The Sugar Quill
Author: Ciela Night  Story: To Defend  Chapter: Beginnings of a Storm
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Dean Thomas glared at his friend Seamus as his friend danced a little jig further up on the busy sidewalk

Author’s note: Sorry for the long wait between chapters! It won’t be that long before the next update. I’ll have this finished before the Half-Blood Prince comes out. Thanks to my beta reader, Suburban House Elf.

 

 

Dean Thomas glared at Seamus as his friend danced a little jig further up on the busy sidewalk. Seamus wasn’t as laden down with parcels as he was and Dean resented him for it. All Seamus had bought at Diagon Alley was a new wand and some stuff from Fred and George Weasley’s new shop, his other supplies having been bought earlier in the summer. Dean had had to buy all his supplies for sixth year that afternoon. He remembered when the owl had delivered the three foot long parchment list; his reaction had gotten him a scolding for inappropriate language around his younger siblings. And after carrying his parcels for the last three blocks to the Tube entrance made him consider much stronger language, his mother wasn’t around to hear it.

“Eh, what’s that, old chap?” Seamus had come dancing back and had caught the tail end of the expletive. “Trousers rubbing a bit too tight?”

“Seamus, you inconsiderate wanker!  I’ve been walking these last few blocks with around 100 pounds of school supplies all without a Carrying Charm and you don’t offer to help at all! In fact, I think that I’m carrying your new wand. You could give a mate a hand!” Dean puffed breathlessly as he dropped his packages next to the Underground entrance. “And why the hell are you dancing like one of those demented blokes in Riverdance. I mean, I know you’re Irish and all but…”

“I think it was one of the sweets the Weasley twins gave me to try,” said Seamus as he tried to still his dancing feet. People passing by gave the boys strange looks. “It was a mint shaped like a clover.”

Dean shook his head. “I guess you didn’t learn from earlier this year, huh? Remember the night before the Quidditch Cup?”

Seamus winced, “Yeah, those rabbit ears weren’t very flattering.” He looked at the small fire-red bag he was carrying that read ‘Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes’. “I s’pose I could give them to Conor. At least Mum would know how to remove any extra body parts.”

Dean looked at Seamus. He lifted his eyebrow.

“You’re right, Mum would kill me if I fed Conor something.”

“Save them for school,” Dean suggested. “You never know when a Slytherin might need to kick up a jig.”

“Good idea.”

            The two boys hurried down the steps to the Underground, Seamus still giving a quick skip every couple steps, causing him to knock people with his bags. They had just paid for their tickets when the next train arrived and they clambered on.

            “Did you buy anything at the Weasleys’ shop?” asked Seamus as the train started the half-hour trip to Dean’s home in the East End.

            “I was going to but when we got there Fred and George dragged me into a corner to answer some ‘questions’.”

            “Ginny told them about you?”

            “Well, I guess she told Ron and Ron told the whole family, of course.”

            “I told you you were asking for trouble when you asked her out. In a family of five older brothers, and she’s the only girl and the youngest? Did I ever tell you about Siobhan?”

“Yeah, you did, but-“

“Well she had two older brothers, two huge, ugly rugby players and every time I went over to her house, they’d be around; they’d glare at me and make threatening comments under their breath. Very uncomfortable, especially when you want to get to some snogging. How bad was the questioning? Did they threaten to disembowel you or hack off your family jewels if you corrupted their young, innocent sister?”

“Er, kind of...” answered Dean uncomfortably. “It wasn’t in that exact language but yeah, that was the general idea.”

“Nothing against Ginny herself but trust me, girls with older brothers should be avoided.”

“Maybe, but I kinda understand where they were coming from. I’d probably do the same if Talia or Livvie were seeing some bloke. I do like Ginny though, a lot. I wish I’d been able to see her during the hols.”

“Why didn’t you?” Seamus asked.

Security mostly,” replied Dean gloomily.  “Her house’s under heavy guard because of her Dad,”

“Do you really think he’ll be made Minister of Magic?” Seamus asked.

“Hope not,” Dean grumbled.  “He’s a prime target for Death Eaters now, and the Minster hasn’t even been picked yet.  The whole family’s considered at risk.  But I wish Ginny’s family would at least let her travel.”

 “Eh, tough luck, but you’ll see her in less than a week anyway.”

“Yeah.”

They rode in companionable silence for a couple minutes.

Dean sighed. “It was strange, being back in the wizarding world, y’know, at Diagon Alley. It’s been so peaceful, well, not at my house necessarily but in the Muggle world. I could almost believe that nothing’s happening, nothing’s going on. It didn’t affect me at all.”

