Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Harry Potter characters.
Chapter Twenty-nine: Once More into the Breach
"Just what do you think you're doing? How dare you!" Hermione raged.
"What the bloody hell!." Ron began to throw in, before Viktor unceremoniously dumped the struggling couple on his parlor floor.
"Velcome to my home." He intoned hollowly, looking down at his outraged friends where they lie sprawled across his carpets.
Viktor lowered himself from his hovering broom and calmly stored it in a nearby closet before turning back to the now standing couple that glared angrily at him.
"Vould you like some refreshments?" He asked politely with a hint of a charming smile playing at his usually scowling visage.
"What I'd like is to use your floo system, immediately!" Hermione barked furiously.
"Of course." Viktor agreed cordially. "You'll find my fireplace is just to the left of that doorway." Viktor fanned his fingers in the direction of the hallway to his right.
Hermione and Ron charged in the indicated direction and moments later their angry voices called out to their erstwhile host:
"What are you playing at, Viktor? The damned Floo's not allowing entry." Ron's enraged voice bellowed from down the hall.
Viktor Krum padded slowly toward the door to his sitting room and replied nonchalantly as he came.
"But, of course, the floo is warded against uninvited entry. No one can travel vithout the proper passvord. You may, of course, floo call at anytime. I suggest you contact your parent's Ron, I am sure zat your family iz no doubt vorried about you."
"Bollocks that!" Ron snarled. "We're going back to the stadium to help Harry."
Hermione nodded her agreement to Ron's defiant retort.
"I zink not." Viktor answered flatly. "At least not on zat floo anyway. The emergency floo system would only allow for exit from the stadium. Only ze aurors would have ze proper authorization to floo in during an emergency. Besides, even if you could floo zer,… I vill not give you my passvord." Viktor finished with a smile and polite shrug of his shoulders.
Hermione stood gaping at him, absolutely flabbergasted. When she finally shook off her initial shock, she reached toward the waist of her jumper only to grasp at empty air.
"Your vands vere confiscated ven you entered ze stadium, remember?" Viktor reminded them gently. "You vill not be apparating anytime soon, either of you,.. yes?"
Ron narrowed his eyes and spoke in a dangerous undertone as he stalked toward Viktor. "What's the bloody password, Viktor?"
Viktor smiled knowingly without the slightest hint of apprehension. Before Ron could close the distance between them, he calmly snapped his fingers. Three house elves popped into view, at Viktor's summons. Each of the elves barred Ron's advance toward Viktor and brandished their magical fingers in a warning, wand-like fashion.
Elves were adept at wandless magic.
Ron halted his advance and gulped nervously.
"As I said before,... I vill not tell you the passvord thru my floo's wards. You may call out, but leaving here is not an option for you during ze current crisis."
"Viktor, please." Hermione pleaded as she began to snuffle, overwhelmed by the futility she felt.
Harry's still out there fighting for his life. We have to help him."
"He iz fighting for all of our lives and you cannot help him." Viktor answered incredulously.
"What? Of course we can help him. We can..?" Ron began to argue.
Viktor cut him off before he could get going. "You can get yourselves killed and succeed in distracting him enough to get Harry killed as vell. You cannot floo to ze stadium and even if you could, you have no vands!" he reiterated in exasperation over the illogic of their argument..
Hermione's face went ashen in dread realization. She slumped into one of the rooms couches.
"It's happening all over again." she mumbled dejected.
Ron retreated to her and gathered his girlfriend up into a comforting embrace. He cooed softly to her that everything was going to be alright.
She would not be consoled as she sobbed. "H-He's doing it again. Harry's out there fighting for his life and here we sit- helpless."
"Harry will... he'll.." Ron struggled to find any words of reassurance, but words failed him.
"Harry will get himself killed, if he's not dead already." Hermione whispered mournfully into his shoulder.
Moments later, Hermione pulled herself resolutely out of Ron's arms and turned to look at the saddened visage of their friend.
"Why, Viktor ?" she asked distraughtly.
Viktor's visage softened as he answered truthfully."Because I owe 'Arry a life debt. He saved my life tonight. I vas dying. I could feel myself slipping away, but then I heard zis beautiful music and I could hear him calling to me,.. and... I came back."
"You talk as if you were already dead. Ron asked cautiously.
"I zink I already vas. I could see my parents in the distance and Cedric was waving to me."
"You can't come back from the dead. No magic can bring someone back." Ron argued disbelievingly.
"I guess no one az told zat to ' Arry." Viktor shrugged indifferently.
Both Ron and Hermione starred at him in utter disbelief, but Viktor continued as if unaware of their skepticism.
