Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Darkest Hour

Interlude 03

by Ham 2 Reviews

Sixth Year!PostOOtp Its Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts and he has to make some hard decisions in order to survive. But will these decisions help him or make him weaker? Martial arts, dueling, anima...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Romance - Characters: Dumbledore, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, Neville, Ron, Voldemort - Warnings: [!] [V] - Published: 2007/04/18 - Updated: 2007/04/18 - 3764 words

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DISCLAIMER: No I don't own Harry Potter. I just write fanfics for fun and make absolutely no money out of it. It all belongs to the great JK Rowling.


Thanks, as always to Trish. I don't think I would enjoy writing TDH without you.




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Interlude 03

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The street was quiet; only the sounds of the night could be heard. It was almost pitch dark, owing to it being a moonless night, and the only light came from the few lit lampposts running the length of the street. All the law-abiding citizens living on the prim and proper street were fast asleep in their beds.

The clock struck midnight and an owl hooted mournfully from the tree bordering house Number Four, causing a fat man to mumble irritably in his sleep, "Ruddy owls!"

Suddenly, there was a soft set of pops heard outside and a large group of people appeared almost out of thin air.

One of the group removed a strange, lighter-like device from within his shabby coat and clicked on it. The globe of light from the lamppost closest to him went dark. He clicked it several more times until all the lights were extinguished, leaving him and his companions in total darkness.

Light suddenly blazed from several lit wand tips, but only enough for them to be able to see. Three of the group silently separated from the others, rapidly casting complicated wards and charms to hide their presence. When it was done, they rapidly moved towards the entrance to Number 4, Privet Drive.

The first moment Vernon Dursley realized that something was wrong was when his bedroom door flew open. He moved to switch on the bedside lamp, a bellow of half rage, half fear escaping from his throat. Before he could so much as move his hand, however, he saw a flash of light quickly heading towards him. He lost all consciousness after that.

When he woke, he saw that he was sitting inside a large pentagram which was drawn in blood on the floor of his living room. Various markings surrounded the pentagram which, had he been magical, he would have recognized as runes. He glanced sideways and saw that his wife and son were sitting by his side, not yet awake.

He then noticed a tall red headed man tapping his wand on Petunia and Dudley, and he suddenly understood. 'It was those freaks, those red-headed freaks who were friends of his good-for-nothing nephew!'

"What is the meaning of this outrage?" he yelled, trying to get up to his feet and realizing suddenly that his neck was the only part of his body he could move. He felt a spell hit him from the side, and he suddenly found that all further sound died in his throat.

He glared at the nine people gathered around the room, his mean little eyes flashing with righteous anger. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Petunia and Dudley waking up and looking around in fear.

"What... what are you doing?" Petunia croaked. "The old man told us we would be left alone if we took care of the boy."

"Well, you didn't take care of him," Molly Weasley said angrily. "What is coming to you is no more than you deserve."

"What did that freak tell you?" Petunia screeched. "The ungrateful monster... after all we did for him!"

Ginny was there in a flash, her cheeks flushed in rage. She was ready to rip the offensive women apart, but was stopped by a pair of strong arms around her. "No, Gin," Bill whispered. "They will be punished for their crimes, but not by you, not like this."

Ginny struggled with her anger for a long moment and then slowly nodded.

"The person you are calling a 'freak' is someone you aren't fit to be in the presence of," Remus said in a cold, biting voice, his anger barely controlled. "All you needed to do was be civil to him, to give him food to eat and a kind word once in a while. You couldn't even do that/. You know what the tragedy is? He would still come to save your lives even after what you have done to him. If you were entrusted to look after /such a child and yet you mistreated him, who then is the monster? The freak?"

"I knew I should have thrown him in an orphanage the moment I saw him,' Petunia spat in anger, her face distorted with hate.

"You would have done him a great service if you had," Arthur Weasley said sadly. He turned to Bill. "Let's get on with it; we haven't much time."

Bill nodded. "Everybody take your places. You know what to do. Under no circumstances will you move from your positions once we start."

Ginny, Molly, Arthur, Remus, Tonks, Charlie and the twins took their positions in individual pentagrams that surrounded the one the Dursleys were in. They each took a dagger from inside their robes and stood at attention, waiting for Bill to give the signal.

"Muuuum, what are they doing?" Dudley squeaked in a terrified voice.

"Are you going to kill us?" Petunia asked shakily, fear creeping into her voice.

"We are not murderers," Bill said sharply, "and we aren't going to do anything to you. Your black hearts and your misdeeds will be responsible for your fate."

