Ok, sorry for the long wait, but life has been crazy and I got behind in my college classes and that left me with little to no time to write, plus I rewrote this chapter about four times before I was satisfied. Hopefully things will clear up, so I'll try to get another chapter out in a week or two, but it may be longer as I may have gotten a new job and will be kept really busy.
"Give us the girl and her friends, Potter."
Harry bit back a growl as he recognized Tobias' voice, schooling his face into a passive look. He took a deep breath in and then released it.
"Why would I do that? They've done nothing wrong," Harry said.
"Those savages destroyed RDA property. Now they have to pay the price," Tobias replied as his suit motioned to where Sylwanin was standing on the porch around the school. "Now stand aside so we can collect them for destruction."
At this, the Na'vi children started whispering among themselves and they tried to shield Sylwanin behind them.
"Destruction? You've got to be kidding me!" Harry had been expecting some sort of brutal punishment, but death for destroying some property was insane.
"They've got to be taught the price for defying us, Potter. Now stand aside and let us do our job," Tobias told him, starting to get angry. "If you don't, then we'll just kill everyone, including you, and burn down the school. Is that what you want?"
"You think killing this body will stop me? I'll just wake up back at base and tell them everything. When they find out you killed unarmed children…"
"They'll do nothing. Who do you think gave us the kill order? Selfridge is tired of having the Na'vi always getting in the way and so we've been told to make an example if we ever got the chance. Now, get out of the way."
Harry looked back at the school where the Na'vi children and the Hunters looked at him with their wide eyes shining with trust in him. His eyes fell on Sylwanin, her face showing the fear she felt at what she had brought upon them all, but Harry could see that she trusted him to help them.
Harry closed his eyes as he realized what he had to do and he turned back to face the soldiers before opening his eyes. The soldiers took a hesitant step backwards when they saw the latent power within his eyes as his magic bubbled to the surface.
Tobias felt a chill go down his spine when he heard that, but his arrogance and pride wouldn't let him back down.
"Fine, have it your way." Tobias then motioned to his squad. "Waste him."
Four of the soldiers glanced at each other before stepping up and leveling their guns at Harry. The click as they turned off their safeties echoed through the suddenly still and quiet schoolyard. After a few seconds of hesitation, the men fired at Harry.
Without any hesitation of his own, Harry held up his hand and a translucent silver shield sprang into existence a few feet in front of him. It formed as an arc shielding him and those directly behind him.
It was a spell he had found when training to defeat Voldemort that had proven very useful when the normal humans had gone to war against the Magical world. It blocked most spells as well as physical objects like bullets, the only downsides to it being the power needed to use it and the fact that you couldn't cast any other spells while you used it. It served its purpose well as the bullets bounced off the shield without a problem.
"Sarge, our bullets aren't hitting him!" one of the soldiers shouted as they continued to fire at Harry with no effect.
"He has a shield, he must be magical! I thought they had been wiped out long ago," Fike shouted over the sounds of gunfire. He jogged over to Tobias and got his attention. "Sir, we have to pull back! We don't have the firepower to take him out."
"Bullshit! Everyone open fire!" Tobias shouted as he unholstered his suit's rifle and started firing at Harry.
After that, everyone in the squad opened fire, forcing Harry to use more power on his shield so that nothing would get through. But one of the soldiers suddenly stopped firing at him and aimed his rifle at the Na'vi children and let out a short burst, hitting several of them.
When Harry saw this, rage flashed through him and a wave of magic burst from his shield as it exploded from his anger, sending the solders flying, including the AMP suit. A quick cutting hex later and the soldier that fired on the Na'vi no longer had a head as Harry retaliated for the first time.
"Now you've gone too far!" Harry growled as he apparated over to the wounded Na'vi, further shocking the soldiers.
A quick look showed that three Na'vi had been hurt, one of which was Sylwanin. She had taken a bullet to the abdomen and blood was flowing rapidly from the wound. The others had only taken flesh wounds to their arms. It appeared that she had shielded the two children with her own body to save them.
