Chapter 31 : 30- Prison Broken
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“Lawrence, get back to the Auror Office. Tell them what’s happening and to assemble in the Department for Transportation. Tyrus, find Derrick Kidman and tell him to prepare as many Enforcers as he can manage and to do the same. Savage, I need you to contact the Azkaban guards and tell them that we’re on our way and to prepare themselves. Naomi, go to the Department of Transportation and tell them to arrange Portkeys to Azkaban for all Aurors and Enforcers.” Harry ordered, thrusting his hand into the inside pocket of his robes and the four nodded and quickly left the office without question.
“Minister Tor said he was going to contact the rest of the Confederation.” The skinny man finished as he held on to the desk for support.
“Thank you, Cresswell.” Kingsley said as he drew his wand.
“Minister, with all due respect,” Kory said, looking at Kingsley’s wand. “I don’t think sending you to Azkaban would achieve anything except risking your life.” Kingsley looked as though he was about to retort when Harry interrupted.
“He’s right, Kingsley. We can’t afford to lose you.” Harry said. Kingsley did not look happy. Harry knew all too well that he was not a man to stay out of the fight.
“Very well.” He replied eventually. “I and Minister Mulvenna will also try to contact the rest of the Confederation.”
“Well, it appears as though I will be joining you again, Mr Potter.” Lance said as he withdrew his Portkey and took out his wand.
“Lance, I strongly advice-”
“I am not a member of your Ministry, Caseman.” Lance interrupted. “And from the sounds of it, you’re going to need all the help you can get.”
“Fine, you can come.” Harry cut in, feeling the weight of time pressing down on them as he pulled out his Auror I.D card. He placed his wand on it and spoke clearly into his own picture. “This is a code Black! I repeat, this is a code Black! All Aurors to the Ministry for Portkeys to Azkaban prison immediately!” Harry looked up at Kingsley and the Italian Minister, who had turned sheet white over the past few minutes. “Ministers.” Harry said nodding to each of the Ministers.
“Potter.” Kingsley replied and as Kingsley looked Harry in the eye, the Minister gave him a twinge of a smile and Harry felt a fire blaze alight in his chest, readying him for action.
“Ministro?” One of the Italian Aurors said, looking defiantly at his Minister.
Her eyes widened at the young man and the two appeared to have a whispered argument before the pair of Aurors walked over to Harry’s side. “It appears my guard will be joining you.” She said dryly before finally turning to face Harry. “Good luck, Harry Potter. You’ll need every bit of it.” Harry nodded his appreciation and, with Kory, Lance and the two Italian Aurors right behind him, he set off towards the Department of Magical Transportation.
The Department was already crowded with Aurors when Harry and the others arrived. “They’re all ready.” A Magical Transportation worker said as he handed Harry a Portkey. Lucy Barns was walking up and down making sure every Auror had a Portkey.
“I’ll arrange more for when more Aurors and the Enforcers show up.” She called over in the most professional tone Harry had ever heard from her. “They should take you to the prison’s pathway.”
“Thank you.” Harry replied as he did a mental register of his Aurors.
“They’re made to the specification of the situation, Potter. I hope you know what that means.” Lucy said, trying to catch his eye. Harry nodded slowly as he gripped the quill tightly.
“Alright, is everyone ready?” Harry called to the room and the others all roared their answer to him. “Alright then.” He said, inching his wand to his own Portkey. “On three. One. Two. Three!” And the Department of Magical Transportation vanished and was replaced by the clouded sky and rough waves that surrounded the island that held the dark tower of Azkaban prison.
“The path is clear! Move!” Harry called to the others as they ran on the wide, smooth grey concrete pathway leading to the prison. After a good few minutes of running they finally reached the guarded perimeter of the fortress. A large golden furred Sphinx sat right in front of where Harry knew the effects of the protective enchantments began; a black-haired woman’s head sitting atop the body of an overgrown lion. As it saw the large group of Aurors, it raised its head and eyed Harry who stood at the front of the crowd and spoke in a cool, soft, female’s voice.
