Battle for Wolvin
The sun had risen from the east and Felicity had instinctually folded her wings to absorb the solar rays. Her dragon form naturally camouflaged with the rock that she slept on. She’d been exhausted the night before and hadn’t had the energy to fly very far in search of a resting place. In the night she had managed to find a rock that was high above the ground and had nestled into it, dropping off into a deep sleep.
She awoke to the muffled sound of human voices. She dared not move. She was still weak but the sun, which had luckily broken through the clouds, was shining. It drugged her with its warmth. Her mind struggled to hear the sounds and translate them into understandable words. There was tinkling of female laughter.
“You’re really quite obscene, Fenrir,” said a woman’s voice. “Why do you act the animal?” Felicity heard the haughty high sound and instantly recognized it.
“It’s no act, Bella,” said Fenrir Greyback. “I am what I am. There’s nothing so exciting has delving into freshly caught prey.”
Felicity hazarded a peek at the people below her. She opened a slit of eye.
The werewolf Fenrir and Bellatrix LeStrange stood on a path below her that connected two houses built into the rock on which she rested. Though she was in no danger of being seen unless she moved, she still felt the quickening of her pulse. Somehow she’d landed herself in the midst of where Voldemort had hidden.
She wasn’t ready to face him. She felt weak and needed to replenish her dragon stores with food. A fat ugly man joined the humans below. Her hunger increased suddenly. She’d never actually eaten a human but he looked tasty somehow. The human within Felicity struggled against the hungry dragon. She was sickened with herself but still ravenous.
“What is it, Geekindor?” snapped Bella at the fat man.
“Nothing,” sneered the man. “But if Voldemort finds out that you’ve been dancing about gossiping with Greyback out here, he’ll be displeased with the both of you. You could be seen.” As if he were a rodent, he sniffed the air.
Fenrir growled deep in throat, making Peter Pettigrew jump.
“Y-you don’t frighten me,” said Peter trying to sound aloof but failing miserably. His voice shook. He’d spent too many years as a rat to not feel the frozen fear of a nearby predator.
“Ha!” said Fenrir. “You should fear me you little pest. Your hide might be toughened with age but your blood would taste sweet.” Fenrir bared his sharpened teeth and barked at Peter, who jumped farther back and scurried off to one of the houses.
“You are remarkably disgusting,” said Bella watching Peter hurry toward the house.
Fenrir grunted gruffly.
“Why are you so ridiculous? You were born a wizard. Why the act? You don’t even carry a wand. Why not?” Bella was unafraid of anyone and this wolf man both repulsed and fascinated her. After spending so many years in Azkaban, little entertained her more than cruelty and power but this beast person did. He was so yellowed and grotesque.
Fenrir turned fierce eyes on her. There was wildness there. Sometimes, he seemed to struggle with remembering that he was mostly human and a wolf only once a month. “You wouldn’t understand, being who you are, a witch and follower of the Dark Lord.”
“And you’re not?” said Bella angrily. “You wear the mark, as I do.”
“Do I?” Fenrir bared his teeth. “Think again. Your master doesn’t rule Fenrir Greyback. I haven’t sold my flesh to your lord.”
“Shhh!” said Bella suddenly afraid. “You mustn’t talk like that. He’ll know. He knows everything.” She tucked her head down as if Voldemort might strike her from above for the blasphemy he spoke.
“Bah!” Fenrir waved a dismissive hand at her. “He knows where my loyalties lie. That’s why he likes me. He uses me and I use him. Someday he’ll kill me but I’ll die knowing my revenge and IT will be worth all of it.”
Bella looked at him strangely. She’d wondered why Voldemort had thought to enlist this horrid creature. Again, as always, her master was wise and powerful. She looked toward the house. “When the others arrive, I’d keep my mouth shut if I were you. They’re powerful wizards.”
“And you think that I care?” Fenrir growled and held up gnarled hands as if he might claw her. “You say that I carry no wand but you’re wrong. These are my wands.” He wiggled his fingers at her. Each one was topped with strikingly strong nails that looked like short claws. He’d implanted parts of his wand in his nails.
Bella was nauseated. “You’re insane.”
“Am I? You just watch and learn witch. Not everything magic is learned at your precious Hogwarts. Your master knows that better than anyone. You’re a fool to think otherwise.” He marched off toward one of the houses.
