Content Harry Potter
  • Previous
  • Next

Standard Disclaimer:

Musings_of_Apathy stepped into the center of the stage and a spotlight snapped onto him. Severus Snape walked out from the other side of the stage, his cloak billowing out behind him like some demented bat. Snape approached Musings and loomed over the ickle first.

"Well Mr. Apathy? Are you going to stand here all night? I swear you Hufflepuffs are becoming as arrogant as the Gryffindors!" he snarled.

"Sorry Sir," squeaked the author of Harry Potter and the Cracked Reservoir. "Bob and Alyx invited me to be the guest announcer for this disclaimer."

"Well then Mr. Apathy. ANNOUNCE!" roared Snape.

The ickle firstie author quailed under the gaze of the stern professor, then grabbed the microphone. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Professor Snape with a message from Bob and Alyx"

Snape smoothed back a greasy lock of hair and stepped up to the microphone. "The authors of this story wish to make it patently clear that they do not own the rights to anything. The Potterverse is the copyrighted property of JK Rowling."

Suddenly the backdrop slipped from its ropes and fell on Snape and Apathy crushing them both under tons of props. Then several dozen fifty pound sand bags fell on the spot where the two lie, ensuring a grisly death.

There was a moment of silence, then Harry jumped to his feet. "I’ll save them!"

Hermione climbed off her knees and pulled up Harry’s zipper, then wiped her mouth with a tissue. "Even hero’s are easily distracted."

Alyx turned to Bob and smacked him. "You’re disgusting! How could you write this drivel?"

"Would you prefer to hear her talk about polishing his wand?" Bob replied with a casual air.

Alyx huffed. "Pervert! You are sleeping on the couch tonight!"

Sunset Over Britain
Chapter 24

Padfoot Manor…

Danni stood from her kneeling position and motioned to Hermione and Narcissa to help her get Harry up to the master bedroom. She had given him some strengthening potions and so she was sure he’d sleep normally. Now it was a matter of seeing what other damage he had caused to himself.

Hermione levitated Harry and moved him towards the stairs with Narcissa and Emma following close behind. Danni paused before leaving the room and turned to Arthur.

"Have the boys left yet?" she asked.

"Yes, a few minutes ago. Miles gave them a twenty man Auror team for the job. Hopefully we’ll start seeing the results of their work in a short while. And this time we have proper portkeys, everyone will go to the receiving center."

"I just hope they remember to send healers and medi-witches first," Danni said warningly.

Arthur looked at her with an innocent look. "My boys can be trusted to do as they are told, Danni."

Danni arched an eyebrow. "I know they can. It’s their exuberance to go above and beyond their orders that worries me," she replied with a half smile.

Danni turned to follow Hermione who had vanished up the stairs when Arthur stopped her by touching her arm.

"How is he?" he asked. As he did, she could sense the others in the room straining to hear her words.

"He’s dangerously exhausted himself, but I’ve that taken care of that for now. The next thing to find out is exactly how much other damage he’s done to himself, not to mention what that killing curse did. I didn’t spot any major trauma though, so any problems he has are probably going to be subtle."

Arthur nodded and nearly everyone else in the room breathed a sigh of relief as she turned and went up the stairs.

Danni found Hermione, Narcissa and Emma in the master bedroom. Harry had been floated into his bed and they were discussing what they should do next. Shaking her head, she entered the room.

"Ladies, this is all well and good, but we have a patient to deal with. I know he’s tired and he’ll probably sleep through everything we do, but we need to get him stripped out of his clothing and I need to make sure he has no other problems."

Hermione and Emma both blushed while Narcissa nodded in agreement. "Hermione, we still need to make sure he doesn’t have an injury we don’t know about, and he was hit by a killing curse," Danni said gently.

Hermione blanched and trembled, but nodded at the healer. Then she moved to the bed where Harry lay and started to remove his clothing. It wasn’t until she had all of his outer clothes off that some of the answers started to come to light.

"What is that?" exclaimed Danni as the iridescent skin tight second skin came into view.

"Oh, thank Merlin!" Hermione breathed. "He was wearing his second skin."

"Hermione, I know what second skin is, and I’ve never seen a second skin like this!" Danni proclaimed.

"It’s Basilisk skin, Danni. It came from a thousand year old Basilisk that Harry killed in his second year at Hogwarts. He had second skin made for all of us at the school from it and asked us to wear it all the time."

Danni sat in a chair for a moment, thinking hard, then nodded. "All right, he probably avoided any major injuries to his legs then, but let’s get that off to make sure. Then we’ll take the shirt off and check his upper torso."

Hermione blushed as they removed the last items of clothing exposing Harry. Emma arched an eyebrow and looked over at Hermione who smiled weakly.

"Well, he puts Lucius to shame," murmured Narcissa.

"Dan too," muttered Emma and then she started to laugh.

Hermione frowned at the two women. "Must you?   That’s disgusting!"

Both women grinned at her, unashamed, while Danni rolled her eyes at their foolishness.

Turning Harry over, Danni ignored the two tittering women and removed his shirt revealing the second skin covering his torso. Just between his shoulder blades it was obvious that he’d been hit with a powerful curse. There was a large burn mark and the skin had been broken. In fact, bits and pieces of the armored skin were embedded in his back.

She frowned, looking at the damage. "Well, we can see where the curse hit him. I’ll have to cut the upper armor off and remove the pieces to get it off him.   It’s going to be ruined, I’m afraid."

Danni then turned to Hermione. "Can you stand the sight of blood? Especially his?" she asked sternly. "I know your mother can, and so can Narcissa. If you can’t, I’ll have to ask you to leave the room."

Hermione’s face darkened. "I’ll stay and help."

"Good, I’ll use you to keep the area free of blood. You’ll need to cast the vanishing spell when I call for it. It’s painful and he may respond to it, but you must not hesitate to cast when I need you to.   Do you understand?"

Hermione nodded grimly.

"Emma, when I remove the back of his second skin, you need to spread it flat on the table and take every piece I pull out and try to fit it to the skin. I need to know if any pieces are missing. Understand?"

Emma nodded and went to clean off the table.

Narcissa pulled a pair of tough looking shears from Danni’s box of medical supplies and slowly cut up the back of the skin.

"Cut just around the hole, Narcissa," instructed Danni.


St. Mungos Hospital for Magical Maladies…

It had been a nervous day for the Wizarding world. The Wizard Wireless Network had reported a major disaster at the Ministry building, including the death of the current Minister of Magic. Then word came from Wiltshire of some strange disaster that resulted in the destruction of one of the Wizarding Worlds most sacred relics, Stonehenge. Finally, word came of a massive Death Eater attack on Hogsmeade and Hogwarts.

People in the hospital were afraid. It was generally agreed that it was only a matter of time before the Death Eaters attacked St. Mungos.

The receptionist looked up as the door burst open and a large group of men led by three red heads hustled into the lobby. She started to reach for the panic button, and then froze as she found herself staring down the business end of twenty-three wands.

"Welcome to St. Mungos," she squeaked instead.

"Why thank you, my dear," said one red headed man with a dashing smile. Behind him the other two red heads, obviously twins, smirked.

"Can I direct you?" asked the receptionist, trying to rebuild what little Hufflepuff courage she had.

The oldest of the three red heads smiled sadly.

"Actually no," said one of the twins.

"This is a stickup," said the other with an infectious grin. The tough men behind the two twins all grinned.

"But this is a hospital!" protested the receptionist.

"And you’re part of the loot, my pretty!" cackled one of the twins.

"Oy! I saw her first!" said the other.

The other red head smacked them both in the head. "No more muggle television for you two!" he swore, and then he held out a hand with an empty sack. "Would you deposit your wand in here please? I promise you will get it back soon."

The young witch placed her wand in the sack and trembled in fear. One of the twins wagged his eyebrows at her.

"Bring her along," said Bill Weasley, "and lock down the doors."

Bill looked at the twins and shook his head in dismay. "I know I’m going to regret this, but you two take team one and get the main waiting room as well as the emergency rooms."

Fred and George grinned evilly at Bill and nodded eagerly. Then Bill turned to the rest of the group with him. "You lot know your jobs. Healers and medi-witches first, then patients and finally books, potions and any other goodies you find. Strip the building. Dobby has already spoken to the elves."

Nodding, the men moved off to their appointed tasks.

Fred had a hand loosely on the arm of the receptionist. He turned and looked her over with a grin. She wasn’t sure what he had in mind, but she was coming to understand they really wouldn’t hurt her. His next words shocked her totally.

"I say, you wouldn’t have to have a sister, would you?" he asked hopefully.

She shook her head and he looked disappointed, then he leaned in close. "It’s for my lazy brother. He pouts if I get all the pretty birds and he doesn’t," he said in a voice loud enough for George to hear.

