Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of Harry Potter. He and the plots surrounding his life were originally created By J.K. Rowling. At the end of this chapter you may wish I had left things that way.
Chapter 30 – Beginning of the End Part (3 of 3)
Sudden burning, searing pain had engulfed Harry.
A flash of red followed the tittering of deranged laughter.
Harry's next lucid moments were followed by screams and tormented howls for mercy.
Time did not seem to flow well.
It was day, then night, then day for periods that seemed to last far too long. The seconds that Harry was privy to consciousness gave him glimpses of the lights progression across the blurry grey wall. That and the internal clock he trusted seemed to indicate he had experienced more than a week of vision into his circumstances.
Each of these periods lasted long enough for Harry to start to focus before he was denied via unconsciousness.
At some point he stopped seeing the flash of red. Once it was a strike to his head, then a slow drain on his ability to keep his eyes open. The only clue he had to his forced slumber was a pressure on his arms.
It wasn't painful, but unusual.
Harry couldn't even claim the periods of unconsciousness preferable as those seemed to last seconds, then the next wash of confusion.
~~~~~ '*' ~~~~~
Harry's eyes opened groggily.
The setting was different; the walls were no longer grey but brown.
Harry's second moment of realization came when he realized he had been allowed to stay conscious long enough to sense the difference.
Since he was not being knocked out, his attention to his surroundings hazily focused. The room was dark, with hints of sunlight working through the windows. It was either sunset or sunrise; Harry's gut told him it was the former.
Curiously, Harry realized after a moment he couldn't properly focus. Everything was a haze, he wondered if he was drunk. He was the epitome of lethargy, not only did he have trouble working up the will to move, but the world was just… confusing. Harry felt like he would not be able to recognize familiar shapes or objects if they were placed directly in his vision. The link between recognition and understanding had been severed in some way.
Harry wasn't sure how long he stayed that way; Harry wasn't even sure if he could claim to be holding still as his vision seemed to change in strange blurs. It was only because of the gruff pressure pressed against his jaw that he realized someone was with him.
Someone was holding his jaw, and when that someone pulled, Harry felt dizzy. After his jawbone was released, it took Harry a moment to realize that the position of his head had been changed, he had been looking down, now he faced a different direction, possibly straight forward or to the side.
Harry could hear mumbles and words being said around him, but it was as if he had forgotten how to understand English.
He felt a hit against his face, and it was only the dulled sense of pain that alerted him to the uncertain fact.
As the voices continued to mutter gibberish, a voice in Harry's head, one that sounded like himself, screamed as if from a distance.
It was as if it was screaming in more than words, in intent and emotions, as if it could communicate past words. The voice Harry was hearing might not have even existed if not for a strange dream like association with the message.
The message that was being relayed…
Harry's mind started to clear, if slowly. It was as if a heavy fog had simply thinned out. Though now it seemed that Harry was capable of understanding the words that flowed around him.
"He wants him conscious…"
Along with this newly found understanding of the human language, Harry also found that he could see more clearly.
It was still blurry, but Harry comprehended now, the brown and grey was stone and mud.
He was in a corridor.
No, corridor was too grand a description; it was as if he was in a crack in a cliff. It was thin and dark, sections seemed to grow and shrink, twist and turn.
Then Harry was traveling down and around a bend of sorts, the jagged wall seemed to spike inwards to spite his vision in chaotic fashion.
Harry felt a scraping sensation, dulled but grating against his face. His head was twisted forcefully to the right and against something hard and stiff as his head scraped the thin corridor. His hair he realized was being pulled with his face. He was sure he had lost a few strands.
Suddenly his head lolled forward. It hung of its own weight and Harry could feel the air change.
It was warmer, dryer, but more significantly, the air felt alert.
Harry struggled and felt the fog lift slightly, his concentration pushing back the veil a little as he forced his head up.
The crack in the wall he was travelling down was widening, and he could now see an end to the corridor. It was letting in orange warm light. There were stairs. Signs of civilization.
The fact that they were crudely carved, jagged and leaking a stream of muddy brown water into his path meant nothing. He was escaping the terrifying crawl space.
Harry felt a moment of foggy triumph as he travelled out of the lip of the hole. It was drowned out though by the noise.
'Tonk's, why are we healing again today…. I can do the spells.' Harry half wondered, half mumbled.
