The Reception - Part Two
A/N: Hi guys. Love, that you´ve found my battle-filled last chapter so great. As you know, its time for some serious battles to go down, so I won´t keep you in suspence much ;D I have made a fair few spells, that are not cannon but I needed our heroes to have a good arsenal :D
Also, this is the first time in my fic, that Fiendfyre is used. I know, that in the cannon the thing cannot be stopped by water, but I always felt that every curse has a counter-curse and so I´ve thought up the Water Guardian Spell, to counter it – you´ll see soon.
As you know, our five Snakies always make their own rules and can be very lethal when something dear to them is in danger. I realize, that you guys may be shocked about a certain thing, but ... well... I´ll leave that to judge for yourselves.
I hope you will find this short, but battle-filled chapter as nice as the last one, perhaps even more :D Feel free to drop me a line, if you thought that the fights weren´t as good. However, rest assured, that this is only the begining and more cool fights are still on plan :D
Chapter 19: The Reception – Part Two
Draco ran like crazy – as though his very life had depended on it. But it was not his life, he was concerned about.
"Lucky you´re here, boss."exclaimed Caractacus Slughorn urgently, the moment that Draco burst into the belltower.
"We have a problem! We can´t get upstairs no matter how hard we try!"said Melania Yaxley in an even voice.
Draco´s eyes found the large black barrier set on the stairs and cutting off the rest of the holes leading all the way up to the bell. He recodnized it all-too well.
"The Dark Mark Barrier. But that would mean..."
Just then Algernon Rosier flew away from it, thrown into the air by the Barrier´s power and hitting the ground painfully.
"Algie! Are you all right?"exclaimed Cassandra Carrow who was at once at her fiance´s side.
"Yeah... but damn it, that hurt."he moaned in pain as he tried to get up, but failing miserably.
"Don´t move!"exclaimed Draco, approaching the pair of them.
"Subsidio"he called, waving his wand at his fallen comarade.
Algernon breathed in pure relief as the aches and pains left from the barrier dissapeared in an instant.
"Thanks, Captain."he said as his fianceé smiled at Draco in appretiation.
"Think nothing of it."replied Draco modestly as he turned and fixed his sight on Deianira, who along with Septimus was throwing one spell after another – none capable of penetrating the black barrier.
"That kind of magic won´t work on it."he said, shaking his head.
Deianira shot her fiance a death-glare.
"Well then, captain... do you have a better idea?!"
He was well aware of his fellow task-members coming closer, eager for an explanation or solution.
"The Dark Mark Barrier can only be undone by the witch or wizard who conjured it. Hurling charms and curses at it won´t help. Touching it is also inadvisable. This is a cursed barrier – it harms whatever touches it, though not severely. However... there are multiple ways of undoing it, dispite the wishes of its caster. Or merely passing trough it in one case."
Deianira shot one final curse at it, before turning to Draco.
"Okay, Malfoy. We´re all ears. How do you undo this..."
Just then a series of gun-like explosions rang from upstairs, the bell emitting a few weak tunes as though something had hit it. Draco´s eyes went wide, a small look of fear crossing his features.
"HEY! Where are you going?!"exclaimed Deianira as Draco darted to the barrier.
Many of the Task Force, like Algernon, Caractacus and Melania gasped, expecting to see Draco thrown away from it, but...
"What the HELL?! HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!"shouted Deianira as her fiance ran trough the black barrier as though it wasn´t even there.
"I still have the Dark Mark from my Junior Death Eater days. Its the easiest way to get past this barrier."he explained urgently.
The belltower shook as another curse was cast upstairs.
"Leave this to me! Four of you circle the outside ot the tower to make sure no one enters OR escapes – there are still windows here!"he called as he quickly started to run up the stairs.
"Draco Malfoy, you wait just one minute!"roared Deainira, but too late – Draco had already dashed out of sight, just as another small explosion rang.
