A/N: A huge thanks goes to DaughterOfAres for listening to my lovely ramblings, etc about this story for so long. Enjoy. :D
It's been about two hours, and we've heard nothing. Mum and Esmée don't seem concerned by this at all, though. In fact, they keep talking to one another as if it is just any old night. Beside me, I hear Draco softly talking to Angel. He appears to be imitating them, likely to keep Angel from worrying or something.
Long periods of silence have always made me think non-stop about things. This time is no different. I recall seeing Mum's bleeding teenage self on the floor with Dad's younger self holding her. However, a moment later, I remember her kneeling beside me on the floor, holding me as I'm the one bleeding from my injuries. I don't know why I'm drawing parallels about the two events. They couldn't be more apart.
"Harry?" my little sister softly says, glancing up at me.
"Are you gonna ask the girl you like to the dance?"
"Uh," I say, feeling really awkward. "I haven't really had time to think about that yet, El." She stares at me for a moment, tilting her head left and right before frowning. "Do you think I should?" I softly laugh when she shrugs, turning her attention back on Draco.
"Mione likes you, Draco."
"Does she now?"
"Uh-huh, my bear told me. Just like it told me that Daddy's gonna come back with the sword."
Draco and I stare at her. We're not the only ones, though. Mum and Esmée are too. Her bear's told her? I then shake my head. So, I'll admit that my little sister does seem to know certain things before it happens. We're not entirely sure what that's all about, but I've always thought it was because of—I don't know—Declan or someone telling her it.
"Does your, um, bear speak to you often, El?" I ask quietly.
"Mummy, why are they looking at me like that?"
"Teddy bears don't speak, love."
"Mine does," she argues, staring at Mum.
"May I look at your teddy bear, young one?" Esmée softly inquires.
Angel instantly clutches her Slytherin-robed bear even closer to her. She glances at Draco and me for a moment before looking back at Esmée. She clearly isn't handing her bear over.
"I won't hurt him. I promise."
"I know, but he doesn't want to be held by you," Angel replies. She then bites her lower lip, glancing at Mum for a brief second. "He knows what you're going to do, and he doesn't like it."
"He doesn't like it, or you don't like it?" Esmée responds pleasantly. "Your bear doesn't talk to you, does he, young one?"
"He does," the little girl argues fiercely. "He does too talk to me!"
"I think you, my dear, are afraid to tell us the truth."
"Nuh-uh," Angel snaps, glaring at Esmée. "He talks to me."
"Angel, love, your bear can't talk to you, though. That's what Esmée is trying to say."
"Then why do I hear him in my head, Mummy?" the four-year-old growls, sounding like Dad.
"Your head?" repeats Mum softly. Her eyes widen, staring at the little girl.
"Calm yourself, Mistress Aurora," Esmée says gently. "I do not believe it is Mezra that she hears, but rather a gift she received from her grandmother exhibiting itself."
"Her grandmother, you're not claiming that—"
"It would seem that Eileen's gift passed onto your daughter. How interesting," Esmée replies. "Your husband inherits her natural abilities in Occlumency and Legilimency, and your daughter inherits her sensitivity."
"Her what?" cries Mum.
"Her sensitivity, I believe your Divination professor would state it being an Inner Eye."
"Dear Circe, tell me you're not suggesting that Angel's like—"
"Oh, heavens no, that woman is a fraud." Esmée's eyes narrow on Angel for a second. "Then again, I would not be at all surprised if her gift vanishes in a few years."
"Why?" I ask.
"Well, every magical child, especially ones as young as your sister, has some sensitivity to certain events. With time, though, the child's sensitivity diminishes. It is usually around the time that the child begins to gain control of his or her magic."
"How do you know that?"
"You'd be surprised how much you can learn after a millennium, young one."
"Eileen is a Seer, though. That's what you're claiming," Mum says, clearly not believing her.
"You misunderstand me, Mistress Aurora. I am not declaring her to be a Seer because she is not. I am merely stating that Eileen has a certain gift, one that I do not believe she was born with, that allows her to sense certain events. I believe that is why Riddle was so interested in her."
Mum stares at Esmée for a moment, opening and closing her mouth several times. She seems to be thinking about something. She then scoffs, shaking her head.
"You and Declan believe that she's met a surviving Elder."
