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Chapter 23 : Werewolves in the Ministry
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Disclaimer: The story title is a song originally recorded (under that title) by Bob Dylan. The world, characters and canon events belong to J. K. Rowling. Everything else belongs to me. It is illegal to publish and distribute fanfiction without J.K. Rowling's permission. You may not copy, post elsewhere, change or edit any part of this story. You may not claim it as your own.
Werewolves in the Ministry
Lying in bed, waiting for morning, Lily Evans stared worriedly up at the ceiling in her flat. There was so much to be done. She was trying to work with Petunia to plan a funeral. She didn’t quite have the funds for that, and her parents weren’t exactly rich. Paying for Petunia’s coming wedding, not to mention paying her own flat for the last six months, had completely taken over any spare cash the Evans family may have ever had. The life insurance would barely cover the funeral. Her parents weren’t made of money, after all.
Aside from funeral plans, there were other things to do. Closing accounts, cleaning out the house. They would have to sell it, of course. There was no way she and Petunia would be able to take over the payments. The thought brought tears to her eyes; it was the only home she had ever known. Even worse, it brought up every past memory of running around with Severus Snape on the playground down the road.
And that brought on a wave of sadness for the best mate she had lost, a wave of fear for what he had gotten himself into, a wave of anger for his poor choices. A wave of regret that she hadn’t done a better job of talking him out of it. She sometimes desperately wanted to go back to Hogwarts, go back to being a first year, new and afraid and innocent, but with Severus holding her hand.
James had seen how upset she’d become when speaking of the house.
“Lily… I can pay for the house for you,” he’d offered. He’d looked unsure of that commitment, but he couldn’t just sit by and read the desperation on her face without trying to fix it. He didn’t want her to lose her childhood home and all the memories that had been a part of it on top of everything else.
She refused. She could never let him take on the financial burden of her parents’ home. Perhaps he came from a rich family, but the money was not yet his to spend. She knew he was already taking money out of his personal Gringott’s account to assist Remus when needed.
As she lay staring at the white ceiling, she felt a tear escape the corner of her eye and run down her temple, into her hair. She was quickly becoming an insomniac in light of all that had recently happened. And she didn’t even mind. She clung to these times, in the middle of the night, when the time seemed to pass so slowly as she lay awake and thoughtful. It did, at least, put off the start of another day.
At times, it felt as if she was only barely holding on.
Petunia was avoiding her. Lily wasn’t sure what to make of it; she knew Petunia likely blamed her for what had happened. It was her birthday, after all, that had caused Mae Evans to venture into London. She didn’t think that Petunia knew the accident was caused by magic, however, and for that she was glad. Part of her supposed Petunia just didn’t know how to deal with it, and was instead filling all of her time with her fiancée, Vernon. But, thought Lily sadly, she could really use a sister right now.
Lily rolled onto her side and buried her wet face in her pillow. Part of her felt like screaming into it, but instead the only sound that escaped her was a sob. She was lost; she was falling apart.
Tensions were high in the basement of the Hog’s Head Inn. Dumbledore had called an emergency meeting. All of them knew that the emergency meetings were news of danger or another attack. The last time an emergency meeting had been called was the morning of the Underground attack. This time, the Order members paced around, too full of dread to be able to sit.
Dumbledore cleared his throat when Elphias Doge, the last member to arrive, finally walked in. “Please, friends, have a seat,” he said, gesturing to the wooden chairs scattered around the room. “There is no battle tonight, but I have received word of what will come.”
Groans of relief mingled with the sounds of chairs scraping across the wooden floor as everyone obliged. It wasn’t until the room was quiet again that Dumbledore finally spoke once more.
“As you all know, Lupin has been gone for a few months now, attempting to live amongst the werewolves and gain any information about the Dark side’s plans as possible. Thus far, Lupin has done an excellent job of remaining undercover, and we knew of last week’s Underground attack only because of his efforts.”
Dumbledore paused to smile at his friends, the remaining Marauders, and they felt a keen sense of pride at what Remus had accomplished in the wild. Perhaps it was only one thing so far, but it was one thing that they were able to attempt to counter. Hundreds had died on the tube, but hundreds more were saved simply because they had been there to slow the wreckage.
