Chapter 27 : 26- The New Army
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The wet stony ground at the top of a small hill crumpled beneath the feet of the Wizards and Witches as they appeared with an echoing crack.
Dagfinn, dropping his Portkey, was now leading the way as fast as he could towards the prison.
Within moments, Harry could see the tall dark structure, black smoke billowing out of a giant hole in the side of the building and the unmistakable sight of spells flying into the tower by what looked like a small army.
“There’s too many to take on with just us.” Lance said, looking back at the thirty Aurors that had joined to help Dagfinn. “Who else is coming?”
“Hopefully, more of my Aurors and Enforcers.” Dagfinn replied, surveying the attack. The attackers had obviously breached the prison.
“Looks like most of them are already in there.” Harry said, glimpsing the sight of duelling through the holes of the building.
“There are nearly three-hundred prisoners in there.” Dagfinn said gravely. “Ve cannot let them escape.”
Lance raised and aimed his wand at the crowd that were still advancing on Nurmengard. “This is all we can do until reinforcements arrive.” He said, though before he could cast a single spell, Harry pulled his wand arm down.
“Hang on.” He said, noticing the way that the rubble breaking apart from the prison was rolling off an invisible something a few meters above the large mob. Raising his own wand he cried “Specialis Revelio!” And, as he had feared, he saw a transparent shield become visible over the attackers. “They’ve got someone casting a shield charm over them.” Harry told him.
“Over there.” One of the American Aurors cried, pointing towards a small group barely visible crouching behind a small dip in the mountain a few yards away from them, their wands raised, sustaining the Shield Charm.
“Good eye, Clark.” Lance said, patting the man on the shoulder and pointing his wand towards the dip and, before anyone could do or say anything else, he shot a jet of purple light towards the small bunker. The blast sent most of the army’s safeguards to the ground though a few of them returned to their feet and started sending curses of their own back at the Aurors.
“Protego!” Harry cried and his shield took the curses as their casters took cover from the stunners the others had sent.
“That shield down?” Lance asked keeping his eyes on the cover the enemy had taken. Harry flicked his eyes from the adversaries to ground below and saw the shield diminishing.
“Yeah, it’s fading now.” He replied when suddenly more cracking sounds reverberated around the area as large numbers of Aurors and Enforcers entered the scene.
“Great.” Lance started and again, before anyone could say or do anything, he began giving orders. “Minister Boyson, take your men and do what you have to to stop them breaking out more prisoners.” Dagfinn glared at Lance and though he followed his command, he obviously didn’t appreciate taking orders. “Potter, we’ll take Clark and Raidson and deal with these guys and anyone else around the perimeter. Go!” He shouted as one of the Dark Wizards taking shelter came out of his cover to send another curse at the group. This time Lance blocked it and sent a counter-curse that hit the man in the chest.
Harry too ran into the fray, stunning another Wizard that had taken cover, despite his concerns for Dagfinn; Harry knew it would not do the Scandinavian Ministry good if they lost a second Minister.
“He’ll be fine.” Lance bellowed to Harry as he stunned a second opponent. “Remember, he’s got the force of three Ministries at his side.” Though Harry couldn’t reply for one of the Wizards that Lance had blasted had gotten back to his feet and Harry had to duck to avoid his curse. Harry responded with a Full Body-Bind Curse that hit the target and he hit the ground with a thud, legs and arms frozen shut.
There was an ear-splitting bang and Harry felt the earth shake and turned to see a large chunk of the prison building crumble to the ground as what looked like hundreds of prisoners scattered out of the new exit.
“Shit!” Lance cried as he sent a curse into the newly formed crowed.
Harry had never seen anything like it. There were inaudible cries and shouts as Dagfinn’s Aurors and Enforcers clashed with the new arrivals, spells flying in all directions as they tried suppressing the horde, though it was obvious they were now outnumbered.
“Their armed as well!” The Auror named Raidson yelled. He was right. The newly freed prisoners had been equipped with wands.
“They need to get out of there!” Harry said to the others.
“No, we can’t allow them to escape and you know that!” Lance replied, though even he was beginning to sound uncertain.
