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Chapter 25 : Chapter 24: French Revolution
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On his right, stands his wife Ginny. He was quite astonished with how fast she healed. She was suffering burns all over her body when he took her to St. Mungos but here she stands now, her pinking skin glowing from the lanterns they have erected all over the Burrow’s garden. At least now he knows how she feels when he heals rapidly in front of her. He smiled to himself.
Beside Ginny stood Hermione Granger who was happy to hearhat Ron was not in the veil though Harry sense that her happiness is mixed with something that he has yet to find out what. He has an idea though as Hermione kept stealing glances on the only Slytherin member of their group.
Draco Malfroy on his part was straining hard not to look at Hermione. He was still grimacing each time he took a breath. The healers were having a hard time to cure what ever Damocles hit him with. He was required to drink at least five potions a day. Something which he points out never happened when he was with the ‘dark’ side. No one was paying attention though. The simply kept patting him on the shoulder for a job well done.
Not far from them, stood Seamus Finnigan with Dean Thomas. Both were exuberant that they were finally out of St. Mungos and once again going on an ‘adventure’ as they call it. Seamus was glancing around surreptitiously though, probably looking for Cho Chang. Dean whispered something to him, making him sigh.
Susan Bones was also in attendant. The healers tried to stop her from coming. They tried to reason with her that her bones has to knit properly but she simply laughed at them and pointed out that she was named Bones after all and she is quite an expert on the subject and he knows better than them whether her own bone was knitting properly or not. She left them with their mouth open.
Surprising was the return of Parvati and Padma Patil. The twins were found stuck deep in the crevice created by Damocles in the middle of the amphitheater. They were quick minded enough to conjure vines from the crevice wall to wound around them and catch their fall. Their problem was that the vines also managed to wound around them tightly, effectively ensnaring them and preventing the use of their wand. They were lucky that aurors decided to use the revelio spell on the crevice before closing it up.
Luna was there too though Neville wasn’t. He was still unconscious when they left him at St. Mungos’s. Harry had asked Luna stay behind and watch over her love. But she only answered that Neville would have wanted her to join the fight.
Michael Corner stood beside Luna, though he was fidgeting now and then. His adrenaline was still on overdrive and he longed to go to France and fight death eaters because finally he believed he had made the right decision. No longer will he be in the sideline. He had fought a great battle and will continue to fight in honor of Terry Boot and those who died during the Ministry Siege.
Also present were the rest of the Weasley Family. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were adamant in their decision to join the forces that will face Damocles in France. They have already stood in the sideline during the Ministry Siege. They will not do so again while their whole families go traipsing to France. Charlie Weasley is also itching to join the fight. He was unceremoniously kicked out of the last fight and he’d be damned if he won’t be included in the coming one.
“Where’s Cho Chang?” Seamus finally asked, despites Dean’s effort to stop him.
“Cho is talking to her father. “ Harry explained. “We’ll be entering France under the flag of the Chinese Ambassador. I doubt if the death eaters is willing enough to alienate the Chinese Ministry of Magic. After we get there is all together a different matter.”
“I got it covered.” Hermione piped in and Harry had to raise an eye brow at her. “Ever wondered what happened to your old quidditch team, Harry?”
“Now that you mention it…”
“Katie was so angry with George; she wouldn’t have been effective here.” Hermione explained, glancing at Ginny for support. “So we did the next best thing. While you were er…sleeping, we sent her to France with Alicia and other former Quidditch team members.”
“What were they doing there?” Harry asked.
“Get the lay of the land for us. Check out where the resistance is and where the death eaters would congregate.” It was Ginny who answered this time. “We had a theory that all these came from there. It wasn’t quite accurate but seeing that Damocles had retreated there…”
“How sure are you that Katie won’t do anything stupid and try to get to George?” Susan Bones asked.
“Because we left Oliver Wood in charge.”
“That’s good enough for me though I certainly hope that the others hadn’t killed Oliver by now.” Harry grinned, remembering Oliver’s authoritarian attitude. “Now, have you said your good bye’s to your family?”
“No, Potter because I intend to come back.” Draco smirked. The others nodded in agreement.
“I am coming along.” Mr. Weasley spoke. “But Molly here won’t be. We’d discuss this. Somebody needs to watch over Victoire and Teddy.”