“We have yet to see the worst of Voldemort’s attacks, however. We all know that it is Voldemort’s aim to become the Minister of Magic, so that he might rule both magical and Muggle people alike. We have had Edgar and Elphias keeping an eye out within the Ministry, going so far as to stand guard at night so as to alert us should anything suspicious happen.”
Dumbledore gestured towards the two oldest men in the Order, who both grunted at the recognition.
“The defence of the Ministry is of the utmost importance,” said Dumbledore now. “It matters not our victories elsewhere, should the Ministry fall into the Dark side’s hands. Tonight, as I was sitting in my office at Hogwarts, I received Lupin’s Patronus,” he finally said.
Everyone seemed to be on the edge of their seats at the news that Remus had sent a message.
“Mr Lupin wishes to inform us of an upcoming attack on the Ministry,” Dumbledore finally said, and there was a terrifying feeling of finality to his words; everyone in the room realised how important this news was. As the old man himself had said moments before, the defence of the Ministry was more important than anything else. If they lose the Ministry, they lose the war.
News of a planned attack on the establishment was dire, and all of them were suddenly filled with dread.
Dumbledore sighed as he watched his news sink in. “There will be no guesswork this time,” he said at last. “Voldemort plans to unleash the werewolves upon the Ministry building.”
There was a sudden, sharp intake of breath at the plan. Werewolves were dangerous creatures; spells had difficulty penetrating the thick fur and strong skin of the beasts. They were brutal and wild, mindless and bloodthirsty when transformed. Any injury a victim might give the beast in self defence usually only survived to further enrage the monster.
The Marauders had difficulty in swallowing. They alone knew first-hand how werewolves really behaved during the full moon. They knew how dangerous and brutal the creatures could become, turning even on their best mates without a knowledge or care of what they were doing.
“This attack,” Dumbledore continued, ignoring the wide-eyed stairs of his audience, “will clearly be taking place during the upcoming full moon. It has been meticulously planned to take place this month, in the dead of winter, when the nights are longer and the days are shorter. The moon will still be up as the Ministry is opening it’s doors. Ministry officials and employees, including the Minister of Magic himself, will enter the building to find the beasts lying in wait. All will be trapped in the Ministry’s Atrium with the creatures - first thing in the morning is guaranteed to be the best time to get as many employees in the one place as possible.
It is my estimation that the wolves will have at least an hour to do their best before the moon goes down. It is guaranteed to be a bloody battle, and should the wolves succeed in their attack during the Ministry‘s busiest hour, it will leave the path to Voldemort’s success relatively clear.
With many Ministry officials dead in the attack, hopefully including the Minister himself, Voldemort will be able take the office,” said Dumbledore in a hoarse voice, feeling mildly defeated already. “He will be able to refill the positions of the dead officials with followers of his own choosing. Every important position will be held by a Death Eater or supporter of his causes. The war will be lost in this one battle.”
Sirius felt sick. One battle. One battle, and it could change the world. It seemed, at times, as if they were fighting a losing war, as if they never even had a chance. It felt as if they were all sentenced to death and were only waiting for it to happen. Times were dark, he knew, but they never felt darker than they did in this moment, as they faced the biggest attack yet.
Part of him was jealous of Lily’s parents’ fate. Part of him would give anything to be dead already, to end the suffering and worrying, to have peace at last and not have to deal with this anymore. They’d only been at it for six months. Things had only really picked up in the last two, after they’d gone through a bit of training. He didn’t know how he could keep this up for years; they were no closer now to ending the war than they were when he first joined the Order.
Peter tugged on James’s sleeve.
“What if Moony is one of the wolves attacking,” he muttered hoarsely.
James’s face paled. “He wouldn’t,” he said firmly.
“What if he has no choice?” Peter’s voice dropped to a frightened whisper. “He is one of them. They might expect it of him.”
Sirius felt like screaming, he isn’t one of them! Instead he glanced at James, just as anxious for a response as Peter was. James only stared at the floor, breathing evenly through his nose. Beside him, Lily’s gaze flickered between Peter and Sirius with a worried expression on her face.
