Title: A New Life
Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter nor Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Layout first few chapters belong to McCord…who I couldn’t reach, but who could reach me and gave me the go ahead, thanks!!!
All spell-casting is non-verbal unless it says otherwise. In the books and movies wandless magic has been used, thus it is certainly possible.
Chapter 6 “Humbug”
New Orleans, Louisiana
As soon as the words were said, Malfoy began to unleash a barrage of magic. Harry analyzed the curses and hexes while spinning away, ending up in a low crouch and rolling sideways to avoid the next barrage. It seemed that Malfoy wasn’t lying when he said he learned some new things. There were some less known spells in his repertoire and some of them weren’t easy to cast with such ease. Like the ‘Cruor Praemium’, this jem conjures distilled water in the veins of your body, which causes a very painful and violent reaction with the red blood cells…they explode. Once again a conformation that Malfoy was trully and firmly on a very dark path, one leading to him succeeding his father in every way. But fairly impressive spellcasting and dueling combined with some obscure spells isn’t enough to intimidate Harry.
Coming up to a wall, Harry’s freedom in movement was severely limited and so he put up a shield. He went for a mage-level Sperectum shield, giving him some time to contemplate the situation. The dark magic corrupting the air continued to subtetly change, meaning that there were other wizards (or witches) involved, most likely they were still performing the ritual. But what was Draco’s part in this, is he the leader or one of the followers? What was he doing here exactly if this powerful and therefore important ritual was being performed some distance away?
No matter, these were questions for later. Harry needed to get to the site were the ritual was being performed and put a stop to it. It was still growing in intensity and that’s never a good sign when dealing with dark magic. At best it would go out of control and explode, taking a large chunk of the city with it, but at least killing every one of those idiots that are part of the ritual. Worst case scenario being that they would actually succeed with whatever they were doing.
Harry was shaken out of his thoughts by Malfoy’s taunting. “What’s the matter, Potter? Already getting tired? All that extra weight slowing you down?”
“I’m sorry, Draco, didn’t mean to space out on you. It only happens when I’m bored.” Seeing the indignantion on his opponents face, Harry understood why Riddle enjoyed verbal dueling as much as the magical ones. “But my time is precious, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut our social gathering short.”
The blonde’s comeback was cut short when Harry launched a few of his own spells. Malfoy favored to protect himself with powerful back-to-back shields and some basic transfiguration. Taking a page from Dumbledore’s book, Harry began transfiguring the surrounding trash into little golems shaped as imps and let them charge a physical attack. This was countered by several wide Explosion Hexes, covering the area in dust. Harry lost sight of his enemy, but could sense his presence moving sideways preparing for another attack.
‘Valde Foro, Concoquo Coeo, Concisio Medullas’. Batting away the dark Piercing Hex, Blood Boiling and lv2 Bone Breaking Curse and reflecting the other incoming dark spells back to its source, Harry continued to analyze the situation.
Clearly Malfoy didn’t think Harry is more powerful than him or he was sure he could force a victory by using some unknown edge or spell. It didn’t seem Malfoy changed a lot personality wise so Harry decided to wait and see, knowing that the Malfoy-family was never famous for their patience. A little drawback from always getting what you want when you want it…immediately.
But then again Harry didn’t have all the time in the world either at the moment; he needed to stop that ritual. So he decided to put presure on Malfoy, and perhaps accelerate the whole process and force a mistake.
‘Inferorum Animas, Ignipoten, Conligo Totalus, Abutosterilis’. (Fast ice balls, Potent Shield Crusher, Arresting Charm and a Paralyzing Curse)
And it was working, with Harry suddenly going on the offensive and throwing the duel in a higher gear, Malfoy found himself unable to regain control of the duel, forcing him to dodge and dive like a jumping rabbit.
When Harry saw Malfoy aiming his left hand above his head while conjuring a Fortis Aegis Shield with his wand, absorbing Harry’s relative safe spells, he wasn’t surprised that a couple of explosion hexes caused the wall above his head to shatter and rain down upon him. He cast a ‘Fortier Zacundera’ at the ground before Draco’s feet, causing a small earthquake at the surrounding five feet, while looking up. Having years of fighting experience and not to mention having seventy years of experience from Riddle, Harry did what any experienced fighter did. Use a disadvantage as a weapon. No time for fancy transfiguration tricks, he just raised his left hand, concentrated and banished the falling stone mass towards his shocked opponent.
