Disclaimer: See Chapter 1
A/N: My readers are AWESOME! If anyone would like to join me on Discord, go to my profile to get the invite for the Emerald Library.
As of January 2023, I have a new job. This means I will have writing time again and hope to add more to my stories soon.
April 16, 1997
Several owls had landed before him today. One had a Gringotts' seal, another was from auntie and the last from Sirius.
"What does Sirius want? He doesn't usually send you letters," Hermione was curious.
"It's probably Sirius finally admitting that he was Stubby Boardman and wants to go back on a concert tour," Luna commented.
Harry chuckled. It was only the three of them so far this morning. The others would be joining them soon since a few of them had Runes in less than an hour.
"I'll have to convince him of that," Harry agreed.
Luna gave a satisfied smile.
"Sirius says he is meeting with the Frosts on Friday. He's going to offer them a deal that their youngest son, Ian, will be trained and partially fostered by Sirius. He doesn't want the boy to grow up with the same views as his father. His mother and him will be living for part of the year at a new house in the Lake region. I guess Mrs Frost had come from a neutral family but had been sold off as part of a business deal to Mr Frost," Harry said.
Hermione frowned. "I agree with teaching them to not be bigots, but is it necessary to separate them?"
Harry shrugged. Luna was stirring stuff into her porridge as she said, "To cure the cancer, you have to remove it. My father is friends with the Darlings and knew Rebecca before she was married to Lord Frost. We had been to their manor a few times for parties, but not in years. My father had an argument with Lord Frost over Muggles. Lord Frost couldn't believe they had horseless carriages or planes that could fly."
Hermione rose a brow at the blonde.
"We all know some wizards are more than a hundred years behind the times," Harry commented.
"Anything else?" Hermione asked.
"We now have a private box at the Wigtown Wanderers. There is a match next weekend if you want to go," Harry replied.
"They should let you play seeker for a game," Luna suggested.
"Not interested, thanks," Harry told her. The Wanders were a mid-league team, usually winning more than they lost, but nowhere near the top. "Besides, I'd probably embarrass Emerick."
Hermione snorted. "Thinking a little highly of yourself, aren't you?"
"Perhaps," Harry acknowledged. "You might find this interesting. Sirius is going to go through their library and vaults. He's going to add anything 'interesting' to the Black library."
Hermione looked interested. Sirius had given her full access, except for those few that required you to be blood, to all the books, scrolls and other items in the Black Library. Harry had access to everything.
"I'll have to see what he adds," Hermione said excitedly.
Reading the letter, Harry was wondering what else Sirius had planned. As much as he always says he hated his mother and how most of his family were, he was proving to be quite vindictive against the Frosts.
April 17, 1997
There was a clink of a fork on a glass from the head table. Over the general din of the students talking, the sound somehow cut through to them all. It took just a moment for the Great Hall to quiet. With everyone looking towards the head table, Dani made out Robert Frost. She still felt a little frightened of him, but now that Harry and Uncle Sirius had beaten his family, she was starting to be really angry at him.
Cordy took her hand. She had been upset with him and the others for a while, hoping they would be beat up themselves. Gwen was still afraid.
"If I can have your attention, please," Headmistress McGonagall addressed the hall. When the last of the talking died, she nodded. "Mr Frost would like to address the hall. The floor is yours, Mr Frost."
The boy swallowed, all his swagger and superiority gone. Dani looked at him curiously. She had only seen him once or twice in the last week and found this change interesting.
He opened his mouth twice before he spoke. She couldn't hear him.
"Mr Frost, you will have to speak louder," McGonagall encouraged.
Frost swallowed. "My name is Robert Frost. I have come up here today to offer an apology for something that I have done that was wrong. Would Ms Danforth, Ms Umbridge and Ms Rosier please stand?"
Pucey and a few others cast them nasty glares while Frost fidgeted. When they stood, Frost did a respectful bow. "I, Robert Frost, offer my sincere apologies for the harm I inflicted on you." There was a slight sneer as he stayed in the bowed position. "Trapping you and beating you up for beliefs of my father and perceived slights is a dishonourable act. It has caused shame to my family. It has caused shame to myself. It has caused shame to you. I have already received my punishment from my Lord Black and will accept any punishment you wish to enact so that I can reclaim some honour and make amends for my actions."
