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Asleep, Awake

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Harry saw it, happening as if in slow motion; That manic smile plastered across Sirius’s face as Bellatrix’s curse struck, his slow pitched fall backwards toward the Veil.  Driven by instinct and a sudden desperation, Harry screamed the first spell he could think of. Accio. Sirius’s momentum was halted mid fall  and he flung sideways, skidding on the ground  at Harry’s feet.

Bella giggled madly “Well done, little baby Potter. You just saved my filthy Blood traitor cousin. Let’s see if you can keep him!” and she slashed her wand in his direction. The flash of green lightning burned through the air, tracing a path towards the crumpled form in front of him. The spell's path was interrupted by a large block of marble that sprung from the ground, and chips of shrapnel rained down on them. Harry bent over his Godfather, intent on protecting him from the sharp stone. A grey blur slid in front of them both, and Harry heard a familiar voice, but the steel that laced the words was utterly alien.

“You. Will. NOT. Take. Them. Away. From. Me. You. BITCH!” Each snarled word punctuated with a curse.  Startled, he looked on at the tattered cardigan of his former professor. He'd never actually heard the werewolf curse before. Warmth flooded Harry’s chest. Remus was fighting for them.  

 

He he knew he couldn't waste the reprieve that Lupin bought them. He hauled one of his Godfather's arms over his shoulder, and dragged him behind  one of the stone benches, out of the way.


“Ennervate.” Nothing. He tried again. “ENNERVATE GODDAMNIT!” Harry’s cold hands sought Sirius’s chest. Thump. Thump. Oh thank Merlin. he was alive. That's all that mattered right now.  

Harry looked back up just in time to see Bellatrix catch Lupin off guard. A sickly yellow spell caught him in the solar plexus, and the aging man crumpled. The loony bitch hadn't escaped scoot free, however. She was bleeding from the old wolf's onslaught of cutting curses, and her chest looked... wrong, as if it wasn’t quite put together correctly.

 

She looked over her shoulder, and Harry followed her gaze. The tall silver shape of Albus Dumbledore was striding down the halls of the Department of Mysteries. The dark witch gave a shrill laugh, turned, and bolted past Harry.  When she reached the base of the staircase that led back to the atrium she paused, grabbing Tonks' unconscious form from where she'd fallen after their duel. Apparently, escaping wasn't enough for her, she wanted a prisoner. Maybe she thought she could use the Metamorphmagus as a hostage?

 

Without a single thought about the fact that he had just witnessed the bitch defeat three members of the order (all much more experienced due lets than he was) Harry lept to his feet and followed. She wasn't getting away this time.


 

 

Tonks’ eyes opened, fuzzy and tinged red. The first thing she felt was the splitting pain that thundered through her brain, and a ringing in her ears. Both were quite familiar. She’d had enough head injuries (from Quidditch, and her own general clumsiness), that she knew what a concussion felt like. The second thing she noticed was the cold steel against her throat.  A high pitched voice whispered into her ear, and she recognized it instantly.

 

"Don’t move or I’ll cut your pink head clean off, Nymphie dear.” She vaguely wondered why Bellatrix wasn’t just using her wand. The fog in front of her eyes lifted, and she got her answer.

 

A familiar figure stood across the pitted and damaged entrance hall holding a pair of wands, both leveled at her bitch of an aunt. Windswept raven hair framed his burning emerald eyes, no longer hidden behind his glasses. They must have been lost at some point in the fight, she thought. Harry Potter cut one hell of a figure for a fifth year.

 

Through the haze in her brain, she wondered vaguely how he got ahold of the maniac’s wand. His voice rang out, clear and ice cold.

“Drop Tonks and I’ll toss you your wand”

“Idiot boy, you think I care about wands now?” She cackled “Give me the Prophecy. Roll it over to me, and I’ll spare the pretty little Metamorph’s life. Come on Potty, We all know how much you love to be a hero. Save the girlie, give me the ball.” Harry stared back, hard and unyielding.

“You’re gonna have to settle for the wand, because the prophecy is gone.” Bellatrix’s eye’s bulged from her face, and spittle flew from her lips as she howled at him.

“YOU LIE! GIVE IT TO ME! ACCIO PROPHECY!” She flourished with the knife like a wand, and as it came away from Tonks neck, she saw both wands flash in Harry’s hand, heard him cry “Depulso” And Bellatrix’s grip was torn away from her midsection. Bellatrix was flung the length of the room by the powerful banishing charm. Harry rushed forward, tucking Bellatrix’s curved talon-like wand into his back pocket, and with his unerring skill, caught Tonks as she collapsed.


