The Walking Death

Fandom: Harry Potter x The Walking Dead

Rating: M

Pairing: Shane/Harry.

Warning: AU, OOC, Slash, angst, violence, gore.

Summary: What would the Master of Death do if the world ended in zombie apocalypse?

Disclaimer: Why do I have to keep writing this? Everyone knows if I own any of these then I wouldn't be here writing fanfics now.

Author Note: I wanna thank you guys, my beloved readers, for all of your support. Also, because of my job and exam preparation for my GED I mentioned before on my previous announcements, I wanna tell you that I wouldn't be able to update regularly or as fast as before. I'm so sorry. But I would try my best to not wait too long to update the story. Wish me luck and thank you~

Beta Reader: forever-stained-crimson.

-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-

Chapter 14

-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-

The next morning Harry woke up, he was alone. Again. He felt the twinge of disappointment in his heart as he looked at the empty spot beside him. He touched it and smiled a little when he found it was still warm. He tried to sit up but regretted it immediately when he felt the throbbing pain on his lower back. He blushed as he remembered what happened last night. They had done it a few more times after the first one. It didn't cross his mind before but now it wasn't only the other group members he had to face, how could he face Shane later?

He doubted he could keep a straight face. He had to muster all his effort to do that before when they just got each other off. Now, that they really had sex? Harry groaned into his pillow. He didn't want to get up. Still, he had to face the music. He wondered how Shane got out, though. The locking spell must fell sometime in the night. Ugh…he must have been too distracted to maintain it. His blush turned brighter as another horrifying thought came to mind. Did the silencing charm fall too?!

Pause.

It did! Harry realized with horror after he checked. When did they fall? Oh Merlin, don't tell him it was in the middle of them having sex! That would be too… Suddenly, he didn't feel like facing the music.

Still, ten minutes later, he was out of the tent. Everyone was there. Carol was cooking breakfast. He jumped in surprise when Shane came up to his side.

"Hey," Shane said softly.

"Morning," Harry said shyly.

"Have some breakfast, Harry," Carol said. "You and Shane didn't have dinner last night, right?"

The blush turned deeper. T-Dog was snickering into his plate. Andrea was trying to stifle her trademark half-smile half-smirk and failing miserably. Daryl just smirked behind his mug. Dale and Rick looked amused while Lori was giving him a dirty look before looking away. Carl was oblivious while Glenn didn't pay much attention to everyone. Something was on his mind.

"I didn't hear anything from your tent last night," Andrea said innocently. Yeah, right. But that mean, the charm fell after the sex. Thank Merlin! "Did something happen?"

"Silencing charm," Harry replied without realizing and then promptly slapped a hand across his mouth. His face was burning. Why did he say that? And just when he thought there was one less thing to be embarrassed about.

T-Dog howled with laughter at his slip. Daryl snickered. Andrea was giggling madly. Even Carol was biting her lips trying not to laugh. Dale and Rick also laughed at his expense. Shane chuckled but stopped when Harry hit him with his elbow.

"Oh~ Silencing charm! Whatever made you need that?" Andrea said with a mischievous smile.

"Must be a screamer," T-Dog was giggling madly.

"Oh, he's a screamer, all right. My ears almost fell off," Shane smirked, earning another burst of laughter from everyone.

Harry gaped at them. He was pretty sure his face was permanently red by now. "I can't believe this…"

"Can we please stop talking about this? It's disgusting. People are trying to eat. And there are children here," Lori snapped angrily.

"One child. And it's not like we said anything graphic," T-Dog snorted.

"Yeah, no need to be nasty about it," Andrea sneered.

"She's right, Lori," Rick reproved.

"Still, she has a point. Let's have some breakfast, shall we?" Harry grinned widely, desperate for a new topic.

Everyone else relaxed. Andrea, T-Dog and Daryl were still smirking at him, especially when they saw the limp in his steps. Shane sat beside him so the wizard used him as a shield from everyone. The rest just went on with their breakfast while sending disapproving looks at Lori at least once. Lori turned an ugly shade of red at being looked at like she was the bad guy.

