Chapter 13: In a World of Love
On the Order’s express request, all the former werewolves of the underground community were invited to Lupin’s wedding. And also Rita Skeeter, for the Order wanted to show how beautiful life would be in a world without violence and over which Love would reign. ‘It’s a real psychological warfare’, Harry thought. After the Liverpool night, another full moon had passed without any incident, the underground companions had not transformed. Some of them showed a sort of perplexity about that phenomenon they couldn’t explain nor understand. Their strength and destructive powers were, so to speak, wiped away. On the contrary, others were quite happy to have got rid of their defect burden. ‘In anyway, they are no longer Voldemort’s pampered allies’, thought Harry.
The wedding was organised at the Burrow, on the Order’s request. The Order was of the opinion that surely Voldemort would try to sabotage it in a way or another. And the Order intended to set a trap for him. The Burrow site was ideal for that, far from Muggle’s eyes, the nearest village was more than five miles away. So, the wedding was minutely prepared. All the Orders members and friends (among these, Mrs Pomfrey) were invited and informed that an attack by the Death Eaters was among the possibilities. The other preparations for the wedding itself were simple, for Mr and Mrs Weasley had a good experience since Bill’s wedding. Naturally both Dobby and Winky were again requisitioned.
Ginny and Gabrielle were the bridesmaids once more. Harry had suggested to Ginny to die her hair the same shade as Gabrielle’s. Harry had promised Lupin he would attend his wedding but he would wear his Invisibility Cloak. Ron should stay at the foot of the platform with Moody’s Invisibility Cloak, in his hand, to rescue Ginny if need be. The bride and groom had received order to Disapparate at the first sign of an attack by the Death Eaters. It was the others’ responsibility to deal with the combat. The wedding was scheduled in the middle of the week, but Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Gabrielle and of course, Harry, were allowed to miss all the lessons of that day.
“Harry !” McGonagall called out to Harry at the foot of the staircase at The Burrow.
“Yes, Professor ?”
“If the Dementors were there, you wouldl deal with them alone by yourself, wouldn’t you ?”
“Yes, professor. Don’t be worried.”
“No, I’m not worried. I’m sure he’ll send a horde of those monsters, thinking that perhaps, as it is in the middle of the week, the students, I mean you, will not be there. I just want to warn you.
“Thank you, Professor !”
The decoration and the platform were the same as for Bill’s wedding. The rows of chairs were filled up with guests.
Rita Skeeter, as much of a snooper as usual, had already made a tour around the guests to have an idea who they were, and was asking indiscreet questions here and there.
Everything proceeded perfectly as scheduled. When the nuptial music burst our, Tonks appeared, walking slowly, from the kitchen door, on her father’s arm, looking serious. As all the brides, she looked particularly radiant, her beauty reinforced by an intimate happiness from the bottom of her heart, which gave her an angelic expression. ‘Her hair is even brighter than usual and she looks mature, she doesn’t walk on her dress’, thought Harry who was behind the guests, in his Invisibility Cloak. Lupin, looking somehow younger in his smart Muggle suit and the grey cape that differed from the black robes of every day, was under the foot of the platform with Mrs Weasley.
Rita Skeeter looked at her wristwatch.
“But … it’s not time yet !” she blurted out in a whisper, but nobody answered her.
Ginny and Gabrielle, slightly shy, proceeded on in Tonks’ wake. Their silvery blond hair glittering under the sunrays, gave the impression that they were wearing a halo of a multitude of stars. They looked very much alike, like two sisters.
“That’s no good, they look too much alike” Harry thought, and at once he ran towards Ron:
“Ron ! it’s me” Harry said. “They look too much alike, Ginny and Gabrielle. If the Death Eaters couldn’t make out who is who, they might kidnap them both !”
“Yes,” said Ron.
“At the first sign of the Death Eaters, you wrap Ginny in your Cloak, because you are near her, and I, Gabrielle in mine.”
