Finally back! i've been wanting to get back to this story for months now, but life had other plans, it's pretty long, but I couldn't find a good stopping point and figured no one would complain for an extra content, consider it in celebration of returning to the Potterverse!
i hope you enjoy!
The first two weeks of August passed with little fanfare, with the only change in their day to day activities being Hermione's continued presence; having been sponsored by Sirius, Hermione was brought into the Rune Knights the same as Harry, and while she had trouble with the physical demands of enlistment, she excelled at the academics.
"I still can't believe the amount of information available to us now!" Hermione practically squealed as she returned to the table with several new books.
"You know the library won't disappear?" Daphne asked, her voice tinged with amusement, "you don't need to read the whole thing before we go to the world cup."
"I know," she objected, blushing slightly, "I just...well I love learning."
"Knowledge for knowledge's sake," Harry sighed, walking over with his own book, sitting beside Daphne, "how were you not Ravenclaw?"
"It was close." Hermione sighed, smirking at Harry,"but I think after the last three years, it's safe to say that I'm a gryffindor, a Ravenclaw wouldn't put up with the yearly danger."
Harry cracked a smile, "i'm surprised the Gryffindors are still putting up with it." he mused, "The Slytherins were done with me on day one."
"Not all of us," Daphne said, nudging him.
"I think the ones not snogging him are tired of him." Hermione said, they all shared a laugh as the library doors burst open and Sirius came running in.
"GUYS!" He bellowed, making the teens jump to their feet, wands in hand, "THE WORLD CUP IS TOMORROW!"
Harry untensed and sat back down, "you scared the piss out of me Padfoot," Harry huffed out as the girls giggled.
"The Quidditch world cup scares you?" Sirius asked in confusion.
Harry rolled his eyes with a smile, "how are we getting there?" he asked, making Sirius grin once more.
"Oh! We're taking a portkey! Ol' Cyrus paid to have one drop in the backyard since a few of the order members will be going."
"Really?" Daphne asked in interest, "like who?"
"Well Old Shafiq is going, will be meeting his grandson there, goes to Durmstrang you know, the Macmillan's will ride along as well, and if I remember right, Old Shacklebolt is sending along his youngest."
"Macmillan? Like Ernie?" Hermione asked.
"That's the one!" Sirius said with a grin, "though he's the youngest, and refused to join the Order, he's still tagging along with his elder brother and mother."
"What time will we be leaving?" Harry asked eagerly.
"I think the portkey leaves at like...seven or something." Sirius said flippantly, "oh! And Cyrus said you guys didn't have to study today, what are you doing here?"
The three teens shared a look, "no one told us training had been canceled." Daphne said carefully.
"No one did? But…" SIrius trailed off, thinking on the subject, "oh! That's what I forgot!" he exclaimed, grinning sheepishly at a glaring Harry and Daphne. "In a roundabout way, this is kinda your fault if you think about it."
"Harry." Daphne started.
"On it," Harry said, pulling his wand.
Hermione simply laughed as she watched Sirius run away as Padfoot, dodging stinging hexes from the two irate teens.
The next morning had Harry waking up from a horrifying dream, his scar in pain as he shot up from bed.
A quick word to Pappy and Sirius and Cyrus were awake and listening to Harry's tale.
"So, Voldemort has a physical body now." Cyrus muttered, "and two servants to do his bidding…"
"Who though?" Sirius asked, "Peter's in Azkaban, and it's highly unlikely he escaped."
"What did they look like again Harry?" Cyrus prompted the young boy.
"One was covered in shrouds," Harry muttered, "It was like something had blurred his figure so I couldn't see exactly what he looked like...the other was pale, freckled skin, straw colored hair, thirty or older."
"Sound familiar?" Cyrus asked Sirius, who shook his head.
"Not at all." he said, running a hand through his hair.
"I'll contact Dumbledore," Cyrus sighed, "go see while you're all at the world cup, see if we can't turn something up, for now, just worry about the world cup.'
"Easier said than done," Harry grumbled, making Cyrus chuckle.
"It's five thirty now," Cyrus said as he walked towards the door, "I suggest just getting ready for the day, too late to go back to sleep."
"We'll be able to sleep when we're dead." Sirius said dismissively as he and Harry followed, heading for the stairs, "for now, we have a world cup to get ready for!"
Ten til seven Harry and the others were waiting in the backyard, Hermione talking with Sirius about the runic tattoos he had on his arms while Harry and Daphne stood back, their hands intertwined and simply enjoying the cool summer morning.
"Beat me out here!" Shafiq's voice boomed, making them turn around as the older man walked towards them, dressed in a simple tunic and pants, a brown belt tied around his waist with several bags attached to it, behind him stood a younger boy, around eleven or twelve, with a shaved head and golden eyes, he was on the pudgier side, and wore a simple t-shirt and jeans,"the way Cyrus always drags ass I figured the rest of you would still be asleep!"
