Chapter 12 : Acceleration
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“Back of the planet room,” Al shouted as they sped past the entrance to the Death Camber.
He knew he was right the moment they got close. The door of the planet room was still open a crack. They slowed down as they approached and stayed quiet. Albus put his eye to the crack of the door and peered inside.
It wasn’t easy to see. The luminescent glow coming from the floating planets around the room obscured his vision. It was like trying to see what was behind a spot light. He couldn’t make anything out but he could hear the faint sounds of footsteps and shuffling.
They were in there, he just couldn’t see them.
Albus pulled his weapon and made sure that a round was chambered and that the safety was off. Very gently, he pushed the door open, just enough for a person to squeeze through. He went in first, ducking down low. Shiori followed then Scorpius, then Louis.
They moved with Albus as he rushed to the nearest wall and began making his way to the back of the room. As he got closer, he could make out three figures in the distance just beyond Pluto.
He saw the long blond hair that could only belong to Ryke but then it was gone. He edged slightly closer and saw the emergency exit. It looked like any other door in the ministry but instead of a dark stone corridor behind it, there was a tunnel that looked like it had been dug out by hand.
“Harry!” Hermione screamed as she, Ron, Rose and four other aurors rushed into the room that used to be the Centaurions holding cell.
She immediately crouched next to him and started tracing her wand over the wound on the back of Harry’s head.
“He has a concussion but he should be okay,” she reported.
“How would Ryke get the Centaurions out?” Rose asked in a panic.
“Portkey?” Ron guessed.
“No, the ministry can detect an unauthorized portkey,” Hermione reminded.
“Well then where?!” Rose yelped.
Suddenly there attention was snapped away by the echoing sounds of gunfire in the distance. There was no mistaking it. That was Albus.
“Shit! They’re at the emergency exit!” Ron shouted pulling his wand out.
“Get Harry to the healers and drop the wards, we may need to apparate after them!” Hermione ordered before following Ron out of the door.
“No! Rosey, you stay!” Ron yelled as he saw his daughter following behind.
“My fiancé is out there! I’m going!” Rose roared back.
They didn’t have time to argue.
Shiori somersaulted through the air as curses sailed past her. She hit the ground and rolled for cover as Albus opened fire. Bullets bounced off the henchman’s shield sending sparks flying everywhere.
His gun clicked empty and he quickly ejected the mag. He slammed another in while trying to gage how many of them there were.
He had tried to move up to quickly and been spotted. They opened fire the moment they saw him but more of Ryke lackeys had come from the emergency tunnel. Now they were fighting six people inside the planet room while the one-eyed bitch was getting away.
“Fuck it!” Scorpius said aiming his wand at the huge floating ball that was Neptune. “Reducto!”
The spell collided with the 8th planet causing it to burst into a massive shower of bright blue electricity which lit up the entire room. The sudden illumination allowed Albus to get a good look at where the targets were.
He took aim and fired, hit one man in the chest and another in the stomach. The remaining four returned fire and Albus ducked behind an outcropping in the wall. The spells blasted out chunks of brick and stone which scattered all over the floor.
Shiori saw her opportunity and dived out from her cover. She leapt through the air, at leats twenty feet and landed right in front of one of the men. With a blur of movement and speed she laid a punch into his chest which sent him hurtling backwards into the wall. His limp body flopped to the ground.
The nearest henchman aimed his wand at Shiori but was hit in the chest by a stunner from Louis before he could even fire. Shiori took out the last two men with ease, jumping past their spells and finishing them with a single blow.
The moment the room was clear, Albus bolted down the tunnel.
He arrived seconds later inside an underground train tunnel. Behind him, the emergency exit had vanished but wasn’t gone. Shiori, Scorpius and Louis arrived, seemingly arriving by walking through the wall. The exit was protected by the same charms that Platform nine and three-quarters was.
To the left, the distant screech of train wheels buzzed in the air. That’s how she was getting them out. On a train, one she had probably stolen and parked right outside the exit.
