Chapter 32 : 31- Murder Most Wanted
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“This is ridiculous! I’m going to check on the others.” Tyrus stated and she walked off, ignoring the stunned faces of the others as they stayed to help fight off the fiery beasts.
“Harry Potter! Harry Potter!” Harry pulled out his Two-Way-Mirror to see Ron’s face, minimally injured though alive. “Harry, what the hell is going on?”
“They trapped us.” Harry said, in a defeated tone that made Ron’s face drop. “We were told Azkaban was under attack. All of the Aurors and Enforcers we could spare arrived and now...” Harry tailed off but faced the mirror towards a blazing serpent that tried snapping at the magical barrier before it.
“What on earth?” Harry heard Ron say. “So what’s going on at the Ministry?” Ron asked and Harry could see his face turn pale as Harry shook his head.
“I don’t know, Ron.” Harry said quietly.
“Well, who’s at the Ministry? Is Kingsley there? Is Hermione?” Ron pressed.
“I don’t know!” Harry repeated, far louder than before. “What’s going on down your end?” Ron looked around quickly.
“There are still a number of Ambrose’s forces holding out, including Ambrose herself and she’s no easy task I can tell you.” And Ron subconsciously held a deep cut on the side of his soldier. “I’m sure the Americans can take full control from here so I’ll assemble as many as I can and make my way to the Ministry. It might take a while if the Departments of Transportation and International Cooperation are down though.” Harry was about to respond when he felt a heat press against his chest from within his Mokeskin Pouch. The D.A had been alerted. The two fell silent and Harry could tell Ron’s mind was racing just as quickly as his own.
“Just hurry.” Harry said and as Ron nodded he vanished from view.
“We can’t keep going like this.” Kory said as he sent another protective enchantment at the failing barrier. As Harry looked at Kory, however, an idea struck him and a small glimmer of hope shone in his mind.
“Keep the protective enchantments going.” Harry ordered as he turned to the prison’s main building.
“Where are you going?” Naomi asked as she joined the others in protecting the prison.
“We’re dealing with Dark Magic aren’t we? Well, let’s ask some Dark Wizards what they think.” And Harry broke into a run towards the large black doors, leaving the others to fend off the Fiendfyre.
Harry climbed what felt like a hundred flight of stairs, passing Aurors and Enforcers all trying to protect the prison from the inferno, until he reached the floor he needed. He turned right, into a dark bricked room containing four cells, a small hole in the wall for a window. Two Ghouls dwelled on either side of the hole and eyed Harry. He nodded towards the exit and, with a fleeting look at one another, they understood and left to find their kin.
Harry recognised all of the inmates for three of them were within the Ministry just the other day. To the right of him was Augustus Rookwood, tall, pock-marked, his greasy grey hair untidy and long. To Harry’s left, Dolores Umbridge, less plump then she once was though still round in shape and her greying hair had grown limp and dirtied while her toad like face had sagged as though she had started melting. Harry continued to walk and in the cell beside Rookwood’s resided Marietta Edgecombe huddling in the corner of her cell. And opposite her was the man he was looking for. John Nolan, the man Ron had caught at the Quidditch attack.
“And what do you want, Potter?” Nolan said, bitterly.
“How do we stop it?” Harry asked and Nolan turned his head towards the hole where he could see the blazing shield around the prison and gave a small laugh.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.” He said, examining the fire with a curious look on his face. “Fiendfyre is unaffected by most spells but to actually latch on to and feed off protective enchantments, it’s incredible.” He then turned back to Harry.
“So you’re just going to allow it to burn through and kill all of us?” Harry said and he heard Marietta take a squeal of in-breath.
“The counter-curse for normal Fiendfyre is tricky enough, I can’t imagine what you’d need to do for this. If you were to ask me, I don’t think Selwyn would’ve had anything to do with it. Although, if I remember correctly, Marius Yvault always was originally crafty when it came to traps.” Harry looked out of the room towards the next set of cells but Nolan answered the question that had flared in Harry’s mind. “With the exception of Marius, I doubt there’s even a man alive who knows how to extinguish this fire, especially with the amount of time it appears we have left.”
Harry didn’t reply. Frustration was now replacing the little hope this idea had given him and the thought that no one in the prison knew how to get rid of the fire was unbearable.
Flashes of light flickered from the corridor and Harry knew the Azkaban defenders were all trying to keep the protective enchantments going.
“What made you think I would have helped you anyway?” Nolan asked, sitting down in his cell.
“Well I just assumed you would want to avoid burning to death.” Harry retorted and Nolan laughed.
“Fiendfyre will turn you to ash before you feel a thing and if I die, you die and if you die-” Though he was distracted by a loud roar and from the window, and Harry saw the large fiery dragon claw at the shield.
