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Chapter Five

Everything came back into focus as quickly as it had gone but Harry was no longer standing in the same clearing as before, he was in a much larger one, standing on a hill and looking out over the area beyond. Glancing at the sky he saw two small shapes which Harry realised were the Weasley twins keeping check on everyone – Voldemort was closer than they had thought. He looked at the Death Eaters and without counting knew that there were about 30 of them there which was slightly more than their army, he also noticed that they weren’t wearing their usual masks and although he wondered why, Harry didn’t ask. There were dementors too, and lots of them, sending a shiver through Harry’s spine.

“You see, Harry?” Voldemort spoke to him, “You cannot beat me, no matter what you do, 30 Death Eaters against 25 children…” He laughed his cold, high, cruel laugh. “And although you may still feel the last remnants of hope still living inside you they will not stay long, especially now you know that the Order will not be there to help…”

“What?” Harry couldn’t stop himself from asking.

“I thought you had learnt enough from your occlumency to know how to reverse the effects of legilimency…” Voldemort mused, “But apparently not. Dumbledore will not lead the Order to you because he feels your chances of survival are laughably low.

“Death Eaters… Tonight is your night!” Voldemort cried, addressing the crowd infront of him, “25 children, that’s all they are, and they are all here tonight. Now is the time you attack, and not one of them will be leaving with their life, Harry Potter included.” Voldemort ended his speech to the crowd and watched as they all walked in their direction. Harry mentally pulled away from the mind of Tom Riddle and felt himself falling until he found himself back in the clearing with Hermione waving her hand infront of his face.

“Hey, earth to Harry!” She said, “You weren’t there for a minute.” She added as she saw him blink and look around at the clearing, he looked a lot more tense than he had before and she couldn’t help but wonder what had been running through his mind.

“Sorry.” He muttered back to her and bit his lip.

“Harry.” Dumbledore said to him, in his mind once more, “Are you okay?”

“Not really.” His mind answered before he could stop himself. “Are you going to help us? We don’t stand a chance alone.”

“Of course we are.” Four or five voices answered him.

“Thank you.” Harry replied.

“You’re welcome!” Tonks replied cheerily. All round the table people couldn’t help but wonder how she could be so happy at a time like this, when they were about to go plunging head first into battle with Death Eaters.

The cloud on the wall disappeared as Dumbledore gave a quick wave of his wand. The room was silent, all in contemplation of what they were about to do. Then Moody spoke up.

“This is insane.” He said, “We’re about to risk our lives for the sake of a few children! It will be us that defeat Voldemort once and for all, not any of those children so why endanger ourselves on their account?!”

Dumbledore smiled, knowing that sometime soon he was going to reveal the details of the prophecy to the group, although he could see from the expression on Remus’ face that Harry had already told him. All they knew for the moment was that there was a prophecy involving Harry and the Dark Lord, nothing more had been told to them since Dumbledore had decided that for once Harry would know something about himself that not everyone else had known first.

“We are going, and we are going now, Alastor.” Dumbledore said to him, “Upon our return a meeting will be held in which I will fully explain the reason we must go to the aid of these children tonight, Remus, you will of course not have to attend.” Everyone looked at each other in wonder and then at Remus who merely nodded to Dumbledore and took hold of a candlestick on the table.

Portus.” He muttered before holding it out to the rest of the Order, all of whom took hold.

Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody couldn’t believe what he was doing. He was once one of the top aurors in the ministry and now he was holding onto a candlestick in the trees of the Forbidden Forest along with several other members of the Order. He peered through the trees into the clearing ahead of him and saw two large groups of people, one of them, a large group of men dressed all in black, unusually not wearing their masks. The other group was made up of teenagers, also wearing mostly black robes which he assumed they had changed into, after finding themselves in the middle of nowhere. At the front of the group of Death Eaters, Voldemort had his wand pointed at a heap on the floor and from it came the Crucius curse. He realised with a jolt that the twitching heap on the floor was, in fact, Harry. From the air the Weasley twins and Lee Jordan sent the Protegium blocking and reversing curse, sister spell to Protego, and it lessened it considerably.

