Disclaimer: the Harry Potter series does not belong to me in any way. All credit goes to Rowling.
Hello everyone I'm back ^^ before the story begins, i'd like to apologize for the long wait for this chaper. however I've had a really rough spring and start of the summer. In february I lost my cousin to cancer, only 17 years old. we were quite close and I miss him a lot. for a while I lost all will to write anything, but now I've found it again. This chapter and the rest of the story is dedicated to him. may he rest in peace.
When the Hogwarts Express finally neared their enemies, a quiet rain had begun to fall and painted the skies grey. Salazar stood in a corner, staring out the window, wondering for the sixth or seventh time if this truly was the right thing to do. So many lives could and probably would be lost today… wouldn't it be better if he just threw off his disguise and faced the enemy himself? But still, even he would be hard-pressed to face over twenty death eaters and dementors ant the same time. Silently he let his gaze wander over the small groups of youngsters sitting huddled up together, speaking silently with each other. All the prefects had been sent out to inform the younger years about what was happening and securing them in the compartments. To increase the security, Salazar had been adding to the wards wandlessly, making everyone on the train, bearing a dark mark and having truly malicious intents towards the students, falling unconscious and stunned to the floor. So far almost fifteen students had been caught by the wards, six of them slytherins. He shook his head and closed his eyes. So many. His twisted heir had so many followers and it astounded him to see how far into the school his greedy claws reached. But no more. When he opened his eyes again they was cold and hard. 'I'll no longer allow Voldemort to run rampant as he wish. It's time for him to learn what it truly means to be a Slytherin…' Salazar thought and fingered his wand.
Suddenly a voice rang out in the train.
"This is the driver speaking, we are nearing the place where our enemies is. They will be upon us in ten minutes. Merlin help us…"
Salazar cursed under his breath and straightened himself. Then he turned towards the closest student and growled.
"Run and find Draco, then head for the engine wagon and have him stop the train. We'll let them come to us. It will give us a few more minutes."
The girl, a hufflepuff, nodded and took of swiftly.
Salazar turned to is left and found Neville coming up to him.
"Everything alright Nev?" he asked with a slightly strained smile.
"Yeah. We are ready, well as ready as possible."
With a nod Salazar placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed it slightly.
"Be careful Nev, I believe some of them might head straight for you, but I'll try to draw them to me"
"I can handle myself Harry."
"I know Neville. I know."
Suddenly the train began to slow down rapidly before coming to a stop. Moments after the door to the compartment opened and Draco came inside.
With a nod Salazar raised his wand and cast a sonorous on himself.
"Offense Group and Defence Group, gather outside. The Dementor Group is to stay inside the train, Susan you're leader. We count on you."
Then Salazar cast 'finite incantatem' on himself and headed outside flanked by Neville and Draco.
When they came, they hit hard. Dementors swarmed over the hill bringing cold and despair with them and for a moment the students buckled under the onslaught and some went down on their knees. Whimpers and screams rose in the air. Then, swarms of silver creatures flew over their heads heading straight for the vile beings, forcing the cold away. The black-caped monstrosities shrieked and were pushed back by the creatures of light chasing them. A cheer rose from the fighters of Hogwarts but it was short lived as it quieted when the Death Eaters marched into sight. Tall, robed, with white masks. Bringing terror with them. Slowly they stopped and lined up under silence. Then they began drawing their wands, but still no spells were cast. A lone death eater stepped forward and raised his wand into the air. The incantation, even though spoken with a low voice was heard by everyone.
As a green skull formed in the sky the first spells was sent across the field towards the train. Only to hit shields, transfigured and levitated objects. For a moment everything was silent. Then a cry rose from the gathered students and spells began to fly from both sides.
Salazar fired spell after spell at the charging death eaters, never hesitating. Not even when shields appeared or things floated up in front of him did he stop his casting. A smirk played on his lips when he saw how several transfigured animal ran towards the enemies and when a death eater was bowled over by a bear he cheered inwardly. With a wave oh his wand, a rhino joined the attacking animals. He followed it up with casting 'avis oppugno' and sent a flock of vultures towards the enemy. Soon other avians followed his vultures and seconds later dismayed cries and curses rose from their foes. His smirk grew into a wide grin when he saw how many ravenclaws added unbreakable charms to their transfigured beasts.
"You know, perhaps some snakes could even the odds, Serpent Lord"
At once Salazar swirled around, death eaters momentarily forgotten, and came face to face with Luna Lovegood. Serpent Lord was a title he had been addressed as back when they had founded the school! She had to know, but how?
"Snoogles seems to muddy your mind. Don't let them nest or you might lose what you want to save. Act soon, but not yet, before the old chimera makes its move."
