Chapter 20 : For Whom The Bell Tolls
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“Everything is going smoothly.”
Doholov was avidly watching the proceedings, and he must admit, Godfrey was evidently very proficient in this particular branch of Dark Arts- Occlumency, the Imperius and other various forms of mental mind control.
A dark coffin made out of Mandrake lumber lay in the middle of the Church aisle, the cold body of the Dark Lord Voldemort held in a stasis charm. It was more practical to leave the body inside to stop time within the confines of the coffin. There was a huge sunken whole in the middle of his torso: his whole rib cage was caved in with his previous mortal injury. The eyes were cold and unblinking, and an expression of extreme amazement was stuck on his dead face, the mouth yawning wide in a sort of sick laughter, terrifying even in death.
Petunia Dursley hovered a few feet above the open coffin, the Halo of Life perched on her head. The process had begun, and the rejuvenation process was nearly completed. It was difficult, the life draining out of a squib was nothing in comparison to a witch, but the Halo’s link was still strong between the two sisters. It may take some hours, but eventually it will work.
Doholov smiled grimly. If this worked, all those deaths will be worth it. He looked across to Macnair, who was sitting very tensely in the pews. His great axe lay in his lap, and his fingers clenched and unclenched periodically, his eyes staring at the same spot for a long while now.
“Macnair, get yourself together. What are you doing?” Antolin strode across to him, peering into his face. “Macnair!” he hissed, really irritated at his strange behaviour over the past few weeks.
He was constantly looking over his shoulder, making sure his blade was sharp, carrying three wands on his person, for you know, ‘just in case.’ Doholov had enough of his paranoia. He was about to berate him again, when he noticed Macnair’s lips moved very faintly in soft murmurings.
“What are you doing? Praying?” Antolin asked him. If he were, this was not the place. Demonic resurrections under the watchful gaze of the Holy Mother was disturbing enough as it is, praying with a huge axe in the same room more than just a tad off. He leant in closer, and he could barely hear his words.
“…oming, I feel it…”
“Speak up! Stop blubbering like some little baby!”
“He’s coming..I can feel it …He’s coming..and ..and..I’m going to die...I feel it...” Macnair murmured; his gaze still focused on the tiny nick on his axe blade.
He finally looked at Doholov, the dread written all over his face.
Doholov smiled, this one proud beastmaster reverted to nothing but a bumbling idiot. “Is it the Potter boy?” He laughed. “The fool doesn’t even know that since he dared step out of Hogwarts for that funeral, our two friends have been watching him closely. The moment he steps out of his little hideout, he’s a dead man. The sword is the key, and without it, he is nothing but a little lamb to the slaughter. Have no fear…the mistake will be his, and they will be waiting.”
Doholov smiled, but Macnair looked at him as if he were insane. Turning his gaze slowly back to his axe he began to rock slowly back on forth in the pew. His voice lowered again, and he began muttering under his breath:
Doholov’s smile vanished, and he spun about with a flourish, his exquisite robes trailing behind him. That man is giving me the creeps. The Hunters knew what they were doing, didn’t they?
This couldn’t be happening.
Harry paced back and forth, running his fingers nervously over his forehead again and again. What do I do? Okay. Tell the professor. That’s a good start. Crap! Hedwig was still at Hogwarts. He paced up and down on the brink of panic, his bare feet making a reptitious pattern in the large drawing room. He could picture perfectly generations of wizards must have done the same thing as him, the deep red slightly colour noticably faded in this particular area. He looked about, and his eyes were drawn to the ashy wood in the huge fireplace. Of course! Smacking himself in the head he grabbed a handful of floo powder, and threw it in.
Oh yeah. Light the fire, you idiot. He took out a box of matches, but his hands were shaking so much he could not strike it properly. After the fourth broken matchstick, he threw the box on the ground.
C’mon Potter, get yourself together. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes momentarily, and when he opened them again he stared intently at the fireplace.
“Inciendo!” he muttered, and the flames burst into life. Now that’s more like it. Throwing some more wood into the fire, he knelt before it and stuck his face in.
“The Headmaster’s Office, Hogwarts!” He was now staring into Dumbledore’s lair, and all the pictures were still fast asleep. All the candles were dimmed, and it was dead quiet.
