Disclaimer: I own none of the characters used within this story, they all belong to J.K. Rowling. I own none of the places referenced within this story, they belong to their respective owners or J.K. Rowling.
Note: Wow… I've kept you waiting quite a long time haven't I? Sorry about that guys. I hope it's awesome enough to live up to your expectations ^^
Yeah sorry about that guys, I've been distracted by a Hogwarts and Durmstrang RP forum that me and my girlfriend run :D
It's awesome, you should check it out ^^
Those interested the address is (without the spaces);
hogwarts vs durmstrang . forum otion . co . uk
Remus Lupin was consider, by many, to be a very calm and level headed man. The kind of man who had been mature enough and strong willed enough to curb some of the Marauder's legendary dislike of Slytherin and habit of targeting them for pranking. The reasoning was that if he could have some measure of control over James Potter and Sirius Black with his growing maturity, at the height of their immaturity, then he must have grown even more mature since. For the most part this assumption was correct. He was mostly mild mannered and was the only person in the entire Order of the Phoenix who had a little swear jar.
However, at this moment in time Remus Lupin was anything but level headed. The side of the Hogs Head pub had just exploded in a display of violent spell work and Remus had no doubt that the people dressed in dark robes were the cause. Death Eaters alone were often enough to push Remus to the edge of his rather legendary patience. As a 'dark creature' people expected him to have joined up with the merry little band of murderers a long time ago but Remus hated everything that the Death Eaters stood for with a passion. It had been a Death Eater who had betrayed his friends Lily and James, ensuring their death and their son's exile to the muggle world. It had been a Death Eater, having bought off the courts, which had pushed his friend Sirius into Azkaban without a trial. So the very presence of Death Eaters was enough to press him into beginning to lose his cool.
Another thing that had Remus Lupin ready to kick some Death Eater ass was that both Harry and Sirius had still been inside the Hogs Head when the wall was blown into pieces. Remus didn't have many friends because most people within the wizarding world were afraid of him because of his lycanthropy. Others weren't afraid, they just saw him as some form of wild animal instead, a sub-human. Sirius Black was the last of his great friends from Hogwarts and after finally seeing him proven innocent, he was not about to see him made sport of by some inbred morons with delusions of greatness. And Harry… well Harry was Harry. He might not be the boy's godfather but he might as well have been as both he and Sirius had been so close to James and Lily and both of them loved and cared for the boy deeply. Ever since Harry had discovered his Animagus form however, the lupine instincts inside Remus had made him even more protective of the boy. Although he doubted Harry would very much like being referred to as cub.
But all of that would have meant that Remus would have been a bit angry, confident in both Sirius and Harry's abilities as he was. What had him now in a blind rage, blood boiling and teeth barred was one of the Death Eaters terrorising some of the innocents as they ran away. He was a tall man with slicked back hair and robes that stayed open to expose his heavily scarred chest. His face was also rather heavily scarred but when he grinned viciously at some of the civilians it was clear that he'd filed his teeth to sharp, deadly, points.
Remus Lupin, the level headed man who had controlled the Marauders in their most adventurous days and pushed himself to be as polite as possible to others, hated the man with a passion. The very presence of the man made Remus see red, made him desire nothing more than the man's head on a pike. Normally he wouldn't like to express such thoughts because they were a reflection of the blood lust his lupine side held but right now, as he was charging down the road towards the man with his rage pounding in his ears, Remus let it out,
"Greyback!" he roared, getting the heavily scarred man to suddenly turn in his direction, grinning madly as he did so. This drove Remus on even more, that damned feral grin having haunted his dreams as a child, "I'll kill you! I'm going to rip you apart!"
Fenrir Greyback, possibly the most savage werewolf in Britain, opened his arms wide as if for a hug but both men knew that it was more of a primal challenge. The roar that followed it left little doubt that it was a challenge and not, as some optimists might have guessed, a request for a hug,
"You think you can take me cub?" he roared back, grinning the feral grin that Remus hated so much, "I'll beat you down to the bottom of the pack where you belong!"
Forgoing any real duelling style, Remus charged straight into Fenrir shoulder first, slamming the other man violently against the nearest wall. With Fenrir momentarily stunned from the impact, Remus threw his head forwards, head-butting Fenrir right in the nose. There was an audible cracking sound and Fenrir roared in anger, surprise and pain when blood gushed from his now broken nose. Growling, the scarred man managed to find the room to lift his leg up and punt Remus right in the gut, sending the smaller man flying backwards a few feet, winded but still on his feet. Remus recovered quickly as Fenrir tried to take the time to reset his nose,
"Diffindo!" he called out, waving his wand in a slashing motion at Fenrir's chest. The effect was instant. A dark red line grew across Fenrir's chest from the cutting curse, burst with blood even though it wasn't too deep. What Remus had not expected was that all of the existing scars on Fenrir's chest had dulled the sensations he could feel in the chest while strengthening his skin. So instead of being distracted by further pain, Fenrir was able to jab is wand violently at Remus,
"Repulso!" he managed to growl out through the broken nose. The banishing charm hit Remus in the middle of his torso, between his chest and his gut, and lifted him up into the air as the hammer-like force of magic pushed him backwards a few feet too. Before Remus had even landed, Fenrir was firing another spell, "Diffindo multima!"
While it was a rather weak spell, the multiple cutting curses were an excellent spell for causing your opponent lots of minor injuries. A gust of wind came flying at Remus, who barely had enough time to bring his arms up to shield his eyes. Riding the currents of the mild gust the spell kicked up, small cutting curses peppered Remus, smaller cuts appearing everywhere one of the tiny magical arcs hit him. Bleeding weakly from dozens of different places, Remus forced himself to move into spell casting again, knowing that if he did nothing he would be completely open. Strangely enough, for someone who had so many scars, Fenrir was trying to heal his nose once again. Remus' rational mind would have argued that it was probably because a broken nose was a very distracting type of pain but rationality was long gone in Remus' mind now,
"Repulso! Repulso! Repulso!" Remus roared, sending three banishing charms at Fenrir's unprotected gut. The larger man groaned in pain as the first one slammed him back against the wall but the other two were trying to push him through it, slamming him into the weakened wall with enough force to form cracks. Seeing that his opponent was still on the street level with him, Remus roared and gathered up enough magic to make the spell at least twice as powerful as it should be, "Expulso!"
Fenrir's small eyes seemed to widen a little bit, as if taking Remus' spells as dangerous for the first time in the fight. But he was unable to do anything, unbalanced as he was from the last three quick attacks. The stronger banishing charm slammed into Fenrir with such force that the older man's rips cracked and the weakened wall caved in around him, covering him in bricks and mortar. And yet Remus was not satisfied with burying his opponent because he knew how strong Fenrir was, even when in human form. He pointed his wand at the slowly moving pile of rubble,
"Incendio!" he declared viciously, a fireball about the size of his fist flying from his wand tip to set fire to the rubble and everything in the pile. The entire pile caught on fire almost instantly, the bright flames dancing across the brick, using oxygen and the magic used to cast the spell for fuel. Still wary, Remus took a few steps back, not trusting that the man who had haunted his dreams as a young child was actually dead or even knocked out. It would take more than that to beat the strongest werewolf in five generations, even in human form. Of course, Remus was proven correct when the rubble suddenly exploded off of Fenrir, flaming bricks going in every direction. Waving his wand, Remus banished the rubble that came at him back at Fenrir even as the fearsome man changed forwards, his chest now covered in blood and burns,
"Reducto!" he growled at Remus, the curse tearing up the stone of the pavement where Remus had been standing not seconds ago. Losing his patience, Fenrir charged at Remus, intent of mauling him with his overly long fingernails apparently. Deciding to show Fenrir that he wasn't the runt of the pack that he thought he was, Remus waited until Fenrir was in mid lunge before acting quickly. Grabbing hold of Fenrir's hair he pushed the man's already injured face onto his knee, sending the larger man sprawling to the ground. Before Remus could follow up his physical attack Fenrir managed to point his wand at him while clutching his thoroughly traumatised nose with the other hand, "Repulso!"
The banishing charm was weak but it still caught Remus in the gut from a downward angle so he flew back several feet before he landed, skidding across the ruined street of Hogsmeade as he landed. Staying on one knee as he got his breath back, Remus watched as Fenrir growled darkly and managed to stumble to his feet. Remus stood up shakily and the two werewolves looked at each other with hate-filled eyes before they both reached a decision at the same time,
Now Sirius Black was not a man to be easily deterred by the idea of fighting more opponents than would typically be considered wise. He was also a man who didn't recognise his own limitations. This was a good thing and a bad thing but right now, ducking and weaving to avoid being decapitated by a pirate-wannabe named Avery.
Oh and he just so happened to be blind stinking drunk at this moment in time, making this not a very good situation to be in at all.
Stumbling slightly, Sirius was able to hide behind a cart in the middle of Hogsmeade's main street, letting the wood take the cutting curse so that he didn't lose a limb. He was, understandably, rather attached to them after all. But he was currently at a loss as to what to do, his mind slow and sluggish with the alcohol he'd consumed. From what he'd seen as he was making his mad dash out of the pub, being chased by a few Death Eaters he'd never heard of before, he guessed that Avery had chosen to take him out by himself. The alley was full of Death Eaters and some of them were even running past his cover but not one of them was interested in him apparently. So that meant that he only had to deal with Avery, who was standing in the middle of alley, utterly and completely confident in his ability to take out one drunk Animagus.
What got to Sirius though, was that it was true.
The pirate wannabe was a good duellist but in a straight up fight, Sirius outclassed the slightly younger man. However, this wasn't a straight up fight. He'd gotten himself drunk at the celebration and now he was going to be paying the price, having essentially handicapped himself. Gripping his wand tightly, Sirius closed his eyes tightly as spell after spell rained down against the back of his, admittedly, fragile cover. He needed to try and focus his mind on something James had taught him in seventh year.
The sobering charm.
A particularly violent spell hit his wooden cover with a lot more force that any of the spells before it and Sirius was sent sprawling to the ground, splinters peppering his back. Swearing, he staggered to his feet drunkenly and pointed his wand menacingly at Avery. Well, as menacing as he could do when he was swaying on the spot as if he would collapse on the spot with nothing more than a breeze. Avery, pirate-like bandana in place on his head, took his mask off to reveal his smirk,
"Sirius Black…" he paused as Sirius staggered a little more, as if the ground was moving. Of course they both knew it was just that Sirius was drunk, "You look as if I could flick you and you'd fall over!"