Draco dropped into a crouch and screamed, “Lapidea Vallum de Amicus”, conjuring a heavy duty Physical Shield. One he truly needed, because the amount of stone that crashed into it in such a short time was nothing short of impressive.
Seeing Malfoy’s hand moving towards something on his neck while ducking, Harry quickly cast a Dispersion Field, making Portkeys temporarily unusable. (Disapparating too, but due too the palpable dark magic in the air that was highly inadvisable anyway). Standing back up, clutching something tightly at his throat, Draco hissed, “How dare you?”
While the two moved around to continue to dodge the spells flying around, Harry answered unemotionally. “You think I’m not willing to end your miserable life, Draco? I fought and survived a war, if you think I’m still hesitant to do whatever is necessary to win than you are a bloody fool.”
“Whatever is necessary? That is just a nice way of saying you are a murderer. We are even more alike then I thought, both willing to kill to win. No Phoenix for you, Saint Potter!”
Not willing to fall for his opponent’s mind games, Harry tried to suppress the signs of irritation and anger the best he could. His voice was unemotional as he answered, but his eyes cold and hard. “You kill for fun and for personal gain. I kill to defend my life and the lives of others. That makes you a murderer and me a killer, there is a big difference!” This was followed by an unending stream of offensive magic that Malfoy could hardly defend against.
Sensing his rapidly approaching defeat, Malfoy in a desperate attempt suddenly abandoned his shields, skipped sideways and began to carelessly cast spells at high speed all over the place. His technique was poor and the results were sloppy, but still dangerous enough for Harry to momentarily back off and throw up a full-body shield. And that’s when Malfoy finally made his mistake.
Harry recognized the curse almost immediately. One of the things Mad-Eye Moody thought Harry before he died. Not to use the spell in combat, but so that he could recognize it, so he knew its weaknesses. Why Aurors, Dumbledore and Voldemort almost never used these kinds of spells.
It was a kind of Shield Leech Curse, a hollow spell. It uses the magic of the opponents shield to power itself and in doing so make ones protection his or hers downfall. Very useful on first sight. But it takes a great deal of concentration to cast it and, like the Unforgivable’s, you had to maintain your concentration on the spell till it connected with the opponent, making it impossible to cast other spells while maintaining it.
Quickly moving forward, dropping his shield at the last moment and Harry was eye to eye with Malfoy’s surprised face. Using his left hand to twist Malfoy’s wandhand away, Harry drew back his right fist from Malfoy’s gut to put the bastard to sleep.
He sensed the blurs that headed for him just in time to brace himself. Getting knocked back, he lost his grip on Malfoy. Already used to fighting against the creatures of the night, Harry didn’t even blink against this uncommon foe for ordinary wizards, rolled backwards to regain his footing and cast his first spell out loud, ‘Deflagratio Ferrbui’. The thin line of fire surrounding Harry expanded quickly outwards and sliced right through the two vampires. Leaving nothing but dust behind and something else that almost escaped his attention…two small amulets.
Sensing that Draco was trying to get away, he quickly turned to check up on the condition of his opponent. He was walking fairly upright, but it was obvious he hadn’t enough time or the necessary concentration to cast a sufficient pain-relieving charm to fully recover from the sucker punch. Quickly grabbing the two amulets and casting a healing charm on the abrasion wound on his shoulder, Harry hurried after him.
Even in his chaotic and adrenaline-clouded state, Harry knew something weird was going on. The two amulets were the same as the one he collected from another vampire a few weeks ago. Even weirder was that these two vampires attacked him; they usually avoid wand wielders like they were made from pure Vatican blessed silver, even without knowing who or what they were. Add the fact that they only attacked him and Draco conveniently got away because of it, very strange indeed. All this combined and he was willing to bet his entire fortune that whatever Draco had hanging around his neck had something to do with it. Like he was in control of them, which isn’t possible since you can’t dominate demons like that. Several highly intelligent wizards tried at different points in history, but none ever succeeded.
A few minutes earlier.
The Slayers and Robin quickly gathered their gear after the declaration from Willow. Up till now they had a presumed Dark Ritual, a couple of weird people running around the neighbourhood and a runaway teammate that suddenly glows on the magical plane. It came down to one certainty; they would NOT get a lot of sleep tonight.
