Summary: The Pit, an illegal wizarding underground of fights. While dog fighting may rule in the Muggle world, dracon fights rule in the Wizarding. Harry finds himself in this brutal world and must do anything necessary to survive. With enemies and betrayal on all sides, Harry has more than just Voldemort's presence in The Pit to keep him occupied.
As always, I do not own Harry Potter or anything made by J.K. Rowling. Dracon fights and whatever else is new probably belongs to me and needs permission to be used in future fics.
Most spells were found on websites though I did create a few in this and other chapters. Some are fake that I found on various Harry Potter websites so if one happens to be yours, well, it was found on the internet. If you really have a problem, email me and I'll remove it.
Ron watched his family with a forlorn look of detachment. His mother was busy cooking the small feast of food for the Order after they were done with the meeting. As she cut up vegetables, she hummed a small tune that had Ron smiling softly, marveling at the sheer normality his mother was portraying at the moment. She always was able to shut the world off as she cleaned or cooked, Ron mused.
"Mum?" he asked softly.
Mrs. Weasley gave a small jump and turned to him. "Good heaven's, Ron, you gave me quite the start." Ron offered a small chuckle. His mum had really been gone. "Now what was it, dear?"
Ron shrugged. "Well," he said carefully, "Harry will be coming over tonight."
Mrs. Weasley suddenly looked tired, her eyes weary and her body sagging. "Forcing that poor boy into this god for saken home, especially after Sirius… Well, I… What on earth could Albus be thinking?"
Ron's lip twitched upward as his mom ranted. "About that," he interrupted. "I wanted to know if we could go to Diagon Alley tomorrow to get our school supplies." Before his mother could say no, Ron quickly said, "Me, Hermione and Harry will be real good! Plus the Order will probably be there, not to mention we need to visit Fred and George in their new shop."
Mrs. Weasley narrowed her eyes. "Ron, with times being as they are…"
"I know what times are like," Ron said, unable to hide his exasperation. "After the last few years, how could I not know?"
"Ron," Mrs. Weasley said softly, putting down her chopping knife and swooping him up in a motherly hug.
"Mum," Ron whined, though he did not fight the hug. "And going to Diagon Alley will help Harry keep his mind off Sirius," he added, knowing that would work. Whatever helped Harry his mum would go for.
Mrs. Weasley gave him a shrewd look. "Don't think I don't know what you're doing, young man."
Ron gave a sheepish smile. "Is it working?"
Mrs. Weasley gave a small huff. "I would have thought with the twins gone you would have stopped feeling their influence."
"Who say's I can't think up stuff to get out of trouble?" Ron asked a bit indignantly. Really, he had some good excuses too.
His mother just laughed and kissed him on the forehead. "Alright, dear. I'll see what I can do about going to Diagon Alley tomorrow."
"Brilliant! You're the best, mum." Ron gave his mother a quick peck on the cheek. Mrs. Weasley gave a small laugh as she heard Ron say, "I can't wait to take him to that new shop!" as he ran up the stairs.
"Hermione!" Ron shouted enthusiastically as he burst into one his best friend's room. "Oh, hey, Ginny," he said absentmindly to his younger sister who was sitting on the bed next to Hermione.
She rolled her eyes at Ron. "Hello to you, too," she muttered sarcastically.
Hermione, looking a bit amused at Ron's actions, gave him a small smile. "What is it, Ron?"
"We get to go to Diagon Alley," he said cheerfully. "I got mum to agree to letting us go since it would help Harry not think about staying here." Ron frowned at the room he was in. "Grimauld's place is effing creepy."
"Only for the weak of mind," Ginny said with raised eyebrows. "Not scared of a few cobwebs, are you?"
"Course not," Ron snapped. "Just don't like the odd dark object here and there. Heard Shaklebolt had to re-grow three fingers because a watch bit them off."
The girls winced, thinking about how painful that must have been for the auror.
"Harry will be coming tonight, right?" Ginny asked.
Hermione nodded. "I do hope his relatives weren't too mean to him, especially after Sirius died."
Ron snorted. "This is the Dursley's you're talking about." He gave a small shrug. "Well, what's done is done." Hermione blinked at how mature Ron was looking and acting. Ron, not noticing Hermione's look, continued. "We have to take Harry to the new joke shop the twins made, not to mention this new store down by Quality Quidditch Supplies. Bill told me there's some really wicked stuff in there like miniature pyramids that have an actual layout of a real one and real four leaf clover's for good luck. Do you know how rare those are?"
"So this is a shop filled with worldly items?" Hermione asked in interest. "Do you know if there are any books from Greece? Their magic has always fascinated me, especially with most of their religious belief's benefiting magic."
"Well, I don't really know." Ron scratched his cheek in thought. "Guess we'll just find out, eh?"
