[identity profile] purely-better.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bait_backup
*In all things there must be balance. Bellatrix is leading the charge, there was nothing Lucius could do about that, and little that he could do about her choice of players. He'd fought hard against Evan's inclusion, and is none too pleased about Igor's, for that matter. The one's a dangerously over-confident child, the other a coward - Lucius at least has the decency to appear stalwart in his convictions, he isn't a toady. That leaves only Rodolphus and himself to balance out a madwoman, a petulant boy, and a vodka-swilling hunyak. This, against two of the most dangerous Aurors in recent history. Five against two are not, this time, comforting odds, for all that it's the kind of math Lucius typically favors. 

It's hubris on Bellatrix's part, is what it is; what's attractive confidence in Narcissa is monstrous arrogance in her sister, and it's going to get them all killed if they aren't very careful. It's in light of this that Lucius is uncharacteristically grim as they all step silently out of the Prewett's fireplace, the temporary connection to the Floo network obligingly established for them by Miss Wilkes. Masks in place, the five of them all come through without incident, though Lucius can feel his heartbeat in his ears. This will either be a glorious victory for the Dark Lord, sure to advance him in prestige and trust, or Narcissa will be widowed tonight. There will be no in between in the wake of this fight, he knows it with utter certainty, and he's grateful that the cold impassive porcelain obscures the fear in his face as he steps forward, wand drawn, and cuts Bellatrix a sharp look: keep to the plan.*

Date: 2011-10-10 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
*She doesn't even bother gracing Lucius' obvious little twitch with a reply. Bellatrix is calm, with that almost preternatural euphoria that sets in when she's doing the Dark Lord's work. That this is an especially dangerous mission only has her calmer, almost high with it.

That puttyish Spaniard of an informant has provided a clear layout of this flat, and she's studied it carefully over long hours, so it almost feels like home as she steps sure-footed and silently over the hearth and into the living room. Kitchen to the left, hall to the right, first bedroom (Gideon's), then second (Fabian's, slightly larger, western exposure). The Aurors are not only dangerous but deadly, and exponentially more so together. That's why it's imperative they be dealt with silently and individually. If all goes well, it won't be hard at all: silence the first bedroom, kill the sleeping Auror, move onto the second, and repeat. They'll have plenty of time for play after that.

A quick jerk of a gloved hand, and Bellatrix leads them down the hall. Her crepe-soled shoes are uncharacteristically noiseless on the floor.*

Date: 2011-10-10 04:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rathercareless.livejournal.com
*When Fabian wakes, it's absolute; there's no grogginess, no halfway point between sleep and sharply alert. He knows, as he's known before, immediately and unquestionably, that Something Is Wrong and that he has to get to Gideon. Now.

The last time this happened, Gid had gotten hurt on a case in Ipswich, and Fabian had gotten to St. Mungo's before even he had without having to be told he was on his way. This is no different, there's just a sickening, unfaltering certainty of what he has to do, and within seconds he's got his wand and he's crashing out his bedroom door and into the hall, shoulder colliding with the corridor wall, blasting a curse at the first Death Eater in sight. He's not even surprised to see them there - his adrenaline's shot from zero to skyrocket in just heartbeats - and he stands his ground in boxer shorts and a Pac Man t-shirt, wand leveled at the other four Death Eaters.*


Date: 2011-10-10 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] treefeller.livejournal.com
*The summer between graduation and Auror training had been a good one. They'd traveled together, maybe not in style, but far and wide. The swimming hole had been in Darwin, Australia, spring-fed and difficult to get to.

Whatever frigid and subterranean hellhole the spring water came from, it moved quickly enough on the way to be ice-cold but unfrozen. You climbed the rocks, lined up your feet at the very edge of the topmost, and jumped--and when you hit, it felt like nothing else in the world at all. It felt like being born or dying or being punched in the gut or receiving a million simultaneous mediocre handjobs. Or all of those at once.

