Nine men walked cautiously down the darkened hallway, their eyes alert and their wands out. Along the walls, candles flickered and outside the wind howled, a high-pitched howl that made several of the men shiver slightly. One man licked his lips nervously, his eyes darting frantically from side to side, while the others hesitated, before their gruff leader whispered something harshly and they winced and continued onwards. They all bore the standard Auror robes for the British Ministry of Magic. In between them limped a thin and ratty looking man with a haunted look in his eyes and blood running down his cheek. He winced every time he leant on his left leg and had the look of a man who was walking to his doom. As he inevitably slowed down, he was rewarded with a sharp prod of an Auror wand point, forcing him to limp on.
As the group slowly made its way to the end of the corridor, the Auror Captain frowned and gestured slowly and silently to his two companions. They both nodded and tiptoed forward, taking positions on either side of the door. The Captain motioned again and a burly Auror moved forward and levelled his wand.
"Alohamora!" He muttered and the door lock clicked as it was magically forced open, before swinging out with a loud screech. The Auror's winced as the noise echoed in the silent hallway and beyond, outside to the moonlight lit pathway.
"Idiots!" The Captain snapped softly, but his eyes were slightly fearful as he stared outside, trying to penetrate the shroud of darkness that lay. They could be anywhere…in the shadows by the tree, along the darkened wall. He breathed out deeply and his breath turned to mist as a wave of coldness swept inside the hallway as the wind shrieked again.
"Let's go!" He ordered quietly.
The small group stepped outside and went down the stairs. Above the stars twinkled brightly on the group as they surrounded the filthy and ratty looking man in a full circle, their wands covering every angle as they quickly stepped away from the house and began down the path. The night was silent except for the wind, which howled and battered away at the Ministry safe house they had just evacuated. The Auror's had been questioning one of his spies they had just captured when suddenly the Floo had been cut off. All of the Portkeys suddenly malfunctioned and were now useless as the rubbish they had been created out of. The Anti-Apparation Wards, ironically set up by their own Ministry, prevented them from escaping that way. They only way out was to walk a few metres past the front gate, where the wards would end. Then they could apparate out.
"Reducto!" One of the Auror's suddenly screamed loudly, fear and surprise laced throughout his voice, and a flash of crimson light lit the pathway as a burst of magic struck a nearby tree, tearing a large hole in one of the branches with a loud piercing roar. Wooden splinters rained down to the ground as the branch trembled and toppled to the ground, slamming down noisily.
The front garden was absolutely silent as the echoes of the broken branch washed over the Auror's. The man who had cast the spell glanced widely around, his eyes wide and panicked as he gestured widely towards the tree with his free hand.
"I saw somebody, I swear to Merlin!" He said loudly, his voice crackling with fear.
The Auror's tensed and gripped their wands tighter as the Captain braced himself for combat, adrenaline rushing into his body. His mouth was suddenly dry and sweat beaded on his forehead as his eyes darted around. The spy in the middle of the group suddenly looked hopeful and his lips curved up in a relieved smile.
A loud screech suddenly broke his concentrating as a bird swooped over his head, disappearing into the darkened night, and he sighed.
"Good job!" He snapped angrily. "It was just a dumb fucking bird!"
The Auror blushed, his cheeks flaming up, and looked abashed as several of his colleagues snickered, their laughs breaking the tense silence that had been created, while the spy's face collapsed in misery. Only one Auror didn't laugh, and his face was creased in a wary frown.
"Sir, what type of bird was that?" He asked slowly, his body filling with dread as the tiny suspicions in his mind suddenly whirled together.
"It was probably a fucking owl." The Captain said carelessly, waving off the other Auror in his mirth.
"Sir, I saw it, and it was a hawk." The other Auror replied softly, his wand held high.
The Captain rolled his eyes in annoyance. "Hawk, Owl…. who cares?" He snorted.
