Aligned Keeperoliver Chapter 8
Vernon, Petunia and Hedwig have been at it for seven days. Harry wanted every thing to go perfectly, as he knew what they were planning was extremely dangerous, and could mean someone's death. He could not allow that to non combatants. They would not be partaking in the final battle between the shields and the snakes.
The plan was for Hedwig to fly to the appointed spot, and Petunia would key to her for her travel, taking Vernon with her. This was to preserve Vernon's strength once they arrived. They didn't know how long the search would take. Once Vernon found the hidden entrance they would return via Petunia's amulet. Hedwig would leave as soon as the two appeared.
For those seven days, Petunia worked hard trying to find Hedwig's presence. It took three days for her to find it. Once she found it, it took three more days for her to perfect it. She thought she had it the first time she got it, but Harry wanted her to arrive closer than she had been getting, as they didn't know the terrain Hedwig be landing on. A meter could mean the difference between life and death. He wanted her within a meter of his aunt's arrival.
Hedwig was used because of her magical sense of direction. She could find locations because of the owl's unique ability to find people. Mamba was included in this ability. She could find the vicinity of the lair, but not the lair itself because of the magic that hid it. That was where Vernon came into the picture, with the use of the compass provided by the twins.
Once Vernon found the entrance to the lair, he would return to Petunia and she would then return to Harry and Vernon would report his findings. It would work, if everything went according to plans. But Harry was no fool. He knew that all plans would not always go as smoothly as one wanted. There were a number of ways for this to go sour, and that was why the seven days of training.
But, now it was the time for putting the plan into action. Going over the final thoughts for the last time, Harry sent Hedwig on her way. He would give her 24 hours and then send Petunia and Vernon out. It was hoped that Hedwig would be alert enough to keep hidden until the last moment before she went to the spot she picked out for their joining together. She was to find a flat spot, with no vegetation that would hide the enemy.
When she arrived, Hedwig flew over the area, looking for the best landing sight. She found it on a plateau overlooking a valley. It was flat, with no vegetation, and was large enough to move around if threatened by their enemy. Hedwig then went in search of a place to stay, where she would be best protected from unwanted guests. She found this about a kilometer from her spot. It was wires used by the locals to supply communication to the homes. She could feel vibrations if any thing else landed on the wire, or tried to move across it.
The following morning after a restful sleep, Hedwig searched for something to eat, and found it in rabbit that was out searching for food it self. Finishing her meal, Hedwig left for the site she chose. She did not have to wait long, as she was preening her self, when Petunia and Vernon arrived right next to her. Hedwig nodded to the two, and left for home. Petunia and Vernon watched as the owl soon disappeared into the low lying clouds.
They then moved to the edge of the plateau and both gasped at what they saw. In the valley below, was gathered what looked like the entire army of the Black Mamba. There must have been 50,000 snakes moving south. In the middle of the snakes traveled a lone individual. It had to be the Mamba. They appeared to be leaving their lair to begin their campaign of terror against humans. Petunia grabbed Vernon, "Come on, we have to tell Harry about this."
Vernon agreed, and was pulled into a hug. Before they left, they missed a slithering figure approaching them. It reared up and stood 5 meters above the couple. As it struck at the two, Petunia and Vernon departed the area, and the Anaconda found itself falling off the cliff to its death. Though he did not see it him self, the news of the snakes death soon reached Mamba. None had seen what caused the snake to fall to it's death. Mamba could only conclude that it was only a matter of time before he would be in a heated battle with the one known as shield. Looking around at his army, he felt confident that he had more than enough to take care of small threat.
Once harry heard what was happening, he had all his forces gathered and ready to move out. He had Garr and his wild soldiers hidden in the woods to be ready when the time came. He wasn't expecting it to be this fast, and because of this, the larger animals were not here to do battle. There were two packs of wolves at the ready, and the wolverines, Tasmanian devils, and the mongoose armies ready. The bears would not be available, and they would be sorely missed. Harry went to his Aunt Marge and asked her to become just one creature, strike then leave the field of battle. He wanted her to remain safe like Petunia and Vernon. Marge said nothing to Harry, and this worried him that she would try to do something stupid. But her part in the battle was critical, and he did not want to upset her. She knew this as well, and was grinning to herself in her mind at being able to get one over on Harry.
