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After the Horcrux by Manwe Valarian
Chapter 33 : The End of the Mission
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 25


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Harry held ice on his forehead to numb the pain. His head hasn’t hurt like this since Voldemort died. His eyes felt like someone had poured burning hot sand in them. He was in the basement of Grimmauld Place with Kingsley. They had just finished his latest training session. Harry has been getting more advanced training over the past two and a half months, since he has been hiding here. He has already taken his NEWTs and passed. Gawain and Kingsley tested him, even though they are not Ministry approved testers Kingsley’s involvement guaranteed acceptance of the results. He is also advancing quickly with his Counter curses, Occlumency, and Legilimence training. Kingsley had just finished testing his Occlumency skills, and gave him this terrible splitting headache.

“How are you feeling, Harry?” asked Kingsley, as he sat across the dueling area set up in the basement of Harry’s house.

Harry, sitting on a recliner that Kingsley had conjured, lifted the ice bag off his forehead. “Brilliant, my head hasn’t felt like this since Voldemort used to invade my mind. Why did you have to push so hard with the Legilimence spell?”

“I needed to determine how much you could endure, Harry. I heard rumors years ago that you were a failure at Occlumency, yet, I couldn’t break through your barrier.”

“Telling me that I couldn’t shield all of my thoughts has helped. Professor Snape tried to have me stop all attempts at anyone entering my mind,” replied Harry, as he placed the ice bag on his forehead again.

“No one can do that,” assured Kingsley. “Think of the thoughts in your mind as area, the fewer thoughts, or less area, you try to shield the stronger your shield will be. Try to shield too many, or too much area, and your shield would be thin and would be easy to break. Once someone realizes you are blocking their attempts at Leglimence, they will become suspicious. So you need to allow the person probing your mind to see something, or else they will know you are blocking them.”

“I used to be a failure at blocking Voldemort and Professor Snape out.”

“Were you really? Did Snape ever give you any indication that you were actually a Horcrux?” countered Kingsley.

“No…”

“You couldn’t very well block Voldemort completely, because he was already inside of your mind. Harry, you did an excellent job of hiding your memories of Ginny away from me,” said Kingsley. “Some of the other things that I saw weren’t exactly pleasant. Those boys when you were young…”

“Dudley and his friends! Kingsley, why do I have to learn this anyway? It isn’t like Voldemort is going to enter my mind again,” groaned Harry, as he repositioned the ice bag.

“No I hope not, but if you ever plan on advancing in the Auror Department. You will need to know these skills. If you would ever get captured by dark wizards, then they could extract all the information about the department from you.”

“Maybe, I don’t want to work for the Auror Department any longer if all my missions are going to take forever,” countered Harry.

Kingsley recoiled from Harry as though he had been slapped, and looked at him with a concerned look on his face. “Harry, I am sorry this is taking so long, but politics move slowly.”

“I haven’t seen Ginny in nearly three months,” Harry sighed.

“It appears as though everything will be over soon. The negotiations with the International Confederation of Wizards and France are going well now. France was rather upset at discovering that we had Monique’s family here, and you were guarding them.”

“Am I still wanted in France?” asked Harry.

“I am afraid you are,” responded Kingsley, with a sad voice. “I am hoping once everything comes out. They will drop all charges against you, but that is a decision beyond my influence. You must look at this mission as a success, Harry. A full investigation is being launched by the French Ministry and the International Confederation into the deaths of Monique’s father and brother. It appears as though her family’s land is safe, and we have also happened upon a large cache of lost magical knowledge. The books that Monique has been translating are filled with a plethora of magical information. She could be advancing our magical knowledge faster than in the days of Merlin. That alone would make the mission worth the sacrifice.”

Harry pulled the ice bag off his aching head and looked at Kingsley. “Have you ever loved someone so much that it hurt to be away from them?” He didn’t need Kingsley to answer. The look in his eyes conveyed the message that he had.