"Yes, and I believe that Elder, whichever one it is, imprinted some of its knowledge on her. It is rare that they would interfere, but as you can see, they will do what is necessary to protect their children, Mistress Aurora."
"Syrene induced my labor to protect us from Mezra. Why would another Elder then interfere with Eileen and give her some of its knowledge, as you claim?"
"I could perhaps be wrong, but I believe the Elder was Lady Annera Atal." The portrait swings open, causing us to glance at it. Esmée only smiles as Dad's mum slowly enters the room. "Am I correct, Eileen? Is that the Elder you've had your dealings with?"
"How did you know I would return?" she asks, ignoring Esmée's question as she clutches a letter in her hands.
"I might spar verbally with you, but I know your heart, Eileen. You would not leave, knowing that your son and grandchildren were in harm's way."
"You do not know me."
"You fell in love with a Muggle man, enraging your father beyond belief, but you did not care. For you were in love with him. Things were perfect for quite some time until Syra nearly killed your husband when he returned in a drunken stupor from the pub. You continue to believe that he was never the same after that attack."
"It is not a belief. It is fact."
"Perhaps," Esmée softly responds.
"And I've only met Lady Atal twice. I'd hardly claim that I've had 'dealings' with her."
"You've spoken to her, though, haven't you?"
"She requested that I do something for her."
"Which was?" Esmée inquires with a smile.
"My son's wand," answers Dad's mum, turning away a moment later. "And that is all I have to say on that matter, vampire." Her eyes then fall on me. "I take it lessons with my son are going well?"
"They're all right, I suppose," I reply, wondering how she knows about our Occlumency lessons.
"I know because he asked me for advice, child." She inhales slowly, staring at me coldly. "Perhaps it would be best if my son first taught you to mask your features, though. You clearly have no grasp of subtly whatsoever."
I force my smile to remain on my face, wanting to prove her wrong. She, however, scoffs, shaking her head at me. I'm not sure which woman I'd rather be near, Aunt Petunia, Mum's mum, or Dad's mum. Each of them has her own coldness and briskness to her personality.
"It was not meant as an insult, child," Dad's mum explains. "I merely pointed it out so you may learn why others can tell what your thoughts concern."
"Oh, um, thanks," I say, "I guess." I watch her for a moment, noticing a similarity between her and Dad. I can see how rigid she's standing, as if she's uncomfortable or ready for one of us to attack her at any moment. "Do you want to sit down? We're not entirely sure when Dad's coming back." She stares at me for another moment before shaking her head.
"Thank you for the offer, child, but I am well." She then inhales, glancing between Esmée and Angel. "And you were incorrect before, vampire. Lady Atal only gave me events to look for. She never imprinted anything on me."
"So, your granddaughter isn't like you then?"
"Considering that I've been gone for so long, I'd imagine she is far from me. She likely gets her gift from her mother's side." Dad's mum practically spits the last part out.
"Lady Syra is wise. I shall concur with you on that. However, she is not sensitive in that sense."
"Sensitive in that sense," Dad's mum repeats before giving a short laugh. "For if she was the least bit sensitive in any sense, she'd have kept her fangs far from my husband's neck long ago then."
I glance between the two. Esmée was talking about Angel's scary ability where she predicts things. Dad's mum, however, is talking about a totally different thing all together. I bite my lower lip, wondering if I should mention it.
"Ah, yes," Esmée says with a short laugh. "Had she done that, you two might be, well, friends."
A strangled sound erupts from Dad's mum within seconds after Esmée stops speaking. Her nostrils then flare before she releases a breath, sounding like, well, a dragon. Then again, Esmée has just said that Dad's mum and Mum's mum could have been friends. That definitely would set anyone off.
Oh, dear lord, she's going to kill Esmée, I think, biting my bottom lip.
Who? Dad's voice replies in my mind. He seems as if he's really close to me.
Your mum, she looks like she's about to kill her, Dad. My green eyes widen when I catch his mum's vein in her temple throbbing, just as Dad's does right before he swoops down on someone. Dad, I'd get here really quick, or Esmée is going to be, well, gone. I don't hear a response from Dad, which makes me worry slightly. Dad, did you hear me?
Yes, Harry, I heard you. He seems, well, distracted. Oh, do I? Dad replies, sounding oddly amused now. No, I'm not. I assure you. I do not do amused.
