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Harry / Tonks ship

Author Notes:

I'd like to make a special thanks to my betas for helping to beat this thing into a much better shape than the original.  They're always very helpful, but they went above and beyond on this chapter.

Harry's danger instincts were making him sit up and take notice at the same time that Kevin rubbed his arms.  "Is it getting cold?"

"Shit.  Dementors," Harry stated with a sigh.

Hermione blinked at Harry for just a moment before pulling out her wand.  A whispered spell later and her amplified voice rang out,  "D.A. Emergency!  Dementors incoming.  Evacuate everyone to the school.  We've prepared for this, people.  You know what to do."

As Hermione was canceling the spell, Ginny, flying above, shouted over the gasps from the students surrounding them, "Confirmed, coming from the Forbidden Forest."  She then turned and fired off a Patronus Spell.  Harry couldn't tell what form it took from his angle, but it was clearly corporeal.

Without hesitation, Harry drew his wand and sent a Patronus in the direction of the Forbidden Forest as well.  Roughly a quarter of the students also pulled out their wands and cast the spell.  Harry was impressed and proud.  Most of them didn't get a corporeal form, but many more than just the half-dozen from last year now had solid forms

The air and ground of the pitch now contained numerous silver forms, all racing in the same direction.  The flyers unable to cast a Patronus flew down toward Hermione and Harry and floated in front of them.

Harry was scrambling to come up with something to say to the group when Hermione crisply ordered,  "Natalie, Carmen, Jeff: disillusion yourselves and fly along the route back toward the school.  Report problems back to me or Padma.  Keep an eye out for Death Eaters.  The rest of you patrol the pitch and help the evacuation."

They all simply nodded and set about their duties.

All along the stands, the former and current D.A. members were directing everyone down to the ground and then toward the school.  It was all happening very rapidly and in an orderly manner.  The noise was slowly picking up as the students realized just how serious the situation was, but it was not yet overpowering.

Harry watched the unfolding scene, pleasantly surprised.

Kevin, standing at Hermione's back, saw his reaction.  "Hermione and Padma have the D.A. trained to deal with all sorts of problems.  In an emergency, Hermione is in charge of the D.A., and Dumbledore directs the professors."  He turned and looked toward the professors' box for a moment before nodding to Harry.  "They're already gone.  Dumbledore has talked about this scenario with Hermione."  He glanced at Hermione in clear pride.  "The professors are making noises about giving her some sort of official staff position."  He resumed scanning in all directions, quite literally guarding Hermione's back.

Harry shared an impressed look with Remus.  "So much for thinking I have to take the lead in protecting the students," Harry observed.

"They're doing fine protecting themselves," Remus agreed.

Seeing that the dementor situation was under control at least for the moment, Harry waved his wand and sent a Messenger Spell to Ginny.  "Someone had to herd the dementors here.  Keep an eye out for deez in the Forbidden Forest."

She looked down toward Harry for a moment in surprise before she nodded acknowledgement.  She held her position above the rapidly emptying stands, head scanning back and forth constantly.

Harry cast a Sonorus Spell on himself to be heard over the crowd noise.  "Samuel!"  When the young Hufflepuff came to a stop, Harry asked, "Can I borrow -"

He was cut off as Samuel Firthquill, the seeker that Ginny had just beat to the snitch, jumped into the stands and handed Harry his broom before the question was finished.  At Harry's surprised look, he shrugged.  "You're much more valuable up in the air than I am right now, Mr. Potter.  Just bring it back to me when you're done, okay?"  He grinned for a moment before he joined the flow of students heading down.

Remus spoke up while putting his communication crystal back into his robes.  "I've called Dora and Shack.  They said they're going to call Amelia then they're on their way here."  He frowned at Harry.  "I'm sure I can't talk you out of jumping into this fight, so I'll just ask you to be careful.  Some deez and dementors just have to be ready to cut us off.  I suggest you watch for that.  I'll be part of the rearguard.  Don't get yourself killed, Harry."  He waited for Harry's nod of agreement before he waved Kevin and Hermione ahead of him. 

