Disclaimer: Not mine.

Written for the Hogwarts Online Forum.

Training the New Help

Alastor Moody staggered back against the wall, unable to find his footing on the blood- slicked floor. Blasted leg, he thought, ain't never been good for fighting.

"Moody! You arse, get your fool head down," Gideon hissed as he peeked around the corner of the desk.

"I ain't crawling around on the floor for any of these fuckers," he grumbled, throwing up a shield with one hand and wielding his staff with the other. "Get out here you bloody arses!"

"Moody," Gideon tried not to laugh, "you've got to know they aren't going to just walk on out, right?"

"You go outside, set that back wall afire…bet they do just that," Moody grinned as he sent another blast towards the heavily warded bedroom door. "Get up from there! They won't be sending out anything soon. Why are you hiding, boy?"

Gideon pulled himself up, and then reached down to extend a hand to Marlene who he had pushed down ahead of him.

"Leave her be," Moody cautioned. "Not safe out here."

"You just said…"

"Don't care if you get your bloody head blown off, but won't lose a witch on my watch," he grumbled, hurling a hex at the door and a shield in front of Gideon. "That'll hold till you make it outside, now go."

Gideon shook his head and ran for the outside door, kicking it open and rolling to the side as he hit the grass.

"Show off," Moody muttered. "Did that to impress you girl."

A blast of brilliant light lit the outside yard, propelling Marlene to her feet and towards the door. Moody slammed his staff down, sending magic through the floor, watching as the door slammed shut in Marlene's face, and seeing the anger with which she turned on him.

"He is alone…"

"He's not alone, Albus and the others are waiting for the signal. He just gave it when he went out, that was our side."

"You could have told me." She walked backwards to stand next to him, her wand pointed on the bedroom door. "Fabian is downstairs."

"He is a fool, told him not to go down there."

"I should go help him."

"Help him? Help him do what? Pick his arse? There is nothing down there to help him with."

"You don't know that," Marlene hissed, creeping towards the steps, not taking her aim off the bedroom door.

"He's sitting on the bottom step."

"How do you know?" She peeked over the banister to see Fabian looking back up at her with a sheepish grin. "Moody?"

"Spelled it, thought if Voldy's crew made off I could catch them there." He chuckled, and then spat a wad of tobacco on the floor.

"Ah, Moody…why'd you go do that?"

"What? Enough blood on the floor that it won't make no difference."

"Do you recognise him?" she asked, nodding to the lifeless body that lay on its side.

Moody staggered forward and used his wooden leg to push the Death Eater to his back. "Old man Pettigrew."

"They didn't even try to shield him," Marlene lowered her wand and looked up at Moody sadly. "It didn't go the way it was supposed to. We were ordered to take them in, not this…not nearly like this."

"Smoke," Moody frowned, lifting his head and sniffing. "Any time now. You hear something?"

The outside door opened and Gideon stuck his head in grinning. "Getting hot in here?"

"No," Marlene lifted her eyebrow and turned to Moody.

"Best get that idiot off the step, this whole place could go up," he muttered as he limped over to the banister and threw down a spell, releasing Fabian and then heading to the door.

"Umm… Moody?" Marlene stammered.

"Hear that noise? One that sounds like the Hogwarts Express?" Moody grumbled, reaching the door and leaning one hand against the jamb to keep his balance. "Damned fire is going right up the chimney."

"Merlin," Gideon groaned, and jerked his head towards the door. "Come on Marlene, yell down to Fabian, and get his arse up here. He didn't close off the floo."

"How could I?" Fabian yelled on his way to the door, grabbing Marlene's arm and dragging her along. "Damned fool had me stuck to a step like some kid in time out."

Moody looked back at old man Pettigrew and sighed loudly before he went back, hoisted the dead weight on his shoulder and made it back to the door and outside just before the bedroom door exploded outwards, sending a shock of fire and debris where he had been standing only seconds before. He walked crookedly to the middle of the yard and dropped the weight he carried, seeing Albus hurry to him.

"Sorry," he wheezed, coughing and spitting out the taste of smoke. "Didn't go so good. Only got this one."

"You are not hurt?" Albus leaned closer to Moody, concern etched on his face.

"Nah, the young ones made it out. They did poorly Albus. You need to reconsider this Order you're putting together."

"Talk to me," Albus clasped his hands behind his back and stepped away from the others.

"Not much to say, Fabian disobeyed a direct order and Gideon was more concerned protecting the witch then watching his back. Next time it could cost a life."

"They are all we have, Alastor, and they are young. They will learn."

"We don't have time for them to learn," Moody sighed and looked aback at the young wizards. "They didn't hesitate, nope I'll give 'em that. But, you talk to them, you explain the way it is. They second-guess everything, they need to do what they are told and ask the why later. Could have cost more then what it did."

"What do you suggest?"

"Tell that son-of- a-…"


"Fine, don't tell him. Let him find out himself that we aren't ready."

"We need their help. Without it, without others like them, I fear we cannot end this thing."

"Send the witch home," Moody said quietly, spitting on the ground and not meeting Albus' eyes. "We don't need the boys showing off for her, they do that enough anyway, and we don't need them dead because they put her first. She can duel, not saying she can't. Damned good she is, but they don't need the distraction."

"Done," Albus said as if he were exhausted. "I am afraid we will need more help."

"I'll get someone else and only take one of the Prewetts on the next go," Alastor said, stretching his neck, feeling his muscles rebelling from carrying old man Pettigrew. "Seen them together, may be best if we separate them. May work, if not won't hurt to see what they've got on their own."

"Good," Albus agreed. "We need all we can get."

"Don't you go putting them out there together, you hear me old man? Those two spend more time trying to impress each other than taking care of business and don't know when it is time to fight and when it is time to quit. Fools, the pair of them are fools."

Moody slammed his staff to the ground to make his point, seeing Albus scowl he knew that his concerns had been heard. Limping back to the small group that watched the small house, now engulfed in flames he shook his head.

"What? You planning on getting caught now that it's safe?" He stood as one by one, they apparated back to headquarters before he followed, ready for a long night discussing what had gone wrong, and making sure it would never happen again.