They all know it. They can feel it in the air, in the earth.
Voldemort and his followers are coming.
Molly clutches at Arthur like a lifeline. They can see, in the distance, the giants approaching, and their own fates and destinies following quickly in the creatures’ footfalls.
“Is that all that’s left?” Ron asks quietly, a look of grim determination on his face. “I didn’t realise we’d removed so much of his forces.”
They all stand and watch the soldiers falling into line before them. Remus is starting to gruff and snap at the growing forces. He is pacing, almost on all fours. He is the only werewolf in the Light side’s forces, watching the Dark’s assembling troops with impatience.
“I can’t stand it any longer!” he cries, scratching his arm with his sharpened nails. He’s getting itchy from the anticipation.
“Remus!” Tonks barks. “Just drink your Wolfsbane and be quiet!” She scratches her head and then glares at Remus. “Now you made me edgy!”
Remus ruffs and he glares at her before slinking off towards the medic tent.
Harry is now a twenty-year-old General of the Muggle army. He had taken it upon himself to reveal his true self to his troops after the Ministry had been attacked by Voldemort and all of the people inside had been killed.
The Muggles are edgy, being around so many magic-users, but they hold formation after Harry glares at them, even shooting a rifle into the air to get them to control themselves.
The Horcrux hunt had taken a full two years to finish, but it had ended with the death of Hermione, Charlie Weasley and his wife, Monica.
A roaring noise fills the air as Hermione, Ron and Harry sneak into the Death Eater headquarters. They crossed the threshold with only three close alarms, but the Death Eaters they came across had been quickly rendered unconscious and tied up in Anti-Apparation wards. At times like these, Harry was most appreciative for the ability to be invisible.
The roar is repeated, closer. The door in front of the trio shudders and groans. A loud thump reverberates around the room, and the door bends inwards with a crunch of metal on bone.
Hermione stares. “What–?”
The door flies inwards, narrowly missing Hermione. Harry’s Seeker abilities had kicked in and he had grabbed her out of the path of the door just in time.
The Death Eater behind her isn’t so lucky.
A large plume of flames streams in the door, barely missing them. Harry and Hermione both cast Flame-Freezing Charms on the next plume, which makes them all laugh. The tickling of the flames on their bodies is the thing that gives them away, even after all the careful planning.
A Death Eater fires a curse at them, but is distracted by the thing behind the flames.
The form of a large, black dragon holds its wings half-open as it breaks through the concrete walls. A familiar figure is perched on the dragon’s back.
“Charlie!” Ron yells without thinking.
Luckily, all the Death Eaters are too busy trying to stop the dragon to notice the voiceless call. Another plume of flames flies at them, and Harry throws up a shield just in time. It’s mercilessly hot inside the bubble.
Can it get any hotter? Harry wonders to himself. The flames die down again.
“What do we do?” Ron asks, looking between Hermione and Harry.
Hermione is silent. Her mouth is open, but nothing was coming out. Ron goggles at her. It is the first time he’d ever known her to be speechless with doubt about anything.
Harry drops the spell keeping them hidden and turns to his friends. “Start looking for the Horcrux!” Harry hisses. “Charlie just offered us a distraction.”
The trio start making their way around the wall of the room when Charlie starts firing hexes and curses at anything the moves, whether they are friend or foe.
A Cutting Curse flashes close to Hermione, and she collapses.
“Hermione!” Harry and Ron call, forgetting the battle. They rush to their friend and duck down as the dragon’s tail whips above their head, destroying the wall they’ve been following.
Hermione is lying in a pool of blood, her head almost completely severed from her shoulders. She is staring up at the ceiling with glassy eyes. There is no movement in her body, and the blood dripping from her neck is not being pumped out.
She was dead before she had even felt the curse.
Behind them, four Killing Curses hit the dragon in the chest, and the dragon collapses in a heap, crushing a handful of Death Eaters and Charlie beneath it.
Harry and Ron scream their rage and the Death Eaters turn from the dragon to aim as many curses at the pair as they can. Harry is nicked by a Cutting Curse, while Ron is hit by a Stunner. Harry revives his friend and the pair set about capturing the Death Eaters with a single-minded focus that makes most of the Death Eaters run.
A few Death Eaters escape, but they are the few that Harry and Ron have not yet captured and placed Anti-Disapparation wards on.
“Watch out!” Ron yells, pointing behind Harry.
Harry spins around. A dozen Dementors are descending on him, and he raises his wand, picturing Hermione and Ginny studying in the lounge of the Burrow. Harry had found the pair doing that more and more often over the summer.
“Expecto Patronum!” he yells, and a band of weak mist sputters from the end of his wand.
The image of Hermione collapsing, of Dumbledore falling over the edge, of Sirius flying through the veil, of Cedric crumpling, crashes through his mind, and the mist almost fades. Harry thinks of dinners with the Weasleys, of Christmas at Hogwarts, at lessons with Dumbledore, of flying, anything that will reinforce the Patronus against the shuddering cold of the Dementors.
