Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Angels In Australia

Chapter 7

by EJDaniels 1 review

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Characters: Harry,Hermione - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2014-10-07 - 5933 words - Complete

"Does he always go off on his own like this?" Hermione asked as the SUV pulled away from the curb. If this had been one of my people they would be looking at a transfer out of the department at least, if not a change of employment, the worried witch thought to herself. She quickly recalled that this wasn't just anyone they were discussing. This was the most feared hit wizard in the world. Damn you, Harry!

Smith shrugged without taking his eyes off the road. It was just the two of them in the vehicle as Willis had remained behind with Jess to coordinate the joint search efforts between MIB and TASS. "Only a time or two," the wizard admitted. "Usually when he knows he's close to his next target."

"Davis," Hermione offered rhetorically, neither expecting an answer nor getting one. "This is about revenge then," she stated, rather than asked.

"Possibly," Smith offered, inclined to agree with the witch seated next to him. "In the past when he's acted on his own the higher-ups have looked the other way. They value his services far too greatly to not let him have these few excursions when they arise. Angel probably sees this more as justice rather than revenge though I think."

Hermione snorted humorlessly upon hearing his words. "Justice. The excuse most people use to validate their actions. If it were truly justice then there would a trial, and due process by people other than us, who would then decide their fates." The young witch chewed her lower lip, a nervous habit she'd had her entire life and tried to break without much success so far.

If someone had murdered my child would I be able to pursue them in the name of justice? She asked herself. As much as she would have liked to assure herself that she would have, a tiny voice in the back of her head argued that she would want revenge, pure and simple. Sadly she knew the voice to be true. While taking a life in payment for another could never bring back the one already lost, she knew there had to be a certain satisfaction in preventing the perpetrator from doing the same thing again to someone else.

Harry has lost so much already, she thought as she struggled to come to terms with it all. His parents killed when he was but an infant. His childhood was loveless, while bordering on criminally abusive, all at the hands of his relatives. Six years spent under the heavy weight of a prophecy and the repeated murder attempts of a homicidal dark wizard. Turning to look out her window the witch had to blink rapidly several times.

If not for the Weasleys taking him in and showing him love Harry probably would have been lost a long time ago, the witch mused as she looked back on the life of her friend. We nearly lost him when Sirius died during that ill-fated rescue attempt at the Ministry of Magic. Hermione recalled just how hollow and broken the boy of then had appeared. It wouldn't have taken much more for Harry to just have given up. Sadly she wouldn't have faulted him had he done just that.

Everyone Harry gets close to seems to perish, she thought as she recalled the fate of Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks as well as that of the Headmaster. Hermione's heart ached for her friend as it always had when considering the life that had been forced upon her friend. He even lost the Weasleys!

Many lives had been lost or shattered in that final battle that had taken place on the grounds of Hogwarts. In the end they had won, saving Britain and arguably the world as well, but at a heavy cost. There were now many graves that resided on the grounds of Hogwarts, arrayed next to that of Albus Dumbledore's memorial tomb.

He's lost two families, the graduate of Hogwarts sorrowfully realized, with the deaths of the Weasleys. The witch couldn't help feeling guilty recalling her comment about understanding just how important her family was to her. At least I still have mine. Harry's lost all of his, even Sirius, his godfather. As she pondered past events a sudden startling thought occurred to her. I'm perhaps the last. The witch's eyes grew slightly larger as she unconsciously sat up straighter as the implications of her discovery suddenly sunk in. I'm the only one left that was truly close to Harry at Hogwarts.

Is that why? she puzzled, chasing the errant thought down the proverbial rabbit hole. Of all the people Harry has ever become close with, I'm the last one alive still. Is that why he's kept his distance? Hermione could easily see Harry staying away from her if it meant that she wouldn't suffer the same fate as the others. It would be just like him to assume everything was due to him! Truth be told, the witch had found Harry's martyrdom tendencies while in school to be both endearing as well as woefully frustrating.

Hermione thought back over their years at Hogwarts. Even then Harry had few friends, she recalled. There were plenty such as Dean Thomas or Seamus Finnigan who Harry was acquainted with but were not really close to The-Boy-Who-Lived. It was a sad realization to come to that she was in fact the last and that so many that she had called friend were now gone.

"I don't believe Angel is doing this just for justice or even for revenge," Smith offered after the silence had hung between them for several long minutes.