Harry quickly gave thanks that he had such effective allies before he jumped onto the broom, a Nimbus 2001, and flew along the route the students were taking, being careful to keep above the level where the dementors' aura would seriously affect him.  As he flew over the entrance to the pitch, he saw Remus and a handful of the senior D.A. forming up, preparing to cover the end of the retreat.

He moved along above the flow of students just in time.  Over fifty dementors surged out of the edge of the Forbidden Forest, clearly attempting to cut off the retreating students.  The students moving past screamed and recoiled from the black cloaked figures.  The line of fleeing students behind them slowed, nobody wanting to move toward the visible dementors. 

"Expecto Patronum!" Harry bellowed, concentrating on one of his more pleasant memories with Nim.  Prongs again gracefully bounded from his wand and enlarged on his way to ground level.  Once there, he started running along a line between the advancing dementors and the students.  "Keep moving!" Harry yelled at the students, jolting them back into motion.  Despite his and Prongs's best efforts, the dementors slowly continued their advance.  "I could use some help over here!" Harry called, still keeping most of his attention on directing Prongs.

Before any of the D.A. could respond, he heard the Patronus Spell cast from a half-dozen more voices, all mature.  The professors had finally joined the battle.  Six more Patroni, including Dumbledore's phoenix, joined Prongs and the seven easily held the skirmish line as the student body continued to stream past.

As Harry kept watch over Prongs, a blue spell lanced out from within the Forbidden Forest.  Harry moved his broom out of the way, but the spell never reached him.

It stopped ten yards in front of him, intercepted by one of the disillusioned flyers.

Unfortunately, it didn't appear to have been intentional.  The young Hufflepuff player immediately became visible and crashed to the earth in the no-man's land between the fleeing students and the Patroni.

Among the cries of the suddenly panicked students, Harry heard one of the Patil girls, presumably Padma, shout, "Someone needs to pick Carmen up.  Senior D.A. and the professors are still kinda busy . . ."

"Got it!"

Three boys ran out of the flow, grabbed the unconscious girl, and continued moving toward the castle with their burden.

Harry kept one eye on the forest, and presumably the deez who'd tried to shoot him down, and another on Prongs.  He thought that he could see movement behind the tree line, but no more spells came out at them.  Taking a moment, he grabbed the floating broom and looked for someone to give it to.  An obvious choice came past in the flow of students.  "Katie!" 

Katie Bell looked up and caught the broom that Harry dropped to her.  She was immediately in the air, joining the assembling rearguard.

Once the last of the ground-bound students had left the quidditch pitch, the last two stragglers having been picked up by the Hufflepuff beaters, the patrolling flyers formed above the rearguard for the retreat.  Remus, Hermione, and Cho with Ron and Katie above them formed a solid core of defenders from which the others could rally and keep the retreat orderly instead of a panicked rout.  The Patroni also gave ground easily and did more to protect the students than they did to attack the dementors.  With a nearly solid wall of Patroni between them and the students, the dementors failed to get close to their prey.

Getting closer to the school, Harry saw a knot of professors standing just outside the Entrance Hall, defending the very doors of Hogwarts.

Ginny drifted over toward Harry.  Side by side, the two watched a fleeing student, a young Ravenclaw by his size and robe colors, stumble and fall.  Harry was about to dive down when two upperclassmen, a Gryffindor and a Slytherin, bodily lifted the boy and continued toward the school without slowing.  Padma hadn't had to say anything this time.

Looking more closely, Harry saw several crying or shaking people being carried or helped by their fellow students.  Even if the dementors couldn't touch them, their desolate aura was still affecting the fleeing students. 

Seeing that Prongs was about to lose his form, Harry cast the Patronus Spell again, his seventh since the beginning of the fight.

