AN: I do not own Harry Potter!
Rated M: Mature, Sexual Situations, Language, Violence
Harry Potter & the Never Ending Summer
Chapter 20: The End of Summer
After their final dinner of the summer that Thursday night, Mrs. Weasley told the youngsters to go upstairs and start packing for Hogwarts since they would be leaving relatively early the following morning. With so many people in their group, they had to make sure they had enough time to get to the station on time, and Molly was rather frantic with her two Hogwarts bound children to finish their packing. Harry remembered all too well the craziness that usually occurred at the Burrow on the morning of September First, and had to think the older matron had a pretty good point about being ready ahead of time.
When Harry got upstairs to his bedroom, he took one glance at all of his things scattered about and his multi compartment trunk at the foot of his bed and let out a groan. He knew he should spend some quality time organizing it since over the month he really had taken over the master bedroom suite with his stuff. It was slightly mind numbing for Harry to see how many things he truly owned now and reminded him of the great summer that was coming to a close as he contemplated where to pack everything.
All of his clothes both magical and muggle went into the trunks wardrobe compartment almost filing it to capacity with all the new items Harry had received from others and bought for himself. All the books he bought or at least a copy of everything he had read or wanted to read began filling the library compartment since all the originals had been returned to their respected Family Vaults. All of his random school supplies and knickknacks like his brooms, paintings, and invisibility cloak went into the general compartment after pulling out a blank canvas for his gift to Remus he was planning on working on later, while just about everything else was put somewhere inside the tent occupying the open fifth and final compartment. The only compartment he had yet to really use was the small potions laboratory, although he had re-supplied his school potions kits as well as several other ingredients and the few healing potions he brewed for himself and others, even though he wasn't planning on taking Snape's NEWT Potions class he realized the importance of it.
By eleven that night, Harry had finished his packing, said goodnight to everyone else, talked to Tonks through the earring communication device about her preparations for class and missing each other, and was just finishing with Remus' copy of his parent's Wedding Day painting. It turned out very good, and much like the original only slightly smaller since it wasn't done on a wall above the fireplace and he hoped his honorary godfather would like it, and maybe even hang it in his new office at Gringotts or here at Grimmauld Place where he plans to stay permanently to look after the house and keep up with Order business.
Harry was rather bored and restless, but he knew it was too late to go outside for a run, and didn't really want to go training anyway so he picked up his ever growing notebook and began flipping through the pages as always looking for something to spark his interest. He landed on the entries from the History of Parceltongue book, and remembered the parceltongue journals he found in the Black Vault and immediately found his Family Ledger and called forth the first of the six Kaleb Peverell Parceltongue Journals he now owned as the Head of the Black Family.
The next few hours were truly amazing as Harry deciphered the squiggly and unusual handwritten parceltongue that he never knew existed until reading about it from the History book. He couldn't believe he was actually reading the journals of Kaleb Peverell, and was instantly sucked into the text. There was a short introduction of his life from his own perspective, mainly about his snake bonding ceremony and the King Snake he was bonded to at the age of ten as all boys of the Peverell Family undertook. The journal quickly however became a parceltongue spell bible and had broken down most common spells into their parceltongue derivative as well as creating his own more unusual ones. By the second journal, every spell Harry had studied at Hogwarts had a parceltongue version as well as most of those he learned this summer and couldn't wait to get through more.
The squiggly script however, became more and more difficult to read as the night wore on, and by three in the morning Harry could hardly keep his eyes open to decipher the spells he was so eager to learn. He finally set down the journal, and crawled into bed quickly going through his Occlumency exercises and organizing his mind of the day's events. It only took minutes for Harry to be done and quickly nodding off into sleep knowing tomorrow would be a long day.
He woke at the usual time despite going to bed late since his body had become so accustomed to it, and was slightly unsettled as he gathered his workout clothes. He could vaguely feel an excitement coming from the Dark Lord beating at his barriers at the scar link, but tried to ignore it for now not wanting to open the connection back up to possibly find out what Voldemort was up to. Harry reminded himself to call Dumbledore with his ear comm. when it was a little later in the morning, not wanting to wake the old Headmaster on what had to be a very long day for him as well.
The morning run had been cancelled to let everyone rest and finish packing if they needed to, but Harry had too much restless energy to skip it. He returned with plenty of time for a hot shower before getting fully dressed in his dragonhide pants and vest underneath a bright emerald green t-shirt. The dragonhide pants looked very similar to Harry's now two pairs of leather pants, and decided to not wear anything over them, for once enjoying standing out a little and not ashamed of what he wanted to wear now that he owned his own clothes and was much more comfortable with himself.
He went downstairs for breakfast amidst the customary start of school chaos, and joined Hermione and her parents, Neville and his Grandmother, Remus, and Arthur for a relaxing meal. He presented Remus with the painting of his parents' Wedding Day, which everyone loved and Remus decided to leave in the kitchen since it was the most used room of the house. They all had to laugh as they watched Molly chase Ron and Ginny around as they collected all their possessions and tried to finish packing at the last minute as per usual. Remus took the time to wish Harry a good school year and told him to stay in contact with the ear comm. or to write him. Harry thanked Remus for all his help and for looking out for their house while he was at school and promised to keep in touch regularly.
At nine o'clock on the button, Moody arrived with Kingsley, Hestia Jones, Bill Weasley, Fleur Delacour, and Claire McMahon a relatively new Order member Harry had only met when giving her the ear comm. It took the group almost fifteen minutes to gather all their things and leave the house and walking to the park before Kingsley called for the Night Bus for the trip to Kings Cross Station. The Bus was packed with early morning travelers and several other Hogwarts students and luckily for those with queasy stomachs, the ride only took another ten minutes until they reached the busy muggle train station.
The large group moved as quickly as they could through the morning crowds, all being pros by now at getting to Platform 9 ¾ without hassle. They passed through the barrier just after ten o'clock, almost an entire hour before the train was scheduled to leave. Surprisingly they were not the first ones to arrive, as a handful of students and their families were milling about greeting friends and saying their goodbyes. They even saw a small contingent of Aurors in their navy blue robes patrolling the station for signs of trouble in three groups of four as they loaded their trunks into a compartment on the train and came back to hang out for the train's departure with their escorts and families.
