|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 [15/29]
THE FINAL BATTLE
The Hogwarts Gate
There was only so much running around and dueling that a guy like Sturgis could do. He was sturdy, and while he was big he wasn't necessarily that out of shape, but something about his last fight had left Sturgis wiped. He wasn't really even that injured in comparison to many of those who had been crowded into the makeshift hospital area, and so he wasn't about to go running away from the battle yet. He would just have to improvise a little.
Someone had stolen a bunch of broomsticks during the Hogwarts fortification, and after nabbing one of those, Sturgis was out of the castle and back in the game, dodging spells as he sped through the air and moved to help man the front Hogwart's gate. It was a little like being back on the Quidditch pitch again, only the stakes were much much higher (despite what some Quidditch fanatics would argue). Spotting one of the werewolves he recognized from a previous fight, Sturgis flew downwards until he was only a foot off the ground and barreled towards her, firing off a blasting curse as he moved by.
Ursula hadn't been doing much since losing her pack. Her first fight had been...meh. The break had made her anxious, and she wanted to be among her friends again. She could smell them in the air, a few of them weren't even that far away. She really wanted to go find them, but this desire was cut off by a man on a broom hurtling towards her. She jumped out of the way, the blasting hex catching her and throwing her back several feet.
Righting herself, she ran towards the man on the broom. Once she gathered sufficient momentum, she jumped at him, hoping to knock him off his broom and not let him have anymore of an advantage than he already had just being a wizard.
Tabbit flew in after Sturgis, happy to be on a broom after so damned long but taking it slower than she ought. When she made it to their meeting point, she was just in time to see that bitch werewolf (who, if she recalled correctly, she'd been unfortunate enough to see topless at the last Hogwarts powwow) jumping her friend. Oh no she didn't.
Fear had been replaced with something closer to quiet rage as the night had worn on, and her Gryffindorian rashness was taking a close second. Gripping her wand with her remaining fingers (which didn't lend well to swishing and flicking), she conjured up what she was able. "OPPUGNO COINS"; several shiny objects soared out of the grass and launched themselves in Ursula's direction, ready to explode on impact.
Ursula caught the back of Sturgis's broom in her pounce, which sent the man toppling head over heels onto the ground, his arm twisting painfully as he crashed onto the courtyard floor while keeping a hand still gripped around the broomstick that hadn't quite stopped flying upon losing its rider. He hoisted the broomstick back, ready to smash it toward the werewolf as some sort of beater's bat substitute, when he noticed Tabbit sending several gold coins shooting out of the ground in the werewolf's direction. Knowing from experience (while helping fortify the school in the first place) that those things hurt like a bitch when they made contact, cast a speedy shield spell around himself before throwing himself to the ground to duck and cover.
Ursula stumbled, falling to the ground and not trying to hold onto the broom by any means (it seemed a bit foolhardy of a thing to attempt). She righted herself and assessed that she wasn't too hurt, she made another run for the man she had knocked down off of the broom. Unfortunately what she hadn't noticed were the gold coins shooting at her, and several of them hit her, a particularly painful on exploding against her calf, causing her to fall to the ground. Shit shit shit. She got up unsteadily, avoiding putting weight on her painfully bleeding leg. Shit this wasn't good. For once, Ursula was at a total loss for what to do. She couldn't attack unless they got closer, she couldn't run...fuck.
Tabitha would ordinarily feel a bit of pity at this point in the game -- and want to try and end this, or give the other party an opportunity to escape or make amends. Not anymore. She was tired. And she hurt. And she didn't really care very much about justice right now (or maybe he did -- justice for this werewolf would be seeing that she got precisely what she deserved). Another few coins were accioed, though she held them aloft with a Wingardium Leviosa -- a floating threat before she pointed her wand at Ursula. "Give yourself up," she said, voice strained and teeth gritted. She didn't really expect the wolf to comply.
Claudette was finally beginning to understand why she'd been forbidden to participate in the last battle, even as one treating the wounded. The terrorists had absolutely no compassion, and from what she was seeing, were even attacking innocent bystanders in their mad quest for...well, for what, she wasn't entirely certain anymore, but she'd seen more than a few women who were supposed to be simply working with the others doing triage being brought by on stretchers. Part of her wanted very badly to leave, and another part knew that she had to stay...but she couldn't stop thinking about her children...
