Chapter 4 : I will be their Grim
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Chapter 4- I will be their Grim
Standing in the front of the Hogwarts gates, was the Phoenix Army, waiting anxiously to depart on their first full combat mission after weeks of reconnaissance. All were staring wide-eyed at their commander, expecting some sort of pep talk to get their confidences’ up, and nerves out. Each member wore his or her custom fit dragon hide cloaks that stopped mid thigh, high calf boots, and combat utility clothes.
To the team it seamed Harry chose the blackest of nights for this adventure. The sky was devoid of any trace of light as no stars shown, and the moon was a small crescent. The only way they were able to discern where each other were was because of the strong wind gust, coming in from the east near the Great Lake. Even in this darkness they could all see the determined stance he took, as he patiently waited for them to depart.
“I bet you are all wondering why I chose this time to put our plan into action.” Harry stated, and continued before anybody had the chance to comment. “ Complete darkness is going to be our best friend tonight. Using the black of night as a blanket, it will allow us to move freely with out being seen. Now, you all know the plan, and you all know who it is we are after.” With a slight pause for emphases, he looked in the hooded shadows where their eyes should be and carried on, “ No mistakes tonight. I want this to be in and out, kill if you have to, but leave at least one alive for questioning. Got it?” Seeing all their heads nod in agreement he gave the order to move. “We go on three.” He told them, using his fingers to count down before they disapparated, leaving behind what has been their safe haven for the majority of their lives.
Arriving seconds later in an alleyway off a main street in London, Harry took in their surroundings. Darkness and grime filled the alley, with a dumpster at the back end before it turned right. Fog and mist filled the air distorting their field of vision, but after a quick flick of Harry’s wand cleared everyone’s vision, and allowed a clear sight of the building they have been surveying.
“Okay everyone, this is the building and you know the drill, so lets get to it.” He said walking toward the back end of the alleyway with Hermione, while the others split into two more teams of two.
Neville and Cho apparated on to the roof to take their attack from the top and place the anti apparation wards over the surrounding area, while Susan and Seamus went in through the side door from the alley.
As Harry and Hermione made their way to a small window they would be using at the back of the building, he wished they had a better way of communicating to the rest of the team other than the galleons. Just as the thought left his mind he felt the power surge through him giving him the urge to project his thoughts to his comrades using some sort of telekinesis. Pushing through the barriers they put up during their Occlumency training, until he felt himself squeeze in, feeling their subconscious thoughts and spoke his instructions. “It’s okay its Harry, we enter in five seconds on my mark, get ready.” Mentally ticking five seconds away he told them to enter.
The moment he finished with the mental link, Hermione gave him a wide eye look of shock. Giving her a quick shake of his head to indicate he would tell her later, he pressed on. Pointing his wand at the window sending a nonverbal spell, the window slow began to open. Climbing though, Harry quickly checked the room, to find it empty as was planned.
Quickly moving to the door with Hermione at his side, he cracked the door open to peek out into the hallway. When Harry was about to step through, his fake galleon burned hot in his pocket. Pulling it out he read the message that was sent, “Come quick. Being over run. Top floor. Cho.”
Turing back to Hermione he showed her the galleon. “We go quick, but keep your eyes open.” Not waiting for her answer he pulled the door open. The moment he was in the open, a steady barrage of spell fire shot at him from what seemed like the walls themself. Without hesitation Harry held up his free hand putting up a shield, and with his wand hand fired back a volley of his own allowing Hermione to enter the hallway behind him.
After a few minutes of back and forth with the Death Eaters, Harry felt the sword’s power enter his thoughts giving him the desire to fire a blasting spell. Without hesitation he reared his wand back, and screamed the strongest blasting spell he new of. Shouting the incantation as he drove his wand forward. “REDUCTO MAXIMA!”
What followed next in Hermione’s mind was pure devastation, as a blinding blue light shot out toward the enemy. The blast radius was wide enough to hit all four Death Eaters, propelling them into the solid brick wall.
What was more shocking to Hermione was, that Harry held the spell on them, not willing to let them free. “Harry stop! You’re going to kill them.” She shouted at him.
