Unofficial Portkey Archive

Always and Forever by Lorelover

Always and Forever



Always and Forever


Disclaimer: Harry Potter, and all the characters associated there with belong to JK Rowling, and Scholastic. Also, any similarities to any other work is unintentional. I make no profit from this story. I wrote it, just for fun.

AN: There are some parts here that closely follow the graveyard scene in the book (GOF), including a line taken directly from the book that I'm sure most of you will recognize.


Chapter 22

Blood for the Enemy



Harry had landed flat on his back… again, "Ooouch, I hate Portkeys."

Smiling, Cedric helped Harry to his feet, while Fleur did the same for Gabrielle. "Well this is weird, I wonder where we're at?" asked Cedric. Harry looked around, still a little dazed from the Portkey.

The four of them were standing in a graveyard, it was dark and poorly kept. The only thing recognizable was an old house sitting on a hillside.

Fleur pulled Gabrielle closer, "Zis ees not right."

Harry was still looking around when his gaze landed on the Cup laying a short distance away. "Why is it still glowing?"

Cedric stared at the Cup for a few seconds, "That's strange… maybe it's a two-way."

Harry was starting to get nervous. He was beginning to think Fleur was right, something was wrong. Harry turned his attention back to the old house on the hill. He only had to look at it for a moment before his eyes went wide.

"We need to go!" Harry said as recognition set in.

Cedric turned and looked at Harry, "Why, don't you think this is part of the task?"

Harry shock his head, "No, I recognize this place from a dream, We need to leave NOW!"

"A dream Arry?" Fleur asked slightly confused.

"We need to go…"

"Avada Kedavra."

The spell came out of nowhere. Harry spun around wand at the ready. Cedric dove into Fleur and Gabrielle with his arms spread wide, tacking them to the ground. The curse missed them by only inches.

Harry fired a couple of stunners in the general direction the attack had come from, hoping to distract their assailant long enough for Cedric and the girls to find cover. Then he fired several blasting spells into the ground in the same area throwing dirt and dust into the air making a kind of smoke screen.

Cedric and the girls were separated by a few feet, while Harry was a little further away, but at least every one had good cover. After only a moment of reprieve, their attacker started firing curses again. It appeared as though he was hoping for a lucky hit. Cedric and Fleur were safe for now, and so carefully returned fire. Gabrielle stayed low and out of the way next to her sister. Harry was also safe, but stayed quiet, hoping to get a glimpse of who they were fighting.

Cedric and Fleur were in a sort of standoff, but the attacker had yet to fire on Harry. `Maybe he's lost track of him,' Cedric thought. He gave a short whistle to get Harry's attention, while Fleur kept their foe busy. As soon as Harry looked over, he pointed his index finger straight up and drew a tiny circle in the air. Harry nodded in understanding; he would circle around, and try to get behind whoever was attacking them.

A short and balding, shaky little man who passed as a mediocre wizard at best, knelt cowering behind a large stone wall. "This isn't how it was supposed to be," he mumbled. Harry Potter was supposed to be alone. He was supposed to be scared and confused… but he wasn't. Not only had this supposedly simple boy reacted quickly and surely, but he was fighting back! And of the other three that came with him, two were quite good for only being students. The tables had been turned and what was supposed to be an easy ambush, had turned into a trap. The little man was worried, he knew his life depended on the successful outcome of this encounter.

Down by his feet wrapped in a tattered blanket, something hissed. A second later, a very large snake slipped away through the tall grass and into the darkness. Next, the blanket spoke to him. "Be ready," was all it said.

It had been quiet for the last few minutes, and Harry had managed to silently work his way halfway around to where he wanted to be. He was about to start crawling again, when the terrified scream of Gabrielle froze him in his tracks.

Still kneeling, Fleur spun around at the start of her sister's panicked scream. She came face to face with the biggest snake she'd ever seen. It was coiled slightly and ready to strike. Fleur pulled her sister behind her and raised her wand, "Confringo!" She hit the snake dead on, but the spell had little effect on it.

Cedric watched from a short distance away, unable to do anything because Fleur was in the way. He quickly realized that Fleur alone, was not going to be able to stop it, they'd have to work as a team. Cedric yelled, "Fleur, together…" and then stepped out from behind the tombstone he'd been using as cover.

Fleur quickly nodded and as soon as Cedric started to move, she fired two more blasting curses at the snake, "Confringo, confringo."

Cedric threw as much of his magic as he could into the spell, "Expulso!" It worked, the snake retreated back to the safety of the tall grass. With all the commotion and his concern for the girls, Cedric never saw the second killing curse coming.

Harry saw their attacker stand and point his wand at Cedric. Harry also knew that Cedric was exposed and therefore in trouble. Harry stood, giving away his position; he didn't care, he had to help his friends. As fast as he could, Harry yelled, "Stupefy!"

Cedric turned at the sound of Harry's voice and saw what was happening. He tried to jump back out of the way, but it was too late. Cedric slumped to the ground and didn't move.

Fleur stared at Cedric in horror. He was laying on his back staring straight up, eyes wide open, but devoid of life.

Before Harry could believe what he was seeing, Fleur screamed and it distracted him for a split second when he turned to look at her.


Harry was blasted backwards, while his wand was violently pulled from his hand.

Fleur finally got her wits about her and turned in the direction the attack was coming from and pointed her wand, frantically searching for their assailant. She would not let Cedric's death go unanswered. A second later she spotted him. Fleur fired several spells at the lone wizard who was responsible for all of this, but his shields held and he fired back before ducking behind cover.

Harry pulled himself up and scrambled behind a tombstone. He was trying desperately to clear his head, but it was all happening so fast. His only hope was to try and reach Cedric. With the other boy's wand, he might have a chance to defend himself and help Fleur.

"Stupefy," Their attacker yelled. The tables had been turned again.

Harry was pinned down, he'd have to wait until their assailant turned his attention back on Fleur. A moment later, he got his chance. Staying low, Harry quickly started back to Cedric.

Fleur conjured a large dog just behind the enemy, hoping to flush him out into the open. It worked for a second, and she yelled, "Reducto!" just barely missing. But she did manage to blast away part of the tombstone he'd been hiding behind.