Gideon's feeling precisely that way now, as his brother's shout cuts through his sleep like a knife: he opens his eyes and there they are, one of them already crumpling to the floor, and his wand is already in his hand and the blasting curse finds the base of the bookshelf and tips over a lifetime's worth of comic books, Muggle and wizarding both, onto the Death Eaters in the doorway of his room. In the next second he's on his feet, one bare and one sporting a purple sock, leveling his wand at the small crowd in his bedroom.*


Date: 2011-10-10 04:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] le-strangled.livejournal.com
*It's Roddy they've hit, as he was just behind Bella. As he falls, he only has time to think: well, at least it wasn't Bella they hit. But the curse is nonlethal, and the thing seems to only be a simple blast of unfocused force, and the fall seems to have hurt hm just as much as the curse has. He's woozy, off his feet, but his unregistered wand is unbroken, and even on the floor he can cast a preemptive shield charm on his wife.*

Date: 2011-10-10 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dapperdeath.livejournal.com
*Evan dances back from Roddy with a squeal, and casts a curse that goes more into the ceiling than anywhere useful. Still, even as its impact shakes the light fixtures and his back meets the far wall away from the pair of Aurors, he's fumbling in his cloak for the asked-after toys of his father's--and there it is, in a bit of tissue paper, a nasty little device that, when it touches skin, it begins chewing away at the flesh until the flesh it's attached to is removed from the body, or it's consumed entirely. The spiky little sphere looks so innocent in his hand, until he lifts it with his new wand and sends it flying at one of the Aurors.*

Date: 2011-10-10 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
*And now both Aurors are awake and fighting, which is precisely what they've tried to avoid. Fucking hell. What's worse, they're caught between the two of them, and the air is suddenly full of curses and hoarse shouts and fucking comic books and it is, briefly, chaos. The only thing that saves Bellatrix from being knocked to the floor in a swirl of Martin Miggs the Mad Muggle is Roddy's shield charm.

Not that she knows it, of course. She's firing off curses of her own so rapidly she isn't even sure what they are, her back to Lucius and one of her boots squarely on Roddy's shoulder. Precisely as Evan sends the little spiked ball at Fabian, she kicks her husband--not very hard, though.*

--get up--

Date: 2011-10-10 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rathercareless.livejournal.com
*The thing (whatever it is, Fabian doesn't have time to see it before it's on him) lands squarely in the middle of his chest. The effect is immediate and devastating, little metal teeth making short work of Pac Man and gnawing rapidly through to flesh. Fabian doesn't even register the pain before blood soaks hot into his shirt around the hole that's there. He has time to get off one more curse, this one aimed to kill, and sees one of the Death Eaters collapse twitching and lifeless to the floor.

And then it hits. It's nothing like being mauled, it's sharper, faster - Greyback tore out chunks of his arm, but the little silver device is systematically eating away his skin, whizzing along his chest like a goddamned garden tiller, and when the pain cuts through the adrenaline it's enough to break his focus for a second. With a strangled, agonized shout he rips at it with his free hand, which only gets the skin ripped off his palm, too, but the thing is stuck to his body, won't pull off, and Fabian yanks his hand away slick and dripping with blood, and looks in blank shock at the muscle exposed there when he flexes it. Not the first time he's seen what's under his own skin, but here's no rescue coming this time, and there's still four Death Eaters between him and Gid - and the thought of his brother does it, is enough to draw his focus back, and then he's lashing out again with more curses, and charging the Death Eaters physically. It's stupid, he knows, but he just needs to know that his brother's alive - if he's alive they can get out of this, but he has to know that first, has to get to him - *


Date: 2011-10-10 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] treefeller.livejournal.com

*He's alive, and very loud, but that's about as eloquent as he can manage just now: he's deflected Crucio, mostly, but the force of the diverted curse tears open his cheek and takes a considerable chunk out of the wall behind him. He doesn't blink--he's still fighting, still moving to distract and destabilize them, to get the split-second advantage that will make the fight and win it and get them out of here alive. Because that's the only option, right now, the only thing at all in the world: they're going to kill these bastards and get out of here alive.

There's an area rug under the man's feet, and in the blink of an eye it's a cat, still rug-colored but yowling and spitting and not appreciative of being stepped on. It claws its way up his leg, hissing and spitting and furious, and that buys Gideon an instant to lunge forward too, with a raw shout that sounds a bit like his brother's name--

But his foot's landed on a stray comic book and slipped right out from under him. He goes to one knee and his Killing Curse goes high, blowing a chunk from the ceiling and showering the seven of them in a sudden drift of plaster.*

Date: 2011-10-10 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dapperdeath.livejournal.com
*The room is rather small for seven, and it's even smaller for seven and the tiger or panther or whatever rug-colored vicious monstrosity that is presently trying to disembowel him. The first killing curse goes wide; the second hits it squarely, but it does nothing, and of course it does nothing, it's a bloody rug, it's not really alive. The curse only seems to anger it and, with a terrible yowl and his own horrified little scream, the cat pounces and sends him tumbling to the floor.*

