1996-02-20: The Hollow Men

Participants:

Julian_icon.gif Daine_icon.gif Cianan_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif Jethro_icon.gif

Snape_icon.gif Christian_icon.gif Dumbledore_icon.gif Maura_icon.gif Brennan_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif McGonagall_icon.gif

Scene Title The Hollow Men
Synopsis This is the way the world ends…
Location Ministry of Magic - Department of Mysteries
Date February 20, 1996
Watch For Chaos.
Logger Bright One

At exactly nine o' clock pm local time on Tuesday, February 20, 1996, a large and burly male stands in work boots, filthy jeans and a worn-out leather jacket at the very center of the Department of Mysteries. Well, alright, not the exact center. None of the pack are willing to get too close to that … curtain-y thing in the middle of the room. Still, they've got their 'captive' close at hand, just in case things go south and she's gotta get tossed in. There's not much with the pack down here - they make it a habit to travel light - just one pile of filthy bags and rags on the floor at the burly male's feet. A pile that moves and groans before being silenced by a savage kick to the ribs. "None o' that nonsense from ye, ye spoiled bitch." The slow drawl of Northern England is butchered horridly by this low-class thug. "Not 'at much longer til ye'r home fuckin' free." He laughs at his own humor and the rest of the pack laughs with him. Easiest job they ever took, this.

The trouble with trying to keep children safe, is that when one of them happens to be a Seer - trouble finds them anyway. The lack of information, coupled with visions of despair sent Cianan into a desperate flurry of activity that will undoubtedly have him scrubbing cauldrons for the rest of his life. And writing essays. And every other horrible punishment that the teachers at Hogwarts can come up with. But, if it works? If he can bring his cousin home safe? He will take that trade, please and thank you. And so the young Tyler boy grabbed each member of Moody's Army, rallying them to go busting in to the Ministry of Magic to conduct an epic rescue! They arrive on the backs of the Thestral herd, likely only under control due to the influence of Daine. But hey, it's -travel-. In gothic emo style.

With her bow and quiver strapped to her back and shoes left near the parked Thestrals - complete with the request to stay still, please, they'll be needing a ride home - Daine follows Cianan through the dark halls and vault-like rooms of this country's Ministry. "This feels like caves," she whispers to the Seer instigator of this particular adventure, sticking close to his left-hand side and keeping eyes and ears on everything. "Where are we going?"

For anyone else, Julian would have probably merely shrugged, made a snide comment and moved on. But when Cianan Tyler mentions his cousin Siobhan, he's packing up his wand, his skills and his strategy. Siobhan's a huge part of the little boy's life, and he will do everything he can to help her. Nevermind that the balance may appear to fall the other way. It does not. It may never do so. He can see the thestrals just fine, thank you, so riding on one is only mildly odd. He follows Cianan, who seems to know where they need to go. "I have a roll of string, and some gum…" It might be helpful if they need to stick something somewhere. Bean's still a little more Muggle than Magical some days.

"It's probably better not to ask that." Cianan admits to Daine. "I don't really know where I am, or how I know where to go. I just do." He glances over there for a moment then, waiting to see if she turns and flees at that. But assuming she doesn't, he just keeping going. Utterly confident in his lack of concrete knowledge and leading them a merry twist and turn of corners. "We need to blow a fuse box, you're totally ur man little MacGuyver." he quips to Bean, actually smirking there. "Actually, it might be good to leave non-magical markers of where we've been. Help us find our way out in case when we get her… I lose whatever's driving me." So start chewing!

Daine considers that for a moment, bare feet making absolutely no sound on the smooth marble floor as she pads along toward the elevators. "Must be instinct," she concludes, pushing at all the odd buttons on the wall next to the thing. "This is an ephelator." Word is completely butchered, she does not care. "It goes up and down." Maybe that will help?

"Shutup." Julian grouses, though it's a good-natured grump. "I don't know how long the string will last." If he starts uncoiling it now, he'll run out way before time. Gum, however, he's got plenty of. He's been hoarding that for a while. "Stick this on the walls, then?" He asks as he holds out a pack of gum. "Feel like we're exploring some kind of jungle." He's trying to interject a little bit of humor into a situation that is beginning to scare the crap out of him. "Yeah. Elevator." He's gotten used to the language the older girl uses, at least a little. "Up or down, Tyler?"

Cianan just flashes a pleased smile Bean's way; he likes the little guy, honest. "Yeah. Just pieces of gum. One by the elevator door." he adds, watching the doors slide open after Daine button-mashes like a pro. "Alright then. In we go. One by one the group ushers into the ephalator. it's almost anti-climatic the way the doors swish shut, and he nods at Julian. "Down. Basement. This shit -always- ends in basements." Sigh. "It's a little boring that way." Doot doot doot… silence. Is that elevator music?

Daine dutifully steps inside the giant metal nut and smacks the button aaaaaall the way on the bottom. When the thing starts to move, however, she tenses. "Things are not supposed to move under your feet," she grumbles to herself. "Only when you sit on them." But before she can decide whether or not it would be a good idea to sit down on the ephalator floor, the soft strains of instrumental Celestina Warbeck reach her ears and she makes a face. "If it is so unhappy to be carrying us, it could just say no." Instead of torturing them all with very tinny, high-pitched noise.

