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Chapter Eight
Ronald Nightingale

~Harry, call an Order meeting.  Voldemort's going to attack St Mungo's~

As soon as he received the message, he sent out a call to all of the Order members and prepared to get up and leave.  He caught the confused look on Sev's face and quickly explained.

“ Sev, I have to go somewhere and do something.  I'll see you later.”

“ What brought this on?  It seemed rather sudden…”

“ Got a message from someone that I had to go.  Sorry.”

“ A mental one?”

“ Yeah.”

“ Oh, alright.  I'll see you later then.”

Harry leapt to his feet and looked up at the head table, where Dumbledore was looking back at him intently, questioning him with his eyes.

~Ginny had a vision.  Voldemort's going to attack St Mungo's.  We need to have a meeting~

Dumbledore nodded slightly and made his way out of the Great Hall, the other teachers in the Order following right behind him.  As soon as they were out of the Hall and into a deserted corridor, Harry created a door to his room and held it open while everyone filed in.  Just as the last teacher entered, Minh, Ron, Ginny, Hermione and a couple of other students who were in the Order came running from different directions and slipped through the door, before Harry went in and closed it behind himself.  Making his way to the fireplace, Harry waited for everyone else to disappear before flooing to Domus Corvus Corax.

When they all went into the ball room, they were met by a crowd of rather anxious looking people.  Harry had sent out a more urgent call, with more tingling than for a normal meeting, to make sure people came as soon as possible.  When the group from Hogwarts arrived, everyone took their seats and waited for Dumbledore to speak.  They stayed like that for several minutes until the headmaster was satisfied that everyone was there before standing.

“ Thank you all for coming at such short notice.  I must admit I am as bemused as you about the purpose of this meeting, so I'm going to turn you over to Harry, who should be able to tell you more.”

Harry looked in surprise at the headmaster before standing up in front of the expectant Order.

“ I called you all here because Ginny, who is a true Seer, has had a vision of an attack by Voldemort on St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.  Ginny, can you tell us what you Saw?”

“ Voldemort is planning to attack St Mungo's in two days time.  He wants to cause as much havoc as possible, and he knows that a lot of people will be there on Hallow'een to visit their families.  From what I could See, the attack will be in the morning, about ten or eleven o'clock, and with him he will have about thirty Death Eaters, fifty Dementors, and several vampires and werewolves.”

“ Hallow'een?  Why does it always have to be Hallow'een?” Harry muttered, “Thank you Ginny.  Now, obviously we need to plan a counter attack before then, and we need to organise positions we will be fighting from.  Who can conjure a corporeal Patronus?”

Only about a dozen people raised their hands, making Harry sigh in frustration.  

“ Alright, that's not many but it will have to do.  Those of you who can conjure a Patronus will need to be fighting the Dementors.  Don't worry, my friends and I drove off a load of them at the Battle of Paris in 1944, so it shouldn't be too bad.  I want the Aurors to concentrate on the Death Eaters, as well as the other Ministry officials.  All non-humans, I would like you to fight the vampires and werewolves.  Anyone with healing experience, I need you to stay here and deal with casualties.  Current Hogwarts students and recent graduates, I need you to make trips backwards and forwards, bringing in the dead and injured.  Are we all clear?”

“ I have a question.”

“ Yes, Mr.….”

“ Longbottom.  Frank Longbottom.”

Harry froze when he heard the name.  He suddenly pictured the trial of Bellatrix Lestrange he had seen in Dumbledore's penseive when she was charged with torturing Frank and his wife Alice to insanity.  Shaking his head a little, he tried not to dwell on the future.

“ Yes, you had a question, Mr. Longbottom.”

“ I was just wondering how we can base our whole meeting on a vision.  Are you sure it will come true?”

“ Yes, I am.  Ginny has never been wrong before.”

“ Alright, I just wanted to check.”

“ Rest assured, if Ginny says something will happen, then it will happen.  You don't have to worry.  Now, are there any more questions?  No?  Alright, we'll meet again tomorrow at eight pm, by which time we should have a more concrete plan.  Meeting adjourned.”


