Chapter 51 : Disaster at the Ministry
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“Ber! Knock it off! You have her so flustered she can’t concentrate on what she’s doing. She’s going too get killed by the bludger. Now, knock it off,” Gwen yelled at her from the other end of the field; that she was guarding.
“If she can’t take a little ribbing and hold her concentration at practice what’s she going to do during a real game?” Ginny’s massive teammate yelled back.
Ber turned back toward her little, redheaded teammate and suddenly zoomed at her full speed. Ginny was caught so off guard that for a second she froze in place. The team beater charged at her and swung her bat at Ginny’s head. At the last second Harry’s wife ducked to her left as Ber swung her bat at the place where her head had been only seconds before. Ginny heard a crack and turned to see the bludger fly away. Her teammate had knocked it away from her at the last second.
“Pay attention, Ginger Snap or we’ll be carting you off to St. Mungo’s. I don’t think your husband wants to have to wait a few weeks for you to wake up to be in your pants again,” Ber yelled at her as she zoomed after the bludger.
The Prime Minister of England had been burning the midnight oil for the last three days in preparation for his next speech to the House of Commons. He had touched upon all of the points that he wanted to bring up and he was now rewriting it for the fifth time. He wanted to have something that would strengthen his position for his party and still be of benefit for the general population. He had just finished his final draft, when a clearing of someone’s throat caught his attention.
He had been alone for the last several hours and he knew that there wasn’t anyone left in his part of the office. He looked up and saw movement coming from a small painting on the far wall. He rubbed his eyes, thinking that he had been at the last draft for too long.
“Excuse me. You will be receiving a visitation from our Minister of Magic and one of his special guests in a few minutes. I just thought you’d like to know,” the little, strangely dressed, man in the painting told him.
“What?” Was all the Prime Minister could say. It had caught him completely by surprise. Although he had been informed about the other Ministry when he had taken office, he had thought that it was just a joke that the last Prime Minister was playing on him.
“I said that the Minister of Magic will be coming to see you in a few minutes. There have been some important developments in the last few days and he wishes to speak with you about them. I would suggest that you stay away from your hearth, it could get messy,” the old man in the painting told him.
For his part the Prime Minister sat there wondering how the last Minister had rigged the painting up to speak and move, but yet look, for all intense and purposes like an ordinary painting. He stood up and walked over to where the small painting was hanging on the wall. Once he was close enough to see the little man better, he realized that the subject in the painting was looking directly at him and followed his movement with his head and eyes.
His musing on the painting was violently interrupted as two men came spinning out of the hearth into his office with a gush of great green flame. The minister almost messed his pants at the appearance of these two visitors.
“Good evening Prime Minister, I’m Kingsley Shacklebolt and this is Harry Potter." The introductions were made as the two wizards dusted themselves off from the floo travel.
“Ni- Ni- Nice to meet you,” the Prime Minister stammered as he mechanically raised his hand to shake hands with his two visitors.
Harry’s one of the Aurors in our Ministry, he works with me. I’m sorry that we had to intrude on your privacy like this but we feel that we didn’t have any other alternative. Our two worlds are faced with a serious dilemma. A few weeks ago, Harry had a run in with a group of Thugs in India. He destroyed their base of operations but we were unable to destroy their main weapon. A wizard that was working for the sect brought a statue of Kali to life and it’s now on its way here. This statue has already destroyed a hotel in India, has killed several people on its way north, and destroyed a school in France, a few days ago. It’s heading in this direction and nothing has been able to stop it, yet. We need you to clear a path through England so that the number of muggles in its way won’t see it and won’t be killed by it. This statue doesn’t show any mercy toward anyone. If you don’t want a very large body count, on your hands you’ll start clearing a path immediately. We’ll try to stop it, once it gets further north,” Kingsley explained to the Prime Minister.
The man just stood there with his mouth hanging open. He had been required too deal with too many mind blowing occurrences in the last ten minutes too completely comprehend what was being told too him.
“Harry? You killed a Wizard?” The Prime Minister asked him in an almost panicked voice.
“Yes sir. I didn’t want too but there wasn’t any choice. Well, actually the Wizard was killed by Kali. Sir, this Wizard didn’t bring the statue of Kali to life as a representative of Kali but as the goddess herself. It has all of the powers that the goddess is said to have possessed. It has incredible strength; it’s indestructible and won’t stop in its path of destruction. I dropped an entire stone temple and half of a mountain side on it and it clawed its way out. We just don’t know how to destroy it yet, but we’re trying everything we can to keep it from doing any damage to your muggle community,” Harry explained the situation to the Prime Minister.
