December 12th, 2006
The woman waited in a crouched position behind a hedgerow. She parted the branches in front of her as far as she dared, and peered through the shrubbery at the building nearby.
It was a warehouse of sorts. At least, it looked like a warehouse. The woman knew that the building was not only a storage facility, but also a headquarters for several people who had no business planning what they were.
There was a rustle in the bushes behind her, and the woman jumped. A man emerged. "Sorry. I did not mean to scare you." His accent was practiced British, but with a twist of what was distinctly Eastern European roots, and his dark features reflected his ethnicity. A nose with a slight bend to it helped define a pointed jaw. Jet black hair spread back from a widow's peak, neatly combed. Dark brown eyes studied the woman carefully.
She let out a small sigh of relief. "It's okay. What did you find out?"
"The delivery should arrive soon," the man said as he crouched down next to her. "What does it look like in there?"
"I see six men, two women."
"Muggle weapons. Those are easy to jam."
She turned to the man. "Are we... are we doing the right thing?"
He narrowed his eyes. "These people are trying to ruin all that our people have worked for. And we are the only ones that can stop them." He moved closer and took the woman's hand. Her soft brown hair rested around her shoulders in curls. Her pale blue eyes stared into space as her jaw trembled. The man's gaze darkened. "Not to mention the obvious." He pulled a photograph from his robes. Two babies, barely a year old, rolled about in the picture, playing with each other. The girl squealed as the boy poked her in the stomach and giggled. They had the man's dark hair and eyes. "Nobody will get away with this."
The woman grabbed his arm. "Look!" A Muggle van was pulling in front of the warehouse. It stopped, and two men jumped out of the front. The inhabitants of the warehouse came out front and greeted the newcomers with stony nods. They opened the back doors and began unloading crates.
"Now is our chance," the man said. "They are all in one place. I do not think there are more than two or three wizards among them - this will be easy."
The woman balked. "I - I don't think I can do this! You did this kind of stuff for your Ministry, but I - "
The man placed his hand on her shoulder. "We need to. For Vilhelm and Vexibella."
She stammered for a minute, then her shoulders slumped as she accepted her fate.
"Now, we should start firing from here, and move outwards - " The man trailed off as he noticed a large crate being unloaded with a familiar marking on the side. "C-4..."
"What?" The woman straightened up. "What's 'C-4' mean?"
"It means our job just became even easier." He looked at the woman. "Do you trust me?"
"What? Of course I do."
The man pulled out his wand and took careful aim through the hedgerow.
"Wait! What are you -"
Well, there you have it. Whatcha think? Do you still have questions? Of course you do! If you didn't, I'd be surprised.
But don't worry.
Most of them will be answered in the sequel, coming to a website near you sometime in late summer or early fall. Or whenever I finish it. I think it's shaping up to be better than this one. It's more... concentrated. If that makes sense. Less extraneous stuff. But with the same awesome characters, plot twists, and shock and awe that made APSS so much fun to write.
Many thanks to all those of you have read. Many more thanks to those of you who have reviewed, and for those of you that surely will review now that the story's over! Feel free to ask those questions you may have in the comments, and I will answer them, as long as the answer doesn't give away plot points.
Also, I've been responding to many of your reviews - the responses are going through, right? I have no way of knowing from my end.
May you all have many glorious adventures,
Oh, yeah, and here's a small excerpt from the first chapter of Albus Potter and the Unknown War:
Vilhelm now looked as though he was giving the idea legitimate thought. "Okay. I have nothing else to do today."
Whatever gets him to go, Vexibella thought. "Okay, let's go."
"We might as well. You said you have nothing else to do."
It was Vilhelm's turn to give his sibling an exasperated sigh. "Fine. Let me get my shoes on."
Five minutes later, they stepped out of their house and into the Muggle suburb in which their aunt and uncle had chosen to set up residence. The sun shined down on them, the weather worthy of all the neighborhood kids playing outside on their lawns. It was a beautiful day.
They headed down the street towards the main part of town in silence. Children stopped their playing and whispered behind their hands to each other as they passed. Adults looked out their windows and frowned. One girl, no older than five, did not see them approach as she played on the sidewalk, her toys spread around her in the organized jumble only a child can appreciate. The twins paused in front of the girl, casting small but effective shadows on her. The girl looked up, blinking to adjust to the changed light. The twins looked back at her. None said a word. The little girl gulped and scooted to the grass, taking as many of her toys with her as she could.