Home » The Crystal Hall » Authors Corner » Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller (a Harry Potter / Buffy xover fanfic)
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|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #53111 is a reply to message #52777 ]
||Sun, 05 February 2012 00:44
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 31 Made He a Woman|
Hermione took Ginny's old hand-me-down copy of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" off her shelf and tucked it into her pouch too. She said, "Last night I compared my copy page by page with yours. They're both seventh edition." She pulled out her copy from the pouch. "They're identical. Except for... this." And at the top of one page was a little symbol. A vertical line inside a symmetric triangle inside a circle.
It was the first page of "The Tale of the Three Brothers". Ginny knew that one. Well, she knew all of them by heart, after so many years of mum reading them to her at bedtime. The story was of three brothers who cheated death using magic to cross a dangerous river, and so Death appeared before them and offered each of them one prize. The oldest brother asked for a wand so powerful that it would always win a duel; he used it and bragged about it until a thief killed him in his sleep and stole the wand. The second brother asked for something that would let him recall others from death; the stone he got let him recall the girl who he had loved before her death, only she was so cold and distant that finally he killed himself to truly be with her. The third brother asked for something that would let him walk away without anyone, even Death, being able to follow; Death reluctantly gave him his cloak of invisibility and that brother successfully hid from Death until he was a very old man and ready to meet Death and go with him gladly.
Okay, so what was the point of marking that page? And why that little symbol? Ginny wondered if all of Harry's dealings with Dumbledore had been this frustrating.
She looked at her clock and said, "I think we'd better hurry before mum finishes flooing everyone." She asked, "Do we need to get some of your Polyjuice Potion for Harry? I mean, I don't want to, but..."
Hermione pursed her lips in thought. "I don't think so. Fleur's already planning on Harry looking like himself. And it's not going to make much difference if Death Eaters are already going to be attacking during the reception. I do have a flask for your mum. All the rest of the potions are all bottled up and stored away."
Ginny nodded. She knew Hermione had been brewing potions ever since school let out. She had no idea how much Hermione had in that pouch, but she had seen several dozen bottles one time when Hermione was re-arranging that pouch.
Once Ginny was sure they had everything packed, and Hermione had gone through her checklists to make sure they had everything of Ron and Harry's packed, Hermione checked that she had the pouch and Ginny had the wrist bracelet. Ginny noticed that Hermione had a wrist bracelet as well, and she wondered what Hermione had hidden in hers.
They walked down to the kitchen table and found Ginny's parents sitting there with Apolline Delacour and Gabrielle.
Hermione instantly launched into her agenda. "Was everyone able to contact everybody?"
Apolline nodded and smiled, "Fortunately, everyone coming from France is not as upset about... You-Know-Who and is apparating in already, or using portkeys."
Ginny's mum said, "We did have two people who decided they had better stay home. And Great-Aunt Muriel was... umm... difficult about things. And we'll have to warn the Lovegoods when they get here, because I couldn't reach them. But you know what Xeno is like."
Ginny certainly knew what Luna was like, and Luna's dad seemed even odder.
Her dad waffled and said, "I was able to get messages off to everyone else. I'm just not sure if it will do any good."
Apolline took her daughters off to the living room fireplace to confer with some other Delacours, so Ginny's folks quickly gathered all the Weasleys in the house. Ginny noticed that Hermione rounded up Harry too.
Her dad looked around the table and then stared at Ginny. "I think we need to talk about how you think you can go off with Harry. There's the Trace, and Hogwarts will be expecting you..."
Hermione quickly explained again about the Trace and how Ginny's broke months ago. Then she gave Ginny a look.
Ginny smiled wickedly, "Hermione figured it out. Ron has spattergroit, and you're worried I'm contagious too. And Hermione brewed up some Polyjuice Potion it's in the blue bottle on my dresser and I left a couple dozen of my hairs with you, so Fred or George can apparate home and pose as me whenever someone comes by."
George stared at her in shock and gasped, "What?"
Fred frantically said, "No way!"
Her mum almost laughed, for the first time Ginny had seen in days. Ginny smirked, "And I'll leave a couple of my cutest dresses and nighties for you."
"We will definitely-"
"-get you for this one-"
"little sis," they growled.
She stuck her tongue out at them. She didn't point out that she might not live long enough for that.
While Fred and George complained about Hermione's plan, Fleur whisked through the kitchen and herded Ginny and Hermione up the stairs. She wanted her bridesmaids and helpers to start on her schedule. Makeovers for herself and Gabrielle and Ginny, hairstyling charms, then bridesmaid's dresses, then her dress.
Apolline smiled as they took over Ginny's room. "Zis is perfect, if we simply had not so many beds, and pairhaps a settee."
Hermione took out her wand and quickly removed the two beds Ginny's mum had made with geminio spells. Then she waved her wand again, and three comfortable chairs appeared. Another wave of her wand, and a brocade loveseat appeared by the closet.
"Most impressing," Gabrielle said.
Ginny looked at Hermione and mouthed, 'where did they come from?' She knew the pieces weren't from other rooms in the house. Hermione just smiled and pointed at her pouch.
Fleur smiled warmly, "Thank you so much. I am very glad you too could be here for my wedding."
Apolline explained, "In our family, it is traditional for the bridesmaids to help the bride get ready, but it is also traditional for someone close to help the bridesmaids prepare. I asked Gabrielle if she wanted her leetle friend Jeanne to help, but she asked me instead. I was... most touched. And we knew you would not know of this custom, so we decided that your friend Hermione would be a good choice for you."
Ginny grinned, "Hermione is perfect."
"No. This is perfect," Hermione gasped as she looked at what Fleur's mother was holding up.
Ginny gasped too. She knew her mum had done a couple Measurement Spells and Form Matching Spells at the start of the summer and sent the magical tape measures off to the Delacours using Pigwidgeon instead of Errol. So she knew the bridesmaid's dress would fit. But she thought bridesmaid's dresses were supposed to be ugly. She had figured it would be a color that would look fabulous on Gabrielle and hideous on a pale redhead.
She was so, so wrong. Her dress was a shimmering, burnished gold color. Somehow, Fleur had managed to find a color that went with both bridesmaids' coloring. And it was beautiful. She had seen bridesmaids before, but this was the first bridesmaid's dress she ever looked at and thought 'I want that'. It had long sleeves and the hem would nearly touch the floor once Ginny put on the matching heels. It had a cute kickpleat at the back so she could dance in it. It didn't have an empire waist, which wouldn't have worked on anyone with a bust bigger than Gabrielle's. No, it looked perfect. And it had a pretty ballet neckline that would let her show off her assets without being really naughty.
She could hardly wait to put it on. She hated to admit it, but Gabrielle looked gorgeous in her dress, and a lot more mature. And Harry would probably have to dance with Gabrielle at least once, just because the Delacours would expect him to.
Apolline turned out to be excellent with hairdressing charms, something Ginny's mum never bothered much about. But Ginny figured if you came from a family of veela and part-veela, you had to learn about hairdressing charms and cosmetic charms and all those kinds of things. She made a mental note to ask Hermione, who had probably memorized a dozen of them already. And she made sure the long sleeves covered up her leather 'bracelet' on her wrist. She wasn't taking that off, even for the wedding. If it showed, she would just ask Hermione to use a spell that would make it hard to notice.
Once they were all ready and Apolline had taken care of Fleur's hair, they helped Fleur with her wedding gown. It looked simple, but Ginny could tell it was carefully crafted and fit so that it looked that way. It was really a very sophisticated bit of dressmaking that probably would have taxed even Madam Malkin. Not that any of the guys would notice. They would think it was Fleur making a simple dress look good. It was really Fleur and a dress making the other look even better.
So, since things couldn't go just right, her Great-Aunt Muriel had to barge in. She was rude to Fleur about how to wear the tiara, although when she was done the dress and tiara combined with Fleur's natural beauty to look utterly gorgeous. Fleur literally glowed.
And then Great-Aunt Muriel had to alienate everyone. "Ginevra! That dress is horrible on you. The veelas must have picked it out just to make you look bad. You know how they are! And a girl your age shouldn't be wearing a dress with a neckline that low. It's a disgrace!"
Then she had to say awful things about Gabrielle's dress, and Hermione, and even the room! By the time Muriel left, Ginny was sure her face was as red as her hair. She apologized for about three straight minutes.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #53403 is a reply to message #53111 ]
||Wed, 08 February 2012 02:16
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 32 The Man and His Wife|
Once they all got away from Great-Aunt Muriel, the wedding was absolutely beautiful. Seeing Bill and Fleur together was magical. Seeing how Fleur looked at Bill made Ginny understand. Veelas were always pursued by men. They already knew outer beauty wasn't the most important thing. People like Apolline and Fleur and Gabrielle wanted men who loved them for what was inside. And they chose men because of what was inside the man, not what was outside. That was why Fleur's father wasn't another Cedric Diggory or Gilderoy Lockhart. Because Fleur's mother was smarter than that. And Fleur loved Bill no matter how he looked. Knowing that made the wedding so much more wonderful.
All right, Fred and George kept trying to top each other about being around the pretty veela in-laws. Luna and her dad came, and both in bright yellow robes, with Xenophilius wearing the strangest pendant. She didn't get a good look at it then.
And Great-Aunt Muriel continued to be her usual self. She gave Ron a hard time and claimed he had made up those stories about knowing The Boy Who Lived. Then Harry went over to defend Ron, and Great-Aunt Muriel lit into him. "Potter. Just as thoughtless as your father. Now there was a problem child! I was hoping you'd have more sense than to show up at a wedding in times like these." Then she had the nerve to tell Ron that 'the Muggleborn' had bad posture and skinny ankles and was a know-it-all, and her hair was too frizzy. She did pretty much everything except call Hermione a mudblood.
Ginny definitely heard Ron muttering angrily under his breath at that, but she was pretty sure no one else heard it.
After all that, the wedding itself went perfectly. Fleur was so pretty she was radiant. Ginny couldn't help being a little jealous that Fleur could look so wonderful when Ginny knew she would never look that pretty as a bride. Assuming she lived long enough that Harry or anyone else ever had the chance to propose to her. And even if she survived, being the Vampire Slayer was probably about as risky for your loved ones as being The Boy Who Lived.
They had to group together for pictures after the wedding, and then they got to move to the reception, under that lovely white tent her mum had rented. This was what she had been waiting for. She had wanted to dance with Harry ever since third year and the Yule Ball. No, she had wanted to dance with Harry ever since she first met him, before she ever went to Hogwarts.
But first Harry had to dance with Gabrielle while Ginny danced with Bill's groomsmen. And then Harry had to dance with Fleur. When it finally looked like it would be Ginny's turn, Harry had to rush over and take care of a problem. Ginny was stuck dancing with Mister Delacour, but she could still hear all of the arguing.
It was Viktor Krum, of all people. Krum was claiming that Xenophilius Lovegood was wearing the sign of Gellert Grindelwald, and he would challenge him to a duel if this wasn't a wedding. It took Harry two more songs to calm Viktor down and direct him elsewhere.
When Harry finally came to dance with her, he wanted to talk instead of hold her and dance with her. She was frustrated for three seconds. As soon as Harry spoke, she forgot all about being in his arms and dancing.
"Krum tapped his wand, and I remembered! Back in fourth year. He told me Gregorovitch made his wand! Voldemort is after another wandmaker!"
Ginny whispered, "Like Ollivander? But why?"
"We have to ask Hermione," Harry muttered. "She'll probably have a theory. But it's got to be the wands. Voldemort kidnapped Ollivander. He tortured him for information about wands. He changed wands when he went after me at the Dursleys'. Now he's after another famous wandmaker. It has to be something about wands, but what?"
So she didn't get to dance more with Harry, because he wanted to go over and interrupt Hermione while she was dancing with Ron and obviously didn't want to be interrupted either. But then Harry got interrupted in turn, because Elphias Doge wanted to talk with him about Albus Dumbledore.
Ginny would have gone over and joined the chat, but Great-Aunt Muriel stuck her nose in. So Ginny just stood there for long seconds, trying to decide what to do. The foolhardy thing to do would be to sit down next to Muriel and try not to get upset by what the old witch said. The smart thing to do? Maybe ask Hermione for a distraction to rescue Harry.
While she was standing there, Lee Jordan came over, and she found herself being waltzed about. She should have made Lee stop dancing and gone over and just butted in, but she really didn't want to face Auntie Muriel again. Not so soon. It wasn't brave of her, she knew it, but she promised she'd stick her nose in once the music stopped. She just made sure Lee was dancing with her close enough that she could use her Slayer hearing to eavesdrop.
And then Doge and Muriel were arguing about... Albus Dumbledore's childhood? What? Dumbledore's mother Kendra and his siblings Aberforth and Ariana, and his father going to Azkaban for attacking Muggles? What the...? So Doge knew Dumbledore and pretty much worshipped at his feet, while Muriel got all of her information from... Rita Skeeter's new book?
"Ouch!" Lee complained.
"Sorry, Lee. I'm really sorry." Ginny realized that she had squeezed his hand too hard while feeling furious over Rita Skeeter. That woman deserved to get eaten by frogs while she was in her beetle form. Ginny had never forgiven her for the hateful, evil things she had written about Harry during the TriWizard Tournament.
She let Lee dance her about some more, even if she subtly steered him so they moved closer to Harry's table. She listened in more closely, while pretending to listen to Lee's story about Fred and George and a school vanishing cabinet.
And that was how Ginny found out that Skeeter got the dirt on Albus Dumbledore from Bathilda Bagshot. The Bagshots lived next door to the Dumbledores in Godric's Hollow? Ginny gulped. They must have lived really close to the Potters. Were there magical families in Godric's Hollow they could talk to about the Potters? Or would anyone still alive there be one of Voldemort's supporters? She was sure Harry would want to find out, no matter how risky it might be.
It wasn't until Great-Aunt Muriel finally let Harry be that Ginny breathed a sigh of relief. She commandeered Harry for another dance, while she watched several Weasley men arguing over who would get stuck with taking Great-Aunt Muriel home.
