Melrose437: So this was originally one chapter but we edited it in two pieces so it came out in two updates hope everyone enjoyed! Depending on the inspiration we might just post more let's cross our fingers.
Blue Kitsune: Like Melrose said we had to split them in order to get this underway for you plus there's a bit at the end that you might enjoy so please read and review!
Disclaimer: Blue Kitsune and Melrose do not own the rights to Harry Potter or Walking Dead but the OC and story we came up with are absolutely ours!
Down the Rabbit Hole & The Search of
the Missing Vegetable
Daryl took in his immediate surroundings and found it had that mad scientist vibe with all the beakers and stuff and saw a large cauldron in the middle and seem to be cooking something at the moment. Harley had moved to a round table that sat to the side with some beverages and a tray with an assortment of food waiting for them. "Come and sit down."
Daryl saw no reason to refuse her gesture as he went to grab the empty chair and plop down in it, finding his mouth watering as soon as the smell wafts from the food in front of him. He saw there was an array of different choices to pick from and went to go for one of the toast sitting there and slap some bacon and eggs along with another slice of bread to put on top.
It had been some time since he ate something like this and was enjoying the first bite and finding it tastes so delectably good as soon as it hit his taste buds. He saw Harley coming to join him and couldn't help commenting how good this was as he finishes that first one while making another sandwich for Merle later when they were alone. He figures he wouldn't mind some of this instead of the same old squirrel stew and took to washing it down with the coffee that was nice and hot but had a bit of a kick to it. He sees the extra and makes another sandwich splitting it between him and Harley.
It might have seemed wrong of Harley to keep these provisions but seeing that she had already given half her share of perishable when she arrived while the rest she kept under a preserving charm and warded from getting them moldy or stale in case something happened and they needed the extra supplies from her compartment. She didn't trust that prick Shane and his sharing distribution, in fact, she had an inkling that he kept the good stuff for himself when he sorted the new arrivals from the looting trips into Atlanta. Given her first encounter with Deputy Asshat and Lori who were both at the top of the list of people she rather not be putting her faith in without being assured that they don't try and stab her in the back. She had enough to last one lifetime and didn't need another with those two lot.
Harley was letting her drink cool while adding some cream and sugar to hers, seeing Daryl savor his and knew Winky had really outdone herself as she wanted to please her mistress by providing only the very best for them. "Damn remind me to thank that elf of yours for this, this is really good!"
She was pleased to hear him say that and assures she'll inform her helper. "Winky does what she can and she will appreciate the compliment. She and the others have no problem complying with whatever I have need of their assistance on something."
Whether it by checking on her storage reserves or preserving them to keep her ingredients from losing their natural affinity or expiring too soon. Each elf had their own special strength in what they were capable of: Winky who was good at the cooking and housework tasks, Dobby who was handy when it came to scouting out and seeking things that she might need and could go unseen by anyone and Kreacher, well he's good at keeping weapons intact and setting wards to block out any intruders.
She notices the look on his face and didn't have to guess what he must be thinking as he was probably imaging the endless possibilities that could benefit them in the process. She would have to discuss it further later with him as well as his brother as soon as he was brought to the fold.
Harley finished her cup and decided to go about asking as to why Daryl was here. "So what brings you down to this dismal abyss of mine?" She was curious to know given he did look like he had something on his mind but didn't want to probe without his permission as she had done before with some others as she felt like it might be wrong of her in this situation since it wasn't an emergency so she wanted to hear him out.
"Just figured I swing by and check on you is all, after what happen yesterday with the walkers and then those whatchacallit De-dem…"
"Dementors. Yeah I'm perfectly fine, not the first time I face them and nothing like a bit of chocolate helps fix that, it does take away the chill and all so it's no biggie. Yet I was thinking of something else that had got my attention then. You remember what happened with that one Walker when it was caught by it?" Harley questions the male in front of her wanting to share her theory.
How could he forget, it still was disturbing to say the less and he almost pitied the thing when it did. "What about it?" She didn't answer right away, instead, she stood up and made her way towards the nearby bookshelf and plucked one of the thick volumes from there. This tome was one of the older version she manages to come across in her travels, carrying some outdated information but it helps that it had some insightful and current things on what theories they had on these dark creatures in the past.
"Here I wanted to show you this to give you a better understanding before I go and explain more." She flipped it open and Daryl sees her turn some pages until she got to the one she was looking for.
"That's them alright, can't forget those ugly fuckers!" he comments looking at the text and side image. It was done in black and white and was an ink detail that looks like something from the Middle Ages from the details but he quickly notices that the cloaked figure was moving as if alive, its gnarly skeletal hand looking as if it tried to crawl out from the book itself.
Next to it were some handwritten notes, documentation on them and reading some of it to himself, skipping some parts until he saw one that was underlined and turning to her, "Dementor's kiss?"
Harley nodded, "Yeah that's what it's called, see here, it says the Dementors clamp its jaw around the victim's mouth and consume his or her soul. They can suck the happiness with their presence but once they do this, then your soul is gone, leaving an empty husk behind. The Dementor's Kiss is generally considered to be a punishment worse than death. Basically, what it means is that the person becomes an empty shell that technically is still alive but irretrievably everything that makes them alive is 'gone', kinda like a…" She didn't have to say it for him to get it as he kinda already had that figured. Daryl couldn't even begin to fathom such though finding out there was a possibility even when he thought that he has seen enough to haunt him until the end of his days. He didn't know which disturbed him more, those things and them able to suck a person's life force or that an undead zombie might still...
"Jesus, so you think that, even though they're dead, they…" He knew he wasn't sorry for the Walker, they were dead but he would've been right to assume their souls would leave their bodies behind or something.
"Yeah, and it's common among some magical theorists to think that the soul is either digested till it's gone or simply trapped inside the Dementor. No one has any idea and was never really proven cause no one has ever tried to kill a Dementor and live to tell the tale." She said while thinking that was true until a few days ago where she managed to make the impossible happen again. She had no sure clue if the possibilities of any soul that those Dementors had were release or they had already been disparate after the creatures were annihilated. Either way, Harley still felt an ongoing headache as she had been gnawing over this like an angry dog worrying over the bone to get to the very marrow of it.