Then she skipped away while flicking her wand and hitting death eaters with various different spells. Salazar stared after her, before shaking his head and swiftly dodging a spell. What was he doing? He was in the middle of a battle. It was no time to space out! With a growl he flicked his wand and conjured several serpents.
"Go my friendsss. Ssstrike the onesss in black robesss and white masksss. They are trying to hurt the nessstlingsss on the train."
The snakes hissed, before nodding and slithering into the fray. Then he was forced to duck as a spell went straight through a shield and headed for him.
"I see that you've learnt some new tricks Potter, but they won't help you against me. If I kill you, my Lord will surely reward me greatly."
A short, slightly stout man dressed in the dark robes of a death eater, but lacking the mask, stood before him.
"Lestrange, what a pleasant surprise. I don't suppose you could sound a retreat and leave with your merry men?"
"Didn't think so" Salazar mumbled and moved out of the way.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here?"
Neville gritted his teeth and clenched his wand tightly. The masked wizard in front of him smirked and raised his wand.
"My lord will be very pleased with me if I bring you to him. If you come quietly I won't hurt you… much"
"Forget it! I'm not going anywhere!"
"Stupid boy! I was showing you some mercy! So be it! I'll bring you to him in pieces! Crucio!"
When Neville leapt out of way the and sent a stunner, the death eater snarled and easily blocked it. Then the man raised his wand but before he had a chance to cast, he had to throw himself out of the way of a disarming spell.
"Forget it scum! I'm not letting you lay a finger on Neville!" Ron growled.
Then he sent a stunner, but it was easily blocked.
"Tut, tut Weasley. Can't you do better than that?" the man asked, before quickly stunning Ron.
The death eater raised his wand with a wicked grin on his lips, but before he had the chance to cast anything he had to throw himself to the ground quickly. He felt how heat made sweat run down his spine and dampen his robes. With a growl the masked man rose and glared at his foe.
"Wake Weasley! Fast! I'll keep him busy!" Draco shouted while once again sending the whip of fire, he had conjured, against the death eater.
The man sneered and wordlessly conjured a shield of water. Draco gritted his teeth when the whip dissolved into steam. With a flick of his wand he quickly banished it. Then he gathered his magic until the tip of his wand began to sparkle.
"Fulguris!" he roared and directed a bolt of pure lightning at his enemy.
The death eater cursed and closed his eyes. Then he let lose a pulse of hot magic to dry out all the moisture around him before summoning an earthen wall.
"Expelliarmus! Stupefy! Petrificus Totalus!"
Ron's spells sailed through the air, taking the death eater by surprise, but he ducked under them while simultaneouslycasting a blasting hex at the wall of earth, making it explode towards Draco.
"Draco! Watch out!"
Desperately Ron raised his wand trying to remember any spell that was strong enough to protect Draco, but came up with nothing. Eyes wide with fear he stared as the shards of earth headed towards the blond. Then suddenly all of the pieces fell in place. With a soundless roar Ron waived his wand and a sheet of metal popped into place in front of Draco. The earth hit the metal with a loud band, causing dust to fly the air around them.
"I have to admit it. You three are quite impressive. Such a shame that such talent is wasted like this."
Neither Ron, Draco or Neville could help shivering when the death eater spoke with a voice dripping with malice. They knew that somehow the situation had changed. When the man moved they knew how. His speed had tripled and now, his spells carried a greater strength than before. In a matter of minutes Draco was taken down by a bone shattering hex to the leg and Ron had been hit by another stunner. Neville was blocking and dodging like crazy, but knew with a terrifying clarity that it only was a matter of time before it would be over. 'This is an inner circle death eater! I'm completely outmatched, he must have been playing with us before.' Anger surged in him, when the enemy easily blocked every curse he threw with a cruel grin on his face.
"Stupefy! Incarcerous! Expelliarmus! Conjuctivis!"
The strength of the last curse leaving Neville's wand forced the death eater to swiftly conjure a block of stone to block it.
"As I said before, impressive Longbottom. Your parents would be proud. But your still far below my level."
The next spell took Neville completely by surprise. Before he knew what had happened he was on the ground screaming as the cruciatus curse brought him pain he had never experienced before. With a smirk on his face, the death eater watched the screaming boy writhe on the ground. Suddenly he heard something behind him and when he swirled around he was met by a red light to his face. As blackness claimed his vision he didn't notice the tug at his navel or when he was ported away from the battlefield.
Ron cheered when the death eater was hit by his stunner, but his cheering turned to cursing when the death eater disappeared. Then he remembered Neville and paled. He rapidly rose unto shaky legs and wobbled over to the place where his fallen friend laid.
