Ch 36 The Hogsmeade Attack
Again thanks to Deb and Diane, who make me a better writer.
One of the advantages of being a third year student was the chance to visit Hogsmeade Village several Saturdays. October twelfth friends were glad to be able to go to Hogsmeade. Before they left Albus and Rose were met by two Aurors, Greg and Susan Cooper. Scorpius and Cleopatra received a lesson in living with Aurors. Albus and Cleo also had the Elves Frerin and Dis along.
"We are going to be using a Disillusionment Charm to hide us, and fly above you when you are going to and from Hogsmeade," Susan told the four students. "As soon as you are in the village we will shrink our brooms and reappear, and then try to follow you at a modest distance. Make sure you can see us at all times.
"Stay together at all times. If one of you has to use the loo the girls needed to go together with me, the boys needed to go together with the Greg. You needed to wait for the us to catch up with you before going into any store."
Scorpius asked if they always had to put up with this, and Albus repeated what the Aurors had mentioned about "safe space" and that when they left "safe space" like Hogwarts or the Burrow yes, they always had to put up with Aurors. The only person who really seemed to be on edge was Cleo.
Of course the first place they had to go was Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. It was packed. Uncle George was there as well as Rose's dad Ron, and of course Fred Weasley. Fred knew plenty of the students, and some of them recognized his wife Miriam, who was also helping to staff the store.
"Where is Barack?" Cleo called loudly to Miriam.
"He is with Grandmother Molly," Miriam yelled back. "I'm usually at the Diagon Alley store, and we have a playpen and cot set up for him there. Hogsmeade weekends are just a madhouse, however." Miriam waved over the crowd before excusing herself to talk to a couple of students interested in some product.
They purchased a little food at Honeydukes. Rose and Scorpius each paid for their own food. Cleo told Al, "You have all of our money."
Al confirmed, "I have a little of the money we earned from selling the shampoo and scents. We can use that to buy stuff for ourselves."
"We can?" Cleo wondered.
"Sure," Al responded. "Your half of the earnings are actually almost five hundred Galleons by now. I've shown you the books."
"Oh Al, that's real money that I can spend?" Cleo wondered.
"Of course," Al insisted. "What did you think it was?"
"I'm not sure," Cleo pondered. "I've never had any money of my own to spend. I've never had anything that someone else did not buy for me."
"Plus you earned some money repotting plants at the New Burrow last summer," Al insisted. "That's your money too."
"Have I ever told you just how confusing the world can be," Cleo wondered. "I must see the world differently than most people. It is hard sometimes. I see all the colors that Rose sees, but I cannot put them together to look good. I see too much magic some times. It can be hard. I don't want to think about money too. You take care of it."
Al had to think about this. There really were times when Cleo had a hard time functioning, and it was a good thing that either he or Rose was usually with her. It was a good thing she had an Elf watching over her as well. However, he really did not want Cleo to depend on others for all her money, and was going to have to try educate her on this as well.
Harry Potter had been very nervous about this visit. Too many dark wizards knew about Albus and the Elder Wand, and this was as unsafe a space as Albus was going to be facing for some time. So he was sitting on the roof of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes trying to keep his son and the rest of the students in view. There were far more Aurors in Hogsmeade than were visible.
About 4:00 PM Albus, Rose, Scorpius and Cleopatra were walking back to Hogwarts, and had become separated from the other students. Albus had begun to get nervous, and he told the others to be on guard. "I see two adults," Albus observed. "Get your wands out and be on guard."
All four students took out their wands, keeping them facing the ground until they could assess the threat. There were a couple of people watching them, and something seemed to Albus to be not quite right about these people. Suddenly a large group of dark witches and wizards appeared and started to attack the four students. Frerin and Dis tried to Apparate the students away, but all four students were firing spells, so the Elves tried to concentrate on shielding the students instead. The two Aurors that were flying above them on brooms immediately hit the panic buttons on their Magic/Muggle Mobiles and started to try and go on the attack. There was what seemed to be an explosion of magic, with spells flying so fast that they could not see what was going on.
Harry Potter saw what looked like an explosion of fireworks or spells about where he last saw Al and his friends. He immediately mounted his broom and flew over to the place where the attack was taking place, hitting his own panic button on his Mobile as he was flying.