~Relax, I will not let you die.~ Harry waved his hand over the wound and the blood stopped flowing. ~That is just a quick fix, I will need more time than I have now to heal you completely.~
Harry stood and turned to face the soldiers, slowly walking down the steps to the porch. As he walked, he brushed a series of runes he had carved into the underside of the banister, out of sight where no one would see them, and used his magic to activate them. A large golden dome appeared around the school behind him, shielding those within from further harm.
"I was going to let you go, but now I see that none of you are worth saving." Harry walked forward a few more steps, and with every step a copy of himself split off and walked beside him until there were ten identical images of Harry standing beside him.
"You're bluffing," Tobias scoffed as his squad took a few steps back. "There's no way you can beat all of us."
"Don't think so? I think I'll save you for last, Tobias. I want you to feel the same helplessness that you made that Na'vi feel before mutilating him in the worst way!" Harry growled as all the different Harrys raised their hands.
"Open fire!" Tobais shouted as a shiver of fear shot through him. He started shooting at the group of Avatars, as did his squad.
Each time one of their bullets went through one of the Harry's, that copy vanished with a flash of light until there was no one left.
"Where is he?" one of the soldiers asked as they looked around.
"I don't see a body, so what happened to him?"
"Sarge, what's going on?"
"I…I don't know," Tobias admitted, fear creeping into his voice as he checked his sensors.
"Do you realize now what you have gotten yourselves into? You should have left while you still had the chance, but instead you let your pride and arrogance controlyour actions." Harry's voice came from everywhere, causing the soldiers to look all around them to try and get a glimpse of Harry.
As a few soldiers started to back away towards the tree line, a flame whip lashed out and struck them, severing their torsos from their lower bodies. The sound of their falling bodies caused the others to turn to face the tree line, missing the sound of a soft crack.
"What the fuck!"
"Let's get the hell out of here!"
At this point the men were on the verge of panic and it was all Tobias could do to keep them from running away as fast as they could.
"Toughen up, Marines! He's one man, alright. We can take him if we work together and not panic."
"That's a nice idea. Too bad it's not true," Harry said before reappearing high in a tree. With a flick of his wrist, he sent an explosion hex right into the middle of the troops, a turquoise flash of light speeding through the air.
As the men starting to dive out of the way, the spell hit and the resulting shockwave sent the men flying uncontrollably through the air, knocking several of them out upon landing hard on the ground. The rest made their way to their feet unsteadily.
With a grim look of determination, Harry made a gripping motion with both hands and his eyes glowed with a faint white light. The soldiers were shocked into brief silence as giant root tendrils shot from the ground and wrapped around their chests, preventing them from moving anything besides their feet, which were kicking at the roots with no effect.
"Please, don't kill us," one of the soldiers pleaded, the others echoing his plea. "We're just following orders."
"Come on, man, have mercy on us, please!" another cried as the roots started to squeeze the life out of them.
Harry sighed and relaxed his hands, causing the roots to relax and drop the soldiers onto the dirt before retreating back into the ground. With a slight crack Harry apparated down to the men who were gasping for breath and clutching their ribs.
"Do you surrender?" Harry asked as he walked up to the remaining six men, his expression firm and unyielding.
One of the marines grabbed his rifle from the ground and brought it up. "Never!" he shouted as he fired out a quick burst of bullets that barely missed Harry as he dove out of the way. The others grabbed their rifles as well and raised them to aim at Harry.
Harry rolled with his fall and shot to his feet, sending a piercing hex at the soldier as he turned mid-roll to face him, his hand sweeping through the air, sending a brown ribbon of magic at the few remaining soldiers as a dart of golden energy struck the rebellious soldier between the eyes piercing his head and killing him instantly.
As the soldiers were flung through the air by the spell, Harry took a moment to examine the situation. Seeing the dead bodies of the soldiers filled him with sadness, but a brief look at the helpless Na'vi children that were being protected by his shield reminded him of why he was fighting his own people.
