Disclaimer: I do not own Harry potter and nor the characters in it except for the original characters created by me.
Chapter 4: Lovegood
Draco was furious beyond belief. How dare these mudbloods and muggle lovers lock him in here like some common mongrel!?
"They will pay for this," he spat. His robe was smeared with grime and his hair was all over the place. "I've never been this filthy in my life!" he screamed, his voice bouncing off the walls, before pounding his fists on the door again.
His throat was raw from all the screaming and his anger had now dissolved and changed into fear and distress. "Please," he whimpered. "Please just let me out of here. I promise I'll behave!"
Outside the cage Moody and Hestia stood silently observing.
"I can't believe he's already blubbering," Moody scoffed, forgetting that this was no man, but a child no older than fifteen years. "Wasn't he supposed to have been held prisoner by Voldemort before being feed to the acromantula?"
"This just tells us what kind of prison they were in," Hestia said with a snort. "How much longer do we hold him?"
"You'll see," Moody muttered gruffly. They fell silent and continued their surveillance of the youngest Malfoy.
Draco was sitting in one corner of his cell, knees drawn up to his chest and arms wrapped around them. He was cold, hungry and parched and being the son of Lucius Malfoy, it was far from what his life was like just a few days ago. In a span of three days, his life had spiraled from having house elves ready to serve his most ridiculous demands to pissing in the same room as a prisoner.
The creak of his cell door grabbed his attention and his eyes lit up in hope of leaving this accursed room.
"Mr. Malfoy," whispered a voice. "Come quickly!"
The urgency of the voice quickened Draco's heart rate. Had someone come to rescue him?! He stood up quickly but the sudden rush of blood sent him into a dizzy.
"Mr. Malfoy!" cried the voice in panic and quickly rushed in to help the weakened boy.
"Who are you?" Draco croaked, his voice hoarse from all the screaming he had done earlier.
"My name is Andrew Warlow," he said and put Draco's arm around his neck and dragged him out of the repugnant room.
Draco saw the still bodies of Moody and Jones outside and his lips curled in satisfaction. He wished he could stomp on their faces but this man just dragged him on in a hurry.
"Stop dragging me," he said, "I can walk."
"Hurry then, we haven't got much time," Andrew whispered as he led Draco through the labyrinth of corridors.
"Why are you helping me?" Draco asked quietly.
Andrew didn't reply and just kept walking fast until he reached the invisible exit. "Walk into the wall."
Draco gave him a curious look and hesitantly walked in the direction pointed out by the man. Stepping out into the sunlight caused him to gasp and shield his eyes from the sudden brightness.
"I'm helping you because I want out," Andrew said from behind him. "I'm helping you because I know what will happen to me if I continue siding with this old fool and I don't want to die. I've never fought a battle in my life and I don't intend to do so just because Dumbledore asks me to!"
"So what do you want me to do? The dark lord has sentenced me to death and if I go back that's exactly what will happen to me," he said bitterly.
"Not if you have valuable information," Andrew said. "This place is the order's headquarters. Now the entrance is hidden by the fidelius, you know that. But this side is not and you can reveal this secret to anybody. You can't put the desert under the fidelius and using magic in the tomb is suicidal."
"I already know where we are," Draco sneered. "What good is this information to me when I already know it?"
"Tell the dark lord there are many who wish to change sides and earn his forgiveness," Andrew said. "And I think he'd also like to know that Dumbledore is sick."
That startled Draco.
"Yes," Andrew said sounding pleased. "Apparently he used some high level magic just recently and that has left him in a much weakened state. This is the perfect time to strike."
Draco paused and processed the information for a minute.
"The dark lord has an army. All he has to do in invade Beauxbaton and Dumbledore and his men will come crawling out," he said. Draco knew the information was valuable but he wanted more.
"You don't know this, but the muggle world is in shambles," Andrew said. "The dark lord has attacked already and it's only a matter of time before they all are dead."
Draco's eyes widened in shock and then a delighted look came upon his face.
"So now do we have a deal or not Malfoy!?" Andrew asked urgently. "It won't be long before they discover your escape and toss you back into that cell!"
