A soul is saved.
Lucius Malfoy slammed closed the office door behind him with a crash. His secretary, the forth one this month, jumped in her seat. As he stormed out of the reception area he could hear a timid voice, "Have a nice evening, sir."
The snarl on his face caused anyone who was along his route to scamper out of the way. No one wanted to be the one to delay him in whatever task he had in mind. Families had disappeared for less. Malfoy entered the apparition circle, and cracked away.
Alastor Moody stepped out from behind one of the public floo fireplaces. He had sent a fake note about a stake out and possible raid on Borgin & Burkes. He was going to get to the bottom of what had happened to Harry.
Moody stopped and looked at the secretary in Malfoy's reception area. When she glanced up at him, her demeanor changed almost immediately.
"I don't expect he'll be back for at least a few hours. Silly git has no idea he's being monitored by the Auror's. I would start on the desk, then work on the files in the cabinets. He won't let anyone touch the file drawer on the desk. If anything is in there, it will be there."
Moody nodded. "Excellent work, Branstone. Signal if he comes back before I'm done. By the way, full marks for your acting. Lucius has no idea you're not the shrinking violet you let on to be. If you can stand being his assistant for a few more days, we'll get someone else in here and get you back to the training school."
Eleanor Branstone snapped a quick salute and settled back into her role. In a weak voice, she said, "Thank you, Auror Moody."
Alastor stepped through the door and closed it. With a sigh, he started scanning the room with his eye.
Some spells do not require the wand to focus their powers. The energies are formed and woven in the caster's body, rather than externally. Passive mind and body magics such as occulemency, legilimency, and animagus transformations focus energy from within the wizard's or witch's body, not necessarily needing any from their environment. However, many people feel more comfortable wielding a wand while casting these, even though it is not strictly needed.
Magic is called upon by the conscious or unconscious desire of the wielder. While it is possible to utilize and direct magic's essence without using a wand, only wizards or witches of focused mind and will may be able to do more than the simplest of cantrips. Consequently, this is the reason wandless or"accidental" magic is easier for young children to effect. The mind of a child is uniquely sincere and ingenious in its ability to suspend disbelief. They routinely make fantasy worlds and super-impose them on reality, truly believing what they have created in their mind is real, if just for a moment. Strong emotions, such as fear or anger can also trigger the focus needed to cast without using wand or verbal cues. As wizards and witches age, this skill becomes less used, and as with any other ability, deteriorates without practice.
- Passage from "Wood, Wisdom, Wands, and You"
Harry had been contemplating the Thunderbird feather for most of the afternoon. Mr. Ollivander had left him in charge of the store for the day while he was attending to some wizengamot duties. Aside from a couple wand polishing kit sales, the store had been quiet.
He reclined on the chair, deep in thought. Using his mage sight, he could see the flows of power spinning around the feather. It was almost mesmerizing. He had mentioned using it to Ollivander as a core for the blood wood wand. The old shopkeeper's only reaction had been a raised eyebrow.
With a sigh, he placed the feather in between two pages of Wood, Wisdom, Wands and You, and started going about closing up the shop. Glancing at the clock, he pulled on his cloak, and locked the shop for the night.
The Alley was almost deserted at this time of day. Too many witches and wizards had disappeared while walking home from a long days work, so many shops closed before day light began to fail. Harry walked quickly to towards the Twin's shop. He could see the lurid colors flashing in the window from several building's away. Nestled in next to WWW was a small, well kept store called Longbottom's Apothecary and Healing. The window display showed several bundles of herbs, tastefully arranged.
Harry blew out his breath, and pushed open the door. A small tinkling bell announced his entry. A quick glance around the shop showed that the majority of the space was taken up by shelves of bottles and jars containing various potions or salves. The shop smelled of fresh cut herbs. Harry stood for a moment drinking in the welcoming ambiance.
