Title: Harry Potter And The Walkers
Chapter 13 – War Of The Worlds
"Listen, Ron. I don't care what Harry says, I'm going after him." The brunet spoke as she fished about in Ron's trunk.
"I agree with her." Neville added, only to receive a sharp look from Ron.
"Listen Mione, I want to help as much as you do, but it's pretty useless as we have no idea where he's at now. Didn't you hear the Auror? There's been attacks nation wide. Harry could be anywhere."
"Just what are you looking for anyway?" Ginny questioned loudly interrupting Ron.
The bookworm didn't even raise her head as she continued to toss stuff out of the trunk. "Honestly Ron. I knew I should have kept it and not you. What's the use of having it if you can even get it out in time."
"It isn't my fault that you can't seem to navigate my trunk. I find my things just fine thank you." Ron countered as he stood back looking at his girlfriend.
"Ow! What was that for?" Ron shouted as his sister slapped his arm.
"That was for staring at her butt." Ginny said.
"And why am I not allowed to stare… Ow!" Ron had received another slap to his other arm, this time from said girlfriend.
"Hermione was glaring at him in a way that said 'This isn't the time to fool around.' Taking a step back she held out a small green glass sphere.
"What's that?" Neville asked not really knowing what was going on. Hermione and Ron had been arguing about going after Harry, when suddenly. The female prefect had dashed off saying she knew how to locate him.
"Fariahlia gave it to us." Ron spoke as he recognized the glass globe.
"It's a summoning sphere. Fariahlia gave it to us in the case that Harry went and got himself in anymore trouble." Hermione explained as she threw the globe at the middle of the dormitory room.
The artifact shattered, its glass vaporizing on impact. A small whirlwind of green sparks picked up in the dormitory. As it seemed to reach its peak at the ceiling it exploded in a shower of green leaves.
Donning full silver battle armor held in place by vines crossing across her body, a thick heavy staff with a gleaming emerald in her left, and a nasty looking chain whip with a spike on the end in her right, hovering a foot off the floor was the Walker Fariahlia herself. A faint spatter of blood could be seen streaking across her breastplate and the tip of her whip drip a thick black substance. All in all, the Walker looked as if she had been in the midst of a battle herself.
The Walker looked about the rooms momentarily before resting her red pupil eyes on the students. "You summoned?"
"We need to find Harry. We need your help." Hermione spoke to the Walker.
"I know where he is." The Walker answered immediately.
"Can you take us to him?" Hermione gestured to the small group that was gathered.
Fariahlia ran her eyes over the small group, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna. All of them were Harry's closest friends. "No."
"Pardon." Ron asked in surprise.
"No." The lady repeated herself.
"All of you are Harry's closest friends and by bringing you to him would be to put you all in danger. He's currently in battle." The dryad spoke softly. "I am sorry."
"You'll protect us?" Neville gave the woman a questioning look.
"I can't, I cannot remain long. My presence is required somewhere else." She gestured to her coiled up weapon. "Tell Harry the council must meet at Headquarters. I'm sorry." With that Fariahlia tossed another small glass sphere at Hermione before vanishing in a burst of leaves.
"Just perfect. Now what?" Ron complained as he looked at his girlfriend.
"We could always use those pretty black horses like last time." Luna who had been strangely quiet spoke up.
She received stares silently asking her if her sanity was intact.
Hermione finally saw fit to break the silence. "We'll head for the Burrow. That's where Harry was headed last." She called as she ran out of the room, the others following her.
Minutes later a family consisting of two whales and a giraffe appeared in the Hogwart's hospital wing.
Harry appeared and dropped to the ground as a bright green light flew over his head.
'Perfect, just perfect.' He thought as he looked around him. He had teleported into the middle of a full out battle scene.
He sent back an unknown red spell as a passing Death Eater tried to curse him. The man fell in pain from his own spell.
"Incarcerius. Stupefy." Ropes flew out from the end of his phoenix feathered wand as they twisted and wrapped themselves around the man. Trussed up tightly, the man failed to defend himself from the oncoming stunner that sent him hurling back into one of the machines. A metallic thud sounded as the man impacted the steel contraption. Probably broke a bone on impact, Harry truly didn't care.
All order had been lost in the Butterbeer factory as both Aurors and Death Eaters were scattered around the place, dueling in small groups and sometimes alone. Some idiot must have accidentally activated the machinery during the battle. Cranes and conveyor belts were moving around as Butterbeer continued to be made.
An explosion hex rocked the structure sending rubble, wood and beverage into the surroundings somewhere beyond the sea of clockwork machines.
First thing first, he had to locate the Headmaster. Moving at a fast walk, stopping every once in a while to blast a Death Eater, Harry weaved throughout the moving metal arms.
He jumped back as curse zipped past him and exploded a vat of the famous Wizarding drink. Showered by the yellowy liquid, Harry discarded his glasses and ripped off his soaked eye band. Blazing green eyes exposed to the world, he caught out of the corner of his eye a black robed figure disappear around a large piece of machinery that bottled the Butterbeer.
The corner of the machine blew apart as several curses flew from the green eyed man's wand. Hoping that some of the shrapnel had caught the fleeing man, Harry switched his wand to his left and withdrew one of his swords.
Turning the corner, sword raised to strike, he was severely disappointed to find no one. His senses tingled and jumped backwards as a yellowish streak of light narrowly missed his head. Twisting both head and body he shielded himself as shrapnel blew out from the machine behind him.
His armor deflected most of the hurling pieces of metal, however a small sting came from his right cheek as a small encasement slashed across it. Gritting his teeth, he again caught the fleeting cloak end of a Death Eater.
Forgoing the simple spells, Harry estimated his targets movement and traced his wand slightly to the right.
"Explodra." The blasting hex took out the mid section of the machine and hopefully with it the pest.
Jets of the Wizarding beverage squirted out from one of the hoses, joining the small puddle of mechanical oil pooling on the floor. Stepping through the debris, the Walker spotted a figure among the metal parts and components.