Hermione and Ginny mumbled their agreements; though the loud shriek's from Mrs. Black interrupted anything else they might have had to say. Once the screaming was muffled, they all realized one thing.
"Harry's here," Hermione said, eyes alight with excitement at seeing her friends but still overshadowed with worry.
"Perhaps we shouldn't say anything," Ginny said after a moment of tense silence. "You know, about Sirius."
Ron shook his head. "No," he said resolutely. "Remember last year? Don't know about you guys, but I don't want a pissed off Harry. He's damn scary."
Ginny snorted while Hermione nodded knowingly. "Let's just not bring it up first, ok?"
"Bring what up?" a voice asked, causing the group to jump about a foot in the air.
"Bloody hell, Harry!" Ron laughed, getting over the shock as he turned to his best mate. "Sneak up on us and scary the bloody day lights out of us, will you?"
Harry shrugged, cracking a grin as he surveyed his friends. "Constant vigilance, mate. Constant vigilance."
"Moody picked you up again, didn't he?" Ron asked. At Harry's nod he asked, "Did old Mad-Eye try and jump you?"
"Got a good black eye for it," Harry said, grinning. "Though I think from the angry stunners from him I might have gone a bit overboard."
Hermione tutted disapprovingly as she looked Harry up and down. Ginny was also assessing Harry's body with a critical eye. He was still as skinny as ever, though that seemed to just be with his build. Small muscles adjourned his body, showing that he had done some working out and the extra weight and height showed that he had hit puberty and had eaten well, even if he was only an inch taller than Hermione. He was also a light brown, signifying he had been out in the sun for a while.
"Now what was this about not bringing up something?" Harry asked, eyes gazing into their own deeply from behind his glasses.
They all started talking at once, trying to offer some excuse or another. Laughing, Harry shook his head at them.
"Sirius, you mean?" They all looked a bit guilty. "Don't worry about it," Harry said softly. "Sirius," he gave a small pause, his betraying his sadness before putting on a mask of neutrality. "Sirius is gone," he continued strongly. "I know that, and I couldn't let that get to me, especially this summer now that I know what needs to be done."
"Needs to be done?" Hermione repeated softly.
"The need to get stronger," Harry said, his tone just as soft. He lowered his emerald eyes, looking thoughtful.
"Harry, please tell me you didn't train yourself this summer just to defeat V… Voldemort," Ginny said, giving Harry an intense look. "Please tell me that."
Harry surprised them all with a bark of laughter. "I doubt half a summer would put me on par with old Tommy." He gave them a grin. "But training has to start somewhere, neh?"
Ron looked Harry up and down. "I suppose so, especially if you start looking any better, mate."
Harry wiggled his eyebrows mockingly. "Checking me out, Ron?"
Ron scoffed. "Not on your life, though I can't say the same about these two." Both Ron and Harry turned to the blushing Hermione and Ginny. "So, what did you do?"
Harry shrugged. "Moped for the most part," he added, sounding bitter. The others frowned, wondering if he was angry at himself. "The Dursley's were kind of freaked out by Moody's orders and did the only logical thing."
The others waited.
"Which was?" Hermione asked, impatient.
"Locking me out."
Harry shrugged, completely uncaring. "Glad they did, though I might not have thought that the first week. So long as I went in for lunch and stayed in the house after dinner, the Order didn't need to be bothered."
"Of course they should be bothe--!"
Harry held up a hand to stop any rant Hermione might have worked up. "I honestly don't care, Hermione," he said coldly. "We all know they don't like me and the feeling is mutual." Harry licked his lips as he ran a hand through his hair. "I worked in the garden mostly, though I've always sort of done that during the summer. And I also…"
"Also?" Ginny pressed.
"Well, it's going to sound stupid to you guys…"
"Out with it, mate!"
Harry held up his hands. "Alright, alright. I sort of baited my cousin's gang into chasing me around all summer."
There was an incredulous silence.
"Dare I ask why?" Hermione asked, closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose.
"Told you guys it would sound stupid," Harry said knowingly. "Well, I wanted to get faster."
"By having them chase you?" Hermione said with an air of 'Harry, you're an idiot'.
Harry shrugged. "They used to chase me all the time as a kid and it always made me really fast." He ignored the outraged scowls on his friends' faces. "And, well, it worked. I did normal exercises. You know, sit ups, push ups and all kinds of ups." Harry grinned. "It was nice, actually. Being out in the sun all summer actually made me a bit healthier, not to mention I had enough food to make even Ron full."
"So they at least fed you like a human being, right?" Ginny demanded.
"No, but your mum did."
"That reminds me, I really do need to thank her for sending me food all the time," Harry said with a small smile. "When's dinner?"
"Should be soon," Ron answered. "The meeting should be done with so I suppose she's setting up."