Everybody who was outside in Hogsmeade saw what Harry saw, an explosion of magic, and most of them ran or walked over to where the magic seemed to be coming from, ready to lend aid, or ran away and hid, if they had children or students taking them with them. When people arrived, they saw twenty wizards stunned and magically tied up. Aurors were appearing all over the place, along with three Auror Elves who were quickly vanishing their cleavers, and before long each of the wizards had a couple of Aurors next to them, keeping them under control. Harry landed his broom next to Al, Rose, Scorpius and Cleo.
Harry looked over the scene. All of the attackers were tied up, except one who had been thrown into a tree and was obviously dead. Three of the attackers had a limb severed, and healers were re-attaching the limb. When another Auror came over to help him take the report, he asked the four students what had happened.
Rose was excited but very under control. She explained, "I could see the witches and wizards appearing and starting to throw spells, so I counterattacked and took out two of the attackers." She showed her Uncle Harry the two she had disarmed. Harry could tell by touching her wand and then examining the witch and wizard that she pointed out that she was telling the truth, and that she had taken out two dark Magi. Scorpius seemed to be just as excited but under control. He said he had also taken out two of the Magi, again first a witch and then a wizard, and again Harry verified this.
Albus was looking at the scene like he was trying to analyze things. Cleo was looking at Albus with eyes wide open. So Harry asked Al what he had done. Albus looked at his dad and said "When the attack happened it was like time slowed down."
Al's talking slowed down. "I could tell that that wizard," and he pointed to one at some distance from the others, actually less a wizard and more a bloody mess against a tree, "had a gun, and remembered you telling us how one wizard could easily defend themselves against one person with a gun, but usingmagicas well as bullets as part of an attack was too much for anyone to defend against, so I needed to take him out first, and I could tell I needed three spells to really take him out," and Al went into some detail about the three spells he used. "I really didn't mean to kill him, but he was going to kill or hurt all of us if I didn't do something right away."
Albus had tears in his eyes as he pleaded, "There has to be a better way of disarming someone with a gun without killing them. I hate guns, and people who try to kill you with a gun. I just feel so terrible. I know I had to do it but it just feels so wrong. It makes me feel so dirty."
Cleo hugged Albus, consoling him with, "But you had to do it, Al. Tell your father what happened next."
"Time was really slowing down for me, almost like the wand," and Albus held up the Elder Wand, "was going to give me as much time as I needed. So I looked at the next person who was going to be throwing a spell, and it was," and Albus went up to another person and again explained in great detail just what he had done.
Over the next fifteen minutes Al explained in agonizing detail how he had disarmed ten of the Magi, using two to three spells per attacker. Harry checked and Al had, in what Harry could tell was less than a minute, disarmed all these Magi. It was a stunning performance.
This left four wizards that somebody had disarmed. Harry asked who disarmed the other four? In a small voice Cleo admitted, "I did." Harry looked at Cleo. She was still looking like she was scared, and a little embarrassed.
Harry asked, "You took out four of the attackers, Cleo?"
"Well," she exclaimed, and then in a voice that sounded like it was a personal affront to her, "They were attacking AL!" She went back to the quiet kind of shaky voice pleading, "I hope I did the right thing."
"Cleo," Harry wondered, "could you explain to me what you did to disarm the four attackers."
"When the attack started I could tell that time was slowing down for Al and it seemed to be slowing down for me. The attackers did not appear exactly all at once. After analyzing what Al did for the first and second attackers I could tell that the one I need to start with was," and she went over to one of the attackers and explained in great detail what she did.
Cleo followed up with the other three, and then looked at Harry and said in a small voice that was full of embarrassment, "I hope I did OK Mr. Potter. I didn't do anything wrong, did I?"
"Cleo," Harry exclaimed, "Rose and Scorpius did fantastic by taking out two of the attackers. Most of my Aurors could not do any better. And you did two times better! You did fantastic!"
Cleo was embarrassed. "I was worried I'd done the wrong thing and was, maybe, going to be punished for it."
Harry laughed. "When Albus was two he levitated the wands away from thirteen of fifteen wizards who were attacking us. I think he saved the lives of everyone in his family. When the Chief Auror said that he ought to get an Order of Merlin for it little Al though that the Order of Merlin was a punishment."
The four students smiled nervous smiles.
Harry looked at Albus. Albus looked at his dad, at the wand in his hand, and back at his dad. He knew he had done well. He also knew that the Elder Wand was probably the reason they were attacked in the first place. He tried to figure out what his father was thinking, and could sense his dad struggling with his thought. Al did not want to put his friends in danger, or cause trouble unnecessarily. At the same time from not only the way the wand felt in his hand but also the omens and prophesies that were surround him he knew he was supposed to have this wand. So Al felt that this was one time he was just going to have to stay silent and let his father struggle with his thoughts.