With that, Bill walked over to take his place in his pentacle. He looked around carefully to see whether he had gotten everything right, ignoring the fearful whimpers from Dudley and Petunia's angry screams to let them go and get out of her house. Vernon, on the other hand, had gone purple in the face with anger and had been screaming silently at the 'freaks' ever since the silencing charm had been put on him.

Bill was finally satisfied that everything was as it should be and he took a deep breath and started chanting under his breath in the language of the ancient Egyptians. A slight breeze began to blow around the room, gathering speed as he chanted. The runes around the pentacles began to glow an eerie blue.

Bill took the dagger and cut a rune into his palm "I, son of the house of Weasley, do call upon my magic to judge the three before me. If they are innocent, may I be damned in their place."

A white glow surrounded Bill for a second and then flew from his body into those of the three Dursleys. When the light passed through their bodies, it turned black and disappeared.

Molly took it up from there, cutting a rune into her own palm. "I, matriarch of the House of Weasley, do call upon my magic to judge the three before me. If they are innocent, may I be damned in their place."

The same thing happened. The white light, albeit a bit brighter than Bill's, flew from her body into those of the Dursleys and again turned black as night.

The Dursleys, by this point, were almost petrified with fear. Dudley promptly peed in his pants.

It was Lupin's turn next. "I, patriarch of the House of Lupin, do call upon my magic to judge the three before me. If they are innocent, may I be damned in their place."

It went on like that. Arthur, Tonks, Charlie, Fred and George all cut the runes into their palms and said the incantation.

Finally it was Ginny's turn, and she took the knife and shakily cut the rune into her palm, ignoring the pain. "I, daughter of the House of Weasley, do call upon my magic to judge the three before me. If they are innocent, may I be damned in their place."

As she finished the incantation, a brilliant flash of light surrounded her, ten times as bright as that of the others in the room. They had to shield their eyes to protect them from the blinding intensity. The light flew from her body into those of the terrified Dursleys, and all three of them were knocked unconscious.

When they were finally able to see again, there was pandemonium in the room. All of them looked highly confused as to why it had worked so strongly for her; all except Bill and Remus. They both looked at Ginny calculatingly, amazed at what they had seen and what it meant.

The others were staring at Bill questioningly, but he shook his head reassuringly. He could not talk now; the ritual needed to be completed.

He began chanting under his breath again, holding his palm where he had etched the rune outwards, facing the Dursleys. His hand and those of the others glowed blue, and a black dome began to form around the Dursleys as he chanted, getting smaller and smaller with each word. Finally, it seeped inside them and dissipated as he finished the spell.

Bill nodded to the others. "It is done. Let's clean this place up and go."

Cleaning charms were quickly cast, erasing all evidence of anything untoward having happened in the house. When everything was in place, Molly quickly cast the counter charms on the unconscious Dursleys, setting them free of the body-binding jinxes they had been placed under. They quickly headed to the door, wanting to be out of the cursed place as soon as possible.

Bill turned back one last time to look at the sprawled-out Dursleys. "Merlin have mercy on your wretched souls."

Remus took out the put-outer and restored the lights to Privet Drive even as Bill, Charlie and Arthur took down all the Muggle repelling, privacy and notice-me-not charms.