Harry wondered how many horses and dogs there where in this room. The oppressive atmosphere of pain and suffering lingered on. 'How many vet hospitals had she kidnapped from?'
But something was different, the atmosphere was wrong; a different sort of wrong.
The animals he had healed before were loud, screeching in suffering, they had no intent other than to vocalise their pain.
The pained sounds emanating from this room were hushed, scared.
It was as if the pain was to be endured in silence, there was a primal fear of bringing attention to themselves.
There was a predator here.
That realization alone was enough to lift the mist just that much more.
His already open eyes seemed to realize what it was seeing. He was still staring at the ground, but the stream he had thought was mud was tinted with red. Blood mixed in layers of this muddy water as it traveled down and past him.
He could see careless black shoes peek out beneath black cloth. A robe was staying obscenely clean as it traveled through the water, as if it had never even touched it. But the shoe had stains littering it.
The leather dress shoes shined dully, but the laces that kept them together were soaked in mud and blood.
Lifting his own head up Harry realized he was in a cavern now. There were spikes pointing down from the ceiling, the protrusions reaching down from an odd dome shaped ceiling. There were extremely large ones as well, one that seemed to meet halfway with its mirror image from the ground making a large hour glass shaped column.
Very few others seemed to support as much weight or stress as the first though. It was the keystone to this natural wonder. In any other situation Harry would have been awed by its size and grandure. But the site of cages grounded him to the horror.
These cages did not house single injured animals, but hoards of flesh.
It took a moment for Harry's unfocused mind to realize he was looking at school bus sized cages, each filled to its utter limits with people. That is if they could be called people anymore.
The ones in the cages were whole and seemed uninjured except for the evident fear in them. But their humanity seemed to be diminished as they struggled with their neighbour to work their way inwards. As if the coarse steel bars that surrounded them were death.
The ones outside the cages were too gruesome to understand.
Harry wasn't sure he would be able to understand even without this seemingly forced dream state.
The closest Harry could come to explain what he was seeing was…
Experimentation, in its most grotesque and disturbing form.
The black robes seemed to move back and forth along this cavern as if in a hurry. Their motions like that of a strange dance. Harry had seen this pattern of motion before. This was the way laboratory people moved. They danced back and forth, looking at one specimen, making notes, and then moving on to the next as if what they were studying was but one piece in a grander puzzle. The next piece was at another station.
What truly scared Harry was twofold.
One was the dancers. They showed no emotion at the acts of depravity on their rats.
Two was the scale. The cavern was large, larger than the great hall at Hogwarts, and it twisted and turned beyond Harry's current viewing angle. From what little Harry could make out from his perspective, the cavern formed an irregular L shape. The large Column at Harrys End of the cavern.
There was a large torrent of clean water feeding in from the ceiling. This source of water was at the very elbow of this L shape and it seemed to Pool and then divert into two rivers. It seemed the water that leaked from the chamber had been clean and clear water once.
He realized he was being led to the waterfall.
Harry idly tried to fight his captor's progression forward when he realized he could not feel the ground.
He was tied to something at the waist.
He managed a moan in protest, but his more focused struggles were ignored as he was shoved through the waterfall.
Harry sputtered and coughed, and was disturbed when the gush continued.
Many frustrating things happened.
For one his progress forward had stopped at the base of the waterfall, he was pummelled by torrents of water. Its clarity was interspersed by bits of sand and pebbles that pelted him, underneath streams of water the size and quantity of a fully filled bathtub rained down on him.
Harry was forced to realize this stupor he was experiencing was heavily controlled. Something was clouding his mind.
He could think a bit more lucidly now, and he thrashed weakly against his bindings, pain surging from various regions of his body but he could not escape.
The inability to become fully alert, interspersed with the multitude of sensory information drove him nearly insane with fear.
Each moment Harry was worried he would drown from this newest threat. The final frustration he was left there, for what he knew was longer than a few minutes.
What felt like an hour later, Harry felt the relief as the water seemed to lighten and divert around him.
Harry could only inhale in pained gasps. He felt like his lungs were heavy water balloons, how he had been able to breathe under that steady torrent was inconceivable to him.
Harry wondered idly if he was hyperventilating as he took in more and more unsatisfying breaths.
After satisfying his need to breathe marginally, Harry continued to inhale at a slower wheezing rate. He tilted his head up tentatively then forwards before he was confused by his change in scenery.
The view before him was dignified, clean.
