Chapter 14 : CHAPTER 11: DESPERATION
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“Nothing much to pack.” Harry said laughingly as he straightened his glasses. The ring with a black stone cleaved in half glistened as it is caught by the light. Luna knew he has the wand and the cloak safely tucked inside his robes. He does not know it yet but he has in all purposes claimed the title ‘Master of Death.’ She needs to help him recover the rest of his memories to effectively use such title. “Do I really have to wear this ring?” Harry asked for the nth time.
“It is important.” Luna nodded. “Once you gather enough memories, you will understand why. For now, just trust me, ok?”
“I trust you.” Harry replied seriously. “And thank you for all that you have done and sacrificed for me. I wouldn’t be here without you. I wouldn’t even have some of my memories back without you.”
“And I will help you find more of them.” Luna said as she picked up the bag she had packed last night. She shrunk it before putting it in the inside pocket of her robe. “You will need to wear the cloak when we go to populated area until we can get our hands on the ingredients of poly juice potions. Father failed to anticipate that you would need to travel to find your memories.”
“And you are certain I can guide us to the next one who holds my memories?” Harry asked.
“Didn’t you feel a pull toward me when you finally reawaken?” She asked a little bit shyly, remembering their night together. With the disappearance of the strange pull, she had also remembered their most recent lovemaking and she believes it was as glorious as their first one a year ago. She hopes when the right time comes, she’ll meet a guy who could make her feel the same again.
“Yes, I did…though I couldn’t explain it.” Harry said thoughtfully. “Even in my sleep I was intensely aware you were beside me. I was so sleepy yet the pull flowed through the cloud of sleepiness. The next thing I knew was I was awake, kissing you and er…you know what happened next.”
Luna blushed as she turned away. “Now that that pull has disappeared, I think it has transferred to the next one who holds your memories.”
“Can you explain to me again how does this pull work?” Harry asked.
“This is all just an idea on my part. Father is much more knowledgeable about these things.” Luna sighed as she took a seat beside Harry. “I told you before about the Hallows…you learn more once you regained your memories or at least my father believes you know more about it than you say. The Hallows were created by Death and through it you can be her Master. My father said that before you can be a master of Death, you must first experience death. That is what you just did: experience death when the Dark Lord tried to kill you.
“Now it is a long story but a charm was placed on the Hallows to ensure that when you experience Death, she will not be able to claim your memories as payment for her servitude to you. So your memories were scattered. The complicated charm includes the Hallows pulling you toward those who can help you experience life first before you embrace death.”
“And when say experience life, you mean…” Harry raised a brow.
“Yes, I mean that.” Luna nodded. “Love is the greatest expression of life. That includes its most powerful offspring: passion.”
“Passion…” Harry murmured, not liking the implications of what Luna is saying. “If I get you right then the Hallows has somehow influenced me most probably during my Hogwarts days and…”
“Yes, Harry. I believe you had ‘experiences’ with others than me.” Luna locked eyes with Harry. “Our only problem now is finding out how many you had ‘experience’ with.”
“Hagrid, has your sentries made contact with you yet?” Firenze asked as he and Susan Bones, riding on him, approached the half giant at the outskirt of their settlement.
“It is a good sign that they haven’t.” Hagrid tried not to stare at Susan’s arms around the human waist of the centaur. He still couldn’t understand why a beautiful woman like Susan would pair up with someone not her own species. “It is when I heard from them that I worry much.”
“Mars is painfully red tonight.” Firenze said as he helped Susan down.
“He believes we shall have no sleep tonight.” Susan explained when Hagrid looked blankly at the centaur. “Something is brewing and we better be ready.”
“Dean Thomas is in charge of the sentry duties tonight.” Hagrid assured them. “He will warn us immediately if he sees anything out there.”
“It would be more prudent if you’d take a look yourself, Hagrid.” Firenze suggested. “Or perhaps send someone to check on Mr. Thomas and the other sentries. I have already alerted Bane and my people. They will be ready.”
Hagrid swore under his breath.
“You’re stirring a cauldron full of hornets, Firenze.” He almost shouted. “What if nothing happened?”
“The stars have never been wrong.” Susan replied with a smirk. Hagrid opened his mouth to retort, thought better of it before walking away muttering to himself.
“Don’t worry, Hagrid is a good man.” Susan touched the side of Firenze’s horse body. “He will check on Dean and the others.”
“The time for our separation is nigh at hand, Susan.” Firenze looked down at her seriously. “Before the nights end, you will leave the forest. The stars have foreseen this and as you have said just mere moments ago. The stars are never wrong.”
“What if I don’t want to leave your side?” Susan asked. “You said yourself. We are connected in ways others will not understand. We are connected deeper than even you and I can comprehend. I cannot just leave you here.”
“Remember what I said before all these started?” Firenze asked, kneeling to look into her eyes. “I told you before our connection are temporal, that the time will come when we will be forced to go in different direction. It is my duty to stay here and fight for my people. It is for that reason why I was granted second life…”
Susan Bones looked away sighing, remembering how her and Firenze’ relationship came to be.
