I'm sorry if the formatting is poop, I'm afraid I don't have a proper word processor on my new computer… (The old one kinda blew up… long story, maybe I'll post it some time, lol)
Anywhooze… Here's reading!
Oh… READERS TAKE NOTE… This chapter hasn't been checked brilliantly… I thought it best to post anyway… *glances fearfully at angry readers with pitchforks approaching* meep!
Chapter 64 – Butt kicking
As Harry felt the pain in his scar flare, he knew that the time for action was drawing near.
With any luck the main student body would be safely ensconced in their common rooms and Slytherin's attack would do little to even catch their attention.
He looked around the hall at the people who'd been included in their plan. It was, perhaps a slightly surprising group. Harry pondered that a year ago, involving this particular ensemble of people in engaging the Dark Lord would have seemed folly.
Dumbledore was at the hub of the ensemble. He caught Harry's gaze and inclined his head slightly. Unfortunately his beard succeeded in snagging itself on a button and the elderly wizard's imposing presence was shattered as he dissolved in giggles in his attempt to free said beard.
Harry chuckled to himself and let his eyes roam over the others.
Professors McGonagall, Inigma and Figg were standing with Lupin and Sirius to either side of the great doors in order to nullify any supporters the Dark Lord might have gathered.
Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Fred and George were lined beside Dumbledore and were trying to stifle their own laughter at the headmaster's beard antics, their role was to drive away any dementors or other dark creatures.
Ron Hermione and Neville had assured Harry with stories of their performing an impressive joint Lion-patronus during the dementor attack at the start of the year.
Even so, Harry felt uncomfortable that his friends would be placed in an obviously dangerous position.
Harry himself was concealed under his invisibility cloak, which he was very pleased to be using again.
His job was to stay hidden until Slytherin had been singled out. They couldn't afford him to be incapacitated when Dumbledore started the sequence of moves that they'd agreed on to defeat Slytherin.
Time seemed to creep by with painful slowness. There was a hushed quiet among those that awaited the attack.
The first sign that the attack had begun was the chill that sent shivers down their spines.
Harry identified the source immediately.
"Dementors are coming. Get ready guys."
The horrifying spectres formed the entire primary attack force for Slytherin. They swept effortlessly into the hall and Harry felt his vision start to cloud, he watched with mounting desperation as his friends and teachers struggled to summon patroni.
The first person to manage the spell was McGonagall. Her silvery creature was quickly joined by several others and by the time the dark robed figures glided into the hall the silvery patroni had formed a circle and systematically worked together to keep the swarm of dementors at bay.
Harry made a sweep of the hall and sidled stealthily towards Professor Figg whose face had gone chalk white.
"Professor Figg? Arabella? Are you alright?"
He whispered insistently
She blinked a couple of times and Harry noticed the tears in the corner of her eyes.
"It's just the dementors Harry. Don't worry."
She whispered, a determined look steeling onto her face.
With a shake of her shoulders she straightened and cast the strongest patronus charm that Harry had ever seen.
The gigantic, silvery phoenix joined the ranks of patroni who, now bolstered by its arrival managed to drive the dementors away.
The victory was short lived.
No sooner had the dementors fled than they were set upon by a new wave of robed figures.
Yelled Neville, his brow furrowed and his wand held high.
The masked figures seemed to move in perfect synchronicity. Harry tried to think clearly past his shock. There was no way that Slytherin ought to have been able to raise and train such an army in such little time!
He inspected the ranks and watched carefully as Sirius' stunning spell ricochéd.
They're under a shield charm! He realised.
Muttering under his breath Harry hoped fervently that casting the counter charm would not betray his presence.
He was in luck. Dumbledore and McGonagall had cast the counter charm simultaneously when they realised the same thing.
The Death Eaters however were now upon them, and every person in the hall was engaged in fighting, except Harry who remained concealed searching for any sign of Slytherin's presence.
The only person he identified was the Death Eater duelling with Hermione. His mask lay on the floor at his feet. It was Lucius Malfoy.
When the dark lord did arrive, there was pandemonium. He seemed content to watch from beside the doors as his minions fought the battle. The Death Eaters seemed revitalised by his presence though and their attacks grew more crafty and powerful.
Harry was relieved that so far only Dawn Inigma and George Weasley seemed hurt at all… Fred was standing in front of them both maintaining a strong shield charm and they all seemed relatively okay.
When they heard Hermione shriek, a few people turned to look.
Hermione struggled desperately against the strangle hold but Lucius Malfoy was incredibly strong... Almost too strong.
"Professor Dumbledore! It's not Mr Malfoy!" She yelled, before the grip around her neck tightened cutting off her voice.
Ron and Neville needed no further prompting and charged simultaneously towards them, wands held high.
"Stupefy!" Shouted Ron, his face red as his hair in his rage.
The aggressor's body slumped to the ground next to the fallen mask.
The situation had reached breaking point. The Great hall was awash with spells cast in quick succession from everyone present... Excepting the three key individuals in the battle... And two unexpected intruders.
Shouted Sirius in surprise, as the two figures emerged through the small side door to the hall.
Harry stifled a gasp, but beside him he heard the dark lord start to chuckle softly.
The dark troops were instantaneously unmasked...
It was a chilling sight to see.