"I accept," Draco said quickly. He had no desire to go through that horrible experience again. "But I don't know how to get there," he said worriedly.
Andrew had come prepared. "Here," he said, handing Draco a wand, a whistle and a roll of parchment. "The whistle is a portkey which will take you to the boundary of the ward the dark lord has put up. And the parchment contains a list of every man in Dumbledore's camp. But the real sweetener in this deal is this," he said, taking a deep breath.
"There's more?" Draco asked, his eyes glinting. The more information he had the more likely were his chances of staying alive.
"Tell the dark lord Harry Potter is the elemental he wants."
"What's an elemental?" Draco asked frowning. The term felt familiar but he couldn't remember why.
"Tell him that and you'll be guaranteed a spot in his inner circle."
Andrew placed his hand on Draco's shoulder. "Now go. My friends and I will be near the Eiffel tower everyday at noon waiting for someone to show up and take us to the dark lord."
"Thank you," Draco said, meaning every word. "You've just saved my life and I thank you," he said.
Andrew smiled. "Tap the whistle with the wand and say rescue."
Draco did as he was told and vanished in the blink of an eye.
Andrew stood still for a moment staring at the spot Draco has disappeared. "Do you think they'll let him live?" he asked, apparently to no one.
Dumbledore removed the cloak of invisibility that kept him hidden and said, "He won't kill him. Not after Voldemort hears what he has to say."
"I hope my acting was good enough to convince the dark lord when he looks into that boy's mind."
"You were brilliant Andrew," Dumbledore said. "Now go back to Hogwarts and wait in my office. I have to finish setting up the trap."
"Alright," Andrew said and quickly walked back through the doorway.
"So will you take the bait Tom?" Dumbledore murmured and then he drew his wand.
"What is it Nott," Voldemort asked. He was engaged in a game of chess with the Count and didn't bother looking at the death eater. "As you can see I'm busy trying to beat someone with centuries of experience so this better be good."
The Count smirked, "What he means is, he hopes to beat me at the game but is losing anyway."
Nott didn't know whether he should speak or not. He wasn't sure if his master meant don't disturb him or yes go ahead and speak.
"Are you going to say anything Mr. Nott?" Voldemort asked testily.
"My Lord, we found Draco Malfoy outside the wards," he said quickly. "He says he has information for you and he escaped from Dumbledore."
Voldemort raised his head and focused on Nott. "Malfoy escaped from Dumbledore?" he said with a hint of incredulity.
'Yes My Lord," Nott said.
"Where is he?"
Nott turned back and nodded at one of the guards outside to bring him in.
A dirty and foul smelling Malfoy was pushed to the center of the room. "M-my Lord," he whimpered.
"Draco Malfoy. How bold of you to come back to me," Voldemort sneered.
"My Lord I have important information for you," Draco said. He didn't dare look into the dark lord's eyes and risk losing his nerve. His heart was pounding from the amount of fear that was coursing through his veins.
"Didn't you escape from me Draco?" Voldemort asked instead. "And now you tell you escaped from your rescuers? You're not lying to me are you little Malfoy."
"Harry Potter rescued me," Draco said gulping. "Our enemies imprisoned me."
Voldemort froze. "What did you say?" he whispered, narrowing his eyes.
"P-potter interfered and took us from the arena my lord," he said quickly. Rescued was a bad word to use.
Draco and Blaise were rescued by an elemental, Voldemort thought quickly. Did that mean Harry Potter, the one in the prophecy, was an elemental?! A glance at the Count told him that the vampire had come to the same conclusion.
"Tell me all you know," Voldemort hissed.
"I... I was rescued by a man named Andrew Warlow," Draco said, not moving from his place on the floor. "He gave me this," He removed the roll of parchment from his robes and handed them to Nott, "He told me to tell you that there were many of them who wanted to join you. He said that they would be at the Eiffel tower at noon everyday and he also told me to tell you that Harry Potter is the elemental you want."
"My, my," the Count said. "If I had a beating heart it would be quite amazed to know that Harry Potter, the one who defeated you as an infant, is an elemental!"
"Quiet," Voldemort snapped. "Harry Potter, elemental or not, shall die by my wand and there's nothing in this world that can change that."