"Good, because I'm ravenous."
Sure enough, no sooner did he say that the call of "Dinner!" echoed throughout the house. Getting up, Hermione pulled Harry to the side as Ginny and Ron bounded downstairs.
"Harry," she said seriously. "I know you might be sick of hearing this, but are you sure you're all right?"
Harry shrugged. "I'm fine, Hermione."
Harry sighed, looking a little uncomfortable, his face falling. "I miss him so goddamn much," he admitted, not needing to say his name for Hermione to know. "It hurts more than anything…"
"But?" Hermione pressed, knowing there was something more.
"But I know I can't focus on him right now," he said quietly, looking around the room as if someone was watching them. "After the war I'll grieve. Hell, I'll grieve for everyone, but not now, not while there's still a fight going on. I need to be stronger, Hermione, even if that means doing some things that I might not necessarily like."
Hermione gave him a bright smile. "And I believe this is the point of no return, Mr. Potter."
Harry raised a brow at that. "No return of what?"
"Of being a boy again." Hermione gave another smile, though this one was sad. "You're becoming a man."
"Then does that mean people should be calling me The-Man-Who-Lived?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Oh, ha ha. Very funny, though I might have been wrong if you start being immature again."
"I'll only be immature if Ron is acting that way," Harry retorted.
"Ron, amazingly, is maturing as well," Hermione said, sounding a bit incredulous at what she was saying.
"I noticed," Harry agreed. "Though we're not the only ones growing up." He eyed Hermione up and down. Hermione gave him a light smack as his eyes traveled a little too far down. "What, I can't give you a look over but both you and Ginny can to me?"
"Woman's rights," Hermione retorted as Harry swung his arm around his shoulders and she did the same, though with a bit more trouble since he was taller than her.
Harry gave a snort. "Woman's rights my arse."
Hermione giggled as they walked down the stairs. She turned to him. "Remember, you know you always have Ron and me to talk to."
"I know, Hermione." Harry gave her an encouraging smile.
"And you know you don't have to wear cheerful masks, don't you."
"Of course." Harry looked dead serious. "But right now I'm happy having my friends offer support. The masks only come up when needed."
"I wish it wasn't needed."
"We don't always get what we wish for," Harry said, "even if it does suck."
"They'll be murdered in their sleep," Molly Weasley whispered in horror.
Harry glanced at the red headed woman, pure amusement written on his face. "If they do they'll go out in bright orange and sparkles," Harry whispered to Ron, causing the taller boy to snort.
"I have to admit, even this is crazy!"
Why Are You Worrying About You-Know-Who?
You SHOULD Be Worrying About
the Constipation Sensation That's Gripping the Nation!
Harry's shoulders were shaking from his silent laughter. "This is absolutely brilliant!" He glanced at Hermione, noticing her dropped jaw and incredulous look. Ginny had already gone in.
"Well," Mrs. Weasley paused, looking as if she actually needed help to continue.
"Perhaps it be best we hurry things along," Tonks said to the group, taking over where Mrs. Weasley had left off.
Her suggestion was met with excited murmurs of agreement as the children rushed inside. Mrs. Weasley gave her husband a stern look.
Wilting under the gaze, Mr. Weasley consoled his wife. "I'll be sure to talk to them, Molly love. The boys, you know how they are."
"I know all too well what my sons do," Mrs. Weasley said, looking contrite.
Mr. Weasley patted her on the back. "They are good kids, Molly, they all are."
Mrs. Weasley amended. "Yes, I know. Now, let's go see what those two imps of ours have done with their life."
Inside it was pure and absolute chaos. Joke items covered ever inch of the store. There were even a few on the floor that, if stepped on, would turn the victim a certain color up to half an hour. Suffice to say there were quite a few multicolored people.
The walls had bookcases that hosted prank item after prank item. From vomiting pastels to eyebrow growing pills, it had absolutely everything. Fireworks were hosted on the other side and had a small warning about small kids not being allowed near them.
Harry looked around in amazement and laughed as a firefly made out of sparklers flew over to him and buzzed curiously in his face for a moment before exploding into a miniature firework finale.
"Enjoy that, did you?" a voice asked right beside his ear.
Harry grinned in amazement as he watched the light show finish. He turned to a twin by his side and glanced at the name tag. Although it said 'Forge', Harry wasn't all that sure it really was Fred.
"It's brilliant," Harry answered. "Fred?"
"No, I'm Forge."
"And I'm Gred!" the second twin announced as he jumped over to Harry and leaned against his brother. "How's it going Harry?"
Harry shrugged. "Alright," he answered truthfully. "Things could be better, ya know, but I'm going with it."
The twins nodded in sympathy before breaking out into large grins. "Well, I know one way that can make you happy!"
