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Go Back   SnitchSeeker.com > Forums > SnitchSeeker RPG > SnitchSeeker RPG Archives > Hogwarts Archive > Headmaster: Malachi Trent's Reign > Term 57: January - April 2021

Term 57: January - April 2021 Term Fifty-Seven: TBA (Sept 2103 - June 2104)

 
 
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Old 12-22-2020, 04:59 AM
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Default The Courtyard


The Courtyard is where many students spend their time between lessons if they're not in their Common Room or in the Great Hall. Its architecture, including watchful gargoyle parapets and real Gothic arches, reveals the Courtyard to be one of the oldest parts of Hogwarts, connecting the castle with the grounds and also leading to the wooden bridge over the ravine. In between lessons, the courtyard is usually filled with students enjoying some sun or gathering around the pear tree before heading back into the castle. Whether you choose to occupy one of the many stone benches or play gobstones on the cobblestone ground, the courtyard is the perfect place to relax with your friends from all houses.

In the middle of the courtyard is an antique ceramic fountain flanked by eagles, perfect for admiring your own reflection or making wishes. Beware though: once your coin has been tossed into the water, you may never get it back as it will continue to magically sink out of dight. Do try not to fall into the fountain, as the staff does not fancy a swim to fetch little students.


Old 02-24-2021, 05:54 PM   #126 (permalink)
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Gabi wasn't paying attention to the followers, so when she was pushed out of the way, she was caught off guard and tumbled to the ground with a small gasp. She hadn't had time to make sure Williamson was alright, and now they were taking him away with the other students.

The other students...Merlin, there was chaos everywhere. Getting to her feet, she brushed herself off and angrily balled her manicured hands into fists. She was the Healer of this school, and she was NOT about to let them stop her from doing her job.

"You heard them - get to your dorms, unless you're injured, in which case - hospital wing. NOW," she snapped. She wasn't angry at the students, of course. She was angry at HIM. At Rosier. At his goons. At his stupid hooded figures who walked around they were more important than everyone else when really, they were just low-lives.

Gabriela Recard was DONE playing in to this nonsense. Her blue eyes practically had flames of anger shooting out of them. First things first - heal these kids. After that...well, she had no idea, but she was done playing nice. Done trying to keep her head down. This was it. The final straw.

No more Mrs. Nice Professor.

****


Adam knew the Healer was preoccupied with Williamson, but Adam still felt horrible knowing there was nothing he could do to help his sister. He heard Professor Flamsteed come over and say she was going to take care of her, which was a relief - but he was still crying wordlessly as he looked at his sister.

Suddenly, he felt a tugging on his arm, and he was lifted up off the ground like he weighed nothing and was then being pushed into the crowd of students. Wait, wait - no, this was a mistake! He wasn't on the list! He hadn't done anything wrong! He'd been so good since the start of term, he had been keeping his mouth shut and doing everything they asked. So why were they taking him with the rest?!

Panicked, he looked around for his siblings, because deep down - Adam KNEW why. It was their mother. She'd been a muggle. Apparently his father's blood status wasn't enough to save them anymore. Now it made more sense why a few of the others had been taken along with them...still, he felt sick, like he was going to pass out. What would happen when they all got there?
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:06 PM   #127 (permalink)




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"Will...." Her voice trailed off and she bit down on her lip until she tasted the blood. She didn't need to be the next professor on the ground again. She needed to be upright to help out the students and try to be there for them. She felt the cool water hit her cheeks before she could stop the tears from seeing her coworker and friend on the ground.

As they told the students to go she watched as some wouldn't leave and kept questions. "The adults will take care of the professor, please do what they are saying and go back to your common rooms. Finish getting dressed and ready for your days." She shooed as many of them away as she possibly could and decided to follow the Hufflepuffs to their common room to check on as many as she could.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:06 PM   #128 (permalink)
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The dramatics.

Really.

