"Good luck, everyone. See you all in about an hour at The Burrow. On the count of three. One... two... THREE." Moody shouted and they were off. Remus and George, who currently looked like Harry, kicked off on their brooms. As they rose above the garden, suddenly they were surrounded by almost thirty deatheaters. He noticed Hagrid zooming straight off with Harry with grim satisfaction. Remus and George sent a few curses at those closest to them, and attracted the attention of about half a dozen, before heading east towards Kingsley Shacklebolt's house. Remus spared one last look at Dora and her "Harry", Ron, who were speeding off in the opposite direction with several deatheaters of their own. Hopefully he would see her at the Burrow soon.
And then green light flashed past him, and he turned his attention back to his own tail.
The killing curse had come from the furthest left of the six behind them, who George was now trying his hardest to curse in return. They were at a distinct disadvantage, in the lead, so they had to twist round to fire, which didn't help much with their accuracy.
"Focus on defense, lets just get away as soon as possible" Remus shouted to the young man to his right. Either he didn't hear, or he didn't want to listen, because he just firing. Remus twisted left again and saw why. The deatheater that George was cursing, had lost his hood. It was Severus Snape, the man who had killed Albus Dumbledore.
The anger at Snape fueled Remus, who channeled his rage, and quickly managed to set one broom on fire, and stun another. George managed to knock the third off his broom, halving the number of attackers. The two men made eye contact and with a nod, they put their heads down and flew faster, weaving slightly to avoid stray spells.
He could actually see the house, when he heard a gasp from next to him, and George started to slip from his broom. He grabbed to boy, and guided both brooms into the safety of the wards.
George was bleeding pretty badly, a head wound was always bad, but it seemed the spell had literally cut his ear off. Even though he knew that the boy only looked like Harry, and certainly wasn't James, it still hurt. But he had never seen James in a state like that. Even in death there hadn't been any blood. The polyjuice was starting to wear off anyway.
"Spectumsempra" Remus muttered. It had to have been Snape.
The portkey had been left on the garden table as agreed, a large, old fashioned key. Remus grabbed it, then positioned himself so that he was supporting the unconscious boys weight, in the hopes that they might not both end up on the ground when it activated in, he checked his watch, three... two... one.
The moment they arrived Harry, or someone who looked like him, rushed to help him, taking half the weight from Remus. Despite the adrenaline, he was starting to become aware of the nausea and lightheadedness that came with the activation of his brand. The moment George was safely laid down, Remus grabbed Harry, and questioned him. He knew he was being harsh on the boy but he was tired, his wife was missing, and something had caused the whole night to turn into a disaster. How could Harry be worrying about hurting people, who would not hesitate to kill him? Why did Harry have to be so like his father? Stress definitely didn't bring the best out in the werewolf.
"Will George be okay?" Harry asked, desperation in his voice. The fight seemed to drain from Remus."I think so..." But before he could finish there was a sound from outside. Both he and Harry bolted outside.It was Kingsley and Hermione, both of whom Remus was very glad were safe, although not the one he most wanted. Kingsley pointed his wand at Remus's chest, and asked demanded, "The last words Albus Dumbledore spoke to the pair of us?"An image of Severus Snape jumped to Remus's mind, but he controlled it, and said in his steadiest voice, "Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him." He was quite impressed at how calm he seemed.There were more questions, and exchanges of stories, and then silence. Harry had gone inside, but the four of them, Remus, Hermoine, Kingsley and Hagrid stood there, waiting. A short but tense while later, Arthur and Fred arrived. Kingsley tried to do the security question, but the moment Arthur saw that Remus was covered in blood, and that the son he had entrusted to him was not among those waiting he panicked. "I'll prove who I am, Kingsley, after I've seen my son, now back off if you know what's good for you!" He shouted as Kingsley tried to block his way. That seemed to convince the man, as he let the two new arrivals past with no further questions. They returned to their vigil, Harry and Ginny joining them at some point. Eventually Hermione gasped, "It's them!" A broom was steaking towards them and next thing Remus knew he had been tackled as his wife threw herself at him with a cry. He clung on for dear life, unable to find words."Ron was great," Tonks was saying as she let him go, but Remus was not really paying attention to the conversation around them anymore."So what kept you? What happened?" Again he knew he was being harsh, but through their eye contact, he knew she understood. One glance at the blood over his hands, and a small smile showed she didn't mind too much."Bellatrix" she explained. There was more exchanging of stories, and then Kingsley was leaving. Molly and Arthur came out of the house, which was a relief, as that must mean that George was going to be okay. They both thanked Remus and Tonks, for keeping their boys safe, but Remus couldn't find the energy to argue that he really hadn't managed to.Bill and Fleur arrived safely but with bad news. Mad-eye was dead.
They had all retreated inside, and Bill had handed them all a drink. They toasted their fallen comrade, before starting a conversation that was all too familiar to Remus.There was a traitor in their midst, and there was Harry, just like James, convinced that everyone was safe, no one in that room could possibly have turned. But Remus was pushing too hard."No, I think you're like James, who would have regarded it as the height of dishonour to mistrust his friend." He knew he had gone too far, but it was just too much. He stood up."There's work to do." He looked at Bill and with a glance at his hands, now covered in dried blood. He had explained about the registry to Bill, and the younger man had insisted on registering his half status, as soon as they had worked out how far it would go. Remus had been against it, but Bill had decided that for his line of work it wouldn't really affect him, but the goblins would not like to be kept in the dark about it. Bill got the message immediately."I can ask Kingsley whether - " Remus continued"No I'll do it, I'll come." These days nowhere in the ministry was really safe for most of them to go alone, and they both knew that Kingsley needed to keep his reputation.Fleur and Tonks both asked where they were going, Remus told them they were going to search for Mad Eye, but a glance at his hands, meant Tonks got the real message. They had other business to attend to before their friend.As they left Remus sighed. This was his last chance. There were no more warnings. One more 'incident' and he would be classed a criminal. Not that that would make much of a difference given the state of the ministry these days.