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The End of the Beginning-The Beginning of the End by Marc
Chapter 49 : White Warriors
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 16


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There were still a few weeks before the Christmas Holiday.  An early snowstorm had blanketed the area in a deep pillow of white fluff.  True to his word, Harry disapparated north and brought the contingency of snow constructs back to the Burrow.  Each bowed to Molly in turn and went back to their daily patrols about the yard.  

Later that afternoon, Harry and Ginny had gone out into their own back yard and built two snow people; one for Ginny and one for Harry.  They had played out in the snow and the cold, like two children, since it was their first snow in their new home and they wanted to christen it properly.

The Minister had come to their house several times but the wards that Harry had put up were able to hold off anything but the most destructive attacks.  The Minister didn’t want to make a big scene in the public arena so he had the security guards leave after they tested the surrounding wards.  He had decided that to enter Harry Potter’s home in broad daylight would have brought about too many questions so he, and the men that were working for him, were going to come back later that night so that they could quietly remove the two occupants from the home without being seen or questioned.

No one saw the eight bulges slide through the open gate and into the back yard.  Harry stepped out into his back yard some time later to refill the bird feeders that Ginny had hung in the two small trees that had been planted there.  He didn’t notice that the two snow people that he and Ginny had built, earlier that day, had changed their position and were a bit larger than before.  When he walked back into his home the constructs glanced at each other but didn’t move.

That night McLaggen and five other members of his Ministry guards were able to cancel the wards to Potter’s Pride and slip into the back yard.  They were going to open the small back door to the workshop that was in Harry’s basement, so that they could get to the occupants inside.  

McLaggen had just pointed his wand at the basement door’s lock, when a wall of snow jumped up in front of him and grabbed the wand out of his hand.  The other five men were engulfed by snow that quickly formed itself into Harry’s snowmen.  The attack had happened so fast and was over so quickly that no one had time to utter a sound.  Before he knew it, the Minister was standing alone in the back yard of one of his worst enemies, without his wand, and facing a very large and angry looking snow man, if it was possible for a snow man to look angry.

McLaggen came back to his senses within a few seconds and tried to punch the snowman in front of him.  His fist knocked the construct’s head off.  Within seconds new snow returned and reformed a new head.  The snow man, for his part, brought his hand up and making what looked like an index finger, wagged it back and forth as if it was a parent scolding a young child after they had done something wrong.

Harry was sitting in his parlour with Ginny when he heard a dull thumping on the wall at the back of the house.  He and Ginny went out to see what had cause the disturbance.  The snow men that weren’t holding the Minister and his cohorts, bowed to their friend and benefactor.  One of the snowmen tipped a snow hat that had formed on its head towards Ginny and then turned to see what Harry had to say about the six men in his backyard.

“You would sneak into my yard at night.  You would attack me and mine without provocation.  I’ll grant you safe passage home, THIS ONE TIME!!  Next time I’ll allow my cold friends to introduce you to their summer vacation locale.  Don’t let me catch you trying this again.  I challenged you once in the Wizengamot’s chamber.  Nothing came of it since the true Minister interceded on your behalf.  That won’t happen again.  If I ever catch you on my property again, we will have it out and you will not come away unscathed.  Do you understand?” Harry yelled.  

Ginny was standing next to Harry and she could feel wave after wave of raging energy pulse from her husband.  It was times like this, when Harry was at his most powerful, that she found a truly incredible attraction to him.  It excited and frightened her to be with someone who was able to produce this type of power and command like Harry could. 

“Potter, I know that it was you that got your Auror compatriot out of the cell in the Ministry.  In my book, that’s treason and I intend on taking you in one way or another.  Let’s see what the public says after I give the Prophet a couple of interviews about how dangerous you really are and what you’re doing,” the Minister leaned forward as he raged.  One of the snowmen wrapped a snowy arm around the Ministers neck and held him back from Harry and Ginny.

