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 #58553 is a reply to message #58329 ]
||Sun, 20 May 2012 02:57
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 61 When They Were in the Field|
Once they reached the station and got out of the train, they crowded into the thestral-drawn carriages. The ride in the carriages was just as tense as the ride on the train. Even the thestrals were nervous. That wasn't a good sign.
They clambered out and walked into the Great Hall. The teachers' table at the front of the room looked like usual, except for the people sitting in the seats. The usual house pennants were gone. Instead of four long tables as far apart as possible, there were only two of the long tables, running almost next to each other. Ginny wasn't surprised that half the tables were missing. With no Muggleborns and not all the halfbloods, there were a lot fewer students. Her general impression was that at least a third of the students last year were Muggleborns.
The spells that turned the ordinary black school robes into house robes had been altered. Everyone's robe was black, and the house robes she had seen a few people wearing were turning back to their original solid black color.
The whole room seemed darker and more threatening. It felt like she was going to school in a prison of some sort. She could see the worry and fear on the faces of her schoolmates. She could smell the fear on a lot of them.
Snape stood up in his usual threatening way. Being headmaster after all those years of being told he couldn't have the DADA job? This must be his best day ever.
He growled with his usual sneer, "Good evening, children. Welcome to Hogwarts. We shall dispense with the gratuitous fripperies and get straight to the heart of the matter. There are no more houses. Everyone except prefects will share the same quarters. Two rooms for each level, with boys and girls well separated. Each room will have private alcoves for beds and closets, with a communal bathroom for the people in the room. Prefects will have private rooms nearby. There will be no house points or house rivalries or house Quidditch teams. Classes will not be segregated by houses either. Each class will be for the entire year's pupils.
"We have thirteen new students: nine purebloods and four others. At the end of my remarks, Deputy Headmaster Amycus Carrow will introduce them and they will take their seats among the rest of you.
"Without house point penalties, you will find we have new punishments for bad behavior. The Cruciatus Curse will be used for misbehavior." There was a general gasp of horror across the entire room. Ginny felt sick to her stomach at the thought.
"The list of improprieties is posted in your common room and on the bulletin board outside. It includes use of magic in the hallways, having banned toys, setting foot anywhere near the Forbidden Forest unless you are part of a Care of Magical Creatures class, and talking back to your teachers.
"We have several new teachers. Professor Amycus Carrow will be teaching Dark Arts, Professor Alecto Carrow will be teaching Muggle Studies, and Professor Grubbly-Plank is back teaching Care of Magical Creatures. I trust that you will accord them the respect you do the rest of our staff.
"I wish that all of you could put aside old disagreements and work hard at becoming the best witches and wizards you can be. However, I expect it will take several punishments for some of you to decide that following the rules is less painful than being disobedient.
"And finally, we have reason to believe that this castle may be attacked or invaded. I request that if you see anything suspicious, you come to a prefect or a teacher at once. Thank you. And now Professor Carrow, if you will?"
Amycus Carrow rose and carefully read the names of the thirteen new children, who looked quite small and frightened. Ginny recognized all the last names of the purebloods and two of the names of the halfbloods. She guessed that their fathers were the purebloods. The firsties took seats either with older children they already knew, or else at the foot of the table with several Hufflepuffs that is, former Hufflepuffs who Ginny knew would be kind to them.
At least the food was as good as always. And Ginny knew that downstairs there was at least one house elf she could call on in case of emergency. Dobby would do anything for her if he knew it was to help Harry.
She didn't eat as much as she wanted, because she didn't want everyone around her to see how much she was eating these days. And she still had some food in her bag, for later.
At the end of the meal, when everyone was properly sleepy, the headmaster ordered everyone to follow the prefects to their new quarters. It was only along the hall and down two flights of stairs. Ginny was sure this was where the Hufflepuff dormitories used to be, but now it was a somewhat enlarged area for most of the school. Even though the student body appeared to be less than half the size that it was before.
Still, there was a doorway which no longer had a painting guarding it. There was no one to keep out of it. So there was just an ordinary door that opened when you put your hand on the panel in the middle.
Inside was a massive common room. It looked like it was three times the size of the Gryffindor common room, with a huge fireplace on each side wall. There were study tables ringed with chairs, and they were all around the outer part of the room. In the middle of the room there was a wide aisle for walking from the entry to the bedrooms, and there were clusters of couches and squashy armchairs for chatting or even studying if you wanted to. On the far wall there were two doorways, one on the left for the boys and one on the right for the girls.
Pansy Parkinson led her and Luna and six other sixth year girls through the right-hand doorway and into a short hall. There were doors for the first- and second-year students, and stairs for the others. Pansy led them up the farthest staircase on the right, and they walked up the stairs to a room labeled, unsurprisingly, 'SIXTH YEAR GIRLS'.
Ginny looked around. The room was large enough to have eight nice alcoves, each one with a simple curtain for privacy. Ginny had no intention of making do with nothing but a curtain. She was going to cast a Shield Charm across the front of the alcove before she went to bed. Not that a little charm like that would stop a determined attacker, but she only needed long enough to wake up.
Her plan was to wait until everyone was asleep, then check the Marauders' Map and slip out to the Room of Requirement when the way was clear. With any luck, she would be able to find the diadem fairly quickly.
But that was before Taira Bleakley, one of the ex-Hufflepuffs, wanted to get to know all her roommates. Taira was very sweet and tried to get along with everyone, but Ginny didn't want to participate when she had a task to complete. She was hoping the ex-Slytherins would refuse, and then everyone would go their separate ways.
But these were the Slytherin girls whose parents weren't Death Eaters and who didn't get picked as prefects. Astoria Greengrass and Jocelind Selwyn were from old pureblood families, but not every pureblood family was full of rabid Voldemort supporters, as Ginny knew better than anybody. Even the most annoying members of her family didn't do that. Granted, the Greengrass family had ties to the Malfoys and the Blacks, but really, what pureblood didn't have ties to the Blacks? Ginny was related to the Blacks on both sides of her family. Her dad's mother had been a Black before being cast out of the family for marrying a Weasley.
So she ended up grabbing a blanket and a pillow, and sitting with the other girls in the middle of the room, playing 'Spell or Spill'. She knew from talking with Hermione that there was a similar Muggle game called 'Truth or Dare' but that sounded a lot riskier. At least with 'Spell or Spill' you could only be stuck showing your friends a new spell. That other game? You could be dared to do pretty much anything. Kissing the giant squid on a tentacle. Licking the floor in one of the boys' bathrooms. Running around the castle starkers. No, 'Spell or Spill' was just a better game all the way around. Sometimes Ginny thought some Muggles had to be crazy.
So, along with Luna and Taira and Astoria and Jocelind, she was sitting with Melinda and Vicki and Violet. Melinda Bobbin was an ex-Hufflepuff from a rich family that had made its money relatively recently in a chain of apothecaries. Vicki Frobisher was an ex-Gryffindor who liked Quidditch. And Violet was an ex-Ravenclaw who was more of a bookworm than Hermione.
Astoria and Jocelind or Tori and Joyce as they preferred to be called were really a lot nicer than Ginny was expecting. She really only knew them from classes, and they weren't the Slytherins who made trouble or sneered at everyone else, so she probably should have expected they weren't little Draco Malfoys or Pansy Parkinsons. Ginny's only complaint about Tori was that she thought Draco Malfoy was really handsome. Eww. Ginny couldn't get past the whole 'Death Eater who tried to kill Harry and nearly killed Ron' part. Getting Violet to participate was a lot harder than getting anyone else to join in, but once they let Vi show off some spells she knew, she started joining in wholeheartedly. That, and it was hard to keep her from arguing with Luna about magical creatures, since Vi had pretty much memorized the complete works of Newt Scamander. Melinda was nice, and rather embarrassed about being an heiress to a fortune.
They sat on the floor and chatted for hours. Ginny even called Dobby and asked for snacks a couple times. Ginny had to lie to the group several times about Harry and Hermione, but that wasn't hard.
"So... what's it like dating The Boy Who Lived?"
Ginny said, "Well, there really hasn't been a lot of dating. After school ended he went off with his relatives. He lives in some special warded places with Muggle relatives so Death Eaters can't attack him, and they're not very nice to him because they know he's a Wizard and they're scared of magic. He did come out to the Burrow for Fleur Delacour's wedding to my big brother, and I got to dance with him a couple times, but Death Eaters broke up the reception and he had to run off."
"Was Hermione Granger there too?"
Ginny nodded, "She came out for the wedding, and so did Viktor Krum."
Luna said in her usual tones, "Fred and George were quite taken with Fleur's relatives."
Ginny said, "All the part-veela ones, anyway. If they were between about sixteen and twenty-five."
Luna said serenely, "George danced with me and said I was quite as pretty as any of Fleur's relatives, but I think he said that to everyone."
Ginny said, "Probably not to Great-Aunt Muriel."
Luna smiled, "I love your aunt Muriel. She's so honest. We had the most wonderful talk about Crumple-Horned Snorkacks."
Ginny cringed. She didn't want to think about what Great-Aunt Muriel had really said to Luna. It was probably spectacularly rude. At least she hadn't had too much to drink first, at which point her utterances were not only rude, but naughty enough to make a troll blush. Ginny still remembered the dinner where her mum had clapped her hands over Ginny's ears and hauled her out of the room when Great-Aunt Muriel had too much to drink and started loudly comparing the Minister of Magic to parts of a chimera.
Then they started talking about embarrassing relatives, and none of them realized how late it had grown until Dobby appeared in the room and told them he was there to do the morning cleaning, because it was already after four in the morning. Everyone scrambled into bed, but Ginny was the only one who got anywhere near enough sleep. There were some quite good things about being the Vampire Slayer.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #58795 is a reply to message #58553 ]
||Wed, 23 May 2012 02:47
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 62 Rose up and Killed Him|
In the morning, when her dressing mirror began ordering her to get up, she rushed through a shower and then started around the room in her bathrobe, making sure everyone else was rising. She tried not to think about how she had wasted the nighttime hours being a good roommate instead of doing what she needed to do. She had to get to the Room of Requirement tonight, no matter how late she had to wait.
Instead of walking down flights and flights of stairs from the Gryffindor common room, she walked up two flights of stone steps with Luna and the rest of the girls.
Luna casually waited until Millicent Bulstrode was slipping up behind her and then said, "It's the oddest thing, but I could have sworn last night after dinner while we were all leaving, a couple slices of tart floated up off the table and just... disappeared."
Millicent Bulstrode reacted like she'd been shot. She twitched nervously and ran off down the hall. Ginny had to bite the inside of her mouth to keep from laughing.
During breakfast, Ginny saw most of the teachers walking about handing out schedules and checking with sixth years. Professor Slughorn came over to where she was sitting with Luna and Taira and Astoria. He beamed, "Excellent, excellent, all of you getting along together. Now Miss Lovegood, I see you're signed up for Potions, Charms, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Divination. You did quite well in all of them, so you're ready for classes."
He handed her schedule, and Luna carefully tucked it into her bookbag.
He nodded, "Now Miss Weasley..."
She listened as he went over her schedule. She had Slughorn for Potions, McGonagall for Transfiguration, Flitwick for Charms, Sprout for Herbology, Vector for Arithmancy... and Carrow for Defense Against the Dark Arts. With Carrow teaching it, the course was more likely to be Dark Arts with no 'Defense'. Oh Merlin, she was glad she hadn't opted for Muggle Studies, because the other Carrow was teaching it, and would undoubtedly be teaching it the pureblood way.
Professor Slughorn tried to talk her into adding Divination to her schedule, but she just insisted that she didn't think she had the time. He finally said, "Ah well, Professor Trelawney will be most disappointed that one of her two Outstandings won't be in her class."
And then she was off to Defense Against the Dark Arts or was that simply Dark Arts now? As taught by a Death Eater she had personally attacked. She couldn't see this ending well. Even if no one knew precisely who had stunned the Carrows, people had to know that the only ones not Death Eaters who were outside when it happened were Hagrid, Harry, and her. Herself, her boyfriend, and her friend.
The class was small. All of the sixth year together, including a couple who were prefects, would still have been less than twenty. But not all the year were taking the course. She figured a number of people knew ahead of time what it meant to have Amycus Carrow teaching, and they had already had their children drop the course.
Looking around the room, she thought those people had to be right. The room was gloomier than Snape's room had been last year. Even the grim paintings Snape had put on the walls were gone.
She sat next to Luna, who had a copy of the Quibbler open on her desk, turned to an article on... Ginny looked over. The title of the article was "Favorite Dark Hexes of Former Ministers".
Luna looked up and said, "Did you know that Cornelius Fudge is very fond of the Entrail Expelling Curse?"
Ginny said, "Maybe you should put that away before class starts."
Luna said, "But it's important for this course."
Amycus Carrow walked out of the office door at the front of the classroom. He looked just as stunted and abnormal as she remembered. He looked around the room at his small class and nodded abruptly.
He began speaking in his eerie voice. "The Dark Arts are powerful. Rich. Complex. There are so many areas to study, and you have such a short time. We will need to start with the hardest bit and have you work on it throughout the year, while we study a host of areas. I will post a list of topics, and you will be responsible for signing up for two of them, one to present this fall, and one to present in the spring. If someone has chosen the topics you would prefer, you will choose others. If you do not sign up by the end of this week, I will assign topics myself, and you will probably be unhappy with what I pick. Too bad.
"Now what you will need the most work on is silent spells. So we will start on that this very morning. It's not just a matter of knowing the spell and knowing the wrist movement. You must have the raw power, and you must have the raw concentration. Lots of wizards simply can't do it. Who knows why it's important?"
Ginny slowly raised her hand, while half a dozen other students shoved their hands skyward like they were trying to beat out Hermione Granger.
Tori said, "Non-verbal spells give you an advantage over your opponent because he won't know which spell you are casting."
