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Authors Note: I hope you enjoy! I know some of you aren’t fond of Harry’s point of view but trust me it has to be done.  This chapter like the last one is short. I hope it came out ok though. I had trouble writing this part. I couldn’t quite get what’s in my head in writing. Sorry about the delay kept getting distracted.  Warnings: Some sensitive/topic/theme issue and violence. Blood, dead things.

 




  Harry sighed looking at his pocket calendar Hermione had given him for his birthday. It was now October.  It had been over a month since he last saw her. He was beginning to get extremely anxious on top of his worries. He hoped Malfoy hadn’t done anything to hurt her..Or anything else for that matter. He hit the back of his head against the tree repeatedly to get the thoughts out of his head he really didn’t want to go there.  

“Mate, are you alright there?” Ron asked from beside him, watching his best friend with a worried expression. He clearly thought he was losing it. Maybe he was.

  “Just worried.” Harry spoke twirling his wand between his fingers, watching as the monks removing spell after spell from the huge gates of the old cathedral castle place. They had been working on this for days they were finally at the final five spells.

 “She’s Hermione, remember she decked him third year. She can handle herself. “Ron spoke confidently.

“I know, I know that but..what if, I don’t know what if he tries something?” He spoke quietly voicing what had really been bothering him since day one.

“What do you mean?” His best friend looked at him confused really not getting it.

 “You know..Tries something.” Harry repeated feeling his own cheeks get hot.

 “I am really not getting you mate. Are you sure you’re ok?” 

“You know. Like what you and lavender…” Harry trailed off.

   Ron’s ears went red. “Bloody Hell, No! I don’t think so at all, I mean. They hate each other don’t they?”

“Right, They do.”Harry agreed feeling better about the whole thing.

“Bloody hell mate, that’s mental I’m going to have nightmares because of that” Ron groaned causing him to laugh. 

“It’s not funny Harry.”

“From where I am sitting it is!” He bit his lower lip trying to stop laughing, and failing miserably. 

“Well, we can get in now!” the monk Stephan shouted over at them.

“Finally. “ He felt his spirits lift. Getting up off the ground he grabbed his bag and nearly ran with Ron over to the rosewood carved doors to the castle/cathedral like structure. He followed Stephan and a few of the other ones slowly.  He was glad he did. No sooner had they entered than arrows started shooting from the walls. He was quickly able to deflect them away from himself and the others.  

  “Sorry, I forgot we also trapped this place just in case someone might have found a way in through the spells.  Stephan apologized quickly.

“A little warning might help next time.” Harry growled 

“Ok, We need to get the sword made of basilisk fangs and coated in Acromantula venom first.”

“Does this “Sword” Have a name? “ Ron asked sarcastically.

“Venefirous Gladius” He replied

“You named it poison blade? Wow you lot weren’t all that creative were you?” Ron chuckled.

“Nope,” Stephan grinned several of the other monks laughing finding it humorous as well.

  Why they talked Harry decided to take in his surroundings. It looked like he was in an old abandoned building. The stairs were caving in and tiles on the walls and floors were missing or rotted away. What once was probably splendid in its prime. Made grimwald place seem safe and clean. 

   He followed the head monk up the stairs, having to jump some of them or it would have caved under them.  When they reached the first floor he followed Stephan to the right. Being careful not to fall in the giant holes and once or twice he had to catch Ron or one of the others from falling.

  They climbed for what seemed like hours. The place was bare except for religious relics and broken statues that weren’t even recognizable. As they passed rooms he noticed things had  been moved around. Some bathrooms had beds, some  bedrooms had parts of the bathrooms. He found this mildly amusing.

  When they arrived at the last hallway to what he assumed was the right back tower he noticed everything was scorched as if a fire had recently been through there, ashes covered the floor, there were five long holes that you could see 5 floors down, the stone walls had burnt marks and it was still smoldering.  The sword wouldn’t be easy.

  They had to jump the five pits down the hall that lead to the spiraling staircase. Which had arrow traps that they had to duck to avoid, and once Harry had to roll to get out of the way in time. He groaned when they finally reached the top, the sword was visible on its pedestal one problem, the floor and walls were covered in fire. Well at least he knew where the source of the burning came from.

 “How do we get over there?”He groaned peering around the long room. He looked at the ceiling and walls desperate to find some way over to the sword.  

“I am not sure.” The blond monk who harry thoughts name was Eli or something like that, seemed just as confused as he was.

 He was studying to see if the tapestries hanging from the arched ceiling could hold his wait when he heard a familiar bird cry followed by a song.

“Fawks!” Ron shouted, Harry saw him too, the large bird swooped in and grabbed the hilt of the sword and flew it over to Stephan dropping it into his hands before disappearing in flames.

 “Seems Dumbledore’s watching us.”he chuckled looking at the sword. It had a handle with ivory leaves wrapping around it. As well as ha small circle around the eye symbol in the center. The blade was smooth and made of bone. It didn’t seem that sturdy to Harry, then again he didn’t know all that much about swords in the first place.

  “Well the orb won’t be that easy. It’s in the basement quarters guarded by a manticore” Stephan spoke gravely as he started to lead them back toward the entrance door.

 “Manticore?” Ron asked confused. “Harry do you know what that is? You are better at defense than I am.”

“It is kind of like a chimera or a sphinx.  They generally have human head features, body of a lion, wings, horns, a tail that’s poisonous, and three rows of sharp teeth like a shark. They also absorb magic.

 “Now, how exactly are we supposed to defeat it?!” Ron asked incredulously.

  “I think that’s why they had us get the sword first, right?” Harry questioned turning so he was looking at the older male.