"That's where you're wrong!" Sirius said cheerfully, shaking hands with the man as he got closer, "Harry and I were awake at five, the girls woke up at six, need their beauty sleep after all."
"Of course," he said easily, inclining his head to Daphne and Harry, "and this is our newest recruit yes?" he asked, moving to greet Hermione, holding his hand out, "Brahim Shafiq, I didn't get to greet you correctly during your initiation."
"Hermione Granger, pleasure to meet you sir." Hermione said dutifully, shaking his hand.
"Sir!" he laughed, making her jump slightly, "I am almost ninety years old and I still can't get used to being called sir." he sighed as he pulled his hand back, "it makes me miss my youth...ah! Where are my manners! Allow me to introduce you to Balder Shacklebolt, Old Shacklebolts youngest son."
"P-pleasure to meet you all." he greeted timidly as he stepped forward and gave a slight bow.
"It's a pleasure to meet you as well, "Daphne said kindly, Hermione echoing him while Harry gave a simple wave.
"So that's Shacklebolt's youngest," Sirius said quietly to Shafiq, the two older men taking a step back as the kids got acquainted, "the supposed 'next Lord Commander'."
"Shacklebolt is an idiot," Shafiq whispered, ``he's under the impression that we don't vote anymore on who our leader will be, he'll get his dose of reality soon."
"Hopefully, there's a reason we have a Lord Commander and not a damn king." Sirius muttered, his smile returning as he waved towards the approaching Macmillans, "Artie Macmillan!" he shouted at the tall young man walking beside his mother, the two clasping hands as Ernie went to greet his school friends, he was as tall as Sirius, with a thick beard and long hair tied back in a braid, his muscle shirt fit tightly and his blue jeans were snug over the brown dragonhide boots on his feet, "I thought you were in Romania with young Charlie Weasley?"
"Came down for the cup." he said with a grin, "Charlie's come in as well, should be with the Weasley's."
"Well I'm glad you and your boyfriend could make it." Sirius said in amusement, making Artie's smile disappear as he shushed Sirius.
"My mother doesn't know about us yet," he whispered quietly, "only dad does, which makes me wonder how you knew."
"Oh Old Macmillan was telling everyone at the meeting the other day." Shafiq said, "he's very proud and is probably already planning your wedding."
"We talking about Artie and Charlie?" Mrs. Macmillan asked as she walked up, making Sirius laugh as he greeted his old friend, Charlotte Macmillan had been a Gryffindor fifth year when Sirius had been in his first year, and a prefect to boot; the brunette woman had spent many a night chasing after the Marauders when they got into things that they shouldn't, "are we telling me now, or am I supposed to pretend like I don't know for another week?"
"Mum!" Artie exclaimed, blushing as Shafiq gave a hearty chuckle.
"You're much too obvious about it Artie, it's 'Charlie this' and 'Charlie that' and 'did you know Charlie wrestled an Ironbelly?' Honestly, if you weren't in love with him then I'd be concerned!"
"How's your summer been Ernie?" Harry asked after shaking the hufflepuffs hand.
"Boring, nothing but homework and sleep." he said with a sigh, "I'm sure your summers been much more interesting what with joining the Order."
"You know about it?" Daphne asked in surprise, "I thought you refused to join."
"Yeah I refused, but they still told me the secret to offer me a spot, dad practically pushed me into the meeting room before they were done deliberating, but I didn't want all that extra responsibility; so I turned it down, and they made me take an oath to never reveal the order to those who don't know the order."
"Why is it so secretive?" Balder asked inquisitively, "wouldn't it be smarter for everyone to know?"
"Well, not all magic is meant for the public at large." Daphne began carefully as Ernie stepped away, aware this was turning into a conversation he couldn't hear; "a lot of the spells and rituals we're working on are dangerous, and can cause great damage if placed used by the wrong people; so the order protects the secrets of these magics to keep it from falling into the wrong hands."
"I thought the Rune Knights were warriors." he said with a frown.
"They are," harry agreed, "Godric Gryffindor made sure of that, but the other aspect of the Rune Knights were from an academic and pure magical standpoint; that's Salazar Slytherin's influence; he wanted to make sure dangerous magic would be protected and taught only to a select few who were responsible enough to wield it."
"But who makes those decisions?" he asked uncertainly, his head already spinning.
"That is talk for later." Shafiq said as he walked up to them, "Right now we have a portkey to catch, everyone into positions."
The children followed the older man to a frayed piece of rope that lay in the center of the lawn; around four meters long, Harry hesitated before grabbing the rope alongside everyone else, his arm unconsciously going around Daphne's waist.