Mutterings and shocked gasps could be heard around the hall, especially at the mention of Lord Black. The whole school knew about what happened on Monday. It was impossible not to since it had been front page news most of the week as Houses dropped out of the blood feud and Sirius moved to take over assets of the Frosts.
Dani looked to her friends. Leaning in close, she asked, "Did you know he would ask for punishment?"
"No. It's a rather old form when someone is wronged. We should make him shave his head and wear pink lipstick," Cordy said rather vindictively.
"He should be beat with brass knuckles," Dani said angrily into the huddle.
"I like the lipstick idea. How about he has to wear a skirt too for the next month?" Gwen added.
All three girls had wicked smiles when they turned back towards the boy. He was one of three, but they could make a statement that they were not to be messed with. Her cousin wouldn't stand for it, and she was getting ambitions that she wanted to lead Slytherin like Daphne was. She wanted to be the power to see her house become a place where no one had to fear, where bigots were no more and where a Muggleborn or raised could be just as successful as anyone else. There were many good virtues of being a Slytherin, but over the years all the bad ones were all that had been seen in the school.
Out of their group, Dani was seen as the leader, mostly thanks to her connection to Harry and Daphne, but soon she would have her own power. "I, Danielle Danforth, protected of House Potter, request the following punishment of the Headmistress."
The hall went silent as McGonagall regarded her. With a nod from McGonagall, Dani went on. "For the rest of the year, Mr Frost shall wear a girls uniform to represent his lack of honour." Frost paled and others dithered or laughed. "He shall also join us with Madam Bulstrode to learn how to be a proper girl of society. Perhaps he will learn how to treat others well."
She smirked to see the boy's eyes roll as though he might pass out.
The hall was abuzz with the punishment. Harry was laughing over at the Gryffindor table, where Daphne and his other friends were tonight. Her friends and her had started to sit on their own again. She may be protected by House Potter, but she wanted to be her own girl.
McGonagall's voice cut over the chatter. "I shall allow this punishment. Should anyone bother Mr Frost about his attire, they shall lose five house points. Should it become recurring, then further punishments shall be discussed."
Dani caught Daphne, the one she most wanted to be like, give her a nod of approval. Dani and her friends giggled as they sat. Pucey and those left around him looked worried.
April 21, 1997
Amelia was panting. As much as she had tried to stay in shape over the years, she was now thirteen years past her time as a Hit Wizard. She could still beat or match most of her staff, but some had become better than her now.
While she was catching her breath, her nephew, well, more her son in all but blood, was twirling his wand with a cheeky grin. He looked slightly tired, but not winded. The only sign that he might be less than one hundred percent was the cut on his cheek when she managed to get in a lucky cutting curse. The boy was way too talented for his age, but they spent the better part of the last three years making him so.
"Do you need a break?" Harry teased her.
She gave Harry an unimpressed look. "When you duel Pucey in a few weeks he will not give you a break. If I know him, he will have his older son with him. Pucey is a Master Dueller and had a success rate as a Hit Wizard greater than I did. His only shortcoming was that he brought them in dead more often than needed."
Harry nodded. She couldn't fault him for taking this seriously. She knew his determination to keep his girl, cousins and everyone else safe. "Is he really that dangerous still? I thought he retired almost twenty years ago?"
"The Puceys have been some of the best duellers for many generations. Lord Pucey only retired because his older brother was killed serving Voldemort. He couldn't endanger his family line anymore, so he retired at fifty-four. After that, he remarried. His two surviving children from his first wife are all adults and should have children entering Hogwarts soon," she informed Harry, though he should already know this.
Harry nodded. "But he is what? Seventy-six now?"
"Don't let age fool you. Dumbledore was one of the deadliest and most skilled duellists at a hundred and thirty. He was capable well after most would be and was still able take on Voldemort directly before you banished him," she reminded Harry.
"Right. So, no more fooling around. Are you ready?" Harry questioned, his wand coming up. The steely determination on his face send a wave of pride through her.
