28— Righting Some Wrongs
Once again the Weasley's were debating whether or not to contact their daughter again, but more importantly Harry Potter. They knew there was a lot going on right now, but they were extremely disturbed with the status of the Granger's who were currently sleeping of several stunners. Mr. Granger was especially aggressive when awake and they couldn't take the risk of letting him get out of hand.
"I say we take Mrs. Granger to Healer Mandan at St. Mungo's!" Bill advised in a hushed whisper.
"There's no reason to whisper Bill, for Merlin's sake you put up enough wards to block the sound of a dragon!" Charlie chuckled slapping his older brother upside the head.
"That's enough you two!" Molly reprimanded halfheartedly but was nodding her head in approval of the recommendation.
Arthur sat in silence a little longer then made his decision. "I think that may be the best thing for now. If anything, it might give us more information to work from. Charlie and I will take Jane and hopefully get back quickly." He held up his hand and shook his head at the retort he knew was coming from his eldest. "Bill, I need you and Molly here. Not only do we have to worry about Mr. Granger, but there is also Ron to worry about. If the wards are damaged or Merlin forbid, fail, who is best equipped to handle them? That's right, you are! Charlie might be able to physically handle the situation, but in this instance, I think we are best off keeping everyone isolated until we can figure something out."
Molly was about to continue the conversation when she saw a small white envelope fly through the window towards her husbands back. All she could think to do was scream out "Arthur watch your back!"
All three Weasley men ducked and turned to face the direction Molly was pointing. The suspect envelope stopped right in front of Arthur. Bill immediately started casting spells to detect what is was and found it was harmless. There was a magical signature attached but he could discern whom it belonged to.
Arthur looked over to his son and then stood slowly still eyeing the envelope. Sighing he reached out and took it. Upon his touch it opened automatically, and a voice started explaining the purpose of the missive.
"All occupants located within the premises are hereby offered safety and sanctuary from war if they chose to adhere to the policies here-in stated. The head of house may accept for all under his care but be warned all individuals must adhere to all polices or risk banishment from sanctuary. Food, shelter, work and schooling will continue within sanctuary and all individuals will be assigned work or schooling to keep the community safe and functional for all. There will be no stealing, no hoarding of food or other materials. There is enough for everyone if we all work together. All individuals will be expected to work and help others in the community. Any who do not abide by these simple rules or who intend any harm by any means to anyone within sanctuary will be banished. Be advised that this missive had gone out to ALL magical beings, and ALL magical beings will be held accountable to these rules or risk banishment. You will have 4 hours from the time you receive this missive to gather what personal items you wish to bring with you. This missive will act as a one-way portkey to sanctuary. No dark objects of any kind will be allowed within sanctuary, if you try to bring them you will be in violation of the above rules and will be banished from sanctuary. Please do not test the seriousness of this missive. More will be explained upon your arrival."
Merlin's Gift Association
The voice stopped and Arthur looked over to his family. "Well, that puts a ringer in our plans, contact your sister! Molly start gathering the family heirlooms and the family trunk. We can shrink everything and fit it in there. I will go let Ron know what's going on. Let me know when you have your sister on the line. Charlie, get the twins packing up whatever they need and get back to the Burrow as quick as you can."
"Dad, I have to get to Samantha! I have to …"
"Samantha will be fine Charlie,…"
"No you don't understand Dad, she's my…"
"Fiancé? Yes son, your mother and I have known for what three years now is it? Her family should be getting the same missive and calling her home. If she doesn't show up at sanctuary, well, we have an ace in the hole so to speak to help find her."
Charlie calmed but only slightly at his father's words and then looked sheepishly at his mother and older brother. Molly just shook her head and Bill slapped him on the back and congratulated him.
"Get going everyone." Arthur prompted everyone back into action.
Dumbledore was quite surprised by a cacophony of noise ringing throughout his office when he arrived. The alarms were set up to alert the headmaster of visitors to Hogwarts, but the loudest and most worrisome was the one indicating a breach of Hogwarts Apparition Wards. Without bothering to silence the alarms he turned and ran as fast as he could down to the entrance hall.