They didn't even get all the way through one dance.
They had only started dancing. Harry hadn't even had a chance to ask her how much she had overheard. There was a silvery streak, and a lynx patronus appeared only a few feet away from them.
It started talking in Kingsley Shacklebolt's rich bass tones. "The Min-"
Ginny grabbed Harry by the wrist and looked across the room for Hermione.
"-istry has fallen."
Hermione and Ron looked at each other, and Hermione grabbed Ron's wrist.
"Scrimgeour is dead."
Ginny checked with Harry, and he nodded fiercely.
"They are coming."
Harry muttered, "Here we go." She hung onto his arm, making sure she didn't squeeze too tightly.
Harry spirited her away. As they disapparated, Ginny could hear Great-Aunt Muriel yelling, "Get your hands off me, I'm perfectly capable of a little thing like apparating home!"
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #53599 is a reply to message #53403 ]
||Sun, 12 February 2012 02:35
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 33 The Serpent Was More Crafty|
Ginny had no idea where they were apparating to. It was a famous Muggle church that Harry and Hermione knew. The idea of going to a Muggle place was so alien that she was sure no Death Eater would ever think to look for them there. She just hoped they didn't apparate right in front of a hundred surprised Muggles.
She and Harry apparated into a cavernous room. She could see rows of old wooden pews, and all kinds of fancy architecture she hadn't realized Muggles could do.
Harry whispered, "It's St. Paul's Cathedral, in London."
She noticed someone at the far end of the long axis of the cathedral, waving their way. It was Hermione and Ron. She gave Harry a tap on the shoulder and pointed at them.
Harry said, "Good. We need to get out of these dress robes before someone sees us. We don't look like Muggles in these things."
Ginny blushed, "I think you look really handsome like that."
Harry blushed in turn. "You're probably just... Confunded or something. I'm not handsome."
She would have kissed him right there in a church, except Hermione rushed up and hurried them off to the side. "We have to get out of sight before someone sees us dressed like this!" She chivvied them into a little alcove off to the side and said, "Now we need to change clothes. I've got everybody's things in here. Then we need to go sit down somewhere and figure out our next steps."
Ginny said, "I thought you figured it all out already."
Hermione said, "Ron and I were just arguing about it."
Ron said, "She didn't figure it out with me."
Hermione pulled out a set of clothes for Ron, and Harry's cloak of invisibility. She shoved it all in Ron's hands and said, "Change under the cloak. Quick."
Ron stepped to the wall and vanished under the cloak. But they still could hear him muttering and struggling to get changed.
Hermione said, "We can't go to Harry's cousin's place. With the wards broken, the Death Eaters have to have it under surveillance. We can't go to one of my relatives either, because the only thing keeping magic from finding them is a lack of magical tracks to follow. And... and they don't know they have a daughter anymore." She struggled not to sob out loud. "But we have some more options-"
Ron pulled the cloak off himself, revealing him in Muggle clothes: a green jumper and tight jeans and old trainers. He handed the cloak and the dress robes to Hermione, who stuffed everything except the cloak into her pouch. Hermione handed the cloak and a set of Muggle clothes to Harry, who slipped over to the side and disappeared under the cloak to change.
Ron frowned and said, "I don't want to go into hiding for months. I want to go right over to the Leaky Cauldron and find out what people have to say! If Voldemort just took over the Ministry, someone has to have something to say, and after half a dozen Firewhiskeys they won't be too particular about who they talk to!"
Hermione insisted, "We already know what's going on! And it's too dangerous to go there and nose around. Anyone working for..." She pulled Ron over to the side and ducked behind him.
Ginny heard the men coming up the main aisle toward them, even though they were behind her. She figured Hermione had seen them enter the church. Ginny was still in a gold bridesmaid's dress, and that had to be abnormal in Muggle London, so she silently ducked behind a large curtain.
She peered from behind the curtain. It was just two Muggle workmen. She'd seen men dressed like that working on telephone poles and things like that in Ottery St. Catchpole.
Wait. Weren't people supposed to dress nice when they went into Muggle churches? She needed to ask Hermione.
The younger workman reached into his sleeve, and Ginny instinctively did the same. As soon as she saw the wand coming out of the man's sleeve, she moved at her top speed. Stupefy! Stupefy! Two similar spells blasted out of the corner where Harry was under his cloak.
The workmen fell over before either could get off a spell. Hermione elbowed Ron, who dashed over and made sure no one had noticed the aborted battle. Ron whispered, "Levicorpus" and floated the two Stupefied men over to their alcove.
Harry yanked the cloak off, revealing he was in a t-shirt, jeans, and a loose jacket. He stepped over to the two men. "I recognize this one. It's Dolohov. I've seen his face on enough wanted posters."
Ron looked at the other and groaned, "It's Crabbe's father. Bloody..."
Hermione frantically grabbed his shoulder. "Never mind who they are! How'd they find us? What are we going to do?"
Ron turned and held Hermione while she struggled to overcome her near-panic. He asked Harry, "Do we have to kill 'em? They were probably going to have a go at us right then."
Harry said, "No. We'll obliviate them. Let them think it was a false alarm from some Muggles speaking French and talking about the stained glass windows."
Hermione frowned, "There's nothing about flights and death in these windows."
Harry grinned mirthlessly. "They won't know that. They don't know anything about Muggles."
Ginny tugged on Harry's sleeve, since he seemed to be the calmest one. "How did they find us? It's not the Trace."
Hermione nodded. "Right. It can't be that. We all had our Traces broken. Harry's went on his birthday. I checked." She fished more clothes out of her pouch and handed them to Ginny with the cloak. "Get changed. Quick."
Ginny stepped into the corner, tossed the cloak over herself, and then tried to change out of her dress and heels under it. She found it was harder than it sounded. She was surprised Ron and Harry hadn't made a huge noise while they changed.
Ron asked, "Could a Death Eater have snuck it back on one of us? Maybe at the wedding?"
Hermione hastily pulled out her wand and checked each of them. She sighed in relief. "No. None of us has the Trace, or even a tracking spell on us." She wrinkled her forehead in thought. "So how did they..." She gasped, "Oh! It's the Taboo Curse! He's got it in place again! Ron said V... You-Know-Who's name. Just a minute ago. The Taboo is probably blanketing the whole country now. And we all know the only people who still call him by name, now that Professor Dumbledore is dead." She stared at Harry and Ron.
Ginny stepped out from under the cloak and handed it to Hermione, who already had clothes in her hands. Along with the blouse and khakis and trainers, Hermione had given her a baseball cap to hide her distinctive red hair. Hermione vanished under the cloak and began struggling out of her formal dress. Ginny whispered that she could help if Hermione needed a hand.
Harry grumbled, "There's no way I'm calling him He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
Ron complained, "And there's no way I'm calling him the Dark Lord! That's what Snape calls him!"
Harry thought for a second and said, "Riddle. If we can't call him... the V-word, we can still call him Riddle. He'd really hate that. Professor Dumbledore called him that in their duel, and he really got furious about it."
Hermione smiled, "Ooh, right, it's also his Muggle father's name, and he hates Muggles."
Harry said, "He really really hates his family. He murdered them all the first chance he got."
Ron smirked, "I vote for calling him 'Tom' too. Maybe 'Tommy' or something like that. Maybe... Ickle Tommikins."
"Ron!" Hermione scowled. "It's not a laughing matter!"
Ginny asked, "So where now?"
Hermione sighed. "I suppose we could check Number 12 Grimmauld Place and see if Snape has let Death Eaters in. But it could be incredibly risky."
Ron grumbled, "It's not so safe there even without Death Eaters." He thought of the clothes that had tried to smother him, and he repressed a shudder.
Harry said, "I think we should try it. We can apparate onto the front step and slip in before anyone knows we're there. If anything goes wrong, we get out and we all apparate back here."
"And then what?" Ron asked.
Hermione said, "We have several other options. I have a Wizard tent in my pouch, so we can camp out comfortably. We can do what Professor Slughorn did and find some empty Muggle houses and stay there until they come back from vacation. I have plenty of Muggle money, so one of us can use some Polyjuice Potion to look like someone older, then we apparate to a hotel somewhere and get a room for a few days. No Death Eater is ever going to think to look for us in a Muggle hotel."
Ron just looked at her. "And how do we manage to look like someone else? We need some hair or something from them."
Hermione gave him a triumphant smirk and pulled from her pouch what looked like thirty sealed test tubes in a long wooden rack. Ginny realized with a start that every test tube was labeled. Hermione had hair from both her parents, a number of names Ginny didn't know so they were probably Muggles, Millicent Bulstrode and Pansy Parkinson and Crabbe and Goyle, and...
"Dolores Umbridge? You have hair from Dolores Umbridge?" Ginny choked.
Hermione looked slightly abashed. "Yes, well, last year when she was in the hospital wing after the centaurs, it occurred to me that she might be a problem later on. So I... snipped some of her hair and started brewing up a batch of Polyjuice Potion just in case. I've been brewing up a new batch every couple months, just to have fresh potion on hand. Getting the boomslang skin without stealing it from Professor Snape was expensive, but not unreasonable."
Harry took a closer look at the labels. "Rita Skeeter! How did you get Skeeter's hair?"
"Cutting Charm. When she was interviewing you fifth year. We were right next to her, and she was concentrating on you. It was easy."
Ron took a look too. "You're sure there aren't any cat hairs or anything like that?"
Hermione glared at him. They all remembered what had happened back in second year, when Hermione had accidentally used a cat hair in her dose of Polyjuice Potion. "I checked for non-human hair." She looked around at their faces. "Twice!"
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #53750 is a reply to message #53599 ]
||Wed, 15 February 2012 03:50
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 34 He Said to the Woman|
Ginny watched as Hermione obliviated the two Death Eaters and then used mobilicorpus to move them so they were sitting in a pew like they were just looking around and talking. Ginny shook her head. Was there any spell Hermione couldn't do well?
Harry said, "We'll move to Grimmauld Square in twos. Ginny and me first. You two wait thirty seconds. We'll go into the park under the trees and look for Death Eaters watching the place. Then we'll apparate right onto the front step. They won't be able to see us there if Snape can't tell anyone the secret. We'll open the door and look inside. You two apparate right onto the doorstep and follow us in. If you hear a battle, apparate back into the park so you have time to figure out whether you should join in the fight or come back here."
Ron said, "I don't like this."
"Got a better idea?" Harry asked.
Ron shrugged. "No. I wanted to go to the Leaky Cauldron and snoop around, but if Death Eaters are apparating all over London, that's not going to work."
Hermione said, "We can consider it, once we figure out how we should do it. We've got Harry's cloak, and Polyjuice Potion, and I can do Disillusionment Charms, and... Oh!"
She stopped and rushed over to the two men. She took snips of their hair and put the hair into two more test tubes. "Waste not, want not," she smiled.
"Let's get out of here before the stunners wear off," Harry said. He took Ginny's arm and disapparated.
Ginny hung onto Harry's arm as they apparated behind a sad, decrepit tree in the little square before the house. Ginny quickly looked around in the darkness, while Harry did a detection spell. She didn't know whether the lack of Death Eaters outside the house was a good sign or a bad sign. Maybe the Death Eaters were already inside the house. Maybe they couldn't find the house because of the Fidelius Charm. Maybe they knew where the house was, but they didn't dare lurk in the bushes outside the house because of the vampires Voldemort Riddle might be rounding up in the area. She couldn't tell, and she didn't know any way to tell.
Harry whispered, "Ready?" She nodded.
He disapparated, and they reappeared on the front step. No one who hadn't been told the secret by a Secret Keeper would be able to see them anymore. He tapped the front door carefully, and she heard the sound of locks unlocking and bolts unbolting inside.
He swung the door open and carefully stepped inside, his wand still in his hand. She had her wand out as well. She stepped in front of him and held him back. They both knew she could take a curse that he couldn't. And she could hear things he couldn't.
She listened. It was hard to block out the city sounds rushing and honking behind her, but she tried.
The house was almost silent. There was something scuttling behind a wall. Something not human. There was a grandfather clock ticking away far down the hall and in another room. There was a fire going in the kitchen downstairs. She could just barely make out Kreacher groaning and mumbling to himself downstairs.
She waved Harry in, and he stepped behind her. A couple seconds later, Hermione and Ron apparated right onto the top step.
Ginny whispered, "I don't hear anything. I think the place is empty. Except for Kreacher. And some things we didn't find before."
Hermione and Ron stepped in too, and closed the door behind them. Hermione whispered, "Ron, don't lock the door yet." She pointed at the troll's foot umbrella stand, which was tipped over as if Tonks had been through the hall recently. "Someone may have already been through here."
Ginny whispered, "If they're here, I can't hear them."
"Maybe a muffliato," Ron suggested.
"If they did that, I could hear the buzz," Ginny pointed out.
"Oh Merlin, you mean I can't even do a muffliato to keep you from hearing when I don't want you to?" Ron groused.
She just gave him a smug smirk, and stepped forward.
Mad-Eye Moody's voice whispered out of the darkness, "Severus Snape?"
"We're not Snape!" Harry insisted.
But Harry had hardly finished speaking when something some sort of curse whooshed down the hall and blew past Ginny like a cold breeze. She heard Harry choke and Ron retch and Hermione gag. Hermione needed long seconds to choke out that it had to be a Tongue Tying Curse.
Ginny took another step forward, while waving everyone else to stay back. She saw in the darkness as a thing arose from the carpet. It was the height of a tall man, but it was dust. It was dust-colored, and dusty, and smelled like old dust to Ginny's enhanced senses.
Behind her, Hermione screamed in terror as the dust became Albus Dumbledore, long dead and grave-rotted. It glided at them, picking up speed, staring at them with those empty eye sockets. Ginny pulled out a stake and dove at it.