Ready to fire again, she heard what she thought was the snake coming back, and moved to intercept it. Unfortunately, it put her in the open which their attacker took full advantage of by firing several high powered spells at her.

Fleur raised a hasty shield which barely held, but she was growing weak.


Fleur's shield failed and she screamed, as unimaginable pain ripped through her body. The curse was closely followed by a pair of stunners that left her and her sister unconscious.

Harry was almost there, he dove for the wand, and just as he grabbed hold of it, the sharp pain of the Stupefying Charm hit him in the back. Harry dropped the wand and fell back to the ground as his world went black.


Hermione looked around frantically, hoping beyond hope, that the Cup would Portkey them here, rather than someplace else. A moment later with no sign of the champions, it became obvious… they had been taken. Where and by whom, was still unknown.

Hermione jumped when a hand touched her shoulder. Spinning around, she found herself looking into the concerned eyes of Professor McGonagall. "Professor, they're gone. We… we need to…"

McGonagall could see that Hermione was on the edge of becoming hysterical. Taking a step forward, she pulled Hermione into a loose hug, "Miss Granger… Hermione, please calm down. Professor Dumbledore and the others are doing everything in their power to find them." Releasing her to arm's length, she went on, "When, and I do mean when they come back, Harry is most likely going to need you."

Hermione nodded and started wiping away at her tears with the back of her hands. "R-Right," was all she could manage for now.

I want you to stay here with me. If any of your friends come down, please kindly tell them to go back and wait in the stands, we don't want a crowd gathering.

Having regained more of her composure, Hermione nodded again, "Okay… of course Professor." She then took a second to look around. People were running around in a frenzy trying to ascertain what happened. Hermione stood a little taller and squared her shoulders, "Thank you Professor… I'll be ready."


As Harry slowly regained consciousness, the first thing he noticed was the pain in his leg had increased dramatically. The second, was that he couldn't move. Turning his head to the side he discovered why; he was tied to a rock. After a quick glance around he looked more closely. To his horror, he found that he was actually tied to a tombstone.

"Arry… are you awake?" came Fleur's voice in a loud whisper.

Harry stopped struggling and turned in the direction she had called from. It was dark, but he could just barely make out the figures of Fleur and her sister Gabrielle. They were across an opening from him, both tied to what looked like a post. `At least they're both still alive,' he thought.

"Arry where are we, do you know who attacked us?"

"I only remember this place from the dream, and I'm not sure who attacked us," Harry answered as he resumed his struggle with the ropes. "But what I remember of the dream, we don't want to stay here. Bad things are going to happen."

A short shabby looking man carrying a blanket emerged from the shadows. After sitting it down, he approached Harry, "Verrry good Mr. Potter," he said in a weak stuttering voice.

"Wormtail!" Harry said angrily, but the panic in his voice was also clearly heard.

"Hurry Wormtail," A raspy voice commanded.

Harry's blood ran cold and he stopped struggling again. His eyes were drawn to the blanket, there was something inside… and it spoke. Harry recognized the voice from his dream. As much as he wanted to believe it was impossible, he couldn't; the proof lay a mere few feet away. This place from his dreams, was real, the voice was real! Harry's scar started to burn.

"Fleur, who ees zat?" asked a frightened Gabrielle.

Fleur motioned with her hand to be quiet, then turned to Harry hoping for some answers, "Arry?"

Harry couldn't see her worried look, he didn't have too, he could hear it in her voice. He was worried too, but he knew he couldn't dwell on it. "This disgusting excuse for a man is Wormtail, or rightfully known as Peter Pettigrew… the wizard that betrayed my parents."

"And the other…" she whispered, as if afraid she'd incur some horrible fate if she spoke to loud.

Harry turned his attention back to the small bundle on the ground. He stared at it in disbelief, daring it to even exist. "It's not possible… it can't be…"

"What Arry, who ees eet?" Fleur said more forcefully this time.

Harry's head snapped around, "I don't think you'll believe me… I'm not sure I believe it myself." Harry continued to stare at her, she never looked away. Harry knew she needed to know, "I… I think it's, him."

Gabrielle couldn't hold her tongue, "Who?"

"Voldemort," Harry said dully.

Wormtail smiled evilly, as he started a fire under a cauldron he had just conjured. Once the liquid inside started to boil, he began an old ritual. The ritual was as dark and evil as the wizard it was meant for. Wormtail returned to the bundle on the ground and quickly unwrapped it. Harry felt himself recoil involuntary at the hideous sight. A small creature, no bigger than a young child. Except that Harry had never seen a child that even remotely looked as repulsive or monstrous. It was a dark red, both scaly and raw. Even being carried, it was crouched over and feeble looking. Harry nearly turned away when he caught sight of its face, deformed and snakelike, flat with no ears or nose. Its eyes nearly closed, but harry could still make out an eerie red glow.

Wormtail gently dropped the creature into the cauldron, and sparks flew off the surface as a column of fiery red steam rose up. All Harry could do was hope, that somehow Wormtail would make a mistake and it would all go wrong, he hoped that the creature would just drown. The pain in Harry's scar was becoming unbearable.

Even though he seemed frightened, Wormtail began reciting the words to complete the evil ritual. Harry watched horrified as he cut off his own hand and added it to the caustic mix. The potion hissed and turned a bright burning red. After a moment of coping with the pain, Wormtail turned his anguished eyes towards Harry. He moved to stand in front of him.

"Blood of the enemy . . . forcibly taken . . . you will . . . resurrect your foe."

Wormtail used the same dirty, but extremely sharp knife to cut Harry's right forearm. After collecting some blood, Wormtail returned to the cauldron and continued with the ritual. All Harry could do was watch, he was helpless to stop him. After adding his blood, the potion turned blindingly white, but nothing else happened. Again Harry hoped that something had gone wrong. Harry turned and looked towards Fleur and Gabrielle, hoping that maybe one of them had managed to free themselves. Unfortunately, both appeared to be as tightly bound as he was. Both also watching hypnotized, as the horror before them played out.