“A little pain never hurt anyone, Harry.” Voldemort smirked, casting his eyes to Neville who was shaking with fury in the front row of those facing the Death Eaters. Harry got straight back to his feet, still aching from the curse that had been performed on him.

“Snape.” Voldemort barked, without turning, “Forward.”

Harry watched in horror as his potions master was called forward from the ranks of the Death Eaters behind him. Snape walked slowly, almost sauntered forwards to his master. He’s a bloody good actor. Harry thought and then pushed it away as soon as it had entered his head, he knew it was not wise to think such things whilst in the presence of Voldemort. He didn’t know what was coming but he knew there was no way that it was going to be good.

“The perfect opportunity for you to prove your loyalty to me has just arisen, Severus.” Voldemort said in a cold, sneering voice. Harry could almost feel the hatred towards Snape emanating from the crowd of people behind him. He knew that there were precious few of them that knew Snape was on their side and in the long run that would most likely be of best interest for everyone. “You will perform the Cruciatus curse on Harry.” He told Snape, who looked at Harry and desperately willed himself to curse the boy. If you want to stay alive then you have to do this. Snape told himself and yet he remained frozen infront of all his students.

Harry had no desire to see his potions master murdered infront of him for being a traitor and it was this that overrode his fear of having the Cruciatus curse performed on him again. Imperio Harry thought inside his head whilst his wand remained pointed at Snape. He willed him to curse him and to his surprise he did. It was a lot worse than he had intended it to be and he broke it off quickly, but not so quickly as to arouse suspicion from the Dark Lord.

“You hesitated.” He stated coolly. Snape flinched and awaited his punishment but it never came. “However, since it was an exceptionally good curse, I think you may be excused any punishment. Do not linger in thought again, Severus.”

“No, my lord. Thank you, my lord.” Snape muttered quickly and fell back into line with the Death Eaters behind him.

“What the hell did you think you were doing?!” Snape’s voice screeched inside Harry’s head the moment he had rejoined the Death Eaters. “You put the Crucius curse on yourself!”

“Really?” Harry’s mind answered coldly, “I didn’t realise.”

“You could have been killed for that! If he knew you had your concentration on me then he would have killed you in an instant you foolish child!”

You could have been killed!” Harry almost shouted back at him, “If I hadn’t done that he would have killed you on the spot!” Snape didn’t respond and Harry put all his concentration back on the Dark Lord.

“Enough games have been played between us, Harry Potter.” Voldemort said to him, “Too many times I have allowed you to escape unscathed but that will not be the case tonight. Tonight you will not escape.” The words were no sooner spoken than dementors ran at them from all around. Almost instantly there was a collective cry of “Expecto Patronum” from the D.A. and the dementors were driven back by an array of various silver creatures. Harry couldn’t help but feel slightly pleased with them but it was short lived as the Death Eaters ran at them once they had been driven back, aiming a variety of hexes and curses at them. The shield Hermione had set up earlier deflected many of these curses but could not deflect the Unforgivables as the Cruciatus curse flew straight through it, knocking Ginny down but thankfully not causing her any pain. The Death Eaters reached the Shield itself and easily walked through it and the battle began.

The battle was not particularly long but the Killing Curse was seen to be flying at someone every ten seconds or so but the DA soon found a quick way of disposing of many of the Death Eaters. Once they had cast the Killing Curse the Death Eater whom had used it needed a few moments to recharge, it was then that one or more of the DA would stun them, take their want, tie them up and then vanish them. This worked quite well in the beginning and almost ten Death Eaters were disposed of in this manner. Soon they began to understand what was going on and held off with that particular curse.

Throughout this the Order kept at the back and spread out through the trees, helping whomever they could without being noticed and stunning and vanishing quite a few Death Eaters themselves with the same method which the DA had devised.

“Take that!” Moody said as he vanished Goyle from the edge of the woods. It didn’t half make him feel young to be part of a battle again, even if he wasn’t lucky enough to be right in the midst of it like Potter was. He looked out into the main battle and saw Harry taking on Mulciber and Bellatrix Lestrange single handed. He blew Mulciber through several separate duels, causing him to be hexed repeatedly and then he turned back to Bellatrix.