Carrow nodded. He meant it to look sagely, but it came off more spastic because of his neck. "Correct. Anyone else?"
Ginny kept her hand up. She didn't really believe Tori's answer was right, because she could usually tell from Hermione and Harry's wrist movements what spell they were about to cast. But she knew that was what it said in the textbook. She couldn't overlook the bit about her eyesight and reactions being so much better than normal that she might be able to see what normal witches couldn't.
Luna smiled dreamily and said, "The silence of the spells means you can perform spells without frightening nearby nargle nests or garden gnomes."
Carrow glared at her for long seconds before deciding she wasn't being a smart-aleck. He finally said, "That wasn't an answer I was looking for."
Ginny wasn't sure it was a good idea, but she kept her hand up.
"Non-verbal spells can be done a lot faster, if you have a spell with a lot of syllables, like wingardium leviosa. And if you're under a Disillusionment Charm, they can be done without alerting your opponents where you are."
Carrow stared at her intensely. "Miss Weasley, Disillusionment Charms are a N.E.W.T.-level spell that usually does not come up until seventh year or post-graduate training. Are you able to cast one?"
She nodded. "Yes sir." Then she lied, "I learned last year."
She could see he was dying to ask a question. Probably 'who taught you?' even though everyone in the castle would be certain the answer would either be Harry Potter or Hermione Granger.
He clenched his teeth and said, "Now we need to prepare our minds. You will divide up in pairs. We will see who has the necessary concentration and mental power."
He lined them up in two rows facing each other. She wanted to partner up with Tori, who she suspected would be the best in the class at this point in non-verbal casting. After her, anyway. But Carrow partnered her with Geoffrey Hooper.
"Now. Those of you on this side..." He pointed at Ginny's row. "...attempt to jinx your partner without speaking. Those of you on the other side, attempt to repel the jinx also without speaking. Focus on the spell, the wand movements, and then concentrate on the essence of the spell itself. Begin!"
She stood there and did the wand movement for expelliarmus several times, while the rest of the room struggled to perform their first silent spell. She didn't want to reveal that she was well ahead of her classmates, because she couldn't admit she had been practicing this with Harry and Ron and Hermione for weeks.
After about ten excruciating minutes, she finally gave in and cast expelliarmus, flipping Geoffrey's wand through the air and then catching it as it flew over her head.
"Nicely executed, Miss Weasley, but not a good choice despite what some people would have you believe," Carrow said.
Oh Merlin, why had she done Harry's favorite spell? All right, she knew why. She knew she could do it silently, and she was sure Geoffrey couldn't block it, and she didn't want to hurt him.
She cautiously said, "Excuse me professor, but I didn't want to hurt anyone if I managed to succeed. If I had cast incendio or diffindo, it would have been awful."
Carrow said, "You didn't have any such qualms when you were facing Bellatrix Lestrange last spring."
Uh-oh. She said, "Yes, professor. I put cousin Bella in the hospital. Since she hit me with a couple Cruciatus Curses first, I think I had every right to fight back."
He smiled malevolently, "That's right, you are related to the Blacks."
She tried for the annoyingly superior look that Parkinson and Nott always wore. "And the Malfoys and the Lestranges and pretty much all of the pureblood families."
He said, "Yes, but there's a point I wish to make clear." Her stomach tightened horribly.
He snapped out his wand and called out, "Crucio!"
She fell to the floor screaming.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #59002 is a reply to message #58795 ]
||Sun, 27 May 2012 02:49
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 63 My Brother's Keeper|
She took the Cruciatus Curse in the side and fell to the floor screaming loudly. It didn't really hurt that much, but she had to pretend that it did. She watched through squinted eyes until he finally lifted the wand, and only then did she stop screaming and writhing about.
She lay still, her cheek against the polished wood, and pretended to be incapacitated by the pain. She wasn't, but she didn't dare reveal that. She really felt more like she had been punched in the ribs.
Carrow stormed around the room. "Take this as a warning, all of you! There are no more house points. No more detentions. The Cruciatus Curse will be used as a punishment instead. If you are so stupid that you can't learn from this, then you certainly deserve what you get! Class dismissed."
She didn't move. She remembered how awful she felt after the first Cruciatus from Bellatrix Lestrange, but she had no idea how long the feeling would last, or how long she should be unable to walk. She knew Harry had managed to get back up only seconds after taking a couple Cruciatus Curses from Voldemort, but that was Harry.
She did feel quite sick to her stomach. She knew how excruciating a Cruciatus was, and she couldn't imagine being given punishments like that for ordinary misbehavior around the school. Were frightened firsties who couldn't find their way to class going to be tortured like this? She wished there was something she could do to stop it.
Really, the only thing she could do was complete her task and meet up with the others. If they could dispose of the diadem and the locket, they would only need to find the cup and the snake before Harry faced Voldemort for the last time. She had no idea how they would deal with Hogwarts or the Ministry even if Harry could stop Voldemort for good, but it all came back to the Horcruxes and Voldemort first.
Finally, Luna and Taira knelt beside her and helped her to her feet. She pretended to be too shaky to stand up easily. She didn't like faking like that, but she couldn't just act like she was suddenly fine after that curse. She made sure to lean heavily on both of them and stagger slightly as she moved out into the hallway.
Luna calmly said, "Taira, don't you have to go to Ancient Runes?"
Taira nodded and asked, "But... what about Ginny?"
Ginny said, "I'm doing better. Really. You can go on, and we just have to get to Charms." She waited until Taira was out of sight.
Before she could straighten up, Luna whispered, "You can't stand up straight and walk to Charms. Too many people will see." So she pretended to be unsteady as she and Luna moved to the Charms classroom.
Joyce was waiting in the doorway. She winced, "Oh Merlin, are you all right?"
Ginny nodded, "I'm doing a lot better. Really."
Joyce said, "Tori told me what happened."
Ginny pretended to wobble as she walked in and took a seat next to Luna. This class wasn't large, either.
Professor Flitwick hopped off his step behind his podium and walked over to Ginny. "Miss Weasley? Are you all right? If you need to go to see Madam Pomfrey..."
Ginny shook her head. "No professor, I'm all right."
Tori said from her table where she was sitting with Joyce, "Professor Carrow used a Cruciatus on her."
Professor Flitwick winced a little and said, "Did he say why?"
Ginny nodded. "Because I put Bellatrix Lestrange in the hospital back in the spring."
Luna dreamily said, "Ginny was the first student to perform a jinx successfully without speaking, but she used expelliarmus instead of something more dangerous. I don't think he liked that. He may have an infestation of ferlmargles in his hair. Madam Pomfrey should look into that."
Ginny could feel the odd sensation in her stomach that was probably from Professor Flitwick's part-goblin ancestry. She tried to ignore it. She said, "I'll be all right, sir. Really. I don't want to miss any classes, especially not the really important ones at the beginning of the year."
He nodded and went back to his podium. Then he began talking about the difficult charms they would be learning in sixth year in preparation for their N.E.W.T.s, and the complication of learning to use non-verbal spells for their charms. Then he started them off with non-verbal spells using charms they were supposed to have learned for their O.W.L.s.
Ginny had to hold herself back again. She had a solid month of working on this with Hermione teaching her and Harry helping her with her wandwork and Ron helping her with her concentration. So she waited until she was bored with waving her wand, and then she did the wingardium leviosa charm.
"Oh, very good, Miss Weasley, very good indeed!" smiled Professor Flitwick. "Do you have any advice for your fellow students?"
She lied, "Well, I've been watching my big brothers all summer long, and my mum told me the theory is really, really important, but it makes more sense after you get the spell working for you. And Fred and George showed me how to do a couple non-verbal spells so I would help them play a prank on Ron, but then Ron got really sick and I wouldn't help them. But it's the concentration. I focus on the spell, from the wand movements all the way through the final result."
"That's very good," nodded Professor Flitwick. "I believe that approach will stand you in good stead in Transfiguration too."
It was a small class, so Professor Flitwick was able to provide more one-to-one teaching, while Ginny tried to talk Luna and Tori and Joyce through it. She found it really irritating that Ron had been able to get her through much harder spells, and she was having so much trouble getting her roommates through this one.
But by the end of the class, everyone had gotten at least some movement out of their feather, if not an actual floating feather, and Professor Flitwick had moved them on to Cheering Charms with a nonverbal spell. As a result, two prefects left the room still giggling. She wondered if she could secretly hit them with Cheering Charms later and keep them overly cheered for the entire afternoon.
Lunch took a while. She got to a seat in the Great Hall as early as she could. Then she ate with Luna and Taira and Vi. Then she sat there for another ten minutes with a book and waited for more company. She ate another plate of food with Vicki and Melinda. Then she slipped some desserts into her bookbag to eat later. She hoped that was enough to keep people from realizing that she was eating a lot more than was normal.
After lunch, she tried to get all her homework done. Since she had done so well in Charms, she was the only student who didn't have three feet to write on using non-verbal spells on first-year charms. The DADA homework was pretty simple, since she could do the spells silently, and she had Curses Moste Potente hidden in her wrist bracelet as a reference for the Cruciatus Curse. She didn't say anything, but she was a little worried that Luna was using that Quibbler article as a reference.
After the break, they walked down to the dungeons for their Potions lesson. She was a little surprised that there were only six of them there. She sat at one table with Luna and Vi, while Tori sat at the other table with two Slytherin boys.
Professor Slughorn had a long table along one side wall, with five cauldrons bubbling away. Ginny knew what most of them were. She had taken Polyjuice Potion and Felix Felicis, and she had heard about some of the others from Harry. She could smell all kinds of odd fragrances and off-odors from the cauldrons, just as she could hear the glooping noise in the cauldron of Polyjuice Potion and the bubbling in some of the others.
Professor Slughorn checked that everyone had a textbook and a proper set of potion-making ingredients. Then he started talking about the potions. "Now then, these are five potions that are considered N.E.W.T.-level potions. I would expect all of you to be able to make them by the time you pass your N.E.W.T.s. So let's take a look at them and give you an idea of some of the trickier potions you might be doing later this year or next year."
He walked over to the long table and beckoned the class to come with him. "Come on, come on, we're a small class this year and we can all work together. Who knows what this first po-"
Vi already had her hand up, so Ginny raised hers too. Slughorn nodded at Vi, and she said, "It's Polyjuice Potion. There were a lot of Ministry leaflets... last year..." Her voice trailed off.
Slughorn asked, "Does anyone know how it is used?"
Ginny kept her hand up.
She answered, "You take a cupful of the brewed potion and add a bit of the person you want to impersonate. Some hair, a fingernail, or like that. Then you drink it, and you have about one hour before you revert to your original form."
"Very good!" Professor Slughorn beamed. "And how did you learn that?"
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #59149 is a reply to message #59002 ]
||Wed, 30 May 2012 03:01
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 64 What Have You Done?|
"And how did you learn that?"
There was no way she was going to admit the truth in front of the boys sitting at Tori's table. She lied, "Hermione Granger lectured some of us on it after Barty Crouch Jr. was found impersonating Mad-Eye Moody. She said you have to keep drinking more of it every hour or you'll change back, and the fake Moody was probably stealing supplies out of Professor Snape's potions cupboards all year long." She remembered that Snape had been certain it was Harry stealing the supplies, and no one had made the connection at the time.
Professor Slughorn nodded, "Ah yes, Miss Granger. A whiz at potions, I was quite disappointed not to have her and Mister Potter in my seventh year class, but such is life." He bowed his head slightly, and then went on, "Now who knows what else I have here?"
Ginny let the rest of the class answer for the Amortentia, which even from where she was standing smelled like her home, and a finely-polished broomstick, and... Harry. She had no idea about the Veritaserum, which could have been boiling water as far as she could tell, except for the odd vapors coming off the cauldron which she wasn't even sure the others could see. The Sluicing Serum she had no idea about, but Vi and Tori knew.
And then they were looking at the last cauldron. Golden liquid with goldfish-like gobbets splashing about in it without getting even the tiniest bit outside the cauldron. The hairs rose on the back of her neck at the thought of taking it again.
Professor Slughorn grinned, "And who knows what this potion is called?"
She raised her hand. She wasn't the only one.
Luna said serenely, "It's Felix Felicis. It's liquid luck. It's extremely delicate, and requires a very skilled potioneer. Even slight errors can render it poisonous or it can even explode in the cauldron. My mother once told me you have to be a Mistress of Potions, or else you need to take some Felix Felicis just before you try to brew it."
Professor Slughorn laughed out loud. Then he abruptly grew sad. "Ahh, your mother, Miss Lovegood. It was a sad day in the potioneering world when we lost her."
"Thank you, professor," Luna said in her usual tones, as if she was talking about nargles or heliopaths. "But you never really lose someone as long as you remember her."
Professor Slughorn nodded gently. "And we will certainly remember her and her inventions for many, many years." He sighed and looked around the room. "Who knows anything else about Felix Felicis?"
Ginny put up her hand. "You only need about a tablespoon of it, and the effects last for hours and hours. But your good luck might very well be someone else's bad luck. Taking it might be good for you, but disastrously unlucky for someone else. Maybe even someone you know."
Professor Slughorn stopped and stared at her. He held his chin in his right hand and tapped thoughtfully with the index finger. "Perhaps you would come to my office sometime this week and tell me about this. Most people never notice the consequences of their own good luck on the people around them."
"Yes sir," she said quietly. She just hoped she was gone before he tried to get her story.
After that, Professor Slughorn had the class attempting to brew the Draught of Living Death. Ginny remembered Harry and Hermione arguing about how Harry had won the Felix Felicis from Professor Slughorn by not following the directions in the book but taking the advice of the 'half-blood prince' that was scribbled all over the pages. But all she remembered was Harry had smashed his bean with Hermione's silver knife instead of chopping it up like he was supposed to. There was something complicated he had done with the stirring, but she couldn't recall anything about that. Mainly, she remembered being so angry at Harry for taking orders from a book, when all he was doing was reading scribbled notes.