"Scared?" she asked in amusement.
"Magical travel and me don't usually have a good record." Harry said to her, "in fact, except for the broom, all forms of magical travel has either gotten me in trouble or has been extremely uncomfortable to ride."
Daphne smiled and wrapped her arm around his "don't worry, Portkey isn't so bad, only a little disorienting; just keep a hold of me and we'll get there in one piece."
Harry smiled at that, intertwining their hands as he reached out to take the portkey.
He had no reservations in admitting that porktey was much better than floo powder, but nevertheless it was still uncomfortable; he was lucky to land on his feet with only a slight stumble thanks to Daphne keeping him up.
"Welcome children!" Sirius shouted dramatically, "to the quidditch world cup!"
The teens stared around in awe at the sea of tents covering a gigantic field, hundreds of thousands of people milling about in between the canvas.
"Lets get checked in and to our tents!" Shafiq boomed jovially as they checked in with the muggle grounds keeper before moving down the rows of tents, no two were alike, with some looking plain but with extra additions, while others looked more akin to houses than actual tents.
"People get bolder every year." Artie muttered as they passed a tent with eleven live peacocks meandering around in front of it.
"Its the world cup, what did you expect?" Sirius asked as he looked around fondly, "it hasn't been in England since my third year, last time England got a chance at the world cup and lost it to Brazil.'
"We all remember where we were that day Williams missed the snitch." Shafiq said solemnly, the other adults in the group looking down in shame.
"Enough unpleasantness!" a loud voice boomed, making Sirius look up with a bright light in his eye.
"Fergus McLeod!" Sirius roared, laughing as he hugged a gigantic man, dressed in a white tunic and Kilt, his long fiery red hair tied back with a simple ribbon and his bushy beard braided with beads and small metal attachments.
"Sirius Black!" the man laughed, his voice easily drowning out the noise around them, "couldn't believe it when those assholes finally called you innocent! I ran outside to make sure there were no pigs in the sky!"
"It's good to see you old friend!" Sirius chuckled as he left the embrace and turned to his godson, "Harry, Daphne, Hermione, this here is Fergus McLeod, head of the McLeod Clan out of Scotland."
"Mighty pleasure to meet all of you," he said with a nod of his head, "my nephew Seamus speaks highly of you Harry.
"Seamus is your nephew?" Harry asked in surprise.
"By marriage," he said with a nod, ``his mother married my brother after her first husband passed, he may not be blood, but I love that boy!" he turned to the rest of their Party, "Shafiq! Didn't see you at the Solstice celebration!"
"Couldn't make it this year," The older man said gruffly, "the ether is moving in the dark."
Fergus nodded solemnly, "as I said before, Enough unpleasantness! Follow me to the McLeod tents! The Finnegans got the McGuffins to peek out of their caves for this! A fine party for everyone involved!"
The Irish encampment was lively to say the least, it only ever seemed to increase in size and with no end in sight. Seamus was now with them and was handing out butterbeers and laughing loudly alongside Ernie and Hermione, Sirius was in a drinking contest with Fergus, Shafiq and Artie watching over and cheering the two on, Ms. Macmillan was happily talking with Ms. Finnegan and a french woman who had accidentally wandered into the encampment by accident and was welcomed heartily; Harry was sitting with Daphne, sipping on his butterbeer while she caught up with her friend Susan Bones.
He listened with half an ear as Susan talked about how exciting it was that so many clans were coming together from Ireland and Scotland, he was content to simply people watch and relax after the last few months.
"I recognize that look!"
Harry jolted in his seat, looking up at a smiling boy dressed in red robes and bearing a striking resemblance to- "Dean?" Harry asked unsurely.
"Who?" the boy asked, cocking his head to the side in confusion.
Harry shook his head, this boy wasn't Dean, Dean didn't have gold eyes or a shaved head, "Sorry, you looked like someone I knew."
"I do bear a striking resemblance to my grandfather,' he said in amusement, holding his hand out as Harry stood up, "Efraim Shafiq, at your service."
"Oh! You're Old Shafiq's grandson." Harry said, shaking his hand as Daphne and Susan looked up.
"That I am," he chuckled, "and you're Harry Potter, I have to say, I never saw Grandfather more put out then when he realized he couldn't sponsor you."
"So I've heard," Harry said sheepishly, clearing his throat, "So, you go to Durmstrang?"
"Yes, it is one of the premiere schools in Europe," he said proudly, "a bit rough on the edges, but who am I to complain?"
"Someone who spends their time in a drafty castle." Daphne said dryly, making the older boy laugh.
"Very true," he sighed, taking a seat across from the group, "I am sorry if I'm intruding, I wanted to see the newest recruits of the Rune Knights."