He stopped dead in his tracks upon seeing none other than Harry Potter standing there seeming unconcerned about, well, anything! The young man was staring at the wall across from the entrance to the Great Hall and smiling. Dumbledore looked over to see what it was that held Harry's interest then look back at the boy. His mind froze! His eyes darted back to the picture that was now hanging on the wall.
"Quite appropriate don't you think Headmaster?" Harry asked without looking at the man.
Dumbledore was startled to the core. "Harry, no matter what Severus…."
"So, it's Severus now and not 'Professor Snape?"
"Harry, why did you kill him? You may have ruined…."
"I HAVE RUINED NOTHING!" Harry nearly spat as he turned to look at the Old man fury radiating all around him. "Snape was Voldemort's man thru and thru, but you just wouldn't believe it! He was caught red handed by the Goblins! He somehow infiltrated the bank and brought his Death Eater friends with him. He was deliberately out to kill as many Goblins in the bank so his master," he spat, "could take it over. He succeeded in killing many of the Goblin Nations finest but failed miserably in achieving his ultimate goal. If you thought the Goblins were a problem before you've now just kicked the sleeping dragon. YOU contributed to this Old Man! You failed to reign in your pet spy and in so doing let him loose on the world of magic. You have been so blinded by your own machinations you couldn't see the forest for the trees! How many young lives has he ruined? How many potion masters, healers, and aurors has he eliminated from our world? No, this piece of dung is paying for his crimes against magic! He is NOT dead! Magic has judged him, and he will remain where he is until such time that he is truly remorseful of his actions!" Harry finished and turned to leave.
"Harry I cannot allow you…"
Harry turned once again and before the headmaster could blink the young man was in his face. "It's done and nothing you can do will change it. I wouldn't bother going for your wand! I'll not fight you here and now. I have more pressing matters to attend to. I would look to yourself to ensure a similar fate does not await you." Again, before Dumbledore could react the young man had disappeared leaving him to try and figure out what was going on.
When Harry arrived back at Merlin's Gift, Ginny met him, but instead of a happy greeting, he was pulled anxiously into the grand room and all three started talking to him. He could not make sense of any of it. Holding up his hands he yelled out, "Hang on! ONE person please tell me what is going on!"
Everyone quieted and looked to Ginny. It seemed she was silently chosen to be the speaker. Nodding she stood up and started pacing and talking. "Okay, after you left my mirror started going off. Since we weren't expecting a call so quickly from my parents I yelled for Remus and Tonks and then apparated to the Burrow. I know it wasn't the smartest thing to do, but just listen for now! My parents weren't expecting us to show up either, so they were a little taken by surprise when the alarms started going off. Anyway, none of that is what is important. I can show you all that in the pensieve." She looked over at Harry and saw he was still listening patiently even though it was obvious he was confused. Taking a breath, she decided to be direct. "It's the Grangers Harry." No change to the confusion. "They are at the Burrow right now and I believe your suspicions were underrated! When my dad and brothers showed up to get them, the Grangers didn't know them at all. From what my dad says they barely got out of the house before setting off a ward Bill has never heard of! They had to stun them Harry. They thought they were being kidnapped, which in all likely hood is exactly what was happening but that's beside the point."
Harry rubbed his chin and chuckled a little to the astonishment of his friends.
"This is no laughing matter cub!"
"Oh, I know that Remus, please do not mistake me. I believe that ward was something ole Mad Eye Moody cooked up. I am glad they got out. Here I thought my day was at an end but alas more work needs to be done."
"Harry are you okay? You sound a bit off if you know what I mean?" Tonks asked concerned about his carefree response.
"I do admit, my experiences of the last year or so have changed me quite a bit. I believe I have become very cynical and quite sarcastic along with a lot more internal reflection, but no need to worry. Still the same loveable Harry Potter underneath it all." He said smiling at all of them.
Ginny reached out to check his temperature, but he grabbed her and spun her around while he stood which made her spin into his arms. She giggled and he just kissed her quickly.