It suddenly occurred to her that she should rescue that potions book when she found the diadem. If it could help Hermione brew the potions they needed, it could be a lifesaver. And they needed to look through the castle for Snape's other potions books. If he left that book in the cupboard of the potions classroom, there might be all manner of treasures in there.
And how big of a git did Snape have to be if he knew the directions for potion after potion were lacking in a host of places, and he never bothered to tell any of his students? No, he just attacked them for not getting perfect results. Or for having James Potter's looks. The oily snake.
Luna used her Self-Stirring Spoon that her mother had given her, and sang to it as she usually did in class. Ginny had never had a Potions class with the Ravenclaws, so she had never seen this, just heard about it from friends. So she knew that normally, Snape came over and snarled at her when Luna used the spoon, but that didn't stop her. This time, Slughorn came over, asked her a few questions about the provenance of the spoon, and congratulated her on owning and taking care of a fine piece of potions equipment.
When Luna sang to the spoon, it did an odd thing. It stirred in time with the song, and paid attention to her song. Every word she sang that could mean 'stop' caused the spoon to pause for at least a beat, and every word she sang that meant 'go back' or 'reverse' made the spoon stir in the opposite direction at least once. So she was singing what sounded like a lullaby, but made the spoon stir seven times counterclockwise then once in the other direction, seven times counterclockwise then once in the other direction, seven times counterclockwise then once in the other direction...
Ginny tried to copy her, because Luna's potion was turning a pale pink, so pale it was hardly noticeable against the metal cauldron.
"Stop! Everyone, stirring spoons out, even you Miss Lovegood!" Slughorn smiled.
Ginny knew that Slughorn was self-centered, and ambitious in an odd way, but he was a much better teacher than Snape. And much nicer.
Professor Slughorn pointed out Luna as the best potion-maker for the day. Ginny wasn't surprised. Luna was supposed to be the best potioneer in their year, even better than Astoria Greengrass.
Luna carefully cleaned her cauldron and stirring spoon and knife, first with spells, and then with an embroidered cloth that Ginny assumed was a Peipre Towel, a special cleaning cloth invented by the famous potioneer Jean-Pierre Peipre. They were supposed to be dreadfully expensive, but Luna might have gotten hers from her late mother. Then Luna carefully packed her potion ingredients and scales and other equipment into her cauldron and covered the cauldron with a protective wrapper. Ginny wondered why Hermione didn't go to this much effort. Maybe no one had ever shown her how.
As they left the classroom and walked up the stone steps toward their room, Ginny took Luna aside. She murmured, "I'm going to need your help after dinner."
Luna glanced around and calmly said, "For Harry?"
Merlin, sometimes it was uncomfortable how Luna leapt to conclusions. Ginny just nodded.
"What do you want me to do?" Luna asked.
"I may need a distraction so I can go... run an errand. Or I may need you to say I'm studying with you while I'm gone. Or if something comes up, I may need you to get everyone to go to bed so I can sneak out later."
Luna asked, "Is it the Room of Requirement?"
Ginny managed not to choke. "Yes. We've only seen the training room, but it has other rooms it can let you into."
Luna nodded. "I was thinking that if things get worse here, it would be a very nice place to hide out. I could ask for a room with sunlight for growing food, and a stream for fresh water, and maybe areas of oxalis or Norwegian Nurseberry to sleep on."
Ginny wished she could tell Luna that something like that wouldn't ever be needed, but lying to Luna was a waste of time. Luna nearly always knew, even if she didn't bother to say so until some later date when it was even more embarrassing to bring up.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #59351 is a reply to message #59149 ]
||Sun, 03 June 2012 03:13
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 65 Listen|
Ginny was hoping she could get all her Potions homework done, so she could have time to slip upstairs to the Room of Requirement. She figured that she could claim she was using that time to do homework, and if she was called on it, she could show the roll of parchment she had already done for Potions.
But she didn't get the time. When she walked into the common room, Millicent Bulstrode was waiting for her. "Weasley. The headmaster wants to talk to you. Now."
A year ago, she would have been intimidated by Millie's size and strength and general belligerence. Now she had to pretend to be cowed. There was no way someone like Bulstrode was going to intimidate the Vampire Slayer. Ginny had fought much scarier things. She had killed much scarier things with her bare hands and a stake.
They walked together to the headmaster's office. Ginny looked at the gargoyle blocking the entrance to the spiraling staircase. Next to the gargoyle was Crabbe. She couldn't decide which was uglier. The gargoyle seemed to be glaring unhappily at the prefect. Ginny wondered if the gargoyle felt like they didn't trust him to do his job anymore. Or maybe Crabbe was there in case an invisible Harry snuck in and said a secret password from Dumbledore to get in.
Crabbe saw them coming and whispered something to the gargoyle. It stepped aside sulkily. Ginny wondered if maybe Snape didn't trust everyone, and made one prefect stand guard with the password for the day, or perhaps only a few hours at a time.
Or maybe Snape didn't trust anyone. Ginny figured that she sure wouldn't trust either of the Carrows if she were in his spot, and she was sure he had to know that half the remaining leaders of the Order of the Phoenix were right here in this castle.
She walked past the gargoyle without looking at Crabbe. She stepped onto the moving staircase and let it lift her up to the headmaster's office. She could hear little bits of conversation from the room above her.
"Now Severus, be patient. It is not yet time."
She gulped. That was Professor Dumbledore! It had to be Dumbledore's painting talking to Snape. But if Snape killed Dumbledore, why wasn't the painting upset with him?
"It's easy for you to be patient. The Dark Lord is growing stronger by the day, while I just sit here babysitting idiot children."
That was Snape. And he was worried about Voldemort? And he was conspiring with Dumbledore? This didn't make any sense at all!
"Now now, Severus, you know you have my complete confidence. You're the only one I would trust with this."
And Dumbledore was still plotting even after he was dead? With Snape? This was crazy.
She reached the top of the staircase and knocked. The conversation stopped.
"Come!" Snape called. She reminded herself to be polite and not call him 'Snape' while she was in there. Or 'greasy, vindictive thestral's arse'.
She opened the door and walked in. There was the portrait of Albus Dumbledore, behind the headmaster's desk. As she stared at it, the picture of Dumbledore turned to face her. And it winked.
She stepped forward until she was standing in front of the big desk. Snape glared at her from his chair.
He snapped, "Weasley. How unexpected to have yet another of your brood in here."
She stood and waited patiently for him to get past the insults and move to the important part of the conversation. She was guessing it was going to have something to do with Carrow using a Cruciatus Curse on her. She tried to sound dead calm as she asked, "Did you want to see me, headmaster? I was just about to send off an owl to my parents, and then work on homework."
Snape sneered at her. "Go ahead. Waste the valuable time of your parents on school matters they cannot affect in any way. Allow them to anger the people at the Ministry who are backing the Carrows. You can't see that your petty problems are nothing compared to what is going on around you."
She wasn't sure if he was baiting her or threatening her, because he actually sounded as if he wanted to make her understand something. She had taken classes from him for five years, she did know something about his moods, even if Harry and Ron seemed unable to recognize that he had more moods than 'I hate you and wish I could poison every one of you'.
She didn't know what to say, so she waited for him to say something else. In particular, she didn't want him to hit her with a Cruciatus Curse, because he was a lot sharper than Carrow, and he might figure out that the curse was bouncing off her, or she wasn't reacting the right way.
He focused those hard black eyes on hers, and she suddenly felt some sort of magic. She was fairly sure that her Slayer powers made her safe from Legilimency, because she was sure he was trying to get into her head like he did to Harry. Just in case, she focused on an image of her writing a note to her parents.
He growled, "Miss Weasley, I want you to stop being a problem child. You will not like the consequences."
"I haven't liked the consequences so far, and I have yet to break any rules," she insisted.
He sneered, "Ah, the typical Gryffindor. Just bear in mind that the consequences can fall upon your friends as well as yourself."
She definitely didn't want to have to watch Carrow hit Luna or Taira with a Cruciatus Curse. She carefully said, "I will remember that advice." In particular, she was going to remember that if she had to fight Snape some day, she was going to make sure he couldn't fire off curses at her friends in the middle of the battle.
"You may leave now, Miss Weasley," he said rudely.
She refused to take the bait and get upset. She knew his encounters with Harry seemed to run that way. If Harry didn't make him furious, he succeeded in making Harry furious. It occurred to her that making people angry was probably a good way to trick them into being unable to block his Legilimency.
She wondered how long he had been rummaging through the recollections of Hogwarts students. Probably since the day he was hired.
Wait, if that was true, then why hadn't he done anything about it? He would have had to learn all about the stuff Harry and Ron and Hermione got up to. And the twins. And Percy. And her. And probably Hagrid as well. Yet he hadn't ever seemed to use the information against them. There had to be something important there. She made a mental note to talk to Hermione about it.
She just said, "Yes sir." She turned and walked out, taking the moving staircase back down. Crabbe was still standing there doing guard duty. She was tempted to tell him she thought something invisible bumped against her as she came down, and see if he went into a panic. She didn't, since she didn't think any of the prefects would trust something coming from 'the girlfriend of Harry Potter'.
Millicent Bulstrode stepped around the corner and said, "Let's go, Weasley."
She just shrugged and followed. She waited until they were well away from Crabbe, and she asked, "Don't you have better things to do than herd me around? I mean, you've got the whole school to watch. And Luna said there are some weird things going on."
Millicent said, "He told me to take you there and take you back to the common room. You ought to know what happens to people who don't do what they're told."
She said, "I'm still doing what I'm told. I haven't disobeyed yet. Professor Carrow just wanted to attack me because of the thing in the spring."
Millicent stared at her for a second and then went back to walking. "Don't push your luck with the Carrows. Really."
Ginny thought about the spring, when she had hexed both Carrows. If they found that out before she was out of here, things would get really ugly. She wondered if she could sneak up on Amycus Carrow and take him out while she was sneaking around tonight. She was going to have the Marauders' Map, so she would be able to find him if he was patrolling the hallways.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #59483 is a reply to message #59351 ]
||Wed, 06 June 2012 03:13
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 66 Your Brother's Blood|
Millicent walked Ginny back into the common room, and then took off. Ginny headed to her bedroom. Luna was sitting at a table in the sixth year girls' room, writing on a long roll of parchment.
Ginny asked, "Got a second?"
Luna looked up at the ceiling and said, "I'm not sure. I think there are nargles in the common room, and some of the other students could have problems at any second."
Ginny led Luna into her alcove and did a hasty muffliato spell. "Okay, I wanted to go to the Room of Requirement before dinner, but I don't think we have time now. So we need to pretend we're going to the library after dinner. We'll go there and look something up, maybe for your Defense Against the Dark Arts assignment. Then we'll go to the Room of Requirement and find what I'm looking for. Then we go back here. Then tomorrow, I'm going to set things up so it looks like I was killed and dumped somewhere no one else can go."
"Oh. The secret chamber where Slytherin's Heir kept that basilisk?"
Sometimes, Luna was just eerie. Ginny said, "Yes. I don't need to get in, just make it look like I was dragged there. Then I'm going to take one of the secret passages out of here and disapparate. I won't be back. Pretend you think someone killed me. But whatever you do, don't cause any problems. I don't want you to get hurt."
"Thank you for worrying about me, Ginny. What you're doing is a lot more dangerous. And when you see Harry and Hermione and Ron, tell them all I'm hoping they're all right."
Ginny wondered if she had done anything that would let an outsider figure that out. Sometimes Luna seemed more like a prognosticator than anything else.
Dinner was... food. She was tense enough that afterward she couldn't remember what she ate, or how much she ate, or if she ate too much, or if anyone noticed how much she ate. That wasn't good. Hermione would have lectured her for a good twenty minutes. Her mum would have yelled at her for longer. Letting anyone realize she was the Vampire Slayer could be a disaster. And not just for her, but for Harry too. And her whole family.
Once they were back in the common room, Luna walked over to her and clearly said, "Ginny, I need to go to the library. Will you go with me?"
Ginny paused and then said, "Oh, okay. It's not going to take too long, will it?"
Luna said, "You can bring your homework along."
Ginny grabbed her bookbag and followed Luna out of the room. They made their way to the library, passing plenty of students and several prefects as they made their way there. Ginny actually took the time to look for a copy of Curses Moste Potente but Madam Pince told her she would have to have a teacher's written permission first.
After twenty minutes, Ginny slipped out the Marauders' Map. She tapped it with her wand and whispered, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good." She still didn't know how Fred and George had stumbled on that exact phrase.
The map blossomed into a diagram of the castle. She could see a prefect walking down the hall outside the library, and she could see a teacher patrolling near the stairs. She pretended to work some more, while Luna calmly wrote. After about five minutes, the hall was temporarily clear and the stairs were empty. She touched Luna on the wrist.
Luna tapped her homework parchment with her wand, slipped everything into her bookbag, and smiled at Ginny. They stood up and quietly left the library.
Ginny led Luna up the stairs, down a side corridor on the fourth floor to avoid a teacher, up more stairs, and down the hall to the Room of Requirement. They stopped before the tapestry of the trolls in ballet tutus. Ginny paced back and forth. "I need a place to hide something. I need a place to hide something. I need a place to hide something."
She looked, and there was a door. She hurried Luna through before someone else came down the hall, and she closed the door behind them.
It was the room from her dream. It was huge. It seemed to go on for miles. She wondered how anyone would ever find an unknown object in a room this size if they hadn't had her dream. She wondered if even Voldemort could find the diadem after all these years, especially if the room had grown since he was here.
Luna dreamily said, "I wonder if I could find some new shoes while we're in here."
Ginny said, "Some of your lost shoes may be in here."