Susan looked at Daphne and Harry in surprise, "I didn't think anyone in our year group was a part of it but me since second year."
"A lot of people getting brought in this summer," Efraim said, motioning with his head over to Seamus, who was now trying-and failing-to flirt with Hermione, "the young Finnegan Boy just got brought in for the McLeods, and I hear the council has been seriously debating on bringing the young Longbottom Heir."
"Neville?" Harry asked in shock, "he's a good mate, but his wand work is…"
"-Bad?" Susan offered.
"Underpowered." Harry corrected.
Efraim looked towards his grandfather before leaning in, "you didn't hear this from me," he whispered, making the three lean forward, "but it turns out his grandmother had him using his fathers wand, he wasn't compatible with it so his magic always appeared weak."
"But why would she do that?" Daphne asked quietly.
"Apparently she didn't want him joining the Rune Knights, so it appeared his magic was weak." Efraim looked around once more, "it's caused quite the fight in the council halls, Grandfather was furious."
"Poor Neville," Harry said softly.
"How long have you two been in the Rune Knights?" Susan asked, trying to steer their conversation towards friendlier topics.
Harry perked up at the question, "I joined about two weeks after the end of semester." Harry said, "I got invited by Albion."
"And I've been in since we came home," Daphne added.
"This is great!" Susan squealed as she clapped, "now I won't be alone for the meetings anymore!"
"Meetings?" Harry asked in confusion.
"Yeah! Any knights still in Hogwarts meet once a month, usually I'm the only one for my year group, last year Ernie was apart of it since he was in on the secret but refused to join, one of the older years told Shacklebolt and he threatened to have his memory erased if he didn't stop coming around."
"That's a bit of an overreaction." Daphne said with a frown.
"Tell me about it," Susan huffed, then brightened back up, "but I can't wait for you to meet the other members! Oh! And we'll have to tell Seamus and Neville if he joins as well!"
"And Hermione!" Daphne said, making Susan squeal again.
Harry smiled at the scene, then frowned as he looked down at the ground.
"Troubled Potter?" Efraim asked.
"Why wouldn't Madam Longbottom want Neville in the Knights?" he asked, "and why is Shacklebolt up in arms over Ernie talking with members?"
"Things have been tense these last few years," Efraim said, once again checking to make sure his grandfather wasn't paying attention, "Shacklebolts been holding back the War Dogs, they're the members who train for combat; they haven't been active since the end of the Grindelwald war, but they still train, and Old Shacklebolt doesn't want to fight anymore, so he keeps restricting them, he's also been cracking down on the secret of the Rune Knights, used to be people knew about the knights, not all of them mind you, but government officials, muggle officials; you know, the people in charge, but Shacklebolt weaved some powerful mind arts and made them forget about us, he's been restricting the secret just like he's restricting the War Dogs."
"You sure know a lot about all of this." Harry said dryly, making Efraim laugh.
"Knowledge is power my friend," he said with a smirk, "and in the Rune Knights, Knowledge keeps you in power."
"Efraim!" Shafiq shouted, making the boy jump guiltily, "what have I told you about spreading rumors among the new recruits?"
"To do it out of the council halls and away from you so you can have plausible deniability?" Efraim shouted back.
"Good man!" Shafiq said gruffly before sitting down in the chair Sirius had just been in, the animagus now passed out on the ground still clutching his last tankard, "serve me up McLeod! Let me show you why Cyrus and Albus once knew me as Iron Stomach!"
As the sun set and torches began to light the dark forest, the group of drinking, partying Irish, Scots, and Brits made their way to the stadium, bidding each other farewell before ascending to their seats, meeting the Weasleys before entering the Ministers box.
"Cor! Look at the view!" Ron breathed as they were ushered into their seats.
"Once in a lifetime view." Harry agreed as he shared a grin with his best friend.
"It is a nice view, isn't it?" Sirius asked, leaning against the railing as he looked off into the distance, "great for a family reunion, isn't it Cissy?" he turned an inquisitive stare to his cousin as she and her husband stepped into the Ministers box.
"Lord Black," Narcissa Malfoy greeted, keeping her gaze firmly ahead as Lucius led her to some seats further down, Draco slowed down and stopped by Daphne, "Greengrass," he greeted stiffly.
"Malfoy," Daphne returned with a neutral tone, things had improved back at the castle with the slytherins, but she didn't trust the boy any further than Gryf could throw him.
"Is your sister here at the game? I was hoping to talk to her-" he began, only to be cut off by Daphne.
"-she doesn't care for Quidditch and opted to stay home," she said coldly, "I'd keep your eyes on Pansy, Draco, come for my sister and I'll make Sirius look like a saint."
Draco blushed a bright red, "That's not what I meant," he snarled, stomping over to his parents.