“Professor? PROFESSOR!?” he said loudly into the fireplace. No one answered. He tried again, waiting for a few minutes, and he swore ferociously. Damn. Why isn’t he there? What am I to do now? The throbbing started again, but it was still very subdued, as if brimming under the surface. Harry begun his pacing once again, if this was a sign; they were in all big trouble. He groaned aloud, and grabbed his thick hair in his fist, trying to make his brain work harder.
I killed him. I killed him!! Why is this scar back?! How could he come back from the dea-
He froze…the Halo. They had it, and somehow...someway they’re using it...
And it clicked, they wanted Hermione, they only got the Halo, which means that...
Harry froze…did they get her? But she was supposed to be under even better protection than she was! HOLY SHIT!! He made a mad dash to his motorbike, but stopped just as he reached the back door. Wait, Harry..haven’t you been through this before. Think, before you act, he chastised himself.
First, find out if Hermione’s okay. Then panic if need be. No Hedwig, Hermione’s house is not on the floo network...how to get in touch with her? Oh yeah! Telephone!! There’s one in the park. He grabbed some muggle coins and dashed out of the house.
Hermione was feeling quite sick, she shouldn’t have tried to drink so much wine tonight. And now these blasted hiccups were driving her nauseas, The past few days were horrible, and she just wanted the Christmas holidays to be over soon so she could-hic-go back to school and let that boy really have a piece of her mind. How dare he think that I’m some weak “damsel in distress” he has to keep sheltering from everything?
Well I’m not! What were all those DA classes about? Huh? Didn’t she hic fight alongside him in the Department of ..of ..of..of other-
Huh? Maybe I really drank too much wine. She rolled over in bed, this was the first time she had ever drank so much, hoping it would ease the pain of having no one to kiss as the countdown to the new year ended. Dammit.
I feel like throwing up. I’m such a mess. I can’t believe Harry has me drinking, and feeling sorry for myself. I wonder what he’s doing right-hic- right now?
Just at that moment the phone rang, making her nearly fly off the bed. Who would be calling? It’s after three in the morning! It rang again, and she picked up the cordless phone on her bedside table.
Harry Potter was freezing his ass off, clutching the phone in a desperate grip. It rang once, Damn! Someone pickup. On the second ring he became really worried. Why isn’t anyone answer-
“…’ello?” a grouchy voice grumbled. It sounded horrible, but he could recognize her voice anywhere. He gripped the receiver even tighter.
“Hermione! You okay!? Thank god I was worr-”
“Who is this?” There was a short pause, then Harry heard her slurred voice return. “H-Harry? Izzat you?” Was she drunk? Hm. Anyway he had to tell her about this-
“Yeah! It’s me! Listen! I was sleeping-” He began franticly, until she cut him off again.
“Don’t shout, please- I’ve got a headache…first time...” she moaned. Suddenly she realized this was the person responsible for her being in this state right now. Her voice shrieked through the earpiece.
“You bastard!! You bastard..kick me out- so embarrassed- of your house after Christmas and now-“ Harry yanked the phone away from his ear for a second, my god that was some tantrum. He was hearing her from an arm length away.
“Hemione! Shut up and listen! MY SCAR WOKE ME UP AND I-“
“Your what? You don’t have a car-“
“No! My ‘SCAR’- It’s back and I-“ Suddenly, a chain shot out of the shadows and wrapped around his hand and the receiver. Another shot out at him, and his other hand was caught. The chains were yanked on powerfully, and Harry, including the handset was yanked off his feet.
Oh fuck! Harry thought in his head, magic pooling behind his eyes as he was dragged along the icy cold grass.
The line went dead, and Hermione looked at the receiver as if she wanted to throttle him through those tiny holes. He did not just hang up on me, he must have really lost it! Oh she was furious all right, and Harry was definitely going to get it come the morning. Come hell or high water, he was going to have a piece of her mind, even if she had to take the knight bus to reach his house. Slamming down the receiver, she punched her pillow to fluff it up again, and angrily sunk her head into it.
Calling me at this bloody hour- and he didn’t even wish me Happy new year, all he wanted was to talk about his car- no wait- ..-her eyes flashed open-..his scar…..
She sprang back up from the bed, all trace of intoxication vanishing. His scar!! Holy Cricket! She had to warn the professor!