"Then why?" Hermione asked, turning to regard the MIB agent that was driving, her curiosity roused.

Smith's brow creased as he tried to recall something. "There were rumors," he said slowly when he finally replied. "Back when Angel first joined MIB. A great deal of speculation voiced as to the reason he was there in the first place. If any of the rumors were ever confirmed it was above my pay grade to know," he told her. "From certain things Angel has said from time to time though I think one of the rumors might be true."

"What rumor?" Hermione asked, finding the agents roundabout way of getting to the point wearing on her nerves at the moment. "What did they say?" she pressed heatedly.

"It was rumored that Angel was contracted to hunt down those that were involved in what happened in England," Smith informed her.

"Contracted?" Hermione parroted as she started to chew on her lower lip, which she did when in deep thought or emotionally stressed.

Smith gave a sharp nod. "I believe across the pond they call it an unbreakable vow."

Hermione gasped, "An unbreakable vow! Who would Harry possibly swear that to if all the Weasleys were gone?"

Smith kept his eyes on the road, weaving his way through traffic which was moving far too slowly for his liking. Though he hid the fact well, he was worried recalling that the last time Angel had gone off the reservation like this it had taken a team of medical witches a month to patch the hit wizard up. "I don't know the people involved well enough to say. There was however, mention of a French woman who wasn't there that night."

"Fleur," Hermione said to herself in little more than a whisper after a few moments of thought. Seeing the MIB agent glance over at her sharply before returning his eyes to the road, she repeated in a louder tone. "Fleur Delacour…or Weasley now. She married Bill Weasley during the war with Voldemort. Why wasn't she at the Burrow that night?"

"I never really looked into it," Smith replied. "It doesn't really change anything does it?"

"No," Hermione replied with a slow shake of her head. "Harry probably would have gone after them regardless," she reasoned aloud. "The Weasleys were his second family. They took him in and showed him love at a time in his life when he was in desperate need of it. Still, to swear an Unbreakable…" her words trailed off in disbelief.

Smith nodded in agreement with her assessment of the situation, believing she knew the hit wizard perhaps better than her did. Angel, despite the few games they played for amusement, had remained closed off from him and the other MIB agents in their detail. Smith had never seen the hit wizard more animated, more alive, than he did when in the company of the witch next to him. "If someone murdered my family I think I would be hard pressed to want only justice," he told Hermione.

Hermione arched a brow as she looked over to regard the wizard with her. "You have a family?" she asked in a surprised tone of voice.

The MIB agent chuckled at her tone. "A wife and two daughters," he told her, a smile spreading across his face. "The three best things to ever happen to me," he added in a loving tone.

Hermione smiled upon hearing the warmth in his words. 'I just never thought….," her words trailed off.

"There's more to life than killing dark wizards, Inspector," Smith said, his tone suddenly becoming serious. "In our line of work we grow old quicker than most do. Perhaps it is from all the death we witness or cause…it take a heavy toll upon us both physically as well as mentally. If you don't have a bit of happiness to hold onto it is easy to forget what we're fighting for. Those who do that usually become the enemy."

Happiness? Hermione chewed her lower lip as she turned to regard the passing scenery outside the vehicle as it sped along the Western highway. What's my bit of happiness? As soon as she asked herself that question she realized that it was having her parents with her. Even if they didn't remember that she was their actual daughter, just being a part of their lives brought her great happiness. I wonder what's Harry's happiness?

"I think Angel has forgotten or lost his happiness," Smith cut into her thoughts with as if reading her mind. "Back home he is all work and no play. It is rare to see him smile, rarer still to hear him laugh. He has no friends, though not from others lack of trying to get close. He makes certain to keep us all at arm's length. He has little to smile about I guess," Smith said morosely.

"I've seen him smiling plenty of times since you arrived here," Hermione replied with an aporetic timbre to her voice. "I even heard him laugh when we were playing basketball." Smith shot her a pointed look but refrained from saying anything before turning back to mind the road.

"You mean he's not always like that?" she asked only to see the agent give a brief shake of his head. "The Harry I knew always had a smile to give. Ron and I used to laugh all the time with him," she stated in a thoughtful voice. The silence stretch for several long moments as the witch recalled how the three of them used to be inseparable.

"Perhaps then," Smith's deep baritone voice cut into her thoughts once again, "like now, it is the company he is keeping?"

