Chapter 12 : Master of Fire
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Master of Fire
The dragon growled, advancing. Harry circled around it, keeping a careful eye on every one of its movements.
“And now,” he said, “time to play!” And he leaped, sword extended.
The dragon sprang aside, and Harry flew past it. He swung his sword at its side, leaving a shallow slash on the scaly hide. The dragon glanced at it, before pouncing.
Harry held up the sword, so the dragon might impale itself upon the blade, but the beast twisted to avoid the injury. As it dove by, it swiped its claws at Harry, forcing him to jump. He landed beside its head, and tried to thrust the sword into the underside of its chin. But the dragon hurled itself into the air, rolling by just over Harry's head. It landed on Harry's other side, and swept its tail toward him.
Seeing a small gap beneath its tail, he rolled beneath it, then dashed around to the dragon's back. He slashed several times in quick succession, leaving shallow cuts on its back. The creature promptly rolled over with a roar, and let loose a torrent of flame.
Harry raised a hand, causing the flames to stop, then poured some fire of his own, from his palm. The fire swarmed around the dragon's head, and it jerked back in surprise. He leaped up, indending to land on its head, but it swung its head sideways, leaving him to grab its neck, sliding down the flesh onto its back.
The dragon rose, and Harry balanced carefully on the ridges of the dragon's spine. Thrashing its head, it caught sight of him, and breathed fire at him. He jumped over the burning flow, coming down on the beast's snout. He slashed into it, with little effect.
I need more power, he thought. Gryffindor, give me strength.
IT IS YOURS FOR THE TAKING, YOUNG POTTER, responded Gryffindor.
Thanks, said Harry, and he held up the now-glowing sword. With single swing, he sliced neatly through the ridge above the dragon's eye, and continued down through its actual eye.
The dragon roared, shaking its head. Harry was sent soaring through the air, landing behind the dragon. It spun, and let rip with a river of flame. Harry blocked it with his hand...and watched as the dragon leaped over the fire. He lifted the sword, and swung it, hard. It sliced deep into its flesh, but did nothing to hinder the great serpentine creature.
It landed squarely on top of Harry. Harry was flattened beneath it, unable to move.
“HARRY! NO!” came screams from far away. Harry tried to draw breath to respond, and failed.
“YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO US! PLEASE!”
Darkness started in at the edges of Harry's vision as his oxygen began to run out. Death..., Harry thought. He was dying...He slowly sank into blackness, until he could only see a faint spot of dragon flesh directly above him. He tried to move his limbs, but was unable.
This is the end...
NO IT ISN'T, thundered Gryffindor from deep within his mind. UTILIZE YOUR POWERS! FIND THE FIERY CORE WITHIN YOU! USE THEM TO THEIR FULL EXTENT!
Harry looked down into the inky blackness that was his death-shadowed mind. He swam into the depths of his conscious, straining for the bottom of his soul. He thought he could see a faint glow...
SEEK THE INNER POWER, HARRY POTTER. YOU ARE MY HEIR! YOU MUST NOT FAIL!
He struggled further, further, until he found the glow to be a ball of different colored bands of light. He could see red, gold, blue, green... The colors of the founders, he realized. The ball writhed and the bands wiggled and slithered around each other, pulsing with a sort of strange inner life. As he came nearer, he could feel heat rolling off of it in waves. Ignoring the trepidation he felt, he reached for it. His fingers grazed it, then plunged into the woven globe of light...he felt a burning energy fill his body, like an awesome boost of power. The light poured into his flesh, until it was no longer floating before him, but rather pulsing within...
Beneath the Mongolian dragon, Harry's half-closed eyes flew open, his irises blazing scarlet, with sparkles of yellow, green and blue. But it swiftly transformed into glaring gold.
“NO,” he barked, his voice thundering around him like the declaration of a god. “YOU WILL NOT KILL ME!” He seized the dragon, and lifted it a foot up. Then, flames exploded from him, throwing the beast through the air. It flipped and landed on its feet. Harry stood, his eyes shining with the newly-unleashed power.
“You have provoked me,” murmured Harry in a reverberating voice. “And now, you'll pay.” He punched the air, and a giant fist of flame soared toward the Mongolian Meteor, striking it in the side of the head. Another flaming fist struck it on the other side, snapping its head back the other way.