Sturgis was beyond the point of feeling any sort of pity for the people who were fighting against them. There was a very big difference between getting swept up in what your friends and family were doing and actively going to a fight to try to kill people. He'd even been somewhat sympathetic to a lot of the werewolves who'd gotten thrown into the war, given that Al and Remus (until the end there) had been decent people fighting for the right side. However, this woman was one of those werewolves who'd been wrecking havoc in Ottery St. Catchpole. Any patience he might have had for her plight vanished upon seeing those pictures. "This doesn't have to be difficult," Sturgis added, mirroring Tabbit as he trained his wand on the werewolf, any number of spells ready to blast toward her.
Ursula snorted indignantly, taking a step back- stumbling more than actually stepping. "Give myself up to what?" she snapped, her hands firmly on her hips as she watched their wands and those coins with the careful eyes of a hunter. "To being another number?" she continued coldly.
She wasn't a number, to Fenrir and Tabitha and Scabior and her little brother- she wasn't just a number. To these people, she was. She wasn't a person of equal value, as a "Muggle" and as a werewolf. She would never surrender herself to that. She'd rather die than just be another number in the system. The anger fueled a burst of adrenaline and with strength she wasn't even sure she had, she launched herself off of her good leg at the man, as he didn't have those explodey coins onhand, claws outstretched and ready to rip into her opponents- even if she had to blow herself up to do it.
Tabitha, in her shock and anger at the wolf's sudden attack of Sturgis, sent the coins flying forward -- but the two were already engaged, and out of line of her oppugno, and they soared angrily past Ursula and towards Claudette. Horror struck her as the myriad explosives seemed to have found their target, and she barely had time to scream "LOOK OUT" before they'd hit.
She never saw it coming.
"I'm so sorry, I'm so so sorry," Tabitha choked out. "Please, I don't understand." She begged Claudette to repeat herself before she was gone. There was too much blood, and she was dizzy and stupid with the smell of it and the knowledge that she had done this, no matter how accidentally. "Please, please," she cried.
"PLEASE SOMEONE I NEED A HEALER," she screamed. No one was coming. Surrounded by bloodshed and pain they were alone and Tabitha knew that she was holding a dying woman and there was nothing, nothing she could do about it. "I'm so sorry," she wept, trying to cradle Claudette against her shoulder. "I'm sorry, there's no time. I'm sorry."
Tears streamed down Tabitha's face, even in the knowledge that she was holding the minister's wife. The wife of a man that was evil and sick and twisted and whom she wanted to die. It didn't change the fact that Claudette was a person, and a person who was dying, and that Tabitha was sorry that anyone had to die, particularly someone not fighting in this damned war. She felt sick and sad and wanted to scream about how unfair it all was, but she couldn't do anything but hold this dying woman and stroke her hair and burn beneath blood.
"I promise," she replied, as strongly as she could through tears and the wet constrictions of her throat. "I promise I will. They'll be all right." She didn't know if it was true, but she'd be damned if she wasn't going to make sure she was heard and believed.
But there was nothing she could do, before or now, and she forced herself to move backwards and lay the dead woman as gently against the ground as she could. The pain at her back was hurting more and more as the seconds went on, but she didn't complain. How could she? She was alive. It was more than she deserved.
And then, wand retrieved, she turned to find the stupid bitch whose refusal to do the decent thing had resulted in this catastrophe.
Meanwhile, about fifteen feet to the left, Sturgis and Ursula were rolling around on the ground not unlike tumbleweeds, fighting like rabid wolverines. The werewolf's pounce had launched Ursula far and hard enough to land her square on top of Sturgis, knocking him down to the ground. However, Sturgis was not above physical brawls, even ones against women, when said women likely would've bit his throat out had he not begun fighting back. He threw a punch at Ursula's shoulder, trying to knock the woman back and away from him so that he'd be able to actually defend himself in ways he was much more comfortable with.
His punch did knock her back, but she wasn't about to give up that easily. After reeling from the hit, she dove again, intent on sinking her teeth into him. Ursula was not exactly a large person, and while she was actually very heavy for her size, she knew trying to keep him pinned would require too much of her strength. Instead of trying to keep him from hitting her again, she just threw as many punches as she could manage (with the grabbing and clawing thrown in at intervals), not caring if she actually hit him.
Rolling around on the ground, as fun as it was, wasn't helping her situation, so she made an attempt to scramble away from her very much larger foe and get to her feet somehow, though the more she moved the harder moving actually became.
