Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Luna's Hubby


by Meteoricshipyards 8 reviews

Harry's invited to Voldemort's resurrection. But Harry Lovegood has a family that objects to the procedings.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Harry,Peter,Voldemort - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2007-12-27 - Updated: 2007-12-27 - 5821 words - Complete

Chapter 20

Harry and Cedric looked around. They were in a graveyard. Headstones stretched around them, with woods beyond. Off in one direction there was a road, and an uncultivated field beyond it.

"Do you think this is part of the task?" Cedric asked.

"No," Harry said, bringing his wand up. Suddenly, his forehead exploded with pain. He cried out and fell to his knees. Cedric dropped the cup, and knelt beside Harry.

"We only need one. Kill the big one," a voice hissed, and Harry looked up to see a short man raise a wand.

"Avada Kedavra," he said, pointing at Cedric. Harry pushed the Hufflepuff away from him and the spell's path. Cedric fell onto the cup, and both disappeared.

"Stupify!" the unknown man said.

Harry hadn't been properly balanced to push Cedric so hard, and he fell over, too. Thus, he was lying on the ground when the stunner came at him. He tried to roll out of the way, but the range was too close; the spell hit him, and everything went black.

- - -

When Harry and Cedric disappeared, Luna gasped. She pointed her wand up and shot off a set of red sparks. She then cast a Sonorus charm on herself, and yelled, "Harry's in trouble."

Selene took a look around at her family and friends as she stood up. "Let's go help him then."

"We're with you, too," Sibyll said, getting up and pulling Bill Henderson up with her. Selene headed down the steps towards the field, walking right through the judges section. There were stairs leading down to the field from the judge's section, and she ignored the questions from the judges as she quickly led her posse to the expanded Quidditch field. Aurors came running over, expecting a crowd control situation. They encountered a determined mother.

"Out of my way. My son has just been kidnapped!"

They might have tried to stop her anyway, except that Dumbledore had followed the Lovegoods down the steps. Mr. and Mrs. Diggory came running down the judge's steps after them, followed by Amelia Bones.

"Let them pass," Dumbledore said.

They hurried down the hill towards the goal. Being on the "side" they were near the eastern bridge. The troll was still lying unconscious next to the bridge, so they crossed without interference. The group had expanded again to include the rest of the judges and Minister Fudge, who came with an assistant and a pair of Aurors.

Frank and Alice had left just minutes ago to check on Neville, but when they heard Luna's amplified voice, and Madam Pomfrey insistence that he would be fine, they left him in the healers care and caught up with the group crossing the field.

They came to the hedge of African Stranglers, and Frank created a ramp over them. Alice waved her wand and invoked a cold mist around the impromptu bridge which caused the vines to still.

"They sleep when it gets too cold," she explained, as they marched over the barrier.

They were hurrying down the hill when Dumbledore finally recognized one of the women he was following.


Henderson turned on him suddenly, wand held at Dumbledore's throat.

"Leave her alone," he said, in a low, menacing voice.

The Headmaster nodded as Mr. Diggory yelled, "Cedric!" Dumbledore looked ahead, and saw that the Diggory boy was lying on the ground.

The group reached the location of the ward, and Dumbledore said, "It will take me a few minutes to dispel this."

But Luna had been busy while waiting for help. She had her wand out and was waving it at the barrier already, causing colorful, magical light to spread out across the entire ward. After a few seconds she said, "It wasn't a very good ward. I changed it so that friends and family can get past."

Most of the group passed through the magical barrier without a problem. Dumbledore looked at them, shocked. Amos Diggory ran ahead to his son. Dumbledore, Karkaroff, and the three from the Ministry found that they still couldn't get through the barrier.

Cedric spoke very quickly as soon as he saw his parents, "Mum, Dad! We have to go back and help Harry! I think they're going to kill him!"

Selene asked in a voice that sounded more threatening for being so calm, "Who is going to kill him and where is he?"

"Uh, I don't know. There was a man, and he cast the Killing Curse at me, but Harry knocked me out of the way. I must have fallen on the portkey," he pointed at the cup.