Sirius snarled at the other man but knew that he was right. Hell, right now it was taking almost all of his co-ordination to stand upright and not fall over at some point on his uncertain legs. But seeing Avery trying to taunt him, trying to make sport of him in this state, made Sirius burn with impotent rage,
"Why don't you…" he gritted his teeth as he swayed a little bit more, having to move slightly so that he wouldn't fall over, "Go to hell Avery…?"
The Death Eater merely chuckled in response, knowing that Sirius wasn't a danger to anyone in his current state except, maybe, himself. He shook his head and lazily raised his wand,
"Well I'm sure I'll get there eventually but right now I have a job to do… repulso!" he grinned as the banishing charm caught Sirius in the gut, doubling him over in pain and forcing him down onto one knee, "Seems my Lord doesn't like you at all Black… he wants to see you broken and beaten… expuslo!"
Another banishing charm, this one slightly stronger, slammed into Sirius' shoulder, sending the man spinning to the ground again. Trying to pull himself up, Sirius swore loudly at the burning pain that came up in his right shoulder. Even drunk as he was, Sirius knew that his shoulder was either dislocated or shattered. And what was worse was that the haze of the alcohol was numbing the pain so it was bound to be even worse when he sobered up. Climbing shakily to his feet, Sirius dived to the side, avoiding another banishing charm,
"Fuck!" Sirius cried out, having landed on his injured shoulder when diving out of the way. It hurt like hell but he wasn't about to just give up. He gritted his teeth tightly against the pain, "What the hell was that Avery? You cast like a girl!"
Pausing for a few seconds, Avery gritted his teeth in annoyance at the drunken man, pointing a finger menacingly at him,
"Just for that…" He smirked nastily, "You're getting some quality time with Bellatrix before I hand you over to the Dark Lord."
Sirius flinched a little; his cousin was not gentle. Especially not to him. He was a 'blood traitor' after all so he would need to be punished for turning his back on the 'right' way. For turning his back on his family and their way of life. He gripped his wand tightly as he remembered when he was young, when Bellatrix had been much more like him. And they had twisted her. Corrupted her. His mind sharper from the pain in his shoulder, Sirius pointed his wand at Avery,
"Bombarda!" he cried out, causing the pavement in front of the Death Eater to explode violently, throwing the man backwards. Not wasting any time, Sirius made a mad dash towards the nearest building. He just managed to get through the open doorway of a house before a sickly green curse hit the door, burning a hole in it before it fizzled out. Swearing, Sirius looked around the room quickly. Deciding that he needed both arms before anything else, he pressed his right shoulder up against a nearby wall before bracing himself. Gritting his teeth, he rammed the wall, slamming his dislocated shoulder back in place with a huge amount of pain.
Sirius cried out but stifled himself as the wall, just above his head exploded inwards in a shower of plaster and wood. Closing his eyes to avoid losing one of them, Sirius' addled mind had enough presence to push him in action. Ducking down, he narrowly avoided the cutting curse that would have taken his head from his shoulders. He turned to the hole in the wall to see a very angry looking Avery advancing menacingly,
"You just don't get it do you Black?" he seethed dangerously, "It's already over! You've lost!"
Swinging his wand Sirius sent a non-verbal banishing charm at his tormentor/opponent, the spell only coming out at all because he'd over powered it so much that it had to escape. Avery scowled and batted the spell away with his own banishing charm,
"It's not over yet!" Sirius replied defiantly, "The fight is never over!"
Avery raised an eyebrow,
"You seem to be becoming more coherent…" he tilted his head to the side curiously, but grinning as he did so, "I suppose you're sobering up?"
Sirius cracked a grin, the first side of his prankster side since the attack had started. Sure, Sirius has been known for taking things a bit too loosely but even he knew that in a battle that was obviously for your life, you don't joke around,
"Pain is one hell of a motivator." He replied simply, closing his eyes for a second to focus on the sobering charm. The spell was cast and Sirius opened his eyes again, knowing now that it was going to be getting more and more dangerous. With the amount of alcohol he'd consumed he was going to have to wait at least twenty minutes before he was fully sober. Avery knew that as well so he was going to do everything he could to stop Sirius before he could sober up fully. The Animagus gripped his wand tighter and slipped into a loose duelling stance, "Come on then you Blackbeard fanboy… let's go!"
The Death Eater regarded the order member curiously for a moment before he gritted his teeth. He really hated it when people insulted his image,
"For the last time…" he growled, "I am NOT a pirate fanboy!"
Without another insult, Avery slashed his wand twice, sending cutting curses with each wave. Sirius ducked under one cutting curse and cast a banishing charm at the centre of another arc, the cutting curse's magic bending where it was hit before both spells dissipated. Pressing his advantage, Sirius fired off a blasting curse. Unfortunately for Sirius, he was still too drunk to fight effectively and the curse went wide. Thankfully though, it clipped the wall closest to Avery, splintering the slightly younger man with debris that meant he had to shield his eyes. Taking this as the opportunity that it was, Sirius gritted his teeth and gathered as much of his magic as his sloppy control could manage. He thrust his wand savagely at Avery,
The over-powered banishing charm rocketed from Sirius' wand, staggering the caster. But unlike the earlier examples of a banishing charm, this didn't take the shape of a blast of force; this was a blanket spell that covered almost the entire room, picking up everything in its path before flinging them towards the hole in the side of the building. Avery swore as he too was picked up by the blanket spell and flung through the side of the home, the remains of the wall breaking away from the force and following him, colliding with him and partially burying him as he landed in the middle of the street again.
Sirius pulled himself to his feet, panting from exhaustion. That one spell had cost him way too much magic because his control was appalling due to his drunken state. Whereas that spell would normally have cost him a twentieth of his current magical core, his control of his magic was so poor at the moment that it had taken a quarter of the magic he could safely draw upon to sending Avery, and some poor bastard's living room, out into the street. But as the bandana-wearing Death Eater pulled himself out of the rubble, Sirius knew that his fight wasn't over yet.
Suspended in mid-air by Bellatrix's spell, Harry could only grit his teeth and watch as she ordered about some of the nameless Death Eaters. Strangely enough to the only thought that came to mind was something he'd thought about when taking part in the drinking competition between the two of them. Since when did Bellatrix Lestrange get sexy? In all of those Daily Prophet pictures she had been skinnier than he'd been after the Dursleys had stopped feeding him for a week after he'd accidentally popped Dudley's football. But now she looked as if she had simply filled out, as if someone had inflated her or something. What it did was turn a middle aged, starved-looking, woman into a curvy and healthy looking MILF.
Upon reflection, Harry decided that when you were pinned to a wall by magic was not the best time to think about how attractive your captor was.
Bellatrix had finished ordering her minions around it seemed because she turned to him with a predatory smirk that spoke of either really bad things or really good things. Strangely, he didn't want to stick around to find out exactly which road the older witch wanted to go down. He swallowed a little bit but that was really the extent of his reaction. Being pinned to the wall of the ruined Hog's Head meant that he wasn't able to follow his first instinct at being fixed with such a wicked smirk, which had been to try to run the hell away from her.
Damn it if she didn't act like she knew what he was thinking! Even as she made her way over to him, idly banishing bodies and broken pieces of furniture out of her path, her hips were swaying seductively and Harry had to forcibly take control of his mind from his hormones. He matched her predatory gaze with his own, not backing down at all when it came to this battle of willpower. Strangely, Bellatrix was the one to look away first, focusing on his wand in her hand, turning it around in her hand, making a show of examining it. She held it up to the light and glanced at him out of the corner of her eye,
"This is a very beautiful wand." She observed with an odd purring quality to her voice, as if she was finding holding the wand very enjoyable, "If you listen very carefully… you can hear it humming with echoes of the power that has been pushed through it…"
She moved closer to him, so that their bodies were only about an inch apart from each other. Smirking, she stuck his wand into his breast pocket, away from his static arms, before giving him a patronising pat on the cheek. Turning away, Harry ignored her obvious sway in her hips. It had been the moving of the bodies that had made his attention snap back. The way she was smiling, a half smile filled with underlying happiness and hunger, told him that she was experiencing something that Sirius had taken the time to describe to him in great detail.
She was in the afterglow.
The insane witch had enjoyed torturing and killing the few dancers she'd gotten her hands on that it was comparable to a night spent having sex. He scowled darkly and couldn't help but growl lightly. Bellatrix turned to him, amused by the sound, and merely waited. It was an invitation to attack her and they both knew it. But they both also knew that Harry was completely and utterly helpless with every part of him but his head stuck fast to the wall. Unable to do anything more than growl impotently, Bellatrix laughed at him with her high cackle of a laugh. Harry gritted his teeth,
"You're one sick bitch, you know that?" he growled venomously, "What kind of a person enjoys this kind of thing?"
Tutting at him, Bellatrix sat down in the closest usable chair to him and looked up at him with a small smile. As he looked down into her eyes, Harry could clearly see the madness that plagued her in her eyes. They were panicked and her pupils were huge. It was almost as if she was high,
"Well Harrykins…" she cooed in that damnable baby voice, grinning when he growled obligingly, "When I cast those spells… mhmmm… its amazing… it makes my blood sing!"
The simple declaration made Harry grit his teeth tighter in anger. But he wasn't just angry with Bellatrix at the moment, he was angry with the 'Most Ancient and Most Noble' House of Black for pushing someone to become this messed up. You learnt, in the first year textbook for defence against the dark arts, that one of the reasons why the Dark Arts were hated so much was that if you used them too much they became addictive. Bellatrix Lestrange was a textbook example of someone who had delved into the Dark Arts before her mind was able to form any kind of defence against the addictive qualities.
Harry shook it off.
It wasn't his problem if she was an addict and it wasn't his problem that her family had probably pushed her into the Dark Arts at an early age. To him it meant nothing because, victim or not, she was his enemy. And she wasn't just his enemy either; she was an enemy of freedom loving people across the country. She was a danger to herself but she was more dangerous to others. Perhaps before his 'trip to the graveyard', he might have tried to help her. Tried to save her from herself or some such nonsense. But now?
Now he was too cold.
