|Blurred Lines Mods (blurred_mods) wrote in blurred_lines,|
@ 2009-08-31 17:25:00
|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 [13/29]
THE FINAL BATTLE
              
The inner circle attempts to regain
Aeneas Nott clutched his wand tightly, looking from Atticus to Walden to the other Inner Circle Death Eaters, feeling, perhaps more than he ever had before, at a loss of what to do. Their lord and master, the being who had seemed always more than a man, he who had once been Tom Riddle, was dead, and the Death Eaters were unprepared. He wanted revenge badly, more than perhaps anything he had ever wanted in his life, but they could not continue on as they had been. They would not win if they did, and Aeneas knew that they had to win. The Ministry was still under their control, and even without the Dark Lord they could continue on His work.
"Quiet," he roared to the other Death Eaters, those who had retreated and those who were still doing so. He cast a Silencing Charm on them, his patience gone, and he turned to the other Inner Circle members. "Scrimgeour and Moody," he growled. "Without them, the rest are lost. We must get to them first."
A frown had settled deeply over Atticus's face as he gathered with the other members of the Inner Circle, although his attention was, for the moment, focused on healing his nose and ribs and the other assorted injuries he had sustained in his fight against Rufus. He was angry with himself for being beaten. He was angry with the Death Eaters for faltering to the point where they had been forced to call a retreat (even if it was their own fault for sending them into battle unprepared). He was angry with the Dark Lord for dying, as irrational as that may have been. For the normally mild-mannered man, he was not entirely certain how to deal with the surge of blind anger directed at nearly everyone around him and Aeneas's words did nothing to help matters, only reminding him of his failure to kill Rufus when he had the chance. And getting his face beaten in for the effort.
But he saw no benefit from admitting as much to the others. "We cannot afford to spread the ranks across the grounds as we have been doing, even in search of Scrimgeour and Moody. They have far greater numbers than we anticipated and if we are to defeat them we must concentrate our forces." He pointed his wand towards the ground and drew a crude map of the grounds in trails of red light. "If we divide into four groups with each matched in strength as best as we are able, we can form ranks, with the third and fourth tiers taking the front position and the first and second interspersed behind them. Let the lower ranks take the brunt of the assault and focus on defence, while we provide the offensive attacks. And then behind us will follow the women to perform triage as necessary." Another flick of his wand drew four lines across his map, two on each side of the grounds. "We should attack from the flanks, here and here, forcing all of the vigilantes to either retreat to the castle or flee out through the gate so that none are able to come at us from behind and they are forced to confront our fighting groups head on."
Walden watched Atticus draw his plans on the ground. He had never really been one for strategy, always opting for unexpected charge to catch his opponents off guard. He had tried that approach just moments prior and he reached up to touch the bald spot that had come as a result. Honestly, who attacked with a transfigured emu?
His thoughts meandered back to the battle plans on the ground and he turned to look at the faces of the other Inner Circle members. They had been so successful at a time and then their precipice had crumbled and their upper hand had been lost. He didn't care how they won but he knew that losing was not an option. They had to continue on like the Dark Lord was watching, criticizing every move. Their livelihood depended on the outcome of this day and he was not about to let this day be the climax of such a terrible series of weeks.
The Traverses & Evangeline
Lavinia cringed behind Gaius as the chaos died down beneath Mr Nott's bellow and searched the crowds behind her for Evangeline. With one hand curled into his shirt, she stretched out the other for her friend and pulled her close, so that they could whisper without being scolded. She was barely sure what was going on on this battlefield -- all she knew was that she'd been separated from Gaius and probably would be again, as everyone was running around so quickly. It seemed that the rules of propriety were being ignored and women were being targeted (!) as well; she was scratched and bruised, and she didn't like it.
She didn't like it one bit.
"Eva," she whispered, directly into her friend's ear. "I've just watched Mr Mulciber fight that horrible man with a false leg. From the ministry? Do you remember?"
