Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Blood's Sacrifice

Muggle Security

by ShadeDancer 0 reviews

Chapters 5 & 6

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2005-10-23 - Updated: 2005-10-24 - 3952 words

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, never have, never will.

"Well, come one," the twins were all excited, "show us already!"

Sighing, Harry was starting to wish he had never promised to show the Weasley's and Penny the firing range, but then again he hadn't seen any of the Weasley's this excited all summer. At least his dad had the foresight to clear everyone out of the range before giving permission for the tour. Vasile and Trevor would be along in a minute to give a demonstration; Manuel was too busy with paperwork, much to his disgust. Harry paused with his hand on the door leading to the separate building that housed the firing range, extra weapons storage in an underground bunker leading to the house via the tunnels, and various bits of gear they kept handy in case the house was ever compromised.

"Ask before you touch anything," Harry stressed the warning, glad Bill was along with them to keep the twins in line, "Madam Pomfrey isn't here to reattach any limbs you might blow off."

Harry knew he was overstating the danger, the Guards had made sure to remove all but the most basic weapons, but he was a bit worried about the grins the twins had been wearing. Taking a deep breath, Harry took out the key pass needed to unlock the door and typed in the pass code as his left palm was scanned by the sensor hidden in the door itself; the whole setup was straight out of one of the Darkov labs. Thankfully the Weasley's, minus Bill, wouldn't realize anything about the security, but Penny had an odd look on her face. Harry wondered how long it would be before she started drawing conclusions and confronted him. He figured he had a little bit of time because Penny wasn't the naturally suspicious type and would make sure she had enough facts before making accusations; she was a Ravenclaw after all. The door clicked open beneath Harry's hand and he lead the group inside the building, flicking on the lights as he went.

"It's kind of empty," one of the twins chimed up, looking around at the few gun cases on the walls and the targets at the end of the shooting lanes; the Guards had really been thorough on cleaning the place out.

Harry shrugged, "you don't want the place cluttered up, you need room to shoot the guns at the targets without other people getting in the way."

"This would be a good place to practice spell accuracy," Charlie spoke up, "do the targets stay in the same place the whole time?"

"We can set them up to move," Harry moved over to a set of controls for the first lane, "you, Bill, Penny and Percy can shoot spells at the targets if you like while we wait for Trevor and Vasile since you're all of age. Just make sure you can undo whatever you hit the target with so that no one sees anything strange."

Within a few moments, Harry and Blaise had four of the lanes open for the spell practice and stood back to watch as the four adults practiced on the moving targets. They of course knew that Bill was a crack-shot, but were surprise at how well Percy did in dueling the target; they had always pegged him more of a book person. Charlie was good as well, but obvious used to aiming at bigger targets. Harry was gratified to see that Penny was a good aim as well; he had occasionally wondered what would have happened that night at her parent's party if she hadn't hit his captor dead on, but hit him instead.

"Well," Vasile spoke up from behind the group, startling at least half of them, "at least they have good aim, so we won't have to worry about them shooting each other by mistake."

Trevor made a noise of dissent, "spells are one thing and guns are another, but we don't have to worry about that just now. They need to learn gun safety first before we even allow them to pick up the air guns."

At hearing these dreaded words, Harry and Blaise tried to sneak away, only to be stopped by Trevor's hands on their shoulders, "it won't hurt you two to stay and have a lesson as well, and they are your friends."

Harry and Blaise groaned but dutifully gathered around the table where Trevor and Vasile were going to instruct the group on gun safety. It suddenly looked to be a very boring afternoon.

~~ ~~ ~*~

"That was boring," Ron complained as they finally managed to escape the firing range, "I didn't understand half of what they were saying."

Fred nodded, "it was boring, but only until Trevor and Vasile showed us how to shoot."

"Would guns work at Hogwarts?" George mused for both himself and Fred, "we could probably put them to use in a prank somehow. Or enchant them to do something different."

"Don't even think about it," Harry warned, "you are not going to enchant a real gun to do anything. I'll get you two a paint-gun, or better yet, some water-guns that you can mess around with; those aren't deadly to fool with and can be used for pranks. I think we have some up in the house."

"Why'd they show us how to shoot when they won't let us shoot," Ron had ignored everything else and was still complaining.

Harry stifled a sigh, "they showed you because we couldn't explain to you what a gun was and how it worked. And if you didn't understand what they were saying it's a good thing Trevor isn't going to let you shoot yet. It's scary how little most wizards know of muggles and muggle things."

Percy nodded gravely, "I've taken Muggle Studies, but even after spending time here with your family I still don't understand a lot of the things around me."

