A line is crossed and Harry defends himself.
Ginny watched as Harry closed his eyes. She could definitely feel something happening, even though she couldn't see anything. It felt like the room was filling with potential, like when lightning was going to strike. She checked Luna's vitals. They were steady, but slightly elevated.
She went to the potions cupboard in the hallway and picked out a calming potion and a pepper up potion. She had a feeling that they would be needed before long. As she re-entered the room, she could hardly believe her eyes. Luna's body was in the throes of what looked like a seizure. Her back was arched and her legs trembling with the tension. Harry was still holding her hand, and his forehead was rolling with sweat. The two of them were enclosed in a visible aura of power.
Ginny yelled in the hallway for the healer to come, and quickly pulled her wand to check on Harry. His vitals were elevated, his magical core putting out more energy than she had ever seen! Healer McAvoy arrived at a dead run. He started scanning Luna.
"This is unbelievable. Her core is pulling in magic from the surrounding environment. The power sink is so strong I can barely get my wand to show a reading. It almost looks like Mr. Black is providing her with some sort of conduit to a massive amount of power! Her heart is almost at 160 beats a minute! If this keeps up she'll go into arrest!"
Suddenly, the magic visibly swirled around Harry and Luna. The vortex began to rotate faster and faster. It was a solid looking funnel, but every paper in the room was still as death. Healer McAvoy and Ginny were torn from their places. It was all they could do to hold on to the frame of the door. Ginny pulled herself tight to the frame and squinted into the maelstrom.
"Something's happening! Be ready!"
As the energy storm condensed, it started to throb. The sound was very low pitch, and pulsed like a heart. It gained in volume as the cloud shrank, and then gradually formed into a shape. The shade coalesced into a solid form that sat on Luna's chest. As the edges focused, Ginny could see what looked like hair. Suddenly, it was silent. Abruptly they could hear people yelling if everything was ok from down the hall. Healer McAvoy performed a diagnostic on everyone.
"Normal pulse, normal breathing. Magical cores normal. I don't know how to explain this!"
Ginny paced over to the bed. She looked at the animal that had appeared on Luna's chest. The midsized beast seemed to be curled into a ball and asleep. Harry leaned forward on his legs and groaned.
"I hope I never have to do something like that again. My head feels like it's been used as bongos by Peeves!"
Healer McAvoy handed Harry a bottle of headache potion. As Harry downed the concoction, he ran another diagnostic. "You should be right as rain shortly, Mr. Black. I don't know what you've done or how you did it, but Miss Lovegood seems to be much improved. I believe she's coming around now."
Ginny sat back down beside Luna. She held hands with her best friend as she woke. It was little things at first: An eye flutter, then a sigh, finally a cough and her eyes flew open. Ginny helped he take a small sip of water to calm her coughing. Harry spoke.
"There's some people here to see you Luna. And old friend, and a new one!"
Luna's eyes slowly focused on Ginny. A small smile pulled at her lips. The small animal on her chest started to purr and turned to stare at Ginny. Luna swallowed some more water and spoke in a whisper.
"Hi, Ginny. I'd like you to meet a special friend of mine. His name is Henry."
Ginny stared at the animal on Luna's chest. "What... is he?"
Harry laughed and shook his head. "Something that hasn't existed for a very, very long time. Ginny, Healer McAvoy, I'd like to introduce you to the only known Crumple- Horned Snorkack, Henry. Apparently Luna is his familiar."
Ginny stared at Harry for a moment. She looked back at the creature on the bed with Luna. She tentatively held out her hand. "Hello, Henry. I'm Ginny Longbottom. I'm Luna's friend."
The snorkack stood up and stretched. It studied Ginny as it crept towards her hand. Several sniffs, and then it wormed its way under her hand. Ginny could feel a definite presence in her mind. The presence was welcoming and grateful. The touch had only lasted a fleeting of an instant, and had been feather light. Then it was gone. The snorkack had returned to Luna.
The sounds of multiple cracks of incoming apparitions startled the receptionist. She had been engrossed in a medical journal about repairing spell damage caused by cutting spells. The sight of nine people dressed in dark robes with silver masks preceded the sudden severing charm that was used to end her life.
The receiving area was quiet for a few long seconds as the other people there sat puzzled. Suddenly a scream pierced the air and pandemonium broke loose. Witches and wizards scrambled to escape the Death Eaters almost casual uses of the diffindo and crucio curse. Some fell and were trampled beneath the feet of their fellows trying to get out.
The Death Eaters broke into groups of two and began a steady push. Each twitch of a wand shot out another deadly curse. Occasionally, a witch or wizard would stand their ground and try to fight, but one wand against many who could use unforgivables was no match.