He ran up the stairs in manic speed, desperate to reach the top floor. As he was running, he was very well aware of the noise he was making on the wooden staircase, but he gave it no thought – the bangs and explosions heared from upstairs along with shouted incantations chilled him to the bones – Mulciber´s incantations listed some of the most dangerous curses known to him.
"Bloody hell..."thought the Masked Wizard, even while evading yet another deadly curse, that made another sizzling hole into the already damaged bell.
"The only thing he hadn´t used yet is..."
Suddenly a large flame erupted from Mulciber´s wand, swallowing the Fungus Curse shot at him and spiralling into the air, blasting the roof as it took the form of a large grim reaper.
"Fiendfyre?! THIS is bad!"thought the Masked One, wand at the ready.
There weren´t exactly too many ways to disable something so destructive and the problem was, that in the hands of an accomplished caster – such as Marcus Mulciber – the thing could be an incredibly deadly force.
Mulciber grinned wickedly as he brought his wand down and the firery reaper lunged at the Masked opponent.
"Aqua curatrix"another voice shouted – one that made the Masked One turn his head towards the newcomer.
Out of Draco´s wand streamed a jet of pure, ocean-blue water, that instantly shielded the Masked Wizard by colliding straight with the firery reaper, forcing it back slightly but barely extinguishing its form, which was swiftly repairing itself.
As the reaper once more readied itself to strike, Mulciber dashed from around it and pointed his wand on Draco.
"Lues insterno"he roared, sending a violet-black stream at the blonde-haired boy.
"Protega sanitas"exclaimed the Masked One urgently, desperate to shiled him.
The moment the violet-black stream of Mulciber´s Plague Curse had been contained by a pure white shield, just in front of Draco, the Fiendfyre reaper once more swooped on the pair of them, colliging with the Watery form, which had taken the shape of a peacock, pushing it back and about to break trough its form entirely.
"Aqua curatrix"called the Masked Wizard and another jet of water shot itself into the watery peacock, which grew rapidly in size and overwhelmed the Fiendfyre reaper, producing an instant wave of steam, along with falling droplets of water.
Draco tensed – time seemed to come to a halt as a chilling feeling took over. Mulciber was nowhere in sight, the steam that befell them, allowed him to hide himself. He took a step forward uncertainly.
"Must´ve made a run for it."muttered the Masked Wizard.
"Don´t think so... stay on alert..."Draco whispered back, squinting his eyes to see better in the dense mist.
They each took a few slow steps in the other direction, both on alert – the mist was slowly dissapearing, if it came to an ambush cursing, it would have to go down any second now...
Suddenly a stream of curses flew out of nowhere, both had to use all the speed they possesed to block every single one.
A feeling deep within Draco´s heart erupted – a feeling, he knew very well whom it came from. Obeying it, he instantly took a few steps back, coming back-to-back with the Masked One. At once curses flew from both sides, but thistime the pair of them were ready, blocking just in time. The mist clared up almost completly and they saw that Mulciber had been joined by someone.
"Well well well... if it isn´t our Junior traitor himself."squeaked Peter Pettigrew, his watery eyes alight with malice.
"Hardly surprising though, isn´t it? Like father, like son."sneered Mulciber in derision.
"I beg to differ, gentlemen."said the Masked Wizard a note of humor barely audible under the magicly modified voice, but it still warmed Draco´s heart.
"Correct. Don´t compare me to my father - I´m worse."he grinned, feeling a strong surge of pride that entered his heart and knowing full-well whom it had come from.
"Is that so, you filthy little brat?!"Mulciber growled and moved in.
"Evasto"he roared and hearing it, Draco, the Masked Wizard and even Wormtail ducked to evade it.
The mighty explosion that ripped away what remained of the wooden wall of the belltower was so powerfull, that the shock wave it sent made all the windows in the nearby windows shatter into a milion pieces.
"Marcus, you idiot! That one was too powerfull!"squeaked Wormtail in anger, the curse would´ve hit HIM as well.
Mulciber sported a truly manic look on his face, not caring he had just nearly killed a fellow Death Eater as well.