Harry turned to the lead construct and, with a nod of his head, dismissed the lot of them.  “Take him back to the Ministry and let him go there.  If he gives you any trouble you can show him your summer quarters.”  The snowman with the Minister in his grasp turned and slid out of Harry’s back yard, the others followed; carrying the Minister and the security guards with them.  

Two hours later, all of the guards were sitting around one of the larger potbellied stoves in their office trying to warm themselves up enough to be able to control their wands enough to warm and dry their clothes.

They had made it a point to sit as far away from the Minister as possible, since he was raging on about how he was going to make this Potter bloke pay for what had been done to him that night.  One of the guards suggested that Potter should be left alone.  He quickly left the room when the Minister turned his attention on him.  It had not been a good night at the Ministry for this group of men.

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Hermione flushed herself into the Ministry the next morning.  She was running a few minutes late, and was a bit harried, since Ron had been in a playful mood and the two of them had lost track of time.  She took the lift to her office’s floor and made her way over to her boss’s desk.  “Morning!” she said, as she unwrapped the scarf from her neck.  

“Morning Hermione.  I was asked to let you know that there will be a meeting with the rest of the staff at noon today.  The Minister wants to go over some new rules and regulations that he’s instituted.  Word is that he’s going to reassign some of the department heads to better meet the new requirements for the control of house elves,” her boss’s secretary, Melanie, told her.

“He can’t do that.  We’ve gone over this before.  The laws protecting the elves were already established before even Kingsley was Minister.  McLaggen doesn’t have the authority to change these laws.  It would take an act of the Wizengamot to change the laws and I know that they wouldn’t do it,” Hermione told her boss as she walked over to her office to deposit her cloak and scarf on the chair that was just inside the doorway. 

“That was last month.  He’s forced over half the Wizengamot to retire and has replaced those members with other members of the Ministry that he’s hand picked.  They’re in the process of overturning these laws as we speak,” her boss told her.

Hermione turned on her heels and marched back to the lifts.  She was walking down the corridor to the main chamber of the Wizengamot within two minutes.  There was no preamble or knocking on her part as she reached the door to the chamber.  It flew open as she came through and stepped into the center of the same chamber that Harry had come to so many times before.  

“What’s this that I hear you’re doing,” she asked without waiting to be recognized.

“Young lady you have no business here, leave!” one of the senior Wizengamot members told her as he pointed his finger at the door at the back of the chamber.

“I’m not going anywhere.  This is an illegal action; the vote on the repeal of any part of the covenant that has been officially enacted into law can not be removed unless it’s voted on by the Wizarding community at large.  You don’t have the right to try and cancel any previously enacted law.  I will be filing a formal complaint against this sitting of the Wizengamot.  This is my right as a member of one of the offices that the law will directly affect,” Hermione explained to everyone there as she stepped into the center of the room.  The members leaned forward to see what this young woman had to say.  

“If you try to repeal these laws I will make sure that everyone that votes to do so will be publicly held accountable for it.  If I have anything to say about it, you’ll be removed from your seat on the Wizengamot.  You know that if I want to, it will be done,” Hermione told them.  

The door at the back of the room opened and the Minister and three of his guards stepped in.  “Weasley! You have no business here.  The interference with the operation of the Wizengamot is an offence punishable by imprisonment in Azkaban Prison.  You will go quietly with this Auror if you know what’s good for you,” McLaggen threatened.

“You don’t have the authority to have me sent to Azkaban.  After Fudge abused that power it was legally banned.  I would have to stand a full public trial for you to be able to send me there,” Hermione told him as she tried to step toward the doorway since she realized that he wasn’t following the normal laws and she could be in danger form the guards that were with him.  

