Title: Fall into the Sky (Excerpt)
Time: Post-War, Post-Hogwarts
Start Date: N/A
Tags: Bad Post-War Relations, Neo-Death Eaters, Magical Theory, Creature!Draco, Non-Main Character Death
Warnings: (Excerpt) Graphic Violence
Summary: Voldemort is dead but the battle rages on. The Wizarding World is under constant assault from militant fringe groups. Five years after the Final Battle people are still fighting for control of the Wizarding World and Harry & The New Dumbledore’s Army have been engaging in urban guerrilla warfare against those who believe the Wizarding World isn’t big enough for them all. Draco Malfoy has been a prisoner from the time Voldemort took up residence in his home to the time Wizards, believing him and his mother traitor to the cause, blew through the front door of their Manor. The Wizarding World is tearing itself apart while the biggest threat its people will ever know sits sleeping below the surface.
Fall Into the Sky
Attack on the Ministry leaves 96 dead; 200 Injured.
In what was only one of the most recent in an unerringly long spate of devastating attacks across the whole of Wizarding Europe, the British Ministry of Magic has been devastated by its worst assault yet.
At the 0900 hour, a group consisting of 75 masked wizards and witches gained entry into the Ministry at various points both in the Atrium and –as it was reported by eye witnesses—through individual floo networks throughout several departments including but not limited to, pending verification, The Auror Department, The Department of Wizarding Records, The Department of Misuse of Magical Artifacts as well as The Department of Games & Sports.
Upon gaining entry the assailants immediately opened fire on all that were in the area. Unforgiveables and unknown dark curses flew about the main Atrium and the departments against unsuspecting individuals going about their day. The assailants moved throughout the offices executing those not able to defend themselves as well as battling the Aurors mobilized against them. They were organized and knew exactly at what time to continue moving through the building. Sabotage from the inside is suspected as the assailant’s entry into the restricted floo network was temporarily granted access for a window of two minutes.
Witnesses report, that aside from spells, the assailants did not speak.
Terror rang out throughout the Ministry as those employees not trained in combat attempted to run for the floos only to be jettisoned back out by the outdated emergency protocol that the Ministry set in place in the event of an attack or escape attempt. The protocol insures that all floo services would immediately go into lock-down preventing people from flooing out or into the Ministry until the lock is disengaged by either the Minister, his immediate Undersecretary, the Head Auror or no less than five members of the Wizengamot. Those trapped in the Atrium but still trying to escape through the floo were either wounded or killed by the assailants attacking in the area.
At the time, according to footage obtained by security orbs, Head Auror Michaels, who replaced Auror Gawain after he joined the unapproved militant Light army know as the NDA (The New Dumbledore’s Army) led by Harry Potter and many surviving veterans of the Battle of Hogwarts, was embroiled in battle against three of the unknown assailants while protecting two Aurors who appeared to be trying to close the wounds of a third. [Update: The third Auror has been identified as Head Auror Michaels’ Second-in-Command, Senior Auror Alex Petty.] The two assisting Aurors have been identified as Senior Auror Jessica Daniels and Rookie Auror Marcus Chalewski.
At hour 0945 Head Auror Michaels fell in battle, approximately ten minutes later Aurors Daniels and Chalewski also met their end. Auror Petty was left to bleed out on the floor by the assailants. We here at the Daily Prophet wish to extend our sincerest apologies to their families for their loss and commend them and the other fallen with the highest praise and gratitude for their valiant service to the protection of the Wizarding world at large and its innocent citizens in particular.
The assault continued on when a group of ten entered into the corridor to the Minister’s office where interim Minister Martin Shecksley was attempting to leave through his private floo network but according to footage panicked and was unable to remember the password. The assailants entered his office after murdering his Undersecretary Levi Greene. The Assailants, after taking away and snapping the Minister’s wand, pulled out several muggle weapons called “guns”.
At this point it can be confirmed that the militia group responsible for this attack is the ‘mixed blood’ organization “Blood of the Earth”. Blood of the Earth members consist wholly of those with mixed blood or muggle-born parentage. The society is one of several revenge militias that have been attacking Ministry operated facilities in revenge for the corrupted Voldemort-era Ministry sanctioned sterilization, imprisonment, execution and wand-snapping that the Ministry carried out against Muggleborns & those of mixed parentage. As readers will remember, the body of Dolores Umbridge was left vivisected and defiled on the Ministry steps two months ago on the four year anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts and the final Fall of Voldemort. Dolores Umbridge oversaw much of the Ministry sanctioned genocide and was suspected of large scale cases of child abuse during her time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. She was believed to have fled to Hungary.
