July 23, 1992, 7:30 PM, Ice Cream Parlor, Village Du Phantasime, France
Did he really just— what the Hell is wrong with this kid!? I thought in incredulity as Tonks threw a spell at a nearby corner, transfiguring a small set of benches into a pack of wolves and setting them on the group of four wizards in the distance.
“That should buy us a few seconds.” Tonks said quickly.
“Harry, he—” I said but was interrupted by Tonks.
“I know! I know!” She said, looking far more stressed than I had expected. “He promised he wouldn’t. He promised!”
My eyes went up towards the bloody, still-dripping severed arm dangling off of the light fixture and I had to suppress a groan of frustration.
I couldn’t even blame him for reacting the way he did; it wasn’t like I didn’t understand where the kid was coming from. After all, I’d been in his position in my past life, once upon a time.
Once the adrenaline, the fear, the gore, and everything else— once it all set in, well… It was hard to stay rational in those circumstances. Still, staying with the group was something rather simple. Wasn’t it?
If only life were that simple.
You and your Goddamned ‘saving people thing’, Harry. I thought in frustration but quickly got myself under control.
“I’ll go after him.” I said, but I only got a single step forward before I saw something heading my way, forcing me to go back behind the large chunk of rubble. The wolves Tonks set on the wizards!?
I heard the split-second whines the transfigured wolves made before they were crushed against the unyielding stone, spraying blood and gore every which way.
“Damn it. We have to get through them, first.” Tonks said, cursing under her breath as she tried to figure a way out of this mess. “Four against two; pretty bad odds, Clarke.”
I didn’t say anything, instead focusing my will and being into the fight. Strong and sharp. Immovable and unyielding.
“Isn’t this the part where you say ‘for them’ or something?” Tonks said as the sounds of the wizards and witches gunning for us intensified as they got closer and closer to our position.
“I suppose so.” I said, deepening my voice as the insanity of the situation started catching up with me. “‘Bad odds. For them.’”
I barked out a quick laugh, and Tonks followed suit.
“Don’t know why we’re laughing. This isn’t even funny.” Tonks muttered to herself before throwing me a grave look. “I really hope that you’re all you’ve been hyped up to be, Clarke.”
Hyped up to be? I frowned at her choice of words but nodded anyway. “I think we’re about to find out. Two on the left are mine.”
“Sure. I’ll take the two on the right. Then we go for Harry. Deal?” Tonks said, and was probably about to say something mildly insulting to spur me on when the voice of a witch addressed us.
“Where are you, little ones…?” She said in French, with a cackle so over the top it made me want to cringe. “Come out! We promise not to hurt you!”
I felt a shiver racing down my spine and shared one last look with Tonks before we broke apart in different directions.
To my dismay, I was spotted the second I emerged.
Damn it. Hoped to catch them off guard… No matter. I thought even as a yellow spell flew my way, crashing into my raised chain-buckler.
With a gesture, I deflected it off to the side where it crashed into the bit of rubble I’d been hiding behind.
I didn’t pay attention to that, instead stepping over the remains of the wolves as I Banished every bit of rubble my magic could latch onto at my enemies. Depulso!
The two witches were pelted with a few rocks before they were forced to raise barriers against my onslaught.
Pebbles, rocks and stones of many sizes continued to crash into their Shields, doing absolutely no damage but kicking up a lot of dust in the process, thus blinding them from my actions for the few precious instants I needed to launch my true assault.
Pierce through! I roared in my mind as I focused my mental energies and leveled my wand at my first target. Odgovor!
A glowing, silvery chain burst forth from my wand, its tip quickly morphing into a sharp point infused with the energy of the Severing Charm.
The spear-tip crashed into one of the barriers, filling the air with a high pitched grinding noise for a few moments before I felt it give way with a crack. A moment later, I heard the sound of a deep intake of air.
The witch beside my first target cried something out and blasted my chain away in an attempt to save her compatriot, but it was far too late for that.
I recalled my chain to me, discarding the chunk of flesh the barbed spear tip had ripped out in one clean motion before sending it forth again into where I thought the second person was.
