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Chapter 15 : Chapter 14: Bitter Sweet
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She regretted her decision to wait for Harry to return before starting on his mission. Harry and his team had apparated in the Burrow bloodied and bruised but nonetheless all right. The news they brought was grim though. Their enemy has already gotten hold of the blood red sword.
So she had help in healing Cho and the others, seeing that Harry was already healed, if he was wounded at all in the first place. She tried to get to Cho or Seamus first but Jocasta and Sebastian was faster. They have already taken Cho and Seamus so she grudgingly started healing Draco. Surprisingly, the Slytherin spoke not a single word as she healed him.
What surprised her even more was Harry’s decision to include the now healed Draco Malfroy into her team who’ll contact all magical creatures.
“Slow down, will you?” Draco shouted after them as they walked briskly into the Forbidden Forest.
“If you can’t keep up then I suggest you return to the Burrow.” She answered back irritably.
“Or we could just slow down.” Luna suggested, striding serenely beside her. “We might meet the Hornswagger if we walk too fast you know.”
“And what is a Hornswagger?” Draco asked, with raised eyebrow as he caught up with the girls.
“They are flying creatures with huge horn. They use the Horns to attach themselves to running person. They are pretty heavy and we’ll attack you if you stopped walking fast.” Luna looked back at him, still smiling. “You should read the Quibbler more often.”
“What…” Draco stopped walking and was looking at Luna incredulously.
“Keep moving or we’ll leave you behind.” Hermione grumbled, not missing a beat as she walked onwards toward the centaurs clearing.
“You come at a bad moment, child.” Ronan looked down seriously at Hermione Granger and her companions. Behind him, dozens of centaurs lie tied down to the ground, some of them was foaming in the mouth, others mumbling incoherent words. “Even the professors of Hogwarts could do nothing to stop the madness. They had to station two professors here who incapacitate those that are caught in the madness. My people are no fit to fight your war.”
“Surely there are other means that you could help.” Hermione asked.
“If you can think of something then tell us.” Ronan spread his arm helplessly.
“Perhaps some of your brethren know something about what is happening here.” Draco sneered.
“There was one of us but he is incoherent now. It will do you no good talking to him.” With a huff, Ronan turned around and left them gawking at his dust.
“Now what?” Draco asked.
“We go visit the goblins.” Luna answered smilingly before Hermione could retort angrily.
“It is a trap!” Apolline slammed her fist on the table. They had found out that Monsieur Delacour will be transferred from Chateau de Dordogne into undisclosed location in Marseilles where he will await public execution.
“But this is our best chance so far.” Bill said. “Instead of infiltrating the impregnable fortress, we could simply waylay the transport carrying Monsieur Delacour. And we could still use the imperiused Bulstrode as a means to get closer.”
“I am telling you this is a trap!”
“Don’t you want to rescue papa?” Fleur asked, her voice seething with anger.
“I want to more than you will ever know.” Apolline looked calmly at her daughter. “But I’ll not lose you or any of the Weasley in a foolhardy campaign. Molly will kill me!”
George and Ron laughed at her last statement
“This is no laughing matter.” Katrina scoffed beside Luke, rolling her eyes at the antics of the foolish Americans.
“I beg to…” Ron glared at her before he was stopped by Bill.
“Not now, Ron.” He stared at Apolline. “Your daughter wants to take this chance and I’ll back her up so this will happen with or without your help.”
“If that is your stand then I am afraid I cannot lend you the resistance. The fate of France lies on their shoulder and I can’t risk them all even for my own happiness. That said, it would be beyond my control if two hotheaded resistance members help you escape and mount a daring rescue mission, no?” She glanced pointedly at Katrina and Luke before walking out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
“I guess we are going.” Luke smirked lopsidedly, reminding Ron of the countless time Harry had smiled the same smile before venturing into something they were ill prepared to face.
According to their information, Monsieur Delacour will be transported through a muggle all terrain vehicle through the jungle that bordered Co’te Bleue toward Marseilles. The death eaters have abandoned broom flying because the Resistance might be expecting them doing that exactly. Their reasoning was that the Resistance would never anticipate them using muggle transport.
And so Bill had plan an ambush in the middle of the forest where trees are higher and denser, the easier for them to avoid detection without using concealment charms. He had also decided not to use Bulstrode. He poses too much a risk that he might recover from the imperius curse in the middle of the operations.
“I got a bad feeling about this.” Katrina whispered. She was sitting on a branch on a large and leafy tree directly beside the route the transport will take. Beside her sat a fidgeting Ron Weasley.
“Then why did you come in the first place?” He asked irritably, not looking at her. If truth be told, he is affected by her presence more than he’d ever admit. She reminds him of Fleur the first time he saw her. He suspects that French woman has some Veela heritage in her.
“I am curious about you, actually.” She replied frankly, eyeing him. She had specifically requested from Bill Weasley that she be paired with Ron and he had agreed wearing a knowing smile. “And until satisfy my curiosity, I’ll just make sure you come out of this in one piece.”
“Curious…” Ron stammered almost slipping from his perch.
“Yes.” She laughed quietly. “At first glance you are nothing but a bumbling idiot. But I detect something else underneath your skin. You exude something I can’t quite put my finger on it. But bet on this, I’ll find out sooner or later.”
“I…I’m already engage.” He blushed, still stammering. In his mind he kept picturing Hermione’s face. It was so easy to fall for the French woman if he doesn’t remind himself of Hermione.
“Engage not married.” She dimpled at him archly. “But don’t worry I’ll behave. You will come to me in…shhh…I hear the car.” Minutes later, a small yellow bird flew pass them.