“Protego Maxima!” Harry cried, pointing his wand out the window at the beast.
“I hear Selwyn’s attacking the Ministry.” Nolan said, though Harry didn’t look at him but instead peered out of the hole in search of where the beast had fled to. “It’s about time if you ask me. You might think everything’s rosy down in your office but ever since the Dark Lord fell, the once great British Ministry has never been weaker.” Harry turned to him and saw him smirking.
“You think being rid of country-wide misery and torture is weak, do you?”
“Look where it’s got you.” Nolan replied, pointing out of the window.
“Look where your choices have gotten you. Selwyn didn’t even mention you to exchange.” Harry retorted. Nolan shrugged and nodded towards the others.
“They are all far more powerful than I am. It would make sense to make them a priority.”
Harry was about to retort when Savage and Tyrus appeared through the door hole. “There he is.” Savage spat out when he set eyes on Rookwood and before Harry could catch on to what was happening Tyrus had aimed her wand through the prison bars.
The green light hit Rookwood in the chest. He was thrown off of his feet and hit the black stone wall behind him. His lifeless body slumped to the ground, his frozen look of shock staring into nothing. Harry saw both Marietta and Umbridge recoiling in their cells.
“What are you doing!?” Harry yelled, aiming his wand.
“What you should have done years ago.” Tyrus said, though she did not re-aim her own wand. “You should be thanking me. They’re nearly all gone. Now, if I remember correctly, it’s just Selwyn, Lestrange, Rowle and Crabbe left.” Harry stared at her and realised the lights he saw earlier might have been far more sinister than protective enchantments.
“We’re all going to die here anyway. Now remind me, Potter, which of these helped cause the death of Kaman?” And her eyes flicked from Nolan to Marietta.
“See, now they would get things done.” Nolan remarked as Tyrus’ eyes narrowed as she looked at Marietta.
“That one.” And as she raised her wand for another curse, Harry acted instinctively and a flash of red light shot from his own wand and sent Tyrus’ into the air. Savage began to ready himself for a fight but Tyrus halted him.
“See, now this is what I was talking about.” Nolan sighed as Harry stood holding his pointing wand in one hand and Tyrus’ in the other.
“I will not allow the act of murder to be practiced in front of me like some schoolyard trick!” Harry claimed and he heard Nolan snigger in his cell. Savage and Tyrus, however, stood strong in front of him.
“The great Harry Potter: defender of the weak and the dangerous. From Death Eaters to House-Elfs.” Nolan laughed and Harry’s brain seemed to stop.
“That’s it.” He murmured to himself.
“What’s it?” Tyrus asked, not taking her eyes off Harry’s wand.
“You two, with me, now.” Harry ordered to Tyrus and Savage, walking past them. He saw them look at one another before obeying and tailing him back towards the prison grounds.
“Devring!” Harry called out as he entered the busy, stony grounds. The Goblin was attempting to calm the remaining security Trolls. “Devring!” Harry repeated and Devring turned and approached the three Aurors.
“Harry Potter.” Devring answered.
“What’s the prison’s protection against House-Elf magic?” The Goblin stared curiously at Harry.
“What House-Elf magic?” He asked curiously and Harry smiled as he turned to look at an empty piece of the grounds.
“This magic. Kreacher!” Harry called and, with a loud pop that made everyone turn and look, Kreacher appeared before them.
“Master!” Kreacher cried out in elation as he bowed. “Kreacher is glad to see you alive. Mistress and the other Weasley family members were summoned to the Ministry and have yet to return. The elder Weasley’s are most anxious.”
“Ginny’s there?” Harry said, though he found himself more worried than surprised. “Kreacher, I need you to take us all as close to the Ministry as you can. We might be able to catch Selwyn off guard.” Kreacher bowed and held up his arms for the Aurors to hold on to. “Okay everyone, get into groups and get ready to leave.” Kory, Lance and Susan then began dividing the ground force into groups for departure as Harry raised his wand towards the prison building and sent several silver stags to summon the others to the grounds.
“And what of the Sphinx, Trolls and Ghouls, Harry Potter?” Devring asked and Harry smiled slightly.
“Kreacher, you think you can Apparate with the security Trolls?” Kreacher looked over at the large beings, towering over him.
“Kreacher has never tried, Master. But Kreacher will do his best.” Harry nodded to Devring who began communicating with the Trolls as the defenders of Azkaban flooded out of the prison.
“Alright, first group.” Harry called out as Kory and many others held on to the little Elf and they vanished with a pop.
As the grounds became busier, Harry could see smiles all around, despite the fact they were still fending off the Fiendfyre and most probably heading into an even more dangerous territory.
