Dumbledore and all the order were staring open mouthed at the body in front of them. Dumbledore had nearly fallen over in shock upon entering his office the day after. However he had quickly recovered and brought the body to their new Headquarters in an old abandoned Longbottom residence. It hurt him deeply to think that she had died, but he felt no guilt. It was not him who had attacked her after all!
A few of the younger order members had either beat a hasty retreat to the bathroom or were looking decidedly green, along with some of the older ones as well. It was a horrible thing to do to a young girl and many felt bile rising in their throat as they tried to make a link between this and the quiet boy they once knew.
"Please tell me this isn't true, Albus…" Said Molly Weasley in a weak voice, her hands trembling as they convulsively clutched her handkerchief, tears shining in her eyes.
She couldn't imagine that the Harry she had known would do such a thing. He must have been more twisted than he had ever shown to partake in such acts of cruelty.
Said the Headmaster sadly, his eyes fixed on the wounds. He had never seen magic capable of doing that and it wasn't done by hand, of that he was sure.
He touched his brow gently, fruitlessly trying to fend of the oncoming headache. Harry was causing more and more of them in the past weeks. First Rita..Then finding out his identity, now this… He, Albus Dumbledore, protector of all that was good, was beginning to worry. If he could not stop Harry soon there was not telling what would happen, what damage he would wreak upon the Magical society. Too many had already died because of him.
"As you can see, they managed to enter my office without much trouble, something I find extremely worrisome. I know for a fact that the dark magicians known as Necromancers." He paused as a few people winced. That word still held a lot of weight for some people. "Can move through magical wards, even if it causes them much pain. I doubt Harry would have braved both the school wards and my own wards to simply send us such a...erm..message."
"Message?" Yelled Ron, who was pasty white and shaking with pent up fury.
"She died because of him! He killed her, horribly, and you just call this a message?" Many Order members turned to glare at Dumbledore, who quickly backtracked, holding his hands up in an appeasing gesture.
"I did not mean to be so callous. I too, grieve for young Astoria. But we must face the facts, it is a message. A message that means only one thing."
"And what is that?" Growled Ron, whose fists were slowly clenching and unclenching by his side. Slytherin she might have been, it sickened Ron to think his best friend. -Ex best friend, he reminded himself.- Had done this. His hatred grew to an all new level, he would have no mercy for Harry. He had brought this upon himself.
"I must come to the dismal conclusion that they have someone inside the school helping them."
"What about those two new teachers, they fit the bill." The gruff voice came from the back of the room and a few heads turned towards it.
In the shadows stood a large black man with scars criss crossing his arms and face in a brutal pattern. He had been hired for his expertise as a Dark Wizard hunter a few weeks ago and despite Dumbledore efforts had made no attempt to socialize.
"Impossible. I tried all anti concealment charms on them and even did an extensive search on their background, it was perfect. Additionally, Fawkes would have instantly known if a Necromancer was there. Even the strongest can not hide."
He stroked his beard slowly and nodded.
"Yes, impossible…But who then?"
"Are you sure you want to bring him there, my king?" Asked Sinistra with a worried frown.
"Are you questioning him?" replied Bella in a sickly sweet tone, her fingers laced together on the top of their grimy table.
She, Sinistra and Harry sat in an obscure corner of the Hogs Head, a privacy charm around them and their heads close together. To the casual observer they would look like nothing more than a group of shady people planning something nasty. The normal type for the dingy pub.
Resting a hand lightly on Bella's, Harry nodded and handed a small package over to the Astronomy teacher, a cruel smile playing on his lips.
"Yes, yes I'm sure. Though you sound...Worried. Is there something I should know?"
She shuffled her feet, squirming under Harry's unyielding gaze for a few seconds before finally relenting, clutching her carefully embroidered sleeve cuff nervously.
"The leader of Pestilence...He is, well, not the most trustworthy of men. To show him your hideout.."
A quick wave of his hand silenced her and he turned to Bella, a questioning look in his burning eyes. She glanced back and shrugged, as if to say 'it's not my problem'. Rolling his eyes he removed his hand from over hers and crossed both arms over his chest, suckling on his lower lip slowly.