Remus bit his lip. He knew that Bellatrix had been the one to kill Sirius but he also knew that killing her wouldn’t bring him back. He hoped Harry knew that and wouldn’t kill her on the spot, as he knew that he had the ability to. He watched them intently; only half aware of the curses he was putting on one of the Death Eaters who had fallen through the trees to him.

Harry and Bellatrix were only sending mind hexes and curses towards one another, waiting for the other to make the first move with the killing curse, as Bellatrix knew he would eventually do.

“What’s up baby Potter?” She asked him, “Don’t you have it in you to avenge your dear godfather?”

“Death’s too good for you.” Harry said coldly before shooting ropes from his wand and tying her tightly before he vanished her as far as he could. Remus smiled and watched as Harry leapt infront of Neville who was about to put the Cruciatus curse on Snape. “Go help Ron and I’ll hold Snape.” Harry muttered to him and was pleased when he did as he asked. Snape was the only one of the Order who was actually on the field and Harry knew that it wouldn’t be good for him to be tortured by his own side.

“I see you have enough self control not to go about killing.” Snape said coolly in his head as he aimed a fast hex at Harry, who dodged it and it hit the Death Eater who had been coming up behind him.

“Curse you Potter!” Snape shouted at him and it was all Harry could do not to laugh as he aimed a curse right back at him. Snape moved easily and it hit Crabbe in the back, knocking him down and allowing Hermione to vanish him.

“Behind you.” Harry thought to Snape as Luna sent a curse straight at Snape’s back. He leapt out of the way and it flew past both him and Harry to a Death Eater.

Voldemort looked around him. He did not move from his spot at the edge of the clearing. All around him his Death Eaters were falling, knocked unconscious and vanished by children. He thought he had seen an auror in the trees but he knew he had been mistaken. The children were alone, no help had been send to them by the Order and he knew that perfectly well by accessing the mind of the youngest Weasley boy, who would have been made aware of the Order’s presence, had they been there, due to his parents being a part of it. His glance wandered to Snape. He still didn’t trust him fully but he had redeemed himself, for the moment. He was almost enjoying a staged battle with Harry, although no one but the Order who prowled about the edge of the forest knew it was not for real.

Snape shot an almost apologetic look at Harry as he sent a hex his way, which Harry side-stepped and allowed to hit the Death Eater behind him. Harry gave Snape a mock look of horror as the potions master cried “Avada Kedavra!” He threw himself out of its path just in time for it to hit MacNair in the back and he instantly crumpled to the ground. Harry glanced around, realising that Snape was one of but a few Death Eaters left now, as the rest had been taken care of easily by themselves and the Order who were removing almost one every thirty seconds from their midst. Harry made up his mind and sent a light stunning spell at Snape, bound him loosely but instead of vanishing him he sent him just a few feet into the trees where he was quickly untied by Lupin.

Voldemort was mortified. There were only two Death Eaters left now and fifteen of the DA still standing, there was something going on here, there was no way that they could have triumphed over him so easily. He saw Snape vanished by Potter and sent the Killing Curse straight at him. Harry threw himself down and rolled over to see it going straight for Seamus Finnegan. His wand lay a few feet away from him, he scrambled for it but as he dragged himself to his feet to remove Seamus from it’s path he looked just in time to see it hit him and Tonks ran from the trees in a vain attempt to save him. Voldemort stared at her and then shot the same curse at her but she easily dodged it and the rest of the Order emerged from the trees, except for Snape who quickly took care of the remaining two Death Eaters and remained hidden in the trees, way out of Lord Voldemort’s sight.

Harry, Fred, George, Cho, Angelina Johnson, Hermione, Neville, Katie Bell, Lee Jordan, Lavender Brown and Ernie Macmillan stood back, behind the Order of the Phoenix who blocked them from Voldemort and looked to Dean who knelt with his head in his hands by the body of his best friend.

“Finally you arrive, Dumbledore.” Voldemort spoke, but with something that was almost fear in his voice this time.

“I have been here quite some time, Tom.” Dumbledore informed him and Voldemort knew suddenly that he had been the reason for so many of his Death Eaters vanishing. He knew that there was no way he could touch the boy now that Dumbledore was here and he put his hand into his robes where he touched a portkey and vanished.

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