The man was probably dead, if not definitely dying. Apart from the various mechanical bits embedded in his body, a large steel panel had ripped open his neck. Blood shot out at a constant rate, less forceful each time as the man's blood pressure dropped.
A twang was heard above. Harry looked up and identified the sound coming from the snapping cable of on the many chandeliers used to illuminate the place during the dark winter afternoons. Devoid of its support the lighting device skewed at an angle as another support cable kept it suspended.
Another twang followed as a second support cable failed. Harry watched in slight fascination as the large framework swung across the hall in an oscillating pendulum like motion, its lighted candles leaving an orange streak in its path. As it reached the peak of its swing, the final support cable gave way as the chandelier was catapulted into the air. Harry's eyes traced its flight part till it disappeared behind a pile of barrels. A loud crash signaled its impact, followed by a small explosion.
Harry definitely had to find Dumbledore, he had no idea why Voldemort had attacked this particular factory, but he could herald a guess that the barmy old coot knew why.
Sending off a random curse at an approaching enemy Harry continued his search.
A high pitched wail filled the air as the shell underwent its calculated trajectory. A trail of black smoke plumed out behind it, allowing its course and target to be predicted easily enough. The inhabitants of the city, seeing the shell's approach, scattered in fear.
Loosing it's upwards velocity, it begun its arc towards the ground. In a bright flash it discharged it deadly contents, wiping out its surroundings in a measured five meter spherical diameter.
A second wailing sound filled the air as a second concussive shell was fired. Its flight path was tracked by the alert blue eyes of the High Commander, General Valor. Arching over the towering walls of the besieged city, the explosive shell finally detonated upon a large building. Black flames spewed across the stone masonry, consuming and leaving a gaping hole in the structure's side wall.
General Valor swore in her mother tongue as another shell streaked across the sky, once again impacting against the city's foundry. Turning her gaze from the smoking buildings of the city towards what lay on the other side of the parapet. Her vision filled with a sea of black horrors three hundred meters below the city's defensive walls.
Creatures mutated and deformed through various experiments lay siege to the city her elfin brothers and sisters were protecting. A battle roar came from the enemy as countless ballistae were set off. The long ranged siege weapons showered a rain of steel bolts upon the elfish defenders atop the wall.
General Valor swore yet again as a spear cleared the wall's immense height and impaled itself through the chest of two members of her honor guard. The momentum of the ballista bolt carried itself onwards, hurling both the elves to their deaths. The grip upon her bow increased as she witnessed the enemy ranks shifting.
"READY INCENDIARY ARROWS!" The General's voice shouted over the roar of the battle. The enemy was preparing once again to scale the walls.
"FIRE AT WILL!" As per her command, the elfish troops lining the walls rained death upon the approaching enemy. The arrow heads replaced with a vial of volatile liquid burst open on impact. The substance within it igniting into flames as it made contact with the air.
Wails filled the air as the advancing wave of enemy troops burned alive from the incendiary concoction. The scent of burning flesh and fat assaulted and stung at her nasal cavities. The General sighed in frustration. The siege had reached a status quo when the Phyrexians failed to reach the walls. Her elves with their incendiary weapons had managed to hold them off. They had then chosen to retreat out of the range of the defender's arrows and proceeded to fire ballistae bolts.
This was of course broken when the bastards had returned with fresh troops and siege weapons. It was hopeless now, her elite troops lightly armed only with swords, arrows and the rare explosive weapon had no chance of holding back an army equipped with rotary blades and cannons. She didn't even have any Winter Magi at her disposal, almost all her heavy troops had moved on before the medieval city came under siege.
She herself and a thousand light troops had stayed behind to secure and repair the human city after it came under siege from a faction of the undead a month back. The human defenders were at the moment defending the other end of the city. The Phyrexians had forced them into a two front battle.
The only reason the city hadn't fallen was because the Phyrexians hadn't expected any resistance, and thus came fairly lightly equipped. That had of course changed. If reinforcements didn't arrive soon the city would be overrun in a matter of hours. She just thanked the gods, the Phyrexians didn't bring their Bone Singers and hadn't yet called in aerial units.
"FRONT LINE! SHOOT THE CLIMBERS! THE REST! CONTINUE ATTACK!" Her front row approached the edge of the wall and begun shooting down the first wave. The rest continued to pepper the second wave of troops.
At least the city's walls were high and resistant to the magical shells that were bombarding the city. No sooner did she have that thought, when a shell having been misfired failed to completely clear the parapet. The projectile impacted the top portion of the wall, spewing its contents of black mana onto her soldiers. Black flames ate at their flesh and armor, disintegrating anything in a five meter diameter. Quickly waving her bow, she caught the attention of a passing healer.
"Do what you can for them." She motioned her wounded comrades. She didn't have much hope for them though. Black mana of that concentration would just about kill anything it touched.
Held back by the new siege weapons, the archers failed to totally annihilate the advancing wave of half machine monsters. Reaching the walls, the Phyrexians began to scale upwards towards them. Razor claws latched onto the stonework allowing them to move swiftly up the wall without the use of ladders or siege towers.
"HALBERDIERS TO THE FRONT!" Immediately, more elves move to join the front row of archers. Their blades held high, ready to strike the ascending enemy.
"May the Mistress Fariahlia be swift. Else the battle is lost." The General spoke to the wind as the first of many Phyrexians leapt over the wall.
"Albus." Harry called out as he blasted one of the Death Eaters dueling with the Headmaster into a nearby wall.
The old man was momentarily distracted by familiar voice and a bright yellow curse caught his shoulder. Tendril of smoke could be seen smoking off the man's robes as the flesh searing curse burnt.
The old man snarled in pain as he apparated to a safer location a few feet away. Harry helped out his old mentor by training his wand on the remaining two Death Eaters and letting loose a barrage of curses. In a few seconds the two men resembled shapeless blobs that sprouted tentacles.
"Professor. We must leave." Harry pointed out to the ceiling of the warehouse which was now crawling in flames. From the sounds coming from their surroundings, there weren't many duels taking place anymore. Most of the Death Eaters having apparated away.