Bean grins, slaps a small piece of the gum on the wall near the buttons, and steps in. When the music starts, he sticks his fingers in his ears, and rolls his eyes. "Celestina. The girls in my year are mad about her. They sing her music all the time." To prove his point, little Julian sings in the falsetto of a second-year girl, getting the words right on cue. Just for a couple bars, fortunately. "They don't sing very well." Or most of them don't anyway. "It's not alive, Salmalin." He snorts. "Be more interesting if it was." Don't jinx the damn thing, kid.

Cianan groans, leaning against the side of the elevator when it starts moving. "Guys, seriously. You're going to make something BAD happen. Soon as you talk about things being alive, and saying how interesting it is, something… somewhere, hears it. And not only do they hear it, it makes them giggle to cause it to happen. Then rocks fall, and everyone dies." He says this seriously, as if he truly believes it will happen. That it's Celestina Warbeck crooning into the metal trap just makes the whole thing worse. "Maybe I can claim this music was punishment enough." DING!!!!! The elevator comes to a halt, the doors slide open, and steeling himself… the young Ravenclaw steps out first. This was all his idea afterall.

Daine is on Cianan's heels, in part because she's eager to get out of the giant moving metal nut, but also because she can sense … something that feels … wrong. Laying one hand on the Ravenclaw's arm, she holds one finger up to her mouth in a signal for silence. Letting her eyes slide closed, she clears her head and lets her awareness spread outward. The Thestral herd is easy to sense, since she's already been talking to them, but she doesn't linger longer than a quick brush of 'hello'. There! Narrowing her focus, she 'listens' as hard as she can. By the time she comes back to herself and opens her eyes, there is a pounding ache behind her temples. "Creatures. A lot of them," she whispers, opening the fingers of her hand three times to signify 15 in total. "They are not the People, but they are not … hooman, either." She struggles with the awkward consonant-vowel cluster there. "I would guess that we need to go the way they are." Brave little huntress, she is.

"Hold on. We can't just run in there. We gotta have a moment to think." Where Daine is the brave little huntress, Julian is the tiny little tactician. "Ten of us against fifteen of them?" He pops his gum and pulls out another tiny little piece, marking the 'up' arrow as the way to go back. "Do we know anything about what they are? Do we need sunshine or silver or … holy water, or … ice cubes? What about spells? Like I could Wingardium Leviosa something on to their heads, but that's not a plan, it's a Looney Tune." He grins over at Kee, knowing the other Muggle raised kid will get it. "Too bad we can't transform — transfigure — my string into something useful." But that's way above their level.

Cianan waits for Daine to go into, and snap out of, her trance. His scowl the first indication that he's understood what she's getting at. And then Julian. Well, the Looney Tunes reference earns a smirk. But, he is probably the least magically knowledgeable of them all. Save for what's been taught in class and what he gleans from visions he is at a loss. So, he turns to the one thing he can actually trust. "Daine. Can I try to get a reading off of you? If you touched their magic, even with your mind… it may give me a clue." Obviously, he waits. One does not to grabbing people… er, unless one happens to be in a trance. But he doesn't have that excuse right now. "Julian, grab the big 'Puff from the back of the elevator there and tell him to get ready to catch me eh? Just in case. Can't be making any loud noise."

"The Bean child is right." But Daine already has a plan. Sorta. Dropping to one knee, she lifts her quiver over her head and holds it upright in front of her. Fishing in the pocket of her trousers, she comes out with a bit of cheese, three paperclips, a mouse-friend she'd forgot had fallen asleep in there, and finally a small leather pouch. The rest is stowed away carefully, but that pouch is held in delicate, careful fingers. Leaving the top of it tied, she squeezes tiny lines of blue over the sharp tips of her arrows. With a quiver of 20, it should be enough. In theory. "This is the venom from the funnel-web mother. She gave it to me for saving her from the man who took me away." It's the first time she's spoken about the circumstances leading to her being here instead of there, but even so it isn't much. "Whatever they are, this will drop them." Of that she is sure. "If you can keep their attention, I will find a good perch and pick them off." Not keen to be touched, this one.

Julian has grabbed the big Puff from the back of the elevator. He leads him out, and then almost whistles noiselessly at the collection of stuff the young girl has. "That's impressive." Even more and more, Julian is coming to appreciate the little Gryffindor. "Tyler, can you do that? I'll sneak through the area and see if I can find the Professor." He is the smallest, and the best at the sneaking thing. "Maybe some of these others can just rain annoyance spells on the creatures?" The spells won't hurt like the arrows will, but they may annoy enough to make some kind of difference.

Cianan dislikes touching people enough that he really can't take offense. He does, in fact, look relieved. "Is that a girl thing? The way you can all fit about a million things in your… whatever it is you carry your stuff around in?" he wonders, thoroughly confused. He does, however, give Bean a thumbs up. "Sure, I can get their attention." he agrees. A little too easily. "You, you, and you.." he points at the strongest of them magically speaking. "I get the attention, you start with the spells right away." Huffing in a breath, he gestures them all forward. And once it's time? He just saunters right on in sight. (He doesn't have moves like Jagger, alas). "Hey, arseholes! We're here to crash the party. Where the hell's the beer? Underage party's no fun without the beer!" He hopes no teacher heard that.

While the others stride right on in front and center, Daine holds back, melting away from the back of the group into the shadows along the walls. There are rows of shelves back here that would make an excellent point of vantage. This is where the bare feet come in handy, see? Small and lithe, Daine is up the side of the shelf in no time. Unfortunately for them all, the topmost shelf contains all kinds of oddly smoking little glass balls. She happens to kick one with her foot as she clambers to a crouch on top. The sound of shattering glass echoes throughout the wide, round room. Good thing Cianan's pretty loud and distracting, right now. For reals.