She gave a determined glare at the challenge he was giving her. Straightening up, she forced her body to relax and to use some of her magic to strengthen it. She didn't wait. The second her wand was up it was spitting out spells. Harry dodged. She thought she would catch him as he dove to the right, his dominant side, only to find her spells reflected back at her.
She dropped, flattening herself to the floor of the training room in Grace Hall. She rolled, her wand flicking to put up a shield as Harry countered. The shield gave her enough time to come into a crouch. Harry had to take a few steps back to avoid his own reflected spells. While doing so, he had cast a shield breaker and a few low powered bludgeoners.
Having no time to curse, she dove out of the way, rolling behind an overturned table. She splashed water all over the floor as the tip of a blade suddenly shot through the table near her shoulder. Harry wasn't trying to kill her, but he was practicing some of the more ruthless tactics they had taught him. They would be needed against Pucey. A flick of her wand to put a sticky spell on her boots, a jab to turn the whole floor to ice and she stood, a shield ready to block the spells she knew would be coming for her.
"Bloody hell," she got out as Harry slid on his back on the ice around the table and she decided a nap was due as a stunner hit her in the chest.
When her eyes opened, a grinning Harry was standing over her. "Maybe we should work on our team work now?" he suggested, holding a hand out for her.
"Cheeky blighter," she muttered, not moving. She felt sorer than she had in years. "I think that's it for tonight."
"Should I get Tipsy or Dobby to get you a pain potion?"
She went to sit up and laid back down instead. The cold floor felt good on her protesting muscles. "That might be good."
Harry sat on the icy floor next to her. "Is Pucey as good as you?"
"He might have been better," she admitted. "I am unsure now."
Harry looked pensive for a few. "I just barely win against you a quarter of the time."
She gave him a wry smile. "Harry, even that is an achievement. Sirius and Remus will be here tomorrow night. I think you have done just about all we can teach you in a singles dual. We will start working on your teamwork and you taking on more than one opponent. We have two more weeks."
He nodded. "I didn't hurt you too bad, did I?"
She groaned as she finally sat up. "Nothing a good soak and sleep won't cure. You've given me more of a workout in the last week than I've had for years."
"So, you're getting old," he said with a laugh at her glare.
"You aren't too old for me to whip you around this room," she warned.
Harry rubbed his jaw. There was a small bruise forming from where she had punched him earlier tonight in a close fight. "I don't know about whips, but you have a nasty right hook."
"Don't you forget that. Get back to Hogwarts. I'm sure Daphne will be wondering where you are," she told him.
Harry tapped his wand to his wrist. "Bloody hell. I was supposed to meet them in the library an hour ago."
She chuckled as he rushed from the room. "Tipsy," she called out.
Tipsy came into the room, slipping some on the melting ice. "Did mistress slip on the ice?"
"No. It was Harry. Can you get me some pain relief and muscles mending potions with some tea? I'll need it after my bath," she told the elf.
Tipsy nodded her head, "Yes, mistress."
She slowly got to her feet, feeling the twisted ankle and strained muscles she wouldn't let Harry see. She needed to start working out more again. After his performance though, she was feeling he had a better than average chance of making it through this. She was determined to see it happen. She needed to be here for him and Susan. Harry needed to be there for Daphne and his cousins. He was also getting excited that he would be a godfather in the fall. Harry and Susan would get everything they wanted out of life. They deserved it after what their parents gave up to make sure they lived.
Groaning as she sat up, she decided that she needed to get into better shape again.
April 26, 1997
Neville had stopped to lean over. His hands were on his knees as his chest heaved as he caught his breath. Harry was pressing harder than ever, and Neville just couldn't keep up, even as healthy as he was. Harry stopped, walking in a circle around him, his head back and chest heaving just as much. "Come on, Nev. Just another two miles, I think," Harry told him.
"Bloody... hell... Harry," Neville got out in gasps. The run wasn't any longer than usual, but Harry was keeping a pace at close to five minutes a mile. That was much faster than his normal seven or eight, especially when the circuit they did was close to eight miles. "You... trying... to... kill... me?"
Harry laughed. "Trying to keep others from killing you," he replied.