"So what does this mean?" He asks, trying to follow what was being said and managing to so far.
"The thing is that it's a small possibility but I'm unable to validate it, I think that the dead are sort of alive but not so much." She sounds unsure.
"How? what?" That made no sense to him, it shouldn't but yet going over to look in the book, seeing that it said Dementor attack anything alive and suck the soul out of them. The Walkers had definitely freaked when they saw them and also how after that one got particularly kiss, it just stood there, not moving and hadn't even attempted to strike even after the whole thing was finished.
"Well hypothetically speaking, a Dementor lives to feed on people's souls right? Souls which in an essence are what makes us what we are. Zombies, as you imagine, are the living dead with not being alive yet still moving around even though I assume the rest of the organs are dead and only rely on pure instinct to feed and kill, just like the Dementors. But if the soul were to be in that person, say trapped in there with no escape..."
"So, it is like transferring from one prison to another?" He questions trying to keep up with the new knowledge and having these theoretical pondering presented to him.
"Yeah though I never imagined that Walkers would still have one given the current circumstances…" She could tell this was a lot for Daryl to take in and not sure how Merle would react when he hears about this but doubts it would change his mind on dealing with them even with the new evidence coming to light. "So I'm just looking up if there were any thesis on the Dementors or about soul magic, and yes it does exist although to some wizards it's illegal like blood or dark magic, typical bigotry if you ask me." If there were such a spell that could release trap souls from whatever confinement, maybe the chances of them surviving would be more in their favor.
"Yeah I mean given what you told me before, it's not all 'dark is evil just as light is all good', it's all about intent." Harley looks to him and smiled, seeing he remember her saying that, "Yes though given as I said how people perceived it and with 'Dumbasdoor' just giving off the whole 'light lord' and trying to say that it's black and white instead of right down the middle. I won't say I'm dark but I'm more a grey given that if things come to worst, I will use whatever means to protect myself and those around me."
Especially people like you, she thought as she found herself trusting the younger Dixon and his older brother who she had some concern over but thought the man would keep his lips sealed on not revealing her secret to anyone.
"Hey what's this now?" He saw another book lying open and notices it had strange symbols and notice there were notes written in her hand. Harley had been putting the other tome back when she turned to see what caught Daryl's eye and saw he was looking at her journal that she had been going over when she got down to the lab.
"Hmm oh that a pet project I was working on before you showed up but really I could use a bit of a break from that now." She had found the journal inside the family main vault as soon as she emptied the entire thing and being curious as to what that was, found herself engrossed by it, in a passage there was a mention of a group of islands the family held dominion over but it was never found after Aurelius Peverell's premature death. It left his sole heir unable to learn the secret location and protections unless they decrypted the clues to its hidden whereabouts.
The book that held the Dixon's attention was filled with her attempts to decipher its cryptic symbols and having a hard time translating them to better fill the missing gaps, pouring every bit of known language she could get her hands on but couldn't make sense of any of them at all.
She wonders if anyone in her father's side had even tried to but seeing how ancient this had been locked inside a trunk with the Peverell Coat of Arm and had been kept hidden for quite the centuries before she came across it.
"So anything you want to ask?" She then saw the expression on his face and dare to inquire what was on his mind, "Galleon for your thought Mr. Dixon?"
"What?" He blinks as he didn't know what she was saying, "Don't you mean a penny?"
She shrugged, "Yeah but where I come from, the Magical currency is knut, sickles, and galleons. Galleons are worth more and I would give you this to know what's going on inside that head of yours." To emphasize her point she plucks a gold coin and flips it to him, seeing Daryl caught it in the air. "So tell me what is it?"
Daryl fiddles with the gold piece, feeling the weight of it in his palm before coming to say what he had been on his mind for a while, "I've been thinking on this whole magic stuff, wondering whether there might be some way that it could be resourceful in helping us out. I mean you know bullets aren't easy to come by and give you got plenty of weapons here though I don't know if any would be able to handle them unless they practice thoroughly but I was wondering if you had maybe might have a solution to this..."
She got the gist of what he was trying to say and it did hold some possibilities but it would have to take her some time to work them out if she tests it correctly. "I believe there is a way but given that I would need to do a bit of research and also see if I can work this out yet I do think there is something you can provide for me that is if you are willing of course to do so."
"Sure anything, whatever helps if you could." Harley saw he was serious about it and she knew a couple spell/rituals that might be compatible but require a bit of the person. She moves to grab a glass beaker and also a knife that she had not used and was sterilized as she didn't want to risk any infection on him if it had any bit of leftover plant that could likely carry poison onto the blade itself. She put both items near as well as grabbing a pen and set it for later when she needs it.
"Give me your hand Dar." He did as she asks and Harley holding it while taking the blade to make a small incision inside his palm. He barely flinched as the blood seep out of the thin cut and was slowly dripping out to fill the beaker with his essence. She only needed just a minimum amount and when she got to where she felt that was good, she let go and handing him a cloth to help stop the bleeding. She then picks the pen and transfigured it into a pair of scissors to cut a small lock of hair and set next to the beaker.
She then called for Dobby who appeared immediately and was handed these two things. "I want you to keep them well preserved until I ask for them." The elf nods and disappeared with a quick pop before she turns to Daryl again, "I will also need some of Merle's as well later if possible but I'm almost positive I can use them in the manner I'm thinking."
"What do you mean?" Harley moved to go to a set of drawers and opening the first one and pulled out a wand that looked slightly different than the one she carried and bringing it over to them. "This was my first wand, a holly with a core of a phoenix feather. I was rather curious at the time to better understand how these thing work, the one who sold me this said that 'The wand chooses the wizard' and given he only use only the bases of materials when other places outside the region expand out and wanted to do some research on wand cores and how it sync to another in magical symbiotic. I admit though it was tedious to look up everything that I could get my hands on, trying to understand the very basics it also got me thinking if there were a possible way for it to be focus into something else and how this might affect other objects if place correctly."