Luna held up her wand and said, "Accio Luna's lost shoes!"
There was a whizzing in the air, and a distant crash. A pink tennis shoe flew through the air and landed at Luna's feet. Then a pair of blue leather half-boots. Then a pair of low heels in Ravenclaw colors. Then...
After about a minute, there was a pile of maybe forty or fifty shoes. Ginny was suddenly furious at the Ravenclaws who kept stealing Luna's shoes every year. It was probably Terry Boot, who was a big enough jerk to be in Slytherin, if you wanted her opinion. Terry Boot and his friends, since a boy probably couldn't get into Luna's dorm room.
Ginny said, "I don't know how many of these you can bring back at one time."
Luna calmly said, "Oh, most of them won't fit anymore. I'll have to perform a Resizing Charm on them before I can wear them. I'll just take the blue half-boots and the puce flats for now."
Ginny nodded. "Okay, let's find what I'm here for."
She had handwritten notes from her dream, so she checked them. She didn't want to get lost in this labyrinth of junk. She walked forward, Luna patiently following along. She moved past the smashed suit of armor from her dream. She found the stuffed troll and took the first right after it.
The stacks of junk sometimes rose thirty or forty feet into the air. Broken furniture. Junked equipment. Old beds and dressers and desks. Even damaged pieces of floor and wall that might have been shoved in here by house elves who couldn't fix the damage.
And there was the Vanishing Cabinet. She had thought about escaping through the thing, but if the matching cabinet wasn't smashed to pieces to keep Aurors from re-tracing the Death Eaters' route, it was probably someplace warded and guarded.
She walked past it and took a left. There was a horrid, oily feeling in her gut. It was like she was walking toward dozens of vampires. It was making her want to vomit. She kept walking.
And there was the acid-splashed cupboard of her dream. Atop it was the chipped bust. The bust was wearing a hideous wig... and a diadem.
The closer she got to the diadem, the worse the feeling was in her stomach. She felt nauseous. She wanted to grab an axe and start chopping it to bits. She knew from Harry and Hermione that nothing like a Muggle axe would damage a Horcrux, but she still wanted to attack it. She had this driving need inside her to attack it and keep hacking at it until she couldn't lift her arms anymore.
Luna stepped forward and lifted the diadem off the bust. She calmly said, "It's... Is it the lost diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw? It looks exactly like the pictures, down to the family crest and the gems."
Ginny said, "Yeah. It's what I came for."
Luna said, "You ought to return it to Susan Bones when you're done with it. Bones House are some of the few legitimate heirs of Rowena Ravenclaw that we can trace. We know there are others, but the Grey Lady won't talk to us about her family."
Was Luna talking about the Ravenclaw ghost? "The Grey Lady is..."
Luna dreamily said, "She's the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw. She was killed by the Bloody Baron, even though he was in love with her. It's why they're both still here."
Ginny cringed inwardly at the sudden notion that the ghostly blood all over the Bloody Baron might belong to someone else. To the Grey Lady.
She took the opportunity to open the cupboard and fish out Harry's Potions book. She shoved it into her wrist bracelet and tried to think what to do with the diadem. She had figured she would hide it in her wrist bracelet, but she couldn't bear to be within fifty feet of the thing. Having it on her wrist? She'd go insane in no time.
She let Luna carry it as they walked back toward the door out. She tried to think logically, even if the diadem was making her think crazy thoughts. She couldn't focus on anything except getting that bloodstained battleaxe and hacking the diadem to pieces. Even if the power of the Horcrux would protect the diadem from ordinary kinds of damage.
They got to the smashed suit of armor. Ginny tested the pieces of armor. The helmet opened easily. The chestplate unlatched without a lot of effort. The right leg refused to come apart. She used her full strength and forced it open. Then she hid the diadem in it and forced it closed again.
Luna asked, "Does that hurt?"
"No. Why do you ask?"
Luna calmly said, "Because you're bending solid metal in your bare hands. It's really interesting how strong you are."
Ginny didn't tell her that she usually tried not to think about it.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #59650 is a reply to message #59483 ]
||Sun, 10 June 2012 02:00
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 67 Crying Out to Me|
Okay, she found the Horcrux. Now she had to check that she could get out through the secret tunnel to Honeydukes. Then she had to be ready for tomorrow. She pulled out the Marauders' Map. Okay, the hall was clear, but there was a teacher walking up the stairs.
She said, "We have to wait a few minutes and..." She stopped when she saw that Luna had found a necklace. The clasp was broken, but Luna was doing a skilled reparo on it and then putting it around her neck. But the part that stopped Ginny cold was the pendant. It was that straight vertical line inside the triangle inside the circle. It was the mark of Gellert Grindelwald that Mister Lovegood had worn at the wedding. It was the symbol from her dream. "...what's that?"
Luna looked slightly surprised. "You don't know? It's the sign of the Deathly Hallows. The straight line for the Elder Wand, the triangle for the One True Invisibility Cloak, and the circle for the Resurrection Stone. You know 'The Tale of the Three Brothers' don't you?"
Ginny felt like she needed to take a deep breath. The Deathly Hallows were the same as the three objects in the story, and they were the same as the symbol, and they were what Gellert Grindelwald wanted, and... they were what Voldemort was after. Voldemort was after the Elder Wand. He wanted the Deathstick to kill Harry with. It all made a horrible, creepy sense.
Luna dreamily said, "Gellert Grindelwald used the symbol because he wanted to get all three symbols and become the master of death. But that's silly. You don't master death; death is just another adventure after this one."
By then, the Marauders' Map showed that the way was clear. Ginny led Luna to the gargoyle that guarded the tunnel to the basement of Honeydukes... and she could see from the entrance that the tunnel was completely blocked. On purpose. Uh-oh. What choices did that leave her if all the secret tunnels were blocked? She didn't dare take the Vanishing Cabinet. If she had to, she could run out past the Hogwarts wards and disapparate before anyone could try to follow. But then the whole school would know someone breached the wards, and the teachers would find out it was her. That wouldn't be good. She needed to think about another escape route.
They slipped back down the corridor and to another flight of stairs. They got all the way to the ground floor before a prefect confronted them.
Pansy Parkinson said, "What are you two up to?"
Luna gave her a dreamy look and said, "Ginny was so nice and helped me with my homework in the library, but now it's time to get ready for bed. What are you doing, Pansy?"
Pansy glared at her the way so many people stared at Luna. "I'm doing my job, Loony. Go to your room."
Ginny said, "We're on our way." She turned to her friend. "Come on, let's see if Taira's there."
They walked through the common room and up to the sixth year girls' dorm. Taira was working at a table. Tori and Joyce were on the other side of the table, working on homework. Melinda was lying on her stomach on the floor, reading a couple textbooks and making notes. Vi was lying on her bed reading, and Vicki was sitting on her bed writing. It looked like Vi already had a big bookshelf loaded with books set up in her little alcove, with her bed scooted against the other wall to give more room.
Once Ginny and Luna put their stuff away, Taira came over and talked Ginny into helping her with non-verbal spells. Ginny soon found herself surrounded by the entire room, even Vi. So she ended up spending the entire time until bedtime working with her classmates on non-verbal spells, and trying not to show that she had been working on them for a month.
She lay in bed for a long time, trying to figure out what she could do if all the tunnels out of Hogwarts were blocked. Snape undoubtedly knew all of them. She didn't dare try the Vanishing Cabinet. She knew that if the other one was broken, or even if this one wasn't fully working, she could end up trapped in between for weeks. Or months. Or forever. And even if both were working, there was no way to tell if carrying a Horcrux would affect them. She could try sneaking out in the middle of the night and hoping no one spotted her and the wards didn't alert the whole school that she was sneaking out.
There had to be something she could do. She didn't want to have to depend on getting to go to Hogsmeade in a month or two...
The next morning, she got up early so she could take a nice, long shower. She was dressed and ready for breakfast before anyone else was awake, so she did some reading for Charms and Transfiguration. She was already ahead, but she knew she might never come back to Hogwarts, and she might have to depend on learning her last two years of schooling from Hermione. She tucked the books she wanted to keep into her bracelet with the books from Hermione, and she made sure there was nothing she didn't want to leave behind. She didn't intend to come back.
She got to breakfast with the earliest people, and had a big plate of breakfast with Neville and Geoffrey. The boys didn't notice that she was eating more than they were, because they were too busy shoveling food into their faces. Neville seemed to be having another growth spurt. Then she sat there reading, and a while later she had a big plate of breakfast with Luna and Melinda and Vi. Then she sat there as long as she could before she would be late to class, so she could grab another half dozen sausages and wolf them down on her way to Transfiguration. She just had to do a couple quick cleaning charms to get the grease and stuff off her hand and her chin.
She walked into the classroom and found herself breaking into a smile. It was funny how much she had missed Professor McGonagall. The professor was gruff and firm, but she was something stable, and this new Hogwarts made Ginny uneasy. Ginny had no idea how everyone else was holding up.
Professor McGonagall looked pretty tense too. But she waited until the class was seated before she started talking. Just like everyone else, she was stressing non-verbal spells and the extra complexity of N.E.W.T.-level work. She started lecturing, and Ginny realized that if Hermione and Harry and Ron hadn't worked and worked and worked with her, she would have been completely lost. She wasn't surprised that she was the only one in the class who managed to complete the transfiguration Professor McGonagall gave them, even though she could hear several students whispering their spells instead of doing it completely silently. But the transfiguration was almost exactly the one Hermione had started her with, and that had taken her a couple days of work to get right.
Ginny walked with some of her classmates to Arithmancy and took a seat next to Vi. She knew her practice with non-verbal skills wasn't going to help her in here, but Hermione had been teaching her some Arithmancy and Ancient Runes too.
Professor Vector started out talking about the more complicated mathematics that they would be learning, and the more complex arithmantic workings they would be doing as they prepared for N.E.W.T.s. Ginny figured she was going to be asking Hermione for lots of help on some of this.
But in the middle of class, Hermione's special Galleon got warm. Ginny had it hidden in her bra, so she could feel it if it changed and still not get caught if she had to turn out her pockets. But if the fake Galleon was getting warm, then they were moving to another base. That had to mean that something had gone wrong, and Number 12 Grimmauld Place was compromised. Was someone hurt? Or captured? Or killed? She had no way of telling. All she could do was do her job and then meet up with them at whatever spot the Galleon said.
All she could do was stew about it. What if it was Harry? What if it was Ron? Ron could be a prisoner of the Death Eaters, getting tortured for information. Or worse. All she could do was sit there and pretend she wasn't going mad with worry.
She didn't remember another thing that Professor Vector said. She didn't remember walking to lunch. She did remember Luna sitting down beside her and putting food on her plate and making her eat.
Ginny couldn't stop worrying. If only she hadn't sat with the girls and talked all night! She could have been back at the house in Grimmauld Square. She could have gone with them. She could have done something. She had no idea if any of them were hurt or dead or captured. All she could do was pretend nothing was wrong, and go on with her plan. She knew that if it worked right, she would be joining them at the new rendezvous before midnight.
She didn't dare think about what would happen if it didn't work. She was supposed to work on homework during her break before Herbology, but she couldn't concentrate at all. She stared at her book and her quill for over an hour and didn't get a single word down. She had to focus. If she couldn't concentrate, she wasn't going to be able to make the next part of her plan work. And she had to pick the right prefects, or it would be a disaster.
She left the common room and accidentally turned the wrong way. She ended up down by the kitchens. She suddenly had an idea. She called out, "Dobby?"
Dobby appeared with a loud pop. He was wearing a Hogwarts tea towel, mismatched socks, and five of Hermione's badly-knitted hats in a stack on his head. He asked excitedly, "Whats does Harry Potter's friend wants from Dobby?"
She pulled out one of her crossbow bolts and asked, "Can you get me two or three crossbows that this will fit?"
Dobby bounced up and down happily. "Yes! Dobby knows where crossbows is!" He vanished with a loud pop. Ginny was just starting to worry about how long this might take when Dobby reappeared holding three identical crossbows. "Is this what Miss Ginny Weasley wants?"
She looked them over. They were even nicer and much newer than the one Hermione had gotten. She said, "Yes, they're perfect. Can I take them? I'll try to bring them back just like they are now, but I don't know how long it will be."
Dobby nodded madly. Two of the hats fell off the stack on his head. "Dobby can gives these out and not has to bring them right back!"
She took them and carefully tucked all three into her wrist bracelet. "Thank you very much, Dobby. I'll tell Harry how helpful you were." Dobby got so excited the rest of his five hats fell off his head. She turned around and found her way out to the greenhouses.
Even though the first Herbology lesson was really close to what their O.W.L. already covered, Ginny still had a hard time concentrating. She was just too worried about Harry and Ron and Hermione. The class went by in a blur. She went back to her dorm room and just sat on her bed pretending to read a textbook. She walked with Luna and Vi to dinner and ate something. She didn't remember what it was, and she couldn't remember if it had any taste at all. Pansy Parkinson could have snuck wallpaper paste onto her plate and she wouldn't have noticed.
Then it was time for the next step. She moved into an empty classroom and watched the
Marauders' Map until Crabbe and Goyle were standing near some of the younger students, probably bullying them as usual.
She tucked the map away and hurried to find her prey. That's what it felt like as her inner Slayer tried to take over.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #59835 is a reply to message #59650 ]
||Wed, 13 June 2012 03:13
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 68 From the Ground|
She ran down the corridors, making almost no noise. And when she turned that last corner, there they were. The two of them were penning four firsties into an alcove and threatening them.
She kicked Crabbe in the back of the knee, dropping him onto his face. She waited for Goyle to react. After fighting vampires, it seemed almost as if these idiots moved like treacle. And they were so weak! She was having to pull her punches and kicks so she didn't break any bones. Or worse.
