Chapter 4 : The Battle Of Hogwarts.
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Chapter 4: The Battle of Hogwarts.
Gellert appeared in Hogsmede with a loud crack. The street was almost deserted, save for a single masked man, patrolling the street, his wand at his side. Gellert didn’t look at him-the last thing he needed was to be attacked for looking at someone funny. He had never been to the village, but Albus had described it in his youth.
Gellert knew it was the only fully magical settlement in Britain, which made it perfect for him to acquire some new robes. Blue was far too noticeable, he reasoned, and besides, how many Dark Wizards wear blue?
He walked into a shop named Deverish and Bangs. Perhaps he could get some information while he was at it.
A woman looked up, startled, before relaxing at the sight of him.
‘That never normally happened’ Gellert thought to himself bitterly. He smiled at her, however. When you were after information, it was always good to make a first impression.
“You’re not from round here” she said. It was a statement, not a question. Gellert shook his head. “What brings you to Hogsmede then? It’s certainly not the best time to visit.” She added, with a hollow smile. Gellert chuckled.
“So I’ve been told. I was a friend of Albus Dumbledore’s many years ago. I was hoping to pay my respects-but blue isn’t the most respectful colour. I was wondering if you had something more suitable?” He asked politely. He had always been a charmer, it’d always got him information in the past. Now was no different, he reasoned.
“There’s some black robes and boots over there, pick out your size” she replied, pointing to her right. “I don’t fancy your chances of getting in there tonight. Or anytime, as long as Snape’s headmaster. Unless he knows you’re coming?” she asked casually.
Clearly, she was a gossip. Gellert moved towards the dark robes and began selecting a set, whilst slowly thinking out his response.
“He doesn’t, no. But I have my ways” he chuckled, and pulled out a set of robes and some boots. “Can I try these on?” he asked. She nodded absently, plainly barely listening to him after realising it was clear he wasn’t going to elaborate.
He conjured up a small curtain to hide himself and dressed in the new robes. He smiled as he looked in the shop window. Ah, now these were much more like it. He also conjured up a small band and tied his long, grey hair back. Pleased, he removed the curtain and picked up his broom. “I’ll take them. How much?” she nodded at the price tag, and Gellert handed over the money.
"Suppose you could get in if the gates were open. The only time they open is when old Horace comes down for a drink." she said absently, seemingly not listening to herself. Gellert grinned to himself-that was what he needed.
Around five o’clock, Gellert got what he wanted. A large man, dressed in emerald green robes and sporting a large, walrus like moustache, was wandering down the path.
He unlocked the gate, and as it opened, Gellert slipped soundlessly into the grounds.
As Professor Slughorn strode down the path towards the village in search of a drink, he had no idea that someone had just slipped inside.
Gellert was in the grounds, but now he had a problem. He had no idea where Dumbledore was buried. Doubtlessly, that would be were the wand now lay. If Voldemort hadn’t already found it, which he probably had, Gellert thought. It had taken him a few days to fly through the storm over France; how long had it taken Voldemort to work out the link?
Gellert knew that while the Dark Lord didn’t quite have Gellert’s brains, he wasn’t stupid. He would figure it out.
As me mulled this over in his mind, Gellert was unconsciously wandering through the grounds, silently and invisibly.
Suddenly, he snapped back into focus. He noticed a large, white marble structure on the shores of the lake. It seemed to be illuminated despite the darkness that was slipping across the land. Grindelwald knew this was it.
This was where Dumbledore was buried.
The white marble was cracked, and the two halves of the tomb’s top lay either side of the chamber. Gellert cursed-Voldemort had beaten him to the wand. He would have to defeat him if he was to retain it. He kicked a stone into the lake in frustration. This would be much more difficult than he thought. He turned to the tomb, and was overcome with, to his surprise, sadness, and a little anger.
At the bottom of that grave, lay the only friend he had ever had. He raised his wand and repaired the tomb, the marble flowing back into place.
“Rest in peace, Albus,” he whispered. "He won't have it for long," he promised. Gellert remained by the tomb for a while, paying his last respects to his teenage friend.