She went right through it and landed clumsily on the carpet. Behind her, Mrs. Black was screaming, and Harry was yelling at the dust monster. "It wasn't us! We didn't kill y-"
With a poof, the dust-figure exploded, sending dust everywhere. It drifted down onto Ginny and seeped back into the carpet. Ginny sneezed as she got back to her feet. She looked behind her and saw Harry dealing with Mrs. Black's portrait, while a white-faced Ron was holding a panicked Hermione who was crouched on the floor with her face buried in Ron's jumper.
Ron looked up at Ginny and breathed out. "Whew. That was a bit nastier than I figured. Even after a vampire nest." Hermione didn't say anything, but she still had her arms wrapped tightly around Ron's chest, and Ginny could tell her heartrate was really fast.
Harry led them into the sitting room. Ron and Hermione squeezed together into a big wingback chair. Hermione didn't seem to want to let go of Ron. Ginny held Harry while they sat on the couch.
Harry said, "I'm guessing from the curses in the front hall that Death Eaters haven't been in and out of here a lot."
Hermione did a hominem revello spell to check for any people in the building. Ginny didn't say that she'd already listened for intruders, because Hermione definitely needed something to do, her hands were still shaking. Hermione said, "Let's go up" and let Ginny lead the way to the first floor drawing room.
They hardly got settled in the drawing room when Harry suddenly grabbed his forehead and nearly keeled over in pain. Ginny knew it was another vision. Harry gasped, "V- V- Riddle. He's really angry."
Ron had the same worry she did. That maybe Voldemort was attacking the Burrow. That maybe their parents were under attack. But Harry couldn't tell. And Hermione was still scared enough to yell at Harry about not closing off his connection to Riddle.
Ginny hugged Harry and snapped without thinking, "We need to know about this stuff! Just like with my dreams!"
Hermione tearfully insisted, "We can't let You-Know-Who into Harry's head! Not while we're hunting his Horcruxes!"
Ron stepped in between Ginny and Hermione. "Harry? Mate? You okay?"
Hermione screamed again. Ginny already had her wand out at the silvery streak. It turned into a silver weasel Patronus and spoke in her dad's voice. "We're all safe. Don't reply. We're being watched. Your mum has already sent for a medi-witch for Ron's spattergroit."
Ron breathed out a moan of relief and sank onto the couch. She felt the same way. She watched as Hermione gripped Ron tightly and murmured words of encouragement. Ginny started to say something to them, but another streak of silver interrupted her.
Two streaks of silver. Each turned into a wolf cub, and the twin wolf cubs stared at each other before talking. It was Fred and George.
Mum called for a medi-witch to check both of you-
-but it's someone mum trusts-
-so the Death Eaters will be sure you're both home-
-and mum picked out Ginny's pink Holyhead Harpies nightie for George to wear-
Ginny just gritted her teeth as the pair of wolf cubs faded away. She fumed, "I didn't leave that there for them to wear! If they ruin that nightie..."
Ron muttered unhappily, "And there's no way we're ever going to get pictures of them as you."
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #53939 is a reply to message #53750 ]
||Sun, 19 February 2012 02:42
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 35 You Shall Not Eat|
Hermione started to say something about using the sleeping bags and sleeping in one room, but Harry was staggering off to the bathroom. Ginny grabbed his arm and helped him to the sink. She held him up as he grabbed his forehead and screamed in pain. He shuddered for long seconds, and she began to be afraid he'd have a convulsion or something. If she hadn't been there for him, would he have collapsed and cracked his head on the tub or the floor?
She whispered, "Harry?"
He stammered, "Y-yeah. I'm all right." Like she believed that when he was still white as a sheet and his heart was hammering far too fast. "It's... Riddle. I need to tell all of you."
She let him sit down and drink some water before she helped him back into the drawing room. He collapsed limply onto the settee and she sat next to him, holding him up.
He groaned, "Hear me out first, okay Hermione? It was... Riddle. In a long, dark room. Fireplaces. He was torturing Dolohov and Crabbe for calling him back for nothing. That it was just a false alarm and they didn't have my unconscious body for him. And... he made Malfoy torture them or be tortured. Draco looked... awful. Scared and sick and... I never thought I'd feel sorry for him."
Ron growled, "Sorry for that bleeding..."
"Ron!" Hermione squeaked. "He couldn't kill Dumbledore when he had an easy chance. Maybe he's... not as horrible as we thought."
Ron fumed, "He did an Imperius Curse on Rosmerta. He nearly killed me! And Katie! And he spent months trying to get Death Eaters into Hogwarts and if we hadn't had that felix felicis we'd all be dead now! He deserves everything he gets!"
Hermione hung onto Ron's arm and said, "Can we not argue about Draco Malfoy? We have bigger problems. Like Harry's link to... Riddle."
Ron frowned, "Well this time it's a bloody relief. We know Tommy's busy off somewhere else and doesn't even want to be around here."
Harry said, "It has to be this thing with Ollivander and Gregorovitch and wands, but I don't know what it all means."
Hermione said, "But this link Harry has... It's really dangerous! What if V... Riddle uses it against Harry again?"
Harry snapped, "You think I don't worry about that?"
Ron looked up and stared at Harry. "Look mate, you do know when Tommy's trying to send you a message and when it's like this one, don't you?"
Harry sighed heavily. "Yeah. Visions like this one? I don't think he even knows I'm getting them. He's so angry, or happy, or whatever... It just comes through. The dream he was sending me? That was completely different. It was calm... and, well, focused. And it was the same dream over and over, until I finally got the memo."
Ginny asked, "Can he get into your mind?"
Harry muttered, "No. He's tried, and it hurts him too much. It can't be my mum's blood protection, because he got that when he used my blood to get his body back."
Hermione said, "Harry, it's the power he knows not. He couldn't take over your body in the Ministry without suffering terrible pain. Remember?"
Harry winced. "Wasn't any fun for me, either."
Hermione went on, "All he knows is hatred and anger and evil. He can't take over a body that's nothing like those emotions."
Ginny said, "If he could get into Harry's mind, he would have seen Ron. Or you and me. He would have known where Harry was right away, and we would have had an army of Death Eaters attacking the Burrow already. He can't get into Harry's head."
Ron asked, "You mean Harry can look into his head some of the time and he can't ever look into Harry's? That's..."
Hermione said, "If it's right, it's an advantage we shouldn't give up. Even if it hurts Harry a lot." She looked up. "But Harry, if you ever even think he might be getting a peek inside your head, we have to find a way to shut it down. So maybe we could work on ways of doing Occlumency and just not use them until we have to."
Harry groaned, "As long as it's not Snape's way." Ginny hugged him tighter, but not too tightly.
Hermione cringed a little. "I think what Snape was doing actually made things a lot worse instead of better. I still can't believe Professor Dumbledore had him of all people teaching you Occlumency. Professor Flitwick would have been a much better choice. Or Professor McGonagall. Or Professor Vector."
Harry quietly said, "But Snape is really, really good at it."
Ginny pointed out, "And he hates you, and you hate him. So how's that whole 'being calm and rational' thing supposed to work there?"
Ron muttered, "Like I said before. Dumbledore's brilliant. But a complete nutter."
Hermione rolled her eyes but said, "Maybe you're right. Maybe he trusted Snape so much and believed in him so much it just never dawned on him that Snape and Harry couldn't stop hating each other for even one hour."
Harry said, "Well, I accidentally learned some Legilimency from him, anyway."
Hermione perked up, "Ooh! Can you teach me? I was reading about it, but the material in the books is too vague and doesn't really teaching you how to learn it, just what you can do with it and what you're not supposed to do with it."
Ron smiled a little. "Wait, you mean there's something Hermione can't do? Harry, I think you ought to keep this one a secret, just so there's one thing Hermione isn't able to... Oof!" He rubbed his side where Hermione had just elbowed him.
Hermione glared at him and said, "There's tons of things I can't do. I'm terrible on a broomstick, and I could never play Keeper and have people throwing those balls at me... I'd never have learned how to do a Patronus if Harry hadn't taught us. I still can't defeat a boggart. I can't beat you at chess and I spent weeks one summer reading three chessbooks I bought. I-"
Ron put a finger over her lips and smiled, "It's okay. I was just teasing. We all know you can do everything on earth."
Harry said, "Even Dumbledore said there were things Riddle could do that he couldn't."
Hermione frowned, "I think he meant that he couldn't bring himself to do things that horrible, not that he couldn't do them if he really wanted to."
After they argued some more about Harry's link to Voldemort's mind and learning Occlumency, Ginny talked Harry into walking downstairs with her. He was a lot more stable, and she didn't have to hold onto him. She just kept a hand ready to grab him if he started falling while they were on the stairs. She knew she didn't need to. The stairs had a Catching Charm so if anyone fell they wouldn't tumble to the bottom and get hurt. She knew that because last year, Fred and George had tossed Ron down the upstairs staircase three or four times before their mum caught them. The first time, Ron had nearly panicked before the charm caught him, and then he had chased the twins all over the house.
She led Harry into the kitchen. The kitchen fire was still going strong. She called out, "Kreacher?"
Kreacher popped into being right in front of them, bowing obsequiously and muttering nastily. "Oh it's the blood traitor and the halfblood, oh poor me, what would mistress say to see her house taken over by-"
Harry snapped, "Silence!"
Kreacher stopped talking, but was obviously mouthing more insults.
Ginny knew what to do, she just didn't want to. She said, "Harry, you can tell him to do anything and he'll have to do it. Great-Aunt Muriel made her house elf call dad 'armadillo-face' for years until mum found out. Mum told me all about it. You can order him to call us by our proper names."
Harry sighed, "I didn't want to make him have to do anything. I didn't even want him as a house elf." He cleared his throat and said, "Kreacher. You may not use the words 'blood traitor' or 'halfblood' or 'mudblood' or muggleborn'. You will call Hermione 'Miss Hermione'. You will call Ginny 'Miss Ginny'. You will call Ron 'Mister Ron'. You will call me 'Harry'. You will not complain out loud about what your mistress liked or wanted or would think about the state of things now." He paused for a second and added, "And you will call Fred and George 'Mister Weirdprank'." Ginny tried really hard not to laugh out loud.
Kreacher writhed miserably, but finally spoke in his deep voice. "Yes... Harry."
Harry added, "And you will obey Ron and Ginny and Hermione as if it was me."
"Great," Harry said sarcastically.
Ginny looked at Harry and said to Kreacher, "Is there anything to eat in the house? Anything for wizards, that is."
Kreacher struggled to ignore her, but he finally said, "There are vegetables and fruits in the pantry and cold cellar. There is preserved beef and chicken and goose too. There are canned fruits and vegetables and jellies and conserves and the like in the pantry. And there is one loaf of bread that has not molded."
Ginny said, "Can you have a hearty beef and vegetable soup ready in less than an hour?"
"Yes... Miss Ginny."
"Good. Then I'll let you get started on that. We'll have the soup with the bread, and any butter if there is some. And after dinner, you can show me what food stores we have."
Harry led her back upstairs. "How do you know to do that?"
She shrugged, "I've been helping mum cook for the whole family for years. Why?"
Harry said, "Aunt Petunia taught me how to fry up eggs and bacon and sausages and make sandwiches and some things like that, but I never learned about what goes into making things, or making soup, or about ingredients." He rolled his eyes. "Like Dudley and Uncle Vernon would eat soup or a salad, unless it was just the first course of dinner and they knew there was a big dessert at the end."
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #54122 is a reply to message #53939 ]
||Wed, 22 February 2012 03:00
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 36 We May Eat of the Fruit|
Ginny woke up feeling happy and smug. Harry was still holding her hand. It would have been really romantic if they weren't in a dingy room, surrounded by dark magics, with Death Eaters hunting for them.
They all had slept in the sleeping bags Hermione had in her pouch, but they had camped out in the room Ginny and Hermione had used last summer. There was enough room on each bed for two sleeping bags, and she had slept on her bed next to Harry. She wasn't ready to do more than that. Yet. But she was sure having some fantasies about being married to Harry.
Assuming they both lived that long. She had to figure the expiration dates on a Vampire Slayer and a Chosen One made fresh milk look long-lasting.
She had worked with Kreacher last night to make sure he did remember how to cook, and to make sure he didn't poison them. He wasn't doing a good job as a cook, but he could boil water and chop vegetables. If she was lucky, there wouldn't be a lot of preparation left for her to do before breakfast was ready.
Then she reminded herself not to say 'if I'm lucky' anymore. She hated thinking about the idea that maybe the Golden Slayer died some horrible death because Ginny had needed some luck that night. She still shuddered about it.
With the Slayer in her not needing that much sleep, she was the first one awake. She slipped out of Harry's grasp and went to shower before she walked down to the kitchen to see what Kreacher was working on. He wasn't calling her names anymore, but he wasn't talking at all. She let him cook up some oatmeal for breakfast, and bake some bread for lunch and dinner. She took the opportunity to walk through the huge pantry and the cold cellar, and figure out what groceries they needed to buy. She had no intention of letting Kreacher out of the house. She was just going to let Hermione go to the nearest Muggle grocery store and buy groceries with Muggle money. No pureblood would ever think of something that unusual.
She certainly wouldn't have, if she hadn't become friends with Hermione and some of the other girls who weren't purebloods. But Hermione had taught her how to 'think outside the pureblood box' a bit more. She caught herself planning on cooking breakfast using her wand, just like her mum did, and she reminded herself that maybe she wasn't really thinking outside that particular box as much as she needed to.
She smiled to herself when she heard Harry get up. Her in the kitchen, Harry upstairs rummaging around... She was wondering if life could be like this. If they could both survive, and be happy together, and be, well, like her mum and dad. She didn't really believe they could, not with the way things had turned out, but she could pretend. And maybe she could pretend a little harder while they were here.
She listened as Harry finished cleaning up and then went wandering around the house. It sounded like he was up on one of the top floors. She kept an ear out for him while she planned what they'd have for lunch and dinner.