Harry was getting a mouthful of leaves, the slippery grass freezing him. He struggled against the bonds pulling him, and he caught a glimpse of them in the shadows. The assassins were back. Gritting his teeth, he summoned forth his power…but it wasn’t responding to his command. Panicking, he realized that he needed the sword. His heart began to pound now, adrenaline rushing through him as the fact that he didn’t have his wand either left him virtually defenseless. The only thing that could help him now was this phone in his hand, which made the predicament even worse. He could see the two hunters now, and the deadly swords they held at the ready.
C’mon Potter! You’re gonna die!
His charm finally came alive, and he pulled against the strong pull on his arms. The chains clinked taut with the strength of the two hunters on one side, Harry slowly getting to his feet on the other. He leaned back with all his strength, and the hunters pulled even harder.
“You are still not stronger than us human, this time, you die.”
No wand…no sword..nothing..wait!
Desperate now, Harry tapped into the strange branch of magic Malfoy had cursed him with, and concentrated on the links of the chains shaclking his arms. There was a trail of smoke, then the link glowed hotly. Suddenly the chains broke…the links at the breaking point smoldering red. The hunters toppled ungainly on their backsides, Harry's eyes glowing menacingly in the pitch darkness of the small park. They were up in a flash, their expression betraying the fact that things were not going to plan.
He was facing two Wizard hunters by himself, his feet bare, and weaponless. He had a few options. One, run like hell. Two, fight and die. He was way underpowered without the sword close by, and his wand still was in his house. But they were vulnerable to the elements, so he had to find a way to use that to his advantage.
Planting his feet firmly in the freezing snow, he drew upon his magic reservoir as he once again tapped into that branch of magic. It was so cold though, and he could not summon the element of fire as easily. Trying harder, he brought his palms close, concentrating on creating a flame in the few inches of space between them.
Warmth flooded into his limbs as his desperation channeled all of his magic into the Infernus.
A flame ignited, Harry growling as he forced more and more magic into the fire. It grew rapidly, turning itself into a ball that began to encompass his fingers, then his entire hands. Reciting the same spell he used in the hotel at Italy, he attacked, drawing his arms back and pressing them forwards, the movements quite similar to completing a push up.
“ Inciendo ar ramsfitar!” a wall of fire shot towards them, but the hunters merely charged him, and jumped straight over the rolling flames: their swords poised high over their heads. Harry was caught like deer in the headlights, they were so damn fast! He dove to his right, scampering to maintain balance. They landed silently like twin jaguars, and charged him in a blur of shadow. His adrenaline pumped through him, and by the time his eyes could respond to the two figures disappearing and reappearing as they crossed the shadows of the tall trees they were upon him.
Quickly! To the left!
He threw up his right hand, which still held the broken length of chain. It whipped about the blade, and Harry yanked hard on it, spinning his body around. The hunter’s deadly lunge was yanked off course and the blade came down in an uncontrolled slash. He spun his body to the left, and the Hunter fell over with his forward momentum. Completing the parry and counter, Harry kept his momentum as he ungainly flung his left leg in an improvised spin kick, connecting with the falling Hunter solidly at the back of his head. Harry fell over in a heap, stabbing pain running through his leg.
His opponent was sent flying, his face making a dull sound as he crashed headfirst into the base of a huge tree some. One down , but where was the...
Harry scampered on the ground in a half roll, half slither, and the other hunter slashed right where his unprotected back was the instant before. Harry completely rolled to the side, and quickly got to his feet. His opponent was flabbergasted, he has never missed before, how did the human evade his attack? No matter.
Harry was panting hard, and his foot felt as if he broke every bone in it, but that did not matter right now. He was facing the enemy, and pain was not a factor. He had to stay alive. The hunter glanced at his fallen comrade, and his gaze took in the lengths of chain held by his opponent. He stood his ground, and changed his stance slightly, holding his katana high above his head. Harry blinked, he wasn’t attacking? He inched back a few steps, his eyes never leaving the steel grey eyes of the other. Suddenly he vanished, fading into the many shadows of the trees about him. Harry panicked, he was hearing movement, but he couldn’t decipher where and when the atta-
There was a crick of a twig breaking from his right, and he swung instinctively in that direction, the chains whipping about him like two metal whips, hitting nothing.