Harry pulled his two way mirror from his pouch hoping to ask for backup. “Ron Weas-” Though before he could finish, there was a flash of red light and the mirror was blasted from his hand and smashed to the ground. Harry turned and saw that reinforcements for the safeguards had arrived.
Harry’s heart sank as he saw, amongst the ten wizards that were advancing on them, Akrahn Colby; the Dark Wizard Dagfinn had warned them about, his long sheik black hair gleaming in the sun along with his bald head and his wand pointing directly at them.
“Right flank!” Lance directed but a jet of green light had already struck the Auror Clark in the chest. Harry sent a stunner at Clark’s killer that hit the man in the stomach and blasted him off his feet. Lance and Raison too had gone on the offensive, dodging curses and retaliating with rage at their fallen colleague.
“No!” Akrahn cried as he was forced to block Harry’s second stunner and there was a loud crack as he aimed his wand in the centre of Harry, Lance and Raidson and all three of them were thrown into three different directions.
As he landed, Harry’s head ricochet off the stony ground and he felt something sharp dig deep into his right arm forcing his grip on his wand to slacken and it rolled out of the tips of his fingers. He raised his throbbing head to see a large shard of the mirror sticking out of the side of his arm, warm blood already flowing over it.
“Drop your vands!” Akrahn ordered and before Harry could straighten his glasses and see what was happening, he heard a shout, a bang and the grunt of an American accent. “Drop your vands or I kill this fool!” And he was forced on to his feet by two people, who ended up digging the long glass shard further into his arm and Harry had force down a wail of pain as it sliced a wider hole in his arm for his blood to escape through.
“Dis von lost his vand in de blast.” One of the men said in a thick Swedish accent. They were both wearing balaclavas and the sign of the Hallows around their necks.
“Vait.” Akrahn said, tossing a wandless Raidson to one side and taking a closer look at Harry, who was beginning to feel blood trickle down his face from where his head had hit the floor. “Vell, vell, I am honoured.” He said as his dark eyes rested on Harry’s scar and he took Harry’s wand from one of the cronies. Lance had also lost his wand and was attempting and failing to wrestle three of the masked men off of him, the sound of the battle at the gates of Nurmengard ringing through the area. “Vell, Marius and Selvyn vill be pleased at the capture of who vas our biggest vorry and, if I’m not mistaken, the Head of the American Auror Department, Lance Ryder.”
“Always nice to meet a fan.” Lance said through gritted teeth, still struggling against his captives.
“Crucio” Akrahn said lazily, pointing his wand at Lance who let out a howl of pain and the struggle died down. “Take them to Cecilia. If she is right, our transport should arrive soon. It looks like Marius and the others should be able to hold off the Scandinavian Ministry but I like to be sure. I vill meet you there. Kristain, do vat you vish vith the spare and then check the others.”
Akrahn’s burly henchmen nodded and pointing his wand at Raidson before shouting “Avada Kedavra” as the others began walking Harry and Lance away and when the cries of the battle were almost out of ear shot they Disapparated with a loud pop.
When they reappeared, Harry was hit in the face by a strong sea wind. They began walking again, closer to the stony shore and Harry was sure they were walking into an Anti-Disapparition area. Not that he could’ve Disapparated anyway for his head was spinning so violently from when he fell, he couldn’t have focussed on a place to flee to long enough anyway.
“What is this?” Harry heard a woman say and they stopped a few meters from the ocean. “Where is Akrahn?”
“He is still at ze battle.” The Swedish man said. “But he said to bring these two to you. He thinks you’ll find dem interesting.” He finished, placing an unpleasant emphasis on the last word.
“What do you-” But as she came into Harry’s view, she stopped talking. She stared at Harry, unable to believe her eyes. “Harry Potter.” She said as though the situation would be clarified if she said his name aloud.
“Dey came to assist de Scandinavian Ministry.” The Swedish man continued, though the women Harry assumed was Cecilia wasn’t listening.
“Incarcerous!” She said pointing her wand and Harry fell to his knees as the ropes that bound him dug the shard in his arm even deeper still making it throb unbearably. She did the same to Lance, though he was forced to his knees by his captors and she walked up to Harry slowly and said “Tell me Potter, do you remember a Witch named Catriona Lox?”