It wasn't until she had the grocery list all written up for Hermione that she heard Ron and Hermione stirring. It sounded like Hermione wasn't letting Ron sleep in. It sounded like she was upset.
Ginny rushed up the steps to the landing and spotted a frantic-looking Hermione rushing out of their bedroom in nothing but pajamas. Hermione was gasping, "Where are they? Where can they be?"
Ginny almost yelled up the stairs, but that would have awakened Mrs. Black. That was never a good thing. She ran up the stairs and caught Hermione as she ran down the hall with her wand pointed ahead of her.
Ginny caught Hermione by the arms and said, "I was just taking care of breakfast."
Hermione gasped, "Where's Harry? You were both gone, and I didn't know where you went!"
Ginny realized Hermione was a lot more shaken than Ginny had thought. What would she have done if she'd woken up and Ron and Hermione were just gone? She probably would have turned into an angry Slayer and choked Kreacher until he told her where they were. That wouldn't be good. She said, "I think he's looking around. Maybe upstairs. I heard him get ready this morning."
Ron took Hermione's hands and said, "It's all right. We've got a Vampire Slayer guarding us at night, you know."
But Hermione was still breathing shakily, and her heart was beating really fast. Ginny said, "Kreacher's got things under control downstairs, and breakfast will be ready before long. Why don't we go find Harry? And you can remind him it's not really safe to be walking around by yourself in some of the rooms in this house."
Ron yawned and said, "Can we get dressed first? I'm in my pajamas here!"
Hermione finally relented when Ginny volunteered to go find Harry. So Ron and Hermione went to shower and get dressed, while Ginny walked upstairs.
"Harry?" He was up in Sirius' room. She wasn't really surprised. And she wasn't really surprised at some of the naughty posters of half-naked women Sirius had up on his walls. And they were Muggle pictures! She was only surprised Mrs. Black hadn't blasted the walls apart to get rid of the things.
Harry grinned, "Oh! Hi! I found a letter from my mum! Well, part of one. And part of a picture. But someone's ransacked the room."
They looked for a few more minutes, until Ginny could hear Hermione and Ron coming out of their old rooms. She hadn't thought Ron would be smart enough to go shower elsewhere and dress in the room he and Harry used before. Really, she'd been figuring she'd hear Hermione yelling at Ron not to walk in on her while she was showering, or while she was changing clothes. Maybe Ron was wising up. Some.
She called both of them up. Once they were in the room too, Harry started explaining everything, even if Hermione was still pretty upset at him. The torn picture of him as a baby. The letter from his mum with the missing page. They all took turns reading the letter and watching baby Harry zoom around on his toy broom in the damaged photo. He was so cute as a baby.
While Ginny was concentrating on how cute Harry was on his itty bitty toy broomstick, Hermione latched onto the important points. Someone had ransacked the room and taken some things that only Harry and Sirius would care about, yet nothing that could be used magically against Harry. And also, Bathilda Bagshot was a close friend and neighbor of the Potters. And then Professor Dumbledore had James Potter's invisibility cloak even though he didn't need an invisibility cloak to go about unseen. And other rooms in the house might have been searched.
Ginny wondered, "So who could've done it?"
"Snape," Ron said immediately. "Got to be Snape."
Hermione disagreed, "Now Snape has to be considered a prime suspect, but he can't be the only person who could have been in here. Mundungus Fletcher does have a tendency to..."
"Steal anything that doesn't have a Permanent Sticking Charm on it?" Harry said caustically. "Sure, but he wouldn't bother with half a photo or page two of a letter. He'd be taking more of the goblin-made silver."
Ron said, "We know from what Harry saw in Snape's head that he hated Harry's dad and Sirius. He was probably nosing around looking for something for V- I mean Riddle, and he saw a picture with Harry and his dad in it, and he ripped it up and burned the other part. Probably the same with the letter. Maybe Harry's mum wrote something about how wonderful his dad was, or Sirius, and Snape just burned it."
Ginny wondered, "But if Snape can come in here and wander around and look through everything, why hasn't he brought a pack of Death Eaters in here?"
Hermione slowly said, "We've been assuming all along Snape was working for Voldemort, or else he was working for Dumbledore. What if he was working for someone else? Or working for himself?"
Ron muttered, "That I could believe. Take out Dumbledore, get a big promotion in Riddle's bunch. Then take out Riddle and take the whole thing over. I can see him trying that."
Harry said, "That could even make sense. And maybe he knows the prophecy too, so he wants me to kill Riddle for him. So he wouldn't tell Riddle about this place."
Hermione frowned, "But that means he might want to use it for his army! It could be really dangerous staying here!"
Harry coldly said, "We have a Slayer. We'll know he's coming before he gets inside. And half the balconies would give us easy shots at anyone walking in that front door. And we can make Kreacher take us out of here, so we can't get trapped."
Hermione still winced. "There has to be somewhere safer than this! We can take the tent anywhere, and cast spells so no one outside the tent can see us or hear us."
Ron took her hand and said, "Why don't you get us ready for that, and we'll go with the tent as soon as this place looks dodgy?"
Ginny said, "In the meantime, we should have breakfast ready any minute now."
It still took a couple minutes to talk everyone into eating first before searching the house to see which other rooms had been ransacked. And she got to make eggs and sausage for Harry. But Ron started wolfing down his food so he could go search the house, and Ginny knew Hermione wasn't going to slow him down. So she had to stop cooking and hurry through her breakfast too. At least Harry made Ron wait until she finished all her sausages and oatmeal.
Hermione didn't eat any sausage or bacon, but she had a second bowl of oatmeal. And when she got it, she said, "Please sir, may I have some more?" Ginny didn't get the joke, but Harry and Ron didn't either. Hermione made Ron sit at the table and wait while she told them they needed to read some famous Muggle literature. Somebody named Dick Charlesens or something.
The search was quick, until they were back near Sirius' room. Harry spotted the sign on the door, and Hermione instantly recognized what it meant. Ginny needed a second, as did Ron. But 'Regulus Arcturus Black' had the initials R.A.B. And they already knew he was a Death Eater who repented and was killed. They had found the man who stole the real locket and left that note for Voldemort!
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #54395 is a reply to message #54122 ]
||Sun, 26 February 2012 04:52
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 37 Nor Shall You Touch It|
They had found the man who stole the real locket and left that note for Voldemort!
She reminded herself once again to call him Riddle, even in her head, so she didn't slip up like Ron did.
They unlocked Regulus Black's room and searched for the locket. They searched magically, and they searched by hand, and they still didn't find it. It was Hermione who remembered the locket from the drawing room cabinet.
Ginny groaned, "We threw that out. I remember mum chucking it along with that creepy music box."
Harry said, "Kreacher. He nicked loads of things back from us." They all remembered the stash of Black things that Kreacher had stuffed into his little space in the cupboard.
Harry raced down the stairs. Ginny used her Slayer strength to jump the stair railing and land on the next flight down. She was already sprinting into the kitchen while the others were pounding past Mrs. Black's portrait and waking up the old harridan once more.
Ginny yanked open the cupboard door and found... nothing but smelly old blankets and an old book. She stared in shock as the others raced into the kitchen and caught up with her.
"Blimey, where's all that junk?" Ron groaned.
Harry insisted, "It's not over yet." And he called out, "Kreacher!"
Kreacher appeared with a loud crack. Ginny watched as Harry forced Kreacher to tell the truth.
It was awful. Ginny didn't like the way Kreacher had hurt Harry, and she didn't like how Kreacher acted when Hermione tried to hug him when he was so miserable, but she couldn't remember feeling sorrier for someone in a long time.
Regulus had loaned Kreacher to Voldemort, and Voldemort had used Kreacher the way those Muggle scientists supposedly used rats in laboratories. Kreacher had been tortured by the potion and left to die horribly at the hands of Inferi, only to be saved by the power of house elf magic. But then Regulus had insisted on Kreacher taking him back there, and he had done what no true Death Eater Ginny knew of would ever have done: he drank the potion himself and had Kreacher take the locket away to destroy it. Poor Kreacher. He had tried and tried, but nothing short of basilisk venom or Fiendfyre would destroy a Horcrux, and Kreacher had no access to such things, nor the awareness that dangerous toxins like that were needed. Kreacher had driven himself mad because he couldn't fulfill the last order of his beloved Regulus, and he couldn't tell Mrs. Black what had happened to Regulus. Then, when it looked like things couldn't get any worse, Kreacher hadn't been able to keep Mundungus Fletcher from stealing the locket along with everything else that wasn't charmed in place.
By the end of his story, Ginny could hardly see for the tears filling her eyes.
Ron said, "The power he knows not. Looks like there's a lot of powers Riddle knows not. And Kreacher's another one."
While Harry and Hermione argued about house elves and Sirius's treatment of Kreacher, Ginny got a kitchen towel. She wiped her eyes and stepped onto the stairs to blow her nose so Harry wouldn't hear her being so gross.
When she came back, Harry was gently urging Kreacher to go on a mission for him. One Regulus Black would have approved of. And Harry did a brilliant bit: he pulled out the Black locket that Regulus had left, and gave it to Kreacher to keep. Ginny was shocked again. Kreacher was so overwhelmed at being given a Black family heirloom of his very own that it was half an hour before he could even stop crying and stand up properly.
When Kreacher disapparated to go find Mundungus, Harry suddenly started acting like Kreacher would be back any minute now. No matter what Ginny or Hermione, or even Ron, said, Harry just paced back and forth, certain that the next time he turned around, there would be a loud crack and Kreacher would be there with the thief.
After a couple hours, Ginny didn't think she could stand it. Every time Harry stormed up or down the stairs, the portrait of Mrs. Black started shrieking again. Finally, Ginny had taken all she could. She stormed into the entryway and started pulling at the portrait.
"You can't get that off the wall. It's got a Permanent Sticking Charm on it. I've tried," Hermione lectured.
"Don't... care!" Ginny hissed as she strained.
It took a couple moments to get the portrait pulled far enough forward that Ginny could get any sort of grip. By then, Mrs. Black was screaming for her to stop. Ginny didn't. She punched her fingers through the plaster of the wall and pulled until she thought her shoulders would tear loose. She still didn't stop.
The groans and snaps in the wall were her first hint that she was making a difference. The sound of splintering laths and breaking plaster was next. Once there was an opening big enough for her to get her hands in, she had even better leverage. She planted her feet on the wall and pulled so hard her shoes started cracking the plaster under them.
With a frantic, terrified scream from the portrait, the wall finally failed. Plaster and laths and even most of the studs behind the wall came free in a crash that sent the portrait flying to smash against the opposite wall. Ginny fell to the floor and found herself covered in wood fragments and plaster chips. Mrs. Black was screaming her lungs out in terror, and was nearly face-down on the floor.
Hermione humphed and said, "Just look at that wall!"
Ginny brushed plaster-dusted hair out of her face and saw what Hermione meant. Where there had been a wall with a big painting, there was now an empty space with some broken wooden studs and an assortment of nasty things. Old spiderwebs, some long-dead puffskeins, and several amulets mounted on the back side of the space.
Hermione looked at the amulets and just said, "Probably charms against intruders and such. I'll have to research them." She waved her wand in a brisk reparo charm, and the studs reassembled themselves. Then a couple quick cleaning charms took care of the spiderwebs and dead creatures, along with the plaster and lath and wood splinters all over the entryway floor.
Ginny went to take another shower, while Hermione briskly directed the boys about. By the time Ginny was clean and dry and dressed again, the entryway looked as good as it ever had, although there was no longer a painting there. Instead, Ron was using his wand to rough in a pair of set-in cabinets.
She asked, "Where's the portrait?"
Ron said, "She made me take it up to the attics. She's giving Kreacher one of the backmost rooms up there, and he can have the portrait up there with him. He'll probably wet himself with excitement. Harry's scavenging some decent wood from the attic, so we can turn this into something useful. We can put our boots and caps and cloaks and scarves in here. Hermione wants coathooks on this side here, and shelves on that side there, and maybe we can get rid of that stupid umbrella stand."
She looked down at the hollowed-out troll's foot. Even the Slayer in her didn't like the thing. "Maybe Kreacher would like it."
He grinned wickedly. "Get rid of everything we don't like and pretend it's another gift? Pretty sneaky there."
She scowled at him, "That wasn't what I meant!"
"Oh suuuuuure," he muttered. Then he went back to work, trying to remember the woodworking charms their dad had showed him years ago.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #54603 is a reply to message #54395 ]
||Wed, 29 February 2012 03:37
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 38 Your Eyes Will Be Opened|
But Harry didn't stop pacing around. Ginny finally got tired of watching him. And hearing him. She gave Hermione her grocery list, and she planned to go for a walk through the neighborhood to try and spot that vampire nest.
Hermione stopped her. "Hold on a second. You can't go walking around with that Weasley hair and expect no one's going to notice it."
"What are you going to do?" Harry asked.
Hermione calmly said, "You do know Aurors have to learn how to do Disguising Charms, right?"
Ron said, "Can't all be Tonks, that's for sure."
Harry said, "Okay, let's see."
So Hermione tried a simple Disguising Charm. It didn't work. Then she tried an illusion about Ginny. Suddenly, Ginny's hair looked chestnut brown and her skin looked tan, so no one was likely to spot her. Especially if she was in ordinary Muggle clothes.
Ron said, "Can you do a Disguising Charm to Fred and George so we can pretend they're not part of the family when we want?" Harry snickered into his hand.
Hermione frowned, "I don't think that's going to work, because I think they must have learned these kinds of spells already. Some of their toys and jokes have to use these as the base spells. So they would know how to dispel them."
Ron patted her on the shoulder. "I was only joking."
Hermione made sure she and Ginny were both dressed like normal Muggle teenagers, and then she gave Ginny her instructions. "We'll stand on the front step and apparate in the middle of that sad little clump of bushes at the far corner of the square. No one who hasn't been told the secret of the house by a Secret Keeper can even see us when we're on the top step or in the doorway. Once we're in the bushes, we'll just check for people looking our way, and then we'll walk off on our business. Now you can apparate back to the front step all right?"