Members of Blood of the Earth do not use physical signifiers of membership such as tattoos like those of other smaller groups such as Children of Adam or Charity’s Revenge, named after deceased muggle studies Professor Charity Burbage, frequently brand themselves with, however the signature marker of Blood of the Earth is that they use both their wands and muggle weaponry to wreak havoc.
Once assailants gained entry into the Minister’s office, the Minister was made to kneel on the floors before being fired upon in the style of that of a muggle firing squad execution. Approximately 400 hundred bullets [lethal iron stones that when fired through the “gun” weapon are burning hot and expelled with such force as to easily puncture the body of a wizard or wall] were recovered from the riddled walls of the room and that of the Minister. Death is believed to have been instantaneous.
By 1000 hour the requisite number of Wizengamot members was able to lift the wards on the Floo network and both the injured and not were able to begin to evacuate while still under heavy fire.
At 1015, according to security orbs , majority of the assailants portkeyed out of the building except three spread out in the Ministry; one in the evacuating Atrium that was also filling with reserve officers and medical personnel from St. Mungos, the deceased Minister’s office and on the Auror department. At 1016 each assailant opened their cloaks to reveal vests filled with potions and volatile muggle powders. One of the few survivors of the Atrium reported that the assailant on the main floor shouted “Blood for Blood” before detonating the volatile powders in the vest at the same time as his fellow assailants on the upper floors. The explosion fractured the infrastructure of the Ministry and resulted in catastrophic injuries. The three assailants were killed instantly along with many nearest them. As of today, 14 September, the Ministry of Magic is uninhabitable.
It is reported but unconfirmed that those who can and have the will to fight after surviving the attack on the Ministry have defected to the New Dumbledore’s Army.
As of now, British England is without a seat of government, our resources are depleted, and St. Mungo’s has closed after an extensive attack at 1300 today as they were dealing with an influx of the injured from this morning’s attack.
That unrelated but opportunistic attack has been confirmed as one by the oldest, powerful and vicious militia groups “The Heirs of Death”, who have assassinated several foreign emissaries and their families across Western Europe, responsible for many military coups across Eastern Europe, murdered an estimated 30,000 since the organization became active four years ago and are responsible for the destruction of the Xi Xiang building in Hong Kong just yesterday. [More on page A6]
Fellow citizens of Wizarding England—no, of the Wizarding World.
Times are bleak.
We have been constantly assaulted by various militant groups’ intent on guerrilla warfare in our civilized world for over four years. Many of us had hoped, in those first few days out from under the pox that was Voldemort’s shadow, that life would go back to the way it was before, that we would come together as a people—as better people and make life equal for all of magic-kind. Those hopes are dead. We have been fighting this newest battle for almost five years past when we should have been at peace.
My Dear Readers,
I have covered the repeated bombing of St. Mungos and orphanages by both pro and anti-pureblood militias. I have buried my wife and my oldest child over this continued foolishness.
Reader I am tired.
I am tired of burying good people, of reporting on massacre after massacre at the hands of those arrogant enough to believe that their suffering is more important than the suffering they inflict on others.
I have seen normal, good citizens bash each other bloody over bread and cured meat as food rations and the all too frequent bombings and attacks on the food markets increase. I’ve reported on a Ministry, still dragging its heels and repeating the same egregious mistakes it made during both the first and second rise of Voldemort. I know that most, if not all, of you don’t trust the Ministry, a lot of you don’t even trust the papers, an effect of the apathy of ethics and sensationalist journalist sludge produced during the Rita Skeeter years, but know this:
We can cower in our homes, become paranoid of our neighbors –hoarding the few supplies we have left. Or we can fight for freedom, for life, for justice and the future of ourselves & that of our children.