"Sir, a hawk is a daytime creature. So what's it doing outside at night?" The Auror answered. The snickers slowly died down as the other Auror's started shifting on their feet.
"It probably got scared when dipshit over there decided to blast it out of its tree." The Captain answered, but his mirth was gone.
"Isn't a hawk the animagus form of…?" The Auror never got to finish his sentence, because at that moment five dark figures leapt from the shadows with their arms up and blasts of magic erupting from their wands. Streaks of different coloured light burst from their wands as the dark robed attackers leapt at their surprised foe. One Auror screamed as he was struck, the silver light slicing into his chest with a shower of blood, and he fell to the ground as blooded pooled from his wound, withering in pain. Another Auror was blasted off his feet as glittering bolt of orange magic propelled him through the air. He landed painfully on the ground, his head slamming into the stone cobbled pathway. A roaring wave of flames seared through the air, blocking the entrance to the house with a wave of sizzling flames, which flickered widely in the night and cast a bright light over the garden.
"Astempe!"One of the more capable Auror's bellowed, and a sphere of bronze coloured magic sparkled around him. A streak of spiralling scarlet magic blasted into the shielded Auror, who staggered but remained upright as the bronze shield flickered as it dispelled the scarlet curse in a burst of showering sparks. Next to the shielded Auror, one of his colleagues fell as an invisible force ploughed into him, snapping his ribs with ease.
"Bendgrada!"The Auror Captain shouted, brandishing his wand with skilled ease, and a blast of purple magic burst out towards the nearest dark cloaked figure, which threw themselves to the side and rolled up, their wand levelled towards the Auror Captain, who parried a streak of sparkling crimson magic easily. Sparks flew from both of their wands as they struck at each other, jets and streaks of magic sizzling around them as the Auror's and the invaders fought each other.
"Astemi!" The Auror Captain cast, and a globe of golden light formed around him, just as a conjured lump of metal shot towards him, which cracked and snapped upon the force of his shield and fell to the side, clanging horrible on the ground. The opponent waved their wand lazily and the Auror Captain flicked his own wand jerkily, and a wave of flames parted around him.
"Do you have him?" The dark cloaked figure roared over the sounds of fighting, and the Auror Captain blinked at the voice. No…it couldn't be…not his second in command! The dull shock that he felt allowed the dark cloaked figure to swipe his wand and his vision flared as a beam of magic rocketed towards him, blinding him by its brilliant light, before he felt himself blown off his feet. He felt a rush of air as he flew through the air, before he slammed into something hard and blacked out.
Four minutes later, nine Auror's lay unconscious on the ground, some with blood pooling around their bodies and others with scorch marks singed into their royal blue robes. The dark cloaked figures were silent, though one was panting loudly and holding his left arm and the other has several slashes into his robes, blood dripping down onto the ground. The leader of the small force stepped forward, waving his wand at the wall of flames that surrounded the house doors. The flames fell away, revealing a charred and smoking doorway.
"Phillip Trentworthy?" The leader asked.
"Y-Yes?" The pale and shaking figure asked, squinting up from the ground where he had been thrown during the fighting.
"I work for Harry Potter," The cloaked figure said and threw back his hood. A heavily scarred face with ginger hair and brown eyes revealed itself, the face of a well-known terrorist. Ronald Weasley. Phillip gasped, tears springing to his eyes and he clamoured forward with relief on his face, his eyes shining with gratitude.
"I-I knew he wouldn't let me go!" He said widely. "I knew it! I-I'm far to valuable to him!"
"Let's go!" Ron said, brushing away the man's hands. "Harry is creating a distraction at the moment so we can get you out of here without notice. The sooner we leave, the sooner he can leave."