"You mean like a weapon or something?" He asks hoping the answer was yes and they could talk about something he would be familiar with.
She nodded, "Something like that but more like a battery operates infused inside the handle to a dagger or maybe the gun itself, not the bullet but the very weapon that you carry on your person. I have to look more into it but I think there's a slim possibility if I can adjust it somehow so it can accommodate to you, hence why I needed the blood and bit of hair to maintain it. I'm not promising anything but will see what happens so don't expect the result overnight even magic doesn't go that fast." She mentions while thinking of all the possibilities that might work to make this happen.
Daryl hums to show his approval but didn't say anything since he had no knowledge of how it could be done "It might work but I can't be a hundred percent sure yet I'll give it a shot if it will be something to at least go for." Harley adds.
"You're right but if it doesn't work at least we try right." She smiles at his comment and he feels that tightness in his chest as his heart seemed ready to lurch though finding to calm it down before it does.
They made their way outside and came across Dale and Jim talking while going about the ground. The two were happy to see the mechanic a bit more chipper and looking much better than he had been in the last few days.
"I'm telling you it was real! It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. At first, I thought it was Suzanne who showed up to welcome me but then it sang to me and by god it was beautiful, you should have heard it, Dale..."
"Right so you got visited by an angel then, that's a good one!" Dale chortles good naturally at the man beside him while giving a small greeting nod to the couple exiting the RV as they pass by.
Harley and Daryl watched them go before Daryl turns to her, pointing to them and indicating, "You don't think…"
"I do recall Hedwig flying out earlier and given she can be empathic to those with negative feelings, she might have gone by to help him."
"Heh, so he was being serenaded by an angel…" It was almost comical but he notes that Jim now seems to look a bit in better spirit and saw he had no more reason to go digging holes like he did. Maybe Hedwig did provide a sort of service just like a seeing eye dog does for a blind but much different. According to Harley, Phoenix had the capability to not only heal injuries with their tears but through their singing rid negative emotion and make them feel calm and tranquil. In a way that would be resourceful given how lots of them got pretty stressed out and if Hedwig could do this, take some of their fears and let them feel some calm, even for just a short while...
"You think we should tell ole' Merle about this?" He thought he might get a kicked out of it but before Harley had the chance to answer, they saw Carol rushing towards them, a look of worry plastered on her face that got both of them concerned that something happened.
"Have any of you seen Ed this morning? He was missing from his tent the other night but I was sure he would've come back by now." The meek mannered woman asked wringing her hands together in worry.
She had been asking all around camp, finding out no one had seen hide nor hair of her husband, which had her on edge as they went to bed last night but no sight of Ed or even when she got up to find he hadn't lied in either. It was not like him at all, even after the beating from Shane but then she wonders if maybe he might've gone off somewhere to let off some steam and forgot to check back with the others. Dale informed her there had been no sight of any Walkers on his watch and sure everyone else agreed given they hadn't heard any commotion to indicate there were any within the vicinity.
Harley hadn't seen him and neither had the Dixon, though they really didn't care what the ass did give their mutual feelings on how he treated everyone around them including his own wife and daughter. But as much as she dislikes the man for all he did but didn't want to say anything to upset the older woman and shook her head.
"Sorry, Carol but we didn't see him but we can go check around the woods if you like. He couldn't have gotten that far right Daryl?" The younger Dixon nodded as he tries to think what Ed might have been doing, besides licking his own wounds with his tail tucked between his legs.
Last he saw the man was right in the late afternoon before supper and hadn't seen him for the rest of the evening though he had been focusing on other things at the time. Yeah like dealing with a life and death peril that makes even the Walkers look like child's play, he thought and shuddered inwardly.
Though it did leave him wondering, supposedly what if...no then maybe, he hopes that it wasn't the case but thankfully it had been those three they saw. They did their best to reassure the worried woman, letting her know they'd find him and bring him back to the group.
"We'll check around the areas and see what we find Ed for you." When Carol left, seeing to go do her own thing, the two turn to one another and both wondering where that idiot could be and also if he might've gotten into a spot of trouble if he did.
Before Daryl could ask her, they heard Merle as he got up right behind them and throwing his arms over each of them. "Hey, Darylina, sweetcheeks what's got you two all bothered?" They turn to find Merle who was in between the two and Harley explain how Ed was missing from camp. "Well damn that ain't good, I don't know where that asshole could be but I'm sure he's likely not too far given his condition and all."
"True but just in case, how about we split up? Mer you take the east, Dar the West and I'll head north into the surrounding forest. Take Sirius and Remy if you want, they might help cover more ground in any case." Harley offered given that the two wolves might be able to pick up the man's scent or at least alert the two should they come across anything that wasn't normal.
"Sounds like a plan their sugar, we'll meet back here at say fifteen," Merle drawls before turning to Daryl, "C'mon now Darylina let's go find that jackass." She watched the two walk towards the Marauder, opening the door to find both wolves already coming out as if they sensed what was going on. Harley had sent a signal to them, indicating what was going on and both understood it was their jobs to protect both men in case something should happen. Sirius went with Merle while Remy tags behind Daryl as they disappear quietly into the brush together and split in a different direction to find their missing person.
Harley was sure they would be fine, 'side she had Hedwig as she senses her feathery familiar leaving her comfy confines and taking to the sky to look from above while she did her own search on foot.
Hopefully they'd find Ed and that he didn't get himself into a bit of trouble or worse, though she had a small sliver of doubt go through her as she went towards the woods, making to check the area for any indication if anyone, human or Walker had come by but so far no sign of any fresh tracks when she took a good look for sure. Then when she was certain no one would notice, slips her wand from her holster and holds it in the palm of her hand. She thought of Hermione as she came up with this nifty little charm when they'd had been on the search for the missing Horcrux. This was damn useful, right next to the tracking charms which she mentally thought would be a good idea to put on the others in case something like this ever happen again.
