Chapter 20 : 19- The Grimmauld Battle
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Harry, who had been trained by the highly skilled and elite fighters that were the Aurors for the past nine years, instinctively kept his eyes open allowing him to see the jet of green light burst from the tip of Selwyn’s wand only to vanish from view behind the round coffee table of his living room, which flew between Harry and Selwyn and was then blasted to pieces by the force of the curse. As both Harry and Selwyn turned to see Harry’s saviour, Harry heard a sentence he had heard only once before in the high-pitched tone of Dobby the House-elf. Now, however, it was spoken in the rough, elderly voice of Kreacher.
“You shall not harm Harry Potter!” And with a click of his bony fingers and a flash of white light, the Elf knocked Selwyn off of his feet and sent him crashing into the struggling Bailey who, along with Mosby, seemed to be swatting at the attacking dust figure with their wands.
“Kreacher!” Harry yelled. “Get the kids to safety!” And, without even bowing, Kreacher Disapparated, avoiding a killing curse that had been sent by Felicia.
Harry grabbed Ginny and pulled her out of the way of two more curses that soared through the back room and through a window.
As Harry made to retaliate, he saw through the hole in the wall made by Rowle’s curse, five figures Apparating into the street; Natasha, Naomi, Neville, Terry and Anthony, their wands all drawn.
“We need to go!” Harry heard Rowle cry out to the others. There was a loud bang and Harry saw Rabastan, blood pouring down from the slash Harry had made across his face, blast the dust from the Dumbledore figure away. Harry aimed a curse at Felicia, who was sending curses of her own at the newly arrived Aurors, but it was blocked by Rowle, who retaliated with a counter-curse forcing Harry to take cover while still holding Ginny.
This gave the rest of the Death Eaters time to run without more of Harry’s curses and within moments of taking cover, he heard the sounds of more duelling, meaning the Death Eaters had moved the fight outside.
“Stay here.” Harry ordered to Ginny and he ran towards the battle now taking place in the streets.
He leapt through the hole in the wall and found that the combatants had paired off.
Naomi was duelling Mosby while Anthony and Neville fought side-by-side against Bailey and Rowle a few yards away from her, Rowle clearly doing most of the work. Terry was sending a variety of curses and hexes at Selwyn, who seemed to be backing away slowly as he parried and dodged them and, on the other side of the street, Felicia and Natasha clashed, curses flying everywhere, each Witch aiming for the kill.
As Muggles were backing away from the fight, a stray curse from Natasha and Felicia’s duel hit a Muggle man in the chest making him crumple to the floor. At this, the residence of Grimmauld Place ran, whether back inside their houses or just as fast as they could down the street, away from the deadly jets of light.
Rabastan was further up the pavement and was still clutching at his bleeding face. He sent a Killing Curse at Harry that missed though Harry ran at him nevertheless, sending a curse of his own back in retaliation.
“You think you can beat me, Potter?” Rabastan shouted as he dodged it.
Harry had never felt hatred like it. It was like a white hot fire was roaring inside his chest and head, burning all other thoughts and priorities.
“No.” Harry quietly retorted angrily, raising his wand ready to duel. “I think I can kill you.” He was going to make Rabastan regret threatening the lives of his family.
Rabastan lowered his blood stained hand clutching his face and indicated it towards Harry. “You’re going to regret this, Potter.” Rabastan growled and he sent another Killing Curse at Harry who dodged it and sent a stunner aimed for Rabastan’s heart.
“Come now, you’ll have to do better than that if you want the kill!” He cried mockingly as he deflected it.
“Alright then!” Harry replied as, with pure hatred pulsating through him, he sent another Secutmsempra Curse at Rabastan. Although Rabastan dived sideways to avoid the worst, he was not quick enough. His wand free arm was still deeply sliced at. Despite this, as he screamed with pain and anger, he slashed the air with his wand and conjured a ball of fire that zoomed towards Harry. Harry, not daring to take his eyes off Rabastan, cut the flaming ball clean in half as it made contact with the tip of his wand as he swished it and caused the fire now around him to evaporate.
Taking his chance to go back on the offensive, Harry retaliated by sending ropes at Rabastan, aiming to bind him. With a bark like laugh Rabastan tried using his Fireball Curse again to burn away the ropes, but this backfired as Harry quickly flicked his wand a second time in anticipation of this. The now fire-proof ropes glowed brightly as they flew through the fireball, exhausting it, but though the ropes were undamaged by the fire the blaze had latched on to the bindings and the now flaming lashes whipped around Rabastan violently. He gave a whale of pain as he broke free from the fiery bind with a flash of purple light from his wand, his hands and neck visibly burned and his black robes singed. With a shout of insanity, he ran at Harry with surprising speed for a man who reportedly had a limp and madness in his eyes.