"Which involves pranks, of course."
"Of course, dear brother! Would we have any less?"
Harry watched the two go at it back and forth for a while and wondered if he would get dizzy any time soon.
"We have to include the Gapping Gastles for sure!" 'Forge' said eagerly.
"And of course let's not forget the Sherbet Lemon Firework Balooza!" 'Gred' said just as eagerly.
"Do you think he'll need the Sardine Knockouts?"
"Can't be too careful, what with Snape haunting the halls."
"Good call, Gred."
"Why thank you, Forge."
Harry shook his head and was just about to walk away when a large pile of merchandise was practically thrown into his hands. Not expecting the sudden weight, amount of items and Weasley twin hugs, Harry nearly collapsed.
"Easy go there, our loveable benefactor," the twin to his right said. "And by the way, I'm actually Fred."
"But I thought I was Fred!"
"No, you're George. Don't you even know your own name?"
"With you as a brother it's not that easy."
Fred stuck his tongue out at George and turned to Harry. "Hey, what are you doing?" he demanded.
Harry, who was in the process of putting all the sweets, fireworks and whatever else he had back, paused midway, looking like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "Putting it back?" he said questionably, looking innocent.
"Putting it back… Putting it back! I don't think so!" Fred and George all but roared, practically drawing the attention of ever customer.
"Fred! George!" their mother barked. "You stop badgering Harry right this instant!"
"Yea, mum!" they called back.
Fred sighed. "Bless her. Always knew she loved the black haired Weasley more than the rest of us red heads."
"Tears for the gingers," George said with a depressing air. "Anyway!" He turned to Harry. "Look, Harry, you're out benefactor and friend. We owe you everything, so don't you dare expect to be paying for anything. Now take it."
"Alright, alright," Harry laughed, amused by the big deal the twins were making. "So, what does this thing do?" Harry asked, holding a packet that held tiny flying animals. There was a small hawk, bee, duck, occamy and phoenix. They were each about an inch big and were different colors.
"Fireworks," Fred supplied. "Just squeeze them and then throw them and run. They get into the closest persons face and provide a colorful distraction."
"And this… Is this the portable swamp you guys used last year? Have to say, that had to be the best thing I had ever seen."
"What was the best thing you ever saw?" Ron asked as he came up to them, holding a large bundle of joke items.
"The swamp from last year," George said, eyeing the items Ron held. "That'll be three galleons and a knut."
"What, but I haven't got three galleons!" Ron replied indignantly. "What about a sibling discount?"
"We'll cut off the knut, then," Fred said indifferently.
Ron scowled and grudgingly started putting stuff back.
"Don't worry about it, Ron," Harry whispered to his friend as the twins went back to work. "You can share this load with me."
"Wicked," Ron breathed, taking a packet of candies that caused boils. "Hey, you want to go check out that new store I was telling you last night?"
"The one that Bill told you about? Sure. Let's go get Hermione first."
The two walked toward Hermione who was gazing at some sort of floating pile of goo that ranged from every single blue color. Her face showed she was clearly impressed.
"Phenomenal. This is some impressive magic."
"For that, you can have it for free." George came up from behind her, grinned innocently, and grabbed the light teal colored blue and watched as it slowly turned into an icy blue.
Hermione instantly turned suspicious.
Fred noticed the look and took it out of George's hand and put it in a small bag for safe keeping. "It's perfectly safe," he said sincerely. "We got the idea from those muggle glow lamp things that dad brought home one night."
The twins proceeded to tell them how they had made the goo like substance and how they charmed it to last at least a year to float and change colors.
"So you reckon you about done?" Ron nudged Hermione a few times.
Slapping the hand away, Hermione gave Ron an exasperated look. "Yes, Ron, I'm done. We can go to this store you've wanted so badly to see."
"Yes! Come on, then." Ron proceeded to drag and pull an amused Harry and Hermione out of the store.
"Where are you guys going?" Ginny stood near the entrance where she was looking into a small cage in the corner that had tiny little moving balls of fluff. They were called Pygmy Puff's that the twins were apparently breeding.
"Going to a different store," said Ron, shrugging indifferently.
"Mm hmm. And I suppose you were about to leave without me, were you?"
"It's not like we were sneaking away from you," Ron sad indignantly.
Ginny eyed him coolly. "Right."
Not wanting a fight to break out between the two siblings, Harry intervened. "Let's just go now. No one was trying to keep one person from going, alright? Your parents are outside so we'll just tell them where were going. It's by Quality Quidditch Supplies, right?"
"Yea," Ron confirmed.
"Alright then." Harry clapped Ron on the back. "Let's go, then."
Grinning at his best friend, Ron took the lead and headed over to his parents. The others could see Mrs. Weasley's face turning stern. A few words from her husband, however, had her soften and nod with physical reluctance.