"What the blazes is going on?" Minister Fudge asked, joining the group. Dumbledore had succeeded in removing his ward from around the trophy area.

Selene turned on him and said, "You were warned that Voldemort was plotting to kidnap one of the contestants! Well now he's succeeded!"

"We were warned, Fudge," Amelia concurred.

"That's impossible! You-Know-Who is dead!" Fudge protested.

"I don't have time to argue with this fool! Everyone, on the count of three, touch the cup. Have your wands ready, we don't know what we'll encounter! Not you," she said, looking at Luna. "You wait here."

"But Muuuuum!"

"Don't 'But Mum' me, young lady. You wait here! Ready?"


"I'm going too, Dad. Harry just saved my life!"

Selene looked at everyone. The Headmaster had maneuvered so his hand was over the cup, too. "All right, everybody, on the count of three. One. Two. Three." Nine hands touched the cup almost at the same time.

Nothing happened.

- - -

Harry woke tied to a tombstone. A five foot high cauldron sat on a fire nearby. The small wizard was facing him with a drawn wand. Harry knew he had just been the recipient of an Ennervate spell. He had the unnatural surge of energy he always felt when that spell was cast on him, which had happened many times the previous summer while training with Mad Eye Moody. He looked at the enormous cauldron and thought it reminded him of cartoons he'd seen of cannibals cooking someone. He suddenly had a very bad feeling as he realized that his head was pounding.

"Ah, Wormtail! Our guest of honor has awakened," a voice said. Harry looked up and saw the short wizard with something in his arms. His forehead was consumed in pain again when he looked at the creature.

"Voldemort!" he whispered.

"Well, well, well," the voice from the bundle said, "it seems that my plans have succeeded beyond even my imagination. When Crouch was caught I gave up on capturing the Longbottom boy, but thought the death of one of the champions would start spreading fear throughout the wizarding community, especially when it was accompanied by my mark. But we caught not some random young wizard, but the very so-called Boy-Who-Lived, Wormtail!"

As the wizard answered, Harry tried to think around his headache. He remembered Sirius' and Remus' stories about his father and the Marauders, four friends who had been the bane of teachers and Slytherins when they had been in school. Wormtail was Pettigrew, the escaped rat.

Harry was distracted for a moment as a large green snake slithered around the gravestone he was tied to. It moved out of his sight, and his attention was brought back to the thing Pettigrew was holding.

"How could that be, Master?" Pettigrew questioned.

"You tell me, Wormtail. You were the one who told me Harry Potter wasn't at Hogwarts. But clearly, he isn't the champion from one of the other schools. I'll punish you later.

"Now, Harry Potter, you will be part of the ritual that will return me to my body!"

Harry saw Voldemort clearly now. He was the size of a baby, but dark and blotchy. He didn't seem to have the right number of fingers, and his face was. . . well it wasn't very human.

"Begin!" he commanded. Pettigrew started chanting about father's bones, and cast a spell on the grave to which Harry was tied tight. A bone rose from the ground and Pettigrew floated it into the cauldron. There was a little splash, and Harry realized that it was almost completely full of liquid. He wished he had the opportunity to spoil it, but has he wiggled in the ropes he found there was very little give.

Pettigrew had put down the grotesque creature and approached Harry with a knife in one hand and a wand in the other. Two quick flicks, and Harry's right arm was free, but he couldn't move otherwise. Chanting about "blood of the enemy" Pettigrew cut Harry's arm, and blood ran down his arm into a goblet. The rat faced man poured the cup of blood into the cauldron while Harry, once again able to move, pushed his arm against his side to try to slow the bleeding.

As Pettigrew was busy with the giant pot, Harry had an idea. He was sitting with his legs folded beneath him, as if he was just dumped here. He wiggled and brought his foot closer to his hand. He looked up as Pettigrew dropped something else into the cauldron. Harry stared as he saw that Pettigrew had cut his own hand off. The rat faced wizard cradled it with the other arm, until he picked up the creature and lifted it into the pot.