There was what appeared to be a grand ballroom. The floor was polished wood. The walls were straight and smooth. Wall sconces were ornate and opulent in their design. There even hung a chandelier in front of a staircase that he would expect to see at a grand library or parliament building. It led to a balcony where well lit corridors curved elegantly up and away.
At the base of the marble staircase was an opulent dining table.
If Harry had to interpret what he was seeing he would say that someone had wanted him to see a twisted parody of the The Last Supper. Only this supper was much less holy.
Sycophants seated themselves behind the long dining table lengthwise. Metal plates littered with remnants of food in front of each member. There were a dozen or more robed men at the table.
The appearance of the meals and the cutlery seemed to indicate they had been eaten and forgotten; as if the meal had occurred long ago and was the topic of a lively discussion for its participants.
In the middle of the table at a seat of honour was a stranger.
His black hair was combed in a dignified way across his forehead. His face had the makings of stubble along his jaw; he was handsome and youthful.
Harry stared at the familiar stranger; he had seen him before.
Then the foreigner turned his smiling face to Harry, and Harry could tell who he was as soon as red eyes stared into him.
Harry wanted to scream with rage, curse him with insults, let his fury fly but he was muffled by his fogginess, he could not direct his emotions, they swirled in him impudently.
All that left his lips was a wheeze of Air.
Harry's effort at speech had ended with an almost gurgled coughing sputter. He simply did not have enough air within him to waist on speech.
Harry wondered how loud his throaty gasp had been.
All noise seemed to hush. The constant stream of water behind him was the only indication that he had not been portkeyed somewhere else. The cave and its horrors were behind it like some portal to hell.
The older looking version of Tom Riddle seemed to stare at Harry in abject curiosity.
Tom got up elegantly; he was fitted in dress pants and white button shirt, the Cuff had a humble elegance to it as it peaked beneath a cloak. The black robe injecting his wardrobe with wizardry, over his almost business like appearance.
This man that walked forward looked almost like one of the handsome father figures he would see on commercials for products on TV and magazines. His collar was unbuttoned casually and he could have fit into a Muggle street corner. Women might find him charming and give him second glances, Harry realized with scorn.
If not for those devilish eyes. True demonic red stared through them; all emotion seemed to be leaked from his face through those eyes. As if the closer one were to get to them, the more fake the illusion would become.
That walking lie casually strolled forward, a flick of his wrist revealed a familiar tool of destruction.
"What was that Harry?" he asked.
For all Harry's effort, he glared at the man but that could have been woefully unsuccessful for all the control Harry had over his muscles. Harry guessed it looked more like a stern glazed stare.
With a flick of the stick in his grasp, Harry's chest tingled.
"Ah, I see." Voldemort said to himself in understanding.
With another flick Harry felt his chest deflate from the inside.
His Jaw involuntarily opened and all he could see stream from his mouth was pinkish water.
It felt like a bucket had been pulled from his chest but the amount might have been more like a tall glass.
Harry immediately felt the strongest urge to inhale he ever had. His rib cage burned as if it strained against this unwanted invasion.
The longest gasp for air Harry had ever taken seemed to take place. Then the familiar spasms of his stomach contract as he felt the urge to retch.
He went through the motions but nothing came out.
It was a moment before Harry realized someone was holding his chest in comfort.
Unfortunately it was not anyone he liked.
"That must feel better."
The haze over his mind allowed him one comfort.
"Fuck you." Harry croaked out through a raw throat.
Laughter was heard coming out of the man beside him.
"Colourful yes." He indulged.
Walking away from Harry, a chair seemed to form from the ether around him as he took a seat.
"Welcome Harry, lets forgo the banter and I will get to gist of the matter.
With a wave of his wand for theatrics, an amount of water flowed from behind Harry quickly, and placed itself behind Voldemort. It solidified into a perfectly flat mirrored surface to the left of the seated man. The 12 by 5 foot mirror reflected Harry a hazy vision of himself.
He was on a cross, his stomach bound by writhing rope.
His legs dangled loosely at the sides of the wooden post. His arms were bound by the wrist and they were bleeding. All in all it seemed like Harry should have fallen but the vision of his form woke the realization of how much strain his stomach was under.
Not getting a good view through the reflected mirror, Harry turned to look at his right arm.
