Faery Heroes

Response to Paladeus's challenge "Champions of Lilith". Harry, Hermione, and Luna get a chance to travel back in time and prevent the hell that England became under Voldemort's rule, and maybe line their pockets while they're at it. Lunar Harmony; plenty of innuendo, dark humor, some bashing included; manipulative!Dumbles; jerk!Snape; bad!Molly, Ron, Ginny



5. Confrontations Past and Present

The trio saw no students as they walked towards the Great Hall, allowing them to collect their thoughts and center themselves. There would be several people in the room that they had not seen since the second defeat of Voldemort, some whose deaths they had mourned, and even some who they would like nothing more than to slowly and messily dispose of. Not only would they have their own memories haunting them, but many would question how this most unlikely of relationships had developed without the nigh-omniscient Hogwarts rumor mill hearing about it; they would not, under any circumstances, deny they were happy together, especially not for this crowd of children.

"So, how are we going to do this?" Hermione asked when they were before the large doors. "Walk in and ignore any questions, make a scene, take out the junior Death Eaters?"

"Or we could tango our way inside," suggested Luna, "though I don't know that Harry's skilled enough with that routine to dance with both of us."

Harry fondly rolled his eyes at the many ways the two girls tried his patience. "To repeat Hermione, we're magically weaker than we were in our old timeline. Let's try to be discreet, please."

Luna huffed. "Fine, but if any of my Housemates decide to start shit with me, I'm going to finish it. I'm not that little girl who was afraid of escalation anymore." He and Hermione were surprised at her language, not her vehemence; Luna had not had a good experience at Hogwarts last time. When McGonagall told first years that their 'houses would be their families', she neglected to inform them that these 'families' acted more like packs of wild animals than humans, turning at a moment's notice on anyone who was different or 'weak'.

"Shall we?" he asked and confidently opened the door.

The Great Hall was extremely loud, echoing with the noise of the school's 300 or so students and worsened by the voices of the hundred additional students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. The trio moved over to the end of the Gryffindor table closest to the door in order to stay out of the various conversations of their classmates; it had been ten years since this time for them, and there was no way for them to respond to the inevitable questions in-character enough to stay out of suspicion.

At least, I won't be able to be unsuspicious, Harry thought, though Hermione might be able to do it. Practically no one knows anything about Luna, so she won't have to worry about it at all. Oh well, it's not like they will do much of anything even when I do break character.

It was Seamus who first noticed the three of them sitting down, surprisingly. "Harry, I'm glad to see you away from Pomfrey. Do you think you could tell us what happened in the maze? No one seems to know."

"Seamus Finnigan, how dare you ask that!" Hermione scolded, "Harry spent the night in the Hospital Wing, and Cedric is dead; would waiting for a single day to go by before you ask such questions be too much for you?"

"Merlin, sorry Hermione, no need to yell at me. I figured Harry was made of strong enough stuff to be able to just tell us about it."

Harry laid his hand on hers to calm her down. "Seamus, it doesn't matter what I'm made of, you don't ask those kinds of questions. Besides, I expect the Headmaster will tell everyone about it eventually."

"We deserve to know what happened," Seamus said, looking at him angrily, "but if you're going to be a coward about it, fine. A true Gryffindor would tell his mates stuff."

A member of the House dedicated to courage trying to squeeze out information by calling another a coward, how obvious. Was I really this predictable when I was that age?

"Anyone can say they're brave; I prefer to let my actions prove my character for me. Besides, you don't 'deserve to know' anything, so why should I tell you a Merlin-damned thing?"

Even though he knew he was beaten, Seamus still wouldn't let the matter drop. "You think you're so special, don't you? The Boy-Who-Lived, the Triwizard Champion, you think you're better than all the rest of us! Well guess what, Potter, you're not. If it weren't for the teachers giving you whatever you want, everyone would know what a phony you are!"

Harry just looked at him. "And what makes you think the teachers do anything for me that they don't for everyone else? If you think about it, this year I actually got less assistance than any of the other competitors. As for being a 'phony' like you said, if it would bolster you ego, you can try to repeat something I did."

"Like what?"

"Hmm. Well, it'll have to be something easy, so no defeating a Dark Lord, and the Triwiz is over, so you can't do that. How about you kill a basilisk?" He grinned nastily as Seamus's face paled. "After all, I did that with only a bird and a sword at twelve. Surely a fourteen-year-old with a wand should find that rather simple. No? Then I suggest you look at yourself real closely before you decide to call me a coward." He turned away from Seamus back to his meal; he had made his point.

