Sorry for the delay. Following this chapter, there will be a large flashback sequence that took quite a while to figure out, especially as the chapter rotated between the flashback and current events. Hopefully it will work out.
I will admit that this chapter is a short one when compared to others, but it gets me to where I need the story to be so that I can do the flashbacks properly.
Harry From Another World
Chapter 8: He's got My Axe in his Nervous System
"Harry, why are you making such a big deal out of this?" Susan asked.
"Have you not been listening?" queried Harry "The Locket of Slytherin, one off Voldemort's Horcruxes is trapped at the bottom of an underground lake that is teeming with about two and a half thousand Inferi. I'd call that something to make a big deal about, but I guess you don't agree!"
"I do not think that it is a big deal because in actual fact it is a relatively simple problem with a relatively simple solution!" retorted Susan.
"Well then, would you care to enlighten the rest of us?" asked Scrimgeour.
Susan pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration before saying "Fine, I'll spell it out for you. First, we get to the cave. Second, we open the cave. Third, we use drought charms to dry up the lake. Fourth we use fiendfyre to turn the temperature up. Fifth we seal the cave and allow the enchanted flames to burn everything to a crisp. Sixth we go back in two days in order to check that everything is destroyed. Job done."
"Huh," muttered Harry "I guess it isn't that big of a deal then."
"Told ya!" said Susan "Seriously Harry, have you been getting enough sleep? It's not like you to miss the obvious like that."
Harry looked sheepish as he replied "Actually, it has been a while since I last got in a full eight hours…"
Susan shook her head disapprovingly before turning around and saying "Alright people, I'll be leading this next mission. Harry's gonna go home and take a nap."
"I don't need a nap!" protested Harry.
"But you do need to spend some time with your wife and daughter," replied Susan.
"I…" Harry began before breaking off and nodding his head "You're right. Thanks Susan."
He gave her a kiss on the cheek and then left for the portal to their home world.
Madam Bones noted this interaction and added it to her list of things that she found herself wanting to know more about. It was already clear that this alternate version of her niece was the alternate Harry's second in command, but their actual relationship beyond that was a bit of a puzzle. Were they just close friends, did they have a brother/sister type of relationship, or was there something more?
From Susan's side, that was a possibility, but it was clear that Harry's heart belonged firmly with Hermione.
Amelia resolved to ask Susan these questions, and more, when she got the chance.
For now, though, Susan was busy taking control of the situation at hand, selecting twenty people to accompany her on this next mission.
As the group of twenty, including Neville, Dean and Katie began making preparations, Susan began issuing orders to those being left behind, putting the healers on alert before turning to address Lavender.
"We shouldn't be long, but it might be best if you can begin making preparations for our upcoming raid. I want to be ready to go the moment Harry comes back."
"No problem," replied Lavender "I'll tell the trolls to take a break. We want them fighting fit before we launch our assault."
"Hold on," interjected Scrimgeour "I thought we were going to a cave filled with Inferi. What's this raid that you're talking about?"
"Why, the raid of Gringotts, of course," replied Susan, as though this was the most obvious thing in the world "That's where Helga Hufflepuff's cup is being stored, and if we want to destroy Voldemort then we have to destroy that cup."
"But still, why would we need to raid Gringotts?" pressed Scrimgeour "Surely we can simply ask the Goblins to co-operate."
Susan burst out laughing, "Goblins? Co-operate? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"
"What is so funny?" demanded Scrimgeour.
"Sorry Minister, but what you said is just about the funniest thing I've ever heard." explained Susan.
"Why?" asked Amelia "Surely the Goblins will want to put an end to Voldemort as well?"
"I wouldn't count on it," Lavender practically growled "Goblins don't really care which wizard or witch is running the country so long as they can keep their gold and continue to raid old tombs and pyramids to search for treasure."
"All the same…" began Amelia, but Susan spoke over her.