Nem couldn't look at any of them, the ones screaming or crying or breaking down or even looking stunned and lost. They'd found a feeling, finally, but it was that same one of utter disgust that lingered. Weakness, everywhere they turned, in some form or another. It had always been there, but suddenly Nem was more attuned to it than ever. At least Williamson had been dragged off by the Great Unwashed - despite the shoving, Nem hadn't really afforded them much attention - so there was no temptation to look at that sight anymore.

For the record, it really did take several professors telling them to move along before Nem actually did so, and even then, it was more that there was simply no reason to stay. They stared from Flamsteed to Recard and back again in the early morning gloom, and then briefly over at Peralta, Aguilar, Kitridge. Had none of them realised yet, how absolutely without power they all were here? Williamson had gone down like a sack of dung from one simple little spell, another would have taken him out of action entirely. Permanently. Maybe that one would, maybe he'd croak in the next few hours. The staff here were outnumbered, could be taken down with ease, and yet they still tried to keep up the appearance of having some semblance of control. For what? Who here believed it?

There really was nothing left to see, nothing Nem was interested in seeing. At last, they shoved their hands, wand still held in their left, back into their pockets. "Imagine where we'd be," they said, in a tone that blatantly hinted at anger, to nobody in particular, but so that the members of staff could hear it quite clearly. "If Trent hadn't let this happen. Imagine putting someone competent in charge of a school full of children." Actually, Nem didn't need to imagine it anymore, but that was better left unsaid for now.

Statement delivered, they turned away and headed for the castle. Might be worth thinking about what to do regarding the situation with their brother and sister, who had been escorted away with the rest. They'd add it to the list.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:07 PM   #129 (permalink)
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Laying on the floor with some much chaos around would have been a release if the pain hadn’t been there although even that was at the back of her mind after the ground had welcomed her so thoroughly.

“Uh..” was all she could say for a moment as she tried her best to make sense of what exactly had happened. She’d been punched and now, she had Ivy and her brother, Adam, standing over her asking if she was okay. “Ivy, Adam, I’ll be okay. C-can you help me up though please?” just in time as Madame Flamsteed had showed up. Maybe she’d damaged the ground with her thick head because it sure didn’t seem stable at the moment. It was wobbling everywhere. Holding on to them both, she slowly pulled herself up and quickly rubbed the tears away.

“I don’t need the hospital wing. Honest” she insisted now as she wobbled a little, clutching at her brothers arm for dear life. "Adam can take me back with him, honest. Or Ivy even” Her eyes now looking at the older girl imploringly but that look didn’t last long as Adam was snatched up and taken away. “Adam…ADAM!!!Hey, get off him or I’ll…” but before she could finish her sentence, she was snatched off her wobbly, unstable feet and dragged right after him. Was it because she had suggested helping the other students? No. She’d only been trying to help! Why were they so mean?! But then something in the back of her head twigged and she stopped kicking and screaming. No, there was another reason. Something she only thought about when she was alone and no one could judge her for it. Her mother. Even now after she’d been gone for years, she was still coming back to ruin everything. She wasn’t sure what hurt more, her lump that had formed on the back of her head or having to think about her again.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:15 AM   #130 (permalink)
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Suddenly Adam was there as well, and Professor Flamsteed too. And seeing Adam's distress, it made Ivy think of her own brother, and how, even though she missed him, maybe it was good that he wasn't old enough to attend Hogwarts yet. She couldn't imagine how much more she'd be feeling if she had to worry about these people hurting him too.

She brushed away the tears she didn't realize had fallen, nodding quickly when Ingrid asked for help. "Y- Yes, of course." Whatever she could do to help, she would.

But then, as usual, that answer was really nothing at all. Because suddenly Adam was being taken, and Ingrid too - and she felt a grip on her arm too.

"Wait, no-" But she was too cold and too afraid and too weak to put up much of a protest. She could only think and wrack her mind for why she was suddenly taken too. She'd been trying her best to follow along and keep her head down and try to get others to do the same. She'd just wanted to survive and make sure others did too.