"Who cares?! Evasto!"roared Mulciber, now completly lost in his rage.
The second Devastation Curse was even more powerfull than the first, thistime taking out a large chunk of the wooden floor, shattering the tower itself so badly, that all of them were thrown off their feet.
"Ampelos relligo"roared the Masked Wizard, waving his wand on Mulciber, but the Death Eater simply waved his wand and the vines made to encircle him remained in place, as though something invisible was preventing them from reaching their target.
With another wave of his wand, the vines changed into knives and with a third wave they flew with manic speed at the Masked Wizard.
"Speculum Reditio"roared Draco just in time.
His own signature-made spell made the knives vanish for a split-second and reappear in the next, but thistime aimed at Mulciber, who had conjured a silver shield from thin air and hid himself behind it as they struck.
Wormtail aimed his wand at Draco.
"Ampelos relligo"roared the Masked Wizard, also in the last possible moment.
Taken by surprise, Wormtail had failed to shield himself and in a second he was bound tightly by strong, green vines, before falling to the ground helplessly.
"That´s one down."said the Masked Wizard in truimph, coming closer to him.
"Evasto!"roared Mulciber from behind his silver shield.
Lucky for him, Wormtail had already transformed and used the full advantage of his tiny size and fast little legs to scurry away just in time.
The belltower shook as Mulciber´s Devastation Curse hit the spot, where the Masked Wizard would still be standing, had it not been for Draco´s Summoning Charm. Thistime however, the wooden, already damaged tower could not withstand such an impact.
A series of loud cracks came as the only warning, a mere second before the tower shook once more – as though sustaining a critical blow.
What remained of its side-walls cracked and started to break apart. As did the large wooden pillars, that supported the bell in mid-air. A loud snap announced, that they will not be able to do so any longer – they broke away, dragged down along with the heavy bell, taking portions of the floor along as they were fell all the way down along with the bell, falling and breaking apart on the black barrier beneath.
"TASK FORCE! EVERYBODY GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!"bellowed Draco to his comarades downstairs, knowing that the Dark Mark Barrier may as well be the only thing, that´s keeping the tower from collapsing completly right now.
The top of the tower however wasn´t so lucky. But dispite the cracking, breaking, snapping and falling of the very wood under their feet, Mulciber had yet to give up.
"Protego"exclaimed the Masked Wizard, redirecting a yet another curse of this manic Death Eater.
Just then, with a sickening crack, the floor under his feet had brocken apart, sending him falling down. Quickly turning, the Masked one was able to land successfully on the floor beneath them, but a bit painfully, the pain dazing him for a moment and keeping him laying on the spot. However more of the brocken pieces fell right down after and before the Masked one could do anything to avoid it, several of them, including another brocken-off piece of the pillars pinned him to the floor, knocking his brilliant Rosewood wand out of his hand. Goaning, the Masked one tried to shift some of the weight away with one arm, his other hand reaching for the nearby fallen wand.
"This is the end of you, you Masked bastard!"roared Mulciber in savage triumph, dashing down the stairs, his wand at the ready.
The eyes under his mask went wide, his hand reaching more franticly for his wand, his mind certain, that the Killing Curse was only moments away. His fingers almost enclosed on the wand, when Mulciber´s foot kicked it away, a look of utter triumph on his face.
The Masked Wizard´s eyes went even wider as the Death Eater´s face took on a murderous look while he aimed his wand directly at his face.
The Masked Wizard shut his eyes tight – THIS was it!
There was a flash of green light, a crash and the sound of something heavy hitting the ground outside, accompanied by many screams.
The Masked Wizard opened his eyes, a feeling deep in the heart offering soothing calm as the crushing weight of the wooden prision had been lifted from him in one instant.
Even without the mask, Draco Malfoy could easily see the cheeky grin under it.
"What took you so long, Dray?"
"Oh, damn it!"exclaimed Ginny as she nearly tripped once more.