Ginny nodded and teased, "Yes, mum."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Really, if you don't think you can do it, just wait until no one is looking and then walk up to the front door."
Ron stood behind Hermione and mouthed 'yes mum'. Ginny had to bite the inside of her mouth to keep from bursting out in giggles.
Ginny lifted her wand and stepped in a slight turn. She disapparated cleanly and apparated in the middle of the bushes with a noise that she hoped no one heard. She stepped out of the bushes, and Hermione apparated into their midst.
Ginny whispered "All clear" to Hermione before casually strolling off. She hoped she looked casual. She knew she looked unarmed, since she had her wand and her weapons tucked away in her leather wrist bracelet.
Hermione stepped out and walked off to find a nearby grocery store. Ginny watched until Hermione rounded a corner, just to make sure no one was following her. Then Ginny wandered off, doing her best to look like she was walking aimlessly.
She strolled around the square, trying to get a hint of vampire or giant or anything. The only thing she got was a feeling that two tough boys in black leather jackets were eyeing her. She pretended she didn't notice them. She took a side street and moved a block further out. She walked in another simple square, still trying to find even the merest hint of vampires or demons. When that failed, she tried moving another block further out. Still nothing on her Slayer senses, just the feeling that someone was watching her.
She turned around and found those two toughs following her. She didn't think they would be much help. 'Oh hello, seen any undead creatures of the night eating people around here?' She also didn't want to hit them with a quick Stupefy and possibly alert the Ministry there was magic going on in the area, not to mention that using a hex like that would count as attacking a Muggle and could get her in serious trouble.
Still, she was a skilled witch. And the Vampire Slayer. If these two boys thought they would just grab her and have a little fun, she would show them the error of their ways.
She stood there and let the lads walk up to her. One of them leered, "Hello luv, you look bored. Fancy a bit of fun?"
She smiled at them. "Sure. I am so bored. This must be the most boring place on earth. Anything happening around here? Maybe after dark? Parties? Anything?"
"I'm Jess. This is Cam."
"Yeah, there's nothin' around here, but we can show you some hot places."
"Great," Ginny lied. "Can we meet back here after dark? I ought to be able to get loose from my dad's house by ten tonight."
"Works for me."
She patted Jess on the shoulder and strode off. She could hear they weren't following her. No, she could hear they were arguing about who got to have sex with her first. She shuddered inwardly. If either of those jerks put a paw on her, she was going to break it. Maybe she'd break it off.
She wondered if she had been anywhere near this angry and aggressive before she became the Vampire Slayer. Some part of her wanted to say that she had been a nice, normal, sweet-natured witch. Another part of her made her quite uncomfortable by reminding her of all the things she had done to her big brothers, and the number of times her mother had grounded her.
On her way back to the square, she put that out of her mind by considering the big problem: where were those vampires? She hated to admit it, but there was no reason for the vampires to have their base within a few feet of the square. This was London. They could have their base miles away, and get here by car or truck. One closed lorry full of vampires could dump an army of the bloodsuckers on her doorstep at any moment. Vampires didn't need to breathe, and they didn't have to worry about the heat inside a closed metal box. They couldn't be crushed just by piling half a dozen vampires on top. A master vampire could probably pack over a hundred vampires in a large lorry and not have to worry about any damage to the contents. She remembered the fight in the basement of the factory, and she cringed inwardly at the thought of over a hundred vampires leaping out of a truck and swarming all over her. Not even a Slayer could cope with that.
Well, she knew she couldn't.
She decided that she would patrol the area tonight. If the vampires were just putting scouts in the area at night so they could hunt for Harry's hideout, then there might be some threats prowling the streets sniffing around for witches and wizards coming here.
Ginny stepped into the clump of bushes and made sure no one was watching her. Then she apparated to the top step. She didn't do it cleanly, so only her Slayer reflexes and balance kept her from falling down the steps onto the sidewalk. She decided she just wouldn't mention that to Hermione. Or Harry.
She slipped inside. She was frankly surprised by the amount of work Ron had gotten done. It already looked like wood cabinets built into the wall.
Ron said, "Harry got the wood in the attic from a broken bookcase, and he found the coathooks in one of the upstairs bedrooms. He's been stomping all over the house."
Ginny said, "It looks nice."
"Thanks." Ron sighed, "It's not as good as it ought to be. Dad showed me the charms, but I didn't spend enough time working with them that I really got all of them down, and I didn't practice the tricky ones enough to be able to make it look really good. If dad showed Hermione those charms, she could probably make the things look like it was done by the best craftswizards at Dowling and Bannister."
"Well, at least we don't have Mrs. Black screaming at us day and night, and we don't have a gaping hole full of dead puffskeins."
Ron put his wand away and said, "Okay, I'll give you that much."
Ginny heard a crack outside on the steps, and said, "It must be Hermione."
She opened the door... and gaped.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #54826 is a reply to message #54603 ]
||Sun, 04 March 2012 03:19
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 39 A Delight to the Eyes|
A chubby old lady stood there in a frumpy dress and the ugly kind of shoes old Muggle ladies wore. She held a big bag of groceries in each arm.
"Hermione?" Ginny checked.
"Bloody hell," Ron muttered.
The old lady stepped in and handed the bags to Ron. "Go put these on the kitchen table, Ron."
"Hermione?" Ginny asked again.
"What?" the old lady said. She looked at her wristwatch and said, "Ooh, I cut it pretty close even with the apparating. The Polyjuice Potion is going to wear off any second now."
"Polyjuice Potion? You did this with Polyjuice Potion?" Ginny gaped.
Hermione said, "I used a hair from Mrs. Nichols, a nice little old lady who lives down the street from mum and dad. No one in the wizarding world is ever going to recognize her."
Ron was back already. "And you shopped like that, and you paid with Muggle money, and you just walked out?"
Hermione nodded, "Right. I just walked until I could find a nice, secluded..." The potion wore off, and she slowly changed back to a Hermione wearing baggy clothes that looked like they belonged to someone six sizes larger and sixty years older. "...spot, and then I apparated here." She took out her wand and transfigured her clothes back to the jeans and blouse she was wearing that morning.
Ron said, "It's got to be easier just using Harry's cloak and walking right up to the door here."
Hermione shrugged. "Maybe, but it was pretty crowded in the store, and someone would have bumped into you. What would you do then?"
Ginny said, "That reminds me." And she pointed at her no-longer red hair. Hermione waved her wand and undid the illusion.
Ron asked, "Just how much disguise can you do with those charms anyway?"
Hermione looked pensive. "I don't know. But you should be able to look like someone who obviously couldn't be a Weasley, and especially not Ron Weasley."
Ron asked, "So then why weren't Slytherins using charms like that all the time, just to get Harry in trouble, or frame someone else for bad deeds, or getting out of assignments?"
Hermione pursed her lips. "Well, according to Hogwarts, a History the whole school has a series of spells on it. You know you can't apparate within the school grounds-"
"The house elves can get around that one," Ron pointed out.
"-and you can't maintain certain other types of spells on the school grounds. Disguising Charms are one of them. And Polyjuice Potion is not only hard to brew, but takes a long time. It is a N.E.W.T. level potion to brew."
"And you made it when you were only a second year," Ron pointed out. "In the girls' toilet. With Moaning Myrtle looming over your shoulder all the time."
Hermione blushed and looked down at her feet. "I had help."
Ron rolled his eyes. "Help? What help were we? We made a distraction so Snape wouldn't be looking your way when you snitched some ingredients. We dropped in and asked you if you were sure you wanted to go through with your plan. We were about as much help as Snape was."
Ginny could see this was an argument Ron and Hermione had gone through before. So she interrupted, "What I want to know is where are those stupid vampires?"
"You didn't find them?" Hermione asked.
"I figured you'd already wiped them out," Ron said at the same time.
"There was nothing," Ginny complained in frustration. "Not even a hint."
Hermione said, "Well, there's no reason they need to be based right here on Grimmauld Place. I doubt there's a free building anywhere on the place, anyway. I did check on Muggle real estate when Dumbledore told me about this place, and there haven't been any real estate listings for anything really near here for years. So there's probably no place for them to make a nest."
Ginny growled to herself. It would have been nice if Hermione had bothered to tell her about that first. She said, "I guess I need to stake out the square at night and see if any vampires are prowling around looking for the house. Or looking for witches and wizards going to the house."
Hermione pursed her lips. "I hope you find some, because otherwise that could mean we guessed wrong and they're building up a vampire force to attack someplace we haven't even thought about yet. That would be very bad. On the other hand, if you find any, you can't stake them all. We have to find the nest."
"I know that from the last time," Ginny complained.
"AND we can't wipe out the nest yet, because we don't want the Death Eaters to realize there are people using this house!"
Ginny frowned, "We can't leave a pack of vampires loose in London! We have to kill them!"
Hermione insisted, "We can't tip off V- Riddle's forces. They'd be bound to try to trap us in here if they can't break the Fidelius and attack us in the house. They could surround the house with anti-apparation hexes and then pen us in with shield charms so we couldn't sneak out under Harry's cloak or something like that."
"Not a problem," Ron shrugged. "Kreacher could disapparate out of the house and take us with him. Remember? The power he knows not? Seems like Tommy has a lot of holes in his knowledge."
Hermione sniffed, "Well, he has deliberately assumed a lot of pureblood attitudes, and so he has overlooked a lot of areas of research. However..."
Ginny let Hermione lecture Ron about magical fields of study Voldemort Hermione was very careful to call him 'Riddle' would be an expert in, and those he had probably completely ignored. Meanwhile, Ginny walked down to the kitchen and put away groceries, since Kreacher wasn't back yet. Then she fixed some sandwiches with the bread Kreacher had baked and some of the meat Hermione had bought. When she called everyone to dinner, Hermione was still going on about it. Ginny could tell Ron was just pretending to listen. Pretending to listen to a lecture was a valuable skill that every Hogwarts student learned in History of Magic classes.
Harry was still pacing about and hoping Kreacher would turn up at any moment. Hermione took Ginny and Ron aside. "While Harry's distracted, I think you need a lot of practice. We can do apparition within the house, but we can't apparate into the house or out of it because of the wards. So I think you should practice apparating around the house, and a lot of voiceless spells."
Ron wanted to fiddle a bit more with the shelves in the entryway, and Ginny wanted to go out and hunt some more. But Hermione was determined. So after lunch and after Ginny stalled a while cleaning up in the kitchen they went to the front parlor and practiced non-verbal spells for a couple hours.
It was frustrating. Ginny had to practice and practice to get even the simplest spells to work, while Hermione made it look easy. She had to admit that even Ron was fairly good at it. And no matter how many times Hermione talked about this being something really hard to do, Ginny still felt like she ought to be able to do it as easy as staking a vampire.
Hermione finally let them take a break in the middle of the afternoon. They had a little tea, and dragged Harry down to the kitchen so he would eat too. Hermione lectured him, "Now Harry, I know you're impatient, but I really need you to be doing the teaching on this. You're the best at Defense Against the Dark Arts, and you know it. And that's the kind of spells we need to work at doing without speaking. Shields and hexes and curses and jinxes and counter-curses."
"And dropping podiums on vampires," Ginny added. Ron snorted with laughter.
Hermione just went on, like Ginny was serious. "Yes. Mobilicorpus and levicorpus and wingardium leviosa are all quite effective ways of neutralizing the strength and speed of vampires. We can't forget those."
Harry said, "And accio. No point in letting vampires shoot us or hit us with pickaxes if we can take the things away first."
Hermione nodded, like she was writing everything down on a mental list.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #54983 is a reply to message #54826 ]
||Wed, 07 March 2012 14:44
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 40 The Eyes of Both Were Opened|
The afternoon's lessons really went pretty well. For some reason, Ginny learned better when Harry was teaching her. Maybe Hermione focused too much on the theory, which seemed to be what helped her learn all this stuff. Maybe Harry was just a better teacher. Or maybe Ginny just wanted to impress Harry a lot more than she wanted to impress Hermione, so she just tried that much harder for him.
Still, she was the worst at voiceless spells, and the worst at apparation. By a long shot. Hermione insisted she was doing really well when the others all had a whole year of preparation and study, but that didn't make her feel any better. Hermione also said Ginny was better than Ron was at the start of sixth year, which really made Ron grouchy at Hermione for most of the afternoon.
Hermione was already working on more N.E.W.T. level spells. She was also making Harry and Ron learn new material and then be responsible for teaching it to the rest of the group. Hermione was showing them seventh-year Transfiguration and Charms, while she was making Harry responsible for DADA and Ron responsible for Care of Magical Creatures.
Ginny had a sneaking suspicion that Hermione would soon add in Potions and Herbology, and would be teaching them the entire seventh year curriculum. Not counting Hermione's own classes on Arithmancy and Ancient Runes. Ginny had to wonder if Hermione was already assuming this quest for the Horcruxes might take the whole school year. Or maybe a lot longer. Well, as long as Hermione didn't ask Ginny to be responsible for teaching Divination or History of Magic.
Hermione clapped her hands and smiled, "I think that's a good stopping spot for us. Maybe tonight Harry can read up on finite incantatem and what sorts of spells it won't end. That's probably valuable for us. And Ron can research vampires, and find out what sorts of magical creatures they might have around them." She pulled textbooks out of her pouch and handed them to the boys.
Ron said, "Ugh. I'm doing it, but under protest! Doing schoolwork outside of school is just wrong, and doing it now seems..."
"Relevant?" Hermione pretended to ask. "We need to learn this stuff, even if we're not in a classroom. And one of the things you should be learning is how to learn new things, and how to research subjects." She turned her head. "Oh, and Ginny? I have some History of Magic textbooks, and I'd like you to look up the oldest giant wars and any treaties with demons. Maybe you could tell us what might be important for you as the Vampire Slayer tomorrow when Ron and Harry are giving their reports."
She frowned, but accepted the books. And just when she thought she was getting out of any assignments. Fine, she'd do these. But she was definitely not doing any divination research.
