Chapter 1 : Death Eaters
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Author's Note: Hey everyone! So Chapter One of "The Final Stand". Exciting, isn't it? Lots of stuff is going to happen, and I'm sure you'll all want to hit me at some points. :) Anyways, read on, enjoy, favorite, and leave a review!!
"In the three months that I was held captive, I was tortured on a daily basis. I was barely able to escape, and after that, I could barely move. This is one of many reasons why I have decided to take a year off. In this time, no one will see me or hear from me. I will be completely silent. No fan mail will be answered, no new songs will be released, no anything. I am taking this year to myself, to get my life back together after a tragedy that will affect the way I live the rest of my life. This is what I need right now and my decision is final. I will see you all in a year," the blonde girl on the television screen said before walking away from the podium. Cameras and microphones were starting to be shoved in her face, but a bulking man stepped in front of her, blocking them from her as she made her way into a limousine that was waiting for her.
I couldn't believe I had done that. Needing the time to myself, yes, I guess that part was true, but what I really needed to do was help Harry. Help him save the world and finish Voldemort and that had to be my one and only priority right now.
"I think you made a good choice, Em. This way you can get counseling and deal with what happened properly," my dad said comfortingly, even though he didn't face me.
"Yeah," I said quietly before stretching my hands out in front of me, towards the spot where my family was sitting on our couch in the living room. "Obliviate," I whispered.
White wisps of smoke swirled up from their heads as I disappeared from every picture and photography until it was only the four of them left. I didn't want to do this, but it was the only way for me to keep them all safe. They'd never understand why I did it and I accepted that, but it still hurt to know that for however long this was going to take, they'd forget that I even existed.
Tears streamed down my face as I mouthed "I love you" and started to Apparate.
"Emily?" Ginny asked gently, a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see a concerned look on her face. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," I said, rubbing at my eyes just to make sure there weren't any tears there, in case I had been actually crying again.
"It's time for you to head over to Harry's," she told me and I nodded. I stood up and grabbed my hoodie from the back of the chair I had been sitting on.
"I'll be back as soon as it's safe," I said to Ginny and Mrs. Weasley, who had both gathered at the door.
"Be careful, dear," Mrs. Weasley said, giving me a bone-crushing hug and a peck on the forehead. I nodded and gave Ginny a hug before walking out the front door. I pulled my bright red hood over my head, covering up my face as I walked along.
I walked through the enchantments placed around the burrow and did a cursory glance around before Apparating a few blocks away from The Dursley's house on Privet Drive. If I Apparated anywhere near him, they'd know someone was there, so this was the easiest way to go about doing this.
I walked down the sidewalk, my hands shoved in my hoodie's pockets, slipping sunglasses over my eyes so no one would recognize me. It was late enough in the afternoon so that no one would probably see me at all - that was probably for the best. I tugged on my black, spandex shorts as I stared at my red runners.
I had to be dressed in bright colors - it was all part of the plan.
When I reached Harry's house, I saw Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley all piling into the car, Hestia Jones and Dedalus Giggles going with them, giving me a solemn nod of the head in recognition.
I walked up to the front porch and was about to knock on the door when it was flung open by Harry. He looked slightly out of breath as he stared at me. "Hey," I said, breaking the ice.
"Hi," he breathed before gathering me in his arms, squeezing me tightly. "I missed you so much."
"I missed you too," I said, hugging him back just as tightly. We hadn't been allowed to see each other at al this summer because apparently it was too dangerous for either of us to be on our own without having the two of us alone together. I also had a feeling that they knew something about the sex thing too, which also had a large impact on their decision to keep us apart from each other.
"How - how's everything been?" he asked cautiously.
"Okay," I said and he nodded, as if understanding exactly what I meant by that one word.
I was still suffering from some of the after effects of being kidnapped and tortured, but not as much as most people would think I was - I had nightmares about it, the seizures had gotten worse, I had problems letting people touch me or get to close and I didn't like looking in mirrors too often because of the scars. My parents seemed to think that I was suppressing my pain, but I was suppressing anything. I just didn't think it was worth my time and energy to obsess over what had happened - I couldn't have stopped it. No one could have.
What wasn't helping my emotional state was having to Obliviate my parents and get Adelaide to pretend that she was a travel agent, offering my parents a trip to Australia where she'd act as their tour guide and keep tabs on them for me.
"So why are you here?" Harry asked.
"Change of plans," I said simply, looking around the house a little. "Mad-Eye will explain it once everyone gets here."
"Everyone?" he asked, but I wasn't paying attention.
"So you have everything ready?" I asked instead, and he nodded. "Wonderful." I paused for a moment, facing him and gently pressing my hands against his chest. "Are you ready for all of this? For everything we're going to have to do?"
"No," he admitted, "but I know that I have to do it - it's the only way."
"I'm scared," I told him honestly. "Not just for myself, but for everyone we're going to lose. I'm scared for us - what we're going to have to go through to get rid of all the Horcruxes. I'm scared about what will happen if we...if we fail."