"Hi Harry," spoke a familiar voice to the teenager's left, "I like your earring and dragonhide pants."
"Luna!" exclaimed Harry happily as he spotted the large blue eyes and shorter blonde hair of his unusual friend and surprised several people around by giving her a warm hug while whispering in her ear. "I'm glad you like them, and thank you so much for the journal Luna you're a great friend."
"You're welcome Harry," she responded as they slowly broke the hug with happy smiles on their faces, "so how was your summer?"
"It was pretty great surprisingly," answered Harry easily, but not wanting to get too involved in his answer here. "You about you, did you and your Dad find the Snorkack?"
"You bet we did!" she responded excitedly. "They were in this desolate field in Hungary, the Quibbler is running the article and pictures to appear in next weeks issue."
"That's brilliant," answered Harry as he noticed several of his friends and who appeared to be Luna's father approach them. "Hello Mr. Lovegood."
"Hello Mr. Potter," spoke the thin and short blonde haired man with graying hair at his temples and paler blue eyes than his daughter and an oblivious smile on his face. "I've heard a lot about you, it's a pleasure to finally meet you."
"You too sir," responded Harry shaking the older wizard's hand firmly while giving him a small smile in reply.
"Please call me Xenophilius, sir or mister makes me feel old and stuffy," replied Mr. Lovegood with a look that told everyone exactly how much he disliked being old and stuffy.
"Um …okay," replied a slightly confused Harry as he looked over the probably thirty five to forty year old man with a lopsided grin at his obvious childlike exuberance and not knowing what to really make of the man who single handedly ran the Quibbler magazine.
"Wonderful," replied the jovial wizard as he smiled and nodded to the large group that Harry came with that was now gathering together as more people began filling up the Platform.
Luna looked at Harry with an unreadable expression on her innocent looking face after greeting everyone and watching her father now do the same. Harry just smiled at the younger Ravenclaw before Hermione started in on her usual barrage of questions on Luna's summer to which she had to respond. She unfortunately wasn't able to as she opened her mouth to speak, the clock in the Platform rang announcing it was ten thirty.
No sooner had the chimes ended that a sudden rush of cloaked figures came barreling through the magical gateway onto the train station. The noise was enough for several people to turn in their direction and most stopped in fear. Harry was one of the first to realize who the new arrivals were, and had instantly pulled out both wands not caring if others new about his new wand formed from his parent's old ones.
"Death Eaters," he shouted alertly just before several terrified shrieks ripped through the crowd of students and parents as the Order, Aurors, and his friends all turned and quickly tried to prepare to face the oncoming threat.
"Avada Kedavra," came the simultaneous shouts of at least five of the front line of masked Death Eaters as their fellow brethren continued to flood the Platform and the sickly green light of the killing curses spread out before them towards the unprepared crowds.
For Harry, the whole thing seem to occur in slow motion as he watched two of the five curses heading towards his group while the other three targeted the three four man Auror teams. His wands already in hand, he flicked his right wrist conjuring a brick wall big enough to cover his entire group from the incoming curses, and with his new wand in his left hand sent a very powerful banishing charm a second behind. The tactic actually worked flawlessly since the brick wall managed to take the two killing curses completely shattering it into pieces of rock and dust which were then banished at high speed towards the large concentration of arriving Death Eaters who were completely unprepared.
The flying debris took down several Death Eaters immediately who were hit by too large of pieces or in too sensitive of areas and put the rest of the Death Eaters who had arrived on the defensive. Harry along with everyone else around him quickly took advantage of their slight fortune and pulled out their wands and began sending curses towards the still arriving Death Eaters who were now numbering almost three dozen. Harry took a brief pause to grab his ear comm. and speaking as quickly and clearly as he could.
"Call everyone, Death Eaters attacking Platform 9 ¾ at least three dozen so far, SEND HELP!" rushed out Harry before abandoning the ear comm. and throwing several more curses into the mix as the fight seemed to step up a notch in intensity as the Death Eaters fought back with a vengeance.
The Death Eaters had arrived as four teams, each group of ten under the command of one experienced or Inner Circle member and flooded through the magical gateway onto Platform 9 ¾ at precisely ten thirty as ordered by their master. The first team through had barely arrived when it seemed that all hell broke loose. What was supposed to be a terrorize mission to instill fear quickly turned into a battle as many of the second team entered the fray to find a brick wall exploding into them sending more than half of them the ground and a few to never get back up. The few capable immediately tried to help their fallen and move away from the crowding barrier as there were still more Death Eaters coming through behind them and the explosion of the wall in their midst was a real hindrance to movement and visibility.
Martin Travers and Xavier Yaxley lead the first two teams through the barrier, and subsequently took the brunt of the damage initially before the other teams and their leaders, Alecta and Amycus Carrows joined in the attack. Yaxley and Travers slowly took their smaller and more diminished groups and moved towards the Aurors who had not put up any resistance to the first set of killing curses and had lost two from the very get go, as well as a nearby parent. The Aurors were quickly under fire from the almost dozen Death Eaters from the first two groups and were quickly loosing ground.
Mad-Eye Moody and Bill Weasley were both shocked and impressed at Potter's quick thinking and used the slight distraction to their advantage and made their way closer to the struggling Aurors and large crowd of frightened students and their families as the first group of Death Eaters split towards them. Kingsley, Hestia, Fleur and Claire were a bit behind them and slightly separated from the retired Auror and Cursebreaker and were quickly engaged in serious duels. By the time they reached the Aurors, most had fallen dead and several others currently lay dying as they took up the fight with the remainder of the first two teams of Death Eaters.
Alecta and Amycus Carrows and their teams had flooded the Platform as the dust and debris was still settling in their immediate area, and quickly took their teams in the other direction from the first two and engaged most of the remaining students and few Order members. A few of their numbers helped revive or check on their fallen near the Platform's entrance before joining into the fray wherever it looked they could cause the most destruction.
