Chapter 33 : 32- The Nine Year Battle
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“You have had your chance, Minister!” Edmund Selwyn jeered, his voice echoing menacingly throughout the London area. “Let it be noted that we tried to show mercy at your defeat!”
Harry walked around the corner, revealing the long road which Selwyn’s army had crammed into. Selwyn was standing on top of an overturned car, elevating him above everyone else.
“I wouldn’t ask people to make note of your lies, Selwyn!” Harry’s magically enhanced voice bellowed and, pointing his wand into the air, he sent off a jet of white light that sank into the Dark Mark hovering intimidatingly above them and it disintegrated with a burst of light. “It won’t look good on you on the future generations!”
Harry watched as what they estimated to be over twelve-hundred Dark Wizards and Witches turned to face him including Selwyn. Though they were some distant apart, Harry could tell there was a look of shock on Selwyn’s face. Some of Selwyn’s followers nearest Harry raised their wands, ready to strike.
“Wait!” Selwyn cried and he jumped off the car.
Harry looked around at the surroundings and noticed dead Wizards, Witches and, judging by their clothing, Muggles at the feet of the Dark Wizards. Puddles of blood dotted around the corpses.
A minute later Selwyn, Rabastan and Marius Yvault were all at the head of the horde facing Harry, Marius with an interested look upon his pale face as he surveyed Harry.
“Well, well, the boy who lived does it again.” Selwyn sneered. “However, I must admit, I am not disappointed you escaped Marius’ trap, it just means I can now introduce you to my Dark Wizarding Alliance!” Selwyn then aimed his wand. “Take note of their faces, for they will be the last you ever see!” Again there was applause as Selwyn said this and cries in all kinds of accents shouting “Kill him now!” and “He’s all on his own!” Selwyn laughed at these remarks before returning his attention back to Harry.
“You know, Potter, there are rumours that the Killing Curse doesn’t affect you. Well, I’d like to see what a shower of Killing Curses does to you.” And with that, Rabastan, Marius and all those nearest them raised their wands.
“We don’t have to do this Selwyn!” Harry bellowed out, his voice still magically enhanced. “We can stop this before even more people die!” Everyone on the crowded road laughed at Harry’s statement.
“So be it!” Harry cried and, as he did so, the building to the right of him seemed to explode as three large Trolls burst through it, a battalion of Aurors and Enforcers right behind them as the flanked the invading army. Harry felt the earth shake as, from behind him, the fourth Troll headed a second, much larger crowd as they fired spells at Selwyn’s airborne supporters who scattered to avoid the attack.
Wizards and Witches began falling from their brooms onto the battleground though two men without brooms landed hard onto the pavement beside Harry and he knew Fay and Lawrence were succeeding in dealing with those on the rooftops.
Harry ran at Selwyn and his army, his wand raised and the might of his Aurors, the Enforcers, Kaman’s All Blood Militia, the Guards, Ghouls and Goblins of Azkaban, the security Trolls and the Sphinx all supporting him.
The dust and debris from the destroyed building continued to billow everywhere as Harry sent a stunner at Selwyn which missed but hit the man behind him in the stomach. Selwyn signalled Rabastan and Marius to follow him as their Dark Wizard army charged towards the opposing force. Harry tried to follow, cursing all those within aim as spells of all kinds flew through the air.
Fighting broke out all around him as a dark skinned woman jumped in front of Harry, her wand aiming at his chest. Harry was bracing himself to dodge when a jet of red light hit the woman in the back of the head. Harry conjured a Shield Charm in front of him and glanced a look upwards which was more than enough to see Ron at the head of a small army of Aurors all on brooms. Spells showered the Dark Wizards nearest them from above forcing a majority of them to scramble and allowing Harry and the others to charge through.
Thorfinn Rowle was amongst those who remained in the midst of the crowd and was barking orders to his fellows when he saw Harry. “Potter!” He bellowed with a smile and he pointed his wand at Harry when the giant Sphinx sprang from nowhere and took advantage of the newly formed space.
