And we continue with Emerald Flight Book One, Chapter 31 out of 37.
Chapter 31: Unraveling Part Two.
Kara stammered in shock and surprise, as the energy shimmered around her hands.
"I guess, we could focus on the how you can do magic later," said Harry as he frantically fought his attackers "Let's just kind of focus on the getting out of here, and staying alive!"
"Good plan," agreed Hawkgirl, as she tried to knock them all back. Many targets presented themselves, and continued stalking forward. Barbara, Hermione, Kara, and Harry fought, but it just seemed like they were multiplying.
"Could there be something with that spell that would cause them to divide in half every time we defeat them?" asked Barbara, but that remark earned her many exasperated looks. "Just a thought you know, no need to get so offended."
"Actually, I would not be surprised in the very least," said Kara, as she had another spontaneous burst of magical energy, but it had served them well. The Inferi army toppled over.
Loud clangs of sword against bones echoed inside the catacombs. The Nth Metal mace swung around, and cracked the Inferi hard to cause them to explode.
"It's a good thing these guys aren't much for strategy," commented Barbara as, they tried to find an exit. The magic users caused fire to erupt in circles, which kept them back.
"If you girls can keep them off of me for about three minutes, I think I can get us out of here," said Harry, as he shot them back. "Stall them like your lives depended on it!"
No one wanted to enlighten Harry on the fact their lives sort of did depend on it. The sounds of combat rang out inside the catacombs. The smell of decayed flesh presented itself, as Harry put a shield around himself. He had a feeling everyone was capable enough to continue the fight, but Portkey creation became a bit difficult for some reason.
"Oh take your time, I'm enjoying this," said Hawkgirl, as the sound of her mace crunching against the skull of her attackers rang out.
The battle raged on, as dust kicked up. Hermione used an air purifying charm to prevent them from choking to death on the dust. Barbara, Kara, and Hermione fought back their never ending stream of attackers with the swords that had been dropped.
"Okay, just another minute, I swear," said Harry.
"You know, you could step up the Portkey making just a bit," said Hermione.
"Hey, don't back seat magic me, Wonder Girl!" said Harry, an exasperated voice.
"You know technically there isn't a seat in magic, so I couldn't be in the backseat of anything regarding magic," lectured Hermione, as she shook her head. "Besides, that entire sentence is grammatically incorrect…"
"Not now, Wonder Girl," said Kara, as her temper rose a little bit, as she pummeled a zombie who had tried to take a bite out of her ear.
"Fine, just hurry up," said Hermione. "I like my brain, and I like it in a non-eaten state, thank you for very much."
"Is non-eaten even a word?" chimed in Hawkgirl, but Hermione just rolled her eyes. "And what's the deal with eating brains again?"
"It's an Earth movie thing, don't ask," said Kara, as she sent another blast of heat vision up in the air. "And if you asked the movie industry, all aliens are bug eyed and grey. And hover around in little flying saucers, so there's just so much wrong with that it's…"
"Supergirl, focus," warned Barbara, as she sent smoke pellets down, and took out several of her attackers with a combination of martial arts and gymnastics.
"I am focusing," said Kara, as she sent a stream of ice breath, but she had another fit of accidental magic, which actually served to take out half of the Inferi.
"Just one more accident like that, and we'll be home free," said Hermione as she took a deep breath, and smiled.
"Okay, ladies, time to clear out of this death trap, and I do mean death trap," said Harry, as he managed to create the Portkey. The four moved over, and all touched the Portkey. "Oh, and let's make sure these guys don't try and hitch a ride."
Harry blasted them with fire, sending the creatures flying. The Inferi crashed to the ground with a huge round of thuds.
A sensation pulled them away from the attack, and once again back until the hotel room.
"Does traveling by one of those things always give you the sensation of nausea?" asked Hawkgirl, regaining her barriers.
"Yeah, pretty much, but you'd learn to ignore those feelings," said Harry in a casual voice, as he sat down. "Everyone's in one piece?"
Everyone in the room nodded their heads. Granted, a couple of the parties felt like they left their stomachs behind in the catacombs, but the fact they were still breathing encouraged them. Harry nodded, and continued to speak, as he tightened his arm around Kara, hugging her tight. "Okay, good, good, but as long as that army is out of there, we aren't completely out of the woods yet."
Everyone found themselves agreeing with that assessment.
"Okay, we need information," said Kara, as everyone turned to Hawkgirl. "Tell us everything you've been able to find out about the Gentleman Ghost, and the artifact he stole."
Hawkgirl took a breath and prepared for a long, drawn out explanation.