Mrs. Weasley only sniffed and hugged her husband.
“Potter, you haven’t told us yet how we will defeat Damocles?” Draco stepped forward. “We will be risking our lives here and you have proven no match for him not only once but twice. So spill what you found out inside the veil.”
“Yes, Harry.” Hermione spoke up too, earning her a glance from Draco. “Wasn’t it the very purpose of the Ministry Siege?”
“Yes. That was the purpose and I found the way to finally defeat Damocles. That is why when we managed to catch up with Damocles, all of you will stay clear of him. Deal with his…her death eaters. I’ll deal with her.” Harry looked around at each of his followers. Much as he would like to portray a calm leader, deep inside he was in turmoil. He liked nothing more than to spend more time and bury their dead but they don’t have the luxury of time. The dead will have to be buried by those who will be left behind. Right now, they need to go to France before Damocles can muster more forces. It will be their job to thin down those forces so that Helena could reach Damocles. That is if she shows up.
“You didn’t actually answered Draco’s question.” Hermione pointed out.
“No matter how strong I get, I will not be able to defeat Damocles.” Harry answered truthfully. “Morgana Le Fey’s curse had ensured it.”
“Then how will…”
“The curse ensured that there will always be a person to kill Damocles. It is not just me. You’ll find out who is destined to defeat her when that person is revealed.” Harry said cryptically. “It is better you don’t know or Damocles might pluck the information out of your mind. I can only promise you this. I am confident we will succeed and the next we set our eyes on the Burrow, it will be daylight because what ever happens, the endless night ends in France.”
“Oliver, we should help them!” Katie almost shrieked from their hiding place atop a hill as werewolves and death eaters stormed the resistance stronghold. They had been keeping a low profile ever since they were sent to France by Ginny and Hermione. Katie wanted to go to George but Oliver stopped her. Revealing their presence would have endangered their mission. So she had sulkily followed and done her task. She, Alicia and the others roamed the country-side and now after days of painstakingly following death eaters and gossip trails, they now have enough information for Harry to use once he arrives.
“Our job is to watch and sit tight.” Oliver retorted, watching as the wards protecting the hole that was the resistance’s gate crumbled and the werewolves swarmed inside the stronghold.
“Harry would be too late when he gets here.” Katie pleaded.
“The resistance can handle themselves. We are here to observe and report back to Harry.” Oliver answered stubbornly.
“The same way we watched as Ron Weasley and that resistance girl was mauled?” Demelza retorted. She too had been dying to join the fight. “Back then, we left without helping Ron. We LEFT, Oliver. He was our friend, Oliver and we LEFT him to the wolves.”
“If we fought back then, we wouldn’t be here waiting for Harry. We won’t be alive to inform him where the death eater’s stronghold is or where the werewolves are encamped or where the vampires are staying or where the dementors are breeding. This is our job. If we fight now, we are simply throwing our lives and the information we gathered for nothing. It might be difficult to comprehend but Harry’s success here depends on us staying hidden.”
“We don’t even know if Harry is awake by now.” Jack Sloper sulked, turning his back on the carnage below.
“It is called faith, Jack.”
“George, you should have left us!” Bill muttered as he slumped down, exhaustion overtaking him .Beside him, Fleur was on her knees. She had lent as much powers as she can to help preserve the ward as long as they can to give the resistance time to evacuate into the underground
“If I have left, you wouldn’t have lasted this long, you know?” George joked as he too slumped beside his older brother. They managed to retain the ward for almost two days because he had also shared his power to Bill. “Now, only one thing to do…”
“Go out fighting.” Fleur smiled as she tries to catch her breath. “To do that, we need to recover fast. The werewolves would easily track our scents. They’ll be here faster than we think.”
“We need to find a defensible position…” Bill stood up though he leaned heavily against the wall. “Somewhere we can hold them off long enough to deliver a fatal shot.”
“If we could reach the meeting room…” George muttered, an idea springing into his mind. “We could use the overly large table as barricade…”
“Sounds like a plan.” Fleur had managed to stand up too. She then glanced at George who was still down. “Are you going to stay there or will you help us implement your stupid plan?”
