A/N: This is the only chapter where you will see other POV's than Dumbledore and Harry, after all the story is all about these two characters. Just wanted to get all aspects of this fight down. Violence, death and all the things that come with war…..
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns all that is Harry Potter, the plot is my own.
Voldemort closed his eyes and smiled as he felt the chill of the dementors, their consuming presence sending shivers over his skin. He peered over the stronghold before him, what belonged rightfully to him and him alone. It would be all too easy to take control of the prison but still there was a part of him unwilling to act. He was almost blinded with rage as he recalled the news of the prophecy's destruction and now he would kill Harry Potter without knowledge of the contents. He almost laughed at the ridiculousness of the prospect. The boy was nothing but a weakling, cowering behind the skills of others. Killing him would be easy, prophecy or no prophecy. After all, he, Lord Voldemort was the greatest wizard of all time and Harry Potter was nothing but a boy whose luck had run out.
He turned to his most loyal and trustworthy followers.
"Kill the guards, release as many as possible." He said in a cold voice. "But leave the boy to me."
The battle was intense. Even Albus had underestimated how tight the security would be in the face of Harry's presence within the prison. The attack had blind-sided the guards though, so much so they never realized the small group of four at the center of the battle fought with them and not against them. The building itself was barely visible through the treacherous darkness. Surrounding the entrance stood hundreds of dementors, blocking the battle that had erupted outside from the walls of the prison. To the ignorant eye, it seemed they were preventing attack on the building but Albus knew better. They had been too late. The dementors had joined Voldemort. Albus felt the unmistakable presence of dark magic, the air almost alive as the wards flickered. A muffled light reached his eyes, similar to the flash of lightening through storm clouds and Albus' heart dropped. With a sweep of his wand, the death eaters that he had been dueling fell unconscious to the ground. He turned to the man fighting at his side, his face more animated than he had seen in months.
"Sirius." Albus commanded and the man drew his attention away from the battle. "Voldemort is breaching the wards. Get to Harry."
Sirius turned and charged towards the stairs, stripping himself of his robe as he ran but on the last stretch stumbled in his weariness and grief. With what little energy he had left, Sirius raised his wand and from some distant depth from within, his Patronus came forth. Several dementors turned sharply, their robes twisting and turning like smoke through the air as the large dog charged towards them before fading and disappearing into the impenetrable darkness. Even as the Patronus fell, and the dementors around it glided forward, preparing to charge, sudden warmth pressed against his back and a whisper broke forth, like a wind building in the distance. Sirius looked back. There, in the midst of battle stood Dumbledore, his wand raised towards the night sky – a beacon of light in an eternal darkness. Above him, soaring high above the crowd flew a shimmering Patronus, whose golden light seemed to pulse outward with every flap of a wing; magic so powerful, it shook the earth beneath his feet. Then, sudden and unearthly, a high burst of phoenix song rang out over Azkaban.
All that heard the sound trembled. Before the last dementor turned away from the unbearable light, Sirius changed and in his place stood Padfoot. Breath locked within his chest, Sirius pressed forward, stumbling between the broken line of dementors until the sky became clear and the low moon shone brightly. It brought little hope to Sirius.
The prison stood in ruin.
Half the building had been blasted apart and a heavy smoke filled the air as if the wards had been burned to nothing. His front paws stumbled as he took in the sight before him and now Sirius knew why Dumbledore had been so against demolishing the wards. Beyond the once strong doors, held chaos. Prisoners, guards and death eaters alike stood amidst a violent battle, bodies strewn against the stone ground, spells flashing like some horrid light show as they dueled to the death. Those without wands used fists and brawn to disable their opponents and the remaining dementors flitted between the bodies, like gruesome vultures awaiting the dead.
Grasping at the adrenaline that was pumping through his veins, Sirius charged forward through the dueling witches and wizards, who paid little mind to a large stray dog running through the entrance hall. He ran until his breath became pants and his sides burned, thanking the use of his four legs as he navigated through the unending corridors that seemed to blend into rubble and abandoned corpses. Some became nothing more than empty air as wall gave way to night and the sheer drop to the water below.
Padfoot came to a skidding halt.