Looking into the face of her best friend, she saw what he was doing. He was trying to kill them. As he kept the blast on them she noticed from what she could make of his lower face he seemed to be at complete ease, and she realized that as devastating this power was he was holding back. Wondering if those men were still alive she was about to yell for him to stop again until she noticed him react.
Taking a deep breath Harry pushed all of his magic into the spell, giving it more power. A flash of pure energy, like a bolt of lightning catapulted through the spell already being fired. The reinforced spell blasted through, sending bricks, plaster, and wooden shards exploding throughout the hallway, showering down on them until they hit Harry’s shield causing them to disintegrate. When the dust had settled there was a large hole in the wall going through the back of where the alleyway ends.
Hermione stood shell shocked at the destruction her friend caused. She wasn’t sure whether to be impressed at his magical prowess or scared out of her mind. “I can’t… I can’t believe you just…you just killed them. How could you do that?” She stammered.
“It needed to be done, now that’s four less for us to worry about. Lets go, Neville and Cho need our help.” Opening a door adjacent to where they were standing he found the stairwell, and sprinted up the stairs to the top floor. When they reached the top they found Neville, Cho, Susan, and Seamus in a fully fledge battle with at least fifteen Death Eaters. Harry noticed upon entering the fray that one Death Eater was the main one they were after, Rodolphus Lestrange.
Leaping into action Harry was able to catch a few off their guard to stun them, and to distract the others long enough for is group to subdue all but the one he was after.
“He’s mine.” Harry told the others stepping forward.
“Oh, why isn’t it lil ‘Arry Potter. Think you can play with the big boys now do ya? Isn’t that wha your lil blood traitor thought too wasn it? Ha-ha, and look where she ended up.” He laughed as he saw Harry’s mouth tighten under his cloak. “Touched a nerve did I?” laughed Lestrange.
Pushing his wad back in the forearm holster Ollivander gave him, Harry reached across into the left side of his cloak. Pulling free the sword of Potter that magically appeared at his command he lifted it up and leaned it against his right shoulder.
This was the first time the Phoenix Army had seen his sword, and the look of surprise was evident. Nobody on the team even knew Harry had picked a weapon other then his new wand he had gotten from Ollivander.
“An what are you gonna do wit tha Potter? Eh? Your not gonna kill me, you don’ wanna go curruptin your precious lil heart, n soul now do ya?” He finished with a hearty laugh. Rodolphus’ smile vanished as he seen Harry step forward, with a frightening look to his half covered face.
Flashes of Bellatrix hitting Ginny with the killing curse ran through Harry’s mind as he slowly walked the short distance between them. “I have no heart, and I have no soul. Your bitch of a wife killed her.” He growled, and fast as lightning Harry brought the sword across his body taking the head of Death Eater, and inner circle member Rodolphus Lestrange.
A deafening filled his brain, as it went blank from his actions. He Harry had just decapitated a man, and felt no remorse about it. The moment Rodolphus Lestrange spoke ill of Ginny, Harry knew he was going to kill him. As the body fell to the ground, the world seemed to move in slow motion as the blood slowly dripped from the tip of the blade.
Looking up from where the body fell, Harry observed the open mouths of his team as they were staring at the head rolling on the floor. Wiping the blood off his sword, he put it back in it sheath and banishing the bodies of the fallen Death Eaters to the Ministry morgue with his wand. Placing restraints on the entire unconscious forms, Harry made a portkey sending them to the dungeons under Hogwarts to be interrogated later.
“Lets check the rest of the rooms to see what we can find.” Harry ordered not waiting to see if they followed, he lead the way out into the hallway and went in the next room. The rest checked all the remaining rooms and found nothing of any use. Realizing the mission over, Harry lead his team to the stairs leading to the bottom of the building the way he and Hermione had come in. Not paying any attention to the quick glances he received as they walked through the wreckage they made it outside and passed the anti-apparation wards. After waving his wand and making the building he destroyed look like they were never there did he turn and disapparated back to Hogwarts.
Reappearing at the front gates of Hogwarts where they waited for him they started the long trek back up to the castle in silence.