But now turning her attention back to the present moment as she mutters the incantation, "Point me Ed Peletier!" She waits for a few seconds, watching the elder wand starts to spin ever so slowly before seeing the tip point to the right corner. She slips the wand back in and began walking in that direction, noting that there were some broken twigs and even what looks like a footprint in the dirt, Ed's most likely as this was definitely the direction he went in.
She continues her trek, feeling she was getting very close to her quarry and by the time she rounds the bend, she saw something that stopped her dead in her tracks.
"Oh no…" she mutters she saw the man just standing there, looking blankly ahead but it wasn't the gaze of a zombie, no it was much worse. She found Ed all right but it wasn't really him anymore.
Hedwig flutters towards her, immediately knowing her assistance would be needed as she saw the look on her mistress's face. Her job would be to inform the two brothers and give them a heads up on the situation. Harley didn't waste any time as she picked up a branch and leaf, transfiguring the two into a pen and paper and wrote a quick note before trying to the owl's outstretched leg.
"Go find the Dixons and bring them back here asap." The bird nod as she took off, moving fluidly in the air and flying to where she was sure one of the two brothers would be.
Harley had faith that Hedwig would find and bring them here without further delay. Harley turns her focus back on the man who was still standing there with an empty expression on his face with drool hanging from the corner of his mouth. She was not sure how to even go about explaining this to Carol or Sophia. If she was completely honest, she thought maybe being killed by the Walkers would have been a better alternative than this as she never would've wished this kind of fate on anyone.
Yet something was nagging at the back of her mind. This was very strange, much stranger than the norm in her book. Sure she would be the first to admit that finding the Dementors having shown up as they did but then why had they gone after Ed, and not the others back at camp first?
She remembers being on the other side of here while Ed was over in the opposite with camp smack dab in the middle of the spot. She wondered why after kissing this poor bugger and then avoiding the grounds where there were plenty of people that should have been a scrumptious buffet to them. It made little to no sense in her mind, trying to get the gist of why this was when she thought of something. Sure the Dementor is soul-sucker parasitic creatures that take all the joy out of a person but they were supposedly classified as either XXXX or XXXXX or that was supposed to be what the ministry had deemed them though no one dares to want to work around those things without at least some safety precautions at hand. Three wraiths should have really turned the clearing that she and the Dixon into freezing temperatures beyond the norms. But something was off with the trio, almost as if they weren't at their full-on capacity and the way they had been heading straight for-That's when it suddenly hit her like a bolt of lightning.
Oh, sweet Merlin's sagging ball sack! She thought how over the last few days when she had been in a right tiff with Lori, her magic seeping out some and practically coming off in waves before she manages to stamp her anger down. Yes normally Dementors didn't care who they snacked on but they like any mystical beings needed magic to thrive and breed and given she was the only one in the vicinity with enough power to probably charge an entire city if she had the chance. They must've been pretty desperate and hungry for an outlet and hence why they avoided the others, Ed being unfortunate to be at the wrong place at the wrong time it seems.
This is so fucked up! So fucking messed up! It took less than three minutes when a ball of white flames shows and out of it were Merle and Daryl who was shock by the instant transportation that Hedwig provides when she grabbed hold of the two men and brought them to where Harley was.
"Geezus on a firestick, next time give us a bit of a warning when you plan on doing that huh!"
"Sorry that was my doing, I ask Hedwig to get you two here." They turn and saw her and Ed but then rapidly noticed that something off with the other fellow. Immediately reacting as they quickly grab their weapons but see Harley shaking her head telling them to stop. "Hey, he's not bitten is he?" Daryl inquires head nodding towards the still man.
"No, it's worse…" She whispers, allowing the two to take a better look and Merle sees the man is unresponsive to stimuli as he waves his hand in his face or even smacks him a couple times.
"Damn they really did take his soul, I'm kinda surprised he even had one. Though I guess this was karma's way of getting back at him at long last." the largest Dixon snorts in derision.
"Merle!" The other two hiss in warning at his carefree and inappropriate comment, even if they both knew it wouldn't change Merle's personality, but the man wasn't going to hold back what he felt was true and even they thought the same thing before.
"Well what do we do, we can't bring him back like this, even if he doesn't have any bites everyone is going to be wondering what the fuck is wrong with him!" Merle threw a punch to the gut to empathize his point and the Soulless Ed didn't so much as flinch or show any emotion.
"Though he'd probably make good zom-bait or at least something for target practice for you gals. I bet Carol wouldn't mind kicking the crap out of this turd hole for sure." Just to prove it he threw his boot up to the man's groin and didn't get so much as a reaction from him. "See he doesn't feel nothing!" He laughs amused at the walking corpse in front of him.
"Merle that's enough," Daryl warns even if he knew that Ed was an outright piece of work but he was a human even though he was on the fence as he thought the guy deserves it and probably was karma or something that did it.
Harley would've like to say she didn't wholly agree with Merle on the whole 'target practice' but given that no one should be left in this state and there was only one probable solution.
"We have no choice then...we're going to have to kill him."
"Okay, no problem—" But before Merle could take his gun and put a bullet she shouted, "Not like that! If anyone sees him but isn't bit they're going to be jumping to the wrong conclusion!"
"She does have a point Mer." Merle then turn to the two with a right frown on his face and said sarcastically, "Then what do you suggest we do huh? If we're going to be wasting time discussing it, I'm all for taking a big stick and whacking him off now or is there something else we should try."
"I know of a way but I want you both to trust me on this." Harley told them to step back and pulling the wand out from its holster, "Alright here goes."
She took a deep breath and focusing all her emotion and trying to keep from letting it get to her as she focuses on the spell and pouring everything to put an end to this walking husk.
"Cor Prohibere!" A streak of dark blue shot out from her wand and striking Ed right in the chest. It threw him a bit and then the body fell onto its back twitching for a few seconds before it stops and was lying still, unmistakably dead. It seems like her theory about souls still residing in the walkers was the truth. The fact that Ed didn't come back from the dead as a Walker proved that the virus still needed a body with a soul for it to activate. She wasn't the only one to think so as this was a sobering thought for Daryl and they hadn't been able to tell Merle the theory yet but seeing he was coming to the same conclusion when Ed didn't get up and try to attack them just now.