The remaining Aurors and Order members were shooting jets of water from their wands at the fires that had broken out around the factory.
"The flames are getting intense Albus. The roof doesn't look like it will take much more." The old man nodded at Harry's words and withdrew a phoenix medallion from his robes. Pressing his wand to it, it started to glow. Pops could be heard as people evacuated the burning factory, Harry assumed it was a signal to the Order members.
"Sonorous." Harry cast the voice amplifying spell. "AURORS, RETREAT! TAKE AS MANY WOUNDED AS YOU CAN AND GET OUT! WE'LL HANDLE THE FIRE FROM OUTSIDE!"
With a nod to each other, both men disappeared.
General Valor wedged her halberd into the incoming claw of a Phyrexian Howler. A sharp twist and the limb came loose. She had long relinquished her bow and short sword in favor for the longer reaching pike like weapon. After all the best way to engage a Phyrexian was at a fair distance.
About the size of a predatory cat, built mainly for speed and quick devastation, the Phyrexian Howlers were mainly used as shock troops. Mechanically powered hind legs and long reaching arms tipped with vibratory blades, the Howlers were meant to smash into the enemy front lines and occupy them till heavier more durable troops engaged.
Thus having thin arms, light armor and not built to last long in combat, the Howlers were being easily disposed by the lightly equipped elves. Unfortunately they were doing what they were made for. Phyrexian Striders, Behemoths and Stalkers were fast incoming.
Twirling her weapon, General Valor swatted away the other limb. A quick blow to the creature's head stunned it for a moment. Lunging forward the elfin General thrust the blade into the chest of the creature. The superior Mithril blade pierced the body armor protecting the inner workings of the Phyrexian.
A loud crunch could be heard and the General gave the halberd a violent twist. Black oil and blood gushed out from the chest wound and the Howler collapsed as its mechanics failed. Drawing her sword, General Valor stabbed the neck of the downed monstrosity. A few twists and a good kick, the head came loose. The only sure way to kill a Phyrexian was to remove its head.
A roar sounded to her left as a Phyrexian Strider jumped into the fray. A few Mithril tipped arrows lodged themselves into the creature's body. However unlike the Howlers, the Striders were meant for heavier combat. Thus they spotted thicker shorter arms, more blades, heavier thicker armor, lowered center of gravity and were twice as large. Their only disadvantage was that they were slightly slower.
Only slightly, as one of her guards fell victim to its slashing claws. The Strider was a giant spider like centaur. With the upper body looking somewhat humanoid it had a lower body supported by six massive clawed legs.
Rearing back, the General hurled her weapon at the Strider's head. The blade cut through hydraulic pipes and muscle. Blood, oil and hydraulic fluid sprayed. Moving forwards and grabbing another halberd from her guard, she shoved it between the creature's legs and one of the stone risings of the wall.
"Lift!" She screamed as she pushed upwards. Together with the combined effort of her personal guard the Strider was pivoted off the wall. It let off a wail as it fell to its death, knocking one or two climbers on its way down.
A wail sounded, followed by a bright flash as Valor was thrown back when a shell exploded near her. Rolling over upright and ripping off her burning Commander's cape. Weakened by the influence of concentrated black mana, the General collapsed to the stone floor. Her remaining honor guard surrounded her, as they let lose arrows at nearby enemy units.
For the first time since the battle begun, General Valor stared at the sky as she fought the cold chill seeping into her bones. A dozen or so black columns of smoke raced across the blue sky. The bombardment had increased over the last half hour. Having seen their power stone shells useless against the city's walls the Phyrexians had switched to rockets. Already the majestic wall was showing heavy damage in certain areas. She thanked the gods the gates hadn't yet been breached.
Horror flowed over the Generals face as she witnessed portals opening above in the sky. From them flew an armada of Phyrexian Sky Barges. Slow moving aerial crafts used to shuttle Phyrexian troops over land barriers. Armed with a small array of rockets, the Barges begun to bombard the troops upon the walls as they moved towards the city center.
'No. They must not deploy. Else the city's lost.' The though of failure gave the General renewed strength. She had a city to defend. Using her short sword to prop herself up she addressed her warriors.
"RETREAT! RETREAT! RELOCATE AT THE CITY CENTER!"
Kicking up a halberd from the ground she stabbed an unsuspecting Howler in the side. The beast fell crushing another member of her guard, who failed to evade. She had started the day with twelve members, but now she was left with five.
A sharp hiss came from behind her. The elfin General spun around in horror. A Stalker had made it upon the walls. Truly a freak monstrosity, the Stalker was modeled after a snake, more correctly a cobra. Twenty feet long it was covered in metallic scales, two thin powerful arms protruded from its sides to allow it some form of weapon manipulation. Its hood however was what made the General lose all hope. The hoods of the Stalker held an array of ballista bolt primed for firing. It was this monster that had been peppering the besieged city earlier.
The snake like weapon reared its height above her, hood spread and jaw open in what seemed like a victorious grin. She was dead and she knew it. In her weakened condition she couldn't even deflect a bolt, not that she could deflect them all in the first place.
If this was her death, she would go down with honor. Forcing herself to stand upright, she raised her sword in defense. The Stalker fired, the bolt hurling towards her. She swung upwards, the force of the blow making her blade shudder and she stumbled backwards.
The Phyrexian seemed surprised it was possible to deflect its attack at such a close range. Nevertheless it followed with another. The General threw herself to the ground, the spear clearing her head by inches.
This was it, the mechanical snake bared down on her. She could hear the almost silent hiss of the creature, the clicking of the gears activating the firing mechanism. The bolt flew at her with a whooshing sound and she stared defiantly at the incoming missile.
A blur suddenly moved, intercepting the projectile. Blood splashed onto her face as one of her bodyguards took the attack for her. Still the momentum carried the spear through the elf. However the elf's interference had affected the direction of the weapon.
Valor cried out in pain as the spear head drove into her left thigh scraping her bone. She shut her eyes for a moment and when she opened them, the Stalker was slumping backwards, its head embedded with more than a dozen arrows.