Willow followed Harry’s movement as the rest was trappeling over each other, but found that the closer he got to the ritual the harder he was to make out. Buffy was touching her arm to know they had to leave. Quickly moving out the door, she had only one thing to say. “He is fighting the other presence.”
Ash looked concerned towards the Wiccan. “We have to help him! Where is he?”
“That way…” Willow vagely gestured with her arm, seeing the annoyed looks of the others, “All I know for sure is that they are moving away towards the disturbance. It is masking everything in close vicinity and while we are moving I can’t concentrate enough to locate anyone. I’m still human, you know!”
“Easy Red, nobody is saying otherwise.”
Buffy said in her command voice. “We’ll just go to the place with the biggest bad and try to deal with the what is what there. With some luck our Watcher will be there too.”
Just before rounding yet another corner, Harry skidded to a stop. He was almost on top of the source of all this dark magic, since he didn’t feel like running headlong into a large group of dark idiots, he performed an lv2 Disillusionment Charm on his head. Peaking around the edge of the building he saw a large gathering of wizards and witches. Most of them where chanting with their wand clasped in their hands before them, it almost looked like they were praying, if not for the fact that a random colored tendrel connected each of their wands with a black sphere and where making new connections with the other wands. The sphere was hovering above three forming pentagram rings that in turn were placed above a steadily growing hole in the ground, seemingly caused by the sparks that the sphere shot out towards its center.
Harry tried to take in the entire scene, looking for some kind of hint what precisely was going here. Fifteen wizards and witches where standing in a circle doing some kind of dark ritual…to extract something from the ground? But he had no clue what that something was or why they were here of all places. He hadn’t sensed anything out of the ordinary in the ground in all the time he has been in New Orleans.
So close to the ritual all he could probably pick up with his passive Legimency was surface-thoughts. But the only two who weren’t involved in the ritual itself and were close enough, Draco and another guy, were familair with Occlumency. So all in all he didn’t know anything really.
The two lone wizards were facing his direction with their wands raised, clearly waiting to curse to living snot out of him as soon as he showed his face. The other wizard was a good deal older judging by his grey hair and wizened eyes. The old man was waiting with apparent disinterest and said to Draco with a light Europian accent, “It seems our friend isn’t going to present himself on a silver plater. No matter, he’s too late to stop this anyway. Do you have it, My Lord?”
“No! Saint Potter decided to make himself a nuisance before I could make the necessary preparations.” Even from this distance Harry could see the extreme annoyance flicker in the older man’s eyes, before regaining that disinterested look again. Malfoy, still looking his way, didn’t notice the change in moods.
“Hmmm, that is a slight setback. We wi….,” the old man broke off his sentence when five persons rounded another corner down the street. Harry turned his head slightly and saw Ash, Faith, Robin and two others to his dismay. It didn’t take long before he recognized the other two as Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg, two of the founders of the new Council of Watchers. How the bloody hell they came to be here was a question for later.
Harry would have kicked himself if he had the time. If he did another spell on himself everybody would notice. Even if he did use a full Disillusionment before hand, he would have had to use the less complex charm, which means that he most likely would have been caught spying. But he still dropped the ball for not factoring in the possibility the others would show up.
Before anyone had even a chance to say anything, the three Slayers noticed a person in shadows. Ash in her relief to see that her Watcher…her big brother…was still alright, well except for the missing head thing, rushed towards him to inspect him for possible injuries.
The two dark wizards were caught off guard by all of this and fell back into the practiced routine. Kill and maim first and then ask no questions. Draco, being the one closest to them and the one with the greatest desire to kill, reacted first and shot an ‘Ablegatio Compingo’ towards the girl, causing her to get launched into the air.
The older man just stepped back, saw that the ritual was nearly complete and removed an octangular device covered with Runes from his robe. As he activated it, a bubble started to appear around him. Grinning like a maniac he started to throw around his share of magic towards the newcomers too.
As Harry was removing the charm on his head so that the others could see his face and identify him as a friend, he saw Ashley making the mistake of leaving the side of Rosenberg. He tried to cover her with a shield, but was too late. She was suddenly thrown 30 feet into the air.
Stepping into clear view, Harry directed his left hand towards the trajectory of the now falling girl, while at the same time snapping his wand towards Draco and casting a high level mage spell …Cage of Lightning. As soon as the spell came into effect and fried the blond ferret, he bellowed ‘Arresto Momentum’ to slow down Ashley’s descent.
