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The Salem Witches' Institute

Welcome to the Salem Witches' Institute, the premiere American school of magic located within the World of Harry Potter. An original role play for creative minds.

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Current Role Play Date: 14 October, 2011. Day: Friday. Time: 9:00 AM. Weather: Mid 50's with a slight breeze from the east.
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    Into the Breach

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    Kerry Malibey
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    Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:50 pm

    2:27 PM


    Coming up on Astria Portal and the Quidditch stadium and Kerry wondered when the next status update would arrive. Since the attempt from Death Eaters to get through their shield all had been quiet. It seemed as if there was no one outside the shield trying to look in, or touching it to see if it was still there . . . maybe even trying to dig under it like it was the Springfield Dome.

    Kerry didn't mind the silence, the not knowing right now. I thought that Emma might be bored--he'd heard her sigh a couple of times loudly--but he wasn't. Not yet. And, if he was to their gauge time correctly, in about an hour they'd be back at the Astronomy Tower getting a rest and a chance to whack each other with spells--

    As Emma and he turned left at the Astria Portal the Great Hall once more came into direct view, and there, just beyond Åsgårdsreia Tower, was the Library, and to the right, the Hospital. And Annie, he thought, once more wondering how she was doing. He trusted her to be with Nurse Coraline; anyone else, he wasn't so sure. But then there wasn't a lot of other people they knew, so Kerry couldn't for certain say "Oh, yeah, so-and-so is gonna stand by Annie." The truth was he worried that Annie was having a serious set of nerves because of what was happening. I hope it isn't so, he thought, but that doesn't mean I won't worry.

    They were getting ready to pass over Memory's End and Kerry was going to call in their position when there was a little "Hurm?" from Emma. He glanced to his right, when Emma had been riding for the last 20 minutes. She was starting to climb away from him. "Selene, what are you doing?" he asked.

    There was a pregnant pause; maybe 4-5 seconds . . . and then Emma asked, "What's that?"
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    Emmalene Neilson
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Emmalene Neilson on Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:59 pm

    It was only because her mind had begun wandering that Emma noticed anything at all.

    They'd been flying for hours now, and she was finally starting to understand why her mother had told her that "You make sure you protect your special parts when you ride a broom," because Emma knew if they stayed up much longer she was gonna be sore... you know, there.

    The thing that puzzled her was why it didn't bother Kerry. After all, he should have his, um, the um... yeah, that getting sore, too. But no, "Starbuck" seemed to not mind it all a bit. Every so often he'd sit up and stretch, then comment how he felt like he'd been riding a bike. Emma had seen a bicycle before, but she's never ridden one 'cause she'd been riding brooms for a long time--her mom told her first off, "A real witch rides a broom!"--and thought that anything that didn't fly would be sort of boring.

    Even so, she wished Kerry would ask if they could come in for a rest, 'cause she was really in need of standing for a bit.

    When the turned to their left Emma's eyes focused on the Astronomy Tower, and her longing might have started to get the best of her. But before she could sigh, there was something else. Something beyond the shield.

    The clouds were gathering due west, maybe west-northwest. Whatever. It had gotten cloudier as the day went on, but this was... it looked like the clouds were growing tighter around that spot, like they were--

    Being controlled.

    Emma never noticed she was gaining altitude as she flew on, her eyes centered on those clouds. She heard Kerry but didn't respond. She couldn't respond, because something caused her voice to freeze in her throat.

    No, no, no, she thought. It can't be. It can't!

    And then a black mass flew out of the clouds and hit the shield.
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    Kerry Malibey
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:41 pm

    Kerry pulled alongside Emma as the black mass erupted from the clouds and plowed into the shield. This time there was a tremendous eruption of sparks and light flares; whatever it was hitting the shield they weren't trying to apparate in: they were trying to blow thought it . . ..

    There were dozens of the things hitting the charmed field, and the flaring was incredible. It's like a ship's shield being hammered over and over, Kerry thought. He'd seen this on sci-fi shows before, but never in real live, and though he knew he should be afraid, there was something . . . beautiful about it all. "What is that, Em--Selene?" he asked, almost forgetting protocol for a moment.

    And at that moment, something got through.

    One of things flew through, trailing black smoke, and stuck a broom hard. The rider was knocked off and tumbled towards the ground; Kerry lost track of whomever it was as the thing seemed to vaporize second later. Two more made it through as well, one after and another, and vanished the same way.

    The forth one didn't.