Date: 2011-10-10 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] le-strangled.livejournal.com
*Though Bella's foot in his side has done nothing to make it easier, Roddy still rises at her side, holding a stinking sulfurous flame at the point of his wand. His arm lashes up and the flame extends like a whip, reaching toward the one who's fallen, ready to tie him up in flame and yank him into the air, that Bella might have an easier time finishing him off.*

Date: 2011-10-10 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] treefeller.livejournal.com
*The flame grabs him around the armpits and lifts, and Gideon is suddenly in a position to observe that he's on fire. But the pain and the stink of it is immaterial because it's yanking him up, up, and he'll be a sitting duck up there--he can see the woman raising her wand to deliver the Killing Curse--but he knows the curse--Hexcorrigiatus or something stupid like that--and the counter-curse, what is it--*


*--and the rope is dissolving into sand and it isn't burning him anymore but it's also released him and the back of his pyjamas have just been brushing the ceiling. He crumples to the floor and his legs bend badly and he is quite sure he feels something in his shin or both of his shins break, but his wand is still clenched tightly in his fist and the next curse he sends doesn't miss.*

Date: 2011-10-10 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rathercareless.livejournal.com
*With one dead and one out of the way, Fabian just manages to bull his way past the other three Death Eaters and finally, finally, get to his brother. The silver thing is still stripping off his skin systematically; there's a patch the size of a plate on his chest now that's down to the muscle, bleeding heavily, and he's starting to get light-headed, and the thing is still going, working its way in erratic patterns down toward his belly, and he's aware, distantly, that if it gets there it will could disembowel him easily.

It doesn't matter. He's still alive and armed and Gideon is alive and breathing and he's not okay but he's alive, it's something. Slipping on blood and comic books, Fabian trips to the floor at his brother's side, shoulder to shoulder with him. He's panting, the room is spinning a bit and it's getting harder to keep track of who's where; he's losing too much blood, he knows, but he can't stop now to think of a charm for that, and spells haven't worked to get the mechanical thing off him. He's already tried. *

Bloody rude, didn't even knock -

Date: 2011-10-10 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] treefeller.livejournal.com
Honestly where are our manners--

*His left hand is in a tight fist around a handful of Fabian's soaking wet t-shirt but he can't get up, and his face is twisted into a grim little rictus with the pain and concentration of it--but he doesn't need to be on his feet to fire curses. He sends off one at the woman, teeth gritted and not holding back in the slightest.*

Date: 2011-10-10 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
*She'd deflect it but the wand in her hand is strange, not her own, and it fails her--the curse hits her squarely in the chest and that'd be it, right there, if her bodice were from Twilfit's. But it isn't--it's a Rosier thing and it stops the curse from shearing her heart in two. But it doesn't come without a cost: the garment bursts into blue flame right on her body, and her scream is a long and tearing one of pain and rage. There's a spell in it.*


Date: 2011-10-10 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] treefeller.livejournal.com
*It's an explosion of flame and that isn't what the curse is supposed to do, but Gideon's too busy with the charm to even notice--Fabian will fade in minutes with the amount of blood around them--*


*But it dies on his lips, and the blood-replenishing charm doesn't leave his wand. There's a great rushing sound audible even over the woman's screams and the roar of blue flame and Gideon's gone, and what's left to him falls to the floor in a loose jumble.*

Date: 2011-10-10 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rathercareless.livejournal.com
*It's just like that moment in Gid's Muggle comics when the character runs off the edge of a cliff, and for just a moment stands perfectly suspended in mid-air. It's like that. Everything freezes as the pit of Fabian's stomach plumets out, as Gid's hand goes slack and he crumples, gone, just like that. For the very first time in his entire life, Fabian is alone, and the half-a-heartbeat that it takes to feel it stretches for years and ends far too soon. Unable to breathe, unable to see through the sting of tears and sweat suddenly blinding him, he clutches with his free hand at his brother's shirt. He's still warm but he isn't breathing, and that doesn't make sense, doesn't factor in at all to the very framework of Fabian's world. How can he be - ?

