April came quickly, and along with it news of Harry, Ron and Hermione. They had been spotted at Gringotts bank, breaking in and then fleeing on a large dragon. Thankfully they hadn't been caught, but now there wasn't a single witch or wizard that wasn't looking for them.
They found the dragon a week later wandering in the forest, having been abused, blinded and still wounded.
The trio had disappeared again and Death Eaters were searching everywhere. Molly even went as far as closing the floo down to keep unwanted visitors at bay. Together they strengthened and replenished their defences every night to keep them safe. Nessa kept her eyes peeled for Severus every night, holding and rocking her sweet boy who was howling with tears streaming down his face.
He had begun picking up on her ragged emotions and it brought them both to tears.
He didn't show. He never did.
Her heart began to clench wildly at anything that reminded her of Severus or their time together. It brought tears to her eyes and made her breath come quicker when her mind drifted.
Not once over the next three weeks did he show or send word of anything. She was beginning to believe that what they were telling her may be true.
Her Severus may be gone or hurt somewhere she could not reach and there was nothing she could do about it because of their son.
"You can't do this to yourself," Arthur told her softly, "You don't know for sure what's happened to him. You'll only drive yourself bonkers if you keep on this way."
"What if he is dead? I can't go on without him."
"You will go on. You have your son and I know you'd rather die than leave him to be raised by anyone other than yourself or Severus."
He was right. She wanted to raise him, with Severus preferably but if he was gone she would do all she could.
"I've always trusted Dumbledore. He said Severus was here to help some odd years ago and I still believe him. It's hard right now but he is a strong and capable man. He's okay."
"He has to be."
An owl thudded against the window and Arthur retrieved it quickly, "It's from Ginny."
Nessa wiped her eyes, "What's it say?"
Arthur gave the note a once over and used his wand to produce a small flame, held under the parchment it began to reveal the hidden message slowly.
Arthur read it as it appeared, "Things are heating up here." he chuckled, "Clever girl," and continued, "I hope everyone is alright. We are doing okay but it's getting worse day by day. Any news from number 8?"
Number eight referred to the letter H and its place within the alphabet, and H meaning Harry.
Ginny would be devastated that there was nothing we could tell her. She was holding out hope that Harry would be back soon, but right now there was no end in sight.
"I'll write back to her tonight and let her know. Anything you want to add?"
Nessa shook her head, "No. Not today."
She walked off when his quil began to scratch to check on her sleeping son.
Upstairs he was still dozing softly as he held part of a large black cloak that had belonged to Severus in his tiny fist. Next to him on the table was a large coin given to her by Ginny over winter break.
"I need you to hold onto something for me?" Ginny told her seriously on her last day before returning to school
"Sure what is it?"
She held out a large gold coin.
Nessa took the coin and flipped it over, once, twice, and three times feeling very confused, "Why are you giving me money?"
She smiled, "It's not real. We used them a few years ago for Dumbeldore's army, a group we created to teach students how to defend themselves, it will let you know when I need you when we all need you at Hogwarts."
It was supposed to heat and vibrate when something important was happening or when the Order was needed. Ginny said that Hermione gave her the idea last year over the summer, just in case.
Remus, Arthur and every Order member had one too, so they would be prepared when the time came.
So far it acted as a paperweight on her bedside table for all her unsent letters to Severus, but still, she slipped it into her pocket, just in case.
April was drawing to a close and so was the afternoon sun that hung low in the sky. Nivaan was suckling softly on her breast, his eyes dropping as she rocked him slowly in front of the warm fireplace.
Molly was knitting beside her and Arthur was tinkering with a rubber duck off to the side, releasing joyful sounds with every squeak.
It was peaceful, she finally felt as if she could relax, that was until the coin in her pocket grew nearly warm enough to burn as it vibrated uncontrollably.
As did Arthurs.
They froze for only a split second before jumping to their feet.
"Gather Nivaan's blanket and bag. We need to hurry," Molly instructed, "Arthur, activate the floo."
"Already on it darling," he told her as he swished his wand and muttered the spell
Within moments they were throwing down ash and walking through bright green fire. Nessa was dizzy as she stepped out into a quiet and beautifully simple room.
"Andromeda!" Molly shouted a split second after entering just as she turned to Nessa who was still cradling Nivaan, "You have two options honey. One stay here with your son or two leave him here with my good friend and Nymphadora's mother, Andromeda."