Goyle spun, his wand already out. She punched him in the forearm. His wand went flying. While he tried to watch where his wand was going, she punched him in the stomach. He folded over like a trick chair that had been bespelled by the twins.
Crabbe tried to roll over and bring his wand to bear. She kicked him in the hand, sending his wand flying in a different direction. He scrambled to his hands and knees, and she punched him in the kidney, dropping him back to the floor.
Goyle tried to grab her by the ankle. She let him get a good grip, and then she snapped her leg upward and behind him, so he nearly dislocated his own shoulder joint.
While both of them lay on the floor gasping in pain, she loomed over them. "Stop bullying the younger students. What kind of useless losers are you, anyway? You have to pick on firsties, and then the two of you get beaten up by a little girl? Malfoy must be ashamed to be near you! Is that why he left you here?"
Crabbe growled, "We'll get you for this, Weasel."
Goyle grunted, "Yeah. As soon as we tell Snape-"
She interrupted, "He'll laugh so hard he'll wet himself. And then the whole school will hear how the two big, tough bullies got knocked all over the corridor by a little girl. A girl with no wand out, no help, nothing. And who's going to believe that? And will these firsties tell what you want them to say, or what I want them to say?"
Crabbe muttered, "You better watch your back."
Goyle said, "Yeah."
She gave them her best Malfoy-like sneer. "Anytime."
She stood there and watched as they retrieved their wands and limped away. She didn't trust them not to take it out on the firsties. She didn't trust them not to fire off a few hexes at her back, and she couldn't afford to have anyone see curses bouncing off her. And they were prefects, so they could get away with either. But she was pretty sure they wouldn't report her for fighting them, because they wouldn't want to admit one little girl beat them both up.
She ducked into an empty classroom and pulled out the Marauders' Map again. Then she waited. After a couple hours, the castle was nearly still, except for a few prefects and teachers still making their rounds. She figured she needed to time this pretty carefully. She needed to have a minute around Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, followed by a clear path up to the Room of Requirement.
She was wearing the one original pair of shoes she had brought to Hogwarts. She took off one of the pair and performed a geminio spell so she had a duplicate. She wore the duplicate, in case anyone performed a finite incantatem on the evidence she was going to leave behind. After that, she ripped a piece out of the hem of her robe. Then she pulled out a silver knife and cut herself across the palm.
It bled like mad, which was what she wanted. She rushed over to the second floor girls' bathroom and dripped blood all over the floor in the hallway. Then she pressed her hand against the floor and slid it across the floor, into the bathroom, and over to the faucets. She made sure to leave quite a lot of blood, so no one would believe she could be all right.
She bandaged up her palm with another tear of fabric from her robe, and she carefully snagged the first bit of ripped material on the doorframe only inches above the floor. Then she slipped out again, silently working her way up to the Room of Requirement.
It only took seconds to get into the room and retrieve the diadem from inside the armor. She checked the map to make sure the hall was clear, and once Amycus Carrow had passed and was safely out of sight, she stepped out again.
She paced back and forth in the hallway. "I need a way out of Hogwarts. I need a way out of Hogwarts. I need a way out of Hogwarts."
She turned again, and there was a door. She hurried through and found herself in a small stone room that reminded her of one of the castle dungeons. There was a narrow hallway on the other side of the room. It was dark as pitch. Not that darkness was likely to bother her anymore.
She pulled out her wand and whispered, "Lumos." The hallway lit up, showing a long, long tunnel leading straight ahead of her. She took off down the hallway, trying not to outrun the limited light she had, so she didn't trip over anything. The tunnel seemed to dip down, then level off for a long while, then slope back up. She finally came to a door.
Or rather, it looked like the back of a painting. She knew what the back of the Fat Lady's portrait looked like, and it looked like this. She listened carefully, and heard the sound of a man snoring heavily somewhere not too close by. She sniffed carefully and smelled... goat, beer, firewhiskey, goat, sawdust, and butterbeer. And goat. She turned out her light and waited a few seconds for her eyes to adjust.
She swung the picture open and found herself on the mantel of a large fireplace. She hopped down lightly, making almost no noise, and closed the picture behind her. She stepped through another doorway and recognized the place at once. She was looking into one of the Hogsmeade bars. The dirty one where Hermione had held the start of the D.A. meetings. The Hog's Head. She decided that given the smell, it ought to be named the Goat's Bottom. She didn't remember it smelling this bad the time she was here when Hermione talked Harry into starting the D.A. Maybe Slayer senses had serious drawbacks.
She checked her fake Galleon again. It still said the second meeting place. So she took out her wand and carefully disapparated.
She could hear a tiny echo of the crack from her apparation. She looked around quickly, trying to spot any threats. She was in the forest where they had walked from the campground to the Quidditch World Cup. She remembered it well. Too well. She still had dreams once in a while about the attacks and the Death Eaters and everything else.
There was nothing but silence. No light except from the moon and stars. No sounds except faint noises from a breeze ruffling the tops of the trees overhead. She couldn't sense any vampires or demons anywhere, although that could be the horrible creepiness of the diadem polluting her senses. She could hear that there were no humans trampling through the wood. She could hear a couple small woodland animals moving quietly through the branches of the trees.
There was the smell of wood smoke and cooking meat. She moved upwind, tracking it carefully. She had to move from side to side to stay downwind, since it was a faint, narrow band of smoke. Twice she had to move to the side to find the scent again after she accidentally walked out of the smoke trail.
And then she heard it. The ever-so-faint buzz of a muffliato. She had managed to track them down. Now she just had to get through whatever spells Hermione undoubtedly had around them to ward off any intruders.
She stopped when the buzz felt like it was right in front of her. "Hermione? Ron? Harry?" She waited a second and still heard nothing. "Anybody?" she quavered.
Suddenly, Hermione came rushing out of what looked like nothing, and threw herself into Ginny's arms, bursting into tears as she ran. "Oh Ginny! It's all my fault! Ron's hurt, and I ruined everything! I'm so, so sorry!"
Harry reached an arm out through the spell and led them both inside. He led Ginny into the tent, which she recognized from their trip to watch the World Quidditch Cup. On one side was apparently the boys' half of the tent. Ron was lying on a cot with no shirt on and his shoulder covered in bloodstained bandages. The other cot was obviously Harry's, with an assortment of his junk dumped on it.
Ginny looked down at Ron and felt like bursting into tears herself.
Ron looked up and groaned, "Least you're all right. We picked up a couple presents for you."
Ginny checked, "A couple?"
Harry frowned, "That toad Umbridge had Mad-Eye's eye on her door so she could snoop on her underlings. I couldn't leave it there. But I set the alarms off."
Hermione said, "And Umbridge was wearing the locket, so we had quite a bit of a mess there."
Harry growled, "She was sicking Dementors on people who couldn't defend themselves, the ruddy cow."
Ron moaned, "And I had to go off and try to fix the weather in a couple Death Eater offices. Bloody awful. And the wizard I was impersonating? They had his family!"
Hermione whimpered, "We got the locket, but Elgin Yaxley caught me as I was side-along apparating Ron to the house and I used a Repulsion Charm and apparated here, but I... I splinched Ron!" She burst into tears again. "And I took Yaxley to the house, and we're all Secret Keepers, so he can go there anytime he wants now!"
Harry said, "And the place is likely to be overrun with vampires and demons by now."
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #60047 is a reply to message #59835 ]
||Sun, 17 June 2012 02:58
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 69 Opened Its Mouth|
Ginny asked, "Do you really think Yaxley would risk side-along apparating a vampire? Or a demon? I wouldn't."
Ron muttered, "Tommy may not give him a chance to say no."
Hermione looked at Ron and finally said, "You could be right."
Harry said, "Did you find yours?"
Ginny nodded and told them the whole story. She thought Ron would go spare when he heard children were being hit with the Cruciatus Curse for school infractions. Hermione winced a little when Ginny admitted she brought back Snape's book too. And Harry winced when Ginny admitted Luna had figured out she was going to meet up with him and the others.
Hermione finally said, "If Luna didn't believe everything her father stuck in the Quibbler, she'd be a lot more impressive."
Ginny said, "I thought she was pretty impressive already."
Ron groaned, "What're you gonna do about mum?"
Ginny slapped herself on the forehead with enough strength to stun a thestral. "Oh Merlin! Mum and dad!"
Hermione said, "Wait, I'll send them a talking patronus and explain. They need to know you're safe, but they need to act panicky when Hogwarts finally gets around to telling them their daughter's been murdered and dumped in the Chamber of Secrets. Again."
Ginny watched as Hermione carefully did the Modified Patronus Charm and explained it all in a whisper: Ginny is safe. She faked an attack on herself. When Hogwarts tells you, act frantic.
Hermione sent off her Patronus and changed the subject. "Now that we're out of the house and Death Eaters are going to be getting in, we need to take care of that warehouse full of vampires and demons."
Ginny said, "It's going to be a nightmare. An absolute nightmare. They have humans and demons working for them. I don't know if the humans are under their thrall or not."
Harry asked, "Like with Eddie?"
Ron said, "Yeah. Like an imperio but it's a power some master vampires have."
Harry nodded, "Good thing Hermione made you do all that research."
Ron rolled his eyes. "Like she didn't have an ulterior motive there." Hermione blushed, but Ron patted her hand with his good arm and said, "A good motive."
Ginny said, "They have windows painted over so they look like regular windows, but it's probably pitch dark on the inside."
Harry said, "Shatter the windows. It worked a treat before."
Ginny went on, "And it's in a public area so people would see it if we attacked the building like that. We'd have Aurors all over us before we could take care of the problems. And there's more problems. The humans and demons won't care about the sunlight."
Hermione asked, "How do we find out if the humans are enthralled or just being paid to be guards? Or maybe they're just really evil humans who know they're working for vampires and don't care?"
Harry said, "Veritaserum. Three drops in a cup of tea, and they'll tell the truth."
Ron groaned from his cot, "If they never leave the site, they're probably enthralled. They probably live in something as bad as those poor sods near Bones Manor. They just don't have to be locked in, because they won't leave without being told to by the master vampire."
Hermione frowned, "Ron, that's awful! Is there a way to break the thrall?"
He rubbed his shoulder carefully and said, "Stuff I read didn't say. Maybe if you kill the master vampire, the thrall breaks. Maybe you have to kill every vampire who ever ordered the poor bloke around. Maybe nobody knows."
Hermione said, "I asked, because if it's magic, there ought to be a way to interrupt it or reverse it. Maybe finite incantatem or one of the Reversing Charms. If it's hypnosis, I'm not sure how to stop it. And if it's some other form of magic, I have no idea what to do."
Harry said, "Well, I don't want to kill anyone human."
"Neither do I!" Ginny fussed.
Hermione said, "All right. We have to plan this assault on the warehouse, and we need to do it soon. Ginny, is there anything else? Oh, and we still have some stew in the kitchen. It's the best I could do, but it isn't anywhere as good as Kreacher's. Or yours."
Ginny sighed. "There is something else. I need to get away from the Horcruxes. They make me feel sick."
"You're a Horcrux detector!" Ron smiled.
"It's not funny," Ginny groused. "They make me feel sick and horrible. It's like something nasty is writhing away inside my stomach. Can we bury them somewhere nearby for the night? I haven't felt all right since I got that diadem."
Hermione frowned, "I... I didn't want to let any of them out of our sight until we could destroy them. But I suppose we could bury them where we could keep watch on them during the night."
Ginny smiled for the first time in what felt like hours. "I can keep watch most of the night. I don't need as much sleep."
Hermione said, "I'll bury these right out from the front of the tent, so you can sit in the tent opening and keep an eye out. And when you get tired, come wake me up, and I'll take a shift."
Ron groaned, "Sign me up too. Ginny can carry my cot over to the doorway. All I have to do is lie there and watch, right?"
"Not a chance, mate," Harry said firmly. "Hermione, you take a two or three hour shift, and then wake me up."
Hermione led Ginny out of the tent. "Now you stand right here at the edge of the spell circle, with your head through it so I can hear you. I'll walk that way." She pointed away from the tent. "You tell me when I have the Horcruxes far enough away from you."
Ginny stood and watched. When Hermione was about fifty feet away, the awful feeling in her gut was completely gone. "There," she called out.
Hermione walked another fifty or sixty feet out just to be sure. She used an Excavating Charm to move dirt out of the ground. Then she wrapped the two Horcruxes in a charmed towel and dropped them into the hole. Another charm replaced the dirt, and then Hermione put half a dozen alarm charms on the spot.
Hermione walked back to where she could see Ginny. She took Ginny's arm and walked carefully through the protective charms so she could go into the tent again.
Ginny walked into the kitchen and found the pot of stew under a Food Preserving Charm so it was still piping hot even though the stove was now turned off. She helped herself to the largest bowl she found in the cupboard and filled it with stew. Then she took it into the boys' section of the tent and sat on Harry's bed so they could talk and Ron could participate.
Hermione carefully said, "Ginny, that's a serving bowl."
Ginny stopped eating for a second before she said, "Well, I was really hungry." And she was. She used to think Ron and the twins were bottomless pits, but she seemed to have a hollow leg now. She could eat a huge meal, and want more just a couple hours later. In the last few days at Hogwarts, she had been eating about three or four times as much food as the other girls in her year, and she didn't seem to be gaining an ounce.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #60226 is a reply to message #60047 ]
||Thu, 21 June 2012 13:20
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 70 You Will Be a Fugitive|
Harry said, "Last night I had another dream about Riddle. He found Gregorovitch and was torturing him about something that was stolen from him a long time ago. He did some Occlumency and I saw a young man stealing something from Gregorovitch and jumping out a window. But I don't know what it was."
Ginny swallowed a big bite of stew and said, "Maybe it has to do with 'The Tale of the Three Brothers'. You know that symbol Mister Lovegood wore at Fleur's wedding that Krum was so furious about?" Everyone nodded. She said, "Luna said it was the symbol of the Deathly Hallows. The wand and the cloak and the stone are supposed to be real, and they're known as the Deathly Hallows."