Glenn stared at the ground, thinking. He looked over the field to the house. Maggie was standing there with her arms crossed and a warning glare. He looked at his friends. Dale caught his eyes and nodded in approval. Glenn exhaled as he made his decision. He got up.

"Umm…guys…" he began nervously, but only Harry, Rick and Dale were paying attention. "So…the barn is full of walkers."

As soon as he blurted that out, everyone stopped moving. Their eyes zoomed in on him.

-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-

Shane peeked through the gap between the wooden doors. He could see the silhouettes of walkers shuffling and snarling inside. Suddenly, one charged at the door out of nowhere. Shane jumped back in surprise.

"You cannot tell me you're all right with this," Shane walked back to the group. They all were standing in front of the barn.

"No, I'm not, but we're guests here. This isn't our land," Rick tried to reason.

"This is our life, man!" Shane argued.

"Lower your voice," Dale said as the walkers inside got more aggressive knowing they were near.

"We can't just sweep this under the rug," Andrea said.

"It ain't right. Not remotely," T-Dog added.

"We've either got to go in there, we've got to make things right, or we've just got to go. Now we've been talking about Fort Benning for a long time."

"We can't go!" Rick said forcefully.

"Why, Rick? Why?"

"Because my daughter is still out there," Carol said.

"Okay," Shane almost laughed. He took a deep breath. "Okay, I think it's time that we all start to just consider the other possibility."

"Shane, we're not leaving Sophia behind," Rick insisted.

"I'm close to finding this girl. I just found her damn doll two days ago."

"You found her doll, Daryl. That's what you did. You found a doll," Shane reminded him like it was supposed to clear something up.

"Shane…" Harry touched his arm.

"You don't know what the hell you're talking about," Daryl said angrily.

"I'm just saying what needs to be said. You get a good lead, it's in the first forty-eight hours…"

"Shane, stop!"

"Let me tell you something else, man. If she was alive out there and saw you coming, all messed up with your buck knife, and geek ears around your neck, she would run in the other direction," Shane said mockingly.

Harry blinked. "Geek ears?"

"He was wearing a necklace made out of them when he came back. Rick hid it before Hershel could see," Shane told him.

Daryl snapped. He shouted and started charging towards Shane. Rick tried to stop him but Shane already accepted the challenge. There were shouting, shoving and pushing. Harry looked exasperatedly at the chaos. He took a deep breath.

"Shut up! SHUT UP ALL OF YOU!"

Everyone froze.

"We need to calm down, all right? We need to think about this with clear head. Can y'all do that?" Harry asked.

"Okay," Rick nodded. "Now just let me talk to Hershel. Let me figure it out."

"What are you gonna figure out?" Harry asked.

"If we're gonna stay, if we're gonna clear this barn, I have to talk him into it. This is his land," Rick explained.

"Hershel sees those things in there as people," Dale spoke up suddenly, "Sick people…his wife, his stepson."

"You knew?" Rick asked in surprise.

"Yesterday, I talked to Hershel," Dale replied.

"And you waited the night?" Shane asked incredulously.

"I thought we could survive one more night. We did," Dale said. "I was waiting till this morning to say something. But Glenn wanted to be the one."

"The man is crazy, Rick," Shane exhaled. "If Hershel thinks those things are alive or no…!"

Whatever they wanted to say was interrupted as the growling and snarling got louder. The walkers got more and more aggressive. Everybody watched with fear in his or her hearts as the door of the barn bounced wildly with only a padlock and chain holding it closed; even the bar across it looked like it was ready to break.

-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-

Shane walked around the barn, examining every crook and corner to make sure nothing was going to give away soon and let the walkers out. He pulled at the lock. The chain was strong enough but he was not sure with the padlock and the door itself since they looked really old. The hinges could break if they were not careful. Suddenly, the walkers charged at the door, sensing his presence. He jumped back in surprise; his hands automatically went to his side only to find he was weaponless. He sighed and then cursed at his own reaction. He turned around to find Harry leaning on a tractor nearby.

"What are you so afraid of, Shane?" Harry asked as the man approached him.

"Nothing," Shane replied. "What are you doing here?"

