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Chapter 10: CHAPTER 7: REKINDLED
Neville watched as their seven chosen students duel at the center of the Room of Requirement. As they had expected, those belonging to the same house paired with each others. Jake and Diana teamed up against the Hufflepuff Matt and Scott while the Ravenclaw team ganged up on their sole Slytherin member.
Majah Raj has tied her long hair into a pigtail and it swished here and there as she deftly avoided Princess and Helena’s spirited attack. Ducking, Majah smirked before she hit Selena with a blue curse that sent her sprawling on the ground, puking slimy worms.
“Lucky it wasn’t you…” Majah smirked and disapparated before Princess’ spell hit her. She appeared behind the sultry student, hitting her with a reducto curse that to Neville’s surprise, Princess managed to deflect it in the last minute. Still stumbling, the Ravenclaw student fired a charm that sent dank, black smoke around Majah.
Princess righted herself just in time for Majah to fly out of the smoke with a bubble head charm. The other combatants have ceased fighting and are now watching them while Hannah has already stopped Selena from puking worms.
“Give up, girlie girl.” Majah smirked as she pointed her wand at the floor before rolling away from Princess’ reducto curse.
Neville scanned the floor. It looks as if nothing happened and that Majah has made a mistake or something.
“Interesting.” He murmured when he finally figured out what she did.
“Not in a long shot.” Princess shouted as she sent a rope of fire against the slytherin. Majah only backed away changing the rope into a snake that crept toward her opponent.
Huffing, Princess rolled up her sleeves before she stepped forward again, making the snake disappeared. She was about to take another step when she found she couldn’t. She looked down to see that vines creeping from the floor have already ensnared her.
Her distraction was all that Majah needed.
“Expelliarmus!” Majah smiled in satisfaction as she caught Princess’ wand. “Who is next?” She turned to those watching the duel.
“How did you do that?” Jake asked; impressed. “You managed to conjure some sort of suspended spell, waiting until Princess stepped on it before it was activated. Cool!”
“Let me go!” Princess said through gritted teeth. “And give me back my wand.”
“If you ask nicely…”
“Enough.” Neville spoke up before Princess could retort. He only glanced at Majah who sighed and threw the wand at Princess. As soon as she caught it, the vines disappeared.
“Happy?” Majah smirked.
“Not until I…”
“I said ENOUGH!” Neville said with emphasis. “You are all here to learn from each other so that you will be prepared for the coming fight.”
“I don’t think seven students will make a difference against the Dark Lord.” Majah looked away.
“Don’t worry; you will have your supports when the time comes.” Hannah replied. “In the mean time, how goes are your assignments?”
“The Slytherin house is a lost cause.” Majah spoke up before the others. “None of them will openly rise against the Dark Lord.”
“And you?” Scott asked.
“I already signed the blasted parchment, didn’t I?” She glared at him.
“Jake?” Neville turned to Gryffindor.
“We think majority of Gryffindor will join us but some are tied with their concerns for their families’ safety. They still haven’t forgotten what You-Know-Who did to the families of those who refused to join his regime after the death of Harry Potter.”
“Same goes with the Ravenclaw.” Selena piped in.
“Hufflepuff House will join the revolt of course.” Scott said proudly. “I had been listening to my houses and they all feel that we haven’t done enough in the previous wars and that we could or might have done more that could have helped Harry Potter. The thirst for redemption is a hard master to follow. I think when we declare war against the regime; Hufflepuff house will join us in unison.”
“Very well.” Neville said, his mind already thinking of the number of students that will fall against the Dark Lord. “You seven will be our generals for Hogwarts forces. That is why it is imperative that you study hard and learn from each others. Hannah and I will also teach you but remember that in the end, it will only be you against a death eater’s wand. You must push yourself to the limit. You must excel and learn as much as you can.”
“Because this time around, we don’t have a Harry Potter to fight for us.” Hannah added sadly.
“Are they ready?” Slughorn asked the following morning when he finally found Neville and Hannah in the school’s owlery. He had his back on them, allowing the professors to gather their clothes and put on some decency. He tried not to be judgmental since the last couple he caught in the same place and in the same compromising position gave birth to the Chosen One.
“They will be…” Neville said as he put on some trousers. “Roberts will be Roberts. He is innately good with spell works. That goes the same with Miss Chase. Ms. Mitchell wouldn’t be Head Girl for nothing.”