"What was that about?" Hermione asked, nodding toward the Weasley parents.
"Mum is pretty tense," Ron said, looking grim. "She really doesn't want us to be here but knows it wouldn't be good to keep us locked up so much. She's…"
"Worried," Harry finished. He sighed, glancing at the woman who was so much like a mother to him. "Well, how about we spend a bit more time checking out that store and then stopping off for a quick ice cream before leaving. That way your parents don't have to worry and we can still have a good time."
They all nodded in agreement.
"Alright, show the way, Ron."
"You don't know where it is," Hermione stated.
"I know it's by the Quidditch store!"
"Then lets head over there," Ginny said impatiently, taking the lead and heading over there.
Looking at each other, the golden trio shrugged before following. The shop Ron had wanted to show them was only to shops away from the broom shop and had large, gold letters that said 'Antiques of Old.'
Ginny peered into the window and almost squealed in joy. "Oh, look! They actually have magical mirrors in here. Do you have any idea how rare those are?"
"Forget window shopping, let's go inside," Ron urged as he entered the store. Hermione followed first before Harry and slowly Ginny.
Inside, the Weasley girl returned to the mirrors in interest while the other three scattered. Each looked around in awe at the many items. It looked as if a bit of everything from the world had been put into this tiny store.
"Woah. Harry, you've got to see this." Ron gestured wildly for Harry to come over. Obliging, Harry went over to see what was so amazing. "Check it out. It's a miniature Quidditch field strategy build," Ron said imploringly. "You just tell the players your idea for a strategy and the flyers do it and then you see if it could work or not. I would love to have this."
"Would only work if you made captain," Harry pointed out.
Ron shrugged. "Would still be nice to have."
"Yea…" Harry trailed off as his eyes scanned an item behind Ron, right against the wall next to the cash register. "Is that a rug?" Harry walked over to the rug that was guarded by a glass top.
"That would be a flying carpet, my young friend," the man behind the cash register said. He had dark skin and bushy gray beard that needed more taming than Harry's hair. He also wore a light brown turban around his head. "Beautiful, isn't it?"
Harry regarded the carpet with new interest. He had always loved any form of flying, even the Thestral ride from last year, but hearing about a new mode of flying made him curious. The flying carpet was a royal blue color with purple and gold designs. The designs were meaningless twists and turns, circles and even squares, though the front and back of it sort of reminded Harry of the design on a cobra.
"I thought flying carpets were banned in England," Hermione said with narrowed eyes.
The man chuckled. "Actually flying it is illegal, but owning one with a permit is quite legal, little lady. I see your young friend is quite entranced by it. What about it, sir, does it interest you?"
Harry nodded. "It does, though I'm afraid to say I won't be buying it, as I have no use for it."
"What a shame, especially since it is quite legal in most parts of the world. What a shame England, Canada and the Hawaiian islands banned their marvelous uses in the air."
"Don't even think about it, Harry," Hermione warned, steering him away from the carpet and toward some other sort of trinket.
Harry looked surprised. "What, you don't honestly think I would buy that, do you? I have absolutely no idea how to even use one and I don't even need one."
"Just making sure, you did seem a bit starry eyed," she teased.
Harry shrugged. "What can I say, I love to fly."
They resumed looking around the store, which was probably temptation at its worse. Most items were a little expensive and others just had no use other than to decorate. Despite these facts the four children were in awe of the items.
Harry was looking over some smooth stones that had an animal painted on it. They could be used to summon the animal for a short time, and only one time, for defensive purposes. It seemed like a good idea, especially with the way things were with Voldemort and his Death Eaters. He walked over to Ginny, who had wandered a bit around the store at first, had returned to the mirrors.
"What's so special about these mirrors?" he asked her softly, startling her enough to cause her to jump.
"Harry, don't scare me like that," she scolded.
Harry grinned. "Sorry, didn't mean to sneak up on you like that."
She nodded. "It's alright. I'm just so into these mirrors. Each one is so different. This one here can show you in any image you want. I was having a bit fun with changing my hair color."
Harry walked in front of the silver mirror and stood next to Ginny. They both looked completely normal. Ginny grinned impishly.
"Give me black hair and Harry red," she demanded.
Immediately the image changed. Harry laughed and ran a hand through his hair. "I look weird with red hair."
Ginny shrugged. "I don't think so; I think it looks quite nice."
Harry smiled. "Thanks. Black is a good color for you too." Ginny beamed as Harry turned back to the mirror. "Give Ginny blue dots on her skin."
"Hey! Well, if you want to play it that way, Potter. Give Harry horns and red skin."
Harry laughed. "I look like the devil. All I need is a tail."
"You asked for it," Ginny warned. "Give Harry a red pointed tail."