At last, Sirius could take it no more. He turned away.
Dumbledore continued to speak at the front of the room. “The full moon is on the twelfth,” he finally said. “We have three days to do any planning we might need. Edgar, Elphias - we will need a way to get the Order into the Ministry at night unseen.”
The two men nodded.
Sirius closed his eyes.
His bones ached. Remus always knew when the full moon was coming by the way he hurt. His joined were brittle and sore; even the smallest movement made him cringe. He had a headache. His stomach churned. He was so cold; nothing he did warmed him. He was allowed to sit in front of the bonfire tonight, for, prisoner or not, all of the werewolves knew the pain of the transformation. They sympathised with him, even if they didn’t fully trust him anymore since he left months earlier. They didn’t deny him the warmth of the fire tonight.
But it wasn’t enough. He was still chilled and shivering.
The women and children sat around the fire with him, trying to stay warm and comfortable. The men of the pack, however, paced about nervously, waiting for tonight. Even Ulfric would be leaving - this was the one night a month when Remus could be trusted without a guard. They knew, in wolf form with animalistic instincts, that Remus wouldn’t leave the pack.
Tonight was the night of the attack on the Ministry. Remus felt sick, and he knew it was more because of this than because of the full moon for once. He prayed that his Patronus made it to Dumbledore - he’d managed to send it in the early morning hours several days ago, when most of the pack was asleep. He’d chosen to risk the Patronus over contacting James through the mirror. He didn’t want to risk being overheard this time, for these plans were huge. Even if he was caught conjuring the Patronus, there was no risk of hearing it’s message, and the werewolves couldn’t make him talk.
He prayed tonight that the Order had gotten a plan of defence together. It was terrible not knowing, not being able to communicate freely back and forth to find out if they were prepared. He prayed for his friends, that none of them would be harmed, that everyone would be safe.
Dread filled him with thoughts of the coming days and weeks. Who knew when he would get a chance to contact James through the mirror again, to ask of the casualties, to make sure they had all survived? He wasn’t looking forward to the upcoming sleepless nights of not knowing. He hoped he would get a chance with the mirror soon. Unfortunately, Ulfric was a much better guard than young Fillin was. Ulfric didn’t fall asleep on the job; Ulfric gave him little opportunity to speak through the mirror.
Fenrir Greyback paced about, walking tall and proud, sticking his chest out and feeling important. Remus hated him.
They were all waiting for the Death Eaters to arrive and take them to London. Remus prayed they would arrive too late, that the transformations would already be in effect and the plan would be ruined. The wizards wouldn’t be able to Disapparate with a werewolf, after all. They’d be dead before they even tried.
But even as he thought this, he heard the familiar popping sounds of Apparition. He shivered as a cold chill ran through him. Death Eaters. He was going to be face to face and surrounded by Death Eaters.
The men in the pack cheered, excited and blood hungry for tonight. Remus got up and hurried away, feeling like he was going to vomit. Behind him, more pops were sounding. The men’s voices were becoming more sparse, and Remus knew that they were already being whisked away by the Death Eaters. They were already in London. The nightmare was already beginning.
Remus’s heart stopped at the voice. It was familiar, in a horrible way. He turned to see Regulus Black standing behind him.
“Regulus,” groaned Remus. He should have hidden his face faster. He had forgotten how many former Hogwarts students were a part of the Death Eaters now. How had he forgotten?
Regulus narrowed his eyes and stepped forward. When he spoke, his voice was low. “Does my brother know you are here,” he demanded.
Surprise overtook Remus at the question. Regulus sounded almost angry at what looked like a possible betrayal of Sirius. Part of him feared what Regulus would do to him if he said yes. But he couldn’t say yes; he could never say yes. That would make it obvious that he was here undercover, only pretending. Regulus was a Death Eater.
So Remus swallowed and shook his head. “The…” he stammered, trying to sound firm. “The Dark Lord offers werewolves…”
Regulus’s eyes narrowed even further, and Remus could swear he saw a look of disgust cross the boy’s features. He wondered then why Regulus was even there. Regulus wasn’t even out of school yet. Perhaps he had dropped out. His heart broke for Sirius; Remus knew his friend still had hopes for the boy, however much they had diminished during Regulus’s Christmas visit.