"That's because witches and wizards have a biased view of muggles," Blaise looked to be about half asleep, "they don't realize how advanced muggles really are just because they don't possess magic, and yet the wizarding world hides from the muggles for fear of being destroyed by them. It's hypocritical."

"We don't fear being destroyed by them," the twins assumed a mock-affronted air, "for we are almighty wizards!"

The whole group burst into laughter at the twin's antics and an impromptu game of tag was started up as they raced for the house.

~~ ~~ ~*~

"Hey Harry!" The twins cornered him after dinner, "what was it you were saying about water-guns earlier?"

Harry rolled his eyes, "I haven't even had a chance to look for them yet, but I guess now is as good a time as any. Come on."

Leading the way into the family wing of the house, Harry headed for a room the twins hadn't entered before and they took time too look around as Harry rooted through a wooden chest in the corner.

"What's this room?" The twins were intrigued by all the things that lay scattered about, the looks on their faces were like those of children let loose in a candy shop.

Harry looked up, amused, as he finally found the water-guns.

"This used to be my playroom. Well, mine and Blaise's," Harry amended the original statement as he saw the twins glance with suspicious eyes at the handful of dolls scattered in one corner; he couldn't remember the last time Blaise had ever even picked one of them up except to use as a hostage in a war game, "now we just keep games and stuff in here so that we know where they are."

"What sort of game is that?" Fred had picked up what looked to be the remains of the battleship game the Guards had blown up a few years ago.

"Don't worry about that," Harry said hastily, he wasn't about to tempt fate and teach the Weasley twins the joy of muggle explosives, "I found the water-guns."

Deciding it was best to get the twins out of the playroom; Harry led them to one of the bathrooms off the hall and gave them a crash course on filling and shooting the water-guns. Then, after making the twins swear that he wouldn't be a target, he left them talking about enchanting the water-guns to be ever-filling while they headed off to take up sentinel at a shadowy corner of the stairs and wait for a target.

It couldn't have been more than five minutes later when Harry heard Vasile's distinctly pissed off voice cursing every God in the heavens and the twins yelling, "run for our life!"

Harry chuckled softly as Blaise came to see what was going on, "the rest of the summer is certainly going to be interesting; we did warn the twins not to mess with Vasile."

"Harry," Nara appeared next to him, speaking informally as only Blaise was there to hear her since Penny and Percy had gone off to the prefects compartment and the rest of the Weasley's had disappeared to meet up with their friends, "I couldn't find an empty compartment. The only one nearly empty is at the end and has a man sleeping in it. His briefcase bears the stamp R. J. Lupin. Do you know him?"

Harry knew the decision was being left up to him in the absence of his father, Manuel had unfortunately had business to attend to that he could not put off, he also knew Nara and Vasile would not be too happy with his decision, "no, but we'll take that compartment anyhow. I'm sure everything will be fine unless you saw something about the man that makes you think he would be a threat?"

"No sir," Nara suddenly grew formal, showing her deference to his decision, something Harry hoped she would stop doing quickly, "I will also remain with you in the compartment while Dagger Vasile prowls the train."

"Wolf Nara would do well to drop the use of our ranking titles except when addressing our little boss," Vasile admonished Nara lightly as he came up to the waiting trio, "the wizards do not know we are anything other than hired bodyguards and it is to stay that way. I also spoke with the conductor. The man is the new Defense teacher and so in theory should present no threat to the young sir or miss."

In tandem Harry and Blaise stuck out their tongues, "you can drop the sir and miss already. It's a pain in the ass to answer to and makes everything so formal."

Vasile raised an eyebrow, "but we're supposed to be employed by your father as hired guards, which is our job anyhow, and we aren't supposed to know each other enough to be on familiar terms."

Harry rolled his eyes as he headed to board the train behind Blaise, "fine, then as your boss I'm ordering you to call me Harry and Blaise, Blaise."

Nara couldn't help it and gave a wolfish grin, "whatever you say little boss."

Harry glared at her, entered the compartment she indicated, and slammed the door in her face before adding a locking charm to it. The charm most likely wouldn't take her long to get through, but he knew Nara well enough to know that she would be fretting the whole while about Blaise and himself being in a compartment with some stranger while she was barricaded on the outside where she couldn't easily help should the need arise. Through the door, Harry could hear Vasile wish her luck before heading down the corridor to begin his sweep of the train.

~~ ~~ ~*~

Nara was still scowling at Harry when the train began to slow down a few hours later.

"Are we there?" Nara asked, standing to stretch muscles grown cramped during the ride, "from the briefing Trevor gave me I thought we had a few more hours left."

Harry glanced out of the dark window, then down at his watch with a frown, "it's too early to be at Hogsmeade yet."

