I think this is the quickest update I've had for you guys in a while, huh? I figured it would be fun to start off the semester with a bang, hence the update only hours before my first class :-)
So, I also haven't posted warnings in a while, so here you go. This has violence, cursing, and emotions. Any of the above make you upset, well, you know what to do.
Harry and Sirius stepped out of the Floo at the Leaky Cauldron, and Harry forced a smile when he saw the Weasleys and Grangers. He accepted a hug from Hermione, and greeted the redheaded clan. He was truly exhausted, having refused to sleep the night before.
He'd thought about it, and determined that he was going to find a way to stop the dreams, and the feelings they'd evoked in him. He knew who he was. He was Lord Harry James Potter-Black, and he fought for equality and fairness. He didn't kill, and he would not dwell on desires of revenge by killing.
They all waited momentarily for Remus to appear, which he did. The werewolf smiled at them, though he, too, seemed tired. The full moon was in two more nights, and it was taking a toll on him.
The teens all started talking about their day. They were finally going to go to Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, which was opening that day. The attack on the Burrow had set back the opening a few days, but that was alright, since they were able to be there as promised. After that, they would be going to get their supplies for school.
Harry had owled Professor McGonagall to tell her the classes that he was going to take: Herbology, Potions, DADA, Transfiguration, Charms, Ancient Runes, and he would continue his private lessons in Arithmancy. Hermione's schedule was the same, but without Herbology and with the actual class for Arithmancy, and Ron's was the same, but without Runes or Potions.
The large group made their way through Diagon Alley, and Harry noticed that the Alley was much less crowded than it usually was, and there was an air of fear. He knew that there were more attacks, and he couldn't blame people for being worried. However, a place like Diagon Alley was much less likely to be attacked, especially during the day.
When they made it to WWW, Harry couldn't help the chuckle that bubbled up. Unlike every other business in the alley, it didn't bother trying to blend it, much like the twins themselves. The display windows showed dozens of products, and Harry was getting a headache just looking at everything.
They all went inside, and Harry saw where everyone in the Alley was that day. They could barely make it inside, and had a hell of a time trying to make their ways to the shelves. Harry saw some of the products he was familiar with, having worked with the twins over the school year, and had been talking about the new ones through post. However, there were quite a few that he had never heard of, or seen before. He was looking forward to asking about them later.
Harry walked away from his group to look at some of the other products he hadn't seen before. As soon as he took a few steps, though, Fred and George descended out of nowhere. George went to the rest of the family while Fred decided to approach Harry.
"How you doing there, mate?" he asked, seeing the darkened bags under the teen's eyes.
Harry ignored the question, though. "This is great!" he said honestly. "I can't believe how much you two have gotten done!"
Fred beamed at him, and led him further away, dodging everyone who tried to ask questions. He just referred them to another one of the employees, and continued dragging Harry. "This is nothing," he said. "Over here is what we figured you'd be interested in."
Harry saw a dark curtain with PPP labelled on it. Fred went through and gestured for Harry to follow. "Pranks for Protective Purposes," he explained. "We've been getting mass orders on these. Check it out."
Harry did. He saw a range of Shield clothing, Decoy Detonators, Instant Darkness Powder, Reducto Wristbands, Portable Swamps, flashbangs, and so much more. "Fred, this is amazing," he breathed.
Fred grinned. "I was hoping you would say that. Take what you want, and maybe some for your merry group of friends." He watched as Harry grabbed what he wanted. "This section is not for general sale, like the rest. There's too many things here that we don't want the other side to get. There's a Notice Me Not on the curtain; only people we show it to will notice it."
Harry took some of the Powder, a handful of the flashbangs, a few Swamps, some Decoys, and a wristband. "How much?" he asked.
"We'll just take it out of your check," Fred told him. It had taken a while to convince Harry to share in the profits, but the two of them had been resolute. They, along with the rest of their family, refused to take charity. While they knew that Harry's start up loan wasn't in that spirit, they were going to pay him back; with interest.
Knowing better than to argue, Harry simply thanked him. "Come on, I'm sure the others are getting worried."
They made their way back to the rest of the group. Actually, Harry did. Fred was bombarded with questions by various customers, and was forced to stay behind.
