A/N: This ficlet was written on the 30th of May, 2003, prior to the release of OotP and has been sitting gathering dust at FanFiction.net for a while now. I figured it was time to put it on a real fanfiction site.
5 July, 1945 Hungary "STUPEFY!" The wooden door shuddered with the impact of Alastor Moody's spell, and the sound of the falling body on the other side told him it had hit mark. Still, there were five more of Grindelwald's followers in the house, and none of them would hesitate to use an Unforgivable to get out of a sticky situation. Alastor looked at his two partners.
Pale, black-haired, and thin described Tom Riddle's outer appearance well enough. As for what was going on inside that brilliant head of his... well, one never could quite know.
Alec Zorn, Alastor's longtime friend from Hogwarts, was tall, and wore his hair long, sporting a black goatee. He dressed all in black and carried a sword in addition to the wand now clutched in his hand. Alec had once been the most stable, solid person Alastor knew.
But after recent events... well, who could blame him becoming a little... unhinged. Who could blame any of them?
Death. It was death that had brought them to this place, several hundred miles away from their homes. At least on the part of Alastor and Alec. Theirs was a mission of vengeance, a returning stab at the people who had taken away those dearest to their hearts.
As for Tom? Well, one could never be sure about Tom. It wasn't like him to put his life on the line for the sake of the emotions of others - Alastor hadn't seen any blatant display of emotion from him at all since first year. The Tom Riddle that he finished school withwould most likely have scoffed at this mission, calling it a fool's crusade. And yet here he was, standing in the pouring rain, wand drawn, ready to put his life on the line. Whatever the reason, at this moment Alastor was glad to have Riddle along - if nothing else he was a brilliant wizard, and they would need all of his skills and more if they were to come out of this three on five pitched spell battle alive.
Alastor nodded to his two compatriots, then kicked the door open and leapt into the room, diving for the floor. A green bolt whizzed over his head and through the doorway, narrowly missing Tom and Alec, who leapt back at the last moment. Alastor somersaulted and rose to a crouch, ready to dodge whatever next came at him but the sound of footsteps retreating up the stairway stopped him. He pointed towards the stairs, and waved Alec and Tom into the room.
They crept in slowly, Alec covering the stairs with his wand, Tom with a cautious eye on the shut door that likely lead to the rest of the first floor. Alastor motioned towards the stairs but Tom shook his head. "I'll cover the first floor, you two take the second," he whispered. Alastor nodded, and he and Alec moved towards the stairs. Alec went first, drawing his rapier as he went. As soon as Alec's foot touched the top stair, two angry male voices shouted "Crucio!"
Alec raised his sword as two bolts of magic shot towards him. The bolts stopped about twentycentimeters from his face and dissipated. Alec wasted no time, raising his wand and crying out "Ferio" at the same time Alastor's "Stupefy" was released from his wand.
Alastor's spell knocked one of their assailants unconscious, while Alec's caused the other to double over in pain as if he had been struck with a baseball bat. "Didn't count on my sword being enchanted to repel the Cruciatus, did you?" Alec asked conversationally as he lunged, putting his blade through the hurt man's throat.
Alastor frowned. He may have been on a mission of vengeance, but he didn't want to kill anyone unless it came down to his life or theirs. This was something he'd have to discuss with Alec, but with three more dark wizards in the house, now was not the time.
"We've got to move," said Alec, pulling his sword from the Dark wizard's body.
Alastor nodded, glancing at his watch. "Ten more minutes before the anti-Apparition charm runs out. It's time enough. Let's move." They were in a decent-sized corridor with about six or seven closed doors. Alastor kicked open one of the doors and pointed his wand in. They found an empty bedroom with a window openingout into the storm. Alastor ran to the window, and leapt out onto the catwalk only to hear a deathscream and watch their quarry topple from the roof. Looking up, he saw Wolfgang VonSchneiden, the forth and final member of their little group.
Wolf saw him as well and flashed a thumbs up. Alastor nodded in return and stepped back into the house, where Alec was wiping his sword off on the bedclothes. "Four down, two to go," he said.
Suddenly they heard a burst of gunfire, followed by footsteps running up the stairs behind them.
Both men spun and pointed their wands, but the source of the noise was Tom Riddle, who was out of breath. "Two Dark wizards downstairs. I managed to take one out but the other has a Muggle machine pistol...no time for a Summoning charm."