The Count wisely kept quiet.
"How do you know this isn't a trap set up by Dumbledore?" The Count asked Draco coldly.
"Dumbledore is sick my Lord," Draco said quickly. "He had been gone for a while and when he returned he was in a terribly weakened state."
It was at that moment that Lucius Malfoy walked into the throne room and stopped short at the sight of his son.
"Draco!" he gasped in shock.
"Do you have something to say Lucius," Voldemort interrupted dangerously. He wasn't in the mood for petty emotions surfacing in his men now.
Lucius somehow managed to reign in the impulse to rush to his son and hug him and turned to the dark lord. "My Lord, Hogwarts is lost," he said as calmly as possible, which was not calmly at all.
"The wards have been reactivated and when I could not contact Mulciber I knew something was wrong."
Fear blossomed in him as the dark lord began to shake in anger and his wand slipped into his hand.
"That certainly gives young Draco's story a certain amount of credibility," the Count commented.
Voldemort remained silent and Draco looked at his father. Lucius heart broke when he saw the betrayal in Draco's eyes. But know he had his son back and he would never let him go no matter what the dark lord said.
Dumbledore was ill and Hogwarts was lost. Voldemort connected the dots quite easily and he was not pleased at the sudden turn of events at all. He knew he should have secured Hogwarts much more efficiently but he had been lax. His priorities had lain with bringing all the magical creatures under his thumb and thus had neglected to attend to Hogwarts and the knowledge that lay hidden there sooner.
"Draco Malfoy," Voldemort spoke finally.
Voldemort walked up to the kneeling Malfoy and lifted his chin. "Look into my eyes," he whispered and then Draco screamed. He continued to scream until the dark lord was done with him. The seconds in which Voldemort tore through his mind felt like a lifetime to Draco and when the dark lord let him go he fell to the floor, unconscious.
Lucius could only look on helplessly.
"Make ready the vampires and werewolves," he said coldly. "In a few hours it will be nightfall in the Egyptian desert and we are going to destroy Dumbledore's pitiful resistance and he is going to regret taking Hogwarts from me!"
In his fury, Voldemort had made his first mistake.
"Has everyone been moved?" Sirius asked McGonagall.
"Almost," she replied stiffly. "We've turned all the classrooms into make shift living quarters for the muggles. Six people per classroom and the Gryffindor common room have been given to our students."
"Do we have enough room for everybody?"
"This is a magical castle Sirius," McGonagall said. "You should know better than most about how much room Hogwarts can provide."
"What about the students from Beauxbaton and their parents?"
"Rawenclaw and Hufflepuff common rooms have been given to them. Their teachers shall handle the organization and the staff quarters are being given out to the adults without families."
"That even I know won't be enough," Sirius said blandly.
"We're sharing," she said and Sirius snorted.
"I can't imagine you sharing a room with someone else," he said quickly, responding to her glare.
"This is war Sirius," she said sternly. "Comfort holds no meaning in war."
Sirius kept his mouth shut, chastened.
"Is Harry in the Slytherin common room or the Gryffindor?" he asked instead.
"All the students who wish to live in the common rooms have been moved to the Gryffindor common room. Dumbledore is remodeling the Slytherin common rooms for more people that we might rescue," she said.
"Harry wouldn't have liked that," he said smiling.
"No he didn't," she agreed, thinking back to the look she had gotten for even suggesting it to him. "He, in his sweetest voice, said that he had his own accommodations and refused to share a room with Gryffindorks."
"Ouch," Sirius said wincing.
"I swear that boy thinks power makes him untouchable to rules and authority!"
"Hmm, blame it on his upbringing," Sirius said darkly. "But for all intent and purposes he's no longer a boy and I think you know that too Minerva."
McGonagall sighed. "I never thought our world would end like this," she said heavily.
"It hasn't ended my dear Minerva," Dumbledore said walking over to them.
Minerva gasped and nearly cursed him. "Albus! Don't sneak up on me like that!" she literally snarled.
They were near the entrance to the castle keeping an eye on the proceedings. Order members were bringing in the survivors via portkey and guiding them inside the castle.
"We're still here and as long as we are, the world hasn't ended," he said gently.