- - -

"It was enchanted to take someone there and back again; just a single round trip. It is no longer a portkey, and we can't determine where Harry is," Selene said, as she finished analyzing the trophy. Meanwhile Frank and Alice were interviewing Cedric. They finished up and rejoined Selene's group.

"A rural area, same time zone, probably in Britain somewhere. Nothing distinctive, and no one around except the wizard that attacked him."

"I'm afraid that all we can do is hope he can escape," Dumbledore said, soothingly.

"Harry's that way," Luna said, pointing mostly south.

"Their bond!" Selene exclaimed. "Luna, can you triangulate his location?"

"Yes, but I'll need a map and a compass."

"Minerva," Dumbledore said, "Could you run back to the castle and get a map and compass?"

"That will take too long," Luna commented to no one in particular. "Peppy?"

There was a pop and a house elf appeared. "Whats can Peppy do for you, miss?"

"Peppy, in my desk on the third shelf there's a map of the British Isles. Can you bring it here please? And can you bring me a compass?"

"Peppy don't know where a compass is, miss."

"It's in my office in the cabinet with the tree engraved on the door," Dumbledore told the elf.

"Peppy will be back soon," and the elf popped away.

"Peppy is the elf in charge of Ravenclaw tower," Luna explained. It was less than a minute later when the elf came back with the map and compass.

She opened the map and put it on the ground. While she aligned it with the compass, Dumbledore noticed that there were a number of lines already drawn across the picture of Great Britain. Some seemed to go from Hogwarts to Dover and London. Others also intersected at Dover and London and other places. Luna slowly walked around the map.

While she did, Selene explained how they were going to Apparate to London and get a second direction, and where the lines crossed, they would go there, and use Luna's bond to close in.

"I demand to know what is going on here!" Minister Fudge yelled.

"Voldemort has kidnapped Harry," Luna answered, dreamily.

"Impossible! Voldemort is dead!"

Dumbledore answered, "No, Minister, Voldemort has been active for years. . . ."

"There is no proof!"

"If you had listened, you would have heard the truth. . . ."

"He's in Little Hangleton," Luna pronounced, very firmly.

"You sure?" Selene asked.

"No, but that's where the line aims, and we know he was there before."

"How does this little girl know what she does? Who was there before?" Dumbledore demanded.

"Voldemort," Luna answered calmly, folding up the map.

Fudge and Dumbledore spoke at the same time.

"Voldemort is dead!"

"How do you know he was there before?"

Algie Croaker had joined the group, having been sitting with some former students of his. "To the Forbidden forest," he said. "That's the closest edge of the anti-Apparition wards."

At that point Karkaroff sucked in a breath as if in pain. A figure in black robes hurried from the stand to intercept the group now heading out of the Quidditch pitch.

"Headmaster!" Snape called as he got closer. Dumbledore stopped and waited for the potions master and they had a quick conversation. They then hurried to the group.

Dumbledore gave them the latest news, "Voldemort is resurrected. There's nothing more we can do. It would be folly to attack now. He's called his Death Eaters to himself."

- - -

Harry knew that he couldn't count on the thing drowning. He couldn't reach his boot! He was starting to panic! He closed his eyes and tried to calm himself. He fell into his animagus meditation without thinking about it. When he realized what he was doing he continued, as it was succeeding in calming him. Calmer, his muscles relaxed, and there was some play in the ropes. He looked at his boot and reached the knife. Technically it was against the rules for the third task, but Luna had suggested he take it with that voice that had never been wrong. He started cutting the ropes. They fell away as Sirius' present made short work of them.

He slid behind the tombstone, still trying to stay calm. He needed to get away as fast as he could -- he had no wand and no way to defend himself. The phrase "run like the wind" floated across his meditating mind.

Then it happened.

He wondered if it was the lack of blood or the fact that he had other things to worry about, but he broke through the mental barriers he hadn't been able to get past. Suddenly he was totally in his animagus form.

He encountered one of the dangers of learning to be an animagus. He wasn't prepared for the animal mind to overwhelm his. His right foreleg hurt as did his head. He looked around and saw one of the causes of his fear and pain. He did what came naturally.