"Oh, and I have a book on prophetic dreams. Could you read through it and see if there's anything related to your Slayer dreams?"
She sighed unhappily. "All right." But that was it! If Hermione gave her anything else, like Potions, she was saying no!
"And there's a potions workroom downstairs. Maybe tomorrow morning, you could help me clean out the stores in there and see what's still usable," Hermione said, almost as if she was using Legilimency on everyone.
Ginny put her foot down. "No. We have too much else to do, and I have patrolling to do tonight. If you want that dungeon room cleared out, wait until Kreacher's back, and have him do the cleaning first."
"Kreacher's not our slave," Hermione insisted angrily.
Ginny said, "No, but he has a job. And if you don't give him work to do, and then let him do it well, he'll go crazy."
"CraziER," Ron said.
"Ron!" Hermione said sharply.
So Ginny got out of any more assignments, and all it cost was listening to Hermione read Ron the riot act for fifteen minutes as she lectured about being kind to Kreacher and enslavement of house elves.
Dinner was simple, because Ginny turned it all over to Hermione and Ron. Ginny stood in the front parlor staring out the window as the sun set. She didn't know how long it would be before anyone came to watch the house, but if vampires were coming, then she was going to have to be alert. And the easiest way to watch for them was from the window. They couldn't see her or hear her. She could see the entire square. She stayed there and ate a couple sandwiches that Harry brought up to her. She wasn't going to leave the window.
About thirty minutes after the sun was gone, she saw the first movements in the darkness. Three figures ghosted in from the back side of the park, off to her left, and took up positions in the darkest part of the square. Then they stopped moving. They were like statues in the dark. Vampires didn't have to breathe, or blink, or even worry about getting a cramp in the leg. She worried that they were pretty much invisible to any Muggles walking by. There was no telling how many people might die if she didn't do something.
"Got anything?" whispered Ron from the back of the room. "And could it be any darker in here? I nearly fell over a chair!"
"Hush," said Hermione. "And you don't have to whisper. The Fidelius Charm blocks sounds from the house too. And yes, it needs to be darker in here than outside, so she can see out."
Ginny said, "Three vampires in the middle of the square, under one of the trees."
Hermione said, "You can't apparate behind them and stake them. They'll hear you."
Ron said, "She could apparate a couple blocks over and then sneak up on them."
Ginny said, "They still might hear me apparate, but they probably wouldn't be able to tell it's me apparating, instead of some random city noise."
Hermione said, "Remember to leave at least one, so we can follow them back to their nest."
"Hermione! You already told her that about a thousand times," Ron complained.
"She is called the Vampire Slayer, not the Vampire Rescuer," Hermione said primly.
Ron grimaced, "Yeah, I had noticed that bit."
Ginny stood there for another couple hours. At least it felt like it. When Harry came to check on her, she asked, "How long's it been?"
"Since Ron came up?"
She didn't nod, because she didn't want to lose sight of her prey. "Yeah. It seems like half the night."
"It's been about thirty minutes."
She wanted to turn and glare at him. She didn't. "Very funny."
Harry insisted, "I'm not joking. Ask Hermione. It's only been thirty minutes. Maybe thirty-five."
Ginny groaned, "I'll never last until morning."
He said, "Why bother? Go to the front step. Apparate about five blocks over. Sneak back here. I'll wait in the doorway where they can't see me. Take one out with that crossbow you've got. When they all turn around and look at you, I'll pick one off with a hex. If the last one doesn't run then, put a crossbow bolt in his arm. Just follow him back to the nest, then apparate home."
She tried not to smile that Harry had said 'home' but she was thinking that anyplace with Harry would be a home for her. Maybe he was thinking that way too, deep down. She just said, "Good idea. Let's try it."
She grabbed her gloves with the Hardening Charm, and a dark jacket. She put her hair up in a French twist to keep it out of her face and out of the reach of any attackers. They walked down to the ground floor and opened the front door. She stepped onto the top step and disapparated.
She apparated with a loud crack in a narrow alleyway between a store and a set of flats. Hermione had pointed it out to her already as a good spot to apparate to, since it was always dark in there, and no one was going to see her appear or vanish. She did scare a cat, who yowled frantically and took off deeper into the alley.
She hid her wand so Muggles wouldn't notice it, and she strolled off toward Grimmauld Place. She didn't make an effort to be silent until she was within a block of the square. Then she tucked her wand away when she began to feel the presence of the vampires. She pulled out her crossbow and loaded it, before she began sneaking up on the three vampires.
She slipped between some parked cars and took careful aim. Her first shot caught the middle vampire dead in the heart, and he turned to dust as his partners jumped in shock.
The two vampires wheeled around looking for their attacker. Harry caught one with a fast sectumsempra and he dusted as well.
Ginny had her crossbow loaded again by then, and she aimed at the third vampire's leg. She didn't want to accidentally catch him in the heart.
She wasn't expecting two vampires to leap on her back, smashing her to the pavement and breaking the crossbow to pieces.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #55087 is a reply to message #54983 ]
||Sun, 11 March 2012 04:16
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 41 Hid Themselves|
She wasn't expecting two vampires to leap on her back, smashing her to the pavement and breaking the crossbow to pieces.
Ginny just barely managed to catch herself with one hand and keep from having her face smashed into the tarmac.
The only thing that kept her from having a vampire's teeth sunk in her neck was the cramped conditions. She was in between two parked cars, and she fell in between the bumpers. There was room for her, but not for two large men. Or rather, two large male vampires who crashed into each other and wedged themselves in between the trunk of one car and the bonnet of the other.
She broke the grip of one vampire while he was punching the other vampire and yelling at him to get out of his way. She used the moment of respite to slide under the rear of the first car.
One vampire dropped to the pavement and reached for her. She had no idea where the other one was, but she doubted it would be doing something good for her. By then she had a stake pulled out of her wristband. The vampire grabbed her with both hands and pulled her toward him. As he opened his mouth, she stabbed him in the heart with her stake.
He exploded into dust just after she complained, "Whew, you need a breath mint."
The car suddenly lurched, and the car alarm went off, deafening her. The car lurched again, and was shoved a couple yards forward. The vampire took his hands off the rear of the car and leered down at her. "Not so fancy now, are you?"
She held her stake ready. He looked at it and growled, "Little b-"
A violet hex caught him at the neck, and he burst into dust before he could finish cursing at her.
She looked over, and Harry was sprinting across the square toward her. She almost gasped out loud, because there could be more vampires around, and he could get hurt. Or killed. She scrambled to her feet and looked around frantically.
There was a small van parked just five cars further back, and its doors were wide open. Merlin's beard! They must have come out of there. She hadn't noticed the vampires in the van while she was so busy concentrating on the vampires in the square. Her vampire-detecting sense didn't tell her how many there were, and she had walked right past two monsters.
She was incredibly lucky she wasn't dead.
Harry hugged her worriedly. "Are you all right? When I saw those two jump on you..."
But the car alarm was still blaring. She hurried him off into the darkness of the square and asked, "Where's the rest of them?"
"Where... Oh never mind." She led him back to the manor, where Ron and Hermione were standing in the open doorway.
"Harry? What's going on?" Ron wondered.
"If you two killed every vampire, we're going to have to deal with-" Hermione began.
Ginny pushed everybody inside and slammed the door. The awful blare of the car alarm dropped to something bearable. She said, "They had more vampires in a car just around the corner. They almost got me."
She still had to listen to Hermione lecture her for another five minutes, even after she admitted that Harry killed most of the vampires. It was like being yelled at by her mum, except she didn't get food served to her, and she didn't get any punishments. Unless you counted the study assignments she already had.
Come to think about it, it really was a lot like being yelled at by her mum.
They watched from the front parlor window for several hours. The Muggle police came and took a statement from some angry Muggle who was standing on the sidewalk across the square, waving her arms and complaining loudly about hooligans and car alarms and not letting a poor woman get a decent night's sleep. Someone came out and turned off their car alarm, then talked to the police about what Ginny guessed was a lot of damage to the back end of the car. Having a vampire shove it hard enough to move it a dozen feet even with the brake on could do that. Then more police came and studied the van with the open doors. Hermione just said, "It's probably stolen." A towtruck came and hauled it off. Then several people showed up and just picked up things and put them in little bags.
Once everyone was gone, Hermione said, "Now we can go take a look."
Ginny didn't know what Hermione had in mind, but they walked over to where the broken crossbow had been. The police had picked it up, probably thinking it might be evidence. It wasn't fair. She had hardly gotten a chance to try it out.
Hermione muttered, "It's a good thing you were wearing gloves, or the police would have your fingerprints all over the crossbow."
"What are you going to tell the suit of armor?" Ron asked her.
Hermione frowned, "I suppose I'll have to tell it the truth."
Harry said darkly, "Assuming we ever get to go back to Hogwarts."
Ginny pouted, "I really liked that crossbow, and I only got to fire one lousy bolt."
Hermione grimaced, "It's not as if that many of the Hogwarts suits of armor even have crossbows. They're all carrying polearms or swords or maces." She looked up. "The vampire dust is either all blown away, or else the police gathered it up for forensics."
"Four-hen-sicks?" Ron wondered out loud.
"Forensics, Ron. Forensics," Hermione automatically corrected him. "It's a Muggle method of analyzing what they find at crime scenes to figure out who did the crime and how it happened."
Harry said, "There's entire programmes on the telly all about it. I'll have to show you one sometime."
Hermione continued, "So I need to see where the other vampires died."
Harry and Ginny showed her the area under the tree, but even with a lumos spell, Hermione couldn't find anything worth salvaging. She finally huffed, "We'll just have to work with something less effective."
She led them back into the house, and into the rear parlor. She cleared the table there and laid out a map of London. "Now. We're here." She pointed at a small square she had marked in black ink on the map.
Ginny looked over the map. It was a Muggle map, so it didn't have Diagon Alley marked on it. In fact, it looked like there couldn't possibly be room for Diagon Alley. She had no idea how that worked, but she assumed the magics on the place just distorted all the Muggle mapmaking and such. She asked, "So if there's something important hidden in Knockturn Alley, we won't be able to find it with this, will we?"
Hermione nodded firmly. "Right. St. Mungo's and the Ministry won't show up on this either, and any hidden manors like the Black house here won't show up. If our vampires are hiding out in a magically protected place, this won't work."
"And just what is 'this', if you don't mind sharing?" Ron asked.
"I'm going to use the vampire dust I collected to try to find every vampire in London. If we had vampire dust from those guys out there, I think we could have targeted just their lair, but we'll have to make do with what we have."
"So how does this work?" Harry asked.
"We brew a special potion-"
"Which you already have," Ron interrupted.
She ignored him. "-and put the sample into it, then we perform a Linking Spell with the map, once we have the right runes along the edges."
"Which you already did," Ron guessed.
"Is this how the Marauders' Map works?" Harry asked.
"In principle," Hermione said. "They used the wards of Hogwarts to replace the part with the potion and the sample. And they modified the Linking Spell too. It's really a very clever piece of spellwork. It's just a shame they couldn't do something a little more productive with that much research and effort."
Ginny assumed that meant Hermione could now make her own Marauders' Map if she wanted to. She was sort of surprised Hermione hadn't, even if it was just to keep track of what Harry and Ron were getting up to. Or what Malfoy and his cronies were doing. Or what Snape was doing.
Hermione took out of the pouch a bottle of a shimmering green potion. Then she fished out a plastic envelope full of dust. Vampire dust. She poured the dust into the potion, and it slowly changed from a bright green to an eerie black. Then she waved the tip of her wand over the open bottle, whispered a few spellwords, and snapped the wand at the center of the map.
Black fumes rose out of the bottle. Everyone took a couple steps back, just in case. The fumes swirled over the map and then splattered into glimmering points of green light.
Ginny stepped forward again. She looked over the map. "This can't be right!" she insisted. Because there were green dots all over the map.
Hermione was obviously counting under her breath. "Forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven... Forty-eight vampires loose in London right this second? Oh, that's not good."
Ginny looked over the map. "And some of these might be groups of vampires? Maybe even nests?"
Ron looked horrified. "You mean there's hundreds of the bastards loose in London? We can't clean up hundreds of vampires spread all over the city! Ginny just nearly died again, and there were only, what? Five?"
Hermione pursed her lips. "Maybe it's only one nest. Or a couple. And they're just spread out over London for the night."
Harry said grimly, "Looking for food all over town, so it's not obvious there's a problem around the nests. This isn't good."
Hermione said, "Tomorrow, we'll search for some of the vampire dust. In daylight. Then we can perform a better Linking Spell."
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #55334 is a reply to message #55087 ]
||Wed, 14 March 2012 03:02
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 42 I Heard the Sound|
Ginny woke up early again. At least she got to shower and dress before anyone else wanted to use the nice bathroom. There were other bathrooms in the house, but the en suite for Mrs. Black's bedroom was on the other side of Mrs. Black's bedroom. And her room looked like Kreacher had been raising a zoo full of dark creatures in there.
Come to think of it, he probably had. On Mrs. Black's orders. The painting had probably been telling Kreacher all kinds of disturbing things to do for years and years.
At any rate, they hadn't cleaned it out yet. They had opened the door the other day, and Ron had slammed it again as soon as three big spiders scuttled out from under the bed. Ginny would have slammed the door shut if Ron hadn't. Those spiders were the size of Crookshanks, and there was no telling how many more of them might be under that bed. Hermione had just put a Sealing Charm on the door so nothing could get out through the cracks around the door. Ginny didn't want to think about what the bathroom might be like.
She went downstairs to the kitchen. Kreacher still wasn't back. She hoped that was a good sign. She was pretty sure that when Harry gave Kreacher that locket, he had earned Kreacher's loyalty in a way that only a few dead Blacks had managed. Still, she had no idea where Kreacher was, or what he was doing, or even if he had left England to track down Mundungus.