"Sure doesn't feel like that," she said bitterly. "I mean look at everyone! What sort of fight do you expect then to give!?"
"If you give in to defeat, then Voldemort would have won. You know this," he reprimanded. "Don't give in Minerva. Don't lose that fighting spirit and hope."
The sight of a lynx patronus interrupted them. "Dumbledore, vampires and werewolves are portkeying into the desert by the hundreds. No sign of any death eaters or Voldemort. Waiting for your command," said the deep voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt.
At the same time the headmistress of Beauxbaton, Madame Maxime portkeyed into the grounds and her eyes searched for Dumbledore.
"Death eaters, along with an army of inferi are attacking the wards Dumbleedoor," she said after hurrying over to him.
The three waited with baited breathes for Dumbledore to say something.
This was it. It was finally their turn to retaliate.
"Dumbledore?" Sirius said hesitantly. What was Albus waiting for!?
"Expecto Partonum," whispered Dumbledore and a majestic phoenix burst out of his wand and disappeared in an instant. "Kingsley has the green light and I suggest you activate the rune Madame," he said grimly.
The half giant woman removed a rune from her robes and tapped in with her wand. The rune pulsed, emitting a white light, and a second later it disintegrated.
Miles away a school was eradicated in a colossal explosion.
The air was filled with the suffocating pressure of Voldemort's magic as paced up and down. The Count could feel Voldemort's fury at the loss of Hogwarts.
"Are you sure this is wise Voldemort," the Count asked. "This could very well be an elaborate trap set up by Dumbledore."
"Dumbledore would not let Draco escape and nor would he allow him to be imprisoned the way he was," Voldemort said. "Draco's imprisonment has Alastor Moody's fingerprints all over it and the only way Dumbledore would allow such treatment was if he were incapable of stopping it. I know the man and trust me when I say this. His feeble heart rules his actions!" It was impossible to even consider that Albus Dumbledore would ever change his methods.
He sneered as he thought about the fool's forgiving nature.
"No, Draco escaped with a help of traitor among them and I saw no lie in Draco's mind. Their hideout has a weak point and that was revealed to me. I could not find where the entrance to their hideout lies but the exit, no matter how well hidden, was easy to find. With the instructions I gave to your kind they should have no trouble finding it."
The Count didn't argue the case further.
"We are sending two groups of vampires and werewolves to the desert and inferi to Beauxbaton," Voldemort said. "No one of importance is leading the groups so you can stop worrying about our losses if it is a trap."
"I was under the impression that you stopped using dark magic," The Count said frowning.
Voldemort waved his hand dismissively. "Creations of the past and they are not under my control."
"Quickly, bring down the wards!" shouted Doyle. Three death eaters had been given the task of bring the wards down with the items their lord had given them. Three stones were to be placed twenty feet apart at the boundary of the wards and then a spell was to follow.
"Are you ready," Doyle yelled in panic. "The inferi are almost here!"
Far behind them, Bellatrix Lestrange laughed manically as she guided the un-dead. "If those morons don't bring down the wards in the next ten seconds they're going to get eaten alive!" Her eyes shone eagerly hoping they failed.
She saw the wards suddenly crackle with energy and she pouted in disappointment. A second later she had to shield her eyes as the sky turned pure white. The faint sound of an explosion followed and she felt a moment of weightlessness and then she knew no more.
When Bellatrix awoke she groaned out loud. Her body felt like a herd of hippogriffs had just run over her. Somehow she got to her feet ignoring the screaming protest of her body. Her eyes widened as she beheld the destruction in front of her.
A massive crater lay where Beauxbaton once stood. The death eaters and two hundred inferi following them were nowhere to be seen. Probably turned to ash, she thought in shock. If it weren't for her distance she would have been dead. Her eyes narrowed in anger as her mind processed what her eyes were seeing.
Dumbledore had set a lethal trap. Dumbledore; a campaigner of non violence had set a lethal trap!
Far out in the desert Kingsley Shacklebolt was glued to his omnioculars and waited patiently as the massive army of roaring werewolves, and vampires driven by blood lust crossed over the invisible boundary Dumbledore had made. He counted at least a hundred of them and shuddered to think how many more Voldemort had created.