As he turned to leave, he heard a loud crash, and saw a window near the side of the castle shatter, and a large, bat like shape flew from it, as if flying on smoke. It approached Gellert, and he apprehensively drew his wand, ready to blast it from the sky.
As it came close, he noticed it wasn’t a giant bat, but a hook nosed man, with greasy black hair. He continued over Gellert’s head, oblivious to the man underneath him. Something was going on in the castle. Ever curious, Gellert decided to find out what. He leapt onto his broomstick, which he had been carrying since Nurmengard, and flew into the broken window, still invisible.
Five people were standing in the corridor; two witches, one dressed in an old tartan dressing gown, another in a dark green nightdress with a badger emblazoned on it’s chest. The man who had let Gellert into the grounds unintentionally earlier on was also there, now in emerald pyjama’s panting heavily, his face flushed and red. A tiny wizard with a wispy white beard was also present, alongside-Gellert took in a sharp breath at this point- Harry Potter. He was speaking, panic obvious in his voice.
“Professor, we’ve got to barricade the school, he’s coming now!” he urged the tartan dressed witch. She nodded curtly.
Grindelwald waited at the front doors of the castle, preparing himself for the attack as he watched countless spells bombard the protections the teachers of the school had created. It was holding, just.
Despite the inevitable battle, Grindelwald felt strangely calm, excitement brewing in his chest. Soon, he would have the Elder Wand once more, after over fifty years since the duel at Nurmengard.
Then, all of a sudden, there was a crack like thunder, and a bolt of white lightening struck the shield with tremendous power. The entire castle seemed to shake, as the shield disintegrated. Gellert smiled and raised his wand. It had begun.
A group of wizards appeared before him, sprinting towards the door. Gellert slashed his wand, sending a jet of purple fire at the group. Three collapsed instantly, and two staggered at the force of the spell. The other retaliated, sending a killing curse at the lone figure on the doorstep. He deflected it easily, flicking his wand and sending the curse high into the sky.
The two that had been staggered by Gellert’s first spell had regained their composure and stood, firing curses at him furiously. Gellert laughed manically as he spun, ducking and countering their attacks with superb skill.
“Imperio!” he roared, and the curse hit the central figure, who adopted a soppy, grinning expression. He pointed his wand at the ground.
“Confringo!” he yelled, and the large explosion he created blasted him aside, along with his two companions. Satisfied with his work, Gellert leapt back on his broom and flew above to survey the battlefield.
It appeared that the Hogwarts staff and pupils were just about holding their own, although some death eaters had penetrated the castle walls. Gellert spotted a large group of Hogwarts pupils battling a giant in the central courtyard. Their stunning charms seemed to just bounce off the enormous beast, as it whirled it’s deadly club above it’s ugly head, as though daring any to come closer.
“Locomotor statue!” Gellert cried, and with a flick of his wand, directed a heavy rooftop statue flying towards the giant. It struck the beast on the head with a sickening thud, and the creature fell slowly to the ground, scattering the defenders. He flew low, swooping into a window. Two red headed men were battling two death eaters, and were being slowly pushed back by the ferocity of their attackers.
Gellert was about to turn around and try to help the pair, when he was distracted by a shout from below him.
“REDUCTO!” a voice bellowed, and a jet of orange light struck Gellert’s broom, causing it to disintegrate. Gellert cursed, before slamming into the stone floor. He groggily picked himself up, and dimly turned to face his attacker. A dark haired, burly man with a long, twisted face stood before him, grinning.
Grindelwald scowled, and conjured a large sword out of thin air, and directed it towards the death eater. He leapt behind a large suit of armour to parry the attack, then shot a body bind hex around the corner. Gellert deflected it with a slash of his wand, then pointed it at the suit of armour.
“Piertotem Locomotor” he muttered, and watched as the suit of armour sprang into life, removing the conjured sword from it’s chest and swinging it at the death eater. Snarling, the wizard dodged the blow, before striking the suit of armour down with a blast of purple fire. Gellert seized his chance as the death eater dealt with the angry armour. “Confringo!” he roared. The death eater managed to parry the attack, but only just, and the blasting curse smashed into the wall next to him, near where the red heads had been duelling.
