Harry & Hermione
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Sytravious the Dark - Duel For The Elder Wand
Chapter 20 - Forced Betrayal
As you all surely realize I do not own or lay claim to Harry Potter in any way shape or form. This chapter was written for the entertainment and satisfaction of all Potter fans as myself who crave the continuation of his wonderful story. Shall we?
A FORCED BETRAYAL
'Largest Apparation In History Baffles Crowd!'
Early this morning ,before thousands of wizards and witches watching and listening, the eight nation army brought together by Kingsley Shaklebolt came together in a great display of force and strength. All countries flew their colors and formed up in a long impressive row and marched a grand parade through the streets of Hogsmeade. Many showed up to show their support and wish their loved ones a final farewell as our nations march to war.
In a wonderful and touching address Minister Dumbledore (Aberfoth) Reminded us what we are really fighting for and seemed to tap into the ghost of his missed brother and gave all in attendance a feeling of real hope and pride in a brighter tomorrow. His final words were in warning to our enemies and a call to surrender.
A quick reminder that our hero Harry Potter is somewhere out there already fighting for weeks caused such a loud cheer that the ground seemed to tremble. I still have goose bumps! The whereabouts of Mr. Potter have been unknown for quite awhile but there is no doubt he is at the frontlines of the battle at hand. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the brave wizards and witches following his example.
The grandest sight of the day will go down in history for a long time to come. The entire army on cue performed the largest mass apparation ever witnessed as thousands of wizards and witches all twirled in place and popped out of sight simultaneously. The drums of war are beating and our hopes lie in the outcome. It has been my pleasure to cover this historical and important part in our history. - Barnabus Craffe-
Hermione finished reading the cover story of the Daily Prophet aloud to all listening at the Gryffindor table in the great hall. Ron sat close to her with Ginny, Luna, And Dean. The rest of the house students began trading their thoughts of the war excitedly while Hermione and friends began their own conversation.
The Weasley's and Hermione had come to peace with each other shortly after Harry left for his mission. Ron had promised to watch out for her after all. It took some time for Ginny to come around but she even had to admit she missed their friendship and caved in soon after. Being in the dark about Harry's situation had drove them crazy and Hermione did the best she could to spin them up.
"Bloody hell this has my stomach in knots. How long has Harry been over there already?" Ron asked nervously.
"Just over three weeks now. I haven't heard a word from him yet…." Hermione sighed and looked at the paper again searching for clues of his mission.
The German wizards had reported a decline in the Dark Armies offensive the past few weeks. Also random explosions behind enemy lines and odd behavior on the part of G.A. (Grindelwalds Army) gave her hope he was still out there and his mission was going well.
"Why can't you send him an owl again?" Ginny asked desperately.
"He can't risk my messages being intercepted by anyone. But Harry promised to contact me as soon as he could by any means. Let's just have faith." Hermione said this more to herself than anyone else.
"How about a subject change. All this is depressing me?" Ron let out a loud sigh. He regretting being such a git to Harry all those weeks before he left.
"Well on a positive note I noticed you haven't been visiting Hogmeade that much Ron. I notice a great improvement in your attitude as well." Hermione beamed.
"Yea well it doesn't seem right to wallow in my sorrows that seem so trivial compared to what's going on now. I should be there with him!" Ron slammed his hand down on the table causing his spoon to fly up.
Dean caught the spoon before it made a louder noise than Ron already had. "I don't think your compliment had the desired effect Hermione." He added as he set the spoon down onto the large table.
"I noticed…..Ron we would all love to be there with him now. But this is the one time that Harry actually needs us to stay back. We all knew this day would come. Harry has always shown he would become a great wizard eventually. We couldn't hope to keep up for long." Hermione placed a hand gently on his shoulder.
"I'll be in my room if anyone needs me…." Ron stood up and shuffled out the great hall with his hands in his pockets.
"Don't worry about him. He just feels guilty for the fight at Christmas. We all do Hermione….. It seems we missed an important part of Harry's life along with yours over stupid jealousy." Ginny frowned at herself.
"It's ok Ginny we didn't exactly go about things perfectly either if you remember. But it's in the past. Friends?" Hermione smiled warmly. She was glad to have their support and company again now that Harry was gone.
"Forever!" Ginny got up and hugged her to the delight of Dean and Luna. No more having to decide who to sit next to anymore fearing the wrath of the other.
Ron walked casually through the long hallways of Hogwarts taking the long way to the common room while his mind wandered on the war with his old best friend being in the middle of it. So when Draco cut off his path he was a little more rude than normal.
"Move it you cheeky bastard before I move you myself!" Ron spat out as he got in Draco's face.
"Whoa relax there ginger man! I only came to pass a message. Don't think I enjoy having to talk to a Weasley of all things!" Draco shouted back.
"What's the bloody message then?" Ron mumbled crossing his arms.
"It seems you have built quite the tab with Madam Rosmerta. I just came from Hogsmeade and she practically tackled me trying to get the message passed to you." Draco laughed menacingly.
"I don't owe any galleons there? Do I?" Ron asked himself confused.
"As sober as you haven't been the past few months I'm not surprised you don't remember. What's wrong Weasley? Haven't got enough money? Don't worry you can work for me to pay it off. I could use a new shoe shiner!" Draco taunted.
"Piss off Malfoy! You're lucky you're not in Azkaban right now! I got money, so take your job and shove it up you're arse!" Ron pushed Draco out of his way and headed for the Three Broomsticks to settle the debt. He wondered who else he owed?