Harry called for Dobby and his army of elves. They would be their transportation to the battle field. Harry's army gathered in then woods, to join with the rest of his forces. Before changing to the badgers, Harry and the rest of the witches and wizards created crates that would be easier to transport for the elves, and it would set up protection for the army while they prepared for battle.
Once the crates were completed and loaded, the elves brought them to the spot Vernon told them about. It was at the base of the Plateau where Petunia and him landed. Once the crates were settled in, the elves left. Harry knew that magic would not be used in the battle, as the Mamba would ensure it would not be a factor. Harry had been right in this fact, as he could feel a dampening field just beyond where they gathered. This was why they were left where they were. The elves could not get any closer.
Harry turned to Marge, who had come as a badger, and asked her to change into what he asked her to .
Marge turned back to herself, then she changed into the Chinese Fireball Dragon. This was chosen as the abilities of the dragon to shoot exploding fireball would have a more devastating effect on the snakes than ordinary dragon fire. A random pattern of fireballs would keep the snakes from forming a defense against dragon fire.
Marge took to the air, and was soon attacking the snakes from the air with her fireballs. Each fire ball took out hundreds of snakes, as she fired them into the largest collections of the snakes. She tried to hit the Mamba but he was able to ward himself from the fireballs. Soon, she had to end her attack, as she had depleted her energy that fueled the fireballs. It would take too long to rebuild the energy to again attack. She left the field of battle, but not far enough away to suit Harry. He would soon find out that where she went would be his saving grace.
Marge's fireballs had taken out more than five thousand snakes, but what was left far outnumbered Harry's army by a margin of 10-1. Ten snakes to one of Harry's soldiers. The wolves were the first to be destroyed. The fought valiantly, but were no match to the snakes. They managed to take out a hundred of the snakes, but that was just a small number. Fifty wolves lost their lives to the snakes. Harry took this very hard.
The next to lose the battle to the snakes were the Mongoose army. One hundred of them died, after taking out one thousand snakes. They equaled their 10-1 ratio in grand fashion. Their speed would be sorely missed.
Harry and his warriors were taking a beating as they watched friends die. Harry had to pull back his army to regroup and tend to the injured. They moved out of the magical containment field, and watched as the Mamba paid praise to his army. He still had thirty thousand snakes left from his over fifty thousand he started with. Harry's numbers were down to less than five hundred.
Looking around at his friends, he saw Dudley, Ron and Draco sitting around one fallen member of his army. Moving closer, Harry saw the Garr was breathing his last breath. Harry cried for the brave warrior that Garr was. For the friend that he was. He watched as Dudley dug a hole and together with his friends, bury the fallen warrior. Then as one, they turned and faced Harry. They were ready to continue this and try to end it here.
Harry could not believe the fighting spirit of his soldiers and their willingness to die in order to protect the freedom of the innocent populace. That was the way he was looking at it. There was no way they could survive what they still had to face, but he also knew that it had to be done. He made sure that his friends were all accounted for, before he began his attack. Ginny, Hermione, Neville, Luna and the rest were all accounted for, but the ones he missed were Dean, Lavender, Parvatti, Blaise and Tracy.
He saw Seamus laying on his side, nursing a wound to his hind quarter. Padma was right there with him to help him. There were other scenes of that nature spread through out his army.
He knew the next attack would end it once and for all, but he feared it would be his and his army's end, not Mamba's. Then he heard a loud noise coming from the other end of the valley. He could not see what made it, but he could see the effect it had on the Mamba. He was frightened. Scared. And Harry didn't know why. Then it happened. First the head then another twenty meters of a basilisk appeared. It made it's way through the ranks of the snakes, eating them by the hundreds as it made it's way through. Even the Anacondas were devoured by the immense creature. Mamba's army was being decimated, and there was nothing he could do about it, as nothing could touch this giant leviathan.