As soon as Harry returned to Hogwarts he headed down to his room, where he found Sev sitting on his bed waiting for him.  He had given the younger boy permission to enter whenever he wished, as long as he didn't abuse the privilege.  As soon as he entered, Sev stood and headed over to his friend.

“ Are you alright, Harry?  You left rather abruptly.  I've been worried.”

“ I'm fine, Sev.  But I've had a rather depressing evening.  I feel like planning our next prank on the Marauders.”

“ Sure, what do you have in mind?”

“ Well, there's a charm of my own invention…”

“ You invented a charm?”

“ I've come up with a few spells.  I have a talent for it.”

“ You seem to have a talent for a lot of things.”

“ Yeah, well, I do.  I've very powerful, you know.  Even more so than Dumbledore and Voldemort.”

“ And so modest!”

“ Hey!  You wanted to know.  I have raw power, and I know how to use it.  I think my friends expect me to turn into the next Dark Lord or something.  I scare them sometimes, you know.”

“ Well, overconfidence is a weakness.”

“ That's what `Mione tells me.”

“ She's a wise one, Hermione.  You should listen to her.”

“ Yeah, whatever, so this prank.  It's called the Julio-Claudian jinx.”


The following day, students and teachers alike were startled when the Marauders and Lily came strolling into the Great Hall at breakfast dressed as Roman nobles.  They all had wreaths of leaves around their heads and colourful togas in place of their school robes, and the way they held themselves spoke of royalty.  Everyone watched in confusion as James strode over to the Gryffindor table and started yelling at some of the scared first years.

“ Arise, plebian, and give me your seat, for I am the mighty Augustus Caesar, ruler of all.”

“ You do not rule all,” Remus called in outrage, “ For I, the mighty Emperor Tiberius, hold sway over these lands.”

“ So you think, mortal, for I am the God known to you mere mortals as Gaius Caligula, the greatest Emperor of them all,” Sirius exclaimed.  Peter whacked him across the head and stuttered out his own line.

“ I, Clau-Clau-Claudius, command thee to submit to my power.”

“ I AM THE MOST POWERFUL!  I, Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, the renowned Emperor Nero, will put you all to death,” Lily stated, brandishing a sword.

At the Slytherin table, all of the students were in fits of laughter as Harry explained that for the whole day, the five Gryffindors would believe themselves to be different Roman Emperors.  After a few minutes, the other Houses started to see the funny side when Sirius and Peter started to argue.

“ I am the God Caligula.  All bow before me.”

“ Ne-ne-nephew?  I believe that I, Tiberius Claudius Nero Drusus Germanicus, am the Em-Em-Emperor.  I rule all, and all sh-sh-sh-should bow be-before me.”

“ I am a god, you are a mere Emperor.  I should be worshiped.  You,” Sirius yelled, pointing to some rather petrified second years, “ Build me a temple from whenst you shall worship me, and I shall make you Senators.”

The prank continued in much the same way for the rest of the day.  Gryffindor lost a large number of points and Ginny got a lot of amusing pictures, which she developed at the end of the day and stuck up all over the school, much to the embarrassment of the Marauders when they woke up the next day and realised what they had done.


The 30th October dawned and the pranksters realised that it was the last day of the competition.  They had 24 hours to do as much damage as possible, and they intended to make the most of it.  Harry, Sev and Ron all woke up with lion tales, which stuck out of the back of their robes for the whole day, making sitting in lessons and quidditch practice very uncomfortable.  They were also attacked by a swarm of enchanted bees as soon as they went outside for Care of Magical Creatures.  By the end of the day they were all in foul moods, despite the fact that Harry and Ron had managed to prevent some of the Marauders' pranks from going off.