She was his enemy and he fought his enemies to the end because Merlin knew they weren't going to pull their punches either. An argument that was given further validity by the very fact that he was pinned to a wall by magic, looking like he going to be crucified. After all, he could only move from his neck upwards. He was at the mercy of an opponent he knew probably would have killed him immediately had it not been for the fact that her 'master' probably wanted to do it himself. Harry spat at Bellatrix suddenly, hitting her in the cheek,
"Fuck you." He said simply but venomously, "Do your worst you sick bitch… anything you do to me will be like a love tap compared to what Tom did to me."
Bellatrix had flinched when his spit had hit her cheek but the shock rapidly turned to a great deal of anger. Lashing out with a vicious back-handed strike, Bellatrix's ring cut across his cheek where she'd hit him. Bleeding, Harry kept up the sneer he'd adopted. It was a sneer to make even Snape envious and he knew that it would rub Bellatrix the wrong way. Bellatrix drew herself up to her full height and held her wand loosely in her right hand, placing the tip against Harry's chest. Their eyes locked and Harry could see the perverse pleasure in her crazed eyes even before she spoke,
"Love taps you say?" her eyes narrowed, "Try this! Crucio!"
Pain filled every nerve in Harry's body immediately, every inch of his body feeling like it was on fire from both the inside and the outside. It was like millions of searing pins being stuck into every inch of his body for the express purpose of tearing up his nerve endings through over-stimulation alone. But because he could only move his head and neck, the pain seemed so much worse. When the Cruciatus curse was usually placed on someone they were free to thrash around and the trashing gave the person some way of expressing their pain, some small way of venting it. Trapped to the wall as he was, Harry could only thrash his head wildly from side to side as his immobile body was tortured for the perverse satisfaction of a witch gone mad.
After what seemed like hours of being held under the torture curse, but was realistically only about a few minutes, Harry felt the pain suddenly leave his body as Bellatrix stopped the curse. This left Harry with a new sensation that was almost equally as unpleasant; the feeling of 'non-pain'. It was when your body grew accustomed to trying to deal with a massive amount of pain and tried to lessen its impact but didn't stop when the pain was gone. His muscles, which had gone into spasms, had tightened to try and limit the spasms but with the instant removal of the pain they were still tightened. Uncomfortably tight. That was the sensation of non-pain and it was very unpleasant. It took Harry a few seconds to realise that Bellatrix was trying to speak to him. Lifting his head to look her defiantly in the eyes again, he interrupted whatever it was that she was saying,
"Like I said…" he spat at the ground before scowling up at her again, "Love tap compared to Tommy boy."
Bellatrix growled, actually growled, in rage at his words and Harry could tell that she was getting closer and closer to doing something stupid just in the name of getting him to shut up. He was okay with that if he was honest because he thought he knew exactly what she'd do when pushed. Before she could act, Harry decided to push her over the edge,
"You know I've heard stories about the Death Eaters… people say that Death Eaters with their own masks are some of the deadliest fighters in the entire magical world. Their one purpose being to serve their master." He tilted his head to the side mockingly, "But what use could you possibly be to your master when you can't even torture a fifteen year old boy properly? What possible use could he have for you when you're so weak? So pathetic."
This, he knew, was going way too far than was strictly healthy. If he'd pushed her just the right amount then she'd be likely to want to just kill him and be done with it. Of course, it wasn't going to happen like that, he had a bit of a plan. Bellatrix's wand tip glowed a sickly green and she held it right up between his eyes,
"I'll show you how I serve my master!" she shrieked in rage, "I'll kill you and give him your head you miserable little worm! Avad-!"
"And he'd be okay with that?" Harry demanded, interrupting her spell and making her suddenly freeze up. He pushed, "Would he thank you for that would he? For killing me, what would your reward be?"
Her wand moved away quickly, Bellatrix's arm suddenly looking like it could barely hold the weight of her wand. Looking into her wide and panicked eyes, Harry knew that his plan had worked. She was too afraid of the possible punishment that would come if she killed him and not her master. Just from meeting with him the few times that he had, Harry knew that Tom was too proud to let someone else kill him. No, his continued survival was an insult to Tom's skills so, to Tom's mind, he had to be the one to kill him. It was a really big risk on Harry's part of course. There had never been any solid evidence that Tom would have made up rules so that his followers wouldn't try to kill him but it seemed to have worked.
Bellatrix slowly began to smirk, the panic gone now as she thought about something else. Of course, Harry mentally reflected as Bellatrix slowly brought her wand tip down to the mark on her left forearm, it also meant that Tom would probably reward whoever could pin Harry down in the same manner as Bellatrix had right now. As Bellatrix pressed her wand to her Dark Mark, she stiffened and shuddered a little bit. He'd heard that activating the Dark Mark to call Tom was a painful process but Bellatrix seemed to enjoy it. Somehow that wasn't all the surprising.
As Harry watched, Bellatrix suddenly went slack and had to stop herself from falling over as she removed her wand from the Dark Mark on her left forearm. She smirked weakly at Harry but he ignored her, waiting for what he knew was coming. As if on cue, his scar began to ache before it began to almost burn with pain. Gritting his teeth, Harry channelled a small amount of magic into one of his runes and the pain suddenly left his body. Instead he wanted to hold the side of his head against the sudden and terrible headache. It was better though, he reflected, because the headache was already beginning to lessen.
Dark clouds formed incredibly quickly from what Harry could see through the holes in the roof of the Hogs Head. Too fast to be natural that was to be sure. It was confirmed for Harry when one of the clouds took the shape of the Dark Mark, the snake tongue reaching out and moving. From the tongue a black cloud detached, rocketing towards the ground. It wasn't a cloud at all of course; it was the strange type of transportation magic that the Death Eaters used whenever they wanted to really make an entrance, a form of visible and slow disapparation.
Harry didn't flinch when the darkest little stream of cloud landed a few feet in front of him, beside Bellatrix. Even before the smoke cleared, Bellatrix was bowing down low to the person they both knew had just arrived. With a mild pulse of magic, the smoke disappeared to reveal a bald, pale, figure dressed in flowing dark robes. Held loosely, almost carelessly, in the figures pale hand was a white wand, almost bleached of all colour. Lord Voldemort turned to Harry, ignoring Bellatrix's presence as his serpentine eyes locked onto Harry's restrained form. Harry met his mortal enemy's gaze with his own, not flinching at all as he looked at perhaps the most powerful dark wizard in the past hundred years or so. For a moment neither of them spoke, content just to stare into the eyes of their enemy. After a few seconds, Harry was the one to speak,
"Hello Tom." He greeted the dark lord, not using his made-up title. Voldemort flinched a little bit in anger but otherwise did not react, still smiling a little bit. Harry nodded to Bellatrix, "Thanks for lending 'Trixie to dance with me but I'm afraid she's not that good a dancer."
While Bellatrix glared at him from her position of bowing at her master's feet, Voldemort laughed. It was a cruel and high pitched sound that set Harry's teeth on edge but he managed to not show it on his face,
"I apologise Harry…" he drawled, confidence and mocking sarcasm dripping from every word he spoke, "It seems that she was a little bit rough with you. Nothing broken I hope?"
Voldemort reached out with his thin, claw-like, fingers and took hold of Harry's head by his chin, turning the his head from side to side forcibly to examine him. Tutting, Voldemort patted Harry on the cheek mockingly. Looking into Voldemort's eyes, Harry suddenly smiled, surprising both Voldemort and Bellatrix,
"You know Tom… I'm glad you could make it to the party!" he made a show of looking around the wrecked interior of the Hogs Head before chuckling darkly, "Sorry about the mess but it seems you've arrived just when it's died the death."
Seeing his attempts at conversation and the smile as attempts at bravado, Voldemort chuckled. It was a sound just as unpleasant as his laugh but not as high pitch. He turned to Bellatrix,
"The boy yet has some strength…" he smirked mockingly, "Does he not Bellatrix?"
The faithful Death Eater almost fell over herself in her hurry to agree with him, nodding madly,
"Yes indeed my master…" she agreed before quickly deciding to add, "But it's nothing you can't take from him with but a whim my lord."
Happy with her answer, Voldemort turned back to Harry, who was straining to keep himself from laughing. The self-styled Dark Lord frowned a little bit at the expression on Harry's face,
"I do not know what you find so amusing Harry Potter…" he drawled, gesturing at how he was bound to the wall with his wand casually, "There is no chance for you to run away from me this time… this time you will not escape, you will die. Oh you silly boy… was it really worth it? Getting drunk to celebrate your weak little godfather's innocence? Was it worth dying?"
Harry couldn't contain himself and he began to laugh. It wasn't even the hysterical laughter you'd expect to hear from a person who knew they were dead anyway, it was an even and measured laugh of someone who knew something others didn't. When he finished laughing he grinned at both Voldemort and Bellatrix,
"I was never drunk." He revealed to the pair of them, loving the way Bellatrix's eyes widened and Voldemort's narrowed to slits, "It was just easier to pretend that I was. Let people underestimate me and all that."
Voldemort snorted contemptuously at the idea on the outside but it was clear that he was marginally unsettled by the idea that his caged prey had somehow allowed itself to be caught. Of course, neither Voldemort nor Bellatrix thought Harry smart enough to do anything of the sort so they relaxed a little bit. Before Voldemort could speak, Harry spoke up again,
"I actually have something I want to tell you Tom…" he looked at the dark lord, tilting his head to the side curiously, "You do give people the right to their last words don't you?"
This was something that Voldemort obviously had a lot of experience in and he smirked once again, obviously assured that the strangeness of finding out that Harry had faked being drunk was just an isolated incident. He bowed his head graciously but it was obviously meant with a mocking undertone,
"But of course Harry! After all…" he looked Harry in the eyes again and the captive boy could see the barely contained joy, "I have been waiting for this for so many years… a few more moments will not matter."
Smiling, blatantly ignoring Voldemort's obvious undertone, Harry collected his thoughts. He looked his adversary in the eyes as he spoke,
"I'm not sure how much you know about muggle history Tom, but when the Japanese attacked the Americans at Pearl Harbour they used two sets of code phrases." He began with a small smile, "One to commence the operation and another to confirm the operation's success. With me so far?"
Intrigued, Voldemort waved his hand casually at Harry in a gesture that obviously meant that he could continue. The Dark Lord was apparently interested as to where Harry was going with this,
"Now the code phrase to commence the operation was Climb Mt. Nitaka." He smiled at the confused look on Voldemort's face, "When the commander said 'Climb Mt. Nitaka' the country was committed to the war. But!"