Augusta Longbottom and Molly Weasley were both frantically trying to protect the children, and didn't realize in all the confusion that their children were fighting more capably then them right next to them. Hermione and Ron were each standing in front of Hermione's terrified parents guarding them as best they could from the Death Eaters. Ginny and Neville had both been able to offer some cover and support for the adults as they used everything their friend and leader taught them to take down as many Death Eaters as they could and prevent them from reentering the fight, and felt fortunate they had the smallest of the groups to deal with.
After conjuring and banishing the brick wall, and calling everyone to help, Harry along with Remus, Arthur, Luna, and Xenophilius gathered together and engaged the incoming second teams of Death Eaters through the barrier. It didn't take long before the five of them were becoming overwhelmed despite taking several permanently out of the fight there always seemed to be more to take its place. Harry was sending almost exclusively cutting curses and bone breaking hexes along with a parceltongue incarcerous that nobody but he and probably Voldemort could undo and snake face didn't seem to be showing up.
He felt they were slowly starting to even the odds after dropping two opponents at once with an overpowered reducto at almost point blank range that probably killed the two Death Eaters. Harry wasn't too worried about that right now as he was hit in the side with a nasty cutting curse to his unprotected shoulder that dropped him to his knees. Harry quickly calmed his breathing and cast a quick healing spell to stop the blood flow as he noticed the many battles still going on around him and hoped they all lived to see tomorrow.
A pair of ear piercing screams of pain erupted almost in unison just to Harry's left causing Harry's head to whip around and find the source as several of the other battles occurring also seemed to pause slightly. Remus and Arthur were both on the ground just to his left both being held under spell fire by one of the Carrows twins. Arthur seemed to be suffering under a cruciatus curse from Amycus as his sister Alecta was holding Remus under a spell that seemingly shot small silver shrapnel into his skin making his body convulse worse than Arthur's.
Mad-Eye had rather quickly met up with someone he knew too well from his fighting style alone, and the two old roommates battled fiercely. Xavier Yaxley, his former childhood friend and Slytherin roommate and he had fought many times over the years since leaving Hogwarts and going completely separate directions, and neither had much of an edge over the other. Bill had unluckily met up with Martin Travers, John Gibbons' best friend among the Death Eaters, who fought like a man possessed against the Gringotts Cursebreaker who had defeated and captured his comrade at the Battle of the Burrow last month.
Kingsley, Fleur, and Hestia were both protecting Claire with everything they had, as she had both of her legs shattered and was slowly dying on the ground if she didn't get medical attention and fast. They had taken down several of the remaining mid-level and rookie Death Eaters from the first group, but were fading quickly from all the strain and the four final Death Eaters they were fighting were slowly gaining the advantage over them. Molly and Augusta were both still standing through sheer will alone and had suffered a great many cuts and bruises as they tried to fight and protect the children from the last several of the masked creeps.
Hermione and Ron too were both just about to collapse from exhaustion and injuries they sustained while protecting Hermione's parents and thankfully were helped by Neville and a limping Ginny who were still fighting valiantly. They were all thanking the extra running and training now as they knew without it they would have fallen minutes ago. The four friends were battling with four equally effective Death Eaters and didn't seem to be making or loosing ground when the screams rent through the air, giving them all chills and pausing their battles momentarily.
A team of twenty Aurors and a few Order members along with the Headmaster fought their way through the barrier onto the Platform just in time to hear the dual screams that echoed everywhere. They all paused to look around at all the damage and carnage they were met with before several people rushed off to help those they could see needing help. The screams were too far away from the barrier at this point, and couldn't see what was happening at the far end of the Platform where it seemed the most fighting was still taking place.
The additional Aurors were quickly able to get to the struggling Hestia, Fleur, and Kingsley as well as Molly and Augusta, and the kids taking care of their attacking Death Eaters with their greater numbers as they began the sweep through the Platform. They however wouldn't interfere with the two duels going on between their mentor Moody and the oldest Weasley whose fights both seemed to be moving too fast to help anyway. They quickly secured as many of the Death Eaters they could and began tending to some of the injured and dead as they continued their sweep towards the end of the Platform where all the action seemed to be happening.
Dumbledore and the four teachers he brought with him quickly headed to the deepest part of the Platform where the heavier fight and screams seemed to be taking place. Filius, Minerva, Pompfrey, and Tonks fearfully followed the Headmaster hoping for the best as they navigated through the several injured, captured, and deceased bodies of friends, students, and enemies scattered throughout the area hoping they weren't too late. When they neared the end of the Platform however, they could only look on in shock as they realized who was still fighting.
Harry had absolutely lost it the moment he saw the two men who were now the closest he would have to a father suffer at the hands of the Carrows twins. The same twins who he and Tonks fought at the Battle of the Burrow, and who had tried to kill his wife. Harry saw red as he leapt to his feet and quickly engaged both Unspeakable Death Eaters simultaneously, unconcerned about his minor injuries and lack of energy or the increasing multi colored glow that started radiating off his body and feeding him energy as the fight stepped up in ferocity. He only cared about one thing at the moment, and that was ending the Carrows Family permanently and threw everything he had into fighting the two talented twins remarkably well.
Harry didn't care or notice anything around him as he continued trading spells against the combined force of the Death Eater Unspeakable twins, while those around him whose battles had started ending with the arrival of the Aurors and Dumbledore, stared on in absolute shock. Luna was still standing, although not well as she protected her father, Remus, and Arthur from the fight going on and sighed in relief as she spotted the teacher's and Dumbledore's arrival hoping they could make sure Harry survived when none of the others had faired well against either twin let alone both of them together.
Harry had to quickly spin out of the way in order to dodge a putrid yellow spell from Alecta, and spun right into a roundhouse kick hitting Amycus in the head and sending him flying to the ground. Without wasting any time and using her fallen brother as a distraction Harry sent dual arrows simultaneously from each wand at the vicious witch. She lunged in time to avoid the arrow aimed at her chest, but was clipped by the other in her right shoulder sending her screaming and twisting to the floor. Before Harry could even press the advantage however, the voice of Amycus to the left froze him in his tracks.
"I hope the Dark Lord likes his present," he snarled roughly as a familiar female voice screamed to be let go.