    Emma began making a sound through clenched teeth. Kerry couldn't quite place it, but it sounded like she was doing her best not to wail--

    "Emma!" he yelled, not caring about protocol. "What are they?"

    Before she said anything there were multiple calls over the headset: "Breach!" "Death Eaters in--" And lastly: "Dementors!"

    Emma turned to Kerry, her eyes wide with fear. "Kerry! What . . . what do we . . .?"

    Whatever fear was starting to come up Kerry knocked it down. There wasn't time to be scared. There was only time to do one thing.

    "Emma, come on!" He point towards the ground. "We gotta get underground--now!"
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    Emmalene Neilson
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Emmalene Neilson on Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:35 am

    She followed Kerry down out of the sky, both brooms arrowing towards the Dark Arts house. Emma thought Memory's End was closer, but it was also directly below them... She didn't have time to figure it out: when Kerry said, "We gotta get underground," Emma decided not to argue.

    She wanted out of the sky now.

    The skirted the ground as they entered the woods to the west of the Dark Arts House. Emma wondered if coming here was a good idea. Yeah, there was the dungeon under the house, but... she was worried any Dementors that got through--and the calls on the headsets said they did--might be attracted to whatever dark energy there was here.

    But if they could get inside and into the dungeon, all would be well.

    They both dismounted and ran for the main entrance--
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    Kerry Malibey
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:19 pm

    Kerry flew up to the main entrance and dumped his broom, staggering a little as he let it fall to the ground while they were moving forward slowly. He didn't know if Emma was right behind him, but he wasn't looking.

    All he could see was the entrance.

    He hit the door and pulled it hard. It didn't budge; it didn't even shake. It was not only locked, it was sealed. He considered trying to open it here, but looking around realized just how exposed Emma and he were. "Oh, man," he mumbled before deciding staying here wasn't a good idea.

    Kerry ran down and grabbed both brooms and made for the east side of the building. "C'mon!" he yelled. "Lets see if there is another way in . . . otherwise we're going to have to find a tunnel entrance--"

    I just hope I can remember where they are, he thought.
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    Emmalene Neilson
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Emmalene Neilson on Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:59 pm

    When Emma saw Kerry tying to open the front entrance to the Dark Arts House and nothing happened, she felt like she was going to pass out. Oh, no! she thought, and just a touch of panic started to set in. I shoulda stayed in the tower! Why did I want to fly?

    And then Kerry grabbed the brooms and told her to follow.

    As they cleared the corner of the building, she asked in a strained voice, "Why do you have the brooms? What is wrong with you, Kerry? Kerry!" But she saw he wasn't listening; rather, he was quickly checking out the side of the building looking, it seemed, for another way in....
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    Kerry Malibey
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:49 pm

    Kerry trotted along the outside of the building. "I've got the brooms, Emma, 'cause if we can't find a way in here," he stopped and flattened himself against the building, "then we might have to fly somewhere else." He nodded off to the south. "I think there's another tunnel entrance just over the Oak's Bridge, but that's like eight, nine hundred feet away."

    He tried to calm himself. "Or maybe a thousand: I don't know for sure. I only read some of the maps in the library last week so I could get a feel for the place." He turned and smiled. "I like to do that."

    Kerry started creeping along the side of the building after handing Emma her broom. "After that it's like a quarter-mile to either the History Building or the Dueling Manor--" He glanced back over his shoulder. "I don't think you wanna try to run across a quarter-mile with stuff going on, do you?"

    They hit the "T" of the House and moved to their right. "The only other thing I can think of is try to make a run for the Astronomy Tower, or . . ." He nodded up towards the north-west. "either Astria Portal or the quidditch stadium." Kerry held up his broom. "Hence the brooms. We could skim the ground to get to either. I know if we get to the stadium we could probably get into the tunnels." He shrugged as they found another entrance. "Maybe."
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Emmalene Neilson on Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:41 pm

    Emma was scanning the sky. She wasn't so much worried about Death Eaters as she was... when she was 6 she'd found pictures of Dementors in her father's study, and it had scared the hell out of her. So much that she'd had nightmares for a couple of days; so much that she finally had to tell her mom what she'd done.

    Though the nightmares went away, every time she thought of a Dementor she got a hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach. Emma was worried one or more Dementors got through the shield, and if so... "Kerry, I don't want to stay here!" she said, her voice trembling. "If Death Eaters and Dementors are gonna come anywhere, it'll be here!"