Suddenly, the cauldron seemed to groan as white hot sparks flew in all directions. Smoke and steam filled the air making it hard to see. `Did the cauldron explode, had it all gone bad,' Harry wondered hopefully. But as the view in front of him started to clear, Harry could make out the form of a man. Terror raced through him as Harry heard the man ask in a cold hard voice, "Robe me." He no longer sounded feeble.

With wand in hand, the object of Harry's nightmares turned and faced him. Evil red eyes stared into green. Lord Voldemort had risen again.

Then Voldemort seemed to just ignore him. Harry watched transfixed as Voldemort walked in tight circles waving his arms like the conductor of an orchestra. He seemed to be fascinated with his new body. Then all too soon, it was back to business.

Voldemort summoned his Death Eaters; Avery, Crabbe, Goyle, Macnair, Malfoy… and Nott. Harry committed every one of them to memory. Then one by one he told them all how disappointed he was in them. How none of them had come to his aid except Wormtail, and he only out of fear. When he mentioned that his most loyal Death Eater was at still at Hogwarts, Harry looked up.

Now, it was starting to make sense; a Death Eater had set the chimera loose in the forest, had used the Imperius Curse on Viktor. The dreams… the other person in the room was the loyal Death Eater Voldemort spoke of. `So that would mean, that I was the one he wanted here so badly,' Harry thought, `for the ritual, he wanted my blood.' It all made sense now.

After going on about his mistakes in the past. How he had underestimated Lily Potter and her knowledge of some very old magic. Magic that had until now… protected Harry Potter, and made him untouchable. He laughed and turned serpent like eyes back to Harry. "That little problem has been remedied." Then, as if to prove his point, he walk up and stood right in front of Harry and peered into his eyes with an almost gleeful look, like a child who is about to open a present. Now he would prove to his followers that he was indeed the most powerful wizard alive. And that even The-Boy-Who-Lived, would bow down before him. A moment later he jabbed a boney finger at Harry forehead.

Harry jerked against his restraints. Pain like he had never before experienced, exploded through him. His blood pounded inside his head. It pushed against his skull and he thought if it pushed any harder, his head might explode.

Voldemort stepped back with a sinister smile and laughed, "Oh yes Harry Potter… I can most certainly touch you now!" He went on taunting him, promising a slow agonizing death. "Bow down to me Harry, and beg on your knees. Beg for a merciful ending, and I might make your death quick."

Harry was scared, he had no doughs that Voldemort meant every word, but he wouldn't break, wouldn't give in to fear. And he wouldn't give Voldemort the satisfaction of knowing just how terrified he was. Harry stood as straight as he could, stone faced and stared defiantly ahead.

Voldemort lost patience when Harry refused to cower, no one dared to defy him. "Crucio!"

He yelled.

Harry's body jerked and twisted against his restraints. The pain he had felt in his head only a moment ago, now surged though his whole body. Harry bit down so hard, he was sure he was going to break some teeth. Still, as the searing pain ripped through him, he refused to cry out. Harry desperately fought for control to keep from giving Voldemort the satisfaction of knowing he'd won this tiny battle.

Fleur and Gabrielle both watched with tears in their eyes as there friend was ruthlessly tortured.

Voldemort released the curse and stepped back mildly agitated. Had Harry any strength left, he would have smiled.

"I see; just as stubborn as your father was," Voldemort sneered, "let's see if you last as long."

Then after a glance at the girls, his demented smile returned, "Ah yes… our uninvited guests." Voldemort laughed, "No matter, I'm sure we will find a… use for you."

Several of the Death Eaters laughed as well.

Next, he turned his attention to Wormtail, who cowered in anticipation. Voldemort replaced his hand with a metal one, and then said, "Release the boy and give him back his wand."

While Wormtail hurried to comply, Voldemort explained to his followers, "Killing Harry Potter while he is tied up… will prove nothing. I will kill him in a fair fight. He will duel me… and die with a wand in his hand." Then pointing to the girls, he added, "Bring them forward, I want them to witness this up close. I want them to see how stupid it was to put any faith what-so-ever in this impostor." Voldemort turned back to Harry, "I want them, to see you die slowly."

A couple of Death Eaters laughed again, while two went to untie Fleur and Gabrielle.

Watching the girls again, Voldemort spoke as one would to a small child, "Who knows, maybe… if you pay close attention… I might send one of you back to tell the world of my glorious return… that is of course, after you have served your purpose here."

The two Death Eaters; Avery who held Fleur, and Nott who held Gabrielle, force marched the girls to opposite sides of the circle, separating them.

Fleur screamed and kicked at her captor, "Leave my seester alone, take your filthy ands off of err!"

Avery back-slapped her so hard, Harry though he might have broken her jaw.

Voldemort turned his angry red eyes on her and raised his wand.

Fleur closed her eyes tight in anticipation of the pain that was sure to follow. A moment later after nothing had happened, she dared to open them again. Voldemort was smiling.

"There are many kinds of pain. Perhaps we should show her what's in store for her and her… sister." He turned quickly and with his wand already raised, a simple flick of the wrist and he had vanished all of Gabrielle's clothes.

Gabrielle shrieked and squirmed against Nott's tight hold, desperately trying to cover herself from the eyes of over a half dozen Death Eaters.

Nott looked down at her with a sickening lust in his eyes. His free hand already starting to slide down her front. His orders seemed clear, and he was more than happy to violate her here and now in front of everyone. Gabrielle screwed her eyes shut.

Fleur screamed again, "NO!" Even as Avery began to fondle her. Her only concern was for her sister.

They were all standing in an open area among the tombstones. It was roughly circular about thirty or forty feet across. Just outside the open circle to the north, lay Cedric's body and the Cup, a few feet further away. Fleur and Gabrielle now separated, were on the eastern and western edges of the circle, in a little closer than the others. Harry and Voldemort were more towards the middle, with the remaining Death Eaters forming a half circle on the southern edge.

With all eyes focused on the two girls, none of the eager Death Eaters noticed that Harry had recovered somewhat. Taking careful aim Harry cried out, "Diffindo." Nott hollered in pain as a deep gash cut his wand arm, nearly severing it at the elbow. Blood flew and spattered Gabrielle from head to toe. As quickly as he could, Harry turned and fired another curse at Voldemort, but he was too slow and too weak to make an impact. Voldemort batted it away effortlessly.