Draco stood there with his mug smile until Ron disappeared around the corner. The smile slowly faded and a look of fear came over his face as beads of sweat trickled down his brow. He had done everything in his power to put on a show for Ron hoping he wouldn't sense the anxiety in his behavior. Draco leaned back against the wall and let himself slide down into a seated position as he hoped he did a good enough job to save his mother.
He knew his past would come to haunt him eventually and so far the students at Hogwarts didn't give him a hard time at all. If anything they completely stayed out of his way. This suited him just fine. After all he just wanted to finish his schooling and begin his life with a fresh start. Perhaps America or France. But the Malfoy reputation came back to haunt him when his father sent him a message the day before with news of his mothers kidnapping at the hands of the new dark lord Sytravious. They would hold her until Luscious had his son lured Ron Weasley to Hogsmeade this very afternoon. Draco didn't know why and he didn't want to know. He just prayed that his days of doing dark lords biddings were over.
"Do you think he will show?" Dolohov asked impatiently.
Fangs and his men were standing in a dark corner behind the Three Broomsticks. They had arrived only minutes before unseen and waited for their target to show.
"I don't know we only just got here you fool. He had better show if that Malfoy snob ever wants to see his wife again. I heard all about his brat sons role in Dumbledore's death. Genious idea using a student to get to the inside of Hogwarts. Let us hope history can repeat itself. Now shut up and keep a look out." Fang ordered.
Dolohov took point next to Fang while the other four Chinese wizards stayed hidden nearby. Fang was worried about the timing of this mission due to the fact that the allied army setting out earlier that morning. That gave him a few days time to complete his task before the battle took everyone's attention including his master. He stared down High Street crossing his fingers that a young man with red hair would show.
Ron Weasley wasn't your brightest or most perceptive wizard. Not to imply he was a cabbage, He had his talents and perks but Hermione and Harry clearly had the upper hand in most situations. Harry would have questioned Draco sending him to Hogsmeade out of the blue and Hermione would have most likely caught onto Dracos's odd behavior and distraught appearance. However once again this was Ron were talking about, so he trotted along still confused down High street into Hogsmeade still trying to remember what he owed to Madam Rosmerta.
He whistled a tune while heading towards the Three Broomsticks. An odd looking Asian wizard was staring at him from across the street and politely nodded when he realized Ron was looking at him.
"Kind of early in the year for tourist no?" Ron mumbled as he nodded back at the gentleman.
He pushed his way into the Three Broomsticks and sought out the keeper. There were a few patrons about but being still early in the day not many had arrived just yet. Madam Rosmerta was easy to spot in the sparse crowd.
"All right Madam Rosmerta?" Ron said greeting the keeper.
"Hiya Ronald. To what do I owe this pleasure?" The keeper smiled.
"Just dropping by to square away that debt ma'am." Ron pulled some galleons from his pocket and began counting them out.
"Are you juiced up Ronald? What debt are you talking about? I haven't seen you here in a fortnight when you paid for everyone's tab including your own." Rosmerta stated giving Ron an odd look.
"You didn't tackle Draco Malfoy about a debt I owe then? Just earlier today?" Ron asked again.
"What are you on about? I wouldn't touch Malfoy with a ten foot pole! I think you been duped Ronald. A bit mug today aren't we?" Madam Rosmerta smiled and ruffled Ron's hair before turning back to help her customers.
Ron just stood there confused a while before he realized what has happened. The git had tricked him into wasting a load of time walking over here just to be the arse he was!
"Bloody bastard!" Ron turned red in the face as his temper took over. His complexion was beginning to match his hair as he stormed out of the pub and back onto High Street.
He remained cursing to himself as he marched at a good pace back towards the castle to give Malfoy a piece of his mind. The fact that he was being tailed never occurred to him. When two sinister looking wizards stood in his path several yards ahead he still didn't look up or notice. The taller Asian looking one with long black hair pointed his wand at Ron's clueless face and shouted his curse.
Ron halted shocked and froze where he stood. A glazed look came over his eyes and he felt completely carefree and relaxed. He stared blank eyed at Fang and Dolohov without speaking or moving. The two wizards led him into the tree line and out of sight before speaking their commands.
"Good day Mr. Weasley. You will perform a special task for me. And you will do it tonight…" Fang whispered with a sneer.
"So it looks like we will be leaving our beloved tree permanently tonight." Kingsley announced as everyone finished up their dinner.
"Got word from the ministry then did ya?" Williamson mumbled with pieces of biscuit falling out his mouth.
"That's right. I lifted the barrier around us earlier and the messages got through. The army set out of Hogsmeade this morning. That gives us all night tonight to get your charges planted Savage." Kingsley informed the large wizard.
Savage had been working on the magical blasting agents for weeks and if planted correctly they would provide the perfect distraction and chaos needed for the allied forces to set up unhindered.
"Excellent! I'll need a man or two to go in with me for assistance. No need for the whole lot of us to run up in that fortress. Williamson, sorry buddy but it looks like this duo has to part on this one. We will be needing that bow of yours for cover while we go in." Savage broke the bad news to his old partner sadly.
"Ah it's ok, I can't have all the fun can I? Who is the lucky two who will go with ya then?" The blonde pony tailed wizard fidgeted with his bow while he asked.
"That's up to Kinsley…..What do you think sir?" Savage asked lifting a brow.
Kingsley surveyed the faces of his men and thought carefully of his choice. He decided that he was out due to his leadership role. If they were to fall while inside the fortress he would have to be able to carry on the mission with the survivors. Neville was getting much better at fighting but wasn't ready for a mission of this magnitude. The answer was easy from that point.
"Take Harry and Proudfoot. The rest of us will stand watch and provide cover and diversions if necessary." Kingsley informed them.