"Now Harry, what have we told you about getting into battles of wit with unarmed opponents?" Luna lightly chided, "He is just jealous that you're in the middle of everything that seems to happen around here; there is no need to rub his nose in his inadequacies. Now say you're sorry."

"I'm sorry that I brought up your inadequacies for everyone at the table to hear, Seamus," he complied, "I should have waited until it was just the two of us before I pointed out how much of a hypocritical sack of gob-shite you are."

Harry knew that Seamus did not deserve as much of their mocking as he was getting, but he had been one of the first members of the DA to give their allegiance to Voldemort; in fact, he had become one of the main trainers for Death Eater recruits. From that perspective, he was actually getting off rather lightly.

Seamus sputtered for a moment even as several of the nearby Gryffindors laughed. Normally he was the put-down king, so when did Harry get so sharp-tongued? "And what the hell is she doing here? She's a 'Claw, and she needs to get back to her table."

Hermione took the opportunity that he had just left; if they established Luna as someone welcome at the Gryffindor table now, it would be easier to make her a common fixture later. "You know I've read Hogwarts, A History numerous times, and it only says that a student cannot eat at a table other than their own House's during the Welcoming Feast. Other than that, we can sit wherever we want."

"Well there you go, Seamus; if Hermione says it's okay, then it's okay," Dean smoothly interjected before moving his attention to Luna. "Welcome to the Gryffindor table, I'm Dean Thomas."

"Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas," Luna replied. "I must say, I admire what you've done with your color matching, that will certainly act as an effective Wrackspurt repellent." Harry could barely hold his snort in, and Hermione's shoulders were shaking enough that he knew she was having equal difficulty. It had been a while since Luna had used one of her creatures as a conversation starter, but the look on people's faces when she did so was priceless.

Ron finally diverted his attention from the food in front of his face enough to focus on his friends. "What's Loony doing over here?"

"Luna is here because we want her here," Harry said, pushing his rage deeper. It would do them no good to curse the little bastard here. He was losing the battle when Dumbledore – great, someone else to piss me off – stood up and began speaking.

"The end of another year. There is much that I would like to say to you all tonight…"

Harry tuned the old goat out. He had already heard Cedric's eulogy once, and the attention of the school on the Headmaster would give him time to get his head together, move away from the memories of the war that he would not let happen again.

"Welcome, everyone," Harry said to the Order, assembled once more at 12 Grimmauld Place, "I'm glad you could all make it tonight. In our last battle, we successfully routed the Death Eaters that attacked the Ministry, but we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. We all recall the atrocities Voldemort committed the last time he gained power, and we will not allow them to occur again if we can—" He paused, the connection he had to the wards of his house informing him that several people had just entered the building. He flicked his eyes over the Order, performing an unnecessary headcount. Only Ron and his pregnant fiancee Lavender were absent, and there were far more individuals in the townhouse than there should be. They had kept the Fidelius Charm from the Second War up, first to hide him from his fans and then to facilitate the reformation of the Order. Perhaps Ron had scrounged up a large number of recruits? The way the number of Death Eaters was multiplying, he wasn't going to turn down any wizards or witches willing to help.

His train of thoughts was derailed as the door to the kitchen exploded, forcing him to overturn the heavy oak table, deflecting the sharp wooden shards. He looked over it, only to immediately withdraw to dodge a curse flying at him. On second thought, I will turn down any wizard or witch who is also wearing a Death Eater's mask!

"Attack!" he shouted out to the members before he entered the fray. "Reducto!" A bright red bolt flew out of his wand, turning the head of one Death Eater to mush. They had broken into and invaded his home; there was no way that he would treat them with kid gloves. Other Light fighters also began throwing out spells. He could see Hermione taking careful aim and firing what he supposed were obscure, nearly forgotten hexes, while Luna was on the other side of the table, sending spells that ranged from Color-Changing Charms to Bone-Shattering Curses, mixed together in random order. He knew from first-hand experience how devastating her method was, and how difficult to defend against.

The kitchen was simultaneously an excellent and terrible position to defend from. There was only one entrance, acting as a bottleneck for attackers, but the room was rapidly filling up with debris and bodies. It also meant that there could be no retreat, even for the growing numbers of injured Order members in need of medical assistance. Knowing that the situation was desperate, he shouted out to his fighters. "Push them back! If we can force them farther into the hallway, it will be easier to defeat them!"