The flash was too quick for her to respond too.  One of the guards had brought his wand up behind the back of one of the other guards and slipped it around to point it at Hermione.  The young woman dropped to the floor completely unconscious.  “Take her.  Make sure she’s in her cell before she awakens,” McLaggen told the lead guard.  The man nodded to his boss and, yanking the limp body of the young woman off of the floor; he threw her over his shoulder and carried her out of the door.  “Now get back to changing the law.  I want it repealed before the end of the business day,” he told them as he turned and walked out of the chamber.

No one noticed that Instructor Twycross stood and slipped out of one of the other doors at the back of the chamber.  He had such a bad bladder that he was always having to step out to make himself comfortable.  They didn’t see him as he disapparated away.  He definitely had focused on the Destination, Determination, and Deliberation, he was going to use to go and see the most powerful wizard that he knew of, at this time.

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A tapping at the front door of Potter’s Pride drew Harry’s attention to the front of his home.  Kreacher returned from the door a moment later with the Daily Prophet.  Harry’s elf tried to hide the paper at first but handed it over to his Master, when Harry put his hand out for it.

“Master will not be happy if he reads this rag today,” Kreacher croaked out.  “Let Kreacher destroy it for you.  What is written there should not be read.”

“It can’t be that bad, Kreacher.  Let’s see,” Harry said as he unfolded the paper to the front page.  What he saw took his breath away and made the veins in his temples pound.

“Oh, no!  They didn’t!” Harry mumbled to his elf.

“Yes Master, they did.  Mistress Ginny will be hurt by what this says,” Kreacher said just as Ginny walked into the room.

“Oh good, dear you have the paper.  I want to see how our standings are matching up to the competition this week,” she told him as she took the paper from his hand.

She stopped dead in her tracks.  “That witch!! I’ll kill her. How dare she write something like this for everyone to read!  Bur and I are friends.  We are not lovers!! How dare she insinuate such a thing to the public in this rag?  Oh, Harry!  If Bur sees this, she’s going to be raging.  We’ve got to stop her or someone’s going to get hurt or killed.  Harry, can we go to the Prophet’s main office right away?  We can’t let her get to the editor or Skeeter, they’ll be dead and she’ll be in Azkaban,” Ginny was explaining to Harry as she pulled him toward the front door.

The two of them took a couple of steps forward and were stepping into the corridor leading to the editor in chief’s office.  They had only arrived when the sound of crashing furniture and screams for help could be heard.  Several people were running away from the noise as fast as their legs could carry them, some were just disapparating away, to get away from the area.

Harry grabbed Ginny’s hand and started to run toward the noise.  When they rounded the corner at the end of the corridor, part of a desk came flying past them; over their heads.  Harry stepped through the hole in the wall that had once been the door to the editor’s office.  Bur had the editor by the throat in her left hand and Rita Skeeter by the hair in her right hand.  Rita’s glasses were gone and the editor’s shirt and robes were shredded to rags.  

“Bur let go of them!” Harry yelled as he stepped closer to them.  

“Bur, please put them down,” Ginny asked her massive friend.

“What?!  After what Skeeter just wrote about us, and this low life piece of dirt just printed in his rag about us; not likely!” Bur yelled over her shoulder at her friend.           

“Bur, let them go.  I can’t let you do this to them.  Don’t force me to stop you,” Harry told his wife’s very large friend.

“Potter, take Ginger Snap and leave!  She shouldn’t see what’s going to happen, it’s not going to be pretty,” she ordered.

“No!! Help me!  She’s mad! Make her let us go,” the editor was gasping out from under Bur’s massive hand.

Harry shook his head and glanced at his wife.  There was no other way to keep his wife’s friend from doing something that would send her to Azkaban.  He flicked his wand and the big woman slipped to the floor, unconscious.  

Harry waved his wand again and the office repaired itself.  The furniture flew back into its proper place and the pieces of the editor’s desk came back together and mended themselves into one complete desk.

“Don’t go anywhere,” Harry told them as he levitated the massive woman off of the floor with his wand and grabbed her by the hair.

