A limited series being written by yours truly. No, Harry Potter is not mine. Otherwise, Book 6 may have looked something like this.
High above the flaming treetops, through the smoke and sparks rising into the air, a great metal bird blasted through the dark clouds and ash, skimming the tall grass as it leapt over the trees and descended to scant meters above the ground.
It was large, massive engine intakes surrounding a sleek, raptor-like central fuselage. It's wings and tail fins stood at sharp angles, and it's surface was smooth like fine marble.
At speeds faster than the fastest falcon in a stoop it flew, even though it's wings were weighed down with bombs, missiles, and various pods. It arched up over another grove of burning trees, and then just as quickly tilted back down, hugging the ground.
Move fast, and move low, and the enemy will seldom see you until it is too late.
The metal predator closed in on it's target. A set of shapes the pilots of this craft know all too well. A lumpy, massive human shape, lumbering among the trees. A gigantic reptile, with huge bat-like wings, spitting fire as it glides over the ground. And a serpent as long as a subway train, every living thing in it's path dying with a single glance.
The three targets turn at the burst of light from the metal eagle. They are shocked as it rockets over them, soundlessly. In the split second after it has passed, they may realize what is next, but it is nanoseconds too late.
All three explode into flaming, bloody, carcasses, screaming slightly in their agony before death overtakes them.
"Targets are history."
Another group of dragons, flying nearby, change their course, following the single metal eagle at incredible speed. They shoot flames at it, as the strike fighter dodges nimbly and pulls away from it's pursuers. The dragons flap their wings harder, struggling, but even with their various enhancements by the instigators of this conflict, they cannot keep up with the combat aircraft.
The metal eagle turns and stays low. It has the advantage in speed, agility, and firepower, but the dragons are more numerous. And the dragons have friends… And those friends have even more friends.
The pilot heads out on his RTB vector. The metal eagle heads for it's concrete and steel nest. But it won't be out of danger there.
There is no front line. It is everywhere.
The teenaged girl pants in her stinking hiding place, a garbage can in downtown London. She shakes and shivers, her wand clutched tightly in her hand. She is concealed, and frightened out of her mind.
The sounds outside don't help.
She peeks out from under the lid of her aluminum sanctuary, daring to hope against hope that the loud sounds outside the can are not those of battle, death, and destruction. And once again, her hope is found to be wanting.
It was always green for the Muggle troops, she reflected. Their uniforms were always dark, forest green, to blend into the shadows of the city, or the foliage of the parks. Their helmets were always green, and their vests always black. And their guns were always at their sides.
The Muggle troop's opponents, she reflected, always wore black. Instead of the jumpsuits with hundreds of pockets for various equipment and tools, that kept the Muggles looking human and real, the wizard's robes gave them a spectral shapelessness. They were little different from the dementors that now fought alongside them, in their dress and movements. Always seemingly floating, flying from one place to the next.
The Muggle troops seemed to celebrate in their humanity, their movements careful, precise, but with passion and battle fire behind it all. The Deatheaters rejected their humanity, moving like shadows or wisps of smoke, darkness and terror fueling their fight.
Killing green blasts of light burst out over the street, from every direction, which were answered by the sharp mechanical clacking of automatic weapons fire. By a red telephone booth, a squad of Muggle soldiers poured round after round into a pair of approaching dementors, the ten-foot tall demons slowed but not stopped by the onslaught. A muggle trooper threw a grenade into the face of the dementor and ran, as his comrades ducked for cover. The dementor's head exploded under it's robe, and it fell. It's partner moved on, relentlessly, grabbing a pair of Muggle soldiers into it's huge, dead hands and choking them both violently.
From the rooftops, Muggle snipers took down Deatheaters who poked their heads out of windows on the floors below them. And still more snipers were killed by powerful exploding spells cast at the sides of the buildings, turning the concrete and steel of the rooftops into deadly shrapnel.
The firefights were the constant part. Screams of "Avada Kadavra!" and "Open fire!" accompanied the sight of Muggle soldiers and Deatheaters firing their lethal weapons at each other, both sides sharing falling dead, both sides seemingly endless in their reinforcements.
A mortar detonates nearby, sending the girl tumbling out of her hiding place and sprawling onto the ground. Fearfully, she covers her head and shakes, sobbing and wishing she was anywhere else. Wishing she was home, with her friends and family, and not lost in the middle of this war.
The chilling sensation of a dementor washes over her. She tries to summon a happy memory, but the foul creature has wrapped it's freezing hands around her and lifted her up. She sobs in the face of her approaching death, the featureless head with the single, gaping mouth looming nearer, and nearer. She prays…
"RRRREEEECCCHHHH!" The dementor screams in inhuman agony, as flames consume it from behind. It flees, the fires spreading over it and not dying. The girl dizzily turns her head up from the hard pavement, aching from her fall…
"Sergeant! Over here!" Calls a Muggle soldier, bending over her and checking a pulse. He is large, fair-faced, a rifle slung over his side. He is joined by a similarly-dressed red-headed woman, who kneels down and checks her ribs.