Harry didn't need to turn around to know that Amycus must have grabbed Luna from the mixed look from Alecta of pain from her shoulder and triumph at her brother's catch. He shot another pair of silent arrows at Alecta and instantly spun and lowered himself to present less of a target to her brother if he retaliated, knowing he had to do something to help Luna. The coward simply smirked the moment Harry turned to see him, and with Luna's arms pinned at her side by his left arm his right arm activated an emergency portkey and caused them both to instantly disappear.
"LUNA!" screamed the pain filled voice of her father from his spot bleeding on the ground from the dark cutting curse he took across his arm and shoulder while his wide eyes were filled with tears as he stared at the spot just occupied by his only daughter.
"Serves you right blood traitor," sneered Alecta before several curses were fired at her from different people and she followed her brother's lead and used her good left arm to activate her emergency portkey as she left behind a puddle of her blood from wounds to her right shoulder and left leg after trying dodge the second set of Potter's dual arrows unsuccessfully.
"FUCK!" shouted Harry in a rage few had witnessed as he stood panting heavily and bleeding from several cuts littering his body staring at the empty spots of the Carrows twins and one of his good friends.
"Boss, we just lost four prisoners," spoke some rookie Auror as the four prisoners vanished with their team leaders when the Carrows activated their emergency portkeys, it also called for the rest of their team, most who couldn't leave because of Harry's parceltongue incarcerous.
"Tied portkeys," spoke a grumbling Mad-Eye Moody as he approached the group all looking at the still raging young wizard who didn't seem to be even trying to calm down at the moment, upset that Yaxley managed to give him the slip again.
"Harry?" asked Albus kindly, hoping to get through to his young student and not invoke his wrath, but was ignored as another Auror shouted over the low noise of the injured.
"These ones are tied up with snakes," came his shout of fear as several others joined him, "I can't get them off either."
"You won't," growled Harry angrily as he ignored everyone and quickly made his way to the snake tied Death Eaters he had captured hoping he still had a chance to get to Luna.
A quick wave of his wand and hissed finite cancelled the snake binding spell on all six of the captured Death Eaters, five of which were in no condition to move and were sporting numerous injuries as well. The lone awake and conscious Death Eater was quickly silenced by Harry who stood directly in front of him waiting for him to do something. The stupid Death Eater's slight lifting of his empty wand arm was all Harry waited for, and then he slammed his forehead into the man's nose smashing it completely. Before anyone knew what was happening, Harry had ripped off the left sleeve of the Death Eater's cloak and grabbed the tainted Dark mark firmly and twisted the man's arm around behind his back painfully and held it at its breaking point as his holly wand dug into the Death Eater's exposed neck drawing a small trail of blood.
"I found my ride to Voldemort," growled an intense Harry that nobody seemed to be stopping, as he took a quick look around at everyone's wide eyed faces and knew they all thought him crazy now. "I love you all, and will see you soon," he added while looking mostly at Tonks without letting everyone else who didn't already know and realize he was mainly speaking to her before he disappeared with a crack that silenced the Platform.
Harry had immediately felt out Voldemort when he grabbed the unlucky Death Eater's Dark Mark, and much like the half-blood and parcelmouth Riddle, was able to control the mark to some degree. He said his goodbye to Tonks and reminded himself why he fought and why he HAD to survive, before gathering his magic and using his grasp on the Dark Mark to guide him to where he felt Voldemort, knowing that is were Luna would be taken. The loud crack upon departing was to counter the excess magic he used to soften the crack upon arrival and not sound too suspicious when he appeared seconds later inside the dark throne room of Lord Voldemort, which he had only ever seen in visions.
The room was very large and carved out of seemingly dark gray stone with very little actual light or decorations minus the many blood stains on the floors and walls, and was currently not very full of Voldemort's supporters. He guessed there were five or six Death Eaters total, and quickly spotted the two Carrows upon arriving and noticed the slightly squirming Luna still in Amycus' strong grasp. As the Carrows twins with Luna approached the throne of Voldemort, the three Death Eaters standing before the Dark Lord backed away to the side before Amycus threw Harry's friend down onto the ground in front of the Dark Lord before the twins both prostrating themselves in full bows to the floor. Harry knew he would be noticed any second, and had to act quick and use what little advantage he had. He was eternally grateful for silencing the unlucky Death Eater trying to scream as Harry took the few seconds to collect his bearings and make his plan.
"My Lord, Potter was there and he is," started Amycus shakily as he slowly rose from his bow only to be silenced.
"Diffindo," Harry whispered overcharging the cutting spell and sending it right at the back of the slowly rising head of an unknowing Amycus, instantly granting him what Sir Nicholas had wanted for centuries, and enjoying the shock on Voldemort's face as he and Alecta both whipped out their wands and took aim at the spells original location. But Harry had already shot two more over charged cutting curses at the group of three too slow Death Eaters to the side, and dropped all three of the unknown enemies into quickly growing pools of their own blood before he had to react to the retaliating spells.
"Avada Kedavra," shouted both Voldemort and Alecta Carrows in an eerily reminiscent unison Alecta usually only shared with the now decapitated Amycus at her feet, as the pair's twin green curses rocketed towards Harry.
Harry luckily didn't have to worry about Alecta's curse which was slightly off target, so when Voldemort's killing curse neared him, he pushed the unfortunate Death Eater he had forced and used to get here in its path and then banished his dead body directly back towards the surprised Dark Lord. He wasted no time in pulling out his second wand and hoping the third time was a charm, he shot twin arrows once again at Alecta who had moved to avoid the dead projectile heading toward her and couldn't recover in time to survive the third dual arrow attempt. Both magical arrows struck her firmly in the chest and she had a single wide eyed moment to stare in disbelief at who she now knew killed both her brother and then her.
Harry then sent several reducto blasts at the back ceiling of the throne room with one wand seeing slight movement, as he summoned Luna's still and lying body with the other. Harry had to quickly spin away from the Dark Lord's incoming cruciatus curse before Luna even reached him, since the older wizard was easily able to avoid the dead Death Eater that was banished towards him and return fire to this upstart who dared attack him at his base. The Dark Lord would have to teach this foolish and brave wizard.
