his hand in reassurance, whether for him or herself they were both uncertain, then whispered. "I have an emergency portkey to the Burrow, Harry. We need to get out from under the wards. A distraction or something would be very helpful."
Before Harry could reply they heard Voldemort's cold, high voice call out from out in front in a mock genial tone. "Hello there, Harry. I figured I'd come and visit. It has been about a month since we last saw each other, after all. Aren't you going to invite me in?"
Harry made his way to the front window and called back while hiding behind the wall. "I'm afraid you've come at a bad time, Tom. I don't have any tea prepared, and besides, I was entertaining a cute and charming young woman. Why don't you take your pets and come back another day, and I'll have everything prepared for you then? Sound good?"
"I'm afraid I must insist." The dark lord said. "Don't worry about your lady friend. We'll make sure to keep her properly entertained while you and I… talk."
"That's still a no, Tom. Please don't insist further, or I might have to get… unpleasant." Harry finished grimly.
One of the Death Eaters scoffed. "And what do you think you can do to us, boy?"
Unnoticed by anybody outside thanks to the curtains, harry had transfigured one of Aunt Petunia's baubles into a long, sharp stake of metal and set it on the windowsill. As Tonks watched curiously nearby, Harry aimed it at the cocky Death Eater and suddenly banished it at him at high speed. Before the blowhard could react he had a large, pointy bit of metal sticking out of his chest, piercing one his lungs. He went down with a wet gurgle, flailing with blood coming out of his mouth.
Most of the Death Eaters took startled steps back, away from the dying man on the ground, and Tonks stared at Harry in shock as he looked out stone faced.
Voldemort looked at his dying servant then back at the house. "I admit myself surprised, Harry. I thought you'd be using stunners and body binds like that old fool would want."
"Well you and your pet psychos have pissed me off lately, Tom. I'm not feeling very merciful at the moment." Harry bit out. "Besides, my first priority is getting out of here with my friend intact. You assholes being alive kinda gets in the way of that."
"Aww, is poor ickle baby Potter angry? Could he be missing is godfather? Poor little Potter. Why don't you come out and let me make it all better?" Came a sickly sweet voice in a mocking tone.
Harry grit his teeth, and with a glance back at Tonks he saw that he wasn't the only one angry at the mere sound of that voice. "Glad you could come, Bellatrix! I'm looking forward to removing your head." He snarled out viciously.
They heard her laugh, but no response came. Harry glanced out and his eyes widened. He grabbed Tonks and, before she could say anything, dropped to the ground. A bare second after doing so, jets of light in all colors blasted through the windows and walls, crisscrossing the room. Harry and Tonks huddled on the ground as debris fell on top of them. The two slowly looked at each other as the barrage of spellfire stopped. Harry brought a finger up to his lips for silence, and Tonks nodded. They both got up off the floor and made their way to the kitchen, keeping low so they wouldn't be noticed.
"I hope that didn't take you out, Harry!" Voldemort called. "I'd be disappointed if that was all it took."
Harry got the knives out of the block and set them on the now rather battered table. Tonks silently aimed her wand at them and they quivered before launching out the window. There were cries from outside as the Death Eaters were harassed by the flying knives, small explosions sounding as the knives were destroyed. But they had bought the defenders time.
Harry went into the back and grabbed a propane tank Vernon kept for the rare times he grilled. He caught Tonks' eye and nodded to the tank. It took the Auror a moment to catch on, but then her eyes widened and she nodded. Harry levitated the tank and launched it out the living room window at a group of Death Eaters. Tonks followed it up with a cry of "Bombarda!". The spell slammed into the tank mere feet from the Death Eaters and it exploded with a mighty 'BOOM'.
The Death Eaters were sent flying, cries cut short as they slammed into the ground. Some were groaning and whimpering. Some weren't moving at all.
A moment later, another barrage of spells was launched at the house. Harry threw himself to the ground once more, Tonks beating him to it by a second. Harry grit his teeth. They were making progress, but soon enough Voldemort was going to get tired of playing around and simply send the house up in flames or something. They needed to get out and make a run for it now.