It was a year ago when Harry Potter has just died. It was the saddest day of her life, knowing that there was nothing left for them to fight for. Their light, their hope, their Chosen one has fallen.
One thought came unbidden to her mind. For sure as the world plummets into the darkness, while the rest of the world will mourn this day when the Boy-Who-Lived died for them, she will be mourning the death of the only man she had ever loved…Harry Potter…the man to whom she had given everything.
And so, as his body slowly fall lifeless on the ground, she run away tears streaming from her eyes. Crying and not knowing where she was going, she finally stumbled against a gnarled root, grazing her knees. Wiping tears off her face, she looked around to realize that she had somehow run into the Forbidden forest. She stood up, ignoring the pain on her knees. She was about to run deeper into the trees in hope of finding a safe place to rest on when she heard a muffled cry. Crouching she looked through the bushes to see Hermione being chased by death eaters.
“For Harry…” She murmured, bringing out her wand. She was about to run after Hermione and her tormentors when she heard a growl coming from behind. Her blood run cold as she slowly turned around. A massive werewolf was standing barely a foot from her, spit dribbling from its spout.
“Just my luck…” She murmured before the wolf leaped at her. Rolling on the ground to avoid the wolf’s talons, she sent a blasting course against the wolf’s chest. It only staggered back a little way before howling in rage. The wolf howled to the moon before lumbering toward her again.
“Not good…” She muttered as she tried to swallow the panic that was starting to overwhelm her. She raised her wand, sending a freezing spell that only rebounded on the wolf’s hide. The wolf jumped at her again and she barely escaped its claws as it rips her robe. Ignoring the fear bubbling inside her, she sent a reducto curse at beast who stumbled back.
Her victory was short lived as the wolf, shaking off the effect of the curse howled into the moon, charging at her again. Fearfully, she backed away only to stumble and fell on her behind.
She tried to raise her wand in desperation only for it to be swiped viciously away by the wolf. Cursing her helplessness, she crawled away until her back pumped into a tree. The wolf leaned down on her, howling in front of her face, showering her with spittle. Knowing she was closer to death that she had even been, she shrieked, slamming the stone her frantic hand has found on the wolf’s temple.
She rolled to the side, looking for more weapons while the wolf stalked her, barely affected by the strike on its temple.
Tearfully, she grabbed a fallen branch, swinging it like a bat as she stood up against the wolf.
“I will not go down without a fight…” She murmured, clutching tightly the branch. The wolf was about to pounce when it whined, its hind knees buckling. Susan watched in shock as a wooden stake protruded from its hairy chest.
“Down , creature of the moon…” Firenze said as he pushed the stake deeper.
“Professor…” Susan whispered before the wolf, in its last strength, pivoted around, slashing its claws on the centaur, pushing Firenze away in a shower of blood.
The wolf staggered after the centaur before its legs finally gave way. It attempted to crawl toward the prone centaur before its life finally expired, an outstretch claws an inch away from Firenze.
“Professor!” Susan shouted, finally snapping at the shock of the turn of event. She ran to his side, kneeling amidst his blood.
“Are you well, Miss Bones?’ Firenze asked weakly as he tried to stand up only to find his body won’t respond.
“Stay down, sir.” Susan cried, staggering away, looking for her wand. “I’ll heal you…just stay still…I’ll find my…lumos!” she shouted in desperation. A light ignited not far from her. She dashed to it, grabbing her wand before running back to her Divination professor.
“My life is about to expire, Miss Bones…” Firenze whispered. “Do not waste your energy to attempt to heal me…I am…”
“A life for a life…” Susan murmured, pointing her wand at his mortal wound. It glowed golden as she tried to heal him. “This is the second time you helped me. I will be damned if I can’t help you now…”
“I am mortally wounded…” Firenze felt her life force flowed to him. “You must stop at once, Miss Bones…you don’t know what you are doing…what you are sacrificing…you can’t…”
“Conserve your strength, sir…” Susan whispered, feeling herself weakened.
With great effort, Firenze grabbed hold of her wand hand.
“Miss Bones…remember the last time you needed help? When I gave you a draught to drink?” He asked.
“What does that got to do with this?” She asked trying not to remember the incident he was alluding. She had carried the guilt of that particular action.
“It was a draught brewed by Professor Snape with much difficulty under the order of Headmaster Dumbledore…it didn’t kill the child you were carrying…” Firenze confessed, shocking Susan. Her hand shook as her wand dimmed. “The child was too precious for Dumbledore…for me…to just kill it…the drought simply placed it in a stasis…in suspended animation until such time as when you decide to finally nurture it to life…until I give you a draught to counter the previous one…”
“What are you saying…?” Susan whispered, her hand automatically going to her belly. She couldn’t fathom what Firenze is saying. It has been almost two years since she chose to give up the child. How come it would still be alive within her?
“I am mortally wounded…to heal me you must give a portion of your life force…the same life force that keeps the embryo within you alive…so I beg you in desperation, Miss Bones. Do not continue your attempt to save me…my life is nothing compared to the life of Harry Potter’s child…”
disclaimer: everything belongs to jk rowling
next chapter: war on the forbidden forest
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