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I Must Have Hit My Head - Where Are We Now?
The battle drew to a close not long after the Dementors fell. They were meant to be the Dark Lord's main advantage, and now that they had either been destroyed or run away, Grindelwald was left with a few of his supporters against the rest of the Order. Knowing he was going to lose if he stayed, he decided retreat would be a better option.
Dumbledore watched as the Dark Lord pulled his followers over to him, whispering to them in hushed tones before disapparating. The Dark wizards turned back to the fight for a couple of minutes before doing the same. Behind them they left a rather battered Order, and a pile of dead or injured people. Looking around, Dumbledore couldn't see Harry. Thinking about it, he didn't recall seeing them since they collapsed after the Patronus. Seeing as their leader wasn't available, Dumbledore took matters into his own hands. Casting a quick sonorus charm, he summoned what was left of the resistance.
COULD ALL ORDER MEMBERS PLEASE CONVENE UNDER THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE, PLEASE!
Lifting the charm, he made his way over to the assigned spot and waited for everyone to arrive. Taking out a prepared list of members, he started ticking them off as they turned up. When it seemed the last had arrived, he turned to address them, replacing the parchment in his pocket.
Now, everyone, well done. The battle was hard, but we have managed to drive off Grindelwald's forces. From what I can tell from a preliminary scan of the area, no Muggles have been killed. We also managed to fight off an army of Dementors, and have killed or injured 42 of Grindelwald's followers. However, we have also lost a few of our number, and more are injured. I suggest we gather our injured and head back to Corvus Corax, where Floribunda Sprout is waiting to treat us. Everyone, take one person with you. If you are injured, stay for treatment. If not, then return for another person.
Albus, where's Harry? And his friends? They did a good job with the Dementors.
The last I saw them they were collapsing after that Patronus wall. I imagine it was from exhaustion. That was some spell they worked. We'll come across them as we work through everyone. When all of the injured have been taken care of, come back for the dead. Harry has converted one of the second floor bedrooms into a morgue, so they can be placed there for identification. We will treat Grindelwald's followers as well, but as soon as they are able to be moved they will be placed in the cells in the dungeons for questioning. I'm sure Professor Sewell will provide us with an ample supply of veritaserum. Now, we need to hurry. Off you go.
Dumbledore turned and picked up the first person he saw behind him and apparated back to their headquarters.
Domus Corvus Corax was in total chaos. Order members were running around everywhere, trying to organise the dead and injured. Floribunda was rushed off her feet trying to save everyone, healing the most serious first and leaving those with only slight injuries to be cared for by anyone with healing experience. Lolide was doing her part, using elven healing magic to help those who were close to dying. Dumbledore was going through the morgue, writing down who in the Order had been killed, and cataloguing the enemy dead. Once that was done, he headed down to the cells in the dungeon to count the prisoners and ascertain who they were. Other Order members were heading back to Paris to obliviate and Muggles who had witnessed the fighting.
Several hours later, the injured had all been taken care of. Those who had been seriously wounded were still in the infirmary, recovering under the influence of a Dreamless Sleep potion. Those who had been inflicted with scratches and bruises were sitting in the ball room around the table, waiting for Dumbledore to come back and give them further instructions. Eventually, the headmaster came in and took his place at the table, Fawkes following close behind him.
I'm afraid I have some rather disturbing news. It seems our leader, Mr. Evans, has gone missing, as have his three friends. Does anyone know anything about what happened to them?
There was a lot of muttering going around the group. Most of the Order was speculating on where their leader could have gotten to, while some were mentioning the last time they had seen them. They all conferred for a few minutes before Diggory gave their verdict.
Albus, the last any of us saw of them was after the Patronus that drove the Dementors off. We saw them collapse to the ground in what we assume was exhaustion. Everyone thought they would be all right, and it was safe to carry on fighting. We assumed we could pick them up with the rest of the dead and injured. But no-one saw them during the cleanup.