A steady roar of panic was spreading throughout the hospital now. Wormtail stopped at one room. He motioned with his wand, and the door was blasted off its hinges. Wood splinters sprayed the inside of the Apothecary, piercing and killing the brewers. Peter turned to the Death Eater next to him and waved at the room.
"You know what to do. Give us at least twenty minutes to finish and leave. Do not fail our Lord! The explosion should level the building!"
Snape snarled, "Don't tell me how to do my job, you spineless cretin! Now leave me be!" With a swirl of his cape, the Death Eater strode into the room. Wormtail glanced at the other Death Eater in the hall and strode away, launching a random AK into a patient's room with a snarl.
The sounds of trouble slowly started to fill the hall outside of Luna's room. Healer McAvoy walked to the door and snagged one of the nurses running through the hallways. "What's going on?"
The nurse struggled to get away as she squealed, "Death Eaters!" Suddenly, she broke free and raced down the hall. The healer turned back onto the room, his face stricken with grief.
Harry looked between the Healer, Ginny and Luna. His mind was spiraling between fear and anger, uncertain which to focus on. The tired voice or Ezekial pierced his thoughts.
"You said you would be able to handle this. Now you have no choice. I will be here, but it's up to you to protect these people!" Ezekial's tone changed to an angry hiss. "Take charge, and do what you will...or I will. And all I care about is making sure youlive!"
Harry's heart began to race. He knew that Ezekial would abandon his friends in an instant if it was a choice between him or them. He couldn't allow that to happen! He had just started to put his life together again. His friends had accepted him back as he was, no questions asked. He couldn't allow anything to happen to Ginny. it would devastate Neville. And Luna had lost all these years. It would be a crime to have her released from her own personal jail only to die.
Harry stood from his chair. He turned to Ginny and Healer McAvoy. His eyes were shining with an inner fire. On the bed, the snorkack began to growl. The hair on its back stood on end. Luna looked at Henry and then to her friends around her.
"Go and stop them Harry. We'll be safe in here. Henry will make sure no one comes into the room but you. We're not defenseless, you know!"
Harry glanced at the four. The snorkack had grown to almost lion size in the short time it had taken Luna to speak. Ginny was moving furniture around with her wand to make barriers to fight behind, and Healer McAvoy had gathered several potions form the cabinet in the hall. He winked at Harry.
"I'm not just a healer. I was second in my class for potions. I can make some surprises for anyone coming down the hall. Announce yourself before coming towards the room. We'll be fine, Mr. Black. Or should I say Potter? No worries. Healer patient confidentiality covers your secret in this case. Besides... you're about to save my life. It would be poor repayment indeed if I were to divulge anything after that!"
Harry nodded to the motley group of defenders. He carefully walked into the hallway. Glancing back, he could see furniture being stacked up in front of the door. Harry swiped his hand through his hair, and took a deep calming breath. His heart was going a mile a minute.
Slowly, he walked towards the medi-witch station at the end of the hall. It was around a corner just before the stair access. Many of the screams and yells that had been filtering though the hospital had been silenced. All he could hear now was his breathing. He pressed his body against the wall next to the corner. Risking a glance around the edge he could see two people in cloaks and Death Eater masks enter the first patient room from the stairs.
A green flash erupted from the room. Harry could hear some laughing. It wasn't the laugh of an insane person, but the cruel laugh of a person who was causing pain and enjoying it. Harry felt his chest tighten. A fury that had been accumulating throughout his life was building in his chest. The laugh was exactly like Vernon's or Dudley's when they had just finished tormenting him. It was the laugh of Bellatrix when she realized Sirius had been pushed though the Veil. It was the same laugh that Draco Malfoy had when he was persecuting non-pure blood students at school.
Harry felt a righteous anger stoke the heat of his fury. How dare they! How dare the Death Eaters violate this place of healing! It was the one place people had felt some modicum of safety from the attacks. In all the years of killing and destroying, they had never targeted St. Mungo's. Until now.
Ezekial nudged Harry's vision into the magical sight he used when working on wands. Harry could see bands of energy flowing down the hallways, one or two strips cutting into each door as it went past. This was obviously the magical monitoring system the medi-witches and healers used to keep track of how the patients were doing. Harry placed his hand against the one near his head. Reaching into his core, he connected the two together.
A flash of vertigo and he was able to see the room the two Death Eaters were in. Just as suddenly as he had seen them, the vision ended. The conduits had overloaded with energy and dispersed. Harry had recognized the two in that short blaze. Antonin Dolohov and Rabastan LeStrange!
