|Blurred Lines Mods (blurred_mods) wrote in blurred_lines,|
@ 2009-08-31 17:22:00
|Entry tags:||! [1980-08] august, aberforth dumbledore, aeneas nott, agatha snape (née chubb), akhil patil, alana fenwick, alastor moody, aloysius croaker, amelia bones, amycus carrow, anastasia mulciber (née aesalon), andrew forsythe, angelica bobbin, anzhelina dolohov, aquila avery, araminta meliflua, astra lestrange (née avery), atticus avery, barty crouch jr, bellatrix lestrange (née black), bertie higgs, bertram aubrey, beth frobisher, ciara fitzpatrick, claudette nott (née delacour), corbina lestrange, damocles belby, daniel rourke, demetrius mulciber, doris crockford, elle abercrombie, elphias doge, emmeline vance, evangeline macnair, fenrir greyback, ferdinand gibbon, florence hall, gaius travers, gawain robards, georgina smythe, graley rosier, hestia jones, iago mulciber, igor karkaroff, james potter, jeremiah smith, josephine pepper (née savage), julianne wilkes, kate proudfoot, kingsley shacklebolt, lachlan kirke, lavinia travers, lily potter (née evans), lucinda greengrass (née yaxley), lucius malfoy, marius lestrange, mary macdonald, minerva mcgonagall, narcissa malfoy (née black), octavius pepper, peggy o'nell, petra podmore (née petrikova), rabastan lestrange, rita skeeter, rufus scrimgeour, sam madley, seraphina travers, severus snape, tabitha macfusty (née bagnold), tabitha pryce, ursula caldeira, walden macnair, xenophilius lovegood|
FINAL BATTLE [03/29]
THE FINAL BATTLE
The dead pumpkin patch
Aloysius had done his best to try and get his mind into the state he'd used when he tortured Lavinia Travers before he left the castle. He hadn't really succeeded but then the circumstances weren't really the same. Lavinia Travers hadn't really been much of a match for him and he'd certainly had the power at that moment. Now he was going up against the full force of the Death Eaters... for there was no doubt in his mind that this was a do or die attempt. This would decide the whole war.
He was determined though. He'd been researching esoteric spells, he'd been practising, he was as ready as he was ever going to be. And he knew that they could not afford to lose. To lose would be to condemn the wizarding world to the hands of these murderers and liars. Perhaps it was just as well he couldn't reach that cold, emotionless state. It might make it easier to block out the fear but he felt he might need the determination to get through today.
He didn't take the most direct route once out of the castle, making his way past several of the traps, down past the Whomping Willow and near the ruins of Hagrid's hut. There he saw a Death Eater and with a sense of inevitability, he pointed his wand at the man and shouted, "Stupefy."
Ferdinand was grumbling as he travelled up from along the wall that protected the grounds (what little good it did these days, anyway). He was holding his wand clenched in his good hand, where it still felt somewhat unfamiliar despite months since he had lost use of his wand arm. He, like Aloysius, had been practising, trying to regain the skill that he had once had. He had gotten good by now, his confidence was up. He still hadn't attempted to use the Killing Curse on a human since his failed attempt at killing the ginger in the Foundation Centre, but he had been practising. He was sure that this time, it would work, and judging by the state of the school, it seemed as though he would have to.
Not that he particularly wanted to. Ferdinand was thinking about how it was August 31, and how, years ago, he would have been preparing to go back to the school on this day. He was thinking about how two of his dormmates were already dead, and one was a terrorist. All of them had somehow gotten caught up in this thing. He'd never given much thought to the fact that Pepper had joined up with the DMLE, but considering the feelings he'd been having about the Death Eaters of late, he wondered if the Army of Albion was really that much better. At least Pepper, he thought bitterly, had had a choice about the whole thing.
Aloysius's Stunner pulled him out of his revelry, and a quick Shield Charm was thrown up in response. "Protego!" Red sparks bounced off of it, and Ferdinand teetered slightly. Damn. Now he actually had to engage. "Expelliarmus," he retaliated lazily.
The middle of a battleground seemed a rather dangerous place for a journalist to be, Florence rather thought, but she had to admit she hadn't hesitated that long before Apparating the distance to Hogwarts when the information had come in. She at least didn't look like a combatant - she made sure to wear her press pass around her neck, hanging visibly outside of her clothing in the afternoon sunlight, with a notepad in one hand, quick quotes quill hovering over it as she dictated almost without thought on the action around her. It didn't much matter how much sense it made yet - the quill would edit the most obvious idiocies itself, and the rest she could sort out when she got home. Still, she hung back a little, and when she heard one of the invading force casting a disarming spell rather than anything more vicious, she decided that this was probably going to be one of the safer places to observe from.
When Anzhelina spotted Ferdinand, she kept a close proximity so that not only could she run to his aid if he required it, but he could also protect her. Battles like these were always frightening despite the confidence she had that they would once again win. They had to win, right? If only to please the Dark Lord. She didn't allow this fear to get the better of her -- she knew her men were counting on her and the rest of the girls to do their job without error.