The Gentleman Ghost watched the progress of his little army or lack of progress to be more specific. The spectral criminal peered through his monocle, his cape dangling in the warm breeze, as he saw his army of the undead be defeated. He held the mystical artifact in his hand, incensed because of his failure.
"I was lead to believe this artifact would grant me supreme mastery over the armies buried beneath these tombs," said the Gentleman Ghost, as he looked off into the distance. "Yet, I have nothing, but empty promises and lies. The final descendent of Constable Radcliffe, and his associates live. What is worst, the Thanagarian continues to dog my every move."
The Gentleman Ghost floated forward, and looked at the mirror, before he recalled his remaining soldiers.
"No matter, I have rewritten the last stone, and now the mastery of the undead is mine," said the Gentleman Ghost as he stood up proudly. "This child may be as resourceful as the descendants that came before him. However, once I have defeated him, my mortal chains shall fade away. He may have great powers, but there is no greater power than the army I possess."
Revenge rang on the mind of the Gentleman Ghost. For centuries he waited until he could engage the final descendant and bring him to the afterlife, to free his restless spirit. Yet, once again, that had been snatched away from him. It would matter little, the Gentleman Ghost remained confident of his own ability to weather the storm, and take down his enemy.
He made the final preparations, for the last round with the descendant of his hated enemy. Time ticked on, but he held the artifact in his hand. The key to the undead, the key to unlock the armies of ancient Egypt, and most important of all, this would be the final key to bring down his the last descendent of the man who caused him to be executed.
Harry floated across a hallway. Kara followed, numb in absolute shock, as she tried follow. Barbara, Hermione, and Hawkgirl brought up the rear.
"I don't get this at all, how did I suddenly manifest magical powers?" asked Kara.
"Sometimes accidental magic can manifest in high stress situations, to protect a loved one or yourself," explained Harry, as he held her hand and squeezed it tight. "When's the last time magic was practiced on Krypton?"
"It was banned for almost four hundred years before I was born," said Kara, as she shrugged her shoulders. "On Argo too, it was a danger to scientific achievement and logic, or so the Science Council said. I'm sure some of us had to have retained the abilities. It's just, we had been taught so long that magic was something that is forbidden, none of us dared try anything to see we had the gifts. Well, unless we wanted a nice long stay in the Phantom Zone."
"Seventeen years old is rather late to be coming into your magical powers," commented Hermione. "But I guess the fact you've been surrounded by it for a while now, with Harry, it may have unlocked something buried deep within you. You still retain the other powers, don't you?"
Harry conjured a target, and Kara blasted it with her heat vision. She froze another one with her ice breath, and a third one she pummeled it with her super strength.
"If nothing else, my regular powers are stronger," said Kara, but Harry switched to Kryptonian.
"We know what Batman said about your powers," said Harry, as the others stood around, confused at the sudden shift of language.
"I hate it when they do that," said Hermione.
"They're speaking in Kryptonian, aren't they?" asked Hawkgirl.
"Yeah, it's really weird to hear them when they do that," added Barbara, as she continued to look at the couple, as Harry appeared to be discussing something rather private with Kara. Of course, given that she could not speak one word of the language, she had no idea what it might be.
"You can absorb yellow solar radiation and convert it into energy faster than your cousin can," said Harry, as Kara nodded. "I do wonder if that's because of some kind of latent magical gifts that helped the process along. Granted, it's just a theory, but magic users can last longer, run faster, jump higher, and read faster than most with the right spells. You've been subconsciously pushing yourself to greater levels. Your stamina is impressive, as we have established."
Kara just responded with a smile at that.
"We're just going to have to work at your new gifts, and refine them into another tool for you to use," said Harry, as he held her tightly. "Don't worry, I'll tutor you every step of the way. I can teach you everything, including how to make a Patronus."
They exchanged a kiss, as Harry uploaded a bit of information into Kara's brain. He then conjured a small snake.
"Who dares wake me?" asked the snake, but Harry caused it to vanish.
"I understood what it said," said Kara, and Harry just smiled. "I can understand Parseltongue now?"
"Understand, and speak it," said Harry.
"Cool," said Kara, but she thought of interesting possibilities with that particular gift.
"I managed to upload that knowledge into your brain, like you did for me," said Harry. "Granted, it's going to take a while for your brain to fully grasp everything, but we're going to have loads of tutoring sessions ahead of us."
"And this is a bad thing, how?" asked Kara with a grin, and Harry laughed, as he hugged her, and gave her a kiss on the lips.
"I think they've forgotten we're here," said Hawkgirl, as she turned her head away.
"Yeah, get used to that, they tend to do that a lot," said Barbara in a good nature way. She leaned against the wall, and cleared her throat.
