Chapter Twenty-one: Masterpiece Theater
"Just don't panic." Harry said, his voice low and controlled. "You take the ones to the left, I'll cover my side." He could hear movement at both ends of the hall and knew they had precious few seconds to prepare a defense.
"It sounds like lots of them." Draco said, his voice shaky, terrified, and pitched too high.
He's Panicking. Harry thought with alarming urgency. Clearly, Draco would be of little use. Harry looked around, finding only a few paintings, then he suddenly sprung into action, pulling a heavy old frame off the wall, a sinister face in oils, bearing the likeness of the Malfoy lineage and wearing yesterday's clothes. He kept his voice as low as possible, hearing the scuffle of footsteps only moments away, and performed a difficult charm that Dumbledore had taught him only yesterday. The painting transfigured into a shield bearing the crest of Gryffindor, charmed for strength and able to repel most curses. This he shoved in Draco's hands. "Take this." He said and that's when the Deatheaters arrived.
He blocked the few attempts they made before he cast a ward in the corridor which gave him a fleeting moment, using Draco and the shield for cover, he summoned another painting, performing the charm as it crossed the short distance, just as the Deatheaters countered his ward.
Draco's loud, irregular breathing was getting on his nerves. Harry hadn't heard him cast one spell and knew he was cowering behind the shield. The hooded figures were slowly advancing, and had closed a considerable distance on Draco's side. To make matters worse, any of the ten or so in front of Harry that he managed to take down, were quickly revived by their companions. Their numbers remained strong.
"Draco!" Harry yelled.
"What?" He squeaked. "I'm busy."
"What's through that door?"
Draco glanced over, "Nuh, nothing."
"Come on!" Back to back and hidden behind the huge, but feather light shields, Harry led Draco to the door. He could feel Malfoy shaking with fear and he was relieved to pull him to safety. Or so he thought. Three Deatheaters guarded the room in an obvious trap.
With Deatheaters pressing in on both sides of the hall, some now pounding on the door and blasting it with spells, three more in the room, and others peering in through the windows, they were goners. If not for the shields, they'd already be dead.
"Impedimentia!" Harry bellowed, slowing the advancing three to a crawl, giving him just enough time to seal the door, which was about to give, even though he had Draco pushed up against it, making use of his shield and keeping him from harm. The Deatheaters were shaking off of the hindrance, so Harry wasted no time. "Stupefy!" He watched them fall and, just for good measure, he threw on a full body bind.
Safe for the moment, Harry grabbed Malfoy by the arms, their shields clamoring to the floor. He was enraged, his words brash and loud. "What the hell are you doing? Damn it Malfoy, don't you dare get me killed! Calm down RIGHT NOW!" He shoved Draco against the wall and paced the small room. He tried one of his carving spells, but knew they didn't work on warded walls. He racked his brain for ideas and scoured the room for weapons, but to no avail.
"Get me out of here, Harry. I'll give you a million galleons, just don't let them take me." His voice sounded on the edge of terror and Harry sighed.
"Show me your picture. The one you put in your bag. Who is it of?"
"No one. Forget it. I'm not showing it to you."
"Alright then, when they get through that door, like you know they will, it's every wizard for himself."