Sitting up, Valor grabbed the iron shaft of the spear and strongly attacked it with her sword. The shaft gave way to the blade. She nearly fainted from the pain of the jolt. Strong arms pulled her to her feet. Supported by two of her bodyguards she addressed those near her.
"We must move to the city center. We'll hold our last stand there." She spoke as the men help her towards the nearest tower. She limped, pain shooting up her left leg.
After making a short stop at the school kitchens to acquire some raw steak, the group had approached the edge of the forbidden forest.
Luna and Neville being the only ones who could see the dark horses, had helped coax them out using the scent of blood. Just as the first of the winged horses approached them, a voice startled them from behind.
Spinning around wands drawn and lit, their beams of light fell upon the silhouette of a figure shrouded by the darkness. The figure drew closer to reveal the floating form of the Walker Fariahlia.
"Wah?" Was Ron's response.
"I was correct to assume you wouldn't heed my warning." The Walker spoke as she floated towards the children.
"We'll never abandon Harry." Neville spoke out. The others gave nods of agreement.
"Harry chooses his friends well, such loyalty is hard to come by. I commend you." Fariahlia dipped her head in a small bow.
"However…" She snapped her fingers. Green sparks sparkled as roots and vines burst from the ground. Entwining and entangling the five students, the plants bound them till no movement was possible. A slight gesture and all five of their wands flew into her hands.
Harry's friends however were not going down so easily.
The plants binding him burst into flames as Ron channeled and unleashed his red mana. A simple incinerate spell left the plants as glowing cinders.
Neville, calling upon his power coaxed the plant to simply release him. Pushing the green mana into the plants he connected with it and slowly brought it under his command.
Hermione, forced a shield into place. The conjured barrier pushed outwards away from her body. The force exerted tore the vines apart and the bookworm floated gracefully to the ground.
Ginny was slightly surprising, because instead of following her brother's method of incinerating the plant, she utilized her other option. Her vine slowly turned brown and then black as death and rot settled in. She brushed at her shoulders to knock some of the remains onto the ground.
Luna just stared blankly at them as she seemed pretty comfortable being trussed up by vines.
"Need help Luna?" Neville offered.
"No thanks Neville. I am sort of enjoying this." Came her happy reply. The blond seemed to wiggle a bit to shift into a more comfortable position before giving up when she couldn't move. "Oh well." She commented regarding her restricted condition, before simply teleporting out. The vines holding her fell to the floor, before slowly rising as Neville took control of them.
"Ahem." The Walker cleared her throat, once again garnering their attention. "I see the only way to convince you would be to drag you back to the castle."
"Of course you'll have to." Ron voiced as he and the other members begun to gather mana into their bodies.
"I see." The Walker said in mild amusement. "You're however not ready yet. You lack equipment and knowledge of the situation."
"Try us." Ginny challenged.
"Very well then."
The Walker snapped fingers on both hands and rapidly teleported around the group.
Immediately Neville lost command over his vines and they attacked him. The nearest one wrapped around his body binding him. The other lay upon the ground and pitch itself up slightly. This resulted in the boy tripping over and falling onto Ron, who misfired his immolation spell into Ginny.
The redhead, suddenly finding herself engulfed in flames, panicked. Unfortunately, she had forgotten about the small amount of mana collected within her body. Improper dispelling of the mana overloaded her mind and body. She fainted in a small explosion of dark mist that fortunately extinguished the fires.
Waving her hand before Hermione's head, Fariahlia caused the girl's eyes to roll back into her skull. The Bookworm fell asleep just after she tossed a white fireball at the place Fariahlia once stood.
Snapping her fingers once more, the vines emerged from the ground and encased the two boys.
"Ouch." Ron yelled as he received a small backlash when he tried to burn the vines.
"Ah! Ah! Ah! You don't want to be doing that Mr. Weasley." The Walker spoke. "These vines are much more resistant to your previous methods of escape."
"Yup." Luna replied from the Walker's left. The girl was clearly enjoying herself as she looked on in interest.
"I take it you wouldn't be resisting then." Fariahlia asked.
"Definitely not." The Ravenclaw shook her head. "Nargles don't like people who fight. I'm looking forwards to finding one tonight in my common room."
The Walker had a look of confusion on her face for a moment before it passed. "I need to be getting back, tell Harry that the Council must meet soon. I trust you can get them back to the school." The Walker gestured to the prone students.
"Of course." Came the cheerful reply.
The Walker gave a nod before vanishing in a burst of leaves.
"You're not really gonna take us back to the castle are you?" Ron asked in frustration as his binds wouldn't give.
Neville gave a small squeak as he tried to overcome the will of the plant's magic. The plant responded in the same way it did Ron.
"Of course not." Luna then waved her hands, dispelling both the vines and awakening the other girls before summoning their wands wandlessly from the spot Fariahlia had dropped them.
"How'd you do that?" Neville asked somewhat surprised.
"I did?" Luna replied blankly in surprise.
"You just… never mind…" Neville gave up on the questioning as Ron helped him to his feet.
"So now we head to the Burrow." Ron questioned his girlfriend as he helped her up.
"Pardon." Ginny asked.
"We'll be returning to the castle. I wouldn't want to bring you back to the castle, you'll be bringing yourselves." Luna said dreamily.
"No way." Ron opposed.
"Fariahlia said we weren't ready yet. She just proved that she was right." Hermione mumbled in defeat. "We will return and await Harry's return."
"Fine, but it doesn't mean I'll like it." Ginny complained as she stalked back to the castle.
A rocket streaked through the air, its propulsion leaving in its wake a trail of black smoke. Reaching its target, the rocket smashed into the side of the ship. Milliseconds later the triggering mechanism within the cone of the high explosive projectile activated. What began as a small spark ignited the high explosive payload contained within the rocket's steel housing. With concussive force the side of the Phyrexian Sky Barge blew outwards, a few of the troops it carried thrown into the air.
The Barge itself smoking and in flames, its power generators damaged and unable to support its levitation engines any longer, plummeted to the burning city beneath it.