Neville came through the curtain from the back room. His face was a bit grimy and he had smudges of dirt across his clothes, but didn't look filthy... more of a man hard at work and unconcerned with appearances. Neville smiled as he saw Harry.
"Harry!Good to see you again! Ginny's in the back, just finishing up a batch of wolvesbane. We have a contract to make several batches each month for various werewolves in London. Remus put some of his inheritance from Sirius into a trust fund that pays for the materials and brewing. She should only be a few minutes. Come on back. I'll just lock up here and join you in a minute. There's some cool pumpkin juice on the table just through the curtain."
Harry walked to the back section of the shop. He could see many more shelves of various potion ingredients, all labeled and sorted. A small table with two chairs was set up in a cozy corner beside a closed door to another room. Neville came back through the curtain and gestured for him to sit. Pulling out the second chair for himself, Neville poured two glasses of juice.
"She locks herself in the lab, and won't come out until she's finished. She made me promise to never go into the potions lab unless it was an emergency. You remember my problems from Hogwarts?"
Harry chuckled under his breath and nodded. Buried memories started to bubble to the surface in broken pieces. Neville had managed to melt or destroy more cauldrons in the time he was at school than any other student in history. Neville laughed with Harry.
The door behind Neville opened and Ginny stuck her head out.
"Oh!You're here. Have I lost track of time? I hope you haven't been waiting long!"
Neville shook his head and turned to his wife. "No. He just arrived. Will you be much longer?"
Ginny stepped into the small back room and pulled the door closed. "I'm done. They need to cool to room temperature before I can decant the potions. I can come back later and do it. Give me a few minutes to get cleaned up and we can floo to St. Mungo's."
She hurried down the shelved hallway and turned a corner out of sight. Neville sighed and turned back to Harry.
"You know Harry. She was devastated when you disappeared. All of us were affected, but she seemed to have built her entire world up around you. The fact that you had saved her in the Chamber of Secrets had only reinforced it. It's taken along time for her to be able to open up like this. She's devoted part of her life to helping other people and I love her for it. Luna is one of her oldest friends. Even if you can't do anything, it's nice of you to come. She's been excited ever since supper the other day."
Harry rubbed his face. He looked at Neville's open face. "Honestly, Neville. I don't know what I can do. I have even less training than you or Ginny, and don't even have a wand. I'm still trying to sort out my own troubles. I'm really not sure how I'll help."
"Just be there, Harry. That's all you ever have to do for friends. Be there and support them."
St. Mungo's had changed much in the ten years since he had been there last. The paint on the walls needed to be redone, and the carpets were threadbare and worn right through in most places. All of the furniture looked like it should have been retired several years ago, and there was actually dirt packed into the corners! Indications of a lack of money were everywhere.
He and Ginny walked past the bored receptionist. They went to the stairs and up to the fourth floor. Harry glanced into a room as they walked past. He saw a young man who was sitting up in his bed. He had a crayon dangling from his hand, and a muggle coloring book on the bed table in front of him. His vacant stare was locked on the doorway.
Harry stopped in his tracks. His eyes were fixed on the man in the bed. He felt the world swirl around him and his vision receded. Harry could feel Ezekial struggling to wrest control from him as he swirled away. Blackness enveloped his sight.
Harry felt like he was floating over a small cottage room. The fire in the mantle was burning with a sickly green glow of a recent floo traveller arrival. On the floor in front of him was a man screaming in the throes of the Crucio curse. Bellatrix LeStrange was cackling as the rope of red magic crackled over the man's body, almost looking like it was prying at his torso, eyes and mouth with small, greedy fingers.
She let up for a moment and turned towards Harry. Bowing down before him, she spoke.
"My Lord. His mind will break if I continue. What do you wish?"
A voice that Harry knew too well seemed to emit from his mouth. "Why, dear Bella. I would never deign to interfere in your fun. I know how much you adore the screams of the insane! All I ask is you make it last. He defied me, and I wish to make it known what happens to those who dare."