"I believe now would be a good time to visit the Burrow once again, if it won't inconvenience your family too much?"
They all laughed a little but nodded their assent. Stepping back Harry still held Ginny's hand as he said, "To the Burrow!" and then disappeared with her.
Tonks looked at Remus who just shrugged and then apparated behind his young friends.
The Weasley's were quite shocked to see their daughter and Harry so quickly again but because they showed up right in the middle of the living room. A few seconds later Remus and Tonks came in through the back door.
"Oh my word!" Molly exclaimed holding her chest and taking a deep breath.
"Sorry Mum, but Harry believed it best if we came and checked things out immediately."
"Oh Ginny, no need to explain, you all are welcome here any time. Just a little forewarning would be appreciated though. You nearly landed on top of me!"
"What's going on down here?" Arthur said as he came down the stairs after hearing Molly shout. "Oh Ginny, Harry! Good to see you again. Remus, Tonks."
They all greeted the head Weasley.
"I take it you would like to see the Granger's Harry?"
"Yes Mr. Weasley. I have some theories but won't know for certain unless I can check them out. Have you been able to have Healer Mandan check them over?"
"We were about to do that when we received this missive about sanctuary. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that would you Harry?"
"Of course I do, I sent them all out after talking with Minister Bones."
He laughed at all of their shocked faces but sobered quickly at the look Ginny shot him. "Okay, we'll discuss that later. Let's get the Granger's back to rights and then we will have time for the other conversation."
"I'm afraid Harry that might have to wait. We only have 3 hours now until the portkey will activate, and we are trying to get everything together and round up the twins. By the way, Charlie is a little anxious about his fiancé. You wouldn't happen to know if the Jorgensen's were sent a missive?"
"Fiancé huh? Well congratulations! Not sure off the top of my head, but if they live in Great Britain and are a magical family, or a muggle born, I'm positive they received a missive. Now whether or not they accept the offer of sanctuary I can't say."
"Is there a way to contact her and get her sanctuary if her father doesn't accept?" Charlie asked coming down the stairs.
"Of course!" Harry said. "Winky!"
"Yes, Harry Potter sirs called?"
"Hello Winky. Can you please check on whether or not a Ms. ….."
"Samantha Jorgensen" Charlie supplied.
"A Ms. Samantha Jorgensen's family will be accepting sanctuary? If they have refused, will you please seek out her answer privately? Tell her, her fiancé is concerned about her."
"OOH fiancé? Winky will tells her Harry Potter sir! So romantic it is!" she exclaimed as she snapped out of site.
"There all done, now on to the Granger's." Harry stepped into the private study of Mr. Weasley to the astonishment of most of the others.
"How'd he know they were in there?" Bill asked.
Ginny just shook her head and followed her boyfriend. "How does he know anything these days. MAGIC!" she laughed out.
Bill looked at Remus and Tonks questioningly.
"Don't ask" they said in unison and followed the others into the study.
When Harry stepped inside the study, he reached out with his senses to check for anything on the Granger's persons that might complicate the situation. Thankfully, he found no cursed objects and let out a breath he didn't realize he was holding.
"Well at least we don't have to worry about that!" he said out loud. The only person that understood what he was referring to was Bill.
"I checked them over as soon as we got to the Burrow. I felt so bad about missing that ward at the house. I didn't want to miss anything else, so I scanned them again to make sure."
"Ah the invisible ward. You know Moody came up with that didn't you?"
"Moody? You've got to be kidding me! So, it was Dumbledore that set this entire thing up?"
"If I'm not mistaken, I believe it can all be traced back to the headmaster. Of course, he will say that Moody was a little overzealous and misconstrued the actual meaning of his orders. He will say anything to cast blame on others and make himself look the benevolent grandfather. Those damn twinkling eyes beguiles them every time. He's practiced that skill for ages. Just another reason besides, legilimancy you do not ever want to look that old geezer in the eyes."