Harry watched as it jumped into the battle, slamming two of Rowle’s companions to the ground with its lion paws and bite into Rowle’s raised wand arm. Rowle’s screams of agony seemed to mingle with the shouts and cries around him as the Sphinx’s teeth sank deeper until, with a mighty swing, it threw him into the wall of the nearest building.
Rowle’s broken body slid lifelessly to the floor and Harry heard “Just three left to go!” as Tyrus ran past the corpse and into the fray, dodging a barrage of Killing curses that had been sent at her that instead hit her fellow Militia members behind her sending them dead to the ground.
The Trolls were all waving and crashing their clubs into their pray, hitting the buildings beside them whenever they missed while spells collided into their armour as many of the Dark Wizards attempted to be rid of them. One Troll finally succumbed to the number of spells being fired at it and, with a final hit to the face, it fell to the ground cracking the road beneath it as its numerous assailants bellowed victoriously.
Naomi, Neville, Lance and many others had followed Harry in the charge after Selwyn and the others, they too sending jinxes and curses at as many enemies as they could or else blocking or deflecting the retaliation of the Dark Wizards.
Two more challengers met Harry’s eyes after killing their Law Enforcer adversaries and turned their wands on him. But Harry was too quick. He sent a Body-Bind Curse that froze one man where he stood and deflected the second man’s curse back at him.
The curse hit the Wizard in the chest and Harry watched as the man screamed in pain, his robes burning away revealing major burns to the skin beneath.
Harry noticed that they were reaching closer to the Ministry when a balaclava covered man ran at him. Out of nowhere, Ron landed on his feet between them, broom still in one hand, and blasted him with a Reductor Curse. Many other of the Aurors Ron had arrived with followed suit in joining the ground battle.
“Thought you might need a hand!” Ron shouted, deflecting a hex back at its caster as he and Harry stood back-to-back.
“You thought right!” Harry replied, stunning a large hooded man that had just killed two of the newly arrived Aurors.
“This still isn’t enough though, we’re still immensely outnumbered! You know that, right!” Ron bellowed but Harry didn’t want to think of their odds.
“Just try not to die!” Harry answered back as he broke away to continue his push towards the Ministry, dodging and deflecting more spells.
“Good plan!” Ron called after him before conjuring another Shield Charm to defend himself.
Harry sent a stunner at a man who was duelling Neville and turned around just in time to dodge a stray Killing Curse that ruffled his hair as it flew by.
Then, amongst the shouts and cries of the fighters, there was a loud bang as the main doors of the Ministry were blasted apart and Kingsley, Ginny and Percy led a group of the remaining Ministry workers, Order members and D.A members to charge into the fray.
Many of the Dark Wizards closest had noticed their opening and ran at the new arrivals. Selwyn was amongst them and he sent a Killing Curse that missed Kingsley by an inch. Harry ran towards them as, for a moment, it appeared they were about to duel when Mosby Elfrin, the man Kingsley had identified from the Quidditch attack, jumped between them and began to duel Kingsley instead, giving Selwyn his chance to run at the Ministry with his crowd. Harry sent another curse at Selwyn which Rabastan blocked with a bark of laughter.
“Why don’t you come and follow, Potter!” Rabastan roared with a grin as he, Selwyn and Marius all forced their way into the Ministry, striking down many workers as they did so.
A shower of glass from a window of the building opposite rained down on the fighter as Harry floored three more Dark Wizards as he fought his way closer to the Ministry.
A jet of white light was shot straight at him. Harry dodged though he felt something sharp cut deeply into his wand free arm. Harry looked for the caster and saw Bailey Miller running towards the Ministry entrance as he sent another curse at Harry but he was ready this time. He deflected it so that Bailey’s curse hit one of Ginny’s two opponents and the man fell to the floor, grasping the place where the curse had slashed him.
Harry made one final push towards the Ministry, dodging and blocking more hexes and curses then ever as he ran through the cleared entrance.