Harry fought his way through the crowd, and finally spotted Ginny, who was cuddling something small and furry. "What's that?" he asked.
"Pygmy Puff," she said with a smile. "I'm going to ask Mum if I can get it."
Harry slipped her a galleon. "Don't tell," he whispered, conspiratorially.
She grinned back at him, and made her way over to where Hermione was looking at the Patented Daydreams.
"Wait, Ginny?" he asked, looking around.
She turned back to look at him. "Yeah?"
"Have you seen Sirius and Remus?" Normally, the two didn't let him out of their sights, but he hadn't seen them since they'd walked in.
"I think they stayed outside to talk to Dad," she answered, pointing to their figures through the crowded display windows, and continued her walk over to her bushy haired friend.
Harry spotted them, and quickly made his way outside. Arthur was nowhere to be seen, but Sirius and Remus were speaking in hushed tones to each other, occasionally glancing down the alley. However, it was clear that they hadn't seen him coming, and continued to talk. Harry slowed to a walk and made his way towards them.
"…that worried, Sirius?" Remus asked quietly.
Sirius sighed, combing his hand through his hair, which was loose around his shoulders rather than being tied back as usual. "I don't know, and that's what worries me. He's never hid something from me, not since the Umbridge incident. So, it has to be worse than that."
"Look, it could be nothing…" Remus tried to say, though it was clear he didn't believe what he was saying.
Sirius interrupted him. "Or it could be something. Come on, Remus, has he mentioned anything at all?"
"Talking about me?"
Harry stepped forward, ticked. He should have known this morning that there was something off. Sirius hadn't tried to continue their discussion from that evening, which would have been the first clue. While he wouldn't have been happy to have their talk continued, it would have been preferable to knowing that he was talking about him behind his back. He walked up to them, setting his back of PPP products behind him.
Sirius and Remus had the decency to look ashamed as they turned towards him. "Harry, I'm just worried about you," Sirius told him.
"Clearly," Harry said, fuming. "If you have concerns, bring them to me. Don't go around me and start asking other people! I don't make it a habit of lying to you, which you know. Also, yeah, I'm tired. Yeah, I'm dealing with a lot. Who wouldn't be?" All of the anger that he was feeling started pouring out of him. It was a haze in his brain, as though he was barely in control of his actions.
"Harry," Remus tried to interject, but Harry wasn't having any of it.
"No," he interrupted. "How can you treat me like I'm just a child? This is bullshit, and completely ridiculous!"
"Harry," Sirius finally snapped. "I understand you're upset, but we're just we're just trying to look out for you."
"By talking behind my back? What's next? I'm not a bloody child, and you know that!" He had stepped forward, and was now yelling in Sirius's face.
Remus wasn't happy about the turn of events. He reached out and put a hand on Harry's shoulder. "Would you just listen to us for a minute?" he asked mildly. He could understand why Harry wasn't happy with them, but he didn't want things getting out of control.
Harry, however, just shoved his godfather's hand off of him. "Don't touch me," he snarled, turning his anger onto the other man. There was a roaring in his ears as he felt the anger build. "I cannot believe you two!"
"Do not speak with us like that," Sirius told him harshly. "You are not a child, and we're not trying to treat you like one." What on earth was going on with him? Harry turned back to him, once again only inches away.
"If you don't trust me to figure this out, how can you trust me to defeat Voldemort?" Harry demanded, albeit quieter.
"Back off, son," Sirius told him, voice low. He had never liked it when people invaded his space, no matter who it was. He was always uncomfortable when it happened.
So lost in his anger, Harry didn't realize that his scar was burning white hot. "Why? If you aren't going to respect me, why should I respect you, dad?" he asked sarcastically. Almost immediately, he wished he could take the last word back.
As though he was watching another, Sirius saw his hands raise, and he pushed Harry away as hard as he could. It was part physical, a way to get air, which he always seemed to lack when he was that uncomfortable, but also a way to push away what he had just heard.
Harry felt himself stumble backwards. It wouldn't have been a problem, he did have wonderful balance, but the bag of purchases that he'd placed behind him hampered his movement, tripping his feet. He started falling backwards, and his shock nearly erased his anger. That shock also disappeared with the pain that blossomed as his head smacked into the pavement.