"Play it like that, huh? Give Ginny a pig nose and a big belly."
"Harry, I'm absolutely horrid!" Ginny laughed.
"I thought that was the point," Harry said sweetly, stepping away from the mirror and gazing at the rest. "Now, what else do these do?"
Ginny picked up a hand held mirror. "This one gives tips on how to do your makeup or hair." She pointed at two mirrors that looked identical. "Those, when given to two people, act as a way of communicating. You just…"
"Say the persons name and they pop up," Harry said dully, sighing a bit.
"Harry?" Ginny said gently. "Harry, what's wrong?"
"Nothing, Gin, I'm fine."
"Don't give me that, Harry Potter," Ginny said with a motherly sternness. "What's wrong?"
Harry sighed again. "Sirius had given me something like that during Christmas. I hadn't known at the time what it was and I never checked. If I had known I could have checked up on him." Harry shook his head, determined to stop his ramblings before he turned into the sad little boy he had been at the beginning of summer. "And, well, it just sort of reminded me of him," he finished lamely.
Ginny nodded. "I'm so sorry, Harry. It's understandable for you to get emotional when thinking about Sirius."
"Its fine, Ginny," Harry said a bit sternly, not wanting to think about the rights and wrongs of getting emotional. He getting emotional was never a good thing. "Come on, let's get out of here. "Oi, Ron, Hermione. Ready to leave?"
Hermione, who had been looking at wizarding maps, came over immediately. Ron, who was still drooling over the miniature Quiddtitch field, took a bit more urging. The thought of ice cream made him move a bit quicker, however.
"Ah, I love the fudge cauldron flavor," Ron gushed as he ate more of the black colored ice cream.
"I still think that's just another way to call it chocolate," Harry whispered to Hermione. "So many names for the same thing."
Hermione giggled. "Eat your strawberry griffon sundae, Harry," she said instead.
Harry huffed. "Only if you finish your Cerberus shake," he returned.
Hermione giggled and happily obliged as the four of them sat outside on one of the tables under a large yellow umbrella. The adults were happily eating at the table next to them. The sun was shining brightly, indicating the hot summer air wasn't about to go away anytime soon despite there was only a week before school started.
"I wish everyday could be like this," Ginny said, eating her own algae mint ice cream.
The others agreed quietly, though Harry kept his eyes peeled for any sort of danger. He could tell that the Order members were doing the same thing, what with the way they kept looking around every now and then. It was rather pitiful to see that they were so obvious about it. The only one Harry could give any credit for was Moody, but Harry supposed with as much paranoia as that man had, he had to be quiet about it.
"Keep your wits about you," Moody whispered to the four kids. "I have a bad feeling about this. Too many people school shopping and Knockturn Alley looking more abandoned than a cemetery. Something ain't right here."
The group tensed. Harry placed his half eaten ice cream to the side, looking thoughtful. The others just ate their ice cream with tense shoulders. Harry flicked his eyes this way and that, no longer caring if he was being paranoid like the old auror. The man had a point. Knockturn did look a bit more abandoned than usual. After about ten minutes of nothing happening, Harry relaxed his guard.
Hermione and Ginny screamed while Ron cursed. Harry, ignoring the others, had jumped up and stood in a crouching position with his wand at the ready. His face was completely neutral. It was only the pure anger in his eyes that could show how he was feeling.
"Death Eater's!" Moody barked. "Everyone, to yer positions! Tonks, get these kids out of 'ere now!"
"Righto!" Tonks called back, ushering the group towards the Leaky Cauldron.
She needn't have bothered because as soon as they even took a step forward dozens of black robed figures swarmed out of Knockturn Alley, curses already flying.
"Protego!" Harry and Tonks shouted, erecting a strong shield to stop the incoming spells.
The front Death Eater whispered orders to the others, causing them to break away in small groups.
"They're trying to surround us and the other shoppers," Harry whispered to the others, summoning two tables and upturning them to provide a physical shield.
"We have to get out of here," Hermione whispered fearfully.
High pitched laughter filled their ears as they heard the torture curse being called out. Harry's eyes, which had been burning with anger, were now as cold as ice. "Bellatrix," he snarled.
"Harry, don't," Hermione begged, placing her hand on his arm.
Harry shrugged it off. "Get your wands out," he barked. "What's the matter with you? If you want to get away be prepared!"
"No need to sna—" Ginny got cut off as the two tables were destroyed by a large blasting curse, sending them tumbling away.
Harry, going with the force, immediately jumped up and fired two curses before he even landed. "Animata! Derpenseesan!"
The first curse, a pale white color, hit one Death Eater straight on. For a moment, the others were unsure if it worked or not, but as soon as he started fumbling around and waving his arms and tripping, they realized he was blind. The second one was powerful enough for the others to actually feel the magic. It shot pure lightning. The Death Eater it had been aimed at managed to dodge in time, however the one behind him was hit full blast and shrieked in agony before falling to the ground and had gone into shock.