"It's not helping," I mumble, noticing Draco and Angel both staring at me. "Oh, uh, never mind." I shake my head, chastising myself for being stupid. I had to sound like a crazy person right then.
Crazy, no, slightly funny, most likely, Dad responds. Say 'Gobstones.' She'll stop.
What if she doesn't, Dad? Looking at her right now, I'd say that she isn't going to stop.
Trust me. That one phrase—I don't know— it just forces me to do it.
"Gobstones!" loudly, I shout, wincing and throwing my arms up when she whirls around.
"Where did you hear that?"
"Dad," I answer instantly, not wanting to be her next victim. "He told me to say it."
Perhaps I should request you to be resorted, Harry. You're clearly not brave in the face of my mother, Dad responds in my mind.
You could help me, you know, I grumble through our link.
"Or I could just watch," Dad drawls behind me.
I whirl around, staring at him. When did he show up? My eyes then narrow on him. He's not even wet. Declan, on the other hand, is, well, sopping wet.
"Wait. You sent him into the water?"
"No, we both went for a dip in the lake. Your father, however, has his magic and does a rather good impression of a cat when it's sprayed with water. Upon leaving the water, he instantly dried himself off. I, however, love the feel of water against my skin." He then frowns. "Though, your father did take quite a number of points from the female students for some reason as we walked past." He smirks softly. "It could be because they were mentioning how lovely his hair—"
"Declan," Dad growls, glaring at him.
"It is rather appealing with that wave. If I was not already previously—"
I smile when Dad's wand raises and points at Declan. Dad's probably cranky because he got wet. My smile vanishes when Dad glances at me with a warning glare.
"Did you at least find it?" I then glance around them, not seeing a sword in either of their hands. Then again, Dad does have those long billowing robes. He likely could hide a Hippogriff in it, and no one would know. I frown. I wonder if he's ever tried it before.
"Harry," Dad warns. "Don't make me use my wand."
"Ooh, you can use your wand—"
"ESMÉE!" shouts Declan, his brown eyes glaring at her.
"I was just saying that he could. Merlin, Declan, you never were this uptight for a hundred or so years." She rolls her eyes. "I mean, I wasn't going to tell him what to do with it. Though, I'm sure Mistress Aurora and I have some ideas."
"Esmée," growls Declan. "He is not some commoner you can continue to harass. He is Mistress Aurora's husband. Show him the proper respect, or I shall make damn sure you learn it."
"Merlin, Declan, I was merely joking with him. He knows that I mean him no harm in my jesting." She then glances towards Dad and sighs. "I apologize for my words, Severus."
"Thank you," mumbles Declan.
"You know, it's absurd that you of all people are lecturing me about respect. I was the one who saved you, Declan, all those years ago. So, if anyone should show respect, it should be you showing me the proper respect I deserve for saving your life in that wretched alleyway. Or have you forgotten that?"
"I have not, Esmée, but clearly neither Severus nor Mistress Aurora appreciates your . . . jests."
Esmée remains quiet, simply inclining her head in acceptance. Her eyes then look away as her lips purse. She clearly wants to say something, but isn't going to.
"Did you find the sword, Dad?" I ask again, deciding that the silence is insane.
"We have." Slowly, he reaches into his robes, pulling out a thin wand a moment later.
"That's not a sword, though."
"No, it is not."
"But it is the 'Sword of Slytherin," Declan replies, glancing at Dad. "The Merchieftainess—lovely woman by the way—states that when Salazar traded it for the rings, it was in fact a sword. However, the minute it was passed over, the sword altered its state to become this."
"Does it work like a regular wand?" I ask, staring at the thin wand. The engravings on the side of it, I'll admit, are very beautiful.
"It does. Your father in fact used it during our daring escape."
"Escape?" repeats Mum softly, glancing at Dad while she folds her arms. "You stole it?"
"Oh, heavens no, my Lady," Declan answers with a laugh. "Your husband used that Slytherin ingenuity of his and managed to talk them into handing it over to us. The daring escape occurred when, well, we ran into some Black Shroud members."
"They were there?"
"A few, but they are no more. The wand is if anything very effective in killing them."
I stare at Dad, feeling my stomach clench painfully. Mezra must have found out from me that it was in Black Lake. I nearly—
"No you did not," Dad replies, looking at me.
"How else do you explain her knowing that, Dad? She had to have learned it from me."