Everything seemed to stop, including their hearts.
Harry just laid there for a moment. His head hurt, but he'd certainly had worse. It was simply the fact that Sirius had shoved him like that. How had things spiraled so out of control?
Sirius swore in that moment that this was another moment that would appear when dementors came near. Part of him wanted to reach down and help Harry up, but the other part wondered if he'd lost that right when he pushed his son like that.
Remus, though in shock, was thinking a bit clearer than the others. He knew that Sirius wouldn't have managed to push him down like that if it wasn't for the bag behind Harry, but it was still a moment for the two of them that would have to be talked about after leaving the Alley.
Harry slowly stood, feeling the back of his skull. It wasn't bleeding, but he could tell that he was going to have a knot there in a little bit. However, he wasn't going to heal himself. No, deserved the pain, knowing that he had just destroyed his relationship with Sirius. He opened his mouth, then closed it. There was literally nothing he could say. It was only then that he felt the unholy pain emanating from his scar. He winced, barely able to stand it. "I'm so sorry," he whispered, and, leaving his bag of pranks on the ground, walked away.
He wasn't sure where he was going, but he had to get away from the look of profound loss that was on Sirius's face when he had called him 'dad' for the first time. At that moment, he'd only thought of how to hurt him as badly as he could.
How could he do that? That was another thing that was so out of character for him. In that horrifying moment, Harry felt the world crumble beneath him. He stepped into an Alley, ignoring the sound of Remus calling his name, and he slid down the brick wall, not caring how disgusting the ground was under him.
For him to wish harm to come to the Dursley's was one thing. But for him to want to hurt Sirius like that? It seemed Harry Potter was a monster to rival Tom Riddle before he became Voldemort. He also felt like the child he had just been denying he was.
A scream broke through the self-flagellation he was putting himself through. It wasn't Remus calling for him, but a scream of fear. When another couple rent through the air, he jumped to his feet. He knew those sounds, and his blood ran cold.
He ran back to WWW, and saw Remus and Sirius looking wildly around for him. "Harry, get over here!" Sirius yelled. It wasn't in anger, though, but concern.
Harry hurried over, and he could see people running towards the shop. "Death Eaters?" he guessed, pulling out his wand. On a hunch, he grabbed his bag of products, figuring they would come in handy. That was, after all, their point.
"Sounds like it," Remus confirmed grimly. "I'll tell the twins to start moving the customers out through the Floo." He ran back inside.
Sirius abandoned logic at the moment, and pulled Harry in for a tight hug. "We'll talk after this," he promised.
Wanting to cry at the idea that Sirius didn't hate him now, Harry nodded. He also thought about the fact that, just that morning, he'd scoffed at the idea that Death Eaters would attack Diagon Alley during the day.
"Stay tight to me, we'll go and see what we can do," Sirius told him.
Harry agreed, and they took off, taking care to be as quiet as they could. They stayed in the shadows, and found people going in stampedes towards any building with a Floo, and towards the main Apparation point.
Unfortunately, Sirius could tell that the attack was coordinated, as Death Eaters seemed to have learned from previous failures. They had already taken over the main entrance behind the pub, so no one could hope to head to the Apparation point, the main Floo, or flee into Muggle London. In one fell swoop, they had trapped almost everyone into an ambush. It was a busy day for the Alley, as the students had received their shopping lists that week.
They ran into Arthur, Dedalus Diggle, Charity Burbage (the Muggle Studies professor), Hestia Jones, and several other Order members who had been patrolling the Alley that day. They all ran towards the Leaky Cauldron where the Death Eaters were coming from.
Spells flew past them, and all of Harry's training came into play as he ducked, rolled, shielded, and cast without thinking. They only got within a couple of blocks of the pub before their progress was halted by a group of Death Eaters.
Harry raised a shield, the strongest he'd ever cast, and let the ones next to him fire spells. When it fell, he cast another one. After a few times, he had to stop, panting at the exertion. So Sirius took over the shield and had Harry cast.