"Hey now! I do not pout!" protested George. Then he went off in the direction of the main waiting room. He kicked open the door and fired off a concussion hex, causing those within to shriek and duck.

"Don’t anyone move! We’re hijacking this hospital in the name of the British Organized Wizarding Elite Liberation Movement!" he shouted.

"That’s really a shitty name. I mean, BOWEL-Movement?" commented Fred.

"I was pressed for time when I came up with it. And that was a terrible pun you know," replied George loftily.

"Definitely too much muggle television," muttered Fred, who was still dragging the girl along with him.

"You’re doing what?" someone shouted.

"We’re hijacking the hospital," replied Fred reasonably.

"It boils down to this, folks. Voldemort is taking over, the Ministry is gone, the Minister is dead, Hogsmeade is destroyed and Hogwarts has fallen. Those of you here who aren’t badly injured or sick can leave right now. Go back to your homes and hunker down and hope the Death Eaters don’t come for you. If you work here at the hospital, or are too sick to go home, you’re coming with us," answered one of the ex-Aurors who had accompanied Fred and George.

One of the healers frowned, then asked the question that was on everyone’s mind.

"Where are you planning on taking us?"

"Someplace safe." George said with a smile.

"What about our families?" asked a Medi-witch.

"Floo them. If you can get them here within the hour, they come with us. Otherwise we schedule them for a later pickup," replied Fred.

"Unless they are pretty birds, then we’ll pick them up right now," offered George.

"Definitely," quipped Fred, who was still holding onto the now giggling receptionist.


Padfoot Manor, the front lawn…

Minerva looked at the mass of students. Some of them guarded by prefects and an irate Hagrid.

She put down the cup of tea she had been sipping and sighed. She still had to lead the students to the new school, roughly two kilometers away, and she was hoping the house elves would show up. Otherwise it would take all night for the twenty or so Padfoot elves to move all the luggage to the school.

Minerva looked toward the front entrance to the manor house when Dobby and Pappy came out looking for her. Relieved she walked over to the little elves.

"Professur! We is sorry we late, but we had to pack up the castle," Pappy cried.

"Pack up the castle?" Minerva said in confusion.

Pappy nodded and pointed to a line of elves, all of whom were levitating paintings, suits of armor, mirrors, the carriages… it looked like they had taken everything they could get their hands on.

"Dobby will show us to the school, Professur. We puts the Hogwarts stuff away then come back to get the trunks."

Numbly Minerva nodded to the little elf, then Pappy and Dobby vanished with a pop.

"Can I have everyone’s attention, please?" Minerva called, and then quietly lit the end of her wand.   "We have a short walk to the school. Prefects, stay close and help the first years. Do not let anyone fall behind. Teachers, let’s lead the students to the school." She was loathed to admit she didn’t know where the school was, but a moment later, Winky appeared in front of Minerva.

"I show you, Professur," whispered the little elf who then shocked Minerva to the core by taking her hand and leading her. The students and teachers fell in behind her.


Hogwarts Castle…

Voldemort looked around in satisfaction. His Death Eaters had taken a lot of casualties in the fight with the acromantulas, but they had pushed them back to the remains of greenhouse number six, then sealed the wall with transfigured stones.

He walked to the front doors of the castle and was surprised to find them ajar. Stepping inside, he frowned. The castle always felt alive. There was the bustle of students, the sound of the staircases moving, the ever-present murmur of paintings conversing. But not this time. This time, there was nothing. He glanced over to the alcove where the house point counters were kept and his eyes narrowed dangerously.

They weren’t there.

"Search the castle!" he snapped. A large group of Death Eaters rushed past him. Voldemort stood for a moment longer, then turned in the direction of the Great Hall and walked towards it.

Voldemort was getting angrier by the minute. The short distance between the Entrance Hall and the Great Hall revealed bare walls. It was as if someone had removed all of the portraits and suits of armor. He didn’t even see any of the uncomfortable wooden benches that had once lined the Entrance Hall.

He stepped into the Great Hall and was surprised to find the ceiling blank. The hall was unlit, save for some moonlight filtering in through a nearby window. Voldemort’s eyes narrowed further and he walked into the hall, looking around. No banners adorned the walls, no skylight charm on the ceiling, not even the floating candles.

He spun when he heard rapidly approaching footsteps. A Death Eater stopped a dozen paces away and looked at his master fearfully.

"Well?" he snarled, his eyes glowing evilly in the dimly lit hall.

"The castle is empty, my lord. There’s no sign of anyone here, even the library has been emptied of books!"

Voldemort growled in the back of his throat and pulled his wand. In seconds, the groveling Death Eater was reduced to a pile of ashes on the floor. He stepped back from the smoking pile and waited for a house elf to arrive to clean up the mess, but none came. It slowly dawned on him why the castle felt empty. All the time that Potter had spent taunting him, Hogwarts was being robbed of everything that belonged to him!

"Dolohov!" he screamed.

The older Death Eater quickly ran into the hall and bowed before Voldemort.

"Take a company of men and set up a forward base at Malfoy’s estate in Ireland. Once we get Hogwarts presentable, I’ll join you there to oversee the search for your fugitives. Perhaps Potter escaped to Ireland, as well."

"As you command, my Lord!" Dolohov said, then bowed and ran from the hall.


Haven School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…

Minerva could see the crowd gathering ahead of her. She passed word back to the teachers to halt the students while she went to meet with the crowd.

A middle aged couple detached themselves from the crowd and walked forward to meet with Minerva. She vaguely recognized the pair of them. Mr. and Mrs. Abbott, the mother of Hannah and her little brother, Michael, a first year.  

The three of them stopped only a few feet apart, then the woman impulsively embraced Professor McGonagall, to her great surprise.

"Thank Merlin you’ve finally arrived!" breathed the woman. "We’ve been here for nearly a week, waiting and worrying."

"Mrs. Abbott…"

"Please, Professor, call me Miriam," said Mrs. Abbott, interrupting the Professor.

McGonagall smiled thinly and continued. "Miriam, I would like to stay and chat with you both, but I have an entire population of exhausted and frightened students to deal with."

Mrs. Abbott smiled and her husband nodded. "Yes Professor, we know. That’s why we," she said, waving an arm at the crowd that had moved up close enough to hear the conversation, "are here. Most of us have children at Hogwarts and we’re here to help you settle them down and reassure them. We’ve been asked to pay close attention to those students whose parents aren’t in Haven yet. We’re willing to take direction from you, Professor. But I’m sure you can understand that we also want to see that our children are alive and safe?" the woman asked, ending on a timorous note.

Minerva relaxed slightly and smiled. "Very well. You’ll have some time to talk to your children when we get to the school. Right now, however, I want to get them moving again and start getting them put to bed. Some of the first years are exhausted and being carried by others, at this point. It’s been a trying day for everyone."

Mrs. Abbott turned to her husband. "Michael, find Hannah and Mike. Let them see you, then help where you can. I’ll walk with the Professor and explain what they’ve done up at the school."

Mr. Abbott nodded and took over walking past the column of students, searching for his own children.

Mrs. Abbott gestured and Professor McGonagall resumed walking. Exhausted, the column of students shuffled forward.

"Unlike Hogwarts, Professor, the school has a girls dorm and a boys dorm. They’re separate buildings, connected by a third building, which contains a library, study rooms, practice rooms and several social common rooms. Finally, there’s a covered walkway that connects the common building to the main school itself. Teachers quarters are also connected to the school by covered walkway, but the designer of the school opted to give the teachers cottages on the campus rather than quarters within the building itself.

"It is quite unlike Hogwarts and, while I admit I greatly enjoyed my time at Hogwarts, Lord Potter-Black has built us a school surrounded by a park. It’s a most comforting place."

Minerva was both appalled and intrigued by the description of the school. After nearly fifty years of teaching at Hogwarts, the new design sounded alien, and yet it seemed to address several key deficiencies that Hogwarts had.

"I hope so, Miriam. Right now, the children need a break," Minerva commented as they rounded a bend in the road and the school came into sight. Silently she murmured a prayer of thanks. This horrible day was finally coming to an end.


Headquarters of the British First Armored Division…

Sir Charles Worthington read the dispatch handed to him by Brigadier Malfoy. Malfoy had just arrived with special instructions from the Prime Minister, which he hand delivered to Worthington.

"Colonel Tibbets!" shouted Worthington.

There was a moment of silence, then the door opened and a trim, mustached man walked in with precision and snapped off a perfect salute.


"Colonel, we have a situation. Inform the commanding officers of the ready brigades that I expect them ready to roll out by eight hundred this morning, followed by a complete division roll out by ten hundred. The plan is in the book as Civil Suppression Plan Delta, option Echo."

