Partially Kissed Hero

Summer before third year Harry has a life changing experience, and a close encounter with a dementor ends with him absorbing the horcrux within him. Features Harry with a backbone.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4240771/1/Partially-Kissed-Hero

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90. Chapter Ninety

I I I

A dryad flickered out from under the charge of nearly a quarter ton of werewolf, reappearing at her tree over a hundred yards away.

Snarling and enraged, the four hundred pound beast turned to follow her. A hundred yards was a long charge for a wolf, but nothing for an arrow. He got spitted and died in moments. Since the whole town had been designed with the idea of planting dryad trees everywhere, this scene often got repeated.

Bellatrix Black was cackling with wild abandon as she skewered werewolves left and right, firing merrily into the chaos of battle, striking a creature of darkness with every shot, often two or three.

So consumed was she in her havoc and causing mayhem to her master's foes that she got a bit distracted, and four lycanthropes snuck up on her and pounced all at the same moment...

... only to howl and whimper and skitter away on blistered paws as they encountered her head to toe silver armor.

Bellatrix grinned, then drew her silver sword and began skinning them, still alive, humming aloud a simple tune with childlike wonder as she did so.

Realizing their numbers were disintegrating by the second, caught without escape by the dwarves still covering the gap in the wall, the werewolves by and large gave up on victory in a military sense and turned to attack the helpless townsfolk, determined to cause the most casualties possible.

A trio of werewolves howled, their hands still burning from having tried to open doors and shutters on the town's houses, as they bore down on a witch and her three children who had been living in a tent on her vacant lot.

Cowering under a tree, it looked like the witch and her small family was doomed, until the Whomping Willow they sheltered under came down like a sack full of anvils onto the charging weres, smashing them with powerful limbs and tearing their bodies apart with tendrils before flinging their many pieces far away from each other.

There are some things that not even the magically toughened constitution of a lycanthrope can handle.

Hearing the crash and thinking it was the weres hitting her, the witch waited, curled up protectively around her children, for the pain to register. When it didn't, she looked up and found only a bloody depression in the ground.

Elsewhere, across the town, a six year old girl charged through an incomplete hedge of rose bushes around the property that would belong to her parents once their house was actually built, in panic as two werewolves chased after her; only for the wolves to howl in rage and frustration, then pain, as the roses lashed out and enveloped them like a sea creature that had been awaiting prey.

They were released as little more than softly breathing sacks of fur.

Madam Rosemerta was made a dryad because of her excellent opportunities to spy on students when they were at their most relaxed; and to foil Albus, who'd already compulsed and manipulated her into spying for him. Given how a theme had already been established she was a dryad of, unsurprisingly, the rose bush. Specifically, the Sparklethorn Rose, aka the Sleep Thorn.

Rare and wonderful, but also deucedly effective and the principle inspiration behind Draught of the Living Death.

Since the dryads were being recruited to provide landscaping for the village, and roses were very popular and desired by most ladies for their yards or gardens, there were sleeping werewolves scattered across the entire village.

I I I

Holding his bloody intestines inside his perforated gut with one hand, Moody portkeyed out of the battle right before the lethal curse was to have hit, leaving his king hydra behind to continue the slaughter and mayhem.

A slaughter and mayhem that was doing surprisingly little to his foes, as it spent most of its energy on the pureblood Ministry employees.

Sometimes it doesn't matter how much violence a creature is capable of, it only really matters how much is directed to your foes. And for that the king hydra, while capable of surprising levels of destruction, was actually a poor choice in this circumstance. Too much easy prey kept it distracted.

Three levels of Ministry flooring had been broken through by its rearing heads, and it snatched prey from all four levels thus revealed to it while the holes created a waterfall the auror and the Boy-Who-Lived fought under.

Water falling sixty feet in a sheet, sending waves crashing about the floor had left the battlefield not only drenched, but footing treacherous. Harry, young and spry, and agile as only a creature of Faerie could be, had found the circumstances to his liking, dodging behind sheets of water to block spells as often as not, while Moody with his multiple old injuries and peg leg had not, frequently falling prey to slick surfaces underfoot and crashing down taking as much damage from his own clumsiness among the debris as spells.