For a few more minutes, they were locked in a stalemate. Then Hestia pulled a knife out of her belt, stepped forward, and chucked it at the Death Eater who was shielding them.
As expected, his shield was only for spells and not for solid objects, and the knife went straight through and lodged in his heart. He dropped, and so did his shield.
That was the moment they needed, and spells fell like rain on their opponents. After a few more minutes, their way was clear once again. However, a much larger group came out to meet them.
Harry cursed under his breath as he saw a dozen slip away through the buildings, as they just blasted their way through. "Sirius, they're headed for Gringotts!" he yelled, recognizing the path they were taking.
Sirius turned to look, and he nodded at Harry. "Let's try to cut them off before they get there; I doubt they're going to play fair."
So the two of them sprinted through the alleyways, dropping lone Death Eaters along the way. Finally, they were able to see the large, white bank and found a few dozen goblins, armed with spears and axes trying to defend their business. Harry knew, from his lessons, that the bank was so much more than just a place to work for most goblins. It was their home, and their coworkers were family. He also knew that goblins were forbidden by Ministry law to carry wands. Therefore, their magic was severely limited against the Dark wizards that were attacking.
However, it was taking too long to fight their way through the throngs of innocent buyers who were shoving and fighting their way to any exit they could find. So, Harry did something rather foolish, but he was desperate. He transformed into Shadowpaws.
As a wolf, he was able to slip through people much easier, and once people saw him coming, they hurried out of the way with shouts of fear. Paws could tell the moment Pads joined him, and they made it up to where the goblins were fighting off wizards.
They transformed back as soon as they were at the steps. Thankfully, some of the goblins recognized Sirius from all of his time that summer at the bank, and therefore didn't try to stop them. Harry saw the bodies of goblins that were lying on the ground. He tried to remember if healing goblins was the same as humans, and found that he'd never heard either way.
Together, he and Sirius, along with the goblins, fought the wizards away from the bank, at least for the time being. The bodies littered the steps to the bank, white marble now stained red as their blood poured from their bodies.
"Let's get back to finding the others," Sirius said.
Harry looked around, trying and failing to catch his breath. If there was a hell, he would swear until his dying breath that it was here. He tried to think, but the sounds of goblins dying was distracting him. Finally, he couldn't take it, and he knelt down next to the closest.
He found that it was one he recognized. "Griphook," he gasped, and hurried to close the gash on his stomach.
Sirius jumped, and looked at the goblin warriors who raised their weapons, and jumped in front of Harry. "He's trying to save him," he yelled hurriedly. "I swear on my family's honor, he isn't going to kill him. He is healing him." There were heavy laws against any who used magic against goblins, which Sirius well knew.
Harry finished, and turned to see if there were any others that needed attention. He found another with burns covering most of his face, and quickly started casting.
By that time, the goblins were slackjawed at this wizard. Never before in their history had they heard of a wizard voluntarily healing a goblin. To most, they were not worth the trouble. But here was a wizard that was treating them the same as any others.
Finally, Sirius couldn't take the waiting any longer. "Harry, we have to leave," he said urgently.
Harry nodded. He knew that he shouldn't have wasted the time, or the energy, but he couldn't stand by while others died if he could save them. He wouldn't.
Remus tore into Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and pushed his way through the crowd until he found George. "Death Eaters are coming. You have a Floo, right?" he demanded.
George nearly had a heart attack, but he knew the need to keep a cool head. "Not in the store, we have one in our flat upstairs." He was infinitely glad that he'd insisted on paying the fee, while Fred had insisted it was a waste of time, what with the Leaky Cauldron right down the road. Thank Merlin he'd won that argument.
"Get all of your customers out now!" Remus ordered, and turned to leave.
George stopped him, and pointed to the PPP room. "Grab what you think might help," he said seriously.
Remus knew that George wouldn't waste his time, so he chose to take the few seconds, and grinned when he saw what it was. He grabbed the first few things he saw and hoped would help before he ran out of the store.
The first people he saw were Bill and Charlie. Both Weasleys were looking at him, waiting for the senior Order member to give them orders. "Ollivanders," he said quickly, and they started jogging that way. "We don't want them to get all of those wands, or the man himself."