Hermione stared at the wizard for a long moment before looking away as she contemplated his words. Suddenly she once again found herself back within the hospital room, holding a small bandaged hand in her own. Slowly she lifted her eyes till they beheld the petite girl who lay upon the hospital bed. Hermione quickly glanced about only to see Harry standing and looking out the room's only window.

"It's alright Hermione," spoke a soft voice within the witch's head.

"Sara? How is this possible?" asked a bewildered Hermione after turning back to regard the girl who had passed away over a week ago. There was no logical way she could be back in the hospital bed with Harry so close at hand.

"I guess I am a little special after all," Sara's voice replied back, a distinct note of humor in it. "Just don't tell Harry I admitted that."

Hermione glanced sharply over to where Harry stood and eyed him for a long moment before turning back towards the small girl. "It will be our secret, Sara," she assured the already deceased girl. This must have already happened. She must have manipulated my memories, Hermione reasoned silently.

"I see you've already figured it out," Sara's pouting voice sounded in Hermione's head. "I had hoped it would have taken you longer," the girl told her. "He really was right when he called you the brightest witch of the age."

The witch in question smiled, even as her cheeks blushed slightly. "Harry said that about me?"

"He did," Sara confirmed before continuing. "However, we're not here to speak of that, Hermione." The injured girl saw Hermione's eyes slide to the side, once more falling upon her best friend. "That's correct. What we need to speak about is Harry, and our time is limited, so I need you to listen to me Hermione."

Hermione's eyes shot back to the girl on the hospital bed as fear touched her heart. "Harry?" she asked, fearing that it was his time which was short that Sara had referred to.

"You were wondering what Harry's happiness was, that which keeps him going," Sara said within Hermione's head. "Should I show you? Would you like to see?"

The once bushy-haired Gryffindor truly wished to know, yet she declined after only a moment's thought. "I…if Harry wants me to know then I am sure he will tell me at some point," she replied after a short internal struggle with herself.

"You know, for a bright witch you can be fairly dense at times," the young girl's voice said with a soft chuckle within Hermione's head. "I think you need to see this. I owe Harry a great deal and while it is true he would not want you to know this I don't feel like that matters," Sara told her in a tone that reminded Hermione that the girl was in fact still a child.

"Oh Harry!" Hermione gasped as the scene, one she well recalled but had forgotten, played out before her eyes. This time however, she saw the scene from Harry's perspective. It was like looking in a pensive except that she could also feel the mixtures of emotions running through Harry at the time. The scene was endearingly heart wrenching and sadly far too short.

"Do you see?" Sara probed gently. "Do you understand, Hermione?" she asked only to see the witch in question nod absently as she appeared to be still reeling over what she had witnessed and experienced. "For the first time in his life Harry was everything to someone. Nothing and no one else mattered, only him. Never before had anyone every made him feel so loved. It didn't really matter if he was that person's everything or not. The important thing was that he felt that he was."

"She never knew," Hermione mumbled distractedly in way of a response, still try to process everything. "How could she? Harry never said anything!" she finally said looking directly at the girl before her. Recalling just how withdrawn her Harry once was while at Hogwarts she could see how something so simple could mean so much to him. To a man dying of thirst, water was the most precious item in the world.

"Harry believes that's all he has left, a handful of memories," Sara informed her in a soft worried tone. "I fear having seen you once again has shown him just how pale those memories truly are." The small child stared at the witch with her for a long moment before continuing. "We both know he has far more available to him than those old memories, does he not, Hermione?"

"I…I don't know," Hermione stammered, wanting to avert her eyes but finding herself unable to do so. It had taken her a very long time to bury what she knew Sara was referring to. A very long and painful time as well as a considerable amount of distance. She was uncertain if once uncovered she could once again bury it when the need arose. She greatly feared that there would indeed be a time when she would have to place it aside once again.

"Don't know or afraid to find out?" Sara pressed. "Harry has been alone for a long while now," the petite girl finally said seeing that there would be no reply forthcoming from the witch beside her bed. "What he needed to defeat Voldemort is no different than what he needs now. You may very well be the last person in the world that can give it to him. Do you recall what that was?" she asked only to see Hermione nod hesitantly.

Hermione's eyes stung with unshed tears. How could she not know what that was? It was something she herself had tried searching for over the last ten years only to give up upon the hope of ever finding it again. Throwing herself fully into her work had only been a means to distract herself from what she was sure would always be denied her. It was an easy way to bury the hurt and longing for something so basic and yet ostensibly out of reach for herself.