They stood there for a while until Merle walked over and kicked the body but saw no response coming off him. He even went to push the eyelid and saw it remain like this and even checking for a pulse but got nothing. He was good as dead, err deader now.
"Christ on a pogo stick…" He turns to see Harley as she was sliding the wand back up her sleeve and sees Daryl placing his hand on her shoulder, a look of concern crossing over him as he notes the expression on her face, "You alright there Harley?"
"Yeah I'm fine really Dar, it's just having to do this and even though I shouldn't think it, it just kinda reminds me…" She left the sentence unfinished. Even if Ed was dead and gone causing a body to have a heart attack is still sobering for her.
"To what happen to your family and friends in the war?" He saw her lift her head and gauged her reaction as an affirmative that he hit the bullet on point. "I know that it's not easy but you did the right thing here, you shouldn't let this bother you. It wasn't like you were going to do what that Voldie guy would've done." He indicated to the now dead Ed and then saw Harley nodded weakly.
"Those types of curses and a few other nasty ones were among the many he and his Death Eaters didn't mind using on those that opposed him or in his eyes those deserving of it like Muggles and 'Mudbloods," She spat it out and Daryl knew the reason as to why there was unrestrained disgust towards that moniker given how he heard that word over and over during her battles against those robed people who used those hexes and curses on her and her friends. It was almost like how he felt when being called a 'Hillbilly Hick' or 'Cracker' by some folks. "But still the worst was the Unforgivables they loved to use those like party favors every time."
"Okay Harley we get it, c'mon we better just head back now, easy does it," Daryl muttered gently helping her by taking her hand and turning her towards the direction of camp and the body. Merle acknowledged the two were coming over to help him with the burden of taking Ed back to camp. "So who wants the top or bottom?" He quips bringing a small smile to Harley's lips at a Merle styled comment she was coming to love hearing.
As they were dragging Ed's body back, well half lifting him as he was heavy and literally having to drag his sorry carcass, Harley was speaking to the two as they lugged the dead weight between them, "You know there's a lot more to it than what they may seem to you when you think about it." She brings up wanting to explain something.
"Yeah-ugh-you mean like Ed here wasn't a—ugh—fucking douchebag that—ugh—didn't have it coming." Merle grunts as he was lifting the one half from under Ed's armpits while Harley and Daryl were doing the same with the other as they each grab a leg to help him out.
"No, the curses, they were created as a means to help people, though not like how you saw but it's something like this: There's the Cruciatus which is like having thousands of lightning volts going through your entire system at once and causing excruciating pain upon the victim."
"Geez, and how would that one be any help! That sounds almost as painful as sticking a dick inside a live socket!" But Daryl told Merle to shut up seeing she was getting to that, "Well according to someone's earlier entry, before they were deemed unforgivable, the curse was a way to help restart the nervous system if someone was paralyzed or even the heart if they went into cardiac arrest as no one back then knew how to do CPR or had a defibrillator in the Middle Ages."
"I get it so say if Merle's ticker were to stop and needed a surefire way to restart it, then you cast it and get it to jump up again like a car battery." Daryl jokes hoping to make the atmosphere a bit lighter.
"Exactly though I would have to time it correctly given that using it for longer than necessary can do horrendous damage especially to the mind and people are left in a veg-like state." Harley states.
"Okay well don't put me down for any of that thank you very much!" Merle didn't want anyone to go messing with his head and likes his brain just fine without getting it scrambled up. Although that might've been already too late with all the stuff he took in his youth and in the joint.
Harley ignores the comment before continuing, "Then there's the imperius which is like hypnosis only you are under the full control of the one who cast it so you kinda have the lights on but are out for the count."
Merle stops and turns his full focus on Harley as he realizes something, "Wait a god-dang minute, you used that on me back on the roof didn't ya!" He adds incredulously. He remembered where he heard that from and seeing as Harley wasn't even denying it. Daryl turning in question to Harley and wonders why she would use that.
"Look at the time we barely knew each other and you weren't helping matters with you screaming and hollering and being high as a goddamn kite on the fourth of July. No offense but given the circumstances, I figure that it was the only way and really all I did was put you to sleep and that's it. Honestly, you make it sound like I roofie you or something, just be thankful I wasn't going to be molesting you or anything of the sort." Okay, so that was the wrong choice of word given that it was on the roof but still Merle didn't find it so humorous.
Daryl snorts, trying not to chuckle at the situation was painted to him and at the way, she said it while Merle was torn between disbelief or anger but then just decide to just push it to the side as it had already been done. He sends Harley a hard look and said for her to understand perfectly clear how he felt on it, "Next time don't ever go and do something like that to me again, honestly, I want none of that there magic messing with me that's for damn sure."
The formidable witch didn't have to tell twice and could see his reasonings as she'd probably been as peeve in Merle's shoes given no one likes being outside one's own control as her own history would pertain.
"Don't worry I have no intention of doing that to you again unless it's really necessary. 'Side's I can assure you I'm not one who willing put people under them to be used as puppets, believe me, I'm not like him." They didn't have to guess who she was referring to as it was obvious for them to understand and not one to bring back up.
"So, what was it for before it became an 'ugh' unforgivable?" Daryl tried to change subject through Merle was still miffed yet eventually would cool down after. He was finding this to be quite something as he wanted to hear more on what Harley had to say on these curses.
"Well imagine if you would, a person that was unstable or rather suicidal and in a case scenario were planning to off themselves or hurt others in the process. The spell could easily get into their heads, calming and get them to stop before anything happen. It would have been handy in auror, well 'police' situation as I'm sure many would have like to use it to avoid such conflict though then again it might have been overly abuse because it kinda does take away a person's free will but then I'm just saying how it is." She informs them seeing the benefits and drawbacks that came with using such spells and people have had the tendency to use such to compel a person to submit under control. If she didn't have such a strong desire to not be used and refuse to bend to another, but glad that she had such as it saves her through many scraps in the past with such wizards.