I tell you this because this will be the last piece of journalism that I produce during this newest war. Be it because I have been killed or that I have decided to retire depends on whether I survive. What I am going to do for the duration of this war is fight. As of now I am joining the New Dumbledore’s Army. From the beginning they have been fighting this battle, when the face of evil resembled that of a snake with members too cowardly to show their faces. They have been protecting us from evil for decades back when all hope rested on the shoulders of a small boy with round glasses and an organization fighting under the banner of a phoenix. That boy is a man now that I would be honored to die for confident that it wouldn’t be in vain.
Readers, I encourage you to fight, to join, to not sit waiting to be rescued like far too many of us did five years ago.
If I am to die, let it be with my boots still on and a wand in my hand.
And may I take my enemy with me.
Your Ethical Journalist,
William H. Thistlewire
Andromeda closed the paper with a sigh. She was seated on a stool in the stainless kitchen of the safe house coded “The Playhouse”. It was a repurposed school house filled with utilitarian cots for the army members kipping in and nipping out at all hours.Teddy sat quietly drawing across the table from her with his little feet swinging back and forth from the stool. His hair slowly rotating between different hues of blue as he drew out a picture of a hippogryph. Andromeda watched him draw as her tea grew cold. His skin was pale from them not being allowed outside in ten months. At five and a half he looked so much like his mother and father that grief would well up in her chest on bad days. At five and a half he’s spent his entire life being shunted around safe houses.
“Your uncle Harry should be visiting tomorrow” she said, feeling a smile grow at her lips as the boy’s head flushed to a mixture of Harry’s black hair and the vibrant pink of his mother’s. A rarity but one indicative of the pure joy he felt at seeing his godfather after two weeks of his absence.
“I can’t wait grandma! I drew lots of pictures for him.” Teddy smiled wide.
“Oh, should I be jealous?” she laughed playfully as his cheeks pinked.
“Do you think—maybe he’ll play with me outside this time? Or maybe let us come to stay with him?” Teddy ventured quietly. He rolled his crayon nervously between his hands even as third shift NDA members walked quietly into the kitchen to retrieve their food packs.
“Teddy.” Andromeda said softly, “You can’t get your hopes up like that and you know that Harry is busy protecting us all. It will all be over soon—“
“You keep saying that!” Teddy shouted turning red in the face. There was a brief pause in which third rotation grabbed their food quietly and left heads averted. “I’m tired gran! Of always being inside and…and not seeing Harry. I miss him…”Andromeda watched as Teddy sniffled, fat tears running down his cheeks. She reached over and wiped them away, her hand cradling his.
“Teddy I know that you’re upset, that it’s not fair that you’re stuck here and you’re right—it’s not. But crying isn’t going to make it better. Yelling isn’t going to make it better. But fighting will and that is what Harry and the others are doing. They’re fighting. For all of us. We just have to be patient and have faith in them. You have to be strong for them. You have to be strong for me and for yourself.” Teddy wiped his face and snuggled into his grandmother.
“I’m sorry for yelling gramma” he mumbled into her blouse, throat still thick.
“That’s enough of that.” She smiled patting his back before standing up to make supper for them both. She had reached up to pull a chopping board out of the cupboard when the windows exploded inward. Teddy’s scream rang out as acrid smoke began to fill the large kitchen from the outside. Andromeda hit the floor hard as the blast slammed her against the counter splitting a large gash across the side of her face. Her ears rang and threw off her equilibrium as she scrambled across the glass strewn floor to scoop her grandson up and hide under the kitchen table. Her arms and face burned from the shards of glass wedged into her skin and made her wand slick and hard to hold.
“Grandma!” Teddy screamed over and over face dripping little droplets of blood from his own wounds. He shook and shivered until Andromeda pressed her bleeding hand hard over his face. She listened to the sound of many feet scrambling across the cracked wood floors of the aging school house. The smoke continued to pour in from the window their view completely blocked out except for the bright flashes of green and red spells lighting up the kitchen like eerie Christmas lights.
“Teddy!” She whispered harshly in his ear. She could feel his pulse fluttering against the petal soft and blood slick skin of his neck like a caught rabbit. “You need to listen carefully and be very quiet. We are going to try and get to our room; there your Portkey will take you straight to Uncle Harry. You need to be quiet and hold very tight to my hand. Do you understand?” He breathed hot and wet through his nose very close to hyperventilating.