Harry took his wife by the hand and took two steps forward, the three of them disapparated away from the office.  Within seconds, the three of them were in the main office of the Holyhead Harpies.  “What the bloody hell is going on here?” Gwenog screamed as the three of them popped in.

“Gwen, did you read what the Prophet wrote about Bur and me in this morning’s paper? Ginny wanted to know.

“You mean this?” Gwen held up a copy that had been on her desk.  “Yeah, they shouldn’t print what Skeeter writes.  She’s poison,” Gwen made her views known to her two friends.

“Bur tried to explain that to the editor.  She had him by the throat and Skeeter by the hair when we got there.  Gwen, she’s ragging!  You’ve got to keep her here until she calms down.  Tell her that I’m going to get the story retracted and I’ll have them print an apology for her, Ginny and the rest of the team,” Harry told the head of the Harpies as he took his wife’s hand and disapparated away.  

Gwenog turned to her massive team mate and waved her wand.  Sizable chains materialized from the tip of her wand and wrapped themselves several times around the prone woman.  “That should hold you for awhile.” 

“I’ll... I’ll... have her thrown in Azkaban for what she just did.  How dare she threaten a member of the publishing community?  When I’m done with her, she’ll rue the day that she touched me,” the editor was building up a head of steam, and his indignation came shinning through.

“You! Sit and shut your mouth!” Harry barked as he pointed at the editor.  “If you hadn’t printed those perverted lies in your rag, there wouldn’t have been any attack on Ber’s part.  The way I see it, she had every right to discuss her grievances with you.  I can’t help it if she’s just a bit more animated about her discussions.  You!  Will print a complete retraction and an apology to the two ladies in question and you’ll apologize to the team as a whole as well.  If you ever write something like this again... I won’t stop her,” Harry explained the situation to the two members of the Wizarding newspaper.  

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The two newlyweds had just returned to their home when their fireplace flared bright green.  Bonnie and Daniel came spinning out into the main living room.  The two of them had grown from the previous year and they had started to change into the young adults that everyone would know as they continued their Hogwarts career. 

“Daniel!  Bonnie!  What are you doing here?” Ginny asked as she went over to give the two of them welcoming hugs. 

“Hello Ginny!  Harry we were asked to come and get you.  Hermione is in grave danger!” Daniel told his older friend and mentor.

“What do you mean she’s in danger?” Harry asked.

“I’m not sure, some old relic by the name of Twycross.   Harry, the old guy is ready to have a heart attack.  He keeps saying that he has to speak with you right away; Hermione’s been sent to Azkaban! He’s in Head Mistress McGonagall’s office.  She called Bonnie and me from home to come to her office.  I guess that she called us since we’re so close to school,” Daniel finished.

“He’s so scared that he’s locked himself in Head Mistress McGonagall’s office and won’t allow anyone else to enter.  The poor, little, old guy he seems so nice but he’s terrified.  He keeps saying that if the Minister finds out about what he’s done he’ll be sent away as well,” Bonnie told her friend as she wrapped her arms around Ginny.

“Bonnie, you stay here with Ginny.  I’ll be back with Dan in a few minutes.  I want to see what Instructor Twycross has to say for myself,” Harry told the little blond as he stepped toward the hearth with his younger companion.  The two of them were gone in a flash of green.

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Little, old, Instructor Twycross was sitting in the chair in front of Professor McGonagall’s desk when Harry and Daniel arrived.  The sound of the two of them coming through the floo almost terrified the old Wizard to death.  He popped up out of his chair and stepped over to Harry as quickly as he could.  The glass of sherry that the Head Mistress had given him tumbled to the floor and shattered.  Daniel waved his wand, without thinking, and the glass repaired itself with a slight pop.

“Mister Potter, thank goodness you’re here.  The Minister has gone mad.  He’s violating several of the Ministries rules by trying to overturn the laws that control the house elves.  I’ve been trying to over rule what’s being done but there are too many of his hand picked cronies in the Wizengamot, at this time, and my vote doesn’t really count anymore.  I think that’s why he hasn’t bothered with me.  I don’t count,” Wilkie told him.

