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Chapter 27 : Chapter 26: Last Stand
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Already dozens of patronus, including a huge silver phoenix was pushing her dementors back. Also, fiendfyre burned in the make shift pit bogs and was spreading like wild fire into her army of inferi and most of her werwolves did not come out of the resistance’ stronghold. That left her with dozens of bumbling death eaters, an army of vampires that is slowly being decimated by the Phoenix Army and two ‘unkillable’ generals.
“Did you really think it would be that easy to finally rid yourself of Harry Potter?” Rowena spoke within her mind. “And did you really think he came here without a plan?”
“Shut up!” She shouted grasping her hair as if to pull out the unwanted voice from her mind. “I am still more powerful that he is. I could conjure dozens more death eaters for every one they took down. I could resurrect the once thought dead with a mere flick of my finger, I am invisible. Your Potter cannot kill me no matter how strong he is. I control deep magic!”
“You control nothing!” Rowena laughed derisively. “Despite your unparalleled power and magical essence, you still fail to grasp one important concept of magic…and that is it not about how powerful you are but how you use your magic that defines who the victor in every duel.”
“He cannot win!” Damocles was now trying to pull of her hair. “The failsafe measures laid by the fey will ensure of it. I…”
“Pay attention!” Harry blasted her off her feet with a disarming spell. He had at last managed to reach Damocles after battling his way pass through dozens of death eaters. “Or you might just find your self in the opposite end of my sword.”
Damocles had fallen of the knoll she was standing on and was slumped on the ground with her hair covering her face. Harry grimly walked toward her, the Gryffindor Sword appearing on his outstretched right hand.
“Now it all ends…”
Hermione Granger couldn’t even remember how she got deep into the melee. All she knew was she and Ginny led the charged of the Resistance to provide back up for Harry. One moment she was throwing her first hex against a death eater, the next thing she knew she was fighting three of them in a duel that tested all that she had learned in Hogwarts. Bumbling or not, the death eaters were still dangerous as their number swells.
“Impedimenta!” She blasted one death eater and was about turn to another one when her wand was yank forcibly from her hand. Air then whooshed out of her lungs as a death eater grabbed her bushy hair and kneed her in the stomach. She fell to the ground clutching her stomach and was about to the stand up when she was kicked in the shin.
“Reducto!” She dimly heard Draco Malfroy hexing her attackers away.
“Gra…Hermione…are you alright?” Draco knelt beside her.
“Traitor!” Both of them looked up to see a masked death eater limped toward them. He blasted Seamus out of his way before shooting a red beam of light toward Draco who raised his shield.
“Tarantallegra!” Draco counter cursed though he was still crouched protectively over Hermione. The masked death eater raised his own shield and sent a serpent at Draco who blasted it away.
“Finish this duel…” Luna apparated, kneeling, beside Hermione. “I’ll take care of her.”
Draco only nodded before sending a volley of arrows toward his opponent.
“You got to do better than that!” The masked death eater rasped as he stopped the arrows in mid air and with a flick of his wand, altered its course back to Draco.
Draco swore before transfiguring the arrows into birds that flew passed him harmlessly. Before he could celebrate, his wand flew out of his hand.
“Reckless as always. I tried to ingrain into your thick hide never stop until your opponent is down but it seems that I have failed in that regards.” The raspy death eater limped menacingly toward him.
“Ingrain…” Draco stumbled back as his eyes grew wide; refusing to believe what his mind is telling him. “NO! It can’t be…”
“Did you really think, I would just lie down and die?” Lucius Malfroy sneered as he took off his mask and threw it away. Half of his face and head were burned. “Now, you will pay for your betrayal, boy.”
“No…” Draco stumbled and landed on his butt, staring up in horror at the father he thought dead. “This can’t be…this…”
Lucius raised his hand but with a snarled jumped out of the way as ball of fire exploded where he was standing before.
“Get up, Draco!” Hermione ran to him, blood still oozing from her lips, followed by Luna. “That was not your father…It’s just an empty shell resurrected by Damocles.” She shook him hard but he was still in shock, murmuring his denial of what he had just seen. “Draco, you got to get pass this or you’ll never have a chance for a future…a bright future…” Not knowing what else to do and without thinking what she was about to do and she leaned down and kissed him on the lips.
The touch of her lips was like lightning surging through Draco’s whole being, pulling him out of the shock of seeing his father alive.
“Oh dear…” Luna murmured.
“Hermione…” He murmured as Hermione broke the kiss. “What…”
“I don’t know why I…’ Hermione stopped when Draco reclaimed her lips, this time deepening the kiss and to his surprise Hermione responded with passion.