“Don’t be fooled by Princess’ beauty.” Hannah added, already fully dressed. “She packs a mean wallop. Scott and Matt is a good team. What they lack individually, they compensate together. Matt is also a good tactician. When he plans something, it always comes to fruition. A good example is his successful campaign to woo Princess Adams. Until now, he is still the only lucky guy to date her.”
“And Miss Raj? She belongs in my House. I know what she can do but can she really mesh with the other six? Can she be trusted? Not much is known about her except that her family has migrated here from India and that her father has joined the Dark Lord’s inner circle.” Slughorn pointed out to them, turning around after Neville coughed to let him know they are fully dressed. “You put us all in danger when you chose her.”
“Everybody deserves a chance.” Hannah insisted. “Even a Slytherin.”
“I hope you are right or we will all find ourselves at the receiving end of the Carrows’ wand.” Slughorn muttered with a pained expression.
“If ever it comes down to that, I can promise you: the Carrows will not be in a condition to do anything to us.” Neville said with convictions.
“On a different subject…the Carrows have just returned from the Ministry and thinking that I am wholly on their side, updated me on recent events.” Slughorn turned to the open window. “Yesterday, Kingsley was rescued from the Ministry.”
“At least something good is happening is happening for us.” Neville couldn’t help himself but smile.
“The Dark Lord’s anger was something to behold, if Amycus can be trusted. He said that the Dark Lord almost destroyed the Department of Mysteries where they were keeping Kingsley.” Slughorn’s body shook with his silent laughter. “I guess they have failed to solicit from Kingsley the list of rebel’s members.”
“Well, I hope where ever he is right now, Kingsley better recover fast. We will need him in the coming days.” Hannah sighed.
“It is a good thing you chose to come here, Ron.” Mrs. Weasley said as she prepared food for her youngest son. For the first time in months, she was smiling. At least for the time being, she is reunited with Ron and he is safe. “And don’t you worry about Kingsley or your friend, Katrina. Poppy will take good care of them.”
“Thanks Mom” Ron said between spoonful. “We actually didn’t have any place to go. We sort of scattered the rebels after Kingsley was captured in fear that he might disclose our identity and locations. We will need to call them back once Kingsley is strong enough to fight.”
“He will have scant few times to recover.” Minerva McGonagal said as she walked into the kitchen. Percy Weasley, who has joined them in their exile, has relieved her of her teaching duties. She sat in front of Ron tiredly. “I just heard from Hogwarts. They are planning a revolt in less than a month’s time. We will be there to support them in their last stand.”
“Why the time frame, Minerva?” Molly asked.
“Because the longer we wait, the longer the muggles and the wizarding world suffers.” Minerva explained. “We need to end this now or we will forever languish in darkness.”
“We can’t defeat You-Know-Who at this point in time.” Ron sighed. “It would be foolish to think we can do something Harry couldn’t a year ago.”
“The message from Hogwarts promises us that the Dark Lord will be rendered mortal even before we face him in a month’s time.” Minerva said a little bit confusedly.
“I hope they are right.” Ron muttered to himself. He assuaged himself that it is Dumbledore who is still calling the shots even from beyond the grave, that he knows about the snake. And not for the first time, Ron wished the Harry has his own portrait…
“I hope so too.” Molly averred. “This rekindles my hope that there is an end for this nightmare…that we will soon be free again.”
“Ron…” Anne Smith said from the door of the kitchen. She was wearing a strapless summer blouse that ended just above her knees. Standing against the sun, she looked so innocent with glowing aura around her.
“I really think she is too young and innocent o be part of your covert team, Ron.” Molly chided Ron, though the laughter didn’t reach her eyes. Anne just reminded her of her missing daughter.
“You really don’t know what she can do.” Ron muttered before approaching Anne.
“Katrina’s awake and is asking for you.” Anne couldn’t help but smile.
“Why?” Ron asked looking suspiciously at Anne.
“Oh, I don’t know. She said something about hexing your stupid hide for almost losing your cool in the Ministry.” Anne sashayed away.
“I did not lose my cool!” Ron said darkly, following after Anne.
“Why does he always end with girls that exasperate him?” Minerva asked laughingly, Molly laughing with her. For a brief moment they forget that they are living in a dark world.
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