“They are expecting Harry Potter inside the prison.”
“I am Harry Potter, Head of the Auror Office, here to help guard and protect the prison.” The Sphinx’s large eyes ran up and down Harry.
“Then I must ask for the passphrase.”
Harry stared deep into the creature’s hazel eyes as he said “Cockroach Cluster.”
The Sphinx kept eye contact until eventually it stood up, turned around and, with a mighty roar a giant transparent barrier became visible around the prison and, as it continued to let off its booming cry, a hole in the giant bubble came into view before them.
“There are more coming.” Harry told the Sphinx as the horde of Aurors went through the opening into the grounds of Azkaban. “Keep the entrance open. I’ll leave some Aurors to identify them to save time.” The large Sphinx bowed in understanding as Harry joined the others onto the rocky grounds.
“Cockroach Cluster?” Lance said with air of amusement.
“Who alive do you know who would guess that as the passphrase?” And Lance bowed his head in agreement, a large smile on his face.
The large assembly of Aurors parted, allowing Harry to see the group of Azkaban guards awaiting them. Among the guards were the Aurors Harry had sent after the breakout of Enfer Vann, a number of Goblins and five very large security Trolls who were all covered in bright silver armour and armed with giant metal clubs.
“We’ve been waiting, Harry Potter.” The skinniest and meanest looking of the Goblins said.
“We came as quickly as possible.” Harry replied looking around the exterior of the prison. “What’s your name?”
“I am Devring, Head Goblin of Azkaban. All of the guard are here, though all of our Ghouls are still within the prison keeping an eye on the prisoners.” Harry nodded, still surveying the fortress.
“Devring, I’ll need some of your Goblins to help my Aurors secure the place properly.”
The Goblin nodded and, drawing a short knife from his dirtied trousers said “Whatever it takes to stop them, Harry Potter.”
Harry nodded and he began to name Aurors who had come with him. “Right, I want all of you to go with Anthony and guard the south side battlement.”
Harry continued to send Aurors to several parts of the prison until he was left with his own ground support comprising of a handful of the Aurors including Naomi, Susan, Tyrus, Fay, Lance, Kory, Devring and all of the security Trolls. These numbers increased as more Aurors showed up and especially when Derrick Kidman arrived with his Law Enforcers. After doing the same with them and making sure no one else was expected, he ordered the Sphinx to close the entrance and join the ground force. The Sphinx obeyed and with another loud roar the large hole sealed itself, maximising the prison’s defences.
“And now we wait.” Naomi said looking out at the stormy ocean crashing against the large walkway.
“Yep,” Harry said, watching the horizon for the slightest hint of the Mekti-Dommen.
“And how long until the Confederation can send reinforcements?”
Harry didn’t answer. If America was still under threat from this two-pronged attack, they wouldn’t hear from the Confederation for a while, if at all.
“What about the prisoners?” Fay asked, her wand already raised towards the sea.
“We don’t have time to move them, Fay, and even if we did, we’ve got nowhere big enough to keep them securely.”
“So much for Akrahn’s big tip-off.” Lance interrupted from behind Harry.
"He didn't know of this." Harry stated. "This was probably a last minute plan after Akrahn was caught. Selwyn must have lost his faith in him."
“Remind me, Potter, how many are estimated to be on the ship?” Lance asked after hearing Harry's explanation.
“Estimating at least six-hundred.”
“Right. And how many of us are currently guarding this place?”
“Just under three-hundred.” Harry answered.
“Good odds then.” Lance loudly replied in a sarcastic tone.
Harry’s heart was thundering. It was torture to sit tight and wait for the attack. He didn’t even dare to try and contact Ron for fear he would distracted him in the middle of a dual.
Nearly fifteen minutes of waiting passed and Harry’s patience was waning.