So the three of them ran as fast as they could towards the wand shop. Like Sirius and Harry, they found themselves fighting through everyone rushing to find an exit. They got to the store just before a group of Death Eaters. They were outnumbered three to one at the moment.
However, just as Charlie dove behind a rubbish bin to avoid a dark green spell that he'd never seen before, the door to the shop they were protecting slammed open.
"Begone!" Ollivander roared, twirling a wand in either hand.
The first thought was that he'd found someone else who could dual cast, and wonderfully at that. The second thought was the power behind the spells. For such an ancient man, he sure packed a hell of a punch. Of course, the same could be said of Dumbledore.
Ollivander wrapped two Death Eaters in a whirlwind, and threw them against a brick wall. They were going so fast that they actually flew through it, and stayed down. He turned his ire on two others.
Bill shielded them, and Remus threw a Swamp, trapping another three, where they would likely drown. Such a shame, that.
Charlie conjured a whip made of fire, which made Remus think it was Fiendfyre. However, the dragon handler whipped it around the few Death Eaters that were standing, and then gave his wand a good hard yank. They were cut in two by the flames, falling with their torsos separated from their legs. Charlie whispered a spell, and the fire vanished.
Remus was gaping at the man, but Ollivander looked impressed. "I've not seen dragon flame used like that before."
Bill let out a breathy chuckle. Only this man could sound so calm after fighting Death Eaters. "What now?" he asked.
Remus thought quickly. "Charlie, stay here with Ollivander, just in case they come back. Bill, with me."
Neither argued with him, and the two took off, looking for another place they could be of use. They weren't far, when Bill pulled Remus back with a finger to his lips. Carefully, Remus looked around the corner, and anger filled his stomach.
Death Eaters were using Madam Malkins to keep hostages. Remus used hand signs to gesture what he was thinking to Bill, who nodded his agreement. Bill stayed put, and Remus walked as quietly as he could around the building, and set off two of the Decoy Detonators to go off on the sides that he and Bill were not.
As soon as they started banging and clanging, the Death Eaters jumped out, wands raised. Bill and Remus opened fire on the ones that had come out. The curse breaker had thought ahead, and iced the ground by both entrances. The Death Eaters were distracted, slipping and sliding, which proved fatal. Bill sent a deadly curse at one, which caused his guts to explode from his body, while Remus banished one into another, and they both fell, quickly tied with rope. While he didn't want to keep them alive, Rufus could use the intel from an interrogation.
More Death Eaters came out to see what the problem was, and were dropped in similar manners. However, none of these survived the fight. Bill, panting, looked to Remus once again for orders.
Remus wondered when he gained such status in anyone's mind, that he was capable of giving orders. But he knew he needed to do what little he could. "Stay here, protect the kids," he said. "And make sure these don't wander off," he kicked the Death Eaters that were alive.
Bill nodded his agreement, and even went about warding the building so that they wouldn't have any more surprises for the school kids who had only come in for robes to wear. With his time at Gringotts, he could make crappy wards in a few minutes, and better ones with a bit more time.
Remus took off, this time alone. He knew there were still battles being fought, and others weren't as fortunate, if he judged by the screams. So he started heading towards the Leaky Cauldron, knowing that was where the main battle was at the moment.
However, he was only partway there, when he froze. In front of him was Voldemort's right hand witch: Bellatrix Lestrange. With her was a giant snake, the largest he'd ever seen, whose fangs were covered in blood.
Remus's muscles were iced in fear. More than one member of the Order had died at this witch's wand, and most of them were good friends, and good fighters.
"Well, if it isn't the werewolf," she mocked. "And he's looking like a human right now. Acting like one, too."
"I'm more human than you are, Bellatrix," Remus said, wand slipping with the sweat from his palms. "At least I still have my soul."
"No, wolfy, you had one," she corrected with a giggle. "Get him, snakey!"
Remus backed up, and fired spell after spell at the snake, but they all bounced off of its scales. He raised his wand again to fire at Bellatrix, but the snake got him first. He felt its fangs pierce his calf, then his thigh, then his stomach, again on his stomach, and his shoulder.