"After he brought me back, 'Arry asked me to get you two to safety. He knew you vould not leave on your own and zat at some point you vould recklessly try to intervene. He said that he could not do as he must if he has to vorry about you. Zat and..." Viktor's face darkened as he remembered himself and cut off his words.
"That, and what, Victor? What more aren't you telling us?" Hermione said with rising panic.
Viktor regarded her stoically for several long moments.
"What did he say?" Ron growled threatening.
If Viktor felt any trepidation at Ron's warning tone he never displayed it. He answered them calmly, but with a tinge of regret in his voice.
" 'Arry said it vos too late,.. somezing about how zee 'darkness was upon him'." Viktor quoted Harry's own words.
Before anymore could be said, Lee Jordan's anxious voice grew louder over the wireless coming from the parlor that they had vacated.
" Something's tearing at the supports of the stadium's south wall.
It must be a dragon of some sort because I can just make out giant talons tearing at the walls down there.
Great rending sounds echoed in the background as Jordan continued his commentary.
"Whatever that is, it's about to break through the stadium's wall.
For the life of me, I don't know why he doesn't get the hell out of there. Harry Potter is just standing calmly in the center of the pitch.
He looks like he's..
He is,.. he's stripping off his quidditch robes and protective armor? What's he playing at?
Potter's stripped off all his garments except for a pair of shorts.
You ladies out there are really missing something,... that's quite a physique.
Despite his lean appearance, Potter is really quite well developed.
He looks in top form, literally covered with steel hard that I'm interested, mind you. Just making an observation for the home audience-he demurred.
A horrific rending sounded over the airwaves as the south wall of the stadium was ripped away.
"The south wall has given way and I can't really see with all the dust and debris flying around down there, but.. something appears to be moving and... Merlin's saggy arse!
What in the name of all that's holy is that?
I don't know what the hell I'm looking at folks?
Whatever this thing is, it's huge!
It must be twice, even three times the length of a dragon.
It looks kind of like a dragon, but it's leaner and sinewy,…more like a snake.
It's scaled hide has a metallic sheen, almost like it's scales are made of steel, but that can't be? It must just be a trick of the light.
It had a pair of wings on its back, but their small and feathery, not like the leathern wings of a dragon. I can't imagine that those wings are capable of flight, not considering the size of that thing.
Its head is more snake-like and it's got huge fangs jutting out from an impossibly large mouth.
Someone's riding on the back of ,.. well,.. whatever that is?
He's dressed in crimson robes, unlike the black worn by the rest of those wankers that attacked the stadium tonight.
I'm guessing this must be the ring leader of that, now very deceased, merry band of murderers." Jordan drawled sarcastically.
"It's head is more snakelike and it's got these huge fangs jutting out from an impossibly large mouth.
Hermione fell despondently onto the couch as Jordan continued his commentary.
She sat blankly staring off at nothing.
"Hermione, what is it, love?" Ron asked in concern
Hermione turned vacant, hopeless eyes toward Ron and Viktor as she choked out...
"I-It's a w-wyvern..."
All eyes in the room turned to Charlie, but it was who found the courage to ask what the rest of them feared.
"Charlie, is that some kind of Dragon that Jordan's describing?"
Charlie's face was uncharacteristically fearful, devoid of the ready grin that usually etched his features. He cast a nervous glance toward the stairs that Ginny had fled up on the way to her room, moments ago.
"I-I don't know," Charlie began in hesitation, "but it kinda sounds like Jordan's describing a wyvern? It can't be though; wyverns have been extinct for hundreds of years. Their breeding was outlawed by the Confederation of Wizards, sometime after the Dark Ages."
"Apparently they didn't get the non-paternal message, Charlie." Fred quipped sarcastically.
Ignoring his brother's comment, Percy asked. "If it is a wyvern, how do you kill it?"
"Kill it? I don't know if it can be killed?" Charlie gasped out in alarm as he considered the horrors of such a prospect.
"Well obviously somebody's killed the bloody things, otherwise, they wouldn't be extinct now would they?" George rebuffed irritably. The twins characteristic sense of humor had fled them in the face of the mounting tension they all felt.
"They weren't killed, not that I heard anyway. The Confederation made it illegal to breed them and with their short life spans, they simply died out of existence. Their scales have a metallic quality that makes them impervious to magic and most conventional weapons, besides tha,t they spit a poisonous acid that can kill damn near anything. You'd have to be insane to even consider taking on something like that." Charlie finished in dread awe.
Fred and George groaned simultaneously.
"What..?" Charlie asked, oblivious to the reaction of his rest of his family in response to his last statement.
"Well, Charles... Just who do you know that would be crazy enough to tackle such a dark creature?" Fred ground out before his twin added.
"Yeah , Charlie. Know anyone with a resume for having a history of dispatching: giant spiders, dragons and a basilisk?"