The was a soft laugh and Harry swore, trying his best to get out of the way-
The blade sliced narrowly across his back, he had managed to escape a killing blow by mere heartbeats, Quidditch reflexes definitely had it’s bonuses. He fell onto the ground, his back searing with pain as he toppled over automatically as he fall, trying to get as much distance in between him and the the Hunter. He tried to stand, but the pain was shooting spasms through his back, and he ended up crashing into the same tree against which the other hunter lay facedown on the bloodstained grass. Harry barely had time to dive again as a blade sunk into the bark, at the height of his neck. Desperation took over him. The hunter was faster, stronger, and had his weapon of choice. Right now the charm was coming in little bursts of power- basically he was a wandless wizard with two lengths of chain fighting an opponent who could strike from any shadow he wanted. He had to somehow even the odds.
Harry began to swing the chains about him in rapid flicks of his wrists, his eyes now glowing a shade of red. The temperature about him skyrocketed, and he incanted the igniting spell.
“Inciendo!” The metal links burst into flames, and a fiery glow illuminated the shadows. The hunter was now in plain view, and Harry’s confidence crept back into him. He had to get his sword, because sooner or later, his luck was going to run out-
The Hunter attacked, leaping at him so fast that Harry almost did not see him move. Almost. He crouched low, and flicked his wrists upwards, the burning chains whipping at the airborne hunter. Now that he had put magic into them, he found that his impromptu weapons were following his commands. They encircled him, the fire sizzling as they wrapped about his body. Harry yanked down hard, and the chains took more than just clothes when they raked away from him.
The young warlock screamed in pain as he fell. He landed painfully on is knees, long white streaks slowly turning red and bloody across his torso. Harry stopped swinging the blazing weapons, watching with sick fascination as the hunter tried to rise, the open burns bleeding profusely. The hunter wailed in agony, and the unearthly screams pierced the quiet night air.
Never taking his eyes off of him, Harry stooped low and picked up the other sword. Approaching the fallen warlock, Harry held the sword in a two handed grip, deciding whether or not to use it and be done with it. Thjey deserved it, after all, they tried to killhim on more than one occasion, and frighteningly, almost did. Trying to blink back the burning behind his eyes, he inched forward. He had enough deaths on his conscious without cold blooded murder on top of that. Remembering his fight with the Warlock Statham, their culture was one of loyalty and influenced by a strict code of honour. Maybe he would give him some information. Standing over him, he placed the tip of the blade against his neck.
“You are defeated. I won't kill you if you tell me what I want to know. ” The hunter’s face was twisted in pain, but the defiance was still shining in his eyes.
“I have fallen in battle, alongside my brother. I feel no shame.”
“You aren't dead, not yet anyway. Where are the Dark Wizards: Lestrange, Macnair, and Doholov?” Harry ordered inching down on the sword, drawing blood from the man’s neck.
The hunter smiled, his teeth red with blood. “Are you going to kill them?” Harry did not expect this question, but he knew where he was going wit this. They lived so that wizards would die. He took a moment, but answered truthfully.
“Yes. I am.” It sounded so different when he said it out loud. What sort of monster was he?
“They are at a Holy Place of human worship, off of a town called King’s Crown.” Harry frowned- King’s crown? Isn’t that near the train station?
“Do you know why my scar is back?”
“The last of your kin is being used to resurrect the demon-man.”
Last of my family? Did he mean Aunt Petunia? Oh no…not another innocent. He shut his eyes for a moment... hoping that there might be a small chance she is still alive. After the painful conclusion of that inner debate, he rather hear the facts than be naively optimistic.
“Is she dead?” he questioned flatly. He stared hard at the smirking face, the hunter was actually enjoying this. If he so much as --
“Soon, in a few hours, she will be...” the Hunter laughed at his expression, and Harry’s rage exploded. Without another thought he shut his eyes and sent the blade down double handed until it pierced the soft earth underneath.
He left the two bodies there, and limped slowly back to his house. As he crossed the road he heard raucous laughter and music playing next door, thankfully the neighbors had no clue as to what just happened as their parties roared on late into the night. With a new sense of determination he vowed his aunt would live if he had a say about it. Too many people had died because of him, and he would be damned if he sat idly by and let Voldemort return to life. He grimaced as the intense pain flooded into him from his slashed back and injured foot. Right now he had some preparations to do.