Feeling a bit shell-shocked from the fight that she had witnessed and the injury she'd received as a result of her bystanding, Eva merely lingered limply at Livi's side before answering. She was still attempting to wrap her head around Severus Snape's betrayal. Hadn't he been a member of their side? And now she was expected to believe that he was a terrorist? She didn't understand, couldn't ever possibly understand. She shivered as she linked her arm through Livi's, her eyes on the back of Gaius's neck, wishing the back of his collar held some sort of advice for her, before she turned her full attention to her best friend. False leg?
"Oh yes," Eva whispered back finally, an annoyed twinge to her voice. She remembered the horrible man with the false leg very well. "Is Mr Mulciber all right? I do not like that man with the false leg at all!"
"Yes I believe he is quite all right! He is rather brave and awfully good at duelling. I didn't feel afraid in the slightest working nearby! I did dislike being on my own however and I believe I shall try to avoid that in the future! It simply isn't proper to be so messy." She frowned down at her arms as if they'd committed some sort of offence. Livi had reached the point this year where she wasn't even capable of processing the severity of situations anymore. Kidnapping, torture, witnessing a murder -- nothing sunk in. It was simply a series of rather impolite events, and she passed through them without even properly comprehending their significance. Right now the blood on her dress was bothering her more than the death occurring all around them.
At the mention of Lavinia having been alone, Gaius finally tore his attention away from what was going on around them to look down at her with furrowed brows. He didn't want her to go running off again and didn't understand why any of them were there to begin with. War was no sport for women and grounds on which a battle was taking place was certainly nowhere for them to be getting underfoot if not getting themselves hurt. And dirty!
Gaius' gaze narrowed in on a smear of dirt on his sister's cheek, much to his dissatisfaction. Hastily, he lifted his thumb to swipe across his tongue before lowering it to Lavinia's cheek and the offending dirt, trying to wipe it clean. "Messy, indeed. The three of you need to stay close." He glanced at Seraphina from the corner of his eye -- he felt somehow that she would be the one to stray, if any of them did -- before returning his attention back to the task at hand (or thumb, rather).
Lavinia wrinkled her nose but stayed still under Gaius's ministrations. She kept an eye on the inner circle, hoping that their whisperings wouldn't be noticed by anyone of importance -- but then uttered a muted cry of surprise and displeasure. "Eva!" She whispered hastily, releasing Gaius to pull her wand back out. "You're bleeding! Let me help!"
Eva cringed at being reminded of her injuries. They hurt very much, but when she focused her attentions elsewhere they didn't hurt quite so much. She shook her head at Livi's wand, shifting the injured side of her body away from her friend's line of sight. "It is nothing," she whispered quickly. She didn't want to talk about it. She'd failed at her mission this afternoon. She hadn't been able to save Mr Macmillan from dying and she deserved the blood steadily staining her dress. "I want to go home," she added in a low pathetic whine. Her faith was wavering and she was beginning to suspect that she didn't belong there.
Livi's face twisted in alarm, and when she wasn't able to get a proper view of Eva's side, she looked up to Gaius for help. "Gaius!" she hissed, another terrified glance going up towards the inner circle and hoping they couldn't hear. "Please!"
Gaius did not need to be prompted to draw his own wand to help Eva with her injuries. He didn't wait for her to present her wounds to him, but rather walked to the other side of her, furrowing his brow when he saw the blood creeping out over the side of her dress. Pointing his wand at the area, he tried to mend it best he could, but he was no Healer and though he'd picked up some experience in the area over the last several months, his work was likely still sloppy at best, but it would keep her from bleeding too much.
"Please try to stay near me," he said again, to the same effect as his last statement. He hated that his sisters and Eva were there. This is what he had been trying so hard to protect them from -- and now here they were, seeing men and women killed, and there was nothing Gaius could do about it. "And if we are separated, please be sure to use Shield Charms. It is the least you can do to protect yourselves."