"The Goblins care little for the affairs of wizards and are of the opinion that no wizard would dare try and take on the nation. Feeling safe in that knowledge, but also never prepared to turn their nose up at a potential profit, they would probably set up a bidding war between the Ministry and Voldemort, and would consider such a notion nothing more than a good bit of sport."
"But surely they must see the threat that Voldemort poses to the Goblin nation." said Scrimgeour.
"There is hardly any threat and the Goblins know this," replied Lavender "The pureblood elitists may spout on about wanting to eradicate Goblins, but that's just talk. After all, what kind of pureblood elitist aspires to be a bank teller? Faced with the prospect of doing it for themselves, they would happily allow Goblins to remain in control of the bank, and the Goblins know this for a fact."
"All the same," interjected Amelia "there will be no organising of raids upon Gringotts until we have all sat down and discussed all of our other options thoroughly."
Susan glowered at her, an expression that Amelia was not used to seeing from her niece.
"Fine," the red-head snapped venomously "we'll waste time and do it your way."
She turned to her friend "Lavender, this world's version of Sarah Abbott has yet to be relocated. I know that Harry was eager to prevent her death here in this world, so see to that whilst we are gone. It might pay to take the Younger Hannah with you."
Lavender nodded and went off in search of the younger version of their senior healer.
Neville approached and announced "We're ready to go, Susan."
She nodded and led the group out of the hall, leaving Scrimgeour and Amelia standing there feeling as though they had just been judged and found to be lacking.
Little Lily Rose Potter was sitting on her father's lap, sucking her thumb and cuddling a teddy bear as he read to her from a book of children's stories. Muggle stories, of course; neither Harry nor Hermione though it appropriate to read her anything from The Tales of Beedle the Bard just yet.
He had just reached the part when Goldilocks discovered that "the third bowl of porridge was just right…" when Hermione came into the room with several roles of parchment.
"What are you working on love?" Harry enquired.
"Just a few preparations for our Service of Remembrance on Friday," came Hermione's telepathic response as she set the parchment down upon her desk.
"Oh yeah, about that," began Harry "I was thinking that, and Neville, Susan and Lavender agree, we might invite a few people from the other world over to witness the service."
Hermione rounded on him, her eyes wide "What?"
"Yeah," continued Harry "We thought that is might help get the message across that you can't fight Death Eaters with stunning spells…"
"I understand that Harry, but seriously, why wait until now to tell me?"
"It'll be fine, Hermione. It's just a few dozen extra seats at the back."
"It's far more than that, Harry! What about security? You know that Dumbledore will insist on bringing the entire Order of the Accursed Phoenix with him. What do we do about Snape?"
"I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of him coming here, but if Dumbledore does decide to drag him along then I'm sure there will be enough wands present to ensure that he behaves."
"It's not his behaviour that worries me. There will be plenty of people here who bear a grudge against that man. Imagine what would happen if one of them took the chance to get some revenge, justifiable though it may be?"
"Well, I'll just tell Dumbledore that if he brings Snape then I will not be able to guarantee the man's safety. If Dumbledore still brings him then it's his fault, not ours."
Hermione rubbed a hand over her face wearily and replied "I still don't like it Harry. I mean, just the thought of those two men, and whoever else Dumbledore may insist on bringing into our home…"
She broke off, and Harry got up from the armchair that he was sitting in, Lily held securely in his arms.
"I don't like it any more than you do, love," he said, putting his free arm around her shoulders, comfortingly "but it has to be done. They have to understand the atrocities that their current actions will eventually lead them towards, and this is the best way I can think of to do that. The only other way I can think of would be to show them all our memories of those dark years and of that final battle in particular. Something, I feel, that we would all wish to avoid doing."
Hermione nodded her head sadly and replied "You're right. Of course, you're right, but still…"
"I know." said Harry softly "I know."
Sarah Abbott had just put the kettle on to boil when the fireplace in her kitchen suddenly flared with green flames. Out of the enchanted fire stepped a young woman who was dressed in rather unusual attire, had several visible scars that looked as though they had hurt a lot, and was wielding an axe.
