Three hours later, true to Harry's word, the bastards were on their knees trembling with fear surrounded on all sides by vampires, werewolves and all manners of 'dark' and 'dangerous' creatures they were believed to be by the Ministry of Magic. Harry may have declared it 'mandatory' but there were dozens upon dozens of people missing or 'exempt' from that order. Those that couldn't stomach torture, or those that had tasks pivotal to the moving forward of their goals. They were so close now, so close they could almost taste it. Years and years' worth of planning and determination and deliberation.
Severus stood next to Rick, watching them, eighteen-years-old, still children really. Children playing at being men, thinking they knew the way the wind blew. He pitted them, for they knew not what they had messed with. Just wanted to impress the Dark Lord, as if it was something anyone should do. So many had desired to do just that, impress the Dark Lord, gain a place in the ranks…and for what? A life of servitude? Back when he was young…it hadn't been as widespread what happens within the ranks, the torture that awaited you. These days? Well, these days everyone knew what came of lifelong commitment to the Dark Lord Voldemort.
Which meant there was absolutely no excuse for them. No excusing their actions, and they would die here, surrounded by the people who cared for those they had so thoughtlessly and recklessly killed. For no other reason than the desire to impress Voldemort.
Complete and utter idiots, and it would be the death of them.
Severus wanted to shake them, to curse them out on their insipid ways. Yet he did nothing but stand there, which was intimidating all on its own. He could see some confusion on their faces, buried under the terror. They evidently recognized him, one in particular kept giving him pleading looks as if expecting him to rescue them from their plight.
That thought was definitely wrong, he wouldn't help them even if he desired to. He would not give up his new family for anything. His mate for anything, for if he did betray them – not that he could Harry had ensured that – he would be condemning every single person here.
A leader that couldn't control his people…his mate, did not deserve to lead. The others Harry was allied with would most assuredly take advantage of that. Everything they worked for would be for naught.
It was a precarious place to be, on the top, and Severus would do anything to protect Harry. Not just because he was his mate…but because he genuinely cared for him regardless of…position in life.
No, he was growing to love him. An emotion he never expected to feel again, but he did, and he would kill for Harry…and would die for him.
Just as Harry would do in turn.
Speaking of Harry, he apparated on the spot, in the middle of his people, looking every inch an avenging angel. He was so utterly breathtakingly beautiful; he was grateful of the ritual he'd done to age up after being bitten. He was most definitely not attracted to children…but this vision? This vision he could get used to waking up to in the morning.
The fact that Harry didn't care that he was an Ex-Death Eater, betrayed his parents, or the fact he wasn't exactly handsome…well, he wasn't sure how he had accepted all these things readily, but he had. Which made accepting Harry fully all that much easier.
It eased whatever conscience he had about these boys, young as they were, despite it mirroring his own past.
"So, you thought to kill my own people and get away with it?" Harry's voice was cold and void of absolutely any emotion whatsoever. It sent shivers down everyone's spine, especially since Harry had made no attempt to cloak his power, which was magnificent in all its glory.
"No, no, no, no,"
"It wasn't us,"
"We don't know who you are,"
"Please let us go! We didn't do anything wrong,"
Harry made no move to silence them, he just watched them in detached fascination. His lips twitching into a curve of feral amusement, as though they were performing a particularly amusing trick, he'd seen dozens of times. Which he really has, he'd taken down anyone that was a threat to his people. Severus had truly been one of the very rare exceptions, only because of the vow attached to them both.
"Well, alright then, you heard them Rick, they didn't do anything wrong, let them go," Harry said impassively.
Hope began to fuel the looks on their faces, unfortunately, though, nobody moved to help them, and the bubble burst as they burst out laughing, but it was a bitter ironic laughter. Nobody was in any real amusement here; they were all braying for blood.
