Harry and members of the Fighting 9th finally get Belle outta there!
Harry was frozen in anger; the voice was his old potion's master and the man who murdered Albus Dumbledore.
That greasy git, Snape.
Belle gripped Harry's arm and started to hiss in his ear "he's not worth getting us caught" but found she didn't have to vocalize at all, what she was thinking and what she felt flowed into him at the speed of thought.
"Please," she beseeched him, "think of Alexis!"
She didn't need to see him nod his head, she could feel his acquiescence.
The three Death Eaters two marked and one novice hurried to the recessed door as ordered by Snape. Harry and Belle, secreted by their invisibility cloak, followed. Just as the door opened he silently summoned the glass display case at the far end or the main cavern, or rather just the top of the case, causing it to fall forward and shatter spectacularly; effectively recreating the chaos of a few moments before.
When they exited the cavern it was near sunset, long shadows stretched out from the feet of the three Death Eaters.
"Oi, Erk" shouted one of the black robed DEs, "stay inside the wards."
"Right!" the grey robe replied.
Harry and Belle knew they had to move away from the cave entrance to apparate or portkey away. They headed away from both the cavern entrance and the black robed Death Eaters.
Harry felt Belle go limp next to him; he carefully guided her down to the ground while circumspectly keeping the cloak in place over them both.
"Wotcher got?" one of the DEs asked.
"I ain't sure, I saw the grass go flat out the corner o' my eye like someone was walkin' on it so I sent a stunner, lets check it out!"
Both black robes had their wands out and were cautiously moving toward Harry and Belle.
"I think I got im!" the first man said, "look the grass is all flat here like summat's lyin' there!"
Both men raised their wands to start cursing when half the first man's head exploded in the same direction he was facing, a little more than half a second later the report of a high-powered rifle echoed through the hills. The second man had only a second to stand gawping before a neat hole appeared in his forehead and he collapsed to the ground. The grey robe threw his wand down and raised both his hands in surrender.
One minutes earlier.
Jose Cruz sighted in on the visible trio "tu madre es una puta fea!" he swore under his breath.
He was watching the front entrance to the cavern through the telescopic sight of his rifle. He saw the three DEs walk out, then saw the door open of its own volition. He could see the long grass being flattened by invisible footsteps. He had been briefed to look for any signs of invisible or disillusioned people. He knew when the lead DE had seen them, saw the curse and then saw the two black robes move toward the flattened grass. He took a deep breath let out half of it while sighting on the first target. He held his breath and with a smooth, continuous motion gently squeezed the trigger. He didn't bother to see if he had hit his target, he drew back the bolt ejecting the spent casing and chambered another round then sighted in on the other DE, but rather than fire the L 96 he touched the wand that was also affixed to the rifle scope and whispered "diffindo." A narrow white beam neatly holed the other man's skull. He watched as Commander Evans, (he still couldn't get his brain around the idea that this was Harry Potter) as Commander Potter doffed the cloak and enervated Bellatrix Lestrange. That was the other thing he couldn't quite get used to, that murdering psycho was one of the 'good guys' now?
"Chingas tu madre!" he muttered to himself.
"I'll just keep an eye on things til' they portkey away, then we're outta' here" Cruz whispered. His partner, Morris nodded in agreement and rechecked the concealing charms on both of them.
Lieutenant Edgecombe heard the shot and did the hardest thing she had ever done, she followed orders and took the portkey back to base.
Harry threw off the cloak and leveled his wand at the man in the novice robe.
"Lie down flat and spread your hands and feet!" he growled.
The grey robe quickly complied.
Harry kept his eyes on the prone figure as he enervated Belle. She was a little groggy but otherwise unharmed.
"Shite" he swore "I wanted to keep this covert, now they'll know we were out here."
Belle shook her head and said "no, we're all right, just transfigure these two and obliviate that one."
She took the wands off the bodies and transfigured them into dense spikes which she drove into the rocky ground with her heel.
"Won't that be messy when the spell wears off?"
"It won't wear off, what I transfigure stays that way unless I restore it."
Harry remembered Professor McGonagall describing just such a phenomenon in transfiguration class the previous year. Perhaps one in a thousand mages is born a 'crafter,' that is, someone who can permanently transfigure an object. Most transfigurations last from a few minutes to a few days depending on the skill and power of the witch or wizard casting the spell. The skill can be learned but most magical folk find it easier to find a crafter to perform permanent transfigurations for them.
"You!" she called to the man still lying on the ground, "look up so I can obliviate you!"
The man kept his face down in the dirt and grass and said "Arrest me! Jail me, I don't care, just take me with you!"
"I never wanted t' be in with this lot. I just took one too many pints at the 'Hags Hump' in ol' Knockturn Alley and I was shanghaied I tell ye, shanghaied!"
"Did you know Jones, the healer?" She asked; her heart wrenching as it usually did when she thought of him.
"Yeah, we was mates Jonesy an' me! He din't wanna be here neither!"
"Where do the wards end?" Harry demanded.