He paused and both Voldemort and Bellatrix were seen to be annoyed by the sudden stop. Harry grinned a little bit and began to work on pulling his magic to his chest area, where his wand was tucked into his breast pocket from Bellatrix's earlier mocking. He continued,
"When the first Japanese pilots confirmed that they had caught the Americans they sent out another code phrase…" his eyes glowed suddenly as he tapped into one of his runes, instantly doubling his magical core's stores and accessibility, "Tora! Tora! Tora!"
It was clear, to any impartial observer that the fight was over.
In the centre of a now thoroughly ruined street, Avery and Sirius Black stood opposite each other. Neither man was looking particularly healthy but it was clear that Avery was the one in better condition. He was covered in soot, ash and the remains of rubble but his only noticeable injury was a large slash across his chest. It wasn't particularly deep but it was a large wound. Less noticeable to an observer, but very noticeable to Avery, were the three broken ribs and fractured left wrist.
But his injuries were nothing compared to his opponent.
Sirius Black was in a terrible state, he too was covered in ash and rubble but where Avery was merely dusted in it, Sirius was caked in it, dried blood turning the light plaster dust dark brown. His right shoulder was dislocated again after yet another of Avery's banishing charms, having been weakened considerably from the first dislocated and the subsequent re-setting. A few of his teeth were missing, his mouth constantly filling up with blood from the dental damage and from some internal bleeding. He wasn't sure but he thought that his right ankle was shattered as it hurt like holy hell whenever there was even the illusion of weight put on it. Dozens of cuts and gashes littered his body from when Avery had decided to play with him, using weak cutting curses that Sirius was unable to avoid in his decimated state.
Right now, Sirius wasn't even touching the ground. He was hovering inches above the ground under a spell so simple that it was almost impossible to use on a person.
The first year spell was able to levitate Sirius' weakened form because there just wasn't enough magic in his body to disrupt the Death Eater's charm. It would have only taken the power of a weak first year to break out of the spell but Sirius' control had been so sloppy in his drunken state that in the fifteen minutes they'd been fighting, he'd emptied his magical core entirely. He had about as much magic in him right now as a peanut. There were currently muggles with more magic than him at this moment in time. They both knew this, hence Avery's exceedingly arrogant stance, both hands now in his pockets as he merely smiled smugly,
"The great Sirius Black…" he laughed a little bit, "They warned me about you! Said you were the most creative duellist the Order had… said you would turn little pieces of stone into exploding insects! Windows would become insulting pictures! They said it would be chaos to fight you!"
Sirius didn't say anything but, to be fair, his injuries were of such a calibre that he probably wouldn't have made much sense even if he did speak. His chest was tight so it was safe to assume that his ribs were either broken or bruised. To be honest it didn't really matter which at the moment, both possibilities were equally dangerous to his continued health. Tired of his captive's silence, Avery growled a little bit before taking a quick step forwards, slamming his fist into Sirius' unprotected gut. Sirius groaned in pain and spat out a small amount of blood but otherwise did not react at all. Reaching forwards, Avery grabbed hold of Sirius' hair tightly and pulled his head back so that he could look his weakened captive in the eyes,
"You are pathetic!" he punched Sirius across the face again, letting the other man's head go, "You were supposed to be a great fighter! I was supposed to kill you and gain glory for doing so!"
He punched Sirius in the face again and took some satisfaction in that the other wizard paused for a moment before weakly spitting out another tooth. Avery began to pace up and down in front of his beaten opponent. Each step just compounded his anger. Sirius hadn't put up enough of a fight for the other Death Eaters to be impressed by Avery when he came in with proof that he'd killed the man. In the Death Eaters if someone wasn't hard to kill, but you still wanted to a show of strength, you made their death long, slow and memorable. Avery was not a terribly imaginative man but he imagined that cutting the man's body repeatedly and letting him bleed out slowly from hundreds of wounds was the way to go. Taking out a small dagger, Avery moved closer to his captured prey, intent on carving him up slowly and painfully.
The twin shouts were so close together that Avery could be forgiven for thinking that it was actually only one voice that had rang out in the stillness of the street. But when two very heavy banishing charms connected with him, one in the left shoulder and the other in the gut, there was little doubt in his mind that he had been ambushed by multiple enemies. He had no more time for thought however as the two banishing charms flung him across the street, slamming him into the side of a building.
Fred and George Weasley revealed themselves, dropping the disillusionment charms that had kept them from being seen. Sirius' eyes widened even as he was released from his captivity. He coughed as he fell to his knees, still completely and utterly exhausted. One of the twins, Fred, moved past Sirius and began to pepper the ground around Avery with blasting curses to keep the Death Eater on his toes. The other, George, moved to Sirius' side and helped the older prankster unsteadily to his feet. Standing, but leaning heavily on George, Sirius grinned weakly,
"Took you two long enough!" he joked in a raspy voice, "Any longer and I'd be Sirius Jerky!"
George shook his head a little bit, oddly serious for him, and preceded to half-lead and half-carry Sirius over to one of the broken shells of buildings. The half-destroyed sign above the door proudly remained, defiantly declaring that the roofless building had been Zonko's Joke Shop. Even as he was helped to sit down with his back against a wall, Sirius thought it was ironic for a prankster to be given safety within the walls of a joke shop.
While George was helping Sirius to get behind some cover, Fred was fighting with the now rather angry Avery. It was clear from the fact that Avery was firing significantly more spells than Fred that the teenager was not as skilled as his older opponent. But even so, Avery's weakened state meant that while he was able to fire off more spells, and darker ones too, he was unable to make them nearly as powerful as Fred could. And Avery was the one thing that Fred was not; predictable. When Avery cast another killing curse, Fred dodged and aimed his next spell to the ground a few yards to the right of where Avery was,
"Bombarda!" he called out forcefully. The blasting curse hit the ground, kicking up a huge amount of the paving. And Avery had, as he always had in the fight, moved to his left so that he was stood right in front of the spell's impact zone. With the cover of dust and broken cement, Fred gritted his teeth, "Combasta!"
The genius of the Weasley twins was not usually in battle, it was in pranks and jokes. To a lesser extent though it was also in fireworks and small explosives. The combasta spell wasn't a combat spell per se, it was a firework spell that caused a jet of bright red light to shoot towards Avery before exploding close to the man, sending him flying. As Avery was flung through the air, Fred turned back to where his twin had hidden Sirius,
"George-y! I could sure use you out here!" he called out to his brother, "We need to use that spell we were working on!"
George grinned at his twin's words while Sirius just looked confused. The ginger teenager gave Sirius a cheeky grin as he stood up,
"You'll want to watch this old timer. This is the future of pranking." He declared proudly before jogging out to stand beside his brother. He clapped Fred on the shoulder; not taking his eyes off of Avery's landing site, "You ready for this Freddie?"
"You know it George-y!" he replied with a quick glance and a grin at his twin, which earned him a similar expression from his twin, "You ready to really shove it to those old farts in the safety control for fireworks office?"
As Avery was seen picking himself up from a pile of rubble that had once been a small nursery, Fred and George began to pull on as much magic as they could. Fred's wand began to glow a bright red with repressed magical energy even as George's wand began to glow a bright white, so bright that it was impossible to look at it head on. Both wands were pointed towards Avery. Fred grinned viciously,
"You ready for this Avery?" he roared over the sound of their wildly humming wands, "The first Fred-George special attack!"
"A prank that is quite literally a blast! But it's more than a prank…" George continued with a feral grin, "This is art god damn it! And art… is a blast!"
From George's glowing white wand, a blast of powerful wind burst forwards at incredibly speeds. But even as fast as it was going it was clearly in the shape of a Chinese dragon, it's mouth open in a soundless roar of rage. Fred's spell was built along the lines of his firework spell from before but it too formed a large Chinese dragon. And when the two dragons overlapped… hell broke out.
The wind dragon was special in that the reason why it took so much magic was that it was made out of pure oxygen. And when pure oxygen was made to react with a flame, or a firework in this case, it reacted very violently indeed, fuelling the fire. The dragon became a dragon of pure fire, easily three times the size of either the wind dragon or the fireworks dragon.
In an instant the fight was over. Avery didn't have time to get out of the way and the attack hit him dead on. There was a muffled scream for about two seconds before it stopped abruptly, the entire area being bathed in a huge amount of powerful flames. Both Fred and George dived behind the wall Sirius was using for cover when the dragon exploded outwards, fire coming off from the impact site in waves.
Showing their prankster side, and perhaps more than a little bit of fear of what they're created, the spell finished itself with a large mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke that burst upwards. As the spell ended the dust cloud, and several small spots of fire, remained. Fred glanced around the wall to where they had last seen Avery and his eyes widened in fright. George looked too and he too was shocked, sitting down and looking at his hands.
Avery hadn't been killed by the attack, he'd been complete destroyed by it. Or rather, most of him had. There was only a skeleton standing there now, melted in place and heated so much that it appeared to have crystallised. A swift wind hit the skeleton and it peeled away, breaking into dust and flying away on the wind. Fred turned to his twin with an ashen expression. George looked sick to his stomach. It confused Sirius, they'd been excited about the spell before, did they not expect this? Fred held out a hand and George took it,
"Now, I am become Death…" Fred began but trailed off, not able to complete the quote. Sirius recognised it though and he suddenly realised why the boys were so strange. They had created a spell that, in the hands of someone more powerful than the two of them, could destroy things on a scale similar to an atomic bomb. A spell that powerful had never existed before in the wizarding world and now it was a reality. George finished the quote, having found the energy to speak,
"The destroyer of worlds."
Cobalt pulled his hand out of another Death Eater's chest, his pointed hand coming free with a slick squelch. The dying wizard fell to the ground, hands uselessly flailing at the hole dead centre in the man's chest. It took only a few seconds more before the man to die, the blood loss and the damage to his lungs too much for his body to handle. With careless and callous disregard for the man's dignity in death, Cobalt kicked the man's body out of the second floor window which had been blown open hours ago.
There was a hollow thud and a small cracking sound that told Cobalt that the man's skull had probably not survived the fall.