He turned to Tonks… and his heart almost stopped. Tonks' face was covered in blood as she lay on the ground, and Harry was sure she was dead. He felt something in him roar with agony and rage. No! Not another one! Not another person dead because of him!
Bellatrix's laughter rang out again, and Harry's pain was consumed by his rage. He wanted to stop her. He wanted to end the evil bitch who had tormented him. First Neville's parents, then Sirius, now Tonks. And who knew how many others. It had to stop. He looked up and caught sight of the dining room table. Barely thinking about it, he raised his wand at it and focused.
Normally he'd never be able to do what he was about to do. He was too young, too inexperienced. But he was in a state of high emotion, his magic was buzzing beneath his skin, and all his focus was on what was coming next.
Outside, the Death Eaters stopped casting. They stayed still for several moments before Bellatrix sauntered over to one of the windows with a smirk. She opened her mouth to call out a taunt when she, and the other Death Eaters, froze. An odd noise had come from the house. A sort of rattling hiss.
Bellatrix was in the process of raising her wand when something launched itself through the window, the wall around it bursting out to make way. The black shape pounced on Bellatrix, bearing her to the ground, and everybody got a look at it.
It was a nightmare given form. It was black and shiny and long and quite simply wrong. It had a long, smooth head that swept backwards with no visible eyes and disturbingly humanlike, metallic looking teeth. Its limbs were long and spindly, ending in talons. It had a long tail like a bony whip that glided around with surprising grace.
Bellatrix stared, wide eyed, at the monster's face as it bent low over her, seemingly staring back. It gave another hiss before its mouth opened, revealing another, smaller mouth inside. Bellatrix finally got over her shock and screamed. A scream which was cut off abruptly as the smaller mouth shot out to stab through the madwoman's face and into her brain, killing her.
This seemed to finally snap everybody else out of their horrified trances and they cried out, raising their wands to attack. The creature looked up before loping forward with unnatural grace to attack the closest Death Eater, who flung spells at it in desperation. The black thing dodged almost every shot, and those it didn't it ignored. It jumped on the hapless Death Eater as a cutting curse from another hit the creature in the shoulder, making it bleed. This just seemed to make things worse, as the yellow blood fell on its prey, making him shriek with pain as it started eating through him.
Inside the house Harry was panting after the Master's level transfiguration he had just performed, sweat beading his forehead.
"Wow…" came a soft voice beside him. Harry whipped his head around to stare at Tonks, who was looking out the destroyed window with wide eyes. She turned to Harry. "An alien, Harry? Really?"
Harry's mouth worked without his conscious input. "It's technically called a xenomorph, actually." Then his mind caught up with what was going on. "You're… you're alive?"
Tonks wiped the blood covering her face off, revealing a shallow gash on her forehead. "I'm fine." She smiled at him.
Harry slumped slightly, almost sobbing with relief. Then he swallowed it down and got up. "Come on, we should get moving while they're distracted." Tonks nodded and got up as well, following after him out the back door. The two ignored the ongoing screams and screeches coming from the front of the house as they ran, trying to find the edge of the wards.
Tonks handed Harry a pendant with the image of a phoenix on it. "This is the portkey. When we get to the end of the wards say 'Burrowing' and it will activate."
"What about you?" Harry asked.
"I can apparate, Harry. Since you can't, it's best you keep a hold of it."
They'd made it some distance from the house when the light of a spell shot between them, narrowly missing Harry. They turned to see Voldemort leading his followers after them, launching spells at the fleeing duo. They both noticed there were a lot less Death Eaters than before.
In desperation Tonks waved her wand, and her face split in a grin. "Harry! We're at the edge of the wards! Use it!"
Harry smiled in relief and held up the pendant. "Burr-!" He began, but was interrupted. A malicious looking brown spell came flying and impacted against the pendant, shattering it in Harry's hand.