“Yes,” he curtly responded. He sat there for several seconds staring at Harry, before speaking again. “She was a Muggle. She left me when I told her that I was a wizard. That is all that I shall say about this subject.”

Harry heard the pain in his voice, and didn’t press the point. Kingsley understood the pain that he has been feeling. “I’m sorry,” consoled Harry.

“You can be very proud of Ginny, Harry. She has taken her situation and used it to help others. She started a self help group for women who have been sexually assaulted. Minerva has awarded her a ‘Service to the School’ award,” stated Kingsley.

“I’ve always been proud of her for things like that. I just wish I could’ve been there to help her through this,” sighed Harry.

“Soon, Harry, very soon this bloody mission will be over…”

“But! I won’t be going back to Hogwarts. Will I?”

“No, I am afraid not as a student,” replied Kingsley, but he quickly smiled at Harry. “I might send you there as an assistant to teach the others. I figured that would be a good way to spend your Saturday’s, and I doubt if Minerva would be making you leave before curfew.” Harry suddenly looked concerned and his face became drawn tight. “What’s wrong, Harry? I thought you would like hearing this?”

“It’s just. I wonder if she will forgive me and take me back. That’s all.”

Kingsley stood up, clapped his hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Well I don’t think you will need to worry much longer. It looks like the day after tomorrow the French and the International will be here to talk to Monique’s family. Once that happens, you will be free to leave, and I will have the Daily Prophet post an article stating that the story of you and Carmen was a ruse.”

“If they knew this story was a ruse then why did they send Rita Skeeter to Australia?”

Kingsley started laughing so hard he couldn’t talk at first. “We are not the only ones that don’t like her. The only reason the Prophet posts her stories was because she has such a rabid fan base. Her articles about how Australia doesn’t have a magical community haven’t sold as well. The Daily Prophet hasn’t been very anxious to bring her back. It’s such a pity.

“Harry, you must believe that I didn’t send you on this mission to destroy your life,” stated Kingsley, with a serious tone. “That is the last thing that I would want to do. I will keep my promise and tell Ginny and the Weasley’s that I had to force you into going,” assured the Minister. “I am amazed that you haven’t snuck into the castle to see her. I know you have the capabilities and the desire. Thank you for not doing that, it could have opened a whole Pandora’s Box of problems with this mission.”

Harry sat there watching the Minister walking up the stairs to the kitchen. He felt a little guilty about contacting Ginny. It may have been a slight betrayal, but she did need her Firebolt back. He needed to let her know he still cared. There have been many times that he wanted to have Kreacher Apparate him onto her four-poster, but he didn’t want any problems if the scene became loud from Ginny’s temper.

She had Kreacher tell him that she still loves him and wants him to return to her, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t angry with him. He fully expects another scene like the one after he defeated Voldemort. He can take being beaten with roses, and hit with the Bat-Bogey-Hex, as long as she takes him back and gives him a chance to prove himself to her again.

The realization that this mission might be over in a couple of days started to sink into him. He will get the chance to see Ginny again. If his memory serves him correctly this weekend is a Hogsmeade weekend. That would be a perfect situation in which to meet her. They could find a spot and work out their problems away from gossipy students. He needs to get his head on straight and make sure he is ready to see her again. Should he get dressed up in his good robes, or should he wear something basic? Which would she like the best? Should he propose to her, or wait until they have worked out their problems. It might prove to her that he is dedicated to her. His mind started to spin with all the decisions he needed to make before seeing Ginny again. He can’t muck this up!

Harry sat up and with a flick of his wand vanished the ice bag. Another flick and the recliner was gone, he walked out of the lowest level of the house and into the kitchen. Monique’s mother was sitting at the table staring at the doorway that he walked through. As soon as she saw him, she stood up, walked over to him, and grabbed his arm. She led him to a place at the end of a bench and pushed him down to sit. Once he was down, she walked to the open hearth and lifted the lid off the Dutch oven. She scooped out a bowl of stew and grabbed a loaf of bread, before walking back and placing it in front of him. She stood there with crossed arms and glared at him. He began to eat the stew and the bread. He had become accustomed to her attitude in the past two months. She was the boss of the house and ruled the kitchen. If someone didn’t eat she took it as a personal insult. She was so much like Mrs. Weasley that he wanted to get these two together, but he would be afraid a fight would break out over who would have the rule of the kitchen.