"Shy, rather handsome fellow. Fair at quidditch, penchant for saving people. Anyone you know come to mind,.. hmm?" Fred continued in a pessimistic voice.
Charlie's expression turned a sickly shade of green as he started to come to the same realization as the rest of his family.
"Harry wouldn't be crazy enough to try and fight something like that,... would he?" Charlie asked with fleeting hope to the contrary.
"You've spent too much time shoveling up dragon poo, the fumes have addled your brains." Fred quipped.
"Of course Harry would, you git." George added.
"Gods No! He can't? There's no chance against something like that?" Charlie argued alarmed.
"No kidding." Fred drawled.
"Yeah, I'd never have guessed that Harry would take on something that was supposed to be impossible, would you Fred?"
"Indeed not, my brother. I'm as shocked as you by the insinuation." George continued with feigned indignance.
"Boys, that's enough. Can't you see how this is upsetting your mother?" Mr. Weasley reprimanded the twins insensitivity.
Mrs. Weasley had her face buried in her husband's shoulders and was weeping softly.
"Sorry, mum. I'm sorry." The twins chorused abashed.
"Would one of you check on your sister, please?" Their father asked worriedly.
"I vill go." Fleur said rising gracefully from next to Bill, and sweeping up the stairway.
Not waiting for an answer, Fleur stepped into the youngest Weasley's room, "Ginny?"
Ginny Weasley was staring out her bedroom window with her arms wrapped around her waist as if she was fighting off a chill breeze.
"What do you want?" Ginny asked coolly, never turning her gaze from the window.
"How are you dealing with all of zis?" Fleur asked innocently.
"I'm fine with it." Ginny intoned hollowly.
"Hmpff, zat is what 'Arry alvays said when he was anyzing but." she harrumphed knowingly.
Ginny rounded on her soon to be sister in-law furiously." What do I care how Harry bloody Potter use to say or feel? He's little more than just a dim memory to me and I'd just a soon he stay that way."
Fleur hid her shock of surprise by the vehemence of Ginny's words with and continued graciously.
"Ginny, you do not mean zat?"
"It doesn't matter what I do or don't mean, now does it? You've all got ears. You can hear the broadcasts. He's going to die, if he hasn't already? Why is it so almighty important that Harry Potter live? The boy attracts danger like kneazles do fleas. The world was at peace when he was out of the picture. He hasn't been back a week and look what's happening out there. He.."
Fleur's hand slapped across Ginny's cheek, leaving and angry red hand print in its wake.
"Do you zink he wants zis? Do you?" Fleur scolded angrily. "You may not remember, but the man in the pensieve is not someone who craves battle. He is a vorrier, yes. A great champion for ze light, he may be, but, zat iz not 'Arry Potter. Did you not watch ze memories zat we all left for you in ze pensieve?"
Ginny's hand cradled her stinging cheek as she answered in trepidation, "I saw enough to know that I can't possibly see anymore. I can't bear anymore. Nobody does things like that. Nobody could possibly care that much? I could never live up to the expectations of something like that?" She was babbling now as wellspring of pain opened within her.
"H-He should have died, and I should've been with him. Together! We were supposed to be together!" Ginny blurted out painfully as she fled the room in tears, leaving a totally dejected, Fleur, in her wake.
"Potter! Always into the thick of it aren't you? We'll this time you're finally going to die the death you so richly deserve." Morvis threatened.
Harry eyed the abandoned broom lying to his left. He needed Movis to move that thing he was mounted on, just a little bit closer.
"Give over, Morvis. All your dragons and their riders are either dying or dead. Hell, look at you, you're left with nothing but that scaly overgrown iguana to ride. You'd be comical if you weren't so pathetic." Harry goaded.
"You'd be comical if you weren't so pathetic."- echoed over the wireless, the network having found a way to catch the words of the combatants down on the pitch.
"At a boy, Harry." Fred chimed in bracingly in response to Harry's defiance.
"You'd be comical if you weren't so pathetic."
Headmisstress Mcgonagal rocked slowly in her chair as she listened, murmuring softly to herself.
"That's our boy, Albus. That's our boy."
As afraid for him as she was, she was that proud too.
"Comical am I? We'll see who has the last laugh, when my wyvern is feasting on your still warm entrails."
Movis spurred his mount forward and the wyvern came undulating across the field toward a waiting Harry.
"Accio broom" Harry called softly. He pulled his sword from the ground and stepped onto the broom's handle when it arrived. Two quick slashes of his sword later, and the broom's handle was carved to a fine spear point.
Harry shot forward on the broom, straight toward the head of the on rushing wyvern. The creature spat green froth at him that caught Harry on his wounded side. The acidic venom ate into the wound left by Voldemort's spectral basilisk. Harry bit back the scream of blinding pain that tore through his side and concentrated on the task at hand.