The chain flew into the dust cloud again, scraping against the hard floor. I had missed them.
Where..? I thought for a moment before I saw a flash of green from my right. I threw myself forward, crashing into the rough stone street as I just barely avoided the Killing Curse. The jet of green crashed into the steel pole behind me, tearing through the metal and ripping it out of the stone floor, sending it spinning out of control towards me.
Shit. Almost frantically, I crawled away. My escape was as narrow as it could get, with the rock tipped steel pole crashing into the ground only just previously occupied by my left foot and creating a sizable crater.
If that thing had hit me… I thought as I continued scrambling towards a bit of rubble, ignoring the burning pain spreading through my forearms and knees as the rough terrain floor tore strips and bits of my skin off.
I bit back a cry as I considered just how lucky I got there. The shock alone might have killed me— I know wizards are durable and all, but something like that? I don’t think I could take a hit like that.
Now, where was the man who cast it? I quickly peeked from behind the rubble towards its origin, seeing the wizard in question— he was in the process of getting overwhelmed by Tonks. It wouldn’t be long before he lost his wand.
Too fucking close. I thought as I saw that he was now doing his best to defend against Tonks’ onslaught of spells. But he’ll be busy for a little while, at least. Which means it’s back to dealing with my own problems.
I wasted no time, shifting my attention to my current foes— and not a moment too soon: the duo of witches emerged from their hiding spot, launching spells at me at a fast pace.
I brought my ebony wand to bear, spinning my conjured chain into a web of metallic defense and letting it catch and deflect their spells.
On and on they attacked, trying their best to knock me down, but I continued to absorb and defend against their attacks while making sure to close the gap between us.
A few more seconds and they would be mine. Judging by the look on their frantic faces, they likely knew this as well.
“Avada—” I didn’t let the witch finish her sentence, launching my chain at her and forcing her to dodge lest she become impaled.
Judging from the following cry, I imagined I’d scored the woman’s leg. I prepared myself for another round of attacks from her ally, but no spell came.
The silhouette of the witch beside her plopped on the ground, groaning in agony as the reality of the large flesh wound she’d received earlier was now catching up with her.
Smelling blood in the water, I focused all of my fire on the one left standing.
Just then, my instincts began to scream at me; I stopped and took a quick step back, narrowly dodging what seemed to be a light yellow boomerang. It passed me by with a hum, swiveling on its axis before heading to me again in a rapid spin.
I stepped to the left, letting it drive itself into the ground— but it stopped just short, drawing my surprise.
It’s being controlled! I realized as the light boomerang completely reversed direction. I had just enough time to place my buckler into position, reinforcing the magic as well as I could. Won’t be enough.
The projectile cut through the chains like a knife through a lump of malleable, but still very tough clay, buying me enough time to move away from its trajectory. If I stayed, that would have been my head.
“You killed her!” I saw the witch emerging from the dust, looking livid. She brought her wand down as if signaling the drop of a guillotine. “I will have your head for this, boy!”
I didn’t have time to comment on the sheer hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness the witch had, so busy I was with staying alive. Her light boomerang glowed with even more power as it hurtled down to my position, its projected trajectory leaving no mystery as to what would happen to me were it to connect with my neck.
With a snarl, I sent the severed bits of chain up at the boomerang in the hopes of slowing it down long enough for me to counter. I focused all of my intent and desire into my wand, immersing myself in the feeling of invincibility. Odgovor!
My chain pulsed with unsuppressed power as I launched them upwards through the dust in the air. The spear-tip morphed into a small, concentrated claw of energy so bright that it was hard to even look at.
The two spells collided, and I raised my right hand, closing it with a snarl, sinking my spell’s ‘claws’ into the enemy’s magic and stopping its rotation instantly.
I ignored the French witch’s exclamation of surprise and frustration, instead letting out an inarticulate cry of exertion as I twisted my chain into a spiral and launched her own spell back at her before she could do so much as move.
“Prote—” Was all she managed to say before her own spell tore diagonally through her from shoulder to waist. I saw her eyes widen with pain for a single instant before her body split into two, falling to the ground unceremoniously, blood pooling beneath her body.