“Protego!” Harry yelled, although Rabastan was so close when he cast his next curse, Harry was knocked to the floor by the force of the spell though the full effects of the curse seemed to have been blocked by Harry’s Shield Charm which had also forced Rabastan to stumble back.
Harry raised his wand from the floor at the exact same time Rabastan re-aimed his own wand but, before either of them could finish the other off, another thick transparent shield appeared between the two of them.
Rabastan stared hatefully at Harry through the barrier, flicking from Harry’s eyes to the tip of his wand as his own wand shook in his burned hand. Clearly realising this was no longer a fight worth continuing, he snarled “This isn’t over, Potter” and Disapparated.
Harry got up from the ground and turned to see which of his fellow Aurors had conjured the shield only to see Ginny standing at the hole in the wall of the house, her wand pointing in the direction of where the shield had appeared.
There was a howl of pain and Harry heard Bailey give off an almost child-like laughter. Harry turned and saw Anthony fall to the floor, banging his head on the cement ground as he landed.
“No!” Harry heard Neville cry and, taking advantage of Neville’s distraction, Rowle grabbed Bailey round the back of his neck and followed Rabastan’s idea of Disapparating. Neville swore loudly before turned his attention to Anthony, whose head was now bleeding.
Harry’s concentration was now on the remaining fights and, as a Killing Curse missed Naomi by an inch, he ran at Mosby Elfrin. Mosby saw Harry just in time and dodged his Stunning Spell with a leap backwards. Naomi too went on the offensive and sent a jinx that came so close to contact, the force of the spell ruffled the long dark hair. “No!” Mosby growled and Harry could sense the frustration in the cry. He knew he was going to be overpowered but, before either Harry or Naomi could perform any more spells, he cast a Shield Charm that made Naomi stagger backwards.
There was a flash of red light and Naomi fell as Mosby’s Stunning Spell hit her in the stomach. Harry sent another stunner at Mosby but was too late. He too had turned on the spot and vanished.
Harry knelt next to Naomi and was about to attempt to revive her but was distracted by Natasha’s duel with Felicia.
A jet of green light had burst from Felicia’s wand and struck Natasha at the very top of her chest. Harry watched as the Head for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement seemed to glow in the light of the spell before collapsing to the ground.
“Tasha.” Harry said quietly as he rose from the ground, but he knew it was too late. He slashed his wand at Natasha’s killer and yelled for what felt like the hundredth time that day “Sectumsempra!” The spell hit its target fully and Felicia’s cackle at her newest murder was silenced as the deep, bloody slashes appeared from the top of her breast down to the lowest point of her stomach.
She collapsed, blood pouring from her wounds and she hit the pavement with a thud, twitching in agony. Harry stared at his victim, shortly reminded of when he had used the curse on Draco, but was suddenly awakened by Terry swearing loudly.
Harry turned and saw Terry look around for his missing opponent. Selwyn had vanished, though Harry has a suspicion he had not gone far. Instinctively, Harry ran as fast as he could towards the bleeding wand maker, his wand raised in an attempt to get a shot at Selwyn as he reappeared beside his fallen comrade. Selwyn deflected Harry’s curse and as Harry made a desperate dive in an attempt to stop them from fleeing, Selwyn had Disapparated again with a loud crack leaving Harry to crash to the ground.
Harry rolled on to his back. He could feel blood trickling from different parts of his face from where he had grazed himself on the pavement. His head was pounding with pain, anger still flowing through him as though it were being carried by his blood.
Someone had knelt next to him and he could tell it was Ginny from the feel of her tender fingers on his. She taped her wand on the marks on Harry’s face and he felt the stinging from the grazings cease.
“Are you alright?” Harry panted as she withdrew her wand.
“I am. Thanks to you.” Harry sat up, thinking about this. If he had realised sooner that Marietta had linked the Death Eaters to both of Harry’s fireplaces, he might have avoided all of this and Natasha wouldn’t have died. Harry looked to his left. She was a mere feet away from him. Terry was kneeling beside her and Harry watched as the shock and realization crept up on Terry’s face.
Harry had sent his stag Patronus to message Kingsley and, no more than a minute later, a combination of Healers, Aurors and Obliviators had arrived at the scene. Harry knelt next to Naomi as a Healer treated her battle injuries and her head wound, which had started bleeding again. It was only after this that he realised that his robes were covered in blood. The blood that had poured from Felicia’s wounds and on to the pavement was now on the front of Harry’s robes.
Sectumsempra was not his favourite curse. He had made a mental agreement with himself when he had first joined the Aurors to only ever use it in extreme circumstances but the thought of how many times he had used it that day only added to the sickness he was feeling.
There were more popping sounds as more people Apparated onto the scene and Harry saw Kreacher and Arthur Weasley running towards them.