Ezekial gently guided Harry to connect to the ley line above the hospital. Just like when a parent teaches their child to ride a bike, he gently held the stream until Harry was drawing on it himself, then smoothly backed into his mind. With a whisper, he spoke to Harry.
"Use the magic. Make it obey. Do not let your anger overwhelm you. It also is a tool, not a justification for violence! This is afight for your life! Let the magic encompass you. Use it like an extension of your mind."
With a guttural almost growl, Harry swirled the energy around his body, pulling it close against his skin. He layered it in overlapping whirls, like the yarn in one of Molly Weasley's jumpers. Harry's focus was so great on the matter at hand, he failed to realize he was doing this without a wand.
He stepped out into the medi-witch station. The two Death Eaters had just stepped back out of the room. For a moment that seemed like an eternity, the three wizards just stared at each other. The Death Eaters in shock that someone would challenge them, and Harry came to terms with the actions he was about to take.
The moment ended as Dolohov dove behind the counter at the station. LeStrange dropped into a dueling stance and snapped off an expelliarmus at Harry. Normally, this would be a perfectly normal response to an armed wizard. In this case, the spell slammed into Harry's chest and crackled down the filaments of magic he had layered over his body. The typical spell effect would have caused whatever weapon Harry may have been holding, be it wand or dagger, to fly out of his hand. As he had nothing, it fizzled.
Harry pulled more power from the ley lines. With a feral roar, he snapped his arms down and seemed, to Dolohov and LeStrange, to claw up raw energy from the air. Raw magic was playing over his hands. The tendrils were caressing the floor, walls and ceiling around him! Leakage of his rage was causing the magic to snarl around. It whipped the air, crackling in menace. LeStrange was frozen in place in fear. He had never seen a display of raw magic like this! Not even from The Dark Lord.
Dolohov leapt up from his hiding place. Snapping his wand into position, he cast.
Harry seemed to slip to the side as the spell went by. Almost like he had apparated, but he hadn't actually disappeared. He was just a few feet to the left all of a sudden. The spell hit the wall beside Harry, blowing a large hole through to the room beyond. Clouds of plaster dust filled the air.
The magic pulsed out in retaliation. A talon of energy snapped out, It seemed to caress Dolohov like a lover's hand. The play of the blinding white power stroked his body. Dolohov's scream started almost like a kettle coming to boil: Low, then increasing in volume until it was a piercing shriek was like fingernails on a chalkboard. His muscles spasmed as he tried to escape. Harry tied the ley line flow back to Dolohov's wand, creating afeedback loop. The magic was fed by Dolohov's core, and would not stop now until the man was dead. It was only seconds before his heart gave out.
LeStrange broke free of his astonishment, and threw several spells in succession.
"Serpensortia! Protego! /Crucio!"/
A large cobra flared out of Rabastan LeStrange's wand. It reared up, flaring its hood in preparation to strike. His shield deflected some of the energy flaring out of Harry's aura. He knew a directed attack would not be completely stopped by the shield.
Harry saw the red bolt of the cruciatus curse heading towards him. He had felt the waves of agonizing pain more than once. Reaching deep down, he could again see his magical core as he had in the field long ago. Without a thought, he used conditioned reflexes that he had trained for his Quidditch matches many years ago: Encapsulating his hand with the back mist from around his magical core, he snatched the spell.
Rabastan gaped at the man in front of him. That was an Unforgivable he was so casually holding in his hand! A sudden realization that he was going to die here and now gripped LeStrange's heart. LeStrange tugged on his wand, trying to free the conduit of magic from the man's grip.
Harry held the spell loosely at his side. He focused on the king cobra. It was a giant of its species, easily reaching 5 meters in length. It was reared right up and hissing at him. Any false move would antagonize it to bite.
He spoke to the creature, "Ssserenity my friend. I mean you no harm. I would ssssend you back to your home, if you do me a ssservice. Ssstrike the one behind you!"
The cobra swayed for a split second, Then spoke,"Done!" It struck Rabastan several times in quick succession across his arm and leg. One bite struck the artery in his leg. The snake hung on for several seconds then released the Death Eater to quickly slither back towards Harry between his legs.
LeStrange collapsed to the ground. He clutched the burning wounds in his arm and leg. He screamed at Harry, "The Dark Lord shall kill you!" With a slight groan, his spasming body disappeared in a flash of a portkey. The cruciatus spell he had been holding dissipated.
Harry closed his eyes. He took a couple deep breaths and flicked a strand of magic at the snake by his feet. The king cobra faded from view.