The unknown foolish and brave wizard definitely had skill; the Dark Lord would grant that to anyone that could kill both Carrows twins within seconds of each other as well as the three Death Eaters the Dark Lord was just planning on elevating to the Inner Circle. The new upstart was incredibly foolish however for coming here, since only those with a Dark Mark could enter or leave and now that his human carpool ride and shield was dead, he soon would be as well. How he had managed to use the new Spanish Death Eaters Dark Mark to find this place and get inside was another mystery all together, but unless he had somehow managed to get a portkey created by Him, the unknown wizard was now trapped in the throne room, and was someone to be weary of when cornered since only an insane person would willingly come here to fight. He caught a slight view of his attacker's face in the dim light, and had to growl in anger and rage that it would be him.
"Potter," the Dark Lord hissed with a growing rage far beyond that which he was previously displaying when the attacker was just an unknown foolish wizard.
"Hi Tom," chirped Harry much like one of the Creevey brother's would greet him, knowing it would probably make Voldemort even more enraged, and boy was he right.
"MY NAME IS LORD VOLDEMORT!" he screamed as his eyes burned a malicious crimson blood color and he began panting in rage staring intensely at his young nemesis.
"Whatever helps you sleep at night Tom," replied Harry insignificantly, and wondering now how to get out of here with Luna and hoping more Death Eaters weren't about to show up or interfere since he thought there was at least one still hiding in the back corner of the room that if he had to guess, was a silver handed rat.
"Crucio," spat Voldemort repeatedly at Harry who was quickly becoming hard pressed to avoid them all or conjure something in their path as he tried valiantly to come up with some way out of here now. "You can't run and hide forever Potter."
"I'm still here Tom," responded Harry cheekily after dodging another vicious string of killing curses and crucios, and quickly sending his own cutting curses and arrows whenever he had the opportunity hoping to get lucky with one of his attacks to slow down Riddle.
Harry was quickly starting to tire from all the intense fighting and magic he had been doing already today, and was having more and more difficulty sending his own curses back. He had to almost completely abandon his attacks and focus on the seemingly never ending string of unforgivable curses continually on target and heading straight for him. He realized that he still had a long way to go until he would be capable of challenging the Dark Lord as his true equal, but was at least encouraged by his small successes in avoidance and counter-attacks.
Harry sent two pairs of arrows at the Dark Lord when he had a brief moment to get in a spell and even managed to land one of them in his leg, but suffered greatly for his efforts by getting hit with a crucio in retaliation. That immediately changed the fighting style, since it knocked Harry to the ground in pain and caused Voldemort to quickly heal his leg and despite his growing anger at being hit, start laughing at finally catching up to the elusive Harry Potter. The moment the unforgivable pain curse was lifted thanks to his first successful hit of Voldemort with the arrow, Harry shrugged off his pain and sluggishness like none the Dark Lord had ever seen and leapt to his shaky feet almost staggering backwards before balancing himself and readying for the Dark Lord's next attack.
"You have definitely improved, but you can never match the power of the Dark Lord. I will enjoy torturing you Potter," hissed Voldemort with an evil sneer on his snake like face as he stared intensely at the younger wizard who always proved such a menace, "crucio."
This time Harry was ready with a plan of his own, and quickly pulled Amycus' nearby headless corpse in front of him to take the spell, and watched in disgust as the deceased twin was convulsing post mortem. A thin gold necklace pendant was flung from the shaking and deceased headless body and landed several feet away near a clump of robes Harry realized with a start was Luna. Harry took one look at Voldemort as he prepared to throw another curse and dove for his friend and the necklace hoping it was a portkey to anywhere but here.
"Reducto," shouted the wide eyed Dark Lord as he realized what his nemesis was diving towards and saying the first spell he thought of and watched it race toward the two teenagers with a hopeful expression on his snake like face thinking this could be the end of Potter.
Harry landed next to Luna as the red light of Voldemort's destructive blast neared their position on the floor. He grabbed Luna's arm, and twisted his body in front of the incoming spell to block her as he grabbed the necklace with his wand in hand and desperately yelled activate while clutching it tightly. He felt the hook around his naval pull him away just as he felt something very painful slam into his side with a crack and twisting his body around wildly, but he refused to let go of either hand. The pair landed in a crumpled heap in a dark and foreboding living room parlor decorated very distastefully in typical Death Eater fashion as a small puddle of blood started forming underneath him.
Harry let out a painful grimace and examined his dragonhide vest and now completely exposed side. The vest was literally destroyed and had a large hole the size of Harry's head torn out from the impact of the spell leaving the skin underneath cut up and bleeding pretty heavily. Harry had immense difficulty taking a few required deep breaths to calm himself and try to get them out of wherever they were. He let his quickly weakening magic feel out around him for anti-apparation wards, and had to groan as he realized he would need to leave the house in order to apparate to safety.
"Luna, are you okay?" whispered Harry painfully, once realizing he needed to walk outside, and knew he would need Luna's help to hopefully accomplish that task, "can you hear me?"
"Harry?" she whispered almost too quietly to hear as she slowly lifted her tear streaked and terrified face to be meet with the pain filled eyes of her friend and savior.
"Yeah Luna, its me," he answered in relief that she seemed conscious and relatively alright for someone who probably just got her first look at Voldemort and had been pretty roughed up during the fight on the Platform. "Can you help me stand, we need to walk outside quickly before Voldemort shows up here and then I can apparate us back to your Dad?"
"Okay," she responded meekly and with a good bit of fear at the prospect of the Dark Lord coming for them as she quickly and shakily rose to her own feet before helping the struggling and bleeding Harry to stand and lean against her as they found their way out of what appeared to be the Carrows' house.
Once they got outside, they had to shield their eyes from the bright light of the sun, and neither could imagine that it was still daytime after all the fighting and dark places they had been recently. Harry had to take several very painful steadying breaths as he concentrated on returning to Platform 9 ¾ and hoping they took down the wards while investigating everything. He gave Luna a pain filled lopsided smile and grabbed her hand tightly just as he heard the telltale crack of someone apparating inside the house, and knew Voldemort had followed them. With a desperate last push of magic into getting the hell out of there, there was a loud crack when he apparated the pair of them to London's train station and directly onto Platform 9 ¾.