Something suddenly hit him. Ryke was behind the events at the tri-wizard cup which probably meant she had a detailed knowledge of everything that happened there, including how the Hogwarts students were transported to Japan in the first place.
That was her escape route; she was going to turn a section of the tunnel into a portkey!
Without thinking, ALbus took off down the tunnel, running at his top speed. Shiori over took him instantly and became nothing more than a blur as she bolted away.
Smoking had made his lungs heavy but it didn’t matter. He wouldn’t slow down. He kept running as quickly as his legs would carry him. The heavy panting and footsteps of Scorpius and Louis were behind him all the way.
Light appeared up ahead. They were approaching a station.
Before they reached it, they spotted Shiori. She was crouched next to the platform, looking forward.
She waved her hand for Al, Scorpius and Louis to hug the wall which they did. The reached her, gasping desperately for breath.
“They’re inside, I can hear them,” Shiori said. She hadn’t even broken a sweat.
“Why’d they stop?” Louis panted.
“I don’t know.”
Albus looked around and saw the large red traffic lights at the other end of the station. On the platform were a couple of very confused looking muggles who were all wondering why the train doors hadn’t opened.
“There’s another train coming...they’re waiting for the tracks to change,” Albus gasped.
“That’ll take them to the right. What’s up that way?” Scorpius asked looking at which way the tracks were locked.
“I don’t even know which way we’re facing! Which station is this?”
“Temple,” Shiori said, looking at the sign.
“Alright...that means, Embankments left and Mansion House is right,” Albus said, trying to picture the map of the London Underground.
“Mansion House has over ground connections,” Louis said quickly.
“She’s taking them topside,” Scorpius nodded in agreement.
“No, she’s not! Shiori, can you derail this thing?” Albus asked.
“This thing must weight twenty-five tonnes! I can’t lift that much!” Shiori whispered.
“Fine, I’ll -”
They were cut off by the uproar of the train’s engines. The lights had turned green and they were about to get moving.
Albus suddenly jumped up onto the platform with his gun ready.
“Police, get down!” he yelled as the frightened muggles ran away at the sight of his weapon.
Through the rectangular windows of the train, Albus spotted several other goons and then Ryke. Her face turned to fury as their eyes met. He raised his weapon to fire but she had already raised hers.
Windows were blasted out and gunshots sounded out. Spells flew back and forth as Scorpius, Shiori and Louis rushed onto the platform and opened fire. Rykes wand cut holes straight through the side of the metal train and her spells left craters in the walls.
Her wand was tipped with the Centaurion enzyme making every spell ten times more powerful!
Albus ran down the side of the train unloading bullets at anything that moved. Ryke and her men ducked down and continued to fire. Al, Scorpius, Shiori and Louis were forced to find cover as the enhanced magic destroyed everything it touched.
They each dived behind the stone pillars that lined the platform and hid from sight and the train started to move forwards. Albus reloaded by Ryke and her men didn’t need to. They continued firing relentlessly.
Albus knew what he had to do. He had to get onboard that train before it left the platform. His target was a destroyed window in the last carriage. The train continued to move past, slowly at first but picking up speed. His window approached, It was now or never.
He rushed out from behind the pillar and a great jolt clutched hold of his heart. Ryke was there, her wand primed and ready to give a kill shot. A red bolt of energy was ejected from its tip and Albus felt something sharp hit him.
He fell to the ground, unable to breath out of shock. But there wasn’t any pain or blood. Had the spell missed him?
He turned around to see Louis standing behind him. A sort of confused look on his pale face.
“Sorry Al...I messed up...”
Then he collapsed.
Albus felt a bolt of electricity move through his body. The jolt he had felt before had been Louis shoving him out of the way. This jolt was from seeing the gaping hole in his cousin’s chest and the blood spilling out of it.
He clamped his hands over the wound, trying to stop the bleeding.
“Louis, hang on!”
“I’m sorry Al...I didn’t mean to...” Louis said, his voice was almost pleading as if he was responsible for some kind of disaster. “I fucked up...”