"Something's wrong," Vasile had burst into the compartment and secured the door behind him, "we're stopping, but not by the conductors will. It seems the train is going to be boarded. Harry, Blaise, I want you down on the floor. Nara, by the window."

Harry and Blaise dutifully crouched upon the floor with both guns and wands at the ready as the rain and wind lashing the train seemed to grow in ferocity. The train came to a halt with a sudden jolt and the compartments were suddenly plunged into darkness.

Harry felt Blaise knock into him as the train stopped and steadied her as Vasile spoke to them quietly, "stay still and keep down. I'm not going to make any light to give whoever's out there an easier target. Be ready."

Suddenly the door rattled and Harry could sense Vasile and Nara both tense, only to relax again when they recognized the voices outside, "Oi! Let us in! Harry? Blaise?"

Vasile cursed lowly under his breath and Harry couldn't help but grin even when some unknown danger could currently be coming closer; Vasile still hadn't forgiven the twins for squirting him with water-guns over the summer. Reluctantly Vasile removed his spells and opened the door, moving back quickly as the twins stumbled in with Percy, Penny, Ron, Ginny, and Hermione.

"Great!" Nara hissed as she was squashed up against the window, "now there's no room to move at all. Put that light out girl!"

"Who's that?" Hermione questioned even as she extinguished her wand tip, "I didn't think there were any adults on the train except for the conductor and trolley lady."

"Be quiet!" Vasile warned as he pushed Penny to the ground next to Harry and Blaise and shoved the others into the empty seats; from the sound of it, Hermione ended up on one of the Weasley boy's laps.

"Quiet," a hoarse sounding voice spoke suddenly, reiterating Vasile's command; it appeared their sleeping companion had woken.

Out of the corner of his eye, Harry could see Nara shift so that her wand was trained on the stranger, but Vasile didn't turn from his guarding of the door.

"Don't move," Nara warned the man as he shifted, "I don't know who you are and therefore don't trust you."

"My name is Remus Lupin," the man said in the same hoarse voice, "I'll be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts this year. I was merely going to conjure some light. Perhaps you would care to introduce yourself as there shouldn't be any more adults on this train besides myself and the Express' personnel."

"No light," Vasile interrupted lowly, "now shut up. Some thing's out there."

The door slid open despite the fact that Vasile had both locked and warded it and even though his eyes had adjusted to the dark, Harry could just barely make out the cloaked figure the towered to the ceiling. The thing's face was completely hidden beneath its hood, but a slimy gray and scabbed hand protruded from the cloak as if the thing beneath it had decayed in water. With a suddenness that said the creature had been aware of Harry's scrutiny of its hand, the hand disappeared within the folds of the cloak. The horrible creature before them then drew in a long, slow, rattling breath that sucked all warmth from the compartment, from their very skin and beyond. It was as if the creature was trying to devour more than air as it drew in that breath and suddenly memories started to flash through his mind, horrible memories, and he knew Blaise was reliving her own as her hand clenched in a death grip around his own:

Sampson threatening Blaise...

The assassin pinning him to the floor, helpless...

A gun, pointed at his unsuspecting father's back...

The wall swinging closed to leave them in darkness...

Code Black...

Quirrell holding onto a struggling Blaise...

Blaise lying so still, petrified...

On and on the memories went, yet somehow Harry remained aware enough to hear as Vasile and Nara shouted off curses to repel the creature even as their faces twisted with their own torment.

A flash of green light...

A woman screaming...

Harry suddenly felt warmth upon his chest where his dream catcher and dragon pendant lay, suddenly glowing softly. Not thinking, Harry drew a knife, the warmth traveling from his chest down to his arm as he lunged at the creature. Professor Lupin saying something, shouting a spell that produced a white mist. The dagger sliced through the folds of the creature's cloak, Harry couldn't tell if it had done any damage, but the white mist was hovering between him and the creature now, keeping it back.

"None of us are hiding Sirius Black beneath our cloaks," Lupin spoke again, forcing more power into his spell, "now go."

Surprisingly the creature left and the shield of white mist disappeared.

"What the hell was that," Harry questioned Vasile.

"It was a dementor," Lupin was the one to answer as he began to hand out pieces of chocolate, the man was surprisingly calm considering both Vasile and Nara had their wands pointed at him, "one of the dementors of Azkaban. They will be guarding the school this year until Sirius Black is apprehended. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to speak with the conductor. Eat the chocolate, it'll help. It's not poisoned."

"I'll be the judge of that," Nara snarled, her previous helplessness at driving the dementor away manifesting itself in anger.

Lupin merely shrugged and left the compartment, Vasile suspiciously following behind him. After they left, Nara checked the chocolate over for poison or enchantments before allowing anyone to take a bite, although Ron had already practically swallowed his whole before she could. Thankfully Hermione seemed to have forgotten her earlier question about Vasile and Nara's presence and was more interested in flipping through some book for information on dementors.