“I’m coming. Geez! Can’t a person take a rest?” George joked as he stood up. “The meeting room is one floor down. Any of you strong enough to apparate there?”
“We have to do it the hard way then.” Bill sighed as he shook his head. Below them, they could hear crashes and howls as the werewolves invade the stronghold. “Let us just pray they are not quick enough to reach the upper floors.”
“Something is going on down there.” Fleur had peeked through the window. Somebody was now standing by the death eater on top of a knoll. The death eaters who hasn’t joined the invasion were all bowing down to the newcomer. “I think we are seeing their big boss.”
“I think it is a woman.” George squinted. “Though she is too far for me to recognize.”
“Who ever she is, we need to move now. We’ll worry about her later.” Bill said as he pull his wife and brothers away from the window. “We need to get to…”
Bill stopped when he felt the coin in his pocket burned hot.
“Did you felt that?” He asked, not daring to hope.
“I felt it.” Fleur nodded. “Somebody called Harry?”
“Who ever it is, I could probably kiss in gratitude.” George laughed.
“Let’s celebrate later when we safe and…” Bill turned around, raising his wand, when they heard three distinct ‘pops’ around them.
“Did you really think we’d leave you behind?” Luke smirked at them. With him were another resistance member and Apolline who rushed to hug her daughter.
“We can’t stay long, dear.” Apolline looked fearfully at the darkened corridor to their left. They heard muffled howls reverberate through out the stronghold. “We just need to get the signal that the anti apparition ward is down them we apparate down to the caves immediately. We are given five seconds window only.”
Luke went to George and took hold of his hand while the other resistance member moved to stand beside Bill.
“All three of us will side apparate you and…” Luke didn’t have to finish his instruction when the whole stronghold shuddered. “That’s the signal. Let’s…”
With three loud pop all three pairs disappeared even as werewolves’ howls filled the air once more. .
Harry and contingent had apparated into the Embassy of China in London. There they were welcomed by Cho Chang and her father, the Muggle Ambassador of China who happened to be also the Ambassador of the Chinese Ministry of Magic.
“It is a great pleasure to meet you, Mr. Potter.” Ambassador Chang bowed and Harry uncomfortably bowed back in return.
“It is our pleasure sir.” Harry replied. “And we are thankful for the assistance you are extending to us.”
“No, Mr. Potter.” The Ambassador shook his head as he led them to a large empty room except for an oval flat form in its center. “What ever assistance I extend to you is nothing compare to what you and your people are attempting to do. Now to business… that flat form will act as a portkey. You will be making three jumps until you reach the Chinese Embassy in France. My counterparts will be waiting for you in every jump.”
Harry nodded as he and the others stepped into the flat form. Cho gave her father one last hug before running into the flat form.
“Remember, there is nothing much my people can to what ever happens to you after you leave the Chinese Embassy. Good luck.” Ambassador Chang raised a hand in farewell before the portkey activated and they were transported into their next destination.
Three portkeys later, they stumbled off the last flat form as they are greeted by the Chinese Ambassador to France.
“Mr. Potter…a pleasure.” He shook hands with Harry before bowing to Cho Chang. “We hope you would be successful in your endeavor here but as much as we want to accommodate you…”
“The death eaters might find out.” Harry smiled wryly. “I understand. We will be gone soon enough”
He turned to the Phoenix Army and in the guise of conferring with them he took out his galleon and was about to press it when it burned hot.
“That does it. I am calling Harry.” Katie turned away from the view of the stronghold as she took out her galleon. “I can’t just watch and let those people die.”
“Katie…” Oliver scoffed at her. “We don’t even know if it will work in such a long distance. Our job is to…” he stopped when his galleon burned hot.
“I guess it work.”
Oliver turned around to see Ritchie Coote, holding his galleon out.
“It wasn’t me.” Katie smirked before their hiding place was filled with apparition sounds.
“Do you think Harry would answer a call as far as here?” George asked as he looked at the massive fortified trap door, the entrance to the resistance tunnels. He was taking a bite at the chocolate given to them by Luke. He distinctively heard wolves sniffing on the carpet that was covering the trap door on the ground floor of the stronghold. He wondered whether the trap door is strong enough to withstand the wolves’ barrage.
“He will.” Bill answered as he stood beside George. He had doubted Harry before much to his embarrassment. He won’t do so again.