Harry's viewpoint swooped closer as Voldemort squatted over the crying man. "You were told what would happen if you did not do as you were told. Now your family is lying dead upstairs, and I leave you to Bella's not so tender mercy." As he stood and turned away he said, "When you are done, meet me back at the mansion."
Bella turned back to her toy. Coming out more as a hiss than as words, she spoke."Crucio!"
Ginny stopped and looked back at Harry with a quizzical bend to her eyebrows. She turned at waited for a few seconds as she saw him stiffen and shudder.
"Are you ok? Hey, you look awfully pale."
Ezekial took stock of what was happening to Harry. His mind was experiencing a flash back to a vision he had while in Azkaban. He needed some time to recover.
"Fine. Just thinking about all the times I've had to visit people in the hospital."
Ginny smiled sadly and reached out to take Harry's hand. She gave it a squeeze and pulled him along the hallway towards Luna's room. "We used to come and visit you all the time. I can't remember a year you weren't in with Madam Pomfrey for some reason or other."
Ezekial nodded and allowed Ginny to lead him to the room. As they entered, a doctor was just finishing up at the chart. Ginny smiled and greeted the man.
"Healer McAvoy! Nice to see you again! How is Luna doing this week?"
"Ah!Mrs. Longbottom! No changes since last week, which is good. She was slipping for so many weeks before that this is an improvement. Who's this with you?"
"Oh!This is the friend I mentioned last time I was here, his name is.." Cutting Ginny off, Ezekial stepped forward and offered his hand
"James Black. I'm a friend of Ginny and Luna's from school. I'm pleased to meet you." Ginny's expression was nonplussed for a moment before she replaced it with a smile again.
"Mr. Black? Hmm... Any relation to the Black family? I was a few years younger than one chap named Sirius? Shocking what happened to him."
"Ah... yes. A cousin. I'm told he was quite the character. He passed away several years ago trying to clear his name."
Healer McAvoy nodded. "I always felt there was something more to that. Well! I have rounds to do. If you need me I will be around on the floor."
After Healer McAvoy had left, Ginny sat down on the bed next to Luna. She gently added another pillow behind the woman in the bed, and brushed back her corn silk hair. She turned to Harry. Ezekial could see she was on the verge of tears.
"I don't know what you can do, but please... try?"
Ezekial was at a loss. He had never had to deal with soft emotions like"friendship" or "love". His entire existence was consumed by what had birthed him: Hate, fear and violence. Harry had put up the equivalent of a mental "Do not disturb" sign. Ezekial knew he could break down the barrier, but that would be a last resort.
Ginny was looking at harry. He had been just standing and staring at Luna for almost 30 seconds without saying anything. "Are you sure you're alright?"
Ezekial quickly stepped forward. He sat on the opposite side of the bed of Ginny. He fumbled through the few memories of happiness Harry had left after the Dementors. One seemed to shine through the black. Harry and Luna standing in a hallway, looking up at a pair of shoes hanging from the rafter. Summoning up a semblance of a smile, he nodded. "Yes. Just a little shocked to see her like this. She always seemed to take things in stride. It's hard to believe the girl so full of wonder at what life had to offer would lock herself away like this. She truly must have suffered."
Ezekial looked down at Luna. Her hair, which used to float around her like it had alife of its own seemed dull. He reached out and hesitantly took hold of her hand.
Harry was curled up in a ball, his forehead touching his knees. Tears ran down his face in a relentless stream. He had felt so helpless watching the hundreds of people tortured, maimed and killed by Voldemort while he was locked in prison.
Gradually, Harry could feel something coming from outside his cocoon. It was a mixture of confusion and growing feelings of helplessness. Harry gradually peeked out and saw one of his friends laying on a bed, needing something only he could give. Harry was surprised to see Ezekial at such a loss. With a mental shake, he nudged Ezekial and slipped back into control.