“No, you were amazing!” Albus said, cupping his hands tighter, hoping that by some miracle that it would make the wound go away. The spell had gone straight through his Dragonhide Vest.
“I did okay?” Louis asked, suddenly seeming to cheer up.
“You were great!” Albus smiled as Louis’ blood continued to wash over his hands.
“Wicked...” he smiled.
A second later, his head fell to the side. His eyes were still open but he couldn’t see anything.
The train was gone and Scorpius and Shiori moved out from behind their pillars, still jumpy from what had just happened. It took them a second or two to notice Albus crouched over his cousin’s body. His eyes were still locked on him as if he were expecting Louis to suddenly sit up and brush himself off, but he wouldn’t.
He heard something that was probably Shiori gasping in horror.
“No, no, no, no, no!” Scorpius blurted. He rushed over and crouched beside Louis. “Come on Louis, don’t do this!” he started CPR.
A moment later, Shiori was next to him. “Move your hands!”
Scorpius moved and Shiori laid her own hand over the wound. The green glow of her Ki energy began to wash over her skin. She was trying to heal him but nothing was happening. The energy from Louis’ body was already gone and so hers couldn’t affect it anymore.
“No, Louis, come on! Breath!” she said as tears started to roll down her cheeks.
His blank eyes just continued to stare into nothing. Louis Weasley was dead.
Scorpius clamped his eyes shut, not wanting it to be true. It wasn’t right. Louis had never hurt anybody. He didn’t deserve this. He had always just been sweet little, over-eager Louis who’d always been somewhere in the background, trying to get involved. It seemed so unreal that he could be gone.
Scorpius reached over and very gently, as if he were handling a baby, shut Louis’s eyes. Shiori’s sobs became louder and he looked over to Albus.
But Albus wasn’t there.
He knew instantly that his partner had gone after the woman that had just murdered his cousin and nothing on this earth was going to stop him from killing her.
“ALbus?!” Shiori gasped, realizing that he was gone.
But Albus was already two hundred yards away, running at full speed with vengeance powering his muscles. He bolted down the tunnel that the train had gone. It could have been a mile away but it wouldn’t stop him from trying to catch it.
He started to light up ahead but it wasn’t from a station. The tunnel had been on a slant for the last few seconds. He was about to reach street level.
The sun dazzled his eyes the moment he came out into the open. He was on the Victoria Embankment, right next to the Thames River. The new railway tracks that had been constructed there only a few years ago ran parallel to the street next to it.
He ran up the tracks still trying to catch a glimpse of the train. As soon as he reached the next set of tracks he saw it. It was just passing the Blackfriars Bridge, heading towards Upper Thames Street.
He jumped off the tracks and headed for the street next to him. He needed a car if he was going to catch up to them. The traffic was heavy but moving at a very steady pace. He rushed over to the nearest car and was about to jump in front of it to stop it when something else caught his eye.
He stood back for a few seconds as a motorcycle approached, weaving in and out of the cars. As soon as it passed him, he reached out, grabbed hold of the unlucky driver and yanked him off causing the bike to fall over into the street.
He rushed over, picked it up onto its side and got on. He wasn’t really used to driving a bike but he didn’t care at that moment. Smoke bellowed from the back tired as Albus revved the engine, spun the back around and took it off road while the angry driver screamed in protest through his bike helmet.
He took the bike back onto the tracks and followed the train. It bumped all over the place as he crossed the wooden foundations between the metal tracks but this was a Honda Fireblade. A sport bike and the suspension was built to take it.
He picked up speed and torn down the tracks just as Shiori came shooting out of the tunnel.
“Albus!” She screamed and saw him fly off into the distance. She bolted after him.
The train began to get bigger as he closed the distance. It was still heading right along the river’s edge and would be approaching the millennium bridge soon. The question was, where was she taking it? Where was there a tunnel that she could have turned into a portkey?
He sped up, causing the vibrations to get worse. The steering was getting difficult but he managed to hold it.
“Potter?!” Ryke hissed, spotted him out of the back window of the train. “You persistent little bastard!” she turned to one of her men on the train. “How long till bridge?”