“Daniel told me that he sent Hermione to Azkaban.  That’s impossible.  He would have to hold a hearing before he could send her anywhere,” Harry told the old man in disbelief. 

“He’s not following any of the rules or protocols that are supposed to be followed.  He’s replaced so many of the members of the Wizengamot that they’ll do anything he'd ask.  If he isn’t stopped soon, he’ll have total control over the Ministry.  He’ll be able to do anything he wants at that point,” Twycross lamented. 

“Harry, you’ll have to get Hermione out of there as fast as you can.  Go!  I’ll take care of Wilkie; he can stay here until you return.  Go!” Minerva ordered him.

Harry grabbed Daniel by the shoulder and pushed him into the hearth in Professor McGonagall’s office.  There was a brilliant green flash.  They were gone as if they had never been there.

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The two of them came spinning out into Harry’s parlour and almost knocked Ginny off of her feet.  “Harry!  What is going on?  Is Hermione in trouble?” Ginny asked.

“I have to send a Patronus to Ron, McLaggen’s imprisoned Hermione in Azkaban Prison.  He’s gone too far this time.  We have to stop him now, if we can,” Harry told his young wife as he flicked his wand and the stag went charging out of the front door of their home.

Within a couple of minutes Ron, Charlie, Percy, Bill, and George were standing in Harry and Ginny’s parlour.  They all had their wands in their hands and were itching to get to Azkaban.  As they were about to leave a massive gush of green flame and smoke bellowed out of the hearth.  Hagrid crawled out since he could only fit in the hearth in Professor McGonagall’s office if he crawled in on his hands and knees.

“Hagrid!  What are you doing here?” Ginny asked in surprise.

“I was told that bloody arse of a Minister had our Hermione thrown into Azkaban.  I’ve been there and it’s not a place I wan’ ta see ’er in.  I’m coming with ya’ Harry!” he bellowed as he stepped into the group of brothers.

Daniel took out his wand and stepped forward with Harry.  “Where do you think you’re going?” Harry asked him.

“Hermione’s my friend too.  If you think that I’m going to stay behind and not help, you’ve got another thing coming.  She spent a lot of time last year tutoring Bonnie and me.  I’m going!” Daniel told him as he grabbed Harry’s arm.

“This is going to be dangerous, Daniel.  I can’t get you involved,” Harry told his young friend.

“As I see it, I’m already involved.  Bonnie and I came and got you.  Remember?  May I also remind you that I’ve already been out on an adventure with you.  Australia?!!” Dan reminded his friend as he tightened his grip on Harry’s arm, once again.

“He comes with us!” Hagrid turned to Harry.  “He’s earned the right. Bonnie you stay here with Ginny.  We’ll be back in a short while.”

“Hang on!” was all that Harry said as the group stepped forward and disapparated out of the parlour of Potter’s Pride.

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 The six men, a semi-giant, and a boy, apparated, together, onto the massive hexagonal rocks at the base of Azkaban Prison.  The eight of them looked up to the top of the prison’s south face and saw the location that had been damaged when Voldermort helped his followers escape.  Harry took Daniel by the arm and within seconds the eight of them were standing in the main corridor to the cells.  

The eight of them started to yell for Hermione but the prison was too large for them to be heard for any great distance.  They realized that they were going to have to search the prison, cell by cell.  They hadn’t moved more than a few meters down the first corridor when the temperature started to drop quickly.  “Dementors!  Wands out,” Harry ordered as the first two hooded beings came up the far stairwell.     

They were met by an incredibly bright umbrella as Daniel screamed, “Expectro Patronum.”  The brilliant light caught the two hellish entities and forced them back against the far wall of the descending stairwell.

