The Leader

Chapter 63

Next Day

"Sir, Graham came back, but he's alone," Wyatt called out urgently, as he bolted towards the vampire, he was charred and smoking, one of his arms was gone. He looked as though he'd gone ten rounds with a dragon, something had gone seriously wrong. It had been a long time since any plan of theirs had gone wrong, since they were patient and waited for the opportune moment. Most groups rebelled, wanted everything too soon, but they knew patience, knew this was something they were prepared to do for the long haul. "Graham? Are you alright? Can you hear me?"

It didn't take long for everyone to be surrounding Graham, worried and concerned about what happened and the rest of his group.

"Move aside, let me through!" Darius hollered, having heard the commotion and was immediately on the move. "Get me some blood!" he demanded, as he levitated the vampire onto a stretcher. Without further instruction he begun to swiftly make his way to the hospital ward they had set up.

Wyatt automatically made his way to the blood bank, to do as Darius asked, retrieving two packs of blood. Losing his arm…he would have lost quite a lot of blood in the process. If they didn't want to deal with a feral vampire, they needed to ensure he got blood into his system after they cauterized the wound where his arm once sat.

It didn't take long at all for Harry to Apparate into the fray, his hair slightly messed up giving it a general 'I've just been thoroughly fucked' look, or had been doing the 'thoroughly fucking' as it were. He didn't act as though he'd been interrupted, even though every vampire and werewolf in the vicinity knew he had. They didn't call attention to it, used to having so little privacy, there was no such thing as a personal life for them. Everyone knew everything, and who was doing whom. It also wasn't a surprise to see Severus follow at a more sedate pace, not aware of the wards and the danger Harry sensed within their sanctuary.

"Josh take five others with you and see if you can find out what happened!" Harry ordered, "Do not go close enough to alert whoever it was, stay away from the radius of the detection spells and do not take risks," his eyes shadowed, Tyson, Rachel and Raymond had been with Graham, and he didn't know what had happened to them.

"Yes, Sir!" Josh called out from the other side of the warehouse, sounding just as grim as everyone was feeling right now.

"Howard, take Shade and three other people and warn all our groups out today, I want them all back here right away," Harry barked out, as he stalked towards the main warehouse, he could hear everyone gathering together, leaving their cabins and exiting different sides of the warehouse. Shade knew the ins and outs of the operations, where his people were on the day, and normally he'd be out in half an hour to oversee his own but that wasn't happening.

Darius was busy tending to Graham, while Wyatt fed him the blood in order to strengthen him. He unlike the others didn't feel the desire to drink it himself, he was only a half-vampire, and while he liked the blood, he didn't have to survive on it. So, thusly, he didn't have to fight off his own instincts in order to feed the unconscious vampire.

Both Darius and Wyatt glanced at each other, able to feel the anger and rage emanating from their Leader. They weren't afraid he would turn that anger onto them, if anything they joined in his anger. Their own had been attacked, why or how was insignificant really, in the grand scheme of things, but until Josh and the others returned with information…they weren't going to make assumptions, they just hoped, no, prayed that this situation wasn't as bad as they thought.

"He'll survive," Darius finally informed Harry after twenty minutes of silence, while Harry simmered in his anger. "He might not wake for a few days, the shock of the attack was strong on his system and the loss of his arm…" well, vampire or not that would shock anyone. Vampires were immortal – if they weren't killed – and often time that came with the belief that they were indestructible, which just wasn't the case at all.

"What…what were they doing?" Wyatt dared to ask, his brow furrowed, hands clenching into fists, out of them all Rachel was the most liked, the happiest of them all, so easy going much like him actually. If she was dead…he would kill whoever was responsible. With extreme prejudice. The others would want to as well. It had been a long time since anything had gone wrong…or they lost so many people. Three was a lot of people, to them, especially since it was people they liked. Loved even. They'd never lost so many people in one incident. They had all been taught well.

"Something that shouldn't have put them in any danger," Harry said coolly, he knew Wyatt wasn't asking out petulance or questioning his leadership. He was angry, vindictive, he wanted to hunt down those responsible and make them pay just like everyone else. He had ensured that everyone in the group got along, made them close to one another for most part, so seeing them all geared up to unleash hell was expected. Relished even. Everyone else would be going through the same feeling right now.