“If you don’t mind me asking, Harry Potter.” Devring said, knife still in hand. “But what source did you hear of this attack from?"
“The Egyptian Ministry.” Harry said dismissively.
“And what if they were wrong-”
“Harry!” Susan interrupted pointing towards the horizon. Harry looked out and saw the small outline figure of a ship increasing in size at it approached. Harry raised his wand into the air and his silver stag Patronus burst from the tip to send word to the others around the prison.
“We haven’t got long if it keeps up that speed.” Lance remarked. Harry looked back at the shadowy figure and realised that it had doubled in size and was only continuing to get bigger.
“What manner of ship is that?” Devring asked in awe.
“Don’t get much news here do you.” Lance said as he stood next to the Goblin.
“It’s heading directly towards the walkway!” Susan called out.
“Ready your wands!” Harry ordered and everyone obeyed. Harry kept his eye on the ship noticing more and more details as it swiftly advanced.
“I’m no sailing expert, but shouldn’t they be slowing down by now?” Tyrus asked. She was right. The ship was speeding towards the stone pathway with no visible signs of slowing down.
“They’re nearly within range, I reckon.” Kory shouted out though Harry was too busy noticing the fact that they were currently on a collision course.
“Harry?” He heard Naomi say and he knew the others were waiting for orders.
“Wait for it!” Harry commanded as he watched the ship tare through the raging waves.
“Open fire!” The entire area was suddenly shining as spells flew through the air towards the oncoming vessel. Many of the spells hit their target as they crashed against the ship, some of the spells even tearing pieces off and smashing through windows.
“It’s not slowing them!” Lance cried out as he sent a well-aimed Reductor Curse. Harry sent off one final curse of his own and then lowered his wand as he watched the collision.
The ship crashed into the stone path and tore through it as though it were made of water. Harry watched as large chunks of the prison’s walkway fell in to the ocean as the spells still being fired at the ship illuminated the destruction in a variety of colours. More and more Aurors ceased fire as they watched the giant craft pounding through, wood and stone flying everywhere as it headed straight towards them. Harry could feel the earth beneath him shake as it draw closer until eventually, the ship hit the main island making the entire area tremor.
“Hold your ground!” Harry called out, re-aiming his wand. None of the Aurors needed telling twice as they all mimicked Harry in retargeting the ship, though a chilled silence filled the air as they did so.
“Uh, isn’t this normally when they get off the ship and charge?” Lance said, inching closer. Harry followed getting closer to the light brown ship that was so large, he wouldn’t have been surprised if Giants were riding it. The words ‘Mekti-Dommen’ printed in capitol golden letters on either side of the front corner.
“Are they waiting for us?” Kory said.
“Maybe none of them survived the impact.” Naomi suggested though Tyrus laughed.
“We should be so lucky.”
“Something’s not right.” Harry said, more to himself then to anyone else. Lance tore his eyes away and turned his head towards Harry. Harry met his eye and Lance responded by nudging his head towards the crashed ship.
“Are you serious?” Harry whispered. “They’ll kill us on sight.” Though Lance still had the combination of curiosity and excitement on his face.
“It’s either that or wait to be attacked.” And with that, Lance ran towards the ship, outside the protective enchantments perimeter.
“No, Lance!” Harry cried as he attempted to stop him but before he could even touch the back of Lance’s robes, the large Sphinx blocked both of their ways.
“I think it wiser for me to investigate.” And before Harry could protest, it turned and, with a kick of its powerful hind legs, jumped through the shield onto the deck of the ship.
“See anything up there?” Lance called after it, though no answer came to them. “No flashes of green light. That’s a plus.” Lance said, though Harry was thinking otherwise.
