Luna, Draco, Harry, Heero, Quatre and Duo made their way toward the Headmaster's office as swiftly as their feet could carry them. While Duo was beginning to feel better from his backlash with Quatre's ability, he still wasn't fully back up to snuff. Heero carried more than helped him along. Draco glanced nervously around the halls. He wasn't certain that things were going to go well. Even with the woman going after the strongest wizard in the school, there was a feeling of worry and doubt in everyone's expression.
"Dumbledore can take care of himself," Harry said certainly, the worry of the others not as thick in his voice yet.
"I think so as well," Quatre whispered. "He's got a feeling of great power around him at all times." While Duo wanted to agree with both of them, there was always weaknesses, even in the most powerful wizard here.
""You don't all really believe Dumbledore is invincible do you?" Luna asked suddenly, speaking up from the front of the group. All eyes turned to the blond haired girl. It was obvious Harry and Draco thought she was a little daft.
"What do you know, Lovegood? You believe the rot your father prints in that trash paper of his," Draco growled. Luna turned to Draco, almost calmly and turned her protuberant silvery-grey eyes on him. Duo thought the descriptions in the books didn't do Luna justice. While it was true her eyes did seem to make her always look surprised, and her hair was scraggly and waist-length, as well as dirt-blonde colored, it was kind of pretty on her. Her very pale eyebrows seemed to remind Duo of Draco's own pale coloring. The fact that her wand rested behind her ear for safekeeping, her necklace was made from butterbeer corks, and her earrings were made of radishes only added to her unique appearance.
"The Quibbler isn't a trash paper. It prints the facts the Ministry doesn't want wizards and witches to know," she said, matter-of-factly. After a short moment, a look passed between the three pilots. Luna sighed. "Anyway, what I said isn't stupid. I'm certain Duo would agree with me. Even the strongest can be brought down." Draco, Harry, and Quatre turned to Duo at her words. Duo, sadly and reluctantly, had to nod.
"Luna is correct guys. It's just like what we've seen in the war. Even the most protected and well trained person can fall," Duo said in a low voice.
Heero's Prussian blue eyes seemed to become a little sad at that. Duo was right in more ways than Heero would ever admit. Odin Lowe, Heero's guardian and the one who taught him so much when he was growing up, had been a highly skilled and trained assassin. Yet he had been killed while on assignment when Heero was just barely a teenager. It had been then that Heero had realized that even perfect training didn't mean they were invincible.
Quatre's own eyes seemed to dim slightly. The war had shown him that it didn't matter how protected and safe one thought they were. There was always repercussions, even one thought it was perfectly safe.
Harry swallowed, his eyes wide at those words. Having seen first hand where Duo, Heero, and Quatre had come from, he was certain they knew a lot about hardship and battling. In fact, from what little Duo and Sylrina had been able to tell them, Duo and the others came from a time that had just gotten over a major war that had lasted years. If Duo agreed with Luna, then it was very possible that things were about to become very, very bad.
Draco's gray eyes seemed to become sad as he thought of everything his father had told him about Voldemort and the Death Eaters. There was nothing they would stop at to kill Dumbledore and Harry. While Draco would try to protect Harry with his own life, he couldn't protect everything Harry loved as well. There were just too many of them. Yet if he had to, he would do what he could to help, no matter what.
Duo looked at all of them. Everyone had their own thoughts running through their minds at those words. But there wasn't time for inner reflections and worry about other people and places. If they didn't make it to Dumbledore's office, there would be no help for the headmaster. And Duo knew exactly what was supposed to happen. He just didn't know if most of the group was ready for such a thing. After all, death was never easy, even for those who were now used to it. Clearing his throat, he looked at all of them as they turned to him.
"Enough thinking on the worst. If we don't get moving, the worst will happen, without fail," Duo commented. The others nodded and continued to head toward the headmaster's office.