Harry nodded. "So the things from the story are the Deathly Hallows and they're what Dumbledore told us to look for. And they're what Gellert Grindelwald must have been hunting back when he was in power."
Ginny added, "Luna said Grindelwald was after the three things so he could become master of death."
Harry grimaced. "That would get Riddle's interest. He's obsessed with not dying."
Ron said, "And other nutter stuff. As we found out first year."
Ginny said, "It's the wand. Riddle's after the Deathstick so he can have a wand that can defeat you."
Hermione said, "He has tried twice against you and failed both times, but these things don't really exist. They're just from a children's story. And we all know Mister Lovegood believes in all kinds of crackpot ideas."
Ron asked, "So if they're not real, why is Tommy so focused on them? And why go after Ollivander and then Gregorovitch if he's not after the Elder Wand so he can kill Harry?"
Hermione snorted in derision. "All right, I can show you there's no connection between Riddle's search and Grindelwald." She pulled a book out of her pouch.
Harry snapped, "You have a copy of Skeeter's book?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Naturally. How else am I going to find out what she's saying about Dumbledore? And maybe you? I mean, you know she's going to take shots at you if she can. You're even more famous than Dumbledore!"
She snapped open the book and turned to a series of pictures in the middle. "Here. This is what Gellert Grindelwald looked like back when Dumbledore knew him."
Ron choked, "WHAT? Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald were mates? That's crazy!"
Hermione primly said, "I don't think we can believe the motives that Rita Skeeter attributes to everyone, but the facts are simple. Grindelwald was related to Bathilda Bagshot and came to Godric's Hollow for a while. He and Dumbledore were mates. It ended in a battle that killed Dumbledore's little sister Ariana, and Grindelwald fled back to the continent. At the funeral, Dumbledore's brother Aberforth punched Albus in the face and broke his nose. Albus Dumbledore never got his nose properly fixed, which sounds to me like the mark of a guilty man. Dumbledore let Grindelwald flee, and didn't try to stop him until Grindelwald had amassed a veritable army. Then they had their famous duel, which Dumbledore won."
She handed Harry the book. "THAT is what Grindelwald looked like."
Harry made a choking noise and just stared in shock.
"Harry?" Ginny worried.
"Harry!" Ron called out. "What's wrong?"
Harry winced, "It's him. Gellert Grindelwald is the boy I saw stealing something from Gregorovitch."
Ron moaned, "Gregorovitch had the bloody Deathstick and Grindelwald stole it? No wonder Dumbledore didn't want to duel him."
Hermione pointed out, "Ron, Dumbledore won their duel."
Harry said, "But Dumbledore was a really great wizard."
Ginny said, "Still, it has to mean you're not unbeatable just because you get the wand."
Hermione said, "According to the legends, you have to defeat the wielder and take the wand in order to get its power."
Ginny asked, "Do you have to kill the owner and take it? That's what happened in the story."
Hermione shrugged, "I don't know."
Harry said, "Dumbledore beat Grindelwald, but didn't kill him."
Hermione suddenly said, "Then it's possible Dumbledore has been wielding the Elder Wand all these years and nobody knew! And if that's true then you don't have to kill your opponent to get the wand's power!"
Ron asked, "But if you're right, then is Snape the rightful owner now? He killed Dumbledore."
Harry said slowly, "If Hermione's right, then... maybe not."
Ginny wasn't sure what Harry meant, so she swallowed the last of the stew and asked, "Why not?"
Harry replied, "Because Snape wasn't the person who disarmed Dumbledore."
Ron choked, "Malfoy? You're telling me Malfoy is the rightful owner of the Deathstick now? That's even worse!"
Hermione carefully said, "Ron, we're just guessing that it even is the Elder Wand. And we're guessing that Dumbledore was the rightful owner at that point. And we're guessing that you don't have to kill the owner, just beat them in a duel. It may be that no one is the rightful owner now."
Harry said, "But if someone today could be, it would have to be Draco."
Ginny added, "And if we're right, then we know where the Elder Wand is. It's the wand they buried with Dumbledore."
Ron said, "The old nutter was trying to get rid of the Elder Wand for keeps, wasn't he? If it was buried with him and no one knew, then it would be gone for good."
Hermione said, "But all this is based on conjecture and guesswork. We need to talk to a real expert on wands, and we'd need to... well... test whether Draco Malfoy is the proper owner of that wand."
Ron groaned, "Oh, right, that's a good idea. 'Here Malfoy, take a crack at Harry and see if this new wand is completely unbeatable.' I don't think so."
Hermione glared at him and was about to give him a scathing retort when suddenly she froze and nearly burst into tears again. She hurried out. It sounded to Ginny like she went outside the tent. Ginny said, "I'd better go make sure she's all right."
She found Hermione huddled on the ground just outside the tent, sobbing quietly into her jumper. Ginny did something she never would have considered before she became the Vampire Slayer. She sat down next to Hermione, picked her up like a toddler, and set Hermione in her lap so Hermione could cry into Ginny's shoulder.
Hermione sobbed, "I'm a bad girlfriend, and I'm a horrible, horrible person! It's all my fault Ron's hurt, and he's laid up, and I'm scared to try some of the riskier healing charms, and just now I almost yelled really awful things at him!"
Ginny hugged her and let her cry it all out. It took a while, because Hermione was upset about so many things. Losing her family and her Muggle connections, maybe forever. Not being able to figure out where the other Horcruxes were. Not being able to keep Ron from getting horribly hurt. Not being able to figure out what Albus Dumbledore really wanted her to do...
The list was even longer than Ginny expected, because Hermione was really smart, and had figured out lots of things that could be done if only she could figure out how to make things work like that.
Once Hermione stopped sobbing, she said, "And... and I still haven't figured out how to handle a whole warehouse of vampires and demons when we've got those humans there too."
Ginny nodded a little, "And we're running out of time. If they aren't attacking Grimmauld Place tonight, they'll probably be doing it tomorrow night or the night after."
Hermione sniffled, "Well, they haven't done it yet. I have an alarm charm on the door, so I'll know when anybody finally gets around to opening it up and going in. And I have an alarm charm on the entryway, so I'll know when the first vampire or demon sets foot inside. I'm guessing they'll have to make Kreacher invite the vampires in, or else do a spell to make one of the Death Eaters appear to be one of the residents of the house, so he can invite them all in. Then they'll search the entire house for us. I just hope they don't hurt Kreacher."
Ginny said, "I really don't want to be there when they load all their vampires and demons into those two lorries and dump them all out in the square in a big avalanche." A thought ran through her head. The little blonde who might be the Golden Slayer would have called it 'an avalanche-y thing of mucho badness'. She had no idea why she was so sure about that.
Hermione suddenly sat up straight and stared at her. "That's it! You're a genius! That's exactly how we'll take out the warehouse!"
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #60409 is a reply to message #60226 ]
||Sun, 24 June 2012 03:13
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 71 A Wanderer on the Earth|
Ginny didn't feel like a genius. No, she felt like a moron. She knew just what they had said, and she wasn't seeing the big plan. She wasn't seeing any part of a plan. No, Hermione was the genius.
Hermione quickly explained the whole idea, while Ginny nodded and hmmed in all the right places.
Once Hermione finished, Ginny said, "I think we need more help. You're not going to want to spend your nights watching the warehouse when Ron's here and still hurt, and Harry needs sleep. I can watch all night, but then I'll need to sleep a lot during the days when you want to be teaching us classwork."
Hermione said, "I'll enlist Fred and George. They're probably itching to get involved and cause trouble for V- I mean Riddle."
Ginny said, "Send them a Patronus right now with a place to meet me in a couple minutes. Then I can take them to where we'll set up the watches."
"Where?" Hermione asked. "On top of that other warehouse?"
Ginny said, "Yes. It's perfect. We can see the warehouse, and we're too far away for them to spot us."
Hermione said, "Be sure to perform a colloportus on every door and hatch and window that can open onto that roof, so you don't have something nasty sneaking up on you. Or the twins."
Ginny frowned, "Good point. I'd sense them coming. Fred and George can't."
Hermione reached into her pouch and pulled out an almanac. She riffled through the pages and said, "Dawn will be around 6:19. You'll need monitoring until then."
Ginny nodded. The vampires weren't going to be walking across the loading dock in daylight, and they wouldn't be climbing out of the lorries at Grimmauld Place in sunlight either. And whether things went their way or not, in a couple hours they might want to be able ro ride back to the warehouse where they could safely avoid daylight and any angry authorities like the Aurors. The whole operation would have to start after dark and wrap up well before sunrise. That meant they probably couldn't wait too long after sunset to begin.
Hermione finally stopped sniffling, and burrowed her head against Ginny's chest. After a couple more minutes, Hermione was sound asleep, and she had forgotten to send the talking Patronus.
Ginny picked Hermione up in her arms and walked back into the tent. Harry and Ron looked up. Ginny whispered, "She's asleep. Let's get her settled next to Ron so she'll stay asleep. She's really worried."
Harry gathered up his stuff and quietly put it on the floor. Then he scooted his cot against Ron's and unzipped the sleeping bag on it. Ginny slid Hermione's sleeping form in, not bothering to do more than take off her shoes.
Ron took Hermione's hand with his good arm and whispered, "Thanks, Ginny."
Ginny nodded and whispered, "We'll talk in the morning. Hermione has a plan."
Ron grinned. "When does she not?"
Harry took Ginny's hand and led her back to the kitchen. He asked, "Do you need anything else?"
She nodded, "Can you send a talking Patronus to Fred and George? I need to meet them somewhere safe where we all know how to get to, like... umm..."
Harry said, "King's Cross Station, by platform 10. No one's going to be watching it now that everyone's in school. The gateway to platform 9 and ¾ is all sealed up until the next school holiday. For all I know, at this time of night, the whole building might be already closed up."
"Good idea," she smiled. She gave him a kiss for being so smart.
She watched Harry send off the Patronus, and she told herself she needed to learn that spell right away.
She apparated into the ladies' toilet at King's Cross Station, which was lit by several lights that she hadn't noticed in her daytime visits. She silently slid out into the station. It was obviously in use, but there were far fewer passengers walking through the place than she normally saw.
After only a couple minutes, redheaded twins in bright jackets came strolling along. She ran over and hugged them both, putting enough strength into it that there wouldn't be any doubt it was really her.
George started, "So, little sis-"
"- what's up?" Fred finished.
She led them out of the station and into an alley around the corner. "I need your help watching a warehouse full of vampires. They're probably going to launch a huge assault on Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Oh Merlin, I hope Hermione has warned everyone in the Order to keep away. It's not protected from all the Death Eaters anymore."
"You were saying?" they smirked simultaneously.
She went on, "I need to side-along apparate you, one at a time, to our vantage point. Then you'll know how to get there. We'll have three shifts. Fred will take sunset to ten at night. I'll take ten until four in the morning. George will take four until sunrise."
She took Fred by the arm and concentrated hard. She apparated onto the roof where they could see the warehouse just down the street. "Wait here," she said.
She apparated back to the alley, grabbed George, and apparated back to the roof. She said, "Wait here just a minute."
Then she stalked across the warehouse roof checking for exits. There were no windows that opened onto the roof, but there were four hatches. She sealed each of them with a quick colloportus. There was a ladder down one side of the building that led to a door twenty feet below. She sealed that too. Then she made sure there were no windows that a vampire could open and climb out and clamber up the side of the building to catch someone unawares.
She walked back to the twins. She pointed at the warehouse. "That's our target. They have humans and demons patrolling the outside during the day, and maybe vampires too at night. So just getting to the building and not having something dangerous lurking behind you is a problem. We don't know how many vampires are in there, but it's a lot. So we're going to wait until they start loading the trucks with vampires. We'll take turns watching, and make sure you have a broom with you. Whoever sees them start the loading will have to fire off a Patronus to us, and to you also. Then we'll go with Hermione's plan..."
It was late enough that she let both of them apparate home. She knew George would show up around four and let her get a little sleep. Then she pulled a camping chair out of her wrist bracelet and settled in to keep watch on the warehouse.
It was dull. Deadly dull. Patrols of two walked around the building, even in the middle of the night. She counted four different patrols, which meant there was someone guarding every side all the time. One of each pair had a rifle, and the other had something for melee battles: a sword or a mace. Relief teams came out at midnight, and again at four in the morning. But no one made any attempt to load people into the lorries.
George apparated with a crack, and she left the camping chair for him. She explained what she had noticed, and asked him to let her know if any of the humans drove away while he was on duty. Then she apparated back to the tent. It took her a minute to find the horrid-feeling spot where the Horcruxes were buried. Then she had no trouble marching in a straight line right into the mouth of the tent.
Harry was sitting there just inside the tent, guarding everyone, so she sat down next to him. They held each other until he fell asleep.
About a quarter to five, Hermione dragged herself out of bed and took over the guard duty. Ginny carried Harry to his sleeping bag, slipped off his trainers, and tucked him in. Then she laid down in the cot next to him and fell into a sound sleep.
Ginny woke up when she smelled breakfast being cooked. She sniffed at the hint of burnt bacon. She really needed to teach Hermione more cooking charms. For some reason, she had been expecting another Slayer dream, but she hadn't had any. At least, none that she remembered.
Hermione looked exhausted, and she still looked like she had been crying. Ginny wondered how they were going to manage if they needed to tend to Ron and keep guards all night and also watch that warehouse from dusk to dawn. She talked Hermione into getting some more sleep until Ron woke up.
She fixed enough breakfast for all of them, and ate her portion of it, keeping the rest of it under Warming Charms and Food Preserving Charms. Then she snuggled into her sleeping bag until Harry woke up an hour or two later.