Just as she was wondering what she should do about the appearance of this strange woman, emerald fire flared once again in her fireplace and another, far more familiar person stepped out.
"Hannah?" Sarah asked "What are you doing here?"
"We've come to rescue you," replied Hannah.
Seeing the puzzled look on the mother's face, Lavender took up the explanation "To make a long story short, I'm from another universe which is a few years ahead of this one. In my universe, you died at some point within the next couple of days. We don't want this to happen, so I thought I'd come over and escort you back to the safety of Hogwarts castle."
"Okay…" said Sarah, slowly "So, do I need to pack some things?"
"That would be-" Lavender began, before breaking off as she spotted something outside the kitchen window.
She grabbed both women and forced them down to the ground behind the kitchen table just in time to avoid the flying glass that filled the air as the window exploded inwards.
Three Death Eaters entered the kitchen, wands out, hoods up and their faces covered by their skull-like masks.
"Stay put," hissed Lavender before she rolled away from the two women.
No longer hidden by the table, she pushed herself up onto one knee and raised her wand, a spell erupting from its tip before the Death Eaters even had time to react to her sudden movement. Death Eaters were used to people cowering or running in fear when they turned up, not fighting back.
As such, the first Death Eater was blasted back out the wrecked window before he could even think of defending himself. The second and third Death Eaters managed to point their wands at Lavender, but a split second later both their wands and their wand arms hid the floor.
Both men howled in agony as they clutched at the bleeding stumps, both arms having been severed off just above the elbow.
Lavender quickly put both men out of their misery, but loud thumps and crashed coming from the other rooms on the ground floor and upstairs told her that more Death Eaters were already arriving.
"The floo!" hissed Lavender.
Sarah got up and, holding her daughter's hand, darted towards the fireplace. She grabbed a handful of floo powder from the pot on the mantle and threw it into the grate. To her relief emerald flames burst into life, meaning that the Death Eaters had not managed to close off their access to the floor network.
She shoved her daughter into the flames, watching as she disappeared off to Hogwarts and then turned to look for Lavender. She spotted her by the door, her axe raised above her head. The door burst open and a lone Death Eater burst in. Lavender brought the axe down upon the man's head, breaking it open.
As he fell to the floor another Death Eater rushed forwards. Lavender's axe was already moving, and was promptly buried deep within his neck.
Lavender looked up and saw that Sarah was still standing there "Get out and raise the alarm." she told the woman, before drawing her wand and sending a spell down the hallway towards the living room. As Sarah stepped into the flames, she heard at least two men screaming in agony.
"Blood," said Susan, holding out her hand.
Katie reached into her supply bag and took out a small ampoule that was filled with bat blood. She handed it to Susan who un-stoppered it and allowed three drops to drip slowly onto the stone barrier.
Susan handed the ampoule back to Katie as the barrier began to open.
Neville snorted derisively and commented "Couldn't even be bothered to make sure it was human blood that any intruder would have to use."
"That's Voldemort for you," said Katie "replies on his belief that everyone is much more stupid than he is."
They entered the main chamber and found themselves looking at the underground lake. Way off in the distance they could just make out, by the light of their wands, the small island where the Locket Horcrux was believed, by Voldemort, to be securely contained.
"So," said Susan "Drought charms on three?"
Everyone else agreed and raised their wands. On the count of three they cried out in one voice "Valde Sicca!"
Normally the drought charm was only good for drying out puddles or small ponds and had little to no effect on a lake, with the caster of the spell usually tiring out and cancelling the spell before any noticeable change could occur. Of course, having twenty one powerful wizards and witches cast the spell at the same time upon an underground, stagnant lake that had no means of refilling itself, produced quite a different effect, with the lake drying out in just a few seconds.
Naturally, the Inferi of the lake, who had spent years and in some cases decades, floating about aimlessly in this underground pool did notice when there was suddenly no water for them to float about in, and they did react.