The Marauders in question had also had a bad day.  Ron had enchanted their clothes to appear invisible to all but those wearing them, and each other.  There was a lot of commotion when they had gone down to breakfast that morning, appearing to be wearing nothing.  When they had looked at their own robes, or each other's, they saw only the plain black robes that were always there.  The teachers had given them all a week of detentions for something they didn't even realise they were doing, which cheered up the betailed and stung pranksters.

By the end of the day, so many pranks had been thrown backwards and forwards that Sev and Lily ended up in the hospital wing with fungus growing all over their skin.  The teachers weren't amused on the whole, but Harry caught Dumbledore's eye at dinner and saw that he found the whole thing highly entertaining.


The morning of the 31st Harry got up especially early to have a thorough work out before the battle later in the day.  He spent the three hours before breakfast training with weapons, martial arts and spells in his room.  Since the time of the founders, the room had been equipped with a padded floor in the centre and various training aids, all of which he took full advantage of.  By the time breakfast came around, the adrenalin was pumping through him and he was as prepared for battle as he would ever be.

The Order members in the Great Hall that morning were all rather subdued, as were the Marauders, but all for different reasons.  James, Sirius, Remus, Peter and Lily were all worried about the results of the competition that were to be announced that evening at the feast.  Hallow'een itself had been declared a prank free day, much to the relief of Ron and Harry, who had enough to worry about without having the added concern of not going into battle with boils or tentacles, or any such thing.

After breakfast, the four time travellers went up to Harry's room to wait for nine thirty, when they were due to leave for St. Mungo's.  Ron, Hermione and Ginny were nervous, but Harry was wandering around the room in a decidedly restless manner.  After his seventeenth lap, Ron decided to stop him.

“ Harry, sit down.  You're making me dizzy.”

“ Sorry, Ron.  I'm just excited.”

“ Excited?!  Harry, we're going into battle.  People are probably going to die.  We might die.  Aren't you worried?”

“ Not really, `Mione.  I mean, no-one's been able to kill me before, so what makes you think they will this time.”

“ Harry, you shouldn't be so cocky.  It will make you sloppy, and might just cost you dearly.”

“ Oh, lighten up, `Mione.  We've been in battles before.”

“ Yes, I distinctly remember the one after which we ended up as prisoners for two months.  It might have slipped your mind.  You were tortured, remember?” Ginny whispered.

“ Well, we won't make that mistake again.”

“ Harry, what's gotten into you?  At the end of the last school year, you were a wreck.  Spouting off about how the torture reminded you how you were human, and not invincible.  Now you seem ten times worse than you were before.”

“ I'm fine, Hermione.  Stop sticking your nose in.”

“ I'm just concerned, Harry.  If you're not careful you'll turn evil, I can see it coming.”

“ I thought Ginny was the Seer, not you.  You know nothing about me, Hermione, so stop making wild accusations.”

“ I agree with her, Harry.”

“ Me too.”

“ So now you're all against me.  That's just great.  I don't need you.  I don't need any of you.”

Harry made to storm out of the room in rage, but `Tea's voice interrupted his stride.  He hadn't even noticed she was there, and he stopped in surprise when he heard her.

“ Harry's they're right.  I don't like the person you're turning into, and when I look at you now, I'm glad Glenadade never met you, because he would have been disappointed.”

“ I'm the same as I've always been, `Tea,” he said without turning to face her.

“ No, you're not.  I don't know why, but you're different.  It might be the Dark Arts, it might be Slytherin, or it might just be your rage at the world for the injustices you have suffered.  You have been forced to grow up too quickly; you have been made to fight men's battles in men's wars.  You have been captured and tortured.  You have lived your life without a loving family, and as soon as you found your godfather you were ripped away from him on a trip you never asked for.  You met people on your journey, only to have them die, leaving you alone.  I can see why you are angry at the world, but don't let that be your undoing.  Please, Harry.”

Harry didn't say anything, but simply walked out of the room without looking back.  What the others didn't see was the single tear making its way slowly down his cheek.