Tabitha's expression was dark and furious and as Ursula finally got far enough from Sturgis that she could cast with impunity. She held no punches, too angry to bother with anything but the worst spells she knew -- which were sadly no more ferocious than blasting hexes. "CONFRINGO" she shrieked, pointing her wand at the werewolf and following it up with an incendio.
Sturgis looked like a complete bloody mess, laying weakly on the ground where Ursula had left him while attempting to concentrate all of his energy on remaining awake. Passing out on a battlefield where more and more bodies were dropping with every passing moment was not a good plan, and Tabitha wasn't exactly built for dragging someone Sturgis's side to safety. Blinking away the blurriness that came with opening his eyes, Sturgis fumbled his wand in the werewolf's direction and cast another blasting curse to follow up his fellow Order member's, weak as it was.
Dodging away from the first blast and beating out the fire that had caught on her already ruined trousers, Sturgis's blast knocked her farther away from where the battle had started. This wasn't good, not good at all. Taking hurried steps back, stumbling twice, and continuing away from the fight, Ursula could smell one of her companions close by. That's where she needed to be.
So she did what any sensible person in her condition would do, she half-ran half-limped away from the fight. She quelled her first raging instinct by reassuring herself they would have killed her if she'd stuck around. It wasn't her fault all of those explosions had happened, she was the one that didn't even have magic. She had better places to be.
Breathing hard, Ursula's hasty retreat left Tabitha without any adrenaline to keep herself upright and fighting. Her back-wounds from tending to Claudette unshielded reminded her that they were still bleeding, and the bite from the hag earlier in the night felt as if it were on fire. She'd been hexed and scratched and knocked down over and over, but even if she wanted to curl up on the ground and just take a quick little nap where no one would notice, she had to get Sturgis out of here. She couldn't heal him, and if no one responded to her cries for help earlier in the fight, they sure as hell wouldn't now that chaos seemed to be breaking out over the grounds.
"Accio wand!" She said sharply, and wood hit her palm with a satisfying thwap... that almost knocked her over. Dragging her feet to Sturgis's side, she rolled him onto the broom and wrapped his arms around her waist. Hopefully Patty didn't think she was doing anything weird, but it was kind of hard to get a hearty guy like Sturgis anywhere without keeping a good grip on him. "Kicking off now," she whispered. "Try and hang on." And with a sharp kick and a bit of a grunt, they were off towards the castle.
4) Atticus vs Lachlan & Pepper
It was a considerably messier Pepper that made his way across the battleground now; though the worst of his injuries were healed, the dirt and blood that had accumulated during his spat with Bellatrix was still visible on clothes and skin. It didn't trouble him, however, as he swept his gaze across the large open area in front of Hogwarts in search of those who would do most damage if allowed through their defenses. He had been a match for Bellatrix, almost, holding her off well enough and only coming out of it a little more injured than she (or perhaps that was just his perception of it), and though he had been flagging, the rest had revived his spirits. So when he saw an older man, clearly one of the more experienced Death Eaters, he didn't hesitate before angling towards him, wand drawn and at the ready until he was close enough to cast a silent conjunctivitis curse.
Atticus was considerably less than pleased with the situation. They were supposed to have a plan. They were supposed to regroup and determine a strategy that would allow them to efficiently defeat their opposition. But thanks to Bellatrix and her little stunt, they were nothing more than a haphazard group of men charging onto the battlefield without any sense of rhyme or reason. He did not like it. But with so many of the others running off to join the fight yet again, there was little choice but to follow.
He walked back onto the grounds intent upon finding Moody or revisiting his fight with Rufus when he caught sight of a curse flying at him out of the corner of his eye. He quickly dodged out of the path of the spell before looking to see just who had attacked him. A young man he did not recognise. But that did not stop him from throwing a killing curse towards Pepper. And then he kept walking, although he was not so foolish to let the man out of his sight until he had dropped dead like he was supposed to.
After Bellatrix, a single killing curse from this Death Eater was easy to get away from, though he knew that that was likely due to the fact that the man seemed not to particularly care about him. That was a mistake, as he jumped straight from 'mild, but tactically sound' to 'vicious and dark', strengthening his shield before retaliating with a sectumsempra. "Not leaving already are you?" he asked brightly, voice pitched to carry across the distance between them. "You're not nearly as fun as Bellatrix!"
Lach was not even finished healing one of his comrades when the fighting broke out again. Hurrying to do what he could, the Mediwizard pronounced his patient 'good for now' and ran back out into the fire. It was not long before the familiar flash of a killing curse came too close within his vicinity for comfort, followed by Pepper's dulcet tones. Oh good, his favorite Hitwizard had not been struck down.