“Oh please, this hardly the place for that.” Luna deflected a curse thrown at them. “A marshblov must have taken over your senses.”
“Marshblov?” Draco asked as he and Hermione broke apart.
“Here’s your wand. Your father just stood up.” Luna pointed at Lucius who was getting up not far from them.
Without looking at Hermione, he caught his wand and ran toward his father, hoping to finally beat him and reclaim his future that was…just possibly…gotten brighter than before.
“Draco Malfroy?” Luna asked as they watch the Slytherin starts fighting his father. “What about Ronald Weasley?”
“I don’t know.” Hermione muttered, trying to sort out her feelings for the two men. “But right now, we have more important matters to deal with!”
They both duck as two burning vampires flew passed them followed by Cho Chang.
“We’ll never hear the end of it if Cho Chang kills more vampires that us!” Hermione grumbled running after Cho. Luna smiled nonchalantly before skipping after Hermione, from time to time hexing nearby death eaters.
Draco on the other hand was confused. He does not understand what just happened to him and Hermione. She kissed him! And he enjoyed it. He reveled in the feeling of it all. He wonders whether this is the feeling of love…
“You are nothing, boy!” Lucius sent a killing curse that nearly hit Draco if not for the fact that he stumbled on a rock.
“Damn!” Draco muttered sending a reducto curse against his own father, his mind still awhirl of what he and Hermione had just shared.
Lucius deflected it and was about to fire another killing curse when he was hit from the side by impedimenta jinx from Michael Corner.
“He’s mine!” Draco roared, finally shelving his confusion over Hermione’s action and concentrated on dueling his father. Michael Corner smirked and moved on to help Padma and Parvati even as Draco threw a blasting curse that staggered his father.
“How dare…” Lucius snarled before he staggered back further as he was hit by Dolohov’s curse.
“You are dead to, father.” Draco said sadly before conjuring spikes that shoot out of the ground impaling Lucius on both thigh and on the stomach. “It is time for you to return to the veil.”
“You think you are better than me… “Lucius spat as blood dripped from his mouth. He had already dropped his wand. “But I know better, boy. You do not belong to Potter and his foolish followers…You can never…ever…turn your back on who you are…
“Good bye father.” Draco whispered softly, firing the killing curse.
Lucius gasped as the curse hit him before finally closing his eyes for the final time, the stakes stopping him from toppling down the ground.
Susan Bones looked up as Oliver and his team zoomed passed her in broomsticks. She idly wonders where they got the brooms even as the ground beside her exploded and showered her with dirt. She had been fighting a vampire before she stumbled on the body of a fallen death eater. It probably saved her life as a big ball of flames flew passed her, burning her vampire opponent.
“Get a move on, girl.” Katie Bell for a moment stopped beside her, helping her up. “There are still too many death eaters to take down and too many of our allies to save!”
“Loosen up, will you.” George skidded to a halt before them, giving Katie a peck on the lips before running to help Seamus and Dean.
“George!” Katie Bell ran after her boyfriend, leaving Susan Bones looking at them amused.
“I really got to have a…” Only her quick reflexes saved him from the killing curse. She jumped out of the way of the green light and sent a blasting curse at its source.
Severus Snape swiped her curse away with his new silver hand and proceeded to throwing hexes at her at an alarming speed. Susan was forced to raised her shield and hope to God that it would last long against such a strong opponent.
“You can’t…” Snape sneered but was shocked when Susan expanded her shield, causing a mini explosion around her and blasting away every one near her, death eaters or resistance.
Snape landed hard a few feet away from where he was. He stood up, with torn robe and bruises everywhere, looking at the epicenter of the blast. The smoke was clearing but he couldn’t see what happened to Susan Bones.
“You can’t hide from me for ever!” He shouted sending curse after curse into the smoke. Other death eaters and resistance alike jumped out of the away from some of his errant curses.
“I am here, git!” Susan Bones apparated beside him and before Snape could react; she sliced down her wand, casting a cutting spell that cut off his new silver hand.
“Ahhhhh!” He cried, holding his bleeding stump.
“Time to sleep, head…” Before she could shoot him with a killing curse, Luke appeared out of no where; impaling Snape to the heart with an iron lance he conjured.
“Good riddance.” He smirked looking at the fallen headmaster of Hogwarts.
“It was my…” Susan glared at Luke furiously.
“You’re too beautiful to kill someone.” Luke winked at her before jumping back to the melee.