But when it all came down to it, she wasn't a "pureblood," was she? Her grandfather, her mum's dad, had been a Muggle. He had passed away long before Ivy was born, so she didn't even know him, outside of the little bit that her mum had told her. But now, more than ever, she wished she had.
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:04 AM   #131 (permalink)
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It was a little over 4pm . One of the times he was allowed to take a walk under supervision. And that was exactly why the Hufflepuff was looking moody. Even if he was outside of The Room he still felt imprisoned . He supposed that he should be thankful that Rosier even let them out of The Room but by giving them just a tiny taste of freedom only to be brought back to that dark and dreary place made him feel even more dejected.

For today, Minjae had decided to stay outside. He walked over the Grounds going to The Lake before he proceeded to take a walk in the direction of the castle when he ended up in …the courtyard. Great. Not exactly the most desirable place to be right now but he couldn’t avoid the place forever. Although he tried not to show it, his eyes looked over at the spot where Professor Williamson had been crucio'd and his stomach turned a little. ‘Don’t think about it, don’t think about it’

He walked over to the fountain in the middle of the courtyard and sat down on the edge, hoping that someone who wasn't stuck in The Room with him or even if they were would come and have a talk about absolutely nothing. Cause he needed it.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:24 PM   #132 (permalink)
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He was not surprised the hour had come.

Lucien had always known that the greatest visions must go through their own baptism by fire and had known that with what many would consider such a radical view, there would be a time when he and his followers would need to fight for what they believed in. That the time was now was of little consequence to him. Now, next week, a year from now, the man was ready to fight for a better world. That the others could not see his vision was...disappointing, but again he was not surprised.

The headmaster stormed across the courtyard, wand drawn and senses firing on overdrive. On his way down, he had seen several pockets of fighting. Even on the way down, he had had to dodge wayward spells being thrown out of the castle.

It was time to make the ultimate stand and he was ready.

This was the culmination of all his hard work and he was ready to see an end to this—the right end. It was the beginning of a new dawn for the wizarding world.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:37 PM   #133 (permalink)
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His heart as heavy as his steps, Charles felt the weight of each fallen individual on his shoulders as he fought (disarming and stunning only) his way forward in search of Lucien. Each time a spell struck a body, he felt it in his own flesh and a piece of him shriveled with each set of whites that left the eyes of someone fighting for what they believed in. Aided in his charge forward, the efforts of his supporters contributing greatly to his relatively unscathed appearance, the Minister nonetheless now found himself stepping into the courtyard alone. His wand clenched in his hand, and dear sweet Alphonsine’s still tucked away in the pocket of his robes, Charles pivoted as he saw the brother barreling forward like a raging (and just as explosive) Erumpent.

ROSIER! he barked, his skin beginning to morph once more into dragon scales along his neck and down his arms as a preemptive defense. “Rosier! We can end this...here and now. Just you and me. It does not have to be this way...there is still time.” To say that he was pleading with the man would not be a false assessment. “Your sister, Alphonsine, she spoke passionately of your cause...I could feel her pain…and yours by extension...” And he felt as though he could understand, rather intimately which made the Minister see just how alluring the Neo-Alliance’s cause could be. If just one or two things in his own life had turned out differently, he could see how he could be standing in the very same position Lucien found himself in now. “...you and I are not so different, Lucien. It’s not too late…

Charles lowered his wand as an act of good faith and extended his other to Lucien, like a father offering their hand to a son who had just fallen and scraped their knee.

...it’s not too late…
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:38 PM   #134 (permalink)
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If it wasn’t the man of the hour.

Lucien didn’t care for his words. He heard what had become of his sister and was quite frankly very much beyond words at this point. The Minister didn’t get it. He supposed the man was much like the children in that regard; he could not see when the time for negotiation was long past. The stand they had made at the gates of Hogwarts--no, no the muggles who put an end to his parents very much saw to that. There was no reasoning, only doing.