So, she watched the encounter between Ferdinand and Terrorist closely, wand at the ready.
Aloysius almost snorted when he felt the tug on his wand. It was enough of a tug to make him close his hand tightly but it hadn't been cast with a lot of oomph behind it. He dismissed it immediately. If the Death Eater wasn't taking him seriously then that was his problem. He noted one of the man's arms seemed to be limp and useless but he didn't let himself get over-confident. Magic didn't require two arms. You only needed one hand to hold your wand after all. Besides, the Death eater could be trying to play games with them.
"Levicorpus!" he cried in reply. It wasn't, perhaps, the fiercest of spells, but perhaps the sight of this bloke hanging in the air would, at least, be amusing.
Aloysius actually heard this spell being cast and immediately bent all his effort to deflecting it. he tried to deflect it back at the Death Eater but he wasn't sure it actually worked. It certainly headed in the general direction of the Death Eater and the girl standing behind him but he didn't spend his time trying to track it. He wasn't going to get distracted. Instead he started to move around towards the side, trying to force the Death to have to keep moving in order to protect his dead arm. As he moved, Aloysius started casting spells. "Stupefy! Incarcerous! Expelliarmus!"
So many spells were coming at Ferdinand that he barely had time to react, let alone to block all of them. His wand was trying to wiggle its way out of his hand, even though the Stunner had bounced back off his hasty Shield Charm and the ropes had fallen, useless, to the ground. He kept his grip tight, though, and cried, "Angor!" with his wand pointed at Aloysius. The wriggling made it hard to aim properly, though, and his wand finally escaped his hand as the spell exploded from it. The little bit of wood fell half-heartedly to the ground and he bent down to pick it up, panicking slightly (being without one's wand in a situation like this was about as down on your luck as you could be), not bothering to see if his spell at hit or worked.
Aloysius ducked as a spell came flying towards him though as it passed well clear of his shoulder, he realised he may not have needed to. He felt his confidence growing when he saw the wand fall from the hand of the Death Eater then quickly squelched that feeling. He would not allow himself to get overconfident. He would remain determined and focused and get through this damn battle. He didn't want to kill the Death Eater and he knew that Pepper and Jo... and probably many others... would say that was a weakness but... killing was what the Death Eaters did and he wasn't a Death Eater. He just wanted to neutralise then and it was with that in mind he cast his next spell. "Conjunctivitis"
Ferdinand was bending down to pick up his wand when the Conjunctivitis Curse struck him full on in the face. He swore, loudly, as pain suddenly reared in his eyes. It was terrible, and suddenly tears, unbidden, not of sadness or, really, even from the pain itself, but rather his body's attempt to clear his fragile eyes of the irritant, where streaming down his face. Angry, suffering from great fatigue of all of this, and now humiliated, Ferdinand tried to focus what little blurry shapes he could see on his attacker as he growled, "Avada Kedavra." What did he care if the man died? Fuck having a conscience when this was what it got him.
Anzhelina suddenly felt angry that Ferdinand was winding up on the losing end of the battle. She wanted to do something, but was obligated to let him to fight this man on his own. Watching as green issued from Ferdinand's wand, she could see that the spell wouldn't connect with his target, and thus reacted in the way that made the most sense to her. She raised her wand towards both Aloysius and Flo, the girl with the notebook trying to stay hidden, and shouted Reducto to plunge either of them into the pathway of the spell. She felt an unfamiliar twinge of guilt in the pit of her stomach -- she was used to not getting involved in such things, but they were in the middle of a war. Closing the distance between them, she ran to Ferdinand to fix him.
Florence had thought she'd picked a spot well enough out of the way that she wouldn't be hit by anything unless deliberately targeted - and since she was clearly no threat, no one in their right mind would attack a reporter, surely? So she was more focused on the notes she was scribbling than the blonde girl, who she vaguely remembered as being a couple of years younger than her in Hufflepuff, and when Anzhelina's spell hit her she shrieked, unable to defend herself as she was pushed forward straight into the flash of light. She barely had a fraction of a second to comprehend the colour, eyes widening the slightest amount before she slumped to the ground, unmoving.
It happened so quickly that Aloysius didn't have time to react. The spell, the Killing Curse, from the Death Eater, the girl that was obviously with the Death Eater casting some sort of spell as well... and the other girl, the one who'd been writing, a reporter obviously, being thrown into the path of the Killing Curse. He stared for a moment at the reporter, a surge of guilt washing through him. She'd been an innocent party in this. He'd cast the spell that had blinded the Death Eater and lead to the girl's death. His breath caught for a moment before common sense reared its head.