Sirius had thought that every inch of the prison had been engrained so deeply in his memory he was sure nothing could remove it but as he paused at one turn-off, he realized at some point it had all blurred into one nightmare. The prison was a maze and he was lost. Before he could stop it, a whimper escaped his mouth and his ears flattened against his head. A wave of magic so dark reached his senses, the hair on his back lifted of its own will and a chill ran down his spine like ghostly fingers. He knew only one could be so evil.
Against his natural instinct, Sirius forced his legs to move in the direction. Blasts of fire leaped up from the battle below, shaking the stones. He knew he was getting close. The faded yet unmistakable scent of his godson had reached him.
The distinctive walls had once again become familiar when a high-pitched, shrieking laugh caused him to falter. He turned around a blind corner, pressing his neglected body to the shadows and peered into the darkness. The light of the moon had reached the once forsaken corner of the prison with the fall of the wards. Four or five prisoners stood guarding the corridor of his old cell and there amongst them stood Bellatrix, swaying from side to side as if dancing with some invisible partner. The urge to kill, to sink his teeth into flesh had never been so great and he struggled to turned away from his demented cousin. Focusing on Harry, Sirius jumped from the shadows and ran past the newly escaped death eaters, his nails scraping against rock as he landed. Shouts of surprise and outrage followed him. Flattening his body, he dodged spells that were fired from behind. Surging forward he reached the cell door, the metal bars twisted and forced into an unnatural shape like some strange sculpture as it was ripped open. Sirius entered through the gaping hole.
His heart fell into stomach. There, within the small space, stood Voldemort, his wand pointed towards the unmoving form of his godson. A visible shiver seemed to run through the ghastly stature as his wand lifted with purpose and he screamed "Avada Kedavra"
A silent scream of rage tore through Sirius as he lunged forward, teeth and claws bared and landed on the skeletal back, knocking Voldemort to the side, the vivid green of his curse demolishing the wall before them. Harry barely flinched as the rocks cascaded over his weakened body. After a startled moment, Voldemort straightened, his red eyes narrowed as he took in his attacker. Padfoot growled. Bending his legs, he prepared to lunge once more but Voldemort moved quickly and with a flick of his wand, a curse seared his side sending him crashing into the wall behind. It wasn't until he had slid to the floor, his hand struggling to stem the blood that was flowing from the open wound that he realized he had become human once more.
Sirius raised his head and looked into the dulled green eyes that were staring at him. He was sure he saw a flicker of recognition in the depths.
"Harry-" He tried before a burst of agony spread through his lungs, making speech near impossible. He could do nothing but watch helplessly, unable to move his trembling limbs and Voldemort raised his wand once more. "No…no, no."
A whip of sound cracked through the air so loud that if Sirius could move, he would have covered his ears. As if pulled by an invisible rope, Harry's body flew across the ground until he landed next to him. Sirius took a breath of relief through his burning airway as he felt the slight warmth of his godson against his side. He turned his head in time to see Dumbledore's brightly colored robes sweep past him as he faced Voldemort alone.
He was sure an unbelievable feat of magic was being performed before him but his attention was focused solely on his godson. He looked emaciated, as if the life had been drained out of him but the features were so familiar and welcome that he felt tears burn behind his eyelids. Harry stared into his eyes, a faint line crossing his forehead as he frowned.
"Are you real?" He whispered.
Sirius felt his heart throb within his chest, his limbs becoming heavier with each broken breath. "Yeah, I'm real kiddo."
Harry was tired. Beyond exhaustion he was sure of little else. This dream was strange compared to the others he had experienced during his prison sentence. It was Sirius who had come to his rescue again but this time he was weak, he bled and he cried. He closed his eyes and moved towards the engraving on the wall. It was his truth, his anchor. Everything else was nothing but a lie.
Through blurred eyes, he thought he saw Dumbledore and Voldemort dueling, the force of their spells lifting his limp hair from his scalp. He was so close to Dumbledore, he could reach out and touch the hem of his robes. The ground beneath him trembled and rock fell from every direction. It was almost like rainfall.
"Sirius!" An urgent voice broke through his silence and he turned in time to see Lupin arrive at his side. His eyes flickered between Harry and Sirius, his face covered in cuts and blood and he seemed to favor his left arm. Forcing Sirius' hand out of the way, Lupin examined the wound quickly and Harry was startled at the amount of blood he could see. Lupin ran the tip of his wand along the injury.