Wormtail peered around a corner. He could have sworn he had heard someone screaming and it distinctly sounded like LeStrange! He turned to the other Death Eater and motioned forward. The other man snarked, "You are such a coward!" as he strode up the stairs.
Several moments later there was a cut off curse and a crack of thunder. Wormtail had covered his ears a moment too late, and was bent over in pain. Suddenly, he was knocked to the ground by a heavy weight tackling him. He struggled uselessly for some time before realizing the body on top of him was not moving. He gathered his strength, and pushed the weight up off of him. The dead eyes of the man he had sent up the stairs stared back at him. With a blood curdling screech, Wormtail activated his portkey taking himself and the body away in a swirl.
Harry cautiously walked down the stairs, peering around with both his eyes and his magic. The tendrils floated around corners, and flicked out tasting the air like a snake. He stopped in a hallway and closed his eyes, trying to sense the flows of magic. He could see a pulsating aura coming from a room ahead of him. A sign on the wall indicated it was the Apothecary for the hospital. Harry set his teeth and slid up to what was left of the door.
A quick glance in the room showed a single man working over a cauldron. There were several bodies strewn across tables and the floor. From the amount of blood, Harry was sure they were dead. Harry stepped into the room, and cleared his throat. The man at the table stiffened and abruptly spun, his wand extended.
Snape took in the sight before him. The person across the room was shorter than average, and had a slight build. His hair was salt and pepper colored, and sticking up at crazy angles. His face was scarred and lined with premature age. Obvious power wrapped around the figures arms and chest. Some of the tendrils looked almost alive! Snape held his wand steady.
Harry stared. He hadn't thought to ever see Severus Snape ever again in his life. His black eyes were just as piercing as ten years ago. Harry realized the man before him had not cast any curses yet. He was in a defensive posture. He could see a Death Eater mask on the table near the cauldron, and Snape was wearing the robes.
"So. Concocting a poison, or is it a bomb?"
Snape's wand never wavered. He held it directly at the man's heart. "Neither. I am making a potion that will put out clouds of the draught of living death. I had hoped to put it through the ventilation before too many people had to die."
Harry looked intently at Snape. He was trying to read the man. There was a faint tickle at the edge of his mind. Suddenly, Ezekial roared up out the depths.
"GET OUT OF MY MIND!" Ezekial clamped on the probe and squeezed. Harry felt his legs buckle under the force of Ezekial's will. Harry could see flashes of Snape's life. Ezekial was sifting through all of his memories. Snape keened in pain and crumpled into a dead faint. Harry struggled to push Ezekial back down.
"Enough! He's no longer a threat, and I don't want to kill if I don't have to. Merlin forbid we kill someone who is innocent!" Ezekial shuddered under the force of Harry's resolve. With a final grin, he receded back into Harry's subconscious.
Harry panted with the effort it had taken to regain control. After a minute, he walked over to Snape's comatose body. Quickly patting him down, he found the Death Eater robes were a pullover. He removed them and piled them on the counter with the mask. Glancing around, he found several ingredients to make a strong acid. Dumping them all into a pewter cauldron, he swiftly destroyed the Death Eater paraphernalia.
Some shout's were coming from the hall. Harry concentrated on the power he still had, and grounded it back into the hospital's warding schemes. The aura dimmed and disappeared just as an auror turned the corner.
"Hold it right there! Arms and wand where I can see them!"
Harry put his arms up and spoke, "I have no wand. This man needs medical attention. Healer McAvoy will vouch for me, he's upstairs in room 315. Make sure to announce yourself before approaching. They have barricaded themselves in and have some defenses prepared."
The auror kept his wand trained on harry and spoke into asilver button sewn into the wrist of his uniform.
"Apothecary. Two suspects, one needs medical attention. Advises 3rd floor is defended by civilians. Approach with caution, announce identity. Please send back up."
The small silver button buzzed for a moment and then a small tinny voice could be heard.
"Understood. Back up on the way. Wait one."
The auror motioned with his wand towards the other side of the room. "Please distance yourself from the man on the floor. What type of injury does he have?"
Harry cautiously moved where he was directed to. "I believe he was stunned by the blast when the door was blown in. I was just trying to help."
At that moment, another auror entered the room with her wand drawn. "Alright, Williamson. I'm here. Under control?"
Harry gaped at the woman in front of him. Her eyes were dark and twinkling and her hair was as bright a pink as could be. Her heart-shaped face clinched it. His mouth worked for a moment before words would come out.
She squinted at Harry for a moment, as if trying to place him. Her hair cycled through several colors before resting again on pink."Who are you? I don't remember arresting you before."
