A/N: My friends, I realize that it has been about two and a half years since I have updated this story. As many of you know I had been struggling with health issues and I needed to take a break from writing. I am back to writing again and have promised myself that I will finish this story. I have continued to receive wonderful reviews and encouraging messages from many of you and it is a big reason why I have come back to this story. The updates will be sporadic and the chapter length will fluctuate but I am determined to finish this story.
Due to the length of my absence from the story I may make a few mistakes in continuity and characterization in the world I've created in this story, but I hope that I don't stray too far from my original premise. This chapter is short but I wanted to give you a little something to hopefully rekindle your interest in my little story. Again, much love to all those who have continued to ask for the story to go on, and so to all of you here is Chapter 37 of Passageways!
"I can't believe this shite sarge! It's half an hour till our shift is over…and they bloody send us out to the middle of nowhere to yell at some sprogs that got a hold of some bloody fireworks!"
"Shut it Campbell! YOU'LL only be late to the pub…my wife had plans for us this evening, and you know how she gets when her plans get tossed!" Sergeant Dumfries of the local constabulary in Yetholm growled at his partner.
"You married her you daft sod. I warned you about my sister before you started dating her! You have no one to blame but yerself." Constable Robert Campbell chuckled at his brother in-law.
"Right…" Dumfries rolled his eyes. "Just keep your eyes on the road ya sod, it's looking a bit icy, and I don't want to explain to the chief how you wrecked another squad car."
"Oi! That last one was not my fault. That cow just came out of nowhere!" Campbell defended.
"It was ten feet from the bloody road…in a field!" Dumfries smacked the back of Campbell's head.
"Well, I didn't see the pothole and that bloody coffee was hot… went right down me trousers it did!"
"Whatever, let's just find these kids so we can get back to the station and get our shift report done, maybe if we're quick enough the missus won't be too cranky with me."
"Did you feel that mate?" Robert asked suddenly as they turned off on to an old lane. "Huh and where did this turn come from…never seen this road before, and I've lived here me entire life."
"I felt something too." Hamish Dumfries replied, shivering just a bit and squinting his eyes into the darkness with a sense of sudden foreboding. "Felt…a bit like walking next to a high voltage power line…all tingling like."
"Yeah…what the bloody hell is that?!" The car had suddenly shaken, nearly causing Constable Campbell to swerve off the snowy lane and into a tree.
"Fuck me…that was no firework that felt like a bloody bomb went off!" Sergeant Dumfries yelled his senses now fully alert.
"Should we call in for some back up?" Robert asked a bit more on edge.
"We're the only two on duty except for the dispatcher this late at night. By the time they called someone in, whatever this is could be long over. No, radio it in but let's not wait around, we need to investigate this as soon as possible." Dumfries informed his partner.
"Right, but as soon as we stop I'm pulling the shotgun from the trunk, could be the IRA for all we know." The junior constable fidgeted in his seat.
Dumfries rolled his eyes at his brother in-law. "I highly doubt it's the IRA you paranoid git, we're far too north for their likes, and there is nothing of political interest up here else ways."
"SAINT ANDREW PRESERVE US!" Robert Campbell exclaimed as he made the sign of the cross slamming the brakes of their little squad car and sliding to stop.
The two men saw dozens of strangely clothed people running around and shooting colored lightning from sticks at each other. Body parts could be seen being blasted from their owners from the lightning strikes, some of the lightening was creating explosions tossing up frozen dirt, rocks, and people.
"MAVIS…MAVIS! ITS HAMISH…WE NEED BACKUP…WE NEED BACKUP!"
The radio crackled as a female voice responded. "Sergeant Dumfries, this is dispatch confirming request for backup."
"FUCK…MAVIS; WE NEED BACKUP…CALL LONDON IF YOU BLOODY HAVE TO! We have some kind of battle going on…I'm seeing dead and injured persons all over the fucking place!" The police veteran screamed into the radio.
"Right! I'm on it Hamish…sit tight until help arrives!" Mavis Breckinridge replied, her voice raising several octaves as she scrambled to get the two constables some immediate assistance.
Movement in front of them caught their attention and the two officers stared in horrified awe as they witnessed a figure in black robes create a long whip of fire from his stick and then watched as it wrapped itself around another man in what looked like a brown robe. The robes of the second man instantly caught fire and with a tug on his stick the first man seemed to pull charred flesh from the second man's bones sending the remains flying through the air.