Harry shrugged. "I've got nothing to do and you are here."

"Come here," Shane pulled him closer.

"Tell me, Shane," Harry said softly.

Shane looked at him in the eyes. Those beautiful, beautiful eyes. He leant down and kissed him. Harry sighed into the kiss.

"If you don't wanna talk, then fine," Harry said as he pulled away, "But if you change your mind, I'll be with Hershel."

"Hershel?" Shane frowned.

"I wanna see if I can help Rick talking some sense into him. You know…maybe I can convince him…that walkers are not people," Harry mused.

"How?"

"By letting him met his wife and stepson," Harry smiled wryly. "Their spirits…their ghosts…"

"You can do that?" Shane looked at him, wide eyed.

"One of the perks being Master of Death is communicating with dead people, calling their souls back from the afterlife," Harry shrugged, "Only for a short time, though. We don't have the right to disturb their rest."

Shane was speechless. "….Okay, then! You…do that. Whoa…!"

Harry chuckled and kissed him softly. "See you later."

"Later…"

-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-

Shane was watching the barn from his spot on the tractor. He hadn't move since Harry left. His mind was whirling with information. He didn't get the chance to process anything yet since The Revelation. He snorted.

Harry was a wizard. More than that, he was an immortal wizard.

He never thought that things like that existed. Wizards, witches, magic…dragons! He was a maniac about everything dragons when he was a kid. He shouldn't be surprised, though. It was the end of the world. Hell, he was having a relationship with said wizard. All kind of things could happen these days.

Still, something the man said kind of hit him hard. When they heard he was an immortal, they were in awe and kind of jealous. Harry didn't have to be scared of dying. It explained so much of his carelessness of his own wellbeing. But then again, not everyone was an immortal. So, what would happen when they died? Harry was going to be left alone. One day, Shane was going to die and leave Harry alone. And he didn't want that to happen.

He didn't know why. This wasn't like him. He only knew the man for a short time. Not even two weeks and already he was attached. Usually, he never welcomed a stranger this easily. But, Harry was different. He snorted again. Understatement of the century.

He saw Rick from the corner of his eyes, walking towards him.

"What's it gonna be, man? Which way does this thing go?"

"I don't know yet."

"Well, what did he say?"

"We're negotiating."

"You're…" Shane sighed. "Clock's ticking, Rick."

"No, it isn't, Shane. That barn is secure. We didn't even know about it till this morning."

"We didn't. Well, we know about it now. Right? We know there are over a dozen walkers in there. We know that it's about a stone's throw from our camp, Rick. Where we sleep, so look, if we're not gonna go in there and clear it out, then we just got to go," Shane tried to reason.

"We're not gonna clear it out and we're not gonna go," Rick insisted.

"We at least need our guns."

"We can't have them, not here," Rick argued.

"Why do you want to say here when it's not safe?" Shane asked exasperatedly, almost at the end of his patience now.

"We can make it safe."

"How we gonna do that?"

"We will, okay?!" Rick snapped.

"No, man, it's not okay, Rick!" Shane snapped back.

"Shane, Lori is pregnant!"

That stunned him. Suddenly, fear darkened his heart as anger left him.

"We need to stay," Rick insisted.

"We need our guns…"

"No, I can work this out," Rick assured him, walking away, but it sounded more like he was assuring himself. Shane was silent. "You good?"

"Yeah…" Shane said, smiling weakly. "Lori's having a baby, man. Congratulations."

Rick nodded. "Thank you."

-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-

Harry took a deep breath and stepped inside the house. He saw Rick leave earlier. Angrily. It seemed the talk with Hershel didn't go as smoothly as he wanted. The wizard sighed and stepped inside. He saw Hershel and Maggie talking.

"Carl doesn't need any more of my help. He never did. They have their own doctor, one that can do magic, of all things," Hershel said to her.

"So that's it?" Maggie asked.

"Rick was trying to make his case. It'll be hard. They'll have to be careful. But he was being dramatic. They're a strong group. They've done well on their own. They're just going to have to go out and find their own farm. There's plenty of them now to choose from," Hershel tried to explain.