I didn’t waste time, quickly rushing to Tonks’ aid, only to see her and two others standing over five unconscious wizards and witches.
What the Hell happened here?
“You— You’re all right.” I said, feeling breathless before staring at the other two— a brown haired, blood-spattered young man in his twenties and a young girl who seemed to be of an age with Tonks. “Who are…”
“Locals— doesn’t matter!” Tonks cut me off, coming closer to check me over. “Are you all right, hurt at all?”
“No, I’m fine.” I said, patting myself over quickly and not feeling anything amiss. “No wounds, I don’t think.”
Tonks looked impressed for a moment before her expression turned severe again. She nodded and began to move to where Harry had gone, prior. “We need to—”
“Over here!” We stopped and heard someone cry from the distance and noticed, to our dismay, that it was yet another group of wizards heading right for us. They did not look like allies, and this time, it was six people.
“Damn it all.” Tonks said, cursing under her breath. “They just won’t stop coming! What are the Aurors doing? It’s been too long for them not to respond. Far too long!”
“Maybe they’re busy with something else.”
“We can beat them.” The man in his twenties said in French, looking at the other girl before turning to Tonks. “Stay… togezzer. Oké?”
Tonks nodded before turning to me. “I’m going to stay here, Adam.”
“We can at least hold them back while you go and find Harry. After seeing you in action, I know you can do this.” Tonks insisted, her eyes looking desperate. “Please don’t argue with me— not now. Just go!”
I stared at her pained face for a single moment before nodding, turning and following in Harry’s footsteps, leaving her behind me and rushing towards the broken down ice cream parlor.
Only known us for less than a week and already prepared to lay down her life to save us? I thought in absolute incredulity as I entered the darkness of the parlor, slowing my steps and breathing down so I didn’t attract any undue attention as I came in. I’m not calling her Nymphadora any more— that’s the least she deserves.
I clung to the darkness of the shadows cast by the setting sun as I moved further into the building, doing my best to search for any sign of Harry.
A quick tap of my wand to my right arm restored the mangled and severed chain buckler to its former glory.
Where is he? I thought as I was forced to stop in front of a broken down wall, noticing the small crawl space. He didn’t.
Just then, I saw a familiar blue butterfly emerge from the cramped little tunnel— Harry’s souvenir from the circus!
It flew a circle around me before going back to the hole, beckoning me forward.
Remarkable magic. I thought, quickly suppressing the wonder I felt in favor of focusing on the task. It’s got to be leading me to him. Makes sense; he must have gone through there to get to the source of the scream. The crazy fool.
I bit down a sigh and followed through. Luckily, the passage wasn’t as cramped as I thought it was, but who knew when this wall would collapse on me? Who knew when some other idiot decided they wanted to make other parts of the building explode?
Gritting my teeth, I hurried my pace as I heard the sound of an intensifying scuffle, as well as that of a loud cry.
From this distance, I couldn’t tell who was making the noise, but I wasn’t going to waste any time. I crawled even faster, ignoring the stabbing pain all over my body and continuing to scramble forward until I finally emerged.
Getting up quickly, I got hit with a sudden bout of dizziness.
Not now! I stumbled to the right, leaning hard against the wall as my breathing grew labored. What’s wrong with me? I feel so weak.
Was it the fact that I got up too quick? Couldn’t have been that. Was the adrenaline finally fading? Maybe, but…
It was then that I noticed something: my right side was too warm… and wet.
Lifting my shirt with an alarming wince, I saw a rather large cut going from my right waist to just under the right side of my ribcage. It wasn’t very deep and had mostly stopped bleeding, but the amount of blood I’d already lost didn’t paint a pretty picture. How did… When? Did I not fully dodge the boomerang? Was it the rubble?
I shook my head, banishing such thoughts away. There was no time to ponder any of this.
There was a wound, and it needed to be dealt with— that was all.
I pressed my wand against the long cut and quickly cast a spell, moving my wand in a circle and immersing myself in the desire for the wound to be healed. Episkey.
My side went slightly warm, but not much else. I resisted the urge to curse. The spell had failed. My concentration was waning.
