Chapter 56 : Under Fire
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George Weasley took his beautiful niece and watched as Fred turned back to Mathilda who was coming out of her brother’s bedroom with Jonah, still in his pyjamas.
‘Mattie,’ Fred said grabbing her hand.
‘Fred, you need to go. You, George, Ginny you need to leave now, tell them we’re coming. I’ll make sure Ruby’s safe and then I’ll join you.’ They had both known that when it came down to it neither could stop the other from fighting in this war.
‘I’m not leaving you.’ Mattie smiled at his determination. She took his hands in hers and held them tightly, noticing Ruby in George’s arms just off to the side.
‘You are but I’ll find you and we’ll kick some ass together. As long as you promise to leave Bellatrix to me, I owe that cow.’ Fred nodded before he pulled her into his arms and kissed her lips roughly, Mattie responded before tearing herself away. Fred walked over to his brother taking Ruby and kissing her forehead, enjoying having her weight in his arms before he past his little girl to Mattie. He walked down the hall with George, grabbing Ginny’s arm, who beamed before following them down the stairs and away from the safety of the Manor.
‘Dad, you and the others should go. Take James, Remus, Arthur and Molly and head to Hogwarts, help Harry out.’ Sirius looked at Mattie, nervous at the idea of her been in battle but ignoring the feeling and nodding.
‘I’ll see you soon then,’ Mattie nodded and smiled as he kissed her forehead and rubbed his finger against Ruby’s cheek. ‘Everyone.’ Sirius called causing the loud panicked room to silence. ‘James, Remus, Arthur, Molly we’re going to Hogwarts like Fred, George and Ginny while the others take the kids to the safe house.’ They all seemed to hesitate for a moment before they began their goodbyes to their kids, promising to see them again soon.
James hugged AJ tightly after already having disappeared into the room of his youngest children to give them his love.
‘You be strong AJ. We love you,’ AJ nodded clinging to his father’s neck before James had to unclamp his hands and stand with the others waiting for Sirius and Remus to say goodbye to their kids. Sirius was standing holding his blonde son in his arms.
‘You’re the oldest; it’s your job to look after the others while we’re away.’
‘You better come home, dad,’
‘God you sound like your sister,’ at this Jonah beamed, looking over to his big sister. ‘You can bet your bum, I’ll be coming home,’ Sirius hugged him, before placing him on the floor next to his mother and joining the departing group.
‘You tell your brother when he wakes up that me and mummy will be home soon,’ Remus said to his little girl.
‘I will, promise.’
‘You are my baby girl, always,’ He hugged her to him, her light brown hair mingling with his own grey tainted hair. He picked her up placing her in his wife’s arms before turning and locking eyes with the other two Marauders. ‘Let’s fight.’ The two men cheered, keeping up their spirits as they followed Mr and Mrs Weasley from the house.
‘Ok Tonks, you get Teddy and Georgia ready and meet down in the living room. Terra can you make sure AJ gets everything he needs,’ Lily said watching as the blonde woman placed each hand on the upper back of the boys guiding them down the hall to where their rooms were. ‘You sort out Rubes and I’ll do the twins.’ Mattie turned her arm still wrapped around her daughter. ‘And Matt…’
‘You might want to put on some pants,’ Lily said smiling as her goddaughter looked down at her over sized jumper.
‘Right,’ Mattie said before disappearing into her bedroom. She lay Ruby down and yanked off her jumper, pulling on a singlet, jacket and jeans. She quickly braided her long thick curls before waving her hand around the room, wandlessly packing a bag for Ruby. She picked her up and grabbed the bag before heading out of the room, praying that she would return.
Tonks crouched in front of her daughter and buttoned up the buttons of her coat.
‘Don’t cry mummy,’ Georgia said her little hand stroking her mother’s cheek. Tonks smiled as she grabbed the bulging bag and picked up her son.
‘Come on, my darling,’ she said taking Georgia’s hand and leaving the cosy bedroom in which her son had been born in.
They met in the living room and disapparated from Potter Manor, arriving moments later at the gate of the Tonks home. Nymphadora Lupin led the way to her childhood home, now carrying both her children, with the others following behind, she knocked on the door and waited. A wand appeared from behind the door and Andromeda’s voice followed.