It took him a moment to realize what he was seeing. A piece of skin on his cursed forearm was flayed open, and red muscle was exposed. It was being held apart by metal clamps and revealed what appeared to be a throbbing blood vessel. Directly connected to that blood vessel was a needle and tube that traveled to a floating glass container with potion in it. It had levers and knobs attached to it in a haphazard manner.
His mutilated arm was being fed by some potion. It was more than obvious to Harry, even in his state this was the reason he was so unable to focus.
He hoped it was that same potion that was keeping him from feeling the pain of that arm.
Harry in his slightly shocked hazed mind turned to look back at Voldemort.
His mirrored reflection seemed to almost stand in the background of Voldemort, at a distance. It was like looking at a horrifying portrait of himself. Only he was background to Voldemort's triumph.
"As you can see, you are quite secured." Voldemort started.
"The potion feeding into you right now is meant to suppress your consciousness, as we can't have you using it to do any accidental magic."
"I have had it dialled back though so that we may, talk."
At the utterance of the word, Harry realized almost with shock that he was a wizard. He remembered what he could do.
With all his effort he could muster he tried to force his anger and shock towards his core.
His ill formed plan was destined to fail though as he could not concentrate enough to focus his anger. It was like trying to mould water into a ball. The most he could do was awaken his core, with a slight shudder.
Voldemort seemed to watch Harry struggle for a moment, his wand grasped a little more firmly as he struggled before loosening slightly as he was assured of his incapacitation.
"If you're finished…" with a wave of his wand the mirrored wall simply evaporated away, and his table of death eaters were now standing.
"You are not my guest, nor are you my protégé; I hope you realize you are for whatever time you have left with us, my prisoner. As such I want you to understand what that entails."
Harry was turned around with a whip like motion and he was forced to see back into hell.
"When we have met in the past, I was foolish, and naive to your persistence. I want you to understand…"
There seemed to be an unheard signal as death eaters streamed out of one of the main caverns that housed dozens of cages. There conditions much less kempt than the ones he had traveled past earlier.
The Death Eaters motions relayed fright and urgency.
There was a flick and suddenly, the entirety of the now vacated portion of the cavern was engulfed in in fire.
Harry's eyes widened in horror as he could see through the flames at the still living people within the cages being drowned in flame.
Harry tried to turn away but whether by magic or by sheer shock he could only stare as they were burnt to death.
"…I am taking you very seriously now."Voldemort finished quietly.
It was as if he was whispering a dark and naughty secret into Harry's ear as he spoke, the pride in his work forced Harry to shudder.
Voldemort's breath on his neck made him lean away.
The echoing screams made his eyes close in prayer for this to be over.
The remaining cages in the rest of the cavern screamed in unison and fear. There seemed to be 6 left, hundreds of souls between the half dozen.
With a simple tug of his wrist Harry was pulled forward as Voldemort guided him through the split waterfall, back into the abyss of suffering.
"Now I have questions for you." Voldemort continued as he walked casually with Harry closer to the cages.
Harry could hear more than see the entourage of death eaters following at a distance. Their footsteps indicating a good distance between themselves and the beast in human disguise.
Automatically Harry said the first thing that came to mind at that phrase.
"I won't tell you anything." He hoarsely whispered.
Voldemort continued as if unfazed.
With a deft flick of his wrist in a slow and deliberate gesture he pointed at a cage.
It was as if the entire cage had been seated on a volcano. Fire blasted from the bottom and hit the ceiling as it engulfed the roof in curling billowing wisps.
Harry could only struggle in surprise and anger.
"Harry, this is why I am He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Voldemort explained calmly.
"You and I both know you will die, whether you tell me anything will not result in any other fate than that. But how many will you subject to this style of death." Voldemort asked curiously.
"Do you not realize, the deaths I offered your parents, was a blessing. The things I could have done to them for simply standing in my way alone, you have no idea but quite frankly I really am a Monster by your standards."
It was almost like Voldemort was trying to show Harry reason, and as loath as Harry was to admit it he was capable of seeing the benefits of cooperation.
"Now I have some questions for you regarding your winter break." Voldemort finished.
He turned around and set Harry down at an angle.
The death Eaters took places around the room in multiple concentric circles. Two stood by Voldemort side. The cages were tilted, ignoring their occupants so as to be seated in ideal viewing range of Harry, the 5 remaining cages placed behind Voldemort as he faced Harry.
The sconces of the wall, insignificant compared to the infernos from the other end of the cavern as it continued to rage, and the smouldering remains of the other cage nearby.