To say everyone was shocked once again was just, well just shocking! To think that their kind leader of the light was so immoral, so malicious in his dealings with others. How many times did he use that trick on people to get his way? Thinking back, they could count numerous confrontations that seemed to just disappear after talking to their old 'friend.' It seemed as if the world was flipping upside down and they were being roughly tossed about from its turbulence.
"Dad do you think that's why Moody sent you the message?" Bill asked
"You mean the Patronus message?" Arthur responded a little surprised by the change of subject.
"It makes some sense if you think about it. Harry said he made that ward. The ward would have alerted him if it was breached. He said he saw us at the Grangers. Maybe he knows more about what's going on and wants to tell us?"
"Well either way right now it's not a top priority. We'll worry about that all later."
"We'll get in touch with Mad-Eye, I think he is getting a little tired of not being able to fight. He wants out of the cage Dumbledore has put him in." Harry said to no one in particular.
"Mad-Eyes been itching for a fight for a long while now. I'm actually surprised he's lasted this long. Don't know what he might say after learning some of the information you just relayed though Harry."
"I believe he wouldn't like it one-bit Dad. I don't have the experience you have with Mad-Eye but even I can see he's had it with not doing anything useful right now."
"Mad-Eye might respond better if we talk to him though. He did send us the patronus and I don't think it's a trap. Moody doesn't usually contact anyone through a patronus."
"As you wish Mr. Weasley. We can work that all out after we get everyone to sanctuary. Now let's see what we have here," Harry continued and sat down between the beds the Granger's were laying upon. He placed one hand on Mr. Granger's forehead and the other on Mrs. Granger's. He closed his eyes and became still. For the longest moments he stayed there unmoving. The sight was a little eerie, but everyone remained quiet not wanting to disturb whatever it was that was going on.
An hour passed, and they all remained still, watching and waiting. Arthur hoped it wouldn't take as long as Ron's meeting with Healer Mandan. Molly just hoped Harry could fix this. Bill and Charlie were mesmerized, and the others took it all in stride, nothing Harry did anymore could surprise them.
"Okay Mr. Granger if you can, open your eyes now. Mrs. Granger, please relax a little longer. We have a little more healing to do as you have been quite persistent in fighting against your bonds. Very good! Very good, almost done. No, I do not know where Hermione is right now, but we will find out. Yes, I will personally check her out and make sure she has not been harmed. The Weasley's are working with Ron right now. No, I cannot promise that. I cannot and will not force anyone to do anything against their will. Yes, I will do everything in my power to keep them safe. Now, please, both of you relax. Stay calm, just relax. We will have you in a safe place soon. Everyone will be safe soon." Harry removed his hands and then slumped slightly. It was just enough to make Ginny move forward in worry. She placed her hands on his shoulders and he turned and looked up at her. His face was weary and his eyes a little bloodshot.
"I'm okay Gin, just tired. The Granger's will be okay in a few days. Remarkably they have been fighting against the mental blocks placed on them. They are strong people the Granger's. Hermione is lucky to have them."
No one missed the sentiment behind Harry's words.
"Should we move them now cub?" Remus asked.
Harry looked over to his second godfather. "I believe that would be best. We can get them set up without causing any extra stress for the Weasley's. We will put you all close to the Granger's so you can look out for them if that is alright?" Harry asked.
"Of course Harry dear. What should we do about Ron though? He refuses to go anywhere and demands to go back to Hogwarts."
"The Granger's asked me to make Hermione come too. I can't do that. The wards at Merlin's Gift read the intentions of each individual. As long as they are considered an adult, if they do not want to be there the wards will send them back to where they came from. What I can do is lock this place down, so no one can get in or out. He will be safe, he will have food, but he will not be able to leave until this is all over. He might get a little lonely, but he will be alive."
Ginny leaned over to whisper into Harry's ear. He listened and then grimaced slightly at what she said. "That is something to work out with your family Ginny. If they think it will help, I am capable of doing it. I won't relish it, but I can do it."
"Okay then, Mom, Dad, Bill, Charlie come with me. We need to talk about scaring the shite out of one misguided Weasley."
"OOH can we come too?"
"Yes please little devious Gin Gin we want to do our part!"