A desk, washed down the hole by flooding waters, came down from above and crashed onto the already littered battlefield, decorated with the corpses of animals transfigured by both sides.

Seeing no point in staying, Harry began to seek out his girls so they could get out of there.

I I I

The Hall of Records was completely submerged and swampy, with books and files floating everywhere in a murky haze as ink stained the water.

Luna and company arrived with Susan in the lead to find corpses of the witch librarians who kept the records floating near the entrance, whose door was clearly labeled 'push' on the outside.

They'd died in their frantic efforts to push it open from the inside. The sad thing was, none of them had even drawn a wand. Like many Ministry political appointees to positions of high trust, while purebloods, they had little enough magical power they rarely thought of casting spells.

For all their talk of being a superior race, inbreeding had severely damaged that quality they took most pride in.

Shoving the drowned women aside, and idly stealing their wands and purses as she did so, Luna gestured her companions inside the now-cleared path. Speaking was impossible underwater, something they had not thought of at first when venturing this escape path. However they made due with gestures, and she did so as she led the others to the magical patent office where applications were recorded.

Susan opened the lock on the door, once again using her aunt's codes to do so. The chamber beyond had been flooded through the ventilation ducts, so everything inside was as waterlogged as out in the main vault.

Everything but three things, floating in globes of air near the ceiling. In this case the charms cast on those items to keep them undisturbed and secure from casual investigation had prevented their destruction.

Luna floated up to the first of them with a smile on her face as she cradled it. The item was a large tome of research knowledge seized from the man who'd tried to file a potion recipe (attached), shortly before his murder by parties in the government interested in keeping his discovery unknown to the world, and contained a limited cure of lycanthrope, usable before onset only, but still perfectly able to cure victims before their first transformation.

It could do nothing to cure those who'd already become werewolves. However, with this knowledge, surviving victims of lycanthrope attacks were no longer assured a dark and horrible future as werewolves themselves. Armed with this, anyone bitten who reported to a magical hospital could be cured after the infection but before the next full moon triggered a transformation. Right now the infection could be detected, but mediwitches could do nothing about it. However, should this ever be fully distributed, the curse of lycanthrope in their world could all but end, as the creation of new werewolves would be all but stopped by speedy treatment of werewolf victims, while existing weres grew old and died without replacing themselves with the freshly bitten.

Dumbledore was not the only one who found werewolves too useful to lose, so the poor man who'd discovered this had been destroyed. But those at the top of the political food chain did not want their children infected by accident any more than anyone else did, so knowledge of the cure was preserved for use by the families of high Ministry officials in case of unfortunate infections, while the actual mediwitches to administer the cures would be Obliviated immediately afterward to prevent knowledge there was a cure from spreading to the common folk.

Can't have ordinary people expecting to be cured from their bites, after all. Where would the new sources of werewolves come from if that as the case? And while Dumbledore was the only one to have been breeding werewolves into an army, he was far from the only one to be fond of using them as assassins, or using infection and transformation as a punishment for failure.

Luna cradled the book lovingly to her chest. With the war going on there would be many infected by bites who would need this to avoid a dark and horrid future.

So having it was a very Needful Thing.

Susan and Hannah seized the other two floating patents, secure in their containment wards, not understanding the importance of the first yet, but getting the idea that these were the items they had come to recover.

That was when they turned around to find Hermione was missing. While the others had gone with Luna to collect those unregistered patents, she had seen those floating files and had an epiphany.

She'd read enough about this building to know what was stored here, and it took her only a few moments to find the official Registry of Pureblood Lines. After that it took but a second to use her fairy powers to wandlessly (she didn't fancy taking it out of its holster and getting it wet) transfigure a book floating nearby into a circular saw. Soon she had a dozen of them rotating on a shared shaft, then a dozen more going along a second interlocking with the first and rotating the other way, until finally she'd linked enough of them together to have a floor to ceiling paper shredder that was ten feet wide and had every inch filled with circular saw blades able to chew apart wood or metal cabinetry as easily as paper.