Pettigrew was consumed by his own pain. He knelt before the cauldron until he heard the sound behind him. He looked and was too shocked to move as a huge beast slammed into him. He was impaled on Harry's horn, and the rhinoceros shook his head to throw off the wizard's body. The rhino turned towards the cauldron and charged again.

His head was in so much pain from being in the presence of Voldemort that he didn't think it could hurt any more. He was wrong. He hit the cauldron with enough force to knock it over, and that hurt. He felt that right through the other pain. He staggered back, and the part of his mind that was still Harry thought that it must be very funny to see a rhinoceros stagger. There was a splash and the potion that filled it spilled out to the ground. A human shape rolled out, too. Harry's poor eyesight saw it crawl towards Pettigrew's body and reach for his unmaimed arm. Pettigrew, who wasn't dead yet, let out a moan and his body shook. Harry had no idea what Voldemort was doing, but he knew Pettigrew had a wand (and probably Harry's wand, too), and he had to stop Voldemort from reaching it.

He charged again. This time he was far enough away to get some good speed. His horn went right into Voldemort's chest. The Dark Lord was dragged, stuck on Harry's nose, blocking his vision until Harry ran into a headstone. The rhino backed off and shook his head again to throw off his enemy. He then staggered sideways, trying to remain on his feet, but failed. He fell to ground, blood loss and pain having taken their toll. He passed out.

- - -

The crowd around Luna ignored Dumbledore. They marched into the forbidden forest. Remus, Sirius, and Hestia joined the group once they left the Quidditch pitch.

"Sorry we're late," Sirius said. "Some Aurors wouldn't let us join you on the field." Larry quietly informed them what was going on.

"Minister," Croaker said, "here's your chance to actually do something for the people who elected you. Voldemort has just called his Death Eaters. We're going to fight them to rescue Harry. Are you coming or not?"

"But I'm no fighter. . . ."

"Neither is the fourteen year old we're going to rescue," he snarled.

Luna informed them that they reached the edge of the wards. They gathered around Croaker, who had conjured up a quill and parchment. He wrote some symbols down.

"Here are the Apparition coordinates. Once we are in Little Hangleton, Luna will orient us towards Harry and we'll start closing in."

"But I'll just be in the way!" Fudge protested. No one except two Aurors who were acting as his guards paid him any attention, and those two just gave him disgusted looks. They read the paper, nodded, and passed it on to Snape, who had followed. Madam Maxime and Hagrid also read it. Karkaroff didn't even wait for the paper; he just Disapparated once they had past the Apparition wards around Hogwarts. A voice spoke up.

"This is folly!" Dumbledore said, looking at the paper. "He's probably already been killed."

"No, our bond is still there. He's still alive," Luna answered.

The group individually or, in the case of Hagrid and Luna, in pairs, Apparated away.

They appeared on an empty rural road. Luna recognized the area near the shack. She closed her eyes, and spun around slowly, eventually pointing towards some hills.

"Line of sight to the top of that hill," Croaker ordered. Once again the group Disapparated. From the top of the hill they could see a mansion in distance further along the line that Luna had pointed out. Yet, between them and the mansion was a cemetery. Luna pointed to the valley containing the necropolis and said, "He's down there."

Selene took Luna's hand and arm in hers. Luna noticed a moment too late that she was held too tightly to get away.

Selene said, "Larry, I'll be right back. Go get Harry."

- - -

Lucius Malfoy had considered attending the third task of the Triwizard Tournament, but had decided against it. The Dark Mark had darkened in the fall, but had remained the same since then. His contacts at the ministry had told him what Barty Crouch Jr. had been up to, so he had expected a summons during each of the previous tasks. He had felt relieved each time nothing had happened. He supported the Pure Blood agenda, but he was too successful, too well placed behind the scenes, to want to return to the warfare that he knew Voldemort would require of him.

He remembered when he joined the Death Eaters. He had scorned his father for not putting himself on the line for the cause. But now here he was, wishing things would remain the way they were. He was comfortable, respected, powerful, rich. One thing you could count on with war was chaos, chaos and death. And while the other side had a lot more deaths, he had to admit that the Death Eaters had their share.