It did happen rather quickly, didn't it? Anzhelina barely had time to think about what transpired before she was being dragged off by Ferdinand. She impulsively clung to Ferdinand's hand as they fled, squeezing it, glancing over her shoulder at the girl's body on the ground. Still, no matter how hard she looked, there was no turning back.
2) Kingsley & Mrs Crockford vs Walden
It was the middle of the day and Walden was mentally preparing for battle. It was strange to him, fighting in daylight. He wondered if perhaps he should have owled the Ministry and requested a sick day. It didn't matter now, he supposed. It was a matter of national security now. They all knew the battle was coming and this was it. Today the Death Eaters would be victorious or he would die. He was hoping for the former but his luck had been pretty good in the past and it would be cocky to assume that it would continue.
Finally the grounds were breached and Walden felt a familiar wave rush over him. He loved the energy of the fight more than anything in the world and he fired off a few initial blasts as he charged into the open area. He spotted an older woman that he didn't recognise but that didn't matter. He knew that she was not on his side and therefore she was a target.
Mrs. Gina Crockford had no idea what she was doing here. No, that was entirely untrue. She wanted to help these good people, and was too stubborn to go into hiding just because she was a Muggleborn. Her daughter did worry far too much. She would be just fine. Though of course, being in the middle of a battle seemed quite odd for a forty-something woman with no proper dueling training.
But Mrs. Crockford was a stubborn, tough lady who loved a good fight. She couldn't deny that, certainly. The burst of fire around her startled her to the point she nearly dropped her wand. Fumbling with it, she cast "Aguamenti," and extinguished them as they tried to creep up her robes.
He was disappointed that she'd been quick enough to extinguish the flames but he didn't have time to dwell on the fact before she was attempting to immobilize him. Walden ducked to the side and avoided the attack but barely. He was unimpressed that this women that he'd never seen was fighting back. Clearly she should be terrified of duelling with a Death Eater but that was not the case and he was annoyed.
He took a quick glance around them to make sure he had no one flanking him. When he was sure he was in no danger of a rear attack he made a swipe with his wand he gathered a significant pile of rubble from the wrecked "home" nearby and he flung it at Mrs. Crockford with the boost of a blasting spell.
Kingsley Shacklebolt was rather thankful for the brooms that he had "commandeered" from Quality Quidditch Supply a few months back as he flew slowly above the grounds of Hogwarts, casting shield spells around for people he thought might need them and trying to hit Death Eaters in the back with blasting curses before speeding away. So far he had only taken down a few of those zombies (Inferi, he reminded himself, though seeing them in person only made him think of them as zombies) when he saw Walden Macnair attacking a woman who certainly didn't know much what to do in a fight. "Impedimenta!" he shouted, wand trained on the Death Eater as he began to circle around the two on his broom. "Deprimo!"
One of Kingsley's blasts landed behind Walden and it created a sort of crater in the ground. He looked up and saw the boy on the broom and laughed. It was cute that he wanted to save the woman but being that high in the air could lead to nothing but trouble. Walden cast a quick blasting spell and it soared upwards but missed both the boy and the broom by a decent space.
He was about to cast another when Kingsley's second spell came hurdling toward him. Walden quickly produced a shield but he was thrown back with the explosion of the ground. He was on his back but he still had a good view of the sky and the flying boy.
He held his wand up and yelled. "Crucio!!"
Narrowly avoiding the blasted rubble (being hit with a few sizable chunks, unfortunately), Mrs. Crockford looked up at her would-be savior. He was a young sort, probably not even older than her Doris. What kind of man would attack someone less than half his age? "Oh no you don't," she snapped.
"Furnunculus," followed by a Jelly-Legs Jinx, a Finger-Removing Jinx and her own "Incendio," for good measure. She was not a daft woman and with Inferi and people running all around with no idea what to do, hesitation seemed like a death wish.
Kingsley saw the Death Eater pointing his wand up at him again and pulled the head of his broom straight upward, speeding away, the curse now missing him by a considerable distance. The maneuver gave less berth for him to get attacked though it also made his back vulnerable. He immediately thought to try to pull off a Porskoff Ploy, but while the tactic worked well on the Quidditch pitch, he couldn't rely on the Death Eater to be directly below him, and he certainly wouldn't be waiting for it.
Looping his broom around, Kingsley began to head straight for the ground - more like a Wronski Feint now than the Porskoff Ploy - wand aimed at the Macnair. "Incendio!"
Walden's attentions were pulled in two directions as spells came from the ground and the sky. He knew he couldn't retaliate, or at least not right off, so he surrounded himself with the strongest shield he could manage and he flinched as the cascade of attacks bounced off the shield. It absorbed the two blasting spells and the shield rippled, threatening to break apart and reveal the Death Eater to the open air.
He steeled himself and allowed the shield to drop. He was irritated with the situation he was in and the look on his face showed it. He did not like to be outnumbered, especially by a boy on a broom and a woman. Walden narrowed his eyes at Mrs. Crockford and he pointed his wand. "Avada Kedavra."