"Yeah, I guess when you put it that way I suppose it does make a lot of sense." Even Merle could see reason as to why after he found his mind hadn't been right at the time and probably had to under those dire situations. Though he imagines the effect could come in handle maybe down the road but it was really Harley's call on it in a matter.
"So what about that last one, the…" He didn't want to say it as he didn't want to bring it up in front of Harley after seeing the way she reacted earlier.
"The killing curse, yeah that I suppose you might call as a last resort or an act of mercy in some cases. Originally used by healers when a person was diagnosed with an untreatable condition and was knocking on Death's door as you might say. Given how if they who have not much to live for or even such might be an ongoing agony. There was a sort of document that was issued by the doctors to the family or the person themselves that if such a serious case was for the patient and if they decide to give them the A-ok with using it, knowing that they couldn't be sued for malpractice in such a liable case. I think why it stops was because of an incident that happens in the early or mid 18th century."
From what she recalled in her earlier reading, it was because of one of the healers, a pureblood witch apparently, who decided to take a career as a nurse but in the mundane world instead of the magical. The reason why had been vague but one could guess she was thinking she was helping to lessen the population of the muggles and what better place than the sick and dying. She took it a bit too far, finding patients that couldn't be cured or treated even if chances were slim on their survival. Worse was that she consent to do this around her own healer's oath and the grievous party having no idea other than they died so suddenly without any warning otherwise. She manages to avoid detection, going about some decades, disguising herself and magic, going from one muggle hospitals to another and using the same MO on any man, woman or child in her given care. It took the Aurors a good thirty-some years before they eventually caught her trail on and she was arrested and sentenced for life imprisonment although a few were demanding she'd be kissed for how close she almost broke the statue of secrecy at the time. What Harley dislike was how cold and callous this witch was as she seems to believe she was doing them a service for ridding those beneath them. In all honesty, Harley felt she should have been thrown in the veil for her crimes. But given what her status was, it shows that the ministry was not going to do a thing and it still twist her inside to think it had been happening way before she had been born.
"Yeah but given that it's a quick and painless, very efficient way to go but the effect is just as sudden as that." They got the idea after having watched how that one spell took Ed out without batting an eyelash. "Also I think the fact that some of them were perverted by some of the more darker, twisted individuals who use this to spread terror and mayhems as they went, hence the issues I had back home when that Dork lord was up and around."
"Huh no foolin'." Merle grunt while he adjusts his hold on the body as did Daryl, "Well too bad Ed here can't appreciate the service none. hey look, sharp guys, we're here." They reach the edge of camp and saw people looking in their direction. Already a few were coming over to see what was going on, Carol held Sophia back as she witnesses the trio bringing Ed's body. Lori was doing the same with her son as well as the other mothers who kept their kids from seeing and even a few help to make sure the kids didn't come any closer. But it was Shane who made his approach towards them with Rick right behind him as soon as they got close to them, "What happen?"
"We found Ed just on the outskirts of the woods, look like he gone and drop dead, heart attack we think. Don't worry we found no bites so he was pretty much cold and stiff when we got there."
Daryl had done the talking as he was sure Merle's witty comebacks wouldn't be appreciated and more than likely piss everyone off if he said anything as he knew how to push all the wrong buttons, especially around cops like these two. But his brother wasn't paying any attention to their given conversation as he glances over at Harley from the corner of his eyes and taking in the expression she had on. The look on her face while passive it was her eyes alone held all the emotions he could easily tell even from this angle. The way those green orbs filled with some ounce of guilt by what she has done just then even though it was necessary yet guessing she didn't feel any less burdened by the action she took even if it couldn't be avoided.
Rick and Glenn took a closer look and though he was no medical examiner he saw no chewed up marks to indicate that any Walkers had gotten to him. Yet strange as it was but seeing that no indicating other than him dead as a doornail and probably was his ticker that did him in like Daryl said.
"Okay well, I guess then we best put his body to rest then, hey you alright Harley?" He notices she seems a bit distracted before Daryl spoke up, "She was the one to find him like this so it kinda had her shook up some."
No further explanation was needed as Rick understood how that felt himself when he was on the force and even after. "Oh, I see well maybe you should go and lie down then." He could see she lifts her head and then nods slowly, thanking him before walking towards her RV and having the two brothers take the corpse to one of the holes Jim had dug and went to bury him.
Harley had just walked in and barely mustered enough strength to make it to the study, She had just taken a seat, feeling like her limbs were ready to collapse on her and laying her head down on the desk.
Dobby and Winky had appeared but said not a word, both shooting her with great concern over their mistress. They had seen her like this before in the past when she got agitated or something had greatly bothered her and knowing it took time before she was able to get over it. But as her servants, they must do what they thought was best for her sake. Winky turns to her mate and gives him the look, telling him what he should do. The elf nodded as he quickly disappears while leaving Winky to keep tabs on Harley.
Harley being left alone to collect herself but really feeling that was a difficult task to deal with. Putting Ed out of his somewhat misery had not been on her list of things to do today. But that wasn't what was really bothering her, other than the fact that the Dementors had been nearby because of her while totally unintentional on her part was still most likely the outcome. It could've been much worse and she still would be the one to blame for it. Seeing Carol and her daughter as they were staring at the dead body of their husband/father, it gnaws away at her feeling that it was her own doing it happen.
She may have hated Ed's guts and sure others felt the same but none would deserve such a fate like that. Merlin, she needed something stronger. She went to one of the cabinets and pulling a vial that contains some greenish goop which she thought would be a good time to swig down. The stuff tastes like moldy socks but in a few minutes would feel the calming effect to ease her. Harley fell back in her chair and while waiting for it to kick in, she thinking how things had gotten to that point.
Memories from the battle came surfacing in her head, thinking of the hundred, no thousands of people who were involved in the war against Voldemort and his followers. Those who were once classmates and having to fight against one another to survive…
It brought up a disturbing memory, one she really didn't want to look back on but unfortunately found herself doing. It was her sixth year and she was still hurting from the loss of Sirius. She had suspected a few Slytherins were now a part of Voldemort's camp, one in particular who made her hackles rise and felt a strong need to get back at the little shit.