"Sounds good to me." Harry said.
Proudfoot merely nodded his agreement silently and gathered his gear. The rest of the team followed suit and within a few minutes they stalked off into the night quietly while heading towards the fortress of Nurmenguard.
The plan was simple when read on paper. Savage and two aurors would attempt to infiltrate the walls of the fortress unseen in the cover of darkness. Once inside they were to sneak slowly toward the main prison tower in the center and strategically plant the charges at the weakest points at the base of the tower. If they made it that far unnoticed then the rest of the plan was easier. Just get to a safe distance away and wait for the signal before blowing the charges and try to get away from the chaos that followed. Piece of cake right?
Harry didn't think so. He had been here before only a few months earlier and it was anything but easy to deal with this army. However this time the situation was slightly different. Stealth was his ally and he would use it to his advantage. The invisibility cloak was a true blessing as well. He would try to use it to shield them whenever possible. Savage was a beast of a man however and Harry had his doubts about hiding him.
"Have we got anymore poly juice potion is our stash?" Harry inquired hopefully.
"Good idea!" Neville declared as he began digging in his satchel while they crept through the wood.
After rummaging around for quite a bit Neville pulled what was left of the potion out and shook it around. It was less than half a dose. The effects wouldn't last more than 20 minutes at the most.
"Not enough for what you have in mind I'm afraid Harry. I suggest giving it to Savage only once you get close to the tower." Neville said disappointed.
"Better than nothing mate…" Savage said.
They continued in the darkness with no light for security reasons. Many patrols would be out the closer they got to the fortress. The heavy overcast sky helped greatly as no moonlight penetrated to the forest floor.
After an hour or two of walking they came to a clearing in the trees and the silhouette of Nurmenguard revealed itself to them. Many floating ships could be seen returning from the frontlines as new ones headed out to replace them. The walls were lined with sentries and lookouts and the main gates had two large black dragons on chains sleeping across the entrance. The faint glow of different campfires filled the sky above the walls allowing the view they took in.
"What time you got?" Proudfoot asked Kingsley.
"Just after two in the morning. We need to get moving before day light. Gawain Robards expects to arrive within site of the battle field at dawn. The timing of the blast has to be exact." Kingsley looked at Savage and Harry as well.
"So it comes to this gentleman. It has been an extreme pleasure working with you lot. Should you fail rest assure that we will continue where you left off." he extended his hand to the trio.
Proudfoot, Harry, and Savage each took turns shaking the ministers hand. Then Neville and Williamson each exchange polite good luck's and the like with them. Harry started to shake Neville's hand put it was slapped aside as his old friend hugged him really quick before pushing away just as fast.
"You better be right back. We have plenty of missions in our future I imagine…." Neville mumbled nervously.
"Of course Neville. Just cover our arse huh?" Harry patted his friends back and the trio of Savage, Proudfoot, and Harry took their leave of the team and began stalking their way closer to the dark fortress.
The darkness of night provided plenty of shadows to hide in as they approached the outer wall well enough away from prying eyes. The tension was high amongst the three wizards. Harry had remembered the back way he snuck out with Neville. Savage and Proudfoot followed him there now while they all silently hoped it hadn't been discovered and sealed off.
"This is it. Right where I remembered it too." Harry whispered quietly.
"Excellent…Step aside and let's have a look see." Savage whispered back.
Upon closer inspection the trench was still there in theory but the weeks of snow and rains caked the passage with pounds of mud and debris. Perhaps the soldiers mistook it for a trash fill. Either way there was no way any of them could fit through it as it was. Especially Savage's huge shoulders.
"Well it seems we have to alter the size of this hole gents." Savage mumbled with a small grin.
"Oh man what crazy idea have you conjured in that thick skull now? Remember this is a mission of stealth!" Proudfoot hissed quietly.
"Don't get your knickers all tied in a knot now. I happen to have a silencing charge. It will blast this extra debris out and with the charms placed on it no one will hear a thing. Let's just hope no ones sitting on the other side huh?" Savage began packing the hole with his mixed explosives while humming merrily to himself.
"Just be glad he didn't choose a life a crime Proudfoot….think about it." Harry added.
"Good point….Hurry it up Savage." Proudfoot crossed his arms while keeping a lookout.
Jin Lee was fairly new to the whole dark wizard life. He grew up a simple life until the boredom of wizard schooling caused him to run off in search of adventure. What he found instead was a one way path into the ranks of Shen Lungs crew. The Order of the Dragon was a much feared and respected gang in northern China and southern Mongolia when he joined. This however was much more than he ever imagined he would be part of.
He stood now in a dark corner toward the back of the fortress looking for a private place to write his family. Letters were not allowed but everyone sent them when the opportunity presented itself. The abandoned trench in the back he discovered weeks ago was his favorite spot. No one ever came back here.
Jin Lee leaned against the wall of the perimeter and lit his wand while he thought about what he would write. The faint scratching sound coming from the other side of the wall startled him at first but he forgot about all the rats that crawled around at this time of night.
"Filthy rodents…. Show your face before I…" Jin Lee spoke his last words.
The silent powerful blast from Savage's charge sent the Chinese wizard flying in a cloud of purple smoke and slammed his body head first into the pavement cracking his neck in the process.
Savage emerged from the now wider hole and looked around cautiously. The coast looked clear so he crawled the rest of the way out and stood up dusting himself off. Once the smoke cleared he noticed the body of Jin Lee laying on the ground.
"Well looks like there was someone here after all. Good news is he won't be sounding the alarm to anyone." Savage whispered back in the hole as Harry and Proudfoot made it through.