Running in the direction of Pepper's voice, considering it was the nearest battle, Lach turned his attention on the Death Eater that Pepper was fighting and raised his wand to send a jelly-legs hex in the hopes of tripping the man. The quicker they took down more of these bastards, the better. "I should have known you were to blame for leaving that crazy bitch alive," he snarked at Pepper.
Anastasia, to be truthful, probably liked this even less than Atticus did. She was not meant for the battlefield. She had never learned how to do even the feeblest of protective spells, having dropped Defence Against the Dark Arts long before such things were taught, and she had even less hopes of causing any damage to the terrorists. But who was she to question orders, and it was the ladies' jobs to tend to the wounded. She still bore the marks of some injuries from her last encounter with duelling, mostly soreness, but she was, suffice to say, worried. However, she was even more worried for the younger girls. They shouldn't be seeing things like this (not that she thought she should, either, but them even less so), and if they were injured, how were they to have families and get married? She had a hand firmly gripped around Lavinia Travers's arm, ready to throw her out of the way if any unseemly spells came at them.
Seeing in the periphery of her vision something familiar (familiar and comforting, because she could certainly count on Inner Circle members to protect her more than the younger generation), she headed towards Atticus. Then, she saw the jets of light heading for him and gave a shriek of horror, tugged Lavinia by her arm, and ran behind a nearby tree. "We'll stay here," she said, though this little tree was hardly wide enough to make a shield for one, let alone both of them. "I don't want to give any of those awful terrorists an excuse to attack you." They had long-since proven that they thought it advantageous to harm young girls to try and get their way.
Lavinia was dragged along without complaint, for though she was having a difficult time appreciating how dangerous this actually was (an apathy that could be blamed on a series of rather traumatic events leading up to this moment in time), she wasn't quite oblivious enough not to realise that she and Mrs Mulciber could easily be struck by passing spells. Her fear lay in Gaius's absence -- for though she'd promised to stay close to him, he seemed to have been lost to a cluster of people, and then she was being shuffled that way, running from spells and heathens alike, until she was back by the gate they'd entered through.
Spying Mrs Mulciber had been a blessing, and now the girl clutched the older woman as tightly as she, herself, was being held as they pressed themselves behind the tree. "What will we do?" She whispered anxiously, holding her wand tightly against the roughness of bark. "Mr Avery will be all right won't he?"
Atticus frowned as Pepper dodged out of the path of his killing curse and that did bring him to a stop in his path across the grounds. As dismissive as he may have been of the ex-hit wizard, he still did not intent to simply leave him be and instead he turned, facing his opponent more fully. A shield charm easily deflected the attacks that were now coming from two opponents and Atticus quickly retaliated with a series of simple but powerful blasting curses aimed at the pair. "I am most certainly not here for your amusement, young man."
The sound of Anastasia's shriek drew his attention away from the two men and he glanced towards the source, his frown deepening at the sight of Anastasia Mulciber and Lavinia Travers attempting to hide behind a small tree. Salazar, this was no place for women like them. It was no place for women at all, as far as Atticus was concerned, but especially not the gentle women of society. But he held his tongue, not out of any respect for their involvement, but simply to avoid drawing attention to their presence. Instead he moved away from them, to try and ensure that they would not be caught in the crossfire of any stray curses. And to better keep both them and his opponents within his line of sight.
"Call it a side benefit then." Pepper grinned, his solemnity left behind at Aubrey's side, as the first spell hit his shield and the next crashed, mid-air, into his own finger-removing jinx. He, too, heard the girlish shriek from nearby, and he hesitated for the barest hint of a second before whirling around to direct another blasting curse at the tree they were futilely attempting to hide behind. It was a bastardly move, but it was sure to get and catch the Death Eater's attention, and hell, anything to divide his focus and make this whole encounter a little more chaotic for him. "I showed her mercy," he deadpanned at Lach as an aside, re-casting his shield charm to prepare for the reaction; "I was too busy blasting the fuck out of the mandrakes."
The woman's shriek was difficult to miss as it broke up the mundane rounds of hexes and names being thrown out all over the grounds. Lach turned his head in the woman's direction, flicking his attention back to Pepper after watching the blasting curse fly past. The purists were sacrificing their wives now? They really must have been desperate to maintain their hold. Sending a standard cutting hex at the Death Eater, he positioned himself to best defend against whichever direction the next blast came from, the women or the man, and raised his own shield charm. "Mandrakes?" he laughed dryly. "Is that all? Try fending off an army of merfolk."