"Okay, back down to business, finding this Gentleman Ghost," said Harry now speaking in English, as he looked up. "Of course, knowing my luck he's going to find me first."
A loud growl echoed from outside of the hallway they walked, and loud screams followed those growls.
'I hate it when I'm right,' thought Harry as he braced himself for what was to come.
"Or his army did?" asked Hermione, but Hawkgirl without any warning smashed open the doors with her mace. She flapped her wings, and saw the front desk staff be menaced by several dozen zombies.
She grunted, and swung her mace, before she sent several zombies flying off to the side. Kara flew in next and heat blast caused one of the zombies to blow into dust. Hermione rolled in, and sent a flame spell to back off the zombie. Barbara pelted circular pellets. The zombie caught it, but she pressed a detonator switch. The zombie was frozen in liquid nitrogen, and then busted into pieces by a well-placed swing from the mace.
Harry dodged the attacks of his undead adversaries. Several flaming spikes had been conjured, blasting through all of the zombies. Kara and Harry busted open the windows, where more zombies arrived at the front of the hotel. They held hands, and spend up, creating a sand storm with their flight. The Inferi shattered into dust and bones from the impact.
Hawkgirl swung, and cracked several of the army of the undead members in the face. They were driven back down. Kara flew through several of them, and tore through them with a blast of heat vision. They all incinerated, as Barbara and Hermione charged into the battle.
"I'll take the ugly one," said Harry, as he dropped down, and disarmed one of the zombies, literally. He took the dismembered arm, and swung it, to nail the zombie hard in the rib cage area, ripping him to shreds.
"Aren't they all pretty ugly?" asked Hawkgirl, as she smashed a particularly large zombie warrior in the head, with worms flying out of it.
"Fine, just take anyone you can hit," said Harry, as he summoned several of the swords, and then repelled them back, this time on fire towards the zombies.
"Now you're speaking my language," said Hawkgirl approvingly, as she swung her mace with reckless abandon. Kara dropped down, and picked up one of the dropped swords. She super-heated the metal, and threw the sword.
The sword stabbed into the chest cavity of one of the zombies.
"Again, I ask, where do people find all of these zombies?" asked Hermione, as she slid underneath an attack, before she sent several fireballs at her attackers.
"Your guess is as good as mine," said Kara, as she crushed the skulls of several of the zombies into dust. She shook off the worms covering her hands.
Harry circled around, and noticed a glow in the distance.
"I think we've found our Gentleman Ghost!" called Harry. "Just keep hitting until we get there."
The girls did not have to be told twice. They fought hard as they made their way towards the Gentleman Ghost, who sat outside of a pyramid, surrounded by glowing black light.
The Gentleman Ghost sat on the top of the pyramid, his cane in his hand, as he looked down. "Well, we meet at last in the flesh….Arcane if I'm not mistaken?"
"Yes, you're not mistaken," said Harry, as he looked up at the Gentleman Ghost, and flew up to meet him, but he bounced into a force field. Harry analyzed the field, to try and find a way around it. "Why the elaborate scheme to kill me?"
"Ah yes, that is the question, isn't it?" asked the Gentleman Ghost in a polite tone of voice. "My dear boy, it's nothing personal, well not with you. It's just you had the misfortune of being related to the man who sent me to the gallows all those years ago. Every single member of that bloodline died, but yet I see the final descendent of Governor Radcliffe stand before me. You seem to be far more persistent, I'll give you that."
Harry remained silent, as he saw the zombies surrounded them.
"And the Thanagarian comes as well, two birds with one stone," said the Gentleman Ghost, as he leaned back to face them all. "I swear on my own grave that none of you will be able to lay one finger on me."
"Would a mace do instead?" asked Hawkgirl as she tried to smash through the energy field, but she got repelled back. She slid back, dazed from the backlash.
"Let's try and think before we attack next time, okay," said Harry helping her up, but Hawkgirl just shook her head.
"Warriors to the end," said Kara underneath her breath, as she looked up. "What do you have to gain by destroying Harry?"
"I will finally be at peace," said the Gentleman Ghost, as he held the artifact.
"Yeah, let's not kid yourself, you'll never be at peace," said Harry. "Zombie army, after zombie army, you sent after me, but it doesn't matter. You didn't beat me in the end."
"What are you talking about?" demanded the Gentleman Ghost. "It's my plan that brought you this point…"
"A child could have won with an army of infinite zombies," taunted Harry, as he looked at him.
"Harry, you're wrong," said Kara, as she picked up on what he was doing. "He hasn't won anything yet. All of that power, and he didn't even beat five people."
"Not even close," said Barbara, as she looked at the Gentleman Ghost.