Harry grasped Luna's limp hand in both of his own. Settling down in a more comfortable sitting position, he asked Ezekial to relax their mental barriers. One at a time, they slipped them away until there was only one left. Ezekial spoke, "If we let this one go Voldemort will be able to sense you easily and the hunt will begin in earnest. We will not be able to raise it up again. Are you sure? We will have to be remorseless in our defense, and you willhave to confront the fact that people will die and you may be one of them."
Harry though back to what Olivia had said about karma and destiny. The prophecy had outlined his destiny, but karma would decide who would live. With this in mind Harry's resolve hardened.
"I can't leave her like this without at least trying. Do it."
As the last barrier slid away Harry felt a sharp pain in his forehead start. Over the next few seconds it peaked at a dull throb, and then leveled back at a minor pounding. He closed his eyes and relaxed back into his mind. Using only a tendril of power, he tested the magical currents in the room. He could see a major ley line running through St. Mungo's, with several tributaries branching off in various directions.
Next to him, he could sense Ginny and her wand, the shimmering blue and green colors of the flows indicating her healing and beneficial magics. Next to her was Luna. There was no wand link, only Luna's connection to the ley line. The connection was thin, barely moving enough energy to keep her alive. It looked much more like what a squib would have. He tenderly set the strand of his magic in Luna's hand.
As he felt them mingle, Ezekial spoke. He sounded like he was a long way away."I will watch your body. Be careful. I will not be able to assist you if things should go wrong." With that, Harry's awareness of this body vanished.
Voldemort was reclined on his throne. His eyes were half closed, much like a snake would do while sunning its self on a rock. He was far from asleep. His mind was whirling in several directions at once. One part of it was thinking about his pawns next moves in the Ministry; one was planning the next revel. Another part was contemplating a way to find Potter. Reflexively, he checked the link he had with Potter. While it had not worked in almost a decade, he still tested it occasionally.
POTTER!He could feel the brat's mind again! It was fuzzy, and barely there, but he could finally sense it again. Voldemort's lips pulled into a thin grin as his short hissing laugh escaped. He had caught a glimpse of a hospital room. St. Mungo's!
"Wormtail!Gather some of my death eaters and go to St. Mungo's. Kill everyone!"
Harry felt like he was slipping down a tunnel. His senses were sliding through various states of kinesthesia. He could taste the colors and felt the smells as he traversed the conduit. After what felt like an eternity, he suddenly hit something solid. The impact felt like it drove the air from his lungs as it travelled through his entire astral body.
Looking around him, he saw only desert. It was not like any normal desert, but completely barren. This wasteland had no plants or animals. Even the sand looked sterile. The wind was so dry it felt like it was steadily siphoning energy from him.
In front of him was a huge structure. It looked almost like a medieval castle, but it had no windows or doors. The crenellations on the top were reminiscent of stalagmites or teeth, rather than the smooth shapes that would be typical. The stone was fit together without mortar in such a way that you would be hard pressed to slip a credit card between them.
Harry studied the building for several minutes. He could not see any way to get in. He knew if he stayed in this desert for too long he wouldn't have the energy to get back to his body. He tentatively reached out to touch the wall. The stone felt cold as glass.
"Hello....?HELLO?!" His voice was swallowed by the wind.
Gathering his wits, he knew that yelling at the wall wouldn't work, or else the healers would have gotten through long ago. He had to let Luna know he was out here somehow. He began to walk around the building, slowly trudging through the sand as he thought. Relaxing his mind, he looked at the magical flows. The stone was solid magic, as he expected. His own occlumency shields were more like shimmering bubbles of force, but these were just as effective.
Looking up, he could see a faint, thin line of energy coming down out of the sky. There! That would be how he would get to her. Harry sent out a strand of magic to hook into the one feeding Luna's active shields. Simply cutting it off would damage her mind in such a way that she would never recover. Much like jerking the rug out from someone's feet. Except in this case, that person was standing on the edge of a cliff and leaning out for the view.