She started fixing breakfast when she heard the others start stirring. She wasn't too surprised that Hermione insisted on Ron and Harry getting up once Hermione was showered and dressed. Ginny didn't think Hermione would be too comfortable with this house for a very long time.
Harry and Ron tromped down the stairs and got ready for breakfast. Hermione asked, "Is there anything I can do to help?"
Ginny nodded. "Sure. Get out the plates and flatware so the boys can set the table. Then slice up one of the loaves in the pantry. There ought to be three left from the other day. I hate to admit it, but Kreacher's a better baker than I am now. Ever since I got strong, I keep overworking the dough.
Hermione shrugged, "I'm terrible at baking. Mum tried to teach me a couple times, but I always let myself get sidetracked with school projects."
Ginny grinned. "Mum always said if you could get a good grade in Potions, you could make a perfect stew or bake a perfect cake."
Hermione sighed. "I suppose I just need to study it like it's a chemistry problem."
Ginny asked, "Do you think Snape can bake?"
Hermione frowned, "I have no idea. He certainly doesn't cook at Hogwarts, and I don't know where his house is. I mean, I know it's in Spinner's End. Somewhere within walking distance of Harry's mum's old house. But the house is Unplottable now, and it's masked in some other ways."
Ginny asked, "Has anyone ever told you you'd make a good general?"
Hermione blushed and said, "Umm, no, but thanks for saying something. Sometimes I'm not sure the boys even appreciate all my hard work."
Ginny patted her on the shoulder and said, "I think a lot of the time, they're just kind of overwhelmed and don't know what to say. After all, they're boys." They smiled at each other in understanding. Sometimes Ginny thought Hermione was absolutely right when she said Ron had the emotional depth of a teaspoon. It was just that Hermione hadn't said it about pretty much every boy they knew. Ginny just hoped she had the chance someday to talk to her mum about it.
After breakfast, Hermione and Harry went to the front door to check in the square, just in case there was any vampire dust Hermione could salvage.
As soon as Harry opened the front door, Ginny was hit with a nasty, twisting feeling in her gut. It felt almost like she had just walked up to a dozen vampires. She pushed past him and slammed the door shut.
"Ginny! What in Merlin's name..."
Ginny took a deep breath. The feeling was gone as soon as she shut the door. "I... I don't know. There's something out there. Something not human. It felt like a ton of vampires, but it wasn't."
Hermione rushed them up to the front parlor, where they could look out the windows and study the square.
"There's a car there," Harry pointed out.
"It wasn't there last night," Hermione said.
Ginny took a look. It was an ordinary Ford. She could see through the side windows that there was a man in front in the driver's seat, and two men in back. Or maybe they were man-like things, because they were the only things around that could have set off her Vampire Slayer senses like that. She couldn't tell, because all of them were wearing big coats and hats.
Ginny said, "They can't be vampires. Not in this sunlight."
Hermione said, "Then they're not human either."
Harry asked, "How do you know?"
She pursed her lips. "How many people do you know who can sit in a hot car right in the sun in the middle of August, and be all bundled up like that? Their car isn't running, so they can't have air conditioning. And they have all the windows rolled all the way up."
Ron came up behind them. "Well, they're not Death Eaters. A bunch of purebloods wouldn't be caught dead in Muggle clothes in a Muggle car acting like Muggles. And I kind of doubt V... I mean Riddle would be hiring Muggles to do his dirty work for him."
Hermione said, "There mere fact that there aren't Death Eaters in robes standing in the square looking for our house is a good hint that whoever is in the car is doing Riddle's work. But there are dark creatures other than vampires. They could be some sort of demons that look mostly human. Or maybe they're Muggle werewolves that Fenrir Greyback knows. Or..."
She took out her wand and pointed at the car. "Hominem revello." Nothing happened. "They're not human. And that includes werewolves."
Ron asked, "Hermione, how do you know hominem revello works the same with werewolves as it does on humans? Unless... Lupin?"
"Yes, I tried it on Professor Lupin when I first suspected he was a werewolf. But werewolves are just people with a certain type of curse, so the spell doesn't differentiate." Hermione stopped and did an Illusion Piercing Charm without finding anything. Then she tried an Aura Revealing Charm which only revealed that the things had no aura she could see from the window. Finally she performed a couple Measurement Spells.
"Are you planning on fitting them for some nice robes?" Ron asked sarcastically as she did the Measurement Spells.
"No," Hermione said archly. "But I wanted to find out what I could without alerting them. The two in the back seat are both over seven feet tall and close to three hundred pounds. And the one in the front seat has horns under his hat. They're demons."
Harry groaned, "Oh great. Riddle finds out we have a Vampire Slayer, so he pulls out every dark creature in Britain."
Ron said, "He probably already had them around. He is a 'Dark Lord', right? And he doesn't care what he does to his soul? Probably has demons on retainer."
Hermione stared at the car for a long while. "All right. I'll take Harry's invisibility cloak and apparate to somewhere around the corner, then come back to the square and check for vampire dust. Then I'll go back around the corner and apparate back here to the top step."
Ginny said, "Go about a street or two out. Even with their windows rolled up, they might still be able to hear you apparate."
Harry said, "And we'll be in the doorway in case they spot you. I don't know if demons can see through invisibility cloaks or not. Ginny, we use spells first. You don't go beat them up unless we have to, because the neighbors could see that."
Hermione said, "Don't worry. If I see any of them even open a car door, I'll disapparate so fast it'll make your eyes water."
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #55483 is a reply to message #55334 ]
||Sun, 18 March 2012 03:41
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 43 The Woman Said|
Ginny stood in the doorway and watched. She didn't like it. The things in the car just felt wrong, and she wanted to sprint down the steps and hack them to pieces with a sword. Hermione was out there under an invisibility cloak and Ginny couldn't protect her. Riddle was getting monsters to look for Harry and to threaten every suspected Order hideout.
She wasn't good at standing still. She hadn't been a patient girl before, and now she just had this urge to get moving.
She couldn't hear what the demons in the car were saying. There was too much noise from cars and lorries and everything else on the surrounding streets. There was a police siren blaring some streets away as a police car rushed through the city streets. There was a bus roaring through traffic. How was she supposed to use her hearing when everyone was making too much noise?
There. A couple branches moved on that bush over there. It had to be Hermione. There wasn't any breeze in the square now. But anyone could have seen those branches move like that. You had to be more careful than that when you were walking around, even if you had a cloak of invisibility.
There were blades of grass getting swept aside. Why couldn't Hermione be more careful? Why couldn't she hurry up? "How long has she been out there?"
Ron whispered, "Just a minute or two. Why?"
"Seems like she's been out there forever."
"Says the girl who can have a huge fight with a master vampire all over a room in just seven seconds."
"Shut up, Ron," Ginny hissed.
Harry muttered, "Both of you behave, or I'll tell the twins you both were laughing it up over their Quidditch bruises."
Ron said, "We were laughing it up over their Quidditch bruises. Especially the time Ginny scored a goal with a ricochet off Fred's bum."
Ginny said, "But we don't want them to know. All we need is being stuck for a month colored green from head to toe."
Ron frowned, "And they'd do it, too. How'd they get so good at Potions and do so bad in class?"
Ginny told him, "I heard mum and dad talking about it. Dad thinks they got hold of one of his uncles' potions books that had lots of potions for pranks."
"And they didn't share it with me?" Ron fumed. "Those gits!"
Harry said, "We really could have used that. Mostly on Malfoy." Ron snorted in amusement.
Ginny caught a hint of motion out of the corner of her eye. A shrub at the far side of the square rustled slightly. "I think she's leaving."
She waited impatiently, and about two minutes later Hermione apparated onto the top step with a crack.
Hermione bustled inside, letting Harry close the door behind her. "Ooh, I couldn't find anything that wasn't mostly dirt. Why did you have to kill all those vampires? We needed to track some of them!"
Harry said, "They had a van. How were we going to follow that? I don't want to use broomsticks in plain sight in Muggle London, especially with Death Eaters running the Ministry now."
Hermione made a little noise that sounded like 'hmph' but maybe wasn't meant for anyone else to hear. She said, "Fine. We still have vampire dust, so we can try the map again."
"Good," Ron said. "And maybe this time they're all camped out in just one spot."
Hermione just said, "That's not very likely, you know."
"I know, but I can hope, can't I?" Ron said.
Hermione got out her potion bottle and her map, and tried the Linking Spell again. The map changed, and the green dots sped around to end up in two clusters and another half dozen separate spots.
She said, "Oh dear, it looks like there are dozens here in this nest. It's a lot bigger, and it's only about a mile or two away. That has to be our target. This nest only has a few vampires, and these other spots look like just one or two vampires apiece."
As they watched the map, one of the dots fizzled and winked out of existence.
"What the..." Ron muttered.
Hermione said, "Either the map is failing..."
"I doubt that," Ron said.
"...or that vampire went into some sort of magically screened area, or else he just died. Got turned to dust."
Harry said, "Well, there have to be ordinary people hunting vampires and demons, or else one Slayer in the whole world wouldn't be enough to stop much of anything."
Hermione said, "You're probably right. We should check that spot out. And we should take care of some of these other lone vampires before they become a serious threat."
Ginny said, "I want to take out that nest. They're the real danger. To everybody."
Hermione reluctantly nodded. "You're probably right. But we have other vampire nests we need to track down. And if we take this one out, Riddle's forces will probably concentrate on us here, and we'll have to move."
Harry tried to intercede. "Maybe we could check it out now, and clear it out right before we move out of here. That way, it's safer for everybody else, and we get Riddle's forces looking in the wrong place for a while."
Ron said, "Well, they have to know this place could be where you're hiding. Sirius left it to you in his will, and half the Ministry probably knows that."
Hermione reminded everyone, "But no one else can find the house as long as anyone still holds that Fidelius Charm intact."
Harry said, "They don't need to find it. There have to be plenty of Death Eaters who knew the Black family and know roughly where this place is."
Ginny said, "They probably put that vampire nest as close as they could."
Hermione said, "I think the vampires last night and the demons today are evidence that the Death Eaters know the house is right around here. They just can't see it."
Ron groaned, "How can they not know where it is, if Snape knows and he's a Secret Keeper? Even if he can't say the words, he can take Death Eaters here!"
Hermione primly said, "Ron, there must be something we don't know about Snape."
Ron grumbled, "Yeah, like Dumbledore yanked all his Order memories out of his head and dumped them in a Pensieve."
Hermione looked up at the ceiling and thought for a moment. "We have to consider that's a real possibility."
Harry winced. "And Dumbledore's Pensieve is at the school, where Snape can get at it pretty much any time. So we need to be ready to get out of here pretty fast if we get attacked."
Hermione said, "I'm keeping everything packed and ready to go. And I put a lot of the food in the pantry into my pouch too. So... Does everyone have their book reports ready?"
Three people groaned.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #55710 is a reply to message #55483 ]
||Wed, 21 March 2012 13:41
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 44 Among All Wild Creatures|
Ginny didn't like giving her report on the giant wars and demon treaties there wasn't anything else on giant wars that was useful to her in the whole history book, and she couldn't find anything about treaties with demons but she really didn't like the low grade Hermione gave her on her report.
Harry got a much better grade out of Hermione for his report on finite incantatem, and Ron got an acceptable grade on his report. It turned out vampires sometimes worked with demons, and some master vampires even had demon minions, and some dangerous demons had vampire minions. There was some really icky history Ron found on the Order of Aurelius and the way they made demons do their bidding when they needed more brute force.
Then Hermione made everyone do schoolwork. She taught them two new charms and some Transfigurations. Then, after lunch, Ron did a little lesson on kneazel crossbreeds and crup crossbreeds. And Harry taught them a Shield Charm that created a bubble all around you, so you couldn't be attacked from behind or above either. After that, Hermione talked about brewing Polyjuice Potion and the Draught of Living Death. Ginny thought Hermione was a far better teacher than Snape, but not as good as Professor McGonagall or Professor Flitwick. And Ron was definitely better than Hagrid at teaching Care of Magical Creatures. And Harry was great as a DADA professor, but they all knew that from the Year of Umbridge.
After that, Hermione gave everyone even Ginny more research assignments, and then went into the Black family library to study. Ginny went into 'her' bedroom to work on the History and Divination assignments Hermione had given her, while the boys went off to the bedroom they had used a couple summers ago. Ginny heard them grumbling most of the way there.
Ginny could hear the boys talking instead of studying, so she was planning on sneaking down to the kitchen to start on dinner. But Hermione came by and dragged Ginny off. To the kitchen. She had Ginny practice apparating around the kitchen and pantry, and doing silent wandwork while cooking. It was a lot harder than cooking while saying the kitchen spells. But it also meant that Hermione was learning cooking spells, which no one really taught at Hogwarts and Hermione certainly couldn't learn at home.
Come to think of it, that was really unfair. Purebloods and halfbloods with witch mothers would learn all this stuff just by being home with their mothers. Except for the ones rich enough to have house elf help, in which case they didn't need to learn kitchen spells or cleaning spells. Plus, the more Ginny taught Hermione about kitchen spells and cleaning spells, the less work there was for her to do by herself while Kreacher was still gone. And it really was a lot more fun to do the cooking with a friend. Ginny wondered if Harry would be willing to do more work in the kitchen if it was with her.
That evening, after dinner, Ginny heard the front door unlock and someone walk in. They rushed downstairs to find Remus Lupin calmly dealing with the hexes in the front hall.
Ginny was ready to rush down the stairs to greet him, but Harry waved her back. He walked down the steps, his wand pointing at Remus, and made Remus prove he really was Professor Lupin. Ginny just knew it was Remus. She could feel the wolfy part of the man. But Remus thought what Harry was doing was a good thing.
