• Chapter 14

     

    Chapter 14: The Monsters from Darkness

     

     

     

     

    "What’s the matter, Professor ?” Harry asked popping his head out of the doorway of his classroom.  It was mid night, and McGonagall was there in her dressing gown, looking concerned.

    “The Ministry just sent a messenger.  A horde of Dementors and giants are attacking at this moment at Harrogate. The Aurors are not able to overcome the two hordes at the same time.”

    “I agree to help them’, said Harry, with conditions. I’ll let you know later, Professor. And the Ministry should not know that I’m at Hogwarts.”

    “No, the Ministry’s messenger didn’t know that you were here. I told him I went to ask your friends Ronald and Hermione.”

    “Could they come with me, Professor ? I’ll Apparate to the Head Quarters. They’ll join me there, and I’ll contact you through Sirius’ grandfather’s portrait”.

    “I’ll fetch Hermione and Ronald”, McGonagall replied.

    Three minutes later, the three friends were at Grimmauld Place.  They were in their living room when Phineas Black’s portrait spoke:

    “The Ministry asked whether you would accept to help the Aurors who are at this moment at Harrogate, fighting against a horde of Dementors and Giants sent by Voldemort.”

    “Yes, I know, my friends just informed me of what is happening at Harrogate. Please tell the Ministry’s messenger that I accept with the following conditions:

     

    * Primo, that Stan Shunpike be released at once.

    * Secondo, that he’ll be discharged from all accusations.

    * Tertio,  that the  Ministry  informs  the  public  of  the  exact  number of Dementors who were in service at Azkaban.

    * Quarto, that my name and those of my friends will not be mentioned in the operation of this evening.”

     

    Phineas disappeared from the portrait and one minute later came back in his frame:

    “The ministry accepts all your conditions.  It’s in the North of Harrogate, at St John bridge.”

    “Well, It’s O.K. then’, Harry replied, ‘Let’s go”, he added to Hermione and Ron.

     

    The three friends Disapparated and were at St. John Square minutes later, in front of a sight of unbelievable mess. The roads were happily desert apart from the Aurors.  They were about thirty. A group of about fifteen were struggling desperately to chase away the Dementors. The other group were powerless in front of three giants who threatened to break everything on their way. Twisted lamppost, uprooted trees strewn over the ground, side by side with broken public benches…

    The Aurors had switched off all the lights in the area, so that the Muggles couldn’t see the mess, but there was enough moonlight to light the scene.

     

    “Come here”, said Harry to his friends. “If I have to maintain my Patronus, I would not be able to help the other Aurors fight the Giants. Then, if we could unite our power and conjure together a unique Patronus, you would be able to maintain it afterwards to exterminate the Dementors if you concentrate hard, while I would withdraw myself to go and help the other Aurors. I’ll conjure my Patronus there, five yards in front of us, on that dark grass tuft. We’ll conjure our Patronus together by converging our powers on that point.  Our three powers will be on the same spot, and my Patronus will be all the more powerful for it.  This is the way it works according to Dumbledore’s books. It’s the most powerful Patronus that will take shape. OK ? At three !

    “Yes”, replied Hermione and Ron together.

    “One, Two, Three !”

    And in a same voice, the three of them shouted out:

    “EXPECTO  PATRONUM !”

    An enormous silvery stag, twice as big as a mammoth, materialized five yards away from them. While Ron and Hermione concentrated to maintain the Patronus, Harry withdrew silently.

    “Let my friends deal with the Dementors”, Harry said to the Aurors who were dumb struck in front of the giant stag. “Go and watch the bridge.”

    Then Harry went to the other group of Aurors about twenty yards away. They were fighting against three giants. Harry saw a fourth one, alone, under the bridge, very suspect, that no one among the Aurors paid attention to.

    The Aurors were fighting in a disorderly manner, each one, at random, cast the curses that came to their mind, but even the most powerful ones like the “Avada Kedavra” had no effect on the giants.

    “But why you don’t unite your powers to cast curses against them ? Look at my friends; they succeeded in conjuring a giant Patronus to exterminate that horde of Dementors.  Unite your powers !”

    “INCARCERATION !” Harry shouted in a clear and firm voice in pointing his wand at the Giant who was at that moment trying to twist a lamppost, and the Giant was at once tied up from head to foot in a steel cable, like the one used on big cargoes.

    “INCARCERATION !” Harry shouted again aiming at another Giant who was trying to uproot a tree, and he too was tied up from head to foot in a cable like the first one.

    Then Harry pointed his wand on his throat, ‘Sonorus’, and then to the other two Giants who were still standing, (the one under the bridge had just come up to the street):

    “Go away, take your friends with you, and never come back here ! Otherwise, I’ll kill you !” Harry said, joining to his words, gestures to make sure that the Giants understood, for Harry did not know whether the giants speak the same language.            .

    The two Giants, astonished, looked at Harry for a moment in silence, and then they hoisted they friends on their shoulders, and withdrew into the darkness of the night, by the riverbank.

    Harry gave a quick look in the direction of Hermione and Ron.  The sky was already Dementor free and his friends were running towards him.

