Chapter 24 : Heir of The Fallen
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Heir of the Fallen
“No, Hannah, don't!” gasped Boykotte, struggling against his bonds. A hand wriggled, stretching the wand that lay beyond his reach. He looked desperately at Harry's sister. “Don't say anything more!”
“Oh, don't be such a frightened ninny,” snapped Hannah, still gazing at Harry. “It won't matter once I'm finished. As it is, they have no where to go. Who can they tell?”
“It won't matter?” echoed Harry, blinking. “What are you going to do, kill us?” He looked into her smirking face and realized that was exactly what she intended to do.
“I've been waiting for this a while now, Harry,” she said. “I could sense you passing by, then coming closer after you got the letter. I watched you in that mirror,” she nodded at the mirror above the mantle piece. “I used another, smaller mirror hidden in that cell. I was watching, waiting...And now, it's come to this.” She wiggled Hermione's wand for emphasis.
“Don't,” he said. “You don't have to do this.”
She snorted, and yanked on Hermione's arm. Hermione, who had been attempting to gently pull free, was jolted back into place.
“You see, Harry...” his sister said calmly, glancing at Boykotte, “he didn't kidnap me because I was to be the downfall of the Ascensionists. I was meant to lead them. I would direct them in spear heading the wizarding world, bringing all of magical Europe to a crumbling crash, before resurrecting it in their control.”
“That's what the seer told them. That I would be their master, their head. Of course, they tried to get the information from his father first...but he refused to talk. They killed him for his insistence upon silence.”
Hermione's eyes widened in realization. “Bart Owlish...” she whispered. “Oh my god...” Harry looked at her, remembering Darren's words regarding his father. An unfortunate occurrence. This would explain it.
Hannah nodded. “The son, Darren, told them what they wanted to know after they threatened his Squib brother, Patrick. He couldn't stand for another of his family to fall. Of course, he had faith that things would still turn out right, despite his betrayal...”
Harry felt like it was happening all over again. A Seer's words in the wrong hands, and the innocent had suffered for it once again. “First Peter,” he murmured, “and now this...”
“Peter?” said Hannah sharply, eying him. “Who is Peter? What has he to do with this?”
“Peter Pettigrew,” answered Harry. “The man who betrayed our parents. The reason our parents are dead. Him and Severus Snape.”
She studied him with a bright interest. “You would make that connection...” she said quietly. “You're all about connecting the past and the present. And now, you can connect the present with the future. Imagine, me as the leader of a powerful new order, free of Mudbloods and squibs...”
“You sound like a maniac,” said Harry. “A bloodthirsty maniac striving for power until her death. Just like Voldemort. Which is funny, seeing as how you're related to his killer.”
She looked at him closely. “Yes,” she said slowly, “it is funny that you would compare me to him. The man who used to be the Dark Lord, but is now merely The Fallen. Tell me, have you guessed?”
“Guessed what?” asked Harry, watching Hermione closely. Ready for any sign from her.
“Have you not been told?” she said in surprise. “Has it not been explained to you? The reason that your victory was no victory at all? The little bit of magic that now renders your sacrifice useless?”
“What do you mean?” demanded Harry, breathing quickly, his heart speeding up. “Tell me what you're talking about!”
She laughed, a rich, mad laugh that filled the manor and echoed throughout the room. She threw her head back and let it all out, enjoying his ignorance, and increasing his panic tenfold. “My goodness,” she said finally, her blood-like eyes mirthful and menacing. “Did they not trust your steadfastness enough to tell you the truth?”
“Just tell me what you're getting at!” yelled Harry, and she smiled, baring a mouthful of shiny white teeth rimmed by red. He flinched at the sight, reminded forcefully of a beautiful prancing monster toying with its prey.
“The blood between a witch and a wizard forms a bond,” she said. “A bond that is very difficult to break. A bond that can transmit certain types of magic.”
“That's how sympathetic injury happens,” Hermione put in, her eyes darting from Hannah to Harry and back. “And in some bizarre cases, there was sympathetic pregnancy. No actual baby in the wizard, but the symptoms were verified as present.”
Hannah nodded. “As I said, “ she continued, “certain magics are carried along that bloodline. Especially if they are somewhat sentient, and very reluctant to be extinguished.”
“Sentient...?” said Harry slowly, and Hermione said quickly, “Intelligent magic, Harry. Spells that can think for themselves.”
“Take, for instance, a part of a creature...” said Hannah, beginning to smile. Her smile widened as Harry's quickening mind starting putting the pieces together. The look of horror on his face stretched her smile into a broad grin of delight.
“No,” he whispered, then shouted.“NO! IT CAN'T BE!” A responsive shout sounded from Ron's casket, and it shook madly.
“Oh,” she answered, “but it can be, and is. The Hocrux that was you, is now me. A scrap of Voldemort's soul resides in my body. Which is the other reason Malcom took me. He wanted to keep me safe, knowing that I would eventually house the last shred of Tom Riddle.”