A scorching beam of light roared in the night, golden light spilling onto the shadows as a man let his magic flow through him, feeding it into his wand. The wall of magic that guarded the thick iron spiked gates in front of him flashed, blue and green wards flickering weakly as they tried to repel the magic. Beyond the wards lay the mansion of Pansy Malfoy; Head of the Disposal of Renegades, whose sole job was to execute anybody who even thought about opposing the Ministry, and by default, the Head of the Ministry, Dark Lord Voldemort of the Isles. Behind the man, a small team of rapid response Ministry Auror's, who were under the control of Voldemort, lay limply on the ground, their wands in broken pieces by their sides.
The man was Harry Potter, who was now aged forty-one. Glasses framed his hardened emerald green eyes and his messy charcoal hair had begun to fleck with grey. His lightning bolt scar lay on his forehead for all to see, and he was dressed in black robes, a hood covering most of his hair and a black cape swirled behind him, seemingly with a life of its own. He was a terrorist, a renegade, a traitor to the Ministry of Magic; a continual thorn in Lord Voldemort's side, an ex-Auror and the Commander of what remained of the Order of Phoenix. Auror's were commanded to kill him on sight and the children of the purebloods were told horror stories where he murdered such famous revolutionaries like Rodolphous Lestrange and Theodore Nott.
As the wards flashed one last time, the golden light tore into them and the gigantic bubble-like dome around the house cracked and splintered, golden light pouring from the wounds, until they crumbled into a wave of falling green and blue shards, which flickered out of existence as they were destroyed. The roaring beam of magic blasted into the gates and the ground shook as they were torn off their hinges and toppled casually to the side.
Harry smiled grimly as he took a step forward, before pausing at the gateway. He waited idly for a minute or so; just to make sure that Pansy had time to call the Auror's while he observed his surroundings. The manor lawns were large and vast and would be no good for fighting on. There was little cover to use and few surrounding aspects of the environment that he might be able exploit. It was better to stay outside for the moment. As he gazed upon the house, he noticed a face peeking out at him from one of the windows in the large manor, twisted up with rage and fear.
"Pansy, is that you?" Harry called loudly, his voice magnified to allow it to boom over the darkened lawns of the manor. "It's me, Harry Potter, remember, we went to the same school!"
The face behind the curtain disappeared and Harry chuckled, shaking his head in amusement. He raised his wand and flicked it with sharp and skilful movements. A humming slither of magic surrounded the tip of his wand, flickering and cackling madly in silver and blue light, before Harry raised his arm and hurled it at the window. A streak of silver and blue magic erupted from his wand with the force of a speeding train, rocketing through the air, only to suddenly crash upon a secondary layer of wards, a dome of bright yellow magic this time.
"I was expecting that," Harry muttered to himself. The manor most likely had a dozen or so different layers of wards, some which would take much longer to crack than the outer wards. But that wasn't his problem at the moment; he was here to be the distraction. One of his spies had been captured yesterday and taken to the closest Ministry building. Harry was here to make sure that the Ministry didn't respond to quickly to the alarms that would have been sent their way.
A loud sprinkling of pops came from behind him and Harry casually turned around, his wand by his side as he observed the new arrivals. Eight Auror's and one masked Death Eater had apparated in, their wands out and levelled at him with well-practised movements.
"The guests of honour have arrived!" Harry said sarcastically as the Auror's spread out around him, their faces set with a determined resignation and barely masked fear. Harry took note of the Death Eater and he narrowed his eyes. "Death Eater, take off your mask!"
The Death Eater automatically flung her mask aside under Harry's piercing stare, revealing a young witch with pretty blue eyes, dark blonde hair and face that seemed to be permanently twisted into a sneer. Hatred flowed through her eyes as she regarded Harry with contempt and scorn.
"Ah, you're a new Death Eater," Harry mused, slowly pacing inside the small circle of Auror's. "You know, there were times where Death Eaters were nothing more than lapdogs, brutish men and women who displayed a skill in torturing others. Of course, this was before the Ministry fell and they became the top-ranked Auror's."
"Shut up!" The woman growled angrily, her eyes blazing with fury. Harry cocked an eyebrow and frowned.
