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«TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1: Dumbledore’s Army: Reborn.page 4 Chapter 2: Growing Up..page 19 Chapter 3: Cat and Mouse..page 40 Chapter 4: Taking ...»

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1:

Dumbledore’s Army: Reborn………………………………….page 4

Chapter 2:

Growing Up……………………………………………………page 19

Chapter 3:

Cat and Mouse………………………………………………..page 40

Chapter 4:

Taking Sides………………………………………………….page 51 Chapter 5 The Sword of Gryffindor…………………………………….page 65

Chapter 6:

The Forbidden Forest……………………………………….page 88

Chapter 7:

The Noble Thing To Do……………………………………..page 103

Chapter 8:

Dreams and Realities………………………………………..page 117

Chapter 9:

A Different World…………………………………………...page 131

Chapter 10:

Blood Brothers……………………………………………...page 145

Chapter 11:

The Room of Hidden Things……………………………….page 160

Chapter 12:

Stricken……………………………………………………..page 178

-2-

Chapter 13:

Snakebite……………………………………………………page 191

Chapter 14:

Sins of the Father…………………………………………..page 209

Chapter 15:

From the Ashes…………………………………………….page 219

Chapter 16:

Behind the Mask……………………………………………page 239

Chapter 17:

Loch Cibeirdraoid…………………………………………..page 255

Chapter 18:

Suffer the Little Children…………………………………..page 265

Chapter 19:

Run to Ground……………………………………………...page 282

Chapter 20:

The Boy Who Lived………………………………………....page 298

Chapter 21:

The Battle of Hogwarts……………………………………..page 318

Chapter 22:

Darkest Before the Dawn…………………………………..page 333

Chapter 23:

The Last Enemy…………………………………………….page 348

Chapter 24:

By the Light of Day…………………………………………page 362

Chapter 25:

Epilogue…………………………………………………….page 372

-3- Chapter 1

DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY: REBORN

―Any witch or wizard who marries a Muggle is taking a terrible risk. The children born from such unnatural unions --‖ Alecto Carrow motioned with her wand towards the blackboard, the points appearing there in her heavy, scrawling handwriting as she named them off. ―Can expect deformity, retardation, severe anti-social tendencies, and often a complete lack of magical ability. In addition, as Muggle females are ill-bred to handle magical children, serious complications can result in such pregnancies, leading in some cases to the death of the female.

Likewise, an attempt by a witch to carry the child of a Muggle male – yes, Mr. Finnigan?‖ Seamus stood, his face a study in scholarly innocence as he lowered his hand. ―Please, ma‘am, those anti-social tendencies, they‘d be the reason You-Know-Who‘s so delusional, then?‖ Neville felt as though his stomach had abruptly dropped into his feet. Had Finnigan lost his mind? He wished it weren‘t too late to catch his friend‘s eye, to warn him off of saying something so crazily inflammatory, but the damage had been done. The words on the blackboard dissolved in smoke as Carrow‘s face slowly turned a deep scarlet.

―The Dark Lord carries the blood of the great Slytherin himself through generations of powerful wizarding families such as the Gaunts and the Peverells,‖ she hissed between clenched teeth. ―More than powerful enough to counteract the pitiful influence of any Muggle... if you choose to believe disgusting rumors spread by petty, small-minded, Mudblood-loving fools. But you are certainly proof that no ordinary slum-dragging witch can marry filth without consequence!‖ To Neville‘s surprise, Seamus seemed to take the attack on his mother in stride, nodding as if her answer had been perfectly reasonable. ―Then if we‘re to be takin‘ the example of the Gaunts and keepin‘ it all in kin, can I ask when you and Amycus‘ll be expecting?‖

-4A collective gasp sounded through the classroom, and Neville slipped his hand into his pocket, closing his fingers unobtrusively around the handle of his wand. Seamus had brought whatever punishment was coming on himself, without a doubt, but if it was going to be too much, Neville was prepared to fight to save his fellow Gryffindor‘s life. The look on their new teacher‘s face certainly suggested it might come to that.





Seamus, however, simply stood silently, facing her with the same look of serene curiosity on his face until the moment her wand snapped towards him. ― CRUCIO !‖ she shrieked, and the curse hit Seamus with such force that he flew backward over his chair, crashing into the desk behind him. Lavender Brown jumped to her feet and screamed as he slid down to the floor, his body thrashing and writhing against her legs as the agony of the curse swept through him.

At the head of the class, Carrow watched, her teeth bared in feral glee at Seamus‘ pain.

Neville‘s hand grew so tight on the wand that his fingernails cut into the flesh of his palm, but he made no move, forcefully reminding himself that it was only the second day, too early to do anything rash or foolish. If he made any move towards Seamus, he would join him instantly on the floor, helpless under the wracking pain of the curse he remembered all too well from the night he had faced the Death Eaters at the Ministry of Magic.

After what seemed like years, a hand appeared on the surface of Lavender‘s desk, and Seamus slowly pulled himself upright. He was trembling, his chin scarlet and his shirt stained with blood where he had bitten almost completely through his lower lip, but incredibly, he was smiling. ―Touch a nerve, there?‖ Slowly, Carrow stalked across the classroom, her squat, round-shouldered form moving with bullish intensity towards the taller student. Reaching him, she stared nastily up into his face, putting the tip of her stubby wand directly under his chin and forcing him to look upwards. ―I take no disrespect from half-breed Irish dung, Finnigan.‖ Lowering her wand, she unleashed a thick gob of spittle that hit Seamus directly in the face, then, with a quick, harsh motion, snapped the wand up again.