“Oh my.” Susan blushed before following Luke’s lead and jumping back to the fight, eager to help her friends.
Ginny Weasley Potter ignored the chaos around her. She knew some of her friends are probably one of the bodies strewn everywhere. She knew that for every one death eater they take down, there is a high likelihood that two of the resistance died against the dark army. She knew her husband is in danger than ever before as he fights an opponent he is not destined to defeat. All this she hid behind her mind as she stared at the dark counterpart of her brother, Lord Charles. She prays to God that her real brother, Charlie, is nowhere near them right now.
“Shall we dance little sister?” Lord Charles smiled at Ginny. No matter how much he thinks that she is not his little sister, Lord Charles could not help to be proud at how she grown to be a beautiful woman.
“We don’t have to do this, you know.” Ginny returned his smile, sidestepping a death eater than was thrown near her. “Ginevra died fighting for my…our husband. She transported Charlie, your other self, to the Burrow to ensure his safety. Please…don’t make fight you and go against her wish.”
“I always wanted to see how strong you have become, little one.” Lord Charlie laughed. “Perhaps this is my chance.”
And before Ginny could react, he cast a petrifying jinx. She staggered back and fell on the ground as stiff as a board.
“Charlie!” She gritted through her teeth as tried to fight against the spell.
“Sorry, little one. This is for your own good.” Lord Charlie knelt beside her, with a wistful smile on his face. “You see, I have been watching every move Damocles and Harry had made ever since I came into being in this time. And I realize something: This world needs Harry to survive… if it has a chance of moving forward from this darkness. But for him to survive, Harry needs you by his side. Some day, you’ll understand everything but for now you just need to remember this little one: As long as you live, death will not be able to lay its hand on your husband. I know this to be true. Damocles only suspects it though.”
And before Ginny could say another word, Lord Charlie glowed golden. And as he close his eyes, he slowly turned into thousands of miniscule sands of glowing light that merged with the shield surrounding Ginny. The shield glowed stronger and much to her shock, it did not disappear nor was she freed from the petrifying spells.
Harry disapparated as Damocles sent a ball of flames against him, and apparated above her, bringing down his sword hard.
Damocles raised her blood red sword just in time to receive Harry’s blow. Sparks ignited as two magical swords clashed and nearby combatants had to jump away as excess flow of magical powers enveloped Harry and Damocles.
“Rowena…” Harry looked straight into Damocles’ eyes even as he strained to push the Gryffindor sword against the Blood Red one. “I know you are in there…fight back…do not let him…”
“It is no use, Potter.” Damocles sneered. “You very know she chose this path.” And with a mighty heave, she pushed Harry away, breaking the connection and releasing the magical forces surrounding them. By now, all combatants have stopped dueling and had formed a circle around them. Phoenix Army, resistance, death eaters and vampires stood together, crossing the invisible lines that divide them as they await the victor of the fight. Not far from them, to her astonishment, Ginny was levitated upward and into a standing position until she got a clear view of the fight.
“So, Harry Potter, do you really want to die that much that you’d fight an enemy you know you can never defeat?” Damocles lowered her sword, its tip barely kissing the ground, her stance in ready.
“The Fey curse, specifically states that I can’t kill you. It didn’t say anything about wounding you until you can no longer stand up.” Harry smirked before with a loud pop that displaced a gust of wind towards the on lookers, he disapparated and landed crouching in front of Damocles who swung her sword.
Harry glanced up as it passed by the tip of his messy hair before he thrust his sword towards Damocles’ stomach.
Damocles jumped back and lashed not with her sword but with her wand. A huge blade made of energy zoomed toward Harry, creating crevices on the ground. Eyes glowing green, Harry blasted the energy sword and turned the air around Damocles into a fiery whirlwind. The Patil Twins had to raise their shields while the vampires beside them were burned to ashes. Others backed away fearfully.
“It didn’t work before. Why do you think it would work now?” Damocles sneered before scattering the fiery whirlwind. She was about to raise her wand when a red beam of light hit her on the chest, throwing her hard into the knoll, across the fighting ground. She was buried under it as the knoll gave way. On lookers run out of the way as Harry, using levitation spells, zoomed toward her.
Before he could reach her, the ground exploded and Damocles, without even a scratch, met him half way. Two swords clashed once more, covering them with the same magical energy.
They pushed off against each other only to meet and clash sword again. Damocles launched a series of strokes that forced Harry to step back and simply defend himself. He tried to find an opening but found none.