“That’s Luke signal. The transport is coming.” Ron murmured as he drew his wand. It would be his job to create a blockage on the car’s path even as Bill, Fleur, George and Luke creates blockage on three other side of the car, effectively imprisoning it.
“I’ll fire diversionary curses at them.” Katrina whispered, all trace of playfulness gone from her voice. “You think of something to block their path.”
“I have just the spell.” He murmured, remembering the Silex Silicis spell that conjures boulders. Harry had enjoyed casting it at every chance he got. “We just got to time it…”
“Now!” Katrina shouted as jumped from her perch, sending a volley of curses at the approaching car.
“Damn!” He watched as the French woman swung from one branches to another, momentarily exposing slender legs as she cartwheels. “Focus, Ron. Silex Silicis!” He shouted as a huge boulder appeared on the pat of the car. It skidded violently, avoiding collision with the boulder with an inch margin. It tried to go back where it came from but trees fell, blocking its path. On both side of the path, deep crevices appeared, felling trees and blocking any way for the car.
With an angry shriek, Fleur sent a spell that blew the roof of the car. Katrina deftly landed on the hood of the car at the same time throwing stunning spells inside the now opened car. As the others converge on the car, George remained hidden, maintaining the anti apparition ward he had placed around the attack area.
“He’s here.” Luke said triumphantly as he fished out an unconscious and bound Monsieur Delacour from the car. “He’s out cold but he’s all right.”
“Oh, dad.” Fleur whispered as she gently removed the gag on her father’s mouth.
“Perhaps…” Katrina hesitated, still standing on the hood of the car.
“It is him.” Bill spoke as he approach his wife. “I have already checked as soon as Luke pulled him out of the car. Have we checked who driver of the car is?”
“No one.” Ron said nervously as he opened the driver’s side. “They must have charmed the car to drive on its own like dad’s Ford Anglia.”
“George, come here.” Bill shouted, looking around. “Luke, take care of Monsieur Delacour. I don’t like the feel of this. Let’s apparate out…”
“We can’t!” George ran toward them from his hiding place. “I already tried.”
“A counter trap!” Katrina spat and before anyone could react, a howl sounded out in the distance.
“Werewolves!” Let’s go.” Ron was about to run off toward the opposite direction from where the sound was coming when he was pulled back by Katrina.
“Not there but toward the sound!”
“If it is a trap then it is most likely that there are more wolves there than the one who just howled.” She hurriedly pulled him even as the others followed them. “I think they are trying to herd us.”
As if to confirm her theory, they heard more howl behind them. The sound of pursuit was also unmistakable, large bodies colliding with each others and against trees and rocks.
“We are in trouble.” Luke muttered as he ran with Monsieur Delacour slang on his left shoulder like a sack of potato, Howls erupted behind them answered by other wolves towards their side and one in front of them. “We’re officially surrounded.”
“Keep on running!” Bill shouted. “We can handle the lone wolf in front of us.”
“If we are lucky!” George shouted as huge werewolf crashed through nearby shrubs and barely missed them as they scatter.
“How the hell did it get here this fast?” Luke shouted. “Impedimenta!” The spell rebounded off the wolf’s fur as it skidded to halt before turning to face them, drooling on its snout.
“GO, we’ll handle this!” Ron shouted.
“No out is left behind!” Fleur shrieked as the wolf pounced on them again. “Sectumsempra!” Immediately, blood squirted as the wolf was slashed from left shoulder to down to its waist. It fell to the ground whimpering but it slowly got to its feet.
“Off with its head!’ Ron shouted, jumping on the back of the wolf and casting a slicing charm on the neck of the wolf. It howled in pain once before its head was decapitated from its body, showering Ron with wolf’s blood.
“Let’s go!” Katrina shouted but before they could react, dozens of snarling werewolves flew out of the darkness around them.
George was quick on his feet, casting a levicorpus spell on one wolf and hurling it toward one of its companion that was stalking Luke. Bill caught the wolf attacking him with a bombardment spell aimed at its open snout. The wolf flew past them with its face blown apart. Fleur site stepped to avoid a pouncing werewolf. As the large body pass through her, she casted a reducto curse on it, making it yelp in pain. Katrina was deftly evading werewolves and casting any offensive spells she could think off.
Ron was the most unfortunate of the lot. He had lost his balance when the wolf he was perched on had collapse in a shower of blood. As he tried to stand up and swipe blood off his face, a huge body slammed against him. Searing pain shout through his shoulder the wolf bit into it.
“RON!” Bill shouted and was about to run back when three more werewolves dashed toward them.
“We can’t help him now!” Luke shouted even as Fleur pulled Bill away.
George glanced brokenheartedly as another wolf bit into Ron’s side. Even in pain, Ron managed to cast a reducto spell against the wolf biting on his shoulder. He fell down as another wolf slammed against him.
“GO!” Katrina pushed George away. There was a determined glint in her eyes. “I’ll save him.”
“But…” He looked desperately at Ron who was now swamped under the mass of werewolves snarling all over him.
“She knows what she’s doing!” Luke shouted as he dashed back to pull George with them.
Bill and George, with tears on their face glanced back to see Katrina jumping into the mass of wolves that was meleeing over the broken body of their brother.
“Ron…” Bill cried bitterly as he run away, holding his wife’s hand in a vise-like grip.
In the Forbidden Forest, as Hermione tripped as she was about to disapparate.
“Hey, Granger…” Draco caught her on the shoulder before she fell.
“Let go of me.” She whispered as her heart suddenly ached. Something has happened to Ron! She murmured panicky even as tears started falling from her eyes.
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