Dumbledore sat in the chair behind his desk, his blue eyes serious and watching his door. Dumbledore, while usually a little odd at times, was no idiot. He knew there was a good chance that once the threat to his students was over, the threat would then be turned on him. Of course, that didn't mean he was going to go down without a fight. His long, flowing silver hair, beard, and mustache seemed to shimmer with an inner glow. The half-moon glasses seemed to settle a little lower on his long, crooked nose than normal. Fawkes was resting on his perch, but he was just as alert as his master, even in his relaxed position.
The door opened slowly, with Maleficent walking in as if she owned the room. Her wand was at hand and a dark smirk rested on her lips. Her red hair spilled down her back like blood, while her gray-blue eyes seemed like ice. Her cheeks were a little shallow, even as her skin seemed slightly tan. "So, Headmaster, we meet for the first time," she said in her normal alto tone, although she was spiteful and dark when saying Headmaster.
"It would appear so. I don't recall you ever having come to school here," Dumbledore replied, almost as if they were having a normal conversation. Maleficent's lip curled at those words.
"Of course not! This school is far below my standards. I would never go to such a place," she snarled.
"Now, there isn't any reason to put down this school. While it may not be to your standards, I'm certain there are others who would disagree with you."
"Shut up, old man. I don't want to hear anything about this school. I've come to end your life in the name of the Dark Lord," she hissed, watching him with dark eyes. Dumbledore sighed softly, watching her with sad blue eyes.
"There is nothing that will gain you except placing blood on your hands."
"You think you'll be the first? Now, prepare to die," she growled, even as she pulled back her wand. "Avada..."
Arriving at the second floor at the gargoyle statue that led up to Dumbledore's office, Harry paused and cursed softly. Draco's eyes widened at some of the colorful words that fell from his lips.
"Potter, I wasn't expecting that from you," Draco said with pride in his voice. Luna did seem to smile at those words.
"What?" Duo asked, not certain they had time for another long discussion.
"I don't know the password this time," Harry said, with his emerald green eyes shimmering with worry.
"What! I thought you were Dumbledore's favorite? How could you not know?" Draco questioned hotly.
"We could try to guess," Quatre mentioned in a tone that showed he wanted to stop the fight.
"I haven't been spending time with Dumbledore this time!" Harry shouted back.
"Fine time to quit being Dumbledore's pet," Draco growled. Duo sighed and looked at Heero. Heero was watching them with a raised eyebrow.
"Did we ever act like that when we were fighting?" Heero asked. Duo nodded.
"Yeah, Hee-chan. A lot. Something tells me we'll be doing it for a long time to come to. It's because we always butt heads. Not that I mind it," Duo commented with a smirk and a wink. He then walked over to the fighting couple. "Would you two knock it off, you'd think you'd just been married and were having your first fight. That is, if it wasn't for the fact that you two always act like this."
Draco and Harry both turned bright shades of red. Luna raised a single eyebrow, which made her look even odder than normal. Quatre couldn't help but laugh at all three of them Duo and Heero shared a look.
"Hn," was all Heero remarked to that. Duo sighed.
"No while Harry may not know the password, I do. I've been training with Dumbledore for most of the time we've been here." That said, Duo walked over to the statue and grinned. "Bottlecaps," he murmured to it, causing the statue to shift and begin to spiral upward to form the hidden staircase. Heero raised an eyebrow at that and stared at his partner. Even Quatre seemed to be trying not to laugh.
"Was that your idea for a password or Dumbledore's?" Heero asked for the braided teen. Duo simply grinned and didn't comment, moving slowly and silently up the stairs, the others following. Luna headed up after Heero, who had gone right after Duo. Harry and Draco followed with Quatre taking the tail end to make certain they weren't spotted. Once they were at the door to the headmaster's office, they could hear the sounds of a fight going on behind the heavy door. The group shared worried glances even as Duo seemed to hide in the shadows of the small area. This wasn't his fight. It wasn't Quatre's or Heero's either. Looking into aquamarine and Prussian blue gazes, he knew that they knew it as well. Heero settled himself at the door, readying himself to at least break it open for their magic minded partners. Luna, Harry, and Draco readied their wands, uncertain what they would find on the other side of the door.