"He's in a right mood, isn't he?" Ron asked.
"Draco's been off since Sirius attacked." Daphne said, making Sirius shift slightly.
"They were threatening you," Sirius grumbled, crossing his arms like a petulant child, "you gave me Bacon."
"I know Sirius," Daphne said, reassuringly patting his arm.
"Did you say that was your cousin?" Harry asked, finally processing what his godfather had said.
"Huh? Oh yeah, that's dear old Cissy," he sighed, "she married Malfoy back in her sixth year."
"My condolences.' Daphne said, making their friends chuckle, from there the night progressed routinely barring meeting a house elf named Winky; Ron had almost stepped over the edge of the railing when the Veela came out and Ginny looked ready to go right after him were it not for he and Hermione pulling the two back. Harry was left strangely unaffected.
The game began in earnest and everyone could only watch on in amazement as Ireland and Bulgaria went head to head, with the Irish quickly pulling ahead and trouncing the Bulgarian chasers; meanwhile Victor Krum and Aiden Lynch were diving after the snitch, ending in Krum pulling out of the dive at the last second and Aiden Plowing into the ground at high speeds.
As the game continued things got more brutal, fouls being called on the Bulgarian beaters for a late hit, resulting in the veela mascots angrily rising into the air while the leprechauns Taunted their fellow magical beings.
By the time the game was finished, Aiden Lynch looked a little punch drunk, and Krum was sporting a broken nose while holding the snitch in the air in victory.
"That was some of the best flying I've ever seen!" Harry exclaimed over the cheers of the crowd, "I really want to try out that wronski feint-"
"You will do no such thing." Daphne said icily.
"Yes dear…' Harry sighed dramatically, making those around him laugh.
"Got you on a short leash, eh harry?" Ron snickered while Harry just rolled his eyes good naturedly.
After the teams were presented in the Minister's box, the group once again made the trek back to the tents, once again stopping at the Irish encampment for more celebration, this time some of the French spectators joined them; being lead by Mrs. Delacour who immediately sought out Mrs. Finnegan and Mrs. Macmillan.
"My friends!" She cheered as the two women hugged her, "I have brought family along Zis time, I 'ope zat is not a problem?"
"The more the merrier!" Fergus shouted, raising his tankard as the others cheered; quickly welcoming the French newcomers with open arms.
Harry watched as music and laughter filled the air, he pointed out Seamus to Ron, Hermione and Daphne when the Irish lad pulled a fiddle from somewhere and immediately sped up the band with his fanciful playing; dancing about like a practiced showman to the laughter and cheers of the crowd.
"GET IT SEAMUS!" Fred and George roared with laughter, clapping haphazardly to the beat as they downed butterbeers like water.
Harry-whether from the butterbeers or the atmosphere-stood and held his hand out to Daphne, "care to dance?" He asked nervously.
Daphne smiled and immediately stood, taking Harry's hand and leading him onto the makeshift dance floor, the two rapidly spinning and moving to the beat as Hermione and Ron cheered them on.
"How lively!" Efraim whooped as he walked into the clearing, a gaggle of Bulgarians behind him, looking around in interest as they came to a stop beside Ron and Hermione, "congratulations on the win my friends!" He exclaimed as he sat down beside them, the Bulgarians-just like the french-were happily invited into the party with gentle ribbing.
"Ve fought a good fight." One of the Bulgarians rumbled, making Ron and Hermione look over.
Ron let out a gasp as he realized just who was beside them, "thats-thats-thats-thats Victor Krum!" Ron whisper-shouted, making Efraim laugh as Victor scowled.
"Another fan for you my friend." Efraim snickered, patting the larger boy's shoulder.
"Ne mislekh, che irlandtsite shte bŭdat fenove*" Krum grumbled to him.
"kazakhte sŭshtoto za frenskiya predi godina." Efraim chuckled, then nudged the quidditch player and gave a not so subtle glance to a disinterested Hermione. "otidete, pomolete khubavoto momiche da tantsuva, zabavlyavaĭte se, piĭte! zasluzhavash"
Krum stared at the boy with searching eyes before giving a curt nod, walking around a still stuttering Ron to Hermione, who was already beginning to pull out a book, "my name Victor Krum." He said in a heavily accented voice, holding his hand out with the palm raised up, "vat is your name?"
"Hermione, Hermione Granger, it's a pleasure to meet you." Hermione said politely as she shook his hand.
"Hermy-ow-ninny." Krum tried to sound the name out, scowling when he couldn't pronounce it right, "no disrespect, I vil work on it."
"iskash krasivo momiche da tantsuva i ne mozhesh da proiznesesh imeto ĭ?" Hermione asked, making all three boys stare at her in shock, as Hermione smirked, letting go of Krums hand, "ti si smel."