"You have ta go past that tree line there," he nervously pointed, barely lifting his head and hand, to a spot maybe fifteen meters to their left, "about five paces in should do it, please, can I get up?"
Belle needed to know that she could help someone out of this Hell, maybe in some small way that would begin to repay Alex Jones.
"Up you, and lead the way" she told the prostrate man
"Yes ma'am, thankee ma'am!"
The grey robe scurried up and walked quickly to the tree line. As they neared the scrubby forest neither Harry nor Belle saw his hand dart into his robe sleeve. Just before they got to the trees he spun on them pointing a wand at Belle's neck.
"Don't move, either of you, drop em!" he demanded.
"So much for being shanghaied" Harry spat.
"Oh, theys them that din't wanna join up, I'll give you a hint, anyone gets picked up in Knockturn Alley wasn't lookin' f' honest work. An anyone at the Hag's Hump is even less likely to be so."
"I'll give you one chance to surrender, that's all, just one. Put your wand down now and you'll live." Harry said in a matter of fact voice that was chilling in its sincerity.
The man wavered for just a moment and said, "bluffin,' you're jus' bluffin."
Harry shrugged and said "I tried."
The top of the man's head disappeared in a fine red mist, and two-thirds of a second later another rifle report echoed through the mountains.
Harry took a page out of Barty Crouch Junior's book and transfigured the body into a bone then did a quick levitation charm on a three foot square section of dirt and rock. He kicked the bone into the hole and let the earth fall back into place.
"Let's try the portkey again" he said, "on three, ready? Three, two, one."
The familiar pull behind the navel the feel of air rushing all around them and they were back at Headquarters, Avalon Regiment.
They arrived at the portkey debriefing point last, Marietta, Jose and Kim had just arrived. Jose looked more than a little sick. Sergeant Major Moody was there as were a half dozen regular aurors all pointing their wands at Belle.
"All right, Jose?"
He nodded and asked, "Any chance of a drink?"
"Sergeant Major?" Harry asked.
Moody reached into his left pocket and pulled out a small silver flask, which he passed over to Cruz.
Jose took a long pull from the flask and handed it back to the RSM nodding his thanks.
Harry looked at the aurors who were still holding their wands on Belle. "Gentlemen, please lower your wands, it's rude."
"Commander, I don't think you know who this is." One of the aurors answered.
"Auror, I know far better than you who this lady is and if you don't all lower your wands I will lower them for you."
The authority of his voice, not to mention his rank and position had the desired result.
"Lady Black is under my personal protection, she will be debriefed but only in my presence. She has a delicate medical condition that proscribes any form of magic use on or around her. She will be in the guest room of my quarters and will be escorted at all times by either myself or Lieutenant Edgecombe or Sergeant Major Moody or one of our deputies. We are going to get cleaned up; in two hours we'll meet back here for debriefing. Sergeant Major, please have a representative from the department of mysteries present for our testimonies."
Moody and the regular aurors stood at attention as Moody said, "Aye sir."
Harry in his guise as Commander Evans and his Lieutenant escorted their 'prisoner' to his quarters. As soon as the door closed Marietta threw herself into Harry's arms and cried. "I was so worried; I just knew it had all gone bollocks!"
"It did Luv, it did. Like the Commandant always says, no battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy."
"Actually, Helmuth von Moltke, the elder said that." Belle interjected. She looked down at the two lovers embracing and said "I'll just go clean up."
Harry sensed the awkwardness permeating the air and keeping an arm tightly around his Marie he opened his embrace to include Belle.
"Please?" he implored.
She fell into their embrace and felt the weight of her torture and captivity and uncertainty come crashing down. Harry felt the depth of emotion through his link with Belle and Marietta could feel the sobs wracking the two bodies clinging to her like an anchor. They all fell to their knees hugging and crying and kissing the tears out of each other's eyes.
"Merlin we must be a sight!" Marietta exclaimed after a long while. "What if someone walks in on us?"
"No one can, unless I set the wards to let them and as of now the only authorized people in the house are right here in this room.
"May I have a bath?" Belle entreated, "I haven't had a proper bath in three weeks! What you both must think of me."
She was surprised to see warm, generous smiles on both Harry and Marietta.
"Harry sees you through the eyes of love, the love he has for the mother of his daughter, and I see you through his eyes, because," she hesitated as she looked into Harry's eyes, she had never truly loved anyone before as deeply and completely as she loved him and she was afraid he wouldn't be able to return the feeling, but soldiered on, "because I love him."
Harry was shocked. No one had ever told him that. Oh sure, his mother must have, but he had been too young to remember ever hearing it. Belle could feel his emotions and hear his disjointed thoughts as he considered his depth of feeling for all his friends. He loved all his friends, Ron, his brother in all but blood, Hermione as something like a sister but wanting her to be so much more, Ginny, the porcelain princess that he yearned to shelter and protect, Molly the suffocating overbearing mother or as she had once said, 'as good as.'
Then he considered his feelings for Marietta, he didn't want to consider a future that didn't include his Marie, and when he thought of Belle it was with an even deeper sense of longing for belonging, not just as the incubator of his child but for her own depth of feeling and character. He was confused, shouldn't he just be with one woman, didn't society frown on polyamorous relationships?