Casting a quick water spell on his hand, Cobalt went about cleaning his hand as he stood guard in what had once been a home's master bedroom. He took the opportunity to look around the room and reflected that it had once been rather tastefully decorated. The walls had been covered, expertly he might add, in light coloured wallpaper and the carpet had been soft and, in all likelihood, rather expensive. After the first fireball had been shot into the room, through the destroyed window, the room had become gradually less aesthetically pleasing. It had been followed by a few blasting curses, which had torn up the wallpaper very effectively but hadn't even made the room's occupants even look up from their tasks.
The first Death Eater had burst into the room expecting to find perhaps some scared little children and their mother or something. Instead as soon as he'd burst through the door, Cobalt had stabbed his hand into the man's stomach, cutting straight through to the spine, before slashing his throat open with a cutting curse. He had probably died before he had even reached the floor but that wasn't really his concern.
Footsteps on the stairs alerted Cobalt to yet more people trying to achieve entry to the room. To be honest he wasn't even sure why they were trying to get in. It wasn't a strong tactical position because the window had been blown out so completely that it was very open if you wanted to lay down fire. And it wasn't an important building; it was a two bedroom home. It didn't even have a floo connection for Merlin's sake! Muttering about incompetent enemies, Cobalt straightened his empty right hand into a point in the same way that he had when he had made holes in the chests of every person to attack the room.
As the footsteps grew closer, Cobalt focused on his magic, pulling it more into his right arm and hand than the rest of his body. Normally this would achieve nothing but Cobalt had spent almost every waking hour of his life exercising his control over his magic. To the extent that right now the magic swimming around in his right arm and hand began to move, pouring into the muscles and his bones, strengthening them to inhuman levels for as long as he kept the flow of magic going.
The door opened and the white mask of a Death Eater was enough for Cobalt to feel that attacking was a viable option. Cobalt charged across the distance between himself and the startled Death Eater. Showing a remarkable awareness by not getting tunnel vision, Cobalt ducked under the man's panicked torture curse and was unopposed in the last foot to his target. He thrust forwards with his right arm with more power than he would ever be able to achieve naturally. His hand broke the skin easily, tore through the man's muscles, snapped a rib and came to rest, his fingers stuck in the Death Eater's heart half-way.
As the dark wizard spat up some blood from the obviously fatal injury, Cobalt noticed that he wasn't alone. A second Death Eater, who had arrived behind the first one, had his wand pointed at Cobalt with the electric red of the torture curse dancing at it's tip. Acting on instinct, Cobalt used the fact that the first Death Eater was still impaled on his hand to pull the dying man's body in the path of the spell just in time. The dying Death Eater twitched and spasmed violently when the torture curse hit him, spitting, coughing and generally spluttering blood up, covering Cobalt as he was using the man's body as cover.
Ignoring the blood that splashed onto his face, Cobalt held the dying and twitching Death Eater up in front of him with his right arm, only able to use him as a shield so easily thanks to his added strength. He looked around the man's neck to see the second Death Eater and he pressed his wand into his shield's stomach. The second Death Eater was, understandably, a little shaken up but it didn't matter too much because Cobalt hadn't even flinched. Using a wordless spell, Cobalt caused a metal pole, about a foot long, to shoot out of the end of his wand. Of course he was using the first Death Eater as a shield so it first tore through his stomach, showering Cobalt's lower body with even more blood. Having barely slowed down when flying through the first man, the metal pole had no trouble in slamming into the second Death Eater's left thigh, pinning the man to the wall behind him.
As the pinned man screamed in pain, Cobalt narrowed his eyes and fired the spell again. Another pole forced its way through his shield to slam into the second wizard's stomach, helping to effectively pin the man to the wall. Again, Cobalt fired, and a pole shot through the first man to pin the right shoulder of the trapped Death Eater to the wall. Cobalt looked into the Death Eater's eyes through the mask as he adjusted his wand slightly. He could see that the man obviously feared for his life but Cobalt had no mercy for someone who enjoyed killing people weaker than themselves. Cobalt narrowed his eyes and fired the spell off again, just as the Death Eater opened his mouth to beg for his life.
As the final metal rod pinned the weakly struggling man to the wall, Cobalt thought it ironic that, in this case, the dark wizard seemed to have 'eaten' his death.
Closing the door quietly and calmly, as if he hadn't just killed two dark wizards with both shocking brutality and complete ease, Cobalt wrinkled his nose when he realised just how covered he was it blood. He spared the tiny bit of magic to perform a cleaning charm on himself and moved back to the corner of the room he had occupied before, along the wall from the door and across from Richard. Speaking of his fellow 'tutor'…
Richard was sat in the corner opposite Cobalt, his wand neatly placed on the ground in front of him as he sat in the classic lotus position. His eyes were closed and his breathing was deep and even. He was sat in the middle of a ring of salt, which had been poured down after the two of them had torn up the carpet at that corner of the room. Even though Cobalt was making no noise and Richard was only breathing, there was a slight humming noise in the air and it was coming from Richard. Unlike muggles who meditated, Richard wasn't making the noise to concentrate further, nor was he actively trying to make the sound. Richard was just channelling so much of his magic that so of it was bleeding out into the room as sound. It would normally bleed out as light, making him glow, but the specially prepared ring of salt was amplifying not his magical power but his control.
And he needed all the control he could get.
Cobalt slowly began to retract the magic from his right arm, so as to not damage the muscles and weakened the bones. It was a process that required a level of concentration that few ever achieved but it paled in comparison to the level of control that Richard had to exercise. Not only that but Richard's spell was incredibly draining on the magical core and required his constant attention, hence the meditation. Cursing the fact that his technique caused his arm to experience pins and needles all over, Cobalt flexed his arm from shoulder to fingers in an attempt to get the feeling back faster.
It was his job, as part of the plan, to protect Richard no matter what the cost. Harry had even gone as far as to give him permission to destroy the building they were in, and several nearby buildings, if it meant that Richard was kept safe and uninterrupted. Richard's task was vital for the plan to work so Cobalt's job was just as vital. Plus he was being paid a very large amount of money to do this. That tended to help.
Overall though it was a good plan, he mused as he began to idly play with his wand in his left hand. It was well thought out at the very least and was a major step up from Dumbledore's old stand by; do nothing. He yawned a little bit as he waited for Richard to actually do anything. His partner in this part of the plan was supposed to be in this near-comatose state until the trap had been sprung so Cobalt was waiting for his friend to move so that he could start working against the Death Eater forces. Richard's job at the moment was as simple in theory as it was hard in practice; simulating a panicked population.
Harry had not been able to justify letting real people die for his plan to succeed when there was even a chance that it could come up nothing so he had entertained suggestions as to how to keep the civilians out of harms way while still attracting the Death Eaters in force. Aberforth had made a suggestion of giving them all portkeys to somewhere else as soon as the Death Eaters arrived but it was shot down when it was decided that the Death Eaters would have had to make some progress before Voldemort himself would show up. Daphne had suggested that the support members would polyjuice themselves into civilians to populate the party but this had been vetoed as well when it was decided that the Death Eaters would have grown suspicious if civilians had been able to survive their attack. In the end, Richard had told them of a rather experimental spell he'd been working on.
The civilians running through the streets being chased by Death Eaters, the civilians laying dead on the ground and even the civilians cowering in fear in buildings were not civilians at all. Richard had developed a transfiguration spell of magnificent power and concentration that a ritual circle was required for the spell to be used properly. The civilians populating the town at the moment were not civilians, they weren't even human. They were inanimate, unfeeling, logs. Wood that had been transfigured into human shape by Richard, each one with a unique appearance, and charmed with the instructions to act as a regular human would do. The charm itself was not enough however, so Richard had to push his own consciousness into each and every transfigured chunk of wood so that they would act as human as possible as much as possible.
Cobalt had to admit that the effects were amazing. He'd seen a Death Eater cut a 'civilian' in half with a cutting curse and blood, along with other things, had flown everywhere. What was impressive was that the blood appeared to be real. It wasn't some kind of active illusion; Richard had turned every log of wood into a fully functioning human body. He made the distinction of body as the creations lacked brainwaves, hence why Richard was having to direct each and every one of them.
Just as Cobalt was beginning to feel the effects of boredom, fighting them off as he did so, Richard jerked slightly. Cobalt was instantly alert again as Richard hadn't moved a muscle since beginning the spell. Gripping his wand tightly in his left hand, Cobalt waited for something to happen, knowing that anything could happen with an experimental spell. Thankfully though it was very anticlimactic.
Richard glowed slightly, a faint magical aura appearing around him in a bright electric blue colour, before the salt ring disappeared in a flash. Cobalt blinked a few times as his partner opened his eyes and blinked owlishly a few times. They looked at each other for a second before Richard spoke,
"Tora, tora, tora." He declared clearly, knowing the Cobalt knew what it meant. Cobalt grinned a little bit, ready to take the fight to the Death Eaters instead of merely protecting someone from attacks,
"Alright…" he looked at Richard, who had yet to move from the lotus position, "You up for this? Can you get up?"
Richard fell onto his side after a few seconds of struggling to move himself out of the lotus position. From his position on his side, the German man glared at Cobalt, who found himself smirking,
"Tell anyone about this and I swear to God I'll turn you into a mouse."
Fenrir Greyback and Remus Lupin were both bloody, torn, ragged messes of men, clothes, skin and muscles torn up from the collision of their two spells and the resulting explosion. It had sent them both flying backwards into, and through, the outer walls of some of the surrounding buildings. Having both pulled themselves out of the ruins with inhuman willpower and endurance, both of the werewolves stood glaring at each other, neither willing to waste any precious energy being the first one to attack again. Suddenly both sets of sensitive werewolf ears picked up a shout from a familiar voice.
In that second, Remus suddenly seemed to find energy to spare. Charging forwards with nothing but the desire to destroy the creature responsible for all the pain in his life, Remus threw a brick that hit Fenrir's gut. With the older werewolf doubled over, Remus flicked his wand upwards. The banishing charm grew from the ground, moving up at incredible speeds to slam into Fenrir's mouth. Remus didn't pause in his reckless charge, even when Fenrir growled and spat out a tooth, and slammed his shoulder into the older man's chest. Fenrir's back smashed into a brick wall and he howled it pain.
In response, Fenrir acted as he always did; like an animal. Growling loudly and as angrily as he could, the savage man reached forwards and bit into Remus' shoulder. The younger werewolf roared in pain, repeatedly punching the older on in the stomach in an attempt to keep from being gnawed on. Stubbornly, Fenrir refused to be moved and instead bit down harder to keep his grip. Growing more desperate to be free, Remus used all of the strength in his right arm to punch Fenrir again, this time in a much more sensitive area.
