Ok guys, this is it, probably the biggest climactic chapter I've written for this trilogy. I'd like you to know that this chapter had been a long time in the making and my inspiration for Inferno. Please tell me if anything seems wrong so I may or may not be able to fix it. These are my story telling capabilities pushed as far as they will go for now so please tell me what you thought of the fruit of my efforts. This chapter was the inspiration for Inferno, so please tell me what you think. Thank you! You guys are great and I wouldn't do it without you! Inferno For a few agonizing moments everyone in the kitchen sat deathly still while processing this information in their heads, Sirius, with his renown reflexes, shot up first. "Come on!" Moody screeched while the others finally came to their senses. His bowler hat was threatening to fall off his balding head, and both his eyes were going ballistic. Everyone at the table was finally ready for action, when Mrs. Weasley's mothering instinct finally kicked in, Harry could almost see something click inside her head. "The children are to go upstairs and not, under any circumstances, try and come with us." she put particular emphasis on the last bit of the phrase, while making no effort to disguise the fact that she was staring directly at Fred and George. "But we're of age mum!" George protested, but his mother was obviously not going to hear of it. "Harry," Hermione whispered to him, in case they missed something important that was said. "If Lupin goes, we have to go too." Harry nodded, though he had a bad feeling about the whole situation. Suddenly Harry's attention turned to Lupin as he got up and proceeded to whisper something to Sirius, Harry hurried over but Lupin was speaking so quietly he only caught some of it. "...something's not right...never came back...." Harry pondered the disjointed phrase for a moment, but didn't have time to think before the adults took action. The younger wizards all walked slowly up the stairs, all of them scared of what was to come but too stubborn to show it. Harry and Hermione stood torn meanwhile about where they would be the most useful, not to mention the safest. "What is it Mad-Eye?" Arthur finally asked as they were all standing waiting for information. "No time come on, to Hogsmead!" Moody yelled before throwing a huge handful of floo-powder into the fire, allowing it to stay open long enough for all to follow. One by one members of the Order walked into the blazing green fire and disappeared, while Harry and Hermione waited to be sure that Lupin would go with them. "Come on Remus!" Sirius yelled as Lupin looked frantically around for something. Sirius, Lupin and Molly were now the only adults left. Harry was about to go through the fire when all of the kids came running down the stairs. "Mom!" Ginny yelled. "What is it?" Molly asked, Harry could hear the anger in her voice, though it wasn't necessarily directed at her children. "The dark Mark mum, it's close to here!" Ron yelled. "What!?!" Molly was now panicking. "Don't worry Molly, it's a bluff! He's trying to get us to come out and face him, don't take the bate!" Sirius tried to reassure her, but it was quite apparent that it wasn't working. "Sirius, I want you to go to the Burrow with them and stay there." Molly ordered, Harry saw Sirius' brain thinking furiously of how to get out of the situation. "Molly I have to fight" he said, still thinking hard. "No Sirius, you're in more danger than any of us out there, now hurry up and go!" Molly said as she disappeared to the fight. Sirius looked at the gathering on the stairs and then looked to Remus. "Remus what are you looking for?" Sirius asked him, seeing that Remus' desperate search had not relented. "The potion Sirius, I need to take the wolfsbane potion" Remus said. "But the full moon is tomorrow." Ginny said. "It doesn't matter" Lupin said with his head in the fridge, still searching. "If I don't take one today, it's useless tomorrow." Suddenly Lupin looked towards a spot on the stairs where it appeared that no one stood, and spoke with a pained look on his face. "You're the ones who told me to stay put, maybe you don't need me." Sirius gave him a pleading look but Remus raised a hand to silence him, "Who is to say that I would even be missed." Suddenly Hermione turned to Harry, "Harry," she said, he could hear the worry in her voice. "What if Lupin's potion is still in his room?" Harry remembered Mrs. Weasley bringing it up there in case he never got out of bed that day. "Let's go get it" Harry said. He took one last glance back to see Sirius disappearing with the others while Lupin looked on. He ran up the stairs as fast as he could with Hermione behind him. Just as he reached the stairs the fire in the kitchen roared up and Harry wondered if Lupin had found the potion and left. He ran into the room and felt his chest clench when he couldn't see the potion. Hermione passed him and looked all over the floor and the bed. After a few agonizing minutes they decided to go back downstairs. Harry felt the panic rising in him like boiling water threatening to overflow. He ripped out of the room and was about to go down the stairs when something a wasy down the hallway behind him caught his eye, an eerie orange glow was steadily growing. Hermione whipped around at the same time as he did to see flames slowly spreading from inside one of the upstairs rooms. "Put it out!" Hermione shouted. Her and Harry rushed towards the flames and tried to extinguish them by shooting water out of there wands, but