This needed to be done and would not end diplomatic words and false pleasantries.

As if to demonstrate this, Lucien shot a quick succession of spells at Charles--severing hexes, meant to cut deeply at the man. His spells would speak for him. They were the only words he cared to exchange. This would come to an end, one way or the other.

He was relentless in his fire, his rage of many years, accumulated from many slights, pouring out.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:40 PM   #135 (permalink)
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He wasn’t the Minister in the moment, he was simply a man. A grandfather looking at a boy who was calling out for help, scrapping at the edges of everything he knew to simply be seen, and while Lucien and his followers would have no other choice but to stand trial and face justice for what they had done...Charles could still see the humanity in the man opposite him. This was not some monster, this was a man who had grown up in the shadow of pain and grief...and Charles truly believed that it was not too late. But his heart made him the naive old fool in the moment.

It was not that Charles had not anticipated this response, rather had had fervently hoped for it not to transpire. And Grandpa Hollingberry had cost himself greatly.

The nimbleness despite his age could not spare him from the onslaught of spells cast his way. The first he dodged with a hard pivot to the left, the second ricocheted off the dragon scales covering his neck and blasted a hole right through a nearby pillar while leaving an exposed scorch mark on the Minister’s neck that his Metamorphmagus abilities could not regenerate without intense focus, the third struck true and right along the man’s chest on the left side. Charles growled in agony as a nonverbal Shield Charm was cast to block the remaining spells still coming his way.

His heart sank as he felt the unequivocal rage with each of Lucien’s casts, each beat of his old man pulse leaking out from the slash in his chest. The pain was excruciating...but he could manage. Eyes darting around the courtyard, Charles was quick to take note of the stone eagles and gargoyles scattered about the area. Another Shield Charm cast to buy him some time, Charles whirled his wand and raised his other hand to cast Piertotum Locomotor and call these stone creatures to his aid.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:42 PM   #136 (permalink)
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Wings and heads turned slowly, dust and moss cracking off each as they sprung to life under the influence of the Minister’s enchantment. The gargoyles growled and pulled themselves free from their stone dwellings, some accidentally snapping off limbs or leaving a tail behind as the stone broke unevenly, and took flight to descend upon Lucien Rosier. The eagles flanking the fountain too broke free and zipped through the cool water showering down upon them to join their larger stone guardians in attack.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:45 PM   #137 (permalink)
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“BOMBARDA MAXIMA!!!”

Lucien growled his own incantations, the fire burning behind his eyes as well as deep in his stomach. He turned the culmination of his rage on the Minister. In the moment, he was the muggles, he was the society that had failed him and Alphonsine. The man had not personally affronted him, but he was the head and had done nothing to remedy the great travesty that had been committed.

He cast the spell, unconcerned for the concrete matter that would splatter across the courtyard. He was set to purpose.

“FIGHT ME YOU COWARD!!” He spat, switching between the man and the stone figures, his spells shooting from his wand with near reckless abandon. “Enough of your shields and parlour tricks. Fight me, or you’ll fall right here.” He would not stand idly by while Charles cast himself a house of spells to protect him. They would break and after they did, the man would follow.

Lucien kept fighting, unrelenting and unwilling to yield to soft pleas.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:54 PM   #138 (permalink)
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Despite each approaching from a different angle, Charles had little doubt that Lucien could make quick work of this first wave of attacks. But it was all Charles needed, time. Time to cast a protective perimeter around the courtyard. Protego totalum, Protego horribilis. Fianto Duri, Repello Inimicum...all cast to prevent anyone else from interfering, whether that be Lucien’s followers or Charles own support. Charles had been unable to see any of this coming and had played an instrumental part in executing the Neo-Alliance’s attempt at world domination, the guilt cut at him deeper than the Severing Charm that had slashed his chest...and he felt a responsibility to handle this himself.

This would end here, one way or another, with him and Lucien.

STAY BACK! he hollered at any approaching steps, friend or foe, as the gleam of his enchantments covered the area in its protective bubble..

