Notes: LAST CHAPTER OF BHL. XD;;;;;; EHEHEHEHE... UM... YEAH... Thank you all for sticking with Arthur during his dramawhoretastic time at Hogwarts; there will be a sequel up starting this weekend called Nil Desperandum. The poll is now closed, and I have to say... SORRY USUKERS! Alfred was the popular vote, Kiku was second, Francis third, and Nat fourth. So, sorry FrUKers and UKBelers. Honestly, I ship all four of these, but Asakiku meant that the other main characters could have their happy endings with someone, too. There will be no more relationship dramallama post-Hogwarts, which is why I'm saying this now.
Still, it's been nice seeing all these reviews for this fic. I love you all XD;; I never got this many reviews but then again I never really used this site so much. Harhar.
There's going to be another poll asking if you want me to write side drabbles set in the BHL-verse, because I'm sure there's going to be a lot of unanswered questions. Some questions will be answered in ND, though.
"Out of here, quickly," Snape said, as Arthur contorted with pain at the loss of Dumbledore.
"There's someone in the shadows!" Greyback rasped.
The air seemed to vibrate, and suddenly Kiku was there as well, shielding the now-human Arthur from the Death Eaters.
"It's the Honda boy," Snape spat, his face lined with hatred. "Expelliarmus!" Kiku's wand flew out of his hand; one of the Death Eaters picked it up.
Fenrir Greyback licked his lips disturbingly. Kiku shuddered.
"Mm, such a delicious-looking throat," he sneered, leering at Kiku. "And who's that you're hiding behind your back?"
"No one, just… my pet rabbit," Kiku lied, nudging Arthur behind him as if begging him to transform. Arthur shook his head.
"Such lies," crooned Bellatrix Lestrange, grabbing Kiku and dragging him to the other Death Eaters. "Why, I do believe it's the Kirkland boy. Draco, is it?"
Draco nodded. "The eyebrows," he replied tonelessly. Arthur made a face at him.
"Is that all I'm ever going to be known as?" he snapped. "The bloke with the eyebrows?"
"Of course not, we know what you are," Bellatrix replied calmly. "You're England. And the Dark Lord has… so many questions to ask you."
Arthur glared at her. "Isn't he getting enough out of torturing Muggles and Muggle-borns?"
"Oh, no, he's not. Which is why if you don't come with us, I'm afraid we're going to let Greyback have your little Japanese friend here."
Kiku, who had been transferred into Greyback's vice-like grip, shuddered a little. Arthur raised his wand.
The others raised theirs. "Don't think about trying to free him, Artie-boy," the other female Death Eater hissed.
Arthur weighed his options. He could give himself up to the Death Eaters or he could watch Kiku, his friend, be mauled by Greyback.
He knew which choice to make.
"What are the terms if I come quietly?" Arthur asked.
"Terms!" scoffed Bellatrix.
"Yes, terms. If I come, will you spare Kiku?"
"And if we take you and don't spare your little friend?"
"Bellatrix," Snape muttered. "We're on a bit of a tight schedule here, aren't we? The Ministry will be here any minute."
She slashed at him with her wand; he blocked it.
"Well, if you try to take me by force, I will delay your escape long enough to let the Ministry discover and arrest you for what you've done," Arthur bluffed. "If I come quietly, your escape will be faster and smoother. But the only way for me to come along quietly with you is to spare my friend. If I hear screams from his side, I will struggle and delay you."
"He's already delaying us!" Snape bellowed. "We need to get out of here, quickly!"
"Alright then. Greyback, let the Honda kid go." Bellatrix glared at the werewolf, who regretfully shoved Kiku away. The Death Eater with Kiku's wand lobbed it over the wall.
"Go catch it if you can, sweetheart," he jeered at Kiku, who was bristling with anger.
"Now you fill your end of the bargain," Bellatrix stated coldly. Arthur tossed his wand at Kiku and shuffled into line with the Death Eaters.
"Kiku, I wish you the best of luck," Arthur said quickly to the Ravenclaw, who had tears streaming down his face. "Ask Francis about Felix."
"Enough talking," Snape snapped. "Silencio!"
Arthur fell silent, even as Bellatrix Stunned Kiku. The Death Eaters ran down the stairs, dragging Arthur in their wake.
Arthur heard Harry's voice and the sound of a Death Eater falling. He didn't say anything, because that would have been a waste of movement seeing that he had been Silenced.
"Arthur! Arthur, you can't just give yourself up!" Harry's voice was receding as the Death Eaters moved farther and farther from the top of the lightning-struck tower. Footsteps echoed behind them – two sets of footsteps.
They reached a dimly lit corridor at the bottom that was full of dust; a great part of the ceiling had fallen. Snape and Malfoy had gone on through the dust; there was a battle raging at the other end.