I stared at the wound for a second longer before deciding against trying to heal it again.
It’s fully closed— I’ll take it. I thought and lowered my shirt, following the butterfly down the long haul until I reached the end. No time to waste.
It was a good thing, too, because as soon as I turned the next corner, I saw someone walking over to stand over a boy’s prone body. A few feet away from him was a blonde girl trying to crawl to the boy— perhaps in the hopes of saving him?
I realized, after a moment, that the boy was Harry.
“Finish it.” A man standing a few feet away from them said. He was watching the fight take place like it was some kind of entertainment show, flanked by a witch who looked just as amused.
These assholes— these random mooks— were going to kill Harry. A child. My friend.
No! I thought, my mind assaulted by memories even as I thrust my hand forward, unwinding my chain-buckler and sending the projection towards the wizard holding his wand over Harry’s immobilized form.
Its tip glowed an ominous green, heralding the Boy-Who-Lived’s impending doom.
“Friends? I’d like that.” “Don’t listen to that stupid Boggart, all right?” “Give Adam back!” “Adam?” “Thank you…”
“Avada—” The chain pierced the would-be murderer’s back, tearing his flesh apart as the construct of magic coiled around his spine, freezing him in place.
I won’t let it! I thought with vicious intent. Chain coffin!
The chain twisted and contracted with violent purpose, crushing the nameless fool’s spine with a loud series of snaps. He lurched forward, mouth open in mute shock as his body fell forward, twitching erratically in death.
I don’t care if I have to kill a million— a hundred million people. I thought as I retracted my blood-soaked chain, letting the energy projection swirl in the air around me for a few moments as I slowly walked into the light of the large parlor. You’re not dying on my watch, kid.
In the wake of their comrade’s death, the duo didn’t bother with any theatrics, instead attacking me head on with a flurry of multicolor spells.
But I was far beyond that now— rage awakened in my mind, body and soul, settling in deep as I continued walking forward, chains wordlessly bursting from the tip of my wand, deflecting and dodging their spellfire like I was an unstoppable force of nature.
Things like the weakness in my limbs, the pain prickling everywhere only served to anger me further.
I’m going to kill every last one of you.
I swung my wand to the left, sending a flurry of chains towards the two, but the two proved to be a better set of opponents than the ones I’d dealt with previously.
Working in tandem, the wizard and witch managed to deflect every single attacking chain before moving together on the offensive.
I finally was forced to stop moving forward, instead focusing on defending myself and the other two against the high speed spell fire.
These assholes. I thought with a jolt of apprehension as I was barely able to deflect a spell just enough that it struck the dead wizard’s corpse instead of Harry.
Fear quickly turned my rage into a cold, merciless fury, causing me to take my spell speed up a notch.
I knew that I couldn’t keep this up forever, even with this emotional boost fueling my magic.
Tables snapped in two, glass containers broke and were then banished towards me in the hopes of the shards slipping through the chain links and tearing me apart, but I quickly snagged the top of a table, putting it between me and the projectiles.
A series of thunks filled the air as I then flung the impromptu wooden barrier at the witch like a frisbee, crashing it into her barrier with enough force to send her skidding back and tripping into her ally.
Bingo. I thought, launching my chain forward.
I managed to clip in the shoulder as he attempted to right himself, splattering the wall with a bit of his blood and causing him to cry out in pain.
A follow-up swing, and the chains flung him into the wall with a loud thud, causing the man to fall to his knees, coughing as he attempted to get his breath back.
Moving in for the kill, I only realized my mistake halfway too late.
“Avada Kedavra!” The witch cried out in hatred, the jet of green light tearing through my chains like they weren’t even there.
The girl on the floor beside Harry cried something out, and I felt as if my feet were forcibly pushed, dropping me to the glass covered floor even as the jet of green flew over me, crashing into the wall with a loud explosion, sending bits of stone and drywall everywhere.
Even as I cringed from the pain of glass shards digging into my back, I jabbed my wand forward, directing the chains with vicious intent even as the witch attacked to cast the Killing Curse again. “Odgovor!”
“Ava— gurk!” The woman jolted again and again as she was impaled by no less than four chains in various locations.