So the old man wanted to them to leave.

"There aren't. Every one of them nearby is burned out or full of walkers," Maggie said, surprising her father.

"Walkers?" She didn't answer, just kept peeling the onion. Hershel took a deep breath. "So, we just keep these people here forever? How are they my responsibility?"

"A new command I give to you, 'Love one another. As I have loved you…' That's what you told me, right?"

Hershel returned the silence.

"I was mad about Mom. Mad about you marrying Annette. I was fourteen years old and I was awful, to you more than anybody. All I wanted to do was smoke and shoplift. 'Love one another.' That's what you told me."

"Maggie…That was different."

"No. You're different," she accused.

"I am. But we are not," Hershel replied. "I love you. That's part of this."

More silence.

"Is this about you and the Asian boy? Do you want me to…?"

"No," Maggie looked like she was going to cry but then she exhaled, calming herself. "His name is Glenn. He saved my life yesterday when one of the people you think is sick tried to kill me," Maggie looked up into her father's surprised face. "How's that for dramatic?"

So that was why Maggie was angry when they came back, and she blamed Lori because she was the one who asked them to do the supply run.

"Things aren't what you think they are. They aren't," Maggie said again. "Don't do this. Okay? It's not about Glenn and me. It's not about you and me. It's about you. It's about who you are, and who you're gonna be."

Well said, Maggie. Well said.

Then suddenly someone shoved the door open and, unfortunately, Harry was pushed forward because he didn't move from the door since he entered the house. He stumbled and nearly fell onto the floor. He turned around to find a flushed looking Jimmy.

"Sorry," he said before running to the kitchen. "Hershel! It happened again and he needs help."

Harry frowned. "What is it? Is there anything I can do?"

Hershel's head snapped to look at him. He frowned a little. "Nothing. We can handle this."

With that, Hershel and Jimmy left the house. Harry watched as Hershel went to approach Rick. He looked at Maggie questioningly. The girl just turned back to her chore, looking guilty.

"Maggie…what's happening?"

"Nothing, Harry…just go."

Harry stepped closer and touched her hand, stopping her from her work. "Maggie…do you want to see your mom?"

"What…?" Maggie looked confused. Her eyes were still red from the emotional conversation earlier.

"I can help you to meet her, if you want…"

-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-

Shane found Lori sitting not far away from the camp, under the shade of a tree. She was cutting some carrots for their next meal. He walked over to her and squatted in front of her. She didn't look up at all.

"Rick told me," Shane said.

"Told you what?"

"I want to know the reason why you didn't tell me. Is it because you think it's mine?" Shane said again.

"It's Rick's," Lori insisted. Like husband, like wife. She was trying to make herself believe it.

"Okay," Shane nodded. "You know, we carried on quite a bit before Rick got back, Lori. It's mine, isn't it?"

"You're wrong. You're wrong!" Lori snapped. "I'm sorry. Shane, I'm sorry… But even if it's yours, it's not going to be yours. It's never gonna be yours and there's nothing you can do to change that."

"Damn it, Lori! If it's mine, I have the right to be part of his…or her life!" Shane snapped.

"No, you don't! I won't let you anywhere near my baby when you can't protect us!" Lori shot back.

"What do you mean…?"

"Harry! You're with him, Shane! I won't let you anywhere near my baby because that means he will be near my baby too! You don't know what he could do, Shane. Don't you realize it? You've changed since you met him!"

"What…"

"Don't tell me it's never crossed your mind how different you are with him!" Lori cut him off. "You've changed, Shane. You don't act like yourself. You're not even suspicious of him. You just accept him so easily even after we found out he's not a normal human! Didn't you listen to his story? They have spells for mind-control and persuasion! How do you know he didn't do any of them on you?"

"He didn't!"

"How can you be sure? How can you be so sure, Shane? He could have done it easily! There's no government to catch him anymore if he does anything illegal. And how can we know any of his life stories are true? We only have his words for it and I, for one, don't trust anyone that can make someone loyal like you to turn his back on his loved ones so easily!" Lori breathed heavily but she wasn't finished.