Harry stepped near Gabrielle and whispered to her: ‘It’s me, Harry. Don’t worry. At any sign of the Death Eaters, I’ll take you to Fred’s and George’s.’
It was Aberforth Dumbledore who united Lupin and Tonks. He looked very much like his brother Albus Dumbledore, especially today as he wore the long blue robe dotted with silvery stars, perhaps his brother’s very robe.
When Aberforth had finished, he said:
“I declare you husband and wife. The bride and groom may kiss”.
The garden corner exploded with applause in an unlimited euphoria.
Harry saw in the blue sky, far away, a dark mass, still very far … that drew closer and closer at a surprising speed.
“Professor Lupin, Tonks, Disapparate ! The Dementors are approaching”, Harry said, then:
“THE DEMENTORS !” Harry cried out loudly to the whole gathering. He took off his cloak, wrapped Gabrielle in it, and Apparated with her to the middle of the garden.
“Stay here with me. Don’t go away. Hold my arm, so I know that you are there, otherwise I can’t see you.” said Harry.
“EXPECTO PATRONUM !” Harry shouted out in a clear and firm voice when the Dementors came near, above the garden. And the enormous silvery bright stag, bigger than a mammoth, materialized in the middle of the garden, on the velvet green lawn. It walked stately, raised its head with ramified antlers several yards wide. As if they were sucked by the stag, the shapeless monsters from Darkness rushed one after the other towards it, and broke into pieces when they touched the antler’s sharpened points.
Meanwhile, the Death Eaters appeared from nowhere, and the guests split up into groups to ‘welcome’ them to that well prepared ambush. Mad-Eye Moody, McGonagall, Aberforth, Mr and Mrs Weasley, Bill and Hermione, turned their back to Harry, to protect him, because Harry had to concentrate so as to exterminate all the Dementors until the last one.
When the last Dementor had been destroyed, Harry turned his wand to a group of two Death Eaters who stood back to back to fight against a group of guests. By the gap between two guests, Harry pointed his wand and cast a smooth wave, and the two Death Eaters were nailed down on the ground by an Anti-Apparation curse.
The fighting became more and more fierce, for the Avada Kedavra formula cast by the Death Eaters could be heard everywhere, but the Order’s side stood firm.
Then a whistle was heard from somewhere, and the Death Eaters Disapparated all at once.
“The toll ?” asked Aberforth.
“One Death Eater was seriously wounded by Alastor, four others Incarcerated, and a horde of Dementors destroyed. On our side, some lightly wounded, just scratches”, replied Mr Weasley.
“Where are Ginny and Gabrielle ?” asked Mrs Weasley.
“I’m here”, replied Gabrielle, getting out from under the Invisibility Cloak. “Harry hid me under his cloak”, she added.
“Thank you, Harry”, said Fleur, kissing Harry on the cheek.
“Ginny must be at Fred’s and George’s with Ron”, replied Harry. At that moment, Ron appeared in the garden.
“Ginny’s safe”, said Ron.
Harry noticed that during the attack, the former werewolves remained quietly in their chairs, and they were still there in their corner.
“It’s a complete victory. We did not suffer any losses, and the battle didn’t last very long”, said Moody.
“How many Dementors were there ?” asked McGonagall, addressing to nobody.
“They may be easily estimated at over a hundred. It’s about the same mass as the last time at Hogsmeade village”, said Rita Skeeter who had just joined Harry’s group. “And the Ministry stated last time that the total number of Dementors at Azkaban was nearly two hundred, and that perhaps You-Know-Who’s entire army of Dementors was already exterminated.”
“A member of the Ministry maintained a few days after the attack in Hogsmeade that the number of Dementors in Azkaban was in reality far much more than two hundred. He didn’t give the exact figure”, said Harry.
“What you say is quite interesting, Mr Potter”, said Rita with a large smile, looking really glad of the piece of information.
“I’ll go to the Ministry. They must relieve us of the prisoners”, said McGonagall to Aberforth, then she Disapparated.