"How did he do that?" Hermione asked the group quietly, wide eyed.
"What do you think you're doing?" Tonks snapped at them. "Either help or get out of here!" She was busy holding her own against two other Death Eaters, dodging this way and that before finally sending a sickly purple curse that had streaks of black. It caused a Death Eater's robes to disintegrate before he cast the spell to remove the damage.
Nodding, the group brought out their wand and sent multiples of "Stupefy!" only to see them be useless against shields.
"Avada Kadevra!" a Death Eater shrieked.
Ginny screamed as Hermione brought up her wand and summoned the two tables Harry had used earlier. They were blown apart and crashed into the three teens. Hermione screamed as a sharp piece tore deeply into her cheek and made her bleed heavily.
"Hermione!" Ron rushed over to his friend.
"Silly little children should learn not to mess with the adults," the Death Eater that had shot the killing curse sneered. "Crucio."
Before Ron could even act, he was hit with excruciating pain and he was screaming in such a way that it clearly expressed raw pain. Never before had he ever felt pain such as this. White hot needles were poking into his every fiber. And just as soon as it had hit, it was over. Ron was panting horribly and twitched every so often. Despite this, he just had to know what had caused the Death Eater to stop. The sight that met his eyes made him sick enough to vomit.
Harry was standing over the man, looking horribly sick but determined at what he had done. The man's clothes had been shredded, leaving him in nothing more than underwear that barely covered anything. He had cuts absolutely everywhere. They were at least an inch deep and were quickly turning purple from infection. It was obvious that if the man didn't die from loss of blood, the infection would kill him.
Harry, still looking ill, spat to the side and turned away. "Get out of here," he commanded, erecting a shield made out of stone from the ground and watched as the Order and aurors fought with the Death Eaters.
They were losing. The Death Eaters just kept coming in more and more numbers. The aurors that were here had only been on standby, making the others wonder where in the name of Merlin was the Ministry. The shoppers had all fled or were currently hiding in dark corners, trying to remain unseen.
"Harry," Ginny pleaded. "We can't leave you."
"Then help!" Harry snapped coldly. "Or better yet, get Hermione to safety. Look at her."
Ginny paled as she saw Ron helping a weeping Hermione pull out a chunk of glass from her cheek. It had gone all the way through and even cut her tongue.
"Ginny!" Harry barked. "Don't just stand the— Oof!" Harry was blasted away from the others and sent flying toward some upturned chairs and broken glass.
"Why don't you listen to your own words, ickle baby Potter?" a voice cooed mockingly. The horrible vision of Bellatrix Lestrange emerged from the crowd. She was the only one unmasked, much to her pleasure.
Harry narrowed his eyes dangerously. "Ardere Oculus," he hissed, sending a brownish red spell at her.
Bellatrix dodged, laughing as she did so. "A dark spell, baby Potter? Oooh, you are a big boy if you're trying to destroy my eyes!" She laughed. "Crucio!"
Harry rolled to the side and launched a few stunners. Those were knocked away easily enough and he paid for it with a deep cut in his back by the simple slashing motion sent by the sadistic witch.
"You're going to have to do better than that," Bellatrix sang, sending a few torture curses his way and missing each time.
"And you need to try something new!" Harry snapped, continually dodging without missing a beat. "Reducto!"
"Protego!" Bellatrix snapped, her face taut with irritation.
Harry smirked. "Aquilus Flatus!"
The shock and absolute rage on Bellarix's face as she was blasted away by a dark energy blast was more than enough to satisfy Harry for the moment. As the crazy woman stood and slashed her wand in frantic and crazy motions, Harry was blasted back as well from the silent curse and was sent flipping in the air and through a window in one of the shops.
Bellatrix stood, panting in rage, eyes bright with the burning embers of hate. "Filthy little mudblood," she spat quietly, venomously. "Use one of Black family curses will you!" she screamed, spittle flying about and causing the majority of the fighters to turn around in fear and, for some, surprise at her rage.
Inside the shop Harry had been blown into, he sat up with a painful groan as he landed and heard a crack. Feeling himself, he could safely say he hadn't broken anything. Shaking his head and flinching at the fallen glass, Harry let out a startled yelp as he was hit with a broom. After years of being whacked by his nasty aunt, Harry definitely knew what a broom felt like.
"Get out! Get out!" The man with the turban, who had helped Harry in The Antiques of Old shop, was currently screaming his lungs off. "Out! Out, before they find me!" he screamed in a frenzied panic.
"Stop! Get off… Oh for the love of… Stupefy!" Harry barked, hitting the man dead on from his sitting position on the ground, though he did notice the light was strangely dull.