Sudden tight grips of hands on his shoulders brought him out of his depressing thoughts. He didn't need to look around or wonder who it was. He could feel his mate, smell him, his scent was unique to him, it grounded him, made him realize he wasn't alone.

"Don't lose your head," Severus whispered reverentially into Harry's ear, "It's what causes more losses, and breaks in the ranks." Giving genuine advice, ones he'd observed, from both sides of the war while he played spy.

The Dark Lord's ranks had always been about power plays, so there were a lot of manipulation, hurting people, or threats, hell even blackmail to make sure they stood down. As a spy he'd been pretty much untouchable, along with Lucius – until he'd displeased the Dark Lord anyway – and up there with the likes of Bellatrix and the Lestrange brothers. It filled Severus with glee at the knowledge that the Dark Lord

As for the Order, they were all for imprisoning them, being the better man in he war until they began to lose good friends and family. Then it turned from defending people to wanting to kill them all. They expressed that desire but Dumbledore had put a stop to it. Talking about second chances and not wanting them to mar their souls by killing. They'd reluctantly pulled in line, but Severus had seen many had been very unhappy with the decision. It caused dissension in the ranks. Not enough to cause them to actually branch out, but if a few Death Eaters were killed by a few of their spells, well, they hadn't set out to kill. Dumbledore of course, just turned a blind eye. Considering one of those people was actually 'one of his good friends' it was understandable really, it was Moody after all.

Severus' presence calmed the raging storm within him, but not for one second had he thought of going out there half-cocked and risking his people. Or rather more of his people. "I know better than to act irrationally," it was why his group was still going strong after all these years, he was keeping his promises, keeping himself level headed, didn't mess up when he was pissed off and always made time for those who needed him.

"Do you?" Severus asked, his tone cautioning and questioning. So far all he had seen was smooth sailing, except from the little hiccup that was actually himself. That hadn't caused losses, and when there was loss, there was usually retaliation or acts of anger that caused more death. It was expected even, hence his questioning.

"I am not Dumbledore or Voldemort, Severus, you need to remember that," Harry explained sitting next to Graham, who was sleeping soundly. "I know your experiences' are going to cloud a lot of things, including your reactions to things you expect me to do."

"You aren't angry?" Severus asked incredulously, staring at Harry with an inscrutable look on his face. Was Harry Potter even capable of feelings? Yes, he knew he could, he'd seen him soften considerably towards Rab and Greyback and Lockhart's children and the other kids that were often seen around the warehouse. He had seen him grieving for his father figure, his sire. He saw adoration in Harry's gaze when he looked at him, respect too, but that was besides the point, you would think without knowing Harry at all that he had sociopathic tendencies. When it came to the emotions of one at any rate. He had assumed so the first few days, Harry had been too much like he who believed he belonged to him.

Just like Voldemort.

"Oh, I'm furious, murderous really, but trying to wade into a situation that I don't know is at the height of stupidity." Harry said coolly and calmly, eyes glinting that showed the true extent of his anger. "One might even say suicidal."

"Indeed," Severus murmured, it was all very true, he was grateful that he wasn't going to have to try and talk sense into Harry. Or worse stop him from making one of the biggest mistakes in his life. Harry had worked so long and hard trying to bring light to these people. To have the house of cards coming crumbling down now would be a damn shame. He wanted Harry to succeed, not because he was his mate, or because they were sleeping together…but because it was his dream. Something he had worked long and hard on and he'd be damned to see it fail. He wasn't sure when he'd become invested on the success of this enterprise…but he was.

That realisation was a shocker, but not terribly surprising, Severus wasn't one for living in denial, especially not for long.

"So, what do you plan on doing?" Severus asked after more than a few moments of silence. "Hunkering down for a while?"