He'd only get one chance at this...
The wyvern reared its scaled head as it prepared to spew another gout of acid venom .
Harry accelerated and shot like a bullet toward the creature's gapping maw.
He drove the sharpened point of his broom dead center into the creature's mouth just as it was about to spit another gout of acidic venom at him.
The impact with the creature rocketed Harry forward off his broom. His sword flashed out as he shot bodily past a shocked Alexander Morvis.
The shock was plainly evident on Morvis's face where it looked up from its ground vantage point,... the place his decapitated head had come to rest.
Harry hit the ground like a comet, tumbling head over heels until finally skidding to a halt fifty meters past the point of impact with the wyvern.
Biting back on the pain that wracked his body, he twisted around in time to see the wyvern thrashing and gagging in its death throes. The creature's too short legs, clawed uselessly as it tried to reach its maw and extract the make shift spear that was slowly strangling the beast.
A horrifically long minute later, the wyvern gave a last shuddering gasp and went limp, blessedly dead.
Harry hurt as never before. His body was broken and he could feel the wyvern's acidic venom eating into his side and knew that it would soon find its way into his blood stream. Things would finally end at that point. At least the pain would be gone. Nothing could save him now, but at least he had the pleasure of knowing that Voldemort would finally expire along with him.
He summoned the last of his waning strength and decided to make a last visit before death claimed him.
A lightning flash later, and the pitch was devoid of all life.
Eighteen Dragons and as many dark wizards, A wyvern and Morvis. Quite a night's work, Harry. Remus Lupin thought darkly as he tallied up Harry's accomplishments from the night before as he made his way round St. Timothy's cathedral, toward the gated cemetery at its rear. He came to atone to his deceased friends, after having spent the night in Dora's tender embrace. Each drew comfort from the other as they mourned the final death of his dearest friend's only son.
This morning he'd felt compelled to pay a visit to James and Lily Potter's graves. Dora had wanted to come long, but, he'd talked her out of it. This was his burden. He alone would need to answer to James, Lily and Sirius. He knew they would have expected him to defend Harry with his life. He'd expected the same of himself,... and had failed miserably
With a heavy heart, Remus began to word out the apology he'd planned to make, but found no words as he came to an abrupt halt at the cemetery's gate.
He stood staring with eyes too shocked to dare hope, as they traveled to the crumpled form on the ground in front of the Potter's graves.
A soft golden glow was fading from the body that Remus reverently lifted into his arms. He paused before apparating away with his precious bundle to look down at James and Lily's graves. His heart was in his eyes as he murmured softly. "T-Thank you. I won't ever fail you again."
Harry slowly woke by the soft lit glow of his bedside lamp. He reached toward the night table and fumbled for his glasses. Once his glasses were on and he could see properly, he found himself nestled in Sirius's room at Grimauld Place.
His hand went toward the wound in his side,... gone?
The pain was gone. The terrible pain from Voldemort's wound was gone. Had it all been just a dream? A terrible nightmare? He got up and stumbled from the room with a renewed sense of hope that the nightmare of his past two year's existence had been just that, a nightmare.
Had his eyes but caught the headline of the newspaper left on his bedside table,...his hopes would have been dashed.
September 1, 2010
The Daily Prophet
Harry Potter Presumed Dead- Again.
Our readers will recall the stunning revelation that the wizarding world's greatest hero survived the battle with Voldemort that was thought to have claimed his life. Like the 'Phoenix of Legend', Harry Potter rose from the ashes of his supposed demise as star quidditch seeker, Alan Brandt. Having led the 'woe be gone' Chudley Cannons to the World Cup, where Brandt was unmasked as Harry Potter, by a genius bit of magic that replayed the pensieve memories of Harry Potter's epic battle with Voldemort, finishing with his rise to stardom as his assumed alter ego- Alan Brandt.
The World Cup match was ironically held on Potter's birthday, July 31. The crowd's elation at the survival of the man, who is arguably considered the wizarding world's greatest hero, was soon dashed by the treacherous attack by rising dark lord, Alexander Morvis, and his Crimson Riders.
Harry Potter appears to have fought his last battle.
The wizarding world's greatest 'champion of light', fought a pitched battle against insurmountable odds and conquered that night , but mysteriously disappeared after finally defeating the dark lord Alexander Morvis and accomplishing that which no one has ever claimed in history, the slaying of a Wyvern. After a month long search by international ministerial officials, Harry Potter continues to be missing, but now officially presumed dead. Readers are cautioned that, although Potter is likely dead, he has previously proven himself to be,... the boy who lived.
*Watch for the continuation of Harry's tale in-Magical Knight