Three spills hit Harry almost at the same time; a cutting curse and two bludgeoning curses that knocked the wind out of him, and threw him over by Fleur.

"Stop!" Voldemort commanded, "No one is to touch him… he is mine." After regaining control of the situation, Voldemort glared at Nott for his lack of vigilance.

Nott after closing his wound, tightened his hold on Gabrielle, but paid her no more attention. There would be time enough for that later. Then he'd let her know, that the pain she was experiencing was payback for what Potter had done. He'd tell her with a smile as he used her for pleasure.

Harry rolled over onto his hands and knees and spit out some blood. He was hurt. Besides the injuries from the maze and Wormtail, he now had a rather bad cut across his side, and maybe a cracked rib or two. On top of all that, he was still shaking from the after effect of the Cruciatus.

Just ahead of him was a large thick tombstone. Harry was sure that if he jumped quick enough, he could use it for cover… maybe hold out long enough till help arrived… if it arrived.

Avery looked down at Harry and smirked, "I can't wait until our master finishes you off." Holding Fleur from behind, he stuck a slimy tongue out between crooked yellow teeth and licked her from the base of her neck up the side of her face to her forehead.

Fleur whimpered in disgust and fear. Her legs grew weak and threatened to fold under her. Avery laughed.

`No,' Harry thought. He wouldn't hide behind a rock while two of his friends were being tormented. Voldemort would surely use them to draw him out.

With a fair amount of difficulty, Harry rose to his feet. Looking at Fleur, he said with all the authority and confidence he could muster, "If you get the chance… you must go, escape!"

Fleur looked back at Harry horrified, "No! Gabrielle…"

"You can save us all, bring help," Harry pleaded, "I won't leave her…I promise."

Voldemort and Avery both laughed.

Fleur was torn, she couldn't fathom the thought of leaving Gabrielle behind again! Fleur almost screamed at her stupidity, she should have never let her get involved. But the conviction in Harry voice and eyes gave her some small measure of hope. Her head told her he was right. Her heart was harder to convince. Then she remembered a conversation she and Gabrielle had shared not too long ago. Hermione had told her younger sister what Harry had taught her, `You're not always in control…' Fleur gave Harry a small nod.

By now Voldemort had grown impatient, "If you insist on keeping your back to me Harry."

He raised his wand high over his head, and then brought it down in a slashing motion. The curse ripped the back of Harry's shirt to shreds and left five sizzling red lines running diagonally down his back.

Harry was about to turn around when he felt the curse hit his back. It felt like he had been whipped by several people at the same time. He staggered forward and dropped to one knee from the force of the blow. He hadn't heard the incantation, nor did he think he would have recognized it if he had. However, like most of Voldemort's spell work, Harry knew it was bad. Harry hissed as his back burst into burning pain. Even though he couldn't see them, he knew by the feel, that there were about a half dozen long nasty cuts that ran from shoulder to hip. Long thin cuts, were the skin had been split open as it had been literally pulled apart.

Fighting to ignore to the pain, Harry stood. He would not die on his knees. He took one small hesitant step forward, then turned and faced Voldemort.

Voldemort's thin lips pressed upwards, "Excellent, for a moment Harry… I thought you might try and run away." A couple of Death Eaters laughed. "Now Harry Potter, I assume they taught you how to duel properly?" Voldemort didn't wait for an answer. "First we bow…"

But Harry wasn't paying attention; he knew the end was near and he was desperately trying to come up with a plan… anything that might buy them some more time, but it looked hopeless. He was facing the most evil wizard of their time. Harry's knowledge and power were insignificant compared to Voldemort's. His only allies were a witch not much older than him and one much younger, both of whom were currently helpless to do anything.

"I said bow!" Voldemort commanded, again growing angry with Harry's adamant disrespect. He could easily have forced Harry to bow, but he wanted Harry to do so on his own. So Voldemort resorted to his favorite form of persuasion. The curse left his lips as easily as someone else might call a loved one, "Crucio!"

Harry threw himself to the right, away from Fleur and rolled once before returning to his feet. He raised his wand and produced a hasty shield a second too late. A bludgeoning curse sent him flying further back. Now he was on the other side of the circle, a few feet from Gabrielle. Voldemort was in the center, and Fleur was behind and just to his left.

"Pathetic, simply pathetic. Is this all you have learned in four years Harry? Is this all they have taught you?" Voldemort asked in a condescending tone.

Several of the Death Eaters laughed, and upon seeing how badly Harry was losing, they once again lowered their guard.

Harry decided to use a modified version of his old trick from the first task. He knew he'd only get one chance with it, and so patiently waited for the right time.

A spell, this one fiery red, lanced out at him. Harry didn't recognize it, but he was quite sure he didn't want to get hit by it. Again he dodged away, and this time managed to get off a stunner. It bounced harmlessly off Voldemort's shield.

They traded spell fire for a minute, although to Harry, it felt far longer. Harry tried his best, but his spells weren't nearly powerful enough, they didn't even begin to penetrate Voldemort's shields. Voldemort's however, were dramatically more effective. Harry was thrown around like a rag doll and left bruised, and bleeding.

Harry was growing tired, while Voldemort was growing more and more impatient. Harry had hoped that during all this, he might be able to free Gabrielle so she could rejoin her sister. Nott however, held her close and never gave Harry a chance.

Voldemort raised his wand and waved it in a complex motion, and produced a fiery beast that rushed at Harry.

Harry quickly yelled, "Reducto," and then brought up the strongest shield he could muster. To his surprise it worked, and the creature vanished. Harry decided a change of plans was necessary. Harry needed Voldemort's full attention, so he fired a Reductor at him.

Voldemort laughed and again batted it away, "I grow weary of this Potter, it's time to finish it." With a flick of his wand, he knocked Harry to the ground.

The Death Eater roared with laughter and relaxed further. Voldemort simply shook his head, "I had hoped for better…" He stopped when Harry fired two stunners at him in quick succession, without getting up.

Like in the task, the first two stunners were weak. Harry was saving his power, they were only a distraction. The time had come; Avery was laughing so hard, he was only holding Fleur by the arm.