Harry chuckled for a moment. "I'm not surprised you don't remember me. It's been a long time since we saw each other last. Not since that last family reunion. Remember? You tripped over the troll-foot umbrella stand. I'm James Black. Your cousin?"
Tonk's looked puzzled. "But all of the blacks are dead.... James.... Black?" Her eyes lit up in understanding. She turned to Williamson and chopped her hand.
"I can vouch for this one. He's no death eater. Who's on the floor here?"
Williamson looked up from attending to Snape. "I believe it is Severus Snape. He looks like he's been stunned. We should get a healer in here to check him. I'd like to know why he was here."
Harry spoke up. "He was here consulting on a potion that we tried with one of the comatose patients. My friend, Luna Lovegood. I was upstairs helping to administer it when the attack started. I came down to see if I could help. I believe Professor Snape was looking in on the next dose. Luckily, we won't need it because it looks to be ruined. Too bad. It was a prototype, and all his notes were here with it." He was staring at Tonks the entire time he spoke.
She slowly nodded. "I seem to remember Dumbledore mentioning something about that. Mr. Black, please keep yourself available for questions. You may leave." She brought her sleeve to her mouth."Apothecary cleared. No Death Eaters. One injury confirmed. Send a healer."
She nodded to Harry. "You may go to the third floor and wait there. I will be up in a few minutes to get your statement."
Harry turned and walked out the door. He slowly climbed the stairs after an auror stationed at the foot called ahead to clear him. He was starting to feel the reaction to the fighting now. His muscles ached with fatigue, and his mind was getting blurry. Upon reaching the third floor, he saw several more aurors studying the battle scene there. One was obviously upset by the results she was seeing when performing a forensics spell on the body of Dolohov.
"I have no idea how this man was killed. No that's not quite right. I know how he was killed, but why would someone do that to themselves?!"
Harry saw Ginny and Healer McAvoy in the hallway in front of Luna's room. They were speaking to Mad Eye Moody. Harry just caught the end of the healer's statement.
"...and that's when Mr. Black went to check on the other floors. We didn't hear anything until the auror called out to us to drop our defenses." Healer McAvoy glanced towards Harry. "Ah! Here's Mr. Black now!"
Moody turned towards Harry. He looked him up and down with his magical eye, and then grunted. "Got yourself in quite the mess here, Black. Is what McAvoy says correct?"
"Aside from having to deal with Dolohov, yes." Harry glared at Alastor's knowing grin. He nodded tiredly and waved back towards the stairs. "I went to the apothecary. Snape was there. I think he's still alive. Tonks is down there right now dealing with the git right now." Harry got a little grin on his face. "Would you let him know that James Black was his savior? I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it."
Moody's belly laugh bellowed out to echo down the hall. Several of the aurors checking the crime scene by the mediwitch station looked about to wet their pants when he stopped.
"You realize he'll have a right fit? Would you like aphoto or pensieve memory?"
"The photo would be fine. That way I can share with all my friends. I'm sure Gred and Forge would love to see it."
Moody shook his head as he wiped a tear of laughter away from his good eye. He glanced down the hall and saw Tonks storming towards the group. Quickly handing a to spool of string to Harry, he shoved him towards Luna's door. "Go and check on your friend. I'll speak to Tonks. Make sure to remind Miss Lovegood about my credo!"
Harry was rushed into the room by Mad Eye. Ginny and the Healer followed him. He unraveled the string when he was at the bed. Luna looked on with interest. "What's happened?"
Harry tied a very loose loop in the end of the string. He motioned towards Henry with it. "Could you slip this over Henry's head? We need to be going, and I don't think it would be wise to wait much longer." Tonks voice could be heard in the hallway. It was raising in volume and pitch as she worked herself up.
Luna draped the loop around Henry's neck, and grasped the string. Harry passed the end to Ginny and looked back at Healer McAvoy."Any last instructions for this patient?"
The healer pulled a paper off of the chart on the wall and passed it to Ginny. "The patient is yours, Mrs. Longbottom. Proceed with standard therapies. I expect updates! And please do come and visit again, Miss Lovegood. When you're feeling better of course!"
Luna waved at Healer McAvoy as Harry grasped the string and spoke the trigger.
AN: While writing this chapter (sorry for the length of time), I found huge plot hole in my future chapters. I've been trying to work out a way that would fix it without sounding cheesy.
I've been avoiding looking in on Dumbledore and his gang as this is part of my plot hole trouble. You can expect to see some non-Harry chapters coming up to fill in background things!
As always, thank you for all the reviews! I appreciate every one of them!