“Three minutes,” he replied.
Ryke turned back to see Albus getting closer. He was going to catch up to them before that.
“Speed up!” she ordered.
Rage raced through Al’s veins as he saw a glimpse of Ryke through the window looking at him. He pulled back on the accelerator and sped up against, closing to within a hundred feet of the train. It moved down the side of Paul’s Walk, bringing the houses of parliament into view.
Suddenly, Albus knew exactly where she was going. The new train track took them under the Southwark Bridge. They had reinforced it to handle trains moving beneath it and that small section at the end had been turned into a tunnel. That’s was the portkey!
He had to get onto the train before it got to Southwark.
Then he spotted it. A large out cropping that had been build to house a railway traffic light. The foundation was smooth and steep and at an upward angle. That equalled a ramp!
Albus gunned the accelerator and closed the distance between himself and the train. He was less than thirty feet away. He pulled off the tracked and headed straight for the light. This would either be brilliant or suicidal, or both!
He hit the ramp and pulled back on the handlebars. The bike took off and for a second he was actually flying but that didn’t last long as the weight pulled him back down. He jumped off the bike and it fell towards the train.
It smashed straight through the side and ended up inside the carriage as Albus landed on the roof with a heavy thud. He clutched hold of the sides, trying to steady himself. He only had time to unclip his holster and pull his weapon before spells started blasting through, turning the roof into Swiss cheese.
He rolled over and grabbed hold of the side bar on the roof which catapulted him off the train and inside through one of the broken windows. He handed in a heap on the floor, covered by the chair inside.
“Shoot him!” Ryke barked and spells erupted around him, blasting the seats apart.
Albus hit the ground and looked forward. He saw the feet of three hem advancing on him and took aim. He unloaded his clip at their legs blowing holes into knees and feet. They fell to the ground crying out in agony.
With them down, Albus got up and ran straight at Ryke. His murderous lust had over taken any sense of self preservation. He lunged at her and grabbed her wand before she could get a shot off. He wrestled it out of her hands and just as hit fell to the floor, he brought his foot down on it, snapping it in two.
He turned only to be smacked straight in the face. Ryke punched him in the gut then laid an elbow into his side. He tried to return some hits but she was as well trained as he was. She blocked his punched and threw her own. Albus dodged one of her hits but she managed to grab hold of the back of his head and drive it into the wall.
He reeled backwards, feeling dazed and as he did, he caught a blurred sight of the Southwark Bridge only a hundred feet away. Instead of darkness, the tunnel below the bridge had been filled with a bright blue glow. The portkey was active.
He’d never have time to stop the train; he had only one option left.
He spun around and charged at Ryke again. This time, he grabbed her waist, locking a bear hug around her then threw himself out of the train. The two of them went crashing through the window of a riverside restaurant and landed on the ground like a pair of crash test dummies inside a car.
The train vanished with a bolt of blue light as it shot through the tunnel.
Shiori zoomed past the river, following the tracks until she stopped at the entrance to the Southwark tunnel. She could sense the energy coming from it but couldn’t see any sign of the train. It had already been transported away.
She saw the great gaping hole in restaurant window next to it and knew that Albus was in there.
“Shiori!” Scorpius said, rushing over to her. The ministry had obviously dropped the wards because he had just apparated a few feet away.
“Albus is in there!”
Several more ‘cracks’ sounded out and suddenly she was surrounded by Ron, Hermione, Rose and a good portion of the Auror department.
“Come on!” Shiori shouted and ran over to the restaurant.
“Go in slow!” Ron ordered.
They moved up to the restaurant that didn’t seem to be open. Without hesitating, Hermione waved her wand and transfigured a section of the door into an archway. They moved inside and spread out.
It was a pretty big place with at least thirty tables and looked to be dedicated to Cantonese food.
Rose, Ron and Hermione moved into the main restaurant, while Scorpius and Shiori went into the kitchen. They moved quick and cautious, spending only a heartbeat to check areas.
“Albus!” Shiori cried and rushed over to the limp body of her boyfriend.