She remembers the weeks and months leading to keeping tabs on a certain snobby blond, her friends not willing to believe her concern but she knew if the boy was anything like his father and that aunt of his, he was sure to follow in those same dark footsteps. It was only a startling impact making her spill some ink before class ended that gave her a chance to find him alone in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, upset and crying but then all she thought about at that moment was how he would turn out to be like his family, angry and still emotional over the loss of her godfather coupled with the Headmaster ignoring her warning about the teen. That man would turn a blind eye to just about anything it seems and saw to it that Draco was given a freebie even when the proof was there to see how he hurt and humiliated other students and never once felt sorry for them.
At the time, she wasn't sure whether she would've considered using the curse or not, in the end, she left with him unaware she had ever been there unable to harm him. But the one thing she can remember about Draco was the last curse he took, one that did such damage was in the front of her mind, slicing through his body and cutting him to ribbons, the shock was written on his face and then the blood, so much blood on the Hogwarts courtyard… How he never saw the spell leave his father's wand and collide with his unprotected back as his once proud son turned his back against his own paternal belief in blood supremacy.
A father killing his child and didn't even show any hint of remorse or regret as he did the final deed. Harley had seen and known that while Malfoy didn't deserve such but nonetheless knew he had tried to step free from the path his father try to set him on...
Harley felt the wards in the room, signaling someone else was coming in and hearing a familiar voice speaking, "Hey Harl it's Merle I'm coming in!" She had to resist the urge to snort given he was already inside the RV but given he did let her know his presence and decide to go greet him as she exits her studies and found Merle waiting out there.
"Uh geez, Harl you look like shit." Harley gave a weak glare at Merle as he stood there and wonders what he was doing in her home. "Daryl wanted me to come to check on you and see if you're okay but from the looks of it you sure as hell don't."
"Yeah, no shit gramps." She groaned as she wasn't in the mood to make small pleasantries and even though it was rude Merle didn't seem all that bothered as he helps her to the dining table. He made her sit down while heading for the fridge to pull a bottled water and placed it in front of her with a few cookies he spied in an open shelf.
"Drink that, it will help." Harley lifts her head to see what he set in front of her and reached out to twist the cap off and took a large swig, and drinking the rest before setting it back on the table.
"How many have you killed back then?" she wonders, Merle turns and raised a brow at her. "Before or after?" She gave him a look saying she didn't care as she nibbled on her sweets. He shrugged, "Well I say about more than a dozen dead fuckers give or take I say, but before I don't know guess quite enough but could be more if I knew whether they came out alive or so after I finished with them."
He thought back to when he was in the military and how he came close to killing his sergeant after a particular disagreement that had him dishonorably discharged and court-martialed, sending him to prison for sixteen months after that was done.
Though he still thought he had it coming and didn't feel any guilt for breaking his nose and jaw with his fist after that one comment about him and his family.
"And do you suppose any of them deserve it, the ones that weren't undead I mean?" She asks wanting to know more about this man's mind.
Merle ran a hand through his greying fuzz and shrugged. He didn't put much thought into then or even now but being asked that personally, "I don't know fuck, honestly, they might've but I don't see what's this got to do with—"
"I almost killed someone back in my sixth year of school, someone who I disliked a great lot since we were kids but honestly he was kinda in the same boat as I was. His dad was a bigger pompous dick and was pushing him to become a member of Voldie's army and was too afraid to go against him. His old man had money and political power, a rich daddy's boy if you will." she talks, mind bringing forth all kinds of feelings she had a hard time analyzing.
She sighed while fiddling with the plastic container and then looked up into those sober blue eyes and saw he was listening. "He liked to talk big and thought he was some hot shit around campus although he was a right pain in my ass along with some of my friends and look his nose down at anyone he saw as beneath, especially Mione who he called her the M word."
The rivalry between houses was so bad but since she wasn't in Gryffindor as she was sorted into Ravenclaw but had friends outside it but Draco Malfoy was the worst she ever had to deal with, beside her cousin Dudley.
"Sounds a right little shithead, heh if it were me I would've beaten his ass sooner I imagine and see how he like flossing his teeth with his lace up his ass." She couldn't help it as she grins knowing she liked how Merle was honest and not one to beat around the bush, "If you did you'd have been expelled but not before Snape had taken the liberty of giving you hell for it with some detention or some shit. The man was more an ass to every student but his own house and even they complain about him at times."
She was biting her lip finding it difficult to continue but seeing that she really needed to get it off her chest, "I guess what I'm trying to say was, that Ed may be a great big asshat and I'm sure as hell ain't sorry he's gone but even so…"
"Yeah, I get it and honestly let's not get too carried away on all this sentimental shit. You did the right thing with him, putting that SOB out of his misery, heck if he had come back as one of the Walkers, I'm sure Carol would have really let him have it for sure." Merle said trying to comfort her, he joked around a bit and that seems to make her feel better knowing he was right and though admit that Carol probably has taken her anger on him as nothing relaxes someone than beating your ex to death.
"Well, at least Carol won't have to go the expense of getting any funeral prepared as we can simply just toss him in one of those holes and be done with him." Harley continues on the conversation.
"Yeah, he doesn't deserve no fancy service that's for sure though I doubt anyone would want to preach for him any!" He pipes in with a smirk, pleased at what kind of end the man got and this time she couldn't contain it in and started to chuckle which turn into full-blown laughter.
Soon Merle was joining her, knowing that it wasn't all that funny but honestly they didn't give a rat's ass about it. They thought it hilarious but eventually they manage to pull themselves together, Merle reaching to wipe the corner of his eyes as he was close to crying as his gut hurt from the laughter he gave there.
"Hey, listen about what I said before about using that imperi thingy, I suppose given that I was kinda delirious and you probably would've punched me to knock me out so I kinda appreciate you didn't but try to give me a heads up if you're thinking of using me for something kay."
Harley had to smile before getting up and then gave him a quick hug much to his surprise after she pulled back and sees he seems a bit taken aback by her action some.