She helped Ron eat while Harry and Hermione had a late breakfast. Hermione wanted to pack up and move to a new spot, just in case someone was able to trace their apparation yesterday from Grimmauld Place. Ginny thought that was silly, but she didn't say so. Hermione had a better idea what you could do with some spells than Ginny did, so it made sense to trust the expert.
Ron wasn't doing too well, but he managed to sponge himself off and get dressed. Ginny showered and put on clean clothes. She checked the cut on her palm, and it looked like it was already healing nicely.
Hermione had a little lakeside destination in mind, so they undid the charms on their campsite and let Hermione side-along apparate Harry to the site. They both came back. Harry took Ginny, and Hermione gingerly took Ron.
Ron complained a bit at how Hermione was treating him. "Come on, I'm hurt, not a piece of china!"
The new place was beautiful. It was a wooded campsite beside a quiet lake. Ginny thought it was lovely, right up until Hermione came back with the two Horcruxes.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #60551 is a reply to message #60409 ]
||Wed, 27 June 2012 03:02
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 72 Greater Than I Can Bear|
Ginny could feel it the moment Hermione brought the Horcruxes near her. She had that twisting, churning awful feeling in her guts, and she just wanted to throw up.
"Hermione? Can we move those... things away from us? They're making me feel bad. Again."
Hermione tucked them away in the back of the tent, and led Ginny out into the sunlight. But Ginny could still feel the awful things in the back of her mind. In the pit of her stomach. She couldn't concentrate while Hermione tried to teach her a new charm. She completely missed what Harry had to say about Defense Against the Dark Arts.
She finally stopped them. "I've got to get rid of those things!"
Hermione patiently said, "We can't. We don't have anything that can destroy them."
Ginny looked out at the lake and said, "Fiendfyre! You said Fiendfyre would do it. We take them out in the middle of the lake and attack them with Fiendfyre out there and then extinguish it."
Ron was lying on a sleeping bag listening to the lesson. He said, "Hey! Good idea!"
Hermione shook her head no. "Fiendfyre isn't stopped by water. In fact, it can cause water to separate into hydrogen and oxygen, and then explode. You might as well unleash Fiendfyre in a gas tank."
Harry cautiously asked, "Does that mean you know how to create Fiendfyre?"
Hermione stared at the ground. "Yes. I found out how to create it. But I haven't found a spell to stop it. And I certainly don't want to create it and try finite incantatem and then find out it doesn't stop the spell."
Harry said, "It would be a lot easier if Scrimgeour had just let us have the Sword of Gryffindor. The basilisk venom I got on it will kill a Horcrux, so the sword should be able to kill Horcruxes now."
Hermione tried to continue the lessons, but Ginny just couldn't stand being that close to the Horcruxes and not doing anything about them. She stormed into the tent, dug out the locket, and marched out to a tree stump.
"Ginny! Ginny, what are you doing?" Hermione called out.
Ron said, "Somebody get up and stop her!"
But she wasn't going to wait. She pulled out a massive battleaxe from her wristband and swung it as hard as she could.
The battleaxe hit dead center on the locket and bounced back like she'd tried to cut through some sort of shield charm. She managed to keep the axe from hitting her on the rebound, and she took another swing at it. The second swing didn't do anything either.
She growled angrily. She actually growled at it. She began chopping and hacking it, trying furiously to destroy it. But the locket resisted everything she tried. She wound up and swung as hard as she could.
There was a blast of blackness, and she lost consciousness.
* * * * *
"Ginny! Ginny, say something!"
She groaned. It felt like a troll had hit her in the face with a club and then someone had set her blouse on fire. She opened her eyes to find Harry and Hermione and even Ron all looming over her with worried expressions.
Oh. Right. She had been attacking a Horcrux like a madwoman. "Did I destroy it?" she asked.
Harry sadly shook his head no.
Hermione looked rather embarrassed as she said, "I didn't know they were... upsetting you that much. I moved both of them a bit away while you were unconscious."
"How... how long was I out?" she asked.
Ron said, "Long enough to scare me out of ten years' growth."
Harry said, "About two minutes. We had time to put out the fire on your clothes. Hermione already put a burn potion on your hands and face and chest."
Hermione said, "But I don't know if it will work on you."
Ginny started to sit up, but she stopped with a groan. "Ugh. My head."
Hermione handed her a blue bottle full of a shimmering potion. "Here. It's a headache potion. And I have a potion to encourage your healing, and a potion for general aches and pains."
Ron muttered, "At least we learned one thing. They all have deadly curses all over them, the bloody..." He tailed off, but he kept cursing colorfully under his breath.
Hermione said, "We already knew that, because of the ring that nearly killed Professor Dumbledore."
Ron muttered, "Why did he put a cursed ring on? Complete nutter, I tell you."
Harry said, "If it really was the Resurrection Stone, maybe he knew it and he couldn't stop himself. The Mirror of Erised. I asked him what he saw when he looked in it, and he said himself holding a pair of socks."
Ron said, "Nutter. Like I said."
Hermione said, "He might have just thought your question was too personal. You were only a first year."
Ron argued, "But you said he talked about your greatest desire, and mine, and what other people did... So why not him?"
Harry slowly said, "If his greatest desire was about someone dead... Someone the Resurrection Stone could bring back so he could talk to them..."
Hermione suddenly said, "His sister. Or his mother. Or maybe his father."
Ginny wondered if Hermione was right.
Harry cut off the conversation, "There's no point in guessing, because we're never going to find out."
Hermione said, "In that case, while we're taking a break in the lesson plan, maybe you could do the part you were talking about."
"Right," said Harry. He took a step away from them and clearly called out, "Kreacher!"
A couple seconds later, there was a loud pop and Kreacher appeared, bowing low and talking in his ancient, rusty voice. "What does Harry wish of Kreacher?"
Harry said, "First, I wanted to make sure you were all right. Did the Death Eaters get in?"
Kreacher said, "No. Kreacher hears the fight on the doorstep, and Kreacher barricades the door to keep enemies of the Noble and Ancient House of Black out. The enemy tried door unlocking charms, and some hexes, but the manor is more powerful than that. So the enemy left and came back hours later and tried again, but Kreacher kept them out."
Hermione said, "That's really good, Kreacher. Some time in the next couple nights they're going to attack the manor with dark creatures. Vampires and demons. We want the manor to stay secure, but we don't want you to get hurt."
"The... the..." Kreacher mentally wrestled with himself for several seconds over what to call Hermione before he managed to say, "Miss Hermione does not understand. Without the manor and the House of Black, there is no life for a house elf."
Harry said, "Kreacher, you are now part of the House of Potter as well. Even without the manor, there are the Potter estates."
Kreacher's jaw dropped open in astonishment, and then he began to cry. He bowed so low his nose scuffed the ground, and he vanished with a pop.
Ron said, "Think he's going to listen to you?"
Ginny guessed, "I think he's going to do a 'last stand' thing if we can't stop those vampires first. It sounds like he can keep the Death Eaters out otherwise."
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #60783 is a reply to message #60551 ]
||Sun, 01 July 2012 02:39
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 73 Anyone Who Meets Me|
Ginny spent the rest of the day healing up. Her burns were all really light. Hermione said the burns were only first degree burns. It looked like they would be completely healed in a day or two. The shirt was ruined, though. Even a couple efforts with reparo weren't enough.
Once Ginny's headache was gone, Hermione made everyone get back to lessons. Hermione's lesson in transfiguration made no sense at all to Ginny, until Ron explained what he got out of Professor McGonagall's class. Then about half of it made sense, and the rest was still really confusing. But Harry managed to walk her through doing a decent job of transfiguring the buttons, and then she managed to do almost as well with a silent spell.
She had no idea how she was going to manage if she ever got to go back to Hogwarts, because this stuff was hard and she really needed Hermione and Harry and Ron's help to get through even the first couple weeks of this material. She wondered how everyone else managed. Then she remembered that everyone else had been depending on her to help them with their lessons.
They stopped for lunch. Hermione had the kitchen of the tent well-stocked, but at the rate Ginny went through food they were going to run out of things in under a week. So they needed to start thinking about re-supply. Ginny thought about swooping in and robbing some Death Eaters, but that would be really risky, and really illegal, and really immoral. Even if she was smiling at the idea of stealing Draco Malfoy's dinner out from under his nose.
Ginny showed Hermione a Peeling Charm and a Roasting Charm and a Stirring Charm. That last one helped Hermione a lot on keeping bits of the sliced chicken from getting overdone.
Over lunch at a wooden bench beside the lake, Hermione brought up the idea of keeping the Horcruxes safe by wearing them on chains around their necks. Ginny literally shuddered. She snapped, "Fine, but only if I'm not within a hundred feet of you. They're making me crazy!"
Hermione glared at her. "Then what are we going to do? Burying them every time is just asking for them to get stolen. We can't afford to let Riddle and his people get them back!"
Ginny looked out over the lake and said, "I have an idea."
"What?" Ron asked from around a huge mouthful of chicken salad.
Ginny said, "I'll dive down a hundred feet and hide them under a rock. No one's going to find them there."
Hermione frowned, "What if V- I mean, Riddle sends some merpeople or something worse to get the Horcruxes back?"
Ron pointed out, "He can't. First he'd have to figure out they were gone, and second he'd have to figure out where they were."
Harry added, "He can't get merpeople or a giant squid into a nice, closed lake like this. Maybe a selkie, though. Or a kappa."
Hermione said, "Or just a Death Eater using a Bubblehead Charm."
Harry said, "I still think it's a good idea, and it's a lot better than hiding them in a hole in the ground."
Ron said, "Plus, you can put a hundred alarm charms and things on them so no one can get them without alerting us."
Hermione finally sighed, then grumbled, then gave in. "Fine. But I'm not getting in the water without my swimming suit."
Ron gawked, "You brought a swimming suit along when we're hunting Horcruxes?"
Hermione said, "Naturally. And swim fins. And a book on learning to speak Mermish. And a trident. Just in case we had to go retrieve it from the bottom of Loch Ness or something like that." She looked over and said, "Ginny, I brought a suit for you, too."
The first thing Ginny thought was 'I hope it's a good color for me'. But she didn't say that. She said, "Thank you. That was very thoughtful of you. Did you get one for Ron and Harry?"
Hermione said, "Umm, no. I got one for you because you're the Vampire Slayer. You can swim harder for longer than the rest of us, and you can probably dive a lot deeper than us before the pressure's too much for you, and you can dive deeper and still see without using your wand."
Ginny followed Hermione into the tent and back into 'their' bedroom. Hermione pulled out a tiny navy maillot and an equally tiny white one.
Ginny looked at them and said, "Did you put a Shrinking Charm on them?"
Hermione said, "Oh no, they're seventy percent spandex. This is how they're supposed to look before we put them on."
Ginny undressed and tugged hers on the same way Hermione was putting hers on. "And Muggles really wear swimming suits this tiny?"
Hermione pulled a magazine out of her pouch. "Here's a catalog you can order from. Take a look at page seventeen."
Ginny found there were pages of swimwear in the catalog, and some of the swimsuits were so tiny she couldn't figure out how the models weren't just falling out of them. She complained, "I have brassieres bigger than that! No wait, I don't have a single one that's anywhere near that tiny!"
Hermione said, "And if you think those are small, wait until you see what some Muggle women wear on beaches in southern France."
Ginny winced and said, "I want my school robe to wear down to the lake."
Hermione pulled out the robes and said, "I have sandals for both of us, too."
They slipped out of the tent while Ron and Harry were gathering up all the equipment Hermione had made them haul outside of the tent for the lessons. The blackboard and chalk, the desks and the table, the potions equipment they hadn't used yet, and all the assorted books, parchment, and quills.
Ginny followed Hermione down to the lake and draped her robe over the branch of a tree. Then she left her sandals there and walked into the water. It was cold, but not as cold as she had expected. Or maybe she wasn't noticing the cold as much because Hermione had those Horcruxes.
Hermione said, "Bubblehead Charms before we go under, and hang onto your wand."
Ginny tucked her wand into her wrist bracelet and let Hermione cast the charm on her. Then they dove under the water.
The water was somewhat murky, but Hermione pulled out her wand and did a spell Ginny couldn't hear. Suddenly, the water appeared to be easier to see through.
They swam down the sloping shelf of land, past some discarded bottles and cans, over a small rowboat that had sunk, and into the deeper water. About a hundred feet down, they found a nice big rock sticking half out of the mud. Hermione pulled out her wand, lifted the rock out of the mud, and buried the Horcruxes under it. Then she cast half a dozen alarm charms on the rock, and they swam back to the surface.
Once they were far enough away, the awful feeling from being near the Horcruxes faded away, and Ginny felt much better. She pulled out her wand, took a deep breath, and ended the Bubblehead Charm so she could feel the cool water on her face. Hermione waited until she was closer to the surface before she did the same.
Ginny's head broke the surface, and she saw she was still a good sixty feet from the shore. Harry was keeping an eye on Ron, as Ron carefully made his way down to the shoreline and settled in on a large rock.
Ron called out, "Oi! Everything okay?"
Hermione called back, "Yes! And the water's lovely."
Ron said, "I'll have to take your word for it right now."
Ginny's feet touched the bottom. She stood up and walked out of the water.
Ron squawked, "Ginny! Put some clothes on!" Harry just stood there and stared.
Hermione smoothed her wet hair back over her head and rose up beside Ginny.
Ron's jaw dropped open. "H- H- I... Wuh..."
Hermione looked at Ron's utterly gobsmacked expression and whispered to Ginny, "You know, I think I do like this suit."
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #61202 is a reply to message #60783 ]
||Sun, 08 July 2012 03:08
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 74 A Mark on Cain|
Ron was completely unable to make an intelligible sound until after Hermione used a Drying charm on herself and put on her robe. Hermione fussed at him for gawping, but Ginny could tell Hermione rather liked Ron's reaction.
