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Vestiges of Normalcy

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Screams, shouts, cries, wails. Everywhere Harry looked, all he could see and hear, were people’s panic. Fear, pure unadulterated fear, was the order of the night. Anarchy had fallen, people were running, tripping, stumbling, falling, all trying to get away at the same time, uncaring of anyone’s wellbeing but themselves.

 

It was the night of the Quidditch World Cup final between Ireland and Bulgaria. Ireland had come away as the winner, while Bulgarian seeker, Viktor Krum, had his moment of glory by catching the snitch for Bulgaria. The night was meant for everyone to rest after an adrenaline-filled, heart-thundering match, before returning to their homes the next day.

 

But that came to an abrupt halt, when Death Eaters attacked the grounds.

 

Some had captured the Muggle groundskeeper’s family and himself, while others had gone around gleefully causing chaos and mayhem amongst the fleeing innocents.

 

Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, was caught in the middle of it all. He had been with his friends Ron and Hermione when the first screams echoed. But in the ensuing chaos, he was separated from his two friends, and by the time he had regained his bearings from the pushes and shoves of the crowd, Ron and Hermione were nowhere in sight.

 

A whoosh sailed over his head. Harry instinctually ducked down. Spells were now being fired. Harry watched the few aurors who had been stationed as security personnel firing curses and hexes at the Death Eaters, who were firing Dark spells in return.

 

Harry didn’t know it happened. He never knew how he started running towards the battles, firing his own curses and hexes at the Death Eaters. Maybe it was the sight of an Auror being killed by a dark spell. Or an innocent child getting hit by a stray hex, falling to the ground, screaming in pain. But Harry went ahead, his Gryffindor sense of righteousness and courage kicking in against his brain telling him to run.

 

His first target was a Death Eater, who was about to overwhelm an Auror.

 

Bombarda!”

 

There was a loud boom, a scream that was almost instantly cut off. Harry braced himself from the resulting shockwave, dirt, grass, and blood flying in all directions. When the dust settled, Harry relaxed his stance, seeing the aftermath.

 

The Death Eater was undeniably dead. But how he went was another story. The explosion had blown his body to smithereens. There was almost nothing remaining, save for bloodied bits of the robe he wore, and a piece of his mask.

 

The Auror had fallen backwards, a stunned expression marring his face. His eyes darted from Harry to the remains of the Death Eater, his mouth opened in disbelief at the sudden escalation of atrocity.

 

“Be careful!” Harry shouted to the Auror. Not waiting for a reply, he dashed away.

 

Harry ran through the burning campground, putting out fires with over-powered Aguamenti spells, helping other terrified campers to escape by pointing them to the forest, and attacking other Death Eaters who were running around.

 

His death count rose steadily, as another five Death Eaters were either put out of commission or met untimely ends with curses and hexes leaving Harry’s wand like bullets in a gun. Running aimlessly, he found himself in the section where the competing Quidditch players were spending the night. Like the rest of the campground, tents were on fire, screams could be heard, and battles were ongoing.

 

Only this time, it was professional Quidditch players against Death Eaters.

 

Harry balked. There were bodies of players scattered about the ground, though how since he didn’t recognise the faces, he assumed they were the reserves. The main players were still fighting the Death Eaters in a tense stalemate, neither side crumbling to the other.

 

Among them, Harry spotted the one face that prominently stood out to him, Viktor Krum.

 

The Bulgarian seeker was taking on three Death Eaters, with, to his credit, rather Dark spells. But these Death Eaters were noticeably better-trained. Shields were conjured up at lightning-fast speeds, allowing them to fire their own spells back at the seeker.

 

Viktor was forced to duck, roll and tumble out of the way of these dangerous spells. Harry could see that the seeker was already exhausted from a gruelling match earlier in the day. This battle was not helping things. Harry needed to intervene, and quickly.

 

“Krum! Stay down!”

 

Harry’s shout snapped the Death Eaters’ attention towards him. They barely had time to spot the Boy-Who-Lived with his wand aimed at them, before they heard what arguably was the last words they would ever hear.

 

Diffindo!”

 


To Be Continued