"Tell me more about his second in command."
Sinistra's eyes lit up.
"His name is Ivan McKarnie, he is twenty six and has been a loyal follower for years. He is obedient but intelligent, with a sharp wit and a ruthless streak a mile wide. He would follow you without question if you asked. He is also.." She blushed lightly, her pale cheeks turning pink. "My husband. We married a few months ago."
"Congratulations" Came the half hearted reply, followed by a sidelong glance at Bella, who was paying no attention to the discussion but rather looking hatefully at a group of obviously muggle born wizards with beer bellies who had just entered.
"Get going Sinistra, get that to them and say I demanded you and your husband come along. He can bring a guard if it makes him feel better."
A quick nod was all he got before she left. He leaned back in his chair and smiled happily, he was starting to like his new title. Despite his initial misgivings once the memories came flooding back he was quite happy to accept his 'royal' position and the power it gave him. It was a novel experience to have an actual human being at his beck and call. And he knew that Bella would adore having the Pestilence under her command, he really did spoil her.
"You're going to kill him aren't you?"
"Dimwit, pay attention!"
A slap on the shoulder brought him back from dreamland and her looked up at Bella with a wounded expression on his face.
"Was that really necessary? I can do that too if I want."
"But you're too much of a gentleman." She said smugly, her eyes glittering with amusement as she kicked back and plopped her legs on the table in a decidedly unladylike manner, resting her back on his shoulder.
"You still didn't answer me."
He dared to lift a hand up and run it through her hair slowly, feeling the silky curls slip through his fingers like water. She let out a soft appreciative moan, leaning back into his touch like a cat. He was really beginning to enjoy this side of Bella.
"Yeah, I think I'll do that. I want someone I can trust."
"What?" He said in confusion.
"You sound like an American, it's yes not yeah."
"Oh, right. Okay." Where did that come from? Had he discovered another thing she hated? Perhaps he would offer her a United States of America flag for christmas to see.
He slowly dropped his hand from her hair to pick up his mug of mead, eyeing Bella in amusement as she daintily sipped her wine. However, an angry hiss had him gently playing with her hair again before he could even take one gulp of his beverage.
Perhaps this wasn't a completely new side of Bella.
Harry sat in his large throne, his chin resting on his closed fist as he eyed Bella moodily. She was sitting in a slightly smaller throne to his right, lounging in it without a care in the world. He had offered for her to sit with him but she had declined, much to his dissapointment. They had preceded their guests by a few hours in an effort to give the throne room a more respectable look. Bella had insisted on adding a few more torches and some blood, Harry guessed that was her own way of showing off their power.
"I was wondering Harry.." She hesitated, looking up at him.
"How do you become a Necromancer?" There was a hopeful glint in her eyes, one Harry was loathe to extinguish. With a heavy sigh he straightened and steepled his fingers carefully, staring off into space.
It had been a long time since he had told this story to someone.
"Necromancers were not always like I am. A long time ago they were respected and worshipped. In the old days, when Rome ruled Europe and even before that, in the era of Greece, we were revered. Perhaps you have heard of Charon?"
She nodded silently, leaning forward eagerly. He paused to admire her once again, like he did almost every day. Her full lips were slightly parted and a strand of hair was caught against them. Her tongue would occasionally flick out to pull it in and chew on it absently. Her thick curls were piled upon her head and held in position by an ornate pin that doubled as a dagger. She wore a light green dress that clung to her curves and accentuated the gentle curve of her breasts.
Her long legs went on forever, ending with a pair of solid yet stylish moccasins. He coughed awkwardly as he spotted her raised eyebrow and continued.
"We were the source of those legends. Necromancers guided spirits through the chaos of the Erebus and into the afterlife."
"There exists an afterlife?" Came the incredulous interruption.