Bella watched him walk away. Her face showed her anger and she mumbled a wish under her breath that her lord would rid them of both he and Pettigrew. She shook herself and stepped toward the opposite house.
Felicity, motionless and hidden in plain view on the rock above them had watched the exchange with a growing horror. The fiend Fenrir was a danger to her Remus and to all of Wolvin. A man or beast bent on revenge was dangerous to them all.
She closed her eye and meditated on her center. She must gain her strength back by feeding her dragon and do that she must escape the rock without being seen. Voldemort was most likely just below her. He’d not be fooled by her natural camouflage. He would surely attack her in her vulnerable state. She crept slowly along the back of the rock. She was careful not disturb any small rocks with her claws. It wasn’t easy, as she was clumsy when not flying in the sky. It’d been too long without any exercise in her dragon form and she found it hard to balance.
She’d just crept over the top and was hanging off the western side of the outcropping when she heard human voices again, this time from the sky. She froze and melded into the rock face. The voices were arguing somewhere beyond in the north and fast approaching from the air.
“This is ridiculous coming on broomsticks.”
“So you’ve said about a hundred and one times, sister.”
“Well, it’s true.”
“Stop being such a priss.”
“It’s ludicrous when we could’ve easily Apparated.”
“Now you’re the one being ridiculous. HE ordered us to use our brooms. What we carry is too important. Shut it, Alecto. I’d like to live a little longer, if you please.”
“Amycus Carrows, you’re a lily livered lumpwort.”
Felicity listened to the ongoing argument from two figures on broomsticks still far away but coming nearer quickly. Her keen sense of hearing allowed her some warning of them as they approached and she clung to the rock in hiding. They would never see her. She listened in fascination at their inane banter.
They whooshed just over Felicity’s head and then down onto the path between the houses.
“I hope you’re happy, now,” said the squat looking man that his companion had called Amycus Carrows. “If HE has heard you’re inane prattle, he’ll have our guts for garters.”
“Don’t be a coward, brother. It doesn’t become you.” The woman’s voice sounded mean.
Felicity couldn’t see from her side of the rock but she could hear their footfalls on the gravel path as they walked toward one of the houses. She held her breath until she heard a door open and close. The Death Eaters were gathering. She must escape.
Only the bleating of the sheep in the field sounded. The sheep sensed her presence and were restless. Her hunger stabbed her fiercely but she dared not give herself away by grabbing one of the animals so close to the house. She threw all caution to the wind as she pitched herself into the air toward the west and away from that dangerous place. She must find food. It was her most fervent thought. She gave in to her true self with joy. A dragon must be a dragon. The reality that she might have to return to this place and face Voldemort faded from her mind as she caught wind and flew into her hunt.
Remus had hardly slept the night before. He’d spent the evening in front of the fire in the parlor with John Gray and Albus Dumbledore. All the wizards in the area had been in and out all night. Most of the village, muggles and wizards, were camping on the back lawn in wizard’s tents. All the werewolves had gathered at the Gray’s property. It wasn’t safe to face the Death Eaters alone. A pack hunted together. It was their strength and they knew it.
Others from outside had arrived that morning. Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Bill Weasley, Mad Eye, Tomasina Tall and a few more from the Order of the Phoenix. They were downstairs in the kitchen while Remus lay in a daze on the bed in his room. He felt a jumble of emotions that he needed to sort out before the Death Eaters descended upon them. The attack was inevitable. It was just a matter of hours tonight or tomorrow.
Felicity’s assault on Barnabus had profoundly disturbed him and he felt the need to sort out the why of it alone. She had been protecting them but her reaction had been so furious and severe that he hated himself for his response to it. Her power was frightening. Barnabus was just a boy. A part of him had rejected her. He was filled with guilt. He, of all people had no right to judge her for being what she was.
The room was silent. A slight breeze filtered through the sheers on the window.
The full moon was closing in, only a few days away. If Voldemort attacked at the full moon the pack would be stronger but without the help of the Order. Few wizards could act quickly enough to harm a werewolf in full heat from the moon. The Death Eaters would have the advantage if they attacked soon, just before the moon. Remus hoped that the pack far out numbered them. He hoped they would crush them. He wanted so much for a chance at happiness. He and Felicity together in a world without war here in Wolvin…
With that thought, Remus drifted off into a deep sleep.
There was a tap-tap and slowly the door opened. Though it was full and bright outside, Remus had shaded the room to dark.