Harry frowned, "I'll need to wait until I get all the information I can gather, but right now…it would be a good idea to keep everyone here. Ground all operations that aren't vitally important or in a secure building," They wouldn't be attacked in the Ministry, he would need to inform all his contacts and those pledging their allegiance to him, it wasn't fair if they were kept out of the loop. He'd put them on high alert until he knew more then decide whether to put out a critical alert. Which he had hoped only to use in the event that everything was compromised and they needed to go into hiding. It was only one down from black alert, which was sending them around the other side of the world with Rick as the leader in the event of his death.

"You received a letter from Minister Fudge," Rick informed Harry, removing the letter from his pocket, and handing it over, he could smell the pathetic wizard all over it. He hadn't opened it of course, it wasn't addressed to him after all. "For Thorn." He hadn't seen Harry since yesterday, so this was the first chance he had to give it over.

Harry arched a brow and accepted the letter, opening it swiftly by breaking the wax seal, aware that it had probably been thoroughly checked by Rick before he even picked it up. It was a long letter, three pages long, and instead of writing on the back, each sheath of paper was written on only one side.

A snort from Harry drew Rick and Severus' attention, but neither asked what caused it or why.

"He wants to meet me," Harry said wryly, shaking his head, a three page letter to ask for a meeting, "Laid it on a little thick," he mused, as he closed it back up and slid it into his pocket. You didn't need to be a genius to figure out he was flattering him in order to get what he wants. Although, what he actually DID want was not known at this time, but Harry could take a wild guess. Truthfully it wouldn't be much of a guess at the end of the day.

The rest of the day went by with a whole slew of visitors visiting Graham, and a dozen blood packets being given to the injured vampire during the times where the visitors were at its lowest for privacy sake. Harry, Rick and Severus remained at his side, as they waited for news of Tyson, Rachel and Raymond from Josh who had left as commanded. It was a risk, and Harry wished he had taken it himself, and the time that went by, also made him worry farther. Fortunately, Josh and the others would take his orders seriously, and try to find out what had happened without going too close which means it would take longer to find anything.

The second he felt Josh and the others return, he closed his eyes and inhaled in relief, grateful for their return at any rate.

"In here," Harry said quietly, knowing he would be heard.

"Sir," Josh said, entering the hospital room, he glanced at Graham unhappy to see that he was still unconscious.

"Have you been able to find anything out?" Harry asked, tense and alert.

"I…it was wizards, of that I have no doubt, their magic saturated the area," Josh explained, eyes flashing furiously, "There are Aurors on the scene, but whether it's because they did the attacking or they were called after the fact we couldn't find out. They were using silencing spells and nobody was able to get a lock on their lips to read what they were saying."

Harry hissed through his teeth, "I see," he murmured, furious over the attack, "If it was Aurors' they're becoming brazen, I want to know who is responsible." He would kill them himself for what they'd done to Tyson, Rachel and Raymond as well as Graham. "The others? any sign that they survived?"

"No, Sir, I don't believe they survived," Josh informed him, sighing wearily, the attack had been ferocious really, "The Fiendfyre was used, I think Graham cut his own arm off in order to survive."

Rick and Severus inhaled sharply, unable to imagine the pain and desperation to survive that one would cut off his own arm. The swiftness of it too was impressive, he would have only had seconds to react, to survive, oh, definitely impressive really. Unless, one of the others had done it before they perished, which was entirely possible.

This group had a closeness that Severus had never seen but was glad to be part of. The Order and Death Eaters were always out to impress their leader for most part, with a few who weren't at all interested in cosying up to those in power but doing it because they felt it was the right thing to do. Then there was the fighting, the need to go further up the ranks, it was a tiresome and dangerous. He was reminded often just how different everything was quite frequently, and it took him aback. Just like earlier had. Yet again.

"Either that or one of the others did it for him in order to let him get away," Severus pointed out, none of his internal musings showing on his face.

"I guess we'll find out when he wakes," Harry said with deceptive softness, "Inform the others what we suspect, I want all eyes and ears on this that's conceivable within the Ministry."

"Which is significant," Wyatt said, as he entered the room, a solemn look on his face. "Seventeen of us have gained employment within the Ministry of magic. Amelia Bones has just confirmed it, we're expected to start as soon as possible."