"Brilliant…..Hey are you thinking what I am?" Harry looked at the dead body and back to the other two wizards.
"Polyjuice potion" Savage and Proudfoot said at the same time.
The mood inside the fortress was gloom and dark. The awareness of Sytravious's absence spread around the camp like wildfire and the morale plummeted. Many had their hopes in the dark lords unmatched skill and his presence gave them courage. With only Glenda and the aged wizard Shen Lung in charge they had second thoughts. The two had led them into Nurmenguard to begin with but it wasn't until Sytravious arrived that the attack started to go smoothly. The news of a large force approaching this very location was nerve-racking for the common soldier and many sat around their camp fires drinking and discussing the many ideas and predictions of the outcome of the battle.
Glenda watched the multiple fires from her high view in the top of the tower and wondered when the army would show its face and challenge her own forces. Fang had left on his secret mission the day before and her son still was missing from the main action. Shen Lung had thankfully returned that afternoon with reinforcements from the northern desserts in China. They were ready for a battle and if victorious there would be no other force capable of stopping her move into Western Europe and beyond.
Yet she still had a certain anxiety about the main goal. Her superstition about her father's wand plagued her mind and soul. Until it was won from Potter and in her hands she would never truly rest. Her son must be forced into the fight with the boy who lived long enough and destroy the hope of England. Or she would destroy him herself if it came to that.
"Not getting much rest I see." Shen Lung spoke quietly from behind her.
"Don't you ever knock?" Glenda turned to face her formal rival.
"Not if the door is already open my dear. Care for a drink? The rest of the men are all toasting to our sure victory in the coming days and we should do the same yes?" He held out a fine golden goblet for her and poured from a fancy wine bottle.
"I see you have good taste." Glenda walked over to the ancient wizard and accepted his drink.
"Only the best for the most beautiful witch in these parts, you still have the looks and body of a young maiden my lady." Shen Lung lifted his goblet to toast to her.
Glenda looked down at her very conservative robes that revealed nothing of her shape or body and then looked back up at the Chinese master.
"So you've noticed all that huh?" She asked with sarcasm.
"Even old men have imagination my dear." He smirked as he drank his wine.
"Very clever you old…" Glenda was about to respond with a smart ass comment but was immediately distracted by the loud eruption of cheers outside in the camp.
She ran to her balcony followed by Shen Lung and stared into the night trying to realize the cause of the uproar. All the men from her army were on their feet hooting and cheering as their eyes were fixed on the sky above the tower. Glenda peered up half knowing what she would see as Shen Lung again followed her gaze.
The many fires from the fortress illuminated the sky and the orange glow of light reflected greatly off the red scales of the dragon now perched on top of the tower beating its strong wings mightily. Raven was seated on top of its neck and holding on tightly. The dragon appeared much larger than all remembered and it's eyes were pitch black with a glowing white orb in the center. Raven slid off gracefully onto the roof top and retreated indoors while Sytravious took flight in his greatest form and did a few laps around Nurmenguard to the joy of the dark army. A certain small group of aurors hidden just outside took notice as well.
Sytravious finally pleased with the results of his return to Nurmenguard flew back to the roof of the tower and disappeared to the observer taking his human form again. The loud cheers outside continued for awhile and the morale was much higher and more drinks were poured and food cooked.
Glenda watched her son show off outside and disappear onto the roof so she turned back into her quarters to prepare herself for his entrance. It should take him at least a few minutes to figure out where she was and …
Sytravious was sitting at her table with his feet up and a black hooded cloak over his body. The hood cover the top half of his face and his hands were folded together against his chin lazily. Glenda let out a surprised gasp and Shen Lung even lost his footing before gaining composure once more. The appearance of Sytravious was changed. He seemed healthier and his body was very much toned and solid as if he were made of granite but as smooth as marble. Also his hair wasn't as unkempt but smoothed out and shiny as it lay across his face. His eyes remained hidden.
"Good evening mother…Shen Lung. Fancy to find you two in each others company at this hour. The wine looks excellent. 1852? Good year." Sytravious held the bottle up to his nose before it floated away from his hand and began pouring its contents into a goblet for him. The now filled goblet floated back to his waiting hand where he held it casually.
"Help yourself." Shen Lung grunted as he took his seat.
"So you have finally decided to grace us with your appearance? It's an honor." Glenda spoke sarcastically.
"You didn't think I would really miss the fight ? I love the Daily Prophet. If our spies weren't good enough they news agency will always come through with useful information." He took a small sip of his wine.
"Very good you can still read. Where exactly have you been?" Glenda demanded.
Sytravious slowly removed his hood and looked straight into his mothers face with his onyx orbs glaring into her shocked eyes. She held her breath and Shen Lung whispered something in his foreign language with not so hidden surprise as well.
"What's wrong? You missed me?…. Believe it or not I wasn't out living it up and partying as you might like to imagine. I have attained a power and skill with magic you have never seen or heard of. I am almost tempted to give the men the day off when the battle starts but that wouldn't be any fun for them." Sytravious grinned.
"Impressive! You have charmed your eyes into a fascinating color…..Very intimidating although I will say the ice blue worked just as good. Why should I feel any better about this battle?" Shen Lung hissed.
"You old fool. How stupid do you think I am? You know damn well I am changed and your pride prevents you from rightly trembling in fear. Doubt me all you want. Time will reveal the true master at this table." He glared at the Old mage who quickly looked away.
"I'm very convinced in what you speak son….I must say impressed wouldn't begin to cover how I feel about what you have done. What exactly that is remains to be seen. This is perfect! Now we can have the wand in no time at all!" Glenda beamed.