Before she could utter the curse, however, Seamus‘s own wand was in his hand, dropped out of his sleeve in a motion that seemed almost magic in itself. ― Ionsaigh !‖ he shouted.

Carrow doubled over as if punched, beady eyes bulging in pain, and Neville gasped in shock. Silently, he urged Seamus to run, to flee, to Stupify her and get away before she could retaliate. But it was too late. Already, Carrow had recovered enough to jab her wand towards the young Gryffindor, and all Neville could do was wrap his arms around Parvati, who was sitting next to him, and hide her face in his robes so that she didn‘t have to watch.

OOO

―What in Merlin‘s name were you thinking?!‖ Ginny Weasley spoke for all of them the moment Seamus‘ eyes eased themselves open in the Gryffindor common room, barely visible as blue and white slits beneath the puffy swelling of two massive bruises.

―Izzazmple l‘arridadun.‖ The words were utterly unintelligible through the cracked and bleeding lips, and Neville knelt, raising a small bowl to his classmate‘s mouth.

―Here, drink this.‖ He shot a look at Ginny. ―You can wait to tell us all what possessed you once you‘re patched up.‖ ―Winasplwen?‖ Neville tilted the bowl, and the protestation stopped as Seamus began to drink the murky green liquid.

Ignoring the faces his patient made at the taste, Neville gently wiped away a few stray dribbles from Seamus‘ chin, then refilled the bowl from the cauldron that sat on the low table next to the couch that was being used as a makeshift hospital bed. ―You‘re not in the hospital wing,‖ he explained, ―because the Carrows wouldn‘t let us take you there. Alecto wanted you to suffer for what you‘ve done. None of us wanted to try healing spells on you while you were unconscious, but I‘ve brewed up a mixture of Dittany, Murtlap, and a few other things that should

-5help a lot, and Ginny is going to give the spellwork a try for the rest – oh, don‘t give me that look, this isn‘t Potions, it‘s Herbology.‖ The swelling had already gone down by nearly half, and Neville was pleased to see that his concoction was already restoring a more normal appearance to the battered and bloody mouth, though the two front teeth were still badly broken. When Seamus spoke again, it was surprisingly clear. ―I wanted to set an example like Harry. I thought if someone stood up to her straight away, folk‘d see it could be done, you know?‖ ―What we saw, Finnigan, you ass, is an excellent alternative if poking the Whomping Willow is inconvenient!‖ Parvati‘s cheeks were flushed mahogany, but she could not entirely hide the relief in her voice. It had looked for almost two terrifying hours as though Seamus might not wake up, so badly had Carrow worked him over for his insolence, but merely having him conscious and seeing the first signs of healing had done wonders for them all.

Neville nodded towards Ginny. ―You can give it a try while I add a little more tincture of Mandrake, I think.‖ The younger girl raised her wand, and Seamus drew back painfully into the mountain of pillows that had been piled under him. ―Now wait a moment...‖ ―Hold still.‖ Ginny‘s voice was crisp and matter-of-fact, the tone one that Neville knew without ever having spent more than a moment with Mrs. Weasley had been learned from her mother. ―Do you really think I could have lived in that house with six brothers all my life and not learned a thing or two about healing spells? If we‘d had to take Fred and George to St. Mungo‘s every time they blew themselves up, we‘d have been out on the street.‖ Reluctantly, Seamus held still, and Ginny placed the tip of her wand against the broken teeth. ― Episkey Dentata !‖ With a faint ―pop!‖ the teeth regrew instantly, and Seamus tried to raise a hand to feel his mouth, but stopped mid-motion, groaning in pain.

Neville lifted his head from the cauldron where he had been carefully stirring in the Mandrake, one drop at a time, allowing his instincts to tell him when the texture was exactly right. ―You have a broken wrist, a few cracked ribs, a sprained ankle, and more bruises than if you‘d been used for practice by every Beater in the school. That‘s not to mention a knot the size of a Snitch on that thick head of yours, two black eyes, a few wand scorches, and a mouth that is just starting to look human again. I suggest you lie back and think about Gryffindors having a tendency to be brave to the point of stupidity, and then we need to talk about what you originally had in mind and make some decisions.‖ The tone of cool authority in his voice surprised him, and he stopped, blushing and looking back down into the green mixture. ―If that‘s okay with everyone.‖ ―Wow, Neville,‖ gushed Colin Creevey, ―you sounded just like Harry there for a minute!

It was like the DA again!‖ ―Yeah, well...‖ Neville mumbled, embarrassed, ―Harry‘s gone, and so is Dumbledore, and so are Ron and Hermione and Dean and Justin and another dozen from the DA, and another hundred from the school. It‘s not like when all we had to worry about was Umbridge and her little Squad.‖ ―But this is why we had the DA in the first place, isn‘t it? Because Harry knew it might come to this?‖ Parvati asked, and Neville wondered hotly why everyone seemed to be looking to him, even Ginny, who seemed to him the far more natural successor to any kind of leadership in Gryffindor.

―That‘s true,‖ he agreed slowly. Finally satisfied with his brew, he scooped up another bowl and began to daub it onto Seamus‘ wounds, using the busywork to avoid everyone‘s eyes as he spoke. ―But I think this is worse than even Harry ever guessed it would be. I mean, Dumbledore dead, Snape in charge of the school, Death Eaters teaching classes, the Ministry under You-Know-Who...I don‘t think anyone could have seen this coming this fast and this completely even six months ago.‖

-6Ginny scowled up at him from where she had been using her wand on the sprained ankle.

―You‘re not suggesting that we should just roll over?‖ ―Or that we let ourselves be punching bags in the style of the brilliant Mr. Finnigan, I hope,‖ added Lavender.



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