The entire Atrium was already full of duellers and stray spells flew everywhere colliding and rebounding off the walls, adding to the chaos. One spell crashed into the Fountain of Magical Brethren and sent large chunks of the golden statues to the cracking floor beneath it.
Nearest to him, Hermione was duelling two at once, a Deathly Hallows sign dangling from both of their necks as they ducked and weaved around her.
“Stupify!” Harry cried and one of the men dodged one of Hermione’s spells only to get in the way of Harry’s stunner. The man hit the floor, unconscious, giving Hermione her chance and she stunned her remaining foe before running back into the thick of the fight.
Harry quickly surveyed the scene, putting an Impediment Jinx on a woman who had charged at him. Naomi ran passed him towards the stairs and Harry saw what he was looking for. Selwyn, Rabastan and Marius were all running up the stairs as they covered each other and retaliated back at their attackers. Harry made to follow Naomi and pursue the leaders of the opposing army when his path was blocked by Bailey, his wand at the ready.
“I don’t think so, Potter!” He jeered arrogantly and Bailey sent a volley of spells at Harry, which he deflected easily. “Cruci-!” Bailey started but Harry had already re-aimed his wand and a flash of red light sent Bailey’s wand into the air and it fell out of sight behind a crowd of fighters.
Harry went to stun Bailey but as soon as he lost sight of his wand, Bailey had ran full pelt towards the stairs and Harry’s spell strayed off and narrowly missed McGonagall, who was fighting one on one with a toweringly large, bald Chinese man.
Harry chased after him, passing Seamus, George and Luna all trying to suppress a group of opponents as he ran through the crowded Atrium.
Despite his best efforts, people from both sides of the conflict continued to fall and die around him as he eventually reached the staircase. As Harry stepped on the first stair, he felt the building shake and, looking back, he saw chunks of the polished ceiling fall. Harry swished his wand through the air and just in time the pieces froze in mid-air, protecting those below from the falling debris. With a flick of his wand, Harry sent the giant roof pieces at several enemy fighters.
A curse flew past Harry and he took cover instinctively before continuing to climb the staircase. He ran by the entrance to the Department of Mysteries, whose door appeared to have remained shut and sped on past the Wizengamot Courtrooms hearing the sound of duelling above.
He continued to climb the staircase when he entered the long, torch lit corridor leading to the door to the roof. Naomi was duelling Marius and Harry saw that Marius was armed with both wand and knife. Bailey was watching the fight from the staircase that led to the roof, his eyes wide with awe as he watched Marius’ fighting style.
Marius aimed a slash across Naomi’s face with his knife though she leaned back to avoid it but, before Harry could do anything to help, there was then a flash of bright purple light and Naomi was blasted off her feet and she slammed into the wall. Bailey was laughing and, for a moment, Harry thought the worst but was settled by the sight her clenching her wand and raising her head.
“I must ‘and it to you, Monsieur Potter.” Marius said to Harry in a surprisingly soothing French accent. “You train your Aurors very well.” And before Naomi could even attempt to get up, Marius pointed his wand and Harry’s ears were filled with Naomi’s screams of pain.
“No!” Harry cried and with a jab of his wand he sent a jet of white light that Marius dodged. The curse continued through the air, colliding with the wall behind and cracking it severely. Naomi’s cries silenced as Marius’ curse subsided though it was obvious she still did not have the strength to get back up.
Marius sent a Killing Curse in retaliation though Harry side-stepped it keeping his eye on Marius but, before Harry could make his next move, Marius had already slashed at the air with his wand.
The fire within the lit torches closest to Marius grew bigger and a streak of fire erupted from them and linked with their counterparts on their diagonal. The jets of fire continued to crisscross through the air until Harry had one on each side coming directly for him. Harry conjured a shield just in time and the flames hit the transparent barrier.
Harry could feel the heat intensifying the longer it kept up until, with a large swipe of his wand, he succeeded in pushing back the flames. The blaze turned to black smoke that filled the air and Harry took his chance.
With a quick twirl of his wand he obscured Marius’ view with the smoke and Harry began spinning his wand in small circles.