She then animated this construction and set it to devouring those shelves. Even if they could somehow undo all of the water damage, they'd have an even tougher time recovering anything if the records they really wanted were all so much paper mulch.

Hermione had made another and set it upon the tax records, a third for the magical location files, and had just completed a fourth for general mayhem by the time the other girls found her and they all headed out of that mess.

Behind them, transfigured octopi would not only be spraying ink over everything in prodigious amounts, they would also be cramming shredded files down the open toilets and off down the sewer lines, as not even the most absurd levels of magic could restore files that weren't even there.

I I I

Dwarves were slow, but zombies were slower.

With the giants gone and werewolves all but vanishing, unable to stay within sight of a dryad without getting perforated by a hail of silver arrows, it fell to the dwarves the manly work of walking up to the often damaged zombies and hacking them to even tinier pieces that could be piled up and burned.

There was very little capable of stopping them short of that. Zombies were tough, and even a severed hand was capable of inching along toward victims. So bonfires in pits was one of the few ways of destroying enough of their tissue to finally put a stop to them.

Luckily they don't fight so hard once dismembered. You've just got to watch out for where you step, else you'll get something grabbing on your ankle. So, while unMarked Ministry wizards in service of Voldemort watched, gaping at the destruction of their army from a distance, dwarves cleaned up the town.

Dryads were already busy tending to the wounded.

Countless priceless resources had been liberated out of the Headbastard's stockpiles, some of which the heroes could even identify. So many of those found themselves put to use right away.

Each dryad carried around her neck on a chain a small vial full of phoenix tears, filled out the barrels of same the Headbastard had hoarded. The idea behind these vials was one of, 'oh, if they need healing they'll have this right there with them and can use it right away', only the facts of the matter as it played out was that dryads needed very little healing. Between their armor and other protections, their injuries tended either to be very minor, or kill them outright. There wasn't much in between.

And since they didn't stay dead so long as their trees were alive, mostly the beautiful wood nymphs emerged from that battle completely fine. So they did not need the phoenix tears that had been provided for them.

Still, on finding themselves in post-battle cleanup, they had plenty of uses for them. Contrary to what a steady diet of television action flicks led one to believe, very few injuries were instantly fatal. Extras in action flicks dropped dead or unconscious at the drop of a hat, but in real life often even the most extreme wounds did not kill quickly or cleanly. Even someone cut in half could quite often linger for a few minutes before passing on. They'd be in shock, unable to do anything, and probably look dead, but the spark did not go out instantly except in the rarest of cases.

And nowhere was this more clear than with dwarves.

Dwarves were solidly built, tough as tanks, and took some pretty impressive damage before they'd go down, and even then they took a long time dying. They were like rocks in that they bled from wounds quite slowly so even from extreme cases like lost limbs or mangled ribcages, they kept on ticking for a while. Most dwarven poetry celebrated this, as the iconic image of a mortally injured hero holding out long enough to say goodbye to his dear ones was more or less a standard case with the bearded race.

Excellent for morbid poetry, but of far more practical use when there are a large number of women about who possess powerful healing devices. Between a few drops of phoenix tears and plentiful use of Bifrost Tar provided by Poppy (who was a Bifrost Pine, thus could make the stuff at need) they were able to slather enough on to stick severed limbs back together and seal shut otherwise mortal wounds to save a clear majority of the wounded, even those dwarves who'd been tossed about like sticks by the giants' rocks.

Bifrost tar was already justly famous for its ability to heal 'even those cut in twain through their midriff', and since most of those injured, even with what would otherwise be mortal wounds, were less banged up than that, there was not much the combined efforts of their cures could not deal with.

Cram a little magical tar in that sucking chest wound and you'll be fine. Of course, it helped they had plenty of it available to use.