“Now, wait a minute. You are asking me to believe that a statue of an ancient Indian Goddess has been brought to life by a wizard and she’s on her way here?” the Prime Minister asked in an almost hushed voiced. He was afraid that if he said it to loud someone, that wasn’t there, would hear him and think that he was crazy.
“I’m afraid so, Mister Minister. I’m sorry for having to put you under so much undue stress but we really have no other alternative. This thing can destroy entire buildings with its bare hands and we don’t know if we can stop it. If you could just clear your muggles out of the way, it will reduce the death and destruction that it will probably cause when it finally gets here,” Harry told him.
“If you don’t mind telling me, what’s a muggle and how is it suppose to get here?” the Prime Minister asked in a way that would suggest that he was terrified of the answer he was going to get.
“Muggles are non magical folk and the best we can tell; it’s walking across the English Channel. You see sir we don’t believe that anything can stop it. The channel will only slow it down. It will be here in a few days, at best,” Kingsley told his counterpart.
“Oh, My!!” was all the muggle Minister could say as he slumped into his chair. After he considered the matter for a few minutes he came to a decision. “I’ll do whatever needs to be done to clear out a path for what you say is coming. Where, exactly is it supposed to come out of the channel?” he asked his two visitors.
“We don’t know. I would assume that it would be the point that the channel has the most gradual slope for it to climb out of the water,” Harry surmised.
“I’ll put our best military engineers on clearing out the population and I’ll have them try and set traps to slow its progress down. Perhaps we can funnel it to a deep pit and that will keep it from getting any further,” the Prime Minister suggested.
“That could work as a slowing technique but I doubt if that will stop it. As Harry said, he dumped an entire mountain on top of it and it still crawled out, after a few days,” Kingsley admitted.
“We’ll keep in contact with you and let you know if we find out anything else. We’ll keep it quiet so there won’t be any curious questions asked of you by your staff,” Kingsley told him as he and Harry stepped back into the fireplace.
Both men vanished in a flash of green flame. For his part, the Prime Minister sat down panting. It was as if he had just run a major race. He doubted that his heart had beat that fast since he won the election over a year ago. He placed two fingers on his pulse and promised himself that he would start exercising first thing in the morning.
Over the next three days, Great Britain’s military establishment worked quietly on a top secret mission in the heart of their own country. Word had come from the Prime Minister that due to the need to move large quantities of materials from the central counties to the English Channel a new path had to be cut for the transporters. The houses and land were paid for at triple value so that no one would refuse. Those that had misgivings about what was being asked of them, refused to sell at first, until they received a letter personally signed by the Prime Minister, himself, with a request that was written in the form of a command to sell their properties.
A path of some eighty kilometers long and two kilometers wide had been cleared before Kali’s toes left the waters of the Channel. She stopped for a second and looked up at the hillside that was the slope of the edge of England made with the Channel. There was a small opening in the cliff face with a gradual rise up to the edge. She slowly placed one foot in front of the other and walked up to the path that had been cleared for her.
She had gone only a few kilometers when she came across three children that had ignored the warnings about staying away from the area and had come to play in the snow in the fields around where their homes had recently been. The two older children spotted the massive statue as she walked towards them. The boy grabbed the older girl’s hand and started to run back toward the woods that they had come through to reach their play yard. The littlest girl, who was about five years old, just stood there looking up at this massive statue, gleaming in the late morning sun. The statue’s size, and menacing appearance, caused the little girl to break down crying and to shake with fear.
Kali stopped within a meter of the child. The two of them regarded each other for a moment, or so, before Kali stepped by and continued on her way. The powerful mother’s instinct that the goddess possessed in her docile form, and the fact that the little girl hadn’t moved as she walked up to her, saved the child.
At first no one believed the three children when they started to relate their story to the elders of their village. Their parents were called and all three were punished, by being sent to their room without supper, for telling such a lie. It would be several days before they were vindicated, as more information was gathered by other eye witnesses.
As each day passed, no matter how hard the military tried, more and more muggles in the area witnessed the passage of Kali. One man made the mistake of exercising his right to keep the intruder off of his property. After he yelled for the fourth time for her to stop, he fired his old shot gun at her in an attempt to stop her. The sword slash was so fast and vicious he was cleaved in two from his right shoulder to the middle of his left leg. The man was dead before his two parts hit the ground. Kali stopped for a moment and stared at the dead man; as one would look at a fly that they had just swatted. Without remorse on her face she turned and continued on her path of destruction, toward the center of London.