Beside him, Ginny also recast the spell.  A solid form fell to the ground in front of her in a crouch before jumping to its feet and running toward the dementors.  It took Harry several confused seconds before he recognized it as a person wearing Hogwarts robes and waving a short sword that looked very familiar.  He turned to her with an incredulous expression.

She shrugged.  "You did save me from the basilisk," she defended herself, forced to speak loudly to be heard.

"Yeah, but . . .  I'm your Patronus?" he asked in disbelief.

"I was eleven!" she objected.  In an apparent attempt to ignore the revelation, she turned away from him to survey the battle.

As uncomfortable as she was, Harry gladly let it go.

Eventually the last of the students and then the rearguard made it to the safety of the school doors, leaving dozens of students and professors, the ones who'd been casting and recasting Patroni, shoulder to shoulder in their defense of the school.  Now having more space to work with, the hundreds of dementors flowed around the knot of defense.  They continued to try to move forward, but the concentrated mass of Patroni defeated any chance they had of advancing.

"Stalemate," Ginny observed as she cast yet another Patronus.  "They can't get in, but we can't all get out."

Harry shook his head.  "This is only temporary.  We‘ve called the ministry for reinforcements.  They can't win in the long run; in fact, I wonder why they're still here." 

By this point Harry was floating near the center of the defense, trying to look everywhere at once.  From the side he heard Ron shout, "Bloody hell!  We have to figure out a way to contain them!"  Harry glanced over and saw Ron glaring down at the tenacious dementors.

From the corner of his eye, Harry saw Flitwick and McGonagall confer for a moment.  Almost in unison, they raised their wands and each conjured a length of ten foot tall stone wall behind the teeming mass of dementors.  Seeing what they were doing, Harry drifted over the heads of the dementors, keeping a wary eye on the Forest, and started conjuring walls of his own.  He was rapidly joined by several of the upper-class students on hastily-summoned brooms, and shortly a large, open space was enclosed on the front lawn of Hogwarts.  From above, it appeared to be a horseshoe with the open end toward the school and the mass of dementors.

With a new goal in mind, the Patroni were now on the offensive, pushing the dementors together and toward the opening of the enclosure.

Many of the dementors tried to retreat toward the Forbidden Forest, but Harry flew ahead of them and recast Prongs yet again, cutting them off from escaping.  Considering the deez he knew to be in the Forest, he kept part of his attention in that direction.  He was joined by the remaining flying Patronus-casting players, and their Patroni held that side as the standing magicians began to herd the dementors toward the trap.

Fortunately, a small contingent of aurors plus Tonks, Kingsley, and Amelia arrived from the direction of Hogsmeade and added their Patroni to the fight, preventing the dementors from retreating in that direction.

The rest of the demons were soon pushed into their new prison and more conjured walls sealed them in.

Almost all of the standing magicians near the castle, those who had been within the dementors' auras, promptly fell down, visibly shivering.

Harry landed near Amelia.  "Deez in the Forest," he gasped out to her.

She immediately dispatched a team to begin sweeping the near end of the Forest.

"Dobby!" Harry called when he'd gathered enough breath again.

The elf cracked in and took one long look around.  "I's know what to do, Master Harry!"  He cracked back out.

"Harry!" Nim cried as she threw herself at him.  He caught her slight form against him and held on tight.  Though he'd not been in the thick of the fight, the adrenaline rush was now leaving him, and he hung onto Nim for all he was worth.

"Very clever," Amelia commented presently, eyeing the stone enclosure.

"Thank Minerva and Filius," Dumbledore cheerfully informed her as he strode up. 

Even after a fight, he didn't appear to be mussed, Harry thought with a short grunt of amusement. 

Dumbledore continued speaking, "Welcome to Hogwarts, Amelia.  Thank you for your timely appearance."

Bones shook her head.  She pointed to first Tonks and then Kingsley who was standing near Harry.  "Thank Tonks and Shacklebolt.  They were the ones who told us about the problem."

