Chapter 7 : The Tipping Point - Part 3
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Ron caught the spell with his shield and instantly felt his new wand try to lock with Harry’s. Ollivander had been right. The Elm wands were compatible with both Aurors.
Ron had to fight his instincts to prevent his wand from locking. After the initial jolt, he eased his Protego. The result was a gold band of energy connecting both wands.
“Ready?” Harry shouted to his partner.
“No. Do it anyway.” Ron cringed, anticipating what was about to come next.
Harry crossed his Phoenix Feather wand with his new one. Then he yelled, “Disgorgio!”
A white hot bolt of lightning shot up the energy stream connecting both wands. With a thunderous crash, Ron went careening backwards, smacking the ground with a meaty thud.
“Ron?!” Harry sprinted to his best mate in a panic.
Slowly, the red-haired Auror got back to his feet, just as Harry reached him. “Well, it hurts. I can tell you that much,” Ron said, weakly.
“You okay?” Harry’s voice was full of concern as he steadied him.
“Brilliant,” Ron answered, sarcastically.
“Dammit, Weasley, I’m serious!”
Ron rested his hand on Harry’s shoulder. He hadn’t seen him this worked up in a while. “Easy, brother. I’m fine, okay?” He shot him a reassuring smile.
Harry seemed to settle at that.
“C’mon,” Ron said, motioning for Harry to sit on a nearby felled tree. “You gotta tell me how you came up with that.”
Harry took a breath and launched into it. “I got the idea from Hermione’s crossed-wand spell. It seemed to me that if two wizards can cross their wands and increase a spell’s power, why couldn’t one wizard do the same?”
Ron smiled. “I like it. But you risk draining your magical core doing it, don’t you?”
Harry nodded. “That’s what I needed to find out. It took a bit out of me, but I’m okay. I’m guessing that the stronger the curse, the more energy Disgorgio needs. Using it to break a lock from a Reducto or an Expulso will probably be tougher, but I don’t think it’s wise for us to practice those.”
“You think?” Ron asked, with a cocked brow. “Anyway, how’d you come up with the incantation?”
“Hermione, again. She didn’t quite know what I was getting at when I asked her about it. What I wanted was more of a command to the wand, rather than an incantation. She suggested Disgorgio. It seems to work.”
“You could say that,” Ron responded, rubbing his sore back. “Since it’s a command, instead of an incantation, do you really need a second wand to cast it?”
Harry thought about it for a moment. “Dunno. But it’s an interesting point.”
“Anyway, the spell-timing defense has worked pretty well for us, for the most part. You don’t have to let your wand lock with Yaxley’s if you don’t want to. So, why all the trouble with the new spell?”
Harry didn’t answer right away.
“Potter, we’ve been over this in every training session for the past three months. Don’t let your wands lock. I hear it in my sleep, for Merlin’s sake.”
Harry shook his head. “You’re right, but I want options. Besides, I’m not sure how strong the lock could get with Yaxley.”
Ron wasn’t satisfied by the answer, but let it pass. “Alright.” He stood and paced off 10 yards from Harry. “Now, since we’ve got these wicked new toys, there’s something I’ve always wanted to try.” A grin worthy of George crossed his face as he drew both his wands. “Get ready for an arse-kicking, Four eyes.”
“Bring it on, Carrot Top!” Harry smiled back as he drew both of his.
Ron didn’t bother with a salute before he loosed Expulsos from both his wands.
Harry’s shield was up in a flash. He grunted from the effort of shielding both spells with his old wand as he simultaneously turned on the spot, using his other to DisApparate.
He appeared behind Ron and loosed a stunner aimed right between his shoulder blades.
Ron parried it behind his back with his new wand. Spinning, he hurled a Bombarda with his other.
Harry caught the curse deftly and, rapid-fire, loosed a two-fisted barrage of stunners at his best mate.
Ron blocked them all, though his new wand pulled strongly toward Harry’s, threatening to lock once more.
“Try it again!” Ron shouted.
Ron nodded, as he let his wand lock with his partners’.
Again, lightning shot up the energy stream between the two wands. At the last possible moment, Ron brought his main wand up, casting Protego to shield himself from the blast he knew was coming.
A deafening explosion rocked the pitch near the orchard, once again knocking Ron off his feet. But this time the impact was much less severe. Ron came up panting. “Bloody wicked!!’
Harry’s grin was a mile wide, once he realized his best mate was alright. “Brilliant!”
They closed the distance to each other, shook hands and collapsed, out of breath.
Ron was all smiles. “Always wanted to fight with two wands. But it’s exhausting.”
Harry nodded. “That was a great idea. It’ll take some getting used to, but we’ll get stronger.” Then he shot a grin at his best mate. “Another round?”
Ron smiled. “Absolutely!”
“Ronald Bilius Weasley, you are a mess.” Hermione frowned as she took in the bruises and scrapes that covered her fiancé’s body from head to toe.
Ron’s voice was muffled by the pillow. “You should see the other guy.”