Once they reached their common room, and not being able to take the silence eating at her anymore, Hermione asked him the same question as before. “How could you do that Harry? How could you kill him like that? Where has my friend gone?” She whispered that last question with watery eyes. All in one night she seen her best friend of eight years lose himself, and she wasn’t certain if he would be able to make it back to her.
“The Death Eaters are dead anyways, they’re just too stupid to see it yet, but they will. I’ll make sure they will and for where your friend has gone, read this.” He told her pulling free his sword, showing her the carvings on the flat of the blade.
“It says Potter.” She indicated.
“I found this sword in my vault, and it has been in my family for thousands of years along with my cloak. Every Potter to fight the darkness that has had enough power has wielded this sword. Now read this.” He told her flipping it over to show her the ancient runes on the other side.
“It says….Reaper.” she whispered remembering the story of the three brothers about Death following Ignotus. Was the sword another gift Death gave him? She thought to herself.
“I am no longer the same little boy you met on the Hogwarts Express all those years ago Hermione. I have no feelings, emotional or otherwise toward killing them.” He yelled out to all of them. “Whatever miss giving’s I ever had are gone. They took my Ginny away from me! And I will destroy them all for it. I will be their Grim, and this.” He motioned toward the sword. “This will be their Reaper. And together we will slay all baring Riddles mark until there is nothing left of his regime. I will wipe his very existence from the face of the earth. This sword was at forefront of every battle against the dark side this world has ever known, and I will cut Tom Riddles bloody throat with it, I swear to god!” Harry screamed at them all with spittle flying from his lips, and tears streaming down his face.
He pulled back his hood so he could look them all in the eye. When he did, they looked back in shock. The once unmistakable jet-black hair he once had now had a mixture of white sprinkled throughout. From the year on the run and the months of training Harry’s hair hung down to his shoulders, and gave him a salt and pepper look of a middle-aged man. “Revenge can’t be your sole motivation Harry, or it will consume you. That’s how Riddle turned out the way he did, and I don’t think Ginny would want you doing it this way.” Hermione voiced after the initial shock.
“The difference between Tom and me is, he would kill anyone of his followers to be able to live, where as I would gladly give up mine for any one of my friends.” He said sadly calming down from his out burst. “Good job everyone.” He conveyed to them all as he wiped the tears from his face and walked back out the common room leaving all of them standing wanting more answers from their friend.
“That was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen an awful lot.” Neville spoke to the rest of the group as they sat around the fire of their common room. It was the morning after their first mission, as none of them were able sleep very well thanks to the previous actions of their leader. Still not sure if it was a bad dream, or if they truly witnessed their friend Harry Potter, decapitating a another human being; regardless of how twisted that person was. The truth was that Neville looked up to Harry, and after last night his resolve towards Harry had been shaken.
“Yeah it was.” Cho agreed, “He had no hesitation with it either. He seemed at complete ease with it, like it was natural.”
And that was what scared Hermione the most, from what she had seen him do. She had witnessed him kill five people in cold blood, all because he could. This was not the Harry she knew, and loved. This Harry was a dark contrast of his former self. This Harry was willing to anything to eliminate the Death Eaters, be it killing them quickly with his wand or aggressively with his newly acquired weapon of choice.
“What are you lot goin on about?” Seamus asked, “This was the game plan from the beginning, ‘kill them all’ remember? Now we actually know Harry was serious, and now its time to back him up.”
“You can’t mean you don’t have a problem with him killing those people.” Hermione spat.
“People?” asked Cho.
“He killed four others before we got to you all. He used the most powerful Reducto I have ever seen, and then when I yelled for him to stop, he put more into it. He was trying to kill them. It was the most awesome and freighting display of power from a single blasting curse I’ve ever seen.” Hermione told them.
“In war, its kill or be killed. The Death Eaters are the enemy, so we kill them, all of them, without remorse, and without pity; we are soldiers Hermione. They called on the thunder and now they’ve got it, now its Harry they will be worried about. Riddle should have been careful of what he wished for, because he’s pushed Harry to become the perfect warrior: no hesitation, just action. This is the first time anybody has strategically attacked Voldy in the open, and I don’t think he’s goin to be able to take it. Harry’s always had our backs no matter what the situation was, and now its time to return the favor for once. I’m with him completely, all the way.” Seamus stated.