In too much pain to scream, he fell to the cobblestone street. His body twitched as though he'd gone four rounds of the Cruciatus. A low moan pitched out of his throat as he felt the venom spread like wild fire through him. He could vaguely hear Bellatrix giggle once more, and then there was only silence. His last thought was that he was sorry he was going to miss seeing Harry kill the bastard responsible for all of this.
Harry and Sirius were looking around. They knew that the main fights were still happening at the pub, but there were other things to worry about. For instance, the fact that several dozen had slipped past the few fighters that were trying to bottleneck them, and were wreaking havoc across the Alley. The teen was thinking that if they split up, they would cover more ground, possibly find more people that needed help.
"We stay together," Sirius told him firmly, reading his mind. He looked over, and saw that Rose Pomfrey had opened her shop into an emergency infirmary, herding people in as quickly as she could. He nodded to her once, pleased.
As they were walking, Harry's scar started burning again. "Shit," he gasped, grabbing it again. He started walking one direction, and it flared up stronger. "Something's wrong over here," he said, trying to catch his breath.
Sirius was torn. On the one hand, he knew that if there was something going on that way, he had an obligation to protect the innocents. However, Harry's scar hurting could mean that Voldemort was there.
It was Harry's turn to be a mind reader. "Not painful enough to be him," Harry told him quickly. "Come on."
Sirius and Harry hurried, with the teen in more and more pain as they went. Then they saw a lone figure in the shadows.
No, she wasn't alone. Harry could see that there was something slithering next to her, and a prone body on the ground not far away.
"Remus." Sirius felt the sight was a punch in the gut, and he was nearly crazed. He fired at Bellatrix without thinking.
Harry cursed as his father took off against the crazy witch, but then he saw Nagini headed for Sirius. He had a feeling that there were no spells that could be used against it, and looked frantically around, as though a solution would be found in the alley.
As it was, there was a solution. Harry just saw the glitter of a ruby encrusted hilt out the corner of his eye, and pulled out Gryffindor's sword. He stuck his wand back up the holster, and gripped the sword with both hands.
"That all you got, Bella?" Sirius taunted, firing back at her.
Hoping that his father didn't get himself killed, Harry snuck towards the snake. If it smelled him coming, then the game was over.
Nagini was nearly behind Sirius, and was raising itself to strike, when Harry screamed a battle cry, thrusting with the sword. His staff lessons had given him a bit of skill, but swords weren't the same as staves. Still he threw himself to the right, his sword slicing cleanly through the snake.
A familiar black miasma rose from the snake's corpse, and Harry fell on his shoulder. He grunted as he rolled, careful not to hit the sword. Part of his brain noted the black smoke, but it was pushed to the side to worry about later. There were far more important things to think about.
He looked over just in time to see Bellatrix fall from a curse to her shoulder, and she snarled at Sirius before Disapparating.
Sirius ran over to his friend, and tears poured from his eyes as he saw the amount of blood around the body. "No," he begged his friend, and then looked at Harry.
Harry fell to his knees throwing the sword aside. He cast quickly, but he knew that there was nothing he could do with these wounds. Instead, he reached over and grabbed an empty butterbeer bottle. "Portus," he said, thinking of the destination. Then he held it out to Sirius. "Get him to St. Mungo's. He might make it." Harry was struggling not to lose hope, but his godfather was still alive. He had to keep the hope that the healers at the hospital could keep him that way.
Sirius was torn. He wanted to stay with Remus and make sure he got the treatment that would save his life, but he couldn't very well leave his son during a battle, could he?
Harry ended up making the decision for him. He shoved the portkey at the two, and they disappeared from sight.
Harry took a moment to let the panic overwhelm him. How could he do this? What hope was there that he could win this war? He lost count of how many he had killed that day, and fatigue was clouding his brain.
He spun around, casting before thinking. "Oi, it's just me," Percy shouted, ducking the light.
Harry didn't lower his wand. "Prove it," he challenged.
Percy nearly choked. "What Death Eater on Earth would want to impersonate me?" he demanded. When Harry still didn't lower his wand, he thought hard. "At your celebration dinner, you thanked us for celebrating with you, not just for you?"
