Fic: Hail Conquering the Heroes
Chapter: 3 (Part 2)
Harry had always been good at slinking through the shadows. Nearly two decades of experience meant that even with his larger than average frame it would take a keen eye indeed to notice him as he crept closer to the large building that apparently housed the White Council’s latest meeting place.
It was fairly typical. Large. Gaudy. Practically unassailable what with the mass of wards that twined around and through the gleaming stone.
Harry clenched his eyes shut tightly for several seconds as he let himself slide into a low crouch. He would need all of the concentration he could garner if he wanted to do this right the first time without alerting any of the nasty looking stone dogs that were circling the borders of the wards.
John towered over him, a darker shadow that he could see through his eyelids. A comforting guard that would give him ample warning if everything went to hell. The low shuffling of multiple pairs of feet was a different sort of comfort.
John had managed to gather a small crew of men who were willing to follow their Boss into dangerous deeps armed only with old school guns and knives that had all been finagled by Harry to stand up to some of the magical backlash that they were sure to be swamped with in the coming battle. The heavy duty kevlar armor had also been marked with several runic markings that Bob had dredged up from somewhere.
They were as safe as it was possible to make them. Meaning not very safe at all. But they all looked as though some sort of Special Force’s training had chewed them up and spit them out so Harry was hopeful that they might be able to take down some of the slower to react wizards.
“Remember.” Marcone said quietly. “Don’t kill them. Just knock them unconscious. We don’t want to have to deal with seven different Death Curses. The Merlin and Ancient Mai are to be avoided at all costs, Kincaid, Bob, or Harry will take them on depending on who gets to them first. I don’t care what kind of enchantments and wards have been placed in your armor, they’ll cut through them too quickly for you to be more than an annoyance to them. Are we clear.”
Harry’s smile was a nasty one as he looked at the group of mundane soldiers.
“Death Curses are nasty things. You want to be careful about killing anyone with even a speck of magical talent. Thankfully the Council has messed with the heads of their followers enough that they just aren’t capable of a lot of the free thought and will necessary to create a Death Curse. So if you see any foot soldiers milling around, kill them quickly and you’ll have nothing to worry about.”
Relaxing back into position Harry opened up his Sight and let his eyes skim over the network of wards that were latticed over the entire of the building. A tiny pinprick of blood from the tip of his finger was enough to draw a line of protection around himself in case of any magical backlash from messing with such powerful wards.
As he began the low chant that the Grimoire had laid out for him, Harry delved deep into the well of his own magic. He had to mentally restrain himself from jumping at the upwelling of controlled power that leapt at his command.
It would seem that John’s iron control and will were already beginning to affect his magic; and for the better. Harry had a feeling that if he tried to do some of the more delicate spellwork that had previously been beyond him he’d have a very different experience.
An interesting thought for another time. The long stream of Latin ended finally with a simple three sentence chant that he repeated three times.
“Accipe. Nos negiligeret. Non hic.”
Compared to most of the spells potions Harry had made in his lifetime, this particular spell was far from spectacular.
No explosions or powerful pyrotechnics. The wards didn’t so much as flicker in his Sight.
“All right. That should do it. The wards and dogs aren’t going to pay us any attention, but if someone catches sight of us at an inopportune moment we’re all screwed sideways.”
They crossed the street as quickly as possible, foregoing subtlety in favor of speed. Harry held his breath as he slipped through the wards. When the last soldier had stepped through the invisible barrier without setting off any sort of alarms Harry allowed himself a small exhalation of relief.
Three of the stone Foo dogs were patrolling directly in front of them, and though all three paused none of them showed any sign of setting off any alarms.
Even more than the wards, this was the part that had made Harry the most nervous.
The Dogs acknowledged their presence, but ignored the weapons that they were created to sniff out. Whatever magical mumbo jumbo had been present in the nonsense phrases that had made up the body of the spell had apparently worked.
The front doors were monstrosities that had to be at least a 100 years old. There was no way of entering the building with any sort of anonymity or stealth. Thankfully the buildings’ side door was easily opened with a simple jinx.
The rubber soled boots that they all wore were quiet on the white marble floors and Harry could see John’s sharp eyes digging through the shadows intently looking for any guards. He was as heavily armed as the men that he commanded. Hendrick’s and Bob were both kitted out in similar gear, though Bob had commandeered one of Harry’s blank cudgel’s and, given a couple of hours lead time in the hotel, had carefully carved out crude sigils that glimmered more gold than the sullen flame of Harry’s. He had also made several other improvements on the plain wood. Luccio’s sword still hung from his hip, gently swinging in it’s sheath.
As they neared the large room that had been indicated on the blueprints Harry could hear the low murmur of male voices.
Harry raised a hand to halt the procession before they had turned the corner that would put them in plain sight of the door.
Peering around the corner carefully Dresden took in the challenges ahead of him. This was going to be one of the trickiest parts. The double door was well guarded by a pair of alert looking men.
A gentle grip on his elbow brought Harry’s head around and down as he stared at Bob questioningly.
His smile razor blade sharp, Bob hefted his truncheon, whose ends had had heavy iron plating heated with Harry’s magic and wrapped around the wood while it was still malleable, and launched himself around the corner before Harry could even open his mouth to argue.
The men hit the ground with twin thuds as Bob used the magical weapon as a blunt instrument. The force of the blows had left concave shatter marks where metal had met bone and won.
Two of the soldiers stepped forward and quickly dragged the two bodies out of the way, leaving them piled carefully in a nearby supply closet.
As they stepped in front of the door, Harry started to gather all of the power he could in his rings and staff, trying to center himself for the battle to come.
He could hear the sound the metal and plastic on leather as guns were drawn from holsters and all of the men around him began to fan out in preparation.
Taking one last deep breath, Harry lifted a heavily booted foot and applied it the door with a smart crack sending the solid wood flying inwards hitting the walls with a crash.
Basic Latin translation. Though this is very very bad Latin.
Accipe: Accept Us.
Nos Negiligeret: Ignore us.
Non hic: We are not here.