“But should we be using their own methods against them?” Hermione questioned.
“Yes, I think we should. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire Hermione. It doesn’t matter how our task is accomplished, so long as it gets accomplished. It’s not the moral thing to do, but this is Harry’s show and I’m with his as well. At least we know what Harry’s been doing in his spare time in the Room of Requirement, he’s been training with that sword of his.” Neville voiced.
“I wonder what he meant by the ‘Potter champions’, were his ancestors champions or something?” Cho probed.
“Harry is the direct descendent of Ignotus Peverell, the only surviving brother of the three brothers from the ‘Tale of Beadle the Bard’.” She told them.
“Well that’s something you don’t hear everyday.” Seamus voiced out.
“And that means what exactly?” Cho asked.
“Well, I’m guessing it means that Harry comes from a long line of Potter men that take up that same sword in the time of great peril to defend against the dark side.” Hermione stated.
After this revelation about Harry, the room went silent for what seemed a like hours as each of them contemplated about what she told them.
“So basically his entire family has taken up the charge of fighting evil? Well that’s a little disheartening, why does it always seem to be Harry.” Cho asked nobody in particular.
“Any news as to when Ron is going to come around and start talking to Harry again?” Neville asked Hermione changing the subject.
Looking around to face him, she noticed the rest wanted to know the answer to that question as well. “I’m not sure, he blames Harry for what happened to Ginny, which isn’t fair because it wasn’t his fault. And as for Harry wanting to be his friend again, I’m not sure if he wants that anymore. Since its not the first time Ron’s abandoned him.” She said that last part a little more to her self.
“Well they’ve been best mates for far to long to let it just fall apart now right? Maybe the time apart has put things into perspective for them.” Neville stated out loud.
“Yeah maybe, but it’s been ten months Neville.” Hermione stated. She had hoped the time apart would be good for them as well to no avail, and she was starting to wonder if their friendship was truly over.
“The biggest thing I want to know is, how in the bloody hell did he talk to us in our mind. Cuz tha was something I want ta know how to do.” Seamus stated.
“And his hair is starting to turn white too. Have you all noticed it?” Cho voiced.
“I think it has something to do with all this new power he as developed. I don’t think his body can take it, because he hasn’t had time to gain it gradually over time like normal.”
“What will happen to him then?” Susan asked speaking for the first time.
“I don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out when it gets here.” Hermione affirmed. “But in the mean time I’m going to go find him.”
“Good luck.” They all expressed, as she got up to make her way to the Room of Requirement, where she knew he would be.
Climbing the last steps toward the room, she heard loud yelling coming from with in followed by the castle staircase she was on began to shake. Slowly walking closer to the solid wall, she could also hear loud clanging, reminding her of and old medieval times movie she used to watch with her father.
Knowing Harry was in there, gave her the assumption that this was all part of his training, but it still gave her an unnerving feeling in the pit of her stomach. Doing the best thing that came to mind, she walked to the wall where the door should be, and quickly walked back and forth three times indicating she needed to enter the training room. Opening her eyes she found the door magically appearing in front of her, and hesitantly entered.
Having never been in on one of Harry’s training sessions, what she seen almost gave her a heart attack. It was a war on a grand scale, where bombs going off causing complete chaos. What seemed like an entire legion of faceless soldiers was charging toward the center of the room. At the heart of the maddening sea of this battle stood a hooded man in black, with a blinding white sword in his hand; waiting. Waiting for what seemed like the next wave of the onslaught before he reentered the fight.
As fast as a lightning strike, he launched himself at the hoard of oncoming enemy, swinging his blade like a master swordsman. He swiftly made his way through the masses when he noticed her standing in the doorway. The second he seen her, the soldiers he was fighting took notice and turned their attention towards her. With each foe he felled, another appeared in its place to renter the fray.
The sudden change in the soldier’s direction kept her from thinking clearly, and she started to back out of the room until she hit solid wall. Pulling her wand out she took up a fighting stance that Harry had shown her in their second year; wand pointed straight out at her enemy while her other hand went up above her head.