“You still have a lot to learn in sword fighting, boy.” Damocles sneered as she released a vicious slashed that pushed Harry to his knees. “Now it…”
She pulled back as Harry shifted into his lion form and pounced on her, biting her sword arm. Screaming, she threw him away and Harry landed on all four. With a great roar, he surged toward Damocles.
Damocles buried the tip of her sword to the ground and the onlookers grasped as the earth shook and erupted into a shower of molten stones. Vampires, death eaters and resistance members were burned as they were taken by surprise by the eruption. Michael Corner apparated away from a burning resistance member as molten rocks erupted a few inches from him.
Harry, without missing a beat transformed into a phoenix in mid jumped and raked his claws at Damocles’ eyes.
“Enough!” Damocles shouted sending a strong blast all around him. The phoenix transformed back into Harry just as its wings was broken by the blast. Harry landed not far away, holding his broken right elbow, cursing that he was too slow to evade the blast. He was dimly away of Oliver Woods’ broom exploding as it was hit by the blast. With a snarl, Damocles lunged at him, sword held low for an upward slice.
It was as if everything was in slow motion for Harry. He knew this was the moment were everything hinges on. He knew he now stood in the precipice of victory or death. His body was tingling in the sensation, his pain forgotten as he slowly raised the Gryffindor Sword, his shoulder complaining.
The onlookers gasped as Damocles made a vicious upward slice, slicing Harry from the waist to his right shoulder. He was whirled around by the forced of the strike, showering blood everywhere, the Gryffindor Sword twirling in mid air before impaling on a huge rock.
Then everything started moving fast as he fell down kneeling.
“Harry!” Ginny shouted, trying to fight against the spell that bound her.
Mr. Weasley was about to run forward to help Harry when he was slammed down by a death eater. He was saved from certain death by Charlie who tackled the death eater. All around them duel resumed. It was as if a bell had rung and they had all remembered that they weren’t on the same side.
“There is no to help you now, Potter.” Damocles stood over Harry who was now supporting himself with his two palms on the ground. “Your army will not be able to come to your aid and die for you this time.”
“You might be surprise.” Harry looked up at Damocles, wearing the face of the woman that was his anchor in the past. “Help will always be provided to those who ask for it. That is the Hogwarts’ way.”
“But you are not in Hogwarts.” Damocles flicked her wand and Harry was levitated upward. Damocles then pulled back her sword, readying to run him through. “Do you know that this is exactly how I killed your Headmistress?”
“Now…” Harry murmured, earning a curious stare from Damocles.
“What if I don’t agree to do it?’ Helena asked Harry as she stared at the knife being offered to him by the Baron.
“It is your destiny.” It was the Baron who answered her question passionately. “This is the fulfillment of your mother’s wishes. Finally, after centuries, you can repay her for stealing her tiara.”
“The decision is yours.” Harry smiled understandingly. He pulled out two galleons from his pocket and left it the side table beside Helena. “In case, you agree to do it, all you need to do is contact the Chinese Ambassador in London. He’ll find ways to get you to France. Once in France, you can press the center of the galleon for five seconds. It will apparate you to where I am.”
“What will you do if I don’t do it?” Helena asked stubbornly.
“I will fight until my last breath. Hopefully when that happens, others will take my place. It might take years or decades even…who know? Your mother might find way to expel Damocles from her body.” Harry smiled whimsically.
As he leaves, Helena couldn’t help but feel heartache for the man she only knew as the Chosen One, the Boy Who Live, the student who attracted more trouble than any other students of Hogwarts. She briefly wondered who he really is in her life before she gingerly took the knife offered to her.
“Are you delirious already?” Damocles sneered and was thrusting her sword toward Harry’s stomach when a loud pop reverberated throughout the field.
Harry felt his galleon burned hot before he was thrown away from Damocles by a strong gust of wind. He collided against a vampire. The vampires tried to bite him before it was staked to the heart by Susan Bones. Harry looked up to see the Baron standing in his previous place.
“This is my destiny, Harry Potter.” He saluted and turned around just in time to receive Damocles’ thrust. The sword went through his belly and out his back. Blood dripping from his mouth, he smiled, gripped the sword and pushed it further into his body. “Mistress, it is done.”
“What do you think…?” Damocles tried to pry the sword out of the Baron’s body but he held on tenaciously.
“Well done, Baron.” Rowena gave Damocles a mental smirk.
“What have…?” Damocles was asking Rowena when another ‘pop’ reverberated in the field as the former Gray Lady, Helena apparated right beside Damocles and before she could react, Helena plunged the Ravenclaw knife into her mother’s heart.