“Look out!” Bailey cried out as he peered from behind the corner. With a slash at the air with his wand, Marius cleared the thick black smoke just in time to see Harry throw his wand over his head. Marius attempted to get to Harry first and threw his poisoned knife at him.
A strip of thin silver light erupted from Harry’s wand, with such force Harry’s hand recoiled from firing it, and sped towards Marius, turning the knife to shards as the spell went through it. Marius had to quickly conjure a shield of his own to take the hit but, as the spell made contact with the shield, a colossal shockwave emitted that was so fierce it fractured the surrounding walls as badly as Harry’s first curse and threw Bailey sideways, out of sight.
Marius’ recoil from the shockwave was all Harry needed and, again, Harry went on the offensive. Keeping his wand pointing at Marius, the cracked pieces of the cream coloured corridor broke off the wall and shot towards him like flying daggers. Marius had to break each piece individually with his wand and Harry pressed his advantage over Marius’ split-second vulnerability.
A second jet of white light burst from Harry’s wand tip that Marius had not expected. The spell hit him hard in the stomach and the blast carried him off his feet and through the already weakened wall behind him. For several slow seconds he seemed to linger mid-air, propelled only by Harry’s curse, until he fell out of sight into the battle below.
Harry could see fighters on brooms through the newly made hole zooming past and saw a blur of brown dive-bombing out of sight, though whether friend or foe, Harry could not tell.
He ran over to Naomi, who was clutching the place where Marius’ spell had hit her.
“I’m fine, Harry.” She said as the Ministry gave another violent shudder. She looked towards the staircase. “Bailey’s getting away!” Harry turned and saw Bailey scrambling quickly up the stairs.
The sounds of voices from the end of the corridor leading downstairs were getting louder and it was apparent they were about to have more company.
“Go, I’ll be fine.” Naomi said as she pulled herself up and readied her wand. “Go!” Harry nodded and ran in pursuit of Bailey. Harry was half way up the stairs when the building gave another tremor. He stumbled and when he next looked, Bailey had shut the door to the roof behind him. Harry ran at it, his wand raised.
The door was blasted off its hinges and when Harry walked through the doorway, he saw, their wands raised in waiting for him, Edmund Selwyn and Rabastan Lestrange.
“It’s about time, Potter.” Selwyn said calmly as the sound of the battle rang through the air. “So, what do you think?” He asked as he indicated their surroundings. “Impressive, no? Oh how the Dark Lord would be proud. Years of planning and preparation, of dreaming and scheming and now…” And he looked around as though the fighters soaring above them were pieces of artwork and their cries music.
As Harry met Selwyn’s eyes however, a small surplus portion of Harry’s mind seemed to snap, as though someone had flicked a switch in his head, and suddenly took charge, forcing him to talk.
“What did you do with the Malfoy’s, Selwyn?” Selwyn’s eyes widened as he laughed hysterically and even Rabastan grinned.
“And there it is.” And Harry’s heart thundered, fear seeping into him for the first time as Selwyn continued “The icing of this cake. Narcissa has you fulfilling a Life Debt. And to think I didn’t believe it when I found that handy little memory you were foolish enough to leave lying around, though I suppose one can do foolish things when trying to pay off a debt. I’m dead glad that Rabastan allowed Lucius to live now. Who knew that keeping the possible means of controlling you alive might not be a bad idea?” As the Death Eater laughed Harry’s found that his mind continued to remain focussed on the Malfoy’s. Deciding that he needed to get to Selwyn in order to find Lucius, Harry gave in and allowed the pulsating Debt-driven urges within to take over.
Harry sent a stunner at Selwyn which Rabastan blocked and retaliated with a Killing Curse. Harry dodged it but, as he did so, the building tremored even more violently than before and he noticed cracks appear in the floor beneath them.
Bailey was cowering in the corner when a stray spell hit the wall he was leaning against and pieces flew across the ground as Bailey was knocked over.