"Sir!" acknowledged the Colonel, who then turned and left to issue the orders.

Worthington turned to look at Malfoy. "Damn shame. I had hoped the PM would be able to get a handle on this without our help. Ah well, that’s what her Majesty pays us for."

Malfoy smiled at the Major General and nodded knowingly. "Quite so, Sir."

The first idea that something was wrong came when reports started filtering into the home office of movement of military units. Calls to the MOD went unanswered. Couriers dispatched to the MOD never returned. By midmorning, London police had had sporadic encounters with Military units taking control of civilian facilities like power and communication centers. Civilian authorities had been severely routed in every encounter.

A scheduled national address by the Prime Minister came and went with no address and no explanation. It wasn’t until the U.S. State Department announced late in the day that the Prime Minister had been rescued by US Navy Seals from the US Embassy in London that the rest of the world realized a coup was underway in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister was currently aboard the USS Kitty Hawk, which was steaming its way through the English Channel, along with the rest of the US seventh fleet.

In a scene reminiscent of the evacuation of Saigon, a steady stream of helicopters flew to the US Embassy, loading US personnel and US nationals, along with selected British citizens, for evacuation from the island.   Seahawk Helicopters were in continuous flight from dawn while other Seahawks provided close in air cover and a cap of F/A 18 Hornets flew overhead.  

Elements of the British 3rd Mechanized Division had attempted to approach the American Embassy and did manage to fire on the crowd that had formed in front of the building. Several Maverick missiles fired from the orbiting F/A 18 Hornets quickly convinced the 3rd Mechanized to find another place to play.

Around the country, military units, confused by conflicting orders coming from command channels, deployed and began to engage other units, seemingly at random. Civilians panicked and the roads filled with vehicles attempting to flee the cities.


Padfoot Manor…

It was late morning and sunlight streamed into the bedroom, shining in Harry’s eyes, waking him. Blinking in the bright light, he felt Hermione draped over him, her head on his shoulder. It was a position they often slept in. He reached up and caressed her cheek for a moment, then tried to stretch. It was at that point that he discovered his body was sending him urgent pain messages. He moaned and tried to roll, but he still had Hermione holding him down. Her grip on him tightened and her head came up.


"Hey, love. Heck of a day yesterday, wasn’t it? Ummm… it was yesterday, wasn’t it?" he asked uncertainly.

"Yes, and you were remarkably lucky, Mr. Potter, getting off with only a bad case of exhaustion."

"Then why do I hurt all over? And my back itches like crazy!"

"We’ll fix that up now that you’re awake. A hot soak will take care of it. Your back itches because we had to dig pieces of your second skin out of your back. I’m afraid your second skin is ruined," she said softly.

"I had Remus make extras. Now let’s see about that soak," he said in reply. Then he winced as he tried to move again.

Hermione rolled out of bed, helped him out and into the bathroom. She drew a hot bath, adding his mineral salts and helped him into the tub. Then she surprised him by peeling out of her own clothing and climbing into the large tub. She pushed him forward slightly, and slid into place behind him before pulling him back into her embrace.

Harry leaned back against her and smiled. Soaking in the tub would have done wonders for his aching muscles, but leaning against a naked, wet Hermione was performing miracles, especially when she grabbed a large sponge and began soaping him up.

Hermione stopped and there was a long moment of silence.


Her arms went around him and he could feel her shaking. Harry turned around to face her in the tub and was surprised to find her crying silently.

"What’s wrong?"

"I nearly lost you yesterday," she choked out, and then she tightened her arms and held onto him, weeping. Harry held her for a long time, rubbing her back and stroking her hair. Eventually she calmed down and they were able to talk normally again. The two leaned apart, sitting across from each other in the large tub.

"Look, Hermione, I know yesterday wasn’t a good day for either of us. I remember helping Professor McGonagall, and then the world exploded. It seemed like every nerve in my body screamed in pain as if I was being burned, frozen and electrocuted at the same time. And the strange thing is, I still don’t know why that happened. Then I woke up to find McGonagall leaning over me and I was so angry I could barely think properly," Harry said, then he paused frowning.

"That was Dean, Harry. Dean Thomas hit you in the back with a killing curse. Then Professor Blackthorne killed him, only to die herself a moment later. By the time I got to the Entrance Hall, there was a full battle going on as the students fought off Malfoy and his Goons. Two of them ran up when everyone ducked and grabbed you and McGonagall. Umbridge was killed in the fight."

"Dean? Dean Thomas shot me with a killing curse?" Harry said in wonder. Then he shook his head. "I guess we now know who sent that spider after me," he offered in a wondering tone.

"Dean was a half blood, like yourself, Harry. That’s why even Parvati didn’t suspect him. And he was marked on the bottom of his foot, not on the arm," Hermione said watching him cautiously. "What did you do at the Ministry?"

Harry tightened his grip on the edge of the tub and his eyes took on a glazed look. "I was so angry. Padfoot and I killed as many as we could… I don’t think I had any real plan, except to destroy as much as I could. In Auror headquarters I was… exploding people. I can’t even tell you what spell I used. They just… exploded. Then I ran into Kingsley Shacklebolt and I remembered Amelia saying how he had turned against the Order of the Phoenix. He pulled his wand on me and I turned his wand and his hand to ashes, then I set him to burn… slowly…"

Harry started to pant as he described his romp through the Ministry, and his body was wracked with shudders. Hermione knew he had to come to grips with what he had done in his own mind. He had to face it. Hermione moved closer to him, but hesitated to touch him until he had settled down again. Harry closed his eyes for a long time and he reached for her. He held her, saying nothing, then he looked down at her again.

"I know you were frightened yesterday, Hermione, and I’m very sorry for that. I never planned on going to the Ministry. I thought we could chase them off. And when I woke up in the holding cell, I didn’t think about coming back right away. That’s probably why Voldemort came to the school last night," he said quietly.

She shivered and he glanced at her sharply. Despite being in a tub full of hot water that was charmed to remain hot, she was shivering. He reached over and pulled her into his lap. Standing with him to face Voldemort for nearly a full hour had been the bravest thing he could think of. And now, thinking back on it, he wasn’t sure he’d be brave enough to do it either.

He held her tight and, despite the grim circumstances, discovered that he really enjoyed holding a naked and very wet Hermione. He bend down and nibbled on her neck and she sighed and wiggled a little on in his lap. Her fingers began to trace a lazy circle in his hair and she retaliated by nibbling on his neck.

Harry’s last coherent thought was that he really enjoyed a tub large enough for two people.

Two hours later, Harry and Hermione descended the stairs and went into the main dining room in search of some food. Harry was still tired and a bit wobbly, but he felt much better, even if he did need to lean on his cane.

Remus looked up and dropped his cup when he spotted Harry leaning lightly on Hermione as they entered.

"Harry!" he said standing. His shout alerted everyone else. Suddenly Harry found himself being helped to the table by Narcissa, Emma and Dan, while Tonks, Remus, Arthur and Hermione watched in amusement.

"Alright, you lot. I’m alive, if a bit tired and a little sore. But Hermione helped me work out a few kinks," he said, and then he coughed and blushed. Hermione sat next to him and stared down into her own cup of tea, blushing, while Emma and Narcissa snickered.

Emma nudged Hermione and grinned, much to her embarrassment. "Nice to have him up, eh? Well, a happy patient is a healing patient."

Narcissa frowned. "Harry, you shouldn’t have gotten out of bed today. You had quite an ordeal yesterday…"

"I know, Narcissa, and that’s exactly why I had to get up. There are things I absolutely have to do today and I’m the only one that can do them," he said quietly. "I promise, once that’s done, I’ll climb back into bed and stay there for a while."

He then turned to Remus. "Please send word to the school. I need to see the Outcasts here as soon as possible, even if they have to be taken from class. Also, inform Professor McGonagall that I’ll address the school after dinner this evening. Then, let the folks in Haven know that I’ll be addressing the school and that they’re invited to attend. I’ll do it on the lawn in front of the school. We have a lot we need to accomplish and a very short amount of time to do it in."

AP News feed, mid afternoon, April 15th…

Norfolk Virginia, U.S.A.

Office of CINCLANT:
A public affairs officer for the US Navy confirmed this afternoon that the Prime Minister of Britain and some key members of his cabinet, as well as some respected members of Parliament, are now aboard the USS Kitty Hawk of the US Seventh Fleet.

The Seventh Fleet was pulled from active duty and sent to the Atlantic when the British Government offered the entire deep-water compliment of the Royal Navy for voluntary impounding at US Naval bases. The US Sixth Fleet, which is normally on station in the Atlantic, is providing security for the Royal Navy, including their three Polaris Nuclear Submarines.