Neville grunted. After a moment, he stood up and started to move. They had been taught that stopping without stretching or cooling down could cause cramping. He felt a tightness in his left leg. "I'm not the one duelling," he replied, his breathing more under control.
Harry gave him a cheeky grin. "You can't tell me that Tracey doesn't like what the training does for you?"
Neville gave him a roguish grin. "She doesn't complain," he replied. "And Daphne?"
"I think her stomach is harder than mine," Harry said back.
Neville laughed before giving Harry a searching look. His best friend looked stressed. "Are you worried about the duel?"
Harry's face scrunched in concern. "Auntie is. Lord Pucey is supposed to be a bad arse Hit Wizard, and his older son is one for the ICW. I'm trying not to think about it."
Neville frowned. "Do you think you will win?"
Harry shrugged. "I am not going in thinking we will lose."
The serious look on Harry's face had Neville concerned. "Nev, if something happens, will you look after Daphne and my cousins?"
Neville wasn't used to such a serious Harry. "You'll make it through this."
"If I don't, can you promise? Claim Daphne and Astoria protected, if you can. Keep Susan out of things. You will have claim over the Peverells and Glamorgans as my cousin. They aren't part of the terms of the duel. Protect Dani and Terry," Harry told him, pacing like a caged tiger.
Neville reached out and took Harry's arm. They embraced each other's forearms. "Harry, I give you my word I will do everything I can. You aren't going to be burke enough to leave me to it though."
Harry chuckled before quickly sobering. "I mean it, Nev. Daphne, you and everyone else means more to me than anything. I need to know Daphne will be safe."
Neville tightened his hold on Harry's forearm. "You have my word as a Longbottom and your cousin, I will protect Daphne and everyone."
Harry nodded, tightening his own hand on Neville's arm. It wasn't a magical vow, but it was unmistakable the way magic recognized his promise. After a moment, they let go of each other. "Come on. I still need to beat you up after our run and I'm sure Tracey will want to kiss you better."
Neville struck out at Harry's arm, who easily deflected it and fell into a boxer's stance. "Bloody fuck. How do you do that so fast?"
Harry shrugged. "Practice."
Neville snorted before taking off. "Let's go. No time to be lazy," Neville said over his shoulder.
"Bloody wanker," Harry groused, quickly catching op to his best friend.
May 2, 1997
Daphne was breathing hard as she rolled from her back to her side. Harry stretched his arm out to wrap around her shoulders as she put her head onto Harry's sweaty chest. They had left Hogwarts just after the last classes today, going to Grace Hall for dinner. When she had taken Harry's hand after dinner, it had been very apparent that she was not leaving his side. Auntie Ami and her parents hadn't said a word when she asked Dobby to take her bag to Potter Green. No one stopped them as they took the Floo to the castle that would one day be their home. He may not be seventeen quite yet, but she was, and he was her betrothed. Tomorrow was going to be a day that he either survived or didn't and she was going to give him a reason to come back to her.
That reason was why they were both breathing heavily.
Harry wrapped his arms around her, their nude bodies warm and tingly against each other.
"I love you," Harry whispered to her.
She smiled before kissing his chiselled chest. "I love you too," she told him.
They didn't say anything until it got a little uncomfortable and sticky as their sweat dried. She rolled off him to his side. Harry shifted to let her use his arm as a pillow. It had been too long since they had been like this. Each time she lay with him, the more she looked forward to the time they could do this every night. She put an arm over his midsection and squeezed, not wanting to let him go.
"I'll be alright tomorrow," he told her.
Daphne shifted so she could look into his emerald eyes. They looked certain. "How can you say that? Auntie Ami says that Lord Pucey and his oldest son are deadly Hit Wizards."
Harry kissed her forehead. "Auntie and I work well together. I won't say it will be easy, but we'll make it through."
She shifted to be on her elbows. Harry's eyes wondered to her chest before coming up to meet her eyes again. She enjoyed that he liked her body so much. Now wasn't a time to think of how her body reacted to his though. "How can you be sure? I trust in your skills, but Frost was an old man that didn't really know how to duel. Pucey has taken down more dark wizards than even Auntie Ami."
"Do you trust me and Auntie Ami?" Harry asked.
"Trusting you is not the issue, luv," she told him.