  “That is correct, Harry. Do either of you young men know how to use a sword?” Stephen looked over at them as he spoke. Jumping over the holes on the stairs, getting back was a lot easier since all the traps had already been triggered. When they reached the landing he handed Ron one of their spare swords, and gave Harry the fanged sword.

“Well, not really we have both used them before but, not properly it was just sheer luck that we were able to hit our targets”

 “Your instincts will guide you, We will train you properly so when we meet the vampires in two months you will best be able to protect your friend.”

“We can’t wait another two months!” He protested.

“You can and you will, you will need to learn to fight a dhamphire properly, if you don’t Alexandru, the dhamphire Obsidian is trying to resurrect, will kill you and your friend easily. Its body is hard and repels magic. The only way to kill a Dhamphire is through the heart, they are day walkers as well. However their chest and rib cage are reinforced. So it will take an enormous amount of strength and skill to pierce it.  

 He just growled not at all pleased at this new information, he made a mental note not to ask questions next time, if he hadn’t they would have already been with Hermione and he wouldn’t constantly be worrying about what her and Draco were up too.

 Stephan pulled the torch at the side of the stairs opening a secret door, he and the others soon lit torches and headed inside. He and Ron lit the tips of their wands acting like a flash light. As they descended harry had to brush the cobwebs from his shoulders and Ron freaked out, screaming as a dead spider fell in front of him and he thought it was real.   

 “It’s dead Ron, it can’t hurt you.” He patted his friends arm comfortingly.

 “Y-yeah, r-right, D-dead, l-let’s just keep going yeah?” He stammered.

 “Right.” Harry had to hold the small narrow walls of the passage way to keep from falling; the steps were steep and seemed to go almost straight down into the darkness. No one spoke much as they descended until, a quarter of an our later and they reached the bottom.

  The hall was very narrow and they had to go through one at a time. It eventually widened to meet a rusty steel gothic door. Stephan opened it easily and they were able to file into what appeared to be a dungeon. There were skeletons hanging from chains, dried blood stains, a lot of the devices he couldn’t name. The only one that was recognizable was the Iron maiden. He had to put his sleeve over his mouth and nose the smell was terrible. 

  They went through yet another door, and another, Harry couldn’t keep count. They passed cells with bones, Rats scurried about their feet. He was beginning to think they would never get there when they entered a large underground temple room. At the very end between the first of the four rows of pillars, two rows on either side of the door, the orb sat on a pillow in front of the altar.

They approached slowly clutching their swords, and in his and Ron’s case, their wands. Nothing happened; they drew even closer, still nothing happened. Harry reached the altar first, he dug into the backpack he carried and took a cloth carefully he wrapped the orb in the cloth and put it carefully in the bag nestling it in a way that it wouldn’t break if he suddenly dropped the bag.

  Still there was no sign of the Manticore. He kept a good grip on the bag everyone around him including himself were tense waiting. They slowly headed back. He had hardly stepped five paces from the altar when there was a loud thud and the floor and walls shaked, dust fell from the ceiling and a few of the pillars became loose. 

  Again another thud just as the beast they were awaiting burst from stone that it was incased in. Its claws dug into the ground below, scratching the stone with chinks and clinks sounds. It was huge almost as tall as the room they were in itself. The Manticore had a face like an old man, on his forehead where two curled horns, one of them broken off. With a long tangled main that had dried blood and bones entangled within it. Its body was that of a lion as well, only on its back were huge leathery dragon wings, which had holes and tares from what he supposed were years of fighting. Its tail that was that of a scorpion lunged at Ron and Harry causing them both to jump apart to avoid it. It caught some of Ron’s sleeve but didn’t appear to have injured him.  

  He got the familiar adrenaline jolt that happened when he was in danger, without thinking he dived under the Manticore, avoiding its swiping paws, the monks around him were fighting it the best they could but like Harry were spending most of their time just avoiding its attacks. It quickly turned around to claw at him again. He ducked causing the beasts claws to hit the wall creating a huge hole, this gave him a good Idea.

  “Ron! Stephen! The pillars!” He shouted at them from across the room, he ran back to the altar, the Manicore followed reaching him in three huge bounds, when it landed the two back pillars became loose.

Confringo” He shouted aiming the blasting spell at the ceiling causing it to start falling down, at the same time Ron cast it on the left pillar, why the monks pushed the loose right one down.  Suddenly he was glad he passed his aparition teast. He managed to aparate to the entrance just as the pillars fell . He shook the dust off himself before going to help the others, who survived but got trapped between two pillars, simple levitation spells by him and Ron were able to get them unstuck, quickly they got out of there and back up to the main entrance.

 “What now?”He asked Stephen next to him on the way back up. Once he had finally caught his breath.

 “We get back to the church , and start instructing you boys on how to fight the Damphire.  Obsidian can only resurrect him on New Year’s Eve after he opens the final door. We don’t quite know how he’s going to do that. But until then we can prepare ourselves.

 “So, you rather prepare than stop it before it happens?” Ron asked angrily voicing Harry’s own thoughts.

 “Going right now would be suicide, so yes.”

  He shook his head and didn’t speak the rest of the way back to camp, just glad they all got off on miner cuts and bruises, compared to the basilisk a Manticore was nothing. 

 “Do you think she can handle herself for a couple months longer?” Harry whispered to Ron.

 “Positive mate, she’s best in all our classes and is very good with her spells, maybe not as good as you on the DADA classes but she gets on well enough. “

 “I hope you’re right Ron.”

   Harry spent the rest of the return trip in relative silence. Not wanting to talk to anyone or focus to much on things he couldn’t control, Which wasn’t working all too well.

  “Don’t get yourself killed mione” He whispered to himself.

 
 

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