Seraphina glanced up from the spot on the ground she had been examining for the last few minutes. She could not remember ever having been so terrified in her life -- she wanted to go home where she would be safe with her books, her kitchen and the comforting monotony of her father's company. It was easier for her to stay out of it, to refrain from making decisions or having opinions when she was not thrust into the center of things.
Gaius needn't have reminded Sera to stay close or to try and protect herself -- she had no plans to stray from his side. If she were near him, he could at least protect her. He would not let any harm befall her, she was sure of it. Taking a step closer to the group, she reached a tentative, shaking hand to her sister's shoulder.
Eva's cheeks reddened and she kept her eyes firmly on the Inner Circle, feeling embarrassed by the attention. "Thank you," she said softly to Gaius, glancing at him very briefly before returning her attention to the people speaking. "I shall try to stay near you." She wished she could dart through the crowd to cling to her own brother. The Traverses were like family to her, but it wasn't entirely the same and she also needed to beg him to stay alive so that she wouldn't be left to care for their mother or, worse, Jacqueline.
Lavinia was relieved when Gaius made Eva get the healing she needed, and was about to step forward to help when she felt the cool grip of Seraphina's palm across her shoulder. She looked up in surprise; her sister was never the sort to care about what was happening, but she looked -- Livi wasn't sure -- unsettled? In a moment of spontaneity, she lifted her own palm to cover Sera's, feeling a surge of familial affection that she rarely if ever felt for the other girl. She said nothing, unsure what words of comfort she could offer when she herself could barely feel anything. It was a strange reversal.
When Gaius looked up to see his two sisters -- well, he wasn't quite sure what they were doing, but his level of protectiveness doubled. He was going to do his best to make damn sure that they all got out of this alive. He didn't want to have to go home and tell his father that his sisters had been hurt on his watch and he wanted even less to have to tell Walden that his sister had been hurt on his watch. He could hope that they would all be fine all he wanted, but it was his responsibility -- the man of their small circle -- to keep them out of harm's way. And he was not taking it lightly.
"Remember," he said, sounding more panicked than he'd intended to let on. "Shield Charms."
Eventually, Seraphina removed her hand from Livi's shoulder and turned to listen to the Inner Circle. She didn't particularly care what they had to say, but it was a preferable distraction from thinking about what could possibly become of them all by the time this was over. She had never been particularly sentimental, but the thought of losing either of her siblings or even Eva was not something she wanted to consider.
"Shield Charms," Eva said simply, echoing Gaius's words and trying her hardest to ignore the panic in his voice. If he was worried and letting it show, what did that mean for the rest of them? She reached for Livi's hand to give it a squeeze as she looked to both Gaius and Sera, willing them all to stay alive because she couldn't imagine a world without them. She felt so overcome by the very thought of it that she released Livi's hand to stumble forward a few steps to throw her arms around Gaius, wincing as her side protested but not caring much. She didn't want to die an old maid, either.
Livi turned to watch Sera go and then returned her attentions to Gaius, and to Eva, whose hand she squeezed in blind anxiety. She didn't know how to do a shield charm, but she didn't want to remind Gaius, especially when he sounded a bit upset. It did not occur to her that a shield charm might be the difference between life and death -- nothing occurred to her. She was just there, a quiet and almost impassive observer to the chaos around her. She felt herself get upset almost from somewhere else, and when Eva let go of her hand, she merely watched as someone else held her brother, too numb to feel jealous. "Yes Gaius," she said mechanically, turning her chin to face the main gates and watch as the terrorists moved around the grounds. So this was it, then.
The Dark Army
Scabior didn't like this sitting around business, even if the Poncy Folk thought it was important, and he paced behind Fenrir, his whine hushed by the silencio. Stupid uppity death eaters. Less talk, more fighting, that was the way. Pressing his wand to his throat, he managed to end the silencio with some difficulty and a nonverbal spell.