Harry collapsed the moment they arrived and brought Luna tumbling down with him as he could no longer support himself and apparating threw him off completely with all the pain he was in being squeezed through the tube so to speak. His groaned gasp of pain when landing on his raw and injured side following the loud crack of his arrival brought immediate attention and eyes to their location. Harry rolled slightly to alleviate the pressure on his ribs and painfully tried to take in enough oxygen to breathe properly as he heard several shouts and screams and footsteps heading towards him.
"Luna, my baby," shouted the happiest and loudest voice of them all as Xenophilius ran to his daughter and dropped to the ground next to her helping her to sit as he pulled her into a protective and loving hug, "I thought I lost you."
"I know dad, but Harry needs our help," she spoke quickly and her father immediately released her and turned to the other figure still lying on the ground next to his daughter as several people gathered around them.
"Harry?" called a crying Tonks as his body was rolled slightly so he was lying on his back and everyone could see the hole in his shirt and vest and the bloody and injured side that was now exposed to view and forming a small puddle of blood underneath him.
"Dear Merlin boy, what did you do?" asked Madam Pompfrey quickly sweeping down on the injured teenager and running a diagnostic spell that made her act fast. "I need Skelegro, post-cruciatus, lots of blood restorative, pain relief, and pepper up potions immediately. He has several broken ribs, a punctured lung, internal bleeding, a dislocated shoulder, a concussion, and severe magical exhaustion."
Harry kept fading in and out as Madam Pompfrey quickly and painfully reset his broken bones and then fixed the tears in his lungs and other internal bleeding, as well as the exterior cuts to his side and shoulder. Once that was done, they force fed him several vials of blood restorative potion and when that settled, gave him a healthy dose of Skelegro to help the healing bones mend faster. By that point, Harry was able to stay conscious, although in quite a bit of pain and discomfort until they were able to give him the post-cruciatus and pain relief potions and he began feeling much better and more with it. Despite the discomfort still in his chest which seemed to be quickly getting better as he could take deeper and deeper breaths without pain, Harry was quickly feeling better with everyone around him, especially his wife Tonks. Luckily most of his friends heavily involved in the fighting on the Platform where there to watch Madam Pompfrey patch him back up, after having the same done to them in the half-an-hour since Harry left to bring back Luna, and they all seemed more or less okay now.
"Where's Remus and Arthur?" he whispered after finally being given a brief respite from the hospital matron as he looked at the faces of those around him, and couldn't find the two in question that had started his fight with the Carrows.
"They're both going to be fine," answered the twinkling eyes of Albus Dumbledore as he looked proudly down at his favorite student in one of the transfigured hospital beds. "They were taken to St. Mungos, but should both be released this afternoon."
"Thank Merlin," breathed out Harry in relief as he closed his eyes in peace to help gather himself.
"After today, I think we should stop thanking Merlin and start thanking Harry," spoke a sarcastic Ron as he gave his best mate the largest smile he could remember, after he again saved his dad and Luna.
"Please don't," groaned Harry as he stared at Ron to judge if he was joking or not and couldn't be sure, but got several chuckles of amusement from those gathered. "Is everyone else okay?"
"Yeah, we were all fixed up in no time," spoke up Neville assuredly as he held a comforting arm around Ginny's shoulders in appreciation for her actions in saving him near the end, and making sure he got the proper medical help after having suffered from a pretty severe concussion.
"Kingsley is also being treated at St. Mungos, and should be fully recovered by tomorrow," added Tonks as she gave her husband a large smile with watery and love filled eyes which Harry returned equally.
"Thank goodness," responded Harry gratefully, and was getting slightly choked up emotionally at seeing his wife look at him with such loving eyes, but knowing they were only telling him about the good news, and turned to Mad-Eye knowing he would give it to him straight. "Who did we lose?"
"Claire and eleven Aurors died, as well as the father's of Anthony Goldstein and Zacharias Smith, Patricia Helms and her daughter Samantha a third year Gryffindor were also killed. Others have injuries, but they should all make recoveries," rattled off the hardened retired Auror who never took either eye off the green eyes of the wizard before him out of respect.
"The Death Eater I used as my ride was the one responsible for the mother and daughter, I got there too late," replied Harry softly but with a look of gratitude at the old Auror for telling it to him straight.
"I can't believe you came for me," whispered Luna softly after a pause in the conversation when everyone seemingly paid their silent respect to the deceased, as she looked at Harry with such appreciation shinning in her clear big blue eyes.
"I will always come for you," answered Harry honestly as he looked around at his gathered friends, teachers, wife, and Order members, "I will come for all of you."
"I, Xenophilius Oddment Lovegood, Head of House Lovegood" started the eccentric father of Luna and editor of the Quibbler as he held his wand aloft and spoke his oath sincerely into the growing silence after Harry's proclamation, "do hereby pledge on my life and magic to follow and aid Harry Potter in any way I can for the rest of my days, so mote it be."
Harry and everyone else could only stare on in amazement as Luna's father pledged himself to Harry's cause in a very binding Magical Oath, sealed by magic itself when both he and Harry flashed a brilliant white for a short second. Harry had seen a few magical oaths taking place, but never had he witnessed that, and felt it to be a heartfelt response to saving the man's only daughter. He knew there was nothing he could do about it anyway, so just shrugged and smiled at Xenophilius and Luna letting them know it was okay with him.
"I am truly forever in your debt Mr. Potter," spoke Xenophilius after recovering from his oath and looking intensely at the teenage wizard that did the unthinkable. "You saved my little girl, the only thing I have left in this world, I owe you so much."
"There's no way I would let that snake faced bastard hurt any of my friends if I can help it," responded Harry sincerely and with an unmatched intensity in his burning green eyes that everyone could see and believe.
"Will you tell us what happened Harry?" asked Hermione uncertainly and with a concerned glance to Luna, unsure if either of them would want to talk about it.