“I-What?” Harry spluttered, the pain in his arm, the dizziness in his head and the fact he had just been captured distracting his mind from everything else.
“Catriona Lox,” She repeated slowly. “A Witch arrested for murdering her husband, Samuel Lox, about three years ago.” Harry rattled his pounding brain. The name did sound familiar. “Well just so you know,” And she knelt to Harry’s level to say the last part. “I killed Samuel Lox. He was going to tell the Ministry about my mother teaching me about the Dark Arts. So I killed him and my mother took the blame for me.”
“And let me guess,” Harry replied bitterly, trying to ignore the wiriness. “It’s the Ministry’s fault that your dear old mum went to Azkaban and died, right? There’s no one else to blame so it must be all our fault! Correct?”
“No,” She said simply. “It’s my fault she went to Azkaban but it’s the Ministry’s fault that she died.” But Harry was past caring as he heard the familiar popping sound of Apparition in the distance.
“I see you are getting to know our guests.” Harry heard Akrahn say. “Marius should be here vithin half an hour or so. They had just forced the Scandinavians to draw back vith minimal losses ven I left. Clearly our new army is ready to fight against their captors. I saw about a dozen more Aurors arrive as I vas leaving, but they shouldn’t cause much trouble.”
“I would have thought you would be joining your new allies.” Cecilia smirked, taking a seat on the ground and pulling a thin, dark green book from the inside of her robes.
“And miss an audience vith Harry Potter?” Akrahn laughed and grabbed the back of Harry’s robes lifting him back to his feet. “Now let’s see vat goodies Potter carries vith him.” Akrahn grabbed the string around Harry’s neck and pulled out the small Mokeskin pouch. He examined it and after taking a sniff of it commented “Mokeskin, very clever.” And through the ropes, he began searching through Harry’s pockets pulling out his Invisibility Cloak and the two wands he had taken from Bailey and Nolan. “Very nice.” Akrahn murmured as he examined the cloak and pocketed the wands. Throwing the cloak over his shoulder, he continued to go through Harry’s pockets. “Vat is this?” He had pulled the small sign of the Deathly Hallows that Dagfinn had given him.
After a short time of looking from Harry to the small necklace in his hand, Akrahn eventually said “Vy do you have this?” He spoke in a hushed voice, staring at Harry.
“Dagfinn told me you and your men were wearing them.” Harry said, his mind racing. “Thought it might help me hunt you and your cronies down.” Akrahn surveyed Harry and seemed very close to move onto Lance, when the Invisibility Cloak brushed his face. He grabbed it and began examining it more closely, feeling the material between his fingers.
“Incredible fabric. Vat is this cloak made of, may I ask?” Akrahn asked in a much softer, yet more intimidating voice.
“It’s just a normal cloak.” Harry lied, his heart pounding more blood out of his wound. “Enchanted with a Disillusionment Charm and a Bedazzling Hex.” Akrahn continued to examine the cloak, pointed his wand at it and began muttering incantations under his breath. Nothing happened though Harry knew that that was a bad sign.
“Tell me, Potter, do you know vat this symbol stands for?” Akrahn asked dangling the silver symbol of the Deathly Hallows in front of him.
“It was Grindelwald’s sign.” Harry replied. Akrahn’s eyes narrowed and he drew closer to Harry. After looking around at the others surrounding them, he whispered “Ve shall talk later.” And keeping eye contact with Harry, he moved on towards Lance.
How could he have let this happen? Harry thought to himself as Akrahn began frisking Lance. No more than a few hours ago, he was preparing his Aurors to protect the Confederation meeting and now he had been captured by the very people they were preparing to fight against, wandless and with no means of communication. Or did he have a means of communication? The idea came to him as his bleeding arm gave another painful throb.
“Ron Weasley,” He murmured to his arm.
“Vat vas that?” Akrahn roared as he cursed Lance a second time for back-talking. Harry looked up at Akrahn, hoping the mirror had heard him, as Akrahn strode back towards him. “Vat did you say?”