"That's very rude of you," He said. He made a show of raising his wand and sighed dramatically. "But you did come here to fight, and all I am doing is talking, so…" and with a single flick, he swept four Auror's off their feets with considerable ease, magic pulsing through the air. He spun around with a sweep of his cloak, his wand trailing to his side and before the three other Auror's had even uttered the first syllable of their curses, Harry had slammed one Auror into the ruined gates and sent another to the ground with two broken legs, while sending the final Auror flying through the air.
"You know, back in my days we had real Auror's," Harry said, his voice full of derision as he regarded the downed Auror's. "These days it looks like that if you can torture something, then you're in. It's no wonder why you haven't been able to destroy the Order yet. It's only been, what, seventeen years?"
"Refgra!" The Death Eater shrieked, her voice panicked and full of hatred at the same time. Harry gracefully dodged the cackling grey bone-breaker, letting it fly past his shoulder, and bought his wand up as the Death Eater stepped back, her wand rapidly flicking through the air. "Obliverto! Antere! Croitoso!"
Harry swiped his wand downward, leaving a shimmering wave of sparkling pure white magic that spread out to form a solid wall of glistening glowing particles in front of him. The powerful destruction spell burst from the Death Eater's wand and struck the gleaming ashen wall, exploding in a shower of dark purple specks as powerful invisible blows rained down upon the shield, while the swift murky orange curse sliced into the wall and shimmered from existence.
"Trying to cut off my head?" Harry peered over his shield and allowed a small grin to twitch his lips. "Like I said, it's awfully rude."
The Death Eater wasn't done yet as she jumped forward, bellowing an incantation that produced a golden spear-like curse, which rotated as it slammed into Harry's shield. The shield cracked but held as the magical spear exploded violently upon it. Flames jutted out, charring stone and searing grass, while the Death Eater sidestepped, clearly expecting a counterattack. None came.
"I can see why they made you a Death Eater," Harry said as he dispelled his cracked glowing pale shield. "You actually have skill, unlike the rest of these Auror's. That's also another thing that's different about Death Eater's these days. Before, most of them were just thugs. You'd be surprised about how easy it was to kill some… "
The Death Eater darted forward with a screech of anger, her wand swiping through the air. "Crucio!" She screamed in rage. A crimson flash of magic burst from her wand as Harry quickly jumped out of the way, and it struck one of the stone columns that had surrounded the gate and blasted a small chunk from it. Harry moved forward quickly, no longer mocking the Death Eater, who thrust her wand out again.
"Avada Kedavra!" She cried out. From her wand came a jet of green light, a green that was unique in its very colour. Death radiated off the streak of magic and there was a sound of roaring wind that filled Harry's ears as he threw himself to the ground, landing on his stomach with his wand outstretched, aimed for the Death Eater in front of him. As the Killing Curse soared over his shoulder, Harry gave a short flick of his wand, and an arc of glinting silver burst from his wand. The Death Eater summoned a shield to surround her, but the arc ripped through it and dove into her stomach. She screamed in agony as it tore into her, ripping away at her from the inside, and fell to the ground, withering and moaning in pain. Her wand fell from her shaking and useless fingers as pain throbbed to her brain in continuous waves.
Harry picked himself up from the ground and brushed off the dirt of his robes. He ran his eyes over the other Aurors, all who were still lying limply on the ground and summoned their wands so that they hovered in front of him. With a deft flick of his wand, they splintered and snapped into several pieces, before falling to the ground. Harry then turned to the Death Eater on the ground and approached her, his eyes showing no sympathy for her whatsoever.
"You really seemed to have a personal grudge against me," He said softly, kneeling down by her side.
"M-MY name is A-Avery," The woman choked out through a mouthful of blood. Even in her death throes, the woman was able to muster hatred into her voice. "M-My father was k-killed in the s-second war…you killed him when I w-was two!"
Harry frowned and stood up. He gazed at the woman thoughtfully, before smiling coldly. "Be thankful that I did kill him. Your father had a tendency to use the Imperius on little girls. I'm sure that you wouldn't have been spared his…love."