CINCLANT further confirms ongoing rescue efforts are being conducted to extract embassy employees and other American nationals from the country.

In related news, the UN Security council met in emergency session in New York earlier this morning and has decided they will recognize the British Government in exile, granting them their full rights as a member of the permanent Security Council.

Wall Street is down nearly three hundred points as numerous multinational and British based companies scramble to restore operations. Trading on most British based companies has been suspended, as has speculation on the British pound, which has hit its lowest point in over a century. Experts agree that, unless drastic action is taken shortly, the Pound may be worth less than the Yen in short order.

The chairman of the Federal Reserve commission announced today an interest rate hike in an attempt to stabilize the dollar. The collapse of the British Government came unexpectedly late last night after a nuclear weapon exploded in the southern region of the country.

Padfoot Manor…

Harry sat in one of the first floor studies and listened to people as they updated him on what had happened while he had slept.

"I can’t believe you trusted those children, Harry! And who told you I gave you permission to get out of bed young man! You were hit with a killing curse, for Merlin’s sake!" Danni stormed.

Harry smiled at the healer. "Look Danni, I’ll talk to the twins. I know they get a bit carried away."

"Carried away? Do you know they sent people to the hospital here thinking they were being taken hostage by a terrorist group that wanted the islands of Britain and Hawaii to trade places?"

Harry tried not to laugh. Instead, he reached out and snagged her hand. "Was anyone hurt?"

Danni rapidly deflated and her shoulders slumped in defeat. "No… not really, just some embarrassment."

"Danni, the twins are wild and crazy, but sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed. By tonight, that story will be doing the rounds of the communal kitchen in Haven and people will be laughing. And they need to laugh. It’s a different type of medicine than you deal with, but it’s a medicine nevertheless," Harry offered her gently.

Danni laughed ruefully, then shook her head and glared at him. "And what about you leaving your bed, Mr. Potter?"

"There are a few things I absolutely have to do today in order to make people feel safe. I’ve been sitting here in this chair, or the chair in the dinning room, since I got up. Tonight I have to talk to a bunch of people, but after that I’m going to back to bed. I promise."

"You better, or I’ll dose you myself and see that you don’t wake up for two days," she replied with a grin of her own.

"If it will make you feel better, stay close to me and Hermione tonight. I’m sure she’d feel better with you there. And I know I would," Harry offered.

"I’ll do that," she said, then she stood and went in search of Hermione.

A moment later the door opened again and Remus walked in with Tonks behind him. Between the two, they carried several armloads of books.

Remus dropped the books down on one table, then sat heavily in a chair. Tonks sat on the edge "Harry," Remus said, waving a parchment, "I’ve looked at your arithmantic equations and I can’t find anything wrong with them. But Arithmancy isn’t my best subject, either. I’m going to suggest that you have Professor Vector double check your notes. Danni is insisting that you can’t proceed with this ritual, or the casting, for at least three or four days."

Harry looked thoughtfully at Tonks and Remus for a moment before nodding. "Alright, I’ll have Dobby pop over to the school and give the notes to Vector. In the meantime, we’re going to need to assemble the coven and ensure that there is adequate security here in the manor, since so many of us will be exhausted. This is a top priority, Remus. It’s the only way we can contain the infection of Voldemort."

Remus nodded, then looked up as Harry’s friends walked into the room. Danni followed Hermione closely and she eyed Harry suspiciously before moving to stand near a wall. Everyone else took seats around Harry.

"Well, there’s no way to say this easily, so I’ll just come out with it, and the explanation for it. Effective immediately, I’m dropping out of school," Harry said quietly.

Hermione looked ready to explode and several others frowned at him. Even Remus and Tonks frowned at him. He held up his hand to stop people from yelling at him.

"I said I’m dropping out of school, that doesn’t mean I’m going to skip taking my NEWTS. The simple fact is, with everything going on, I won’t have time to spend in a structured school setting. I’ll hire tutors and resort to self study to take my NEWTS, I just won’t be doing it through the school."

"Then I’m doing it with you, Harry," Hermione said with quiet conviction.

He arched an eyebrow at her and her expression hardened. A moment passed before he nodded, then turned back to face his friends.

"Each of you sixth years will have that option and, if you decide to follow me, I’ll make sure we all get sufficient tutoring for our NEWTS.   You two fifth years," he said, nodding to Ginny and Luna, "are stuck until you complete your OWLS. We’ll help you in every way we can and include you as much as possible, but until you complete your OWLS, you must stay at the school."

Ginny and Luna both frowned at him. Neville and Draco moved to offer support to their girlfriends.

"I wish it were otherwise, but my hands are tied for now," Harry concluded.

"Harry, what are you going to be doing then if you’re not going to be in school?" asked Remus.

"What I was prophesized to do, Remus. Though I can’t kill Voldemort at the moment, that doesn’t mean I can’t fight him. I’ll be a thorn in his side until the time comes for us to face each other. I’ve talked with Miles about advanced dueling techniques and I’m sure there are plenty of libraries here in Ireland with material I can learn that will help in our fight.

"Hermione will be there every step of the way with me," he continued firmly. "I don’t want her there when I face Voldemort again, but I know I can’t keep her away either. This is perhaps even more of her fight than it is mine. She fights not only for those muggle born, but muggles everywhere," Harry said in ringing tones.

Hermione reached out and placed a gentle hand on his knee. Her eyes shone with pride as she listened to him.

"Alright, tonight I talk to the school and to the people of Haven. I have to reassure them. Today is the fifteenth of the month. In five days time we will conduct a ritual that will require all of us, plus five as yet unknown people."

"A full coven?" asked Ginny eagerly.

Harry nodded. "Exactly. The Power Sharing Ritual of the Gen is an old Celtic ritual. Basically, you’ll be lending me your power so that I can take steps to lock Voldemort in Britain."

Seven students and three adults looked at him, intrigued. No one in living memory had participated in a Light Coven rite. The results were supposed to be unlike any other experience a witch or wizard could partake in.

"Well, that’s all I have to say. Those of you in sixth year think about what you’re going to do. In the meantime, let’s go talk to our classmates."

Haven School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…

It had been a hectic day for Minerva and it was finally coming to an end. There had been no classes and probably wouldn’t be for at least another couple of days. Not until the Irish Ministry of Magic certified the school, well no real classes anyway. And as far as she knew, no one had even addressed that subject yet. In the meantime they would continue holding classes as normal even if they weren’t certified. It would keep the children occupied.

The arrival of the students the night before and the events leading up to their departure marked a major upswing in the number of arrivals to Haven. Last night alone saw the arrival of all of the staff of St. Mungos and their families, as well as any patient too ill to be sent home. The receiving center also processed another sixty incoming families from Britain. Mostly families of students. This meant that over two hundred families had been accounted for and gotten to safety.

Tonight the school was playing host to some nineteen hundred people, counting the students. Harry had requested a general meeting of everyone at Haven and it had been decided to hold the meeting at the school. Special charms had been laid down to keep the area warm and comfortable and the house elves seemed to be everywhere as they set up the massive meal.

Minerva sat at a head table a top a raised platform and she winced slightly every time she heard the sounds of a tearful reunion. Her chance of that had vanished long ago, and while she didn’t have any regrets, she did have the occasional wistful thought about a family of her own.

She started when a hand landed gently on her shoulder. Glancing up, she saw Harry smiling at her. She was struck by just how different he seemed from James. James had been an eternal child and Lily used to despair that he’d never grow up. Harry, on the other hand, was born an old soul and had never had a childhood. Staring at him, she wasn’t sure if it was a trick of the light, or if he truly had gray hair growing at his temples.

"While you are a very formidable lady, Minerva, every Gryffindor in the last fifty years has thought of you as family," Harry said quietly. "You’ve cared for those of us in your house, stood up for us against the other houses when needed, helped fight our battles and heal our wounds, though the more intelligent of us know that you’re quite capable of stripping the flesh from our bones with just a lecture. While you may not have children of your body, you have a rather large extended family," he concluded, waving his had at the students assembled before them.

Minerva’s eyes widened slightly as she stared at the young man standing next to her.   She’d always thought of the students in her house as her children, she’d been unaware that they returned the sentiment.

"Thank you, Harry," she said, watching as he sat next to her.

When Hermione took an empty seat next to Harry, and Danni stood behind them both, watching Harry like a hawk, Minerva raised a questioning eyebrow at him.

He shrugged. "My healer seems to think I should be in bed instead of taking care of business," he said, smiling slightly to take the sting from his words.

"Harry," Danni said in a voice laced with frustration, "any other patient who’d gone through what you did yesterday would be dead!"