After his second bowl, Harry refused the third. His jeans have been getting tight on him since he has been hiding out. How different this was than last year, when they were starving almost the entire time they were hiding from Voldemort. He may have to go on a diet, when he is done with this mission.

Mrs. Arana grabbed the bowl and spoon and went to the sink and washed them. Kreature hasn’t been around since he returned from France. He had to call him to get him to do anything. Harry wondered if it was because of Mrs. Arana taking over the kitchen. He remembered Kreature didn’t like it when he was cooking last summer.

Leaving the kitchen, Harry heard music coming from the sitting room on the main floor. It was a common thing over the past two months. Monique’s relatives would entertain themselves in the evenings, and all day long for that matter. Her Uncle Franco played the concertina along with her Uncle Carlo, who played the violin. The two of them would play all day and night as long as no one complained about it.

The only person who might have complained would leave the room and go to the bedroom to read. She was Monique’s Aunt Carmen. Aunt Carmen was where Monique made up her alias. Aunt Carmen was thirty years older than Monique, but even with the smile lines on her face, she looked remarkably like her niece. Her hair was the same thick, dark, brunette, and she still had a figure similar to Monique’s. The real clincher that amazed Harry how much these two are alike, was Aunt Carmen was an avid reader. She has been reading books out of the Black family library since they arrived. She can also translate the ancient spell books for Monique.

Monique confided in Harry, that her alias was in honour of her Aunt. Monique’s mother’s name is Rosa, so she created the name Carmen of the Rose to indicate that she was her Aunt’s daughter born of her mother. She had been hearing this all her life, so she used it to make a nom de plume.

Harry walked into the sitting room and looked around. Everyone was here except Rosa Arana. She was in the kitchen where Harry had left her. He sat down by Uncles Franco and Carlos, and enjoyed the music. He looked around the room at everyone.

Monique’s Aunt Matilda was knitting by the fireplace. She has been constantly knitting. Harry couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t counting stitches. She has been happy since coming here, because Kingsley has been supplying them with what they want. She wanted skeins of yarn.

Monique was sitting by her Aunt Carmen. They had been in the Library all day translating the Basque magical books. He looked at the rest of his house guests. He enjoyed their company. They seemed to be grateful for any hospitality shown them. He knew that they wanted to go home, but that didn’t deter them from enjoying their situation. He supposed it was a great deal more comfortable here than in the caves.

His gaze stopped at the fireplace. A fire was burning in it taking the chill off the air in the room. What caught his eye were the pictures on the mantle. They had brought with them a picture of everyone who had died, and they kept a small candle burning in front of each picture. The fireplace mantle had become a makeshift shrine to their fallen loved ones. In some ways Harry found comfort in knowing they missed their loved ones like he did his. He had thought of adding pictures of his own fallen loved ones, but decided that this shrine was for them. Instead, he kept going to his scrapbooks of their pictures and looked through them. He never wanted to forget them, or what they had done for him.

Harry turned away from the mantle to see Monique staring at him. He smiled at her, and gave his head a nod towards the door. She smiled at him that she understood what he wanted. Harry stood up, and walked towards the hallway with Monique right behind him.

He stopped walking and waited for her. “Hey, I thought you might want to know,” started Harry. “Kingsley, told me that this might be over in a couple of days.”

“That’s great, Harry!” exclaimed Monique as she hugged him. She suddenly pulled away from him, as her mother cleared her throat behind them. Mrs. Arana was still trying to get him and her daughter together as a couple. It was a good thing that he didn’t know French, because judging from Monique’s reactions to her mother’s statements he would probably be very embarrassed.