“Remus?” came a whisper. “Are you awake?”
Tonks tiptoed into the room, not sure if she should enter. Mad-eye had ordered her to wake up Remus but as she entered the room and looked down on his sleeping form, she felt the intruder. He looked so peaceful. He slept with one tucked under his head and a lock of his hair had fallen across his face. She couldn’t help herself as she softly brushed it away from his eyes. He was so handsome and so serene as he slept. She wished that Mad-Eye had sent Bill Weasley instead to wake him.
“Remus?” she said softly.
He sighed deeply and opened his eyes, a lazy smile on his lips.
“What a beautiful face to wake up to, Tonks.”
She blushed severely. “Mad-Eye’s wanting a meeting. He thinks it’s happening soon.”
Remus sat up quickly suddenly alarmed. “Are they here?”
“No! No!” cried Tonks settling him with her palms on his shoulders. She walked away and sat on the end of the bed pulling her legs up under her. “He just wants to be ready. You know how he is.” She hung her head. “He’s coming unhinged down there waiting for them. I would have volunteered to get you just to get away from him.” She frowned. “He’s a nutter.”
“How long have I been asleep?” asked Remus relaxing back against the headboard of the bed.
“Hours. It’s afternoon. Albus Dumbledore has been pacing so much that he’s worn a path in the parlor carpet and Mad-Eye is as skittish as a cat. He wants to attack the Death Eaters at that rock they call the Fist but Dumbledore keeps telling him that it isn’t time yet. John and Agatha are keeping busy rallying the werewolves. They’ve corralled all the thestrals to use in the fight. They’re amazing people, Remus. Kingsley Shacklebolt has been so impressed that he’s vowing that Wolvin should be welcomed into the Ministry.”
Remus raised an amused eyebrow. “What do the Gray’s say to that?”
Tonks shrugged. “They’re not having it, of course.” She grinned. “John said that he has no love of the wizarding world in general and is perfectly content where he is. He blames the Ministry, I think for Voldemort in the first place. They’ve been arguing all day about why Voldemort is still alive.”
“It’s a hard one to answer,” Remus sighed. “What about Felicity? Has she come back yet?”
Tonks shook her head. “No, and no one will talk about it. I asked but Dumbledore pretends not to hear me or gets distracted. Agatha won’t talk to me about it, either. What happened, anyway?” Her face was pleading. She was curious.
Remus’ face hardened at first but Tonk’s sincere and worried features softened him. “She was protecting the Gray’s from detection by the Ministry when Barnabus, the boy that was working with Voldemort tried to escape. He’s underage and was using magic outside the protections of the school. She attacked and burned him pretty badly. He almost died, I think.” He looked off into the empty space in the room. What would he say to Felicity? How would he face her?
“He looks okay now,” said Tonks surprised. “He’s in the far bedroom. Kate’s been with him constantly. Dumbledore’s got some sort of hold spell on him, I think.” She shrugged. “I don’t know why nobody could tell me about it.” She chewed on her lower lip. “I wish Felicity would come back soon. I’m getting nervous.”
Remus smiled indulgently with a look of concern for his friend. “You’re young yet, Tonks. You’re a trained Auror. You’ll be fine.”
She frowned. “Why is it that you and Sirius always act like you’re old as the hills all the time? You’re not that much older than I am!” She smirked. “You’re a bunch of bloody ageists!”
Mad-Eye barged in through the door. “I told you to wake him up not debrief the man, girl!” He stood on the threshold like a crazy bull about to charge. It was obvious that Mad-Eye was wound up and ready to battle.
“Now, there’s someone who’s really old,” said Tonks dryly. She jumped up and winked at Remus.
He laughed and slapped her lightly on the bum as he followed her out the door. “I’ve told you before young lady that you should have more respect for your elders,” he said facetiously.
Mad-Eye shook his head in disgust and stomped off leading them down the stairs. “We’ve no bleeding time for such frivolity,” he grumbled. “The storms upon us. We’ll be facing the devil himself soon enough.”
Mad-Eye Moody was right. That evening it began to rain buckets. It was if the heavens had opened up with weeping for what was to come. The world of Wolvin was blanketed with dark clouds that were lit from behind by the moon. There was a raw wildness in the air. The rain came down in sheets that were ripped and torn by a howling wind.