Minerva saw the blood drain from Hermione’s face and a shudder wrack her body. She coughed, distracting Harry and Danni, and then used her best Professor’s voice. "I think this is a subject best left alone. I trust Mr. Potter will follow your advice once his business is done here tonight?"

Harry nodded and scowled at the Healer. "I have to. She’s threatened to dose me with enough Dreamless Sleep potion to put me out for days if I don’t."

Danni smiled smugly, while Hermione grinned into her cup. Harry dug into the meal and made small talk with Minerva and Hermione. Occasionally, he’d nod and wave to someone in the crowd in front of the platform. Finally sated, he leaned back in his chair and faced the inevitable.

"Well, I might as well get this over with so I can make my Healer happy," Harry murmured sourly. Hermione grabbed his hand for a moment, trying to convey her support.

Harry stood and walked slowly around the table, leaning heavily on his cane. When he was in front of the table he conjured a tall stool and sat on it. He lifted his cane and cast a charm, lighting up the entire area in fairy lights. The crowd slowly quieted down and Harry amplified his voice so he could be heard.

"For those who don’t know me, I am Harry Potter. Some also call me Lord Potter-Black. I’m glad you’ve all come tonight, as there are a few things that need to be said.

"First, the bad news, and if some of this is confusing to you, there are people in the audience who can explain parts of it. Lord Voldemort has assumed complete control of Wizarding Britain," he paused while the crowd flinched.

"For reasons no one as yet knows, and perhaps never will, a nuclear weapon was detonated in southern England. A nuclear weapon is a muggle creation. It is the single most destructive and dangerous weapon created by muggles. A single one of these weapons can destroy a city, killing thousands or hundreds of thousands and poisoning the land for years to come.

"The explosion of this weapon destroyed the city of Amesbury, in Wiltshire," he said, pausing while several people in audience cried out in shock. Lavender Brown collapsed, weeping in the arms of Parvati.

"With the explosion at Amesbury," Harry continued once the crowd had settled, "the muggle government collapsed into anarchy. Even as I speak, the Prime Minister has escaped to an American naval vessel and there is open fighting in the streets of London. Elements of the Muggle Military are apparently under Voldemort’s control and they are fighting to take over the country.

"When the school term began, I knew this time would come. However I was unable to prevent him from accomplishing this for reasons I can’t go into here. Once I realized I couldn’t stop what was happening, I decided to do what I could to save as many lives as possible.

"You few," he said motioning to them all, "were all I could save. My fellow students, their families and the families of those who believed in what we were doing. Which brings us to the here and now."

"You are here because it’s safe. You are here because I have invited you here. Some of you will eventually become involved in our attempt to take back Britain. Some of you will bide your time and go home to help in the rebuilding. Some of you will set down new roots and eventually become Irish citizens. Had you not come here, you would have been killed, or been captured and sent to one of the camps being built to house Wizarding Prisoners.

"This is my home and you are guests here. That does not mean I want your fealty. I claim no lordship over you or anyone, anywhere! What I do insist is that you maintain secrecy of this town until we are ready to reveal its existence. I also insist you abide by the basic tenets of English law. Your very lives depend upon it, as do the lives of your new neighbors!"

Harry sat for a moment, then he turned to a table up near the front of the crowd. At the table were five older Slytherin students who had put up a fight during the evacuation. They had been stunned and their wands taken away, and were now kept under a watchful eye.

Harry’s expression hardened. "You lot fought to prevent the evacuation of Hogwarts. From what I hear, two of you wanted to go welcome Voldemort personally. You are a danger to everything we have and are trying to do here. Some want to erase your memories and send you back to Britain. Personally, I’m more inclined to turn you into squibs, and then send you directly back to Hogwarts for your master’s amusement. The last two days have taught me the lesson of ruthlessness well," Harry said coldly. Everyone around the table flinched and leaned away from the Slytherins.

"I will decide your fate in the coming days. And I will give you a chance to sway my opinion, but I warn you, I am not inclined to show mercy to supporters of that half blood animal, Voldemort," Harry said, then he stood and started to walk around the table. As he did a ground swell of applause started in the back of the crowd along with cries of "Merlin Bless Harry Potter!"

He paused in front of Danni. "I’m ready to go back to bed. Merlin, I’m so tired," he whispered.

She nodded and gripped his arm tightly before she signaled to Remus, who had a thestral pulled carriage that the house elves had stolen from Hogwarts brought around. Danni and Hermione helped Harry into the carriage, and he was leaning against Hermione, dozing, even as the carriage started the short trip to the Manor house.

Team Weasley in Tamworth, North of Coventry England, April 16th…

Two tall men hid in the shadows and observed the small brick home from the woods. "Are you sure this is the right place this time?" asked Fred in an annoyed tone.

"Of course I’m sure," replied an indignant George.

"You said that the last time and it turned out to be a fish store!" exclaimed Fred.

"So I made a mistake. You didn’t have to compound the mistake by tripping and spilling that barrel of pickled herring all over yourself," George sniffed.

"I didn’t trip! You pushed me!"

"Oh blimey! Come on, we’ll stand here all night arguing and we have a family to pick up. What are the names? Sven and Olga Johansen, mother to Johan Johansen, an ickle firsty," replied George.

"Any other kids?" asked Fred.

"Yeah, twin girls, squibs apparently, Helga and Inga, age nine," replied George.

"Alright. My turn to do the talking this time?" asked Fred.

"Righto. And don’t muck it up this time. Danni is still mad at us for what we told the emergency room healers," George said with a note of complaint in his voice.

"How was I supposed to know that Danni really had worked a summer as an exotic dancer to earn money for Healer school? I was just making it up!" Fred offered as an apology.

"Oh right… let’s just do this!" George said, grabbing his brother’s arm and dragging him across the clearing towards the small brick house.

Stepping up to the rear of the building, George knocked on the door. A moment later, it was opened by a burly blond man.


"Mr. Sven Johansen, father of Johan Johansen who is attending Hogwarts?" asked Fred, impressed by the very large man.

"Ja! What is wrong? Did something happen to Johan?" asked the man, now concerned.

"No sir, Johan is fine, but may we speak to you and your wife please? It is quite important," Fred replied trying to look sincere.

"Ja! Ja! Vilcomen! Come in please," said the man then he turned and bellowed. "Mama! Ve haf guess! Comin!"

Sven led Fred and George into a nice kitchen, offering them seats at the table. A moment later a short round blonde entered the room and her eyes lit up seeing her guests.

"Mama! Come see. Friends of Johan!" said Sven.

"Mr. Johansen, we came here for a particular reason and we need to talk to you and your wife."

"Papa! They are twins! Oh, aren’t they cute!" gushed Mama. "I can’t wait to introduce them to Helga and Inga!"

"Now Mama, be reasonable and let’s try not to scare these boys. They say they are here on bizness," replied Papa.

George buried his head in his hands and shook it back and forth. This was not going well at all!

"Mr. Johansen, Mrs. Johansen, please! We are here on serious business. Please sit and let us talk." Fred pleaded, then glared at George who had started laughing at the situation. Meanwhile Mama and Papa continued to hold a conversation, occasionally slipping into Swedish…or maybe it was German. Fred couldn’t tell.

Finally Fred pulled his wand and fired a small concussive charge in the room, deafening everyone.

"Thank you! Now please, sit, I have news which you must hear," Fred said loudly, then he glanced at George sharply. In the distance he had heard the distinctive crack of apparating wizards. George pulled his wand and stood near the door watching out a window.

"All right, we have no time. We’re here to take you and your daughters to Johan. With the unrest in the country, Johan has been evacuated to another country and we’re here to take you there as well. Mrs. Johansen, could you please get your daughters? I’m terribly sorry about this, but it seems we’ve run out of time to do things the nice way," Fred said in a rush, pulling out a small plastic circle and expanded it. He glanced at George and held up a hand showing five fingers.

Five wizards were approaching the house.

Sven’s eyes narrowed and he spat something in a commanding tone to his wife, who bolted from the room. Fred handed Sven the hula hoop and told him to hold onto it, then he went and took up position across the door from his brother.

"They’re just about ready, George. Any ideas?" asked Fred.

Sven shrank back from the window. He could tell from the change in attitude of these two young men that the situation had suddenly become very dangerous. A moment later Olga came back into the room dragging two very blond, very twin and very grown up girls.

George glanced back into the room and blinked in surprise when he saw the girls. Someone had obviously made a mistake somewhere, because these girls looked to be nineteen, not nine.   He was about to turn to say something to Fred when Fred lunged at him. There was an exploding sound that made his ears ring and he found himself laying on the floor of the kitchen, covered in debris.

Fred fired off two Reductor curses before collapsing from a severe injury to his shoulder and chest. His brother pulled him out of the way and was about to fire out into the yard when two more explosions rocked the room. He looked around wildly. He saw one of the wizards Fred had taken down lying on the ground, and two more doubled over, bleeding heavily.

