Unofficial Portkey Archive

Anima Summa Book 3 - Into the Light by Anima Summa

Anima Summa Book 3 - Into the Light

Anima Summa

Chapter 9 The Nephilim

Harry and Hermione instinctively crouched low to the ground as they materialised in the middle of a dark wooded area. They could hear the sound of twigs crunching under feet not too far away, but the conifers obscured their vision. Draco drifted high above them and looked around.

Then he moved back down and whispered, "There's a group of about fifty Death Eaters walking along a path just the other side of those trees, and they're headed towards a village not more that half a mile away, just beyond the wood. Have you set the Portkey yet?"

Harry shook his head. "I don't think there's any need to drag the others into this. I think we can handle it."

"Draco," said Hermione. "Will you position yourself just inside the wood and distract them?"

"But don't get too close to them," said Harry. "We don't want you to get caught up in the spell."

Draco nodded and moved quickly to his right, drifting around the tall fir trees towards the edge of the wood. Harry and Hermione cautiously walked over and peeked out between the dense branches, and then waited for a few moments while the last of the line of Death Eaters moved out of sight along the winding path. Then they stepped out from behind their cover and followed slowly behind, waiting for the sound of startled voices before they made their move.

Draco grinned with anticipation as he waited for the first of the Death Eaters to appear in the small clearing, just inside the line of trees that marked the edge of the wood. He sat on a rotting tree stump and thought about what he could do to make sure that he held the full attention of the black-cloaked figures while his new companions did their stuff. He thought of several things, but rejected the more outlandish ones, finally settling on something that made him chuckle quietly to himself.

Then, as he heard the sound of a vehemently uttered curse as one of the men stumbled over a fallen branch, he drifted over to a lone hawthorn tree, devoid of leaves and standing forlornly at the far end of the clearing. He moved along one of the branches that stretched out over the path, dangled upside down so that his head was no more than three feet above the ground, and waited.

The three Death Eaters at the head of the column didn't notice the dangling ghost until they were almost upon him. Then they all spotted him at the same time and stopped dead in their tracks, and started walking quickly backwards away from the apparition. Foul language filled the air as the ones coming behind bumped into the startled three, and soon, all fifty men were clustered at one side of the clearing, staring wide-eyed at the grinning Draco at the other end.

"What the hell…" said one of the Death Eaters, who was the first to recover, and pulled his wand from his black robes and sent a curse towards the ghost.

"That tickled," shouted Draco as the beam flew harmlessly through his wispy form. "But that wasn't very nice was it?"

"Who the hell are you?" asked one of the men. "You look a bit like Lucius Malfoy!"

"Uh… this is no time to think about my father," said Draco, pointing behind the men. "You should be thinking about those two behind you!"

They all spun around, just in time to hear the spell issued by the Anima Summas.


A bright silvery-blue beam shot from their outstretched palms and surrounded the Death Eaters in a silvery haze. Then Harry and Hermione dropped their hands and walked around the black-cloaked group towards Draco, who drifted over and inspected their handiwork.

"What was that?" he said, looking at the men, frozen in various poses.

"We've used that spell before," said Harry. "It encloses them in a suspended bubble of time, where they'll stay until we free them."

"With a team of Aurors in attendance of course," said Hermione.

"Cool," breathed Draco.

Hermione reached into her robes, pulled out a parchment and quill and started writing on it. "What are you doing?" asked Harry, looking over her shoulder.

"Well, if we're going to be doing a lot of this sort of thing, we'd better make a note of where they all are," she replied. "And when it's all over, we can spend some time with the ministry Aurors while they take them into custody."

"Where are we anyway?" asked Draco.

"Glenbinchry," said Harry immediately, then stared at Hermione in confusion. "How did I know that?"

Hermione grinned. "I don't know. But I knew it too. It must be a side effect of the locating spell we used - it must put the name and precise location of the place we Zapparate to in our heads, somehow."

"It's in Scotland isn't it?" asked Draco.

Hermione nodded. "Only a few miles from Hogsmeade."

"How are we going to get back to Wales?" asked the ghost.

Harry grinned. "Grab hold of us again." Harry and Hermione joined hands and closed their eyes, concentrating on their base at Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad. The next instant, all was quiet once more in the little clearing, the shouts from the wide-open mouths of some of the Death Eaters frozen in an intangible moment of suspended time.

When they materialised back at the valley, the scene was almost the same as when they'd left only ten minutes or so previously. The protectors and their three friends still stood holding the Portkey, and Professor Dumbledore and the others still stood to one side.

"Where the hell have you been?" shouted Sirius. "We've been waiting here for ages!"

"Sorry about that," said Harry. "There were only fifty of them, and we were hidden from sight behind a load of tall trees."

"If we'd brought you there," added Hermione, "they'd most probably have heard you if you'd started walking about in all the dead undergrowth and we'd have lost our element of surprise."

"Well it's nice to know that we're not needed!" exclaimed Ron sullenly.

"Of course you're needed Ron," said Hermione gently, "it's just that… well, we won't know whether we can handle things on our own until we get there."

"And it's pointless dragging you all into danger if it's not really necessary," added Harry.

"Well next time you go," said Ron, "it might be a good idea to bring some chairs outside - at least we can wait in comfort."

Everyone chuckled, and then Dumbledore stepped forward. "You'd better tell us what happened."

After Hermione had explained everything, she held up the parchment. "So I thought it would be a good idea if we kept a record of where all the bubbles of suspended time are."

"I'd better get onto Fudge," said the headmaster. "He's going to be delighted now that we've started to go on the offensive, and he'll probably want to send some people to Scotland to put some wards around that bubble, just in case any Muggles get curious if they stumble across it."

"What about informing the magical community, Headmaster?" asked McGonagall. "On the one hand, it'll give them a lot of hope and encouragement if they know what's happening, but do we want 'You Know Who' to find out about it?"

"I think that's a very good idea, Minerva," he replied with a twinkle in his eye. "It'll give him something to think about! I'll speak to Fudge about it - I'm sure he'll want Rita Skeeter to make a big splash in the Daily Prophet."

"If you hold off speaking to him just yet," said Harry. "We might be able to give him something a little bit more positive." He turned and gazed at Hermione, holding out his hand and sending his thoughts to her. She frowned, but then nodded her head.

"We'd like to try to get to Voldemort," he said. "Now!"

"Are you sure about this Harry?" asked Dumbledore. Harry nodded.

"I don't care what you find when you get there," said Sirius. "Set that Portkey as soon as you arrive! Do you understand? I'm sure you'll get the time to do it if Draco distracts him."

"We promise Sirius," said Hermione.

Again, they grabbed hold of the Portkey as Draco drifted up to touch the pair as they concentrated on getting to Voldemort.


Everyone watched as the three shimmered, but gasped when they didn't disappear.

"What's the matter!" exclaimed Remus.

Harry and Hermione shook their heads slowly and tried once more.


Again, they just shimmered but remained in the valley.

"What's going on?" asked Ceri.

"I don't know," said Hermione, shaking her head. "There's something that seems to be stopping us."

"Perhaps you're not meant to confront him yet," said Ginny.

Dumbledore stroked his beard, deep in thought, and nodded. "It's quite likely that the time is not yet right for the final conflict. Think about it - there are thousands and thousands of Death Eaters in the world. Most of the active cells are in this country and America, and if you were to dispose of Voldemort now, they'd just go into hiding for a while until they found a new leader. Then, after several months, or a year at the most, they'd once more begin their campaign of terror. It might well be that you've got to confine most of them first, before you meet Voldemort, so that their power base will be broken for a long time to come."