Harry didn't know a lot of spells, but the ones he did, he used quite effectively. "Diffindo!" Harry yelled. Only his wand wasn't pointed at Voldemort, who had raised a second shield slightly surprised. Harry had shifted his aim ever so slightly… to the left.

Avery's eyes grew wide as he struggled to bring his wand up in time to defend himself. The spell caught him in the neck, and with all the power that Harry had used, it sliced clear through, and his head fell from his shoulders. Blood spewed out in all directions like a grotesque crimson fountain as his body crumpled to the ground.

Fleur stood shocked, covered in blood. It soaked her hair, and ran down her face like a warm rain and dripped from her chin. She stood frozen in temporary shock staring at the corpse laying at her feet.

"Fleur!" Harry yelled, "GO…GO NOW!"

Voldemort screamed in rage for being fooled so easily, and for a second started to turn his attention on Fleur to prevent her escape. But quickly decided she didn't matter. His followers wouldn't attack Harry because he had told them not too, but that didn't mean they couldn't attack her. It was the second of his followers that Harry had gotten to, he wasn't going to let it happen again. Harry was free to attack them at will. He didn't want to risk losing another Death Eater. Still screaming, Voldemort turned on Harry, "Crucio!"

Fleur snapped out of it. She quickly reached down and pulled her wand from the still quivering corpse and started for the Cup. She had only taken a few steps before spells started flying past her, fortunately she didn't have far to go. She was almost there when she realized she couldn't leave Cedric… not like this, not after what he had sacrificed for her and her sister. He was only a few feet away from the Cup anyway, so she altered course and headed to him. When she got within a couple of feet of him, she dove head first and landed on his far side. Staying low, Fleur grabbed his arm, and then turned and pointed her wand at the Cup. The last thing see saw as the graveyard disappeared in a swirl of color, was Harry bent backwards from the agony of the Cruciatus Curse and the wide terrified eyes of her little sister. She prayed, that she had made the right decision and would not live to regret it, and that Harry and her little sister could survive long enough for help to arrive.

Harry tried to hold it in, but couldn't. The hateful, rage fueled curse ripped through him like a hot knife through butter. Every nerve ending exploded with a supercharged stab of white hot pain. A half stifled cry escaped him as he fell forward. Landing hard, Harry choked on the coppery taste of his own blood. His body twisted and contorted on its own accord. The unbelievable pain continued for what felt like hours. Harry saw red through eye lids clamped tightly closed, and just before it all started to fade to black… the pain lessened. Voldemort had released the curse.


There had been no announcements for a while now. In the stands back at Hogwarts, the mood was mixed. Most of the students seemed to sense that something was wrong, but at the same time realized that the very nature of the Tournament and magic itself was supposed to be… mysterious.

Ginny knew better. She saw Luna and Neville share a look and realized they knew too. And judging by the looks on her brother's faces, so did they. Ginny then looked back down onto the field; no one had said anything yet, but it certainly looked as though something wasn't right. Dumbledore appeared to be in a heated conversation with both the Ministry, and the Heads from the other schools. The professors stood around nervously, occasionally shooing a student back into the stands. McGonagall stood wringing her hands as her gaze shifted from Dumbledore, to the maze, then to Hermione and back.

Hermione… She was the only student down on the field by the entrance to the maze. She had been escorted out a short time ago, alone with Viktor, and Cho. After Madam Pomfrey had healed her injuries, Hermione had refused to leave. Ginny smiled at the memory; even though she couldn't hear what was being said, she could tell by Hermione's body language that she was ready to pull her wand on the school nurse if she insisted on making her go. Eventually an exasperated Pomfrey gave up, and left with two more cooperative patients and a promise to return as quickly as possible. The other professors seemed to have conveniently forgotten she was there.

Ginny watched Hermione nervously pace back and forth; yes, something was definitely wrong. A moment later and everyone would know… just how bad it really was.


Hermione stopped and looked around; the students in the stands were growing more restless, and the professors, more nervous. Looking at Professor Dumbledore, it appeared the search for the missing students was bogging down in uncooperative indecision. She could only hope that he had other people elsewhere working behind the scenes trying to find them, like he had alluded to earlier.

Hermione didn't know how much longer she was going to wait. Something had to be done, they'd been gone for over an hour now… A bright flash of light to her left caught her attention.

Fleur landed ungracefully on her knees and fell forward across a prone Cedric. Fleur was in quite a state. Between sobs, she was screaming incoherently, mostly in French. Her robes were torn, her hair a wild set of red tangles, and she looked pretty banded up judging by the cuts and bruises. But what really caught Hermione's eye, was the blood. Fleur was covered in it. There was so much, there was no way it could all be hers. Hermione's eyes drifted down to Cedric… he had yet to move.

Hermione's hands flew to her mouth to cover a scream, "Oh God… No!" But Fleur's wails of `He's dead. He killed him… He's dead' all but confirmed Hermione's fears. Cedric was dead. Hermione looked around franticly for the others, but there was no sign of them. No Gabrielle… and no Harry.

Madam Maxime was at her side in seconds, "Qui a fait cela Delacour… Who did zis?"

Fleur's eyes unfocused and she went deadly silent. She stared straight ahead for a moment, lost in thought as she remembered the events that lead to the present. Then the past and present snapped back together and she jerked as the realization of what she had witnessed returned. Anguish returned to her voice and terror to her eyes. "E eez back," she whispered.

Madam Maxime looked confused by the cryptic answer.

Dumbledore, fearing the worst knelt down next to her, "Miss Delacour, who?

Fleur started shaking and again became agitated, "Voldemort… e eez back." Suddenly, Fleur turned to him in a panic and started screaming, "E as zem…! You ave to elp zem… E ees hurting zem!"

Hermione started to move towards them. She needed to know more; what happened, where were they, how was he hurting them? After only a couple of steps, and a hand grabbed her to hold her back.

"Miss Granger wait."

Hermione turned to find it was her Head of House that had her arm. "Why?" She asked, part question, part plea.

McGonagall saw the need in her young student's eyes and gave her an honest answer. "There are protocols to follow, we need to be careful."

Hermione didn't know what protocols she was referring to, but she trusted the older women, and so stood back. She would wait a little bit longer.