She’d stripped him out of his filthy Auror’s robes and shuffled him into the bedroom as soon as he Apparated home. He’d immediately told her about Yaxley having Riddle’s old wand and Harry’s new anti-wand locking spell. She took the news in stride; she’d puzzled it out on her own earlier in the day based on what she already knew. Though it worried her, her primary concern was the bruised and battered Auror that was now laying spread eagle on their bed, unable to move. She was kneeling next to him.
Hermione had laid in a large supply of enchanted muscle ointment just for these occasions. She poured it on her hands and began to knead his back. “How’s that?”
“Mmm, ahhh, oww, mmm,” was Ron’s only reply.
Hermione just shook her head. “I hope you enjoyed yourselves.”
“It, mmm, was, ahh good, mmm, practice.”
“Well, don’t get too comfortable. You stink. As soon as you can walk I’m putting you in the tub.”
She began to work down his back.
“Sorry. You okay?”
“Yeah. Don’t stop. Gotta work that…OWW!”
Hermione kept kneading. “Hold on, I’ve just about…” There was a loud “pop,” and Ron went limp.
“Ahhh…Thanks,” he moaned.
“At what point did you stop practicing his new spell and just decide to try and kill each other?” She asked.
Ron laughed. “It was bloody wicked. We were both dueling with two wands. ‘Mione, you’ll love it.”
Boys and their toys. “I’m sure I will.” She took a breath and changed the subject. “There was more to Harry’s mood than Alicia Spinnet and Riddle’s old wand, I’m guessing.”
Ron sighed. “Yeah, there is.”
“Can you share? Or is this a wizard’s only thing?”
Very gingerly, Ron rolled over to face his fiancée. He paused as he tried to figure out whether he should get into Harry’s meeting with Smith. “I think I have to tell you.”
Worry creased Hermione’s brow. “What is it?”
“He’s…” Ron shook his head as he struggled to find the right word. “Tired.”
Hermione sighed. “That’s what you told me last night!”
Ron took Hermione’s hand in his. “Well, it’s more than that. Maybe, worn is a better word.” He frowned, frustrated that he couldn’t quite convey what he saw in Harry’s eyes when he told Ron about his encounter with Smith. Ron took a deep breath and relayed everything he knew. When he finished, Hermione’s eyes had gone wide. “I…I don’t know how much longer he can do this, love. The war has to end. The bloody plan has to work.”
Hermione gently stroked Ron’s cheek and tried to suppress her own worry. “It will work. You know I’m not thrilled with it, but it is…brilliant.”
Ron laughed, sardonically. “And she actually said that with no tone of surprise.”
Hermione frowned at her fiancé. “You know how impressed I am with your tactics.” Then she smiled. “Your brainy side is really sexy.”
“Thanks, love,” he said, gently. “Well, it feels like it’s all been leading up to this. We’ve reached the tipping point. It’s now or never.”
Hermione nodded. “We’ll get through it like we always do. Just keep an eye on him and I’ll do the same.” She sighed. “I don’t think there’s much else we can do.” Then she got out of bed, pulling Ron with her. “C’mon. Bath for you.”
Ron let her lead him to the loo. But one last thought flitted through his mind before he could fully lose himself in his fiancee’s gentle caresses. We may be at the tipping point, but how much longer before Harry finally reaches his breaking point?
AN: This tale fills in what I hope are the last of the "missing pieces" before "Children's Crusade." Harry and Yaxley's wands locking was always somthing I wanted to explain. I also wanted to delve into the "Disgorgio" spell as well as how the Quartet came to fight two-wanded. But just because I've filled in my plot holes doesn't mean more isn't on the way! So be sure to check back!
I do not own Harry Potter. The toys belong to JKR; she just lets us play with them.
An updated timeline is included below:
1996 - Fall - "More Skill Than Luck " - one shot - posted as Chapter 87 of "Phoenix in the Ashes," site-wide collaboration. It's in my favorites.
1998 – July – “Hermione’s Wand” – one shot - posted as Chapter 1 of "Tales from the Crusadiverse"
1999- August – “Journey of a Thousand Miles” – one shot - posted as Chapter 1 of "The Staffer's Choice Awards," a Prefect's Collaboration. It's in my favorites.
2000 – August – “The Battle of the Pitch” (main story line) – short story – posted
2000 – November – “The Adventures of Reckless Git and Danger Ponce” – short story – posted as Chapters 2-4 of "Tales from the Crusadiverse"
2002 – Spring – "Best Laid Plans," -one shot; and “The Proposal” – short story – both posted.
2002 – Early Summer – “The Tipping Point” – short story - posted as Chapters 5-7 of "Tales from the Crusadiverse.".
2002 – Summer – “Children’s Crusade”- novel – sequel to “Stop All The Clocks” – posted
2003 – December – “The Gift”- one shot - posted as Chapter 30 of "The Final Battle," site-wide collaboration. It's in my favorites.
2004 – May – “The Battle of the Pitch” (introductory story line) – posted
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