Chapter 3 : a fight, injuries, and the failure of a plan
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[James Potter II and Albus Potter]
-Rose: Hogwarts grounds.
Friday 15th October
The short glow of light from my wand had Aldertree running over to me, and by the time he’d reached us, Teddy was back, clutching at his too large waistband.
“What the fuck was that?” said the first-year that was Roxy- it was bizarre to see the tiny child swear.
My earpiece crackled as Dom sighed down it, and I quickly fished a spare out of my pocket for Teddy.
“The Fraternity,” he said, screwing it into his ear.
I turned to see my horrified expression mirrored by the midgets around me.
The Fraternity were our biggest rivals- although, saying that, we don’t actually clash that much. Generally because they’re the brawn, and we’re the brains- they smash and grab and our jobs are delicate, requiring precision and planning. And now they were muscling into our job. This didn’t look too good.
Teddy rolled his eyes at us, and launched into an explanation. “They were all Flooing in,” he said, “and they must have screwed up their contact because they all ended up the fireplace I had opened for you guys. They didn’t realise it was me, so they just pushed me out the way, and when I did my bumbling teacher impression, I got thrown out the window.”
“How many?” Louis asked, his soft voice hissing in my ear.
“Six,” Teddy replied. “Allowing for one on the inside, and two waiting, that’s nine.”
“Dom?” Lucy’s voice was low. “What do we do?”
Then Lily’s no-nonsense tone crackled through. She must be pacing on the leafy ground. “We’ve got two options. Steal it before they do, or steal it after they do.”
“Is there a third option?” I asked, and Hugo snorted with laughter beside me.
“This is what we need Scorpius for,” someone said quietly.
Had a point. It was usually Scorpius who kept an eye on the Fraternity for us.
Dom rounded on them. “It was probably him who put the Fraternity up to it,” she spat. “We’re re-grouping and pulling out. 500 yards into the trees, behind the Three Broomsticks, two minutes. Move it.”
-? The Ministry of Magic, London.
The man rubbed his eyes as the phone rang again. Why had he subjected himself to this Muggle filth?
“Yes?” he answered, curtly.
“There’s a problem,” came a familiar voice. It was panicked.
“Introducing the Fraternity to this melee was your idea.”
“My idea was sound,” the caller said, sounding annoyed. “Since Malfoy has gone, they are completely out-of-touch with the underground. But the Fraternity entered Hogwarts through the wrong fireplace, and now-”
“And now your lot are pulling out.”
“They aren’t my lot,” the caller paused. “But yes. The new plan will be to steal it from the Fraternity.”
“I don’t see the problem.”
The caller sighed, exasperated. “You can only steal from its rightful owner. And would the Fraternity really want to admit that they were robbed? The worst you could charge the Clan with is possession which for them wouldn’t even mean a prison sentence.”
“For them,” the man repeated, his face twisted. The caller had hit a nerve.
There was a nervous cough on the line. “I have another suggestion.”
“Is it going to be as good as your one?” the man retorted, anger flaring in his eyes. “I’m of a mind to throw you to the wolves, so to speak.”
-Rose: 500 yards behind the Three Broomsticks, in the trees.
It had started to rain. Of course it had. No failed robbery in history is complete without some precipitation, making the whole scene dramatic and poignant. And wet. Really, I have had enough of rain. Maybe Lorcan can get me a holiday- he chats up all the travel agents. Even the blokes.
I lit my wand, and held it up out of my face. It looked like most people were here, but Dom started roll call anyway- because we’re all in primary school.
“Lorcan and Vic are in London,” she murmured, “Lucy and Louis are here...”
She glanced at my little group. “Rose, Hugo, Lysander, Teddy, Roxy and Molly...”
Portugal. That would be nice.
There was a grunt of acknowledgement.
“James, Lily and Albus?”
But, I’ve never been to Italy. So much culture... and art... and low security...
“Me and Lils are here,” said James, shaking his wet hair like an overgrown, humanoid dog.
“Albus?” Dom said again.
The woods were deathly quiet, except for the pitter-patter of rain on the leaves.
I tapped my earpiece, but heard nothing. Dom lifted her collar to her lipsticked mouth, the mike clipped onto it beaded with water. “Albus?” she said, her voice sounding extra loud in my ear.
“James, what would Albus do if his communications were down?” Hugo said, pinching the bridge of his nose.
“Carry on with the plan,” James said, his voice hoarse.
Hugo checked his watch. “So, right now, he should be in the Charms corridor, awaiting our signal.”