Kenna Malfoy lay in her bed, sound asleep. The new Malfoy manor was still practically devoid of life as only she and her brother lived there, but she was accustomed to things being quiet on the farm. Her dreams were of Harry, and in her dream she had bushy brown hair, and always walked around with a book in her hand- her fantasies became much more explicit and was just bout to get interesting when a deep noise woke her up from her slumber. The rumbling sound was getting closer and closer, and she thought she recognized it from somewhere.
Isn’t that a motorbike?
Sitting up in bed, she opened the window. The sound was much clearer now, and she did recognize it! That was Harry’s bike! Jumping out of bed, she raced downstairs. What was he doing here in the middle of the night?
Harry got off in front of the gigantic black gate. His gaze traveled over the perfectly manicured lawns and the sprawling mansion up the grand walkway. Hmph. What else did he expect? He pointed his wand, muttering an incantation, and the huge metal gate swung open majestically. He strode up to the front door and rapped the snake head knocker against the wood. He heard the drumming noise of someone racing down a flight of steps and moments later the double doors swung open. Kenna Malfoy peered at the hooded figure standing in the doorway, his face all but hidden in the shadows. She sized him up, and immediately recognized the sword.
“Harry?” she asked tentatively.
“What are you doing here?” She asked, looking around to make sure no one else accompanied him. “Maybe you changed your mind?’ she suggested, shifting the weight on her legs so that she struck an inviting pose. Harry didn’t bother answer her, and walked straight in. He pulled back his hood, and Kenna could have sworn his face had been etched in stone.
“Malfoy!!” he shouted, and Kenna looked at him in curiousity.
“What do you want with Draco?” she asked him. Harry ignored her, standing in the middle of the elaborate entry hall as if he owned the place. A minute later, a sleepy looking Draco Malfoy sauntered down, his wand at the ready.
“Who’s there?” he asked, squinting as he tried and focused on the lone figure standing in his house. “Potter! To what do I owe this pleasure?” his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“They’re trying to bring him back. Get your gear, we’ve got some work to do.”
Draco glowered at him. Who the fuck did he think he is? Barging in here at this hour- the nerve! Even still, Draco had to smile, he found this attitude change in Potter quite in his very own, ahem- charming style of doing things. Draco gave him his trademark smirk and strolled down the steps, putting his wand back in his pocket.
“Well Potter, this is a surprise. Don’t be offended if I don’t wish you happy new year.” He loved getting him riled up.
Harry clenched his jaw…and the room grew even darker than it was a few seconds before. Draco hesitated- and his cocky manner dissipated. His smile vanished, and he stared directly into Harry’s eyes.
“What do you want?” he said in a serious manner- Potter was serious. This meant trouble.
“They’re resurrecting Voldemort. We don’t have bloody time to discuss it over tea.”
“Bullshit. You yourself know that there’s a whole as big as his face dead center of –“
“I don’t have time for this-” Harry grumbled. He pulled his hair back and displayed his returned lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. “What more do you need, a bloody picture? Grab what you need, and lets go!” Harry snapped at him.
Realizing the very serious problem they had before them, Draco’s brow furrowed in thought. This was no time to back down, or waste precious minutes bickering. With a simple nod, he turned and went back upstairs. “I’m coming.”
“Good.” Harry muttered, and fingered the hilt of his sword again. His forehead was prickling non-stop now and he knew that every moment he spent here was critical. He heard a soft sound behind him, and turned around. He completely forgot that Kenna was there.
“Harry?” she whispered.
“That name- Voldemort- isn’t he dead? Weren’t you the one who killed him?”
“Yes, he was dead…” Harry corrected grimly.
“And you’re going after him, again?”
Harry sighed… this was a difficult situation to explain, but he owed it to her to at least let her in what was going on. He sat her down on the couch, and sat across from her in the armchair.
“Listen, and listen carefully. Voldemort was the most ruthless and powerful dark wizard there was for a long time. And it just so happens that I was prophesized to defeat him, for neither of us could live at the same time. I should have told you when we first met, but-“ he shrugged. “Your brother and I set out to finish him, and now they’re trying to bring him back, even from death.”