Then, just when the storm lulled for some minutes, the intruders invaded. They came with the dark, sneaking from beyond the forest and from the air. There were forty of them or perhaps even more. In the dark, no one could tell. It was difficult to see anything in the mayhem that ensued. The people of Wolvin luckily outnumbered them but the attackers had stealth, silence and more magic on their side. The intruders struck and disappeared and then struck again.
It happened so quickly that no one saw it coming though they had waited all day for it. One minute there was the wind and the rain and in the next there were explosions, fire and screaming. The wizards in the kitchen heard a horrible scream outside, and then the tents were ablaze with fire before they even bolted up from their seats. Both Remus and John jumped as one man up onto the table and flew by sheer energy out the door above the others. Bill Weasley, Tonks and Tomasina were close behind them. Mad-Eye, having the most experience Apparated out of the room and scared the living daylights out two Death Eater would-be arsonists lighting one of the tents afire. He knocked them cold with a double stun spell and then jumped over them to his next victims.
Dumbledore was the only one left standing in the kitchen. It was a cacophony of sound outside.
Albus Dumbledore stood watching with his mind while the others fought. Voldemort had not come and he felt the disappointment of it. He had suspected as much. Voldemort wouldn’t endanger himself when he could send his servants instead to clear the village of the werewolves. The enormity of Tom Riddle’s damaging reach sickened him. He could recognize many of the Death Eaters in his mind. An overwhelming sadness enveloped him. It was happening just as he’d feared. Many would lose their lives or be wounded tonight and it would all do little good. The most he could hope for would be Voldemort’s fleeing from Wolvin. No, the larger battle was beyond them in time just as the Sybil had foretold it. Harry and the Horcruxes held the key to their collective futures. He just couldn’t make out the look of it. The great wizard set his face with a grind of his jaw. This was wrong, all so very wrong. He stepped out the kitchen door into the fray.
Someone had let the thestrals out of the pen and they were in frenzy from the smell of burning flesh and blood. The black robed Death Eaters had come on brooms or apparated and carried weapons beyond just their wands. There was a spray of a burning potion that the werewolves who were not wizards seemed particularly damaged by. Their skin burned and though it may not have hit them directly, the fumes burned their lungs and made them faint. Agatha and many of those not directly fighting made a spontaneous triage unit in the kitchen for those who were falling. It was already filling up with the wounded.
The muggles among them had brought guns and rifles. It made for loudness and mayhem but the muggle weaponry didn’t help much with the battle. Wizards had charms against the crude armaments. It worked much better to sneak up close enough to bash them in the head with the gun. Surprise and brute force took them down. Quite a few were stopped in that way.
Remus, John and two of his sons chased six of the Death Eaters toward the forest. They shot spells at them that ricocheted into the darkness. One fell and then another. Then just as they had reached the trees the tables abruptly turned. It had been too late for them to see the trap. Fenrir Greyback had been lying in wait just inside the trees. He had scraped his claws across John’s face before they’d known that they were not in pursuit but were instead being attacked. The Death Eaters had dropped back and surrounded them and in frenzy of attacks back and forth, John ended up writhing on the ground while both his sons had been felled and were lying frozen stiff from the Petrificus Totalus curse. Amycus had pinned Remus onto a tree. The ropes of the Incarcerous spell held him firm and he roared with a rage.
“Who’s your friend, little brother?” sneered Fenrir down at John Gray. Remus struggled against his bonds. Amycus laughed at him. The other Death Eaters ran back to the tents after any others to attack.
John glared up at the creature that he had once called family. Blood streamed from the wounds on his face and he was feeling crazed from the pain. “Traitor!” was all he could manage to utter. He spat it out in disgust. “How…could…you?”
“With great pleasure, John,” said Fenrir. “You threw me out of the pack, remember? Your own brother dumped like so much garbage. I owe you squat all.” He raised his hands and clawed the air. “Crucio!”
John stiffened with the pain of the curse his brother cast on him. “Aaarrrrggggh!” he yelled in extreme agony.
“You’ll die by my hand tonight but rest assured that I’ll take especially good care of your pack. Little Katie should be…”
But before Fenrir finished his sentence a great large creature seemed to fall between the trees above to sit right on top of him. He was crushed beneath the weight of the dragon Felicity. He lost consciousness instantly. She roared at Amycus spraying him with her magic fire as he sprinted out of her reach into the darkness of the forest.