Even if all of us were here, we wouldn’t stand a chance against the Fraternity. Albus was definitely screwed.
James started to lace up his boots tighter, and I shifted my rucksack slightly. C’mon, Dom.
She appraised us both for a minute. Time’s ticking on...
“James, Red, you’ve got half an hour,” she said, and barely were the words out of her mouth than Jay and I had set off, running.
The quickest way into the castle from Hogsmeade was through the Honeydukes passage. A swift elbow to the glass, and we were in.
Louis’ voice sounded in my ear. “Kay guys, I’m your eyes. Powering up the Marauder’s Map... now.”
Unfortunately, we don’t have a hard-copy of the Map- my mother had confiscated it years ago when she caught Fred and I planning the best way to get into the Slytherin common room one summer. Hugo was supposed to be watching the door. We eventually found it, but it was bloody impossible to make working copies. I appreciate the genius of Teddy’s dad and all, but I wish he hadn’t been quite so clever.
So Albus and a couple of Scorpius’ dodgy friends had come up with the next best thing- a Marauder’s Map program on a laptop, which was almost as good as the real thing. It wasn’t very portable, but it allowed you to track people in different colours and encompassed more of the surrounding area. I added in the colours.
Scorpius had been working on similar ones for other key places- the Ministry, Gringotts, Diagon and Knockturn Alley- even the Burrow, but I guess that’s finished now.
“Well,” Louis said, “I guess you don’t need me to tell you that Honeydukes is empty.”
“Worked that out myself, actually,” James huffed, hefting up the trapdoor. He jumped down first, and caught me as I jumped.
We ran through the tunnel as fast as we could, Lou filling our ears with mindless chatter. He was nervous.
“Okay, there’s a hunk of meat outside the exit... nope, he’s leaving, and gone off to do something. Oh, he’s just pacing. Nice. Just pace, that’s fine.”
“Albus?” James asked, cutting through the babble.
“Hunky dory. Sitting tight, like you said he would. He just moved his foot. WAIT! NO! WHAT DID YOU MOVE YOUR FUCKING FOOT FOR, YOU NOOB?”
“Lou?” My voice was panicked.
His voice went up an octave. “WHAT HAVE YOU TWO STOPPED FOR? FUCKING RUN!”
We fucking ran.
Albus was duelling with three ‘hunks of meat’ in the Charms corridor, and the beams of light from the wands made the corridor light up like a thunderstorm.
I pulled my hood up, and gestured for James to do the same. When your face is famous, you do not want to be caught.
I shot one of Albus’ attackers in the back with a Stunner and he fell with a quiet ‘oof’. Fighting in places you really shouldn’t be? Fight and die quietly. It’s an unspoken rule.
Al shot a Stunner at me, but I managed to dodge it, and flick him the Vs. Quiet protest. I’ll hit him later. The next spell sent a Fraternity guy smashing backwards against a tapestry and James took out the third, then running straight to Albus. I hung back, checking the way we had come for pursuers.
“Nice job,” said Louis. “Now get out before I puke from nerves.”
“What the-” I said, before I was jumped. And the baby whale flattened me. I heard something crack, and pain blossomed in my chest.
“Weasley...” the guy said, his mouth open. Shit. My hood had come off.
I was pinned underneath him, helpless as this tiny bit of saliva dripped down his chin, and his breath stank of onions. He drew his wand, and-
You know a cymbal? Magnify that by about a million, and add in a stampede of elephants, a nuclear bomb and rocket ship taking off. That was how loud the sound of James and Albus’ combined spells to get the guy off me was.
The only good part was that I was drool-free.
“Obliviate,” I said, watching the man’s half-open eyes glaze over, and concentrating on the memory of my face. Once, I got it wrong and erased all knowledge of the Weasleys. I quickly put my hood back up before he re-focused.
“You alright?” said James, as I pulled my hood back up before his eyes refocused.
“Think I’ve bust a rib.” I prodded my chest. I gasped with pain, which in turn hurt as well. “Yeah, I’ve bust a rib.”
“Can you run?” Albus asked.
In my ear, Louis said “Just act normally. James should have some painkillers, and I’ll fix you up when you get out. It’s not a complicated break, but the spell is insane.”
We ran off down the corridor after I had taken a foul-smelling shot of what looked like Calpol- I was bringing up the rear. We made no attempt to be quiet now, but speed was of the essence.
“I take it the plan is off then?” Albus said, his voice measured despite our sprint. He’s supersupersuper fit.
“Dom made an executive decision,” James puffed. Less fit.