"Then trust me that Auntie Ami and I have done everything we can. If, and mean if, something goes wrong, you are to take Astoria and go straight to Nev."
A cold fear shot through her. "What are you saying, Harry? I am not going to leave you," she told him with a determination born of desperation and love.
Harry lifted his head to peck her lips. She let him but wasn't happy with what he was looking to say. "Daph, I have to know that you are safe. If something happens to me and Pucey goes after House Potter, Neville is going to claim his rights over the Peverells and Glamorgans. He is going to protect Dani and Terry. He has also agreed to claim you and Astoria as protected vassals if they go after the Greengrasses. Your father was an idiot to put up your house in this. You have to promise me you will go to Neville and ask for sanctuary."
Her lips pursed. A small amount of doubt had seeped into Harry's features. Her eyes searched his for a long few minutes before she set her face. "You listen to me, Harry James Potter. I have claimed you as my betrothed. Do you understand that? I have given you my body and my soul and claim yours in return. This was the promise you made that night you put this ring on my finger, and the oath the first time I gave myself to you," she told him, holding up the engagement ring that had both their crests on it. "I am Heiress Potter-Greengrass. You are Scion Potter-Greengrass. You get that? Potter-Greengrass. There isn't one without the other. You are mine, Harry Potter. You will come back to me. I will lay in your bed with you tomorrow night. Is that understood?"
Harry moved his hand to wipe a tear off her cheek. "I am yours, Daphne Ophelia Greengrass. That is an oath I will not break."
Another tear fell down her cheek. "You promise?" she asked in a rare moment of doubt.
"I promise. How else will you become Daphne Ophelia Potter-Greengrass?"
She gave him a watery smile before leaning down to kiss him. It wasn't long before she was climbing on him this time. The first time they had made love tonight had been fast, needy and hormone filled after weeks of not laying with him. This time it was slower, more exploratory and filled with an emotion that she could only describe as loving. As she rode him, Harry seemed to get that she needed reassurance that he would be in her arms tomorrow night. That feeling came through in the way his body moved below her. He worshipped her in a way that had her magic wrapping around his.
When they were done, she flopped onto the bed, curling against him and letting him hold her. She started to cry with how worried she was. Harry ran his hand through her hair and just held her. At some point she fell asleep, her head on his chest. The rhythmic beating of his heart and the way his chest rose and fell assuring her that he would always be there for her.
May 3, 1997
Harry was walking down the lawns to the duelling area that had been setup today. There were hundreds on the grass and hill that overlooked the ring. Daphne was holding his hand, with Susan just behind him with Auntie. Sirius was walking besides them with Erica hear today. She was starting to really show. Hermione, Blaise, Neville, Tracey, Anders, Iliana and most of their allies were behind the blue tent he was heading for.
Many were looking around the area, the castle and him. Most had not seen the rebuilt Peverel castle until today, nor the grounds and area he planned to turn into a village larger than Hogsmeade. The inn would break ground over the summer.
The day was bright, allowing the green scales of the basilisk vest, vambraces and grieves to shine light off them. Auntie was in a more modest black dragon hide vest and vambraces of a Hungarian Horntail. Harry had offered her some of the basilisk, but she had said she preferred her own.
Just outside the tent, Daphne gave him a soft kiss. "You are mine, Harry Potter."
He gave her a soft smile. "As my lady demands," he replied.
"You better remember that. Nothing stupid today," she instructed.
"No. Nothing stupid," he agreed. They shared a slightly longer kiss before she went off to join her family to watch.
Susan gave him a hug. "Be safe and good luck," she told him. "Keep an eye on auntie."
"I will, Susie," he promised. She really was his sister. As much as Hermione was.
Inside the tent, Sirius looked to them. "This is a little more serious this time, pup. You are going to do well."
A nervous gurgle was building in his stomach. "Thanks, Padfoot."
Sirius gave him a hug before he left when the representatives were called. Harry stepped up to the open flaps. Auntie stepped up next to him. "Remember. Keep your cool. I think they will try to take you out first. Either don't be there or defend. I will cover you. Lord Pucey is an excellent duellist and swords man. From what I hear, Drake only really prefers wand work, but don't drop your guard."