That sound of breaking glass makes every were's head jerk up and to the right. In unison like that, it's almost funny. Just before the Alpha can bark out the order to investigate, however, in comes some snot-nosed little kid looking for … beer? Barking out a laugh, he spits on the ground at his feet. "Get lost, kid. This really inn't the party you's'd be wantin' t'crash. Go," he hocks in the back of his throat and spits again before smiling wide enough to bare two rows of blood-stained teeth. "Before I change m'mind an' let this lot 'ave an early supper."

Julian remains stock still. He waits until all the others are making noise and confronting or climbing the walls and… "Ouch!" He whacks his arm on the wall as ducks to avoid any flying glass. Never mind that he's pretty far away from Daine's perch. Luckily his small outburst isn't that loud amidst all the glass, yelling and movement. He slips around another couple people, and, keeping to the shadows, tries to spot their missing professor.

Cianan's been holding his wand in such a way that it ests against the underside of his arm, just waiting to be used. And for the moment, his hands are stuffed into his pockets while he stands boldly in front of fifteen werewolves and tries not to pee himself. It's a difficult thing, and surely later someone will congratulate him for not having wet pants. However! He must continue with the flase bravado awhile longer. Because… distraction. Shattering glass is pretty loud. "Pretty sure you're wrong there. I remember clearly seeing all of you. Big, hair, ugly. Yep, I've got the right part. You have something that doesn't belong to you, and we want it back. 'Was just hoping for a little liquid courage first." Sigh. And it seems that would be the signal, a whole -bunch- of snot nosed kids stepping out of the shadows, wands pointing and… casting hexes. A sardine hex, a stinging hex, a toenail growing hex, a twitchy ears hex.. all wonderful annoyances! Kee uses a tickling hex, obviously. Because nothing says manly like tittering werewolves.

Werewolves are a pretty nimble bunch. Luckily for the students involved, these are not Auror- or Death-Eater-trained werewolves. If they were, Cianan would be only too right to wet his pants. As it stands, the pack is able to dodge most of the hexes flung their way - except of course the tickling one. That manages to hit a scrawny ginger man square between the eyes and he collapses in a fit of giggles. That may be harmless enough, but the second wolf to drop - a vicious-looking bony female with a matted mane of grey hair - does so with an arrow stuck in her throat. For just a moment, it's exactly like being in a movie. The entire pack stares at their fallen comrade in shock. That silence is broken when another arrow pierces the lower back of a rather twisted-looking male. With three of their members down, the remaining twelve wolves launch into action. Several pull wicked-looking street knives and head for those children on the very edges. One or two pull wands. The big fucker in the middle? He pulls a machete off his back. Daine's arrows are quick enough to drop one of the ones with a knife about to slice into a fifth-year Gryffindor and to outright kill another female with her wand trained on Bean, but it's at about that point when a young male - different from the others with his chestnut hair and bright green eyes - leaps up to a nearby shelf. There's no time to nock another arrow. All she can do is run like hell. And kick the shelves out behind her so he can't follow - sorry guys down there! - and run some more.

Siobhan is here! Mostly. Kinda. Still curled up in the same heap she's been in since the Alpha kicked her, she's not moving at present.

But something in the shadows is.

Julian is far enough away from the falling shelf that he's missed by the shelf itself. However, the force of 'shelf' versus 'small Gryffindor foot' is considerably different. A smaller female were notices the little sneaking boy and starts to sneak toward him herself. However, the shrapnel from the flying shelf catches her shoulder and she turns, giving him time to scamper off to the next shadow, catching a bit of glass on his arm. He hisses in pain like the aspling he is and continues to move along the edge of the room, looking for the professor. The hair stands up on the back of his neck when he gets to a certain point, and he just freezes again, staying right there in the dark.

This is clearly an 'oh shit' moment. *Clearly*. Especially when the machete is pulled out. Maybe cauldron scrubbing sounds good right about now. As it is, Cianan gulps. And, decides on the first strategy he can think of. "Blind and disarm!" he calls out to his allies - nevermind that the hairy beasts can hear it too. Shouts of "Lumos Duo." and "Expelliarmus!" are heard in varied voices around the room as wands light up to aim at the canine eyes, or are pointed to force knives (and pleasegod the machete) to be released.

There is a figure in the shadows near Bean, a figure who slowly turns its hooded head and holds one finger up to the blackness where its face would be (if it could be seen). It's a silent order for silence, the figure's other hand slowly pulling a wand from the inside of its voluminous black robes. This situation is getting too far out of hand. Failure is not acceptable. A flick of the wand's tip sends a tiny red light around the shadows at the very edges of the room. It's a signal of some kind. But what?

The force of Cianan's Expelliarmus is enough to knock the wind out of a normal human being. The big brute advancing on him slowly with the wolfish grin, however, is no normal human being. The strength of his grip keeps the machete in his hand, but the strength of the spell shears the blade nearly in half. Surprised, the Alpha blinks over at his weapon. Satisfied by the new jagged edge it has, his grin widens to something feral and terrifying as he advances on Cianan at a run. Only just as he raises the blade to slash down at the young Seer, his body is illuminated by a flash of green and he just … drops.

That's what the signal was for. Out of the shadows around the edges of the room, at least a dozen figures in black hooded robes and white bone masks charge into the fray. They do not - as some might expect - start taking out the kidlets. In fact, it's the spell of their leader that took out the Alpha.