"Okay honey, don't worry, you're safe now… Medic! Over here! Now!" The sergeant bends over and looks the girl in the eyes, murmuring soothingly if indistinctively. The terror of the dementor is fading, and she can breathe again.
"Okay honey, we're going to get you out of here… Can you tell me your name? Can you do that for me?" She asks. The girl swallows. Her wand is not in her hand. She nods slightly.
"Ginny… Ginny Weasley …"
"This is bloody stupid and you know it."
Harry Potter rolled his eyes.
"Yes… It is. Anything else you'd like to add?"
Ron's voice fell silent on the other side of the Muggle radio. Harry nodded confidently.
"Didn't think so. Okay… Let's go."
His Firebolt humming between his legs, Harry willed the racing broom forward, flying easily between the trees. A fair distance away, Ron Weasley shadowed his friend on his own broom, a fairly new Comet 360 that Harry had gotten him for his last birthday.
Silently, the two approached the tall, mesh fence, with barbed-wire encircling the top of it. Harry looked around, carefully, before floating above the deadly spikes and flying forward. Ron copied the maneuver.
The compound, Harry reflected, was fairly uncomplicated in it's layout. It had only recently been converted from a Muggle storage area to a holding camp. Ron, the moment he'd heard about "prison camps for wizards", had very nearly gone ballistic and charged into the camp with his wand blazing. Harry, however, did not want his best mate getting himself killed. So, stealth was the order of this night.
"Okay… Let's start looking around," Harry suggested in a whisper. Ron nodded, and carefully descended. He pulled out his wand, muttered a few words, and a moment later his wandtip began to spew mist. The green lines of detection lasers came into view. Both young men carefully flew through the lines and finally landed on the ground. They both, however, stayed on their brooms, floating almost as though they were on the moon with long, slow leaps from spot to spot.
An Alohamora to a door lock, and they entered a poorly lit warehouse they'd selected to start looking first. It was heartbreaking, to Harry, when their eyes adjusted.
Dozens of witches and wizards, of all ages, were held in identical, clear cubical cells. Most of them were sleeping on cots provided for them. A few were pacing their cells. Attached to them all was a small, black cubical that Harry could only guess was a loo. At least the Muggle troops gave them some privacy…
Ron's ears were burning red in rage, as his knuckles turned white from grasping his wand so hard. He ground his teeth in anger, and Harry knew he wanted to start freeing each and every one of these witches and wizards right now. He wanted to as well.
"Ron…" Harry whispered, and held his shoulder. Ron's body tensed, before he took a deep breath and nodded to his best friend with a scowl.
The redhead didn't speak, but motioned to Harry to take the lead. Harry nodded, and together, the two moved through the silent warehouse. He wanted to stop looking into the cells, but his eyes just would not stick to the path ahead. Though it didn't look like the wizards and witches being held were being mistreated, the sight of so many of his people locked up made him feel ill.
A blonde woman and her husband read their two small children a story in one of the cells. The adults looked tired, afraid, and sad, but their children looked content and peaceful. An old man Harry recognized from the Quidditch World Cup was looking through a Muggle fashion magazine, for women, and looking rather interested. A teenaged boy and girl made out in full view…
They can't see us,Harry realized. And yet, they could see into the cells. What kind of magic…?
Technology, Harry. Technology.Something like the one-way glass Harry had seen in those cop shows the Dursleys had sometimes watched. He kept looking about, before noticing that Ron wasn't with him anymore. He swore under his breath.
"Ron?" He hissed. He looked about frantically.
Ron was busy beating on the door to one of the cells. On the other side, his twin brothers, Fred and George, were banging back. Harry rushed over.
"Ron! Stop! They'll hear-!" Harry froze. His gaze had run over the far wall as he'd run over to Ron, and in that second, he'd seen a security camera.
One with a blinking red light.
Stupid, stupid, stupid!Harry mentally screamed, just before the sirens of the intruder alert blared.
"Freeze! Drop your weapons and put your hands on your head!" As though by Apparation, a dozen armed guards surround them both. Ron glares angrily at the assembled, stone-faced soldiers, as does Harry. But both drop their wands and brooms, and hold up their hands. They resist the urge to look at each other.
Behind the glass, Fred and George slump against the door. They may not be able to hear or see through the walls of the cell, but the abrupt cease of the pounding is message enough.
"We've got another lot in from London, Hermione!"
"Got it, Mum!" Hermione Granger sighed, wiping sweat from her forehead with a moistened handkerchief. She steeled herself mentally, once again, before letting out a sigh and turning from the mirror in the bathroom. She readjusted her white nurse's uniform and her hat, before she went back out into the waiting room of her parent's dentistry practice.