‘Prove your identity.’ Immediately Tonks changed her hair and face before returning them to their original state. ‘Dora,’ Andy said opening the door wide and taking Georgia into her arms. ‘What are you doing here?’ She asked as she closed the door behind the group.
‘It’s starting mum; we need you to watch the kids while we fight,’
‘Knew it would be soon, I don’t like this Dora.’
‘I know,’ Andy placed Georgia onto the couch, where she curled herself into a ball, her eyelids closing. Lily conjured a portable cot, placing her twins inside. Terra conjured two bassinets before watching Mathilda and Tonks place their babies inside.
Goodbyes past quickly before the group of women left the house, left their children in the safe hands of Andromeda Tonks.
The woman whose kind face was pale watched through the window as her daughter disappeared with those she had grown to consider family. She looked over to the two boys; Jonah Black and Aidan Potter both eight years old, and having to bear the fear of not only losing their parents but their siblings and other parental figures that were in their lives. Her eyes skimmed over the Potter twins; Myles and Claudia, 15 months and only just sensing the things that were going on around them. Her cousin’s granddaughter lay sleeping peacefully beside her own grandson, whose hair was bright green; both oblivious to the heartbreaking possibilities the battle held. And finally her eyes landed on Georgia Lupin, asleep on the couch, resembling her father in nearly every aspect, a real daddy’s girl. Andromeda realised that for now at least the children were safe and after this battle maybe they would be able to grow up innocent and always safe and secure.
At ten o’clock we got the call. At ten o’clock we all left our safe house. At ten o’clock the battle of good and evil began.
James nodded to Aberforth Dumbledore as the portrait of his sister Arianna closed behind them. He walked with his two best friends and Arthur and Molly down the tunnel until they reached the end that opened onto a large room full of students both past and present. He looked around and saw Fred and George joking away with a bunch of students they hadn’t seen in a while, Ginny in deep conversation with Ron and Hermione but no sign of Harry.
Typically many girls like Angelina and Alicia were extremely interested in the married life of Fred and Mattie and the addition of their daughter. George spoke of his niece proudly while his arm remained wrapped around Angelina’s waist, making up for their time apart. Molly and Arthur went to Ron, holding him close, excited to know that for now at least he was safe. As conversation picked up James, Sirius and Remus waited nervously, noticing Hermione and Ron disappear from the room. The frame opened again and the Potter Manor women stepped out, changed and ready for action.
James stepped forward and helped them down, watching out of the corner of his eye as Terra went to Sirius taking his hand, and Remus who was holding his wife close to him. Lily stayed by her husband’s side as he helped the final woman from the portrait hole. As Mathilda Black Weasley stepped down she spotted Fred smiling as though he was suddenly safe. They both started walking until they met half way and he pulled her to him, kissing her forehead and talking in whispers to her. Suddenly they heard their old Quidditch team mates and class mates squeal. Mattie looked over and smiled as she saw Coraline, Shelby, Angelina, Alicia, Katie and Leanne jumping around.
‘Dear lord they’re crazy,’ Mattie said as she grabbed his hands and walked over to the group who were standing with George, Lee and a few others. Suddenly the room went quiet and turned to the staircase where Harry stood.
‘What’s going on Harry?’ George yelled, standing up next to his brother.
‘They’re evacuating the younger kids and everyone’s meeting in the Great Hall to get organised,’ Harry said. ‘We’re fighting.’
The room suddenly erupted with noise and the students headed to the staircase exit until only a few people remained. Lily rushed to Harry and kept him close pulling James closer to her as well as they headed up the stairs to help get organised with Sirius, Terra, Tonks, Remus and Mattie behind them. They paused as they heard gasping and turned to see Percy Weasley climbing out of the hole. They smiled as they continued up the stairs leaving the Weasley’s alone in the Room of Requirement.
Mattie poked her tongue out at Harry as he turned around to look at her. He dropped back and Mattie linked arms with him.
‘I heard you were looking for the lost diadem of Ravenclaw, you find it?’
‘No, but at least now I know what I’m actually looking for.’
‘It was lost ages ago, I bet no one alive knows what happened to it.’