Watching the dark skinned man fall to the ground, Harry leaned back with a sigh, wincing a bit as he cut his palm on some glass.
"Bugger," Harry mumbled, shaking his right hand the send glass and blood droplets flying. He sighed once more as he heard Bellatrix and other Death Eater's battle it out outside and try to get into the store. Suddenly frowning, Harry looked down as he felt a twitch on his butt. "What the…?"
There was another twitch, though this one was more of a jerk as Harry was all but startled onto his back in astonishment. The ground was moving! Scrambling up, the ground actually lifted off the ground and made him balance awkwardly, hands in the air and legs jerky. Gapping, Harry realized that he had banged into the glass guarding the flying carpet and was now standing on the carpet itself.
Harry noticed that the droplets of blood from himself were on it, glowing a soft yellow before melting into the carpet, causing it too to glow a soft yellow. Unsure and completely oblivious to the battle outside, Harry settled uncomfortably on his knees and stared down at the carpet.
Amazingly, the 'front', or the 'face' of the carpet actually turned toward Harry, startling him enough to blink in shock. Then, much more to Harry's astonishment, the front creased as if in a frown. Then, suddenly without warning, it bucked violently like an enraged horse.
"Woah!" Harry was, for at least the third time in not even within ten minutes, thrown away.
Huffing, Harry stood quickly and glared at the carpet before wincing and turned to his side. A thick and rather long piece of glass was digging into his side. Pulling it out carefully, Harry let out a gasp and tossed it away and returned his line of sight toward the carpet.
It was flying around in circles impatiently and, to Harry's interest, with obvious confusion. He had no idea that something such as a carpet, even if magical, could portray emotions. It kept twitching and the front seemed to keep glancing outside the broken window at the battle, making Harry's heart jolt in remembrance, or at Harry himself. It seemed to quiver anxiously and made its way with a sort of aloofness before jerking back toward the destroyed window, only to change its mind.
Before Harry could even begin to understand what was happening, the whole front of the store was cracked over with a bright blue curse from several Death Eater's. Roars of approval and vengeance from the surrounding fighters, both Death Eater and auror, met him.
The outside was pure chaos, several buildings already aflame. Several bodies littered the floors, both Death Eater and auror alike. Four wands pointed at Harry. Harry steadied his own wand
"It's over now, baby Potter," Bellatrix said, her eyes promising pain.
Harry scoffed. "Can you never think of another combaaaack! Woah!" Harry was rushed at and picked up at a startling speed by the flying carpet, throwing him into the air and catching him by surprise, causing the squealed break in the speech.
"Get him!" Bellatrix screeched.
Spells of various colors were shot at him and even a spiked chain hurtled toward him. Harry brought up his wand, the shield charm at the tip of his lips, but was cut off as the flying carpet gave a rough jerk and sent him sprawling on his stomach as the carpet zoomed over the stunned Death Eater's and into the sky, hovering over Diagon Alley.
The carpet began to shake, causing Harry to grasp the front tightly as it began bucking in the air, coincidentally dodging each spell from the enemy. Struggling to get a grip, which was quite hard since he was being thrown all over the air before being caught, Harry finally gave a yell of anger.
"Incendio!" Harry yelled in anger, managing to shin the back of the carpet and singed the edges. Immediately it started smoking, causing the bucking to get more violent. "Stop freaking out!" Harry shouted over the roar of the wind in his ears from the constant flying and bucking.
Seemingly listening to his words, the carpet halted in the air. Before Harry could even begin to understand what was about to happen, the flying carpet gave one final buck of anger and shot like a rocket toward the clouds and out of sight, far away from Diagon Alley. Over the roar of the wind, Harry noticed an item slip out of his pocket. Trying to snatch it, Harry groaned as he moved too fast on the carpet and missed it by at least five feet.
Harry watched the alley disappear beyond the clouds as he clutched the carpet, glaring angrily at it. "You ruined everything," Harry hissed. "I could have killed her."
The flying carpet gave an uncomfortable jerk, reminding Harry of various cuts and bruises he had, not to mention being hit by at least one Cruciatus Curse while he tried to protect his friends. He was in some pretty bad shape and was already wearing a blood soaked shirt. He was lucky that it was black.
Harry rested his forehead against the flying carpet, not even sure where he was going or how he could control it. From its actions already, Harry wasn't sure it would ever be under control. The singed back had already stopped smoking and had somehow healed itself. It was disturbing, and Harry was dreading where he would end up.
"Bloody hell," Harry mumbled, glancing at his wand in horror noticing for the first time that he had a crack running up and down the wand, almost thick enough to break it in half. He gave it a tentative wave, only to receive a shock and burn on his hand. It took all his will power not to drop it and lose it. "Great," Harry muttered, "just great."