Add to that the inevitable punishment that he'd receive when the diary fiasco came to light, and it was no wonder he felt relieved each time a task finished without a call.

But this time was different. He knew as soon as the Wizard Wireless Network announcer mentioned the two Hogwarts champions disappearing. There were people out on the field almost immediately. The announcer certainly didn't know what was happening. When one of the students re-appeared about a minute later, Malfoy wondered if something had gone wrong. The minutes passed as he paced back and forth in the parlor. Then pain shot from his arm throughout his body. The summons! He was so worked up that even that bad news caused him to relax. He opened the secret door, and started dressing in his Death Eater outfit.

He didn't know how it was done, but the summons always included the Apparition coordinates. The pain cut off fairly quickly. He wondered if he was misremembering the feeling from the times during the first war when he was called. He shrugged. There was nothing for it but to answer. There was no escape. He adjusted the mask, and Disapparated.

He arrived in a graveyard. He recognized the place. The old Riddle house was beyond a nearby hill. They would gather here sometimes before heading out to murder, pillage, and burn. He looked around. The Master should be nearby. He saw a couple of bodies and headed towards them.

As he got closer, he noticed that both had been torn open. He wondered if this was some new spell of Lord Voldemort's. He turned the clothed body over. It was Peter Pettigrew. He was missing a hand. Malfoy approached the naked body, but heard some more Apparitions and turned to see other Death Eaters appear. They looked around, as if lost. Malfoy was sure the shorter one was Goyle. That would make the taller one Crabbe. Others were showing up, too. Malfoy stood up over the naked body. He didn't recognize it, the skin being blotchy and the figure distorted, as if well cursed, and wondered if it was a Muggle tortured by his returned Master. He got into line with the others. They all kept looking around. Damn these masks and hoods, Malfoy cursed to himself, they block our sight way too much.

Someone, Malfoy was pretty sure it was Nott, called out, "Master? We have come!"

That's when all hell broke out.

- - -

Fudge returned to the Quidditch pitch in a quandary. If You-Know-Who really was back, then all was probably lost. But if he wasn't and Fudge announced he was; then he doubted he could keep his job. But Lord You-Know couldn't be back, the Potter boy had finished him off all those years ago. He reached the Quidditch pitch and heard one of the Professors speaking.

". . . .Please remain calm and in your seats while the judges look into it." He saw a dumpy little witch standing on the stone table that had held the Triwizard Cup. There was an even tinier wizard standing on the ground next to her. He made his way towards them in the center of the arena.

"What's going on here?"

The witch, who was Professor Sprout head of Hufflepuff house, turned to him and a look of surprise appeared on her face. "You just came back from the rescue mission. Why are you asking me? Did they save the Lovegood boy?"

Fudge sputtered, "We don't even know if he needs saving!"

"Oh posh!" She replied. "You know that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named planned to kidnap the Longbottom boy after getting him into the Triwizard tournament by cheating. I know your Aurors took testimony from everyone who was in the room with Crouch, Jr."

"Crouch was insane. We can't take anything he said as truth. Sure, he believed it but that doesn't . . . ." Fudge trailed off as he noticed a group of people running down the hill towards him.

"But now we have the confirmation that he was speaking the truth. The portkey and attempted murder of Cedric Diggory prove it."

"All it proves. . . ." but Fudge didn't get to finish that statement. The group that was making its way down the hill arrived. They were reporters.

"So who's in charge of the rescue?"

"Where was the Lovegood boy taken?"

"In retrospect, do you think that the tournament should have been canceled when you first heard about You-Know-Who's involvement."

"Professor Sprout, did you know you still have your Sonorus charm still on?"

"Oh, my! Thank you. Finite!" she replied.

Fudge had been preparing to respond to the questions but stopped short at the last exchange. He went over in his mind the statements that Professor Sprout had said to him, that everyone in the audience had heard. He blanched. Nobody had heard his responses! He stared dumbly at the reporters as they kept asking him questions that he didn't hear.