Then with a collective pop, they apparated back to Privet Drive, leaving the street as silent as before.




~~~*~



Wesley Jones sat silently in his armchair, sipping from his glass of Firewhisky. His thoughts were bitter and his brow was wrinkled with worry. Once upon a time, he had been an elite Auror, one of the bravest of the force. He had fought with distinction in the past war. Then, one night, his world had come crashing down around him and all he had been left with was an Order of Merlin, Second Class.

He and his partner had been ambushed by three Death Eaters. The two of them had fought bravely, holding off the Death Eaters as best as they could, but it wasn't enough. He could still remember it as if it had been yesterday.

"Lionel... help should be here soon... we just need to hold off these bastards a few more minutes."

"Don't know if we'll make it, Wes," Lionel gasped painfully, cradling his shattered arm against his body as he rapidly sent off stunners at their assailants.

"Don't stun them, you fool," Wes barked. "Use blasting curses."

One of the Death Eaters laughed mockingly. "Tell me, how does it feel to know you are going to die?"

"I don't rightly know," Wes said with a savage grin, as he managed to blast the Death Eaters chest open, killing him on the spot, "but I'm sure you did."

Out of a corner of his eye he saw a powerful blasting curse heading towards his partner. He suddenly knew with sickening certainty that if it hit, it would be fatal.

Acting purely on instinct, he jumped in front of the curse and raised a shield quickly. It had not been enough. The curse ripped the shield apart and threw him ten feet into the air and into a crumbling wall of a rickety abandoned warehouse. Unconsciousness claimed him and he never saw part of the wall fall down on him, crushing both his legs below the waist.


Every day since then he had wondered if it would have been better if he had died that day. He could never forgive the Death Eaters for leaving him alive.

"Wes, dear," a soft voice called hesitantly. "Don't you think you have had enough to drink?"

Wes grunted noncommittally.

Soft arms wrapped around him, hugging him lovingly. "Won't you come to bed, love?"

"I'm not sleepy, Hestia," Wes sighed.

"Stop thinking about it, Wes," Hestia whispered gently. "It will do you no good. Can't you see what its doing to you?"

"What can a person like me do but think?" Wes bit off angrily, motioning at his crippled body. "I can't even move around without help."

"Oh, Wes," Hestia said sadly, tears brimming in her eyes. "When will you learn to see that your life isn't over? You aren't useless, darling. Why don't you take that position that Albus has..."

Whatever she was about to say was cut short as a thundering explosion rocked the house, throwing both of them to the floor.

Wes crawled towards his wand, trying to will his body not to betray him. His fingers were just wrapping themselves around it when the metallic tip of a cane crashed down on his hand, crushing several bones.

Wes screamed in agony, letting go of the wand.

"Wes!" Hestia screamed, scrambling to aid her husband.

A resounding slap threw her back onto the floor.

"You... you bastard," Wes croaked, murder blazing from his eyes.

"Now, now, Jones," Lucius Malfoy smirked, as he looked down at the helpless wizard lying beneath his foot. "You must preserve your vocal cords. It wouldn't do for them to desert you later on."

"Crabbe? Goyle?" Lucius called out.

Two grunts answered him.

"Don't you think that such a lovely lady as Mrs. Jones needs to be shown a good time?"

Crabbe Senior smiled viciously. "Yes, of course."

"Don't you dare touch her. I'll tear you apart limb by limb," Wes screamed in rage.

Lucius smirked. "I see the years haven't dimmed your anger, Jones. I would have been most disappointed to see that you had changed."

"Apparate out of here, Hestia," Wes screamed.

"I... I can't... not leaving you..." Hestia sobbed, trying desperately to find her wand.

"Touching sentiment," Lucius said wryly. "Not that Apparating will help you. There are anti-apparation wards all around the house."

She finally found her wand and raised it weakly, pointing it at Lucius. It was a futile gesture, as it was ripped out of her hands by Crabbe. She got another slap for her trouble.

"Pretty lady like you should learn to behave," Goyle spat.

Wes struggled like an animal under Lucius, trying to go to the aid of his wife. The blond-haired Death Eater watched in amusement, allowing him to nearly reach her, before flicking his wand and pulling him back again. He finally got bored of tormenting the man and levitated him off the ground.

"I think this is one event that you want a good view of," he said softly as he stuck him up on the ceiling with a permanent sticking charm.

Wesley struggled against the charm, using all his strength to try and get free. It was no use.

When his beloved wife's screams drifted up to him, he started struggling anew. He screamed, threatened and finally begged the laughing Death Eaters to stop. He might as well have been egging them on for all the good it did.

He must have died a hundred times, the shame of not even being able to protect his wife eating him up.

They finally left, the body of his wife lying cold and lifeless on the floor, his screams echoing in their ears, screams begging them to kill him, too.


~~~*~



Emmeline Vance sat by her dresser, carefully removing the last vestiges of makeup from her face. She smiled at her reflection in the mirror. She didn't look half bad. Even though she was well past thirty, she could easily pass off as someone in her late twenties.

Normally, she was not one to indulge in admiring herself but she was a woman after all. Sometimes, even she could allow herself this luxury. After all, it wasn't like there was any man around to do it.

Her mind drifted for a second to Sirius Black and she immediately stopped herself. That part of her life was over. She had mourned his death long enough. It would do no good to dwell on it anymore.

Suddenly she heard a beeping sound coming from downstairs and she immediately went on full alert. She grabbed her wand and stealthily tiptoed down the stairs to the landing halfway down. From there, she had a perfect place to hit anyone trying to make their way up.

"What in the blue blazes is that infernal sound?" a voice growled angrily from the room next door.

"Damned if I know," another voice answered.

Emmeline took a deep breath. There were two of them.

She congratulated herself on having installed the muggle security system in her house. These muggle-hating idiots would never have expected that.

She crouched down to compress her body and make herself less of a target and waited patiently. Seconds ticked away and she stood poised tensely, praying that atleast one of them was dumb enough to show himself.

Her prayers were answered.

One of them stuck his head around cautiously, looking to see if he could spot her. The next second his head exploded as a blasting curse hit him full on.

Emmeline smiled victoriously. Now the ground was a bit more even.

"You bitch," the second Death Eater growled. "I'll get you for that."