The fearsome Fenrir Greyback let out a pained yelp, much like a kicked puppy, and his jaw relaxed enough for Remus to push the large man off of him. Gritting his teeth, Remus clamped his right hand down on his injured left shoulder, cursing the fact that he'd never really learnt any healing charms. Fenrir wobbled on his feet however, struggling not to fall over from the sudden pain in his most sensitive area. Before either werewolf could think about attacking the other again, a blasting curse hit Fenrir square in the chest, lifting him up as it flung him through the air like a ragdoll.
Remus turned to where the spell had come from and saw Bill Weasley jogging over to his side. The werewolf couldn't help the small sigh of relief that came from seeing that he did have back up now. Fenrir Greyback was a savage opponent after all and Remus was not sure that he had the endurance to outlast him, even with his condition giving him extra energy. When the red-headed man was closer, he smiled a little at Remus,
"You alright there Remus?" he asked with a lightly joking tone, "You look like you've been turned into a chew toy."
The joke was bad, and probably in bad taste, but Remus still managed a little bit of a laugh anyway, at the absurdity of joking during a battle if nothing else. Shaking his head, Remus winced a little bit when the movement aggravated his shoulder wound. He looked at Bill,
"Got any healing spells Bill?" he asked before wincing again, "This hurts more than it tickles…"
Bill nodded and the tip of his wand began to glow a light green. Just as he was about to touch his wand to Remus' shoulder a bubbling laugh began from the pile of rubble that Bill had managed to blast Fenrir into. Swearing, the Weasley tapped Remus' shoulder a bit harder than intended. Remus hissed in pain but merely grunted at the skin and muscles torn apart by Fenrir's bite stitched themselves together. Both men turned to the rubble pile in time to see the disgusting sight of Fenrir staggering out of the rubble.
Fenrir was not looking good on taking a blasting curse to the chest, it was a spell designed to blast apart rocks after all. His shirt was long gone now but the skin of his chest seemed to have peeled outwards from where the spell had impacted. The actual impact site of the spell was now completely skinless, showing freely bleeding muscles and bones. The damage done to Fenrir was enough that he'd most certainly die without medical attention and the way he was laughing weakly was just evidence that the older man had gone into shock. Reaching into his pocket, Fenrir held up a single syringe for their inspection,
"Do you see this?" he asked his opponents, shaking the syringe to show the light yellow liquid inside, "This… is the key to my species domination of the human race! The Dark Lord is generous… he gave us captured muggle scientists to work on our greatest ambition… the ability to change at will!"
Remus' eyes widened and Bill took a small step back in surprise. The thought of Fenrir Greyback and his pack of like-minded werewolves, able to change into their wolf forms at will was terrifying. Remus was unable to stop himself from gritting his teeth in anger. Greyback would, no doubt, use it in order to bite and infect children more effectively, like he'd infected Remus when he was young. Bill wasn't as emotionally involved in this development as Remus was but he knew well enough that it was not something that the wizarding world would survive. Staring at the yellow liquid, Bill frowned,
"You're bluffing." He declared, gaining surprised and angry looks from Remus and Fenrir respectively, "There's no way for a werewolf to change of his own will."
Fenrir growled a little bit before scowling, as if acknowledging his point,
"The whelp is right unfortunately…" he growled out before grinning savagely again, "But with one injection each time we can! The muggle called it something… a hormone! The change is triggered by a hormone that we produce only under the full moon… and by injecting it we can change!"
To emphasis his point, Fenrir stabbed the syringe into his arm and pushed the plunger down. As the yellow liquid disappeared into Fenrir's blood stream, his body stiffened before cracks could be heard as his body began to twist, deform and grow into the body of a werewolf. His body grew taller and thinner, his face elongated to include a snout and fangs. His hands and feet grow large and claws popped out through the skin of the fingertips. The transformation complete, Fenrir tilted his head back and roared loudly.
Remus and Bill gripped their wands tightly; their throats suddenly dry at the thought of having to fight the most vicious werewolf in recent history. The Weasley turned to the untransformed werewolf and they shared a significant glance before the two of them thrust their wands forwards at the same time,
"Repulso!" they both cried at the same time, sending two banishing charms smashing into the chest of the beast before them. Fenrir growled angrily as he was sent sprawling into the pile of rubble he'd emerged from not long ago. Falling onto all fours, Fenrir charged at the two wizards in front of him. Bill gripped his wand tightly,
"Gracio!" he cried out, a large icicle shooting from his wand at high speeds. Fenrir dodged the icicle but that left him in the path of Remus' fire spell. The transformed werewolf roared in pain and anger; more in anger seeing as it's skin was at least somewhat fireproof. Bursting through the flames in an amazing display of speed, Fenrir slammed into Remus' unsuspecting form. Remus swore loudly as the creature pounced on him. Using his wand he was able to use a localised banishing charm to push Fenrir's head away from him. Even with the force of the continuous spell, Fenrir's fangs were growing closer and closer to his throat,
"Diffindo!" Bill cried, cutting a dark red line up the length of Fenrir's unprotected side with the cutting curse. The werewolf howled in pain and Bill jabbed his wand at it powerfully, "Repulso!"
The banishing charm caught Fenrir in the already bleeding side and sent the creature sprawling in a heap of unorganised limbs by the roadside, struggling to get back up. Helping Remus to his feet, the two of them took the chance to catch their breath. The red head turned to the untransformed werewolf,
"He's just going to keep coming…" he predicted with a grimace, "We'll run out of magic a lot sooner than he'll run out of physical strength and the hide of a werewolf is so thick it's resistant to must spells… suggestions?"
Remus was about to answer when Fenrir charged at them again, now fully recovered apparently. Gripping his wand tightly, he jabbed it at the creature barrelling towards him. The banishing charm hit Fenrir in the face but he carried on charging towards Remus with his fangs bared. Thinking quickly, Remus pointed his wand at the ground,
"Repulso!" he cried out, firing the banishing charm at the ground by his feet and holding onto his wand tightly. The banishing charm hit the floor and flung Remus up into the air a few feet, just enough to clear the flailing Fenrir. Bill used the opportunity to hit the werewolf with another blasting curse, succeeding in getting more damage to the beast's tough hide. Before it could charge after Bill for the attack, Remus hit it with a stunning spell, using as much of his magic as possible. The red spell hit the werewolf and Fenrir growled in frustration as his movements slowed to a speed that both Bill and Remus were able to easily dodge. Both of them moved back together as Fenrir fought the effects of the spell. Bill turned to Remus again,
"Charlie is a dragon keeper in Romania… he said that whenever they wanted to restrain a dragon they chained it down with magical chains." He told Remus, keeping a careful eye on Fenrir as the beast worked through the spell, "Can you do the 'Vinculis aurum' spell?"
Remus thought about it for a moment, checking his magical reserves to see if he had enough raw magic to even attempt the spell in question. He nodded with a small frown,
"Yes but I've only got enough juice left to fire it off once…" he paused and gave Bill a meaningful glance, "I mean it Bill. After this spell I will be lucky I don't pass out or die from severe magical exhaustion… you need to finish the fight with the opening I give you."
Now set on a course of action, Bill and Remus jumped away from each other as Fenrir charged past where they had been stood only a moment before. Turning around as he finished his fruitless charge, Fenrir roared at Remus and rushed toward him again, dropping to all fours to make the charge faster,
"Ready?" he called out to Bill before pointing his wand at Fenrir, "Vinculis aurum!"
Immediately, Remus felt literally all of his remaining magic disappear into the spell, leaving him feeling nauseous and empty. A split second later, bright golden chains burst up through the ground, wrapping themselves around Fenrir's arms and legs. The werewolf howled and pulled at the chains. It was an exercise in futility however as the chains just pulled back harder, pulling the werewolf into a spread-eagled position. As Remus fell to his knees, coughing up blood from the sudden depletion of his magic, Bill stepped up between Remus and Fenrir,
"Diffindo!" he called out, slashing his wand down savagely to emphasis the effect. A red line appeared across Fenrir's unprotected chest but it barely bled, showing that the wound was shallow at best. Bill cursed himself, trying to think of a spell that would not only get through the beast's tough skin but also do enough damage to kill him. He thought about using the rumpo spell but decided against it, knowing that it wouldn't be able to get through the werewolf's skin. As he thought about it, only one spell came to mind, a powerful offensive curse that his team had found as a defence to an Egyptian tomb a few years ago. It was a spell so powerful that it had carved through the stone and still cut through one of the people in his team. The problem, as he saw it, was that he only just had enough magic to perform it; half of his full magical core was required. Building up the energy, he held his wand above his head with both hands, as if it was a sword he was preparing for an overhead strike, "Dear merlin I hope I have enough magic for this…"
Bright silver light began to grow around the tip of Bill's wand, causing the wand to begin to vibrate with the contained energy of the spell. Gritting his teeth he slashed downwards at Fenrir with both hands,
"Icircumflex argenti!" he roared as a giant blade of silver magic, shaped like a crescent, screamed towards Fenrir, tearing a huge gouge in the ground as it sped towards him. The silver spell cut through Fenrir's hardened hide like a hot knife through butter, cutting the transformed werewolf clear in half down the middle before carrying on. Continuing on, the crescent didn't burn out until it had cut halfway through a house on the other side of the street. The spell simply disappeared when it was done, leaving a massive trench from it's path, two gory halves of Fenrir's transformed body and the front half of a house with a similar trench through it. Seeing that the spell had worked, Bill's shoulders slumped and he fell to his knees for a second before keeling over and lying unmoving on the ground.
Panicked by the boy's sudden lack of movement, Remus tried to pull himself to his feet and fell back onto his knees rather painfully. He tried to crawl towards his ally when the world began to swim in front of his eyes. Without another sound, Remus collapsed as well.
Activating the multiplier rune on his body was easy enough considering all of his runic tattoos were connected directly to his magical core. His wand glowed bright blue, blinding both Voldemort and Bellatrix. Using the distraction, Harry used his wand without wand motions from the contact it had with his chest. Immediately he fell away from the wall, turning the decent into a roll which saved him from several blind killing curses from Voldemort himself.