He didn't care if it hit and he turned his gaze and wand towards the sky and watched as the broom hurdled towards the ground. The boy was trying to be tricky and Walden didn't have the patience for it. "Confringo!"
Leaping out of the way (with much protest from her aging joints, curse nature) Mrs. Crockford narrowly escaped death, but used his preoccupation with the flying boy to lay on the ground as still as possible- as if it had hit. A silent Locomotor Mortis was shot at him, and she tried to keep still though she was sure she didn't look convincingly dead at all.
The broom handle was wrenched out of Kingsley's hands as Walden's blasting curse made and the ex-auror fell to the ground, landing with a thud. He groaned and tried to pull himself up, his hand landing on a the handle of the broom which had become disconnected from the rest of it. "Bollocks," he muttered, tossing it aside. He rose to his feet and held his wand out at the Death Eater, shooting off two spells at him as a distraction. "Expulso! Stupefy!"
The moment the stunner left his wand, Kingsley rushed toward what had once been Hagrid's Hovel. He had helped lay the traps, so he knew exactly how to trigger them. Pointing his wand at the rubble, a large emu suddenly appeared and headed straight for the Death Eater.
Walden dodged both spells, the stunning spell narrowly missing his shoulder as he fell to his knees. His plan was to take out the woman playing dead and then dispose of the boy. Things took an odd turn when Kingsley booked it for the hut and within moments there was an enormous bird making a beeline for him.
It was quite possibly the ugliest thing that Walden had ever seen in all his years as an executioner. The large bird ran fast and Walden fired a spell at it. The enormous bird escaped the spell just barely and continued his steady charge towards Walden. The bird was so close but Walden still tried to defend himself.
The emu was faster than Walden and it pecked at his head, coming away with a beak full of hair. Walden reached out and grabbed the bird by the neck and lifted his wand. His curse was silent but the bird's eyes developed a sort of vacant stare and with a small gesture from Walden it turned away and started to advance towards Kingsley, it's mouth wide open.
"Incarcerous!" Mrs. Crockford shot towards the rampaging emu, but her spell missed, and stepping away from the creature, she turned her attention to the Death Eater. "Deprimo, Expulso..." and for her own amusement, she followed it with a silent hair-removing jinx. Giggling like a school girl, she put up a shield charm. Just in case.
"Shiiiiiiiiiiit," Kingsley said, doing a quick about-face and breaking into a run. He shot a spell behind him at the emu to make it head back toward the Death Eater, but it wasn't working. He tried again, but Macnair's magic was too strong, and Kingsley finally gave up, Vanishing the bird instead. He screeched to a halt and turned back to face the man, shooting off another few spells at him. "Confringo! Reducto! Stupefy!"
While Kingsley was being attacked by the bird there was a voice in the distance that Walden recognised. They were being called off, ordered to fall back. Walden wasn't sure if he could leave. He was being overpowered by two less than skilled opponents but they had the advantage of two against one, plus an obnoxious fucking bird.
The attacks from the female came just moments before the boy's and Walden ducked underneath a shield, praying that he would make it away from this. If he were to be killed by these two nobodies he would never hear the end of it.
He needed to follow orders and retreat but he would not be able to run from these two, not without security. He cast a silent spell that covered the ground in front of him with a tar-like substance. It would be just enough of a distraction. With another thought he ignited the strip of tar and the fire rose into the air and he could no longer see his assailants.
Then Walden did something that he rarely did, and for good reason. He ran.
3) Mary vs Barty
For Barty Crouch, Jr., there was no question as to why he had rushed onto the grounds of Hogwarts after the gates had been opened; rumours of the Dark Lord being dead may have scared away the unfaithful who cared more about their own skins than the Cause, but he was a devoted and utterly obedient servant who knew his Lord could never be vanquished -- and that He would reward those who remained loyal to Him through any trials while he would punish the doubters who dared to abandon Him at their convenience.
It would, of course, had been better to have a plan before going in, but he was confident that with Bellatrix Lestrange and Minister Nott's tutelage behind him, along with his fanatical enthusiasm for serving His will, he would have little trouble as long as he chose whom to snuff out himself wisely. As he stalked over to a patch of dead pumpkins, he noticed Mary MacDonald standing there -- a one-armed Gryffindor about his age seemed easy enough, and as he focused to shoot a silent Blasting Curse in her direction followed by a shout of 'Incendio!', he grinned behind his mask.
Barty mentally chastised himself for his spells not hitting, but he didn't have time to dwell on his failure much before the Stunning Spell was shooting straight for him. With a wave of his wand and a muffled shout of, 'Protego!', the red light dissipated harmlessly against his shield. Not that he minded all that much as it made things less potentially fatal for him, but he scoffed at the idea of how these people expected to defeat the Dark Lord and his supporters with such --
-- and then the Freezing Charm exploded against the ground in a shower of dirt as he barely stumbled out of its way, although he did manage to reflect the Finger-Removing Jinx right back at her. He then shouted, 'Serpensortia!' and a large snake burst into existence on the ground, and just to be safe, he also quickly pointed his wand at the rotting vines twisted near his feet and Transfigured them into two more serpents. With a final flick, he cast Oppugno on them to will them to attack her.