There were some, those with smashed heads and all, who could not be saved. But a wound has to be pretty severe to kill a dwarf instantly, and not even the explosions of giant-flung rocks had produced too many of those.

Nor, for all its intensity, had the fight actually gone on that long. So they had plenty of time to catch even those sliding away rather quickly, and with the scale of their cures it was easy to save those they got to in time.

McGonagall, acting on Harry's behalf, had immediately authorized the weight of a fallen dwarf's body in silver to be paid out to the families of those they could not save. And nothing was more liable to invoke their most fervent loyalty. No, dwarves are apt to remember acts of respect and honor for their service like that until the mountains die of old age.

They turned all of that silver into new weapons and armor, of course.

Among the townsfolk, very few were injured by this assault. Godric's Hollow had been more than half completed before the crews dropped everything to work on the outer walls, and most of what had been built up until that point had been houses. Halfway done on a project that included houses, as well as bunches of other things, many of those things being large or impressive, meant that most of the houses had been completed before they'd changed focus. And, naturally, everybody with a house had sheltered in it.

Considering the handful of giants had focused on killing dwarves at the wall, and the weres and zombies had no ability to break into those fortified villas, those who had sheltered in their homes had been completely fine during the attack. The same for those who had taken shelter in the incomplete castle. It may not have been finished, but enough was to have kept out the weres.

That had left what was a comparatively tiny minority of people outside during the assault, and even among those the majority had stayed far away from the battle. And between the dryad archers shooting down all of the escaping wolves on sight, as well as the contributions from some of their magical trees or rose bushes, not many of the townsfolk had been injured or killed.

Some had, of course, but it was an insignificant number given the nature and scale of the assault - insignificant except to those injured or killed, to whom it was of great significance, especially to those bitten by werewolves.

Luckily, Luna would come by later bearing the cure for those infected.

Still, enthusiasm for the new adult education programs, especially in defense, would be high. This would get even more so when it was truthfully announced that the dwarves were only there until their city got completed, then it would be up to those witches and wizards who had mostly cowered in their houses to defend the place from any further assaults.

People who had never learned to even cast a decent shield would panic at the very thought of it being up to them and seeing clear need (and no other way to shirk it) would throw themselves into their studies.

I I I

Harry fled down a corridor not moments ahead not only of Vulturewart personally, but a staff consisting of hundreds of Death Eaters and vampires.

He didn't need to be told that it was a bad idea to be caught by Moldyshorts and a few hundred of his best minions in what was now the seat of his power. That would just be all sorts of horrible; even allowing himself to be brought to combat where he could be delayed, then surrounded and overwhelmed was not high on his agenda.

He didn't feel like getting defeated today, especially not when things had been going so well.

Besides, the ceilings and floors of this place were not all that stable anymore and standing around when parts of it had already fallen in fights before when those were less than this one would be sounded like a recipe for pancakes, and he had no desire to be squashed either.

It wouldn't even hurt Moldyshorts. They'd just bring him back again. He knew old snake-lips well enough to be sure that by now he'd corrected whatever flaw there had been in his resurrection plans, so should he die his revival would be prompt.

And Harry STILL hadn't found that final horcrux! Mr 'flees-from-death' would have been gone by now if only that locket had been left where he'd put it! But some well-meaning person had stolen and then failed to destroy it!

So, since he still had a horcrux, defeating Voldy in a duel would be pointless. Even if he could do it (which the Boy-Who-Lived was not too sure of, having seen him in action lately).

Wait a minute! NOT kill Vulturesnot? What was he THINKING? Harry quickly turned and cast three consecutive spells, aimed not at his pursuers, but at the main support pillars between them.

A second later he was in Nemean Lion form racing away as fast as his unicorn infused speed could take him, while the ceiling began to rumble ominously and giant boulders began to fall as a prequel to the main event.

Building collapsing all around, Harry caught up to his girls and got them out of there, apparating out seconds before the lower half of the Ministry crashed down upon itself, burying nearly a third of Voldemort's current bodyguard forces under thousands of tons of rubble.

I I I

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