"Your father is right, Harry. She did not learn it from you." My eyes dart to him. "The Merchieftainess stated that one of her daughters had vanished the other day. We believe that is how Mezra learned of its location."
"She's killing the merpeople?"
"She has no regard for life, young one, so taking a life is just another way of ensuring her success." Esmée frowns, glancing towards the heavy curtains that hide the view of the lake. "The Black Shroud and a handful of Death Eaters massacred an entire town the other day. Your papers state that it was the work of Riddle, but I doubt that. Riddle will murder hundreds if he can, but not in the way that this attack was set out. It would be too much even for him."
"How do you know that?"
"Where do you believe I've been, young one?" she responds with a faint smile. "We cannot save them all, but we try to save the ones we can. It is no different from how the Order saved lives in the first Wizarding War."
"How . . . how many?" quietly, I ask, feeling my insides go cold.
Esmée glances at me for a moment before looking at Mum and Dad. Her frown returns as her eyes lose their familiar warmth again. "Ten out of a thousand, young one," she softly answers.
"But . . ." My voice trails off. "She's worse than him."
"Yes," Esmée agrees. "Riddle discriminates, leaving the purebloods to live in most cases. Mezra cares not about such things. They are lowers, inferior to her, so she rarely values their lives."
"We have the sword now, though. Can't we—?"
"Young one, did you not hear Declan and your father when they stated that their paths crossed with the Black Shroud? Mezra will know that we have the Deras. She will stop at nothing now to come here to retrieve it."
My eyes widen. She's coming here? My mouth opens to speak, but no words come out. If she can destroy an entire village, then she'll—this is Hogwarts, though.
"Your fears are for nothing, child," Dad's mum quietly says.
"What do you mean?" I ask, glancing at her.
"This Mezra woman is like a queen bee. You kill her, and the others will simply perish." Her eyes then dart towards Dad. "However, I would recommend, as I'm sure the vampires would agree, that the children be removed from here immediately." She slowly inhales. "It perhaps might be . . . beneficial if Syra were here also, since it is because of her that we're all in this situation."
"Itching to work beside Lady Syra now, my, I am impressed," Esmée says with a laugh.
"I'll inform Headmaster Dumbledore." A second later, Declan vanishes from the room in his usual manner.
"So, what do we do?" I barely keep from wincing when Dad's eyes narrow on me. "I mean, we know that she's on her way. You're probably not going to—"
"That is exactly what we are going to do," Dad states firmly.
"But, Dad, we can—"
"Do nothing," he interrupts. "You are not invincible, and neither are Draco and Angel."
"You aren't either, Dad," I retort. I hold my gaze with him, refusing to back down.
"I can handle myself, Harry. I believe I've shown that over the years."
I open my mouth to speak, but Dad cuts me off.
You are not going to lose me, Harry, Dad sends through our link.
You promise, I reply, staring at him.
I swear on my Oath. His voice in my head sounds calm and full of determination.
"Okay," I concede. I know that I'm not going to win this argument. I watch Dad glance at Mum.
"Excuse me?" Mum scoffs. "What in our past has given you the thought that I'd allow you to go all bravado on me and do things yourself, Severus?"
"This is not debatable, Aurora. You will go with them."
"No," she states. "I will be damned if you do this without me."
"Aurora," Dad hisses.
"We work better together, Severus, not apart. You know that." When Dad's mouth opens, she instantly cuts him off. "Don't dare recite that ridiculous crap to me," she snarls. "Even you know that's pure idiocy. Your mind will be entirely focused with me there. It won't be if I'm not."
"Is that a fact?" he replies, staring at her coldly.
"Don't make me say the real reason you don't want me there, Severus."
Esmée then steps forward, gently placing a hand on Dad's chest. "I'll protect her with my life, just as Declan will do the same. She will be alive and well in the end, Severus. I swear it." Esmée doesn't waver when his dark eyes dart to hers. She softly smiles when he inclines his head.
A moment later, Declan reappears. He glances between them, but doesn't say anything about their closeness. Instead, he inhales slowly.
"The students are to head immediately to Hogsmeade," he informs, refusing to look at us. "It appears as if Mezra has already arrived, though. The skies have turned black as night. They appear to be waiting, however, likely to wait for Headmaster Dumbledore to release the students."
"There are secret passages that lead away from Hogwarts to Hogsmeade," I state, gaining the adults' attentions. "I know. I've used them before. But if she's in my mind, she'll know that then."