Dumbledore nodded to them.  "I thank the two of you, then.  Hogwarts owes you a great debt."

Shack shrugged.  "Remus warned us.  We just brought the reinforcements."

Remus came up to the group, supporting Hermione.  He immediately shook his head at Kingsley's words.  "Harry identified them first."

Harry also shook his head.  "Hermione got the students organized and moving."

Hermione started to say, "The D.A. -"

She was cut off by a grinning Amelia.  "Could you all just admit it was a team effort?"

Tonks, still sniffling against Harry's chest, chuckled a little.

Harry gently extracted himself from Nim's enveloping hug.  He handed the broom he'd been riding to Hermione.  "Could you return this to Samuel Firthquill?  Also, please ask the D.A. to downplay my part, okay?  This is - and should be - about what they did."

Hermione took the broom and nodded. 

Everyone was startled as Dobby cracked in laden with a huge tray full of mugs.  He scowled around when nobody moved.  "Yous be taking this hot chocolate," he stated.

Chuckling, Harry picked up a mug, causing everyone else to take one as well.

Giving a satisfied nod, Dobby cracked back out.

"Pushy elf," Nim said with clear affection.

"He is," Harry agreed with a grin.  "Wouldn't trade him for the world, though."  He took a large sip of the chocolate and immediately felt better.

Looking around absently, he saw more elves distributing chocolate among the magicians collapsed in front of the school.  Everyone seemed to be recovering slowly.

When something brushed his leg, Harry looked down to see Crookshanks looking up at him with something in his mouth.

"What do you have there, Crookshanks?" Hermione asked her pet, setting her mug onto the grass.

The part-kneazle continued to look up at Harry before opening his mouth and dropping a rat at Harry's feet.

A rat with a silver paw.

After a long moment of silence, Remus let out a feral noise and reached for his wand.

"Hold!" Harry growled at the man.

Remus finished pulling out his wand and started to bring it to bear, eyes gleaming.

Harry grabbed Remus's wand and twisted it to point up.  "I said stop, dammit," Harry snarled in Remus's face, fighting a losing battle against the werewolf's greater strength.  "Yes, I want to kill him slowly as well, but we need him alive.  He'll have information on the deez, and then he can prove beyond doubt that Sirius was innocent."

Remus took a deep breath and slowly relaxed.  "I know, Cub.  Sorry about that.  But that rat has caused so much hurt to so many people . . ."

Harry nodded firmly.  "I know.  It may not be very Gryffindor of me, but I'm looking forward to seeing him in Azkaban or maybe even Kissed.  But only after we've sucked all the useful information out of him."  Seeing that Remus wasn't about to kill Wormtail, Harry let him go and turned back around.

Kingsley had already conjured a small, transparent carrying case around the unconscious animagus.

"Who's the smart kitty?" Hermione cooed to the part-kneazle in her arms.

Harry reached over and scratched him behind the ears as well.  "I owe you one, Crookshanks.  You let your mistress here know what you want for your birthday and we'll see what we can do, okay?"

After rubbing his head on Harry's hand for a moment, he gave a firm meow.

Harry turned to Amelia.  "Director Bones, in your capacity as head of D.M.L.E., I request that you accompany us to Minister Abbott.  This animagus Death Eater," he gestured at the cage Shack casually held, "will have information that I'm sure is of great interest in multiple criminal cases, not the least of which is Sirius Black's."

Amelia looked at him in amusement as he formally told her things she already knew.  "I agree, Lord-Baron.  He no doubt has a great deal of information that we can put to immediate use against Lord Voldemort, as well.  I should also report on this," she waved at the stone walls that another team of aurors were reinforcing.