The fire blazed again and Remus stepped through with Tonks and their own child swaddled tightly, as an older woman bustled through to them
"Is it time?" Andromeda asked looking frightened
Remus nodded with a grim smile, "Take good care of him, we'll be back soon." he spoke in a low and even tone full of love, and worry
Tonks smiled and kissed her boy softly, "We love you, sweet boy, behave."
"Molly, floo to the Hogshead, we'll wait for you there. Hurry." Remus told them as he pulled his wife close to his heart
"Alright, dear. Be safe."
Nessa contemplated for a moment and turned to Andromeda, "Take care of him please."
The woman smiled sadly, "I will darling. Be safe, he will be waiting for you here."
She kissed her son goodbye, "I love you, baby boy, so much," and she took Molly's hand, "Let's go."
Molly tugged her through the floo as Nivaan began to wail. Her heart broke but she needed to go and find Severus. Needed to know if he was okay if he was alive.
The castle was bursting with movement. Everyone close to Seventeen was armed with their wands and taking orders from McGonagall, "This is a war, people! Keep your wands at hand. We never want to be caught unprepared. Molly!"
Molly rushed for her and embraced her tightly, "What's happening?"
"Well Harry is here and he's looking for something. He doesn't know what yet so we need to give him time."
"Alright, and what about-..."
"Your daughter was in the Great hall."
Nodding Molly ran off for her daughter and left her alone.
Swallowing her fear she looked her old professor in the eyes, "McGonagall I promise that I-..."
She didn't finish because McGonagall had thrown her arms around her and squeezed.
"We were all so worried about you. After everything Severus has done..."
"He's done nothing wrong."
"My dear the things he's done as headmaster here is..."
Surprise flooded her brain, "When was the last time you saw him?"
"Just an hour ago when Harry confronted him..."
Nessa let out a sigh of relief, "He's okay."
"Not for long if we win this he'll be thrown into Azkaban for what he's done."
"I promise you that Severus is only doing what Dumbledore ordered him to do…" She took the older woman's hands, "I need to find him. Protect him… please.."
"You're going to need proof to back up those claims."
They would find proof and get him away from all of this for good.
"For now. How can I help?"
"We need to raise a shield. Help us do that."
Together they walked into the courtyard Where the other professors were waiting.
Near them Flitwick holds his wand aloft, his face grimly determined.
Across the yard is sprout.
They all murmur together, "Protego Maxima... Finato Duri... Repello Inimicum..." a glowing electrified magical shield rises from the tips of each of their wands, which expands ever outward around the entire school and to the ground.
Neville runs up to McGonagall winded and out of breath, "We finished."
"Good. Now Longbottom there is a bridge near the river I need you to take care of. Destroy it and prevent anyone from getting over."
"Let me get this straight, Professor. You're giving us permission to do this?"
"That is to blow it up." he paused, "Boom."
She nodded again, " That is correct, Longbottom. Boom."
He gave her a smile so wide it had to have hurt, "Wicked." then he frowned. "Um... exactly how do you propose we do this, Professor?"
Professor McGonagall sighed, "Why don't you confer with Mr. Finiggan. As I recall, he has a particular proclivity for pyrotechnics."
Neville and Ginny glance back at Seamus, "I can bring 'er down." he told them confidently
"That's the spirit. Now off you go."
Neville, Ginny, Seamus and the DA peel off without another word
Flitwick turned to Nessa and McGonagall, "You realize, of course, that
nothing we do will be able to keep out You-Know-Who indefinitely."
Sprout interrupted grinning, "That doesn't mean we can't hold him up."
"That doesn't mean we can't hold him up." McGonagall agreed, "And his name is Voldemort, Filius. You might as well use it. He's going to try to kill you either way."
With that, McGonagall raises her wand and points it in the direction of the Great Hall, "Piertotum Locomotor!"
Instantly, all along the corridor statues and suits of armor come to life on their plinths. As McGonagall and the others watch, the statues parade down row by row with their weapons drawn.
"Hogwarts is threatened! Man the boundaries and protect us! Do your duty to our school!" McGonagall commands pointing in the direction they should head.
As the statues thunder past, heading toward the viaduct, McGonagall watches with evident pleasure, "I've always wanted to use that spell."
With a rumble the ground begins to shake and a boom echos through the air as hundreds of spells hit the shield.
Those that miss landed among the grass, setting it ablaze.
As fire fills the sky again, Fred and George burst out of the castle, grinning madly.
Fred howler to the night sky, "Nice night for it!"
"Correct George! No better time!"
They run off together presumably to somewhere more exciting as more loud rumbles shake the ground.