"Neville? Bloody hell, are you alright mate?"
The other boy opened tired eyes and nodded before grimacing.
"Yeah, check Draco instead."
The red head nodded and wobbled over to the fallen blonde.
"I'm fine just a broken leg" he said with a grimace.
After a moments hesitation, Ron waved his wand and conjured up bandages for the leg, thinking that Draco and Harry was more alike than he had thought.
"Ron take Draco to the train, and check up on the other groups. Give them any help they need."
Ron nodded, then he cast a levitation charm and hurried towards the train with Draco floating behind him. Neville watched them go, before turning towards the enemies again. With a deep breath he threw himself into the fray once again.
Cyrianus Nott shook himself when he watched how Parkinson got ported away. 'Arrogant fool...' he thought and stunned another student. Even though the Weasley brat was pathetic, he had to admit that both Longbottom and the Malfoy spawn was forces to be reconned with. Yes, Lucius had trained his son well. Parkinson had been a fool to underestimate them. As he ducked under a spell and petrified his attacker he shook his head slightly. Really, this was just children, certainly not helpless, but still children. Once again since his lord's return he questioned the man's motives and sanity. He could still remember the man he had joined in the first war, a man untouched by the darkest rituals. Back then Lord Voldemort had been a leader worthy of following. Now though...
Suddenly he had to leap out of the way of a jet of water. With a curse he raised his wand preparing to stun his attacker, but the spell faltered on his lips when he saw a blonde girl, hair matted by blood, with solemn silver eyes standing before him. There was something about her, but he couldn't point his finger on what and was that a radish dangling from one of her ears?
"Snurgles fly around you and clouds your vision, but fear not, I sense that the krukul is about to hatch."
"I beg your pardon? Could you repeat that?"
Nott stared at her completely flabbergasted. Snurgles? Krukuls? Then he remember his son telling him about a strange ravenclaw girl. 'What was her name again? Ah yes, Luna Lovegood'
"Child" he gently began "I have never heard of those creatures."
"Do not worry. They merely likes to play hide and seek. You'll see them soon enough."
She spoke with such a sense of finality in her voice that it shook the elder man to his core. He couldn't suppress a shiver from running down his spine and when he raised his wand he wasn't aware of how badly his hand shook.
"Your a strange girl, miss Lovegood. I'm a death eater you know, you should be scared."
Luna smiled widely and then before he could react she suddenly was in front of him, peering at his mask.
"You are a nice man mr Nott and you won't hurt me. Snatchbanders keep your spells away from me and the fairies in your hair eats the evil thoughts and curses you try to cast. But sadly its goodbye now." she said and patted his cheek gently.
How? His hood was up and his mask on. How did she know? And what was snatchbanders?Then he realized he was gaping stupidly and closed his mouth with a snap.
"How... how did you know? And what do you mean with goodbye?"
The young woman looked away a pout on her face before she answered.
"You're about to be portkeyed away. We'll meet again soon though, so don't be sad."
With that she skipped away, merrily humming a tune that sounded like 'deck the halls'. Before Nott Sr had a chance to react he saw a flash of red before everything went black.
Salazar swore and sidestepped a purple curse, before sending a silent stunner, followed by an expelliarmus and a petrifikus totalus at Lestrange. The elder wizard dodged everything and blocked whatever he cast at him.
"Pathetic Potter! Do you truly believe that second year spells work on me?" he taunted while batting away another disarming spell.
No, he didn't think that, but he couldn't use his full power. He could however step it up a bit. A smirk grew on his lips.
"Merely warming up, you know. Injuries are so annoying, especially if they're caused by your own negligence."
At first, Lestrange growled deeply but then he smirked. An uneasy feeling began to coil in Salazar's stomach when he saw how the smirk grew into an evil grin.
"I beseech thee..."
A summoning? No this was something else... a wind started to stir and slowly it gathered around the chanting wizard. Salazar swore and raised his wand, but stopped himself before he cast a spell. If this was what he thought it was, then the results could be disastrous if he interrupted the elder wizard.
"Lend me thy power..."
Salazar's eyes narrowed and he clenched his wand tightly in his hand, knuckles turning white. Forget about stepping up only a bit. He would have to get really serious, otherwise it would be dangerous for not only him, but for the others too. Slowly he closed his eyes and searched for the words of the spell he was about to use.
"Power to withstand and vanquish my foe"
For a moment, after Lestrange had ended his chant, the air itself was charged by crackling magic. Then it flashed white before gathering around the elder wizard and covering him in a glowing veil. But Salazar payed no notice to this, instead he raised his wand and held it in front of him with both his hand, before he too started to chant.