    The other Aurors, looked at Harry in silence.

    “Go and check up the bridge foundations (about 30 yards from there) One of those Giants was under the bridge, I saw him. Surely he has cooked up something there. Block the entrance on either sides to the bridge, the cars might fall into the river if they cross it !”

    Harry had hardly finished his sentence when a deafening sound was heard, and the ground under them shook as under the effects of an earthquake. The bridge just collapsed in a thick cloud of dust.

    “Well, go and deal with it. Put barriers on either sides of the bridge to stop the cars.”

     

    At this moment, a horde of Inferi, disturbed in their habitat by the rubble of the collapsed bridge, started chasing the first Aurors who arrived there.

    Oh, for God’s sake, Inferi !’ thought Harry who recognised them by the way they moved, like puppets, then to the Aurors, he cried out :

    “Unite your powers, light up torches to fight against them.”

    But the Aurors, panic stricken, caught off guard, ran away disorderly, casting whatever curses that came to their mind at the Inferi.

    “You are numerous ! Encircle them and light up your torches to destroy them”, shouted Harry to the Aurors.  Harry arrived just when the Aurors, after the first moment of panic, succeeded in pulling themselves together, and encircling the Inferi in a circle of their lighted torches.  They were about forty.

    “Tighten up your circle to burn them, and maintain your circle firmly” said Harry.

    By a gap between two Aurors, Harry pointed his wand in the centre of the Inferi:

    “INCENDIO !”

    And a great fire burst out in the circle of fire created by the Aurors and the Inferi’s corpses burnt up, emitting an acrid smoke, for nearly a quarter of an hours, then it reduced little by little into a heap of ashes, that Harry removed by sending them into the river.

    Ron and Hermione joined Harry, and looked at the scene in silence.

    “I think it’s over’, said Harry. What will you do with this mess ?” Harry asked the Aurors. “Do you want some help ? But, not a word about our presence here, this evening !”

     

    Many people had just arrived.

    “Good morning, Harry !” said Scrimgeour, the Minister for Magic, who had just arrived with many other persons, among whom, Percy and Stan Shunpike.

    “Thank you very much, Harry”, said Stan

    “No problem, Stan ! I’ve got the Minister’s word that you are discharged from all accusations”, said Harry.

    “Yes, yes !”, the Minister hastened to reply. “Thank you very much for your helping hand, Harry”.

    “Above all, not a word about our presence here tonight.  Even when you are on your own, don’t talk about us being here.”

    Ron, who didn’t want to be with Percy, pulled on Harry’s sleeve:

    “Come on ! Let’s go !”

    “I’ll leave you. I see that some Muggles are arriving. Good bye, everybody.” Then to Stan, Harry added, “Stan, don’t speak about me, to anybody, O.K.?”

    And the three friends Apparated, direction Gimmauld Square, because it was a Friday night.

    When they reached their living room, Harry asked Phineas’ portrait to inform McGonagall that the mission had been fulfilled. It was nearly three o’clock in the morning, and the three friends were completely exhausted.

     

    “No ! They did not mention our names in the events of yesterday night”, said Hermione the next day, when she read her Daily Prophet. They were in the kitchen, taking their breakfast prepared by Dobby who had arrived at dawn, informed by McGonagall.

     

    “Listen !” Hermione went on. “Stan Shunpike has been released yesterday night at mid-night, and discharged from all accusations … The Ministry didn’t give any explanation for that sudden release … The number of Dementors who were in service at Azkaban were in reality more than four hundred. The public wondered what was the driving force that compelled the Ministry to contradict its former statements !” Rita Skeeter wrote.

     

    “A combined large-scale attack with the participation of Giants, Dementors and Inferi had been launched by You-Know-Who in North Harrogate, in Yorkshire. The St John’s Bridge collapsed at about haft pass one in the morning today, according to eyewitnesses. We were sure that it was the Giants’ deed, but they ran away after having damaged the foundations of St John’s bridge. They left marks of footprints on the river bank towards the Pennines mountains. Twisted lampposts, uprooted trees, and broken public benches were strewn over St John’s Square near the bridge where the attack had taken place. An army of Aurors was dispatched on the place at the first signal of the presence of a horde of about two hundred Dementors. After nearly an hour of fierce fighting and with extraordinary efforts from the Aurors the monsters from Darkness were partly destroyed and chased away by the Aurors who afterwards were attacked by a horde of Inferi, disturbed in their dwelling by the rubble of the collapsed bridge.  The Aurors were able to exterminate the entire horde of Inferi reducing them all into ashes.’

     

    “Of course !” said Hermione. “They cannot say that all the Dementors were exterminated, because last time in Norfolk they were unable to do so. How can they explain now that they succeeded in exterminating them all !”

    “That’s normal, one lie engenders another lie !” said Ron with his mouth full, and surely, at once, he got a reproaching glance from Hermione.

    “What’s our programme for today ?” asked Hermione.

    “I’d like to go to Godric’s Hollow, this afternoon. What do you think about that ? We have the whole weekend for us.”

    “We’ll come with you !”

     

    ***


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