"We have gone over this every day for weeks," Harry told her.
"And attitudes like that get people killed," she said in a hard tone.
Harry looked into his auntie's eyes. "Auntie, I am not being peaky about this. I have heard everything that you, Sirius and Remus have told me. I repeat it several times a day. Daphne has claimed me, so I fully intend to make sure I am there for her. Susan needs you, so you will be there too. I promise I am taking this seriously."
She gave him a proud smile. "This is just very serious, and I want you to be there for Daphne and everyone else."
"I promised Susie you would be too," he told her.
"Duellers to the field," the judge called out to them.
Auntie took the same long stride as he did. From the tent next to them, a tall man with white hair, a muscular build and wearing red leather armour stepped out. Next to him a man in his later thirties stepped next to him. The younger man had black hair, dark eyes and a muscular build like his father. He wore dark blue robes cut more like a long riding jacket. It looked to have better movement than most wizards' robes, giving credence to the reports of the younger Pucey to be a skilled duellist. Only those that moved while duelling would have a cut like that.
"Who are the duellers today?" the judge asked.
Sirius was first to respond. "Scion Potter-Greengrass and Regent Bones will represent House Potter."
At a nod, a man across from them said, "Lord Pucey and his eldest, the Scion Pucey, shall represent the House of Pucey."
"If everyone is in agreement to the rules and spoils, duellers take up your position. The House of Potter to my right and the House of Pucey to my left," the judge said.
The older man across from them had an expressionless face as he eyed him up and down. The man's son had a look of disgust. Harry felt like he was being dismissed. Hopefully he could use that.
"Can you cover me for about ten seconds?" Harry asked as they turned to walk towards the magically produced line on the far side of the field. Like in the last one, the duelling area was an oval that was a hundred yards long and over twenty-five at its widest.
Auntie looked at him. "Now isn't the time to change our strategy," she told him.
"Please, Auntie. I have an idea that might give us an edge. Neither Pucey think I'm a threat. I think they will go after you. If you can give me enough time to do a few transfigurations, I think we can win," Harry told her.
She pursed her lips as they made the red line in the grass. Turning to face the Puceys down the eighty-yard gap, she gave a small nod. "I'll give you what time you need, then we are to close the gap. After that, I need you to be on point."
Harry nodded. Looking at the two men, one in his seventies, the other in his thirties, had a real fear go through him. He hadn't felt anything like it since the last time he had fought Dumbledore. Though, with Dumbledore, the man wasn't trying to kill him. He had no doubt that either Pucey would end them both if he got the chance.
"On my sparks, begin," the judge said moving to the edge of the temporary ward stones. He touched the stones. A slightly shimmery blue field grew over them before fading. Unlike last time, there were more powerful wards. This duel was expected to be bad.
"Three. Two. One," the judge called out. When red sparks shot out, many things happened at once. Harry dropped to the ground, his wand twisting and twirling as he manipulated the ground. Auntie pulled up her wand, willing a wall of dirt to shoot out of the ground before she transmuted some of it into thick stones. In that time, both Pucey's transfigured a half dozen spears each. Auntie had just barely finished her inner wall before the spears impacted the wall. Dirt flew everywhere and stones cracked at the impact of the spears. She moved to reinforce the wall as a dozen snakes and then four large wolves grew out of the ground.
"Locomotor Statum," he barked a few times, animating his creations. Sneak around and attack our enemies, he ordered the small black snakes.
"Ashwinders?" Auntie questioned as the wall was struck by more spears and blasting hexes. One spear made it through with a three-foot-long shaft and foot long point coming to rest not far from Harry's right shoulder.
"Yeah. Let's blow the wall," Harry suggested as a third round of spears hit it.
She nodded. A second later, two bombarda maxima blasted the wall. Clumps of dirt, shards of rock and shrapnel from the spears burst down the field. A spear just missed impaling him as he twisted. They had practiced this for the last week. It was a technique not usually practiced in a duel because of the results if you lost focus, but it could be highly useful. He heard one of his transfigured wolves give a yip of pain before he blinked out of existence for just a moment.