Harry stepped away from the two squabbling females and started walking up the stairs to his room. He wanted to do only one thing. He wanted to get the Marauders Map out and watch Ginny’s dot. It might seem strange to other people, but when he is looking at her dot on the parchment, he can almost see her. The way her hair flows gracefully with the movement of her bodyas she walks, the slight sideways glance that she gives him when they are studying together, and the way she leaves out the slightest of sighs every time they break apart from kissing. These small things are burned into his memory of her. It seems like he loves her as much for these things as he does for any other reason. They are the things that he wants to be able to experience again, not just remember.

Making his way to his room, he shut the door and opened the Map up on his desk that he had placed by the window. Touching the Map with his wand, he said the incantation and watched as the lines and dots appeared on the blank parchment. He started to search for Ginny. He started with the most obvious places; the library, the common room, the empty classroom where she has been meeting different girls. He didn’t know what was happening in the classroom, until Kingsley had told him. Now it all made sense to him, Ginny was helping others like she had done last year. The evil was different from the last year, but it was just as wrong.

Harry sat there looking at Ginny’s dot in this room full of girl’s. Some names he recognized and others he didn’t have a clue. It sickened him that so many girls have been victims of this crime, but he was glad that Ginny was helping them the way she was taught by her parents, with love and caring.

Someone knocked at his door; he touched the Map with his wand and whispered, “Mischief Managed.” He folded the map up while the lines and dots disappeared and left it on his desk. Walking to the door he opened it a crack to see Monique on the other side standing in the hall nervously shifting from one foot to the other.

She looked up when he opened the door, and said, “Let me in, Harry, we need to talk.” Harry opened the door the rest of the way and allowed Monique to enter. “Why did you run off while I was talking to my mother, Harry?”

“I figured we were finished talking,” he weakly replied.

Monique was standing by his bed and looked nervously around his room. She seemed nervous standing in his bedroom. It was the first time she has ever been in here, and she looked like she didn’t want to sit on the bed. Seeing the desk, she walked over and sat at it. “What did Kinglsey say exactly?”

“He said that negotiations are going well and he expects the French officials and officials from the International Confederation to meet with your relatives,” he said, while standing at the end of his bed facing her. “He thinks that once that has been done, you and I are free to leave.”

“Will we be returning to Hogwarts?”

“I know that I am not. I’m sorry, but I didn’t ask about you,” he responded, feeling a little selfish for not asking about her.

“What about the story that we are in Australia, and we are lovers?”

“He will have the Prophet print a retraction.”

“Will my relatives be free to go home?”

Harry again felt uneasy for not knowing what to tell her. “I don’t know. I doubt it until the investigation by your ministry is complete. I am sorry I didn’t ask. I just thought about getting back to Ginny.”

“I am not going back to France. I am staying here,” she stated with finality, as though Harry was going to argue with her. “I finally have friends. I want to stay with Neville.” She stopped talking and looked out the window. “If he forgives me, and will take me back,” she said just barely above a whisper.

Harry stood and looked at her. She was about to cry. The entire time he had been on this mission, he had thought primarily about what it had done to his relationship. Monique was also in a relationship, and it was with someone he respects. He doesn’t want it to end badly for either one, but she does have a lot of explaining to do. “I’m sure he will,” he assured her.

Monique swiped a tear that was threatening to fall down her cheek. “When did Kingsley say this meeting with my family will happen?”

“Possibly this weekend,” he replied. During the entire conversation he was watching her face so intently that he didn’t notice that she was doodling with her right hand on a piece of parchment on his desk. “No stop!” he yelled at her, while jumping over and pulling the quill out of her hand. He pulled out his wand and started to siphon the ink off the Map.

“I’m sorry Harry,” she apologized to him. “I thought it was just an old piece of scrap parchment.”

“It is kind of,” he mumbled. “Has Neville ever talked about the Marauders Map?”

“No. What is it?”

“It is a Map my father and his friends made while they were at Hogwarts. It shows everyone in the school and where they are at,” he explained to her.