“Excellent! Daniel.  Hold them off while we check the rest of the cells on this floor.  The men found nothing since the prisoners that had been on that floor had been moved after it had been broken out of.

Harry added his Patronus to Daniel’s and forced the two Dementors down the stairwell before them.  When they reached the next floor, four more dementors came to join their brethren but were repulsed by the field that the two Wizards had put in place.

The eight of them continued on this way for the next five floors until they reached the middle of the cell block that they were searching.  They had found, all of the cells empty on this floor.  They were about to move down to the next floor, until they heard a muffled cry coming from the middle of the row of cells.  

“Hermione!!” Ron screamed. 

“Ron! I’m here.  Help me,” his young wife screamed.

The eight of them charged down the corridor and had just about reached the cell when a contingent of another dozen dementors came around the far corner of the adjacent corridor.  Three of the brothers stepped forward and added their Patronus to the shield that Daniel and Harry had erected.  The dementors ran full on into the barrier and bounced off.  They continued to make runs at the wizards that were there but couldn’t penetrate their Patronus.  

Ron was horrified when he saw his wife.  She had been stripped of her clothes and what looked like a burlap poncho had been draped over her.  He could see that she didn’t have any clothes underneath.  She was chained to the left corner of the cell so that she couldn’t sit down.  The Minister’s guards had made it so that she couldn’t sit or lay down.  If Ron couldn’t get her out of there then she would die from shear exhaustion within the next two weeks or so.

There wasn’t a lock to her cell, but rather, the cells bars were magically imbedded into the basalt rock that the walls of the prison were made of.  Ron and Percy tried to use the Expulso spell but it would only bounce off of the steel bars and ricochet around the corridor. Ron started to yank and slam himself onto the bars.  At first they didn’t budge but after several repeated impacts they had loosened in their place; but not enough to be pulled free.

One of the dementors realizing what they were trying to do, faded into the wall of the corridor and slipped from one cell into the other until it entered Hermione’s.  She started to scream when she realized that she was, chained to a wall, in a cell with no wand, and was about to be attacked by a Dementor.

Daniel pulled away from the others and left Harry to deal with holding the Patronus against the other Dementors.  The Dementor wrapped its bony fingers around Hermione’s throat and forced her face up.  It drew in and started to pull what made Hermione – Hermione from her lips.  “No!!” Ron screamed.  

Daniel pointed his wand into the cell and screamed, “Expectro Patronum,” his Patronus slammed the Dementor against the far wall and pinned it there.  

"I can’t hold this forever.  You’ve got to get her out of there,” he yelled over the noise of what was going on in the corridor.

Two massive hands grabbed Ron by the shoulders, lifted him up and placed him down, out of the way of the bars.  Hagrid had had enough.  The attack on his good friend, and the fact that the Dementors, that had caused him so much misery when he was there the last time, were now at it again had pushed him to the point that he couldn’t control himself anymore.    

Hagrid grabbed the bars and yanked with all of his might.  There was an explosive bang as several rocks around the steel bars shattered but the bars held fast.  The half giant threw himself against the bars and they slipped back into their place once again.  He yanked the bars with all of the force he could muster as he leaned as far back as he could.  The bars and several of the basalt blocks came away from the wall in Hagrid’s hands.  He turned toward the other Dementors and with an ear splitting scream of rage he threw the bars and the connected parts of the wall through the Patronus and crushed the remaining Dementors against the far wall.  When the bars came to rest, several of the entities were trapped underneath.  The three or four that were left departed down the side corridor before any other attacks could be mounted against them.

While Daniel held the Dementor against the wall with his Patronus, Ron and Harry stepped into the cell and tried to remove the chains and shackles from Hermione’s wrist.  They were imbedded deeply into the wall and the cuffs were somehow protected from being opened.  After several tries, Hagrid came in and, placing his foot on the wall pulled with all of his might on the chain to Hermione’s right wrist.  The pin that held the chain into the wall slowly slipped out of the rock that had held them for a millennia or more. He repositioned himself so that he could work on the other chain.  Within a few minutes of applying his weight and force, the chain that was connected to Hermione’s left wrist was pull from the wall as well.

