A/N: Again, thank you very much for reading; I hope you enjoy it, and PLEASE review.
Disclaimer: Not mine sadly...and yes it does in fact belong to JK Rowling if you recognize it.
Damn it! I think desperately as I fly. I have a dragon on my tail… a severely pissed off dragon that would love nothing more than to rip me to shreds. Itty bitty teeny-weeny shreds from which there is no hope of recovery, either that or burn me too a crisp. Of course it has to be a Hungarian Horntail, which for all intensive purposes means it is doubly dangerous as there is no part of the damn thing that can't kill you. Thankfully in my hawk form I can fly swiftly and quietly, hopefully swiftly and quietly enough so that it grows bored with me and returns to where-ever the hell it came from. Why there is a Hungarian dragon on my tail is not even remotely significant, at least not at present. Right now all that matters is losing it and reaching them in time. I have to warn Dumbledore. He has to know that Voldemort or, "Moldybutt" as Sirius likes to call him, is planning an attack on the school. That this attack would leave no-one left alive, or at least not truly alive. For is a soul-less human actually alive?
Diving into a wood I fly close to the ground, dodging the brush and creatures who rule the forest at night. As I fly I try to distract myself from the pain by reminiscing. It's one of my favourite things to do. I remember the boys; no wait the men, in my life. The only ones who can truly make me laugh, make me not worry, strategize, and/or coordinate an attack against the Deatheaters. My family. The very same men that are attending their last year at Hogwarts, each excelling at one of the major points of fighting. Remus has the logic, Sirius the strength, Peter the cunning, and James, James has the speed. This is not to say that they aren't all strong, swift, cunning, leading men, but they each specialize in one particular area and together they are nearly indestructible. They have such a strong bond; it's beautiful to see.
But if I don't get to the school in time, they'll be dead. With this chilling thought to keep me company I redouble my efforts to reach that elusive magical castle through the bitter fall air. It's Halloween. I've lost the dragon; finally, I'm exhausted and just need a minute to recover, though I can't afford the time so ignoring my body's burning protests I press on. The Cruciatus Curse is never fun to endure, but it is especially hard if you've been fighting non-stop for the past 35, 36, something like that, hours.
I ride the wind currents into the Great Hall, immediately dropping down, shifting form and firing an arrow at the Animagus form of a Deatheater that has been tailing me for the past 10 minutes. Instantaneously the whole Hall is silenced, so much so that you could hear a pin drop. I know that my brothers, in everything but blood, have realized something is wrong. And not just a little wrong, but terribly, horribly awfully wrong. They know nothing but rapidly impending doom would cause me to show up looking like this.
And what a sight I must look, blond hair escaping its braid, pale skin that is nearly translucent due to fatigue, brambles and dirt caught everywhere topped off with a challenging glare. Though I do have good reason; extremely good reason. Armageddon is quite literally preparing to knock on the doors of these hallowed halls and there is no time for anything but frenzied preparation. I know I look like I've been fighting an army of creatures for an extensive and sustained period of time, which I have, but whereas I would normally take a minute or two to pull myself together and to heal any lacerations on my skin, tonight there was no time. I realize this at the same time I taste the metallic flavor of blood coming from a gash on my cheek. There is nothing I can do now, and with this in mind I glance at them quickly before turning to Dumbledore. The only way I can pull this off is if I scare everyone into doing my bidding so I make sure my voice is as harsh as I can possibly make it. Unfortunately it comes out strained and scratchy, at least to my ears. Bowing with a flourish I pray to anyone listening that I am strong enough to pull this off.
"Dumbledore, I am Sofie Eir Ailill Andraste. I need you to follow all directions exactly; is that understood?"
I look into the clear blue eyes of that old man and I know he has seen right through me, and that he probably understands me better than anyone else; save him. I turn to the students.
"I need the prefects and Head Girl to raise their hands."
I wait less than a moment before barking out "Hurry, this is no time to dawdle." The strain of having to remain strong and standing is wearing on my already frazzled nerves, and with every passing second I feel the walls closing in on us making any patience I may possess fly right out the window. Once all the hands have risen I wave my hand across the hall. I feel the magic working and I can see by the startled expressions of the students that my instructions have been left. Turning back to Dumbledore I beckon my, again for lack of a better word, protégées over.
"I shall be borrowing four of your students. Don't worry they won't be harmed whilst in my care."