"Flame, heed my call and grant me thy strength"
As he spoke he drew a series of crimson runes in the air around him.
"Water, heed my call and lend fluidity to my wit"
It was almost invisible at first, but then the air began to crackle with gathering magic.
"Air, heed my call and bring my feet swiftness"
Salazar nearly dropped his wand when it grew hotter and hotter and started to shake badly. It was close, but he managed to hold on and draw the last rune sequence as he spoke the last set of the spell.
"Earth, heed my call to defend me and mine"
When the last word was spoken, magic rose around Salazar before exploding outwards with a weak gust of wind.
"I'm impressed Potter. Quite powerful spell that. We shall see if it is enough shall we?"
Then he whipped his wand in a downward motion and yelled:
A ray of pure energy shot out from the wand and sped towards Salazar, who gripped his wand tighter with both hands.
"Shield of Terra!"
A wall of earth rose in front of him and seconds later the ray hit it dead-on. A cloud of dust rose and laid in the air as a thick brown mist. Salazar struck. Shards of ice began to speed down towards Lestrange, gleaming with the few specks of light that found their way through the mist. With a curse, the death eater swiftly moved his wand in circles, creating a shield of green light. The shards hit the shield and then they were sent back, at double speed. Salazar's eyes widened and gritting his teeth he threw himself to the right trying to avoid the deadly projectiles. But he wasn't fast enough. When pain bloomed in his right shoulder he bit back a scream. Numbness began to creep down his arm and when cold began to creep into his limbs he swallowed hard and felt how his pulse quickened. '' This isn't good". He flicked his wand and swiftly cast a series of heating charms on himself, before starting to gather his magic to strike again. He knew that his shoddy spell work wouldn't hold up for long and that he had to end it quickly. Already, he could feel the cold start to overtake his heating charms. Slowly he raised his wand and held it up in front of his face.
"Dance of flames"
Small wisps of fire started to appear in the air around him before gathering up and slowly he molded them into the first shape that came into his mind. When Lestrange stared at the creation in front of him he held his wand tighter and narrowed his eyes and when the huge serpent hissed before rushing at him, he swore. With a snarl he whipped his wand to the right trying to divert the snakes course and for some seconds it worked. Then it sped back towards him, its jaws wide open. He swore again before starting to move his wand in circles, once again summoning the green shield. As before, the snake was reflected towards Salazar as soon as it hit the shield, but this time he was ready for it and with just a wave he forced the magic construct to dissolve back into small wisps for some moments before they faded away.
"Not bad Potter. I didn't think you was capable of this kind of magic. However, it ends here!"
The death eater took a deep breath, then he pointed his wand towards the sky. When Salazar saw how a thin red line shot out from the tip and disappeared among the clouds he felt how shivers travelled down his spine. 'I have a bad feeling about this'. When a nasty smile appeared on Lestrange's face he knew that something bad was about to happen.
A tremor went through the ground when the sky slowly turned dark. A wave of silence washed over the battlefield when everyone suddenly stopped fighting to look at the sky. Suddenly a bolt of red lightning shot down towards Salazar, who threw himself backwards, hissing in pain when his shoulder twinged.
"Wings of wind" he whispered before flickering out of sight, a magical wind carrying him forth, plenty faster than his feet were capable of.
For a moment, Lestrange stared then he growled and narrowed his eyes. When Salazar reappeared he flicked his wand and sent another bolt crashing down towards him. But Salazar had flickered away again. Again and again the death eater sent bolts at Salazar, whom evaded them all, but both of em knew that it would end soon. Because neither would be able to keep it up much longer. 'What should I do? I can't attack him with this spell active, but without it I would be a sitting duck' Then it hit him. It was dangerous. He swallowed hard and clutched his wand tighter in his hand.
When he reappeared the next time and Lestrange sent a bolt at him, he used up nearly all of his remaining magic to boost the spell. He disappeared and appeared behind Lestrange. With a cheeky smiled he tapped the other on his shoulder and saluted him when the older wizard snarled and flicked his wand, before moving away. A smirk formed on Salazar's lips when Lestrange's eyes widened with realization and a bolt of crimson lightning struck him. His mirth died when he saw how the other got ported away.
"Damn it, he portkeyed away" Salazar mumbled before stumbling slightly.
With a groan he sank down on the ground, pain blossoming in his shoulder when the spells and adrenaline started to wear of. He fought to remain conscious, but the blackness creeping into his vision slowly, told him he was fighting a loosing battle. The last thing he heard, before darkness claimed him was the sound of several people apparating in. He smiled. The help had finally arrived.