Their faces fell once again, as they began to realize how truly precarious the situation, they'd found themselves in. They suddenly wished they truly had been transferred to Azkaban. It would have been preferable to death. They'd been ecstatic when they realized they weren't at Azkaban only to be bound and shoved to their knees in their current position.
The five of them were beyond petrified.
"Tyson…Raymond, our brothers, you killed them, and very well may have killed Rachel and have left Graham without an arm. You hurt and killed my people…and for that you will pay for it with your lives." Harry said coldly, with a sudden flick of his wand, the five eighteen-year-olds screamed in agony as they suddenly found themselves without an arm, the same side that Graham had lost his.
Jack twitched, the urge to wrap his fingers around their throats and watch their eyes bulge, struggle for breath, watch their lives leave them…was almost too strong. He was the Alpha; he was supposed to protect them. To stand by and let Harry deal with them went against every instinct he had.
There was really only one other that understood what Jack was going through. Fenrir, who had integrated his own pack here within his, and both still answered to Harry. It was only temporarily, Fenrir and Jack both knew that, once the war is won…they'd have controlling interests in their own territories. Admittedly they'd still answer to Harry, but only as allies not directly under him and answering to him all the time. It's pretty much the one thing Harry had made clear to Fenrir who was struggling with his wolf at ceding control – especially to a vampire – but his response had eased both the man and wolf. It was still difficult but not impossible. Fenrir's eyes lit up in delight as he watched the torture. Linus wasn't quite as impressed but he wasn't averse to it.
They writhed in agony within the bonds, which steadily grew tighter as they struggled. The struggles intensified, as their screaming turned shriller as a cauterising spell was applied to prevent their death by blood loss.
"Wouldn't want you to meet your maker too soon, now do we?" Harry informed them coolly. "Not before we impress upon you the error of your ways." Ignoring the boom of delighted laughter that left Fenrir's lips. An idea already springing to mind…he was well aware of Fenrir's reputation…but would they be aware of it?
Incoherent babbling interspaced with pleading met their ears. Tears and snot ran down their faces, they'd already released their bladders. Not that they even realized this, drowning in pain as they were.
Harry observed them coolly, making no attempt to take the pain away. Tyson and Raymond had deserved better. They had not deserved to die the way they had, not because some upstart had wanted to impress Voldemort. They had been looking forward to living a life free of the underground…free of the shadows they were forced into by a prejudice ministry.
Because of them, they would never receive that chance.
"Please…please…" croaked out the eighteen-year-old, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean it, I'm sorry."
"Not as sorry as you're going to be," Harry retorted, struggling to contain his rage. "There's someone I'd like to introduce you to, someone I'm sure you're familiar with…Fenrir Greyback." If they'd been pale because of fear and blood loss, they lost the remaining colour in their faces.
Jack was just about to suffer an apoplexy; his veins were popping he was that furious. As terrifying as Greyback was, Rachel was his pack, the loss…was on both of them a vampire and a werewolf. They were a singular group, one massive pack/clan. There was no person grieving more than any other.
"And the Alpha in charge, Jack."
Jack staggered a little in surprise, giving Harry a look, silently asking if he was serious. Was he really going to delegate torture? Normally he was that pissed he did it mostly himself, but if others had been severely wronged, he'd let them get in a bit, and sometimes, although very rarely, let them finish the culprit off.
"It better last more than ten minutes," Harry said coolly, before stalking off, Severus' hand in his own ensuring his mate came with him, much to everyone's confusion. That was until they caught sight of Darius just at the open door of the warehouse. Each of them stilled, as they tried to listen but the doors of the main warehouse closed, and nothing could be heard.
They feared the worst.
Fenrir cracked his fingers, his massive body unfurling until he stood at full height. Which made him significantly much more impressive. His son was currently with one of the kinder members of his pack, one that definitely didn't have the stomach for that sort of thing. Not that he minded overly much, so long as he protected and defended the pack. He wasn't going to abandon a werewolf for not having the same bloodthirstiness as him. Pack was family, he'd do anything for family, as proven for all he'd done for his son.