"Are you blind mother? Why would we need that wand now? Do I have to destroy whole countries to prove my worthiness to rule without it?" Sytravious was frustrated.
"Of course not I was just thinking…..You know how I feel Sytravious! Must you always argue? No matter what you think you know I know even more. I'm your mother if you forgot. Conquer whole countries, Challenge anyone against you, prove me wrong a thousand times over. But do this after you get that wand from Potter!" She said through clenched teeth.
Sytravious sighed sadly as he stood up and drained his wine glass. As he set the goblet down he slowly walked the length of the grand table to where his irritated mother sat shaking from fear or anger he knew not. He kneeled next to her to be more level with her face and looked into her eyes compassionately. Grabbing her hand her placed it on his cheek and whispered softly to her.
"Mother….You have loved me in your own weird way all these years and I have loved you back. When that eight nation army arrives I will fight for you and lead our men in battle. Whoever dares take up arms against you will fall at my feet. I will always defend you and our honor. But I will not go after the wand any longer. Potter may well end up here fighting for his country and his beliefs but I cannot fault him any more than I can fault you for starting this war. Should he challenge me then so be it. But I will not distract my mind chasing after a tool we don't need. I'm sorry. Be content with a victory huh?" He kissed Glenda's cheek softly and stood back up.
Glenda sat there looking straight ahead with no emotion. She expected his words and was prepared for them. It mattered not what he said. When Potter discovered his precious tramp missing at the hands of her son the battle for the wand will commence anyway. A small smile spread across her face now and she allowed her mind to return to the present.
"I disagree as you already know but…Perhaps a victory will be good enough. As you wish my son." She smiled up to him.
"Excellent! Shen Lung have your men ready to defend the north. I will lead my men to the west and assist with your ships in the skies. I will take my leave of you two now. Long flight has me tired. And mother?" Sytravious asked turning back.
"Yes son?" She looked up to meet his gaze.
"Where is Fang?"
The mind numbing explosion shook the tower violently before Glenda could respond...
Hermione entered Harry's old suite now rightfully hers. As head girl she enjoyed the private quarters recently vacated. She set her bags down from her trip to Diagon Alley earlier that day. The majority of her afternoon was spent doing a little shopping for herself and Harry. She decided that just because he wasn't around for their first Valentines Day was no reason not to buy him anything. She purchased a new set of quidditch robes and gloves that matched along with a silk night gown that she thought he might enjoy seeing her in.
While in the area Hermione even checked into Olivander's and bought his latest design she had previously requested. It was a six inch wand with a dragons heart string core like her own. Hermione was a huge advocate for freeing house elves and she thought she would start by trying to get Kreacher to accept this small wand as a symbol of good will from her and Harry. Not that the house elf ever would need a wand to perform magic but she thought it was a cute idea.
With a flick of her own wand the fireplace roared to life and she began to undress while letting out a yawn. The sun was beginning to set now and a soft snow fell from the dark clouds and sprinkled the castle grounds with a white blanket of flakes. Hermione would be using extra hot water tonight.
Before she could get even halfway undressed however a soft knock was heard at her door. Hermione quickly buttoned her shirt back up and tossed her robe over herself for warmth. As she pulled open her door a few inches she made out Ron's calm face looking back at her.
"Hello Ron? What's up?" She asked confused.
"Hermione can I come in? It's Important." Ron replied casually.
"I don't think it would be appropriate for you to be seen coming into my room at this hour Ron…Can't it wait until after my shower and in the common room?"
"I don't think Harry would want us talking about his surprise in front of everyone now would he?" Ron replied with a soft smile. "Now let me in before someone does see me standing here."
"Harry?" Hermione grabbed Ron by his sleeve and yanked him into her sitting room.
"Yes that's right. I just seen him earlier in Hogsmeade. It's suppose to be a surprise but I thought you might want to change and pretty up and all that?" Ron walked into the sitting room with his hands in his pocket and began whistling merrily as he glanced around the room.
"You're telling me that Harry is here in England tonight? Ron that's wonderful! Oh my but I need to shower and change and….. Thank you!" She beamed and tossed her arms around his neck hugging him tightly.
"Yea yea just hurry up then. He is waiting at Grimmauld Place. I'll wait out here?" He plopped down onto a couch and put his arms behind his head comfortably.
"Sure make yourself at home. I'll be ready in no time at all!" Hermione practically skipped to her private room to shower and change. The excitement she felt at seeing Harry again filled her with such happiness she hardly thought how absurd the whole idea sounded. After all it was Ron bringing the good news.
As Hermione dressed and fixed herself up for Harry she remembered her presents and sorted through them to bring with her. Eyeing the little wand she imagined Kreacher grabbing the bags from her being his usual helpful self. She decided hiding the wand from him was in order. After glancing around she chose her stockings she was wearing and slid the wand inside by her calf.
After a quick look in the mirror and a pinch of her cheeks she ran back out to the sitting room with her things and joined Ron. He was still sitting with a relaxed look about him while staring into the fire.
"Now did you physically see Harry or did he send you a message? This just seems to good to be true." Hermione asked curiously.
"Blimey Hermione! I seen him with my own eyes. He even bought me a butter beer. Now let's hurry along before we are late." Ron stood up and walked to the fireplace with a pouch in his hand.
"Floo Network, I almost forgot Harry had one in this room." Hermione rushed over to Ron and waited as he took a small pinch out and sprinkled it into the fire. The flames burned brightly into the familiar green color and the two jumped in quickly.
"Number 12 Grimmauld Place!" They shouted together and disappeared with a flash.