"It's a risk we'll have to take." Dad then casts his Patronus, sending at least a dozen conjured ethereal does in numerous directions. "You are to head to the entrance hall. You'll instruct the others where these passages are."
I nod once, standing with Draco and Angel. I stare at Dad for a brief moment, wanting to say something to him, but not knowing what. I mean, this seems wrong. I don't know why, but it does.
"If she enters your mind, I'll know," he states, resting a hand on my shoulder. "Then we'll treat it like we treated our lesson earlier."
"Clear my mind. Devoid it of all emotions," I recite.
"Time to go, Potter," Draco softly says, motioning with his head towards the closed portrait. He gently picks Angel up, walking towards it.
Without another word, I follow. I don't want to leave, but I know that I have to. Silently, we walk out through the portrait, heading towards the entrance hall. We meet up with the Slytherins just before walking up staircase. So, walking side by side with them, we enter the entrance hall, where the other Houses already seem to be.
"I know of seven secret passages," I state, talking to the Prefects and Head Boy and Girl. "There's a passage beneath the one-eyed witch statue by the Defense classroom. Say 'Dissendium,' and she'll open her hump. It takes you to Honeydukes's cellar." They nod. "There's another on the fourth floor behind a mirror, but it's caved in."
"Leave that to us," the Ravenclaw Prefect replies, glancing at his Hufflepuff counterpart.
"Um, there's another, um, uh—"
"Sixth floor, it has a pig statue that if you rub will open," Remus instructs. "Go!" he says towards the Gryffindors and Slytherins. He then heads off towards the other adults.
I start heading towards the sixth floor with the rest of my housemates, but Draco grabs my arm. I glance at him, but he only shakes his head.
"Weasley!" he shouts. "Fred," he adds a moment later after they all turn towards him.
"What is it, Malfoy?" Fred glances towards us for a second before narrowing his eyes on Draco.
"Take Celes for us," he orders, gently handing her over to a very surprised Weasley.
"But, Draco," Angel cries, now in Fred's arms.
"Hush," he softly scolds, staring at her. "You're going to protect him by staying with him, understand?" He leans forward, kissing her forehead before glancing at Fred. "Keep her safe, Weasley." He then whirls around, snatching a hold of my arm and yanking me away from them.
"Where are we going?" I ask, several moments later.
"Away from them," he simply replies. He then yanks me into a classroom, closing the door behind us. He glares at me when I open my mouth. A moment later, we hear a big explosion somewhere off to our left followed by our room shaking for a moment.
"You think Mezra's here now?" I whisper. I wince when I hear another loud explosion, this time to our right. Sounds of glass shattering then filters in underneath the door.
"What do you think?" he responds, glancing at me. "You know, I almost believed you when you agreed with Severus to go. Then, I remembered how you are. You tell adults what they want to hear, doing what you want later on."
"Maybe not then, but the minute we'd have arrived in Hogsmeade, you'd have turned back." More glass shatters near us before the wind howls through the halls. Draco, however, grabs my arm, pulling me away from the door towards an empty portrait. "I don't suppose you have a knife, do you?" When I shake my head, he snorts. His eyes dart around the room for a moment before he smiles. "Here, help me move this," he states, grabbing a side of a cabinet.
Together we push it off to the side, revealing a hidden doorway. I glance at him, but he only shrugs, walking through it and down the spiraling stairs. I grasp my wand tightly in my hand, wondering what exactly we're doing. However, when I hear sounds of people dueling, I know. Draco and I peek out, glancing towards the chaotic scene. I recognize some of the Order members from the Dursleys, but not whom they're fighting. However, the people appear to be magical, not Shroud members.
Come out and play with us, my sweet, Mezra sings in my head. You know you want to.
I grab Draco's forearm immediately, staring wide eyed at him. I don't hear Dad, which scares me. He's supposed to be there.
"Inhale," Draco commands, grabbing my upper arms. "Exhale," he then instructs. "Inhale, exhale, just keep doing that, Potter," he states.
I do as he says, inhaling and exhaling. I have to admit that it at the very least makes me feel calmer. I then close my eyes, focusing solely on my breathing.
"Better?" he asks when I reopen my eyes.
"Yeah, thanks." I mumble. "I didn't hear Dad."
"That doesn't mean anything," he insists.