There was a high pitched, screeching sound as a burst of energy began to emanate from the remains of the pendant. Tonks watched in horror as the energy seemed to consume Harry as he cried out in fear and pain. Once it had a hold of him it began to shrink, dragging him along, before it disappeared, leaving nothing behind.
Tonks stood, staring at the spot where Harry had been standing, before a curse almost hit her, snapping her out of it. She quickly disapparated away, as right now the only thing she could do was get to the Burrow and see if Harry had made it.
Tonks reappeared outside of the Burrow, panting and shaking. It was a miracle she'd made it without splinching herself. She had to thank her Combat Apparition courses in the Auror Academy for that. She stumbled forward, making her way towards the house, keeping her eyes peeled for any sign that Harry had made it.
The Weasley kids, plus Hermione, were all outside, the boys and Ginny flying around while Hermione sat and read a heavy looking book, as per usual. Hermione sighed and lifted her head to stretch a bit before catching sight of Tonks. "Tonks?" She said, confused. She got up and made her way towards the Auror, wondering what she was doing there when she should be watching Harry. She gasped when she got close enough to see Tonks' dirty, damaged clothes and blood covered face. "TONKS!" She shrieked, rushing forward towards the older woman.
Her cry had attracted the attention of the others, who quickly swooped down around her, eyes wide. Tonks merely looked around at them. "Where's Harry?" She asked.
"We should be asking you that!" Ron exclaimed, his face pale as he took in the state she was in. He turned to Ginny. "Ginny, go get mum. Tell her to contact the Order. And tell her that we might need a healer."
As the Weasley girl zoomed off to do as told, Tonks grit her teeth. "Harry isn't here? You're sure?"
Fred was the one to answer her. "Pretty sure. We haven't seen him."
"Dammit all, he should have been here before me if the portkey was working right." She growled as Mrs. Weasley came rushing out of the house.
"Tonks! Are you alright!? Where's Harry!?" The Weasley matriarch asked worriedly.
"I'm… I'm fine." Tonks said, wiping away more blood that was getting into her eye. "I gave Harry the portkey to the Burrow, but something went wrong."
"What happened?" Hermione asked, worriedly.
"We were attacked." Tonks said shortly. "You-Know-Who was there along with over a dozen Death Eaters. We held them off for a bit before Harry did some really impressive magic, which distracted them enough for us to make a run for it."
Everybody around her was wide eyed. Mrs. Weasley gently took Tonks by the elbow and led her into the house. "Come along inside and sit so we can get that cut looked at. I contacted Albus and he should be here soon. You can explain further then."
Tonks nodded, sagging as the adrenaline started to leave her system. She walked into the kitchen and sat at the table as Mrs. Weasley grabbed a wet rag and started cleaning her face gently while the kids stood around anxiously.
Barely a minute later the sound of the fireplace flaring up and people coming through was heard, and Dumbledore appeared at the kitchen door. "Molly, what is the…" He stopped as he caught sight of Tonks. "Nymphadora? What happened?"
For once, Tonks didn't chew out the aged Headmaster for using her first name. She looked up as Moody came in behind Dumbledore, magic eye spinning around crazily. "Harry's house was attacked by You-Know-Who, Professor. I barely made it out. Harry should have been here before me. Something seems to have gone wrong with the portkey though."
Dumbledore's face became grave. "I will summon the Order, and you can give us a full report then. Alastor, go to Hogwarts and get Poppy so she can come and check on Nymphadora. I will go to my office and see if I can't get a start on locating Harry. We'll meet back her for the meeting in a half hour." Moody nodded and thumped his way back to the fireplace. He turned to the others in the kitchen. "I trust you will look after Nymphadora till we return?" As everybody replied in the affirmative he nodded and quickly made his way out.
Half an hour later, most of the Order of the Phoenix was gathered in the Weasley home. Mrs. Weasley had tried to keep the children out of the meeting, but as it involved Harry and what had happened to him they were having none of it, and thus were allowed to attend.
"Welcome everyone, thank you for attending on such short notice." Dumbledore said, beginning the meeting. "I'm afraid the reason for this meeting is not a good one. I will let Nymphadora explain what happened. Nymphadora, if you please?"