In the midst of all this chaos, Daine is still running for her life, the young male snapping at her heels - quite literally - and Siobhan is still in a heap on the floor, struggling to find sense, orientation and consciousness despite the burning soup in her head.

In the corner, very near the Death Eaters, the little boy shrieks in surprise. He was not expecting that. Julian backs away, moving from his present position, since he's been so loud. However, he needs to continue moving that direction because it's the pattern he'd been working to find her. "Professor," he hisses, moving forward after the black-cloaked weirdos have moved out, "Sio? Are you here?" It's very quiet, but maybe, if he's anywhere near where she is, she'll hear it.

"Are you fucking kidding me? You've got to be kidding me! Holy hopping pygmies on a pogo stick - mum is going to skin me alive if there's a patch left after this." Kee is at first -quite- impressed with the force of his expelliarmus spell. One might even say… smug. That it works against him in the end is what prompts the swearing. He's in the midst of trying to save his own sorry arse by shouting an expecto patronum when… kerflop. He should run. He *should*. Instead, he kicks a foot out at the inert werewolf. "I know I didn't do th…. oh." He groans. Really? Really vision? You couldn't have maybe shown him this part? He knows what these are! "SHIELDS!!" Maybe he can mask the Bean-shriek with that too. Those who know Protego should probably start casting it. He is, however, not leaving without Siobhan. Even if any of the others beat a strategic retreat.

Siobhan can hear it. She can't recognize the voice, the way the sounds are all mixing together in her head, but she can hear. And see! Kinda. Not much help right now, though. None at all, in fact.

When Cianan shouts for them all to raise their shields, Daine is distracted enough to look down at … oh. With a burst of speed she'll totally pay for later, the young barefoot wild-child gains enough of a lead to drop to one knee, nock an arrow and shoot down into the fray. It's a fast enough thing for her that she manages to drop and shoot every so often. She never misses. She doesn't always hit the spot she aims for, but the person? Oh hell yeah.

Unfortunately, some of those people happen to be the Death Eaters whose current focus is the werewolves - including the arse of one who'd knelt down to check Siobhan's pulse. Poor fellow keels over right then and there, the venom already locking up his muscles. Another drops with an arrow to the shoulder and his partner, enraged, loses control of his temper and fires a Reducto at the shelf under Daine's feet, causing the thing to collapse - girl included - in a pile of wood, glass, ash, dust and books.

Severus Snape strides into the room, pointing to the werewolves in the middle. "There they are." He takes in the view of everyone in the room, and sighs. "And there is Moody's Army." Drawling out his words, he points out the children he can see. "Do take care not to hit the children, will you?" He fires off a powerful curse at a werewolf headed toward the big Hufflepuff kid.

"Whatinth'hell are kids doin' here?" Jethro Gardener asks, drawing a bead on an adult and firing. He isn't making much distinction between the Death Eaters and the Werewolves, not with children there. "Aim high, then." That makes him snort for some reason, and he fires again, slow, methodical and efficient.

"Rosie!" Jack runs into the room, expecting to see his little sister in the middle, being hit with spells. He knew the truth of the matter, but he worries for his crazy sister. Sometimes she gets into the stickiest of situations. Jack's style is more willy-nilly, quick, sharp casts that might not hit the person he was aiming for, but always seem to help somehow. Like maybe pushing someone toward another curse, or something. "All the kids are in school robes, right, Snape?" It looks like it to him, but he checks with the professor who has both a better eye for situations and a better knowledge of the school population.

Ohthankyoujesus. If Cianan believed in such things, at least, he would absolutely be saying that. As it is, he drops tot he ground just in time to miss being hit with some kind of spell that seems as if it would hurt a -lot-. Now, at least,t hey can do back to casting blinding spells and other such things. It still helps! So there!

Minerva arrives just behind the others, looking for all the world like she's just swallowed the most bitter pill in existence. SHE, starts forcibly floating children to the back and behind the Order, waiting for the right moment to pinpoint the lead Death Eater so she can aim some magic right where the sun doesn't shine.

In the midst of all of this, a slip of a woman (now with longer hair) moves in and out of the action, casting … pieces of paper that briefly flare to life with a strange sigil after she whispers quiet words to set them off. A shielding spell that reflects other magic or projectiles. Someone will yell at her for it later, she's sure, but it's something she can do and for now she takes the chance. "Send injured to the back!" she calls out, amplifying her voice so that it whispers in near everyone's ear; there's a healer her and they damn well better take advantage of it.

With a pop and a flash of light, another combatant arrives on the field. With little fanfare and without acknowledging anyone other than the Were-beasts and Death Eaters, Christian levels his wand and fires a white dot that softly arcs through the air and above the fray. "Watch your eyes," He says quietly to Jack and Snape.

The White Dot bursts in a hellishly loud CRACK and bright flash of white light. The Hitwizard doesn't wait to see what happens however, he simple steps forward. He grabs one of the younger kids and hauls him up and back by the collar of his robe, while throwing a binding spell at the closest Death Eater.

Two women run in with the stragglers from the Order. Both are fairly good shots, and they begin immediately sending curses out toward the werewolves. They seem to have noticed that the black-cloaked people are not hitting the kids yet. Faulkner's flare makes them blink, and their spells pause for a long moment while their eyes readjust. Then, it's back to aiming at the werewolves.