For both our sakes, I nod my head. With our wands in hand again, we slowly walk out into the hall. It's empty again, likely because the adults have gone elsewhere. When we duck into another room, I instantly recognize it as the antechamber off the Great Hall. We carefully step around the bloodied Death Eaters that are on the floor.
"Are they dead?" I ask, glancing at Draco as he walks past one.
"Does it matter?" he answers, walking forward. He's silent as we head towards the door. When we reach it a minute later, he stops to glance at me. "If she tries it again, just inhale and exhale. It's the way I clear my mind."
"Well, it actually works," I remark with a laugh.
"As ready as I'm going to be," I reply. I watch him nod before he slowly opens the door to glance out. The door closes a moment later. "What is it?"
"She's in there." He licks his lips, staring at me. "Potter, we have to reach the wand."
"What do you mean? Dad has—no—Draco, you can't be . . ."
"I'm sure he's fine."
"What do you mean that you're sure he's fine? Draco, what did you see?"
"Harry, he's fine."
"He's hurt, isn't he?" I shake my head, feeling myself start to fall apart. "He promised. He promised me, Draco. He promised!"
"Potter, he's not dead, so snap out of it."
"Potter, I'm pretty certain that if he was dead, Sinistra would have destroyed this entire castle and then some. And we wouldn't be hearing the fighting anymore."
"What if she's hurt, though?"
"She was dueling a Death Eater when I saw her. Declan and Esmée were with her. She's fine." He stares at me, inhaling slowly. "Either way, though, we have to get the wand, Potter. I don't care which one of us has it, but we have to get the wand and get Mezra."
I look at him for a moment, wondering who the hell he is. I mean, this is Draco Malfoy, pureblood Slytherin. He does not suggest—well, things I would suggest. I then smile. Clearly, I'm rubbing off on him.
"Oh, shut up, Potter," he growls, opening the door just a crack. "On the count of three, one, two, three." The door bursts open, and we both rush out.
I glance around, trying to find the wand while keeping myself from being hexed or cursed by the hundreds of spells zooming past. I drop to the floor as a pink colored spell flies past me, wincing as my chin slams hard against the stone floor. That is definitely going to leave a mark in the morning. I then roll onto my side away from two people fighting. I have to find that bloody damn wand.
"Incarcerous!" shouts someone near me, sounding a bit like Remus.
A body then hits the floor, but I don't glance towards it. I don't want to know who it is until the fighting ends. I can't know who it is until then. I draw in a breath, rising to my feet to a crouch before my eyes find it . . . and Dad. I shake my head, sprinting towards it knowing that I'm going to have one shot at this. However, I swear once this is over, I'm punching that prat in the damn face for scaring me like that.
Dad is perfectly, well, okay, not perfectly, fine. His robes are torn in spots, likely from some nasty cutting curses or something. His nose looks like someone has broken it. His face is littered with bruises, but he's alive . . . and currently wrestling for a wand with a Death Eater, well, make that was wrestling for a wand.
As I sprint across the hall towards Dad, I notice that there are no Shroud members, only Death Eaters and Mezra. I don't even have time to ponder why before I reach Dad and snatch the wand from his hand as he stands. His hand reaches out to grab my arm, but I'm already rushing past. Mezra will not take my family from me. I leap side to side, trying to make my way towards her.
"POTTER!" a voice yells in front of me, just a bit to the left. "HERE!"
It only takes a split second before I see the one strand of white hair before I toss it towards him. I hope to God above he catches it. I don't find out if he does, at least not then. A hand snatches me from behind, yanking me backwards just as a green jet zooms past me.
"You little fool, give it—"
"Draco has it!" I yell, wincing while Dad's arm around my chest clenches even tighter.
"What?" whispers Dad in his 'I'm going to kill you' voice.
I finally see Draco as a pink haired witch blasts a Death Eater clear across the room. My mouth drops, as does Draco's I can see. The wand, or at least it was one, is now a-a-a sword.
"You've got to be kidding me!" I scoff. "He's a true Slytherin?" I then watch Mezra whirl around towards him. "DRACO!" I watch him glance up before swinging the sword as hard as he can towards her. As soon as it connects with her, well as soon as I think it connects with her, a bright light overtakes the room. I wince, closing my eyes at how bright it is. A deafening roar floods the room, sending waves of, well, magic, I think towards us. Then, it's gone.