By now, pandemonium was breaking out. Cedric's father, Mr. Diggory was crying, "That's my boy… my boy." He had to be held back momentarily by the Aurors while the couple were examined. Professor Flitwick was casting detection spells as fast as he could in an effort to determine if it was safe to touch them, and to try and determine where they might have been. A moment later and Madam Pomfrey was back and at their side. The first thing she did, was to confirm the sad fact that Cedric was indeed dead. She closed her eyes and slowly shook her head. Mr. Diggory broke from the Aurors and rushed to his son. Dropping down, he pulled his lifeless son's body to him and sobbed as he rocked back and forth.

Hermione watched with tears running down her face, she couldn't begin to imagine the pain he must have felt. No parent should ever have to experience the loss of a child.

Next, Madam Pomfrey went to check on Fleur who was quite hysterical. She reached out and touched her arm to try and calm her. Fleur reaction surprised everyone; she jerked her arm away and cried out in pain. Poppy was temporarily surprised. Then it registered; all the symptoms where there. Poppy gasped, and then sank to the ground in shock. In all her years, she still couldn't imagine how anyone could use such horrible curses on children.

McGonagall knelt down next to her friend, "Poppy, what is it?"

Madam Pomfrey shock her head in disbelief, "Of all despicable things to do to a child. What kind of monster would use an unforgivable curse on a young girl?"

Again Hermione watched from a short distance. Madam Pomfrey glanced from Cedric and back to Fleur. Her face showed all of her emotions; shock, fear, disgust, and rage. How could anyone be so…evil and cruel to do such dreadful things to children? Murder and torture; truly the work of a soulless individual. Pomfrey shook the thought away, she'd be angry later, for now she had work to do.

After only a moment of watching, Hermione figured it out. She saw how Pomfrey was keeping her voice down and at the same time, her distance. How she levitated potions to Fleur and healed her wounds with her wand without touching her. Thanks to Moody's class, she knew something no fourth-year student should know; the after effects of the Cruciatus Curse. Hermione cried harder.

Hermione's notes would tell her that; the severity and length of the after effects would depend on the strength of the caster, and how long the curse was held. The after effects would leave the person aching all over. There would be a steady dull pain in her bones. Her muscles would twitch and spasm into cramps, and her skin would sometimes feel like it was on fire. Bright lights and loud sounds would be painful to the eyes and ears. But the worst of it would come from a mere touch; the text book had said, "It can feel as if you are being burned with a hot iron." It prevented human contact; no soothing caress, no comforting embrace. It left its victim to suffer alone in the dark. Hermione hated the fact that she knew all that.

Fleur had said that he was hurting them… Harry and Gabrielle… A young girl, and a boy not much older. What kind of demented individual would do that…? The answer came as a name… Voldemort.

Hermione dropped to her knees and started to sob, "Please God, bring them back. Please…" She wanted them both back, one death was enough. Then only a minute later as Hermione cried for Harry, she remembered who he was. He wasn't an ordinary fourth-year, he'd already been through more than most adults. Her resolve straighten, she'd cry later, but for now, she would not give up hope. Harry was strong; `He'll find a way… he has too.'

Hermione wiped at her face with the backs of her hands and looked back at Fleur. She was shaking again. Fleur looked tormented and so… lost. As soon as she noticed Hermione looking at her, she managed to stop long enough to mouth the words, "I'm sorry." Hermione almost lost it again, but somehow was able to maintain her barely controlled composure. She nodded a couple of times and then mouthed back, "I know."


Harry laid where he had fallen and tried to catch his breath. It was the second time in only a few minutes that he had experienced the Cruciatus Curse. His body seemed as confused as he was. Disoriented, it keep sending him mixed signals. For a moment, he'd feel numb all over. Then all too soon, he'd start to feel a tingling sensation that would quickly turn to pain. A burning, aching stabbing pain. Not nearly as bad as the curse itself, but bad enough. Muted and unending, laying just below the surface, ready to assault the senses if you tried to ignore it.

"Get up Potter, or I'll kill you were you lay." Voldemort threatened.

"Harry get up… please get up," Gabrielle pleaded, "I… we need you."

Nott and a couple of other Death Eaters who were close enough to hear, laughed.

`We,' Harry thought, `yes, Gabrielle needs me now, and Hermione… Hermione.' Harry struggled to stand; he would see Hermione again… or die trying.

Finally up, Harry looked at Gabrielle. She had tears running down her face. They mixed with the blood and dirt destroying her innocence and matting her beautiful blond hair to the side of her face. For the most part she was unhurt, aside from being roughly handled and totally naked. Though she still tried to cover herself the best she could, she didn't shy away from Harry's gaze. She trusted him not to let his eyes wander to places they shouldn't. She trusted him to save her, and Gabrielle knew he'd not take advantage of her situation now. She gave him a small nod of encouragement, and to say thank you.

Harry suddenly became angry. Was it not enough to capture him… to torture Fleur? Wasn't it enough after they killed Cedric? Did they have to treat this innocent young girl like this; force her to witness this inhumanity, to endure such traumatizing humiliation? Harry was used to abuse, torment, and sadly even pain… Gabrielle was not. The heartless barbarity of their cowardly acts towards her filled him with hate. Until now, Harry hadn't thought he was capable of such hatred, and that too made him mad.

This evil, vile thing called Voldemort was responsible for it all. The death of his parents, Cedric's death, and now maybe Gabrielle's death too. Cedric and Gabrielle shouldn't have even been here! All this and all that has happened, just because he wanted to prove something. That he could kill Harry Potter…"

Harry turned his angry eyes on Voldemort, "You want to duel me? You want to make me pay, want to hurt me? You want to kill me…? Fine." Harry stood taller, "I'll give you my best. It's what you want… right?" Without taking his eyes off of Voldemort, he pointed to Gabrielle, "She is just a child, and we both know she shouldn't even be here. Do what you want with me, but let her go."

Voldemort seemed to consider it for a moment, but then said, "Why do you presume to tell me what to do?"

"Fine, I'm asking… Please, I beg of you, let her go." Harry bowed slightly at the waist, "I'll show you the respect you asked for, if you'll do this for me."