Tonks got up, eyeing Dumbledore with displeasure, but it was not lost on anybody that she didn't snark back. More than one person got worried. Her clothes were still dirty and damaged, but her face was otherwise clean and free of wounds.
Tonks looked at everybody gathered, and felt very small, especially under the gaze of Remus and Harry's friends. The weight of her failure was sinking in, and it took all she had not to run to try and get away from it.
"Earlier today I was with Harry in his kitchen, talking about… things." She began, noting that people were frowning at the fact that she had been with him rather than watching from under the invisibility cloak like she was supposed to. She cleared her throat. "Suddenly we were struck by a sensation of heaviness in the air. Still don't know what that was, but when I checked we were under anti-apparition and anti-portkey wards. We got Harry's things to try and use his broom to escape." She blinked as a thought struck her. Everybody watched as she rooted around in her pockets and pulled out Harry's shrunken trunk. "Forgot I had this…" She muttered, staring at it.
When Dumbledore cleared his throat she shook herself out of her thoughts and passed the trunk to him. "Should probably give that to Ron and Hermione to look after…" She took a deep breath before continuing. "Unfortunately, when we tried, the broom wouldn't respond. I'm assuming that they were using an anti-broom ward as well. We tried to get out of the house to make a break for the edge of the wards, but they had already surrounded the house and almost got me with a spell. Didn't get an accurate count, but there were at least fifteen Death Eaters there."
Everybody started murmuring to each other at that information. They didn't see how Tonks got out with those odds, especially not when she had to look after Harry.
"That's when You-Know-Who showed up." Tonks continued after taking a small sip of water. The murmuring got louder, but she spoke over it. "Harry and him bantered a bit when some Death eater I didn't know ran his mouth." She hesitated, knowing the next part wasn't going to go over well. "Harry promptly banished a metal stake into his chest. Pretty sure it punctured a lung, considering the gurgling cries."
People gasped and looked at each other in disbelief. Harry? Use lethal force? Dumbledore looked older than anybody had seen him since Sirius' death, and Molly had a hand to her mouth in horror. The kids, oddly enough, didn't look as surprised as the adults. They were definitely surprised, but it was tempered by resignation. Tonks wondered idly what that meant.
"B-But Harry wouldn't do that!" Molly said, still in shock.
Tonks shook her head. "Harry told You-Know-Who he wasn't feeling very merciful after recent events, and that his first priority was to get us out of there alive, which the Death Eater's continued breathing worked against."
Moddy nodded. "Don't like lethal force myself, but when it's a you versus them situation sometimes there's no choice. Potter made the right call in that situation. Stunners wouldn't have helped. Good instincts, that one." Kingsley, standing in the back, nodded in agreement.
"Well, they didn't take kindly to that." Tonks said once everybody had calmed down. "They launched a barrage of spells. Heavy duty ones, too, cause they punched right through the walls. Me and Harry had to huddle on the ground to keep from getting hit. When it was over we headed to the kitchen where I enchanted some knives to go out and harass them, buy us time. Then we launched a big propane tank outside before hitting it with a blaster, making it explode. That must have taken out at least five of them, some permanently." The others gave each other grim looks at hearing about more deaths caused by Harry and Tonks, but nobody said anything. "That seemed to make them angry, because they attacked again, driving us back to the floor. I blacked out for a second. Bit of debris got me in the head." She rubbed the place where her head wound had been as the others looked concerned. "Was fine though. Was only out for a few seconds, as far as I could tell. Seemed to piss Harry off though, considering what happened next."
Ginny, on the edge of her seat, was the one to ask what everybody was wondering. "What did he do, Tonks?"
She looked at them, face hard. "He transfigured the kitchen table into an alien."
McGonagall looked confused, and she wasn't the only one. Hermione was less so, but she needed clarification. "What kind, Tonks?"
Tonks looked at Hermione. "An alien. From the movie, Alien. Or Aliens."
Hermione's face became one of horrified comprehension. "A xenomorph?" She whispered quietly.