As Harry stopped the roll his wand flew to his hand, ripping through his shirt pocket to land in his right hand with a small smack. Voldemort and Bellatrix both had their wands trained on him now and were both going to fire some rather nasty spells and curses at him. Harry, his eyes glowing bright green with the excess magic rushing through his body, merely smirked. The facial expression must have given Voldemort some warning because he immediately jumped away from where he'd been standing.
Several spells and curses crashed into the ground where the Dark Lord had been standing not two seconds before. Bellatrix whipped round to deal with those who would dare to attack her Lord but was immediately put on the defensive by the almost continuous spellfire that came her way. She was able to erect a hexagonal based shield that stopped must of the curses but a powerful blasting curse shattered the shield and set her stumbling backward. Harry laughed,
"Nice one Neville!" he congratulated his friend as the smoke cleared enough to reveal who had decided to crash the party, "About time you guys got here…"
Daphne and Susan merely smiled and quickly crossed the room to stand beside Harry; wands at the ready in defend him if they needed to. Neville, Tracey and Luna stood in one of the holes in the building's walls. Aberforth was also there, standing in front of Neville's group with a small aura of blue power, more evidence that Albus wasn't the only powerful Dumbledore out there. Harry rolled his neck to loosen his muscles up a little bit and dropped into a light duelling stance, a stance that promoted movement and flexibility.
Both Daphne and Susan gave him significant looks when they saw that his eyes were glowing and Harry had to fight the urge to scratch the back of his head sheepishly. The plan, a hybrid creation from Harry and the slytherins he knew, had called for him to call the attack before he was forced to use any of his amplification runes. As Voldemort glided back to stand beside Bellatrix, batting aside one of Neville's blasting curses with contempt, Harry narrowed his glowing eyes and pushed Daphne and Susan lightly towards Neville. Daphne opened her mouth to protest and Harry fixed her with a look that made her duck her head before nodding and moving to support Neville and the others. Aberforth moved to stand beside Harry,
"Riddle!" he called out to the self-styled Dark Lord, "What's say you fight me and Lord Potter away from here? Or are you afraid? Do you need your little minions to fight for you?"
Without warning Voldemort lashed out at the two of them with a flame whip that unravelled from the tip of his wand to slash down at where Aberforth had been stood not two seconds before. In retaliation, Harry fired a cutting curse at his enemy. Voldemort went to bat it away with a wandless shield but Harry's boost in power was enough that even with such a weak spell he overcame Voldemort's limited wandless potential and lightly cut the Dark Lord on the back of his hand. The Dark Arts user cursed loudly and slashed his wand in Harry's direction, flinging the flame whip at the teenager. The whip was stopped a few inches from Harry's face by a water whip, conjured and control by Aberforth. While the two whips fought it out, Harry capitalised on Voldemort's lack of attention and sent a blasting curse at his enemy.
Caught between losing the battle of magical whips and taking a blasting curse to the side, Voldemort chose to avoid the blasting curse. Cancelling his flame whip, Voldemort slashed his wand at the incoming curse, batting it away with an invisible force. In the same motion he reformed his flame whip, just in time to use it to block against an overhead lash from Aberforth's water whip. Deciding to help in destroying Voldemort's defence, Harry jabbed his wand hard in Voldemort's direction,
"Aguamenti!" he called out, using the wand motions and the incantation to give the spell more power. With the addition of his increased magical core and the strength of the motions and the words, Harry was forced to hold onto his wand tightly with both hands as a power jet of continuous water rocketed out of his wand. Aiming his wand, the jet of water hit Voldemort's flame whip near the wand where it originated. Steam began to build up as both water spells began to over-power Voldemort's single fire spell. Growling in annoyance, Voldemort ended the flame spell and slashed his wand savagely to the side,
"You'll have to try better than this!" he called out as his wordless spell disrupted both water spells enough that both Harry and Aberforth stopped them, "A goat charmer and a school boy with more luck than judgement… is this all my opposition? The two of you cannot hope to defeat me!"
Harry gripped his wand tighter in his stance but a small part of him knew that was Voldemort was saying was true. As he was right now, Harry was no match for Voldemort in a stand up fight. The only reason he'd even drawn blood from the Dark Lord was because he'd been underestimated and he doubted that Voldemort, insane as he was, had lost enough of his wits to become easy to kill through underestimating Harry. Aberforth put a hand on Harry's shoulder gently, never taking his eyes off of Voldemort,
"This young man is a powerful wizard in his own right Riddle and you know that…" he paused and smirked a little bit, an expression never seen being worn by his brother, "Which is why you're so afraid of him."
The effect of the taunt was immediate and violent. Voldemort roared in anger at the suggestion that he was afraid of anyone, especially Harry Potter, and slashed his wand at the two of them, a large swathe of fiendfyre being sent towards them. Harry ducked under the wave of evil fire and immediately had to roll to the side to avoid taking a killing curse to the chest. He swore when the ground he had been rolling towards exploded violently, sending him flying through the air before crashing through a downed table. More colourful spells splashed harmlessly against the wall as he hit behind the downed table, revealing that they were curses meant to damage the body internally.
Now Harry was not looking forward to getting hit by any of those spells, not one bit. Deciding that he needed to go on the offensive, Harry fired several metal poles from the tip of his wand at Voldemort. The Dark Lord scowled and waved his wand, turning the three metal poles into snakes, which he then sent flying towards Harry and Aberforth. The Dumbledore barkeeper waved his wand in return and the snakes turned to harmless doves, which flew at Voldemort. Struck by inspiration, and deciding that a dark arts curse was fair game against someone who was sending spells meant to cause hearts to implode, Harry pointed his wand at the group of birds as they neared Voldemort,
"Rumpo!" he cried out. The effect was immediate and messy. The birds, which had originally been meant as a distraction, exploded and their brittle bones acted as shrapnel, raining down on the unsuspecting Voldemort. A roar of pain was heard before all of the remains of the birds simply burnt up into ash. Snarling, Voldemort twirled his wand in the air, a gout of fiendfyre building at the tip but not being released yet. He was building up the flames, Harry realised just as Voldemort sent the deadly fire towards him and Aberforth. As Aberforth fought a losing battle against the cursed fire with a burst of water from his wand, Harry decided to try one of the spells Fred and George had been excited about experimenting on. He gritted his teeth,
"Aerous Draconis!" he roared, sending a dragon of pure oxygen straight at Voldemort. The Dark Lord, having only vaguely heard of this spell, moved some of his fiendfyre to intercept it and immediately regretted it. The result was a massive explosion that sent all three fighters flying through the air. Harry cried out in pain as he was sent through a thin wall and bounced several times along the paving outside, scratching his skin raw as he skidded along. Knowing that Voldemort wouldn't just lie down, even after a hit like that, Harry groaned in pain and pushed himself to his feet just as the wall he'd flown through exploded towards him. Swearing, Harry rolled to the side to avoid the bricks, not confident that he could repel them all with a banishing charm. Voldemort stepped out onto the street, his robes burnt and some of his pale white skin an unhealthy shade of red that spoke of being too close to a fire for too long,
"Well done Harry!" he called out to his opponent, his voice tinged with anger and hatred, "That spell would have actually killed me, had I been a mere mortal like yourself. But I am not a mere mortal! I am immortal, Harry Potter! What would kill any other man does nothing to me! Do you hear me? Nothing!"
Harry rolled his eyes a little bit as he walked out from behind the wall he'd dived behind. He knew that Voldemort was getting into the mood to monologue right now, like all the villains did in the books and films. That meant he was safe until the monologue was over. He shook his head,
"You're not immortal Tom!" he replied with contempt, causing Voldemort to hiss hatefully at him, "You are just a man! No… a child. You are a child, Tom! Only a child tries to fight the fact that death comes to us all at some point."
This seemed to be one step too far for Voldemort as his magic began to bubble up around him, cracking the praving he was standing on. Being talked down to by an enemy was not something new to a man who had regularly faced down Albus Dumbledore but being talking down to by a teenager, a fifteen year old, was something that Voldemort's pride could not take,
"You are nothing Potter! I will erase you from this world and then we shall see how your views on death change!" he roared in a rage as he wand tip began to glow bright green, "I'm going to send you back to that filthy mud-blood mother of yours!"
A universal constant was that no matter how bad a guy was, they loved their mother on some level. This was especially true for what you might call 'good' guys, who were willing to accept the fact that they loved another human being. So when Voldemort insulted Harry's mother he knew that he was going to get a reaction. Harry gritted his teeth and his wand tip began to glow a bright blue. It was a blasting curse and they both knew it. It wasn't like the time they'd faced each other in the graveyard, Harry wasn't going to be satisfied with just disarming the snake-like man. There was silence for a moment before the two of them moved, seemingly as one,
The two spells hit each other in mid-flight and linked the two brother wands together. This was the same thing that had happened in the graveyard but this time neither one of them wanted to run, they both were focused solely on destroying their opponent. As the two spells collided in the middle the colours blended at the meeting point, glowing with a kind of sea-blue light that Harry had never seen in any type of spell he'd ever performed or seen used before. Voldemort, being vastly more knowledgeable in spells than Harry, knew that sea-blue was the calm and deceptive colour of spells designed to not only destroy a soul, like the killing curse did, but to destroy the body too, like the blasting curse could.
Harry gritted his teeth and tried with all of his might to push his wand, and his magic, forwards and closer to Voldemort. Unfortunately, Voldemort had the same idea so the centre of the two attacks seemed to blur a little bit as it was moved closer to one of them, only to shoot closer to the other before once again being pulled back. By this point the protective dome was beginning to form above the two of them, effectively sealing them both in. But still, neither of them seemed to be getting any sizable advantage over the other, their spells were locked together and there was nothing for it but to wait for one of them to run out of magic from their magical core.
Although Harry was sure that he had to advantage in this, seeing as he could amplify his core two more times theoretically, the problem was that he only had a theoretical advantage. He had never even tried to use the second or third level of amplification. The book had been very clear that using them was often what killed many Potters. So he couldn't rely on it if he wanted to ensure that he could live. He gritted his teeth harder still, his teeth aching now; he had to come with a new way of beating Voldemort without using the other amplification otherwise he might just kill himself trying to break a stalemate.
A single idea came to him.
It was stupid.
It was simple.