"You said you love me, you love Carl and you love Rick…but as soon as the situation turns on Harry, you side with him so easily. You don't even care if you have to turn your back on us to protect him. You're not that kind of man, Shane! He did something to you and you don't even want to acknowledge it! How can I let you be part of this baby's life, if it's even yours, when you don't even try to protect yourself? No…as long as you're with him, you won't have anything to do with my baby even if he or she turns out to be yours…I won't let you. You have to choose which one is more important to you."

"Lori…that's not fair…"

"Just…think for a moment, Shane…You think you love him. His people could have love potions for all we know. You're not who you were before. This new you…the one that accepts weird and questionable things so easily, so trusting…you don't make me feel safe anymore. If I can't even trust you with my own safety, how can I trust you with my baby? Just…take your time and think about it…is this really you? Or…is this something Harry turned you into for whatever selfish reason he has?"

Shane didn't know what to say. Of course, he felt like he wasn't himself when he near Harry. The man was just so…amazing to him and…but on the other hand, what Lori said did make sense. How could he know? He only had time to think about everything just a little while ago and even then he didn't even think to consider the idea that Harry could have done something to him. If Harry did something to him, then no wonder Lori wouldn't let him near his baby…if it was his baby. But he would have known…wouldn't he?

Lori looked at him in challenge. She didn't regret anything she had said. She truly believed in them. Shane didn't know how to respond. He walked away, shocked and dazed. He didn't hear when Carl first called him as he passed him at the camp. But he heard when he called him the second time.

"Hey, Shane," Carl said as he got up from his resting place. "Can I talk to you for a sec?"

Shane stopped and turned to the boy. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Carl nodded. "I know you think Sophia's dead and that we should stop looking for her. But that's bullshit."

"Hey, man, watch your mouth," Shane frowned.

"We're gonna stay here until we find her," Carl insisted, ignoring his words. The boy was glaring at him. He looked so much like Rick when he did that. The way he looked and his stubbornness, especially with that sheriff hat he was wearing.

Shane thought about all the time he had spent with the boy before. They spent so much bonding time but…he didn't know when…but they had stopped doing that for some time now. And it wasn't like Carl avoided him like his mom. Hell, he looked up to Shane and sought his approval. But Shane rebuffed him, enough times to make Lori angry. He loved the boy. He was his best friend's son. His godson. He really loved him. Since when did that change? It didn't. But then…how…oh my God… Was what Lori said true?

Was her hostility towards Harry was not mere jealousy or bigotry but because she truly saw something in him that others didn't? But how come? Harry was so…genuine…Then again…he let Amy and Jim die because he didn't want to do magic. He hid his magic from them at the cost of their own members when he could have saved them. He could have saved Sophia. What really happened in the woods when they found him? He could just go and find Sophia with Rick. He could insist but he didn't…Sophia didn't die until past midnight…Harry said so himself. If only he did more…

Shane shook his head furiously. He looked at Carl. "You think that's what we should do?" he asked the boy.

"It's what I know we should do," Carl answered firmly.

"Then we stay. That means we got to do whatever we got to do to make that happen, hmm?"

"Like helping out with chores?" Carl asked.

"Hmm," Shane smiled. "Like helping out with the chores."

"Hey, Carl. Come here for a minute," Lori called.

Carl and Shane turned towards Lori.

"Why don't you go and see what your mom wants, huh? Go on," Shane told him. Carl nodded. "Hey Carl," he called before the boy could go far. "Don't let me hear you talk like that again."

The boy nodded with a smile, happy that his opinion was heard.

Lori sent a distrustful look at him before looking away and at her son. Shane felt something ache in his chest. Did he really change that much? There was a time when Lori didn't mind Carl talking with him and spending time with him. Then again, he really wasn't the type to accept strangers easily. He was always suspicious of people, especially since the world ended. That was why he became a police officer in the first place.

So why did he trust Harry so much? Why did he accept him so easily? It was the look in Harry's eyes. It made Shane felt something, so intense and so…

Shane clenched his eyes shut. When he opened them again, there was determination in his eyes. He walked with purpose and a growl in his throat.