Unfortunately for them, without the water their ability to make a surprise ambush was lost, as was their ability to get to the intruders in a rapid fashion. This left the said intruders plenty of time to unleash a terrible firestorm upon them.
The Inferi began to shriek and writhe as the demonic flames roared about, incinerating any one of them not fast enough to get out of the way.
Susan and the others made a hasty retreat, sealing up the exit behind them.
Amelia had heard it when Sarah Abbott and her daughter, Hannah, had raised the alarm of the attack on their family home. That Lavender was still there quickly resulted in Cho Chang and Anthony Goldstein rounding up a group to form a rescue operation.
Amelia drew her wand and stepped forwards, beckoning to a few of her Aurors to do the same. They appeared to have been dismissed from their inclusion for the trip to the Inferi cave, but if Death Eaters were attacking the home of one of the DMLE's prized Auror Healers, Amelia Bones was damned if she was going just sit back and let others handle it.
Their portkey deposited them on the front lawn of the house, and there they were met by a rather strange sight.
Clearly the attack was over, for Lavender was sitting there, calm as anything could be. The only sign of injury that she bore was a small cut, which was located just above her knee.
The house had, admittedly, been damaged badly, but it was not beyond repair.
What was peculiar, though, was the fact that all the obviously deceased Death Eaters were piled up in a heap, a heap that Lavender was currently sitting on top of as she enjoyed glass of red wine, her hair seeming to glow as the last few rays of the sun caught in it.
"Oh, bloody hell!" cursed Cho "You could have saved some for the rest of us, you greedy bitch!"
Lavender grinned at her and replied "Sorry, but I just couldn't help myself. They make it so easy for me to want to wipe them out."
Cho narrowed her eyes and drew her wand. She fired a piercing hex that struck a Death Eater just to Lavender's left in his side. A rather impressive, if grizzly to see, fountain of blood spurted out.
Lavender watched the sight with interest for a moment before turning her attention back to Cho and demanding "Now what was that for? He was already dead!"
"He was twitching!" protested Cho.
"He was twitching," said Lavender, reaching out towards the handle of her axe "because he's got my axe buried in his nervous system!"
To emphasise this point, she gave the axe a violent jerk and in response to the movement of the axe head, the Death Eater's body, particularly his arms and legs, jerked in a rather creepy fashion.
Deciding to break in before the girls could continue their argument, Amelia stepped forwards and asked Lavender "How many are here?"
"Thirteen," replied Lavender "There were only eight Death Eaters here to begin with, but the last one summoned help before I got to him. Another eight showed up, but three fled before I could put an end to them, though one did have to be carried away."
"Right…" said Amelia, wondering at the strength of this woman. Taking on sixteen Death Eaters and living to tell the tale was something that very few people could claim to have achieved.
"I don't think I got anyone important," said Lavender "Most of them seem to be low level grunt-types, new recruits and the like. I was going to burn the carcasses, but thought you might want to do a few examinations. You know, but names and faces to the bastards so you know which families to watch."
"Yes, thank you…" Amelia wasn't sure quite why she said thank you, but put the matter out of her mind as she and her Aurors set about the grizzly task of identifying the corpses.
"I'm going back to Hogwarts," Lavender said, jumping down from the top of the pile of bodies, an action that appeared to cause her absolutely no pain, despite the cut on her leg. Then again, she was at least a partial Werewolf, creatures known for their resilience.
She finished the glass of wine in her hand before summoning the bottle to her, commenting "These Abbotts always did have good taste."
Cho and a handful of others returned to Hogwarts with Lavender while Anthony and the rest remained behind, just in case more Death Eaters decided to show up.
"What the hell happened to you?" were the first words out of Susan's mouth when she saw Lavender.
"Death Eaters," replied Lavender, in a tone that suggested that this was no big deal. A healer had already dealt with the cut on her knee and she was now sitting in an armchair up in one of the rooms set aside for their use.