As soon as most of them were over the boundary he took a deep breath and leveled his wand at a rune glowing dimly in the distance. "Pulsus," he whispered and as soon as he knew his spell was on target he activated his portkey. He had no desire to get caught up in the explosion.
However because of his quick retreat he missed the magnificent sliver flames that exploded all around the creatures sending them into agonizing pain. He missed watching them roll in the sand scratching at their skin as it was slowly torn apart. He missed the second explosion that rocked the pyramid causing the thousands of year old wards to implode. And when everything settled and all that remained were the charred remains of vile creatures he didn't see the spectre rise out of the remains of the tomb.
He knew he shouldn't feel happy at the news but he did. Was it wrong that the incineration of couple hundred vampires and werewolves who most likely been turned into creatures they never would have even thought existed against their will? He knew they were most likely muggles who had been turned.
But it simply brought a smile on his face to imagine what Voldemort looked like right about now! Dumbledore had turned from a senile good-natured good intending and forgiving old man into a... ... ... he didn't how to put it but watching him strategize was, he didn't want to say it, it was intimidating. He didn't know what it was but the vibe Dumbledore was giving out was something to fear.
Suddenly he realized what exactly made dark lords fear Albus Dumbledore. He also realized that if he were to duel with this man now he would definitely lose.
The serious look on his face as he walked in the corridors of Hogwarts turned into a grin as he came to the conclusion this was a perfect time to duel with the headmaster.
"This is going to be great," he chuckled. The elemental in him was craving for blood.
Harry was ready to turn back and challenge the headmaster but then his eyes came upon a very, very strange sight.
"What the hell?" he muttered squinting.
He saw a girl coming towards him and there was nothing normal about the way she did.
Long bleach blonde hair reaching her knees, white robes which were glowing in the moon light streaming through the windows and the weirdest part of it all was that she was hopping on one foot with her arms stretched out and on top of it all she was continuously rotating as she moved.
Harry stood frozen, gaping at the girl. The girl came to a halt in front of him but continued to rotate. "Harry Potter," she said, her voice soft and dreamy. "Do you mind moving aside so I can continue my absorption of the flufflerbees?"
"Huh?" Harry said. "Flufflerbees?"
The girl nodded.
Harry was getting dizzy by just looking at her rotate. "Who are you?" he asked finally.
The sighed and stopped. "Strange," she muttered her grey eyes peering into his green.
There was something very wrong about this girl Harry thought. Looking into her eyes was like looking into a thick fog.
"Err... are you alright?"
"My name's Luna Lovegood," she said. "I thought you would know that seeing as you just took me to professor Slughorn's party."
Luna sighed in disappointment. "Never mind," she said. "Now if you'll excuse me, the flufflerbees need to be absorbed."
Luna sighed again. "Didn't we talk about this just a few hours back Harry? Ginny and you must accept that your children attract flufflerbees just like nargles attract pixies."
Harry's eyebrows shot up. "Whoa, whoa hold up you! Ginny? Children!?"
Luna frowned again, "Are you sure you want me Harry?"
"Huh?" Harry was getting increasingly frustrated by this girl. "Luna or whatever your name is, I swear if you don't start using words I understand..."
His words died in his throat when Luna moved into his personal space and planted a chaste kiss on his lips.
"Yes Harry," she whispered her eyes shining with joy.
Harry stumbled away from her, his eyes wide with shock. "W-what the hell are you doing!" he spluttered.
Luna started to blink rapidly for a few seconds before stopping and looking around in slight confusion. She then spotted Harry in front of her and giggled at the look on his face. "You're Harry Potter aren't you?" she said.
"You're barmy," Harry said, his eyes wide. "Insane!"
"That's quite rude," Luna said. "Is that something you say to someone you've never met before?"
Harry was beginning to get a headache. "Listen girl," he said angrily. "You've been talking gibberish all this time and then you kiss me and then you say I'm rude!?"
Luna frowned again before her eyes lit up in comprehension. "That was because of the flufflerbees," she explained. "Hogwarts is suddenly infested with them and absorbing them can have wonderful effects on you."
