Severus threw more brown powder in the small hearth built into the wall.
“What in bloody hell is going on!” Severus shouted, his head submerged in green flames.
He was silent for a moment as if he was listening to a reply.
“Well, I figured that out, Remus,” Severus said dryly. “Do you have anything to add to that observation?”
If the situation were not so dire Hermione would have laughed. At the moment she felt the need to be clothed and ready for combat.
Severus stared into the
“The orb had been orange for a total of 30 seconds, Severus,” said Lupin, visibly annoyed. “Obviously I don’t know anything more than you. Just be prepared to receive casualties, if needed.”
Severus nodded sharply. At least it gave him something to do. He pulled his head back in his laboratory and turned to look at Hermione.
She was bristling like a wet cat. The hair didn’t help. She had hastily donned her muggle clothing and was clutching her wand white-knuckled and her eyes were aflame.
“Goodness me, that would make me think twice,” said Severus sarcastically, an eyebrow raised.
“It isn’t funny!” shouted Hermione. Severus took a step back in spite of himself. “Your friend isn’t out there, part of a stupid prophecy out to wreck his life before it really started!”
“I did lose friends in the first war, Hermione,” Severus said in a deadly calm voice. “Now I suggest we follow the measly orders we were given and stop bickering while our friends may be falling.”
Hermione swallowed hard and nodded. She slipped her wand in a long pouch she had hung on her belt, turned abruptly around and marched out of the laboratory.
Severus looked heavenward and sighed. She didn’t even know their orders yet.
Hermione sat in an armchair near the ballroom fireplace biting her fingernails.
“Stop that,” Severus chided her gently. She glared at him but took her fingers out of her mouth.
Cherv poured Hermione a cup of tea. She sipped at it nervously and set it down on a small table near her. Cherv patted her hand wordlessly before he left.
Hermione watched Cherv leave the room and wondered if Dobby and Winky were safe at Hogwarts. Where was Dumbledore, anyway? She frowned at her thought.
“I’ll be right back,” she said getting to her feet and throwing floo powder into the hearth.
Hermione ran down the great drawbridge to the Bibliotheque oo Amazon to the table set for lunch.
“Hermione, do join us,” said Sophia as she grew nearer.
“Thank you,” said Hermione, her breath coming in great heaves. “But I have to talk to Dumbledore. I’m sorry for ruining your lunch.”
“What’s wrong?” Dumbledore asked sharply. He threw his napkin on the table and rose to his feet.
“The Ministry,” gasped out Hermione. “It’s under attack.”
“Duty calls,” sighed Sophia. She shook her head sorrowfully.
“I’m going with my father,” said Alexandra abruptly, rising to her feet. Sophia looked alarmed. “We have sworn feud with the Dark One as well, it is acceptable for me to go.”
Sophia closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The girl was far past her age of ascension. She was free to go. She opened her eyes and looked at her daughter.
Alexandra’s chin was set in a stubborn expression that reminded Sophia of Albus when they had been much younger.
“Yes, it is,” said Sophia, reluctantly.
“I have to say good-bye to Kari first,” said Alexandra, running up the drawbridge.
Sophia watched her daughter go with a soft expression that turned to panic.
“Hermione quickly,” said Sophia. “Go to the hall and blow the silver horn.”
Hermione didn’t question, but ran up the drawbridge.
“What does the silver horn signify?” Dumbledore asked, quickly embracing Sophia as he drew his wand.
“It evacuates the bastards,” said Sophia. “You found your way here, didn’t you?”
Dumbledore looked as if he were going to argue, but shook his head and apperated with a loud pop instead.
Sophia stood on the glass drawbridge alone.
Severus sat in his chair near the ballroom fireplace biting his nails. The silence was nerve wracking. When the flames leapt up in the hearth he jumped and upset his untouched cup of tea.
Hermione walked through the flames with a pretty blonde girl in a light yellow toga behind her.
Severus leapt to his feet and realized he didn’t know what to do.
“Err…hello?” Severus said awkwardly.