Tonks nodded. "That's what he called it, yeah." She shuddered. "As if that thing hadn't already haunted my nightmares the first time I saw the movies…"
Ron prodded Hermione, confused. "What are you talking about? What's a xeno-whatever?"
Hermione bit her lip as she saw that everybody's attention was on her now. "A xenomorph, Ron, is probably one of the most horrifying monsters to ever come out of somebody's imagination. Even Hagrid wouldn't want one." She smiled grimly at everybody's looks of disbelief. "It's a creature that's incredibly fast and agile, not to mention strong, is a perfect hunter, has great senses, a very potent acid for blood, and a secondary mouth that it uses to attack, sending it out with enough force to crack a man's skull open like a rotten egg. It is terrifying, not only in its capabilities, but in its looks." She shuddered. "A single one could stalk a group of experienced, well equipped soldiers easily, taking them out one by one. A group, with one of their queens, could end life on the entire planet unless the place they were located was destroyed. By a nuke."
Everyone in the room looked at each other uneasily at the description of the thing Harry had created to fight for him.
Tonks nodded. "Well, as far as I could tell, this one had all of those characteristics. It launched itself out and killed Bellatrix Lestrange immediately. Heard her scream as it did her in. Then it went wild among the rest." Tonks rubbed her arms, as though chilled. Thinking back on it, it had been scary. Even though she knew it wouldn't attack her, as it was Harry's creation, being so near a creature that was practically made out of nightmares terrified her.
At that bit of news more than one person sat up. It was Remus that spoke, voice a low growl. "Is that true? Bellatrix is dead?" At Tonks' nod he sat back, looking satisfied. "Good. Couldn't happen to a more deserving person." Everybody knew that Remus was thinking about the fact that she was the one to kill Sirius. Hearing she was dead was a relief to everybody though.
"Anyway…" Tonks resumed her tale. "We used the alien as a distraction to get the hell away. We made it to the edge of the wards. I had given Harry the emergency portkey and he was saying the password for it." She grimaced. This is where things went wrong. "Unfortunately, a spell I don't know hit the portkey right as he was saying it and broke it into pieces. Something went wrong then. Energy began to leave the portkey and consumed Harry. When it disappeared, he was gone. I… I don't know what happened. I apparated here to see if he'd made it. Obviously, he hadn't." She went silent and sat down, head low. Everybody in the room looked stricken and afraid of what could have happened to Harry, and she couldn't help but feel she was being judged for being unable to get him to safety.
Dumbledore stepped forward and looked kindly at Tonks. "You did you best, Nymphadora. It sounds like it was simply bad luck." He addressed the rest of the room. "I myself have begun searching for Harry's whereabouts and will continue to do so until we have an answer. We can only hope he is not in Voldemort's hands."
"The Dark Lord does not have Potter." Came a voice from the door leading out. Snape was standing there, looking rather haggard.
Dumbledore looked relieved. "Good, that is good, Severus. Come, is there any more you can tell us?"
Snape slumped in. "Only that it isn't as good a news as you want. The Dark Lord is quite convinced Potter is dead."
There were many gasps in the room, and Dumbledore's face fell. "Why does he think this, Severus?"
"He can no longer sense Potter through the connection they share. It is as if a thread was snapped. There is nothing at the other end anymore." Snape informed Dumbledore, ignoring the rest of the people around him. "So despite losing a large amount of Death Eaters, including Bellatrix, the Dark Lord considers this day a win."
Dumbledore stood, ashen faced, as the rest of the Order babbled. Molly was in tears, and Harry's friends weren't much better.
Tonks sat there as if petrified, heart feeling like lead. She'd gotten Harry killed. He had been her responsibility, and in the end she failed, and now the nice, if somewhat temperamental, boy was gone. All because of her.