"How many were there?" asked Susan.
"Thirteen dead. Three others fled, but I suspect one of them will die of his wounds within the next five minutes or so, if he hasn't already."
"I can't leave you alone for ten minutes, can I?" said Susan with a shake of her head.
Lavender shrugged and commented "It was nothing that I couldn't handle, just a few youngsters who thought that they could play in the big leagues."
"Yeah well, just be careful in future," said Susan "I dread to think what Harry would do if you got seriously hurt or killed in this world."
The partial werewolf nodded before adding "Make sure you heed your own advice. You know as well as I that whatever he would do if I was killed, he would make it twice as bad if it were you."
Susan smiled slightly and sat down in the seat next to Lavender. Both knew that Harry would go out of his way to protect or avenge those he considered family. As they were two of his surrogate sisters, this included them, and the thought of what Harry might do if either of their lives were truly in danger was as terrifying as it was comforting.
Lord Voldemort was getting rather annoyed. For the past four weeks or so, the news being brought to him had been strange and unsettling. First of all there was the news that Dumbledore had done something. What that something was remained a mystery, though Voldemort's spies had revealed that the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, the Department of Mysteries and the Minister for Magic himself had all been involved in some way.
He was certain that Snape would know, but on his last visit, Snape had made it clear that he had been bound to secrecy on this matter. Had it been anyone else, Voldemort would have forced it from them, damn to the consequences. However, Snape was a decent spy whom Dumbledore trusted, not something that you came by every day.
Then there were the rumours, rumours that people had been seen, people that no one knew. They had been seen at the Ministry and at St Mungos. Again, information on this matter had been rather thin on the ground, though speculations were running rampant. The most common explanation being that they were something to do with the International Confederation of Wizards, though Voldemort was unable to get confirmation on this and he currently had no spies within that organisation.
Then there was the arrest of Draco Malfoy. The boy in and of himself was an unremarkable wizard, someone who thought himself better than he actually was due to his family name and money. In actuality, the boy held little worth for Voldemort. His only use was to keep an ear out amongst the students of Hogwarts and try to learn things that Snape was not privy to.
All in all, Draco's arrest was a minor annoyance at best, but it did set alarm bells ringing. After all, when had Dumbledore ever willingly allowed the Ministry to get involved in Hogwarts' affairs, no matter how serious the misdeeds of one of the students in his care? Draco must have either done something so monumentally, astronomically stupid and dangerous, thus leaving Dumbledore with no choice but to hand him over to the Ministry, or someone within Hogwarts was no longer dancing to Dumbledore's tune and had decided to take matters into their own hands.
Either way, this did not exactly bode well for Voldemort, not for Draco's sake, but for Snape's. Voldemort knew full well just how Snape treated his students. There was now a chance that Snape would get turned over to the Ministry if he did not curb his attitude.
About the only good news of late was that Dumbledore had recently been confined to the Hospital Wing. Again, details were sketchy, but Snape had suggested that the battle that Voldemort had had with Dumbledore at the Ministry back in June may well have had more of an effect on the old man than first thought.
Voldemort, however, was not going to rejoice just yet. After all, if there was an informant within Hogwartswho was working against Dumbledore's modus operandi, then it could just as easily have been that person who had but Dumbledore out of action for a few days.
In addition, earlier that evening the planned attack on the Abbott family home had been thwarted by a mystery warrior witch who had apparently battled alone, managing to take out thirteen new recruits. Fourteen if you counted the one who died later.
This mysterious witch could well have been the cause of many of the strange events of the past few days and weeks, and Voldemort was now choosing to sit back for a bit. He needed more information on this situation, so he would wait for his spys to bring it to him before he decided on his next move. After all, he had all the time in the world, what with his having gone further down the road to immortality than any other wizard in history had ever dared.
It was early the following morning when Harry made his return, and he was not exactly pleased that the Ministry wanted to talk about how to deal with the locket concealed within a Gringotts vault.