"Yeah to be honest though I probably would've smack you one as you had spat on my boots and you know how hard it is to remove such from magical snakeskin and I'm normally not particular to wearing snake but since this was a one of a kind Nagini and hard to come across something like this through a pair of the bastard's ball wouldn't make much as a consolation prize."
He kinda figured as she would want to keep a small memento after offing that Voldie prick and what better than having a set of boots and matching belt with a pair of earrings and again he didn't feel sorry for the ass as he had it coming for all the shit he put her through.
"So, what did you do with them, his wedding tackle and junk?"
"Simple, I summon them and shove it so far down his throat, telling him to choke on that," Harley tells with a big grin on her face waiting to see his reaction.
Merle gave her a look and had to admit that was pretty intense on her end, "Damn girl that takes guts to do!" He whistles at her devious mind to have thought of that on a whim was impressive in his book. Grown men would've probably shat themselves being close to a woman who was that crazy but Merle was known to dance with the devil if he wanted something done right.
"I don't know it was pretty easy to get it down considering how small they were and he wasn't going to be using them anymore." She then went to go to her cabinet and reaching to grab one of the many liquors that she had brought up given she trust the Dixon and only they came inside and pulls out a slim amber color bottle and passing to him.
"Dragon Barrel Brandy said to been aged for 1800 months which is about 150 years but I was told this was the best kind and figure you and your brother might like it. Just as my way of saying thanks for all your help in this." She saw him hold the bottle before twisting the cap to take a whiff. He took a quick sip, smacking his lips as he savored the flavor before finding it was definitely to his liking.
"Hot damn this is fan fuckin-tastic, you got some fine taste here Harley girl. You sure I can't convince you to come run away with me and open our own little bar somewhere on a remote island together, we'd probably make a killing you and I."
Harley smirked and then reaching to push him towards the door, "Nice try horndog, but I might consider it if you bring me something nice next time. Though I should give you a heads up that you have some stiff competition as your brother has been making quite the impression on me so you have some catching up to do there. Try to wow me and we'll see who's the better of the two Dixon and I might say yes to your offer."
She saw him give her a smirk that looks like one his brother might give her but this one had something more that gave her an intense heat bubbling in her body but in a good way.
"Hmm well you know what they say, two's company, three's a crowd but with the Dixons…" He leans close to her ear and whispering to her which immediately cause Harley to turn a bright red and then saw Merle pull back and gave her a wink.
"Let me know if you consider that and we Dixon will show you a really fun time, Georgia style."
He slipped the brandy under his vest and then walked out the door before Harley had a chance to say anything. She was still a bit flustered and while making herself go get some water but it barely did anything to cool the heat that was awakened in her.
Hedwig, as she was in the room in her owl form, had noticed how her mistress was acting and barks out to get her attention.
"Hedwig, I do not think of him like that!" She barked again, "No absolutely not!" This time she gave two squawks and Harley crossed her arms, "Now you're just pushing it and I know the only reason you think that is because you want more jerky from Daryl."
She said nothing, neither agreeing nor denying her statement and Harley just threw her hands up and turns to see Remy and Sirius also giving her a look, "Oh not you too, why is everyone thinking that I'm…ugh!" she huffs in denial.
She decided to go to the lab, ignoring her familiars as they watched her leave. Hedwig turns to Sirius who just blinks and Hedwig flutter to pull a slim, almost barely noticeable book down from the shelf. It was pretty blank except for some scrawled writing that Hedwig had written as she picks up the pen and made to add another note to it which made the owl writing just barely readable except to her and the others in the room.
The wager for Merle had gone up just a notch and seeing that Daryl was still in the lead but Hedwig was sure either way that both Dixon was going to come out on top, meaning more treats once things got underway.
Omake: The Secret Room
Daryl had been checking out the rooms, seeing what each one had. But the one he came across did come as a rather big shock though when he later asked Harley about it. She looks a bit confused not sure what he was talking about, "What room?"
"Um, the one with all those pictures, the guy plastered on the walls...is that Ron?" He thought she said he wasn't her boyfriend but the way he saw them all arranged…
"Ron, no I have his pictures along with the others over there," She pointed to a bookshelf that had an array of photo albums but still not sure what he was getting at. She went to grab one and flipping the page till she came of her with her friends and then pointing Ron to him, "This is him, Ronald Weasley."
Wait for what? He looked again, seeing it was a pasty redhead with freckles standing next to a bushy-haired girl and also Harley in the middle. There was no mistaking that this kid and the person in the room looked nothing alike at all unless he somehow went into plastic surgery or something. Yet he doubts that but then who was that man in the…
"Hang on, was this room down the hall to the left?" He nodded and Harley chuckled, finding in rather amusing, "Sorry Daryl but that's Hedwig's room, it's actually her private suite when she likes to be alone but from what you're telling me, you found her shrine to that actor she likes so much."
"Huh, what?" This was startling, he never thought that Hedwig was an avid movie star buff but seeing it was all of the same people but had to ask, "Why?"
"Because, Hedwig loves Bacon, a lot." It should have been rather obvious that she would, in turn, be a big Kevin Bacon fan when they got here and seeing she got all the movies she could find with him in it and then some.
Why else would she find her bopping to the song 'Footloose' every time she walked by.
Blue Kitsune: Hey hopes you all enjoy this and I got to say I was thinking to add some humor and imagine that Daryl seeing Hedwig's shrine to Bacon would be something to get a few chuckles.
Melrose437: Hi guys just a F.Y.I our thoughts on the zombie+soul dilemma is entirely ours as a play on the whole WD universe and HP universe where we know people have souls and it can be sucked out (aka Dementors) We reserve the right to have come up with the idea as of Jan 01 of 2018
So a recap if it's not clear-cut. If your soul isn't in you when you die you do not become a walker Hence why the AK which Kills the soul(seen by Harry coming back to life after being hit with it/Horcrux) The virus didn't bring Ed as a brain eater… If a Dementor Sucks the soul of a Zombie, it goes in the Magical equivalence of a Coma, they can't move and rot till there is nothing left. SO No soul No after death reanimation…