Everyone in the room turned to look at the doorway to find the Weasley twins rubbing their hands together menacingly. Ginny laughed and the others followed her lead. "Come along henchmen, we have some work to do!" Ginny giggled.
Ron sat slumped on his bed still wearing his pajamas even though it was midday. What was the point of getting dressed anyway? No one cared about him anymore! Why should he study, there was a war going on! That was what he should be involved in, that's what everyone should be involved in, but no, he had to sit here watched over like some baby! He would show them. He got up to knock on the door and found it was open. 'See, he knew they would mess up!' It was now his time to show everyone he wouldn't be pushed around.
Slipping quietly into the hall he tried to see through the ominous darkness, but his eyes just wouldn't adjust. No matter, he knew the layout of the Burrow like the back of his hand. He started to creep forward but heard a noise behind him. He stopped to look but again couldn't see anything. He started forward again and got to the top of the stairs. Trying to look out over the landing he still couldn't see anything but wasn't worried. He made his way down the stairs making sure to avoid the squeaky step that always warned his parents of misdeeds in the past. Making it to the kitchen without incident, he should have been wearier about the lack of company about the Burrow.
His mind upon entering the kitchen turned to food and what he could sneak from the pantry to quell his now rumbling stomach. Without caution he stepped over to the pantry and pulled the door open. It took a few extra seconds for his brain to register the site before him.
Cobwebs covered the entire pantry. Thick cobwebs and thin cobwebs stretched from shelf to shelf and extended back into the dark cavernous void of the pantry. He didn't remember it being this big. He heard a cackle from behind him and then he was forcefully pushed into the mass of cobwebs that clung to his face and made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He would kill Bill or Charlie or whoever was pranking him!
He turned to face the door of the pantry trying to wipe the sticky webs out of his eyes. He finally achieved this only to see a worse nightmare standing before him. Bellatrix Lestrange was standing there pompously with her wand pointed at him. Her crazed smile displayed her obvious amusement at his predicament and Ron's heart dropped to his feet. He froze, unable to think.
"Eansy Weensy Weasley, all alone are we? Too bad mummy and daddy aren't here to save you this time." She taunted in her annoying baby voice.
Ron thought to use his wand, but it wasn't in his hand. He checked his pocket, no wand. He couldn't believe it; he forgot his damn wand! O he was not going to live this down if his brothers found out! What was he thinking! His brothers were no where to be found and he'd be lucky if he'd ever make it out of this situation alive! He couldn't even recall the most basic of spells at this moment.
"What's keepin ya Bella! Get er done and let's get on with it. We got more 'omes to be checkin an' we ain't got all night!" a rough voice called out from the living room of the house.
"Shut it wolf! I was told I could have my way and I'm going to do just that before his life is extinguished."
Ron's stress level jumped through the roof with the mention of wolf. Was she referring to Greyback or someone else, his mind couldn't recall anything! Then the pantry got darker and he heard breathing that wasn't his in front of him. A hand touched his chest and he squealed in fright. "I heard you liked dank dark dangerous places! Heard you were quite stingy with sharing them out too. What do you do in yours? I can think of soooo many different things to do in mine! Would you like to share?" The voice of Bella cooed.
Ron almost lost it. His stomach recoiled at her touch and he could only instinctively take a step backward, but his foot caught on something and he lost his balance. Falling he heard Bellatrix giggle sadistically. He would swear to anyone that would listen that her eyes burned with an evil flame that cut through the darkness. They came closer and closer to him and still he couldn't move. Soon he found himself stretched out on a table that he couldn't ever remember being in the pantry. His arms and legs were tied down and he had a belt strapping his waist to the table. His attention was brought straight up to the face of Bellatrix standing over his head and nearly foaming at the mouth.
"Now what should I share with you first." She questioned while tapping her wand to her mouth. She wasn't really asking for his input and he kept hoping he would wake up from this nightmare. She flicked her wand and his shirt disappeared. She flicked it again and the darkness once again engulfed him.