James and Angus halted, just before the enterance to the West Wing.
"Are you all right, Gin?"asked Angus.
"Its this stupid wedding dress. Somehow... it just isn´t made for jogging."she replied in mild-annoyance.
James couldn´t help but snicker.
"In that case... allow me."he said, waving his wand on Ginny.
In an instant, the wedding dress had transformed into a battle robes – comfortable, black and red with golden flame-patterns along with a Gryffindor symbol on the chest.
"A girl should look presentable, when rescuing her darling husband from certain doom, right?"asked James, wiggling his eyebrows.
Dispite the seriousness of the situation, the three shared a small laugh.
Just then a curse flew from the house, directed straight at James.
"Protego"roared Ginny, shielding her father-in-law, rebounding the curse back at its black-robed caster, who was promtly knocked out.
Four other black-robed wizards ran at them, jumping over their fallen comarade. The trio was ready, blocking incoming curses and responding accordingly. James chaught two of them in his curse, sticking the two of them together back-to back. Ginny, swiftly and non-verbally struck the other two with her Bat Bogey Hex.
"Wow... nice one, kiddo."commented James, a bit in awe as the two figured tried to rid themselves of the bats, flapping and attacking their heads.
"Arania Telam"exclaimed Angus, wrapping all four of the flailing figures in a pure white sticky string, cocooning them on the spot.
Wasting not a moment, the three ran into the house, entering the West wing. The moment they have, they spotted the black barrier, blocking their passage into the main room.
"Dammit! Blocked off!"exclaimed James.
"This way! Let´s try bypassing it to the main hall."suggested Angus.
The trio quickly ran across the corridor, that outlined the main hall. A series of loud bangs, crashes and unmistakably curses, coupled with screams and tremors, that shook the dust from the furniture shook the West wing.
"Harry..."whispered Ginny, her face going pure-white.
"He can take care of himself, Gin. Trust me, you have nothing to worry..."started Angus, but Ginny did not seem to hear him.
She sped in manic speed, desperate to get to his side, horrified at the thought of something happening to him. The closer she ran towards the end of the corridor, the louder the sounds and cries grew, furthering her sence of terror.
"Finite... Reducto... Expulso... DAMMIT!"exclaimed a female voice, Ginny had no trouble to recodnize.
"Alice! Don´t touch it! You´ll only harm yourself!"came another female voice.
"We HAVE to get in there, Mum! We have to!"
"HARRY!"both voices exclaimed just as a large explosion, that shook the West wing rang.
Breathless she stopped just by the barrier, separating the main hall. Lily and Alice were standing there with Neville. Both girls had tears in their eyes and Neville´s face sported a look of complete shock, that seemed to have paralyzed him completly.
"No... Harry..."breathed James, who had just arrived with Angus.
Standing on all sides of the hall, beside the brocken furniture were no less than seven people, wands aimed at the centre, where the explosion have taken place, a stream of black smoke rising from it.
"HARRY!"screamed Ginny, absolutely positive that her husband stood right at the spot, which was now emitting that smoke – no less than six curses must´ve hit him all at once.
"I...impossible..."breathed Rabastan Lestrange as the black smoke was dissapearing, giving way to a pure golden glow.
The Potters and Ginny barely breathed as the golden glow – one that they often saw on Naja´s scales – shone trough all the smoke, encased around Harry Potter like an armor.
"All right, Lestrange..."he said in a voice as cool as a blast of icy wind, while the golden glow vanished.
"... playtime´s over – I´m duelling seriously, NOW."
Rabastan shook his head as if to clear it.
"Is that right, boy? ATTA-"
Before he could get the order out of his mouth, Harry had already covered the distance between them, his fist making contact with Rabastan´s face, the punch knocking the Death Eater off his feet and making him hit the nearby mirror, the glass shaterring as he fell trough it.
Two of the nearest, one of them being an Imperiused Albert Runcorn, fired their curses at Harry, but he blocked both of them at the same time with absurd ease.