Before she had the chance to utter a single spell, a black blur lead by a white streak of lightning crossed her sight. Striking at will, Harry was lunging, and parrying attacks only to spin out of it to strike from high to low splitting the faceless soldier’s in two. He continued to hack away, decapitating or impaling any he came across. She had never seen anything more terrifying and yet beautiful at the same time. He was dancing, and his sword was his partner fluidly moving like an extended part of himself carving their way through the enemy.
He stopped directly in front of her in a clear stance of protection, as the soldiers made their move to attack. Raising his left hand his wand shot out from its holster, pointing it at the oncoming hoard of soldiers uttering the one spell that gave her nightmares the night before. “REDUCTO MAXIMA!!!!”
That same blinding blue light erupted from his wand and struck the one in the front, causing it to disintegrate. She again witnessed him put more magic into it, and the spell exploded out of his wand in complete blanket of devastation.
A few minutes passed, the noise stopped, and the dust settled. Feeling feint at what she had witnessed, Hermione had to lean back against the wall to steady her-self.
“How long have you been in here before I noticed you?” Harry’s voice came out of the shadows and into the light to kneel in front of her. She has known him long enough for her to know he seemed displeased to see her here.
“Only a few minutes, but long enough to see this…. this massacre.” She stammered.
“They aren’t real people Hermione. Just something to help me train.”
“They may not be real people this time, but I’ve seen you kill real people, and if given the chance I think you could and would do this to them as well.” She cried to him.
Giving a heavy sigh, he sat down next to her on the floor. They sat in silence for what seemed like hours, until he finally spoke.
“I’m sorry you feel this way about my methods Hermione, I really do. But I’m not going to change them, at least not until its over.”
“And when it is over? What will you do then Harry?” She asked him.
“Well assuming I live to the end, I will live out the reminder of my life alone.” He told her pulling back his hood. “Maybe they will let me teach defense here, eh?” he added with a laugh.
“I think you would be brilliant, I always said you were an amazing teacher Harry.”
“Thanks, but I’m not so sure anymore. I have too much blood on my hands already, and by the time this is all over I’ll have a lot more. Maybe I should just leave this place, leave England.” He told her his options he was giving himself, but he wasn’t giving her the one option he hoped would happen to him. He wanted to tell her he didn’t want to make it through this alive, because he wanted to be with Ginny. A full a year has passed since the battle and he could feel his heart telling him his time in this world would soon be at an end. He just hoped it would come sooner rather than later, but as long as it came after he killed Riddle and all of his followers he didn’t care.
“You will never be alone Harry, not with me around. And if you leave, I would probably just follow you.” She said with a small chuckle not realizing how it sounded to anybody else. To an outsider listening in to what she had said would construe it as her wanting to be with him, which in this case the gossips in Hogwarts would actually be right. For years she kept her feelings for him dormant because of how he felt about Ginny, and how Ron felt about her. She new he would never feel for her what he feels for Ginny even now after her death, but she could always give him her support.
They sat there for a long while until they realized how hungry they were so they made their way down to lunch in the Great Hall. Walking in they noticed that the normal tables were missing, and a large round one was in place instead. The table was comprised up with the remaining staff members, and the Phoenix Army. Making their way to their seats, Professor McGonagall looked up to meet them, and gasped in surprise at Harry’s appearance.
“What happened to you hair Mr. Potter?”
Looking around at the others shrugging his shoulders, not sure what she was talking about. “What’s wrong with it? It’s always messy, you know that Professor.”
“I am not refereeing to the messiness Mr. Potter, I am talking about your hair turning white.”
“White?” he asked in shock. “I had no idea.”
“I think you might be having a power over load Harry.” Hermione told him.
“That has to be it, with the wand and the sword giving me more than I already had.” He voice out. “No big deal.”
Upon hearing this Seamus almost spit his pumpkin juice out over the table. “You gained more power after the Hogwarts battle?” he asked, to which Harry nodded.
“How is this possible Harry?” McGonagall asked him.
“Well the first power boost sort to speak, you saw here. And when I went to Ollivander’s to get a new wand he gave me this.” He pulled out his wand and placed it at the center.
McGonagall hesitantly reached forward to pick it up and examined it, before asking him directly, “What is it?”