Dumbledore's face had firmed, and he'd extended his wand, letting out a blast of noise to silence everybody. "Thank you. While Severus' news is disturbing, that does not mean Harry is dead. We should first attempt to ascertain the facts for ourselves. I will go to Gringotts tomorrow and see what they say. They have trackers that can tell exactly somebody's status. I will also continue my attempts to locate Harry. Ron, Hermione…" The two teens looked up hopefully. "You send owls to Harry. I dare say Hedwig should be able to locate him as long as he's alive and not under some sort of special ward, especially as she's his familiar. That should at least let us know if he's alright or not." The two looked determined, ready to dash upstairs immediately. "Otherwise I want everybody to keep an eye out for any news of him. Kinglsey, I understand you've been working the scene at Harry's home. See what you can find out there." Kingsley nodded. "Very well. Let us all do our best, and I'm sure that we will find Harry soon enough."
In the end, however, it was not to be. Hedwig wouldn't leave to look for Harry no matter what Ron and Hermione did. All she did was hoot mournfully and sit on her stand, looking rather dejected. Things got worse when Dumbledore went to Gringotts after fruitlessly trying to locate Harry, only to find, to his dismay and sadness, that all their monitoring devices indicated that Harry Potter was dead. Seeing as these devices were tied directly to his magic, and nothing known could block them, it was rather definitive proof. According to Gringotts' rules, after one month of no change, he would officially be declared dead.
Three weeks after his disappearance, Ron was walking dejectedly by the door to Ginny's room when he heard sobbing. He hesitated, before gently opening the door.
Hermione sat on Ginny's bed with Harry's trunk open on the floor. She had obviously been going through it. She had a piece of parchment clutched in her hand and was sobbing uncontrollably.
Normally Ron would practically run away from a crying girl, not being able to handle them, but he wasn't going to leave Hermione alone in this state. He closed the door carefully and approached. "Hermione, what is it?"
She looked up at him with red, puffy eyes. "R-Ron… I found… I found…" She held out the parchment to him.
Ron took it and looked down before feeling his breath catch and his heart shatter just a little more than it already was.
Last Will and Testament of Harry James Potter
He read through it silently. It left Harry's money to the Weasley family, Ron, Hermione and Remus, with specific amounts set aside for the twins' joke shop. His personal effects were distributed between Ron and Hermione, with Ron getting the Firebolt and the Marauder's Map, and Hermione getting the Invisibility Cloak.
It wasn't lost on Ron that Harry had left Hermione his family heirloom. He could guess what it meant. Normally the thought would send a surge of jealousy through Ron, but now he just felt… empty. Harry's death had forced Ron to reexamine many things.
He sat down next to Hermione and wrapped his arms around her, holding her while she sobbed as tears gathered in his own eyes.
They stayed like that for almost an hour, simply comforting each other in their loss. Then Ron pulled back and grabbed a tissue, handing it to Hermione. "He wouldn't want you crying like this, you know." He said softly.
Hermione smiled bitterly. "There are many things he would and wouldn't want, Ron. So many things I…" She stopped herself, glancing up at Ron apprehensively.
Ron simply smiled, slightly bitterly, back. "What, you think I'm an idiot, Hermione? I know you don't feel for me like you do for him."
Hermione looked away. "I'm sorry Ron… I know, well, after the Yule Ball…"
Ron winced, remembering that unmitigated disaster. "Yeah, I wasn't exactly subtle."
Hermione snorted, a small smile on her face. "No, no you weren't." She sighed. "I won't say I've never thought about, well, us, but when I apply that long term…"
Ron shrugged. "Yeah, I guess. We'd kill each other in a week."
Hermione nodded before looking at Harry's will mournfully. "I should have said something…"
Ron hugged her again. "None of that now. W-what's done is done. All you can do now is live the best you can. For him."
Hermione looked up at him before smiling tearfully and nodding, snuggling against him.
They stayed like that for some time, simply finding comfort in each other.
Albus Dumbledore sat in his office, stroking Fawkes, who sang sadly to him, while staring at the fire. A great many things weighed on his mind.
Primary was the death of Harry Potter, a boy he viewed as a grandson. He had failed the boy many times before, but this was the greatest of those failures. A young life snuffed out before he'd truly had a chance to live.