There were certain spells Mary knew she needed to avoid when working with only one arm - and a Finger-Removing Jinx was one of them. She threw up her shield charm and deflected the jinx into the ground, and looked up just in time to see snakes coming toward her. She wasn't used to fighting duels versus Transfiguration and she hesitated for too long and one of the snakes reared and snapped at her leg, fangs finding her thigh.
It was nice to have the snakes do his dirty work for him and he was rather pleased with himself when one of them managed to bite into Mary's leg -- all that Transfiguration rubbish with turning teacups into rats and back again was useful for something after all. In his gleeful arrogance, Barty almost laughed at the ridiculousness of her retaliating with a pumpkin, of all things, and he carelessly threw up a shield with the intent of forcing the projectile to bounce back to her -- except upon impact, it exploded with a bang and broke his concentration on the protective spell. The force of the blast threw him several feet back and showered him with rotten pumpkin guts -- he was certainly glad for the mask at a time like this -- although it had the surprise benefit of tossing him away from where his feet had been and where the fire now crackled and spread as it burned the dried grass and soil.
As Barty jumped back to his feet, now seething in anger at having been bested momentarily in such an undignified manner, he quickly cast a Flame-Freezing Charm on the fire to render it harmless. And then he sliced his wand to one side to Transfigure the pieces of pumpkin shell into razor sharp metal, whipped it back to heat them white-hot, and then charmed them with Oppugno as he had with the snakes to send the shards flying back at her.
Mary's shock at the exploding pumpkin was probably as great as the Death Eater's she was fighting. She had no idea there were traps set on the grounds. She also got splattered with pumpkin residue - but the impact of the explosion didn't reach her. She levitated another pumpkin just as he whipped shards of white hot metal at her. She brought the pumpkin down hard at him, hoping for another bomb, and tried to deflect the shards of metal. She was only partially successful, and a couple of the shards swiped against her right ribs and probably would have taken off her right arm if she still had one.
Barty was, thankfully, a fast learner, and as the next pumpkin -- this was the best a witch who could cast magic could do? -- had flown at him, he tried to stumble out of its way instead of throwing up a shield. There was another shower of pumpkin innards that made him nearly retch, and the explosion of the bomb nearly forced him to lose his footing again as he swayed back and forth violently and stepped around in what almost looked like a clumsy dance.
And then more of those stupid vegetables were being thrown at him instead of real spells. He ducked and dodged the first two as they burst open behind him, although he nearly fell over onto what could have been a very nasty patch of more pumpkin bombs, but when the next one came, he stood his ground and pointed his wand at it to cast a Freezing Charm; before it could drop and explode too closely to him, he whipped his arm back and snarled, 'Depulso!' to send it flying back at her -- and if that wasn't enough, he then aimed for her and shouted, 'Ossisverso!' He didn't have anymore time or patience for games like pumpkin ping pong.
The smell from the rotten pumpkins exploding everywhere almost made Barty want to give up on this fight and take his battle elsewhere -- almost; he wasn't about to let something that petty stop him from carrying out his Lord's will like the faithful servant he knew he was when greater forces wouldn't even so much as dent his devotion unless he had direct orders to retreat. He slashed his wand through the air and shouted, 'Protego horribilis!' to shield himself from his own dark magic, and he grinned as the light crashed against the barrier in a shower of parks -- as if the spell could really do much harm when he obviously wouldn't hold it on himself.
And then one of the Transfigured vines suddenly whipped past him, narrowly missing his neck. In his surprise, he attempted to dodge the whips and cast Slicing Hex after Slicing Hex in all directions to cut the animated barbed wire into pieces (and hopefully hit the girl as well), but he was too slow to stop the metal teeth of one vine from catching onto his shoulder and tearing his skin and clothes, and then another from ripping into his back, and even more going for his legs. An angry Finite incantatem rendered the vines lifeless once more, but the Glisseo made him slip and fall onto the ground, where he had to roll clumsily out of the red light that shot at him without warning.
'Defodio! Sectumsempra! CRUCIO!' he snarled as he shot one spell after another at her and panted out of exertion. This was just humiliating now, and no one was going to make him look foolish in the Dark Lord's service -- especially not some Gryffindor girl who didn't even have one of her arms anymore.
As the exchange between the two younger individuals had taken place, a certain surly journalist lingered a good distance away -- close enough to see what was going on, of course, yet far enough that he hoped no stray spells would travel far enough to hit him, or if they did, then at least he had the cover of trees that wouldn't mind being blown up or set on fire nearly as much as he would. Smith wasn't even entirely sure why he was here, in a fucking battle where he could die, of all places -- yes, there was the idea of wanting to cover a big story after hearing about it on the wireless, but he didn't have enough of a death-wish to martyr himself for honest journalism like the noble Hufflepuff he wasn't and didn't wish to be. Perhaps he could run away right now and hide in a cave until this was all over.