Lavinia watched from around the tree, trembling into Anastasia's arms and watching as the men prevaricated and showed off -- and then threw a blasting curse at them. She gasped and pushed Mrs Mulciber back as the trunk in front of them exploded; the force of the explosion forced her to the ground, and with a pitiful noise, she held up a bleeding arm, embedded with wooden shrapnel. How Pepper could argue against being a terrorist when attacking defenceless healers was beyond her, and she screamed at him, at the top of her lungs.
"HOW DARE YOU ATTACK HEALERS YOU GREAT BRUTE!"
A good amount of wood had embedded itself in Anastasia's chest when Lavinia fell to the grass. Normally, she would have been afraid of scarring, but there were no chances for her skin to scar if she were dead. It was painful, very painful, and she could feel blood oozing from the wounds, and despite the pain, she threw herself to the grass next to the young girl. Yelling at the terrorists seemed like a bad idea -- she didn't want those two men to begin attacking them more. However, as she took out her wand and tried to remove some of the shrapnel from Lavinia's bleeding arm.
"Don't worry, dear," she said, trying to be comforting despite the fact that both of them were bleeding. "Atticus -- Mr Avery, will protect us."
Even in the midst of a battle against terrorists, Atticus had still expected some degree of civility from his opponents. He knew there was a risk that Anastasia and Miss Travers might be hit by some stray curse (which was precisely what he had been trying to avoid) but to see them deliberately targeted in such a blatant fashion?
Well now he was angry.
"You will leave the women out of this," he growled as he dodged Lachlan's curse and sent a saevio verbera flying back at him with a jet of purple light. Before the terrorists could have the chance to launch another attack at the women, he threw a shield charm between them and his opponents, being far more concerned for their safety than his own. And then he moved closer to the two men to try and make a more appealing target out of himself before casting a powerful cruciatus at Pepper. It was a curse that he rarely bothered with, but in this particular instance, it certainly fit his mood and he had no trouble summoning the requisite desire to cause pain. The young man would pay for such a despicable act of cowardice.
His shield charm would not be enough to completely block the spell, and as in his battle with Bellatrix, Pepper focused on keeping it strong enough to take as much force as it could before relaxing completely into it. It felt like his blood was simmering, like every nerve in his body was being super-heated, but... it wasn't as bad as Bellatrix's curse had been. He managed, with a little effort, to dispel the worst of it until he could fight through the pain, clenching his eyes closed for just a moment to get the stinging moisture out of his vision and slinging a sectumsempra at Atticus. "Your women are not more innocent than babies," he snarled, following the dark spell with another blasting curse at the shield in front of the women. Targeting them would clearly keep Atticus busy, and he was perfectly happy to play it like that.
Lach braced himself for the brunt of the purple spell, leaning backward as his shield gave way to permit what was left to hit him on the upper-left portion of his chest. This was a horrible mistake. He fell to the ground, hearing the crunch of at least two ribs under the weight of the curse. It was strong enough to take his breath away and render him immobile for several seconds as he tried to regain some sort of feeling. Lolling his head to the side, he noticed that the reverberations had caused the sectumsempra wound had reopened along his shoulder and was now bleeding through his shirt. Lovely.
Groaning with pain, the Scotsman managed to push himself to kneel and survey the battlefield again, breathing in deeply. "HOW DARE YOU ATTACK A MEDIWIZARD!!" he shouted at the Death Eater. Immature? Yes, but he was not in the mood to care about leveling himself to mock the whining of a little purist princess. He cast a freezing charm at the man in the hopes of buying Pepper some time to inflict proper damage before a high pitched whirring noise caught his attention from above. Two seconds separated the time Lach moved from his spot and the impact of a rogue bludger smashing into the very spot on the ground. Scrambling to his feet, and wincing in pain, he found a broken limb from the tree Pepper had blasted and picked it up with his good arm, switching his wand to his left hand. "I suppose this," he snarled, squaring himself as he alternated between watching both the bludger, which was turning about to come crashing down once more, and the shield he had up to protect the women. "Should be considered fair PLAY!" Lach swung the branch with all his might, sending the bludger toward the portion of the shield protecting the younger witch. Dammit that hurt his side!