"Merlin's balls and then some," Draco utters, staring in front of him with wide eyes.
"I slay a basilisk, and you slay her. Wonderful trade off there, brother," I say, trying to wiggle out of Dad's tight grasp.
"Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Potter," Dad growls.
I can actually feel his abs clenching against my back. He clearly stays fit because they're rock hard. I then bite my bottom lip to keep from laughing. Pretty sure that comment would only upset him.
"Why are you two here?"
"Huh?" we both say, glancing at him.
"Why are two students, two of my children, here when they were given explicit instructions by—?"
"We came to save you, Dad," I say.
"Save me? Save me? What in Merlin's goddamn name made you think—Harry James Potter!"
I gulp. Okay, so I might have started to tune him out. However, one can't blame me. Draco has killed the lady after Mum. I mean, we should all be celebrating, kicking back with a Firewhiskey or something, not this.
"Yes, Dad?" I say, trying to do my best impression of Angel right now.
"You know very well what," he hisses, glaring down at me.
"We were responsible, though. We left Angel with Fred." Dad's glare deepens. "Dad, can't we just celebrate the win for now?" People near us are trying and failing at hiding their laughter.
"Your brooms, your freedom, your lives belong to me now," he hisses. "No Quidditch. No Hogsmeade. No sleepovers. No nothing," he states, glaring.
Draco and I don't respond. I mean, what can we say to that? My eyes then glance around the Great Hall. The remaining Death Eaters have surrendered, looking a bit confused, though, as they look around. I watch a burly Auror grab one of the confused Death Eaters, holding him at wand-point a moment later.
"Where's your master?" he growls, asking the Death Eater.
"Wha—uh, he's-he's gone."
"Gone where?" the man growls, digging the wand a bit deeper into the Death Eater's neck.
"Dead, that thing-it-it killed him awhile back." The Death Eater's eyes dart about the room before suppressing a shudder. "Why am I here?"
"You don't remember?" Dad asks, finally releasing me as he steps towards the man.
"No. I-I remember that thing coming back with the Dark Lord, but then it's black." The remaining Death Eaters in the room nod in agreement.
"Imperious?" Mum suggests, limping towards us with Declan and Esmée on either side.
"No. It is something else," Syra responds, approaching with Dad's mum beside her.
"Whatever it is, it's over," Dad's mum states with a cold finality. "Your psycho has been vanquished, and Riddle got what he deserved. I would claim that to be a win-win. Now, if you'll excuse me, I do believe I'll be returning home." She pulls her midnight blue cloak around her a bit more. "For I can't stand to spend another minute near that . . . thing's vileness," she sneers.
"Mezra's dead, though," I state.
"I was not talking about her, child." Dad's mum then glances towards Syra before sneering and stalking out of the room.
"Always dramatic, she is," Syra drawls. Her unnatural blue eyes rest on me for a moment before she glances at Draco. "A Gryffindor and a Slytherin working as one, perhaps there is hope in the world yet." She then glances at Declan. "I trust you'll settle things with Albus for me?"
"Of course, Lady Syra," he answers, bowing his head respectfully.
"Excellent," she replies, raising an eyebrow as she glances at something behind him. "Esmée, you will remain here too. There is no need for you at Windsor."
"As you wish, Lady Syra," Esmée responds, sounding respectful and extremely polite.
"Circe knows that Windsor could do with the peace and quiet for once," Syra drawls as she walks away towards the large doors.
"We killed Mezra," I say, restating the obvious. I then laugh, glancing up at Dad. He's likely going to get mad at me again, but I just can't help it. I'm, well, a bit excited right now. "Does that mean we can have a party now, Dad?"
"Harry," he growls. "Silence."
Yep, that's my dad. I then sigh. It's over. Maybe now we can be a normal family for once.
A/N: Um, so, yeah, I sort of was mistaken when I said last chapter there would be some more Occlumency in this chapter. Severus stated that he still had a migrane from the last time, so I decided to be nice. Also, the Yule Ball didn't happen in this story either. Sorry. Though, Draco and Harry would like me to inform you that they will be with their dates in the next story entitled Something Normal. Thank you for reading and sticking with me through the end of this one. Dramione fans, there will be tons of it in the next one. And lots of cute Angel mushy scenes with her brothers, and last but not least Severus and Harry, having cute father-son moments. Thanks again.