Trouble has shown its face from every corner. The light tries desperatley to survive. And in the middle of it all stands three Templar who've lost their way.
(Chapter 13 Start)
Stepping out of the fire place and glancing around, Jericho saw everyone that helped slow down the attack with the addition of Tonks and Amadues. The fireplace roared once more and Moody stepped out.
Jericho looked at the old man with relief, “How’d you manage to get out of there?”
The grizzled auror brushed off some soot as he replied, “Quite easily. All I did was conjure flames and shoot them down the hallway they were coming from. With that little diversion stalling them I made my escape. By now I’d say most of the headquarters is on fire.”
Jericho smirked, “You’re one crazy old man, but you have my respect. You had that planned out way before it was our turn to use the floo didn’t you?”
“Well this is a fascinating conversation, but perhaps we should continue it in the Great Hall. That’s where everyone is gathering.” Tonks spoke up.
Everyone agreed and soon the group were on their way to the Great Hall with Moody at the helm. As they walked they made light conversation.
“Are you three going to be alright?” Sirius asked the limping Templar.
“Give us a few days then we’ll be back to our cheery annoying selves.” Amadues said with a forced grin.
“Yes, a little R & R would do us wonders.” Marcell agreed.
“These two need more aid than me. I’m not nearly as hurt as them.” Jericho commented
Sirius didn’t say anything and the rest of the walk was carried on in silence.
As the group entered the Great Hall they looked around and went their separate ways. Arthur went to his family, who all hugged him tightly after fearing the worst. Fleur was with the Weasleys along with Rachel. Moody and Tonks went to Dumbledore to give a more detailed report about the fall of number 12 Grimmauld Place. Sirius and Remus chose to walk around the hall to the various members and check to see if anyone needed help. Which left Jericho, Amadues, and Marcell to their own devices. As Marcell glanced once more around the room he saw Elizabeth in a corner of the hall attending to her students.
“This way.” He said indicating the others to follow.
As they got closer Elizabeth turned and saw them. Her shoulders sagged in relief and she quickly got up and rushed to them embracing Marcell and Amadues in a hug.
“Ow! Ow! Elizabeth we’re both injured here!” Amadues pitifully cried out.
“I’m sorry,” She said quickly letting go and backing off, “I just thought I wouldn’t see either of you for a while and when people started coming in saying their headquarters was under attacked I feared you were there when it happened. You did say that was where you were going right?”
“Yes,” Marcell answered, slightly wincing. “And we were there for the fight. That’s how I got injured. But enough with the bad news, after all we did manage to find Jericho.”
He motioned to Jericho, who had remained quiet, the whole exchange. Taking a step forward he extended his hand. “Pleasure to meet you, seems I wasn’t in the same class with you back in the Academy since I don’t remember you and I’m pretty good at remembering faces.”
Elizabeth took his hand and shook it gently, “I don’t recall meeting you either, but I do know your name. You were one of the youngest initiates to get the rank of Grand Templar and the first Templar in almost forty years to have a dual wielding weapon conjured from your Alomondria Ore.”
Jericho sheepishly scratched the back of his head, “I was unaware I was so well known.”
“Yes, you’re quite oblivious to some of the most obvious things at times.” Amadues commented.
“Yes, quite oblivious indeed.” Marcell agreed, scratching his chin thoughtfully.
Slapping a hand on Marcell’s injured back and elbowing Amadues in his sore abdomen, Jericho said with forced happiness, “Oh these two and their jokes.”
Elizabeth just stared at the three in confusion, not used to their antics. As Marcell and Amadues sulked off to nurse their throbbing injuries, three more figures approached. These ones were not wanted at the moment.
“You! You Templar should have stayed in your little cubby-hole and stayed out of our business! Now we are without a headquarters and hope for the light is dimming relatively quickly” Snape snarled. Off to the side Marcell growled and reached for his sword but a discreet hand gesture from Jericho stopped him.
Albus walked up beside Snape and put a placating hand on his shoulder. Minerva stood off to the side watching things with a mixture of caution, solemnest, and a hint of fear.
“Severus I know you are upset, but you shouldn’t take it out on Jericho and his friends. From what I gather if it weren’t for them, the casualties at headquarters would have been catastrophic. On that note, the light is not losing its shine, we are nearly at a tunnel and must push forward to the tunnels end.”
“Albus is right you little lap dog. Without us there probably wouldn’t be a light! Did you really know how to fight a Templar before I told you? Did you manage to kill any Templar when they attacked? As far as I can tell the only people to kill a Templar when they have attacked your forces is Marcell, Moody, Sirius, Remus, Arthur, and myself. Had it not been for us no one here would be alive because they wouldn’t have been able to get out or manage an effective counter-attack. So if I were you I’d shut up before I have Marcell slit your throat in your sleep!”
“Oh I’d do it to!” Marcell said roughly.
Jericho smiled evilly at the greasy man and silently praised Marcell for his quick reaction. Both Templar knew it was an empty threat, but considering how pale Snape’s face became, he didn’t.