Once he had tapped into the magic, he sent a pulse of gentle friendship through the link. He waited a few moments and did it again, this time including a memory of Luna fighting next to him in the Ministry from all those year ago.
The ground started to resonate with a low rumble. As he looked on, the stones seemed to flow around each other until a small archway was formed. Harry cautiously stepped inside.
The archway closed behind him, flowing back into place. Harry looked around in wonder. He was standing next to a garden wall that had a beautiful lawn butting against the length which went as far as the eye could see. The sun overhead was warm, but not hot enough to be uncomfortable. In the near distance was a small cottage with a garden along side. Harry slowly walked towards the cottage. As he approached, he noticed it looked in a bit of disrepair. The whitewash was faded, and the paint around the window sills was peeling away. Many of the shingles were missing. The garden was growing, but the plants seemed wilted, and sickly.
The front door opened as he was surveying the yard. A young woman stepped out into the sunlight carrying a small basket. Following her was a large cat-like creature with a button like knob on its head. She looked up suddenly in surprise at Harry.
"Oh!You aren't supposed to be here. I suppose I should be polite and invite you in. Would you care to join me for tea?"
The cat creature was staring at harry with an almost predatory look. It slunk nearer to him and sniffed the air. Its tail swished slowly like a pendulum as it investigated him. Almost as though it had made a decision, it started to purr and rub against his legs.
"Henry seems to have taken a liking to you. You should be proud. Crumple-Horned Snorkacks are rarely friendly with more than their familiars."
Harry smiled and reached down to stroke the animal. "Don't you mean their witch or wizard? I would think he is your familiar?"
"Oh no! Not at all. It's a common misconception. Anyway, shall we? I just need to gather a couple things from the garden for supper later, and we can retire to the house for some refreshment."
Luna walked over to the garden and started to gather several herbs and vegetables from its meager fare. She carefully pulled only enough to make a meal for herself and Harry, and then stood up. All the time, Harry was examining and scratching Henry behind the head. The snorkack was a mixture between dog and cat. It had some feline features, like the eyes, ears and claws, but the musculature was definitely more canine, as were the jaws and tail. This was a predator. Harry could see the cunning in its half lidded eyes even as he scratched it behind the ears. He was glad it was friendly.
Luna dusted off her pants and picked up her basket. She smiled and walked towards Harry.
"Where are my manners...? I'm Luna. This is Henry." She pointed to the snorkack as it writhed between Harry's legs.
"Luna.. I know you. You know me. I'm Harry. Harry Potter?" Harry stood and looked at Luna's face for some recognition.
Luna stood for a moment. Harry could see something pass across her face. Henry stiffened and shot to stand in front of Luna, his hair all on end and a low growl coming from his chest. Luna turned away from Harry for a moment.
"Harry...?But you don't look like Harry. You're much too old!"
"Luna, it's been ten years since I saw you last. I've aged."
"Nonsense!I've only been here for a few months! Daddy is away on one of his trips searching for more relatives of Henry. He'll be back in a few more days and I'll be going back to Hogwart's for my last year!"
Harry rubbed his face. He looked at Henry with trepidation. He knew the little animal was going to be dangerous as long as Luna was upset. He needed to defuse the situation a bit before continuing.
"Let's go in and we can talk over tea. Is that ok?"
Luna nodded and turned towards the door. She threw it open and stomped in. Henry followed, watching Harry's every step. Once inside, Harry saw the cottage was small and cozy. A bed sat in the corner, and the fireplace had several cooking hooks suspended over it, including a pot that had some soup base bubbling away merrily. Luna washed the veggies she had picked up and cut them with a knife before adding them to the stew. She threw in a few herbs and then stirred the pot. She pulled it out of the direct heat, and let it simmer.