Minister of Magic Marcus Abbott looked up from his desk as they walked in.  "Amelia!" he greeted her cheerfully enough, though the lines of stress and sleeplessness were evident on his face.  He'd been informed of the fight as Amelia and a large contingent of aurors were leaving the ministry, but he hadn't heard the results yet.  He blinked in confusion and put the quill in his hand back in an inkwell.  "And Harry.  Should I be concerned when the head of Law Enforcement and Harry Potter both show up for an emergency meeting?"  He paled.  "Is this about Hannah?" he asked fearfully

Harry smiled reassuringly.  "Hannah is fine, sir.  As to your first concern: perhaps you should usually be worried, but in this case we bring good news on more than one topic."

Abbott's smile returned.  "Ah, good news.  I'm always happy to hear that, especially in these times.  So, what part of the fight at Hogwarts would result in bringing two such esteemed personages to my office to report good news?"

Amelia answered directly, "Approximately two-hundred and fifty dementors, nearly all of the rogues from Azkaban, attacked Hogwarts."  Marcus blanched.  He knew about the dementors, but not that nearly all of them had been used.  Amelia continued, "However, through the efforts of the professors and a student militia, informally known as the D.A. I believe, the dementors were all captured."

Marcus simply gaped.

Harry added, "Oh, and we also captured Peter Pettigrew, the real Secret Keeper and betrayer of my parents, and a Death Eater for longer than that.

"How's your day been, Minister?" Harry finished with an innocent expression

Abbott slowly shook his head.  Leaning forward to plant his elbows on the desk, he said, "Let's start this over from the beginning.  Tell me about the dementors and the attack."

Chuckling, Amelia took a guest chair and waved Harry toward another.


Battle at Hogwarts

Rogue Dementors Captured

Allies of the self-stylized Dark Lord Voldemort attacked Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry yesterday.  Under cover of the annual Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff quidditch match, almost all of the renegade dementors flooded in from the direction of the Forbidden Forest.

Fortunately, many of the quick-thinking students recognized the situation for what it was and employed advanced tactics and magics to defend the rest of their fellow students.

Said Professor Severus Snape, current Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, "I was in the castle during the early stages of the battle, but from what I was told many of my students knew what to do without instruction.  The Patronus Charm is very difficult to master.  That so many students knew it is a surprise, but a pleasant one in that it proves that I should have had this teaching position long ago."

According to several witnesses, a study group called the Defense Association took command of the situation immediately and started the majority of the student body moving toward the safety of the school.  They cast Patronus Spells (see page 6 for a full explanation) to slow down the dementors' advance and retreated to the school in good order.  Several Ministry aurors, led personally by D.M.L.E. Director Bones, quickly arrived on the scene and assisted the students and professors in rounding up the dementors into a temporary, conjured structure.

There were two students reported Kissed.  After the battle, aurors found the pair near the quidditch pitch, but not in the stands.  Their names have not been released, pending notification of their families.

Two Death Eater bodies (names not yet released) were found by school representatives in the Forbidden Forest near the castle.

Our readers will recall that the dementors abandoned their duties on Azkaban Island early last summer and were presumed to have joined forces with Voldemort's Death Eaters.  Attacks on isolated muggle villages have been reported in the muggle press, possibly accounting for the activities of the dementors in the months since.

Now that the wayward dementors have been caught, what will the ministry do with them?  Does Minister Abbott have a plan to deal with them?

Time will tell.


The Truth of Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew Revealed!

The living body of one Peter Pettigrew, believed killed by the infamous Sirius Black on 2 November, 1981, was delivered to ministry custody yesterday.  Under Veritaserum interrogation, it was revealed that he had in fact been a Death Eater, betrayed the Potters to the Dark Lord Voldemort, and framed Sirius Black for his own murder as well as that of a dozen muggles.

Sirius Black has already been exonerated, posthumously, by the ministry.

A full accounting of the tangled story will be coming as more details are revealed.

Meanwhile, legal consultants are examining what restitutions the ministry must make to the estate of Sirius Black for wrongful imprisonment.

In accordance with new ministry guidelines, Mr. Pettigrew will be given a trial for his part in the deaths of James and Lily Potter and his purported support of Voldemort.  If he is found guilty, which is likely given the Veritaserum confessions that have already been reported, then he shall be stripped of his Order of Merlin and sent to Azkaban prison.