"F-Fuck you!" The woman said weakly. She shuddered painfully and closed her eyes, a tear falling down her cheek.
"I'd rather you didn't," Harry said dryly. He levelled his wand at her. "But I don't think you'll ever get a chance to now."
Suddenly the air was full of the cracks of apparition as more Ministry Auror's arrived in the dozens, accompanied by the elite white-masked Death Eaters. Harry instantly raised his wand and lashed out with his magic no sooner than a second after they had arrived. The very air vibrated with the power of the spell that he cast as a blinding ray of light burst from his wand, scorching the first ranks of the Aurors, who fell with their hands clutching their eyes as they screamed in pain. The blinding flash subsided after four or five seconds, leaving eleven or twelve blinded Auror's snivelling on the ground.
"Potter!" One of the masked Death Eaters hissed, raising a hand to halt the Aurors. "I should have expected to see your pathetic hide here!"
"Draco Malfoy," Harry answered calmly. He ignored the other twenty or so Auror's and four Death Eaters and instead focussed on the platinum haired man. "I'm sorry, was this a bad time to arrive to knock on the door?"
"You won't get out of this alive," Malfoy said, his face flushed with rage as he surveyed the ruins of his gates. "We surround you and outnumber you, and no matter your talents, you simply cannot win. My wife is safe now that I'm here because I won't let you harm her!"
"Malfoy, if I was here to actually to kill precious little Pansy, she would be dead right now," Harry said in amusement. He surveyed the large force that was about to be pitted against him. "This is an awful lot of people, especially for night shift. There has to be…what, every Auror available at the moment? Right?"
Malfoy sneered but nodded.
"Well, would you like to know why I'm here?" Harry asked suddenly. "You see Malfoy, I had no interest in your wife. You…maybe, but I wouldn't waste my efforts in trying to bring down some complex wards for that pug-faced slut you call a spouse." He lifted up a small sparkling crystal that was pulsing a soft white light. "Do you see this Malfoy? This is telling me that the mission is complete. You see, while you dragged the entire Auror department down here, my people were rescuing Phillip Trentworthy from your supposed secret safe house."
"No…!" Malfoy whispered in shock. "It took us two years to catch that traitor!"
"Have fun explaining this to your boss!" Harry said with a smirk. "Some professional advice Malfoy, next time don't gloat and actually try to kill me!"
Malfoy opened his mouth as Harry smashed the crystal down onto the ground, and as jets of green light burst from the four Death Eater wands, Harry disappeared in a swirl of mist and pulsing light.
"W-Where are we?" Phillip asked Ron tentatively, who ignored the man as they waited. The pair was on a foggy pier, with crumbling wooden boats rotting away in the seawater next to them. The sea was calm and flat and licked the rocks that lined the shoreline softly and a seagull gave a mournful cry as it flew overhead and into the fog obscured ocean air. The temperature was cold and while Ron didn't seem to notice it, Phillip did and he was shivering violently before somebody appeared with a soft apparition crack.
"Good evening Harry," Ron greeted, a small smile on his face.
"It's morning by now," Harry said as the small ocean breeze ruffling his hood and cloak. His piercing green eyes swung to Phillip, who made a strangled noise somewhere between awe and fear. "Phillip Trentworthy, our former spy. You were lucky we found you."
"I'll never make you regret this sir!" Phillip exclaimed, dropping to his knees. "I'll do whatever you want for rescuing me from…them!"
"Get up," Harry said, a note of scorn in his voice and Phillip hastily jumped to his feet, shivering violently.
"Um…Sir? Where are we?" He asked, his teeth beginning to chatter.
Harry turned to him, a dark smile on his face. "We're in the only secure fortress left in Britain."
Phillip winced as dawning horror appeared on his face. "We're in…?" He trailed off.
"Welcome to Azkaban Phillip."