In the meantime, he had his parchment notepad open in front of him and a Dictaquill scribbling away as he described what he could see from his hiding place. 'One-armed giantess beating up a masked midget. Completely ridiculous. Could be mistaken for a sad attempt at a Christmas pantomime. Where did those snakes come from? Both keep forgetting they can do magic and are throwing vegetables at each other instead. Smell is horrid, like the Wife. Or Zacharias, I mean, Zipporah's di--' And Smith jumped and let out a cowardly yelp of surprise as two of the Slicing Hexes slashed the tree he was hiding behind, causing him to drop his pad and quill onto the ground.
Barty was just in the process of panting tiredly and scrambling back onto his feet -- there was a good reason why he always tried to keep to using magic rather than resorting to physical tactics -- when the Tripping Jinx pulled his legs out from under him again. However disgusting it was, at least landing in soft dirt and rotten pumpkin mush didn't hurt too badly, but he had no time to think about it before there were another three spells hurtling towards him. Shield after shield was smashed into shimmering sparks as the Stunning Spells and boils exploded against them, but the effort left Barty too exhausted to cast a third one in time to block the Impediment Jinx.
He was terrified when he found that his movements were slowed, although he tried to stay calm and rational by reminding himself that someone like Mary probably wouldn't take advantage of it and cast the Killing Curse. With a laboured swish that felt like moving through water, he cast a silent Finite incantatem on himself and hoped she would mistake it for a non-verbal spell meant for her -- and then he deliberately angled his wand a short distance away from her and growled, 'Ignis infusco!'. A jet of oddly heat-less black flame erupted from its end and ignited a dry spot of the patch before spreading radially as the fire caught onto dead vines and pumpkins, a few of which exploded upon burning.
"Aguamenti! Aguamenti!" Water blasted from her wand at the flames but it did nothing. She stumbled backwards but the flames licked at her jeans. "Aguamenti!" The flames started up her pant leg and the water didn't help. She finally, out of desperation, cast Finite incantatem. The flames dissipated and she breathed a sigh of relief. She didn't allow herself too much time to breathe though and turned her wand back on the Death Eater.
Barty had really been hoping that she would at least scream and run away once she realised that the black fire couldn't be snuffed out with a simple splash of conjured water -- so when Mary figured out that Finite incantatem made the flames dissipate into nothingness, he was hopelessly annoyed (and terrified about what his superiors would think about his incompetence) and sprung back onto his feet before taking several angry strides forward with his wand raised. The Confundus Charm was sent flying off to the side as he deflected it with a slash, but the Blasting Curse caught him on the left shoulder and he winced as he felt the bones there fracture; being on the delicate side always made injuries like that especially hard for him to endure.
Gritting his teeth and concentrating on how much he wanted to end this permanently, he snarled, 'Avada Kedavra!' -- a burst of green light exploded from his wand and streaked towards her with a screaming rush of air. The effort required to cast the Killing Curse left Barty feeling even more drained than he already had from the earlier stages of the fight, so just in case that didn't work somehow, he also shot a pair of Reductor Curses at two pumpkins near her and hoped they were the rigged sort.
Some sort of bizarre black fire that couldn't be put out with water was definitely not the sort of action Smith really wanted to stick around and watch -- at least one could run away from bloodthirsty werewolves and Disapparate if necessary, but from what he could remember about the spells protecting Hogwarts' grounds, there would be no such option for escape here; that, and the smell of the rotten pumpkins that hung in the air after all those explosions almost made him wish he was back at home changing Zacharias' diapers.
'Not sure why the little dwarf girl hasn't just severed the Amazon's one arm, Transfigured it into a table leg, and smacked her on the head with it yet, but -- oh, fucking Merlin.' The Dictaquill splashed Smith's notepad with one of those very fashionable Black inksplots he used to mock so much again as it recorded another high-pitched scream of his as Mary's deflected Confundus Charm exploded against a spot of ground near his feet and tossed little pebbles and clouds of dirt onto his shoes. Upon hearing the incantation for the Killing Curse, he also added insult to not-really-an-injury (unless one meant his loafers) as he shrieked again and threw his arms around the nearest tree as he hung on for dear life.
Barty hadn't expected the second pumpkin bomb to go off so explosively that the resulting force threw Mary aside like an unwanted rag doll and knocked him back onto the ground as a strong Banishing Charm would have done, but he couldn't say he was displeased -- it almost made up for the fact that his Killing Curse had missed, and perhaps it had even conveniently finished her off.