This is going more to the plan. While one of the Death Eaters is … skipping around the room singing nursery rhymes and firing off Unforgiveables in rhythm to her tune. Aside from her, however, the Death Eaters are being remarkably … tame. Defensive spells only against the kidlets and (mostly) legal dueling spells at the adults. Whether Order or Werewolf doesn't seem to matter much, now. One wolf with a wicked knife pounces toward Jethro while another - this time a scrawny blonde female, the only wolf left with a wand - fires off several Stinging Hexes at the old witch levitating kids. Another lithe female (this one looking more like the male who chased Daine than the rest of the filthy, scraggly bunch) with knives in both hands engages Snape with a quick slash toward his left arm.

There's one more 'pop' and in come Jane and Brennan. While the angry looking redhead strides right into the battlefield - still in heels, no less! - the slender Bone Talker weaves in and among the fighters. She's the best at finding things among this crowd, and moving this way lets her get a good kick or a broken nose in every so often. It makes her feel better. A little. "Should have given me a gun," she mutters under her breath as she ducks a red spell and rolls to her feet again.

As for the others? Siobhan is still drugged up to her eyeballs and trying really, really hard not to vomit all over the body sprawled right under her nose. The pile of rubble formerly known as Daine is sitting quietly in the corner, out of trouble. For now.

Jethro sees the man coming, and focuses his attention, magical and military, on him. He smirks, watching Jane head toward them, and tilts his head. "Y' wanna get his ass, and I'll boot him in the head?" It's usually how they do it; Jethro's good at the brute force stuff, and Jane is better at cursing an enemy's six. It's an old routine, and Jethro falls into it easily. He stows his wand and readies himself to take the guy down.

The slicing hex to the arm hurts, and Snape winces. He flicks his wand, returning the favor, this time with his personal slicing hex. "Sectumsempra." He is not merciful. Jethro's question is belatedly answered. "I believe they are all wearing their uniforms, yes." Hopefully it is a good enough marker to avoid.

Jack is cursing a Death Eater. Another Death Eater, not the spinning and singing one, is being less than particular about his curses. Jack takes him out with a strong expelliarmus.

Julian sees the cavalry arrive, and grins. "Yeah!" He shouts, no longer as worried about stealth now that there are people everywhere. He does notice there are doctor-type people, and yells, "Daine was on that shelf!" What shelf? The one that's no longer a 'shelf', of course. He points in that general direction. "She's hurt."

Expelliarmus is obviously a family favorite! Cianan remains on the floor, but it's because he's harder to hit that way. He thinks he's totally sneaky that way - aiming up with his wand from the floor to cast what expelliarmus spells he can. And, another tickling hex. It's a Death Eater. That's -even better- then a werewolf giggling. He even smiles when he casts it; he's horrible.

One spell zings past Minerva's shoulder. Another singes the top of her witches hat - which obviously upsets her. "Well, I -never-." Hnph! As soon as the last floating student she was herding is set down on the floor with a -look-. "I will turn you into a /toad/ if you so much as lift your wand young man." — and that, she stalks forward aiming her wand. "Flipendo!" to send the scrawny one back. Into the wall, hopefully.

Maura, meanwhile, has an ear tuned for the voices of the injured and drops down next to Daine as soon as she's able to find her. She has her wand out, but spends the time rather hovering her hands just above the girl's skin to find the injuries and /then/ casts the spells that are needed to heal. Nothing yet requires that spell which she reserves for emergencies. So this is all easy so far.

Christian stalks forward, launching a stupifying hex into the face of the next death eater in line. He notices Siobhan in the midst of things, and cursing under his breath diving forward with a somersault roll and flipping over with his wand to smash his wand's butt into a werewolf face.

A final soft 'pop' announces the arrival of one last addition to the merry party. Albus Dumbledore - looking a good deal less like the harmless, doddering old fool he pretends to be - manages to land in the middle of the fray, not so very far from where Siobhan lies useless and Christian is rolling to inflict brute violence on a werewolf's face. A frown deepens the lines on his ancient face, a sadness beyond measure weighing down his normally jovial blue eyes. In the breath of an instant, he surveys and measures the scene before him, finally making a decision and seeming to age another century as he raises his wand. The aim is for a back clad in black, but it may not be the figure one expects.

Jane wastes no time agreeing to Jethro's plan. She doesn't even break stride. She simply pulls the wand from some hidden pocket in the back of her skirt - at least we hope that's where she's pulling it from - and whips it in a practiced motion that quite literally sets the unfortunate gentleman's rear end ablaze. Grinning up at Jethro with an energy she's been lacking for a long time, she can't resist one waste of breath. "Good to have you back, old man."

Brennan can smell the sunshine she tracked through Knockturn Alley. She can smell it. It's just that it's hard to track things in an active crime scene. There! Elbowing what looks to be the Death Eater in charge hard in the groin - was that a flash of platinum hair she just saw? - she rolls to her feet just in time to see the infamous Headmaster of Hogwarts raise his wand. All around her, the world seems to slow, she follows that line of sight to its conclusion and the color drains from her face. Without a wand or even a magical core left to her name, she is helpless. All she can do is scream, "Severus!" and pray to every deity she doesn't believe in that either she's wrong or his reaction time is better than hers.

The tail end of somebody's Flippendo catches Siobhan in the chest, lifting her limp body and flinging it halfway across the room. Thankfully there is a body there to break her fall. Landing on stone would have been an incredibly painful experience. Even so, this isn't exactly pleasant either. It's enough to jar her into a slightly higher state of consciousness. Her sunshine magic can feel water nearby and it reaches for it, strains for it, desperate for some foothold in this world of pain and nausea and colors that don't exist. The shout of a name she knows better than her own makes her lift her head, eyes crossing and uncrossing. The shout, the drugs and the Crucio in her system. It all makes it so damn hard to focus, but it doesn't stop the rage. Rage, fury, even violent hatred build up inside her body as she watches her own Headmaster advance on her mate. "No," she growls, the sound slurred and raw. Reaching instinctively with her right hand, she grasps some poor dead bloke's wand and uses that boost to fire; only a single red spell. "Never again, Albus. Never again." Too bad she didn't have the mental capacity to calculate her aim better. This cannot end well.