The blood curdling scream jolted the two law enforcement officers out of their momentary paralysis. This fight was something that was clearly out of their depth of training and experience, it was time to get the hell out of there!
"LET'S GET THE DEVILS OUT OF HERE ROBERT!" Hamish screamed at his partner.
Robert was about to throw the car in reverse when a cloaked figure suddenly appeared in front of them, the flashing blue lights from the patrol car illuminated the heavily scarred face of the man. The grotesque face offered an even more grotesque smile. The two officers looked at the man and froze as they witnessed him raise his arm toward them, a stick in his hand.
They watched his lips move and then suddenly there was a blinding flash of red and then an eardrum splitting sonic boom. Neither man would be filling out any shift reports tonight, the burning twisted heap of metal that had once been the newest vehicle in the Yetholm Constabulary motor pool and its two occupants were no more.
A sudden wash of color flared just behind the tree line to where a pitched battle was taking place. Harry, Bella and the Eveningshade Paladin strike team materialized and immediately took a defensive posture.
"SHIELD WALL!" Jacob Cysgod the 44 year old Aussie and Paladin captain ordered. Six Paladins stepped forward in front of the others and cast large shields of a golden hue; they overlapped each other increasing their individual strength exponentially.
"What the fuck..." Harry whispered as he took in the battle in front of him. Who were all these witches and wizards? There were at least fifty magicals in an all-out melee. This was just supposed to be a quick hit and run on a Deatheater safe house, but they found themselves staring at a pitched battle. He recognized the death eaters with there black robes and silver masks, he also recognized the Brown Cloaks. But who was the third group?
His question was almost immediately answered when his eyes were suddenly drawn to the middle of the fight. Two wizards were locked in a massive duel, spellfire being exchanged at such a rapid rate it was nearly at inhuman speeds. He immediately recognized Dumbledore then focusing on the other he knew it had to be Voldemort.
"My lord, your orders?" Cysgod asked his family patriarch and lord. Harry didn't respond. He had not anticipated a scene such as this. It was supposed to be a quick strike to eliminate a safe house…eight hostiles at most. But this…this he was not expecting, and honestly he was unsure how to proceed. If he engaged he undoubtedly would lose some of his people, not to mention revealing himself to the wizarding world sooner than he would like, and there was just too much chaotic spell fire and too many unknowns to just throw his people into this maelstrom.
"My lord?" Cysgod asked again but seeing the hesitation and confusion in his master's eyes he quickly turned around sending hand signals to the rest of the team, instructing them to raise their hoods and use the charms in their cloaks to blend into their surroundings and to hold their positions.
The veteran soldier placed a gentle hand on Harry's shoulder. "Perhaps we should fall back and observe my lord. We can use this opportunity to gather intelligence on our enemies' tactics and strength." He gently offered.
Harry nodded mechanically and the team silently fell back to the safety of the forest. Fortunately their arrival had seemed to go unnoticed by the other combatants. The word was passed down the line to hold positions and not engage.
Harry looked over the battlefield and noticed that the combatants slowly began to cease their fighting and instead focused all their attention on two individuals who were creating such a powerful light show that the very air crackled with charged ozone.
"Sweet Morgana…" Harry whispered. He looked at the two wizards that had ruined his life and the power they displayed and a flicker of self-doubt popped into his mind.
"How can I defeat these bastards!?" Harry growled forcing his momentary insecurity down deep and turning it to anger as his awe at the display of power turned to loathing.
Down the ranks to the left of Harry, Karima also looked down at the fighting going on and wanted to throw herself into slowing fray, the warrior within her longing to be tested once again in combat. But she knew her primary responsibility was to the Lady Eveningshade and her honor would not allow her to abandon her charge to satisfy her own lust for battle.
Karima looked at her Lady in quiet admiration, though the Lady Eveningshade was young she could since her power and potential. She watched the dark-haired mistress of the clan as she took in the battle below them, her eyes scanning and taking in the scene as it unfolded already mentally preparing herself for what might lie ahead.
Karima sighed longingly as she caressed the hilt of her blade. The Saracen enchanted knife seemed to vibrate and sing a song to her of longing for battle and blood. She had resigned herself to just being a spectator…at least until movement to the right caught her attention. Hand signals again.
A/N: I hope this latest chapter has rekindled your interest in the story, short I know and a bit of a cliff hanger…don't flame me please. I just wanted to get something out there to whet your appetites. Much love, Jerr.