"What'd she say?" Ron asked Efraim, who immediately shushed him.
Krum narrowed his eyes as the corner of his lip quirked up, "izvinyavam se, angliĭskiyat ne e pŭrviyat mi ezik, vse pak shte imam chestta da tantsuvam s vas; ako shte me imash." He said respectfully, holding his hand out once more to Hermione, palm raised up.
Hermione gave him a genuine smile and gently placed her hand into his, standing as he led them to the pseudo-dancefloor and quickly joining the fast paced dance.
"How do they do it?" Ron asked grumpily as he watched his friends dance, "how can they just walk up to people and ask them to dance so easily? Krum didn't even speak the same language and Hermione happily went with him."
"I didn't think she would," Efraim confessed, making Ron look at him, he was watching the two twirling around in front of them, a twinge of jealousy in his eyes, "she didn't seem the type, I was hoping to simply loosen his tongue, not go dancing.'
"That's the life of us wingmen." Ron sighed.
"You sure about that?" Efraim asked, a hint of joviality returning to his voice, "the way you were talking, it sounds like you're hung up on a witch."
Ron spluttered as his ears turned a brilliant red, making Efraim laugh, before the conversation could continue an explosion filled the air, destroying a row of tents and sending most to the ground, "by the gods!" Efraim shouted, hauling Ron to his feet as the camp exploded into chaos, people fleeing left and right as Fergus McLeod brandished his wand, firing spells at a group of wizards in dark cloaks in skull masks; sending spells into the crowd as they levitate muggles above them.
"TO ARMS!" Fergus roared as he duelled three of the wizards, his clan and several others charging into the fray, "LIGHT EM UP BOYS!"
"HARRY! GET EVERYONE OUT!" Sirius shouted as he fended off spells, protecting Apolline Delacour and a small group of terrified French witches, Apolline was likewise firing off spells, yelling at her charges to flee. Shafiq was trading spells with a man in dull black armor, his skull helmet grinning blankly at his angry opponent as more like him apparated into the clearing.
Harry forced himself to his feet and helped Daphne to hers, the two quickly running to Efraim and Ron as they helped the younger children and friends away.
Harry spotted a crying little girl, huddled up against a destroyed tent, refusing to move; without a second thought Harry diverted towards her, Daphne right behind him as he scooped the little girl up and kept running, a skull masked Wizard stepped in his way and he sent him flying with an overpowered Flipendo.
Another appeared to his right but was sent crashing into a post as Krum strode towards the chaos, angrily slapping spell fire away, "zastanete i se biĭte, sinove na Durmstrang!" He roared as his schoolmates ran to his call, creating a makeshift barrier between the fighting and the terrified civilians, zastanete i zashtitete novite ni priyateli!"
Whatever he said seemed to invigorate them further as they ran into the fight, some didn't even use wands, instead they tackled the attacking wizards. Pelting them with punches and kicks while the spell fire rained around them.
"Get to the forest!" Harry shouted at his friends, finally reaching Ron and Efraim.
"My friends need me!" Efraim retorted, "take charge Harry, Daphne, lead them out of here!"
So they ran, heading deep into the forest with a group of terrified teenagers and children, the little girl in Harry's arms was quietly sobbing into his shoulder.
"Ssssh, it's alright," Harry soothed as they moved, "you're safe, you're okay."
The little girl blubbered out a response in French, prompting Daphne to lean in and begin cooing soft reassurances to the terrified girl.
"We have everyone?" Susan called, looking over the terrified group, "is anyone missing?"
Instantly the other teens began to shout and cry, the cacophony deafening and making the little girl cry harder.
Harry handed the girl off to Daphne and strode forward, "SHUT IT!" He roared, making everyone quiet down and stared at him in surprise, even his friends were looking at him in shock, Harry wasn't usually one to start yelling, "I know it's scary." He continued, watching as some of the multilingual teens began to translate for their peers, "but if we continue to panic then we help no one! Now, Show of hands, who's missing a sibling?" Several hands raised, "go to Hermione," Harry ordered, motioning to his friend who was scraped up but otherwise fine,a terrified Balder was clutching her hand like a lifeline, "and we'll do our best to locate your missing siblings, the rest of you, wands out, I don't care if you don't want to fight; if the fighting reaches here then we need to be ready to defend ourselves! Those who are injured report to me in five minutes, and I will help where I can."
As the teens began moving around, some towards Hermione, others pulling their wands and looking about, Harry turned to Daphne and Ron, both looked worse for wear, with blood slowly trailing down Daphne's forehead, and Ron with an impressive gash on his arm, Susan was watching the treeline with steely eyes, "where's Seamus, Ginny and the twins?" Harry asked.