“Harry, what happened? Kreacher arrived with the boys saying something about Death Eaters.” Harry didn’t have the strength to answer. His recent anger seemed to have drained him even more so then the actual fight, plus the death of Natasha was still rattling in his brain and chest. Mercifully, he was spared from answering by Ginny realising her father had just arrived. She, along with a few Aurors, had been repairing the destroyed house. Arthur ran to embrace his daughter and Harry was left there, watching the Healers work on Naomi.
After a few moments, they informed him that, while they were sure she would be fine, they wanted to take her to Saint Mungo’s along with Anthony. Natasha’s body and the body of the Muggle that had been hit with a stray curse had been moved and Obliviators were now tracking down all of the Muggles whom had witnessed the fight and Harry’s Apparition.
Eventually, Harry, Ginny and Arthur were left in the newly repaired though still damaged house. Kreacher was still going around, repairing the odd possession or cleaning a splash of blood from the wall and Sirius, whose portrait had been damaged in the fight, had been repaired and replaced on the wall above the fireplace.
Harry had his head in his hands, lost in thought. He had just explained to his wife and father-in-law what had happened over the past few hours. The break-in at the Ministry, how Marietta had used Lucy to meddle with the Archives and how she had connected their fireplace with that of the Death Eaters. Neville had told him that Ron had successfully captured Marietta which, admittedly, had relieved some weight off of his shoulders. They now knew who the spy was. And she is going to pay, Harry thought heatedly. He had also told Harry that Phillipa had gone out to retrieve the Malfoy family after Naomi had filled her and Natasha in with what had happened.
“So what’s going to happen now?” Ginny asked shortly after Harry had finished explaining.
“Well firstly, I need to get you, James and Albus out of here. The Death Eaters have broken through the Fidelius Charm so staying here is dangerous bordering on stupid.”
Ginny looked slightly down heartened at this. Although Twelve Grimmauld Place used to be a dingy, foul hideout for the Order of the Phoenix during the war, the house, now cleaned, refurbished and silenced of blood-curdling screaming, had become a real family home to the Potters. “Then I’m going to have a few words with Marietta.” Harry continued through gritted teeth.
“Well, you and the boys are always welcome to stay at ours.” Arthur said. “And Sirius and Kreacher too if you’d like.” He finished with a smile in the direction of the portrait who winked back cheekily.
“That would be great, thank you.” Harry said and he stood up and started to leave while trying to hide his shaking hands. “I'm just going to get changed then I’ll head back to the Ministry. I’ll meet you at the Burrow tonight.” And he headed upstairs and into his bedroom.
The fight that had taken place downstairs had obviously affected the whole house as the large mirror that hung on the wall next to the wardrobe had smashed on its contact with the floor, all of Ginny’s make-up now covered the bedroom carpet and the Wireless and the lamps on the bedside tables were now in scattered pieces both under and around the bed.
Harry drew his wand and, after clearing the mess with a few waves of it, he saw, lying on the floor, the Ministry file of Lucius Malfoy. He had been distracted in trying to read it when Marietta was setting up his Floo Network. He felt sick at the memory and continued to change out of the blood stained robes and into a fresh pair.
After replacing his Invisibility Cloak, his Mokeskin pouch, the Grindelwald sign, and the two wands he had taken from Nolan and Bailey, he turned to leave when he caught sight of himself in the repaired mirror. He was pale-white with bags under his eyes and now he thought of it, he hadn’t had anything to eat either. Harry ran downstairs to leave when Ginny called after him, holding the blank portrait that Sirius could enter at his will.
“Take this and let me know when you’re planning on leaving.” She handed over the large frame to him and, after kissing her goodbye, he left the house to Disapparate. He had lost faith in his Floo Network connection.
After making a quick stop at the Ministry’s Lunch Kart in the Atrium, he made his way back to the Auror Office. Ron, Neville and Phillipa were all waiting for him in his office and, once he had finished putting Sirius’ portrait up, they each started talking.
“Marietta is waiting in Interrogation Room one. Gawain offered to talk to her but I thought you’d want the honour yourself. We’re also looking into your Floo Network so we can trace it to the fireplace the Death Eaters used.” Ron said, looking slightly uneasy at Harry. Then Neville started.
“Kingsley’s sent word that he wanted to talk to you ASAP. He said something about a meeting, he said you’d know what this means, and he’s stated that Natasha’s deputy is now taking charge of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.” Harry hadn’t thought of that. Natasha had been Head of the Department for as long Harry had worked as an Auror. Kory Casemen was her deputy and, though Harry only knew him from sight as a tall, handsome man with long curly gold hair and dark glasses that covered his clear blue eyes and wrinkles that actually looked good on him, even he knew Kory to be extremely competent in his work.
Harry looked at the three of them, they all seemed to be standing uncomfortably and when Phillipa finally caught Harry’s eye, she said, gravely “When I arrived at the Malfoy’s safe-house, I found Cole dead and the entire Malfoy family gone.”
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