Immediately, she took the first wounded soldier by the arm and helped him limp to one of the converted examination rooms. She quickly ran through the standard checks-Concussion, broken bones-And in a few minutes, pronounced him with only some fairly minor cuts and bruises. She helped him out to the waiting room, and quickly took up the next soldier, a woman with a bloody bandage covering her eye.
"Wotcher, 'Mione," she murmured to the nurse. Hermione paused.
"Have we… Met?" She asked, blinking. The woman grinned slightly, and her features morphed. Hermione gasped.
"In the flesh!" The woman exclaimed cheerfully. She raised her un-injured eyebrow at her. "Hm… You look good in white."
"Er, thank you," Hermione replied evenly. She shook her head. "What the devil are you doing here? And in uniform, no less?"
"Well, as you can imagine, after You-Know-Who went public, what with blasting the Ministry to rubble with a dragon attack, being a wizard or witch wasn't exactly a very healthy thing. So! Me, and a couple o' others joined up with Her Majesty's Finest. Shacklebolt's doing just fine as the Minister's new assistant…"
"Have you heard about… Harry? Ron?" Hermione asked, keeping her voice level. Tonks sighed and shook her head.
"They were captured a few nights ago, 'Mione. Trying to stage a breakout at the Surrey Holding Facility." Tonks shook her head. "Don't know how the hell they've managed it, but you can't Apparate on or off the property. It may be new Muggle tech… May be some ancient magic on the site… Who knows?" Hermione sat down slowly on a chair in the exam room, looking down at the tile. Tonks stood up and took her hands into her own grasp.
"Hey… It'll be okay. Harry, at least, has some legal ties to the Muggle world. That'll keep him from being considered a POW. Ron… Well…" Tonks sighed. Hermione nodded.
"On the other hand… Fudge has managed to do something right. After the current minister was killed… As most of our government's in shambles, he's managed to speak with the Muggle Prime Minister, and the US President." Tonks smiled. "It's kind of iffy… But they've agreed for defections to the Muggle side, provided there are a few… You know…"
"I've been hiding, myself," Hermione shrugged. She sighed. "It's so frustrating! But, my parents and I agree I wouldn't do any good if I were captured."
"Well, you are allowed to start using your magic as you wish," Tonks said with a strained smile. "But… Well… The Ministry of Magic has effectively ceased to exist. And with that gone, you get the open warfare we've had for the past few months."
"I haven't heard much," Hermione admitted. "Ever since Mum and Dad turned their practice into a clinic, I've been busy."
"Well, You-Know-Who's pulled out a lot of stops," Tonks grimaced. "Giants, dragons, dementors, basilisks-You name it, he's got it out, and somehow, he keeps making more. Not to mention all the Inferi out and about."
"Any good news?" Asked Hermione flatly. Tonks shrugged.
"Well… The Americans are helping out quite a lot. Their air and sea power is keeping the war confined to Europe. And their reconnaissance stuff is helping us fight You-Know-Who's forces better." Tonks groaned. "But… He's figured out how to make Inferi use magic. And, though the Muggles can keep shooting down dragons and such, You-Know-Who keeps creating more. Smaller, deadlier, faster-At this rate, we'll still be fighting him when phoenixes get bored with coming back to life!"
"Wait, wait… What about that agreement you mentioned? What were some of the restrictions?" Hermione asked plaintively. Tonks sighed.
"Well… For starters, if you were a government official in the Ministry of Magic, you are expected to begin working for the British Government, in roughly the same area you were before. They need witches and wizards on their side, 'Mione. Not to mention that we keep losing office workers to the Imperious and what-not. The other requirement is that… Well…" Tonks winced.
"Any and all witches/wizards old enough to enter the armed services, or civil services, must do so, or they will be relocated to a holding compound for the duration of the war."
"That's… That's outrageous!" Hermione seethed. "We're not monsters! Or criminals! This isn't fair!" Tonks nodded with a frown.
"I know, Hermione, I know… It isn't. I mean… I can see their reasoning, I suppose. They want to keep track of us all…"
"It still isn't right!" Hermione growled. "We're still citizens of Britain!"
"Well… Technically, since we fell under another government's jurisdiction, we're essentially foreigners," Tonks sighed. Hermione fumed.
"Does this apply to Muggleborns?"
"No. It doesn't. Which is good… But, until the government can find the time and people to put together naturalization hearings for a couple million new citizens, we're kind of stuck." Hermione sighed, turned, and looked out the window. The cold gray sky above her small town had never been more gloomy or oppressive to the young witch in her life. Tonks stood up and gave her a hug from behind.
"We'll work it through, Hermione… I promise." Tonks murmured comfortingly. Hermione nodded, though inside, she was wishing that the person holding her was not Tonks, but someone who was being held captive by her own government.
More to come…
Should Harry and Ron become fighter pilots or covert ops specialists?
Will Cornelius Fudge and other MoM survivors be able to establish equal rights for the wizards in the Muggle world?
What feelings do the average soldier in this war have about their enemy?
Find out… Presumably soon…