‘No one alive…’
‘What if I’m asking the wrong people? What if the only ones who can tell me anything are those who died ages ago?’
‘That’s a thought. Harry, you ok?’ Harry looked at her and nodded. ‘Ok we’ve tried lying now how about the truth?’
‘You know your annoying right?’ Harry asked rhetorically tugging on her braid.
‘I’m scared now…’
‘Hey I’m here. You’re not alone; I won’t leave you alone unless it’s absolutely necessary and maybe not even then.’ Harry smiled a small smile and hugged her arm with his own. They followed the others into the Great Hall. As they sat down amongst them they felt the heavy weight of upcoming battle. The Weasley’s minus Ginny came in, Fred sitting down next to Mattie and wrapping his arms around her. The atmosphere was thick and dark as the time past. It neared 11.30pm as silence fell over the Hall and every eye fell upon Minerva McGonagall.
‘Now shortly students will rise and follow Mr Filch from the Hall. Those of age may stay and fight if they wish those who don’t will be evacuated with everyone else. Mr Filch, please lead the students to the seventh floor.’ Nearly everyone stood and marched quickly towards the doors, pausing as a loud, cruel voice; familiar too many within filled the room.
‘I know you are preparing to fight but your efforts are futile. Give me Potter and I will let you all live. Give me Harry Potter!’ Immediately everyone turned to him as Lily grabbed him holding him tightly. But Sirius Black stood up, pulling out his wand.
‘Do it and I swear I won’t hesitate,’ his eyes were glaring mostly at the Slytherins who looked ready to burst. James and Remus stood up as well on either side of Sirius and watched as Professor McGonagall pointed for the students of Hogwarts to exit the Great Hall. After the sound of feet faded away they looked around at who was left. Those who remained were members of the Order of the Phoenix, students old enough and staff of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Aurors and brave witches and wizards willing to join the fight.
Mattie grabbed Fred’s hand as McGonagall spoke, her voice loud and clear in the now silent room.
‘We need to cover the towers, the grounds and the Entrance Hall. The towers will be covered by the staff and a group of students of which will fight with them while Sirius, James and Remus will take groups into the grounds, Arthur and Kingsley will guard the corridors and Fred and George will ready a defence in the Entrance Hall. While Potter does what he needs to do. Finally we need someone to defend the front gates; it will be perhaps the hardest job of all.’ Minerva knew only that Mathilda was powerful not to the degree of which she was. Her gaze fell upon the nearly nineteen year old. Sirius’ eyes seemed to explode as he got to his feet again.
‘Dad, everyone has a job to do this is mine. I can do this dad, you know I can.’ Her blue eyes were alive with excitement. This was what Dumbledore had been training her for. She was ready to kick some ass.
They all stood up and divided into groups as Harry ran from the Hall in search of Ron and Hermione leaving Lily looking petrified.
‘Hey, breathe,’ Mattie said kissing her cheek before she walked from the Hall. She passed the group by the front doors and looked at George whose face looked excited and overwhelmed slightly. She looked around and feared as she realised her husband was no where to be seen. She looked back at George who was in deep conversation with Angelina. She walked over to him.
‘Can I talk to you for a minute?’ George looked at her and nodded squeezing Angelina’s hand before she moved away. ‘I need to ask you something.’
‘If something happens to me and Fred today, I want you to take Ruby and raise her, Harry doesn’t need more on his shoulders and there’s no guarantee that he’ll survive anyway as much as I hate to admit it and Ginny’s not even seventeen yet, she deserves to live first. Can you do that for me?’
‘Course, Ruby’s my girl,’ George smiled at Mattie before Mattie felt arms wrap around her and a sudden rush of relief wash over her as she recognised the embrace. She turned around in his arms and looked at him.
‘So at some point I’ll be fighting by your side but for now you have to kick some serious ass on your own,’ Fred said holding her tightly.
‘Whether I’m by your side or not I’ve always got your back and I swear to god if you get yourself killed I’ll find a way to bring you back and kill you myself,’ Fred laughed at Mattie who was always determined to get her own way and he had no doubt that she wasn’t kidding.