Jethro grins over at Jane. "Old man?" He chuckles. "I'll show ya old man." Yes. The agent and his former partner are flirting in the middle of a firefight. Nobody ever said Gardener was sane. He pulls his arm back, waits until the man notices his ass on fire, and throws a hard punch right on the man's nose. It's hard enough that the man's nose breaks, and the bone goes straight up into his brain. He falls back, dead, and Jethro turns to see who else needs punched or cursed. He sees the spell coming toward him, and frowns. "Old man's got a bead on ya, Snape. Duck."

Severus watches the woman in front of him stagger off, and he taunts her as she does. "Go off and lick your wounds, bitch." Two people call his name, and he frowns, gazing over at Dumbledore. "Et tu, Brute?" He whispers his shock as he dodges the spell, walking toward where the old man is. He will get to his bondmate and he will take her home. It takes no effort at all to suss out that bright magic, though it's hazy like a summer day in Spinner's End when the mills were pumping their dark smudge directly into the sky. He winces, and steps around fallen weres and fellow Death Eaters. He has a goal. Several more spells are aimed at him, but he avoids them as well.

Jack has lost himself in the fight, trying to work his way toward his little cousin. "Cianan!" Speaking of family, eh? He moves over to where the young Ravenclaw stands. "Of all the idiotic…" He holds up a strong shield, blocking a sickly-yellow curse from flying directly into Kee's space. "Stay down, kid."

McGonagall has the finely hones senses of a cat; one can all but see her ears twitch as Severus' name is called out. And she isn't considered one of the best duelists out there for her stunning good looks either. No, it's partly for her speed despite that whole 'old' thing. Her wand first aimed at a werewolf. And then, then at her old friend Albus Dumbledore. Her face, lined with age as his is, hardens with sorrow and resolve. "ALBUS DUMBLEDORE." Her voice shakes with fury. "How /dare/ you." Her spell, when cast, is meant to shield Severus like a bubble surrounding him. Unfortunately, that act of defense may well bounce the Headmaster's spells right back at him.

"Remain still, Daine. And you will be fine." Maura whispers into the girl's ear, pushing herself up and turning towards the painfully familiar sound of Siobhan's raw voice. She'll walk her way over there, Shield of David sigils flaring to life around her as she casts them to protect herself from harm while the battle rages on. Though, she does now look pained when she gets close enough, steeling herself when she kneels down beside her former cell-mate. "I'm going to need someone over here! NOW!" she calls.

… Just as a spell hits a rather puke colored shield. "Really Jack? Couldn't it be a cool looking blue like that other shield that keeps popping up? Looks like you just vomited something out to use." Cianan protests. And then protests again. "Hey! If someone had told me what was going on…" Eep! Yeah, he's staying down. Right after he flashes s'more light in someone's eyes. Not Jack's - he wants to survive the next family dinner, thanks.

Julian gazes at the scene completely disgusted. To him, Albus Dumbledore was painted as the Champion of the light, the leader of All Good Things. He arrives in the middle of a scene, replete with werewolves and death eaters, and he aims his wand, not at a DE or a were, but at his own man. He slides down the wall, utterly confused and disheartened. He remains on the floor, sliding along to try to get nearer to Siobhan, now that she's been found. One thing might help: he starts squealing in Mermish about stupid things. The weather, the gossip at the school, the Giant Squid… Ice cream… Stupid things. The added benefit may be that it may actually hurt the werewolves' ears to hear.

Christian tosses the wand over again, spinning toward the target of Albus Dumbledore. "Headmaster…" His voice is both quiet and full of malice, holding a promise of reprisal. "Be sure you choose your next spell carefully." He turns to survey his surroundings, his wand still raised to fight, but waiting to see the way the wind blow.

Not with a bang…

Albus Dumbledore regretfully doesn't have the time to answer you, Mister Faulkner. If he did, it would doubtless be with a perfectly reasonable explanation for why he has his wand turned on the architect of this entire affair. As it stands, he has only the time to answer to the man he had once looked at like a son. "You left me no choice." Just as the green light leaves the tip of his wand, the red light from Siobhan's catches him full in the chest. It's not a fatal blow by any stretch of the imagination, but it is enough to send him into the eerie doorway's stone frame. There's a sickening crack before his body is pulled beyond reach by the denizens of the Curtain and his passing leaves behind a single smear of blood along the grey stone.

But a whimper…

Jane can't resist tossing a wink Jethro's way for the casual flirtation, whipping a rather nasty piece of transfiguration to the final werewolf standing. Now it is the last sea-slug standing - er, sliming. When she looks back to see Jethro's reaction to her creativity, she can only stare in abject horror. Albus Dumbledore has been a staple of Wizarding Britain for as long as she - or anyone she knows - can remember. Watching him vanish inside a curtain whose effects she knows very well is almost more than straight-laced Jane can handle.