Sara smiled, apparently satisfied with that simple nod. "Then I leave him in your care, Hermione. I would ask you to tell Harry I love him and am thankful for all he did but he already knows how I felt," she offered with a sad smile beneath her bandages, certain the other girl could feel it, if not actually see it. "I'm glad I got to meet you Hermione. Love him as he loves you."

"Inspector?" Smith asked in a worried tone, snapping the witch's thoughts back to her surroundings. "Are you alright?" It had alarmed him when Hermione had gone silent and even more so when her eyes had sprung a leak.

Hermione reached up with a trembling hand and touched the tears on her cheeks, a look of surprise appeared on her face upon finding them there. For a long moment she simply stared at the wet substance upon her fingertips before she replied in a firm tone. "I need to find Harry."


Harry paused just short of climbing into the waiting cargo van as the man who had spoken to him in the bar ordered him to wait a moment. One of the other SOS members produced an enchanted pair of wrist-cuffs and fastened them around Harry's wrists. The chain connecting the two cuffs to each other was no more than a few inches long. The restraints were designed to prevent him from using his magic.

The trained hit-wizard quickly read the ruins etched into the metal and deduced the quickest way to nullify the magic restricting devices. Once inside the van itself Harry stumbled, staggering into the side of the van loudly as the cuffs struck the metal. Using his actions as a distraction, he used an edge of the interior frame to dig into the metal cuff, scratching the etched rune just enough to alter it slightly. With the rune disfigured the magic imbued in the cuffs quickly faltered and sputtered out. Harry discretely casted a spell upon the restraints so that they would appear to be working correctly should anyone check.

"Here now, don't go hurting yourself before we can do it proper like," the talkative SOS member said with a humorous intonation to his words. After assisting Harry into a sitting position upon the floor, the man seated himself in the cargo area of the van across from Harry. Two other members climbed into the driver and passenger seats with the fourth member taking a seat on the floor behind the driver. "Best get comfortable," the man advised as the vehicle pulled away from the curb.

"Should be there in about three hours or so, depending on the traffic on the Western," the driver said over his shoulder.

"Let's take a look at those," the man across from Harry said as he set the detonator down only to quickly look at Harry with an exaggerated expression of surprise upon his face. "Oops! I guess we won't have to worry about those dentists after all, mate," he said towards Harry with a wickedly evil grin. "Wonder if they'll find all the teeth or not?"

"That wasn't part of the plan, Bernard," the man sitting behind the driver said upon seeing that his cohort had removed his finger from the trigger. Davis hadn't actually told them to kill the muggles, though he hadn't told them not to either.

"Shut yer trap," the man Harry now knew to be named Bernard snapped at the other man angrily. "They're nothing but a couple of muggles…I mean were a couple of muggles," he added the last with a ruthless chuckle. "We would have gotten around to killing them sooner or later anyway! They're a means to getting to the mud-blood Granger, that's so close to them."

"So your name is Bernard?" Harry asked evenly, his single eye fixated upon the man intently.

Bernard nodded once in acknowledgement. "Not that it will do you any good knowing it. Won't be longer before you won't even be able to remember your own name. I've heard that the Cruciatus curse, applied in short burst, can take a long while to drive a person insane," the man chuckled in a tone that clearly indicated he was looking forward to finding out first-hand.

"Bernard," Harry said in a chillingly cold tone which caused the man in question to stop his laughter in mid-chuckle. "I'll be sure to kill you last so you can find out directly just how long it takes," Harry told the man, starring him down in the process.

Bernard tried to play it off but his laughter when he resumed it sounded weak and fearful even to himself before he ended it abruptly. The SOS member glowered at Harry for the remainder of the trip. Every so often his eyes would flicker to the now discarded detonator, try as he might, he couldn't suppress the shiver of fear that traversed his spine.

The drive passed in silence for nearly three hours before it was broken by the man in the passenger seat. "We're nearly there," the man offered as he turned to regard Bernard, who was apparently leading the mission. "Should we pull off onto a side road to do it?"

Bernard got to his feet and, stooping over slightly so as not to hit his head on the roof, made his way towards the front of the van so he could look out the window. "Take the next exit and then find someplace quiet like," he instructed the driver.