As long as these children are in danger, it's my duty to protect them. Harry turned back to the soldiers with determination burning in his eyes. A strong gust of wind whipped through the air as Harry used his new abilities to gather the wind behind him before sending it at the remaining soldiers, blasting them through the air and into the trees. They didn't get back up.
"You're gonna pay for the men you've killed here today, Potter. I swear I'll make you suffer!" Tobias growled out as he leveled his rifle at Harry, the metal of the AMP Suit's ammo casings gleaming in the filtered light.
Harry leveled a glare at Tobias that made the man pause. "You have already made me suffer, Tobias. Ever since I saw you torture that Na'vi and leave him for dead, I have suffered."
"What are you talking about, Potter?"
"I was there in that damn clearing. I saw what you did…but I did nothing to stop you, and that has been tearing me up inside ever since. I was afraid of getting discovered, but not anymore. Anyone that harms a Na'vi child will answer to me, and you will not last the day, I swear to Eywa." Harry's eyes burned with conviction, sending a chill down Tobias' spine.
"You've really lost it, Potter. You're talking like them now. Are you gonna start running around in a loin cloth now too? You're a human, damn it, act like one!"
"You may call the Na'vi savages, but we human's are far worse than they have ever been. The Holocaust, the American's 9-11, the fucking genocide of the Magical world, all things that we have done against our own people! At least the Na'vi have honor and respect for all life, not just their own," Harry growled as his eyes began to glow. Two hands formed from the ground next to the AMP suit, extensions of Harry's will.
"You've hurt too many people with that bloody suit, Tobias. I think that it's time to neutralize it," Harry told him as he lifted his hands and made a gripping motion, the earthen hands doing the same and grabbing the arms of Tobias' AMP suit. When Harry pulled his arms in opposite directions, the earthen hands ripped the arms right off the AMP suit. The shock of the destruction of the AMP suit's arms knocked the suit's combat knife out of its sheath, bouncing off the suit's leg and several feet away.
"What the hell, Potter! Do you have any idea what these things cost?" Tobias shouted as he watched the dirt hands sink back into the ground along with his suit's arms. It was then the he noticed that his AMP suit was sinking into the ground as well. "What the fuck?"
Harry's brow was furrowed in concentration as he made the AMP suit sink into the ground and then stop once the ground level reached the cockpit. With a sigh of relief, he let the flow of magic stop and the ground hardened around the AMP suit, making it impossible for Tobias to free himself.
"You stay there until I figure out just what to do with you, you bloody wanker," Harry told him before slowly walking back to the school house, the battle having drained him more than he had expected. Once he reached the shield, Harry used his magic to take control of a root near the surface and used it to deactivate the shield, as it could only be done from inside the shield.
A sudden crashing noise to his left got Harry's attention, and when he looked to see what caused it, he saw the cockpit windshield lying on the ground next to some bushes and a large tree root. A scream of anger from behind him caused Harry to turn around just in time for Tobias to barrel into him and send him to the ground. Tobias had ejected the windshield in order to get out of his ruined AMP suit and grabbed his suit's combat knife from the ground, though it was large enough to be a sword.
"Die you traitor!" Tobias yelled as he raised his suit's combat knife, preparing to stab it into Harry's chest. His face was twisted with hatred behind his breathing mask.
Thwap! Thwap! Thunk!
Three arrows slammed into Tobias' chest, the final one going straight through his heart. He dropped his dagger and clutched one of the arrows in a vain attempt to pull it out. With a last gasp of breath through his mask, he slumped to the ground next to Harry.
Harry pushed himself to his feet and looked down at the body of Tobias and then over his shoulder to the school where he saw two of the hunters standing with their bows in hand along with Neytiri, who was holding her sister's bow, her arm still poised from releasing her arrow.
With a weary sigh at the pointless loss of life, Harry walked up the steps to the school porch and knelt next to Sylwanin. Her skin had lightened a little from the shock of the bullet wounds and loss of blood.