"Let me just put up some silencing wards to prevent being overheard," added Albus with twinkling eyes filled with curiosity at what truly happened today before quickly casting two spells to ensure their privacy and eagerly motioning for Harry to begin his tale.
"Sure, I might as well. So, I used that prisoner's Dark Mark to feel out where Voldemort was," started Harry softly and ignoring the gasps of fear at the Dark Lord's name, not minding telling his own little group of friends, teachers, and Order members what really happened. "When we arrived, I took out Amycus immediately and used my prisoner as a shield when Voldemort and Alecta sent killing curses at me, and then banished him at Voldemort and removed the few other Death Eaters in the throne room, took down Alecta, and summoned Luna to me. Voldemort recovered and we fought for a bit, I had to use Amycus to block some incoming spells at one point, and saw a portkey necklace fall from him at Luna's feet. I grabbed Luna and the necklace and portkeyed out of there just as Voldemort hit me with a reducto. We landed in what I think was the Carrows' Living Room and quickly walked outside and apparated back just as Voldemort showed up, and here we are."
"Oh, is that all?" responded Ron with a heavy sarcasm as most were simply staring open mouthed at Harry's nonchalant tone and shaking their heads in a combination of awe and disbelief.
"D-did you k-kill the Carrows and other Death Eaters?" asked a wide eyed Xenophilius as he studied the teenager in silent awe as a few people gasped slightly in realization that he wasn't very clear on how the Death Eaters were taken down.
"Yes," breathed out Harry flatly and with almost no emotion as he studied the reactions of his friends wondering how they would take the news, and knowing it would be an inevitability of this war and one he had begun to understand this summer with Tonks' help.
Only Molly and Hermione gasped in slight shock and fear, while Augusta, Neville, Tonks, McGonagall, Flitwick, and Hestia gasped differently in amazement and with a weird sense of gratitude mixed with surprise. Ginny kind of squeaked like a mouse and buried her head in Neville's shoulder as he still had his arm wrapped around her shoulders for support. Ron almost choked on his own spit while Hagrid, Bill, Moody, and Xenophilius paled but said nothing, each knowing how dangerous the twin Unspeakables were and not knowing how Harry was truly taking all of this.
Albus studied his young student closely, and didn't miss the relief on his face at his friends' survival, or the many hidden looks in Tonks' direction and knew the young wizard was looking for her support and acceptance at his actions. The Headmaster was not a fan of death, but knew the inevitability of it when it came to fighting Tom and his Death Eaters and knew Harry was and would be no stranger to taking someone's life. Harry was doing what was necessary, and as much as he didn't like condoning killing, he truly could not blame the young wizard for his attitude or actions. He had already lost so much to this war, and was truly taking his stand on the front lines in a way Albus couldn't help but be proud of. Harry was a true fighter and hero, and the old wizard was once again amazed at the strength of character the young green eyed wizard had, and could only smile reassuringly at him to show his support and understanding.
"I think we can talk more on these matters later at Hogwarts," started the Headmaster grandly and with a look around the busy Platform and telling everyone in their group they were done with the questions for now before he cancelled his spells. "Alastor and I will go talk with the Aurors, I think the students should start to get on the train, we'll have it depart in the next twenty minutes to get you all to Hogwarts."
"But sir, it's already after noon …we'll be late for the feast?" blurted Ron thinking only of his stomach as usual.
"Don't worry Mr. Weasley;" answered Dumbledore with a happy smile and twinkling of his eyes, "the train will still arrive at the appropriate time for the start of term feast."
"How?" asked a curious Hermione, never wanting to pass up any opportunity to learn something new.
"Magic," responded the Headmaster with a wink at Harry, having heard the teenager use the excuse many times over his five years already at school, and thinking it fit perfectly in this instance, and judging by Harry and Ron's smiles and Hermione's groan, he was quite successful.
"The train will simply travel at a faster speed," answered Minerva in a huff to her favorite student before she gave her patented glare towards the Headmaster and the two smiling and now sheepish looking teenagers.
"I liked your answer better sir," whispered Harry making sure he was loud enough for everyone to hear, since that was usually his answer to most of Hermione's questions and everyone present knew it and laughed at Hermione's growl of annoyance and McGonagall's tut of disproval.
"Thank you Harry," responded Albus with a happy smile, "are you going to be able to ride the train with your friends …or would you like me to have Madam Pompfrey take you straight to the hospital wing?"
"Do you even have to ask?" retorted Harry incredulously, which drew several more chuckles from the gathered group and a huff from the hospital matron. "Sorry Madam Pompfrey, but I'd rather be in Potions class than the hospital wing."
"Good," the matron responded with a smug grin, "then next time you're hurt, I'll just send you to Professor Snape."
"Let's not be too hasty now," pleaded Harry desperately, wanting nothing to do with the greasy git, but knowing the school nurse was only half joking and would always want to treat Harry herself since she had already got so much practice with him in the past.
"As long as you come by the hospital wing after the feast so I can give you a quick checkup," she added in her strictly business tone as she looked at the teenager with accusatory eyes, demanding the proper answer.
"Yes Ma'am," saluted Harry happily and reached out for Ron and Neville to each take one of his hand and slowly haul him to his feet as the Headmaster stepped away and announced the train's new departure time and for the students to say their goodbye's to their families and board the Hogwarts Express.
The next few minutes flew by in a flurry of activity as all the adults did their rounds of saying goodbye to everyone. Molly alone must have hugged Harry a dozen times in appreciation at coming to Arthur's rescue, and Xenophilius gave him several firm handshakes and offers of thanks. Augusta Longbottom even thanked him personally for the positive changes in her Neville, and patted Harry's cheek affectionately before hugging and kissing Neville goodbye. Tonks even managed to get in a quick hug under the guise of thanks for helping Remus, before her and the teachers departed to help get the other students onto the train to which Harry was eternally grateful. Bill and Mad-Eye both gave Harry serious looks of respect and firm handshakes, neither saying much since the battle began still somewhat unprepared for Harry's growing skills and magic, but grateful none the less for his immense help today.