“If they’re not on the ship, then where-”
“Get Down!” The Sphinx cried as it jumped of the ship and, with a howl, it opened a small hole in the enchantment to fit through. Though the moment it passed through the hole, the entire ship exploded and large flames cascaded towards them. The Sphinx hit the ground and turned just in time to roar a second time to close the opening as flames hit the barrier. Though instead of rising into the air, the fire attached to the shield and spread engulfing them within a flaming bubble.
“What on earth?” Naomi cried.
“We can’t allow it to trap us! Aguamenti!” Kory shouted and a jet of water burst from his wand, though evaporated on contact with the flames.
“No,” Harry said, recognising the effects of the fire. There were more cries of “Aguamenti” and “Protego Maxima” though none of the spells held any of their effects and Harry watched as the fire licked all the way around the prison’s protective enchantments. “It’s Fiendfyre.” Harry said, feeling his heart sink to his stomach.
“How can you tell?” Lance asked, though the moment he did, a giant fiery dragon emerged from the flames and attempted to breath fire down upon them though gave up the attempt when it realised it could not get through the enchantments. Frustrated, the dragon tried to bite, scratch and tear through their defences. As it did so, what looked like strips of burning silk fell from the shield and dissolved before touching the ground.
“It’s-It’s burning through the enchantments.” Kory announced as more threads of the protective enchantments fell from barrier. One of the security Trolls roared at the fiery Dragon and charged at it, its club raised to strike.
“No!” Devring cried though the Troll ignored Devring’s cry and carried on. The moment the Troll made contact with the fire, the entire beast was engulfed in the blaze but instead of falling to its knees or else trying to beat the flames out, the Troll appeared to dissolve so instantly, Harry didn’t have time to look away and he watched as even the ashes appeared to burn away.
“What was on that ship?” Lance asked, obviously disturbed by the Troll’s disintegration, as he turned to the Sphinx, who did not look at him as it replied but instead surveyed the fire with great interest.
“I found a man at the wheel of the ship. I suspect he might have been Imperiused. He was in a room full of strange looking horns.”
“Erumpent Horns?” Harry asked and the Sphinx nodded.
“I believe so. He was muttering something when I found him and recognized that it was an incantation.”
“You don’t think that was the Egyptian insider, do you?” Kory asked Harry.
“That’s exactly who I think it was. He must have been forced to send a message to the Egyptian Ministry that they were attacking Azkaban to trap us here.”
“Looks like that ship was full of those horns.” Lance remarked as another thread of the prison’s magical protection fell past his field of vision.
“Well at least we know where the supplies of that Egyptian dealer ended up.” Naomi remarked as Harry’s head gave an unpleasant pang of pain.
“We need to re-enchant the barrier’s protection.” Harry ordered, raising his wand.
“And how long do you think that will last?” Tyrus bellowed as she stared up at the very top of the barrier, a large Chimera burrowing through the enchantments.
“We have to try!” Kory shouted as he sent a fresh charm at the place the Chimera was digging and the creature screeched before reattempting its feat.
Harry was half way through copying Kory before hearing something that made his heart sink even lower. His Auror I.D card, and the I.D card of every Auror and Enforcer around him, called out to them.
“THIS IS A CODE DARK! ALL AURORS AND ENFORCERS TO THE MINISTRY IMMEDIATELY! THIS IS A CODE DARK!”
Harry and Kory’s eyes met as shock appeared on the face of every single witch and wizard around them. “They’re attacking the Ministry.” Harry said and he could feel his head getting light.
“We need to get out of here, now!” Kory shouted, looking around the grounds as though they had missed an obvious exit.
“What about our Portkeys?” Naomi asked, drawing her own aged newspaper and tapping it with her wand.
“That won’t work here, Naomi, even if it was enchanted to.” Harry said sadly.
“What? What do you mean?” She asked and Kory spared Harry from answering.
“They were designed for a one way travel. To stop anyone who might take it from you from breaching the Ministry.” Naomi threw the paper in frustration and Harry watched as it blew into the intense flames and burn away without a trace.
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