‘I’ll try not to and you better do the same, because I reckon your dad would kill me if I let you die.’ Mattie looked at him knowing him making a funny comment was a way of not having to speak the truth. She tilted her head to the side, looking at him carefully as if the world around them no longer existed. ‘If you died…I would too,’ his voice was soft and sincere and Mattie leaned up, on tiptoe and hugged him tightly.
‘I’m not going anywhere. I love you,’ Mattie said holding him tightly before kissing him and walking away quickly.
‘Love you too,’ Fred said to himself watching her back as she headed into the darkness of the grounds heading towards the gates. He turned back to George and locked eyes with him readying himself for what was about to begin.
Outside the crisp air whipped past Mathilda as she stood a few metres back from the main gate, she could sense that Harry was running, but that was the least of her worries at the moment as she looked to her side and slightly back to find her father and Terra with a group of fighters bracing themselves. She turned her head to the other side and smiled slightly as she saw James and Lily mimicking the defence. Behind her stood Remus and Tonks with their group making up the second line, each with a certain position spread out enough to have a small amount of control but close enough to get aid is needed. Mattie breathed focusing her energy as she saw black robed witches and wizards’ apparating on the other side of the gate.
She held her wand out, moving it into her left hand oppose to the usual right hand as she knew wandlessly her right hand was stronger. The wards on the gates and fences were maintained for a small amount of time so that spells could be sent outwards but stop any from entering the grounds of Hogwarts. Spells were fired at the Death Eaters and they attempted to fire back unsuccessfully turning their focus instead to removing the wards that protected the school. As Mattie fired perfectly aimed spells she locked eyes with Severus Snape and froze for a moment.
She swallowed sharply as she watched him block a spell sent by her father. She turned for a second and found Lily looking at him hopefully before she was forced to duck a light blue spell that had been sent at her.
And with that the wards were broken. And the Battle of Hogwarts began.
Instincts and reflexes seemed to take over as the Death Eaters and other magical creatures on their side forced their way onto Hogwarts grounds forcing those protecting the grounds to move quickly and think fast.
Inside the walls of the castle Fred Weasley watched wanting nothing more than to run to his wife’s rescue but part of him was in awe. He had never seen anyone, even Dumbledore fight like her. She whipped around, using both her wand and her wandless magic to overcome whomever she was duelling.
The lights from the spells lit up the area and they watched as numerous people fell, some managing to get back up. The formation was broken and the duels were moving
closer to the walls of the castle, forcing those waiting inside to ready themselves as the spells flew closer to them, smashing rock and doors apart.
Nothing seemed to make sense, people were yelling spells and some were yelling for help or screaming warnings at others but it still seemed to be happening in slow motion. One moment Fred was watching the fight the next the castle was no longer a safe haven and he was duelling for his life against a hooded Death Eater.
He turned and ran up the stairs to give him the higher ground, ducking the spells and sending out his own. He watched as George laughed at Lee who was shaking his behind at his fallen opponent. Fred watched Lee get blasted into a wall. He turned around and hit his friend’s attacker with a spell at the same time that his twin did, sending the Death Eater to the ground hard. Two Death Eaters came forward almost growling as they laid on numerous non verbal spells, one following the other, barely giving Fred and George time to breathe. Suddenly George ran to the side knocking Fred to the ground to avoid the killing curse that had been heading towards his chest. They looked up to find the two hoods down as the men looked down at the twin red heads.
Mathilda stood framed by the large oak door frame, her hand out, glowing a deep yellow. Her eyes were dangerous, as her words resinated around them.
‘How dare you try and kill my family,’ she said her voice full of venom. Fred and George remained on the ground as Mattie’s hand seemed to glow brighter almost forcing them to look away before the Death Eaters who began to shake vigorously before they flew up into the air and came back down hard onto the stone floor of the Entrance Hall. The twins stood up and smiled at Mattie though they looked slightly nervous at what they had just witnessed. George went to Lee and found him unconscious but alive, for now, breathing a sigh of relief he turned back to his brother and sister-in-law.
‘Come on sounds like the fun’s moving upstairs,’ George said smirking as he gripped his wand and made his way up the marble staircase. Fred looked at Mattie before they started to follow George up the stairs. As they reached the second level they paused noticing Yaxley and Rowle trying to kill Seamus and Luna. They put on their game faces and stepped forward.