Dolohov closed the last cabinet in Harry's kitchen disgusted. He had searched everywhere for something he considered decent to eat and finally gave up. Fang and the rest of the crew were searching the drawing room for anything useful until the Weasley idiot and the bushy haired witch Granger showed up. So far nothing of great use was found besides a few pricey antiques and artifacts from the Black family that they pocketed at once.
The kitchen fireplace began to glow green with bright flames so Dolohov pushed against the wall out of sight and with a flick of his wand dimmed all the lights. Whoever was coming through would not have the chance to see him coming. He chose not to alert Fang so he could take the glory of Hermione's capture for his own. Sytravious should be pleased and maybe give him a great reward and even a higher rank. Besides he had an old grudge against Potter and the opportunity to hurt his girl was too tempting to pass up.
Hermione and Ron appeared moments later out of the fire and into the kitchen. Ron stood off to the side and stared away into the dark room not even blinking. Hermione looked around at the mess and frowned. Waving her own wand the lights turned back on. All the cabinets were opened with their contents thrown onto the floor. The chairs were knocked over and the cupboard lay wide open.
"What happened here Ron? Where is Harry? Is everything….." Hermione lost her words in her throat as she caught the sight of Dolohov rushing at her from the side.
She slid down to the floor to escape his grasp and his knee ran into her head as he tripped over her body. He landed on some dishes causing a crashing sound throughout the house.
"Death Eaters! Ron get Harry quickly!" Hermione gasped as she held the side of her head and winced in pain.
Dolohov jumped back to his feet and grabbed Hermione's ankles dragging her roughly toward him and with a strong pull into the air he threw her into the cabinet fixtures with a crash as she fell onto the counter top dropping her wand.
"Oww! Ron please do something! Help!" Hermione cried out in pain.
But Ron just stood there with the same blank stare just watching her getting attacked without so much as flinching. The imperious curse did it's job wonderfully. The sound of loud footsteps could be heard from upstairs coming down from the drawing room.
Dolohov rushed toward Hermione once again and began choking her with brute force. Her hands instinctively grabbed his own and tried desperately to loosen his death grip on her throat. She had only moments before she would pass out so her knee lifted with blinding speed into his crotch causing him to grunt in pain.
Dolohov grabbed a handful of her hair and swung her off the counter onto the table with a dreadful bang. A chunk oh her hair was still gripped in his fist as he glared at her with violence. He didn't notice the small cupboard slowly open in the corner of the kitchen and a small old house elf creep out stealthily toward him.
Hermione noticed Kreacher about to attack and flipped off the kitchen table toward her wand frantically. Dolohov made a move to grab her again but was bombarded with hundreds of flying dishes breaking all over his face and body as Kreacher let out a scream while hurling every piece of china at the enraged Death eater.
While Dolohov was distracted by the brave Kreacher Hermione grabbed her wand as the sounds of running footsteps came dangerously nearer to the kitchen. She swung it around to Dolohov as he swiftly kicked the elf across the room into the fireplace screaming.
"NOOOOOOOOO!" She shouted enraged and fired her spell right into Dolohov's chest.
The spell slammed right into Dolohov and exploded against him as his blood splattered across the floor and into the walls. He clutched his chest in shock and fell backwards into the cabinets. He was bleeding profusely and bits of his flesh were charred and missing. His body slid down slowly to the floor as the blood pooled around him.
The first Oder of the Dragon soldier ran into the kitchen and slipped in the blood and fell on his back roughly next to the dead Death Eater.
"Shit! What the fuck is this…..?" He rubbed his head angrily and looked around.
Hermione was about to shoot another spell when she was blindsided by a masked wizard in all black.
Hermione's wand went flying out of her hands and she backed up with fear in her eyes as a group of masked men made their way into the kitchen. One helped up his comrade who slipped and the others filed behind the obvious leader. The man who disarmed her wore a golden dragon mask and Grindelwalds mark on his dark robes.
"Sytravious…..? It can't be! How did you get in here?" Hermione gasped.
"Don't be so dense. Your good friend Weasley told us the secret location of course. Even let us in with a smile. The imperious curse works marvelously doesn't it? And if you haven't figured it out by now your savior Harry Potter won't be joining us. He isn't even here. Never was." The masked wizard laughed as the others joined him.
Ron stood there still staring at Hermione as if in a trance. He was powerless to help her or himself. He had performed the tasks Fang had appointed him and now he was like a statue in the corner waiting for more orders.
"She looks delicious my lord…..can't we just have a little fun before we leave? Look at her shaking! I can hardly control myself." One of the soldiers begged groping his crotch.
Hermione took another step back and glared at the man while she covered her self with her arms and looked at Ron pleadingly.
"Hmmm let me think about that…" Fang replied. He then smacked the soldier across the face with such force it caused him to stumble backwards.
"How about no! You pompous imbecile! Didn't you see what she did to Dolohov? And you want to play games? No this witch is a feisty one. We won't delay." Fang walked closer to Hermione who shrank back still trembling.
"Now don't be afraid dear. We all have to die sometime." he whispered with a sneer.
Fang's wand pointed at Hermione's face as her eyes widened in fear. She held her breath quickly and closed her eyes waiting for the death strike. It never came however. Instead a simpler spell hit her.
Hermione's body fell to the ground stiffly. Fang stood over her peering through the golden mask. She did look delicious. Her skirt had lifted slightly during her fall revealing creamy soft thighs. Perhaps after Sytravious dueled the soon to be angry Potter he could keep her for himself? He smiled at the thought as he picked Hermione up and covered her face with a black sack and tossed her over his shoulder.
"What about the red head? Do we kill him?" A soldier asked curiously looking back at Ron.