"What in Merlin's name are flufflerbees?!" he asked rubbing his forehead.
"Oh my!" Luna gasped suddenly.
"It was nice to meet you Harry," she said warmly, "But the nargles are moving in and I must stop them from scaring the flufflerbees." She then moved past him, stretched out her arms and began to hop forward and rotate.
Harry just stared at her retreating back completely bewildered. When she disappeared around the next bend in the corridor Harry convinced himself what he just saw was his mind playing tricks on him.
"A moment of madness," he muttered shaking his head. "Yep, that's what it was."
He forgot all about challenging Dumbledore to a duel and in a slight daze he made his way to the Gryffindor tower.
"Cherries," he said clearly to the fat lady.
"Letting Slytherin's in the Gryffindor common room," she muttered. "Oh Godric, where art thou!?" she said dramatically.
"Oh shut up and open up," Harry said rolling his eyes earning a glare from the portrait. The fat lady turned her nose up and the portrait swung open.
Harry climbed in and immediately felt uncomfortable at the warmth radiating from the common room.
Silence fell in the common room when his presence was noticed. He recognized many students of Hogwarts and was pleased to see that so many of them were alive after London was burnt down.
"What are you doing here?"
The irritatingly familiar voice of Ron snapped him out of his daze and he frowned at the Weasley.
"I'm looking for Lillian," he said coolly, waiting for the usual hostilities that accompanied.
"I'll ask Hermione to call her," he said indifferently which surprised Harry.
His surprise must have shown. "We're all on the same side now," he said and stood up to look for Hermione.
Harry noticed the back of his neck was red and smirked. It must have taken a lot to convince Weasley he wasn't evil incarnate.
He waited and felt uncomfortable at the number of stares he was getting. There were some parents with their children and Harry could discern various stares of awe, fear and curiosity.
Looks like my reputation is spreading, he thought dryly. He saw a parent whispering her eight year old child's ear. No doubt warning him about me, he thought and for a moment had an urge to go and say 'boo!' He resisted and simply chose to wait quietly.
"Hey," Lillian said brightly coming down from the staircase to the girls dormitory.
Harry's heart thumped against his ribs when he saw her. She had just showered and her hair was still wet and for some reason it caused some strange feeling to bubble in him.
He quickly squashed those weird feelings and smiled back.
"What is it?" she asked.
He leaned in and the feeling that had just hit Harry hit Lillian hard. She held her breath as Harry leaned in towards her.
What was he doing?! Her mind screamed at her. But instead Harry just whispered in her ear. "We just had a meeting and I thought you'd want to know what happened."
Lillian exhaled. What was that? she wondered. Lillian glanced behind and saw Ron and Hermione looking at her curiously. "Can they come?" she asked gesturing at her friends.
The 'No' that came out of Harry was almost instantaneous. It was like a reflex.
Lillian looked annoyed.
"But they can come if they can keep their mouths shut," he added quickly and then frowned. Why was he agreeing?
"Come on," he said heading out of the common room. He kept a sharp look out for that Luna girl. He had no intention of running into her again.
"Where are we going?" Hermione asked.
"Outside," Harry replied. "I need some fresh air."
"So we're not going to some secret hideout of yours?" Ron said. Harry detected disappointment in the red heads voice and smirked.
"No Weasley. We're just going out," he said.
Lillian smiled. She felt tempted to mention Harry's secret room but she knew he'd never forgive her if he did.
"Are the rumors about you true?" Hermione asked suddenly, struggling to keep up with Harry and Ron.
Both males had experienced a growth spurt and Harry now stood at a 5'7'' while Ron was the tallest among them reaching a height of 5'9''. Lillian was next standing at 5'6'' compared to Hermione who was the shortest among them standing at 5'4''.
"What sort of rumors have you heard?" he asked her curiously.
"Hermione, you know better than to believe rumors!" Lillian huffed.
"That's why I'm asking him," she retorted.
"Well?" Harry asked.
"They're saying that you're a cold-blooded killer and you've killed over a hundred people and a dragon," Hermione said hurriedly. She was a little afraid of angering the Potter. "Also that on every mission you've gone, you've not spared a single death eater, that you defeated Dumbledore in a duel and that you..." she reddened, "That you don't have a heart, but of course that's impossible."