The Wicca witch could apparently gather magic real fast for their kind, because she already had a nice strong shield up to protect her crew and was throwing back spells to the old man like it was free candy. But it all bounced off his bubble shield, meaning he was using a Protection Sphere. And noticing the size of the activation device it was real powerful as well.
Sensing incoming spells (and hearing the warnings from Ashley), he dropped his Slayer, who landed safely down onto the ground, and threw up another shield to protect his flank.
Everything stopped when a deep gong sounded and the fifteen wizards and witches doing the ritual started screaming as if there souls were being ripped from there bodies. A sudden flare and they were all sucked into the three pentagram rings as fifteen threads of sickly light. The rings started to glow red, shifted to match each other perfectly, melted into each other and slammed into the hole in the ground. Causing a bright red beam to came up and disappear into the hovering black sphere.
Harry and the others were shaken out of their shell-shocked states by the moaning of a smoldering Malfoy, “No! What happened? What went wrong?”
The old man held out his hands as the now black and reddish glowing sphere settled in his hands. He turned to Draco, apparently unconcerned by the presence of the others, and answered with a fake confused expression, “Nothing went wrong. Everything went exactly as it was supposed too.”
“But you said…”
“Well, My Lord, I lied!” The old man sneered and laughed when Draco was speechless.
(Duhhh, I even got that – Faith)
“So you are the one who is in charge?” Robin interjected.
“Of course! I’m the most powerful being ever; I work for nobody but me! And soon I will crush everyone that opposes me.” The eyes that looked wizened just mere moments ago began to take a rather disconcerting crazy gleam to it now.
(Like we haven’t heard that before! – Buffy)
If the situation wasn’t so serious and if the man didn’t just sacrifice fifteen people for his plans, Harry might have laughed at the crazy old codger. The man was clearly delusional, but he did have a Protection Sphere, that meant he was incredibly skilled. Smart and crazy and evil equals very dangerous man. But for now he just had to keep him talking to discover what was going on. He just hoped the others would keep their murmuring to a minimum.
“If you think you are the most powerful being, then you have been inhaling that incense a little too deeply, old man. I load to admit it, but Draco here is far more powerful than you.”
(Not to mention our own Red here, she can kick your ass six ways from Sunday!)
(Faith, I don’t kick ass! I banish it away to unpleasant places)
“I thought you would understand, Mister Potter, but you are just like anybody else. Knowledge, KNOWLEDGE is the one true power! Every one of those wizards and witches had a bigger magical core, but I used their ignorance against them and now their magic is mine. This pathetic wannabe Dark Lord has more financial and political influence, but here he lies helpless and alone, and here I am holding the key to my greatness thanks to his ignorance.” The smarmy gits grin while boasting about his destruction of so many people really started to piss Harry off. “You people are so close, but you still can’t hurt me and you still know nothing about what is going on…do you? I know what is going to happen, you don’t, and that is why I’m more powerful than you. But don’t feel too bad, my dear boy, this is an accumulation of 60 years of research, experimenting, planning and hard work.”
(And going all crazy doing it – Buffy)
During the tirade Draco recovered enough to ground out a threat, “You will pay for this, Cornelis, I’ll make sure you’ll get hunted down as the traitorous dog you are!”
The man named Cornelis laughed heartily, “That is rich coming from you, Draco! But maybe you do have a point; you can make my life very difficult…so,” Before anyone could react (they were too far away) a flash of light hit the defenseless Draco. He crushed his skull with a silent Bludgeoning Charm. And with that he disappeared.
Everyone hastily made their way to check up on Malfoy, but it was pretty obvious that this Cornelis-character made his sixteenth casualty today. Harry could only sadly shake his head and mutter, “You always mixed with the wrong crowd Draco.”
If he wanted to say something else he was cut off by the sword pressing against the side of his neck. The petit blond Slayer glowered at him and furiously said, “You have three seconds to explain what the FUCK is going on here!”
(A/N) Almost an entire chapter of fighting, hehehehe, it's more difficult than I thought. I wrote this chapter at night (it's 3 AM now) for the last week so I wouldn't be shocked if there are some points that can use some refinement. Please do not hesitate to let me know what you think can be improved and how. (like the comments from the gang...my brain is tired, I just can't come up with something better)