"Give it your best shot, Dolohov," Emmeline said coldly, recognizing the voice of the Death Eater. "Maybe you'll be luckier than your friend."

Tense minutes passed and nobody made a move.

"Oi, Dolohov," Emmeline said tauntingly. "You should know that the Order will be arriving soon. I hope you have a good time at Azkaban."

There was no answer.

Emmeline took a deep breath and quietly made her way down the rest of the way. She dropped to the ground and crawled forward slowly, not willing to make the same mistake as the dead Death Eater and stick her face out in the open.

Suddenly a spell raced towards her and she rolled out of the way just in time.

Emmeline cursed as she realized that the rotten piece of shit had an Invisibility cloak. She pointed her wand at the direction the spell had come from. "Accio Invisibility Cloak."

The cloak ripped off the Death Eater and flew towards her, but before she had a time to even think of catching it, Dolohov leapt forward, brandishing his wand.

"Crucio."

The spell nearly hit her. It was by only sheer luck that she managed to get away in time. Even then it nearly grazed her. She thanked all the deities that she had kept herself in good shape. If the spell had hit the duel would have been over.

She leapt to her feet and cast a blasting curse at the furious Death Eater.

He blocked it with a hastily cast shield and sent the killing curse right back at her.

The two dueled fiercely, both aiming to kill, both fighting for their lives. Their desperation heightened their senses, quickened their reflexes. Both of them were badly injured. Emmeline was bleeding freely from a large gash on her left side and Dolohov's entire torso was burnt from a combusting spell she had hit him with.

"You filthy mudblood bitch. I'll kill you if it's the last thing I do," Dolohov growled angrily. He flicked his wand and a powerful purple spell raced out of his wand towards Emmeline.

Her eyes widened and she put up her most powerful shield and braced herself. The impact blew her across the room and she landed with a sickening thump on a kitchen counter, breaking several ribs.

Dolohov smirked triumphantly. "Anything to say before I kill you, bitch?"

Emmeline looked up weakly and nodded. Her right hand blurred and the next moment Dolohov screamed as a knife embedded itself into his wand hand.

"You talk far too much, Dolohov," Emmeline choked, coughing out a mouthful of blood as she shakily stood up, her wand pointed straight at the Death Eater.

"Reducto."

The spell raced towards the Death Eater, but before it could hit Dolohov had grabbed for his neck and muttered something, disappearing immediately.

Emmeline closed her eyes in disappointment. Bloody Portkey!



~~~*~


Augusta Longbottom sat up sleepily, wondering what on earth had woken her up.

"Mistress," a house-elf squeaked in a terrified voice, tapping her hand again. "The wards have been breached. You must go."

This woke her up quickly enough and she sat up with a jerk, her body trembling slightly as she realized what this meant. It was her worst fears coming true. "Are you quite sure, Mitty?" she whispered.

"Yes, Mistress, Mitty is sure," the house-elf said, wringing her hands in desperation.

"Get Neville up and get him downstairs. Go now," the stern Longbottom Matriarch said nodding her head in resignation.

Mitty nodded and disappeared with a pop.

Augusta got up wearily, her bones aching due to her rheumatism. She collected her wand and hurriedly moved downstairs. She saw Neville waiting for her, dressed in pyjamas, wand held steadily in his hand.

"Is it true, Gran?" he asked softly.

She nodded. "Listen to me very carefully, Neville. The floo is the only way we can escape. They are sure to have warded the house against apparition and Portkeys. I need you to do exactly as I say and not argue, no matter what happens."

"But, Gran..."

"No buts," she said sternly. "Now come, quickly."

Neville obediently followed his grandmother towards the fireplace that was situated in the Great Hall of Longbottom Manor.

Suddenly there was a loud crashing sound from a room nearby.

Augusta Longbottom paled. She had hoped for a bit more time, but apparently it was not to be. She quickly lit the fire and thrust the pot of Floo powder into Neville's hand. "Floo to the Three Broomsticks. Quickly, boy!"

"Wh...what about you?" Neville stammered.

"I'm coming right behind you," Augusta said urgently. "Go quickly."

Neville looked uncertain but obeyed his grandmother. A sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach told him he was making a big mistake. He threw the floo powder into the fire, stepped into the green flames and clearly yelled, "the Three Broomsticks!"

The last thing he saw was the door to the hall flying open and the smirking visage of Bellatrix Lestrange pointing a wand on his grandmother.

Neville fell out of the fireplace in the nearly deserted Three Broomsticks, sick with fear. "No," he whispered in horror. "NOOOOOOOOOO!"

He got up and sprinted off towards Hogwarts as fast as his legs would carry him.



~~~*~
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