"We won't," Harry said determinedly. "I won't let it happen, you know that. If I should die, I'm taking Voldemort and all his Death Eaters with me." I nodded, closing my eyes and leaning back against one of the walls. "I'll always be here for you, Em, you know that - we're a team. Nothing is going to separate us again."
I nodded again before he pressed his lips to mine and I could practically feel all his frustrations, fears and anger coming out in that one kiss. I was doing the same, using every ounce of passion I had in me. Besides, we'd been deprived of each other's company for almost a month now - we need something.
"Sorry to interrupt," someone said and I broke away from Harry to see Lindsay and Emilie standing a few feet in front of the back door, the rest of the Guard piling in behind them - Mr. Weasley, Fred and George, Mad-Eye Moody, Bill, Ron, Hermione, Remus, Tonks, Fleur, Hagrid and Mundungus Fletcher. What a motley crew.
Harry kept me close to him as everyone greeted him. Tonks told Harry all about her wedding with Lupin, and everyone else was telling him all sorts of things about their summers and lives before Moody interrupted, telling us all that we need to quiet down. I led Harry into the kitchen and hopped up on the counter. I pulled him so he was standing in between my legs, and my arms were wrapped around him.
Moody turned to Harry. "As Emily here has probably told you, we had to abandon Plan A. Pius Thicknesse has gone over, which gives us a big problem. He's made it an imprisonable offense to connect this house to the Floo Network, place a portkey here, or Apparate in or out. All done in the name of your protection, to prevent You-Know-Who getting in at you. Absolutely pointless, seeing as your mother's charm does that already. What he's really done is stop you from getting out of here safely. Second problem: You're underage, which means you've still got the Trace on you."
"The charm that detects magical activity around everyone under seventeen, also the way that the Ministry finds our about underage magic," I explained to Harry quietly, knowing that he didn't know what it was. "If you, or anyone around you casts a spell to get you out of here, Thicknesse will know about it and alert the Death Eaters."
"We can't wait for the Trace to break because the moment you turn seventeen, you'll lose everyone once of the protection your mother gave you. In short, Pius Thicknesse thinks he's got you cornered."
"So what are we going to do?" Harry asked.
"We're going to use the only means of transport left to us, the only ones the Trace can't detect because we don't need to cast spells to use them - brooms, Thestrals, and Hagrid's motorbike.
"Now, your mother's charm will only break under two conditions: when you come of age or you no longer call this place home. You and your aunt and uncle are going your separate ways tonight in the full understand that you're never going to live together again, correct?"
"So this time when you leave, there'll be no coming back, and the charm will break the moment you get outside its range. We're choosing to break it early, because the alternative is waiting for You-Know-Who to come and kill you the moment you turn seventeen.
"The one thing we've got on our side is that You-Know-Who doesn't know we're moving you tonight. We've leaked a fake trail to the Ministry - they think you're not leaving until the thirtieth. However, this is You-Know-Who we're dealing with, so we can't rely on him getting the date wrong. He's bound to have a couple Death Eaters patrolling the skies in the general area, just in case. So, we've given a dozen different houses every protection we can throw at them. They all look like they could be the place we're going to hide you, they've all got some connection with the Order - my house, Kingsley's house, Molly's Auntie Muriel's - you get the idea."
"Yeah," Harry said, although I was sure he was still seeing all the holes in the plan from the tone of his voice.
"You'll be going to Tonks's parents. Once you’re within the boundaries of the protective enchantments we've put on their house, you'll be able to use a Portkey to the Burrow. Any questions?"
"Er - yes," Harry said nervously. "Maybe they won't know which of the twelve secure houses I'm heading for at first, but won't it be sort of obvious once seventeen of us fly off to Tonks's parents?"
"Ah," Moody said, a devious smile playing at his lips. "I forgot to mention the key point. Seventeen of us won't be flying to Tonks's parents. There will be eight Harry Potters moving through the skies tonight, each with a companion, each pair heading for a different safe house." Moody reached into his cloak and pulled out a flask full of a substance that looked like mud.
"NO!" Harry shouted. "No way!"
"I told them you'd take it like this," Hermione pointed out.
"If you think I'm going to let seven people risk their lives -!"
"- because this is the first time for all of us," Ron mentioned, rolling his eyes.
"This is different, pretending to be me -"
"Well, none of us really fancy it, Harry," Fred said earnestly. "Imagine if something went wrong and we were stuck as specky, scrawny gits forever."
Apparently Harry didn't see the humor in that.
"You can't do it if I don't cooperate; you need me to give you some hair."
"Well, that's the plan scuppered," George said, snapping his fingers. "Obviously there's no chance at all of us getting a bit of your hair unless you cooperate."
"Yeah, thirteen of us against one bloke who's not allowed to use magic - we've got no chance," Fred said.
"Funny, really amusing," Harry said sarcastically.
"Harry, everyone here is overage and we've all agreed to it. You can't stop anyone in this room," I said softly.
"You're not! Neither is Lindsay or Emilie!" Harry argued.
"But we are part of the Order, which means that this is our jobs. Technically, we're trained more than anyone else here and the most prepared to do this," I told him calmly.
"So, Potter - some of your hair, if you will." Harry hesitated while everyone gave him looks that told him to just do it. "Now!"