"Yes. But don't ask me more, for the beasts that roam there are not to be trifled with. Only a demon or a soul may pass inscathed through the black gates. But as I was saying…"
Bella was surprised. He was rarely this serious and she quickly scolded herself for interrupting. If Harry wasn't being sarcastic or annoying, it must be important.
"Thousands of years of persecution and hate for the mistakes of a few forced us to abandon our noble cause, to turn towards the darker side of our powers to protect our very lives and families. To this day, I can not bear the sight of an imprisoned soul."
He quickly held up his hand as she opened her mouth, her earlier mistake already forgotten as her desire to learn broke through her self imposed silence.
"I know, I use souls as my power source. However the operation is not that easy. I call souls and they come. Against a small portion of my energy, enough to pass over, they give me theirs and I control them. For that is what all souls want, to pass over.
Without the Necromancers to guide them many have forgotten the way to the afterlife and wander the world aimlessly, slowly losing their mind. I guess that in a way, I help them."
He sighed and rubbed his face slowly, looking much older than ever before. Bella thought she could see a glint of sadness in his eyes. His eyes. They looked so much older, as if every decade, perhaps even century came crashing back in a brutal reminder that he defied nature by his very survival.
"I am sure that some necromancers still live, cowering in their holes and doing their best to help souls along the road to peace. But most have given up...Or stopped caring." He jabbed a thumb at himself.
"After all, why should I help those who would not help me? They all find their way to the afterlife eventually, I am in no way condemning them to a life of meaningless wandering."
He finally turned and looked at Bella. What she saw made even her shudder slightly. He looked so worn and tired, as if every host he had occupied and every rejuvenation process he had gone through had been stripped away, leaving only the worn man who had seen too much of this world. But as soon as she saw it, it was gone behind his mask, behind his self built identity, forged through the decades in an attempt to keep what little sanity he had left.
"Necromancers were born from ancient magic. A different magic than yours, it is a magic inherited from chaos itself. We come from the Erebus. For thousands of years Necromancers carefully kept their bloodlines intact, transmitting their power from father to son, mother to daughter. Yet we slowly died off, through oppression or weak blood. I am one of the few remaining Necromancers who can trace his line back thousands of years in a straight line."
He laughed shortly, without humor.
"I digress. All there is to say is that ..You do not become a Necromancer. You are born as one. I am sorry Bella."
Her beautiful face fell and a disappointed look crossed her face, before her iron will took over once more and those green tinted violet eyes ignited with a fierce determination once more.
"Well, I'll find a way!"
He smiled affectionately and leaned in to stroke her cheek for a second. Since she had allowed him to partake in such acts of tenderness a few days ago, he simply couldn't get enough. He sometimes laughed about it when he was alone.
He, the tough and heartless Necromancer, enjoying the feeling of a soft woman's cheek under his hand. But then again, he was not just the Necromancer anymore.
She allowed him to go one for a few seconds before rolling her eyes and jerking her head back, mumbling about 'sensitive men'.
He was about to retort with a snappy comment when there was a flash of light, alerting them of an approaching portkey. Wide smiles spread across both their faces.
"Ah, our guests have arrived!"
The first to appear were two burly looking men with swords strapped to their backs and guns in their hands. Their faces were hidden but their eyes exuded a cold determination. Bella had instantly drawn her wand upon their arrival but a reassuring hand on her thigh was enough to calm her. She took the 'shoot first ask questions later' saying to heart.
Shortly after an old man stepped smoothly into the room, followed by Sinistra and a tall, pale man. The elder of the three wore a rich fur cloak over a silken robe with jeweled cuffs and golden filigree creating an interesting pattern on his chest. The man next to sinistra wore plain black robes much like Snape's, except his hair was close cropped and he looked clean.
Sinistra, as always, looked quite alluring in a low cut robe with a slit running down her thigh.
Neither of them could restrain a flinch when their eyes flitted around the room. To one unused to such macabre spectacles it was a truly terrifying testament to the insanity and evil that inhabited these halls. The wizened man seemed the most affected, flinching and keeping his eyes fixed on the thrones in front of him in a futile attempt to erase the sights around him from memory.