-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-

Maggie was crying in Harry's arms. She hugged him tightly in thanks. Just moments ago, Harry had helped her meeting her mom, her step-mom and her step-brother. And even though she couldn't hold them or hug them, she was so happy to hear their voices again, to be able to talk to them again. There was tearful reunion and conversation. She finally got the closure she had sought for a long time.

"Thank you, Harry…" Maggie said after she calmed down. "Thank you so much…now I don't have to wonder anymore if my family has really turned into evil walkers…"

Harry smiled. "You're welcome, Maggie… I know it's hard but…at least you really know now that they're at peace…and maybe you can help talking to your dad? About the barn and us staying?"

Maggie nodded.

"Uh…am I interrupting something?"

They turned around to find Glenn watching them with a jealous frown. Harry and Maggie exchanged mischievous smirks.

"Well…what do you think?" Maggie asked. "You find us in this position. Of course you're interrupting something."

"But I thought…"

"Aren't you supposed to be on the lookout?" Harry asked.

"It's Dale's turn…Can you please stop hugging each other? I thought you're with Shane!" Glenn snapped, confused and jealous.

Harry and Maggie burst into giggles. Glenn looked even more confused.

"Relax, Glenn. We didn't do anything," Harry said, still giggling.

Glenn relaxed. "Oh…good…I…uh…then you guys…uh…I'm lost. Again."

Maggie smiled. "What do you need, Glenn?"

"Uh…" Glenn looked nervous again. "I just wanna say that…I know you're angry with me, Maggie, for blurting out your father's secret."

"My dad's gonna kick you guys out now. He told me," Maggie said seriously.

"No, Rick's going to work something out with your dad," Glenn said. "Okay? I had to tell them."

"You did not."

"Uh…I guess I better leave for this conversation," Harry excused himself but they didn't hear him.

"No, I did. Okay? I wanted to…"

Harry closed the front door behind him. Whatever they were talking about, Harry had a feeling it would end up in a make out session so he better leave before it happens. Carl, Patricia and Beth were on the porch, playing chess. He sat on the railing, watching them.

"You wanna play, Harry?" Carl asked.

"No," Harry shook his head. "I'm not good with chess. My best friend was a master, though. He beat everyone in our House and the other Houses at school. People quickly learnt to not play him again after a couple of times."

"Wizards play chess too?" Beth asked.

"Yeah. Wizarding chess is the same as yours. The rules and the chess set. The difference is we don't have to move our set, we tell the pieces where to move and they will move on their own. Some even shout suggestions for strategies or protest when they're about to be beat by their opponent."

"They talk?" Carl asked with wide round eyes.

"And move?" Beth added.

"That's…weird," Patricia said.

"Yeah. Imagine my surprise when I played it the first time. It was distracting too when they pleaded not to be sacrificed."

They laughed at the image. Little Harry looked confused and troubled when he had to make a move but his chess pieces didn't want to die and protested rather loudly.

"Wait, can they die? The chess pieces?" Carl asked.

"No. They were just…knocked unconscious after they were beaten and moved out of the board. That way, they can't make suggestions anymore. It's considered cheating after all if non-players tell the players where to move next."

"I guess it is," Patricia nodded.

"It sounds really cool," Carl said in awe.

Harry chuckled.

Then Glenn and Maggie came out with smiles on their faces. Harry smirked and they blushed. They went to sit on the porch, talking quietly. Harry went back to watching the game. Not long after, he saw Andrea and T-Dog from the corner of his eye.

"Do you know what's going on?" T-Dog asked.

"Where's everyone?" Andrea asked.

"What happened?" Harry asked confused.

"We were asked to gather here," T-Dog said.

"By who?"

"You haven't seen Rick?" Glenn asked.

"He went off with Hershel," Andrea replied. "We were supposed to leave a couple hours ago."

"Yeah, you were," Daryl said, coming from the other side with Carol. "What the hell?"

"Rick told us he was going out," Carol said.

"Damn it. Isn't anybody taking this seriously? We got us a damn trail!" Daryl barked in irritation. He paused when he saw something from the camp. "Ah, here we go."