"No…Leave him to witness the events here." Fang walked right up to Ron's face and stared him right in the eye.
"Tell Harry he can collect what's left of his girlfriend if and when he can defeat me in battle!" Fang turned away still dressed as Sytravious and popped out the room with Hermione while the rest of his men apparated away with him.
The kitchen was left in a disarray with Kreacher still smoking in the fire and Dolohov bleeding out on the floor. Ron stood facing straight ahead like a statue. A single tear fell down his cheek.
"Ok just keep walking normal and quit looking around for us. You look guilty of something. The tower is straight ahead." Proudfoot mumbled to the now disguised Savage.
Harry had his cloak over the werewolf and himself while they followed Savage through the camp. The brute sized wizard now resembled Jin Lee and carried the multiple explosives in a sack over his shoulder trying to blend in with all the soldiers who were mostly laying down or drinking by the fires.
The sounds of laughter and foreign languages surrounded them while they inched closer to the prison tower. Only moments before a huge red dragon was seen flying over the camp in circles as everyone cheered. The spirits of the men still remained high even after the dragon disappeared on top of the tower. Harry recognized the beast for what it truly was or who rather. They had little time to waste.
Four guards stood watch at the base of the tower and watched the celebrations with amusement. Savage walked right up to them without a care.
"Some party huh?" he spoke in his natural voice.
"What the?" The guards shouted.
The spells of the three aurors hit them in less than a few seconds. They were now disarmed and unconscious. Savage dragged their bodies into the entrance of the tower and began his work planting the explosives. They lost enough time trying to sneak across the camp after the arrival of Sytravious. The sun would be rising soon and the diversion wasn't in place yet. Savage worked with great speed and skill.
Harry and Proudfoot stood watch carefully while the men continued their celebrations outside not suspecting the spies in their midst. Savage removed the final charge from his sack and set it down with a grunt onto the front hall floor. It weighed the most and even he had to strain to carry it. Thank Merlin for the enchanted sack he held them in. They felt light as a feather until removed.
"Alright gents our work here is done. All we have to do is get the hell out of dodge before this potion wears off." Savage said excitedly.
"Bad news big guy. It already has!" Harry groaned.
Sure enough the features of Savage began to take over and within moments he was returned to his normal size and girth. Red Mohawk standing up high and proud.
"Well fuck me. Ain't that a bitch?" Savage complained.
"Silence! We still haven't received Williamson's signal and the sun will be up soon. We have to get as far from this fortress as possible! Any ideas?" Proudfoot said.
"Not really. How about a diversion for our diversion so to speak. The other guys are still out there waiting on us. If we cause a big enough ruckus in here I'm sure they will start some sort of noise out there? Buy us a moment to disappear." Harry added.
"Why don't we just apperate?" Savage asked.
"Can't. don't think I haven't tried. Anti Apperation barriers are up around this place. We have to get out side the walls first." Harry informed them.
"Run for it and take as many out as we can?" Proudfoot asked the two aurors.
Harry and Savage exchanged looks and then shrugged.
"Fuck it. Why not? We can't just sit in here waiting." Harry replied.
"I'll blow this place as we run out too. That should distract everyone from us for sure." Savage added with a smile.
"No! We have to wait for the signal first." Proudfoot reminded him.
"Wait a minute! I can just use my cloak and scare the piss out of everyone near here enough to draw them away from you two. Take the first opportunity to head back to the trench. Deal?" Harry asked.
"You sure you're ok with that Harry?" Savage asked.
"Yea you don't have to sacrifice yourself in such a way. We are in this together." Proudfoot whispered.
"No one is going to get hurt tonight. I will catch up with you guys at the trench trust me." Harry replied nodding.
"Very well. Be careful and Merlin be with you." Savage said as Proudfoot watched Harry disappear under his cloak impressed with the young wizards backbone.
The closest fire to the entrance of the tower had about twenty men around it singing some strange song Harry didn't recognize. So he didn't mind interrupting them by lighting several of their robes on fire simultaneously. The shock of the smoke rising from the robes of so many men sent countless soldiers in a panic using multiple aquamenti spells everywhere.
Harry then went on to add floods of water around those same wizards casting the spells creating more confusion. Everyone nearby was blaming the others for incompetence and drunken mistakes. Soon a fight broke out amongst the groups of wizards around the fortress. No one caught sight of the large muscular wizard and the scarred one sneaking out of the tower and disappearing behind the closest buildings.
Harry followed Savage and Proudfoot still beneath his cloak and shot random spells at any camp within ear shot or sight of the fleeing aurors. Random fires and explosions distracted plenty as they made their daring escape. But eventually their luck ran out and a group spotted Savage and began shouting profanities while firing off attacks.
Harry pointed both his wands and popped off multiple counter spells at the coming enemies. The spells collided in mid air and alerted Savage and Proudfoot who turned around and fired off their own attacks. Several of the dark army went down while others took cover and began shouting for help.
The situation was looking to go from shitty to worse really quick. But a loud bang caused most of the camp to look up and outside the walls of Nurmenguard. Rising from the tree line of the Black Forest a bright green sparkling light shot high into the air. It left a trail of white smoke as it rose higher and higher. Once it was at cloud level it exploded wonderfully in a firework display and took the shape of a lighting bolt that remarkably resembled the scar on Harry's forehead.
"If that ain't Williamson's signal then I never seen one!" Savage shouted.
He went into his pocket and whispered a spell into his hand and opened his palm. A bright little ball of light shot of it and moved with blinding speed back towards the prison tower of Nurmenguard. It disappeared into the entrance and the shock of the night rang into the air.