"I saw Seamus leading some younger teens deeper into the forest before we ran for it." Susan said, "I think I spotted the other Weasley's"
"They chose the wrong campsite to attack," Daphne said with a small, proud, smile, still holding the now calm girl in her hands, occasionally sniffling, "the McLeods are a hardy bunch, but add the Finnegans, MacGuffins, a horde of Bulgarians and the French? I doubt the fighting will continue for long."
"I agree," Harry said as he pulled his wand and healed the cut on Daphne's head and the gash on Ron's arm, "is she injured?"
Daphne shook her head, "just terrified, poor dear lost track of her mother before the attack."
Harry grimaced, "can you watch her while I start healing?" He asked.
"Of course not Harry." Daphne said kindly, "in fact," she looked at the little girl, "Voudriez-vous m'aider avec Gabrielle blessée?•" She asked gently, the little girl sniffled and nodded, "me and Gabrielle will help you Harry." Daphne said with a smile.
"Glad to have the help." Harry said, ruffling Gabrielle's hair and getting a watery giggle from the little girl.
For the next thirty minutes Harry and Daphne were busy healing minor injuries, with the worst of the lot being a broken arm from being slammed into a tree during the ensuing chaos.
The whispered spells and groaning of the newly healed were all that filled their small clearing, save for Gabrielle helping the younger kids under Daphne's gentle instruction; bandaids and gauze going around small bruises and scrapes.
The shouted incantation had Harry whirling around. Wand at the ready as a spell shot into the air, an eerie green skull with a snake winding out of its mouth forming in the sky. Soon accompanied by screams of terror by all who saw it.
"The Dark Mark…" Daphne whispered hoarsely.
"That's the direction Seamus went!" Susan called.
Harry and Ron shared a look before they nodded, 'keep everyone safe!" Harry said and Hermione, "let's go Ron!"
The two began running towards the direction of the Dark Mark, Susan quickly following.
"I'm not leaving a knight in distress and without backup." She muttered to Harry as the two took the lead, Ron bringing up the rear just in case.
"Thank you." He said as they burst into yet another clearing, just in time to see Seamus and the twins hit the ground, George and Fred Huddled over Ginny in an attempt to protect her.
"Protego!" Susan shouted, erecting a shield around their friends as Harry pushed past the adults to stand in front of Seamus.
"Expelliarmus!" Harry roared, sending three wands flying, with Ron and Susan quickly backing him up.
"STOP!" A harried voice screamed before the Ministry officials could retaliate against Harry, "THAT'S MY SON!"
Many lowered their wands, only Barty Crouch and Amos Diggory kept theirs aimed at the teens, "which one of you conjured it!?" Crouch demanded to know, "you've been discovered at the scene of the crime!"
"Barty! They're just kids!" Arthur Weasley exclaimed as he and his eldest sons quickly pushed past them to Harry and the others.
"That one just disarmed three Ministry officials!" Amos accused.
"I'll have a go at anyone 5hat tries to hurt my friends!" Harry said hotly.
"Don't you know who this is?" Arthur demanded to know, "this is Harry Potter, Amos! Are you saying the Boy Who Lived is the one to summon THAT?"
Amos had the decency to look abashed as he lowered his wand, "I suppose not." He said sheepishly, then looked at Seamus, "you boy! Did you see who cast the Dark Mark?"
"I think I did," Seamus muttered, still glaring at the wizards around him, "but I can't tell ya what he looked like, too dark; but he was standing over there when he cast it." He pointed across the clearing to a clump of bushes.
"Let's see what we can find then!" Amos said hotly, striding to the bushes and looking through them "aha!" He exclaimed, pulling out an unconscious house elf who was clutching a wand in her hands.
"Winky?" Harry questioned.
"You know this elf?" One of the aurors asked Harry.
"She was in the Minister's box," Harry muttered, "holding a seat for- '' He stopped talking as they all looked at Mr. Crouch, who was ashen faced and shaking in rage at finding his house elf at the center of all this. Soon they had her ennervated and questioned, but no more answers came save for the wand being confirmed as the one that summoned the Dark Mark, as well as being Seamus' wand that he had lost earlier in the evening; instead Crouch dragged Winky away, promising clothes for the distraught house elf.
With nothing left to do, Arthur rounded up the kids and began leading them out of the forest, the aurors following as a pseudo guard for them.
"Buggers almost had us." Seamus growled as they walked, "didn't even offer a warnin' or a how you do, glad you three came when you did."
"We saw that Dark Mark and got worried." Harry said, wand still in his hand at his side, "left the others with Daphne and Hermione and booked it over."
"Can't believe they would accuse us of summoning that." Ginny mumbled, looking quite pale and shaky.
"They're on edge." Arthur said quietly to them, "the Dark Mark hasn't been seen in over a decade."