Surprise flittered over Harry's features, "Seventeen?" impressed despite himself, yes, he'd asked Amelia to try and have as many of their own in place, but Amelia wasn't in charge everywhere, he'd hoped maybe five or six of his finding employment, but seventeen, it was perfect really. "I'm impressed."

"Do we wait to accept the positions or…?" Wyatt asked, aware that they'd essentially been placed on lockdown until they knew what happened.

Harry pursed his lips, a thoughtful look on his face, what if this wasn't a random attack? What if more of his people were taken out? Yet, if he didn't take this opportunity, others would get it setting back their cause by a significant number, and halting a number of plans in the works. This close to the end game…it was irritating to say the least. He had a choice to make…which wasn't completely his, he acknowledged. "I'll speak to them in my office in an hour, inform them that I wish to speak to them." Harry informed Wyatt, "They need to make this decision for themselves." Explaining his actions for once, knowing everyone would hear and discuss it amongst themselves so he wasn't putting them on the spot once he begun speaking to them.

Severus watched everyone's reaction closely, and wasn't at all surprised nobody seemed surprised by his decision. They trusted him wholly and completely.

"Yes, Sir!" Wyatt said, moving across, squeezing Graham's shoulder, "Wake up soon, man," he said, giving a nod to Harry, Rick and Severus – his superiors – before he vacated the room in order to do as asked.

Jack was probably frothing at the mouth, furious over Rachel's demise, hopefully Reg would keep him grounded and calm. If not, it would be up to Harry to make sure Jack didn't do something stupid. Rachel had been very well liked, and loved by the children, who weren't used to losing people they care about. Protected as they were here in sanctuary, from all outsiders and the grim reality that the world was in face of magical creatures.

"Make sure Jack is doing alright," Harry said quietly to Rick, concern written across his features. It was never easy for Alpha's when they lost their Beta's, not at all. His and Jack's loss was fundamentally different, but he grieved for them no less than Jack. It had never meant to be a dangerous mission, not at all, the fact that it had gone belly up enraged him. He felt as though he'd let them down, had let them down, they were gone, never see their triumph.

He would do it though, for them, for everyone they'd lost.

Rick carded his hand through Graham's curly locks, "I'll be back," he promised the young vampire, and he was young, compared to him. Rick rubbed his jaw with his other hand, a tired tic that he hadn't hidden. The stress of this situation was getting to them all and it had been nearly nine hours since the attack.

Harry was very reluctant to leave Graham's side, but he had asked to speak to the others and it needed to be done. Darius gave Harry his assurance that he would inform him the moment he woke up, and not to worry he wasn't in any danger. He would survive, of that they could be assured. It seemed to be an epidemic as of late, people losing their limbs, between Tonks and Graham.

"Has he had enough blood?" Harry asked, staring down at the vampire – who was actually older than him, but only by half a decade – hoping he'd wake up soon. He wanted to know what had happened, who he owed his wrath.

"For now, yes, he won't need anything more for at least a day, and I've already enquired, Wyatt informed me that there's more than enough still in supply." Darius reassured Harry from where he sat at the corner writing.

"Good," Harry said, giving a nod, relaxing a little that there was not going to be further hiccups along the way. "Thank you, Darius," Harry murmured, before he left, Severus silently following behind him.

"What a day," Severus sighed, it had started so good too.

Harry chuckled, "Yeah," he agreed tiredly, "It's been a while since something like this happened, I wasn't expecting it." he had to admit, but he always adjusted well enough.

"How bad?" Severus enquired, as they crossed from the main warehouse to the office Harry used next to the cells, which were now empty, due to the process of getting the new prison up and running. They'd been one of the first occupants of the new prison, which by the way, was a significant improvement over the old one. Significant didn't really compare really, Azkaban was a cruel and unusual punishment for those who break the law.

"We lost twelve of our own, so worse," Harry said grimly, "I wanted to give in, just walk away from it all, but…I couldn't let those who had died…down, or their lives would have been in vain."