“Do you understand?!” She breathed her arm tight around his shoulders squeezed and shook him once, hard. His tear wide eyes found hers through the haze of smoke that was settling lower on the floor and nodded his head vigorously. Andromeda’s grip on Teddy’s hand was tight and painful. Their eyes stung and watered as they stood up to hazy visibility. The smoke burned its way in and out of their lungs. Andromeda fought each cough that tried to lance its way out of her mouth and squeezed viciously on Teddy’s hand when his little body rattled too loud. She placed a small modified bubble-head charm on his face to cover his nose and mouth but neglected herself as the charm itself takes too much focus to maintain during battle especially two of them. She focused on quietly making their way over crunching broken glass to the door.
The sound of fighting and screaming raged all around them, emanating from the corridor all the way to the front yard. Small spell lights lit up the outline of the kitchen door but before they could reach it the door smashed open over its hinges and a darkness that could only come from Peruvian Darkness Powder flooded the room and mixed with the noxious smoke still pouring in from the shattered windows. The outline of a man stood in the doorway lit sporadically by passing spells from the battle taking place in the corridor. A glow came from his eyes and the loud filtered breathing of a gas mask added to the harsh cacophony in the room. Andromeda shoved Teddy hard to the ground and fired a barrage of stunning spells at the man.
Things moved quickly as they moved around the room, Andromeda always focusing on keeping the glowing blue lit goggles in front of her and where she knew Teddy was hiding in the corner behind her. As an explosion from outside rocked the foundation of the school house and caused ceiling installation and overhead lights to come crashing down on their heads. The lights winked out with a wordless nox before the figure rushed Andromeda, cracking her hard across the face before she could get her wand up. Teddy screamed for his grandma as the sick thud of fists meeting flesh rang out. The flashes of spells from outside lit the intruder’s black clothed body like strobe lights, his fist keeping a steady beat until Andromeda lay still beneath him, both hands broken and her wand lost to roll away across the bloody debris strewn floor.
Teddy trembled in the corner, the lights and screams from outside continuing on in a horrifying spectacle. He held his breath and fought to keep his limbs still as he heard the man stand up, grass crunching as he pivoted his feet. Teddy heard the solid thud of a kick landing in his grandmother’s prone body before his eyes, wide and almost unseeing in the dark of the powder and still spewing smoke, were blinded by the bright blue lights of the man’s gas mask flicking on to stunning brilliance to zero in on him in perfect clarity. Teddy screamed and scrambled to get away but his world flashed red as the stunner blasted him right in the face before he saw nothing else.
The man walked to where Teddy landed his face smooshed into a pile of fallen insulation and glass. He grabbed the child roughly by the back of his shirt before hoisting him over his shoulder. He twisted the heavy silver ring on the middle finger of his gloved right hand around three times. Just as the Portkey activated he fired a severing spell towards where Andromeda lay prone. He heard the thick wood of the overturned table lying on its side in front of her splinter and crack before the quiet sound of a blade through flesh filled his ears as the Portkey pulled him and the child he stole, away.
The ice clinked in the glass tumbler as it melted slowly in a full measure of cheap whiskey. Sweat from the glass rolled down Harry’s arm and dampened his sleeve and the notes on the map underneath him. The dark circles under his eyes stung from the umpteenth time he’d rubbed them. He had been up for 32 hours straight doing recon down in Wales. The Galleon message from Hermione had burned so hot it glowed in the dark like a lit cigarette and nearly gave away his position. It left a coin sized burn on his thigh but he neglected to heal it when he read the message, ‘PLAYHOUSE’ BREACHED, HIGH FATALITIES, TEDDY MISSING’.
His heart had jack-hammered in his chest. He’d fought to keep his breathing silent and outwardly keep his calm. He sent off two messages; One, to tell his team that he’s leaving but to continue to collect intel and one to Hermione to say that he’s coming.
When he arrived he felt his heart clench in his chest. The warded wooded area that had surrounded the school building had been burnt to cinders. There were NDA members running all over the place both re-warding to give the medi-wizards time to get the injured and the dead portkeyed to med-tents as well as those members that were battle ready waiting for his instructions on who to hit hard. No one gave him looks of pity as he passed them, at that point they had all felt and endured too much loss and death to spare each other sincere yet useless platitudes. But with every step over viscera strewn earth he was dying inside.
