Harry recuperates, Hermione muses, Dobby Reflects, and William plots.
A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. But you knew that.
A/N2: Sorry about the long delay between updates. Real Life has been most hectic recently, with Business trips and dead lines. Yearg. However, no one wants to hear me whine about life. The words just have not been coming for this story. I've had little problem with other stories under way, in fact some of my other current stories were started in a vain attempt to shake the words for this story loose. We are coming into the home stretch with this tale, which is scheduled to end with Chapter 30, of course if I do manage the longer chapters everyone has been asking for, sooner than that. Oh, and for the die-hard Harry/Hermione shippers. Sorry gang, ain't gonna happen. I tried, I really did, but I could find no way to bring them together like that
Harry Potter and Merlin's Reaper
Chapter Twenty-five - The Hand of the Other
Susan guided Harry to the room she was using at her Aunt's manor. Still not completely recovered from his injuries he leaned on her slightly.
This was his first long walk since the attack.Susan could hardly believe how happy she was. When she had discovered she was carrying his child she had worried that Harry would hate her for it, would chastise her for risking so much at such a dangerous time. Instead, he had waken from his injuries and told her he had dreamt of her, asking her to marry him, when she told him about their child, he fainted.Only to wake a few moments later laughing at himself and crying joyful tears with her. Harry had tried to pull her into the bed with him to 'celebrate' when Poppy had pitched a small fit, and threatened him with a series of particularly unpleasant potions if he did not get his libido under control.
Two days later Poppy had finally declared him healthy enough to leave her infirmary. There was no way he was up to apparating to the mansion in Scotland, but he was well enough to transfer his care to Susan. Arriving at her room, they were greeted by the sight of the small stuffed dragon, patrolling their bed, puffing smoke.
They had two wonderful hours alone before there was a knock at the door. Amelia Bones, Minerva McGonagall and Filitus Flitwick entered.
The diminutive wizard spoke first. "Harry, we were wrong. Your team has done more damage to Voldemort in the last two weeks than we have in the last ten years. You have inspired people around the world; there are more attacks on Death Eaters holding power every day. We were wrong to doubt you and your choice of friends. If you'll have us, we want to join you."
Harry stood from the chair by the fire. "How could I say no to my favorite teachers and my aunt in law? Lets kill some Death Eaters."
Sergeant Evans had arrived at the meeting site 24 hours early. His backup was Cooper, one of the few remaining original members of his squad. Coop had many talents, but his primary job since the fall was acting as a sniper. Even after all this time, the wand wavers were clueless about snipers, and Coop had wracked up the highest kill numbers of the entire unit. Coop was in a tree stand most of a click away. Evans felt all kinds of naked out here, but that was nothing new.
His watch clicked over to 15:00, he knew his wait was over as three men appeared in the clearing. Appeared as in magic. He hated magic. He knew that other units of the resistance had tame wand wavers (to his mind they would never be friendly) He also knew that the warm room his woman now slept in came from a wizard. He personally would never trust anyone who used magic, but that did not stop him from being grateful for what that Potter lad had done. Bitter experience had taught him that wizards were the enemy. If this was a trap, he was about to die, but the Major had sent Coop along to ensure he had side boys when he got to hell.
The trio in the clearing was waiting. Evans stood up, a wand and two firearms were trained on him instantly. They were frightened as well. Good.
"Chu are Evins?"
Great, a frenchy At least he would be human since he was using a pistol. Not for the first time, Evans wondered just what this op was all about. "Aye, I am. And you?"
"Cern" The man gestured to himself. "Frank" the other man with a pistol. "Delecour." He indicated the man with the wand. "We need to speak with your superiors."
Well, the names were right anyway. "I bet you do. Not going to happen without a good reason."
"Ve may have weapon to kill wizard," 'Frank' said.
"That's nice." Evans gestured with his assault weapon. "This does that. What's special about yours?"
"Non!" spat the one called Delecour. A French wand waver. Fantastic. "Our weapon destroy ALL Wizard." The man's face clouded, struggling with the language barrier. "Non, not destroy Wizard. Destroy MAGIC!"
"Destroy magic? Wouldn't that kill you too Frenchy?"
"Maybe. Bastards kill my family. If I must die for vengeance, is good death."
Evans could see the logic in that. It was what kept him going. He decided. "All right gentlemen. We'll go see the Major." The group moved off at a trot, on a circuitous route that would take them on a three-day march to reach the meeting point. Coop would have seen his signal to get the major to the meeting point. Coop would be there in six hours.
Dobby watched carefully as WheezyOne and WheezyTwo explained what their new toy did. Their words were often meaningless and confusing to elves, but elves learned from seeing and doing. Dobby would learn, and then Dobby would teach. This toy would hurt bad Wizards. Maybe kill. It made doors and windows seal, wards against Wizard jump and Wizard port-toy, and then started fire in building. Elves could jump out, but not Wizards.
House elves were not supposed to hurt wizards, it was not The Way. House elves were not supposed to be tortured and killed. House elves were not supposed to breed like animals with no love for mate. The bad Wizards were forcing elves to breed without love. The bad Wizards were killing and torturing elves. Elves with bad Wizards not allowed loving. Bad Wizards say love not for House elves, but Bad Wizards wrong. Love for mate was as vital to an elf as service to master. If the bad Wizards were going to take away the one pure joy of life, then some elves, the young elves would rebel. Young elves needed leader. Young elves brave and strong, but needed the telling what to do and the teaching of how to do it. Master Harry could not lead elves when he was hurt. Dobby did not think that Master Harry would lead elves anyway; he would try to protect elves. That was his way. Dobby would lead young elves, as long as he was needed. This was against The Way, but elves no longer allowed knowing The Way. The bad Wizards were not going to like the elves they were making.