Severus had nothing to say on that front, it was true enough. To have given in at a really difficult hurdle would have made every death, every sacrifice be in vain. Opening the doors they passed the cells, which was barren, very different from Harry's office, which was quite large and airy, with a whole slew of different things inside. Potions, books, documents, writing implements, desks and chairs, enough to ensure everyone was comfortable while they plotted and planned.

"Why didn't you have your office situated in the main warehouse?" Severus asked in curiosity, despite the seventeen others sitting waiting patiently for them.

"This all used to be all my office and workspace, the cells were installed for convivence sake," Harry informed him, by then the warehouse had been converted into what it was now, and nobody wanted to see their sanctuary changed. Harry had no particular attachment to this space, so it was an easy decision to make. It had been a good idea, the Lestrange's hadn't been the first to use the cells, or even the pit come to that, no a lot of their enemies had used them.

"Alright," Harry said, staring at the others, who had worry and determination written across their features. "You already know why you're here," he told them, sitting down, rolling his shoulders in an effort to relax some more. Waiting until Severus had sat down as well, before he continued, "You've all been offered a job, we do not know why Graham, Tyson, Rachel and Raymond were targeted. Whether it was a random attack or not…and we might not find out…whether you choose to accept the position open to you in the Ministry of magic is entirely up to you."

"But what if we don't and it pushes all our goals back?" protested Tami taking offence to that, they all knew they were so close. So close they could taste it.

"Oh, it would," Harry agreed, "But we will have other opportunities to accomplish it, but to do that I need all of you alive and healthy." He didn't necessarily want to backtrack everything but needs a must, their lives meant more to him than that. "I've waited a long time for this…postponing it a few months won't harm us." More like a year, but Harry truly did not mind, he cared about his people, all of them.

"How big is the threat?" Gregory asked, a frown marring his features.

"We do not know if it's an actual threat," Harry informed them, "Regardless of the nature of the attack and why, they will pay for it with their lives."

"Good, they shouldn't get away with…" Tami stated, her friends were dead, and she wanted vengeance.

Abrupt knocking on the door had the conversation ceasing. Harry barely glanced at the door, still staring at Tami, waiting on her finishing her sentence. He merely flicked his hand at the door, and it swung open, but did not bang or otherwise seem as angry as they all knew Harry was. It spoke of the immense control Harry had over both his magic and emotions, never allowing them to mix, Severus had a feeling there was a story there.

"Yes?" Harry asked, Rick was there, alone.

"It was Death Eaters, young ones trying to prove themselves," Rick informed him, through gritted teeth. "They've been arrested and are currently in the Ministry of magic awaiting transportation to prison until the trial."

"To be going to prison they must have…" Severus murmured, aware of the short time.

"Confessed, yes, it's hardly difficult when the culprits are eighteen-years-old and bang to rights." Rick nodded, still furious, their lives cut so needlessly by idiots.

"Who?" Severus asked, closing his eyes in sheer dread, his heart sinking at the thought of yet more students he'd taught behind arrested for the rest of their natural lives. Foolishly joining the Dark Lord and thinking themselves untouchable.

"You won't know them, Severus," Rick informed him, "They're from Durmstrang, their magical signature was recorded in the Ministry when they came for wand permits!" which had of course, led the Ministry, as incompetent as they could be, right to their door.

The relief that thrummed through Severus was almost too much for him to bear. He didn't want to see his students make the same mistakes he had, but it was inevitable. The fear of what happened to their family or worse being disowned as a traitor and killed was too strong. They choose the easy road, and nine times out of ten…their lives were ruined before they actually got out of their times. To be reminded it wasn't just students from Hogwarts but those from Durmstrang and Ilvermorny being pulled into this…it was horrendous.

"Find out when they're being transported, I want them brought here," Harry said with a dangerous edge to his voice.

Severus swallowed thickly, glancing at Harry, wondering if what he thought was going to happen would happen. Their age was definitely not going to get them out of this. Harry was going to make an example out of them, just as he had with the Lestrange's but the Lestrange's had at least came out of this alive…was there any hope for those who had unknowingly just committed suicide by attacking Harry's people?