“So why Draco? Why are you taking him? He’s my brother! Leave him out of it!” she argued.
““You may have not known this, but your parents were known supporters of the Dark Lord, but they defied him in their final hour, and he murdered them without hesitation. ” It still hurt that so many people got in the crossfire. He took another moment to steady himself, but plowed on bravely. Kenna’s eyes narrowed in response. “Your brother and I have a certain understanding, and when it comes down to this...” he sighed loudly, would it ever end? “-our personal feelings have nothing to do with it: There’s no other I would rather have at my side. They don’t know were coming, and I have to settle this before more people get hurt.”
Harry glanced upstairs, he didn’t want Draco to overhear this. He took a deep breath, and exhaled it.
“I. vowed to keep you safe on the way back to here, and that still holds. Your parents deserve that… you deserve that-”
Kenna could almost cry, for Harry to say that... After all the trouble she caused him…She got up from the couch, and gave him a tender kiss on his cheek. Harry stared at her dumbstruck, but said nothing.
“Thank you,” she whispered, and Harry nodded in return. There was the sound of a door closing from above, and Harry was spared from this awkward moment between himself and Kenna, Draco was making his way back down, his blond hair pulled back in a ponytail and tied with a black ribbon. He was garbed in all black, very similar to Harry’s own combat gear. The resemblance to his father was startling now, and Harry felt a twinge of déjà vu. Even though he was a Malfoy, for some strange reason Harry knew he could depend on Draco to have his back. Sirius’ medallion lay against his chest, and he draped the cloak over his shoulders. Statham’s sword hung on his belt, and his wand was tucked away in the holder on his left forearm.
Harry stood, and the two young men looked each other in the eyes. No more words, they had a job to do. Draco was almost out the door when he suddenly pulled up short. Harry paused, what was the hold up? Soundlessly, Draco went to his kid sister and gave her a warm hug.
“If anything happens, you find a man called Alastor Moody. Remember that name. Scarhead, let’s go.”
Harry was already on his bike, that tender moment between Draco and his sister impressing him. He thought to himself - didn’t know Draco had that in him at all. “It’s you I’m waiting for, get on.”
Draco laughed contemptuously. “Forget that. Let me introduce you to my pet. STORMCLOUD! Here boy!” he whistled, and Harry heard a neighing sound of a very large horse. There was a rush of flapping wings heard from above, and he craned his neck to see the equine form fly over the roof from the stables at the back.
A huge black unicorn swooped low and landed with a thud of hooves right at Draco’s side. Harry’s eyes widened, he had never seen such a magnificent animal. Its coat was a shiny jet black, and the muscle definition was obvious even in the faint moonlight. The battle headpiece was the same colour as its’ smooth fur coat, the dark brown eyes glaring at him through the large eyeholes. His protruding horn was dark grey; the only part of the Unicorn excepting the eyes that was not all black. Draco mounted expertly, and now both rider and steed appeared to be one. Draco took a handful of Stormcloud’s mane, kicked in his heels, and the magical animal neighed loudly, trotting off into the sky.
“Come now Potter, I can’t be outshone in the transportation department by the likes of you.” Draco sneered at him as he gloated from high in the sky.
Harry shook his head in annoyance. Mashing down on the gas forcefully, the huge engine roared to life and took off after them. As the wind whipped through his hair Harry had to smile. Some things would never change...
Whatever you say- Malfoy, whatever you say…
Hermione had just finished writing her owl post to Albus Dumbledore. She wrung her hands frantically as her post owl made haste to its target, she could only hope that the Headmaster would know what to do. When Harry hung up on her she was angry at first, but that anger soon turned to dread as the severity of Harry’s cryptic phone call sunk in.
His scar was back, and that could never be a good sign. She wanted some answers dammit, and had no way to contact him instantly. Then it came to her! Tonks had a phone! Any member of the Order of the Phoenix should be able to contact him sooner than her post could reach. Dialing her on the bedroom phone, she bit her lip anxiously as it began to ring. When finally a sleepy female voice answered, she nearly dropped the phone, she was so strung out. At least she got in contact with someone. Sometimes normal muggle technology could go a long way in times like this.