Inside the pitch, they were allowed to apparate. He came into existence on the very edge of the field. His wand came up, getting off two piercing hexes before he had to shield himself from the debris of their wall. Auntie was next to him, her own spells flinging from her wand.
He had expected to get some type of jump on the two Puceys, but they were better than Harry had thought. Lord Pucey had a Protego duo protecting their front. The younger man, as though expecting something like this, had turned, his back protected by his father. The man threw something before his wand was deflecting Harry's spells. Auntie was just fast enough to get a shield up and have two thin daggers bounce off it.
Two of his wolves howled as they ran through the falling debris. "Take the bitch!" Lord Pucey ordered. He swiped his wand, sending a few large slicing hexes down the field.
Harry took the opportunity to drop his shield. His wand twirled as he conjured a gale force wind, then banished some of the rocks towards the younger man. Auntie was back stepping as she blocked or deflected a barrage of spells. The younger Pucey, caught off guard that Harry would use a physical attack, stumbled as the air went through his shield. He didn't wait for the rock to hit as he whipped his wand. A fire whip came out.
Lord Pucey turned to see Harry advancing, the long whip racing towards his son. Auntie didn't hesitate to through a knife. Lord Pucey blocked Harry's whip, only to cry out in pain as the knife buried into his shoulder just at the edge of his vest. She cast what Harry recognized as a freezing charm, then a cramping hex. She wasn't trying to kill them.
The rocks had knocked the younger Pucey to the ground, allowing him to roll to avoid the spells. Lord Pucey looked livid for being wounded. He barely flicked his wand, a large purple spell racing towards Harry before he pulled up a low earth mound before his son. Harry recognized the organ expelling curse. He dove out of the way. Out of instinct, he felt something and rolled. The ground blew up just next to him. He covered his head as he rolled again. Another spell ripped up the ground where he had just been.
The growl of a wolf was met by the screams of pain. He heard a woman and man screaming out in pain. Harry rolled onto his knees, his wand coming up to cover himself with a Protego duo.
One of his wolves had made it through and had latched onto the arm that was already hurt on Lord Pucey. Auntie was on the ground, a hand on her side and a shield up. The younger Pucey had gotten up and was peppering her with spells. Harry knew they were to stay together, but it was too dangerous to attempt another apparition. Instead, he pulled up a mound of earth. They had found he was good at battle transfiguration. "Projihastam terra!"
The clump of earth turned into a half-dozen spears and launched towards the Pucey's. His wolf was falling to dirt as a fireball blasted it apart. Auntie was trying to go on the attack again, but the younger Pucey was just too fast. He wasn't fast enough, though, to shield against the spears. Harry wasn't sure if the man even saw them.
"DENNIS!" Lord Pucey cried out, his wand coming up as his left arm was limp at his side. His son turned in time to see the spears. It saved him from one going through his chest. Instead, it pierced his wand arm. The man didn't say anything as he was spun about by the impact. Harry watched in horror as he spun though the air. Lord Pucey's shield had been too late.
Harry, seeing Lord Pucey's wand start to move, just barely got a solid barrier up before being peppered with spells. "HARRY! Get out of there!" Auntie yelled out.
He dove into a gouge that had been made by a spell just before a huge orange spell hit the barrier. It exploded into huge chunks. One of them hit his shoulder. His basilisk vest prevented the chunk from cutting into him, but it didn't do much to dampen the full impact of the blunt force. The pain had him see spots for a second. He rolled, more pain running up his right arm.
He had only been saved by Auntie. She was standing up. Spells of every colour and shade were being traded between the two between raising and falling shields. Harry tried to grasp his wand. That was until he realized his right hand wouldn't work. Through the pain, he rolled over enough to take his holly wand. He wasn't as good with his left arm, but bombarda spells weren't precise spells.
He cast a few. Lord Pucey growled as he side stepped one, missing one of Auntie's spells, then diverted another of Harry's. Auntie threw up a shield to avoid it. The distraction was all Lord Pucey needed. He swiped his wand at Harry, forcing him to shield a blue cutting hex. Auntie stumbled back at the force of the spell that had been batted at her. The man was jabbing, swiping and flicking his wand. Harry recognized piercing and organ expelling hexes, followed by a Night Reaper curse.