Here I allow a first tired smile, though small I know he understands. I quickly turn to the Marauders, as they are called here. They too see right through me, and where everyone else sees a strong, bold, intimidating teenager on the brink of womanhood, they see me as I truly am here; worn out and frightened like I've never been before. I meet their questioning glances with a defiant reckless glower of my own. Immediately these four boys, no I must stop calling them that, men rise and shift into their fighting gear. I know it seems silly to have a "fighting costume" as Remus put it, but if they are to succeed fighting the way I taught them to these costumes have proven necessary.
I absolutely refuse to take them with me unless they are completely ready so with this in mind I whip out my wand and send a wide array of hexes, curses, and jinxes. As my magic continues to come after them I attack all of them the muggle way, i.e. with a lot of punches, kicks, and flipping. They respond as they always do, seamlessly working together, especially the two known as Prongs and Padfoot amongst their little group.
As I stop my muggle-style assault on them the spell- work abruptly ends as well. I give Dumbledore and his right-hand woman, McGonagall is her name I believe, one more quick bow, a fleeting nod towards the Head Girl, whom I notice has crimson hair and is trying to hide the fact that she is completely terrified with the thought that her class-mates, most specifically James are coming with me to fight him. The one so many wizards are afraid of, to the point where they can't even say his name. Something I have never been able to comprehend; it's not as if he can hear everything everyone says, so saying his name won't lead to spontaneous combustion. But that is a thought for another day.
I see James look over towards the ginger-haired girl, whom I can only assume is the elusive Miss Evans, causing her to spin her own head away from him so fast it's a wonder she didn't receive whiplash. Whirling back towards the men who are the closest thing to family I have outside of Mr. and Mrs. Potter, I beckon them to come to me. But not before seeing James send the illustrious and respected Head Girl a note. I can only imagine what the contents of this letter are as he has been in love with her for quite some time now. That is where once again we have proven more alike than anyone thought possible. Both of us fell in love with someone who didn't or couldn't fall in love back. Though it now seems as if he will, at long last, succeed in getting his flower. That is as long as he returns. I once again vow to bring all of them home safe. I could not live with myself if some calamity were to befall them, especially if it was me who brought them into the firing zone.
Of course being immortal should imply that I can't die, but I can. Though this will only happen once I consciously give up, give in my life. This is another aspect of me that I quite frankly do not understand.
That would be Sirius. Contrary to what his name would imply Sirius is not a very serious person; that is until we have a "situation," as Peter has named them. Then he is loyal as a dog, and the most reliable person around. He would quite literally give everything and anything for those he cares about. He is also the Marauder who knows me best and thus is the most logical choice for knocking me out of my reverie. Again I nod; an act that seems to be prevalent in my actions of the night, wave my wand and off we fly. I quickly establish the tenuous link that will help us this night, keeping us in tune with one another's movements, position, and most importantly, condition. For the first time in weeks I feel truly free, truly alive. This is where I belong; this is my purpose in life. Where all I'm aware of is the air, how I move in it and of course my brothers. I feel Sirius' urgent, rapid-fire queries as to why I look so "bloody awful." He never was all that subtle; actually he's as blunt as an unsharpened ax. They have only ever seen me looking this weak once before, and that ended in the slaughter of all the Potter clan minus James, his parents, and of course Sirius- a Potter in everything but name. Sending them all a quick reassuring thought and a request that we finish the flight in silence I continue on the path towards Voldemort.
With every beat of my wings I feel the presence of evil permeate the air more and more thickly. It manages to ooze into everything around us. This does not bode well. Actually it makes me feel weaker than before, which is even more worrisome as I'm already running at less than half capacity. I may be stronger than almost any wizard, save Dumbledore and Voldemort, with just a quarter of my strength but as I'm on my way to battle one of those wizards this is not a good thing. With one last beat of our wings we begin our descent, turning into our true forms and forming a tight circle with our backs upon reaching the ground. Within a second we are fully surrounded, save one opening directly in front of me. Through this incision in his ranks strolls Voldemort as if we are here for a leisurely stroll and a cup of tea.
"Back so soon, my dear?"
With these unnerving words we begin the dance we have danced hundreds of times these past years, ever since I woke up into this bittersweet existence, exactly six years ago today.
A/N: Please review so that I can improve!