Evidence of spell fire surrounded the churned up dirt and singed earth of the grounds. He walked past the partially severed body of a conjured snake that was still writing in the dirt baring its fangs. He didn’t bother trying to hear what the leftover of a serpensortia was trying to tell him. He stepped over the decimated bodies of both his own comrades and the cowardice scum that attacked the safe house.
The school house was a way-center, a safe place for members to rest in between missions as well as the shortest Portkey point to several other key safe houses. It had been the perfect place to hide Teddy and Andromeda. He had made a special bedroom where they could be comfortable, a well stocked food cupboard and surrounded by trained NDA members at all times of day. It also had less of the tense battle atmosphere a lot of the other safe houses get especially since there weren’t so many of the inner circle running around it. Far less people with grave secrets, war fatigue and heavy weaponry around made for a lighter atmosphere to house a young child. As light as one could hope for in the middle of a war. Harry had searched for a way to keep his godson as safe and comfortable as possible. The Playhouse had been the best option.
And now it failed, in the most spectacular of ways.
Inside the school was a nightmare. Blood smeared almost every surface and those still working desperately in the halls were all hard pressed to not trip over a body. A familiar bushy head, most of its length shorn short, stood up from where it was stooped over a prone form slumped on the floor. Harry didn’t have to guess to know that the body on the floor was dead.
“Who was it?” He asked voice gruff as he hadn’t spoken in several hours. He was numb, not really focused on the answer but asking the question anyway as one would make small chat about the weather.
“Neil Maplethorpe” she sighed. Harry frowned. Maplethorpe wasn’t even old enough to practice magic outside of Hogwarts but he was quick with a spell. What he lacked in finesse he made up for with speed and damn near frightening accuracy. He wanted to be an Astronomer when the war was over. Charting the stars and wooing the girls with stories of dragons and brave Godlings. By all accounts he should’ve been studying for his NEWTS if only there was still a school to study at. He should’ve been trying to work up the nerve to ask someone to the school dance. Not laying splayed out on a splintered schoolhouse floor in bumfuck nowhere with his chest blown out.
“Harry.” Hermione said, she sounded as tired and worried as he felt. Almost five years of fighting a battle that should’ve ended when Voldemort left this world for good had worn her down. The scant baby fat that had still clung to her figure had melted away. She was still the shortest of them but time and spending five years killing men and seeing allies fall had given her a hardened edge. Short of temper and not one to suffer fools lightly anymore, this war; one of staunch ideologies from both sides had made a warrior out of her in a way Voldemort never had. It had taken something from her that he never could: her hope in the basic good of humanity; that the reconciliation between the world she came from as a muggle and the one she entered as a witch could one day mesh. He didn’t ask about Teddy, he didn’t need to; even if he wanted to the swelling in his throat kept him mum.
“Teddy hasn’t been found.” She said and had it been as little as three years ago he would have crumpled. “The attack happened in the kitchen for him and Andromeda. We found canisters of Peruvian Darkness Powder all over the place. I’ll be damned if I knew where they got it since George quit mass market production years ago. From what we were told by the last people to see him, he and Andromeda had been in the kitchen discussing your visit. It couldn’t have happened more than ten minutes after third shift left them to the kitchen for privacy. The assailant attacked Andromeda and took Teddy. We checked the grounds; he’s definitely nowhere near here. They portkeyed out, we could only follow the trail for the first three jumps they made before we ran into a dampener that was left by the third site.” She held up a small bronze rectangle about the size of a lighter. “We can’t get a read on Teddy’s signature. Even the bloodtrace yields no information, not about his location, his vitals, nothing. We’re at a dead-end.”
Harry clenched his fist hard enough to hear an ominous crack. “Is Andy…?” he trailed off.
“No. The bastard roughed her up bad. Really bad Harry. She probably wouldn’t have made it if we had arrived any later. He had fired a severing charm at her, from the angle he was probably leaving, but the oak table took a great deal of the brunt of the spell but he cut her wide across the stomach. If not for that damn table he would’ve bisected her.”
“Where is she?”
“Pomfrey’s got her at the Glenn. She’s stable, patched up and drugged all to hell but she should be up and looking for blood in two days or so.”