He was out cold and lying on the floor covered in glass. She crouched over him and gently stroked his head. As she did, her hand began to glow green again and suddenly Albus snapped awake.
He was wide and looked around like a jumpy animal. She was gone.
“Where is she?!”
“Ryke! I pulled her off the train, she’s still here!” he growled, getting to his feet.
“Everyone be on your toes. Ryke’s in here somewhere!” Scorpius called out.
Albus kicked away a piece of broken glass and found his gun. He picked it up and joined the search for the woman that had killed his cousin.
The scream made them all jump. Albus, Scorpius and Shiori rushed into the main restaurant. Albus and Scorpius instantly trained their guns on Ryke’s head and Shiori had her hand raised with a bolt of green energy building inside it.
Ryke, bloodied but still kicking had a piece of broken glass pressed to Rose’s throat. She had somehow gotten the drop on her and was now using her as a human shield.
“Let her go or I swear I’ll kill you!” Scorpius hissed.
“Take your shot you pureblood piece of shit, we’ll see who dies first!” Ryke spat back.
“Let her go!” Shiori demanded.
“Not gonna happen Toushi!” Ryke said quickly.
“Look around you! You’ve got nowhere to go!” Ron shouted, his wand shaking in his hand and sweat coming off his forehead. That was his little girl.
“I beg to differ. Order your men to let me pass and she won’t be harmed,” Ryke said.
“She won’t be harmed if you move just a little to the left,” Albus hissed darkly. He was waiting for the opportunity to get a clear shot.
“Albus, I even see your finger twitch and I’ll cut her fucking head right off!”
Hermione let out a whimper and Scorpius took a step closer. He was in the same boat as Albus. His rage was clashing with his need to protect Rose.
“Let us go and she’ll live, otherwise we both die right now!” Ryke yelled.
“You’re the only one dying here Ryke!” Albus spat.
“Fine!” Ryke pressed the glass harder into Rose’s neck, drawing blood.
“No!” Hermione cried.
“You have five seconds to let me go or she dies!”
“Fuck you!” Albus roared.
“Five...four...” Ryke counted with warning. She would do it.
“Please, don’t!” Rose begged.
“Please...Please don’t!” Rose cried.
Tear were falling from Rose’s eyes. Albus hadn’t lowered his gun.
“I’m pregnant!” Rose screamed.
Everything seemed to stop. Even Ryke looked surprised. All eyes were on Rose, except Albus’s who’s were firmly locked on the face mask in front of him.
“Please...don’t...I’m pregnant...please...” Rose sobbed.
Scorpius’s mouth had dropped open. He couldn’t move.
“Well...look at that! Two hostages for the price of one! What’s it gonna be Albus? You gonna kill all three of us?” Ryke growled.
Albus still hadn’t lowered his weapon. He couldn’t. He had to kill her now. He weighed his chances and the one that kept popping up was to simply shoot through Rose. He could put a round through her shoulder and hit Ryke in the heart but that might hurt the baby.
“Albus...put your gun down.”
This time it wasn’t Ryke talking; It was Scorpius. He had gone even paler than before and was visible shaking. His face echoed the same pain as Ron and Hermione’s. The thing they loved the most was in danger but it wasn’t just from Ryke. Albus was putting her at risk just as much as she was and he couldn’t allow it.
“Albus put your fucking gun down!” Scorpius screamed in agony.
The horror in his partner’s voice shook him. It snapped him out of his rage filled quest. Albus lowered his gun.
“Smart move,” Ryke said and began shoving Rose towards the transfigured archway that Hermione had created. “As long as you don’t do anything stupid, you’ll get her and the bun in her oven back alive, understood.”
Albus never took his eyes off Ryke as she pushed and pulled Rose out of the restaurant, back onto the tracks and into the tunnel. The two, or rather three of them disappeared with a flash of blue light.
A moment later, the portkey inside the tunnel collapsed and sent sparks flying everywhere.
Scorpius and Albus were left standing on the tracks, staring at that empty tunnel, feeling the pain of the greatest defeat they had ever suffered.
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