Harry nodded. "That makes a lot of sense, I suppose Professor. So the sooner we round up more of the Dark Side, the sooner we'll get to Voldemort."

"Before you go whizzing off again," said the headmaster, turning to go to the tent that held the Floo Chimney, "I'll get in touch with Fudge. The deadline is going to run out within the next few hours, so he might want to relocate the ministry here, and I'm sure he'll want to get in touch with Branson at the American Magical Congress to put him in the picture about you two."

He returned after about fifteen minutes. "They'll start arriving within the hour. Fudge didn't really want to abandon his offices but he could see the sense of keeping out of sight for the moment. He was very pleased when I told him about your little foray, by the way. And he'll be speaking to Rita Skeeter before he leaves the ministry. It seems that Branson is going to move his offices to some secluded place as well."

"So they won't be giving in to 'You Know Who's demands then?" asked Ceri.

"No one had any intention of giving in to him," replied Dumbledore. "I think we'd all rather fight and risk death than submit to the horror of his rule."

"Ready to go on the next trip Draco?" asked Hermione.

He nodded and drifted over to the pair as Harry and Hermione once more closed their eyes and concentrated.


Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Flitwick, the twins and their team watched as Harry, Hermione and Draco first shimmered and then disappeared. They were followed shortly afterwards by the rest of the group as the Portkey was activated.

They found themselves at the top of a rocky knoll, overlooking a large field of parched grass. The field was covered by several rows of tents, and the place was a hive of activity with a number of groups of black-cloaked figures walking along the lines of tents. Beyond the field was a wooded area, and the group, who now lay on the ground at the edge of the hill as they surveyed the scene below, could clearly hear the sounds of curses and spells.

"We must be somewhere in the southern United States," whispered Ceri. "It's obvious we aren't anywhere in the U.K. from the rise in temperature."

"I think this must be one of the Death Eater training camps," said Oliver. "It's not unlike Camp Merlin."

"How many of them do you recon there are?" asked Charlie.

"Judging by the number of tents," said Katie, "there must be a couple of hundred at least."

"How do you want to play this?" Sirius asked Harry and Hermione.

"Well they're too scattered to use the time bubble spell - we'll have to try to get them closer together in a more confined space first."

"Perhaps we should have brought a few sheepdogs along with us," grinned Ron.

Hermione didn't laugh as she stared at Ron, deep in thought. "That's not a bad idea Ron."

"What?" he replied. "That was supposed to be a joke, you know."

"If you wait here until Harry and me get around behind that wooded area, we can start the round-up."

"When you see a load of Death Eaters start to walk out of the woods," continued Harry, "lay down some fire to distract all those others down on the field. Then we'll herd them all up into the middle of the field where we can confine them in a time bubble."

"What about me?" asked Draco.

"You can sit this one out," said Harry, as he and Hermione crept to the back of the hill. "Just enjoy the scenery."

Harry and Hermione scrambled down the back side of the hill and moved swiftly around the outskirts of the camp, keeping low to the ground, heading towards the training area inside the woods. They approached a large clearing and watched in amazement as a number of groups of Death Eaters attacked several low buildings, using stealth to approach and then bursting inside to throw spells and curses.

"That must be a mock-up of the American Magical Congress buildings," whispered Hermione, "or something similar."

They waited until all the Death Eaters were inside the flimsy structures and then stood up straight, holding hands and pointing their palms at the buildings. Before they could say the spell, they heard a shout at their right-hand side and saw a large black-cloaked figure running towards them, shouting at the top of his voice in a hysterical manner, and pointing his wand at them.

The pair adjusted their aim and shouted, "NAHU DUGU ISTEN."

The silver beam of light hit the Death Eater, who stopped in his tracks, dropped his hands to his sides, and just stared blankly at the pair. Then Harry and Hermione pointed their palms once more at the buildings.


After a few moments, the Death Eaters walked out of the buildings, they eyes blank and staring, and moved slowly over to the solitary man that had earlier been calmed and subdued. Harry spoke once more, this time in English, "Walk out of the woods into the middle of the camping area."

The Death Eaters turned and started to slowly walk in the direction of the field. Harry and Hermione moved swiftly around to the right and waited at the edge of the wood.

As the line of zombie-like figures emerged from the wood, the air crackled with magic as the group at the top of the hill started hurling spells into the field below. Amid loud shouts, and a jumble of confusion, a lot more Death Eaters, some of them scantily attired, emerged from the tents and sought whatever cover they could behind several rocky outcrops surrounding the bottom of the hill. After waiting to make sure that there were no more still inside the tents, Harry and Hermione crept up behind a group of about forty on the right-hand side of the hill and used the same spell as they had earlier, causing them to just stand and stare blankly.

The group of thirty Death Eaters immediately to their left looked around to see what had caused their colleagues to behave in such a strange manner, but soon turned their attention to the top of the hill when their position was hit once more by a load of spells.

"ALKA." The pair shouted once more, covering the thirty hapless figures in silvery light. They, too, stood and stared.

After another five minutes, the job had been completed, and seven groups of Death Eaters, including the one that had walked out of the woods to the centre of the field, just stood, staring blankly at nothing in particular. Hermione shouted at each of the groups, compelling them to walk to the centre of the field to join their colleagues, and soon there were more than two hundred figures quietly standing together at the centre of the field.

Amazing!" exclaimed Remus as he led the group down the hill.

"There's some ugly looking buggers amongst that lot!" cracked Ron, as he slowly circled the subdued Death Eaters.

"You'd better stand back Ron," said Hermione, as she and Harry raised their hands, ready to say the spell that would confine the group in a time warp ready for later retrieval.

Ron moved quickly out of the way to stand besides Margot as the silvery haze settled over the staring hoard.

Hermione made another entry on a fresh piece of parchment, bearing the heading 'America', and then Zapparated back to Wales with Harry, while the rest climbed the hill once more to take the route back via the Portkey.


Voldemort hissed with frustration as he flung a copy of the Daily Prophet onto the floor of his cave. For the fifth day running, the lead story had been about how the Anima Summas had overcome yet another group of his Dark Forces.

He'd fulfilled his threat to destroy the ministry of magic buildings in London and the magical congress buildings in America, but had gleaned scant satisfaction from the deeds, obliterating empty buildings wasn't the most productive of targets on which to demonstrate the power of the Disc of Gates.

"Wormtail!" he roared, bringing him scampering into the cave. "Any news from America yet?"

Wormtail shook with fear as he handed Voldemort a copy of the latest dispatch from the States. The Dark Lord glanced at the headline and flung the newssheet onto the cave floor to join its British sister paper.

"Lucius!" roared Voldemort.

"Yes, my Lord," he said as he walked into the cave.

"What news from my spies around the country? Are they any closer to finding out where Potter and Granger are?"

"I'm afraid not, my Lord. They seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth."

"But they haven't, have they Lucius!" The danger in the quietly spoken words was plain to behold. "Because those newspaper reports are gloating at the defeat, by their hands, of my so-called terrible forces!"

Lucius remained silent, knowing that whatever he said would provoke an adverse reaction.

"Pick out a place, any place, that will serve to demonstrate my power once more. I will not be ignored by Fudge and his crowd any longer."

"Yes, my Lord." Lucius bowed and walked quickly out of the cave to consult the rest of the inner circle concerning a suitable target.