Harry stared at Voldemort in silence wondering what he could do to escape.
Seemingly understanding what Harry was thinking he nodded at one of the death eaters.
A blast of green streaked across the distance and hit 3 Muggles lined against the far left cage.
They crumpled to the floor as the cage was set into a panic as people screamed and cried in horror. No one wanted to touch the dead for fear of spreading the death.
"WHY!" Harry cried out in impotent fury.
There was a throb from his back. His anger was fighting the potions affect. He could feel his magic more clearly.
"I want you to be clear just how readily I am willing to kill these cattle." Voldemort declared calmly.
He stared at Harry in concentration; his fingers steepled like Harry had seen Dumbledore do so many times.
"But let it not be said that I do not show mercy."
With a wave of his wand, Voldemort split the far right cage open, and a huddled mass was seen being yanked out. She thrashed and screamed. Her robes tattered, and what remained of her sun dress was covered in dirt and blood.
She was pulled at an alarming speed which halted in front of Voldemort as if there was an invisible wall that stopped her.
She was gently lowered into the hands of a Death eater.
For her part, Luna Lovegood struggled and thrashed the entire time.
"Luna…." Harry cried in alarm.
His fear and agitation spiked 4 fold. Harry could physically feel the adrenaline shoot through his veins and the fogginess cleared through his mind. He could actively think. The only blurriness in his vision was coming from his glasses which somehow still remained on his face. They were streaked and cracked but still attached to his nose.
And the most welcome news of all. His Right arm was in excruciating pain.
At an instinctual level though Harry held it in. He reined the pain and fear and alertness away from his physical exterior as much as possible.
He could not let this advantage be discovered. Not with Luna at stake.
At his cry of alarm, Luna stilled and looked up. Her blond hair hung in front of her face wildly, her Grey eyes stared at Harry in a mixture of fear and surprise.
"Harry!" She cried. Tears marked her face from before and now. Soot marks showed the path that the tears had taken to clear her cheeks of this horror.
"Touching." Voldemort declared dryly.
"If, Harry Potter, you were to cooperate with me, you did not struggle, and answered my questions truthfully and timely, I will have Miss Lovegood deposited safely and soundly at the gates of Hogwarts. Alive and well."
"If not… Then I will make her live through every possible horrendous torture I can think of while you watch. I will make you watch as she experiences things even I shudder to try on another person."
Harry could only stare at Voldemort in alarmed realization of the man in front of him.
Harry caught a glance at Luna's frightened eyes and his mind had already been made up.
"…Harry no-umff." Luna cried wildly. A hand quickly grasped Luna's face.
Harry could see the fear in her eyes, the horrors she knew, this was embedded in her deep. How long had they been here, how long ago was that dance in the shrieking shack. The tear marks that continued to travel down her face were indicative enough of what suffering she had endured, the hopelessness she had experienced. Harry felt grateful that he had not experienced a moment of empathy yet, he did not want to feel the suffering he had wrought.
Yet she had stayed defiant in the end. For him.
"What do you want to know?" Harry asked as he continued to stare at Luna. She stared back through her captures grasp, wide pleading eyes staring at him. He willed her to understand he was doing this for her, to ensure her safety no matter how slim. He willed her to understand how he felt for her.
She cried harder.
"Good, but before we get started." Harry's head was turned toward the seated man fiercely through magic.
A familiar friend of holly, and phoenix feather sat in Voldemort's grasp.
With a clenching of his fist around Harry's wand, a resounding snap could be heard.
"You will not escape today, your wand cannot save you, Dumbledore will not save you, and love will not save you. Your death is today."
Harry stared at the palm of Voldemort's hand as his snapped wand was revealed. It was as if there was a snap inside Harry at the moment of its destruction. He could feel the connection lost the moment the noise resounded in the chamber.
He tossed it at the feet of Luna, her eyes wide as she stared down at it; her shock mirroring his own.
Voldemort stared at the defeat on Harry's face and approvingly continued.
"Tell me first about Christmas day, why did you have wings?"
Harry turned away from his wand remnants with a jerk at the question.
A moment passed when Voldemort raised his eyebrow in reminder of their bargain.
His mouth appeared to open as if to carry out his punishment when Harry spoke quickly.
"It's because of your rituals."
At this Voldemort paused in what appeared to be surprise.