The two uninjured wizards were backing out of the yard. He looked behind him to spot Sven reloading a double-barreled shotgun. Then he saw the hula-hoop leaning against the wall. He grabbed Fred by the shoulders and dragged him into the center of the room.

He picked up the hula-hoop and tightened his grip on Fred. "Everyone grab this! Before they come back!" he shouted.

He checked to make sure everyone was touching the hoop and he activated the portkey. A second later the farmhouse was empty.

Haven Hospital…

The night duty medi-witch and Healer both glanced up as the alarm rang, signifying the activation of an emergency portkey used by one of the extraction teams.

In a cushioned area, less than a minute later, six people appeared. Four seemed to be in shock from the trip itself. George dropped the hula-hoop and turned to Fred.

Fred lay on the ground, his back and shoulder torn up from the Reductor curse that was meant for George.

George dropped to his knees next to his brother, tears streaming down his cheeks. "Fred! Don’t leave me!" he cried.

The medi-witch and Healer rushed over to the group, pushing George out of the way. Olga Johansen, recognizing George’s shock for what it was, moved to his side and put her arms around him. In a minute, the Healer and the witch had levitated Fred and moved him into one of the treatment rooms, leaving everyone else standing in the emergency room.

"Papa? Where do you think we are?" asked Olga in a worried tone.

"I’m not sure, Mama. But I think we need to find someone who can help us, and we need to find this boy’s family. He should be with them at a time like this."

"How can we find anyone when we don’t know where we are, Papa?" asked one of the blond twins softly. The trip by portkey had frightened them badly.

There was a popping sound behind them and everyone turned to a short being dressed in a smart looking uniform. Dobby looked over the newcomers, not sure why he felt they needed him, then he spotted George.

"Mister Wheezy! What is wrong, Mister Wheezy? Where is your brother?" cried the little elf.

Sven looked down at the little elf in amusement, although he had no idea what it was.

"Little creature, his brother was injured and we don’t know where to go."

"Dobby take care of that. Follow Dobby and Dobby will take you to Master Remus. He’ll know what to do."

George managed to get a grip on himself finally and he nodded in agreement. "Yes, I need to speak with Remus. The extraction teams are in danger."

Dobby and George led the Johansens towards the manor house and into a study before Dobby went to get Remus, Arthur and Bill.

George sat heavily on the couch, his shoulders slumped. It had been a long day and it was promising to be even a longer night. The image of his brother’s broken body flashed through his mind and he shuddered. When he closed his eyes tightly, trying to block the image, he felt two bodies sit next to him on either side.

"Hi, I’m Helga," said one blond twin.

"And I’m Inga," said the other.

"Do you find your twin as annoying as I find my twin?" asked Helga.

"I’m not the annoying one , you’re the annoying one," protested Inga.

"You always finish…" started Helga.

"Don’t you say it. I do not finish your words," Inga said, finishing Helga’s words.

George looked at the two girls and was immediately struck by their beauty. "Fred better survive! I can’t wait to introduce the two of you to him."

The door opened and Remus and Arthur entered the room. George stood and looked at his father nervously. Arthur frowned. "Where’s Fred?" he asked.

"We were ambushed, Dad. We were extracting the Johansens here when we were ambushed by five Death Eaters," George’s hands twisted in front of him and he dropped his eyes. "The healers are working on him. Fred jumped in front of curse meant for me," he whispered.

Arthur blinked and his eyes filled with tears. Before George could move, Arthur pulled him into a hug.

"Dobby?" Remus called.

The little elf appeared with a pop and snapped a salute off to Remus. Privately, he vowed to catch whoever was letting Dobby watch old British World War Two movies.

"Dobby, go to the Hospital and see if you can get any information on the condition of Fred Weasley."

Dobby saluted again and vanished with a pop.

"I know Tonks gave him the uniform, but who’s letting him watch war movies?" Remus muttered, before he realized he’d been ignoring the Johansens. He turned to face Sven.

"I apologize. I’m Remus Lupin, seneschal to Lord Potter-Black. I realize this has been a confusing and frightening night for you and your family, but you’re safe now," he said, motioning for Sven and his wife to sit down.

A moment later, Bill appeared in the doorway dragging a pale looked Fred into the room. "Look what I found at the Hospital. They patched him up and sent him home, but no one   waited around for him," Bill offered.

Arthur moved quickly to embrace his son, then steered him over to a couch and sat him down. Remus smiled at the incredulous looks from the Johansens and started to explain.

George sat next to his brother on the couch. Both of the young men seemed totally bedazzled by the Johansen twins. Helga and Inga seemed to make up their minds without actually speaking to each other and picked a twin. Helga sat next to George and Inga next to Fred.

George sat listening to Remus, while Fred dozed. Despite being patched up by the healers, he was exhausted and still in a bit of pain. Mama Johansen looked at the two red headed twins, then looked at her daughters and smiled knowingly.

Hogwarts Castle…

Voldemort looked up as two Death Eaters dragged the prisoner into the Great Hall. At the far end of the hall, where the head table had once been, he had installed his throne like chair. Next to it was a nesting place for Nagini.

He reached down and stroked Nagini a few times before looking up at the prisoner.

"Ah yes, our former potions master. You are in luck, Severus. I’ve decided to keep you around, after all. Dumbledore may be a foolish old man, but he wasn’t stupid. Having you research the power amplifying rituals makes sense, now that I’ve seen Potter in action for myself," the Dark Lord said. Then he waved his arm, causing Severus to look around.

"Back to the old alma mater, eh Severus? To think what these halls could say if they could talk. But now they answer to me and me alone! I am master of Hogwarts finally!" he gloated, then he turned to the Death Eaters holding him.

"Take him to one of the cells in the dungeon. See that he’s fed enough to stay alive for now. Once I’ve set up the space, we’ll set him to researching the Ritual of Anthrokrak again," he commanded.

Voldemort watched in a pensive mood as the Death Eaters dragged Snape from the hall. Taking over Hogwarts had turned into a Pyrrhic victory for him. He had won the hallowed out shell of a building and it had only cost him fifty of his servants fighting giant spiders in order to obtain it.

The castle had been emptied of portraits, books, instruments, furniture, owls, and elves. The kitchens had been deliberately sabotaged and would take weeks to fully repair. Even the carriages used by the students had been removed from the grounds and hidden somewhere.

Voldemort frowned and thought about his forces. Right now he was very low and using the muggle military to back him up in places. McNair was recruiting among the Wizarding community here in England and by tomorrow Dolohov would begin doing the same in Ireland. His position was solidifying slowly, but it was still precarious.

Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland…

Albus Dumbledore sat near the window of the cheap room he had rented. His clothing was decidedly un-wizardish. And while no one with any sense of decorum would have admitted it to him, it was about fifty muggle years out of date as well. He had taken some pains to fit into the muggle world. His long hair was tied off in a pony tail and he had taken the opportunity to shorten his beard to a more manageable length.

Looking out the window, he was amazed by the amount of activity he saw. Trucks and cars were continually rumbling by on the road. Overhead he could see aircraft heading to the international airport in Cork, just up the road. The television in the room was turned on and, like so many televisions around the world today, all regular programming had been preempted in favor of news coming out of Britain.

Dumbledore frowned as they recapped the news about the nuclear weapon and the expected death toll and damage areas. He didn’t understand why the French, Dutch and Norwegian Governments were up in arms about something they called fallout. He knew it was muggle stuff, and that somehow Voldemort was behind it. He turned off the TV and turned on his Wizarding Wireless receiver. Reception had been sporadic at best all day. Finally he caught a message on the small box that said they would repeat the news on the hour, if they could.

He sat back and listened to the scratchy sounds coming from the small box and reached for a cup of tea. He paused when an uncharacteristic sound came from the box.

"This message is for all wizards and witches within the sound of my voice. This will be the last transmission of the British Wizarding Wireless Network," said the shaky voice.

"With the destruction of the Ministry of Magic two days ago, Lord Voldemort has come out and openly claimed the British Isles as his personal kingdom. We have confirmed reports of the destruction of Hogsmeade, St. Mungos is empty, and Hogwarts is now under control of Voldemort who, it is said, is using the building as his own base of operations."

Dumbledore bowed his head and a single tear leaked down his cheek. Despite everything that had gone wrong this past year, he never really believed that Hogwarts would fall.

"There are stories of whole families vanishing without a trace. It is rumored that the entire population of Hogwarts escaped this same way. Rumors from abroad abound with tales of underground movements to free Britain. The Irish Ministry of Magic confirmed that they are in contact with such an organization, but refused to give any details… Hold on…What? Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve been told by my producer that our location has been found and we must flee. This is the British Wizarding Wireless Network signing off. God Save the Queen and Merlin help Harry Potter save us all!"