Luna was the first to react, jumping over the table directly into the path of an Organ-Rotting Curse.

"Luna!" he screamed as the sickly yellow light connected with her body, throwing her back into the table. A red haze covered his field of vision even as the Elder Wand vibrated in his hand. His rage overtaking his reason, he fell back on the most damaging curse he knew. "Crucio! Crucio! Crucio!" The enemies started dropping like flies as he advanced from his position. "Crucio! Mione, crucio, help Luna! Crucio!"

Hermione ran over to their lover, Healer training taking over as she began making passes with her wand over the blonde's unmoving form. He knew he would only be a hinderance here, so he instead devoted his attention to the now-satisfying task of eliminating any opponents stupid enough to come where he could see them. After another ten or fifteen enemies were incapacitated so the other Order members could contain them, he found the leader of this force; even with the mask, he could see the bright red hair of the worm who had given the Secret to Voldemort's forces.

"Ron, you bloody traitor!" They began trading spells at a furious pace, speaking only when they weren't dodging. "Why? Why would you do this, we're your friends, and you sided with bloody Voldemort!"

"Friends," he scoffed, "you're no friend of mine! I followed you all through Hogwarts, fighting the Dark, and what does it get me, huh? You take the woman I wanted, you don't give me any gold, and still you hog all the fame! You get everything you want handed to you on a silver platter, but you won't share any of it with your best mate!"

"Hermione was never yours! She made her own decision, and the fact that you used love potions on us is what ruined any chance of her ever loving you!"

"She was mine, ever since our fourth year! If you hadn't gotten your crazy blonde bitch to flush out the potions, you'd be content with Ginny and I'd have Herms! But no, you can't let anyone have anything they want, it's always about you, you, you!"

Harry just barely managed to evade Ron's next curse, and the red-head pressed his advantage. "But the Dark Lord recognizes what I can do! Once I kill you and hand your head over, I'll have money, I'll have power, I'll have all the women I want! Maybe I'll even take the Mudblood right here so she can see your body as I put her in her rightful place!"

"Over my dead body!" came Hermione's shout, and she flung a blue curse towards their former friend. Time seemed to slow for Harry as he watched Ron respond with a spell of Chudley Cannon orange. The spells collided before returning towards their casters, no longer blue or orange, but a fluorescent pink, completely at odds with the danger he somehow knew it possessed. Ron dodged the spell, but Hermione, apparently confused over how that transformation had occurred, was a split-second too slow. It hit her in the forehead, and she dropped like a stone. Just as with Luna before her, she did not rise.

"Well," Ron said, looking at her with dismissive eyes, "I guess I can't break her like I wanted to."

Hate. That was all Harry could feel at the moment. Hermione and Luna were the two most important people in his life, each holding a different but equal half of his heart. Now they were hurt, possibly dead, and Ron cared for nothing but slaking his violent lust? Eyes that burned with green fire focused on the traitor. Only one spell would display his utter contempt, loathing, disgust with the filth in front of him.

"You bastard! Avada Kedavra!" It was the first time he had ever used the Killing Curse on a living thing. Later that night, he vowed it would also be his last.

Ron's eyes widened at the green jet of light flying towards him, and just managed to activate a Portkey before it connected.

Healers arrived ten minutes later to aid those who still had a chance of living. He should have felt guilty about his inattention to his allies, but right then, he couldn't care less about anyone in the house other than the two women he had promised to spend the rest of his life with. An hour and a half after they began treating her, one informed him that Luna, the most carefree and somehow the purest of the three of them, would never be able to show her wonderful inner light to her children. She would never bear one. As for Hermione, the only advice he received was to make his peace with her; unless a miracle happened, she would never wake again.

Harry and Luna neither slept nor ate for three days, too preoccupied with their tears to bother.

"Harry?" He jerked his attention back to the outside world, back to Hermione. "Everyone else went outside to watch the foreign students leave. Are you okay?"

He grabbed her hand, then did the same to Luna. "We're alive, we're healthy, we're whole. As long as we don't repeat the same mistakes we made before, we'll hopefully stay that way. Right now, my loves," he smiled at the girls, who quickly smiled back at him in reassurance, "I can't be anything but perfect."

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