It didn't escape Hermione notice that Lillian didn't and that told her a lot.
"Well?" demanded Ron.
"Ease up Weasley," Harry said snorting. "I do have a heart Granger," was all he said.
"Are you saying you defeated Dumbledore?!" Ron said incredulously.
"Yes I did," Harry said. "But you should know that Dumbledore was holding back. If it were a real duel I wouldn't have lasted more than a minute. Dumbledore is an incredible wizard."
The three Gryffindors stared at him in awe.
"What about the dragon and the killings?" Hermione whispered.
"Freckles, you want to answer that?" he said nonchalantly.
Hermione and Ron's eyes swiveled towards Lillian.
"Don't call me Freckles," she said half-heartedly.
Lillian sighed. She hadn't told her friends about a lot of things. "Harry, Dumbledore and I defeated the Dragon but it was Harry who delivered the final blow," she said.
Ron stared at Lillian in awe. "You beat a dragon?" He was beginning to see his friend in a whole new light. How powerful was she?
"And yes I did kill a lot of death eaters on that day," Harry said grimly. "Additionally I've gone only on four missions. One was to infiltrate London, one you know about and the other two were to rescue muggles survivors whose villages or towns had been ravaged by werewolves and vampires."
"So what have you been doing all this while?" Ron asked. "It's been months and you're never to be seen around!"
"Training," Harry replied shortly. Learning occlumency had put a new perspective on his definition of a near impossible task.
They reached the great hall and Harry led them to the edge of the lake. Hermione and Ron continued to quiz Lillian but he had tuned them out.
It was strange, he thought. Before this war began he wouldn't have even entertained the idea of conversing with Weasley and Granger but now it didn't bother him at all. After what he had seen and done having petty quarrels with them seemed so pointless and it seemed the effect of the war had finally hit Weasley too. He no longer had that look of hatred in his eyes when he saw him anymore.
They only thing that mattered to Harry now was war.
He sighed and sat crossed legged at the edge of the lake. The other three followed his lead and sat in front of him.
It was peaceful, Harry thought. The moon was beginning to rise over the forest and the only other sounds they could hear was the lake rippling against the shore and a cricket whistling nearby.
"What do you two know?" he asked, looking at Ron and Hermione.
"Nothing," Ron said bitterly. "All we know is that Dumbledore reclaimed Hogwarts and because of something you know who did, we had to leave Beauxbaton."
"Voldemort made every nuclear power plant in the world meltdown," Harry said.
Hermione gasped and covered her mouth while Ron didn't understand.
"Ron, imagine clouds of deadly poison covering half the world," she said, her voice reflecting her horror.
"Weasley, in simple words, Voldemort just condemned half the world's muggle population to death," he said stoically. "Voldemort blindsided us with the threat of nuclear weapons and in an instant took away the muggles most important source of survival."
"It wasn't just nuclear power plants," Lillian added dully. "Dams were blown to bits, major power plants all across the globe were destroyed..." She couldn't go on.
"The world is covered in a cloud of radioactive poison and they have no electricity," Harry finished. "Thousands of muggles are dying as we speak and we can do nothing about it."
"What about the countries without nuclear capabilities?" Hermione asked. "Surely they're safe! Aren't we doing anything to protect them!?"
"What can we do Granger?" Harry said sharply. "We don't have an army, we don't have enough resources to sustain the amount of people we have in Hogwarts and Voldemort still has the nuclear weapons. Plus the countries you speak of have been experiencing a series of what they call terrorist attacks. Their governments are too crippled to do anything."
"Hermione," Lillian said gently, placing her hand on her friend's shoulder to calm her down. She then turned to Harry. "Did Dumbledore's plan work?"
Harry smiled dangerously. "We got them alright. I saw Kingsley and Diggles memory of the aftermath and I wish I was there to see it."
"What plan?" Ron and Hermione asked at the same time.
Harry thought about whether he should tell them or not and then decided against it. Even if they were safe here Warlow's cover had to be protected to the maximum extent. Even Lillian didn't know about Warlow.