Harry lowered the wand. "Where are the others?" he asked, standing, brushing the grime off the knees of his robes and picking up the sword.
"Family is defending WWW to Floo people out, and the rest of the Order is at the pub," the third eldest Weasley told him.
Harry nodded. "Then let's go."
They split up when they reached the main part of the Alley: Percy went to help his family, and Harry went to help the Order.
The teen could see the need as he reached. There were innumerable bodies littering the streets, and there were more Death Eaters than Light fighters. It wasn't just Order members fighting, either. Hogwarts students, their parents, shop owners, and others had joined in at some point.
Harry saw one of the few remaining buildings, and decided to act as a Muggle sniper would. So he ran into a building, but couldn't position himself too high, or his spells wouldn't make it to the target.
Once he was positioned to his satisfaction, he looked around. He took out the Swamp, and levitated the package to the back of the group, finally activating it once it was close to the back. Not only would it get rid of a lot, but it blocked their exit. Then he threw quite a bit of the Darkness Powder, once again to the back. Then he tossed out the last of the flashbangs.
Suddenly, the Death Eaters were in such a panic to move into the Alley that they lost their cool. The front rows were pushed forward so hard that they were easy prey, and fell quickly. Harry caught sight of the most powerful looking ones, and began casting. He sent Blasting Hexes, buried them under rubble, and sent Blinding Curses.
Within only a few minutes, the Death Eaters seemed to realize that the battle was over, and not in their favor, and quickly ran to the Apparation point. They left behind a ravaged Alley.
Harry stood, arms and legs feeling like overcooked noodles. He was shaking, though, for once, he had managed to make it through without having been hit once. The shock of the entire day was setting in, and he felt like weeping.
That feeling only increased when he realized that his only injury was the one from the argument with Sirius and Remus. The look in Sirius's eyes when Harry sent him with Remus, and the sight of his godfather lying so pale and still, those would stay with him forever, along with Sirius's look when Harry growled at him.
He realized that he needed to get down and see if he could help with the wounded. However, he knew that doing so much more magic would wipe him clean. That was not what he needed right now.
No, what he needed was to get to the hospital and sit with Sirius, find out anything he could about Remus. Part of him was now grateful for the attack on Arthur, as it meant that St. Mungo's now had the antidote to the venom.
He stood slowly, and made his way down the building and down into the Alley. Bile rose in his throat as he felt his shoes slipping in the blood. It was so bad, that in places it would be up to his ankle. He fought back the rising need to vomit and looked around as he walked through the Alley.
Unfortunately, it was not just Death Eaters that were dead. His heart filled with pain, he saw Professor Charity Burbage lying on the ground, clearly dead by the Killing Curse. Unable to stop himself, he reached out and closed her eyes, open in shock. Hestia had been stabbed through the throat with her own knife, the one Harry had seen her use early in the fight. Florean Fortescue seemed to have his neck snapped, head turned at an unnatural angle. The one that cut Harry to the core, however, was Dennis Creevey.
The young Gryffindor had been trampled to death, Harry assumed by the stampedes of people trying to leave the Alley. Harry fell to his knees, and shook with silent sobs.
"Harry?" a voice next to him asked, sounding panicked.
He looked up, and saw Bill, his scars standing out in stark contrast to his pale face.
The curse breaker looked worried. "Are you hurt?"
Shaking his head, Harry looked at his hands, which were nearly dyed red with blood. "I'm fine," he stated, voice hollow. "I should get to St. Mungo's. Sirius is probably worried about me."
Bill clearly had questions, but he simply nodded. "I'll take you. Come on." With gentle hands, he helped Harry to stand and led him towards the Apparation point.
Though there was a line, everyone quickly got out of the way once they saw who it was. Normally, this would make Harry dig in his heels and insist on waiting his turn, but today he was grateful. Whether it was his fame, fear, or simply the look in his eyes, the crowds parted like the Red Sea.
Bill leaned towards Harry. "Hold on tight," was the only warning Harry had before they Apparated away from the destruction.
They arrived at St. Mungo's, and the place was bustling more than usual, not that it was surprising. There were people that Harry recognized from the times he and Poppy had come to work, but they were few and far between. Clearly they had called in all the healers and nurses they could get their hands on.