Gabrielle jerked against Nott's hold and screamed, "No Harry, don't."

Voldemort sneered, "I did not ask for your respect Potter, but I do demand it. Yes you will show me the respect I deserve… and you'll continue to beg. You will beg me to kill you." Voldemort laughed, "And you'll do these things while the girl watches… and then it will be her turn to beg."

Harry lost control of his temper and yelled, "NO!" and then wildly fired a blasting spell at Voldemort without even aiming. It hit the ground in front of Voldemort sending dirt and rocks flying. Harry reined in his furor and berated himself for the outburst.

Voldemort threw up a hasty shield and smirked, and then repeated Harry's spell, intentionally hitting the ground in front of Harry. Only, Voldemort's was far more powerful and it blew Harry back several feet and left a small crater.

Harry climbed back to his feet and stumbled slightly as he wiped the blood from his cut lip. The time for games was over, Harry could see it in Voldemort's eye. A split second later he yelled, "Expelliarmus," just as Voldemort yelled, "Avada Kedavra."

Gabrielle watched captivated, as the killing curse was stopped half-way by Harry's Disarming Spell. The two meet half-way and connected. A bright blue-white beam that danced around like an electric arc. It made the air around the beam glow. It sizzled and crackled and made the air smell of ozone. Small tendrils of the beam would lance off into the air or hit the ground with a sharp snapping sound. Both wizards looked surprised, but for the first time, it was Voldemort who looked nervous.

The Death Eaters started to move in, intent on helping their master.

"Do nothing," an arrogant Voldemort commanded.

Harry's wand vibrated and grew hot, but he knew he had to hold the connection or die. Harry poured every ounce of strength he had left into his magic. The beam pulsed slightly, then pulsed again a little more brightly. From the mid-point, a group of faint glowing lines started to raise up and then fan out over the top of them before reaching back down to the ground. They formed a sort of cage, and both Harry and Voldemort watched with a mixture of curiosity and trepidation. It trapped not only the both of them inside, but Nott and Gabrielle as well. The outcome of this battle it seemed, was to be determined here inside this arena made of light and energy. Harry studied the beam and tried to find some indication as to how to proceed. He noticed small balls of light riding on the beam, like pearls on a string. They pulsed like the beam, but they also seemed to slide a little along the beam as well. Harry didn't know why, but he felt it was important. He also thought it was better to have the balls of energy moving away from him instead of at him. For a few seconds they just oscillated back and forth. Harry focused on them and willed them to move towards Voldemort. It started working, apparently Voldemort wasn't concerned about them or he could have easily over-powered Harry.

Voldemort realized his mistake to late. As the beads hit his wand, they seemed to jump inside with a blinding flash, and a moment later a dark ghost like shadow formed around him. One after another, more and more shadows appeared.

Harry could now hear voices, some he could understand, some not. Two seemed very… familiar, and spoke with love and confidence, "Hold on Harry, help is coming." Harry would try, but he didn't think he'd last much longer. "Almost here Harry. When the time comes, break the connection… we'll help for as long as we can. We love you Harry!" He didn't know what to expect, but he knew he could trust them… the voices. Harry vision grew blurry as tears formed, "I love you too."

Suddenly a shrill sound filled the air. Harry knew that sound… Fawkes! Harry grabbed his wand with both hands and pulled it upwards as hard as he could, and the connection broke. Voldemort stumbled backwards from the force and the onrush of shadows that enveloped him. Harry turned his shaky wand towards a started Nott and quickly fired a stunner. Nott had been standing too close to Gabrielle and Harry didn't trust his aim with a more lethal curse.

Nott dropped to the ground unconscious and Harry ran to Gabrielle. As soon as he reached her, three things happened at once; Gabrielle latched on to him with a death grip, Fawkes appeared overhead, and Voldemort fired a curse. Because he was afraid their wands would lock up again, and because he didn't know Harry wasn't going to try and fight back, he yelled, "Crucio!" instead of the killing curse, a mistake he would regret.

Harry held Gabrielle with arm and spun around to shield her from Voldemort. At the same time he reached up for Fawkes. The curse hit Harry in the back a split second before he and Gabrielle flashed away in a ball of fire with Voldemort's screams of rage ringing in their ears.


Hermione watched as Madam Maxime tried to talk Fleur into going to the infirmary.

Fleur was having nothing to do with it; like Hermione, she was going to wait on the field. She explained; yes she was in some pain, but she had only been cursed for a few seconds, and as long as everyone left her alone, she could deal with it. Her sister was still out there, and she wasn't leaving until she was back… one way or another. She knew that Harry had been right; that by her escaping, they all had a better chance of returning, but she still felt incredibly guilty. The pain of the Cruciatus, was nothing compared to the pain in her heart at the thought of losing her sister.

Hermione quickly reminded herself not to grab Harry into a hug the minute he arrived. Hermione nodded to herself… yes, he would be coming back. Thinking back to the last time she had seen him; her vision blurred as tears filled her eyes, and her breathing hitched. Hermione desperately hoped that the last embrace, and the brief kiss they had shared, was not their last.

She was lost in thought when she felt it… Harry. Hermione looked around, he still wasn't here and nobody else seemed to have noticed anything, but she knew he was coming. Then, a short moment later, a high pitched shrill filled the air. It was immediately followed by a bright flash as a large fire ball materialized out of thin air, right in front of her.

If Hermione thought the arrival of Fleur was a sight, then she'd have trouble describing Harry's. The ball of fire vanished as fast as it had come. It left Harry and Gabrielle to drop the last few inches to the ground. Gabrielle had her eyes shut tight, and was hanging on to Harry with both arms locked around his waist. Like her sister, she was covered in blood, but the real difference was that she was completely nude. Hermione gasped, they had been gone awhile, she hated to think of what hideous things might have happened to her. But Hermione's eyes lingered on Gabrielle only long enough to make sure she was still alive. That done, her only concern now, was for Harry.

Without even realizing it, she was already moving towards him. She had seen Harry duel his classmates and battle a dragon, but she had never seen him so battered before. His socks and shoes were gone, as was his jacket. His pants were torn and bloody, and his shirt was barely there. It hung by treads, ripped and bloody from his shoulders.