"Yeah, for all of those zombies that's kind of pathetic," agreed Hermione as she held the sword up. "Hiding behind a force field."
"I will not be mocked by mere children," said the Gentleman Ghost, as he glided forward, his polite demeanor having been dropped.
"No, I'm pretty sure you do a good job in mocking yourself," said Harry, as he looked up at the Gentleman Ghost. "You tried to send your legions after me, but if you had any kind of real power, you'd fight me one on one."
The Gentleman Ghost got up to his feet, and two guns appeared in his hand. The force field disappeared, and Harry immediately flew up, to dodge the bullets that shot through the air as he engaged the Gentleman Ghost.
'Ego, the one flaw that's universal for most villains living or dead,' thought Harry. 'Batman only hammered that into my head about a thousand times.'
"Kara!" yelled Harry, on cue, a blast of heat vision cracked the stones the Gentleman Ghost stood on. He maintained his balance, but Harry snatched the artifact that he held in his hand. The key glinted in the light, as Harry analyzed it.
"Give that back!" yelled the Gentleman Ghost, as he took a shot at Harry, as Harry held it, to freeze the approaching zombie army in his tracks. "Very clever Arcane, but you merely just stopped my army. You haven't stopped me!"
Harry just responded with loud laughter, as the Gentleman Ghost stopped. Confusion appeared on his face, as he tried to grab his enemy. Both circled each other.
"In your grand plans, you haven't figured out that I'm trying to determine the one way to defeat you," said Harry, as the Gentleman Ghost swooped in, but once again, his attack was dodged. Kara tried to nail him with her ice breath, but the Ghost slipped out, causing water to drip down onto the ground as the ice melted.
"That shows how much you know," said the Gentleman Ghost. "You couldn't figure out a way to defeat me, not even in a…"
A mace swung into the Gentleman Ghost's torso and sent him flying back.
"Even as a ghost, some villains don't know when to shut up," remarked Hawkgirl, but she looked at the staggered villain. "No need, Arcane, I think we found the answer."
Hawkgirl flew over, and hit a homerun swing with her mace. The Gentleman Ghost got cracked hard in the face. His ugly mangled face appeared, as he tried to grab his attacker. She dodged, and circled him. Another violent swing smashed the mace into the Gentleman Ghost hard.
"It's impossible, no Nth metal, my one weakness," managed the Gentleman Ghost, as he tried to struggle.
"Down here!" yelled Harry, as he held the artifact, as the army of zombies remained frozen. "Lure him over here!"
"Gotcha," said Hawkgirl, as Harry motioned for the others to stand back. Two more swings and the Gentleman Ghost was on dream street.
"What do you hope to accomplish?" slurred the Gentleman Ghost, but Harry just turned the artifact over.
"Just to reunite you with some old friends," said Harry, and the zombies closed in, before they began to drag the Gentleman Ghost deep beneath the sands. He gave a blood curdling scream, as Hawkgirl gave him one more parting smack to the head, clonking him with the mace.
Without another movement, the Gentleman Ghost was sucked back, and the zombies returned back under ground.
"That was too close," said Barbara as she let out the breath she was holding in.
"So, I'm guessing he's not coming back," said Hawkgirl as she looked at the spot where the ghost had once stood.
"Well let's just say that he'll be occupied for a very long time," said Harry. "I got a sense that those undead warriors were not too happy with being used as pawns."
"We better all get back, it's getting later," suggested Kara, as everyone nodded.
"Yeah, I'll be going as well, until we meet again," said Hawkgirl, as the entire group exchanged their goodbyes.
The quartet made their way back to the hotel next. Harry made plans to destroy the artifact. The last thing he needed was someone trying to initiate the zombie apocalypse on a wider scale.
At Hogwarts, Lucius Malfoy walked to the meeting he had been called for. When his son was born, it was the proudest day of his life. He worked with the Dark Lord, but that was purely a measure of survival. His opinion of Muggles and Muggleborns were they should not be allowed any influence, but they did have their uses. Someone had to make the products that the purebloods enjoyed after all.
Snape appeared in front of Lucius, as he looked somber.
"I trust Narcissa could not make it," said Snape.
"She's in shock, she refuses to believe that her son went down this road," said Lucius in a quiet voice. "I find myself rather skeptical as well. I had no idea the Dark Lord's mission would warp Draco to the point where he would start killing his fellow pureblood witches and wizards. The death of the youngest Greengrass girl was senseless violence. Her body was mangled, her face destroyed beyond all recognition, and Knockturn Alley was also leveled as Draco made his escape."
"Do you have any idea where he is?" asked Snape.