Harry turned to the Aurors and told them to take the twenty attackers back to the ministry and lock them up, and told other Aurors to take statements from anyone who had witnessed the attack. He had the coroner department take the bloody mess away. He did everything he could to arrange for the crime scene to be documented. He made sure the rest of the students could walk back to Hogwarts and get back to the castle on time. By this time Hermione and Ginny showed up, along with the two Aurors who had shadowed the four students, and Harry had all of them walk back to Hogwarts where they met Professors McGonagall and Sidney Stanford. They all went to Sidney's Defense against the Dark Arts classroom, and Sidney charmed a large round table for all of them to sit around. The four students sat together, with parents next to them and the Aurors, Minerva and Sidney across from the students.
Everyone looked at Harry, expecting him to start. He looked around at all the people sitting around the table and started to talk. "I remember just before Christmas over twenty years ago, when Ginny and I were attacked as we were leaving my parents' house in Godric's Hallow. We didn't appreciate having Aurors shadow us until then. Al VanLente ran that meeting."
Albus knew Mr. VanLente. They had spent a couple of holidays in Michigan over the USA Fourth of July holiday there, and met him other times. Albus knew that all the Aurors in Britain looked up to his dad, but his dad looked up to Mr. VanLente as his model of what an Auror should be. So with great expectation that Mr. VanLente would have the right words of wisdom for this situation Al asked, "What did Mr. VanLente say?"
Harry looked at his thirteen-year-old son, expectantly waiting for the magic words to make it all better. "What did he say?" Harry softly spoke. "What did he say? He said Damn Damn Damn Damn Damn, only when he said it he shouted it so I think the people in North America could hear, and each Damn was punctuated by him hitting his fist on the table so hard the table bounced. And VanLente was not trying to protect his thirteen-year-old son and niece and their friends." Harry shook his head back and forth, looked right at Al and then repeated, "He said Damn, and that is how I'm feeling.
"I think we can just assume that any dark wizard knows or assumes Albus has the Elder Wand, and that someone else, sometime, will try to get it. We can also assume that Al's friends are also at risk. And there is no safety in Al not having the wand; I am sure that the wand was one of the reasons that you four did so well this afternoon."
Harry looked at Minerva and Sidney. "I'll be working with you to strengthen the security around Hogwarts. So far it seems reasonably safe, but I want extra security any time there are guests, including Quidditch games."
Sidney asked, "How many dark Magi were there, and how did you capture the dark wizards?"
Harry replied, "By the time anyone else had gotten there Rose and Scorpius had each disarmed two of the Magi, Cleo had taken care of four, and Albus had taken care of eleven. Three Auror Elves each took care of one. It took less than two minutes from the first attack on the students until everything was over. I have an Elf guarding Albus, and another one guarding Cleo, and it appears that they were shielding the students."
Frerin and Dis indicated that yes, they were shielding the students.
Harry continued, "The two Aurors flying above these four bound the attackers as soon as they were disarmed and they could see what was going on. Twenty of my Aurors were there almost immediately, but there was nothing to do."
"Did the Auror Elves appear to protect them?" asked Sidney.
"Dobedo," called Harry.
With a crack Dobedo appeared. "Why were Elf Aurors suddenly next to Albus and his friends?" Harry asked.
"Oh, all the children who know Elfish are Elf-friends," Dobedo explained, "and all over the world all Elves know to protect Elf-friends. Elves can find Elf-friends anywhere, and usually save them."
Sidney suggested, "Harry, get your house reporter to publicize this. It could help to keep Albus and all of his friends who know Elfish safer."
"Cindy already wants to know what happened," Harry replied. "I will make sure she adds that fact to her story."
The assembled crowd went over what happened in more detail. He dismissed everyone except Ginny, Minerva, Sidney, and the four students.
Harry looked at the students, saying, "Before you leave the Hogwarts grounds again I want to meet with you, individually if you are leaving alone, as a group if you are going together."
Finally, Harry said, "I need to talk to Albus and Cleopatra with no one else present, and then we can all go back to our home or dorm room." Harry held Ginny's hand, indicating that she should not leave.
Everybody else, except Ginny, left the room. Al and Cleo sat there until everybody was gone, then Cleo thought to Al, 'Should I tell them about the start of the attack, how I distracted the men?' Albus thought, 'You probably ought to. Let me talk about using Legilimency and reading each other's minds, and then you can tell mum and dad what you did.' Harry was looking at the two young people and opened his mind enough to know that they were mentally talking to each other, something that only a very few legitimists could do.