It was Shane. He was carrying a bag of guns. Their guns. Dale was hot on his heels, trying to talk to him urgently but Shane was ignoring him.

"What's all this?" Daryl asked him.

"You with me, man?" Shane asked, handing him a gun. Daryl took it, looking happy,

"Shane?" Harry was confused.

"Yeah, time to grow up. You already got yours?" Shane asked the others.

"Yeah," Andrea replied. She also looked as confused as Harry.

"I still think this is a bad idea," Dale said.

"What's going on?" Harry asked again.

"I thought we couldn't carry?" T-Dog asked as he received his gun.

"We can and we have to," Shane said. "Look, it was one thing sitting around here picking daisies when we thought this place was supposed to be safe. But now we know it ain't."

"Shane, what are you planning?"

"Back off, Harry. I do what I have to do to keep us all safe," Shane walked past him and handed Glenn a gun. "How about you, man? You gonna protect yours?"

Glenn looked at the weapon in front of him. He looked at Maggie and then he took it with determination.

"That's it. Can you shoot?"

"Can you stop?" Maggie shot back in annoyance. "You do this, you hand out these guns, and my dad will make you leave tonight."

"We have to stay, Shane," Carl reminded him.

"What is this?" Lori asked as she came into view.

"We ain't going anywhere, okay?" Shane assured them. "Now look, Hershel, he's just gonna understand, okay? Well, he's going to have to. Now we need to find Sophia. Am I right?" Shane looked at Carl. The boy nodded. Shane held out a gun to the boy, handle first. "Now I want you to take this. You take it, Carl, and you keep your mother safe. You do whatever it takes. You know how. Go on, take the gun and do it."

"Rick said no guns. This is not your call. This is not your decision to make," Lori snapped as she pulled Carl away.

"Shane, calm down for a second, all right?" Harry told him.

"Oh, shit!" T-Dog suddenly exclaimed.

Everyone turned to the direction he was pointing at. At the edge of the woods near the barn, Rick, Hershel, Otis and Jimmy was herding two roaring walkers with snare poles.

"What is that? What is that?" Shane glowered in anger as he ran towards the barn.

"Shane!"

Everybody ran to catch up with him. They saw the way Rick and the others were struggling with the walkers. They couldn't believe that Rick was helping Hershel with this. Shane circled them, looking at his friend in disbelief.

"What the hell are you doing?" Shane barked angrily.

"Shane, just back off," Rick ordered.

"Why do your people have guns?" Hershel demanded.

"Are you kidding me? You see?" Shane snapped at them. "You see what they're holding onto?"

"I see who I'm holding onto," Hershel glared.

"No, man, you don't," Shane sneered.

"Shane, just let us do this and then we can talk," Rick tried to calm him.

"What do you want to talk about, Rick? These things ain't sick. They're not people. They're dead. Ain't gonna feel nothing for them 'cause all they do, they kill! These things right here, they're the things that killed Amy. They killed Jim. They're gonna kill all of us."

"Shane, shut up!" Rick shouted at the same time Harry shouted, "Shane, calm down! What the hell is the matter with you? You were willing to wait earlier!"

Situation was almost getting out of control.

"What is the matter? You wanna know, Harry?" Shane looked at Hershel. "Hey Hershel, man, let me ask you something. Could a living breathing person, could they walk away from this?"

With that, Shane shot one of the walkers a few times. Hershel, the one who was holding on the walker, looked stunned.

"That's three rounds in the chest." Shane gestured to the still snarling and attacking walker. "Could someone who's alive, could they just take that? Why is it still coming?" He shot the walker again. "That's its heart, its lungs. Why is it still coming?"

"Hey, that's enough, man!" Otis shouted.

"You're right. That's enough," Shane agreed and he shot the walker one last time. In the head. It fell to the ground with a thump.

Hershel looked like he had slipped into catatonic shock. His eyes never left the fallen body on the ground. The old man dropped to the ground on his knees. Maggie wrapped her arms around him.

"Enough risking our lives for a little girl who's gone!" Shane barked. Carol looked stricken. "Enough living next to a barn full of things that are trying to kill us. Enough! Rick, it ain't like it was before!"