"No!" Harry cried out. He jabbed his wand out. A rock flew towards Auntie. She was able to block everything until one of the organ expelling curses broke her shield. Two piercing hexes hit her. One cracked the hardened leather of her vest, another hit her near her neck. The rock impacted the Night Reaper curse. The explosion knocked her back. She collapsed on the ground.
Harry didn't stop, roaring out in anger. He slashed his wand, sending solid looking silver cutting hexes at Pucey, followed by piercing hexes. Pucey was hard pressed to stop the cutting hexes, but easily batted the piercing hexes. Harry tried to get off more cutting hexes but had to shield as the man started a stream of nasty looking spells as he stalked towards Harry.
Harry moved into a sitting position as he shielded himself. The man had power and rage. "You die, Potter! I am tired of dealing with your interfering family," Pucey growled as he kept up the onslaught. Harry did everything he could, but found he just wasn't up to the man's skill when he was focused on only one thing. Harry cried out in pain when a piercing hex made it through his defences and put a pencil sized hole through his left arm. He couldn't keep his cries of pain as another hit his leg above his greaves and then his hand, forcing him to drop his wand.
Harry fell over, shards of pain running through his body.
The man stopped his onslaught to come and stand over him. "I have underestimated you for the last time," the man said in a cold rage. Harry rolled to see the man standing over him. Blood was dripping from the man's left arm. He had scratches all over his face. Blood trickled from his nose, which looked crooked.
Harry spat at the man. "Most seem to underestimate me."
The man's anger fell into a disturbingly placid face. "Yes. It would appear so. Now, you have hurt my son. Let's see how you like it to get a spear through you."
Harry straightened up. It was funny. He felt afraid to die earlier. Now that he was faced with it, he was accepting of it. Did he want to die? No. It was the last thing in the world he wanted. He wouldn't give this man the satisfaction of knowing that though. There was also some strange peace in it. His life, up until Daphne had asked him to tutor him that day third year, had been nothing but pain and a fight for survival. It had been a fight almost not worth it without Hermione and Ron. Now, though, he had so much in his life he wanted. Daphne. Auntie. Susan. Hermione. Blaise. Neville. Dani. Terri. Tracey. Remus. Sirius. A godchild on the way...
Harry had a family, the one thing he had been so envious of Ron when they had been friends.
He watched as the man moved his wand, a six-foot-long spear transmuting out of the dirt. He raised it over Harry's head.
Looking at it, Harry wasn't going to go down without a fight.
He had a family. Daphne needed him. He made an oath to her that he was hers.
A fire lit in him. Just as the man was about to bring his wand down, Harry rolled. He grit his teeth against the pain as he grabbed the knife out of his holster. The spear came down, glancing off the basilisk vest. Harry threw his knife as another spear hit his vambraces. It bounced off, sending it towards his shoulder. It glanced his shoulder, making another cut. Harry grabbed his wand as he rolled, spinning to point it towards the man when he stopped.
Lord Pucey's wand was up, another spear over Harry's head, but the man was looking down, horror in his eyes. Harry followed the man's eyes. One of his ashwinders had buried its fangs into the man just above his boots. Kill. Protect Speaker.
The ashwinder let go, only for another to strike out and get Lord Pucey in the other leg. The man gave a strangled cry of pain. His wand dropped to his side. The spear fell, point first, just next to Harry. "I did not see that," the man said as a third ashwinder bit him.
He was quickly turning white. The ashwinder bite and venom was fast acting. A single, even two strikes, could be countered if you got to the person in minutes. But three? Four? After the fifth strike, Harry said, Stop.
Lord Pucey stumbled, then fell onto his knees. "I underestimated you again."
Harry felt a little sick to see the man's skin turn ashy grey. As much as the ashwinders were called as such from the pattern they left in ashes, their bites had the effect of turning someone's skin to the same pallid hue. The man fell forward, giving out a few wheezing breaths before he stopped breathing.
It took eight hard heart beats before the judge called out, "Duel complete. House Potter wins!"
Harry let out a heavy breath before letting the pain racking his body overtake him. His body protested the damage done to it, falling over to his side. He saw black before his head hit the ground.
Projihastam terra = throw spears of earth