"I don't understand what there is that we could possible need to talk through," he commented as Susan led him along a corridor as they made their way from the Great Hall to their portion of the castle. They really needed to find a way to relocate the portal between the two worlds to their part of the castle as it would be much more convenient.
"Well, you know the Ministry," replied Susan "They want to solve everything whilst rocking the boat as little as possible."
The corridors were deserted, save for the few people who were on patrol. It was so early in the day that the students weren't even out of bed yet. Breakfast hadn't even begun in the Great Hall.
They arrived outside the room where their meeting was to be held, and Susan led the way in.
As with their previous meeting, where they had first discussed the horcruxes, this meeting was attended by Rufus Scrimgeour, Amelia Bones, Gawain Rhobards and Order members Alastor Moody, Remus Lupin, Bill Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, Fleur Delacour and Kingsley Shacklebolt.
In addition there were also two men from the Ministry. Harry recognised them from his own world as being Cuthbert Mockridge and Dirk Cresswell, both members of the Goblin Liaison Office, Mockridge.
From Harry's side of the table, Hannah was absent, as she was still at St Mungo's Hospital, as were Dean and Anthony, who were off schedule at the moment. Daphne was currently seated in Hannah's place, with Cho and Ernie taking Dean and Terry's seats.
Harry took his customary seat and said "Right, let's get this ridiculousness over with so we can get on with getting our hands on Hufflepuff's cup."
"It's hardly 'ridiculousness' Mr Potter," said Scrimgeour, clearly affronted by the mere suggestion "We are simply trying to look at all possible angles of approach that are available to us rather than simply charging in and getting ourselves into bloody war with the Goblin nation."
"Very well," said Harry "what are you prepared to give up?"
"What do you mean?" asked Lupin.
"Goblins never do anything for anyone unless they can see what's in it for them, so what concessions are you willing to grant them?" clarified Harry.
"We won't have to give up anything," replied Amelia "Cuthbert, would you explain more?"
Cuthbert Mockridge was a man close to retirement age. He had spent years working in the Ministry's Goblin Liaison Office and now ran it. He was a short man with wispy white hair and had a pair of thick-lensed glasses sitting on his stubby nose.
At Madam Bones' request, he stood up and stated in a clear voice that he had obviously spend most of the previous evening practicing "According to the 23rd Goblin Treaty, as signed on the 9th June 1957, Section 8, Subsection Q, Paragraph 44, all vaults within Gringotts Wizarding Bank are to be searched for dark or dangerous artefacts, and any such found will be handed over to the Dark Artefacts Office of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement for inspection, cataloguing and, if deemed appropriate, destruction."
Mockridge sat down and Amelia thanked him before turning back to Harry "So you see, we can use this part of the 1957 Treaty to force the Goblins to hand over the Cup of Hufflepuff for inspection."
"What makes you think that they'll do so now if they haven't already?" asked Harry.
"They'll do it because we'll have called them out on it," said Scrimgeour.
"And when they deny it?" asked Susan.
"We'll ask for proof," said Amelia.
"Ah," said Harry "You hear that Susan? They're gonna ask for proof, questioning the integrity of the Goblin Nation."
Here he took in a large breath through his nose before commenting "I can almost smell Diagon Alley burning already."
"We have to try," said Scrimgeour "We can't just use your method of executing the whole lot."
"I think you'll find that we can," replied Harry.
"Mr Potter, please," said Amelia, trying to plead to his rational side "I understand that the Goblins made getting the horcrux in the bank very difficult in your world, but you have the Ministry's backing this time. Let's just try it this way."
Harry stared at her for a few long moments, before giving one slow nod of his head.
"Harry!" exclaimed Susan, sounding surprised.
"Excellent," said Scrimgeour as he got to his feet "let's get ourselves organised and meet back here in-"
"On one condition," said Harry loudly, effectively drowning out the Minister.
Every eye turned to him and Amelia asked "Yes?"