"YOU GREAT BRUTE!!" Pepper had added, cheerfully mocking the purebloods. He managed to scatter from the incoming bludger quicker than Lach had - after the hassle of all the mandrake cannons, the idea of something dangerous coming at them from above wasn't one he was unfamiliar with. And hell, at least it didn't scream. "Don't take spells you don't recognise," he tossed at Lach, smirking a little in appreciation of his innovation at beating the bludger away towards the girls, and turned to shoot a few gouging spells at them. Unlikely to kill them, unless entirely by chance one got past the shield to hit a carotid artery, but at least it'd be colourful.
Atticus did not care about the taunting from the vigilantes. They could say what they wished and he remained largely unaffected. But that they were still attempting to make targets out of the women was unforgivable. The sectumsempra tore open his leg, but he would deal with that in a moment, ignoring the pain and blood and shifting his weight to his good leg. He strengthened the shield protecting Anastasia and Miss Travers and fired a blasting curse at the bludger, sending it spiraling into the air before he turned back to the two men. His face bore an expression of pure fury as he sent spell after spell flying at them. An expulso, an ignis infusco, a killing curse, a blasting curse, even a tripping jinx and a freezing charm. Anything he could think of to keep them occupied. And to buy himself the time to cast the countercurse on his leg.
Anastasia was still lying on the ground, trying to do what she could to mend Lavinia's arm, but to be honest, she didn't really know how to do so. Despite the fact that she was ruining a perfectly good dress, she tried to mop the blood up off of her own face and from Lavinia. There were so many blinding flashes of light that she hardly knew where to look or what to do, and instinct told her to stay where she was, even as one of the gouging spells tore through her side. She was too surprised by the blossoming of more blood across her chest to feel the pain at first, and then it stung terribly and she pressed her hand over the wound. It was only a cut. Atticus would make sure that she and Lavinia were not hurt too badly, or worse -- killed.
Lavinia mewled a bit under Mrs Mulciber's ministrations, trying to suffocate the anger welling up in her. These stupid animals! They could mock all they wanted, she was still on the side that was going to win this. Once Anastasia had pulled most of the bits of wood out of her arm, there was not much more to be done, and she took the cloth the other woman was using and wiped away at the blood trickling down her elbow before turning and helping Mrs Mulciber. She at least knew a little bit about healing from when Gaius came home torn up, at quietly murmured a spell over the injury. At best, it quelled the bleeding (mostly), and Lavinia transfigured the cloth into something longer that she could tie around Anastasia's ribs.
"Does that feel any better?" She asked, worriedly glancing back over her shoulder at the savages to make sure they weren't going to do anything else ghastly while her attentions were turned.
The bludger had shot up, but it hadn't lost track of its goal and swivelled, reoriented, and shot through the air towards the women. Gasping, Lavinia didn't dare dodge, leaving Mrs Mulciber open to the tender mercies of the ball. Instead she turned her wand at it and desperately tried a slicing hex; the iron ball was thoroughly unimpressed, and when a depulso barely fazed it, she pushed Anastasia down onto the ground, an apology lost on her lips as metal slammed into her back, breaking Merlin knew what and eliciting an horrible scream.
Anastasia had barely had the chance to mutter thanks to Lavinia (why she was even here, she didn't know -- she didn't have any knowledge of Healing spells, or duelling, and the longer it went on, the more likely it seemed that she would die) before there was a horrifying clanging of spells against bludger and then a crack. She didn't know what inside of Lavinia had broken, and she didn't really want to think about it as she threw herself, still splattered in blood, in front of the younger girl. As much as she very much did not want to die, if they were going to attack harmless women, Lavinia's life had to come first. Anastasia had already done her duty to society. She had produced a grown son, whereas Lavinia was the future.
Trying to shield Lavinia from any further curses (or bludgers), she tried to steady her wand on the terrorists and shot a virtual cascade of silver polish at their faces.
Atticus turned his attention back towards Lavinia and Anastasia just as the bludger was mere metres from the two and his desperate, almost panicked attacks at fending off the iron ball did nothing to stop it, leaving him with little to do but look on in horror. As the bludger flew back into the air, this time his furious blasting curse connected and the iron ball was once again sent flying off, this time far into the distance. He did not care what the two men threw at him, he was going to destroy them.
"You cowards," he snarled. "You would attack defenceless women? You claim to be fighting on the side of all that is good, you claim that you are better than us, that you would never do what it is that we do, and yet you attack them? Where is this supposed nobility that you claim to have so prided yourselves upon? And you..." he growled, pointing his wand towards Lachlan. "That bludger could have very well taken out her skull. Would that have satisfied you? Is that what they teach healers to do now? To kill young girls? Because make no mistake, that is precisely what you just came one metre from doing."