“Please come into the kitchen, all those who are wounded”, cried out Mrs Weasley who was walking side by side with Mrs Pomfrey towards the kitchen. “Hermione ! you’ve got a nasty cut on the cheek, come along !”, she added waving her wand, and a banner with the words ‘First Aids’ was stretched over the kitchen door.
Tonks and Lupin were back in the garden, looking for news. They had simply gone to the bar of the nearest village, waiting till the fighting was over before they came back.
Harry who didn’t want to be questioned by Rita, grasped Ron and Hermione’s hands:
“Let’s us go !”, and the three friends Disapparated.
Minutes later, they were in front of the school. It was nearly seven o’clock in the afternoon. Ron conjured his Patronus to inform Hagrid who came to open the gate for them. He was happy to learn the fresh and good news.
After dinner, Hermione concealed in her bag a piece of bread, a chicken thigh, some ham slices, and Ron in his trouser pockets, an apple, an orange and a bottle of pumpkin juice for Harry, thinking that perhaps Dobby was still busy at The Burrow, he wouldn’t be able to look after Harry’s dinner. Which was true, for it was scheduled that Dobby would return to Hogwarts only the next day.
“I long to see the public reaction about our ‘psychological warfare”, said Harry, “because it was one. The Order wanted to demonstrate that it is not what life, often pitiless, imposes on us that counts, but it’s our choice that shows what we are truly. And Lupin is an illustration of it. Have you watched the werewolves, well, the former werewolves, this afternoon ? They remained quietly on their chairs, they didn’t take sides with the Death Eaters. Rita Skeeter must have known some of them, as she must have known that Lupin is a werewolf”.
“Of course, what could they do, those werewolves ? Their strength and their destructive powers, they only have when they are transformed, but in broad daylight what could they do ?” Ron said. “ Moreover, I don’t think that they are real wizards. All we know is that, up till now, only Lupin had the chance of attending Hogwarts. Only Greyback among them was a real werewolf wizard, to our knowledge. He attacked the school when he didn’t transform.”
“That’s right”, Harry admitted.
“It was a real attack by the Death Eaters. I mean it wasn’t meant to kidnap Ginny. Voldemort wanted to sabotage the wedding, and to jeopardize the Order’s psychological warfare”, Hermione said. “And surely, Voldemort didn’t expect to find you at Lupin’s wedding, in the middle of the week, far away from Hogwarts ! That was why he sent the Dementors !”
“It was a complete victory of our camp. We don’t know the exact number of the Dementors who were in Azkaban, but we are sure that we’ve destroyed at least more than two hundred of them already. Only the giants are left”, said Ron.
“Oh, the giants ! They’ll exterminate themselves. Without Voldemort, they’ll remain in their caves.”
“Had the Order not advanced the wedding time a quarter of an hour, the Death Eaters would have been there right in the middle of the celebration ! It was very well calculated ! Really well done !”
“It was an idea of Aberforth, I find him quite perceptive”, said Harry.
“Voldemort suffers defeats over defeats ! I wouldn’t like to be in the place of the Death Eater who led the operation this evening ! Lucius Malfoy must think himself lucky being in Azkaban !” said Hermione.
The next day, the Daily Prophet related in detail Lupin’s wedding over fives pages with photos of the bride and groom under the big title “The wedding of an Auror with a Werewolf”, and under this: “The Psychological Warfare led by the friends of late Albus Dumbledore, the former Headmaster of Hogwarts, the most powerful wizard of the century, who preached Love and Harmony”. The third page under the title “The great defeat of You-Know-Who” with the photo of the Dementors breaking into pieces on the antler points of the stag, and the photo of Harry, alone on the lawn, with his arm stretched out, supervising the giant stag, in the foreground. On the fourth page, under the title “The Ministry’s getting stuck in its lies: The public is sick of the Ministry’s lies … How many more Dementors left ? Can we believe what the Ministry states ?” … And on the fifth page: “At last the antidote against the werewolf’s bite has been found: The werewolves will no longer transform themselves, another defeat suffered by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named !”.
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