There was a whisper that emanated from the death eaters almost unanimously. The noise was hushed by Voldemort as he raised his hands slowly in a signal to stop.
"Whenever you do rituals they affect me through the scar connection." Harry Explained concisely.
"How many?" Voldemort ordered. Harry understood what he wanted to know.
"Twice. Once during the summer, the second on Halloween."
Voldemort paused at this.
"What have you acquired other than your wings?"
Harry panicked momentarily should he mention his wandless skills. Could he hide it? It was his only trump card he had.
"I got the wings, my spells became stronger, and my mind can no longer be infiltrated." Harry answered quickly. Hoping his revelation about the magic and his mind would distract Voldemort from what he was not saying. He had no reason to believe he could cast without a wand.
A sharp eye was turned to Harry at the last part of the sentence.
"Leglimens!" Voldemort declared.
Harry felt the spell hit him like a blast. Its sheer might and strength pushing him back. But his mind and his memories stayed secure. It was evident the rituals had done something similar to Voldemort's magic, only he did not have to be transformed. Or was this handsome form his transformation. Why, did their reactions to the ritual magic have to be the same?
Voldemort stared at Harry in quiet silence.
Voldemort cried out once more in what sounded like resignation knowing the truth. Each blast from Voldemort's wand felt like a log had been smashed into his forehead.
Harry felt his upper lip get wet and realized his nose was bleeding.
He could taste the coppery blood leek into his mouth.
Voldemort seemed to come to a decision.
"I suppose you shall have to die now then, I cannot verify if you are telling me the truth or not."
He reasoned aloud.
Harry felt a cold realization snap into place at his words. 'So soon…' he had never felt this close to death before. It had been unnervingly close but faced with all that had happened this day, Harry felt like death was waiting with its arms extended in patience. It was waiting to welcome him into its grip.
"You have been a decent adversary Harry Potter, I commend you." Voldemort stood and within his grasp a jagged metal dagger formed.
"Just know, I truly, truly Hate you."Voldemort sneered.
With unnatural Quickness, Voldemort's pointed at Luna and she escaped the Death Eaters grasp with abruptness. She flew at Voldemort.
Instead of catching her with his wand hand or stopping her motion, Harry watched in horror as Voldemort's dagger hand plunged forward and met with Luna.
Her momentum carried her legs and head forward as she sank into the blade, the look of utter shock and fear in her eyes lingered as she stared at Harry.
Harry for his part lurched forward, his wandless magic awakening without a command as a wave of energy dispersed from him.
In slow motion the world seemed to wash away from him as death eaters were thrown through the Air away from the epicentre of the blast. Some started to turn in mid Air and a tell tale vanish started to occur as some apparated away. The cages were pushed and tossed back, some on their sides with their metal bottoms perpendicular to the grown. Other cages simply slammed into the cavern wall shaking loose stalactites.
The humans remaining on the outside of the cages, forgotten as lost long ago, whether alive or not, their minds were gone as they made no motion to protect themselves from the magic as it connected with them.
Harry did not have any lack of rage, fear, or anxiety as he leapt at Luna. His wings coming to life in a split second as he dashed forward. In that moment Harry could feel his veins burn as the potion was engulfed in his magic and expelled. His arm flared with pain but that was ignored as the clamps, needle, and wound were engulfed in gold flame from the inside out. Harry did not question these things as he continued to stare into Luna's eyes.
Voldemort seemed to be working at Harry's Speed as well as he quickly let go of Luna and pivoted and turned to vanish with a thunder clap in a wave of apparition.
Harry ignored him as he dashed to Luna's side. His wings flapping to give him speed and protection as he grasped her and twisted her to safety, the momentum of his impact with her pulled them close to where Luna had been held by the now forgotten death eater.
"Luna…" Harry whispered.
"… I think you should run Harry." Luna said after a moment. Her eyes dazed and unfocused. A pool of red was forming around her chest. The jagged blade angled from her diaphragm up, centered directly between her breasts. Her heart surely punctured.
Doing the only thing he could think of he placed his hand on Luna and whispered with all his might.
Harry felt himself get pushed back gently as a shimmering surrounded Luna. Her eyes closing as the spell took hold.
A pebble within the stasis field seemed to float in the air as it stopped its fall. Harry was keenly aware of the pain in his chest. It fuelled his rage. For once the after effects would work for him.
Harry turned around.