Her eyes became wide when he said that. “Show me. I want to find Neville.”

Harry placed his wand on the parchment and said, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”Lines started to form on the blank parchment from the tip of his wand. He opened the map and spread it across the desk top. As he did his eyes started to automatically search for Ginny’s dot. He had located it in the Gryffindor common room. She was standing by one of the windows. He started to wonder if she was looking out it wondering where he was. He could see her in his mind doing that. Loneliness overtook him, because he couldn’t walk up behind her and hug her and comfort her.

“There he is,” shouted Monique. She was looking at Neville’s dot in Greenhouse number three. He was in the back corner of the greenhouse, and area where students weren’t allowed. “He is in our spot.”

“Your spot?” questioned Harry.

“Neville had a these plants he has been working with. They look like dead plants without any foliage, until a woman thinks about what type of plant she wants to see. They then change into the plant that she thinks of, as long as it isn’t a dangerous magical plant,” she explained to Harry. “I used to sleep there. It was beautiful, every night a different plant depending on my mood.”

She stopped talking and became a little pink at her thoughts. Harry imagined what those thoughts were and didn’t want any further explanation. “You said a woman?” he asked the day dreaming Monique.

Her face became even redder as she realized that she had drifted off in her memories. “Yes, he made them so that only a woman could make them change. An interesting bit of Herbology, he started off with a hybrid of…”

“No offense, Monique, but I don’t really have an interest in Herbology,” said Harry stopping her before she started on one of her long drawn out explanations that he would lose interest half way through. “I also would like to get some sleep. I hope that we will both be able to start up where we left off with our relationships. Somehow, I think it might take some time, even with Kingsley’s explanation.”

Monique stood up and quickly hugged him. “Thank you for being such a wonderful friend,” she said to him, before leaving.

Harry stared at Ginny’s dot as she was now in her dorm, probably getting ready for bed. “Good night love,” he said quietly to the dot as he had every night since she returned to Hogwarts.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry stood in his kitchen looking at the Floo waiting for it to erupt with green flames. He wasn’t alone. Rostis, Blythe, and Monique were also there. They were standing to his right in a semicircle blocking the path to the rest of the house. Another Auror who Harry remembered from training at Hogwarts was there. His name was Savage. He stood on Harry’s left eyeing him and Monique suspiciously.

The fireplace erupted with green flames, and Gawain stepped out. He brushed the ash off his robes before speaking. “Is everyone ready?” he asked. “The French delegation is handing over their wands as I speak. The representative from the International has already surrendered his wand, so it should be only a few more minutes before they will be here. Harry, the French don’t want you in the room when they question the witnesses, but I want you to wait outside in the hall. Savage, you and Rostis will stay here with one of the French delegates. Monique…” When Gawain said this Savage’s eyebrows raised as though Gawain was daft. “… you and Blythe will accompany them into the sitting room and remain throughout the questioning. Listen carefully to their questions; make sure they are not intimidating your family.”

Monique smiled at him. “I can do that.”

Harry looked at her with admiration. She has found her courage. She is no longer easily intimidated, as she was when they first met.

The fireplace erupted with green flames and an elderly wizard stepped out. He had olive skin and white hair. He carried himself with regal elegance and grace. His robes were of fine quality. In some ways he reminded Harry of Lucius Malfoy, except this man did not present an air of superiority. His dark brown eyes searched the room, until he saw Harry. He smiled a warm and genuine smile at him and gave him a slight bow, before stepping to the side to allow the next person out of the Floo.

The next person was a French Auror. Harry remembered those scarlet robes from the attack on the mountain. He was slightly taller than Harry, with flowing chestnut hair that reached his shoulders and steely grey eyes. His expression when he made eye contact with Harry was one of hatred. He also sought out Monique and glared at her, before stepping to the side.

The next French Ministry official was older. He was tall and thin with short grey hair, wrinkled pale skin, and icy blue eyes that darted around the room. He made no reaction to Harry or Monique. Harry felt as if he was surveying the place to determine a plan of attack.