~Relax, this will feel strange.~ Harry said as he hovered his hand over Sylwanin's abdomen. He closed his eyes in concentration and let his magic flow through him, channeling his magic into Sylwanin to heal her. His hand glowed with a faint white light and tendrils of magic extended from his hand and lowered down to the bullet holes.
Sylwanin's eyes widened and she let out a loud gasp as she felt her wounds heal, the bullets slowly being pushed out of her body until they rested on top of her skin and then rolled off her body. The bullet holes in her abdomen started to close until all there was left were faint pink marks, and then those faded away, leaving unblemished skin behind.
Sylwanin turned her head and looked at Harry with wonder. ~You saved me.~
Harry gave her a slight smile, but when he looked out at the bodies of the soldiers his face hardened. ~But at what cost? This did not need to happen. They did not need to die. ~ Harry said softly before walking out to check the bodies to see if any still lived. As he turned his back, he missed Sylwanin's look of shame as she saw for the first time what Harry had done to his own people, what she had forced him to do by her actions.
By Eywa, I had forgotten that he is one of them. I had begun to think of him as one of The People. Sylwanin dropped her head in shame as she fought back tears. All life was to be preserved and cherished, yet she had put him in a situation that forced him to kill his own brothers.
Harry dropped the body of a slain soldier onto a small pile of other bodies, wiping his brow of the sweat that had formed.
"Why? Why did they have to attack?" Harry muttered as he looked at the pile and then around to see if he missed anyone else. Off to the side of the clearing were three soldiers who were bound and gagged. They had only been knocked out and not killed during the fight. "Why couldn't they just leave? I'll never understand…"
Harry let out a sad sigh as he gave one more look around before facing the pile of dead bodies piled around the partially buried AMP suit. Harry closed his eyes and extended his magic into the ground, slowly raising his hands from his sides up to chest level with his palms facing upwards. A gasp came from the watching Na'vi as the ground swelled up and then a dome of dirt rose up over the pile until it was fully covered by the dirt as Harry twisted his hand so that his palms faced the ground.
With a downward thrust of his hands, the earth dome sank down into the ground, swallowing the soldiers and taking them deep into the ground. As the ground returned to a level state, looking as if nothing had happened, Harry dropped to a knee in exhaustion and emptied the contents of his stomach. A cool hand on his shoulders brought his attention back to the present.
"Thank you, Harry Potter, thank you for protecting us."
Harry brushed the hand away and stood, leveling a glare at Sylwanin as he turned to face her.
"This didn't need to happen. They didn't have to die, not like this," He hissed softly. "Their blood is on your hands, Sylwanin te Tskaha Mo'at'ite." Harry stepped closer to her so that only a few inches separated them, his eyes a mixture of golden amber and emerald green, burning with latent power.
"You have forced me to become a killer again, and I will never forget that. I killed those soldiers to protect the children, not you." Harry's ears perked up when he heard a soft groan and turned to walk over to where he heard the sound, leaving Sylwanin standing there with her mouth hanging open in shock.
Harry walked over to where he had tied up the soldiers and found Private Fike coming to, moaning in pain. As he approached, Fike open his eyes and looked up and when he saw Harry coming towards him, he tried to move away but couldn't.
"Get away from me, you monster!"
"Well now, that hurts," Harry said sarcastically. "That really stings coming from a child killer like you." Harry grabbed Fike around the throat and lifted him off the ground, with Fike straining to get free from his bonds.
"Please…don't kill me," Fike pleaded as he stopped struggling.
"Don't worry, Sean. I'm not going to kill you. Out of all those bastards out there, you were the only one who protested what Tobias did…but you didn't do anything to stop it either."
"What…what could I..have done?"Fike gasped out as Harry's grip tightened a little before relaxing, though he still held him easily in the air. "I'm just a Private, I didn't have the authority to stop him!"