“Regulus,” snapped another Death Eater. “Come on, we’re done here.”
Regulus turned back to Remus. “Are you a part of this tonight,” he growled, offering his arm for Disapparition.
Remus shook his head again. “I’m a prisoner.”
At that, Regulus’s face suddenly lightened. He offered his arm again. “Do you need me to get you out?” he asked then, under his breath. “We can make it look like I’m taking you there, and you can hide.”
Remus felt his heart break even further at the offer of help. Perhaps Sirius hadn’t been so far off after all. Perhaps Regulus was more than how he acted to please his parents. He could understand now, suddenly, his friend’s desperation to get his brother to the light side. Regulus had some good in him, still.
It was the most difficult thing he’d ever had to do when he shook his head and lied. “I don’t mean they’ve captured me, you… you great dolt!” he said darkly, his throat going dry. He blushed at his lack of skill in name-calling, and thought he saw a look of amusement cross Regulus’s features. “I came here because I wanted to be here. I’m only prisoner as punishment for a wrong I’ve done. Get out of here, Regulus, I don’t want your sodding help. Before I tell them of your attempted betrayal to the Dark side.”
Anger flashed in Regulus’s grey eyes at the threat. How many times had Remus seen that same look in Sirius?
“Watch yourself, Lupin,” said Regulus haughtily, turning away. He walked off, and moments later, Remus heard the sound of his Disapparition. And he couldn’t shake the feeling that Regulus knew what he was up to. He could only hope that the youngest Black wouldn’t say anything.
Sirius sat stiffly in his armchair, drumming his fingers against the upholstery in a nerve-wracking fashion. He glanced at his watch again, and then glanced at James.
James stared wide-eyed and unseeingly at the floor.
“What time is it, Padfoot?” asked Peter softly.
“Almost time, then,” sighed Lily. She shoved her bookmark between the pages of the story she was reading and laid the novel on Sirius’s scorched tabletop. She had been pretending to read, the fingers of one hand laced through James’s. She wasn’t really reading, though; she couldn’t concentrate on the words. She held the book in front of her face only to give an excuse not to look up at her companions.
Dumbledore had advised all of the Order to try to sleep tonight, but to be ready for battle in the morning. The suggestion had been impossible.
All of them had sat up tonight, worrying about Remus. Not only were the full moons always a time of concern for the group, but this time they feared he might be a part of the upcoming Ministry invasion. None of them wanted to face the prospect of finding him there, of possibly even killing him without knowing which he was. He would be surrounded by Merlin only knew how many other werewolves, after all. And as if their personal issues with the battle were not terrible enough, the battle itself - werewolves - was terrifying.
Sleep had been a joke. For a short while, Sirius had lied upon his bed, staring at the ceiling. For a short while, Peter had stretched out on the couch. For a few moments, James and Lily spoke quietly in Remus’s empty bedroom.
But they’d all found themselves out in the living room again. They’d sat in silence all night, waiting and dreading.
Morning, thought Dumbledore as he sat in the Three Broomsticks, would be the best time to try to counter the attack. It was a terrible risk, to do it just as the Ministry would be filling up with employees - many, many innocent bystanders could be injured or killed or bitten and infected. The old man’s eyes filled with sorrow at the thought, but he grimly forced it from his mind. He did not live for as long as he had and not understand that, sometimes, sacrifices had to be made. That sometimes, the innocent had to die for the greater good.
Dumbledore cringed at the words. For the Greater Good. How familiar they were; how different their meaning had become to him over the years.
He sighed. It had to be this way. Fighting one werewolf was difficult enough - he guessed the Order would be easily outnumbered in this fight. On top of that, he feared there was a very good chance that the Death Eaters would be around as well; he was certain they would be, in fact. This battle would give them the perfect opportunity to try to claim the Ministry as their own.
The only chance to win would be to force the other magical citizens, the employees, the guards - any visitor for any reason - into helping. The only way would be to begin the battle in the mere seconds before the doors and the Floo Network opened for business. In that, the Order could start the defence, and others would join in, finding themselves suddenly in the midst of a battle.