Ron scooped her up in his arms and disapparated away with the other men that had gone with him to save his wife.  Seconds later, the entire group was standing outside of the portal to the Burrow.  Molly yanked the door opened as Ron came onto the porch with his wife in his arms.  He carried her into the parlour and brought her over to the couch.  George and Bill wrapped their sister in law in one of the blankets that were always on the back of the couch.

Hermione wasn’t responding, she seemed to be in deep shock.  Arthur came over with a small glass of Firewhiskey and held it to his daughter in law’s lips.  She had sipped almost all of it down before her eyes came back to focus and she realized where she was and the fact that she was now safe. “Ron!” was all she cried before he had her in his arms.

“Shhh! You’re all right now Hon!  You’re safe,” he whispered to her as he pulled her close.  Hagrid and Harry worked for several minutes on the shackles but couldn’t get them to open.

“It’s no good.  When they put them on her they used a sealing charm on them.  

They told me that it was permanent.  What are we going to do?” she started to cry since the horror that she had just gone through was finally impacting itself on her. 

Daniel stood there looking at Hermione’s wrist for a few minutes.  Without moving from where he was, he pointed his wand on the two shackles and mumbled, “Engorgio.”

The shackles expanded three times their original size and fell off of her wrist.  Everyone there, stood there looking at the two metal bands lying on the floor of the parlour.  “I never thought of doing that,” Harry mumbled to himself.  “Well done, Daniel!” he said as he patted his young friend on the shoulder.

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Harry took Daniel and Bonnie back to Hogwarts.  They spent a few minutes in the Head Mistress’s office and then headed out for their home in Hogsmeade.  They were able to get back home without any problems from the Ministry.  Harry hoped that they wouldn’t have any problems, now that they were home.

He returned to the Burrow to check on his friend and sister in law.  She had been able to dress since Ron had gone home and gotten her a set of clothes from her closet.  When Harry walked in she was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of hot tea.  Molly had made her a small bowl of stew to get her warmed up and replenish her fluids and internal energy.

 They had talked for almost an hour when Minerva and Wilkie spun into the parlour from the hearth.  “Harry, the Minister found out about Hermione.  He’s on the way here to get her and anyone who helped her escape.  I sent a warning to the Steven’s before I left.  I just hope that they got away before the Minister and his security guards get to their house,” his former Professor informed him.

Before anyone could do or say anything, the hearth flared bright green and the four Steven’s came spinning into the room.  Daniel turned and blasted the fireplace with his wand; sealing it up completely.  “I’m sorry about that Misses Weasley, the Minister and his goons were coming into the parlour as we left.  I didn’t want him to be able to get in here through our hearth,” Daniel informed them.

Flashes of energy from the front yard caught their attention.  Ginny looked out from the kitchen window and saw a fairly large contingency of Ministry guards around the portal trying to destroy the ward’s pylons.  The snowmen were already after several of the men, but the number of attackers was so large that they were having trouble getting the better of them. 

Harry drew his wand and stepped out into the front yard.  “Stay in here and don’t come out,” he told the others.

Ron ignored his friend and came out by his side.  He had just saved his wife from an attack at the hands of this so called Minister.  Now, the same man was attacking his parent’s home.

The first thing that Harry did as he drew near the portal was to send reinforcing spells to increase the resistance of the wards to the attack that they were now under.  He could see that the guards were working in groups of three or four so that they could continue to do enough damage to the snow constructs to keep them from effectively defending the Burrow.

Ron and Harry stepped out of the portal and started throwing spells and curses in all directions.  Several of the guards dropped to the snow covered ground without knowing what had hit them.  The rest of the guards made to advance on the two wizards in support of each other.  It was their hope that they could overwhelm the two with sheer numbers. 