Thank you, Cedric. I concur with your final sighting. The problem we face now is that the four most powerful among us have gone missing. There are ways of tracking people, but as we don't know what happened we don't know what defences might have been placed around them. At best they're simply unconscious somewhere, safe from Grindelwald. At worst they have either been captured or killed. We must face the possibility that they are already dead. As per your wishes, I will take control of the Order until such time as Harry is with us again. He has left a lot of plans in my possession for strategies he was meaning to try out. We will follow them as best we can without his guidance, as they are likely to score points in our favour against the Dark Lord. Now, we need to come up with a plan for finding them. Any suggestions?
I do, Gaerwyn said.
I can use an elven tracking spell. Depending on the defences, it might not be very accurate, but it might be able to narrow down the search.
Thank you Gaerwyn, please do so.
Gaerwyn and Lolide moved away from the table and sat facing each other on the floor. Lolide took a handful of green powder and spread it in a circle on the floor around them both. The two elves then held hands and began to chant, the rhythm becoming stronger as they progressed. After a few minutes, green dots, about the size of fireflies, started to appear in the air. They flew around for a few minutes before joining to form a map of an area that made sense only to the spell casters. When the chant was finished, the elves once again took their place at the table.
Harry and Ginny are in Czechoslovakia, Gaerwyn said, her sister telling them the rest.
And Hermione and Ron are in Germany.
Darkness filled Ron's field of vision as he cautiously opened his eyes. He started to panic when he realised he couldn't see anything, until he noticed that it was because the room he was in was dark, and not because he had gone blind. Feeling around next to him, his hand came into contact with a mound of bushy hair. He tugged lightly on it to grab the girl's attention, not willing to move too much as he could feel it would hurt. After a moment, he heard a soft groan next to him as Hermione regained consciousness. Ron felt further down until he found her hand, which he gently grasped in his. He was relieved to feel a squeeze in response. Turning his head in Hermione's general direction, he started to whisper to her.
`Mione, you alright.
I think so. What about you?
My head hurts. I think I must have hit it on something. Can you tell where we are?
Ron, it's pitch black and the ground is hard. What more do you think I can tell you?
Sorry, stupid question.
What do we do now? We can't stay here, but it hurts to move.
Hang on, I'll try and light the room up a bit.
Hermione waved her hand in the familiar gesture for light, but nothing happened. After trying it a few more times, she started to panic.
Ron, it's not working.
Do you still have your wand?
I'll have a look
The girl reached into her robe pocket, but came up empty. She also realised her knives had gone missing as well.
Everything's gone, and I can't do wandless magic. We must be in an anti-magic field.
We can't use magic to get out, and we're probably being held by wizards.
Well, doesn't that sound good.
Ron, this is no time for sarcasm! We need to get out of here and find the others.
Just then a door opposite them opened, letting in a long stream of light. The students were temporarily blinded, but when their eyes adjusted to the light they could see a man standing in the doorway dressed in a soldier's uniform and holding a gun.
Ron and Hermione looked at the man in confusion, not knowing what he wanted them to do. When it became obvious they weren't going to do anything, the soldier became frustrated, and pointed his gun at them.
Sie mussen aufstehen, sonst schieße ich!
Ron and Hermione assumed from his gesturing that he wanted them to stand, and pushed themselves up off the floor using the wall behind them as a support. Staggering over to the door, they were pushed in front of the man, a gun in their backs, and were led along a grey concrete corridor. Hermione discreetly tried her magic again, but was disappointed when nothing happened. After a few minutes, they reached a large set of barred doors, leading into a dim room. Several other people were crowded in there, all looking thin and worn, some even looking ill. Hermione and Ron were forced to stop, and waited as the soldier opened the door. The pair were gestured in, so they entered the room and waited for the doors to be locked. Looking around, they were met with deadened eyes. One person, a young woman, came forward to speak with them.
Woher kommen sie?
The two teenagers looked at each other to see if either of them understood. They both shrugged and turned to the woman in confusion.
De quel pays êtes-vous? the woman tried again.
I'm sorry, we don't understand, Hermione told her.
Ah, you are English.
Yes. We were captured after an attack. Could you tell us where we are please, the bushy haired girl asked.
We are currently at the holding centre of Bergen-Belsen, in Germany. Tomorrow we will be moved to Grossrosen.
Where's that? Ron asked.