Everywhere around Hogwarts duels were taking place; groups fighting groups, pairs duelling and single battles. Most were lost in their own duels unable to see what was going on around them. Lily heard her name and turned around just in time to cast a protection spell. And then the duel was on only lasting a few minutes before the Death Eater lay on the ground, twitching uncontrollably. Lily turned around the night air thick as her heart seemed to freeze along with her lungs. She was motionless as she watched her husband fly backwards.
‘James!’ Lily screamed her voice louder than anyone ever thought possible for a voice to be. She started to run but when from a seventh floor window, Harry’s yell became obvious to Lucius Malfoy; he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her away from the battle and into the Forbidden Forest.
‘Mum!’ Harry yelled before he saw Sirius running to her as fast as he could.
‘You’ll be an excellent piece of leverage,’ Lucius whispered into her ear as she tried
without success to undo his iron grip from her hips. She felt a sob rip through her throat as she tried to elbow him but he just grinned as he continued to pull her away, deeper into the trees. He stopped and laughed softly.
‘Severus,’ he said his tone delighted and full of strength and arrogance. Severus Snape felt sick at how Malfoy was holding Lily. How his hand moved to knot itself in her deep red hair while the other moved to get a firmer grip on her waist as she struggled against him.
Lily knew James was out there somewhere, possibly dying while she was been taken to lead her son to his death. She locked eyes with Snape as he stepped into the clearing which was lit up by the half moon. He knew that no matter what she was all that mattered and whether she never chose him she still meant too much to him to see her hurt and unhappy. He stood up straight as Malfoy registered what his fellow Death Eater was doing.
‘I thought you were over this mudblood filth,’ Malfoy said as he drew his face closer to her neck, enjoying Snape’s reaction.
‘Leave her out of this.’
‘She chose to fight against us; she deserves anything the Dark Lord decides to give her.’ Severus pulled his wand out at this. Lily’s faith in this man was evident in the sudden halt in the struggle as Malfoy threw her onto the ground, causing her to stumble and crash into a tree knocking her head. She opened her eyes and turned to watch the two men.
‘Before you do anything you’ll regret, the Dark Lord requested to speak with you. Come on Severus let me take her to Him, for both of us.’ Snape snarled and pointed his wand more specifically at Malfoy’s heart. He looked at Lily and saw in her emerald green eyes that she didn’t want him to kill for her.
‘Stupefy,’ he yelled causing Lucius Malfoy to fall backwards his eyes wide in shock. Snape moved forward and offered Lily his hand. She took it almost in awe at what he had just done.
‘You’re bleeding,’ he said raising his other hand.
‘It’s nothing, don’t worry.’ They looked at each other before Lily spoke again. ‘You made the right choice a long time ago didn’t you?’ she asked not seeming to notice that he still held her hand.
‘You’re the one who helped Harry and Mattie escape a couple years back; you’re the one who has helped Harry so many times since he started Hogwarts. Why?’
‘Because he mattered to you and you mattered to me,’ his honesty didn’t catch her off guard it was however just like they were back in their first few years of Hogwarts together as best friends.
‘You’re a good guy, Sev and a true friend. Thank you for helping those I love over the years and for helping me just now. I have to go and check on James. Be careful,’ She said softly before stepping forward and laying a simple peck on his cheek before turning her hair flying around as she started to run back to the open grounds. He watched her as she fell into Sirius Black’s arms and turned slightly to look down at Malfoy.
‘Just stay away from her,’ Snape said as he lightened the spell so in moments it would be removed. He turned and headed towards the shrieking shack, slowly, stopping when he noticed Ginny Weasley trying desperately to heal a young boy; Colin Creevey. He stepped closer, causing her to jump but he aimed his wand at the boy, making the sixteen year old relax and grip Colin’s hand.
‘Lily,’ Sirius said loudly as he held her tightly. She pulled away and started to run towards where her husband had landed. She fell to her knees, tears trickling from her eyes. ‘He’s breathing barely; we need to move him to a safe place.’ She nodded her gaze never leaving James as Sirius bent down and pulled him up. They started to walk through the ongoing duels and dark when a loud bang caught their attention, as above them a wall of the castle collapsed inwards.
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