The word is what does it. He can't bring himself to think it but the meaning is there, heavy and sick and immutable, and the rage, the loss that crash on him are more blinding than the salt stinging his eyes. With a sound that's past articulation, that's barely human, he heaves himself up and straight at the Death Eaters, bringing his wand slashing violently down in an arc at the one who took away the other half of him.*

Date: 2011-10-10 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] le-strangled.livejournal.com
*The curse that comes screaming off Fabian's wand is incredible in its power, but Roddy's ready with a shield charm and then, beyond that, another rope of sulfurous flame--blue, this time--that springs to meet the curse as it flies toward them. Both disappear together, leaving nothing but ash to rain against the shield.*

Date: 2011-10-11 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
*Good thing, too, because Bellatrix has been thoroughly distracted trying to bite down her screaming and extinguish the flames in her robes and hair. Now there's bits of her blouse all stuck to her burned flesh and it hurts, it really does, hurts even through the adrenaline and anger, and she's gray-faced under her mask. But one of them is down and the other is flagging and Roddy's holding him off---the tide has turned in their favor, and as her blood floods with endorphins she lets out a loud, brutal HA and slices her wand sideways.*


Date: 2011-10-11 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rathercareless.livejournal.com
*He knew it'd all go out like this, some day. That's the one thought that cuts through the blinding grief, and the dizzy haze of blood loss, and the adrenaline flooding what's left in his system. Any illusions, any jokes about seeing Molly's kids grow up and being a little old lecherous man and wearing obnoxiously bright colors at age 150 just because he can - it was all only just talk, because Fabian's always known it'd go out like this.

The curse hits him in a wide arc, slashing deeply through his right arm and his mangled chest, and there's a fresh gush of blood down his arm and a funny lack of feeling anything from the bicep down. He sees rather than feels himself drop his wand; it's like a puppet whose strings have been cut, the way his hand's gone totally limp and lifeless, all that work to regain use of it after Greyback completely undone and then some. His vision darkens at the edges and blurs, and the floor rushes up to catch him as he falls to his knees. Clammy, pale - dying, he supposes, but then wasn't that always going to be the case some day? - Fabian looks up at the woman and focuses with some difficulty, still defiant, his grey face daring her to finish it if she can. He's cold, and he can feel the little mechanical horror still on him, working its way closer and too close to his belly but the pain isn't cutting through anymore, it's like things have gone too sluggish to let it in, and maybe it's better that way.

Still, as he slumps to the floor, and coughs up scarlet, he reaches for his wand on instinct and training with his left hand.*

Date: 2011-10-11 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
*And that's the fight. Bellatrix looks down at the Auror dying at her feet, a cold smile on her face even beneath the removed serenity of her mask--and brings one boot down on the wand, snapping it.*

Date: 2011-10-12 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dapperdeath.livejournal.com
*When Gideon Prewett died, so did the rug, but it took another few moments of frantic struggling for Evan to realize as much. By the time he bounces back to his feet, dagger in one hand and wand in the other, Fabian's been executed as well. He deflates a little when he realizes that, but he puffs right back up when he remembers that his purpose here isn't just to kill them. There's no small measure of giddiness in his voice as he moves forward to the corpses, looking both over, and finally choosing Gideon.*

--Oh, not just done yet, we're going to send a message.

*One curse, and the leg comes off at the hip in another torrent of blood.*

What should it say, do you think? "Bon Voyage, Alice?"

Date: 2011-10-12 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
Keep your trousers on, Evan. Is she even going anywhere?

*It comes out irritably. Roddy's bustling over her with his wand like a damned nursemaid, repairing her burnt flesh and numbing it, but she flicks him away to go attend to Lucius. To attend to him--and also to whisk him away where neither of them will have to see this next bit of business.

The dead one of their number on the floor goes quite unmourned. Convenient, anyway, to have someone to pin it on. They need only throw the Ministry the smallest bone and it will obligingly fail to look for them as it always has, single Death Eater, foreigner, case closed, nice little spread in the Prophet, and on to whatever fresh tyrannies Crouch can dream up for his own people to distract them from his failures. As long as they are out of here quickly, they needn't worry.

And the boy, bless him, has always worked quickly.*

Date: 2011-10-12 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] le-strangled.livejournal.com
*With Bella motioning him away, he quickly turns his ministrations to Lucius--the worst of his has been hidden by his mask but there's a bit of blood dribbling down his collar, and Roddy lets out a little apologetic exclamation of surprise and crouches before the other man.

Careful not to injure Lucius' dignity yet further, Roddy helps him to his feet and takes him to the hearth.*

Hope you won't be too long. Twinky will probably be worried sick.