His injuries forgotten, his wand snapped, his chest aching significantly…
The only thing he could do was find payment.
A hoard of death eaters were getting up, they were far away and numerous.
Harry pointed his hand, palm up, at them and used his wandless skills like never before.
Harry could feel a wall crumble within him as the entire cavern in front of him seemed to distort as magic coalesced. Luna and the cages were behind him.
Chanting in his head the visible heat waved snapped to a form.
"Evertamens!" Harry Bellowed with rage.
Everything in front of him, the dying charred caged people, the lab technicians who had weaved between the lifeless tables of mutilated experiments, the Death eaters who were unlucky enough to be behind him, and even the far walls of the huge cavern all turned black and exploded into a chaotic swirl of powdered black.
Harry crumbled to his knees.
Something was wrong, he was wrong.
He tried to focus but his mind felt like it was losing touch with his body, getting disconnected from himself.
Suddenly Harry realized.
The barrier Dumbledore had trained him to watch for, the one he was never to cross. Harry had used so much magic in that moment, without a wand, it had pushed to his limits, he was at the precipus. One more spell would push him over, he needed time to rejuvenate and expel the magic from him. To drain the magic from his system.
Dumbledore had said he would rejuvenate relatively quickly but how quick was that?
Luckily for him, wandless skills were not his only trick.
Turning around quickly, Harry ran his wings back, straight in line with his back to provide a smaller profile as he charged the shocked death eaters behind him. As his left fist connected with a death eater and a loud resounding crack emanated from the man before he fell to the floor motionless, the other death eaters started to scramble. Most Vanished in a swirl, others took out their wands to defend themselves.
Harry did not let that stop him as he charged, with a flap of his wings and a quick jump. He gained enough height to ignore a spell that shot through where he had been standing, he landed with a thud as he continued his charge and punched a man in the solar plexus. His chest seemed to cave in as he fell backward. Sensing his wandless levels drained sufficiently to grant him a few spells.
Harry mined a Reducto directly in front of an advancing Death Eaters chest and turned his back in time to avoid seeing the carnage. The other spell he tested on something he had never done before.
Carefully visualizing his goals, Harry pointed his hand at a pebble and intoned "Portus."
The spell struggled and seemed to draw more energy than Harry had expected but a blue glow surrounded the rock.
With an almighty kick Harry targeted the portkey at a Death Eater. The man vanished and reappeared above a jagged pair of stalagmites. Harry watched as the man was skewered as gravity took over.
Harry weaved in and out of the cavern as Death eaters either vanished or gave chase.
Harry was constantly running his magic near the edge, he was fortunate so far not to have gone over but he had no time or opportunity to let himself rejuvenate fully. Deciding on the only other course of action that could result in ending this soon, Harry continued to run and dodge to help buy him time. He would need to store as much magic as he could for this.
Harry pointed his hand at the cages and envisioned that each one would appear in Surrey. The park where he had escaped to so often the only safe haven he could think of.
Harry used what remaining magic he had left to make the cages into the getaway vehicles for the trapped people.
As soon as the souls inside saw the blue glow they were already gone.
Harry had managed to evacuate all the remaining cages before a mask was thrown to the ground. Harry could see script running along its surface.
'They must all have runes placed on these masks as failsafes.' Harry realized as Bellatrix's trick became clear to him.
Looking up at where the mask had come from, Harry saw Voldemort standing with arms crossed, his right hand holding his wand, tapping his bicep.
"You die now."
With that, a flick of his wand, and a calm demeanour later, a wall of daggers formed around the man.
Another flick and the wall shot at Harry.
Knowing he had no magic left to protect him, and sensing more than seeing the remaining six Death eaters regrouping himself, Harry wrapped his wings around himself protectively.
His Wings felt pain as he cried out as multiple blades stabbed through them, grazing his chest and arms in scratches as they pierced his appendages.
One passed through the thin part of his wings, grazing the feathers, and embedded itself into the thigh of his leg.
Harry felt at least seven distinct instances of pain on his person.
He slowly unwrapped the outer wings and ended up rolling over his knife covered wings as he avoided Voldemort's next volley of spells. The pain of course was excruciating but it was only a dull roar to the other sensations he was experiencing.
Finding himself tumbling beneath the caverns river, he was disturbed to note there were more dead under the water as they decayed prophetically.
Voldemort's spells seemed to fizzle under the waves of water and Harry, knowing he would not be able to focus with the stabbing sensation in his wings forced calm on himself as he shut his core down.