"I have not the slightest idea," said Lucius, as he turned to hide his expression. "Where did Draco go wrong? He wasn't ready for such a mission. And the Dark Lord remains quiet. It is almost as if he has been captured or dead."
"The mark should have faded if he would have died," said Snape. "Of course, there is a chance that the Dark Lord may have altered them, to keep us in compliance long after he has passed on. Yaxley continues to assure us that he remains hard at work on a measure to defeat Potter, along with his research on the flying man."
Lucius nodded. Yaxley's word was all they had to go on at the moment, and while he could be cunning, Yaxley would not dare lie about such a matter.
"Minerva, Horace, Filius, and Pomona all approach," said Snape. "It does make me wonder, why Draco would have done something like this."
"I fear my son has either been framed, or put under the Imperius Curse," said Lucius.
'Sadly, my political capital is not as strong as it has been in the past,' thought Lucius. 'I just barely managed to escape Azkaban, and if the killings stop, then the Ministry will be predisposed to think Draco was the one who did it. It's the easiest explanation."
"Mr. Malfoy, I do express my deepest condolences for the path your son has taken," said McGonagall in a sincere voice.
"Yes, well your condolences do little to undo the damage you've done," said Lucius. "This would never have happened if Potter was here. Yet, you allowed him to leave. And my son had to suffer."
"I fail to see how Mr. Potter has anything to do with the dark path your son has gone down," said McGongall, as her temper rose.
"Well, Potter would not have sat back, and allowed these murders to occur," said Lucius. "I'd imagine he would have forced the issue, or Draco would not have taken things this far. Providing it is Draco who did them, which I have my doubts."
"That is your grief speaking, we are in contact with the Ministry, they are hunting down Draco as we speak," said McGonagall. "In a few weeks, the students will be sent home. Hogwarts will be no more."
"And you have no one but Dumbledore to blame for that," said Lucius in a stiff voice. "I think you recall the times where I have questioned Dumbledore's mental stability, and tried to get him removed…"
"We do recall, and the incident four years ago was your doing," said McGonagall.
"Hearsay, as I was never formally charged for anything," said Lucius, as he leaned on his stylish cane, but at that moment, Professor Vector rushed in, looking frantic.
"What is it?" asked Snape.
"Gringotts, it's all over the wireless, it's been destroyed, along with half of Diagon Alley! "said Vector in a frantic voice.
Everyone seemed at a loss for words. It was Lucius who broke the silence.
"My son might be capable of some spiteful things, but petty terrorism I can assure you he isn't," said Lucius, but his complaints fell on deaf ears. "This killer got away, and will continue to get away. And none of you have any idea who it is."
Lucius turned to take his leave. Someone had conspired to destroy the pureblood society and values. The Ministry stood, but on a foundation of quicksand. Luicius was glad he had the foresight not to trust the goblins with all of his fortune, and to learn about Muggle currency. He would survive, even if he had to cut back on luxuries.
Kara and Harry were back in the comfort of their hotel room, dressed in civilian clothes. His arms wrapped around her. Harry leaned forward, and captured her lips in another kiss. Kara returned it, allowing Harry to suck on her lips as they swapped salvia.
"Okay, that's up until second year, we're going to have you practice these spells tomorrow, and when you've mastered them, more tutoring," said Harry, as Kara's head rested in his arm, as husband and wife relaxed. "So how did you like Egypt?"
"Other than the nearly getting killed by zombies part, it was pretty interesting," said Kara, as she rested against him for a minute. "I had a lot of fun, but now that we're alone…"
Kara slid back from Harry, and leaned back. Her legs were spread, and Harry could see up her skirt. Her sandals were slid off, as Kara wiggled her toes. A smile appeared on her face, and she reached forward. Harry got in the mood immediately, and slid to face her.
Harry and Kara rested in each other's arms. The two did not even bother to pull the blankets back onto each other. They murmured their declarations of love to each other, before they drifted off to sleep for a little bit, to be fully recharged for another possible round later on.
Bellatrix Lestrange practically skipped down the streets of London, whistling a funeral march. A cracked smile appeared across her face, as she returned to her flat. The Death Eater slipped inside, and heard the footsteps that followed her.
She was face to face with Neville Longbottom. A smirk appeared on the face of Bellatrix Lestrange, as she admired her handiwork.
"So, is the little baby Longbottom here to avenge his parents?" taunted Bellatrix, but Neville fired a slicing spell at her. Bellatrix dodged it, and reflected another attack. "You have a lot to learn boy, before you ever start facing the likes of me. I was personally trained by the Dark Lord, while Potter took pity on you, because he has a soft heart. You're nothing but a filthy little blood traitor, only a few notches above a squib!"