There was a tremendous explosion, and Gellert heard several shouts from around the corner.
The death eater was forced to his knees by the power of the explosion. He tried feebly to raise his wand, but Gellert disarmed him with a flick of his wrist. “Where is your master hiding?” he asked as he approached the death eater.
“Hiding?” spat the death eater, “The Dark Lord is not hiding. He is waiting.” He growled, hatred burning in his eyes. “Anyway, why would you want to find him? You think you can stop him old man?” he said, laughing scornfully. Grindelwald’s eyes narrowed. He didn't like being mocked.
“Crucio,” he said coldly, and watched as the death eater squirmed in agony. He removed the spell after around thirty seconds, and the death eater lay, curled in a ball, panting furiously. “I’m not one of the kids, friend. Some people fear me as much as they fear your precious Voldemort,” he whispered in the man’s grinning maliciously. He straightened up. “Now, do you want to run through that again, or are you going to tell me what I need to know.” The death eater glared at him, and then spat at his shoes. “What’s your name friend?” Gellert asked, absently twiddling his wand.
“Dolohov. And I’m no friend of yours,” Dolohov whispered. The hate had gone from his eyes now-it had been replaced by fear.
“Surely, Dolohov, Voldemort’s whereabouts is not worth dying for? It’s not like he can’t look after himself,” Gellert said conversationally. He smiled briefly an insane, obsessed smile, and then continued. “Unlike you, who appears to be in a bit of a pickle. So I’ll ask you again, where is he!?” Gellert injected some thunder into his voice, and Dolohov cowered on the floor, not responding. “Maybe your tongue needs some more loosening. CRUCIO!” Gellert roared, and Dolohov began to scream again, rolling on the floor. Eventually, Gellert removed the curse, leaving Dolohov sweating on the floor, numerous scratches on his face where he’d torn at himself in pain.
“Alright, alright, I’ll tell,” he panted. He paused to regain his breath, then, “He’s in the shrieking shack, on the outskirts of Hogsmede.” He shuddered and placed his head on the floor, taking deep breaths.
In all honesty, it was fairly easy to pick out the shrieking shack in Hogsmede. The tall, boarded up building was far apart from the rest of the town. Gellert apparated next to it as soon as he was beyond Hogwarts’ protective enchantments. He cast a disillusionment charm upon himself once more, and silently entered the building. Voldemort was, as Dolohov had said, standing in the middle of the room. Gellert spotted it instantly in his hand; the Elder Wand.
He was playing with it, apparently curious. The swallow faced, hook nosed man that Gellert had seen fly over him before the battle had begun was also there, along with, to Gellert’s disgust, an enormous snake encased in a starry, bubble like cage. Gellert hated snakes.
Tearing his eyes away from the beast, he watched the exchange between the two wizards. They appeared to be arguing about something.
“Perhaps you already know it? You are a clever man, after all, Severus. You have been a good and faithful servant, and I regret what must happen.” Voldemort said, his voice icy cold, enough to send shivers down most people’s spines. Certainly, Severus looked apprehensive.
“My Lord-" he began, his hands twitching nervously, but Voldemort silenced him with a wave of his spider like hand.
“The Elder Wand cannot serve me properly, Severus, because I am not its true master. The Elder Wand belongs to the wizard who killed it’s last owner.” Voldemort turned slowly to face Severus, his red eyes glinting dangerously. “You killed Albus Dumbledore. While you live, Severus, the Elder Wand cannot truly be mine.” Realisation dawned in Severus’s eyes, terror quickly rising through him. He raised his wand, his hand shaking.
“My Lord!” he protested desperately, as Gellert watched with baited breath. Then an idea came to him-it was risky, but it could work.
“Expelliarmus!” Grindelwald breathed. Rather than the normal jet of red light, the spell manifested itself as a fast breeze, which took Severus’s wand out of his hand. Neither he nor Voldemort seemed to notice, most likely because Voldemort had just set his huge, foul snake on Severus. Gellert winced as it sunk it’s oversized fangs into the pale skin of the black robed man. He collapsed soundlessly, blood pouring from his open wounds.