Sinistra and her companion, which both Harry and Bella had deducted was her husband had merely paled and looked away uncomfortably.
Interestingly enough both of the bodyguards had not even flinched and kept their eyes trained on the Necromancer and his lover.
"Azor! It is a pleasure to meet you!" Cried the old man with fake joviality, smiling widely. Harry felt more than saw Bella grimace in disgust at the sight. Beneath all his riches he was a shriveled old wreck of a man with skin as wrinkled as a raisin and beady black eyes set deeply into his skull.
Harry lifted his hand up and slowly inspected his nails, not even sending him with a look.
"Who are you?" He said cooly.
The man spun around and glared at Sinistra who looked back at him without any emotion except a malicious glint in her eyes. She had been waiting for that man to die for years, perhaps she would finally get what she wanted.
"I had assumed my subordinate had informed you." His tenth were clenched tight in anger. "I am Charles Ravier Esteban, Grand-Councillor and leader of the Pestilence." He finished off with a grand twirl of his hand and both of his guards stood a bit straighter and took a step behind him, aligning themselves to each side of him in an attempt to give of an intimidating impression.
"Aren't you supposed to bow to your superiors or something like that?" Harry was now casually slung across his throne, picking at a small bone that protruded from the armrest. He glanced at Bella who winked, barely able to restrain her giggles at the absurdity of the man in front of them. She hoped he wouldn't die quickly.
A flash of irritation crossed Charles face but he masterfully hid it before anyone but Bella noticed. A wide smile crossed his face and he took a few steps forward, the dry skins crackling beneath him. His smile became rather fixed.
"Come now, certainly we needn't be so formal? We are after all, great men."
Esteban looked at Bella in surprise before turning to Harry again, an eyebrow quirked.
"Why does your woman speak?"
"Did you not say formality was not a requirement?" He paused and shot Charles a malevolent look. "You were right. For Bellatrix it is not, for you however it is. Bow."
Spluttering in indignation Esteban bowed his head stiffly, his cheeks burning in indignation. He hadn't had to bow to anyone for years, now this necromancer came along and demanded it from him? It was preposterous!
Harry shook his head slowly and turned to Bella, rolling his eyes. She smirked and pointed to the still bowing man questioningly. Nodding shortly Harry rose and stepped closer to the leader of the small group. Once he was near enough to distinguish the small wrinkles around his ears he touched the back of his head imperiously.
"I find your lack of faith disturbing...It is most unsettling to see such a rebellious person leading my worshippers."
Charles gulped and steeled himself for a blow. He had not been so humiliated since he was a little child. He would make the Necromancer pay! However, the next words that left Harry's mouth filled him with fear.
"Take him away Bella, have fun."
"What? No! I'm the leader of the Pestilence! You can't do this. Guards! Kill him!" His eyes widened when both men didn't move an inch and gave him a dispassionate look before returning their hard gaze straight forward.
Bella jumped up and gave Harry a long, lingering kiss that promised more to come that evening. Torture sessions were just so exciting…She broke away and lept off the dais, her wand out and an evil glint in her eyes. Behind Charles both Ivan and Sinistra were smiling widely, clearly enjoying the end of their commanders reign.
Once Bella and Estaban were gone -even if you could still hear the screaming- Harry turned towards the guards.
"Why did you not attack me?"
"We are sworn to obey the chain of command. You are higher than the Great-Councillor." One said in a flat voice.
"That's good to know." He said after a while.
He spun around and faced Ivan, who quickly looked down and bowed his head slightly. At his side, Sinistra curtsied.
"Ivan, you are now appointed Grand-Councillor."
"Thank you milord, I am honored."
"Do not disappoint me. Now, I want a report. What are you numbers, how many followers do you have?"
Sinistra flicked her wand and handed the freshly summoned scrolls to Ivan who nodded his thanks and unrolled them. He cleared his throat and began to read.
"The Pestilence has one hundred followers with an additional seventy five sympathizers and spies in both the muggle and magical ministry. We also have a dozen experiments, which comprise of various different undead war machines. To this you may add various dark creature clans who would follow us if asked."