“Just thinking aloud.” Harry said calmly.
“And vat vere you thinking aloud about?” He asked, his face now an inch away from Harry’s.
“Just about where we are. I’m guessing somewhere on the coast of Norway.” Akrahn stepped back in mock amazement.
“Oh, very vell done, Mr Potter. Velcome to Hasvik, probably the last area of dry land you vill ever see.” Harry, hoping Akrahn had said the name loud enough, surveyed Akrahn as he mocked him, trying to think of how to get Akrahn to slip any more information out. Although, if Marius and the rest of his new army arrived before any help did, it would not matter how much information he had.
“I take it Selwyn and Lestrange have called dibs on me.” Akrahn turned to Cecilia who looked up from her book and nodded to him.
“Naturally,” Akrahn replied, a lot calmer than he had been with Lance. “But there are some things I’d like to know before they finish you. But ve shall have plenty of time on our journey to talk, I’m sure.”
Though before Harry could think of anything else to say, he heard for the second time, the distant popping sound of Apparition and Harry’s heart sank.
“Vell it appears Marius and the siblings did better than I thought.” Although Akrahn’s expression change instantly to one of surprise as he looked towards the new arrivals. “How the-” Though Akrahn’s sentence was cut off as he was forced to block a jet of white light.
Akrahn jumped back, the Invisibility Cloak falling from his shoulder and Harry knew who ever had sent the jinx at Akrahn was now advancing on him. Harry turned to see his and Lance’s saviour and his heart jumped as he saw the spiky haired, dark, muscular figure of Gawain Brooks running, wand at the ready, towards Akrahn.
“Get down.” Harry heard a familiar voice say and he was pulled to the ground just in time to miss a jet of green light. He turned his head and saw John Dawlish, his face flushed and his wand drawn. There was a flash of purple light and the ropes binding Harry fell to the ground. Harry looked up and saw Cecilia being advanced on by two others.
“No!” she cried out as she dodged a jinx and, turning on the spot, she Disapparated. Harry looked around at the fights between Akrahn’s men and who Harry, in his befuzzled state, began to recognise as Ex-Aurors as Dawlish continued to hold him down and began to look at his arm.
Gawain and Akrahn were at the centre of the fight and stray spells were flying everywhere as Harry tried reaching for his cloak. “We need to get you out of here!” Dawlish yelled over the noise of duelling but before Harry could reply, he heard something that drew all else from his mind.
“Avada Kedavra!” And Harry saw the green light burst from Akrahn’s wand tip and strike Gawain Brooks in the heart.
Disregarding his cloak and lack of wand, Harry shouldered Dawlish out of the way and ran at Akrahn.
“Harry, no!” He heard Dawlish cry after him and Akrahn turned to see his new opponent, though before he could utter a single incantation, Harry had tackled the elderly man to the ground. Spells were flying out of Akrahn’s flailing wand as Harry held it down with his left hand, his right arm bleeding more than ever. Lifting himself up, he pinned Akrahn’s arms with his knees and forced Akrahn’s wand out of his hand, though Harry had no intention of casting a spell with it. Raising his left arm with all his might, he swiped it across Akrahn’s head and Harry was sure he felt something break in his hand as it connected with Akrahn’s face.
Akrahn stopped flailing at once and it took a while for Harry realise that Dawlish was trying to get him up.
“We need to go now! That army will be here any minute!” Dawlish called to the others as he threw the Invisibility Cloak into Harry’s arms and Harry had to force his hand to get a proper grip on it.
Dawlish then bent over and lifted Akrahn before flinging him over his shoulder. Harry stared at the stiff body of Gawain that was mere feet away. His hazel coloured eyes were still wide open, giving off the glare he often wore when duelling a fierce opponent.
“I can see them coming!” A rough female voice cried out and two of the Ex-Aurors grabbed Harry and began forcing him to move quickly.
“We have to go now!” Another of them bellowed as they yanked his left arm. Harry didn’t have the strength to retort, to order that they go back and retrieve the body of Gawain but as Harry’s head began feeling light, they were turning on the spot and all went black.
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