Harry's right arm was wrapped around Gabrielle, holding her safely to him. While his other was still reaching up overhead, presumably to grab Fawkes.

Hermione knelt down in front of him as closely as possible, she wanted so badly to pull him into her arms, but she knew she couldn't. She could still see the remnants of the last spell that had hit him, as faint arcs of energy danced along his skin. From the look on his face when he first materialized, and what she saw now, it was obviously a very powerful spell. Harry was still arched backwards from the impact and it was also obvious, he was trying to shield Gabrielle with his body. `Of course,' thought Hermione, `that's what he'd do. Even though he barely knows her, he'd try to protect her.'

Fleur was on his other side an instant after Hermione. With shaking hands, she reached out and said in a trembling voice, "Gabrielle… come ere little one." She too knew that Harry had saved her, and she knew from what. She could see the pain in his eyes, even though they were closed.

Gabrielle's eyes snapped open and she quickly turned her head to find her sister. She stared at her for only a second as if not quite believing it was finally over. Then she released Harry and jumped into her sisters arms. After only a second later, she turned her head back to Harry and said, "Zank you Arry," as tears rolled down her face.

Fleur was holding Gabrielle tightly to her, even though it caused her pain; she wasn't ready to be parted with her only sister just yet. As the realization of how terribly close she came to losing Gabrielle started to sink in, she too turned to Harry, "Qui… yes… zank you Arry."

Hermione saw the immediate relief on Harry's face, and the pain on Fleur's. But Fleur fought through it in order to hold her little sister. Madam Maxime was there a moment later and wrapped a robe around Gabrielle. Then after whispering something in her ear, she was able to pry her free to ease Fleur's pain.

Hermione wanted to grab Harry and never let him go. She watched him from just a foot away. His eyes were closed, and he was shaking something terrible. It was plain to see, that every breath he took caused him pain. Without his shirt, or what was left of it, see could see most of his injuries. His face was swollen, and there were several small cuts on it. His lip would need some major healing. His right arm and left leg both had nasty deep cuts on them, and his back… Hermione leaned forward and to the side a little to get a better look. Hermione's sharp intake of breath was quickly followed by, "Oh my God!" His back was a bloody mess of raw flesh. Blood dripped from the ragged edges of the wound. Hermione couldn't hold it back any longer and cried out, "Oh Harry… What have they done to you?" Hermione closed her eyes and buried her face in her hands and cried. She tried to muffle her sobs; Harry didn't need the added worry.

A second later, someone was pulling her into a gentle embrace.

"Hermione… please don't cry," came a harsh strangled plea.

Hermione stiffened, "Harry?" She opened her eyes to find it was indeed Harry, who was holding her.

McGonagall, Pomfrey, and Dumbledore were standing just behind Hermione when Harry pulled her into his arms. No one expected Harry to do such a thing and so were caught off guard. Pomfrey had made an effort to grab Hermione, but reacted too late. Now all three held their breath waiting for Harry to realize his mistake, thinking he must have acted out of instinct. To their complete surprise, Harry trembling frame settled and the tight draw on his face from the pain, relaxed a little.

Dumbledore raised a brow, while Pomfrey stared at the couple confused. McGonagall just smiled. Harry was holding Hermione gingerly, but holding her none the less. He shouldn't have been able to do so with experiencing severe pain, but the only effect Hermione seemed to have on him, was… soothing.

Coming to her senses, Hermione said urgently, "Harry, I don't want to hurt you… I know my touch is…"

"You're not hurting me Hermione," Harry reassured her in a raspy voice, and tugged her a little closer.

Hermione, being ever so careful and gentle, brought her hands up to the back of his shoulders, being careful not to touch the wound on his back. She didn't know why she could touch him, but for now… she didn't care. Harry was back in her arms.

Pomfrey decided she'd figure it out later, for now she had work to do. "Mr. Potter, please release…" she started, then continued in a more compassionate tone, "would you please release Miss Granger for a moment, so I can tend to your wounds?"

Harry reluctantly loosened his grip on Hermione, and she scooted back just far enough to let Madam Pomfrey get to him. It was obvious her presence was missed, Harry grimaced slightly and he started trembling again.

Pomfrey knelt down and quickly started in healing his back the best she could do out in the field. It would take more work and several potions to heal it properly, but that would have to wait until he was back in the infirmary. She tended the cuts on his face and then went to work on his arm. Getting caught up in her work, she momentarily forgot about the Cruciatus Curse and took hold of his hand to turn his arm over. Harry reacted immediately. He slammed his eyes shut and hissed in pain as every nerve in his body protested. Madam Pomfrey jumped back, "Oh dear… Mr. Potter I'm so sorry… I forgot. I…"

As soon as she had released him, the pain started to diminish. Then, as soon as he was able to talk again, Harry forced a whisper out, "It's okay, I know." However, the event seemed to have triggered something. Harry started shaking more violently, and the muscles in his back started to spasm. Even though he was sweating, he felt bitterly cold. He was starting to get dizzy. Barely able to control his arm, he reached out and called faintly, "Hermione…"

Hermione gasped, but didn't hesitate a second. She crawled forward and carefully wrapped her arms around him.

Harry quivering body relaxed somewhat. With great effort he managed to bring his arms up to try and hug her back. A few seconds later and the shaking stopped completely and Harry's arms fell to his side. He opened his mouth to try and say something, but couldn't. A moment later, his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he went limp in Hermione's arms.

"Harry!" Hermione cried out. She held on to him just tightly enough so as not to hurt him, even though he had obviously passed out. While holding him close, she looked up into the worried eyes of her professors.

Dumbledore conjured a stretcher large enough for the both of them. "Poppy, perhaps we should move the two of them to the infirmary."

McGonagall watched as Pomfrey and Dumbledore levitated the pair away. Her normally tough composure cracked as a single tear slipped down her face. "Merlin help you both," she said softly. After what she suspected of Harry's ordeal; she knew that without Hermione's help, he might not make it. He would certainly never be the same again. She prayed, the young girl holding him would be enough.

Up in the stands, their friends watched and cried as the horrible scene played out. For two in particular, their image of `The-Boy-Who-Lived' was changed forever.



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