A kettle started to boil as she finished with the stew. Harry had not seen her fill or put it on the flame. He remembered this was her mind, and anything could happen here that she wanted. It also meant anything that did happen here would hurt her deeply. He had to be careful.
Luna poured the boiling water into a teapot and set it aside to steep for a few minutes. She smoothed her slacks, and gathered Henry as he leaped nimbly into her lap. Luna cleared her throat and looked directly at Harry.
Her direct stare was a bit unnerving, as always. Harry had only been on the receiving end of it a few times before, and it only seemed to have gotten stronger with time. He sat back and thought for a moment in silence.
"What was the last thing you remember before coming here, Luna?"
"Daddy told me he was going away for a bit to deal with some business. He wasn't clear, but knowing him, it would be something related to snorkacks. He's never been gone longer than three months, so he should be back shortly."
Harry looked at the creature in her lap. His brow furrowed in thought. Subtly looking at the two sitting in the chair, he saw a power conduit connecting the two. The conduit was thick and multicolored. Pulses of magic went both ways and sometimes mingled before splitting back towards both. It was as thick as his leg, and seemed to writhe with a life of its own. Sitting back he looked at Luna and Henry again.
"I want you to believe I really am Harry. Remember when we first met? You told me some things that have been important to me. Like, 'Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure.'"
Luna's face was still clouded. Her expression was hard to read. Harry continued on,"Later, when we go to the carriages, you told me you could see the thestrals also. No one else heard what you said to me. Do you remember what it was?"
Luna's eyes were running with tears. She was shaking her head as if to ward away something she didn't want to see. Her voice almost a whisper, she said, "I remember... do you?"
"You told me I was just as sane as you were." The weather outside had darkened as black clouds blotted out the sun. Pounding rain began to fall against the glass of the windows.
Luna's shoulders were shaking as she cried silently. She looked back up at Harry. Henry was curled hard up against her chest in an effort to comfort her as much as possible. Wiping her eyes with the back of her sleeve, her voice cracked as she spoke.
"Harry... you've changed so much. What's happened?"
Harry sighed. He rubbed his face with his hand. "I think we could use some of that tea you've made. I know I could."
Luna gathered herself, and proceeded to pour tea for the both of them. The process of doing something so mundane gave her time to collect her wits and settle down her emotions.
Harry sipped the tea. It tasted a bit salty, but otherwise was refreshing. He set down the cup.
" Luna, I'm going to tell you some things. We're going to go slowly. I want you to believe, I wouldn't lie to you. Do you trust me?"
Luna thought for a moment, and nodded her head. Henry stepped down from her lap, and sauntered over to Harry. With a single leap, he settled himself in his lap. Needle sharp claws massaged his legs. Harry immediately got the point. Hurt Luna and he would be sorry.
"Luna, I've been in Azkaban for ten years. I was tried and convicted after the ministry battle. No one knew I was there because Fudge and Malfoy had the records magically sealed. Do you remember me disappearing?"
Luna gasped. "Azkaban! Harry, at worst you should have been expelled! How could they get away with that?"
Harry shrugged. "Corruption and money, with a heaping side of fear. After I disappeared, do you remember the summer?"
Luna nodded her head, "Daddy told me he was planning on going to look for snorkacks. He was telling me how it was going to be a long trip and he may have to get me some correspondence classes to keep up with my Hogwart's studies. I've been waiting for the owls to deliver the packages, but they can't seem to find here."
"Luna. I want you to think back to the day your father left for his trip. Think hard. What was he wearing?" Harry knew this was a dangerous question.
"Well, he was wearing a black... no a red suit. No That can't be right. Daddy hated red. He was more of a brown and green kind of person. He told me to... he told me...NO!" Thunder crashed outside.
Henry dug his claws into Harry's legs. Not far enough to cause severe injury, but enough that it was uncomfortable. Harry watched Luna's face run through a gambit of emotions. Fear, and shock gave way to horror, then to sadness. Sadness constricted into anger and then revulsion. She started to wring her hands, like she was washing them over and over. The wind outside was beating on the side of the cottage. Harry could hear pieces of the roof pulling off.