Brennan has no such conflict. Okay, sure, it sucks that she'll never get to pick the man's brain now, but the few social bonds she's been able to forge in this odd group vastly outweigh that loss. The battlefield is clearer, now. And though she catches that blond Death Eater giving Snape a sharp nod before that group takes its remaining members and disappears, what is currently higher on her priority list is the pile of blonde girl going into seizures on the floor. "I need a medical team in here!" Brennan knows a little, but not enough. Pulling latex gloves from the pocket of her jeans - who the hell keeps those just in case? - she drops to her knees on the opposite side of Siobhan from Maura, trying to hold the woman still and check her vitals at the same time. In the process, she ends up pushing one of the girl's sleeves higher than intended. The vibrant bruises and track marks make her swear rather inventively under her breath. "Snape, we need to get her to a Muggle hospital now."

That last expenditure of magic was the straw to break the proverbial camel. Unable even to see if her protection succeeded, Siobhan finds her body pushed past its limit. Convulsing hard enough that there's blood coming out the side of her mouth and her right eye, holding on to consciousness is becoming more and more and more difficult. Damn it, though, she's going to try.

Oh, and Daine? She's taking a nap over there by Bean and a nice lady from the Order.

Severus stops in his pursuit of Siobhan to watch the green spell head his way. It's an easy enough thing for him to avoid it, but he stares blankly at the body falling, making no effort to move other than to avoid the killing curse directed at him by Dumbledore. He blinks, something in him completely shifting. "Siobhan." That was the point of this entire thing, was it not? He continues his steps toward the dark corner, needing to get to her for more reasons than merely his own need to see her. She'll need someone to help, and he does need to see her. When Brennan yells, he moves more quickly, striding past Were, Order, and Dark wizard alike. He moves as close to Siobhan as he possibly can, sending his tendrils of magic out toward her, to heal what he can. When he sees the track marks that Brennan shows him, he curses colorfully under his breath. "That fucking rat bastard," is the least colorful of the language.

"Well, damn." Jethro watches the Headmaster fall, knowing next to nothing about the Death Veil, only the scuttlebutt that had been whispered around him when they threw a convicted small-time Death Eater in there a while ago. He understands that it's called the Death Chamber and Death Veil for a reason, and that no one has ever come out from it before. "Gonna shake some shit up," he remarks in an aside to Jane. He may not personally have understood the man, but he was a stalwart figure in the wizarding community, and that much change will shift and shake things terribly. "My vote's for them." He nods his head toward Siobhan and Snape, making his own remark about the situation. He'll never support the Crazy Bastard, and the Order doesn't have a strong lead. He'll give his energy to those guys.

Jack calls out to his teacher. "Headmaster!" He is shocked that the man would aim at Severus, but he was an integral part of his life: part of the reason he didn't get into more trouble than he actually did, probably. He watches the man fall, and sighs, running his hands through his hair. "Can we all just go home now?" There's been a lot of blood and death tonight, and Snape's goal's been achieved. They don't need to keep making it worse.

Bean is still creeling in Mermish. It's more for himself now, more to separate what he can see with what he needs to think about. It's intentional disassociation. He stops after a while, though, leaning back against the wall and just watching people care for Siobhan and others still fight or stand staring at the death chamber. Wondering about what lies behind it, he starts to move closer, listening to the voices whisper. A couple of them sound very familiar. He won't get close, just sit a little closer than before. And stare.

McGonagall just turns as grey as the stones of Hogwarts. The gravity of what's just happened sending a shudder through her frame. Her wand is lowered, her head is bowed, and her eyes shed a single tear for the man that was once her best friend. One who gave her a purpose and a life when she most desperately needed it. That he assured his own demise both infuriates her and makes her even more heartbroken then that first lost love that sent her into the hallways of her beloved school. "I will get the children to the school safely." she says simply, hoarsely, looking up with a singularly stern expression that when pinned upon all of those in the room who are in charge of the operation will make them think twice about arguing with her. "They are mine, at least for now. And I will take care of them." Her school, her children, her reason to keep her composure until either another takes Albus' place as Headmaster or she does so herself. And so she begins their evacuation; none of /them/ at least daring to defy her as she herds them one at a time past danger.

"You won't need a Muggle hospital." Maura assures, looking across Siobhan's body where she kneels, and directly at Brennan. "If you have a charm or spell that will prevent anyone from hearing me until I pass out, however, I suggest you put it to use." is warned, before she grabs one of Charity's arms to brace herself and then holds her left hand just above Sio's body. "I do this freely, as she is the reason I am here." Recalling the reaction when she all but babbled at Snape about being kind to her, she just figures it's best to brace the other medic over here for what's about to happen. She closes her eyes then, and whispers the word 'Rapha'; a faint blue glow enveloping her hand just as the scream of agony rips past her throat and either bounces harmlessly around a soundless void. Or, pierces the room and wakes the dead. Also? LOTS of Hummus right now, Brennan. LOTS. And it doesn't stop until her throat is raw, or Siobhan is stabilized. or, Maura passes out. Whichever comes first. Pro tip - It -better- be the stabilizing that happens first.

Cianan… just stares.

Christian howls in anger and frustration as he sees the Killing Curse being the cast. His disarming spell fires, but flies wild as the Headmaster is hit by Siobhan's curse. He watches the man he's respected and followed for years almost kill a man and then watch him slowly die himself. Christian sighs and hauls a kid to his feet and half-heartedly shoves him toward McGonagall. He walks around binding Werewolf and Death Eater alike, any who protest don't get his usual stern look or silencing curse…they get a size twelve boot to the jaw.