"'ow long've we got to stand 'ere and listen to these bollocks? Should be out there rippin' throats out, shouldn't we?" he hissed to Fenrir under his breath.
Scabior's frown of displeasure twisted instantly into a leer, and he jerked his head in a rough nod before disappearing into the gaggle of death eaters and dark creatures, locating Tabitha first. As quietly as he could, he cast a finite incantatem on her before growling hotly into her ear--
"Boss says to gather up 'n get ready. Not going to stand 'ere and listen to this codswallop much longer."
Tabitha had to bite her tongue to resist saying anything that would only make Aeneas angrier than he already seemed as soon as Scabior removed the silencing charm from her, settling for a glare in the man's direction before she focused on Scabior's words. " -- what's left of them," she whispered back, but she gave a sharp nod. "Right. I'll bring whoever I find to you or Fenrir."
Scabior nodded sharply and then turned his glance back on the crowd, searching for any of their lot, be it hag or werewolf (he didn't like vampires even if he approved of their diet of blood; they smelled plain wrong). Catching sight of Seonag, he slunk back into the bodies around him, all but disappearing until he was practically on top of the hag. He grinned maliciously as he jabbed the wand into her side, deciding not to end the silencio on her just yet. "Oy," he rasped under his breath, "boss wants you to come with me. We're goin' back out soon's we can."
Seonag hadn't really been paying attention to anything that was going on around her. She was contemplating what was going on, and how many bodies there would be left to munch on when all of this was said and done. She wondered if they would end up with a siege of the castle again and she'd have to play guard again. Gnawing disinterestedly on an arm she'd found, she turned to Scabior with a glare. Jabbing back with her pointed claw, she followed him, though she couldn't reply verbally.
Ursula knew she could be particularly hard to spot in a crowd, so she filed in behind Seonag when she saw her walking away. Pushing through people to make sure she didn't lose the group she actually wanted to be around, she was internally seething. This was pointless now, what were they fighting for? She really...really wanted to get the fuck out of this. She wanted to find Fenrir and get everyone out before they were all dead. They were at a disadvantage anyway, this was ridiculous. Ursula would have shouted for the attention of her fellow wolves if she could have, but just lingered awkwardly near Seonag instead.
Turning to see if he could spot any of their other troops (smelling out anyone in this clusterfuck was pointless), he noticed a pretty werewolf falling into line between the old hag. He paused a beat to let Seonag step forward, and then promptly fell into a pace matching that of Ursula's. He wondered why she was being so damned quiet... until he remembered that everyone had been bloody silenced. "Finite Incantatem" he whispered, pointing his wand at her neck.
Glancing up, Ursula tested his spell by coughing, and then nodded in a satisfied way. "Thanks a load," she said quietly, craning her neck to see what was going on ahead of her. "Old bags are full of air," she added gesturing broadly. She scowled, for what felt like the fiftieth time that day, and crossed her arms over her chest, shifting her weight from one foot to another. "Think we can convince Fenrir to get us the hell out of here?" she asked, still keeping her voice low.
Scabior cast a sneering glance back over the old death eaters (though secretly he hoped they wouldn't see him as he was actually rather more afraid of them than disdainful) and then turned his attentions back on Ursula, who was significantly more interesting, anyway. "Why'd you want out? This is fun, this is."
"Standing around listening to them go on and on isn't fun," she said coolly. "The whole fighting thing, yeah, but there ain't much point to it and I don't want to die for them, they wouldn't do the same for us." This was a heavier rant than she had intended, and for a second she felt rather awkward about having said it. "I'm ready to just run off and rip some throats, if you know what I mean. The waiting's got me antsy."
"Nobody's gonna die, lady," Scabior replied with a lopsided grin. "Not us two anyhow. Not the Boss. We're gonna 'ave some juicy wizard steaks and then we're gonna celebrate, you and me."