Harry had rescued his son, protected him, and for that he'd always owe him a debt that could never be repaid. He had two children now under his protection, he intended to keep them, watch them grow. Keep them safe, build somewhere where they'd be happy.
Although…this…this was a good start. A vicious grin spreading across his face at the whimpers of fears and sheer terror exuding from them. He had spent years carefully and strategically building up his reputation. To make sure no werewolf hunter dared to come near, to give him such a fearsome reputation – something he did with relish – that he'd never be messed with. He'd succeeded, to a point, then was used like a lap dog for an insane melodramatic of a wizard, something he hated. Wizards were all the same for the most part. Thought they were better because they were wizards, like werewolves and vampires and other creatures were lesser.
He could hardly believe that one day soon things would change for the better for them all. If not for his son being found that day, he would have worked and inevitably died by Voldemort's hands. He would have been lost to his son for good. Of that, he never had a shadow of a doubt.
"You…you…you…you…" spluttered the biggest of the five, unable to articulate what he wanted to say. Teeth chittering as he watched Fenrir come closer.
A derisive sneer spread across his face, reckoning he knew exactly what he was thinking and wanted to say. "I SERVE NO-ONE!" Fenrir boomed, grasping a hold of one of them, the blonde began wiggling like a worm on a hook.
"I'm sorry," he squeaked, "Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry," trying to placate his captors in hopes of them letting him go. The desire to survive strong, but there was a part of him who knew nobody was coming for them…that they would most assuredly die out here somewhere they didn't even know. In a country not their own.
"What's wrong?" Harry immediately asked, his impassive visage giving away to concern, praying that they had not lost Rachel too.
"I lost her for a few moments there, but she's breathing again, I am not sure whether she will survive. Part of me wants to allow the others their chance to say goodbye…should the worst come to pass." Darius admitted, "It doesn't look good at all."
Harry inhaled sharply, for Darius to admit this, it must mean she was in very bad way. "I see," he murmured, eyes shadowed.
"What of Phoenix tears? Would they not help her?" Severus asked, his wonderful mind whirling over potential potions and ingredients that could help her.
"I'm out of Phoenix tears," Harry admitted, "They're very expensive and I'm only able to get a few drops at a time. The wizard I last got mine from has since passed away." He'd had an entire vial at one point, a very small vial. Phoenixes were notorious for their selectiveness when it comes to shedding tears even for their Masters. If he had them, he would have most definitely used them to heal her. Phoenix tears would heal her internal wounds, flush out any poison and maybe, just maybe one layer of her skin, the rest would still be brunt but the burn salve would get the rest of it.
If he'd had a heartbeat, Severus' would surely have been pounding. "I need to leave; I'll be back as soon as possible."
Harry rose both brows w0ndering what his mate was up to, he inevitably gave a nod, "You aren't a prisoner here. You can come and go as you please." He teased him, but it was also a reminder as well. Harry was his mate, not his Master. Things had significantly changed since he was put on his knees before them having been trying to gain entrance on orders of Dumbledore.
Severus gave a nod, before he Apparated away.
"Rachel's nearest and dearest aren't here observing this except Jack," Harry informed Darius, who had a hopeful look on his face that Severus could come through for them. They weren't sure what he was attempting…perhaps he knew someone who had a supply of Phoenix tears? "They'll be at the cabins with the children, go and get them, or send someone to get them."
"Poppy is with her currently," Darius explained, "I'll go,"
Harry nodded grimly, before he walked through to their healing wing, and sat next to Rachel who was drugged to the gills to keep her feeling the painful burns. She was wrapped like a mummy in bandages that were oozing with burn paste. "Come on, Rachel, fight this, you're strong, stubborn and determined…you achieved the impossible…keep doing it. I'll make them pay; I'll make them suffer like nobody ever has." He vowed to her his hand in hers giving her limp hand a squeeze. "Come back to us, we've already lost enough."