Spells ricocheted across the air, as Neville's teeth gritted. He refused to let Bellatrix get inside his head.
"So how's Mummy and Daddy, still drooling?" asked Bellatrix in a conversational tone of voice, as she sent another spell at Neville, but Neville dodged it. Then she pulled the rug out from underneath Neville, and blasted him into a chair.
"You won't get away with this, Lestrange," grunted Neville, as he tried to send a bone breaking curse at her neck, but Bellatrix evaded it with grace and precision!
He tried to transfigure the curtains to strangle her, but he could not get the job done properly.
"Not your best subject, I take it" whispered Bellatrix, as she waved her hand, and the carpet threads came to life, wrapping Neville up. Neville struggled to free himself, but Bellatrix slashed her wand. The impact knocked Neville back to the ground, and he struggled to breath. Bellatrix sat down, as she peered down at him. "You want revenge for what happened to your parents. I believe I did something to them. It went something like this. Crucio!"
Neville screamed, as Bellatrix did the Unforgivable Curse on him. He tried to fight back, and send a spell back. Bellatrix avoided the attack.
"Once more with feeling!" sang Bellatrix, as she caused Neville's limbs to get snapped back like a spring. "Crucio!"
Neville screamed once again, but he shot a flesh rotting hex at the dark match.
"That's dark magic," said Bellatrix, as she waved her finger in a mocking tone. "What would Dumbledore say?"
Bellatrix sent three more curses, and Neville lost control of his bodily functions, before she put him underneath the Cruciatias Curse once again.
"I remember how I drove your mother to insanity, how she wanted to gnaw her own arms off after I was done with her," said Bellatrix, as her tongue licked her lips in the memory. "Your Dad, I had to tie his hands, to prevent him from scratching his own face off."
Neville pushed up, but was forced down. He held been held on the floor. It was like someone had pressed a really big foot onto him. A downward jab of Bellatrix's wand caused him to be magically curb stomped.
Had Bellatrix not been so into her work, she would have noticed the door open, and shut by some invisible party.
"You're out of your league, you little brat," said Bellatrix, as her wand was held at Neville's temper. "You thought you could go in, like one of those American Muggle cowboys, and take me out. I beat my blood traitor sister, I beat my mongrel cousin, I beat your parents, and the real reason why Potter left because he was afraid of me .Don't you see, Longbottom, there isn't a person alive who could…"
Bellatrix screamed as she felt something stab into her side immediately. A dagger ripped through her skin, and stabbed into her kidneys. Neville looked up confused, as the face of Nymphadora Tonks appeared in mid- air, as she snatched the wand away from Bellatrix. The rest of Tonks appeared, as she took the ragged Invisibility Cloak that she had borrowed from Moody's house. The wand was snapped in front of Bellatrix's face.
"Recognize the dagger in your ribs, Bellatrix?" asked Tonks, as she peered down at her aunt.
Bellatrix caught sight of the handle. She'd recognize it anywhere. Her mother had given her aunt that as a gift years ago.
"It's a family heirloom, you filthy little blood traitor, you're not family!" shrieked Bellatrix, but her blood burned up and her insides boiled.
"Sirius willed it to me, for the express purpose of removing you from the Ancient and Noble House of Black," said Tonks, as a smug smile appeared on her lips. "As you know, that dagger was created to punish those who tried to harm a family member. When you attacked Sirius, and when you killed my mother, your sister, you committed treason to your own bloodline."
"I tried to purify the bloodline," gasped Bellatrix, but Tonks slashed her wand.
Another curse ripped through Bellatrix's throat, decapitating her instantly. Her head flew backwards, rolling across the carpet.
Bellatrix Lestrange was on the ground, killed by Nymphadora Tonks.
"NO!" shouted Neville, as he saw the decapitated head at his feet. "What did you…you…you…"
Tonks was confused at Neville's outrage, as he pulled his wand on her.
"Lestrange was mine to kill, after what she did to my parents," said Neville as his hand shook.
"Neville, I was an Auror, I was taught to kill, you on the other hand…you don't need any blood on your hands," said Tonks as she looked down at Neville, who tried to hex her, but Tonks blocked the attack. She pushed Neville back, and Neville landed on a chair, to sit down. "Bellatrix Lestrange would have killed you, and enjoyed doing it. You get to live…"
"I never got a chance…I failed my parents, I'll never live up to them," said Neville in absolute despair, but he remained seating.