He rolled onto the fronts of his feet to try and get a view for anyone else he knew but didn't see anything but angry or fearful men and nervous women.
"'M gonna hold you to that one," she said, smirking slightly. A celebration she could do, that would be way more productive and entertaining than this. There was nothing but fear in the air, and it was disconcerting Ursula to an uncommon extent. "They better be damn good steaks too."
"Big fat 'uns and I'll do some garnish properlike with gullets and all. I'm a regular chef, me," he boasted, spying Fenrir and taking Ursula's hand to pull her through a clot of people after Seonag. "Brought you some pretty ladies, Boss," he said lowly when Fenrir was in earshot.
Order members use sonorus to mock
Silvanus Kettleburn (or Uncle Gilly, as his family had known him, due to a Christmas party that involved gillyweed-smoking experimentation) had about as high a regard for his own life as he did his limbs (which was to say, very little). He'd been walking on a magical wooden leg since the mid-1960s; body parts could be healed or replaced, and if he died, he'd be in good company. This was a fight worth dying for, and if he was going to die for it, Kettleburn wanted it to be on his terms -- not because he'd gotten hexed from behind.
The Death Eaters were falling apart in front of them (although, perhaps, not quite as literally as Kettleburn was, given that one of the triage ladies were attempting to heal his werewolf-ruined shoulder). What better way could there be to pass the time than to continue pouring salt into the Death Eater's already open wounds? Casting a sonorus on himself (after a quick warning to the girl helping with Healing that he apologised and to plug her ears), Kettleburn began sniping taunts at their adversaries, who were scuttling off into hiding with their tails between their legs. "LEAVING SO SOON? WHERE ARE YOU GOING? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, HUH? GUESS YOU HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO FIGHT FOR NOW THAT YOUR IDIOTIC DARK LORD IS DEAD. HE ABANDONED YOU TO CLEAN UP HIS BABY-MURDERING MESSES AND NOW YOU HAVE NOTHING. WHO'S GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO NOW, YOU FUCKING PUPPETS?"
Algie Longbottom, for his part, was more or less uninjured after the first part of the battle. He was either very lucky (or, really, more likely) just up against relatively unimpressive foes. And he still had one of his toads, whom he had kept, trembling in his pocket, ready for an opportunity like this. Carefully, he extracted him as close to the edge of their triage as he could, and lifted him into the air, letting Trevor sit down outside the nearest Death Eater triage tent, where the toad was barely a spot in the distance. He was fairly certain he'd start belching poisonous gas soon.
Hearing Kettleburn's taunts, he performed a sonorous on his own throat and said, "MURDERING INFANTS DIDN'T SAVE YOUR DARK LORD AND IT WON'T SAVE YOU! NO AMOUNT OF YOUR TEARS AND PURE BLOOD WILL BRING HIM BACK. JUST THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW."
Bellatrix loses whatever
Bellatrix was still seething over the call to retreat and the fact that the idiot old men who she was really quite sick of had sent them into battle only to pull them back before they were finished. Before she managed to kill Pepper. She was seated on the ground not far from where the Inner Circle (that she should have been a part of) was gathered, tending to the few wounds that Pepper had managed to inflict. Nothing that could not be easily healed. And likewise, Aeneas's silencing charm was ended almost before it had the chance to take hold as she wondered if the man was truly so idiotic that he had forgotten they were all wizards with wands.
And then the taunting started.
As easy as it had been for Bellatrix to dismiss Pepper's words about the Dark Lord's death as nothing more than the delusions of an idiot who thought to use her worship of their Lord and Master against her, it was a good deal more difficult to ignore the voices that were now booming from the castle. That so many of them would suffer the same delusion... No. It had to be some trick. Some pathetic attempt to demoralise them. The Dark Lord could not die. It was unfathomable. He may not have been immortal, but he might as well have been. The most powerful wizard alive could not be killed. Certainly not by any of the pathetic vigilantes who still fought against them.