A Falcon Engine soared past the failing sky ship, as it unloaded its payload of rockets at another Sky Barge. Weaving itself among the falling debris, the weapon of war sped towards another Sky Barge.
Built the size of a car with two meter wing spans and an array of spinning adamantine blades lining its body, the Falcon Engines were the ultimate aerial weapon. Able to move at a top speed of mach two the Engines constantly dived into enemy ranks shredding units with its deadly blades.
Smashing into the side of a Sky Barge, the Flacon Engine's spinning rotary blades made short work of the Barge's armor, penetrating the cargo hold of the ship, the Falcon Engine begun to shred the Phyrexians within it.
Causing enough damage to both the crew and the structure of the vessel, the Falcon Engine burst out from the other end of the Sky Barge. Seeking a new target it left the destroyed air ship to plummet towards the ground.
General Valor shielded herself with an arm as debris rained down upon her when the air ship smashed into a nearby building. The fight had relocated to the city square where the elves and human defenders held the Phyrexians back.
Falcon Engines roared through the skies bringing down as many enemy sky barges as possible. Most of the enemy reinforcement portals had been collapsed by Falcon Engines flying through them and taking out the generator on the other side. True the Engines were lost but they were unmanned and thus relatively disposable.
The Council airships flew in towards the city center dropping off fresh troops and evacuating the rest. The good General herself had stayed to assist in the retreat. One of the first airships that arrived had supplied them with a dozen Winter Magi. The elfish spell casters had erected a powerful shield around the town center preventing any projectile moving faster than an arrow to pass through. Of course there were the occasional shell and failing Sky Barge that made it through.
The healers had done what they could with her leg in the short amount and limited resources that they had. It didn't hurt anymore, although she still had a slight limp to it.
Valor lean upon her good leg and surveyed the surroundings. Smoke rose from sections of the city that had caught fire. Her men and the human defenders held off the Phyrexians on all four entrances to the city center. The Falcon Engines were protecting the town center and the evacuation portals above them from enemy attack. Already four fifths of the population had been evacuated via Council airships.
Valor spun around on guard as a crack was heard beside her. In a burst of yellow leaves the Mistress of the elves, Walker Fariahlia had arrived.
"My Lady." The General bowed.
"Report." The Walker looked into the elf with her red eyes.
"Following your new orders, the city has nearly been completely evacuated, all that remain, are the troops defending the city central." The General answered.
"Good work General Valor. You and your men along with anyone else will take the last airships out of here. I'll handle the rest." The Walker spoke gesturing to the few remaining airships behind her.
A wail filled the air and both females looked up. A rocket had punched through the magical shield and was heading right for them. In a lightning quick flick of her wrist, Fariahlia's chain whip sprung into action.
The shell impacted the ground, digging into earth beneath their feet. It failed to detonate. Its cap and primer lay a few meters away cleanly cut off by the blade of the chain whip.
The General stared in slight awe at her superior's skill.
"Go now, sound the retreat." The Walker said not really noticing the look the General was giving her.
The Walker closed her senses as she began to pull mana from her surroundings. She faintly heard the retreat being sounded but was more concentrated on her task. The sight of forests, jungles and woodlands filled her vision as she pulled the green mana under her command. She shaped it to her will, fashioning it delicately and precisely. When it was done she released it.
Fifty ten feet tall plant elementals grew out from the ground. Their bodies made up from the roots of plants beneath the city.
"Go! Defend the city." The Walker commanded.
The elementals turned and marched into combat, relieving the elves and humans.
Fariahlia stayed conjuring up golems and more plant elementals as she watched the last airship pass through the aerial portal. As soon as it passed the portal collapsed, the Falcon Engines defending it flew off seeking new targets.
Fariahlia sighed. The Phyrexians had finally broken free from their prison. The Council had been preparing for this day for millennia. They would crush the advancing army with their overwhelming force.
First she would have to ensure the Phyrexians would not gain this city as a stronghold. Yes. The city must be destroyed, its walls collapsed.
She pooled her mana and concentrated. Her staff materialized beside her and she grasped it, the emerald atop it radiating a deep green glow.
Finished, she struck the ground with the staff. A shockwave ran out under her feet. All the Phyrexians within the city lost their footing and toppled over, some crashing into the sides of buildings. Her Golems and elementals crumbled as the magic left them. Slowly a dull green mist rose from the ground enveloping the entire city.
Fariahlia took one last look at her surroundings as the Phyrexians rushed her. She smiled a malicious grin before vanishing in a shower of leaves.
Seconds later the green mist, obtaining its color from the spores it contained carried out its task. The spores crept into the crevices of the buildings, walls, wooden beams, Phyrexians and even the paved streets. Plant life burst forth from every structure in the city. Phyrexians were torn apart as roots penetrated their bodies, ripping them apart. The giant walls surrounding them crumbling as roots and vines crushed the rocks.
In minutes, where once stood a city now lay a vast forest.
Harry gave a grim look at the Butterbeer factory as it collapsed in flames. Small explosions rang out as the alcoholic drink stored in vats and barrels ignited.
He turned to the man standing beside him.
"Professor, our work here is done. The Aurors and Healers will be able to contain the blaze and heal the wounded. We on the other hand need to talk." Harry spoke once again looking at the burning ruin of the factory.
"Yes, Harry. Indeed we do." Dumbledore spoke softly his features etched with exhaustion.
"Let us be off then. We still need to pick up Madam McGonagall at the Ministry." Harry said holding out his hand.
The old man took hold and both vanished in a mist of vapor.
After picking up the Transfiguration Professor and helping repair some of the damage at the Ministry, Harry and his two passengers reappeared back in the Hogwart's Headmaster's office.
"Now Minerva, I know you would wish nothing more than to go off to your room and call it a night but I insist we hold an Order meeting now." Dumbledore addressed his deputy as he retook his place behind his desk.
McGonagall looking worse for wear couldn't do much but nod tiredly. "I'll go contact them." She said before leaving the office.