The snow covering the hanging valley of Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad shone in the bright moonlight. Above the valley, along the Roman Road leading to the right, three figures shivered as they sat in the old partially ruined farmhouse that they'd spotted when they first came this way last year.

The full moon was just rising above the horizon, and Remus Lupin, together with his friends Sirius and Ceri, had decided to wait out the night in that remote place while the worst effects of his werewolf curse were upon him. He still had some of the Wolfsbane potion left in the jar at his side, but he'd already taken his fill.

"You'd better transform," muttered Remus as he felt the first signs of change coming over him.

"What's that?" hissed Ceri, as she heard the door at the back creak open. She and Sirius quickly got up and looked into the back room, where they saw a shadowy figure walking towards them. They stepped back into the room and pulled out their wands.

"Who are you?" Sirius shouted as the figure came into the dark room.

The figure let out a shrill cry as she jumped, startled that anyone had managed to find her regular hiding place. But she quickly recovered. "Who are YOU!" she exclaimed.

Ceri lit her wand and looked closely at the dark and attractive woman before her. "You'd better leave quickly," she said, glancing at Remus. "It's not safe here for you."

"I've been coming here for over a year," said the woman, her voice quite agitated. "What gives you the right to take over my hiding place?"

Remus stood up and staggered over to the woman, trying to keep in check the tortures of the full moon for just a few minutes longer. "You'd better listen to her," he said. "It's not safe here. Now go, quickly, before it's too late."

The woman stifled a cry as she doubled up, seemingly in pain. "You don't understand," she said through clenched teeth. "I… I'm a werewolf, and it's the full moon. If you don't all get away from here soon, I won't be responsible for my actions. Go… please!"

Remus' eyes flew wide open, then he walked quickly back to his seat and picked up the jar. "Here - drink this," he said, holding the jar out to her. "Quickly now - it will help you. I'm a werewolf too, and this Wolfsbane potion will help to curb your aggressive tendencies."

The woman stared for a few moments, then took the jar and gulped down the contents.

Remus quickly explained why Sirius and Ceri were there with him, and then said, "You are welcome to join us. They can help us with this curse."

The woman nodded and then doubled up once more. Ceri and Sirius both transformed into their Animagus forms and trotted over to the door, where they flopped down to stand guard - and to make sure that the newly introduced werewolves didn't do each other any damage.

Ceri growled as she saw and heard the two werewolves howling at the moon through the window of the old farmhouse. Something in her wolf's genetic makeup tugged at her as she resisted the temptation to howl along with them. Padfoot turned his head towards her and nuzzled her ear gently, helping her to calm down.

It was a long night. The female werewolf, not having the length of exposure to the Wolfsbane potion that Remus had, and thus the full effects of its calming influence, tried to attack Ceri at one point, but was stopped from getting to her by the large bulk of Padfoot, and the somewhat less effective help that Remus provided.

At last, just when he thought that the night would never end, Sirius let out a doggy sigh as he saw the first faint light of dawn, and watched as the two werewolves, now sleeping side by side on the floor, slowly started to transform back to their human shapes.

Sirius and Ceri transformed as well, and stood over the pair as they completed their transformation. Sirius put his arms around Ceri and kissed her tenderly. "Thanks, Ceri," he whispered. "It's been a big help - especially with two of them to watch out for."

"There's no need for thanks," she replied, leaning her head on his shoulder. "Remus is my friend as well, now."

They both turned as Remus cleared his throat. "I'm not interrupting anything am I?"

They laughed and watched as the woman slowly rose from the ground. "Thanks," she said. "You've all been a big help. I'm Sioned Griffith, by the way." She reached out and shook hands with the three friends. Remus introduced himself and then Sirius and Ceri.

"So what are you doing in such a remote part of Wales?" asked Sioned.

"We… uh, we were out camping, and I sort of forgot it was a full moon last night," said Remus. Both Sirius and Ceri raised their eyes to the sky, cringing at the pathetic answer that Remus had given, and wondering why he hadn't thought of a better excuse.

Sioned looked doubtfully at Remus. "Out camping… at this time of year and in this weather… a werewolf forgetting when the full moon rises. You must be mad in more ways than one!"

Remus smiled weakly, and tried to ignore the woman's obvious disbelief. "So… how long have you been a werewolf, Sioned?"

"About two years," she replied, looking sadly at the floor. "It happened when my friend and I went on a walking holiday through the Carpathian Mountains, and we were attacked by what we thought was a wolf - but we soon found out that it must have been a werewolf at the time of the next full moon - we were both bitten, you see. Beth and I managed to get through that awful night, but soon after, well… she just couldn't accept what had happened to her and just took off, and I haven't seen her since. I live in a little village between Brecon and Llanwrtyd Wells, and I used to hide myself away in one of the huts the soldiers use during exercises on the firing range up there, but I had to stop when they started holding night exercises. I looked far and wide before I happened on this old place about a year ago."

"You must have had a shock when you found us three here last night," said Ceri.

"You can say that again!" she exclaimed. "But I'm glad you were here, as it turned out. That… potion… you gave me certainly helped."

"Are you… a witch?" asked Sirius.

"A what?" she exclaimed, looking disbelievingly at Sirius. "I've been forced to believe in werewolves, but witches? Are you as mad as your friend?"

It was Remus' turn to lift his eyes to the heavens. "Sioned… there are certain things that you're obviously not aware of. You see, Ceri here is a witch, Sirius is a wizard, and so am I."

"What? You're kidding me aren't you?"

The three shook their heads solemnly.

"Whoa - this is too much! Witches and Wizards… wow! Is that the reason you gave me that cock and bull story earlier?"

Remus nodded. "There are quite a few things you don't know. We're stationed not far from here, along with a group of other magical people. We're in the middle of a war with Dark Wizards, who are trying to take over the world, and things are coming to a head just about now."

Sioned walked across the room, sat down on one of the chairs, and leaned forward to place her head in her hands. "This is a lot to take in," she said shakily.

"We have to go now," said Ceri.

Sioned looked panicked as she rose from the chair. "Can… can I see you all again? I mean, it's the first time I've met anyone who understands my condition, and I don't want to lose you as soon as I've found you."

"Look," said Remus. "Can you come back here first thing tomorrow morning? I'll get the Potions Master to brew some more of the Wolfsbane Potion and bring you a supply."

"Oh would you?" The relief was plain to see in the woman's face.

"No problem," said Remus. "See you in the morning."

They all waved as they walked out of the farmhouse, Sioned turning to the right to follow the Roman Road back down the mountainside, and the others turning in the opposite direction.

"She was very nice," said Ceri as they walked back up to the valley. "Don't you think so Remus?"

Sirius grinned slyly as he waited to hear Remus' response.

"Yes, she is, Ceri," he replied. "She's the first female werewolf I've ever met. Pity she's not a witch though."


Harry, Hermione and Draco materialised at the edge of a town somewhere in California. A large contingent of Death Eaters were spread out immediately to their right, hurling curses at the houses, but no one had spotted the three appear suddenly.

"There's not enough time to set the Portkey," said Hermione. "Hold my hand Harry, we've got to do something quick."

They joined hands and pointed their palms at the line of black-robed figures. "SEHERU ERIMHA," they yelled.

A blue beam shot from their palms and engulfed the enemy fighters, who stopped hurling curses and looked up in astonishment, to see the Anima Summas suddenly grow huge, stretching up to almost reach the clouds.

