Chapter Twenty – "The Final Duel"

A/N: So, since I have no idea who to root for in this little duel, best of luck to you all who had some hope for each of the duelers.

"You wish."

Each only bowed curtly to the other, and it was time to begin the battle.

"Where is he?" asked Dimmock to Donovan inside the warehouse. "We're sending Healers from St. Mungo's in London here to Birmingham because there's an increasing number of dying and dead Aurors! If we don't find Lestrade, it's either he's abandoned us, or he's dead. I'll take the latter."

Donovan sighed, and replied, "Relax, Paul. Maybe he's been taking rounds of the whole place and we haven't caught up to him."

"With us already going around and around his place like a teddy bears in the garden?" said Dimmock incredulously. "My hat!"

"We'll find him," Donovan told him. She then pointed to the place where only a handful of Aurors were still able to deflect the bullets raining down on them. "Meanwhile, we should help them."

Dimmock shot a look at her. "Apparently, being nearly hit by a bullet wasn't enough to tell you that playing heroine is as bad as jumping off a cliff for nothing? Once you get hit and die, what'll happen to the Auror you were protecting? He'll be dead, three seconds flat, because he isn't ready with his fighting stance."

Donovan shook her head at him, grabbed his arm, and turned on her heel. The wizard and witch disappeared with a crack.

"Engorgio Skullus!" shouted Lestrade, waving his wand and casting the spell on his opponent. His arm wound was open yet again due to yet another malicious use of the Severing Charm; thus, blood trickled from his wound to the rest of his arm and the handle of his wand.

Jim, meanwhile, smartly dodged the spell, and the sparks accompanying it hit a flying bird in the distance. The creature's head became thrice the size of its body, and fell due to the overwhelming weight to its death. The consulting criminal failed to realize that Lestrade already had a trick up his sleeve.

"Incendio!" said the detective inspector, sending a jet of flame to Jim.

Quickly, Jim's head whipped to the side to meet the upcoming flame, and waved his wand as he casted the Water-Making Spell.

The jet of enchanted water engulfed the fire, albeit not quickly enough, as one of the tongues of flame had reached the hem of Jim's trousers before he could send the water to it.

Lestrade sighed and buried his head in his free hand, showing a sign of disappointment.

"I feel you, Detective Inspector," muttered Jim, and drank the water formed from his wand. After wiping his mouth, he smiled and bowed in an overly-dramatic manner, and told Lestrade that he was allowed to cast his spell.

The Auror rolled his eyes. "You sound just like that bloody prick of a schoolmate I had—Lockhart, the bloke's name was," he said. He made a hand movement that was whip-like. "Carpe Retractum."

An orange light lashed out toward Jim. As if a rope, the light tied itself to him, and Jim looked startled at first when Lestrade began to make pulling motions with his wand, and pulled the opponent closer.

Lestrade growled menacingly at him, and warned, "I've got you now; you're tied to a light acting as a rope, and I can drag you around this whole rooftop, and let you dangle on the edge before I cut the connection, and make you fall to your death."

Jim only rolled his eyes. Pathetic! He only looked at Lestrade doubtfully, and took the Auror by surprise by swiftly making a sweeping motion with his wand arm and saying, "Depulso!"

In an instant, a seemingly-invisible force pushed Lestrade away from Jim, startling the inspector's concentration, and eventually breaking the enchanted rope, setting Jim free. Jim only smirked as he watched the policeman nearly fall off the rooftop, had it not been for the older man's hand grabbing the railing and hanging on.

"You said I'd be the one dangling from the rooftop, but look at that!" Jim said, laughing boisterously as he pointed at the struggling figure. "The irony of it all! Looks like I win, then."

Raucous laughter filled the already-sinister atmosphere, and it nearly choked Lestrade. He held his wand at a threateningly-tight grip. He was dangling from the rooftop of a terribly high warehouse which had nearly no human contact. It didn't help that his hands were getting sweaty, and inexorably making him lose his grip.

The Auror looked up, and his eyes met those of the criminal who was standing in front of him. The other wizard didn't look as scathed as he did—that is, if one would consider a slight burn on the hem of his clothes damage. He, meanwhile, looked like a soldier who narrowly survived a war fought for many years. His robes were torn and soaked in blood, and revealed his Muggle clothing. He was also drenched in water from the Water-Making Spell Moriarty had casted. In comparison to the dapper man, Lestrade looked pitiable.

He then imagined that he was hearing the familiar crack that meant someone had Apparated. It was only when he saw the familiar blue and red ensemble Dimmock wore did he no longer believe he was imagining the sound. No, I'm not supposed to drag him into this! Lestrade frantically waved his wand arm at Dimmock, and made gestures to him to leave immediately.

The younger, lanker man nodded. He did not, however, turn on his heel to Disapparate. He only crept behind the wall that only partially hid him a few seconds earlier.

"Oh, I think I hear someone Apparating here a few moments ago," said Jim more to himself than to anyone else. "Could he be behind me or could he be behind that wall?" he sang. He then turned to face the wall where Dimmock hid. "Come out, come out, wherever you are," he teased in a singsong voice.

Jim took measured strides until he was facing Dimmock, who looked surprised at his being discovered. Jim shrugged at him, and pointed to a dangling Lestrade, whose grip on the railing was beginning to loosen with sweat. "May as well watch your friend fall. Colloshoo."

In an instant, the other policeman's shoes were stuck to the floor. Jim knew he could not take them off lest he wished to look silly.

"Oh dear, that was rather tedious," he said with a fake tired expression. He then grinned at Dimmock, and turned on his heel to Apparate.

Despite his higher-than-average levels of observation, Jim failed to realize that Dimmock held a newly-sharpened dagger. He only realized it when Dimmock threw it expertly into his chest right before he could Apparate.

"We've gotten him!" was the last thing Jim ever heard, and it was clearly from Lestrade, who apparently wrapped his unexpected victory with a little bow.

So Jim Moriarty's lifeless body hit the floor. His pale face was vacant and void of even the slightest spark of human emotion. His wand rolled away from his body, making his hands empty. If he did not appear as a normal man alive, he now did dead.

So, there we go. I originally wanted Jim to win, but then again, that's boring! I've got to give Lestrade a duel where he could win. The dueling scene may be a bit odd at pacing and such and perhaps a lame if you're used to awesome, mind-blowing action scenes, so advanced apologies. I'm also going to put an epilogue, and hopefully a sequel in the upcoming months during semester break.

Aside from the story itself, do you guys think I should change the title—both in plot-wise sense and if-the-readers-will-be-confused sense? Tell me what you guys think!

I've edited this story, more on the ending.