He had been silent. And while Bellatrix no longer enjoyed the honour that was his presence, she had expected to hear from him after the death of the Longbottoms. Or at least dared to hope that she would. And then there was the strange business with Severus claiming responsibility for the vengeance that was to be had at her Lord and Master's hand itself. A blasphemy that he should have been struck down for. And now with so many of their opponents spewing the same lies...
No, the Dark Lord was not dead. But there was clearly something going on and Bellatrix fully intended to determine what. She was tired of being left in the dark. She was tired of sitting and waiting for instructions. Inner Circle or not, she was still the Dark Lord's greatest warrior and she was done waiting for those insufferable old men to decide what to do when the answer was obvious. They would fight. They would kill. And they would win. It did not need to be any more complicated than that. And if they would not grow the spines that they were so obviously lacking and do so, then she would simply lead the charge herself. But first she wanted answers. And then she would silence each and every one of the vigilantes who dared to speak such lies about the Dark Lord.
Bellatrix sprung back to her feet and stalked over to where Walden was standing amongst the cluster of men. Without warning, she reached out and grabbed his robes, pulling him towards her and away from the others. Her eyes were wild, her face a mask of fury and her wand was clenched in one hand with a fistful of Walden's robes still held tightly in the other. "WHERE IS THE DARK LORD?" she demanded.
Walden's mind was wandering as the Inner Circle convened around him. He knew that he should be completely focused on the conversation, knew that the topic at hand was more important than anything else in the world just then, but he couldn't seem to focus. He'd been forced to split his attentions during his first battle with two tenacious individuals and he had a few bumps and scrapes to show for it.
Walden was replaying the duel in his mind when he felt himself being pulled away from the circle. His first reaction was to take a defensive stance and he held his wand chest level to his opponent until he realised it was Bellatrix. He immediately recognised that look in her eye and then she spoke.
He couldn't say the words that she didn't want to hear. He scarcely believed them himself. The Dark Lord was dead. With He and Rodolphus both gone it seemed like a lost cause. The end of an era. Despite all this he had to remain resolute. He knew Bellatrix too well to tell her the truth. This was not the place for her to hear such news. She should be away from weapons and possibly tied down. It might even be a good idea to sedate her slightly.
"I know as much as you do. He will make himself known when the time is right, Bellatrix."
Bellatrix did not flinch as Walden trained his wand on her. She didn't even notice. She barely even heard the words of his response, only the tone of his voice. The obvious attempt to placate her. To calm her when she would not be calmed. She gave a quick, furious shake of her head, her grip on his robes tightening as she twisted her hand and pulled him closer. Her eyes did not break from his.
"Do not," she snapped, her body shaking with anger that was far beyond her control. The tenuous hold she retained over what little was left of her sanity was tearing like a frayed rope that had been stretched too far for too long. Slowly snapping, one thread after another. "Why do they shout such lies? Why do they believe-" But she could not actually bring herself to say the words either and instead her voice dropped to a low growl that was no less furious than her shouted tirades. "Say it is not true," she demanded. "SAY IT."
Walden was aware that other Inner Circle members were watching the exchange but he didn't seem to care. Bellatrix was slowly unhinging and Walden wasn't sure that he could recover this situation. She was already balancing on the edge and this news was going shove her over the breaking point.
Walden couldn't push his lie, despite all of it. Bellatrix knew and he was not going to be the one to press her buttons with fabrications and mock comfort. He stared at her in silence and he could feel her fingers crushing his robes. Don't tell her. He had to. You know what she'll do. He was ready for the repercussions.
With a hard swallow he shook his head. "He was murdered by Severus Snape." He prepared for backlash. "We only just found out."