- - -

Selene and Luna appeared at the gates of Hogwarts.

"Get the healer down here," she told her daughter. "We'll return with the wounded here, unless we think they need to go right to Saint Mungo's."

"Yes, Mum," Luna answered, "But I don't think it's fair!"

"When you have children of your own, you'll understand. Now I have to go help Harry and your father. Get up that road, young lady!"

Luna got.

Selene Disapparated.

- - -

Amelia looked at the graveyard as the first Death Eater appeared. He seemed to wander aimlessly, and Amelia realized he was looking at a body. More black robed people appeared, and she got the group away from the hill top.

"I need five people who can get anti-Apparition wards up. You two," she pointed at Fudge's two guards, "Frank and Larry, you would know, too. Croaker? Good." She assigned them five targets, and they Disapparated to set the anchors for the wards in a rough pentagonal shape. The rest were to Apparate to the surrounding woods, and wait for her signal, which would probably be a blasting hex aimed at one of the Death Eaters.

"I suggest we use stunners," Dumbledore began, but Amelia interrupted him.

"You are all hereby deputized. Take them out so they don't get up. Use whatever spell you think is appropriate, but no Unforgivables."

The group nodded and Apparated into the woods.

- - -

Larry stood behind a crypt. He carefully waved his wand, chanting quietly as he performed the ritual that would raise the temporary anti-Apparition wards. He could have chanted faster, but the Aurors were taught to do it at a specific speed, so they would all reach the end at about the same time. He reached the end of the chant, raised his wand, and channeled his power into the magical field. For a moment he almost panicked, but then he felt at least one other person's power join his. Then all five were combined. He pointed his wand at the ground and traced the anchor rune that would strengthen the ward for a little while. Once that was drawn in the dirt, he ran towards the sound of spellfire.

- - -

Amelia counted over twenty five figures in a line. She was disillusioned and had cast muffling charms on her feet, and approached the group of Death Eaters as quickly as she could. She didn't see their master nor Harry. Without Luna, they wouldn't know when this was no longer a rescue. But she would see as many of Voldemort's people captured or killed today. She would do it for the people she served, for her nephew and his wife, Susan's parents, killed in the first war, and for Harry. She held her wand steady, waiting.

She felt the anti-Apparition wards go up, and cast the first spell. The Death Eaters scattered as spells rained down on them from every side.

- - -

Dumbledore stood in the woods near the gathering of Death Eaters, searching for their master, knowing it would be him that would have to engage Voldemort and hope that the rest would be able to get away. He felt the wards come into being and saw a Death Eater explode as Madam Bones' first spell hit him in the chest. Dumbledore made his way towards the fighting, watching for the Dark Lord who would probably kill him today.

- - -

Professor McGonagall followed about twenty feet back from Dumbledore. She couldn't say that he had impressed her with his "advice" today. Expecting a fourteen year old boy to escape from Death Eaters? Dumbledore stunned a Death Eater, and walked on in a distracted way, Minerva thought. She re-stunned the Death Eater and the one that Ennervated the first. She went to the Death Eaters, removed their wands, transfigured some shackles, and raced to regain her position behind Dumbledore.

- - -

Selene appeared on the hill overlooking the cemetery, and saw the battle raging. She cast the spell that would allow her to see magic, and noted where the ward ended. She Apparated to the edge of the ward and ran into the graveyard. A black figure appeared before her, and she let lose a bolt of lightning. The spell was terrible at anything but close range -- it would ground itself before hitting the target. But at close range. . . .well, she ran past the smoking body, heading for the center of the graves, looking for Harry.

- - -

Hestia and Sirius stayed together as they moved among the graves. They moved in a sort of dance, however it was one where they didn't look at each other but rather watched for attacks from behind as they both made their way towards the center of action. Which they found, or rather, it found them.

A group of Death Eaters, doing their own protective dance, came upon Sirius and Hestia, and the engaged couple had to hide behind a gravestone while spells started blowing their protection away.