"DOWN!" Alastor shouted as a hail of bullets slammed into the wall behind them.
"I daresay he's not a very good shot with it," Alec muttered, rolling sideways and shooting a blast from his wand before taking cover behind another wall. There was the sound of footsteps on the landing and another burst of bullets shot their way, several of them missing Alastor by inches.
"This is getting a little too close for comfort,"Alastor growled. "Anyone have a clear shot?"
"Then I'll make one - Reducto!" Alastor shot a blast from his wand that put a good-sized hole in the wall above his head.
Bullets whizzed through that hole a second later.
"I reckon we got his attention!" shouted Alec from his cover spot behind the bedroom wall.
There was another quick burst of fire, and then an audible click as the weapon ran out of ammo.
Riddle was the first one up. Raising his wand in a quick motion, he hit the gunner between the eyes with a Stunner spell. Knocked off his feet by the force of the blow, the man was thrown to the bottom of the stairs.
Slowly, Tom, Alec, and Alastor moved to the stairway, wands at the ready. It was very clear from the angle of the body and widening pool of blood that the man was dead. Normally, this wouldn't have bothered Alastor much. In this instance, however, the only visible weapon he could see near the man was a German MP-40 machine pistol. No wand, no cloak, no remote signs of this man's connection to the wizarding world.
"Riddle...where's his wand?" Alastor asked slowly. Tom reached into the folds of his robes and pulled out a long, thin wand made of a reddish wood.
"Right here. I managed to get this off of him with my first spell but that was when he grabbed the gun."
Alastor raised an eyebrow in Alec's direction behind Tom's back. Alec shook his head quickly, mouthing the word "Later."
They moved down the stairs carefully, wands still at the ready. They may have got all six, but being cautious never hurt in a situation like this.
"You said you got the other one?" Alastor asked Tom.
Tom nodded. "In a manner of speaking. He tried some sort of killing spellwith a faulty wand and it backfired on him."
Alec smirked at this. "Justice."
"Speaking of justice, we'd best get these bodies ready for the Ministry to take away. How many live ones?" said Alastor.
"Two stunned, both of them yours,"replied Alec.
"Someone's coming," Tom noted, and the three of them took cover positions.
"All clear?" Wolfgang's voice asked from outside the front door.
"All clear," Alec confirmed, sheathing his rapier. Alastor kept his wand up as Wolf walked in - he had recently developed the viewpoint that constant vigilance saved lives.
Wolf, who understood Alastor's point of view and accepted it, did not flinch at the wand pointed at his chest. Not that he flinched at much of anything. Wolf was well over six feet tall and weighed over two hundred pounds, nearly all of it in muscle. He wore his blond hair long, and kept the right side in a warrior's braid, which he wore down the front of his torso. Out of the four, he was the only man who sported a full beard, though, like Alec, he carried a melee weapon:an enormous war hammer made of cold- forged iron. When Wolfmoved out of range of anyone who might have been outside, Alastor lowered his wand.
"Five out of six. Not so bad," Wolf remarked.
Alastor blinked. "We got all six, unless the one you pitched from the building somehow survived the fall?"
Wolfgang shook his head. "One of them made it out the back. I tried to Stun him from the roof, but missed and had to dodge his counterspell. When I was up again, he was gone."
"Well, there are six bodies in here. Longbottom's information must have been off," said Alec.
"We haven't the time for this!" shouted Tom.
Alastor nodded. Something about this didn't smell right, but Riddle was correct. They didn't have very long before the Muggle Military Police showed up and made a mess of things.
"Let's get to Transfiguring the dead, then. We can ponder this later," Alastor said. The four men dragged the bodies into the living room and changed them into a single bone each. The bodies would be Transfigured back to their original form upon returning to London, where they would be turned over to the Ministry. What happened from that point, none of them knew, and, frankly, none of them cared.
Alastor pointed his wand at the two unconscious dark wizards and intoned "Mobilicorpus" twice. Glancing at his watch, he noted that all of the spells blocking magical means of transportation would have worn off by now.
"We're good to go. Riddle, you've the temporary Port Key spell?"
Tom nodded. "I do." He pointed his wand at an armchair, saying "Portus." The chair glowed bright blue for a moment, and then went dark. The men linked arms with the two Darkwizards and each other, and then stepped forward and touched the chair. Each man felt the customary gut wrenching tug as the Port Key pulled them from their place in Hungary back to the offices of the Ministry in London.