Gellert considered his options. If Severus had been the master of the Elder Wand, then Gellert had defeated him, and the wand was his. If he engaged Voldemort in a duel, then the wand would not work for him, which would mean he’d be easy to defeat.
On the other hand, if Severus wasn’t the true master of the wand, and knowing Dumbledore, something had probably gone not entirely normal, then the wand would just be a normal wand between the two, and they would be on even ground. As confident as he was in his own abilities, Gellert was unsure as to whether he could defeat Voldemort.
Gellert twiddled his wand absently, pondering the situation. He reasoned that, at worst, he could take the wand away and track down it’s true master at a later time. He made his decision. Gellert followed Voldemort at a safe distance; they entered the forest on the grounds of the school.
They came to a small clearing, and Voldemort stopped, pointing the Elder Wand at his throat, and began to speak, his voice magically magnified, echoing across the entire grounds. Gellert was in the process of working out his next moves, and barely listened to the speech; though he caught the basic jist-Voldemort was seeking Potter, and nobody else. Voldemort lowered his wand, and began to wait.
“Good evening, Voldemort.” Grindelwald said quietly, removing the disillusionment charm from himself and stepping into the pale moonlight that illuminated the clearing. Voldemort turned slowly. His gleaming, snake like red eyes widened briefly at the sight of Gellert, but he quickly regained his composure.
“Grindelwald, you survived. It seems I… underestimated you” Voldemort said, his high cold voice betraying no emotion. “But your resistance was futile. I have it, see?” he twitched the Elder Wand. “You’ve failed, Grindelwald. I am the wand’s true master now, as of moments ago.” He said triumphantly, his red eyes blazing in triumph.
“I almost feel bad to prove you wrong, Voldemort.” Said Gellert, maliciously. “You see, if Severus was the master of the wand, then you cannot have won it.” Grindelwald said, his voice still quiet, layered with menace. Voldemort sneered.
“I killed Severus. As it seems, you witnessed. You know the legend as well as I, Grindelwald. You know it is passed down through the death of it’s previous owner.” Voldemort said, although some of the triumph from his voice was gone.
“Oh I know the legend far better than you could possibly imagine, Voldemort. It was mine and Albus’ obsession. We studied it for nearly a year, and I must say that both of us were far cleverer than you. If you had done as much as we had, you’d know that you don’t have to kill your opponent-you just have to defeat them.” Gellert replied, his voice louder now, confidence flowing through him.
Voldemort was rattled, it was obvious. Gellert reached into his robes and withdrew Severus’ wand. “I disarmed him in the shack. I defeated him before your foul snake could get him. So you see? If Severus was the master of the Elder Wand, then it is now mine!” He roared, drawing his own wand.
Voldemort reacted quickly. He brandished the Elder Wand, creating a ring of fire around the two combatants. Gellert shot a killing curse at Voldemort, but he knocked it aside with a flick of the Elder Wand, before shooting back his own. Gellert dodged it narrowly, before conjuring a set of ropes in an attempt to catch Voldemort. They bound him, but he swiftly sliced them away using a spell Gellert had never heard of. Voldemort whirled the Elder Wand, causing the fire around them to manifest into a large, fiery snake. Gellert blasted it with an augumenti charm, which vaporised before his eyes. Cursing, he leapt aside as the snake struck, rolling over and then encasing the entire snake in a huge sphere of water, which he collapsed in on the fiery snake.
“Good try Voldemort. But you couldn’t defeat Dumbledore and you can’t defeat me, seems you are far from the greatest sorcerer ever.” Grindelwald cackled, the old madness now dancing in his eyes. Voldemort roared in fury, and sent a wild killing curse at Gellert, which missed by a massive margin.