Carried by the momentum of the spell, she crashed into the wall with a sickening snap. I kept her pinned there for a split second before removing my chains with a loud squelch.
“Ursula! No!” The ringleader cried out as the woman crashed face first into the floor, unmoving.
If she wasn’t already dead, she would be soon. I would make sure of that.
“You bastard!” He roared as he lost control of himself, leveling his wand at me with vicious intent.
He took one step forward— and was promptly knocked on his ass after getting hit by a jet of scarlet light.
I saw the wand jump out of his hand even as he fell, clattering on the floor near the girl’s feet.
She bent to pick it up, keeping her eyes both on me and the ringleader.
I gestured at Harry and nodded towards him before turning my attention to the disarmed wizard before me.
“No, please!” He said, his demeanor completely changed from the vicious man he had sounded like when he ordered Harry’s death. “I surrender— mercy.”
No wand in your hand, and you’re already begging. Pathetic… I thought, my eyes flashing in hatred and disgust. “Mercy!?”
I quickly got myself under control, spinning my wand and willing my chains to wrap around the man’s limbs and torso.
With a gesture, I forced him into a kneeling position.
“Please, don’t kill me!” He continued to plead as I slowly walked to him. “I’ll turn myself in, I swear!”
My eyes moved to the girl slowly waking Harry up, realizing that her blouse had been ripped open and her skirt nearly torn in half…
How old is she? I thought as I moved my gaze to see the unmoving body of another girl, lying dead in an awkward position on one of the tables. Fifteen, if that? Both of them.
“You want mercy— a rapist on top of being a murdering scumbag. Wanting mercy!?” I said, laughing as I transferred the chains holding him down to my right hand. “Don’t make me laugh.”
“No, that wasn’t me! It was another wizard— him! Over there!” The man insisted, nodding his head towards the right in a panic. “She’ll tell you! You’ll see.”
I followed his gaze to see another unconscious wizard lying on his side.
“Is this true?” I said, addressing the girl. She nodded yes, even as she helped Harry get to his feet.
“I see. Good to see you’re up, Harry.” I said before turning my attention to the man in chains. “So you were telling the truth, after all.”
“Yes!” The ringleader said in obvious relief. “I just wanted to nab the girl— just don’t—”
I cocked my foot back and let it rip, giving him a hard kick to the face.
His head snapped to the left, and I knew I had to have at least cracked something in his jaw judging by the stab of pain I was feeling in my foot.
Looks like I’m keeping the orphanage legend alive, after all… The thought came to me randomly, breaking through my fury and making me go into hysterics for a few moments before forcing myself back down into a calm state.
“I don’t remember asking you a Goddamn thing.” I said as my eyes moved towards the blonde girl. She had gone to her friend and was now just holding her body.
From the small shake of her shoulders, I realized she was sobbing. Harry followed the girl, standing beside her in solemn silence.
He hadn’t said a word from the moment he was revived. Was it the trauma?
Righteous anger filled my being, and I turned glowing eyes back to my prisoner. “So, you wanted to ‘nab’ her, huh?”
“Yes— yes.” He said, frantic as the fear completely took him over. “Just don’t kill me.”
“Well, that all depends.” I said. “Why are you here to kidnap her? She’s just a kid.”
He opened his mouth to speak before thinking better of it. His soul-thread twisted in a way that told me he’d gained a bit of spine, then.
“Not the time to try and protect your comrades, dog.” I gave him a venomous look even as I closed my fist, tightening the chains circling his right arm.
“Please—” But that’s as far as he got before I crushed his arm, filling the air with his agonized cries.
“Stop!” He shouted. “Please! Stop! You’re gonna kill me!”
I finally did stop, letting him breathe hard for a few moments before getting in his face, giving him a dangerous look. “Talk.”
“Okay, okay! Just don’t—”
“Losing my patience.”
“All right! She’s the daughter of some important guy— a higher up in the French Ministry!” The ringleader said quickly, even as cringed in pain. “Director Delacour of Magical Intelligence or something! Our job was to get her and hold her hostage! That’s it, that’s all there is to it. Please don’t kill me!”