Dumbledore leaned back in shock. There was a burst of static and then the box started to play Rule Britannia, then even that was cut off without warning, replaced by silence.

Dumbledore stood and paced the room angrily. Potter could have stopped this from happening. But instead, he’d chosen to run like a coward. Merlin help Potter if Albus Dumbledore got his hands on him!

Then he sat and began to plan. There were few Order assets in Ireland, but there was an International Gringotts and several hidden accounts he could tap into. If Harry Potter was on this God forsaken island, he’d find him and make him do what he was supposed to do. Fight Voldemort!

Padfoot Manor, April 17th…

Narcissa had just finished a large batch of letters to send out to the families that had been missed with the first batch. She looked up in relief and smiled when she saw Harry, Hermione and Draco enter the room.

"Mum, you heard that Harry and Hermione are dropping out of school," Draco started hesitantly.

"Yes and I heard that Hermione’s parents weren’t happy with her, but really couldn’t come up with any good reasons to make her stay either. Why? Are you asking for permission to do the same thing, Dray?"

Draco blushed at the use of his private name and he started at the floor for a moment, then he looked at Narcissa and nodded.

Narcissa reached up and took one of Draco’s hands. "Draco, for nearly seventeen years now you have been my sole reason for living. But I cannot and will not hold you back from fighting for what you believe in," she said, and then she choked up. "My little boy has grown into a fine young man who I’m very proud of, and I know he’ll make me even prouder."

Narcissa turned to Harry with a critical eye, looking at him carefully for a moment. "Harry, I knew your parents in school, although I am sorry to say I did not know them well. We traveled in different social circles. But I think it’s safe to say your parents are watching you with pride. And they would definitely approve of your choice of mate."

Harry blushed and looked at Hermione lovingly. "She’s not quite my mate, but that’s one of the things I plan to correct as soon as possible, Narcissa."

"You do that, Harry. She’s too valuable to let her get away," Narcissa said with a smile.

"I don’t intend to let her get away," Harry said with a grin. The door to the room opened and Remus poked his head in.

"Harry, our contact with the Irish Ministry of Magic is here. He’d like to meet with you, if possible."

Harry nodded and thought for a minute. "Remus, take our guest to the main dining room. I’ll be along shortly," he said, and then turned back to Draco. "Stay and talk with your mother, enjoy your time. Hermione and I will deal with this."

Draco nodded and Narcissa’s eyes lit up at the thought of spending time with her son.

Harry moved to open the door, then paused and called for Dobby, who appeared a moment later. "Dobby, please ask the Grangers, Arthur Weasley, Amelia Bones, and Minerva McGonagall to come to the main dining room as soon as possible for an important meeting."

Dobby clicked his heels and snapped off a salute before vanishing once more. Harry stared darkly at Hermione. "You do realize I’m going to have to kill your father for introducing Dobby to bad British war films? Look what he’s done!"

Hermione snickered.

A short while later, Harry and Hermione walked into main dining room. Remus waved him over to meet a tall, very freckled man.

"Lord Potter-Black! I finally get to meet you. An honor sir, a great honor indeed. Michael O’Dalley, Irish Department of Magical Law Enforcement and, for the time being, your liaison with the Irish Ministry of Magic," said the man, shaking Harry’s hand.

Harry smiled. The man’s grin and attitude was infectious! He motioned for him to sit, then took the seat next to him.

"Mr. O’Dalley, I am very pleased to see you here. I’m sorry we couldn’t meet earlier than this. Before we begin, I’d like to introduce you to my girlfriend and most trusted advisor, Hermione Granger. Hermione and Remus Lupin are the only people I allow to speak for me."

Hermione blinked and stared at Harry for a moment in confusion and Michael O’Dalley started to laugh.

"Ach Lass, the girlfriend is usually the last to hear those words," he said with a chuckle.

Harry managed to look sheepish but he nodded to Hermione. "It’s true, Hermione," he finally said in a very quiet voice.

Hermione searched his eyes for a moment, and then nodded. Her expression, however, clearly said they would be discussing it later. Satisfied, Harry turned back to O’Dalley.

"Mr. O’Dalley, I hope you won’t mind, but I’ve taken the liberty of inviting some people here to meet with you. While we are largely able to handle a lot of things ourselves, some of them are clearly going to need the help of your government."

The door opened, admitting Amelia Bones, Arthur Weasley and Minerva McGonagall. A moment later, Dan and Emma Granger entered the room and took seats.

Remus introduced everyone and there was silence for a moment.

Harry shrugged mentally, knowing there wasn’t time for polite pleasantries, even if the people in the room had been inclined to exchange them. "Mr. O’Dalley, what’s your government’s opinion on the British Ministry of Magic?"

"Well, my Lord, I do believe that the current Ministry has been replaced. As of a few hours ago, Lord Voldemort had declared dominion over all of the British Isles. The Ministry of Magic has ceased to exist," he concluded.

"Then I’ll ask you to put it to your Minister if he is willing to recognize the British Ministry of Magic in exile, formed around Amelia Bones, former chief officer of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, as well as Judge and Wizengamot member and Arthur Weasley, former Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office."

"Harry, are you crazy?" blurted Amelia, only to stop, seeing O’Dalley holding up his hand.

"What Lord Potter proposes is a valid point of international law. With Irish recognition of a government in exile, we are really denying legitimacy to any government Voldemort may attempt to form. It also means we won’t accept any embassies of his on our soil. It’s a shrewd move, my Lord, and one I will try to present in as favorable a light as possible to my government," he said with a slight bow.

Harry nodded in acceptance of his praise and pushed on. "We have few needs, Mr. O’Dalley. Most of them we are capable of arranging for ourselves with the local muggle and Wizarding communities. But we have two pressing problems and I find myself in need of the assistance of your Government."

Everyone looked at Harry in surprise. No one knew exactly what he was talking about.

"My Lord?" asked O’Dalley curiously.

"We managed to escape with nearly the complete student and teaching population of Hogwarts, sir. That’s close to five hundred student wizards and witches. In addition to those students, we have another three hundred primary school children. We have the facilities and the teachers on hand to teach them. What we lack is the accreditation from your Government. We would also like to explore opening up an institute for higher studies, as well as allowing any Irish Wizarding children to attend the Haven School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

Minerva looked at Harry when it dawned on her what he was talking about. Squashing the urge to kiss the young man in gratitude, she quickly nodded her agreement instead.

O’Dalley nodded and made a notation in a small book. "If I may, my Lord, how many people do you now have living in Haven and the surrounding areas?"

Harry reached into a pocket and pulled out a small scrap of parchment. "As of eight hundred this morning, we had a total of one thousand two hundred and fifty seven adults, of which three hundred thirty eight are muggles or squibs and nearly eight hundred school aged children, with another ninety preschool age children."

"Saints preserve us! Two thousand one hundred and forty seven people?" O’Dalley gasped.

Harry nodded grimly. "The number goes up every morning, sir. We have teams that leave every night, rescuing families of students, or people whose skills we may need. I also need to warn you. There will come a point where we will use Haven as a staging area to go after Voldemort."

O’Dalley scribbled more notes in his book before he smiled thinly at Harry. "While the Irish Government doesn’t normally condone planned raids on sovereign nations, since that nation is cruelly oppressed under an unfair and unjust form of government, we’ll probably not say anything, especially if these raids are sanctioned by an official government in exile. At least, that’s what my Prime Minister would say if he recognizes Madam Bones and her Government."

"I think we understand each other very well, Mr. O’Dalley," Harry said with a large smile.

Lossiemouth, Northern Scotland (April 18th)…

Lossiemouth, a small Scottish village on the edge of the North Sea, had once thrived on the mainstay of the whaling industry. Now it survived by being quaint enough to attract tourists during the summer months. During the winter, spring and fall, the regulars hunkered down and let Mother Nature rage.

The landscape around Lossiemouth was dotted with failed farms and other signs of mankind’s intrusion that didn’t last.

Ian Bell cringed and looked at his wife of nearly twenty years. Muriel shivered with fear and shook her head, but the scratching at the door persisted. They had been on the run for nearly two weeks now and were running out of places to hide. Muriel’s family was large and muggle, with many places they could have hidden, but that endangered them.

Muriel shrank back into the corner and clutched her ten-year-old daughter, Elsbet, to her breast. Ian looked at the food they had, and where they were hiding, the cellar of a burned out farmhouse, and sighed in defeat. The last bit of news they had heard was that Hogwarts had fallen to Voldemort. They could only assume their oldest daughter was dead, and Elsbet would never get the chance to walk the halls of Hogwarts as a student.

