The battle ends
I only did a small bit of this chapter before being stuck forever. So I turned to my beta and great partner RoseyPoseyPie who, despite all the work and things she had going on in her life found time to complete this chapter. And she did an amazing job on it. This is one of the best chapters I have read in any story and I'm sure all of you will enjoy it.
When Angel peeked out a window facing the castle two hours after the battle had started she was worried to see it was still going. She hoped that everyone was ok and that the only fighting that was still going on was against the dark creatures that Amora had most likely brought to the battle. But until someone came and told them it was ok she just had to sit and hope that everyone is safe.
"Princess Angel? I think we're ready for the next question." A student called.
Angel turned and smile, trying to keep up the appearance that everything was fine and they had nothing to worry about. "Alright then. How about a Defense against the Dark Arts question next?"
"Ron?" Eisa called doing battle against a very stubborn troll a few feet from where Darcy and Ron were dealing with another.
"Yes?" Ron called as he ducked the club coming at him before throwing a stun spell at the troll's hand, causing the club to fly out of its hand and slammed into the dragon's side.
"My brother and I were thinking about spending the summer with your family and father tells me that he and mother plans to have some of the magical families over to the tower. Do you think your family would be interested in visiting us there?" Eisa hadn't had a chance to see tower yet but from the way her brothers had described it, it sounded like an interesting place.
Ron actually stopped moving for a moment. He'd heard of the Avengers tower from Harry and had an interest in seeing it. Ron also knew that his father would love to get a chance to stay with muggles as well as meet Tony Stark and ask him all kinds of questions. Ron had remained still for so long Darcy had to pull him out of the way of rock a troll had tossed at him.
"You can answer that question later." Darcy shouted at them.
"Ok I'm bored now." Tony called as he cut down a group of Inferi. The battle had been going on for two hours with both sides taking blows and losing numbers.
Steve was wishing that they could take a break. Fighting undead creatures like Inferi and dark wizards really took a lot out of him. It wasn't that they were hard to fight, but the sheer numbers started to beat him down. And the fight itself was absolutely terrifying. Dragons, the undead, trolls. Steve sort of wished that he was back to when he only had to fight Hydra.
Thor flew past with Mjolnir, knocking into a troll so hard that its skull cracked sickeningly and the beast dropped onto the floor dead. After the time, they were not pulling any punches. Except on the students, they didn't want to condemn teenagers who were being stupid to lives of misery after the Avengers dished out on them. But after every wave of enemies were defeated, another wave came just to deliver more blows.
But the Avengers didn't run out of allies, either. As soon as the fight started, the witches and wizards of Hogsmeade has rushed to aid the defense of Hogwarts. As news spread through the floo network, more and more wizards were apparating to just outside the Hogwarts grounds to aid the defense. The protection of the school was vital for the wizarding community.
Hermione was still fighting alongside Draco Malfoy, a development she wasn't particularly fond of. She had Fenrir alongside them in the beginning of the battle, but he had delved into the thicket of Inferi. She knew he was alright for she could hear his feral growls and the wails of the Inferi he ripped apart. She saw a Gryffindor upperclassmen, wand at the ready, aiming at him with a fixed anticipation. She knew this Gryffindor was one of Amora's allies. The bolt of red light shot at Malfoy, and Hermione had no idea how to defend someone else with magic in that split second, so she decided to do a more muggle tactic. She picked up a rock, and with a strength from carrying heavy books across campus, she flung it at Draco Malfoy. It hit him in the chest and he was knocked backwards, missing the spell.
"What the-"He looked up at her. "You saved me."
Hermione sent the full body-bind curse at the Gryffindor. "Yeah," She replied. "Don't make me regret it."
"You dislike me clearly."
"Well, yeah, you're a racist jerk," She replied. She brushed a curly dark brown strand of hair from her forehead. "I mean, it's bad enough what we're dealing with in the muggle world. Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin over in America, and the wage gap, and all that crap. But then we have to add all this aristocratic hierarchy on the pureness of magic in your blood? Give me a break," She sighed.