“…Delacour?” I replied, eyes widening for a split moment as I beheld the girl in question. She was staring right at us, her eyes growing horrified at the man’s information. That’s Fleur Delacour?
I could definitely see it— the silvery-blonde hair, the dark blue eyes— but now was not the time to ogle.
I turned back to the man and was about to continue my interrogation when I heard the girl’s screech. A few moments later, she stood over the man who’d tried to rape her.
“It’s because of me!” Fleur screamed in French. Her soul-thread stuttered and jittered as if it was in agony. No, it was more than that.
It was writhing in fury far beyond that of my own. A moment later, she had the man on his back, his arms and legs bound and his pants down, revealing the foul creature’s manhood.
Her features had turned more angular and avian as she lost herself in the primal call of vengeance coming from her blood.
She isn’t… I thought as she held her wand over his crotch. She is.
The fool woke up screaming as she sliced him, root and stem, filling the air with the acrid smell of burning. It was then that I realized she’d burned through him— with the Severing Charm?
I didn’t have time to think as the next moment, she shoved the man’s own genitals into his mouth, forcing him to bite down on it and swallow it all. Through it all, he could do nothing but struggle impotently, so well bound he was.
Moments later, the smell of feces joined the stench of burning human flesh, mixing together and making me grimace in disgust.
Fleur likely thought the same thing, because she stepped away a moment later, spitting off to the side in disgust. With one final, contemptuous slash, she slit the man’s throat before walking away, heading back to her dead friend even as the scumbag choked to death on his own blood.
Through it all, we watched in horrified fascination.
Well then. I thought before turning my gaze to my prisoner. “I’d say that’s justice served, isn’t it? Now let’s see about your justice. What do you think you deserve?”
The man jolted, turning fearful eyes towards me.
“Please!” He beseeched me. “That wasn’t me! That was him! Our job was to kidnap the girl, that’s all!”
“That’s all.” I said and watched him nod his head so fast that he threatened to snap his own neck.
I shook my head. “Except you missed the part with the dead girl— her friend, I take it? And not to mention the part where you were about to kill my new brother! What do you think the justice for that should be?”
With but a thought, I slowly moved one of my chains towards his heart, its tip morphing to a jagged spear. “How about I rip your heart out? That seems fair enough, right?”
“Please, please, please…” The man continued to beg.
“Pathetic.” I said, pressing the tip into his chest and drawing a cry of pain from him. “Face your death like a man.”
I was about to finish the job when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Adam…” Harry’s voice came from behind me, making me stop. “It’s okay. Please just stop.”
“What?” I said in abject confusion as I turned to see the boy; whatever I was going to say died in my mouth at the sight of his fearful expression. “Harry, he tried to—”
“I know.” Harry said, glaring at the pitiful man at my mercy. “I know, but he didn’t. I’m still here. Please, you don’t have to do this.”
I didn’t say anything, prompting Harry to continue. “You aren’t a murderer, Adam! Please… Just let go.”
I stared at the boy’s resolute eyes for the longest moment. The butterfly flew between the two of us, a reminder of the show we had attended not an hour prior.
It settled on Harry’s shoulder before staring at me with unblinking intensity.
I took a breath, nodded and lowered my wand, dispelling the chain that was going to end the man’s life.
“Thank you, boy!” My prisoner said. “Thank you for—”
“Stupefy!” The jet of red light flew out of Harry’s holly wand, striking the man in the forehead and knocking him out without ceremony. “I didn’t say you could talk.”
“I…” I said, as Harry took the wand from the man’s side and slowly moved me away from him. “Thanks, Harry.”
“Don’t mention it.” Harry said as he turned his gaze to Fleur, who’d gone back to her friend’s body and was beginning to sob. “Come on… We need to help her.”
I stared at the boy’s back for just a single moment before shaking my head, dispelling my chains, binding my prisoner with rope and following him.
One day, your ‘saving people thing’ is going to get us killed, kid. I thought as we stood before the sobbing girl, unsure of where to go from here. But damn if I can’t fucking respect your sheer drive to push forward.
I just hoped that Tonks was all right.