Harry made his way towards to kitchen. Hermione at his side shooting him looks that said that he didn’t need to see where it happened. His look told her to keep that opinion to herself. The entrance to what once was a clean and tidy kitchen was blasted off its hinges. The ceiling where the installation and broken lights weren’t hanging was blackened and smoke stained. Blood and glass littered the floor and Harry could see his men working outside among the trees through the shattered windows. The counters bore the mark of spell fire and piles of broken kitchen ware littered the floor spilled from the broken cupboards. He picked up a shredded and singed piece of paper. It was a child’s drawing of marching broomsticks and little yellow snitches. On the back edge he could read ‘To Uncle Har—‘before the rest of the page was burned away.
If rage had a taste it would have coated his tongue hot and thick. He looked at the split oak table that had saved Andromeda’s life. Its smooth cut still smoldering and hot. The slowly crusting pool of blood where she had lain stained the tile. He turned to Hermione. “The Glenn.” He said sharply she nodded before they both apparated out.
By the time they fully formed inside the building their feet were already moving. Hermione activated the silver Sickle to alert all inner members of an emergency meeting. The sharp cracks of apparation sounded around them as more members arrived as they headed toward the warded chamber room. George and Ron met him at the door faces grim. Ron, like Hermione, had shorn his hair close to the scalp in a military crew cut. He hadn’t stopped growing until two years ago where he topped out almost at the seven foot mark. He was now the tallest member of the Weasley family balancing out his height with muscle. All of them had gained muscle mass from years of constant motion on and off the battlefield.
George had fashioned himself a magical ear in the same vein as Moody’s eye had been. He had never been quite right after Fred was killed. He’d sometimes talk as if finishing Fred’s sentences or tilt his head and laugh as if his ear were being whispered into. He had collected far more scars to add to his missing ear and each and every “joke” item he’d design for battle was far darker and more sadistic than the last. From the look on his face when they met him, he would be inventing some new jokes special ordered just for them.
They all entered the room and as soon as the wards snapped into place so hard the room hummed, Harry was already yelling.
“This” He said pointing his finger before slamming his hand down hard on the table map where the “Playground” dot marking was glowing red from being compromised. “This will not go unpunished. For every man we’ve lost today they will lose ten. I’m ordering a raid on the group that did this. I want them hit hard and fast while they think we’re still licking our wounds. I need Intel on which group it is and on known locations of their hideouts. I need a roster of who they are, families involved, weapons of choice and financial viability. I want my son back and I want him back now.” He growled.
A flurry of activity began as messages were sent to and from each acting commander to their second in command to mobilize their forces for the raid. Just as they were all setting out to leave the command room Hermione’s Galleon glowed bright blue from her diverse network of spies all over Britain & Europe. She gasped and turned pale as she read the missive. “What is it Hermione.” Harry barked his nerves frayed leaving him tense and angry, ready to find someone to fight against.
“The intel just came back. Key magical signatures found on the grounds as well as a couple of enemy combatants have been identified as belonging to,” her voice trembled,” to the group known as “The Heirs of Death”.”
An audible gasp ran through the inner sanctum. The Heirs were the most vicious of the pureblood supremacy groups that had sprung up in the power vacuum the Deatheaters had left. They believed that those of mixed blood will lead to the downfall of the Wizarding race while also justifying the hypocrisy of existing muggle blood in their own lineage by claiming all of their muggle ancestors had raped their magical ones. They were as insane as Voldemort’s Deatheaters without the handicap of having a leader who fixated on Harry and implemented torture & scare tactics on their own people. Everyone who had joined the ranks of the Heirs were there of their own accord, believing the same tripe as the others and taking joy in murdering those deemed too impure.
Where the Deatheaters failed as a cohesive group, the Heirs succeeded. Instead of pulling sustained and ultimately sloppy raids, their attacks are coordinated and devastating. And yet they were subtle, very little was known about their operations aside from the gruesome magick they inflict on their victims, any spies sent into the organization are inevitably killed in horrifying ways and that when they attack they attack with purpose and always leave a high body count. No hostages were ever recovered alive.
The group is far larger and more intelligent and far more vicious than the other supremacy & revenge groups running roughshod across the Wizarding world. And that makes them far more dangerous than any other group they’re fighting against.