    She looked over to tree line. "Can't we get out of sight?" She reached over and tugged on Kerry's jacket sleeve. "Kerry, I'm not as good with those spells as you. What if--" Emma lowered her eyes. "If something happens to you?"
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:44 pm

    Kerry had his wand out and was about to do alohomora when Emma tugged his jacket and asked, "What if something happens to you?" Kerry's mind instantly went in the other direction: what she was asking is "What's going to happen to me?"

    Jeez, dude; she's scared. And Kerry hadn't been paying attention to his own signs: his heart rate was up, his breathing was a sharp and a little ragged, his forehead felt clammy--you're pumping a ton of adrenaline and you're going to crash like all get out when you get a chance to relax, he thought. You're scared, too: you just don't know what to be scared by . . . yet.

    And not only that, but Emma was expecting him to watch after her--no, correct that. To protect her.

    You once said you knew about walking the Hero's Journey, sucker. Kerry shook his head, then performed the alohomora with no effect. You're walkin' it, dude: how's it workin' out? He considered pounding on the door to get someone's attention, and realized that given neither of them knew who was in the area, they could draw the wrong attention--

    "Ah . . . crap." He jacketed his wand and grabbed Emma's hand. Making sure they both had their brooms, he ran towards the tree line with Emma in tow. He didn't even feel like he was dragging her as she was matching his speed--which, given that Annie had shown she could outrun him every time likely wasn't that great.

    They both ducked down 15 meters into the woods, the newly fallen leaves crunching under foot. Kerry found a small depression behind a log and laid down behind it, pulling Emma down as well and getting them both out of sight. Laying there brooms where they could grab them quickly, Kerry slid behind Emma and said, "We'll lay low here for a bit. Let's see if they get things cleared up. And if they don't--"

    And that was the big "if". What if they don't? What then? What do they do?

    What they hell was going on right now?

    Give it a few, he thought. Then we'll find another way into the tunnels. Just give it a few . . ..




    2:37 PM



    Last edited by Kerry Malibey on Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Kerry Malibey
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:49 pm

    3:11 PM


    Kerry was startled by something that sounded like whip cracking.

    He wasn't sure if he'd been asleep or if he'd just spaced out a bit and was half-dozing. Either way, the moment he heard that crack! crack! crack! he was instantly wide awake.

    He peeked up over the log, trying to see something. And there, in the clearing by the Dark Arts House . . . he saw something like a swirl in the air, then a person appeared, then another did the same near to them seconds later, and there was a quick exchange of wand pointing . . . crack! crack!. And like that--they were gone.

    They're dueling. It's our people against . . . theirs. And suddenly he heard it again, off to the right of where Kerry was, maybe close to the house on the Meddow side.

    Kerry ducked his head down, and the feeling in his stomach said it wasn't safe to stay around. Even hidden as they were, he wasn't 100% certain that one of the bad guys wouldn't run past them and catch a glimpse of their spot out of the corner of their eye, and--

    It was time to go.

    And that was when Kerry saw Emma was both sound asleep and facing him. And, if Kerry were reading the scene right, had put her right arm over him. He figured the moment they'd stretched out she come off her adrenaline high and crash out. Although Kerry had no memory of Emma throwing her arm over his body.

    Didn't matter. He gave her a little shake and whispered, "Emma," as there was another crack! up by the House. "Emma!" he whispered a little louder. Emma's eyes opened with that, and just like with Kerry, another crack! forced her eyes to spring open. Before she could look up Kerry had his arm on her shoulder holding her in place.

    "They're fighting up by the Dark Arts House," he told her in the same whisper. "We gotta go; I'm afraid if we stay here, we're gonna get found." Emma was looking--staring at him, no real fear in her eyes, understanding all he was saying. "I got an idea about getting into a tunnel--"

    Emma grabbed his head and kissed him full on the lips.

    That Kerry didn't try to resist was a testament to his new found experiences with kissing girls and wasn't so freaked out by it as he might have been a year ago; or maybe he didn't want to come off as rude by pushing Emma--who was a good person--away and telling her to stop it; or just maybe . . . Kerry thought it was a nice thing to do right now . . ..

    They held it for maybe 20, 30 seconds, with Emma breaking and pulling slowly away. Her eyes were no longer filled with fear; in fact, she was looking almost happy. Without breaking her gaze she said, "Kerry, I never kissed a boy before, and . . ." She rolled her eyes back for a second before saying, "I know it sounds corny, but I didn't want to die without kissing."

    Kerry touched her cheek. "You ain't gonna die, Emma. You're too nice." He rolled over and go his broom; when he rolled back Emma had done the same. "Okay, follow me."