Harry's gaze shot up and over, a concerned look on his face but Graham was just moving in his sleep to get comfortable. Or as comfortable as he could get, minus an arm he was used to all his life. Harry vowed to create something – whether magically or otherwise – to ensure he had the use of two arms. There was something available…he could recall reading it, but from what he read it was silver. After a few moments of silent contemplation, he recalled which book, it would be used as a base to finding something better.
Before long Darius returned with Rachel's nearest and dearest, none related by blood. It was very rare you'd find someone that was related to you if it wasn't a son or daughter you've had since the change. Family tended to abandon you when you became something 'other' than a wizard or witch.
They all stood there looking gutted, Harry stood, "Go on, I'm not sure when Severus will return…but I'm sure he'll let you know immediately if anything can be done." He added, squeezing Rachel's hand again, he slid out of the room. Letting the others say their own pieces. Hopefully the kids were still being adequately watched. He did not want any of them wandering in on the scene that was currently going on.
Fenrir no doubt was making good on Harry's promise to make it painful and as long lasting as possible.
When he exited the main warehouse, he slammed the door closed quickly, as screams rang out throughout the entire area. Thankfully, any sound was safely contained within their boundaries.
Nobody on the outside would be aware of anything concerning happening.
When Harry made a reappearance, the others made a path for him, before returning to their position. The smell of burnt flesh was strong, clearly Fenrir didn't have a problem using magic when he desired to.
"What's going on?" Rick asked in a quiet murmur, "How is she?" tone grim.
"It doesn't look good," Harry admitted, and everyone naturally heard him, with their advanced hearing it was impossible not to have heard every word. "Severus has gone to see if there's anything he can do. It may well be her only hope." If only he hadn't used those phoenix tears in his potions…hindsight was a bloody bitch.
"Please, stop, stop, stop, don't…I'm sorry,"
Harry observed Jack and Fenrir, who were working in tandem, seething in fury working off their frustration on people who most definitely deserved it. The five had quite deep burn marks on their bodies, which was only the beginning really, tell-tale signs of spell damage were evident too.
Someone had also used one of their served arms to beat them with it. Probably Jack, who was rather ironic like that. Jack was always calm, centred, in control, except for one reason…if anyone harmed his pack…they saw a side to him they would never want to see. He was vicious, defensive and protective of those he cared for.
Harry had only seen him that way a few times in all the years they'd known one another.
He felt rather than saw Severus return, the wards granting him immediate access. That was quick, hopefully it meant that Severus had been successful in whatever he'd attempted.
Harry narrowed in on the three unconscious figures, levitating them, he woke them up and blasted them in the chest and they went flying falling with wails of agonising pain onto the grass, leaving dents where they'd fallen with such force. Two of them had landed on their cauterised shoulder, and the wounds had reopened, and they were bleeding out slowly.
"Have at them," Harry stated, "Waste not want not," and that was all the permission they needed. Telling them to do whatever they liked, screw warning Voldemort anymore, he'd just get rid of the bodies. No point to warning your adversary of who, what and how after all. Voldemort would meet his end without any idea of what he was truly facing.
"You feeling alright?" Rick asked, more amused than concerned, watching the others rip and tear the bastards to death, while a few fed from them with ease. He didn't usually give up a chance at a spot of torture.
"I've lost two of our own…one might still not make it…we're so close to our goals, I feel elated and frustrated at the same time." Harry sighed, rubbing his hand over his face. "I've been thinking of Kai a lot lately." He admitted.
"He'd be proud of you," Rick said seriously, there was no doubt about that. "You did what he dreamed of doing but neve did get to kick it off." Mostly everyone was branding together, agreeing with Harry's vision. Who wouldn't? The thought of not having to hide and scrape by just to survive…to have jobs, to have homes, to have lives not obscured by darkness and the shadows was more than they'd ever hoped for.