The fireplace erupted again and a short rotund Frenchmen stepped out. He had the worst comb over that Harry had ever seen. He carried himself with arrogance and superiority. When he saw Harry and Monique he somehow was able to look down his nose at them, even though he was shorter than both. Harry was sure he whispered to himself “Basque” when he looked at Monique. She stood there and glared back at him not allowing him to intimidate her.

When the fireplace erupted again, the short fat Frenchman refused to move to the side and allow the last person out of the Floo, until he started to protest. A British Ministry official stepped out from the fireplace and glared at the fat Frenchman. “Monsieur Dupree, if we are going to continue this investigation you must move aside.”

The Frenchman called Dupree stepped aside with a huff. He turned to the British official and shouted, “I vill not do zis if zat murderer is in zee room vith me!”, as he pointed a menacing finger at Harry.

“Monsieur Dupree, This is Mr. Potter’s house, and he is a British Ministry official, he has the right to be here,” the British official said with obvious annoyance in his voice. “We have already assured you several times that he will not be in the room. Can we please proceed?”

Monsieur Dupree sniffed haughtily and started walking towards the steps, until Monique stuck her hand out to stop him. “Harry leads the way. It is his house,” she ordered him. Monsieur Dupree stepped back but didn’t take his eyes off of her.

Harry stepped out in front of the group and led them to the sitting room where all of Monique’s family was gathered. The Frenchman with the chestnut coloured hair stayed in the kitchen with Rostis and Savage. Blythe and Monique walked behind the group as Harry led the way. The entire way to the sitting room Harry kept his senses aware of any unusual sounds that might indicate some type of an attack. He entered the sitting room and stood aside while everyone filed in.

Monique’s family sat on the right side of the room by the street side of the house. The officials all moved to the other side of the room. Blythe walked in and stood on the other side of the doorway from Harry. Monique walked in and sat down beside her mother and they clasped hands together. The entire room was filled with apprehension and hope that this would all be over and justice would be served. Harry wanted that, but mainly he wanted it over to be free to start his life again.

Monsieur Dupree stood staring at Harry waiting for him to leave. Harry made eye contact with the British official, Monique, and Blythe. They all indicated that that he should go. He walked out into the hallway. As he stepped through the doorway, he heard Monsieur Dupree ask for it to be closed. Monique told him no. There was some discussion about that, before it quieted down.

Harry moved down the hall slightly so he was away from the door, but could still hear what was going on. He heard that arrogant Frenchman asking questions. Harry didn’t like the tone of his voice. A couple of times either Monique or the International representative would object. Harry could feel the tension rising in the room. He knew they had their wands taken from them at the Ministry. Could there be other things that they could do? Harry let his right hand’s fingers rub over the smooth wood of his Holly and Phoenix feather wand. It was where he could quickly pull it. He let his left hand touch his other wand the one he captured in France.

Suddenly he realized what they forgot. “Blythe, check for other wands,” Harry shouted at the top of his lungs.

His words were barely spoken when he heard someone from the sitting room shouting “Avada Kedavra!” and he saw Blythe who had turned to look at Harry through the doorway get blasted with a green light. Another killing curse was shouted. He saw the flash of green light and heard a scream. At the same time he heard spell fire in his kitchen.

Without hesitating, he fired a blasting curse at the wall to the left of the doorway that should be where all the officials would be standing. The wall exploded in a cloud of dust and debris of flying wood lath and plaster. Harry didn’t wait for the dust to settle. He jumped into the room through the newly blasted entrance.

His spell had knocked that fat Dupree off his feet, but the other wizard was aiming his wand at the representative from the International. Harry flicked his wand and hit the Frenchman’s hand with an Impediment jinx sending the Killing Curse over the elderly man’s head. He quickly ran from the room through the opening that Harry had blasted.
Sounds of screams echoed around the room making Harry slightly disoriented. Yet, at the same time it seemed as though time was slowing down for Harry as he looked around the room to assess his position. The tall wrinkled Frenchman was recovering and pointing his wand at Harry. Dupree was rolling on the floor also turning so his wand was pointing at Harry. In the quickness of thought, Harry had both of his wands up and firing Stunners at each Frenchman. Dupree didn’t have time to react and was hit square in the chest, but the other Frenchman put up a Shield at the last second, but the impact drove him off his feet and into the wall.