The dragon snarled, and lunged at Harry. Harry raised his hands, sending out ropes of fire. The ropes of fire wrapped around the dragon, swinging it up and over Harry, before slamming it onto the ground, causing the earth to quake.
The dragon moaned, then rolled in an apparent endeavor to crush Harry beneath it a second time. Harry stomped on the ground, causing fire to erupt under the rolling beast. This launched it into the air, so that it rolled above Harry.
Not waiting for it to land, Harry fired a beam of flame from his fist, which slammed into the dragon, sending it flying. The Meteor somersaulted, before unfolding its wings. With a shriek, it swooped down and toward Harry.
Harry smirked, and made a claw shape with his hand. He raised his hand, and a ring of fire grew from the ground around him, forming a circular wall of combustion. The dragon crashed into the wall, and was thrown back. Landing, it rammed into the wall, and again bounced back. It laid his head against the flaming barrier, and pushed, hard. Harry waited, allowing the beast to slowly advance; then he placed his hand on its head, and focused. A moment later, a huge explosion was released from his palm, hurling the dragon back. It lay where it landed, stunned.
Harry promptly raised his hands, then brought them down. There was a faint roaring sound overhead, and several large meteor-like fireballs fell from the sky. The Meteor tried to scramble out of the way, but it was too soon for its strength to return. The fireballs pummeled it, eliciting an agonized howl from the scaly brute. Harry banished the wall of fire, then picked up the sword of Gryffindor from where it had fallen. He slowly approached the fallen dragon.
It raised its head, and aimed a burst of fire at him. With a thought, he made the flames swerve to miss him. With what was clearly a huge amount of effort, the dragon got to its feet. Bracing itself, it gave a menacing growl, then took a large breath, before opening its jaws. Harry was impressed by the flood of fire now rushing at him, but knew that the dragon's effort was in vain. He rolled beneath the flaming onslaught, and sprang up beside the dragon's head.
“Pitiful,” he scoffed, and delivered a powerful kick to the beast's shoulder. The creature fell over with a yelp. He stood over it, gazing down at the monster that was now at his mercy.
“You put up a good fight,” he said slowly. “But not good enough.” He lifted the sword, and walked over to the dragon's head. He met its eye. Its lonely, weary, pained eye...he looked away, and examined its neck. He lifted the sword above his head, and with a thought, the blade burst into flame.
“You lose,” he declared, and brought the blade down. Alone, it wouldn't have done much. But he gave it some help, by causing it to set off an explosion on impact. Harry focused the resulting blast along a vary narrow path, creating a surprisingly efficient effect. The dragon's entire neck was severed, and the head twitched, then lay still.
He stood with his blood-soaked sword, studying his kill, when he sensed movement nearby. His head jerked up, and although he couldn't see anything moving, he knew someone or something was there. He quickly concentrated, and everything changed color as he reverted to heat vision.
A figure was walking quickly away from the corpse...Harry raised a hand, and a wall of flame appeared before the figure.
“Reveal yourself,” commanded Harry.
“Reveal myself?” said a voice. “That is what you wish? Very well. But beware, I won't just reveal myself...” It spun, and Harry saw a flash of light. He jumped aside, avoiding the spell.
“I'm warning you,” Harry called, “do not try me!”
“No,” called the voice, “I warn you not to try me!” Another spell came flying, and Harry ducked, dropping the sword.
I need a spell, Harry thought. A spell to reveal this person...
USE APERIO ABSCONDITUS, commanded a female voice.
Harry paused, confused. Who...? he asked.
I AM RAVENCLAW, the voice replied. SINCE MY BLOOD RESIDES WITHIN YOUR VEINS, YOU CAN HEAR MY VOICE AS WELL. NOW USE THE SPELL I TOLD YOU.
Er, okay...thought Harry. He raised his hand, and the 'R' shaped scar glowed blue.
“Aperio Absconditus!” he yelled, and there was a flash of white light. Suddenly, a man with wild blond hair and ragged robes appeared.
“Ah, so you managed to reveal me,” he shouted. “Very clever of you. But that will not save you from my curse...” he waved his wand, and a jet of green light sped toward Harry.
“You insist on killing me,” observed Harry. “So, you leave me no choice.” He raised a hand, and whipped it down. A waterfall of fire materialized; the wizard Disapparated just in time. Harry's enhanced hearing detected a small pop behind him, and he turned in time to see another Killing Curse coming at his face. He raised his arm, and a shield of golden light came before him. The spell struck it and bounced off, followed by a couple more Killing Curses.