Al started, "I have been teaching Cleo Legilimency. She's pretty good. What surprised me the most, and I think Cleo too, is how well we can read each other's minds. It looks like, when emotions are running high, like at the attack, we are, not really the same, but aware of what the other person is thinking."
"When the Attack started," Cleo continued, "I felt Al saying, 'you distract I'll attack.' I know most men like looking at me because I am curvier than most girls. Most of the men were distracted, at least a few moments.
"I took out the wizard with the gun," Al elaborated, "but I had to turn the gun back onto him or the bullets would hit other people. That's the second time I've had to do that, and I hate it! I then subdued a couple of witches, then I think we all attack the rest of the witches except for one wizard, then before the rest of the wizards got their focus back we had disarmed them all."
"I don't really mind men looking at me," Cleo sighed. "Maybe I'm big on top and on the bottom, but that's who and what I am. It's better to be sexy fat than just fat."
"You may be bigger and heavier than most girls your age," Ginny grumbled, "but you are NOT fat."
"I guess," Cleo responded. It was hard to feel good about her appearance after spending time with the Malfoy family.
"How did you know which Magi to attack?" asked Harry. "More mental communication?"
"Probably," Al admitted. "Besides, we were holding hands, even though we were not always able to see each other. It's handy that I'm right handed and Cleo is left handed. I'm sure we were communicating by hand as well as by mind. Cleo seemed almost Veela like in her magic to distract, and she used for good and gave everyone enough time to pick their targets and take them out."
Cleo protested, "But Veela are beautiful and I'm just …"
Ginny snapped, "STOP IT, CLEO. You may not be pretty in the same way Veela are, but you have your own unique beauty. I think you are very pretty."
Cleo and Albus looked at each other, and Al tried to mentally reinforce his mother's words. Al knew how hard it was for Cleo to feel good about her looks when Astoria Malfoy kept insulting her, and Scorpius's great-grandmothers not coming to her defense didn't help either. Neither did cutting remarks by a few of Cleo's small, cute classmates.
Harry and Ginny looked at each other. They had a good marriage, a very good marriage, and the kind of communication that couples have that have been married a long time, but nothing like the kind of mind reading that Albus and Cleo seemed to have. Finally, Harry asked Al, "Are the two of you still seeing the centaurs?"
Al nodded yes.
Harry asked, "When was the last visit, and when will the next one be?"
Albus replied, "The last one was last weekend, and I would guess that the next one would be in four to six weeks. The centaurs let me know when they want to see me."
Harry wondered, "And how are you going to make sure you and Cleo are safe when you visit the centaurs? If I send Aurors the centaurs will not come. The Forbidden Forest is forbidden because it is not that safe, and it is also not forbidden from other magical people. You could run into dark wizards there."
Al s sighed, "I guess we are just going to have to trust the centaurs not to send for us unless it is safe, plus keep our wands out and stay under the invisibility cloak."
Harry persisted, "You each have an Elf guard. Would the centaurs accept an Elf?
"I will ask the next time we meet," Al agreed.
Harry then said, "When you are not out in the Forbidden Forest chasing centaurs is there anywhere else you are sneaking into under that invisibility cloak, or going some other way, that I ought to know about?"
Al reminded his father, "We go see the merpeople some of Saturdays. Cleo and I are learning to speak Mermish."
Harry thought, "I suppose it would be hard for any dark wizards to follow you down into the deep. You are vulnerable when you come out of the water. Would an Elf guard help there?"
Al replied, "Frerin and Dis already watch to kept the things we have to leave on shore safe."
Harry wondered, "What do you have to leave on shore?"
Al said in a small voice, "Clothes. Any land stuff that could get wet. We do take our wands, but nothing else."
Harry looked at Al and Cleo. He was very aware that Cleo had very large breasts and very large hips for a thirteen-year-old, and despite being a little heavy had an exaggerated hour glass shape. Harry was also very aware that Ginny was sitting next to him, and when Al said clothes Ginny squeezed his hand HARD. Harry asked, "Neither centaurs nor merpeople wear clothes. You go naked when you see them?"
Al explained, "Only on top for the centaurs; the forest is too scratchy not to have something on the bottom. And your bottom is really not exposed under the water with a bottom transformed to be more like a fish. You are just naked for a brief period while you transform."