"I-I don't understand," Draco stuttered. "Who's Trayvon Martin?"
"Forget it," Hermione rolled her eyes, but she offered him a hand so he could get back on his feet. "Try not to die, Malfoy." She had to admit, it was pretty satisfying hitting him in the chest.
Elsewhere in the battle, the Hulk was still trying to fight the large Dragon. But The Ukrainian Ironbelly, the largest species of Dragon, was absolutely rampaging.
"We need to figure out how to stop that Dragon," Jane told Neville. "I have an idea."
"What can we do?" Neville asked.
"What would happen if a Dragon heard a mandrake?" Jane asked. Of course, she was an astrophysicist. That didn't mean she wasn't fascinated by all magical sciences. Especially the ones that were extremely dangerous.
"I have a better idea, what about a Gorgon root?" Neville asked. "Mandrakes kill people… but a gorgon root, whoever eats it turns to stone."
"Do we have them at Hogwarts?" Jane asked.
"Greenhouse three; extremely dangerous," Neville grinned. His smile faltered. "But how do we get on top of the Dragon's head?"
"My boyfriend can fly," Jane shrugged. "Let's defeat this dragon." She grinned. She and Neville scampered off to the greenhouses.
Natasha had gotten separated from Clint in the heat of the battle. She knew he was alright. He was perched in a tree on the outskirts of the forest, shooting down enemies. Natasha had found herself back to back with the transfiguration professor, McGonagall. The woman was a force to be reckoned with. One flick of her wand, and she could deflect five different spells. Another wave, and ten Death Eaters would be knocked back onto their bottoms. Natasha was taught to revere power.
"Look out," Natasha pulled the elder woman away from a particularly acidic green blast of magic. She shot a dendrotoxin dart out of the ICER she had equipped, knocking the Death Eater responsible unconscious.
"Look out," Professor McGonagall pulled Natasha out of the way from the swing of an axe. Skurge was standing there, in his nine foot glory. It seemed he wanted a second go at defeating the Black Widow. Natasha wasted no time. On the second swing, which slammed into the ground, she leapt off the blade of his axe and fastened her thighs tightly around his neck. She clenched tightly with all her force, and his face turned from a battle ready flustering pink to a deathly, grayish purple. He gagged and gripped at her legs, trying to peel her off. As a last resort, he slammed himself backwards. Natasha realized what he was trying to do and leapt off of him, unfortunately, her landing was lest to say, awkward. She slammed into the ground, when her arm came into contact with the grass, there was a nasty pop. Skurge gasped for air, righted himself, and lifted his axe. He brought his axe down towards Natasha, who was still disoriented.
A blast of white magic erupted out of McGonagall's wand and shot directly at the axe. The axe erupted into a far less threatening weapon, it became a large quantity of kittens.
"M-my axe!" Skurge stuttered, looking at the meowing furry little balls of joy that circled his feet. "It was made of the purest Asgardian steel, forged in the depths of the largest volcano in Muspelheim, passed down upon the greatest warriors of my clan for millennium-"
"It makes a very adorable litter of calicos," McGonagall said very matter-of-factly. Skurge roared in rage and charged towards her. She made a large movement with her arm, and the warrior was knocked back, smashing into a tree. She twisted her wrist, and the bark slithered across his body, securing him. He writhed and roared, but the thick bark of the evergreen secured him
"Are you alright?" McGonagall asked Natasha. Natasha was sitting up, a welt forming on her forehead where she skidded on the grass.
"Dislocated my shoulder, I've had worse," Natasha shrugged.
"This may hurt," McGonagall pointed her wand at Natasha. "Episkey!"
Natasha's arm went back into its socket. She yelped with displeasure. She shrugged her shoulder. "Thanks, professor."
"Minerva is fine, dear," McGonagall looked at the seventeen small kittens rolling in the grass. "I'm going to get these to safety."
"I'll help," Natasha said. Each scooped up an armful of the kittens. For being forged in a volcano, they were very docile.