“And then you go to Diagon Alley,” Seamus interjected. “Where there’s hit wizards standin’ at every corner, Aurors at the Leaky Cauldron, discussing the best kind of stunning curses, and every shop is selling you stuff guaranteed to protect you from getting killed by Death Eaters. Everyone’s runnin’ scared.”

“Yeah. I guess it hasn’t been a quiet summer for wizards,” Dean said.

Seamus snorted. “You really need to read the Prophet more often, mate! They’ve been running war stories on the front page for weeks now, photos too.” Seamus paused, “They’re not pretty, especially the ones about the attacks on homes,” he added soberly.

“D’you think I should tell my parents about what’s going on?” asked Dean. “It’s getting really uncomfortable at home with them - I don’t like lying to them.”

“It’s your call,” Seamus said, picking up his parcels. “This is the stop, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Maybe you should, at the end of hols,” Seamus continued once they were back on the street again.  

Dean shook his head. “No, if I do that, they might not let me go back to Hogwarts.”

“What about a letter?” Seamus suggested.

“Hmm, that might work. If I write it after we get back to school – hang on.” Dean felt the medallion he wore on his neck get warm. Putting down his parcels he brought out the medallion and held it close to his mouth. “Tals? Is something wrong?”

He heard his sister’s voice faintly as she answered. “Dean, there’s some wizards outside my bedroom, bad ones I think. Please come home now, I’m really scared, I don’t know if anything’s happened to Mum or Dad and-” 

            “Talia,” Dean said frantically, “Who’s there? No wait, never mind, Tals, you have to hide, now. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

            There was a silence from the medallion and then some sounds that were too faint to be made out and then a small shriek, “Help!”

            “Talia!” yelled Dean. Seamus gave a small yelp beside him and dragged Dean off the street into a narrow alleyway. His face was pale and he looked at Dean helplessly as Dean tried to communicate with his sister for another few moments. There was no answer on the other side of the medallion. Dean slumped down on the ground for a second, his face in his hands.

            “Dean?” asked Seamus tentatively.

            Dean looked up at his friend, his eyes bright with tears. “They’ve got them, Seamus, the Death Eaters have got my family. They’re probably killing them right now.”

            “We… we don’t know that,” said Seamus. “We need to tell someone about this right away now. Like Aurors, or people at the Ministry... or somebody! They can get a team together and rescue your family.”

            Dean didn’t answer him for a couple of seconds but then he took a deep breath and replied. “There’s no time for that. We’re going to help them ourselves; if we wait until the Ministry sends someone my family will be dead and the Death Eaters long gone.”

            Seamus opened his mouth and then closed it quickly. Dean didn’t wait for his friend’s response. He dropped all his packages and started off down the street. Seamus swore and took off running after Dean. “Oi!” he said, puffing as he caught up to him. “Are you bloody serious mate? You and me against some Death Eaters?”

            “We already know a lot from the D.A.” Dean answered, never slackening his pace. “And we can catch them by surprise with a quick Expelliarmus and a couple of Stunners.” He gave a quick glance to his friend and yanked off his medallion. He passed it over to Seamus. “You should be able to contact Ginny on this, can you try to talk to her, and ask how we should go about doing this? I’m going to run up ahead.”

            “Don’t do anything until I’m there!” Seamus hollered after him as Dean turned the corner to the street where he lived. He turned his attention to Dean’s medallion. “Ginny Weasley….Oi, Ginny, yeah it’s Seamus. Something terrible has happened….”

 

            Dean looked up at the windows to his flat. There was no sign that anything was wrong up on the third floor. The curtains were blowing in the breeze and he could hear the television blaring a football match. Seamus arrived beside him, puffing and out of breath. “I just spoke to..Ginny… she..she said to wait, there’s some kind of team from this organization that fights You-Know-Who that’s going to come. I told them your address.”

            “I can’t wait,” Dean said, his voice filled with anguish. “This is my fault. If I only told my family earlier about this stupid war, maybe they’d be safe now. I can’t just leave them now and wait for someone else to help them.” He paused for a moment and then asked tentatively, “D’you have my back?”

            “Of course I do,” Seamus didn’t pause in his response. He took out his wand. “Even though we’re bloody stupid wankers for even attempting this, let’s go rescue your family.”

            They crept up the stairs to the third floor and stopped outside the door, Dean on one side and Seamus on the other. On a quiet count of three, they both stepped in front of the door.

            Alohomara!”

            Expelliarmus!”

 


 

 

 

 

 

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