Harry looked at Cleo, at Ginny, and then back at Cleo again. "Are you OK with this, Cleopatra?" he wondered.
"Oh Mr., Mrs. Potter," Cleo pled, putting her hands up and moving all of the body you could see, "It really is important that we are getting the friendship of the centaurs, they have said so, important and prophetic, and also according to them important that we are learning Mermish. I trust Al, and if I am helping him do something important than whatever it is I have to do I will." Cleo paused a little, and then whispered, "Even if it SHOULD be embarrassing."
Cleo took a deep breath, got one of those huge smiles that took over her whole face and body, and beamed, "Besides, when Al and I are married he will see all of me anyway. So I do not really mind, as long as it is JUST MY Albus."
Harry looked at the two of them. "I do not think I am going to tell anyone what we just talked about. I would suggest you also do not tell anyone else."
Al stressed, "No sir!"
Cleo muttered, "I have not told anyone, and will not, Mr. Potter! Well, I have told Mum Potter almost everything," looking at Ginny, "but no one else!"
Ginny looked at Harry and nodded, confirming that Cleo had shared that she had to go partly naked to see the centaurs and both of them had to take off their clothes to transform into merpeople.
Harry then complimented the pair. "You really did a good job, Al. I am sure Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape are proud of you. You too Cleo. What you did in taking out four wizards was just fantastic! Just be careful, both of you."
Albus and Cleopatra arose, and Harry took another good look at them. Albus was five foot four inches (163 cm), a full inch shorter that Harry, and Harry was small. Albus was even thinner, a tiny little man. Harry could see how Albus could disappear next to Cleo. Since Albus had the most powerful dueling wand in the world, not focusing on him was very dangerous to anyone attacking the couple.
At five foot ten inches (178 cm) Cleo was large, large breasts, even bigger hips, and thin enough in the middle to be very hourglass shaped. She had on an off white dress that looked like it could have been woven on her, a lightweight cotton with no hint of seams, short sleeves that came in over her shoulders just enough to make a pretense of holding up the dress. It had a scoop neckline that only exposed maybe twenty percent of her bust, but there was so much of her that it still showed a lot of skin. It was form fitting, tight around each breast and tight well past her middle, showing a modest pot belly but a very defined waist and no hint of "love handles" or rolls of fat in the middle. Cleo was large and somewhat heavy, but despite what Astoria Malfoy kept telling her, Cleo was not fat. The skirt flared out over large hips and shapely butt; for as big as Cleo was on top, she was bottom heavy. The white cotton dress had thin green vines growing up it with tiny multi-colored flowers growing out of them, and the overall effect was of fertility and femininity, an almost obscene caricature of what a female should be.
When Harry and Ginny arrived home Harry wondered, "Ginny, how close are you to Cleo?"
Ginny sighed, "In some ways I am her substitute mother. She says things to me that she could never say to Narcissa or anyone else. Why?"
Harry wondered, "How close are Al and Cleo?"
Ginny suggested, "About as close as you can get without snogging or being engaged, I think. With luck the snogging will wait until fifth or sixth year. The scent and charms on her and Al almost say 'we are a couple but not yet sexually active.' Most amazing scent and smell I have ever encountered. Cleo has a scent that is more maternal than sexy. When she and Al get married we are going to get a lot of grandchildren out of that couple! But not yet."
Harry asked, "Does she ever talk about going to see the centaurs or the merpeople?"
Ginny answered, "Yes, she does talk to me about that. I did know that for them to see them they have to take off the tops of their clothes for the centaurs and all of their clothes and get transformed for the merpeople. Cleo is somewhat embarrassed, which is good, but her love of Al and her conviction that she is working for the good of all is stronger. Al is very aware of Cleo's shape. I think they do not want to rush into acting too much like boyfriend and girlfriend partly because of having to see each other's bodies.
"You know, Harry, it really is stupid, that they are trying in some way not to be boyfriend and girlfriend, but they are fully a couple, and know that they are going to get married."
Ginny looked right at Harry. "Harry, I do not think we have any choice but to trust them right now. They are both good people. I'm worried too, but what can we do? Except start another baby tonight."
"Damn," Harry softly muttered. "Ginny, is wanting another baby really you, or just Cleopatra at her sexiest? I admit that when I first saw Cleo, after the attack, I thought "baby" too. I think that another baby would be a good thing, but I also think that we should wait a month and think this over, or we will end up with more children than your parents."
"I guess you are right," Ginny sighed, her maternal instincts in overdrive. Cleo did that to you.