Dumbledore sighed softly. That wasn't the greatest thing, tragic as it was. The prophecy loomed upon him. He didn't know what to do now. Harry was gone. That, of course, meant the horcrux in Harry's scar was gone as well, which was the only positive he could think of in this situation.
Now he had to continue working, trying to find the other horcruxes. He had been about to go and try to get the one he'd located when he'd gotten the summons to the Weasleys. Now though, he was going to have to be more careful. He didn't have Harry to fall back on to finish the job. He'd have to see it through to the end himself. Perhaps Alastor would be willing to come with him?
And so Albus Dumbledore sat, and pondered.
Hermione walked onto the Hogwarts Express at the start of term looking determined. She was going to do as Ron had said and live her life for Harry, and that meant getting the DA back together to make sure they continued their work in his name.
As she and Ron walked through the train people stopped and stared at them. Harry's public funeral had only been held a week ago, and people were still reeling over the news. Hermione scathingly thought about how many of those shocked people had derided Harry as a lunatic just the year before.
A few hours later Hermione was sitting silently with Ron, Ginny, Neville and Luna in a compartment of their own. They were all dispirited, but none said anything about it, trying to act normal. That ended when the compartment door opened, allowing in the last person any of them wanted to see.
Draco Malfoy was smirking as he walked in, ignoring their glares. "Hello Weasel, Mudblood. How is Potty. Has he been doing well?" His eyes glinted cruelly as he faked surprise. "Oh, that's right, he finally got himself killed going up against his bett-."
Before Malfoy could finish, every person in the compartment had raised their wands and launched a curse at him. Malfoy was sent flying out into the hallway by the impact of multiple curses, hitting his head against the far wall. Crabbe and Goyle stood there stupidly before backpedaling away from the enraged group.
Ron stepped forward, glaring down at the dazed blonde. "One more word this year, ferret, and you'll be joining your aunt in hell. Your daddy isn't around to save you anymore." And he slammed the door shut.
Everybody sat down and stared at each other before Neville smirked, which turned into a giggle from Ginny, which turned into full blown laughter form all of them, which swiftly turned into tears.
It took them all some time to regain their composure, but when they did they sat comfortably. "So, ready to show everybody we aren't going to be stopped?" Ginny said with a dangerous look.
Everybody smirked and nodded. Luna placed her hand in the middle of the room and looked at them all. "For Harry."
They all looked at each other before smiling and placing their hands on hers. "For Harry!"
(Shortly after the attack on Privet Drive)
Harry woke up with a groan. He was lying on a cold road and his head was pounding. He got up slowly and looked around. Wherever he was, it was covered in fog, so much so he could barely see ten feet in front of him.
Once he was on his feet he walked forwards a bit only to find what looked like a tunnel blocked up by a large wall. He wondered why that was but moved back, catching sight of a large, dark shape in the mist. As he made his way towards it he saw it was a large sign. He walked around it to see what it said, hoping it'd tell him where he was. He looked up to read the words in large, cheery letters.
I was going to stop at the point when Tonks escapes, but I really wanted the end of the first chapter to be that reveal.
I'm going to be changing the SH lore to fit into what I want, so don't be upset if things don't fit canon like you want them to.
This is going to be a multicrossover fic, as you can probably tell from that bit about the Justice League. Yes, Harry will be interacting with them in the future. You'll see.
Beyond that though, I'm making this up as I go along. This story definitely doesn't have a plan or endgame. It's just for whatever crazy thing pops into my head. I hope you enjoy the insanity Harry will be part of. He'll be crossing over with many things, some random. Halo? Mass Effect? Game of Thrones? Star Wars? Tolkien? I honestly don't know. We'll see.
As for pairings, most likely Multi. I've laid the seeds for Harmony, but there might be others. Haven't decided. Again, we'll see.
For those of you wanting an update on Dragon with Demons, I said that would go slowly. I still haven't finished the 4th LN. Once I do, I'll get to work on it. Dragon is definitely my primary work, while this is something on the side I do in between chapters of that.
Hope you enjoyed, and please review.