    He got up slowly and began crouch-walking slowly through to the east, in the direction of the wall. While he was sticking close to the tree, trying not to make themselves visible right now, the one thought going through Kerry's head was, Why is it I'm suddenly Mr. Girl Magnet? If I'd know this would happen, I'd have become a wizard a while ago!
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    Emmalene Neilson
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Emmalene Neilson on Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:14 pm

    Emma followed Kerry through the trees, moving as quietly as they could. To be honest with all the foliage and the leaves on the ground it wasn't completely simple to walk softly, but since they'd "gone to ground" it had begun to mist lightly, and the moisture in the air did a great job of damping sound.

    The closer they got to the wall the more Emma wanted to say something to Kerry. She was sort of afraid to speak now--not because of what she wanted to say, but because she was worried she would be heard and they would be caught.

    The Outer Wall starts to show through the thick woods, and Emma knew they'd be in the clearing between the trees and wall in a few seconds. Before they stepped out, Kerry motioned for them to stop and kneel down. He was looking about; Emma knew he was checking for people in the clearing.

    Kerry turned back to tell her something, but before he could speak Emma hurriedly said, "Kerry, please don't tell Annie I kissed you. I don't want her to be mad. I mean--" She bit her lower lip. "I'm not trying to be your girlfriend, I just..." Tears started to leak from her eyes. "I wanted to kiss someone 'cause I thought... I don't want to die without getting a kiss." She sniffed back tears as quietly as possible. "That's all."
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:06 pm

    Kerry touched her right cheek, wiping away the tears. "It's okay, Emma. We're not going to die." He pointed to the wall. "I'm thinking this: we fly from here to the quidditch stadium. We stick close to the wall near the top, and I don't think people will notice us."

    Nodding toward the west end of the grounds, Kerry said, "We go fast. I haven't heard anything on the headsets since they started calling a breach--and I don't know why. Maybe when we get up we can get someone and tell them we're heading for the tunnel there. Then maybe they can have someone open it. Otherwise--" Kerry looked side to side like he expected someone to walk in on them. "We hide in the stadium until we can get someone on the headsets, or flag down a flyer."

    Kerry clasped Emma's shoulder. "We're going to be okay, yeah?" He smiled, nodding. "Okay, Emma?"
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Emmalene Neilson on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:35 pm

    And with Kerry declaring "We're going to be okay," the strangest feeling came over Emma. She didn't care about whether she was scared or if they were going to be attacked. For some reason she knew--they would be okay.

    And there was a reason.

    Emma nodded. "Yeah, Kerry. We... Ah, heck--" She reached over, grabbed Kerry around the head again, and once more kissed him... a lot harder, and not with the fear driving her that had driven the first kiss.

    She didn't open her eyes for almost a minute--the entire time she held the kiss.

    When Emma pulled back she smiled at the semi-shocked look Kerry was attempting to hide. "Kerry, that was my kiss this time--and I really, really liked it." she said. "I know we're going to be okay, because I believe you." She picked up her broom. "You're sweet: a little strange, but sweet." Emma giggled as Kerry stood along side. "So, Starbuck: we ready?"
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:58 pm

    "You got it, Selene." Kerry was almost laughing as they mounted their brooms and began their quick trip to the quidditch stadium. He led the way, gaining just enough altitude to skirt the inner parapet rail. They picked up speed, getting close to 70 kilometers per hour; Kerry figured faster than that and they might overshoot the upcoming turn and fly over . . ..

    As so as they were in the air he called out. "Night Witch, this is Starbuck. Need assistance; over." He didn't know if he was going to hear anything--the headsets had been silent since the initial breach--and then he heard Professor Salomon nearly yell, "Starbuck! What the hell are you doing on comm?"

    "Went to ground, Night Witch, but couldn't get inside," he replied. "Selene and I going to the QS, need someone to open the door for us. Be there in 45." He hoped that Professor Salomon knew what he was saying.

    Fortunately she did. "Roger that, 'Buck. I'll get someone to open the door. Lay low until then." She paused then added, "Get safe, guys. Over and out."

    He turned to look at Emma; she smiled as a way of saying she'd heard. Kerry nodded and saw they were only seconds away from Astria Portal. Was only like an hour ago we were making this turn, he thought. He turned left, only this time he angled slightly toward the quidditch stadium, knowing that Emma was matching him movement for movement . . ..
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Emmalene Neilson on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:02 pm

    As Kerry promised they flew straight to the quidditch stadium, moving quickly and sticking close to the top of the wall. They saw no one on the ground, and only a few brooms in the distance. As Kerry turned at the Portal and zoomed straight for the stadium, Emma thought, for the first time since the Institute had been breached, they'd get back to the covens okay.