“Where’s your wand, damn it?” Selwyn barked as he dodged a spell of Harry’s. But Bailey was too busy trying to avoid more spells to answer.
Harry attempted to curse Rabastan but he blocked it giving Harry time to send another curse at Selwyn. It missed but the spell hit the rooftop wall behind him and the force of Harry’s spell sent Selwyn to the ground. As he hit the floor, Harry noticed a small Amethyst Orb fall from Selwyn’s inside pocket and rolled out of reach.
Rabastan sent another Killing Curse at Harry which he dodged easily despite his attention on Selwyn who had scrabbled back to his feet, his wand aimed and a smile on his face. There was a flash of white light which Harry attempted to rebound but realised all too late that Selwyn wasn’t aiming for him but at the ground beneath his feet.
There was a loud crack and Harry felt his right leg go through the floor, his wand arm being used to break his fall. He saw Rabastan raise his wand, an insane smile beaming at Harry. “Avada Kedavra!”
There was a flash of red light and Rabastan’s wand flew out of his hand and over the side of the building.
Both Harry and Rabastan looked round to see Harry’s saviour and saw Neville standing at the doorway, his wand raised and his face contorted as he glared at Rabastan. For a moment, Harry thought he saw fear in the Death Eater’s eyes before Neville sent another jet of red light that hit Rabastan in the centre of his chest. The spell lifted Rabastan off of his feet and Harry thought that Rabastan knew exactly what was going to happen as the large man followed the way of his wand and was thrown off the rooftop and out of sight.
“No!” Selwyn cried before aiming his wand at Neville and shrieking “Crucio!” Neville was knocked to the ground by the force of Selwyn’s curse, writhing in pain. Harry pulled his leg out of the hole to face Selwyn when he noticed that the Death Eater was now pointing his wand at a chunk of rubble from the destroyed rooftop wall, leaving Neville breathless on the ground. “Portus.” He said, grinning. “Marietta taught me a few things in exchange for the Dark Arts.” Selwyn explained with a smile as the stone momentarily glowed bright blue. “And this is one Portkey I know you’ll want. One that leads directly into the presence of the entire Malfoy family.”
Harry felt his mind go haywire, as though all of his senses had been tampered with as a fizzing sensation erupted throughout his head. He was staring directly into Selwyn’s eyes and knew he was telling the truth. Suddenly, he felt his legs go numb and begin to move without his say so.
“Harry, what are you-?” But Selwyn had reactivated his curse on Neville and his screams mixed in the air with Selwyn and Bailey’s laughter and the sound of the battle being fought around them.
“Go on Potter, I’m sure you’ll find exactly what you disserve.”
“Harry! Finish him!” Neville cried out in pain as he rolled across the floor and Harry felt his mind split and his wand twitch in his hand as his legs began to break out into a run. “Harry!”
“No!” Harry bellowed as he forced his legs with all his remaining willpower to change direction last minute towards Selwyn though he still couldn’t help the speed with which his legs were being forced to run at. As Harry had expected, he felt his wand arm fling itself in the direction of the Portkey and take aim.
“What!” Selwyn spluttered in surprise as Harry pelted towards him. Selwyn re-aimed his wand but was too late.
Harry had tackled into him and they continued to move until they were through the hole in the wall that Harry had made and Harry felt the edge of the rooftop beneath his feet as both he and Selwyn began to fall.
“Harry? Harry!” Harry heard Neville cry over the screams of Selwyn. Selwyn sent off several curses and hexes but Harry’s wand free hand was holding Selwyn’s wand arm sending the curses crashing into the Ministry building as they fell, debris cascading down alongside them as Harry’s wand still pointed towards the roof. Harry could feel both he and Selwyn picking up momentum as they sped past combatants on brooms and, just as he could begin to see the tops of heads of those fighting on the ground, he felt the rough hard side of Selwyn’s stone Portkey that he had used a Summoning Charm on hit the knuckles of his wand hand.
Still grasping Selwyn’s wand arm, he felt the Portkey tug on his knuckles and take them away from the battle.
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