Brennan physically cannot charm her. But before she can get anything resembling that thought out of her mouth, Maura is charging on ahead. One glance tells her that Snape is nearby and so she makes a spilt-second decision. Pushing to her feet, she moves quickly around behind Maura and hauls her back by the shoulders. "She'll make it to the hospital, now. Rest." And please don't puke on her. Please.

The influx of magic and the momentary break from the pain help Siobhan's battle for consciousness. Reaching out a hand shaking so badly she can hardly hold it up, she grasps at the empty air in front of him. Her depth perception is fucked up to that degree, yes. She coughs and there is more blood, but she does manage one ragged whisper before slipping into unconsciousness completely. "Never doubt."

Severus sighs, flicking his hand, building a silencing bubble between himself, Brennan, Siobhan, Zehavi and everyone else. He moves over to Siobhan's side, shielding his actions from view, and runs his finger gently down her cheek. "Never doubt, indeed." He cannot kiss her forehead here, but he will shield her from gawking eyes and grabbing hands. "We shall take her to the infirmary, Brennan. Z — Maura and Madam Pomfrey and I will be sufficient to heal her injuries. We shall have to use an experimental procedure to remove the Muggle substances, but it will be done." He will help them get his fellow professor back where she belongs.

Jack hurries over, gazes at his little Rosie, and sighs. "C'mon, he directs the nearest Order member. "Let's start getting this mess taken care of. Students back to the …" He notices the little boy inching toward the Veil. "Hey, little man, you don't wanna do that." He reaches over, scoops up the tiny boy and carries him over to the Profess — Headmistress. "Here you go, ma'am, one Second Year Slytherin. He might be a little worse for wear. He was staring right into the veil, and you know what kind of experiences make somebody do that." Not fun ones.

Bean is too fascinated — in the literal sense of the word — by the Veil to even protest the movement. He clings to Noble's arm, then finds himself set down again near his Transfiguration Professor. "Lo, Professor McGonagall," he offers, though it's a quiet, dead sound.

"Kid." Jethro sets his hand on Cianan's shoulder to prod him to move toward his teacher. "C'mon. Let's get you over to your teacher." He directs another kid in the same direction. "C'mon. Kids over to your teacher. Get you back to school and inta bed." After a thorough looking-over by the Mediwitch, of course.

Well, that works. Being hauled back breaks whatever connection Maura had to her magic and Siobhan. And she shudders in a breath, barely having the energy left to nod. "Yes ma'am." she agrees, willingly. More then willingly. She will even find it within herself to stand (okay, without puking). "Yes, as soon as we get back."' she agrees, looking up at Snape first with a slightly glaze-eyed expression. And then grabs at Jack's sleeve when he passes by again to look him over once for injuries before nodding.

And Cianan can be seen rubbing his ears and wincing. "Damn women and their shrieking." That, ladies and gentlemen, is why he's yet to have a girlfriend. Aside from being kind of an emo creeper. Now, if you'll all excuse him, he's going to yes, exactly that Jethro! "Wait.. I wanna see Sio." he adds stubbornly, but winds up pushed along with the others. That she's alive is going to have to do him for now.

Especially with McGonagall looking on. "Thank you, Mister Noble." she says flatly, taking Julian into her own arms and curling him close to her protectively. "We'll take care of him. Come now, children." And out -they- go, at least.

Christian turns to the Order members and Jack specifically. "Mr. Noble," He says quietly, with a sigh, rubbing his eyes. "I would highly suggest that you and the rest do the same, and get out of here. Take Siobhan to get healing and tend to your family at Hogwarts. I can finish the clean up here." He doesn't begin moving however, eyes fixed on the blood smear on the archway.

Brennan doesn't object when Snape moves to scoop the comatose Siobhan into what she's pretty sure her partner used to call a 'princess carry'. She will, however, hover close for the actual lifting. Not that she doubts anyone's strength or anything, but this is statistically - and anatomically! - the most difficult hold to do from a dead lift. Something could happen, okay? Once he has her up and secure, however, she is sure to follow at a safe distance, helping Maura along if she needs it. To Jethro - and even Jack if she can catch his eye - however, she is quick to shake her head, look at Snape and then back, shaking her head again. It's the best Her Royal Awkwardness is capable of doing as far as silent speaking goes. It essentially translates to Don't let anyone near him. It would not end well. Because when an injured mate and lots of stress is involved, he's likely to be only half a step away from … kinda feral.

Snape cradles Siobhan in his arms, careful not to let anyone near her. His mind is …mostly clear. However, there is something niggling in the back of his mind, threatening to break free. It swells inside him, and his lip snarls nearly unconsciously. His attention is focused on Siobhan, and he deftly picks a path through remains, fallen bodies both friendly and foes alike. He walks toward the door unmolested and continues on out of the room.

Jethro seems to get the message. "Clear the road," he bellows in his best DI voice. "Get yer ass where it needs t' be. Let the MLE folks clean up the mess. You came with Snape and you're not MLE, head back t' the school, and find out how you can help. Otherwise, get yer ass home before they arrest ya and find a friendly Dementor for ya. C'mon Jane. Let the line-animals deal with this. Lemme buy ya a drink." Or at least get you out of this mess.

Jack gathers up some of the people that came with him. "C'mon. Let's just let them take care of her and get gone." Wisdom? Coming from Jack? Watch those support struts.

Christian waits for the other 'Professionals' show up and secure the area. As he moves through the area himself, he sees the crumpled form of Daine in the rubble. "Bullocks," He says shaking his head. "I don't want the kids involved…" He says to himself more than anyone else. He scoops her up, gathering any equipment she has around her. With a sigh, he quietly apparates away and back to the school.


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