The lives of innocents were the price of victory. He was sentencing them to death; all of them, unless they were lucky. Possibly members of his very own team.
He glanced at his fancy pocket watch and got to his feet. It was almost time.
“Early start, Albus,” smiled Rosmerta, coming around to pick up his empty goblet. “Have a big day ahead?”
“My dear woman, you have no idea.”
In the Atrium of the Ministry of Magic, the werewolves were gathered. Snarling and growling, standing with ears erect and alert, hackles raised. They were restless and bloodthirsty; it had been a long and terrible night of captivity within the building. The beasts had lived in the wild, free, for years. To be cooped up in the Ministry was torture to their feral minds, whether or not their human brains were aware of it beforehand.
There had been a few spats between the pack already; frustrated creatures who’d lost control and snapped. Easily irritable beasts lashing out when a brother got too close.
They were restricted to the Atrium only. Below, on the other floors of the building, the Death Eaters were already working through the various offices and departments. Every office fireplace was sealed to prevent their important owners from a private Floo. All except for one - they left the Minister’s fireplace wide open.
It was still dark outside at nearly seven in the morning and the full moon was still up, but there was, perhaps, only about fifteen more minutes before the sun would rise. It didn’t matter; fifteen minutes was plenty of time to ravage the crowds.
The wolves tensed when, at exactly seven, every fireplace surrounding the Atrium suddenly burst into green flame. The gates were open; people would begin Flooing any minute.
They were quite surprised when, all around them, the first of the magical people appeared in the fireplaces like liquid, solidifying into humans with their wands held out and ready. Instantly surrounding them, the first ones through the Floo Network were the members of the Order of the Phoenix.
Spells were shouted instantly. Many of them did little good against the thick hides of the werewolves and served only to further enrage the beasts.
“Stupefy!” shouted Gideon and Fabian Prewett at the same time. Their voices sounded excited, and the combined force of both spells took a werewolf down, although it didn’t knock him out as the spells intended.
Instead Fabian quickly whipped his wand back once more, and silvery ropes exploded from it and tangled itself around the wolf’s legs. The werewolf snapped and writhed against the ties, bumping into his pack mates, distracting them. They snarled at him, annoyed and overly paranoid of any touch.
The other members of the Order did their best as well. They shot spells at security desks, pulling them across the room and into the paths of the monsters. The obstructions did their job, hindering the wolves, tripping them up.
The Order knew they could only hold out for a few moments against the beasts. For every snapping jaw they avoided, three more came from an opposite direction. For every wolf they momentarily stopped with an obstacle, two running behind it leapt over with extreme agility, claws bared.
Sirius saw Edgar Bones trip over a broken piece of plaster from a wall. Instantly, a wolf was upon him, foaming at the mouth and fangs at his neck.
“Expulso!” came a shout from behind him. It was Peter, much to Sirius’s surprise, Peter, who had barely done anything brave in his entire life.
A sense of dread rolled over Sirius in the split second between Peter’s incantation and the time the spell hit the target. It did not hit the werewolf as Peter had intended. Instead it hit Edgar, the force of it ripping him from beneath the wolf’s claws and throwing him across the room.
“Oh, bugger,” said Peter, looking worried. “That wasn’t supposed to happen.”
The wolf looked confused for a moment, unsure of where it’s prey had just disappeared to, but at the sound of Peter’s voice the beast turned with a snarl, yellow eyes focusing on the two Marauders.
“Oh, God,” moaned Peter, practically climbing over Sirius in an attempt to escape. “That wasn’t supposed to happen either!”
The wolf advanced and Peter did the only thing he could think of - he transformed into a rat, right in front of everyone, and scurried up a window hanging.
Surprisingly, Sirius had half a mind to look around and make sure nobody had seen it, for they would all be in trouble if the fact that they were illegal Animagi were known. He quickly came to his senses, however, as the wolf abandoned its chase of Peter and turned to him instead.
He was wary to cause any harm to the creatures; he had no way of knowing if any of them were Remus. He rather hoped he might be able to recognise his friend, but no, they all looked the same. There was no Remus left when he was in werewolf form. There was nothing to recognise him by.