However, as he got back to his feet and bit his lip in an effort to distract himself from the pain biting into his shoulder, ready to check for himself if she was dead, he heard Atticus' voice booming over the battlefield and recalling the Death Eaters back to the gate. Barty wasn't one to retreat like a coward -- especially as he was sure they could handle a ragtag gang of undisciplined vigilantes -- but an order was an order, and a command from a member of the Inner Circle was, at least to him, as good as one from the Dark Lord himself. And he did not dare disobey his master when His will was not to be questioned.
4) Amelia & Broderick vs Aeneas
Amelia fought off nostalgia as she walked around the grounds of Hogwarts, looking at the remnants of the structures that used to be there and the way they'd destroyed them to make the castle an impenetrable force. If the battle earlier in the spring hadn't left everything in his wake demolished, as she knew the Quidditch pitch was, their preparations had left little in place about which she could reminisce. The pumpkin patch was one, though the wilted leaves and rotting stink coming from the plants was nothing like she remembered from the days when she'd been a Hufflepuff inside the castle walls.
It was likely a blessing that there was very little to distract her as she readied herself for the onslaught and the mush of pumpkins on the ground, absolutely disgusting after a year of having been forgotten and neglected, would be a perfect weapon for the first Death Eater she saw coming her way. The first cloaked figure that came within firing distance was hers -- catching the remnants of pumpkin with her wand, she aimed it at the Death Eater. "Oppugno!"
Aeneas Nott had been searching for Rufus Scrimgeour when something hit the Shield Charm he had cast around him. He wanted more than anything to find the man who had been a constant annoyance, a pain in his side, for the last few months and make him weep and beg for his life, but before he could, he found a mess of pumpkin goo and mould in his hair. "Incendio!" he shot back automatically in the direction he best thought it had come from and saw a woman standing there, her wand toward him.
Well, no matter. He would kill her then find Rufus, and he would have fun doing it. "Crucio!"
Broderick had responded when the alarm had gone up in the Ministry but he'd bet the Death Eaters wouldn't have expected him to be fighting against them. He knew it was a risk, especially if the Death Eaters won but he was tired of them and their insanity and he'd had enough time to owl his mother to get the ball rolling on moving Dad. And then there was the final straw - he was tired of Aloysius hating him for staying. He hadn't dared to respond to the warded message to him a few days ago but he knew how the other man felt. It just wasn't right. Nothing was.
And so he was moving through the battlefield, trying to find Aloysius but willing to help whoever he could. The opportunity arose sooner than he expected when he saw a woman he vaguely recognised being targeted by a Death Eater. He gave a shout and wave of his wand to deflect the fire flying towards her then threw a shield around her and himself and fired a Stupefy back at the Death Eater.
Amelia had never been so grateful for a person's assistance in all her life -- except maybe when Amycus had saved her life twice over, but that was a different story and her feelings toward it were conflicted at best. But here, she'd been practically cowering behind the largest pumpkin she could find and thankfully the other man had not only stopped the fire that probably would have sent the entire patch up into a stinking, rotting blaze, but he'd also prevented the Death Eater's Cruciatus Curse from touching her. That certainly wouldn't have been a good start to the afternoon.
Straightening up with the Shield Charm around her and a bit of consequent added confidence, Amelia pointed her wand back at the Death Eater. "Confringo!"
Aeneas' wand flicked again, a nonverbal spell sent to counter the blasting curse the woman had sent his way, but the Inner Circle Death Eater was being too rash, too imprecise as his feelings took control of him - the fear and anger and disbelief (and mostly anger) that formed as a result of hearing the Dark Lord was dead, killed by the boy, Severus Snape.
Aeneas' counter-curse did not hit. Amelia's blasting curse, therefore, did, and Aeneas was thrown a few feet backward onto the ground, a raw-feeling pain in his chest. "Avada keda-" he began to cast at her from the ground, but before he could finish the incantation he realised his arm - no, sleeve - was stuck to the ground. Grabbing his wand with his other hand, Aeneas trained it on Amelia as he got to his knees and tried to yank the caught sleeve off the ground. After a few pulls, the sleeve tore, finally freeing Aeneas. "Crucio!" wand pointed at the man.
Broderick gave the woman a nod and small smile before turning his attention back to the Death eater... whom he suddenly realised was Aeneas Nott, their ersatz Minister. Well, even if the Death Eaters won this, Broderick would be able to join the chorus denouncing their Minister as a Death Eater... and a murdering Death Eater from the sound of that cut-off curse. When he saw the spell heading in his direction, Broderick fired off an Expelliarmus in Nott's direction before darting to the left. Or he would have if he hadn't taken one step and then found his foot stuck. So instead of darting off to the left, he found himself falling heavily to the ground, landing badly on his shoulder. He bit off a curse at the pain and rolled over. He tried to pull his foot free but it quickly became clear that wasn't going to happen so he yanked his foot out of his shoe and threw a shield around himself.