More information will be reported on the trial once it has been released.


My Lord Gryffindor,

In accordance to the Hogwarts bylaws, as well as our more personal agreement, I wish to make a report to you pertaining to the recent battle at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

It was the Hogwarts wards that initially alerted me to the incursion.  My first action was to move myself and the available professors to the escape route that the students would, by necessity, take.  I also alerted the professors that had remained in the school to set up a strong point at the doors to the school.

I was preparing to alert Miss Granger as de facto head of the Defense Association when I heard her announce the situation to the student body.

You were present for the battle itself, and were instrumental in several aspects of it, so I do not believe I need to describe what happened in any detail.  If you are unclear about any of it, please ask.

I must say that I feel that the Defense Association performed marvelously.  For a largely under trained force, they were far more effective than expected.  Miss Granger in particular performed most impressively.  I shall have to give some thought to giving her a commendation for special services to the school.  As an Heir to a Founder, do you have any thoughts on this matter?

Aside from the expected minor injuries (bruises, minor contusions, and the like) there were three more serious casualties.

Miss Ryder was hexed severely and fell from her broomstick.  I believe you witnessed this, so I do not need to describe the circumstances.  Madam Pomfrey has assured me that the injuries, while serious, are not permanently damaging, and Miss Ryder will be up and about within a week.

Upon questioning, it seems that she was attempting to protect you, though unfortunately her Shield Charm was not up to the task.

If you have read the Daily Prophet article, then you are already aware of the two other casualties.  Miss Smythe of Slytherin and Mr. Jacobs of Ravenclaw were both seventh year students.  They were found under the quidditch stands nearest the Forbidden Forest, apparent victims of the Dementor's Kiss.  As they were purported to be in a romantic relationship, I hypothesize that they were spending a moment of quiet time together and were caught by the flood of dementors without any means of escape.  Circumstantial evidence supports this theory, but again I have no proof. 

As nobody was aware of their location, none of the combatants, myself included, were aware of the need to rescue them.  For this reason, I mourn their passing but will only accept a fraction of the blame for it.  I respectfully suggest you do the same.

In other news, the centaurs had followed a team of three Death Eaters after they had reportedly Portkeyed into a clearing in the Forbidden Forest.  According to the unofficial report the centaurs provided us, the Death Eaters herded the group of dementors that attempted to intercept the student retreat.  After releasing their charges, the Death Eaters then attempted to curse you.  The centaurs attacked the three from behind with their bows immediately thereafter.  Two bodies were delivered to Professor McGonagall shortly after you left for the ministry.  Both are eastern European nationals and their names are unknown.  The third Death Eater simply vanished.  I suspect that Mr. Pettigrew was the third, and we have the wonderful companion to Miss Granger to thank for apprehending him. 

The centaurs, represented by Magorian's son, unofficially provided us with this assistance.  He pointed out the risks his father ran to give us this much.

There was a portkey on one of the two delivered here, so I am assuming that was the planned method of egress for the invading Death Eater teams.

Aragog reports, via his old friend Hagrid, that the acromantulas ambushed and eliminated another team of three.

I suspect that there were a number of Death Eater teams that escaped without incident or notice, though I do not possess any solid information one way or the other on that topic.

I do not know what retrieval plans, if any, were in place for the dementors.

Severus has not yet reported on Tom's reaction to the battle.

Minister Abbott has already begun preparations to move the dementors back to Azkaban, presumably to resume their duties there.

In accordance with your instructions to Miss Granger, your participation in this battle has not been mentioned in the official reports to be shared with the school board nor to the representatives of the media.

I remain,

Your Faithful Servant

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

Headmaster, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

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Author Notes:

Before someone says anything, I cannot find any evidence in canon (movie to the contrary) that dementors can fly.  If anyone can find such evidence, please let me know.  If there IS such evidence . . .  well, this is already A.U.

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