“Hello,” said Kari holding her hand out to him.
As Hermione made introductions the flames crackled and Charlie Weasley’s head appeared.
“Those fools stormed in, there was nothing we could do to stop them!” said Charlie half-shouting.
“The Deatheaters?” Hermione asked, panic stricken.
“No! Ron, Harry, Neville and the young ‘uns,” said Charlie, obviously under a lot of stress. “It’s all we can do to keep mum under control.”
Hermione breathed in.
“I have to go,” she said, pulling her wand out and appearing to ready herself to walk into the flames.
“I don’t think so,” said Severus, grabbing her arm.
“You can’t stop me!” Hermione shouted at him.
“I most certainly can!” Severus said snorting at her.
“It’s my duty to go!” Hermione yelled.
“It’s not your prophecy, Hermione,” Severus said. “You don’t have to die!”
Severus never saw it coming.
When he opened his eyes there was a loud ringing in his ears and his jaw ached. He was also on the ground. He looked up to see Hermione waving her hand about in pain. Behind her Charlie’s head conveyed an expression of shock and amusement. He threw Charlie’s head a look that instantly changed his expression to that of innocence.
Kari shook her head and poured herself a cup of tea.
Severus looked at Hermione. She was 18 years old, and only by pulling some strings. She looked vulnerable standing there in muggle clothing, her hands covering her mouth in horror, her wand dangling forgotten by her side.
My God, what was I doing at 18? Probably things best not thought about. Things that could be happening to her friends right now.
“I’m sorry,” said Severus getting to his feet. “That was uncalled for.”
“I’m so sorry,” Hermione said bursting into tears and flinging herself into his arms. He was going to be stern with her, but he couldn’t be heartless when she was under such duress.
“Couldn’t you have just hit me with a Jellylegs?” Severus asked, patting her on the back.
She sniffled into his front.
“I hate to break this up,” said Arthur Weasley from the fire near his sons head. “But we’re going to need your help.”
“Anything,” said Hermione turning around to look at him, her face set in a mask of grim determination.
Hermione never saw a Disillusionment of that magnitude before. She stood before the Bibliotheque oo Amazon with 100 Amazonian archers Disillusioned, lined up on flying carpets behind her.
She gave a superior look to Severus, who was on the carpet beside her, and they rose into the sky.
A bird-like scream ripped through the air and Hermione looked up to see the sky ripple overhead like something huge was passing overhead.
“What the hell was that?” Hermione blurted out as their carpet rocked in the air.
“Probably K’pluur’s mother,” said Severus smirking her superior look back at her. “He was just a hatchling, you know.”
Hermione looked at him blankly before remembering the tiny snow dragon.
“We’re picking up some Jotuns on the way,” said Severus conversationally.
“Why do you know all this?” Hermione asked, slightly annoyed no one had told her anything.
“I’m driving,” Severus said.
Kebnekaise Mountain in Sweden rippled and a large door appeared in its side. Severus shifted in obvious discomfort by her side.
“What’s wrong?” Hermione asked.
“Well,” said Severus sarcastically. “They can only be killed by gods, haven’t been aground for nearly 2000 years, and aren’t rumored to be very polite.”
“Jotun,” Hermione rolled the word around in her mouth. “Like ‘Loki’ Jotun?”
“Well, I’m fairly sure he won’t be showing up,” said Severus testily. “But the few like him that survived, yes.”
“Severus,” said Hermione warily. “According to legend the Jotun never had problems having children. The last time you saw them was 2000 years ago?”
Severus leaned over to the next carpet with Alexandra and Chloe sitting on it.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?”
Hermione stared at the eight-legged horse flying next to her carpet. She was desperately trying not to stare at the rider on its back, but it seemed as fascinated with her as she did it.
Its skin was black and shiny like obsidian, although it felt like normal skin. Its eyes were clouded over like storm clouds and if you watched you could follow small bolts of lightning through them. Its mouth was a toothless yawn of bloody saliva when it opened. Right now it was molded in a smirk. Its straight dark hair was intertwined with small black adders, slithering about. Hermione wondered if they grew from its scalp. Hermione couldn’t tell if it was male or female.