The explosions were expected, as were the bits of stone that flung themselves about the courtyard and towards the Minister himself. Small hurdles that he quickly dealt with with a wave of his wand to turn the larger stones to sand and for others to deflect towards the ground and into the fountain itself that still remained mostly intact.

Breathing heavily, he was no spring stallion these days, Charles collected himself and pressed a palm over his bleeding chest. The taunting did little to enrage him, thankfully, but rather broke his heart further. This pain and determination...not just of Lucien but so many...how had he not seen any of this among his own people? How had he been so blind.

But Lucien's anger...that he could use.

And for the record, Charles Hollingberry was rather fond of parlor tricks!

Taking a page from his opponents book, Charles let his actions speak for himself. Once again manning himself with what his environment provided, the Minister gave a wild flourish of his wand to call upon the flora of the courtyard to his aid. Thick vines shot forth from the bushes and roots erupted between the cracks in the cobbled ground, all sailing towards Lucien to restrain.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:13 AM   #139 (permalink)
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It was almost expected.

Lucien set fire to the vines heading in his direction, before diverting them. The ones that landed among other plants created a fire he did not pay much mind. Flames rose around the men, trapped by the barrier Charles had put up but it was the fire inside the Elder Wand that kept Lucien grounded. While it was not as powerful as it could be, it was powerful enough to get the job done.

"I can keep this up all day, old man." He threatened darkly. "You may not have that much in you."

Lucien began a determined path toward the Minister, figuring he would take the fight to him if he would not stop hiding behind his play things. He flung several fire and severing charms ahead of him, just to keep the man on his toes--a crucio or two finding its way in there.

He was not afraid to face his battles head on and did not need to use anything but the most powerful wand ever created to get the job done. "Pack your army up, release my sister and brace for the new world."
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Old 04-01-2021, 12:19 AM   #140 (permalink)
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If he could afford it, Charles would do something more about the searing pain across his chest. While he lacked any phial of dittany on him presently, he could at least direct his wand to the flesh wound and perform some healing magic...but the man could not afford to direct his wand away from Lucien again. Especially not with the manned in which the young man was casting. Almost crass and with blatant disregard to their surroundings, the scene and temper reminded Charles somewhat of Eiji. How easily his grandson could be provoked and, in the process of losing their temper, make mistakes and lead to slip ups. Acts of passion, rage, came with such consequences...and Lucien was the most enraged individual the Minister had come across in some time. Perhaps not since his own parents and their resentful assault on Charles' choices in life. They would have embraced Lucien and his ideals, ideals Charles could only presume came from the parents. Perhaps their two families had even crossed paths at some time in the past.

"You say old as though it is meant to insult me, Lucien," Charles retorted upon diverting the fire spells away, some combining fueling the growing flames around them and others erupting like horrifying fireworks against the stone pillars. On his toes, the Severing Charms likewise found their means of being deflected and Charles even (with a certain precision based on a hunch) sent one bouncing back in Lucien's direction while another still struck the fountain and took out a large gash at the base.

Pivoting around, one of the remaining gargoyles swept down in front of Charles and took on the bulk of the first Crucio. Exploding, Charles had no choice in the moment but to protect himself from the sharp stones that flew at him...and therefore was not prepared for the second Cruciatus Curse. Struck square in the chest, he let out a long and loud howl of anguish before falling hard to the ground on his knees. In a matter of seconds his body was consumed by as if by Fiendfyre and his mind exploded with a searing white. His eyes open but blind from the torture, the Minister writhed on the ground as the Unforgiveable ripped through him and seemed to tear apart his soul at the seams.

Lucien's words only seemed to add to the torture, calling his people an army and the reminder of what his leadership had lead all to was perhaps the harshest blow to his soul. And then he heard the voices again, as he had back in his office. The chorus began as whispers but took very little time for the chorus to roar. A roar that fueled his rapidly beating heart and unclenched his jaw just enough to speak.