The room looked at Harry, he took a steadying breath.”It doesn’t matter. Our objective is the same. We hit them hard and fast. Shock & awe. We don’t know enough about the spells our enemy uses so be prepared for anything. Know your counter-curses; keep your emergency Portkey on at all time. If we can capture one, take them in, if not kill them without hesitation because they won’t hesitate for us. If you find Teddy immediately send him here…no matter his condition,” Harry paused and gathered himself. He looked around at the grim faces surrounding him. Each friends, survivors of both the first and second Voldemort Wars, all having lost a loved one to the stupidity of useless wars. Every one of them powerful, a leader in their own right, and all looking to him to fight “one last war”. They would each die for him and each other as he would for them. Harry smiled. “And remember, Constant Vigilance”
“Constant Vigilance” they echoed, an answering smile on their faces.
“Let’s go kick some bigoted arse!” Seamus shouted. They all laughed and headed out. All that were left in the room were Harry, Hermione and Ron. With the door closed and alone they all dropped the brave face. Anguish and anger clouded their faces.
“What are his chances Hermione?” Harry asked without wanting to ask
“The Heirs kill their captives within the first six hours of abduction. From past experiences and considering we’re coming in at the seven hour mark. His chances are hovering so close to zero as to be negligible. Considering the fact that he’s someone important to you and I suspect the whole purpose of that attack was to capture him there’s hope that they have some other plan for him other than …than dispatching him so soon.”
“So there’s hope. Hope that whatever it is that they intend to do to my son involves them keeping him alive past the six hour mark and that whatever it is that the most sadistic supremacy group since the Deatheaters are doing to him isn’t enough to accidentally kill a five-year old child or drive him insane.”
“Hope is all we have Harry.”
“It seems to always be all that we have, Ron”
“Hope, Luck, Love and a shit-load of pissed off people tired of having their lives interrupted by petty bullshit and are ready to crack some skulls.”
“I gotta say Mione, that mouth of yours makes me happy everyday that I married you.” Ron grinned as he set a bottle of whiskey on the table and three glasses of ice.
“Well then let’s get to work” Harry said heart heavy with grief but blood boiling in vengeance.
Teddy came to consciousness slowly with the dank smell of fetid water and other rotten things filling his nose. His neck was chafed raw from being pulled entirely by his shirt and his feet, which had lost their sneakers, were rubbed bruised and bleeding against the broken cobble stone of the hallway he was being dragged through. His head throbbed and his face was crusty with dried blood. He let out a loud whimper of pain as the black-clothed man continued to drag him down the steps.
Weakly the child began to fight as hard as his small body could against the large gloved fist that held him fast by his shirt. As he fought the burn in his armpits was unbearable, the man however continued to descend down the steps unbothered by Teddy’s struggles. He could hear the snickers of other men and women as they passed them on the stairs and wandered the hallway. Teddy twisted his body as much as he could and managed to latch his teeth on the man’s trousered leg. The man hissed as he pull him sharply away lifted him up to stare into the scarf and goggle obscured face, before striking him hard three times across the face and shaking the boy hard until the ache in his head and stomach made him vomit. They continued down into the dungeon, Teddy hanging limply from the man’s fist, passing empty and bloodied cells until they reached the last at the end of the hall.
The tall man tapped his wand against the bars of the cell and the locking mechanisms unlatched. Barely conscious, Teddy had just enough time to fearfully recognize that he was being hefted through the air before he landed on his back on the floor of the cell, the back of his head connecting with the rough concrete floor with a worrying crack.
The only other occupant of the room hurried over to him quickly. The clink of the chains connected to the collar around his throat sounded loudly in the otherwise quiet room. The loud clank of the locks on the cell door sounded behind them but Draco was focused on tending to the whimpering child on the floor.
“Figured you could use a little familial company, Malfoy.” The man chuckled brown eyes narrowed in malice and voice rough and obscured by his scarf as he walked away from the cell and back up to the main floor of the house. Teddy’s head throbbed from the violent shaking the man had inflicted on him and the cold of the stone floor seeped through his thin tee shirt. He shivered and threw up again, flinching as a cold hand wiped the mess from his face and chin. He weakly moved his limbs to push away at the arms lifting him off of the cold ground shifting across the floor to lean back against the cell wall while cradling him in its lap. His eyes felt heavy and the need to sleep weighed down on him but as he attempted to close his eyes the hands softly nudged him awake.