"Would they want their son's sole contribution to be a martyr?" asked Tonks in a cool voice. "I killed Bellatrix, because of what she did to Sirius and my parents! She committed the highest crime in this world, well that world's not around much, is it? Still, I had one final mission, to track her down, and make sure she paid for her crimes against her own bloodline. Plus, I owed it to Harry to save you…"
"I don't need to be saved!" yelled Neville, as he got up to his feet. "She was…that was supposed to be my moment, but you took it from me!"
"Listen to yourself Neville, you're becoming just like her, obsessed and crazy," said Tonks, as she stared at him, and her voice softened. "It doesn't have to be this way. Just think, Bellatrix Lestrange will never kill another person again. Does it really matter who pushed her into the grave?"
Neville stood, arms folded.
"You can get on with your life, and recover," said Tonks quietly. "Get the help you need. Harry won't turn you away, if you just ask him."
Neville ignored her. He walked off, nothing but pure rage. The one thing he had to live for, his revenge, had been taken away from him.
Yet a more logical part of his brain kicked in, if he did kill Lestrange, then what? Would his parents have wanted him to become a cold blooded killer over someone like her?
Tonks killed to protect more people from suffering. Neville wanted to kill her, to prove he was worthy of his own last name.
His head hurt, and Neville disapparated back to the Longbottom Ancestral Home. Where he would go from there, he had no idea.
Tonks walked off. She hoped she had gotten through, but she feared Neville had been twisted and warped beyond all hope.
The only thing that could determine where Neville would go was time.
In the main conference room in the Patronus Incorporated headquarters, Harry watched as Kara made some progress in making a tin can do somersaults. They had been practicing magic. Kara had shared with Harry what she remembered from the books she snuck out of her father's forbidden library, regarding magic.
There were some information she remembered that helped the learning process for both of them go along much quicker.
"I really have no idea how this is supposed to have any practical value at all," said Kara with a laugh, a sentiment Harry shared. He gave her a tight hug, and a kiss, as she mastered another spell.
"Well it doesn't matter, as now you mastered it, you'll never have to use it again," said Harry. "I think we should try the Patronus Spell, if you're ready."
"Yeah, I'm ready," said Kara.
"Okay, Kara, we'll start this slowly," said Harry. "Take the happiest memory you can think of…"
"You've given me so many," said Kara, and Harry just smiled, and gave her a kiss. They broke after a couple of moments. "Okay that inspired me."
Kara closed her eyes, and pulled together the many happy times she had with Harry.
"Hold onto those memories," said Harry as he held Kara's hand. "And say Expecto Patronum!"
"Expecto Patronum!" yelled Kara, as a bright silver light shot out of her hand, and hit the wall. "I can't quite make out what it was, but it was something that flew."
"Yeah, it should gain more form, just keep practicing, practice makes perfect after all," said Harry, and Kara nodded in agreement.
They practiced for a little bit longer, until a knock on the door brought them out of their thoughts.
"It's open!" yelled Harry.
On cue, Tonks entered the room, her eyes bloodshot. She took big steps, and then poured herself a cup of coffee. She downed the cup of coffee in record time. She then poured herself another cup of coffee, and she downed it. She was on her third cup, before Harry cleared his throat.
"What's up?" asked Harry, and Tonks took a long deep breath, draining a fourth cup, before she walked over, looking stressed.
"I found Bellatrix, and took her down," said Tonks, as she sat down, and proceeded to explain to Harry and Kara what happened.
The two listened intently. Harry was thankful that Tonks managed to save Neville from being driven insane.
"Neville was angry that you took his glory of killing Bellatrix away from him," said Harry, and Tonks nodded.
Harry hoped that Neville would find something to live for besides his revenge.
"And word is the Hogwarts Killer has been unmasked," said Tonks, and Harry and Kara stood up. "It's Draco Malfoy."
Harry did not even give this matter one second of thought.
"As much as I hate to defend Malfoy, it just doesn't seem like his style," said Harry. "Do you know anything about the latest attacks?"
Tonks retrieved the latest records Percy sent her from her bag.
"Gringotts was destroyed, Knockturn Alley was totaled, several humans and goblins were caught in the crossfire," read Tonks, but she held her finger down. "The final murder victim at Hogwarts was a Slytherin fourth year named Astoria Greengrass."
Everything clicked together to Harry. As he reconciled everything in his brain, all of the pieces, did seem to fit.
"It's her, that's our killer," said Harry. "She pulled a Crouch Junior, and switched faces with Malfoy to fake her death."
"I don't understand," said Kara. "What would she have to gain?"
"Gold," said Harry. "Most of the murders were a smokescreen. I…helped her out with her homework a few times. I didn't think she would be this way. But she was scared that she would get married off to some pureblood family to be used as a trophy wife. The Zabinis were the first target, then her mother, and then Daphne. Astoria was the last in line to get one of the biggest fortunes in the magical world. She converted it to Muggle money, and she blew Gringotts sky high when she got what she wanted. Likely she's long gone by now, who knows where?"