“Felicity! Thank heavens!” said the relieved Remus. He was overjoyed to see her. All his agonizing over how he felt about her was forgotten. “Accio wand!” he yelled and was out of his bonds and helping John up in seconds.
“They’re dying,” John said pleading as he struggled to his feet barely able to stand.
“Felicity, they need you,” urged Remus.
She was of two minds. She had no will to leave Remus unprotected. Though the werewolf beneath her was unconscious, he wasn’t dead and her instinct was to kill him first. She hesitated.
“Go, Felicity! The muggles, the werewolves are almost defenseless against them. Tonks is there and Dumbledore!”
She reached out to him with love in her heart and Remus returned the emotion in kind. He limped with John back out of the woods toward the fighting while she flapped her wings and with some difficulty flew up between the trees toward the house.
On the grounds, the tents and the house were on fire. People were everywhere running and many lay prone on the ground where they’d fallen in battle. Felicity spotted three wizards in the air on broomsticks that were wielding spells from above picking off people running. Though Tonks, Bill Weasley and Mad-Eye were on the ground throwing up counter spell after counter spell the Death Eaters kept the onslaught coming.
Albus Dumbledore stood near the tents wielding spells to keep the whole house from going up in flames. Every so often he flicked his wand and another Death Eater fell from their broom or fell flat on their face.
The storm above them decided to deluge the countryside again. The heavy winds were making it difficult for Felicity to stay aloft. The same was true for those on broomsticks. She flew as straight as she could at the attackers scattering them and spraying the air with fire. It didn’t take long for the flyers to realize that they were no match for her.
The battle was then over as suddenly as it’d begun. All that was left were the dying embers of fires scattered on the lawn and the moaning of those who’d survived.
Felicity landed before Tonks, Dumbledore and Mad-Eye Moody and roared in frustration. She wanted to go after the Death Eaters. She knew where they were going. Her mind screamed toward Dumbledore. Mad-Eye went to attack her but Dumbledore raised his hand to stop him.
“No, Felicity,” said Dumbledore loudly. “We know where he is. He’ll be gone when we get there.”
“Heh?” said Mad-Eye looking baffled. “What’d you call it?”
Dumbledore looked drolly at the Auror. There just wasn’t time to explain. Too many needed help. “Felicity, Agatha, and the others need your help with healing.”
Felicity sighed knowing that what he said was true. Her body ached from the emotions of pain all around her. It took only a few moments of her shimmering change for Felicity to stand before them in her human form.
Mad-Eye Moody’s jaw had long since dropped. “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s…” he started. “I KNEW it!! I KNEW there was something not right about her!” He crossed his arms in triumph and said an “uh-uh” to Tonks who shrugged back at him too tired to care. She was crying. Bill had his arm around her comforting. It was her first big battle, her first battle against so many Death Eaters and she was just thankful to be still standing. Dumbledore lifted a robe around Felicity’s shoulders and they all turned to go back to the house.
“It happened so fast,” mumbled Tonks in disbelief. “I can’t believe how quickly it all exploded and then it was done. We were lucky we were ready.”
“It wasn’t luck, girl,” said Mad-Eye grimly. He’d seen plenty of battles with Death Eaters in his day. He’d lost many a friend. “We were ready, but no one’s ever really ready. There were a lot of them and we got a few, stopped a few, but so did they.”
As they walked across the grass to the house little pockets of soft wailing and crying filled the air. The rain had miraculously stopped. The bright moon was peaking out from behind the clouds.
Remus stood in the light of the house waiting for them. He was shattered by the enormity of what a few wizards with bad intentions could wield on a multitude of under protected muggles. He stood tall and proud as he waited but deep down he wanted to fall to the ground and cry like a baby. He still held his wand in his hand unwilling to let go of it as if the Death Eaters would return at any moment.
Felicity ran to him leaving the others to trudge up the lawn. She got within reach of him and stopped. They stood staring at each other in wonderment that they were both still alive.
“I didn’t mean to hurt him,” said Felicity feeling guilty.
“I know.” Remus’ voice was husky with emotion.
“You’re all right?” Her voice was small and unsure.
He opened his arms to her and she threw herself into them, kissing his cheeks, his chin, and his lips. “I’m all right, now,” he said into her throat, her hair, hugging her as hard as he could without breaking her. “Thank you for saving my life.”
She pulled up from him and smiled into his face. “My pleasure, my love. Anytime.” They let life wash over them before turning together to follow the others inside.
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