Sirius’s mind quickly worked over what he could do to both save himself and put the werewolf out of commission, preferably not harming it, just in case. At the very last second, just as the wolf lowered itself to pounce, Sirius thrust his wand at its feet.
A massive hole was blasted in the floor. Immediately, it caved in, and the wolf gave a howl as it fell to the office below.
When Sirius looked up again, it was to find the Atrium much more crowded than it had been moments earlier. Screams were filling the air and spells were flying all over the place. The Ministry employees were beginning to arrive, piling unknowingly into the Atrium from the Muggle security entrances located in the restrooms.
Instantly, the bravest of the people joined in the battle, casting a spell of their own here and there to help defend the building. The less confident were more cautious, but they joined in all the same when they saw the great numbers beginning to help.
The wolves were failing. They were being captured, tied down and restricted. Some were bleeding now, seriously injured. Here and there, a furry body lay unmoving, unbreathing. Howls erupted, shaking the building, and Sirius understood when a ray of sunlight hit him through the window.
It was over - they were transforming into humans again.
Instantly, Death Eaters poured into the Atrium from the lifts. The battle was not yet over; spells were cast anew as the Dark side fought their way to the werewolves. There was confusion in the massive crowd as even more employees spilled in from the restroom entrances. People abandoned casting offensive spells in lieu of throwing up shield charms and hoping not to be hit in the crossfire.
Only the Order members and perhaps a few Aurors seemed to be able to recognise certain Death Eaters. Only they continued to cast spells.
Sirius saw a person dressed in black run past, towards one of the wolves caught in transformation. There was something terribly familiar about the boy, though he caught only a glimpse as the fellow dashed past. He knew only that the person wasn’t an Order member, so he threw out his wand and the spell that emerged tripped the young wizard.
The boy fell forward, gliding upon the polished floor for a moment, before turning back quickly with his wand aimed at Sirius’s face.
And Sirius’s eyes widened. It was Regulus.
Nearby, Moody was duelling with two Death Eaters, and he glanced at Sirius frantically.
“What are you waiting for, boy,” he growled, casting a hex at a third Death Eater approaching. The man tripped and fell, much as Regulus had done. Instantly, Alastor whipped around, returning his attention to the Death Eaters he had already engaged.
But Sirius only held his wand out, pointed at Regulus, and could make no move.
Dorcas Meadows and Caradoc Dearborn were quickly trying to reseal the fireplaces, blocking the exits to the Floo network. They were trying to block the escape of the Death Eaters and werewolves. Dumbledore was holding off a group of Death Eaters stuck in a lift. James and Lily were each fighting Death Eaters of their own, and Peter was still nowhere to be seen. Edgar Bones was unconscious in the corner from Peter’s spell, and Elphias Doge was trying a rope around several bloody werewolves. Gideon, Fabian and Benjy Fenwick were nowhere to be seen, and Sirius guessed they must have ventured off to other floors to search out more Death Eaters.
Frank and Alice were rushing around, engaging any Death Eater they saw about to Disapparate in order to interrupt them. They couldn’t stop them all, though, and several escaped.
Everyone was busy. A few laughing Death Eaters hurried into the fireplaces to avoid Frank and Alice, clutching the arms of wild looking men in animal furs - many of them bleeding and unconscious. The werewolves. Dorcas turned and fire a spell at one pair, but it bounced off the brick fireplace and the Death Eater and werewolf disappeared in a flash of green flame. She began to move faster to seal the fireplaces before more could escape out of them, but there were far too many.
Regulus turned and shot a spell from his wand upon the werewolf nearby on the floor - an old man who looked near death. Scrambling to his feet, Regulus quickly grabbed the man’s arm and dragged him towards one of the last fireplaces. Sirius realised that he must have made the werewolf almost weightless to be able to move so quickly. The man looked to be terribly injured, not even worth saving, and Sirius wondered why Regulus even tried.