“Leave it alone,” Remus Lupin said in his lover’s ear, both of them snuggled together in a warm embrace. A device that rang at this time in the morning was a menace to someone’s piece of mind. Why did Nymphodora have one in the first place?
“Remus, I can’t- it may be important…” she giggled crawling over him to grab the receiver.
“Hello?’ she said softly, Remus was caressing her naked skin, and she was teetering in a see-saw fashion over him as she extended at full stretch, half of her dangerously close to slipping off the bed.
“It’s me! Hermione! Harry’s scar is back!”
Tonks fell over spectacularly, dropping the phone in the process. Remus laughed as slid off the bed, taking their cover along with her. Wow, she had amazingly beautiful legs and flawless derriere…so perfect-
“WHAT!!?” Tonks screamed.
Remus’ attitude changed automatically, that tone of voice meant that it was serious. “What’s wrong?” he said, sitting up immediately.
“Hermione says that Harry called her a little while ago…saying something about his scar...then the line went dead… Jesus..”
Remus was already up and about, magicking his clothes to him. He was dressed in under a minute, grabbing his wand from the table. Tonks finished the hyper conversation with Hermione, and hung up.
“Wait! I’m coming too!” she said, untangling herself from the sheets. She threw on the closest things at her disposal, scrunched up her eyes, and it transformed to her auror robes.
“Let’s go, we’re alerting the others right away.”
“Aren’t we going to this church place at King’s Crown!?” Draco shouted at Harry, this was not the fastest way there. Harry hesitated for a second, but there was something he needed to do first. Opening his mouth, he had to shout as well to respond.
“We’ve got to make a stop first!”
“Thought we were in a hurry!”
“This is important!” he explained simply.
“Your call, Potter!” They flew for another five minutes, the unicorn keeping pace easily with Harry’s motorbike 200 mile per hour plus speed. Harry began to slow down as they approached London, and more specifically the Chelsea area. Draco followed him down, and they both landed quietly at a beautiful two storey house. Draco took in the simple design of the house, and the posh looking vehicle in the garage. It was obvious whose house this was.
“This is Granger’s place.” Draco stated.
“Yeah. I have to talk to her.”
“Whatever. Be quick, Potter,” Draco said arrogantly, and stood a bit to the side, petting Stormcloud on his nose. Harry walked up to the door, and just as he was about to knock, he hesitated. Was this a good idea? Maybe it would be better for all involved if they did this quietly… without anyone else knowing. No hassle...no complications.. But then the thought to himself: anything could happen, and at least he could see her before he faced them. Who knows what they had up their sleeves?
But then again, Hermione would worry, and try and talk him out of it…
Maybe he should-
The door suddenly flew open and Hermione stood there in her nightgown, her bushy hair all over the place. Harry was caught by surprise, and they shared a moment of intense emotion.
“Thank God! You had me really worried after when you hung up and telling me about your scar and I couldn’t get in touch with you and my owl taking ages to get to Dumbledo- “
She broke off, Harry was wearing his father’s cloak and powerful defensive robes, his expression blank, his eyes unblinking. There were some bruises on his face, and from his stance she could tell he was favoring his right foot. The mental connection they had when they were close was practically non-existent, and a dark shroud hung over his thoughts. Something caught her eye, and she noticed for the first time the massive unicorn and Draco Malfoy standing next to it. He was dressed almost exactly like Harry, and it was obvious that the two young men were very uneasy.. ..this did not bode well..
“What’s going on? What is he doing here?” Hermione indicated to Malfoy. “What happened to your face?”
“The Warlocks ambushed me at the park...during our phone call-“
“WHAT??! Are you okay?” she shrieked.
“I’ll be fine. Listen, I needed… I wanted to tell you something, and you have to promise me that you’ll hear me out before you say anything.”
Hermione searched his face for any clue as to what he was about to say, but Harry’s face remained neutral, his expression giving nothing away. Harry avoided her gaze, and dipped his head.
“I’m sorry. For everything, how I treated you, running away, everything. I know it hurt, and it hurt me too. But I had to get away from it all…including you.” Hermione said nothing, trying to make eye contact with him.
“A lot of things happened to me this year, a lot of bad things. I’ve made mistakes...and when I make mistakes…people… they- how else could I say it? They usually end up dead.”