"I know," Harry said with a smile, "Plus, they should get to have their own revenge on those that killed Raymond and Tyson." They were always there, so the group knew them very well. Unlike Shade and the others who were more often away than here with them.
"Yes, we do," Rick agreed, "They didn't deserve to die like that." Unemotionally watching as the bodies were discarded and magically banished.
"No, they didn't," Harry said darkly, nodding as Severus approached, he said nothing, waiting on Severus speaking.
"I gave Darius the phoenix tears," Severus replied.
Rick's eyes widened, "How the bloody hell did you accomplish that? Magnus is dead!"
"Fawkes," Severus replied wryly, "Dumbledore's phoenix, I took a chance that my loyalty to the school would be enough to summon the bird. I honestly didn't think it would work, but it did. Hopefully it's enough to see that she survives…" she'd gone out of her way to welcome him, so he wanted to repay that favour. Plus, he'd been wary as hell of werewolves when he first came – due to his past history with them – this was a silent unspoken apology for that too.
Relief swamped through everyone, "Will they help her burns as well?"
"At least one layer of the skin but the burn salve will do the rest." Harry reassured Cali who had came with Rachel to join the group. They had remained good friends, and she hadn't been here five minutes ago so must have come out after Severus had. She didn't know much about potions, even after all this time here, she was a Muggle werewolf, who had survived the change, one of the rare ones.
"Will it?" she asked hopefully, she didn't want to see her friend burnt to badly for the rest of her life.
"Yes, it will take a week given the severity of her burns, but she'll look as good as new by then." Harry said, "If the phoenix tears manage to heal her enough for her to pull through." He didn't want to give her hope unless he was one hundred percent confident, but he wasn't. The shock and severity no doubt had affected her internal organs…he was no healer though even if he knew quite a lot about it.
"Talk to Darius, Cali, he'll be able to reassure you," Rick said, laying a comforting hand on the werewolf, she was young by their standards. Still a child in so many ways, with everything done that he and Poppy could do for Graham and Rachel, he'd have time to reassure those closest to her.
Cali nodded, "That was my next port of call, but he was busy I didn't want to ask too many questions…" not when he was saving her best friends life. Well, more like mother figure really to begin with, but since coming here, Rachal hadn't really had to adopt more of that motherly role so it had become a protective best friend/sisterly role.
She screwed up her nose at the smell of burnt flesh, and blood that saturated the area a little. She felt no sympathy for those who had hurt her best friend though. They deserved everything they got. He would have been furious if they hadn't been hunted down, and would have gone and done it herself.
Harry having noticed her reaction, and knowing the children would be milling around also, waved his hand and the smell disappeared. Leaning against Severus, fondness almost overwhelming his good senses. "Thank you," he murmured, so very grateful for his actions, he'd already lost two, he didn't want to lose another one.
"You're welcome," Severus murmured back, it felt so very good being able to save someone. To give back to these people who have made him feel more welcome here than he'd ever been anywhere else since he was a youngster. And those who had made him feel welcome…had been using him and doing so in orders of the Dark Lord due to his known genius at potions. Here…there was no ulterior motive, they didn't want a spy on either Dumbledore or Voldemort's side. He was genuinely wanted here.
Which was why he'd follow Harry to the end of the earth.
His leader and mate to the very bitter end, whatever that end may be.
Win or fail…he will die happy, free from the tyranny that was Dumbledore and Voldemort.
Okay, so I managed to get the chapter done! Phew! The next chapter will be posted before the New Year and I won't make you wait so long again you have my word! Plus, once I know all my little plots again, I'll have it all wrapped up in no time at all :D I'm looking forward to writing the battles especially the one with Voldemort and a bad as Harry! But like Kai will Harry live to see his dreams realised? Or will Severus take over and make sure everything Harry wanted comes to pass? R&R please!