"Harry" Belle 'said' "don't worry about 'society,' most of the people who rule society whether muggle or magical are in some kind of pre-marital or extra marital relationship."
"I don't know about that" he said, honestly.
"Please believe me when I say it's more official in wizarding society and more practiced in muggle; and that feeling, the one you're having such a hard time accepting?"
He nodded, looking hopeful.
"I love you too" she said and kissed him as thoroughly as she knew how, pouring all the feeling she could into it.
Harry felt the love of both these women and realized he felt the same way about them, the revelation was staggering.
"Marie" Belle happily announced, "I have great news," pointing at Harry "he's got it!"
The 'whoop' that followed echoed through all the rooms of the Commander's house and out onto the parade field.
Sergeant Major Moody who happened to be outside at the time smiled when he heard it and recognized Edgecombe's voice.
"Harry, aren't you and your lieutenant supposed to be 'debriefing' me about now?"
Belle and Marietta gave each other significant looks that spoke volumes, the raised eyebrow the nod the longing glances in the general direction of the bedroom and bath.
"Okay!" Harry jumped up with obvious enthusiasm.
Belle dropped her forehead onto her open palm and said, "Marie, we can't use our feminine wiles on this one, he's inside my head. He knows what we're saying when we're not saying anything."
Harry stood and helped both ladies to their feet then walked them into the master bath. He knelt down to start the multiple faucets that would fill the small pool sized bath quickly. When he got up he saw Belle with her robe open and froze. She was radiant! Eight weeks of pregnancy had filled out her breasts, her areola already darkening and pronounced. She was still somewhat emaciated from her weeks of captivity but the jailers had at least not starved her, the Dork Lard would not permit that. Her belly was flat; apparently she wouldn't be 'showing' for a few more weeks her waist remained wasp like. She had very long, well toned legs ending in petite feet. Harry was entranced, as was Marietta.
She kept her robes draped on her shoulder and walked to the far side of the sunken tub, then facing Harry and Marie she allowed the robe to fall to the floor and stepped into the rapidly filling tub.
"Won't you join me?"
Harry, still in his flat black fatigues and boots undressed unhurriedly as did Marietta, when the two young adults were completely nude it was Belle's turn to stare. They were both gorgeous. Fit and trim and completely at ease with each other's bodies. Of course, with bodies like theirs they had nothing to be self conscious about. Harry had the build of a champion swimmer and his 'block and tackle' was very well proportioned for his body, and did Marie have any idea how her fresh-faced athletic beauty just oozed with sensuality? Her breasts were again perfectly proportioned for her body and sat perky and proud on her young athlete's frame. Both of them had shaved or charmed their pubic hair off.
"Morgana, Merlin and Maeve, I may not survive being with you two, but that would be the way to go!"
Harry slid into the tub and Marie followed close behind. They sat so that the water was up to their shoulders and slid toward Belle in a pincer movement.
"Ah, I'm being out-flanked I see."
"Oh yes Luv, we're planning to 'flank' you cross-eyed tonight!"
They all laughed at that and Harry and Marie converged on Belle to recapture her in the three way embrace they had enjoyed before. This time it would be even better, it would be a warm, wet, slippery "bare hug."
Harry's left hand and Marietta's right hand stroked Belle's back at the same time, and at the same time they recoiled in shock at what they felt. They felt the crisscross of scar tissue on her back and were horrified at the evidence of her torture.
Belle stiffened and with a great deal of dignity stepped up out of the tub leaving the shocked teens behind, "I'll just be in the shower then."
Having said that she walked into the large twin nozzle shower stall, she turned the nozzles on full and began to sob at the awful truth of her life, she was unlovable; she had been rejected by the first and only people in her miserable life she had dared to love.
"Erk" is a Britishism for "rookie"
"tu madre es una puta feo!" translates to "your mother is an ugly bitch"
"Chingas tu madre!" let's just say it's one of the rudest things to say about someone's mother. What is it about mother cursing anyway?
A standard NATO 7.62 mm has a muzzle velocity of 848 mps and the speed of sound is 311 mps; if the rifle report is 2/3 of a second after impact the range would be approximately 300 meters. Good job Jose! I have known shooters who could make a head shot at 300 meters on a bad day. I myself shot combat .45s in competition while in the Army; I have the photos (and used to have the medals and trophies) to prove it. The real irony here; I hate guns, I am about as anti-gun as you can get. Guns belong in the hands of soldiers and policemen and not in the hands of idiots who think they're neat toys. You should demonstrate a real need for a gun and pass a written and a practical test before you are allowed to own one. Of course, I also believe that people shouldn't be allowed to have babies until and unless they are able to prove that they can care for them. Those are my opinions, feel free to disagree. Won't change my views though, don't bother to try, the facts are definitely on my side.
"No battle plan ever survives the first engagement with the enemy" is a translated quote form Helmuth von Moltke, the elder, a 19th century Prussian Field Marshall considered by many to be the most brilliant military strategist in history.