“And what of your precious prisoners?” Tyrus asked with a smile.
“What?” Harry asked, though he knew exactly what she was talking about. He had completely forgotten about the inmates of Azkaban.
Kreacher arrived back and seconds later, he vanished with the second group.
“Harry, what are you thinking?” Naomi asked, a hint of worry in her voice, though even Harry himself didn’t know what he was thinking.
He couldn’t bring any of the prisoners with him for fear they would sabotage the Aurors in some way and yet leaving them here to burn in their cells was worse than letting Tyrus loose on all of them.
Kreacher continued to appear, disappear then reappear, taking more Aurors and Enforcers with him each time; the popping sound of his Apparition acting like the ticking noise of a clock to Harry’s brain.
“You have no choice, Potter.” Tyrus said. “We can’t give them wands to protect themselves with. We can’t release them or bring them with us or save them in any way.” These words hit Harry a little harder than he had anticipated.
Kreacher was beginning to take the larger beings and, with a Sphinx in one hand and a Troll in the other, he vanished again.
Naomi put her hand on his shoulder. “There’s nothing you can do, Harry. We need to focus on the Ministry now.” Harry nodded his agreement though his mind was still unsettled.
“Not all of them are Dark Wizards.” Harry noted but Naomi cut off his train of thought.
“That doesn’t mean that they can be trusted, Harry. They’re all in there for a reason. We can’t help them.”
As less and less people remained in the grounds, the more the fire was diminishing the shield and small burning pieces of their only protection continued to rain upon them.
“If you don’t mind, Potter, I’d rather like my wand back.” Tyrus said, outstretching her hand. Harry glowered at her before handing her back her wand and when Keacher returned, she, Savage and the remaining Ghouls vanished.
“Why did you have her wand?” Naomi asked but Harry didn’t answer for now there was only he, Naomi, Devring and Lance left and the next time Kreacher came back would be the last.
There was a loud pop as Kreacher returned. “Ready, Potter?” Lance asked. Harry nodded and, after sending one last shielding charm at the top of the barrier, he took hold of his House-Elf’s hand and turned on the spot.
The early afternoon sun beamed on Harry as they reappeared. All around him were Wizards, Witches and beings all waiting for his orders. Though Harry was distracted by something else. Despite them being in the centre of London, the entire area was empty. Harry strained his ears for any kind of sound and, sure enough, he could hear voices in the distance.
“Kingsley Shacklebolt!” Came a booming voice that made several of them jump.
“Selwyn.” Harry murmured, recognising the snide, nasal like voice.
“You are outnumbered and outmatched! Resign from the Ministry now and we might make your death quick and painless!” There were howls of laughter coming from the direction of the Ministry and Harry thought fast.
“Kreacher, I need you to take me as close as you can to the Ministry, a rooftop maybe.” Kreacher looked slightly worried at this command but, as Harry drew out his Invisibility Cloak, he nodded and held out a hand. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He told the others. “Kreacher, when I say now, we go, okay?” Kreacher nodded and waited for Harry’s order.
“Your Aurors have failed you!”
“Now!” Harry said and before he knew it he appeared on the rooftop of a building just opposite the Ministry, though he was not alone. Four other Wizards were on the rooftop with him, their wands all drawn, so engrossed with the spectacle below they did not hear the sound of Apparition made by the invisible Auror over Selwyn’s enchanted voice.
“Your Confederation has failed you! Harry Potter has failed you!” This last comment was finished with laughter and the rest of what sounded like hundreds of voices joined in. Harry crept closer with Kreacher so as to look over the edge of the building. There were far more than six hundred. At least twice as many from what Harry could see until a man on a broom floated in front of him. Harry stumbled back slightly though still kept his presence unknown and, with a nod to his fellows, the man flew off to his next destination. Harry looked around, there were more Wizards and Witches on brooms surrounding the Ministry and, directly above the Ministry, floated the Dark Mark.
“Fighting us further would be a waste, Shacklebolt. You have already lost most of your defenders while your real fighters remain where they cannot help you. Now, open the doors to the Ministry and except defeat before we force them open and kill everyone that stands in our way!” There was a roar of approval from the army and Harry turned back to Kreacher and nodded again. They turned on the spot and returned to the waiting crowd.
“Well?” Kory asked, anticipation in his voice.
“They have us outnumbered by at least six to one, there are guards on several of the rooftops and on brooms and Selwyn is about to burst into the Ministry.” Harry said quickly, trying to plan something out.
“So what do we do?” Neville asked though Harry didn’t look at any of them.
“Well, there’s only one thing we can do.” Lance said and Harry looked up at him and knew he was right.
“Okay,” Harry said, his heart beating faster than it had done all day. “Okay guys, here’s the plan.”
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