“Harry, no- it’s not like that-” Hermione interrupted him. He just held up his hand, and shook his head.
“Hermione listen to me, they have my aunt, and they’re going to resurrect Voldemort. I- I- don’t know what or how- but, my scar is back, and it feels more alive with each minute that passes. Draco and I are going to rescue her, and deal with them once and for all.”
Hermione gasped, and grabbed his hands in a bone-crushing grip. “No! Wait- Don’t! You can’t!” Harry held her hands in his, and squeezed gently, trying to placate her.
“Hear me out. I don’t have much time and I don’t have a choice. I have to do this, she’s my family, and I can’t bear the thought of another – I won’t allow it.” He declared, clenching his fists in frustration. Keep cool, he told himself. He took another deep breath, and took control of his feelings.
“Tell Dumbledore that Voldemort is at a church at King’s crown, and that we are going to face them.”
He put his arms around her, pulled her close.
“There is also something very important you must promise me. Okay?”
Hermione hugged him tight, nodded, and looked him in his green eyes. “What?”
“Promise me, and you have to say it, that you won’t follow me. No matter what happens, you’ve got to stay here. Promise me!” he said urgently, looking into those brown eyes of hers.
Hermione would do no such thing. “Yes, I promise,” she lied convincingly. Harry smiled, and dug in his pocket for a piece of paper.
“I want you to have this. It’s what kept me going through the time when I was gone…” he handed it to her, and Hermione smiled, a lonely tear running down her cheek
It was a picture of the both of them, at the Chelsea Blues Quidditch Stadium. They were standing side by side, and anyone could see on their expressions that these two people were in love. She remembered it distinctly; this picture was taken right when the bitch of a reporter was nosing into Harry’s love life. When Harry had told her that “She’s one of my best friends” in that sincere tone, she had beamed brightly up at him. The cameraman got the shot perfectly, and even in that early stage of their relationship, it was plain to see that they were meant for each other.
“It’s a good picture isn’t it?” he said softly.
“Yes..it is..” Hermione answered reverently.
“Hermione…..” he faltered. This was still so hard for him to do. He opened his mouth, and he found those three simple words that were so elusive.
“I love you. No matter what happens; that won’t change. Remember that.”
He kissed her tenderly, and smiled. It was a sad smile, and Hermione knew that he was apprehensive to what he must do. Harry himself knew he could do this, he had to. Hermione believed in him, and that fueled his determination even more
“I have to go…” he said in her ear, and released her. He turned around, and walked to his bike. He nodded to Malfoy, and he jumped on Stormcloud’s back and both of them took off into the sky, not once did they look back at the crying girl who stared at them as they disappeared into the night.
Hermione dashed back into her room…she had to change and get ready for when Dumbledore arrived. There was no way she was going to be left behind.
Remus and Tonks had apparated to Grimmauld place, and it only took them a short while to investigate what had happened. The handset for the public phone in the park was missing, and two bodies laid motionless in the trees nearby. A sword was lodged into one’s neck, the upright hilt glinting in the moonlight.
“My god,” Tonks whispered, kneeling next to twin assassins.
“There was an attack, and it seems that he left with the motorbike. Let’s go, I told the Professor we’d meet him at Granger’s house. Knowing Harry, that would be the first person he would check up on...” She nodded, dusting off her knees as she stood up. Remus used a vanishing spell to make the corpses disappear, his thoughts swimming with all the different possibilities. Harry was gone, his scar was back, and hunters lay dead out in the open. Taking their weapons, they disapparated from the park. Remus could only hope that the Order could reach him in time before he rushed off into danger.
Draco could barely make out the picturesque church house at the top of a gentle hill. As they swooped to their destination, a loud bell toll rang through the night sky. It echoed ominously, and Draco could feel the hairs rise on the back of his neck. This was it. He knew who, and what he was facing, but no matter how many times he had to do it, he would make sure that his parents were avenged, and that Voldemort would burn in hell for ever more.
“Potter, you hear that? They know we’re here.”
“Doesn’t matter. That sound would be their death knoll.”
Draco’s expression darkened as they skimmed the tall grass of the fields. He glanced across skeptically to the sixteen-year-old boy next to him.
Fuck Potter. Sometimes you scare the shit out of me.
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