Harry watched the Deputy Headmistress leave the room with his vivid green eyes. The bright emerald green power within them had dulled throughout the night to be replaced by a slightly darker sinister hue.
Dumbledore stared at his student's eyes for a moment before blinking when Harry stared straight at his. A brief moment of pain lanced through his head before suddenly disappearing.
"I apologize Professor." Harry said as he conjured up a blindfold and tied it around his eyes. "I best better be going now. I'll go round up the members of the Defense Association. Grimmauld Place?" He turned an eyebrow raised in question.
"Good. See you there in twenty minutes."
Harry appeared on the pavement just off the dark mansion. The group of students that had accompanied him were the most trusted that he had in the DA. This included those of the ministry crew, Susan Bones and Blaise Zambini.
"Erm… Harry? Are you sure you got the right place." Susan looked up and down the street in puzzlement. The street was lined with small terrace houses and no large mansion that he had described to the group before teleporting them.
Realizing that only Ron, Hermione, Ginny and him were able to see the place he motioned for them to stay where they were.
He let out a sigh as he approached where the mansion was meant to be. 'The Order Of The Phoenix can be found at Number 12 Grimmauld Place London.' He thought.
The familiar effect of the house spring up between the two opposite lot greeted him. The Order was definitely expecting him. Their group had been late. He had relative ease tracking down the members of the DA. The problem lay with a certain family that had turned up in the Hogwart's Hospital wing sometime during the attack. The Dursleys had definitely caused a commotion in the Hospital wing. He had heard them long before he reach the door, which was why he had simply stunned them on entering. After sorting out what to do with them, he had collected the rest of the group before coming here.
The grasped the brass knocker on the door and gave it a few sharp raps. Instantly the shrill yelling of Mrs. Black filled the mansion. 'Haven't they gotten rid of that infernal painting yet?'
The door was yanked open by a slightly irritated Mad Eye Moody.
Harry merely raised an eyebrow. "Don't kill the messenger. The door was locked, and you needed proof that I could see the house. I've got the DA across the street under a concealment charm. I need Professor Dumbledore."
"Oh no ya don't laddie." Moody gave the Walker a strict gnarled look. "No one comes in until I know we can trust em. We'll use the same procedure as we do in recruitment."
Harry simply rolled his eyes and nodded as he pulled out a book from his robes.
The man limped past him into the street and headed for the group, his magical eye definitely not having any problems seeing through the concealment charms.
Harry was slightly surprised when halfway there he drew both his wands and fired off multiple stunners at the group. Taken by surprised, they didn't stand a chance. Some fought back, of course, however because of the tangle of bodies, they couldn't do very much.
Harry waited a few more minutes before Mad Eye approached, levitating behind him a group of seven stunned bodies. Harry merely snapped the giant leather bound book he always wrote in before nodding and holding the door open for Moody.
After a few minutes of interrogating the new comers under Veritaserum and a couple of body binds, Mad Eye's paranoia proved false.
Finally settle down at the huge table in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place, the meeting finally began.
"I now call to session the meeting of The Order Of The Phoenix." Dumbledore announced loudly, immediately quieting down the whispers and murmuring. "As you no doubt see, we have some guests with us."
The members of Dumbledore's Order looked upon the few students that Harry had brought. Harry himself noticed a few new members, most of them he regarded as powerful Wizards. Shrugging he assumed that Dumbledore had only called his most trusted members.
"Our first topic this meeting is our offer of membership to these young individuals into the Order Of The Phoenix." He spoke.
Before any comments could be made by the present members, they were interrupted by a loud roaring laugh.
All turned towards the direction of the sound. Harry Potter himself was filled with hysterical laughter. Suddenly the laughter stopped and a leveled glare was directed at the Headmaster. All those in view of Harry flinched back at the anger and power shining in his emerald eyes.
"Join the Order Dumbledore." He whispered softly yet his voice traveled to all corners of the room. "Tell me, why are you offering this now? You had your chance earlier this year when I returned, yet you didn't." Harry's eyes narrowed.
"Mr. Potter, you will not address the Headmaster in that fashion." McGonagall scolded in outrage at Harry's sudden hostility towards Dumbledore.
"Silence." Harry commanded as his eyes filled with even more power. "I'll address the Headmaster how I wish to Professor."
Seeing the rising anger, the members of the Order decided to stay silent.
Harry stared into Dumbledore's eyes and the old man had to put all his will into resisting the stare directed at him.
"You're probably wondering why I'm acting like this all of a sudden. Believe me when I say it is fully justified." He spoke clearly to everyone. Returning to the Head of the Order he explained his reason in a few short cryptic words. "Your current plan has failed." He spat.
"I beg you pardon Harry." Dumbledore spoke out.
Harry interrupted him, "I believe you have underestimated me Dumbledore." Seeing the Order's confused looks he elaborated. "Your illustrious leader here has been plotting a few interesting events behind our backs. Care to tell us what they are Dumbledore?"
"I have no idea what you are referring to Harry." Dumbledore replied.
"Really?" Harry spoke. "Do you all know of the prophecy?" Seeing the questioning looks he shook his head. "You mean all this time you guarded the Department Of Mysteries and didn't know what it was you were guarding?"
Seeing shakes he glared at the Headmaster. "The prophecy being guarded basically spoke that either me or Voldemort would fall in the end." Looks of horror passed over most of the Order's faces.
"Thus I shall explain my sudden anger at our wonderful leader of the light." Harry continued.
Dumbledore made to speak, but suddenly found himself incapacitated. Unable to move and speak he could only watch on as Harry spoke his mind.
"Contrary to popular belief the relationship between the Headmaster and me, has lately been uneasy over the course of the year. It has probably occurred to the sharper ones that both he and I haven't been very forth coming on information concerning Voldemort. True I have never demanded answers, but he never gave them, despite my familiarity with our current Dark Lord."
"However I let it pass, seeing as Dumbledore must have assumed that I had a means of garnering my information. However…" Harry's eyes narrowed. "Something happened tonight that put me instantly on guard."
"What?" Snapped Moody. Interestingly enough Snape stayed silent.