"Avada..."started the third, but Harry´s Cedar wand was already on him.
"Mummafasca"he bellowed and the wizard was at once encased in his own robes.
James gasped, knowing exactly where he had seen that spell.
As the other three started to fire their curses, Harry simply spun on his heel, twirling out of reach – the curses stricking the barrier uselessly.
Lily, Alice, Ginny and Neville gasped as they saw Harry (a strange, momentary golden glow in his eyes) blocking one curse after another from all directions, countering accordingly.
Moving in towards Runcorn, he grinned wickedly.
"Gravitas Horizontas"he bellowed, the curse striking Runcorn before he could perform his own curse, sending him flying straight into the wall of the barrier.
The barrier blasted him away, but something (and James had a very good inckling of what) forced him back onto it.
Deflecting another three curses, Harry pointed his wand at Runcorn, who had by now been blasted away from the barrier wall for the third time.
Runcorn fell to the ground, twitched and fell into unconciousness.
"THAT was for trying to spoil the wedding in the first place, Imperius Curse or not."he said in a satisfied voice, as though he were a professor punishing a first-year for mischief.
"Cruci-"shouted another one, but was once more too slow for Harry.
"Speculio"breathed Harry in an almost gentle way.
At once, the wizard, intent on cursing him was turned around in the opposite direction as though someone had just flipped over a mirror – Harry´s Mirror Charm making him strike the other wizard, who instantly screamed in agony under his fellow´s Cruciatus Curse.
"Its not nice to torture people, you know."said Harry in a teacher-sort of voice.
At once the wizard in question was wrapped in his own robes and lifted off his feet, suspended in the air by the anckle by the Levicorpus spell.
In a swift motion, the same happened to the two other wizards standing nearby. The onlookers could barely believe what they were seeing. Harry was clearly having the upper-hand, playing with his opponents and disabling them one after another. Ginny couldn´t help but feel relieved in a way. Her husband was not only safe, but she was sure, that nothing, whatever these idiots throw at him, could even hope to penetrate his defences. With a gasp, she remembered where she saw just such duelling prowess – in the Department of Mysteries as Barty Crouch and Bellatrix Lestrange duelled the...
"Avada Kedavra"roared Rabastan Lestrange.
The Killing Curse couldn´t even hope to come into contact with Harry, who had evaded without any effort.
Disabling another two wizards, Harry faced his opponent, his mood now changed – something, that was felt by the onlookers as well.
"I´m giving you ONE last chance, Lestrange... surrender, and you will walk out of this with your life."said Harry, his voice deathly calm, only furthering what he had said – there was no doubt in anyone´s mind, that he was dead serious about it.
"H...Harry?"breathed Ginny, while Alice looked terrified and Lily looked shocked.
"Crucio"roared Rabastan, but the curse didn´t even make contact, being disabled a split-second ago.
"Trucidio"he roared again, but the curse was stopped before it could even strike.
Just then, the two remaining Imperiused Wizards lunged at Harry, ho had blocked their curses.
"Avada Kedavra"roared Rabastan, his wand on Harry.
"Subicio"exclaimed Harry, magicly swiching himself with the knight´s armor replica on the side of the room.
"GET HIM! HOLD HIM FOR ME TO KILL!"roared Rabastan, his last two puppets at once obeying, charging him, firing one curse after another.
"Avada Kedavra"roared Rabastan again, as Harry was preocupied for the tiniest second, disabling the two with his Mummafasca Spell.
"Positio"breathed Harry, dissapearing from view completly, once more evading certain death.
"I´m no fool boy, I won´t fall for such an easy trick – Avada Kedavra"he roared, firing the Killing Curse into the barrier.
However, instead of being blasted or absorbed by it, it flew trought the barrier as though it were never there, aiming for...
"LILY!"roared James, swiftly jumping at her, forcing the pair of them onto the floor as Rabastan´s Killing Curse missed them by inches.
"MUM! DAD! YOU SCUM! CRUCIO!"roared Alice.