Ian realized they had reached the end of their rope and perhaps it was time to indulge in a little Christian providence. He opened the door and was surprised to see a large international delivery owl fly in. The owl landed on a large barrel and offered its leg with the attached parchment.

Ian removed the parchment and prayed this would be what they needed. Relieved of its burden, the owl flew back out. Ian closed the door quickly before walking over to the small table. He lit the stub of a candle they had with his wand. Performing magic these days was dangerous; it was how the Death Eaters caught those who tried to flee.

Unraveling the parchment, he began to read aloud for his family.

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Bell,
This letter is to let you know that your daughter, a student of Hogwarts was safely evacuated to a school outside of the country. Due to conditions within Britain, we cannot divulge where your child is.

This letter is charmed so only you and your immediate family may read it. This letter will also act as a portkey, should you wish to come to where your child is. If you wish to come to your child, have every member of your family touch the letter, then tap it once with your wand. Please note that the portkey will only work for immediate family members.

If you do not wish to use the portkey, the letter will turn to ashes thirty minutes after it’s been read.
Minerva McGonagall,
Headmistress of the Haven School of   Witchcraft and Wizardry.

"It’s a trap!" hissed Muriel, clutching at Elsbet.

"But what if it isn’t, Muriel?" asked Ian plaintively.

"It’s got to be a trap, Ian! We would have heard something about Hogwarts students escaping," she retorted.

"Muriel, be reasonable. We’re trapped here. We have enough food for one day, if you don’t mind moldy potatoes, eaten cold. Elsbet is running a fever. Even the camps would be better than this. We have no where to turn to."

"So what are you saying? Give up? Roll over and die?" Muriel countered, starting to weep.

"No Muriel, I’m saying we take a chance!" he said, then he pointed to the door. "That way leads to our deaths, we know that. This" he said, waving at the parchment, "offers hope. Maybe a cruel and vain hope. But it’s hope!"

Muriel shuffled forward and looked into the eyes of her man, then she laid her hand on the parchment. Elsbet followed her example. Ian touched the parchment and then tapped his wand to it, while gazing into his wife’s eyes.


Haven Receiving Center…

A small chime alerted everyone on duty of the approaching portkey. Four men filed into the room and took up positions in each corner, wands drawn. A healer stood in the doorway, ready to step aside in a moments notice if the people arriving were looking for a fight. It hadn’t happened often, but the one time it had, they had been very glad they’d taken the precaution.

The alarm chimed again and three people suddenly arrived in the small room. The girl stumbled and fell, her small frame wracked with fever induced shivers. The healer immediately moved forward, while the team leader motioned to his men to lower their wands. He summoned a clipboard and looked at the two adults. The woman was clutching the man and swaying in relief seeing the man dressed in Healer green working on her daughter.

"Names, please?"

"Ian and Muriel Bell, and our daughter, Elsbet," mumbled the man in shock. He wasn’t sure if they had been captured or if they were safe.

The man nodded and consulted his list. "Yes, here you are. Parents of Katie, a seventh year student." He wrote something on a parchment and laid it on a box marked ‘outgoing’. A moment later an owl flew into the room and picked up the parchment.

"Are we prisoners?" whispered the woman.

"No, Mrs. Bell, you’re not prisoners. Team Leader Slimmer will explain everything," said the healer, then he glanced at Slimmer.

"I need to get her to hospital right away. I’ll take one parent with me, Tom," said the healer.

Muriel looked at Ian and he nodded with a smile. She knelt and grabbed the hand of her daughter. The healer then grabbed their hands and activated another portkey.

"Mr. Bell, if you wish, I will walk with you to the Hospital and explain what is going on," offered Slimmer.

Ian Bell nodded numbly and followed the man out the door.


Haven School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…

Minerva froze. Her eyes tracked the inter-haven owl as it made it’s way along one of the many tables before stopping in front of a student.

These owls brought news, but it wasn’t always good news. Some brought tales of families captured and sent to re-education camps, or killed while resisting capture. So far it seemed to be a slightly better than even mix. More families were being saved than being captured. But a number of families were still missing and unaccounted for.

Seeing which student this letter was for, Minerva was up and moving even as a trembling Katie reached out for the message the bird held.

Katie unraveled the parchment and her eyes moved quickly over the short form. Then she blinked and read it again and again. Minerva placed a hand on the girl’s shoulder and Katie looked up at her Head of House.

"They’re alive, they’re here," she whispered, as if saying it louder would change the fact. Minerva smiled and breathed a sight of relief.

"I release you from your classes for the afternoon, Miss Bell. Find a house elf, have them locate your family and then go to them," Minerva said gently.

Katie beamed up at Minerva and nodded eagerly.


Haven Hospital…

Elsbet lay in a bed in the children’s ward. She was very sick, but the healers were confident they could beat it. She had a high fever, but it was coming down. The rest of her condition could be attributed to stress and malnutrition.

Ian and Muriel clustered around the bed with Elsbet and watched the healers and medi-witches work on her. The staff actually thought that treating an illness was a nice change from the spell induced damage that they had seen far too much of lately.

When the healers and medi-witches finally left the couple alone with their daughter, Muriel sat heavily on a nearby chair and wept with relief. Ian stood next to his wife and gave what comfort he could, while his eyes were glued to the bed with Elsbet in it. They had been in Haven for just over two hours now and neither one had had a chance to rest, or even have something hot to drink.

Hermione had been visiting the hospital when she ran into Katie. Hermione’s mum had managed to convince the healers that muggle style healing could help in some instances and she spent time in the hospital helping where she could.

She walked past an open door and was surprised to see Katie bouncing with joy at seeing her parents. She didn’t mean to intrude, but Katie dragged her into the room and introduced her parents to her. She had been explaining what Haven was and who was running it to her parents when she spotted Hermione.

Hermione chatted for a while with Katie and her parents, then made her excuses. Before she could turn away, she found herself embraced by Katie.

"You be sure to tell that boyfriend of yours that I thank him. He’s a hero, Hermione. He’s a real life hero. Don’t let him get away," she whispered.

Hermione’s eyes misted. She nodded, and then smiled at her friend before turning away. As she left the hospital, she frowned slightly.   Everyone kept telling her not to let Harry get away.   What she kept trying to figure out was why people thought he’d want to, or that she’d let him.   With a mental shrug, she set off for the manor.

Authors Notes:

 Welcome once again to the Author’s Notes. This is the point in the file where Alyx and I respond to some of you reviewers comments. This is also the point were we beg and grovel for stuff. This week we’re begging for a Krispy Kreme Donut. A Hostess Powered Donut will do as well.

To the persons wanting Harry to become a Platypus Animagus and the one wanting him to become a Pokemon Animagus. Not Happening. But we have emailed your parole officers concerning your blatant use of illegal substances.

The two portkeys that were taken at the Ministry were unfortunately lost in the disaster that befell the ministry. Sorry, but if you think we were going to let it be THAT easy you have another thing coming!

Yes, we nuked Stonehenge. We did it and we enjoyed it. Muwhahahaha…. For all those that can’t believe we nuked Stonehenge wait until you see what we do to Euro-Disney in the next book!

Dobby was unable to sense Harry while he was in the heavily warded Ministry building. It was a good question. But we had an even better answer.

Hey you! The guy in the front row that left the review saying you liked the story. That’s really great! We enjoy having you here. Now shut up and keep reading!

For all those people that have just now found us after deleted our story. Why didn’t you follow the trail of breadcrumbs we left for you?

There is no truth to the rumor that Ginny will catch any flack over the fact that she once dated Dean Thomas.

We’d like to thank all those readers that insisted on providing complex technical details concerning the explosion of the bomb near Stonehenge. Its wonderful to know we have so many smart readers that go to wonderfully detailed analysis concerning fallout, relative hot zones etcetera for a work of fiction. No really! We do appreciate knowing that the convenience store 8.01 kilometers up the road from the blast will probably still be standing even if it does glow in the dark.         COME ON PEOPLE. IT’S FICTION! Why are you trying to analyze a story that is mostly about magic?

BTW The twinkies in that convenience store are probably still ok to eat. Did anyone see a giant cockroach?

Dumbledore is not missing. He’s merely going underground for a while.

What does Draco get? Well you’ll have to see what he gets in the next book, but we’ve dropped enough hints about it.

For those that asked. Yes, stapling the monitor to my head was a bad idea. It rained here the other day and I was nearly electrocuted. Does anyone know where I can get a wig cheap?

Pet Peeves:

STORY THIEVES!!!! Oh boy does this piss us off. Kinsfire is the latest victim. We’ve been victimized by these underhanded dirty knicker crowd also and it really sucks. We’ve nothing more to say on the topic except that story thieves must be exterminated.

  • Previous
  • Next