What had actually happened, however, was the opposite. Harry, Hermione and Draco bent their heads, as the enemy suddenly diminished in size until they were no more than an inch high, and the length of the space they occupied was only about ten feet.

The seventy or so Death Eaters panicked and started to run in all directions, but they didn't get very far - their tiny legs couldn't carry them fast enough. The time bubble spell caught them in its silvery haze a few moments later, and they froze into immobility.

"That's two spells we'll have to use to get this lot secured," said Hermione as she added yet another entry to the growing list on her 'America' parchment.

They turned around towards the town when they heard two people shouting, and saw a man and a woman rapidly approaching, but they relaxed when they saw the broad grins on their faces.

"You're the Anima Summas," said the man, loudly, first pumping Harry's hand in an iron grip, and then Hermione's. Then he shot a confused glance in Draco's direction, "Who's the ghost?"

"That's Draco," said Hermione. "He's our friend - he's helping us in the fight against the Dark Side."

The man and woman grinned at Draco, who just raised his eyebrows and grinned weakly in a typically Draco fashion.

"We're so grateful to you both," said the woman, hugging Hermione tightly. Harry stepped back, but couldn't avoid the tight embrace.

"We though we were dead meat," said the man. "The Muggles in the town are terrified, but at least we can tell them that the show's over while we wait for the memory Aurors. What did you do to those jerks, anyway?" he pointed at the time bubble.

"We shrunk them a bit, and then put them in a time warp. I hope you don't mind having them on your doorstep until this is all over," said Harry.

"We'll be back to take charge of them as soon as we can," added Hermione.

"Listen," said the woman, "I don't mind seeing them like that one little bit. It'll give the rest of the magical community in the town a lot of satisfaction and hope."

They waved to the two friendly Americans as they Zapparated back to Wales, shivering once more at the sudden change in temperature.

"You two are going to catch a hell of a cold if you keep doing this," said Draco.

"Harry… Hermione… Draco." Charlie shouted to the three and waved them into the large tent, where they saw everyone sitting around the headmaster's desk. Over the last week or so, they'd agreed that if the Portkey wasn't activated within five minutes, they'd assume that they weren't needed, and would relax.

Fudge looked up as the three walked in. "Successful trip?" he asked.

Harry nodded. "America - about seventy this time."

Fudge nodded with satisfaction. "Excellent… excellent."

"Minister Fudge was just telling us about a raid that Voldemort carried out about a half hour ago," said Dumbledore.

Fudge took up the story, "A small town in the North of England was destroyed. It's hard to estimate, but the latest reports say about five hundred people were killed in the blink of an eye. It seems that a wizard saw everything that happened while he was walking in the countryside close by. The Dark Lord used the Disc of Gates again - the wizard said it was horrible, so horrible that he hasn't been able to give the details of what happened yet. He's trying to put the terrible images of what he saw out of his mind."

"But we Zapparated to America about half an hour ago," said an anguished Harry. "Why weren't we taken to the site of that attack?"

Dumbledore shook his head. "It's pointless to think about it Harry. It's not your fault, you know. Everybody knows you want to get at Voldemort as soon as you can."

"He's right Harry," added Fudge. "You'll get to him when the time is right."


Early the following morning, Remus trudged through the snow towards the ruined farmhouse on the mountainside a few miles from the valley. He carried a large container of the Wolfsbane Potion that Snape had brewed the previous day. He quickened his pace slightly, anxious to meet the charming Sioned once again.

He reached the farmhouse and stepped quickly inside, but was disappointed to find the place empty. He sighed and sat down on one of the chairs in the front room, hoping that the woman would turn up.

He didn't have long to wait, and stood up as he heard the sound of footsteps crunching in the snow outside. Sioned walked into the room and smiled when she saw Remus, waving a greeting as she walked over to him.

"I wondered if you'd turn up," he said, "after listening to all that talk about witches and wizards yesterday."

Sioned smiled. "I still can't believe what you told me. Are you sure you're not pulling my leg?"

Remus smiled and pulled his wand out from his robes. "This is my wand. We use wands to do magical spells."

"Yeh - right," said Sioned dubiously, and then noticed finally that Remus was alone. "Where are the other two?"

"In a meeting," he replied, "but I managed to get out of it to bring this to you."

He held out the container. "Wolfsbane Potion?" she asked, taking the container from Remus and gazing at it as if it were a pot of gold.

"That's right - there's enough there to last you for about six months. That should be enough until the conflict is over and I can bring you more."

"You… you won't be coming back here for six months?" asked Sioned, looking a bit sad as her gaze travelled over Remus' face.

"I don't know," he replied. "As I told you yesterday, we're in the middle of a conflict with some very bad wizards, and I don't really know where I'll be from one day to the next. But I'll probably be here with Sirius and Ceri at the times of the full moon."

"I hope so," she said, dropping her gaze to the ground. "Come on then, let's see some of that magic you're on about."

"What would you like me to do?"

Sioned gazed around the room and then pointed at one of the chairs. "Make that chair rise into the air."

Remus grinned and pointed his wand at the chair. "WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA," he said.

Sioned's mouth dropped open when the chair rose into the air, and moved across the room, under the direction of Remus' wand, and settled back onto the floor just behind the startled woman.

"I… I didn't really think…" she whispered, sitting down on the chair with a bump.

"It's true," said Remus. "But enough about me - what about you? Are you married? Have you got a boyfriend?"

Sioned shook herself out of her amazed stupor and answered quietly, "No. I'm not married, but I had a boyfriend before this thing happened to me. But when I told him what happened, he run a mile - he still does whenever he sees me. I think he thinks I'm crazy or something."

Remus smiled wryly in full understanding for her plight. "It's a terrible thing. Always alone - never daring to form a close relationship."

"But your friends who were with you last night? You're obviously very close to them."

"Sirius has been my best friend since our schooldays, and Ceri is his girlfriend. We've worked together on the same team against the Dark Side for several years now, and when you get into dangerous situations, it tends to bring you closer together. But what I meant was - I can never dare to get too close to a woman. I can't risk passing on the werewolf genes to any future children."

"I see," said Sioned quietly. "I hadn't really though about it like that before. Not that there's any risk of me having kids - I haven't been able to bring myself to go out with anyone ever since it happened. And since Beth left, I haven't got a close female friend either."

"I'm sorry," said Remus, reaching out to squeeze her hand. "It's a lonely thing being a werewolf, and it must be a lot worse for you - at least I've got friends who understand the condition." Remus looked deep into her eyes, his admiration growing by the minute at the way she had forced herself to cope with her affliction for the past two years.

"I… I have to go now," he said finally. "Take care - I hope to see you soon."

They walked out of the farmhouse and started down the old Roman Road in opposite directions. Remus turned when he heard Sioned call his name.

"Remus - be careful… please."

Remus grinned and waved, then turned and walked back up the track to the valley.


"RABUM DUGU ERIMHA," yelled Harry and Hermione as they pointed their hands at the large force of Death Eaters that raced towards them across Salisbury Plain.

They hadn't Zapparated on this occasion - they and the protectors had arrived by more conventional means following Snape's spying report of an imminent major attack on the divisional headquarters complex there. They'd hoped that Voldemort would lead the attack, but they were disappointed in that respect. Still, about seven hundred Death Eaters was a formidable enemy to face.

Their protectors and friends, together with a large force of Aurors, were hiding behind the large mound on which the pair was standing, held in reserve in case they had to help the Anima Summas. But this day, their services were not needed.