Lacing his fingers together and striking a pose that would make any mastermind jealous, Harry grinned evilly.
"Excellent. I want them all ready in one months time. The wizarding world will be in for a shock…"
"That's a damn lot of aurors." Grunted Harry, glancing over to Bella who was hugging a warm tanker of butterbeer to her bosom, a thick blanket wrapped around her.
They had been in the derelict building for hours without any magic whatsoever and her patience was running low. Taking another sip of the warm drink she mumbled an incoherent reply and went back to staring at the dusty floor morosely. She just wanted to get in, have some fun and go.
Harry nodded shortly and tossed the expensive binoculars away, stretching and scratching his head as he rose, his knees popping. It had been rather amusing to watch Bella fidget in silence but he himself was starting to get excited, he had enough with stealth. Perhaps he should have reconsidered Ivan's offer from the night before.
As they were about the leave the Castle of Corpses, the newly anointed leader had offered the help of four of his best men in any endeavour where Harry might require assistance. However he had promptly refused the offer, much to Bella's anger and Ivan's confusion.
Of course, it had to be Bella who had a hissy fit about being denied some minions to boss about he thought with a small smirk, hiding his snort of amusement behind a cough and earning himself a suspicious look from the shivering Bellatrix.
He had been quick to explain himself though and they had accepted his reasons, as they should. He was the boss after all. He simply did not want anyone thinking he was gathering followers, it was much better to lull them into a false sense of security. That would work to his advantage.
He grabbed his own mug of butterbeer and downed the last drop. He cracked his knuckles and grinned at Bella evilly.
"Finally! Morgana, I was beginning to think you liked being in this mudblood building. It makes me sick."
He rolled his eyes and gave her arm a playful swat.
"You need to stop overreacting, some muggles aren't all that bad."
She glared daggers at him and snorted in disgust, quickly outpacing him and leaving him to make his way down alone, grumbling about pigheaded bigots and their stubborn beliefs.
They were soon on the pavement facing one of the most well protected structures in magical britain. The Ministers mansion, house where every leader had lived in for the last four centuries. It was as well warded as the ministry and housed an entire staff with a squad of elite aurors.
Harry had had the idea insane idea of striking the minister at home a few days ago but had only told Bellatrix the night before while they relaxed in their bed. Naturally she had demanded to be informed of such plans sooner, a request to which he had complied quickly. It was unwise to attract the ire of Bellatrix Black, protection contract or not.
The house itself was five stories high with an ornate gate and white walls with greek pillars surrounding the daïs that itself encircled the building. Thick pine trees provided cover for the house around every side except the front, where the Auror presence was the heaviest.
Earlier Bella had asked him about Spirit walking into the house but the idea was quickly dismissed. With the high level of wards surrounding the manor he would be in debilitating pain for at least a minute, sixty seconds too long in his opinion.
After a long discussion they had opted to get in from behind, the muggle way, much to Bella's annoyance.
So there they were, strolling casually along the opposite sidewalk, pretending that they like every other muggle in the world did not see the hulking tribute to gothic architecture next to them. Once they turned the corner and were hidden by the trees they quickened the pace and entered another building.
Without a sound they hastened to the top of it and stepped out onto the flat roof through an old rusted door that creaked horribly.
"Are you sure about this Harry?" Asked a nervous Bella as she fingered a thick lock of her hair nervously, glancing down below then back to the building across the street. From their position they could see the top floor of the mansion and two lit windows.
"Don't worry Bella, I know you don't like heights but nothing will happen." He said with a wide smirk, pulling an absurd amount of pleasure out of the discovery of another one of her weaknesses. There were too few to his liking and even fewer occasions where he could tease her about them.
"I do not, not like heights! I just don't trust your mudblood technology." Her voice was loud and carried across the roof, thankfully it didn't reach the Ministers Abode because of the powerful silencing wards around it. It would not do for the most powerful man in Britain to be disturbed by muggles after all, would it?