Harry yanked out a clump of hair from the top of his head and handed it to Moody, who put it right into the flash. As soon as the hair made contact with the surface, the substance started smoking and frothing before all at one turning bright gold.
"Ooh, you look much tastier than Crabbe and Goyle, Harry," Hermione said before seeing everyone's raised eyebrows. "Oh, you know what I mean - Goyle's potion tasted like bogies."
"Right then, fake Potters line up over here, please," Moody said. Ron, Hermione, Lindsay, Fred, George, and Fleur all lined up in front of Aunt Petunia's gleaming sink.
"We're one person short," Lupin mentioned.
"Here," Hagrid said gruffly, lifting Mundungus by the scruff of his neck and dropping him down beside Fleur, who wrinkled her nose pointedly and moved along to stand between Fred and George.
"I'm a soldier, I'd sooner be a protector," Mundungus said and I snorted. He gave me a look.
"Look, Death Eaters are looking to capture Harry, not kill him - Voldy wants to do that himself. It's the protectors who have the most to worry about because they're on the killing list."
Moody poured the potion into a dozen egg-sized glasses from inside his cloak, handing them out of all of the fake Potters.
Ron, Hermione, Lindsay, Fred, George, Fleur and Mundungus drank it all at once. All of their features began melting like hot wax, and soon everyone looked exactly like my fiancé. Moody started tossing large sacks around the room.
Fred and George turned to each other and said together, "Wow - we're identical!"
Not that they weren't before, but apparently they've never realized that.
"I dunno, though, I think I'm still better-looking," Fred said, looking at his reflection in the kettle.
"Bah," Fleur said, examining herself in the microwave door, "Bill, don't look at me - I'm 'ideous."
I couldn't help but start giggling as I watched everything. The real Harry looked at me strangely. "What? It's weird to hear all of their voices coming from you."
All the fake Harry’s began stripping out of their clothes and into the new ones, apparently not too self-conscious now that they were in Harry's body, not that I minded the sight.
I could feel Harry's skin growing hot with embarrassment and I smiled. "At least it's nothing I haven't seen before, Ducky," I whispered, kissing him lightly on the neck.
"I knew you were lying about that tattoo," Ron said to me, looking down at his bare chest. If people didn't get dressed faster, I would not be able to be held responsible for my inappropriate actions.
"Harry, your eyesight is really awful," Hermione pointed out as she put glasses on.
Once everyone was dressed, the fake Harry’s took backpacks and owl cages holding stuffed snowy owls. Everyone began to pair off - Moody with Mundungus, Arthur and George, Fred with Remus, Fleur and Bill on a Thestral, Hermione and Kingsley, Ron and Tonks, Emilie and Lindsay, and Hagrid with Harry.
"Wait..." Harry said slowly, looking at Moody, "there's an odd number of people...Emily doesn't have a partner..."
"You didn't tell him?" Tonks asked and I immediately wanted to slap someone. I wasn't planning on telling him because I knew he was going to freak out.
"Didn't tell me what?" Harry asked, turning around to look at me.
"I'm the distraction," I said bluntly. "I'm going to get whatever Death Eaters are watching to chase me so I can disable them and so you guys are free to fly." 'Disable' meaning kill them if I could, but Harry didn't need to know that.
"No!" Harry argued. "You're not - they'll take you again, I'm not going to lose you!"
"I highly doubt they'll take me again, they'll probably kill me as soon as they get the chance," I said. It didn't really help, but it was the truth. "If Voldemort doesn't believe the fake lead, this may be the only way to keep them away from you. They won't get me - I've been training a long time for this."
"No arguments about this - I'm doing it and you can't stop me," I said.
"You need to go now," Moody mentioned to me and I nodded.
"I love you, Harry," I said softly, kissing and hugging him.
"Love you too, please be careful," Harry said.
"See you all at the Burrow," I said, waving before putting my hood back up and walking out the door. I walked a few feet away from Privet Drive, far enough that they would know someone Apparated but would give everyone time before throwing my hood down and letting out a column of fire into the air, signaling for the others to go and attracting the attention of quite a few Death Eaters.
The first destination was an alleyway in the middle of London and I Apparated over there, all of them following me. I continued going place to place, all of them still with me until I got to the train. I had remembered doing this in my training and knew that this trick would work.
So I Apparated onto the top of a moving train and all the Death Eaters followed. They were shocked at first that this was where I had chosen to go, but that was all I needed. I attacked, using all the physical moves I had learned in my training, shocking these Death Eaters while at the same time casting spells to get them off their game.
I counted in my head before waving cheerfully at the Death Eaters, melting down right as the tunnel came up. I Apparated once I was in the tunnel, knowing none of them would be able to survive that.
Next time on "The Final Stand"
I ran through the protective enchantments put on the Burrow and up to the front door, performing the knock to let them know it was me again. The door flung open and Mrs. Weasley was hugging me before I even knew what happened. She was squeezing me tightly and hugging me and sobbing hysterically.
"Mrs. Weasley, I'm okay," I said softly, hugging her back before she let go.
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