“Ollivander said I had to much power to have a wooden foundation. It’s dragon bone; the core was made with three different dragon heartstrings. His father’s father made this, one hundred and twenty years ago.”
And then he reached into his coat and pulled his sword out, and placed it on the table as well. “I found this sword in my vault, it has been in my family since Ignotus Peverell. I bonded with both of these items magically. When Ginny died I snapped, and magically it felt like a veil had been removed and I could see. All of the restrictions we are told we have are gone; I feel like I have reached my magical peak. And then I bonded with the wand and I felt the same feeling only it went beyond that barrier. And as for the sword, well lets just say I have inherited the power and knowledge of all who carried it. It feels great, but sometimes it has a mind of its own.”
“I’m not sure how much longer my body can hold all of this power inside of me. When this is all over I’m thinking of not using a wand altogether, since I don’t really need it anyways.” He told the table.
“Maybe you should just limit your use of the wand for now, until you will absolutely need to use it.” McGonagall advised.
He knew what McGonagall suggested was the right thing to do if he cared what happened to him which he didn’t , but he decided to humor his old Professor.
“What do you think about us joining you during your training sessions Harry.” Neville asked him.
Looking over to see Hermione’s reaction of Neville’s question, he contemplated whether or not this would be a good idea. Thinking they would become more afraid of him then they already are, he wasn’t so sure how they would be if they would see him. But as usually Hermione beat him to the punch before he responded.
“I guess we could go with him after lunch, I’m sure the Room could create a viewing booth or something.”
“I would like to see as well Harry.” McGonagall told him.
Feeling a little deflated, he begrudgingly agreed to let them see how he has been training. After agreeing, he stopped eating so he wouldn’t be overly stuffed during the show he was to be giving them. After everyone else was finished, they all headed up to the seventh floor to the Room of Requirement.
“Please, don’t think to little of me after you see this.” Harry pleaded with them, before he walked back and forth the three times asking for the same things he always did with the exception of the viewing booth.
When the door appeared he opened the door for all of them before closing it after the last person to enter, which was Hermione. As she passed him, see gave him a reassuring squeeze of his arm. Giving them a few minutes to allow them to enter a small door that lead up a flight of stairs to a balcony over looking the area he normally trains in.
Taking a deep breath as he waited for his faceless enemy to attack, he pulled his sword out and leaned the blade on his shoulder. The soldiers appeared out of nowhere completely surrounding him, their weapons firmly in their hands waiting to pounce on him.
“Why is he just standing there!” shouted Seamus.
“He will move in good time.” Hermione told him as she shut her eyes.
“Why are you shutting your eyes Hermione? Have you seen this before?” Neville asked her. The only way she could respond was to nod her head, because she new what was going to happen at any second and was not disappointed.
Now, Harry thought to himself as he took a deep calming breath. Lunging forward he struck the first soldier in the face, driving the tip of the blade halfway in, and in one fluid motion pulled it back out. As he did that, two soldiers attacked at his exposed back. Feeling the attack coming he lifted his sword parrying one of the two blades, the other slicing across his back. Spinning around Harry swiveled his sword over his head and swung it across his shoulders cutting their heads off.
Over the next fifteen minutes the small group in the balcony witnessed the massacre Hermione seen earlier in that day. Shock and awe was the main emotion shown by everyone there, and it was written all over their faces.
“They just keep coming towards him, how can he keep fighting at this pace.” Susan asked nobody in particular.
“It will end soon.” Hermione stated, in a despondent tone. They all looked at her not sure what exactly what she meant until they heard a loud scream yelled by Harry. Opening her eyes to see if Harry had been hurt, she peered over the balcony looking at him down on one knee pointing his wand at the group of faceless soldiers.
“REDUCTO MAXIMA!!!!!” The blue beam of power emanating from Harry’s blasting curse struck the first line of soldiers causing them to disintegrate, and then slowly expanded through the rest in a chain reaction. Taking a deep breath he pushed all of the magic he could put into it, showing them what he could do now. After a few minutes past he released the spell knowing the soldiers had all been destroyed he stood up and took a few wobbled steps back before he collapsed.
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