I was not talking, because I had a fire in my chest and it fucking hurt. The Calpol was not helping.
I glanced over my shoulder, and saw a blonde skinny guy come around the corner. He ducked back just as I saw him.
They paused as I jogged back, my wand out. There was no-one there. A yell sounded from the way we had come- someone had found the Fraternity, and wandlight bobbed at the other end of the corridor.
I sprinted past the two lads.
“COME THE FUCK ON, BRIDGET!” I yelled.
It hurt, but it was worth it.
But you know what? That blonde guy was too skinny to be a usual member of the Fraternity, and there were no blonde guys anyway, last report said. And he looked so familiar.
If I didn’t know better, I would have said it was Lysander.
-Rose: the Penthouse, London
Saturday 16th October
My ribs were killing. I lay on the floor, trying to relax and breathe normally, but it really hurt and I just ended up taking quick, shallow breaths.
Louis kicked my foot. “Breathe normally!”
He leant over and prodded my ribs, in a semi-professional manner. I scrunched my face up in the pain.
Albus was stirring a mug of tea, leaning against the kitchen worktop. “You big wuss,” h said, taking a swig and burning his mouth.
I stuck my tongue out vindictively. “Ha- OW!”
“Good news, or bad news,” Louis said, standing up and plucking his wand from his pocket.
“Bad news,” James said evilly.
WHY ARE THEY GANGING UP ON ME?!
“You’ve broken at least two ribs. Possibly cracked a third. Just how big was this guy?”
Albus considered, his head tilted. “About the size of a double mattress.”
“What’s the good news?” I asked.
“I can halve the healing time. Unfortunately, no magic in the world is as good as time,” Louis said.
“How long is that?”
“About three weeks?”
“THREE WEEKS?” I yelled, outraged. “Ow, that hurt.”
“I’m going to take you home, do the spell, then you cannot move for about two hours, and then you’ll be off sick for three weeks. And I’ll leave you a list of things you can’t do.”
I scowled. This was all Albus’ fault. He saw me giving him a dirty look, and tried to smile apologetically. “We’ll all come and visit you,” he promised.
I huffed. “Ow.”
Note to self: next time ungrateful friend wants rescuing, someone else can do it.
Half an hour later, I was laid out on my bedroom floor, a straw out the corner of my mouth, drinking chocolate milkshake, reading Louis’ list.
1. No lifting heavy objects. Fine by me.
2. No lifting your arms above your head. That’s trickier.
3. No work. YAY!
4. Don’t breathe shallowly.
5. Stay drugged up.
6. Take deep breaths or your lungs will collapse, and you are not coming crying to me. He’s so sympathetic.
7. No Apparating
8. No cat-burgling. No fun, you mean.
9. No sex. I spat my milkshake all over the paper.
And then there was a knock at my door and I quickly shoved Louis’ stupid rules into my pocket.
“Come in!” I called.
Lorcan stuck his blonde head round the door. “Want some company?”
I smiled, a big genuine grin. “Pull up a pew. Since when did you start knocking?”
He lay down beside me, staring up at the ceiling. “Since you became an invalid. Albus said you cried like a big girl’s blouse.”
“Whatever,” I snorted. “He’s just trying to make up for the fact that we had to go and save his sorry butt.”
Lorcan laughed. “Bless, was he scared?”
“Nah, you know Albus. He knows no fear... he knows no danger...”
“He knows nothing,” finished Lorcan. “I already talked to Louis, and he said you can’t work, so...”
“So..... movie marathon. You, me and Rambo.”
“You, me and Titanic?” I asked hopefully.
YESSSSSS. “It’s a deal. You go get popcorn, and by the time you get back I’ll be able to get off the floor.”
He levered himself into a sitting position, and then stood up. His knee creaked loudly.
“Lorcan,” I said, just as he was going out the door.
“When everyone got back from Hogwarts, did you see Lysander?”
He paused, thinking. “I’m pretty sure I did. Why?”
“No reason,” I said with a smile. I picked up a shoe lurking under my bed and threw it at him. “POPCORN. GO!”
A/N: how's it going so far? Leave a review please! What do you think of all the suspicious acting? Another glimpse into the Ministry..... ooooh.
And if you lovely people aren't on the forums here, get on them. ITS SO FUN! The only thing is, it steals your soul. :D
Couple of credits: "Come the fuck on, Bridget!" is from Bridget's Jones' Diary: Miramax Films, "he knows no fear...etc" is from Jonny English: Working Title Films, Rambo: Lionsgate and Titanic: Twentieth Century Fox.
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