Harry turned to find where Monique was. He saw her and froze. Monique was dead in her mother’s arms. Rosa Arana was kneeling on the floor clutching her dead daughter’s face to her chest while she wailed to the gods. Monique had become another victim, another picture to have a candle burning in front of it. The sight caused Harry to freeze. Monique had her wand in her hand. She never got it out in time to attack. None of the Aurors were supposed to have their wands out. They were only allowed to carry them in case of an emergency.

Harry saw green reflect on his glasses and he dropped like a rock down onto the floor. He could feel the heat of the Killing Curse as it just missed him, but claimed another victim in the room. Twisting on the floor, Harry fired several stunners at the wizard who used counter curses to stop them.

Harry using both wands didn’t give him the chance to take the offensive. Harry quickly changed tactics. He fired a Stunner with one wand and pointed the other at him and thought “Levicorpus”. The Frenchman was caught by surprise when his leg was grabbed and he was hung upside down.

It didn’t seem to affect him, as he quickly pointed his wand and muttered some curse that Harry never heard of before. It came from his wand as a rope of flame. Harry thought “Liberacorpus” and allowed the Frenchman to drop. So he could concentrate on this slow moving flame. Harry placed two shields in front of him at an angle up. He was afraid that this flame might deflect and hit someone else in the room.

His fear was correct. The flame deflected off his Shield and splattered onto the ceiling where it roiled as though it was alive. The ceiling in this old house started to burn. He looked at the old Frenchman who was wobbly standing up rubbing his head. Harry Stunned him.

The room was filled with acrid smoke and people shouting and screaming to get out. The ceiling was catching fire quicker than Harry thought possible. He needed to get people out of here. He looked and saw Rostis and Savage appear at the door and the hole in the wall.

“Get these people Flooed to the Ministry,” ordered Harry. He didn’t care that he was only a first year trainee. He took charge of the situation. He shoved Aunt Matilda and Uncle Franco to the other two Aurors. Savage grabbed them and pulled them out of the room. Harry turned to shove a couple more out when he heard something that chilled his bones; a roar from above him. Harry looked up to see the fiery image of a dragon appear out of the flames on the ceiling.

“Kill it Harry!” screamed Rostis. “Avada Kedavra” he shouted firing a Killing Curse at the head of the Fiendfyre Dragon. When the green beam hit its fiery head it quivered and screamed as though it was in pain. “It is a living entity Harry! Use the Killing Curse on it,” screamed Rostis, over the noise of in the room. He fired another Killing Curse at it exactly at the same time it tried to hit him with a blast of flame from its mouth. The curse impacted the dragon and moved its head but the flame ignited the other side of the room.

By now half of the room was in flames. The ceiling was almost completely engulfed, and the far wall was also on fire. Monique’s relatives were trapped with the Fiendfrye on the ceiling between them and the doorway.

Avada Kedavra!” shouted Harry and Rostis at the same time. The Fiendfyre shuddered even more and it seemed to be losing its form, but each curse was blasting away chunks of the ceiling. They again hit it with simultaneous Killing Curses. Chunks of burning wood flew around the room causing several more fires. The Fiendfrye seemed to be destroyed, but the room was now unstable with most of Monique’s relatives on the wrong side of the flames.

Harry pointed his wand at the Frenchmen who was still lying at the other end of the room and sent him flying through the opening in the wall. “Take him to the Ministry, Rostis. Have them throw him in Azkaban forever.”

“Harry you need to get out! The house might fall on you,” shouted Rostis.