Harry said his final goodbye's to the adults and made sure someone would be with Remus when he got out of St. Mungos, and Molly agreed to wait with Arthur until Remus was also released. Harry happily boarded the Hogwarts Express with his five friends who followed him to the Ministry in June trailing behind him. They quickly found the compartment where they stored all their things, and each rummaged through their trunks pulling out things they wanted to play or read. Luna grabbed her copy of last week's Quibbler, while Hermione opened NEWT Transfiguration, and Neville took out Herbology Monthly. Ron and Ginny broke out Ron's chess set and prepared to play, while Harry dug through his trunk's miscellaneous compartment before pulling out several items.
"Luna," began Harry once he was seated with several things in his lap, "I have your journal and copies of the Defensive Magic set, a muggle notebook, and books on Meditation and Occlumency that I already gave to the others. These are your books for the DA this year."
"Alright," responded Luna eagerly as she accepted the small pile of books and began thumbing through some of them excitedly. "So you got permission to continue the DA?"
"Yes we did," answered the smiling Harry as he looked around at the five loyal friends and knew that this group would be his own Inner Circle, before turning back to Luna to complete her gifts, "and I also have two dragonhide wand holsters for you which I've already given to the others, some spare wands I want you to try after we get to Hogwarts so you'll have a back up, and a pair of my new earring communication devices that I was going to wait to give you on your birthday next week …but, I want you to have them now …so Happy Birthday."
Harry handed over the small wrapped velvet jewelry box as he explained the development of the charms and showed off everyone else's earrings in the compartment explaining how they worked. Luna smiled warmly throughout the explanation, and then eagerly tore open the wrapping on the small velvet box before slowly opening the lid in amazement and happiness at the thoughtful birthday gift. The miniature galaxy earrings were simply perfect, and she immediately pulled out her current radish earrings and began to put in the beautiful new ones she would wear forever.
"Let me set them to you quickly," spoke Harry as he cast the final spell setting them to Luna and watching her put them in her ear with happy smiles on their faces just as the train began to move. "Just say 'call' and then the name of who you want to talk to and …viola."
"They're so beautiful Harry …thank you," responded a watery eyed, sincere and very much aware Luna as she gave the green eyed wizard a large and rare full and beautiful smile before reaching forward and giving him a soft hug around his middle, sensitive to his recent injuries as she buried her face into his chest.
"Your welcome," answered Harry sheepishly, never quite used to the thanks he received for anything or being hugged so softly and carefully, and wrapped his arms around to her back and held her for a moment glad that she was okay and knowing she needed this comfort. "I'm just glad you like them."
"I love them," she whispered into his chest barely loud enough for Harry to hear as he gave her all the time and comfort she wanted, knowing it was about more than just the necklace.
"This is really going to be a great year at Hogwarts," spoke Neville happily as he looked around the compartment at the six tight friends, two hugging, two sharing looks and blushes, a content and confident smile on his maturing face that brightened even more when his eyes met Ginny's.
"We have NEWT exams to start preparing for," added Hermione excitedly after a few moments and everyone was back in their seats as the other sixth years groaned, forcing her to give them a hard look of challenge, none stronger than Ron's who looked at her incredulously and with a healthy bit of affection as well.
"We have OWLs," continued Ginny while motioning to her and Luna in a slightly nervous and sad way.
"Don't worry, I can lend you my study materials and notes," responded Hermione, only too happy to help promote learning.
"Just don't ask her to put together your study schedule," added an exasperated Ron, before ducking his head in embarrassment at Hermione's hard glare she leveled him with as everyone else chuckled at the constantly bickering new couple who seemed to find new ways to fight just so they could kiss and make up later.
"Don't worry, you'll both do fine," responded Harry with a comforting lopsided smile to the two fifth years, "and you can always ask any of us to help."
"Thanks Harry," replied a relieved and smiling Luna, who despite being a relatively studious Ravenclaw, sometimes had problems with the practical applications of spells which was something Harry taught them all in spades, and judging by his defense of the Platform and rescuing of her today was even better now than he had ever been.
"Yeah mate," added Ron with a serious look to his best friend, "you saved everybody today with your actions and in training us. You can count me in for all the physical exercise I can take; if it wasn't for this last month …I don't think any of us would have survived today, and I know I wouldn't have lasted seconds without your help."
"He's right Harry," spoke up Neville who got nods of agreement from Ginny and Hermione who were both slightly watery eyed as the events of the morning came back to them all. "You are the reason we are all still here today."
"Thanks guys," responded Harry gratefully, but with a growing smirk on his face and mischievousness in his eyes that spelled doom for the others. "Just remember those thoughts when you're running laps around the lake every morning, especially during the freezing cold winter months."
Harry started laughing loudly at the looks of horror on everyone's faces, but none more so than Ron who turned white as a ghost as he realized what he just got himself into with his declaration of training. Soon the girls and Neville slowly started to join in, knowing how much Ron protested all physical activities the entire month now to praise them and get himself in over his head with his big mouth once again. He slowly regained his color and laughed along with his friends all somewhat giddy and emotional after the events of the morning and needing to lighten up the atmosphere in their compartment.
The battle was still so fresh, and that they were all allowed to still travel by train to school was a relief since it would allow them to relax and in Harry's case avoid a stay in the hospital wing. They mostly discussed inconsequential things about their summers and the upcoming school year. Everyone but Harry speculated on who the new DADA teacher would be, and what their training schedules were going to look like once Harry had his way. The friends would have the whole school year to study and train for the upcoming war with Voldemort and his Death Eaters, but for now Harry wanted to just sit, rest, recover, and enjoy the companionship of his close friends since if anything, this seemingly never ending summer taught him how important those he loved were to him.
AN: THE END! Finally!
I am so happy to finally be done with this story, at least for now. Yes, I had originally planned to write an entire sixth year story, but there were so many things for Harry to get started and going over the summer that it just spiraled out of control. Eventually, I will continue with this Honks sequel, but have many other things to get done that I have neglected for too long.
I am posting the beginnings of several of my other stories today, and they should be up by the time you finish this, and I welcome you all to keep reading. I thank you all for taking the time to read and for those of you, who have reviewed, you have truly made this a wonderful experience for me and I humbly thank you all for your kind words and encouragement.
Peace and love to all.