Master Harry was good Wizard, powerful Wizard. Master Harry like House elves, want House elves to be happy, to know love. Master Harry good Man. Sometimes Dobby wish he not bound to Miss so he could serve Master Harry. Dobby feel disloyal when he think that way. Miss needs Dobby. Miss and Dobby not bound in normal way. When Dobby first see Miss she sad for lost Sire and Dame, Dobby help Miss learn to be elf. Is sad when Human must be elf. Humans not make good elves. Miss learn to be good elf, but Bad Master and Young Master still hurt Miss for no reason, Dobby very sad.
Then Master Harry save them. Master Harry come for Dobby, like he know him, but find Miss and bring them both to new house giving Dobby place to work. Dobby happy there until Mandy girl hurt Master Harry while wearing Miss' face.
Master Harry better now, and would return to his home with Potter elves. Potter elves good elves, Potter elves follow The Way. Potter elves not know how to deal with Dobby. Master Harry tell them Dobby Master Harry's Friend. Potter elves not know that elf could be friend of Wizard. They want to treat Dobby like guest, not let work. This why Dobby work with Weezys, why Dobby lead young elves. Dobby must be useful.
Hermione read through another page of her notes, organizing them for use by the Twins. It constantly amazed her that those two could possibly the related to Ron Weasley, where he was arrogant and unpleasant, they were unassuming and funny. There was pain and more than a little madness behind their humor, but they were, she now knew, good men. They loved Fleur deeply, and the French girl seemed to be bubbling over with happiness since they had returned to her life
She was on track of digging another obscure charm with possible offensive capabilities. The records suggest that it was originally intended to relight a fireplace in the morning before anyone was up. It had fallen out of use when house elves became common. The Twins were planning to use the charm to set time-delayed fires wherever they may wreck the most havoc. The charm its self had been isolated three days previous, the Twins (with Fleur's help) were testing it. Hermione was researching for variants that might be more powerful, or have a longer delay, or hopefully one that could be triggered by some specific action around it. That would make for a perfect booby-trap.
Hermione was finding it harder to concentrate by the day. William was taking over her dreams. Two quiet dinners, a few evening walks on the grounds, was that what it took this quiet young man to become interesting? He was two years her junior. Was that enough to preclude him from becoming more than a dinner companion?
Her observations of William had driven home his importance to his people, but she knew little of royalty beyond dimly recalled comments her parents had made concerning William's parents and Grandmother. Hermione did not think she was swayed by his status, but how could she truly know? She did know that he was in her dreams. She was very aware that there were worst things.
Riddle was in yet another rage. The casualty figures were worse now than they had been during the actual subjugation of the world. Fifty-three dead in Britain, nine thousand four hundred and six world wide, and that was only in the last twelve days. This Reaper was inspiring copy cats all over the world. Marked Purebloods were dying from everything from explosive traps to knives. Entire families had been found dead. Government officials from provincial Governors to the Janitorial staff were targeted. A whole squad of Aurors was lost to a pit trap with spikes lining the floor, like something from a Muggle motion picture he had seen in his youth.
Another report said that House Elves were rising up against their masters. That was insane, those beings had been slaves since before memory, yet now small groups of them were in rebellion. Elves captured and tortured until their resistance was broken routinely died, but before they did, a few (very few) had spoken of a rising 'Dark Elf' named Dobby who was to lead them to salvation.
This was madness. House elves did not revolt. House elves did not attack wizards. This was all coming from this Reaper. He and his influence had to be stopped, no matter what the cost.
"You wanted to see me Major?"
Stephen Llewellyn looked up from his desk, and then rose for his sovereign. "Good morning Your Majesty. Yes sir, I thought it wise to inform you of a current operation with a European branch of the resistance."
William gestured for his officer to sit, and sat himself. "You don't normally come to me with operational details Major. How can I help?"
"Our European cousins sent a message to us saying that they have a possible weapon to be used against the wand wavers. They feel that it is far too important to be trusted even to the messaging system, so are sending three representatives with a sample of the weapon. I've dispatched Sergeant Evans to meet them with Corporal Cooper keeping watch on him. Evans will make contact and then take them on a guided tour of the countryside while Cooper reports in and we can prepare for the meeting."
"The Two day Tour or the Three day Tour?"
"Three. I want to make sure they aren't being followed and that we are prepared for whatever they've brought."
"Did they offer any hints as to what he weapon might be?"
"No sir. The only hint given is that it must be used on the strongest available wizard. It evidently uses the Wizards magic to spread, and a stronger wizard will fight off the effect if it comes from a weaker wizard."
"The strongest available. That would mean that Voldemort character, or possibly..."
Llewellyn nodded. "Or possibly Potter."
"Our survival might mean killing an ally?"
"Yes Sir, it might. Unfortunate, but the needs of the many."
"Out way the needs of the few, or the one. I'm hopping one day that we regain what we have lost in the way of technology that I might see this 'Movie' thing that you constantly quote to me Major." The young king frowned. "Potter is supposed to return tomorrow. We will need to have him available for the interview."
"It might be a good idea to ask him to bring his French witch as well, the Europeans are supposed be have at least one French speaker with them, perhaps two. Her English is better than mine, she will be invaluable."
"An excellent suggestion Major. I will speak to them about it."
A/N: I know, not very long, but god this was hard to write.