“How do we get out of here?” Harry yells, sending his Patronus, still severely weakened, out against the Dementors.
Ron vanishes with the broken and battered body of Charlie that he had managed to free from under the dragon, and the bloody body of Hermione. He reappears a minute later and he wraps a hand around Harry’s wrist.
“We always have an escape plan!” Ron calls.
Harry feels the familiar squeezing of Disapparation and lets his Patronus go. When he finds his feet on solid ground, Harry collapses and lets the tears run. Beside him, Harry feels Ron doing the same.
So Harry entered the army, determined to learn how to beat Voldemort without resorting to magic. Harry would never be able to beat Voldemort with magic; the Dark Lord had too much experience, too much knowledge of the power for Harry to stand a real chance, love or no.
The army had been an invigorating experience. Harry had become fitter than even Charlie had been, and he had learnt many a way to kill without resorting to magic. Harry was treated just like everyone else in the army.
Every now and then, an officer would challenge Harry to some impossible task and Harry would come out on top. The officers never worked out how he did it, but he came to be known as ‘Impossible Harry’.
When Harry told them all about his magical abilities, many took it as a huge joke, until he performed ‘Levicorpus’ on one of them. After that, they all came to realise that his magical ability was what made him ‘impossible’, so they started setting him even harder tasks.
Every time he came out on top, and he was placed on all the army teams. The platoon had yet to be defeated if Harry was on it.
Harry had only just returned to the magical world a week ago. He is still getting questions from Weasleys and friends about where he had been, what he was doing and how it was going to help them in the battle he was quickly arranging.
A young wizard running towards the collection of warriors from the Light pulls Harry out of his thoughts. The young wizard, sixteen or seventeen, holds his hat on his head with one hand, his other clutching his wand tightly. He runs to Harry and whispers something in his ear as Remus returns, a little calmer than when he left.
“What do you mean, you lost it?!” Harry demands, glaring down at the man.
“I mean, sir, that the Thestrals ate the key’s hiding place.” The man stares at Harry, who is cursing and glaring out at the battlefield.
“At least we have the other plans.” Harry turns to Remus and the others. “Get ready. We’re setting off the traps and then it’s your turn.”
Remus nods and crouches down. He hopes that the moon will appear again soon; he is not looking forward to fighting as a human.
Harry watches the trolls and other creatures assembling below them, and then raises his arm. “Ready the catapults!”
Behind them, ropes crack and the sounds of spells uttered can be heard. Balls of Stink Sap-filled Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum bubbles are being loaded onto the catapults. Not even the twins are responsible for this. Neville is. Ginny had never considered the possibility that Neville was a prankster.
Harry’s hands drop and the catapults throw the bubbles into the ranks of the opposing army. The bubbles burst on impact, smothering everything it touches in Stink Sap. The bubbles make the enemy stick to everything that they touch, including each other, while the Stink Sap makes them want to move as fast away from the stuff as they can get.
Neville nods happily. “Stink sap,” he says succinctly. “Never doubt its usefulness.”
“Drooble’s bubbles should never be used that way,” Tonks says, looking at two Death Eaters emerging from the ranks. One of them has their wand stuck to their forehead and is trying to get it off, the other slipping and sliding in the Sap.
“I don’t think that’s what Moody meant by ‘constant vigilance’.” Ron sits down on the hill to watch the show. The war has hardened him, as has the death of his brother and girlfriend, but he is not yet so hardened as to avoid watching a spectacle of the enemy.
“Maybe not, but it works.” Harry shrugs. Harry looks out at the battlefield, then summons one of the Muggle officers.
“Sir?” the man asks, saluting Harry.
Harry returns the salute. “Get the big guns ready.”
The man nods, salutes again and leaves the group, running quickly down to the platoons gathering at the foot of the hill. The whole time, he is shouting orders.
Down in the ranks of soldiers, men are gathering in groups and climbing inside big vehicles. They are all metal with long tracks that can take the thing over mud, river, grass or trees. Each is painted in mottled colours of brown and shades of green. Coming out of the front of the large box-shaped bodies are long barrels.
“What are they?” Ron asks in awe.
“Tanks.” Harry grins and raises his hands. The tank barrels rise and fire.
Harry turns to the battlefield. Large explosions rock the field as the shells from the tanks hit the sticky opposition. Harry raises his hands again and the low rumbling of the tanks becomes a thunderous roar as they rise over the hill and start down the opposite side, heading directly for the remaining ranks of the Dark.
The tanks devastate what is left of the opposition. Whoever was left, ran. Harry spots Voldemort running away. He looks at Remus. He frowns and points his wand at the sky. “Miralius luna!”
The clouds split and the moon shines on the battlefield, allowing the Light to see the Dark, but not the other way around.
“Go get ‘em, guys!” Harry yells, raising his wand at the sky.
The Light runs down the small hill to the meet the Dark. The Muggles race to battle, their firearms in their hands.