“Hiding here?” Ginny grinned as she and her team apparated pass through the anti apparition wards of the tunnel.
Those stationed to guard the trap door turned with raised wand to repel the invaders but quickly stood down when George and Bill rushed to embrace Ginny.
“Ginny!” George shouted as he and Bill embraced their youngest sister. “Not that I am not thrilled to see you but is Harry with you?”
“I’m thrilled to see you too.” Ginny laughed, finally relieved that her brothers were safe. “Harry is out there. He’ll deal with Damocles…he’s our enemy by the way…while we are left here to drive away these infestation and provide him back up.”
Behind her stood Hermione, Cho Chang, Susan Bones, Michael Corner, Draco Malfroy, Mr. Weasley, the former quidditch teams sans Katie Bell and Charlie. As soon as they ahd apparated in the quidditch team’s hiding place, Harry had divided his team in two: one, his team, to confront Damocles and the other, Ginny’s team, to rally the resistance members.
“Ahh…George…” Hermione hesitated, looking around. “Where is Ron?”
“Yes, son, where is your brother?” Mr. Weasley asked while Bill and Fleur could only exchange glances.
Outside, Damocles inclined her neck when she felt magic rippled within the stronghold. Someone had use old magic to breach a ward. She looked down at the motley group of death eaters she had gathered. Except for the raspy man, most of them are useless and fodders to be thrown against Harry Potter. Thankfully, she still had two of her ‘unkillables’: Lord Charles and Snape with his new silver hand. They would be more than enough now that Harry’s already diminished forces were divided into two.
“Harry Potter…” She murmured.
“Yes, Mistress?’ The raspy death eater turned to her.
“Harry Potter is here.” She nodded as she as she felt magic ripples inside the stronghold. The wolves had found Potter’s people. “Tell our people to be ready. Also inform the dementors and vampires not to…”
She looked in surprise as a huge boulder dropped in the midst of the death eaters. Even before her minions managed to regroup, apparition pops were heard and Harry and his people apparated in the midst of her death eaters and were now taking them down one at a time.
“Interesting strategy.” She murmured as she holds off his two remaining unkillables from joining the fray.
“Stun and immobilize but don’t turn your back until they fully out of the game!” Harry shouted as he blasted three death eaters with one blow. They had decided on a more direct approach to take the death eaters by surprise and cut down their forces even before they can re group.
‘This is fun.” Padma giggled as she ducked from a curse while her sister Parvati took down the death eater who fired it.
“You said it.” It was Parvati’s turned to duck down while Pamda stuns her attacker.
Harry grinned hearing their banter as green lights flew from his eyes to hit five advancing death eaters. All of them turned to stone the moment the light touched them. Other death eaters, seeing this started running away from Harry.
Seamus and Dean grabbed one of the retreating death eaters and slammed him on the ground. He was stunned and immobilize before he could retaliate.
“That’s four.” Seamus counted.
“We already got eight.” Katie shouted as she and Luna ran pass them, running down a death eater. Luna deflected a curse aimed at them and veered away from Katie to take down the one who shot it. “Luna…”
“Focus, Katie.” Harry knocked down a death eater that was aiming his wand at Katie. “Luna can handle herself. Trust her.”
Without waiting whether Katie listened to him, Harry conjured another boulder, shaking the earth as it fell from the sky and scattering the death eaters that were trying to re group. He then jumped on it and started hexing as many death eaters as he could. Dean, seeing Harry’s position jumped up beside Harry and started deflecting curses that some hard core death eaters were throwing at Harry.
“Harry Potter…” Damocles murmured. Dean was yanked away from Harry as if his strings were pulled by a puppet master. He slammed hard against a tree and slumped down on the ground.
Harry glanced down at Damocles who only inclined her head toward the forest nearby. Harry looked and was aghast. Mists were pouring out of the forest toward them. Shadowy creatures were walking in it and Harry felt cold seeping into his heart. As if from a distance, he hears a woman shouting. Damocles had called her dementors and vampires into the fray.
DISCLAIMER: EVERYTHING BELONGS TO JK ROWLING
NEXT CHAPTER: Flame of the Phoenix: All out war between Damocles' Army and Harry's PHoenix Army
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