“Come now Jericho, surely an action like that wouldn’t be necessary.” Albus said, the look in his eyes showed that he knew Jericho was bluffing, but going along with it.
“Perhaps you’re right Albus…too much blood. Maybe poisoning? Snapping of the neck? Drowning in the lake?” he suggested.
Snape’s face had lost all pigmentation and Albus decided to end the topic of conversation before he had an unconscious potions master on the floor. Madam Pomfrey had enough things to deal with at the moment.
“No I was thinking more along the lines of no killing. I do have a school to run and finding good professors is quite hard these days.”
Minerva snorted, but covered it with a cough. She didn’t think Snape really qualified as a “good professor”.
Jericho let out a false sigh, “Fine…what do you want? I would think you had bigger things to deal with.”
“Yes well, first I came to thank you and your friends for helping the people at headquarters. I think we already established the fact that we would be in a much worse position without your aid.”
“No thanks are necessary. I had my reasons for helping, but if you truly need to thank someone thank Marcell. He didn’t have to stay and fight, but he chose to and was injured in the process.”
Albus looked at the young Dark Templar. Marcell was trying to suppress his heavy breathing and sitting with his back facing Elizabeth, who was using her cloak to soak up the blood and put pressure on the wound.
“Fawkes,” Albus called out. In a burst of flames a phoenix appeared on his shoulder. “Could you help that young man over there, I am in his debt and he is in need of aid.”
The phoenix trilled his agreement and flew over to the Dark Templar. Elizabeth moved the cloth away for the magical bird and Fawkes dipped his head and cried tears on the wound, healing the deep scratch in seconds. Marcell sighed as the pain ebbed away and nodded his thanks to both Fawkes and Albus. Fawkes seeing that his job was done disappeared in another burst of flame.
“Now that “first things first” has been finished, what did you need?” Jericho asked.
“I was merely curious as to your plans now.”
Jericho looked back at his friends and the class of initiates. He had already vowed to help fight the war against Voldemort, but he didn’t want to involve them in a fight that was not theirs. Voldemort would be considered a wizard problem in Myren. However, now Myren was gone and practically all of the codes, ethics, and traditions of the Templar were in shambles. That was part of the reason Jericho had chosen to help and considering Marcell, Amadues, and Elizabeth didn’t bother hiding their faces with their cloaks, they agreed.
“At the moment I am not sure what we plan to do…if you would be as kind as to let us stay here so we can try and formulate a plan I would be most appreciative.” He stated.
Albus didn’t hesitate in nodding his acceptance of the Templar group staying at Hogwarts for a time. There were still a few weeks left before school started and he had planned on housing the people that used headquarters as a home at Hogwarts. He already convinced Molly and her family as well as Fleur and Hermione Granger, who had been staying with the Weasleys for the summer. Along with them were Sirius and Remus.
Feeling the conversation was over Jericho returned to his friends. Marcell and Amadues looked disgruntled and even Elizabeth, who had remained passive the entire five minutes that he’d known her, seemed a bit put off.
“What’s wrong?” Jericho questioned.
“That’s bullshit, Jericho and you know it!” Marcell answered.
“We know damn well that you already have a plan, but you didn’t say it because you’re thinking we won’t agree with it. Jericho, no matter what you choose to do we will stick with you, we may voice our displeasure at times but we stick together through thick and thin!” Amadues spoke up.
Jericho sighed, looking at Elizabeth he asked, “I guess you feel the same?”
Elizabeth nodded curtly.
“Ok look, I didn’t want to involve you yet because you don’t know the situation.”
“What situation? Myren’s gone and we’re stuck in the middle of a wizard civil war and a Templar civil war. I’d say that sums things up well.” Marcell interrupted.
“Shut up and listen! I know we’re stuck in that situation. However, I chose not to take part in the Templar civil war for now. Some of the wizards here have asked that I aid them in fighting Voldemort and in return they will aid me in fighting the Templar. That is the situation I didn’t want to involve you all in.”
The three young Templar remained quiet as they digested Jericho’s words.
“Why did you choose to attack the wizards first?” Elizabeth asked.
“Well at first because I wasn’t sure if anyone escaped Myren. However, with what is happening right now I’d say it is the best course of action. These series of quick and harsh attacks are a Templar tactic. After the fighting stops the Templar supporting Ferres will most likely pull out for a period of time which leaves us to attack Voldemort. A true Templar is worth five or more wizards and if we can get the wizards of the light side to stop spanking their criminals and start killing them we will have a better chance at winning. All in all Voldemort isn’t the real problem, he has wizards from mostly Britain, some from other countries, but mostly Britain that means his numbers are much smaller than the Templar under Ferres.”
“So by taking out the weakest link in the chain we practically destroy Ferres’s combination of meat shield and long distance fighting.” Marcell summed up.
“Exactly and if we play our cards right we will not only get most of the wizards in Britain to feel indebted to us, but we can develop our own long distance fighting force. You saw how well they did Marcell. They covered themselves as well as stalled the enemy long enough for us to get the advantage.”