Harry took those who could still fight, and rejoined the battle, this time fighting with renewed hope. Knowing who leading the army now, Harry took the part of a fellow warrior, and tore into the snakes that were trying to do harm to his Aunt. He was a fierce opponent to the snakes, ripping them apart, not stopping to eat like he normally did. Time enough later to enjoy the spoils of the war. Right now he was in destructive mode, as were the rest of his army.
Harry fought his way to where Mamba was cowering. He was surrounded my his best fighters, the mambas and cobras. This did not deter Harry in the least. He tore through these as if they were ordinary garden snakes never getting bitten once. His speed was blinding. His bites were deadly. His claws ripping to shreds the snakes as he fought. Then there was just him and Mamba.
Harry then changed into him self, and set up a containment fields of his own as he faced the Mamba. No one would be able to get in or out, without his permission.
Rather than begin his fight, Harry talked. "You have lost Mamba. Your army is defeated. Give up now, and perhaps you will live to see another day. True it will be behind bars, but it could be worse."
'NO! How could this happen. You're a boy. No more than fourteen. Your animals were outnumbered and yet they still win. They still fight on. How were you able to gain control of the Basilisk? I could not get it to listen to me, and I could talk to it. How did this all come about?"
"The one thing you didn't have on your side was the fighting spirit. Your snakes didn't have it, and you didn't have it. You let your snakes do the fighting for you. They fought because you chose to use fear and were winning small victories against defenseless people. When they faced someone who fought back, they became scared, and you mistook that fear. They were not telling you shields were beating them. They were telling you badges were beating them. But not badges, it was badgeRs that were beating them. If you had taken the time to read up on predators, rather than natural enemies, you would have found out about us. Badgers have no natural enemies. They are predators. Snakes are not their main diet. There really is no main diet. We eat what we defeat, which has included Lions, and other cats."
"This is all useless prattle. We were superior in numbers and had you beaten, until your basilisk entered the battle. If it had sided with me, it would be you here listening to me about how you lost."
"Maybe, maybe not. You see, we had defeated the Basilisk in the chamber that night."
"I know this, but I was told it died. How is it that it is here fighting. There couldn't be two Basilisks, or I would have know about it."
"Evidently your source of information is sorely lacking in intelligence. Yes, that Basilisk died in the chamber, but as you can see, another lives. Now enough of this. Either give up and tell your army to stand down, or die." Harry demanded.
In answer, Mamba fired a curse at Harry that Harry deflected. Harry then sent a curse of his own hitting Mamba in the chest. Mamba felt it hit, then he felt himself changing. He was shrinking. He lost all concept of being human. His arms disappeared. His legs disappeared. His body was deforming. He was no longer human. He became that, that he was leading. He was now a cobra. And Harry all of a sudden became hungry. The sight was not a pretty one as he killed and ate the once leader of this army.
The rest of his army was falling as their leader had. Marge was filling up on the meal that they presented her. She had devoured more than twenty thousand snakes, and began to slow down, as she was getting quite full. She just sat there watching her fellow warriors finish off the last of the opponents. Every last one of the snakes was no gone.
The battle was over, and it was now time to take the final count as to their losses. In all, of the thousand that Harry led into battle, there were now about three hundred left. Besides Garr, Dean, Lavender, Parvatti, Tracy and Blaise, they also lost Seamus, Padma, and Neville. The wolves, the wolverines and the Mongoose were lost. Most of the Wild ones were lost. They lost so much, and now it was time to bring their dead home and to a proper send off.
In the days that followed, the group mourned the loss of their friends. Harry learned that Neville died protecting Seamus and Parvatti from an attacking horde of snakes that were trying to get away from Marge. There had been more than forty of them that attacked. Seamus was the first to get it, with Parvatti being next. Neville was so angry that he went into attacking them with our fearing the consequences. The forty snakes all died, but Neville had been struck too many times to survive. When he laid done to recover, he never woke back up. Ron was the only witness to this. He tried to fight his way to Neville's side, but he was in a heated battle of his own, and never made it there. He watched as Neville laid down and died next to his friends.
The funerals for the fallen were stretched over three days. Not only for the humans, but for the rest as well. All that died that day would be remembered as heroes.
