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Sometimes John wished Ron would be a little less quick to pop off the first spell. Still, as first spells go it was a nice idea. A Blasting Curse, modified to have the biggest explosion possible without sacrificing speed and accuracy. Under normal circumstances it’d be hard to shield against a spell like that. Too much power to absorb with a standard Shield Spell and too big of a radius to try and dodge and avoid the blast itself. However John knew it was futile even before Ron finished his incantation.

The spark sped towards its target at a blinding speed but before it could reach its target, Luna with her blue mask on was in front and casually flicked her arm up, intercepting the spell and smacking it with the tip of her wand. The Blasting Curse bounced off her wand as soon as it made contact, flying uselessly into the air before finally detonating like a rather impressive firework.

Out of the corners of his eyes, John saw two more wands rise and join Ron in the spell fire, however no matter what spell they used, it was easily deflected by Luna and Ginny, who had also stepped forward to even out the sides just a little bit more. No matter what Ron, Neville, and Padma did, there was just no breaking through the two’s defense. To make matters worse, behind both Luna and Ginny, they could see Alex’s eyes glowing with power from behind her black mask.

John tensed instinctively, trying to ready himself for whatever undead creature the young necromancer would throw at them. He looked left, then right, checking for a swarm of inferi charging towards them. He even looked into the sky to make sure no undead birds dived at them. But there was nothing to be seen. He was just about to believe Alex hadn’t prepared anything for this confrontation, but Susan let out a warning cry that quickly made him change his mind.

“Below!”

Not even a second after Susan’s warning, the ground beneath them began to quake violently. Their group quickly leapt aside, just as the head of a dragon burst through the ground, just barely missing John’s leg with its teeth as it snapped at the air.

“Bloody hell!” Ron yelled as he backed up even further, and John found himself agreeing with that sentiment.

The dragon crawling out of the ground was nothing but skin and bones, its flesh peeling away in flaky pieces. Its wings were torn to shreds, making flight impossible. But even a grounded dragon was a nightmare to deal with. Being undead just made things that much worse.

Snapping its jaws, the dragon charged forward, headed straight for John. But before John even raised his wand in order to try and defend himself, Sally charged forward and intercepted it, swinging her heavy warhammer at the undead’s head. Normally, seeing a girl run straight at a full sized dragon and trying to smack it with a hammer seemed a rather pointless action, but when the hammer made contact with the dragon’s jaw, there was a deafening impact and the dragon was forced off course, it’s head plowing into the ground as it lost balance and fell over.

When the dragon picked its head out of the ground, the place Sally’s hammer had impacted had pieces falling off of it, skin and bone splinters alike. Sally, spun her hammer in her hand, ready to smack the beast again. But as they watched, the falling skin and bone fragments seemed to pick themselves off the ground, float their way back into place, and mending itself back to its original state.

“Oh come on!” Sally yelled as she watched the dragon recover. “That’s not fair!”

The dragon opened its mouth and let out a weird raspy hiss and charged at Sally, head down as if to headbutt her, causing the hammer wielding girl to dive out of the way.

John tore his eyes away from the rampaging dragon and glared at Hermione…or rather ‘Charlotte Timberland’. She had her wand raised, following the dragon’s rampage, ready to repair any damages that came to it.

“Padma!” John shouted, ducking a spell that the blue masked Luna sent his way. “Take out their healer!”

The Indian girl looked over at the still clustered group before them and saw who John was talking about. She turned on the spot and winked out of existence with a loud crack. John turned just in time to see Padma reappear behind their opponents, wand raised and spell already sitting on the tip. But before Padma could unleash her spell, Ginny vanished from her spot next to Luna and was suddenly behind her group, between them and Padma. She easily deflected Padma’s spell and, surprised at her ‘apparition surprise attack’ was so easily countered, she twisted again, trying to get away. However when she reappeared some distance away, Ginny was right on her heel. John cursed under his breath. They still hadn’t figured out how Ginny moved about so easily without Apparating. It was a nightmare to deal with.

John’s attention to Ginny and Padma was suddenly drawn away as he heard Susan cry out somewhere to his right. His head snapped towards her and saw her staggering back slightly, clutching her head. He was worried that she had been caught by a spell but she shook her head as if to clear it and glared at one of the women in the group they were facing. Daphne glared right back at her, standing tall and proud, as befitting of Lady Slytherin.

As much as John wanted to help, a battle of Seers wasn’t a territory he was able to tread. So he turned to the males of his group. “Ron! Neville! We have to push up!”

The two gripped their wands in determination and the three of them charged forward, shielding and ducking spell fire that rained upon them from the blue masked Luna and the green masked Lord Slytherin. When they returned fire, Luna switched smoothly from offense to pure defense, making sure none of their spells got past her while John’s brother shot painfully accurate spells at them. It was all the three boys could do to shield them or avoid getting hit, only able to take shots of their own as there were three of them and therefore provided three targets that Harry had to individually aim at.

Harry quickly made up for this fact as he waved his wand intricately. The ground shook again and two massive snakes made of earth crawled their way out of the dirt beneath their feet. The snakes hissed and dove at Ron and Neville, making the two boys dive to the side, breaking their charge.

Cursing to himself, John was forced to push forward alone. He threw spell after spell at the group before him, only for his spells to be deflected one after another. Despite Luna’s expert deflections, John could see the blue masked woman starting to get tired, so he pressed on, casting even faster and stronger than before. Eventually, one of his spells managed to get under her guard and caught her right in the chest. There was a red flash, Luna’s cry cutting off abruptly, as she fell backwards, stunned. Despite simply being a stunner, John felt some semblance of pride that it was strong enough that even his brother couldn’t revive her while focusing on a fight.

John felt a surge of triumph. Now that their protection was gone, John would be able to get a clear shot on any one of the others, while they focused on his friends. Raising his wand, he was about to take aim at Alex when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

Spinning around, John barely had time to register the flaming red hair of Ginny before he was suddenly flipped over, ass over teakettle, and landed on his back painfully. Wheezing as he tried to get air back into his lunges, John couldn’t fight Ginny off as she reached into his robes, digging out the golden locket that he and his friends had been trying to protect to destroy later. Finding what she was looking for, Ginny beamed down at John, a mocking victory grin. And before John could even blink, let alone make a grab for the locket she took, she vanished, leaving behind a small rock that rudely fell right onto his face and smacked him on the forehead.

“No!” John coughed, still trying to get his lungs to work properly again and struggling to get onto his feet. “Give that back! It needs to be-”

Before John could finish, he heard Susan cry out again from behind him. Whirling around, he saw Susan had been knocked off of her feet and was now on her back. Another yell and he turned to see Neville and Ron backed into a corner, their wands shooting spells that simply bounced off the earthy snakes that were bearing down on them. Twisting the other way, he saw Sally pinned to the ground by the undead dragon’s forepaw, her hammer laying some ways away and definitely out of her reach. And a little further away, Padma was lying face down on the ground, obviously unconscious.

John grit his teeth, torn between helping his friends and charging his brother’s group to retake the locket. But as he watched, he saw the other girls start turning their attentions towards him, their opponents having been taken care of. Alex gave a sharp whistle and the undead dragon snarled at Sally before picking up its paw and lumbering happily over to them like some massive dog.

John’s eyes met Harry’s under his mask, and John could almost hear his brother smirking from underneath. “Better luck next time, dear brother.”

John watched as Harry waved his wand, causing his snakes to turn back into earth and a second later, they all twisted on the spot and Apparated away, leaving John and his friends thoroughly defeated.

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