A bright blue beam of light shot from their outstretched palms and quickly settled onto the advancing hoard, which suddenly stopped. They had no choice really, since their legs were no longer capable of carrying them. Some of them tried to send curses at the pair, but they found it impossible to point their wands at them - in fact, they found it impossible to even hold their wands.

The force waiting behind the mound walked into sight when they heard the noise coming from the Death Eaters - an astonishing noise that none of them could identify.

"What did you do to them?" asked Ceri as she looked with amazement at the scene before her. All seven hundred Death Eaters were lying prone on the ground, shaking uncontrollably as if they were encased in a large block of ice. Ceri could now see that the noise was being caused by seven hundred sets of teeth rattling around in seven hundred heads.

"We just told them to tremble," said Hermione.

"What are you going to do now?" asked the commander of the Salisbury Plain camp. "There're too many of them for us to take into custody here - we're going to need some help."

"No problem," said Harry, as he and Hermione once more pointed their palms at the sea of trembling black-cloaked figures and stopped the rattling sound when they enclosed them all in a large bubble of suspended time.

"We can come back when the war is over," said Hermione, writing another entry on her U.K parchment.

"I'd better get some wards set up around this area," said the commander, signalling to some of his men. "As much as I loath those scoundrels, I don't want any Muggle tanks running over them - this is part of their tank firing range and they tend to use this spot quite a lot for target practice."

"What would happen Harry - if a tank bumped into that lot?" asked Ron, trying to work out the effects of such a collision.

"I don't know," he said. "What do you think, Hermione?"

Hermione thought for a few moments, and then shook her head. "I don't know either, for certain, but the tank would probably just come to a dead stop - it won't be able to enter the area because the bubble's time is out of phase with ours."

"Interesting," breathed Ron. "I wonder if we could set up a little experiment…"

"Don't even think about it Ron," said Sirius, tapping him on the back. "Come on - the commander has just invited us all to a spot of lunch in the officer's mess."

"Lead on," said Ron, all thoughts of setting up an experiment to test Hermione's theory now completely forgotten.

"I wonder what 'You Know Who's going to do," said Oliver, talking to Sirius, Ceri and Katie as they walked towards the headquarters buildings. "I make it that he's lost at least three thousand Death Eaters in this country in the last week or so, and about twice that number in America. He must be getting desperate."

"But it's not all one way traffic," said Katie. "He and his forces are still hitting towns and villages both here and in America, and we've lost a lot of Aurors in the conflict as well…"

"Yes," said Ceri, "but if Harry and Hermione keep degrading his forces like they've been doing, it's bound to affect his ability to keep up the attacks. Oliver's right - I think he must be on the verge of doing something really horrible."

"I don't know what he'll do," said Sirius, "but it probably means that the final showdown won't be too far away."

"I hope they'll be all right," said Katie, looking around worriedly at the pair as they walked with the helpers a little way behind. "That Disc of Gates is a terrible weapon."

Hermione made eyes at Draco, who drifting along beside her, and slowed her pace slightly, allowing the rest of her friends walk on ahead.

"You want to talk to me … Hermione?" asked Draco. He'd dropped the use of her surname a little while ago, but still found it strange to be addressing her in a more intimate manner.

"Draco, I… I've been meaning to speak to you for almost a week now. It… it's about Ginny. You know that she's got… feelings for you, don't you?"

Draco sighed and nodded. "Yes - I gathered as much. That's why I haven't spent much time alone with her lately."

"She was terribly upset after that spat with Ron the other day. She's awfully confused Draco, and I don't know how to help her."

"Neither do I," he said. "I didn't want this to happen - at least, not after I was killed. Before then - well that was different, but I didn't have the time to do anything about it - she was the one who made me realise that I was on the wrong path, you know."

Hermione nodded. "Yes, she told Margot and me about your little chat in the cavern."

"The best thing she can do is forget all about me - in that way at least. But how can we make her see sense?"

"I'd hoped that she'd start to miss Hugo," she replied, "but she hasn't mentioned him once since we came back from the Azores."

Draco shook his head. "I don't think he's the right one for her anyway - but I might be just a bit biased on that score. It's difficult for me to think who could possibly be good enough for her."

"Well we'd better think of something soon - she's suffering badly with this. She doesn't show it, but I know she is. I… I've been there before."

Draco grinned wryly at his new friend. "I know this will sound a bit flippant, but I really do mean it when I say that she hasn't got a ghost of a chance with me. I wish things were different, but it's pointless dwelling on what might have been. Keep an eye on her, Hermione - she needs a friend like you to help her through this."

Hermione nodded, and looked sadly towards her red-haired friend walking in front, chatting away to Harry as if she hadn't a care in the world.


"My Lord!" shouted Lucius as he ran into the cave, stopping briefly to bow at the foot of the throne. "I've just had word from Salisbury Plain. The Anima Summas were there waiting for our men, they… they've all been captured."

Voldemort turned his head to the side and hissed loudly as he tried to keep his anger in check. "I knew I should have led that attack myself. This whole sorry mess would have been sorted out then and there, once and for all."

"I've told the rest of the inner circle to get in touch with the field commanders," said Lucius. "In a short while we should know how many Death Eaters are still active, but I don't think it's looking very good."

"Get in touch with your opposite number in America as well," said Voldemort. "I want to know what the head count is over there as well."

"Yes my Lord," said Lucius and walked back out of the cave.

A little while later, Lucius was back. "Fifteen hundred in this country and three thousand in America," he said quietly.

"What!" Voldemort exploded. "That's all? That's nowhere near enough for what we have to do!"

"It gets worse, my Lord. If the Anima Summas keep up their present rate of operations, we'll have no one left in just over a week."

"We've got to stop them, Lucius. That's my only hope if we're going to fulfil my ambitions." Voldemort thought deeply for a few minutes, and then shook his head slowly. "Desperate situations call for desperate measures. If we can't locate the Anima Summas, then perhaps someone else can. It's about time we had some help from the Dark Side, Lucius. Tell Crabbe, Wormtail and Travis to get ready - we're going to pay another visit to Irem."

"But my Lord, you've always maintained that it would be dangerous to our cause if you summoned the Nephilim back to the Earthly Realm."

"I haven't got a lot of choice in the matter. Now tell the others to get ready."

Lucius turned and walked back out of the cave, but turned when he got to the entrance when he heard Voldemort call his name once more. "Lucius - don't ever question my decisions again," he said in a quiet but deadly voice.

Lucius bowed and walked out of the cave, scowling.


It was cold, and it was damp. The previous day, a slight thaw had set in at Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad, and the snow had become slushy, turning the ground into a wet and sticky quagmire, making it difficult to walk from one tent to the next. And with the increased population in the valley following the ministry evacuation, everyone was glad to go to bed to get away from the horrible conditions.

Hermione stirred restlessly in the tent she shared with Ginny and Margot, brought to the edge of awareness by the sounds coming from Margot's bed. She opened a bleary eye and saw that it was starting to get light already - she looked at her watch and groaned - 7.30 AM. Then she shot upright in her bed as she heard Margot cry out.

She padded over to her bed and shook her gently. "Margot! Margot!"

The French girl's eyes flew open, and she looked all around the tent in desperation, trying to find the cause of her unease. Then she relaxed slightly and caught hold of Hermione, hugging her tightly.

"Was it another of those dreams?" whispered Hermione.