"It's over! Time to go!" Snape yelled as a lumpy Death Eater dragged Arthur through the fray.
He could see all his friends fighting. Alfred, duelling Nataliya with regretful looks on both of their faces. Francis, hurling something at Fenrir Greyback that almost looked like handfuls of silver flames. Madeline, dodging hexes and curses from a giant blonde Death Eater who seemed to be shooting them everywhere he could reach.
Ron, Professor McGonagall, and Lupin were fighting separate Death Eaters as well. Ludwig Beilschmidt was duelling Ivan; their wands blurred and flashed almost like swords.
There was a scream; Arthur turned around to see Greyback detach himself from the fray to launch himself at Harry.
"Petrificus totalus!" Kiku screamed, waving Arthur's wand. The werewolf collapsed and Kiku dragged him off Harry.
"Come," hissed Bellatrix, grabbing Arthur by the wrist and dragging him behind Snape and Malfoy.
"Artie! Artie, where are you going?" Alfred called. Arthur couldn't respond, feeling tears well up in his eyes.
And then Nataliya and Ivan were running with them, Nataliya's beautiful pale face streaked with tears.
"Why are you coming with us, Arthur?" Ivan asked, a disturbing grin on his face.
Arthur glared silently at him.
The Room of Requirement was blocked. By now, the other Death Eaters had joined in their flight. Feliciano met them on the third floor; he squeaked and dove behind a tapestry. Lovino hurled some spells at them before fleeing as well.
"Death Eaters in the castle, ve!" Feliciano's screams were heard behind them as they ran past several bewildered Hufflepuffs who all shrank back into the shadows. "The Dark Mark's above the Astronomy Tower, ve!"
Someone shot a curse at the Gryffindor hourglass; blood-red rubies spilt onto the flagstones. Shards of glass cut several students cowering by the great oak doors. Snape and Malfoy had left the doors open.
Bellatrix dragged Arthur across the lawn, Ivan and Nataliya following them. There was a sudden flash of light, and Hagrid stood there, roaring with anger.
"Where're yeh takin' Arthur, yeh balls o' slime?" the Gamekeeper was fighting the Death Eaters, spells bouncing off him as he tried to get to Arthur. Snape grabbed Arthur and Malfoy and continued to run.
"Arthur!" Kiku cried – Arthur's heart nearly leapt out of his chest at the Japanese boy's voice.
He turned around, desperate to get a last glimpse of Kiku.
"Stupefy!" two voices yelled in the darkness. A Stunning spell hit Arthur in the head and he slumped forward onto the ground.
The last thing he saw was the unconscious form of Kiku Honda, lying in the glow of Hagrid's hut as it caught on fire.
END BLURRING HOUSE LINES
"Francis," Kiku said simply, looking up from his bed in the Hospital Wing. The Frenchman turned and looked at him, eyes shining with tears for Dumbledore and Arthur.
"What is it?" Francis asked quietly.
"Arthur's last words to me were to ask you about Felix," Kiku said, his voice just as quiet. Far off in the distance, a phoenix was lamenting Dumbledore's death.
"He wants you to have his vial of Felix Felicis, then," Francis replied. "It's in his trunk. When you're feeling better I'll bring it to you."
"Oh." Kiku lay back on the pillows, looking at the ceiling. This was all just a bad dream, he thought furiously. When I wake up, I'll still be on the Astronomy Tower, Dumbledore isn't dead, Death Eaters never were here, and Arthur would be holding me in his arms...
He pinched himself and winced at the pain.
"It's not a dream," Francis murmured, tears spilling from his eyes. "Dumbledore... is..."
"Dead," Kiku finished, even as Madeline took Francis's hand, crying on his shoulder.
"I can't believe it," Alfred muttered. Not too far away, Harry was trying to piece together the complete story, and Kiku knew he was trying to find the evidence to swear... swear vengeance.
"Snape killed him," he said suddenly, and it was amazing how much hatred he could instil in his voice. "Snape killed Dumbledore. Snape kidnapped Arthur."
"He couldn't have," Francis breathed, his eyes wide. "Dumbledore trusted Snape."
"He betrayed Dumbledore." Kiku's voice was hard, unyielding. "I'll find him. And I'll kill him. It's all his fault I'm like this."
"Don't be like that, Kiku," Madeline whispered. Ludwig laid a calm hand on his shoulder.
"You'll only be harming Arthur if you go out and die in an attempt to kill Snape," Francis replied.
Kiku looked down at his wand, and at Arthur's wand lying on the bedside table.
"He could still be alive," Ludwig said quietly. "Don't despair."
"We still have hope as long as we're together," Feliciano added from next to Ludwig.