"Al-phonsine is..." he growled and grimaced through his writhing on the ground. Lucien still prioritized her over
this new world order, if the young man's subconscious decision with ordering was any indication. "...all...you...have...left..."

And then the pain overtook him yet again, his back arched off the ground and fingers curling into tight fists - a fight that still clenched his wand ferociously.
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Old 04-01-2021, 02:50 PM   #141 (permalink)
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The reflected severing charm nearly took his side off, digging in by his hip. It caught the fabric there, tearing his pocket open and causing the mirror in his pocket to shatter as it hit the ground. In a flash of light and smoke, the man whose identity he had assumed for so long appeared splayed along the floor.

Lucien would deal with that later.

He swore, gripping at his hip as he felt the warm liquid begin to pour from the wound. Rather than deter him, the pain fueled his anger, elevating his rage to new heights. He would continue his assault--an assault made possible through the tremendous power of the Elder Wand. It was doubtful his wand or any other could keep up the way this one was. It almost seemed to...feed off the strong emotions he pushed forward.

Lucien tightened his grip on the wand, ready to send another slew of hexes and curses in the minister's direction. Contrary to most, he had no issue kicking a crup with it was down. Charles writhing in pain on the ground was invitation to continue and so he wou--

Alphonsine?

A panic overtook him at once, the sort marred with its own ire. How dare he speak about her. Without his parents, his sister was the one he held dearest to his heart, the only one he still spared a second thought toward following the loss of their friend. That Charles would breathe her name on his lips...that he would dare....

He would kill him.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:28 AM   #142 (permalink)
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His lungs burned and, as he writhed like a worm on a hook, Charles subconsciously wondered when the last time he had taken a breath had been. It felt like it had been an eternity ago and through the searing white Charles continued to seek out familiar faces and voices to try and quell his agony even a little. To nurture this weary heart of his that relentlessly drummed in his chest and refused to stop beating. And then something peculiar happened just as the pain felt like it could get no worse: dissipated like fog off a haunting lake. At first his soul dared hope that Lucien was coming around, showing a bit of mercy, but his mind spoke more fervently. The pain was still present, but it no longer encumbered him and soon Charles had managed to roll on to his side. He could feel his wand in his hand. The cold and hard stone beneath his back. The flames that burdened the architecture and bathed his beaten body in their heat. Resisting the pain Cruciatus Curse was not unheard of, but for the agony to dwindle was either due to the intent of the caster or...a betrayal of the wand they wield...

Seeing the bits of shattered glass upon the ground, reflections flames and lightening sky as the sun rose over the horizon catching just so, Charles' gaze soon fell on Malachi and his resolve strengthened further. Skeptical at first, Airey Flamsteed had been been right to aim for the pockets. Seeing the young man so broken twisted the Minister's insides terribly, a flash of Kaiser crumbled to the floor in his office overlaid the scene (and his own memory even went so far as to torture him with the crumbled body of Yukie after his family was done with her), and his spirit held out hope that the man was still alive. It would be senseless to keep him in a mirror prison otherwise and was all the more pertinent that he retrieve him before Lucien tried to use another of Charles' pseudo son's as leverage in this twisted war.

Charles had no choice but to face the reality that he could not save Lucien. He could not appeal to the humanity of this man and therefore his sentence sealed. And the man who passes the sentence must swing the fateful blow.

Arm thrusting forward while pushing himself into a crouching position, His chest heaved, the wound in chest only aggravated by the movement, and the lingering influence of the Cruciatus Curse causing the old man to feel as though his head were going to split in two. Charles grit his teeth threw everything he had (all his devotion, love, and passion to protect) into his motions as he cast a powerful Knockback Jinx towards Lucien, one with enough gusto behind it to even push the Minister's body back from the recoil.
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Old 04-02-2021, 02:51 PM   #143 (permalink)
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He didn't hear the spell coming his way, didn't see the minister raise his wand in his direction. It all came back to him in disturbing flashes. His parents. The failure of the wizarding system. The audacity of muggles....prancing about...