"Yes," Margot nodded. "It was horrible. I saw something that made me want to run and hide."

She stiffened and caught hold of Hermione's shoulders as she eased her away. "I've got to speak to the others - and the sooner the better. I've got to tell them what I saw."

Half an hour later, the usual group sat around the headmaster's desk as Margot recounted the details of her dream.

"I was standing in a dark and dusty place, looking into a circular chamber with five large paintings on the wall. 'You Know Who' was there with some of his Death Eaters, and they were staring at something in front of them. I couldn't see what it was, at first, but then I saw a sort of blackness form in the air, at the point into which a very bright beam of greenish light was streaming.

"Then, the blackness started to open, and a bright portal took its place. Then… then, the most horrible creatures started to come through the portal. They were very large, with gruesome heads and pointed ears, but it was the sound they made that made me want to run and hide. Their mouths were open, showing sharp pointed teeth, and they were… I can only describe it as a grating sort of laugh. But there was no humour in the laughing - it was like they were gloating in anticipation of doing some horrible thing. Then I woke up to find Hermione looking down at me."

"The Nephilim," said Snape, darkly.

"I'm afraid so Severus," said Dumbledore. "I was afraid he'd do something like this when he saw the tide starting to turn against him. Was your dream in the present or the future, Margot?"

"The future, Professor," she replied.

"There's no hope for us now," said Remus, staring sadly at the floor.

"There's always hope, Remus," said Dumbledore. "Voldemort might have the Nephilim and the Disc of Gates, but we've got the Anima Summas."

"You've spoken about the Nephilim before, Headmaster," said Harry. "And we learned a bit more about them from the Book of Thoth. He said that he and his wife, Ninhursag, were able to banish them into a parallel realm, but he didn't say how they did it."

"He didn't say how they did it," said Hermione, "but he hinted that they used the Disc of Gates to do it. He didn't come right out and say it, only that they managed to recapture the Disc beforehand."

"So if Voldemort brings these things through the gate," said Draco, "we've got to defeat Voldemort to get the Disc before we can send them back again?"

"It seems that way," said Dumbledore, "although that path isn't too clear. All we can do, I think, is to hope that the power of the Anima Summas will be enough to stand up to them."

"And Satan," said Ron. "Don't forget him - their leader was a bloke called Satani."


Voldemort led his four men through the dark and dusty city of Irem towards the Temple of Gates. He glanced towards the left-hand side of the entrance and saw that the petrified Plonger still stood guard over the place.

He breathed deeply as he entered the temple, savouring the evil atmosphere that permeated the sinister chamber. The four torch holders still stood at the corners at the base of the black altar at the centre of the room, and he instructed Travis and Wormtail to bring more of the black material from the artefacts chamber located to the side of the temple.

He slowly climbed the short flight of stone steps leading up to the altar, and lowered his head as he took off the Disc of Gates and placed it on the shiny black surface. Then he pulled the Necronomicon from his robes and opened it to the page containing the ritual for raising the Nephilim, before placing it on the altar beside the Disc. Finally, he pulled the parchment containing the Spells to activate the Disc and placed it beside the Necronomicon.

He waited while Travis and Wormtail filled the torch holders with the black substance, and lit it with a magical light, and then nodded for the four to take their place at each of the four corners. As he started the ritual, he looked up in satisfaction as the dark material on the walls started to spark into life, flashing brighter with a bright green light as the ritual progressed towards its climax.

The Dark Lord spoke the final words of the ceremony as he pointed his wand at the Disc of Gates before him, "SA KAPU… GEN KURUM." And then he added the spell that had been missing when he'd enacted the ritual previously.


The dark crystal at the centre of the Disc flared with power, reaching up with black tendrils of light to the dark material on the walls.

Green light started to stream down from the walls onto the Disc, where it gathered for a few moments before sending a beam of bright green power towards the fresco at the far end of the temple.

Voldemort hissed with excitement when he saw that the beam of light was far more intense that it had been before, now resembling the beam depicted in the frescos. The beam stopped midway between the altar and the fresco at the far end of the temple, and a small black hole started to form in the air at the place where the light was concentrated. Slowly, an area of white light started to expand at the centre of the hole, extending outwards to consume the blackness. Then it was finished, the gate had been opened - Voldemort knew from the intensity of the light streaming through and the size of the portal that the gate was now fully open.

Voldemort waited for something to happen. On the two previous occasions that he'd partially opened the gateway, the Nephilim gatekeeper had appeared almost immediately, but this time, there was a much longer delay. Then, a shadow fell across the portal and a figure stepped through, landing on the marble floor at the far end of the altar. He was huge, about ten feet tall, and like it had before, the face reminded Voldemort and his four men of a slightly more refined Neanderthal. His pointed ears extended for about six inches, and he was naked from the waist up; his bottom half was covered in tight-fitting trousers made from an unknown material.

The figure stepped forward, closer to the altar, while others started to stream through onto the temple floor behind him. Although he was standing at the base of the altar, he had to raise his head only slightly to look at Voldemort.

"You are the one whom the Keeper of Gates calls Lord Voldemort?" he asked, pointing a bony, long-nailed finger at the Dark Lord.

"That is correct," he replied, his eyes narrowing as he appraised the being.

"I am Satani," said the Nephilim. "I am the leader of the Nephilim. Why has it taken you so long to summon us to this realm?"

"I have been unable to find the Anima Summas - they have fled from my reign of terror and hidden from my sight."

"The Anima Summas are still at large in this realm?" roared Satani. "Did the Gatekeeper not tell you to destroy them before we were summoned?"

"He did - but how can I destroy something if it doesn't want to fight? The reason I called you here now, is to help me find them so that I can complete the task."

"That is not for us to do!" said Satani, looking around the room, where he spotted Lucius and his three companions looking at him with wide eyes.

He pointed his bony finger at them and roared, "Avert your eyes, scum! I will not be stared at!" The four quickly turned their heads and stared fixedly at the floor.

"We will set up our base of operations here in the City of Pillars," said Satani, looking back up at Voldemort, "while you find the Anima Summas and destroy them. We have much to do before we are strong enough to take our rightful place in the world. For too long, we have lived on the scraps of aged souls and the few new ones that Lammashta has brought us over the millennia. We have grown weak from lack of sustenance, but that will now change. The weakest of us remain in the Dark Realm, but we shall soon send them fresh souls on which to feed."

"Is there a spell I can use to find the Anima Summas?" asked Voldemort.

"That is your concern," Satani roared. "Be sure to destroy them. Return here as soon as the deed is done. Now go!"

Voldemort held his natural instinct to flare at the Nephilim - there were now over a hundred standing behind their leader, all just as big and all just as ugly. For the first time in his life, Voldemort decided that it would be better not to force his will on a group of people - there would be time for that later. He replaced the Disc of Gates around his neck, pocketed the spells, and stowed the Necronomicon back inside his robes. Then he turned and walked back down to the base of the altar, snapping his fingers for his four men to follow him back out into the city of Irem.


Satani stood at the top of a tall dune looking down at a Bedouin camp in an oasis below. He grinned a sickly grin and turned to look at the rest of the Nephilim lined up behind him - their mouths slobbering with the anticipated soul-fest that was soon to follow.

Satani raised his arm and pointed at the camp. "Attack!"

The huge ten-foot figures loped quickly down the sand dune and soon reached the outskirts of the oasis. A young Arab woman, her face hidden beneath a dark veil, was the first to spot the intruders. She looked up in disbelief at the large bulk of the strange creature standing over her, and opened her mouth to scream a warning to the rest of the camp, but no sound left her mouth.