Bill led him silently through the throngs of people waiting to be seen, or waiting on news. They found Sirius along the far wall, pacing a hole into the smooth tile beneath his feet. "Sirius," Bill said quietly.
The older wizard wiped his head around, and saw the two of them. He ran over and swept Harry into a hug. "Are you hurt? What happened? Is everyone alright?" The questions poured out of him.
Harry didn't fight the hug. After the harrowing experience he'd just had, he was going to welcome any reassurance he could get. "I'm not hurt. I don't know who all was injured."
Bill interrupted them. "I wish I could stay, but I should get back and see what I can do. If you need me, Floo the Burrow. They'll know where I am."
"Thank you," Sirius told him meaningfully, shaking his hand tightly.
Bill just nodded and walked back to the Apparation point.
Harry's knees were shaking, so Sirius led him over to an open seat. "Are you sure you're alright?" he asked.
"The last thing I said to him was 'Don't touch me'," Harry whispered, the gravity of the situation crashing into him. "What if that's the last thing I ever get to say to him?"
Sirius fought back tears. "Remus is a fighter," he reminded his son, praying that his words weren't going to be a lie. "You aren't losing your godfather that easily. We aren't going to lose another Marauder to this son of a bitch and his minions."
Harry cracked a smile, but it was painful. "I hope so."
The wait was the worst part, Harry soon discovered. Nurses came out every so often to lead people back, or to bring news to waiting family members. No matter the news, it always ended in tears.
When a family member didn't make it, the screams and cries were fingernails on chalkboard to Harry. However, the relief on the faces of those whose loved ones were alive was even worse. Harry couldn't help but question whether or not he was going to get to experience relief that profound.
His shaking had gotten worse. There was no spare seating for Sirius, who didn't seem to care, and spent the wait pacing as far as he dared. He never did let Harry out of his sight, though. When he saw how bad Harry was getting, he walked up to one of the nurses and had a quick, but hushed conversation with her.
Thankfully, she was quite understanding, and came back soon after to hand him a vial. Sirius thanked her profusely, and took the potion to where Harry was sitting. "Drink up, pup."
Harry recognized the potion right away, and wasn't about to argue. A Calming Draught would be just the thing. "Thank you," he whispered, and downed it in one go.
Sirius nearly jumped out of his skin when Harry's eyes closed, and he slid sideways, head lolling off onto his shoulder.
A passing nurse saw his panic. "A calming draught can do that to patients who are only still conscious through stubbornness," she assured him. "He needs the rest, clearly. If he's still out in a while, let us know."
Sirius nodded at the logic. A seat next to Harry finally opened up, so he propped Harry against his shoulder. All he wanted was some news on Remus. He knew that he and Harry would sleep in the room with the old werewolf if they had to, but he wasn't going to let either of them out of his sight after this.
"How have you failed me?" Harry demanded, glaring at the Death Eaters cowering at his feet. He had sent seventy five, and only twenty one made it back to him. "Crucio!" he roared.
The unfortunate Death Eater screamed piteously and writhed on the ground. He didn't release the curse for over a minute, and kicked the drooling mess with the toe of his boot. "Get him out of my sight!"
One of the other Death Eaters, pleased at any reason to leave the Dark Lord's presence, quickly levitated his friend and hurry from the room.
Harry glared at them as they left. "We shall move up our plans. They are wounded, too. They are hurt, they are tired, and most certainly are not expecting another attack so soon. The wards will be a joke for you, Amycus. They were never overly strong to begin with, and the Potter brat hasn't been there in over a year. Destroy the family, and any other that gets in your way. We leave in one hour. Prepare yourselves!"
Green eyes shot open, and a horrified scream forced its way out of Harry's mouth.
*debates on hiding from angry readers*
So, I think this was the quickest chapter to write, simply because my heart was pounding a mile a minute while I was typing it. I spent more time editing it than anything.
Yes, I'm horrible for leaving you in such suspense, so I'll see what I can do to give you an update as soon as I can. Until then, don't kill me, or I won't be able to tell you what happens next. Privet Drive will be coming up soon, and then we'll return to St. Mungo's.