“NOTHING THERE” He shouted. “NOTHING TO SUMMON EXCEPT BITS OF GLASS. I DIDN’T EVEN GET TO HEAR WHAT IT SAID. IT'S GONE, YOU DAFT BITCH.” Pain flashed through his forehead, and the arm wrapped around Tonks' hip tightened. A mad cackle burst from his lips, eerily reminiscent of Bellatrix’s own. “He knows.” The volume of his voice dropped, stopping just above a whisper  “He knows that it’s gone, and he’s not very happy with you!”

“NO!” She screamed hoarsely “It can’t be true— MASTER, I TRIED! PLEASE, DON’T PUNISH ME—”

“He can’t hear you from here.” Harry muttered through the pain.  His wand hand pressed against his forehead, trying to subdue the burning, splitting pain.

“Oh? That’s news to me, Potter.” came a cold, syllabant voice. Shit.

 


 

Tonks had no clue what was going on. She kept fading in and out of consciousness. All she caught was glimpses of action, mad half-formed scenes. A black cloaked figure with slitted red eyes, like a snake in human form. A green light, suddenly interrupted on its way towards the boy at her side by a gold statue. Dumbledore, furiously duelling the figure. Dumbledore? when did he get here? All of a sudden, Harry's grip around her waist was gone and she dropped into a pool of gushing water from the fountain. Her senses came back to her as the freezing water shocked her system.

Harry lie on the ground five feet away. Around him wrapped like a nightmarish flesh cloak she saw the figure from earlier. Harry was moaning about death in a voice not quite his own, telling Dumbledore to do it. Kill him. If death was nothing, then send them both off. Then it screamed, and disappeared, along with her darling aunt. Darkness rushed up to embrace Tonks again, and she welcomed it.

 

 

Pain. Pain defined his world. He could feel Voldemort’s mind coursing through his own as if they had fused, had become one being, and he could feel everything that made the man. All of the knowledge and power twisted up with his own, and felt him trying to steal away Harry’s life. Almost subconsciously, he felt the draw on his own soul, The black cords twisting around it that seemed to sing at the feeling of being reunited with the venomous thing. So he pulled them away. The bindings that held them to his soul fought viciously, clinging to him, but he pulled all the same. He thought of all of his friends, thought of Sirius and Remus lying downstairs next to each other, injured, maybe dying thanks to him, him and this poor excuse for a man, and he pulled with all his might. And the connections snapped, and the wraith of Voldemort wailed, and fled, like a hand pulling back from a hot stove. And the core of Harry’s being breathed with relief, and flared bright like the sun. And he opened his eyes.

 


 

 

Voices rang out through the cavernous hall. Harry blinked twice and the room swam into focus— And he saw Dumbledore’s face, mere inches from his own.
“Harry, my boy. Are you okay?” His eyes closed again, briefly, and he took stock. Tired, wounded, beat up… and brilliant. He felt better than he had ever felt, in fact. He opened his eyes again.

“I’m great, professor. I need to tell you something.” At that, Dumbledore chuckled lightly.

“I’m sure there are a great many things you and I need to discuss, and you have my word that we will discuss them all in great length the very second we arrive back at Hogwarts. But first, know this. Everyone is alive. No one came through the battle unscathed, but thanks to your excellent leadership, none were permanently injured.”

“S-Sirius and Professor Lupin? She didn’t—”

“I have no doubt, Harry, that Bellatrix meant to rob you of both of the last Marauders tonight. But no. Kingsley portkeyed both of them back to the infirmary the second the battle ended downstairs.” Harry’s entire being breathed a sigh of relief, and he slumped back against the fountain. “Come now, my boy. We must be off soon.” The silver-maned wizard took his hand, and hoisted him onto his feet with surprising strength. Just as he stood, Cornelius Fudge bustled over, looking personally affronted by their presence.

“Albus, what is the bloody meaning of this? What in the hell was- was HE doing here? What are YOU doing here? I ought to have you-”

“Cornelius, I would be more than happy to confront your men and defeat them again.. if I must.” Dumbledore thundered, looking every bit as dangerous as he had only minutes before in the heat of battle. “But I rather think our time could be more constructively spent with me talking and you listening.” Fudge cowed before the look in the old headmaster’s eyes. “You will clear the arrest orders on my groundskeeper, and you will call an emergency Wizemengot session for this Sunday so that several men can be sentenced to Azkaban, and an innocent man’s name can be cleared. Also, you will withdraw your Undersecretary from my school IMMEDIATELY! Tonight, you will get exactly an hour of my time, and that will be more than enough for me to explain everything that needs explaining.” Fudge spluttered and nodded. “Now, however, I am sending Harry back to the hospital Wing at Hogwarts. Harry..” He turned back to Harry, holding the golden head that had been severed from the statue, and whispered Portus “ Take this with you. I’ll be along presently.” and everything spun into darkness.