*And with that little bit of homey cheer left over his shoulder, he tosses a handful of powder in the temporarily connected hearth, and Roddy and Lucius vanish.*

Date: 2011-10-12 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dapperdeath.livejournal.com
*Evan doesn't even bother nothing their departure, but instead faces the large, windowless wall next to the corpses. The severed leg hovers obediently behind him as he considers it as an artist might consider a blank canvas; but of course, it's not blank. Well, that can be rectified. He steps forward and tears down two Chudley Cannons posters, letting the long strips of bright paper flutter to the floor.*

No, you're right, she's not going anywhere. Maybe just "This one's for you, Alice?"

Date: 2011-10-12 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
Seems simple enough. Or simply "Hello Alice".

*A flick of her wand, and the other corpse rises sharply, almost jubilantly, as if she's yanked the strings of a puppet. Carefully, she arranges the corpse in a desk chair and rotates it to face away from the door. It's the little touches.

She makes sure to keep a wide berth, however: that little device of Evan's is still chewing away. Curious. There isn't much left of the face.*

Why her? What'd she do other than lock up every common criminal and half-breed between here and Surrey?

Date: 2011-10-12 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dapperdeath.livejournal.com
Hello, yes, that's perfect.

*He goes to work, in big block printing, going back to the spreading and cooling pool near the remaining body to re-wet the thing as needed.*

She's given me a bit of personal offense. Taken a personal interest in me. Almost outed me in front of my wife before she knew. You saw that silly little newspaper with the screed against her? I sent those files along to them. Most everything in there is true. She's a beast who needs to be put back in her proper place. Or beaten. Or muzzled. Or something.

Date: 2011-10-12 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
Not a bad idea. You can always use the Capistriatus Curse. It can be absolutely hysterical if it's done right.

*There isn't much left to be done--that little Rosier toy is doing more than enough on its own and it doesn't look as though it's going to stop anytime soon. She leaves the desk chair just-so, ready to be turned by whoever finds it. They always, always turn the chair, she knows that much--they could never resist, not ever, even with the Mark and the blood and all of it, when it's clear as the day what they'll find there.

It's got her more than a little tickled. She's wearing a beatific smile as she crosses to Evan, kicking a blood-soaked stack of comic books out of the way like a child playing in a rain puddle.*

And how is the little woman? I can't believe you, already settled. Rabastan's practically middle-aged and still waiting, apparently, for the right man to come along--

Don't forget to cross the I. Just there. You write like a peasant.

Date: 2011-10-22 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dapperdeath.livejournal.com
I had her against a wall with a knife at her throat and she still managed to get the better of me. The curse would be delightful, but just killing her would be safer. I'm just hoping this mess will make her careless.

*It's slow going, painting letters as tall as the leg used to paint them.*

And Amrita and I are lovely. I do believe mother is even coming to terms with our marriage.

Date: 2011-10-22 04:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
*She observes over his shoulder with a certain professional curiosity, arms folded.*

Well, that's why you don't muck about with knives, isn't it? Muggles are one thing, have your fun--but you're a wizard, not a butcher.

And I'm sure Esmerelda will come 'round eventually. There's no call for her to be prejudiced.

Date: 2011-10-22 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dapperdeath.livejournal.com
No, you're quite right. It should be a wand for her, I do have to give her that much credit.

*What he doesn't want to admit, of course, is that it has been a very near thing with the rug-turned-tiger, and that he himself has never excelled in combat magic--one slip and she'll have him, completely. But that's a worry for another day.*

And, well, you saw Amrita's family. Mother's dislike is not entirely unreasonable. Which isn't to say that they're all wholly provincial, but her family has been less than kind, considering the circumstances.

Date: 2011-10-22 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
Oh, them. That one with the twins was hysterical. But you'll have your own little creatures crawling around soon enough.

*Sooner than was exactly proper, according to gossip. And mathematics. But Evan's always had less brains than, well. Thirst. She can't help an unladylike snigger at his expense.*

Anyway are you quite finished, sometime this month would be best.

Date: 2011-11-04 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dapperdeath.livejournal.com
*The leg drops unceremoniously to the floor the moment he's done with it.*

There. Perfect. Properly ghoulish, don't you think?

*He dusts off his hands and inclines his head, gesturing toward the fireplace.*

After you.

Date: 2011-11-05 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com

Thank you, Evan.

*She kicks aside one more bloodsoaked comic book as she crosses to the hearth, and throws in a fistful of powder before stepping neatly inside.*


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