Amora was getting restless, two hours, and a battle that was supposed to be simple was turning into a violent attack. More and more people were coming to aid the Avengers, and protect Hogwarts. She decided it was high time she did something that she knew would succeed.
"Wormtail, I'm leaving," She announced to the rat-man. "I trust you can hold the fort while I am away?"
"Yes, your ladyship," He bowed awkwardly.
"Good," She smiled.
In a cloud of acidic green smoke; she vanished. As soon as she was gone, Wormtail looked both ways, turned into a rat, and scampered off. The man may have been sorted into Gryffindor, but he was all sorts of a coward.
Amora, meanwhile, appeared in the heat of the battle. She walked between the legs of a troll, and grabbed the young son of Loki from behind. The boy struggled, but stopped instantly when he felt her blade at his throat.
Loki whipped around to see his son in Amora's grasp. He paled considerably.
"Take me to the core, or I will give your son a few more scars," Amora threatened. "And perhaps, I might even kill the precious boy. Or perhaps, I will make him mine," She cackled.
Loki sighed and in a flash of gold, they were near the entrance to the core.
"Don't show her, dad!" Harry managed.
"I'm sorry Harry, but I'm not losing you again, it's this way," Loki sighed. Amora grinned, and the three walked towards the entrance. Loki opened the door, "It's down here-"He heard a gasp of pain. Was it Harry's? He whipped around, fearful of what he may see. He saw red. But it was not the blood of his son, nor was it the blood of Amora. Red tendrils of light were pulling at Amora, grabbing her hair and her arms and her dress. The knife glowed orange with heat, until Amora screamed and dropped it. The red light continued pulling at Amora, like vines. The more she let go of Harry, the more they appeared. As soon as Harry was out of her grasp, the red chains of energy focused back to his hand. Amora was now shackled in his reach.
"Harry… what are you doing?" Loki asked.
"I don't know!" Harry exclaimed. Red blisters were appearing on Amora's skin where the chains held her in place. Her gasps of pains became ragged sobs. Her hair burned and turned black where it smoldered. "I can't stop!"
Just then a great stone pillar collapsed through the wall, right where the three were standing. Amora was flung backwards, tumbling down the great marble staircase. Loki could not see Harry in the cloud of dust.
Jane picked up a fallen tree branch and smashed it through the window of the Greenhouse. With the stick, she cleared the jagged, broken glass away from the window so it was open enough for her and Neville to get through. Neville climbed through the window and carefully tread across the sharp slivers of glass. He rushed, picked up a pair of gloves, and dug his hand inside a pot. He pulled out a root that looked like a snake. It moved like a snake, too. He stuffed it in an empty soil sack and ran back towards Jane, "You need to get Thor to put this in the dragon's mouth."
Jane nodded, "Got it, thank you, Neville." She reached for the sack through the window, and pulled it through. Like some twisted relay race, she ran back towards the thick of the battle, searching the sky for her blonde alien lover. She stood, her back to the black lake, looking through the thick of the battle for a familiar bolt of lightning or flash of a red cape.
"THOR!" She yelled.
Unbeknownst to her, Thor has pushed past the ranks of the Inferi on the ground, and was in the Forbidden forest, close to discovering Amora's hideout. To her, though, she could only fear the worse. She jumped when she felt something wet on her back. It was Jormungandr. He nuzzled her again, tilting his head to one side.
"I need to get on top of that dragon!" Jane exclaimed. Somehow, the snake understood, lowering its head. She climbed onto the scaly creature, grabbing the ridges with one hand, holding the gorgon root with the other. Jormungandr slithered up from the lake, at a speed Jane was amazed by, and a smoothness that made her feel safe despite the war around her. Jormungandr approached the dragon, and dodged a great pillar of fire. Jane still felt the heat. Jormungandr lunged at the Dragon's head, catching its neck in his teeth. In that same moment, Jane jumped from one scaly monster to the other. Jane got her hand wedged between two scales. She shimmied up its neck and held onto a horn for dear life. The Dragon opened its mouth to roar in pain and Jane took her chance to jump once more and drop the root into the dragon's maw. It took a few seconds, but soon the entire dragon turned to stone, and started to tip backwards. The tail smashed into a wall of the castle. Knocking Amora down the marble staircase.