"I'll get it done," Rick stated firmly, before closing the door and leaving once more now that he had delivered the news. His mind mulling over the new orders, there were a few ways it could be done, replacing the portkey and having them transferred here, a simple obliviate on the guard if it wasn't one of their own…or collecting them from the prison once they were situated, who would have thought having control over a prison would be a good thing? He knew from experience that Harry wouldn't rest until he repaid them in kind for their actions.

"I guess that means we can all accept the positions without reservations?" Andrew suggested, he could see that the others had settled knowing what the situation was, but their ire was no less severe. If anything knowing it was some silly little clowns trying to play the big bad guys that had done this made it worse.

"If that's what you want to do," Harry informed them, knowing who did it…didn't necessary negate any danger. For all he knew they had been acting on Voldemort's orders, he would know soon enough. Unlike the Ministry of Magic, he didn't need to fear retribution or being sued if he used Legilmens or Veritaserum.

"I want to do it," Stephen insisted, sure, they were hiding what they were for the moment, with a great deal effort by Harry to create them. when it was over, they would reveal their true status to the world, make it equal for all. Wizards, witches, vampires, werewolves and all other magical creatures that were looked down upon and scorned for not being fully human.

There were murmurs of agreement all around.

No sign of anyone saying no.

"All of you?" Harry asked, looking around for any sign of hesitance, but there was none in the air, none in their eyes, they were all ready to go through with it. Pride gleamed in his eyes, as he nodded, he was proud of all of them. It didn't surprise him, they wanted the world to change just as much as he did. "Then I suggest you all begin to reply, don't send them all back at once, with the Ministry so busy, they might only have one person working on it, and it will be suspicious if they all end up at the Ministry at the same time." Especially with it being late at night, and not during the morning rounds. "No doubts?"

All of them shook their heads, well aware that their Leader could see.

"Very well, dismissed," Harry said, watching them pile out, "Leave the door open," which would stop the silencing spells activating. Sighing softly, when he felt Severus coming up behind him, wrapping his arms around Harry and leaning his chin on Harry's shoulder.

"You aren't to blame for what happened," Severus murmured low enough so that nobody else could overhear them. It was taking time to figure out and modulate his tone so that he could whisper without anyone overhearing but being a vampire…well, it was taking time, but he'd adjusted to life quite easily for the most part.

"I feel a level of blame," Harry confessed, leaning into Severus' solid and comforting touch. "A staggering amount of blame." He amended, it had been a simple assignment that they'd been on a million times before, nothing dangerous, just showing their presence with the clans to ensure they kept to their side of the deal. Never in the same place twice, so that they didn't build up a routine, which is the best way to avoid an attack of any kind.

"But you cannot hold yourself responsible for everyone else's actions, you're brilliant, insightful and downright amazing at detecting possible motives and moves, but you are not a god or omnipotent, there was no way you could predict a random attack." Severus refuted, knowing it wasn't that simple, Harry wouldn't let the guilt go just because someone was talking sense, it would take time.

"No, I cannot," Harry answered, simple enough, he still wanted to kill the bastards who had killed three of their own and grievously wounded another.

Severus and Harry both cocked their heads to the side, straining to listen in, hearing their names.

"He's awake," Harry realized, deducing what had been discussed.

Severus nodded, "You already know what's happened…do you really need to go down there after he's just woken up?" he knew how it felt getting debriefed immediately after trauma. It felt as though nobody had cared, well, he hadn't, Severus had just been a pawn to Dumbledore in the game he had between himself and the Dark Lord.

"Yes," Harry said quietly, he needed to know exactly what had gone down, and he wouldn't get that information from the culprits for a while yet, maybe days depending on when they actually transferred them to the prison. Plus, they'd need a good scare before he got the truth from them, which he would get even if it meant drugging them or using Legillimency.

Severus grumbled a little in discontent but said nothing further.

"You can stay here if you wish," was all Harry said as Severus let go, giving his hand a squeeze, understanding a little why Severus was put out. They didn't talk about Dumbledore often, but when they did, it made Harry wish to kill him strengthen farther. There was no place for Dumbledore in the world he was creating, a man who professed to have the rights of creatures in his heart but did absolutely nothing while unobtrusively changing them to make their lives harder. He was a two faced duplicitous character that Harry detested without his own personal history with Dumbledore coming into it.