“But why Morgana Lethalia?” asked Hermione. “Why choose her form?”
Hannah shrugged. “Easier access to a special group. The group he bade me join,” she glanced at Boykotte. “It is rather a good thing I joined. That's where I got the butler, otherwise known as Decipio Dolohov.”
“Dolohov...” muttered Harry. “Related to Antonin Dolohov?”
Hannah shrugged carelessly. “A cousin, I believe. Even though he doesn't have the same talents as the Death Eater. Which makes me question why he was ever a part of the group to begin with...”
“The Talismanic Group,” said Hermione suddenly, and Hannah smiled. “My dear father-figure” she glanced at Boykotte again, “was going to have me rise through the ranks, then overthrow the man who took over the group when they failed to gain me as a leader. I would, in the end, have him as my second-in-command. Or so he planned.” She threw the head of house a derisive look. “I doubt it would have happened so.”
“Hannah,” said Harry, “you don't have to do this. There is no good reason to throw your life away on such a rotten scheme.”
She stared at him. “I told you,” she said slowly and firmly, “I have the last piece of Voldemort inside me! I am the heir of the fallen! With my help, he shall rise again! This is my destiny!”
“I can't let you do that!” Harry shouted at her. “I can't let him return! You may be my sister, but I will do what it takes to stop him from coming back!”
“Even if you have to kill me?” she inquired slyly. This stopped him. Was he prepared to kill his last remaining family to stop a Dark Lord from slowly regaining strength?
“I thought not!” she declared triumphantly. Harry looked at her. His only chance was surprise. He used his link with Hermione. Now, he sent, and she reacted instantly.
She swept her foot against Hannah's knocking the other girl's feet out from under her. Hannah's aim skewed, causing her spell to miss Hermione as she wrenched her arm free and jumped away.
Harry kicked his wand to ward Dudley, who was standing and staring at them. His sister's eyes followed the wand, allowing Harry to lunge at her. He wrestled the wand tip away from his face, as spell after spell poured from it, blasting holes in the ceiling.
“Dudley!” he hollered. “Take my wand and run! Save Aunt Petunia!” Dudley looked torn.
“But, Harry...” he protested, and Harry yelled, “GO!”
Dudley grabbed up Harry's wand and sprinted out the door as best as he could with his lumbering gait. Harry turned back to his struggling sibling and with a quick twist of his hand, he forced the wand around so that her next spell struck her in the chest. She was sent crashing into the wall, wand flying. Using a gust of wind to pull the wand into his hand, he called to Hermione, “Come on, we have to leave!”
He whirled and point his wand at the casket containing Ron. With a bang, the metal container vanished, and Ron rolled across the floor, caught off guard. He quickly sprang to his feet. “Where'd that bloody witch head off to?” he snapped, then spotted the hole in the wall. He whistled. “Nice going, mate.”
“Thanks,” responded Harry. “Now let's move!” He and Ron ran to the door, Hermione joining them. Ron stopped and scooped up the unconscious Narcissa.
“Lot of help she is,” he growled. “Must have been hit pretty hard.” They moved on, approaching the front door. Ron set Narcissa down softly, then tugged and pushed at the wooden doors. After a moment, he shook his head.
“Sealed,” he muttered. “We have to go another way.”
“Is there a back door?” asked Harry looking at Hermione. She nodded. “I'll lead the way.” Ron picked Narcissa up again, then followed Hermione as she headed toward the back of the manor. They were just had just passing one of the halls, when Dudley appeared.
“Harry!” he exclaimed upon seeing him. “I can't find Mum.”
Harry stared at him, bewildered. “She isn't in the room?” he asked, and Dudley shook his head. “I've checked the other rooms near it, and there's no sign.”
“She can't have gone too far...” muttered Harry, disturbed. This wasn't good. Of all the times for his aunt to go missing...
“Is there any chance she went-”started Hermione, when a loud crashing sounded from above, accompanied by screaming. At the same time, the entire house shifted.
“I think your sister is back,” muttered Ron, looking nervously in the direction of the sitting room. The manor shook again, eliciting another scream. He thought he heard Dudley's name buried vaguely in the shrill enunciation of her shrieks.
Harry looked at the others. “What next?” he wondered aloud, and Ron shuddered. Harry looked up. “I have to go look. I can't leave her in trouble.”
“Get going, mate. But don't take too long. We don't know how strong your sister is.”
Harry nodded. “Get outside. The further you are from here, the better.” He waited until they were hurrying away, then turned to Dudley.
“Alright,” he sighed. “Let's go get her.”
in the next chapter...
“Harry,” he said, “the roof isn't going to fall in on us, is it?”
“It might,” Harry responded grimly. “I'm not sure what she's trying to do, exactly.”
“So we might die?” asked Dudley. Harry turned and looked his cousin in the face. The big blonde appeared very frightened, his visage pale and weary.
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