    They cleared the north stadium wall and made a beeline for the Cernunnos grandstands, where the entrance to the service tunnel lay. Kerry flew then right up to the passage running under the grandstands between the viewing towers and was off his broom in a fast second. Emma didn't waste time, either; the moment her feet touched ground she dumped her broom and made a run for the passage. She knew Kerry would either follow or pick up the brooms and follow, but Emma wasn't worried about the brooms.

    She wanted to get to safety. She wanted out from the open.

    Emma's heart was thumping. So much happened today, and she was feeling all different feelings running through her. The lockdown; getting on sky patrol; the practice in the Astronomy Tower; the stuff at the Dark Arts House... kissing Kerry... Emma felt like she become a different person in the course of a few hours. I can really do magic! I'm not useless! I'm alive! I'm going to live! And I'm damn sure not going to try to sleep with lights on all night anymore....

    She saw the sign showing the side passage to the tunnel. She rounded the corner at nearly a full run, thinking, If they don't have the door open I'm going to start pounding on it so hard--

    The was a Dementor floating in the middle of the passage. Turning. To face her.

    Emma not only came to a complete stop, she let out a screech and backpedaled as quickly as possible. "Kerry!" she screamed as she backed away from the Dementor, trying to make for the main passage.

    As she scrambled on the dusty floor, the Dementor moved on her quickly. Emma barely made it back into the main passage when the Dementor grabbed her and pushed her against the wall. Emma couldn't think as all the fear inside took her over while she was held in an icy grip; all she could do was scream as the Dementor opened its mouth....
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:50 pm

    Kerry had gathered the brooms and was just about at the entrance to the grandstand’s passage when Emma screamed the first time. He squinted into the dim light of the passage and saw her stumble out of a side passage backwards--

    And then he saw something else. Something hovering in the air. Something that grabbed Emma and pushed her against the opposite wall.

    Something that made her scream in pain.

    Kerry froze. His breath came in short, sharp busts; his heart rate doubled; his face became covered in cold, clammy sweat, and his bowels felt as if they would break loose at any second. As Emma screamed the very air in the passage turned frosty. Kerry saw ice forming on the walls, and even his breath began to show.

    For the first time today, Kerry was very, very scared.

    He had no idea what this was, or what it was doing-- No, that’s wrong. You do know what this thing is doing to Emma, he thought. It’s murdering her. It’s killing her, right here and now . . . and you’re watching.

    Kerry tried to move. He tried to take a step. And he couldn’t. He was suddenly so afraid: he couldn’t bring himself to even try and rescue Emma--

    Some hero you are, he thought. And here you told Emma everything would be okay: you told her she wouldn’t die. You lied, hero. How you going to face people after that?

    Kerry began whimpering. It’s not fair! We were almost safe! But his other voice wasn’t having it. Oh, right; and life is fair? It’s not fair when you’re a Muggle . . . and it damn sure seems a lot less safe as a wizard-—Starbuck. Kerry could hear the mocking laughter. Some call sign, hero. She’d know what to do, wouldn’t she?

    “Yes,” he said, mumbling quietly. And the question came that he knew he’d have to answer: So what would she do, man? What would she do?

    Kerry dropped Emma’s Cleansweep and held his Nimbus across his body like it was a club. “She’d do something completely stupid.”

    He charged the Dementor.

    He never made a sound until he was right on top of them, and then he let out a scream born of fear and anxiety--but it allowed him to channel everything he held inside and turn it to his advantage. He cracked the broom against what he thought was the thing’s head: once, then again, then the third time the thing released Emma and flew back about two meters. As Emma slid to the floor, her eyes blinking as she realized what was happening, the thing turned towards Kerry--

    He ground his teeth together trying to keep from losing his mind. He looked into the thing’s face--there wasn’t any. It was but a void, darkness from which cold emerged . . . it was the abyss staring into him, but it wasn’t going to make him a monster--

    Kerry spit at the thing. “Yo, bitch! C’mon on!” he said, yelling while mounting his broom. When it hissed he flipped off the creature and, laying low over the Nimbus, sped off down the passage and into the stadium.

    As Kerry climbed he looked back. It was right there, chasing him, maybe 4 meters back. He cleared the stadium towers and called out, “Night Witch, this is Starbuck! Selene is down at the stadium entrance and I've . . . I’ve got the Ghost of Christmas Future on my butt!”
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    Re: Into the Breach

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:33 pm

    3:30 PM


    Two things Kerry knew. One: the thing behind him was a Dementor. And two: he was getting tired of outrunning this assclown.