Marcell nodded in agreement before speaking up, “So basically we have two different wars to fight and you didn’t want to force us into the one you chose?”
“Well like Amadues said, “through thick and thin” we’ll help you fight Voldemort.” Reaching into his robes he pulled out a book and handed it to Jericho, “Besides it will give us plenty of time to decide what to do with this.”
Taking the book, Jericho glanced at it before flipping through the pages and asking, “What is this?”
“Raimond’s journal…and it has some interesting things to say about what’s going on and who you are to the wizards of Britain.”
Jericho looked at him in confusion before turning his attention back to the book. He thumbed through it for a fem more moments before someone slammed open the door to the Great Hall. Heads quickly turned, wands were drawn, and everyone gazed on Kingsley’s sweating and panting form.
“Dumbledore! Azkaban is under attack and the Department of Mysteries was raided!”
Albus Dumbledore’s face paled whether it was because Azkaban was under attack or the Department of Mysteries was raided, no one knew. He quickly composed himself and thought things over for a second.
“Alright! Everyone hurry we shall make our way to Azkaban and offer what assistance we can!”
Everyone quickly got up to gather around Albus but a voice from the corner the Templar were hold up in stopped them.
“Don’t bother, you won’t accomplish anything.”
Everyone turned to see Jericho intently looking at them.
“We won’t know unless we try, Jericho.” Albus stated.
“No you will. This is a Templar tactic much like the one the Germans used in World War II called blitzkrieg. They’re essentially “hit and run” tactics meant to scatter the opposition as well as achieve any goals you can as quickly as possible. Think about it Albus, the attack on the Ministry, your headquarters, the Department of Mysteries, and now Azkaban. Is this really normal behavior of your Death Eaters?”
Albus thought for a moment, it was true that the Death Eaters were being much more aggressive than normal, but that could be written off as the Templar assisting them. But then again, he himself had Templar trying to assist him at the moment so perhaps he should here them out.
“What would you suggest then?”
“Do nothing, take this time to recover, regroup, and plan your next move. By the time you get to Azkaban the attack will be finishing up and all you’ll do is lose more people trying to stop a lost cause. If you still want to go, be my guest, but we will not go with you this fight. We know what’s being done and we know better than to try and stop it. If our forces were more organized I’d say lets go, but that is not the case.”
Jericho paused his speech for a moment before continuing, “Your troops are already weakened from the attack at the Ministry and then they weren’t really given time to recover because headquarters was attacked. Face it your Order of the Phoenix is in disarray at the moment. They may put up a brave face for you but just look at them. They’re tired, some are still recovering from the loss of loved ones, and others have lost all hope! Let them rest!”
“But if we do nothing they’ll continue these tactics of yours and will surely win!” A member spoke up.
“You’re wrong,” Amadues spoke up. “These tactics are meant to put both playing fields back to zero. We only use this tactic when we are at a disadvantage. By branching off into small groups and striking key targets one after the other in rapid succession the enemy doesn’t get a chance to recover before we attack something with fresh troops. The reason we don’t tend to use this tactic is it has minor advantages and huge risks. Achieving a difficult objective like taking over a key location is impossible with such a tactic. On top of that the small number of troops can be overrun and killed which could devastate the offensive force. The reason it is working so well right now is because of the Templar aiding Voldemort, your aurors don’t know how to fight them and are at a disadvantage.”
“So we just sit here and do nothing?” Another member nearly shouted.
“We already said you can go if you want. We just won’t be going with you.” Marcell coldly stated.
Albus sighed as he thought things over again. Voldemort had Templar, listened to them, and was coming out on top. So logically speaking, since he had Templar, if he listened to them, he would be at the same level as Voldemort.
“Will these attacks continue much longer?” he quietly asked.
“No…once they feel they’ve scattered the light side enough they will cease their attacks and regroup as well. My guess would be that Ferres, the man leading the Templar plans to stop aiding Voldemort for a great deal of time after scattering the light side. He also has plans to make, battles to fight, and an army to control and can’t be wasting time aiding a pathetic Dark Lord with his superficial goals.”
Nodding sadly Albus said, “Everyone return to your individual tasks we will heed Jericho’s sound advice for now. If Voldemort is using the Templar to gain an advantage, then we too must use the Templar aiding us to take away that advantage.”
Not many people seemed happy with the decision but heeded it none the less. Walking closer to Jericho’s group Albus said, “Allow me to lead you to Gryffindor Tower, it is where most of the residents will be staying for now and I’m sure you all would like some privacy.”
The group of Templar and initiates got up and followed Albus out of the Great Hall. Jericho had an itching feeling in the back of his mind, like someone was watching him but he didn’t look to see who. Rachel stood by Fleur’s side staring at Jericho. A deep void filled her chest like it was sucking every good emotion she had ever known. Jericho hadn’t even acknowledged her existence upon entering the Great Hall and now he was leaving without a word. Rachel felt the worst pain humanly possible, she felt as if the person she loved had forgotten her.
(End of Chapter 13)