Severus didn't even consider just remaining in Harry's office. After the attack…everyone would be looking to Harry to make it right, to make everything better. It was a lot to put on anyone's shoulders, and if they presented a united front it would also help them feel safer, more secure. Plus, Harry needed someone firmly on his side, the loss was felt widespread amongst the group, he could scent it, and it was an awful scent. Was that what he had smelt like when he came here? "I'm coming," he said in answer, not even letting Harry take a step before he decided.

Harry nodded, giving Severus a tired and weak smile, gratitude and thanks mixed in as he and Severus left his office. The door being closed and locked behind him, they took all of five seconds to be at the door of the small hospital ward they'd set up.

They were met by Darius at the door.

"How is he?" in other words was he up for visitors.

"You best come in, he's asking about Rachel," Darius explained, a pained look gracing his features, "I've given him a calming draught, to see if that helps." No doubt he was in shock still.

"Shock?" Severus questioned staring intently, he didn't personally know Graham, in fact, he couldn't say he'd met more than a dozen of them more than once. The group was large and diverse, and a lot of them weren't even here, and more were going elsewhere for a bit.

"It certainly seems so," Darius replied, but he didn't know for sure. He might be reliving what had happened, and wasn't able to articulate it.

"Rachel," came Graham's voice, slightly slurred, and his eyes were glazed.

Harry sat down on Graham's bed, clasping his hand, "I'm here, Graham, you were attacked today, do you remember?" his voice firm and soothing.

"Rachel," he murmured, but his gaze was sharpening just a tad.

"That's right, you, Tyson, Rachel and Raymond went out this morning," Harry said firmly, "You were attacked."

"Rachel…" Graham said again, and Harry was just beginning to feel tendrils of annoyance which he suppressed, he couldn't get annoyed at him he was clearly in bad way. Then, he spoke again, "Alive?"

Harry sat up straighter, was Graham implying she was alive or asking if she was? "Graham, are you asking if she's alive?" saying nothing more. There was silence for a few moments, before an idea struck Harry, "Squeeze my hand if you mean to tell me she's alive, that she survived the attack," a little urgency in his voice, he paid no attention to the others who were now crowding around the door, Jack was at the forefront.

Harry inhaled sharply at the feeling of his hand being squeezed.

"Did you get separated during the attack? If it's a yes, squeeze my hand," Harry ordered, almost wanting to jump up and order a search.

Another squeeze was his answer.

"If she was injured squeeze my hand," Harry said yet again, trying to gauge whether he was coherent or not.

Yet another squeeze.

"Burnt," came the wheezy answer, and it looked as if it was all he was capable of.

Harry leaned down, "I'll bring her back, I'll find her and bring her back, you have my word," he received another squeeze longer this time. "Rest, you need sleep," he needed to recuperate, he was clearly in a great deal of pain.

"Darius give him something to aid him in sleep, he needs it," Harry ordered, once they were sure that the wound would heal properly, he would give Graham a new arm, he'd try to make one skin coloured not silver, something else to create. He intended to do the same for Nymphadora Tonks, who wasn't coping very well with the loss of her own limb. "As for the rest of you, we're going out and we're going to search every inch in a six mile radius for Rachel until we find her…is that understood?" he stated to everyone outside the room just waiting to get in on the action.

They all agreed, if Rachel was still alive, they'd move heaven and hell itself to find her.

Yup, I know this chapter came out of nowhere BUT things were going to smoothly for Team Harry ;) had to have something go wrong I was considering Rick or Wyatt as the victims...but I just couldn't do it LMAO I'm too attached to them I'd rather Rick or Wyatt go when they're closer than this...anyway there we go! I hope you're enjoying the story and I'm sorry about the long wait, I'll try to make it more fair to all the stories even if I only want to update a few lol well, will Rachel be found alive or will she have passed in the time they'd spent vigil at Graham's bedside? R&R please!