"What's so important about this dark mark?" Ron asked, frustrated that he didn't understand just what was going on.
"Ron, that Mark is You-Know-Who's mark." Susan began to explain before Arthur could as they stepped out of the treeline, "Death Eaters would put it over any house they attacked, it usually meant everyone inside was dead. Seeing that tonight was like having HIM back."
"Enough of this talk." Arthur whispered urgently, "we're about to get to camp -what's that sound?"
Everyone strained to listen as a chant seemed to fill the air, Harry perked his ears and looked towards the Irish encampment before breaking out into a full grin, "look!"
And look they did as they watched Krum raise a fist in the air, bloodied and bruised but with an intense fire in his eyes as he stood atop an overturned barrel, "URA!" He shouted as he aimed his wand at the dark Mark, a light shining from It and putting a hole into the monstrous symbol.
"URA!" The other Bulgarians echoed the chant, soon joined by the McLeods, the McGuffins and the Finnegans, Sirius and the other Members of the knights likewise cheering with them while the French let out their own whooping cheers; several Death Eaters tied up in the center of the camp, slumped over in defeat. All of the defenders raised their wands towards the dark mark, obliterating it as they continued to cheer.
"They captured some." The auror from before whispered in shock.
"Never underestimate the Irish and the Scots when they get together." Seamus said seriously, sporting a wide grin as he raised his own wand, "URA!"
Harry laughed as Sirius trotted up to them, Daphne in tow, the young woman not hesitating to immediately hug Harry in relief.
"Glad you're all alright." He said with a grin, "you missed quite the tussel!"
"Those Death Eaters didn't know what hit them." Fergus boomed proudly, "we gave them what for!"
The crowd cheered once more, leaving the aurors flabbergasted.
"Ve fought vith fire and steel!" Krum declared, arm slung around a grinning Efraim, soot and dirt covering the boy but doing nothing to ruin his mood.
"That you did." Shafiq said with a tired smile, his eyes troubled as he turned to the aurors, "a lot of injured on our end, though-thankfully-most of the children have been treated. We have seven Death Eaters captured." He turned back and roared out, "AND THREE DEAD! URA!"
"Who were they?" Arthur asked quietly as the aurors went forward to officially arrest the captured Death Eaters.
"Frier Nott, Goyle Sr. And Walden McNair, Sirius and Fergus took them out." He said softly, then turned back around, "let's all get to bed, it's been a long night and the sun will be up soon."
"You're ignoring the McLeod tradition of partying after a victory!" McLeod said in jest, making some laugh around him.
"I'll buy you all a pint later." Sirius called, making many cheers once more before beginning to disperse, Krum paused for a moment to seek out Hermione in the crowd, the young witch handing off the last lost child to their parents, "hermy-ow-knee." He called, almost getting her name right as he conjured a piece of paper and a pencil, writing down his address, "vill you write?" He asked, holding the piece of paper out to him, Hermione took the paper and gave him a smile.
"Of course Victor." She said warmly, making the quidditch player smile.
"Gabrielle is back with her mother." Daphne told Harry, "you should have seen that big smile when we returned her."
"I'm glad she's with her family," Harry said softly as they reached their own tents, miraculously still standing despite the fight that went down.
"Lets get some sleep," Shafiq said, ushering Balder into his room while the teens tiredly began to trudge towards their own rooms, whispering amongst each other, "you all did good today!" Shafiq called, making the teens look back, "I heard how you all helped the younger children when the fighting started, you all do the Rune Knights proud."
"Thank you sir." Harry said with a small grin before disappearing into his room for much deserved sleep.
Shafiq's smile fell as he walked over to Sirius and Artie, 'your parents alright?" He asked the Macmillan Heir.
"They left after the cup with Ernie, probably won't know about this until tomorrow." He muttered, "why would the Death Eaters attack now of all times?"
"Well you celebrate, you get drunk, you start doing stupid shit," Sirius said simply, "im sure they got big in the britches and decided to have 'fun', they're not what concerns me though.' He turned to Shafiq, his eyes gaining clarity, "who were those men in armor?"
"I don't know," Shafiq muttered, "but they matched me spell for spell, and we didn't capture any of them." He looked to the tent flap for a moment before turning back, "the council will have to be made aware of this...and I think we should accelerate the recruits' training, maybe even have them take weekends away from Hogwarts. If tonight was any indication, then they're gonna need it."
(I didn't think the Irish would be fans)*
(You said the same thing about the French a year ago)(go, ask the pretty girl to dance, have fun, drink! You deserve it.)*
(Asking a pretty girl to dance and you can't pronounce her name?) (You are a bold one.)*
(apologies, english is not my first language, i would still be honored to dance with you; if you will have me.)*
(stand and fight sons of durmstrang! stand and protect our new friends!)