“You can't penetrate my magical shield,” Harry said. “It originated with Gryffindor himself.”
“So?” snapped the wizard. “I can kill you anyway!” Again, he Disapparated, and this time, he appeared right next to Harry.
“Avada kedavra!” he roared. Harry ducked, and hit the wizard with an uppercut. His opponent was sent flying, landing several feet away. Harry stood and walked over.
“Tell me, wizard, what is your name?” asked Harry.
“Lenny Lunkits!” spat the blond haired man. “Why? Want to know the name of your killer?”
“No, I wanted to know so you aren't a nameless face in my memory,” replied Harry.
“You won't have a memory when I'm finished!” laughed Lunkits madly. “You won't have need for one!”
“Wrong,” said Harry grimly.
“I'll prove you wrong!” Lenny shrieked, pointing his wand.
Harry reacted reflexively, holding out his hand. Lenny burst into flame at the same second that a jet of maroon light left his wand. Harry hastily conjured a shield of fire, but a small amount of the curse made it through and hit him in the chest. Harry stumbled backwards, gasping, as the skin on his chest began to boil...
He ignored Lenny's dying screams, and focused on the wound the curse had made. The skin was bubbling like water in a hot pot.
IF THAT CURSE HAD HIT YOU FULLY, YOU WOULD HAVE MELTED INTO A HUMAN PUDDLE, said Gryffindor in his mind.
I KNOW A SPELL TO HEAL THAT, said a different female voice in his mind.
Hufflepuff? He asked.
YES, answered the voice. I AM HUFFLEPUFF. MY BLOOD IS IN YOU, SO...
Yeah, yeah, answered Harry. I inherited your voice too. I get it.
USE AMOVEO MALUM, she instructed. THAT WILL REMOVE THE CURSE.
He held his hand over the wound. “Amoveo Malum,” he spoke, and the 'H' shped scar on his hand flared gold for a second. The skin on his chest calmed, the pain fading away.
Thanks, he said in his head.
YOU ARE VERY WELCOME, answered Hufflepuff kindly.
Harry checked on Lenny. Dead, from severe burns. Harry stumbled away from the body, feeling exhausted as the magic left his system. He looked up, and saw his friends approaching from the sky.
“Blimey, mate,” said Ron when he reached Harry. “That was one hell of a fight!”
“Yeah,” Harry responded tiredly. “But it was exhausting.”
“Did you access Gryffindor's full strength?” asked Hermione. “I've never seen you use that much power before...”
“Well, it was kind of necessary,” Harry said.
“And the way you used that sword!” exclaimed Ron. “I never knew you were so skilled with it. I mean, you killed a Basilisk with it, but still...”
“It was Gryffindor's power that gave me skill,” explained Harry. “And speaking of the sword,” he turned around, “I have to go back and get it.”
Harry walked over to the body of the dead dragon and reached for the sword.
“Harry, no!” cried Hermione. “Don't you know that after a Meteor dies, it-”
And the dragon exploded.
Everyone was thrown back by the force of the explosion, and Hermione saw Harry fly through the air.
“NO!” she shrieked. She ran to the spot where he landed and knelt beside him. “Oh Harry,” she sobbed. “Please don't be dead!”
“I'm...not...dead...Mione...” Harry mumbled, cracking his eyes open. He felt horrible, as though acid had been poured over him.
“Not yet, anyway,” muttered Ron, and Hermione shot him a ferocious glare.
“We must get him help, immediately,” said Eve. “He cannot survive long with such severe burns.”
Harry's eyes began to close as his strength waned.
“He's fading!” yelled Ron as Harry went limp. “He's fading!” he looked closer. “He isn't even breathing. Bloody hell, he's going to die!”
“Shut up, Ron!” screeched Hermione in a panicked tone. Harry sensed her come closer.
“Stay with us, Harry!” she pleaded desperately. “Don't you dare leave!”
Harry would have responded, but the darkness chose that moment to suck him in, removing him from any semblance of space and time.
Hoo boy, Harry dies again. The next chapter will be VERY surprising, and perhaps somewhat implausible. But it adds to the excitement. Anyway...keep reading, please review, suggestions always welcome, and on to the next chapter!
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