Harry laughed and lifted up the heavy harpoon gun to his shoulder, carefully aiming it across the road. Bella instantly quieted down and he kneeled at the corner of their apartment block, a bead of sweat running down his brow. He was excited and nervous for he knew that if he missed this shot there would not be another.
Two minutes later, one of the windows was smashed open by a heavy harpoon, scaring the wits out of one of the maids, who dropped her stack of clothes and ran out of the room screaming.
"Here we go.." Muttered Harry, attaching a hook to the rope that was attached to the harpoon and jumping out into the void next to the building. He zipped through the air silently and when he was but a few feet from the wards he let go of the hook with one hand. He closed his eyes and called out to the spirits surrounding him.
As always, they came in droves.
He pulled all their power into one spirit-fireball. It swirled around his hand with a mighty roar, growing in size till it had reached his elbow. Then, as time seemed to slow, he throw it towards the wards.
Under the shocked eyes of two sentinels, the flames slammed into their magical protections and began to eat away at them like a horde of flesh eating pigmy ants. It hissed and crackled as magic faced off against magic in a battle of energy and power. Crack formed along a whole section of the wards and brilliant sparks flew off in every direction for dozens of feet.
Finally, with a deafening crash and a shriek like a wounded animal, the wards collapsed in a wide circled around the epicenter of the destruction. Out of the smoke flew Harry, his eyes glowing with power and the rope holding his hook alight with fell runes. He smashed through the remains of the window and landed with a loud thud against the floor, glass crackling under his boots.
He heard a shout and spun around, a pall of pure shadow forming between his fingers. Just as he lifted his eyes, a jet of green light spiraled towards him with a terrifying rushing sound. He dived out of the way and fall to the ground, gritting his teeth as the glass slashed into his forearms.
"Damn!" He cursed loudly, rolling on himself to avoid another spell from the auror standing at the door. The bodyguards face was cold and expressionless, the face of a man who had killed and would kill again, without regret or remorse. He was not one of the everyday aurors but one of the elite few hand picked to protect the most important members of the ministry. Even Inner Circle death eaters feared them, for they heeded no law and skulked in the shadows.
He leapt to the side and dodged the sphere of Erebus taint sent his way. It smacked against the wall with a wet sound. A smirk crossed Harry's face as he and the Auror circled each other warily, evaluating their enemy.
Harry's adversary was about to strike when a black tentacle erupted from the tainted wall and wrapped around him, squashing his midriff like jelly in an explosion of blood and gore. Bella entered through the window just in time to get showered by blood and land on her rump in a most undignified position. She squawked in surprise and tried to get the blood off her face, snarling viciously.
When her eyesight finally cleared she drew her wand and charged into the hallway, yelling "You did that on purpose Potter!"
Laughing he followed after her, the manic glint in her eyes reflected in his own as well. They fought their way through the fifth floor through the whole squad of aurors like two demons, tearing skin, ripping flesh and shattering bone in a destructive dance. They seemed to coordinate each other perfectly, almost unconsciously covering each other and spinning around skillfully. Even the battle hardened elite stood no chance, and fell to their might.
The last auror's brains spattered against the wall from Bella's vicious reducto and he fell to the ground lifeless. Giggling madly Bella hopped over him and skipped over to the door, opening it slowly and poking her head inside. Her grin only grew wider when she heard turned and saw Minister Fudge, pressed against his wall, his face glistening with sweat and his legs trembling.
In one hand he held his wand and in the other a picture of a homely looking woman and two young children. Bellatrix stepped into the room slowly and twirled around like a princess, her mad eyes never leaving Fudge's as she circled him slowly.
Harry followed her slowly, a cruel smile on his face. He had waited a long time to get back at Fudge for what he had done to him throughout the years and finally his revenge was at hand. It was surprising how much pleasure he could pull from the feeling of power, the feeling of control he had when he held a persons life between his hands.
"Minister Fudge, what a coincidence…"
Fudge looked at the picture in his hand and searched deep down inside of himself for the last dregs of Gryffindor courage held in his body. If he was going to die, he was going to take the bastard with him and save his family from such evil. A lone tear dropped from his eye and he lifted his wand, putting all his hate and frustration into two words.