Jane had no footing, and no place to put her hands, and she slipped down the ridged back of the creature. Pain erupted from every part of her body as her bones cracked against the rock. She landed in the soft mud, but her body was fairly broken.
Angel was watching from the window when she saw Jormungandr attack the dragon, and then it turned to stone and smashed into the castle. She knew that the tides were changing for the battle.
"Are we winning?" A young student asked her.
"I think we are," Angel smiled.
The dust settled, and Loki saw his son, unconscious, sprawled out on the floor. He rushed over. "Harry?" He asked. He felt his son's heart beating, and he sighed. He knew that the boy was not injured, just exhausted. Not only had he defeated Amora, but his magic protected him from the… tail? Apparently someone had turned the dragon to stone. He lifted his son and walked down the Dragon's tail. He saw the broken body of a woman lying face-down, and covered in mud. Whoever she was, he would hate to be her family. He saw the Captain.
"Rogers!" He exclaimed.
"Loki? What happened to Harry?"
"He exhausted himself. The core is safe. I will go deal with Amora. I believe we are winning." With the defeat of the dragon, the only things that weren't retreating were the mindless undead. "Round up the students who worked for Amora. I want to see which willingly allied themselves with her, and which were controlled. I can tell.
Steve nodded, "Alright. I'll keep an eye on Harry."
"Thank you," Loki almost smiled. He went back into the castle. The Enchantress was no longer enchanting, least to say. His son had burned her, and blistered her. She would be covered in scars for the rest of her life.
"Are you going to kill me?" She spat. The fall would not hurt an Asgardian, but she was already weak.
"No," Loki shook his head. "My wife however, now she might. You've lost Amora."
Amora grimaced. "Maybe I have not succeeded in getting the core. But Thanos knows of your whereabouts now," She smiled. Loki paled. "Oh yes. Mind you, the Xandarians have delivered a blow to him recently. But he knows who you are, Loki. He knows who Angel is, and who Harry is. What's stopping him from hurting you?"
"The Avengers." Loki replied.
Thor had finished exploring Amora's hideaway, but he could not find the rat man. Skurge had been taken down by the Professor McGonagall, a battle that likely would be sung in Valhalla for eons. He was walking back when he saw Natasha rush at him. The expression on her face was stricken.
"What has happened?" Thor asked.
"It's Jane," She managed. "She- she killed the Dragon… but-"
Thor spun Mjolnir and rushed to the hospital wing. The Avengers were crowded around their fallen comrade. Jane had broken almost every bone in her body with that fall, but somehow, she was hanging onto life. Not for that much longer, however.
"Jane," He gasped. "I'm here!"
"Thor? I'll take your word for it. I can't exactly see," She croaked. "I'm sort of bleeding into my brain."
"Can't you do something?" Thor asked. "Can't anyone do something?"
"Even Asgard's healers couldn't help her," Sif said. Sif and more of the Asgardians had joined the battle against Amora with Heimdall's guidance. "Midgardians are much frailer than us. Thor I am sorry."
"Jane… I am sorry, I failed you."
"It was my choice," Jane smiled softly. "You could never fail me. You were the alien prince who found something about me that was likable. Thanks for making my life interesting. Really. I love you."
"This isn't the end," Thor promised her.
She didn't reply.
"She's asleep," Madam Pomfrey said. "It's a… coma, I believe.
An hour later, and the Avengers had disbanded. Thor stayed by Jane's side.
"Do you love her?" Sif asked. She stood behind Thor.
"Yes," Thor nodded. "With all of my soul."
"She'll go to Valhalla," Sif told him.
"I would rather spend eternity in Hel, as long as it is with her," Thor replied.
"Thor, why did you never give me a chance?" Sif asked.