"My entire army will be on standby. If they do not hear from us every hour, on the hour, they will presume that the worst has happened and will slaughter every Goblin in that wretched building."
Amelia and Scrimgeour exchanged a look, and the Minister gave a slight jerk of his head to signal his acceptance.
"Very well," said Amelia "and how will we let them know that we are ok?"
Harry put his hand into a pocket in his robes and took out a small bundle of red silk, wrapped in a golden string. He undid it and produced his communication crystal.
"With this," he said, holding it up "I can communicate with them anytime, anywhere, with no magic being able to prevent it. So far the only thing that we have found that stops these things from working is being in two different universes and timeframes."
"There is no way to fool these crystals," added Susan as she and the others held up their own crystals "someone could take polyjuice potion to make them look like Harry, use a voice imitation charm to sound like him and put a confounding curse on the crystal and we would still be warned that it is not him using his crystal."
"Very well," said Scrimgeour "Those who will come with us to Gringotts, get yourselves ready. We leave in an hour."
An hour later the Gringotts party was assembled in the Entrance Hall.
All in all, the group numbered only seven. Scrimgeour was going in his capacity as Minister for Magic and Amelia would also be in attendance as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Both Cuthbert Mockridge and Dirk Cresswell would be going, due to their experiences in dealing with the Goblin Nation as a part of their duties with the Goblin Liaison Office.
Gawain Rhobards had returned to the Ministry to deal with his duties as Head Auror, but he had sent over two other Aurors, Sean Proudfoot and Melody Savage to serve as protection detail.
And, of course, Harry made seven.
Bill Weasley had wanted to go, not only on behalf of the Order of the Phoenix, but also because he worked for Gringotts and had a good deal of experience dealing with the Goblins.
Harry, however, had vehemently blocked that idea, saying "You are to go nowhere near the Goblins. Quit your job and stay as far away from them as possible."
Needless to say, this reaction had left Bill a rather confused individual.
Susan, Lavender, Neville and other warriors within Harry's army had tried to join the team to, but again Harry had not agreed, saying "No, I need all of you here. If things go wrong, you will be the ones to destroy the Goblins."
They had tried to argue, but the look in his eyes told them all that there would be absolutely no wriggle room this time around. They would have to remain behind, hoping that everything would turn out fine.
By this time the Great Hall was once again filled with students, and once again their meals were being ignored as they watched the drama unfolding in the Entrance Hall.
"Everybody ready?" asked Scrimgeour, gruffly.
Harry checked the sword in its scabbard before nodding to the Minister and moving to leave with the rest.
However, Susan could not hold her tongue any longer.
"Harry, don't go to Gringotts! This is a suicide mission and you know it."
The group paused to watch as Harry stepped over to her and pulled her into a hug.
To almost everyone else it looked like he was just reassuring her, but to those in the know, it was obvious that Harry was telling her something.
In a barely audible voice, Harry whispered into Susan's ear "I've put a voice-activated portkey charm on everyone's robes. The moment this all goes down the crapper, we'll all be out of there before you can say "goblin scum"."
"Then we kill them?" asked Susan.
"Then we kill them." Harry confirmed.
Susan nodded and let Harry leave.
Lavender came up beside her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
"I hate this." muttered Susan as the group walked out the front doors of the castle.
"You're not the only one," added Lavender.
Their brother was walking into a pit filled with creatures that they had once witnessed raze half of Diagon Alley to the ground. What was there for them to like about it?
A/N: Again, sorry it's shorter than usual, but it gets me to where I need to be for the next chapter, which looks like it could end up being a very long one. I realise that this chapter does leave one or two questions, hopefully they will be answered in the next chapter.
Also, sorry for inserting another reference to The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy. I just couldn't have Lavender kill all those Death Eaters without making some form of reference to that scene (and if you don't know what I mean, I suggest checking out the extended edition of The Two Towers to find it, or do a youtube search for "Gimli vs Legolas kill count.")
Anyway, until next time, see ya!