"Avada Kedavra!" Perhaps he had finally discovered why the Sorting Hat put him into the house of lions.
He smiled down at his family and never saw the annihilation curse that Bella shot at him until it was too late. Moments later his body had turned into an insignificant pile of ash.
Once again Harry effortlessly dodged the curse and grinned from ear to ear,. While Bellatrix was distracted he quickly went over to the desk and swiped a beautiful ceremonial ring from it, slipping it into his pocket and turning towards his companion. He held out a hand to Bella and bowed. "Madame, may I escort you out?" He said suavely, waggling his eyebrows ridiculously.
She rolled her eyes but seemed pleased none the less. Walking over to him, and trampling the remains of Minister Fudge, she took his hand and held it lightly, stepping out into the hall and breathing in deeply, savoring the scent of blood in the air. The corpses were strewn about haphazardly, as if a giant had taken the house and shaken it. They lingered for but a moment before hurrying onwards. They did not wish to meet any reinforcements.
Bellatrix smiled softly as she stepped over the corpse of a wide eyed woman. She remembered when she had doubted her Harry, how she had scorned him for his role in the downfall of her old master. Yet how it had changed since then! From bitter enemies, to allies and friends. Mayhaps there was even something more now...She bit her lip lightly and looked down, shaking her head sharply. It was so unlike her to entertain such thoughts, but maybe, just maybe, it was worth it.
Her hand tightened around Harry's until she was holding it firmly instead of her usual airy touch. He looked at her with a small smile on his face, quite different from the usual arrogant smirk. She looked away and blushed prettily, cursing her body for betraying her embarrassment.
Just as they were about to descend to the last level a series of pops and cracks echoed throughout the yard, making both of them curse colorfully and draw their wands or their magic. However, what they hadn't expected was the so familiar voice of Albus Dumbledore.
"Quick! We must reach the minister before it is too late!"
Harry ground his teeth in frustration. How did the old man always get to him before the aurors? Were his roots in the ministry so deep that he got any information before even the law? Meddlesome old fool, Harry would be glad to end his miserable life, as painfully as humanly possible.
"This is going to hurt.." He muttered, grabbing Bella's arm and willing the black flames to envelope them and take them far away. However, the moment they disappeared both of them slammed into a huge silvery dome that sent them sprawling back onto the ground in a tangled heap. Harry shoved Bella off him, ignoring her indignant yelp and rose to his feet fluidly, his fists clenched.
"Soul wards! That bastard is learning. We gotta be quick, they are not meant to be cast instantly and he will be tired. We must leave."
"Arthur, Kingsley, Emmeline, lead the force Dumbledore needs to recover!"
The voice echoed throughout the house and Harry smiled slightly, his body quivering with the sudden surge of adrenaline, his blood was pounding and he could feel the dark rush of his magic gathering around his hands, ready to unleash the hellish flames on his unfortunate foes.
But he held back and controlled himself. Much to his chagrin, he could not risk it now, not with Dumbledore aware of his weakness.
He grabbed Bella's hand and dragged her back up the stairs, making and racket but paying no heed to the cries and sounds of pursuit that followed them upwards. By the time they reached the fourth level both were panting and covered in sweat, their breaths coming in short gasps. The order members had slowed down the higher they climbed, obviously wary of any traps the two criminals might have set.
"We...have to get to the roof, I'll destroy the wards while you hold them back." Said Harry, his hands on his knees. He took a moment to recover and rose once more, running down the hallway and up the stairs with Bellatrix on his heels. They shot through the hallways filled with corpses and finally reached a room with a large label reading 'roof access' above it.
Without pause, they hurried up the ladder and broke through the flimsy trap door. The light broke through the shadows like a dagger through skin and they both blinked owlishly, slowly adjusting to the brightness.