It was the only thing he had so it was either this or use a technique which had roughly a 70% chance of frying his magical core and causing the magic to leak into his body, literally dissolving him from the inside out. Seeing no other option, Harry gritted his teeth and focused his intent as he had been taught. Sometimes the intent was what helped to make a spell as strong as it could be. It was what gave the spell its form, it's shape and its effect. He cleared his mind even as the duelling spells grew closer to him. Gathering his magic to him, he opened his eyes, the magic in them shining brighter than ever,
"RAAAAAAAH!" he roared freely, not bothering to use words. They were pointless at the moment, what he was doing now was the same kind of feral and primal vocalisation that the earliest wizards would have used in their caves. The words weren't important, only the intent was important. And the intent was working. Harry's wand shot off a spell even though it was currently already firing one, a single iron spike that flew straight through both the blasting curse and the killing curse because it was solid and they were nothing but energy.
It was stupid.
It was simple.
The single metal spike caught Voldemort in the chest, literally striking him through the heart. Voldemort's eyes widened as the spike lifted him off of the ground slightly with its power and strength. At the same time, the connection broke and the combined spells came racing towards the Dark Lord. Fortunately, somewhat fortunately at least, Harry dropped his blasting curse so the spell that came flying towards Voldemort was just the soul-destroying killing curse.
Flying like a rag doll as the spell hit him; Voldemort's corpse flew through the air at great speeds before slamming into a wall. But instead of sliding down the wall, his body stayed where it was, the metal spike pining the snake-like man's body to the wall firmly. Harry, upon seeing this, let out a breath he'd been holding since the beginning of the fight and fell to his knees in relief.
He'd done it.
It was over.
He'd killed Lord Voldemort!
Harry laughed happily, with a touch of hysteria he would admit, as it sank in. He'd killed the killer of his parents, the killer of hundreds of people. Thousands perhaps. He slowly pulled himself to his feet, well aware that there were still some of the weaker Death Eaters running around the town. But, he noticed when he noticed the logs lying around, the plan to swap all civilians with logs had been a resounding success. A large number of footsteps down the street caught his attention and Harry gritted his teeth, held his wand tightly and spun to face whoever was coming.
He laughed a little bit and lowered his wand when he noticed that it was just Albus Dumbledore and his do-gooder brigade. The entire Order of the Phoenix, other than those who had been here already under Harry's orders, was flanking the Headmaster, along with several schoolchildren. He saw most of Gryffindor House, including Ginny Weasley, who had hardly been seen out of her dorm after he'd beaten Ron in the duel. The fact that they were late, even to Voldemort's death, just seemed so incredibly funny to him right now. He chuckled a little bit as Dumbledore took a step closer to him,
"Harry! What on earth have you done here?" he asked, the sparkle long gone from his eyes. Harry blinked a little bit, he'd never seen Albus Dumbledore without the sparkle in his eyes. The Headmaster looked every bit the fighter that had taken on both Grindelwald and Voldemort at the heights of their respective powers, "What possessed you to destroy most of Hogsmeade? You've killed hundreds of people Harry!"
It was more than a little bit insulting that Albus thought that he would kill so many people without a care but when he looked up he noticed the lingering mushroom cloud hanging over what remained of the east side of the village. It was nothing but smoking rubble now, the spell the twins had created had been incredibly powerful and destructive. He turned back to the Headmaster, serious now,
"If you had thought to look into this more before accusing me, Albus, you would see that the only people in this town are either Death Eaters or people fighting Death Eaters." He gestured towards one of the logs, "A friend of mine, Richard Romain, transfigured logs into human bodies and controlled them. No civilians have died here today Albus."
Before Albus could think about disputing what Harry had said he blinked a few times as a man who could almost have passed for his twin pulled himself out of a pile of rubble. Aberforth Dumbledore moved to stand beside Harry,
"He's right… brother." The word seemed to be said as an insult and Albus shrank in on himself, losing some of his impressive stature and presence, "This boy took the fight to the Dark Lord Voldemort when you and your band of 'fighters' waited and waited. You were never going to attack so this boy, no, this man, did. He fought against Tom Riddle better in one day than you have done with your entire life. And do you know what else Albus? He won."
With that, Aberforth gestured at the corpse of Lord Voldemort, stilling held against the wall by the spike through his heart. His eyes were dead and lifeless, his body completely limp and boneless. There was no doubt that the spirit had left the body. Albus did a great impression of a fish and Aberforth led his estranged brother aside to have a long over-due talk, much to Harry's relief. He wasn't strong enough to have any kind of confrontation with Albus Dumbledore right now, magically, physically or mentally. He was, in a word, drained.
From down one of the side alleyways, Daphne, Susan and Neville appeared. All three of them looked beaten to hell, cut up and burnt in several places. However, Neville seemed to be vaguely pleased with himself and Susan was smiling slightly, but in a dreamy kind of way that suggested she might have had a hit to the head. Daphne alone seemed happy enough to be grinning widely. Harry grinned back at her and took a step towards her when her expression changed to one of horror and she pulled out her wand.
What happened next appeared to happen in slow motion, for Harry at least.
Daphne, who seemed to be pointing her wand straight at him, sent off a powerful but compact blasting curse in his direction. Harry's eyes widened but the spell passed over his shoulder and hit something which had the good grace to shout out in pain to tell Harry that it had hit someone else. He was about to turn to see who it had hit when a spell rushed out from the crowd of Dumbledore supporters, another blasting curse.
Harry watched, helpless, as the blasting curse struck Daphne cleanly in the stomach, lifting her up into the air as it tore away at her soft skin.
As time sped up again, Harry was aware of someone screaming even as he ran over to Daphne, all previous fatigue forgotten as he made for her. It was when he was halfway to Daphne that he realised that he was the person screaming. But that didn't matter right now. As he sank to his knees, trying futilely to stop the bleeding from the massive damage done to her stomach with his hands, all that mattered was Daphne. He looked into her eyes. She was surprised and she was hurt. Her eyes locked with his own and he could see them beginning to lose focus,
"NO!" he cried out, pressing down on the wounds to try and keep the pressure on them. It wasn't working though, there were too many holes in her, every time he put pressure on one set of holes the other set would gush warm blood all over his hands. Oh good god it was all over his hands! He could feel it! All over his hands! Her lifeblood draining into his skin, staining him with her blood. Desperately, he tried to summon up his magic to try and use a healing spell through the same intent-based technique that he'd impaled Voldemort with. His hands glowed green for a brief moment before his core ran dry. His eyes lost their unnatural glow as the amplifier shut down, even the amplified reserves having run dry. He shook his head, his eyesight growing foggy with tears, "No no no no no! You can't die here!"
"Wasn't it you that said… only a child can't accept that death comes to us all?" a high pitched voice taunted him from behind. Harry paled as he turned round to face the living nightmare that was Lord Voldemort. He was stood by the ruins of the Hogs Head, some of his most loyal Death Eaters surrounding him, including Bellatrix. The Dark Lord was far from dead it seemed, there was a deep, bleeding, wound where the spike had been but other than that he was the picture of snake-like health. Bellatrix was holding a bloody stump of an arm however and she was just limping back into the semi-circle of Voldemort's followers. Apparently she had been Daphne's target. He laughed cruelly, "When I kill you Potter, you will be reunited with your Mud-blood mother and your blood-traitor friend! You'll beg me to kill you when I have killed everyone you have ever cared about!"
With that Voldemort, and his remaining Death Eaters, disappeared. Harry couldn't believe it. All of this planning, all of the pain every member of the attack force had gone through, and it was all for nothing. Voldemort was still alive. A chocking sound returned his attention to Daphne. The price was higher than just failure though. When he'd been looking at Voldemort Madam Pomfrey had come over to see if she could help Daphne. The elderly nurse shook her head sadly and Harry sobbed as he held Daphne's bloody form closer to him.
It got worse though.
Ginny Weasley, grinning like she had just done something incredible, bounced over to the group. Literally bounced, she had a spring in her step for god's sake. She beamed at Harry,
"Did you see that Harry?" she asked him, ecstatic, "I nailed that Slytherin bitch before she could betray you!"
At that moment in time Harry wanted nothing more than to kill Ginny Weasley. He was so blinded with rage that his amplification rune activated the second level without any conscious thought. His eyes glowed brighter than they ever had before as his core was not only refilled but filled to overflowing,
"Don't you dare speak to me." He growled out threateningly to Ginny, who, like everyone around them, was wise enough to back off, "I don't ever want to see you again. I'm taking her to the hospital."
With that he tried to disparate, something Sirius had taught him over the holidays, but it didn't seem to want to work. He could feel his magic trying to tug him somewhere else but it wasn't working. Upon seeing his confusion, Aberforth knelt down in front of him, looking incredibly saddened,
"I'm sorry Harry…" he whispered quietly, "They put up anti-magical transportation wards when they left… you can't get there."
Harry glared up at Aberforth with his eyes brimming with magic. Even the Dumbledore brother was a little unnerved by the display of raw power combined with rage. Harry gritted his teeth and tightened his grip on Daphne,
"Not. An. Option!" he growled out even as he tried it again. A loud cracking sound vibrated through the air but they didn't move. He growled loudly in anger, "I will not lose her!"
Pushing all of his now substantial magic into the act of disapparation, Harry felt the tug of his magic and this time it was not blocked. In Hogsmeade there was an ear-splitting crack and the air around Harry and Daphne seemed to be filled with magic for a second before they disappeared…
To reappear in the middle of the waiting room for St Mungo's, smashing chars and sending people flying as they appeared in occupied space. Medical staff immediately rushed out and ran to the two of them. Harry numbly shook them off of him and pointed to Daphne. He was going into shock and he knew it, he was shaking wildly and he wasn't able to keep the amplification rune going. Instantly his core was empty and the sudden shift had him on his hands and knees, panting for breath. It was in that position, half-deaf from shock, that Harry heard the healers talking,
"Fifty chance of survival for the girl… She's going to lose the baby."
THERE WE GO! XD
Another chapter down :P
Oh and please don't give me grief about not including the fight between Neville and the others against Bellatrix XD
If you wanted that you'd have been waiting awhile since I probably would have gotten halfway through and left it for a bit XD
Sorry for the long wait guys, I hope you can all stop reviewing that I've forgotten my own story now you know Harry being drunk was just a clever ruse :P
Once again, visit the site of me and my girlfriend damn it XD
www . Hogwarts vs durmstrang . forum otion . co . uk