"True, but you could have reported him afterwards, but you didn't. However, I won't let you or the others report what you saw here today," Harry told him as the glow in his eyes brightened as he looked into Fike's eyes. He entered the man's mind with ease and sifted through the memories of the day's events until he found what he was looking for.
"So, everyone that saw the identities of the Na'vi that destroyed the bulldozer is now dead, except for you and the others. That makes things simpler," Harry said as he pulled out of Fike's mind. He held up his free hand and extended his index finger, the tip of his finger glowing a soft white as he placed it between Fike's eyes.
A few seconds later Harry dropped Fike and used his magic to cause injuries to Fike that looked like they had been caused by an animal or by running through thick underbrush. He repeated the process with the others and then vanished their bonds. A quick wave of his hand brought them all back to consciousness.
"What are you doing out here?" Harry asked, using his occlumancy to hide his real emotions and pretend to be concerned. "Why are you guys out here by yourselves?"
"What? I don't… the Thanator!" Fike exclaimed as the memories Harry implanted came to the surface. He struggled to his feet, helping the other two do the same. "We have to go back for the others!"
"Slow down, Fike. What are you talking about? What Thanator?"
"We were following some Na'vi that attacked a dozer, but we were ambushed by a fucking huge Thantor," one of the other soldiers told him.
"We, uh, made a strategic retreat, but we got split up from the others. The Thanator followed us for a bit, but I think it must have gone after the others," Fike said as he clutched his side, where a large gash ran across his ribs.
"Relax, guys, you're safe now. I'll see about sending some of the hunters here to see what happened to the others." Harry then turned and walked back to the school. He knelt down next to a little Na'vi girl. ~Will you look after them for me? They will not harm you now.~ The little girl nodded hesitantly before giving Harry a quick hug and walking over to the soldiers.
Harry sighed softly as he stood and walked over to the hunters that had helped protect him. ~I need you to go into the trees and stay there for some time so that the warriors think you are looking for the others.~
Two of the hunters shared a look before turning back to Harry and nodded. ~We will do as you ask, Teacher.~
~Ewya be with you,~ Harry said as he touched his forehead with his right hand and then brought his hand down to his side. The hunters returned the gesture and then ran soundlessly into the tree line, disappearing into the shadows of the forest. Harry looked over at where Fike and the other soldiers were sitting, but he looked away when they gave him grateful looks, unable to keep his guilt under control.
"You are…unhappy?" Neytiri said from next to him, startling him as he hadn't sensed her approach.
"You could say that. I don't regret protecting you and the others, I just wish that I didn't have to pay such a high price for it," Harry told her softly. When he saw a look of confusion on her face, he explained further. "Imagine having to fight against your brothers and sisters, having to kill Tsu'tey or Ninet to protect others. Do you think you could do that and remain the same?"
Neytiri opened her mouth to speak, but changed her mind and closed it as she thought about what he had said. Her childish mind was having a hard time wrapping around the thought of fighting against those she had grown up with and considered brothers and sisters. She played with her braids absently as she thought about what her teacher had done.
"You not stay same, no. Life is life, to take away is bad."
"Very good Neytiri. You are very wise for such a young one," Harry said with a slight smile. "However, sometimes you have to make the choice between what is right and what is easy. Do you understand?"
Neytiri worried her bottom lip as she thought hard about what Harry said, not used to thinking about these sorts of things. Moral and spiritual issues were her sister and mother's area. She ran over Harry's words in her head, trying to make sense of them and hoping that she understood them properly as she didn't want to disappoint her teacher.
"I think maybe some choices seem easy but they wrong, but other choice hard but right. You no need to fight, but you did. That not easy choice to make." Neytiri gave Harry a hopeful look, hoping she was right.
Harry's mouth stretched into a tired smile as he patted Neytiri on the head, messing with her hair before heading over to the injured Na'vi children to heal them as well, missing Neytiri's beaming smile at the silent praise from Harry.
AN: So, I've wrapped things up with Tobias, but there is more trouble coming for Harry. Stay tuned!