it was no use. Harry looked around and saw that there was fire on the other side of them too, and if they didn't hurry it would block there only way out. "Put it out there before it covers the stairs Harry yelled to Hermione, who was closer to them. With a wave of her wand the flames were temporarily extinguished and they bolted through. Just as they reached the main floor once again they heard a huge crash from the kitchen. Hermione tried to move towards the noise but the flames were rising too fast. Harry leapt to the side as the Black family tapestry fell burning to the ground. The last few ashes managed to land on the lower end of Harry's pant leg and he struggled to put it out before getting burned. Unfortunately, Hermione's situation was no better, her back was now on fire. Harry ran to her and held her still and tried to keep her from screaming anymore. With a flick of his wand and a quick incantation her back was cooled by a spout of cold water. Harry could see her robes were singed but the shirt underneath was still intact so the burns couldn't have hurt her too much. "Harry, we have to get out!" she screamed as a piece of the ceiling fell inches from her. Harry was about to answer her when another huge bang and a wild screech came from the kitchen again, Lupin wasn't faring so well. "Why isn't he flooing out?" Harry yelled as they made their way trying to extinguish as much as possible. It just didn't make sense to Harry. "Did you see how much floo powder Moody used? I bet there isn't enough to transport a grown man out of here left!" Hermione said as they turned the final corner that would lead them to the kitchen. Harry peered into the kitchen as hard as he could and saw a shadow of a figure dancing around most likely trying to avoid the flames. Several yells came from there now, and Harry was almost afraid to look. Hermione put out one last fire to allow them entrance to the kitchen at last, but just as they put a foot in an immense piece of stone and wood fell before them, blocking their passage completely. Harry screamed in frustration. He looked beyond the barricade and that's when he saw him. Lupin was lying on the floor, the smoke clouding around them was making breathing nearly impossible. Harry felt himself start to shake as he noticed the skin pealing from Lupin's arms. His robes were torn and singed everywhere, exposing parts of his chest and back. Harry saw the raw pieces of exposed flesh and wanted more than anything to be able to end his suffering somehow. Harry heard the ceiling above them give a groan and knew they didn't have much time. He called out to Lupin uselessly, his voice breaking as he fought off tears and continued to shake. Hermione continued to put out flames to prevent them getting burned. Harry knew he had to do something, and that there was no other time to do it. He put his hands on the huge block in front of him and gave one great heave before pulling away screaming, the block had singed his hands in only a few short seconds. The pain was indescribable, and what was even worse was knowing that his hands were only a tiny fraction of what Lupin was going through. He was about to try again when Hermione grabbed him back, "Harry we have to go!" "I WON'T LEAVE HIM!" Harry yelled at her. Harry heard Lupin's agony as he moaned and yelled. He made one last attempt to move the block with his back to it before the ceiling began to give way. Hermione pulled Harry out of the way just in time. The remnants of Sirius' old room came crashing down before them. Without speaking Harry and Hermione tore towards the front door, Hermione keeping the sleeve of Harry's shirt in her hand so as to make sure he didn't try and save Lupin at the last second. They were about to exit when Harry thought of something, the only way to save Lupin. Just as Hermione opened the door to leave Harry tore his hand from her clutch and tore back in the other direction, Hermione screamed for him to come back but he couldn't be persuaded. At least if he didn't make it Hermione had the time turner to return. He covered his mouth to try and block the huge amounts of dark smoke from entering his lungs. His vision was starting to blur, and his lungs were screaming for oxygen, but he had to do it. He reached the hall and stopped for a moment, examining something placed on the wall. He stole one last glance towards the kitchen and left as a gut wrenching scream rang in his ears. He reached Hermione who had a questioning look on her tear streaked face. "Where were you?" Hermione asked, but Harry didn't answer, because at that moment something behind them collapsed. They ran another few feet away from the house and turned. Harry was aw-stricken by the way the flames lit the sky. The smoke rising from the house rose miles in the air, and Harry finally had to give in to his tears. "Harry" Hermione said quietly as she fell to her knees in tears. Hermione had one phrase ringing throughout her head, one phrase she knew would stick with her forever, would always be there to make sure the flames of guilt rose fresh within her. You're the ones who told me to stay put, maybe you don't need me...Who is to say that I would even be missed? "Harry..." Hermione repeated, crying harder still. Harry knelt down to her and she saw the tears shining on his face as well, "We told him to stay put... Harry, we killed him!" Without another word Harry put the chain over his and her necks and launched them into a past that Harry prayed would turn out differently.
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