Amelia paused to return both the smile and not -- she wasn't sure who the man was, but that he was clearly helping her was encouraging. She needed all the allies she could get when fighting against the so-called Minister of Magic. Even if he seemed to be making a fool out of himself at the moment (and at this, she remembered the traps they'd set up earlier -- she was going to have to be very careful or she'd find herself in the same predicament), she was sure that they hadn't picked him to represent them for nothing. Aiming her wand, she fired off another Blasting Curse, followed by an Incarcerous.
The Blasting curse nicked Aeneas's left hip and he stumbled as the binding spell flew over his shoulder. He caught himself and put all his weight on the right, hoping that the blast wouldn't impair him too much. He threw up a shield charm and then shot an entrail expelling curse at the woman and the pointed his wand at the figure lying on the ground. He looked familiar, the man, and Aeneas realised that he had seen him before in the corridors at the Ministry. It was too bad they hadn't been able to simply kill everyone when they took over and re-staff it with Death Eaters now that some of his employees were working against him, Aeneas thought, but he would simply kill the man now. "Saevio Verbera," he shouted, using Antonin's favourite curse.
Now that he had his shoe off, Broderick was able to scramble to his feet and he made a mental note to be wary of the ground. He had to assume there were more of those sticky traps around. He applauded the vigilantes and his former colleagues for their creativity he wished he could have a map of the traps considering he was trying to help. Nott's spell hit just as he got upright and while his shield absorbed some of the damage, enough of the spell hit him to make him scream and feel like his chest was being ripped apart. He went down to his knees, clutching at his chest, before forcing himself to straighten up and point his wand at the Minister. "Incendio," he coughed. Then he cleared his throat and said, "Petrificus Totalus."
Amelia didn't have a clue what the spell that the Death Eater had just cast at her was supposed to do, but she'd learned by now that anything she didn't recognize was probably nothing she wanted to be hit by, and so abandoning her caution, she dove out of the way and into the slime of the rotting pumpkin patch. Resisting the urge to gag or to immediately clean herself up, she reached forward with her wand and cast a Jelly-Legs Jinx, hoping that if he fell to the ground again, he'd be stuck there even worse the next time. Unfortunately, as she tried to pick herself up, she realized that she herself was stuck. In a frantic effort, she sent a flurry of Severing Charms at her robes and by the time she was able to stand up again, they were shredded and she was sans shoes in her stockinged feet.
Scotland had been dry the last few days, and though Aeneas was able to counter the Unspeakable's first spell, sending it flying into a small patch of brush, catching it on fire. "Protego!" he yelled, sending his second spell flying harmlessly off into the distance. Aeneas wanted to laugh at the man and his duelling stance, standing up straight and clearing his throat. Straight out of a textbook it seemed, and as such-
Whatever it was that Aeneas was about to think was lost as Amelia's Jelly-Legs Jinx hit and he fell to the ground, his leg getting stuck on whatever this all was on the ground. He tugged at it but it wouldn't budge, and as he pointed his wand down to use a slicing charm on the bottom of his robes, he heard the call for a retreat. He would obey orders, but he had to get unstuck first.
There. His robes were no longer caught (though they were rather hemmed) and Aeneas was scrambling to his feet when the blasting curse hit the ground next to him, throwing pieces of the earth at him which stuck to his robes and his face. This fight was not going well and Aeneas knew he was not fully on his game, so now that he was finally free, he was almost glad for the retreat. He would have been more glad to have killed these two already but he would simply have to finish the job later after they had regrouped and formed a plan.
Turning to leave, Aeneas felt something hot on his face as Amelia's Severing Charm ripped across his nose and upper lip. He put his hand up to his lip, feeling the warm and sticky blood on his fingers and... not finding his moustache. "Incendio! he shouted, wand pointed at the woman, furious. "Protego!" he growled, putting up a shield charm so that he could easily retreat, then fired one more spell for good measure - an entrail expelling curse at the Unspeakable - before turning to run.
Broderick had remembered to put a shield up but the pain he was feeling had significantly reduced its strength and efficacy. As such, Nott's entrail expelling charm managed to worm its way through. He gave a pained yell as the curse sliced through his stomach and then the only thing he was interested was keeping his intestines in his body and not all over the ground. For the first time since he stepped out on the battlefield, he genuinely feared for his life and he looked over at the woman. "Help," he gasped, trying not to collapse to the ground.
Putting up a Shield Charm, Amelia darted lightly on her feet (for all her trouble, she lost both her socks in the process, anyway) across the pumpkin patch out of the way of the Death Eater's fire and toward Broderick, whose predicament had not escaped her notice. Unfortunately, she knew very little in the way of Healing techniques and from the look of it (though she could hardly bring herself to do so), he was in need of some one with a trained hand.
Looping her arm around him, she did the best she could to patch him up so that they might at least make it back to the castle without something dreadful happening. "It will be okay," she said to him periodically, though for all she knew, that was nothing more than a cheery lie they'd all been telling themselves over and over for months.