"It's all I can do." He said after a moment. Sirius tried to move but groaned and stilled suddenly. Before he knew what was happening, Lupin reached out and cupped Harry's face, his amber eyes softening with some unknown emotion. His hands were warm.
"It'll be ok, Harry." He said before releasing his hold and turning back to Sirius. Harry looked away and focused on the sliver of moonlight that stretched across the wall. Strange, Harry thought. He could never see the moon before. "Fudge is here with the aurors."
"Get him!" Sirius snarled harshly and Harry turned back in time to see him nod his head towards the dueling wizards. "Let him see the truth with his own eyes. Where is Bellatrix?"
He finished suddenly, staring out into the corridor. Harry followed his gaze and saw several bodies lying on the ground some distance away from them. He could hear the shouts and screams in the distance as if some great battle was taking place beneath their feet.
"Bellatrix Lestrange?" Lupin asked, clearly startled. "I didn't see her."
Harry blinked. He had heard that name before.
"Damn!" Sirius cursed, his face lined with anger and pain. "Never mind. Go! Get Fudge here now."
Lupin nodded and darted upright so quickly that Harry jumped in surprise before he disappeared from sight.
"Harry?" Sirius asked softly, his blood covered hand reaching out to him.
Harry flinched and pushed himself toward the gaping hole in the wall. He could feel the wind on his face. It was calming. He was much too tired for Voldemort's games. He wanted the peace of nothingness he had come to crave. No illusions, no dreams….nothing. Sirius groaned loudly from his side as he forced himself to stand, his left arm cradling his injured stomach. He flinched violently and turned his head as debris fell down from wayward spells. For the first time, Harry noticed that everything simply bounced off of him, as if he were blanketed in some invisible shield. Harry closed his eyes again. It hurt too much to think.
"I will kill you, Dumbledore!" Voldemort screamed suddenly and Harry whimpered. "You and the boy!"
"You cannot win this fight, Tom." Dumbledore replied calmly, no hint of fear in his voice.
"I know of the connection between us, the link to his mind." Voldemort said with a manic excitement. "No matter where he goes, he will never be free of me."
Whatever Dumbledore was intending to say was cut short with the indignant voice that filled the cell.
"Unhand me, werewolf. This instance!"
"See for yourself, Fudge." Lupin said roughly, pushing Fudge forward. For a moment Voldemort and Fudge stared into each other's eyes, terror and rage in equal measures. A scream of fury erupted from Voldemort and in a blink of an eye he disappeared from sight.
Time seemed to stop and Harry witnessed everything with a strange clarity through red snake-like eyes before he was suddenly gripped with unspeakable pain. It felt as if he was wrapped within an agonizing nightmare but he knew the foreign feeling within him well. Voldemort was in his mind again. With her Masters disappearance Bellatrix, who had hidden within the shadows, charged towards Dumbledore in deranged fury. A blur of color at his side told him the Sirius had moved in front of him. Locked within the snake's grasp, Harry's body jerked forward into her path but with a flick of Dumbledore's wand, he slammed into the wall behind, his eyes already streaming with tears. Blinking the moisture from his eyes, Harry's vision cleared in time to see Sirius and Bellatrix, wrapped around each other as they plunged forward into empty space and disappeared from sight.
A scream echoed throughout the cell and from some strange distant place, Harry realized it was from himself. The coils loosened from within as Harry stared into the outside night. He closed his eyes and then opened them but found he was still trapped within the nightmare. Again and again he blinked, willing himself to awake alone on the floor, his cell undamaged. Nothing changed but the pain in him as the coils tightened once more.
This was no illusion. Sirius had been real and not a figment of Voldemort's cruel schemes and he had just saved Harry from certain death at the hands of his insane cousin, never to return. And with that certainty, Harry's heart shattered.
A/N: It's late, I'm tired so I'm sure a lot of that didn't make any sense. I know in the fifth book, when Voldemort posses Harry, he can't see anything that's happening around him but I figured that Voldemort's been possessing Harry for weeks now so he may be slightly desensitized to the whole thing. You know, I didn't even intend for the Lord of the Rings reference in the last chapter but now that you mention it I do see it. Guess that came from some buried memory in the back of my mind without even knowing it. Funny how that happens :P
Please review. x