"Are you okay," Nara crouched down next to Harry and Blaise who were now sitting comfortably on the floor as all the seats were taken; they both knew why she was asking, she knew the memories they had.

Harry glanced at Blaise before answering, the chocolate was starting to help and his amulets were still faintly warm against his skin, "I think we're fine. Memories can't hurt us, not when we've already survived the real thing, but it was uncomfortably unexpected."

Nara nodded and stood, taking up Vasile's earlier post by the door. Sometime earlier the lights had come back on and the train was once again moving, yet no one in the compartment felt much like talking until Vasile and Professor Lupin came back.

"We'll be at Hogwarts in less than ten minutes," Lupin announced as Vasile and Nara softly conferred with each other, most of their conversation made up of hand gestures that Harry half-heartedly followed, "are all of you alright?"

They all made some sort off sound indicating that they were alright before Harry rose to his feet, stretching out his muscles to get circulation flowing back into his limbs as the train started to slow as they finally reached Hogsmeade Station. In single file the group emptied themselves from the compartment after a bit of pushing and shoving to get room to stand, Harry and Blaise were immediately shuffled off into a carriage by Vasile and Nara, Penny along with Percy and the twins managing to climb in at the last second. The moment the door was shut, the carriage was off, pulled by creatures Harry now knew to be Thestrals. As they passed through the gates leading to Hogwarts, Harry's pendants flared briefly into warmth and he saw two more of the hooded dementors standing guard on either side. At last the carriage came to a halt and the group climbed out, Vasile and Nara flanking Harry and Blaise to escort them into the Great Hall amidst the glances of curious eyes.

The curious glances continued in the Hall and whispers were flying everywhere as Vasile and Nara took up positions standing behind Harry and Blaise, their gazes constantly flying about the room as they tried to remain aware of everything. The whispers finally died down and the gazes were averted when Dumbledore stood to address the assembled crowd.

"Welcome," said Dumbledore, the candlelight shimmering on his beard, "welcome to another year at Hogwarts! I have a few things to say to you all, and as one of them is very serious, I think it best to get it out of the way before you become befuddled by our excellent feast..."

Dumbledore cleared his throat and continued, "as you will all be aware after their search of the Hogwarts Express, our school is presently playing host to some of the dementors of Azkaban, who are here on Ministry of Magic business."

He paused, and Harry got the distinct impression that Dumbledore was not very happy about the dementors guarding the school. Harry couldn't blame him on that one.

"They are stationed at every entrance to the grounds," Dumbledore continued, "and while they are with us, I must make it plain that nobody is to leave school without permission. Dementors are not to be fooled by tricks or disguises-or even Invisibility Cloaks. It is not in the nature of a dementor to understand pleading or excuses. I therefore warn each and every one of you to give them no reason to harm you. I look to the prefects, and our new Head Boy and Girl, to make sure no student runs afoul of the dementors."

Dumbledore was acting more serious than many students had ever seen him, the usual twinkle in his eyes currently extinguished.

"We will also be welcoming Vasile and Nara amongst us this year," Dumbledore continued, "an attack was made upon Mr. Potter this summer and in light of recent events it was decided to have a guard accompany him to school. I assure you that they will take any threats to Mr. Potter and Ms. Zabini seriously and ask that you do not give them reason to doubt your intentions. On a lighter note, I would like to welcome two new teachers to our ranks this year."

"First, Professor Lupin, who has kindly consented to fill the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher."

A scattering of applause went up for Professor Lupin, but Harry was more interested in the glares Severus was sending the new Defense teacher. There was a rumor going about the school that Severus wanted the Defense position, but Harry knew it wasn't true and made a mental note to pester the Potions Master about the new teacher.

"As to our second new appointment," Dumbledore continued as the applause died down, "well, I am sorry to say that Professor Kettleburn, our Care of Magical Creatures teacher, retired at the end of last year in order to enjoy more time with his remaining limbs. However, I am delighted to say that his place will be filled by none other than Rubeus Hagrid, who had agreed to take on this teaching job in addition to his gamekeeping duties."

Harry raised an eyebrow at this considering the gamekeepers rumored penchant for dangerous creatures, after all, the man had already assigned them a biting book. But Dumbledore wasn't done yet and Harry turned his attention back to the Headmaster.

"Now," Dumbledore continued, "let us enjoy our sumptuous feast!"

Ravenously, everyone tucked into the food that had magically appeared upon their plates, Vasile and Nara sending one last sweeping look throughout the Hall before sitting down to their own dinners.
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