Harry felt his wings fizzle out beneath the water as he became lighter and the only major pain left was that of his arm, and leg.
He kicked with his good leg and made his way up stream a few meters. He grabbed at one of the now free floating daggers with his left arm.
Feeling his reserves groan in resignation as they admitted he had enough for this plan, Harry surfaced.
Running to Luna Harry aimed his hand at the remaining columns and cried Reducto.
The fused stalactites and stalagmites crumbled under his magic and the ceiling collapsed catastrophically. With one final push to his magic Harry pulled a sheet of protection over he and Luna's bodies as the cavern collapsed on him.
~~~~~ '*' ~~~~~
Harry's slowly awakened with a groan, as he lay on softness.
Opening his eyes, Harry tried to adjust to the darkness.
The only light came from the magic of his barrier as it dully twinkled under the cavernous weight.
Feeling his magic had returned to him fully, Harry wandlessly conjured a Lumos within their confined space.
Harry was laying on the ground, a cool hand under his head cushioning it from the hard surface with tenderness. Tattered robes were pulled over Harry to keep him warm in their darkness.
Harry lay on his right side, mirroring Luna as they curled together. Her head touching his forehead in one last act of affection.
"Luna…" Harry whispered.
Harry made to move his left hand but found it being squeezed around something sharp.
Looking down, Luna's hand had wrapped around his, the fragments of his wand wrapped between their grasp.
'When had she done this?'
Harry realized he had not remembered when the ache in his chest had ended; how long had the stasis been inactive?
Letting her hand go, Harry placed his hand on Luna's neck. He did not feel anything. She was cold, and motionless.
"Luna… wake up" Harry asked her.
His hand caressed her cheek.
"Wake up Luna…" he begged.
Looking down, Harry could see the knife had vanished from Luna's chest; all that was visible was a blood stained front.
Harry idly noticed that her bra was visible. Gently reaching forward, Harry adjusted her shirt so as to cover her indecency.
'What if someone saw, she wouldn't want that?'
He hugged her close as if his proximity to her would wake her up.
He mumbled incoherently at her, a general pleading for a sign of hope.
His magic had restored itself since the cave in; how long would that take before that could happen?
He hugged her closer.
He couldn't stare into her cold pale face now.
His mind's eye, reminding him of all the times she had looked at him before.
So full of happiness, and delight. So carefree and wonderful. Her beautiful dreamy grey eyes.
Harry's hand searched. Her back was warm.
Harry blinked the tears out of his eyes.
She was still warm.
Harry would not give up on this piece of Hope.
Harry grasped at the nearest rock and held it between him and Luna's hands.
Picturing the Burrow, Harry cried out, "Portus."
Harry felt the magic fizzle.
Forcing himself to think he had not done the spell correctly, Harry envisioned St. Mungo's.
Harry cried Portus till he could no longer think of locations he had been to before.
It was the blasted Mask. It had survived.
They were trapped under who knows how much rock, and the one thing keeping him from keeping Luna alive was a piece of white trash buried under Rock.
Harry's anger awakened and he did the only thing he could think of. Unleashing it on his core, Harry, forced it to his core. His wings took up most of the space in the self made cavern. He wrapped them around Luna to trap the heat into her motionless body.
The wounds of before no longer present on these new wings.
A defiance awoke in Harry.
The same one that had saved him from the Imperious and countless dangers.
This would not be how it ended.
Harry wrapped his Wings around Luna, He focused on safety and security. He focused on helping keep Luna alive. He focused on Hogwarts.
Harry would never know this but as he and Luna vanished into a distorted pop of magic, his eyes glowed white and his body turned to vapour.
He was sucked into the magical void where he would know no more as Luna Lovegood landed in the Hospital Wing surrounded with blood tipped feathers.
~~~~~ '*' ~~~~~
AN: This is the last Chapter of Blood tipped feather. The sequel will start as soon as I can get it up.
This chapter kind of took a life of its own but the gist of what I wanted had occurred. I realize now that I am borrowing slightly from later versions of the potter series like the dead under the water. Honestly I thought I was being creative or influenced by multiple zombie stories I had read.
I see no reason to change apparition from the way the book portrays it. I may take creative license in methods but other than that the technique will stay basically the same.
As for Harry, his feet of magic will be explained but there shall be consequences.