The Ministers Sacrifice
Part One of a Four Part Series.
Working late was no bother to me.
The war was worth staying late for the good of Wizarding Britain. A cool breeze blew through the office. Stiffening slightly, I stood and briskly approached my cabinet. Removing my finest whisky and a crystal glass I poured myself a large neat drink and studied the door.
I could sense that something was going on. It wouldn't matter if whoever they were dislodged my door in the next second or the next five minutes, because I was always prepared. Sometimes I wondered whether people understood that I was a highly trained Auror. Alastor and I had ridded half the scum that had plagued Britain in the First Wizarding War. I wasn't going down without a fight.
I emptied the glasses content down my throat and drew the back of my hand across my roughly shaven face. My eyes fell to the door, shadows were being cast across the office through the gap at the bottom of the door. With a wave of my hand, I extinguished the lamps in the room and lifted the silencing charm on the door. I stood back, moving into the natural shadows of the room, and waited.
"He's still in there?"
"Of course, the crazy old bastard doesn't usually leave until way after eleven."
I only recognised the second voice, it was one of an old school enemy, Wilhem Yaxley. A hiss of infuriation left my lips, Yaxley should be in Azkaban, where I put him twenty-five years ago.
My wand was already in hand, I was very ready. I'd been ready for years to wipe this man from the face of the planet. I crouched slightly into a fighting stance, adrenaline coursing through my veins. I'm no old dog yet.
The office door was blown clear off its hinges and five cloaked figures flooded into the room.
"Where the fuck is he?"
Immediately as the gruff voice spoke, my arm recoiled and shot a bombarda spell at the ceiling above the group. Someone swore loudly and two of the men were knocked out cold from the falling debris. Throwing up a shield, I avoided the brunt of three stunning spells and managed to slide behind the desk.
"You're quite agile for an old man, Scrimgeour."
"I promised you that one day I would eradicate you from this world, Yaxley," I yelled, plotting my next three moves just in case.
"Then come out, come out and face me."
"My pleasure," I hissed, upturning the desk and blasting it towards the group. Scrambling to my feet, I waved my wand in circles at the space where the door had once been. The man on the left of Yaxley was sucked backwards through the door and disappeared from sight. A blast of green narrowly missed me and I growled and sent a reducto curse straight back at the man one the other side of Yaxley. Unfortunately, he deflected it and it completely destroyed my whisky cabinet.
"Now that just wasn't very nice, that's fine whisky," I tutted sarcastically.
I shot off several more spells, keeping my eyes on both my attackers as all sorts of curses flew around the room. Eventually I managed to get a direct hit in the other man's chest with a particularly nasty reducto. Yaxley and I froze for a second as the man's ribs cracked inwards and he began the splutter up blood, falling hard against the wall behind him.
At that moment whilst I was distracted Yaxley caught me, stupidly, off guard. A spell sliced across my shoulder, making me stumble backwards slightly. I gritted my teeth and threw the same hex back. Yaxley practically danced out of the way of it.
"Oh, Minister Scrimgeour, you seem to have lost your panache," Yaxley drawled, not entirely different than that of Lucius Malfoy. I sneered, throwing every spell under the sun at him and then I finally made my last mistake. Yaxley made the unmistakable change from basic duelling spells to the cruciatus curse. The bright red light smashed through my unsatisfactory shield and knocked me off my feet.
It took all my effort to bear the burning spreading across my body, making it convulse against my will and forcing me to bite down on my lip to stop from shouting out.
I just had to wait for him to stop, and with twenty five years to brood in Azkaban over our last meeting, it could be a long time to wait.