"All the times I flirted with you, bantered with you, had my back, you never saw me any more than a friend. And I… I respect that," Sif said. "I always have. But, is there something about me that is unlovable?"
"Just answer me."
"I never considered you unlovable, you were my partner, my friend, I fought alongside you. I just, I never saw you as anything more."
Sif nodded, "Well, Thor, I love you," She told him. "It's unrequited, and I've never been in love before, so maybe I'm naïve. But, I would rather spend eternity in Hel than see you unhappy. And if her life will make you happy, then I will give you that." Sif reached up and kissed Thor softly on the mouth. Thor was surprised. Before he could ask any questions, Sif pressed a golden rod against Jane and in a flash of blue; Sif was gone. A second later, Jane sat up, gasping.
"What happened?" Jane asked."
"Jane?" Thor asked. "Are you alright."
"A little dizzy," She nodded, before passing right out again.
"And then Sif…. Vanished?" Tony asked, Thor was recanting his story. "And then Jane was okay, and then she fainted?"
"She did, yes," Thor nodded.
"This sword?" Loki asked, inspecting it. "I've read about it, long ago. It's an object of legend. It can transfer the energy of a soul. With her Asgardian power, Sif's soul must have healed Jane."
"Well, are there any adverse effects?" Bruce asked, he was wearing a spare set of robes.
"As I said, it was only a legend, how she found it-"
"I gave it to her," A broken voice spoke up. Amora, her beauty disfigured under blisters and singed hair, was chained to her hospital bed. "I planned on using it on the core, that power all to myself. However, once my plans were ruined, I could still cause some pain. Now Thor, can the good man deal with a woman who loved him killing herself for his wellbeing. She will never go to Valhalla, she didn't die in battle."
"Valhalla is for those who die a hero's death. Sacrificing one's life for another is a hero's death," Thor said harshly.
"Oh, first there is shock, then denial, then there is anger, then bargaining, then depression, and by that time, you've done so many awful things in your grief, nobody will be at your side when you finally reach acceptance." Amora smiled. "It's a pity I'll be in prison so I won't get to see it. You will write, won't you?" She pouted. Somehow, despite her burns, blisters and scratches, she looked as much as an intimidating succubus as ever.
"Loki?" Angel asked. She was the last to return to the castle, making sure everyone was back. "Oh my god, I was so worried!" She exclaimed. He rushed towards her and picked her up carefully, kissing her. "Harry?" She asked.
"He defeated Amora?"
"All by himself?"
"Well, the Dragon Tail smashing into her certainly didn't hurt," Loki replied. "The Norns decided to be humorous, and cruel today." As they stood by their son's bedside as he slept, Loki exclaimed what happened to Sif.
"Wow," Angel sighed. "I mean, I didn't necessarily like her, but… wow. Hopefully Valhalla welcomes her."
"I agree." Loki nodded. "Despite our recent history, she was my childhood friend."
"I've used my magic to interrogate them, quite a large number were under the imperius curse, however, I found about a central seven that were directly allied to Amora."
"I guess they'll get discipline."
"Their wands will be broken and they will spend a period in Azkaban."
"They're children who made a stupid decision," Angel sighed.
"Which is why I'm pushing for the Wizengamot to try an alternative punishment, say, community service."
"I guess you can't keep this one out of the papers," Angel looked at the room of the injured. More were in the halls outside. Throughout the year, between Stark Industry's subsidiary companies, Tony's hacking, Natasha's contacts and general reverence for Loki, muggle and wizarding information about recent events was not public information. However, with the general call to arms that saved the school, it would be difficult to tell anyone what happened didn't. And as for the muggles, after so long without the Avengers, they were getting suspicious.
"Hey," Tony walked over. "If you two agree to take your kids and move into Avengers Tower this summer, that's the entire team!"
"I'm part of the team now?" Loki asked.
"Your wife is, you're her sassy sidekick," Tony quipped.
"I'm fine with it," Angel shrugged.
"Then so am I," Loki replied, kissing her hair.
"Awesome!" Tony grinned. "I have a party to plan!"
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