Torches lit the distance and he was compelled to move forward. He realized he was no longer tied down and was trying to get away, but his body no longer responded to his own commands. Bella whispered in his ear and he followed whatever she said to do. He cast a blasting hex at a young girl that couldn't be more than 5 years old. His hand shook with exertion to fight against what he was being made to do. The spell reached its target and Ron lost the little bit of food he had in his stomach at the site. Next, he was told to hold down a woman in her twenties and watch as everyone around him tortured her repeatedly, he couldn't fathom what he was doing! All he could hear was chanting that this was what a muggle whore deserved. He looked back at the girl he was holding down and could only see the face of Hermione! He heard a scream and was jolted from that vision to see his sister laying before him. She was covered in blood and the fire that usually shown in her eyes was replaced with the vacant, cloudy stare of death. His body revolted and he was able to scramble a short distance away from her but then bumped into something wet and squishy behind him. Looking down he realized he could see clearly that what covered the floor was blood. It was almost an inch deep! He couldn't make out his own hands as they were so caked with it. It seemed to flow down the walls towards him and yet he couldn't do anything about it.
His brothers stood dazed before him when he finally looked up. Bill was first and he looked up to catch Ron's eye. He smiled faintly but then Bill's eyes went blank as his head shot forward without its body. Ron screamed as his brothers' head landed in his lap. Tears streamed unashamedly down his face as he looked up to see Charlie, then Fred and finally George meet the same fate. Surrounded by the heads of his brothers his mother's voice finally reached him through the silence.
"Why Ron, why aren't you helping them? My boys! My poor babies, all gone!"
That voice did it, it struck hard and fast at Ron's core and he lost it. He curled into a ball and sobbed. He couldn't do anything; he didn't do anything! He was a failure and all his blustering got him nowhere. His family was gone, and he couldn't prevent it. He longed for death and reconciled to fix things in the next life if given the chance. He would never take his family for granted again. His wish was soon to be answered as a door creaked open and Bellatrix Lestrange was once again the center of his attention.
What took place after he would never, ever reveal to anyone as long as he was alive. He would however, promise to work harder and never be caught off guard again if he was somehow able to survive.
Arthur watched his youngest son and prayed to any deity listening that what they were doing would work. He also prayed that it wouldn't scar him for life. It was a drastic step to take and under normal circumstances he would never allow this to happen, but they were no longer living in normal times. He marveled at the ingenuity of his children but was also a little concerned at the viciousness of it all. Merlin help anyone not family that crossed his offspring!
Molly did not like it one bit but allowed it. What concerned her more was the fact that Harry had so many bad memories to choose from to work their scheme. Placing their family's images onto the poor souls that were tortured and killed forced her to remove herself from these proceedings. She couldn't stand it any longer and asked Remus to walk outside with her. He consoled her as she cried and soon Tonks joined them admitting it was a little much for her to take as well.
"Poor Harry!" Molly cried into Remus shoulder.
"I know Molly, I can't believe all that he has seen and been through."
"How does he keep going?" she asked, not really expecting an answer.
"I'm not sure how he does it, but he is very much an optimist." A new voice joined in.
"Oh Ginny, I'm sorry. I just couldn't take it anymore."
"No reason to apologize mum. We stopped it short, none of us could really continue on and Harry, well Harry has gone back to the sanctuary already. He's going to meditate for a while and said he's going to use the ritual baths at the sanctuary to help him. I'm really sorry I involved him in this! It's really taken a toll on him. I just wanted to let you all know I'm going to head back to grovel for his forgiveness for this."
"Oh Ginny dear, I don't think he's going to hold this against you or any of us!" Molly said taking her daughter into a tight hug.
"That's not it mum, but I'll have to talk to you later about it. Tonks, Remus, could you bring the Granger's back and get them set up?"
"Sure thing Ginny, and don't worry, everything will be okay." Tonks offered.
"I know. Oh mum, just so you know, Charlie is going to go after Samantha, and they are going back to Romania to get some things for Harry. Just wait and see how awesome this is going to be!" She waved a little goodbye and then disappeared leaving a very confused Molly Weasley and a smirking Tonks and Remus.