At nine thirty, the Order of the Phoenix gathered in a street in London where St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries was situated.  It was inside what appeared to be a closed department store, a disguise designed to keep away prying Muggles.  The street itself had been closed at either end by the Order to keep stray Muggles from wandering into the battle.  Everyone had gotten into position depending on the roles allocated to them by Harry three days before, and the time travellers were scattered around to spread the effects of their abilities.

Harry was standing off to one side, where he knew the Dementors were to be.  The others around him were all getting ready to fight, but Harry couldn't concentrate on anything.  What Gallatea had said about him being angry at the world and his son being disappointed had struck a nerve, although he would never admit that to the others.  When he thought it over properly, he could see what they were getting at.  He had been awfully self confident and arrogant over the last few months, and if he was truly honest with himself, he didn't like what he had become any more than his friends did.  He thought about how Tom Riddle's anger over having to live in an orphanage had made him turn into the monster Harry would be facing in a short while.  That thought frightened him more than anything.  

At ten o'clock, Harry was roused from his thoughts by many *pop*s as the Death Eaters apparated in, the Dementors appearing right behind them.  Voldemort was in the lead, and he looked rather startled when he saw the Order members gathered before him and already firing curses at his side.  With a roar of rage, he started sending out a volley of Killing curses.  Harry immediately leapt into action, creating several Patroni, which all flocked towards the Dementors with a menagerie of other beasts from those who were capable of conjuring them.

After several minutes, Harry realised the Dementors were retreating, and decided to throw himself into the main battle.  Changing into his animagus form, he leapt at the nearest vampire and started ripping it to shreds.  After his third, he looked over at the centre of the battle to see what Voldemort was up to, and noticed he was in an intense duel with Dumbledore.  Thinking quickly, Harry turned back into his human form and started concentrating on sending wave after wave of pain into Voldemort's Dark Mark.  He watched in satisfaction as the Dark Lord stumbled back and grabbed his arm in pain, before trying to curse the headmaster again.  However, the damage was done, and Dumbledore was starting to get the upper hand.  Voldemort couldn't concentrate properly on the duel, as the continuous pain in his arm was distracting him.  After a few minutes, he started the move back away from his opponent, looking for an exit.

Meanwhile, Harry had stopped in the middle of the battle to concentrate on incapacitating the Dark Lord.  While it was proving helpful to Dumbledore, and ultimately everyone else, as without Voldemort to guide them the Death Eaters were unorganised, Harry was placing himself in a very vulnerable position.  He was so focused on what he was doing that he never noticed the vampire coming up behind him until it latched itself onto his neck. He immediately tried to fight back, but it sank its claws into his chest, filling him with a sharp pain.  Before he lost consciousness he felt something warm on his lips as he coughed up blood, saw a hex dislodge the creature gripping him, and spotted a nearby Death Eater send various spells his way.  The last thing he saw before the darkness overtook him was Ron running towards him.


He saw Harry from the other side of the battlefield, concentrating hard.  Although he didn't catch on immediately, as soon as Voldemort let out a cry of pain, Ron whipped his head around and saw him clutching his arm.  That's it, he thought, he's distracting him.  Turning back to his friend, Ron started to make his way across the field to cover Harry while he was in such a vulnerable position.  Before he could get there, a vampire jumped out of nowhere and started attacking the green eyed boy.  Breaking out in a run, Ron wandlessly sent a powerful hex at the creature, knocking it away from his best friend.  He watched, helpless, as the Death Eater sent Dark curse after Dark curse Harry's way, before he felled him with a well aimed Stunning curse.

Ron fell to his knees when he reached the Boy-Who-Lived, placing two shaking fingers to his wrist in a frantic search for a pulse.  Finding one, albeit very faint, the red haired boy did what instinct told him to do.  Holding his cupped hands over the still form of his dying friend, he started to will the injuries away.  After a few precious minutes, a soft blue glow encompassed his hands and spread to the wounded boy, repairing some of the more serious damage, just enough to cure some of the fatal injuries.  After a few minutes, Ron felt exhaustion fill him, before he collapsed unconscious on top of his friend.

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