As he went, Regulus glanced back over his shoulder at Sirius, a pleading look in his eye. Sirius’s wand lowered slightly. He understood, then. Regulus was going for the fireplaces to try to Floo out. He couldn’t Disapparate with the werewolf so badly injured. And the Longbottoms would probably interrupt it if he tried.
“What are you waiting for!” screamed Moody again, ducking a black bolt of lightning. His wand moved frantically, offensive spells, defensive spells. He didn't have a second to spare to apprehend Regulus. “You’re the only one who can stop him, Black, do it! Do it now!”
But Sirius couldn’t do it. Regulus flung himself into the fireplace dragging the werewolf with him, barely dodging Caradoc’s body-bind curse, and he and the old man were gone in a flash of green flame. The last thing that Sirius saw was his brother’s huge grey eyes staring back at him from the hearth.
Quite calmly, Sirius turned and shot a stunning spell at one of the Death Eaters attacking Moody. After that, they were very quickly able to drop the other man. Sirius turned to help out elsewhere (or possibly to scan the ground, the weakened werewolf men, for Remus), his heart pounding, when something suddenly collided with him, gripping his arm tightly.
“You let him get away!” shouted Moody in his ear, over the hysterical screams of Ministry employees. “You let him get away, Black! Do you know who he was?”
Sirius yanked his arm away from the tough old Auror, shrugging his shoulders to get the man to stop leaning on him, trying to keep him in place. His voice was impatient. “He was my brother,” he said simply. He felt his cheeks flush with shame. Regulus was a Death Eater. Why was he so weak?
“He was a Death Eater! He was a Death Eater with the Alpha wolf, and you let them get away! That werewolf was wanted for the slaughter of two families in Liverpool! I have been waiting for him to leave the safety of his pack for years!”
Sirius pursed his lips angrily and remained silent. Moody's spittle flecked across his face as he leaned forward, shouted louder.
“I had him stunned and half dead on the floor! And you let him get away!”
Sirius didn’t care. He whirled around, his grey eyes furious, and stepped forward challengingly. His face was mere inches from Moody’s scarred nose when he snarled, “I made a decision. Three Death Eaters were attacking you. I decided to help. Capturing one man and one werewolf wasn’t worth not trying to save your life!”
Moody looked furious; one eye bulged. The veins in both his neck and forehead stuck out in a rage. Just as Sirius started to turn and walk away, the old man pulled back his arm. His iron-like fist collided with Sirius’s jaw. The crowded Atrium swam before Sirius’s eyes for a moment, and then he was aware only of falling, and then it all went black.
Still with me? Are you lost on what just happened? I've gotten a few reviews saying they didn't really understand how the timing of that attack worked out. Admittedly, this chapter does need a lot of work, but when I go back and edit at some point, the timing is probably something that will not change. So allow me to try to explain for those who didn't understand :)
1.)- The werewolves arrived at the Ministry accompanied by Death Eaters the evening before. They hid, and when the Ministry closed down for the night, they were locked inside. They transformed due to the Full moon.
2.)- Because the Ministry is closed, nothing really happens all night (aside from a lot of damage, most likely, due to the wolves running rampant.) They were meant to make their attack in the morning, anyway, when people began to arrive for the day and the Atrium would be busy. Because it is winter (the nights are longer), it will still be dark out and the moon will still be up when the first of the employees begin to arrive. They only arrived the evening before because - how else would they get there? The Death Eaters could hardly Apparate with them already transformed - not without getting attacked themselves.
3.)- Dumbledore knows that the werewolves' thick hides protect them against a lot of spells. He knows that the Order will be outnumbered, and even if the numbers were even, it would be a difficult fight to win. Therefore, in order to hopefully cut back on injuries to his team, he has them arrive a few minutes before the Ministry officially opens it's doors to employees. This way, they can begin the attack, and have the wolves distracted enough that when other people begin to arrive, the wolves will not attack or turn on them - they will be too focused on the Order members. Dumbledore hopes that the new arrivals will see the battle and join in to help. With the large number of Ministry employees, defeating the pack would be no problem at all if the people were willing. This way, the Order only has to survive a few minutes before their (unknowing) reinforcements arrive.
I know it's still a little awkward, but it does make sense if you understand the reasoning behind it!
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