- - -

Remus and Sirius had agreed to get between the cemetery and the large house on the hill, so that was the area to which they Apparated. Sirius side-alonged Hestia so they arrived at the same place. Remus was just in the area and maneuvered behind the couple, adding protection to their combined backs. He saw them forced to take cover behind a monument. Moving around the Death Eaters, he eventually flanked them. He started attacking, to get the attention of the Death Eaters. He dived for cover as his plan worked.

It was five to three, but the three were in two different locations. Remus cast a spell that sent a jet of water high into the air, and directed it to fall on the Death Eaters. He was able to do that while keeping completely covered. It not only distracted the Death Eaters, but it made them concentrate on Remus. Hestia and Sirius took advantage of their enemies change of focus to attack. Hestia stunned one, while Sirius hit the area with a freezing hex. The Death Eaters not only lost the ability to do rapid wand movements as their wet robes froze solid, they slipped on the icy ground. Remus, Sirius, and Hestia raced in and captured all five alive.

- - -

Snape made his way to the gathering place of the Death Eaters. Amelia's attack had scattered them, and there was no one in sight at the moment -- which meant if he was going to be attacked it would be from someone he didn't see. He kept turning his head, trying to see every direction at once.

He reached the giant cauldron, and gingerly touched the wet ground, sniffing at his finger. Whatever this potion was, he didn't recognize it. He went over to the bodies. The first he recognized -- Peter Pettigrew, the traitor. He had come to a bad, and it looked painful end -- missing a hand and his chest ripped open. Snape saw the naked body and thought it might be a sacrifice for whatever ritual occurred here. He was about to turn it over when a loud snort made him jump.

The sound had come from a large, gray creature. He walked over to it, trying to recognize it. The sharp horn was very plain, so it couldn't be an erumpet. One of it's forelegs had been cut and it was still bleeding. If he didn't know what this was, it was probably some very rare animal. It might be worth something, if harvested right. Better safe than sorry, he thought as he cast a quick and dirty healing charm to stanch the flow of blood.

He was sure his knowledge of the Dark Arts didn't including anything that required such a creature, live, to be part of the ritual. The thing wasn't getting up, even with a healed leg, so he went back to the sacrificial victim. He turned the bald man over, and gasped.

- - -

It was strange, Harry thought. The sudden disappearance of the pain in his arm caused him to wake up. He opened his eyes, and realized he was still a rhino. However, the animal part of him was exhausted and didn't put up any resistance when Harry started doing the animagus meditation to try to turn back to a human. He succeeded, and started crawling over to Pettigrew in the hopes of finding his wand. He reached the traitor's body, and found it in his pocket. Then he collapsed again, but this time as a human clutching his wand.

- - -

Snape stood up and pulled back the sleeve of his robe. He touched his throat as he cast the Sonorus charm.

"Death Eaters! Put down your weapons! The Dark Lord Voldemort is dead! Check your Dark Marks. He is really and truly gone. Surrender, and lets put this behind us."

The occasional sound of spells continued from the surrounding area.

"Give it up. You're outnumbered and no reinforcements are coming. The Dark Lord is dead; there is no reason to lose your lives, too."

Snape stiffened and fell forward. A figure came out of the woods behind him. The large Death Eater used the toe of his boot to flip Snape over on his back. Snape's eyes, the only he could move while held by Petrificus Totalus hex, widened as the Death Eater looked down at him.

"There's loyalty, something that you wouldn't know about, traitor!" He waved his wand, while incanting, "Avada Kada. . . ."

Snape saw a beam of fire fly right through the Death Eater's chest, killing him instantly. With the casters' death, the petrification spell dissipated, and Snape saw the missing Lovegood boy collapsing to the ground. He ran over to the boy. The boy's eyes opened, and Snape found himself looking into two emerald green irises. His short hair was darker than usual. Snape gasped in horror as he realized that he once again had a life debt to a Potter.

- - - - -

Author Note: This chapter and the previous (sorry, I forgot to note it there) was beta-ed by Swordchucks, Evan Mayerle, and Wombat. Thanks guys!

Also in the non-existent notes on the previous chapter, is a pointer to Charles Williams' book, /Many Dimensions/, where I stole the idea of the magic stone.

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