The Nephilim placed his hand on her head and squeezed, sending the evil vibrations into her skull, and then opening his mouth to receive the fruits of his labours. He closed his eyes in ecstasy as the poor woman's soul was wrenched from her body, travelling through her wide-open mouth, between the intervening space, and into the gaping maw of the Nephilim. He could have sucked out her soul without touching her, but he found it so much more satisfying to make contact with his victim as he fed. He grunted with satisfaction and flung the woman's body, now an empty living shell, to one side and strode on into the camp looking for more juicy titbits.

Two Nephilim entered the tent closest to the edge of the oasis, where they found two children sleeping - one a boy of about twelve and the other his younger brother by about four years. Mercifully, they remained asleep as the two demons placed their hands over the children's heads. Mercifully, they weren't to feel the horror as their souls were sucked from their bodies. At the last minute, they awoke to feel just the last sparks of awareness, and then they closed their eyes once more - but this time not to dream - just to an existence of nothingness.

The screams of the terrified victims filled the air as they realised what was happening, but they didn't understand how such demons could come to walk the earth feeding on the souls of the innocent - they thought that the old tales about such things told around the camp fires were just that - stories to frighten and entertain. One by one, they succumbed to the terrifying attack until no one was left. They all still lived, but there was no spark of recognition in any of the staring eyes that looked out from their sunken and tortured sockets.

Satani stood in the middle of the oasis and looked around with satisfaction. The first feeding was over, but it would be just the first of many in the coming days. Not only did his force in this realm have to be fully sated, he also had to send sufficient souls back to his waiting people in the Dark Realm. Once they had had their fill, he could increase his numbers to over five hundred - enough to take control of the Earthly Realm. Then, after that pretentious Voldemort had taken care of the Anima Summas, he would personally take his dark soul. He had ached to do just that in the Temple of Gates, but he knew that he had to rely on the Dark Lord - he and his fellow Nephilim couldn't risk a confrontation with the Anima Summas.

He gathered his force together and led them back out into the desert, seeking the highest point to look out for more victims to ease their raging hunger.


"This is terrible," said Fudge, reading the report he'd just received from the Jordanian Ministry of Magic. "Over one hundred Nomads have been attacked in an oasis in the desert. All of them were left alive, but they were just empty shells - their souls had been taken."

"Just like those poor kids when Lammashta attacked them close to Abydos," said Charlie, shaking his head.

"Well there's no doubt that the Nephilim are here," said Snape. "But what can we do about them?"

"We've got to try to find where their base is," said Dumbledore. "It's probably Irem - the City of Pillars - but I'm afraid only Voldemort knows where that is."

"Can't we take a look around out in the desert?" asked Katie. "Maybe we'll find something."

"It's a big place Katie," said Remus. "Irem could be anywhere between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Persian Gulf - and there's a lot of desert in between."

"There'll be a lot more attacks," said Snape. "If the legends are right, they'll want to capture a lot more souls than they had in that oasis."

Everyone turned as Fred rushed into the tent, looking very flustered. "A garbled message just came over the Floo Network," he gasped. "It's from the new link set up with new French Ministry headquarters. It was hard to make it out, but I think they must be under attack - there were sounds of spells and curses in the background."

"Demont!" gasped Nadine, covering her mouth with her hands.

"We've got to help them!" shouted Charlie, putting his arm around Nadine's shoulders. "Where's Harry and the others?"

"The last time I saw them, they were heading to the dining tent to grab a snack," said Sirius. "Come on, we can all go through the Floo Network."

"No wait," said Dumbledore. "Their end might well have been captured by now, and you'll be walking straight into an ambush."

"We can use the special Portkey we set up when Demont and Anne-Marie came over for Christmas," said Charlie. "It should still be located just outside Demont's cabin. Anne-Marie told me that she wanted to leave it in place in case of emergencies."

Dumbledore stood up and walked to the back of the tent and retrieved the battered can of Coke from a drawer in one of his cupboards. Then he moved swiftly out of the tent and handed it Sirius. "Only four of you will be able to go at a time," he said.

"We'd better go first!" shouted Harry as he and the other five came running out of the dining tent along with Fred. "Draco, you can supply the element of surprise in case we need it when we arrive - come on Hermione."

"Activate your Relocators!" shouted Sirius, but the three had already disappeared.

They materialised in a small depression in the ground between the cabin and the stream, which was running swiftly down the little valley and almost spilling over the bank as a result of the winter rain. Draco reacted very quickly and flew at an astonished young woman who had stopped dead as she approached the Portkey - a two-foot branch of decaying wood.

Draco roared and waved his arms as he hovered only a foot from the startled girl, while Harry and Hermione approached cautiously, arriving just in time to cushion her fall as her eyes rolled up in their sockets and she fainted away.

"Nice one Draco!" exclaimed Hermione as she gently laid the girl's head on the ground. "She's not a Death Eater - look at her."

The girl, about twenty years old, wore the light blue robes that marked her as a French Ministry of Magic employee. Hermione tapped her face gently, trying to revive her.

"Well how was I to know?" said Draco, staring down at the unconscious girl.

"Don't worry Draco," said Harry, instinctively raising his arm to pat him on the back. "She'll be ok…" Harry faltered as his arm sailed through the ghostly shape of Draco.

"Who's this!" exclaimed Sirius, as he, Ceri, Oliver and Katie walked quickly over.

"We think she's a ministry employee," said Harry. "Draco… uh, thought she was a Death Eater and frightened her."

"That's Eva Deschamps!" said Nadine as she, Charlie, Remus and Flitwick arrived. "She came up to the cabin just after she started work in Demont's Magical Creatures office. All new recruits go on a tour of the outlying facilities."

They all looked as the girl groaned and slowly opened her eyes. "Aaaaarrrhhh," she cried when she saw Draco looking down at her.

"It's all right," said Nadine gently. "He's friendly - he thought you was a Death Eater."

The girl visibly relaxed, and shakily stood up, but then her face screwed up in horror. "The others! He… 'You Know Who' came with a load of Death Eaters and attacked the headquarters buildings. Anne-Marie sent me down here to get help - she asked me to take the Portkey to Britain in case the message failed to get through on the Floo Network."

"Demont!" exclaimed Nadine. "Is he all right?"

Eva nodded. "He was when I left a few minutes ago, but there's a lot of Death Eaters up there and I don't know how long they can hang on."

"Where are they?" asked Harry, glancing over his shoulder as the group was joined by Ron, Ginny, Margot and Snape.

Eva pointed in the direction of the Forbidden Forest. "The headquarters buildings are in a valley just this side of the forest - about a mile away."

Harry nodded at Hermione and they joined hands. Draco drifted swiftly between them as they concentrated and then disappeared.

"Come on," shouted Sirius. "Let's get up there quick."

"You stay here Eva," said Ceri. "There'll be a lot more people arriving at the Portkey - send them after us."

They ran around to the front of the cabin and across the small valley and up the steep bank that led onto the path that would take them towards the Forbidden Forest.

"Wait for us!" shouted McGonagall, as she, Fred, George and Lee quickly followed them.

Harry, Hermione and Draco stood on a rocky ridge above the valley that had once housed the new French Ministry headquarters buildings. They looked with horror at the hole that smoked in the middle of the valley, and knew that Voldemort had once more used the power of the Disc of Gates to obliterate his target.