"SHANE!" Harry shouted.

"What, Harry? You know what I'm saying is true! You know she's gone! You told me yourself the girl was dead days ago!"

Harry gasped in shock. He looked at Shane, speechless and feeling betrayed. Everyone else was stunned.

"What?" Carol asked surprised.

"She's dead? Like really dead?" Rick asked.

"I…the spell…it only fails if the person is hiding with magic or dead…" Harry answered guiltily.

"So you lied to us when you said you don't know why it failed?" Rick asked again. "You knew about this, Shane?"

"And you didn't think we needed to know?" Lori looked at Harry incredulously. "Daryl hurt himself trying to find her! We risked ourselves looking for her!"

"How could you, Harry? I had the right to know…" Carol asked tearfully.

"I…"

"Now if y'all want to live, if you want to survive, you got to fight for it! I'm talking about fighting right here, right now," Shane said again.

"Take the snare pole," Rick told Otis as Shane ran up to the barn to break the locks. "No, Shane! Don't do this, brother! Please!"

"Don't do it!" Glenn shouted.

But Rick was too late. Before he could reach Shane, the man already broke the locks open. They quickly ran back as the door started to move.

"Come on. Come on, we're out here!"

Then the growling got louder and walkers started to come out. Everyone with weapons took their position on the front and started shooting.

"Maggie…" Glenn looked at her.

She was in tears but nodding her approval. Glenn joined the shooting group. The walkers went down one by one, including the one attached to Otis's snare poles. There were gasps and whimpers as the mother and the brother Maggie mentioned came out and were shot. Then the flow stopped. Everyone was almost relaxed, thinking it was over, when the soft snarls came. A few seconds later, a small figure stepped out with a glare and growl.

Time seemed to slow down for everyone in the group as they stood in shock. The last walker. It was Sophia. Harry looked as surprised as everybody else. They took in Sophia's condition. There was nothing human in her. Her eyes were pale like the dead, her skin was grey like the dead, and her cheeks and eyes were sunken. There was nothing that resembled that sweet little girl they all known before but they still could tell that it was indeed her body. Carol wailed and tried to approach them but Daryl stopped her.

"Sophia!"

The women shed tears of grief while the men looked away. Harry stepped forward, closer to the girl.

"Harry!"

"It's fine…" Harry replied without turning around. "It's fine…"

Harry opened his arms and pulled Sophia into a hug. The girl ignored him. She didn't bite him, just kept snarling and growling and trying to reach for the group.

"I'm so sorry…" Harry sniffed. "I'm so sorry I failed you…because I was a coward…"

Harry then called his wand and pointed it to her temple. A bright light shot out and hit her head, leaving a small hole and she dropped in his arms. Everyone stood in silence. Carol and Beth's sobs can be heard by all of them. Hershel's eyes were red from the tears he didn't allow to fall.

"Don't look," Daryl told Carol, "Don't look…"

She pulled away from him and ran off back to the camp, sobbing.

"She…didn't bite you…she didn't even try…" Andrea said slowly.

"I think it has something to do with being Master of Death…they ignore me," Harry allowed an ironic smile showed on his face.

"Ignore you…? You mean if you run around screaming in the middle of sea of walkers, they won't chase you or try to eat you?" Andrea asked incredulously.

"Yes. They would search for the source of the scream but they would just ignore me, like they couldn't see me even if I'm right in front of them," Harry replied. He slowly laid Sophia's body down.

"That's…really unfair," Lori frowned.

"I know," Harry said. "It's not like I asked for it…"

Beth came forward. Rick tried to stop her but she avoided him. She ran straight to a pile of bodies and turned the body of a woman.

"Mom…" she sobbed.

Suddenly, the body growled and lunged up to her. Beth screamed in surprise as she was caught. Everyone immediately ran to help her get away, even Hershel that was practically catatonic before. Harry shot the same non-verbal spell he gave Sophia and the body stopped moving. Everybody stopped in surprise.

Beth just sobbed into her father's arms.

~ To be continued ~