However, Alice´s Cruciatus Curse hit the barrier and was absorbed with a small explosion. So was Ginny´s Curse before she had to duck a Killing Curse as well.
"Rabastan grinned wickedly as Harry came into view, as he knew he would.
Ginny gasped, seeing the face of her husband. Stony, brutal and murderous – the Death Eater had crossed the final line and was now about to pay a terrifying price for daring to harm his loved ones.
As Rabastan aimed his wand at Harry, a powerfull tremor took hold of the room. It was just like back at Hogwarts infront of the Relationship Counsil, but, Ginny saw with held breath, this one seemed to be more powerfull and intense.
"Avada..."roared Rabastan, but Harry´s Cedar wand was way quicker.
"Vocet infernae"breathed Harry in a cold, deadly whisper.
A jet of pure golden light, accompanied by a loud, almost motor-like sound flew and struck Rabastan. There was a loud snapping noise, as though his very bones were crashed by the impact. Neville gasped, as did Alice – she had seen that Curse once, during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Rabastan swayed, his wand falling from his hand and for a second he looked as though the very breath was knocked out of his lungs.
"Be sure to give my best to your boss, Lestrange."said Harry in an ice-cold voice, looking at him mercilessly.
A look of sheer terror coupled with excruciating pain fell over his face. Angus looked on as mercilessly as Harry did, but Alice, Lily, James and Ginny were staring in shock. Rabastan seemed to be getting thinner and thinner, as though something was drying his body complety out, effectively mummifying him alive. The drying skin was slowly turning into ash as though burning, so were the now clearly visible bones. In less than a few seconds, all that was left of the feared Death Eater was a pile of robes, ash and dust.
A second later, the Dark Mark Barrier had dissapeared, dying along with its caster. Angus was the only one, not eying him wildly, not shocked over what they have just witnessed.
"...son...?"whispered Lily uncertainly.
Harry´s eyes found that of his new wife´s and Ginny could see a small gleam of hurt as he scanned her shocked face. He closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh. When he opened them however, there was strength in them once more.
"Angus. We have to clean this up. And fast."he said calmly, jerking his head towards the wizards, who were still bound, jerking on the floor or hovering in mid-air.
Angus flashed him a supportive smile.
"You got it, chief. Can´t have them remembering what went down in here once the Imperius Curse lifts."
A tiny smile cracked on Harry´s face.
"My thoughts exactly."
Still under the shocked gazes of the Potter family, its new addition included, the two boys at once moved towards the bound ones.
The two went from bound wizard to another, casting the Clearing, Memory and Sleep Charms on each and every one of them, conjuring chairs into which they seated them one by one. James was startled by their efficiency. Even when Harry tol him everything, he still had trouble believing it... until he saw it with his own eyes. Lily and Alice shared a look.
"Harry... that curse you... you ki-...killed him with..."breathed Lily, still chilled by what she had seen.
"Its an ancient one, Mum. Ancient Egyptian, to be precice."answered Harry in a quiet voice, not daring to look at either his Mum or his wife.
"That curse... during the Battle of Hogwarts, You-know-who was stuck by THAT VERY CURSE! His body turned to dust exactly like that."breathed Alice, remembering how she rushed to Neville´s aid, when Voldemort was torturing him, when the same golden light struck Voldemort.
"It was you... you were the one... you ARE the one..."breathed Neville, something inside him - something completly different from his now-shocked self, was raging.
However Neville didn´t pay any attention to it right now, nor the prickling of his scar. He had just realized, who was the person that saved his life, the person that killed Voldemort.
Ginny approached him. She supposed, she could have made the connection by now. His talent, his skill, his involvment with the Junior Death Eaters, his and the other snakie´s plans...
Harry´s eyes went wide as he felt Ginny´s hand take his. He once more locked eyes with her an thistime, for the first time EVER, Ginny could see fear in them.
"Harry... you... you´re the Masked Wizard, aren´t you?"she breathed, completly sure of it now.