The battle was starting to turn in the favor of the Ministry guards when Harry heard someone scream, “Geminio Protean,” a brilliant white flash temporarily blinded everyone there.  When Harry could see again he realized that every time one of the guards threw a destroying spell at one of the snowmen, it split in two and continued to go after whoever was the closest to them.

Standing at the outside of the portal, Hermione had her wand in hand.  She started throwing spell after spell at the men who had attacked her and put her in that hell.  Within a few minutes the number of snowmen had increased to the point that the guards couldn’t destroy enough of them fast enough to hold them off.  The snowmen started to grab the nearest guards and toss them into the portal.  

Their cloths were shredded off of them as they hung in the field of energy at the portal for a second before they flashed out of existence.  When the other guards saw what happened to their compatriots, they broke and ran as fast as their legs could carry them.  The snowmen blended with the remaining snow on the ground and bulges could be seen racing ahead of the fleeing guards.  The men ran into the snow constructs as they popped up from the ground.  

The guards were carried back and tossed into the portal one at a time, until only the Minister was left standing by himself, surrounded by over a hundred white three ball constructs.  Harry stepped through the group as they made way for him.  “I told you we’d meet at some point.  You didn’t think much of my coming to the Ministry that day to challenge the Wizengamot.  Let’s see if you’re as good as you think you are?” Harry told him as he pointed his wand at McLaggen.

“You would dare to challenge the Minster.  I’ll show you, you miserable pup,” McLaggen yelled as he brought up his wand.  Harry waved the first spell away with a slash of his arm.  The Minster threw several spells, jinks, and curses, in quick succession.  Harry blocked, side stepped, or absorbed the energy with his wand.

The first bolt from Harry’s wand caught the Minister and threw him back some ten meters.  Tiberius slowly got up to his feet, completely winded.  He started to run to his left and tossed several spells at Harry, to no avail.  When he saw that he couldn’t get to Harry directly he turned his wand on Hermione and Ginny, who had come out to help in the battle.  That was a big mistake.  Ginny blocked the first spell and let go with everything she had been holding in since the Wizard’s statue had exploded. The amount of power that was unleashed on the Minister was enough to melt the snow on the ground between her and her target.  The Minister hit the ground and slid to a stop some three meters from the edge of the orchard. 

A sizzling pop caught everyone’s attention as the first of the guards came back from his naked trip to the South Pole.  The snow men grabbed each in turn and looked to Harry to see what he wanted them to do with their captives.  The guards for their part were semiconscious at best.  

Harry sent his Patronus out to Kitchi at Grimmauld Place and asked him to come to the Burrow.  A few minutes later the entire Auror’s department was in front of the portal.  “Kitchi, I think we need to keep his lot locked down for the time being.  Where do you think we could put them for now?” Harry wanted to know.

The Kitchi turned to Dawlish and shrugged his shoulders.  “I have no idea where we can keep them,” Dawlish told Harry.

“I know what to do with them.  Stick them in Hogwarts’ dungeon.  We can keep them under control until we can repair the damage to the Ministry.  We’ll use rotating shifts to keep guard over them.  We can even get Peeves to help watch them.  I’m sure that they won’t mind his little songs that he likes to make up,” Hermione suggested.

The real Auror’s took two or three guards at a time from the snowmen and took them away.  The Minister was brought back to one of the cells at the Ministry and would be guarded by three of the members of the proper Auror’s squad.

Ron took his young wife back to their home to soothe her fears, and remind her why she loved him so much.  When morning light slipped through the crack in the curtains of their bedroom window, it fell upon the two of them making slow intense love to each other.  Ron calmed all of Hermione’s fears from inside out.

Kilometers away, at the same time, Harry and Ginny were doing the same thing in the privacy of their own room.  The four of them thought that the worst of it was over.  If they only had known!!

            

 
 
 
 


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