He was likely wasting his time attempting to lecture, but he was too angry to care. He was not going to let words alone convey his fury, however, and two growled crucios flew from his wand.
Still reeling from the pain of acting like a Beater, Lach deflected the Death Eater's first round of hexes as best he could manage, barely managing to block the freezing charm with his own curse. It would have been a cruel irony that the last spell he sent flying would return to bite him in his own arse. The tripping jinx, however, managed to bowl him over and he landed on the ground again with a magnificent thud. "It must have died with the Longbottoms!" he shouted, letting his temper fuel his motivation to get up and continue to fight. It was far from his fault if the girl's skull would have been shattered by the bludger. If she was on the field then it was either her own damn fault or that of her male relatives. Either way, the guilt of even breaking the girl would have to fight long and hard to get through to Lachlan Kirke.
The older woman's flood, however, did not have to fight as the polish flew into his eyes before there was a proper chance to shield himself. Lach had barely managed to send a trio of blasting hexes, hoping at least one would knock the Death Eater off his feet, before the silvery liquid washed over him, forcing the Mediwizard to bite his tongue to keep from crying out (he refused to give them the satisfaction). The crucio, being unexpected since he could not see it, was the final straw. Lach let out a low scream as his insides began to twist and turn under the pain. At least one more rib cracked under the pressure of his squirming. He found it all but impossible to breathe let alone move after the curse subsided.
"It was the Death Eaters who taught us to target family!" Pepper called back, eyes shining with exhilaration. Endorphins were pumping rapidly through his body, reaction to the exercise and the pain, and he felt good. "I've been carved from pain and tempered in your fires, Death Eater, and I will strike down everything that you love just as you have done to us." He did not consider how he might sound; concerns of sanity and rationality had been forgotten at around the time he'd spotted Bellatrix on this killing-field. He launched a fireball across the grounds, now, almost wishing another one of Atticus' crucios would catch him so he could twist that blood-fire to his own ends, purifying the steel ore of his determination. Instead he used his flame as cover to fling his wand-hand out to the side, sending Lachlan scooting over the ground away from them; he didn't have the time to concentrate to make it a smooth ride, but it would hurt less than being cursed while he was down.
Through the pain in her chest and her worry over Lavinia (and herself), Anastasia could hear what the terrorist was saying and couldn't help but be a little perturbed. She was fairly sure that it was the terrorists who had a fire obsession -- she had seen the smoldering ruins of her own house. She was still contemplating what he said when the bludger came pummeling back towards them. Knowing instinctively that nothing would stop it, she threw herself on top of the younger girl, arms stretched out, fully prepared for the thing to kill her. She had always said that Quidditch was a dangerous sport.
The bludger made contact with the centre of her chest, and though Anastasia heard ominous cracking and the pain was, for lack of a better word, unbearable, she was fairly certain she was still alive. It took a great deal of effort to roll off Lavinia, lest she crush her, where she lay on the ground until one of Lachlan's blasting curses hit the ground in front of them and the earth exploded, showering them in dirt. This had to be the worst day of her life. She had broken bones, and bled, and she was fairly certain that the difficulty she was having with breathing meant nothing good, and she was also dirty. Was she going to die? It certainly felt like it. Even giving birth hadn't been this painful, though perhaps that was because she had taken a good deal of pain killers.
"Lavinia dear, don't worry, I will take care of you," she said, though this took a great deal of effort, just as it took a great deal of effort to draw the girl into her arms to try and protect her, even though she knew, instinctively, that these efforts were fruitless.
Lavinia's sobs broke as Anastasia's protection knocked the wind out of her, and pressed into her already destroyed back. She gasped and cried out against the earth, but she was grateful to the other woman, even if she thought that a woman of Mrs Mulciber's nobility should be protected, not protecting. The healer made her sick. His dispassion and cruelty only reiterated what the death eaters had told their purist women again and again: the terrorists were merciless and cruel. She thought she might die here, and it made her cry harder. She was afraid. She did not want to die. She wasn't ready.
And Anastasia was taking her into her arms, and Lavinia wrapped her numb hands around the other woman's back, trying to take some relief in this comfort and thanking the universe for giving her some love before they were killed.