Dumbledore was battered and bruised, his hair and beard a mess and blood trickled down from a wound that had been sustained to his forehead. Maleficent was gasping and panting, blood flowing freely from a cut across her cheeks and one on her arm. It was obvious Dumbledore had been taking it easy on her. Duo's eyes were serious. Things were not going to be good. Not at all. At least, not unless he could do something. Slipping off into the shadows, his absence wasn't noticed by anyone.
"Damn it… who let them in?" Maleficent growled, her eyes dark with hatred as she flung spells Luna, Harry, and Draco's way. The three students moved to fire spells back at her, which she easily dodged and blocked. Harry was knocked back by a reflected body-bind curse. He had been in one before, courtesy of one Draco Malfoy, but never had it ever hurt him before. It was as if something was squeezing him tightly, wrapped around him and tightening every time he tried to breath.
"Dra… co!" Harry gasped out. Draco skirted back over to him, his eyes looking him over carefully. He then muttered a colorful curse before turning and attempting to hit the Death Eater with the Cruciatus curse. Of course, it wasn't as potent as if he had been ready to kill with it, as his father had taught him, and so Maleficent was able to keep it from bothering her.
Quatre gasped and moved to help, but Heero reached out a hand and stopped him, shaking his head sadly. "This is their time, their war. We can't interfere."
"But Heero! They'll die if we don't!" Quatre exclaimed, worry and panic in his eyes. "I can't just watch my friends die!" he cried. Heero looked down, his hand clenched around his own wand. He didn't like the idea any more than Duo… but it was something they had come to learn. They couldn't tamper with what this time had coming. If they did, they could drastically alter their own future.
"I don't want to watch that either, Quatre, but we have no choice. Our hands are tied," Heero replied in a low, cool tone that belied the anger inside himself.
Dumbledore struggled to get up, using the edge of his window ceil as leverage to gain his feet. Maleficent crowed in triumph and shot a spell at him. Dumbledore moved to block it, but it knocked him off balance and without so much as a cry, he tumbled over the window ledge and out the tower window. Draco finally got Harry free of the body-bind curse and gasped as he watched in horror at the scene that unfolded before his eyes.
"DUMBLEDORE!" Harry cried out, tears pouring down his cheeks even as anger seemed to fill his body. He growled and turned toward the witch, casting an Anti-Disapparition Jinx on the woman before him. She snarled, raising her arm to attack the distraught boy and finish him off as she had finished Dumbledore.
"Avada Kedavra!" was suddenly shouted through the pause in noise. Total silence met the attack, right before a green light flashed from behind Maleficent and struck her right in the back. Without a sound, the Death Eater slid forward before collapsing onto the floor with a thud. Draco's and Harry's eyes widened, even as they turned on the person who had been standing behind Maleficent. There, panting slightly, hair disheveled, and her eyes wider than normal, was Luna.
"Luna… did you…?" Draco asked, pulling Harry into his arms and holding him as he cried. Luna didn't answer. Instead, she rushed over to the window Dumbledore had been knocked out and looked down. The gasp that passed her lips told of the horror that would be found. Moving with leaden steps, Draco led Harry toward the window.
Heero headed over to the window, Quatre behind him, and the scene that greeted their eyes made every one of them cry out in horror. A single tear trailing down Heero's cheek was the only sign he gave that he didn't like the outcome of this battle at all.
There, way down on the rocky ground, was Dumbledore's body. No movement could be seen from the figure and from the position of the body, Heero was certain that several bones were broken. There was no doubt in the former war hero's mind that the Headmaster was dead. He turned to place a comforting hand on Quatre's shaking shoulder, even as his eyes sought out Duo's violet eyes to see what his reaction was to this unfortunate event. Yet as his blue gaze scanned the office, Heero realized something he hadn't noticed before… Duo was missing.