"Both me and the Professor went to the Dursley's residence as soon as the wards protecting it were breached. I sent Dumbledore off to secure the street in case Death Eaters were nearby, while I confronted Voldemort. However the old man here disappeared from the scene while I was dueling Voldemort, not that I needed the back up. So Professor, would you kindly tell us where you were?" Harry questioned.
Suddenly regaining his voice, "I received news that the Butterbeer factory was under attack before leaving." He defended.
"Interesting." Harry said. "However, your story doesn't fit. Want to know why? When I left the Dursley's, I met an Auror who told me that you had headed off to the factory. Interesting how he knew that you were heading to the factory when he himself couldn't have known about that, seeing as you should have been gone already. What I figured out was that you received information from the Auror himself regarding the attack and apparated out. Thus you were still present in Privet Drive during my duel. So, would you care to tell me why you didn't assist me?"
The Order members looked at Dumbledore who himself seemed to be contemplating a quick answer. "I was securing the street in case Death Eaters showed up."
"BULLSHIT!" Harry roared as he slammed his hand down, causing some of the table's wood to splinter. "YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I, THAT DESPITE THAT, THE DEATH EATERS COULDN'T HAVE APPEARED AFTER WE ARRIVED ON THE STREET! THE BLOOD WARDS WERE STRENGTHENED AS SOON AS I ARRIVED!" Harry snarled as a nimbus of light engulfed him. Power radiated off him as his anger manifested itself.
Taking a deep breath he calmed down slightly. "My trust in you Dumbledore is severely strained at the moment. I'd advise you to come clean. Believe me that when I say I know everything, I do indeed know everything."
Seeing his only chance was to confess and reap what he sowed, Dumbledore seemed to age slightly, his air power weakening. "Harry's right." He looked at the surprised faces of his Order. "I was indeed hoping that leaving Harry alone to face Voldemort would fulfill the prophecy."
Shouts of outrage followed the confession as some Order members stood up. Mainly from the Weasleys, Tonks, Remus and Harry friends. Most of the other members seem to understand what Dumbledore had done.
"Another thing would be my sudden initiation to this Order." Harry's voice cut the conversations like a knife.
"I apologize Harry, we have currently lost our spy within Voldemort's ranks. Severus here has been discovered. He closely managed to escape during the chaos caused by tonight's Death Eater activities." Dumbledore took a deep breath. "We needed someone else that knew of Voldemort's activities. You were our best choice."
Harry suddenly smiled. "Gotcha."
People were confused at the sudden turn around in emotions.
Harry smirked. "I finally got the great Dumbledore to admit he was wrong in public."
"But he set you up." Tonks argued.
"Like I'll let anyone else go against Voldemort."
The people present kind of saw Harry's logic in that thought.
"Look." Harry paused. "While what Dumbledore did was somewhat wrong." He looked at the Headmaster. "I don't mind it in anyway whatsoever. The less deaths in this war, the better. While I don't really like what he did he had to do it."
Harry stood up followed by his friends. "Voldemort wouldn't be trying anything soon. He wasted most of his energy breaking down the wards at most of the attack sites tonight. It was the reason he wouldn't properly duel me at the Dursleys. He just wasn't expecting me to be there. His powers are also growing. You are aware of the Walker level wards upon his headquarters as well as the severity of his attacks tonight. I'll inform you of further developments." He turned as led the rest of his group towards the doorway.
He paused at the threshold. "I hope that you'll be more forthcoming on future information Albus. I'll gladly consider advice from you, however don't try something like what you did tonight. By the way, we're staying here for the night." He shut the door behind his leaving a slightly confused Order.
Harry led his friends into the library, where he immediately weaved wards to ensure their security.
"Were you just screwing with their heads Harry?"
The Walker just smirked. "Gotta leave them confused once in a while. They're probably back there discussing whether I've forgiven the old man yet or not."
"Did you see the Peruvian slug creeping in the corner of the room?"
Silence enveloped the room at Luna's weird comment.
"Now that's a conversation killer." Harry chuckled after a moment.
Every one chuckled as well. He turned to look at Susan and Blaise who stood off to the side. The former had an unsure look on her face as she debated with herself if she should join in. she wasn't as close to Harry as the others.
Blaise just look uninterested. Seeing Harry's raised eyebrow at him he spoke. "Leave me out of this, I rather observe." He shrugged before moving off to look at the various books on the shelves.
Harry had left the Order in a state of confusion after he had left.
"What the hell was that?" Someone asked.
Remus rolled his eyes. "Harry had just said in a nicer tone that Dumbledore here has a bit of explanations."
"Albus." The voice of his Deputy Headmistress spoke up. "I can't really speak for all of us at this table, but I believe that you are still human. While what you did wasn't exactly the best idea, you did what you thought was right. I happen to agree with Mr. Potter and I am fairly disappointed in you at the moment, however I believe that you have always made the best decisions with what you have had at your disposal." With this she gave him a nod and left the room.
Dumbledore watch the retreating figure of his close friend in silence before turning to the rest of those still seated.
"I've known ya fa mor than fifty year Albus, I know how manipulative ya are. I finally glad ta see ya knock down a block or ta." Moody spoke. "I will however stand by ya. Goodnight." Moody gave Dumbledore a look with his magical eye before standing and disapparating.
"I believe that the rest of us here share the same comment McGonagall made to you earlier on Albus. We sometimes forget that you are only human. We see it as you can do no wrong. However you can, but because of your reputation we fail to comment. We forgive you Albus, do try to be a bit more truthful in the future." Kingsley looked at each of the remaining members, who nodded.
"Thank you. I don't believe I am worthy of your forgiveness. I have hidden things from all of you. I have asked you to put your lives at risk without knowledge of why you do so. Thus, I will try my best to keep you all much more informed of our situations. I thank you." Dumbledore spoke as he stared at his hands that were grasped in front of him on the table.
"Sir." Dumbledore looked up.
"I wish to inform you that I might be gone for a couple of days. I'm Sorry, but the Ministry has given me an assignment that might keep me occupied for an unknown amount of time." Tonks spoke meekly.