“Hey kid you can’t go to sleep right now.” Draco whispered urgently to the bleeding child in his arms. He cradled him closer in his arms letting him leach the warmth from his body as he leaned up against the wall, the collar around his throat making a clink as he settled in. Teddy seemed torn between wanting to cuddle into the warmth of the very dirty, blond haired man holding him and pushing away from him.
Draco’s heart began to race as the child started to go limp in his arms. From what he could see, the little boy was around four or five years old. His hair was bright blue and dirty and he had bruising and swelling forming on his face, hands and legs. The man dressed in black had called him family. Draco stared at the boy’s facial features and eyes drooping in sleep –and probably concussion—the bruising on his face distorted his features but he could find hints of his mother in the child’s face. The high arch of the Black family brow and a possible wideness of cheekbones all spoke of his mother’s family line. The child’s heavily damaged nose looked as if were it not for the boy’s facial trauma would be an unfamiliar button. He’d guess that the boy shivering in his arms was the ‘mixed breed wolf pup nephew’ his aunt Bella had enjoyed riling the other Deatheaters over. The child of his cousin and his former DA Professor Lupin. The child let out a broken wail of pain and tried to squirm away from him as he gently prodded him both to wake him up and to check for broken bones.
“Sweetie you have to stay awake for a little while okay?” Draco murmured as Teddy once again tried to doze off. He didn’t know the child’s name but it broke his heart that anyone especially a kid was stuck in that hellhole with him. “Hey do you know who I am?” Draco asked, beginning to get desperate as the child, who was almost certainly concussed, began to drift off to sleep once more moaning in pain as his head throbbed.
A weak and swollen lid lifted to reveal a little bloodshot brown eye. The child looked at him in confusion and Draco, seeing this as his only chance to keep the child engaged & awake, began talking.
“I’m Draco. Draco Malfoy.” The child stared at him in pain and confusion but didn’t attempt to pull himself out of the warm cradle of his arms. “That’s alright. I doubt you would have heard of me. But I’m your cousin. Your grandma Andromeda is my mother’s sister.” Teddy’s one good eye not completely swollen shut widened as much as it could in his bruised face. Draco smiled and tried to inject some levity into his voice despite the situation.
“Yep, but our family had a falling out. My mum doesn’t talk to your gran anymore but it was all over something silly that doesn’t matter anymore. But I’m your cousin and you’re my family and I won’t let them hurt you anymore. Understand?”
“G…gamma.” Teddy mumbled weakly. His face ached terribly and moving his lips made the split more pronounced. “Gamma!” he cried tears leaking from his one eye obscuring his vision of the pale man holding him.
The rough fabric of his dirty shirt made the crying child jump but he continued to wipe his face of tears and blood. He lifted the boy up and cradled him into his shoulder as the boy continued to cry. Draco shushed and pressed little kisses to the boy’s fevered forehead and smoothed down his hair.
“It’s going to be alright. You’ll see your grandma again I promise.” Teddy looked at Draco before snuggling deeper into his dirty shirt, moaning as the nausea from his headache made his stomach roil. Draco grabbed his battered quarter full tin cup of water off the floor and raised it to the boy’s lips. “Drink it’ll make you feels better. I need you to stay awake for at least a few hours. You’ve got quite a goose egg on your head.” Draco smiled as Teddy quickly drained the only water he had been given in over a week. “Your going to stay up for me right little cousin?” Draco asked mostly just to keep him engaged.
“T..t-Teddy.” Teddy answered wrapping his fingers tight in Draco’s shirt despite the sting to his finger tips.
“Okay Teddy, that’s a nice name. I know your mouth hurts so I won’t make you keep talking but I do need you nod or something to let me know your still awake, okay?”
“Good. So Teddy have you ever heard the tale of the ‘Mouse and the Thimble’?” Teddy shifted into his shirt and Draco took that as a no. “Well then you’re in for a treat because I know all sorts of stories. So there once was a tiny little field mouse named Timpekio and he…..”
Draco droned on for hours, checking at the end of each story to make sure Teddy was still awake. Teddy spent the hours curled up in Draco’s arms focusing on the tales he wove.
It made the reality of them both being trapped in a dark stone cell alone with the enemy, easier to ignore.