Harry sat with his remaining friends during the memorial service. He looked down the aisle to see Ginny and Luna trying their best to comfort Susan. He saw Draco and Ron doing the same for Dudley, but He was most comforted by Hannah who was holding him close, as Draco and Ron had their hands on his shoulder. Garr had been more than a friend to Dudley. He was a brother, and a comrade in arms.
Harry saw the parents of Parvatti and Padma crying at their loss. It hit them the hardest, as they lost their only children. He saw the tears yet the pride that showed on the face of Augusta Longbottom.
So much hurt and pain was felt during this time, Harry didn't think any one would ever get over it. But if they were to live on, then they would accept the fact that they died protecting others who were no able to protect themselves.
Marge, Petunia and Vernon took the place of Draco and Ron, and Draco went to Luna top take her in his arms and join her in crying for their lost friends, Ron did the same with Hermione. Ginny left Hermione and Susan and went to Harry, knowing that they needed each other right now. While Ginny was crying on Harry's shoulder, he saw Colin Creevy go to Susan and pull her into a comforting hug. It was him trying to move in on the hurt girl, it was a friend trying to help another friend through a rough time.
Harry had to talk to his family, so he led Ginny to Molly and Arthur. He then went to Marge, Petunia, and Vernon. "I don't know if I can ever thank you all enough. Marge, I told you to keep out of the fight, and if you had listened to me, I wouldn't be here thanking you right now. Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, if you hadn't risked your lives to find Mamba and his hordes, we would probably be trying to find someone that was no longer there. By finding them all together, we saved many months of searching and many people dying. We lost many, true, but how many would have died if they were still alive and running free. Dudley, Garr died the way he wished to go. He didn't want to die growing old, he wanted a warriors death, taking as many of his enemies as he could with him, and from what I gather, that was quite a few. You all did splendid for four people who up to two years ago didn't know they had magic. "
Harry was making his way around to everyone, when he saw Luna stand, and make her way to the podium. She asked Professor Dumbledore if she could speak, and he turned it over to her. It wasn't Luna that was speaking. " Would everyone please stand and raise their wands in the air and light your tips in honor of our fallen heroes." Luna raised hers and lit her tip, as did the thousands in attendance.
"Would the Centaurs please send your torched arrows into the sky." soon the sky was filled with flaming arrows that were magically held in place. "Would Fawkes please sing his song of lament." and people soon heard the song of Fawkes filling the air. "I welcome those who have fallen into my embrace as we honor them. It is time I joined them, and leave you all in this time of mourning, but please honor them by getting past this stage, and move on with you lives. Do not continue to mourn those who are now in a better place. They will be watching you to see that this will not take place. Just know that they will always hold a place in you hearts and will never be forgotten. Thank all of you who have given me so much to look back on as I leave you to join my fellow founders, and know that we will always return when the need arises. I now bid you all a fond goodbye." and with that, Luna slumped forward onto the podium, all her energy spent. Draco saw this, and rushed to her side, and took her into his arms, comforting her.
It was four years later that found Harry and the rest leaving Hogwarts for the last time having completed their education and ready to start their lives after schooling.
Many had already made plans as to what they would be doing next, and most of them concerned getting married. Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione, Draco and Luna, Dudley and Hannah, Colin and Susan had all planned on having a mass wedding at Hogwarts, and Albus and Minerva agreed to preside over them. They would have the weddings in front of the memorial of all the fallen heroes. It was their wish to have it there so that if they were watching them, it would be in comfort and in knowing that they were still and will always be, remembered.
Well, my friends that ends another one of my stories. I hope you enjoyed it. I know it probably surprises most of you the way it ended, but I wanted it to end with the group remembering their friends, and sharing their new lives with them.
This was shorter than most of my chapters of late, but, I felt that I needed to end it there. Just to let you know, the children would still be named the same, or at least their fist names would. The lone exception would be Remus Albus Potter, who still would wish to be called Al.
And so, I close the cover to another story, and get ready to finish another one soon. After that, I don't know. I always say I am going to take a break, but I never do. So, o won't say anything like that, but do not be surprised if you do not hear from me for a while after I finish The Dance.
As always, Ollie the keeper.