All the Jotun were different and if Hermione didn’t know better she would have thought they were all different species.
Some had more than one head. Some were fair, others dark. Some no bigger than a cat, one reminded Hermione of Hagrid’s brother, Grawp. A covered figure let her veil slip and Hermione was stunned into awe by the most beautiful woman she had ever seen.
They claimed their kind had a natural defense to Muggles. If the Muggle disbelieved, they just didn’t see them. Hermione certainly hoped so.
After they arrived the battle was a joke.
Hermione had never seen or imagined anything like it.
The top of the Ministry had been blown off, leaving a mile wide hole gaping in the center of London. Muggles were running through the streets screaming. Small fires burned here and there and Muggle firefighters had to fight the panicked crowds to get to them.
The Jotun barely had to do anything but growl and the thousand well-drilled Deatheaters began breaking up in panic.
The few Deatheaters that took to the air seemingly vanished into nothingness. Followed by loud crunching noises and the occasional wail, of course.
Hermione was relieved to see Ron, unconscious on the ground, a broken flowerpot by his head. In all the things that could happen to him in battle he got conked. She breathed out a sigh of relief.
She searched desperately for any sign of anyone through the ruins. They could be anywhere. How many floors were there, anyway?
A hole melted in the floor of the entrance hall and Deatheaters began flying out to attack. They were met with a volley of ebony arrows with a pinkish glow to them. As they reached their targets instead of piercing they encapsulated the target in a clear pink glowing egg. Their wands were sucked from their person and expelled. Hermione watched as figures fell out of the sky. The egg didn’t seem to cushion their landing and she was happy to see some of them fall quite a distance.
Hermione was disappointed to feel her carpet fall back behind the action.
“What are we doing?” Hermione demanded.
“Apperating to the hall,” said Severus shortly as he raised his wand. Hermione joined him and there was a loud bang.
Hermione appeared near Ron and she assessed his wounds. She was right. Just a bump on the head. She saw his wand on the floor near him and put it in his hand so he could find it if he woke up.
Severus was dodging a curse from a small Deatheater and jumping behind a bust of Lothar the Lucky.
“Petrificus Totallus,” said Hermione with a swish of her wand and the figure fell to the floor.
“Thank you,” said Severus, brushing the marble powder from his clothing. He walked to the figure and ripped the mask off. “Jones,” he sneered.
Hermione was startled to see the face of a young boy behind the mask.
“Second year,” Severus said, kicking the boy aside and marching to the melted hole in the floor. Hermione felt pity as she walked by the form, but left him.
They found Neville in a room full of pensives with locked covers. To Hermiones horror he was torturing a Deatheater crumbled on the floor.
“Crucio!” Neville screamed as the Deatheaters back bowed violently.
“Neville!” Hermione cried out as she ran to him. Bellatrix LeStrange panted weakly and her fingers convulsed as they scrabbled at the floor. A thin line of drool fell from her mouth and pooled on her robes.
“One curse for each wrapper, you bitch!” Neville said madly as he raised his wand again.
Hermione knew Neville kept the candy wrappers his mother slipped him, but had no idea how many he had over the years. There must be hundreds.
“Accio wand,” Hermione heard behind her. Nevilles wand flew past her ear and she heard it thwap in a hand near her.
“I think that’s enough, Mr. Longbottom,” said Severus sternly. The fury drained out of Nevilles face and he stood, shaking and pale before them.
“Professor?” Neville whispered. His eyes were dilated. “Hermione?”
“He’s in shock,” said Severus moving to him slowly.
They could hear the sounds of battle descending down into the earth. The Jotun certainly were efficient. Hermione hoped they wouldn’t cause any trouble once the battle was over.
Hermione heard a low rumble growing and the floor began to shake. She looked at Severus who had placed a hand on Neville and was examining his eyes. Severus looked up and turned to look at Hermione.
Just then a wave of green energy vibrated up through the floorboards and hit them.
All they knew was darkness.