All three parties felt revolted. Ninety five percent of the murders didn't need to happen, they just happened because Astoria wanted her trail to be covered.
"That's…that's…just wow," said Kara, and Tonks looked equally surprised.
"Damn it, it's obvious, you're right Harry," said Tonks, as she looked a bit green.
"What doesn't make any sense is the Ministry connection with Umbridge though?" asked Harry, but then he frowned. "What do we know about Yaxley? I know about Umbridge all too well, but I don't think she'd go along with murdering purebloods, no matter how twisted she is."
"Yaxley, he was never sent to Azkaban, but from what I heard he used blackmail to get his way," said Tonks. "But what would he have to gain?"
Harry just put a hand to his chin. Kara appeared to have no insight, and he was stumped. Yaxley seemed to be a wildcard.
"What indeed?" asked Harry, as he turned around, to ponder the possibilities "I'm guessing that world is done anyway."
"More or less, without Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, and the Ministry on their last legs, the party's over," said Tonks.
Kara and Harry sat back. Something told them the Ministry was not going just fade quietly into the night.
A man dressed in thick glasses stood in front of Scrimgeour to give him the bad news.
"So you see Minister, we only have enough in reserves to pay a skeleton crew for the next month," said the young man. "There simply aren't enough employees to sustain the Ministry regardless."
Scrimgeour turned around, and nodded. He looked like he was dead on the inside.
"We're going to have to lay everyone off come next week until we come up with a solution," said Scrimgeour. "No gold means no government, and no government means no structure."
Umbridge sat back, to try and disguise her anger.
"All of these months, and nothing about Spanner and Supergirl," said Scrimgeour as his eyes glazed over, red and bloodshot. He looked like he had given up. "We were already failing badly based on the fiasco with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and Fudge denying his return. Our public support has gotten so low that it might as well be in the negative numbers."
"It's almost like forces are conspiring to bring the Ministry of Magic down," said Umbridge.
"You would be correct, Madam Umbridge."
"Yaxley, what is it?" asked Umbridge.
"I bring you information about a dangerous threat, one from the stars," said Yaxley, as he held out his information.
"What does this have to do with the Ministry?" demanded Umbridge.
"It has everything to do with the Ministry," said Yaxley. "I have investigated every resource, and years ago there was a planet called Krypton. It was a planet advanced far beyond that of Earth. Much like Earth, there were those who were willing to stabilize the government. One of those men was an individual called Jor-El."
Umbridge and Scrimgeour just looked rather disinterested.
"Jor-El sent his son, Kal-El here as an advanced agent on Earth to learn about us," said Yaxley. "His niece, Kara Zor-El, was found sometime later. Yet, they added another party to their conspiracy, that being Harry Potter. Harry Potter was not married to some Kansas farm girl, but rather the last daughter of Krypton."
Umbridge looked triumphant. Potter was up to something; she knew it. If there was one thing she hated more than half breeds and Mudbloods, it was aliens.
"Spanner is Harry Potter and Supergirl is Kara Potter, while Kal-El is known as Superman," continued Yaxley, as Umbridge practically salivated at the information. "Dumbledore was in on their scheme at first, as was the Hogwarts Killer. Draco Malfoy was a front; Hermione Granger put him under the Imperius Curse to do her bidding once she had left Hogwarts with an Alibi."
"I knew that Mudblood was trouble,'" said Umbridge, not bothering to lower her voice.
"Yes, they are plotting to release criminals from a prison known as the Phantom Zone, where they can enslave the remaining magical users on Earth," said Yaxley in monotone. "With the Ministry weakened, I think they may have succeeded in achieving their goals. All has been lost."
"No, all is not lost, I'm going to correct this problem right now," said Umbridge with sadistic glee. "The Ministry still has one resource left, and I'll see that Potter and his Kryptonian associates will be taken down."
Dolores Umbridge felt she would be respected by those who lived. After all, she would be saving the world from an alien invasion.
She was practically foaming at the mouth.
Yaxley watched Umbridge leave, before he slipped out and walked to his private office, carefully sealed off from any monitoring.
"She acted as I had logically predicted," said Yaxley, as his voice grew more emotionless and more mechanical, his silver eyes glowing as his mind calculated all possible outcomes. "Now, I will finish the job that I started on Earth. This time I will ensure the son of Jor-El will not stop me from completing my objective. I shall acquire all of Earth's knowledge, before sealing this planet's fate."
It was time to prepare for the next phase of his plan.
To Be Continued in Unraveled.