Seeing his look she corrected herself. "No, no, no. This has nothing to do with what Harry said. It's just that I received a letter from the Ministry today.
"I understand Miss. Tonks." Dumbledore spoke.
The metamorphmagus nodded. A bit surprised that Dumbledore, for once had failed to call her by her hated first name.
"You may leave Miss. Tonks." Dumbledore spoke softly.
Tonks simply nodded and left the room.
"Harry?" A voice called from the door.
Harry turned to find Tonks looking at him unsurely and slightly confused.
"How may I help you Tonks?" Harry asked as he gestured her into the room.
To Harry's surprise the woman looked a little unsure as she stared at Harry's friends.
"What you wish to say to me can be said I front of them, I trust them." Harry said seeing Tonks's point of vision.
Tonks still looked a little unsure as she took a deep breath. "I received a sealed letter from the Ministry today Harry."
"Go on." Harry urged as he drew up plushy armchairs for everyone.
Tonks took as seat, as did the rest of the room's occupants. "The letter was from the Department of Mysteries. They have informed me that I have been invited to join the ranks of the Unspeakables."
"Pardon?" Harry was slightly confused.
"The letter instructed me to go to you for further instructions." Tonks said unsure of herself.
"Come to me?" Harry said not really getting what the hell was going on. Tonks as he had seen a few hours ago was the head of the bloody department. As a matter of fact it was either she was a very good actor, or she herself was generally confused. Heck he was already slightly confused.
The conversation was interrupted however by a buzzing sound coming from within Harry's robes. The other's looked on in curiosity as Harry reached with his robes and pull out a small brown note pad. Holding it in his hands the pad began to expand in size till it was a massive tome.
Ron and Hermione, immediately recognized the book, it had been the one that Harry had been constantly writing in. They had seen him scribbling in it at various points during the last few months when ever he had some free time. When asked about it, he had normally either cleverly changed the subject or had just said it was homework. Knowing he would not divulge the information unless he wanted to, his friends left it alone. Their curiosity however was killing them.
Harry by now had opened the enormous tome and was scanning it quickly with his eyes. Hermione tried to peak at what was written inside but fail to read the words as they were made up of squiggly wavy lines.
"Ah. I see." Harry spoke, a mischievous twinkle entering his eyes. "Grab hold, Tonks." He held out his hand.
Tonks looking a bit unsure reluctantly grabbed it. Immediately the very space surrounding both Harry and Tonks began to warp out of proportions, the very surroundings begun to distort and fold together in a swirling vortex. In a bright flash, Tonks had disappeared, leaving only Harry behind. The Walker had in the time span of the flash, assumed a new position of standing. When before he was leaning forwards, hand out stretched he was now standing straight, facing the complete opposite direction of the room he was previously staring at.
"What the hell was that?" Ron commented as he wiped the stars out of his eyes.
"That, Ron, was me sending Tonks back a couple of years." Harry smiled at the confusion of that comment.
"The wah? Years? Why?"
"Harry, you can't go around messing with the fabric of time." Hermione scolded.
"Actually I already have Hermione." Harry withdrew the small notepad and expanded it before them. "Tell me Hermione, what do you know about this book."
Hermione stared at the tome for a while. It looked just like every other tome she had seen. It didn't have any trademarks on it that would indicate a book she knew existed.
"I have no idea, but you write in that thing all the time."
"Correct. It's actually my diary."
"Shit." Ron commented on the size.
"Not quite Ron. This diary is quite unlike a normal diary. I only store the most important of notes in this diary. Usually of things that I think are necessary."
"Everyone does that too mate."
"Yes except they don't go sending it back in time." Harry waited for the response he was sure to receive.
"YOU CAN'T DO THAT!" Hermione seemed outraged. She noticed everyone else wincing at the loudness. "You can't go telling yourself about the future Harry."
"I already have Hermione." The girl looked somewhat terrified.
"Oh don't worry." He understood the look. "I can't cause a paradox. After all I am only doing what my future self did that my future self did that my future self did."
Ron actually went crossed eyes trying to understand what he said.
Hermione seemed defeated and just huffed. "Just don't come crying to me when the universe starts tearing itself up."
"Whatever." Harry waved her warning off.
"So mate." Ron swung an arm around his shoulder. "Does this mean that you have the answers to the NEWT's?"
Harry laughed at the resulting argument that was to occur between Hermione and Ron for that comment.
Nothing really much to say except that I might not be updating for a while longer as the lateness of this chapter can show. I have been bogged down in the last few months by tons of assignments and exams that I am currently studying for. Even after that I would like to take some time off for a while. Don't worry I'll probably be using that time to finish off this story. Only six more chapters to go before the end.
Nunquam Lamiae Morde "Me Ictus" – Never Say "Bite Me" To A Vampire.
Orenjinoneko: Actually I've more or less finished the entire story, but most of it is mostly the important parts. I still have to fill out the small intersections in between them. It goes all the way up to chapter nineteen.
Cyrano 2.0: Sure.
Maddy143ded: Does the words Voldemort is now nearly god like mean anything to you. Anyhow thanks for the flame.
Dead Feather: Thanks
Angela Star Cat: Thanks
Huggiebear: Fudge is going to get what's coming to him soon enough. It would be in the chapter after this one.
Lucifer's Following: Thanks
Clingon Warrior Girl: Thanks
Never Odd Or Even: Thanks
Narishma: Now that's a real compliment. Try Dracco664 as well as Nonjon. They too are great writers. Dracco664 has however moved his webpage so you'll have to find the link on his profile page.
The Not So Golden Snitch: Thanks
Buddhika: Harry's holding back.
Mr. Set: Firstly it is set many millennia after the Yawgmoth crap. Harry's eyes aren't like Urza's which are gems. His are just unnaturally bright glowing green.
Dragon Shade: Thanks
Pott Head: Thanks
Potter and the Weasley: Thanks
Ms. Potterblack: Thanks
Blue Werewolf Boy: Thanks