"No..no... NO! He's just on a trip. He'll be back! He rented this cabin while our house is renovated to make room for the snorkacks!"
Harry gently picked up Henry. He walked around the table an knelt at her side placing Henry into her lap. Her arms scooped the snorkack up and pulled him to her chest. Harry put his hand on her shoulder. Her whole body was wracked with sobs.
"Why did they burn him? All they had to do was burn the house. That would have been enough to kill Daddy. That paper was his life.... that paper and me! Oh, I miss him." She flung her arms around Harry's neck and howled her anger to the universe. Harry held Luna while she cried. Henry was wrapped around her ankles, purring as he rubbed against them.
Luna cried for many minutes. Harry just held her and let her beat on his back. The storm raged outside as Luna raged in the cottage. She clung to him and finally wound down enough that he could pull away. Her eyes were rimmed in red and puffy from crying. Outside, the rain had lessened to a gentle soaking mist. He gently reached into a pocket, and pulled out a clean handkerchief. Luna took it with a weak smile and blew her nose. Harry puller her tea cup towards her and motioned for her to drink. He retreated back to his chair and sat. Giving Luna several more minutes to compose herself, he drank his tea. When she finally spoke, the sun outside was beginning to peak out through the clouds again.
"Harry... Where are we? What is this place?"
"Uhm.. it's hard to describe. Do you know what occlumency is?"
Luna's brow wrinkled. "Isn't that what you were supposed to be learning with Professor Snape? Something about defending your mind?"
Harry smiled. "Yes. That's pretty much it. It's a way to make a place in your mind that cannot be read using legilimency. It also protects you from various mind altering magic like veela charms. Some people who have had bad things happen to them... Like you and me... build a refuge in their mind, and flee from the bad things."
Luna sat in thought. "So... this isn't real? It feels real."
Harry smiled. "No.. we're in St. Mungo's. I'm sitting in a chair next to your bed. Ginny is sitting on the other side, watching over you as she has done for the past ten years. I want you to try something. I want you to lean back. Relax. Clear your mind of thoughts."
Luna gathered Henry into her lap again and relaxed back into the chair. She closed her eyes, and breathed deeply.
"Clear everything away. Now, imagine a wall. A wall made of stone. Do you see it?"
Luna's reply was a whisper. "Yes. It's high. The top has crags on it, like teeth."
"Now imagine a giant animal. An erumpent. It's angry. It's pawing the ground." Luna's brow had sweat on it.
"Relax... you are perfectly safe... but the erumpent is angry at the wall. Angry because it's in the way. Do you feel the beast's anger? Pour your magic into the erumpent. Make him stronger."
"Yes. Yes! Its anger is... is...." Harry could feel a gathering presence.
"Like a tsunami... like a earthquake.. like a volcano... Unstoppable." Harry rubbed his face again. This was the moment of truth.
"Make the erumpent charge the wall Luna. Burst through! Smash it down!"
Luna grunted and curled into her chair. The snorkack seemed to meld into her chest and then she jerked. A soul tearing scream ripped from her throat. Harry could feel the earth shaking underneath his feet. The cottage seemed the giggle like jelly, then with a final ear splitting screech that sounded like it had come from two throats, everything went black.
I'm so sorry I took so long to get this chapter out. I've been having some terrible writer's block. Every time I sat down to work on this chapter my mind would go blank, and I would end up staring at the screen.
Thank you everyone who reviewed, and sent emails encouraging me to continue. They helped me break through and build this chapter for you. A special thanks goes out to Jolynda and Ducky'sgirl4ever. Your emails were what got my muse going again!
Normally, I hate cliff hangers. But this one HAD to end this way. I'll be working on the next chapter off and on again over the next few weeks. Shouldn't be like that last four month hiatus though!