Lucien had no time to react before he was thrust backward with enough force to to crack just about every bone in his back as he crashed against a burning pillar on the edge of the courtyard. The wind entirely knocked out of him, the man's vision began to blur and his chest heaved with much effort to get in a breath in this smoke filled area of the school.

Blood came with each cough.

His vision, the better world he wanted for all, it was all fleeting. The dream was fast falling through his fingers like sand on the beach he would visit upon a time with his family in his young years.

It was almost laughable.

The man groaned, making every effort to rise to his feet. The cracking sound that came from behind was not heard until it was too late.
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Old 04-02-2021, 02:57 PM   #144 (permalink)
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The pillar, compromised by fire, could not withstand event he remnants of such a powerful knockback jinx. The last of its integrity crumbled when the cult leader's back shattered against it causing the entire structure to come toppling down atop the weakened man.

Dust rose with the smoke, rubble falling in every direction.

When it all settled, an eerie silence overtook the battered courtyard. The man would rise no more.
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:47 AM   #145 (permalink)
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And then it was over.

Charles’ potent Knockback Jinx struck true, Lucien catapulted backwards, the sound pillars cracking and beginning to topple like dominos… The Minister struggled to pinpoint the source of the nausea that swept over him as he tore his gaze away from the scene, unable to bear witness to Lucien’s demise and the white hot pain from the curse morphing into the ache of moral culpability that would haunt Charles for as long as he remained of this world. Once he turned back, all the man could see was a pile of rubble and the Elder Wand abandoned just before it.

He crumbled to his knees with any attempt to stand, leaving the man with the only option to unsteadily pull himself across the ground towards Malachi first. “Welcome...home...my...boy…” he wheezed as one of his disfigured hands took the headmaster’s in his own and squeezed it tenderly. The dragon scales that had once so prominently marked parts of his skin began to fade and retract as Charles continued to weaken from his wounds. His enchantments around the courtyard as well began to melt away, allowing for the thick smoke to escape at last and breath fresh air into the space. With another feeble couple of tugs forward, Charles managed to reach the Elder Wand and gingerly took it. Eyes stinging from more than just the smoke and physical pain, he looked upon the rubble and let out a series of strained croaks intended to be sobs; his heart shattering just a bit more.

Managing to roll on to his back, which provided him with ample view of his magical barriers melting away and the sun rising fully over the horizon. He had promised that he would send a signal when the duel was over, a celebratory Vermillious to draw the eye to his location, but Charles felt another more necessary action was needed. He had, after all, not come all this way alone and those who had battled along with him and covered his back so he could enter the courtyard alone would know where to find him.

And Malachi.

And Lucien.

Closing his eyes, the slash across his chest throbbing with each beat of his heart, Charles focused his thoughts on the day he first became a father and he cradled Ryunosuke in the palm of his mighty hand. The day he became a father to a daughter after having three sons. The day he became a grandfather for the first time. The memories filled him like a warm cup of tea on a dreary rainy morning and the memory of tiny tiny hands coiling around his finger cheered his soul on. Tears leaking down his battle worn leathery cheeks but the joy within him unfolding like a flower blooming in spring, Charles smiled faintly to himself and wielded the Elder Wand to conjure a trio of silvery wispy opossums. “...hello there...old friends…” he breathed out though half closed eyes, the Elder wand slipping into his pocket now alongside Alphonsine’s. “...tell them...tell them…” His voice trailed off into that of a faint whisper that only the patronuses could acknowledge.

And then they were off, scattering in different directions as they dashed away to follow their master’s ardent charge.

Charles remained on the ground beside Malachi, holding on to consciousness for as long as he could, watching the sun continue its journey across the sky as a new dawn did indeed begin...but soon he felt too heavy and his eyes closed. The hand on his chest slipping and falling to his side among the stone, scorched root, and rolling ash.
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