Harry put his hand to his forehead and felt his scar. Then he gasped, "Nothing! There's no pain - he must have gone!"

They could see a number of groups of black-cloaked figures milling around on the valley bottom, but they weren't the ones who were flinging the curses that they could hear - they seemed to be coming from a lot closer.

"They must be directly below us," said Hermione. "We'll have to change our position to get a better view."

"Stay there," said Draco as he drifted quickly out over the ridge and hovered above the valley. He was back in moments. "There's a group of about thirty Death Eaters right below us," he said. "They're laughing and flinging spells at a small outbuilding standing against the side of the valley."

"Come on," said Harry as he moved swiftly to his left and around the rim of the valley. After a few minutes they stood and watched the fight below. The Death Eaters, who were ranged around the building in a semi-circle, seemed to be intent on dismantling the wooden building bit by bit as they sent curse after curse at the structure. It was evident that there were still some people left in the hut from the spells that were flung back at the Death Eaters, but they were obviously just a futile gesture of defiance, the hastily flung beams flying well wide of the mark, proper aim being impossible amid the heavy pounding that rained down on the hut.

"The sadistic bastards!" said Draco.

"Language, Draco," whispered Hermione as she reached out to hold Harry's hand.

They pointed their palms down at the attacking Death Eaters and shouted, "QUPPU AMELNAKRU."

Draco looked on in amazement as heavy wooden posts, each about eight feet high, seemed to rise directly out of the ground in front of the Death Eaters, who stood and watched in amazed fascination.

The first of the posts rose at the near side, and then popped up just like a line of collapsing dominoes in reverse. The dark-cloaked figures were soon surrounded by the posts, bringing much-wanted relief to the defenders in the hut.

The many Death Eaters further up the valley had witnessed the fantastic event and started to converge on the spot, but they soon veered off, diving towards both sides of the valley as Sirius and the rest started to send spell after spell at them. It was an easy matter for Harry and Hermione to walk around the top of the valley, confining each of the groups in a bubble of suspended time as they went. The Death Eaters could see what was happening, but they found it impossible to make an escape under the heavy fire from above that pinned them down while the Anima Summas did their thing.

Everyone waited for a few minutes before scrambling down into the valley, and Nadine, quickly followed by Charlie and Ginny, raced headlong towards the hut, hoping against hope that Demont was still inside and alive. Ginny stopped suddenly as a bright green beam of light traced across the valley floor and gouged out a large divot of Earth just in front of her.

She turned in the direction from where the curse had come and saw a black-robed figure duck down behind a rock at the far side of the valley. She opened her mouth to shout a warning to the others, but closed her mouth once more as Harry and Hermione stepped in front of her and pointed their palms at the rock.

'KALU MASKIM XUL,' they shouted, and watched as the wide-eyed Death Eater floated up above the rock and was wrapped tightly in a glowing tangle of vines. He shouted in fright, but was quickly silenced as he was enveloped, still suspended above the rock, in a bubble of time.

"Thank god you came!" gasped a dishevelled Ann-Marie as she led about fifteen equally dishevelled figures out from the hut and around the line of posts.

Nadine looked quickly around the haggard faces, but Demont's wasn't among them. She held he hand over her mouth as she approached Anne-Marie. "Demont… is he…"

Anne-Marie smiled wryly at Nadine. "No… he's ok Nadine. He's back in the hut with the others who were hurt in the attack."

"What happened here?" asked Sirius.

Anne-Marie shuddered. "There was no warning. We," she gestured around at her colleagues, "were the lucky ones. We were at this end of the valley - we'd decided to come out here for Demont to give a talk on the local Magical Creatures, and then he was going to take us on a tour around the Forbidden Forest just above us. We'd arranged it some time ago, and this was the latest group to be given the tour. Normally, Demont gives his initial talk up at the Headquarters offices, but this time, thank god, the weather was pleasant enough for him to do it outside - you know how Demont hates to be stuck in an office for more than a few minutes, Nadine."

"What happened next?" asked Ceri.

"We heard a shout coming from the top of the valley - over to the left. 'You Know Who' was standing there; pointing a strange disc-like thing at the headquarters buildings. The next thing we knew," she paused as she shuddered once more, "a black light shot from the device and covered the buildings - then they were gone. There was nothing left - you can see for yourselves. After we'd recovered from the shock, we made a dash for the hut. We could hear 'You Know Who' laughing, but that only spurred us on to get to the hut. Then we waited. I looked out of the window and saw him standing there, looking at the hut - I'll never forget what happened next."

She gasped and buried her head in her hands while Nadine gently rubbed her shoulder.

"Two of his devils were holding young Giles Mercourt between them. He said that the Anima Summas were too scared to come after him directly - they could only attack his much weaker helpers. He said that he'd decided to expand his operations into France and into the rest of Europe - we'd all pay the price for the Anima Summas' timidity, and that they wouldn't be able to protect such a wide area. Then… then he pointed his device at Giles and shouted something in a strange language. The next instant, poor Giles was gone, leaving just a smouldering circle of darkened earth where he stood."

She turned when Demont approached quickly around the line of posts, and flung herself at him, crying as she caught around him tightly. He was swamped as Nadine and Ginny added their hugs, and Charlie grasped his hand and shook it vigorously. "Glad to see you're safe, Demont," he said.

Demont quickly eased the girls away from him. "We've got to get those people to a hospital - some of them a very badly hurt."

"We can take them back to the hanging valley," said Snape. "The nurse will soon get them back on their feet."

"Give me a hand with them," said Remus as he directed several of the British ministry people, who had followed the main group to the cabin Portkey, over to the hut.

"This is all that's left of us," whispered Anne-Marie. "The Minister and his heads of department, together with all their staff, were all in the buildings when they were destroyed. I'm the only head of department left. Demont and I are the only two ranking officers left of the Ministry of Magic."

"How did they find us?" gasped Demont, raising his tortured eyes to the sky. "We worked hard to keep this place a secret."

"We knew there were spies in the Ministry," said Anne-Marie, "but we thought we'd isolated them all - moved them to positions that weren't at the heart of the ministry and where we could keep a close eye on them. But we must have missed one of them!"

"You'd all better come back with us," said Sirius, his eyes full of sympathy for the distraught Anne-Marie. "Professor Dumbledore and Cornelius Fudge will know what to do - I can promise that you'll get as much help as you need."

"And we'd better get back as quickly as we can," said Snape. "The first thing we've got to do is to warn every Magical authority in Europe about this development."


The hanging valley of Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad was becoming quite crowded. Mercifully, Professor Dumbledore had enchanted the rough and muddy ground so that it became impervious to the rigors of the weather, and the increasing pairs of feet that now walked around the place no longer churned it into a sticky quagmire.

Fudge had welcomed Anne-Marie and Demont, and had agreed that they could share his Ministry tents and facilities until the conflict was over, directing operations in both the U.K and France in a joint venture.

As for Harry, Hermione and their friends, they tried constantly to get to Voldemort and the Nephilim, but all their efforts seemed to be thwarted. They found plenty of Death Eaters, and they seemed to be taken to most of the countries in Europe as well as the U.K. and America, but they were constantly frustrated in their attempts to get to the source of the problem.

After several weeks of confining Death Eaters, and listening with increasing horror to the reports of Voldemort's attacks and the evil that was being spread by the Nephilim, it was Ginny and her appetite for looking at maps that finally brought the breakthrough that signalled the beginning of the end.