They skittered back into their room to change back into their regular clothes. Hermione whispered, "The way Ron was looking at me, I felt like I was a veela." She couldn't keep from smiling.
Ginny had to admit she rather liked the way Harry had been looking at her, so she understood Hermione's feelings completely.
After they changed clothes and hung the suits to finish drying, Hermione insisted on more lessons. Ron managed to talk her into doing them in the living room of the tent, where all the desks and chairs were now sitting. So Ginny took notes while Ron was lying on his cot listening and Hermione was lecturing about the intricacies of brewing Blood Replenishing Potions. That grew rather interesting when Harry pointed out that Snape's personal copy of the potions book disagreed quite strongly with the directions from Arsenius Jigger in two places. Hermione and Harry had a disagreement about stirring directions that reminded Ginny of Luna's Stirring Spoon, and when Ginny told them about Luna's Self-Stirring Spoon, Hermione groaned and pulled out yet another book, which had rhymes and poems for potioneers. The song for Blood Replenishing Potions which also worked for another twenty or thirty potions that were listed in the book made it clear that Snape's version was right, and you really did have to stop for a three count after every sixth clockwise stir, and then stir in the other direction five times before starting over again.
They ended up trying it both ways, and Snape's version came out much better. It was obviously a brilliant carmine red with sparkles floating up from the bottom, so it looked like the perfect Blood Replenishing Potion, while the best Hermione could do from Arsenius Jigger's precise directions looked close, but it lacked the shimmering clarity and the sparkles didn't move. Hermione had some very grumpy things to say about textbook authors who weren't qualified to write texts, and teachers who knew there were problems with the text but didn't tell anyone and didn't bother to help the students learn the proper way.
They ate dinner around six thirty, so they had time to clean up and put things away before sunset. Ginny was glad to see the wolf cub Patronus at 7:30 letting her know Fred was already in position. That reminded her, and she spent nearly an hour learning the talking Patronus spell from Hermione, just in case.
She paced back and forth, wondering how long it would be before she could rush off and stake vampires. Hermione stuck her nose in the Severus Snape copy of the sixth year potions book, making incessant notes about details like stirring directions and potion poems. Harry played Ron several games of wizard chess, even though Ron crushed him every time. Ginny tried to read from the Divination textbook, but the words just swam before her eyes.
Shortly after nine, another wolf cub Patronus appeared. "They're opening up the rolling doors and the backs of the lorries. This looks like it. Oh Merlin, that's a lot of vampires!"
Ginny looked at Harry and quickly apparated to the rooftop. Harry and Hermione appeared after her with loud cracking noises. Fred and George were already standing there with their brooms, doing Disillusionment Charms on each other. Hermione and Harry followed suit, while Ginny wrapped herself in Harry's invisibility cloak.
Ginny whispered, "Let's go." She took off to a position two hundred feet above the roof of the vampire warehouse, right over the loading dock. She could see dozens of vampires walking into the two lorries. She was glad she wasn't going to have to fight all of them with nothing but a stake.
When it looked like the last vampires were crowding into the lorries and figures were climbing into the two cabs to drive the trucks away, Ginny said, "Now."
Harry dove. He plummeted toward the loading dock as he pulled out his wand. Just before it looked like he would crash into the dock, he pulled up the front of his Firebolt and hurtled at breakneck speed behind the lorries. The demons who were about to close the rear gates of the lorries never saw him coming.
Two silent incendio spells turned the inside of each lorry into a big fireball. Harry pulled up and moved toward the roof.
George flew right behind him and cast a sectumsempra at every demon still standing on the loading dock.
Ginny flew down behind George and stopped over the loading dock above the roofs of the lorries. She could feel that there was some sort of live threat in the second one. The drivers had already jumped out of the lorries and were running away from the warehouse.
Hermione and Fred came flying around the west side of the warehouse at about thirty feet up and dropped the drivers. Fred hit everyone with a petrificus totalis, and if the spell bounced off and they didn't fall over frozen in place, they weren't human. Hermione followed up and beheaded all the non-humans with swift, silent sectumsempra hexes. Ginny knew that if Hermione and Fred were already all the way around the warehouse, they had already completed their first part of the mission: taking out all four guard teams the same way, and blocking all the other exits.
Harry flew back along the loading dock and put out the fires inside the lorries. Ginny flew to the opening in back of the second one and swiftly beheaded the demon still lurking in there with a reducto. Then she fired off a spray of sparkles from her wand, letting everyone know it was time to re-group.
This was going to be the hard part. They might have cleared out almost all the vampires, but there were still demons and probably more vampires inside the warehouse. She couldn't tell which. She could just tell from the twisting ugliness in her guts that there were plenty of monsters in there.
There were probably more humans, too, so they couldn't just behead anything that moved. But the humans might well be working for the master vampire in there. Marius. Whoever he was. And the humans outside had been patrolling with rifles, so she also had to worry about her friends getting shot with Muggle weapons. And she still didn't know what kinds of demons might be in there.
Hermione made sure everyone cast a shield charm. Then they flew to a spot just inside the rolling doors of the loading dock. Fred and George began casting some of their fireworks into the air. These were all white lights about the size of a bludger. Ginny and Harry cast wingardium leviosa on each of them so they floated up to the ceiling.
With over a dozen shining lights, they could see the warehouse interior. It was a huge, high-ceilinged room with a concrete floor and steel girders sticking up thirty feet to the ceiling. On the wall to their left was a row of closed offices. In front of them was a maze of boxes and stacks and loaded pallets that could conceal dozens of threats.
Hermione said, "According to the blueprints I was able to find, there's a small basement area under those offices, with a stairwell somewhere toward the back left corner. And there's a freight elevator and stairs by the offices that lead up to two ordinary-height floors above this. There's also an emergency exit on the other side of the warehouse on the outside, but we sealed up those doors already."
There was the sharp bark of a handgun, and something pinged off Hermione's shield. More gunfire echoed about in the warehouse as maybe half a dozen opponents fired on them.
Hermione said, "I think we need to skip sealing up the upper floors and the basement until we take care of this nuisance."
Ginny thought that was a bit of an understatement, but she didn't say anything.
Hermione led them all over to an area ten feet above the row of closed offices. Ginny said, "There's some vampires or demons in the offices right under us, too."
Hermione said, "Let's clear the floor first." Then she pointed her wand at the middle of the warehouse floor and said, "Accio crate!"
A massive wooden crate came flying their way, and Hermione abruptly ended the spell, letting the crate smash against the wall underneath her and crash down on the plywood 'roof' of the offices under them. In moments, everyone was copying her.
The gunfire stopped as opponents had to scramble farther back into the warehouse to avoid being exposed. Or, as was the case with one vampire, being dragged through the air along with the crate he was atop, and then being staked with a hundred wood fragments when the crate hit the wall below them.
It didn't take long to clear so much of the warehouse that the weight of debris crushed the little offices below them. Ginny felt a couple vampires turn to dust as they were crushed by the collapsing rooms and the wood construction jabbed through them, but she thought there were still a couple things alive in the mess. She was going to have to deal with them before she left the warehouse.
Fred and George were enjoying themselves a bit too much, and soon crates and pallets of goods were also flying out the rolling doors to crash on the loading docks, and flying out the black-painted windows, and crashing onto the open metal staircase that led to the upper floors, and piling up around the stairwell into the basement.
|Re: Harry Potter and the Deadly Heller [message #61451 is a reply to message #61202 ]
||Wed, 11 July 2012 03:03
|| Diane Castle
Registered: September 2007
Location: Oregon, USA
Chapter 75 Who Came Upon Him Would Kill Him|
It didn't take much longer before they had the opponents trapped in a small corner at the far end of the warehouse. Harry began flying about, hitting everything he spotted with a petrificus totalis hex, while Ginny zoomed along after him, trying to behead everything that couldn't be petrified. Meanwhile, Hermione and the twins kept summoning crates and stacks of crates, hurling them to the other end of the warehouse.
As they worked across the warehouse, they discovered three empty Red Cross trucks that had presumably once been stocked with blood. They also found a large walk-in refrigerator that still had boxes packed with plastic bags of blood, all of it marked as contaminated or suspect, and intended for disposal. Ginny figured that you could keep quite a lot of vampires fed with all the donated blood in London that was rejected for carrying one of the many Muggle diseases the bloodbanks checked for.
By the time they pinned down the last few opponents in the back corner, there were five petrified humans still holding rifles, and several more piles of dust. Ginny swooped in on the last three demons to distract them, and as they turned to face her, Hermione and the twins beheaded all of them.
Hermione said, "Next, let's get all our petrified guards from outside in here so no one sees them and calls the Muggle police."
"Or the Aurors, which would be worse," Fred muttered.
While Hermione and the twins did that, Harry cast shield charms to block off the freight elevator and staircase. Ginny blocked the basement stairwell with a shield charm, and then took care of the two demons still alive under the rubble of the collapsed offices.
Once the still-petrified men were all dumped inside near the loading dock, Hermione said, "Next we need to clear out the upstairs. There are two floors, and there's another staircase connecting them at the far end of the warehouse."
Harry said, "So we just block the elevator and these stairs on both levels, and then clear one floor and use the far stairs to go clear the other floor."
Ginny was expecting a horrible battle through crowded rooms, but when they got to the first level, they found all the walls and everything had been stripped out to make room for rows and rows of cots. They flew through the open area, spotting a couple vampires who were scrambling for the safety of the far stairs.
Ginny stopped everyone at the staircase. "I can feel them. They're waiting right there to pounce on us when we go up after them."
George pointed his wand up the stairs and said, "Incendio."
There was a sudden burst of shrieks, yells, and cursing, followed by the whoosh of a couple vampires turning to dust, followed by yelling and running as others sprinted for the far side of the floor.
Ginny jetted up the stairs with her wand out, but every opponent was already at the far end of the floor, battering away at the shield charm to get away. It only took a few seconds to dust the half dozen vampires and behead the lone remaining demon.
Hermione said, "Only the basement level left, but that may be the hardest to-"
She didn't get to finish her sentence before there was the sound of a small explosion below them, followed by the crash of crates. Harry hastily ended his shield charm, and they flew down the staircase to see what was going on.
Something had blasted through the shield charm over the basement stairwell. A huge, ugly demon was lumbering toward the far end of the warehouse, while a well-dressed vampire with a retinue of five followers was making a break for the loading dock. Only the pile of debris from Fred and George's mischief was keeping the vampires in the building. Ginny recognized the demon from Ron's lessons. It was a K'vor'nek. That wasn't good.
Hermione said, "Fred, on me. We have the demon. Everyone else, back Ginny and take the vampires." And she was off.
Ginny distinctly remembered what Ron had told them. K'vor'nek demons required a binding spell using a holy object in order to keep them from moving or extending their feeding tentacles. Then they had to be beheaded, the head separated from the body, and the two burned separately. If it had been anyone but Hermione, Ginny would have worried that they didn't know what they were getting into. But Hermione would remember.
Ginny flew at the vampires, beheading one with a quick diffindo as she descended. Harry and George beheaded two others right after her. By the time she reached the vampires, there was only the master vampire and two minions.
The vampire made a gesture, and the two minions quickly stepped behind him. Harry sent a sectumsempra at him, but the vampire whipped out a wand and blocked it with a rapid Shield Charm.
Ginny waved Harry back. This was as bad as she had feared. A full-grown, trained wizard who was now a vampire. He would be as fast as a vampire when casting spells, and as resistant as any dark creature to most hexes. He could dodge almost as fast as she could. And if he got close enough to grab Harry or George...
The vampire said, "I am Marius, of the line of Aurelius. Witch, you would probably know me by my old name, Achernar Black."
Ginny maintained aim with her wand, waiting for him to make a move. "So you think you can invite your vampires into Number 12 Grimmauld Place because it's your ancestral manor."
He nodded. "And if that doesn't work, I shall summon one of the house elves to invite my horde in. I will take over the manor and vanquish the forces who have stolen it for their own purposes. And there is nothing you can do to stop me. My cohort K'letha over there will devour your foolish compatriots while you watch."
Just then, there was a quickly extinguished shriek from the far side of the warehouse. Ginny glanced over and saw Hermione flying in at the demon. She was holding a wand in one hand and a cross in the other, and the demon seemed to be paralyzed. Obviously, Hermione had memorized what Harry had lectured about binding spells.
"No!" Marius gasped. "That's impossible!"
Hermione performed a skilled sectumsempra that beheaded the demon, then an accio that pulled the head toward her. Two incendio spells burned the head and the body separately.
Ginny seized the moment. There was no way Marius would expect her to move with the speed of a Vampire Slayer. She dove off the broomstick and punched Marius' shield hard enough to destroy it. Then she moved forward. When Marius leapt at her to sink his fangs in her neck, she thrust a stake into his heart.
As soon as he burst into dust, Harry and George beheaded the two remaining minions. Hermione flew back with Fred behind her and said, "I think we're done here."
Ginny said, "He might have been able to get the vampires into the house. He used to be one of the Black family."
Hermione said, "We don't have to worry about that now."
Fred and George looked over at the ash remains of the K'vor'nek demon and said in tandem, "Hermione, have we-"
"-ever told you-"
Hermione blushed a little and said, "The necessary binding spell requires a holy object. But my parents kept this from when I was christened. It was a present from the minister, so I was sure it would count as a holy object."
Harry said, "Let's get back and check on Ron."
Ginny flew over and gave each of the twins slightly awkward one-armed hugs. She said, "Thanks so much."
"Well, it's the least we could do for our favorite sister," they said.
Harry said, "We'll see if there's something else we can cook up for you soon."
They all landed, and the twins apparated home.
Harry asked, "And what do we do about the humans? What if some of them are wizards too? Or if some of them are just evil enough to work with vampires and demons?"
Current Time: Sat May 18 13:19:34 EDT 2013
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