That his crucio was now rendering the healer into a state of agony did nothing to quench Atticus's anger at the two men, although his attention remained torn between them and the women he was quite obviously failing to protect. Blasting curses and fire were easily dealt with and what bafflement or perhaps even amusement he might have felt at Pepper's insane speech was gone as he glanced towards Anastasia and Miss Travers just in time to see the bludger once again crash into them before he could stop it. For what was perhaps the first time in his life he found himself wishing that he had played quidditch at some point so that he might have some sense of how to deal with the iron ball that had clearly fixed upon its target.
But there was only one thing he could think to do. A silent accio was sent at the bludger as it flew back into the air and then, just as bidden, it began barrelling towards his chest instead. He pulled his attention from the iron ball for just a moment to cast a quick saevio verbera at the opponent who was still standing and then his eyes were fixed on the bludger once again as he conjured a makeshift bat. The timing had to be just right. Just before it reached him, he moved and swung out with his weaker arm, knocking the ball in Pepper's direction instead. But Atticus was not an athletic man and while he was at least successful in diverting the bludger's course, it was not without its price. His wrist and arm absorbed much of the force with which the ball hit his bad and bones were cracked and shattered at the impact.
Between the bludger and the spell, Pepper made a split-second decision in favour of not getting hit in the head by a large ball made out of iron. With not much time to dodge, he would have felt the rush of air as it passed him by, except that by that point the Death Eater's spell had already hit him, dealing a painful blow to his right side, jostling his injured shoulder and almost-- almost-- making him drop his wand. As it was he had to fumble to hold onto it, and he was fairly certain that two of the more troublesome of his ribs had just fractured themselves, again. "Fucking douche-canoe," he hissed, left arm wrapping around his body as he raised his wand to strike back, the movement tugging at the wound and making him wince. "Reducto!"
Both of them were beginning to get rather significant injuries now, though, and he was already having trouble moving his wand-arm properly. Between that and the slicing across his back muscles his range of motion was becoming severely limited. Even if he could ignore the pain he was going to start taking hits at an exponentially increasing rate, and this was the kind of pain that got worse when you needed it to get better. He ran the options through his mind quickly. Really he was just here to hold up a member of the Inner Circle in any way possible, and if he left, the man would almost undoubtedly see to the women. Making a decision, he cast another blasting curse to cover his retreat as he headed back to where he'd sent Lachlan. He'd be back when he could be sure of holding onto his wand.
Anastasia had less and less idea of what was going on around her, and to be honest, the only thought really going through her head was that she hoped that nothing more happened to her. Her breathing was laboured and everything was becoming fuzzier and fuzzier around the edges. If this was dying, Anastasia couldn't say she liked it very much. Without any meaningful way to prevent it, she just kept holding onto Lavinia and hoping, very, very much, that both of them were going to survive. Atticus would take care of them. She was quite sure of it. This was the last coherent thought that went through her head before she slumped, no longer able to keep up with the sluggish thoughts going through her head.
Atticus curled his left arm to his chest as he dodged out of the way of the blasting curse and sent a flash of deadly green light flying after the retreating man. At first, impulse and anger had him following after Pepper without thinking, as unusual as that was, but he only made it a few steps before reason had reasserted itself. Pepper was right. What had seemed horrifying from a distance as he had watched the bludger crash into Anastasia and Miss Travers over and over again was only more so at their side. There was something very not right about all of this in the way that it defied his expectations and women should not be left to defend themselves on a field of battle. Was this the point that they had reached?
Then again, if they had been able to adhere to the plan, the presence of the women would have been an asset just as they would have been able to heal them and... oh what did it matter now anyway? Atticus was not a healer but he could tell easily enough that moving the women was likely not the best course of action under the circumstances and yet there was no other choice. Before the bludger decided to make it's return, before another fight started in their vicinity and stray curses were flying between the trees. Moving with as much speed and care that he could manage at the same time, he quickly conjured a makeshift stretcher to carry them back to the other side of the gates. He was not a man who believed in false reassurances and yet the lie still spilled dully from his lips. "Everything will be all right."
Lavinia whimpered as she was moved, but felt much safer with Atticus helping her and curled up against her stretcher. With a hand clutching Anastasia's, she took his reassurance to heart and waited to be moved. She'd be healed. Then she'd get Gaius and get away from here and home where they wouldn't have to see people hurt or dying anymore. It was that belief and that belief alone that kept her awake on the entire journey; she had to make sure the healers made it possible for her to walk, somehow. She had to find him.