It wasn't long before they were off the main highway and rolling along a dirt road which appeared to lead to nowhere. After receiving a curt nod from Bernard the wizard in the passenger seat pulled his wand out and started to chant softly under his breath. A few moments later the driver pulled off to the side of the road and shut the motor off. The wizard continued to softly chant the words to the spell.

Harry had a sense of disorientation and uncertainty as to where he was. It was as if he had suddenly lost sense of direction. He couldn't tell if his eye was open or not. Perhaps the eeriest thing was that suddenly he could hear nothing. It was as if his senses had suddenly ceased to function correctly.

The world's most feared hit-wizard glanced at the scrap of paper that someone had just been thrust into his hand and read the words there aloud. "You're in a van," Harry said. In a blinking of an eye the van was visible and the disconcerting feeling of not knowing which way was up or down vanished. "A modified Fidelius Charm," Harry surmised as he put two and two together after a few minutes of thought. "Focused on the vehicle itself." Harry had to admit it was rather ingenious, having never thought to try something similar himself.

Once the spell was completed they resumed driving along the road they were on. Due to the spell, no one would be able to locate them or even see or hear them. The van, and its contents, could drive right past the Ministry of Magic and no one would be the wiser for it. Harry made a mental note to do some research upon the possible application of such a spell. It was near child's play for him to reach out and lift the spell from the caster's mind the next time the SOS member glanced back at him and made the mistake of making eye contact.

An hour after they essentially became invisible to everyone else in the world, Harry started to notice a slight pain in the back of his head. As time passed the throbbing increased, becoming far more painful than the migraine he initially thought it might be. At first he had been able to ignore the pain but as time passed it continued to grow stronger, more insistent as it imposed upon his thoughts.

Bernard chuckled heartlessly upon noticing the look of pain on Harry's face. "Hurts like bloody hell doesn't it, mate? Took me over a month to be able to think straight and do much of anything." Seeing the curious glare Harry was giving him only caused the man to laugh all the more. "Don't you fret none, you'll be finding out soon enough what be causing it."

In a few short minutes the van started to run roughly as the motor coughed and sputtered. The driver pulled over quickly and turned the vehicle off before it could die all the way. "Time to go for a stroll," Bernard said as he climbed to his feet. Once standing the man reached down and grabbed one of Harry's arms and pulled him up, assisting him to the door of the van once it was opened.

Harry struggled desperately to force the pain from his mind but to little avail. His Occlumency shields didn't seem to be down as far as he could tell, which led him to believe it was something other than a mental attack brought about by Legilimency. Observing the four others with him he could tell they were all affected, though apparently to a lesser degree than he was experiencing.

As they finally neared their destination, a deserted village from all appearances, two of the SOS members had to physically carry the hit-wizard known as Archangel. Unceremoniously they dragged him into the largest structure before dumping him into a chair. Once they had secured Harry to the chair they left with a few parting chuckles at his apparent semi-conscious state.

Harry world became nothing more than pain, delivered in one agonizing pulse after the other. Time ceased to have relevance as he could only measure it from one throbbing sensation to the next. There was a slight ebb and flow to the torment, a matter of one moment to the next in which he could almost grasp the illusive reality. Being no stranger to pain over the course of his life, the world's foremost hit-wizard soon learned to use these moments to gather his thoughts. In this manner he slowly reached out for his magic so that he might free himself, only to discover that the magic was no longer there.

Harry floundered as he called forth his magic only to have it fail to answer him. What? What have they done to me? Try as he might he couldn't recall anything the four men had done that would account for his magic being removed or blocked. Unable to come up with an explanation he set the matter aside for the moment. Years of training and experience had taught him that you did not dwell upon that which you couldn't change. First you deal with what you can and then you tackle what is left, he told himself.

Harry's consciousness retreated to the farthest corner of his mind where he managed to hold the pain at bay by sheer force of will. He knew that he wouldn't be able to do this for very long though. Already he could feel the madness the torment brought with it creeping ever closer to his hiding place. Over the course of the past decade he had trained with many different masters and in many different techniques. He had adopted the philosophy that you could never know too much if you wished to remain among the living. As fast as thought allowed he flipped through all that he had learned and selected what he hoped to be the right one.

First concentrate upon the center, he told himself softly. 'Everything begins and ends in the center', his Sensei had told him. Brown. The center is brown. Soft like melted caramel, he mused as he envisioned them, wide with slightly tapered ends. There is a warmth there, a caring for others, especially those dear to their owner. In the small corner of darkness that was left of Harry's mind the wizard constructed an image of a pair of brown eyes that he knew almost as well as his own.