Gellert danced away in amusement, before shooting the purple fire he was so adept at conjuring at Voldemort, who just managed to block it, throwing him off balance. Gellert seized his chance, and charmed the roots of the trees. They erupted from the ground, ensnaring Voldemort tightly in thick branches. “You see Voldemort. You may be all powerful, but you still cannot defeat an old man like me.” Grindelwald laughed wickedly, almost insanely. Voldemort’s eyes flashed, and then;
“STUPEFY!” roared a woman from behind Gellert. Grindelwald span around, just managing to deflect the curse. A woman with heavily lidded eyes, anger burning within them, was staring at him. It was Bellatrix Lestrange. “You dare! You dare attack the dark lord!” she screamed, flailing her wand. Grindelwald blocked her curse and began to laugh.
“Foolish girl! You think you can defeat me?” he yelled, and whipped his wand up, and Bellatrix quickly deflected the hex. Fury was evident in her eyes. She sent a counter charm against Gellert’s tree roots that held Voldemort, freeing him.
“You may be powerful, Grindelwald. But not strong enough” Voldemort said dangerously. Grindelwald grimaced, this was a tricky spot. But he’d been in these before. All it took was some quick thinking along with his natural brilliance.
It seemed to take an age before his eyes came back to focus. He was bound to a tree, just behind an enormous man with a brown moleskin coat. Voldemort and his death eaters were surrounding the clearing-clearly the Death eaters had attacked Gellert from behind.
He cursed inwardly; they’d never have defeated him in a fair fight. He struggled briefly, but it was hopeless.The conjured ropes held him extremely tight. His wand lay at his feet, out of reach.
He needed a miracle to get out of this. He could hear voices. One of them was Dolohov- the man he’d stunned in the castle earlier.
“No sign of him my lord” Dolohov was saying. Gellert guessed they were discussing the Potter boy. Voldemort remained expressionless-he was clearly thinking hard. He played with the Elder Wand for a moment.
“My Lord-“it was Bellatrix. Her face was bleeding-Gellert had wounded her at some point, but otherwise she was unharmed. The other Death Eaters must have stopped the tree from crushing her. A raised, spider like hand stopped her.
“I thought he would come. I expected him to come.” He said slowly. He paused for a moment, then, “I was, it seems…mistaken.”
“You weren’t” came a voice from the trees. Gellert twisted his head violently; the ropes binding him cut into his flesh but he barely noticed. There was Harry Potter, stepping out from the trees.
What the hell was he thinking! Gellert cursed to himself once more. It was all going wrong-If Potter died, then surely, according to the supposed Prophecy Tom had described, Voldemort would never be defeated. Several of the Death Eaters began to laugh. Potter seemed oblivious, he strode up towards Voldemort.
Gellert felt a rare feeling rise in his chest-respect. Not many would sacrifice themselves like Potter was about to do now. His train of thought was interrupted by the massive man in front of him.
“HARRY! NO! NO! NO! HARRY, WHAT’RE YEH-?” he roared, but a death eater silenced him with a flick of his wand. He continued to thrash wildly, and for a moment, Gellert thought he might bring the tree down with him. He could see Voldemort’s lips moving, but he wasn’t close enough to hear his words.
Then there was a flash of green light, and Potter collapsed, gone. The man in front of Gellert gave out a strangled cry and wept. But something was wrong.
“My Lord!?” Bellatrix was asking, screaming shrilly. Gellert looked up-Voldemort had, for some reason, collapsed as well as Potter, and with it, the magic holding Gellert had broken. He was free, but he had to escape before the Death Eaters noticed him.
“He’s alive-but he’s unconscious” Dolohov was saying. He and Bellatrix were knelt beside Voldemort, concern in their eyes. Gellert picked up his wand and cast yet another disillusionment charm upon himself, before quietly slipping away through the trees.
His plan had failed-He'd been unable to defeat Lord Voldemort, and If, and he almost certainly was, Potter was dead, then who would defeat Voldemort? Plainly, he needed a new plan. He reached the boundaries of the Hogwarts grounds and slipped beyond the protective enchantments. He planned to lie low at Godric’s hollow until he could plan his next move. The Elder Wand would be his, he would see to that, no matter what the cost.
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