“I’m sorry, mother.” She murmured tears falling as she twisted the knife.
“No!” Damocles shrieked at he felt his soul starts to torn apart from his host. “This is impossible. There was no way this could happen. You do not have a progeny in this time!”
“Meet my daughter…” Rowena spoke within her mind. “You have caused a flaw in my plan when you chose me to be your host. But that flaw worked more to my advantage than to yours. My daughter has traveled far in time with only one purpose: to stop you.”
“This is…” Damocles raised Rowena’s wand but the Baron was faster. With a flick of his wand, he sent Helena flying away just as Damocles shot a killing curse, missing her by an inch.
“Goodbye, mistress.” Baron sighed before finally toppling down dead. Damocles let go of the sword as she stumbled down into her knees. She looked up to see the blood red sword in the sky slowly disappear as the planet Mars broke the alignment. Around them, death eaters were disapparating one by one, knowing that they have lost and were desperately trying to evade capture. Inferi, with Damocles power waning, fell to the ground dead while Vampires ran to the forest.
“No…” Damocles looked around to see the Resistance and Phoenix Army members walking cautiously toward her. “I was so close…those who touch…”
“Have already suffered much.” Rowena spoke mentally. “They have more than pay for it.”
“I….” Rowena’s body slumped on the ground as a red pillar of light flashed from her body into the dark sky, fully disintegrating the remnants of the blood red sword in the sky and leaving a full moon.
“Mother!” Helena pushed away from Seamus who was helping her and dashed to her mother’s side. When she gently pulled the founder’s head into her lap, Rowena opened her eyes.
“You’d done well, daughter.” She smiled weakly, finally having regained control of her own body at last. “Now, you can live the life taken from you…”
“Momma…” Helena could only bow her head and cry as her mother lay dying in her arms.
“Do not mourn we who died for what was right.” Rowena gently caressed her daughter’s cheek. “And know that for all the things that I have done, none more felt right than giving you life.” With one last caressed on the cheek, Rowena closed her eyes and breathe her last breath. As Helena cried and as the on lookers watch sadly, Rowena’s body glowed and disintegrated into thousands of miniscule shining particles that were carried into different direction by the wind.
With a gasp, the petrifying jinx on Ginny disappeared together with the protective shield around her. She landed on her feet and immediately ran toward Harry who was being cradled by Hermione and Luna.
“Harry…” She cried kneeling beside him.
“He’s alright.” Hermione consoled her best friend. “His body has already adapted against the sword’s poison when he was sliced the first time back in Hogwarts. The wound is already healing.”
“Thanks the stars.” Ginny sighed in relief. “Is he…?”
“He told us not to worry before he closed his eyes.” Luna gave her position to Ginny and stood up. “And he hasn’t woken up yet since then.”
Harry Potter looked around and found nothing but an expanse of white surrounding. Chuckling, he conjured the King’s Cross Station and slowly, the Hogwarts train and other figures appeared. He sat on the nearest bench and idly watched the smoke coming from the train.
“Hello, Harry.” A voice spoke after what seems like an hour to Harry.
He looked up to see Rowena Ravenclaw standing not far from him.
“Hello, Rowena.” He smiled. “Won’t you take a seat?”
“I don’t think so.” She turned to look at the train as well. “I don’t trust myself right now. I might just hug you.”
“Would that be bad thing?” He asked standing up.
“You have no idea.” Rowena glanced at him, smiling mysteriously.
“Then how can I say thank you properly?”
“By living your life to the fullest and by taking care of Helena for me.” Rowena finally turned to look at Harry. “You might be a little to young to be a father of a century year old woman but at least you could be a friend to her.”
“I will make sure she is well taken care off.” Harry nodded seriously. “It is the least I could do. Besides, I already feel a connection to her. Something I can’t explain.”
“She was born to help you after all.” Rowena smiled, finally relieve that Helena will be safe with the man she will never know as her true father.
“Was this really all your plan?”
“No.” Rowena laughed. “I did not foresee Damon choosing me. However, it worked to our benefit in the end.”
“Yet, you might have foreseen this. Especially after you made sure that Helena and the Baron would be resurrected in this lifetime.”
“I just covered everything.” Rowena hedged.
“We can never repay you.”
“Just love your friends, especially your wife. She deserves it.” Rowena turned from him, hiding the tears that escaped her eyes.
DISCLAIMER: EVERYTHING BELONGS TO JK ROWLING
NEXT CHAPTER: THE SEARCH BEGINS
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