A slim delicate nose soon joined the image as well as soft cheek bones set above a dazzling smile. Where once the image may have adorned with bushy brown hair, it now had the more dignified brown tresses of an adult woman. The eyes deepened as the lips became fuller and the face of a girl blossomed into that of a beautiful young woman. Hermione, Harry thought softly as he narrowed all his attention to this one image of the girl he once knew as his best friend. This was the girl who had grown into the strong and independent woman who now worked for magical law enforcement.

It had been nearly four years ago that he had studied to learn the technique of blocking his own pain receptors. Mind over body was not an easy technique to learn, requiring a great deal of focus. To this effect Harry had called to mind the one thing he knew he would never lose touch with. The Eastern Philosophy he was utilizing wasn't something that could be used instantly, but given enough time and the proper motivation and determination one could effectively render themselves immune to pain for a period of time. He had as yet ever used this this specific technique as it was a double edged sword. While the practitioner could carry on, ignoring the pain his body was feeling, that pain generally served to warn the body that it was injured. A sort of self-preservation mechanism designed to protect the body itself. In such a state the person could take a serious injury and never even know it. If it went on long enough a person could easily die without feeling any pain at all.

As the pain began to subside he gingerly reached out to his senses, restoring them one at a time. Glancing about he noted he was in an unfurnished room with bare adobe type walls and a dirt floor. There were was one window in the room, through which the first tendrils of dawn provided barely enough light for him to see by. Tied to the chair with his hands behind him, still encased within the metal cuffs, there was little he could do but wait to see what his captors had in store for him.

The sun had completely risen, judging by the brightness of the small patch of sky Harry could see through the small window, when the door to his room opened suddenly. Bernard gave him a grin before entering the room and closing the door behind him. "You're a tough one, I'll give you that, mate," he said to Harry. "It was almost a week before I could even open my eyes," Bernard offered with grudging respect in his voice.

"I wager you haven't figured out where you're at though, have you?" Bernard enquired conversationally. "This is…well we don't know what it actually is. Davis called it a dead zone. The locals shun this place like the plague on account that nothing works here. No magic, nor anything powered by that muggle eletrincity."

"Electricity," Harry corrected.

"Blimey you can talk too!" Bernard guffawed in surprise. "Maybe you are as good as they say you are after all! Took most the boys a few weeks to be able to manage that! Not that it will matter once Davis gets here. As soon as we get what we've come for we'll be off again and then the real fun can start! It seems you must have done something to piss Davis off, as he wants to handle you personally."

"Killed his master a few years back," Harry offered, drawing a curious stare from the man with him. "I'd imagine he was none too pleased about that," Harry quipped with a smirk. "Speaking of masters, when is yours due so we can get this over with and I can kill him?"

Bernard snorted while shaking his head from side to side. "This only ends one way for you, mate and it ain't pretty." As he spoke the man removed a pair of black gloves from his pocket and began slipping them on. "While Davis isn't my master, he won't be here till tomorrow," the man said as he finished slipping on the first glove and worked on the second one. "Plenty of time for you and me to play for a bit. You see, Darnel was me cousin and while he was a bloody git he was also family."

Bernard flexed first one hand and then the other, making certain that the steel bars stitched in the palms of each glove settle correctly. The metal was thick enough so that when the hand was closed, forming a fist, it afforded a solid center so that each punch would hurt all the more. "Can't let something like that slide, now can I mate?" he asked eyeing Harry.

"I imagine not," Harry replied resignedly. The first blow snapped his head back while the next one forced it to the left. After several consecutive blows Harry started to chuckle, realizing that he couldn't feel a thing. A few more punches and Harry was outright laughing. Bernard seemed to grow angrier with each laugh and soon Harry found himself laughing through two broken lips and several missing teeth. His one good eye was swollen almost closed and his eye patch had come off at some point exposing the hollow socket it covered.

Bernard hunched over, his hands resting on his knees as he gasped for air from the excursion. "Bloody hell mate, what kind of devil are you?" he wheezed out between gasps, eyeing the wizard tied to the chair before him. "No one," he paused to draw in some air, "no one should be able to take a beating like that and laugh about it!"

"Me?" Harry asked through his busted face. "I'm just the wizard who's going to kill you and your boss."
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