When the military realized that this construct was heading for the capital city they sent several tanks and a battalion of British Marines to stop it. The tank crews were very good at their jobs and hit the statue with every shot that was aimed at her. Parts were blasted off and on several instances she was completely blown apart. Within seconds the parts moved together, of their own volition, and reassembled into the statue again.
The two forward tanks rolled at her to intercept the threat before it could get to the men. She reached up and grabbed the tanks by the ends of the L7, 105 mm guns and with very little effort bent both downwards and inwards. Both tank crews didn’t see that their primary weapon had been bent out of commission. Before the tank commander could give the order to hold their fire, tank one’s gunner pulled the trigger and blew the front of the cannon off. The blowback and recoil killed both men in the tank’s turret.
The next three hours of fierce fighting slowed the statue down a bit but destroyed most of the tanks and killed over half of the battalion. This company hadn’t suffered such loses since Dunkirk, in World War II. Kali walked off of the field after all of the tanks were destroyed or rendered inoperable. Over three hundred men were wounded or killed. The rest just stood there looking on helplessly. There would be no way to stop Kali from reaching London.
The noon time hour had all of the muggles in the area around the Ministry of Magic roused, awakened, and evacuated. They had been told that an old fashion World War II bomb had been found resting against the main feed of the natural gas pipe for the area. The corridor, some twenty five kilometers long, had been cleared in record time, as Kali slowly walked toward the Ministry’s visitor’s entrance.
The massive statue grabbed the old fashion phone booth and ripped it completely out of the ground. The remains of the booth were flung some distance away as the statue looked down into the center of the Ministry’s grand concourse. She stepped into the hole that was created by the removal of the booth and dropped straight down into the center of the atrium. The impact of her feet with the marble floor left massive cracks running in all directions as they spidered outwards from the point of contact.
Several of the security guards and a few of the Aurors charged forward and pointed their wands at the massive statue. It started to walk towards them with its sword raised over its head. The men unleashed everything that they had at the statue. It stopped and stood there with its mouth opened and fangs bared. Kali started forward again and the men backed up. They could see that they were having no effect on her but didn’t want to turn the Ministry over to her either.
Mike Kilpatrick came up from the back of the atrium and yelled for everyone to start backing out of the way. He pointed to one of the guards and told him to go and release all of the prisoners from the cell block downstairs. Even if they had done something wrong, Kilpatrick wasn’t the type to leave men behind without some form of defense.
The aurors and guards worked together to hold off the statue’s advance. Word was sent out and within minutes dozens of other aurors and Ministry personal came forward to help the defenders. The statue had made its way to the center of the concourse before Harry, Ron, and Hermione joined the others defending the offices.
The statue had cornered several of the wizards in one of the nooks at the side of the wizard’s statue. They couldn’t move away because of the great sweeping cuts that she made with her sword.
Harry and Ron stepped forward and threw several heavy stunning spells at the statue. They bounced off and only seemed to enrage Kali more. While Ron and Hermione kept the statue occupied, Harry surveyed the area to see if there was anything he could use to stop this monstrosity from killing anyone else.
Kali backed up so as to bring her Trishul, or her massive trident, to bear on the few wizards that she had cornered. Her shoulder bumped against the statue of the Wizard that was part of the center piece of the Ministry. The statue rocked back and forth and then resettled itself on its base.
When Harry saw this he pointed his wand at the wizard and blasted its left foot and lower leg off. The massive statue toppled over and slammed down on top of Kali. The sudden weight and force of impact sent the attacking statue to the ground. She was pinned beneath the several tons of scrap Iron that the Minister’s brother had used to fake the statue.
“Everyone, this way!” Harry yelled once he saw that the behemoth was pinned down.
No one had to be told twice. There was a mad dash for any exit that the personal could get too. Within a minute the atrium was empty, except for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. “Together!” Hermione yelled.
The three friends pointed their wands up at the ceiling and yelled, “Confringo!!” Several tons of rock and wood from the ceiling panels and buttressing pillars collapsed on top of the wizard’s statue and Kali. The shear mass of material that had piled on top of the two statues acted to hold her down but it couldn’t hold her for long.
“Come on, let's get out of here,” Hermione yelled as she grabbed Ron’s arm and started to run for the lifts at the back of the Ministry.
As the door of the Ministry’s lift closed the three friends could hear the scraping of bronze against stone and steel. Kali’s head turned towards them as they were elevated upwards. Harry knew that it wouldn’t be long before she would be out from under the debris of the Ministry.
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