Row upon row of identical wizards, wands trained and flinty grey eyes narrowed menacingly stared out at them.
The whole army was made up of...
Gasped Draco, his wand falling from his grasp
The many Lucius Malfoys began to laugh. And Harry saw red.
He cried, pointing his hand at the clone army.
Twenty wands flew to his feet and suddenly the Hall was once again awash with spells.
Amidst it all Harry saw Dumbledore's angry face turn to him for an instant before the wizard threw a powerful stunner into a cluster of clones.
Just as Harry realised that he'd cast the spell in Parseltongue and may well have blown his cover, Dumbledore waved a hand towards the Dark Lord, who had been looking sharply through the fighting at the point where the pile of wands lay at Harry's invisibility-clad feet
White light fizzed from the headmaster's hand across the room, hitting Slytherin squarely in the chest.
Harry used this opportunity to take his planned position behind Lupin and Sirius who were fighting together as the occupants of the hall turned their attention to the confrontation between the two most renowned wizards in the hall.
"Your pitiful binding spell will not take long to break you old fool. I know the great Albus Dumbledore would never cast a truly powerful spell, you're too 'pure' to use the strength of dark magic."
Sneered Slytherin loudly.
Dumbledore smiled benignly at the Hogwarts founder.
"My dear Lord Slytherin, one does not always have to take the easy path."
Harry stepped forward from behind Remus, slipping the invisibility cloak into the werewolf's hands. He gave the familiar spirit an evil smile.
"I wish I could say it was good to see you. Unfortunately such a barefaced lie could hardly be called polite."
"Ah, so the wretched child feels safe enough to confront me now."
Mocked Slytherin, his icy glare doing little to intimidate Harry.
"An invisibility cloak doesn't mask your voice impudent wretch!"
Harry watched as Slytherin pushed with his magic against the white barrier that Dumbledore rigidly maintained.
Harry saw the dark Lord's eyes widen ever so slightly and knew that Slytherin had detected the weakness in the barrier.
He pretended not to have noticed and casually turned his back on the bound wizard.
Whispered Slytherin in parseltongue, sending the spell at Harry's back.
Harry spun around and threw out his palm trapping the spell that sped towards him and fragmenting it.
A kaleidoscope of light shattered from his hand as the spell was broken and Harry closed his eyes in concentration as he forced the spell to disperse mollifying it's energy to his own purposes.
The other occupants of the room ceased their conflict and watched in awe as pulsating green light filled the Great Hall.
All of the floating candles were extinguished and even the enchanted ceiling was illuminated green.
Harry's green eyes reopened and blazed with an intensity that was unnatural.
He spoke in a deep slow hiss that sent chills down the spines of all who heard him.
'Be gone wandering spirit, you do not belong.
In death your flesh is forfeit.
Fight not against it for my will is too strong.
And return to the realm of the spirit!'
The green light was summoned to Harry's outstretched hands and a wind seemed to spiral up around him sending his cloak flapping and his hair buffeting at his face.
The fierce line of his eyes was fixed on Slytherin who glared back with his own fearsome stare.
With a sweeping motion Harry circled his arms and threw the channel of burning green light at the man before him.
It hit with a blinding flash and the body convulsed before eventually it morphed smoothly back into the terrifying, familiar form of Lord Voldemort.
Harry caught a glimpse of the Dark Lord's menacing red eyes, flashing with a deeper malice than anything he'd ever seen.
Then, before anyone could move, Voldemort disappeared with a pop.
There was a moment of silence. Harry managed to see that the Malfoy-clones had disappeared with the banishment before blackness invaded his vision.
"Well," said Harry, "I suppose that went better than expected."
And then he collapsed on top of the Hufflepuff table.
A/N - Only 1 or 2 chappies left! I'm gonna get weepy until I remember just how long I've been writing this monstrosity! lol. Honestly, when I look back I re-read it and giggle at my inept skill. Oh well… On to better things I hope!
Thorgood - yep… The title of the chapter is dedicated to you me deary! I know you're away at the moment and that I'm on holiday when you get back… so it's kind of a present for you! Hehehe, I'll hopefully have finished the story before I leave so there ya go.
Shrimpo/Jewels - I'm glad you found the last chapter easier to read! Hope this one wasn't a poop.
Elucreh - Yes yes yes… I know! I'm sorry about Draco… But he aint all good. Just confused and spineless really.
Kit Cloud kicker - What sort of a HP fan would I be if I hadn't read it by now?! Lol, I got it at midnight and only stopped once I was at work the next morning *growls at workplace* I loved it!
Lourdes - Of course I'll finish! Only one (or maybe 2 if it drags on) chapter to go!
Lady Cinnibar - Why thank you *bows* I hope I didn't disrupt your sleep too badly. I know how that can be! Sorry you had to wait for this chapter!
gaul - lol, thanks! I completely agree. Sorry for delaying the deliverage of material for viewage!
sandy - sorry for making you wait!… *feels the pressure* lol, I'm blushing soooo hard right now… You actually spent 16 hours of your life reading my writing. I can't describe quite how that makes me feel… but thank you!
Serenity - I am truly sorry about the delay… (Computer problems was the major factor although I will claim a part of the responsibility myself) Thankyou for your review! It's much appreciated!