The words that fell from Walden's lips left Bellatrix feeling as if she had just taken a blasting curse straight to the chest. Somehow her body seemed to be processing the news faster than her mind and she very nearly doubled over. Instead her hand fell limply from Walden's robes and she stumbled back one, then two steps, looking at him as if he were speaking some language she had never even heard. He might as well have been.
That Severus Snape could have killed the Dark Lord... No, it was unfathomable. The Dark Lord could not die. He was a god among men, not some mere mortal to be struck down by a traitorous half blood.
The only response she had was a rasped, incredulous, "What?" that tore from her suddenly parched throat. This was not possible. She gave another furious shake of her head, her battle-tangled hair flying every which way. "No," she said firmly. "No." And then the question that belied all of her denials. "How?" It was not that she believed it to be true - or so she told herself - she just did not understand. She could not. Not at all.
Walden felt like he was watching a replay of the moment each of the Inner Circle members found out the very same news. How could a man that they worshipped for years be gone? Walden had always liked Severus. He was a bright boy with a future ahead of him but he had chosen to take everything from them like a selfish child.
He took a slow step towards Bellatrix and he reached out to place his hands on her shoulders. She would likely pull away but he needed to try to reach her. He'd made Bellatrix's well-being his priority after Rodolphus had gone and this moment was when she needed someone the most.
"It was the night that the Longbottoms were murdered. He killed the couple and their child and then Severus struck him from behind, or so I've been told. This is the only way that he could have had any chance in taking his life. He was cheated by a halfblood coward."
Bellatrix allowed Walden's hands on her shoulders, if only for the moment. Under most circumstances, he was the only man who stood even the slightest chance of getting through to her now that Rodolphus was dead. And now the Dark Lord as well? But Walden was neither Rodolphus nor the Dark Lord. And this was certainly not most circumstances.
She heard him out. Somehow she managed to stand there and listen to him speak, to say the words that she did not want to hear although they were very nearly drowned out by the sound of her own heart pounding her ears. Her body was trembling even more violently now and the look that she gave Walden was one of betrayal and fury. There were no words. There was nothing to be said. And in an instant, the last vestiges of sanity that remained in Bellatrix Lestrange were gone.
The incomprehensible scream that tore from her throat was deafening and yet in Bellatrix's own ears it seemed to be nothing more than a dull, muted sound. She could not hear. She could not think. She could do nothing...
No. That was not true. She could kill. She could kill them all.
The frozen disbelief and horror that had settled over Bellatrix was shattered in an instant and she turned from Walden and she ran. With a speed that even she did not know that she possessed, she tore towards the gates of Hogwarts, her wand clenched tightly in her hand.
The echoes of her scream lingered in Aeneas' ears, high-pitched and more annoying at such a short distance. He had been listening to the conversation carefully when Bellatrix took off, running toward the gates.
No, he would not let her destroy what last chance they had to win - with or without the Dark Lord - for her own purposes. Had they not all lost their master? She was not even in the Dark Lord's Inner Circle - had they not a greater right to be moved to anger than she? They would win this for Him, but not if Bellatrix did not abide by their plan.
Stop, he meant to yell, but the moment his wand was raised, pointed at her back, he had no desire to speak to her again. She should have been killed when her husband died like Aeneas had suggested and things would have been much easier from that point on.
It was never too late to correct a wrong, Aeneas thought to himself. "Avada Kedavra!"
Bellatrix had turned towards the nearest living, breathing person she saw the moment she crossed through the Hogwarts gates and the flash of green light from Aeneas's spell flew past her, crashing into the ground before her. There was very little that could break through her mind at the moment but that green she knew. So that was how it was to be. With a snarl of rage, she spun around and fired two killing curses back into the cluster of Death Eaters behind her. And then she kept running. As if she were going to break down the doors of the castle itself.