The enchanted explosion that erupted would put the scientist of the Manhattan Project to shame. The tower shook violently and a ripple of force could be seen flowing up the building like a wave. Bricks and debris flew out in all directions and rained down on all soldiers around it. The smoke plume that rose from the explosion rose so high into the air that the ships flying overhead had to retreat south to get away from it. It's purple color could be seen rising brightly into the early morning skies resembling a giant mushroom.
If that wasn't bad enough the shock wave on the ground was even worse. The earth rose up like a tidal wave at least 200 feet around the tower sending hundreds of men flying into the air. The heat wave that followed it claimed any lives spared. The total area circumference of 400 feet around was destroyed.
The tower itself rocked slowly back and forth a few moments after and then began to fall like a tower of dominoes into the ground creating a thick cloud of dust over the camp. A loud roar of a dragon could be heard in the skies above but not seen due to the debris.
By the time the soldiers recovered from the blast the three aurors they were chasing disappeared. Harry ran like lighting toward the trench in the back not looking behind him. Savage and Proudfoot were a few yards ahead of him jumping into the secret exit. No sooner had Savage released his trigger that he was gone like the wind and the two other aurors wasted no time keeping up. The tremor from their trap surprised even them and they all tripped and fell with the pulse of the bomb. As they emerged from the perimeter of the fortress Harry looked up into the sky and gasped at the sight. Multiple green firework like signals were rising and exploding in the far distance to reveal the lighting bolt mark. The eight nation army had arrived and they were serious about Harry being their champion apparently. His lighting bolt mark blanketed the sky for miles around to the north and west. A chill went through him as he continued running to meet with Neville, Kingsley and Williamson who was waving them forward frantically.
"Bloody fucking hell that was beautiful mates! What in Merlin's beard did you put in that thing Savage!" Williamson shouted as they caught up to their friends.
"Don't answer that just yet Savage! Keep running! We haven't gotten far enough to apparate yet!" Kingsley shouted over his shoulder as he ran on.
Harry caught up with Neville as he his sweat poured down his brow. The two old friends exchanged big smiles and high fives as they ran into the forest. They half expected the whole might of the dark army to come chasing after them but it was not the case. The soldiers in the fortress expected the full force of the eight nation army to march through the gates after that blast and the got into defensive formations. Sytravious flew overhead in his dragon form fanning the flames of the blast with his mighty wings. The aurors enjoyed a clean get away into the coming morning light.
Once they returned close to their tree they felt the restrictive barrier lift around them and they stopped to catch their breath.
"We have to catch up with the aurors! Did Gawain mention where to meet?" Harry asked in between panting breaths.
"The fields to the north west. He should have a pavilion set up by now." Kinglsey informed the group. "We should see it from the hill we arrived on a few weeks ago. Apparate there now!"
With a spin and a pop shortly after the six aurors apparated to the hill and ran to the top of it to survey the fields to the north. The battle field they observed that first night looked much larger during the morning light. Countless formations lined up on the far end with giant banners of multiple armies united as dragons and griffons flew around forming a perimeter in the skies above. Bag pipes and drums rang out into the thick morning air as the eight nation army officially announced it's arrival.
Kingsley pointed out a large white pavilion in the rear of the center formation. They all concentrated on in and popped once more toward their friends.
The pavilion of aurors was programmed to sense their presence and allowed the six man team to apparate right into it. Gawain and the rest of the aurors spun around and stared with joy and pride at the sweaty and dirty team of men. Harry, Neville, Proudfoot, Kingsley, Williamson, and Savage all stood there exhausted and tired but still managed to smile at their comrades.
"Bravo! Bravo!" Shouted Gawain and he clapped while the rest of the pavilion followed suit. The numbers of the auror office had reached it maximum number and about 200 witches and wizards applauded the work and bravery of Kingsley and his team.
"We knew you were still alive when we saw the signal of Harry's scar!" Uma shouted.
"So that was on purpose?" Harry asked shaking his head.
"Yea well the people love you Harry. You're the conqueror of you-know-who and the face of the country. I though the symbols would be a nice change from the dark mark." Gawain admitted.
"What was that explosion though? We were terrified something happened to you all. So soon after the signal and all." Gawain added.
"Sir you said you needed a diversion while you got the formations in line. Well I may have over did it but I doubt the dark army will be rushing out to meet us anytime soon." Savage replied with a smirk.
The pavilion erupted with cheers and laughter and the reality of what happened sunk in. As Harry joined in with the merry mood he caught the eye of Gawain who watched him carefully as he whispered to Kingsley. The two men enchained emotional words and Kingsley slowly looked back at Harry worried.
A feeling of sickening worry filled his stomach and he could barely swallow as he watched Kingsley walk toward him with Gawain in tow. Proudfoot who had been listening to the discussion between the men walked faster and reached Harry first.
"Have a seat Harry. This won't be easy son…" Proudfoot put his hand on his shoulder.
"What's going on?" Harry managed to say.
Kingsley arrived with Gawain and looked at Harry with sympathy and worry.
"What the fuck is it then! Tell me what's wrong!" Harry shouted.
The pavilion quieted down and looked in Harry's direction surprised at his outburst. Savage and Williamson crossed their arms and got closer to Harry curiously. Neville watched with a worried glance. All eyes were on Kingsley to reply to Harry.
"We only just found out before you ariived my boy." Gawain spoke sadly.
"I'm so sorry Harry…It's Hermione… They took her." Kingsley revealed.
I honestly wanted to keep going but I don't want to rush the story. I Hope this will keep you satisfied until next time. Ja ne (Learn new words all the time.)