“Go! I need to get everyone out safely!” Harry turned to see the flames near his head from the ceiling that seemed to be bowing down to the floor. The Basques were trapped on the other side of them. He looked and saw Monique’s mother still clutching her dead daughter, but now she had her face buried in Monique’s hair and was crying while rocking back and forth on her knees. The fire was directly above them.

Using his Holly wand, he created a shield around Mrs. Arana and Monique. It formed an arch over them so that it held the flaming ceiling up as well. He tried to expand it so the others could exit through the Floo, but he couldn’t generate enough magical force. Pointing the other wand at the far wall he blasted it open revealing the street outside. He didn’t need to say anything as they all turned and ran for the opening in the wall.

The sudden influx of fresh air caused the flames to surge and Mrs. Arana was cut off from her relatives. The suddenly increase of the flames intensity further weakened the ceiling causing it to crash down on him. He pointed his other wand upward and formed a shield dome around him. It felt as though the entire house had fallen on him. The pressures from burning debris on his shields were quickly draining his magical core. He could feel it now. He knew if he didn’t do something soon, then he would die in this inferno.

A crack of Apparition beside him almost made him lose his concentration. “Kreacher will save master,” his faithful House Elf said, as he reached for Harry.

“No! Save them first. If you save me they die. Kreacher I order you to save them, and don’t come back for me,” Harry ordered him. Kreacher looked horrified at the request. “I will be able to Apparate out once they are safe.” The House Elf stared at him for a second. “Now Kreacher! Do it Now!”

With a pop Kreacher appeared beside Mrs. Arana and the dead body of Monique. He stared at Harry for a second, before placing his hand on them and they all disappeared.

Harry released the shield he had over them to conserve his energy. What he didn’t realize was that there was so much of the burning house being supported by that shield that when he released it the house shifted and the additional weight slammed into his shield driving him back a step or two.

In that split second that he was driven back by the inferno of his crumbling house, Kreacher had Apparated back to save him. Through his shield Harry saw his loyal House Elf reappear in the fiery destruction of the house. There was the slightest of a scream from the House Elf before he was completely consumed by the flame.

Harry watched in horror. Unable to save his servant, his friend as he died, Harry screamed. The shock broke Harry’s concentration causing his shield to weaken. A large timber that supported a section of the house crashed through the shield and into his leg. There was a combination of splintering bone and searing flesh and Harry fell to the floor; his Shield barely saving him, from the entire house crashing down on him. The heat of the flames pushed through the weakened shield burning his entire left side as he lay on the floor of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place.

Regaining his concentration and his desire to live, he used his Holly wand and lifted the heavy timber off his leg. He was concentrating so hard on maintaining his magical Shields that all pain was blocked now. He didn’t notice the heat or the smell of burning flesh. The only thing he was thinking about was moving the fire away from him and escaping.

When he had finally blocked the timber and flames away from him, he looked around at his surroundings. The entire front of the house seemed to have fallen down on him the rest of the house was igniting also as he saw embers floating down from the ceiling.

He can’t Apparate now, because he can’t stand. Realizing that he had to do something fast he came up with a desperate plan. Tightening his grip on his Holly wand, while maintaining his shield with the other wand, he Summoned the Floo fireplace in the kitchen. He felt the magic connect as the wand tugged in his hand. The wand stretched the skin of his hand as it tried to pull the immovable fireplace to him. It felt as though his fingers would be pulled out of joint as the strength of the spell increased.

Realizing that the shield that was protecting him from the flames was also holding him back, He took a deep breath, and focused all his magic into the Summoning Spell and released the Shield. He was pulled across the floor as the house collapsed around him. He could feel splinters and debris rip into his right side as he slid across the floor just ahead of the flames. He was pulled down the stairs to the kitchen and he slammed against the brick of the fireplace making him nearly lose consciousness. As he laid there barely able to form any thoughts he realized that he didn’t have any Floo Powder, and he could hear the house crumbling and see flames licking around the corner into the kitchen. Suddenly two hands grabbed his shoulders, and the world started to spin as he passed out.


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After the Horcrux: The End of the Mission

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