Andrew Warlow was a pure-blood and had graduated from Hogwarts along with Lucius Malfoy. Although he was against the dark lord in every form, he had made sure never to reveal that sentiment to his fellow Slytherin friends who served the dark lord. Through a combination of wealth and cunning he had managed to stay away from the first war. He was the perfect undercover agent.
To make his cover perfect Dumbledore had modified his memories and locked up the knowledge of him being a spy and his awareness about the plan deep within his mind. It would take a month for the spell Dumbledore had woven in his mind to unravel and until then Warlow was going to be the perfect follower of Voldemort.
This was an important part of the plan to let Draco escape. There were glaring flaws in the plan like how could a trap be set up if Draco wasn't let out on purpose but if Dumbledore's memory charms were as advanced and air tight as he hoped them to be then it would be obvious that Warlow had no idea about it and that someone had discovered his betrayal and informed the resistance.
A lot banked upon how forgiving or understanding Voldemort was going to be. They knew it was very likely he could be killed but this was a risk they had to take.
"You don't need to know," Harry said finally.
"But!" Hermione protested.
"No," Harry said sharply. "There are some things that you can't know and I think I've said enough."
"What is Dumbledore doing now?" Lillian asked quickly. She didn't want an argument to ruin this truce that they had going.
Harry glared at the bushy haired girl and then turned to Lillian. "Looking for muggles."
"I thought we were already doing that," Ron said smartly.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Not just any muggle but scientists, teachers, engineers, plumbers... we're looking for muggle survivors with certain skills."
"Why?" Lillian asked confused. "Shouldn't we be saving any survivor we come across!?"
"Knowledge," Hermione said, comprehension dawning upon her.
"Correct," Harry said pleased to see that her brain was as sharp as ever. "If we have to help the muggles rebuild then we need people will the knowledge and skill to do so. Magic cannot solve everything."
"That's smart," Ron said slowly.
"Of course it is," Harry retorted.
Ron scowled and Lillian hurriedly interrupted again, "So any new mission for you?"
Harry paused, glanced at the other two before his eyes flicked back to Lillian.
"You mind excusing us guys?" she said apologetically.
Hermione looked like she wanted to protest but Ron abruptly stood up and dragged her away.
"Dwarves," he said simply.
"Dumbledore has an interesting theory about those gargantuan dragons," he said in a low voice.
"According to wizard lore, dragons were the guardians to the gates of the dwarfish kingdoms. Dumbledore hypothesized that if the dragons are real then the dwarves could exist too and he's worried that if Voldemort could find and enslave a free dragon then he could very well find the dwarves and recruit them into his army."
Lillian frowned. "Let me get this straight. Dwarves could be real and these free dragons are the guardians to the gates of their kingdoms which, by the way, are supposed to be a myth?"
Harry nodded. "Dumbledore has been doing extensive research and there isn't much text about them. The only thing that we could find on them was in fairy tales which is where the myth of free dragons also came from."
"And Voldemort found the dragons," Lillian said in understanding. "So what now? Are you going to search for them!?" she said in shock. "Dumbledore wants to send you on a mission to find these dragons and then find the dwarves who most likely don't even exist!? Do you even remember what destruction just one dragon brought about and he wants you to go and face a bunch of them?"
"Are you insane!?" she burst out.
Ron and Hermione heard that had looked at the pair with curiosity burning in their eyes.
"Of course not," Harry snapped. "It's just a theory so far and nothing more. We need to do more research into the matter and we have more pressing matters to be concerned about."
Lillian let out a sigh of relief. "Good," she mumbled. Silence fell upon them and after a while Lillian went to join her friends.
Harry's mind wandered to Warlow. A lot depended on him now. The three Gryffindor's left after a while, not wanting to worry Mrs. Weasley and earn an ear shattering dress down.
His eyes focused on the rising moon and suddenly something clicked in his mind.
"Lovegood," he murmured. "Wasn't that the name of the woman who stumbled upon Flamel's dimensional gate?"
His mind flashed back to his encounter with Luna Lovegood and her odd ramblings when it all fit into place.
"Holy mother of Merlin!" he gasped. Dumbledore would want to know about this!