    Literally, he was getting tired. When he first popped out of the stadium with it on his tail he figured someone would come and zap it out of the sky and he could go back to getting to safety. That quickly didn't turn out to be the case. From the chatter Kerry was picking up it sounded like the Death Eaters in the woods were giving people fits and that was tying up a lot of the Air Patrol as they did what they could to dig them out.

    And the other thing: it appeared there were only a few people in the air who could do something called a "Patronus" which was a spell that could knock out a Dementor. Unfortunately, a few of those people had already tried--"tried" being the operative word. Two people had tried it and both told Kerry he needed to slow down, or at least stop turning so much, because it was messing up their ability to get the spell off.

    Kerry looked back once more. The Dementor was still there, about 4 meters back, still chasing . . ..

    Still scaring the hell out of him.

    Something about this thing was sending a non-stop chill up his spine, and the less he looked back, the better. And when the other fliers were telling him to slow up? Uh, huh, dudes! You thing I want this thing on me for just a second? The image of Emma getting punked by this thing was still fresh and whatever it was it was doing to her, he wanted no part of that.

    So Kerry had been zipping from one side of the Institute ground to another, waiting for the called he'd been told would come--the one that told him they were going to shag the Dementor and let him get back to the Great Hall in one not-so-frighten piece.

    He'd been waiting for five minutes. He didn't know if he was gonna make another five minutes.

    Kerry knew a little about racing from having a couple of racing games, and from following the real thing. He knew that divers pulled g's when they accelerated, decelerated, and made turns. He wasn't dealing with a lot of stop and go, but his Nimbus could turn very hard and very fast. And he was doing that at about 70 kph--constantly. While sitting on a broom in the air all day hadn't bothered him that much, turn fast/go fast/turn fast was starting to take its toll. Kerry's greatest fear now was that he'd screw up a turn and either fall or get eaten by Creature Features--

    And that brought up another question: why was this thing after him? There'd been a couple of fliers up trying to take it out. And there'd been at least one spirit that tried to if not take it down, at least slow it down. But even with that, it kept after Kerry.

    The only thing he could think of was that the Dementor knew he was wrong. I'm not suppose to be here, he thought. I'm back in the Hufflepuff commons sitting with Annie and I'm here flying in the sky above Maine. And being in two places at the same time makes me a big ball of wibbly-wobbly . . . timey-wimey . . . stuff. Kerry ventured a look back; the Dementor was still there. And they must hate that--

    "Starbuck, this is Night Witch."

    Finally! Or so he hoped. "Go ahead, Night Witch." He banked to the right, over the Instructor's Residence, staying away from the Pentagon.

    "Okay, the calvary is here," Professor Salomon said. "We got the resources to take that thing off, but we're gonna need you to follow my instructions."

    Like that's gonna be a problem, he thought. "Ready to copy," he told her.

    "Okay, come back around to the north and line up between the stadium and the wall. As you clear the tree line--but before you get into the meadow--turn back to the south. Stay close to the line and drop to the deck. When you get close to Memory's End Doolittle and I will spring the trap."

    Doolittle? Kerry figured that had to be Professor Mossman. He was crossing the pitch now and would be over the stadium soon. "I should be there in less than two minutes," he said. He got Night Witch's acknowledgement.

    He rounded the west end of the stadium and lined up as ordered. He figured Salomon and Mossman were waiting on the path to Memory's End and were gonna bush this thing: hence the reason they wanted him close to the ground. And if they pulled this off, they could either hustle him into the tunnel under Memory's End or get him over to the Astronomy Tower. Either way, he'd be back in the Great Hall in another ten minutes . . ..

    He turned and dived. In a few seconds it was on the deck, skimming the meadow at about 2 meters, still going about 70 kph, but the end was in sight. It was gonna be over in a mater of mo--

    "Turn left!" Kerry jinxed the broom to his left hard, aiming for the open space between the Dark Arts House and those twisted woods. He shot a quick glance back in time to see the Dementor caught up in what looked like a whole lot of light pushing him quickly in the direction of the shield--

    He turned back and saw a quick image appear: two people, one standing with a wand, one on the ground. And then another image of something appearing right in front of--

    A loud thunk! and something warm hit his face as he floated through the air. As the ground rushed up Kerry had but an instant to wonder if his broom was all right . . ..

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