The sight of Professor Slughorn finally brought her to a sudden halt, halfway across the grounds. The old man was bent over a body, with his back towards her, but she would recognise his fat form anywhere. And oh, he would do. Truthfully she had no idea what she intended to do until it was happening but before the professor even knew she was standing there with a look of crazed malice in her eyes, Bellatrix had thrown him into the air. She held him up as her trophy, floating above the grounds, displayed for all to see. Everything seemed frozen and still for a long moment as all the world but Bellatrix and the smarmy professor she had always loathed seemed to slip away. Even her mind seemed to grow quiet for the briefest of moments.
And then blood was spreading across the Professor's chest as Bellatrix slowly sliced him open from his sternum to his groin. The brief, tortured scream that he started to let out was abruptly cut short as she next ripped the skin from his body and it fell to the ground like nothing more than a discarded coat. She could have stopped there. The man was very clearly dead and yet she did not. His entrails were the next to come spilling from his body and where ordinarily she would have gleefully laughed at the spectacle she had created, her only reaction was a slight tilt of her head. She had nothing to laugh about anymore.
The body fell to the ground with a dull thud and Bellatrix spread her arms out wide in invitation as her eyes ran over the people looking on from distance. "WHO WOULD BE NEXT?" she demanded, although she did not expect a response. Instead she hopped over Slughorn's body, one heel of her boot digging into the exposed muscle of his chest as she stormed off in search of another fight.
Some death eaters follow
Fenrir had been watching the Inner Circle with growing irritation and impatience. What was there to talk about? The damn Order and Albion were at the castle. If they just went there en masse, those fools couldn't take them all on. Strength in numbers blah blah blah. Sure some would fall but enough would survive to kill all the Order and Albion and then this would be over.
He looked around when Scabior returned and there was a glitter in his eyes that was telling of both his fury and more than a little insanity. "Good," he growled, looking over those who the other werewolf had gathered. A flash of movement caught his eye and he looked around to see Bellatrix breaking ranks and heading back out onto the battlefield. That was more than enough for him. "Come on!" he snarled as he charged out, following Bellatrix. "Let's get the fuckers!"
Scabior didn't need to hear Fenrir twice. With a growl of delight, he bounded after his leader, searching for the nearest available target, utterly indifferent to the angry yells of the death eaters behind him. He knew he liked that crazy Lestrange bitch for a reason!
Barty had finally managed to push his way closer to where the Inner Circle was working on their plan, but even his keen attempt at concentrating on their words with the enthusiasm of an eager-to-please school-boy was interrupted as taunts about the Dark Lord boomed through the air and Bellatrix stormed back out onto the grounds. What was he supposed to do? On the one hand, they needed a proper plan in order to take down the vigilantes once and for all, and he did not dare disobey the Inner Circle, given they were his superiors and spoke for their Lord. But the part of him that still admired Bellatrix and thought that the Dark Lord -- who most certainly was not dead -- would reward him for acting compelled him to break away from the crowd and chase after her.
'Madam Lestrange, wait!' he called out as he re-adjusted his mask and threw his hood back up over his head. Hopefully the Inner Circle would see it as him trying to stop her from doing anything reckless while Bellatrix would take it as him showing his devotion to defending their Lord's honour -- he couldn't really lose either way.
There were several other Death Eaters -- mostly from among the lower ranks, and who were starting to question why they were even still here if the Dark Lord really was dead like the vigilantes were claiming He was -- standing near the gate and quickly losing interest in the Inner Circle's planning, which they weren't close enough to hear anyway; and even if they could, it was probably boring tosh from a couple of old wind-bags. Upon seeing Bellatrix and the werewolves rushing back out onto the field, however, they snapped out of their hazy boredom and began to run out after them -- some confused and thinking it was part of the new plan to attack while others were quick to take this as a cue to indulge in their taste for violence and destruction, shooting off jinxes, hexes, and curses in every direction as they spilled back out onto the grounds.
And then the rest of the Dark Lord's forces followed -- whether they were ready or not, the battle had begun once again.
The fall of the Smiths
It was a miracle he was still alive.