Harry willed his power to his eyes and slowly the world turned black, while his eyes glowed green. Through the blackness he began to make out indistinct shapes and colors that slowly swam into focus. Above him was a silver dome and next to him was Bellatrix. She glowed a deep, violent purple that made him shudder with glee. It was so deliciously dark, it was exquisite.
"Hold them back." He ordered. Ignoring her indignant huff he turned back to the dome above him and looked for a paler spot, a weakness, anything he could exploit to shatter the delicate construct and escape.
Soon he could hear Bella's cackles of glee as she fell upon their unfortunate assailants, throwing dark curses at them with abandon. Shouts of alarm sounded across the roof but he paid them no mind and focused on his task.
Finally, he found a weakness near the top of the dome and lifted his hands up, summoning a powerful ball of dark power in his palms. It grew larger and larger until it finally shot up towards the sky and slammed into the dome, a loud crack stopped everyone in their tracks as they looked up in shock.
Dumbledore had told them that these wards were unbreakable by a Necromancer and yet a large crack was running through the sky, emitting a malevolent green color. Then the wards fell with an ear shattering boom and Harry felt free once again, released from a weight he had not even realized he bore.
He sprinted across the roof towards Bella, who was duelling five people with renewed fervor, spinning erratically about them and cackling madly. He was ten meters away when she slipped on a large rock and tumbled down, narrowly avoiding a bright white curse. Swearing under his breath he shot two balls of spirit fire at the group to disperse them and shot towards Bella.
Arthur Weasley stepped in front of him just as he was about to grab hold of the stunned woman.
"Harry!" He called out desperately. "Stop this madness! Come back to us!" Arthur was pale and sweaty, exhausted from the terrible duel with Bellatrix yet his wand hand was steady and pointed straight at Harry.
The Boy-Who-Lived merely threw back his head and laughed, a long, cold, bone chilling laugh of the likes that hadn't been heard since Voldemort fell. His eyes flicked behind Arthur and a wide smirk spread across his features as he held his hands out innocently.
Something glinted behind Arthur but no one noticed. Two of the fighters were unconscious and bleeding profusely while the other two were desperately trying to rid their clothes of the hungry flames.
With astounding speed lent by the souls of the dead, Harry leapt forward and kicked Arthur in the chest. He flew backwards with a cry, a cry that was cut short when an iron spike impaled itself into his chest with a sickening squelching noise. Bella winked at Harry and slipped her wand into her sleeve, humming a joyful tune as she pranced about the other four, shooting a cruciatus curse here and there.
Arthur coughed and a bubble of blood appeared between his lips. His eyes were wide and scared as he struggled to dislodge the iron pole from his body. His hands scrambled weakly against the sharp end, slashing themselves to ribbons until there was nothing left to scrabble with.
Harry quickly approached him and patted his shoulder forcefully, sending him to his knees. He felt a thrill run through him at the sight of the man with his head bowed, kneeling in front of him as if he was some king. Power, it was so intoxicating!
"This is revenge." He said calmly before spinning around and walking over to Bellatrix. He tapped her shoulder and jerked his head upwards when she looked up at him. "Time to go."
She pouted and stomped her foot childishly before nodding and quickly shooting a killing curse and the bloodied and mutilated corpse next to her.
"This is my clothes shop Potty." She said stiffly, looking down her nose at him.
"Excuse me?" He had a bewildered expression on his face.
She rolled her eyes and tapped her foot on the ground in irritation. "Woman spend a lot of time in clothes shop and don't like to be hurried, understood?" She said patiently, as if talking to an exceptionally dim-witted person.
He rubbed his brow slowly, but didn't reply, unwilling to start an argument with her in her unstable mental state.
"I'll go get you a muggle or something later if you want."
She brightened immediately and nodded, wrapping her arms around his and allowing him to spirit walk them away, leaving behind a scene of absolute carnage.
Arthur Weasley saw them go as his vision dimmed, his legs failed him and he fell on his back, the spike of iron burying itself even deeper into his back. The last thing he ever saw was the haggard and tear-stained face of Emmeline Vance as she knelt over him, before darkness claimed him.