Unfortunately, Remus had really bad news. Lots and lots of really bad news. Harry was wanted by the Ministry for 'questioning' in the death of Albus Dumbledore. Over a dozen Order homes and safe houses had been invaded in an effort to find Harry, and it was all legal because Harry was officially a wanted man. Riddle didn't bother to take over the Ministry himself, because Death Eaters had the Minister, Pius Thicknesse, under an Imperius Curse. Even the Ministry workers who didn't support Voldemort were being forced to follow orders and were constantly being watched. And the Ministry had a massive initiative, investigating Muggle-born witches and wizards and punishing them for 'stealing' magic from purebloods. Hogwarts was mandatory for purebloods and 'the right sort' of halfbloods, and no Muggleborns would be allowed to attend. Even worse, Snape would be the new headmaster.
When they were done yelling and complaining about the news, Lupin told Harry that he wanted to go with Harry to help, on whatever task Dumbledore had given him. Harry wouldn't tell Lupin what the task was. Ginny thought Harry ought to be telling more people, just in case, but Harry was sticking with Dumbledore's rule, and Ginny had promised to go along with Harry on it.
Instead, Harry insisted to Lupin, "You aren't needed. We have something even more powerful than a Defense Against the Dark Arts expert. Even one who's a werewolf. We have the Vampire Slayer."
Remus shook his head sadly. "Harry, that's an unconfirmed myth. I even said so in class. I seem to recall you didn't do the extra-credit reading on that."
Hermione jumped in, "The Slayer is real, and is already helping us. She was the one who knew the wedding would be attacked, because she has Divination abilities."
Professor Lupin calmly said, "Perhaps I should talk to the Slayer, then."
Ginny looked at him and asked, "Aren't you afraid she might just Slay you on the spot? You are a werewolf, you know."
He smiled, "I'm sure she's quite impressive, but what is a Muggle even a strong Muggle going to do against a fully-trained wizard?"
Ron laughed out loud. It was a great big 'you are so stupid and you have no idea how hard you are going to get crushed' laugh that made her want to rush over and give him a hug, just for believing in her that much.
Hermione smiled back, in that smug way she had when she knew she was right and you weren't. "It turns out this Vampire Slayer is a bit more than a strong Muggle."
Harry smirked. "You're sure you won't hold it against us after she beats you up?"
Ginny stepped forward. "Then let me introduce you to the new Vampire Slayer. Me."
Lupin shook his head slightly. "I think this joke has gone far enough."
Ron said, "Ginny?" He tossed one of the fireplace pokers at her.
She didn't bother to turn around. She just snagged it out of the air. "One real fireplace poker." She twisted it into a pretzel and then tossed it to him.
He strained to untie it, without success. He finally waved his wand over it and straightened it out magically. Then he waved his wand again, and the poker leapt back to its niche beside the fireplace. "Ginny, please listen to me. You can't be the Vampire Slayer. There hasn't been a witch Slayer in recorded history."
Hermione said, "The Ministry has always known it could happen. They have a contract with the Watchers Council on what to do if a witch ever becomes a Slayer. It... isn't nice."
Lupin asked, "And are you ignoring this agreement?"
Hermione said, "The council and its office was blown up last year. There's no Council we know of to talk to, and no way to contact them."
Lupin asked, "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?"
Hermione said, "Our information is that it was a Muggle terrorist bombing."
Ron added, "Not Ickle Tommikins and his merry men."
Lupin warned, "Ron, calling him names is a very dangerous business."
Harry said, "It can't be any more dangerous than what we're already facing."
Lupin asked, "And aren't all of you worried about your families? They could suffer for your rashness."
Ron smirked, "Ginny and I are home. I've got a nasty case of spattergroit. The medi-witches have already been out to check on me, and I can't go to Hogwarts in case it's contagious. And Ginny's home in case she comes down with it."
Hermione said, "And I found a spell to break all magical links with my family, so there's no way for the Ministry or Death Eaters to find my parents."
Lupin paused. "That's quite... impressive. But isn't that rather dark magic?"
Hermione nodded. "It's blood magic. It's impossible to do, unless you have the blood of a Vampire Slayer. One ounce."
"Ahh," Lupin said in understanding. "Very ingenious. But what about Ginny's Trace?"
Hermione said, "It broke the moment she became the Vampire Slayer. We have a false Trace in an amulet back at the Burrow, so anyone who checks will find Ginny at home."
Ginny asked, "Still want to challenge the Vampire Slayer?"
Lupin pursed his lips. "Naturally. No wizard I've ever heard of has ever been able to test himself against the Vampire Slayer, or to evaluate how dangerous the Vampire Slayer really is."
Hermione took out her wand and cleared the kitchen, vanishing the kitchen table and chairs, then the throw rugs. She cast a couple protective spells over the china cabinet and some other breakables. Then she stepped back. "Go on, Professor."
Lupin took out his wand and stood in dueling position. "Ginny, aren't you going to take your wand out?"
"Oh no," she said. "I want you to have every advantage. I'll take it out in bit. But first, I want you to see what I can do."
"Very well... stupefy."
Ginny was impressed. Lupin was fast, and he didn't give anything away. She just barely dodged the hex. And he had four more Stunning Hexes winging their way at her as soon as he realized he was going to miss with the first one. She had to move fast to dodge all of them. Not that she needed to dodge them, but she was saving that surprise for later.
But Lupin was trickier than the wizards she'd fought before. He was keeping his spells silent, and he was trying things to deal with a really fast threat. She dodged a couple Incarcerous spells, skated across the floor where he coated it with ice, and leapt out of a circle of fire he tried to trap her in.
He cast a Patronus at her, and she dealt with it like it was any dark creature. She leapt forward and punched it, knocking it against the wall. He animated the fireplace pokers to attack her from behind while he fired off more hexes.
She snagged the pokers out of the air and hurled them at him, forcing him to cast shields. Then she closed in on him and punched his latest shield as hard as she could. Her fist went through it and it burst, the explosion knocking him back against the wall.
But he still wasn't down. He rolled across the floor to dodge anything she might be casting at him, and he cast a spell that blasted out in every direction at once. Ginny turned sideways and let the spell crash past her, and then she kicked his wand out of his hand.
He stood there in shock. "How..."
Hermione said, "No one knew it, but the Vampire Slayer is resistant to magic."
"Our magic," Ginny corrected her. "There's other kinds of magic that can hurt me."
"How do you know that?" Lupin asked as he retrieved his wand and rubbed his wrist where she had kicked him.
"Divination," she admitted. "I have prophetic dreams now. And at first I had a lot of dreams about... well, I'm pretty sure I've seen about fifty different Vampire Slayers die, and none of them were pleasant." She wasn't going to tell him, but one of her dreams was of a warlock calling on some kind of demon or god, and the Vampire Slayer stopped him, but the ritual killed everyone and everything in the area. Sometimes she wondered if that was how she would die, trying to stop Riddle.
Harry firmly said, "I know you're a really powerful wizard, but you can't go with us. You need to be with Tonks."
And that was when it all came out. Professor Lupin, the man who never showed his pain at being a werewolf and being mistreated by most of the Wizarding world, broke down and wept as he explained how he had ruined Tonks' life. Because she was going to have his baby, and he was afraid his child would be tainted from his lycanthropy. Ginny just wanted to rush over and hug him, but Hermione made her stay still. Harry talked to Remus for a while until the poor man was ready to go back home.
And then Hermione said, "Professor, there is something you can do for us that no one else can. Tonks can look like anyone she wants, say... a down on her luck female werewolf. Maybe you couldn't infiltrate the werewolf packs before, because you were too well known as one of Professor Dumbledore's men, but you could use your 'pregnant werewolf girlfriend' as an excuse to 'go over to the other side'. You two could infiltrate and find out who's supporting Fenrir Greyback and who isn't. Maybe you could even get some people to turn away from Greyback. It would be dangerous, but you and Tonks can do it, and I don't know anyone else who could."
Lupin stared at her with his mouth hanging open. He finally said, "That is... That's bloody brilliant, Hermione. Even Dumbledore never suggested that."
They showed Remus out the front door, and locked it behind him. But only seconds after he left, Hermione suddenly gasped. "Oh no! Snape as headmaster? We're in so much trouble!" And she sprinted up the stairs.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #55872 is a reply to message #55710 ]
||Sun, 25 March 2012 03:46
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 45 All the Days of Your Life|
Hermione rushed into Harry and Ron's bedroom, or at least the room they had slept in a couple summers ago. "Quick! Help me get this painting off the wall!"
They wrestled the painting of Phineas Nigellus Black off the wall and into Hermione's pouch. Once it was completely inside the pouch, Hermione closed the pouch and said, "All we need is him going and telling Snape we're here and everything we said." She glared at the boys. "You didn't say anything important in front of him, did you?"
Ron muttered, "He wasn't even around."
Hermione insisted, "That doesn't mean he wasn't lurking around and listening!"
Harry said, "We only used the room for studying that one time."
Ron said, "We didn't say much of anything... except you're a worse taskmaster than McGonagall."
"Ron!" Hermione squawked.
Ginny didn't say anything, but she thought Ron was probably right.
Hermione threw her hands into the air. "Fine! Don't learn anything! Don't do any research! Go into every new situation completely blind, and get in so much trouble you can't get out again. Just don't come crawling to me when it happens!"
Ron said, "If I can't get out of the trouble, I certainly can't crawl to where you are."
"Ron!" Hermione exploded. "You know what I mean!"
Ron and Hermione still weren't speaking to each other a couple hours later, when there was a loud crack in the kitchen. They all rushed in to find Kreacher there, wrestling Mundungus Fletcher to the ground even though Mundungus had to outweigh him by over a hundred pounds.
And, just because they hadn't heard enough bad news, Mundungus admitted stealing the locket. And losing it to a Ministry official. A short, ugly, toad-faced Ministry woman.
Dolores Umbridge had the locket.
Harry reluctantly had Hermione obliviate Mundungus, so he wouldn't remember seeing them or even knowing the locket was important. Then, once Kreacher took Mundungus back to whatever hole he had been hiding in, Harry told Kreacher he had done well.
Ginny thought Kreacher would burst into tears again.
When Harry took Kreacher up to the attic to show him the room he would have, and Kreacher saw that the painting of Mrs. Black was there waiting for him, he couldn't stop crying for almost an hour.
In the morning, Ginny woke up early and started breakfast. She noticed that the kitchen looked a lot cleaner and brighter. And she had hardly gotten started when Kreacher showed up and took over. Only this time, Kreacher was wearing a clean tea towel and seemed to want to cook. He was baking bread and a pie. And his sausages were really good. She must have eaten ten of them.
After breakfast, they went into the front parlor and plotted. Hermione said, "We have to find Umbridge, and find out where she has that locket."
Harry said, "Does she know it's valuable?"
Hermione said, "It is a valuable antique. She has to know that much, even if she has no idea what's really inside it."
Ron said, "Then she'll want to show it off. Look at me, I'm so important I own this! I can see her now, the frog-faced cow."
Harry said, "So she might wear it a lot. Or have it in a big display in her office at the Ministry."
Hermione said, "So we have to watch the Ministry and find out when she enters and leaves. If we can follow her home, we can look for it there."
Ron winced, "Hermione, she's an important Ministry official. Her house is bound to have a ton of wards and alarms on it. We probably can't get in without having Aurors all over us in a matter of seconds."
Harry said, "And if it's in her office, we'll have to get into the Ministry itself."
"Ugh. Why don't you just have us break into Gringotts while you're at it?" Ron complained.
Harry said, "So first we have to watch the known entrances to the Ministry and see if Umbridge comes or goes from any of them."
Hermione said, "And we'll need to check the nice restaurants in Diagon Alley in case she has lunches there with anyone else important."
Ron said, "She probably just eats in the special rooms the Ministry cafeteria has. It's where the Minister always eats. Dad knows."
Ginny asked, "How are we going to watch? They have Aurors who check on stuff like that. Dad told mum about it once."
Hermione said, "They'll be looking for Harry Potter. Or me. They won't be looking for a little old Muggle lady. Or a sign painter. We have Polyjuice Potion. And I can teach all of you Disguising Charms well, not Ginny. And we have Harry's cloak."
Ginny said, "Okay, so we can take turns watching every morning, and every lunchtime, and every evening at quitting time."
Hermione nodded. "But I want everyone clear on this part. It's going to be dull. Really, really dull. It's standing still and watching something for an hour, and probably nothing useful happens. It's not like police shows on the telly where the bad lady shows up seconds after the police start their stakeout."
Ginny looked at Ron, who looked just as confused as she did. She knew what 'police' were. Muggle people who had jobs like Aurors. But a 'stake out'? What did stakes have to do with police? Or watching for Umbridge? Granted, Ginny thought Umbridge was about as close to a dark creature as you could get without being Lord Voldemort himself. Voldemort had given Harry that lightning scar completely by accident. The scars on the back of Harry's hand were deliberate. Ginny wondered if Umbridge still had a soul.
So Hermione took some Polyjuice Potion and walked around in Diagon Alley during lunch. She came back really hungry, but without sighting Umbridge. Then Harry wore his cloak while Ron went out under a Disguising Charm, and they staked out the places where some of the Ministry people left at night. Still nothing.
Over dinner that night, they talked some more. Ginny had to admit that Kreacher's French onion soup was even better than her mum's.
Hermione said, "If she's using the floo network, we'll never see her. I tried to locate her using one of the hairs I have, and her house must be warded."
Ron said, "Or else she's still in the Ministry. Working late like a good little minion."
Ginny said, "Or maybe she's using one of the special rooms."
"What?" Harry asked.
Ginny explained, "The Ministry has a few rooms that the Minister and deputy ministers can use if they're at work really late, or they need to stay overnight for some reason."
Ron said, "Dad told Bill and Charlie that one of the Ministers back before Fudge used to sleep over in one of the special rooms all the time."
Ginny said, "Mum said that was because the Minister was having an affair with one of the under-secretaries and he didn't want to let his wife find out."
Ron muttered, "I can only pray that isn't what Umbridge is doing."
Hermione primly said, "Thank you very much, Ron. Now I'll be stuck with that hideous image in my head forever."
Current Time: Fri May 24 14:37:40 EDT 2013
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